Belated, but…my day at the Metro

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11/23/10

Over a week ago, Tuesday, November 23, I filled in for Boston Metro editor Nicolaus Czarnecki. The day started under a crisp gray sky at the Boston Municipal Court in Dorchester. 9am – the Herald photographer had arrived ten minutes before me and so became the “pool” photographer. Because only one photographer is allowed into the court at a time, the first to show up is the only one allowed to record the proceedings. Other photographers enter a “pool” to get copies of the photos for their paper. So there’s a lot of pressure on that photographer to get good shots. Sometimes, when a case is emotionally charged like the arraignment of Dwayne Moore,  accused of four counts of homicide, the defense attorney will have the defendant stand in a doorway out of sight from the court photographer. There is well-documented evidence that photographs of the accused bound in handcuffs sways the opinion of possible jury members who have yet to be selected for the trial. I waited with the TV crew in the hallway, palpably aware that our presence there was especially unwelcome. Still, ignoring the event would have been much worse in the end. It’s a delicate balance.

For a jarringly abrupt transition, my next assignment was an animal-friendly shoe store in Cambridge. A world apart, I found myself in Sudo Shoes, a retailer specializing in environmentally friendly footwear. Scot, the owner, was shy but very generous with his time.

From there, I made my way downtown to the TD Garden. In an annual charity event, Table of Friends, the Garden sponsors a Thanksgiving dinner for Boston’s homeless. Governor Deval Patrick, TD Garden President John Wentzell, Boston Celtics Team President Rich Gotham, members of the Boston Bruins Alumni including Ken Hodge, Frank Simonetti, Tommy Songin, Terry O’Reilly, Rick Middleton, and many more were there serving food. A photo opportunity that never made it into the eventual paper.

Back to Dorchester. It’s now 3 and I’m at Boston Firefighter’s Local 718. They’re there to rally for the “9/11 Bill” which would give first responders, including firefighters, paramedics, and police officers who responded at Ground Zero in the hours and weeks and months after the attack, health care. First responders to 9/11 have been plagued by health problems due to unsafe air conditions at Ground Zero. Some have died from the exposure. A contingent of New York firefighters and first responders joined 30-40 Boston firefighters.

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