November 23, 2007

Neighborhood Crime Task Force Final Report November 19, 2007

Neighborhood Crime Task Force Final Report November 19, 2007

From the Executive Summary of the Crime Task Force Final Report Nov. 19,
2007. "The recommendations for action described in this report represent the
consensus opinion of the Task Force members that resulted from this intensive
and comprehensive process."
"Consensus: Collective opinion. General agreement or accord." (American
heritage Dictionary, 2nd Ed. 1982)
Task Force Membership: Co-chairs are Mayor Reeves, and City Manager Robert
Healy. Four City Councilors, Kelley, Simmons, Galluccio, and Reeves. Two School
Committee Members, Harding and Grassi.
Ellen Semenoff, a lawyer, is Assistant City Manager for Human Services, and
the supervisor of the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator for Cambridge.
Cambridge Police Commissioner and two Deputy Superintendents. The Chief of
MIT police. 50 members total.
On page 25, Chapter 4: "Crime has a variety of causes, not least among
which are mental health . . .”
This is irrational. Studies prove that withdrawal from psychiatric drugs
cause violence. The Task Force members are clueless about that. Task Force Final
Report demonstrates irrational prejudice, which indicates unlawful denial of
rights to persons with disabilities.
Recommendations, page 30: “experts on mental health to be on call as
appropriate if the situation involves crime in which mental health might be a
There is no causal connection between crime and disability. Task Force
again shows its irrational prejudices toward persons with disabilities. Task
Force is unable to distinguish between crime and disability.
They would never suggest that persons of color commit crimes because of
their race, that homosexuals commit crimes due to their sexual preferences, or
that women commit crime because of their gender. They openly state in a formal
city report that persons with disabilities commit crimes due to their
disability. That is an outrage.
The Task Force boasted the “distinguished group represented each segment of
the community called for in the policy order.” Once again persons with
disabilities were excluded from a city project. The City Manager and the Mayor
chose the members. How many times do these public officials need to be told that
they violate city, state and US laws regarding persons with disabilities? They
refuse to extend civic participation to persons with disabilities. They need to
be removed from office. This is a bigoted report.
A statement on each City Council agenda says "City of Cambridge does not
discriminate on the basis of disability." Huh?

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

What Laws are being Enforced?

What Laws are being Enforced?

Police officers on warrant-less searches who see drugs will not prosecute
but only seize the drugs. Who gets the drugs? (Maria Cramer, "Police to search
for guns in homes," Boston Globe, November 17, 2007) If they see abused children
will they ignore that also? What crimes will these searches apply to and which
ones will be overlooked? Is this selective enforcement of the laws in the name
of good?
This is a band aid solution attacking symptoms of the decline of morality
and obedience to law. There is no recognition by the spineless politicians that
their policies created the pervasive malaise in society, especially in
Massachusetts. Their failed policies dividing people into groups and ignoring
the most vulnerable citizens forced them to remain dependent on government and
destroyed hopes and dreams, and any reason to respect the laws and others.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Police to search for guns in homes
City program depends on parental consent
By Maria Cramer
Boston Globe Staff
November 17, 2007

Boston police are launching a program that will call upon parents in high-crime
neighborhoods to allow detectives into their homes, without a warrant, to search
for guns in their children's bedrooms.
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The program, which is already raising questions about civil liberties, is based
on the premise that parents are so fearful of gun violence and the possibility
that their own teenagers will be caught up in it that they will turn to police
for help, even in their own households.

In the next two weeks, Boston police officers who are assigned to schools will
begin going to homes where they believe teenagers might have guns. The officers
will travel in groups of three, dress in plainclothes to avoid attracting
negative attention, and ask the teenager's parent or legal guardian for
permission to search. If the parents say no, police said, the officers will

If officers find a gun, police said, they will not charge the teenager with
unlawful gun possession, unless the firearm is linked to a shooting or homicide.

The program was unveiled yesterday by Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis in a
meeting with several community leaders.
globe graphic Pilot neighborhoods in search program

"I just have a queasy feeling anytime the police try to do an end run around the
Constitution," said Thomas Nolan, a former Boston police lieutenant who now
teaches criminology at Boston University. "The police have restrictions on their
authority and ability to conduct searches. The Constitution was written with a
very specific intent, and that was to keep the law out of private homes unless
there is a written document signed by a judge and based on probable cause. Here,
you don't have that."

Critics said they worry that some residents will be too intimidated by a police
presence on their doorstep to say no to a search.

"Our biggest concern is the notion of informed consent," said Amy Reichbach, a
racial justice advocate at the American Civil Liberties Union. "People might not
understand the implications of weapons being tested or any contraband being

But Davis said the point of the program, dubbed Safe Homes, is to make streets
safer, not to incarcerate people.

"This isn't evidence that we're going to present in a criminal case," said
Davis, who met with community leaders yesterday to get feedback on the program.
"This is a seizing of a very dangerous object. . . .

"I understand people's concerns about this, but the mothers of the young men who
have been arrested with firearms that I've talked to are in a quandary," he
said. "They don't know what to do when faced with the problem of dealing with a
teenage boy in possession of a firearm. We're giving them an option in that

But some activists questioned whether the program would reduce the number of
weapons on the street.

A criminal whose gun is seized can quickly obtain another, said Jorge Martinez,
executive director of Project Right, who Davis briefed on the program earlier
this week.

"There is still an individual who is an impact player who is not going to change
because you've taken the gun from the household," he said.

The program will focus on juveniles 17 and younger and is modeled on an effort
started in 1994 by the St. Louis Police Department, which stopped the program in
1999 partly because funding ran out.

Police said they will not search the homes of teenagers they suspect have been
involved in shootings or homicides and who investigators are trying to

"In a case where we have investigative leads or there is an impact player that
we know has been involved in serious criminal activity, we will pursue
investigative leads against them and attempt to get into that house with a
search warrant, so we can hold them accountable," Davis said.

Police will rely primarily on tips from neighbors. They will also follow tips
from the department's anonymous hot line and investigators' own intelligence to
decide what doors to knock on. A team of about 12 officers will visit homes in
four Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods: Grove Hall, Bowdoin Street and Geneva
Avenue, Franklin Hill and Franklin Field, and Egleston Square.

If drugs are found, it will be up to the officers' discretion whether to make an
arrest, but police said modest amounts of drugs like marijuana will simply be
confiscated and will not lead to charges.

"A kilo of cocaine would not be considered modest," said Elaine Driscoll,
Davis's spokeswoman. "The officers that have been trained have been taught

The program will target young people whose parents are either afraid to confront
them or unaware that they might be stashing weapons, said Davis, who has been
trying to gain support from community leaders for the past several weeks.

One of the first to back him was the Rev. Jeffrey L. Brown, cofounder of the
Boston TenPoint Coalition, who attended yesterday's meeting.

"What I like about this program is it really is a tool to empower the parent,"
he said. "It's a way in which they can get a hold of the household and say, 'I
don't want that in my house.' "

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, whose support was crucial for police
to guarantee there would be no prosecution, also agreed to back the initiative.
"To me it's a preventive tool," he said.

Boston police officials touted the success of the St. Louis program's first
year, when 98 percent of people approached gave consent and St. Louis police
seized guns from about half of the homes they searched.

St. Louis police reassured skeptics by letting them observe searches, said
Robert Heimberger, a retired St. Louis police sergeant who was part of the

"We had parents that invited us back, and a couple of them nearly insisted that
we take keys to their house and come back anytime we wanted," he said.

But the number of people who gave consent plunged in the next four years, as the
police chief who spearheaded the effort left and department support fell,
according to a report published by the National Institute of Justice.

Support might also have flagged because over time police began to rely more on
their own intelligence than on neighborhood tips, the report said.

