High court ruling in Turner case could change local rules

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Feb. 1, 2012

An upcoming case before the state’s highest court, stemming from the Boston City Council’s removal of convicted former Councilor Chuck Turner, could alter how city and town governing bodies regulate their own membership. After Turner was found guilty of accepting a bribe and lying about it to federal investigators in 2010, the City Council invoked a rule to remove Turner from the panel for violating his oath of office.

At the center of the court battle is whether the City Council had the legal authority to remove Turner when they voted to vacate the District 7 seat in Dec. 2010.  Read more

Former Patrick aide leaving UMass, headed to private sector

A year after rejoining UMass Boston, a former top aide to Gov. Deval Patrick is on the move again. Effective Feb. 10, Arthur Bernard, vice chancellor for government relations and public affairs, is headed to the private sector.

He'll be joining up with a former boss, Robert Travaglini at Travaglini, Eisenberg and Kiley LLC, a government relations firm. Travaglini served as state Senate president, and for four years Bernard was his chief of staff.  Read more

Voting rights coalition proposes its own City Council redistricting map

A coalition of voting rights advocates are pushing map redrawing the boundaries of City Council districts, which could result in revamped Dorchester districts and two incumbents potentially pitted against one another.

A City Council committee, headed by District 2 Councillor Bill Linehan, is working on approving a map. Growing populations in downtown Boston and northern neighborhoods mean the lines have to be redrawn in order to equalize the population numbers. For example, Dorchester’s District 3 needs to pick up residents, while District 2 must shed residents.  Read more

Dot author Lehane tries on BPL trustee hat

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jan. 12, 2012

Dennis Lehane

City officials, in an attempt to get celebrated author Dennis Lehane onto the Boston Public Library’s board of trustees, did a simple thing: They asked.

“I got the feeling they were circling me for a little bit, but I was mostly living out of state the last couple of years,” Lehane told the Reporter on Tuesday, after his first meeting of the trustees, where he was introduced to staffers and his fellow board members by Boston Public Library chief Amy Ryan. “And I let it be known when I met Amy that should the question ever be asked of me, I would do anything for the library.”  Read more

King holiday will be observed across city this weekend

Melissa Tabeek, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 12, 2012

Dorchester churches and community organizations are planning a week of events to celebrate the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.  Read more

Building the Beloved Community

“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the early part of the 20th century a philosopher and theologian named Josiah Royce first coined the term, “The Beloved Community.” It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who developed that term often and gave it a much deeper meaning. Dr. King’s “Beloved Community” is a global vision in which all people can share the wealth of the earth. It is a community where violence, racism, poverty, hunger and homelessness; where all the ills that currently exist in our society will no longer be tolerated.  Read more

No matter the issues, evictions always take time

Alan Duffy, a Dorchester resident who works as a constable in Suffolk County, says there is little that the city can do to speed up an eviction process. Photo by Pat Tarantino

The landlord of a troubled property on Savin Hill Avenue home has started the process of evicting a trio of tenants arrested after a large brawl outside the house earlier this month. But Boston’s complicated eviction process means the raucous residents are likely to remain in the apartment for at least another month and a half.  Read more

Tenean Beach ‘plunge’ will recall Brian Leahy’s tradition, service

Diana Loschiavo, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 29, 2011

Brian LeahyBrian LeahyNeighbors and friends of the Leahy-Holloran Community Center in Neponset will brave the cold waters of Tenean Beach for the first annual Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day at 4 p.m. (Organizers have changed the time from the morning to afternoon due to tides.) The plunge— dedicated to the memory of community center namesake Brian Leahy— will be followed immediately by a pizza party at Boston Bowl.

The cost is $25 per person including the pizza party and the first 50 people that register will receive a Polar Bear Plunge hooded sweatshirt.  Read more

Globe editorial calls for city-wide referendum on casino

A Boston Globe editorial on Sunday endorsed a city-wide referendum on an East Boston casino. Under the casino bill signed into law in November, the City Council has the power to approve such a referendum, or allow a vote to occur in the ward the casino would be located. Suffolk Downs, the East Boston race track, is putting together a proposal with Caesars.  Read more

Neponset Greenway project fails to win federal funding

Mattapan Crossing and Canopy Walk: A section of the proposed Neponset Greenway is depicted in a plan prepared by the DCR.Mattapan Crossing and Canopy Walk: A section of the proposed Neponset Greenway is depicted in a plan prepared by the DCR.In a major disappointment to state officials and community activists, the US Department of Transportation has passed over a grant application from the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to fund the expansion of the Neponset Greenway. The decision could further delay the completion of key elements of the popular Greenway trail, including two bridges in Mattapan that are considered essential to safely navigate a missing link of the trail in that part of Boston. Another key missing link on the trail in Dorchester near the landmark rainbow gas tank was also included in the grant application.

The US Department of Transportation announced the winners of its national TIGER III grant awards on Thursday, months ahead of schedule. The DCR had submitted its application seeking $10 million for the Neponset Greenway project in October and the timeline from the federal agency called for a decision in April 2012.  Read more