GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

August 27, 2013

Cheers, jeers for recent newsmakers


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — CHEERS to the city of Somerville for its show of respect for Sean Collier.

Collier was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer authorities say was shot and killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in April, days after the attack on the nation’s most storied road race.

Collier, 26 when he was shot to death, had long strived to join the police force in Somerville, where he had served as an auxiliary officer from 2006 to 2009. In fact, Collier had accepted a position in Somerville before he was killed and was just weeks away from beginning his new job.

Thursday night, city officials followed through on the agreement, appointing him as an officer and assigning him badge number 310, which was immediately retired in his honor. The badge and a framed uniform were presented to his family as part of the ceremony.

A Salem State University graduate, Collier was memorialized earlier this year on the campus of his alma mater. Salem State has established a criminal justice scholarship in his name and has planted a tree for him at the school’s newly opened library.

During a Salem State ceremony in his honor earlier this year, Kriten Kuehnle, chair of SSU’s criminal justice department, called Collier “a person of great character.”

We agree and find it fitting that Somerville and Salem State continue to honor his memory.

JEERS to the state Ethics Commission ruling forcing state Sen. Dan Wolf from the governor’s race and, most likely, the Senate itself.

Late last week, Wolf, a Democrat, released a statement saying he would resign Aug. 29 from the Senate “under duress” after the commission ruled he was violating ethics laws because the company he founded and maintains an ownership stake in, Cape Air, has Logan Airport-related agreements with Massachusetts Port Authority. The Ethics Commission said Wolf could sell his stake in the company, cancel the agreements with MassPort (thus crippling the company) or quit the Senate.

It was an absurd ruling.

“I have a hard time understanding the ruling of the Ethics Commission, at least with regard to his role in the Senate, because we don’t appoint the members of the Port Authority; we don’t oversee their budget,” said fellow state Sen. Richard Moore, an Uxbridge Democrat.

Even many Republicans, including state Sen. Robert Hedlund of Weymouth, decried the decision.

“I hope we can resolve it,” Hedlund said. “I think there should be a legislative remedy.”