Recap and analysis of the week in state government
By Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
WASHINGTON D.C., FEB. 19, 2010…..Think you can do better, Mr. Mayor? How’s about we try our hand at your game?

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino challenged the local meteorological community Tuesday and, because it was school vacation week and the news was slow, his remarks got blown way out of proportion, and all of a sudden people had to wonder if the mayor had hurt Kevin Lemanowicz’s feelings, or Dick Albert’s.  Read more

St. Fleur will not seek re-election

Reporter Staff
Feb. 20, 2010

Rep. Marie St Fleur: Will not seek re-election in 2010Rep. Marie St Fleur: Will not seek re-election in 2010Feb 20-10:55 a.m.- Rep. Marie St. Fleur will not seek re-election this year. She made the announcement to party activists at a Ward 15 Democratic caucus meeting on Saturday morning. The meeting was held to choose delegates to the June state Democratic Convention. The Reporter's Gintautas Dumcius, who was in attendance for St. Fleur's remarks, has a full report on it at the Reporter's Lit Drop blog.  Read more

Casino pros and cons scrutinized as legislative debate nears

Jim O’Sullivan and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Feb. 18, 2010

Outside interests on both sides of the expanded gambling question worked to put rhetorical and statistical stakes down last week as Beacon Hill prepares for its next high-profile fight on the issue, with changed political and economic dynamics coloring both arguments.  Read more

Winter, prices, demand chill fuel-aid capacity; ABCD calls for $2.5b hike Congress

John Drew, Special to the Reporter
Feb. 18, 2010

With a “perfect storm” of harsh conditions hitting low-income, working families, children, and seniors this year – the coldest winter in 25 years, fuel prices 50 percent higher than last year, and a severe recession with massive job losses – ABCD and other fuel assistance programs see a crisis in the making as bitter mid-February weather bears down on the Northeast.

More than 200,000 Massachusetts fuel assistance recipients have exhausted or nearly exhausted their benefits and have nowhere to turn.  Read more

The ‘Barber’ is coming to Uphams Corner

Kids may not be familiar with the aria title “Largo al factotum,” but they’ll certainly recognize that its catchy “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro” melody hook from a host of pop culture airings from cartoons (ranging from Sponge Bob Squarepants to “The Simpsons”) to countless sitcoms and movies.  Read more

Legislators to focus on small business at Feb 22 Florian Hall hearing

Next week Dorchester will be the seventh stop of a legislative committee’s “listening tour” focused on small businesses. The Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business, co-chaired by state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Lower Mills), will meet at Florian Hall on Feb. 22 starting at 4 p.m.

“The goal is to get out there, meet with the small businesses, and listen to the issues that they’re facing in light of the economy and how we can support them,” Forry said.  Read more

Wallace, St. Fleur seats attracting challengers; quiet scene otherwise

A pair of Beacon Hill lawmakers representing the Dorchester and Mattapan areas could face challengers this year, as Democrats and at least one Republican have shown interest in their seats.

State Rep. Brian Wallace (D-South Boston) may see four opponents, including three Democrats. Wallace has held the Fourth Suffolk district seat, which covers parts of Uphams Corner and Harbor Point, since 2003. He ended 2009 with $3,670 in the bank.  Read more

Getting cool with Shakespeare

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Feb. 18, 2010

Tackling the work of William Shakespeare can be a challenge for students on too many levels to mention. But for one Codman Academy Charter Public School tenth-grader, her ability to both understand and perform Shakespeare has brought recognition to her and her school.

Amose Pierre, 17, recently recited her way to the state finals in the English Speaking Union’s national Shakespeare Competition, which has attracted some 250,000 student performers since 1983.  Read more

MWRA rates seen rising

State House News Service
Feb. 18, 2010

MWRA water and sewer retail rates – the amount communities charge homeowners and businesses -- increased an average of 5.3 percent last year even though actual water usage continued to decline, dropping by 3.7 percent for the year, according to a rate survey released Tuesday.  Read more

UMass signs agreement to buy Bayside Expo for $18.7M

Updated 2/18 2:15 p.m.- UMass-Boston has completed the purchase and sales agreement in its acquisition of the Bayside Expo Center on Columbia Point, the university announced on Wednesday, A spokesman for the University of Massachusetts Building Authority said the purchase price is $18.7 million.  Read more

National Wholesale Liquidators to re-open 'sometime in April'

State House News Service
Feb. 17, 2010

The National Wholesale Liquidators (NWL) retail store at 735 Morrissey Blvd. will reopen for business, the Reporter was told this week.

