Group fighting airplane noise taking off in Boston's southern neighborhoods

Boston South Fair Skies holds its second formal organizing meeting on Wednesday in Roslindale.

The group, formed earlier this year after residents grew tired of hour after hour of jets roaring overhead in narrow air corridors, meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Roslindale Community Center, 6 Cummins Highway at Washington St.

Teens who discovered Boston Garden owed millions for a JP rec center wonder what else the Garden forgot about

The Jamaica Plain teenagers who uncovered an unkept agreement by the owners of the Garden to hold yearly benefits for a recreation center as a condition of city approval of the new Garden more than two decades ago have filed a formal request with the BPDA for documentation on all the promises they made related to both the Garden and the large mixed-use development now springing up around it.

Through the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, the Hyde Square Task Force teens today filed a public-records request with the agency formerly known as the BRA for all documents related to Delaware North's $1-billion Hub on Causeway project.

Committee lawyers said they were particularly interested in any community-benefits promises Delaware North might have made as part of the BRA approval process for the project.

Police say man took cab to shoplift at Saugus store, then carjacked the cab

Saugus Police are looking for a man who did a little shoplifting at the Dick's Sporting Goods in the Square One Mall last night, then exited and punched out the window of the cab that brought him there in a successful attempt to drive away in it.

Police say a cabbie picked the guy up in Lynn shortly before 6:45 p.m., then drove him to the Dick's , where he waited for him to return.

The suspect went into the store and emerged about five minutes later carrying three expensive jackets, valued at a total of $879. The taxi driver, saw that his fare was being chased by another man, and the driver attempted to flee the area. However, as he attempted to back out of a parking space, the suspect smashed through the driver's side window and attempted to jump through the window, onto the driver's lap.

The suspect managed to open the driver's door using the interior door handle. Once the door opened, the suspect pulled the victim out of the cab, and the suspect drove away toward Essex Street in Saugus.

Police describe the guy as white, in his mid to late 30s with graying brown hair and chin hair. He wore a black jacket and a gray hat, and will have a good gash on his hand from breaking the window.

The cab, which had yet to be recovered as of 9:30 this morning, is a gray, 2008 Fusion with a Mass. taxi plate of 412C.

If you know anything, or spot the cab, call Saugus Police at 781-941-1199.

The cab driver declined medical attention, police say.

Court rules Newton can prioritize bouncy houses over moderate-income apartments on one large parcel

The Supreme Judicial Court today quashed plans for a 334-unit apartment complex in an office park off Nahanton Road in Newton, saying the state's anti-snob-zoning law doesn't apply to the parcel and so the city was within its rights to deny approval for the project - in which 85 apartments would have been rented to people making less than the typical Newton resident.

The state's highest court said this is because the state law only applies to "permits and approvals" - for such things as building height and density, while the issue with the land on Wells Avenue had to do with deed restrictions.

In the 1960s, Sylvania Electric Products bought a 180-acre parcel off Wells Avenue for a manufacturing plant. The city changed the zoning to allow the plant after Sylvania agreed to deed 30 acres to the city for a park and to accept certain restrictions on the land it kept, including limiting the land to "light manufacturing" and to keeping some of the land as open space.

Over the years, the city board of aldermen, acting as the zoning board, approved a variety of non-manufacturing uses for the Sylvania building - which the company never actually used for manufacturing - including a bouncy house.

A developer bought 6.4 acres of the old Sylvania land and in 2014, asked aldermen to change the zoning to allow construction of the apartments and to let it build in part of the open-space land. The developers filed under the anti-snob-zoning law, known as Chapter 40B, which applies to communities with less than 10% of their housing stock being considered low or moderate income.

In its ruling today, the Supreme Judicial Court agreed with both the city and the state Housing Appeals Committee that the law didn't apply in this case because the law doesn't supersede property rights, in the form of deed restrictions. Referring to an earlier case involving a town, the court wrote:

Allowing the board to require the town to grant an easement over municipally-owned property to a private developer would be to take away a real property right from the town, an action fundamentally different action from the types of "permits or approvals" that G. L. c. 40B authorizes a local zoning board to undertake.