Heimberger said the program also suffered after clergy leaders who were supposed
to offer help to parents never appeared.

"I became frustrated when I'd get the second, or third, or fourth phone call
from someone who said, 'No one has come to talk to me,' " he said. Residents
"lost faith in the program and that hurt us."

Boston police plan to hold neighborhood meetings to inform the public about the
program. Police are also promising follow-up visits from clergy or social
workers, and they plan to allow the same scrutiny that St. Louis did.

"We want the community to know what we're doing," Driscoll said.

Ronald Odom - whose son, Steven, 13, was fatally shot last month as he walked
home from basketball practice - was at yesterday's meeting and said the program
is a step in the right direction. "Everyone talks about curbing violence," he
said, following the meeting. ". . . This is definitely a head start."

Maria Cramer can be reached at

Globe PR for the Drug Companies?

Globe PR for the Drug Companies?

Bugansky tells only that he took pills. (Tim Bugansky, "I miss my
Boston Globe, November 20, 2007) He does not reveal what else he changed besides
geography that contributed to his improved perspective. Did he end a love
affair? Did he get a new job he enjoyed? Did he have plastic surgery? We only
know that he took pills. Was he paid any money by a drug company as two-thirds
of medical school teachers are paid? He didn't say.
The Boston Globe seldom writes any negative stories about the drug
companies or the psychiatric industry. Does the Globe promote psychiatry and
drug treatment for any rational reason? When will the Globe publish a story
about the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs?

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

I miss my depression
By Tim Bugansky
Boston Globe
November 20, 2007

AUTUMN visited Israel recently. The temperature sank, chilly rain spattered the
streets, the wind tossed the trees to and fro. As I sat outside on the porch one
night, I found my mind yanked back to Ohio, and I was struck by a familiar pang
of sadness - and I missed, achingly, the decade when I was clinically depressed.
more stories like this

The irony of depression - for me, at least - was that it made me feel a
pervasive sadness that pierced my heart like frigid, jagged glass, but it also
made me feel supremely alive. Depression isolated me within myself, yet through
its ever-present melancholy, it also made me feel completely connected to the

Anything had the potential to envelop me in tentacles of despondency: a parking
lot at dusk; illuminated living rooms on dark city streets with families moving
about inside; an elderly man hobbling through a store all by himself; train
tracks disappearing into the distance.

These were amplified by the gracefully turbulent decay that accompanies autumn
in Ohio, where I have spent most of my life. Brisk breezes bore reminders that
life is fleeting. The moon hung morosely above cornfields. Brittle leaves
crunched resoundingly like fragile hearts underfoot.

Amidst the crushing poignancy, I was also more creative, more perceptive, more
in tune with the world. I can remember entire weeks when I was depressed more
clearly than I can remember the particulars of any one day last week. Although
days were interminable back then, they were also alive and palpable, bursting
with beautiful futility.

It's been four years now since I began a course of treatment, swallowing daily a
white pill that changes not only my brain chemistry, but also the very ways I
perceive the world, the ways the world affects me. Besides all the questions
antidepressants raise about reality and perception, "mental illness" and
normalcy, my personal reality is that I am different now. Antidepressants
altered my existence.

I eat and sleep more regularly. I can now get sad without venturing into the
borderlands of despair. I can get happy without that happiness seeming like the
gleaming tip of an iceberg - full of splendor at the surface, but dwarfed by the
hulking dark mass of potential disappointment beneath.

I don't mean to glorify depression. Had I not taken those little white pills, I
would probably have become seriously ill, more and more troubled, increasingly
incapable of living in a world constructed by and for the "normal." There is no
question that depression can and does hurt people, both the depressed and those
around them.

But while depression is often portrayed or understood in simple terms, it is
more than just an affliction. Its complexity is all the more apparent to me now
that it is absent from my life; yet the memory of it can still transport me from
the edge of the Middle Eastern desert to the American heartland.

And I wonder - as I sit outside on quiet nights and sense the seasons shifting
and wish that I could "feel" the phenomenon like I used to - I wonder how many
others like me are out there in the world, wandering through their own private
autumns, fortunate to be alive today yet missing the brilliant sadness of the

Tim Bugansky, a writer and teacher in Israel, is author of "Anywhere But Here."
He wrote this column for the International Herald Tribune.

US Judge Faults FBI

US Judge Faults FBI

Once again the taxpayer loses twice. (Jonathan Saltzman, "US judge faults
FBI in 1982 slayings," Boston Globe, November 20, 2007) Citizens did not get
what they paid these criminal FBI agents to do. Now the taxpayer must pay for
their malfeasance. Taxpayers paid while they broke the law and violated their
oaths of office.
No supervising agent has been held personally liable for his negligence.
None of the agents have been held personally liable for their crimes.
There is still no incentive for FBI agents to obey the laws. As a creature
of statute the FBI violates the Constitution wherein there is no mention of the

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

US judge faults FBI in 1982 slayings
Tells prosecutors to settle mob cases; Ex-agent's role taints argument

By Jonathan Saltzman,
Boston Globe Staff
November 20, 2007

A federal judge in Boston ruled yesterday that the FBI was responsible for the
1982 execution-style deaths of two men who were allegedly slain by members of
the Winter Hill gang and urged prosecutors to settle for damages with the

In unusual comments from the bench, US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay
pointed out that the government itself had argued in several high-profile
criminal prosecutions that Edward Brian Halloran and Michael Donahue were slain
because a rogue FBI agent tipped off fugitive mobster James "Whitey" Bulger that
Halloran was an informant.

As a result, Lindsay said, a trial was not necessary in the families' wrongful
death civil suits to determine whether the government was liable. The judge said
he will hold a trial next year to decide what damages the government owes the
families of Halloran and Donahue

In a stern rebuke to the government, Lindsay also urged the prosecutor, Andrew
Kaplan, to relay a message to US Department of Justice officials: Avoid a trial
by settling the Halloran and Donahue lawsuits and at least four others filed by
families of other people allegedly killed because of the FBI's mishandling of
Bulger and other criminal informants.

"Mr. Kaplan, please take back to Washington my suggestion that now is the time
to settle this case and, indeed, all of them," Lindsay said. He added that he
has made similar entreaties to the Justice Department in the past that "fell on
deaf ears."

Kaplan declined comment after leaving the courtroom, referring inquires to a
Justice Department spokesman, who did not return calls for comment.

Yesterday's ruling came 14 months after Lindsay found that the FBI was liable in
the 1984 killing of Quincy fisherman John McIntyre. In that case, the judge
ordered the government to pay more than $3 million to McIntyre's mother and

In the McIntyre case, the first ruling on a lawsuit brought against the
government by victims of Bulger and mob associates, Lindsay ruled only after
presiding over an 18-day bench trial. In a 110-page decision, Lindsay found that
the FBI had failed to properly supervise former agent John J. Connolly Jr. and
failed to investigate numerous allegations that Bulger and informant Stephen
"The Rifleman" Flemmi were involved in drug trafficking, murder, and other

Lindsay's ruling heartened some lawyers for families of alleged victims of
Bulger who have lawsuits pending against the government.

"What you saw happen today is that Judge Lindsay told the government he will not
conduct another trial unless they can demonstrate that the evidence will be any
different than in the McIntyre case," said Robert George, a lawyer for Donahue's
family. "For a judge to make a decision that basically preempts a trial and puts
not only the government's feet to the fire but throws them in the flames is an
extraordinary legal development."

Edward Berkin, who represents the widow of Louis R. Litif in a lawsuit,
expressed hope "that the government accepts the recommendation of Judge Lindsay
that it should seriously consider settling the remaining cases beyond McIntyre."

But he added that he had seen little sign that the government would act on the
judge's recommendation.

According to the suit filed by Litif's widow, the South Boston bookmaker was
killed in 1980 because he had offered the FBI incriminating evidence about
Bulger and Flemmi.

