Friday, April 29, 2011

Joe Angelo's To Close Doors At 1 a.m.

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—The Brockton License Commission has voted to roll-back Joe Angelo’s Café & Deli’s closing hours from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. after police officers and the city’s legal department testified that unless steps are taken violence that has marked the popular bar for at least the last two years could escalate into homicide.
“There’s going to be a murder…you don’t want to sit on your hands this evening,” said Assistant City Solicitor Katherine Feodoroff as she wrapped up the city’s case during a License Commission hearing Wednesday night April 27 that centered on a March 12 brawl at Joe Angelo’s that included several arrests a stabbing and a woman who had her face gouged by a broken beer bottle.
The roll-back which takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights will begin as soon as the notification process is complete—estimated to be a week or so.
The roll-back includes prohibiting patrons from entering the bar after Midnight, entertainment must finish by 12:30 a.m. and last call will be at 12:45 a.m.
After six months, if Joe Angelo’s does not have any other trouble, it can apply to have the roll-back rescinded.
Feodoroff’s recommendation from the city’s legal department included rolling back Joe Angelo’s 2 a.m. license to 1 a.m. or Midnight with no promoted “First Friday” event, no advertisement of the First Friday events, decreasing the bar’s capacity and patrons must use plastic cups instead of beer bottles.
However, the commission voted the roll-back to 1 a.m. instead of midnight and took no action on the other measures.
Joe Angelo’s has other violations pending from other incidents including an altercation where Firefighter Jaime Barbosa faces gun charges--that will be decided at future hearings and commissioners could vote more changes to the Main Street bar and restaurant.
Several city councilors attended the hearing, including Ward 2 Councilor Thomas Monahan who said he and Council President Paul Studenski have contacted Police Chief William Conlon and others to work out a solution to some of the problems in the downtown so people can feel safe and want to go to downtown businesses.
Councilor-at-large Jass Stewart urged the License Commission to apply the law equally and fairly because from research he has done over many years may show the commission does not punish establishments evenly.
Former Progression’s Lounge owner Jeffrey D. Summers—who has criticized the License Commission and has called the commission's dealings racist and who has filed a Civil Rights lawsuit against the city connected to Progression's hours roll-back--attempted to submit a list of violations at Joe Angelo’s that have gone unpunished—however Commission Chairman Kelly demanded Summers limit his comments to items on the agenda.
“This is not going to be your personal forum,” Kelley said.
The most damaging information during the hearing came from police officers who testified that the March 12 brawl was an out of control melee in the parking lot behind Joe Angelo’s that extended down the parking lot for 100 to 200 yards to the old BAT bus terminal. (Pictured above)
Officers said fighting erupted outside the bar and involved between 70 to 100 people who were brawling in groups of 10 to 15 in various areas behind Joe Angelo’s.
Detective George Almeida said after being called by Officer William Hallisey--who works a detail at Joe Angelo’s--Brockton’s entire night shift crew and several State Police cruisers that park near Joe Angelo’s at closing during busy nights because of known problems at closing time found skirmishes and brawls everywhere in the back parking lot.
Almeida said there was an especially wild group of women who were battling a couple of other women. Almeida said the brawling women were surrounded by a group of men chanting and yelling, “f**k them up.”
“They were out of control,” Almeida said, adding two of the women asked him for help because other women from Boston had threatened them while they were in Joe Angelo’s.
None of the officers could say if the fights began inside Joe Angelo’s—a point John “Jake” Creedon, the lawyer for owner Joe Angelo made several times because often bars and restaurants are exonerated because problems happen outside their businesses and not inside.
The city’s lawyer Feodoroff said the law does not necessarily allow businesses to push unruly patrons outside to fight.
“You can’t just push someone out of the bar and close your eyes,” Feodoroff said.
Creedon reiterated the fight did not start in the bar and that Joe Angelo and his family have always done everything they can to provide a safe environment.
Joe Angelo spoke for himself and said he wants a safe and non-violent establishment because his children and family work there.
“If there’s a solution here, I’m all for it,” he said.
Officer Hallisey—who was inside the bar said he followed two men—one a convicted felon-- who are regulars at the bar as they walked out because he thought it was odd the two would leave before last call.
“They are always the last ones to leave,” Hallisey said.
Other than the two men leaving, Hallisey said, neither he nor a contingent of bouncers saw or heard any signs of trouble until the men walked outside, followed by 20 to 30 other people.
“When I saw those two gentlemen and the crowd my instincts told me something was going to happen,” Hallisey said.
Hallisey said the fights began shortly after the group went outside and stepped off Joe Angelo’s back deck and into the parking area.
The brawl was reported at about 1:58 a.m. Feodoroff said there were indications that some patrons were over-served and were very intoxicated.
Officers who arrived on the scene said they found a man sitting on a wall just outside Joe Angelo’s back porch.
“He was too drunk to know he was stabbed,” Detective Almeida said, noting another man was so drunk that if there was not a wall to hold him up he would have fallen to the ground.
Lt. Paul Bonanca said State Police were already on the scene because it had become standard procedure for law enforcement to park at Crescent and Main Streets because of a litany of problems at Joe Angelo’s around the 1:45 a.m. when patrons are leaving before the 2 a.m. cutoff.
Bonanca said Brockton suffers from what called “Conventioneer’s Syndrome” in that people from all over the South Shore, Boston and R.I. come to Brockton because it is one of the few remaining communities that allows alcohol past 1 a.m.
He said these people have no ties to the city and feel they can do whatever they want.
“The problem is the clientele,” Bonanca said. “A lot of our resources have been drawn to Joe Angelo’s,” he said.
Every officer who testified was asked if during the last two years had they been called to Joe Angelo’s for incidents—violent or otherwise.
Each officer reported yes and estimated they had to go there at least 50 times or more for calls at the bar.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ginny Curtis Plaque Dedicated At Edgar Park

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—When Mary Virginia “Ginny” Curtis was a young woman near her 20s, her bright smile and boundless energy captivated and motivated those around her—leading the young woman to represent the city as Miss James Edgar Park and then as Miss Brockton.
Nearly 70 years later and seven months after her death last September at 91 years old, Curtis' youthful vigor, all-around leadership and nearly century-long feisty determination to get things done in the city will long be remembered after friends and family dedicated a plaque in her honor in a corner of Curtis’ beloved James Edgar Park during Saturday’s 7th annual “Keep Brockton Beautiful” day—an event she spearheaded through her work at James Edgar Park.
“When she was younger she was really pretty and always upbeat,” said state Senator Thomas Kennedy, following the ceremony Saturday, April 23, 2011.
“She was a hot-spirited Irish girl with red hair,” he said. “Her roots are in this soil,” Kennedy said pointing to the earth of James Edgar Park.
Kennedy, whose family lived in the Edgar Park neighborhood along with Curtis and the Marciano family, said Curtis won the Miss James Edgar Park pageant and went on to win Miss Brockton when Curtis was in her late teens to early 20s around 1940 when each neighborhood held beauty pageants and each winner then vied for the city-wide title—an honor complete with parade and confetti.
“It was a big thing back then,” Kennedy said. “She was always a standout,” he said.
The pageants may have faded through time, but Curtis shined on.
Born Nov. 1, 1918, as a young woman Curtis raised two children Nancy and Nick with late husband Henry E. Curtis. She worked as a secretary and tirelessly gave her time and energy to many community organizations and at St. Patrick Church she served as Eucharist Minister and Altar Server.
Her niece, Marie Long, who came from Grafton for the dedication, said Curtis was as well-loved by her family as Brockton-at-large.
"She was just a wonderful aunt," Long said. "She was always involved, with the church and the city--she was a great lady," she said. (Pictured above with Curtis' son Nick)

Curtis was also a founding member of Brockton Interfaith Community, a board member of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, involved with the Council on Aging, a neighborhood Crime Watch Leader,
She was politically active as a member of the Democratic City Committee and worked on many campaigns and committees in Brockton.
She led fundraising efforts over the years for the Brockton Public Library, Brockton Library Foundation, St. Patrick Church and the Council on Aging.
Curtis was also one of Brockton Neighborhood Health Center’s founding board members and was honored by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers in 2009 with the Joseph M. Smith Consumer award for her outstanding service to the board over the years. In 1999 she received the Enterprise Champion of the City award for her extraordinary contributions to the city and was also awarded Woman of the Year by the Commission on Women’s Issues.
As a community activist Curtis helped launch last Saturday’s 7th annual clean-up—a citywide effort that began, officials said, through Curtis’ example of organizing cleanups of Edgar Park in the spring and the fall.
Not one to let things remain status quo, Curtis also took it upon herself to plant many of the brightly flowering plants and shrubs that border the playgrounds courts, fences and sitting areas.
During a ceremony to dedicate a flower-surrounded boulder bearing a plaque with a picture of Curtis and a sentiment, numerous city and state officials remembered Curtis’ help not only with their elections but her guidance as a person as she watched over the park and neighborhood from a three-story house at the corner of Fuller and Winthrop streets. (House pictured above)
“She would keep track if I made it to church,” Monahan said. “She would point a finger and ask me if I had been to mass,” he said, adding she had also been a babysitter for young state Senator Thomas Kennedy.
“She really kept an eye on us kids in the neighborhood and she really loved this park,” Monahan said. “This is a great tribute to her,” he said.
(Photo of Curtis at top courtesy of Curtis family)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Former Progression's Lounge Owner To Stop Negative Posts

