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Mention of Aherns in
Newspaper Stories of 2002

Hostage Taker Had Own Gun, Police Say
A man who held a police detective at gunpoint for more than three hours inside an Upper East Side station house early yesterday morning had carried the weapon with him when he was brought in for questioning on a harassment complaint lodged by his child's mother, the police said. The incident at the 19th Precinct station house raised questions about the procedures used in confronting and questioning the man, Adrian V. Leibovici, of Rego Park, Queens. Mr. Leibovici was not under arrest, and under departmental guidelines the officers were not compelled to search him before driving him to the station house to be questioned, the police said. Officers generally use their own discretion in such cases, patting someone down if they have reason to believe that the person may be armed. But Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said at a news conference at 1 Police Plaza yesterday that the entire incident would be reviewed.

"We're still trying to determine how, in fact, he got into the station house with the weapon and how it wasn't discovered by the officers," Mr. Kelly said. "Practically speaking, you can't frisk every person that you interview. That just wouldn't be feasible or practical." The standoff ended calmly at 3:35 a.m., when Mr. Leibovici handed his gun to the hostage, Detective Michael Ahearn, a 14-year veteran, the police said. During the negotiations, a police sharpshooter had a gun trained on Mr. Leibovici's head from behind a two-way mirror.

Detectives thought at first that Mr. Leibovici had taken a gun from Detective Ahearn, whom he attacked from behind in a second-floor witness room of the station house, at 153 East 67th Street. But as details of the standoff unfolded yesterday, the police said that Mr. Leibovici had hidden in his clothing his own gun, a silver .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun that Mr. Kelly said resembled a standard-issue police weapon. Detectives first approached Mr. Leibovici at his Queens home late Monday night after Lorett S. Vigon, his daughter's mother, filed an aggravated harassment complaint against him. In her complaint, the police said, Ms. Vigon accused Mr. Leibovici of calling her at work and saying he would pull a gun on her if she refused to comply with a court order regarding their child. It was unclear if detectives knew when they got to his home that Mr. Leibovici had been arrested on a gun possession charge in 1983. When they arrived, he told them his side of the domestic dispute and said he was scheduled to file court papers yesterday. Around 11:50 p.m. Monday in the station house, as Detective Ahearn turned to get Mr. Leibovici a beverage, Mr. Leibovici attacked him and demanded his gun. The detective refused to hand it over. Mr. Leibovici demanded to speak with a reporter and to have documents retrieved from his home.

Michael O'Looney, the department's deputy commissioner of public information, who was a reporter for 16 years, was at the scene and volunteered to pose as a reporter to speak with Mr. Leibovici. As proof of his identify, Mr. O'Looney said, his passport and an old business card from his job as a reporter for Channel 2 News were provided to Mr. Leibovici. Lt. Jack Cambria, the commander of the department's Hostage Negotiation Team, said that Mr. Leibovici had complained that he was the victim of a complex conspiracy and had said that he was an undercover agent with the federal government and had been in the Israeli Army. "His mission was just to get his story out," said Lieutenant Cambria. "And once he did that, his goal was accomplished." Mr. Leibovici was charged with attempted murder, attempted kidnapping and other infractions, the police said.

New York Times 16 January 2002
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People Need Place to Live
It was OK to preserve the Towne school building for artists' studios or some other undefined community use, but propose conversion to affordable housing and somebody starts a petition drive to have it torn down. Sure, the schools could always use another playground, or perhaps a parking lot, but don't people need a place to live even more? Or is it the word "affordable" that pushes people's panic buttons?

If we make a six-figure salary the price of admission to life in Acton, pretty soon all of the people that make things work have to commute here from someplace else. And any time a developer wants to do an end run around our Planning Board, they can point to our non-compliance with Massachusetts' anti-snob-zoning law. Chapter 40B has a goal of 10% affordable housing. In 1990 Acton had a little over 4% and since then it has drifted down to less than 3%. Converting the Towne building to affordable housing won't bring us to 10%, but it's a step in the right direction. Let's do the right thing.

Dennis J. Ahern
West Acton

The Beacon 14 February 2002
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Baffling deaths of 2 small kids
San Jose siblings apparently suffocated while trapped in nightstand
Yesterday, the small handwritten sign on the door of the south San Jose home said: "We are grieving. We choose to do so privately. We hope you'll honor our request and allow us to mourn our incredible loss." The "loss" referred to the tragic deaths of two small children—who apparently suffocated while trapped in a nightstand—in a case that has stunned neighbors and baffled authorities. Police said their father was watching TV in the next room as the 4-year-old boy and his 3-year-old sister climbed into a wooden nightstand—about 2 1/2 feet tall and 2 feet wide—and became locked inside. "It's so small I can't imagine getting one kid in there, let alone two," said Officer Joseph Deras, San Jose police spokesman.

It was only a few weeks ago, neighbors said, that Army reservist Aaron Ahearn, who works in Redwood City for a paving company, was reunited with his family after serving several months at a military base in Texas, deployed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Several neighbors said Ahearn's absence was tough on his wife, Erin Ahearn, who scrambled to find baby sitters for her three kids, ages 2, 3 and 4, while she worked nights at a nearby pizzeria. They said she was overjoyed to have her husband back home, so he could help watch the children. "He's a real nice father," said neighbor Cassi Rooney, who frequently baby-sat the Ahearn children while their father was away. "They're both good parents and those are wonderful kids."

Erin Ahearn was at work Friday night and left the children home. Two-year-old Jordan Ahearn fell asleep in one bedroom about 9 p.m. while his siblings played in another bedroom. Their father watched TV for about 45 minutes and then checked on the kids, only to discover that they were both unconscious, Deras said. Paramedics tried to revive the children before taking them to Kaiser Santa Teresa Medical Center in San Jose, where they were pronounced dead about 10 p. m. Authorities said Canyon and Madeline Ahearn died after apparently suffering cardiac arrest from lack of oxygen. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined. The case appears to be an accident, authorities said.

Three separate investigations into the deaths have begun—by San Jose police, the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office and the district attorney's office. Prosecutors will review the results to determine if criminal negligence occurred. Police are still trying to figure out the sequence of events in the Ahearn deaths. Deras said the nightstand, which has a door on the front, was on its back at the time, with the opening of the front door facing up. In that position, the door easily could have fallen shut. Deras said once the door was closed, the spring-loaded hinges kept the door locked from the inside. "Because the door was up in the air, if there was any movement, gravity would force the door shut," Deras said.

The deaths cast a pall yesterday over the quiet South Valley neighborhood and served as a chilling reminder to parents of the dangers posed to unattended small children. "It is truly shocking—I guess you can never be too careful," said Amina Atique, a neighbor with two small daughters. "With a 3- and 4-year-old, I wouldn't blame him for not checking on them for 45 minutes. I think most parents would just assume they were playing. Maybe if they were too quiet, I would check on them. But you have to trust parents to know their children."

Madeline had curly shoulder-length brown hair and "always wanted to be hugged," neighbor Rooney said. "She was real affectionate. She was the most affectionate of the kids." Her brother, Canyon, was outgoing and charmed neighbors. "He was especially friendly," said Jim Pettipiece, a retired police officer and real estate agent who lived next door. "He was a real talker. I only just started understanding what he could say . . . but he sure is cute when he talks. He had this big round face and big ears, and his smile would just fill up his face. "I feel like I lost one of my own children. It's so sad. I've watched those little kids grow up since they were babies." Canyon "would tell jokes like, 'Why did the chicken cross the road: Because the duck told him to,' " Rooney said. "The jokes were not funny, but they were funny because he was so cute when he told them and then he laughed."

Julie Tyler, another next-door neighbor, said Erin Ahearn would bring her cookies she'd baked and give her rides if her car broke down. On Friday afternoon, Aaron Ahearn came by to let Tyler know that she had left her car door open and her dome light was on. "We all looked out for each other," Tyler said. "These are nice people, the sweetest people I know."

San Francisco Chronicle 17 February 2002
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From the police squad to the art gallery
Being the director of the Thorne Sagendorph Art Gallery is no small task, even for experienced veteran Maureen Ahern. In addition to curating, designing and installing exhibitions, she must also take on a number of tasks. These include overseeing education programs, lectures and long-term planning for the gallery. Ahern also remembers to include in that list, "working with lots of wonderful volunteers and students."

Her work at the gallery has also taken her to the Republic of Georgia, part of the former Soviet Union, in November of 2000. According to Ahern, her 30-day stay was the result of the gallery becoming partnered with the National Museum of Art there. While in Georgia, she enjoyed sightseeing and riding horses in the Caucasus Mountains. She also spent time climbing with archaeologists to explore prehistoric cave cities built in approximately 600 B.C. "Most people think of the former Soviet Union as a wintertime place, you know, cold and all that . . . but this was palm trees and wonderful food and it was great," said Ahern.

When she's not working at the Art Gallery, she's either painting or designing jewelry. In fact painting is one of the reasons she took the job here in the first place. "I wanted to work with living artists rather than just historical art and I wanted a part-time job because I am a painter," said Ahern. While she paints mostly on Fridays and Saturdays, she also showcases her paintings around the area. Recently, she displayed her art at Merrimack College in Andover, M.A., and also at the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, N.H. As for jewelry designing, Ahern says, "Working on jewelry is like doing sculpture for me and is a good catalyst for my painting." She says she makes broaches, earrings and rings. She has had offers to buy the jewelry she makes, but does not have enough pieces to want to sell at the time being.