On April 12, 1980, prosecutors say, Bulger shot Litif in the head and put the
body in the trunk of Litif's car.

Yesterday, Lindsay scheduled a hearing for Feb. 7 to discuss the schedule for a
trial to determine damages in the lawsuits by the families of Halloran and

William Christie, a lawyer for Halloran and the McIntyre family, applauded the
judge's ruling, which caught several seasoned lawyers by surprise.

He said the evidence was overwhelming that Connolly had leaked to Bulger and
Flemmi that Halloran was cooperating with the FBI about their role in the murder
of Roger Wheeler.

As a result of that disclosure, he said Halloran was shot to death on Northern
Avenue along with Donahue, who was driving Halloran.

Lindsay said that in the federal prosecution of Connolly and other associates of
Bulger, the government had admitted that Halloran and Donahue died as a direct
result of information Connolly had leaked to Bulger and Flemmi.

Lindsay told federal prosecutors they had to reconcile their position in the
criminal cases with their stance in the civil suits.

In the civil suits, the government argued that it was not liable for the deaths
because Connolly was not acting within the scope of his authority as an FBI
agent when he leaked the information.

Connolly was sentenced to 10 years in prison following his conviction on charges
of racketeering, obstruction of justice, and lying to an FBI agent about his
dealings with Bulger and Flemmi.

He is in custody in Miami, where he is scheduled to stand trial in March on
state charges that he helped Bulger and Flemmi to orchestrate the gangland
slaying of a Boston businessman with ties to Bulger's gang.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at

What Taxpayers are for

What Taxpayers are for

[This letter was published in the Boston Herald on Friday November 23, 2007, page 26]

Once again the taxpayer loses twice. (Laurel J. Sweet, "Sweet ‘victory’ for
Bulger victims’ kin," Boston Herald, November 20, 2007) Citizens did not get
what they paid these criminal FBI agents to do. Now the taxpayer must pay for
their malfeasance. Taxpayers paid while they broke the law and violated their
oaths of office.
No supervising agent has been held personally liable for his negligence.
None of the agents have been held personally liable for their crimes.
There is still no incentive for FBI agents to obey the laws. As a creature
of statute the FBI violates the Constitution wherein there is no mention of the

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Sweet ‘victory’ for Bulger victims’ kin
Judge calls for Whitey reparations
By Laurel J. Sweet
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 |

A fed-up federal judge told the U.S. Department of Justice yesterday it’s time
to own up and pay the anguished families of a half-dozen alleged victims of
fugitive gangland serial killer James “Whitey” Bulger.

U.S. District Court Judge Reginald C. Lindsay called for creating a reparation
pool similar to what was afforded the casualties of 9/11.

Lindsay said it’s “time to think about settling these cases.” He delivered his
stern message to near-speechless DOJ prosecutor Andrew Kaplan.

The bold suggestion followed an exasperated Lindsay’s decision to forgo trials
for the estates of alleged Bulger victims Edward Brian Halloran and Michael
Donahue because he already believes former rogue Boston FBI Special Agent John
“Zip” Connolly’s unseemly friendship with the South Boston mob boss and his
partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, was responsible for getting the two men
shot to death on Northern Avenue on May 11, 1982.

Still to be decided by Lindsay is how much money the DOJ owes their
long-suffering families. Lindsay last year ordered the DOJ to pay $3.1 million
to the Quincy mother of John McIntyre, a government informant Bulger allegedly

“The judge didn’t just put the government’s feet to the fire today, he threw
them in,” said Robert George, one of the attorneys representing Donahue’s widow
and three sons.

William Christie, attorney for Halloran’s widow, said the feds were already
guilty of “a sad history of denial.”

Although it’s been the DOJ’s position all along that Halloran and Donahue were
killed because Connolly tipped-off Bulger that Halloran was going to implicate
him in the 1981 murder of World Jai Alai owner Roger Wheeler of Oklahoma, Kaplan
attempted to persuade Lindsay that the families wouldn’t be able to prove it.
This was done despite the fact the feds used the same information to convict
Connolly of racketeering in 2002.

Kaplan yesterday attempted to dismiss the chain of events as “street talk,”
citing the words of Flemmi in McIntyre’s wrongful-death case.

Lindsay repeatedly warned Kaplan to tell him what evidence the DOJ had for its
about-face, but Kaplan would only proffer, “I can’t commit to the entire trial
strategy at this point.”

Halloran, 41, and a small-time hood, was living in an FBI “safe house” when he
was shot to death. Donahue, a 32-year-old Teamster and family man, was merely a
neighborhood acquaintance who was giving him a lift home from a bar.

Thomas Donahue, who was 8 when his father was gunned down, was overwhelmed by
yesterday’s court proceeding.“This makes our holidays a lot sweeter,” he said.
“It’s a mental victory, a moral victory.”
Article URL:

Selective Hate Crimes?

Selective Hate Crimes?

Why are only some kinds of hate crimes counted and reported? (Jessica
Heslam, "Hate crime rate up, FBI says," Boston Herald, November 20, 2007)
Persons with disabilities are excluded from all efforts to end hatred and
unlawful discrimination. City human rights commissions, state commissions
against discrimination, US Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division all focus on
racism, homophobia, gender and ethnicity. Let me guess, "It never entered their
Human services corporations, the psychiatric industry, the drug companies,
and the academic research industry are grateful that persons with disabilities
are only clients and human subjects, not citizens with rights. It helps the
bottom line. Thank you journalism schools.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Hate crime rate up, FBI says
Jessica Heslam By Jessica Heslam
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - Updated 21h ago
Boston Herald Media Reporter
Reporter Jessica Heslam covers the media for the Boston Herald.

Hate crimes crept up slightly in the Bay State last year but shot up nearly 8
percent nationwide, with more than half the victims targeted because of their
race, according to a new FBI report.

Massachusetts law enforcement officials reported 379 hate crime incidents last
year, a slight increase from the 372 the year before.

The report comes amid escalating racial tension at the MBTA, the state’s largest
transit authority. The Herald last week reported two incidents involving nooses,
including one in which a black train conductor found a hangman’s rope on the
floor of his cab.

The Herald also reported last week that the T has been the subject of more than
a dozen racial discrimination complaints in the past two years, including one
from a Kenyan woman who said a bus driver did nothing as she was attacked by two
women, called the N-word and told to sit in the back of the bus.

Nationwide, law enforcement officials reported 7,722 hate crime incidents in
2006, up 7.8 percent from the 7,163 incidents reported in 2005.

One of the year’s most disturbing string of hate crimes took place in Jena, La.,
but those incidents weren’t included in yesterday’s findings because the local
agencies didn’t report them to the FBI. Only 12,600 of the country’s 17,000
police agencies participated in the 2006 reporting. In Massachusetts, only 85 of
328 statewide agencies reported incidents.

The Jena incident was sparked when three white students hung nooses from a tree.
The white students were suspended from school but never criminally charged. Six
black students were later charged with attempted second-degree murder for
beating a white student unconscious. Those charges have since been reduced.

The Justice Department is investigating a number of noose incidents at schools,
workplaces and neighborhoods around the country.

Nearly 52 percent of last year’s hate crimes were racially motivated, the report
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

In The Name of Good

In The Name of Good

Having police do child rearing will lead to worse abuses. ("Search for a
fix to Hub crime woes," Boston Herald, editorial, November 20, 2007) The longer
the absence of fathers in the home is ignored the longer this out-of-control
youth violence will continue.
Until lawyers, doctors, police and politicians begin snitching on their
colleagues the amount of violence will only increase. Young people are no longer
fooled about equal protection of the laws. They believe their own eyes over the
propaganda of the government and PR firms.
This is an instance of what George Bernard Shaw recognized as "The road to
Hell is paved with good intentions." Pre-Homeric Philosopher Cleobulous said,
"The Chief source of evil among men is excessive good." This is a clear example
of that.
If police see a 2-year-old with bruises will they ignore that? Who will own
the confiscated but not prosecuted drugs found by police searching for illegal

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Search for a fix to Hub crime woes
By Boston Herald editorial staff
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - Updated 22h ago

We treasure our civil liberties in this country, but a proposal by police and
prosecutors to search for guns in the bedrooms of Boston teens - with explicit
permission from their parents - is not the privacy infringement that some
critics are suggesting.

