Forecast: September

| Boston Magazine |

SPORTS
09/01–09/07 A FIELD GUIDE TO TIGER SPOTTING

After a knee injury kept him out of last year’s Deutsche Bank Championship, Tiger Woods’s expected return to the TPC course in Norton has fans that much more amped for the PGA Tour’s annual Bay State stop. With the throngs out in force, savvy gallery members know the key to a decent vantage point is bouncing ahead of the pack. After Woods tees off on No. 1, for instance, slide over to the green of the short par-4 fourth hole to see the World’s Greatest Golfer try to reach the dance floor in one—and perhaps reward your hustle by giving one of his trademark fist pumps.
deutschebankchampionship.com.

IDEAS
09/02 THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW FOR THAT

Today’s the deadline for Attorney General Martha Coakley to certify any petitions for ballot initiatives in next fall’s election. So far the 2010 crop of ballot questions is shaping up to be rather financially focused: There are multiple proposals to reduce that recently raised sales tax, there’s one to end the sales tax on liquor, and there’s another to ban tolls on state roads. Should the petitions pass legal muster, supporters will have until December to gather about 67,000 signatures to inch them closer to the ballot. So if you hate taxes, don’t be caught without a pen.

GIGS
09/07 BARRIOS GOES NATIONAL
Former state Senator Jarrett Barrios today takes the helm of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a national media-monitoring group facing tough questions within the local gay community. In June, Hub-based publications Edge and Bay Windows each wondered how relevant GLAAD remained. Could the brewing fight over proposed federal "defense of marriage" legislation (which Attorney General Martha
Coakley fears could unravel same-sex marriage benefits in Massachusetts) provide Barrios a powerful opportunity to reassert the group’s juice in the Bay State?

EDUCATION
09/08 UNION TEACHERS TRY TO SCHOOL MENINO
Boston’s public educators report for their first day of school today—and for some unlucky union teachers, it could be their last. In something of a dramatic shift, one-time charter school foe Mayor Tom Menino made the announcement in June that lagging public schools would be converted into nonunion charters, which instantly touched off a battle with the Boston Teachers Union. The value of the nontraditional schools was pushed to the fore earlier this year when the Boston Foundation released a much-ballyhooed report backing them. But Menino’s turnabout came after feds put nearly $5 billion in grants into play for districts opening charter schools.

For its part, the union is doing more than merely shouting down innovation. It recently helped to organize the faculty at Brighton’s Conservatory Lab Charter School, marking the first charter-to-union conversion in the state. This month, the group plans to open the Boston Teachers Union School in Jamaica Plain: A laboratory for educational innovation, it will feature "co-teacher leaders" instead of a principal, along with a number of other creative approaches that charter-backing reform advocates would applaud.

LECTURES 09/09
Legendary scientists E. O. Wilson and James Watson trade tales of yore and discuss the future of discovery at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre.
boxoffice.harvard.edu.

Consider This
Questions you’ll have reason to ask this month

Should I be alarmed by all the bank heists this month? Probably not. You see, Ben Affleck’s back home, adapting the Chuck Hogan novel Prince of Thieves into a shoot-’em-up love story called The Town. If the movie stays true to the book, expect at least one massive holdup and cop chase to rip through Kenmore Square (in addition to smaller stickups around town).

Who needs a cheap lawyer? Ropes & Gray and Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge are among the downsized Boston law firms telling the newly minted J.D.s they hired not to bother showing up this month, but instead to report back next year. Even those rookies lucky enough to have work are perhaps finding that fancy firm gigs aren’t what they used to be: A Weil Gotshal posting sent to Suffolk Law grads included lifting and moving boxes among the job requirements.

How entertaining is this debate going to get? Though it probably shouldn’t matter, it’s worth noting that the 9/10 televised mayoral debate (the second and final matchup before the 9/22 primary) will be brought to us by Fox 25 and the Boston Herald—not exactly twin bastions of staid and sober coverage. Here’s hoping for fireworks…with video at 11.  GEOFFREY GAGNON

DOCUMENTARIES
09/10 KEN BURNS SET FOR DOUBLE-HEADER

The famed filmmaker offers a preview of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (which debuts 9/27 on WGBH) tonight at the Museum of Science. But those who prefer ballparks to big parks, stay tuned: Next fall comes Burns’s follow-up to his 1994 Baseball series, which will look at the sport’s evolution in an era of labor disputes and steroids—and reportedly will close with a shot of the lights slowly going out at Fenway.
mos.org.

LAWSUITS
09/11 NIKE SPOILS BIG DAY FOR THE LITTLE GUY
Today’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, featuring supreme sporting-goods pitchman Michael Jordan, was supposed to have been a huge moment for Westwood’s SportsFuzion. Having sewn up licensing rights for all things related to the Springfield-based Hall of Fame back in 2006, the small sportswear company was primed for massive sales of gear related to MJ’s induction. Unfortunately, Nike had the same idea, and got together with the Hall on a Jordan line of its own. In June, SportsFuzion filed suit seeking more than $10 million in damages; until the courts can sort things out, the champagne at SportsFuzion headquarters will remain corked.

BUSINESS
09/13 IS BOSTON SCIENTIFIC GETTING ITS MOJO BACK?

As conferences go, the annual meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America doesn’t sound like a feel-good confab. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if you hear cheers coming from the Hynes Convention Center today, when struggling medical-device giant Boston Scientific is expected to release a study that could prove the effectiveness of a new product designed to combat heart failure.

