Friday, December 30, 2011

Don't Like The Referee's Calls? You Go Do It!!

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—Exactly what happened at a youth basketball tournament at UMass Lowell is why refereeing SUCKS!!
For those who haven’t heard, UMass Lowell Police Officer Peter Morelli confirmed an angry spectator attacked a basketball referee after being ejected from a game between Lowell and Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday afternoon during a tournament that featured 193 teams from across the region.
Players’ ages ranged from 5th grade to 8th grade—roughly boys and girls ages 11 to 15.
Players on the court for the game were 7th graders.
“We don’t know if it was a parent or relative of a parent, but it was an adult,” Morelli said.
He said the about 6-feet, 3 to 4-inch, 220 pound black man threw water at the referee as he was being escorted out of the gym after being ejected.
"He didn't make an obscene gesture," Morelli said. "He was waving his arms and being verbally abusive--overly verbally abusive," he said.
Tossed from the gym near the end of the game, the man waited for the ref to come through a corridor and then punched him in the chest, a blow that was hard enough to knock down the referee, a man he described as just about as tall as the assailant.
"He looked like a basketball type--almost as big as the alleged suspect," Morelli said.
Morelli said the man took off afterward and initially people in the auditorium balked at telling police who the man was. Morelli said very few tried to help the ref after the attack.
"A few took the lead, but no one did much to help," Morelli said.
Since the game, Morelli said calls have come in and police may question a suspect and possibly press charges.
Morelli said he was concerned about the punch because a hard blow to the chest could have triggered a heart attack.
“That was my concern,” Morelli said. “I told him if he had complications later he should go to the hospital,” Morelli said, noting the referee was probably in his mid-40s.
Luckily, an actual physical attack on a referee is pretty rare and in this case injuries are said to be minor and the referee did not go to the hospital—at least right away.
There have been times when refs have taken their lives into their own hands, most memorably when a referee was gunned down after a World Cup soccer match in 1989, a player in 1994, and in Kenya in 2002.
But that’s pro sports, right? Youth sports aren’t hostile and dangerous. Most of the time they’re not, and Tuesday, the suspect was lucky. His attack thus far has not caused injury, but what if it had?
Just ask Thomas Junta, the hockey dad who killed another parent after losing control over play between their sons. He spent 8 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
As a rookie soccer referee, I still remember the immortal words of advice from long-time soccer referee Dennis LaVersa--namesake of the Dennis LaVersa Massachusetts Tournament of Champions Referee of the Year award--telling would-be refs in my first certification class back in the mid-1980s that one of the best things you can do as a referee is park your car so you can drive away as fast as possible.
“In case you have to make a fast get-away,” LaVersa said then and his words of wisdom still hold true nearly 30 years later.
Yeah, being involved in youth sports most of the time is fun and rewarding, but when it isn’t, it’s the worst of nightmares.
"You want to volunteer, you want to, but things like this make it very difficult," Officer Morelli said.
I’ve got an idea.
Whoever the culprit is should be forced--either by the courts or his own shame--to community service, as a referee.
Give him 4 years and make him be a basketball ref AND a referee in a sport he knows nothing about, since most spectators haven’t got a clue what the rules of the game—any game--are.
Four years. That’s about right--enough time to take the courses—and he should pay for them—and then hit the court or field in the black and white stripes and see what it’s like.
Maybe after that he’ll punch himself in the face.
It ain’t easy being the ref.
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Inauguration, Swearing-In Ceremonies Monday

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Although City Hall will be closed in observance of the New Year's holiday, Brockton's first female mayor, Linda Balzotti will be sworn in for her second term.
Also, returning and new members of the City Council and School Committee will be sworn in.
The ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. at City Hall. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brockton Police Log Updated...


to Friday, December 16, 2011. To view click Brockton Police patch at right or click here...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New League, New Chance For Rox?

