City settles bias claim by former Strand employee; Complaint targeted Arts chief

Stephen Kurkjian and Pat Tarantino, Special To The Reporter
Aug. 11, 2010

Julie Burns: Julie Burns, director of Arts, Tourism and Special Events for the city.Julie Burns: Julie Burns, director of Arts, Tourism and Special Events for the city.Julie Burns, who announced last week that she was resigning as the city’s director of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, was accused of racial discrimination when she fired the manager of the Strand Theatre in 2006, a complaint that the Menino Administration quietly settled less than four months ago.

Neither Burns nor Mayor Tom Menino made any reference to the complaint, which was upheld by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, when Burns made known she was leaving the city job that she had held since 2006 to join Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

“Julie has done a wonderful job for the city of Boston, from organizing championship victory parades to bringing a great variety of cultural events to City Hall Plaza,” said Menino in a statement. “I am grateful for her hard work and wish Julie all the best in her new endeavor.”  Read more

Wilkerson, prosecutors ask for sentencing date to be moved up

Former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and prosecutors are asking a federal judge to move up her sentencing date to Sept. 14.

The sentencing is currently scheduled for Sept. 21.  Read more

Former Rep. Merced endorses Henriquez in Fifth Suffolk

Former state Rep. Nelson Merced is endorsing Carlos Henriquez in the Fifth Suffolk District race, Henriquez told Lit Drop on Thursday night.  Read more

Forums for Fifth, Sixth and Second Suffolk District races this month

MassVOTE, a nonprofit civic education organization, is joining up with 32 other nonprofits in sponsoring forums with candidates running in the Fifth Suffolk and Sixth Suffolk House districts. Forums on the Second Suffolk Senate district are also planned.  Read more

DeLeo not giving up, calls gambling bill's path 'very difficult'

By Jim O’Sullivan and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Aug. 3, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 3, 2010….....Speaker Robert DeLeo declared the critical-condition gambling bill still breathing Tuesday morning, as Plainridge Racecourse laid off 157 workers and blamed Gov. Deval Patrick’s refusal to support racetrack slot machines.

DeLeo said Patrick’s decision to send expanded gambling legislation back with an amendment effectively killed the prospect of 15,000 jobs, but on Tuesday morning said the bill is not dead though its prospects are “very difficult.”  Read more

Patrick closes door on single racino, plans to return gambling bill today

By Kyle Cheney and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Aug. 2, 2010

BOSTON, AUG. 2, 2010……As expanded gambling legislation formally arrived on his desk Monday, Gov. Deval Patrick reversed course on his approval of a single racetrack slot facility and said he would immediately return the bill with an amendment to approve gambling at resort casinos but not stand-alone slots facilities.

"I am done with that," Patrick said during a campaign-related press conference in Boston, referring to racetrack slots, his proclamation further rattling the political discord over the legislation that became increasingly apparent in the past five days. Referring to casinos, Patrick said, "Let's enact what we agree on."  Read more

Loophole? Patrick given power to block racinos in bill's fineprint

Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Aug. 1, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 1, 2010…...The gambling bill lawmakers sent Gov. Deval Patrick late Saturday contains language that appears to empower the governor to bypass legislative intent on the chief point of disagreement by granting a panel he would control the option of not sanctioning any slot machine facility licenses at all.  Read more

Showdown: Patrick won't sign gambling bill, DeLeo doubts veto

By Jim O'Sullivan, Michael Norton and Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Jul. 31, 2010

Gov. Deval Patrick withheld support Friday for a three-casino, two-racino compromise reached by legislative leaders in time for a vote Saturday, calling the restriction of the racino license bidding to racetracks unacceptable.  Read more

Agreement on crime bill includes CORI reform

Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Jul. 30, 2010

House and Senate negotiators reached a deal late Thursday on legislation restricting the public life of criminal offense records and striking most of the Senate’s efforts to provide reduced sentences for non-violent offenders, according to sources familiar with the compromise.

The Senate backed off its push to make non-violent state prison convicts eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentences, while the House relented in allowing non-violent house of correction inmates parole after two-thirds of their sentences, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.  Read more

Lynch gets boost from former President Clinton

Reporter Staff
Jul. 29, 2010

A Presidential Boost Without Incumbency from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

Chris Lovett of BNN-TV's Neighborhood Network News filed this report on Thursday's South Boston rally for incumbent Congressman Stephen Lynch, which featured an appearance by former President Bill Clinton. Lovett's report includes a conversation with Reporter News Editor Gin Dumcius, who covered the rally at the Ironworkers Hall.  Read more