Issuu on Google+

The Daily Free Press Year xliii. Volume lxxxiv. Issue XVII DIRTY WATER Muddy Water Restoration faces opposition, page 3. [ Thursday, February 14, 2013 The Independent Student Newspaper at Boston University MAY CAUSE TEARS Side Effects shows a different side to drama, page 5. ] MO FO’ SHO’ WEATHER Team effort slides BU women past Vermont, 56-47, page 8. Today: Partly cloudy/High 42 Tonight: Mostly clear/Low 32 Tomorrow: 49/32 Data Courtesy of Days after Nemo, Mass. reflects on cleanup efforts Bulger’s pre-trial By Kyle Plantz Daily Free Press Staff The City of Boston continues to clean up the aftermath of Winter Storm Nemo even though the snow stopped days ago. “We are still in the cleanup process,” said Michael Verseckes, spokesman for Massachusetts Department of Transportation. “We got a lot of the snow melted, but overnight the temperatures dropped and froze the water again. We’re not out of it [the cleanup process] just yet.” Winter Storm Nemo hit Boston Friday and continued until Saturday, leaving behind about 24.9 inches of snow to the area, making Nemo the fifth largest snowstorm ever to hit Boston. Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick called for utilities to look into the cost to put power lines underground on Monday after the snowstorm left more than 400,000 homes and businesses without electricity. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shut down services Friday at about 3:30 p.m. and resumed normal schedules Monday morning. Joe Pesaturo, MBTA spokesperson, said in an email the MBTA would not have been operational without the help from employees who worked around the clock. “Despite a blizzard that crippled the area this [past] weekend, America’s oldest subway came back fully operational [Monday] morning, providing safe and reliable service to tens of thousands of customers,” he hearings continue, immunity debated By Nora Philbin Daily Free Press Staff SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS Although the clean-up process has taken a while, Boston agencies are happy with the progress. said. “While there were some minor delays, there were no significant service interruptions.” Pesaturo said the MBTA’s pre-storm strategy worked well, but exposing T cars to the weather had some negative effects. “Exposing the T’s aging subway cars and trolleys to heavy snow and ice for sustained periods of time has a detrimental effect, and makes it more difficult to get the vehicles back into service in a timely manner,” he said. “In this case, however, the subway system performed very well, and protecting the aging fleet had a lot to do with that success.” Peter Judge, public information officer of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said the Commonwealth had time to prepare before the storm hit, which made the cleanup process easier. Cleanup, see page 2 Foxwoods makes bid for Mass. gaming license amidst controversy By Alice Bazerghi Daily Free Press Contributor Foxwoods Resort Casino is joining the Massachusetts casino sweepstakes as a full partner and stakeholder in the Milford venture for the most lucrative casino license in the state. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission plans to issue a license at the beginning of 2014 for the Crossroads casino, advancing the timeline by three months. Foxwoods representatives said they were excited about their new Massachusetts casino venture that would build a casino in Milford, according to a Sunday email statement from Foxwoods. “The pairing represents the foundation of a compelling case for a Bostonarea gaming license,” read the statement. “Crossroads brings the Milford site, an excellent location for a gaming-focused development, and Foxwoods brings unpar- alleled regional gaming experience”. Foxwoods is in direct competition with Suffolk Downs, which proposed a casino in East Boston with Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts, which plans a casino resort on the Mystic River waterfront in Everett, according to information from the MGC website. Multiple casino companies are competing for the Western Massachusetts resort license, including a project backed by Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. In January, PPE Casino Resorts was the last to apply to the sweepstakes, without a specific location. The developer is looking at the town of Danvers for a possible slot parlor at the Liberty Tree Mall. The competition brings new attention to the debate over the comparative merits of urban and suburban casinos. Many groups said they oppose the gambling sweepstakes for a variety of reasons. Carl Peirce, vice president of, said he is strongly opposed to casino development in Massachusetts. “Casino gambling and slot parlors are at best a zero-sum gain for the economy, and experience has shown that there has been moderate-to-heavy