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What do school superintendents make?

Posted February 8, 2009 10:33 AM

With a new Framingham superintendent hired, and news that Newton's superintendent earns more than $247,000, what is the going rate for the job?

Check out this searchable database of 2006-07 salaries.

The Globe found that the average superintendent salary in eastern Massachusetts was $147,500 a year, swelled by perks and benefits that are often worth more than $10,000. A bulk of the highest paid were in Boston's western suburbs.

Ten superintendents received $23,000 in benefits.

In a unanimous vote Thursday night, the Framingham School Committee chose Steven Hiersche as the school district's new superintendent. Hiersche, who is superintendent for Watertown Public Schools, will begin work in Framingham on July 1.

New school superintendent appointed in Framingham

Posted February 6, 2009 02:03 PM

By Tanya Perez-Brennan, Globe Correspondent

In a unanimous vote Thursday night, the Framingham School Committee chose Steven Hiersche as the school district's new superintendent.

Hiersche, who is superintendent for Watertown Public Schools, will begin work in Framingham on July 1.

"It was a very difficult decision," said school committee chairman Phil Dinsky.

"The three candidates were all qualified and in the end, we tried to pick the one that we thought had the best fit for our community."


Market crash: fear in the suburbs

Posted September 29, 2008 07:52 PM

The market drop stunned people in Boston's suburbs. Read what some of your neighbors had to say, and tell us what you are thinking by posting a comment.

In Lexington, Mike Minerd, a 64-year-old retired chef from Newton, admitted he was scared.

“Being retired, living on fixed income, it gets pretty scary,” he said Monday. “I think it’s a real tough situation, very uneasy. When you hear the word depression, that’s scary.”

In Framingham, Peter Pleshaw was feeling pretty good about ignoring experts advice to stay in the market. He switched to cash earlier this year.

And if he hadn’t taken his money out of the market? “I’d be sitting there crying,” he said as he emerged from the Fidelity office Monday.

Pleshaw stopped by yesterday just to get reassurance -- which he said he got -- that his cash account would be okay if Fidelity Investments went under. “If you can foresee the future, great,” Pleshaw continued. “But we can’t foresee the future. You might as well go to the dog track and lose your money.”

Judy McGann, a 55-year-old worker at a bank in Lexington, blamed the government's financial overseers.

“Why I could foresee it but they couldn’t, it’s beyond me,” she said. “They (the government) got us in this mess they should get us out.”

“Most of us have some type of 401(k), stocks. It’s affecting the economy, it affects my job and the security of my job.”

Framingham to reconsider longtime 2-hour parking restriction

Posted September 8, 2008 08:16 AM

For several decades, it's been forbidden in Framingham to park on any street in town for more than two hours, unless otherwise noted.

But is the ban more of a nuisance than a help? The town has hired consultants to do a $50,000 study of the question, which should be completed by the end of the year. The Board of Selectmen will also hold a public hearing on Sept. 23 to seek input on the matter.

The public is being asked to provide feedback on the ban at the meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. in the Ablondi Room of the Memorial Building at 150 Concord Street. At the meeting, the board will also consider whether to enforce the two-hour limit between now and the end of the year when the parking study is completed.

Anyone who cannot attend the meeting but would like to offer an opinion is being encouraged to do so by letter or by e-mail. The town's mailing address is 150 Concord Street, Framingham, MA 01702.

-- Tanya Perez-Brennan

Man killed in second train-on-pedestrian strike in two days

Posted August 6, 2008 08:52 AM

A man was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Westborough yesterday, the second time someone was hit by a train west of Boston in two days.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene after he was struck by Amtrak train 449 en route from Boston to Albany, N.Y., police and Amtrak officials said.

"It was an apparent suicide," said Tim Connolly, a spokesman for the Worcester district attorney's office. "He was on the platform and just prior to 12:30, as the Amtrak westbound train approached the station, he jumped off the platform, ran across the eastbound tracks, scaled the chain-link fence, and then fell onto the tracks just as the westbound train arrived."

The man was struck on the tracks near the Smith Parkway station in Westborough, Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell said.

There were no injuries to the 92 passengers on the train, who were taken by buses to Albany after nearly three hours of delays, Connell said. The authorized speed in that area is 60 miles per hour, Connell said. Westborough police are working with state, transit, Amtrak, and CSX police, to investigate the event.

"I wasn't aware of it until the train stopped," said train passenger Liz Herold of Saco, Maine. "It's a horrible thing, and I feel very bad for the driver."

On Monday night, a 54-year-old man was struck by a commuter rail train in Framingham, police and fire officials said. Gregory Buchanan was flown to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester with leg injuries, Framingham police said. There was no word on his condition.

-- Jeannie M. Nuss

Senate approves funding for Framingham museum rehab

Posted August 5, 2008 08:38 AM

The state Senate has approved $1.5 million in funding for repairs to the building that houses the Danforth Museum of Art.

danforth2.jpg"Mrs. Nathaniel Coffin" by Gilbert Stuart is part of the Danforth's permanent collection
The museum, located in a town-owned building, has been struggling with needed repairs to the aging structure. The funding proposal, already passed by the House of Representatives, must still be approved by the governor before it becomes a reality, said state Senator Karen Spilka, who sponsored the appropriation.

"It's not an automatic that the town gets the money, but it is a step closer," the Framingham Democrat said. "We have to convince the administration down the line that this is a critical need."

Katherine French, the museum's director, said total repairs to the building could cost anywhere from $2 to $3 million.

-- Tanya Perez-Brennan

18-year-old drowns in Sudbury Reservoir

Posted June 26, 2008 03:44 PM

An 18-year-old man drowned last night in the Sudbury Reservior in Framingham, New England Cable News is reporting.

The man was not breathing when rescue divers pulled him from the water around 8:00 Wednesday night. Officials said that the man's friends had lost track of him about three hours earlier.

Framingham developer abandons plans for 200-unit complex in Wrentham

Posted May 15, 2008 09:43 AM

Fairfield Residential LLC, a development national company with an office in Framingham, has informed the town of Wrentham that it is no planning to build a 200-unit apartment complex on South Street.

Town officials had expressed concerns about the project, saying it would burden the town by adding children to the school system and creating additional traffic. But since 50 of the apartments were affordable, the developers would have been exempt from some local zoning restrictions under the state's Chapter 40B law.

Chapter 40B allows developers of affordable housing to bypass certain local zoning restrictions in communities that fall short of the state threshold for affordable units. Wrentham is about 180 housing units short of the threshold.

-- Calvin Hennick

Some fighting cell tower for this dead spot

Posted May 7, 2008 10:17 AM

Patty and Joel Osborne, photographed with a grave they adopted at St. George's Cemetery, are concerned that a 100-foot cell tower planned for the woods nearby could disturb unkept or unmarked graves in the proposed site.
(Globe staff photo by Wiqan Ang)


In what is now the oldest, most overgrown corner of St. George Cemetery, Anne Collins buried her 6-month-old son in 1861, and a few months later, her 26-year-old husband. Nearby, in a shady spot now nearly hidden by trees, Patrick Murphy bid farewell to his wife, Bridget, in 1884 with a simple stone carrying a straightforward message: "May her soul rest in peace. Amen."

But that rest may no longer be so peaceful. The cellular giant T-Mobile is seeking to build a soaring 100-foot-tall cellphone tower in a wooded patch at the edge of the graveyard. The Archdiocese of Boston, which owns the cemetery, has approved the plan and agreed to lease the spot to the company.

The proposal - which still must be approved by Framingham's Zoning Board of Appeals - has enraged the Cherry Street Neighborhood Association, a band of several dozen self-appointed guardians who say that installing the planned tower and a surrounding 8-foot-tall fence violates the memories of people buried nearby.

"This is a sacred place," said Margaret Sleczkowski, who has been living in a cottage next to the cemetery for 38 years. Her eyes welled up with angry tears when she talked about the prospect of maintenance trucks driving past the hundreds of old gravestones on the property's only access road to the woods.

Sleczkowski said the cemetery's dead "depend on us to protect them."

The Boston Archdiocese maintains that the proposed tower is disrespectful neither to the dead nor to the living trying to pay their respects.

"We would never do anything to desecrate a cemetery," said Terrence Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese. "We are responsible for the perpetual care of the loved ones who are in our cemeteries. Under no circumstances would we tolerate, nor would we act in a way that would break that bond of commitment that we have."

Read more about the controversy over the proposed cemetery cell tower in the online edition of today's City & Region section.

-- Erica Noonan and Manny Veiga

Intense smoke sends six to hospitals during Framingham fire

Posted April 11, 2008 05:25 PM

Firefighters battle a blaze at the Jefferson Village apartments in Framingham earlier today.
(Globe staff photo by Suzanne Kreiter)


Thick, inky smoke flooding the hallways of a Framingham apartment building forced firefighters to pluck residents off balconies with ladder trucks and sent six people to the hospital during a three-alarm fire this afternoon, public safety officials said.

Three residents of the Jefferson Village apartments and three firefighters were transported to local hospitals, but none of their injuries were considered serious, Framingham police Lt. Paul Shastany said. A fourth firefighter was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation but returned to duty.

Shastany said, the intense smoke caused a "nightmare" scenario for firefighters by making it tough to find the source of the blaze and slowing efforts to evacuate residents, many of them elderly.

"I have never seen a fire scene in my 32 years where they (firefighters) used up so many air packs," he said. The firefighters who were injured had used up their air."

The first police and firefighters arriving at the scene just after noon were beaten back by the intense smoke from the fire, which is believed to have started on the second floor of the five-story brick building. Two residents were taken off balconies by ladder trucks because officials feared they would be overcome by the smoke if they tried to use the interior hallways and stairwells, Shastany said.

Officials cut power to all 72 units in the building, which is located just off of Route 9, and said residents would have to find another place to stay for at least a few days. Bala Sundaram, a 38-year-old software engineer who lives on the second floor, said his wife Suba and two-year-old daughter Adithya were home when someone pounded on the door and yelled for them to get out.

"We're all OK," he said. "They say we won't be able to get back in for two or three days. We'll go to my friend's house first, then probably to a hotel."

A woman who identified herself only as Jeanette said police removed her 80-old-mother from her first floor apartment by stretcher as firefighters fought the blaze above.

"She's really shaken up," the woman said as she loaded her mother's aluminum walker into the back of an SUV. "Until I can get her back in, she'll stay with me ... for a little tea and sympathy."

-- Ralph Ranalli

Search crews looking for body in the Sudbury River

Posted March 10, 2008 03:32 PM

Searchers are looking this morning for the body of a man who fell into the Sudbury River in Framingham after a minor car accident last night on a Massachusetts Turnpike bridge over the river, state police said.

A man drove his 2000 Honda Accord into the guardrail on the westbound side of the road at about 8:05. State police have determined that the man accidentally fell into the river after the crash, said spokesman Sergeant Robert Bousquet.

State police and local fire and police departments searched until just before midnight last night. The search resumed at about 8 this morning, Bousquet said.

-- Globe Staff

Talking the talk about walking the walk

Posted December 10, 2007 08:51 AM


The Town's department of Community and Economic Development is sponsoring a public talk this Thursday about the infrastructure improvement plan for downtown which seeks to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

To accomodate everyone who wishes to attend, officials will hold the talk twice, once from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Blumer Community Room of Memorial Hall at 150 Concord Street, and again from 7 to 9 p.m. at the TD Banknorth building located at 74 Concord Street.

Anyone interested in learning more is urged to call 508-532-5455.

-- Tanya Perez-Brennan

Will the Arcade mean game over for Brazilian businesses?

Posted October 21, 2007 09:11 AM


While officials are counting on the Arcade at Downtown Framingham, a nearly $60 million mixed-use project, to revitalize the town's commercial core, some worry that the project will help push out immigrant businesses.

After nearly three years of negotiations with developers, community leaders are touting the Arcade project, which includes renovation of historic buildings, a new garage, and an apartment complex, as the cornerstone of downtown revitalization, Globe West correspondent Tanya Perez-Brennan reports in today's Globe West.

"I think it's huge," said John Steacie, chairman of Framingham Downtown Renaissance, a coalition of community groups. "It would bring people into the downtown [who] have discretionary income. They'd be willing to spend, so that's a big economic boom."

The project would include 290 one- or two-bedroom apartments, a six-story, 563-space parking garage, and 50,000 square feet of new commercial space. Michael Gatlin, an attorney for developer Framingham Acquisition LLC, said officials are "pretty optimistic" construction could start as soon as early winter and be completed within 2 1/2 years.

Developers are building multimillion-dollar projects in downtowns across New England, including in area communities such as Lincoln, Franklin, and Westborough. But what's happening in Framingham is an early example of a new gentrification trend, one that pushes out immigrant-owned businesses, according to Jonathan Leit, who wrote his master's thesis on the Arcade project for the urban studies and planning department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After the project's completion, commercial rents could double to $18 to $20 per square foot, which has some existing merchants feeling uneasy, and some, including Brazilian business owners, fearing they could be displaced.

Vera Dias-Freitas, an advocate for the Brazilian community and owner of a jewelry store in the existing Arcade building, one of four Concord Street buildings included in the larger project, said the concerns of local businesses are not being taken into account.

Read more about the benefits and pitfalls of Framingham's downtown revitalization in today's Globe West.

Last chance for commuters to sound off on Pike toll hikes

Posted October 16, 2007 10:44 AM


The second public hearing on the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority's recent vote to approve toll increases at both the Weston and Allston-Brighton toll plazas by 25 cents each for 2008 will be held on Monday.

Globe West reported earlier this month that western commuters who use the pike will end up paying more than nine times as much in gas taxes and tolls -- the state's two user fees for drivers -- as commuters on the South Shore or in the northwest suburbs if the Turnpike Authority Board gives final approval to the hikes.

A Framingham driver commuting 220 days to Boston now pays a little over $800 in tolls. The increase would bring that annual cost to over $1,000, according to Turnpike board member Mary Z. Connaughton.

This is the last public hearing before the Turnpike board makes its final vote on Oct. 29.

The hearing will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Nevins Hall at the Memorial Building at 150 Concord St.

-- Tanya Perez-Brennan


Posted October 11, 2007 10:37 AM

Once a mechanic, Brian Smith of Framingham now works as an auto appraiser.
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


After surgeons installed two mechanical valves to repair his congenital heart defect, Brian Smith knew he had seen the end of his grease-monkey days. Heavy lifting was out of the question, and he had to avoid sharp objects because his new blood-thinning medication made cuts potentially disastrous.

Unable to work at his former job as a mechanic at a Framingham car dealership, Smith went on Social Security for a few years. By 2002, he had recovered and, no longer qualifying for public assistance, was told to get a job, Globe West correspondent John Dyer reports today.

"They were telling me I could go back to work, but they all agreed I couldn't do what I used to do," said the 49-year-old Bellingham resident. "They were thinking about me selling movie tickets. But I have two kids. I wasn't going to go back to a job for minimum wage."

After a four-year job search, his first in decades, Smith received training in a state program and landed a position as an automobile appraiser for a Mendon company. Now he's a proud earner.

Smith's happy ending is the exception, not the rule. Across the state, disabled people and their advocates say that while progress is being made in putting the disabled onto payrolls, most are still unemployed.

The gap between disabled people and the help they need leaves a hole in the region's economy, in the form of an untapped workforce, they say. Although the Massachusetts unemployment rate is hovering between 4 and 5 percent overall, around 70 percent of the state's approximately 550,000 disabled residents older than 18 don't work, said Charles Carr, commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the agency that helped retrain Smith.

Read more about how the disabled are being retrained to work in the online edition of today's Globe West.

Blue man scooped

Posted October 11, 2007 09:04 AM


A graffiti artist accused of spray-painting on several buildings has appeared in court after being scooped up - blue-handed - by police.

Witnesses called police Monday after seeing a man spray-painting an anti-Ku Klux Klan message on the side of the Standard Electric building, the Associated Press is reporting.

"When the officers confronted him, his hands were blue," said Lt. Paul Shastany, a police spokesman. "He claimed he was an artist and it was just like an addiction, spray painting."

Josh Kirby, 31, of Framingham, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to five counts of malicious mischief causing more than $250 worth of damage. Police said they found similar graffiti on a restaurant, pizza shop and food market in the town.

-- AP

Toddler falls out of window in Framingham, survives

Posted October 5, 2007 02:30 PM


A baby took a frightening fall out of the window of her parents' apartment yesterday, but survived with relatively minor injuries.

The baby's mother was dressing in the bathroom with her 4-year-old daughter when she noticed that her toddler had fallen out of a window, WHDH-TV/Channel 7 reported on its web site. The 14-month-old girl apparently pushed on the window screen and then fell through. She plummeted three stories to the ground.

The baby remains at Children's Hospital Boston and is expected to be OK. The Dept. of Social Services is investigating the case, but a spokesperson said the agency had never been to the house before.

Honoring Deborah

Posted October 2, 2007 09:25 AM

(AP photo)


A dedication ceremony will be held Monday, Oct. 15 to officially rename the Town's Public Hearing Room after former State Representative, Deborah D. Blumer.

The new room name, proposed by resident Cheryl Tully Stoll, will be the "Representative Deborah D. Blumer Community Room," said Scott Morelli, assistant to the Town Manager. It is the first time a room in the town's Memorial Building has ever been named after a woman. Blumer, a Framingham democrat, served in the state legislature from 2001 until she died from an apparent heart attack in 2006.

The ceremony includes a reception from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m., guest speakers, and the unveiling of a photo of Blumer from 7:00 to 7:45 p.m. There will also be a video tribute from 7:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. The Memorial Building is located at 150 Concord Street.

Officials are urging anyone seeking more information to call 508-532-5400.

-- Tanya Pérez-Brennan

It's not what you fight about, but how you fight

Posted October 2, 2007 09:16 AM


A study of nearly 4,000 men and women from Framingham, has shown that how often couples fight or what they fight about usually doesn’t matter.

Instead, it’s the nuanced interactions between men and women, and how they react to and resolve conflict, that appear to make a meaningful difference in the health of the marriage and the health of the couple, the New York Times reports today.

The Framingham couples were asked whether they typically vented their feelings or kept quiet in arguments with their spouse. Notably, 32 percent of the men and 23 percent of the women said they typically bottled up their feelings during a marital spat.