Undeniably, art has a large presence in Maureen Ahern's life. "Art is, besides my husband, the most important thing in my life. It helps me understand life and what living on earth might mean ethically and spiritually," says Ahern. Ahern first came to Keene State College in 1981. Before taking the position she worked at a museum in Albany and before that was a detective for an agency in Boston. When asked about the job as a detective, she said, "[I was] one of the few women doing that work at the time. It was exciting but if I were to continue, I would have had to have self-defense and arms and surveillance training and be willing to work odd hours and in dangerous circumstances especially for a woman." She also did not like lying to get information and pretending to be someone she was not.

In her time working in Keene, Ahern has seen some interesting changes. One of those changes was the building of the Thorne Sagendoph Art Gallery, as most students attending KSC know it today. Before the location it is in presently, the gallery used to be a part of the library. (For those of you wondering, that is why it says Thorne Sagendorph Art Gallery right up by the roofline in front of the library.)

Ahern has also seen her share of excitement on the job as well. She remembers years ago when the gallery did an exhibit of Native American art. A local tribe of Native Americans were showcasing their dance costumes. One of the costumes that belonged to a Vietnam veteran had a flag on it, as a gesture to display part of their tradition. According to Ahern, "In the exhibit, part of the flag touched the ground on the costume and we got letters from . . . a military kind of group . . . not angry but they just said that we were insulting the flag." Upon asking the Native Americans what she should do about the situation, they said it was out of utmost respect for Mother Earth. "It just goes to show you different points of view," said Ahern.

When asked what was the best and worst thing about working at the gallery Ahern replied, "The good thing about working here is that it's unpredictable. The bad thing about working here is that it's unpredictable." When she isn't working at the gallery or painting, there are a few other activities she enjoys. "I enjoy hiking, gardening, traveling, swimming . . . things that you do in a warmer climate. What am I doing here," she asks and then laughs. "I like cross country skiing too," she adds. So just what does the future hold for Maureen Ahern? She smiles and simply says "Retire, paint forever and travel."

Keene State Equinox 21 February 2002
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BROCKTON—A Plymouth man has been indicted on charges that he stabbed his brother in the neck at their home two months ago. Michael O'Hearn, 28, is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Police said O'Hearn grabbed a kitchen knife with a 5-inch blade and stabbed Ryan O'Hearn after an argument turned into a fight. Ryan O'Hearn, 26, was taken to Jordan Hospital in Plymouth before being transferred to Boston Medical Center.

Michael O'Hearn is expected to be arraigned in Plymouth Superior Court within the next few weeks. He posted $2,000 cash bail and was released following an earlier arraignment in Plymouth District Court. He is expected to be arraigned in Plymouth Superior Court within the next few weeks.

The Patriot Ledger 22 February 2002
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HERKIMER: It might be hard to find a more focused wrestler at this weekend's state tournament - or at any other tournament for that matter - than Herkimer sophomore Joel Ahern. From his pre-match routine of pacing like a father expecting his first baby to his insistence that all his clothes be folded neatly behind coach Tony Lanza's chair, Ahern is all business when he wrestles...Ahern earned his right to wrestle for a state title by dominating the 96-pound class at last weekend's Section III Tournament. The Magician lightweight, 33-1 on the year, beat back all competition from his top seed including a 5-2 win over Shane Roggie, of Beaver River in the final...Some of that regimental routine, might have come from the fact that Ahern's dad John is a former Marine and New York State Trooper and the younger Ahern has a military career in mind as well...Ahern becomes the first Herkimer wrestler since John Richard in 1986 to make the state tournament. Richard finished fourth that year and Ahern is expecting even more success from himself. "I'm going in to win the thing, Ahern said. "I'm going to take it one match at a time, but nobody wants to go up there to lose."...Wrestling -State Championships: At Onondaga War Memorial, Syracuse, 9 a.m., Saturday March 2, 2002.
The Evening Telegram 28 February 2002
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Limerick Garda Have Major Success Against Drug Dealers
Garda investigating drug dealing in Limerick raided a house in a remote area near Newport, Co. Tipperary, and recovered a large quantity of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and cannabis, worth around €500k. Three people were arrested at the scene and on Saturday Anne Keane (54), Brian Ahern (26), who was described as her partner, and a 15-year-old youth appeared in court in Limerick on a variety of drugs related charges.
The Irish Emigrant 17 March 2002
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Teacher Earns National Honor
Smithfield—A teacher at St. Philip School in Greenville has been chosen as one of only 12 educators around the country to receive an annual Roman Catholic Distinguished Teacher Award. Diane Ahern, a kindergarten teacher, will represent New England when she receives her award Tuesday in Atlantic City, N.J., site of the annual convention of the National Catholic Education Association.

"Ahern was picked from among the 11 Catholic dioceses in New England," said Lillian McIntyre, principal of St. Philip, who nominated Ahern for the honor.
The Providence Journal 26 March 2002
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Bertie Stands By Family Motto and Rises Through Difficulties of Others
March 30, 2002 HEREíS a great table quiz question. You might like to try it as a tie-breaker the next time youíre raising money for charity. "Who is ParthalŠn Oī hEachtarn?"

Iím going to give you a clue. This mysterious gentlemanís coat of arms, which hangs in the Mansion House in Dublin among (presumably) other places, bears the motto "per ardua surgo". Translated from the Latin, that means "I rise through difficulties". Itís a motto shared by the 45th Squadron of the Royal Air Force, oddly enough.

Lest you can bear the suspense no longer, let me tell you that the bould ParthalŠn is in fact our Taoiseach, Bertie Oī hEachtarn. Iíll tell you a little bit more about the family motto in a minute, but here is a genuine mystery.

When you look up the family crest in all the genealogy books, what is represented is a picture of three storks or herons (herons - ahern, why not?). But, unless Iím mistaken (always a possibility of course) the family crest of Bertie Ahern that is hanging in the Mansion House features three swans.

The reason, by the way, that the family crest is hanging there is because the Taoiseach was once Lord Mayor, and the crests of all the Lord Mayors since old Godís times are there, in the Oak Room.

But why the swans rather than the herons, I wonder? I thought at first it might be in honour of the Three Swans Bar and Lounge on the Drumcondra Road, but no such pub exists. Then I thought that perhaps the Taoiseach was descended from the children of Lir, but there were four of them, and anyway I could find no trace. Perhaps itís just a bad drawing.

But then I began to wonder. Maybe when they began to research the history of the Ahern family for the crest in the Mansion House, they might have found stuff Bertie doesnít want us to know about. Maybe thatís why he changed the crest from herons to swans - to throw us off the scent.

So Iíve been digging around in the genealogy, to see if thereís any scandal I can find to make even the tiniest crack in the Taoiseachís Teflon. Thereís all sorts of interesting stuff. And itís all true - which is more than can be said for some of the credentials that have been claimed for our Taoiseach.

You mightnít believe it, but among those who fought and died at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 were the sons of Echtigern or UŪ hEachthighearna as they are called in Irish. In the histories of the time, their King, Brian Boru, had proven to be a far-sighted administrator and courageous military leader, a "hero and patriot". The first Echtigern (also the first Ahern) was among his advisers, noted for his devious cunning, apparently.

In the 11th and early 12th centuries, Gilcrist Ua hEachthighern was Abbot of Clonmacnois, a school for the sons of the Irish nobility, and also of Ardagh in Co Limerick. It is believed that the Ardagh Chalice was brought from Clonmacnois at the time of the Viking raids around the time Gilcrist, who died in 1104, was abbot. Itís not known to whom the chalice belonged - it seems there was an older abbot, very fond of money - and Gilchrist was minding the chalice for this older man.

Thereís a lot more, but it gets very heavy going. It adds up to the fact that clearly, our Taoiseachís clan has a lot of credentials for the job. I still havenít figured out, given how distinguished a family history it is, why he seemed to want a different crest. The herons were good enough for the rest of them.

But at least he never changed the family motto. "Per ardua surgo" - I rise through difficulties.

Other peopleís difficulties, of course. Thatís what the Teflon is for.

I rise through other peopleís difficulties. Thatís the sort of motto that would suit the head of a government that is prepared to break up a family for no other reason than the fact that the father of that family is black. How is it possible for any government in the civilised world to be able to stand over a policy that leads to that? The lead party in this Government, Fianna FŠil, has always made a virtue of its commitment to the family. But they are prepared to stand by and see a family torn apart so that one of its members can be deported.

I rise through other peopleís difficulties. Thatís the sort of motto that would suit the head of a government that rams through legislation in the dying days of parliament to make trespassing a criminal offence. The only and sole purpose of this legislation is to be able to deploy the gardaŪ against the travelling community. It serves no other purpose whatever. How is it defensible in this day and age? We all know that some travellers abuse other peopleís property. Theyíre by no means the only ones - but you can bet theyíre the only ones who are going to be treated like criminals.

I rise through other peopleís difficulties. Thatís the sort of motto that would suit the head of a government that tries to sneak through legislation that pretends to be based on consultation with disabled people, even though no such consultation has taken place. Only a government that is content to ignore real difficulty would preside over the mish-mash of hypocritical cant and humbug that passes for a policy on disability. To listen to the Minister for Education pretending that his Bill met any kind of real need, and that nobody understood it except him, is to be subjected to an exercise in almost suffocating contempt for our intelligence.