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—A Brockton District Court judge has rejected a Brockton police officer’s unusual request to extend for a year an emergency harassment order against the former owner of Progression’s Lounge because of statements made on a local comment forum—
Judge Michael Pomarole Friday morning April 22 ruled against extending the restraining order requested by Officer Scott Uhlman, the city’s paid code enforcement officer, against Jeffrey D. Summers, the former owner of Progression’s Lounge on Montello Street.
During the hearing Summers, a Malden resident, promised under oath he would not write about Uhlman on the forum any longer—a promise made when Pomarole continually asked Summers what his intention was for writing about Uhlman on the forum.
“He runs close to some court finding there is malicious and willful conduct aimed at intimidation—it’s in the ballpark,” Pomarole told Summers’ lawyer, Elizabeth “Betsy” Clague.
Pomarole said from Uhlman’s testimony, Summers’ intent might be out of bitterness and not out of a civic duty to inform residents of problems he sees in the community.
“He is going to ensure this court he is not going to post anything about this person?” Pomarole asked.
Summers agreed he would not write about Uhlman on the forum any longer.
Friday’s hearing was held because Uhlman requested a harassment order under a new law that allows strangers protection from strangers, such as neighbors threatening property damage or teenagers from cyberbullying.
Uhlman has said because of comments made by Summers on the forum he has reason to fear Summers, including Summers’ numerous posts claiming racist decisions by city officials regarding license hearings and punishment and suggestions code enforcement officials like Uhlman are corrupt.
Uhlman is one of several city officials named in a Civil Rights lawsuit filed by Summers in November 2009 after Progression’s Lounge’s closing hours were rolled back one hour following a murder outside the bar.
Uhlman said he has lost sleep over the matter and has suffered physically from the comments because although he is prohibited from commenting on the forum himself he hears what is being written from family, friends and colleagues.
At the opening of the hearing at about 10 a.m. Friday, Pomarole questioned Uhlman’s use of Officer Scott Uhlman when stating his name under oath.
“Your name isn’t officer--it’s Scott Uhlman,” Pomarole said. “Your occupation is irrelevant. Everyone has an occupation, but it is not part of your name,” he said.
Uhlman apologized and explained he had gone before a Brockton District Court judge after applying for the 10-day harassment order April 8. Pomarole had asked Uhlman if the 10-day emergency order had been issued over the telephone.
Uhlman, who said after the hearing he was uncomfortable being the victim and did not present his best case, testified that Summers has written several posts in March and April accusing Uhlman of “trumping up” charges against certain liquor establishments, that there is a grand scheme to only target certain businesses and that Summers “rubbed it in my face” about the harassment order and is “maligning” him.
Summers, Uhlman said, also posted comments that Uhlman is emotionally and physically unstable.
Pomarole continually asked Uhlman how had the comments harassed him.
Uhlman said he has been prohibited by Police Chief William Conlon from defending himself and code enforcement activities on the forum.
Uhlman said he has defended himself against Summers’ comments through the harassment order and an article in
Pomarole questioned Uhlman as to why he felt it necessary to go to the media. Uhlman said he wanted to defend himself against the charges in a public forum.
Uhlman told Pomarole he took out the harassment order as a police officer and not as an individual. However during an extensive conversation with for an article before the hearing Uhlman continually said he took out the harassment order as an individual and not as a police officer—a much different point than he made under oath to Pomarole. stands by its reporting that Uhlman requested the harassment order as an individual. We also stand by our reporting that Uhlman sought advice about applying for the harassment order not only from his police union but also Brockton Police’s internal affairs department.
“It’s annoying and alarming,” Uhlman said of Summers' posts. “He’s making up accusations that are affecting my credibility,” he said, noting Summers has posted that he has a gun license.
Summers said the gun license postings were not about Uhlman but a different stream of conversation initiated by other posters. Summers said he does have a gun license and those posts had nothing to do with Uhlman.
Summers said he posts on to get out factual information about city code enforcement activities and he rarely mentioned Uhlman by name.
“I’m a law abiding citizen—I have never been arrested. For him to take that and say he is frightened…” Summers said, but was cut off by Pomarole.
“Why are you posting things of a negative nature? What is your purpose? Are you doing it out of bitterness,” Pomarole asked.
Summers replied, “He put me out of business,” and added he wanted to get factual information out to the public about what happened to his business and how he believed he was treated unfairly by the city.
“Why are you doing it all? Why not enjoy life whether you believe it’s accurate, why are you saying negative things,” Pomarole asked.
“The driving reason…is to get factual information out,” Summers said.
Pomarole continued speaking with Summers' lawyer Clague.
“It seems a little sad to me…why doesn’t he just leave it alone. He’s already got a Civil Rights case against the city…isn’t he embarrassed…he’s putting salt in the wound,” Pomarole said.
At one point Pomarole asked Clague at what stage does the Civil Rights case stand.
Clague said witnesses are in the process of being deposed, including Uhlman, who is expected to appear at Clague’s office for questions about the Civil Rights case, Wednesday, April 27.
Pomarole asked Stephen C. Pfaff, the city’s lawyer in the Civil Rights suit who represented Uhlman Friday, if a federal judge would issue a gag order against Summers from posting comments about Uhlman because of the Civil Rights case.
Pfaff said from his reading of Summers’ posts and the federal standard for a gag-rule, he did not think a federal judge would issue an order preventing Summers from commenting on
Uhlman said he did not go to the federal court for a gag order because he would not know how to do it and did not know the process.
After the hearing Summers reiterated he would not post any more comments about Uhlman. His lawyer Clague said the court made the right decision because Summers’ comments did not meet the willful and malicious standard for a harassment order.
Uhlman, after the hearing said he hopes Summers sticks to his word because all he wants is the comments to stop.
“It’s over. It’s over. Let’s hope he is a man of his word,” Uhlman said.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Student T-Shirt Biz Moves To Downtown