In men, keeping quiet during a fight didn’t have any measurable effect on health. But women who didn’t speak their minds in those fights were four times as likely to die during the 10-year study period as women who always told their husbands how they felt, according to the July report in Psychosomatic Medicine. Whether the woman reported being in a happy marriage or an unhappy marriage didn’t change her risk.

Now THAT'S a gun ...

Posted September 25, 2007 11:33 AM


A would-be robber who flashed a pistol and demanded cash from a Framingham grocery store clerk Monday night found himself instead staring at a rude surprise: a bigger gun, police said.

After looking at the robber's .22 Ruger, the clerk at A & J grocery on Kendall Street grabbed a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and loaded a bullet into the chamber, police told Globe correspondent Emily A. Canal for a report in the Globe's Local News Updates blog on

As the failed robber fled, the clerk pulled the trigger, shooting a bullet that missed the man but hit an ATM machine and a door inside the store, police said.

"After the suspect was shot at, he proceeded to flee on foot toward Freeman Street," said Lieutenant Paul Shastany of the Framingham Police Department. "We searched the area to the best of our ability but could not locate the suspect."

Police did not release the name of the clerk, who is in his 40s. The robbery suspect was described as a black male with medium to dark colored skin who was between the ages of 18 and 25. He is approximately 5 feet 8 and 165 pounds and was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

The shooting at about 9:30 p.m. remains under investigation.

Memo to Bambi: Avoid Framingham

Posted September 25, 2007 09:32 AM

(Globe staff photo by Tom Herde)


For the first time, the town's Conservation Commission is considering allowing bow hunting for deer in Wittenborg Woods and Macomber Woods and is inviting residents to a public forum at Town Hall Oct. 1 to discuss the issue.

The continued growth of the deer population in eastern Massachusetts has led to adverse effects on vegetation and other wildlife, said conservation agent, Michele Grzenda.

"The commission is looking at this strictly as a land management tool," she said. The Town will not impose a fee on hunters, she said.

According to the commission, Framingham has roughly 18-20 deer per square mile, which is twice the density that would thrive in a balanced, natural environment. The Town's proposal would allow 10 bow hunters per parcel from mid-October to mid-December.

The forum will include a presentation by Tom O'Shea, assistant director of wildlife for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. O'Shea will do a slide presentation on deer population trends, issues related to the overpopulation of deer, and offer options for residents.

The commission will vote on the issue Oct. 3 and make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen, who will make a final decision Oct. 16. The public forum will be held in the Public Hearing Room at Town Hall at 150 Concord St. from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Officials are urging anyone interested in more information to call 508-532-5460.

-- Tanya Pérez-Brennan

Athenaeum makeover still incomplete, supporters say

Posted September 21, 2007 11:31 AM

John Stasik and Carol Getchell, both members of the Friends Of Saxonville, in front of historic Athenaeum building
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


The roof and exterior of Framingham's historic Athenaeum Hall were finished this summer, but its makeover is still incomplete and organizers of the restoration are asking residents to once again dig into their pockets.

That's why the Friends of Saxonville will hold a fundraiser on the Athenaeum's front Saturday, Sept. 29, said John Stasik, a selectmen and member of the organization. The group is asking people for a $35 donation and hope to raise at least $5,000.

The 1847 Athenaeum, formerly Saxonville Town Hall, was later used as a school and a jail, among other things. Architectural plans drawn up put the cost of restoration at an estimated $2 million, he said, and there have been at least three or four other fundraisers for the building over the past 10 years.

Over that time, the group has raised $60,000 toward the project. A state grant through former representative Deborah Blumer provided $75,000, which went toward the architectural renderings for interior restoration. The Town of Framingham also put $300,000 toward the project for stabilization purposes during the beginning phase of its restoration.

Organizers will provide tours from noon to 4 p.m. followed by a gala from 7 to 10 p.m. Call 508-371-4361 for more information or visit the Friends of Saxonville online.

-- Tanya Pérez-Brennan

Getting their two cents in in Framingham

Posted September 17, 2007 07:39 AM


State Senator Karen E. Spilka will hold open office hours from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. next Monday, Sept. 24 at the Framingham Civic League.

The Ashland Democrat senator holds rotating office hours for the 7 different towns she represents, said her communications director, Sarah Blodgett. Constituents are encouraged to stop by and raise any concerns or ask questions, she said.

The Framingham Civic League is located at 214 Concord Street. Blodgett urged anyone seeking more information to call the senator's office at 617-722-1640.

-- Tanya Pérez-Brennan

Holiday stars are born in Framingham

Posted September 12, 2007 01:10 PM


Auditions for the Performing Art Center of MetroWest's 4th annual "Holiday Revelry" -- a multicultural celebration honors winter and the holidays in song, dance, story, and theater -- will be held Sunday, organizers have announced.

Directed by Betty Lehrman, the performance includes English Mummer's play, "St. George and the Dragon," along with traditional Jewish and Christmas songs.

The ensemble piece will have about 20 to 30 parts to cast, Lehrman said. Children who are in third grade or higher may audition as well as adults, but tryouts must prepare a song or sing one from the show with an accompanist. Auditions will be from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Framingham Civil League Theater at 214 Concord Street.

Performances will be held on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. Anyone seeking more information is urged to call The Performing Arts Center of MetroWest at 508-875-5554.

-- Tanya Pérez-Brennan

Making room for Blumer's memory

Posted August 23, 2007 03:54 PM

Since her death last October, state representative Deborah Blumer has been honored in a variety of ways
(AP photo)


Framingham selectmen voted Tuesday to name the public hearing room at Framingham Town Hall after Deborah Blumer, the three-term state representative who died unexpectedly last fall.

Chairman Dennis Giombetti said officials would schedule a dedication ceremony to occur around the anniversary of her Oct. 13 death. In the months that have followed the Democratic lawmaker's passing, several scholarships, awards, internships, tributes have been dedicated in her honor.

-- John C. Drake

Framingham officials to draft statement opposing further increase in social service facilities

Posted August 22, 2007 03:33 PM


Framingham selectmen say they plan to sign a statement outlining the town's position on limiting the number of social service facilities locating within its borders.

Alexis Silver, the town's human services coordinator, said Framingham is "paying a significant price" in terms of tax-exempt properties and the public services provided to them because of the increasing number of shelters, halfway houses, rehabilitation centers, and other facilities. She also said quality of life in the town has been hurt by crime and panhandling committed by some of the troubled clients of the social service agencies.

Selectmen said that the statement should affirm that town officials believe the expansion of social service agencies is hurting the town and that it will give Silver ammunition as she negotiates for concessions from social service agencies.

The statement, to be drafted by Town Manager Julian Suso, also would form the foundation of a series of proposed bylaws and regulations meant to curb the expansion, selectmen said.

-- John C. Drake

Framingham man was operating boat involved in fatal Maine crash, officials say

Posted August 16, 2007 12:41 PM


A Framingham man was operating a power boat with twin, 435-horsepower engines when it struck a smaller boat on Long Lake in Maine, killing two people, officials said Thursday.

Robert Lapointe, 38, of Framingham, Mass., and his companion, Nicole Randall, 19, of Bridgton, Maine, swam to shore Saturday night after being thrown from their 32-foot cigarette boat, the Maine Warden Service and Cumberland County district attorney's office announced. After the crash, the larger boat plowed onto the shore and traveled nearly 135 feet on land before coming to a rest.

Killed were the two occupants of a 14-foot boat, Terry Raye Trott, 55, of Naples, and his companion, Susanne Groetzinger, 44, of Berwick, officials said. Groetzinger died from blunt-force trauma to the head, while Trott drowned, according to the medical examiner's office, which conducted autopsies.

Warden divers recovered the bodies three days after the collision, which happened at 9 p.m. Saturday. Since then, divers have returned to retrieve evidence from the bottom of the lake, said Warden Service spokesman Mark Latti.

It will take several days to a couple of weeks to complete the crash reconstruction, Latti said. Once that's complete, wardens will present their findings to the district attorney, who will decide what charges, if any, are warranted.

-- AP

Friends of man shot by Framingham police officer say he was depressed, out of work

Posted August 5, 2007 02:47 PM


Friends and family of an Avon man shot and killed by a Framingham police officer Friday night described him yesterday as a peaceful, considerate man who might have been depressed by his failure to find a job and mend a relationship with a former girlfriend.

Karl Thomsen, 42, was threatening Officer Steve Casey with a knife before Casey fired four shots in response on Concord Street in Framingham, according to a statement from the district attorney's office in Middlesex County. The office and Framingham Police Department are investigating the shooting, correspondent Felicia Mello reports in today's City & Region section.

"He was always a good kid," said his mother, Nancy Tom, 72, sitting in the blue ranch house where Thomsen grew up and spent the last months of his life. "We never had much trouble with him."

Thomsen and his parents were preparing for a cousin's wedding Friday when he left the house, saying he was going to the library to check his e-mail, his parents said. A licensed installer of heating and air conditioning units, Thomsen had been looking for work since moving to his parents' house from Framingham in April.

"Last time I spoke with him, he was a little down in the dumps," said Victor Martelli, who has lived across the street from the Toms for 15 years and said he occasionally shared a beer with Thomsen.

Thomsen also spent time in Framingham with an on-and-off girlfriend, his parents said.

Read more about this story in the online edition of today's Boston Globe.

HOGs hit highways for horse charity

Posted July 22, 2007 12:48 PM



The roar of tailpipes from the horde lf leather-clad bikers descending on local towns Sunday will be music to the ears of a Holliston charity.

The Metrowest HOGs (Harley Owners Group) a nonprofit organization of about 150 local motorcycle enthusiasts, will take to the streets on a poker run supporting the Breezy Hill therapeutic riding program, which provides muscle therapy to handicapped children and adults through horseback riding lessons.

The 48-mile motorcycle ride will begin at the Paramount Harley Davidson store on Route 135 in Framingham at 10 a.m., winding through several local towns for about two hours before concluding at the Millis Boggastowe Fish and Game club for a barbecue and entertainment.

This is the third year the motorcyclists have chosen the Breezy Hill organization as a beneficiary. Organizers are urging anyone interested in more information to call Ray Devoe at 508-400-0198.

-- Alison O'Leary Murray

Framingham water main break cuts off flow of water, coffee

Posted July 11, 2007 01:33 PM

Several Framingham businesses, including TJX Cos., were encouraged to close their offices for the day following a 12-inch water main break near the Route 30 exit off of the Mass Pike.

About six buildings near Route 30 and Speen Street were without potable water because of the break, said Tom Holder, Framingham's deputy director of public works. TJX, corporate parent of several retailers including Marshall's, has an on-site tank for fire protection, he said. A spokesman for the company could not immediately be reached.

Holder said crews probably would be working to repair the break through late evening. Officials were still investigating the cause of the break, which left a gaping hole along the sidewalk.

The break affected businesses large and small. Employees placed a sign outside a Dunkin Donuts in the area informing customers they could not serve coffee.

-- John C. Drake

Midriff-challenged students to repay college newspaper for stolen copies

Posted June 22, 2007 10:35 AM



Two college students who stole hundreds of copies of the campus newspaper because they thought they looked fat in a front page photo showing them baring their bellies are paying the cost of reprinting the lost editions, a school official said.

"I know they're going to be repaying something," Framingham State College spokeswoman Mari Megias said, without providing more detail.

The photo in the April 27 edition of The Gatepost shows seven fans at a women's lacrosse game with "I (heart) N-O-O-N-A-N," the name of a friend on the team, spelled out on their stomachs. The women are wearing hip-hugger shorts and tank tops.

Two students eventually owned up to stealing hundreds of copies of the paper. Apparently, they weren't pleased with their appearance in the photo, according to the paper's faculty adviser. They were not criminally charged and the college did not release their names.

Although Megias did not say how much the two students would repay, the editor in chief said shortly after the thefts that a press run of 500 copies costs $630.The Gatepost refused to print an unsigned apology from students who admitted pilfering the paper after learning the statement was actually written by college administrators.

-- AP

Framingham gang accused of using MySpace to recruit new members

Posted June 21, 2007 04:56 PM


Twenty members and associates of a Framingham gang that allegedly recruited new members over the Internet to terrorize the community with beatings, stabbings, and shootings have been indicted on federal and state charges of selling crack cocaine, according to law enforcement officials.

Globe City & Region section reporter Shelley Murphy reports that the the Kendall Street Thugs gang had its own page on MySpace, which it used to promote itself and recruit new younger members, according to US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan.

One of the photos posted on the MySpace page showed a 9-year-old boy, who is not believed to be a gang member, posing with known gang members, Sullivan said. Authorities have alerted social service agencies to investigate the boy's situation, he said.

"It is just another reminder obviously to all of us as parents to make sure we are monitoring where our kids are going, in terms of the Internet," Sullivan said during a press conference today at the federal courthouse in Boston announcing the indictments.

The charges follow a three-year investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administrations' South Eastern Massachusetts Gang Task Force, in which undercover officers and witnesses made more than 50 crack purchases from those who were indicted, according to officials.

-- Globe City & Region staff

Local schools go green

Posted June 13, 2007 02:57 PM


Several local schools won 'Green Team' awards from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs following a program to reduce pollution and protect the environment.

The Globe West area schools honored were:

  • Berlin Middle School in Berlin
  • Fowler School in Maynard
  • Marion E. Zeh School in Northborough
  • Melican Middle School in Northborough
  • Beatrice H. Wood School in Plainville
  • James Fitzgerald Elementary School in Waltham
  • Hemenway School in Framingham
  • Mary E. Stapleton School in Framingham

Schools that won awards received recycling equipment to make their individual programs more effective.

-- Adam Sell

T.J. Maxx sued for using woman as upskirt bait

Posted June 12, 2007 07:47 AM


A woman who claims she was used as unknowing bait to catch a man taking photographs up women's skirts is suing retailer T.J. Maxx. Svetlana Van Buren said store personnel surreptitiously videotaped a man taking photos up her skirt while she was shopping for coffee at the company's store in Watertown on June 14, 2006.

It was only after the man committed the crime that store personnel told her the photos had been taken and that the act was caught on tape, said Van Buren, a psychologist who was working at a state-run facility for youths at the time and now lives in Omaha, Neb. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the Jefferson County Clerk's office.

Officials at TJX Companies, Inc., of Framingham, Mass., which operates the T.J. Maxx chain, were not immediately available for comment.

The lawsuit contends that the store and law enforcement officials knew the man "secretly stalked" female customers for the purpose of taking upskirt photos, but did nothing to prevent it from happening to Van Buren.

T.J. Maxx should have used either a private female detective, a policewoman or a female employee who consented to being photographed to set a trap for the man, the lawsuit said.

Van Buren claims the incident has caused her physical and psychological pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. She said she has experienced sleeplessness, anxiety, depression and feelings of stress and violation, prompting her to seek professional help.

She blames T.J. Maxx for, among other things, making her the victim of a crime without her consent and violating her privacy rights. She claims the store failed to provide her with a safe environment and failed to stop a crime from being committed against her when it could have.

Her suit does not specify an amount in damages being sought.

The lawsuit does not name Jeremiah Williams, a Watertown man who was arrested outside T.J. Maxx the same day Van Buren was photographed. Williams was sentenced in February to two to four years in state prison for second-degree unlawful surveillance. Police accused Williams of taking more than 700 upskirt photos of women in public places with plans to start an Internet business with the shots.

- Associated Press

Framingham schools budget calls for cuts, fee hikes

Posted May 30, 2007 12:20 PM


Framingham Town Meeting has approved a 2008 school budget that calls for eliminating eight teaching positions and increasing athletics and bus fees.

The $83 million budget approved last night will hit some parents in the wallet. The annual school bus fee will increase from $180 to $270 a year, and the athletics fee will increase from $100 a sport to $150 a sport.

"This is another year of reducing services and adding fees and freezing position that we were hoping we wouldn't have to," said Christopher Martes, schools superintendent.

Other cuts include freezing several custodial vacancies, and eliminating a secretary and a teacher's aide position. Textbook purchases will be reduced as will professional development opportunities for teachers. Additionally, elementary school buildings will be closed early after the school day several days a week to save energy.

Martes said most of the staff cuts will be accomplished through attrition though he said one or two layoffs may be necessary.

-- John C. Drake

Framingham teen drowns in Milford quarry

Posted May 28, 2007 11:49 AM


A 16-year-old boy drowned yesterday after plunging into a water-filled quarry that attracts young people despite warnings from authorities to stay away.

Brian Kerr of Framingham was hanging out with friends at the edge of the quarry about 3:30 p.m. when he apparently tripped, said fire officials. Kerr apparently struck his head on an outcropping of rock before hitting the water, officials said.

A team of State Police divers searching the quarry's waters recovered Kerr's body on an underwater ledge about 40 feet below the surface, the officials said.

He was pronouced dead at Milford Regional Hospital at 5:10 p.m.

Fire officials said the quarry, located behind Louisa Lake and an apartment complex, is 120 feet deep in places. It is filled with underwater ledges that make diving and swimming precarious. Even hiking around the quarry is forbidden by local authorities.

Read more about this story in the Local News section of

-- Michael Naughton and Raja Mishra, Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff

Mom-educator to lead discussion on disability awareness

Posted May 25, 2007 09:44 AM


Mansfield mom and disability educator Kim Piro, founder of The Jamie Fund and ICARE, will speak in Framingham on June 6.

Her talk, titled ``Disability Awareness Through Reading'' will discuss how schools can use books and classroom discussion to educate children about their classmates with special needs.

Piro, who has a daughter with autism, has worked in the Mansfield schools since 2002 teaching kids about challenges faced by their peers with the disorder.

The talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Criterion Middlesex Early Intervention Center, 651 Franklin St., Framingham.

-- Erica Noonan

Veterans trip proves to be hottest ticket in town

Posted May 24, 2007 10:42 AM



Twenty people, maybe.

That's all Nicholas Paganella was expecting would sign on for last year's Memorial Day bus trip to Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

He couldn't believe it when the phone started ringing off the hook.

This year, 100 people -- mostly World War II veterans -- are going and organizers had to turn away dozens more.

Patriotism is alive and well in Framingham, Paganella says in today's Globe West.

