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LOAD-DATE: July 4, 2005

315 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
July 3, 2005 Sunday

LENGTH: 510 words

Swinging sultan Knopfler rules, schools
BYLINE: By Bill Brotherton

MARK KNOPFLER, with BAP KENNEDY, at the Bank of America Pavilion, Friday night

Guitar hero Mark Knopfler has famously said, ``I'm a guitar teacher's worst nightmare,'' and called his playing ``the same old hodgepodge.''

Well, on Friday night the modest former Dire Straits frontman displayed his guitar prowess in a deliriously sensational two-hour, 16-song show at the Bank of America Pavilion that ranks as one of the best this city has seen in a long, long time.

Knopfler's ringing guitar sound is instantly identifiable, much like that of B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Bo Diddley. For years, Knopfler has been known as a Stratocaster man. Friday night before a capacity crowd, he switched from his trademark '54 Fender Strat to a '58 Les Paul and a vintage Telecaster. It didn't matter what guitar he used, that classic Knopfler tone rang through loud and clear.

With graying, close-cropped hair and granny glasses, the black-clad Knopfler looked like a college professor, and, indeed, he gave a textbook tutorial on how to play the guitar. Yeah, the boy can play!

From the first chugging boogie chords of ``Why Aye Man'' to the sedate folky closer ``Our Shangri-la,'' the 55-year-old Brit wowed the crowd. Few guitarists make it look so easy.

The early one-two punch of Dire Straits classics ``Romeo and Juliet'' - a Springsteenesque epic and his finest song - and ``Sultans of Swing'' brought fans to their feet.

The current single, ``Boom, Like That,'' which skewers McDonald's founder Ray Krok, was tastier than the fast-food giant's french fries.

With a hot cup of tea at his side, Knopfler sat center stage for a riveting ``Song For Sonny Liston'' and ``Donegan's Gone,'' both from his most recent CD, ``Shangri-La.''

An orgasmic 15-minute version of ``Telegraph Road'' provided a double espresso jolt of rock 'n' roll. Throughout the Pavilion, fans, including Hollywood superstar Glenn Close, could be seen playing air guitar.

The encore featured three songs from the landmark ``Brothers in Arms,'' which 20 years ago this month began its climb to No. 1. With our young men and women dying daily in Iraq, the title song never has been more heart-rendingly relevant. Knopfler's moaning solo and husky baritone mumble brought tears to many a concertgoer. ``Money For Nothing'' and ``So Far Away'' returned smiles to concertgoers' faces.

This 30-date tour is Knopfler's first in the United States since a motorbike crash in 2003 left him with numerous broken bones and internal injuries. He's never been better. And, whew, what a tight, well-oiled band (guitarist Richard Bennett, keyboard players Guy Fletcher and Matt Rollings, drummer Danny Cummings and bassist Glenn Worf), oddly the same configuration as Dire Straits.

There was preconcert buzz that James Taylor, who was at the Tweeter Center earlier this week, might drop in to harmonize on ``Sailing to Philadelphia.'' Unfounded: Sweet Baby James was playing at Jones Beach in New York.

Irish singer-songwriter Bap Kennedy, a chum of Steve Earle and Van Morrison, opened with a too-short set of rootsy folk rock.
GRAPHIC: MONEY FOR NOTHING: Ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler wowed a Hub crowd Friday night.
LOAD-DATE: July 3, 2005

316 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
July 3, 2005 Sunday

LENGTH: 531 words

Jeb's visit lands Mitt in hot water

With ethics complaints flying around the State House like David Ortiz moonshots, it's no wonder the Dems are all up in arms about Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's recent visit.

The president's bro dropped in on Gov. Mitt Romney for what his aides called a ``courtesy call.''

In an impromptu press conference while awaiting Bush's arrival, Romney ranted about how important it was for the GOP to maintain control of the Sunshine State's governor's office in the upcoming election.

Coupled with Romney's recent acknowledgment that he is considering a 2008 presidential run, some Dems are accusing the governor of breaking ethics rules that ban political stumping at the State House.

Romney fielded similar complaints that went nowhere during last summer's Democratic National Convention.

With so much political jockeying going on, it should make for a busy year at the Ethics Commission.

Eric's exit?

There's Beacon Hill buzz that Romney's communications director, Eric Fehrnstrom, is being edged out as one of his boss' main confidantes as Romney pushes forward toward the U.S. presidential race.

``Eric's not even in the loop anymore,'' said one veteran State House official.

