Remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award

“Recently I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients. Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award.

“Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team. One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions.

“Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”

Bill Belichik

In the several years I’ve included this, my personal blog, in my public and private life on the Internet, I must have previously noted that I’m a supporter of the New England Patriots in the NFL. Lots of contributing factors above and beyond the usual sports-on-TV watchers reasons. About as traditional as it gets in most sports around the world.

The Pats were my home team. Not just that I lived in the Boston area and this was a serious New England team in the NFL. I mean they were my HOME team – the last place I lived in New England before moving Out West. When the Pats were playing a home game, I would get on my mountain bike and make it through a couple old paved backroads, some dirt roads, a bike track through the woods…all in under 45 minutes. Lock my bike to any handy evergreen – so, it would be hidden – as well as secure. Walk another couple minutes into Schaefer Stadium parking lot and up to the main gate. Up into the stands to support my home team.

GO PATS!

BRAVO, BELICHIK!

Massachusetts offshore wind auction draws global competitors, big money


David L. Ryan/GLOBE Staff/File

❝ The blockbuster auction for offshore wind leases that wrapped up Friday should leave few doubts: The industry has finally arrived in New England.

Three developers backed by major European energy companies paid a record $405 million to gain access to 390,000 acres of federal waters nearly 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. These firms will each pay $135 million to the federal government for the rights to build massive windmills in their respective slices of the ocean…

❝ The victors: Equinor, a Norwegian company formerly known as Statoil until this past spring; Mayflower Wind, a joint venture owned by Shell and EDP Renewables; and Vineyard Wind, a venture controlled by Spain’s Iberdrola and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

RTFA. Maybe someone will read it to the fake president.

Wanna be a Massachusetts State Cop? Join the line for F Troop!

❝ Revelations about an alleged overtime scam, a wave of suspensions, and hefty pay for Massachusetts State Police troopers have sparked scrutiny of the state’s largest law enforcement agency.

But troopers’ actual earnings are much higher than previously reported, and new disclosures raise further questions about the agency’s spending, oversight, and transparency.

❝ Payroll records for an entire 140-trooper State Police division — including some of the department’s highest earners — have been hidden from public view and weren’t filed with the state comptroller for several years…

❝ The records for Troop F, which polices Logan International Airport and parts of the Seaport, among other areas, accounted for more than $32.5 million in spending last year and portray a lucrative, overtime-laden operation that outpaces the compensation totals of troopers working in other State Police divisions.

For example, Thomas J. Coffey was paid $351,774 last year, including $137,091 in overtime pay, making him the second-highest earner in the agency, behind only the former superintendent.

Coppers got these paychecks whether their overtime records were legit — or not. Some of the alleged crooks – oops, alleged cops! – put in overtime records for as many as 100 no-shows.

Pyramid scheme conman didn’t trust banks — $20 million hidden in his mattress

telexfree-mattress

❝ US authorities have seized $20m in cash discovered in a bed frame under a mattress in a Massachusetts flat…The cash is believed to be linked to a $1bn pyramid scheme involving TelexFree, a company that claimed to provide internet phone services.

Investigators uncovered the cash while following a Brazilian man, who was charged in connection to the haul.

❝ Federal prosecutors say the defunct company swindled almost a million people worldwide out of about $1bn.

The US attorney’s office in Massachusetts tweeted a photo of the windfall of cash, which was found at the flat of Brazilian national Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, in Westborough, Massachusetts.

Mr Rocha was arrested and charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.

A judge…ruled that Mr Rocha was a flight risk and held him without bail…

Crooks always think everyone else is a crook, too. 🙂

National Guard [with helicopter], State Police, raid 81-year-old’s backyard to seize one pot plant

Margaret Holcomb and her son Tim Holcomb stand where Margaret's marijuana plant was seized the other day from her backyard in Amherst.
The scene of the crimeAndrew Whitaker/Gazette Staff

❝ All that remains of the solitary marijuana plant an 81-year-old grandmother had been growing behind her South Amherst home is a stump and a ragged hole in the ground.

Margaret Holcomb said she was growing the plant as medicine, a way to ease arthritis and glaucoma and help her sleep at night. Tucked away in a raspberry patch and separated by a fence from any neighbors, the plant was nearly ready for harvest when a military-style helicopter and police descended on Sept. 21.

In a joint raid, the Massachusetts National Guard and State Police entered her yard and cut down the solitary plant in what her son, Tim Holcomb, said was a “pretty shocking” action — one that he argues constitutes unlawful surveillance and illegal search and seizure…

❝ Holcomb said he was told that as long as he did not demand that a warrant be provided to enter the property or otherwise escalate the situation, authorities would file no criminal charges.

