Monthly Archives: May 2011

Homicides, Beach Fights Mar Holiday Weekend

Published May 31, 2011

[googlemap title=”2011 Boston Homicide Victims” url=”,-71.072102&spn=0.090507,0.154324&z=13″ width=”630″ height=”350″]

Two young men were killed, a handful of other victims were shot and over 100 police officers reportedly descended on South Boston’s Carson Beach to break up fights over a violent Memorial Day weekend in Boston.

At nearly 10 p.m. Sunday, city police found a 20-year-old man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound in Dorchester. Just over a half an hour later, they discovered a second shooting victim, 22, in Mattapan. Both young men were later pronounced dead, becoming Boston’s 12th and 13th homicide victims of the year — and fourth and fifth victims this month.

From Friday morning to this morning, BPD reports, there were also six non-fatal shootings.

Then yesterday, fights among rival gangs disrupted holiday beachgoers at Carson Beach.

From a State Police statement:

Initially, three Troopers responded and upon their arrival observed several youths from rival Boston Gangs fighting. The intelligence now reveals there was approximately 1,000 youths ages between the ages of 14-19 years gathered around … the participants of the fights. Troopers immediately requested assistance from all available Troopers, Boston Police, Transit Police, and U Mass Police.

The Boston Globe reports there were more than 100 police officers on scene, and that subsequent fights broke out near T stations as the teens fled the beach. State Police told the Globe there were no serious injuries resulting from the fights.

The website the Drudge Report today has featured the “gangs unleashed” on Carson Beach story. We’re following up the beach fights with coverage on Radio Boston today.

Update, 4:40 p.m.:

The Dorchester Youth Collaborative told Radio Boston that no actual gangs were at the beach fight.

Update, 5:15 p.m.:

State Police say they are increasing their presence on beaches in South Boston. The extra police includes uniformed and plainclothes troopers, canine units and both gang and auto-theft task forces.

Update, 6/1:

WBUR’s Bianca Vazquez Toness reports the Carson Beach incident may not have been gang-related at all.

Excitement Is High As Bruins Prep For Finals

Published May 31, 2011

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas shut out the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday to propel his team to the Stanley Cup Finals. (AP)

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas shut out the Lightning Friday to propel his team to the Stanley Cup Finals. (AP)

It’s been a weekend and I’m still exhausted from the tension of a classic 1-0 Game 7 of playoff hockey.

Standing on the ninth floor Friday and looking down at the ice with three minutes left in the game and remembering that feeling back in 1990 when the Bruins beat the Hartford Whalers, Montreal Canadiens and the Washington Capitals to advance to the NHL Finals for the second time in three years. Although I was a media member, I was also a fan and it was a great time to be a Bruins fan.

Little did I know that I would not get a chance to have that emotion for another 21 seasons. But Friday night at TD Garden, it was a really good feeling. With 1:13 left in the game, the crowd felt it, and the guttural screams of all those years were released — it was indeed the loudest noise I had ever heard in that building since its birth.
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Tuesday Morning: Probation Lawyer Fired

Published May 31, 2011

The lead lawyer at the troubled state Probation Department has been fired. According to the Globe, the acting Probation commissioner ousted Christopher Bulger, saying he “violated his professional duty.” Bulger’s attorney called the firing “outrageous” and is planning an appeal.

State Police say 1,000 teenagers from rival gangs gathered for a fight on Carson Beach in South Boston yesterday. After more than 100 officers from multiple law enforcement agencies responded, many of the youths boarded trains at JFK/UMass station and fought at T stations around the city.

Persistent water leaks are causing a host of problems inside the Big Dig tunnels. According to the Boston Herald, inspection reports show the leaks are at least partially to blame for crumbling concrete, corroded lights and damaged fire-proofing. The state is spending about $12 million a year to combat the leaks.

I guess you could say the CEO of LipimetiX, a Sudbury-based drug company, has a corner office. Dennis Goldberg runs the company out of one corner of his home’s living room and is part of a new trend in the pharmaceutical industry: one-person drug firms.

Rep. Michele Bachmann met voters in Dover, N.H. yesterday. Many expect the Minnesota Republican will run for the GOP’s presidential nomination — possibly against Sarah Palin.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on the trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi, the 12-year-old girl who was swept out to sea by a riptide yesterday and the education bills up for debate on Beacon Hill.

Bruins Head To The Stanley Cup Finals

Published May 30, 2011

(Click an image to start a slideshow)

The Bruins are on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Literally.

