It took No. 8 North Reading 17 games to suffer its first loss, a 2-1 decision to Masconomet on Saturday. The loss dropped Frank Careys crew one spot from last week, giving Danvers the No. 7 spot after a 2-0 week. The Falcons defeated Winthrop and Marblehead by a combined 13-2.
Also moving up a spot was No. 3 Newton North after an undefeated week.
The top 20 added four newcomers to the bottom four spots. No. 17 Central Catholic currently leads the Merrimack Valley Conference and No. 18 Medford clinched the Greater Boston League title this week. No. 19 Bishop Fenwick is also leading the Catholic Central. The Crusaders consideration was also helped by its upset of Peabody.
Former top 20 teams in Lincoln Sudbury, Acton-Boxborough, and Malden Catholic all lost at least two games last week.
Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com
About three dozen supporters of same-sex marriage gathered in the Boston Public Garden recently to mark the ninth anniversary of its legalization in Massachusetts.
The Commonwealth issued the first marriage licenses for same-sex couples on May 17, 2004, following a landmark decision by the Supreme Judicial Court the previous November that found that same-sex couples had the right to marry.
Present at the celebration were Ellen Wade and Maureen Brodoff, a Newton couple that participated as plaintiffs in that case, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, and wed on the first day it was legal.
“We thought our commitment was as good a model of a committed, loving relationship as you’d likely find in any community, straight or gay,” said Brodoff, 61, of their decision to participate in the Goodrich case.
“It’s just thrilling every year when this time comes around, not just as an anniversary for our marriage but what a spectacular day it was for Massachusetts and all its citizens,” she said.
Wade, 64, said she’s not bothered if same-sex marriage has become so commonplace in Massachusetts that residents don’t always stop to appreciate the historic struggle that made it possible.
“It’s great if people take it for granted,” said Wade. “I think there’s a place for appreciating the enormous accomplishment of getting this right, but ultimately that’s what you want.”
Wade and Brodoff recently celebrated Mother’s Day together, having dinner out with their 24-year-old daughter, Kate Wade-Brodoff. They said the one downside to having two mothers is that the adult child has two people deserving special treatment on the holiday.
Massachusetts was the first state in the country to legally recognize marriages between gay couples and remained the only state to do so until Connecticut became the second in 2008.
Just two days before Thursday’s celebration, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill legalizing gay marriage in that state, making it the 12th where same-sex couples can marry. It is also legal in Washington, D.C.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino had been scheduled to speak at the event, but was unable to attend. Instead, Jullieanne Doherty, who serves as the mayor’s liaison to Jamaica Plain as well as liaison to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, read a statement from Menino.
In the statement, Menino referred to a pair of cases currently under review by the US Supreme Court: one concerns the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which bars married gay couples from receiving federal benefits, while the other reviews the legality of Proposition 8, the referendum that outlawed same-sex marriage in California.
“It has the chance — and I would say the obligation — to end the discrimination still faced by millions of gay and lesbian couples who simply want to marry the person they love,” Menino said of the court in his statement.
The mayor went on to say that he’d like to invite the justices of the court to Boston to see what is different now. “All that has changed is that Massachusetts now treats all loving couples and their families equally under the law,” he said.
Michael Kelley and Ricardo Rodriguez, both 42, were married seven years ago at a park in the South End. The couple said that they initially had some anxiety about having such a public ceremony, fearing some people might see it and react negatively.
They need not have worried.
“Residents started running out of their houses to scream and yell and throw flowers,” Kelley said.
Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com
Photo courtesy of wellesleyweekend.com
Wellesley officials are warning that there will be road closures and cannon firings this weekend as the town holds its annual parade Sunday and celebrates "Wonderful Wellesley Weekend."
The annual veterans' parade will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. beginning at the intersection of Routes 16 and 9, and will end in Wellesley Square. There will be a concert at 6:30 p.m., and fireworks at dusk.
A full day of activities is also listed for Saturday, with events like a pancake breakfast, free eye exams, a town forest walk, art activities, and open houses at law enforcement and fire stations.
A cannon will be fired every hour during the day Saturday on the Town Hall Green, located on Washington Street in Wellesley Square. Officials warn that although the cannons may sound like an explosion, there should be no need for concern.
