Roslindale to Domino's: Stay near the parkway

A neighborhood retail area that relies on foot traffic is no place for a pizza place that claims most of its business consists of deliveries, Roslindale Square residents and businesspeople told Domino's, which wants to move from a mini-mall off the West Roxbury Parkway to a storefront in Roslindale Square.

Close to 200 people packed a basement meeting room at the Roslindale Community Center tonight to oppose the proposed new location in the office building next to the library, across from Adams Park. Local businesspeople, residents and the city haven't spent 20 years turning Roslindale Village into today's electic collection of mostly locally owned shops and restaurants just to let a delivery business move in, they said.

But William Mohan, a Domino's consultant, said opponents were voicing their support for a Roslindale with vacant storefronts - he said three of the four retail spaces in the building have been vacant for 18 months - and that opponents were outnumbered by the 2,000 Roslindale residents he claimed order from Domino's every year.

Mohan said 90% of the current store's business is delivery and that he expected that to continue in the new location, which he said meant there would be little impact on traffic or pedestrian safety.

Residents pounced on that, saying the worst thing for a retail district built on foot traffic would be a storefront nobody visits. But some residents didn't buy that Domino's didn't want to increase its foot traffic - why else insist on moving up Washington Street, into the heart of Roslindale Square? And that, they said, raised the spectre of even worse traffic problems already caused by people dashing into the Subway shop in the same building from their illegally parked cars.

Roslindale Village Main Street and residents countered that they want to work with the building's owner to bring the sort of businesses that would work well in the square. Some residents pointed to the slow and careful approach taken by Stavros Frantzis, owner of buildings along Birch and Corinth streets, to bring boutiques and restaurants to the area.

The owners of the Roslindale House of Pizza and Romano's - the two pizza places closest to the proposed Domino's - were joined in their opposition by the owner of the Roslindale Hardware Store, who said he's been working for decades to help turn Roslindale Square into the diverse collection of locally owned stores it is today.

Domino's does not yet have a lease, but if it gets one, its next step would be a hearing before the Boston Licensing Board, which grants food-serving licenses.

No, that isn't a coyote on the lawn in front of the VA Hospital in West Roxbury

Fauxyote Fauxyote

We were headed south on the VFW Parkway the other day when, whoa, was that a coyote hanging out by the VA Hospital? We did a quick uey, pulled into the parking lot and discovered that, no, it was not a real coyote, just a plastic replica of one. Hokay.

Compare to this photo of a real coyote, taken on Friday in the Arboretum.

AlertNewEngland tweets the idea is to try to scare geese away - like those fake owls you can get to scare pigeons off your roof. Lin Dolin tweets the fauxyotes work just as well as the bogus owls - geese may be stupid, but they're not that stupid:

There was one where used to work. Geese quickly figured it was fake.

Federal air marshal gets probation for punching Occupy Boston organizer, stealing her phone

An off-duty air marshal who hit an Occupy Boston organizer and grabbed her camera an hour before police shut down its Dewey Square encampment last December, was sentenced to 18 months' probation and ordered to undergo drug and alcohol treatment and take anger-management classes, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Adam Marshall arrived at the Dewey Square encampment in civilian clothes early on Dec. 10 and began calling female occupiers prostitutes. When Occupier Robin Jacks started videoing him, he smacked her in the face and grabbed her iPhone, then tried to flee. He was cornered by other Occupiers and police, who arrested him.

The DA's office says that if Marshall completes his probation - which also includes 25 hours of community service - without problems, he will not face trial, but that his arrest and probation will remain on his record.

Jacks says she's not particularly happy about the probation because some Occupy Boston participants still face charges stemming from various arrests during Occupy Boston. In a series of recent tweets, she describes the days leading up to his sentencing and her feelings:

The case has been long and stretched out. I'd gotten a lot of calls from the DA. They were intent on going pretty hard on him, it seemed. There were some evidentiary hearings, where I presume the DA and defense exchanged evidence. I'd always be alerted to those. Although it was a bit scary, I was prepared to testify, as were others, apparently. The video I took spoke volumes, though. Toward the end, the DA asked me what I wanted to see from this. My response was always that I don't think it's my place, really. My granddad was a public and private defense attorney, so I was raised in a mindset that victims shouldn't have more than their own voice. So I shared that with this DA in a very honest way, that I don't think it's my place. Her response was that she agreed with me, and that despite that, as the victim of an assault, she wanted me to feel a sense of justice. I felt like that was cool.

So then one day a few weeks ago I got a call from her. It was about 20 minutes before I was due for work. She dropped a bomb on me. The DA told me that the guy who hit me was apparently a "war hero" with PTSD. She didn't seem to want to go so hard on him anymore.

