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Everett State Sen. DiDomenico going Irish for a day

March 3, 2014 02:36 PM


Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day in Boston. Now an Italian-American state senator from Everett is going green, too.

State Sen. Sal N. DiDomenico plans to add an "O" to his name on Friday, March 7, when he'll hold his first-ever St. Patrick's Day party, 6:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus in Charlestown.

"I'll be O'DiDomenico that day," quipped the two-term Democrat. "We got creative with the name."

The event, which is sold out, will feature music by Devri, a popular Irish band, as well as an Irish step dancing troupe, and stand-up by comedian Jimmy Tingle.

"It's really going to be a fun, festive atmosphere," DiDomenico said.

Political jokes and jabs are planned, along with Corned Beef & Cabbage.
There will be Democrats and Republicans, too.

Charles Baker, a Republican candidate for governor, is expected at the event, DiDomenico said.

Democratic candidates for governor -- State Treasurer Steven Grossman, Attorney General Martha Coakley, and Juliet Kayyem, a former state and federal homeland security official, are also expected, DiDomenico added.

Gov. Deval Patrick can't attend, "but he will be sending a video message," DiDomenico said.

Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey plan to attend, DiDomenico said.

And so will Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a son of Irish immigrants who will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day as Boston's first new mayor in 20 years.

"Marty is a friend," DiDomenico said of Walsh, who took office in January after 16 years on Beacon Hill as a state representative from Dorchester.

The pols will likely trade barbs and jabs over dinner, but all in good fun, and in the name of charity.

The senator recently established The DiDomenico Foundation, a nonprofit that will raise money to fund scholarships for high school students from the senator's district, which includes all of Chelsea and Everett, along with several precincts in Boston and Cambridge.

Money will also be used to buy toys for low-income families at the holidays.
"It's a great opportunity to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and do some great things for people," DiDomenico said.

Kathy McCabe can be reached at katherine.mccabe@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe

Charlestown boys narrowly escape O'Bryant, earn playoff berth

February 14, 2014 09:44 PM

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It took 6 points in the final minute of the final game of the regular season for the Charlestown boys’ basketball team to clinch a spot in the Massachusetts state tournament. Charlestown earned its 10th win of the season against O’Bryant Friday night in a 68-62 nail-biter on the Tigers’ home court.

The Townies lost five straight games heading into Friday’s matchup by a combined total of just 17 points, and the close losses put Charlestown’s playoff chances in jeopardy.

“We’ve been losing by 2 points, 3 points,” Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso said. “Free throws have been killing us, and turnovers. I thought today we played much better. We controlled the tempo for the most part.”

O’Bryant entered the game with a deceiving 5-19 record, as the Tigers had also lost numerous close games this season.

“O’Bryant’s a very tough team,” Cardoso said. “A very good team.”

Behind 9 points from senior forward Joseph Farrell, the Tigers led, 16-15, after the first quarter.

Charlestown took a 22-18 lead midway through the second quarter after sophomore guard Keywan Platt hit one of two free throws after being fouled by O’Bryant senior center Ben Lawler.

O’Bryant coach Drew Brock called Lawler over to the sidelines and told him to shoot with confidence even after picking up the foul.

After the pep talk, Lawler nailed two consecutive 3-pointers to put O’Bryant back on top, but the Townies rallied and led, 31-29, at halftime.

Cardoso said he told his team to continue to play help defense and remember to box out in order to come away with the victory.

“[I told them to] just be poised, be disciplined,” he said. “I mean if we play disciplined defense we can be a very good defensive team.”

The Townies went on a 7-1 run to start the third quarter. They extended the lead to 12 after a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Jovani Harper-Lopez and a two-handed slam from senior forward/center Freddy Oliveira that fired up the Charlestown fans in attendance.

After three quarters, Charlestown led, 47-36.

The Townies continued to dominate in the fourth quarter. With 4:34 left to play, they held a commanding 10-point lead, but Farrell took control of O’Bryant’s defense and made a statement block on a Charlestown dunk attempt.

The Tigers went on a 13-2 run courtesy of some stifling defense from Farrell and Lawler. With just under two minutes remaining in regulation, Charlestown held a slim 62-61 lead.

Charlestown senior guard/forward Oliver Benner made a layup and Oliveira knocked down two foul shots to put the Townies on top, 64-61.

“I told Freddy, ‘You only have two fouls, you need to be more aggressive. You’re playing like you have four fouls,’” Cardoso said. “And I said, ‘I need every rebound and every blocked shot you can get this next two minutes.’”

Senior guard Taris Wilson hit two free throws to close out the game for Charlestown, securing a postseason berth for the Townies.

Lawler finished with a game-high 20 points for O’Bryant and Farrell scored 17. Platt led the Townies with 17 points and Oliveira added 15.