The discount retailer that specializes in a no-frills shopping experience closed its doors in early 2009 after the company had filed for Chap. 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 10, 2008. At the time, NWL operated some 50 stores, most of them in the northeast.  Read more

BREAKING NEWS- UMass and Bayside Expo agree on sale

UMass-Boston has completed the purchase and sales agreement in its acquisition of the Bayside Expo Center on Columbia Point, the university announced yesterday while withholding the price of the deal.  Read more

Early morning shooting injures two

The Boston Police Department reports two people werre shot around 2:45 this morning at 21 Levant St.  Read more

Pets die when child sets house on fire while playing with matches

The Boston Fire Department reports a child playing with matches at 24-26 Hopkins St. started a fire around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday that did an estimated $75,000 damage.  Read more

14-year-old shot to death on Cummins Highway

Boston Police report the teenager was murdered around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 10) in front of 619 Cummins Highway.  Read more

An Editorial Comment: Omigod! Snow! What to Do?

Ed Forry
Feb. 10, 2010

The weather prognosticators were agog this week with their predictions of the modest snowstorm that arrived here Wednesday afternoon.

All week long, these highly trained meteorologists and their anchor-people partners in the media have been steadily raising anxiety levels of their listeners with their forecasts of the mid-week snowfall they were certain would come.  Read more

College Bound Dorchester is still on message: College can be for you

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Feb. 10, 2010

After 45 years of service to the community, Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses changed its name last week the better to reflect what the organization is all about. Now called College Bound Dorchester, the nonprofit organization announced the name change as the final element of a year-long re-branding process.  Read more

Patrick tends to staffing; Dot residents filling key slots

Facing a rocky re-election battle, Gov. Deval Patrick is beefing up his campaign staff, including some familiar faces from Boston’s political scene. Patrick, a Milton Democrat, has also hired a Dorchester resident as a deputy campaign manager with a focus on community relations.  Read more

Dot2Dot menu is offering connections to people, and Euro-American cuisine

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Feb. 10, 2010

Dot2Dot: Karen Henry Garrett with some of her homemade bread at Dot2Dot Cafe. 	   Photo by Sue AsciDot2Dot: Karen Henry Garrett with some of her homemade bread at Dot2Dot Cafe. Photo by Sue Asci  Read more

Activities abound for vacation week

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Feb. 10, 2010

There will be lots to do in Dorchester for kids of all ages during next week’s school vacation. From swimming to snow-shoeing and storytelling and dance, the city, its libraries, community schools and other organizations have lined up a variety of free-time activities.  Read more

Man charged with Mattapan carjacking

The Boston Police Department reports arresting a local man on carjacking charges Monday morning - after Quincy police picked him up following a failed carjacking.  Read more

Rep. Willie Mae Allen will not seek re-election

Gintautas Dumcius, Contributing Reporter
Feb. 9, 2010

Rep. Willie Mae AllenRep. Willie Mae AllenRep. Willie Mae Allen, who represents parts of Dorchester and Mattapan in the state Legislature, will not seek re-election this year. The Mattapan resident, who has been elected twice to represent the Sixth Suffolk district, told the Reporter's Lit Drop blog today that she will retire at the end of this year's session.

Dorchester teen wanted for multiple stabbings arrested in Revere manhunt

Massachusetts State Police report capturing Darius Young, 16, wanted for stabbing three women and a girl on 21 Roseclair St. on Feb. 3.  Read more

Teen sought for five stabbings

The Boston Police Department is looking for Darius D. Young, 15, whom they say has stabbed five people in two incidents.  Read more

Two-alarm fire leaves 13 homeless

The Boston Fire Department reports a two-alarm fire caused by a discarded cigarette forced 13 residents of 11 Althea St. into the cold around 7:30 this morning.

Nobody was injured in the fire, sparked by a cigraette on the third-flooor porch, the department says, adding the fire caused roughly $150,000 in damage.