Jamaica Plain couple's Kafkaesque struggle over a utility pole

The Jamaica Plain Gazette recounts a Bourne Street couple's efforts to get the city and NStar to fix a sidewalk between their retaining wall and one of those stupid double poles Nstar is forever leaving around the city. The nadir:

This summer, the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) issued a citation against Salinger and Valenzuela for failure to repair their wall since its collapse in March.

Life under siege in Boston

The Massachusetts Historical Society has put together an online exhibit on Boston under martial law in the eleven months before the original Evacuation Day, when the city was surrounded by Minute Men and the town's residents tried to deal with food shortages and the military occupations. It includes first-hand reports from a dozen people on both sides of the conflict (both hi-res photos of the original documents and transcription) and maps - such as a letter from the wife of a British captain to her niece:

Hundreds of thousands of a kind of bug you've probably never heard of, in Needham

Jef Taylor and a friend were walking through Ridge Hill Reservation in Needham when Taylor looked down and saw a few insect-like springtails:

I stopped because I noticed some, then I noticed more, then I noticed that the leaf litter surrounding the boardwalk was covered with hundreds of thousands of them. ... There were so many of them that when we stopped hiking to take these pictures, we could hear them jumping on the leaves, like the fall of raindrops.

In Somerville, some requests for public records are more equal than others

Barry Rafkind compares what the city of Somerville put him through in not turning over records he requested with how they bent over backwards to supply the same records to Joe Bergantino (yes, that Joe Bergantino) - not knowing that Bergantino was asking for the records at Rafkind's request.

Cops really love it when you ask if they went to college

Boston Police report arresting a man on charges he broke into a tow truck in a failed effort to get his impounded car out of an Allston tow lot early this morning.

Police say William Ashmore, 36, initially demanded officers order Frank's Towing, 55 Brighton Ave. to release his car. Officers said he had to show them proof he had paid a fee for having his car towed. Instead of supplying proof, police say: