Timing perfect for more in-depth Fairmount Line planning

The city of Boston’s entry into the longtime push to realize the full potential of the MBTA’s Fairmount Line is welcome news. Utilizing the planning expertise and coordination of the Boston Redevelopment Authority— and pairing that with the good work already done by community development corporations and grassroots citizen groups — offers an opportunity to make the rail corridor a real engine of economic growth in neighborhoods that have too often been neglected because of their isolation from decent transit options.  Read more

Kam Man market ‘was overbuilt,’ neighbors say in asking state review

Members of the McCormack Civic Association have opened up another front in group’s long-running battle over a former warehouse-turned-Asian-supermarket in the South Bay mall. Association members contend they did not get a chance to review the project through a process known as “Article 80” that is overseen by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.  Read more

Beacon Hill close to accord on habitual offender/three strikes bill

The following is via State House News Service, which wrote up state Rep. Bradford Hill's Wednesday morning appearance on FOX25. The Ipswich Republican is a member of the conference committee attempting to hash out a compromise on habitual offender/three strikes bills.  Read more

More state officials cite need for new transportation revenue sources

Kyle Cheney and Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Feb. 14, 2012

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 14, 2012…..Momentum appears to be building in House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s circle of deputies for a short-term solution to an MBTA budget bind that threatens to crush commuters with 40 percent fare hikes and crippling service cuts.

Although DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray have professed patience while they await the results of a statewide hearing tour being conducted by the T, a groundswell of rank-and-file lawmakers calling for an infusion of revenue has placed the issue on the radar as budget season heats up.  Read more

Enjoying, and preserving, our history

Forbes House Museum Displays Dorchester Lincoln Banner: A campaign banner for President Lincoln's 1860 campaign will be part of Sunday's Lincoln Day offerings.Forbes House Museum Displays Dorchester Lincoln Banner: A campaign banner for President Lincoln's 1860 campaign will be part of Sunday's Lincoln Day offerings.This is a good time to be a fan or student of American history. One of the joys of living in a place like Dorchester is that our nation’s history is literally all around us. From Lower Mills to Edward Everett Square, there are everyday reminders of the long and still-evolving story of this town-turned-neighborhood and the nation it helped to create.

This week’s Reporter holds a few reminders of this: The Pierce House on Oakton Avenue near Adams Corner is one of the last surviving examples of early colonial architecture left in the city. The home’s current owner— Historic New England— has done a great job in recent years carefully restoring the building, which was built in 1683. An upcoming program on weatherproofing older homes offers a good chance to get a look inside the Pierce House, as we report this week. If you can’t make it this weekend, there will be other chances to view it in the upcoming year, thanks to Historic New England.  Read more

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