Saturday, August 18, 2018

You'll Love These Lawsuits

"Former Boston journalist accused of harassment at program in Mexico" by Michael Levenson Globe Staff  May 10, 2018

A weeklong journalism program in Mexico that was run by a former Boston Phoenix reporter and funded by a Massachusetts nonprofit plans to shut down following allegations that he sexually harassed female students, according to the former reporter’s lawyer.

Al Giordano, who runs Narco News, a Mexico-based website focused on the drug war and its effects in Latin America, founded the program, called the School of Authentic Journalism, in 2003, as a place to train aspiring young left-wing journalists and activists, but in February, as the school was launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $70,000 for this year’s session, a former student, Martha Pskowksi, posted on Facebook that Giordano and Greg Berger, who helped run the program, “systematically harassed/manipulated/intimidated young women who attended the school.”

The statement prompted Giordano to shut down the Kickstarter campaign and to circulate a letter asserting that he did not believe the allegations were accurate.

“They portray me as a harasser, something that none of the women I have worked closest with over the years have suggested,” Giordano wrote. He added, “We all experience events differently and have a right to our interpretation of them. If I have caused anybody pain for any reason, I apologize, even if we don’t agree on the truth or falsity of the claims.” 

Is that a non-denial denial?

Berger did not respond to an e-mail.

Incensed by Giordano’s letter, a group of 21 former students and faculty from the school earlier this month sent the Fund for Authentic Journalism, the Massachusetts nonprofit that raises money for Giordano’s school and website, personal testimonies alleging that Giordano made unwanted sexual advances on students and verbally abused them if they rebuffed his overtures. Some of the students said they had been sexually harassed, while others said that, while they were not victims of sexual misconduct, they had been subjected to verbal abuse.

He's symptomatic of his whole profe$$ion. 

That's how the pre$$ is if you don't like them. They take it personally and then smear you!

The testimonies portray the school as an alcohol-fueled retreat with a “fraternity vibe.” The former students and faculty said Giordano selected female applicants based on their appearance, encouraged them to drink alcohol, and propositioned them for sex. If they rejected him, he would “excommunicate” them from the school community and accuse them of being spies.

What a great idea he had for picking up women, 'eh? 

Start a journalism school -- in Mexico!!!

Isadora Bonilla, who was student at the school in 2012, when she was 26, and worked for Narco News the following year, said Giordano made crude sexual remarks about female students and boasted about the ones he had sex with. Bonilla said she was speaking out to “prevent this kind of abuse, harassment, and license to defame and mistreat women.”

“It has to stop,” she wrote in an e-mail. “There must be consequences.”

Yeah, someone needs to be held accountable. We see that all the time now in AmeriKa, as the public loses trust in democratic institutions.

Thalía Güido, who was a student at the school in 2015, when she was 25, said Giordano proposed that she have sex with him when she went to his house the following year to apply for a teaching position at the school. She said she rejected his offer and, months later, was expelled from the school. Giordano later accused her and her boyfriend of being “undesirables and enemies of ‘the project,’ ” she wrote in her testimony.

More enemies!

Board members did not respond to e-mails and phone calls. The Huffington Post first reported on the allegations against Giordano last week.

Is that how the Globe reporter became aware of it?

Giordano, who covered politics for the Boston Phoenix, the now-defunct alternative weekly, in the mid-1990s, declined through his attorney, Thomas Lesser of Northampton, to comment beyond the letter he circulated in February.

In that letter, Giordano describes himself as semi-retired and recuperating from cancer at his home in the Mexican countryside. Lesser said Giordano has also stepped aside from the school, which is no longer planning to hold training sessions for journalists.....

He should thus get a pass, poor guy.


RelatedDozens of manatees are dying mysteriously in southern Mexico,

Near where?

Maybe something is in the water down there.

"Cambridge couple sues city and police for 2015 arrest, claiming excessive force, racial bias" by Jerome Campbell Globe Staff  May 04, 2018

A Cambridge couple has filed a civil suit against the city and several police officers, claiming that officers who arrested the husband in 2015 used excessive force.

Christopher Love and Angela Petropoulos allege that the five officers named in the complaint used pepper spray at close range and choked Love when arresting him after stopping him for expired tags in 2015. The suit also claims that the city of Cambridge did little to train officers in racial bias and failed to address the concerns of minorities who had interactions with police that resulted in the use of force. 

In Cambridge? 

Surely you jest!

Matthew Cole, who represents Love and Petropoulos, said the incident illustrates a larger issue of police bias in the Cambridge Police Department.

“What’s unique about this case is that it isn’t unique at all,” said Cole, who said he had compiled use of force reports on the five officers. “We’ve seen countless examples of excessive force with regards to minorities and very little has changed.”

Lawyers for the officers and city officials declined to comment, citing a policy of not commenting on ongoing litigation.

Weeks after the complaint was filed, Cambridge police also faced scrutiny after a video surfaced of officers punching a Harvard graduate student in the chest. The department said it is investigating the incident.

See: Cosby and the Cambridge Cops

Was mob justice even though he has the face of evil.

Love said he filed the suit three years after his arrest as a way to address issues in policing.

“I‘m doing this because it’s bigger than me,” said Love. “I don’t think this case will stop anything for good, but I hope we’ll see the changes where people will start being held accountable for their actions.”

Every article you read about democratic institutions, it's either they need to regain the public trust or someone needs to be held accountable.



They kind of are dicks over there, but I would say they got off easy.

Time to go home:

"In the shadow of large-scale developments, East Cambridge small businesses brace for impact" by Katheleen Conti Globe Staff  May 10, 2018

A walk along Cambridge Street in East Cambridge can feel like taking a stroll back in time. The neighborhood’s commercial strip features squat buildings that are home to decades-old family businesses — two fishmongers, a butcher shop, a Portuguese bakery, a local plumber, an electrician.

The enclave endures, even as in recent years many other small businesses throughout the Boston area have been driven out — or under — by soaring rents and the relentless push of new development, but this section of Cambridge Street has for the most part resisted such displacement. A big reason: Most of the neighborhood’s proprietors own the buildings they occupy. Not having to worry about rent increases or eviction threats is priceless, they say.

East Cambridge, once a rough-around-the-edges first stop for new immigrants, has not been completely immune to the development pressures and gentrification that have transformed other neighborhoods. Some rents have risen, some older family businesses have closed, and just a few blocks off Cambridge Street in Kendall Square, sleek high-rises that house biotech companies have spurred high-end residential and retail growth.....


Related: Pier 4 Penthouse