Business

MBTA will run trains and buses into the early morning

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Dec. 3, 2013

Trolleys, subways and 15 key bus routes will begin running until 3 a.m. during the weekends under an MBTA pilot program set to begin next spring, according to a transportation official.

The pilot program is estimated to cost $20 million, and the MBTA hopes to bring on corporate sponsors to assist with the funding of it. The Boston Globe has agreed in principle to be a corporate sponsor, and state transportation officials expect additional sponsors to sign on in the coming weeks.  Read more

Walsh adds surgeon, UMass Boston professor and others to transition team

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh's transition team on Friday added three co-chairs, including the former CEO of Boston Children's hospital, a UMass Boston professor and the head of a Roxbury-based organization.  Read more

Senate sends $11-per-hour minimum wage bill to House

By 
Matt Murphy, Andy Metzger and Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Nov. 19, 2013

The Senate voted 32-7 on Tuesday to increase the state's minimum wage by $3 over the next three years to $11 an hour, approving legislation that would give Massachusetts the highest minimum wage in the country and give the state's lowest-wage workers their first raise in six years.

The bill (S 1925) would also tie future increases in the minimum wage to inflation and guarantee that no matter what happens to the federal minimum wage - currently set at $7.25 - the minimum in Massachusetts would remain 50 cents higher.  Read more

‘Building Pathways’ opens door to union jobs

Building Pathways: Students learn about fiber optics at IBEW Local 103. Photo by Gintautas DumciusBuilding Pathways: Students learn about fiber optics from instructor Tom Olson at IBEW Local 103. Photo by Gintautas Dumcius

Tom Olson holds up a pale blue cord in front of the class. Outlets and wires hang from the ceiling over the heads of 15 men and women, many of whom are wearing green hard-hats. “FiOS,” Olson says, holding the blue cord a little higher. “Anybody know what that stands for?”

The answer comes cautiously, in unison, from the class: “Fiber integrated optical solutions.” Says Olson, “Now, when you see the commercials with Comcast and FiOS and Verizon, you’ll be able to say ‘I know what FiOS is.’ Fiber integrated optical solutions, right? High-end communications, guys and girls. It doesn’t get any faster than that. That’s transmission through glass.”  Read more

State alcohol laws are barrier to commerce, lawmakers told

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Nov. 12, 2013

When it comes to beer, wine and liquor licenses, the Legislature is being asked to step aside and relinquish some control.

Lawmakers on Tuesday heard from craft beer brewers who want changes to a law they say "handcuffs" them in their ability to compete because of unbreakable ties to wholesalers. Municipal officials appealed to remove control of liquor licenses from the state and give it to local officials. And wine drinkers want to lift a ban on direct wine sale shipments to consumers.  Read more

Adams Corner parking woes to ease up soon

The parking lot in Adams Village remained closed this week as workers painted stripes and finished landscaping details. One new element of the lot is visible (foreground): a one way only exit onto Minot Street near Gerard's. Photo by Bill Forry

A large section of the key parking lot in Adams Village will re-open in the coming days as the first phase of an ambitious renovation project winds to its end. The privately-owned parking lot behind 540 Gallivan Boulevard has long served as the village’s catch-all car depot. It has been fenced off for the last seven weeks to allow construction crews to resurface the space and add new traffic calming features and lighting fixtures.  Read more

Suffolk cutting ties with Caesars, pushing forward with casino bid

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Oct. 19, 2013

Suffolk Downs has asked Caesars Entertainment to withdraw as a managing partner in the track's bid to build a resort casino in East Boston less than three weeks away from a scheduled referendum vote on the $1 billion proposed gaming resort.

Suffolk Downs Chief Operating Officer Chip Tuttle released a statement Friday evening explaining that the track had asked Caesars Entertainment, which operates casinos around the country from Las Vegas to New Jersey and New Orleans, to withdraw as a qualifier from its casino license application based on concerns raised by a state background check.  Read more

Estate goes to court to reclaim Fowler-Clark farm from city

A worker hired by the city of Boston cleared overgrowth on the Clark-Fowler farm property on Norfolk Street in August 2013. Photo by Bill Forry

The owner of a historic but run-down Mattapan property that was seized by city officials in August went to court this week seeking an injunction allowing them to reclaim the land. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Judith Fabricant heard from both sides in the case on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to make a ruling in coming days.  Read more

Mt. Washington’s top navigator is taking his leave

Jack ForbushJack Forbush

Jack Forbush has a knack for making himself essential without ever being the center of attention.

For the last 26 years, he has been Mt. Washington Bank’s quiet, amiable ambassador of goodwill as it has made good on an impressive expansion across the city’s neighborhoods from its original base in South Boston. Wherever Mt. Washington does business in this town, you are bound to hear stories about Jack Forbush and his uncanny talent for helping people and institutions connect with the bank and its staff.

Next month, the 66-year-old banker will take his leave, embarking on a well-earned retirement journey that he and Sue, his wife of 40 years, will kick off with a trip to the Cayman Islands. Jack won’t permit a big party in his honor – and it’ll be tough to pull off a surprise on one of the city’s most wired individuals. But, before he departs, Jack is going to get a victory tour that will be the community banking equivalent of Mariano Rivera’s last loop through the American League.  Read more

Mayor hopefuls: Tell us your plan for this case

Eyesore remains a hold-out on Dudley Street
Uphams Corner holdout: The seven-story Leon Electric building at the corner of Humphreys and Dudley streets — and right next to the Upham’s Corner T station— is a top target for redevelopment under the next city administration. Photo by Bill ForryUphams Corner holdout: The seven-story Leon Electric building at the corner of Humphreys and Dudley streets — and right next to the Upham’s Corner T station— is a top target for redevelopment under the next city administration. Photo by Bill Forry

There are many high-profile eyesores and abandoned lots across Boston that merit the attention, imagination and hustle of the next mayor. But few loom as large as the Leon Electric building in Uphams Corner.

The hulking warehouse complex sits right next to the MBTA commuter rail station at the corner of Dudley and Humphreys streets. The empty, fenced-off, weather-worn behemoth rises up seven stories and casts a foreboding shadow over the neighborhood business district below.  Read more