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As of last night, there were three dead, 176 injured. Of the 176, 71 remain hospitalized, 24 in critical condition and of the critical at least two are confirmed to be children, one the sister of the boy who died - she has lost a leg.

I've been trying to focus on the victims. But as information comes from both the officials and the world of social media some pieces are coming together - possibly.

According to WHDH reports beginning yesterday afternoon, a viewer submitted images to them, and they gave copies to the FBI. The photos, doctored to hide the blood and gore, are all over the internet now.

The WHDH photos show what looks like a grocery shopping bag placed just outside of a barrier before and after what appears to be second the explosion. If this is the case it is surprising that no runners were seriously injured.

It is just haunting to see the innocent spectators in one image and then the carnage, the shoes, the blood, in the second.

If this is the bomb, it seems to different than the first explosion - the scene closest to the finish line across the street from the viewing stand full of VIPs. That explosion seemed to come from the inside the barrier, perhaps somewhere on the sidewalk.

And then there are the photographs released to agencies that show what appears to be a pressure cooker piece and an exploded backpack.  
No official has confirmed that the bag in the WHDH photos actually contained a bomb.  But if it did, could it have been just one person wearing a backpack and carrying a bag?

Suppose someone knows a friend, family member or neighbor who bought two pressure cookers lately? Do we tell someone? Is that typical? If I'd purchased two pressure cookers to can or whatever, I wouldn't mind a visit from the police or FBI.

As reported by WHDH, authorities have been asking anyone who was taking photos in the area, and not just photos of the explosion, but anytime before or after the explosions, to share the images with the FBI or local law enforcement:
 

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies repeatedly appealed to the public to come forward with photos, videos or anything suspicious they might have seen or heard.

"The range of suspects and motives remains wide open," Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston, said at a news conference. He vowed to "go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime."

If they can confirm to the public that they are looking for someone who was carrying both bags, or even if it is more than one person, each carrying one of these bags and leaving them - they can ask the public to help. Thousands of people were passing through these areas.  

Someone must have seen something.  

Help federal investigators: Email any photos or videos  you have of Boylston Street during the Marathon to boston@ic.fbi.gov or share any tips that might be important.

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UPDATE: When I pulled the quote below  from the Boston Globe last night, I removed the graduate student's name. Her father has since given permission to give her name to the public. Her name was Ms. Lv Lingzi, and as the Globe stated "has also been rendered as Lingzi Lu."  
And as written below, she might have been a Chinese national, but she was here as a BU graduate student, living here, learning here, socializing here, and she watching the Boston Marathon when the non-professional runners, those running for a cause, a cure, or for the experience and pride of running and finishing the marathon are making their way towards the finish line, just as all of the others who were killed and maimed.  
As far as many are concerned - Lingzi Lu was a Bostonian and we mourn her loss.
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Boston University's newspaper is reporting that the third victim of the bombing at the Boston Marathon was a BU grad student who was a Chinese National.

Yesterday at a news conference when Police Commissioner Davis said the number of dead had gone from two to three, he let it slip that one of the dead was a BU student.

As we learned the identities of the other two victims, 29 year old Krystle Campbell and eight-year-old Martin Richard, it was assumed then, that the third was the BU student.

The university hasn't released the student's name pending permission from the family.

According to BU Today the student was with two friends, one was injured, the other unharmed:

Rev. Robert Hill, dean of Marsh Chapel, visited the injured student Monday evening and again yesterday afternoon. He reports that she underwent surgery on Monday and on Tuesday. “She is doing well,” says Hill. “She has her friends around her, and she will soon have family around her.
The Boston Globe reports more information from a source at the Chinese consulate in New York:
The Chinese consulate said that two Chinese students were victims in the bombings. One was injured, and the second died.

The Chinese consulate in New York identified the survivor as BU student Zhou Danling. Chinese media said Zhou is a graduate of Wuhan University in central China, and is a student at BU in actuarial science.