-- Erica Noonan

Woman, three girls charged with beating 16 year old at Natick mall

Posted May 24, 2007 12:46 AM


A 40-year-old woman and three girls are facing assault and battery charges in connection with what police are calling a "group beat down" of a 16-year-old girl at a mall in front of dozens of onlookers.

Marilyn Camacho, 40, of Framingham and the girls, ages 16, 13 and 12, were arrested following a fight at the Natick Collection on Monday that left the victim unconscious and requiring hospitalization, Lt. Brian Grassey said. Police did not disclose the girls' relationship to Camacho.

The victim, whose name was not made public, was taken to MetroWest Medical Center's Leonard Morse campus for treatment.

Camacho and the three girls came upon the victim walking through the mall at about 5 p.m. One of the alleged attackers and the victim had fought in the past, Grassey said. There was an argument, followed by a fight, police said.

"This was an absolute group beat down," Grassey told The MetroWest Daily News. "It's an extremely unsettling event. The level of violence in this defies logic.

The suspects stomped on the victim's legs, back and face, police said.

"They collectively grabbed her and pushed her into the glass window of one of the stores," Grassey said. "All four started punching her, pulling her hair. They knocked her to the floor where all four continued to punch and kick her."

At least one onlooker tried to stop the fight, which was eventually broken up my mall security guards. The incident was captured by a surveillance camera, he said.

Camacho and the three girls were charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, disturbing the peace and affray. Camacho was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

-- AP

Alumna to speak to Framingham State grads

Posted May 21, 2007 12:12 PM

MIT researcher Laurie Boyer
(Photo by Sam Ogden, courtesy Whitehead Institute)


MIT stem cell researcher Laurie Boyer will speak to graduates at Framingham State College, her alma mater, during Sunday's commencement ceremony, the school said today.

Boyer, who graduated from Framingham State in 1990, conducts embryonic stem cell research at MIT's Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, where she is completing a post-doctoral fellowship. In 2006, the journal "Scientific American" named Boyer to its annual list of 50 leading scientific researchers. She lives in Westborough.

Commencement is 2 p.m. Sunday at the Village Green (also known at Framingham Centre Common) on Edgell Road.

-- John C. Drake

Her sister's voice

Posted May 8, 2007 04:07 PM

(AP photo by Nanine Hartzenbusch)


The O.J. Simpson case launched a lot of new careers. Lawyers from the case became high-paid legal commentators. Kato Kaelin became a pop culture oddity. O.J. himself became a professional pariah. And Denise Brown, the sister of victim Nicole Brown Simpson, became an advocate against domestic violence.

For that work, Brown will receive the Voices Against Violence Award and serve as the keynote speaker at a gala event for the Framingham-based Metrowest domestic violence and sexual assault services provider. Voices Against Violence will hold its annual Barbara Gray Humanitarian Award ceremony this Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza in Natick.

The Barbara Gray award, presented to someone who continues to fight for the dignity and humanity of every member of the community, will be given to attorney Lauren Stiller Rikleen who helped establish the first domestic violence shelter in the Metrowest.

Organizers are asking anyone who wants more information to email Carol McKean Events or call 781-925-3459.

-- Susan Lebovits

U2 in church?

Posted May 2, 2007 02:29 PM

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Framingham is one of 200 churches across the country to have hosted a U2charist. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)


The crowd clapped, sang , and danced, swaying and waving cellphones in the air like lighters at a rock concert.

"In the name of love, what more in the name of love " -- the U2 song "Pride" blasted over the audience members, whose voices reached higher with each lyric they read off a screen, the Globe reports.

Up next on the playlist: "One," "Sunday Bloody Sunday," and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."

It may have sounded and looked like a U2 concert, but the house this music rocked is one of God -- specifically, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Framingham. On Sunday it held a wildly popular U2charist -- short for U2 Eucharist -- a traditional service set to U2 songs that carry spiritual messages to raise awareness about global poverty and AIDS.

-- Johnny Diaz

Patrick swears in Framingham State's new president

Posted April 27, 2007 03:04 PM


He's been on the job for about eight months, but Framingham State College president Timothy Flanagan has been without an official welcome to the school, until now.

Gov. Deval Patrick administered the oath of office to the college's new leader -- it's 15th since opening in 1839 -- this afternoon at an investiture on campus.

"We need to work hard on our own behalf to improve Framingham State College," Flanagan said at the ceremony, describing the five key areas of focus for the campus.

He called for focusing on ensuring student success, building up faculty and staff, strengthening diversity in the student body and curriculum, remaining responsive to community, needs and being resourceful in spite of limits on funding.

On the last point, Flanagan said: "We don't want a stripped-down, bargain-basement experience."

-- John C. Drake

Framingham had lowest jobless rate in state last month

Posted April 26, 2007 04:44 PM


Unemployment rates dropped last month in all three Central Massachusetts labor market areas, the state Division of Unemployment Assistance reported yesterday.

The March jobless rate in the Worcester metropolitan area was 5 percent, down from 5.3 percent the same time last year. Joblessness dropped to 6.2 percent from 6.7 percent in the Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner area. In the Athol area, the March rate of 5.8 percent was down from 6 percent over the year.

The rates were not adjusted for seasonal employment swings. During March, the statewide unemployment rate was 4.8 percent.

The state reported that all Massachusetts metropolitan areas reported lower unemployment rates in March, with the Framingham area reporting the lowest jobless rate of 3.8 percent.

-- Telegram and Gazette of Worcester

Governor calls for park cleanup

Posted April 12, 2007 10:38 AM


Gov. Deval Patrick said today he will ask state employees to help clean up state parks next month.

The remarks came as Patrick makes a swing through communities west of Boston this morning. He started with comments on civic engagement in a talk to Leadership MetroWest's Annual Forum in Framingham.

"Next month, we intend to invite all state employees and anyone else who is willing to come and join us in a cleanup of state parks and beaches, just to get us on the right foot this spring," Patrick said.

He also offered a tribute to the late state Rep. Deborah D. Blumer, of Framingham, who died of a heart attack last year.

"Deb was one of the earliest and hardest-working supporters during the campaign," Patrick said. "I think Deb would be proud of what we've done so far and I aim to make her proud."

From there he headed to Needham High School, where school officials had asked Patrick to offer a morale boost. Four teenagers from the town died of suicide between 2004 and 2006, and the school has reached out to nearby Wellesley High School, where three students have taken their own lives in the last three years.

The school asked that the governor's talk to the student body be closed to the media.

"He was asked to speak to the students to lift their spirits," said Jose Martinez, a spokesman for the governor.

Around noon, Patrick will tour Boston Scientific, the Natick-based medical devices company.

-- John C. Drake

Framingham superintendent headed to Foxborough

Posted April 6, 2007 12:18 PM


Framingham superintendent Christopher Martes has accepted an offer to lead the school system in Foxborough, Beverley Lord, a member of the Foxborough School Committee, said.

Martes, who has led the Framingham Public Schools since 2003, was interviewed by the Foxborough School Committee last night after being named the sole finalist by a 13-member search committee. The decision to offer him the position was unanimous, Lord said.

"He was head-and-shoulders above all the other applicants," she told the Globe today.

Martes, who was not immediately available for comment Friday, will be returning home with his new position. He graduated from Foxborough High School in 1971 and began his teaching career in the district.

Phil Dinsky, chairman of the Framingham School Committee, said this morning Martes had not yet informed him of his decision, but that the committee was well aware of the possibility.


12-year-old charged in church vandalism

Posted April 4, 2007 11:47 AM


A 12-year-old Framingham boy is being charged for vandalizing and setting fires in St. Stephen's Church.

The boy, whose name was not released, used a candle and matches to start a fire at the Concord Street church on March 18 and another fire at the church on Sunday during a Palm Sunday Mass, police said.

He also allegedly broke the fingers off a statue of Mary and broke an arm off of a statue of Jesus on the cross. Police said the Department of Social Services and the district attorney's office are investigating.

-- Michael Naughton

Disoriented Milford man found in Framingham

Posted April 3, 2007 06:39 PM


Christopher Hoyt, 55, of Congress Street, was uninjured when Framingham police picked him up around 11 p.m. Sunday at the Sheraton on Route 9, 12 hours after he went out for a walk in the morning in his neighborhood, Milford Police Officer Frank Minichiello said yesterday. Police and community members searched the area for Mr. Hoyt most of Sunday afternoon, Officer Minichiello said.

“How he made it out there, we don’t know,” Officer Minichiello said. “But we don’t think there was any foul play.”

Officer Minichiello said Milford police traveled to Framingham to return Mr. Hoyt to his home. Mr. Hoyt told police he did not remember how he got there, Officer Minichiello said. He said family members told police that recent medical issues may have caused him to become disoriented.

-- Telegram & Gazette of Worcester

Curtain closes on Framingham's show

Posted April 2, 2007 11:35 AM


Framingham High School's run in the statewide drama competition ended Saturday night at the state final level. While there was no repeat of last year's state championship performance, several Framingham students were recognized.

Nick Sulfaro, a senior, won first place prize scholarship for a monologue competition, his second place prize scholarship for a set design competition, and an All-Star Company award for his work in Framingham's entry, Stories Gone Wilde.

Also honored were Emily Craver, a senior, with an honorable mention in the monologue competition, and Sabrina Schwartz, a senior, with third place in the monologue competition. Anthony Tofani, a junior, was recognized with an All-Star Company award.

While Framingham's run came to a close, one Globe West school may have the chance to continue. Wellesley High School was named as an alternate should either of the state's winners, Joseph Case in Swansea and St. John's Prep in Danvers be unable to go.

-- Adam Sell

School funding focus of Framingham public hearing

Posted March 30, 2007 09:47 AM


Students and parents packed the School Committee meeting last night to make their voices heard in the debate over budget cuts.

Framingham's school district has a $1.9 million gap to make up. Proposals include cutting the district's gifted and talented program, eliminating 22 custodial positions, and reducing the number of full-time librarians and library aides.

The public split on the potential for a Proposition 2 1/2 override, with some suggesting that it may be necessary, and others rejecting the idea. One person said a tax hike would be a "band-aid on a hemorrhage."

State Representative Pam Richardson, Representative Tom Sannicandro, and Senator Karen Spilka, all Democrats, attended and said they are working to bring more money to Framingham. Spilka said there could be a bill outlining additional funding to local communities as soon as next week.

-- Adam Sell

State's No. 2 to speak in Framingham

Posted March 28, 2007 04:55 PM


Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray will speak tomorrow at the Memorial Building on brownfields revitalization projects.

The National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals is hosting the event, for which Murray will give the keynote address.

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Town Hall. Murray is scheduled to speak at noon.

-- Adam Sell

Incumbents hold seats in Framingham

Posted March 28, 2007 11:55 AM


Incumbents Charles Sisitsky and Ginger Esty held off challenger Christine Long to retain their seats on the Framingham Board of Selectmen. Esty and Sisitsky received 2,961 and 2955 votes respectively in yesterday's town-wide election, while Long received 1,869 votes in the race in which the two top vote-getters earned seats.

Adam Blumer will join the Framingham School Committee after finishing first in a three-way race for two seats. Blumer is the son of former Democratic state Rep. Deborah D. Blumer, who died of a heart attack late last year. Incumbent Cesar Monzon also retained his seat, finishing ahead of Steve Hakar, whose petition campaign has forced a Special Town Meeting to deal with funding for special education.

Voter turnout was 14 percent, according to the Town Clerk's office. Full election results are available here.

-- John C. Drake

Calling Framingham vets of Iraq, Afghanistan wars

Posted March 27, 2007 11:38 AM


Framingham town officials want to honor military personnel from the community who have served in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But first they need names.

Anyone from Framingham who is a veteran of these wars or knows someone who is serving is asked to contact the selectmen's office at (508) 532-5400 or by e-mail at by Apr. 9.

The names will be displayed on a banner -- donated by Sign-A-Rama owner Jeffrey Newman -- at the annual Town meeting on Apr. 24.

-- John C. Drake

The gospel according to U2

Posted March 22, 2007 10:23 AM


Members of U2 at a recent concert
(Reuters photo by Stephen Hird)


The Irish rock band U2 will have a place at the pulpit on April 29 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Framingham.

Its one of a growing number of Episcopal churches hosting "U2charist" services, which weave in recordings of hit U2 songs with a spiritual bent, such as "Where the Streets Have No Name," "One," "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and "Yahweh," into the traditional liturgy.

Song lyrics will be displayed on a large screen, so that congregants without the band's hit already in their iPod can join in.

About 200 Episcopal churches in the United States and overseas have hosted a U2charist, and reported attendance figures rivaling, even exceeding, traditional Sunday morning services.

Collections taken during the special U2 services go to charities fighting poverty, famine, and HIV/AIDS. Participants are also asked to sign on to the ONE Campaign e-mail project, which mobilizes members when foreign aid bills go before Congress.

Read more about U2charist services in today's Globe West...

-- Erica Noonan

Federal judge says Framingham must allow facility for disabled kids

Posted March 12, 2007 10:56 AM


A federal judge has ruled that Framingham's board of selectmen was wrong to deny Wayside Youth and Family Support Network a permit to build a driveway for a facility for adolescents with emotional and learning disabilities.

Calling the board's May 2006 decision "arbitrary and capricious," US Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin ordered selectmen to work with Wayside to develop a traffic plan that will allow the facility's construction to go forward.

The board's May ruling overruled a recommendation by the town's director of public works to grant the organization a permit to access the public way from its property.

In a series of public hearings, neighbors said they worried about the impact the facility would have on traffic. They also said they were concerned about allowing a center for troubled teens into their neighborhood.

In its complaint challenging the board's decision, Wayside alleged that the town was discriminating against the disabled and that its decision violated Dover Amendment protections for educational facilities. The complaint also alleged that the board's decision violated Wayside's right to have access to the street from its property

The judge did not address the discrimination issue and did not rule on whether the facility was protected by the Dover amendment. Still, Sorokin ruled that the board's permit denial was not supported by evidence. He ordered both sides to report back on their progress toward reaching an agreement by May 22.

-- John C. Drake

The championship team you haven't heard of

Posted March 8, 2007 05:17 PM

08wedrama 15.jpg

Amanda Kearns prepares for her role in Framingham's play
(Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)


The signs that declare Framingham High School is a state champion are scattered all around town.

But look again, the signs aren't talking about a sports team. They're talking about the school's drama company.

Last year, Framingham was one of the two champions in the statewide drama competition. This year, they're defending their title on home turf.

Read more about Framingham's quest for drama honors -- and see a slideshow with more pictures -- in today's Globe West.

-- Adam Sell

A comic-book vision of life

Posted March 4, 2007 08:51 AM



With all the billions spent on the Big Dig, could it be that some secret project was budgeted into it?

Did the government build something beneath it that we're not supposed to know about? And, on another note, if you're unarmed and attacked by assassins wearing night-vision goggles, what's the best way to fight them off?

These are the kinds of questions that romp through the mind of A. David Lewis -- at night. That's when he turns up his Bruce Springsteen CDs, scoots up to his desk, and churns out suspense-filled, action-packed comic books like his new series, "Empty Chamber."

Released by Silent Devil comics last month, the series tells the story of a conspiracy-theory-obsessed Boston student who finds himself caught up in a terrorist plot. When a friend sends Matt Mahtganee a clue that could foil the attack, Matt winds up running all over town trying to elude the bad guys.

"I wanted to set an adventure in Boston that made use of Boston's landmarks and mysteries, and the Big Dig just screamed mystique," said Lewis, a 29-year-old Framingham native who lives in Allston. "It's everyday mystique -- something we see every day and get so used to that we stop even looking at it."

Read more about Lewis' flights of imagination in today's Globe West.

-- Denise Taylor

Framingham CompUSA to close

Posted February 28, 2007 02:56 PM


CompUSA Inc. says it will close its Framingham store and five of its six other stores in Massachusetts by May 31.

The closures are part of a restructuring plan that calls for shuttering more than half its stores, company spokeswoman Jessica Nunez said.

Chief executive Roman Ross cited "changing conditions in the consumer retail electronics market."

In Massachusetts, the chain also plans to close stores in Woburn, Braintree, Danvers, North Attleborough, and Brighton. The Holyoke store will remain open. Closing 126 shops will leave the chain with 103.

-- Globe staff and wire services

TJX says hackers had access to data for two years

Posted February 22, 2007 07:20 AM


Discount retailer TJX Cos. yesterday said computer hackers may have gained access to its consumer data in 2005, a year earlier than it had previously thought, potentially exposing millions more customers of stores such as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls to identity theft.

The disclosure comes a month after the Framingham retailer reported that credit- and debit-card information dating to 2003, along with some driver's license data, may have been compromised during an unauthorized intrusion into its computers. Customers have reported fraudulent use, and the company faces a slew of lawsuits from individuals and banks that issued the cards.

Separately, a spokesman for MasterCard International Inc. said yesterday that at the time of the breach TJX did not meet a data-security standard set by card companies. TJX spokeswoman Sherry Lang declined to respond to MasterCard's assertion.

Read more about the TJX security breach in Ross Kerber's story in the Globe's Business Section.

Convicted Brazilian murderer arrested in Framingham

Posted February 21, 2007 02:08 PM


A man living in Framingham was arrested Sunday after it came to light that he had been convicted of murder in Brazil, the AP reports.

Vander Pedro Silveira, 42, is being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Silveira was convicted in absentia in 2004 of a murder he committed in 1999.

Silveira is the third convicted murderer in the last three years to be arrested in Framingham.

-- Adam Sell

Bella Wong offered superintendent post

Posted February 16, 2007 07:06 PM


Bella Wong was offered the job of Wellesley superintendent this afternoon after a unanimous vote by the School Committee.

Wong, 46, has been assistant superintendent in Wellesley for six of the last nine years. Calling her a better fit, four of the five committee members said she was their first choice over the other finalist, Christopher Martes, who is Framingham superintendent.

Marlene Allen switched her vote after more than an hour of discussion to make the decision unanimous.

“I was hoping for a breath of fresh air,” said Allen, who added that there would likely be an “uproar” from the community over the process.

Member Suzy Littlefield said she was concerned about how long Martes would stay in the job, as his track record was four years in most posts.

