October, 2009:

Citizens Connect - Boston's New iPhone App!

Seen any potholes/graffiti/street lights out? Well, now you can report it directly to the City using your iPhone!

That’s right, the City of Boston has built Citizens Connect, a free iPhone app that’s all about giving you active citizens an easier way to help us do our jobs.



It’s all about the Washingtons

As a young boy, I once spent a summer afternoon roaming the streets of Winthrop, Massachusetts in search of a dollar. I had set my mind on a hot fudge sundae from McDonald’s – priced at 99 cents – and found myself empty-pocketed, as I usually was at that age. This was to be my quest for the day.

All day I rounded up the usual suspects: coin returns on payphones, the bottom of the McDonald’s ball pit, the ground underneath the jungle gym. And damned if I didn’t come up with my 99 cents, which I proudly presented to the cashier.

“$1.04, please,” she said.

“But the menu says it’s 99 cents,” I pleaded.

“Yes,” she said, “But that doesn’t include the tax.”

Taxes! Of course! I didn’t actually know what taxes were, but I’d heard a lot about them. And now I understood why the subject was so upsetting to everyone. I walked away, dejected, swearing that I would one day topple the unjust system of taxation that had denied me my ice cream.

So why did I just tell you this stupid-ass story? Well, mainly to illustrate how much things change from childhood to adulthood. For me, that elusive dollar was like the Holy Grail, if the Holy Grail were filled with ice cream, hot fudge, and no walnuts. But now that I’m drawing a salary, a dollar is pretty much chump change. I’ll think nothing of throwing down a dollar tip on a pint of beer, or tossing another dollar at the cashier and getting a lottery ticket – hey, it’s just a buck, right? Recently I found a cart selling little skewers of chicken teriyaki for a buck a pop; after I bought one, it almost felt like I’d just scored some free chicken. I’m not rich by anyone’s definition, but once you’re making a grownup salary, a dollar never feels significant.

Now, my point here is not that I throw around dollar bills like Pacman Jones. But it’s certainly the case that we treat small expenditures with a dangerous nonchalance. There’s a bit of a cognitive dissonance that goes on when you’re only spending a buck or two at a time. If the government asked you for $700 for the right to take the tunnel, you’d be furious. But it somehow doesn’t seem as bad to give the tollbooth guy a couple bucks every day. (The infomercial guys have figured this out too – the other day I saw an ad for a twenty dollar product, but it was advertised as “two easy payments of $10.” Here’s a hint: if you need a payment plan for something that cost twenty bucks, you probably shouldn’t be buying the damn Slap-Chop.)

This mindset can get you in trouble if you’re not careful. One of my fellow ONEin3 bloggers, Michael Rubin, recently argued that dwelling on minor expenditures won’t make a big difference, and that it’s the big-ticket purchases that kill you. And he’s got a point – it’s kind of silly to walk an extra two blocks to save 50 cents on milk (like I just did) and then turn around and drop $300 on an X-Box 360 (like I probably will). But even the most minor expenditure can become major if it’s happening on a regular basis. A dollar here and there is still chump change. But a dollar a day adds up real quick, even if it doesn’t feel that way.

So what are your not-so-minor expenditures that are putting a dent in your wallet without you noticing? Comic books? Lattes? Lottery tickets? Let’s talk about it down in the comments section, my friends.


MBAs Read Here: Boston World Partnership event just for you!

Wed, Oct 28
Hotel Commonwealth, 500 CommAve

INFORM and CONNECT. That is the Boston World Partnerships mantra. On October 28th, we will be hosting a select group of MBA candidates from 10 of Boston’s leading business schools. The evening’s program offers insights from battle-tested business leaders, as well as valuable networking time with peers and with our Connectors, a hand-picked group
of passionate, proactive business people. This event is free and is by invitation only. You must be completing your MBA no later than the Spring of 2010.

To RSVP, please click here


Bowlin’ Strikes for Schools with Manny Delcarmen, Oct 31

Boston Red Sox Pitcher Manny Delcarmen to Host Annual “Bowlin’ Strikes for Schools”
October 31st at Kings

Hyde Park Native to Raise Money for Boston Public Schools

This year’s event, which kicks off at 12:00 noon, will feature a 60-minute Question & Answer session where fans can interact with a panel of New England athletes, reporters, and broadcasters. In addition, there will be plenty of special raffle and auction items available. As it is Halloween Day, fans are encouraged to come dressed in costumes! Manny and event Emcee Lyndon Byers will be awarding prizes to those sporting the best costumes.

Tickets can be purchased at www.mannyd17.com at the following prices: General Admission $30, Bowler $75, Children 12 & under $15.