Instead, Romney consults freqently with his GOP strategist Michael Murphy, who is navigating the gov through the 2008 presidential race launch.

File under: Will Mr. Fehrnstrom go to Washington?

Lineup changes

Big changes are expected on Romney's State House team next week, including moving Ellen Roy Herzfelder out of her slot as state secretary of environmental affairs, Beacon Hill sources said.

Herzfelder is expected to remain as a policy adviser.

She made headlines recently when it was reported that the Hingham energy company founded by her father - and which made Herzfelder a very wealthy woman - owes the state nearly $1 million in delinquent taxes.

In 2003, Boston magazine named the Ivy League-educated Herzfelder one of the most powerful women in Boston.

Just how powerful, of course, appears yet to be determined.

Who's Hot

Ben Affleck

He snuggles with a beautiful woman (now his wife) as the sun sets on a superprivate, superposh Caribbean hideway where not a single paparazzo can intrude. The man is a natural for the U.S. Senate, right, Ted K?

Who's Not

Tom Cruise

Just when we thought getting squirted by a prankster was his most embarrassing moment, Tom goes on some nonsensical rant about psychiatry and antidepressants and Brooke Shields. Who does he think he is, Howard Dean?

Maggie Mulvihill and Dave Wedge contributed to this column.


``Sixty years of tolerance and excuse-making by Western nations had to change, and it is changing.'' - Dan Bartlett, Bush spokesman, on the war in Iraq

For once, a political flack has prompted the Spin-O-Meter to explore unfamiliar territory at the other end of the dial. No question, our Iraq adventure represents an abandonment of decades of failed foreign policy in the Middle East. This doesn't speak to the worthiness of the course correction, or its chances of success. The jury is out on all that. But it's refreshing to hear a government official tell the truth about our past blunders, if not exactly reassuring about the future.
LOAD-DATE: July 3, 2005

317 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
July 1, 2005 Friday

LENGTH: 732 words
HEADLINE: Letters to the Editor

Misplaced blame

It's easy to blame Gov. Mitt Romney for failing to lower taxes, straighten out the Big Dig and help grow the economy; however, we live in a commonwealth with three branches of govenment (June 29).

You can't blame the governor when the Legislature refuses to lower taxes. You can't blame the governor when the court legislates from the bench. If you want to place blame, put it in the hands of the people who keep putting these other politicians in power.

- Edmund Robbins, Somerville

Heart help premature

A story based on our work suggested that the ``blue light'' used in certain tooth whitening devices might help control gum disease and, by implication, heart disease and stroke (``Tooth whitener makes healthy hearts,'' June 21).

We have demonstrated that blue light can kill black pigmented bacteria, which are associated with some of the most virulent forms of gum disease. Other investigators have suggested that some species of black pigmented bacteria may be important in development of heart disease. While the connections are interesting and potentially important, no clear associations can be made at this time.

- J. Max Goodson,

Director of Clinical Research; Nikos Soukos, Director of Laboratory of Applied Molecular Photomedicine; The Forsyth Institute, Boston

Golfing rep responds

The Herald has questioned the appropriateness of an annual golf event I hosted in which elected Democrats and Republicans took part (``Another bogey for golfing solon,'' June 29). The facts follow.

The event was billed as charity for the first time this year. The process to set up the fund began on June 15 when my office took out the necessary documents from the secretary of state's office. The Herald is wrong in writing that the fund was created only because of recent coverage.

In previous years, attendees wrote checks directly to the course being played. This year it was requested that I write one check to the Hyannis Golf Club on the day of the event. I did not receive official documentation for the fund until June 23. All tee sponsors made checks payable to the scholarship fund, which is proper according to state regulations. The State Ethics Commission has all paperwork.

Documentation given to the Herald shows that in the prior five years the event was billed as the ``Legislators' Open.'' The word ``charity'' has not been mentioned until this year's event.

In previous years, players had contributed $10 or $20 as they began play, from which prizes were given. Any remaining funds, roughly $300 (hardly the thousands as reported), went to local organizations.

I was dismayed when asked about the appropriateness of a surprise 40th birthday party for me organized by a former district staff member. When I discovered that guests were asked to donate to my campaign, I insisted that all checks be made to the school. Everyone obliged, including me, to raise more than $800 for an elementary school.

