Posts tagged "Slow"

After Marathon Bombings, Walk for Hunger Fundraising, Registrations Slow

For Project Bread Executive Director Ellen Parker, April 15 to 19 was the week almost everything stopped. In Boston, and in places around the country and world, life as usual stopped as the Boston Marathon bombings unfolded April 15, then came to a dramatic conclusion on April 19 with the death of one bombing suspect and the capture in Watertown of another.  What also stopped that week? The steady flow of registrations and fundraising for Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger, scheduled for Sunday, May 5. The walk is the oldest continuously operating pledge walk in the country, raising money for anti-hunger programs in Massachusetts. “We’re trying hard to regain some lost ground,” Parker said.  Online fundraising for the walk is down 6 percent this year, said Parker, who noted fundraising efforts by walkers typically speed up starting in mid-April, and continue through the walk the first weekend in May. This year, the Marathon bombings meant people’s attention turned elsewhere during the usual ramp-up to the walk, she said. “It’s almost the nature of the world, that people would be focused on something that was almost unimaginable in the past,” Parker said. “We lost some momentum. We’re pressing really hard to make up for that.”  Along with fundraising, walker registration has also been slower since the Boston Marathon. One school group called Parker shortly after the Marathon, saying they’d be happy to fundraise, but they didn’t feel comfortable walking this year, she said.  After all, Sunday’s Walk for Hunger, and its 20-mile loop through Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertown and Cambridge, will be the first major sporting event to be held in the city since the Marathon bombings. About 40,000 walkers and 2,000 volunteers are expected to take part.  While crisis and safety plans are nothing new to Project Bread’s staffers, they’ve taken on new significance this year. More than 100 police in five municipalities are involved, according to Project Bread’s website, plus extra state police and park rangers. “There will be a bit more visibility of police along the walk,” Parker said.  Also this year, walkers and volunteers are asked not to bring backpacks to the event. Instead, they are asked to use small day bags, if anything. Walkers are also asked on the website to be sure to keep their belongings with them at all times.  With just three days until the walk, Parker said “things have slowly started to pick up again,” as the event nears. She’s hopeful the walk will be a bright spot amid what has been a trying time for the area.  “We’re hoping we’re going to bring some light to what was a tough […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mass. Tax Plans: Too Much, Too Soon? Or Too Little, Too Slow?

Massachusetts legislators this week answered Gov. Deval Patrick’s ambitious plan to raise $ 1.9 billion for transportation and education with a $ 500 million plan of their own, which says the governor is asking for too much, too soon as the Bay State shakes off the effects of the Great Recession. Who’s right? Should the state forge ahead in a bold plan to invest now? Or should it cautiously address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives?  While Patrick’s plan includes funding for both the state transportation system and increased education funding from preschool through college, House and Senate lawmakers eschew new revenue for education, focusing solely on closing the transportation budget gap over the next five years. The legislative leadership’s plan includes: 3-cent gas tax increase, indexed for inflation, $ 1 per pack increase on cigarettes along with excise tax increases on cigars and smokeless tobacco, new sales tax for businesses for software purchases, eliminating the “utility” tax classification, changing of the sourcing of the state’s sales factor system, which would require out of state companies that sell products in state to pay more in taxes. In contrast, the governor’s plan includes: Increasing the income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling personal exemptions, Lowering the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent, Eliminating 44 tax credits, deductions and exemptions, such as reinstating the capital gains tax on the sale of a primary residence, Indexing the gas tax to inflation, Eliminating the sales tax exemption for soda and candy,  $ 1 per pack increase on cigarettes, like the legislative plan. Patrick said Thursday he would veto the Legislature’s leaders bill in its current form, according to The Republican, because it doesn’t provide enough money for bigger transportation projects and he’s skeptical it provides enough funding to cities and towns for road and bridge projects.  At a press conference on Tuesday, Senate President Therese Murray said the governor “put out a 10-year vision. We’re just saying maybe 10 years is too ambitious right away … I think it’s good that there is attention on the fact that there are infrastructure needs. Nobody wants to go over a bridge that’s going to fall down. We want to invest on our infrastructure we just have a different plan on how to do that.” The legislative leadership’s plan is closer to a report by conservative think tank Pioneer Institute, which proposes a 3-cent gas tax increase, MBTA fare hikes, halting major expansion projects until backlogs are taken care of, and reforms such as basing funding increments on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s performance, the Boston Herald reports. Supporters […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , , ,