News in brief

A committee of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization is mulling over how the state will spend part of the expected stimulus funding, and the immediate future of the construction of Four Corners Station on the Fairmount Line and phase two of the Ashmont Station on the Red Line hang in the balance.

The transportation programming and planning committee of the MPO met early this month and members received lists of projects under consideration. The chosen public works will be put in an amendment to the body's Transportation Improvement Plan for fiscal year 2009.

Until Feb. 23, the public will be able to comment on the plan and support the projects they favor. The full amendment is available at bostonmpo.org and comments can be directed to 617-973-7100, publicinformation@ctps.org or 10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150, Boston, MA 02116.
Trial begins in murder outside Geneva Ave. party

The man accused of shooting and killing a 22-year-old Kentucky woman outside a home on Geneva Avenue went on trial this week. Casimiro Barros, 23, was allegedly firing his handgun at another man - Manuel Andrade - when one of the bullets struck and killed Chiara Levin on March 24, 2006.

Levin and a group of friends had met Andrade earlier that night outside of a Boston nightclub and accompanied him to the Geneva Ave. party, which prosecutors this week described as a "subdued gathering of men and women in the 20s and 30s who socialized as they enjoyed Cape Verdean food and drink." The gathering took a violent turn when a group of young men from Roxbury - who were feuding with Andrade's Dorchester friends - arrived.

Afer an argument - in which Andrade is alleged to have thrown a plate of food in Barros's face - the dispute spilled outside where Levin and her party were preparing to leave. Police say Barros opened fire on Andrade and he returned fire. One of the bullets from Barros's weapon stuck Levin in the head, according to Suffolk County prosecutors. She was pronounced dead a short time later at Boston Medical Center.
Group to confront CVS on condom lock-up

A coalition of local and national organizations is set to descend on a CVS pharmacy in Uphams Corner at 11 a.m. today to protest the store's policy of locking up condoms in display cases.

"We're trying to change a policy that happens pretty much only in communities of color," said Katie Titus, spokesperson for Cure CVS Now, a group leading the coalitions. "It's a concern for civil rights organizations, local community groups and also public health advocates. It's just one more deterrent that makes it impossible to buy condoms more discreetly."

Many communities of color are at an increased risk of HIV and AIDS, added Titus.

Project RIGHT, the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, and Healing Our Land Inc. are among the groups who will turn out at the action.

Cure CVS Now has approached the corporate offices of CVS on the issue in the past with little effect, said Titus, but the Uphams Corner action will be the first of its kind in the country.
Senior health event on tap at Kit Clark Center March 12

Kit Clark Senior Services' Madden Senior Center, located at 1500 Dorchester Avenue in Fields Corner, will host a Senior Care Options (SCO) Information Fair on Thursday, March 12. The morning event will offer information on a comprehensive health plan offered to adults sixty-five and older who are standard MassHealth eligible. The program will run from 9:30-11:30 a.m. For more information, call Anita Nasra at 617-825-5000.