“She cannot talk now but can communicate with pen and paper,” the consulate said in an e-mailed statement earlier Tuesday.

In that earlier statement, the consulate said another Chinese student, identified by the consulate (name removed) was still missing.

Boston is known internationally for it's colleges and universities. The rainbow of young people of diverse nationalities that fill the streets during the school year can, at least to some extent, be attributed to students from countries all over the world.  

It's one of the things we love about Boston.

 I remember telling one of my children who was accepted to Northeastern that just being able to live in that area made the opportunity even more exciting.

The area of the bombing is close to several colleges, so it's no surprise that several of the injured were local college students.

So far, according to Globe, schools have confirmed that:

Among the injured were several area college students. Three Tufts University students, seven Emerson College students, three Northeastern University students, two Boston College students, and one Berklee College of Music student were among those injured, according to the schools.
Even though these students came to us from another country, they were living here  and we consider them Bostonians. So yes, we've lost yet another one of our own.

A map showing colleges and universities in Boston proper this link will take you to a larger map.

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Ma, I’m hurt real bad.
JP and Paul Norden
Liz Norden described the phone call from her son, Paul; he was calling from an ambulance racing to Beth Isreal Hospital.

Paul was at the Marathon's finish line with his brother J.P., his friend Mark Fucarile and his girlfriend Jackie. They were waiting to cheer on their high school friend, Mike Jefferson a Somerville firefighter, running in the race.

Liz later learned that J.P. had also been severely injured and was taken to a different hospital.

This morning in various interviews she described her distress as she frantically tried to locate both sons.

Paul, 31, is at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, and J.P., 33, is at Brigham and Women's Hospital, each have lost their right leg. Each have undergone at least one surgery.

Paul's girlfriend Jackie is being treated for burns in yet a third hospital, and their friend Mark Fucarile, lost both legs.

In addition to these life-changing, catastrophic injuries, their mother is worried about emotional wounds because they were standing next to Martin Richard, the eight-year-old boy who was killed.

According to their local paper, the Woburn Daily Times, if you would like to help the brothers and Marc Fucarile:

A charity account has been set up at TD Bank. You can call, mail, or drop off a donation at any location. The name on the account is Marc, JP, and Paul Marathon Victim Fund. The account number is 8371871647. and donations can be mailed to TD Bank 280 Montvale Ave. Woburn MA 01801. Or you can call 781-376-0100. If you have questions contact the branch manager, Lisa Ruocco.
other sources:
Boston Globe
US News
ABC NEWS

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Local station WCVB has a collection of photos from the scene and has identified some of the victims we've become familiar with.  

Photos of this man, some incredibly graphic, have been seen in collections of images of those rushed from the scene of the first bomb.

According to a caption WCVB has added to the photo:
Jeff Bauman Jr., of Chelmsford, lost two legs in the blast.
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*UPDATE: Yesterday during a news conference Boston Commissioner Edward Davis mentioned that one of the victims was a BU student. At the most recent press conference, it was announced that the third student is a BU grad student, but they "didn't have enough information" to notify the next of kin.
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The press is now identifying two of the victims lost yesterday and one local station is adding the names to some of those injured we've seen in photos.

Krystle Campbell-from in this photo from WCVB's facbook page:

We have just learned Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old Medford native, is one of the three victims killed in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. She was a 2001 graduate of Medford High.
Krystle Campbell now identified as the second victim.
The Boston Globe published a story after interviewing Krystle's grandmother, Lillian Campbell, who described her beloved grandaughter:
“She was so cute. She was just full of life,” Lillian said. “She loved being around people. She was a people lover, even as a little girl. She always had a lot of friends around her. She loved music, and she loved life, Krystle did. She was always bouncing and always happy.”
And the youngest victim:
Martin Richards 8 yrs-old
From the Boston Globe:
The father of Martin William Richard today said he is trying to both grieve the death of his 8-year-old son, who was killed at the Boston Marathon bombings, and help his wife and daughter recover from injuries they suffered during the terrorist attack on Monday.

