Daily Archives: October 26, 2010

Photo Of The Day: I Got It, I Got It

Published October 26, 2010

I got it, I got it (Scott Kasper Photography/Flickr)

I got it, I got it (Scott Kasper Photography/Flickr)

Here’s an oldie but goodie, submitted to WBUR’s Flickr group back in 2007. Photographer Scott Kasper captured this priceless moment at the pumpkin patch in Concord. (As always, you can click the photograph to view it on Flickr.)

Drama King James Holds Court In The Garden

Published October 26, 2010

It has been 110 days since LeBron James’ “Decision” to take his considerable talents to Miami’s South Beach in exchange for losing the hearts of thousands of NBA fans.

When the Celtics open the season tonight against James’ Miami Heat, the eyes of basketball fans everywhere will be fixed on Boston. Subplots abound like a bad daytime soap opera.

Miami Heat's LeBron James during a preseason NBA game in Miami on Oct. 18. (AP)

Miami Heat's LeBron James during a preseason NBA game in Miami on Oct. 18. (AP)

Fans of both teams are expecting a title run. Miami’s roster includes two of the top 10 players in the league (and, possibly, three of the top 15). Some would argue that James is the best player in the NBA. The Celtics came within mere minutes of bringing home their 18th title banner before dropping Game 7 of the NBA Finals to the LA Lakers.

James shook the NBA universe on that fateful night at the Greenwich Boys & Girls Club. When he announced he was ditching his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for the brighter lights of Miami (and the waiting arms of two other NBA stars), James piled the weight of expectations on his shoulders.

He has been caricatured as the first sports villain of my lifetime – Snidely Whiplash with a pair of Nikes. It’s no stretch to say that James went from one of the most popular athletes to one of the most derided. In baseball, Bostonians often say they root for “the Red Sox and whoever’s playing the Yankees.” Now, NBA fans across the country are rooting hard – against LeBron.

In a game of 5-on-5, all eyes will be on two sets of Big Threes: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen for Boston; Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh for Miami.

If you’re from Boston, the Celtics’ “Big Three” is battle-tested. If you’re not, they’re old. If you’re from Miami, the Heat’s “Big Three” is full of promise. If you’re not, they represent a misguided attempt to pair incompatible styles of play.

Last season, Rajon Rondo emerged as one of the NBA’s best young stars. He’s faster than a speeding bullet and can leap tall buildings in a single-bound. If he only had a reliable jump shot, he’d be unstoppable.

The Celtics eliminated both Dwayne Wade’s Miami Heat and James’ Cleveland Cavaliers from the playoffs last season. This sequel should be more like Godfather II than Ironman 2.

On Tuesday, Boston is the center of the basketball universe. Garnett, Pierce, Allen, Rondo and fans everywheah hope I’ll be writing the same thing in June.

Push Comes To ‘Shove It’ In R.I. Governor’s Race

Published October 26, 2010

This story was cross-posted to ElectionWire.

We’re all laser-focused on the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. But have you paid attention to the one in Rhode Island lately?

Rhode Island Treasurer and Democratic candidate for governor Frank Caprio, right, listens to independent candidate Lincoln Chafee during a forum at an assisted living center in Providence, R.I., July 21. (Stew Milne/AP)

Independent Lincoln Chafee, left, Democrat Frank Caprio (AP)

The race is divided among a Democrat, a Republican, an independent and a minor-party candidate — sound familiar? — with the Democrat and the independent running neck and neck.

Frank Caprio, the Democrat, is defending himself for telling President Obama to “shove it” ahead of the president’s visit Tuesday to the Ocean State.


Mr. Obama won’t make an endorsement, because the independent — former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a liberal — is an old friend to the president who endorsed him for president.

As of yesterday afternoon, Chafee is running a TV ad featuring the president.

Continue reading

In Norton, Teachers Can’t Go Where The Bullies Are

Published October 26, 2010

There’s another angle to Norton’s “no friending” policy that I barely touched on yesterday on Radio Boston.

After the suicide of Phoebe Prince, the South Hadley girl thought to be a victim of relentless bullying, the state adopted ambitious guidelines for seeking out and punishing bullies.

It’s a new paradigm that injects adults into the playground power imbalance. The guidelines encourage teachers to be vigilant — both on campus and off — and requires them to report cases of bullying to teachers and administrators.

What's a teacher to do?

