Cambridge city councilor can't decide which is worse: Turkeys or cute, fluffy little bunnies

Wicked Local Cambridge reports Cambridge city councilors are talking tough on turkeys, demanding the city do something about the beaked menace. One counselor, though, says bunnies are just as bad. Another counselor accused one turkey of specifically waiting for him outside a meeting to do God knows what to him.

Boy who drowned at Carson Beach was denied life jacket because staff only had pink ones for girls, family charges

The family of Kyzr Willis, who drowned while at a city-run summer program at Carson Beach last year, is suing Mayor Walsh, the city and individual workers at the program.

The family filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court, but the city quickly moved to have the suit heard in federal court because of the constitutional issues involved - the city is charged with violating the boy's 14th Amendment rights.

The suit also charges the city violated a state law known as Christian's Law, after a boy who drowned at a Sturbridge beach, that requires kids in waterfront programs be given wristbands if they can't swim and that all be offered life jackets.

According to the suit, Kyzr, 7, could not swim, and on July 26, 2016, asked one of the workers at the BCYF program for a life jacket.

On that day, Kyrr, who was wearing his fluorescent swim trunks ... expressed to camp counselor Jane Doe that he wanted a life jacket, but was told by Jane Doe that there were only pink ones for girls available, so he was never given a life jacket.

During that entire day, not a single lifeguard, not a single camp counselor, not a single camp supervisor or director made Kyzr wear a lifejacket as he played close to and in the ocean.

The family is asking for unspecified damages for the suffering Kyzr experienced during his death and for the suffering the family continues to suffer as a result of it.

Earlier this year, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office ruled that there was no foul play involved in his death.

Complete Willis complaint (2.2M PDF).

The plane truth: Roslindale and surrounding neighborhoods overwhelmed with jets

Wright points to the narrow flight path from Logan to Forest Hills; the blue shows the paths planes used to take.

Modern technology and a 1990s court decision have created a narrow flight corridor off a Logan runway that can mean hour after hour of planes roaring over Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and West Roxbury, from late at night to early in the morning, driving residents nuts.

Some 50 residents, mainly from Roslindale, gathered tonight to launch Boston South Fair Skies to try to figure out how to unburden the neighborhoods under the takeoff path from Logan's Runway 27.

Among those attending: City Council President and Roslindale resident Michelle Wu, who knows first hand of the effects of planes every minute for hours at a time: Her son Cass, born in July, tends to wake up early for his first feeding of the day. If the planes are rattling overhead, they keep him up - and so keep her and her husband up as well.

Alan Wright, who has long represented Roslindale on committees to advise Massport on airport issues, said the main problem is a new technology, based on GPS, that lets the FAA limit planes to a very narrow corridor from the runway after they take off and curve around the towers of downtown: Over the South End and Roxbury to a point above Forest Hills Cemetery, where they then diverge to head to their destinations.

Until 2015 or so, when the new system went into effect, pilots did not stay in one narrow lane like that, effectively spreading out the noise and keeping any one area from getting bombarded with an endless parade of jet noise, he said.

A 1996 court decision further limited where planes could fly, essentially creating a "happy valley of peace and quiet" for Brookline and Newton, but meaning more planes over Boston neighborhoods, he said.

What makes the problem worse, he said is that the FAA has apparently abandoned a promise not to operate the runway "back to back" - both late at night and then early the following morning. Just this past Sunday night, he said, he tried to get to sleep around 11:30 p.m. to the sound of constant planes overhead, only to be awoken shortly after 5 a.m. by more planes.

He added that Hyde Park and Milton have the same issue but in reverse - they get endless waves of planes descending for a landing at Logan.

"This is a quality of life issue, and I would argue this is a social justice issue," City Councilor Tim McCarthy of Hyde Park, who has been fighting a so far futile battle over the planes for more than two years now.

Residents agreed to begin organizing to fight for a more equitable distribution of planes across the area - possibly even going so far as to file a lawsuit over the issue.

Wright asked residents to call Massport's noise complaint liine (617-561-3333) or file complaints online. He noted that Milton and towns such as Watertown and Belmont, which have been organizing against excessive jet noise for years, are filing far more complaints than Roslindale and West Roxbury.

Longer term, residents and local and federal elected officials need to begin working towards making the effects on residents under flight paths as important as the needs of airlines. The state legislature needs to "reign in" Massport and get it to take noise more seriously. One example, he said: Airlines that fly Airbus A320 planes could make them quieter by installing small plastic devices that would end a distinctive whistling sound, but refuse to do so and will continue to refuse to do so until somebody like Massport demands they install them as a condition of landing here.

McCarthy and Wu both said they expect to receive pushback from Massport along the lines of questioning why they want to ruin the Boston economy. "We're talking about people's lives, and people's health," Wu said. The two added they are not seeking to reduce the number of flights to or from Logan, but to reduce the impact on specific neighborhoods.

Jose's parting gift: That sunset

Rob Littlefield was among the many people enjoying this evening's sunset.

Big peace sign in preparation for even bigger peace sign

Photo by Children's Services of Roxbury.

Students at the Trotter School on Humboldt Avenue assembled into a big peace sign today for Peace Day. They're working with Children's Services of Roxbury, which is getting ready for an attempt to break the Guinness world record for the largest peace sign made entirely of people on Boston Common at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

If at first you don't succeed, sue, sue again

WGBH reports the guy behind the failed IndyCar race thing has filed yet another lawsuit, this time against the entire city of Boston, rather than just its environmental chief. He wants $15.5 million plus interest, damages and attorney's fees. His earlier suit was tossed because it turned out you can't sue individual government workers for negligence in Massachusetts.

Judge shoots down Newton drone ban

A federal judge ruled today that Newton went too far in banning drones from flying over the city without the prior permission of landowners whose property the drones might pass over.

US District Court Judge William Young's ruling is a victory for Michael Singer, a local doctor and drone aficionado who'd filed the suit earlier this year. In his ruling, Young wrote:

Newton’s choice to restrict any drone use below [400 feet] thus works to eliminate any drone use in the confines of the city, absent prior permission. This thwarts not only the FAA’s objectives, but also those of Congress for the FAA to integrate drones into the national airspace. Although Congress and the FAA may have contemplated co-regulation of drones to a certain extent, ... this hardly permits an interpretation that essentially constitutes a wholesale ban on drone use in Newton.

The Newton City Council said the ordinance was an attempt to protect residents' privacy.

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