“’We just want the illegal contraband,’” Holcomb recalled the officer saying…

❝ Such enforcement actions have become commonplace since the 2012 law that made medical marijuana legal in Massachusetts, according to Northampton attorney Michael Cutler.

“The exact same stuff happened last year,” said Cutler, who specializes in helping clients understand the state’s medical marijuana law and recently participated in drafting the language of the Nov. 8 ballot initiative that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Looks to me the coppers and other nasties are trying to get in their last licks before democracy takes hold and takes away their toys on November 8th.

RTFA for all the police state details as the guardians of the galaxy moved through the region confiscating a grand total of 44 pot plants in three towns that day. Golly!

Judge orders parishioners to vacate church they’ve occupied for 11 years

Mary Fernandes inside Mother Cabrini church
Click to enlargeDina Rudick/Boston GLOBE Staff

Mary Fernandes, parishioners, continue to occupy their church

A Massachusetts judge ordered St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church be vacated as parishioners continue to keep an around-the-clock vigil in the shuttered church that has lasted more than a decade.

Judge Edward P. Leibensperger ordered parishioners out of the Roman Catholic church that was closed by the Archdiocese of Boston in 2004 as part of a downsizing plan. But church members, calling themselves The Friends of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, said they have no plans to end their 11-year occupation, instead opting to appeal Leibensperger’s ruling.

Jon Rogers, a leader and founder of the nonprofit group, said the archdiocese’s decision to close the church was solely based on money. The church needs money to pay off clergy sex abuse scandals, he said. The church sits on 30 acres of ocean-view land worth some $4 million.

“Here’s the crux of the matter — we are sitting on one of the most valuable of pieces of property in Boston. And they need the money,” he said. “You don’t get to hurt children and then steal our church to pay off your crimes…”

The occupation has been ongoing, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, since the church closed. Parishoners have been working in shifts, sleeping on floors and pews and holding Sunday services with consecrated bread and wine for the Eucharist secretly provided by area priests.

Anyone see anything about this courageous act on national TV? Any family values hustlers helping out?

Dunno how dumb these crooks are – but, the coppers are pretty smart

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 6.42.31 PM
Some of the stolen goods recoveredLakeville PD photo

The imprint of a license plate in a snowbank proved to be the undoing of a couple suspected of a series of burglaries in Massachusetts.

A Lakeville police officer investigating a home break-in traced the imprint to a pickup truck that matched the description of a vehicle seen at other burglaries.

Chief Frank Alvilhiera told The Enterprise of Brockton on Monday that the truck was traced to a Dartmouth hotel…A search of a hotel room uncovered more than 300 stolen items, including jewelry, watches, wallets, laptops and cameras. Alvilhiera estimates the goods are worth at least $10,000.

Meanwhile, Robert Beaucaire and Amy Peters face charges including breaking and entering and larceny.

Something good besides lots of snowshoeing had to come from all that snow on the South Shore.

Nice guy of the day

phillip leclerc

A Massachusetts man who bought a desk for $40 at an auction said a search for a missing knob turned up at least $127,000 worth of bonds.

Phillip LeClerc, 60, of Weymouth, said he bought the desk for $40 on Nov. 19 at a Kelley Auctions sale and he went searching through the desk’s many compartments when a knob came loose from a small drawer and fell off.

LeClerc said he discovered the first envelope poking out from a small gap beneath a drawer and he soon had a stack of bonds that matured in 1992 and have since accumulated interest. He estimated the stack of bonds is worth a total of at least $127,000.

LeClerc contacted Marge Kelley, president of the auction company. Kelley said the bonds were returned to a man who said the money will go toward caring for his 94-year-old father.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years and every day the stories get stranger and better…” Kelley told the Boston Globe.

All I can do is agree.

Nice story, nice human being.

TV CSI’s – and a few thugs – lose their plot because of new DNA test

A Boston-area man long suspected of two 2004 rapes was formally charged after a new DNA test linked him to the crimes and excluded his twin brother.

Dwayne McNair, 33, of Dedham pleaded not guilty Monday. His bail was set at $500,000.

McNair had been charged earlier and spent almost two years in jail. A judge ordered him released, and prosecutors dropped the charges while the new test, which can distinguish between identical twins, was conducted.

Prosecutors in Suffolk County said the test, used for the first time in Massachusetts, found there was only a 1 in 2 billion chance the DNA in the samples being tested could have come from McNair’s brother, Dwight. McNair was indicted on eight counts of rape and two of armed robbery.

Another man, Anwar Thomas, 32, pleaded guilty in the case in 2011. But the prosecution of McNair was stymied by the possibility the DNA could have been his brother’s.

Silly me. I wrote the headline up top because CSI Cop Shows will lose part of a favorite plot-line. Now, they have acquired a new twist to the same old plot.

And, yes, “same old plot” isn’t especially appropriate since police-level DNA analysis has only been around 1986.