BOSTON—Just over a month after its release, Google’s web browser, Chrome, may see its most attractive features undermined with the release of Mozilla’s Firefox 3.1, currently in the test phase.

This potential threat was released under the codename “Minefield,” and it can only be downloaded from a directory – a webpage that simply lists the files in an interface reminiscent of the early nineties Internet. Mozilla has kept this project a trade secret, and word of the early browser can only be found in scattered online forums.

Reports of the release have been traced to October 2 of this year, just three and a half months after they released Firefox 3.0, a software that established a Guinness World Record of over eight million downloads in one day. The Firefox 3.0 series is two to three times faster than the previous version, according to a guide released by Mozilla.

The manual stated that “the performance improvements are particularly noticeable in the case of complex web-based applications like Google Mail.” Perhaps not noticeable enough.

“That simplistic approach to Javascript engines isn’t enough anymore,” said Chrome developer Lars Bak in a Google press release. A global search giant, Google boasts a growing list of robust web-applications from interactive global maps to advertisement generators for websites. Although Javascript is a fast and lightweight programming language, too much of it can decrease the performance of computers and web browsers.

According to Google’s press statement, Chrome puts less stress on a computer’s processor by keeping things small and separated. The most innovative part about Chrome is that every new window or sub-window (called a “tab”) that users open becomes it’s own independent program. The windows can process webpages faster because each window and tab operates as completely independent programs. In the event that one tab stops working, it can be forced close without affecting the others.

In a telephone interview, social media expert Chris Brogan voiced his approval for both Chrome and Minefield, saying that there is still much more that Javascript can do. In his experience as vice president of the media marketing company CrossTech Media and as an award winning blog writer, Brogan said that the latest web trend is a desire to be “dynamic.”

“Everything is optimized to run a lot tighter now,” Brogan said, adding that the features that Chrome and Minefield have were explicitly meant to cater to the demands of complex websites. Browser development and website design push each other to the boundaries by either demanding compliance or offering space for creative innovation.

“It gives everybody else room to play a lot nicer,” Brogan said. Although familiar with both programs, Brogan said he uses neither Chrome nor Minefield, and instead relies on Mozilla’s current “stable” version of Firefox 3.0. His biggest critique, he said, was that he’d like to one day see browsers adapt some dynamic features, like widgets and customization, possessed by the high-performing websites they serve.

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Tai Chi Research Shows Advantages for Elderly

Dec 9, 2008 10:26 PM. All work by ,

PUBLISHED by the Fenway News

BOSTON—A new study reveals that the Chinese art of Tai Chi may enhance your sense of touch and increase the size of your brain. Catherine Kerr and her team of researchers at the Harvard Medical School are finding that the elderly benefit the most, Kerr says.

In a small library at Harvard’s Landmark Center office, Kerr presented her findings on the acute sensitivity possessed by a group of Tai Chi practitioners from Brookline. The data suggests that people who practice the Chinese martial art in conjunction with meditation have a heightened sense of touch, Kerr says.

“It was a fairly simple study, but I think it has important implications for understanding the benefits of Tai Chi,” says Kerr.

A better mood, stronger legs and increased flexibility are a few of the benefits of Tai Chi, and there are many more, Kerr says. According to her, elderly people who practice Tai Chi also have a lower chance of falling down. Related research suggests that muscle and immune system improvements may also come from practicing Tai Chi.

The next leg of the project will be determining whether the Tai Chi students have developed larger sensory organs because of their training. In her presentation, Kerr cited a 2006 study done in London that revealed that certain kinds of training permanently alter the shape of certain regions of the brain—a phenomenon called neuroplasticity.

“This gives us some clues why Tai Chi may be health-promoting,” Kerr says, “but it doesn’t yet tell us definitively.” Kerr says that past studies have yet to precisely measure exactly the benefits of Tai Chi.

The research has been inexpensive so far, says Kerr, but she predicts the next phase will require roughly $100,000 to complete. In order to prove that the brain is actually changing, Kerr says she will need costly brain scans done on each of her research patients. She and her team plan to finish this next step of their study within a year.

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BROOKLINE, Mass.—President-elect Barack Obama may owe his election success to his television campaign, former governor and 1988 presidential candidate Michael Dukakis told a synagogue of community members last night.

In an informal lecture at the Congregation Kehillath Israel synagogue on Harvard Ave., Dukakis and three Harvard University faculty members engaged a greying audience in the effect that images have on politics. Recalling his experience with his own campaign, Dukakis said that society now depends on the media to present a candidate’s personality.

“I’m a backyard/living room kind of guy,” Dukakis said, alluding to different kinds of campaign methods. It is now harder for a politician to meet all his voters, Dukakis said, which is why a strong media image is so important.

“[Obama] ended up giving people a pretty good impression of who he was,” Dukakis said. In contrast, Dukakis noted that the publicity Republican candidate John McCain accrued worked against him as the election went on.

In contrast to Dukakis, Kiku Adatto, author of Picture Perfect: Life in the Age of the Photo Op, said that Obama’s biggest advantage came from the outlets he chose to promote his campaign. Several new media markets emerged during this election, which brought both opportunity and risk, Adatto said.

“Obama mastered the new medium,” said Adatto plainly, citing the rise of social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, as well as viral markets such as blog networks and the popular video host, YouTube.com.

“[Obama] came out of this a lot stronger than he went in,” Dukakis said about Obama’s breadth of political experience. He concluded, saying that the media has become, and will continue to be, a powerful force in election politics.

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Open Source Software Gains Recognition

Dec 4, 2008 2:22 PM. All work by

BOSTON—Experts at this year’s Gilbane Boston Conference on technology and social media conceded that open source software has a respected place amongst web programs.

Dozens of these Content Management Solution (CMS) experts pitched their company’s products to wandering investors at the fifth annual expo. While some of the booths offered $100,000 products, two companies, Hippo and Magnolia, became the conference’s first open source exhibitors.

“If I had my own company, I’d use [open source software],” said CoreMedia representative Arner Eichel. A powerhouse based in Hamburg, Germany, CoreMedia develops the most dominant CMS in Germany, Eichel said. Other clients include T-Mobile, Continental Airlines, and several other large global companies, yet Eichel admitted that their product isn’t for everyone.

CMS software have become the backbone of complex websites. A robust CMS offers an efficient way to organize files and information, as well as a simple interface for clients to add and change their web content.

“When I get proposals for projects,” Eichel said, “I always tell them to first look at open source.”

Open source software is free to use and edit, has a growing list of features and much of the troubleshooting is done by other people. It’s an appealing offer for those not ready to pay the average $500,000 and the annual maintenance fees that CoreMedia charges for their product, Eichel said.

Clients gravitate to a proprietary CMS, not in search of innovation, but for its dependability, Eichel said. The company’s latest product, a video-hosting service called CoreMedia Web TV, is similar to YouTube.com. Those familiar with the social network will find that it offers nothing new outside of increased control over content, but the service was built and launched in two days at the request of a client.

Where CoreMedia has avoided open source, other companies have integrated it. Jim Awiszus, an account executive from Quark, Inc., said the company’s latest product borrowed from open source. Quark is best known for it’s earliest software, QuarkXpress, which became a publishing standard in the late 1980s but fell out of vogue in the past five years, Awiszus said.

Quark has integrated an open source CMS from Alfresco, Inc. into their latest product, Quark Dynamic Publishing Solution (DPS), which Awiszus said will spell certain death for its rival application, Adobe InDesign. When told that CoreMedia’s CMS is priced at half a million, Awiszus was not surprised.