Wong, who lives in Weston and served on the School Committee there from 2003 to 2006, practiced law before she switched into education. She would replace Matthew King as of July 1. Details of her salary still have to be negotiated.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Wong, about an hour after being offered the job. “I really love the community.”

–- Lisa Kocian

Wayside wins one legal battle in fight over youth center

Posted February 15, 2007 05:11 PM


Wayside Youth and Family Support Network has cleared a legal hurdle in its bid to build a school and six townhouse-style group homes for teenagers with learning disabilities in Framingham.

A land court judge sided with town planners and Wayside in a lawsuit filed by nearby residents in the Lockland Avenue neighborhood challenging the town's decision to approve the center.

While the decision, dated Tuesday, settles the zoning dispute, a separate lawsuit filed against the Framingham Board of Selectmen is still pending. In April 2006 the board rejected the center's building permit, citing neighbors' concerns about traffic.

But Wayside sued, claiming the selectmen discriminated against the center in their decision. Unless the selectmen's decision is reversed, Wayside still will not be able to build the center.

-- John C. Drake

Framingham officials try to calm road rumors

Posted February 14, 2007 11:19 AM


There are no plans to transform Edgell Road from Sudbury to Route 9 into a north-south superhighway.

None. Never considered. Not gonna happen.

That's the word from Framingham town officials trying to quell rumors of a secret plan to widen the three-and-a-half mile largely residential stretch on the north side of town. In a letter posted on the frambors community e-mail discussion list today, Town Manager Julian Suso said there are no detailed plans for the future of Edgell Road.

The heavily traveled roadway with several hazardous intersections has been pushed to the top of the town's transportation improvement plan, which raises its profile for state and federal highway money. But any work remains a ways off, he and other officials have said.

The letter was addressed to Christine Long, the chairwoman of the Standing Committee on Public Works and a candidate for the Board of Selectmen.

Despite town officials' comments, a community meeting on the issue remains scheduled for 7 p.m. March 5 at the Hemenway School, 729 Water St.

Read more about the Edgell Road issue, including how much Public Works Director Peter Sellers says reconstruction of the roadway would cost, in tomorrow's Globe West.

-- John C. Drake

Rep. Blumer honored with memorial internship

Posted February 14, 2007 09:51 AM


A summer internship with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus has been established in honor of Representative Deborah Blumer, a Framingham Democrat who died last year.

College juniors and seniors will be eligible for the paid internship with the non-partisan group dedicated to increasing the number of women involved in state politics and public policy issues.

The internship will be sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and was announced yesterday at the organization's annual luncheon.

“The Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus is just one of a long list of organizations and individuals that lost a friend and ally with Debby's passing,” said Executive Director Jesse Mermell. “We are proud to be able to celebrate her legacy by creating a program that will address two of Debby's great passions: supporting young people, and encouraging women's leadership in Massachusetts politics.”

-- Erica Noonan

Waiting in the wings

Posted February 13, 2007 06:06 PM

chinese new  7.jpg


Globe staff photographer Matthew J. Lee caught students from the Century Chinese Language School waiting for their turn to go on stage during a recent dress rehearsal for a Chinese New Year show at Mass Bay Community College.

TJX accused of tampering with executive hire

Posted February 13, 2007 11:10 AM


Framingham-based TJX Companies has accused of interfering with the hiring of one of its chief executives, the Toronto Star reports.

Pier 1 Imports hired former TJX employee Alex Smith to be its chief executive officer last month. Pier 1 claims that TJX threatened legal action to prevent Smith from joining the company.

-- Adam Sell

Framingham to hold heart summit

Posted February 12, 2007 11:01 AM


If there's any town where you'd expect a heart summit to draw a crowd, it's Framingham, home to the groundbreaking heart study that bears its name.

The Framingham Board of Health is sponsoring a Health Smart Summit, ominously titled "Is your Number Up?" from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Framingham Public Library.

Screenings for cholesterol, glucose, body mass index and blood pressure will be provided with results available on site. Organizers also will provide healthy refreshments and other give-aways. Anyone interested can call the board of health for information at 508-532-5470.

-- John C. Drake

Spokesman: Officer shot coyotes based on 'specific threat'

Posted January 30, 2007 11:44 AM


A Framingham animal control officer shot and killed a pack of four coyotes this weekend because of the specific threat they posed, said police spokesman Lt. Paul Shastany.

But that doesn't mean officers will be more likely to pull the trigger in the future in a town where coyote sightings in residential areas are relatively common, he said.

"If somebdy says 'Hey, I got a coyote in my backyard,' we want to know the coyote's behavior, the time of day, the appearance of the coyote," Shastany said. "We're not going to eliminate wildflife, that's not our position."

The animals first became a problem Saturday when residents saw a coyote attacking a family pet -- a small mixed-poodle breed -- near Walsh Middle School. When a responding officer spotted the coyote later that day, it growled and stood its ground, Shastany said.

Police then used their new reverse-911 system to notify residents in a one-mile area of the threat and asked them to call authorities with any sightings. That effort elicited numerous phone calls about a pack of three or four roaming coyotes, Shastany said.

Animal control officer Joe Shepherd spotted four coyotes in the area Sunday afternoon, and, as directed, shot and killed them all.

"The presence of the coyotes in the neighborhood searching for food indicated that this was a public safety threat," Shastany said.

--John C. Drake

Bob Seger on Framingham

Posted January 26, 2007 09:56 AM

(Bob Seger looking for a better place on his recently released Capitol Records album)


Excuse us if we reminisce about the days of old. Bob Seger is back. Eleven years after his last CD, Seger has released a new album, "Face the Promise." His tour comes to the TD Banknorth Garden tomorrow night.

The title song in Seger's new collection takes a little dig at Framingham. While wishing goodbye to all the small towns he no longer cares to be in, Seger mentions Framingham in a class with, among other places, Alabam'.

When asked by the Globe why he singled out the town, Seger appeared to suggest that Framingham was simply blindsided by a runaway rhyme scheme.

He said the mention was "a simple matter of geography; it had to end in 'ham.'"

-- Adam Sell

Framingham man arrested on child porn charges at Canadian border

Posted January 23, 2007 06:59 PM


A 54-year-old man from Framingham and his sister were arrested for child pornography as they entered Canada at the Thousand Islands Border crossing, a New York TV station reports.

Canada Border Services Agency officers say both Walter Moore and Mary Jo Moore, 49, of Phoenix Ariz., knew there was child pornography on the laptop computer in their commercial truck, WWTI-TV (Channel 50) of Watertown, N.Y. reported.

The arrests came after an inspection at the Canadian side of the Thousand Islands Bridge on Saturday, CBSA officials said. The computer is owned by Mr. Moore, officers said.

TJX reports theft of customer data

Posted January 17, 2007 06:23 PM


TJX Cos. reported today that intruders broke into its computers and stole an unknown amount of customer data involving people who shop at its T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and other stores.

The breach was discovered in mid-December, the Framingham-based retailer said in a news release, but was kept secret until today at the request of law enforcement officials.

TJX did not say how many customers were affected.

The intrusion, TJX said, involves the portion of its computer network that handles credit card, debit card, check, and merchandise return transactions for customers of its T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and A.J. Wright stores in the United States, including Puerto Rico, and its Winners and HomeSense stores in Canada.

The intrusion could also extend to TJX’s Bob’s Stores in the United States and to T.K. Maxx stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
An investigation is continuing, TJX said.

TJX has established a toll-free help line for its customers who have questions about this situation: 866-484-6978.

TJX will also provide information for customers on its website,

The company recommended that customers review their account statements and immediately notify their credit or debit card company or bank if they suspect fraud.

In addition, Bruce Spitzer, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bankers Association, said at least eight banks have been affected by the breach disclosed by TJX.

-- Ross Kerber

Envisioning a bus system linking Globe West towns

Posted January 10, 2007 11:22 AM


Want to know more about the possibility of creating a regional transportation authority for the western suburbs?

Framingham Selectman John Stasik will discuss what a new RTA would mean for Framingham and Metrowest at a presentation tonight sponsored by the Framingham League of Women Voters.

The Framingham Board of Selectmen voted last month to incorporate a new RTA to take the place of the existing LIFT bus system. While Framingham would be the only member initially, the town is encouraging other communities to join in. Natick, Milford, Marlborough and Ashland have discussed joining a new authority.

The discussion is at 7:30 tonight at the library in The Oaks Building, which is located within Summerville at Farm Pond. Call (508) 788-5253 for more information.

--John C. Drake

Spring thinking

Posted January 9, 2007 12:10 PM


Has the balmy weather has put you in the mood for gardening?

The New England Wild Flower Society's seed sale program starts next Monday, and lasts through March 15. Choose from 285 varieties of plants collected at Garden in the Woods and Nasami Farm, with proceeds supporting the society's plant conservation work.

Visit the society online or call (508) 877-7630 for more information.

-- Erica Noonan

Memories of WWII sparked by a deck of cards

Posted January 4, 2007 01:41 PM


Steve Fossey, a Framingham resident, spoke on the phone on Christmas morning with an old World War II friend of his father's.

Fossey reached out to his father's friend, Harold Lusk, after Lusk's name appeared on a deck of cards belonging to Fossey's father.

Fossey's late father, Tech. Sgt. William Fossey, wrote down the names of prisoners-of-war that he was imprisoned with, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal.

The elder Fossey died in 1999, but his son found the cards two months ago.

Lusk told the Capital-Journal that he remembered Sgt. Fossey and enjoyed talking to his son.

Steve Fossey is compiling a history of his father's military service for future generations.

-- Adam Sell

Wheels fall off Fung Wah bus on Pike in Framingham

Posted January 3, 2007 04:43 PM


In the latest trouble for the Fung Wah discount bus line, the wheels literally fell off a New York-to-Boston bus on the Massachusetts Turnpike today. The bus pulled into the Framingham service area shortly before 8 a.m.

None of the 30 passengers on board were injured, but State Police cited the company after two of the tandem rear wheels on the right side of the bus detached from the vehicle's rear axle as it was headed from New York to Boston.

State Police arrived to find the two right rear wheels had severed from the bus axle. Investigators said the bolts appeared to have been sheared off, an indication that the lug nuts may not have been properly tightened.

The bus passed its most recent inspection by state officials, on Nov. 29. Officials with the state Department of Telecommunications and Energy, which regulates commercial bus lines, said they are now asking Fung Wah officials for detailed repair reports on the 2001 Van Hool bus since that inspection.

The bus was about 20 miles from South Station in Boston when the incident occurred. Another Fung Wah coach was dispatched from Boston to pick up the passengers.

-- Mac Daniel

Still racing at 90

Posted January 2, 2007 02:58 PM


Low temperatures aside, more than 800 people gathered for this year's Millenium Mile in Londonderry, N.H.

The race, which is in its eighth year and is sponsored by the New Hampshire Union-Leader, puts runners on a downhill course and frequently sees the four-minute barrier broken.

Among this year's participants, the Union-Leader of Manchester, N.H. reported, was Kathryn McGovern of Framingham, who completed the course in 8 minutes and 23 seconds.

McGovern was the oldest person to complete the downhill mile at a robust 90 years old.

-- Adam Sell

A "great mother" dies in Framingham crash

Posted December 31, 2006 11:22 AM


Her next-door neighbors said Edilene Evangelista had so much to live for. A beautiful young daughter, a dental degree, a friendly husband, and a new home the hard-working couple spent the past year fixing up.

But the 31-year-old mother died yesterday afternoon, less than a mile from her home, when she lost control of her Jeep Grand Cherokee on an icy, steep curve. The vehicle jumped the curb, flipped over and landed on its roof next to a house on Carter Drive, police said. Evangelista, the sole occupant, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"She's a great mother, very friendly," said Phil Makkas, who lives next door to the Evangelistas.

"They are a success story," added Makkas's daughter, Angela.

The neighbors said Evangelista had a dental degree from her home country of Brazil but was attending Tufts Medical School to get certified in the United States. Her husband, Sirlei, 34, started his own painting company and was successful, they said.

The couple bought the run-down house next door to the Makkases a year ago and transformed it into a welcoming, well-manicured home, the neighbors said. A man who answered the door at Evangelista's house last night said he was too upset to speak.

A couple who lives across the street from where Evangelista's Jeep went off the road said that stretch of Carter Drive has seen its share of accidents.

-- Kay Lazar and Nathan Hurst

Latino group blasts Rizoli's sign

Posted December 22, 2006 11:06 AM



Rizoli at the recent protest
(Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)

A national Latino group has criticized a sign that Jim Rizoli, a controversial critic of illegal immigration, displayed at a recent protest.

Jim Rizoli's sign shows a mock "Mexifornia" license that includes the image of a bandit wearing a sombrero and has an "X" in place of the signature. Rizoli has said he plans to display the large sign in other locations around town to raise awareness of illegal immigrants using false identification documents.

But Brent Wilkes, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said the sign was "race baiting."

"It's totally offensive and exploits stereotypes of Latin Americans," Wilkes said.

Despite the criticism, Rizoli said he plans to display his sign again this weekend, weather permitting. He denied that he was stirring up racial tension.

“I don’t hate anybody. They are wrong 100 percent, and all they can do is come after me, attack the person,” he said. “The sign is a parody. It’s just making fun of a situation that exists.”

Inmate in Framingham prison commits suicide

Posted December 21, 2006 08:29 AM


Two inmates in the the state prison system committed suicide during a two-hour period ending just after midnight yesterday, authorities said.

Nicole Davis, 24, was found hanging by a bedsheet at MCI-Framingham late Tuesday night. She had been in custody for a 30-day drug detoxification program but was not a convicted criminal, the Globe reports today.

Just after midnight yesterday, convicted murderer Eduardo Soto, 33, was found hanging by a bedsheet at Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater.

State Correction Department spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said the deaths did not stem from larger problem in the prison system. "Any death in prison is an unfortunate and sad occurence, but these aren't related," she said. "We extend our sympathies to the families and the staff who tried to keep them alive."

-- Raja Mishra

Gadfly Rizoli plans display of provocative poster

Posted December 20, 2006 07:33 PM



Jim Rizoli, a controversial Framingham critic of illegal immigration, is planning to display a provocative sign in highly visible locations around town to spotlight what he says is the rampant distribution of phony identification cards among immigrants.

The 8-by-3-foot sign, which he first displayed at a small protest in downtown Framingham Saturday, says, "Welcome to Framingham" along the top. Under that, it reads "Document Fraud Capital of MetroWest" on the right. On the left, it displays an image of a mock "Mexifornia" driver's license that has circulated on the Internet, touching off controversy along the way.

Ali Noorani, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said the sign matches a pattern of over-the-top tactics used by Jim Rizoli and his brother Joe Rizoli.

"If I had a nickel for every line the Rizolis crossed, I'd be a rich man," Noorani said.

Read more of this story in tomorrow's Globe West.

Jay Engel, 74

Posted December 16, 2006 09:24 AM


Jay Engel, a teacher at St. Mark's in Southborough who persuaded famous writers and musicians to visit the school and took students on trips to Boston and New York City for opera and theater, died Nov. 11 in his Framingham home of myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 74.

With a voice and presence that often listed toward the Shakespearean, "he was one of those people who, when he entered a room, you absolutely knew it," John Warren, head of school at St. Mark's and a former student of Mr. Engel's, told the Globe in an obituary today. "It was a booming voice with lots of inflection. At 8 o'clock in the morning, there was no way you were going to stay sleepy."

-- Bryan Marquard

Once upon a time, a music video channel

Posted December 14, 2006 04:06 PM


Once upon a time, Massachusetts had its very own music video channel. It was called V-66...and it was broadcasted live from Framingham. The V-66 studios were based inside a huge office building close to Route 9 -– apparently the same building where our Globe West bureau is located now...(check out the fab photo on ...

Read more of this item by Emily Sweeney on the Globe's FlipSide blog.

Detective faces dismissal in gun incident

Posted December 13, 2006 08:32 AM


A Framingham police detective faces criminal charges and removal from the force for allegedly pointing a loaded weapon at fellow officers while drunk.

Michael E. Doherty, 35, is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 27 on three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and carrying a gun while intoxicated in connection with the Sept. 12 incident, according to records at Framingham District Court. Doherty faces a hearing next week, Chief Steven Carl said Monday.

-- AP

Framingham, Marlborough to benefit from affordable housing funds

Posted December 9, 2006 12:41 PM


Framingham and Marlborough will be getting some help with affordable housing.

Tax credits and grants totaling $85 million will go to support 26 affordable rental developments in 17 communities in the state, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey announced yesterday.

The completed developments will provide 1,203 rental apartments, 1,089 of which will be affordable for low- and moderate-income working families.

Six of the developments will be in Boston, and others will be built in Framingham, Marlborough, Amherst, Cambridge, Fitchburg, Great Barrington, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Mashpee, Middleborough, Northampton, Quincy, Salem, Springfield, and Westfield.

-- Globe City & Region staff

Framingham allows religious display on town green

Posted December 6, 2006 01:32 PM


Framingham's Board of Selectmen says the St. Bridget's Parish Pastoral Council may place a Nativity scene on the Village Green.

But don't ask for the town's help.

Town Manager Julian Suso said the selectmen granted the parish permission to install the display, which includes a figure of the Christ child, last night with the condition that "all erection and maintenance and disassembly be done privately with no town involvement."

Sarah Wunsch, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Massachusetts, said the group believes such displays should be allowed under those conditions.

"Places like that are traditional public forums for expression," she said. "If some other group wants to come along and have a display that extols the First Amendment, they'd have to allow that also.

"As long as we're not talking about the government itself sponsoring a religious display, it's fine."

A parish official said this is the first time it has sought to place a creche on the town green during the holidays.

The display, which will feature a banner with the words "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," will face Edgell Road on the east side of the green.

It will be up from Dec. 14 until Jan. 7.

--John C. Drake

Choosing not to work

Posted November 30, 2006 03:38 PM


Some mothers choose to go back to work not long after their child is born. Kelly Guagenty, an attorney from Framingham, is not one of them. She plans on staying home with her daughter until she is at least one year old.

However, Guagenty feels the strain of losing a source of income.

"I went to school for a long time," she said. "I feel like I put a lot of work into something and dropped the ball."

