Council should prioritize voter empowerment over geography

The City Council’s agonizing redistricting process drags on this week as it weighs several competing maps that would redraw the lines of the district seats in time for next year’s election. District 4, which covers parts of both Mattapan and Dorchester, has become the main focus because two mayoral vetoes of earlier maps passed by the council specifically cited the “packing” of too many voters of color into the district.  Read more

Friday’s ‘Broadside’ to feature Treasurer Grossman and GOP’s Baker

Could this be a preview of the gubernatorial race in 2014? The GOP’s nominee in 2010, Charlie Baker, is scheduled to appear with Treasurer Steve Grossman, a Democrat and past candidate for governor, on Friday on NECN’s “Broadside with Jim Braude.”

Both are frequently mentioned in local political circles as potential candidates for the Corner Office in 2014. Gov. Deval Patrick is not running for a third term.

The political chat show airs at 6 p.m. and will come after a busy week in politics, with a presidential debate set for Tuesday night and plenty of tough races in Massachusetts.  Read more

At fundraiser with alums, Menino remembers past campaigns and alludes to future

A few hundred past and present members of the Menino administration turned out for a Thursday night fundraiser that was in part a look back, with a video featuring old campaign footage. But there was also a strong 2013 undercurrent, with talk of unfinished work and allusions to upcoming elections, according to people who attended.

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, dropped by the event, mingling with the crowd of Menino administration officials and alumni. State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and District 1 City Councillor Sal LaMattina were also in attendance.  Read more

Sign-holders for Brown and Warren face off in Grove Hall

Brown, Warren supporters duel in Grove Hall: Friday morning standout drew a crowd.Brown, Warren supporters duel in Grove Hall: Friday morning standout drew a crowd.  Read more

Back in Dorchester, Brown picks up backing of former New Jersey governor

Christine Todd Whitman gives Brown the thumbs-up at Phillips Old Colony House: The former New Jersey governor, left, joined Sen. Brown at the landmark Morrissey Boulevard eatery and function hallon Tuesday afternoon.Christine Todd Whitman gives Brown the thumbs-up at Phillips Old Colony House: The former New Jersey governor, left, joined Sen. Brown at the landmark Morrissey Boulevard eatery and function hallon Tuesday afternoon.

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown on Tuesday picked up the endorsement of former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman in Dorchester.

Looking for a full six-year term, Brown, a Wrentham Republican, is in a close battle with Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren. A WBUR poll released Monday showed Brown up by four points.

“You vote for the person,” Whitman told reporters, standing next to Brown at the Phillips Old Colony House on Morrissey Blvd.

Whitman, who studied at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., served as governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001, according to a biography on her consulting firm’s website. She also served as President George W. Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency chief.  Read more

Outside 9 Inwood St., city officials tout "problem properties" progress

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Oct. 6, 2012

The three-family home at 9 Inwood St. appeared to reflect on the outside the alleged drug activity that was going on inside.

The bank-owned house’s roof needed work. The porch was in disrepair. A shopping cart was parked on the property, and below the damaged siding, weeds were in abundance.

Next door, a grassy lot was filled with tires, paint cans, and shards of glass.

A year ago, the city’s Inspectional Services Department moved to condemn the alleged crack house, which also functioned as an illegal rooming house.  Read more

Evans Street block party helps neighbors reclaim their identity

Tayla Holman, Special to the Reporter
Sep. 27, 2012

Dance lessons were part of the fun at Saturday's block party on Evans Street. Photo by Tayla Holman

The community group Redefining Our Community (ROC) held its fourth annual block party on Evans St. in Dorchester last Saturday, Sept. 22 from 2-6 p.m. The event — set up on the block between Corbet and Nelson Streets— included music, dance lessons, food, and a kids’ bouncy house, as well as raffle prices and a voter registration table.  Read more

Baker pushes for crackdown on avenue prostitution

Sharon Ng, Special to the Reporter
Sep. 27, 2012

City Councillor Frank Baker,left, presided over a Monday evening "super civic" meeting at St. Mark's Church on the subject of prostitution on Dorchester Ave. Photo by Sharon Ng

More than 100 residents, elected officials and members of the Boston Police Department turned out for a Monday evening meeting at St. Mark’s Church to dicuss mounting concerns about prostitution along Dorchester Avenue. The meeting was moderated by District 3 City Councillor Frank Baker, whose office organized the “super civic” meeting— drawing from organizations up and down the neighborhood’s main throroughfare.  Read more

Seeking more reform for Boston schools not an 'extreme' position

To the Editor:

I am an extremist. In a September 20 opinion piece in the Dorchester Reporter ("City gets reform"), Mayor Menino defended the reforms in the recently settled agreement between the City and the Boston Teachers Union, but stated that "the extremes will say the contract doesn't give us much...." The agreement does provide reforms above what was in the previous contract, but it is incremental change at a time when the school system needed a giant leap forward.  Read more

City’s parents get concrete proposals that would revamp school assignments

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Sep. 26, 2012

Deputy Superintendent Michael Goar, right, and BPS Superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson spoke during Monday evening's meeting at the Frederick Middle School. Photo by Chris Lovett

Parents, take your pick. Boston School Department officials this week outlined five proposals that would move the city away from a three-zone set-up for assigning students to schools beginning with the 2014-2015 school year at the earliest.

The proposals, which were introduced Monday night at the Frederick Pilot Middle School and will be aired at a series of public meetings beginning with one Thursday at 7 o’clock at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School on Washington Street near Grove Hall, aim to send elementary and middle school students to classrooms closer to home instead of scattering children living on the same street across the city to various schools.

Related commentary: Towards a 'common-sense' system for school choice, by Mayor Thomas Menino  Read more