“My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries,’’ Bill Richard said in a statement released this afternoon. “We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin.’’

WCVB is has a photo gallery - as they find the names and stories of the victims seen in photos - they are connecting the stories and the photos, "Remembering the victims: http://on.wcvb.com/..."

Once again, the Boston Globe and local Boston news stations, wcvb, whdh, wbz-tv are the best resources.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/

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Some personal thoughts on the Boston I know and love, written as my husband and I watched this all unfold, yesterday:  BOSTON, you're my home

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Yesterday, in almost the exact place where the Boston Marathon was honoring the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings, families and friends of the Newtown victims  were face-to-face with yet another horrific crime.

Two bombs exploded in a manner designed to kill or maim spectators cheering on runners at the finish line of the historic Boston Marathon. As of late last night the count was over 130 injured, and three people had died. One of those dead,  an eight-year-old boy, another a BU student.

The Sandy Hook families were invited as special guests by the Boston Marathon organizers. ESPN reported earlier:

Boston Athletic Association president Joanne Flaminio said there was "special significance" to the fact that the race is 26.2 miles long and 26 people died at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
A team from the group "Newtown Strong" was running in memory of the victims of the CT shooting, and the race organizers created a special honor at the finish line to honor the cause:
Laura Nowacki, a spokeswoman for the Newtown Strong Fund, says the runners will hit Heartbreak Hill knowing it's nothing like the pain felt by the runners back home. She says, "It's just running, but we want our steps to count."

The mile marker that will hang at the end of the 26th mile will feature the city seal surrounded by 26 stars, one for each victim.

There also will be 26 seconds of silence at the start before the race.

The family members were seated in the VIP viewing section across Boylston St. from where the first bomb went off Monday. None were hurt.

The first bomb went off over four hours into the race. The elite runners had finished, so the major sports coverage was complete. But typically as the race progresses the groups who are supporting charities, running to raise money or awareness for causes and cures, are making their way across the finish line.

The finish line spectators in the public areas - including the area that was bombed - shift from the marathon sports enthusiasts there to watch the international elite runners, to those who are there to cheer on and congratulate those who are running out of the spotlight, not to win or achieve some sort of record time, but to finish either for personal victories or for a cause or a combination of both.

The spectators at the finish line always include children, lots of children. Many are cheering for runners they know or just to experience one of Bostons proudest events. The race takes place on Patriot's day a MA state holiday- schools and local government are closed. And, for those who live in the Commonwealth of MA, it is also the beginning of a week-long school vacation.

The areas where the bombs exploded are always crowded as people jockey for a good position to cheer on the runners.

The person or people who placed those bombs today knew what they were doing. These were small bombs designed to kill and severely injure those who were close-by. They did just that, with some of the Sandy Hook family members who have already suffered too much pain from senseless violence, watching.

If anything can make this whole horrific event even more tragic, that would be it. Thankfully none of those from Newtown, either running or watching, were physically injured. But this now adds to their already unfathomable pain; they are victims once again.

The CT News Times reported on the safety and whereabouts of many of the Newtown guests, including Denis Loncto was on his way to meet his wife at the finish line when he witnessed the chaos as first responders headed to scene:

"It was surreal," he said. "It was like the end of the world."
Some personal thoughts as the emotion of the day yesterday unfolded and my husband, who works in Boston, and I watched some of the most horrific uncut footage of our city, in an area of the city we know so well, lost its innocence.
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Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:07 PM PDT

Boston, you're my home

by 51percent

"Because I love that dirty water
Oh, oh, Boston, you're my home (oh, yeah)"
- Dirty Water by The Standells

It's a state holiday today, Patriot's Day ... The marathon "starts" begin at 9am, the Red Sox always play an early game, 11am, and the city is teaming with people from all over the world. There is a celebratory atmosphere and always a wonderful day to just BE in Boston.

Two bombs exploded, designed to cause horrific injuries and death and successful and reports that another one was found and detonated.

