Hazmat crew called in, homes evacuated after possible suicide by cyanide in Arlington

Arlington Police report first responders asked around 4 p.m. to check on the well being on a resident at 2 Rockmont Rd. found him dead in the basement, "with evidence that the death may have involved the use of hazardous materials, possibly cyanide."

Nearby residents were evacuated from their homes and a hazmat team called in.

Police Chief Frederick Ryan said in a statement:

A loss of life in our community is a tragedy, but with the possible addition of hazardous materials, we need to be extra careful to also protect the first responders and civilians in the area. I wish to thank residents for their patience this afternoon, and my most sincere condolences go out to the family of the deceased.

Officials determined that there was no danger to the public.

Failed Allston roast-beef place could become a Five Guys

The city is holding a neighbors' meeting on Wednesday on the idea of converting the old Kelly's at Commonwealth and Harvard avenues into a Five Guys hamburger place.

The meeting for abutters starts at 5:30 p.m. at the old Kelly's - right across the street from the McDonald's, which convinced the Boston Licensing Board to let it stay open late because of Kelly's 2 a.m. closing time.

Tedeschi sought city permission awhile back to move and expand its store on the other side of Harvard to the location, but nothing much ever happened with that.

H/t Sup3mark.

Children's Hospital sues former researcher over data on a laptop after researcher sues hospital for discrimination

Children's Hospital is suing a researcher who left the hospital last year, charging he took potentially valuable data related to the development of new drugs when he left for Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

The suit, filed this week in US District Court in Boston, comes a couple months after the researcher, Isin Cakir, filed a discrimination suit with two other researchers against their boss at Children's and the hospital itself.

In its suit, Children's says that Cakir refused to hand over the laptop when he left, instead giving it to a local computer consultant with instructions to extract all the data from it - and not to give any of it to Children's.

The suit does not specify just what makes the data so valuable. However, Cakir spent four years at Children's working on drugs to treat obesity and diabetes, including a potential anti-obesity drug called celastrol.

According to the suit:

The Laptop Data is extremely valuable, constituting work that Defendant Cakir did on various experimental drugs and other projects that Defendant Cakir worked on in one of BCH’s laboratories, with a market value of well in excess of seventy-five thousand dollars. In addition, BCH believes and therefore alleges that the Laptop Data includes plans by Defendant Cakir to steal the Laptop Data for sale to or use by third parties unknown - which explains why he has steadfastly refused to provide the Laptop Data to the Hospital even after the Hospital offered to appoint an independent third party to remove anything of a personal nature.

Local man sues over unwanted text messages after suing over unwanted phone calls

Keith Matthews really doesn't like spam texts and junk calls.

In July, he sued a Utah company for three junk calls. This week, he sued a California company that he claims had an autodialer send him two text messages immediately after he used his cell phone to call the real-estate broker whose number was listed on a sign outside a house he was interested in.

In his suit, filed in US District Court in Boston, Matthews alleges that Realbird, Inc., of Redwood City, CA., violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act because he didn't ask for the messages, and the messages gave him no way of opting out of receiving additional message.

Matthews is seeking to become lead plaintiff in a class action against Realbird that would involve everybody who's gotten a text message from it over the past four years.

Court rules BRA is a government agency, so waterfront developer in Charlestown has to set aside space for the public

In the second judicial defeat for the BRA in a week involving waterfront land, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today the developer of an apartment complex in Charlestown has to comply with a state order to set aside most of its ground floor for "public accommodation" uses under state waterfront regulations.

Although the BRA had initially supported the state requirement so strongly it made it a deed restriction when it handed over the 2.6-acre parcel for private development, it eventually sided with Navy Yard Four Associates in its battle with the state to shrink the size of the public space by more than half.

The ruling comes a week after a federal judge ruled the BRA couldn't lease a Long Wharf shelter to a restaurant operator.

The Charlestown case, involving HarborView at the Navy Yard, gave the appeals court three main issues to consider in determining whether the state Department of Environmental Protection could make developer Navy Yard Four stick to its original agreement: Whether the land on which the complex sits is "tidelands" subject to Massachusetts seashore regulations first codified in the Colonial Ordinance of 1641-1647; if so, whether the land in question was "Commonwealth" or "private" land and whether the BRA was a "Commonwealth" governmental agency.

DEP cited state law that gives it oversight of the "public trust" involved with waterfront development, especially on government or "Commonwealth" land.

The appeals court ruled that the land, which at least at one point in its history fell between the low-tide and high-tide marks, was tidelands over which the state could have some say.

The court then noted current state law on tidelands is pretty binary: Either such land is "Commonwealth" land or "private" land.

The distinction is important because current state law defines "Commonwealth tidelands as:

Tidelands held by the commonwealth in trust for the benefit of the public or held by another party by license or grant of the commonwealth subject to an express or implied condition subsequent that it be used for a public purpose.

The court continued:

Interpreting "private party" under the statute to include a political subdivision or quasi public agency runs counter to the plain meaning of "private." ...

We conclude that DEP's interpretation that tidelands held by quasi public agencies and political subdivisions of the Commonwealth fall within the statutory term "Commonwealth tidelands" is reasonable and entitled to deference given the need to choose between only two categories of tidelands (private and Commonwealth), the public rather than private nature of political subdivisions and quasi public authorities, and the ambiguity of the statutory
term "Commonwealth," which in general understanding may or may not include such political subdivisions and quasi public agencies.

The developer argued that, in any case, it was clearly a private concern, not a government entity. The court said, true, but the initial BRA agreement to hand over the land - to another developer, from which Navy Yard Four bought the project - contained requirements to comply with the state order - issued when the land was still BRA owned.

The developer and the BRA argued that since they agreed to the original set-aside of 75% of the ground floor for public use, they could agree to revise that. Nope, the court said, because DEP had gotten involved and it was still insisting the developer stick to the original agreement.

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