“Quark [DPS] starts at $250,000,” Awiszus said plainly. “We’re in it to do business.”
Awiszus’ interpretation of Quark’s mission could not be farther from that issued by Wordpress.org, a very popular open source CMS platform. The latter company’s website states that the software was “created by and for the community” in 2001 and has since taken off.

The application isn’t just for tech novices looking to make a quick webpage. Ford Motor Company, The New York Times and even Red Sox pitcher Curt Shilling have, with the help of hundreds of thousands of other users, altered Wordpress to perform like an expensive CMS.

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Airline Fares a Tax on Families

Nov 27, 2008 4:44 PM. All work by , ,

NUTLEY, N.J.—Airline ticket prices will separate a family of four this holiday season. Stephanie Komura chose to spend the holidays at home with her father Shigeru while her mother and younger brother visit their extended family in Hawaii.

Stephanie and Shigeru say they are saving between two- and four-thousand dollars, depending on when and where they chose to buy their tickets. The sacrifice means more than giving up a balmy beachside vacation — it means breaking tradition and missing what the Komuras call their largest family gathering of the year. This is the first year that Stephanie has opted to stay home to save the family money. Shigeru, who use to work two jobs until recently, has only flown to Hawaii with the family a handful of times, he says.

“My dad usually spends the holidays by himself,” says Stephanie, “I’m glad I’m staying here, even if I could afford [the flight to Hawaii].”

Stephanie is in her third year at Villanova University and says that her college expenses have really taxed her family and is one of the reasons why her father took up a second job last year.

Georgetown University sophomore Hilary Nakasone paid roughly $1,000 for her ticket back to Hawaii this winter break, she says. Her mother bought the ticket almost five months ago, along with an even more expensive ticket for her return home again this coming summer.

And these aren’t fancy tickets. These are economy class, non-exchangeable, non-refundable, try-to-pass-your-second-suitcase-as-a-backpack sort of tickets. However, both Nakasone and the Komura family say that reuniting with their families this Christmas is a worthwhile strain.

“If [my mother] had let me skip my first day of classes, I would have saved $400!” says Nakasone, who found that ticket prices fluctuated dramatically from day-to-day. She almost went ahead and bought the tickets herself, she says.

The rise in ticket prices, the lengthening list of airline fees, the steady increase of college tuition and the poor state of the economy are making it extremely tough on those travelling long distances. Both Nakasone and the Komuras agree that the trials of this holiday season instilled an appreciation for more affordable pricing; however, the biggest change in each was distrust.

“If oil is so cheap now, why are tickets still so expensive?” asked Nakasone, rhetorically. Her face flushed as she stood and recalled how a flight home had cost half as much in May 2008 even though the price of crude oil was two and a half times more expensive than it is now.

In contrast to what Nakasone and the Komuras found, a press release by the online travel booking site, Travelocity.com, said that airline fares are only getting cheaper.

“For those who priced out a December trip earlier this year and found travel was out of their reach this holiday season, it's time for another look.” The press statement went on to say that the company’s “most recent data” showed an average price drop of $53 in the last five weeks. It went on to say, “Despite the economic downturn, there will be no shortage of travelers,” and that passengers may end up paying less than they did a year ago for the same flight.

Nakasone opened an archived email after reading the Travelocity press release. It was a confirmation email for a round-trip airline ticket, the first leg of which went from Dulles Airport, D.C. to Honolulu last December. The ticket was $843.

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Convicted Felon Ordered to Live With Girlfriend

Nov 8, 2008 10:03 PM. All work by , ,

BOSTON—The federal court ordered Brockton resident Robert Nelson, 23, to live with his girlfriend following a hearing yesterday afternoon. Cierra Lobrano, 21, pledged a $50,000 joint-bail with Nelson’s mother to release Nelson on house arrest in Lobrano’s apartment in Roxbury.

Nelson was arrested in June for possession of a firearm, which comes with an average penalty of one year, said Nelson’s attorney, Catherine Byrne. He is now being tried in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm, which comes with a sentence of up to ten years.

Byrne said that although Nelson will likely face seven years in prison, she is confident that he will appear in court so his mother and girlfriend can reclaim their bail. Nelson is currently under electronic monitoring and has orders not to leave Lobrano’s apartment unless for an approved emergency. In addition to avoiding firearms and illegal activities, Nelson is also not allowed to “drink in excess,” said the court judge.

“I do believe that Mr. Nelson will adhere to house arrest,” said Byrne. “Most of my clients do very well on electronic monitoring and take the bail requirements seriously.”

No trial date has been set for Nelson, but he was sent to mediation with Pre-Trial services before his release. Byrne chose not to release contact information on Nelson, his family or his girlfriend, and they remain out of contact.

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BOSTON—Before an auditorium of business owners, Detective Steven Blair, both figuratively and literally, laid out some of the scams he thinks Massachusetts retailers will encounter this holiday season.

The two-hour-long seminar was held at the Boston Public Library in Copley yesterday morning and was closed to the public. A pair of police guards stood by each entrance as if protecting the trade secrets told by Blair and his associates.

“Everyone in this room is going to get hit with identity fraud,” warned Blair. A 20-year veteran in solving fraudulent crimes, Blair said he has seen every trick out there. Blair’s collection of souvenirs included fake IDs, forged documents and illegally made passports. He even had a few international drivers licenses — a concept which does not exist but still makes it past lazy patrol officers who give up trying to check its validity.

Blair also revealed card scanners that were small enough to fit, fully disguised, on a keychain. Stacks of fabricated credit cards and gift cards, also sat on Blair’s display table next to boxed software that could create and print blank checks.

“It’s not organized crime,” said Blair, “most of the time it’s just some bored kid with a laptop.” Though conspiracies about foreign counterfeits and large-scale heists were revealed as true later in the seminar, Blair said that his biggest adversaries are tech-savvy young adults.

“It may be the time for community values to increase,” said Jumaada Smith, a first-time attendee and small business owner of an unnamed store in Dudley Square. Smith said she also represented a handful of other small businesses in the Dudley Square area and was shocked by Blair’s testimony that even “mom and pop” stores were vulnerable to holiday fraud.

“It’s just always good to be aware [of fraud], that’s the whole key,” said Smith, “not necessarily suspicious, but aware.” Her first task, upon returning to her friends in Dudley, will be to share the day’s information and reinforce proper conduct among her employees, she said. Although Blair warned to be on the lookout for thousand-dollar purchases, Smith said she plans to take every cent seriously.

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BOSTON—While election results trickled out and America tuned in, window shoppers from Gloucester Street to Clarendon Street found something else to do than watch the election. At the Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop on Newbury Street, voters and non-voters settled in for free ice cream.

In the line that wrapped along the sidewalk and on the steps at nearby boutiques, there were few serious words said about politics. The most common utterance of Barack Obama or John McCain was frequently followed up by a John Stuart, Stephen Colbert or Saturday Night Live reference.

Four students from Berklee were of the few outside Ben & Jerry’s who engaged in conversation about the debate. The group, two from New Hampshire and two from New York, were split about their presidential candidates (Obama, McCain and Barr) and had volumes to say about each one. They didn't come to mingle with other voters, they came for the free ice cream and later went on in search of free coffee (at Starbucks).

“I just want [the election] to be over already,” said Berklee sophomore Stephanie Barker. “How long have we been doing this and still something goes wrong?”

Exhausted, aggravated and apathetic, the four friends could not help but reflect on the flaws of the election process and the hype the media has given it, they said. Free ice cream and coffee were more outlets for them to unwind rather than a way to celebrate and be praised for voting — the way Ben & Jerry’s and Starbucks intended.

"I guarantee you that many of these people did not vote," said Greg Arney, also a sophomore at Berklee. Like Arney, it seemed that the voting process was on the mind of few people at the ice cream shop. Popular line-waiting-conversation topics cycled between what flavor of ice cream was best, the length of the line and the weather.

Some people had no idea that the store was giving free ice cream to just anyone. In fact, one girl went in with the intention of buying ice cream and made a surprised comment when she noticed that people weren't paying.

“If I were a parent, I’d bring my kids to Free Ice Cream day too,” said another girl in line as a mother and child walked out of the ice cream shop.

The actual name of the promotion was, “Free Ice Cream for Voters,” from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. according to a poster hanging behind the dessert bar. A smaller 8.5”x11” display located on the counter said that even non-voters could get coffee with “no complainin’” from the Ben & Jerry’s staff. That add-on is strikingly reminiscent of the fate of Starbucks’ “It’s Bigger Than Coffee” promotion, which was forced to extend its offer of free coffee to non-voters to avoid violating laws that prohibit giving rewards in exchange for voting.

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$23,500 in Bribes Traced to Mass. Senator

Oct 30, 2008 9:36 PM. All work by , , , ,

“I am a firm believer in the notion that you can do good and do well at the same time,” Mass. State Senator Diane Wilkerson told undercover agents. Five weeks prior to that conversation, FBI agents witnessed, recorded and photographed Wilkerson stuffing a $1,000 bribe up her shirt, according to an affidavit released Monday.

The 32-page document accuses Wilkerson of accepting $23,500 in cash from civilian and undercover agents, as well as of delaying legislation to leverage a personal agenda. The affidavit follows Wilkerson from Dec. 2006 until the present and claims that she had illegally accepted money in return for legislative favors as early as May 2007. The details of the allegation are prefaced by a history of Wilkerson’s prior infractions, which include tax evasion, failure to adhere to campaign filing laws and for providing false testimony in a state court.

The case made against Wilkerson circles around political bullying to acquire a liquor license and real estate in Roxbury called “Parcel 8.” Earlier this month, Wilkerson filed legislation to lease the property to developer TrinMA Development and Management LLC.

Senate President Therese Murray told reporters today that Wilkerson should resign if she "values the integrity of the Senate."

Wilkerson was not at the Senate Caucus today, but instead, sent a letter to Murray regarding the allegations against her.

“I apologize to you and the members [of the senate] for being drawn into the madness that has become my life,” Wilkerson wrote. “But I can say that there is much more to the story than you have been told.”

Wilkerson has not announced whether she will continue her plan to run for reelection through a “sticker campaign” against Democratic nominee Sonia Chang-Diaz -- the underdog who unseated the senator in mid-September.

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PUBLISHED by the Fenway News

BOSTON—Over the next six months, residents and visitors to the Fenway area can expect to see, hear and interact with what project representatives called a "decent-sized" makeover of Fenway Park. The renovation will only be a slight intrusion upon the community, Red Sox spokespeople said.

The project plans were unveiled to a room of about 40 community members at an open meeting held yesterday evening in the Absolut Clubhouse attached to Fenway Park. The discussion was organized to prepare the ballpark's neighbors for disruptions that come with construction, said Fenway Affairs officer Larry Cancro.

"There are inconveniences to this process," Cancro said, "and we always find that it's best to explain...what that's gonna be so we can minimize the impacts."

The project officially began the day after the Red Sox's season closer. A majority of the renovation is scheduled to complete in late March, while other parts may run into early April. The project is being overseen by developer Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse (SBER), who did work on Fenway in 2002.

SBER spokesperson Tom Kugel said he was very confident that he will meet his deadline, saying that he has never missed one yet. The bulk of the project is due on March 27, just ten days before the Red Sox season opener at Fenway, which drew a chuckle out of many of the attendees who are too familiar with the inability of Boston contractors to meet deadline.

Local business owners can expect to see dumpsters and building materials on all sides of the ballpark. Trucks and heavy machinery will be coming in and out, mostly around mid-morning, with the possibility of others later in the afternoon. Bill Olsen of William A. Berry & Son, Inc. (WBS) said they do not plan to work past 4 p.m., however, contractors may decide to turn the ballpark lights on at 6 a.m. once daylight savings begins.

Contractors and ballpark officials repeatedly stated that the construction will not interfere with parking in Fenway. Workers from WBS said they may have 40-50 people working on any given day, which would normally mean more metered spots taken by contractors and pickup trucks. Kugel and Cancro promised that every measure has been taken to locate parking facilities for construction workers.

“We’ve written in every single one of their contracts that they have to provide offsite parking for their employees,” Kugel said. “I think we’ve got it fairly well covered.” He also mentioned that SBER will be circulating information to locals on how to report parking problems to the BTD. Fenway Park security guards will also be monitoring the metered spots in the morning to assure that sub-contractors are not occupying visitor spots, Kugel said.

Bob Richard of SBER mentioned earlier that while plans are in place, infractions could still arise.

“They have to tell us where they’re going to be parked,” Richard said. “So far, we haven’t gotten a whole lot of answers…but we told them ‘No parking around Fenway Park.’” At one point or another, Richard, Kugel and Cancro all reminded attendees that the plan is not perfect.

Janet Marie Smith, a planning executive for both SBER and the Red Sox, said that they’ve done everything they can to behave like good neighbors.

“We’ve worked hard to make sure there’s a minimum of one lane,” Smith said, “and where we can, we’ll put [the dumpsters and raw materials] on our sidewalks.”

Smith said she does not forsee any complaints due to noise and did not receive any during last year’s restoration, which she said was of similar size to this year’s.

“We’ve been blessed that our neighborhood is pretty tolerant. It is one of the virtues of having night clubs as neighbors,” Smith said.

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BOSTON—Massachusetts residents took their transportation complaints 'on the record' at last night's MBTA public hearing. Of the eight citizen speakers, five voiced concerns about poor handicap access.

Like Somerville resident, Tom Gilbert , who spoke about his hazards of waiting at the bus stop. According to Gilbert, the buses in his area are unable to pull up to the curb because illegally parked cars block the bus stop. The cars are seldom penalized, if at all, said Gilbert, and the state has done little to prevent it. These illegally parked cars force Gilbert to stand further into the road in order to flag down bus drivers.

Standing on the street rather than safely on the curb is a different experience for Gilbert because he is legally blind. He said that improving the condition of curbside stops is a small change that can improve the overall rider experience.

"When services get better and better for persons with disabilities," said Gilbert, "it should get better for everybody else too." He went on to list illegally parked cars, deteriorating bus stops and filthy trains as a few of the things that may be making mass transportation unappealing for potential customers.

"More people would get out of their cars and use the buses and trains more often if they knew that they weren't going to get on a train that smelt like urine," said Gilbert.

Another speaker, Roxbury resident Robert Palmer, claimed he represented over 100 other residents from his housing complex at 125 Amory Street. The building is managed by the Boston Housing Authority and rented to “low-and-moderate income elderly and disabled persons,” according to the BHA website.

The 48 bus that stops immediately outside of 125 Amory St. is one of the four routes that are will no longer run during the weekdays due to low ridership. In addition, route 48 is the only one that will also have its Saturday trip cut, thus running only on Sundays.

When Palmer spoke at the podium, he held up a stack of petitions with his left hand and forcefully said that the MBTA would be bombarded with complaint calls by every resident at 125 Amory St. if the 48 bus schedule is appended as planned. Palmer went on to explain that the bus is the main source of transportation for him and his neighbors who need it to go to work and grocery shopping.