We are stunned. No one knows for sure who did this and why, could be some crazy individual, could have been some group with political motivations - or even an international terrorist- however there is no one claiming responsibility.

So far three are dead, one an eight-year-old  child. The reporters are telling us it will be surprising if more don't make it through the night because of the hundreds injured, several are suffering injuries that are described as "grave."

There is one image from the videos that I can't shake - yellow balloons that were released just as the bomb went off, and I imagine them being held by a child... as smoke and shrapnel fly they just climb up into the sky.

I grew up close to Boston. I went to college there and lived in two of it's iconic neighborhoods. I love Boston and get into the city as often as I can.

My husband drives about 60+ miles each way to work in Boston at least five days a week installing windows and storefronts and revolving doors etc.  

He had a job recently at 60 State Street in the financial district area - he had to start at 4am because the contractor wanted the work done before people were coming into the building for the day. The reward for starting early was this sunrise. He took this photo with his android phone.  When the President spoke today, I thought of this photo.

Apparently one bomb was found, unexploded, under the grandstand where VIPs were seated at the finish line. And in that grandstand were parents, friends and family members of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Adding further heartbreak to utter tragedy, the last mile of Monday's Boston Marathon, which was rocked by at least two explosions resulting in an unknown number of injuries and casualties Monday afternoon, was dedicated to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting massacre. Boston Athletic Association president Joanne Flaminio said before the race that had a "special significance" because it was 26.2 miles long and there was 26 victims in the Newtown attack. There was also a group of Newtown parents running as part of a group called Team Newtown Strong who were raising money for local charities.

Boston has now been touched by the worst type of violence. We will recover, we will persevere.

But no matter what anyone says; call it whatever you want, but as far as we're concerned Boston has been touched by terrorism, because we always knew it might happen --that worry has always been hovering in the back of our minds - but now we know it HAS happened and that it CAN happen, here and that instills terror.

My husband is going to work tomorrow, less than a mile from where people were killed in two bombings in "Downtown Boston" on a day when the city was at its best, sparkling and proud.  

I can't believe this has happened in Boston.

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The Boston Globe has a great resource for updates and photos like this one here.
This photo is from those the updates and many more photos here.

from the Boston Globe - they have an incredible collection of photos that just show the horror of the day.

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"Isn't that just like a w&*? Brings a knife to a gun fight."  - Sean Connery as Jim Malone in The Untouchables.  

There have been so many boneheads in the news this week; supreme court justices who don't seem to understand the basics of our constitution, a senator who thinks a racial slur is appropriate in a discussion about immigration, a so-called "famed John's Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon" who has decided that religion trumps nature in the debate about same-sex marriage while tossing NAMBLA and bestiality into the discussion, Mitt da Twit discussing a "normal life" the rest of us will never know ...

All of these boneheads have been given plenty of media attention.

The latter half of this week was filled with discussion about whether the "moment has passed" regarding gun control legislation.  On the 100th day after the Newtown massacre, surrounded by a room full of mothers of gun victims, President Obama implored Congress and the American people to remember how we all felt 100 days ago.

This week started, however, with that boneheadiest of boneheads LaPeirre on Meet the Press talking about how Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to pass gun control legislation have increased donations to the NRA, reminding us that he - LaPierre - and his minions of boneheads are in it for the long haul.

Bonehead in Indianapolis
My personal selection of "boneheads of the week" are worrisome because they are some of the bonehead minions who listen to the media-featured boneheads and feel empowered to do boneheaded things like show up at a rally of the group Moms Demand Action during the Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns event in Indianapolis -- carrying assault rifles.  

(Note the child in the photo of the bonehead bully compensating with a gun.)

Think Progress did a short piece describing how the men, and one woman, showed up at rally to intimidate the moms:

Several men with assault rifles and hand guns crashed a Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns National Day to Demand Action event in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday and stood silently as the state chapter of Moms Demand Action held a rally in favor of limiting the availability of military style weapons and universal background checks.