It is instead a return to old-fashioned crime prevention - when worried parents
could trust a cop to step in and help, without fear the kid will be tossed in

“We have conversations with single mothers who express frustration in dealing
with teenagers who are uncontrollable,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed
Davis. “In a community policing context, knocking on a door and asking . . . if
they would allow us to check their kids’ rooms for firearms may give them an

Davis and Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley announced the new “Safe Homes”
program, in which police, accompanied by clergy, will seek consent from parents
(in writing) to search the home if their children are suspected of gang or gun

Police will act on tips from the community, which Davis points out, they already
have the option to do. The difference here is that if a gun is found, the DA
agrees not to prosecute unless it’s later determined the weapon was used in a
crime. Police will, of course, continue to seek warrants when they do suspect a
youth of involvement in a shooting.

There are those who say searching a home without a warrant (even with consent)
is wrong. Yes, it must be awfully nice to sit in an ivory tower and wax academic
about the “right thing” for parents in crime-torn neighborhoods who are
terrified for their kids. Saying no is an option, and Davis wants parents to
know it.

The Safe Homes initiative is an out-of-the-box approach to tackling Boston’s
youth violence problem. Let’s let it work.

Causes of Crime

If this man is guilty of a crime sobeit. But trying to connect a history of
mental illness to crime is irrational and slurs all persons accused of mental
illness. ("Ex-psych patient pleads not guilty in Uma stalking," Boston Herald
wire services, November 17, 2007) Journalists and police need to learn how to
distinguish between crime and disability.

[URL missing]

Ex-psych patient pleads not guilty in Uma stalking
By Boston Herald wire services
Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cambridge or New York?

Cambridge or New York?

Senator Galluccio says a home rule petition by Cambridge to pay City
employees their city salary and their military pay is a "historic action."
("Cambridge does get it," Letter, Boston herald, November 23, 2007, page 26)
Historic for Cambridge perhaps.
Martha K. Hirst, New York City Commissioner for the Department of Citywide
Administrative Services says NYC employees "have an option no other city offers
-- they can choose to receive their regular city salary and benefits along with
their military pay." ("Vet bills," Letter, New York Post November 18, 2007, page
42) So which came first? The New York or the Cambridge benefit?

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Do You Know Who I Am?

Do You Know Who I Am?

Diane Clark says of Joan Kennedy, "She has a disease. If someone had
cancer, would you (the Herald) splash that headline across your front page? Why
humiliate her and her family?" ("Go easy on Joan K," Letter, Boston Herald,
November 23, 2007, page 26) Why should Joan Kennedy get preferential treatment
over ordinary persons accused of mental illness? Whenever a person is arrested
his alleged mental illness is "splashed across the [front pages]" of the Herald
and other newspapers humiliating him and his family. And he cannot say, "Do you
know who I am?"

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Not The Only City

Not The Only City

Councilor Toomey says removing Boy Scout collection boxes "had nothing to
do with politics; this event was politicized by the media, not by the city."
Imitating Bill Clinton Toomey suggests it depends on what the meaning of
"politics" is. (Tim Toomey, "Soldier on, Boy Scouts," Boston Herald, November
20, 2007)
He says, "I must remind those who are bashing Cambridge that we are the
first city in the state - and to my knowledge the country - that is offering
full salary and benefits to city employees who are overseas serving our country.
NYC provides full salary and benefits along with their military pay to city
employees. But they must repay (with hardship exceptions) the lower of the
military pay or the City salary when they return.
Councilor Toomey says removing Boy Scout collection boxes was "caused by an
apparent lack of communication." (His resolution (October 22, 2007; Resolution
36 "Urge all residents to participate in the Cambridge Boy Scouts Troop 45 and
Ship 45's Care Package Donation Drive to support our troops overseas.") carries
no power.
What was not communicated? It was not a City Council policy order.
Toomey states "Cambridge always has and will continue to support the men
and women from our city . . ." That allows them to ignore men and women for
other communities as far way as Somerville who fight for freedoms for the
moonbats in Cambridge.
Councilor Decker reads the names of the Killed In Action to oppose the war.
She exploits the deaths of men and women from other cities and states who fight
for her freedoms.
The City Council opposes the war because most of the Cambridge voters
oppose the war. The Councilors pander to whoever and whatever the cause, solely
to get re-elected. They have no beliefs other than getting re-elected.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Soldier on, Boy Scouts
Donation drive OK in Cambridge
By Tim Toomey
Boston Herald
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - Updated 18h ago

In light of recent events on Election Day in which Boy Scouts Troop 45 was asked
to remove donation boxes it had placed in Cambridge polling locations to collect
essential goods for local troops serving overseas, I think it is only
appropriate to clarify a few matters.

First, it is important to note that although over the past five years there has
been heated debate about the wars themselves, Cambridge always has and will
continue to support the men and women from our city who have bravely put their
lives on the line for our country.

On Oct. 22, I sponsored a City Council resolution in support of Troop 45 and its
effort to support the Cambridge military deployed overseas. The City Council
unanimously approved the resolution and went on record commending the Boy Scouts
on organizing the donation drive and urging all citizens to support the effort.

Resolutions like this one reflect the deep support Cambridge has for its
soldiers fighting abroad. The people of Cambridge understand that supporting our
troops and supporting the war those troops are fighting in are often two very
different things.

While this is an extremely unfortunate event, it was caused by an apparent lack
of communication and understanding rather than the malicious intent of any of
the parties involved.

Although the Scouts had informed the Election Commission of their intent and
received encouragement from the City Council, the individual polling locations
had not been notified in time and therefore had not granted the necessary
permissions to Troop 45. The decision had nothing to do with politics; this
event was politicized by the media, not by the city.

I must remind those who are bashing Cambridge that we are the first city in the
state - and to my knowledge the country - that is offering full salary and
benefits to city employees who are overseas serving our country. To say that we
do not care about the well-being of our troops is preposterous. The Home Rule
Petition that I sponsored on behalf of the City Council is one of the most
comprehensive benefit plans for our brave men and women.

Since the beginning of the military involvement in Afghanistan, City Councilor
Marjorie Decker has read the names of fallen soldiers from around the country
released by the Pentagon that week at each of our meetings. We do this to honor
and recognize the supreme sacrifice these heroes have made on behalf of our

I encourage all those cities and towns looking down on Cambridge to examine
their own policies and see if they are on par with Cambridge.

While I am saddened by the disappointing outcome of the Boy Scouts’ donation
drive, I have also been extremely impressed by their resilience. While adults
have become entangled by the perceived politics of the situation, these Scouts
have served as impressive role models to us all by pushing forward unencumbered.
If any good has come of this, it has been the enormous outpouring of support
they have received from across the country.

I’m glad this incident has brought their admirable mission into the public eye,
and I encourage everyone to continue to show their support in this season of
giving by donating to the Boy Scouts of America.
Tim Toomey is vice mayor of Cambridge and a state representative.

November 15, 2007

Who causes violence?

Who causes violence?