The team held one final practice on the ice in Boston before flying to Vancouver in preparation for Wednesday’s Game 1 against the Vancouver Canucks.

Fans gathered outside the TD Garden to send the Bruins off to their first Stanley Cup Finals in 21 years.

The No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bruins face a tough opponent in the league’s best regular season team.

Bringing back the Cup isn’t impossible, though. In the teams’ only meeting this season, the B’s beat the Canucks 2-1 in Vancouver, behind 26 saves by goalie Tim Thomas.

Friday Morning: Patrick Takes The Stand

Published May 27, 2011

Gov. Deval Patrick today goes from the corner office to the courtroom. He’s expected to take the stand as a witness in the federal corruption trial of former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi. WBUR’s David Boeri set the scene.

The state Senate last night voted to restrict the collective bargaining rights of many public employees in an effort to save cities and towns money. The House, Senate and governor all back similar measures.

Should better teachers get paid more? As part of WBUR’s Making An A+ Teacher series, Deborah Becker reports.

What do you want first, Bay State GE employees, the good news or the bad? The good news: The U.S. House passed a $690 billion defense bill that includes the F-35 jet engine, some parts of which are manufactured in Lynn. The bad news: President Obama has threatened to veto the entire bill if provisions relating to the disputed project are included.

Graduating from college is hard. Ruben Sepulveda, who was once homeless on the streets of New York City, still did it.

Finally, something to do (and eat) on the Greenway! Boston’s favorite 1.5-mile-long green space may become more of a downtown lunchtime destination with the addition of some delicious-sounding food trucks selling everything from cupcakes to grilled cheese.

Those wicked smaht Cambridge residents might actually know what they’re talking about. yesterday released its list of the most well-read cities in the country (at least, if you go by how many books residents ordered from Amazon) and Cambridge came in first.

It’s do-or-die time. Behind goalie Tim Thomas and defenseman Zdeno Chara, the Bruins need a Game 7 win tonight or their season is over.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on the governor’s testimony at the DiMasi trial. Radio Boston will speak with journalist James Foley, who was detained for six weeks in Libya.

Thursday Morning: Mass. Senators Vote Against GOP Budget Plan

Published May 26, 2011

Sen. Scott Brown and Sen. John Kerry were among the senators yesterday that voted down the Republican budget that contained a controversial plan to partially privatize Medicare.

Five senate Republicans, three from New England, joined the larger side of the 57-40 tally. Brown, however, blasted Senate Democratic leader Sen. Harry Reid for playing “divisive political games” by forcing a vote without presenting an alternative.

A former official in the Patrick Administration testified yesterday that former House Speaker Sal DiMasi pressured her to sign off on a multimillion dollar software contract. Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to take the stand tomorrow in DiMasi’s ongoing corruption case.

Thanks to budget woes, the MBTA is no longer routinely replacing absent bus drivers. That means T riders may face longer bus wait times.

Prosecutors in Alabama will seek the death penalty in the Amy Bishop case, according to her attorney. Bishop, originally from Massachusetts, is accused of shooting and killing three fellow professors and wounding three more at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Can you teach great teaching? Many educators think we have to. As part of WBUR’s Making An A+ Teacher series, Martha Bebinger reports on new methods being used to teach teachers to teach.

Artist Douglas Kornfeld Gives Jamaica Plain A Giant Hand

Published May 25, 2011

"Reach" by Douglas Kornfeld sits in Jamaica Plain's Mozart Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy Doug Kornfeld)

"Reach" by Douglas Kornfeld sits in Jamaica Plain's Mozart Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy Doug Kornfeld)

Give him a hand!

Actually, Cambridge artist Douglas Kornfeld already has one. A big one.

It’s 27-feet tall and it has taken two-and-a-half years to get the work approved and into the ground. But today, Kornfeld and the Hyde Park community in Jamaica Plain are welcoming “Reach” to Mozart Park. The giant, stretched-out steel hand is meant to symbolize the immigrant experience.

“I feel a sense of pride mixed with relief that everything went well with the installation and that the sculpture fits so well in the park,” Kornfeld wrote in an email. “I’m delighted that the community is so pleased with the piece.”

It was critical to involve the community in the development of the public work, Kornfeld said, because the public is often left out of the public art process. He worked with the Hyde Square Task Force to organize workshops and created a website to keep residents in the loop.

A nonprofit writing organization for kids, 826 Boston, helped area youth come up with quotations that are engraved on the sculpture’s steel uprights. Their words reflect their experiences as immigrants or children of immigrants.

Some may recognize Kornfeld’s work. His “Ozymandias” — also known as the bid red man — greets visitors to the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln.