At least two or three men showed up at the rally site before the event began and engaged in a discussion about gun regulations with the group, two participants in the action told ThinkProgress. The armed men — who were later joined by another man carrying a hand gun and a woman who runs Indiana Moms Against Gun Control — insisted that they had a right to carry the loaded weapons.

What is truly unfortunate though, is that the stunt may have worked:
A member of Moms Demand Action said that she felt unsettled by their presence and said that the organizers would have to think twice before holding another event, particularly one where children could be present.
Yep, there were children present.

Intimidating Mom's and children with their big ... umm ... assault weapons.

I bet their mothers are so proud of their little bully boneheads with their big powerful guns.

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"LOOK MA! I'M ON TV!":

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In 2010 Senator Centerfold Scott Brown was the MA GOP's attempt to redesign the image of a MA Republican candidate. They hoped this make-over would gain traction in a statewide race for an open US Senate seat. This newly designed candidate should declare he is pro choice, support same-sex marriage, he must identify with the middle class, insist he would work with "both sides of the aisle," and looooook goooood while making those promises so the voters might miss the double-speak. While designing the new candidate, someone spotted his $600 leather barn coat hanging in a closet and they fell in love with his pickup truck, developing an image that sold. Until, of course, he actually had the job and was busted doing tea-partish things like signing the Grover Norquist pledge. The MA GOP forgot we actually pay attention to what our politicians do once elected. After the MA primaries on April 30, 2013, will we see a different sort of campaign? Who will wear the barn coat? What kind of truck will he drive? Or even more important, does one of our Democratic primary candidates have a barn coat hidden in his closet?

Last night we popped the popcorn and settled in to watch the local ABC affiliate, WCVB's, two half-hour debates.  

The three Republican candidates were up first:

All three declared war on "Obamacare" -promising to work to repeal the whole plan.  They all want means testing for anyone collecting disability, and want no means testing for Social Security... blah blah republicanspeak ... blah blah

On social issues Michael Sullivan, (who only recently flip-flopped on his anti-gay marriage position) declared himself a federalist and agreed with Dan Winslow and political newcomer Gabriel Gomez that DOMA should be overturned and decisions about same-sex marriage should be left to the states. Since MA already legalized same-sex marriage they didn't need to promise anything to either side of the issue. But Winslow did declare himself in favor of same-sex marriage. The other two ... well they were ready for the next question.

On abortion, Sullivan reiterated his pro-life position as a good Catholic, mumbled something about the church's position on contraception being confusing and left it there. Gomez also said his commitment to the Catholic church was unfaltering and he is pro life. Dan Winslow separated himself as the one who is socially less conservative saying those decisions should be left to women.

Right now, Michael Sullivan has a pretty good lead in the polls ...

The Democratic debate between the two Congressmen, Markey and Lynch, gave us this weird feeling that Lynch should be wearing a barn coat:

Tonight the moderator established that Lynch voted for the sequester, while Markey voted against it. Markey called Lynch out on the loss of jobs in MA as a result of that vote.

On healthcare, Lynch, who voted against Obama's healthcare bill, stumbled a bit as he cited reasons; anti-trust exemptions that created problems for MA companies who make medical supplies and that it "piled taxes" on employers.  (All of this is most likely labor union related. Many labor unions provide "Cadillac health insurance plans" that may have been subject to taxes and that incurred costs when having to integrate things like covering kids up to 26 years old. Lynch is endorsed by the MA building trades {unions} council.)

Markey voted for the healthcare bill and chastised his fellow Congressman for not supporting an effort that was generations in the making, telling him when his fellow Democrats needed him - he wasn't there. He spoke of Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry's efforts to establish a national healthcare.  He said he is proud that NARAL and Planned Parenthood considered his support of the plan when they endorsed him.

On abortion the moderator noted that Markey changed his position in the 1980's but Lynch has been slower to evolve. Markey again spoke of his endorsement by Planned Parenthood and NARAL and his belief that a woman's right to chose should be protected at all costs.