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—The Rox are not done for the 2012 season, yet.
According to Brockton’s Finance Director John Condon, plans are in the works to continue the Rox at Campanelli Stadium for the 2012 season and beyond.
“I’m pretty confident there will be baseball at Campanelli Stadium next season,” Condon said.
He said discussions are ongoing, but the ball is in the hands of the Brockton 21st Century Corp., a public-private entity that oversees the Rox, Campanelli Stadium and the Shaw’s Center.
Condon said because of a complicated lease arrangement with the Rox, the City of Brockton and Shaw’s Center it is up to the Brockton 21st Century to give the go-ahead to a new league that would play at Campanelli Stadium.
“It’s hanging on a lease agreement,” Condon said. “I’m involved but I don’t have the power to say ‘yea’ or ‘nay,” Condon said.
Maura Russell, with Brockton 21st Century Corp., pointed all questions about the matter to Condon, who would only say discussions are close to completion.
Sources close to the Rox have said plans are in the works for a lease agreement for the Rox to leave the Can-Am League and move to the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, a move that requires the Brockton 21st Century change its requirement that professional baseball be played at Campanelli Stadium.
The Futures Collegiate League is a one-year-old league that showcases elite college ball players from the New England area, many of whom are expected to make the prestigious Cape Cod League and possibly earn their way into a Major League Baseball posting.
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This Week In Brockton Public Schools...

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--

VACATION!!!

Christmas Tree Pickup Begins Today

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Christmas tree pickup will begin Tuesday, Dec. 27 and run through Saturday, Jan. 7th.
Please remove ornaments, lights, tinsel and stands before putting the trees out for pickup.
Also, trees placed out in plastic "tree bags" will not be picked up.
Yard waste will also be picked up during this period.
Artificial trees can be placed out as a "bulky item" for trash collection any week.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Acting Chief Likely When Conlon Retires

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti said it is very likely that she will name an interim chief after current chief William Conlon retires—a step she will take once Conlon leaves office, which was expected at the end of this month, but has been postponed until February.
“Right now what I want to do is maintain consistency and I will more than likely put someone in as an interim acting chief,” Balzotti said.
In June, Conlon announced he would retire at the end of the year, however, Conlon said he has extended his retirement to about the middle of February.
Conlon’s contract ends April 30, 2012, and he can stay until then, although he said he doubts he will stay longer than about mid-February when he plans to take a couple weeks vacation before heading into the next phase of his life.
“When I take my vacation I’ll be done,” Conlon said in a telephone interview Friday. (Conlon pictured above during Memorial Day Parade)
Conlon said he does not plan to stay until the April 30th end of his contract and is waiting until the middle of February to retire because the weather at the end of December and through January doesn’t offer a lot of activities for someone just embarking on the end of a career.
“I figured I’d wait until the middle, or end of February, but it looks like the middle of February,” Conlon said.
He said he doesn’t expect to extend his extension to April 30.
Until Conlon officially submits his retirement in writing, Personnel Director Maureen Cruise said Mayor Balzotti can’t take any action to fill his shoes.
“He hasn’t given the mayor a retirement date and until he does the mayor can’t take any action because there is a contract in place,” Cruise said.
Cruise said Balzotti also must wait to make any appointment, police chief or otherwise, until her re-inauguration Monday, Jan. 2 because city ordinance prevents the mayor from making any appointments during the 90 days leading to the end of a term—even if reelected.
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Kennedy School Wins New Playground

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Miracle Playground Equipment Company has announced the Kennedy School is the winner of its first-ever Miracle Playground Giveaway Contest and because of an overwhelming show of support, the Kennedy Elementary School will receive a brand-new $25,000 play structure that boasts monkey bars, three slides and a rock-climbing wall.
The Kennedy PTA is still raising funds to install a rubber surface to go underneath the play structure.
The school’s current playground consists of rusted swings and other equipment installed when the building opened in 1965 – equipment that is so unsafe and out-of-date that the children are not allowed to use it.
The Kennedy and more than 150 schools nationwide entered the Miracle Playground Equipment Company’s online contest. Playground Committee Chairs Jennifer Giannaros and Joanna Silverman submitted a picture of the current playground and a narrative of why the Kennedy is deserving of a new playground.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Charity Seeks Twin Beds For Family

