Friday, February 26, 2021

Globe Home Away From Home

“It’s like jail, except nicer.”

"Field hospitals play vital role as COVID surge continues" by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey Globe Staff, January 24, 2021

Kenneth R. Smith has visited the convention center in downtown Worcester many times over the years for trade shows and exhibitions. This month, he was there as a patient during a pandemic.

Smith was among dozens of COVID-19 patients being treated at a field hospital constructed inside the large hall of the DCU Center. Patients lie in beds in long rows across the convention center floor, separated by black curtains. There are no walls and no windows to offer a view of the outside world, just bright overhead lights and the thrum of a busy hospital.

It may be austere, but the facility functions much like a COVID unit in a traditional hospital. Patients receive medications like remdesivir to combat the virus and oxygen to help them breathe. Doctors and nurses keep constant watch. This facility, which is run by UMass Memorial Health Care and was assembled in about two weeks, has treated more than 450 patients since opening Dec. 6, providing a crucial relief valve for a health care system under extraordinary strain.

I don't want to take your breath away, but.... the hospitals are not overwhelmed and between the lack of care, power outages, impending inflation and famine, this is looking like a bad time despite the trillions on which we are all sitting.

“You’re not here to get pampered; you’re here to get better and get home and survive,” said Smith, 67, who spent more than a week at the DCU Center. “It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.”

This field hospital, and a second military-style medical site that opened in Lowell this month, together add nearly 300 beds to the state’s health care system and have been essential components of the plan for managing hospital capacity during the second surge of COVID.

They are stark reminders of the severity of a pandemic that has sickened and killed thousands of people in Massachusetts alone, and is far from over, yet despite the grim circumstances, there are, perhaps surprisingly, some advantages for patients who end up there.

They can do something forbidden in traditional hospitals during the pandemic: walk around and socialize. In traditional hospitals, patients are confined to their rooms because of the risk of spreading infection, but because all the patients at the DCU Center already have COVID, and all the health care workers wear full personal protective equipment at all times, it’s safe for patients to leave their beds and interact.

Yes, you have more freedom in the COVID camp.

All this over a virus they have never isolated and which doesn't exists. They weaponized seasonal cold and flu and called it COVID (now with variants) and are pushing a vaccine that won't prevent transmission nor infection for an alleged "disease" that has a recovery rate of 99.98%.

They can walk a few laps for exercise, and relax in the lounge, a corner of the convention floor where armchairs are arranged around a big television screen. (A crime show was playing one recent afternoon). They can stop at a snack station for cookies and coffee. They can chat with other patients. Those who feel well enough can ride stationary bikes.

Doctors say the ability to move and socialize helps with patients’ mental and physical recovery.

“We try to provide a little slice of normalcy for patients and give them the opportunity to walk around, talk to people,” said Dr. John Broach, medical director of the Worcester field hospital. “One of the things we’re concerned about is [that] being ill, especially with a highly infectious disease like COVID, can be such an isolating experience.”

Each patient wears a portable monitor on their finger, so doctors and nurses can track their heart rate even when they walk around. Patients can watch TV in their makeshift rooms on an iPad that also tracks their vital signs.

“We try to give them ways to stay busy,” Broach said.

Maybe that's why the nurses are going on strike.

About half the patients at the DCU Center come from hospitals in the Worcester area, and half from across the state, from as far as Boston and New Bedford. They are sick enough that they need hospital-level treatment, but not so ill that they require intensive care and ventilators to help them breathe. Most get better after a few days and go home.

This is the second iteration of the Worcester field hospital, which was built for the first onslaught of COVID and treated about 300 people last spring. The supplies and equipment sat in storage for months, waiting for the predicted second surge.

Meaning none were never really closed like we were told, and beyond that the ventilators will literally kill you.

To the northeast, Lowell General Hospital reconstructed a field hospital across three basketball courts in a University of Massachusetts Lowell gymnasium. In an upgrade from the spring, each patient can now receive IV therapy, which is critical for administering the antiviral drug remdesivir.

The Lowell patients also are encouraged to walk around and visit the lounge. When they’re admitted, they receive a kit with headphones and an eye mask. They can request a white-noise machine.

Patients are nervous about the unusual setup before they arrive, said Amy Hoey, chief operating officer at Lowell General, but based on patient feedback, “when they actually get there and are admitted, they love it,” she said. 

Any relation to Bob?

Last spring, the Lowell site was readied for patients but never saw any. Two other field hospitals in Bourne and Dartmouth also closed without treating any patients. A 1,000-bed field hospital at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, half of it dedicated to the homeless, treated more than 700 people last April and May, but as the number of people hospitalized for COVID across the state stabilizes, state officials have no plans now to reopen the Boston site or build additional field hospitals.

Here is tour of one anyway.

At the DCU Center, the medical staff wear masks, eye protection, gowns, and gloves throughout their shifts because the entire floor is a COVID “hot zone,” but they find ways to let their personalities peek through. Dr. Dejah R. Judelson, a vascular surgeon who volunteered to work a week at the field hospital, wore a different scrub cap every day, three of them picturing the iconic Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Judelson, 37, last visited the DCU Center for a Dead & Company concert several years ago. This month she was treating patients there, watching their breathing, reviewing their lab results, and prescribing medications. “It’s a little bit of a surreal environment,” she said.

To say the least!

The greatest challenge in building the field hospitals was not logistics and equipment but the availability of health care workers, who are in high demand and short supply. A shortage of staff delayed the opening of the Lowell field hospital by a week. Both facilities rely on travel nurses working temporary assignments.

Caitlin Lynch, 33, usually works as an urgent-care nurse on Cape Cod, but when she heard about the Worcester field hospital last spring, she quickly signed up to work there, and returned when the site reopened. She wanted to help with the COVID crisis and liked the idea of being part of history: How many nurses can say they have experience working in a field hospital?

There are “lots of bays, lots of hardware to step over, piping exposed,” Lynch said. “Apart from the differences in aesthetics, it really is like being in a hospital, except much bigger and much more open.”

Lynch has been staying in a nearby hotel, working four 12-hour shifts a week. She goes home to Mashpee to see her husband when there is time.

“It’s kind of like being back in college,” she said. “You try to figure out what you can cook in the microwave.”

(Blog editor's eyes roll toward the ceiling as he shakes his head at the condescending insult)

Monique Pappas, an artist from Leicester whose entire family contracted COVID, went to the emergency room at UMass Memorial Medical Center when she felt sick earlier this month and was transferred to the DCU Center. She didn’t mind; she said she was glad to be at a facility that specializes in her illness.

Through the fog of illness, Pappas, 46, binge-watched “America’s Next Top Model” on her iPad. When she felt bored, a nurse brought her a notepad and pens so she could draw. When she had the energy, she left her room and walked to the lounge.

She wasn’t bothered by the lack of walls, even though she could hear the patient next to her playing music. She even enjoyed the food: pasta primavera, roast beef with vegetables, chocolate brownies.

“The medical professionals … have done everything they can to put an actual hospital inside that space,” Pappas said. “If you have to stay away from home, it’s not a bad place.”


So that is what they are really for!

The whole thing will drive you crazy and scream for someone to stop the vaccanity.

Of course, usually it is the school that is considered their home away from home:

"Reopening schools will help, but won’t end Mass. child mental health crisis, experts say" by Naomi Martin Globe Staff, February 24, 2021

Child health care experts say that a return to full-time in-person learning, which Governor Charlie Baker moved to mandate this week, will help alleviate some of the pressures placed on children’s mental health over the past year but will not be a silver bullet.

In pushing the state Board of Education to force elementary and middle schools to reopen, Baker cited one of the more troubling outcomes of the pandemic on kids — the dramatic increase in mental health problems among students, but experts say the state’s mental health care system for youth has long been overtaxed. The challenges are deep-seated — and will likely persist long after students return to classrooms. 

Like they care. If they really cared about the kids, they would out this fraud and would never have taken the bribe money.

More and more the state has appearance of a predator, and that's all.

“Massachusetts had a pediatric mental health crisis long before COVID hit,” said Dr. Elizabeth Pinsky, a pediatric psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

For years, the state has lacked adequate numbers of pediatric therapists, outpatient mental health services, and in-patient psychiatric beds, experts said. Those shortages have led to lengthy wait lists; some children experiencing suicidal thoughts had to wait in hospital rooms without any therapeutic support for days or weeks until a suitable bed opened up in a facility.

COVID then exacerbated those longstanding problems by increasing the number of children needing services, decreasing the capacity of many psych units due to social distancing, and limiting access to school-based health services for children learning remotely.

“This has been going on for several years and now is acutely exacerbated by the pandemic . . . it’s significantly worse,” said Dr. Patricia Ibeziako, associate psychiatry chief at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Baker, echoing the concerns of health experts, specifically cited mental health concerns when he announced Tuesday that the state would move to require elementary and middle schools to fully reopen this spring.

“The harms that we’re seeing are significant,” said Dr. Lloyd Fisher, the Massachusetts chapter president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “This is a good move to do whatever we can to get as many children as we can back to in-person learning as soon as possible.”

To Ibeziako, reopening schools will likely help students’ emotional states, as they will have more sense of normalcy, routine, and social connections, but she cautions that children will still be reeling from the pandemic’s toll on their families.

“Children will not be returning to school in a vacuum,” Ibeziako said.

It will feel like with the plexiglass separation barriers and masks, along with the never-ending testing regime that could get your kid quarantined by authorities.

Anyone who thinks going back to school is going to be normal is in for a rude surprise. It's going to be dystopian.

The state and federal governments have provided school systems with more than $1.1 billion to cover costs related to the pandemic, including mental health support for students, according to the Baker administration.

While some students have reported benefits of remote school, particularly those who felt unsafe at school due to bullying or racism, depression and anxiety have skyrocketed, and more children are coming in with eating disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder, pediatricians said.

Many students have struggled with the isolation from friends and teachers at home, as well as too much screen time. Some students have lost family members to COVID, while others have had to juggle jobs with school, or care for younger siblings in cramped apartments.