Charlestown will find out who it will take on in the first round of the playoffs when the MIAA basketball tournament pairings are announced next weekend. Cardoso said he does not care about the opponent, but is going to focus on his team instead.

“I love the fact we’re probably going to be a 16-seed, 17-seed, 18-seed,” Cardoso said. “We don’t care, we just wanted to get in and try to work harder and make a run. We’re in there now so we’re gonna work hard over vacation and whoever we play, we play.”

Originally published on the blog The High School Sports Blog.

“e” inc. helps Charlestown children get a head start in science

February 10, 2014 11:27 AM

The following was submitted by “e” inc.

Environment science non-profit “e” inc., in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Family Service Center, Inc., has launched the “Head Start Scientists” program in Charlestown.

This early childhood science program addresses the stimulation and science education needs of over 80 low-income children in the Head Start and K-1 after school programs based in Charlestown’s Kennedy Center.

Head Start Scientists is designed to involve Kennedy Center children in science inquiry and problem solving through the use of investigations and experiments. Using an interactive curriculum created by “e” inc., pre-school children are exposed to natural phenomena and general themes and patterns in science.

By helping children observe the natural world, they learn to see relationships between living and non-living things and beings, as well as, the relationship between available resources and animal behaviors. “e” inc. will also take children out for real-time explorations where they can take pictures, use bug catchers and magnifying glasses and create field books for the things that they observe. Each class will also design and carry out action projects based on what they have learned, such as creating a vegetable or butterfly garden, adding recycling to their building, protecting trees, creating bird feeding stations, or saving energy and water.

Kennedy Center teachers involved with the Head Start Scientists program commented, “The science program is providing the children with hands-on and fun-filled science projects. The children are ecstatic when the “e” inc. teacher comes.”

“Our “e”inc. teacher, Mr. C, is great with the children,” said Nick Free, after school program teacher, Kennedy Center. “He understands the material he is presenting and is always prepared. He also understands my student population. He shows patience and tolerance with an appropriate sense of humor. The students love [their afterschool class] on Tuesdays with Mr. C. They talk about it during the day when I see the kids in the halls of the Harvard-Kent School.”

“By introducing science to children early in their learning, they will be able to use the world around them as a natural laboratory filled with phenomena they can study, classify, and try to understand,” said a Head Start classroom teacher at the Kennedy Center. “Head Start Scientists is a hands-on way to understand patterns, experiences and themes, to take on investigations, and to run experiments. Children can make predictions, learn to draw conclusions from evidence, hazard guesses that they back with evidence, and enjoy and appreciate their planet.”

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Local students earn honors at Malden Catholic High School

February 8, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Malden Catholic High School:

Malden Catholic High School, one of New England’s leading college preparatory high schools for young men, has announced that the following local students received honors for distinguished academic performance during the second quarter of the 2013-2014 school year:

Second Honors - all grades 80 percent and above.
First Honors - all grades 85 percent and above.
Headmaster’s List - all grades 90 percent and above.

