Lower Mills rallies to aid Fairmount fire victims

Lower Mills merchants and community leaders are organizing a drive to assist a family which lost its home in a five-alarm fire on Fairmount Street on Thursday. The Lower Mills Merchants Association, Vargas & Vargas Insurance, Meetinghouse Bank and Rep. Linda Forry are teaming up to launch the fund and supply drive, which will kick off on Monday. The donations will assist the children of the Armand family with replacing clothing, school supplies and computers, all lost in the five alarm fire.

Meetinghouse Cooperative Bank will serve as the collection point for the effort.  Read more

Days after Warren visit, Sen. Brown makes his own trip into Dorchester

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown on Thursday traveled into the heart of deeply blue Dorchester, sitting down with a friendly audience of blue collar workers at an excavation company’s headquarters near Fields Corner.

“Even if you’re an ardent Democrat, he hasn’t done enough to be fired from the job,” said Brendan Feeney, president and co-founder of Feeney Brothers Excavation Corporation, which hosted the Wrentham Republican at its Clayton St. offices.

“We vote the person, not the party,” added his brother, Greg, the vice president.  Read more

Henriquez meeting draws low turnout and a demand

State Rep. Carlos Henriquez faced two challenges at his Thursday night community meeting: Low turnout and a Republican, far afield from his Beacon Hill home, demanding his resignation.

Maybe it was the New England Patriots' first preseason game. Or maybe it was the humidity of a Thursday night in August. But few people trekked out to the Dorchester House to hear Henriquez, a first term Democrat seeking reelection this fall while fighting allegations that he kidnapped and assaulted a 23-year-old student he was dating.  Read more

With 'insider cred,' Patrick looks back on three sessions, ahead to his last

Michael Norton and Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Aug. 7, 2012

To hear Gov. Deval Patrick tell it, he’ll spend his last two-plus years in office marketing Massachusetts around the world, using his self-proclaimed “insider cred” to hammer out transportation financing and sentencing laws, and implementing sweeping health care cost control and economic development laws he signed this week.  Read more

Rep. Henriquez community meeting moved to Aug. 9

A community meeting put together by state Rep. Carlos Henriquez and scheduled for Tuesday night will take place on Thursday, Aug. 9 instead.

The time remains the same: 6 p.m. at the Dorchester House, located at 1353 Dorchester Ave.

Rep. Henriquez said Dorchester House had a scheduling conflict.

Additional community meetings are scheduled for Aug. 14, at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, 504 Dudley St., and for Aug. 21 at the Grove Hall Community Center, 51 Geneva Ave. Both meetings start at 6 p.m.  Read more

Officials beginning to stir on safety issues at busy Morrissey Blvd. intersection

Morrissey intersection: Bottleneck poses hazard for pedestrians, aggravation for motorists. Photo by Bill ForryMorrissey intersection: Bottleneck poses hazard for pedestrians, aggravation for motorists. Photo by Bill ForrySafety concerns about the heavily trafficked intersection of Morrissey and Bianculli boulevards near UMass Boston,The Boston Globe, and Boston College High School, are drawing attention from residents and local elected officials alike.

One top lawmaker, Rep. Marty Walsh, said the state may need to “reconstruct the whole intersection” to alleviate the concerns about the crossroad that in addition to vehicular traffic also accommodates numerous pedestrians, given adjacent attractions like Patten’s Cove on one side of Morrissey Boulevard and the Harborwalk, which rings the university campus, on the other.

Reporter's View: Engineering fix, enforcement needed on Morrissey  Read more

Fate of sentencing bill in Patrick's hands as legislature rejects his plan

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jul. 30, 2012

The House and Senate on Thursday rejected Gov. Deval Patrick’s amendment that would have given judges the discretion to grant habitual offenders parole, forcing the governor now to make a decision that will determine whether the bill becomes law or dies this session.  Read more

If crime bill dies, let the finger-pointing begin

To hear some advocates of the crime bill tell it, Gov. Deval Patrick is risking the legislation’s passage with his amendment.

“His actions to jeopardize the passage of the crime bill are both ill-timed and ill-advised by trying to amend a good and balanced bill with an extraordinary measure to protect repeat violent criminals, with precious little time remaining in the legislative session,” Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr said in a statement, after Patrick announced his move on Saturday.  Read more

Supreme Judicial Court chief: Sentencing bill would create congestion

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Jul. 26, 2012

In his deliberations over what to do with a sentencing reform bill on his desk, Gov. Deval Patrick apparently reached out to the state’s highest court for input on whether the Supreme Judicial Court’s review of capital cases might suffice for the judicial discretion Patrick has said the bill lacks.

“The short answer to the inquiry is that it would not,” Chief Justice Roderick Ireland wrote to the governor in hand-delivered letter dated Thursday, July 26 and obtained by the News Service.  Read more

Temp workers' rights bill before Senate after 123-28 House vote

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jul. 26, 2012

A bill that would require temporary worker placement agencies to provide workers with a basic statement of benefits to protect against abuses sits before the Senate after the House passed the bill 123-28 on Wednesday.

Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry said the bill was a whittled-down, simpler version of legislation that has been pushed for years on Beacon Hill, and was the result of a year of sit-down negotiations with stakeholders.  Read more