First Lady Patrick introducing Jackson at campaign kick-off Monday night

Gov. Deval Patrick may tend to stay out of contested primaries, but his wife, not so much. First Lady Diane Patrick is headlining District 7 candidate Tito Jackson's campaign kick-off Monday night.

The kick-off starts at 7 p.m. at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury.

Jackson, a former aide to Gov. Patrick, is among seven candidates running for the open seat, left vacant after the City Council voted out Councillor Chuck Turner because of his bribery conviction.  Read more

Walsh promoted to ethics chair as House freshmen get committee assignments

House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Friday named state Rep. Marty Walsh (D-Dorchester) to the top of the House Ethics Committee.

Walsh, a local union leader who once strongly backed DeLeo's rival for the speakership, served as vice chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business.

Chairs receive an extra stipend as part of job.

And  Read more

New group formed to push business in ‘Savin Hill Village’

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 27, 2011

The effort to improve the quality of life in Savin Hill is taking a formalized step with the creation of a new committee focused on development along the neighborhood’s business district.

The Savin Hill Village Business Development Committee, formed as a sub-committee of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association planning board, is dedicated to making improvements along what they are calling “Savin Hill Village,” the stretch of Savin Hill Ave. from the MBTA station to the corner of Saxton St. After a brief organizational meeting late last year, the new group held its first formal meeting Monday evening at the offices of At Home Reality.

“What we’re saying is that we have a nice thing that could be better,” Don Walsh, a local resident and organizer of the group said in an interview with the Reporter.  Read more

Old homes get energy efficient upgrades

Jan. 25, 2011

Our friends at BNN-TV's Neighborhood Network News filed this report yesterday on a new effort to help residents in some of the city's oldest housing stock save money of energy costs.
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Lynch appointed to oversight subcommittee

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston) has been tapped as the ranking Democrat on an oversight committee.

Lynch's office on Friday announced that U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, appointed Lynch as the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy. The subcommittee is chaired by U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross, a Florida Republican.  Read more

Patrick outlines latest plans for local aid, municipal health reforms

Michael Norton, State House News Service
Jan. 21, 2011

JAN. 21, 2011……The annual budget proposal Gov. Deval Patrick will unveil next week will boost state aid for schools by $140 million, cut another pool of local aid by $65 million, and include a pair of health insurance reforms that the governor believes could offset any related negative impacts on local government services and jobs.

Patrick, who next week plans to fully outline ways to erase a gap between projected state revenues and expenses of up to $2 billion, told local officials meeting in Boston Friday morning that his budget will increase Chapter 70 education aid to cities and towns by $140 million, or 4 percent, to a total of $4 billion next fiscal year.  Read more

Candidates weigh in on legality of Council’s ouster of Turner

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jan. 21, 2011

It was a vote of the City Council that set in motion the campaigns to replace former City Councillor Chuck Turner. And after a Thursday night forum, the candidates vying to fill his seat offered up varying responses to the question of whether the 11-1 vote to oust him was the right move.

Turner, unsurprisingly, thinks it wasn’t, and he is suing city officials over the vote, saying it was illegal and violated his Constitutional rights. The vote, which city councillors have defended as legal and within Council rules that Turner himself signed off on, occurred about a month after a jury convicted Turner of accepting a $1,000 bribe and lying to federal agents.  Read more

Prosecutors recommending range of 33 to 41 months in jail for Turner

Federal prosecutors are recommending that a judge hand down a prison sentence of 33 to 41 months for former City Councillor Chuck Turner.

Turner was convicted by a jury of taking a $1,000 bribe and lying to federal agents about it. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence and is suing the City Council for jettisoning him from his District 7 seat.

"Turner’s conduct has been the [antithesis] of acceptance of responsibility," prosecutors wrote in a scathing sentencing memo filed on Thursday. "Instead, his conduct has affirmatively promoted disrespect for the law, has demeaned the seriousness of his offense, has debased his public office, and has eroded the public’s trust in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Turner’s calculated and persistent attacks on local and federal law enforcement agencies, designed to deflect attention from his own corrupt conduct, have been corrosive to respect for important public institutions and the rule of law."  Read more

Ballot order for District 7 race

The ballot order, per the Boston Elections Department:

-- Natalie Carithers (former aide to ex-state Rep. Willie Mae Allen)
-- Danielle Renee Williams (Roxbury resident)
-- Cornell Mills (former foreclosure prevention specialist, son of former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson)
-- Tito Jackson (former political aide to Gov. Deval Patrick)
-- Roy Owens (perennial candidate)
-- Althea Garrison (perennial candidate and former state representative)

The preliminary is scheduled for Feb. 15. District 7 includes Dorchester, Roxbury, Lower Roxbury, and parts of the Fenway, and the South End.