Wenhao (Ben)    An      FIRST HONORS        Allston
Hengshen (Kim)  Li       SECOND HONORS   Allston
Tianshu (Sean)  Xiao     SECOND HONORS   Allston
Qin (Bill)      Xu             FIRST HONORS        Allston
Michael Cahill               SECOND HONORS   Amesbury
Michael Addorisio         SECOND HONORS   Arlington
Timothy Matthews         FIRST HONORS       Arlington
Anthony Palazzo           FIRST HONORS      Bedford
Joshua  Soldan             FIRST HONORS      Bedford
Reilly  Peters                FIRST HONORS      Beverly
John (Jack)     Adams   SECOND HONORS   Boxford
Samuel  Palmisano       FIRST HONORS       Boxford
Nicholas        Puleio     SECOND HONORS   Boxford
Cameron Walter           SECOND HONORS   Boxford
Cameron Arrigo            HEADMASTER'S LIST Burlington
Corey   Forester           SECOND HONORS     Burlington
Kyle    Forester            SECOND HONORS     Burlington
Riley   Gilberg             SECOND HONORS      Burlington
Thomas  Sullivan         FIRST HONORS           Burlington
Han     Yan                 SECOND HONORS      Burlington
Jeffrey Wang               HEADMASTER'S LIST   Charlestown
Ryan    Corliss            FIRST HONORS           Chelsea
Sanjey  Singh             SECOND HONORS      Chelsea
James   Irving, Jr.        SECOND HONORS      Danvers
Kristopher Mullaney    SECOND HONORS      Danvers
Zachary Sasso           FIRST HONORS          Danvers
Matthew Bruno           SECOND HONORS     E. Boston
Michaelangelo Gerardi SECOND HONORS     E. Boston
Ryan    Sherman         SECOND HONORS     E. Boston
James   Augustin        FIRST HONORS          Everett
Luisadrian Bernal        SECOND HONORS     Everett
Hardy   Jean               FIRST HONORS         Everett
Brendan LaVallee        FIRST HONORS         Everett
Peter   Le                    SECOND HONORS   Everett
Gerardo Lopez-Picardi  FIRST HONORS        Everett
Brenden McCarthy       HEADMASTER'S LIST Everett
John    McCormack      SECOND HONORS   Everett
Louis   Sierra               SECOND HONORS   Everett
David   Strott               SECOND HONORS   Everett
Kellen  Field                HEADMASTER'S LIST  Gloucester
Jacob   Horrigan          FIRST HONORS         Gloucester
John    Camozzi          SECOND HONORS    Groveland
Hualiang (Tony) Li       SECOND HONORS     Hartford
Yixiao (Eric)   Liang     HEADMASTER'S LIST Hartford
Yihan   Zhao               HEADMASTER'S LIST  Hartford
Cameron Betz             SECOND HONORS      Lynn
Samuel  Cappuccio     HEADMASTER'S LIST   Lynn
Matthew Derby           SECOND HONORS        Lynn
Colin   Harvey            HEADMASTER'S LIST     Lynn
Matthew Filipe            FIRST HONORS            Lynnfield
Devin   Kelly               SECOND HONORS       Lynnfield
James   Mortellite       SECOND HONORS       Lynnfield
Patrick Passatempo    SECOND HONORS      Lynnfield
Joseph  Spinosa         SECOND HONORS      Lynnfield
Joseph  Veglia           SECOND HONORS      Lynnfield
Andrew  Andrade        FIRST HONORS          Malden
Andrew  Barros          SECOND HONORS      Malden
Colin   Blake             SECOND HONORS      Malden
Daniel  Coelho           FIRST HONORS          Malden
Garphey Crevecoeur     FIRST HONORS        Malden
Jharem  Crevecoeur      FIRST HONORS        Malden
Carlos  Dominguez       SECOND HONORS   Malden
Christopher Fitzgerald    FIRST HONORS      Malden
Riley   Hennessey        SECOND HONORS   Malden
Christopher Hopkins     SECOND HONORS   Malden
Run Chen Huang         SECOND HONORS   Malden
Rohit   Jaisinghani       FIRST HONORS       Malden
Karlens Joas               FIRST HONORS       Malden
Cameron Koizumi       SECOND HONORS   Malden
Matthew McCarthy      SECOND HONORS   Malden
Peter   Melendez        HEADMASTER'S LIST Malden
Brendan Murphy         SECOND HONORS   Malden
Shane   Norton           FIRST HONORS        Malden
Brian   O'Callaghan     SECOND HONORS   Malden
Kevin   O'Callaghan     SECOND HONORS   Malden
Joshua  Ouellette        SECOND HONORS   Malden
Mark    Panzini           FIRST HONORS        Malden
Umang   Patel            FIRST HONORS        Malden
Tyler   Ransom          SECOND HONORS    Malden
Logan   Sprague        SECOND HONORS    Malden
Michael Ssentongo     HEADMASTER'S LIST Malden
Jack    Stockless       HEADMASTER'S LIST  Malden
Russell Sully             SECOND HONORS      Malden
Adam    Surette         HEADMASTER'S LIST  Malden
Alexei  Teague          FIRST HONORS           Malden
John (Jack) Albanese HEADMASTER'S LIST  Medford
Javier  Barria             SECOND HONORS      Medford
Brendan Bunker        HEADMASTER'S LIST   Medford
Christopher Cafferty   SECOND HONORS      Medford
Krzysztof Cefalo       HEADMASTER'S LIST   Medford
Frederick DeNisco    FIRST HONORS           Medford
Alejandro DePeña     FIRST HONORS           Medford
Anthony DeSouza     FIRST HONORS           Medford
Nicholas DeSouza    SECOND HONORS       Medford
James   Donlan        HEADMASTER'S LIST    Medford