Due to the nature of the hearing, neither Gilbert‘s nor Palmer’s issues were formally addressed by the MBTA Service Plan members. Instead, both got a chance to talk with the Service Plan Manager Melissa Dullea, and other MBTA employees after the meeting. In an aside interview, however, Dullea mentioned that the issues brought up in last night's meeting will probably not be added to the list of scheduled changes.
"We'll only withdraw proposals," said Dullea, following the meeting. She went on to explain that the process is only a filtering process that her team uses to retract extremely controversial proposals.

While Dullea said that it was still likely that route 48 would be cut, an example of a saved route – the 8:30 p.m. boat from Boston to Hingham, route F2/F2H – was announced at the beginning of the hearing.

“After the completion of [the Service Plan], we’ll be getting back to our interest groups,” said Dullea. “If we are moving forward with a proposal, we’ll get back to them.”

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The Monthly Jazz Band

Oct 18, 2008 3:45 PM. All work by , , ,

Published by the Fenway News

BOSTON—“Whatever comes next, comes next,” said Shah Hadjebi as he leaned in to be heard over the bar chatter. He had a glass in his hand and seemed eager to get back and celebrate with the other members of his band – Persian Blue – after their show at Bill’s Bar on Lansdowne street.

The jazz-funk-rock band has been working its way up the entertainment ladder and have two sold out shows under its belt, the latest of which came from a show at the Boston Hard Rock Café in August. Hadjebi is the mastermind behind the musical group and uses a relaxed approach to manage their performances and balance their personal lives.

“It’s a revolving door,” Hadjebi said. Band members come and go as they please, and play almost completely unrehearsed, mentioned Hadjebi. “These guys are pros,” he said, adding that it is usually he who needs the rehearsal time. Even that, said Hadjebi, happens only once before a show.

Persian Blue's performance was well received and attended by roughly 75 people, according to the doorman's count. Hadjebi said he plans to keep things small.

"Once a month," said Hadjebi, “[the fans] don’t want to hear you play every week.” He does not consider himself a professional musician, but more of a passionate hobbyist. “I need my work, I need my marriage and I need the music,” Hadjebi said.

Richard Dolabany and his friend, who simply went by Sam D., stood near the bar but kept their eyes focused on the stage. Dolabany had been to the Hard Rock show and has been a big fan of Hadjebi’s music. Dolabany and Sam D. said that Persian Blue had such a unique sound, although it was not the kind of music they normally listen to.

People familiar with Persian Blue say the band has real star potential. Marc Friedman, a writer with the music review magazine, “The Noise,” said that Persian Blue might have success in its future.

“As big of a future as any Boston band,” Friedman said. He has gone to two-thirds of Hadjebi’s shows, even before the creation of Persian Blue. Friedman, sporting a black Persian Blue t-shirt, was one of the first people inside Bill’s Bar when it opened for the show. He mentioned that the band has undergone a few “revisions” of its members, but that the group that played at Bill’s Bar was the best yet.

The current cast includes drummer Zeke Martin, bass guitarist Rozhan Razman, keyboardist Peter Hanson, singer Nina Evans and the multi-talented Tucker Antell, who played tenor sax, soprano sax and flute during the ten-song set.

Hadjebi said he does not plan more than one show at a time, despite praises from people like Friedman that the band could do much more.

“It’s just a matter of how big [Hadjebi] wants to get,” Friedman said.

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BOSTON—The Department of Conservation and Recreation found strong opposition from a small group of environmental activists, who claimed that the DCR is using the restoration of the B.U. Bridge as a guise to intentionally destroy the last sanctuary of the Charles River white geese.

Robert LaTrémouille spearheaded that attack on the DCR at the public hearing held last night at Boston University. The meeting was meant to unveil the DCR's plans for the bridge renovation but more than two hours of the meeting was spent on the question-and-answer period. LaTrémouille was standing by the microphone with a scripted speech even before the DCR spokesman began taking questions.

“In the past five years, the DCR, through its agents, has destroyed every piece of vegetation between the BU Bridge and the BU Boathouse,” LaTrémouille said, “except for the vegetation…which this project proposes to destroy.” He claimed that the DCR’s proposed staging area, just east of the bridge, is a deliberate attempt to exterminate the white geese.

Renovation on the B.U. Bridge sidewalks has already begun, and a staging area for raw materials and equipment is located beneath the Reid Overpass, on Memorial drive. The area has been fenced off and does not interfere with the habitat of the white geese, according to a May press release by the DCR. However, a three-way fork and an intersection divide the staging area from the B.U. Bridge, making it less convenient than the area directly east of the bridge.

“If use of the staging area under Memorial drive delays the project, that is the fault of the DCR,” LaTrémouille said, adding that if the current staging area is good for the sidewalk project, it should be good for the remainder of the restoration.

Lakes and Ponds Coordinator James Straub was at the public meeting and tried to abate LaTrémouille’s concerns but received shouts of “Nonsense! Nonsense!” when he responded that the white geese would endure the DCR’s temporary encroachment.

“I have not encountered this gentleman before,” Straub said in an email, “but [I] can say that there are many people that have similar environmental concerns across the state.”

Straub said that animal inhabitants always return to the site after construction unless the DCR continuously chases them away. Constructing fences or scaring the geese away with trained dogs are the methods used “99 percent of the time,” Straub said. Currently, the DCR does not plan to permanently remove the geese.

“My goal is to try and show them that DCR wants the best for the environment and that we would not harm wildlife that is such a resource to the aesthetics of the area,” Straub said, “[but] there are times when people’s safety has to take priority over other issues.”

"I'm sure we'd all like get home to catch the end of the [Red Sox] game," said Deputy Commissioner Jack Murray after about an hour of questions. "Or at least make use of the lull in traffic."

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Wrestling Fans Rush to Bookstore

Oct 10, 2008 9:38 AM. All work by , ,

BOSTON—"I've been a wrestling fan for about 35 [years]...my son said to me last night, 'Bret Hart's is doing a book signing at B.U.' I just had to go."

Not something you'd expect to hear from a working mother of three, but that's exactly what you'd get if you stopped to chat with Claudia Carney, one of the first people in line at the signing of Bret Hart's new book, "Hitman." The retired wrestling entertainer signed books for over 200 adoring fans at the B.U. Barnes & Noble last night.

Carney pulled out a fading photograph that she asked Hart to sign. The picture was of her and her three smiling kids with Hart, fifteen years ago. Carney’s son, who told her about the event, still shares her passion for wrestling.

"And this little youngster is now a 27-year-old who goes to everything," she said as she pointed to him in the picture. Carney’s son bought her Hart's book for Mother's Day, which she said she could not put down. "I literally stopped short, I was like, I have to slow this fun-journey down," Carney said. "I just have to because it's almost over!"

Carney arrived two and a half hours early for the event to secure her spot in line, but others were not as lucky. The marquee of wrestling enthusiasts wrapped around humor section, through the social sciences and between current affairs — a span of roughly two-thirds of the wall space on that floor of the store.

The chatter among the crowd kept focused on Hart and wrestling. Questions of whether Hart could still put someone in a headlock, what his best move really was or whether he’ll accept an apprentice were passed about in whispers. None of the fans challenged Hart to an arm-wrestling contest, but a handful had a picture taken while in Hart’s trademark “sleeper hold.”

