Wife’s cancer leads to his firing

It seems so unfair. First, Kathy Sorabella of Natick learned she had lung cancer and her prognosis wasn’t good. Then Carl Sorabella, her husband, told his boss that he might need a more flexible work schedule to get his wife to chemotherapy treatments and doctor visits. Despite 14 years with the company, and a raise last November, his boss fired him.

“She said, ‘It’s business. I’m running a company here, and I need to make sure the department runs.’ And I argued that I would make sure the company runs,” Carl  said.

Carl said he offered to work nights and weekends, but his boss said no. “And I’m like, ‘You just can’t do that. I mean, she’s on disability. We have no income now. And unemployment — they cap you at $625 a week,’” Sorabella said.

Sorabella’s boss, Mary Butler of Haynes Management Inc. in Wellesley, wouldn’t budge, and Sorabella is out of work. There are state and federal laws that deal with such situations, but most of them don’t apply to companies with fewer than 50 employees, so there’s nothing the Sorabellas can do.

The couple initially shared their heart-wrenching story with WCVB-TV’s Susan Wornick, who interviewed them in Kathy’s hospital room. Butler declined comment, calling the situation a “private personnel matter.”

The story is now starting to gain national attention, with reports on ABC News, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere. The comments on the articles are worth reading, too.

                                                                                                                                                    –BRUCE MOHL


Dissecting DiMasi.  The Salem News, in an editorial, says the real problem on Beacon Hill is the concentration of power in the hands of the Speaker and Senate President. The paper notes lawmakers just last January were wildly cheering the previous three speakers, two of whom had already been convicted of felonies and a third, Sal DiMasi, who was facing charges. “As long as the Legislature is populated with servile sheep such as these, the culture of corruption that encouraged DiMasi’s outrageous conduct is bound to continue,” the paper says.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, in an interview with Sacha Pfeiffer on WBUR’s All Things Considered, calls the conviction of his predecessor Sal DiMasi a “powerful blow to the public’s trust in government.” Peter Gelzinis notes that the conviction could also be a blow to DeLeo himself. Jim Braude on NECN discusses the verdict with state Rep. William Straus, former state treasurer Joe Malone, and Globe columnist Joan Venocchi. The Lowell Sun notes the verdict is spurring no call for new Beacon Hill reforms. Treasurer Steve Grossman moves to suspend DiMasi’s pension. One local political science professor compares Beacon Hill to Tammany Hall.

On “Greater Boston,” attorney Harvey Silverglate, Republican Joe Malone and Democratic consultant Michael Goldman discussed the week of ethically challenged politicians. No one asked Malone about the theft of Treasury funds under his watch. Meanwhile, Dan Kennedy posits that the Sal DiMasi conviction would never have happened had it not been for the Globe, yet another example of the continuing need for the type of watchdog journalism that seems to be waning in mainstream media. The Berkshire Eagle says the DiMasi story is definitely a case of business as usual even if Speaker DeLeo thinks otherwise. The Globe steps back and chronicles DiMasi’s long rise — and hard fall.

In a Boston Herald op-ed, state Sen. Jamie Eldridge pushes tougher campaign finance regulations as a cure for Beacon Hill’s pay-to-play mentality.

About a dozen speakers at a legislative hearing urged lawmakers to toughen seat belt laws.


Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan reversed a two-day old restriction on releasing information and documents to the public and city councilors after residents compared the order to the previous administration’s actions, which Flanagan campaigned against.

A proposed ban on smoking outdoors in Provincetown is put on hold after some residents complain that it might hurt tourism.


US Rep Anthony Weiner resigned and at least one congressional colleague says that his plight could have ended differently if he had ’fessed up from day one.

Some Republican freshmen in the House have racked up tens of thousands of dollars in personal debt.


Tone deaf: Mitt Romney’s message to some unemployed folks in Florida. The Atlantic believes the Florida incident is bringing to light Romney’s social awkwardness. (Here’s Exhibit A in that column.)

Newton Mayor Setti Warren fares poorly in early June poll.

Slate parses Herman Cain’s crippling fear of Muslims.


US Sen. Scott Brown, in an op-ed in the Gloucester Times, says the problem with the fishing industry is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which views itself as above the law.

Allston residents cast a skeptical eye on Harvard’s latest redevelopment plans for their neighborhood.

CommonWealth’s Paul McMorrow says pressure is growing for a more ambitious redevelopment plan for the Boston Herald site alongside the Southeast Expressway.


A UMass Dartmouth professor who claims she was denied a promotion to full professor because of her gender and Asian heritage won an “unprecedented” $350,000 discrimination claim against the school.

US News & World Report is eyeing changes to its annual ranking of law schools after the American Bar Association announced new standards for schools to report job placement data.

School officials lay off staff and cut courses at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School after override fails.


The IRS is considering regulation changes that would require charities to disclose more financial information and force local affiliates of national groups to justify their tax-exempt status rather than a blanket exemption from the parent organization.


A MetroWest Medical Center surgeon is sanctioned by the state after 2 patients die in her care.


Hull officials once again lost a chance to restore weekend ferry service to and from Boston after the lone bidder dropped out.


The Eagle-Tribune reports on a city-wide drug sweep in Lawrence that nets 23 arrests.

The New York Times has a long take-out on the January killing of a case worker in a Revere group home.


Time reports on a Pew Research Center study suggesting online social networks actually seem to make people more social.


There will be one tomorrow in Boston. Something about a hockey team and a cup. The Globe looks at how police here have figured out how to keep a lid on out-of-control fan behavior in the streets, something Vancouver authorities don’t seem to have quite figured out.