Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Salem Ferry mini billboard projects message onto State Street sidewalk -

Boston Harbor Cruises is promoting its Salem Ferry service with a mini-street billboard that projects part of its message onto the sidewalk of a stretch of Boston’s State Street that is heavily trafficked by tourists, said Rattle, Boston Harbor Cruises’ ad agency.

Rattle is working on the project with JCDecaux, a media company whose specialties include so-called â€Å"street furniture” that is designed for the placement of ads. One example of street furniture is a bus-stop kiosk that has panels of advertising on one or more of its sides.

Boston Harbor Cruises is leasing space on an illuminated piece of JCDecaux street furniture on a part of State Street that is near Faneuil Hall.

What’s different about this illuminated ad panel is that it can also project a message onto the sidewalk. According to Beverly-based Rattle, this mini street billboard is the only one of its kind in Boston. After dark, the sign will project the message of, â€Å"This Way to Salem,” onto the sidewalk. The thinking is that this sidewalk message will draw a pedestrian’s eye to the message on the illuminated panel on the bus-stop kiosk. The panel’s message is, â€Å"Only a Broom Will Get You To Salem Faster.”

The Salem Ferry service is mainly aimed at tourists. The Salem Ferry website notes, â€Å"Hop aboard at Boston’s Long Wharf, and in less than an hour you’ll be sightseeing, museum hopping, sampling the specialties of local chefs, and shopping in Salem’s many quaint boutiques and quirky shops.”

In a statement, Rattle partner Sally Murphy said of the Salem Ferry ad, â€Å"We saw the projection street panel as a great, clutter-busting opportunity to spike awareness of the ferry service to Salem just in time for the peak Halloween tourism season.”

The projection street panel is scheduled to light up Salem Ferry’s message through October, Rattle said.

Chris Reidy can be reached at

Fourth poll shows Democrat Elizabeth Warren ahead of Republican US Senator ... -

A fourth consecutive poll has found Democrat Elizabeth Warren ahead of Republican US Senator Scott Brown in a race that could tip the balance of power in the US Senate.

The new poll by WBUR found that 45 percent of likely voters back Warren, while Brown is the choice of 40 percent. The survey found that 12 percent were undecided. The poll of 507 likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, the radio station said in a statement.

Earlier this week, a Suffolk University/WHDH-TV (Channel 7) survey had Warren at 48 percent and Brown at 44 percent, a finding that reflected a shift toward Warren. In May, a Suffolk/WHDH survey had Brown at 48 percent and Warren at 47 percent.

The candidates are set for their first debate Thursday at the WBZ-TV studios. Additional debates are set for Oct. 1 in Lowell, Oct. 10 in Springfield, and Oct. 30 in Boston.

The WBUR poll was conducted Sept. 15-17 by the MassINC Polling Group. The poll found that Warren appears to be gaining the respect of prospective voters while Brown’s standing has eroded. In the survey, 39 percent of likely voters believed Warren â€Å"will stand up for regular people when in the Senate,” an improvement from 30 percent from a poll in February.

On the same question, Brown’s support dropped to 29 percent from 33 percent.

In what the station described as a sign that Warren’s campaign themes seem to be resonating with voters, the poll found that 35 percent of voters view Warren as the candidate who best â€Å"understands the needs of middle-class families.” Only 27 percent said that phrase described Brown.

Brown drew strong support when voters were asked about the candidates’ connections to Massachusetts. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said Brown, a Wakefield native who now lives in Wrentham, had strong ties to the state. For Warren, an Oklahoma native who moved to Massachusetts to teach at Harvard Law School, just 13 percent of the voters said she had a deep connection to Massachusetts.

While both campaigns have released negative ads this month, Brown is considered by 35 percent of the voters to be running a more positive campaign compared to 21 percent for Warren, the poll found.

Also this week, Springfield Republican survey, taken by the Western New England University Polling Institute, put Warren in the lead 50 percent to 44 percent, just outside the poll’s 4.6 percentage point margin of error. Another survey, by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning group, showed Warren at 48 percent and Brown at 46 percent, within that poll’s 3.3 percentage point margin of error.