When asked if he would put the wrestling superstar into a headlock when he made it to the front of the line, Northeastern graduate James Brown did not hesitate for a second.
“Nope, not gonna do it,” said Brown, confidently. He and friend Bobby Imperato drove from Saugus, Mass. to meet Hart, whom they said, still has some fight left in him. Brown said he has no questions for Hart, whom he met 10 years ago in Boston. Brown, 22, and Imperato, 23, said they have been fans of wrestling since they were seven years old and that wrestling was a major part of their childhoods. When asked if they had any questions for the graying superstar, the two said they just wanted to say “thanks.”

“Just for signing the book, being willing to take the picture,” said Imperato. “Just for being here!”

The pair said they were confident that last night was Hart’s last time coming to Boston, and that this was their opportunity to see him one last time. Perhaps others in the room felt the same urgency, because the number of attendees almost doubled what the bookstore management expected, said Trade Department Manager Lisa Eaverone.

“We expected at least 100, but we weren’t sure how many more than that would come,” said Eaverone. “We’ve had some wrestlers before and we expected a big crowd from that past experience.” Triple H and Chris Jericho have come to the bookstore within the past two years and have helped it stand out as a successful stop for wrestlers.

“Just like last time we other wrestlers, we had [people bring] belts,” mentioned Eaverone. “That wouldn’t be weird to a wrestling fan, but it’s so unusual to see that in a bookstore.”

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Local Grocers Asked to ID for Eggs

Oct 8, 2008 9:41 PM. All work by , , ,

BOSTON—Police are cracking down on vandalism in West Roxbury after multiple business owners reported that their property had been egged last week Monday, according to a statement released yesterday by the Boston Police Department.

Police and local business owners are convinced that the egging was a common Halloween prank executed by unruly adolencents. Regardless, store managers like Tom Moynihan were stunned to see it happen so early in the month.

"Basically just around the Halloween there, that Friday" is when the eggings start, said Moynihan. "I usually just pull [the eggs] back and not sell 'em to the kids."

Moynihan is one of the managers at the Roche Bros. supermarket in Roxbury, located about one-fifth of a mile away from the District E-5 Police Station in West Roxbury. Moynihan said that he traditionally cards kids just few days before Halloween, but he has not yet been asked to do so by BPD officers. The statement released yesterday said that grocers in the area had been notified of last Monday's act of vandalism and urged not to sell eggs to minors, but today was the first that Moynihan had heard of either.

Store manager Ahed Rajeh of White Hen Pantry was asked to stop selling eggs to minors by police officers who visited the shop. The store is located immediately next to the the police station in Roxbury.

Although he said that he will comply with the BPD's requests, Rajeh said he fears more restrictions may come soon. Rajeh mentioned that police officers appeared eager to hold him accountable for vandalism if he did not agree to the requests of the officers.
"The accusation they throw at us is not true" said Ahed Rajeh about a comment a police officer made to him that grocers were knowingly selling eggs to kids who could shell out the cash.

The BPD has pledged to arrest and charge anyone caught throwing eggs. Violators who throw eggs at other people will be charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon -- a crime with a maximum penalty of two and a half years in jail or up to $1,000 in fines.

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Classes Taped for Jewish Holiday

9:10 AM. All work by , ,

BOSTON—Video recordings of classes may be available to B.U. students who miss class for religious holidays if a new pilot program from the Provost's office is implemented.
As part of the new program, biology professor Ulla Hansen was asked to record one of her classes last Monday in observance of Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish holiday celebrating the New Year. The recording is not yet available to her students, but Hansen said that it will be accessible online.

But for COM sophomore Rachel Udwin, Prof. Hansen's recordings are of no help. Udwin did not attend her classes on Tuesday and Wednesday in observance of Rosh Hashanah. She spent both days in prayer at Morse Auditorium, an experience that took up roughly 11 hours of her time, according to her estimate.

"I think [recordings] would have definitely helped," said Udwin, "because all I have now are someone else’s' notes."

Udwin explained that although she has been able to catch up, borrowed notes were still inferior to seeing and hearing her professors give the lecture. And although Udwin gave her professors advanced notice of her absence, it was her responsibility to acquire notes from her classmates.

Ahmed Abdelmeguid, a junior in CAS, had a different opinion from Udwin. According to Abdelmeguid, recorded classes are asking too much of professors and may encourage students to simply skip class without fear of falling behind.

"It would require a lot from a professor, who’s probably doing research, to provide every lecture for classes that a student has missed," said Abdelmeguid. "I have never heard of teachers doing this before, nor do I think that it should be required of them."

The IR major missed three classes on Wednesday to participate in the Islamic holiday, Eid ul-Fitr, a day of celebration that marks the end of the month-long fast, Ramadan. Like Udwin, Abdelmeguid also got notes from a classmate but added that even if the notes weren't enough, he could easily seek first hand instruction by going to his professors' office hours.

Students who attend college in Massachusetts are protected by state law when they miss classes to observe religious holidays. The law (Chapter 151C of the General Laws of the Commonwealth) states that students who miss class because of religious duties "shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement." The provision goes on to state that "no adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to students" if they do miss class.

But not all professors adhere to that policy, said Kip Lombardo, the director of student activities at the B.U. Hillel House.

"We have had to work with Marsh Chapel to remind faculty and staff about that," said Lombardo, who also teaches writing seminars at B.U. The responsibility of balancing academic and religious lifestyles also falls upon the student, said Lombardo. He advocates that students plan ahead to avoid conflicts. On Yom Kippur, for instance, participants are not supposed to eat, drink or do work for 26 hours.

"If you have a test of Friday, you can't tell your professor you can't take it because Yom Kippur was on Thursday," said Lombardo. "You'd better have studied the weekend before."

According to Lombardo, there are roughly 3,500 Jewish undergraduates at B.U., and about 80 percent of them observe Jewish holidays. Yom Kippur is only one of 115 religious, ethnic and civic holidays that was recently published by Purdue University for the 2008-09 academic year. Of the 115 holidays, 18 occur in October.

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Successes Abound at Nonprofit Bike Recycler

Oct 1, 2008 9:35 AM. All work by , ,

BOSTON—Dozens of volunteers floated in and out of the non-profit bicycle refurbishing warehouse of Bikes Not Bombs for the weekly volunteer night held on Wednesdays. The number of participants has more than tripled in the past year, said senior volunteer Kit Transue.

"It's all word of mouth," Transue said, proudly. Although there was no formal list, newcomers accounted for about a quarter of last night's group, Transue estimated. He added that another quarter of the group were people who had only been there one or two times before. Transue manages BNB’s volunteer nights with fellow cyclist Christopher Adams. The two attributed the explosion in popularity to the growing number of bike owners popping up all over the Boston area and a trend toward humanitarianism.

Groups from Fidelity, City Year (an Americorp branch), MIT, and Boston University, to name a few, have helped out at BNB, squeezing 30-40 people into a workshop meant to hold far less, said Adams. The assistance is still dearly appreciated by the older volunteers who sort, deconstruct and pack used bicycles that they collect from all around Boston. The bikes that are in usable condition are put into shipping crates and sent to impoverished communities by the hundreds. Since it’s creation in 1994, BNB has shipped over 32,000 bikes to nine different countries. All of this has been accomplished by volunteers like the ones that show up on Wednesday nights.

The nonprofit has had successes in other areas as well. This year was the 21st BNB Bike-a-Thon, which saw a 250 percent increase in money raised, said Adams. The event had roughly 400 registered riders, each held to a minimum pledge of $150 to participate, according to the BNB website.

