This always seems to happen the day after the T issues dire warnings about finances

Yesterday, the MBTA warned the tax increases proposed by the legislature were so small it could jeopardize $500 million or in anticipated federal aid for the Green Line extension. This morning, as A.P. Blake noted at 8:55 a.m.:

In the past two hours, every rapid transit line in Boston has suffered some delay due to mechanical/signal failure.

Fenway smells like hell

For the last week or so, people who live or work along Boylston Street have reported an annoying sulfur smell - possibly caused by construction of the street's latest big project hitting either sulfur pockets or a hellmouth.

Drew Starr tweets:

The sulfur smells bad, but isn't toxic at those levels. Cost of building in the Fens. Better after digging stops.

That can't come soon enough for folks who work in the Fenway Health building. Andrea Karis reports:

The smell is getting into the buildings. A few people went home sick today, headaches, stomach aches.

Connolly to pick up some hometown endorsements

A trio of West Roxbury officials are scheduled to endorse John Connolly for mayor today outside the West Roxbury BPL branch.

If you want to see City Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain), state Rep. Ed Coppinger (West Roxbury) and School Committee member Mary Tamer (who is from West Roxbury), they'll be at the library at 12:30 p.m. to announce their support.

Connolly, who lives in West Roxbury, is currently an at-large councilor.

Transit Police: They always get their perv

Transit Police report a man faces arraignment today on a charge of open and gross conduct for an incident last month in which he "directed his genitals" at a woman on the Orange Line.

According to police, around 6:20 p.m. on March 8, John McDonald, 48, dropped trou on an inbound train just before Mass. Ave. and then kept his junk pointed at the woman for roughly a minute. At Mass. Ave., he sauntered off the train, police say.

Police say McDonald was arrested yesterday at Ruggles after an officer recognized him from a wanted poster.

Innocent, etc.

Taxi lawsuit: Uber a crime syndicate that hates poor people and cancer patients and puts public safety at risk

A lawsuit by key members of the local taxi industry against upstart Uber is now a federal matter - San Franisco-based Uber yesterday had the suit transferred from state court to US District Court in Boston.

In the suit, Boston Cab Dispatch and EJT Management charge Uber, which lets customers use a smart-phone app to arrange a ride, violates state law, which requires taxis in Boston to carry medallions.

The companies charge Uber lets drivers refuse rides to certain neighborhoods. As East Boston residents know, city law prohibits medallion drivers from refusing rides there.

The companies also charge that Uber puts public safety at risk, in part because its drivers are easily distracted by requests to pick up passengers, in part because they are not required to purchase commercial driver's insurance to protect riders in the event of an accident, unlike medallion cabs, whose owners have commercial insurance.

The companies also charge the company discriminates against cancer patients because it does not accept city coupons for discount rides for them.

More public-safety concerns from the cab owners:

Knowing who really owns and controls medallions allows the Inspector to prevent taxi licenses from falling into the wrong hands and knowing the financial condition of medallion owners assists the Inspector in setting rates that are fair to owners and the public ... Uber knows virtually nothing about the stability, citizenship, criminal background, litigation record, affilations or true ownership and control of the black car and SUV owners it describes as "partners."

The suit was filed before the Globe reported how medallion owners convicted of bribing people associated with taxi regulation or of taxi-related tax evasion got to keep their medallions, and how at least one medallion is registered as owned by somebody who doesn't actually exist.

The cab owners charge Uber is committing online fraud by misrepresenting its fees and it's using allegedly ill gotten gains to muscle into the Boston cab market and wipe out legitimate cab owners and dispatch systems, all in violation of the federal Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations act.

Read the entire complaint below:

Man convicted of 1988 West Roxbury murder

A Suffolk Superior Court jury yesterday found Michael Coker, 50, guilty of second-degree murder for the strangulation death of Janet Phinney in the Grove on March 18, 1988, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

The verdict means a life sentence, but with the possibility of parole in as little as 15 years.

Prosecutors proved that a spurned Coker strangled Phinney, then left her body in a wooded area behind Cedar Road.

Before sentencing, Phinney's brother, Robert, read a statement:

Janet was the baby girl in the family of seven kids. She was vivacious and her personality was extraordinary. Each of us hold our own special memory of Janet [but] there are 12 nieces and nephews who will never have the privilege of their own memories of their aunt ... She will never have the chance to have her own family and share in ours. She has missed 24 Christmases, 24 Easters, 24 Thanksgivings, and 591 family birthdays to this date. A piece of us all died that day and we will never be the same.

Turning ugly old bus depot into art

Iseut reports how she and other volunteers helped put up an installation called "Before I Die" at the old Bartlett bus yard in Roxbury today:

The irony is that, Bartlett Yard, as this community has known it for several years, will die as an eyesore and environmental hazard and be reborn into a vibrant arts space. Before it dies, come and write your aspirations and become part of that rebirth.

Feds: Tawdry blackmailer had his standards; refused to hand over incriminating video at a Dunkin' Donuts

Oh, you just know they'll be burning the midnight oil at the Inside Track tonight, trying to figure out which married male Boston celebrity who was having money trouble last fall tried to pick up some sweet young things at Venu.

The reason we know is because a Lowell man is facing federal blackmail charges today for trying to extort $20,000 from the guy for an incriminating video he claims to have taken there.

In an affidavit, the FBI agent who investigated Felix Paulino referred to his victim only as "John Doe," but said he is "a well-known Boston personality" who is married and about whom "there were media reports in both newspapers and on television" regarding his financial situation.

On the morning of Oct. 22, the government charges, Paulino called Doe's agent and said he had a video, two or three minutes long, showing Doe at Venu, which was last in the news for a quadruple shooting outside on Nov. 18:

Felix Paulino further claimed that the video depicted John Doe talking to several young women and attempting to lure them to his room. Felix Paulino told the Cooperator that John Doe touches the young women, and tells them that he is a "player" and they are not.

According to the affidavit, Paulino demanded $20,000 or he'd turn the video over to TMZ. When the agent - who had promptly contact the FBI - agreed to meet, Paulino got finicky, the affidavit says: He wanted to meet in a "public" place, but rejected a hotel lobby and a nearby Dunkin' Donuts.

The two eventually agreed to meet at an unspecified restaurant, but Paulino didn't show. And then he got arrested.

Innocent, etc.

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