Thomas  Donlan       FIRST HONORS            Medford
Michael Endicott      SECOND HONORS       Medford
Matthew Hirl            HEADMASTER'S LIST    Medford
Andrew  Kelly          FIRST HONORS             Medford
Cameron Kelly         SECOND HONORS       Medford
Logan Lanciloti-Stark SECOND HONORS      Medford
James McQuaid        HEADMASTER'S LIST  Medford
Joseph  Morrissey     SECOND HONORS      Medford
Andrew  Murphy        FIRST HONORS           Medford
Brendan O'Donnell      SECOND HONORS     Medford
Steven  Passatempo   FIRST HONORS         Medford
Victor  Ramos            FIRST HONORS         Medford
William Riley Jr          HEADMASTER'S LIST Medford
Liam  Shaughnessy    SECOND HONORS    Medford
Jared   Silva              FIRST HONORS          Medford
Peter   Skerry           SECOND HONORS      Medford
Wei (Kevin) Su          FIRST HONORS          Medford
Edward  Tan            HEADMASTER'S LIST   Medford
Joseph  Toomey      FIRST HONORS            Medford
Michael Upton         SECOND HONORS       Medford
Gregory Viola          SECOND HONORS       Medford
Dylan   Bagley        FIRST HONORS             Melrose
Jack    Barresi        SECOND HONORS        Melrose
Jared   Bernis         FIRST HONORS             Melrose
Timothy Brown        FIRST HONORS             Melrose
William Carreiro       SECOND HONORS        Melrose
Jack    D'Errico        FIRST HONORS            Melrose
Luke    D'Errico        FIRST HONORS            Melrose
Ian     Dolaher         SECOND HONORS        Melrose
Steven  Doucette      HEADMASTER'S LIST   Melrose
Patrick Driscoll         SECOND HONORS      Melrose
Robert (Trey) Durant III  HEADMASTER'S LIST  Melrose
Anthony Gill              SECOND HONORS     Melrose
Austin  Goldstein       SECOND HONORS     Melrose
Corey   Goldstein       HEADMASTER'S LIST   Melrose
John    Graf                HEADMASTER'S LIST  Melrose
Harrison Hahn           SECOND HONORS       Melrose
Robert  Hannula         FIRST HONORS          Melrose
Benjamin Hanover      FIRST HONORS          Melrose
Jonathon  Havey        SECOND HONORS     Melrose
Troy    Healy             FIRST HONORS          Melrose
Brandon Heng           FIRST HONORS          Melrose
Stephen Holmberg      SECOND HONORS    Melrose
Candan  Iuliano         SECOND HONORS     Melrose
Lucas   Janzen         HEADMASTER'S LIST  Melrose
Kyle    Jones             SECOND HONORS     Melrose
Lucas   Kaestner        SECOND HONORS    Melrose
John    Kezerian         FIRST HONORS         Melrose
SungHyun (Sean) Kim  HEADMASTER'S LIST Melrose
Adam    Lew               FIRST HONORS         Melrose
Brian   Liwo                HEADMASTER'S LIST  Melrose
Michael Loycano        HEADMASTER'S LIST   Melrose
Liam    Lynch-Galvin    FIRST HONORS           Melrose
Michael McElligott      SECOND HONORS       Melrose
Christopher McKenna  FIRST HONORS           Melrose
Luke    McKenna       SECOND HONORS        Melrose
Max     Meier             HEADMASTER'S LIST   Melrose
Michael Moschella      SECOND HONORS      Melrose
John  O'Brien             SECOND HONORS       Melrose
Matthew Oteri           FIRST HONORS             Melrose
Derek   Packard       HEADMASTER'S LIST     Melrose
Michael Ronayne     HEADMASTER'S LIST     Melrose
Benjamin Scarpa    SECOND HONORS          Melrose
Christopher Schwarze HEADMASTER'S LIST  Melrose
Michael Shea         SECOND HONORS          Melrose
Joseph  Tansino     HEADMASTER'S LIST       Melrose
Joseph  Valente     HEADMASTER'S LIST       Melrose
Kevin   Walsh        FIRST HONORS                Melrose
Tyler   Webb         FIRST HONORS                Melrose
Jacob   Witkowski SECOND HONORS           Melrose
Cameron Zahner    HEADMASTER'S LIST       Melrose
Zachary Zahner     HEADMASTER'S LIST       Melrose
Joseph  Crowley   HEADMASTER'S LIST       Middleton
John    McLean    SECOND HONORS          N. Andover
Ryan    Connor     FIRST HONORS              N. Reading
Ryan    Cristiano   FIRST HONORS             N. Reading
Joseph  Marini Jr.   HEADMASTER'S LIST   Nahant
Matthew Borges     FIRST HONORS            Peabody
Gianmarco Cappuccio  SECOND HONORS  Peabody
Michael Cashman  SECOND HONORS        Peabody
Frank   Celona       SECOND HONORS       Peabody
Alex    Gomes        FIRST HONORS           Peabody
Giuseppe Limoli      FIRST HONORS          Peabody
Alex  Massa          FIRST HONORS           Peabody
Rocco   Prestia     SECOND HONORS       Peabody
Kolbi   Shairs        FIRST HONORS           Peabody
Stephen Mayes     SECOND HONORS      Reading
Paul    McCarthy    SECOND HONORS     Reading
Kyle    Skinner      HEADMASTER'S LIST  Reading
Peter   Squeglia III  SECOND HONORS     Reading
Peter   Ventola       HEADMASTER'S LIST  Reading
James   Zaccardo    SECOND HONORS    Reading
Alexander Aguilar     FIRST HONORS        Revere
Phillip Antonucci IV    FIRST HONORS      Revere
Brendan Dao            SECOND HONORS   Revere
