Daily Archives: June 16, 2010

Amy Bishop Indicted For Murder In ’86 Shooting

Published June 16, 2010

This is big:

A Norfolk County grand jury has indicted Amy Bishop on a single count of first-degree murder after it found sufficient evidence she killed her 18-year-old brother, Seth, in Braintree in 1986.

Remember? Amy Bishop was the University of Alabama teacher who went on a shooting rampage after being denied tenure. That’s when the details of her bizarre past began to emerge.

WBUR has covered this story extensively. Can’t-miss stories from our archive, in order of can’t-miss-ness:

WBUR Wins Knight Grant For Courts Coverage

Published June 16, 2010

WBUR has won a $250,000 Knight Foundation grant for “Order in the Court 2.0,” a project that aims to bring transparency to the judicial branch through new media.

My boss, John Davidow, the executive editor of wbur.org, wants to turn a local courtroom into a digital laboratory, with the goal of modernizing the standards for electronic newsgathering in courts.

The Nieman Journalism Lab wrote up the idea:

Davidow said the court system has, by and large, continued to operate under the same video and audio recording standards it adopted in the 1970s and 1980s.

“The courts have sort of gone further and further (away) from the public and public access. In the old days, they were built in the center of town,” he told me. “The community was able to walk into the courts and see what was going on. Modern life has done away with that. The bridge that was going in between the courts and the public was the media. The media has just less resources.”


The test kitchen is the Quincy District Court here in Massachusetts, a courthouse Davidow described as ideal: Its chief judge is open to the idea, and the courthouse has a tradition of dabbling in new technologies. It’s also one of the busiest courthouses in the state, so it should also serve as a good model for even large courthouses.

Knight awarded the prize today at MIT as part of its News Challenge, which is an incubator for new ideas in journalism.

Brewing By Hand Brings Them True Hoppiness

Published June 16, 2010

The New York Times reported last week that Boston Beer Company — which “helped create the red-hot small-beer movement when it introduced Sam Adams 26 years ago” — is in danger of losing its “craft” beer status. The company is getting too big.

“If we’re not a craft brewer,” said Jim Koch, president of Boston Beer, to the Times, “what else are we? We’re certainly not Budweiser.” (Don’t miss WBUR’s interview with Koch back in April.)

Sen. John Kerry has introduced a bill that would increase the production limit of small breweries from two to six million barrels a year.

Last night, I met a Cambridge couple that is definitely not in danger of losing their craft beer status — but they are growing fast. Dann Paquette and his wife, Martha Holley-Paquette, hand-brew Pretty Things beer. And they’re one of the few brewers left inside of 128, they say. (Pretty Things can’t officially be called a “brewery,” since federal law forbids that label unless they own the equipment.)

Pull up a chair. Dann Paquette and Martha Holley-Paquette brew Pretty Things artisan beer in Cambridge. (Andrew Phelps/WBUR)

Pull up a chair. Dann Paquette and Martha Holley-Paquette brew Pretty Things artisan beer in Cambridge. (Andrew Phelps/WBUR)

My foodie friends rave about the stuff, and I came away impressed after a tasting at Deep Ellum in Allston. I sampled the flagship Jack D’or, whose mascot is a dancing, mustachioed barley corn; the complex Baby Tree, which is made with dried plums; and the rustic Field Mouse’s Farewell, the late spring seasonal.

Paquette has been brewing beer for about 18 years (after a stint as producer for “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”). The couple launched Pretty Things almost three years ago on $10,000 in capital. In the first year, Paquette says, they sold $180,000. Their brews are served at a number of high-quality establishments in Boston, and they’ve just hired the first employee, a sales rep, to branch out in New York and Philadelphia.

And it’s clearly a craft. Paquette tends to every ingredient and detail, even using a microscope to inspect for bacteria in the final product. The two designed the fantastical labels themselves, and each bottle is inscribed with poetry about that brew.

I interview them for a future radio story on Radio Boston. Look for a post on Public Radio Kitchen later this week.

Reporters Barred From Garden Bars

Published June 16, 2010

I’m trying to get to the bottom of some confusion last night involving bars blocking access to reporters.

Our Sonari Glinton was turned away repeatedly from bars and pubs near TD Garden while trying to cover Game 6 for WBUR. Managers of two establishments told us the city had banned reporters from entering during the NBA Finals, and that they were just following orders. Sonari had to resort to hiding his mike to gather sound and do his job.

Thing is, I was in the same area and had no trouble. When I heard about the confusion, I asked a couple of cops on the street. They told me, in fact, no one was allowed to enter that Canal Street cluster after the third quarter as a safety measure — reporters were not being singled out, an officer told me. But Sonari got to the area at 7, well before the game began.

Margaret Evans, our senior editor, contacted one of the bars giving us trouble, a bar near Fenway, Cask’n Flagon, and received this e-mail response from Dana Van Fleet:

Superintendent William Evans from BPD has ordered that no bars or restaurants allow ANY media in any establishment for any playoff game.

It is within a bar’s rights to keep out whomever they want. But as far as I know, the Boston Police Department can’t order a bar to keep out certain people.

Margaret then contacted Boston Police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll for clarification. Driscoll explained it was not the Police Department but the city’s licensing board that imposed the restrictions. She provided copy of a letter sent — restrictions that should not have barred Sonari from entering a bar.

Here is the relevant text from a letter sent to licensees on June 8:

Establishments may not use their premises as a location for remote broadcasting by the media. For example, licensees may not allow a television station to set up camera to broadcast (or tape for later broadcast) activities in or around the premises. This is a safety and order measure aimed at promoting crowd control at licensed establishments.

My guess is that this rule is meant to avoid those big, boisterous crowds that gather to be on TV. The police are rightly cautious. People have died celebrating Boston sports victories in recent years, including an 18-year-old Emerson student in 2004, when the Red Sox won the pennant. She was struck in the eye by a police projectile. And a 22-year-old Celtics fan died in 2008 while in police custody. He was said to have had heart problems. The U.S. attorney said in that case the police acted reasonably.

Of course, Sonari had no camera, and he was not broadcasting live. Driscoll forwarded us to the city’s licensing board, and we’re still awaiting a response.