Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Top Sports Story - 11.14.06

Sox Roll The Dais On Matsuzaka
By Glen Maganzini

On Tuesday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox bid 51.1 million dollars for just the right to negotiate with Japanese star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

The 26 year old played with the Seibu Lions from 1999 to 2006 compiling a record of 108-60 and average E.R.A of 2.95.

"It shows [The
Red Sox] really appreciate my ability," said Matsuzaka at a mini press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.

If the Red Sox want to appreciate his ability a little bit more personally, they will need to sign him to an actual contract ----- a feat that could be tough considering his agent is the infamous Scott Boras. The deal that Boras might want for his client maybe in the 10 million dollar a year range and multiple years. A 5 year, 50 million dollar deal would have meant the Sox invested 100 million dollars in a player who hasn't pitched on American soil.

If Matsuzaka does indeed sign, he will almost immediately be placed at the top of Boston's otherwise depleted rotation. With Curt Schilling finally showing his age, and Josh Beckett struggling to find consistency, the gyroballer could end up being a number one starter. Some baseball experts have hailed him as potentially being the best pitcher in the league, while others doubt whether his strong seasons in Japan will translate in the United States.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Top Stories - October 26, 2006

Cops eyed in drug thefts: Stolen evidence may taint future cases

(Photo and article from Boston Herald.)

The Boston police anti-corruption unit is investigating whether cops stole the drugs that are missing from a Hyde Park evidence warehouse - jeopardizing ongoing criminal cases in the latest embarrassing blow to a department already rocked by scandal.
Earlier this month, the Herald reported drugs had gone missing as police moved mountains of seized cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other drugs from one section of the warehouse to another.
While some of those drugs were later found, acting police commissioner Al Goslin said at the time an audit was under way to determine whether more drugs had been stolen or were misplaced.
Late yesterday, Boston police acknowledged that drugs are in fact missing.
“As a result of the audit that had been ordered by the commissioner, anti-corruption is investigating and the audit continues,” said police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll.

Running unopposed on crime

Barring the onset of the apocalypse, Gerry Leone will be the next district attorney of Middlesex County.
The Franklin native, who now lives in Hopkinton, and who served as the former Massachusetts anti-terrorism coordinator, is unopposed for the office, which will be vacated by current DA Martha Coakley, who is running for the state’s attorney general position.
But being the lone candidate hasn’t changed Leone’s approach to his campaign.
In the weeks before the election, Leone, a Democrat, is beginning to familiarize himself with each of the 55 cities and towns that make Middlesex the largest county in the state. He’s also preparing to take the office that he has been working toward his entire career, he said.
Leone’s resume is stacked with credentials - from seven years spent as deputy first assistant to former district attorney Tom Reilly in the early 1990s, to a two-year stint as chief of the statewide Criminal Bureau. But even such a career couldn’t prepare him for the cost and work involved in running for public office, he said.

SC supports sealing personnel evaluations

WAKEFIELD — A motion from a statewide association of school committees suggests that most committees are in favor of sealing personnel evaluations from the public record.
Six out of the seven Wakefield School Committee members voted to support Motion Two during Tuesday night’s School Committee meeting at the Wakefield High School’s Volpe Library. Committee Chairwoman Carmen Urbonas cast the only dissenting vote.
The School Committee also discussed and voted on five resolutions made by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, which is a group of all the school committees from Massachusetts.
The Motion Two resolution was created by the Wayland School Committee. It said that individual performance evaluations on school administrators (i.e. the superintendent) should be kept confidential.
In a phone interview Wednesday morning, Urbonas explained that this issue has been confusing to Wakefield School Committee members since last year.

Hundreds of Bay State marines come home from Iraq

DEVENS, Mass. --Hundreds of Marines from Massachusetts were welcomed home Thursday morning after several months in Iraq by thousands of happy, teary and relieved relatives.
"I'm so happy he's home. So relieved," Julie A. Wenck of Milford, who was there to greet her nephew, Lance Cpl. Brian Shepard, told The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester.
The Marines, members of the 1st Battalion, 25th Infantry, marched onto the field in formation at Devens Reserve Force Training and remaining straight-faced before both sides rushed toward each other.
(Other articles from Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Observer, Boston Globe.)

On a final note, I attended Fright Night 2006. I've written reviews of every film shown, which will appear in the Spin. I won't post them here; if you want to see them, wait for the Spin (sometime next week) or e-mail me.

True Conservative Vs. Liberal (Part 1 of 3)

The following post does not necessarily express the opinions of all of us here at the Étudiant.

Liberal: Fetus' aren't considered "human life". We like to call ourselves "Pro-Choice", but there is no such choice it is "Pro-Death"
True Conservative: In one word: Murder. Life begings at conception and under any circumstance this is illegal. Solution: Illegalize and Imprison.

Affirmative Action:
Liberal: We have to make up for racial discrimination by giving these people chances! We need to create diverse oppurtunities!
True Conservative: In a productive society, workers are hired based on abiility and if you want racism, affirmative action is exactly that (Hiring people based on their "minority" status gives them an unfair ADVANTAGE)

Death Penalty:
Liberal: Woah, what if the person sent to the death chair was actually innocent?
True Conservative: Circumstances need to be observed and taken into consideration when determining if a person shall be executed. Crimes involving 2+ persons being killed are worthy, but not definite. Human rights says that we should give the killer an oppurtunity in prison to amend their life.

Liberal: The government needs to regulate the economy in order to prevent "big companies" from taking charge.
True Conservative: The government needs to play a minimal role in regulation. A free market allows for us to make as much as we possibly can and gives a high standard of living for all.

Education Vouchers:
Liberal: No vouchers. Build upon existing public schools.
True Conservative: Because of the lack of money, many would-be private school children can't attend their school of choice. Parents should be able to choose school whichever option (no money hassle) will best benefit their child.

Liberal: The environment is a big deal and must be taken care of in order to prevent things such as global warming.
True Conservative: As far as science understands it, global warming is natural and a desire for the simplest environmentally sound resources exists, but anything outlandish is far too extreme and unnecessary.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Part 2 - The True Conservative

The following post is an editorial, a continuation of a post made Friday. These are Mr. Maganzini's views, not necessarily those of all of us here at the Étudiant. The sole purpose of the image to the left is to provide a visual.

1. Are the Founding Fathers to be taken literally?
Democrats argue that the earliest principles of the United States (a la The Constitution) are not to be taken literally. Republicans say "whatever is on their is my right....whatever isn't....well isn't". Republicans you seem to have won.....but not so fast. While rights such as the one where we can bear arms is certainly debatable, other rights such as gay marriage are just wrong. So should they be taken literally? The "True Conservative" (whom is always right) says yes, but with an italicized question mark?

2. So about the Gov't..........
Democrats assert that the Gov't (Government, of course) has all the rights in the world to use your money in any way shape or form. Republicans say "This is my money, you guys shouldn't worry about it too much. Ah, the too much is where Republicans fail and where the "True Conservative" wins. In a truly conservative society, the government and your money are not compatible and privatized education, health care, et al exist.

3. Can you be your own self in a traditional sense?
Democrats say "No, we are in the 2000s, we can make all our decisions for ourself! Mwahahahah!" Republicans believe that the traditional family unit is something that has been preserved over the centuries and should be valued. The "True Conversative" says that both of these can be accomplished. The traditional family unit is something that paves the way for a future of individuality and responsibility. Once we are able to reach a certain age (21), we can then make our own decisions based on our childhood experiences. And yes, that means no gay marriage. Point goes to the "True Conservative"

HALF TIME - True Conservative [3] vs. All Other Parties [0]

Friday, October 20, 2006

A True Conservative? One Doesn't Exist

By Glen Maganzini

(The Following Views Are Personal And Do Not Reflect Those Of The Etudiant)

Deval Patrick? No. Grace Ross? Heck No. Christy Mihos? He tries. The supposed Republican Kerry Healey? Sorry.

Why isn't Kerry Healey truly a conversative? Well, in order to be a "true conservative", you basically have to know right from wrong. Liberals, Independents, Republicans, and of course Green Party platform members have it all wrong. For instance, Healey has said "I've been Pro-Choice, even when Romney disagreed." Come on, Kerry, you claim to be a conservative, yet you think that killing a baby is a choice! Ross says "MCAS is a big reason why kids drop out of high school." Excuse me Grace, but last time I checked, you only make 30,000 K a year and maybe you were that kid who dropped out of high school! Patrick is a proponent of Affirmative Action, and incase you didn't know what that means ----- it means that there should be a balance of various ethnicities in a business environment. Last time I checked, the most productive and profitable kind of person was the one who should get the job. Sorry Sally from Salem State College, if Bob has a MBA and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, I would choose him over you.