"And that's just one year's growth," commented Adams. He mentioned that the organization has matured over the years from a “scrappy punk thing” that was funded by small alternative rock concerts to a growing enterprise with two locations – the workshop and a self-sustaining used bike store further down the street.

Jasmine Laietmark is an office assistant who has been with BNB for four years. She attributed the nonprofit’s success to the workshop space that they acquired in late-December of 2006.

"We're now taking in more bikes than ever each year, and this year, that'd be about 6,000 bikes," said Laietmark. She added that the shop is also “booming” and has its own blog website to display specialty bikes the shop finds.
Laietmark said that it would not be possible without the cooperation from individuals and institutions who help to donate, locate or process bikes that might otherwise end up in landfills.
"It's pretty amazing how many bikes just get abandoned,” said Laietmark. “Boston's just full of people... who live here only for a few years and then move on and leave their bikes behind." Coincidentally, it is also a diverse group of “seasonal” members who process and care for these bikes, said Laietmark.

"People do come from pretty far,” Laietmark said. “Most of them bike here, of course."

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Kenmore Riders Show No Fear

Sep 25, 2008 3:16 PM. All work by , , ,

BOSTON—In the wake of last night’s MBTA public hearing and almost four weeks of community meetings, greenline riders remain uninformed or unconcerned.

At the inbound subway stop from Kenmore Square, Quincy resident Tom Devlin bolted down a flight of steps and across the subway platform only to have the doors to a Government Center train closed on him. Of the four people interviewed at the subway stop, only Devlin was aware of the service plan.

“I don’t have a lot of gripes with the MBTA,” said Devlin.

Devlin takes the green and red lines to get to work at Landmark Center. He said he prefers to take the train rather than drive because the cost of parking in Boston is too expensive. Metered parking near Landmark Center is $1.74 per hour, and garage parking is $15 per day or $25 if there is a Red Sox game.

According to Devlin, that’s a price he’s not willing to pay, even though the subway is a longer commute than driving. Devlin said that his usual red line-orange line trip usually takes him twice the time it takes to drive.

“This is me,” said Devlin as he rushed to get into an approaching train. He returned with a funny smirk on his face less than a minute later, unable to get on the packed train.

“It is what it is,” he said without complaint. Devlin got on the next train, which arrived within a minute of the over-crowded train. Within a span of six minutes, seven more inbound trains passed through Kenmore station, two were so crowded that most customers on the platform were unable to get on, like 41-year-old Jim Luongo, who arrived just before the seventh train left.

Unlike Devlin, Luongo was not aware of this year’s service plan or that it was a biennial process. The Wilmington resident said that the changes would not affect him.

“I’m just trying to get to work on time,” said Luongo, “but [the train] is never there when you need it.”

Luongo, like Devlin, said he did not have any huge disputes with the train and said that his complaint was probably a common one. He too identified high parking costs as the main reason why he does not drive to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he works. Instead, Luongo relies on the green line and commuter rail and the occasional orange line.

“It’s gotten a lot better,” said Luongo, “as long as you get to work on time.”

The MBTA Service Plan team meets tonight at Northeastern for their series of public workshops. Monday is the last chance for public input, after which the plans will be finalized and handed over to the 175 delegates of the MBTA Advisory Board for approval in the fall.

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Bishop Advocates Illegal Options

Sep 16, 2008 11:06 PM. All work by , , ,

NEWTON—Before an audience of roughly 200, Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini proclaimed that ethics take precedent over human legislation, namely, that illegal immigration is currently the only hope to saving Guatemalan lives.

Ramazzini delivered his speech, in Spanish, to a crowded congregation of Spanish and English speakers at Boston College earlier this evening. Ramazzini's words were translated into English by event coordinator Brinton Lykes of B.C.'s Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

"If a person is in extreme need...an extreme need that could lead to death," said Ramazzini, "that person is allowed to steal."


The Guatemalan bishop prefaced that statement, saying that it is a principle that is approved by other bishops on a national level. He closed the message saying that the fact that Guatemalans are in such a desperate condition is something that should be addressed first.

There were those in the audience who dearly agreed with Ramazzini's principle, like Prof. Lykes.

"Ramazzini is an extraordinary human being, and he did a wonderful presentation," said Lykes who recently returned from Guatemala. She lead a team of researches into Guatemala over the summer for a first hand look at the country's immigration problems.

"We were a little bit surprised by what kind of debt whole families accumulate [crossing the border]," commented Lykes.

According to Lykes, border guides called "coyotes" charge upwards of $7,000 to attempt to illegally pass someone through to the U.S. For those who are found and deported, the failure is a huge financial setback that is hard to recover from, said Lykes.

Monica Valdez, a graduate student who accompanied Lykes on the mission to Guatemala, said that the situation is a "catch 22." In small communities, parents who leave Guatemala to find work and support their families indirectly bring about a broken household. Kids whose mothers and fathers are not around to instill good values do not necessarily turn out better than those whose parents are earning less money, voiced Valdez.

"It was just one of those experiences that really sort of changes your perception," Valdez began, "about what poverty is; what people really go through; what children are feeling."

Senior Annie Matsko, an international studies major at B.C., said that illegal border crossing is the only option some families have, and she intends to help them. Matsko plans to live along the U.S.-Mexican border before going to law school in order to eliminate the "ivory tower" perspective.

"How could you criminalize the person who is simply trying to make a life for themselves? Simply trying to help their families?" asked Matsko.

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Using Grassroots Tactics to Fight a Rare Disease

Sep 14, 2008 10:12 AM. All work by , ,

BOSTON—In March, Webster resident Jennifer Tonelli learned she had a "fifty-fifty" chance of developing Huntington’s disease — a genetic, crippling illness that attacks the brain and nervous system. But instead of waiting in wonder, Tonelli has pooled her resources and raised over $17,000 in the past five months for HD research.

"I wanted to do something immediately positive to get my mind off the challenges," said Tonelli, who was one of over 100 participants in the three mile Walk-a-Thon for Huntington’s Disease held yesterday morning at the Artesani Park in Brighton.

"[The event] has given me hope that I can do something," said Tonelli, "that I am not completely helpless against this disease."

According to an event volunteer, the 35-year-old Tonelli has blown past other participants with her determination. Tonelli has organized silent auctions, sponsorships and her own Heart for Hope benefit, a wine tasting event held on Thursday evening at the DZian Gallery in Worchester.

Tonelli said that the disease was a "brick wall" that changed her perspective on life. Since then, she has been working fervently with Virginia Goolkaian, the regional manager of the Huntington’s disease Society of America in New England. It was Goolkasian who helped Tonelli get involved in the fight against HD.

Goolkaian has organized fund-raising and outreach events throughout the region in the past few years. From hoop-a-thons to golf tournaments, Goolkasian is reaching out to all her resources to get the word out and bring money in. Although she and one other woman are the only HDSA staff, Goolkasian is backed by a growing army of volunteers. These emissaries of HD bring the message to their friends, workplaces and neighborhoods — spreading the word to heighten awareness and support.
"There's [a supporter] who's married to someone in Pearl Jam," said Goolkasian, proudly, "people go to co-workers, families — people they know."

Just recently, Goolkasian has gained support from documentary filmmaker Ted Bogosian, whose newest movie, titled "50/50", directly addresses the hardships of Huntington’s disease. The project was recently endorsed by Danny DeVito, who Goolkasian says she is "working on" recruiting.