Notre Dame, UConn open to Fenway Park game -

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said the idea of playing UConn in a football game at Fenway Park is appealing. Yet he is uncertain if Fenway is equipped for football.

‘‘I just saw that. You know me, I love Fenway Park. I just don’t know if it’s big enough,’’ Kelly said. ‘‘As long as they do the due diligence, and I know (Notre Dame athletic director) Jack (Swarbrick) is looking for great venues, and I don’t think they played a game there in a long time. If it’s on the schedule, we’re going to play it.

‘‘Being a Boston guy, baseball has not been very good there, so maybe we’ll bring some football.’’

The Globe reported on Tuesday that the Red Sox were trying to organize the game, which would be a Notre Dame home game likely played in 2014.

UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said that athletic director Warde Manuel is “working very hard” on plans to play at Fenway Park

Fenway Park has hosted 41 football games in its 100-year history, but none since the New England Patriots beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 33-14, on Dec. 1, 1968.

The last-place Red Sox may be headed toward another offseason of change, but that doesn’t mean Kelly has any less desire to play at Fenway.

‘‘I think it would be cool, yeah. I’d like to do it,’’ he said. ‘‘But I think more than anything else, I don’t know the ramifications of the 2014 schedule as it relates to ACC scheduling and all those kinds of things. I’ve been so focused on getting to the office today.’’

But, if UConn and Notre Dame are close to finalizing this deal, it’s news to Swarbrick.

‘‘We have work to do on our future football schedules,’’ he said, ‘‘given the announcement last week relative to our upcoming Atlantic Coast Conference relationship.’’

On Nov. 21, 2009, at Notre Dame Stadium, Connecticut outlasted Notre Dame, 33-30, in one of the Huskies’ biggest victories as a Division I program.end of story marker

© Copyright 2012 Globe Newspaper Company.

Battle of the Food Trucks - Boston Herald (blog)

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It’s official, the contest is on! On Saturday, October 13th, my new venture The Food Truck Throwdown is coming to Dewey Square on the Greenway with the inaugural event kicking off with Boston vs. New York.  There will be seven trucks from each city competing for “Best” food truck. An online poll determined the Boston trucks. Here are your contenders: Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, Bon Me, The Cookie Monstah, Staff Meal, Mei Mei Street Kitchen, Lobsta Love. Kickass Cupcakes got a “bye” on this one and will be the seventh truck representing Boston.

But what about New York? Drum roll please, here are your contenders. Truck number one, Nuchas, a truck that specializes in fresh baked artisanal empanadas. Next up, Bian Dang, whose tag line is  “the best damn Taiwanese food in the USA”.  Leave room for Big D’s Grub with tacos & delicious grinders showcasing the best of Asian and Latin flavors.  Fourth truck in, Fishing Shrimp dishing out, guess what, fish and shrimp!  Then there’s Mike ‘n’ Willie’s gourmet dining on the go serving up sliders and tacos. The Munchie Mobile joins in with munchie madness, and last but not least in the lineup, Wafels & Dinges. Just what is a “dinge”  and how do you pronounce “dinges”, anyway? Come to this epic event and find out!

Who’s going to take the top prize of  “Best” city,  Boston or New York? You decide, as there will be a public vote as well as a celebrity judging panel.

And I’m hoping Mayor Menino will step up and throw out a challenge to Mayor Bloomberg where the losing city will donate money to the winning city’s food charity of choice. How about it mayors?!

For more info on this event , check out

Cannoli thief avoids getting creamed by justice system - Boston Herald

Redirect Notice

US Sen. Brown distances himself from Romney video -

BOSTON (AP) â€" GOP U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is distancing himself from comments made by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who said 47 percent of the country believes they are ‘‘victims’’ entitled to help from the government.

Brown said that’s not the way he views the world.

‘‘As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in,’’ Brown said in a statement Tuesday. ‘‘Too many people today who want to work are being forced into public assistance for lack of jobs.’’

Brown, who supports Romney’s campaign for president, said one reason he’s fighting for job-creating policies is to help turn the economy around and help some of the 47 million people receiving food stamps find work.

Brown’s Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, said Romney doesn’t seem to understand the millions of people who are working hard and trying to provide for their families.

