Boston Police report on a variety of arrests, including four guys arrested early yesterday in Dorchester on a series of gun-related charges after a traffic stop (yes, once again, alleged bad guys nabbed because they can't drive) and a couple of bar incidents:
The Missus reports on the commotion in her building today:
... About an hour and a half ago, the lawyers in the office next door to us came into ours in a panic. Their office suddenly began to "smoke up" and smell bad. Smoke began pouring from their pipes.
Thy were afraid that their office was one fire. They told us we needed to get out of the building. We saw some of the people in their office crawling low to the ground, on their hands and knees, to avoid the smoke. ...
Greg MacKay looked out his eleventh-story office and noticed firetrucks at the old courthouse. Update to follow.
Boston Police report arresting 18 people at City Hall around 2 p.m. today on charges of "disturbing a lawful assembly of people:"
The protestors, a group from an organization called Veterans for Peace, created a disturbance throughout the proceedings. On several occasions, police officers warned the group that if they continued to deliberately interrupt and disrupt the assembly they would face arrest. When offered an alternative location from which to protest from, the protestors refused.
At the annual Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival, held this year on City Hall Plaza:
I am a Master's student in Historic Preservation, and I am collecting research on the Filene's Complex/One Franklin Street Redevelopment. What do Bostonians think about this project? Do you the Filene's buildings will be overshadowed by the tower? Will Downtown Crossing be able to keep its historic presence? Are you excited or disappointed about the redevelopment?
EnuhCork discovers that when the woman sitting next to you on the Orange Line starts getting into cuddle range with you, it might not be because she likes you - it might be because she's trying to inch away from the guy who's fallen asleep on her other side:
... When the train pulled into State, the guy toppled like a Redwood in an Oregon forest. ...
Malden Center this morning, as commuters try to get from the Orange Line to commuter rail, photographed by TC Cheever.
Aren't Friday commutes on the T fun? This morning, thousands of people were forced onto shuttle buses or sidewalks because of a seemingly never-ending series of busted-train problems on the Orange Line.
EnuhCork, who takes the Orange Line in from Malden, reports one conductor told his car the problem was a broken-down work train on the line somewhere between Haymarket and Back Bay:
... One person offered a simple solution in response: "Well, move it," he said.
Maybe it was just that simple. Maybe the T didn't think of that. ...
,According to railroad.net, it was a rail-grinding car that derailed outbound at Chinatown, "taking several ft of 3rd rail down" - which might explain all the other problems if the trains couldn't get enough power or something - and why the T couldn't simply move the thing.
Third Decade came up from the south on the Orange Line and witnessed a mass of Orange Line refugees walking and hobbling toward Science Park on the Green Line from Community College on the Orange Line:
... I felt bad for them considering how so many of them were overdressed for a walk in the warm weather or wearing uncomfortable shoes. It really looked like Charlestown was under attack and was being forcibly evacuated. ...
C. Grace was one of those Orange Line evacuees; she reports on the chaotic scene on the Prison Point Bridge - and on a completely incompetent 911 operator:
... As we walked down the right side of the bridge the sidewalk disappeared, as it was in the middle of massive construction. There were no police or city authorities present. Tons of people were hopping the barricade and running across the traffic When I saw a guy with a stiff artificial leg try to do this, I called 911 to request police crossing guards.
Here's the truly amazing part. The state 911 transfered me to city 911, and the city 911 operator couldn't figure out where I was.
My cell was transmitting from a tower which was apparently in Roxbury. I explained the "nature of the emergency", and explained that I was not in Roxbury.
+"I'm at Community College Station, the Orange Line."
-(witheringly)"M'am, do you know how many thousands of community colleges there are in Boston?"
+There are hundreds not thousands...and far fewer in the CITY juristiction...and there's only one Community College Station. Near Bunker Hill Community College."
-"Where's that?" ...
But wait, it gets even better, because after the 911 operator simply hung up, she found nobody could get into the Science Park station because the crush of people already there resulted in one person fainting, which led to the station being shut down until the ambulance arrived.
TC Cheever reports it took him two hours to get from Oak Grove to Harvard Square:
... Then I get to Malden Center... where the platform was wall to wall commuters. Angry, surly commuters who clearly had been waiting far too long for a train, and were not pleased to see our already-mostly-full train pull up. Angry commuters who had long ago decided to ignore the laws of physics and wanted to all get on THIS TRAIN RIGHT NOW. So the usual pushing and shoving and "Can you people move all the way in?!?" starts up, except that of course we all are already all the way in, and pushing any further means we're only moving away from one door to the other door that also has people pushing in, until finally people can't move any further and we're all nose to nose angry surly commuters who, for the most part, still haven't moved. ...
Taken to MGH for treatment of injury not considered life-threatening.
Anthony Vickers, 30, of Mattapan.
65 Chatham St.
Hondo reports on a fun little incident yesterday morning at Haymarket: A guy scoots through a CharlieGate without paying, under the watchful eye of a T employee, who refuses to call T police even when a paying customer asks him to:
... The other passenger basically lit into the T employee. All he had to do was call it in. But he openly said that he didn't care. ...
Cappy, who owns three of the pushcarts in front of Filene's, is blogging the efforts to save the pushcarts and the small businesses that are being forced out by property owners and city officials eager to turn the area into a more upscale boutique marketplace or something.
In a Globe article dated August 2 the BRA and Mayor's office patted themselves on the back for moving two "downtown Crossing Vendors" to new locations thus saving their businesses from the Filene's construction. They sent out press releases to tell the public that, "We know how important it is to keep these businesses going during construction and to give them the support they need," Menino said in a statement. "The continued vitality of Downtown Crossing is one of our top priorities." However, Lamberts Marketplace and GT Florist aren't street vendors. They aren't even in the Downtown Crossing Marketplace. They moved them to two locations the real street vendors have been waiting eagerly to move to. The question is why? ...
The Pushcart War is a great kid's book, and the plot shares some similarities to the current battle - just substitute "property owners" for "truckers." But where are the kids with pushpins?
Chacarero, Lambert's, Mediterranneo and every business associated with the old Filene's building was given an early eviction notice earlier this month. They are all to be closed and shuttered by July 31 with no hope of ever returning to the upscale, unaffordable new tower to be completed in 2010 at the earliest. The Pushcart Marketplace which has been an affordable staple in the Crossing will be booted off the premises August 31 according to Anne Meyers of the Downtown Crossing Association.
Cap'n Ho isn't one to complain about the MBTA, but he makes an exception today:
... Standing right in the doorway of the Orange Line train, taking up probably 60% of the space in the opening, was a woman sporting a T Customer Service blazer. People exiting or entering the train (those would be the customers...) had to squeeze by her to get into or get off the car. She showed absolutely no inclination to move out of the doorway, or even to move to the side to make it easier for passengers. ...
On the side of the Borders building in Downtown Crossing - which you can tell predates the chain by some time based on the design of this fire alarm.
Peter and another Red Line commuter team up to help some poor disturbed guy who'd gotten lost on his way to the doctor and who was busy being ignored by other people as he paced up and down hitting himself in the head: