Prevailing sentiment in progressive haunts is “2016, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” Between a stressful election season, acts of terror, and the crisis in Syria, many of us will be glad to see the calendar page turn on Sunday night. Still, to every cloud there is a silver lining, and at least when it comes to tackling climate change in the US, Massachusetts was a bright spot amidst the clouds of 2016.
BU Today reports a BU researcher has ripped the covers off Medford's claim to be home to "Jingle Bells," discovering that the guy who wrote the song couldn't have done so in a local tavern in 1850 since he was in California that year looking for gold. She couldn't say for certain where he did write it, but says some evidence points to a boarding house across the river in Boston, near the Old State House, where he'd moved after failing in the California gold rush and from which he would eventually flee - after orchestrating the song for blackface performers in a minstrel show in a Washington Street theater - abandoning his children and taking up arms for the Confederacy, for which he wrote fight songs.
Sophy Tuttle has quite the tale of what happened on her normally sedate Medford side street this morning when a drunken college student, on learning Tuttle's downstairs neighbor had packed three dozen chickens, a number of geese and ducks and an undetermined number of pigs in a trailer parked in the street, got a hammer and whacked the trailer open (all the while screaming "I know what I'm doing, my girlfriend goes to Tufts!"), releasing all the birds into the street (the pigs just stayed where they were):
I was woken up at 4:30 to the cops banging on our door screaming "Are these your f*%$ing chickens?!?!" "Get the F*%^ out here and get them!". My neighbor runs out and starts screaming at the kid. My next door neighbors and the farmer and his wife now spend the next 2 hours chasing chickens and ducks allll over my neighborhood, all while screaming like it's not 5am. While the kid is sitting in cuffs on my porch, the cop says "are you a college student?", to which the moron replies, "yea, I go to college". The cop replies, "that's why then. All you college kids are f*&%ing idiots". My roommates and I are standing on the porch, watching about 5 seasoned police officers chase chickens on a suburban street at 5 am and trying not to laugh, because, you know, they have guns.
Tufts Daily reports on the action by members of the Tufts chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi after the national told them they couldn't accept a transgender person.
US Rep. Mike Capuano reports the Federal Transit Administration has given tentative OK to the state's plans for cheaper stations and other reductions along the proposed Green Line extension from Lechmere into Somerville and Medford - but with a caveat that has to be addressed by year's end, or $1 billion in federal money could disappear and get spent in some other state: Read more.
Today was the Haines Square Fall Festival in Medford and some members of the Medford Police Patrolmen's Association joined the festivities by "arresting" somebody in a Hillary outfit and palling around with a Trump pretender.
The union thought the photos were so funny they posted them to their Facebook page - until some gloomy Gusses started complaining about fairness and impartiality on the part of an armed constabulary, and so the union took down the photos.
Unlike in more enlightened precincts, it seems voters in Medford don't get a little oval "I VOTED!" sticker when they vote.
State Police report that around 5:40 a.m., troopers found a man lying on Rte. 16 near Wellington Circle with life-threatening injuries.
He was rushed to Mass. General, where he was pronounced dead.
State Police say they do not yet even have a description of the vehicle whose driver hit the man, then kept on going.
Delays into Boston still just "minor," the MBTA says.
Peter Morency reports the entire Tufts campus in Medford lost power around 11:30 a.m.
Last Thursday, David Innis tweeted to MassDOT that something was amiss on this sign on I-93 south at the Somerville/Medford line - and not just that no times were showing up - because the Zakim and Mass. Ave. are nowhere near each other. By this morning, as you can see from the lower photo, the state had fixed the distance. Now if they can only get the time thing working (MassDOT says they're working on that).
For the second day in a row, State Police report a highway worker hit by a drunk, this time fatally on I-93 in Medford. Read more.
Amanda Keane captured today's fiery vehicle, around 5:10 p.m. on I-93 south in Medford.
Timothy Flaherty pleaded guilty in state court today to charges he offered $2,500 to a man his client allegedly beat and screamed anti-Muslim epithets at to ignore prosecutors and police investigating the case. Read more.
Transit Police report a man was hit and killed by a Lowell Line train near 662 Boston Ave. in Medford around 7 p.m. on Thursday.
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