The Boston Public Health Commission made the announcement tonight:
As a precautionary measure, the Public Health Commission has closed the Harvard Dental Center until the extent of the illness can be determined. Public health officials also have requested the cancellation of classes for all third- and fourth-year and post-doctoral dental students. Those students, their faculty, and staff are urged to stay at home, pending the results of the ongoing investigation. University officials are fully cooperating with state and local health investigators.
Here is some information about Swine Flu I've been asked to pass on to you.
Info is now available in 6 languages here - http://www.bphc.org/swineflu
PUBLIC HEALTH FACT SHEET Swine Flu Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108
What is swine influenza?
You've been to the Common for demonstrations, rallies, festivals, but have you ever been just to socialize en mass?
No, not that one. The community activist whom David Bernstein reports is running for an at-large city council seat (hmm, would it be quicker at this point to just list Boston residents who aren't running?). He also writes that Sal LaMattina could have competition in East Boston, Charlestown and the North End.
The Herald reports that City Councilor John Tobin (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain), wants to change the city charter to keep Tom Menino from getting re-elected, engineering the elevation of the current Hyde Park city councilor to city council president, then stepping down, making the councilor the next mayor, not that Menino has ever in a million years said he would ever do something like that, mind you.
You may recall this was how Menino first became mayor, although without the engineering part, when Ray Flynn headed off to the Vatican. Menino is close with the current Hyde Park councilor, Rob Consalvo.
To replace the current system, Tobin would make the city clerk (currently, former Councilor Rosario Salerno) interim mayor until a special election.
The Herald also reports that while some (presumably on a vacation day) city workers spent yesterday collecting signatures for Menino, off-duty firefighters were out in force doing the same for their best bud, Michael Flaherty.
J.M. Lawrence reports on a letter from U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf to current Attorney General Eric Holder:
... In an April 23 letter to Holder, Judge Wolf tips Holder to the strange goings-on in Beantown. DOJ's attorneys, he says, told a federal jury that corrupt former Boston FBI agent John Connolly leaked the names of cooperators to Bulger and got them killed. But in another courtroom, DOJ attorneys from the department's civil division are battling families of those victims by claiming the leaks never happened. ...
Apparently, enough people have been calling up the Boston Public Health Commission that the commission felt compelled to issue a statement today:
Dr. Anita Barry, director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission, issued the following statement in response to questions from residents about whether it is safe to attend large public events because of the swine flu alert:
"Given that there are no confirmed cases in Boston or Massachusetts, large gatherings in the community need not be cancelled at this time. People who are not ill do not need to restrict their activities; they should continue to follow the advice of state and local public health officials, who will notify the community and work with institutions if and when cases are confirmed and if and when large-scale events need to be cancelled.
It is always a good idea for people who are ill to refrain from going to large public gatherings not only because of swine flu but also other infections. In addition, people with underlying medical conditions who are at high risk for complications of influenza may wish to consider avoiding large gatherings. The Public Health Commission will carefully monitor case finding information and get guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to make appropriate changes to this directive as warranted."
Or as Karen Wise tweets:
Good thing about swine flu pandemic: I haven't worried about MRSA all week.
Over at Charlesgate Realty, Michael DiMella complains that Yelp has pulled several reviews of his business. And even though the ones that got yanked were the less-than-perfect ones (he now only has reviews giving him perfect 5s), he's upset:
... I think this is a complete disrespect to me, my business, and my employees, not to mention my customers who WASTED their time writing their thoughtful reviews. We're promoting Yelp to our customers because Yelp provides us a tool to allow customers to comment freely (without our control) and gives us an opportunity to earn new business from the reviews (which I anticipate being mostly positive - hopefully!). And if we happen to get a bad review - even better - it will give us an opportunity to correct things!
But because of this, I have really had my faith in Yelp shaken. I am not sure if I should discontinue linking to Yelp, and mentioning Yelp to customers or not. What's the point? I don't want to waste my time or my customers' time. ...
Dr. Anita Barry, director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission, talks about, well, you know:
At-large council candidate Andrew Kenneally says AFSCME Council 93, which represents BPL, school-cafeteria and public-health workers, has endorsed him.
I know that to some this post will be alarmist, even silly, and -- thankfully at this juncture -- unrelated to Boston, but the flu outbreak in Mexico that shows signs of spreading into the Western and Southwestern states has grabbed my attention.
If you haven't caught the news: boston.com...mexico_struggles_to_contain_swine_flu_outbreak/
Yes, Ayanna Pressley, John Kerry's political director, is running for an at-large seat on the city council, the Dorchester Reporter reports.
On the plus side, Tom Menino's election site is up. And lookee here: Hizzona is on Facebook, Twitter (but not @mayormenino, since somebody seems to have grabbed that first for the sole purpose of denying it to Menino), YouTube and even Flickr (where you'll find photos not just of the mayor but of Boston neighborhoods).
On the negative side, the home page takes can take forever to load the first time you try to connect, even on a 1.5-megabit DSL connection. Now, I suppose it could just be the pent-up fervor of the 300,000 Bostonians who have personally met Menino all rushing at once to tell their stories of how they've met Tom. Or it could be the fact that the page weighs in at nearly 1.6 megabytes, thanks to a bunch of large JPG images that could easily be compressed with no discernible difference.
Strangely, this video is not on the Web site:
Sources close to the investigation of Philip Markoff have leaked new details of evidence found during a search of his Quincy apartment. It turns out underwear from two of the victims and a gun in a hollowed out copy of a "Gray's Anatomy" textbook were found.
Maybe I wasn't that far off with my dramatization after all.
I know, you're shocked. Michael DiMella posts a chart ranking neighborhoods by condo prices (and showing the changes between 2007 and 2008). And by "neighborhoods," he means all the neighborhoods in the city, not just the chi-chi "core" neighborhoods - and Southie and Eastie - that some real-estate people seem to think is all Boston is.
With Tom Menino reviving his push for "resort casinos" in Massachusetts, two of his opponents for mayor are saying not so fast.
WBUR reports Tom Menino will announce tomorrow evening he is running for a fifth term, at an event in either Roxbury or Roslindale.
The Dorchester Reporter reports councilors Sam Yoon and John Tobin hold an emergency hearing tomorrow afternoon on the fate of workers at pre-school and after-school programs at city community centers, who could lose funding for their jobs under Mayor Tom Menino's current budget plans.