There will also be major road closures on Sunday due to the town parade. Washington Street from Route 9 in Wellesley Hills square to Oakland Street will be closed starting at 11:45 a.m. Sunday. At 12:30 p.m., Washington Street from Wellesley Hills Square to Central Street will be closed, as will Central Street from Washington Street to Cross Street. The Crest Road bridge will also be closed.
Roads will reopen at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
However, at 8 p.m. Sunday, Washington Street will be closed from State Street (Kingsbury Street bridge) to Forest Street (Rockland Street bridge) because of a local firework show. There will be a detour in place. Washington Street should re-open at about 9:30 p.m., officials said.
There will be temporary "No Parking" signs posted for Sunday’s events in and around the Washington Street area. Any cars who park in the closed-off area will be towed.
The Wellesley Police Department will send out reminder alerts on Sunday as roads close and open.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com
The MBTA says riders will soon be able to receive faster, more reliable, and more informative alerts, via text and e-mail, notifying them about service delays and disruptions and planned changes.
The revamped “T-Alerts” notification system will launch June 4.
Riders can register for the new service today at www.mbta.com.
The more than 50,000 subscribers of the existing “T-Alerts” system must sign up for the new system to continue to receive alerts. The old system, which launched in 2007, will be discontinued.
The T plans to remind current subscribers that they should sign up for the new system by sending them alerts starting Friday.
Under the new system, alerts will continue to be posted to the T’s website, “with visual enhancements made to page layout and format for clarity, ease-of-use, and reader-friendliness,” the public transit agency said in a statement Thursday.
Text message and e-mail alerts will have more “reliable delivery times” through a new partnership between the T and GovDelivery, a digital communication management company.
“Service alerts and notifications will be clearer and more detailed with additional information regarding specific trip times, service schedule changes, and distinct directional, branch, and station communications,” the statement said.
Like the old system, the new T-Alerts allows riders to tailor which alerts they receive. Riders can choose to be sent alerts about a mix of subway, commuter rail, and boat lines, bus routes and elevators and escalators within the system.
Customizing is easier under the new system and allows some additional flexibility when signing up, including letting customers pick certain times of the day for when they want to receive alerts, T spokeswoman Kelly Smith said.
T officials also hope the new notification system will pave the way for third-party software developers to create new smartphone applications and websites around the “T-Alerts” system, Smith said.
Such apps could allow riders even more options for customizing how they receive alerts, she said.
Smith said the T will make new tools available to third-party developers later this month.
“Based on past experience we expect to see some innovative, useful and interesting applications of that information on smartphone apps and websites,” she said in an e-mail.
The new “T-Alerts” system “is built around data structures that enable sharing, encouraging innovative third-party development,” the T’s statement said. “It uses emerging standards introduced by Google in 2011.”
Developers interested in creating software applications around “T-Alerts,” can visit developer.mbta.com.
E-mail Matt Rocheleau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more news and stories about the MBTA, follow @LifeontheMBTA on Twitter, here.
For the latest updates about your community, follow some of our local neighborhood, city and town Twitter accounts, here.
One month after the Boston Marathon bombings changed their lives forever, family and friends of the Norden brothers gathered this morning in Hopkinton to walk the 26.2-mile route to Boston that so many were unable to finish.
Brothers J.P. Norden, 33, and Paul Norden, 31, who grew up in Stoneham, each lost a leg and suffered burns and other wounds when they had gathered with four others at the finish line April 15 to cheer on friend Mike Jefferson, who was running in the race. The Norden brothers are now receiving treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. Paul is scheduled to be released later this week.
Speaking in Hopkinton, the brothers' uncle, Peter Brown, recalled watching the marathon on TV, and watched as the two bombs went off. Shortly thereafter, he received a frantic call from his sister. "I couldn't understand her, she was so emotional," he said. "My nephew, Pete, came on, and said 'Paul's in the hospital. We can't find J.P.'"
All six friends who had come to watch Jefferson suffered injuries, including Norden friend Marc Fucarile, who lost a leg and remains hospitalized at Massachusetts General.