Lynch said that yes, he is pro life, and made a point to say that he has been hearing lately that he isn't "pro-life enough." (Perhaps the Catholic church isn't happy with him?) He did say that although he is personally pro life, he didn't think government should be involved in that decision. But- he is still calling himself, pro life. He attacked Markey by saying that in the 1980's Markey voted against Roe v. Wade, accusing him of "not just flip-flopping but doing acrobatics."

Markey responded that for 30 years he has aggressively supported a woman's right to choose. (Yep.)

During the last part of the debate when each candidate could ask the other questions, Markey did the Markey thing, throwing a softball at Lynch asking him to describe the work he'd done for Veterans and asking him what more we need to do.  Lynch was actually a little surprised and thanked Markey for the question before describing his programs and legislation that help veterans. When it was Markey's turn to respond, he said he supported Lynch's programs, that we we need to do more, and thanked Lynch for all he has done.

In an interview by another station's political reporter after the debate the reporter told Lynch it appeared that Markey was suggesting that he was too conservative to represent the Democrats.

Lynch laughed and said, "Yah, he's probably right!" Then more seriously, "no, I mean I am a moderate Democrat."

Huh?

The same reporter told Markey that Lynch was accusing him of changing his position on abortion (leaving out that that change was back in the 1980's.) Markey responded that his record speaks for itself, as do the groups who are endorsing him.  

When we sat back and looked at the whole hour - at all five candidates - it really seemed like Ed Markey was the only Democrat in the group.

And out of all five, the barn coat would look best on Lynch - perhaps he left it in his truck.

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OK all you kiddos out there under 30:

If you had told me "when I was your age" we would see the friggin' supreme court on the edge of a decision that would or could possibly change the definition of marriage to include same sex couples ... I mean - I NEVER would have believed it.

HOWEVER...

If you had told me at the same time how many semi-automatic assault weapons would be in private homes purchased in private sales without background checks - I'd have told you were nuts and reading too many books about crazy anarchists.

OR

That too many states would be systematically dissembling abortion rights, and at least one law was signed by a governor who declared that he and his state legislature were hoping to challenge our rights in the US Supreme Court ... I'd have reminded you that Roe v Wade had passed and we were creating more clinics that offered safe abortions and that the way our society was progressing it was crazy to think our rights would be threatened!

And

If you had told me that in 2013 all of this would take place, and that as much as we gain, we lose in other places; that we would still have such small percentages of women representing 51% of the population in elected local state and national offices,  I'd have told you: THAT precisely, would the problem.

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Update - Senate votes to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline (see below the squiggle)
MA should be proud of their Senators' votes:
Massachusetts:    Cowan (D-MA), Nay    Warren (D-MA), Nay
How would we feel if one of our Senators was a Yea vote?

Despite a statement by Ed Markey asking Thomas Steyer to stay out of the Massachusetts special senate election, the billionaire environmentalist is going forward with his campaign against Markey's primary opponent, Stephen Lynch. Voters will decide which of the two Democratic candidates, both current US Reps, will face one of three Republican's on April 30.

Steyer, a former hedge fund manager and Democratic activist, has donated millions to establish an energy sciences institute at Yale University - his alma mater - and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and a the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Finance and Policy both at Stanford University where he got his MBA. He has also used his money to support political initiatives that promote alternative energy and environmental causes.  

Steyer is motivated by Lynch's support of the Keystone pipeline project.

According to Politico, a letter went out to Lynch from Steyers on Monday (March 18) accusing Lynch of taking positions too far to the right:

“We have to solve the problem now in large part through smart policies that invest in a clean energy future for our next generation,” says the letter, which was sent, sources said, after environmentalists approached Steyer about getting involved. “Nowhere does this policy drive matter more today than the Massachusetts Senate Democratic primary between Congressmen Ed Markey and you. In short, climate change is on the ballot on April 30 as it never has been before.”
Steyer, joined by Massachusetts activists, gave Lynch until “high noon on Friday” to withdraw his support for the Keystone Pipeline or the group would launch an aggressive public relations campaign against him.

