By - 7/20/11 - 1:42 pm

Common Cause Massachusetts is hosting a Redistricting Olympics this summer. We will be taking citizen drawn Congressional, State House, and State Senate maps all summer, evaluating them, declaring a winner, giving out prizes and submitting the winning maps to the MA Legislative Redistricting Committee for consideration.

The purpose of the redistricting Olympics is threefold: to educate the public about the steps in the redistricting process, to initiate public participation in the political arena, and to pressure the legislature to draw the districts so that the citizens are appropriately represented.

By - 6/2/11 - 4:53 pm

Tornado boy

Kate Neville reports she found this photo and address labels in her Natick yard today. The labels list an address in Stafford Springs, CT, about 20 miles south of tornado-ravaged Monson, MA. But where is the photo from? Who is the little boy?

I keep wondering if this photo is from someone's home that was destroyed in the tornado...

Because of stories like this, NECN weatherman Matt Noyes has opened up his Facebook page to people who want to post photos of stuff they've found, in the hopes their owners might reclaim them:

I don't expect there will be a great many items, but if we can reunite even just a few folks with their treasured belongings, hopefully it will help ease their loss in a very small way.

By - 5/10/11 - 11:18 pm

To be exact, 32 Windsor Ave., on the shores of scenic Dug Pond, according to the US Census Bureau's 2010 Census Centers of Population by State .

And yes, of course the Census Bureau figures out the center of gravity for each state's population.

Tip o' the enumerator's cap to Kurt Hemr for finding this.

By - 3/29/11 - 12:07 pm

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld the fraud conviction of a woman who used a co-worker's debit card to buy pizza and clothes and to renew her driver's license.

Laura Ryan, who used the co-worker's card while on work release from MCI Framingham, had argued that state law explicitly refers to fraud involving "credit" cards and that debit cards are just not the same.

The appeals court, however, discounted that argument and upheld Ryan's conviction as "a common and notorious thief:"

By - 1/26/11 - 9:21 pm

Natick Police report a grab-and-run robbery at the Natick Collection on Monday.

At around 7 p.m., police say, two men entered the Gucci store there and began to collect purses before quickly running out. Police say they got away with only nine purses, but they were worth a total of $9,500.

Recent months have seen a spate of similar robberies at high-end stores apparel and accessories stores in the Back Bay.

By - 12/24/10 - 12:19 pm

Scammer, allegedlyNatick Police report somebody from Connecticut was separated from $3,400 in a scam at the Natick Mall.

According to police, the victim got a phone call and was offered a great deal on four TVs - but only at the Natick Sears:

By - 11/5/10 - 10:54 am

ScammerNatick Police report this guy did his part to prove P.T. Barnum correct, in an incident on Sunday outside the Sears at the Natick Mall:

By - 10/26/10 - 4:05 pm

Officials from the MBTA and the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority will gather tomorrow to announce you'll be able to use CharlieCards on MWRTA buses.

The formal announcement is at 11:30 a.m. at the Woodland stop on the Green Line.

By - 10/7/10 - 10:27 pm

On the second floor, on the right side of the food court in the "old" section of the mall.

By - 9/13/10 - 3:28 pm

To preview your primary ballot for tomorrow, click on the link from the Secretary of State's website:
then enter your address and select a political party. It will show you what choices you'll have on tomorrow's primary ballot.


By - 9/2/10 - 10:15 pm

Wicked Local Brookline reports the late Joan and Ed's in Sherwood Plaza will be replaced by an outlet of Brookline-based Zaftig's.

By - 8/26/10 - 12:14 pm

Three years after the Globe first brought us the story of "the suburban pioneers snatching up units" at the, um, Natick Mall, we get the latest update. Despite listing and auctioning off units for as little as a third of their original prices, the developer still can't find buyers for almost 30% of the units in this white elephant of a project.

By - 8/5/10 - 9:08 am

Jeff Egnaczyk lives in Brookline and works in Natick, and he raves about the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority's Green Line shuttle bus from Woodland. Not only does it save him $76 a month over his old route (C line to Copley, commuter rail to Natick, Natick Neighborhood Bus to work), it runs more frequently and:

MWRTA customer service is light years ahead of the MBCR.

By - 7/26/10 - 8:42 am

LifeStar7 tweets from a Worcester Line train with a diesel that died in Natick. He reports it took 40 minutes for the next train to arrive and for crews to latch the two trains together so the dead train could be pushed into town (and, of course, that means trains behind those two will likely also be late).

Steve Safran, on the same train, tweets they're now looking at getting into South Station an hour late.

By - 7/16/10 - 11:06 pm

Gunman drawingNatick Police report the Dunkin' Donuts at 1362 Worcester St. (Rte. 9 eastbound) was held up on July 11 by a white guy with a gun:

A lone clerk was working the front counter when white male came into the front lobby, pulled a black revolver from his waist band. Suspect pointed the handgun at the clerk demanding that the clerk place all the money into in a black backpack that the suspect was carrying. The clerk emptied the register and complied with the suspect wish to get down on the ground as the suspect exited through the front door and ran eastward toward the Crowne Plaza.

The suspect was described as heavyset, 30, with dark hair. He was wearing gray sweats, a long-sleeve green camouflage shirt and glasses.

Dunkin' Donuts near North Station held up at gunpoint on July 13.

By - 7/12/10 - 3:51 pm

Get a friend to "try out" one of the keyboards up front at full volume to mask the sound of the alarm from you going into the storeroom. Natick Police report that's one of the techniques two guys have used to rob the Natick Mall Radio Shack three times now. They've gotten away with $5,000 worth of stuff to date.

By - 6/14/10 - 8:48 am

UPDATE: The train finally pulled into South Station two hours late.

Grumpy commuters on the 6:55 a.m. inbound train out of Worcester tweet they were stuck in West Natick for an hour thanks to an engine that started spitting fire and smoke before the T finally got another train to slowly push it the rest of the way to Boston. Courtney Rice tweets:

Lots of sweaty and angry people.

Steve Safran adds:

By - 6/10/10 - 12:29 pm

The MetroWest Daily News reports the Fresser's Club comes to an end on June 20, when Joan and Ed retire.

Ed. note: I remember when the place was in Shoppers' World, back when that was a real mall. Even after the move to Natick, you'd often see Ed behind the counter - and Joan behind the cash register. Damn, now I'm hungry for a roast beef on rye.

By - 11/19/09 - 11:26 am

MetroWest Daily News reports.