Weekend Redux: What You Missed

Just because all you watched this weekend was the America’s Next Top Model marathon on VH1 doesn’t mean the world stopped moving. We round up the notable stories you missed.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley have united over a new plan that has civil rights watch groups uneasy. Boston Police will show up at homes in violent neighborhoods—without warrants—but with a parent’s permission, and search their child’s bedroom for guns. Officials claim the program won’t incarcerate the kids if they find weapons, but some are skeptical.

Critics said they worry that some residents will be too intimidated by a police presence on their doorstep to say no to a search.

“Our biggest concern is the notion of informed consent,” said Amy Reichbach, a racial justice advocate at the American Civil Liberties Union. “People might not understand the implications of weapons being tested or any contraband being found.”

In further potential privacy violation news, high schools are reluctant to release information about a student’s disciplinary record to the colleges to which he or she applies.

There is discord about an almost universally-admired energy bill on Beacon Hill. Deep in the legislation, there’s a provision that would allow wind farms up and down the Massachusetts coastline. Thank God that happened. We couldn’t deal with all the bipartisanship.

On a day where most Catholics go to mass, both newspapers run stories about a lack of interest in the Archdiocese. The Herald reports that in the face of declining enrollment and the need for infrastructure improvements, Archbishop Sean O’Malley will most likely close some parish schools and centralize the area’s Catholic schools in a new building.

The Globe takes a more political turn, pointing out that most Catholic politicians have remained mum on O’Malley’s comments about pro-choice Democrats last week.

Of course, our favorite Mormon is in the news this weekend. Mitt Romney feels confident he can beat Hillary Clinton because he beat former state treasurer Shannon O’Brien in 2002. But O’Brien is doing her best to help Clinton.

O’Brien, now chief executive of the Patriots’ Trail Council of the Girl Scouts, said she has given campaign videos of Romney, which she had kept in her basement, to the Democratic Party. Some, she said, show Romney advocating for abortion rights, a position he now repudiates.

In some unfortunate timing for the Globe, it runs a story on how Boston College and other colleges are cracking down on off-campus partying on the same day 21-year-old Art Institute of Boston student Shawn Dow died after falling from a roof at an out-of-control party in Allston.

It’s Sunday, so there’s fun journalism to be had too. The Herald writes about the boom in Thanksgiving dinners consumed at restaurants. The Globe hilariously details how many state agencies it takes to install unclear signs.

In one small area, MassHighway is completing a $6.2 million reconstruction of Cambridge Street for the City of Boston, while, overhead, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is finishing a $37 million redesign of Charles/MGH Station.

An MBTA consultant produced the signs at a cost of $80,000, roughly $2,000 apiece. But DCR dictated the design of the signs, the City of Boston reviewed them, and MassHighway – which had no say over the design – put them up. And then planted a tree in front of one.