Boston doctors seek different approach to gun violence
Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital launched the new Center for Gun Violence Prevention on Monday, with a slew of Massachusetts elected officials on hand to support the effort.
Clinicians will use the center, funded with $1.2 million from MGH and $200,000 from Harvard Medical School, to address the gun violence problem through a public health lens.
Attorney General Maura Healey; Mark Barden, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise; Boston Mayor Marty Walsh; House Speaker Robert DeLeo; and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins were among the speakers at the event.
Founded by pediatric surgeon Dr. Peter Masiakos, director of the Pediatric Trauma Service at Mass General Hospital for Children, and internist Dr. Chana Sacks, the center is dedicated to advancing the health and safety of children and adults through research, clinical care, education and community engagement. For Sacks the effort is even more personal, as her cousin’s 7-year-old son Daniel was one of the children killed in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Clementina Chéry, founder of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, named after her 15-year-old son, who shot and killed 25 years ago in Dorchester, also spoke at the event.
Sacks said the center will also distribute free gun locks to patients “the same way we hand out free condoms or bike helmets.” The methods deployed by the center will be an effort to work around the 1996 Dickey Amendment, a federal provision that bars Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds from being used for injury prevention or promotion of gun control.
“With nearly 40,000 people a year dying, we have a responsibility as people in the health care system to tackle that issue the way we would any issue that’s affecting our patients,” Sacks said. “So it’s not that we’re choosing this issue, it’s choosing us.”
There have been 17 homicides so far this year in Boston, with 14 of those from gun violence. DeLeo said legislation related to firearms and supporting behavioral health among young people will be “a part of our discussion” on Beacon Hill.
DeLeo said Reps. Chynah Tyler, Liz Miranda, Andy Vargas and Dan Cullinane “are already hard at work on this issue,” but told State House News Service he didn’t have any specific bill in mind at this point.
State public health commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel said her department has started “explicitly addressing gun violence through a public health and racial equity lens.” Bharel said black youths in Massachusetts are 32 times more likely to be hospitalized for a firearm injury than their white counterparts.
State Rep. Andy Vargas is facing blowback from antivaccine activists over his bill to remove religious exemptions for vaccinating children in the state. (Boston Globe)
Joan Vennochi is not too taken with the claims of former House speaker Sal DiMasi, who served a federal prison sentence for corruption connected to taking payments to steer a state contract to a company, that he has a constitutional right to now work as a lobbyist on Beacon Hill. (Boston Globe)
When they head to the polls next week, retired yacht broker David Hooks wants Marblehead voters to approve a $50,000 one-time Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion for trees to beautify downtown. (Salem News)
Some residents of Newton’s Lower Falls neighborhood are concerned that a proposal to develop an MBTA Green Line parking lot into 675 housing units – including roughly 100 affordable – will bring “an urban setting to a suburban town.” (WGBH)
Tracy Blanchette, who was Methuen’s first female firefighter when she was hired 25 years ago, filed a Civil Service complaint claiming she was passed up for a promotion because of sexism and favoritism. (Eagle-Tribune)
The owner of a pirate radio station in Worcester agrees to shut down and surrender the equipment. (Telegram & Gazette)
Chicopee School Committee member David Schryver was pepper sprayed and arrested after police responded to his home in connection with a domestic complaint. (MassLive)
Whitey <3 Donald. (Boston Globe)
A merged United Technologies and Raytheon will site its corporate headquarters in Massachusetts, the second big landing of a one-time Connecticut-based firm following the state’s wooing of General Electric — though the vast majority of United Technologies jobs will remain in Connecticut. (Boston Globe)
While many assumed that interim Boston Public Schools superintendent Laura Perille would step into a vacant cabinet-level education post, Mayor Marty Walsh has decided instead to scrap the education adviser position. (WBUR)
Career and technical high schools are the jewels of the state’s education system, says Pioneer Institute’s Tom Birmingham. (CommonWealth)
After suing the federal Bureau of Prisons, Stephanie DiPierro will be allowed to continue her methadone treatment while behind bars, potentially setting a precedent for other inmates addicted to opioids. (WGBH)
A 99-year-old World War II Navy veteran is moving off the Cape for the first time in 55 years when Brewster’s Wingate Residences closes in August. In a situation that highlights the lack of affordable assisted living for veterans, Francis Preston’s family has been unable to find an open slot in a subsidized assisted-living facility on the Cape, where places like Cape Cod Senior Residences have multi-year waitlists. (Cape Cod Times)
The MBTA suffered its second derailment in four days, as a Red Line train ran off the tracks at the JFK/UMass stop in Dorchester, throwing the morning commute into chaos for thousands of riders. (Boston Globe)
The idea of a special, reduced fare for low-income people gained some steam at a meeting of the Fiscal and Management Control Board after an MIT study concluded those riders are particularly sensitive to trip pricing. (CommonWealth)
T notes: New fare inspectors will be civilians, not cops — and lots more. (CommonWealth)
Northeast seaports, including New Bedford, are inadequate to meet the needs of the region’s burgeoning offshore wind industry. (CommonWealth)
The nonprofit Boston Harbor Now is teaming up with the National Park Service and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to create a 30-year redevelopment plan for Peddocks Island in an effort to boost the number of visitors to the second-largest of the Boston Harbor Islands. (Patriot Ledger)
Curbed Boston takes a look at Encore Boston Harbor by the numbers. With 5,500 employees, 28,300 plus expected annual ferry trips, and 800 trees, the massive (and controversial) undertaking is expected to open June 23.
A Globe editorial pans the idea that Boston police officers should get extra pay for wearing body cameras.
Bristol County DA Thomas Quinn says two South Coast men were among the five people arrested over the past two months during a child pornography investigation. (Standard Times)
Robert Paul Marley II, a 60-year-old Lynnfield man, was allegedly extremely intoxicated and called Coast Guard officials “Nazis” when he was arrested Saturday night on his seventh charge of drunk boating. (Gloucester Daily Times)
Carmelo Baez, a 41-year-old Lawrence man, allegedly snuck up on his ex-girlfriend, punched her in the face and then shot at her. The court will hold a dangerousness hearing Monday. (Eagle-Tribune)
A SWAT team from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council helped Amesbury police execute a search warrant, but there is no public documentation yet of what was found or what police were looking for. (Salem News)
The city of Fall River won an initial victory in a lawsuit brought by a New Jersey-based company related to a failed 2017 deal to sell the King Philip Mill, with a court order to transfer the case to Massachusetts federal court. (Herald News)
MEDIAWas the New York Times report on the $4.7 billion that Google allegedly made off the news industry “fake news?” (Columbia Journalism Review) Or imaginary? (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Learn about the Compass Experiment to help local news coverage. (Medium)