Denise Owens, reported her son "had a history of mental problems and took
anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medications." (PHILIP MESSING, JOHN DOYLE
and DOUGLAS MONTERO, "MA'S FRANTIC CALL," New York Post, November 14, 2007)
These statements often lead to the irrational conclusion that mental illness
causes crime. Studies show that withdrawal from the anti depressants are often
the cause of violent behavior and suicides. The psychiatric industry and the
drug companies vigorously oppose reporting that fact.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

New York Post

November 14, 2007 -- The shooting of a Brooklyn teen cops believed was
brandishing a gun - but who was carrying only a hairbrush - appeared to fall
"within department guidelines," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday.

"As we know the facts now, this shooting appears to be within department
guidelines as they faced someone they reasonably believed was about to use
deadly physical force," Kelly said.

Khiel Coppin, 18, was shot 10 times in a hail of 20 bullets Monday when police
responded to his Bedford-Stuyvesant home after receiving a 911 call from his
mother, in which the teen was heard cursing in the background and saying he had
a gun.

"I've got a [expletive] gun," Coppin said, according to the 911 transcript.

The violence unfolded when Coppin's mother, Denise Owens, called for help just
after 7 p.m. because she feared her son - who had a history of mental problems
and took anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medications - might try to hurt her
or himself, police said.

"I'm prepared to die," he allegedly told his mother before she called cops.

Coppin had an extensive juvenile record, including multiple arrests for armed
robbery and assault dating to when he was 15. He served at least one stint in a
juvenile facility upstate.

"This kid is a problem. You can even hear him," his mother told the 911

"Who is that?" the operator asked.

"That's supposed to be my son!" Owens responded.

"I've got a [expletive] gun!" the teen screamed in the background.

But minutes later, Owens told a police operator in a second call that her son
did not have a gun.

"He does not . . . hmm . . . Who says . . . he does not have a firearm," she
said, according to a second transcript released by police.

Kelly laid out details of the evening - including the recordings of the 911
calls - in an extensive press briefing, aimed at quelling public anger at the

But Paul Wooten, an attorney for Coppin's family, called Kelly's explanation
"very disappointing."

"The police commissioner has decided to rush to judgment. Somehow, within 24
hours of this tremendous tragedy, this egregious act, they have decided it was
within department guidelines," he said. "There are very, very few facts that are
actually clear. We hope we get a fair and just investigation by the District
Attorney's Office and the Police Department."

When police arrived at the family's first-floor apartment at 590 Gates Ave.,
Coppin barricaded himself inside a bedroom, officials said.

"He's going to kill us," sources said Owens told the responding officers, who
evacuated the mother from the apartment and huddled for safety behind furniture
and tried to talk Coppin into coming out and surrendering peacefully.

But Coppin just taunted them and periodically cracked the door open, and the
officers saw him holding two butcher's knives, sources said.

Then, as the ranking officer on the scene, Capt. Charles McEvoy, called for a
hostage-negotiation unit, Coppin hopped out of the bedroom window and into a

As he walked out onto Gates Avenue, he encountered five cops: two officers and a
sergeant from the housing unit, and a detective and sergeant from the 79th

The officers repeatedly told Coppin, "Stop! Lay down! Show us your hands!" but
"he was ignoring multiple, continuous orders to stop," Kelly said.

Police said Coppin kept coming toward them and then reached beneath his gray
hooded sweatshirt in a manner that made them believe he was about to pull out a
gun. They opened fire.

But Coppin was not carrying a gun, and had only an 8-inch hairbrush in his

The two officers fired six and four shots, the sergeants fired four and five,
and the detective fired only once, police sources said.

Coppin was struck in the chest, right hip, left forearm, and seven times in both
legs. He was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he died.

Investigators found four pieces of paper containing rambling writings in
Coppin's pocket.

"Happyness [sic] is sadness," read part of one, in which sadness is crossed out
and replaced with the word "death."

"Those closest 2 death iz closer to happyness [sic]. Truly that's why more bums
smile than millionaires," read another. "The devil tried 2 get me."

Additional reporting by Larry Celona, Murray Weiss and Lukas I. Alpert

Bulger Corruption Continues

Bulger Corruption Continues

The Editorial refers to "prior corruption problems in the Boston Police
Department." (Editorial, "Blight on the Boston police," Boston Globe, November
14, 2007) In 1995 US Judge Mark Wolf exposed FBI corruption which festered for
many previous years. The gangster leaders, Weeks and Bulger, boasted of their
corruption of state and local police.
Since then there was no wholesale cleansing of any police agency in the
state. The FBI office remains questionable. Neither the staties nor any local
departments were scrutinized. The alleged Internal Affairs divisions do nothing.
Cambridge's Police Review Board is toothless and is run by the police
department. There is no oversight.
Most troubling is the loud silence of elected officials who ignore the
serious threats to public safety. The relaxed moral rectitude and arrogance of a
one-party system keeps the state drifting further and further from the rule of

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Blight on the Boston police
Boston Globe
November 14, 2007

BOSTON POLICE Commissioner Edward Davis still subscribes to the "few rotten
apples" theory of police corruption. He used it yesterday to explain the
activities of three officers who pleaded guilty in recent weeks to cocaine
trafficking after getting caught in an FBI sting operation. But cases of
drug-related police corruption in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and
elsewhere suggest that the barrel itself may be moldy.

The three-year investigation of disgraced former officers Roberto Pulido, Nelson
Carrasquillo, and Carlos Pizarro provide the department's internal affairs
investigators with numerous leads. Pulido has been linked to allegations of
steroid sales, identity fraud schemes related to traffic stops, immigrant
smuggling, and protection services for after-hours parties where officers
consorted with known drug dealers and prostitutes. Davis predicts that the
number of additional officers connected to Pulido or his corrupt crew will not
be large. But the department's history doesn't warrant such confidence.

The convicted officers were boastful and contemptuous of their oaths, which
played into the hands of the FBI. It will be harder for Davis to uncover how
many officers are poised on what criminologists call the "invitational edge of
corruption." Drug-related police corruption usually involves just a small number
of hands-on officers. But the larger and potentially more destabilizing problem
stems from officers who know about criminal activity on the part of fellow
officers but fail to report it.

That tarnished sense of loyalty has infected the Boston Police Department
before, notably in 1995 when dozens of officers fled behind a blue wall of
silence rather than testify against colleagues who had nearly beaten a fellow
officer to death after mistaking him for a fleeing suspect.

Some signs are encouraging. Davis says the department displayed its capacity for
self-policing by bringing the Pulido crew to the attention of the FBI in the
first place. And two officers, he says, reported the illicit activities
allegedly taking place at the Hyde Park after-hours club to their superiors.

Other signs point in the wrong direction. Pulido tested positive for cocaine
back in 1999 under the department's mandatory drug testing policy. But overly
lenient accountability measures gave him a chance to return to duty after a
45-day suspension. In New York or Los Angeles, he would have been out on the
street, where he belonged.

An underlying corrosion of standards - weak control of evidence lockers, sloppy
documentation by detectives, poor recruitment practices - has been linked to
prior corruption problems in the Boston Police Department. This case is likely
to be no different. Maybe Pulido and his crew are rotten apples. But the public
still needs to know how the decay got in them in the first place.

November 14, 2007

What about those with disabilities?

What about those with disabilities?

[This letter was published in the Cambridge Chronicle on November 13, 2007 online and November 15, 2007 in print.]

Mon Nov 12, 2007, 04:58 PM EST

Cambridge - It is proper that persons with disabilities who make up 20 percent
of the population have no elected officials to speak for their rights. As one
person of color said to me, “At least we are whole people.” That explains it;
persons with disabilities are only one-third of a person, or perhaps one-fourth.

Is that it? The Cambridge Chronicle indicates their priorities after my numerous
complaints written, spoken and on these blogs. Here is proof that it is easier
to break open a rock than a mind. (“Thumbs down to sameness,” editorial,
Cambridge Chronicle, Nov. 8). The editors do not even include persons with
disabilities in their list of excluded groups.