One of the biggest question marks of the "True Conservative" is the issue of [Illegal] Immigration. A Republican who is totally against immigration can't call themselves a conservative; they don't respect human dignity. A liberal who believes that Illegals can have all the rights in the world over here aren't right in the least bit; they are costing us (Massachusetts) 1.0 Billion Dollars. How to resolve such an issue is to impose moderate restrictions. The Illegal Immigrant is similar to a slave --- it might be quite a while until they actually get their well deserved freedom.

Stay tuned for Part 2...

Please Note That The Book Displayed Above Doesn't/Hasn't Affected My Political Views and That I Do Not Support Or Endorse Any Content Contained Within The Book. The Sole Purpose Of The Image Is To Provide A Visual

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Debate #3

Left: The scene outside Boston's Faneuil Hall, where the debate took place at 7:00 PM today.

And now, some highlights of the hour-long debate, which can be seen here...

The introduction. The candidates stand closely together, from left to right, Ross, Mihos, Patrick, and Healey. Channel 5 reminds us that this is the third debate between the candidates. Much fanfare for Mihos and Patrick. Ross...not so much. Cheers and boos for Healey. This stays consistent for the hour. The moderator often asks the rowdy audience to be polite and "modest".

Patrick is asked to respond to Healey's attacks on his advocation on behalf of convicted rapist Benjamin LaGuer. Patrick claims Healey has no perspective on crime, citing her history vs. his. Mihos seizes the moment to attack Healey. Healey questions the accuracy of the statistics Patrick and Mihos have been citing. Patrick doesn't wait to claim there are statistics showing Massachusetts as the most violent state in the Northeast.

Mihos claims the Democrats and Republicans are hiding statistics.

Once again, Healey attacks Patrick over the Benjamin LaGuer incident, and says he has the wrong priorities. Patrick claims to be "...the only one up here who's prosecuted someone." Mihos attacks Healey some more.

Mihos denies he's only running to steal votes from Healey, and attacks the Democrats and Republicans some more. When asked, between Healey and Patrick, which one he agrees with more, he refuses to answer, saying, "I'm winning," and thus it doesn't matter.

Patrick: "I'm in this race because I want a change."

Ross attacks Healey for not being specific about her plans.

Patrick denies he opposed charter schools. He says he wishes for charter and district schools to "flourish". Ross accuses Patrick of flip-flopping over MCAS. She brings up the dropout rate. Healey defends MCAS. She promotes the creation of charter schools. Patrick says he supports MCAS, but it is "not enough." Mihos claims "everyone" wants to go to charter schools because Healey has "destroyed public education."

Healey: "They are public education!"

Ross supports raising the minimum wage.

Mihos: "This administration has decimated the middle class, and they're going after everyone else."

Healey vows to sign the No New Taxes Pledge.

Healey: "Everyone else here is trying to raise your taxes."

Mitt Romney's jokes about Massachusetts he has made while touring the country are discussed. Healey says she loves the state, but dodges a question from Mihos about it.

Mihos (to Healey) : " don't love Massachusetts."

Ross: "Taxes have gone through the roof under your administration."

Patrick: "It is hurting us," referring to Romney's remarks.

Mihos: "I wanna hear real numbers."

Healey: "Deval Patrick has no plan to lower property taxes."

Patrick: "You have a plan to raise property tax."

Healey claims Patrick is "going to raise taxes, and tax [his] way into prosperity."

Patrick (to Healey) : "I wish you would read our proposals, instead of just the right-wing's."

Healey: "I have."

Healey (to Patrick) : "You're saying, 'Spend on everything.'."

Ross: "The two of you both have expensive proposals."

Mihos reminds us he said no to increasing the gas tax by 9 cents.

Ross says her main goals concern local economic development, health care, and the environment. Mihos mentions his Proposition One, which can be viewed at, his campaign site. He also says he will protect higher education, tourism, and health care. Patrick says he will focus on health care and education reform. Healey does not name her top three, but invites the audience to visit her campaign site,, to see her goals.

Final statements.

Ross: "I will make sure you keep your job, keep your home..."

Healey: "Deval Patrick and I have some things in common."

Patrick will not sign No New Taxes. Healey promises not to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.

Patrick: "We have a choice to make - same old, same old, or real change."

He says he wants to unite, not divide, the state.

Patrick: "I ask for your help."

Two more gubernatorial debates are scheduled.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Top Stories - October 17, 2006

Cops serve as chauffeurs, bellhops for visiting chiefs

Left: Boston motorcycle cops are on the job outside the Boston Convention Center yesterday where the International Association of Chiefs of Police was meeting. (photo by Ted Fitzgerald)

Tipsy police brass visiting the Hub for a chief’s conference are being ferried home from barrooms by city cops in BPD cruisers even as Boston grapples with one of the bloodiest weekends of the year, the Herald has learned.
In addition, the BPD’s newest police academy graduates were spotted carrying luggage for police chiefs as they checked into the swanky Langham Hotel, used as a command post for the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference.
“It is a wholly inappropriate waste of taxpayers’ money and police resources,” said City Councilor Stephen J. Murphy, chairman of the Public Safety Committee. An outspoken critic of the dwindling police ranks, Murphy was furious that BPD cops were taxiing visiting law enforcement officials and not patrolling the streets of Boston.

New WHS Announcements
Rail trail plans rolling along

Work is already underway using a $30,000 state appropriation for a feasibility study for the Reedy Meadow recreational pathway running along the old spur railroad line through Wakefield and Lynnfield.
Representatives from both communities and members of the trail committees recently meet at Town Manager Thomas Butler’s office to determine what parameters the study will encompass.

Scientology group protests screenings

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a group established in 1969 by the Church of Scientology to "investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights," briefly protested Oct. 5, designated as National Mental Health Screening Day, on the sidewalk outside Riverside Community Care on Main Street.
On the day when clinics across the country offer basic written questionnaires to those who choose to walk in and potentially walk out with anti-depressant drugs, New England Director of CCHR Kevin Hall said the screening is a "hoax." The screening day is part of President Bush’s Mental Health Commission.
Though well intentioned, especially Hall says because of Michael McDermott, who in 2000 shot seven co-workers in Wakefield shortly after his anti-depressant medication was increased, the protest fell somewhat flat because Riverside has not conducted these screenings since 2001.
Wakefield police arrived about 30 minutes after the protest began and ordered Hall to roll up the banner that read "Psychiatry’s toxic drugs cause suicides and acts of violence" which was blocking the entryway to Riverside.

Substitute sues claiming he was denied work for free speech

BOSTON --A federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims a high school headmaster refused work to a longtime substitute teacher who spoke publicly against funding school military programs.
Jeffrey Herman, 59, had been a substitute teacher at English High School for about five years. In early March, he spoke at a Boston City Council meeting against a proposal to spend $1.2 million on a junior ROTC programs at public high schools.
Herman said Jose Duarte, the headmaster at English, put him on the "do not call" list after a neighborhood newspaper reported his comments.

(Sources: Boston Herald, Wakefield High School, Wakefield Observer, Wakefield Daily Item, Boston Globe)

Monday, October 9, 2006

Top Stories - October 9, 2006

Baby Jordan’s chilling first night

Left: Police investigate the scene where a newborn was abandoned behind house on Bradeen Street in Roslindale. (Photo by Douglas McFadd)

For 14 hours, Mireya Jimenez listened to the squalling from the filthy back yard next door, her heart aching for what she thought was a frightened kitten.
Stricken to learn it was actually a newborn boy who’d miraculously survived an entire night in a garbage bag as temperatures hovered near 40 degrees, the trembling 53-year-old grandmother of 13 could only shake her head in disbelief.
“She’s very emotional,” said Mili Arias, Jimenez’ 14-year-old granddaughter. “She feels guilty.”
Boston police were anxious to speak to anyone who knew a woman near the end of her pregnancy - who now can’t account for her child - after yesterday morning’s appalling discovery in Roslindale of a discarded day-old white or Hispanic infant.
Authorities have named him Baby Jordan.

