Civics

(UPDATED) DeLeo, Yancey clash over school funding

When City Councillor Charles Yancey mentions the prospect of a Mattapan high school, he is often greeted with weary smiles and eye rolls from City Hall insiders who know how frequently the longtime District 4 representative manages to work it into his remarks.

On Wednesday night, Yancey elicited a different reaction when he brought a Mattapan high school up during a forum at the Joseph Lee School featuring House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and state Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty (D-Chelsea).  Read more

MBTA breaks down commentary on fares, service

By 
State House News Service
Mar. 23, 2012

The results are in: MBTA riders communicated with the agency nearly 8,000 times over the last two months and, according to a partial review, nearly all of the comments contained pleas to save service – bus, rail and ferry – from the budget knife.  Read more

Neighbors press for city to make Savin Hill Ave. safer

By 
Lisa Hagen, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 22, 2012

A treacherous stretch of Savin Hill Avenue is getting renewed scrutiny from city officials after complaints from neighbors who say that speeding, reckless drivers, and the narrow nature of the street itself pose a serious safety risk.

City Councillor Frank Baker and the city’s transportation chief, Thomas Tinlin, went on a walkthrough of the area with neighbors six weeks ago, an expedition that resulted in the installation of new signs urging caution on the two-way stretch of the avenue. Still, Baker says, the street cannot handle all of the traffic.  Read more

Flurry of meetings to focus on school assignment reforms

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 22, 2012

School assignment reform hearing at English High: Dr. Lisa Gonsalves, associate professor of curriculum and instruction at the College of Education and Human Development at UMass Boston, spoke Monday as Kim Janey, of Massachusetts Advocates for Children, looked on. Eric Esteves photoSchool assignment reform hearing at English High: Dr. Lisa Gonsalves, associate professor of curriculum and instruction at the College of Education and Human Development at UMass Boston, spoke Monday as Kim Janey, of Massachusetts Advocates for Children, looked on. Eric Esteves photoDorchester’s Harbor Pilot Middle School will be one of four places on Saturday where parents will have a chance to weigh in on the Menino administration’s attempt to overhaul the school assignment process. The community meeting will last from 9 a.m. to noon at the Fields Corner school on Charles Street. Vietnamese translators will be available, the school department said.

“This is really the opportunity that residents have to be a part of the change that will be presented later this year,” said Matthew Wilder, a Boston Public Schools spokesman, referencing the ongoing work of an advisory group on a plan to revamp the placement policy that the School Committee would take up at the end of the year.  Read more

Rep. Henriquez: House members unaware of offender bill impacts at time of vote

By 
Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Mar. 15, 2012

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MARCH 15, 2012…..Describing a "war" on Beacon Hill over mandatory minimum sentence policies, a freshman lawmaker contended Thursday that most of his colleagues voted to crack down on habitual felons last year without understanding the consequences.

"We're going to war in here. We're going to battle about this bill," said Rep. Carlos Henriquez (D-Dorchester), adding, "We have found out that most of our colleagues who voted for this bill originally did not do so with the full knowledge of what this bill will do to our communities."  Read more

State renews quest for Neponset Greenway trail funds

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 15, 2012

Months after federal officials passed over their initial proposal for funding, the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is renewing its pursuit of federal dollars to complete the Neponset Greenway trail.

Community activists and state agency officials were dealt a setback last December when the US Department of Transportation did not pick the trail expansion for grant funds through a competitive process known as TIGER III.  Read more

Governor, legislators: Put our Greenway on your must-do list

The Patrick administration and its legislative allies on Beacon Hill are once again pinning the future of the long-delayed Neponset Greenway expansion on winning a federal grant worth almost $12 million.

The state’s application for the federal grant is a good one and we hope it is successful. But, it was a good application last year, too, and the Obama administration did not fund it then. US Transportation chief Ray LaHood bypassed the Greenway in allotting tax dollars to dozens of other transportation projects across the country -- including several in the president’s home state of Illinois.  Read more

House conferee offers new draft of sentencing bill - and a guarantee

By 
Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Mar. 14, 2012

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MARCH 14, 2012…... Despite warnings from Republican lawmakers that foot-dragging threatened to derail talks, the House’s lead negotiator on a sweeping, high-stakes crime and sentencing package guaranteed Wednesday that a deal would get done.  Read more

Plea change hearing set in former state Rep. Wallace's campaign finance case

A hearing for a plea change has been set for next week in the campaign finance violation case of former state Rep. Brian Wallace. The South Boston Democrat and his former campaign treasurer were indicted last year by a Suffolk grand jury for allegedly failing to report thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in 2008.

Wallace’s attorney, Bill McDermott, declined to comment late Tuesday afternoon when asked about the plea change hearing, which is scheduled for March 20. A trial is potentially scheduled for May, according to court records.  Read more

Hyde Park or Mattapan? Residents await Postal Service answer

Boston residents who say they live in Hyde Park despite a zip code placing their homes in Mattapan say they hope to have a response from the US Postal Service next month.  Read more