burdens placed on these communities after the first five years of economic shine has worn off,“ he said. Peirce also said he has moral issues with spreading gambling across the Commonwealth. “Gambling is a waste of good time and money, and is greed driven,” he said. “The industry is by nature predatory. It feeds off of the greed of others to their own detriment, only to feed itself. The majority of the industry owners not only do not gamble themselves, but also do not live near their own establishments. That should tell you something about the industry.” Foxwoods, see page 2 The saga of James “Whitey” Bulger continued Wednesday at a pre-trial hearing where the prosecution and the defense debated whether Bulger’s alleged immunity would be allowed as a defense in court. U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns did not hand out an immunity ruling Wednesday and said he would take the issue under advisement, giving the defense and prosecution 14 days to submit further filings. “The judge asked for more written submissions from both sides, so there was no ruling of any sort,” said Christina Sterling, public information officer for the U.S. Department of Justice District of Massachusetts. This hearing is the result of Bulger’s claim that a federal prosecutor granted him immunity for his crimes while he was providing the Federal Bureau of Investigation information on rival crime organizations. Bulger was the leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang. He is charged with federal racketeering and 19 murders he allegedly committed during the 1970s and 1980s. After a prolonged manhunt, Bulger was arrested in June 2011 in California. Prosecutors claim that immunity from the FBI has no basis in legality, as it would not allow for murder. J. W. Carney Jr., Bulger’s attorney, declined to comment about the hearing. Richard Lehr, professor of journalism at Boston University and author of multiple books on Bulger, said there is a lot of debate surrounding the claim of immunity for Bulger because it was not based on anything legal. “Any lawyer I have talked to said that he doesn’t have a legal prayer,” Lehr said. “Legally, there is no such thing as a license to kill. I can see why he thinks he has a license to kill because of his experience on the street all those years where he indeed was able to kill without consequence because he had a band of corrupt FBI agents protecting him. It’s not as crazy as it seems.” Lehr said Bulger may not have had legal immunity, but he was safe from prosecution on the street. Bulger, see page 2 CAP reports total student loan debt at $1 trillion, BU prof. calls for gov’t. efforts By Margaret Waterman Daily Free Press Staff As student loan debt totals $1 trillion, according to a recent report, the government must increase its efforts to decrease the cost of higher education nationwide to prevent students from opting out of college, said Boston University economics professor Kevin Lang. “There are a number of things that can be done and seem to be relatively low-cost,” he said. “The most promising of these is replacing private loans that are guaranteed by the federal government with direct loans from the federal government.” Wednesday, the Center for American Progress released a report finding student loan debt currently totaling $1 trillion. Of the 35 million student and ex-student borrowers, 13 percent defaulted on their loans in 2009, according to the report. “It is time for federal policymakers to take action,” the CAP report stated. “We should enact meaningful reforms that include an in- terest rate reduction and that provide a way for private loan borrowers to consolidate their debt into the federal student loan program.” Lang said while college students and high school graduates continue to value obtaining a degree, some may believe taking on debt to attend college is too great a risk. “People are looking at the very high economic returns from graduating college despite the tough labor market for recent college graduates,” he said. “But weighing against that is the concern about the risk — ‘what if I don’t get a job, what if I don’t get a good job and I have all these student loans?’” While student loan debt continues to grow, governmental financial support for institutes of higher education has decreased, Lang said. “Higher education serves a fairly small segment of the population and you don’t have to stop offering higher education, you can just increase fees or tuition depending on the state,” he said. “It’s a fairly easy political place to cut [spending].” Debt, see page 2 GRAPHIC BY MICHELLE JAY/DAILY FREE PRESS Student loan debt is at an all-time high, reaching a total of $1 trillion this year, according to a study released Tuesday by the Center for American Progress.

February 14th Daily Free Press

Related publications