Man dies after being hit by log

A 72-year-old Preston Street man died after suffering massive head trauma in an accident outside his home on Saturday at approximately 6:54 p.m., according to police.
Police were not sure if next of kin had been notified and declined to release the victim’s name publicly as of press time.
The accident reportedly happened at 5 Preston St. on the corner of New Salem Street.
According to police, the victim was working with at least two other men at the time of the incident. A log apparently fell off a loaded truck causing the victim to sustain massive head injuries.

Mixed review for Route 128

Even in heavy rain, the trip from Waltham to Woburn, direct via Route 128, took only 10 minutes.
In the next two hours, though, author David Kruh noted that it’s not always that fast, and it wasn’t originally that easy to get around Boston’s suburbs.
The co-author of "Building Route 128," a picture history of one of the state’s most ambitious public works projects, gave a slide presentation and signed books Sunday at the Woburn Public Library. Among other things, he discussed his own commute, from Reading to Wilmington, which forces him into heavy traffic because Route 128 encouraged towns to base their growth on the automobile - which made the highway a self-fulfilling success and, at the same time, failure.

40 people treated at Portland-area hospitals

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine --About 40 people who were evacuated from a supermarket Monday night after complaining of nausea and other problems were treated at area hospitals, police said.
No one appeared to be seriously ill and all of those who were treated were conscious and walking, police said.
The Shaw's Supermarket at Mill Creek in South Portland was evacuated around 6:45 p.m. after several customers complained of nausea, difficulty breathing, or vomiting.
Police Lt. Robb Couture said the store was being checked for the source of the problem, but officials believe it was airborne and not related to food sold there. Couture says about 40 people who were in the store were treated.
"We are very concerned about the health and safety our associates, and we are working closely with officials to determine the source of the problem," said Judy Chong, a spokeswoman for Shaw's.
Firefighters were looking at the possibility of a problem with the refrigeration system.

Sources: Boston Herald, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Observer, Boston Globe

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Top Stories - October 5, 2006

Stirring strings at ensemble concert

The 25-member New England String Ensemble (left) opened its 13th season Sept. 30 at the Rogers Center for the Arts in North Andover with a beautiful performance of four pieces by Franz Schubert, Igor Stravinsky, Osvaldo Golijov and Pyotr Tchaikofsky.
Attended by close to 200 people of all ages, the near 90-minute concert was recorded by WGBH 102.5 for rebroadcast. The same concert was performed the following day at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall to a full house. NESE Co-founder and Executive Director Peter Stickel of Wakefield welcomed guests as they arrived.

Monitoring wells coming to test for contamination

Last night the Conservation Commission heard a request from Brown and Caldwell engineering firm of Andover, on behalf the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department, to install monitoring and testing equipment in and around Lake Quannapowitt to ascertain the levels of groundwater and lake sediment contamination.
The Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department (MGLD) hired Brown and Caldwell to help them comply with an order from the state to clean up an old sediment deposit that has covered parts of the Lake bottom and possible surrounding areas since the 1920s.
Brown and Caldwell came before the Conservation Commission for a Request for Determination of Applicability, to ascertain that the work they want to do “is subject to the Wetlands Protection Act,” they wrote in their application.

New WHS announcements:

Cop killer got state house duties: ‘Tough on crime’ Healey/Romney administration doled work to violent criminals

Though Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey attacks her gubernatorial rival as soft on cons, her administration assigned a Boston cop killer to a light-duty prison clean-up crew that once broomed trash from the State House, the Herald has learned.
Terrill Walker - the triggerman who murdered veteran BPD Detective John Schroeder during a Nov. 30, 1973, holdup at a Roxbury pawnshop - is an inmate at the Boston Pre-Release Center, which correction officers call a “bed and breakfast” for privileged cons.
Walker, 50, is paid by the Romney-Healey administration’s Department of Correction “community work crew” that maintains the State House, Forest Hills cemetery and the Emerald Necklace parks.
News that a convicted cop killer is working in a public setting outraged BPD union leaders yesterday as Healey and her running mate, former state police Col. Reed Hillman, lobbied for law enforcement endorsements.
It also came as she launched a new TV ad attacking rival Deval Patrick for representing a Florida cop killer as a lawyer in the past.
“You can’t profess to be tough on crime and turn around and allow this stuff to happen. You simply can’t have it both ways,” said Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association President Tom Nee. “This is an insult to the Schroeder family and to every working cop in the commonwealth.”

Michaels Stores shareholders approve sale

DALLAS --Michaels Stores Inc. shareholders voted Thursday to approve sale of the arts-and-crafts retailer to two private-equity firms.
Michaels had valued the deal at $44 per share or about $6 billion when it was announced in June.
The company said Thursday that the sale to Boston-based Bain Capital Partners LLC and New York-based Blackstone Group is expected to close by Nov. 4.
Michaels said holders of about 79 percent of eligible shares voted, and most favored the sale.

(Sources: Wakefield Observer, Wakefield Daily Item, Boston Globe, Boston Herald)

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Top Stories - October 4, 2006

New WHS announcements:

Suffredini says our schools are safe

Left: Dr. Maynard M. Suffredini, Jr., superintendent of Wakefield Public Schools.

It’s a scenario that no parent ever wants to experience. But to their horror, three separate school shootings with deadly results have happened in the United States over the past five days.
The deadliest of the shootings occurred in rural Lancaster County, Pa. yesterday morning, when a crazed gunman stormed into a one-room Amish schoolhouse, ordering many students to leave, then boarding up the building and taking the remaining occupants hostage. Before police could rush the schoolhouse, the would-be killer lined up several girls — between the ages of 6 and 11 — bound their legs and shot eight people — including a teacher’s aide — execution style, before taking his own life.
Five girls are dead.
In the wake of yesterday’s tragedy, parents across the country were somewhat shaken about sending their little ones to class this morning. We, again, must ask ourselves, how safe are our schools?
Here in Wakefield, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maynard M. Suffredini Jr. says the schools are safe. Among other safety procedures, all of the town’s four elementary schools are locked 24 hours a day. Visitors can only enter the buildings by ringing a doorbell. The school secretary will allow the visitor inside after viewing the guest through a security camera installed outside the front door. Wakefield Memorial High School and the Galvin Middle School both plan to install the same system once Capital Plan funding is approved.
Though he’s not at liberty to explain specific security procedures, Suffredini says each school often reviews “lockdowns” and other safety precautions.
"We’ve worked with the police and fire departments drafting these plans,” Suffredini said. “We review them annually.”

Vermonters question Mass. candidate's comment on Quebec power

MONTPELIER, Vt. --Gov. Jim Douglas' office and the company that handles bulk electric transmission for Vermont on Wednesday both downplayed comments by a Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate that Vermont could become a bigger gateway for power flowing from Quebec to the Bay State.
"The governor (Douglas) and Lieutenant Gov. Healey did discuss the importance of renewable energy and working on a regional basis to address our future energy needs," said Douglas spokesman Jason Gibbs.
But both Gibbs and Kerrick Johnson, spokesman for the Vermont Electric Power Co., said no specific plans were in the works for transmission system upgrades in Vermont to expand links between Quebec and southern New England.
The comment came a day after Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, the Republican candidate for governor in Massachusetts, said she had talked with Douglas about big new power imports from Canada through Vermont.
"We have a transmission line directly from Quebec into Massachusetts," Healey said in Tuesday's debate in Springfield, Mass., according to a transcript on The Boston Globe's Web site.
"I've already spoken to the governor of Vermont about strengthening that transmission line so we can have a new source, a powerful source of renewables coming directly into our state," she said.

Big Dig firms put money into Healey’s ads
While Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey has talked tough on the Big Dig, a new political ad supporting her bid for governor was bankrolled by a Republican special interest group funded by major contractors on the scandal-plagued project.
The Republican Governors Association, which is chaired by Gov. Mitt Romney, raked in $25,000 from Big Dig contractor Bechtel since 2005 and another $10,000 this year from Dig firm Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas.
The nonprofit RGA has so far kicked in $890,000 for a new TV ad trumpeting Healey’s accomplishments on Beacon Hill as part of a nationwide campaign to support GOP candidates for governor.

