Boston school board wants more decorum at meetings
The Boston School Committee wants a little more civility from the public at its meetings.
The committee is drafting a code of conduct that could include bans on cheering, heckling, prolonged clapping, signs and props.
The board is considering the new rules in the wake of what it considers an alarming breakdown in decorum at recent meetings.
At a meeting late last year, one audience member repeatedly screamed “liar” at Superintendent Carol Johnson as she explained her reasons for school closings. Someone brought a fake coffin and tombstone to a March meeting.
Critics of the proposed policy say it’s an attempt to stifle free speech. But board Chairman Gregory Groover tells The Boston Globe that anger can be expressed in a respectful way.
Census: Vacant housing up in Springfield in decade
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The number of vacant and abandoned homes in Massachusetts has increased significantly in the last decade, even before the June 1 tornadoes that destroyed numerous houses and apartment buildings.
The Census says the number of vacant residential units in Springfield, including apartments, condos and single family homes, rose to 4,954 in 2010, up 22 percent from 2000.
Vacant units in Worcester jumped to 6,032, up 63 percent and Boston's rose to 19,782, up 59 percent.
Reflecting the impact of foreclosures and the weak economy, vacancies in Massachusetts increased by 46 percent since 2000 to 261,179.
Geraldine McCafferty, director of housing for the city of Springfield, says about 220 tornado-damaged buildings, including 179 single-family homes, have been condemned. Including rentals, a total of 500 units were condemned.
Lowell immigrant soccer tourney set to begin
LOWELL, Mass. - An annual World Cup-style soccer tournament in Lowell created for Massachusetts immigrant groups is set to begin.
The 20-team, fifth annual ONE Lowell World Cup soccer tournament is scheduled to hold a “draw” party Sunday in Lowell to determine the schedule.
The two-day tournament, slated to start Aug. 6 at Lowell’s Cawley Stadium, is attracting immigrant players from countries including Somalia, Ghana, Brazil and Guatemala.
Under the tournament rules, 17 of a team’s 22 players must be from the country of the team, or be children or grandchildren of a person from that country.
ONE Lowell, an immigrant advocacy group, started the annual competition four years ago as a way to bring the area's diverse immigrant groups together.