And so this Government, not so much rising through other peopleís difficulties as completely ignoring them, is heading for an election. We donít know yet when itís going to be, and the next couple of weeks are going to be filled with empty speculation and gossip about the date. It really doesnít matter any more, because now itís only a matter of a couple of weeks one way or the other.

And will ParthalŠn and his Government rise through difficulties when itís all over?

The polls are saying that it looks like it. But in the last week alone, in some of the actions and policies we have seen, the ugliest possible side of this Government has been on show. They have rammed through measures designed to pander to some of the worst and basest instincts we have, while trying to con people into believing they have some measure of social concern.

Maybe, just maybe, they have gone too far. And if they have, they will be found out. The frantic activity in the DŠil and Senate this week has revealed a particularly unpleasant, and unrepresentative, side to this Government. In small ways as well as large, they really have lost touch with the decency of their own community. The more people spot that, the less likely it will be that ParthalŠn gets to rise through difficulties. He may even have to cope with some instead.

The Irish Examiner 30 March 2002
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Hoping for a catch of the day, Sean Ahern fishes from the bridge at Island Grove Pond in Abington.
The Boston Globe 11 April 2002
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With one exception, the dances are delightful
Get rid of the belly dancers, and the weekend of dance at The Carriage House has real promise, with moments of wit, grace and raw power heard in the thundering Japanese drum duet that closed out last night's dress rehearsal. The show is billed as a choreographer's showcase from Groundwerx Dance Theatre, the group that went underground a few years ago but continues to put on performances in its downtown studios. Tonight and tomorrow night, Groundwerx brings its greatest hits to Everett Dance Theatre's East Side home. Work by Groundwerx director Heather Ahern plays prominently in the lineup, the best of which was a sweeping, muscular solo set to music by local composer Steve Jobe. Highpoints, include a tipsy, left-footed Strauss waltz from Roger Williams University's Heidi Henderson, a hoot of a piece all about missed cues and misjudgments, but a masterful bit of movement. Nathan Andary's fleeting, musicless solo, "A Passing Thought," hit the spot, too — just a few brief gentle curves and crisp spins, a momentary hesitation and — lights out. So with so many keepers, why start the night off with a string of such lame belly dance routines? Was this tongue-in-cheek — or foot-in-mouth? A spoof or serious effort? The dancers looked like they picked up their moves from the movie Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy. Yes there were gyrating thighs and midriffs, but none of the performers seemed to know what to do with the rest of their bodies, how to pull in the audience, how to tell a story.

It was Ahern who contributed some of the cleverest, most off-beat choreography. In "Tough Love," she and Joan Brazier team up with two cloth dolls, rolling about the stage like two friends at play. As the pace picks up and movement gets more violent, Brazier stomps on her doll, and Ahern's has to administer CPR. I'd love to have seen Ahern and Brazier work off one another more, though. For most of the piece, they mirror one another's movements. The two reappear after intermission, looking like Southern belles imprisoned in large metal hoop skirts and strict codes of behavior. They bob and glide about to the saccharine strains of Schumann. But Ahern was her most impressive when she returned for a storyless solo set to Jobe's grating music, "Marseilles." This was bold, fluid work that filled the space and remained taut for the entire piece.

By contrast, Kathy Gordon Smith's "Loosen Up," for all its feather dips and stretches, seemed to run out of gas. That was set to a Michael Quattro piano score with strains for Debussy, Keith Jarret and George Winston, glittering music with overtones hinting at the Orient. I loved the way she allowed the choreography unfold with the music, growing more energetic, adding high kicks and swoops. But in the end, it seemed not to know how to break from the sameness of the music. In the end, it was Indian-inspired dance and the driving drum music from the Boston group Lasandhi that blew eveyone away. It was stylized and folksy, but its strength also lay in its simple, insistent power. Performances are at 8 tonight and tomorrow at The Carriage House Stage, 7 Duncan Ave. Tickets are $10. Call 831-9479.

Providence Journal 19 April 2002
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Finding Brigadoon in Pennsylvania
The name Jim Thorpe, Pa., does not evoke the cachet of, say, Southampton, N.Y., or Newport, R.I., but like those places, it is increasingly drawing people who are searching for weekend homes. Situated at the western fringe of the Pocono Mountains on the Lehigh River, Jim Thorpe is about 90 minutes north of Philadelphia and three hours west of Manhattan. "Jim Thorpe is a charming place, nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains, with winding streets and lots of Victorian houses," said Louise Ogilvie, who owned a nightclub in Puerto Rico for 22 years and now has a bed-and-breakfast called the Victoriann in an 1860 town house. "The first time I drove in here, I thought I had found Brigadoon."

Known as the Switzerland of America, Jim Thorpe is now a tourist mecca, no longer a center for manufacturing and coal transportation. The area offers mountain biking and hiking trails, many of them carved from old railroad towpaths. Downhill and cross-country skiing are also nearby, as well as fishing, swimming and kayaking on Mauch Chunk Lake, and white-water rafting on the Lehigh River, which loops through town. Shoppers are drawn by the antiques shops. Asked about nighttime entertainment, Ms. Ogilvie said: "The streets roll up fairly early."

That does not seem to bother Catherine Ahearn, who bought a house in Jim Thorpe this month. Ms. Ahearn, who teaches at the Pratt Institute and lives in Moorestown, N.J., discovered Jim Thorpe almost by accident when she started pursuing the idea of buying a getaway. An inveterate traveler, Ms. Ahearn said: "We started to think about a weekend house right after 9/11. I travel all over the world, mainly with friends, and I don't want to feel that just because I carry a passport, I could be a target. My sister was at the World Trade Center when it collapsed, and ran for her life. I have a brother who is a fireman and another brother who is a baggage supervisor for American Airlines, so we felt very close to the tragedy. It changed my thinking about jumping on a plane."

For a while, she and her husband, Dr. Jack Dwosh, a urologist, contemplated buying a farm for themselves and their two children in Sullivan County, N.Y., where Dr. Dwosh grew up on a chicken farm. "But I realized that it would be pretty lonely on a farm," she said. Someone told her about Jim Thorpe, and she scouted it out. "I found a tiny three-story Victorian town house with an art gallery on the first floor and a picket fence, and I fell in love," she said. She signed a contract for $126,000 ("That's high for that community") on April 4 and expected to move in Memorial Day. "My husband and son do hiking, biking, tubing, canoeing and skiing, and my daughter and I also want to get a cappuccino once in a while," she said. "We can get it all here."

Bonnie Hoffman, a sales agent with Mountain Vista Realty, said that even before people began looking for weekend homes in Jim Thorpe, tourism had been growing. "People started discovering the beautiful Victorian homes and the numerous outdoor activities we have here," she said. Houses tend to cost $75,000 to $325,000."We're seeing a slow creep up in prices, and I wish we had more of the old Victorians available," Ms. Hoffman said. "That is what people want." Established in 1816 as Mauch Chunk (an American Indian term for "Bear Mountain"), it developed several identities. One image was as a bustling center of 19th-century commerce, built around coal mines, gravity railroads, stone quarries and canals. But it was also a summer resort and honeymoon destination, said to be second in popularity to Niagara Falls, N.Y. Millionaires gravitated there, too, with their mansions lining Broadway, the main thoroughfare, lending the road the unofficial name Millionaires' Row. One of the town's pre-eminent citizens, Asa Packer, who was a railroad tycoon, founded Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. His Italianate-style villa has been preserved and is open to the public.

But when the Depression struck, the town's fortunes declined, and its young people fled, seeking prospects elsewhere. In the early 1950's, the editor of the Mauch Chunk Times News, Joe Boyle, started a fund-raising drive asking residents to contribute a nickel a week to help the town. Trying to find a place to bury her husband that would also honor him, Patricia Thorpe, the widow of Jim Thorpe, the legendary Olympic athlete, had heard about the community's straits and offered to take him there in exchange for a memorial. The town went further, and in 1954, gave itself his name.

New York Times 19 April 2002
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Lowell District Court Cases
Shane Ahern, 23, 68 Baldwin Road, Billerica, charged April 12 by Tyngsboro police; uninsured motor vehicle, filed without a change of plea; charged Sept. 29 by Tyngsboro police; threatening to commit a crime, filed without a change of plea, $35 victim/witness fee, no abuse of victim; charged Nov. 18 by Billerica police; uninsured motor vehicle, guilty, $500 fine, $35 victim/witness fee; operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration, filed without a change of plea; charged Feb. 12 by Lowell police; disorderly conduct, guilty, one year probation, $60 victim/witness fee; resisting arrest, continued without a finding.
The Lowell Sun 22 April 2002
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Area drug investigation brings six arrests in Lowell, Pepperell
LOWELL A joint drug task force seized $5,000 worth of cocaine and heroin when it busted six people last night. Five of the people were arrested at 162 Chapel St. at about 9 p.m., according to police. The sixth was arrested in Pepperell. . . . Mark Ahern, of 28 East St., Pepperell, was arrested in Pepperell and charged with conspiracy to violate drug laws.
The Lowell Sun 26 April 2002
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Psychologist says cocaine influenced Carter's actions
ASHEBORO—Defense attorneys for a Siler City woman accused of the first-degree murder of an elderly Staley woman turned to a forensic psychologist Monday as their only witness. But after the jury left for the day, defendant Mary Jane Carter, 38, told Judge Pete McHugh she wanted more time to discuss taking the stand in her own defense with her attorneys Jon Megerian and Frank Wells .
. . .
Monday afternoon, prosecutors presented testimony from Roberta L. Ahern as their final witness in their case against Carter. Ahern testified that on March 13, 2000, while being transported from Randolph County Jail to the Women's Correctional Center in Raleigh, Carter stated that she was in jail for killing an elderly woman. Trial continues 2 p.m. this afternoon.
The Courier-Tribune 30 April 2002
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Man Sentenced In Kidnapping
A man who held a police detective at gunpoint for more than three hours inside an Upper East Side station house this year pleaded guilty to kidnapping yesterday, and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. During a hearing in State Supreme Court, the man, Adrian V. Leibovici, of Rego Park, Queens, apologized and asked for forgiveness from the detective, Michael Ahearn, a 14-year veteran. Also, in an unusual move, Mr. Leibovici asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence. He said that would satisfy everyone involved, including himself.
New York Times 9 May 2002
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Jersey City Police Officer Wounded During Traffic Stop
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — A North Bergen woman faces an attempted murder charge after authorities said she took out a .38-caliber handgun and shot a police officer during a traffic stop. A retired city police officer who now works as a school teacher saw the wounded officer lying on the ground, took his gun and handcuffs, and chased the woman down a few blocks away, police said.