Experts urge families to ensure their children get daily exercise, maintain connections with friends, and seek mental health services, even if there are significant delays.

They also stress that preliminary Massachusetts data show youth suicides did not significantly rise amid the pandemic. Last year, 23 young people under the age of 19 died by suicide—higher than the year before but lower than in 2016 and 2017.

For many children who already had mental diagnoses, though, the pandemic has caused them to spiral.

Karin Broadhurt’s 9-year-old son is one of dozens of patients “boarding” at hospitals across the state right now who can’t get access to appropriate psychiatric care. For years, her son has struggled with mental health issues and aggression toward himself and others, leading to hospitalizations, but amid COVID, his emotional instability escalated faster when his mother tried to get him to log on to Zoom classes from their Jamaica Plain home. In late January, he needed to be hospitalized. He has been in Boston Children’s Hospital for 31 days, not receiving the counseling and medication assistance he desperately needs, she said.

Why are the kids in hospitals that are exclusively being overrun with alleged COVID patients?

“There is a very serious children’s mental health crisis right now and no one is treating it like the very serious crisis that it is,” Broadhurt said. “My kid has been sitting in a hospital room by himself. He hasn’t been outside, hasn’t been allowed out of his room. It’s like jail, except nicer.”

What a flippant and cavalier attitude regarding the solitary confinement and torture of the child.

Maybe she should talk to the Pelletiers about BCH.

Meanwhile, many children who didn’t suffer from psychiatric disorders pre-COVID are now struggling.

That's the price to be paid for the Great Re$et, and everything will be fine in a couple of years.

Over the course of the school year spent online, Fabienne Eliacin has watched her vibrant, active daughter withdraw and become more isolated. The 13-year-old has lost motivation to do school work or attend her online classes at the Eliot K-8 School. The eighth-grader, according to her mother, only wants to spend her days in bed, watching anime videos, with the lights out.

“She said she wants to live in the anime world; she doesn’t want to be in this world,” said Eliacin.

Sending her daughter to school isn’t an option for Eliacin. She’s lost family members to the pandemic and fears her daughter would catch COVID-19 and bring it home to the rest of the family. She wants local and state officials to take more steps to address the safety and mental health needs of students before ordering schools to reopen. “I want my kid to be in school — just not right now,” yet Hathalee Higgs, of Somerville, feels differently. She says her 10-year-old daughter’s anxiety has been increasing during the pandemic. The child is nervous about going outside. She’s more sensitive to loud noises, and she has become fixated on longstanding fears.

For Higgs, the best way schools can tend to the social and emotional needs of their students is by having them return to their classrooms.

“I know the teachers are working hard and doing the best they can,” she said, “but I would say the schools are pretty maxed out with what they are doing in trying to deliver the remote learning.”

At least the opportunities for sex abuse at school are lower, no?

"Baker administration calls for Mass. elementary students to be in school five days a week in April, with older students to follow" by James Vaznis and Felicia Gans Globe Staff, February 23, 2021

Governor Charlie Baker and top education officials unveiled a proposal on Tuesday to force districts to reopen their schools for in-person learning five days a week, a move that immediately ignited passions across the state and raised questions about local control.

Officials were less clear about whether they would set a timeline for a full return for high schools before the school year ends, characterizing it as a possibility while potentially dashing the hopes of many graduating seniors. Reopening high schools is more complicated because, unlike elementary school, students do not stick with the same group of peers all day and frequently change classes in crowded hallways.

The announcement represents a significant shift for state officials, who have provided districts with reams of guidance on reopening schools but have resisted pleas from exhausted parents, medical experts, and some elected officials to firmly order a full-time return. Those calls have grown as COVID-19 positivity rates have decreased in recent weeks.

Must be because of a new president because that is the only thing that has changed.

Questions have lingered throughout the pandemic about whether state officials have the authority to order schools to reopen, especially in a state like Massachusetts where districts enjoy a high degree of local control that includes calling off school for inclement weather and other emergencies.

Most reopening plans have also been the subject of intense negotiations with local teacher unions, and the unions reacted angrily Tuesday. Some called for vaccinations for teachers before resuming in-person schooling.

Merrie Najimy, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, accused Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley of trying to wrestle away local control of schools from cities and towns.

“There are places where it is possible to return to in-person learning, but the commissioner’s arrogance to create top-down mandates will not get us there,” she said, noting that the quality of ventilation varies tremendously by school and that the proposal undermines collective bargaining, but Thomas Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, said many district leaders have been looking for the state to step in.

“We have to make some bold moves here,” Scott said. “We have to take advantage of what we know ... and find ways to bring students back.”

Parents would continue to have the option to keep their children at home full time and learn remotely, while the state would create a waiver process for districts that are unable to comply with a full return to classrooms, Riley said. “We agree with President Biden,” Riley told the board members during their monthly meeting Tuesday morning. “It’s time to get students back to school.”

State officials cited a number of factors they believe are creating the right conditions for a safe return. They noted that COVID-19 positivity rates are declining and that they have stepped up efforts to do surveillance testing of the virus in schools.

Meanwhile, research has shown transmission of the virus in schools has been low.

Najimy and Beth Kontos, president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts also questioned the legitimacy of a reopening effort that doesn’t provide for the immediate vaccination of educators in their own communities rather than at mass vaccination sites.

“Amid the Baker administration’s failed vaccine rollout, the state is the one obstacle standing in the way of the plan developed by the teachers and fire fighters unions to vaccinate educators in their local communities,” Kontos said in statement.

Districts also have some logistical obstacles to tackle in order to accommodate a full return, including whether they can accommodate 6 feet of social distancing between students. State rules allow for a minimum of 3 feet, a standard many teachers and some parents find unacceptable.

During the state board of education meeting, member Matt Hills, of Newton, applauded Riley’s proposal and urged him to move aggressively with middle and high school students, too.

“Please get it done well before the end of this [school] year,” he said.

Speaking at an unrelated news conference Tuesday, state Attorney General Maura Healey said getting children back into school is “a matter of equity.”

The new buzzword for whatever is the agenda. 

Who could argue with "equity," right?

Maybe if you paid them more:

"Women struggle to break through top pay ranks at UMass Amherst" by Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff, February 24, 2021

No women were represented among the top 10 earners at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2019, pointing to a formidable pay ceiling at the state’s flagship public campus, according to a new report.

The following year it did only slightly better — adding one woman to the ranks.

UMass Amherst fared worse in achieving gender equity among its top earners than many of the country’s 130 public and private research institutions surveyed in the report released Wednesday by the Eos Foundation, a Massachusetts nonprofit group that focuses on women’s pay and power gaps.

“It’s a glass ceiling of money,” said Andrea Silbert, president of Eos. “Women have great degree attainment. … but they just can’t climb. The institutional barriers are so high, that they just don’t make it to the top.”

No offen$e, but who CARES?

The report, based on publicly available compensation data from 2019, says the UMass Amherst chancellor, a provost, the top fund-raiser, and several business and sciences professors — all men — took home the most money that year (between $349,680 and $637,360 each in total compensation).

After Eos completed its data collection, Massachusetts updated its payroll database for 2020 to reflect that Anne P. Massey, the dean of UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, was among the top paid employees on campus. In her first full year in the position, she earned $454,220.

UMass Amherst officials disputed some of the report’s conclusions and said it failed to accurately portray the university’s efforts to increase female leadership. Universities report compensation differently, even on state payroll databases, across the country and comparing the pay can be be complicated, UMass officials said.

The Eos report found that using the recent publicly available data, UMass Amherst was one of only eight institutions nationwide with no women in its top salary ranks, when athletic department employees and medical faculty were excluded.

“While we applaud the Eos Foundation for exploring the power gap at leading universities, the report, due to its methodology, does not recognize UMass Amherst’s strong commitment to gender equality,” Ed Blaguszewski, a university spokesman, said in a statement.

Many of the top paid employees at UMass Amherst are professors who are supplementing their base salary with additional income from federal research grants or online teaching duties, Blaguszewski said.

Further work needs to be done to ensure that women have more opportunities to increase their pay through grants and other funding sources, he acknowledged, but UMass Amherst has expanded leadership roles on the campus for women, with more than half of the dean and vice chancellor positions being held by women and many of them paid competitively, Blaguszewski said. They aren’t included in the report, however, because they don’t earn additional money from major sponsored research, he added.

According to the Eos survey, other Massachusetts colleges, including Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Brandeis University, and Northeastern University reported about 30 percent of their top paid employees were women, while at Tufts University it was 20 percent and at Boston College 10 percent.

Some institutions, including the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Brown University, have reported that half or more of earners at the very top are women, according to the Eos report.

The Eos Foundation found that across the country’s top research universities, women are represented in greater numbers in a college’s president’s cabinet, but that’s not always where the money is, Silbert said.

Many of the top-paid faculty are in science and technology or business, fields that are rich in research funding and command high salaries but traditionally include fewer women. If institutions want to close the gender pay gap, they have to attack these underlying problems, Silbert said.

Eos also found that women of color are “grossly underrepresented” among the most highly paid employees at top research institutions.

Black, Asian, and Hispanic women make up just 2 percent of the more than 2,000 most highly paid employees that Eos reviewed. White women made up about 22 percent of the top employee tier.

Women of color were “all but invisible,” said Kim Churches, chief executive of the American Association of University Women, a nonprofit that advised Eos on the report.

Even though Black and Latino men are under-represented among top university earners, there are still significantly more of them than women from those groups, despite the fact that women are twice as likely to earn doctoral degrees.

In these situations, women are securing the degrees needed to advance in an academic workplace, but they are not getting promoted and moving up the pay ladder the way men are, Churches said.

The pandemic, which has put more caregiving responsibilities on women and forced many of them to reduce hours or leave the workforce, is likely to make the gender pay gap even wider, Churches said.

Universities need to do more frequent pay audits to ensure that gender equity remains a priority, Churches said.

Several institutions surveyed by Eos, for example, declined to provide percentages of top earners by race, citing privacy issues.