The reaction of others is that I should get a life. But when these fine,
upstanding people lament that no persons of color are on the School Committee,
it becomes a legitimate issue for discussion. Is this bigotry or what?

Most Cambridge residents believe that only persons of color are victims of
discrimination. Racism has been elevated to be the only form of discrimination
that merits attention of the journalists and the politicians.

But, surprise, discrimination against persons with disabilities is as illegal as
racism. Sorry to disappoint you all. It is only in the bigoted minds of these
concerned citizens that persons with disabilities are ignored and abused when
they object. Persons of color can be as bigoted as white racists when it comes
to persons with disabilities.


[Blog entries]

Comments (2)


I had a grandfather that had disabilities but would NEVER allow anyone to say he
was disabled or handicap. My grandfather had one arm and no feet, yet he was a
firefighter, tree warden, hunter, fisherman, and raised a family. It is all in
the way you view yourself. If you view yourself as disabled, then you are
labeling yourself. My opinion is the only disabled person is the one who allow
the disability to rule their lives.

Roy Bercaw
Dear MF,
Sorry to disappoint you but the law disagrees with your perspective. Of course
you are entitled to your opinion. But under city, state and US laws, the issue
is not how you see yourself, but how others see you. The issue is not whether a
person has a disability. The issue is whether he or she is being denied access
to government (city) services (e.g., protection from crime), access to public
accommodations, and access to employment and housing. You focus on the
disability. The issue is unlawful discrimination. Under the Americans with
Disabilities Act there is a specific statute which states that it does not
matter if a person actually has a disability. What matters is if the persons who
discriminates THINKS he or she has a disability. A large investment company was
fined about $2 million for ridiculing an employee who they said was homosexual.
He is heterosexual. But he was awarded the money for unlawful discrimination
based upon sexual preference. The same principle applies to di
sability. That is why many people are unable to support the laws. They don't
know them. Why should a persons be ashamed of having a disability? Because of
the stigma in other people's minds? As you say your grandfather was a
firefighter and ignored his disability. But that does not make it any less
illegal to discriminate. In the City of Cambridge there is pervasive unlawful
discrimination. You are just not paying attention.

The Devil Made Me Do It

The Devil Made Me Do It

Rick Petrone laments public criticism of Rev. Ajemian because of a "known
psychiatric" issue. (Rick Petrone, "Pity This Priest," Letter, Boston Herald,
November 13, 2007) Does he suggest that the "psychiatric issue" is an excuse
for the alleged crime? That would mean that psychiatric illness causes crime and
make all persons accused of mental illness criminals.
Knowing how arbitrary mental illnesses are Petrone's doctrine would create
the potential for anyone and everyone to be excused from criminal
responsibility. All people who are charged with crimes need help. That does not
mitigate criminal liability.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Pity This Priest
by Rick Petrone
Boston Herald
November 13, 2007

Shame on the Boston Herald for the mean-spirited and crass headline concerning
the Rev. David Ajemian’s recent troubles (Nov. 9).

How can you openly mock an individual with known psychiatric issues?

Father Ajemian is an educated man who gave his life to serve others. He
obviously needs help, not public ridicule.

Rick Petrone, Medford
Article URL:

Mocking Fantasy

A psychiatrist and a journalist say, "The priest appears to be mentally ill - a condition that could afflict any one of us. Your reporting seems exploitive." (Eileen Reilly and Edward Downes, "An illness mocked," Letter, Boston Herald, November 14, 2007) Mental illness is so arbitrary that anyone and everyone "appears to be mentally ill," except for psychiatrists and journalists.
Ahem! The court found (with taxpayer funds) Rev. Ajemian competent to stand trial. He understands what a court is, what he is doing in court, what a lawyer is and is able to cooperate with the lawyer. Do the letter writers think that because he is not mentally ill, or because he is mentally ill he should be excused from the criminal charge? Journalists and psychiatrists need to separate crime from mental illness. Crimes are rationally defined. Mental illnesses are a made up by consensus that varies based upon personal opinions. When it comes to exploiting persons with disabilities no one surpasses what psychiatrists do to those they accuse of mental illness. What was not asked is "What is the causal connection between mental illness and crime?" There is none, except for the minds of journalists, psychiatrists and their acolytes.

An illness mocked
By Eileen Reilly and Edward Downes
Boston Herald
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Letters to the Editor

We are concerned about your recent articles on Rev. David Ajemian (“Father Fruitcake,” Nov. 9). We do not personally know Father Ajemian, but question your decision to give front-page coverage to his story.

The priest appears to be mentally ill - a condition that could afflict any one of us. Your reporting seems exploitive.

Eileen Reilly, Psychiatrist Mass. Mental Health Center
Edward Downes, Associate Professor BU College of Communication

Angels on Earth

Angels on Earth

The lobbyist for psychiatrists denies any "mistreatment" of patients.
(EUGENE J. FIERMAN, "Toward better mental-health care," Letter, Boston Globe,
November 13, 2007) [The Mass Psychiatry Society's stated mission is "MPS
represents the majority of psychiatrists in Massachusetts."] Well, duh. If a
person is mentally ill he cannot know he is being mistreated. Only a
psychiatrist can know that. Only a psychiatrist can tell if a person is mentally
ill, except for parents, children, relatives, police, prosecutors, journalists,
neighbors and everyone. So why do we need psychiatrists?
This is a most self serving letter, like most letters from psychiatrists.
If the laws protecting persons with disabilities were applied to persons accused
of mental illness the abuses might be reduced. But lawyers won't litigate those
Few psychiatrists know the laws regarding persons with disabilities. They
don't want to know those laws. They are above the laws and morally superior to
laws. They are incapable of mistreating patients. They are only motivated by
doing good. Their genes have been cleansed of greed, mendacity and sadism. They
are pure goodness.
Having a separate rule for persons accused of mental illness in emergency
rooms is not just stigma, (RACHEL ANN KLEIN, Letter, Boston Globe, November 13,
2007) it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act,
and Mass General Laws Chapter 151 B. There is no rational reason why doctors
believe persons accused of mental illness are any more dangerous than persons
not so accused.
Because the psychiatric lobby is more powerful than the laws there is no
will to stop these abuses of the rights of persons with disabilities.
Psychiatrists are incapable of mistreating patients. Are they also
incapable of violating laws? Why does the Boston Globe treat psychiatrists as if
they are godlike? Who has these editors fooled so thoroughly?

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Toward better mental-health care
Boston Globe
November 13, 2007

THE MASSACHUSETTS Psychiatric Society welcomes Susan Stefan's comments ("Wrong
place for mental-health care," Op-ed, Nov. 7), but does not agree that there is
an established pattern of mistreatment that clearly requires regulation of
hospital emergency departments. The society does believe that there is a place
for appropriate use of emergency departments in the care of some mentally ill
patients, especially in cases of life-threatening psychiatric emergency and/or
the need to assess and treat concurrent medical illness. However, we strongly
agree with Stefan that the real answer for the care of most patients lies in a
comprehensive rebuilding of inpatient and community-based mental health services
that have been devastated by too many years of budget cuts.
more stories like this


DR. JAMES Sullivan ("ER staff need options for security," Letters, Nov. 9) is
right in stating that emergency departments need to be able to restrain and
isolate patients when necessary. However, the proposed legislation would not
limit that ability. It would reduce the use of unnecessary and excessive force,
and would give people recourse to a complaints system. It would also encourage
education for emergency staff in de-escalation techniques, reducing the
potential for injury to staff and patients. Research has shown that people with
psychiatric diagnoses are more likely to be victims of violence than
perpetrators. The view that all people with psychiatric histories pose threats
to staff and patients in emergency departments is based on stigma and ignorance,
not fact.