Officer William Chavis, 42, was in guarded condition at Jersey City Medical Center Wednesday night. Chavis was shot twice in the upper left chest. The shooting occurred at 12:51 p.m. at Washburn Street and Palisade Avenue when Chavis, a 14-year veteran of the department, radioed in to headquarters that he was conducting a motor vehicle stop of a vehicle containing a man and 27-year-old Ivelisse Gilestra of North Bergen, according to the The Jersey Journal of Jersey City. It was not immediately known why Chavis had pulled the car over. The officer placed the man in the back of his patrol car, and as he walked out to question Gilestra, she pulled out the handgun and fired several shots at him, striking him twice, said Edgar Martinez, the police department's deputy director. Chavis fell to the ground and she ran away.

James Ahern, 51, who had retired from the Jersey City Police Department as a lieutenant about five years ago, was walking out of Dickinson High School where he now teaches, and saw the officer lying on the ground, Martinez said. "He saw what had happened, went over to the officer and took his weaponand handcuffs for safekeeping and chased the woman through the Hudson Garden apartments, where he apprehended her after a brief struggle," Martinez said. Gilestra also was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.

Hanson Hsu, a doctor who treated Chavis, said the officer's internal organs were not damaged, but that he may have nerve damage in his right arm.

The Associated Press 9 May 2002
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Hero Teacher Back to School After Shooting
Any lessons that James Ahern may have tried to get across to students in the history classes he teaches at Jersey City's Dickinson High School were forced to take a back seat yesterday. Inside Room 104 at the school, students pressed Ahern for details of his role in a story that appeared on the front page of several newspapers yesterday morning. "You've got to explain the whole story to us," one student told Ahern, as the teacher's face broke into a wide grin.

Ahern, a retired lieutenant in the Jersey City Police Department, is being hailed as a hero after coming to the aid of William Chavis, a Jersey City officer who was shot by a woman outside the school Wednesday afternoon following a routine traffic stop. While eating lunch in his car, Ahern watched the shooting unfold, ran to grab the fallen officer's weapon and handcuffs, and chased after and arrested the armed female suspect in a nearby pizzeria. Chavis' relatives, including some of his children, paid a visit to the high school yesterday to show their gratitude. They handed Ahern a plaque, balloons and several hugs. "I'm definitely glad he was there for my father," said Christina Chavis, one of Chavis' daughters. "It's crazy. I really can't believe what he (Ahern) did."

Several of Ahern's students were even more dumbfounded by their teacher's actions. "I was really surprised to hear about all of this because he's always such a quiet guy," said Namira Khanam, an 18-year-old senior in Ahern's history class. "Now, I look at him in a different way. I still think he's a really good teacher, too." Cindy Boos, another Dickinson senior, said Ahern should be praised for using good instincts. "He went beyond the call of duty, and if it were me I think I would have done the same thing," Boos said.

Ahern, 51, said he was a bit bewildered and overwhelmed with all the attention over the incident. As a policeman, he said he faced similar dangerous scenarios before. "I don't consider myself a hero," he said. "I just think maybe there was a reason for me to be there." Ahern said he felt a little uneasy as he chased the alleged cop shooter. "I thought, 'Well, she just shot a police officer, so there's no reason why she wouldn't shoot me, too,' " Ahern said. Ahern, husband of Noreen Ahern for 29 years and father of two grown daughters, said that after the incident he left a brief and nondescript message with his wife on the answering machine at their home. "All I said was something happened at the school today and I had to go to the police station," Ahern said. "She found out what happened a few hours later from people calling the house. When I got home, she said to me, 'You're not supposed to be doing that kind of stuff anymore.' "

Robert Donato, principal at Dickinson High, said he has always singled out Ahern as one of the school's assets. "I don't think he likes all the fanfare," Donato said. "Many of our students have a lot of respect for him. All you have to do is ask him to do something and he's there for you."

The Jersey Journal 10 May 2002
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Teen charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest
NEWTON—Police said they arrested Kellie Ahern, 18, of 14 Sharon St., about 1:57 a.m., Saturday, in the area of Adella Avenue, and charged her with being a disorderly person and resisting arrest. Police arrived on scene after a 911 phone call and found Ahern's 17-year-old friend intoxicated to the point of needing to be taken to the hospital, according to police reports. Police arrested Ahern after she allegedly tried to fight officers off and keep her friend from being taken away in an ambulance.
Waltham News Tribune 5 June 2002
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AIDS Comments Prompt Resignation of Governor's Aide
New Haven Alderwoman Nancy Ahern has quit her job as an aide to Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland in a flap over comments about AIDS. Ahern resigned Thursday from her job as a constituent service aide after allegedly making what AIDS activists characterized as insensitive comments about the spread of the disease. Several New Haven residents demonstrated outside Ahern's home Friday, demanding that she resign from the Board of Aldermen. Ahern said she does not intend to resign from the board. Rowland's chief of staff, Dean Pagani, called Fred Hammond, executive director of the Interfaith AIDS Ministry of Greater Danbury, to apologize for the comments Ahern apparently made to Hammond during a phone conversation a day earlier. "The governor does not condone or tolerate any kind of insensitivity," Rowland spokesperson Chris Cooper said. "He apologizes on behalf of his office that those comments were made by a former member of the staff." Hammond said he was pleased with the response from the governor's office.

A Life Campaign, an advocacy group for people with HIV/AIDS, said Ahern made this statement to the Danbury group, "AIDS prevention programs are not effective in the state of Connecticut. We have known for 20 years how this disease is spread and it is being spread in Connecticut by predatory males in the minority communities and by those gays deliberately infecting others." A Life also said Ahern said that programs will be eliminated. An official from the Danbury group, who contacted Ahern about the governor's budget plans, typed the comments as Ahern spoke. "Of course I feel sorry for people who are struggling with HIV and AIDS. It's a horrible illness," Ahern said. But "some people are knowingly infecting other people and I don't have sympathy for people who are doing that. How can you?"

Associated Press 11 June 2002
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Former local man named to top post
Columbus, Ohio—A 1965 graduate of Frankfort-Schuyler Central High School has been named to the top post at several companies serving Ohio's electric cooperatives. Anthony J. Ahern formerly of Frankfort, has been selected as the new President and Chief Executive Officer for Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (OREC), Buckeye Power, Inc. (BPI), and their subsidiaries, according to Richard K. Byrne, the retiring president and CEO.

Ahern, 55, has been the vice president of engineering and power supply for OREC, BPI and their subsidiaries since September 1993. Previously, Ahern was with American Electric Power for 17 years. He began his career with Babcock & Wilcox in Barberton, OH in 1969. He is a registered professional engineer in seven states, including New York and Ohio. "Tony's experience is exceptional, his integrity is high, and he enjoys an outstanding national reputation. He will do a great job," said Byrne, who will retire Aug. 1, 2002 after nearly 14 years of service.

Ahern received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Clarkson University in 1969. He holds a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Akron, and a master's degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Ahern and his wife, Suzanne, live in Dublin, OH and have two adult daughters. OREC is the trade/service association for Ohio's 24 rural electric distribution cooperatives, which serve more than 310,000 member-consumers in 77 of Ohio's 88 counties. BPI is the power generation and transmission co-op that supplies electricity to the distribution cooperatives.

Herkimer Evening Telegram 8 July 2002
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Ahern— In Westerly, June 16, 2002, at The Westerly Hospital, to Erica LaVallee and Brian T. Ahern of Westerly, a daughter, Summer Marie Ahern.
The Sun 11 July 2002
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Sexual abuse lawsuit names Stigmatine priest
Lawyer Carmen L. Durso of Boston yesterday filed a civil suit in Middlesex Superior Court alleging that the Rev. Richard Ahearn, a Stigmatine priest, sexually abused a child while serving at a parish in Feeding Hills. The suit named the Springfield diocese, the trustees of the Stigmatine Fathers and Rev. Ahearn as defendants. The man who alleges he was sexually abused is anonymous and listed only as John Doe. Mr. Durso said his client now lives in northern Connecticut. The whereabouts of Rev. Ahearn are not known, the lawyer said. Mr. Durso also represents clergy abuse clients in the Worcester Diocese and the Boston archdiocese.