On Wednesday, Masslive reported the Lynch campaign's response:

“This sort of behavior exemplifies the problem with the Washington establishment,” said Scott Ferson, a senior Lynch campaign advisor, in a statement sent to the press. “It’s not enough to support environmental efforts 94 percent of the time, as Congressman Lynch does. You need to be with every radical group 100 percent of the time or they will unleash millions of dollars against you.”
Markey also asked Steyer to stay out of the race in a statement Friday:
"As I stated when I first learned about Tom Steyer's demands on Monday, these kinds of tactics have no place in our political discourse and should be repudiated," said Markey in a statement. "Mr. Steyer should immediately withdraw his threats and ultimatum, and stay out of this Senate race. This campaign should be about the people of this state, and I remain committed to giving Massachusetts voters a debate about the issues they care about most"
According to the Washingon Post:
Steyer was not moved; his campaign launched Friday afternoon. “The issue in this race is whether Steve Lynch is running to be the Senator from Canada fighting for increasing the wealth of a foreign oil company or a Senator from Massachusetts who will stand for the common good of the Commonwealth,” spokesman Chris Lehane said.
Markey and Lynch signed a pledge committing not to use outside money in the special senate primary election. According to the pledge, Steyer's campaign against Lynch might actually cost Markey money. The pledge states that if an independent third party group spends money advertising to support a candidate, that candidate has to give 50% of the cost of that ad to a charity of the other candidate's choice.

However:

Steyer says he will abide by the terms of the pledge, avoiding the television, radio, web or direct mail ads that are barred. His campaign is kicking off with ads on the sides of RVs that will drive around heavily Democratic areas of the state. Steyer is also planning to fund field work, college campus events and phone banking — none of which is covered by the pledge. (Other outside groups have also exploited these loopholes).
Steyer's concerns about Lynch's right leaning positions are shared by many Democrats in MA. He voted against President Obama's health care bill, and despite a recent pivot he has always been a self described "pro-life" Democrat.  

Lynch, a former iron worker, has the support of building trades unions who see him as one of their own.  Frank Callahan, President of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council which represents 75 local trades unions, issued his own statement directed at Steyer:

Here’s my message to Tom Steyer and others like him. As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts I’ve had enough of Washington insiders and outside environmental groups attempting to dictate who we can have for our elected representatives. I and my fellow residents of Massachusetts are perfectly capable of deciding who will represent us the United States Senate.  Keep your money - our votes are not for sale.
Although not actually stated in this press release, it is no secret that the Keystone Pipeline will mean jobs for several different trades unions.

Lynch's most recent ad features union members, three of whom are women. Women represent a very small percent of the building trades unions, and many women, including this diarist, consider that ad disingenuous to say the least.

Once elected, the actions of a US Senator effect the entire country.  National grass roots support was important to the success of the Elizabeth Warren campaign, and the entire country reaps the benefits of her election every time she takes her seat in the Senate.

Despite what the local MA unions proclaim, it is everyone's business who is elected to that seat.

Corporations aren't people, but people are people. You can help us elect Ed Markey to US Senate, whether you live in MA or Timbuktu.

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Does a council of union leaders believe that they represent the working class? Or, do they represent the working men? Despite Lynch's commercials (below the squiggle) the answer is no.

