Katherine Clark, the 50-year-old Democratic nominee for the Fifth Congressional District, is heavily favored in the Dec. 10 special election to succeed Edward J. Markey in the US House of Representatives.
Yet Clark, a state senator from Melrose, still faces one last test.
Her Republican opponent, Frank J. Addivinola Jr., a businessman and lawyer with six graduate degrees and conservative views on the Affordable Care Act, guns, gay marriage, and abortion, says he is going to win.
Katherine Marlea Clark
Born: 1963 New Haven, CT
Undergraduate education: St. Lawrence University
Profession: State senator
Self-described political views: Progressive Democrat
Personal life: Married with three school-age boys
Current residence: Melrose
Grocery store of choice: Market Basket
International adventure: Studied abroad in Nagoya, Japan, in 1983
Frank John Addivinola Jr.
Born: 1960 Malden, MA
Undergraduate education: Williams College
Profession: Doctoral student, teacher, lawyer, owner test prep business
Self-described political view: Smaller government, traditional Republican
Personal life: Married
Current residence: Boston
Grocery store of choice: Market Basket
International adventure: From 2002-2006, lived in Odessa, Ukraine, and ran a tourist-focused business there
Body piercing and tattoo shops would need a state license and be subject to statewide health regulations, under legislation being considered by lawmakers in an attempt to prevent the contraction of blood-borne diseases.
Currently, body piercing and tattooing is an unlicensed profession and there are no statewide regulations imposed on businesses, according to Rep. Bruce Ayers, a Quincy Democrat who filed the legislation (H 1889).
All body art, including piercing and tattoos, is regulated at the local level, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Health. Some communities have passed local ordinances regulating body piercing and tattoos, while others have not.
“We are not trying to prohibit or prevent anyone from getting their body pierced,” Ayers said during a committee hearing Tuesday.
He said his legislation would make sure the procedures are done in a clean, safe place to protect people. Without regulations, people who get their body pierced are at risk for blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV, tuberculosis, mouth and gum diseases, or allergic reactions, Ayers said.
In 2000, a state court deemed body art to be constitutionally protected freedom of expression, overturning a 38-year-old state ban.
After the ruling, DPH crafted model regulations for tattoos and body piercing that local boards of health could adopt, but without a state law municipalities were not bound to pass any regulations, or could adopt rules that differ from neighboring communities.
Many local officials do not think about the need for regulation until a shop opens in their town, according Sen. John Keenan (D-Quincy), co-chair of the Public Health Committee.
Asked if he knew of any problems, Keenan said he sees the potential for a problem. He said most piercing businesses would not object to regulations.
“Most people who do it and do it the right way are generally not concerned about regulations,” Keenan said after the hearing.
Shops that do not follow proper health standards give others a bad reputation and reason for concern, Keenan said.
Ayers said he became aware of a lack of regulations several years ago when a business opened in North Quincy, and the Quincy City Council received calls from concerned parents. Ayers’ legislation uses the ordinance crafted by Quincy officials as a model for statewide regulations.
Ayers said he has heard “terrible” stories about young people getting infections from piercings, and not telling their parents because they did not ask for their permission. Anyone under 18 years old must have parental consent for piercing – something that is not always enforced, according to Ayers. The legislation would enforce parental consent and a client’s release form acknowledgement.
Also under the legislation, tattoo artists and body piercing professionals would be required to undergo education and training, as well as mandatory apprenticeship programs.
Those who would be exempt from the legislation include physicians who perform body art as part of patient treatment in a medically accepted manner, and individuals who pierce an earlobe with a pre-sterilizing, single-use stud and clasp ear piercing system without the use of a piercing gun.
Lawmakers on the Public Health Committee recommended similar legislation in last session and it failed to advance in the House and Senate.
The Prudential Tower in Boston will light up in purple Wednesday night to bring awareness to the Cambridge-based ALS Therapy Development Institute and its research to end ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The lighting is part of the Prudential Tower’s 31 Nights of Light program to bring awareness to participating nonprofit organizations each night this December.
Wednesday at 5 p.m., representatives from the ALS Therapy Development Institute will symbolically flip a switch of the Prudential Tower lights at the center court in The Shops at Prudential Center, according to the nonprofit organization. Representatives from the ALS Therapy Development Institute will also host a short speaking program prior to the lighting and will honor local people with ALS who inspire and motivate their research.
ALS Therapy Development institute was founded in Newton by James Allen Heywood and is now based in Kendall Square. It focuses on discovering and developing effective therapies to end ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and partners with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies around the world. The lighting Wednesday night will also commemorate the 21st Annual meeting of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations being held this December.
The first book printed in what is today the United States of America sold for more than $14 million at auction in New York Tuesday, Sotheby's said, becoming the world's most expensive book. The translation of Biblical psalms "The Bay Psalm Book" was…
Almost a month after the election, Cambridge will begin a recount of the votes in the crowded city council race Monday.
The Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners has scheduled the recount to begin Monday, Dec. 2, at 8:30 a.m. at the Moore Youth Center at 12 Gilmore Street in Cambridge, said city spokeswoman Ini Tomeu Wednesday.
Cambridge City Councilor Minka vanBeuzekom successfully petitioned for the recount last week after she fell only 13 votes shy of being re-elected in the Nov. 5 election.
Dennis Carlone beat vanBeuzekom by 13 votes to win the ninth and final seat on the council, and newcomer Nadeem Mazen also finished just 14 votes ahead of vanBeuzekom to win a seat. Incumbent Craig Kelley finished 30 votes ahead of vanBeuzekom, according to results posted by the Cambridge Election Commission.
A total of 25 candidates ran for the nine council seats, and because the city uses a proportional representation system a recount of the 17,846 ballots cast in the election could be lengthy.