(Sources: Wakefield Daily Item, Boston Globe, Boston Herald)

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

2 Turks surrender after hijacking plane

Left: A Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-400 plane carrying more than 100 passengers is seen at Brindisi airport, Italy, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2006. The plane was hijacked in Greek airspace after taking off from Albania and later landed at Italy's Brindisi airport. Italian aviation officials say the apparently unarmed hijackers are in negotiations with Italian authorities for the release of the passengers. (AP Photo/Max Frigione)

BRINDISI, Italy --Two Turks protesting Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Turkey next month hijacked a jet carrying 113 people from Albania to Istanbul on Tuesday, and it landed safely in this southern Italian coastal city, where they surrendered, officials said.

The two gave themselves up to police about two hours after the Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-400 landed, Italian news agencies reported.

Passenger Ergun Ozkeseoglu told Turkish NTV television by telephone from inside the jet that one of the hijackers waved and apologized to passengers as he left the plane. Some of the passengers could be heard applauding in response.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Warriors Lose To Reading, 24-13

The Wakefield Warriors lost to Reading on Friday Night 24-13. The game was played at 7:00 PM at Landrigan Field.

Matt Tyre (Senior) scored on a 25 yard TD pass from Derek Dettore and Bill Spang (Senior) scored on a eight yard run for the Warriors.

Jack Lee scored three touchdowns for Reading.

Matt Mackay (1 INT) played solid defense at the strong safety position while Nick Serino held up the Rockets passing game.

More information will follow.

Top Story - 9/29

Owners of Station Nightclub Sentenced
Left: A screenshot showing the beginning of the fire. The video was shot by Brian Butler, there, ironically, for a news story on nightclub safety. Source: Wikipedia.

The infamous Derderian brothers, Michael and Jeffrey were sentenced to 4 years in jail and 500 hours of community service respectively. In 2000, the Derderians installed a foam polyurethane to deaden sound. In February of 2003, the foam ignited during a concert involving indoor fireworks.

Jeffrey stated "There are many days I wish I didn't make it out of that bulding.....I know many of you would have liked if I had died too," refering to the pain he caused to the 100 people's who had died families that winter night in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Source: Boston Globe

WHS Girls Soccer Winners Over Rival

The Wakefield High School girls soccer team blanked Melrose on Thursday 3-0. Rebecca Luciani, a junior, netted her third of the season in the first half while seniors Brittany Kelleher (3) and Ella Merullo (3) got goals in th second half. Sophomore Erin Jackson saved five shots while in goal. The Warriors next game is on Saturday in Burlington.

9/29 Sports Briefs

- The Boston Red Sox had a day off on Thursday. The Red Sox will face the Baltimore Orioles in a three game series to conclude the season. Tonight, reliever turned starter Julian Tavarez (4-4, 4.52 ERA) will face off against Orioles star Eric Bedard (15-10, 3.67 ERA).

- The New England Patriots injury report did not change at all on Thursday. The list of injuries is as follows:

Artrell Hawkins - Questionable
Ellis Hobbs - Questionable
Chad Jackson - Questionable
Nick Kazcur - Questionable
Eugene Wilson - Questionable
Tom Brady - Probable
Doug Gabriel - Probable
Matt Light - Probable
Ryan O'Callaghan - Probable

Sources (Boston Globe,
Images: (Niagara Falls University, [Owned by Glen Maganzini]

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Top Stories - September 28, 2006

WHS MCAS scores improve slightly

The 10th grade Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) results were released yesterday by the Massachusetts Department of Education, showing a slight improvement at Wakefield High School.

On the English exam, 79 percent of WHS 10th graders scored in either the “advanced/above proficient” or “proficient” categories. Sixteen percent scored in the “needs improvement” category. Five percent received a “warning/failing” score.

On the math exam, 74 percent of WHS sophomores scored either advanced/above proficient or proficient. Twenty-two percent scored under needs improvement and four percent received warning/failing grades.

The scores are up slightly from last year. In 2005, 78 percent of WHS sophomores received an advanced/above proficient or proficient in English and 74 percent received advanced/above proficient or proficient in math.

WHS sophomores fared better than the rest of the state. Statewide, 69 percent of 10th grade test takers scored advanced/above proficient or proficient on English. Twenty-four percent of grade 10 students statewide were classified as needing improvement and seven percent received warning/failing grades in English.

Parents reach $5 million settlement with hospital

The New Hampshire parents of a brain-damaged 5-year-old boy have reached a $5 million settlement with a doctor and nurse at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.

Michelle and Kendall Turner of Bedford claimed that critical mistakes were made during the delivery of their son, Dustin, in 2001. The Turners contend that Dustin should have been delivered by emergency C-section, and that if he had would not have sustained the severe cerebral palsy that left him unable to walk, talk or eat on his own.

A lawyer for Dr. Mitchell Zagor said his client agreed to settle the case through mediation, although the exact cause of Dustin’s brain damage was never determined. The settlement is believed to be one of the largest pretrial medical malpractice settlements in Massachusetts history.

Gang leader sentenced to life in witness killing

The leader of a North Shore gang was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for ordering the murder of a 19-year-old woman to stop her from talking to police about the gang's criminal activities.

Paul A. DeCologero, 47, was convicted in March for ordering the November 1996 killing of Aislin Silva.

Prosecutors said Silva ordered members of his gang, the "DeCologero Crew," to kill Silva after police found some guns her boyfriend, Stephen DiCenso, a member of the gang, had stored in her apartment. When DiCenso told DeCologero that Silva was nervous and would probably cooperate with police, he ordered her killed, according to testimony at his trial.

DeCologero, moments after listening to heart-wrenching statements from the teenager's mother, father and sister, gave a statement of his own, insisting he is innocent and blaming "corrupt" federal agents for his conviction.

"I never had anything to do with hurting Aislin, and my heart goes out to Aislin's family," he said. "I was denied the right to a fair trial."

Silva's father, Joe Silva, later dismissed DeCologero's remarks.

"Paul DeCologero just got life in prison -- what he deserves for what he did," Joe Silva said. "Everything coming out of him was just lies."

Cement storm delays trip home for thousands of kids

An explosion from a cement silo next to a Charlestown school bus yard dumped dust on one-third of Boston’s school bus fleet today, sending 61 school bus drivers to the hospital and delaying the trip home for thousands of Boston school children.

“As a result of this emergency, no school buses are leaving the Charlestown bus yard this afternoon,” said Michael Contompasis, interim superintendent of Boston Public Schools. “Therefore, BPS families should be prepared for significant delays in yellow bus transportation.”

The bus company said it would be impossible to compensate for the number of employees incapacitated by the explosion.

“We won’t have enough bus drivers to cover all our routes,” said Carey Paster, the president of First Student, the school bus company.

Late buses from around the city have been called in to help transport students home.

(Sources: Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Observer, Boston Globe, Boston Herald)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Top Stories - September 26, 2006

U.S. intelligence report: U.S. failure in Iraq would inspire terrorists elsewhere

WASHINGTON - A declassified government intelligence report says the war in Iraq has become a “cause celebre” for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that is likely to get worse before it gets better.
In the bleak report, released yesterday on President Bush’s orders, the nation’s most veteran analysts conclude that despite serious damage to the leadership of al-Qaeda, the threat from Islamic extremists has spread both in numbers and in geographic reach.
“If this trend continues, threats to U.S. interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide,” the document says. “We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.”

Forum to address no-peanuts policy
Wakefield schools are starting off the new year with a new set of policies, including an allergy policy that bans peanuts and peanut-based products on school premises.
According to a Massachusetts Department of Education report, 6 to 8 percent of school-age children are affected by food allergies.
"We’re simply trying to protect the safety of all of the children," said Wakefield School Committee member Cheryl Ford at the committee’s Sept. 12 meeting. Ford put together a "frequently asked questions" list that addresses concerns about the allergy policy.
Ford and School Committee member Bill Chetwynd are working on tying the school’s allergy policy into an overall wellness plan.
"We have a great opportunity to be in the forefront of this whole movement," Ford said. "When you have students with airborne allergies, you have to be proactive."

McGrail is new light commissioner

Former Wakefield selectman and State Senator Stephen J. McGrail is the new member of the Municipal Gas and Light Commission. The Board of Selectmen and the Light Commissioners met in joint session last night to appoint a new Commissioner to fill the unexpired term of Eugene J. Sullivan Jr. Sullivan recently resigned to accept the position of MGLD Financial Assistant, succeeding William Connelly, who retired.
McGrail received seven votes during last night’s joint meeting, more than any of the other five local individuals who also sought to fill the vacant position.
McGrail will hold the office until next April, at which time he may run for election.

