Daily Archives: June 17, 2010

Your Boston Weekend: June 18-20

Published June 17, 2010

With so much going on in Boston every weekend, how does the culture lover choose, or even find, the best of what Beantown has to offer? Let Hubbub do some of the sleuthing for you.

It's going to be a sweet father's day weekend. (LittleMissCupcakeParis/Flickr)

It's going to be a sweet father's day weekend. (LittleMissCupcakeParis/Flickr)

There’s a lot to celebrate this weekend: A big day for Dad, a perfect forecast and the final days of spring.

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Yes, Boston English Is America's Oldest Public High School

Published June 17, 2010

Every time we do a story on either The English High School or Boston Latin School, we are accused of committing a particular sin.

In introducing the broadcast version of David Boeri’s story on Salma Hussain, the Bangladeshi-born valedictorian at Boston English, host Bob Oakes said: “The English high school in Boston, the oldest public high school in the country…”

Here is a sample of the responses we received:

English High School is not America’s oldest public high school, as was  reported this morning.   Boston Latin School was established in 1635 and holds that title. –Jennifer Routhier, via e-mail

For the record, is the oldest public school, 1635. Hence “Sumus Primi” , via Twitter

I felt obligated to further educate people that Boston English is NOT the oldest public school in America. In fact, my alma mater, BOSTON LATIN SCHOOL is the oldest public school in America established April 23, 1635. Thank you. –Bree Roberson in the comments

The anchor said oldest public HIGH school — which English High School is. Boston Latin School is the oldest public school in America. –Matt in the comments

Matt, you nailed it. Here is the definitive explanation from David Boeri:

English High School is the OLDEST PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL in America. Go to English High and pull down the banners, the inscriptions, the documentation if you wish, and it will still be true.

Boston Latin school is the oldest public school in the country, April 23, 1635,  though the fact you once had to pay to go there would alter my perception of “public”. You can go if you pay, but that’s public in the British sense.

There you have it. The English High School is the oldest public high school in America. Boston Latin is the oldest public school in America — although it depends how you define “public.”

Family Settles With Police In Celtics Fan's Death

Published June 17, 2010

Well, if this isn’t interesting timing:

Woodman family settles with Boston police for $3 million, attorney says

The family of David Woodman, who died while in the custody of Boston police after the Boston Celtics won the NBA title in 2008, today announced they have settled a civil lawsuit with the city for $3 million.

Game 7 starts at 9 p.m., and Boston police will be out in force again. As I mentioned here yesterday, the BPD is sensitive about this issue. The department accepted blame for the death of an 18-year-old Emerson student in 2004, who was struck by a police projectile while celebrating the Red Sox’ ALCS win.

It may explain why the BPD ordered bars to keep reporters out during the NBA Finals, which, if true, is unprecedented and possibly illegal. (The BPD’s Elaine Driscoll and the city’s licensing board refuse to return my calls and e-mails to clarify the confusion.)

Update: The city has released a public statement on the Woodman case. No admission of liability, etc.

Woods Hole Activist Will Try To Return To Gaza

Published June 17, 2010

One of the Bay Staters on that “Free Gaza” flotilla, seized by Israeli commandos three weeks ago, is still trying to get her wallet in order.

Pro-Palestinian activist Kathy Sheetz, of Woods Hole, made it back home with nothing but her passport and the clothes on her back, since the Israeli authorities took all of her belongings, including her bank cards and video camera.

She discovered her cards had been blocked due to fraudulent activity, and she is still waiting for replacements.

Sheetz talked with WBUR’s Rachel Rohr yesterday. Sheetz has attempted three trips to Gaza — one successful — and she is willing to go again, even after nine of her shipmates were killed in a raid on her third and most recent trip. Sheetz still believes this is the best way to peacefully bring attention to the humanitarian issues in Gaza.

Sheetz and her husband, Steven Greeves, are considering suing for lost property. Her camera, seized in the raid, was worth thousands of dollars, she said. She said the journalists on board lost all their laptops, cameras and other recording equipment. Sheetz’s belongings were seized but eventually returned after her second attempted trip, she said.

There are legal complications to suing, she said, since she was on a U.S. vessel raided by Israeli police in international waters. (She thinks this is the equivalent of being inside the United States).

The son of a Brewster man was also aboard the ship.

Police Review Confirms Everything, Changes Nothing

Published June 17, 2010

Henry Louis Gates Jr. said it was about race.

Sgt. James Crowley said it was about disorderly conduct.

Harvard professor Charles Ogletree said it was about class.

C’mon, racism in Cambridge, Massachusetts? people asked.

If Sgt. Crowley, a white cop, made only one disorderly conduct arrest in five years, why was it a black man on his own porch? others retorted.

A wbur.org commenter said it best: It was a case of “Do you know who I am?” versus “Who do you think you are?”

A new study from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, reported by Bianca Vazquez Toness today on WBUR, would seem to put the debate to rest. It reveals no pattern of racial bias in the Cambridge Police Department, which corroborates an internal review of the same matter.

The study analyzed disorderly conduct arrests in the department going back five years. It found that 57 percent of the people arrested were white and 34 percent were black. The racial breakdown of arrests almost exactly mirrored the racial composition of the population that Cambridge police investigated for disorderly conduct.

But the study doesn’t put any debate to rest. No study can. There are large groups of people who still feel like they are unfairly targeted by police.

“People of color feel that police treat them differently,” Professor Ogletree said today in a WBUR interview. “You go to Area 4 in Cambridge, East Cambridge, you’ll see kids who run from police — not because they’ve committed crime but because they think they’re going to be harassed. Now we have to stop that. We have to stop children’s fear of police. We have to stop the sense that people are running because they committed a crime.”

Talk to black and Latino kids at the edge of the South End or in Dorchester or Roxbury. They’ll tell you that Boston cops harass them when they congregate, when they put up their hoodies, when they walk home from school. Maybe the cops do. Maybe they don’t. It doesn’t matter. Perception is everything.