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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts • 17

The Boston Globei
Boston, Massachusetts
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MetroRegion News Bl-6, 12 Starts Stops B2 Lottery B2 New England News Briefs B6 Classified B7 Deaths BIO Weather B12 THE BOSTON GLOBE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1998 OWL 'Beedies' are teens' newest addiction By Ellen O'Brien GLOBE STAFF Stabbing victim a mystery to many Police seeking clues in Allston slaying have on counters of small neighborhood markets in Dorchester, Mattapan, Rox-bury, and Jamaica Plain. "It's a phenomenon we are just now seeing," said Greg Connolly, who heads the state's tobacco control program for the Department of Public Health. "It's mostly in ethnic neighborhoods. It's become sort of urban chic." First a fad with underage smokers in Los Angeles about five years ago, the beedies craze has slowly moved across the country through cities like San Francisco, Cleveland, and Chicago, and is currently ablaze in Boston. In San Francisco earlier this year, a survey of 461 students at four city high schools found that 58 percent of them had BEEDIES, Page B6 GLOBE STAFF PHOTO DIANE BARROS Jose Barrios is a marketing man's dream teen, sitting on the crumbling cement stairwell across from Madison Park High School in a navy Tommy Hilfiger jacket, baggy Fubu jeans, and Timberland all-purpose boots.

And like boys and girls across the city, 16-year-old Barrios has in his pocket the latest fad to sweep through high schools and city blocks beedies. Thin Indian cigarettes in sweet flavors like cherry and vanilla, beedies or bidis, depending on the brand come in pink packages that make them look more like party favors than a pack of smokes. "They're not really cigarettes like a Beedies cigarettes, made in India, have become popular with teenagers. Marlboro that has nicotine and tar and stuff like that," Barrios explained. But state health officials say Barrios, like plenty of teens in Boston and other cities across the country, is wrong: The tiny brown unfiltered cigarettes contain tobacco and have high levels of tar and nicotine.

And they are now piling up on the desks of urban school principals, seized from youths who clamor for the newest must- By Daniel Vasquez GLOBE STAFF i 1 J' I --h A --.) 'A Before he was stabbed to death in his Allston apartment, William Hester was a nightclub singer and a party-thrower, a man who sported long braids and preferred women's clothes, according to neighbors. Hester was a mystery to those around him so much so that, until his body was found on Saturday, many in the building on Parkvale Avenue believed Hester was a woman. And as police continued to search for clues in the homicide, at least one resident admitted yesterday that although she heard pounding noises around the time of the killing, she did nothing to help Hester, who had little contact with other neighbors except for occasional waves in the hall. "I heard a lot of bangs, but I just thought it was someone pounding on a door," said the neighbor, who said she ignored the sounds she heard at approximately 6:15 p.m. "We didn't really pay any attention to it.

We didn't hear any yelling or screams," she said. Police said they received a call from another neighbor at 6:13 p.m. after the neighbor heard someone yell for help from Hester's apartment Yesterday, police continued their search for clues and a possible suspect, focusing on a lot behind the apartment building where Hester lived. Investigators released few details surrounding the city's 34th slaying of the year, except to say that Hester may have let the killer into his apartment "We believe the killer might have known the victim," Boston police Superintendent James Hussey said during a press conference at police headquarters. He would not elaborate on the theory.

SLAYING, Page B4 I I I 1 4, 4 S' 5 i I'll a i- iUi 1 I i lit fir ,1, I -'1 I I fir if i i 4 t-1) i i I t1 ....1 K' 1 1 if I I fc I 7M i I ihI Health care professionals plan rally for reform Special attraction Cardinal Bernard Law celebrated Mass at Holy Cross Cathedral in the South End yesterday (right). In an effort to increase attendance at the cathedral, Law will regularly say a Sunday Mass there. Parishioners lined up (top) to greet the cardinal following Mass, while two others made a quiet exit. By Dolores Kong GLOBE STAFF LA GLOBE STAFF PHOTOS DOMINIC CHAVEZ $50m after-school plan tops Menino's wish list In the year since a group of doctors, nurses, and others reenacted the Boston Tea Party to demand health reform, the number of uninsured Americans has jumped to nearly 44 million. And US health spending has been projected to soar to $2 trillion by 2007, double the current levels.

"Things have gotten worse," said Dr. Bernard Lown, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Health Care, which last year made national headlines by staging the protest aboard a replica of the Tea Party-ship. "And the end is not in sight" Formed to defend health care against profit motives and other market forces, the committee quickly signed up 4,500 health professionals in Massachusetts. About 20 similar groups have started elsewhere, sparked by the Tea Party and the committee's statement a year ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association, entitled "For Patients, Not For Profits." To mark the first anniversary of that health care call to arms, and to build momentum for its cause, the committee is holding a town meeting at FaneuilHall on Wednesday. The group predicts that hundreds of health care professionals and patients will attend to tell war stories from the medical front lines.

Among them are expected to be stories like these: A single mother severely burned in a camping accident was discharged from the hospital after a few days because of cost HEALTH CARE, Page B12 By Anthony Flint GLOBE STAFF Requests to Beacon Hill also include welfare change, gun-maker liability an approved educational or job-training program count toward continued benefits. The argument for the change, say City Hall officials, is that welfare recipients should not be penalized for enrolling in educational programs as they attempt to bolster their credentials to find long-term work. Howard R. Liebowitz, director of intergovernmental relations at City Hall, said the mayor also will reintroduce a bill making gun makers liable for the use of the equipment they produce. A similar bill filed two years ago got lost in the debate over the assault-weapons ban, Liebowitz said.

PLLS, Page B4 Mayor Thomas M. Menino has assembled an ambitious package of proposed bills for the upcoming legislative session that seek Beacon Hill's help on such urban initia-. tives as after-school programs, welfare reform, and gun-manufacturer liability, accord-. ing to City Hall officials. 1 At the top of the heap of 50 bills the may or intends to send to the State House for the 1999-2000 session is a request for $50 million in new funding for after-school programs.

The mayor has been promoting hi "2 to 6" initiative as a way to provide structured activities for students after the school day ends, as a deterrent to juvenile crime. Named the Family Support Act, the bill proposes $20 million in direct funding for all cities and towns to "help communities create model, high-quality and affordable after-school programs," according to a draft of the yilL Another $30 million would go for staff training and curriculum development, and the establishment of a state office to coordinate after-school programs. Menino also has drawn up a bill seeking to alter state welfare-reform laws, which as of tomorrow will require recipients to be in a work program or perform community service in order to continue receiving benefits. The mayor's bill would make participation in.

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