h2otown

The End of a Long Weekend

I have come home today,
Home from New York — leaving
Half my life there — to Boston.

The smoky evening air
(From forest fires up north),
As I left South Station,
Made Beach Street just less than real.

I had spent the bus ride
Reading, mostly Lovecraft
And his modern successors.

Now, at my apartment
In the suburbs, my cats
Keeping me company,
And half a bottle of wine,

I think of fires and smoke,
Clouds of volcanic ash,
And plumes of undersea oil,

And a small and foolish
Corner of my mind — the
Wind picking up outside —
Wonders whether I will hear

No rain but thunder, and
The sound of giants.

H2otown Hate Crime

I was going to start this post with something like “there’s nothing worse…” or “there aren’t many things worse…” but every time I started writing something like that, I thought to myself, “well, no, you know that’s not right: many things are worse, you’ve just experienced almost none of them because you’re the beneficiary of so many of society’s structural biases.”  And that’s true.

But without making fatuous comparisons, I feel confident in saying that it is in fact a rather terrible feeling to discover hatefulness in your own backyard: someone burned the rainbow flag that hangs outside the UU First Parish of Watertown.

The TAB now has a more detailed article up.  Apparently this is not the first time their flag has been targeted.

Hecht and Devaney win

Looks like Jon Hecht has won Rachel Kaprielian’s old State Rep seat by a 800-vote margin or so (this was the primary, but there’s no Republican challenger).  I expected him to win, but I thought the numbers would be closer; I didn’t expect him to clear a majority, but he got 55% of the vote.  Marilyn Devaney has also successfully defended her 3rd District Governor’s Council seat against two challengers, with 54% of the vote across the district.  Congratulations to both of them, and especially to Hecht for getting such turnout in a write-in campaign.  I agree with sco that Hecht is likely to be a very good Rep.

P Minus 7 Days

The Massachusetts Democratic Primary is in a week; Tuesday, September 16th.  Here in the Two Nine we’ve got a four-way write-in/sticker campaign for Rachel Kaprielian’s old seat, as I’ve been discussing; Ed O’Reilly challenging Senator Kerry; and Waltham’s Jack Doyle, who doesn’t appear to have a website, and Watertown’s Tommy Walsh are challenging longtime Governor’s Councilor and Watertown Town Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney for the 3rd District Governor’s Council seat.  I’ve been following the State Rep. race much more closely than the others.

I’ve had a chance to read the TAB’s interviews with the four State Rep. candidates (I didn’t find the video of the interview with Julia Fahey before; turns out it was posted in the blog, but left out of the main TAB site’s article), and last night a two-hour candidate forum was held here in H2Otown.  Unlike the previous Cambridge candidate forum, this one (which was also better-attended, probably because it’s closer to the actual polling day) was mainly driven by audience questions, and that plus its greater length helped really draw out the distinctions among the candidates’ positions (minor though those differences tend to be) and their personalities.

I like Jon Hecht, Julia Fahey and Josh Weisbuch pretty well.  Steve Corbett seems a nice enough guy in general, but doesn’t really excite me as a candidate, and threw a couple of what sounded to me like nasty barbs at Fahey and Weisbuch into his opening and closing statements — swipes at “special interests” and emphasis on being “ready on day one,” which is a little odd coming from a guy who said in his TAB interview that he’s looking forward to the challenge of learning the job of State Rep.  I’m sticking by my earlier prediction that Hecht will win, as much on better organization as anything else — and there’s something to be said for organizational skills as a desirable quality in a legislator.  I admire Fahey’s dedication to the labor movement, though I disagree with her (and agree with Hecht) on casinos.  But there’s really nothing I disagree with Hecht on, and I think, controversies with the Town Council President notwithstanding, that his record tends to indicate he’ll be very effective.  Gender balance is also a concern, however; women are not proportionally represented in the State House, and a Hecht win will mean one less seat held by a woman (there is no Republican challenger for this seat).  Obviously I wouldn’t make that my only reason for voting for Fahey, but I do also expect she’d be a good Representative.

I’m not in the endorsement business, because I’m not really convinced of the value of endorsements, and anyway who cares what I say?  (My track record also isn’t great; I backed Dean in 2004 and Edwards this year, and really thought Romney would win the Republican nomination.)  So that’s probably my last word on this election for the next week: I predict Hecht will win, but I think either he or Fahey would be excellent.

Soon, back to non-state-government topics for a while.

Further Two-Ninery

The Massachusetts Democratic primary is a week from tomorrow, so in nine days we’ll know who will be taking Rachel Kaprielian’s seat in the State House representing the 29th Middlesex.

The TAB has been running a series of candidate profiles and interviews (Stephen Corbett, Julia Fahey, Josh Weisbuch, Jon Hecht), which I haven’t had time to watch yet, but will try to today; tonight at 7pm is the second of three candidate forums, this one at Brigham House on Mt. Auburn St.

My impressions so far are that Hecht is probably going to win; he’s certainly winning the sign war in the parts of Watertown that I see, and he seems the most organized.  If he didn’t have a website and hadn’t been at the first forum, I wouldn’t have any idea Weisbuch was even running — he still doesn’t appear to have any signs up, and I don’t think I’ve seen any announcements at all from him in the TAB.  Fahey has a lot of labor endorsements, which makes sense, and Hecht has a lot of endorsements in general.  I’m still uncommitted going into tonight’s debate, but still leaning toward Hecht and Fahey.