Christopher Dixon     SECOND HONORS   Revere
Joseph  Leone          SECOND HONORS   Revere
Nicholas Leone        HEADMASTER'S LIST Revere
Daniel  Marks          FIRST HONORS        Revere
Byung Kwon Moon   SECOND HONORS   Revere
Zachary Moore         HEADMASTER'S LIST Revere
Hugo    Palacios       SECOND HONORS   Revere
Juao-guilherme  Rosa HEADMASTER'S LIST Revere
Hans    Rosin           SECOND HONORS     Revere
Corey   Sanville        HEADMASTER'S LIST   Salem
Christopher Alihosseini  SECOND HONORS  Saugus
Benjamin Amico        SECOND HONORS     Saugus
Daniel  Barletta         HEADMASTER'S LIST  Saugus
Paul    Cook              SECOND HONORS     Saugus
Nico    DeFlorio         SECOND HONORS     Saugus
Nolen   Dube             SECOND HONORS     Saugus
Rachid  Elkhaouli       SECOND HONORS     Saugus
Antonio Fiorentino      FIRST HONORS          Saugus
Eric    Kalton             FIRST HONORS          Saugus
Christopher Kimmerle  FIRST HONORS         Saugus
Steven  Lima             SECOND HONORS      Saugus
Matteo  Mannara       SECOND HONORS      Saugus
Mark    Panetta         FIRST HONORS           Saugus
Nicholas Papageorge  SECOND HONORS     Saugus
Matthew Pelletier       HEADMASTER'S LIST  Saugus
Cameron Pozark       SECOND HONORS       Saugus
Joseph  Quatieri        SECOND HONORS       Saugus
Dennis  Scannell        SECOND HONORS      Saugus
Robert  Shields Jr.     SECOND HONORS       Saugus
Christopher Sparages  SECOND HONORS      Saugus
Richard Swierk           SECOND HONORS      Saugus
Charles Vozzella        SECOND HONORS      Saugus
Andrew  Ward            HEADMASTER'S LIST   Saugus
Brendan Costa           SECOND HONORS     Somerville
Maxwell Smith           SECOND HONORS     Somerville
Brian   Bialock           SECOND HONORS     Stoneham
Joseph  Cameron       FIRST HONORS          Stoneham
Michael Carbone        HEADMASTER'S LIST  Stoneham
Brian   Coles             SECOND HONORS      Stoneham
Stephen DiMauro       HEADMASTER'S LIST  Stoneham
Cameron Doyle         SECOND HONORS       Stoneham
Raymond Dufour       SECOND HONORS        Stoneham
Alexander Galbraith   SECOND HONORS       Stoneham
Kenneth Graczyk      SECOND HONORS       Stoneham
Daniel  Lattarulo        SECOND HONORS       Stoneham
Ronald  Mastrocola   FIRST HONORS             Stoneham
Thomas  Mello          FIRST HONORS             Stoneham
Joseph  Monteiro       FIRST HONORS            Stoneham
Mark    Mozzicato     HEADMASTER'S LIST    Stoneham
Owen    Noonan        SECOND HONORS        Stoneham
Connor  O'Neill          HEADMASTER'S LIST    Stoneham
Francesco Puopolo    SECOND HONORS       Stoneham
Nicholas Rolli             FIRST HONORS           Stoneham
Kyle    Soares           SECOND HONORS       Stoneham
Cole    Iovine             FIRST HONORS            Tewksbury
Michael Welton        SECOND HONORS        Tewksbury
Timothy Guinee       SECOND HONORS         Topsfield
Brian   Cameron      SECOND HONORS         Wakefield
Shamus  Coyne      SECOND HONORS         Wakefield
Matthew Curran      SECOND HONORS         Wakefield
Joseph  Delory        FIRST HONORS             Wakefield
Ethan   Dupuis       SECOND HONORS         Wakefield
Joshua  Germino    FIRST HONORS             Wakefield
Nicholas Grande    FIRST HONORS             Wakefield
Christian Hannabury HEADMASTER'S LIST  Wakefield
Connor  Henry        FIRST HONORS            Wakefield
Thomas  Ireland     FIRST HONORS            Wakefield
Robert  Mickolsz    SECOND HONORS       Wakefield
Ryan    Murphy       FIRST HONORS           Wakefield
James   Pasqua      SECOND HONORS      Wakefield
Matthew Sullivan     FIRST HONORS           Wakefield
Michael Valenza     SECOND HONORS       Wakefield
John    Aroush        SECOND HONORS        Waltham
John    Corbett        HEADMASTER'S LIST   Watertown
Joseph  Ascolese    HEADMASTER'S LIST   Wilmington
Christopher Babcock SECOND HONORS     Wilmington
Stephen Cardarelli   SECOND HONORS       Wilmington
John DiFava            HEADMASTER'S LIST    Wilmington
Alexander Frye        SECOND HONORS       Wilmington
Quinn   Reynolds      SECOND HONORS     Wilmington
Daniel  Marino          FIRST HONORS         Winchester
Ian     Steckel           FIRST HONORS        Winchester
Sean    Arria             FIRST HONORS        Winthrop
David   Fisher           FIRST HONORS         Winthrop
Daniel  Garcia          FIRST HONORS         Winthrop
David   Giuffre          FIRST HONORS         Winthrop
Nicholas Napoli       SECOND HONORS     Winthrop
Connor  Sullivan       FIRST HONORS         Winthrop
Kyle    Chute           HEADMASTER'S LIST  Woburn
Max     Doherty       HEADMASTER'S LIST   Woburn
Thomas  Ferullo      SECOND HONORS       Woburn
Christopher Flemming   HEADMASTER'S LIST  Woburn
David   Lennon, Jr.    HEADMASTER'S LIST   Woburn
Dennis  Nicolas       FIRST HONORS            Woburn
Ryan    Tarby          SECOND HONORS       Woburn
Huan (Kevin)    Zhou  SECOND HONORS