Media Statement of MBTC President Frank Callahan re: California Billionaire's Threatening Letter to Congressman Lynch:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 19, 2013   
Contact: Frank Callahan, President, MBTC
Phone:  (617) 436-3551  http://massbuildingtrades.org/

Statement of Massachusetts Building Trades Council President Frank Callahan:
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by the arrogance of another out-of-state and out-of-touch billionaire who identifies himself as a “clean energy philanthropist” when he interjected himself into our US Senate Race with a threatening letter to Congressman Stephen Lynch.
Tom Steyer the “clean energy philanthropist” who “earned” tens of millions of dollars as a hedge fund manager investing in big oil, has the arrogance to dismiss high-skilled, good paying construction jobs as ‘temporary’.   The 75,000 men and women of the Massachusetts Building Trades know better.  They raise families, provide roofs over their heads, put food on the table and maintain a middle-class quality of life working those jobs. Steve Lynch did the same for 18 years as an Ironworker and understands their value. That’s why working families are supporting Steve Lynch.
Tom Steyer also has the arrogance to think he should decide who will represent us in the United States Senate. He even goes so far as to threaten to launch an aggressive smear campaign against Steve Lynch if he does not comply with his demands by high noon on Friday, March 22. Who does this guy think he is? Can you imagine the outcry in the media if a union representative had the audacity to make such a threat?
Here’s my message to Tom Steyer and others like him. As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts I’ve had enough of Washington insiders and outside environmental groups attempting to dictate who we can have for our elected representatives. I and my fellow residents of Massachusetts are perfectly capable of deciding who will represent us the United States Senate.  Keep your money - our votes are not for sale.

The Massachusetts Building Trades Council is a 93-year-old organization dedicated to helping working people improve their quality of life. The Council is comprised of 74 member local unions representing over 75,000 working men and women across the state.

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The no-such-thing-as-global-warming people are shouting from the rooftops. See all that snow? Let’s get back to the business of smokestacks and oil and forget all this scientific mumbo-jumbo foolishness!

While less than an inch of snow outside my window quickly turned to slush the other day, I sent a nasty email to the programming director of the local NBC station.  I was home for the morning and wanted to watch the Today show but they preempted it with their "live storm-force coverage."  It wasn’t really anything exciting, just a typical New England snowstorm and most reporters really had nothing but slush to report.

"Storm-force coverage" had been appropriate for the recent severe storms that knocked us silly, causing wide-spread power outages all over the state and changing our coastal landscape.

The 2013 severe storms with record-breaking snow totals, high winds, rising tides and violent waves created breaks in barrier beaches along the coast making permanent changes to harbors, shorelines and destroying houses. Beachfront communities that have been sitting on shorelines and cliffs for generations have seen homes fall into the sea one after another.

The Cape Cod Times has had great coverage with videos of the breaks in various places along Chatham and the outer Cape. This article includes two videos of the Ballston Beach break in Truro.

I argued with a colleague recently; an ongoing disagreement that comes up when we are discussing alternative energy projects and efforts to boost our towns recycling numbers.

"Look outside," he said to me, "Look at that snow, how can you tell me there is such thing as global warming?"  

I suggested we take a walk on one of our beaches that have had access structures torn away.

We are well over our snow budget here in our little city, and the storm repairs are adding up. None of that is typical.

Let’s face it, we are dealing with a crisis. Global warming is real. Our coastal communities will continue to change. Some meteorologists insist the storms are just part of a cyclical pattern, but meteorologists were probably behind the local program director's decision to provide us with live full “storm force” coverage of two inches of snow that turned to slush within a couple of hours.

I'll go with the the scientists at NOAA for climate change interpretations, thank you. They recently released a report assessing the effects that climate change has had and will continue to have on our coastlines:

The recently-released report examines and describes climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems and human economies and communities, as well as the kinds of scientific data, planning tools and resources that coastal communities and resource managers need to help them adapt to these changes.

“Sandy showed us that coastal states and communities need effective strategies, tools and resources to conserve, protect, and restore coastal habitats and economies at risk from current environmental stresses and a changing climate,” said Margaret A. Davidson of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and co-lead author of the report. “Easing the existing pressures on coastal environments to improve their resiliency is an essential method of coping with the adverse effects of climate change.”

The full report is here:
Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: A Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment

Last year the ground never froze and annuals that don't typically survive the winter were alive and well in the spring.

This year it may be colder but the snow and storms don't bode well for the future of our coastal communities.

I trust the scientists. Clearly we can't rely on the groundhog.

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