Bright spots have been in short supply for the Natick-based company, which in the past few years has battled a string of product recalls, including those on a controversial collection of drug-coated cardiac stents. Even the acquisition of the new division that may end up producing the aforementioned breakthrough was widely mocked by industry observers. But the recent arrival of new CEO Ray Elliott was met with a welcome rise in stock price, and company brass are hoping that good news today can further revive the once-flatlining firm.

PARTIES
09/13 THE DAY WHEN CAMBRIDGE COMES ALIVE

If nothing else, the annual Cambridge Carnival is a great upender of the stereotype that Cantabrigians are nothing but overeducated sticks-in-the-mud. The Caribbean-themed festival is like Mardi Gras on the Charles, drawing thousands decked out in everything from feather boas to bejeweled bras.
cambridgecarnival.org.


MY AGENDA
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN

Channel 7 investigative reporter, novelist

When she’s not sniffing out real-life crimes against consumers, the veteran TV journalist tackles fictitious capers as an author. Her third book, Air Time, hits stores this month.

During the day, I’ll be working on broadcast stories as usual. And when I get home, I write till 10. Then my husband and I sit down and have dinner. I used to make elaborate meals, but cooking was the first thing to go when I started writing. Now my dear, supportive husband eats a lot of pizza and carryout—still, we always eat it together.

I’m on the board of directors of the Lyric Stage Company. Our first production of the year is Kiss Me, Kate. I’ll be there on opening night [9/4], of course.

My final edits are due for my fourth book, Drive Time, in mid-September. I’m also a judge for next year’s Edgar Awards [the mystery genre's highest honor], so I have to read dozens and dozens of books. I like to sit out by my pool and power through the stacks.

Our 12th wedding anniversary is coming up this month. We took our wedding pictures at the Public Garden, so we like to walk over to sit on our bench and visit the ducks. AS TOLD TO BRIGID SWEENEY, Illustration by David Johnson


BIRTHDAYS
09/17 CAN THE GREEN’S NEW GIANT BE TAMED?

Though the Celts’ prized off-season acquisition, power forward Rasheed Wallace, turns 35 today, his advancing years haven’t slowed his infamous mouth. ‘Sheed led the league in technical fouls last year, with 19. While that mark is a far cry from the 2000–2001 season, when he was T’d up a record 41 times, it’s clear Wallace doesn’t fit the mold of the shut-up-and-do-your-job athlete that Boston has long revered. If his work ethic doesn’t compare to a longshoreman’s, then at least his vocabulary does: You might recall Wallace’s profane tirade concerning the officiating during Boston’s 2008 championship run—an outburst that unburdened the big man of $25,000.

ROCK SPECTACLES 09/20
Unlike their intimate Somerville Theatre show last March, expect U2 in full arena-rocking glory at Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium.
ticketmaster.com.

ELECTIONS
09/22 CITY CANDIDATE POOL TO BE DRAINED

While it may be tough to get Bostonians to turn out for the "real" election in November, today’s vote to winnow down the candidates for city council could attract voters aiming to help make history. Enough levers pulled today will ensure a ballot spot for rising political star Ayanna Pressley, who is vying to be the first African-American woman to serve on the council.

RECKONINGS
09/24 CHEESE HEADED FOR THE COOLER

Carmen "The Cheese Man" DiNunzio, the 51-year-old New England mafia underboss, is sentenced today on state and federal bribery and extortion charges. Under the plea agreement he struck with prosecutors, DiNunzio—whose nickname comes from his days peddling cheese in the North End—is scheduled to get a six-year term.

DiNunzio’s attempts to corrupt a state highway inspector in order to secure a $6 million Big Dig contract revealed him to be a particularly ham-handed operator (he boasted to the undercover FBI agent posing as the inspector, "I’m the Cheese Man…you ask anybody about me"). Indeed, he showed little of the meticulous care that managed to keep the likes of former New England mafia don Raymond Patriarca Sr. out of prison for most of his career.

The Cheese Man’s sentencing marks an inauspicious omega for the once-mighty Patriarca crime family, if not the Boston mob in general. The 400-pound crook with the schoolyard moniker struck a cartoonlike figure, and was publicly mocked by columnists Howie Carr and Kevin Cullen, the latter of which noted that DiNunzio was the "nicest, most courtly Mafioso you’ll ever meet"—a particularly unhelpful compliment for an executive in the intimidation business.

PELOTONS 09/26–09/27

The Boston Cycling Celebration turns Storrow Drive into a giant bike path, the procession no doubt led by the Lance Armstrong of mayors himself, Tom Menino.

BEST PARTS
The high points of this month’s cultural highlights

MUSIC
Aussie instrumentalists the DIRTY THREE have made a name for themselves mostly as stage-sharers (appearing with, among a large and lucky group, Nick Cave and Sonic Youth). So when they hit the Institute of Contemporary Art on 9/10 for a rare U.S. show, fans can finally see violinist Warren Ellis’s slow-burning virtuosity get the spotlight that it deserves.

FOOD When Rialto’s JODY ADAMS hosts fellow chef MICHELLE BERNSTEIN of Miami on 9/17—part of the James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour—lucky ticketholders would be wise to save room for the final course: Bernstein’s signature baked Alaska (pictured above), a pistachio cake accompanied by dulce de leche ice cream and passion fruit salsa. 

BOOK NICK HORNBY visits the Coolidge Corner Theatre on 9/30 to read from his latest novel, Juliet, Naked. After plenty of books about music-loving dudes, here he introduces a wonderful counterpoint of sanity: a woman left puzzling over her boyfriend’s obsession with an obscure singer. "Why," the head-scratching girlfriend wonders, "was he so convinced that a singer that nobody had ever paid much attention to was a genius to rival Dylan and Keats?"

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