In defense of the Green Line

February 6, 2014 04:43 PM

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John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The MBTA announced today that a number of its bus lines will receive a countdown clock system to alert riders to when the next bus on each route will arrive. Last week, the transit system completed its 18-month installation of 314 of these countdown clocks at 53 stations along the Red, Orange, and Blue lines. While by all means good news for the T, the announcement left me and the nearly 220,000 daily riders of the Green Line wondering: What about us?

The Green Line gets a pretty bad--and in my opinion, undeserved --rap.

What other line serves more than 60 stations, covering 12 Boston neighborhoods and parts of Brookline, Newton, Cambridge, and soon Somerville?

What other line touches Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, the Colleges of the Fenway, the Downtown universities, and even (with a 15-minute walk) MIT?

What other line drops you off steps away from Boston's biggest landmarks--Fenway Park, Newbury Street, the Science Museum, to name a few?

Why will it be one of the last lines to get the countdown clocks? The MBTA said it will introduce the technology on the Green Line by the end of this year.

It's time to reclaim the Green Line, Boston's and America's first subway line. Sure, the rides may be bumpy and the trains may be delayed (though that problem's not exclusive to Green Line,) but it excels at taking you where you need to go. What else can we ask of it?

I am a proud Green Line commuter. It's the line that ferried me around the city as a college student. It's the line that still does that today. The Green Line and I may not always get along, but day after day, it keeps showing up, and I keep riding.

Today, we asked you what you love about the Green Line. Here are some of the responses:

Sarcasm aside, the Green Line touches a lot of this city's population. Let's embrace Boston's only streetcar, subway line.

Lastly, as promised on Twitter, a Green Line poem:

O fairest of T lines, you take me away
From Park Street to Lechmere, Riverside to Fenway
In rain, sleet and snow
You still manage to go
Though often you run on substantial delays.

Agree? Disagree? Hate my limerick? Share your comments below, email me at catherine.cloutier@globe.com, or tweet @cmcloutier.

MBTA to bring countdown clock system to bus stations

February 6, 2014 11:19 AM

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(MBTA)

The MBTA plans to soon install countdown clocks at a number of bus stations throughout its system to notify riders when the next bus on each route will leave that station, the agency announced today.

The bus way at Forest Hills Station in Jamaica Plain will be the first bus location to get the electronic message boards, according to T spokeswoman Kelly Smith.

Signs are also planned in bus ways at Dudley Square and Ruggles stations, she said. Eight other stations have been "tentatively" chosen to receive the signs: Harvard Square; Haymarket, Ashmont; Kenmore; Maverick, Wonderland, Jackson Square, and Central Square.

The signs should be operational by summer, Smith said.

The signs, using real-time bus tracking data, will provide information about when each route serving that station is next expected to depart. The signs will feature both visual and audio messages.

The project is funded through federal stimulus money, and each sign costs about $50,000, a price tag that includes the display, hardware, software, installation, maintenance and a push-button activated sound system so that people with visual impairments can access the information on the sign, she said.

Most stations will have one sign each. Dudley, because of its size, will have two, she said.

"I've often said our buses are the work horses of our system, serving more than 375,000 people on a typical weekday," T general manager Beverly Scott said in a statement. "The countdown signs at our busiest bus stops will provide customers with information that will make their public transit experience easier and more convenient."

