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Lakers unveil 19-foot Kobe Bryant statue

New approaches to treating youth with COVID-19 mental health challenges


Minority officers eye more Boston Police diversity


 Minority officers eye more Boston Police diversity

A group of minority police officers wants Boston city councilors to put pressure on Mayor Thomas Menino to promote more minorities as supervisors and in specialized units.

The City Council held a hearing last week on diversity within the police department and minority officers promised to crowd the chambers.

The move comes after Police Commissioner Edward Davis promised last year to diversify command staff and a recent string of homicides in minority neighborhoods where investigators say witnesses are not cooperating.

Larry Ellison, president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement, said the department hasn’t made changes to diversify its ranks. He said a lack of minority officers in specialized units is one of many factors hurting police in preventing homicides.

A message seeking comment was left with the mayor’s office.

BHA to hire 100 youth for summer jobs program

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced this week that the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) will hire 100 youth ages 15 through 17 for the summer.  The jobs will go to youth who now live at BHA developments and who applied for a job through the city’s summer jobs program by registering with the Hopeline.

The U.S. Senate could soon replenish nearly $2 million of funding that the city is lacking by approving a bill that would provide $1 billion for summer jobs nationally, equaling about 1,200 youth positions in Boston.

 According to a news release from Mayor Menino’s office, city support for summer jobs this year remains steady at $4.3 million. Last year, the statement said, 9,752 Boston youth were able to connect to a summer job through a variety of programs — 2,600 of those jobs were private sector placements.

 “We are asking those of you in the private sector to provide as many jobs for our youth as you can,” said Menino.  “Providing positive summer employment experiences for our youth is beneficial for our city as a whole and proves to our youth that we truly care.”

Because it is still too early in the season to know the number of private sector placements, Menino explained, it is unclear how many youths will be employed this year through the city’s program.

“We wanted to do our part, and make sure that we employ as many Boston and BHA youth as possible this summer,” said Bill McGonagle, administrator of the Boston Housing Authority.  “Summer jobs provide our youth with a positive experience that includes learning, earning and responsibility that they would not have otherwise.”

This initiative will cost approximately $200,000 and the BHA will hire, in addition to the 100 youth, two adult coordinators to oversee the program for the summer.

 Mass. town settles race bias suit for $350,000

 A white woman who alleged in a lawsuit against the town of Randolph and the chairman of its planning board that she was prevented from subdividing her property because she lived with a black man and had two children with another black man has won a $350,000 settlement.
Barbara Mersal claimed in her suit that Planning Board Chairman Richard Goodhue violated her civil rights by blocking plans for her property. The suit alleged that she was “unlawfully bullied, intimidated and threatened” because of his “racial and gender bigotry.”

The town admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, which was paid for by its insurance company.

Mersal’s lawyer told The Boston Globe that the settlement “speaks loudly.”

Goodhue denies the allegations and says the insurer settled to save money.

Boston firefighters propose concession on contract

The head of the Boston firefighters union has proposed an 11th-hour contract concession to city councilors weighing a controversial 19 percent pay raise awarded to city firefighters by an arbitrator.

Edward Kelley, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 718, told councilors last Thursday that the union would agree to postpone part of the pay hike for a year if the councilors accept the award.

The offer came as the City Council held a second day of hearings on the raises.

Council President Michael Ross has said the award could be rejected if the firefighters union doesn’t make concessions to lower the estimated $74 million cost of the award, which the arbitrator said was warranted in exchange for a mandatory drug and alcohol testing.

Associated Press