Archive for February, 2011

Boston firefighters from left, Dan Magoon, Paul Harvey and Jim Kenney will be playing in tonight’s charity hockey game at City Point’s Murphy Rink, better known as the rink at the sugar bowl. They go up against the Massachusetts National Guard’s First Battalion. Gametime is 5pm for only $5. The proceeds will go to the Grunts Family Readiness Group, which raises funds for the families the Guard leaves behind while fighting for our freedom. Herald scribe Joe Fitzgerald writes more here.



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I knew something was wrong when I awoke from my sleep the morning of February 20, 2003. When I flipped on the television every network news channel was broadcasting the same crude photos and videos showing some type of escape from a burning building. I was stunned to find out the early fatality stats on this fire. First it was nine dead, then 12 dead. It would eventually reach a staggering number of 100 people who went to the West Warwick, R.I. nightclub that night never to return. I was dispatched to the scene by the Boston Herald photo desk morning editor Arthur Pollock. Staffers Matt Stone and Robert Eng had already been there in the very early morning hours and done yeoman’s work. I remember standing next to WCVB cameraman Curtis Bailey as we trained our lenses on the first responders trying to locate victims. I looked at him after about 20 minutes of seeing body bag after body bag coming out of the burned out shell of a building and in disbelief said: “Curtis, this has to be more fatalities than the 20 that (the authorities) had stated.” He said: “Mark, it’s up to 30 according (his) reporter.” I also remember feeling sympathy for not only the victims and the victims’ families, but also for the brave first responders who were seeing “battlefield” type numbers in that hell hole. here are three of the many photos I snapped that morning.


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I covered this very sad story of a wonderful young woman who died in service to our country. Marine Capt. Jennifer Harris, a Swampscott woman and Naval Academy graduate, died when the helicopter she was piloting crashed Feb. 7, 2007 in a field northwest of Baghdad, killing all seven people on board. Below are my photos of her casket arriving at Hanscom AFB and of her funeral, on this date in 2007. Here is the very moving story that my colleague Peter Gelzinis wrote for the Boston Herald and the Swampscott Reporter.


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I just left a return visit to St. Maarten’s Maho Beach, the aviation enthusiast’s paradise. I first visited the infamous, relatively short runway at Princess Juliana Airport, in 2004. If you have not seen any photos of the jet arrivals at this beach, then you really are missing something. People come from all over the world to experience the exciting landings and the even more hair raising departures. It was 82 degress fahrenheit when my wife and I trotted over to the Sunset Beach Bar, the unofficial head of the Princess Juliana Airport fan club. These jets arrive only 50 feet overhead of the people watching them. Please see my photo below of a Corsair 747 landing in 2004. The next three photos were snapped this week, including a portrait of me that my wife snapped. My wife and I were using a Canon G11 point and short. I have 2 photos that I snapped of two jet arrivals with vacationers waving to the planes. Again, these were taken with a Canon G11 point and shoot, except of course, for the one Corsair plane landing, that was with a pro camera.

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I was working my shift at the Boston Herald on a sunny afternoon when the police scanners reported a fire in an office building on Route 9 in Newton. As I approached the building I knew this was not going to be an ordinary event. Heavy smoke filled the skies near the Chestnut Hill Mall as the building, packed with workers, exploded in fire. Five died in the blaze. See my photos below. My friend Steve Walsh, a photographer with Patch online news agency who was also on the scene that day, reminds me today of this NECN special investigation report on the fire which first aired in 2008. Well worth clicking the link.


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The Wayward Coyote on the Frozen Charles.

Here is a small selection of the many photos I snapped today of the coyote who found him or herself  on the frozen Charles River during today’s snowstorm. More photos can be seen here, in the Boston Herald story by clicking the link “Photo Gallery.” Bill Tanguay, an animal technician at the Animal Rescue League of Boston donned a survival suit and hopped on into the Charles. Once the would be rescuer neared the animal, the coyote took off into the middle of the Charles and  was caught a little later.

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