Guagenty and several other mothers were interviewed for a story about stay-at-home moms in the Wall Street Journal today.

-- Erica Tochin

Physical therapist sentenced on fraud charges

Posted November 30, 2006 03:33 PM


A Framingham physical therapist has been sentenced in federal court to three years of probation for health care fraud, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan.

Ho Ling Lai, 38, caused Medicare to be billed for $55,000 worth of physical therapy she did not provide, prosecutors said.

She was sentenced to three years of probation, the first five months of which will be spent in home detention, and a fine of $3,000. She also agreed to pay $32,094 in restitution.

-- Erica Tochin

Parishioners: we own this church

Posted November 30, 2006 09:28 AM



(A crowd of parishioners attended the court hearing in Cambridge, Globe Staff Photo by Michele McDonald)

Attorneys for parishioners of the closed St. Jeremiah Parish in Framingham yesterday urged a Middlesex Superior Court judge to rule that the parishioners, not the Archdiocese of Boston, are the rightful owners of St. Jeremiah's land and buildings.

The archdiocese's attorney argued that the parishioners have no right under Massachusetts law to sue for the property, and that the head of the archdiocese is entitled to dispose of church assets as he sees fit. He asked that the parishioners' suit be dismissed.

Judge Isaac Borenstein deferred ruling in the case until January to give attorneys for both sides time to make further filings, the Globe reports today.

-- Charles Radin

'SimMan' new training tool for Framingham docs

Posted November 29, 2006 11:34 AM


Students and doctors in Framingham will be able to try out medical techniques on a $35,000 mannequin before touching a real person, higher education and hospital officials are announcing today.

The state Board of Higher Education is providing a SimMan patient simulator at the Framingham campus of the MetroWest Medical Center for use by nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and first responders at the hospital along with nursing students from Framingham State College and Mass Bay Community College, community groups and others.

The Globe reported on the growing use of patient simulators this summer.

The Board has purchased patient simulators for other hospitals in the state as well. The life-like mannequin has a pulse, blood pressure and airway so clinicians can work in a true-to-life environment.

--John C. Drake

Immigrants finding a taste of home is not so far away

Posted November 25, 2006 04:23 PM


When Lucia Almeida moved here from Brazil about eight months ago, she assumed her tastes would have to change. How could she expect to find the bitter eggplant called "jilo" around here? And abobora, the squash that Brazilians hollow out and fill with beef or shrimp stew, surely didn't exist in a Massachusetts grocery store.

"I was very worried," she said in Portuguese. "I didn't think I'd get the vegetables I wanted here."

But her trips to a local grocery store keep surprising her.

Thanks to a program started by Frank Mangan, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, Almeida and other Latin American immigrants are able to find more of the vegetables they know from home in their new local marketplaces.

"I'm very happy this is here," Almeida said as she placed a pumpkin-like abobora in her shopping cart at the Market Basket, the Associated Press reports.

Natick stops Framingham, wins 26th straight

Posted November 23, 2006 01:52 PM

Theo McCummings and Natick ran a step ahead of Framingham.
(Globe Staff Photo by Matthew J. Lee)


FRAMINGHAM -- The 100th Framingham-Natick Thanksgiving football matchup was a twin effort and much, much more.

Junior fullback Thad McCummings punched in the go-ahead score with 5:11 remaining on a 9-burst while his twin brother, Theo, Natick's starting quarterback, rushed for 116 yards on 18 carries to lift the unbeaten Redmen to their 26th straight win, a gritty 10-7 victory over host Framingham on a cold, raw and rainy morning before a crowd of 3,000 at Bowditch Field.

Bay State Herget champ Natick (11-0) will play Middlesex League champ Burlington (11-0) in an EMass Division 2 playoff Tuesday night at Acton-Boxboro at 7.

While the McCummings' brothers piled up the yards on the muddy turf, Mike Russo was immense with both his feet and his hands. The junior booted a 33-yard field goal, set up by his own 40-yard punt pinning Framingham on its own 5-yard line and picked off a pair of passes, including the clincher with 3:14 left in the game.

Alan Williams had given Framingham (6-5) a 7-3 lead in the third quarter with a 53-yard scamper down the left sideline.

Natick nows leads the overall series, 67-29-5.

-- Craig Larson

The big game in Framingham

Posted November 22, 2006 12:08 PM


Planning to attend tomorrow morning's 100th Thanksgiving Day high school football matchup between unbeaten Natick (10-0) and host Framingham (6-4) at Bowditch Field?

Arrive early.

Prior to the 10 a.m. kickoff, Framingham will retire the number (86) of one of the program's all-time greats, wide receiver Billy Brooks, a 1982 graduate of Framingham North. Brooks went on to a record-setting career at Boston University before playing 11 years in the NFL with the Colts, Bills and Redskins.

He is in his fifth season as executive director of administration for the Indianapolis Colts.

A number of other pre-game festivities are planned, including a flyover by four aircraft from the Northeast Warbirds Squadron 7, weather permitting.

"The (flyover) is to pay homage to the men and women from the town of Framingham who over the years have served our country in the United States Army Air Corps to the present day Air Force," said Framingham High Gridiron Club President Mike Norton.

-- Craig Larson

Framingham names assistant town manager

Posted November 15, 2006 04:38 PM


Framingham has a new No. 2, and Town Manager Julian Suso has one less job to fill.

Timothy D. Goddard, town administrator in Littleton, Mass., has been hired as Framingham's assistant town manager, Suso announced this afternoon.

Goddard has been the top official in Littleton since 1997. Before that, he was regional planner and program manager for the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments. Goddard will begin his $89,000-a-year job on Dec. 11.

Globe correspondent Jennifer Fenn Lefferts reported in October that the town of Littleton is considering switching to a town manager form of government to fill a leadership void at Town Hall.

Since being named Framingham's town manager in May, Suso has been working to fill open slots in senior management positions. He still needs to hire a new building commissioner to replace Joe Mikielian, who resigned to take a similar job in Worcester. Also, the town is looking to hire a human services policy and program coordinator. Suso said in September that he expected both the assistant town manager and human services positions to be filled by the end of November.

-- John C.Drake

Candidate calls for Framingham clerk to resign

Posted November 15, 2006 11:08 AM


Republican Nicolas Sanchez, an unsuccesful candidate for the 6th Middlesex House seat, is calling for the Framingham town clerk's resignation over several allegations of problems with the Nov. 7 election.

Democrat Pam Richardson, vice chairwoman of the Framingham School Committee, won the six-way write-in race for the seat left vacant by the death last month of state Rep. Deborah Blumer. Sanchez came in second and acknowledges defeat, but he claimed at last night's selectmen's meeting that Town Clerk Valerie Mulvey did not do enough to make sure campaign literature was not left behind in voting booths.

He also took issue with the clerk's staff going behind closed doors on Tuesday night to input vote tabulations, and allowing two town selectmen to count votes at the precincts.

Mulvey acknowedged that an obscure state law prohibits selectmen from participating in vote-counting, but she said the Secretary of State's office has ruled the mistake was unintentional and "harmless." She rejected other criticisms and thanked town staff and volunteers for working through the night to tally results. The process ended after 1 a.m. on election night.

Selectmen backed Mulvey and said the vote-counting process was fair. Sanchez said he has not decided whether he will file a formal complaint with the state over the election.

-- John C. Drake

Nine years in prison for woman bank robber

Posted November 11, 2006 03:59 PM


A Framingham woman will spend the next nine years in prison for robbing a Citizens Bank last year at a Hannaford supermarket in Hampton, N.H.

Lee Marie Lafaso, 40, was sentenced in federal court in Concord Monday in connection with the Oct. 11, 2005 crime, The Hampton Union reported.

Lafaso had pleaded guilty in June, admitting that she robbed the bsnk at 630 Lafayette Road of about $920.

Local company built DNC database

Posted November 10, 2006 12:00 PM


Two companies, one of them based in Framingham, came forward this week and said that they had designed the voter database used by the Democratic National Committee, the Boston Business Journal reports.

Intelligent Integration Systems Inc. of Boston used server technology from Framingham-based Netezza Corp. to build the database, which includes about 200 million voters and is used nation-wide.

-- Erica Tochin

Framingham seat goes to Richardson

Posted November 8, 2006 11:33 AM


The results are in. Democrat Pam Richardson defeated Republican Nick Sanchez in the race to capture the House seat in Framingham that was held by Democrat Deborah Blumer, who died last month of a heart attack.

With all 11 precincts reporting, Richardson, a 36-year-old school committee member, led by about 1,200 votes over Sanchez, 61, a Cuban-born economics professor at the College of the Holy Cross, officials said early today.

Blumer's death had sparked a six-way write-in race.

"I think that the voters already knew me because of ny work on the school committee for the past four years," Richardson said last night. "I've shown them I'm a hard worker, and I care deeply for the town."

Richardson poised to take Framingham rep seat

Posted November 8, 2006 12:50 AM


Democrat Pam Richardson is poised to claim the 6th Middlesex House district seat in Framingham left vacant by the death of incumbent Deborah Blumer.

With nine of 11 precincts reporting early today, Richardson had what appeared to be an insurmountable lead of about 1,000 write-in votes over Republican Nick Sanchez.

Richardson and Sanchez were endorsed by their respective parties. Four other candidates also ran write-in campaigns.

Independent Dawn Harkness came in third, while anti-illegal immigration activist Jim Rizoli was fourth.

Blumer, who had been running unopposed for reelection, died last month of a heart attack while driving her car, setting off the brief six-way race.

-- John C. Drake

The scene at the polls in Framingham

Posted November 7, 2006 01:58 PM


There was little campaign activity outside Framingham's Town Hall this morning, but poll workers were busy: 426 voters had cast ballots before noon today,

Allison Black, a 48-year-old registered nurse, voted for Democrat Deval L. Patrick, saying Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey's "negative ad campaign was a turnoff.

Marcia Frary, a 49-year-old housewife and her son, 18-year-old Bradford, also said they voted for Patrick.

"I didn't necessarily vote against Healey, but there have been a lot of education cuts while she's been here," Bradford said. "Deval Patrick seems more like an average Joe."

Tom Curran, a 48-year-old engineer for the town, planned to cast a vote for Christy Mihos. "He's a successful businessman, and he can bring that leadership to the state," Curran said.

Mihos had another fan in 28-year-old Jamie Ordway, although the administrative assistant said she thought his campaign ads were "immature and juvenile."

Ordway declined to say who she chose for the 6th Middlesex House seat, which was left open by the death of incumbent Democrat Deborah D. Blumer last month. But she said she would have preferred to have seen a special election for the seat, so voters would have had more time to decide.

-Erica P. Tochin

The race is on in Framingham

Posted November 7, 2006 12:26 PM


Campaign volunteers stuffed their pockets with stickers bearing the names of their candidates for Framingham's 6th Middlesex House seat this morning and fanned out to the town's precincts where voters are choosing a successor to deceased state Representative Deborah D. Blumer.

Blumer's death, of a heart attack last month, set up a six-way write-in race for the Democrat's seat. Although the Democratic and Republican committees in the town each selected preferred candidates, four others hopefuls also are staging aggressive campaigns for the seat in a race that has focused on illegal immigration, social services and taxes.

"Most people got stickers in the mail and brought them with them," said Evelyn Reilly, a volunteer for the campaign of Nicholas Sanchez, who has been endorsed by local Republicans.

She stood outside the Hemenway School in Framingham alongside about a dozen other volunteers for legislative and gubernatorial candidates. "It's a free-for-all," she said of the month-long campaign for the seat.

Campaign volunteers there and poll worker William Toll said turnout had been steady and appeared high. About 640 people had cast votes there by 11:30 this morning.

"There's been incredible voter turnout," said Pam Richardson, the Democratic-endorsed candidate for the seat, who went to the Hemenway School to greet voters. "I'm surprised at how quickly people have come to understand the process."

The Town Clerk's office has provided additional training for poll workers who will be reading and counting thousands of hand-written votes in the race tonight.

In addition to hot button political topics, the race has focused on who could best continue the legacy of Blumer, considered a progressive liberal who advocated for government benefits for immigrants and gay rights among other stands.

Dawn Harkness, an attorney and Town Meeting member, joined the race after the Democratic party selected Richardson.

"I feel (Harkness) is the most qualified out of the six candidates, and the most progressive," said Lee Mason, who held signs outside the Hemenway School supporting Harkness.

Also running are Republican Jim Rizoli, a staunch anti-illegal immigration activist, Republican Tom Tierney, an actuary, and independent Gerald Bloomfield, a retired engineer.

Admiring the shredder?

Posted November 3, 2006 06:16 PM



Just over a year after a star turn in "The Apprentice," office retailer Staples Inc. is gearing up for a prime-time TV encore.

According to the Framingham-based company, its new Staples MailMate junk-mail shredder has been cast in a supporting role in the Nov. 16 episode of the NBC sitcom "The Office."

This is no mere product placement, said Staples vice president Todd Peters; the shredder, which is billed as a defense weapon against identity theft, has been "integrated into the story line."

Peters will say little more because he doesn't want to give the plot away before the episode airs.

Read more in the Globe's business blog.

The hearts of Framingham

Posted November 2, 2006 04:55 PM


Andre Picard, a writer at Toronto's Globe and Mail, advances this proposition -- that the Framingham Heart Study was "arguably the most influential medical research project ever undertaken."

Picard says that in the time the study has been under way heart disease and stroke deaths have dropped by by 60 per cent, "in no small part because of what has been learned."

He argues in a "Second Opinion" column that Canada should undertake its own study to complement and expand on the Framingham study.

Two Framingham men arrested in Boston stabbing

Posted October 29, 2006 07:56 AM


Boston police arrested two Framingham men and a Boston man early yesterday in connection with the stabbing of a 23-year-old man who was found near the Foggy Goggle on Boylston Street in Boston.

The victim, who was not identified, was stabbed in the stomach just before 1 a.m., police said.

Jose Ramos, 31, of Framingham was charged with assault with intent to murder, assault and battery, and two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. Fernando Mendez, 20, of Framingham, and Jermaine White, 26, of Roxbury, face assault charges. The victim was in serious condition at Brigham's and Women's Hospital, police said.

-- Globe City & Region staff

Cola may weaken bones

Posted October 28, 2006 10:46 AM


A new finding from the Framingham Osteoporosis study that might give women second thoughts about opening a cool, frosty cola -- drinking cola may weaken women's bones.

Katherine L. Tucker of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston, said that no matter how her team looked at the data, the trend remained: the more cola a woman drank, the lower the average mineral density in her hip, Science News Online reports.

Three-year sentence in counterfeit handbag case

Posted October 25, 2006 03:29 PM


A Framingham man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston to three years on probation for trafficking in counterfeit luxury handbags and wallets.

Jack Hoffman, 66, was ordered to spend the first five months of the probation under home detention with electronic monitoring, US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan's office said.

Hoffman pleaded guilty in May. A statement from Sullivan's office said that prosecutors would have proven that during 2001 and 2002, Hoffman sold counterfeit items at flea markets, including fake Burberry, Gucci, Hermes, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, and Prada goods.

Hoffman had 200 items for sale in August 2001 at a flea market in Mashpee and had 750 items at his home in July 2002. The items were worth about $38,000 at average counterfeit prices, Sullivan's office said.

-- Globe City & Region staff

Framingham woman indicted in liposuction death

Posted October 25, 2006 12:04 PM


A Middlesex grand jury yesterday indicted a former Framingham woman on charges of recruiting patients for an illegal plastic surgery practice, scheduling surgical procedures in her home, and providing illegal narcotics to patients, one of whom died this summer, prosecutors said.

Ana Celia Pena Sielemann, 41, who was deported to her native Brazil last month, was charged with being an accessory before the fact to manslaughter, accessory after the fact to manslaughter, distribution of a Class A substance, and possession of a Class A substance, prosecutors said.

On July 30, Fabiola B. DePaula, 24, was pronounced dead at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham after a Brazilian doctor performed an illegal liposuction procedure in Sielemann's basement, prosecutors said.

Authorities previously charged Sielemann with possession and distribution of controlled substances. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent Sielemann to Brazil on Sept. 1 because of a deportation order issued against her in July 2001.

Luiz Carlos Ribeiro, 49, and Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, 49, have already been indicted on manslaughter and other charges in the case.

-- David Abel

A helping hand from a homeless man

Posted October 22, 2006 10:24 AM


In another of the Globe Magazine's "Tales of the City," a homeless man lent a helping hand to a student at college in Framingham.

Coming home from college in Framingham, my daughter was using the commuter rail for the first time. She made it to Back Bay, where she was to switch trains, but left her pocketbook (with her phone) on the train. The purse, she was told, might be at South Station. But how to get there? She tried to call home collect, as well as to contact both grandparents, but couldn't get through. In despair, she sat on a bench crying. She felt a hand on her shoulder; it was a homeless man. After she told him the situation, he approached a woman, who let my daughter use her phone and gave her fare and instructions to get to Salem. Those two proved that there really are some caring people in this world.



Several to seek Blumer's House seat

Posted October 19, 2006 05:55 PM


The list is growing longer of candidates seeking the state House seat left unexpectedly open by the death last week of Rep. Deborah Blumer.

Several candidates have registered as sticker candidates with the Town Clerk's office and others have publicly said they will seek write-in votes.

At least three Democrats will seek the endorsement of fellow partisans at a caucus on Sunday. Framingham School Committee vice chair Pam Richardson; Wes Ritchie, who is the legislative aide to state Rep. Tom Sannicandro; and Thomas Hanson, of Hanson Farms, have all said they will seek the seat. Democratic leaders have said they hope the candidates who are not endorsed will back the party's selection.

Republicans see an opportunity, too. Nick Sanchez, who garnered about a third of the votes when he ran against Blumer two years ago, received the local GOP nod in a meeting Wednesday night. Also, Jim Rizoli, a Republican and vocal opponent of illegal immigration, said he would seek the seat. Marla Davis, an unenrolled candidate, also has registered with the Town Clerk's office.

Blumer, who was running unopposed for a fourth term, died of an apparent heart attack while driving in Framingham Friday morning.

Secretary of State William F. Galvin said Blumer's name would remain on the Nov. 7 ballot, but that votes cast for her would not count. Whoever receives the most write-in votes will be declared the winner.