Erected in January, “Reach” will be dedicated today at a ceremony in Mozart Park at 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday Morning: Municipal Health Care On The Docket

Published May 25, 2011

The state Senate is set to open debate on a budget proposal that would allow local officials to shift municipal workers into lower-cost health care plans without union approval. Massachusetts labor leaders, according to the Globe, have accepted that some form of the plan is likely to be enacted.

A former advisor to Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration testified yesterday that former House Speaker Sal DiMasi pushed for a $13 million contract for the software company Cognos, from which DiMasi allegedly took kickbacks. David Simas will be cross examined by the defense today in DiMasi’s ongoing federal corruption trial.

Even if you’d fail them, it’s hard to fire a teacher. That means many poor teachers are still in classrooms, just shifted around the system. As part of WBUR’s Making An A+ Teacher series, WBUR’s Monica Brady-Myerov looks at the problem of bad teachers in public schools.

The number of English Language Learners identified as have a learning disability has skyrocketed in Massachusetts. According to a report, the number of ELL students with learning disabilities has more than doubled in the past decade.

Thanks to budget cuts, police officers in the embattled city of Lawrence are struggling to cope with rising crime rates and dwindling resources.

There’s a fever sweeping Boston, but you won’t need to head to the hospital. The Bruins need only win tonight to notch a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 21 years, and the city is getting behind its team. Goalie Tim Thomas will need a strong game to lead the team to victory.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on the state Senate’s budget debate, testimony in the DiMasi case and the criminal charges for the founder of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center.

DA: East Boston Teen Admits Strangling, Burning Man

Published May 24, 2011

[googlemap title=”2011 Boston Homicide Victims” url=”,-71.031761&spn=0.180408,0.308647&z=12″ width=”630″ height=”350″]

UPDATE 4:50: According to a statement by the Suffolk County DA’s office, Flores turned himself in early this morning. To police, he admitted bounding, strangling and burning the victim.

Flores allegedly told police that he had known the victim for “many years.” The DA still has not released the victim’s name.


UPDATE 2:25: Flores was arraigned and ordered held without bail, according to the Suffolk County DA’s office.


A 17-year-old East Boston teen is expected to be arraigned on a murder charge today in connection with a fire in East Boston, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. Boston Police arrested Marco Tulio Flores this morning.

The Boston Fire Department responded to a fire around 8 a.m. yesterday and first tweeted that the one-alarm fire was under control. Then, they reported that there was a dead body at the scene. The victim, an adult male found inside a fire-engulfed basement, is 11th murder victim in Boston this year.

A spokesman for the Suffolk County DA says the office is withholding the name of the victim, but the Globe reports that the man is Jaime Galdamez, a 28-year-old El Salvadorian immigrant who had lived quietly in Boston for almost 10 years.

Living in an illegal basement apartment, working in a downtown restaurant, and sending money back home, Galdamez eked out an existence for nearly a decade, until his life was cut short yesterday.

Galdamez was found in a bed in his basement apartment, according to the Globe. It is unclear if he was dead before the fire was started. Officials plan an autopsy.

We’ll continue to update the story as more details emerge.

Tuesday Morning: DiMasi Trial Brings Pols To Court

Published May 24, 2011

The parade of state officials continues today in the federal corruption trial of former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi. The former secretary of administration and finance under Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to take the stand.

The state’s former head of information technology testified that she only recommended the Cognos software in question because DiMasi pressed her to do so. WBUR’s David Boeri has an outstanding primer on the case.

Over the next three years, the Massachusetts teacher evaluation system will change significantly. The most controversial element requires using student test scores to rate teachers. WBUR’s Monica Brady-Myerov reports on the system as part of WBUR’s Making An A+ Teacher series.

In Ireland to “find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way,” President Obama shared a pint of Guinness with pub-goers in Moneygall, Ireland, where his great-great-great grandfather lived. As you might imagine, many Bostonians approved.

With gas prices high, the City of Boston is making just a bit easier to avoid the pain at the pump. If you’re one of the few who has switched to driving a rechargeable electric car, you can park in one of three electric vehicle parking spots unveiled outside Boston City Hall yesterday.

Some of your favorite gadgets originate right here in Massachusetts. As the Globe says, “Massachusetts doesn’t make the iPhone. But this is where chips are made that make it ring.”

In what has become a familiar storyline, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas led the team to a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. The Bruins are just one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on developments in the DiMasi trial, the fishy fire in East Boston and the fifth-grade bullying in Bridgewater that was caught on tape.