When the Hyde Park Pop Warner cheerleaders made it to the National Pop Warner Cheer and Dance Competition in Florida for the first time, they didn’t expect funding the trip to present a new challenge.
“We’re trying to raise $15,000,” said Amanda Walsh, one of the team’s assistant coaches. “We can go, but we need to fundraise ourselves.”
The overall cost of the trip, $15,000, was offset by the team parents’ decision to pay for their daughters’ airfare, but even that relief leaves $12,500 to be raised. The team currently has about $4,700, and needs to meet its goal to pay for room and board for 16 people by Dec. 11, when their flight leaves.
The group traveling to Florida includes the 12 cheerleaders, their three coaches, and a team parent.
Cheer coordinator Pamela Walsh said that though the team and its coaches knew they made it to the competition in October, because of bureaucratic hurdles, they were not able to begin the fundraising process until Nov. 21.
The girls have held a bake sale and been canning on weekends in efforts to raise money, but team coordinators and coaches remain worried that they won’t meet their fundraising goal.
“I know they’re very upset because they worked hard all season,” said Amanda Walsh, adding that the girls practiced five days a week in August and three days a week once the school year began.
HPPW assistant coordinator Jariza Rodriguez has also set up a gofundme page, where people have donated $685 toward a goal of $5,000.
Shandana Mufti can be reached at email@example.com.
This ain't your average Frosty.
Freaky the Snowman, or a guy named Brian in a snowman costume, took to the streets of our fair metropolis to film the latest installment of "The Scary Snowman" Youtube video series and terrorize the city's pedestrians.
The clip captures a lot of flustered jumping, several gaping mouths, and a few double takes, as well as some very entertained police officers. All in a day's work.
Not surprisingly, the snowman targeted ice cream franchise JP Licks' Cambridge store as one of the locations of its chilling prank.
The concept behind the Internet sensation is simple: Freaky, né Brian, stands still next to a storefront, assuming the part of large holiday decoration. With the help of the Scary Snowman crew, he targets unsuspecting passersby and moves to startle them. They react. And repeat.
It's a formula for comedic gold but not a perfect science. Jay Lichtenberger, one of the Scary Snowman guys who's not in the suit, said in a Facebook post that oftentimes the crew misses out on a great reaction because they fail to get permission or attract too much attention.
"We average about 10 to 15 great reactions an hour with a lot of not so great reactions in between," Lichtenberger wrote.
Since it launched four days ago, the Boston-based video has received more than 1.5 million views and nods from media organizations like Yahoo! News.
Note: This video features language that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott is “not opposed” to new fines for fare evasion that would double the increases enacted into law in 2012.
“I’m not opposed to it,” Scott told the News Service Tuesday morning. “I think the people need to be very clear about consequences relative to fare-evasion.”
In 2012, fines for fare evasion had been $15 for a first offense; $100 for a second offense; and $250 for a third or subsequent offense. An MBTA bailout bill bumped those fines up to $50 for a first offense; $100 for a second offense; and $300 for a third or subsequent offense.
As part of a transportation bond bill (H 3763), the Transportation Committee included language that would raise the fines still further to $100 for a first offense; $200 for a second offense; and $600 for a third or subsequent offense.
Scott said MBTA officials have also discussed undertaking a “fare evasion review.” She said, “Personally, I’m supportive of making sure that there are consequences.”
- A. Metzger/SHNS
Just over a year after raising them, the MBTA is now seeking to drop fares for the RIDE paratransit service from $4 to $3, an agency financial officer told a state transportation department committee Tuesday.
MBTA Strategic Initiatives Senior Director Charles Planck told MassDOT’s Board’s Audit and Finance Committee that the T will put the fare reduction before the full MassDOT Board of Directors at its Dec. 11 meeting. The RIDE is a door-to-door service available for people with disabilities.
The announcement was greeted by scattered cheers from transit access advocates in the audience. Lower fares have been a goal of transit activists since the T raised the price of the RIDE from $2 to $4 in 2012.
About 60 percent of respondents to a state survey measuring the impact on the 2012 hikes on elders reported this year that they make fewer transit trips, while a majority of RIDE users whose income is less than $2,000 per month said they cut back on food, personal grooming and transit trips.
Earlier this month, transit advocates and seniors called on lawmakers to provide relief from paratransit fare hikes, saying the increases had left people choosing between travel and other necessities. Arlington Sen. Ken Donnelly ripped the RIDE fare increases as a “targeted fare hike at a vulnerable population.”
On Tuesday, Planck said the move will have an impact on the agency’s budget as revenue will drop and demand is expected to rise as the RIDE becomes more affordable. Planck was unsure of the move’s exact impact on the T’s budget due to new service contracts with providers.
“We expect to get the best price the market can bear,” Planck said.
When asked by board chairman John Jenkins about the annualized impact of altering RIDE fares, Planck estimated $1.5 million in reduced revenue per year and a $3 million to $4 million annual revenue loss overall when including operations costs.
“We believe right now that we’ll be able to accommodate this change in the budget approved by the board,” MBTA CFO Jonathan Davis told the panel.