“Every college says it values diversity and inclusion, but it has to move beyond hashtags and requires bold action,” Churches said. “We give higher education a hall pass because they’re doing great mission-backed work. ... When you follow the money we don’t see where their values are being put into practice.”


"At leading research hospitals in the United States, administrators and young graduate students have been inoculated with some of the earliest supplies of coronavirus vaccines, in a contradiction of federal and state guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued recommendations intended to ensure that the nation’s vaccines first reach those at highest risk: health care workers who interact with Covid-19 patients, and residents and staff members at nursing homes, followed by people 75 and older and certain essential workers. Each state has established its own version of the guidelines, but with the rollout proceeding at a glacial pace, pressure has been growing for a more flexible approach. Officials at the C.D.C. and the Food and Drug Administration have recently suggested that it might be wiser to simply loosen the criteria and distribute the vaccine as widely as possible, but a handful of the nation’s most prestigious academic hospitals have already taken the notion much further. A 20-something who works on computers. A young researcher who studies cancer. Technicians in basic research labs. These are some of the thousands of people who have been immunized against the coronavirus at hospitals affiliated with Columbia University, New York University, Harvard and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, even as millions of frontline workers and older Americans are waiting their turns. Some of the institutions were among the first recipients of the limited supplies in the United States. The C.D.C. never intended to include workers who don’t interact with patients, like administrators and graduate students, in the first tier of priority vaccinations, said Dr. Stanley Perlman, an immunologist at the University of Iowa and a member of the committee that issued the recommendations." 

Well, they did say to vaccinate the youngest first because it will maximize efficiency and minimize the spread of COVID-19, and it's all on the honor code because the moral compass of most people — even powerful people accustomed to certain advantages — will point in the right direction when it comes to an immediate vaccination plan as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb and you are caught like mice in a trap.

Also see:

I couldn't see her smiling under the ma$k as their school plan enters its ‘senior study’ phase for state funding after a fatal police shooting of a man who attacked them with knife after smoking some marijuana.

The motivation was the munchies and he wanted to eat out. Was going to order the early bird special from the menu; however, he didn't have the money to pay for it and had to eat with the windows and doors open and the fans on, and masked except when actively putting food in our mouths like a woman or child -- so the cops taught him a lesson.

At least there is summer camp to look forward to (and scar you for life):

"Parents, rejoice: Mass. summer camps can open this year, but operators say they need more details about capacity levels and safety guidelines" by Andy Rosen Globe Staff, February 25, 2021

Massachusetts camp operators, parents, and children hoping for a fresh-air respite this summer got a long-awaited bit of good news on Thursday, as Governor Charlie Baker announced that both overnight and day camp programs will be allowed to open this year.

The news, part of a broader reopening plan laid out by the administration, follows a year of uncertainty for camps across the state. Overnight programs were not allowed to operate in 2020, and many day programs were significantly curtailed to comply with regulations put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, with signs that the crisis is easing, and a year of industry experience operating elsewhere under increased public health restrictions, camp operators welcomed Baker’s announcement.

“Confidence has now been bolstered for resident camps to be able to effectively register their families, to plan for summer operations, to make the decisions necessary and the investments necessary to reopen their doors for the summer,” said Matt Scholl of the Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA camps, and president of the Massachusetts Camping Association.

Camp operators and families had been growing increasingly impatient as the season drew nearer without a clear answer on what kinds of programs would be able to operate.

Scholl said the information released Thursday helps with planning, but camps still need more details about what the state public health protocols will be — and soon.

Such decisions will determine how many campers each program can accept, what supplies and equipment camps need to gather for safety, and how many staffers they will require.

The state public health department did not immediately respond to a request for information about the regulations.

State Senator Adam G. Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat whose district includes many of the state’s camps, said operators have told him that they ideally would like to know what will be required of them by the beginning of March, which is Monday.

The registration season for summer programs would normally be well underway. Overnight camps, in particular, are concerned about permanently losing families to camps in nearby states that were allowed to open last year.

“Camps have always said that once they have the green light to go ahead, and clear guidance on what is required to achieve that green light, then they will be able to meet that,” Hinds said. “The important step is having that clarity, and having that on-ramp, so that when people are making decisions about the summer — which is now — they are able to understand where they can send their children.”

Parents are cheering for now they are free to go on vacation without the little shit(s).

If you kids are smart, you will stay out of debt and cozy up to a professor rather than revolting; otherwise, you will be working a construction job that could cost you your life.

The Bo$ton Globe's Blank Check

The Biden era IS going to bring us back to the '80s.... with a thumbs-up from the Bo$ton Globe:

"Betting on ‘blank check’ companies; Thimble Point joins growing ranks of so-called SPACs that go public despite owning nothing" by Scott Kirsner Globe Correspondent, February 18, 2021

These are strange days for the stock market. You can take a company public without actually having a business, customers, or revenue, and if you’re Woody Benson, you can do it from the master bathroom of your home in Bonita Bay, Fla., showing slides over Zoom to prospective investors.

The reason is the resurgence of a financial entity called a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, sometimes called a “blank check company.” The game plan is to raise money first, go public, and then spend that money (and often more that you raise later) to acquire a promising company that wants to be public but would like to take a shortcut to obtaining its ticker symbol.

It’s the path taken by DraftKings, the fantasy sports gaming company in Boston, and Desktop Metal, a maker of 3-D printers in Burlington. Their stocks have increased in value since they debuted, with DraftKings up more than 200 percent. If you had owned stock in Diamond Eagle, the SPAC entity that eventually acquired DraftKings (which was trading at around $10) or even bought it after the combination happened last April, you’d have enjoyed a pretty good ride: DraftKings trades at around $60 now.

Benson, a longtime Boston tech exec and venture capitalist, put some early money into LogMeIn, now a public software company, and worked at Lotus Development Corp., which helped to popularize e-mail and spreadsheets, in the 1980s. Since 2016, he had been working with Elon Boms, an investor in New Haven, at Launch Capital, which invested in startups on behalf of the Pritzker Vlock Family Office, descendants of the Chicago clan that created the Hyatt Hotel chain, but over the last year, Boms says, Launch Capital had decided to slow the pace at which it invests in startups. It’s not stopping entirely, but the focus is on supporting the companies already in its portfolio. That includes Minibar, which delivers booze on demand via an app, or Cake, a website which provides information on end-of-life decisions (such as how to host a Zoom funeral.)

Let 'em eat Cake, huh?

Boms says he and Benson had noticed that many companies they had backed were having trouble making the jump from private to public; they were so-called middle-market companies, not bigger startups like DoorDash or Airbnb with $1 billion or more in revenue, and acquirers seemed more interested in doing larger deals.

Over the course of 2020, Boms and Benson watched the boom in SPAC activity — including DraftKings, and SPAC entities created by General Catalyst and Highland Capital Partners, two Cambridge venture capital firms. By November, they’d gotten the green light from the Pritzker family to form one of their own, shifting their focus from investing in early-stage companies to creating a public “shell” company and then finding a software or technology company to acquire. They filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission in mid-December, calling their SPAC Thimble Point Acquisition Corp.

In mid-January, instead of flying around to meet with big investors — a process known as a “road show” — Boms and Benson held those meetings on Zoom. “We had 45 calls over the course of five days,” just after the holidays, Benson recalls.

Because he has four dogs, he felt his master bathroom would be the quietest place to conduct those meetings; Boms was in his home office in New Haven. They began with a commitment from the Pritzker Vlock Family Office, but also raised money from PIMCO, Wellington Management, and others. They’d started with a goal of $200 million; they ended up with $276 million.

Investors, Benson explains, look to SPACs to identify a fast-growing company, acquire it, and deliver a healthy return over time, better than what they could get from other assets. “They’re looking to be long-term holders” of the stock, he says. “This is the exact opposite of day traders.”

Thimble Pointhas two years to identify a company to acquire — or else it returns the money to its investors and goes poof. Paul Bowen of Bowen Advisors, who has been following Thimble Point, says it can raise additional money once it finds a company to acquire......

That's when I gave it the thumb's down.

If they are lucky they will find a unicorn in a haystack.

"Warehouse robotics maker Berkshire Grey plans to go public through SPAC merger" by Anissa Gardizy Globe Staff, February 24, 2021

Bedford-based robotics company Berkshire Grey announced on Wednesday that it plans to go public through the latest investment vehicle popular on Wall Street, which values the company at $2.7 billion.

Berkshire Grey said it will merge with a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, called Revolution Acceleration Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded company that exists to raise money and acquire companies that want to go public without going through a traditional initial public offering. When the SPAC deal with Revolution closes, expected in the second quarter, Berkshire Grey said it will have about $507 million in cash and no debt.

This is the second big announcement to go public by a Massachusetts tech company on Wednesday. Watertown-based Markforged, a 3D printing firm, said it would go public through a $2.1 billion SPAC deal.

Berkshire Grey makes artificial intelligence-powered automation systems for warehouses and fulfillment centers, and its customers include retail giants Walmart, Target, and TJ Maxx. One of its anchor technologies is a robotic arm that can identify and pick up a wide range of items.

John Delaney, an entrepreneur and former US representative, and Steve Case, the founder of Internet company AOL, launched their SPAC in December 2020. Delaney, who will remain on the board of directors of the merged operation, said the two were looking for a company that could “benefit from the acceleration of certain important trends in our economy.”

“There may be no trend that is accelerating more than the transition to the digital economy,” he said on a call with investors. “Berkshire Grey is a perfect fit.”

The surge in online ordering during the pandemic has drawn accelerated interest from customers, according to Tom Wagner, the company’s chief executive.

“COVID-19 has only increased the pressures and the need for transformation,” Wagner said on the call. “To enable our connected high speed world today, companies must help their human workers with new automation that enables them to process even more.”

News of the SPAC deal revealed financial information about Berkshire Grey that Wagner had previously been careful to keep under wraps. The presentation released Wednesday noted Berkshire Grey expects to be profitable in 2024, and its revenue projections are lofty.....