Cardinal laughing all the way to the blog

He has spiced his entries with ‘‘lol,’’ Internet slang for ‘‘laughing out loud,’’ posted snapshots of himself pointing at a roadside pizza stand and checking his cellphone for voice mail, and written about the warm soda he downed in an Italian restaurant.
Launching his new blog on a trip to Rome, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley sounds at times more like a college student on his first trip to Europe than a prince of the Church. Jokey and informal, the archbishop of Boston is trying his best to reach out to a generation of Catholics hooked on e-mail, instant messaging, and MySpace.
Catholics and blog specialists are taking notice, offering praise for a blog they say is surprisingly readable.
Looking and sounding like any tourist on a budget, O’Malley’s blog shows him wandering about Rome, marveling at marble statuary, browsing through kiosks, posing for photos with friends, and giving shout-outs to his family members. Since he launched the website last week, he has received 9,000 visitors, 65,585 page views, and scores of comments.

(Sources: Boston Herald, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Observer, Boston Globe)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Top Stories - September 19, 2006

Deval Patrick walks away with a win

Crack open the history books, Deval Patrick has captured the Democratic nomination for governor.
Patrick is now the first African American to win a major party’s nomination for the corner office.
With results pouring in from all over the state, Patrick’s grassroots campaign has taken root and Attorney General Tom Reilly just conceded the race.
Early results showed Patrick taking the lead: With 17 percent of the precincts reporting, Patrick was shown with 48 percent, or 85,382 votes. Chris Gabrieli was shown with 29 percent, or 52,314 votes, while Reilly trailed the pack with 23 percent, or 40,559 votes.

Developing story:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christopher Gabrieli is giving a concession speech in which he said that he told Deval Patrick he will work diligently on his behalf in the general election. But he scolded GOP nominee Kerry Healey for running negative ads against him in the waning days of the campaign that criticized his support of stem cell research. "Tonight, this campaign ends, but its spirit lives on," he said. Attorney General Thomas Reilly, a candidate in the same race, conceded earlier. Timothy P. Murray, 38, the three-term mayor of Worcester, has been nominated as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.

Early voter turnout is fairly strong

Poll workers around Wakefield were happy about the healthy amount of voters who turned out for today’s primary election so far this morning.
At 9:15 a.m., 109 votes were cast in Precinct 5 and 121 were cast in Precinct 6. Voters from both precincts voted at the West Side Social Club on Harrington Court.
Meanwhile, at the Masonic Temple on Salem Street, 143 votes were cast from Precinct 7 at 9:45 a.m., while 132 were cast from Precinct 1 at the same time.
A complete count of town votes will appear in tomorrow’s Item.
Among the voters at the West Side Social Club was School Committee member Anthony Guardia, who stressed the importance of voting while he was there. Guardia has been an open supporter of Sean Grant, a Saugus Democrat who is running for State Representative in the Ninth Essex District, which includes Precincts 1, 2 and 7 in Wakefield.
At the Masonic Temple, Vin Falzone, the father of Mark Falzone, the current State Representative of the Ninth Essex District, was on hand to support his son. Vin Falzone says he holds signs for his favorite candidates at the Masonic Temple during every election.
“I guess it’s tradition,” Falzone said.

Family sues furniture store saying it let the bedbugs bite

A “devastated” Randolph family has brought a $500,000 federal lawsuit against Bob’s Discount Furniture, claiming a teen sleep set they purchased from the zany retailer infested their home with bloodsucking bedbugs.
“I had to literally get rid of everything - clothes, the TV, keepsakes, my wedding gown,” a teary newlywed Yvette Downey, 39, told the Herald.
“Right now, I’m living out of green garbage bags,” Downey said. “We were sleeping on the kitchen floor. No one wanted us to bring the bedbugs to their house.”
Downey credited Bob’s with refunding her $698. The Connecticut-based chain store also had her home decontaminated after confirming the wood bed was “infested with bedbugs,” according to her product liability suit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston.
But Robert “Bob” Kaufman, the company’s president and celebrity pitchman, cautioned, “We are customer-oriented, so don’t confuse reaction with responsibility.
“My heart goes out to these people,” he said yesterday. “I’m sure it’s a terrifying, ugly situation. But to say we’re responsible for it, that’s a stretch. I’d be out of business if we delivered buggy furniture.”

(Sources: Boston Herald, Wakefield Daily Item, Boston Globe)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Interesting little items...

Found this story in the Boston Herald:

School may nix dances after grope
Framingham educators may abolish school dances after a man allegedly snuck into an event a week ago and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl on the dance floor.
"We got duped," said Framingham High Principal Michael Welch.
Now the music may stop.
Servulo Filho, 23, apparently used a student ID to gain entry to last Saturday's dance, then allegedly groped the girl in the cafeteria. Filho has been charged with indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or more.
The incident is prompting school staff to weigh whether the benefits of the dances - raising money, promoting school spirit - are worth the headaches of trying to control bad behavior and ensuring security.
"What are we getting out of this?" Welch said. "We're having a hard time seeing what we're going to accomplish."
The school will not cancel the prom, homecoming, or other semi-formal and formal events, because students tend to behave better when they're "all dressed up," Welch said.
He said he will discuss the future of the dances with the student government when it meets again.

I don't think it looks good for non-formal dances at Framingham High, though I'm sure the "student government" will argue to keep them. Question is, will Wakefield High find out about this, and nix dances as well?

Also, while talking to Chris Morrill, I learned, to my suprise, that the Drama Club met Sunday to read-through their upcoming play A Flea in Her Ear. More info here:

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Top Stories - September 14, 2006

Religious ruminations

If you didn’t know it was there, the existence and location of Temple Emmanuel may be a mystery to some Wakefield residents. But in fact the former Yuell family estate at 120 Chestnut Street has been the Conservative synagogue’s permanent home since 1951, and a number of rabbis have served as Emmanuel’s spiritual leader since the temple received its official charter in 1947 with 22 original family members.
Extensive renovations were made to the Yuell estate to accommodate the needs of the now warm and welcoming house of worship. During this time and toward these efforts, Protestant churches in town donated money to the building fund and offered space in their churches for services. In 1964, Temple Emmanuel became an official member of the Wakefield Council of Churches.
After the retirement of Rabbi Baruch Goldstein - its first and only full-time leader - in the 1970s, Emmanuel has seen a number of part-time rabbis come and go. But because the roots of the temple go back to 1895 when the first Jewish family settled in Wakefield - and was the first to be part of Congregation Agudus Achim, "a company of brothers" organized in 1915 - the modern-day congregation is almost sure to continue growing and worshipping at this site.
To that end, Rabbi Mark Newton has led the congregation for the past year. A full-time genealogist and graduate of Georgetown University and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical School in Philadelphia, Newton, 49, has lived in Dorchester’s Ashmont Hill since 1993. However, he can trace his family’s Irish Catholic roots 350 years back to this diverse Boston neighborhood.
Not Jewish by birth, Newton was struck by the content of a class on Judaism he took in his freshman year at Georgetown in 1975 and has chosen to continue along this spiritual path ever since.
"I was always a maverick," he said from the temple library last Shabbat (Saturday) afternoon. Fluent in five languages including Hebrew, German, French, Dutch and Aramaic, the religious scholar said while he benefited from the structure and discipline of Catholicism, especially its role in inspiring him to appreciate the importance of religion in general, he didn’t believe in it and came to Georgetown looking for a spiritual home.
"I was thunderstruck by the Judaism 101 course I took," he said. And while he said he still feels fully Irish, and a smattering of other ethnicities to which he is heir, Newton said he has long felt more at home with the rituals, history, traditions and critical thinking he encountered in the study and practice of Judaism.

Health agent draws selectmen’s ire

Wakefield’s Health Agent Peter Gray came under fire at this week’s selectmen’s meeting as board members criticized Gray’s response to two separate requests for assistance from local citizens.
In the first complaint, the board received a three-page letter from Marisa Courtois of Evergreen Estates at 252 Albion St. Courtois states in her letter that a sewer pipe that flows out to Albion Street broke in February, 2006 and was repaired by the DPW. “On May 15, 2006,” Courtois wrote, “with the heavy rains this pipe burst, sending a fountain of raw sewerage into the air filling the brook, then overflowing the detention pond behind 252 Albion Street.”
In a matter of hours, Courtois claims in her letter, she was looking at one big pond. “The worst part was,” Courtois wrote, “as the water subsided the toilet paper and black sludge that had surfaced onto the rocks and driveway dried and the smell got stronger.”