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Champion City High School seniors John Gallagher and Justin Baptiste smiled and talked to the steady stream of customers at Merian’s Tuxedos who stopped in for the grand opening of Wonder T's—a corner inside Merian’s where students have expanded a growing T-shirt selling business that began as a school project.
“Come by and see us. Check out what we have,” said Justin Baptiste, a senior at Champion High School where Wonder T’s was launched.
A steady stream of customers visited the store last Thursday, April 14, after tuxedo shop co-owner John Merian, Mayor Linda Balzotti and other city and school officials officially opened Wonder T’s new location at high noon with a ribbon cutting.
Among the steady stream who visited Wonder T’s to buy student-designed “Champion City” logo T-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts and sweatpants were Anne DiCicco and Carey Newton, teachers at Raymond Elementary School. (Pictured above)
Both teachers said they wanted to support the students and went to buy Brockton-centric workout and city-spirit wear. Prices range from $8 for a short-sleeve T-shirt to $25 for a long-sleeve sweatshirt.
Newton said on the one hand she was delighted to find one of her former students, Champion High senior John Gallagher (Pictured below with Newton) helping to lead the way for Wonder T’s opening, but on the other she realized her former 5th grade reading student was only months away from attending college.
“I feel old,” Newton chuckled.
Adrienne Niccoli, an English teacher at Champion High School said students have been responsible for nearly all of the work associated with getting the corner shop inside Merian’s open: including inventory, stocking, marketing, public relations and as of last Thursday—sales and sales reconciliation.
“They’ve learned so much and we’ve only just opened,” Niccoli said.
All profits from Wonder T’s goes back into the business, students and officials said.
Champion High School is an alternative high school that focuses on School to Career curriculum and houses the B.B. Russell High School and the Eldon B. Keith Center.
Since receiving a grant in 2010 from the Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board to open a silkscreen shop at the Keith Center with donated supplies and equipment, the students who work-and-learn business skills through Wonder T’s have steadily branched out from just learning how to use the silk screen machine to seeking and getting orders for work—including printing T-shirts for youth basketball teams, the Brockton Youth Council and an upcoming order for practice shirts for Brockton High School’s wrestling team.
Wonder T’s latest growth spurt has now leaped into Merian’s on Main Street as part of a Downtown Work and Learn internship program with downtown businesses and the schools, but for students like Baptiste and Gallagher, the chance to gain real-world skills is a priority.
“We’ll do work for anyone it’s not just Champion City stuff. We’ll design and print anything you want—conceptual, teams, a logo…,” Baptiste said, noting he does much of the art and design work—including working on the “Champion City” logo on the T-shirts, shorts and other merchandise at the newly opened Merian’s location.
Baptiste, who plans to attend Bridgewater State University as a business management major, said the best thing about Wonder T’s has been learning how to use a silk screen machine because it’s a way to make money from his artistic creations—either for Wonder T’s or maybe on his own someday, somewhere because people everywhere like T-shirts and great designs.
“It’s a learning experience all the way around,” Baptiste said.
(Ribbon cutting photo courtesy Champion High School)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Joe Angelo's License Hearing Raises Issues Of Rascism, Unfair Treatment