Don't forget to say your prayers:

"Airbnb revenue beats estimates, showing demand amid COVID surge" by Olivia Carville Bloomberg, February 25, 2021

Airbnb reported revenue in the fourth quarter that blitzed analysts’ estimates, benefiting as people traveled over the holiday season despite rising COVID-19 cases and highlighting how vacation-home rentals are dominating the travel rebound.

Nights and experiences booked, a metric that represents the total number of guest stays and tourist activities booked on the platform, dropped 39 percent from a year earlier to 46.3 million, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer the travel industry after a surge in cases through winter led to new lockdowns and restrictions and the vaccine rollout has faced hurdles globally. Airbnb was among the hardest-hit companies of the pandemic and almost shelved its IPO plans as travel shut down nearly a year ago, but Airbnb, which helped pioneer the home-sharing vacation model, has fared better than its rivals as travelers have taken advantage of work-from-home opportunities, road-tripping to nearby mountain villages or beach towns, often booking longer stays than usual.

Airbnb started to see business stabilize in the fall and the company ended 2020 with a record-setting IPO. It’s stock is up 165 percent since then, valuing the company at more than $100 billion, greater than either Expedia or Booking Holdings Inc.

Airbnb gave a cautious outlook about travel this year. “We have been encouraged by our continued resilience and recovery, and are optimistic about the upcoming travel rebound,” the company said in its report, but, Airbnb said it has “limited visibility for growth” in 2021 “given the difficulty in determining the pace of vaccine rollouts and the related impact on willingness to travel.” Chief executive Brian Chesky has said he is hopeful vaccine distribution will lead to a post-pandemic travel boom that will continue to favor Airbnb over traditional hotels..... 

Going to need a vaxxipass to do it, and a shot even if you've had it and have gained immunity.

Sorry, can't stay at my house and I will give you three steps to the door.....

"DoorDash beats revenue estimates amid year-end pandemic surge" by Brody Ford Bloomberg, February 25, 2021

DoorDash reported fourth-quarter revenue that beat analysts’ estimates, reflecting a surge in COVID-19 cases and restrictions that fueled demand for food delivery at the end of last year, but its losses also more than doubled from a year earlier.

Sales increased 225 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier, totaling $970 million, the company said in its first financial report since becoming a public company in December.

DoorDash ended last year with a high-profile initial public offering, raising $3.4 billion. Its shares have gained 66 percent since then, valuing the company at $53 million. They slid 7 percent in extended trading after the results were published.

The big question for investors is whether desire for food delivery will continue in a post-pandemic world, said Ronald Josey, an analyst at JMP Securities. Josey said he anticipates a “big slowdown” in growth in 2021, but is optimistic about long-term prospects.

“We’ve been ordering out now for the better part of a year. I don’t think that goes away,” Josey said.

DoorDash may have a better revenue stream than some of its competitors as COVID-19 restrictions fade in the United States, due to 5 million subscribers to its DashPass delivery subscription service, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Martino. Analysts at Truist Financial called the DashPass a “critical piece of differentiation” from other services.

Uber Technologies Inc., whose Uber Eats is the second-biggest meal delivery service in the United States, has been heavily investing in its delivery segment. The company recently acquired alcohol-focused Drizly Inc. for $1.1 billion and grocery-focused Cornershop. That came on top of the June 2020 acquisition of food-delivery company Postmates Inc. for $2.6 billion. In October, DoorDash teamed up with Sam’s Club to offer same-day prescription delivery.

DoorDash reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $94 million.....

I'll leave the rest for you to finish.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Boston Globe Compost

"Hamilton becomes first Mass. town to mandate composting; Efforts to collect food waste are ramping up around the state, for environmental and business reasons" by Janelle Nanos Globe Staff, February 21, 2021

Gretel Clark has spent the last few decades of her 84 years on a mission to save the planet, starting with the trash-disposal habits of her town of Hamilton. This month, thanks largely to her efforts, the town became the first in the state to mandate composting for all its residents.

The program puts Hamilton on par with cities like San Francisco and Seattle, as well as the State of Vermont, which rolled out a statewide composting mandate last year.

The changes come at a critical moment, as municipalities across the state wage war against waste and people spend more time at home — and thus create more trash.

Everything in my paper is framed as a war, and the only way to solve the problem will be to cull the people creating the trash, right?

Pulling organic material like table scraps out of the waste stream makes trash weigh less, which means towns and cities could pay less to have it hauled away, and diverting organics is better for the planet: Putting those materials back into the earth through composting helps plants pull more carbon from the air and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, which combats climate change.

“Quite frankly, it’s a very simple thing to ask people to do,” Clark said. “We’re not doing something revolutionary.”

It always sounds good, but should it be mandated tyranny in a free society when it is supporter the overarching goal of oligarchic control?

Environmental advocates say Clark’s mindfulness could be the way of the future, if Hamilton’s mandate propels more municipalities to follow suit.

“If you look at the pie chart of what gets disposed of in Massachusetts, something like 28 percent of what we’re sending to incinerators is food and organics. It’s insanity,” said Janet Domenitz, executive director of the advocacy group MassPIRG.

“We should divert all organics from disposal, period, end of sentence. It’s not like we have to figure something out; we know how to do this, and we just need to commit to the infrastructure that makes it happen,” but building that infrastructure is easier said than done, particularly because the state’s waste-removal industry has been tested this past year. Industry trade publications reported that, nationally, residential trash tonnage volumes surged up to 20 percent in spring and summer last year due to panic buying and home-decluttering. Those numbers have leveled off to a 5 to 10 percent increase now, but waste disposal’s a significant financial burden for many towns.

Boston has seen a 6.6 percent increase in trash, and Somerville has told the state Department of Environmental Protection that its solid waste has increased 4 percent. The Cape and the Berkshires have seen a spike in trash tonnage, too, as a result of second-home owners setting up more permanent residences during the pandemic.

The ruling cla$$ is literally shitting all over us as they cause the very problem they decry while robbing you of love, life, and freedom.

Ed Coletta, a DEP spokesman, said the state is currently conducting its annual survey to get a sense of just how much additional trash has been created during COVID-19 and will incorporate the findings in its 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan. In the meantime, he hailed Hamilton’s willingness to roll out its composting program. “Hamilton is right up there on the tip of the spear,” said Conor Miller, cofounder of Black Earth Compost, a composter and hauler on the North Shore. (It isn’t doing business with the town.) 

Black Earth’s revenues have doubled during the pandemic, Miller said, as more municipalities have begun looking to offset the sharp spike in trash fees by having their citizens pay his composting service to collect their kitchen scraps. In the past year, towns like Belmont, Brookline, and Newton have contracted with Black Earth as a “preferred vendor,” helping to drive down the fees per household, but creating a town mandate, he said, puts a lot of politicians on edge. “The towns are too nervous. If they start paying for something, it kind of becomes an entitlement and really hard to reverse,” Miller said.

More $elf-$erving $lop pu$hed by the Globe after you get through the o$ten$ible altrui$m. 

This is $ickening and makes one want to vomit.

It helps that Hamilton has been on the cutting edge of compost collection for some time.

It’s part of what pushed Clark to advocate for mandatory composting.

“I just kept thinking, heck, all we have to do is say ‘Do it!’ ” Clark said matter-of-factly, but she knew that giving her neighbors the option was not enough. So Clark and her team crafted the new mandate: If you want your trash picked up, you also have to drag your compost bin to the curb. (At-home composters can get a special exemption sticker on their garbage bins.)

Those who fail to bring their compost out will get a notification reminding them new collection rules are in place. By May, the town will stopping picking up trash if compost isn’t alongside it.

It’s going to be a learning curve for some folks, said Clark, who has been fielding complaints about dragging an additional bin to the curb, and there are concerns that mandating compost collection means some people may just fill their bins with more trash.

“This could get really dirty really quick,” said James Gist, chief financial officer at Brick Ends Farm, where the town’s compost will be sorted. “I don’t think the Town of Hamilton will have that problem, but I think you try to scale this and you might see a few more issues,” but Gist credits Clark’s tenacity and believes that if there’s any trouble, she’ll straighten it out. “Gretel is the genius behind it all. She’s a sharp lady,” he said.

For Clark, the imperative to compost is clear:

“It’s one of the few ways that people here in this town can take a step to help reduce global warming. Lots of other towns are now calling me and saying ‘How can we do that?’ ”


As for my scraps, we have fattest squirrels around and they eat well.


Also see:

"A Boston executive has been picked for the United Nations’ top environmental award, the “Champions of the Earth.” Ceres chief executive Mindy Lubber is one of six recipients from around the world this year, the UN announced on Thursday. In the announcement, the UN said Lubber is being recognized in the “Entrepreneurial Vision” category for her commitment to mobilizing investors and companies to become more environmentally friendly. The UN also cited the work Lubber did to catalyze business support for the carbon emissions accord known as the Paris Agreement five years ago. Lubber leads a nonprofit whose mission, in part, is to make the business case for climate action and sustainability. This year’s “Champions” were selected from more than 1,500 nominees submitted during an annual public nominating process."

Ceres chief executive Mindy Lubber was cited for the work she did to catalyze business support for the carbon emissions accord known as the Paris Agreement.
Ceres chief executive Mindy Lubber was cited for the work she did to catalyze business support for the carbon emissions accord known as the Paris Agreement (Erik Jacobs/for The Boston Globe/File 2015)

Now she has a new platform to spin her noxious theories.

"The US Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday embraced tougher action to combat climate change through carbon taxes, emissions caps, or other “market-based” policies — the latest shift by the nation’s biggest business lobbying group as it pivots to a Washington dominated by Democrats. In an updated position statement being released Tuesday, the Chamber of Commerce says it supports “durable climate policy” that is made by Congress, including “a market-based approach to accelerate greenhouse gas emissions reductions across the US economy.” The group is also preparing to announce its support for using federal regulations to directly limit oil and gas industry emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas."