I had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I felt for this guy, even though he's a stranger who assaulted me because I dared to film his verbal abuse. On the other hand, he fucking hit and robbed me. And he's an AIR MARSHAL and she wants to go easy on him now? Like I'm sorry he has PTSD, but now I do too, because *he gave it to me.*

The sentencing hearing was about 36 hours from that phone call, and all of a sudden this huge responsibility had been dropped into my lap. Anyways, I told her that I couldn't make a judgment about that in the moment. I was on the way to work, and that I had a lot of "feelings." She told me that they wanted to give him probation with a drug and alcohol screening and mandatory psych evaluations. It was such an overwhelming thing to hear all in one fell swoop like that.

I stopped in the Arboretum with my coffee and sank into a bench. It was weird - this very traumatic thing that happened, I had been pushing it away out of being busy and shit, and it just hit me hard. I had to tell her something fast, because I had about ten minutes left before work, so I paused and collected myself. I reminded her that she and/or her department is actively prosecuting many of my friends for peacefully protesting. They didn't hurt anyone. One suggestion of hers was that he have a stay away order from me; I added that he should have a stay away order from #occupyboston.

I told her that I always want every person to have a shot at getting better, at making themselves better, healthier people. But I told her that I couldn't make a call like that on such short notice. It was too hard. She said that I could call her the next day after thinking it over. My sister & her family were coming then. I knew I'd be too busy to call. But I told her that if I felt like probation wasn't okay, I would call her the next day. I reminded her again that the DA is prosecuting my friends for peaceful protest and recommending probation for a man who hit and robbed me.

According to an attorney with whom I spoke, the probation he got was quite long, compared to people with similar offenses. I have to meet with DHS investigators again regarding the employment status of the man who assaulted me. He hasn't been fired. Their investigation couldn't continue during his court case.

I definitely don't feel like *I* got justice, but maybe *he* did. Therefore, I'm okay with it. Honestly, I feel for him, wish him the best.

Now, here's the fun part. I don't like to talk about "twitter capital." It makes me feel like a douche. That said, I know I have it. I am sitting on a lot of unused twitter capital, actually. The DA's continued prosecutions of my peacefully protesting friends is abhorrent & wrong; after what I went through, I'm especially certain. I'm fully prepared to make a "thing" of this. Dude who punched me 1 hr before our raid? Probation. Peaceful protesters? CHARGES STILL STAND.

Human Frogger at Dorchester intersection

The intersection of Morrissey Boulevard and Bianculli Boulevard - the main route into UMass Boston - is scary enough for pedestrians. But as you can see in Heidi Moesinger's video above, it gets even worse because when a pedestrian finally gets a walk signal - oncoming traffic gets a green light, too simply ignores the red light.

Via the Dorchester Reporter, which has been covering the perils of that intersection for awhile now. Hat tip to Wendy Schapiro for the headline.

Do traffic signals make Boston pedestrians more Massholish than their counterparts in Cambridge?

Biking in Heels posits that differences in the way our traffic signals work for pedestrians explain why Bostonians dart every which way from every direction, while Cantabrigians are more thoughtful, even when jaywalking:

In Cambridge, the city has had a policy for a long time of concurrent walk signals, so pedestrians have a right of way every time the cars going parallel have a light, so there's never much of a wait. There are regularly spaced crosswalks in areas without closely spaced lights, and where those crosswalks are on high speed roads, there are lights with "on demand" buttons. The signalized crossings controlled by the city of Cambridge (for example the ones around Fresh Pond) operate almost immediately after pushing, with only 30 seconds or so of delay to safely slow and stop traffic. In most places, especially pedestrian dense areas, there are countdown timers too, so that the pedestrian knows exactly how long they have until the light will actually turn.

Quidditch yer bidditchin': Emerson league ordered off Common until it gets a permit

The Globe reports the city Parks and Recreation Department has ordered the 200-person Emerson quidditch club to quit the Common because it doesn't have a permit.

The move sparked a war of words on Twitter today. Our own John Keith was aghast and blamed City Councilor Mike Ross and Mayor Menino for turning the Common into a carnival, a private carnival - in a reference to the carousel by the Frog Pond and the impending Pink Palace sandwich bar.

Outrageous. The Common is open to everyone. What's happening there is a catastrophe.

Ross replied:

1st, Emerson already has use of field through Boston Parks; 2nd like everyone else apply for use.

Ben Starr took issue with Keith:

Emerson already uses Common like its part of their campus without commensurate contribution.

MaJeStu added:

Huh? You want to have an organized sport season on the common, get a permit like everyone else does.

Keith replied:

they don't pay b/c Boston taxpayers are happy to have them and other npos in the city.