The Springfield diocese has other pending suits from men who said they were sexually abused years ago by the Rev. Richard R. Lavigne, who served in parishes in the North Adams area. He pleaded guilty in 1992 to fondling two adolescent boys, and he was recently released from probation. According to Mr. Durso's lawsuit, Rev. Ahearn was serving at Sacred Heart parish in Feeding Hills, which is a Springfield suburb, in 1979 and 1980, when the sexual abuse occurred. The boy was about 12 and was a member of the parish. "These acts included attempted rape,'' the suit said. The alleged victim in the suit said he "believes that the defendant Ahearn committed numerous sexual assaults on other young male members of the parish, under his care and supervision, and was an open and notorious pedophile.''

Worcester Telegram & Gazette 17 July 2002
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Accused priest departs
A Longmeadow priest accused of sexual abuse has been relieved of his duties at his request. The Rev. Francis P. Lavelle, pastor of St. Mary's Church, asked for and was granted relief of his duties by the bishop yesterday, according to a diocesan statement.
 . . . 
Meanwhile, a former Agawam resident, who filed suit this week against the late Rev. Richard J. Ahern, complained about the lack of pastoral outreach by the diocese to him as a sexual abuse victim.
 . . . 
A former Agawam man, who filed suit in Middlesex Superior County under the pseudonym of John Doe against former Sacred Heart of Feeding Hills priest Ahern, said he was abused as a 12-year-old. The man, a 34-year-old independent contractor who is married with a child, also named the Springfield Diocese and the Stigmatine holy order of priests in the suit. The complainant said he reported the abuse to the diocese in 1999, when the diocese agreed to pay for counseling. After nine months of therapy, the diocese notified him that it was terminating the therapy despite a letter by Doe's therapist stating progress was being made and that further therapy would help him.

"Church leaders have no idea at the amount of damage abuse does, the extent to which lives are hurt," he said yesterday in the office of his lawyer Ryan E. Alekman of Springfield. He said he filed the suit in the hope of empowering others to step forward and admit they were abused and get help. "For many years I felt all alone. I felt I was the only one and that I did something wrong," Doe said.

The Republican 18 July 2002
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Abuse Alleged at Wellesley Seminary
WELLESLEY — Today, the Elm Bank estate, nestled in a bend of the Charles River, is a state park and the home of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. A generation ago, the setting was no less idyllic for grammar school graduates who came here to a high school seminary, full of hope they would someday be ordained as Catholic priests. Some were. Others, however, left the tiny school after they were sexually abused by members of the Stigmatine Fathers, the religious order that ran the seminary. Their accounts describe sexual misbehavior by an extraordinary percentage of the priests who were entrusted with their care. . . .

The Stigmatines also face accusations of sexual abuse outside of Elm Bank. According to two attorneys, six other men have alleged that they were molested as boys by either the Revs. Richard J. Ahern or Joseph E. Flood, both of whom are dead, according to the attorneys. The alleged abuse occurred in Springfield, Agawam, and in New Hampshire during approximately the same time period as the abuse at Elm Bank. . . .

John Neely, formerly of Newton and who now works in Texas for the state prison system, said he was abused by two Stigmatine priests. Neely and his attorney said the Stigmatines settled his claim for $15,000. Neely, 52, said that when he was 14 he was masturbated by Ahern and later, while at a summer camp at Elm Bank, by Landry. He said he sunk into years of alcoholism and recently ended his third marriage. He said the abuse twisted his moral compass for years. ''When a trusted authority figure violates the innocence of a child, what they do is turn north to west, so you never know where you are going,'' he said. ''You trust untrustworthy people and don't trust trustworthy people.'' [see also: 13 August 2002]

The Boston Globe 10 August 2002
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2 more join civil abuse suit against Sacred Heart priest
Two men who have joined a civil suit accusing a former Sacred Heart Church of Feeding Hills priest of sexual abuse said he gave them liquor and cigarettes and brought them to a dog track to gamble. The two men using the pseudonyms James Coe and Robert Roe yesterday had their names added to a suit that was filed last month in Middlesex Superior Court by a John Doe, who accused the late Rev. Richard J. Ahern of abuse. The suit was filed by lawyer Ryan Alekman of Springfield. All three are former parishioners of Sacred Heart Church of the Feeding Hills section of Agawam who say Ahern molested them separately between 1979 and 1983 when each was 12 years old. Ahern, who died last year, was removed from the parish in the mid-1980s after an accusation was made against him.

The suit names the Stigmatine religious order, of which Ahern was a member, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield as defendants. A call to the Stigmatine provincial superior yesterday at his office in Waltham was not returned. Springfield diocese officials have stated that Ahern was removed as a result of action taken by the Most Rev. Joseph F. Maguire, then bishop of Springfield Diocese, after an accusation was made in 1984. Diocese spokesman Mark Dupont said that once the diocese is served with the lawsuit it will send it to its insurance carriers.

Meanwhile, the Boston Globe reported Saturday that the Stigmatine order settled a suit for $15,000 with former Newton resident John Neely who accused Ahern and another priest of molesting him when he was 14 at a clergy-operated summer camp in Wellesley.

In separate interviews yesterday, Coe and Roe said the priest preyed upon children who may have had family problems and needed some attention. Roe, 31, of Agawam, said his mother brought him to Ahern in the hope that the priest could provide some counseling to him as Roe's family struggled with problems, including alcoholism. Coe, 33 and living in Boston, said that as an adult he realizes how pedophile priests were in positions where they had easy access to trusting children in need of attention. "These priests represented father figures who showed interest in them (victims). . . . It was an angle," said Coe, adding that victims were raised to respect the authority of priests. Coe said the pain of the abuse continues today. "I cannot think of a time when I have not been depressed," Coe said.

Each expressed relief when John Doe filed a suit last month. Each said he was afraid to be the first to make a public accusation against the priest. Roe said he was once molested while watching the movie "The Exorcist" in the parish rectory with several other boys. Roe and Coe said they never would have told their parents about the gambling, drinking and smoking because it was fun. "We also played cards and smoked cigars," said Roe.

In an unusual proactive gesture by a member of the clergy, current Sacred Heart Church pastor, the Rev. Ronald F. Sadlowski, made a public appeal in his parish several weeks ago encouraging any possible abuse victims to come forward and begin healing. "If you choose, I can assist you in bringing your situation to the attention of the Diocesan Commission on Misconduct or you can call the Hot Line directly at 1-800-842-9055," Sadlowski said to parishioners. The commission investigates misconduct complaints.

The suit was originally filed in Middlesex Superior Court in mid-July on behalf of a 34-year-old Northern Connecticut man. Ahern, who had been assigned to several boys camps and eight parishes and missions previously, was never reassigned to public ministry after he left the Agawam parish in 1984. [see also: 30 September 2002]

Union-News 13 August 2002
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Relief Etched On The Boys' Faces
After An Anxious Summer-long Wait
THE relief of finally receiving the results they had anxiously waited for all summer was etched on the faces of De La Salle, Mount Sion and Waterpark College students last week as they left their old schools clutching their Leaving Cert grades. The three city boys schools were buzzing with activity last Wednesday morning as students nervously arrived to collect their exam results.
 . . . 
Over at Waterpark College where 50 students sat the Leaving Cert, Gerard Ahern of Dunmore Road, Waterford, was very pleased and surprised with his Leaving Cert results. “I thought I would do worse than I did,” he said modestly. “I am pleased. I got 415 points and was only expecting to get 300.”
Waterford News & Star 23 August 2002
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Police arrest log
Brian D. Ahern, 40, 72 Berkely St., Billerica; driving under the influence of alcohol, driving after license revocation.
The Lowell Sun 3 September 2002
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Stigmatine Priest Sued in Abuse Case
A Springfield man is suing a Waltham Stigmatine order priest, saying that the clergyman failed to protect him from another cleric who allegedly sexually abused him from the time he was 12 to 15 years old. In a lawsuit filed in Middlesex Superior Court last Thursday, Donald Smith, 44, alleges that the Rev. Joseph Fellin knew or should have known that the Rev. Richard Ahern was of bad character and reputation and unable to properly interact with minors. Ahern is deceased.

Smith's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, who recently won a multimillion dollar settlement for victims of defrocked priest John Geoghan, alleged yesterday that Ahern, then affiliated with Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Pittsfield, repeatedly raped his client from 1970-73. Garabedian also said he was suing Fellin, who was then Ahern's supervisor, and not the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata because state law limits damages in lawsuits against charities to $20,000. As a supervisor, Fellin is insured and there is no cap on damages he could be forced to pay, Garabedian said. Efforts to reach Fellin and Stigmatine officials were not successful.

In an interview yesterday, Smith, a former minister at St. Michael's Cathedral in Springfield, said he decided to come forward after Palm Sunday, when he overheard church officials belittling victims and accusing the media of executing agendas against the church. He also then resigned from his minister position, which he had held for three years. By coming forward now, Smith said, he is "hoping that other people will come forward and not have to feel ashamed of what's happened to them."

