While you were out . . .

By ADAM REILLY  |  September 4, 2007

Scholarly pursuits
Drew Gilpin Faust, HARVARD’s first woman president, started work on July 2. EMERSON COLLEGE said it would build a Hollywood-focused campus in Los Angeles, and fired its dean of enrollment in connection with the ongoing student-loan scandal. A sweeping reorganization of the UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS pissed off a whole bunch of people. And Governor Deval Patrick proposed making Massachusetts COMMUNITY COLLEGES totally free.

The town of BROOKLINE banned trans fats, and the Massachusetts Legislature might prohibit them statewide. Eat ’em while you still can. . . .

Derailed
The D branch of the MBTA’s GREEN LINE temporarily stopped running between Riverside and Reservoir stations, thereby making one of America’s worst public-transit experiences even more unpleasant.

The BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY wants to change the name of the Green Line’s Copley station. Surprise! They suggest calling it the Boston Public Library station.

Good sports/bad sports
After building a fat 14-1/2-game lead over the Yankees, the RED SOX frittered most of it away, allowing New York to close to within five (as of this writing) and prompting an abundance of angst and kvetching.

Shockingly, the CELTICS actually matter again: after getting screwed in the NBA lottery, they traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and find themselves a popular dark-horse pick to get to the finals next year, and perhaps even win.

Two Boston firefighters who were helping a lost truck driver in Charlestown were attacked by FOUR ASSHOLES wearing Yankee hats.

CHARLIE WEIS, the ex–Patriots offensive coordinator and current Notre Dame coach, lost his medical malpractice suit against two MGH doctors he accused of botching his gastric-bypass surgery.

Just visiting
Felonious ex–Providence mayor BUDDY CIANCI hung out at a halfway house in Boston after being released from prison at Fort Dix, quit his job at a fancy Boston hotel before he actually started it, and then hightailed it back to Rhode Island.

Dangers
VIOLENT CRIME
dropped in Boston over the summer — but this good news was overshadowed by the tragic killing of Dorchester eight-year-old Liquarry Jefferson, who grew up in a crime-plagued family and was accidentally shot by his seven-year-old cousin.

Twenty-five-year-old Army Specialist Alex Jimenez of Lawrence still hasn’t been found since being KIDNAPPED IN IRAQ on May 12.

Media mix
RUPERT MURDOCH
’s purchase of Dow Jones (the Wall Street Journal deal) gives the media mogul a presence in Massachusetts for the first time since he owned the Herald — but his holdings here are just a bunch of suburban papers you’ll probably never read, and chances are good that Rupert’s going to ditch them before long.

Ur-anchorwoman NATALIE JACOBSON’s retirement from WCVB-TV made people over 40 wax nostalgic and reminded the rest of us that TV news isn’t very important anymore.

Civic improvement
THE GREENWAY
— that swath of parkland that runs through downtown Boston and is allegedly one reason the Big Dig was worth it — looks much better than it did the last time you saw it, but still hasn’t officially opened.

The Globe reported that David Kirkpatrick, a Massachusetts native and former Paramount Pictures president, wants to build a national center for “SPIRITAINMENT” right here in Massachusetts. (“Spiritainment” sounds like Seventh Heaven, only without the smoldering sexual subtexts. We have no idea . . .)

A bunch of intrepid swimmers participated in the first race in the CHARLES RIVER in more than 50 years, allegedly demonstrating just how clean the stream has become. If you decide to follow their lead, though, beware the toxic blue-green algae that almost forced the race’s cancellation.

Religious awakenings
The BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE is selling its Brighton headquarters and moving to Braintree. Also, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has invited the pope to come to Boston. (No word yet on whether Pope Benedict will swing by; if he does, expect him to bellyache about gay marriage.)

Dueling lawsuits over the construction of that huge new mosque in Roxbury were dropped, paving the way for a bright new chapter in local MUSLIM-JEWISH RELATIONS. That’s the idea, anyway.

Adam Reilly, who reads the dailies so you don’t have to, can be reached at areilly@phx.com.

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