White all over

Hard to tell if the arrest of James “Whitey” Bulger is the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning, a chance for closure or merely the end of the line for the notorious crime boss.

Many of the myths surrounding Whitey Bulger’s disappearance are falling by the wayside. It doesn’t appear he spent much time, if any, in London, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, Nantucket or any number of exotic locales. In fact, it now looks like Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, had been living the sedentary life of many retirees in a rent-controlled apartment in scenic Santa Monica.

One thing many of those who knew Whitey are saying is count on the mobster to keep mum about anything that could damage those closest to him, such as his brother, the former Senate and UMass president, William Bulger.

A number of politicians are remembering the days when the Bulger brothers ruled the legal and illegal aspects of Boston life.  House Speaker Robert DeLeo offers his remembrances of Bulger with Jim Braude while Senate President Therese Murray told WATD-FM she never thought Bulger would be captured or found alive.

But just what Whitey will say, if anything, is the source of much speculation – and angst.

“I’m hoping he’s got dementia,” one old acquaintance from the Southie hood told the Herald’s Peter Gelzinis with a nervous laugh. “I want the [expletive] to forget everything . . . including the grudges.”

It’s interesting to read the different takes on Bulger’s arrest, with many media outlets outside of Boston looking for a local connection. It’s also telling that much of the institutional memory of both the Herald and the Globe, with a few exceptions, resides more outside the papers than inside these days, with the Globe running its old Spotlight series on Bulger’s FBI connections and the Herald touting Howie Carr and Gelzinis, the two staffers with the longest connections to the Bulger story. (As an aside, the Herald, true to its tab roots, used the term “moll” in referring to Greig in eight different stories since yesterday while the more staid Globe used the word once and not as a direct description.)

But one thing is certain: After more than four decades of the growing legend of Whitey Bulger, it’s unlikely the reality will match the myth.

                                                                                                                  –JACK SULLIVAN

BEACON HILL

State Rep. Stephen Canessa of New Bedford has resigned from the House effective today to take the position of legislative liaison for Southcoast Health System. Although he is barred from lobbying his former colleagues for one year, he noted he can put the arm on Patrick administration officials and members of the congressional delegation.

Lawmakers are becoming increasingly anxious about the slow pace of budget deliberations.

TORNADO AFTERMATH

FEMA and US Small Business Administration officials urge Springfield residents to seek federal disaster assistance funds.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Sheffield rejects override.

Fifty-four Boston firefighters have been suspended for faking emergency medical training certification.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

Political odd couple: US Rep. Barney Frank and GOP presidential candidate (and fellow congressman) Ron Paul are co-sponsoring a bill to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substance at the federal level and let states allow people to puff without criminal recourse.

Chuck Colson, writing in the National Review, says we’ve moved away from our history as a forgiving nation, and tosses out a few prime examples, including his own as a Watergate protagonist, of the power of repentance and forgiveness.

Rep. Eric Cantor quits budget compromise talks. Slate argues that the breakdown was a foregone conclusion.

President Barack Obama sticks his toe into the gay marriage debate.

ELECTION 2012

Newt Gringrich says that the GOP will win the African-American vote because President Obama has been so bad that that group will desert him.

Tea partiers may grab the headlines but don’t rule out the old-school GOP establishment.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

An Upper Crust pizza outlet in Salem is facing an $80,000 fine for cheating workers out of overtime pay, the Globe reports.

The father of the subprime mortgage eyes a comeback.

SPORTS

The NFL and its players just concluded two days of clandestine talks aimed at settling their 100-day lockout at a meeting on Nantasket Beach in Hull, of all places.

EDUCATION

The reasons why the Sandwich school superintendent has been banned from school buildings for no more than three hours each day may soon be made public.

HEALTH CARE

A US Supreme Court ruling could open the way for pharmacies to share prescribing information with pharmaceutical companies — and could imperil efforts to pass legislation in Massachusetts and elsewhere to prohibit such practices.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Meet the Author

Jack Sullivan

Senior Investigative Reporter, CommonWealth

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is now retired. A veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is now retired. A veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

Sal DiMasi’s publicly funded attorney filed a motion for the court to approve thousands of dollars to pay for transcripts to help prepare the convicted former House speaker’s appeal.

The Springfield Republican hails a new state effort to curb youth gang violence in the metro area.