As deadline looms, the state of play in redistricting

The redistricting clock is ticking for city councillors, who must pass a map reordering Boston’s political boundaries next week.

Here’s the state of play heading into the weekend, as Hurricane Sandy is eyeing New England and the City Council prepares for a potential Halloween vote on Wednesday, according to City Hall insiders:

One of the precincts in the middle of the back-and-forth is the one City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo lives in: Ward 19 Precinct 7.  Read more

End of an era as Argus-Citizen stops the presses

Calls began coming into the Reporter offices last week from readers and advertisers with word that another newspaper that services Dorchester— the Argus-Citizen— has published its last edition. Also closing, according to several sources: The South Boston Tribune, a weekly broadsheet like the Argus, that has been an influential newspaper in that community going back deep into the 20th century.

The Reporter has attempted to verify this information with the editor of the Argus-Citizen and its owner, Patrick Horgan, but we have been told simply by the editor that “a story is not necessary.” A number of sources who have spoken with the newspaper’s staff, however, have independently confirmed the news. (Update: Indeed, on Thurs., Oct. 25, the Tribune carried a page one brief titled "End of an Era" explaining the shut-down to readers. The same courtesy evidently was not afforded readers of the Argus-Citizen.)  Read more

Medical marijuana stirs fans, foes to debate

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Oct. 25, 2012

State Rep. Marty Walsh speaking out against a marijuana ballot question on Monday. Mike Deehan/SHNS photo

Opponents of a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana claimed on Monday that proponents ultimately hope to legalize the drug for all uses, but proponents accused them of using “hysteria and fear” to keep people from necessary medicine.

The two sides met in front of the State House steps on a sunny afternoon, where doctors and lawmakers on each side made their case, backed by those who said they suffered through the lack of proper pain relief, on one side, and those who had experienced the perils of drug addiction, on the other.  Read more

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