"Exxon Mobil has already upped its climate plans, only three months into an activist investor’s campaign to force change inside the company. Now the group, Engine No. 1, is pushing the oil giant to set a new goal: net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Engine No. 1 released a letter on Monday reiterating its call for Exxon to overhaul its board of directors by adding four new members who have the expertise to steer the company towards climate neutrality. That’s a goal already adopted by European oil producers such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total. Exxon and fellow US supermajor Chevron have resisted."

We will soon look like France, complete with horse $hit:

"Revenue at the Cambridge company grew 12 percent last year, enabling it to clear the $1 billion threshold for the first time. Pega, as it’s widely known as now, celebrated the milestone with a ceremonial “bell ringing” to open the Nasdaq market on Monday. There’s no actual bell anymore, and the event took place online for obvious reasons, although it was also broadcast on the Nasdaq’s jumbo screen in New York’s Times Square......"

Going to need a new warehouse, too, after the deal, and watch where you walk:

"Boston Dynamics’ famed Spot robot is generating some controversy online, and there’s nothing the Waltham-based company can do to stop it. A street-art company in New York called MSCHF has purchased one of the four-legged, $75,000 robots and mounted a paintball gun on its back. On Wednesday, MSCHF will hold an online event called “Spot’s Rampage,” which will put the armed robot inside an art gallery......"

They should be barking about the "watchdog" sniffing around with the goal of “mobile data collection and manipulation.” 

That is what I am paying for every morning, and maybe it is time to $top.

Morning Peabody

Somebody dropping a massive load?

They dunno!

"People reported hearing and feeling ‘booms’ in Peabody. No one knows what caused them; ‘It was kind of scary,’ one resident said of Tuesday’s incidents" by Steve Annear Globe Staff, February 24, 2021

Leslie Williams-Dunn was standing by her kitchen counter in Peabody Tuesday morning when she heard a loud, unsettling sound that caused her 25-year-old son to come rushing from his room.

“I thought a tree limb had crashed on our house,” said Williams-Dunn, who teaches kindergarten. “The sound lasted maybe five or six seconds, and it felt like it was coming from above.”

Fifteen minutes later, a perplexed Williams-Dunn heard a second, shorter “bang,” she said, but this time she also felt it rumble beneath her feet.

“It was kind of scary,” she said.

Scarier still, no one seems to have the faintest idea what caused the sounds, even a day later. Williams-Dunn is one of dozens of Peabody residents who either heard or felt what they described as “booms” or an “explosion-like noise” between 11:30 a.m. and noon, but local officials remain stumped over the source.

“I’m baffled,” said Ed Charest, a city councilor.

A sign from above regarding God's anger, or something more nefarious regarding more earthy elements?

Charest said Peabody officials are taking this situation “very, very seriously” and doing everything they can to figure it out, but for now, the cause remains elusive.

“Still no clue,” he said. “They are checking everything over and over again, and still they have no answers and no really strong leads. It’s very strange. Very, very strange.”

Charest did not hear or feel the disruptions himself but said many of his constituents reached out Tuesday and Wednesday to report what they’d experienced. One of his neighbors told him it felt like “one hell of a blast.”

So far, there’s been no evidence of an explosion, and no one lost power or gas to their homes, Charest said. Nobody had reported any property damage, either.

On Wednesday, fire and police officials said they were investigating. Police said they would use a drone team and explosion-detection canine units to try and pinpoint the origins of the loud noises.

“If you see a law enforcement canine, please do not approach or interact,” police wrote on Twitter and Facebook Wednesday. “Thank you to all who have reached out and we will continue to inform the community when we have more to add.”

On Tuesday afternoon, after police posted that they were aware of the “loud noises and disturbances heard and felt” between Goodwin Circle and downtown, many people shared first-hand accounts on the department’s Facebook page.

Some wondered if it was an earthquake or fighter jets flying overheard, while others recalled the devastating gas explosions that tore through the Merrimack Valley in 2018.

“Definitely felt like the foundation of the house shook,” one person wrote. “First thought was an accident out front ended with a car into the house. Hope it can be pinpointed.”

A resident on Quail Road said it felt like a “rumble, then the boom” that rattled the house. Another person described it as so jarring that they believed it was “an explosion of some kind.”

“I ran outside and all the neighbors were out,” the person wrote. “Very scary,” but the Peabody Fire Prevention Bureau put to rest any speculation that it was an earthquake, saying it had been in touch with the Boston College Weston Observatory about the possibility. They also said there was no “blasting” going on in Peabody Tuesday.

For nervous residents, the lack of answers has been as bewildering as the sounds themselves, Charest said.

“People felt it and heard it — that’s what I think is frustrating people. How is there no evidence or anything to find out what it was?” he said. “Anyone’s guess is as valid as the next person’s.”


I'm almost afraid to ask, but could something be going on in the underground tunnels?

You can check to see if your lottery ticket is a winner while you are on the throne:

"Lottery players embrace ticket-scanning app" by Colin A. Young State House News, February 24, 2021

Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney ran the Lottery Commission through the early returns on the program that was announced in November during a meeting Tuesday in which he also said the Lottery could soon revise upwards its estimated profit for the current budget year.

“This is really a revolutionary product that allows our customers to check the status of their lottery product, whether it’s a winner or not, and what exactly the amount is that has been won virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week if they want,” Sweeney said, “but I think the big part with this is they can do this not only at their leisure but in a privacy setting of their choosing if they should want to do that as opposed to doing it in a setting where there may be other individuals that they don’t know, or where they may feel uncomfortable.”

I $uppo$e everything in life is a gamble, and how pathetic is that?

Speaking off pieces of $tinking $hit:

"Former aide to New York governor details alleged sexual harassment" by Hannah Knowles and Reis Thebault Washington Post, February 24, 2021

A former aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made detailed allegations Wednesday that the politician sexually harassed her, describing an unwanted kiss in Cuomo’s office and a pattern of behavior that she says left her ’'nauseous’' going to work.

Lindsey Boylan, who eventually resigned from the Democratic governor’s team, described deep discomfort with Cuomo starting in 2016, when she says her boss told her that the governor had a “crush” on her. Boylan said in a Medium post that Cuomo “would go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs,” and she shared images of text messages and e-mails that she said supported her story, an expansion on public allegations she made last year.

“He is a sexist pig and you should avoid being alone with him!” Boylan’s mother texted her at one point about Cuomo, according to pictures of the exchange.

A spokeswoman for the governor, Caitlin Girouard, said Wednesday that Boylan’s “claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false.” She focused on the former’s aide’s opening anecdote about the governor allegedly suggesting that they “play strip poker” while seated close together on Cuomo’s jet in October 2017.

Four people listed as taking flights with Cuomo and Boylan that month issued a statement through the governor’s office that the conversation Boylan described “did not happen.” Girouard did not comment on other specifics of Boylan’s account.

Boylan’s extensive written account Wednesday came as Cuomo is embroiled in another scandal for withholding data on coronavirus deaths in nursing homes. The blowback has increasingly focused on Cuomo’s personality and behavior, as one critic, a state legislator from Cuomo’s party, accused the governor last week of threatening him in an angry call.

Boylan, whom The Washington Post could not immediately reach Wednesday, said Cuomo’s treatment of her was part of a deep-rooted, workplace-wide problem.

Cuomo “has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected,” she wrote in the Medium post. “His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics, and if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.”

Boylan publicly accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her for years in tweets late last year, declining at the time to share details and drawing strong denials from the governor.

“Look, I fought for and I believe a woman has the right to come forward and express her opinion and express issues and concerns that she has,” Cuomo said at a news conference, “but it’s just not true.”

Yeah, you believe the woman unless the charge is against a $cum member of the Party and she is not the only one to level such accusations. They are vast regarding that mob$ters "style" of governing. He exudes the term a$$hole from the podium.

Boylan said the strip poker comment came during a flight in October 2017, as she and Cuomo were seated together, a press aide to one side and a state trooper behind them.

“That’s exactly what I was thinking,” she said she responded, trying to “play it cool” and realizing “just how acquiescent I had become.”

Girouard, the press secretary, on Wednesday shared flight manifests from that month and a statement attributed to others listed onboard — John Maggiore, director of policy at the time; Howard Zemsky, president of Empire State Development at the time; and Dani Lever and Abbey Fashouer Collins, both communications staffers at the time.

“We were on each of these October flights and this conversation did not happen,” the statement said.

Boylan’s Medium post recounts many other alleged incidents in detail.

She said she was warned about Cuomo after becoming chief of staff at New York’s economic development agency: “Be careful around the governor,” she said an unnamed friend at a civic engagement group told her. Boylan said she first met Cuomo at a 2016 Madison Square Garden event where the governor paid her a surprising amount of attention.

Then, she said, her boss told her about Cuomo’s “crush.”

“It was an uncomfortable but all-too-familiar feeling: the struggle to be taken seriously by a powerful man who tied my worth to my body and my appearance,” Boylan wrote.

She also posted a picture of an e-mail in which a staffer for the governor told her that Cuomo suggested she look up images of another woman, saying she was that woman’s “better-looking sister.” Cuomo started calling Boylan by that woman’s name in the presence of colleagues, Boylan wrote, calling the experience “degrading.”

At one point, she said, while alone with the governor in his office, Cuomo showed her a cigar box that he said was from former president Bill Clinton, an apparent reference to Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

“I tried to rationalize this incident in my head. At least he didn’t touch me,” Boylan wrote, but later, she said, during a one-on-one briefing in Cuomo’s New York City office, the governor stepped in front of her and kissed her as she tried to leave. She said she kept walking, stunned.

Boylan said she resigned in fall 2018 after she “started speaking up” for herself and saw her relationship with top Cuomo staff deteriorate.

Boylan said she initially turned down a promotion to become deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor, “not because I didn’t want the responsibility or work but because I didn’t want to be near him,” she wrote.

I hope they flush that turd as quick as they can.

Maybe he can meet someone new.


He DID NOT accept blame!