But Goolkasian and Tonelli aren't the only ones bringing in money. Lindsey Tanner, one of the seven walk-a-thon committee volunteers, said she raised roughly $1,100 within the past three months. Tanner said that even her mother-in-law has gotten involved by sparking a partnership with Harley Davidson. It is now rumored that the motorcycle magnate will be present at a fundraiser "in the works" near Worcester.

"It's just by word of mouth," began Tanner, "but I think we're doing really well."

Neurologist and HDSA supporter Dr. Jang-Ho Cha has been teaming up with Goolkasian to get closer to a cure. Cha is a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and specializes in neurological diseases like Huntington’s.

Cha said that he was amazed at how much influence fundraisers like the walk-a-thon have done for HD research. According to Cha, about half of his lab's research budget comes from small-town contributions made by people like Goolkasian, Tonelli and Tanner. Because donation money does not have the same spending restrictions that federal grant money requires, Cha said his lab has the freedom to investigate innovative solutions.

"We wouldn't be able to do [experiments] without this type of money," said Cha, "the same old stuff isn't going to get us there."

But even the money that Goolkasian, Tonelli and Tanner have raised is not enough to cure the disease. Cha emphasized that time, money and awareness about the disease are the real secrets to stopping HD. Although Cha said that a solution may not come in the next several years, he is confident that research is moving in the right direction.

"We're clearly not where we need to be," admitted Cha, "[but] it really is true that there's a lot of progress."





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QUINCY, Mass.—Three MBTA boat commuters fought for tradition at this evening's annual service planning meeting held in City Hall.

The graying male trio said they represented a group of over 30 riders who will be affected by the route changes proposed by the service planning team. Though they came separately, all three attendees attacked the proposed elimination of the 8:30 p.m. boat route from the Hingham Shipyard in Hingham to Rowes Wharf in Boston.

"People who take the boat... do it because it's a way of life," was Charles Hayes' statement to the MBTA. Hayes and party had the undivided attention of the MBTA service planning team. In a room with 40 seats and space for 40 more, the small group were the only attendants who were not affiliated with the MBTA, the media or a government agency.

The new Greenbush commuter rail service to South Station, which opened in October of 2007, absorbed many commuter boat patrons, says Hayes. The claim is reminiscent to that of privately owned bus provider JBL, who argued that ridership significantly fell after Greenbush opened in Weymouth, causing them to discontinue service there.

Service plan manager Melissa Dullea was part of the team that extended commuter rail service into Weymouth.

"Ridership on boats, generally, is lower with Greenbush being open," admitted Dullea. However, Dullea said that the lack of customers was what identified the 8:30 p.m. boat as a "low-hanging fruit" subject to cuts.

According to Dullea, the routes targeted in the service plan are those that have a net cost per passenger that is greater than three times the subsidy for that type of transportation. The 8:30 p.m. commuter boat, for instance, costs the MBTA over $27 per passenger. Though the system-wide subsidy for commuter boats was not mentioned at the meeting, the average was 90 cents in 2004. The Service Plan team have yet to respond to questions regarding the subsidies in place.

Dullea and Hayes may cross paths once more at the September 15 meeting in Weymouth, which Hayes says he will likely attend.

"Clearly, [Hayes] knew what was going on," said Dullea, following the meeting.

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Groceries Draw B.U. Women

6:04 PM. All work by , ,

BOSTON—Local produce got "picked up" and taken home by campus women for a second week in a row at today's B.U. Farmer's Market. The event, hosted by B.U. Dining Services, takes place in front of the GSU every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. until mid-October.

Although the setup is more like a roadside stand and less like the bustling bazaar of Government Center, the little shop does a good job representing a handful of local farms from Maine to New Jersey. The casual yet classy white tents and covered tables were an attractive detour for customers, like Rebecca Shanker (SAR '09), who curiously wandered in.

"I'm not a big organic person," said Shanker, "but I always like locally grown food." The cheerful senior was on her way to a PDP class and simply stopped by to investigate. She was in and out in roughly 10-15 minutes and walked off with some tomatoes, green beans and an eggplant big enough to prop a fire door.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this, but we'll see!" added Shanker as she boldly approached the register, eggplant in hand.

Strangely, eggplant is one of the more popular items B.U. is selling. Other shopper favorites include ears of corn from Rehobeth, MA ($0.50 ea.), bundled green beans from Hope, RI ($1.50 ea.) and an assortment of peaches, nectarines and apples from South Dartmouth, MA ($0.50 ea.). And perhaps for the fun of contradiction, the "farmer's market" even sells a variety of breads, cookies, cakes and honey to top it off with.

The entire event is something that CAS senior Colleen Ryan sees as a resource for students that B.U. has failed to publicize.

"I don't know if B.U. advertised before," said Ryan, "because this is just something I randomly saw."

For off-campus residents like Ryan, buying groceries is a routine task. And with a college student's budget, buying freshly grown produce from small farms can be an expensive but necessary habit, at least for this Pennslyvannia native.

"It's not a question of if I would want to pay more, because I certainly would if it meant supporting a local cause," explained Ryan.

Despite the poor media attention, the little produce stand is attracting a lot of attention. The little shop, the size of a Warren corner-double, had 9-12 people lined up for the register and enough browsing around to qualify for a housing violation.

And while passerbys were hounded near the area: "free stuff [from SAO] without selling your soul!" a promotion for yo-yos and popsicles; two girls shouting "Wanna get a job supporting Obama?" and then the usual pitch from Bank of America and Citizen's Bank closer to the GSU; right in the crossfire was the B.U. Farmer's Market -- passively offering no shouting; no commitment; no yo-yos.

Unfortunately, B.U. Dining Services has yet to respond to questions regarding the event. Even event coordinator Amy Goodrich, outside in her pink sun-dress and winning grin, could not be swayed to comment on the unanimous success of the grass roots farmer's market.

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O'Reilly Debates Kerry for Senator

Sep 5, 2008 5:59 PM. All work by , , ,

BOSTON—John Kerry faced his first Democratic challenger for state senator this morning in a closed debate at WBZ headquarters.

Kerry's opposition is first-time candidate Edward O'Reilly, a defense attorney who joined the race to combat Kerry's position on the Iraq war. O'Reilly became Kerry's first in-house opponent in his 24 years as a Massachusetts senator — a challenge that, according to O'Reilly, Kerry has yet to take seriously.

"Democracy is not a spectator sport, it's a participatory sport... John Kerry is avoiding that," said O'Reilly after the debate. "[Kerry] would not have any debates... I sent two letters to him and he wouldn't respond to them — not at all."

That statement was refuted by Kerry's campaign manager, Roger Lau, who organized a roadside rally outside of the WBZ headquarters that morning. "We're debating today," responded Lau, "and it's only because we reached out to them, and we called and called and called, and we got it together." Lau said that the Kerry campaign was not avoiding O'Reilly and added that rumors of Kerry refusing to hold a primary debate were untrue.
In contrast to Lau's claims, some of Kerry's supporters outside the WBZ headquarters did not view O'Reilly as a legitimate threat to Kerry's reelection.

"Ed O'Reilly is a fucking joke," said Rhick Bose, a Boston College student and intern with the Kerry campaign. "He has like, 15 percent, 17 percent [of the vote]," continued Bose, "he's not a viable candidate."

Bose and two of his B.C. colleagues were among the estimated 165 people who showed up to support Kerry, some of whom skipped work or class to attend the event. Grossly outnumbered were O'Reilly's six supporters who showed up despite O'Reilly's requests otherwise. The 30 minute debate was closed to all members of the public, and only available live to reporters on closed circuit television. The debate will be broadcast at 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning on WBZ-TV.