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—The cancellation of a Brockton License Commission hearing to discuss if Joe Angelo’s Café would be punished for a string of violence near or in the Downtown pub may have averted a secondary situation between a Brockton Police officer and the former owner of Progression’s Lounge.
Officer Scott Uhlman, the city’s paid code enforcement officer, said he has been issued as an individual and not a police officer, a 10-day harassment prevention order that requires former Progression’s Lounge owner Jeffrey Summers to stay at least 100 yards away from Uhlman at all times.
In Uhlman’s opinion, that would include a public hearing he is required to attend because he was a witness expected to testify at tonight’s now rescheduled License Commission hearing.
“If I see him I’ll ask him to leave or have him removed,” Uhlman said. “He has no business being there. I do,” Uhlman said.
Uhlman said because of posts Summers has written as the alias TwoNations on the issues forum website, he has reasons to feel he is being intimidated, threatened and bullied.
“This guy frightens me,” Uhlman said. Because of issues surrounding comments about Uhlman and code enforcement on the forum, Chief William Conlon has prohibited Uhlman from commenting or defending code enforcement activities on the website.
Uhlman said the harassment prevention order was issued by Brockton District Court. The harassment order was obtained by Uhlman under a year-old revamp of the state's abuse prevention law, which until last year made it difficult for a person to get a restraining order against someone who is not a family member or involved with the person in a sexual or other relationship.
The new harassment prevention order can now be gained to prevent stalking and other forms of harassment by those who are strangers or acquaintances to the victim. Summers, the former owner of Progression’s Lounge at 23 Montello Street which since has closed, has filed a Civil Rights lawsuit in November 2009 that claims city officials, such as former Mayor James Harrington, police officers including Uhlman and members of the License Commission, including current members Joseph Kelley and Paul Sullivan, treat African-American and other minority business owners unfairly and much differently from white-owned businesses—especially bars like Joe Angelo’s which is white-owned and well-connected politically.
The suit asks for a $250,000 demand. Summers was expected at the Joe Angelo’s hearing, but the hearing has been postponed to April 27.
Summers’ lawyer Elizabeth “Betsy” Clague said Summers was served with the harassment order Wednesday night at about 9 p.m. at his home.
“This is outrageous,” Clague said. “This is an outrageous, colossal abuse of power. I’m outraged at the continuing targeting of Mr. Summers,” she said.
Clague said since tonight’s License Commission hearing has been postponed she will not be able to test Uhlman’s opinion that Summers has no business at the public License Commission hearing. (Clarification: Clague contacted to say she would advise Summers to abide by the harassment order and not attend the rescheduled April 14 License Commission meeting. Clague said until the temporary harassment order was served to Summers at 9 p.m. the night before the scheduled hearing Summers had every right to attend the hearing)
When Uhlman and Summers will meet is the April 22 hearing in Brockton District Court when a judge must decide if the 10-day temporary restraining order should be extended for one year.
“We will be there with bells on,” Clague said. Clague questioned why Uhlman—a defendant in the Civil Rights case--did not have the city lawyer handling the Civil Rights case intercede if he felt threatened and harassed or bullied by Summers.
She questioned why Uhlman would not have contacted U.S. District Court officials to begin a conference about his issues with Summers instead of going to a local court where he is well-known as a police and code enforcement officer.
Clague then answered her own question. “He is doing this to prevent Mr. Summers from attending the hearing,” Clague said.
“He went to a local court where they are unfamiliar with the federal case. He has gone to a court and either lied or has given that court the complete wrong impression,” she said.
Summers has characterized city officials and city boards as being racist since his Progression’s dance club had its hours rolled back in July 2008 when a man was shot and killed after leaving the Main Street club.
Progression’s had its hours returned to the 2 a.m. closing time, but since has closed. Summers’ Civil Rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Boston was filed by Clague and claims city officials’ treatment and punishment of African-American and other minority businesses is “markedly different and discrepant from actions taken with regard to the same kinds of alleged violations in similarly situated establishments owned and patronized by Caucasians who are not ethnic minorities.”
It names numerous officials: Former License Commissioner James Holmgren and Robert Malley—now the city’s parking authority director— and Police Lt. John Crowley.
The suit claims Summers was not properly notified of hearings about his license and that Summers’ attempts for information about his license and the hearings procedure were systematically stifled.
The suit claims the defendants “persisted in a campaign against Summers to coerce, punish and intimidate Summers in their attempt to stifle his inquiries and requests to be heard.
In his suit, Summers claims officials, including former Mayor Harrington harassed Summers so a developer, Economic Development Finance Corp., could develop a block of land on Montello—including Progression’s Lounge.
Uhlman said he denies any allegations in the suit as do all other city officials, according to court documents.
Uhlman points to posts that indicate Summers could be violent and intimidating.
On one of Summers’ posts on, Summers writes he hates Joe Angelo’s. Another states Summers has a gun and has befriended thugs to protect his club. Others cite numerous examples of the racism and favoritism that Summers states is pervasive throughout city departments.
Uhlman said Summers has posted comments on that state Uhlman and other members of the code enforcement department are “on the take” and are being equated to Joseph Vasapollo Jr., the former city building superintendent who was convicted of federal extortion and bribery charges more than a year ago.
“I am not a racist and I am not on the take,” Uhlman said.
“He talks about how he has befriended thugs and owns a gun---he frightens me,” he said. Uhlman said he received advice about obtaining the restraining order through the police union..(Correction: Uhlman received advice from internal affairs and the police union--)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Joe Angelo's Hearing Moved to April 27