AG: Boston-area firm to be searched in HP pretexting probe

SAN FRANCISCO --Investigators plan to search the Boston-area offices of a private investigation firm involved in the Hewlett-Packard Co. spying scandal, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said Thursday.
Lockyer told The Associated Press that he is working with Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly in the investigation of Security Outsourcing Solutions, a small firm believed to have aided HP in its possibly illegal probe to root out media leaks in its ranks.
"He's assisting in getting our search warrants served on that firm so that we can fully examine their records," Lockyer said.
He said the firm's Needham, Mass., offices will likely be searched early next week, but he has not decided whether the firm broke any laws.
"I would like to see the results of the search warrant before having a settled opinion on that," Lockyer said.

Down the drain -- Turmoil takes toll on Brady

FOXBORO -- As long as Tom Brady plays, he’ll probably never share an on-field bond as strong as the one that linked him to Deion Branch.
That’s what makes the following so strange: Perhaps no one benefits more from Branch’s departure than Brady himself.
The Patriots quarterback yesterday made his first public comments on Monday’s trade that sent Branch to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2007 first-round draft pick. He readily admitted the uncertainty surrounding his friend had become a distraction that now - for better or worse - is lifted.
“I think everyone wanted Deion here. Certainly myself, knowing what kind of person and player he is,” Brady said. “I speak for myself when I say that I’m a very emotional person and over the last four or five months, it’s been draining. At least now I feel like I can move on.”
That drain took its toll on the field, particularly earlier this week, when Brady had one of the least-productive games of his career, completing just 11-of-23 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 19-17 comeback victory over the Buffalo Bills.

(Sources: Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Observer, Boston Globe, Boston Herald)

Étudiant, Spin/Outlook news


The school paper is being revamped, according to its advisors, Ms. Schilling and Ms. Tinker. Apparently, Chris and I aren't the only ones who didn't like the direction The Spin was going. Among the reported changes (according to Chris, who recently talked with the advisors...and showed them a little website he and a friend made)...

-The name. Hence, the end of "The Spin". Perhaps because "spin" isn't exactly a good thing in journalism? We'll see.

-The newspaper will be less of a soapbox and more of a...surprise...newspaper. Get this: positions. Students will help edit the paper (not just Ms. Schilling and Ms. Tinker). The title, "writer" will actually signify that yes, you're in the club.

-More issues per school year! More newspaper goodness! More eight-dollar movie tickets I have to pay for!

And you know what the best part is? Chris and I are going to help fix things up. In the near future, we will meet with Ms. Schilling and Ms. Tinker, to talk about newspapers and newsblogs, and all sorts of goodies.

Now, the three people reading right now may be asking themselves, "What does all this have to do with this blog?" Well, believe it or not, teachers know about it. Hell, even Ms. Freedman's seen it. And they like what they see. They like it enough, they're willing to help us recruit writers. Ms. Chase has suggested I speak to her classes...

I would personally love for there to be some school paper/Étudiant "synergy", though I also would like the Étudiant to remain independent (i.e. no censorship). If we could share writers/articles however, that would be wonderful.

More details as they arrive...


There was a short meeting between myself, Chris Morrill, Ms. Schilling, and Ms. Tinker today.

  • We discussed the Étudiant, which the teachers agree should remain independent of the school, but the school still seems willing to "promote" the blog, i.e. help us get more writers.
  • Chris and I will also make posters to recruit newspaper writers, help create an online version of the school paper, and...get this...we get to re-name the damn thing.
  • Writing an article might, MIGHT, get you extra credit. Maybe. Perhaps.
  • The first issue of the year should be out at the tail end of October.

After much discussion (and even arguing), Chris and I have settled on The New Outlook for a name...though it'll eventually be shortened to just The Outlook. Chris has also made plenty of fliers, which we'll copy and post all over the school, and you can expect something in the announcements, too. Cool beans. Click to enlarge:

I'll throw in a flier of my own as well; after some finishing touches, I'll post it. These are gonna be all over the school, but you saw it here first!

And assuming we get a good turnout at the Outlook meeting...can you say new Étudiant writers?


Chris and I met with Ms. Tinker today. She revealed that there will be six issues this year, and that those who show up to the Thursday meeting for the paper will actually vote on the title, along with former writers. Apparently, Chris jumped the gun in announcing a name change to the school. Crazy kid.


Today we had that meeting. We got a good turnout, and we had some good discussions about potential changes. Expect the new, official name of the paper to be decided soon. I suggested section headings. Chris suggested newsprint. Exciting stuff.

Some Étudiant news today as well. The amazing Glen Maganzini, who attended the Spin meeting, has offered to advertise this blog at his website, New England Sports News. He (along with the other attendees) also expressed interest in contributing to the Étudiant. Chris has also considered putting out a monthly print edition of the Étudiant.

Finally, the first issue of Spin/whatever the hell the name of this paper's gonna be, will be out on October 30th. And yes, my movie reviews will be back...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bomb scare at Shaw's


The Wakefield Shaw's and its parking lot has been evacuated, and a member of the bomb squad has examined a suspicious package. He has since come outside, but at the moment, no word on if the place is safe. Shaw's is currently closed. More details as they arrive.
(Source: NBC Channel 7 Boston)


Shaw's is back up and running, and the whole town is talking about the bomb scare. Shaw's is talking to its employees about the incident, according to student/Shaw's employees. More details as they arrive...

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Top Stories - September 6, 2006

Left: Jihad Chankhour

Sigh. The school year has started. Hence, the recent lack of updates: I've been focusing on last-minute summer assignments. Of course, there would be many more updates here if only we had MORE CONTRIBUTORS! If you're interested in writing for this site, do what's right and e-mail me or Chris!

You've heard most school news. You've heard the announcements, and you can read them here. However, today, we have an update on the Graveside murder.

Trial of WHS grads’ alleged killers scheduled for Aug. 2007

New details have been revealed about the December 2005 murder of four men - three of whom were from or had ties to Wakefield - in a Dorchester basement recording studio.
Speaking at the Aug. 22 Superior Court arraignments of Dorchester residents and murder suspects Calvin Carnes, 19, and Robert Turner, 19, Assistant District Attorney David Meier said one suspect fired a total of 15 bullets into the victims, and that his accomplice actively participated in the duo’s efforts to evade detection, soliciting various individuals to assist in fabricating an alibi before giving an incriminating statement to police.
While no information on a motive for the murders has been released, Attorney Meier pointed to a wealth of forensic, eyewitness and circumstantial evidence indicating that Carnes "intentionally and in cold blood executed" Jason Bachiller, 21, Jihad Chankhour, 22, Christopher Vieira, 19, and Edwin Duncan, 21, in the basement of Duncan’s 43 Bourneside Street home on the night of Dec. 13, 2005.

(Source: Wakefield Observer)

And here's some more top stories of the day.

Former Comverse CEO located

Comverse’s fugitive ex-Chairman and CEO Jacob (a.k.a. Kobi) Alexander has been located in a fishing village in Sri Lanka and may be close to turning himself in to the FBI, the Web site reported Aug. 25.
It was initially believed that Alexander had fled to Israel because he holds dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship. But as the Israeli newspaperMaariv reported last week, Israeli private investigator Moshe Buller traced a one-minute Internet phone call Alexander made from the fishing village to his daughter in Israel.
In an interview with the Israeli Web site Ynet, Buller said the lawyer representing Alexander had spent the week of Aug. 21 at the FBI office in New York and was apparently working out a deal. There was no confirmation of the story and calls to the FBI press office were not returned by press time.

North Ave. is the most dangerous for drivers

The Wakefield Police Department has released motor vehicle accident statistics from July 1, 2005 to Aug. 29, 2006 and the results could surprise you. In all there were 152 accidents on local roadways last year.
Wakefield Police Traffic Officer Lt. Mark Pherson says the area with the highest amount of car accidents is most likely the Route 129 rotary. However, accident statistics on the rotary are unavailable because most of the calls on the state road are handled by State Police, who said they are unable to release such statistics. To make matters more complicated, part of the rotary lies in Reading, while the rest is located in Wakefield.
Besides the rotary, the roads with the highest number of recorded crashes are North Avenue, Main Street, Water Street, Salem Street and Chestnut Street.
According to the statistics, Wakefield Police responded to more motor vehicle accidents at the corner of Chestnut Street and North Avenue than any other intersection in town with 10 accidents recorded since July 2005.
Lt. Pherson says the lack of a traffic light at the Chestnut Street/North Avenue intersection could be a reason for the high number of crashes.