Also see:

"The two men were together Sunday morning, tinkering in a garage in Liberty, N.Y., to rig a small device to emit a pink-or-blue burst during the grand finale of a gender-reveal party planned for later that evening, but the homemade device unexpectedly malfunctioned, killing the expectant father and seriously injuring his 27-year-old brother, New York State Police said in a statement Monday. Police are still investigating the cause of the explosion, but no criminal charges have stemmed from the accident. Gender-reveal parties, which have roots in a 2008 parenting blog, have turned dangerous in recent years, as excited couples have opted for increasingly elaborate stunts to share whether they are having a boy or a girl. A novelty cannon killed a Michigan man at a gender-reveal party earlier this month. A soon-to-be grandmother died in Iowa after shrapnel from a homemade explosive device struck her chest in 2019. The parties have also sparked wildfires and caused a plane crash in recent years. The tragic accidents, often caused by unintended explosions, leave families grieving instead of celebrating....."

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Amazing Advice From Polly


I will be taking the day off despite falling further behind to reevaluate this blog in its entirety. Thank you.

Also see:

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Sex Abuse at Somerville School

"A Somerville mother is stunned: How can school officials accuse her 6-year-old son of sexual misconduct and report him to the police? Charges of racism ensue" by James Vaznis Globe Staff, February 20, 2021

When Flavia Peréa’s 6-year-old son left the Albert F. Argenziano School in Somerville on Nov. 12, 2019, his behavior chart was marked green, indicating he’d had a great day. That made the disturbing calls she’d received earlier that day all the more perplexing.

The dean of students had phoned her at work to say a girl told them her son had touched her inappropriately in their first-grade classroom that morning. The dean characterized her son’s alleged conduct as sexual harassment and added, almost as an afterthought, that the school would have to report it to the state.

She mentioned nothing about notifying the police, but a while later, a Somerville detective left a message on Peréa’s voicemail.

Peréa was stunned: How could a child who’d just lost his first tooth be the subject of a police inquiry?

More than a year later, Peréa is still seeking basic information about what happened that day in the first-grade cubby area. She wants to know why school officials rushed to notify authorities, and whether racism influenced their actions: Her son is Black and Latinx; the girl is white.

“They don’t see a little boy. They see a criminal,” said Peréa, a sociology lecturer at Harvard University and director of the Mindich Program in Engaged Scholarship. “The first thing they did was call the police.”

School officials have repeatedly defended their actions to Peréa in meetings and in written communications that Peréa shared with the Globe, arguing they were following state rules, but Peréa can see no justification for involving the police. In Massachusetts, children under the age of 12 cannot be charged with a crime, according to state law.

Peréa’s quest for answers, unfolding against the backdrop of a national reckoning over racial injustice, has taken her on an unexpected odyssey into a disturbing world familiar to many older children. It is America’s school-to-prison pipeline, a term describing how schools’ discriminatory approach to discipline and close relationships with police disproportionately steer Black and Latino students toward incarceration.

Law enforcement and DCF never took action against Peréa’s son. The school never disciplined him, and he and the girl finished the year in the same class, yet he now has a paper trail at several powerful governmental agencies: the police department, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, and the state Department of Children and Families, whose intake report from the school system describes the incident as “sexual assault” and her son as the “alleged perpetrator.” Police have refused to share their report with Peréa, citing a state law that limits the release of sexual assault complaints to victims and other authorized representatives.

At the same time, Peréa has received incomplete and conflicting information from the school about what happened between the children. The dean of students said her son touched the girl’s “private parts.” A school employee told DCF he touched the girl’s crotch, according to an intake report, but the classroom teacher told Peréa the girl reported that he had touched her “bum” and pointed to her rear end. 

Who taught him that was acceptable behavior?

School officials declined to comment on the matter, citing student privacy laws, but a spokesperson defended the school system’s procedures for handling sexual assault allegations, saying they comply with state and federal reporting requirements, which are designed to protect “the safety of both the victims of alleged serious acts, such as physical or sexual assault, as well as the alleged youth perpetrators, who may themselves be victims in other settings,” but legal experts and social justice advocates say school employees are not required by law to alert DCF about inappropriate touching among very young children — and they certainly shouldn’t be contacting police.

“I find it extremely disturbing that a touch would escalate into a characterization of abuse and criminalized behavior. I don’t understand what the school was thinking,” said Lisa Thurau, founder and executive director of Strategies for Youth, a Cambridge nonprofit that trains law enforcement agencies on how to interact with young children. “Even if they were trying to protect the girl and their own legal exposure, there seems like there are a half dozen other ways to handle this situation that would have been less traumatizing for both students and their families.”

I'm sorry, but there is unwritten rule regarding a personal space barrier that no one is allowed to violate without permission. Case closed.

Of course, with all the $camdemic $afety mea$ures, that shouldn't have been a problem and it's better to nip that kind of behavior in the bud, no?

She said administrators could have, for instance, relied on counseling instead of contacting outside agencies. 

That seems to comport with the state’s mandated reporting rules, which require school employees to report cases of suspected child abuse by caregivers to DCF. The rules, however, don’t obligate them to notify DCF about incidents between children who are too young to be sexually aware.

Bringing in law enforcement could have had other implications for Peréa’s son. A police detective warned Peréa the report would wind up in a statewide law enforcement database, Peréa said. It took her more than six months, with help from the state Attorney General’s Office, to determine that it hadn’t.

As unusual as Peréa’s son’s case might sound, it is eerily similar to one in Brockton in 2006 that also raised questions of racial discrimination. An elementary school principal suspended a 6-year-old Black boy for three days for alleged sexual harassment after a classmate accused him of slipping his fingers slightly into the back of her pants.

In a liberal community like Somerville, where city officials refused to take down a Black Lives Matter banner despite pressure from its own police union, Peréa never imagined her son would encounter this sort of treatment, especially at such a young age.

It has been heart-wrenching for her to hear school officials describe her son, who never had any discipline problems, as some kind of sex offender. Her son loves drawing pictures of robots and reading books about dinosaurs, science, and the sea, and he’s always humming a little tune, as if, his mother said, he has a soundtrack in his head.

“What happened to my son is an act of violence,” she wrote on a website she launched, Architecture of Injustice in School, to draw attention to his case and the school-to-prison pipeline. “It is part of a long history of false allegations against Black and Brown men and boys sexually assaulting white girls and women.”

As we head into the New World, roles will be reversed. It will be open season on white women and girls, and white men better watch out!

In digging into the school-to-prison pipeline, Peréa discovered that Somerville schools mirror others nationwide: They seem to treat Black and Latino students differently when they get into trouble. During the 2018-19 school year when the incident involving Peréa’s son occurred, Somerville schools punished Black students nearly four times more often than white students and disciplined Latino students two times more often than their white peers.

Maybe it is deserved. After all, we are being told whitey obeys rules.

Like most Massachusetts communities, Somerville also operates under a memorandum of understanding with local police, specifying their involvement in schools and with misbehaving students. Some community members believe the agreement enables police to step into non-criminal minor infractions — an assertion school officials and police dispute — and are pushing to have it changed. 

Just conditioning the kids for a total police state.

Acting Somerville Police Chief Charlie Femino disagreed that his department has any role in fostering a school-to-prison pipeline. “Officers are trained to ... refer to social service, mental health, recovery and other services wherever appropriate to avoid unnecessary arrests and criminalization, especially of persons in need,” he said in a statement.

In raising her concern that her son was treated unfairly, Peréa said she repeatedly encountered defensiveness from school officials who didn’t seem to grasp the potential implications of their actions and tried brushing it off.

The school’s principal told Peréa in a meeting one week after the incident that her son “didn’t do anything wrong” as she explained why the school never disciplined him.

In a letter to Peréa’s attorney, Peter Hahn, the school system’s legal counsel, Rosann DiPietro, said that school officials merely asked the police department’s school liaison to review the matter, not to charge the boy. She also said school officials never characterized the incident as sexual abuse or her son as an abuser when notifying DCF, even though the welfare agency’s report indicated otherwise.

“The district disputes your assertion that a massive mistake was made,” DiPietro wrote, and when Peréa asked the School Committee for help, Carrie Normand, then chairperson, rejected Peréa’s request for an independent investigation and an overhaul of school policies.

“We believe the matter has been addressed in school and that the children have put it behind them,” Normand wrote in a letter to Peréa. 

That's what kids do.

She added that the DCF notification would not result in that agency tracking her son — unless DCF received another report about him.

For Peréa, this was cold comfort. If Somerville officials overreacted once, would they do it again?

“It’s been utterly impossible to hold anyone accountable,” Peréa said. “It’s not just a leadership failure; it’s a failure of public institutions.”

Then who needs them, really.


Chelsea fifth-grader Ashly Mejia Gongora attended class via Zoom from the cafeteria at the Clark Avenue Middle School.
Chelsea fifth-grader Ashly Mejia Gongora attended class via Zoom from the cafeteria at the Clark Avenue Middle School (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff).

That's right, the disciplinary measure was putting him in corner with mask on(!!).

Now imagine if he had been truant:

"Since the coronavirus first roared into Massachusetts — disrupting businesses, schools, and daily life — reports of potential abuse or neglect of children have dropped by nearly a third. Those required to flag suspected mistreatment to state officials have filed thousands fewer allegations. Reports from school workers plummeted by 75 percent alone. The drop-off has worried state legislators, who fear an untold number of allegations are going undetected, and the situation is prompting them to press a little-known commission to produce a road map for reshaping who is required to notify the Department of Children and Families when they believe a child is in danger. The Mandated Reporter Commission — launched informally more than two years ago and made official in a 2019 law — started its work long before the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted restrictions that made in-person interactions between children and teachers, doctors, and social workers less frequent, but it’s become clear, the panel’s leader said, that the law and its nuanced applications are far more complex than even she realized. Its work has also stirred heated debate within child advocacy circles, where some support a vast expansion of the law and others argue the current statute already spurs frequent unfounded allegations that do little to better protect children. The considerations prompted the commission to scrap a vote earlier this month on potential recommendations ahead of a Dec. 31 deadline......"