-- John C. Drake

Controversial shelter to host AA meetings

Posted October 17, 2006 10:38 AM


The South Middlesex Opportunity Council plans to continue using the former site of the Common Ground shelter for daily Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, said Jim Cuddy, the group's executive director.

The "wet shelter," a controversial downtown fixture that allowed homeless people to stay the night even if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, announced plans last month to shut down after a protracted battle with the town.

Its last day of operation was Monday. But Cuddy said hour-long AA meetings, beginning at noon, would continue there. He said 15 to 40 people typically attend the meetings. The agency may use the site for other activities as well for the duration of its lease, which expires in a year and a half, Cuddy said.

-- John C. Drake

Driver arraigned in Wrentham fatal

Posted October 16, 2006 12:41 PM


A Franklin man is being held on bail after his arraignment this morning on charges that he struck a car while driving under the influence Saturday night on Interstate 495 North in Wrentham, killing the car’s driver.

Wrentham District Court Judge Warren Powers scheduled a pretrial hearing for Nov. 13 for Brian F. Harland, 34, of 14 Crocker Ave. Franklin.

According to state police, Harland swerved across three lanes and struck a car being driven by Paul J. Rudeen, age 21, of Framingham.

The collision forced Rudeen’s car off the road and caused it to roll over, police said.

Rudeen was pronounced dead at the scene. Harland pleaded innocent to charges of motor vehicle homicide, operating with a suspended license, and a marked lanes violation. The homicide charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Harland has prior convictions for heroin possession and possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, said David Traub, a spokesman for the Norfolk County district attorney.

The conditions of Harland’s bail, which was set at $50,000 cash or $500,000 surety, would not allow him to operate a motor vehicle or use
alcohol or illicit drugs. Harland has appealed the bail decision.

-- Calvin Hennick

Driver facing charges in Wrentham fatal

Posted October 16, 2006 08:24 AM


A Franklin man is facing charges today after a car crash that killed a Framingham man.

State Police said the accident happened on Interstate 495 in Wrentham at about 9:50 p.m. Saturday.

Brian F. Harland, 34, of Franklin crossed three northbound lanes of traffic in his Ford pickup and struck a Saturn sedan driven by Paul J. Rudeen, 21, of Framingham, police said.

Rudeen was declared dead at the scene. Harland was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, driving with a suspended license, driving to endanger, and vehicular homicide.

Harland is to be arraigned in Wrentham District Court today.

-- Globe City & Region staff

Cocaine wrecks a life

Posted October 15, 2006 10:31 AM


Former major leaguer Sammy Stewart says he was living in Framingham in the 1980s when he went to a party where people were smoking cocaine. He tried it -- and he says it's been "downhill ever since."

Stewart,who made his name as a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles and is now in jail in North Carolina, is profiled in a story today in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Services set for Rep. Blumer

Posted October 14, 2006 11:48 AM



Funeral services have been set for Monday at 10:30 a.m. in Temple Beth Am in Framingham for state Rep. Deborah Blumer.

The Framingham Democrat died yesterday morning after suffering an apparent heart attack while driving in Framingham. She was 64.

"She did what she thought was right, and she was very passionate about that," said her husband, Irwin, an education professor at Boston College. "It's a tragedy and we're all shocked. On the other hand, she led a great life, she helped lots of people, and that's what she wanted to do."

-- John C. Drake

He flies through the air with the greatest of ease...

Posted October 14, 2006 11:38 AM



He's the intimidating young man in the goal for Framingham's soccer team.

Goalie Peter Rosoff recently recorded three shutouts in a week and allowed just eight goals in 12 games. Read Craig Larson's story in tomorrow's Globe West.

Framingham Rep. Blumer dies of apparent heart attack

Posted October 13, 2006 02:24 PM


State Rep. Deborah D. Blumer (D-Framingham) died this morning after suffering an apparent heart attack while driving in Framingham, authorities said.

Blumer was pronounced dead at 11:35 a.m., said Beth Donnelly, a hospital spokeswoman. An official cause of death was unavailable.

Framingham Police spokesman Lt. Paul Shastany said Blumer's 2004 Acura ran off of Dudley Road near Loring Arena around 10:15 this morning and struck a guard rail after she suffered an apparent heart attack. A nearby police officer used an automatic defibrillator and performed CPR at the scene, but the lawmaker never regained consciousness, authorities said.

Blumer was running unopposed for a fourth term representing the Sixth Middlesex District.

-- John C. Drake

Worcester man fires 7th lawyer

Posted October 13, 2006 09:27 AM


Anthony M. Leo, a suspected rapist, has fired his 7th lawyer, Joseph M. Shields of Framingham.

Leo, who is on trial for allegedly tying up, beating and raping a Worcester woman in 2002, has said he wishes to represent himself at his trial, and expressed dissatisfaction with his defense attorney, the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports.

"I've done a very good job for him," Shields told the Telegram. "I've done tons of work on this."

District Attorney John J. Conte has accused Leo of deliberately delaying the case by requesting new lawyers. The victim has appeared in court 70 times, only to have the case continued.

-- Erica Tochin

Riding the real estate rollercoaster

Posted October 12, 2006 06:51 PM


Melissa Silver, a real estate agent in Framingham, got into the business just last year when the market was still booming. Then the big bang turned into a whimper.

A Scripps Howard News Service story says Silver is far from alone in jumping into the business recently, and that, with the real estate market cooling, some agents are likely to bail out.

J. Andrew Hansz, whose own credentials include the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst designation and a Ph.D. in real estate, told the news service, "A lot of people flood in when times are good, and a lot of people flood out when times are bad. When the market isn't booming, there isn't a lot of money to be made."

Got something to say to Suso?

Posted October 4, 2006 02:44 PM


The Framingham League of Women Voters is inviting residents to an informal forum with Julian Suso, Framingham's town manager.

The discussion begins at 7 tonight at Summerville at Farm Ponds in the library of The Oaks Building, 200 West Farm Pond Road in Framingham.

Suso has had a few months now to settle into his new position. The Board of Selectmen hired him in May, citing Suso's record on growth and redevelopment during his 16-year tenure as city manager of Mentor, Ohio.

Suso replaced George King, who resigned in November.

-- John C. Drake

Agency closing Framingham 'wet' shelter

Posted September 27, 2006 05:21 PM


A homeless shelter in downtown Framingham that has been a lightning rod for controversy is shutting down next month.

South Middlesex Opportunity Council executive director James Cuddy says today the agency will close the Common Ground Shelter on Oct. 16 and place its residents in other housing in the community.

Town and SMOC officials have been in negotiations for at least a month to close the shelter. Town officials have said some of the crime downtown can be attributed to the shelter.

Town Manager Julian Suso praised the agency's decision in a statement.

"Based on police department arrest statistics, the town believes that closure of the wet shelter will help to decrease crime in downtown Framingham," Suso said. "Further, closure of the wet shelter will facilitate downtown revitalization and redevelopment, a major policy goal of the Board of Selectmen."

The facility is known as a "wet shelter," because people are allowed to stay there even if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

-- John Drake

Liposuction death

Posted September 27, 2006 07:58 AM


A Brazilian national who owned the Framingham home where police say a woman died during illegal plastic surgery has been deported, authorities said.

Ana Celia Sielemann, 40, who faced misdemeanor charges of possession and distribution of controlled substances, was detained by customs officials after being released on bail, said Lt. Paul Shastany, spokesman for the Framingham Police Department.

Paula Grenier, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Sielemann was deported to Brazil on Sept. 1 because of a deportation order issued against her in July 2001.

Brazilian doctor Luiz Carlos Ribeiro and his wife Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, both 49, are being held on charges of manslaughter in the death of 24-year-old Fabiola DePaula.

Middlesex County prosecutors have said Sielemann rented out her basement as a makeshift clinic for the surgeries and acted as an anesthesiologist.

DePaula's relatives were upset at the development.

Beatrice DePaula, Fabiola's mother, said the district attorney's office informed her of Sielemann's deportation. "But my justice will come from God. She'll pay for what she did in this world."

Fabiola's sister, Fernanda Barbosa DePaula, a 28-year-old a law school student in Brazil, said, "This proves that justice doesn't work in America, either."

All three defendants are due in court today for a probable cause hearing, said Melissa Sherman, spokesman for the district attorney's.

-- Eduardo da Oliveira

Father convicted in Framingham baby-shaking case

Posted September 24, 2006 10:24 AM


A Framingham man faces 20 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the shaking death of his 2-month old son in 2004.

Prosecutors sought a first-degree murder conviction - which comes with an automatic life sentence - against William Christian Jr., 23. But a Middlesex Superior Court jury on Friday returned with a guilty verdict on the lesser charge. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 2.

Christian admitted shaking his 14-pound son, William Christian III, in February 2004 in the Framingham apartment he shared with the infant's mother, Amanda Taylor.

The 6-foot-3, 355-pound Christian said he never meant to hurt the boy, and didn't seek immediate medical help because he didn't realize the boy was injured.

The infant died a week after the incident. The death was ruled a homicide.

The jury deliberated for eight hours over two days.

Christian has been in custody since his arrest.

-- AP

Immigrants and the MCAS

Posted September 22, 2006 05:38 PM


Several participants on the local chatboard “frambors” got into a debate about Globe West’s article on MCAS results last week.

The article quoted some educators saying that for students who aren’t native English speakers, keeping up with federal testing standards is particularly tough.

The e-discussion focused on the pros and cons of educating immigrant students in Framingham. One participant pointed out there is much more info on the state Department of Education website, which breaks down scores based on whether or not a student is proficient in the English language.

-–Lisa Kocian

Turnout 'brisk' in Framingham

Posted September 19, 2006 11:15 AM


Framingham town officials said lines were moving steadily at their precincts this morning.

“Voter turnout is brisk,” said Lisa Ferguson, assistant town clerk. “We’re seeing a lot of activity.”

The busiest precincts were the five on the north side of town, but even there the number of voters was not causing significant lines. Ferguson attributed that to a short primary ballot.

“There might be some sort of – we call it the dinner rush – between five and seven o’clock,” Ferguson said. “Whether it’s going to generate lines, we’re not sure.”

-- John C. Drake

A little bit of an explanation from Bob Seger

Posted September 17, 2006 10:50 AM


Bob Seger talked to the Detroit Free Press last week about his song "Face the Promise," which includes a mention of Framingham as a place, like Mississippi, Alabama, and North Dakota, which would be good to leave.

Seger says in an interview (which also includes an audio clip) that the song is about kids yearning to see the bright lights of the big city.

"It's about kids from small towns looking at the big American dream: 'I'm gonna go out and face the promise of the promised land. I want to get to the big city and get off this farm.' ... A pretty swampy, rock-blues song. I really like it," Seger told the newspaper.

People in two towns in New York, Allegany and Olean, are also wondering why Seger mentioned their communities, the Olean Times Herald reports.


(Bob Seger looking for a better place on the cover of his new Capitol Records album)

How to prevent homelessness

Posted September 16, 2006 08:17 AM


MetroWest Outreach Connection has discovered a homelessness prevention program that seems to work.

Since its inception two years ago, the all-volunteer group has helped 250 households that were in danger of eviction, usually by making payments directly to their landlords in the hopes that the families could pull through hard times.

This summer they checked on clients they had helped a year prior and found that more than 91 percent were still in permanent housing and had managed to avoid the shelter system, according to a news release from the group.

MetroWest Outreach Connection is holding its only fundraiser of the year, its annual Walk to Prevent Homelessness on Sunday, Sept. 24, starting at the Framingham Center Green at 12:30 p.m. For more information or to register go to or call (508) 481-2423.

-– Lisa Kocian

1,200 scouts to learn emergency skills

Posted September 15, 2006 04:35 PM


Don't be alarmed by the helicopters, ambulances and other emergency vehicles converging on Keefe Tech High School tomorrow.

Dozens of local, state, and federal emergency officials plan to participate in an Emergency Preparedness Expo for Boy Scouts at the school on Winter Street in Framingham. About 1,200 area scouts, ranging from 7-year-old Webelos to 15-year-old Eagle Scouts, already have signed up to learn about what do in an emergency. The event is being put on by the Knox Trail Council, which covers scout units from throughout the Globe West area.

Deputy Chief Craig Davis of the Framingham Police Department helped organize the event. His 14-year-old son is a Life Scout (that's one step from Eagle Scout). Davis says that while pre-registration was required, scouts who still want to register on-site will not be turned away. The cost is $3 per scout, and it runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

-- John C. Drake

Seger on Framingham

Posted September 15, 2006 03:07 PM


Framingham has won a mention in a song on the new Bob Seger album -- as a place that would be a good place to leave.

In his newly released song, "Face the Promise," Seger, the veteran Midwestern rock balladeer, talks about an urge to leave places, an urge to hit the road and seek a better deal. To "face the promise of the promised land."

The song talks about Mississippi, Alabama, Arizona, and North Dakota, among other places, as great places to leave.

Seger also sings:

"So long Massachusetts
So long Framingham
I need to face the promise
Of the promised land"

What do you think of Seger's new song? Is it a slam on Framingham? Sound off on our message boards.


(Bob Seger looking for a better place on his recently released Capitol Records album)

Framingham official steps down

Posted September 15, 2006 11:41 AM


Framingham's loss is Worcester's gain.

Framingham building commissioner Joe Mikielian is stepping down to accept a post with the city of Worcester, town officials said this morning.

Mikielian lives in Worcester and previously worked there as chief building inspector, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports this week.

Mikielian, who also serves as director of inspectional services for Framingham, has recently been town hall's lead staff member on addressing complaints of overcrowding and enforcement of nuisance violations.

Town Manager Julian Suso praised Mikielian, who has worked for the town since June 1998, calling him a "consummate professional."

Recently, Mikielian presented an update on the progress of a town committee working to assess problems with overcrowding in residential areas. Many town residents have pointed to the increased immigrant population.

But Mikielian told the Board of Selectmen Tuesday that the town was looking at overcrowding as a public health issue, without regard to "demographics."

-- John C. Drake

Trial to start in shaken-baby case

Posted September 14, 2006 03:11 PM


Jury selection began today in the murder trial of a Framingham man charged in the 2004 shaken-baby death of his infant son, the Middlesex District Attorney's office said.

On Feb. 19, 2004, police responded to a call of an unresponsive baby and found 2-month-old William Christian III. He was rushed to MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, where doctors found multiple fractures and brain swelling. The next day, William Christian Jr., 23, was arrested and charged with assault and battery on a child causing serious bodily injury.

Following the infant's death on Feb. 26, the medical examiner attributed the death to shaken-baby syndrome and ruled it a homicide. The charge against Christian was upgraded to murder. The infant was the ninth victim of the syndrome in as many months.

-- Sarah Kneezle

Dealing with overcrowding

Posted September 13, 2006 12:39 PM


Framingham town officials are considering whether more staff should be assigned to look out for overcrowding in homes. That is one option under study by a town committee created by the Board of Selectmen to study the issue, Joe Mikielian, director of inspectional services, told the board last night.

The study followed complaints by some town residents that groups of immigrants are cramming into houses that are too small for them.

The committee has been meeting weekly since May. Mikielian said its report should be ready by the end of next month. Selectman Dennis Giombetti requested the study, saying he had noticed an increase in yard debris and vehicles in yards, which could be a sign that homes in the town are overcrowded.

-- John Drake

Garden art

Posted September 12, 2006 07:34 PM


The placement of art is key to a garden. And the perfect example can be found at Garden in the Woods, home to the New England Wildflower Society in Framingham, Mass, a story in the Christian Science Monitor reports today.

At the 45-acre "living museum" started in the 1930s, there's a synergy between plants and sculpture, the story says. Tom Smarr, horticultural director, said it helps to look at a garden as you would your home.

"You don't pick out a rug without seeing how it complements the rest of your décor. Looking at parts of the garden as 'rooms' [with] 'furnishings' makes it simpler."

Crowded houses

Posted September 11, 2006 06:41 PM


Some Framingham residents have complained that immigrants are cramming together in houses that are too small, especially in the downtown area, in order to save money.

There have been complaints about too many parked cars and too much trash and noise. Others argue the complaints are just a thinly veiled attack on immigrants.

A town committee has been looking into the issue and will report back to the Board of Selectmen at tomorrow's regular meeting.

--Lisa Kocian

Breakfast with the candidates

Posted September 11, 2006 02:15 PM


If you'd like to try some lightly grilled gubernatorial candidate with your morning coffee, Temple Beth Am in Framingham is hosting a Q&A breakfast buffet this Sunday, Sept. 17.

Democratic candidate Christy Mihos is expected to attend, and representatives of several other Democratic candidates will likely be there as well, organizers said.

Tickets cost $8, and include a 40-foot-long buffer of freshly cooked breakfast food. Breakfast starts at 9 a.m., at the synagogue at 300 Pleasant St.

For more information, call Temple Beth Am at(508) 872-8300.

-- Erica Noonan

The Met, in Metrowest

Posted September 11, 2006 11:01 AM


It's been two decades since the Metropolitan Opera toured to Boston, and the company is coming back, sort of. The Met just announced an intriguing plan to simulcast performances from New York into movie theaters across the country. And a Met spokesman said that there are plans to broadcast in two local theaters: The Framingham 16 and the Solomon Pond Mall 15 in Marlborough.

Details on these showings could come as early as next week.

"Clearly, a movie performance is not the same as a live performance," Met spokesman Peter Clark told us. "But this is still a way for the Met to get its product out there to millions of people in the

And, unlike in the opera hall in New York City, you can buy popcorn.

-- Geoff Edgers

Deval Patrick in Framingham

Posted September 10, 2006 09:24 AM


Deval Patrick, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, made a stop in Framingham recently. Here he is speaking to supporters in a photo by Jodi Hilton.


The photo accompanied a set of articles in today's City & Region section that focus on the Democratic candidates' diehard supporters. Attorney General Thomas Reilly and businessman Christopher Gabrieli are also in the race.

In other campaign news, the Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor have agreed to a debate Sept. 17 at the Joseph P. Keefe Technical School in Framingham. Not much time to make up your mind after that debate. The primary is Sept. 19.

The three candidates for the Democratic nomination for second-in-command are Deborah Goldberg, Andrea Silbert, and Timothy P. Murray.

