Monday, August 13, 2007

There Are Too Many Campaign Signs in Allston-Brighton

I think it is fair to say that there are too many campaign signs in front yards in Allston-Brighton.

So many that, a week or so ago, my 4-1/2-year-old daughter asked me why there were so many signs in people's yards. I asked her to point out the ones she meant; she identified the campaign signs, not the realtor signs.

We have spent the last week or so identifying those candidate signs everywhere, and she pretty much has the names and colors down pat. She is assisted, of course, by the fact that she has met most of the candidates -- more than once -- so she can connect names with faces with signs and colors.

What is disturbing is her play during bathtime last night. She wanted the (male) elephant plus a series of whales (and shark) for the tub. She lined them up, called them the Water Animals Mayor and City Councilors, and assigned names to each one. (I think she actually meant the candidates for the Water Animals City Council.) I only had to remind her of one name she had missed. Here are her associations:

Not bad, eh?

Obviously, there are too many lawn signs if they are causing young children to play-act with the candidates' names. Ah, but that's democracy in action.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Stick Mosquito convinced a Federal three-judge panel that Boston need not include Chinese transliterations of candidate names on the ballots. I propose we do something a little different: let's use their water animal identifications on the ballot instead. Killer Whale Rosie Hanlon vs. Manatee Tim Schofield vs. Beluga Whale Alex Selvig... you get the drift. Put the images right on the ballot to avoid any confusion whatsoever.

The heavy rains in the last couple of weeks have caused a number of candidates' signs to fall apart and off of their wood posts, including the Ciommo sign next door and a Jenner sign on the next block. Maybe we should pray for rain to get rid of all these signs.


ashbob said...

I think you Coached your child.

Michael Pahre said...

Coached? Nope. She identified the long, Beluga Whale with the tall Selvig, the short Manatee with the, er, modestly-sized Schofield, she thought that particular Orca was a "girl" one and hence it had to be Hanlon, and so on... And she has previously referred to the bull elephant at the Mayor. She's met them all, so she has visuals to go along with the names. I just can't make this stuff up, no matter how hard I try.

Kirsten Ryan said...

i love it- what a smart kiddo!

the sak said...

Ask your favorite City Council candidate or incumbent...

a. Stenographic Machine Output
Public funds are used for the nobid Council stenographic services provided by Fritch Stenographic Associates
emfritch at

Will you make available the City Council stenographic machine output?...

b. Stenographic Software. Closed Captioning.
Will you make Closed Captioning available from the Stenographic Machine software?... People with hearing loss would have access to following the Council proceedings and transactions.

b. Council Publications. Council Documents. Council Communications. Council Notices.
Will you put on the web the City Council publications and Council public documents, for example the Annual Reports of City Departments kept by City Messenger Ron Cobb
ron.cobb at

c. Council Communications.
Will you improve City Council communications so civic minded people can better follow the proceedings and transactions of the Council?...

d. Minutes
The Minutes of the City Council are abbreviated, edited to so brief a document that the transactions and proceedings are ambiguous. The Minutes can not be read by and understood clearly. For example, Papers are mentioned without reference to the topic of Papers. Will you improve the Minutes of the City Council
so that the Minutes are less ambiguous about what happened during the public meetings of the Council?...

e. Docket Numbers. Index. Cross Index.
Will you make available on the web
(1) an index to the Ciy Council Docket numbers and
(2) a cross index to related City Council Docket numbers?...

f. Full Content of Council Notices
Will you put on the web the full notices of public meetings of City Council Committees?...

g. Wording. Semantic of Council Communications, Notices.
Will you improve the wording of City Council Committees' communications and notices of public meetings so to be more welcoming to people with civic interest in Council proceedings and transactions?...

h. Public Feedback, Comment
Will you make it easier for public feedback and comment on City Council proceedings and transactions?...

i. Council Library
Will you make more available to the public the City Council Library?...