‘‘Romney is writing off seniors, veterans, high school and college students, people who are working part-time because they can’t find full-time work, people who are working full-time at low wages,’’ Warren told the Associated Press. ‘‘It’s breathtaking. Mitt Romney treats all these people as deadbeats.’’

Brown and Warren were reacting to comments captured on a newly released videotape of Romney’s private remarks to wealthy donors at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., on May 17.

On the tape, Romney says there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for Democratic President Barack Obama ‘‘no matter what.’’

‘‘There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,’’ Romney said.

At an impromptu news conference Monday night, Romney conceded the comments were not ‘‘elegantly stated’’ and were spoken ‘‘off the cuff,’’ but he said he stood by them.

Brown, who calls himself one of the most bipartisan members of the Senate, said the difficulty facing people who want to work is one reason why he’s fighting against what he calls Warren’s job-killing policies.

Brown said Warren’s support for higher taxes will cost thousands of jobs in Massachusetts.

Warren declined to fault Brown directly, but she said Romney’s comments show that Republicans and Democrats have very different views about how to rebuild the nation’s economy.

‘‘Republicans believe that the way to build for the future is to cut regulations ... and let everyone else pick up the pieces,’’ Warren said. ‘‘Democrats believe the way to grow an economy is from the bottom up and from the middle out.’’

Warren is stepping up her criticism of Brown in a new television ad.

In the 60-second spot unveiled Tuesday, Warren says Brown isn’t ‘‘a bad guy’’ but criticizes him for voting against a series of Democratic bills she said would help create jobs. She also faults Brown for siding with oil companies and voting against making millionaires pay the same tax rate as middle-class families.

Brown has defended his votes, saying he’s opposed to raising taxes when the economy is struggling. He said putting more pressure on oil companies could increase gasoline prices for drivers.

Brown has also released a new 30-second television ad geared to appeal to female voters. The ad features a series of women offering testimonials for Brown, saying he supports abortion rights and will work to make life better for families.

A new poll shows the race remains tight.

The Suffolk University and WHDH-TV poll released Monday shows Warren is the choice of 48 percent of likely general election voters in Massachusetts compared to 44 percent for Brown. That’s within the poll’s margin of error.

The two face off in their first debate Thursday.end of story marker

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Patterson Hood solo band in Boston - Enterprise News (blog)

Patterson Hood

The Drive-By Truckers built their reputation with rowdy rock shows, so it was a bit of a shock for fans to arrive at Brighton Music Hall Tuesday night for DBT leader Patterson Hood's solo show and find neat rows of chairs set up, as if a coffeehouse night were in store. Hood's 110-minute Boston show was a bit scaled down and lower key than most Truckers' shows, but by the time he capped the night off with a three-song encore, most of the 150 fans present would agree they'd been rocked enough.  More to the point, they'd agree with Hood that there's a lot to be said for subtlety and more intimate formats.

Hood just released his third solo album last week, and "Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance" features some of his most personal songwriting yet. The Truckers albums have often sought to portray their own vision of Southern Gothic, tales of the people and places they know best. But Hood's new work is more introspective, looking more at his past regrets and current joys, and some of his family ties.  The 22-song set included most of the new CD, several tunes from his previous solo albums, and very few DBT songs. Hood explained the idea behind this tour after the first half-dozen tunes.

"People ask why I decided to do a solo record this time, instead of another Truckers album," he said. "I wanted something simpler, and a chance to play smaller rooms, where it's more a conversation among friends than a big rock show. I've played big rock shows, 1800 or 1900 times, and there's plenty of time for me to do another thousand. But right now I wanted to do something different, and just have a chance to sing to y'all."

Most DBT fans know Hood is the son of legendary Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood, and he's been playing with some form of the Truckers since about 1996, most of the time with fellow Alabaman Mike Cooley. The band first began drawing sellout crowds in 2001 after the release of "Southern Rock Opera." Shortly after that, songwriter Jason Isbell joined, giving the group a three-guitar/three songwriter frontline that led to some of their best work.  Isbell went solo in 2007, but the band has gone on successfully.