God forbid they make a house call.


"Mass. advocates launch ambitious campaign for publicly funded early education; Sliding fees would limit child care costs to 7 percent of household income" by Stephanie Ebbert Globe Staff, February 16, 2021

Massachusetts lawmakers and advocates plan to unveil a first-in-the-nation campaign to create a universal early education system that would receive public funding like K-12 schools and rein in the exorbitant costs of child care for all families under the ambitious legislation being filed today.

The initiative may sound too good to be true to beleaguered parents, not to mention budget hawks. The sweeping reform could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in each of the first five years of phase-in, according to sponsors who offered no firm price tag or funding stream to pay for it. More modest efforts — like Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s campaign pitch for free preschool for 4-year-olds — were halted by “sticker shock” when the costs came into focus, and the Legislature and governor declined to pick up the tab.

That's why eight years after Walsh’s promises, Boston prekindergarten is still not universal and the Globe's $olution is to build more affordable housing in high-performing school districts.

They will even help you out with a loan and placement.

“Given current budgetary pressures, economic uncertainty, and our current reliance on federal funds to balance the budget, it would be a challenging time for the state to assume these costs,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president Eileen McAnneny; however, the players promoting the campaign are some of the same business, union and social justice leaders who in 2018 negotiated the “grand bargain” that delivered Massachusetts paid family leave, an annual sales tax holiday, and an elevated minimum wage.

“The pandemic has certainly moved the issue to the top of the business community’s agenda in a way I haven’t seen before,” said JD Chesloff, executive director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. Now, he said, “They get it.”

That's happened with a lot of agendas. 

They have gotten a big push off the plannedemic, cui bono, and this agenda reeks of communi$m when you really get down to it no matter how good it sounds.

I mean, think about. The state that has lied to you and ruined your livelihood is so concerned about the kids they have destroyed with their insane policies, and now they want to care for the kids (more like kidnap them for sex rings after they turn up CV positive).

Proponents bill the effort as a timely correction for both gender and racial inequities after nearly a year of the pandemic, and wider public awareness of the uneven costs of caregiving. Working mothers have dropped out of the work force en masse over the past year as they shouldered responsibilities for children stuck at home. The fragile child care system that remains relies on a woefully underpaid work force that is almost entirely comprised of women — disproportionately, women of color.

“We need an early education system that works, and the only way that we get to a system that works is if we admit that it takes public money to do it,” said proponent Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, cofounder of Neighborhood Villages, an organization that advocates for child care reform. “We do not presume that a family can pay for a 6-year-old to 18-year-old’s education. . . . That’s what we ask people to do in child care.”

The premise is that early education should be funded like the rest of the educational system, with public support to make it available to everyone. 

Proponents point to several potential sources of revenue, and a newly favorable political environment in D.C. The Biden administration has made child care a focus of its economic stimulus package and is expected to devote unprecedented federal dollars to early education.

So he can sniff 'em, ugh.

On the state level, a legislative commission is already reviewing child care funding structure and Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, has heeded the industry’s desperate cries for help, offering early educator support as one of the state’s few budget increases last year.

“We’ve seen signals that this is an issue whose time has come,” said Amy O’Leary, director of Early Education for All, a campaign of Strategies for Children, an advocacy and policy organization.

Lewis, who also sponsored paid family and medical leave, said another potential funding source could be the Fair Share Amendment — a 4 percent additional tax on income over $1 million that would generate $2 billion a year for transportation and education. Known as the “millionaire’s tax,” that controversial proposal — whose original iteration was derailed by a lawsuit — was passed by the Legislature in 2019 and a second vote this year would put a Constitutional Amendment on the 2022 ballot.

Why controversial?

The Common Start Coalition is led by Coalition for Social Justice executive director Deb Fastino, who also handled negotiations on paid family leave.  

That’s in part because the pandemic has forced corporate leaders to see how essential child care is to the economy, as employees navigate working from home with children. The work-life balance long seen as an individual mother’s problem to figure out is suddenly everyone’s problem, and visible on Zoom.

“Finally we’re seeing the private sector, the business community, understand the importance of this ‘system’ to the economy,” said Mary Jo Meisner, a member of the Boston Women Leaders Network, which endorsed the legislation.

The average cost of child care for an infant in Massachusetts is nearly $21,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. A family with an infant and a four-year-old spend over $36,000 a year.

Though free or reduced-cost child care vouchers are available to low-income families now, the state falls far short of meeting the demand for those who qualify......

Keep your kids out of state clutches if you can.


"Teens rally at State House for youth jobs, juvenile justice, housing stability" by Gal Tziperman Lotan Globe Staff, February 18, 2021

Youths from across Massachusetts held colorful signs on the stairs of the State House Thursday morning and later took to Zoom to demand legislators act to create more jobs for them, improve juvenile justice, stabilize housing costs, and support comprehensive sex education in public schools.

“We’re all here today to make sure our legislators know that they need to prioritize these issues for the youth,” said Princess Willie, a sophomore at North High School in Worcester and a youth organizer with the I Have A Future coalition, who spoke during the afternoon Zoom rally. “We are the future, and we will fight to better the future.”

With the coronavirus vaccine rollout expanding and legislators thinking of what policies they will push when the pandemic is under control, rally organizers said they did not want to return to a status quo riddled with inequities and injustice. On Thursday morning, they took to the State House steps, urging politicians to fund youth jobs and education, and to allocate less money to police in schools.

Wearing masks, they stood under cold, gray skies, holding handmade signs that read “Youth Power” and “Jobs + Education, Not Mass Incarceration,” among other rally signs.

In the afternoon, more than 100 teenagers and young adults took part in the virtual rally to expand on their ideas to change policy. Nisrine Feham, 14, of Boston, spoke about homelessness, gentrification, and housing instability.

Representative Liz Miranda, a Boston Democrat and herself an alumna of youth jobs and empowerment programs, joined the Zoom rally and encouraged the group to keep asking legislators from across the state for change, particularly when they take up the next budget in April.

“We have a wealthy state. We should be providing opportunity to every young person, not only an after school job or a summer job, but access to college and vocational training, housing, and immigration support,” Miranda said. “When we think about economic opportunity, young people need to know that they could be me one day and they can be bigger than me one day.”

She also told the teenagers to remember their own power.

“Sometimes people think that young people, because they can’t vote, don’t have a lot of power,” Miranda said, “but that’s not true because there hasn’t been one movement in history not led by you, not led by young people, and particularly young people of color.”

I think it is disgraceful for "public $ervants" to use children as political tools and props, yet it has been ever thus.


They have already ordered up an evaluation for the suspect and will be putting the kids up for adoption.

Also see:

"A new study finds that teachers may be more important drivers of COVID-19 transmission in schools than students. The paper released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies nine COVID-19 transmission clusters in elementary schools in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta in December and January, That included one cluster where 16 teachers, students and relatives of students at home were infected. In only one of the nine clusters was a student clearly the first documented case, while a teacher was the first documented case in four clusters. In another four, the first case was unclear. Of the nine clusters, eight involved probable teacher-to-student transmission. Two clusters saw teachers infect each other during in-person meetings or lunches, with a teacher then infecting other students. The findings line up with studies from the United Kingdom that found teacher-to-teacher was the most common type of school transmission there, and a German study that found in-school transmission rates were three times higher when the first documented case was a teacher. In some American districts, schools have had to go all-virtual because so many teachers have been exposed to the virus....."

C'mon, would that pretty lady lie to you?


Time to make your way into the wider world:

 "All members of a San Francisco Bay Area school board resigned days after they were heard making disparaging comments about parents at a virtual board meeting they didn’t realize was being broadcast to the public. The four members of Oakley Union Elementary School District Board had stepped down by Friday amid growing outrage that began with the board’s Wednesday meeting. Before the meeting officially began and unaware the public could see and hear them, they used profanity and made jokes about parents just wanting a babysitter or to smoke pot in their home. The incident garnered national attention and widespread condemnation....." 

They “deeply regret the earlier comments that were made, and realize it is their responsibility to model the conduct that we expect of our students and staff, and it is their obligation to build confidence in district leadership, and they offer their sincerest apology,” so all is well and they will keep their taxpayer-funded pensions and health benefits.

Thankfully, their single-minded focus is your health and safety as well your children and the University of Southern California expects to reopen campuses this fall, joining the state's major public universities in planning to resume on-campus life curtailed by COVID-19 --  if conditions permit.


Also see:

Has something to do with the trashing of a BC multicultural floor last month, and the whole incident reeks of $elf-$erving false-flaggery (going to get an upgrade to the athletic facility).

"Salem State University has received a $6 million cash donation from alumna Kim Gassett-Schiller and her husband, Apple Fellow Philip Schiller, officials announced last week. The gift is the largest cash donation ever made to one of the state’s nine public universities, Salem State president John Keenan said in a statement. “No words could adequately describe our gratitude to Kim and Philip,” said Keenan, who also thanked the couple for their “decades of generosity” to Salem State. The university will use $5 million of the gift to establish the Viking Completion Grant Endowment to help seniors complete their degrees without having to drop out for financial reasons. The endowment will benefit 50 to 75 seniors each year in perpetuity. “When we learned that some Salem State students, who achieve so much and are so close to graduating, risk dropping out for financial reasons, we had to step up,” said Gassett-Schiller, who was the first in her family to graduate from college when she earned an accounting degree from Salem State in 1983. “This gift will remove that risk and make earning a Salem State degree possible. We hope our gift will inspire others to support our students in any way.” The remaining $1 million will be used to provide services for areas of the college the couple has long supported, including the Center for Academic Excellence and the Harold E. and Marilyn J. Gassett Fitness and Recreation Center, the statement said. Carlos Santiago, the state’s commissioner of higher education, said the donation will help advance the state’s higher education goals. “The student grants funded by the Schillers’ philanthropy will be a key ingredient in our collective efforts to expand success for residents, our economy, and society,” Santiago said."

Takes the guts right out of you, but it's better than being incarcerated at UMass, where AI will decide your course schedule (at least the $port$ teams are playing again).

