A Heat Wave in Boston (and the Rest of the Nation)!
Temperatures in the 90s and beyond gripped a large swath of the country Monday, sending people scrambling for shade and swimming pools and leading to calls for energy conservation.
On the streets of New York, a spot in the shade competed with a parking space as a valuable commodity. Men and women made their way under narrow awnings, lounged under trees and took breaks beneath the large umbrellas of hot dog stands.
"It feels oppressive and sticky," said Laura Shaffer, a 30-year-old New Yorker, sipping a soda on her way to work.
In Cleveland, 22 outdoor pools that are normally closed on Mondays and Tuesdays were being opened. Temperatures throughout Ohio were expected around 90 for the rest of the week.1,454 Reasons to Hate the Tunnel
Governor Mitt Romney this afternoon said that inspectors have found 1,454 problem bolt hangers in the concrete ceiling of the Interstate 90 connector tunnel that partially collapsed last week and killed a woman -- four times higher than the 362 officials found on Friday.
Romney, who assumed oversight of safety inspections with emergency legislation last week, used a marker to draw several diagrams of the ceiling system at an afternoon press conference as he explained the issues that plague bolts held in place with epoxy.
“We can’t count on them,” said Romney. “Any place there is an epoxy ceiling system in the I-90 connector tunnel, we are going to put in a redundant system.”
In related news...40 Reasons to Hate Another Tunnel
Yet another crucial link between Interstates 90 and 93 in the heart of Boston has been closed after inspectors found about 40 potentially dangerous bolt fixtures similar to the ones suspected in last week's fatal tunnel ceiling collapse, said state officials.
Needed repairs and safety checks to the entire Big Dig project could take two months or more, Governor Mitt Romney said, adding that the bolt-and-epoxy ceiling fasteners throughout the tunnel system represent a ``systemic failure, not an anomaly or a fluke."
``We're not worried about an imminent collapse in this system," he said. ``But instead we recognize there is a risk associated with it, and we are not willing to risk people's lives for convenience."
The latest closing, expected to last for at least two weeks, shuts down the westbound I-90/Ted Williams ramp to I-93 in South Boston at Exit 24 and will affect motorists headed westbound from Logan International Airport, East Boston, and Route 1A. The ramp was open until late Saturday, but was ordered closed yesterday after inspectors discovered the suspect bolts.
Motorists will be forced to take Exit 25 and use surface streets. While additional Boston and State Police officers will be directing the traffic detoured onto local roads -- an estimated 3,000 vehicles an hour during peak periods -- the congestion will spill over into many parts of Boston.
``This is going to have a huge impact," said Mariellen Burns, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which runs the Big Dig. ``We're asking for the motoring public's patience. Obviously, safety is the first priority here."
Officials are urging commuters to take public transportation, alternate routes, or seek staggered work hours.
Number of Burglaries Down! Hallelujah! (Number of Homicides and Shootings: Not So Good)
Burglary is the only major crime that has gone down in all areas of the city this year, according to the latest statistics from Boston police. From Jan. 1 through July 9, there have been 699 fewer burglaries than in the same period in 2005. The total of 1,876 is the lowest number of burglaries in that period since 1999, according to the statistics.
Police say that giving residents tips on how to protect themselves and deploying plainclothes officers have helped drive down the number of burglaries dramatically, even while homicides and shootings continue to plague the city.
Residents have responded to the initiative, keeping an eye out for suspicious activity and buying burglar alarms and other high-tech monitoring equipment.(Most of this article was shamelessly copied from boston.com)