Cambridge could lose $14 million if Trump goes through with threat to ban money to sanctuary cities

Cambridge Day reports city officials are resolute: They're not giving up the city's sanctuary status, and will work with neighboring Somerville (which could lose $6 million) and Boston ($250 million) to figure out ways around the loss of money.

Police: Guy asked to stop smoking at T stop punches asker in the face

Transit Police report arresting a Canton man for an incident at Harvard Square station around midnight on Nov. 18:

The victim complained of a male smoking on the inbound platform. The male took exception to the victim's complaint and proceeded strike him in the face with a closed fist. The victim sustained an injury to his lip and facial area. The assailant fled after the assault.

Police say they arrested Anas Elhalabi, 47, of Canton, yesterday on a charge of assault and battery on an elderly person - the victim is 67.

Innocent, etc.

If you're acquitted for possession of an illegal gun, you can't be convicted for possession of a loaded gun for the same incident, court rules

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today overturned the conviction of a Dorchester man whom a jury found guilty of possession of a loaded firearm without a license after acquitting him of illegal possession of a gun and ammunition for the same 2012 incident in Dorchester.

In its ruling, the court said that a loaded-firearm conviction is predicated on a illegal-possession conviction, that legally, you can't have the former without the latter.

The ruling describes the incident at a festival that led to the man's arrest:

An unknown passerby stopped a Boston police officer, stated that "a man had a gun," and pointed to a small group of black males, which included the defendant, walking down the street away from the parade. Officers then began to follow and surveil that group. At one point, when the defendant was near a parked vehicle, one of the officers, who was on the opposite side of the street, observed the defendant, who was walking at a fast pace, "[s]low[] down a little bit" next to the vehicle, and heard a noise that, based on his experience, was consistent with a gun hitting the pavement. The two other males from the group were about ten to fifteen feet away from the defendant at that time. After stopping the group to ask questions, the police canvassed the immediate area. A loaded firearm was recovered from beneath the parked vehicle, and the defendant was arrested.

In its ruling, the court said that the law on loaded firearms was clearly meant as a way to additionally punish somebody convicted of possession of a gun, because it includes the phrase "shall be further punished" by additional time behind bars after a person is convicted of simple illegal possession.

The Fiat that keeps getting towed

Seems Boston has this nifty little search tool that lets you type in a car's license-plate number and see when it was last towed (and to where).

Over on Boston Reddit, mac_question has been using the tool to follow the exploits of a 2017 Fiat sports car (no, that's not an oxymoron), whose owner keeps parking it haphazardly at Summer and High streets downtown. In the past three months, the car has been towed five times from that spot. Maybe it's still cheaper than a deeded parking space?

When it comes to Red Line delays, there's something new: Some of last week's woes blamed on 'residual dew'

The State House News Service reports that our more winter-resilient Red Line was felled last week by "residual dew" turning into ice on the tracks south of Boston. Also at fault, the T acknowledges: Superannuated trains that looked up, clutched their chests and wailed "I'm coming, Elizabeth!"

Arrests made as protesters calling for $15 minimum wage shut down Central Square

Central Square protesters. Photo by Andrew Farnitano.

Workers and supporting clergy and residents blocked Mass. Ave. outside the Central Square McDonald's around 6 a.m. this morning. in a protest calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Police blocked Mass. Ave. before arresting people sitting on the road. Organizers at Raise Up Massachusetts and Fight for 15 say dozens of people were arrested as part of what is a national day of protests.

The Massachusetts minimum wage is scheduled to increase from $10 to $11 on Jan. 1.

At noon, striking non-union service workers who work for a JetBlue contractor will hold a rally at East Boston Memorial Park.

Central Square blocked off (photo by Sam Hammer):

Central Square blocked by police

Citizen complaint of the day: Does the North End have a tree ninja?

A concerned citizen files a complaint that somebody is going around the North End vandalizing trees, such as this one on Fulton Street, which looks like it's had its bark peeled off.

Brighton Center has long been plagued by the Brighton tree ninja, who keeps trying to kill local trees, which for some reason offend him.

Boston City Council to consider ban on plastic bags

The City Council on Wednesday considers a proposal by councilors Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury/Jamaica Plain) and Michelle Wu (at large) to ban most plastic bags in Boston and to let stores charge 5 cents for paper or reusable bags - or plastic bags that can be composted.

O'Malley and Wu say the ban would reduce the scourge of plastic bags that now infest and clog local trees, waterways, vacant lots and storm sewers, reduce the amount of greenhouse gases created by their manufacture - and save the city money because it would no longer have to pay for dispose of an estimated 20 tons of plastic bags a month.

Under their proposed ordinance, stores could be fined up to $100 every time they're found using the thin plastic bags that would be banned. Store owners would be able to apply for a one-year hardship exclusion from the law - for example, if they had a large inventory of the bags when the ordinance goes into effect.

The council's Wednesday hearing begins at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

Proposed bag ordinance.
Report on bag hearings.