Election officials have said it could take as many as 60 workers as long as two weeks to conduct the recount.
The commission will work daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. to count the ballots, but Tomeu said if the recount is not finished by the end of next week, the work isn't likely to continue until after the special election for the 5th Congressional District seat on Dec. 10 is concluded.
This ain't your average Frosty.
Freaky the Snowman, or a guy named Brian in a snowman costume, took to the streets of our fair metropolis to film the latest installment of "The Scary Snowman" Youtube video series and terrorize the city's pedestrians.
The clip captures a lot of flustered jumping, several gaping mouths, and a few double takes, as well as some very entertained police officers. All in a day's work.
Not surprisingly, the snowman targeted ice cream franchise JP Licks' Cambridge store as one of the locations of its chilling prank.
The concept behind the Internet sensation is simple: Freaky, né Brian, stands still next to a storefront, assuming the part of large holiday decoration. With the help of the Scary Snowman crew, he targets unsuspecting passersby and moves to startle them. They react. And repeat.
It's a formula for comedic gold but not a perfect science. Jay Lichtenberger, one of the Scary Snowman guys who's not in the suit, said in a Facebook post that oftentimes the crew misses out on a great reaction because they fail to get permission or attract too much attention.
"We average about 10 to 15 great reactions an hour with a lot of not so great reactions in between," Lichtenberger wrote.
Since it launched four days ago, the Boston-based video has received more than 1.5 million views and nods from media organizations like Yahoo! News.
Note: This video features language that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
State transportation officials are accepting applications to fill seven seats on a construction working group that will advise the MBTA on the Green Line extension project.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is seeking individuals who live in Somerville, Cambridge or Medford who are familiar with the neighborhoods around the proposed stations and use the MBTA system. The construction working group has two open seats for the proposed Ball Square station area, two open seats for the Gilman Square area, and one open seat each for the proposed station areas at College Avenue and Union Square, and the relocation of the Lechmere station.
The construction group, formerly known as the design working group, will advise the MBTA on the final design and construction issues associated with the project and members will help the MBTA plan neighborhood and community meetings, according to the state. Members of the working group will also represent their communities and share information and feedback with neighbors and the working group.
Preference will be given to applicants who live within a one-mile radius of the proposed stations. Applications are due Dec. 13 and should be sent along with contact information to Regan Checchio at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications can be found online at greenlineextension.eot.state.ma.us/documents/wrkGroup/cwgApplication.pdf.
More information on the goals and responsibilities of the working group can be found here.
Warm weather Wednesday has delayed the reopening of the ice skating rink in Kendall Square from Friday to Saturday.
The outside rink first opened in 2006 and was a gift to the community by the Kendall Square Corporation, which will reopen the skating ring Saturday, Nov. 30, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The rink at 300 Athenaeum Street will be open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday from noon to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Fridays from noon to 9 p.m.
More information and rental rates can be found online here.
Just over a year after raising them, the MBTA is now seeking to drop fares for the RIDE paratransit service from $4 to $3, an agency financial officer told a state transportation department committee Tuesday.
MBTA Strategic Initiatives Senior Director Charles Planck told MassDOT’s Board’s Audit and Finance Committee that the T will put the fare reduction before the full MassDOT Board of Directors at its Dec. 11 meeting. The RIDE is a door-to-door service available for people with disabilities.
The announcement was greeted by scattered cheers from transit access advocates in the audience. Lower fares have been a goal of transit activists since the T raised the price of the RIDE from $2 to $4 in 2012.
About 60 percent of respondents to a state survey measuring the impact on the 2012 hikes on elders reported this year that they make fewer transit trips, while a majority of RIDE users whose income is less than $2,000 per month said they cut back on food, personal grooming and transit trips.
Earlier this month, transit advocates and seniors called on lawmakers to provide relief from paratransit fare hikes, saying the increases had left people choosing between travel and other necessities. Arlington Sen. Ken Donnelly ripped the RIDE fare increases as a “targeted fare hike at a vulnerable population.”
On Tuesday, Planck said the move will have an impact on the agency’s budget as revenue will drop and demand is expected to rise as the RIDE becomes more affordable. Planck was unsure of the move’s exact impact on the T’s budget due to new service contracts with providers.
“We expect to get the best price the market can bear,” Planck said.
When asked by board chairman John Jenkins about the annualized impact of altering RIDE fares, Planck estimated $1.5 million in reduced revenue per year and a $3 million to $4 million annual revenue loss overall when including operations costs.
“We believe right now that we’ll be able to accommodate this change in the budget approved by the board,” MBTA CFO Jonathan Davis told the panel.
At the meeting, Massachusetts Senior Action Council Executive Director Carolyn Villers called the fare reduction “a big step towards more affordable and equitable” service and said her group is looking forward to working with the MBTA and on other long-term solutions.
After the meeting, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott told reporters the fare agreement was the result of the work of a task force made up of MassDOT officials, transit advocates and the business community.
Scott said she thinks there would be benefits to introducing means testing for riders to help determine discounts, but that the MBTA is not in a position to evaluate incomes. Asked if other state agencies would be in better positions to aid the MBTA at means testing, Scott said she had discussed the issue with the health and human services officials and any possible means testing scenario would have to wait.
Under a new law, the MBTA may raise its overall fares by up to 5 percent next year.
This press release was provided by the Middlesex District Attorney's office
Authorities are investigating the apparent homicide of a 73-year-old man who was found late last evening in a Cambridge apartment Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas have informed the public.
At approximately 11:50 p.m. Monday, Cambridge police responded to 243 Broadway. Upon arrival they discovered a 73-year-old man, who appeared to have suffered severe injuries. He was later pronounced dead.
The Cambridge Police and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office are investigating.