But what about decisions to allow non-manufacturing uses, such as a bouncy house, on the land?

It is clear, however, that the aldermen's allowance of prior amendments to the restrictive covenants were not the functional equivalent of permits or approvals; the aldermen were not sitting as a local permitting authority when allowing the amendments pursuant to G. L. c. 40, § 3, and the amendments, which affected a real property interest held by the city, were not the same types of permissions as regulations concerning "building construction and design, siting, zoning, health, safety, [or] environment."

Bride invites South Station performers to her wedding

David France, who runs the Roxbury Youth Orchestra, recounts what happened when a woman saw his group play in South Station and was so moved she invited them all to her wedding at a fancy downtown venue.

Guests of the wedding routinely came over and thanked the young people for playing. They felt important and fancy. It was heart-warming to watch them serve each other as each course of the meal arrived. The Bride came over to the orchestra and told them that their performance was the most special part of the ceremony.

Guy wanted to be prosecuted in Ireland for real-estate fraud in Boston; Irish courts said no, have a nice trip back to Boston

A man with dual Irish and US citizenship was arraigned in Boston last week on federal fraud and identity-theft charges that could put him in prison for four decades after he spent six years trying and failing to convince Irish courts to let him stay in County Kildare.

Patrick Lee, 44, was extradited to the US after the Irish Supreme Court last month rejected his argument that because Irish laws also prohibit the fraud he allegedly committed in the US, he should be tried in Ireland and await prosecution there, even though the actual properties and alleged frauds were in Dorchester, South Boston and Randolph and the real-estate appraiser whose name he allegedly forged on documents works in the Boston area.

The US Attorney's office in Boston reports that in addition to a potentially lengthy prison sentence, Lee also faces up to $1 million in fines if convicted on 29 counts of wire fraud, 6 counts of unlawful monetary transactions, and 16 counts of aggravated identity theft, all related to his actions related to 80 Draper St. and 110 Norton St. in Dorchester, 650 E. 6 St. in South Boston and 50A Stacy St. in Randolph.

Federal prosecutors charge that Lee bought the two- or three-family properties in 2005 and 2006, converted them into condos, then "sold" them to straw buyers for whom he made up income and employment records so they could get mortgages that they then promptly defaulted on - after Lee had banked the bulk of the proceeds of their transactions. And, prosecutors say, he forged an appraiser's signature on documents with inflated values for the properties that were used in the mortgage applications.

Lee left the Boston area for Newtown, County Kildare in Ireland in 2007. In 2008, the Secret Service filed a sealed criminal complaint against him in Boston federal court. A grand jury indicted him in 2010, although the indictment was not released until 2011, at which point prosecutors began extradition proceedings against him in Ireland. Lee fought back by claiming he was immune from extradition because he had committed some of the alleged offenses while in Ireland and Irish law forbids extradition for crimes committed on Irish soil.

As one court rejected his argument, he appealed, until finally the Irish Supreme Court got the case earlier this year.

In a ruling handed down last month, Chief Justice Frank Clarke discussed the relevant sections of Irish and EU law, but ultimately got to a metaphor that would be familiar to any American who has ever pondered where somebody standing in one state would be tried if he fired a gun across the border and killed somebody in the neighboring state:

A person who fires a gun across a border killing a victim who is situated in another state is likely to be regarded as having committed the offence of murder in both states. However, there might be a real question as to the state in which it might be said the offence was committed. Is it where the perpetrator fires the gun? On the other hand it might be said that an offence of murder is not complete until the victim is injured such that they die, so that, on that argument, it might be said that the offence was committed where the victim was located. But there could be further complications. What if the offence is one of attempted murder in circumstances where a shot is fired but the intended victim is missed? In such a case the offence of attempted murder would be complete once the shot was fired with intent to kill. Doubtless very many more examples could be given.

At the same time, and in Lee's case, courts could decide that Irish law does not take precedence and so Lee needs to be sent back to the US for prosecution there, given that that is where the alleged offenses took place, Clarke wrote.

Although it is probably of little solace to Lee, he did make legal history in Ireland - the reading of the judgment against him was the first Irish Supreme Court proceeding ever televised.

Innocent, etc.

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