The Stigmatine order, which is based in Waltham, has about 550 priests worldwide, according to its Web site, but only about 20 active in the United States, according to a priest. The order's name is drawn from the term used to describe the crucifixion wounds of Jesus. Almost one-third of the estimated 47,000 Roman Catholic priests in the United States belong to religious orders. [see also: 12 December 2002]

The Boston Globe 30 September 2002
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Judge sentences man for planned college massacre
SANTA CLARA (AP)—A man convicted of plotting a Columbine-style rampage at his community college was sentenced to seven years in state prison Tuesday. Superior Court Judge Robert Ahern ruled that more than 100 of the counts against Al DeGuzman, 20, had to be dismissed because of two appellate court rulings that applied to his case. DeGuzman was sentenced on two remaining charges, possession of a destructive device in a public place, and possession of a destructive device with intent to cause harm. After Ahern dismissed most of the felony counts, he gave DeGuzman the maximum sentence for the remaining charges. Ahern said he saw DeGuzman as a danger to the public. The judge cited two cases in which a California Court of Appeal said the state Legislature did not adequately specify that criminals found with multiple weapons could be charged with multiple counts.

DeGuzman could be released on parole after about two years, said prosecutor Tom Farris. DeGuzman was scheduled to be sentenced in July on 108 counts of amassing an arsenal of guns and bombs in his bedroom and planning a massacre at De Anza College in Cupertino. The charges carried up to 95 years in prison, and a probation report recommended that he get 61 years. But Ahern postponed sentencing and raised the possibility that DeGuzman could get between three and seven years. When he postponed the sentencing Ahern said California law is ambiguous on whether DeGuzman should have been charged separately for each weapon found in his bedroom or whether he should have faced just two all-encompassing counts.

DeGuzman was arrested in January 2001 the day before the planned attacks on his community college. Authorities say the rampage was averted when a photo-developing clerk saw a picture of DeGuzman posing with his arsenal and called police.

North County Times 1 October 2002
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In time of war , brother honors lost hero
Author: Peter Gelzinis
IN MEMORY: For Fred Ahern , at left, memories of his brother John, who was lost during World War II , are still fresh. John's sub chaser went down in the south Atlantic in 1943. His name is among the 215 on a marble war memorial in South Boston, above.
The fraying telegram has been stained by time and tears. It arrived at the South Boston doorstep of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Ahern on March 6, 1943. In block letters it begins: "The Navy Department regrets to inform you that your son John William Ahern . . . is missing . . . " It ends two lines later with a warning: "To prevent possible aid to our enemies please do not divulge the name of his ship or station." Fred Ahern keeps his brother's death notice in an envelope. It is an heirloom, a sacred scrap of paper his sons will inherit.

"Jack was on a sub chaser, the SC 1024, out of Norfolk, Va. It escorted merchant convoys up and down the East Coast," Fred recalled. "All we ever knew is that he went down somewhere in the south Atlantic. That was it. "When my mother and father got word about Jack, I was off the coast of Greenland in an ice breaker," he said. "It was the old Admiral Byrd ship, the USS North Star. "Funny thing, we almost lost my other brother, Billy, that previous summer in July of '42. He was part of a Navy gun crew assigned to a merchant freighter, the Edward Luchenbach. They got torpedoed and went right down. "I'll never forget Billy telling me how they could see the lights of Key West, Fla., as they were going down. Back then, of course, the government didn't want anyone knowing how close the enemy subs really were. It was the same thing with Jack."

Both his brothers are now gone. Yet time hasn't dimmed the memories Fred carries in his heart. "My mother, she never got over Jack's death," he explained. "We had a Mass with no body. All you're left with is a piece of paper they send you . . . and memories." In those memories, Jack Ahern is forever 26 and graced with a luminous smile. "He worked making lithograph plates," his kid brother said. "But he was a guy who could do anything, the most gifted of all of us. Terrific artist and a genius, really, when it came to anything mechanical. "When we were just kids, Jack would take apart those wind-up Big Ben alarm clocks. The kitchen table would be covered with gears and springs and little wheels," Fred remembered wistfully. "When he put everything back together, the damn thing always ran better than new."

On a recent afternoon, Fred Ahern ran his weathered, 83-year-old fingers across the marble ridges that spell out: "John W. Ahern U.S.N." His brother's name is the second on a list of 215 that fill a pair of marble walls, perched on a small piece of the Southie coastline. From these streets half a century ago, each son, husband or brother marched off to war and eternity. When the greatest and most horrific of world wars ended, Fred Ahern recalled "how everyone just seemed to go back to where they left off." For the most part, names, faces and memories of the dead primarily lived only in the hearts and minds of those left behind. The scars of World War II stayed private.

How different from the war we contemplate today, when every casualty is sure to become "America's casualty," when every set of grieving parents is interviewed on national TV. One week from today, at 11 a.m., a single neighborhood of about 32,000 will officially recognize the daunting sacrifice it made in defense of our country, when the South Boston World War II Memorial is dedicated. Ironically, this World War II memorial comes 21 years after a different generation, one fathered by men like Fred Ahern, consecrated its own memorial to 25 sons lost in Vietnam. It took Joe Murphy, commander of the Thomas J. Fitzgerald VFW post, and a handful of volunteers, about two years to sift through an ocean of war records. Perhaps they were inspired by the example of their sons, or the reawakening spawned by a film like "Saving Private Ryan," or a book like "The Greatest Generation."

"You realize," Fred Ahern said, "that most of us are already gone. And the rest of us don't have much time left." Before they are gone, these proud men, who so lovingly worked to enshrine their friends' heroism, hope to retire the outstanding debt on this memorial. Between the charitable grants and private fund raising, nearly three-quarters of the $300,000 cost has been paid. Those wishing to help in this effort can make a donation to the South Boston WWII Memorial, Mt. Washington Bank, 430 West Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127.

Boston Herald 6 October 2002
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A dilapidated 18th century house overlooking Plymouth Rock will be razed to make room for a new structure. The town's Historic District Commission made the unusual decision to destroy a building in the town's historic district because the house at 12 Carver St. was structurally unsafe. Bill Rudolph, the Historic District Commission's vice chairman, said the commission approved architectural plans for a new house after a structural engineer concluded the house could not be restored. "They showed us the letter from the structural engineer," Rudolph said. "That was the only reason we let them do it."

Rudolph, a construction professional who is clerk of the works for the town's Memorial Hall restoration project, said commission members also visited the house. "The sills were rotten," Rudolph said. The second-floor windows have been open for over a year. The house sits on Coles Hill, one of the most prominent locations in the town's historic district. Coles Hill received the bodies of the Pilgrims who died the first winter after the Mayflower landed in Plymouth. The hill's monuments include the statue of Massasoit, the Wampanoag sachem who made peace with the Pilgrims, and the sarcophagus monument to the Mayflower Pilgrims. The building at 12 Carver St. is next door to the Plymouth National Wax Museum, another tourist draw.

Construction of a new, architecturally appropriate, house will be a good alternative for the historic district, said William Fornaciari, an architect. Originally hired by the property owner, Robert Ahearn, to explore restoring the house, Fornaciari said he went back to photos of Coles Hill from the late 19th century to guide a design for a building. "My structural engineer went through the building," Fornaciari said. "It's in deplorable condition, not much can be saved. As a preservationist, I took a long hard look to see if it could be saved." Rudolph agreed the design of the new house would be appropriate for the district. "It looks quite similar to what's there," he said.

Based on the 1966 National Preservation Act, the Plymouth Historic District preserves the historic architecture in the downtown-waterfront area. The Historic District Commission has regulatory authority over the exteriors of building within the district. When work stopped last year on 12 Carver St. and the house continued to deteriorate, the commission grew concerned and tried to contact the property owner. At the time, Ahearn said he planned to turn an eyesore into "an absolute gem of a property." Fornaciari took the plans for the new house before the historic commission in early summer and received its approval. The zoning application has been approved and only a building permit is now needed. Fornaciari said he does not know when the old house will be demolished, but that Ahearn does not want it to take place during the Thanksgiving tourist season. "He's been pretty sensitive" to the town's interests, Fornaciari said.

Ahearn bought the house in 2000 and hired a contractor to assess its condition. When workers discovered how badly it had rotted, Fornaciari said, Ahearn had to reconsider his options. "The back end of the building sits on the ground, literally," Fornaciari said. Prior to 1830, half the original house had been removed. A traditional hip-roof Georgian 18th-century building up to that point, the house assumed the long narrow footprint seen today. It was "Victorianized" in the 19th century and a one-story glassed-in porch was added to the front in the 1920s, he said. The porch housed a souvenir store. The building has been so extensively reworked, Fornaciari said, it "took a very trained eye to find what was left in there from the 1700s." He thinks it might be a contemporary of some 1740 buildings in town. The new design shares the same footprint with the current building. It will be three stories high and will not include a porch. Fornaciari said builder Michael Burrey will salvage whatever timbers can be reused.

The Boston Globe 17 October 2002
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47th Cork Film Festival
by Dennis J. Ahern
The 47th Cork Film Festival was held October 6-13, 2002, in Cork City. Over the course of eight days, the program included 52 feature films, 33 documentaries and 221 short films grouped in 30 different programs. Incuded in this total was a five-feature restrospective of Czech film maker Jan Sverák, who directed "Kolya" and "Dark Blue World". Screenings were held in three venues. The Triskell Arts Centre with 100 seats is in an alley off the Grand Parade across from the English Market and is mostly used for documentaries and shorts. The Kino Cinema in Washington Street seats 188 and has the most varied program, while the Cork Opera House, with 1,000 seats, is used mainly for features and for the opening and closing galas and awards ceremonies.