The writer is vice president of the board of M-POWER.

November 10, 2007

Money and Politics

Money and Politics

[This letter was published in the Cambridge Chronicle on Thursday November 1, 2007.]

'Lame-stream media' doesn’t understand campaign $$
Tue Oct 30, 2007, 03:44 PM EDT

Cambridge - It is business as usual in Cambridge, as in other elections. And they wonder why few people vote. Not only do campaign contributors get access to the public officials, they also get their names in the newspapers. (Matt Dunning, “As war chests swell, City Council candidates fight for a seat,” Cambridge Chronicle, Oct. 25). At the national level the lame-stream media reports how much money each candidate raised. Does that help to distinguish between the candidates to find out what they think and what kind of human being they are? The more money the better person?

The Cambridge Chronicle celebrates Robert Winters as a “political watchdog.” But Winters is a contributor of money to some candidates. Does the Chronicle believe that Winters is objective while giving money to some candidates? Is it usual for watchdogs to make campaign contributions? Also quoted is John Moot, another contributor of money to politicians. Do campaign contributions bring access to the media as well as to politicians?

Winters openly expresses his animosity toward persons with disabilities and persons with disabilities who run for office. He ridicules vulnerable persons while revealing that incumbents have an advantage. Well, duh. I never thought of that. Does ignoring Winters’ bigotry indicate that the Chronicle writers share the negative bias toward person with disabilities? It is not as if the issue was not brought to attention of the editors. I wrote to them and spoke with them several times. (Matt Dunning, the author of the article, did not respond to my e-mail.) Still they condone denying persons with disabilities access to their basic rights and privileges enjoyed by others.

Drew Faust is celebrated as the first woman president of Harvard; Nikki Tsongas as the only woman member of the Mass. congressional delegation; Deval Patrick as the first person of color governor of Mass. But the Chronicle only knows that they are unable to find any campaign information about the first person with a disability to run for City Council, Kathy Podgers. Does this indicate that the Chronicle writers have bigoted attitudes toward persons with disabilities?

PO Box 400297

Clearing His Name Boston Herald

Clearing His Name Boston Herald

On September 11, 2007 you published a story (below my signature) saying
that Gregg Moree Cambridge City Council Candidate, was accused of beating his
wife. On October 15, 2007 the Cambridge Chronicle published the story (below
these comments) of his acquittal. Is this a recurring pattern of printing the
charges but not the acquittals? How does a person get his reputation back after
journalists help the government destroy it?
I spoke with a man (Mark?) at your City Desk on Wednesday October 18, 2007
about this matter. As of this date there was no story about the court's action.

Jury finds City Council candidate not guilty of beating wife with umbrella
Matt Dunning/Chronicle Staff
Mon Oct 15, 2007, 06:20 PM EDT

Cambridge - A jury Monday found a City Council candidate not guilty of breaking
into his Belmont home and beating his wife with an umbrella, but he still faces
charges he violated a restraining order.

Monday afternoon an eight-member jury found 50-year-old Gregg Moree, a candidate
for City Council, not guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and
breaking and entering.

�We�re very happy with the outcome of the trial,� said Doug Scorano, Moree�s

During his closing arguments, Scorano said the state had not presented nearly
enough concrete evidence to prove Moree�s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

�The Commonwealth has handed you a rotten piece of meat and called it steak,�
Scorano said. �Where is the credible evidence that this assault took place?�

Roy Bercaw, Editor
PO Box 400297
Cambridge MA 02140 USA

Abuse charges rain down on candidate; Cops: Cambridge man beat ex with umbrella
DAVE WEDGE. Boston Herald. Boston, Mass.: Sep 11, 2007. pg. 2
Abstract (Summary)

Gregg Moree, a progressive activist running for council, is slated to go on
trial next month - just weeks before the election - on charges he broke into his
ex-wife's home and beat her with an umbrella.
Copyright Boston Herald Library Sep 11, 2007

It's considered dirty politics to ask a candidate if he still beats his wife but
in the case of one Cambridge City Council hopeful, it's a fair question.

Gregg Moree, a progressive activist running for council, is slated to go on
trial next month - just weeks before the election - on charges he broke into his
ex-wife's home and beat her with an umbrella. Moree, a union carpenter, denies
the charges.

"This divorce has been very painful for my wife and me," Moree said in a
statement issued through his spokesman, Chris Pineo. "I maintain my complete
innocence of any charges and I am confident that all relevant matters will be
resolved in my favor."

He added: "I regret that because of my candidacy this private matter has come
into public view."

Police arrested Moree at gunpoint at his ex-wife's home Feb. 7 after receiving a
911 call for a breaking and entering. Officers arriving at the house reportedly
heard the woman shout "What are you doing here? Get out."

The woman told police that Moree, 50, of Belmont, burst in through a locked
kitchen door, grabbed an umbrella "and began to hit her over the head and
shoulder," according to a police report.

The woman refused medical treatment but told police "she felt a little sore on
and around her neck." The umbrella was confiscated as evidence.

About a week after the scrape, Moree's ex again called 911, alleging that he was
tailing her in traffic in violation of a restraining order. The woman told
police "she has been in an abusive relationship with (Moree) and she fears for
her life," records show.

Moree is slated to go on trial Oct. 15 on charges of assault and battery with a
dangerous weapon, breaking and entering and violating a protective order.

Moree, who is one of 16 candidates in the Nov. 7 race for Cambridge City
Council, downplayed the charges, saying: "This neighborhood and this city has
been my home for more than 50 years. The people here know who I am and where I
come from."

News of Moree's tribulations comes just weeks after revelations that Somerville
mayoral hopeful Richard Scirocco has had four restraining orders against him by
four different women, one of whom he was charged with punching in the eye.


Nooses Only for Some?

Nooses Only for Some?

In addition to the First Amendment protecting offensive symbolic speech
when did the noose become a symbol of hanging exclusively persons of color?
("FREE SPEECH LEFT HANGING," New York Post, Editorial, October 24, 2007) Saddam
Hussein and his sons were hanged. Is the noose a symbol of anti Iraqi hate? The
Nazi Doctors were hanged after the Nuremberg trials. Is a noose a symbol of
German hate? In Utah until recently or still hanging is a legal form of capital
punishment. In this country horse thieves were hanged. Why is this only an issue
for persons of color?

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

New York Post

October 24, 2007 -- The state Senate on Monday passed a bill that would make it
a class E felony to place, draw or otherwise display a noose - on public or
private property - and too bad about the First Amendment.

Now, the temptation for legislators to get tough on nooses has been
understandably strong recently - given the lawmakers' proclivity to pander, and
the uproar over the noose found on a black professor's door at Columbia's
Teachers' College earlier this month and the ensuing series of apparent copycat

Disgusting occurrences, each and every one - but they're no excuse for an
end-run around free-speech rights.

Supporters of the bill assert that the measure merely includes the noose, a
symbol of racist lynchings in the Jim Crow south, in a legal category of
harassment that already covers swastikas and burning crosses. Threats - which
these things often are - are not typically considered constitutionally protected

Still, the bill remains problematic. What, for example, constitutes
"harassment"? And who gets to decide?

(The New York Civil Liberties Union - that self-proclaimed defender of
constitutional rights - punted yesterday, promising only to study the issue. How
timid - on a bill that poses a substantial threat to free-speech rights.)

The noose is a hateful symbol of a shameful chapter in American history. But
responding to it by doing violence to the First Amendment gives the bigots a
dangerous victory.

The Favor Bank

The Favor Bank

[The letter was published in the Boston Herald on Thursday November 1, 2007.]

Howie Carr bashed Massachusetts political hacks for 20 years. They appointed
judges who say he cannot work where he wants and may not work temporarily until
the appeal is heard. Is it my imagination or are these political appointees
doing a favor for the political hacks who run the MA government by keeping this
critic off of the air?