Check out the Globe's political coverage at

Former Staples exec accused of embezzling

Posted September 8, 2006 09:40 AM


James Y. Dorman, the former vice president of marketing for Framingham's Staples Inc. and a former resident of Westborough, has been indicted on charges that he embezzled more than half a million dollars from the company.

Federal prosecutors yesterday alleged that Dorman, formerly of Westborough, also used a company credit card for shopping and adult entertainment, the Globe reports today. He has been charged with eight counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and three counts of money laundering.

Dorman's attorney, Brad Bailey, said he plans "to vigorously fight the charges and will plead not guilty."

-- Erica Tochin

Injection of cash

Posted September 6, 2006 06:36 PM


Artisan Pharma Inc., a four-person Framingham company, said today it had won $39 million in venture-capital financing to develop a Japanese company's experimental drug to reduce blood clotting and inflammation. The drug, made by Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp., is awaiting approval in Japan.

Artisan, formed by venture investors a month ago to license the drug from AKP, plans to hire several employees and begin conducting clinical trials in the United States starting next year.

-- Stephen Heuser

Road work ahead

Posted September 5, 2006 04:13 PM


Massachusetts Turnpike Authority work crews plan to pave the Interstate 90 toll plaza and ramps in Framingham at interchange 12 from 7:30 p.m. tonight through 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. Read more in the Globe’s traffic blog Starts & Stops.

Galvin keeps a low profile

Posted September 3, 2006 10:23 AM


Secretary of State William Galvin paid a visit to the Summerville at Farm Pond Retirement Community in Framingham last week, where he introduced himself and then launched into a long list of his achievements.

"I've been on your side," he told the 25 men and women in the audience.

After his pitch, one woman told him she didn't know who he was or what he was runnning for. So Galvin started over...

The Democratic primary race between Galvin and challenger John Bonifaz has been a low-profile one. The Globe in a front-page story today examines the efforts of his opponent, political newcomer John Bonifaz, to debate Galvin, who first won election in 1994.

(John Bonifaz at a recent candidates' night, Globe Staff Photo by Jim Davis)


Posted August 31, 2006 03:31 PM


Drinking beer supports fitness? Well, sorta. John Harvard’s Brew House created a “Rail Trail Ale,” to help benefit development of the Cochituate Rail Trail.

You can try its “balance of malt sweetness” and “slight hoppy finish” for the first time tonight at the restaurant, located in Shopper’s World, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Part of the profits from beers sold will go toward the trail’s development, according to a press release.

The Cochituate Rail Trail -- envisioned as a mecca for cyclists, walkers, joggers, rollerbladers and cross-country skiers -- is planned to extend four miles from the village of Saxonville in Framingham to Natick Center.

-–Lisa Kocian

Going designer at T.J. Maxx

Posted August 30, 2006 11:01 AM


Off-price retailer T.J. Maxx is planning to open designer boutiques at 25 stores across the country this fall. The boutiques, called "The Runway at Maxx," will feature top names in couture from around the world and will open locally on Sept. 10 at stores in Bedford, Cambridge, Framingham, and Sudbury.

The Runway at Maxx will have new shipments arriving weekly, including an assortment of casual, career, evening wear, lingerie, and accessories. The boutiques will host both American and European designers -- from couture to pop trend favorites -- with prices up to 60 percent less than those found in top boutiques and fashion houses.

"We'll have great brands at terrific values for customers," said Sherry Lang, a spokeswoman for TJX Cos. of Framingham, parent company of T.J. Maxx. "And it's another way for us to pursue our chief goal of driving profitable sales."

-- Jenn Abelson

Family resemblance

Posted August 29, 2006 05:35 PM


Is it just us or does Newton North athletic director T.J. Williams bear a certain resemblance to the Newton North Tiger that's painted on the wall behind him in this picture by staff photographer Bill Polo?

Paul Harber wrote a story in Sunday's Globe West about Williams' plan to retire, not with a whimper but with a bang -- as head coach of the boys' soccer team.


Low primary turnout expected

Posted August 29, 2006 09:18 AM


Framingham Town Clerk Valerie Mulvey tells the Globe today that there haven't been many people rushing to register for the September Democratic primary.

"We haven't had a great deal of activity," she said.

The Globe reports today that low turnout is expected across the state.

``I don't see people forming conga lines in the street to vote," Secretary of State William Galvin said, adding he hoped interest would grow as the race nears its climax. ``There's three weeks left, and exciting things can happen."

The deadline to register to vote in the primaries is tomorrow

Water, water everywhere

Posted August 28, 2006 04:18 PM


Several Route 30 businesses and restaurants have been closed since this morning due to a water main break.

The town water department is replacing a broken main, which forced shutting down all businesses that require water, including McDonald’s, Bugaboo Creek, and the plaza that houses Big Fresh, Papa Gino’s, and Tennessee’s Real BBQ, according to Lt. Paul Shastany.

The businesses were still closed around 4 p.m., but an employee who answered the phone at Big Fresh said the water department had given an estimated re-opening time of around 4 or 5 p.m.

-– Lisa Kocian

Liposuction death

Posted August 28, 2006 08:38 AM


Framingham area residents have been stunned by the underground network used by some Brazilian immigrants trying to look their best, the AP reports today.

The AP takes another look at the case of Fabiola DePaula, whose quest for beauty took her to a condominium basement, where she allegedly underwent two cosmetic surgeries at the hands of an unlicensed doctor -- and died.

"Somebody has to speak out. Go to the Brazilians, open their minds and let them know it's dangerous," Jacque Foster, a friend of DePaula's, told the AP. "This is totally beyond unsafe. You have to think about what you are doing."

Supermarket hero or villain?

Posted August 27, 2006 09:35 AM


Framingham's Alana Lipkin, who gets loads of free stuff from supermarkets by finding incorrectly priced items, has inspired a lot of comment from readers of the Business section.

Some praised her in that section's Letters column. Several Globe West residents were a little more negative.

Sid Sklar of Wayland said her behavior was that of a "misguided and wrong-headed individual."

Ronald Levy of Newton said her behavior was "unethical."

Brian Parrillo of Sudbury said what Lipkin does is wrong. The goal instead should be low average prices, he argued.

Liposuction death

Posted August 25, 2006 01:45 PM


A Brazilian doctor and his wife who are accused of manslaughter in the death of a 24-year-old woman during illegal liposuction surgery in Framingham pleaded not guilty Friday.

Luiz Carlos Ribeiro and Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro were ordered held on $250,000 bail and $50,000 bail, respectively, the same amounts on which they were ordered held last month after their arraignment on unauthorized practice of medicine and drug charges.

The next court date was scheduled for Sept. 27.

An attorney for Luiz Ribeiro, Jeanne Early, said during the arraignment at Framingham District Court that her client was a doctor in Brazil and had come to Massachusetts to visit his two daughters, one of whom had just had a baby.

After the arraignment, Early said that, as a doctor who cares in general about patients, Ribeiro was upset by the July 30 death of Fabiola DePaula of Framingham. Early also said her client hasn't seen his wife since they were taken into custody.

"He is feeling terrible," she said.

Jacque Foster, a friend of DePaula, attended the arraignment so DePaula would be represented. She said DePaula's mother was too devastated to come to court.

"(The Ribeiros) have to pay for the crime they committed," she said. "My friend is gone."

-- AP

Globe editorial: more funding for higher ed

Posted August 24, 2006 10:58 AM


A Globe editorial today showcases Framingham State College as it calls for more funding for higher education.

College president Thomas Flanagan says he's heard the same story from more than one student. The college wasn't their first choice. They had to go there because of money or other reasons. But over time they have come to love the school.

With small classes, attentive faculty, and ample opportunities to lead and learn, the college should be a first choice for more students, Flanagan said.

Now the state needs a governor who can make Framingham and other state schools shine, the editorial says.


Posted August 22, 2006 04:20 PM


At their meeting tonight, selectmen will discuss their goals for the next year.

Selectmen will mull, among other things, plans to encourage owner occupancy in the downtown area, to pursue closing the Common Ground homeless shelter, and to further investigate creating a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program for social service agencies.

The agencies have been under fire for the last couple years in town for locating programs in Framingahm that are used by people from all over the area.

The shelter in particular has been criticized because it accepts people under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The South Middlesex Opportunity Council, the agency that runs the shelter, has already agreed to close it, but the town is pushing for that to happen faster.

--Lisa Kocian

Edmund Hanauer, fought for Middle East peace

Posted August 22, 2006 09:13 AM


Edmund R. Hanauer of Framingham, who advocated for peace in the Middle East, died Aug. 10 at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He was 68.

Hanauer in 1972 founded Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel. His views didn't endear him to everybody, a Globe obit reports today.

A Jew himself, he said some Jews felt his organization was "anti-Israel." On the other hand, Arab-Americans thought it was too "balanced," he said.

"The saddest thing is that he will not be alive to see a peaceful settlement in the Mideast," said Rev. Ray Low, a retired Episcopal priest who is vice president of Search for Justice.

Spying on your kids?

Posted August 21, 2006 08:34 AM


There's a battle going on. Espionage and counterespionage between parents and kids. And it's gotten even more complex with technology, according to a story in the Nashua Telegraph.

The story includes a mention of ULocate Communications, a GPS tracking company founded by Alan Phillips in Framingham that is used by multiple cell-phone carriers to track kids.

It also discusses the Hopkinton High School Web site, which can allow parents to see that a student scored a poor grade on a test, even before he or she reaches home.

Vigilant shopper

Posted August 20, 2006 10:18 AM


A Framingham woman is the queen of supermarket pricing errors. But her reign may be drawing near an end.

For nine years, Alana Lipkin, 45, has been taking advantage of chains that promise you can get an item free if you find its price was marked incorrectly on the shelf.

At a supermarket in Ashland recently, she said, she snared products worth more than $1,200.

Now, the region's two largest supermarket chains are banning her from their stores, saying she's a disruptive influence, a story in the Business section reports today.

9/11 litigation

Posted August 20, 2006 10:08 AM


A Framingham woman died in one of the planes hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

Now Judy LaRocque's daughter, Carie Lemack, is among those who continue to press lawsuits against the aviation industry, spurning a federal compensation fund.

Lemack said it's not about the money.

"It was always about accountability and it remains about accountability today, because reforms that are desperately needed are not happening," Lemack told the Globe in a front page story today.


(Carie Lemack, photo by Jay Premack)

Liposuction death

Posted August 19, 2006 09:17 AM


The Brazilian doctor who allegedly caused the death of a young woman who came to him for liposuction was well known in the Brazilian community, Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said.

"People were aware of him and knew him as Dr. Luiz," Coakley said.

Coakley has been trying to alert the community that illegal cosmetic surgery like that allegedly performed by the doctor is dangerous.

Coakley yesterday announced that Luiz Carlos Ribeiro and his wife, Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, both 49, were charged with manslaughter in the death of Fabiola B. DePaula.


(Fabiola B. DePaula, who died July 30 after a cosmetic procedure in Framingham)

School wars

Posted August 18, 2006 05:35 PM


Pam Richardson, vice chair of the Framingham School Committee, took issue with a recent Globe West article on a surprise budget cut at the McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School.

Richardson says the charter school's claim that it has higher MCAS scores than the town's traditional schools is misleading.

In fact, 15 percent of Fuller 8th graders and 20 percent of Walsh 8th graders scored in the advanced category in math compared with 8 percent at the charter school.

With MCAS scores, she argued, it’s all in the interpretation. “In addition, the McAuliffe Charter is a regional school,” she wrote in an email to the Globe. “A large percentage of the students are from Natick as well as other Metrowest communities. Any MCAS score comparisons should incorporate the scores from the middle schools in the districts from which the charter students reside.”

-- Lisa Kocian

Liposuction death

Posted August 18, 2006 02:14 PM


Middlesex prosecutors will announce manslaughter charges today against a Brazilian couple charged with running an illegal cosmetic surgery clinic.

Fabiola DePaula, 24, of Framingham, died after undergoing an illegal liposuction procedure in the accused couple's condominium.

The additional charges and autopsy results are expected to be announced at 3 p.m. at the Framingham Police Department.

Luiz Ribeiro and his wife, Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, are currently being held on drug charges related to DePaula's death on July 30.

-- Globe City & Region Staff

World Trade Center

Posted August 18, 2006 10:22 AM


A Framingham native is making it big in Hollywood. She's one of creative forces behind one of the summer's major movies, which focuses on the 9/11 disaster.

Andrea Berloff wrote the screenplay for the film, "World Trade Center," which hit theaters last week to much praise from movie critics, the Globe recently reported.

The film, directed by Oliver Stone, is the first production for Berloff. Her resume prior to "World Trade Center" included two unproduced biopics. She talked about her experiences working with Stone in another Globe piece.

-- Erica Tochin

Thatsa lotta paper clips

Posted August 15, 2006 02:07 PM


Staples Inc. said today that its second-quarter profit rose 19 percent amid a modest rebound from its recent slow sales growth in North America.

Framingham-based Staples, the nation's biggest office products seller, reported net income for the May-July period of $161.2 million, or 22 cents per share. That compared with $135.2 million, or 18 cents per share, in last year's second quarter.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $3.88 billion from $3.47 billion a year ago, the company said. Shares of Staples were up 52 cents, or 2.2 percent, at $24.05 in morning Nasdaq trading.

-- AP

Route 30 update

Posted August 11, 2006 11:17 AM


All is moving well on Route 30 after a water main broke on Wednesday, backing up traffic along busy Cochituate Road well into yesterday's commute.

Everything has been fixed, and traffic flow is back to normal.

-- Erica Tochin

Route 30 water woes

Posted August 10, 2006 04:00 PM


Drivers, beware. A broken water main is causing major traffic on Route 30 near Speen St.

Cars heading eastbound on Rte. 30 can expect significant delays, as the street has been narrowed down to one lane. Traffic is backed up all the way to the off-ramp from the Massachusetts Turnpike at Exit 13.

-- Erica Tochin

Campaign Stop for Deval Patrick

Posted August 8, 2006 05:30 PM


Gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick speaks to Framingham residents this evening at 5:30 p.m. at the McCarthy College Center Forum at Framingham State College, 100 State Street.

“This event will give local residents an opportunity to hear directly from Deval Patrick and ask him questions. It will reflect the grassroots spirit and passion that Deval Patrick is generating among voters across the state,” said John Walsh, Patrick's campaign manager, in a press release.

Patrick previously held the top civil rights post in President Clinton’s Justice Department and served as general counsel and as a senior executive at Texaco and Coca-Cola. He has also been a lawyer for the NAACP’s Legal Defense & Education Fund.

--Lisa Kocian

Farmers' Bounty

Posted August 5, 2006 10:55 AM


With surging interest in organic and locally grown food, many of us are stealing a few minutes to pull over at stands operated by local growers such as Land's Sake in Weston, Hanson's Farm in Framingham, the Natick Community Organic Farm in South Natick, Applefield Farm in Stow, Blue Heron Organic Farm, and Drumlin Farm in Lincoln.

The western suburbs also host more than a dozen weekly farmers' markets, which are rapidly growing in popularity.

Find out why, and learn how to get fresh produce close to home in Sunday's Globe West

-- Erica Noonan

Crime in any language

Posted August 4, 2006 05:44 PM


The Middlesex District Attorney and the Framingham Police Department have set up a bilingual tip line to help collect leads from the Brazilian community about illegal medical procedures.

The tip line, 508-872-1212, ext. 444, has an outgoing message in English and Portuguese and callers can leave a tip in either language anonymously.

“It is very important for any individuals who have undergone medical procedures at the hands of an unlicensed individual to seek appropriate medical treatment by a licensed provider, as they may be at risk for infection or other harmful health problems,” District Attorney Martha Coakley said in a press release issued today.

She said the people who had undergone the procedures from unlicensed practitioners would not be prosecuted.

Authorities encourage anyone considering a medical procedure, to check out their doctor before getting treatment via the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.

The tip line was set up in response to the July 30 death of Fabiola B. DePaula, 24, of Framingham. She died after an illegal medical procedure (liposuction, according to her family) performed by a Brazilian couple who were charged with several offenses including the unauthorized practice of medicine.

–- Lisa Kocian

Surgical shock

Posted August 3, 2006 02:27 PM


Fabiola B. DePaula went into a makeshift basement clinic in Framingham last Thursday expecting a consultation to learn more about rhinoplasty, or a nose job, her brother told the Globe yesterday.

But the man in jeans who claimed to be one of Brazil's top plastic surgeons told her she could walk out with a new nose.

Her family was shocked when they saw her with a bandaged face the next day, but DePaula was sufficiently pleased with the work to go back a few days later for the liposuction procedure and died on the operating table, her brother said.

Three people, two Brazilian nationals and a local woman who rented them the basement, are facing criminal charges in connection with DePaula's death.

The big, the red, and the ugly

Posted August 3, 2006 12:38 PM


There are only two weeks left to love and nurture your entry into the “Ugliest Tomato Contest,” to be held Aug. 24 at the Framingham Farmers’ Market.

Entries must come from mere gardening mortals, not farmers, according to Elizabeth Aurilio, market manager, and the prize will be a large basket of farmers’ market goodies.

Entries must be in before 2 p.m., when voting by market visitors begins. Over three hours the public will judge the "homeliest homegrown tomato" (rotten fruit not eligible).

The Framingham Farmers’ Market runs Thursdays from 12:30 to 5:30 at the Village Green on Edgell Road. Click here for a listing of other farmers' markets in the area.

-– Lisa Kocian

Hot, hot, hot

Posted August 2, 2006 11:46 AM


Town officials are encouraging senior citizens to take advantage of the air-conditioned Callahan Center today to get away from the expected record heat.

Anyone else who has a power outage or other heat-related problems is also encouraged to use the center, located at 535 Union Avenue, as a temporary shelter.

-- Lisa Kocian

Female bikers

Posted August 2, 2006 10:51 AM

Harleys aren't just for big, bad biker dudes anymore.

They're for people like Karen Bridge of Framingham, too. She bought her first motorcycle two years ago, a Yamaha that she's nicknamed "Pearl."

Between 1998 and 2003, the number of women bikers increased by 34 percent, the Christian Science Monitor reports today.

Today, one out of every ten motorcycle owners is female.

