Earlier this afternoon, the Lechmere train I was on pulled into Government Center. After the robo-voice announced the station, it stated the usual "The destination of this train is Lechmere" twice. After the second destination announcement, the robo voice then stated "This train will run express to Haymarket."
About half the people in the front car, including me, immediately broke out in laughter.
James Isaac, 21, was ordered held in lieu of $750 cash bail at his arraignment today on charges he smashed one of the panels at the Holocaust Memorial with a rock, but will be held in jail for at least two months because the Boston Municipal Court judge revoked his bail on an earlier assault-and-battery case out of Chelsea District Court, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
The Globe reports his attorney said he is suffering from "a host of mental issues."
According to the DA's office:
[Assistant District Attorney Anthony] Rizzo told the court that a man later identified as Isaac became involved in a verbal altercation with a group of individuals on Union Street shortly before 2:00 a.m. after members of the group did not offer Isaac the time when asked. A witness observed the man then pick up an object and throw it at the Holocaust Memorial, shattering one of the monument’s glass panels. The witness contacted Boston Police and provided the offender’s physical description and direction of travel.
Isaac allegedly followed the individuals whom he had verbally confronted to the area of Congress Street, where he and a woman accompanying him were stopped by police. He was positively identified by a witness.
Mayor Walsh, who spoke at a gathering of local religious and political leaders at the memorial this morning, said the city will use a spare glass panel set aside for just this purpose when the memorial was built in 1995.
This is the first time any of the panels has had to be replaced.
In 2002, a pair of white supremacists plotted to blow up the memorial; they were caught before the could follow through after one of them tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill at an East Boston Dunkin' Donuts.
Isaac is next expected to appear in court on July 18.
Izzy Arbeiter, a Holocaust survivor active in getting the memorial built, showed his number tattoo today as he vowed to keep the memory of what happened alive:
Ray Flynn's son, Ed, has the backing of Southie's Nick Collins and Michael Flaherty for the District 2 (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, downtown) seat, but Mike Kelley has the support of Linda Dorcena Forry, Aaron Michlewitz, Joseph Boncore and Byron Rushing, the Herald reports.
Federal officials today charged Bruce Smith, currently a detective assigned to District E-13 in Jamaica Plain, with making false statements to the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security and unlawfully entering a secure airport area with intent to evade security requirements, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.
According to charges filed in US District Court, where he is scheduled for arraignment today, Smith allegedly used his status as a Boston cop to fly with his gun on roughly 28 flights out of Logan between 2011 and this past April, even though he was not on official business - a violation of federal law. Also:
On at least two of [the trips], Smith also escorted or attempted to escort a friend, Leroy Ross, through Logan Airport without security screening. Smith falsely claimed that Ross was a "dignitary" under Smith's official police escort. When questioned by TSA security personnel as to what type of dignitary Ross was, Smith falsely replied, "I am not at liberty to divulge that information." In fact, Ross, who has a criminal record, is not a dignitary, but a mobile HIV clinic operator in Randolph. According to the complaint, Smith also fraudulently requested and received overtime pay for an intelligence meeting/event in Boston that he did not attend because he was on personal travel in North Carolina.
If convicted, Smith, 53 and a Randolph resident, faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
Pro tip: Before you send up your camera-equipped drone, make sure the camera is securely fastened. The MWRA says a crew using a professional-grade drone and camera (weighing about 100 pounds in total) learned that lesson last night when their camera separated from their drone and fell into the Quabbin Reservoir.
An MWRA spokesperson says the camera fell near where water from the reservoir begins its journey to the Boston area and poses no threat to water quality. Still, she says DCR and State Police divers will be sent in to retrieve the device. She added that the crew had prior permission for the drone shoot; otherwise drone flights over the reservoir are forbidden.
A federal appeals court today upheld the 188-month prison sentence Iskender Kapllani received after being found guilty for using his now defunct Arbri Cafe in Roslindale as a front for distributing cocaine.
Kapllani, 53, was convicted and sentenced in 2015 on a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, along with a California man who shipped the drug to Kapllani's Belgrade Avenue restaurant for local distribution. Kapllani is currently a resident of a federal prison in New Jersey.
The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston rejected arguments by Kapllani and co-defendant Tony Bedini that while they were involved in cocaine-distribution conspiracies, they were not joined in one large cross-country conspiracy - and that their sentences were therefore unfairly based on that assumption. Although the two acknowledged Bedini sold drugs to Kapllani, the appeals court summarized, it was solely "arm's length" dealing between a wholesaler and a retailer, not a single, larger venture in which both were entangled.
Please, the justices - who included retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter - essentially replied. Evidence at their trial proved there were instances in which Kapllani didn't have the funds to pay Bedini for particular shipments and Bedini agreed to front him the money, which showed a closer relationship than somebody just going down to a big-box store to pick something up.
Moreover, there is evidence that, when Kapllani traveled to Las Vegas for several days, he stayed with one of the West Coast-based participants, Teta. Thus, especially given the evidence of fronting already discussed, nothing in the record concerning the overlap between the Boston- and West Coast-based operations precludes a reasonable jury from finding them to be separate aspects of an "ongoing enterprise with a standing objective," namely, a single conspiracy to sell cocaine for profit.
The two co-defendants also argued their sentences were unfair because they were far longer than those given to several other people involved in the distribution. Well, yeah, the justices replied: Those people pleaded guilty, and that usually helps out at sentencing, while you guys decided to take your luck at trial.
The Board of Appeal today approved a 114-unit, six-story residential building on Dorchester Avenue near B Street that takes advantage of new city zoning for the Dot Ave. corridor to rise higher than normally allowed in exchange for more affordable units and affordable commercial space.
In exchange for permission for a 70-foot-tall building, developer Mark Edwards will set aside 20 units as affordable, rather than the 15 that would normally be required. And 40% of the commercial space will be rented at an affordable rate to Ultimate Self Defense, which provides karate training for local youth, Edwards's attorney, Mark Lacasse, told the board.
The building will have 120 parking spaces in an automated underground garage.
The Board of Appeal today approved a developer's plan to replace the current Laz parking lot across from the Forest Hills T stop with three six-story apartment buildings.
Criterion Development agreed to set aside 20% of the units as affordable - the city requires only 13%.
The buildings will have a total of 146 parking spaces, for residents, any businesses that move into the proposed retail space and the Brady and Fallon funeral home on Tower Street.
Criterion principal Jack Englert said his company will work with nearby residents on a residential parking permit program to keep the 300 or so commuters who now use the Laz lot from "infiltrating" nearby streets. He said he's had some discussions with the T about what to do about those commuters, focusing on convincing them to use lots at Needham Line commuter-rail stops.
Englert said neighbors said they would love to see the 4,000 square feet of retail space in the project be rented to a grocery store. The space isn't large enough for a traditional supermarket, but he said he wants to talk to City Feed and Supply, which runs smaller specialty markets elsewhere in Jamaica Plain.
Vehicle access to the site will be through Washington Street; there will be no vehicle access from the Arborway.
Criterion will turn some 6,000 square feet of land owned by DCR into a small park; DCR had planned to simply plant grass on that land.
The BPDA had earlier approved the proposal. In response to a question from board Chairwoman Christine Araujo, a BPDA official was unable to say offhand just how many residential units are now in the pipeline for the area around the T station.
The Board of Appeal today approved plans to replace a three-family house at 7 Dana Ave. with a townhouse project of 12, two-bedroom units, one set aside as affordable.
The board unanimously approved the proposal, although board Chairwoman Christine Araujo asked for some plantings to screen what she said would otherwise look like "a very suburban, motel-looking structure."