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

Judge says Carr can't move early
Talk show host must wait for ruling before making any switch

By Diedtra Henderson,
Boston Globe Staff
October 30, 2007

An Appeals Court justice slammed the door on conservative talk show host Howie
Carr's hopes of getting onto WTKK-FM soon.

In a nine-page ruling issued yesterday, the judge denied Carr's bid to work for
the station of his choice as his legal case winds through the courts, and
refused to kick parts of the case up to a full panel of appellate judges.

"I deny each request," wrote Judge Andrew Grainger.

On the question of passing parts of the case to additional appeals justices,
Grainger wrote "there is no good reason for opening the door to multiple

The speedy rebuke marked the latest legal setback for Carr, who seeks to bolt
from WRKO-AM for the rival FM station. "We're disappointed in the ruling, but we
still believe that the final outcome will be in Howie Carr's favor," said Carr's
spokeswoman, Nancy J. Sterling.

"We respect the court's decision, but we continue to believe that Howie Carr
should be able to work for the station he chooses. We are keeping all options
open as we decide how to move forward," Greater Media, which owns WTKK, said in
a statement.

At issue is language in Carr's contract with WRKO, owned by Entercom Boston,
that allows the station to match a rival's job offer.

When WRKO matched the $6.75 million contract Carr had received from WTKK,
Entercom contended it had extended its contract with the popular talk show host
by five years for the same pay.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Allan van Gestel agreed, sided with WRKO, and said
Carr had erred in seeking a rival offer while still under contract.

Carr's lawyers appealed van Gestel's ruling and sought permission for Carr to
work for the station of his choice while his appeal was under consideration.

Shepard Davidson, the lead Entercom lawyer on the case, said yesterday's ruling
was "a big win because I don't believe he has any resort that could give him a
quick victory, at this point."

Carr has remained off the air since late September, when his contract with WRKO
was due to expire. Entercom has already put Carr on notice that he could be
liable for significant damages if he doesn't fulfill his contract.

"Is he going to stick this out for, potentially, years and not work?" Davidson
asked. "We can't force him to come back. We hope he comes back. We want him to
come back. He's under contract to come back. That decision is up to him.
Hopefully, now, he will come back."

Diedtra Henderson can be reached at
� Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.

Judicial Show Business

Judicial Show Business

The theatrics in Brooklyn state court by DA Hynes was an arrogant display
of how courts can be used for show business. (MATT NESTEL and ALEX GINSBERG,
York Post, November 3, 2007) DeVecchio was accused in New York of what Special
Agent John Connolly did in Boston. James Bulger the FBI-informant head of
organized crime in Eastern Massachusetts is a fugitive from charges of 19
homicides. Connolly is in prison.
Unlike New York the US Attorney General brought in a Special Prosecutor to
avoid the coziness among local law enforcement agencies with the FBI and
organized crime. In New York, a state court judge used an audio tape made for
journalists by Linda Schiro to negate sworn testimony in a court. The judge and
the prosecutor make a mockery of the judicial system by dismissing the charges
against DeVecchio. How does a discussion with a journalist equal sworn
This is not a unique problem. FBI informants corrupted FBI field offices
creating serious threats to public safety. No politician speaks about the need
to scrutinize the FBI.
Yet they wonder why young people refuse to cooperate with police regarding
crimes in schools and on the streets. If FBI informants murder adults when FBI
agents reveal their cooperation, why should any rational person jeopardize his
The FBI is a creature of statute which is undermining Constitutional
protections guaranteed to citizens. It is time to review the mission of this
renegade US agency.

Roy Bercaw, Editor ENOUGH ROOM

New York Post

November 3, 2007 -- More than two months before the murder indictment of former
FBI agent Lindley DeVecchio, the Brooklyn DA's Office knew its key witness had
spoken with the very reporters who ultimately derailed the case, The Post has

EDITORIAL: Dancing With The Devil

"It all made me remember and find two book proposals by different writers, one
by Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins and the other by I think John Connolly, both of
whom worked with Linda Schiro on the proposals, as I did," writer Sandra Harmon
e-mailed DA Charles Hynes' office.

"This comes straight from Linda [Schiro] to all of us. She gave me the two other
book proposals years ago and told me they were accurate," Harmon says in the
Jan. 12, 2006 e-mail.

DeVecchio was indicted on March 24, 2006.

Capeci and Robbins said yesterday no one from the DA's office contacted them to
ask about their conversations with Schiro, who now faces a possible perjury rap.

The mob moll's testimony about information DeVecchio was alleged to have passed
to his own mob informant, Colombo killer Gregory "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa, was
key to the case against the former G-man.

"The answer is no," said Capeci. "At no time did the DA's office ever call me,
contact me, or ask me at any point in any way, shape or form if I had any
information about what she told me."

Robbins said, "If someone had asked me to give [Hynes' prosecutors] a reality
check, I would have done that."

Astonishingly, a spokesman for the DA's Office said yesterday their
investigators were aware of Schiro's conversations, but didn't contact the
reporters because the expectation was they wouldn't share the information.

"We knew from the early stages of the investigation that she'd spoken to Tom
Robbins and Jerry Capeci," said the spokesman.

It was tape recordings of the interviews Capeci and Robbins conducted with
Schiro in 1997 - which contradicted her testimony linking DeVecchio to three of
four murders - that killed the case this week.

Hynes said on Thursday that had his office had any knowledge of the tapes'
existence, there would never have been a prosecution.

"It's astounding in a case built around Linda Schiro . . . that they would not
completely vet her credibility in a thorough manner," DeVecchio lawyer Mark
Bederow said. "To indict a man for four counts of homicide on the singular
testimony of Linda Schiro is disgraceful."

DeVecchio and his wife, who celebrated at Sparks Steak House after the charges
were dropped, will return home to Florida today.

* * * * *


November 3, 2007 -- You don't have to watch the movie "Donnie Brasco," the
true-crime story in which Johnny Depp plays an undercover FBI agent who cozies
up to the wiseguys, to know that nailing the mob can be a dirty business.

And though former G-man Lindley DeVecchio now stands cleared of involvement in
four gangland murders - thanks to the sudden collapse of Brooklyn DA Joe Hynes'
case - Judge Gustin Reichbach made clear that both the FBI and its onetime agent
went way over the line.

Basically, said Reichbach in a scorching four-page opinion, the FBI gave
DeVecchio's key informant - mob thug Greg Scarpa Sr. - a free pass to kill.

Though he may not have joined Scarpa in his crimes, as the DA's office initially
charged, DeVecchio was willing "to bend the rules" in order to protect his
snitch, the judge said - adding that this constituted a "deal with the Devil."

Indeed, he said, "They gave Scarpa virtual criminal immunity for close to 15
years in return for the information, true and false, he willingly supplied."

Thus Scarpa came to believe "that the agency would protect him for the
consequences of his own criminality - which the record suggests is what they

Which raises the question: Is it OK for the government to employ criminality in
order to fight crime?

Said Judge Reichbach: Unacceptable.

Granted, he said, this is not an easy issue to deal with. Given the nature of
the underworld, a "delicate balancing act [is] required in the waltz that must
be danced between informant and handler" involving "a relationship of trust."

But how far is too far?

Should the FBI allow itself to be placed in the position of having to protect
"its" bad guys so as to bring others to justice?

Not according to Gustin Reichbach. And it's difficult to argue with him.

Thanks to Hynes' star witness, Scarpa's longtime girlfriend Linda Schiro - and
the 10-year-old tapes that showed she'd changed her story about DeVecchio's
involvement in mob hits - the former agent has walked free.

But neither he nor the FBI should take much solace in that outcome. As Judge
Reichbach made clear, when it came to that "delicate balancing act," both
completely lost their footing.