Boston Marathon Runner Profiles, 2008 and 2009

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Burned Out: When Fenway’s Restaurant Row Went Up in Flames, Neighbors Lost More Than Their Favorite Eats

By Maggie Cassidy
Globe Correspondent

When workers closed up shop at El Pelon Taqueria on the night of Jan. 5, there were virtually no signs that the restaurant had suffered a devastating fire just over a year earlier, in December 2007. Since reopening in February 2008, they had reincarnated their famous walls of photos displaying about 70 snapshots of customers proudly wearing their El Pelon T-shirts — which show a mustachioed man underneath the restaurant’s name — in locations around the world.

There were other mementoes, too, tacked up on the walls: Mexican baseball shirts, folk art, gifts from customers. And there were the customers themselves: tourists, passersby, and, in large part, local Fenway residents who stopped in for the $4 burritos or popular $5 fish tacos.

The following morning, the beloved taqueria was gone. El Pelon was one of seven businesses – six restaurants and a dry cleaner – destroyed in a four-alarm fire early Jan. 6. The blaze gutted the building, causing an estimated $5 million in damage and leaving 71 workers unemployed. Continue reading “Burned Out: When Fenway’s Restaurant Row Went Up in Flames, Neighbors Lost More Than Their Favorite Eats”

Bike Czar Creates Buzz Just Gearing Up

By Maggie Cassidy
Globe Correspondent

It’s time to connect the dots.

Or, rather, connect the bike lanes, say local bike activists who say 2009 should be about expanding Boston’s burgeoning biking infrastructure and start to connect its disjointed bicycling hot spots.

Led by Nicole Freedman, director of Boston Bikes and the city’s “bike czar,” Boston established about 5 miles of new bike lanes in the agency’s first year. She has big plans for coming years, including a bike-share program.  Continue reading “Bike Czar Creates Buzz Just Gearing Up”

Lowrie Leaves an Impression: Rookie Delivers Early and Late for Red Sox

By Maggie Cassidy
Globe Correspondent

Before last night’s game, a frenzy surrounding Manny Ramirez’s departure to the Dodgers and Jason Bay’s arrival from the Pirates had taken over Fenway Park.

But while Bay shined in his Red Sox debut, reaching base three times, scoring both Boston runs, and tripling to start the winning rally in the 12th inning, another star emerged. One who’s been with the Sox for almost a month.

Jed Lowrie, who was recalled from Pawtucket July 13 after Julio Lugo was placed on the 15-day disabled list, drove in Bay twice – including the deciding run on an infield single – to help lead the Sox to a 2-1 win over the Oakland A’s.

“It was just a matter of me going out there and trusting my game,” Lowrie said. “I was able to get a couple hits and hit a sac fly and hit a sac bunt, so I felt like I did it all tonight.” Continue reading “Lowrie Leaves an Impression: Rookie Delivers Early and Late for Red Sox”

Sign Of a Champion: Learning Center’s NEPSAC Banner Understood By All

By Maggie Cassidy
Globe Correspondent

On the bench to the right of the scoring table at Noble & Greenough’s Rappaport Gymnasium yesterday, young women in bright blue basketball uniforms began their intimidating battle cry, bringing down one foot at a time — stomp, stomp — before smacking their hands in unison — clap, clap.

They repeated the bone-shaking rally throughout the game — stomp, stomp, clap, clap, stomp, stomp, clap, clap. And while their teammates on the court couldn’t hear the noise the bench produced, they knew it was there.

The Learning Center for the Deaf relied on pure teamwork to capture the NEPSAC Class D girls’ basketball championship with a convincing 43-35 win over Chase Collegiate of Waterbury, Conn.

It was the first time in NEPSAC history a deaf team made it to the championship game.

‘‘I feel like a lot of people actually are shocked,’’ senior Danielle Sprague signed through interpreter Crista DeBenedictis. ‘‘No one believes that a deaf team could win, and here we are, proving today that it doesn’t matter if you’re a deaf team or a hearing team. It doesn’t matter. You can win.’’ Continue reading “Sign Of a Champion: Learning Center’s NEPSAC Banner Understood By All”