At the meeting, Massachusetts Senior Action Council Executive Director Carolyn Villers called the fare reduction “a big step towards more affordable and equitable” service and said her group is looking forward to working with the MBTA and on other long-term solutions.
After the meeting, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott told reporters the fare agreement was the result of the work of a task force made up of MassDOT officials, transit advocates and the business community.
Scott said she thinks there would be benefits to introducing means testing for riders to help determine discounts, but that the MBTA is not in a position to evaluate incomes. Asked if other state agencies would be in better positions to aid the MBTA at means testing, Scott said she had discussed the issue with the health and human services officials and any possible means testing scenario would have to wait.
Under a new law, the MBTA may raise its overall fares by up to 5 percent next year.
By Taylor HartzBU News Service WASHINGTON—First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed the winners of the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program awards to the White House Friday – with the Boston Children’s Chorus among them. The chorus was one…
On his way from the House of Representatives to Boston City Hall, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh brought his fellow lawmakers to their feet several times Wednesday afternoon, as he gave a farewell, imparted thanks on most everyone in the chamber and recounted his days as a “hotheaded” freshman representative in 1997.
Walsh, who beat City Councilor John Connolly for the mayoralty on Nov. 5, said he would be back in the chamber in January asking for more money for Boston.
Walsh paid particular attention to Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty, whom he said he had not known before taking office, when the two grew a close bond.
Walsh also singled out Councilor Frank Baker, who he said had gone to school with him and supported him from his first run for office.
“I’m very proud of the work that happens in this building," Walsh said. "Often times you know we don’t get looked upon favorably by the press and by people outside but I’m proud of all my colleagues.”
Before taking over for Mayor Thomas Menino, Walsh plans to remain in the House for the rest of the year, when both branches will meet in lightly attended informal sessions.
- A. Metzger/SHNS
With the 44th season of the Boston Neighborhood Basketball League officially over, the champions of the league’s six divisions were recently honored by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
At a ceremony over the weekend, Menino congratulated the teams and presented the Founder’s Award to coach Willie Maye and the Sportsmanship Award to the team Let’s Ball Together, according to a release from the city of Boston.
“The greatest thing about the BNBL is the safe, healthy fun it provides for 2,000 boys and girls every year,” Menino said in a statement. “And it teaches kids the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship.”
It is the oldest municipal basketball league in the country. Nearly 2,000 boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 18 participate in the Boston Center for Youth and Families program.
“The tip-off of BNBL each summer marks the official kick-off of summer in Boston and BNBL is one of BCYF’s most popular and well-known programs,” Chris Byner, chief of human services/BCYF executive director, said in a statement.
Sponsored Rebook, the eight-week program also includes an educational component, which is sponsored by Suffolk Construction.
BNBL 2013 Champions:
13 & Under Boys - Lee School (BCYF Grove Hall)
Coaches: Marvin Wright & Darryl Tyler
Kyle Butler, Dante Eldridge, Brycen Goodine,
Elijah Hemingway, Javon Jones, Abdul Meslim,
David Mitchell, Andre Reeves, Ajahn Rue,
Korvonne Whitchall, David William, Marcus Wright
15 & Under Boys - The Rebels (BCYF Hyde Park)
Coaches: Eugene Austin & Stephan Miller
Jonathan Casseus, Benjamin Chitolie, Ian Holder,
Lionel James, Dreshaun Johnson, Dimmone Marshall,
Victor Monegro, Deven Palmer, DeShon Teixeira,
18 & Under Boys - Spartans (BCYF Perkins)
Coaches: Joe Chatman & Al Rue
Ernie Chatman, Kris Ervin, Frantz Francois,
Braxton Gulley-Mabry, Ryan Jones, Shawn Miller,
Markus Neale, Freddie Oliveira, Alijah Rue
13 & Under Girls - Boston Showstoppers (BCYF Madison Park)
Coaches: Clinton Lassiter & Al Smith
Katherine Bernardez, Amani Boston, Mariana Crisanto,
Shanya Drayton, Xyianna Hairston, Kiara Ansley-Hinds,
Arienne Howard, Allison Lino, Chase McMillan,
Dericka Smith, Serena Smith, Ariana Vanderhoop
15 & Under Girls - Boston Showstoppers (BCYF Madison Park)
Coaches: Kenneth Grubbs & Clinton Lassiter
Me'Ara Carter, Taneja Drayton, Amaya Finklea,
Gianni Hill, Masseny Kaba, Jaquelah Lassiter,
Sayawni Lassiter, Adia Maund, Ja'Najia Walker-Holliman,
Nala Watson, Zharia Wilcox
18 & Under Girls - Lee School (BCYF Shelburne)
Coaches: Eric Bradshaw & Maurice Long
Amari Bradshaw, Araion Bradshaw, Mercedes Cunningham,
Brianna Hardy, Adia Maund, Alexandra Maund,
Asia Mitchell, Shai-Ann Nance, Ashley Serrette,
Kiara Serrette, Marissa Serrette, Jacqueline Spears
The street violence that fills the evening news in Philadelphia can seem random. A personal beef here, a drug deal gone bad there. But police say gangs, and criminal street crews account for much of the violence. In South Philly, there's the 5th Street…