Boston's Hancock Tower, others for sale

A Boston-based real estate investment firm said Wednesday it is putting up for sale a portfolio of 10 buildings in four cities, including Boston's John Hancock Tower, a sleek skyscraper that rises 60 stories and is New England's tallest building.
With nearly 1.8 million square feet, the Hancock Tower is the largest of the properties in an investment portfolio of high-end commercial property that Beacon Capital Partners is offering for sale.
The sale also includes buildings in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Denver, the firm said in a prepared statement. The buildings -- most of which range in size from 200,000 square feet to 900,000 -- make up one of four of the firm's portfolios of commercial properties.

(Sources: Wakefield Observer, Wakefield Item, Boston Globe)

Monday, September 4, 2006

Australian 'crocodile hunter' Steve Irwin killed by stingray

by Marc Lavine
Mon Sep 4, 3:19 AM ET

World-renowned Australian "crocodile hunter" and television environmentalist Steve Irwin has been killed by a stingray on the famed Great Barrier Reef, police said.

The iconic Irwin, 44, known for his enthusiastic handling of even the deadliest of wildlife, was killed when a stingray barb punctured his chest during the filming of an underwater documentary off the coast of the northeastern Australian state of Queensland.

"It is believed that Mr Irwin collapsed after being stung by a stingray at Batt Reef off Port Douglas at about 11:00 am (0100 GMT). He had been filming a documentary," a statement from the Queensland Police Service said.

"After being stung by a stingray, his crew called for medical treatment and the Queensland medical helicopter responded, however Mr Irwin had died," the statement added.

Stingrays have several sharp and highly toxic barbs on their tails that they use to defend themselves when they feel threatened.

"(They) are also like a bayonet, like a bayonet on a rifle," Australian wildlife filmmaker David Ireland said. "If it hits any vital organs it's as deadly as a bayonet."

Ambulance service officials said Irwin had suffered a puncture wound to the left side of his chest and he was immediately pronounced dead.

Police said the larger-than-life Irwin's family had been informed of his death. Irwin was married to US-born Terri Irwin and the couple had two children aged eight and three. Irwin's widow was informed of his death while hiking in Tasmania, police said.

The garrulous animal-lover's rallying cry of "crikey" when faced with a crocodile, snake or ferocious-looking spider, made him an Australian icon across the world.

His "Crocodile Hunter" show, in which the tousle-haired adventurer appeared in his trademark khaki shorts and shirt, was first broadcast in 1992 and has been shown around the world on the Discovery cable network ever since.

His outspoken persona became so popular that he won a cameo role in a Hollywood movie, "Dr Dolittle 2," starring US comic actor Eddie Murphy.

Irwin, who was born in the southern Australian city of Melbourne, was raised in Queensland by parents who owned small reptile park that he would eventually take over.

The young Irwin became a crocodile trapper, ridding residential areas of their reptilian threats for a fee.

Irwin's fearless approach to the animal kingdom however provoked international outrage when he involved his infant son in one of his death-defying antics.

In early 2004, he fed a four-metre (13-foot) crocodile with one hand while clutching his baby son Bob in the other during a show at his Australia Zoo reptile park on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland state.

But Irwin was unrepentant when confronted about the incident in an interview. "What I would do differently is I would make sure there were no cameras around," he said.

"I will continue to educate my children and the children of the world so they don't go into the water with crocs."

Australia immediately mourned the loss of one of its best-known sons, with shocked radio listeners and television viewers calling in to express their grief and disbelief.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who used a photograph of his family at Irwin's zoo on his official Christmas card last year, praised Irwin, who has appeared in public service announcements and worldwide events aimed at promoting Australian tourism.

"The minister knew him, was fond of him and was very, very appreciative of all the work he'd done to promote Australia overseas," a spokesman said.

And Queensland's Tourism Minister Margaret Keech summed up Australia's reaction to Irwin's sudden death.

"He's done so much for Australia and he'll be missed by the entire world," she told Sky television.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Top Stories - August 28, 2006

Historian’s home destroyed by fire: Nancy and Joseph Bertrand, kids OK

Left: A four-alarm fire caused extensive damage to the home of Joseph and Nancy Bertrand at 7 Shumway Circle. (Photo by Robert Branch)

A four-alarm fire that started at 5:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, and burned for nearly two hours caused extensive damage to the home of Joseph and Nancy Bertrand at 7 Shumway Circle.

Only the smoke alarm saved Joseph, Nancy and two of their four children. The Bertrands have two other college-age children who were not in the home at the time of the fire. Two of the family’s cats perished in the blaze, although several others were rescued.

Tenants sought for Harvard Mill space

Peter Carbone would like to fill the vacant space in the Harvard Mills buildings on Albion Street sometime soon.

Right now, over 136,228 square feet of space is available. The buildings are located on the corner of Albion, Foundry and Lake streets. Edgewater Technologies, Inc. and Vedior North America currently occupy parts of the property, but Carbone, the property owner and property manager Mark R. Reardon of CBRE New England would like to bring more business to Wakefield as soon as possible.

In the east wing of the building, Vedior occupies 31,228 square feet on the second floor and Edgewater occupies 30,000 square feet on the first floor, but the third floor — 31,228 square feet — is unoccupied.

Rev. Rivers defends response to rape allegation against staffer

A defiant Rev. Eugene Rivers III today defended his handling of an alleged rape at the Ella J. Baker House and challenged city and state leaders to join him in re-evaluating the organization’s efforts to serve the city’s poorest children.

“When we heard that a young person may have been violated in any way, we were devastated and attempted to take every measure possible to address the issues raised by the allegations,” Rivers said of the alleged Jan. 5 rape of a 17-year-old girl by a Baker House staffer.

Rivers said he and senior administrators took quick action to help the girl, but he said he did not immediately contact police, opting instead to reach out to the girl’s family.

“Our first response was to the parent, and we reached out immediately to pray with the mother and begin the process of doing whatever needed to be done to make sure that this young person was dealt with in a fair and compassionate way,” Rivers said.

Prosecutors drop case in Ramsey slaying

BOULDER, Colo. --Prosecutors abruptly dropped their case Monday against John Mark Karr in the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, saying DNA tests failed to put him at the crime scene despite his insistence he sexually assaulted and strangled the 6-year-old beauty queen.

Just a week and a half after Karr's arrest in Thailand was seen as a remarkable break in the sensational, decade-old case, prosecutors suggested in court papers that he was just a man with a twisted fascination with JonBenet who confessed to a crime he didn't commit.

"The people would not be able to establish that Mr. Karr committed this crime despite his repeated insistence that he did," District Attorney Mary Lacy said in court papers.

(Sources: Wakefield Item, Wakefield Observer, Boston Globe, Boston Herald)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Top Stories - August 23, 2006

News on the Graveside murder

Left: Robert Turner, 19, was arraigned yesterday as an accessory in the murder of the Dorchester rap group Graveside.

There were a couple stories about the December shooting today. This first one's from the AP.

BOSTON (AP) — A man charged as an accomplice in the murders of four young men in one of Boston’s bloodiest crimes in a decade told police his lifelong friend was the shooter, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Calvin Carnes Jr., 19, pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder during his arraignment Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court as more than 30 friends and relatives of the victims listened.

But prosecutors say they have physical evidence, including blood and fingerprints, and the statement by Carnes’ friend that point to Carnes as the triggerman in the bloodbath Dec. 13 in the basement of a home where four friends, all Wakefield High School graduates, had gathered to listen to music.

Assistant District Attorney David Meier said the carnage began when Carnes allegedly grabbed a handgun being shown off by one of the victims, Christopher Vieira, 19.

“Carnes then intentionally and in cold blood essentially executed each of those four young men,” Meier said.

This one's from the Boston Herald.

The young man charged with slaughtering a Dorchester rap group learned yesterday that his lifelong friend has fingered him as the killer, claiming he was relieving himself when Calvin Carnes Jr. turned executioner.

