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Gateway Cities crack down on crime

Posted in: Crime and safety   Gateway Cities
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The state’s Gateway Cities are plagued by poverty, anemic economic growth, and lagging educational attainment. What gets less attention is crime, which is a symptom of the lack of economic opportunity in these communities and also a contributor to the problem. Crime makes communities less attractive to businesses and their customers and saps community morale.

Some of the Gateway Cities are trying to reduce crime and the problems it creates by cracking down on gangs, prostitutes, and even trash violators.

The Sun of Lowell reports that police rounded up prostitutes and their customers Wednesday night in the second major crackdown in a month. The sweep netted 17 people -- eight women and nine men. Four of the women were arrested in the previous prostitution sweep in June.

Business leaders in the area are praising the crackdown and urging police to keep the heat on. Angel Ogando, who runs the Golden Barber Shop, said prostitution is hurting his business because of the image it gives his area of the city.

Lowell Deputy Police Superintendent Arthur Ryan Jr. said the sweeps are the city’s way of saying prostitution will not be tolerated in the community.  "It is out on the street. It is degrading to a neighborhood and it also indicative of other crime going on,” Ryan said. "If you are in a residential neighborhood and trying to have a good quality of life, the last thing you want is prostitutes walking in front of your house soliciting men."

Lynn, another Gateway City, appears to have had some success reducing crime by cracking down on gangs. The Item quotes Lynn Police Chief Kevin Coppinger as saying crime has dropped dramatically as the number of gang members has fallen from roughly 1,000 five years ago to less than 350 today. Coppinger credits the drop in gang members to two law enforcement sweeps in 2010 that took many off the streets and aggressive anti-gang efforts in the city’s schools.

Lynn officials are also trying to improve the appearance of the city by cracking down on residents and businesses violating trash rules. City inspectors recently issued more than 1,000 $50 trash citations during sweeps through neighborhoods.

                                                                                                                                                        --BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

The Massachusetts Senate joins the House in overwhelmingly rejecting Gov. Deval Patrick’s amendments to the state budget dealing with EBT reform, Taunton State Hospital, and vehicle registration, the Telegram reports.

The Cape Cod Times analyzes the casino compact between the Mashpee Wampanoag and the state. Seven communities abutting Taunton are seeking answers and money -- not necessarily in that order -- in dealing with the tribe’s proposed casino in the Silver City.

Non-union contractors are crying foul over a decision by the Patrick administration to restrict bidding on a $285 million bridge reconstruction project to firms using union workers.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua is asking Cardinal Sean O’Malley to stop attaching deed restrictions on land sold by the Archdiocese in the wake of a CommonWealth magazine investigation.

NorthEndWaterfront.com climbs to the highest point in the North End and takes pictures of a slew of illegal rooftop grills. Via Universal Hub.

Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, chair of the School Committee, says he is changing the public comment rules for the committee, which had been open to any topic, to limit discussion only to items on the board’s agenda.

Mayor Tom Menino’s environment chief, Jim Hunt, will leave City Hall at the end of the July, says the Dorchester Reporter.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

The Atlantic analyzes findings from a National Journal report that showed female GOP Capitol Hill staffers make an average of $10,000 less than their male counterparts.

ELECTION 2012

The fallout continues from Thursday’s Globe story on Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.  The Romney campaign tries to go on the offensive, demanding a correction from the paper, but the effort falls flat because it doesn’t actually dispute any facts reported in the story. The Boston Herald calls out the Globe for failing to give credit to two left-leaning websites for their role in breaking some parts of yesterday’s front-page story.

In a Herald column, Joe Battenfeld argues that Romney needs an exciting pick for VP, such as Marco Rubio, Condoleeza Rice, or Kelly Ayotte.

Sen. Scott Brown said in a CNN interview on Tuesday that he regularly gets calls from the president, vice president, and secretary of state seeking his vote on various issues, a claim the Globe says isn’t so.

The Daily Beast examines the growing income inequality gap between presidential candidates and the people they seek to represent.

Republican political consultant Todd Domke, in his WBUR column, riffs on lying politicians and the ominous trend they represent.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The Worcester Business Journal looks at five factors that could raise the profile of Central Massachusetts in the life sciences sector.

Made-in-China US Olympic uniforms are stirring outrage -- and they aren’t cheap, NPR reports (via WBUR).

The company that owns the Shaw’s and Star Market supermarket chain may be putting those stores up for sale, the Patriot Ledger reports.  

The New York Times reports on new data that shows encouraging signs for the economy.

HEALTH CARE

The state has announced EEE-infected mosquitoes have been found in Carver, just days after a similar discovery was made in Easton.

The Globe reports that veterans of the Massachusetts health care reform effort are in big demand as consultants to states across the country, as the states start planning for the insurance exchanges that are required as part of the federal reform law.

The Obama administration is probing why Pennsylvania’s Medicaid population fell by 180,000 between last August and January, Governing reports.

There is an impending fight in Florida over Governor Rick Scott’s promise to reject Medicaid expansion, the New York Times reports.

TRANSPORTATION

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejects an appeal alleging that tolls from the Turnpike were improperly being used to pay off Big Dig debts, AP reports (via the Telegram).

Newton Police begin issuing tickets to cyclists.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

The report by former FBI director Louis Freeh that the late football coaching legend Joe Paterno as well as a number of Penn State officials knew of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children also says the Second Mile charity founded by Sandusky ignored a report of at least one incident.

A lawsuit alleges a Harvard swim coach molested children 40 years ago, NECN reports. The coach committed suicide in 1996.

A Leominster police officer is under investigation for allegedly making a racial comment to Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford at a game in Manchester, New Hampshire, the Sun reports.

North Providence Police Chief John Whiting will be allowed to keep his pension despite having stolen hundreds of dollars from a stripper, the Attleboro Sun Chronicle reports.

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