In state of city speech, Menino stresses health reform, anti-gun task force

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jan. 12, 2011

He entered on the crutches to the theme of “Rocky” and ended with a quippy admonishment to the audience to “get your cars off the street” ahead of the incoming snowstorm. And in between, Mayor Thomas Menino, recovering from knee surgery, reviewed the past year’s education gains and sketched out a laundry list of plans for the coming year.

The speech was not as lofty as last year’s inaugural’s address, and focused largely on localizing issues of education, health care and public safety.  Read more

Jackson, Mills and four others make District 7 ballot

The ballot in the race to replace former City Councillor Chuck Turner took another step towards solidifying, with city elections officials certifying six candidates, including Gov. Deval Patrick's former political director and former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson's son.

Tito Jackson, the Patrick aide, and Cornell Mills, Wilkerson's son, gathered more than the 191 signatures needed to get on the ballot. Also on the ballot are Natalie Carithers, former aide to ex-state Rep. Willie Mae Allen, Danielle Renee Williams of Roxbury and perennial candidates Althea Garrison and Roy Owens.

The preliminary election, which will winnow the field to two candidates, is set for Feb. 15. The final election is on March 15.

Falling short were Candace Sealey, who was taking a leave of absence from U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano's campaign to run for the seat; Abdillahi "Mash" Abdirahman of Roxbury; and five others (Sheneal Parker, Anthony Baker, Lee Buckley, Charles Omekagu Williams, and James Carr.)

Candidates can request a review of the certification. Sealey fell short by six signatures, while Abdirahman fell short by twenty signatures. Parker needed 14 signatures.

Candidates on the ballot can also withdraw or have their signatures challenged, as Garrison has frequently attempted in order to knock her opponents off the ballot.

A requested review would be completed by Jan. 13.

A drawing to determine the ballot order is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 20 at 9:30 a.m. in City Hall.  Read more

Sentenced to three and a half years, twice-convicted Wilkerson slams prosecutors

Former Sen. Wilkerson's statement after her sentencing. Video by Gal Tziperman Lotan.

It was strike two for former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson. More than a decade after the Roxbury Democrat was convicted of federal tax evasion charges, Wilkerson was sentenced on Thursday to three and a half years of prison for attempting to accept $23,500 in bribes in exchange for legislative action.  Read more

Vince Droser, visionary builder and civic leader, dies suddenly

Vince Droser: Key figure in revitalization of Ashmont area died today after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 55 years old. Reporter file photo.Vince Droser: Key figure in revitalization of Ashmont area died on January 4 after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 55 years old. Reporter file photo.

Vince Droser, whose vision and leadership have been instrumental in the revitalization of the Ashmont area, died Tuesday at his Dorchester home after apparently suffering a fatal heart attack. Droser, 55, is being mourned by scores of friends and neighbors who have flocked to his Ashmont home to grieve alongside his wife, Nancy Anderson, and their four children.

An Appreciation: A big heart stops— and we are lesser for it

Droser served as Vice President for Development at Trinity Financial, the development company that created the Carruth building at Ashmont station. Over the last 14 years, Droser has helped the company successfully complete some of Boston's most acclaimed and innovative building projects, including Mattapan Heights, Davenport Commons, the Shaw's supermarket in Lower Mills and the Carruth.  Read more

New Savin Hill clock rises in memory of Leo Lydon

Leo Lydon memorial clock on Savin Hill Ave.Leo Lydon memorial clock on Savin Hill Ave.Workers installed an impressive new time-piece on Savin Hill Avenue this morning: a clock named in memory of the late Leo Lydon, a lifelong Dorchester resident and judge who was a well-admired civic activist and youth mentor. Lydon died in a car accident in 2000. The clock has been paid for by donations raised over the last several years by friends and neighbors of Lydon, who held fundraisers and sold bricks to pay for the tribute.

"He was one of those rare people that nobody had anything bad to say about them," state Rep. Martin Walsh said in a 2007 Reporter story on efforts to memorialize Lydon. "He was respected and loved by all."

The clock has been installed just outside the Savin Hill MBTA station. The MBTA will provide the electricity needed to run the clock.  Read more

Top Menino aide starting UMass Boston center for 'community democracy'

A top aide to Mayor Thomas Menino is trading in City Hall for UMass Boston. Judith Kurland, who had previously served as Menino's chief of staff, is establishing the Center for Community Democracy and Democratic Literacy at UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies.

Kurland served as Menino's chief of staff from September 2006 to December 2009, when she stepped down to take a job as Menino's chief of programs and partnerships.

"It has been meaningful and worthwhile to be part of this team for the past four years, a time that is among the hardest the city has ever had to face," Kurland wrote in an email to colleagues last week.  Read more

Year-end spending bill includes $350K for Boston libraries

Beacon Hill lawmakers will be taking up a $320 million spending bill this week, according to the State House News Service. The bill includes $350,000 for the Boston Public Library system, which faced the closure of four branches earlier this year.

Library officials reversed course after community outcry, and pledged to keep open the libraries on the chopping block -- which included the Lower Mills branch -- if funding became available.

At an October meeting with neighborhood residents, library officials said a $375,000 budget gap exists until the end of the fiscal year in June. The cost of keeping just the Lower Mills branch open is $108,000.

After the jump is the report from the State House News Service:  Read more

Globe: Interviews with three incoming state reps

The Boston Globe's Your Town for Dorchester sits down with the three incoming state representatives for the area, including Carlos Henriquez, Nick Collins and Russell Holmes.

They will be sworn into office in January.  Read more

Census count confirms Mass. to lose House seat

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Dec. 21, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 21, 2010…. As widely predicted, Massachusetts will lose at least one of its 10 seats in Congress during the 2012 election cycle based on population counts collected during the 2010 Census, according to data released from the U.S. Census Bureau.

During a conference call with reporters, Census Bureau officials confirmed Tuesday morning that Massachusetts is among ten states to be losing at least one U.S. House seat.  Read more

With House seat on the line, redistricting strategists eyeing possibilities

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Dec. 20, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 20, 2010... As leaders on Beacon Hill anxiously awaited the Tuesday release of 2010 Census population totals, those soon to be involved in the complicated and likely contentious process of carving up the state’s political districts took stock of what awaits and the debates, both political and practical, that loom.

The U.S. Census Bureau plans on Tuesday to release national and state population figures providing key data to states charged with redrawing the boundaries of Congressional districts, including ten in Massachusetts that are all held by Democrats.  Read more