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON-A Brockton License Commission hearing Thursday April 14 to discuss rolling back Joe Angelo's Cafe and Deli's closing hours has been postponed until April 27.
Joshua Wood, a member of the Licensing Commission confirmed during a telephone conversation at about 9 p.m. tonight that the hearing had been rescheduled to ensure proper notification to establishments scheduled for those hearings had been made under the Open Meetings Law.
"Whenever there is a possible revocation there has to be two weeks notice," Wood said.
The meeting included hearings for CJ Beer and Wine for allegedly selling alcohol to a person under 21; Tamboo Bistro for allegedly covering windows facing a public way and Crystal Restaurant for allegedly exceeding its 50 person occupancy limit.
Joe Angelo's was expected to defend itself against numerous charges of violations of state and city liquor license rules stemming from several incidents beginning last October 23 when two Brockton firefighters were brutally beaten and another, Jaime Barbosa faces trial for alleged possessing a firearm while intoxicated.
On March 12, Brockton Police said the entire shift--16 officers and 12 police cruisers-were sent to Joe Angelo's for a melee at about 2 a.m. Four people were arrested and charged with crimes ranging from assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest to disturbing the peace.
Wood said he could not say which establishment is facing a revocation of the license.
He said any license holder facing violations of the license could receive a minor punishment such as a written warning all the way to revocation of the license.
"It all depends on what the city is recommending based on the evidence," Wood said.
Wood said he does not yet know what the city's recommendation for Joe Angelo's is.
The agenda for Thursday night's postponed meeting regarding Joe Angelo's Cafe notes the downtown bar could have its closing hours rolled-back but does not mention revocation.
Wood said he was informed the meeting was rescheduled at about 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Wood said something could have changed within the city's legal department, such as more evidence that could have required two weeks notification for a revocation hearing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Patrick Approves $327 Million Supplemental Budget

BOSTON--Statement From Alex Zaroulis, Director of Communications Executive Office for Administration and Finance
Governor Deval Patrick Monday approved a $327 million supplemental budget bill to maintain critical services through the remainder of this fiscal year for core safety net programs and to provide for unavoidable and unanticipated costs.
The supplemental budget Patrick approved Monday, April 11, 2011 provides $49 million for snow and ice removal deficiencies which were incurred due to an unusually harsh winter.
$14.2 million was appropriated to provide for ongoing operations at facilities that house disabled individuals.
In addition funding was provided to offset caseload driven deficiencies such as services to homeless families and to meet increased demand for food assistance for low income households.
The supplemental budget also contains funding for Patrick’s initiatives to prevent youth and urban violence, including $4 million for summer jobs in 2011 and $2.5 million for Shannon Grants.
Shannon Grants are targeted grants to prevent gang violence in communities with higher crime rates and youth demographics considered more at-risk for crime.
Patrick vetoed $104,000 for the Barnstable Sheriff’s office, determining that appropriating these funds is unnecessary for that department’s operations.
Finally, the bill provides for a $100 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund at the close of FY11.
This deposit and these critical supplemental expenditures are being funded from available resources.