A lot of that bullying doesn’t happen on the playground, though. On the home page for Norton Public Schools is a link to a Facebook page called “End Cyberbullying,” a sign the school is serious about stopping virtual terror.

With a new policy that bans teachers from “friending” their students on Facebook, Norton is trying to set clear boundaries — fraternizing with students outside the classroom is inappropriate, virtually or otherwise.

But that means teachers aren’t allowed to be where a lot of the bullying is.

“There are some real concerns about what’s going on in the world of social media in general. How are teachers supposed to understand that issue if they’re cut off from it?” said Christopher Ott of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Teachers like Lyndsy Shuman, the debate coach in Maine I interviewed yesterday, operate in a gray area. When she stumbled upon students engaging in a nasty back-and-forth on Facebook, Shuman felt powerless, unsure of her own role.

Does she intervene in the flame war? Does she call a school administrator? Would she be accused of inappropriate behavior for monitoring students online? (Shuman decided to hide the updates altogether.)

The Norton schools superintendent said the new rules are under review and could change in a few weeks. Perhaps more useful for teachers would be a virtual guidebook — rather than a “no entry” sign at the door?

Turner’s Hubris Could Be His Downfall

Published October 26, 2010

Chuck Turner is driving his defense attorney crazy.

Barry Wilson won’t say so — he’s Turner’s lawyer after all — but Turner is about to make the job of defending him much more difficult.

Turner expects to take the stand today to defend his honor and honesty, he says. In doing so, his lawyer says Turner opens himself to an all-encompassing attack on his credibility.

The questions include:

  • What did Turner take from Ron Wilburn on Aug. 3, 2007?
  • Was it cash? Was it $1,000 in cash, as the government says?
  • What did Turner do with it?
  • Why didn’t Turner stop Wilburn from giving it to him if it was cash?
  • Why didn’t Turner later try to return the cash to Wilburn?
  • Why would Turner keep any or all of the $1,000?
  • Why didn’t Turner file the money as a campaign contribution, if it wasn’t a bribe?
  • Why would Turner accept any cash?

You can see where this is going, can’t you? Wilson, the attorney, clearly thinks none of this testimony can help his client, however cathartic it might be for Turner.

The defense says the government has failed to prove its burden. There is one sole alleged payment to Turner, witnessed directly only by Wilburn, the government’s key witness, who secretly recorded the transaction on video that doesn’t clearly show the handoff of money.

The defendant’s testimony comes with a number of inconsistencies. And Wilburn, who has admitted to giving bribes before, was paid $30,000 by the FBI to offer Turner a $1,000 bribe (and other bribes to Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, as well).

There seems to be no explicit statements made by Turner that can be construed as extorting Wilburn for a bribe. As defendant, Turner is under no obligation to call witnesses or present any evidence. He could simply take the position that the government has failed to prove its case — failed to prove that Turner extorted a bribe.

But Turner insists on taking the stand, so the defense can’t rest. And the defense of Chuck Turner may become far more complicated than a defense attorney would wish.

Update: Turner has taken the stand.


WBUR’s David Boeri has been covering the trial of City Councilor Chuck Turner. This is Boeri’s latest dispatch from Boston federal court. –AP

Tuesday Morning: South Station Expansion, Guberyawn

Published October 26, 2010

What’s news on a surprisingly warm Tuesday morning in Boston:

The Obama administration has awarded $32.5 million to help expand South Station. That should cover the permits and the environmental reviews. (Globe)

Gubernatorial candidates engaged in a staid debate, the last one before Election Day. “Maybe this is what 15 months of campaigning does. In the end, folks are just tired of the fight — even the candidates.” (WBUR)

The BPL chief wants to keep branches open if funding is found. Amy Ryan’s comments were a “marked shift in tone.” (Dorchester Reporter)

The FBI raided the home of an ex-Raytheon engineer in Melrose. Richard Lloyd had tried to board a plane with a laptop he wasn’t supposed to have. (Herald)

Boston’s wave of violence is not letting up. A 30-year-old man was murdered in Dorchester on Monday night. (Globe)

Danroy Henry’s family wants the feds to take over the investigation of his death by police. A lawyer says the small New York state police department can’t handle a case this big. (AP)

The Democratic candidate for Rhode Island governor told President Obama to “shove it.” Frank Caprio is mad because Mr. Obama won’t endorse him; Caprio’s Republican opponent is a friend to the president. (Monitor)

Big round-up today. Did I miss anything?