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--The Brockton Police Department's Project Guardian Angels is looking for numerous items to help out needy families--including the search for four twin beds.
Volunteers have put out a call for four twin beds--boxspring and mattress--for a family with four children.
Anyone who can help should contact Officer Rosie Browne at 508-897-5295 or at guardians@brocktonpolice.com
New or (not overly) used twin beds will be accepted.
For those who may not have a lead on the twin beds, the project also seeks unwrapped new toys, food, wrapping paper, gift certificates, coats, hats, gloves.
Contact Browne for more information.

School On Wheels Seeks Tutors

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--School on Wheels of Massachusetts is seeking volunteers from around the region to become one-on-one afterschool tutors/mentors and positive adult role models for children experiencing homelessness in New Bedford.
The greatest need now is for English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers to tutor at the HarbOUR House in New Bedford on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. Volunteer tutor training will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2012, from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at HarbOur House, 713 Shawmut Ave., New Bedford.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Police Investigate Tedeschi's Assault

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--One man was transported to Boston Medical Center with potentially life-threatening injuries after Brockton Police responded to an assault call at Tedeschi's Food Shop at 17 Pearl St. at about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday night.
The store was closed and secured as a crime scene.
A shell casing was found at the scene, however it is believed the victim was not injured by a bullet, although suffered a head wound.
The male victim was transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Medical Center where a medical helicopter was available to take the man to Boston.
Plymouth County and State Police crime prevention and control teams were called to the scene.
The suspects were described as three black males. One is heavy set, wearing boots, a knit cap and black pants, a second was described as light-skinned, possibly Hispanic, wearing a Bruins jacket or sweat shirt. The third suspect was described as wearing a brown leather jacket.
Police are continuing the investigation and no further information is available at this time.

Brockton Firefighters Cited For Bravery

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Brockton Fire captains Shawn Kerr, and Scott Albanese and firefighters Erick Leonard, and Roger Dwyer received citations from the City of Brockton, Massachusetts House of Representatives, and the Massachusetts State Senate for rescues made at the Northfield Street and Melrose Ave fires, earlier this year.
The citations were given during the City Council's meeting, Monday, Dec. 12.
In June, Fire Chief Richard Francis recognized the four department members as the first to receive the Chief Edward L. Burrell Commendation ribbon for bravery above and beyond the call of duty.
(Photo courtesy Ed Williams, Brockton Fire Department)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gun Wielding Constable Cleared Of Charges

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—A clerk magistrate has decided a South Shore constable will not face charges after pulling a gun during an arrest of a dead-beat dad in the student-filled parking lot of Trinity Catholic Academy’s Upper Campus.
William Sullivan, the lawyer for Adam Loomis, one of two well-known South Shore constables who arrested parent George Haikal at the school in October, said he has received a letter from Clerk Magistrate Philip McCue that rejects charges of endangerment of the dead-beat dad’s children and assault with a dangerous weapon issued by Brockton Police and the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office.
“I think this was the right decision under the law,” Sullivan said in a telephone interview.
While he would not release a copy of the letter—which court officials said was not a public document—Sullivan said in McCue’s decision, McCue writes that Loomis, 27, pulled the gun after witnesses said Haikal’s car jumped forward toward Loomis during the early morning arrest and put him in danger of being run down.
A probable cause hearing was held Dec. 1 at Brockton District Court for McCue to decide if the complaint should continue and an arraignment be held on the felony charges.
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Brockton Police Log Updated...


BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--to Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. To view click Brockton Police patch at right or click here...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BHS CONCERTS KICK-OFF TONIGHT

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--
Music lovers from across the region will be treated to a toe-tapping variety of festive tunes at the annual Brockton High School Holiday Concert, which will be held tonight Dec. 13 and Wednesday, Dec. 14th in the school’s Edwin Nelson Auditorium. Considered one of the best holiday traditions of the South Shore, the concert features a bevy of bands and choruses that present concertgoers with a wide selection of holiday favorites.
Proceeds from the concerts will benefit the BHS Music Program and the Children’s Advocacy Center.
“This is the most popular concert of the year. The quality of the music, the variety of selections and performances are what keep people coming year after year,” said Brockton Public Schools Music Director Vincent Macrina.
“I am so proud that the student musicians are known for such high-quality work that we have generations of families coming back to celebrate the season with us,” he said.
Tickets cost $4 per person, and may be available at the door while they last.