As the Norden brothers began their recoveries, family members started looking for ways to help and to raise money.
"We wanted to do some thing to help with the healing, that could pay tribute and raise some funds to help the boys long-term," said Brown. "What I worry about is, six months from now, a year from now, what these guys are going to have to do to get better, and process what they've endured."
In the meantime, Brown said that Wednesday's goal was to walk the marathon route together, as family and friends.
Brown, who planned to walk the route today, called it a "monumental" task, adding he was feeling a little apprehensive about the finish line area, where two bomb blasts killed three and wounded more than 200.
"I'm trying to focus on just finishing this thing," said Caitlin Norden, speaking with her sister, Colleen, near the Hopkinton starting line.
"It's for them, so we'll do whatever we can to help them," Caitlin said, referring to her brothers J.D. and Paul. "They went to watch their friend finish, so we're going to finish it for them."
Caitlin said her brothers were surprised to learn of the walk, but added she was hoping to see them at the finish line on Boylston Street. "We're so tight. We couldn't be closer."
"I feel like, what they've been through, we can handle a few blisters to get through this," said Caitlin. "Just having them in our mind will get us through it."
Caitlin said her family has drawn strength and inspiration by watching the brothers recover. She said she has been to memorials at the finish line, and said she was grateful that her family can still tell the brothers "we love them."
Brown said the brothers have been getting "stronger every day" and have been "incredibly positive."
Clad in a shirt whose back read, "We decide when our Marathon ends," family friend Holly Judd, of Woburn, who was also walking the route, described the family as supportive and "amazing."
Now that the shock of the events is starting to wear off, Judd said it was time for the healing to begin. "That's the next step."
"I just kind of feel that this was taken away from J.P. and Paul, so we're going to finish it for them," Judd said. "They have amazing strength."
Supporters of the Nordens weren't the only ones who decided to make the trek to Boston Wednesday morning. Earlier, a small group, organized by Phil White of Derby, Vt. through Facebook, departed Hopkinton to walk the marathon route.
"I love Boston," White said. "I wanted to do something to honor the victims, and do something to take back the route from the demons of hate and fear."
Elaine Howley of Waltham, who was part of White's group, said that "we need to stand up and stand together, and make a strident noise against those who would have it undone."
Noreen Geraghty of Holyoke said she was hoping to feel a sense of closure after crossing finish line. "First there was a lot of anger, now it's about getting on with everything and healing. And I think today will be a nice part of that."
Simon and Sons, a 108-year-old men's and boy's clothing store, will move from its Newton storefront home of the past 20 years to a more spacious spot in Needham this summer, said owner Paul Simon.
The shop, currently located on Needham Street in Newton, will be taking the 5,100 square foot space currently housing Party Works on Highland Avenue in Needham. The owners of the party shop recently announced that they will retire and close the store at the end of May.
But for Simon and Sons owner Paul Simon, the move proves a big win for the clothier shop started by his grandfather in 1905 on the streets of Back Bay.
"We're really excited about the Needham location," Simon said over the phone Monday. "It's only a mile down the road from our current location, but we feel it's easier to access for our customers. It's only 200 yards to highway, there's easier parking, and the new store is bigger. Plus, there isn't the congestion of Needham Street."
Simon said he plans to begin renovations at the new Highland Avenue location in June, and will move to the new location - ambitiously, without closing his shop for even one day - in mid-August.
"We’re going to move overnight," he said, laughing. "We’ll close early, roll everything down the street on rolling racks, rent some trucks, and be ready the next day for business."
Simon, who is the third generation running the store, said he is the only one in his family left in the business.
"My father and uncles have gotten older and have chosen to retire," he said. "They're past their working years."
And when asked if Simon's own children - two high-school aged kids - would take over the business in the years to come, he laughed again.
"They come in and help in the store when we need them, but I don’t know," he said. "It's too early to tell if they’ll take over."
For more information on Simon and Sons, visit their website.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com
At the event, Gomez will speak to area residents, focusing mainly on business-related topics, and will then take questions from the audience. The forum will be held Thursday, May 23 at 8 a.m. at the Newton Health Care Center, located at 2101 Washington St. in Newton.