The touring band includes DBT keyboardist Jay Gonzalez, and Brad Morgan on drums, with Jacob Morris on cello, and Page Campbell on guitar, with sister Claire Campbell on banjo, with Hood playing acoustic guitar. The sextet produced a rootsy, down-home sound but still managed to kick it up to levels a lot livelier than most coffeehouses. And whatever the musical format was, the night was notable for the often brutal honesty of Hood's songwriting.

 The two Campbell sisters, who perform in the trio Hope For Agoldensummer, opened the night with a breif set of their ethereal, alternative folk. But once the Hood band took the stage the emphasis was on gritty, stripped down acoustic rock. Hood came out carrying what looked to be a jug of Patron tequila, but really only took a swig from it once, which was probably for the best.

The softly thrumming sound of the cello framed "12:01," a tune Hood noted came from the way certain Southern communities have differing liquor laws, and in his difficult early 1990s period--when he was enduring a bad breakup/divorce--he came to know how to get booze on a Sunday, by crossing the state line at a minute past noon. It's a bleak song, looking back at some sorry times.  "Leaving Time" is a complete time-shift, to the present when the now-happily married singer's biggest problem is having to tour and leave his wife and kids, and that amiably rocking tune seemed warm and satisfying.

"Pride of the Yankees" is a song from the previous Hood solo album, a neatly limned look at old movies and trying to make life correspond to such ideals, and it's midtempo swing felt like it came complete with its own golden glow. "Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife" seemed like an affirming ode to the stability of family life, but it is a meditation on the murder of a Virginia musician and his family, where Hood seems to remind us not to waste precious time.

Hood introduced "Better Than  The Truth" as a song "about the one friend we all have who's destined to break your heart," and that gently rocking acoustic tune detailed a tragicomic fellow with affectionate grace. And Hood managed to turn a slow and heartfelt ballad take on "Bulldozers and Dirt" into a truly moving episode. "After the Damage" from the new CD was another raw, emotional view of a marriage dissolving, a slow and melancholy song that was almost too acutely painful to hear.

A bit later Hood did his favorite Tom T. Hall cover, mentioning that he'd recently had a chance to meet the old country star, before launching a roadhouse rendition of "Pay No Attention to Alice (She's Drunk All the Time)." It made sense to follow that one with Hood's own tune about dealing with alcohol abuse, "Betty Ford," a thumping rocker about having to take a recalcitrant spouse to that rehab.  It kind of made thematic sense to follow up with "Better Off Without," a positively anthemic rocker that speaks of the liberation of knowing when to walk away. That was one of the more riveting three-song sequences we've heard in quite a while, solid rock music with painful self-examination and regret.

The older Hood tune "Pollyanna" speaks of "the way things changed.." and that fit perfectly into the narrative too, with a rollicking rock feel reminiscent of the Black Crowes.

Hood noted that the title cut to his latest album pays tribute to his oldest relative, George A. Johnson, who was born in 1920, lived through all the turmoil of the 20th century, and died last year. "Heat Lightning Rumbles In the Distance" is a warm ballad about the passage of time and life's transitory nature, and the cello and Gonzalez' keyboards gave it a superb melodicism. "15 Days" ended the regular set with another brisk and detailed look at being away from home and wishing you weren't.

Some fans were shouting out DBT requests as Hood reappeared for the encores. He said they weren't doing those songs, but would do something familiar, albeit in a different way. Saying his inspiration back in 2007 was frustration with neocons, Hood led the band in a vibrant acoustic-folkie take on "The Righteous Path," from the DBT's 2008 album "Brighter Than Creation's Dark."

Hood noted that his current hometown of Athens, Georgia is debating a big development project, and he's written a song for the effort to keep the town's mom-and-pop businesses free of big box stores and the like. "After It's Gone" was a sweetly melodic midtempo piece, where the Campbell girls harmony vocals were simply exquisite.

Hood concluded the night with a blissful romp, inspired by his romance with his wife Rebecca, when he wrote her a love song on "The Back of a Bible."  With both Campbell girls on guitars, Hood was able to do some serious lead guitar shredding, and nobody in the venerable old rock club was thinking "coffeehouse" by the finish.