State renews quest for Neponset Greenway trail funds

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

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

New deal at Ashmont Market; The Georgoulopolous brothers are moving on

Ashmont Market: Peter, Harry, and John Georgoulopolous have worked side by side since 1984. The brothers sold the business to a new family on Monday, but plan to work there in the near term to help with the transition. Photo by Bill ForryAshmont Market: Peter, Harry, and John Georgoulopolous have worked side by side since 1984. The brothers sold the business to a new family on Monday, but plan to work there in the near term to help with the transition. Photo by Bill ForryIt’s less than 24 hours after “the deal” went down and already changes are afoot inside Ashmont Market. Every few minutes, another two-wheeler spins through the front doors piled high with cardboard boxes destined for the nearby grocery aisles. The new management is stocking up and taking charge at the busy corner of Ashmont and Adams.

The Georgoulopolous brothers— Harry, Peter and John— have been fixtures here for 28 years. On Monday, they sold the business and building to the Patel clan, an Indian-American family with a burgeoning empire of neighborhood stores that includes two other Dot stalwarts, Cappy’s (the old Patty’s Pantry on Dot Ave.) and the New Store on the Block in the Polish Triangle.

The Patels are pros in the corner store world and there’s every reason to believe they’ll make Ashmont Market just as successful as their Greek predecessors did.  Read more

Good showing at the Board of Trade

“The crocuses are grooming
Beneath the sequined snow
To make a dazzling debut
At Spring’s first garden show.”
“Canny Crocuses” by Ethel Turley
 Read more

City asking for input on revamp of Roberts Park

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 8, 2012

City officials are seeking neighborhood input for a $2.8 million overhaul of Codman Square’s Roberts Playground that will largely focus on installing artificial turf to ensure the park has a longer season of play. A community meeting is set for Wed., March 21, at 6:30 p.m. inside the Great Hall on Norfolk Street.

The project, financed through the city’s capital fund, will be put out to bid next winter and completed by fall 2013, according to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.  Read more

Former Mayor Flynn backs Brown on 'conscience clause'

Former Mayor Ray Flynn this week wrote a letter of support for U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s push for a “conscience clause” exempting employers from covering contraceptive services based on religious or moral objections.  Read more

In maiden speech, Baker calls for 24-hour substance abuse helpline

City Councillor Frank Baker, in a maiden speech to his colleagues, on Wednesday called for a 24-hour substance abuse help line, saying the city and the state do not have a round-the-clock service.

Substance abuse help lines do exist at the city and state level, but they do not function 24 hours a day, according to Baker. "We need to ask ourselves why we don’t have a helpline in the City of Boston, why the services provided are not available 24 hours a day, and what we can do to make this invaluable resource accessible to our residents," Baker said.

Baker said the issue is personal for him, having lost a 25-year-old niece to heroin last year and a brother to drug overdose 19 years ago. The latter sent him into a negative spiral, which came up during the 2011 campaign.

Baker's maiden speech, as prepared for delivery, is available after the jump.  Read more