"While some struggle to get vaccine, colleges and hospitals face a different problem: what to do with surplus doses; Conflicting, ambiguous state guidance creates confusion in vaccine rollout" by Deirdre Fernandes and Kay Lazar Globe Staff, January 27, 2021

Northeastern University had nearly 2,000 doses of precious COVID vaccine sitting in freezers last week after most of its front-line and emergency workers already had been immunized. So college officials informed the state that they planned to use the leftovers on other employees, including older adults and those with multiple medical conditions, who would soon be eligible under the state plan.

On Monday, the university started immunizing those workers and planned to give shots to some 730 people throughout the week. But by Tuesday, the school’s vaccination clinic had come to an abrupt halt. The state wanted the college to limit immunizations to people who were 75 or older, a relatively tiny group on a college campus, and wait until sometime in February before expanding vaccinations.

“We could have hundreds of vaccinated people walking around, but our hands are tied,” said Renata Nyul, a spokeswoman for the college. “We still believe that because we have the doses, we should move ahead. But we have been persuaded by officials in the [state] COVID command center that we should wait until next week.”

Colleges, hospitals, and other institutions are wrestling with the same problem: what to do with their surplus vaccine doses. Even as countless seniors across the state are seething that they can’t get an appointment to get vaccinated, the extra doses at Northeastern will remain untouched and in deep freeze.

The Northeastern experience offers a window into the widespread confusion and frustration over vaccine distribution in Massachusetts, and how a lack of clear information to the network of providers on how to handle excess doses has hampered the rollout.

It also underscores the daunting task of rolling out a complex system that needs to be both fair and fast, amid so much uncertainty about the supply of vaccines. Massachusetts officials have complained about recent reduced shipments from the federal government, but they’ve also struggled to use all the doses once they’re here.

The state did not respond to questions specifically regarding why Northeastern was asked to slow its vaccination program, but in a statement, a state spokeswoman said the goal is to ensure that doses are being used wisely.

Data released Monday by the Baker administration suggested tens of thousands of doses are in freezers at hospitals and other providers.

State figures don’t distinguish how many of the hundreds of thousands of doses in storage actually are scheduled to be used in future appointments. Further clouding the picture, hospitals are receiving shipments of second doses that are reserved for people who received their first shots about a month ago.

Massachusetts public health officials have grown concerned about a possible logjam that could hurt the state’s chances of getting more vaccine quickly from the federal government. Massachusetts ranks in the bottom half of states for the amount of vaccines it has administered per capita, according to federal data......

It's like Whac-A-Mole now,  and are there shortages or not?

What is with the never-ending gaslighting coming from "authority" and the pre$$?

Also see:

"The United States Marshals Service on Tuesday increased the reward for information leading to the arrest of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology grad student wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of a Yale graduate student. The reward for information leading to the arrest of 29-year-old Qinxuan Pan, whose last known address was Malden, is now set at $10,000, the service said in a statement. Pan was last seen driving with family members in the area of Duluth or Brookhaven in Georgia on Feb. 11. The marshals service warned that Pan is considered armed and dangerous. A family member told marshals that Pan was carrying a black backpack and acting strangely when last seen. Authorities have launched a nationwide manhunt for Pan, who is a person of interest in the Feb. 6 slaying of 26-year-old Kevin Jiang in New Haven. Pan has not been charged in the case, but is wanted on one count of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and interstate theft of a vehicle. Pan allegedly stole an SUV on the day of the slaying from a Mansfield, Mass., car dealer. Pan is described as a 6-feet-tall, 170-pound Asian male with a medium complexion and short black hair, the statement said. Anyone with information about Pan’s whereabouts is asked to contract US Marshals....." 

(Cue music)

"The Greek community in Brookline and Newton is well on its way to raising $10,000 to support pediatric cardiac care at Boston Children’s Hospital. An annual New Year’s Day sing-a-long called “kalanda” has raised over $9,000 for the Boston Children’s Hospital Hellenic Cardiac Fund, which helps poor Greek children in need of serious operations. The event, which features Greek songs celebrating the promise of the new year, marked its 40th anniversary this year, and its first held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About 60 people gathered over Zoom on Friday to celebrate four decades of caroling for a cause dear to their hearts. “It is reminiscent of my childhood,” said Manny Paraschos of Newton, who grew up in Athens and participated in kalanda there; however, COVID-19 prevented the group from performing in person this year, so they turned to Meletios Pouliopoulos, president of Greek Cultural Resources, a nonprofit based in New Hampshire, to host the kalanda on Zoom. Despite having to go virtual, Paraschos said the event was “fabulous.”


I guess you girls will just have to stick to the script (just an ad that came with the story) and keep quiet:

"Timilty Middle School dean charged with raping underage former student" by John R. Ellement and Travis Andersen Globe Staff, December 14, 2020

The dean of students at Timilty Middle School in Roxbury is facing aggravated rape charges for allegedly having sexual relations with an underage former student during a span of several months this year, in what Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins called “the ultimate betrayal of a child’s trust.”

Manuel Mendes, 38, of Hyde Park, was arrested Friday and appeared Monday in West Roxbury Municipal Court, where he pleaded not guilty to four counts of aggravated rape of a child under the age of 16, officials said.

Bail was set at $35,000 cash. If he posts bail, Mendes must have no contact with the alleged victim and any witnesses, keep away from the Timilty school and any current or former students, have no unsupervised contact with children under 16, and submit to GPS monitoring.

A lawyer for Mendes declined to comment.

Boston Public Schools officials said they immediately placed Mendes on paid administrative leave after learning about the arrest.....


At least he wasn't selling drugs, right?


"A former police chief has been appointed the new independent overseer at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. to see that the elite boarding school complies with a 2018 settlement agreement over allegations of sexual abuse, officials said Tuesday. Donald E. Sullivan, a law enforcement veteran with more than 20 years’ experience, will step into the role “as soon as possible,” New Hampshire Deputy Attorney General Jane E. Young’s office said in a statement. His appointment comes almost three months after the previous overseer, Jeffrey T. Mahar, resigned citing an “intolerable working environment.” Sullivan previously served as police chief in the small towns of Hill and Alexandria, N.H., where he was chief from 2008 to 2020, according to the statement. The attorney general’s office selected him from three candidates provided by the school last month, Young’s office said....."

I'm further told the school has been the subject intense public scrutiny since 2014, after a freshman girl was sexually assaulted during a sexual hazing tradition known as the “senior salute.” That case led to the high-profile trial of Owen Labrie, a former St. Paul’s student who was convicted of sexually assaulting his classmate, Chessy Prout, in 2015, and the Globe outed him when they commenced for graduation, and is there anyone who even has faith in the religion or the schools anymore?

"Man with multiple rape convictions will spend life behind bars; Guilty pleas follow attacks on women in Taunton and Easton" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff, February 17, 2021

A 63-year-old former Bridgewater man with a lengthy history of sex offenses will spend the rest of his life in prison after admitting to raping two women in separate attacks in the 1990s in Taunton and Easton, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The man, Ivan N. Keith, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Bristol Superior Court to 16 counts, including aggravated rape, kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and breaking and entering at night with intent to commit a felony, according to legal filings and a statement from District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office.

Keith had fled the state in 2003 and was apprehended in Maine in July 2019, according to Quinn’s office.

Judge Sharon Donatelle on Tuesday sentenced Keith to 25 to 30 years in prison, which will run consecutively to the 19- to 20-year term he began serving last year following a conviction for two other rapes from the 1990s, in Plymouth and Norfolk counties, the statement said.

“These were outrageous acts of violence against two innocent victims, who were just going about their everyday lives,” Quinn said.

The first rape Keith pleaded guilty to on Tuesday, prosecutors said, occurred July 27, 1997, outside Bristol-Plymouth Regional High School in Taunton, where a woman was exercising on the track when a masked man forcibly led her to a wooded area, tied her up, and raped her.

“I longed for the internal pain to stop,” the Taunton victim said in court, according to the statement. “I still carry the scars of what happened to me. What I experienced was nothing short of pure evil.”

The second rape occurred Nov. 22, 1998, when he attacked a woman cleaning offices at Steve Porter Appraisal Services in Easton, Quinn’s office said. While she was cleaning, a masked man accosted her as she opened the door of an office and then raped her before binding her hands and fleeing, according to the statement.

The Easton victim said in court that Keith “took away my joy, my laughter and my peace of mind,” Quinn’s office said, and that the day she learned of Keith’s arrest was among “the happiest days myself and my family ever had.”

Quinn’s office said DNA evidence and genealogical technology help tie Keith to the two rapes, as well as the earlier two sexual assaults that occurred in 1996. He’s currently serving the 19- to 20-year term for the 1996 rapes, before the clock starts on his 25- to 30-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors said Keith had also been convicted of several additional sex-related crimes in Plymouth County in the 1980s and 1990s, along with a sex crime conviction in Maine in 2000.

Ivan the Terrible was placed on page B5, far out of the Boston Globe Spotlight.


"Cardinal Sean O’Malley and the state’s other three Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday condemned the Massachusetts Legislature’s decision to override a veto from Governor Charlie Baker and enshrine abortion rights in state law. The new law will allow abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy in cases of a fatal fetal anomaly and if “necessary, in the best medical judgment of the physician, to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health.” The bishops said in a statement that they “are deeply disappointed” by the Legislature’s decision and that abortion is a “serious moral wrong and directly undercuts our unyielding goal to promote the common good throughout a civil society.” The bishops said they would recommit themselves to the conception of natural death. “The Catholic Church recognizes that it has a primary moral responsibility to speak for the most vulnerable among us — the unborn,” they said. “That responsibility is at the center of the Catholic moral vision. Because of its centrality, the Church must oppose the directly intended taking of human life through abortion at any stage of pregnancy.”

The pious pervert dare talk about morality before God?

There is nothing "moral "about their stance.

They just want more butts to bugger since Francis signed off on taking fetal tissue in the vaccine.

Also see: