City Council rejects proposed medical-marijuana dispensary in Allston

The Boston City Council today rejected a request to OK a medical-marijuana dispensary at 144 Harvard Ave., two months after it approved a competing proposal at 230 Harvard Ave.

Technically, the council voted to reject a request for a "letter of non-objection" to Compassionate Organics's proposal. Without such a letter, state approval of the dispensary is unlikely.

Councilor Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton) basically accused Compassionate Organics of committing fraud by initially stating in its application that it had verbal assurances from Boston Police officials and Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins they would not oppose the dispensary when they now say they said no such thing.

Ciommo said Compassionate Organics also failed to ensure the safety of the community, because of nearby organized children's activities, including karate classes across the street.

Ciommo blasted the media for daring to mention that a long-time pal and fundraiser of his does public relations for the 230 Harvard Ave. proposal. He said he has applied the same level of scrutiny to all medical-marijuana proposals for his district.

At a hearing on Monday, Harvard Avenue business owners supported Compassionate Organics, saying that while it had made mistakes at first, it was locally owned and would help improved the Harvard Avenue business district more than a dispensary almost in Brookline.

City Councilors Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) and Sal LaMattina (North End, East Boston, Charlestown) also rose to speak against the Compassionate Organics proposal.

Ciommo documents on the proposal.

Medical-marijuana dispensary in East Boston gets nod from City Council

The Boston City Council voted unanimously today to write a letter of "non-opposition" for a medical-marijuana dispensary proposed for 220 McClellan Highway in East Boston.

Happy Valley Ventures needs the letter to win state approval for its proposed dispensary.

City Councilor Sal LaMattina (East Boston, Charlestown, North End) praised the application and location. "The location is perfect," he said. "It's a vacant building today. There's plenty of parking." He praised Happy Valley for "a really well thought out security plan."

No councilors spoke against the proposal.

Boston currently has one medical-marijuana dispensary, on Milk Street downtown.

New Hampshire bank-robbery suspect arrested after five-hour stand off in South Boston

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 02:40

Boston Police report arresting a man and seizing a loaded assault rifle early this morning at 9 Orton Marotta Way.

Police say they learned around 9:15 p.m. that Stephen Gingras, 39, of Manchester, NH, wanted for robbing a bank in Salem, NH last week, might be holed up there. Read more.


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Court upholds sexual-harassment verdict against Watertown car dealership

The Supreme Judicial Court today rejected Lexus of Watertown's claim that a jury was wrong to award a female manager a settlement in a sexual-harassment suit because there was no evidence her work output suffered during months of unwanted, sexually explicit remarks and actions by her supervisor.

In a ruling today, the state's highest court said Emma Gyulakian more than adequately proved she was working for a man who refused to take no for an answer - and that his bosses knew about it but did nothing to stop him - over an 18-month period in which he often commented on her "nipples," "boobs" and "ass," touched her and asked her when they'd sleep together so he could get a good look at her breasts. The court noted:

Testimony at trial tended to show that members of senior management were aware of the sexually hostile or offensive work environment at the organization. By way of example, O'Connell (the Lexus general sales manager) witnessed Ferreira attempt to throw coins down Gyulakian's blouse; Gyulakian testified that she complained on several occasions to Bruno (the assistant general sales manager) concerning Ferreira's conduct; and Silvester, the former Lexus office manager, heard Ferreira discussing anal sex in the office.

Because of this, the court said the judge in the case was wrong to simply dismiss $500,000 in punitive damages - on top of $40,000 in actual damages - awarded by the jury without a hearing. The court sent the case back to the lower-court judge for a hearing to determine whether the the punitive-damage award was just or should be reduced.

Don't ask the state senate's education chairwoman how she's voting on the charter-school ballot question

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz says she's so disgusted with both sides of the Question 2 issue she doesn't want her answer to be used by either of them to bolster their case.

"I have real beefs with the way the campaigns have been carried out," she said tt a candidate forum sponsored by the Ward 11 and 19 Democratic ward committees in Jamaica Plain last night.

Not that she likes the question itself, either. Chang-Diaz said Question 2, which would allow the expansion of the number of charter-school seats in Massachusetts, is "a menu of bad options, and that's putting it politely."

She said that while it's inexcusable some parents are forced to keep their kids in public-school programs that aren't working for them when there might be better charter options, it's equally awful that the question would drain money away from public schools that really can't afford to lose the funds.

"I don't know what to tell you," she said. "Those are terrible choices."

What compounds the issues, she continued, is that the state is probably already underspending $1 billion to $2 billion a year on education.

Chang-Diaz is opposed in the Sept. 8 Democratic primary for the 2nd Suffolk district by perennial candidate Roy Owens. He did not attend.

Like Kevin Bacon always says: Remain calm, all is well!

Yes, there are military-type helicopters flitting all over downtown, the South End and the harbor tonight. Boston Police acknowledge they're part of some training exercise involving the Defense Department and local police that BPD was really hoping nobody would notice, except it's hard to keep the local twitterati quiet when helicopters are afoot:

Convicted rapist arrested for attack that started in the South End and ended as a rape in a Roxbury park

Boston Police report arresting a man on charges he forced a woman at knifepoint to walk a half mile to a park and then raped her.

Eduardo Rodriguez, 31, is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow in Roxbury Municipal Court on charges of aggravated rape, indecent assault and battery, armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping and intimidation of a witness, police say.

WHDH reports Rodriguez was released this past December after serving a sentence for a 2007 rape.

Police say Rodriguez rode up to the woman on a bicycle as she walked in the area of Greenwich Park and Claremont Street around 1 a.m. on Sunday, then forced her at knifepoint to walk to Carter Playground on Columbus Avenue, where he raped her.

Police say they found and arrested Rodriguez today at Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.

Innocent, etc.