Only short films compete for awards at the Cork Film Festival and there were a large number of entries from Irish film makers, including one program of eight films made in Cork. One of these, "World Chess Championships" was a hilarious sendup of two radio commentators reporting on a chess match. One of them, knowing absolutely nothing of the game, persists in reporting it as if it were a football match, much to the distress of the chess master brought in to collaborate on the commentary.

The opening gala feature was "Magdalene Sisters" directed by Peter Mullan, a Scot, who attended in highland dress. He got the idea for this film from an English television documentary, which also screened this week, titled "Sex in a Cold Climate" which exposed the history of the Magdalene Asylums run by the Catholic Church in Ireland as homes for "fallen women". Begun by an order of nuns in the 19th century, these homes took in unwed mothers, girls suspected of sexual behavior, and reformed prostitutes who were given a choice between redemption and jail. But the Magdalene homes were as much a jail as any prison. And worse — you didn't know when, if ever, you would be allowed to leave. Mullen's film centers on the stories of three girls who arrive at the same time. One had brought shame on the family when she was raped by her cousin. Another is an unwed mother who is forced to give her baby up for adoption. The third is sent from an orphanage where she is starting to attract the boys, though she is innocent of anything beyond flirting across the fence. Without any explanation of why or how, they find themselves exiled to a life of labor in the laundries that, in theory, provide income for their care. But no care is given for their well being. In a scene out of Oliver Twist they subsist in silence on gruel and water while the nuns on their screened dais feast on rashers of bacon, toast and marmalade and lashings of tea. Their spiritual well-being also gets short shrift with the good father giving communion on the one hand and extracting sexual favors with the other. This is a piece of Ireland's past that some would sooner forget, but the story needs telling and Mullan has done a good job.

Éireville, directed by James Finlan was a short in Irish with English subtitles. Not having the Irish myself, I had to ask later why everyone laughed as the main character, a raincoat and fedora-wearing detective, was introduced as Lemmy Cúramach which translates as "Carefull". The setting is an Ireland sometime in the future, yet mired in the past, ruled by the brain of long-dead Patrick von Pearseman hooked up to a computer. Everyone speaks in the past tense and time stands still at 1916. In fact, the only numbers in use are 1, 6 and 9, the time is always 19:16, and when the Fenian bells are heard to peal, everyone kneels in contemplation.

While Finlan's film suggests an Ireland frozen in the amber of the Easter Rebellion, Conor Horgan's "The Last Time" gives us a slice of life in the Ireland of today. Faced with prospective surgery that could cool forever what ardors she may yet conjure, a woman who can't remember the last time she made love to a man decides to grab for it one last time while she can. Long out of touch with the dating scene and short on time she goes to a dance at a hotel reputed to be "a knocking shop for the over-50". She finds that the grey-haired Romeos, despite their pocket full of little blue pills, are more interested in conquest than consummation. Striking out on the dance floor she tries the Internet with even less result, except it leads her to a support group for sexual compulsives. This also leads her down a dead end path and she resigns herself to fate only to find that her love life may not be doomed after all. A definite crowd pleaser and one of the award winners of the Festival, Horgan's film reminds us that love can sometimes be right in front of us all the time. We only need to recognize it.

Love also drives our food in a short film from Spain called "Salad Days" in which the walk-in cooler of a restaurant comes alive after the chefs go home. A salad gets drunk on vinegar while his sister pines for her true love, a fish who is getting near his sell-by date, and prays that they may be served together and thus become sole mates together in some heavenly intestinal tract.

A comment on the current occupant of the White House is a 2-minute short by Bryan Boyce, "State of the Union" which has Bush's face as a smiling sun blowing bunnies off a telletubbie lawn with its laser rays and replacing them with oil wells. People over here ask me how did we elect this man and I can only shake my head and blame the Supreme Court. And students march down Patrick Street decrying "Bush and Blair's War".

An earlier war - the last good war - was portrayed in the World Premier of Tom Thurman's documentary "John Ford Goes to War". When his country needed him, Ford left John Wayne in Monument Valley and headed off to the Pacific, in charge of a group of film crews recording naval operations. From timely footage he pieced together "Battle for Midway" using the voices of Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell who played Ma Joad in "Grapes of Wrath" to make a patriotic piece linking the boys at the front to home town families across the country. After the War, Ford directed John Wayne in several films, including "The Quiet Man" and he never failed to needle the Duke about sitting out the War at home.

One group who seem never to spend any time at home are the film fanatics of "Cinemania" a documentary by Angela Christlieb and Stephen Kijak. These five New Yorkers schedule their every waking moment around going to the movies - all kinds of movies, at museums, art houses, and first-run multiplexes all over New York City. They plan their day as if it was the invasion of Normandy, consulting subway maps, screening times, and the running length of each film, choosing a constipative diet to avoid lengthy bathroom breaks. When asked if he was out of touch with reality, one of the subjects replied "Who would want to live in this reality".

While I have not consciously opted for a roughage-free diet, it does seem a long time between sit-down meals as I dash from screen to screen. The Opera House has a cafe well-stocked with cappuccino and you can smuggle in a pastry from the English Market or a slice of pizza from the Dunne's supermarket on Patrick Street. Most times it's a sausage roll from the Centra or even a bag of fries from the blue McDonald's at the corner of Corn Market Street.

Somehow I made it through the week without nodding off too much. The good thing about shorts is if one is less than stimulating, the applause at the end will always wake you up for the next one.

The closing night feature was a fitting bookend to "Magdalene Sisters". In Australian director Philip Noyce's film "Rabbit Proof Fence" three girls are ripped from their families and placed in an institution with noble purpose but flawed results. In an effort to control the spread of half-breeds, children of aborigine mothers by white fathers were rounded up like stray dogs and put in camps where they could be trained to work as servants in white households. This policy turned out to be as hopeless as the fence of the title that was constructed across the country to keep a non-native species of rabbit from devastating the farms of homesteaders. The three girls use this fence as a guide to find their way home after running away from the camp where they were to be educated in the white man's way. David Gulpilil, who was in Nicolas Roeg's "Walkabout" with Jenny Agutter, plays the tracker sent to recapture them. And Kenneth Branagh plays the government administrator responsible for all the aborigines in Australia.

Being in Cork it is easy to recall similar failed policies of English colonial rule. But now Ireland must decide how much it wants to retain its independence or will it fully embrace the European Union. Every lamppost from Cork to Dublin has a poster saying to vote yes or no on the vote this Saturday on the Nice treaty. Everyone I've asked has said they will vote yes, though some seem ambivalent. And one wag has been going around Cork stenciling "Ballot Box" on the gold-trimmed black litter bins. By the time this goes to press we should have the answer. Will it be an Éireville still gripped in the web of history, or a new European Ireland reaching out to its neighbors.

Boston Irish Reporter November 2002
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Letters to the editor
Boycott gets no credit for swordfish recovery
Regarding the item on swordfish in the Nov. 6 food section's "Tidbits" column, I would like to point out that the reason swordfish has almost totally recovered is not due to a boycott. The swordfish fishery has been tightly regulated for more than five years by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. Swordfish has been harvested and sold under a quota system for several years. Swordfish sold over the past several years has been enjoyed under ecologically sound fisheries management programs that kept fishermen employed at the same time. The boycott, however sensational and showy, had no effect on the recovery of swordfish stocks. I would hope regulators would take note of this stock recovery to also save our local cod fishermen as cod stocks are recovering. Too many local fishermen are being put out of business for life by the newest rulings on cod fishing off Cape Cod, even as stocks are rebounding.
Owner, Swan River Seafoods
Cape Cod Times 11 November 2002
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Fugitive captured in Dracut, faces drug charges
CHELMSFORD Members of a regional SWAT team stormed a Wilson Street home last July after getting a tip that someone was being held hostage there, but found the apartment empty. On Monday police found their suspect living in Dracut. Adolfo Gonzalez, 36, was coming out of his home at 72 Cranberry Road when he was picked up and charged with two warrants for trafficking cocaine and another warrant for possession of a firearm silencer. He was arraigned in Lowell District Court on Tuesday and is being held at Cambridge Jail on $100,000 cash bail or $1 million surety bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 6.

When the SWAT team entered the home at 15 Wilson St., Unit A, in Chelmsford on July 17, they found cocaine, a large amount of money on a kitchen table, and evidence that someone had been held captive, police said. Money left on the table indicated a hasty retreat from the home, police said at the time. It was not clear yesterday how much money was on the table or how much cocaine was left behind when Gonzalez allegedly fled the Wilson Street apartment, said Lt. Jim Murphy. There was between 14 and 28 grams of cocaine, he said. It still is not clear whether anyone was held captive, though the tip that led police to the apartment proved credible and there was plenty of duct tape in the apartment, according to police. "It was never confirmed whether (the tape) was used to tie somebody up or package the drugs," Murphy said. "There was a substantial amount of cocaine so it could have been used for packaging drugs."

Investigators followed Gonzalez's trail to Dracut. On Monday, police inspectors Todd Ahern, Jeff Blodgett and George Tyros were staking out the Cranberry Road home when they spotted him, according to Murphy. "It took some time staking out the address until they discovered who they thought was the suspect," he said. Gonzalez did not try to run away or resist, but did tell police he was Crespo Rosado and had an apparently fake ID to support his claim, Murphy said.