Last week, the T completed an 18-month-long project to activate a total of 314 countdown clocks at all 53 subway stations on the Red, Orange and Blue lines, which officials said made the T one of the first transit agencies in the country to equip all heavy rail stations with train-arrival information.

Officials said the signs have been popular and well-received by riders, and since they were introduced in the summer of 2012 the agency said it has made regular improvements based on rider feedback, including making the signs more accurate and easier to see.

The T said it expects to introduce the countdown clock system to the Green Line by the end of this year. The light rail line is undergoing work to upgrade its less-sophisticated train tracking system with GPS and sensor technology to allow for countdown clock capability.

The agency has also said technology upgrades on the Green Line will allow smartphone-carrying riders to be able to track in real-time the whereabouts and expected arrival of the line's trains by 2015.

Trains on the Red, Orange and Blue have been tracked by mobile applications since the fall of 2010, when the agency made real-time train location data on those lines available to private software developers, who have created numerous smartphone applications. The T made real-time data on bus locations available to software developers in fall of 2009.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com.
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(MBTA)

20 medical marijuana dispensary licenses awarded in Mass.

January 31, 2014 12:24 PM

State health officials Friday released the names of companies that will receive the first 20 licenses to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts.

In Middlesex County, licenses will go to facilities slated for Lowell, Ayer, Newton, and Cambridge. In Norfolk County, the locations are in Brookline and Quincy. In Suffolk County, two are slated in Boston.

In Plymouth county, licenses will go to facilities slated for Plymouth and Brockton. And in Worcester County, the locations are in Milford and Worcester. In Essex County, they are slated in Salem and Haverhill.

Here are the others: Mashpee and Dennis in Barnstable County; Taunton and Fairhaven in Bristol County; Holyoke in Hampden County; and Northampton in Hampshire County.

Counties without a selected dispensary include Berkshire, Franklin, Dukes and Nantucket.


Boston named third best US city for public transit

January 28, 2014 05:08 PM

This one's a surprise: Boston--and by extension, its pride and joy of a transit system--was ranked the third best US city for public transportation by Walk Score.

To assemble the ranking, Walk Score calculated the Transit Score of 316 cities and nearly 7,000 neighborhoods. Boston scored a 75, falling behind New York (81) and San Francisco (80.)

Transit Scores were based on the average resident's access to public transit in the city, using a population-weighted methodology. Only cities with more than 500,000 people were included in the top list.

Walk Score said the ranking favored Northeast cities "with established subway systems."

In other MBTA news, the Green Line is delayed.

What does a snow emergency mean?

January 21, 2014 03:14 PM


CoUrbanize Blog mapped out where to (and where not to) park your car during snow emergencies in the Boston area.

It's snowing or about to snow, and suddenly the announcements start coming. Public schools are closed. Meetings cancelled. A snow emergency and parking ban declared. But what does that mean?

Here's the short answer: A snow emergency is the term for the active response plan of a municipality or county during a snow storm. In Massachusetts, more often than not it is used to indicate weather-related parking bans.

During snow emergencies, parking is restricted on certain streets in Boston-area cities. If you are parked on one of those streets and fail to move your car by the appointed time, it most likely will be ticketed or towed.

But like many things in Eastern Massachusetts, the details vary by municipality. Here's a look at some of the area's most populous cities' policies.

Boston:

In Boston, only major thoroughfares (Commonwealth Avenue, Beacon Street, Newbury Street, etc.) are affected by a snow emergency's parking ban. Your definition of "major arterial" may differ from the city's, so visit the city's map or list by neighborhood before stashing your car during a storm.

If you need a place to park in Boston during the storm, the city offers discounted parking at several parking lots and garages to cars with resident parking stickers. The hitch: you must move your car within two hours of the snow emergency being lifted.

Cambridge

Cambridge will tag and tow your car if it's parked on certain streets during a snow emergency. The city has 82 streets with parking bans--some affect the whole street, others one side. Look for signs indicating whether there's a no parking ban during a snow emergency.

Some of Cambridge's snow emergency signs may be folded, showing no message when closed and the message "Tow Zone, No Parking until Further Notice, Narrow Roadway" when open. These streets may not follow the declared snow emergency hours; if the sign is open, the parking ban persists.

Like Boston, Cambridge offers parking garages for those stranded by the snow emergency. Five parking facilities--Galleria Mall, First Street Garage, Green Street Garage, 52 Oxford Garage, and 65 Waverly Street--offer free parking starting at 6 p.m. if the snow emergency is called overnight. Vehicles must have a resident parking sticker.

Somerville:

Somerville declares snow emergencies when four or more inches of snow are predicted. Residents have four hours after the snow emergency is called to move their cars to the odd-numbered side of the street. After that, the city begins ticketing and towing offending cars.