Robert Turner, 19, was “going to the bathroom” outside when he heard the 15 gunshots that wiped out three members of Graveside and their friend in a basement recording studio days before Christmas, prosecutor David Meier said during Carnes’ arraignment on four grand jury indictments of first-degree murder.

Turner, arraigned as an accessory for having helped cover up the infamous crime, “provided a tape-recorded statement to homicide detectives” upon his arrest in May on which he not only admits to being “at the scene” of the mass murder, but “directly, specifically and unequivocally implicates (Carnes) as the individual who fired the fatal shots,” Meier told Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson.

Meier also disclosed for the first time that police have recovered the murder weapon - a 9 mm semiautomatic Glock that tragically belonged to one of the victims, and which has been matched with ballistics to the bloodbath. However, Meier did not say whether Carnes’ fingerprints were on it.

Scholars, Spike Lee discuss Katrina on Martha's Vineyard

EDGARTOWN, Mass. --Prominent black scholars at a screening of Spike Lee's new documentary on Hurricane Katrina called Wednesday for a national discussion of the inequality and poverty exposed by the storm that devastated New Orleans and nearby areas one year ago.

"What Hurricane Katrina did was sweep into our consciousness those people we have tried to force into oblivion," said University of Pennsylvania professor Michael Eric Dyson, one of four panel members at a forum on the resort island of Martha's Vineyard.

Harvard law professor Lani Guinier said society needs to connect rather than move away from its poor and underprivileged.

"When are we going to link our fate to the fate of the people who were dispossesed in New Orleans?"

They viewed the third episode of Lee's four-hour Katrina documentary, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," which first aired this week on HBO after a premiere in New Orleans last month. The film will be shown in its entirety on HBO on Aug. 29.

Menino has brush with gun violence

Mayor Thomas M. Menino came within feet of an armed thug and heard cops yell the chilling words “He’s got a gun!” during a walking tour of Dorchester Monday evening, learning firsthand the fright many of his constituents suffer in a city plagued daily by gunplay.

“I saw this guy running past me in a black shirt. All the sudden, the police who were with me were running and chasing this individual,” Menino said yesterday.

“This guy was brazen as hell,” a calm and cool Menino told the Herald. “I don’t know that this individual knew that the mayor was in the area, that there would be so many cops chasing him, but how brazen can you be?”

Polls show Dem rivals lead Reilly: Gabrieli, Patrick top AG

Chris Gabrieli’s pricey TV ads are apparently paying off as the millionaire philanthropist moves up in the gubernatorial polls while Attorney General Tom Reilly continues to lag in the tightening Democratic primary race.

Gabrieli is in command of the race in a new Suffolk University/WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) poll, topping the field with 32 percent support. Former U.S. attorney Deval Patrick was second with 24 percent, followed by Reilly with 20 percent. Some 24 percent of the 600 registered voters polled were undecided.

Which of the Dems do like the most? Or hate the least? Or are you undecided? Vote here!

(Sources: Wakefield Daily Item, Boston Herald, Boston Globe)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Election 2006

Gubernatorial Candidates

Kerry Healey (R)-

Christy Mihos (independent)-

Deval Patrick (D)-

Grace Ross (Green-Rainbow Party)-

The photos are from the candidates' campaign sites.


Welcome to the Étudiant's collection of Election 2006 news. This page will be updated up until the election, so stay tuned.


I posted this story. Source: Boston Herald

Polls show Dem rivals lead Reilly: Gabrieli, Patrick top AG

Chris Gabrieli’s pricey TV ads are apparently paying off as the millionaire philanthropist moves up in the gubernatorial polls while Attorney General Tom Reilly continues to lag in the tightening Democratic primary race.

Gabrieli is in command of the race in a new Suffolk University/WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) poll, topping the field with 32 percent support. Former U.S. attorney Deval Patrick was second with 24 percent, followed by Reilly with 20 percent. Some 24 percent of the 600 registered voters polled were undecided.

I also put together this poll.


I added pictures of the candidates.


Some campaign news from the Boston Globe:

Healey ad opens new front in primary

The battle for governor erupted across party lines yesterday, as Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey labeled Democrat Christopher Gabrieli a tycoon in a television ad that says he would enrich himself through his proposal to provide $1 billion in public funds for stem cell and other life science research.

Without waiting for the outcome of Tuesday's Democratic primary, Healey, the GOP's choice for governor, singled out Gabrieli, delighting Gabrieli's aides who saw her strategy as evidence that he is the strongest Democrat in the race. Healey's aides insisted that the ad was a response to television attack ads aimed at her this week by a Democrat-connected union group.
The GOP foray into the Democratic primary battle came out of the blue and triggered a new round of television ads in the closing days before Tuesday's primary. Gabrieli launched a response ad that described the claims as petty politics.


Some interesting info from the Boston Herald.

‘I take out the trash’... but not the Thursday before the primary

A testy Chris Gabrieli, who touts himself in a campaign TV ad as a regular Joe taking out the trash, now says he’s too busy stumping for office to do the chore in real life.

“Look, I take out the trash sometimes. I don’t take out the trash on the Thursday before the primary,” the millionaire Democrat insisted yesterday.

A Herald photographer snapped a picture Thursday of a young woman in an apron carrying a bin of recyclables from Gabrieli’s $2 million Beacon Hill brownstone - an apparent contradiction of his homebody campaign spot.

Gabrieli noted, for the record, that the aide shown in a Herald photo was carrying recyclables, not trash, to the curb. She placed the bin next to trash bags.

“But more to the point,” he said. “Yes, I take it out a lot of times. I don’t think it’s any surprise I’m not home at trash time these days.”


Three of Boston's local news channels have special sections for the election.

Channel 4:
Channel 5:
Channel 7:

Later tonight, we'll find out which Democrats will continue running for governor and lt. governor. Deval Patrick is favored by the polls...

9/19, 9:55 PM

According to the AP, Deval Patrick has won the Democrats' nomination.

9/19, 10:05 PM

Early voter turnout is fairly strong

Poll workers around Wakefield were happy about the healthy amount of voters who turned out for today’s primary election so far this morning.

At 9:15 a.m., 109 votes were cast in Precinct 5 and 121 were cast in Precinct 6. Voters from both precincts voted at the West Side Social Club on Harrington Court.

Meanwhile, at the Masonic Temple on Salem Street, 143 votes were cast from Precinct 7 at 9:45 a.m., while 132 were cast from Precinct 1 at the same time.

A complete count of town votes will appear in tomorrow’s Item.

Among the voters at the West Side Social Club was School Committee member Anthony Guardia, who stressed the importance of voting while he was there. Guardia has been an open supporter of Sean Grant, a Saugus Democrat who is running for State Representative in the Ninth Essex District, which includes Precincts 1, 2 and 7 in Wakefield.

At the Masonic Temple, Vin Falzone, the father of Mark Falzone, the current State Representative of the Ninth Essex District, was on hand to support his son. Vin Falzone says he holds signs for his favorite candidates at the Masonic Temple during every election.

“I guess it’s tradition,” Falzone said.

Source: Wakefield Daily Item

9/19, 10:15 PM

Developing story:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christopher Gabrieli is giving a concession speech in which he said that he told Deval Patrick he will work diligently on his behalf in the general election. But he scolded GOP nominee Kerry Healey for running negative ads against him in the waning days of the campaign that criticized his support of stem cell research. "Tonight, this campaign ends, but its spirit lives on," he said. Attorney General Thomas Reilly, a candidate in the same race, conceded earlier. Timothy P. Murray, 38, the three-term mayor of Worcester, has been nominated as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.

Source: Boston Globe


Big Dig firms put money into Healey’s ads

While Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey has talked tough on the Big Dig, a new political ad supporting her bid for governor was bankrolled by a Republican special interest group funded by major contractors on the scandal-plagued project.

The Republican Governors Association, which is chaired by Gov. Mitt Romney, raked in $25,000 from Big Dig contractor Bechtel since 2005 and another $10,000 this year from Dig firm Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas.

The nonprofit RGA has so far kicked in $890,000 for a new TV ad trumpeting Healey’s accomplishments on Beacon Hill as part of a nationwide campaign to support GOP candidates for governor.

Source: Boston Herald


Want some coverage of today's debate? You got it.


Glen Maganzini criticizes the candidates and defines the true conservative in this editorial.