Imagine a Green Line branch along Mem Drive

Stephanie forwards this rendering of one of the trolleys the T will buy for the Green Line Extension from CAF, a Spanish company that will assemble the cars in Elmira, NY and which promises "prime performance and first-rate passenger comfort," so presumably they'll be able to get up Comm. Ave. and not fall off the tracks and stuff.

Forest Hills this afternoon: The Gordian knot of Boston-area traffic

As Jessica Burko reports on the second day of the rest of our lives without the Casey Overpass:

Traffic parking lot from Forest Hills up thru JWay to Centre St rotary AND all up South Street to Centre. Bad.

To which Mike, sitting in a Boston firetruck, adds:

No way for even the mighty Tower Ladder 10 to get out of overpass traffic!

It gets better once drivers get used to the new surface roads and lights, right?

Web site not legally responsible for ads for underage prostitutes, judge rules

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against an escort classifieds site by three local women who said they were trafficked on the site as minors, saying the site is protected under a federal law that bars actions against online publishers for content created by third parties, in this case the people who take out ads on it.

Downtown law firm Ropes & Gray had filed suit on behalf of two women (later extended to a third woman) last fall. One said she had been hired out via backpage.com ads when she was just 15.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was among those who had filed amicus briefs in support of their case; the Electronic Frontier Foundation took the opposite side.

After discussing the legal issues involved, Judge Richard Stearns of US District Court in Boston wrote:

[T]he court is not unsympathetic to the tragic plight described by Jane Doe No. 1, Jane Doe No. 2, and Jane Doe No. 3. Nor does it regard the sexual trafficking of children as anything other than an abhorrent evil. Finally, the court is not naïve - I am fully aware that sex traffickers and other purveyors of illegal wares ranging from drugs to pornography exploit the vulnerabilities of the Internet as a marketing tool.

But he concluded:

Whether one agrees with its stated policy or not (a policy driven not simply by economic concerns, but also by technological and constitutional considerations), Congress has made the determination that the balance between suppression of trafficking and freedom of expression should be struck in favor of the latter in so far as the Internet is concerned. Putting aside the moral judgment that one might pass on Backpage’s business practices, this court has no choice but to adhere to the law that Congress has seen fit to enact.

Via Boston Business Journal.

No bottle service at Mattapan Square club for now

Rather than risk rejection after the mayor's office opposed them, the owners of Macumba Latina on River Street have withdrawn their request to offer bottle service at several VIP tables.

The owners made their pitch at a Boston Licensing Board last week - at which the mayor's office opposed the proposal, in part because they had yet to talk to any residents' groups.

How about some sushi, eh?

The Boston Licensing Board recently granted the owner of an Ontario sushi restaurant permission to move into the space occupied by a homegrown sushi place on Newbury Street.

Wabora Sushi can operate under a temporary Boston license until it receives final approval from the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission to serve beer and wine at 254 Newbury St., where it will use the license it's buying from Ikura Sushi at the same location.

Extry, extry, read all about it: Cops collar Back Bay newspaper thief

Boston Police report an early rising homeless man with a penchant for print got a different kind of ink on his hands last week: The kind they use down at D-4 for fingerprints.

Police say Back Bay residents who still get their news served up on paper had been bedeviled in recent months by somebody going around early in the morning stealing their broadsheets and tabloids.

Two residents provided police with video of the paper burglar lifting their news of the world and riding off on a bicycle, and Officer Richard Litto of D-4 began his hunt - literally, using "a trail-cam, commonly used by hunters, in an effort to capture additional footage of this annoying thief," police say:

Finally, at about 6:00 AM on Thursday, May 14, 2015, Officer Litto got a tip that his target was peddling through the Back Bay and up to no good. A short time later Officer Litto was face-to-face with [the thief] and his bag, full of newspapers affixed with address labels in the Back Bay.

William Joseph Marion, 53, who listed the Pine Street Inn as his address, was booked on larceny charges, police say.

Police add:

To many people, the theft of a newspaper seems like a small loss. But to an elderly resident who depends on getting their news by reading their daily paper, it’s a very big deal, especially when it’s been going on for so long with no relief in sight.

Innocent, etc.

Chinatown restaurant to hire English-speaking managers, but that may not keep it out of trouble over role in police probe of mass shooting outside its doors

The owner of Moon Villa Restaurant on Edinboro Street said today he's hiring English-speaking managers and will seek a police detail for early morning hours in the aftermath of an incident last August in which six people were shot outside its doors - one of whom ran through the restaurant, gushing blood, in an attempt to avoid getting shot again.

Boston Police cited the restaurant for not providing video from a surveillance camera of the aftermath of the incident and because no workers acknowledged seeing the bleeding man run into the restaurant and through the kitchen, let alone offering him aid - something a detective said he learned about only from other witnesses.

At a Boston Licensing Board hearing this morning, restaurant attorney John Lee Diaz apologized and said the issue was not that the restaurant didn't want to cooperate, but that owner John Chen barely speaks English and that none of the workers on duty that night spoke any English at all, leading to possible miscommunications with police.

Diaz said that was why none of the workers showed up at the hearing today to explain what happened and to answer the citation. Board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini, however, was not having it. She continued the hearing to a later date so that Chen and Diaz could round up the workers - and an interpreter.

"This isn't just a minor violation when guns are involved," Pulgini said. "This board takes this very seriously."

A BPD detective, after noting police recovered 30 spent rounds and one live one and two guns at the scene, said Chen seemed to understand him fine when he talked to him.

Earlier, Pulgini expressed surprise that Chen could operate the restaurant, which is open until 4 a.m., if he could barely speak English. "How do you run a big restaurant if you don't speak English at all?" she asked. "That's what puzzles me."

His wife, acting as an interpreter, said Chen "deals with Chinese people most of time" - including both employees and suppliers. His wife and Diaz, however, said they are in the process of hiring managers who do speak English well and who will cover shifts from start to finish.

They added they will seek to have Boston Police details stationed at the restaurant in the early morning because of the occasional bursts of violence. In January, multiple rounds were fired around the corner.

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