Monday, December 12, 2011

THIS WEEK IN BROCKTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12
Superintendents’ PAC Meeting, West Middle School, 6:30 p.m.
Brookfield: Holiday Shop, During School
Gilmore: P.T.A. Meeting Café 6:00 p.m.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13
Parents’ Academy, NotMyKid Presentation, Arnone School 6:30 to 8 p.m.
B.H.S. Holiday Concert, B.H.S. Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. $4.00 per ticket
Angelo: R.I.F. Book Distribution, During School
Angelo: P.T.A. Meeting, Café 6:15 p.m.
Baker: Title One ~ Bingo for Books, Café 6:15 p.m.
Brookfield: Holiday Shop, During School
Downey: Title One ~ Family Book Bag – Gr. 1, 1:15 p.m.
Huntington: Holiday Workshop for K – Grade 1, Library 1–2:30 pm.
Click here for the complete schedule....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brockton Garden Club House Tours Begin Friday


BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Brockton Garden Club presents 2011 Holiday House Tour, "Holiday Traditions and Transitions," Friday, December 9 from Noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 10, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Visit 2 historic homes elegantly decorated for the season on the grounds
of the former Packard Estate, 276 Prospect Street, Brockton.
Tickets are $15.00 if purchased in advance or $20 at the door day of the tours.
Tickets may be purchased at: John's Greenhouse 517 Copeland Street and Alexander's Restaurant, 391 Crescent Street.
Tickets can also be purchased from most Brockton Garden Club members.
For more information call Ellen at 508-857-5595 or email the club at contactus@brocktongc.org

"Becoming Santa" Documentary Premieres Tonight

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Brockton's Christmas-spirited businessman John Merian will be featured in a new documentary, "Becoming Santa," that will have it's television premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network tonight at 9 p.m.



Merian, co-owner of Main Street's Tuxedos by Merian, has a several-minute spot in the documentary that highlights the transformation of regular guy Jack Sanderson, into Santa extraordinaire as he attends Santa School, dyes his hair, attends parades and rings bells on the sidewalks of New York City.
The award-winning film also follows the history of Santa Claus' persona from the Civil War to the present, including the growth of department store Santas, which is credited to Brockton's James Edgar--a history Merian has been promoting to help make Brockton's downtown into Christmastown.
The documentary premieres tonight on the Oprah network at 9 p.m. An encore presentation of the film will follow on Saturday, December 10 at 9am/8c, only on OWN.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brockton Postal Plant Part Of Closure Study

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—Seven regional postal facilities, including Brockton are being looked at for possible closing next year, however a spokesman for United States Postal Service said no decisions have been made and reports that the facilities in the state will close are not accurate.
“We haven’t made a decision one way or another,” said USPS spokesman Dennis P. Tarmey. “We are still studying these plants for possible consolidation and no decision has been made to close the Brockton plant at this time,” he said.
The USPS announced Monday it was continuing a process to look at closing or consolidating seven plants around the state, including Brockton’s facility at 225 Liberty St. that employs nearly 400 people.
The other facilities are in Boston, Waltham, North Reading, Shrewsbury, Wareham, and Lowell.
Tarmey said the announcement was misconstrued and disseminated by news outlets that the plants were in fact closing.
He said the news reports prompted calls of concern from employees and customers throughout the state.
Tarmey said what the USPS is doing is continuing to look at these plants for consolidation, a plan that began in September and will continue into next year.
He said before any decision is made public meetings will be held, in or near the seven communities, including Brockton.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Matriach Cruise Kennedy's Life Celebrated

