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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe
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 OBryant Friday night in a 68-62 nail-biter on the Tigers home court.
The Townies lost five straight games heading into Fridays matchup by a combined total of just 17 points, and the close losses put Charlestowns playoff chances in jeopardy.
Weve 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.
OBryant entered the game with a deceiving 5-19 record, as the Tigers had also lost numerous close games this season.
OBryants 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 OBryant senior center Ben Lawler.
OBryant 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 OBryant 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 OBryants 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. Youre 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 OBryant 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 were probably going to be a 16-seed, 17-seed, 18-seed, Cardoso said. We dont care, we just wanted to get in and try to work harder and make a run. Were in there now so were gonna work hard over vacation and whoever we play, we play.
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.”
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:
@BostonDotCom Growing up next to the E Line, I hated the loud noises! But now I'm in the suburbs, hearing the screeching reminds me of home.— Henry Wu (@ByHenryWu) February 6, 2014
@BostonDotCom I love when it remains stationery under ground for extended periods of time.— KerryJ (@KerryJSay) February 6, 2014
@BostonDotCom I love the mystery and suspense of wondering if a Lechmere train is ever actually going to come. I'm an adventure junkie.— Sean Marsters (@swmarsters) February 6, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 social media: Follow your city's Twitter accounts.
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.”
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.
Name: James Cobalt
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.”
Name: Bryan Berlin
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.”
Name: Al Nadjarian
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.”
Name: Gwen Hunt
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!”
Name: Jason Carpenter
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.”
Name: Emily Jean Robichau
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.”
Name: Gazel Hebbert
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.”
Name: Alissa Daniels
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.”