The Lowell Sun 15 November 2002
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Before Nelly, Jay-Z, and Nappy Roots, there was Busy Bee, Kool DJ Herc, and the Cold Crush Brothers. Before Eminem became a New York Times Magazine cover boy and middle-aged sportscasters began dropping street slang into their broadcasts, black and Latino kids were carving a dynamic new culture from the asphalt and concrete of the South Bronx. Today hip-hop is a worldwide phenomenon, but it began as B-boy culture, unrecognized by the mainstream and uncorrupted by big-money marketing. It was graffiti artists turning subway trains into rolling murals, kids going ballistic for breakbeats and spinning their bodies in unimaginable ways, and the revolutionary scr-scr-scratch of old records made new when married to the rhythm and rhyme of ghetto superstars. A quarter-century after hip-hop and rap were born in clubs, block parties, and playgrounds, its nascent years spark to life again in the book "Yes Yes Y'all," a vibrant oral history of the culture's first decade. This isn't Old School hip-hop, but Original School, recalled in the voices of those who were there—the DJs, dancers, artists, and rappers who not only got the party started, but wound up changing the world. "Everyone that created this culture was highly intelligent, highly motivated, innovative, and focused. This didn't come about as an accident," said coauthor Charlie Ahearn, who also wrote and directed the iconic 1982 hip-hop film, "Wild Style," the first movie to capture the burgeoning culture. "These people struggled for years creating reputations that were important to building up the culture," he said. "They deserve recognition and acknowledgement for their creativity and their contributions."

Ahearn, along with coauthor Jim Fricke, interviewed nearly 100 people for the book, ranging from LL Cool J and Russell Simmons to more obscure figures such as Sha-Rock, one of the first celebrated female rappers and MC for the Funky 4. It discusses the Sugarhill Gang's 1979 breakthrough, "Rapper's Delight," the first rap song to crack the Billboard Top 40, and the early success of Run-DMC. Yet the emphasis is on the years in the shadows, when hip-hop culture was blooming behind America's back. "Until you got to 'Rapper's Delight,' there were no hit singles that represented this culture, so this book is about a lot of things that weren't recorded," Ahearn said. "There were no TV shows or movies that represented this culture, and it's fascinating to show how such an immensely important culture developed for five years without anyone paying attention to it."

What became "Yes Yes Y'all" began as the "Hip-Hop Nation" exhibit at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. Since the late 1990s, Fricke, a senior curator at the music museum, has been interviewing hip-hop pioneers for EMP's Oral History Program. "Interviewing Kid Creole [of the Furious Five] or Grandmaster Flash in the late '90s was like interviewing Louis Armstrong in the late '40s or Charlie Parker in the early 1950s. These people were part of the most influential and revolutionary cultural product of the past 25 years," he said. "It's undeniable that time has passed, and the memories have been colored a little bit by what's happened in between, but they're still fresh."

Recently, there has been renewed interest in early hip-hop culture and its innovators. A wonderful documentary, "The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy," was recently released on DVD. Erykah Badu's recent video, "Love of My Life," features cameos by Fab 5 Freddy, who worked with Ahearn on "Wild Style," and was the first host of "Yo! MTV Raps"; dancer Crazy Legs, one of the original members of New York's Rock Steady Crew; and Kool DJ Herc, often called "the father of hip-hop." "The tide of interest shifts over the years. There was a time when the period represented in this book went out of fashion, and it went out of fashion very hard," said Ahearn, who also contributed dozens of vintage photos and handmade flyers for the book. "In the early '90s it was rekindled, and it's been building slowly since then."

With "Yes Yes Y'all," both Ahearn and Fricke hope people will understand and appreciate hip-hop's origins. While their book is historical, they don't want it perceived as a time capsule opened on a dusty, forgotten past. "With tragedies like Jam Master Jay [Run-DMC's DJ] getting shot a few weeks ago, and we're at a point where this expression that started out so simple, beautiful, and optimistic, has become associated with greed and violence," Fricke said. "I feel like it's important for people inside and outside of the industry to realize that's not how hip-hop started, and, even today that's not what it's about."

The Boston Globe 19 November 2002
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Film of JFK assassination will undergo restoration
One of the three primary films of the assassination of President Kennedy is being restored, its owners said yesterday, the 39th anniversary of his death. The ''Muchmore film,'' as it is known, will be remastered with digital technology that will stabilize it and restore scratched and damaged images, Associated Press Television News said in London.
. . .
The APTN film was taken by Marie Muchmore as the president's motorcade turned onto Houston Street in Dallas. It shows the last, fatal shot to the head and a woman who came to be known as the ''babushka lady'' filming near the president's car. She never was conclusively identified, nor was her film ever retrieved. Muchmore's film, originally acquired by United Press International, is now part of the library of APTN, which commissioned the restoration. It will be released in January for inclusion in productions timed for the 40th anniversary of the assassination. ''If a program maker is using scratched, washed-out images, then viewers aren't going to be giving their full concentration, so we think it's a way of helping to tell the story,'' said Christopher O'Hearn, the head of content development for APTN.
The Boston Globe 23 November 2002
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In a spur-of-the-moment holiday gesture, the Comedy Connection's Bill Blumenreich opened the doors to his new spot, Boston Rocks, yesterday afternoon to all Faneuil Hall Marketplace post-Thanksgiving shoppers, tourists, passers-by, and the like. Not only did Blumenreich give them a place to sit and talk to friends, but offered free appetizers, some bubbly, and a chance to watch some TV and relax in the newly renovated club, which is next door to the Comedy Connection. Blumenreich's GM Frank Ahearn donned a chef's hat and cooked up a buffet for the passers-by. Sudbury's own Paula Poundstone, who is headlining the club this weekend, was spotted in the Comedy Connection's green room chowing down on some of Ahearn's offerings.
The Boston Globe 30 November 2002
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A fund to benefit Needham children has been established at Crossroads Community Foundation in memory of Needham resident Ali Ahern, who died in June from injuries sustained in a plane crash in Belgium. Ahern, a 1996 graduate of Needham High School, played on varsity soccer, basketball, and softball teams and served as captain on all three teams during her senior year. Contributions to the fund should be sent to Crossroads Community Foundation, 21 Eliot St., Natick 01760. Checks should be made payable to the Alison Ahern Memorial Fund. For more information, call Mark Yerkes at 508-647-2260.
The Boston Globe 8 December 2002
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Elizabeth and Brendan Ahern of Buzzards Bay, girl, Julia Rose Ahern, Nov. 7.
Cape Cod Times 8 December 2002
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Sordid Tales Emerge As More Priest Files Opened
The files on eight more priests and one religious brother unveiled yesterday detail allegations that include molestation on a cross-country trip, cocaine use and child pornography, and a priest cleared by the church's clergy sex abuse Review Board but removed on the same charge after the current scandal erupted. Here are summaries of their cases:

The Rev. Richard J. Ahern—The director of the Stigmatine's Camp Elm Bank in Wellesley in the 1960s, Ahern allegedly took advantage of a 13-year-old boy who had lost his father, ordering two other teens to hold him down while he masturbated him, a 1993 complaint asserts.

"The two boys held me down, while Fr. Ahern began to touch my penis and testicles. . . . When I climaxed, I felt so ashamed as if I were to blame."

Ahern and another priest, whose full name was not included in the complaint, together abused the victim in another weekend incident, the complaint reads. Ahern, who died last year, was the subject of another complaint by an altar boy who served when Ahern was a pastor at Our Lady of Angels Church in Woodbridge, Va., between 1959 and 1961. An altar boy ultimately alerted the area bishop that Ahern, during those two years, allegedly "seduced and sexually abused" him. [see also: 6 August 2003]

Boston Herald 12 December 2002
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Files of wrong priest released
The Rev. Richard L. Ahern left the priesthood in 1991 with his reputation intact. Yesterday, records produced by the archdiocese suggested—erroneously—that Ahern, a diocesan priest, had been accused of child molestation. Ahern's records were intermingled with the official file on a Stigmatine priest, the late Rev. Richard J. Ahern, who had faced accusations of sexual molestation of a minor. To further compound the error, archdiocesan officials who compiled the records, in response to a court order, also included in the Stigmatine priest's file a single page from the records of yet another diocesan priest, the Rev. Richard F. Ahearn. Ahearn is now retired.

It is the second time that such a mix-up occurred as the archdiocese has turned over thousands of pages of records to attorneys for alleged victims of clergy abuse. The archdiocese mistakenly included the files of the Rev. James D. Foley when it turned over to lawyers for alleged victims of sexual abuse the files of the Rev. James J. Foley, who has been accused of sexual molestation. It turned out, however, that Rev. James D. Foley had been caught up in a scandal of a different sort: The records mistakenly handed over showed that he had fathered two children in the 1960s by a woman who subsequently died of an overdose with Foley present. When those documents became public last week, the Rev. James D. Foley was removed from his parish assignment in Salem.

Yesterday, Donna M. Morrissey, the spokeswoman for the archdiocese, expressed regrets ''that portions of the files of Father Richard F. Ahearn and Father Richard L. Ahern were mistakenly included in the file of the deceased Father Richard J. Ahern.'' Neither of the mistakenly named men had ever been the subject of any allegation of sexual wrongdoing, according to archdiocesan officials.

The Boston Globe 12 December 2002
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