Gomez, a 47-year-old private equity investor from Cohasset, is making his first run for higher office against US Rep. Edward Markey, the Democratic candidate who spent the pasr 36 years in Congress. Gomez is the son of Colombian immigrants and a former Navy SEAL.
The chamber has also invited Markey to appear at a similar forum on a different, to-be-announced date.
The Gomez event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested.
For more information on the event, visit the chamber's website.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Newton City Hall is losing more top managers, after a year of shakeups in Mayor Setti Warren’s administration.
The city’s Human Resources Director Dolores Hamilton will leave to become the personnel director in Framingham at the end of the month.
Hamilton has been with the City of Newton for nearly 16 years, but under Warren’s 2013-2014 budget proposal she was going to step down and become the new director of labor relations. As the head of the human resources department Hamilton’s annual salary was $116,021, but as the labor relations director she would have earned $87,045.
Hamilton’s last day is May 24, said Bob Rooney, the city’s chief operating officer.
Hamilton told employees in an e-mail that the Framingham job would mean a shorter commute for her.
“We really appreciate her service with the employees,” Rooney said.
Newton also lost its performance manager Michael Herbert a few weeks ago. Herbert took a job as Ashland’s assistant town manager. Herbert started in Newton in early December. Hebert was the second person hired for the performance manager position in three years.
Some aldermen have expressed concern about the turnover and have worried about the morale among city staff.
Rooney said employees leave for various reasons. He and Warren have said that morale is not a problem among city employees.
The city’s building commissioner and chief information officer were dismissed in March. The secretary of the city’s election commission retired in January on short notice, just two months before a citywide vote on a property tax increase. The city’s transportation director was dismissed last July, a month after a transportation engineer resigned to take a state job.
Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at email@example.com
Fifteen men, all but one from suburbs west of Boston, were arrested Thursday by federal agents for allegedly participating in a illegal drug ring that was based in Natick and sold large numbers of Oxycodone pills.
The arrest capped a four month investigation that included tapping the phones of the suspects, all of whom were charged with conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone, according to the office of Boston US Attorney Carmen Ortiz.
The criminal complaint filed in the case alleges that defendant Michael Bourque, 42, of Natick used his shipping company, DEX Corporation, to front the wholesale drug trafficking operation, which authorities said started as early as February 2011 and continued through this April. Bourque allegedly received the drugs through various narcotic suppliers.
According to federal authorities, the 15 men illegally purchased, sold or distributed wholesale amounts of Oxycodone.
Some of the other 14 men charged are accused of selling the pills for, or to, Bourque:
The complaint alleges that two defendants, Mark Ouellette, 43, of Shirley and Acton resident Sean Cotter, 41, distributed 700 pills to Bourque at the end of March. A search of Oulette's home found about 2,000 Oxycodone pills, over $30,000 in cash, and a loaded gun, Ortiz's office said.
The arrests come after authorities received court approval to wiretap conversations between the defendants over a period of four months, the US Attorney's office said.
“With these arrests today we hope to send a strong message that trafficking and distributing prescription pain medication will not be tolerated and we will utilize the full breadth of our law enforcement resources to bare," said John J. Arvanitis of the Drug Enforcement Administration in a statement released by Ortiz's office.
Also arrested were Waltham residents Robert Hagenaars, 37, Barry Goolst, 52, Phillip Goolst, 49, and Thomas Ehwa, 26; Natick residents Frank McGuire, 42, and Christopher Yancey, 41; Newton residents Brian Chisholm, 44, and Raymond Panaggio, 44; Michael Roy, 32, of Milford; Corey Assencoa, 43, of Hopkinton; Mark Newton, 27, of Hudson; and John Kinney, 29, of Woburn.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $1 million fine, according to Ortiz's statement.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working alongside our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who wreak havoc in Massachusetts cities and towns through the distribution and sale of illegal drugs,” Ortiz said in the statement. “We will continue to keep a vigilant eye over the communities and neighborhoods that we serve in an effort to ensure the highest degree of safety and quality of life for all residents."
The case was investigated by Boston agents of the DEA, FBI, Homeland Security, IRS, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, as well as local and state police agencies, among others.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org