Monday, April 11, 2011

County Commissioner's Meeting Notes

BROCKTON--Plymouth County Administrator Gerald Chipman has announced his resignation from the job, citing health reasons and subsequent absences.
According to an email from Plymouth County Commission Chairman Anthony O'Brien, Chipman stated he had recent health issues resulting in absences that he did not want to impede progress in the Commissioner's office.
Chipman's resignation was announced at the County Commissioner's meeting, Thursday, April 7.
O'Brien said in the email Chipman said he would remain as long as necessary to assist the transition with his eventual successor. O'Brien said the Commissioners discussed reviewing the applications of finalists from last year's search to accelerate filling the position as soon as possible.
Other County Commission Notes From O'Brien's Email:
*FY 2012 budget hearings with county department heads began and will continue for several weeks. FY2012 begins in July.
*Commissioners directed at least 10% cuts for every department to streamline operational efficiencies.
*Commissioners formed a subcommittee to review audits and provide updates on the County Audit program. Subcommittee members include Commissioner John Riordan, Treasurer Thomas O'Brien, and County Adminsitrator Chipman.
*Commissioner Sandra Wright volunteed to chair a subcommittee to increase regionalization of services and resources among towns within the county.

Good Samaritan Earns Outstanding Cancer Care Award

BROCKTON--The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has granted its Outstanding Achievement Award to Good Samaritan Medical Center for its Comprehensive Cancer Program as a result of surveys performed during 2010, the hospital announced in a prepared statement.
Established in 2004, the Commission on Cancer's Outstanding Achievement Award is designed to recognize cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients.
The award is granted to facilities that demonstrate a Commendation level of compliance with standards that represent six areas of cancer program activity: cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical management, research, community outreach, and quality improvement.
Good Samaritan Medical Center received all eight available commendations.
The Commission on Cancer was established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons. It is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.
"Our cancer program is comprehensive,” said Dr. Rohini Sakhuja, chairman of Good Samaritans Cancer Care Committee and director of the Pathology and Medical Lab.
“Patients are discussed with surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists. It’s a team approach to provide the best treatment for our patients,”Sakhuja said.
Good Samaritan is one of three in Massachusetts to achieve this award from the Commission on Cancer. The other two are Lowell General Hospital and Mercy Medical Center in Springfield.
A multi-disciplinary Cancer Care Committee, which is chaired by Dr. Sakhuja, who is also the chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, oversees all activities of the cancer program at Good Samaritan Medical Center.
Eric Wojcik, Director of Oncology, coordinates the various aspects of the Comprehensive Cancer Program at Good Samaritan.
Good Samaritan Medical Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program.
Cancer program activities include weekly oncology conferences, a cancer registry, a quality management program, and a community outreach program that is actively involved in improving the health of our local community.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Brockton Man Gets 15 Years For Gun Possession

BOSTON--A Brockton man will spend up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to gun possession by a previously convicted felon after police found a .45 caliber Colt in a glove thrown out of the car the man was driving at high speed on Forest Avenue more than 2 years ago.
Cleveland Brandon, 38, of Brockton, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 15 years imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release during a hearing in Boston Monday, April 4, according to a prepared statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz's Office.
At an earlier plea hearing on December 13, 2010, Brandon pleaded guilty to being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
At the plea hearing in December, the prosecutor told the court that had the case proceeded to trial the government’s evidence would have proven that on the evening of October 8, 2009, police encountered Brandon traveling in a motor vehicle at a high rate of speed on Forest Avenue in Brockton.
As the vehicle was pulling over, the officer noted an object had been thrown from the passenger side window.
Once the vehicle was stopped, police found a .45 calliber Colt semi-automatic pistol with five rounds of ammunition in a glove on the sidewalk where the officer identified the spot where the object was thrown.
Brandon, who was alone in the vehicle, was taken into custody and charged.

Stewart Group Releases 4th Report

BROCKTON--Councilor-at-large Jass Stewart has released the fourth of five reports about city issues and problems and potential ways to solve them.
Called, "The Working Groups for Building a City of Opportunity and Growth," the latest report is from the Safety Working Group which states the group has focused on identifying strategies to reduce crime among Brockton's repeat youth offenders, recommends building on existing crime-prevention successes through the expanded use of data, political advocacy, and community partnerships.
To view the entire report click here to go to Stewart's homepage...

