New England Briefs

Saturday February 16, 2013

Mass. ed department issues rules
on transgender pupils

BOSTON (AP) -- The Massachusetts education department has issued directives on how schools should treat transgender students, including allowing them to use the bathroom of whatever sex they identify as.

The guidance by the department was issued Friday to help schools follow the requirements of the state’s 2011 anti-discrimination law protecting transgender people.

The directive also said schools should allow students to participate on the sports teams of whatever sex they identify as.

Andrew Beckwith of the Massachusetts Family Institute said the department is protecting transgender students at the expense of the safety and privacy of other students.

Gunner Scott of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition said the guidance is welcomed by transgender students and their parents, who often worry if their children will be safe at school.

Contract for U.S. debut of
The Clash up for auction

AMHERST, N.H. (AP) -- The legal contract for the American debut of the English punk rock band The Clash is being offered by a New Hampshire auction house, as well as other band items.

The Clash documents dated Jan. 23, 1979, were drafted for a performance at New York’s Palladium that Feb. 17. They include a diagram of the stage and a proposed advertising layout.

The band, known for "London Calling," "Should I Stay or Should I Go," and "Rock the Casbah," would play the Palladium several more times that year.

An extremely rare Fender guitar used by singer Joe Strummer and other items were offered online Thursday by RR Auction in Amherst. Much of the collection belonged to Gerry Harrington, Strummer’s former manager, who died Feb. 9. The auction ends Feb. 21.

N.E. fish chief says quota carryover can boost catch

BOSTON (AP) -- The Northeast’s top fishing regulator says he’ll allow fishermen to boost next year’s catch by transferring over a portion of what they don’t catch this year.

John Bullard said Thursday that fishermen can transfer up to 10 percent of their uncaught quota for bottom-dwelling groundfish species.

The only exception is cod in the Gulf of Maine. Bullard said fishermen can transfer just 2 percent of unused quota on that species, since allowing more could cause overfishing on the species.

The overall catch has been down this year, and fishermen are projected to catch well short of their allotments on several species when the current fishing year ends April 30. Bullard says this year’s poor catch proves fish populations are struggling.

’Underdog’ cartoon creator dies

BOSTON (AP) -- William Watts Biggers, co-creator of the cartoon "Underdog," the mild-mannered shoeshine boy who turned into a caped superhero to rescue his girlfriend, Sweet Polly Purebred, has died. He was 85. Family friend Derek Tague says Biggers, who went by "Buck," died unexpectedly at his Plymouth home on Sunday. Biggers worked for the New York City advertising firm DFS when he accepted an assignment from the agency’s largest client, General Mills, to create cartoons to promote its breakfast cereals. The most famous was "Underdog," which debuted on NBC in 1964.


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