- Rep. Demetrius J. Atsalis, Barnstable

Crackdown on cruelty

Judge Richard Carey sentenced Shawn Lynch to six months in jail for the brutal ax murders of a dog and cat (``Owner sentenced to jail in ax slaughter of pets,'' June 18). This is minimal. While on probation, he can't own animals. How about never owning animals? I implore the judge to be tougher if David Betournay, suspected of being the actual killer, is found guilty. Despite a Northeastern University study linking animal and human cruelty, cases are still not being punished to full extent of the law.-

- Kelly King, Chelsea

Speech spurs outrage

There are four groups of people who are outraged about President Bush's speech on Iraq: cave-dwelling terrorists, the media elite, fire-breathing Democrats and soon-to-be unemployed system administrators at (``Bush insists war is worth U.S. sacrifice,'' June 29). That should be sufficient evidence that the president is on the right track.

- Miguel A. Guanipa, Whitinsville

Flag wavers justified

I take great offense to the story about MBTA workers (``T pays big bucks to have them wave flags at trains,'' June 30). Since I started my job at the T, at least five men I knew have been killed by trains while working on the rails. One man lost his life less than a year ago, leaving behind a wife and young children. Ask the loved ones of these men if their lives were worth a few thousand dollars a week that it costs to pay flag workers.

- James A. Bain, South Boston
LOAD-DATE: July 1, 2005

318 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
July 1, 2005 Friday

LENGTH: 685 words

Proclaiming liberty now as then

PHILADELPHIA - Some insist we're a nation deeply divided - over Iraq, over politics, a nation of red and blue states. So as this July 4th approaches, it's time to go home - to my home and my nation's home - where it all began, where every decision made by men at once wise and yet ordinary would set the stage for a country like no other.

These are the historic shrines of my youth, changed - as we all have changed - by the new realities of our post-9/11 world. Security checkpoints and miles of security fencing protect those shrines now. The Liberty Bell is housed not in Independence Hall (as it was during my fourth-grade trip), but in a glass and marble structure that both protects this secular icon and helps to tell its story.

And by the thousands, the tens of thousands, they travel from around the world and around the country to file past this sacred relic. Families snap photos of the kids standing on either side of, yes, a symbol of the American Revolution, but a symbol of so much more - of liberties won and also of ``liberties denied,'' as its literature recalls.

``Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land and unto all the Inhabitants thereof,'' reads the inscription, which it duly notes is from Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 10. (Guess even the Supreme Court ought to be OK with this one, right?)

An older, African-American woman passes on the far side, away from the watchful gaze of the Park Service ranger who guards the bell. She puts her fingers to her lips and gently passes the kiss to the bell's outer rim - a rim once touched by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and by Nelson Mandela. The bell may trace its origins to before the Revolutionary War, but it was not called the Liberty Bell until the 1830s, when it became a symbol to abolitionists.

Its history is OURhistory - right through the sit-ins staged around it during the '60s and '70s, over civil rights and to protest the war in Vietnam.

Every nation needs its symbols, its touchstones, and this city, where the Declaration of Independence was written and signed, where the Constitution was written, is filled with them.

``We have no aristocracy, no monarchy, no established church. All we have is law,'' said Northwestern law professor Stephen B. Presser at a gathering hosted by Common Good at the new National Constitution Center.


And, yes, as perhaps the most litigious society ever, we often lean too heavily on the law, often abuse it and misuse it, all the while cherishing it and the way of life it protects, nourishes.

In Congress Hall, a simple, almost underwhelming, structure next to the grander Independence Hall, a ranger/guide explains that it wasn't so much what early laws were passed here that make it historic. It was one particular event on March 4, 1797, when Massachusetts native John Adams took the oath of office as this nation's second president as George Washington retired to private life.

This peaceful transition of power, which we so take for granted today - red states and blue state notwithstanding - was historic.

The Constitution, then so very new, had taken hold and with it the rule of law. There's another relic - this part of a temporary exhibit in the National Constitution Center - a child-sized plaid jacket. It was worn by Owen Gowans on his first day at Girard College (despite its name, a school for low-income students in grades 1-12) in 1968. Gowans was one of the first black students in the previously all-white school.

In his own way, Owen Gowans was as much a pioneer as John Adams.

That is the beauty of this nation - its laws, but also the spirit that comes from those who live under them, challenge them, make them - and us - better.

On the wall of the Constitution Center is a quotation from Judge Learned Hand (1944), which captures that:

``I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, upon courts. These are false hopes, believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women . . . when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.''

Rachelle G. Cohen is editor of the editorial pages.
LOAD-DATE: July 1, 2005

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