Bridge told the Monitor that when she's riding her bike, "I feel like a little kid again"

-- Erica Tochin

Know a quirky kid?

Posted August 1, 2006 06:28 PM


Coming to Framingham this fall are the authors of "Quirky Kids."

Perri Klass and Eileen Costello will talk about how to raise a child that doesn't quite fit in due to a range of developmental issues such as Asperger's Syndrome.

Registration is now open for the Oct. 27 conference, which will be held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel.

It is hosted by Parenting Resource Associates of Lexington and is open to parents, educators, and child care providers.

-- Lisa Kocian

New charges in alleged illegal cosmetic surgery case

Posted August 1, 2006 06:04 PM


The owner of a Framingham condominium where a Brazilian couple allegedly performed plastic surgery without a medical license has also been charged, following the death of a woman who had a liposuction procedure.

Ana Celia Pena Sielemenn, 40, of Framingham, is charged with distributing illegal narcotics to people undergoing plastic surgery.

Prosecutors said they are still investigating Sielemann's role in the illegal clinic. Neighbors said Sielemann set up appointments for Luiz Carlos Ribeiro and his wife, Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, to perform the surgeries in her home.

Prosecutors said the couple, originally from Belo Horizantea, Brazil, had 30-day work visas for the sole purpose of performing plastic surgery in the basement of Sielemenn's condominium.

Fabiola de Paula, 24, a native of Brazil, was pronounced dead shortly after being brought unconscious to a Framingham hospital late Sunday after undergoing liposuction performed by Luiz Carlos Ribeiro, authorities said. An autopsy had not been completed Tuesday.

-- AP

Women in prison

Posted August 1, 2006 05:27 PM


What's it like to live in the women's prison in Framingham? Christina Rathbone set out to find out.

In the process of writing her book, "A World Apart: Women, Prison, and Life Behind Bars," Rathbone spent five years interviewing incarcerated women at MCI Framingham, the oldest running prison for women in America.

What she found was disturbing. While two-thirds of men are in prison for crimes against people, like theft and assault, two-thirds of women are incarcerated for lesser crimes that cause injury to themselves, like drug abuse.

Rathbone also learned that most of the women at MCI Framingham were the primary caretakers of their children, and were unable to call them at all during their imprisonment, the Voice of America recently reported in a review of the book on its website.

-- Erica Tochin

cristina Rathbone.jpg

(Author Christina Rathbone, photo by Essdras Suarez/Globe Staff)

Cosmetic procedure fatality

Posted August 1, 2006 09:02 AM


A Brazilian couple has been running an illegal cosmetic surgery clinic from a condominium in Framingham for several years, according to police and customers.

The Globe reports today that the couple sedated women with prescription drugs in order to perform liposuction to reduce their stomachs or to reshape their lips and noses.

The two, Luiz Carlos Ribeiro and his wife, Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, are now facing charges after the death of a young woman, Fabiola B. DePaula, who was allegedly undergoing a procedure at their "clinic" on Sunday.


(Fabiola B. DePaula, who died Sunday after a cosmetic procedure in Framingham)

Framingham murder

Posted August 1, 2006 09:00 AM


A Framingham man charged with fatally beating his wife and her 11-year-old son after becoming frustrated with her involvement in the Mormon church was ordered held without bail yesterday.

Jeremias Bins, 30, pleaded not guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to two counts of murder in the May 20 deaths of Carla Souza, 37, and her son, Caique, in their Framingham home.

Bins, a native of Brazil, listened with the help of an interpreter.

About a dozen family and friends in the courtroom wore white T-shirts with a photograph of Souza and Caique with the message "We'll never forget you."

-- AP

Cosmetic procedure -- UPDATE

Posted July 31, 2006 02:07 PM


A man and his wife pleaded not guilty today to allegations that they operated an unlicensed cosmetic surgery clinic in their Framingham basement, which police say investigators raided Sunday when a 23-year-old woman died after receiving liposuction.

Miranda Ribeiro, 49, wept in Framingham District Court as she and her husband, Luiz Carlos Ribeiro, 49, pleaded not guilty to licensing and drug charges filed after the death of Fabiola de Paula on Sunday.

Assistant District Attorney Lee Hettinger said in court that Brazilian Luiz Carlos Ribeiro was in the United States for 30 days on a work visa and had been performing unlicensed surgeries in their basement with his wife acting as an attending nurse.

“There was a tremendous amount of blood protein on the floor in the basement,” said Hettinger, adding that investigators found a set of surgical tools used in liposuction procedures in a dumpster.

Read more in tomorrow's City and Region section.

-- John Ellement and Andrew Ryan

Cosmetic procedure -- UPDATE

Posted July 31, 2006 10:45 AM


A man accused of practicing medicine without a license is scheduled to be arraigned this morning after a 23-year-old woman died Sunday after authorities say he gave her liposuction in a Framingham basement.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s office said that Luis Carlos Ribeiro will be arraigned in Framingham District Court today on charges of practicing medicine without a license and possession of class A and class E substances with intent to distribute.

Police arrested Ribeiro at 4:30 a.m. today. Doctors expect to perform an autopsy today to determine how Fabiola de Paula died. On Sunday, investigators released few details about the death of the Brazilian native.

-- Andrew Ryan and Eduardo de Oliveira

Read more in the City and Region section's breaking news blog.

Debtor's hell

Posted July 31, 2006 10:34 AM


An odd scene last September in Framingham District Court. The court clerk was late, so two collection agency attorneys essentially took over.

They stood at the front of the courtroom, calling out defendants' names and asking them to come forward, negotiating with some and scheduling others for future dates.

The scene is described in the second installment of the Globe's series on the aggressive debt collection industry.

Today's installment looks at the court system's role, finding that small claims courts have become a "de facto arm" of a fast-growing industry whose practices raise some disturbing questions.

Boa vinda a Framingham!

Posted July 31, 2006 10:09 AM


The Globe's editorial page takes a look at Framingham today and the debate there over immigration.

It talks to both sides, including anti-illegal immigration activist Jim Rizoli and Ilma Paixao, president of the Brazilian American Association.

"The federal government could pass long and desperately needed federal immigration reform. Any bill that makes it out of Congress will be an imperfect compromise. But any progress would be welcome if it helps untangle the decades-old, messy contradictions of damning illegal immigrants while enjoying the fruits of their labor," the editorial says.

Cosmetic procedure fatality in Framingham

Posted July 31, 2006 09:57 AM


Framingham police said early this morning that the Middlesex District Attorney's Office is investigating the death yesterday of a 23-year-old woman after a cosmetic procedure done by a Brazilian man in the basement of a Framingham home.

Authorities would not release details on the death of Fabiola de Paula, a native of Brazil who was living in Framingham.

The surgery took place in a home in the Bishop Gardens condominium community, said a woman who lived in the home and asked not to be identified. She said the surgeon showed doctors at MetroWest Medical Center a license from Brazil to practice plastic surgery.

It was not clear last night if the surgeon, identified by the woman as Luis Carlos Ribeiro, was licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts.

See the full story in today's City and Region section.

-- Eduardo de Oliveira

Secret woman priest

Posted July 28, 2006 09:40 AM


Jean Marie Marchant of Framingham says she doesn't know where her secret ordination as a Catholic priest will lead her, but there's a hunger out there for people to be "ministered to in an inclusive fashion."

Marchant, 61, a native of Waltham, is the former official at the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston who resigned after revealing that she was ordained as a priest in a ceremony last year in Canada, the Globe reports today.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley has repeatedly said that women cannot be ordained as priests. Last year, church officials announced that seven women ordained by the same movement would be excommunicated. But Marchant hasn't been sanctioned by the archdiocese.


Murder indictment

Posted July 28, 2006 09:06 AM


A Middlesex grand jury indicted a Framingham man yesterday in the slaying of his wife and stepson.

Jeremias Bins, 30, has been charged in the murder of Carla Souza, 37, and her son, Caique Souza, 11.

Framingham Police found the two in May severely beaten in their apartment following a 911 call. Bins, who allegedly told police that he had argued with his wife about her religion, is to be arraigned Monday in Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge.

-- Globe City and Region Staff

Health care fraud

Posted July 21, 2006 04:26 PM


A Framingham woman pleaded guilty to health care fraud in federal court earlier this week, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Ho Ling Lai, a physical therapist, allegedly caused Medicare to be billed for at least $55,000 worth of physical therapy that she either did not provide or provided incompletely.

She is set to be sentenced on Nov. 27.

-- Erica Tochin

Westward migration

Posted July 20, 2006 11:49 AM


The Newton South High School to Framingham High School connection is alive and well.

A year after hiring away Newton South principal Michael Welch to serve as Framingham High's principal a year ago, the Framingham schools have grabbed Newton South house master Mark Albright for a vice principal's position.

Welch said yesterday that Albright, 35, holds a master's degree in special education and was "clearly the most experienced candidate" in a field of almost 30.

Framingham High has four vice principals, one for each grade. Welch said Albright, a Framingham resident, will take charge of the incoming freshmen, who represent the Class of 2010.

-- Ralph Ranalli

``Amazing'' Art School

Posted July 19, 2006 04:20 PM


The Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham has just announced the launch of Amazing U., a series of workshops starting next month. They will be led “by professional performers for developing artists,” according to a press release from Michael Moran, founder of the group.

Workshops will cover topics like songwriting, auditioning, and composing.

-- Lisa Kocian

How 'bout that heat?

Posted July 18, 2006 02:40 PM


If it makes you feel better about enduring the fire-and-brimstone heat we’re suffering through today, this is seriously about as bad as it gets in the continental United States. Really.

As a native of south Texas, I had never even seen snow until I went to college in New Hampshire. The summers down there last about nine months; the winters there are kind of like fall up here -- without the foliage because everything’s just brown and dead, except the palm trees.

Every year an enterprising local weatherman would fry an egg on the sidewalk and we would all bask in the knowledge that we were tough people. Survivors even.

According to the current temperature in Framingham is 93 degrees with a heat index of 100. In my hometown of Portland, Texas, it’s 90 degrees with a heat index of 104. So congratulations, today is bad and it may be egg-frying weather, but we can take it.

Then, too, we know it will end soon. A real, true fall with crisp air, colorful canopies and the smell of logs on the fire is just a little more than two months away. South Texans have to turn on the central air at Christmas just to be able to use the fireplace!

--Lisa Kocian

Jealousy alleged in slaying

Posted July 18, 2006 09:22 AM


A Waltham man allegedly hired a career felon to kill his estranged wife's boyfriend, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors say that James Brescia, 46, became obsessed with "eliminating" Edward Schiller, 39, of Framingham, and hired Scott Foxworth, 52, of Dracut, to do it.

Schiller was fatally shot on Jan. 13 in a parking garage next to his office in Newton.

Brescia and Foxworth pleaded not guilty to murder and conspiracy charges yesterday.

Brescia's lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., tells the Globe today that his client had nothing to do with the killing, while Foxworth's lawyer had no comment.

On the hot seat

Posted July 15, 2006 11:51 AM


Framingham will start looking this month for someone to fill what will probably be one of the toughest jobs in town: the Human Service Program and Policy Coordinator. The new position was recommended by a committee that researched the impact on the town of social service programs, which have become a hot button issue over the past year. The job posting has not yet been finalized but a draft version lists a salary between about $72,000 and $86,000.

The town hopes to have the position filled this fall, according to Town Manager Julian M. Suso.

--Lisa Kocian

Gedmans live up to their name

Posted July 14, 2006 08:20 AM


Longtime Boston Red Sox fans likely remember Rich Gedman, who played for the team from 1980-1990. Gedman is now the manager for the Worcester Tornadoes independent league baseball team.

His two sons, Mike and Matt, are making a name for themselves while playing for the Framingham Legion baseball team. They were featured in yesterday's edition of Globe West.

Framingham finished its season at 19-3 and in first place of Zone 4. The team is currently enjoying a playoff bye.

--Mike Reiss


Posted July 13, 2006 10:45 AM


A Norfolk jury convicted State Police Sergeant Timothy White of stealing cocaine seized by the State Police, the Globe reports today.

White, a 16-year veteran of the State Police, was suspended from his position in the Narcotics Inspection Unit at the Framingham State Police barracks after authorities found that he had stolen about 13 kilograms of cocaine.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation.

-- Erica Tochin

Housing for Who?

Posted July 11, 2006 04:17 PM


The two-year-long fight over affordable housing in town continues tonight at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Memorial Building.

The agenda includes possible rescinding of the town’s controversial housing policy, which suggested that Framingham's 10 percent inventory of affordable housing should be increased to 30 to 40 percent to better match local need.

Soon after the policy's adoption in 2004, Town Meeting passed a resolution calling on selectmen to quash it, but they never did so.

Now, a more conservative board will wrangle with the issue.

To see the latest work done by the town on the housing issue click here.

--Lisa Kocian

Fearless flying

Posted July 9, 2006 10:05 AM


Lynne Hagopian, a realtor and interior decorator from Framingham, says she's gotten some extra benefits from a course designed to help people conquer their fear of flying.

Hagopian, who hadn't flown for 27 years, took her graduation flight from Dr. Albert Forgione's Fearless Flying course last month.

Hagopian says in an article in today's Travel section she not only considers the course helpful in making flying possible again, she uses the breathing and relaxation techniques she learned to reduce other, more ``everyday," anxieties -- and physical pain.

Renegades invade Framingham

Posted July 7, 2006 07:55 AM


The New Hampshire Phantoms visit the Boston Renegades tonight in W-League soccer action at Framingham's Bowditch Field (7:30 p.m.).

The Renegades, who play the majority of their home games in Framingham, are part of the Massachusetts Premier Soccer group. They play a high level of soccer, and have players like former U.S. talent Angela Hucles on the roster.

It's been a year or so since I've seen a Renegades game, but the lasting impression was that it's a great place to bring young kids interested in soccer. I remember seeing a lot of youngsters at the games and many of the Renegades players were available for autographs after the contest.

Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for children, according to the Renegades' official web site.

-- Mike Reiss

Summer's Here

Posted July 6, 2006 02:53 PM


My colleague Meg Woolhouse and I just returned from a lunchtime trip to the farmers' market on Framingham's Village Green.

Browsing the many stalls, we picked out a light lunch of sourdough from Hi-Rise Bread Co. and gouda from Smith's Country Cheese in Winchendon. We also stocked up on fresh peas from nearby Hanson's Farm in Framingham, plus beets, carrots and lettuce from Sangha Farm in Ashfield - all of which is now sitting in our air-conditioned office instead of sweltering in the car.

The Framingham farmers' market runs from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays. There are plenty of others around, probably one near you.

-- Emily Shartin

An unexpected twist

Posted July 2, 2006 05:21 PM


Gov. Mitt Romney has talked about giving state troopers the power to arrest illegal immigrants. They may not have to travel far.

It turns out that scores of the folks hired to clean State Police headquarters in Framingham and other state facilities have been undocumented.

A story on the front page of today's Globe says that a review of payroll records for the Boylston company found that many of the employees had questionable or bogus Social Security numbers.

Raymond P. Howell, spokesman for National Facility Services, issued a statement saying that the company is ``collateral damage in the political battle over illegal immigration."

Denied entry

Posted June 29, 2006 04:23 PM


She wants to see her daughter's grave, but she can't get in the United States.

The mother of Carla Souza, the Brazilian immigrant from Framingham who was slain last month, has been denied a visa to come to the country from Brazil. Souza's sister was also denied entry.

A U.S. consulate official wouldn't comment on their cases.

The mother and sister plan to keep on trying, a story in Sunday's Globe West reports.

What a celebration!

Posted June 28, 2006 10:59 AM


Downtown Framingham went crazy yesterday after Brazil beat Ghana in a World Cup match. But not too crazy.

The Globe's Yvonne Abraham describes the scene in an article in today's City and Region section.

"The picture in downtown Framingham yesterday was not just one of celebration. It also captured ripples of tension, a community undergoing transformation, and an immigrant group careful not to offend, even in the midst of exhilarating victory," Abraham writes.

Orderly celebration

Posted June 27, 2006 03:22 PM


Brazilians celebrated -- again -- in downtown Framingham today after their national team beat Ghana, 3-0, in the World Cup.

Expect more festivities Saturday and, if the team advances to the final, next Wednesday.

But not everybody in the Brazilian community is joining in the fun. Correspondent Eduardo A. de Oliveira reports in Sunday's Globe West that some Brazilian immigrants are worried that a chance encounter with police could get them sent back to Brazil.

Framingham golf suit

Posted June 15, 2006 06:31 PM

A woman will get $262,000 to settle her claims that Framingham Country Club wouldn't let her join because she's a female.

Mary Murray says she's glad it's over with, the AP reported today. -- Martin Finucane

Shelter to close in Framingham?

Posted June 14, 2006 12:45 PM

SMOC announced this morning that it will close its controversial wet shelter in downtown Framingham as soon as it gets town approval for a Winter Street housing program aimed at people recovering for substance abuse and their families.

Jim Cuddy, executive director of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council, made the announcement and outlined specific plans for closing the shelter, which accepts people who are struggling with substance abuse.

The Winter Street project has been controversial in its own right, sparking an intense debate over whether the town is doing too much to help social services. Read more of the story in Sunday's Globe West. -- Lisa Kocian

Federal ID fraud sweep touches Framingham

Posted June 13, 2006 03:28 PM

Federal prosecutors say nine people were arrested last week in Framingham, Hull, Lawrence, Malden, Medford and Worcester and charged with selling bogus identification documents such as Social Security cards, green cards and alien registration cards.

U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan said in a statement that "it is understandable that many from around the globe would want to come to live, work and raise families here in the greatest democracy in the world. However, this must be done in compliance with United States immigration laws -- not in violation of them."

Spilka adds fuel to social services debate in Framingham

Posted June 8, 2006 05:49 PM

Adding more fuel to the controversy over expanding social services in Framingham, state Senator Karen Spilka has issued a reminder to opponents of more shelters and drug abuse programs that it is against the law to freeze such growth.

In an open letter to the town, posted on a popular local Internet chat board last week Spilka said legislators can try to find incentives to encourage social service agencies to spread themselves out geographically, but can't directly obstruct them.

To see the discussion on the chat board, click here.

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