School Comm To Discuss Background Checks

BROCKTON--The Brockton School Committee will meet tonight to discuss how a handful of Stonehill college students working as tutors in a much-needed program in the schools did not have their criminal backgrounds checked as per school policy--including one tutor who has been charged with sexually assaulting a third-grader during classtime at the Angelo Elementary School.
"This is not a regularly scheduled School Committee meeting. It was called as a special meeting by Vice-Chair Tom Minichiello after discussion with myself...specifically to make an inquiry in to the CORI checks of employees, volunteers, tutors, etc.," said School Committee member Bill Carpenter in an email.
"Obviously,this inquiry is in the wake of the Angelo School incident and the changing explanations as to whether this tutor and others working in the schools were properly CORI'd," Carpenter stated.
School committee members have said administrators have said some tutors and others within the schools have been checked through the Criminal Offenders Record Inquiry, or CORI, however others have not, including Kevin Treseler,(pictured above), who was arrested and charged last month with rape and sexual assault charges when an 8-year-old Angelo student told police Treseler allegedly molested her several times during classtime.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m.
The school's Finance Committee will meet prior to the 7 p.m. start.
Carpenter said he expects committee members to go into closed session to discuss the job performance of employees involved with the background checks.
He said Minichiello has requested advice from the school committee's attorney about the possible executive session. Kevin Treseler, faces rape and sexual assault charges after an 8-year-old girl told police Treseler molested her several times while he was a math tutor at the Angelo Elementary School.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Father Of Alleged Brockton Killer Threatens Police

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON--Brockton Police said they hope David Luke, father of alleged murderer Keith Luke gets the help he needs following a more than 2-hour standoff at Luke's apartment Sunday morning.
"He'll be charged but right now the psychiatric evaluation takes priority over the law enforcement end right now," said Capt. Emanuel Gomes.
Gomes said more than a dozen Brockton Police, State Police and other specialized personnel surrounded the area of 569 Crescent St. creating a perimeter after police received a call at about 9 a.m. Sunday, April 3 from Fox 25 News saying David Luke wanted to talk to the media and was threatening to kill police and screaming.
Gomes said Fox 25 contacted Brockton Police following the phone call and police headed to Luke's apartment after the tip.
Gomes said nearly all of the members on the Sunday morning shift, including supervisors responded to the area.
Route 27, also Cresecent Street, was shut down and traffic rerouted.
Luke, the father of Keith Luke who went on a hate-crime rampage in January 2009 that ended in the deaths of two people, barricaded himself in the apartment and while surrounded by dozens of police with guns drawn, was heard screaming "I'm going to shoot you" from a second floor apartment.
Gomes said it is the second time David Luke has caused such an incident. Gomes said in December 2009 he also threatened to harm himself and others.
This latest incident ended at about 11:15-11:30 a.m. when police stormed the apartment.
Gomes said Luke was found nearly unconscious in the apartment after overloading on prescription anti-psychotic medication.
"He just kind of slumped over," Gomes said.
As with the first incident, no guns or weapons were found.
Gomes said Luke, as of Monday afternoon, is still at Brockton Hospital's psychiatric ward.
Gomes said police will seek a summons to charge Luke with threats to commit crimes, disturbing the peace and other charges.
Gomes said Luke is expected to remain in hospital custody and police will work with Brockton Hospital on Luke's possible release or transfer to another facility.
"We hope he gets the help he needs," Gomes said.

Brockton's Youth Meet To Solve City Problems

BROCKTON--Hundreds of Brockton's young people gathered at Massasoit Community College for the annual Mayor's Youth Summit to brainstorm ideas about how to solve some of the problems in Brockton--a summit that featured Gov. Deval Patrick.
"I hope you have a very, very, very successful day," Patrick told the nearly 150 students, school and community organizers during an introductory rally that included Patrick, Massasoit President Charles Wall, Mayor Linda Balzotti and performances by ImprovBoston and a play/monologue about the struggles of a 15-year-old girl trying to get out of gang life.
Patrick encouraged the students who ranged in age between 13 and 24 to have a great time during the summit and also urged students to stay involved much in the way students embraced their fellow students several years ago when Boxer Buddies was developed to bring students with disabilities together with students who do not.
"More to the point, I am counting on you to bring your voice and your service not just today, but everyday," Patrick said.
The rally included improvisational skits when students were called from the audience to join ImprovBoston for hilarious stage show that boosted participants spirits for the breakout sessions when students would identify problems in the city and try to come up with solutions for those problems.
One of those students who took part was Vanessa Clerveaux, a junior whose brother Alex is a member of the Mayor's Youth Council--a student group that meets year-round to advise the mayor on youth issues, problems and solutions.
She said the topic of violence in the city was on-the-plate when she was part of the summit four years ago when she was in 7th grade.
"I came to support non-violence," Clerveaux said.
Fellow junior Jeff Gomes said he was interested in learning about what ways the city and police have been dealing with violence because in his opinion and many of the other students, much of the violence in the streets is a result of gangs and drug dealers coming in from out Brockton.
"It's outside figures--outside forces," Gomes said. "They come to Brockton and cause problems," he said.