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—Family and friends of Mary Cruise Kennedy, the matriarch of Brockton’s Cruise-Kennedy clan, gathered Saturday to not only mourn the loss of the 101-year-old former head nurse, but also celebrate the life of a woman who was ahead of her time.
“She had such a great life,” said Ward 1 City Councilor Timothy Cruise, Mary Kennedy’s nephew. “She was blessed,” he said.
Cruise said in a recent interview that while family members were saddened by the news Mary died peacefully of pneumonia Saturday, Nov. 26 at Brockton Hospital where she graduated from the hospital’s nursing school in 1931.
Mary Cruise Kennedy was the eldest of 9 children who led the family when the children's parents died young.
During a brief time when she worked at the former Lakeville State Hospital, she met her husband Bob, and had four children of her own, including State Senator Thomas Kennedy.
Tim Cruise said while Mary’s passing is sad, he said hundreds of family members were expected to converge on Russell & Pica Funeral Home last Thursday and Friday for calling hours, followed by services at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Brockton.
“It’s a celebration, a celebration of a great lady,” Cruise said. “She had a great run. She was the glue that kept things together. We’ll miss her,” he said.
Tim Cruise said the 40 or so first cousins who were expected to attend last week’s services held a lot of respect for his aunt, and many children in the family didn’t dare cause trouble while Mary Cruise Kennedy was around.
“Just a look was enough,” Tim Cruise said.
Cruise Kennedy was also a woman ahead of her time in the medical field.
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Witnesses Support Car Lunge Threat In Constable's School Gun Draw Charges

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—All a South Shore constable, his constable father, school officials, witnesses and a dead-beat dad the two well-known constables arrested in the parking lot of Brockton's Trinity Catholic Academy can do is wait for a clerk magistrate’s decision on whether or not pulling out a gun during the arrest should be a criminal offense.
During a probable cause hearing in Brockton District Court Thursday afternoon, Philip McCue, a Plymouth District Court magistrate, after about 90 minutes of testimony from Trinity Catholic School officials—including Principal Cynthia Dunn-McNally and Ward 5 City Councilor Dennis DeNapoli—said his decision would be based on whether the gun draw by constable Adam Loomis was an assault with a dangerous weapon and endangered the two children of the arrested father.
The two charges are felonies and could jeopardize Loomis’ right to carry a firearm and possibly result in the loss of his constable’s license in the communities he operates.
“It’s clear what happened that day is really inexcusable, but whether it rose to criminality…” McCue said at the close of the hearing.
Loomis' defense hinges on whether he was justified in drawing his gun against George Haikal, a former restaurant owner and father of two boys who had been arrested by the Loomis’ in 2008 and 2009, and April, 2011 for nonpayment of child support for his two sons.
Another arrest warrant was issued for Haikal in October for non-payment of $45,000 in child support.
Loomis, standing in front of Haikal’s station wagon, pulled his gun when the car driven by Haikal lunged forward when the constables attempted to make the arrest.
What’s not disputed is that Loomis pulled the gun.
What is in dispute is why, and if brandishing the weapon put Haikal’s two sons, who were in the car and in the process of getting out of the car, when the weapon was pointed over the hood at the windshield toward Haikal.
The arrest warrant allowed Loomis and his father Jerold—best known for his participation in Bobby Brown’s 1997 arrest--the authority to arrest Haikal anywhere in the state, and after spotting Haikal heading to Trinity Catholic in a brown station wagon on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at about 7:15 a.m., the two constables followed Haikal to the school’s busy parking lot.
Loomis, who lives in Rockland and is a licensed constable in Scituate and Weymouth, in a statement read by Quincy attorney William Sullivan and submitted into evidence, said Haikal appeared to know he was being followed because Haikal took evasive and erratic steps to “loose” the constables by taking sharp quick turns without signaling and turning up and down different streets until the trio of vehicles arrived at Trinity Catholic’s Upper Campus at 35 Erie Ave.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Police Log Updated...


BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--to Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011. To view click Brockton Police patch to right or click here...