This week's Reporter: Hit or miss with community centers, Connolly v. BPS and more
Couple of things worth highlighting in this week's Reporter:
-- Stephen Kurkjian, a senior investigative fellow at Watchdog New England, and Northeastern University's Rachel Zarrell and Gal Tziperman Lotan offer up a must-read on the state of the city's community centers.
At the Cleveland Community Center, "the principal activity at the center, which is staffed by four full-time city employees making in total more than $150,000 a year in salaries, is a three-day a week girls leadership class and pick-up basketball games that take place in the adjoining Harbor School’s gymnasium," they write. The trio note, "After spending a month looking into BCYF’s operations, the Reporter has found that across the city, successful centers seem to be the exceptions to the rule rather than the standard." They also look at two community centers that are working well.
-- City Councillor At-Large John Connolly faced off with Boston Public Schools' deputy superintendent, Michael Goar at a hearing on vacant school buildings. Connolly pressed Goar for specifics about the cost of upkeep at the vacant buildings. He said Goar's lack of specifics leads to parents wondering whether they are “getting their money’s worth” out of the school system. “BPS comes over here and plays hide the ball all the time,” Connolly said. The sparring between the two was the latest showing of renewed aggressiveness from Connolly, who also raised the issue of expired frozen food in the cafeterias of four schools earlier this month. To the chagrin of some of his colleagues and the other side of the fifth floor, Connolly has filed hearing orders on that issue and others the same day as a City Council meeting. Orders are due at noon Tuesday, the day before. Connolly brushed off the concerns, saying they were late because, in the case of the frozen food order, he was still putting together the information on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Late orders, also known as “late files,” are a standard part of council meetings, Connolly said, adding, “Councilors can object to late files. I think everyone knows this was an important issue.” The hearing on frozen food is scheduled for Tuesday.
-- A preview of this Sunday's St. Patrick's Day breakfast in Southie.
-- Scenes from Tuesday's District 7 special election.