"My supporters are working; it's a weekday," remarked O'Reilly. "It's basically a photo opportunity for Senator Kerry... and maybe to feed his ego, I'm not sure."

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Projects

Jan 1, 2008 5:41 PM. All work by

Fenway News
I'm currently the Online Editor at the Fenway News, and I'm working on a ton of new things to build them a long-term, cost-efficient website that is flexible, user-friendly and easy to update. Check out the latest design.

829 Studios LLC
I've just recently been dubbed Lead Developer at the web development firm, 829 Studios LLC. I manage a team of three programmers whom I've personally selected, interviewed and hired. It is my responsibility to generate a quote for the account representatives to bring to clients, chart a development schedule and see it through. I also do frontend and backend work on many of the websites we build or maintain, where necessary. I got this position after over a year of working with 829 Studios LLC.

CFA Information Technology
This small office of tech-savvy student employees is where I've been working for the past three years. I was swapping out hard drives and troubleshooting Windows when I started there, but lately all I do is web programming and project management. My most recent assignment is to create an equipment reservation site with extreme accountability features. Concurrently, I am leading a team of developers in a redesign of the ALEA III website. Follow along.
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Web

5:40 PM. All work by

ChoiceCamps.com Redesign

Redesign of the "Travelocity for summer camps" -style website, Choice Camps. The redesign was a heavy overhaul and involved roughly 300 hours of work in a two-month window. The new site features a dual Content Managment System of WordPress and a custom-built CMS. The site is extremely SEO friendly and is deeply interwoven amongst the several thousand pages that were created for this launch. Htaccess and the mod_rewrite protocol were used extensively to make every URL both "pretty" and search-engine friendly.
Link: www.choicecamps.com


Licensing International Merchants Association, Redesign 2009

The client, Licensing International Merchants Association (LIMA), is a huge corporation that deals with companies like Disney and Mattel. Their website features a robust custom-built CMS, user sign-ins, eCommerce in both dollars and British pounds, and back-end user management, among other things.
Link: www.licensing.org


Fenway News Online Website Design

The third redesign that I've done for the local community newspaper, Fenway News. The site has it's own branding as Fenway News Online and is built at no cost to the non-profit, volunteer-based newspaper. The whole site is run on Google's Blogger platform, a free service, since the paper had no budget for a website. Since the site's launch in January 2009, several tens of thousands of visitors have come through the site. In November of that same year, the site had over 500 articles online.
Link: www.fenwaynews.org




Corporate website for the web development firm, 829LLC. The design was provided to me as a handful of images that I mimicked, polished and programmed into a fully operating website built in PHP, HTML and heavy CSS. Because of good coding practices and much foresight, the website is flexible and easy to update.
Link: www.829llc.com




A website for a summer camp called Camp Cody. I do all sorts of last-minute updates for this site like swapping photos or building interfaces. Since I don't have access to the website's database, I've been using creative solutions to store and return data, making things look more complicated than they really are.
Link: www.cody.org




The "Travelocity of summer camps," is what the developers, Peter Ross and Nick Riotto, have called it. This is an extremely complex and powerful site that stems from a great idea. I had no part in the design or initial development, but I do various updates and improve functionality. The site designers are no longer under contract, so any and all work goes through me.
Link: www.choicecamps.com




The previous portfolio website, active until January 2009. I had to learn to use Server Side Includes (SSI) since the server did not allow PHP scripting. I designed every aspect of this site, including all graphics.
Link: none




One in an extended family of websites I help to create for the IT department at Boston University's College of Fine Arts. It's built with a heavy PHP backend and interacts with several different servers. Until this redesign that I did in 2007, the services were divided across more than nine different sites. That recent update tied all the services together to share databases, authentication and essential code.
Link: cfaito.bu.edu




The Boston University College of Fine Arts website that I help maintain. The site is coded using a Server Side Include (SSI) language to get around the insecurities of PHP. I help to manage content, styles and to develop dynamic pages within the constrains of the server's security settings.
Link: www.bu.edu/cfa




The highly customized website from a school magazine I tried to start while in college. I was one of two designers who used PHP, CSS and the WordPress XML to create the unique look and feel. It featured slideshows, a flash gallery and streaming videos.
Link: none




One of my early portfolio websites, designed in late-2006. I designed this one using Adobe Flash. The main graphic is a collage piece designed with images I found on the internet.
Link: none

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Design

5:39 PM. All work by

Fenway News Graphic of Sam Yoon

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Web graphic used on the homepage of Fenway News during the Mass. City Council Elections. The banners were a huge hit with visitors.

Fenway News Graphic of Thomas Menino

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Fenway News Graphic of Kevin McCrea

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Fenway News Graphic of Michael Flaherty

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Supporting informational graphic for an article about the regulations on and impacts of Hawaii gillnet (or gill net) fishing. The marine outlines (eight total) were done by Honolulu Advertiser graphic artist, Jon Orque.



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Full page graphic presentation of the annual High School Hall of Honor winners. Photos were either submitted to the Honolulu Advertiser or taken by Advertiser staff.




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Flier designed for client, Camp Cody, while interning as a graphic designer at 829 LLC, a small Brookline-based firm.




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Cover page for a mock magazine designed for class.




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A two-page spread on Scientology. The far right has a three-part timeline that shows the relationship between different categories of events.




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A two-page spread on The People's Temple. A three-part timeline (like the one on the previous spread) borders the top of the page.





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The cover of a mock magazine designed for a layout/design class. The magazine, a coming-together of the elemental artist and the hip technological designer, is called "ASDF" after the first four keys in homerow. "Clean," "rough," "simple," and "urban" make up the magazine's personality.




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The magazine's table of contents page with the 20 article titles required for the assignment.




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The shock-and-awe two-page spread on Adobe After Effects. All the elements of the layout are positioned to give the entire page a sense of movement.





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The front and back cover of a simple newsletter designed against rigid guidelines. The major creative opportunities were the typographic elements, particularly on the mailing panel (back cover). The calendar is surprisingly functional and easy to read, and the layout of the mailing information follows the US Postal Services' standards and should process properly if actually used.




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The inside spread of the four-page newsletter. Everything except the positions of items and running information were required. The heading text uses "Impact" font with a negative leading and a slightly negative tracking.

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5:38 PM. All work by

Take a PDF copy of my resume before navigating away. Included is a list of skills and experiences that helped me to write, design and program all the work on this website. Printed copies are available to serious employers upon request.

Download Resume

I hope you've enjoyed viewing my work. Feel free to email me at jonmkim88@gmail.com if you read or saw something you liked.

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About

11:46 AM. All work by

Things about Jonathan Kim

I was born in May of 1988 and spent most of my childhood on Oahu, Hawaii where my family lives. Currently, I'm a journalism undergraduate at Boston University, but I dabble in a few other fields. I am scheduled to graduate in May of 2010.

I love surfing, snowboarding and finding places that serve superb green tea. I'm also quite passionate about cooking (sometimes) and get excited when I have the time to make an elaborate breakfast.

If I could say one thing about myself, it's that I am extremely driven. I put myself through my last two years of college by taking three part-time jobs and projects on the side. I've fully applied myself to everything I've done and constantly seek ways to improve myself and whatever team I am working with.



Now for some fun stuff...

Here are a few responses to common questions that people ask me:
Do you surf? Yes, I do surf.
Do you know Obama? No, I have never met Barack Obama.
Why did you go to Boston for school? I came to the east coast to challenge myself at BU's highly ranked journalism program.
Did you live in Hawaii all your life? No, I actually grew up in Guam until I was eight-years-old.
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