If you can't find a spot on the odd-numbered side of your street, spots at schools, municipal buildings and municipal public parking lots are available (see map.) Once the snow emergency is lifted, vehicles must be retrieved within two hours.

How to find out about snow emergencies:

On your mobile phone: Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville offer emergency email and text alerts.

On social media: Follow your city's Twitter accounts.



On your city's website: Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville

From the media: Boston.com will have updated storm coverage, including snow emergency declarations. For school cancellations, go here.

The faces, thighs you're likely to see at the No Pants Subway Ride

January 9, 2014 10:31 AM

The 7th Annual No Pants Subway Ride will take place in Boston at 1 p.m. this Sunday afternoon. In the name of silliness, hundreds of people will flock to the MBTA to take a special, pantsless ride through to the city to shock, awe, and get a few laughs out of their fellow Bostonians. [Check out photos from past rides]

James Cobalt, the executive director of BostonSOS and the event’s organizer, said every year the event grows and increases followers. For this year’s ride, he said they’re trying a few new things, the details of which will be released on the event’s page at 9 p.m. tonight. He said that everyone should give the ride a try at least once, and that it’s a great place to meet other awesome people in the city.

“It’s an amazing equalizer, and my favorite event. Nothing compares to the energy from the No Pants ride! I also think there’s a lot more adrenaline because it’s cold and you don’t have pants on,” Cobalt said. “It’s amazing how quickly you become acclimated to not having pants. In five minutes, you totally forget.”

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So who are these people who participate in a pantsless subway ride? Here’s a sampling of some of the ride’s past participants and their favorite experiences along the way.


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Name: James Cobalt
Age: 30
Location: Boston
Most Memorable Moment: “The first year I did it, there was this guy who worked himself into a tizzy. He was shouting about how he thought we were all on drugs . . . The only explanation he could come up with is that we were all high beyond comprehension, so he scolded us on the danger of drugs.”


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Name: Bryan Berlin
Age: 24
Location: New York City
Most Memorable Moment: “There was about 100 people in the station somewhere on the Blue Line, and we were the only [pantsless] people around. Everyone was cheering and singing. There was one person who didn’t know what was going on, and everyone was giving them a different answer, like 10 people in a row. He got so upset, and was screaming, ‘What’s going on?!’ and no one would tell him. He was very frustrated, but not in a bad way. I always thought that was really funny.”


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Name: Al Nadjarian
Age: 26
Location: Boston, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “Last year I helped coordinate some of the groups, and that was an awesome experience . . . I had a couple people in my group who were just stone-cold, poker-faced awesome, and whenever people came up to them they did such a great job of making these ridiculous excuses, such as ‘pants are a burden on society, limiting our freedom.’ Everybody can get behind that! Three people decided to join after they heard that because they agreed.”


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Name: Gwen Hunt
Age: 24
Location: West Lebanon, N.H.
Most Memorable Moment: “Two years ago, we were walking through Haymarket—about 20 or 30 people in their underwear—and this woman who works for the MBTA started heckling one of the guys who was wearing tutti fruity batman underpants. He teased her by shaking his butt at her, and it just went back and forth. It was really great; you don’t really get that interaction with the MBTA often!”


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Name: Jason Carpenter
Age: 36
Location: Dorchester, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “The whole thing is quite memorable. It’s not something you forget that easily . . . The whole thing is so well organized, it’s just awesome to be running form station to station without your pants. The most memorable point was in the big group, meeting at the after party. We’re at a bar and it’s a bar full of pantsless people, and everyone at that point is comfortable hanging out with other people who don’t have pants on.”


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Name: Emily Jean Robichau
Age: 23
Location: West Bridgewater, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “The second year I did it, the after party was at McGreevy’s. Everyone had their pants off, and my friend Brendan managed to get a bra as well. He started walking around with a bra on too, and everybody was giving him high fives. I think someone even stuck a dollar in there.”


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Name: Gazel Hebbert
Age: 24
Location: Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “We were on the red line after we had switched trains, and I got on the last door of one of the cars. There was a relatively older woman sitting down across from me, and she looked around and realized there were a lot of people not wearing pants. She made direct eye contact with me, looked me up and down twice . . . and said, ‘I know what I’m going to be thinking of when I go home to my husband tonight.’ She had a huge smile on her face, but it definitely made the whole experience a lot more memorable.”


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Name: Alissa Daniels
Age: 43
Location: Newton, Mass.
Most Memorable Moment: “The first year I did it I was sitting by myself. I was reading and this woman came over to me. She was so confused by what was going on and she didn’t speak very much English. In very broken English she asked me, ‘Is today special day?’ I wanted to explain, but that’s what you’re not supposed to do. I said I don’t think so, and she looked so confused. But that’s kind of what it’s all about! It was really kind of cute.”

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