Residents furious the mayor now backs a plan to turn two vacant warehouses on Summer Street into offices instead of housing, the Herald reports, in a story that actually only quotes one resident, an "activist who declined to be identified," which kind of lessens the impact of the story.
Fort Point Channel
Boston Police report a rooftop arrest of a South Boston teen for painting large balloons without permission on the side of 285 Summer St. shortly after 3 a.m. today:
Spatch watches, and listens in as a couple of women provide some color commentary.
The Fort Point Cultural Coalition's Windows onto Fort Point project consists of 25 pieces of art mounted in various locations in the neighborhood (in particular, along A Street).
Know where they are or have information about them? E-mail the coalition or call the BPD at 617-343-4742 and tell them it's about case #080-310-503.
Erik Joseph, the former owner of Seaport Hardware arrested on a single larceny charge last month, now faces 46 fraud charges related to abuse of customer credit-card information.
And that's only the beginning, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office: The grand jury that indicted Joseph only looked at American Express transactions; another grand jury is looking into Visa and MasterCard transactions. DA Dan Conley says that today's charges involved $291,000 in alleged thefts from customer accounts:
Evidence suggests that Joseph began the scam in 2001 and continued it for the next six years. Prosecutors believe he set up dozens of shell businesses, each with its own credit card merchant number, bank account routing number, and mailing address; using the credit card numbers of his hardware store’s customers, he would then key in transactions that billed unsuspecting cardholders for multiple sales that were just under $200.
At the beginning of the scheme, Conley said, Joseph would wait four to six months before billing the victims; in 2006 and 2007, the time delay disappeared and accounts were being maxed out within days of the cardholders' visits to Seaport Hardware. Once the credit card company had transferred funds to the bank account linked to the transaction, evidence suggests, Joseph would drain the account and leave the victims unable to reclaim the money.
Joseph is scheduled for arraignment Jan. 15 in Suffolk Superior Court on today's charges.
A Fort Point Channel building made infamous two years ago with the strange death of an MIT-trained artist is once again the focus of a criminal investigation - this time for massive credit-card fraud.
The Suffolk County District Attorney's office today charged Erik Joseph, former owner of Seaport Hardware, 369 Congress St., with defrauding customers across New England out of several hundred thousand dollars since 2005.
The store is in the same building as that meth lab that turned out not to be a meth lab where artist Kevin McCormick died in unusual circumstances in 2005.
Joseph, a Belmont resident, pleaded innocent at his arraignment this morning in South Boston District Court, according to the DA's office. Bail was set at $75,000.
According to prosecutors, Joseph set up a series of bogus companies to suck out and launder money from the accounts of people who paid for hardware purchases with credit cards. In a statement, the DA's office cited one example:
Joseph allegedly used a dummy business – for which he had obtained an American Express merchant number, a post office box, and a bank account – to bill the customer's credit card for $8,087 in 43 separate charges of less than $200 in the weeks and months that followed. That money, [DA Dan] Conley said, was deposited into a corresponding bank account, which Joseph later emptied and closed.
Prosecutors said they, a statewide financial-crimes task force and the US Postal Service were not done investigating Joseph, but that they sought charges against him now because he sold the store last month and was emptying his legitimate bank accounts, making them worry he was getting ready to flee the area. Boston Police arrested him in Belmont on Tuesday.
Even before the indictment, Joseph, a 1980 Emerson College graduate, got a couple of bad Yelp reviews.
Slowing economy blamed, John Keith writes.
AWARD-WINNING CHEF MICHAEL LEVITON TO HELM FORT POINT CHANNEL KITCHEN
Famed Newton Chef to take on Boston Eatery
Rob Sama reports from an office building made waterless this morning by a punctured water main:
... You can clearly see where the Cat machine dug into the water main, and in one of the pics you can see where the water burst up four stories against the building. The tractor tried to plug up the hole, and that stopped the geyser effect, but didn't stop the flooding. The flooding is continuing east down Congress St. ...
The Herald reports on those alleged outlander graffiti artists arrested at a Red Line yard yesterday before they could mark up trains and attend a naked-dancer soiree at a secret Fort Point location (oh, OK: 327 Summer St., but don't let anybody know) tonight. The Globe explores the possibility that one of our favorite LiteBriters was slated to attend the party.
One of the people arrested is Marius Schmieling of Dortmund, Germany. Schmieling, 25, he started tagging when he was 12 (in German, translated at Babelfish).
Germans apparently have a different attitude toward graffiti than we do. Rather than try to eliminate it entirely, some German cities hire taggers to take care of individual subway/monorail stations (hmm, actually, anybody remember when Cambridge-Lee Industries let people tag up their wall near the Allston turnpike entrance - as long as they stayed within the silohuettes of people?). Dortmund hired Schmieling to "arrange" one station.
Last year, he participated in a project to spray paint 66 fiberglass winged rhinos. Here's his.
Portrait of the artist as a young rhino designer:
Capn Ho reports an interesting sight on the way to work from South Station yesterday:
... Many of the offices are on the first floor and you can see in through the windows, not that I make a habit of peeking in.
So, as I'm walking down the street, I notice this guy sitting at a desk with his back to the window. He's looking at a laptop, which happens to be open to a porn site! ...
Jay Fitzgerald likes the idea of turning those old brick buildings in Fort Point Channel into a new neighborhood. But then he reads the developers want to label the area BWCo:
... These guys think they're so hip. But they don't have an original thought in their bodies. FYI: The word 'brand' is mentioned. Can't just call it 'Fort Point' or 'Boston Wharf.' Too much local flavor, I suppose. ...
And just a short Silver Line ride to Eabo.
Spatch reports that birds of the falcony ilk buzzed him last week by Fort Point Channel:
... Two of 'em there were, swooping out over the water. One swooped so close to me that I could hear the fwoosh as it went by. ...
Michael reads the news that that alleged drug lab where MIT graduate Kevin McCormick died was actually set up to make more sophisticated drugs than meth and says it all might just be a continuation of a long tradition at Cambridge colleges: