Award-winning director sues local cardiologists for wire he says was left in his chest after a heart procedure

William Fertik, a New York director who has won both an Academy Award and three Emmy Awards, says he suffered a series of strokes after a 15.5-inch wire snapped off while still embedded in his heart and doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital failed to realize that for more than three days - after they had discharged him and he was on his way back to New York.

Fertik filed a federal lawsuit yesterday against both his cardiologists and against Abbott Laboratories, which made the guide wire that was threaded from an incision in his groin into his heart in May, 2009, as part of a procedure to burn off heart tissue that was causing atrial fibrillation.

In his lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Boston, Fertik charges the doctors didn't notice more than a foot of the wire didn't come out of his body when they were done and that while one of them the next morning noticed Fertik's slurred speech - a possible stroke symptom - and abnormal lung sounds through a stethoscope - did nothing urgent to figure out the reasons for those. The suit says the doctor did order a chest X-ray, but that it wasn't taken until two days later - and then nobody looked at it until the following day, when Fertik and his wife were on their way back to New York.

Had they ordered and looked at an X-ray earlier, they would have noticed the wire that was still partially embedded in his heart's left ventricle and threaded through a pulmonary vein, and could have removed it and prevented a series of permanently disabling strokes caused by blood clots related to the wire, the suit charges.

The suit says Fertik underwent several months of rehabilitation to try to recover from the strokes but that he remains with neurological issues.

iParty no place for sex education, Quincy mom says

The Patriot Ledger rips the covers off a Quincy controversy: The local iParty sells party favors in the shape of male genitalia. The paper was tipped off by an outraged mother:

"Dora the Explorer balloons do not belong in the same store as dancing penises."

The Patriot Ledger dispatched a reporter, who confirmed that bachelorette-party accoutrements are, indeed, openly displayed on a shelf and noted that "at least one couple with a preteen daughter walked past the bachelorette shelf." The paper did not note if EMTs or counselors had to be dispatched to the scene to deal with the traumatized young lass.

The scandal reached all the way to City Hall, where the city clerk could not be reached for comment.

BPD goals: More walking beats and tweets

Ed DavisBoston Police Commissioner Ed Davis yesterday set out his goals for the coming year, which include a 10% reduction in major crime, a 25% increase in walking and bicycle beats and a new "Tweet from the Beat" program for police supervisors on those beats.

Davis pointed to a 25% decrease in crime over the past five years and some specific examples of successful large-scale operations over the past year, including the peaceful end of Occupy Boston's encampment in Dewey Square, the aftermath of the Back Bay transformer fire and the Bruins' Stanley Cup win:

When the Bruins won the Stanley Cup last year after a 39 year drought, your thoughtful and strategic planning, extensive experience in crowd control, and methodical execution resulted in a wonderful celebration for fans in the city that evening. What a stark contrast to what has happened in other cities in similar situations.

But police can do more, he said:

We have made great progress in crime reduction over the last 5 years. With that I firmly believe that as individuals and as a department we are capable of doing more. That's why I have set an aggressive goal of a 10% reduction in overall crime for this year.

A key part of that, he said, is getting cops out from behind the wheels of their cruisers:

We are continuing our ongoing commitment to community policing. Last year we successfully completed 160,000 walking and bicycle beats. The positive feedback from the community and the results were significant and encouraging, demonstrating that COPS MATTER. This year I want us to reach 200,000. ... It is ambitious but I know that you are up to the challenge. I want to see everyone out of cars and walking for some portion of their shift. It has already made a difference in how the community sees us and how safe they feel in their neighborhoods.

To further that effort the Bureau of Investigative Services has also taken great strides in community engagement. Through their new outreach program, detectives are working with local businesses and residents to develop positive relationships outside of their investigative duties. This means Detectives are getting out and walking the beat. They're visiting and talking to community members, attending community meetings and educating the public on safety tips and the importance of community input to solving crimes.

He said BPD will expand its efforts to reach new communities via social media:

To further enhance our external communication, the department is launching a new social media program titled: Tweet from the Beat. It is a way to combine the BPD's community policing philosophy with the department's advances in social media. The program consists of participating Command Staff utilizing the existing Boston Police twitter account to communicate with community members via 'tweets' during the course of assigned walking beats throughout identified communities.

Davis said another goal is legislation that would let Boston Police patrol the waterfront areas of South Boston. The land is now under jurisdiction of Massport and State Police, which has led to friction with BPD now that a growing percentage of it is being used for housing and commercial space rather than simply port facilities.

Robber hits Roxbury Subway

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 21:00

Boston Police are looking for a guy who robbed the Subway at 981 Tremont St. around 9 p.m., possibly with a gun.

The robber, who motioned as if he had a gun, was described as black, in his late 40s, 5'8" and about 130 lbs. He wore black sunglasses, a navy cap under a dark hoodie and black sneakers with white soles. He was last spotted running toward Ruggles.


Free tagging: 


No more tomorrow at the Globe

Globe editors have decided to stop using "yesterday," "today" and "tomorrow" in stories and will instead use specific days of the week for referring to happenings of past, present and future:

The reason for the change is that articles are no longer written only for the newspaper. Breaking news is posted immediately on the Globe’s websites; stories are then fleshed out, posted again, then put into the process for the next day’s paper and the next day’s web entries. With all that traffic, a reliance on "yesterday," "today," and "tomorrow" is an invitation for error.

The one print exception to the rule applies to headlines.

Or to rephrase Paul McCartney:

Wednesday, all my day references seemed so far away; now it looks as though they're here to stay.

Via Nieman Journalism Lab.

MBTA IDs alleged bus spitter, begins manhunt

Spitting suspectSpitting images.

MBTA Transit Police today identified the man charged with spitting at a 28 bus driver on April 23 as Rafael Guzman, 21.

If caught, Guzman will be charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a public employee. His alleged accomplice, Maurice Jones, 18, of Roxbury, was arrested three days after the incident, in which Guzman allegedly responded to requests to pay his fare by spitting at the driver after which Jones made motions as if he had a gun and cursed out the driver.

Innocent, etc.