Atrocity demands swift justice

We’ve seen our share of atrocities in this city over the years. There have been mass killings like the 2005 Bourneside basement murders that left four young men dead. There have been the innocent bystanders, like Tiffany Moore, age 9, hit by a stray bullet back in 1990. Louis D. Brown and Junior Fernandez on Geneva Ave., Rob Noble on Ashmont St., Steven Odom on Evans Street. And just this year, the savage ambush of 14-year-old Nicholas Fomby-Davis on Bowdoin Street in May. The list goes on and on.

Every one of these murders has repulsed us. Each and every victim means something to us as a community and their loss – collectively – demeans us as a people.

And yet, there is a palpable feeling this week that we have hit a new low with the news out of Woolson Street. The savagery and ruthlessness with which the victims were dispatched sends chills down spines. The image persists of a small child still in diapers, barely old enough to talk, murdered as he clung to his mother, also doomed. It’s just too much for the mind to process.

The pain and disgust is compounded by the fact that – at this juncture – police have not identified any suspects in the case. The only balm that can soothe the collective outrage of this community is for those responsible for the crime to be brought into the light of public scorn and to be brought to justice.

We are not talking execution or torture or vengeance. We need to see the face of the perpetrators. We need to know who it is walking among us who is capable of such depravity. Until we know, until these individuals are imprisoned, this community cannot be reclaimed.

That is why we implore anyone who has any information to come forward immediately. No reward is offered and none should be necessary. If you know something, say something: 1 (800) 494-TIPS.

– Bill Forry

News from Carney talks is disheartening

The news that the owner of the Carney Hospital is threatening to shut it down if a nurse’s union doesn’t agree to a new contract is disheartening, even unconscionable. The threat flies in the face of virtually every public utterance that Caritas CEO Ralph de la Torre has made to our community.

In the half year since the proposal sale became known, the message has been: Don’t worry, Dorchester and Mattapan, we will save the Carney and resort it to good health.

Imagine how betrayed many of us feel to learn that, behind closed doors, the message is just the opposite.

Caritas apologists claim that it’s just a bargaining tool, part of some tough give-and-take in management-labor talks, The news should never have been made public, they argue. What nonsense! And this from managers working for the same archdiocese that historically has valued secrecy over transparency.

How very disappointing.

In a Boston Globe OpEd piece this week, former Congressman and former state attorney general Jim Shannon raised the alarms about the planned sale of the Caritas Christi health care system.

Shannon wrote: “The archdiocese of Boston is desperate to unload its six Catholic hospitals, and is pursuing a deal with Cerberus, a private equity firm. Cerberus uses investors’ money to acquire undervalued businesses and then takes drastic action to improve their performance quickly. Usually it starts by dumping the weakest parts of the business. The key moment in a private equity investment is the exit. Private equity investors do not want to hold and run businesses for a long time. They want to flip them as soon as they can, usually within a few years, with a healthy return.”

Let’s all beware of the deal that’s being sold to us. It’s beginning to look like a modern Trojan horse.

– Ed Forry

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