Politics

In state Senate, split vote on Suffolk County holidays

Dorchester’s state Senate delegation split last week in a vote on whether to eliminate Evacuation and Bunker Hill Days, holidays that are recognized only in Suffolk County. Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) voted to remove the two days as holidays, while Sen. Jack Hart (D-South Boston) led the charge to keep them.  Read more

Mattapan bus plan evokes doubts, anger

Members of the Mattapan community hammered Gov. Deval Patrick's transportation czar this week over a proposal to replace the Route 28 bus and extend the Silver Line to Mattapan Square. At a Tuesday night transportation "summit" held in Boston Public Library's Mattapan branch and organized by Dorchester's State House delegation, Transportation Secretary James Aloisi fended off a flurry of questions from about 60 community members, many of whom expressed anger at being left out of the loop on the proposal.  Read more

Chang-Diaz: colleagues getting ‘bum rap’ for ethics bill

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz is defending the ethics bill that her colleagues unanimously signed off on last week. The Senate version of the bill is getting a “bum rap,” said Chang-Diaz, who bested former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson in a Democratic primary last year, before federal corruption allegations arose against the longtime incumbent and forced her to resign.  Read more

Put the ‘public’ back in ‘public meetings’

The Patrick administration is holding a series of community forums across the state this month, part of a campaign that is aimed — ostensibly— at educating the public about the tough budget choices facing the Commonwealth. It’s a worthwhile exercise, especially if the administration is sincere in its desire to get feedback from actual constituents.  Read more

Most council hopefuls pass first test: signatures

Ever since it was passed by the legislature in 2007, a low-level controversy has clung to Councillor Stephen Murphy’s home rule petition to raise the number of nomination signatures needed to run for at-large to 1,500 from its previous level at 500.  Read more

Westminster Dodge fights to overturn death sentence

Joe Lawlor has sold thousands of cars in his six years as sales manager at Morrissey Boulevard’s Westminster Dodge. The Bickford family — which has operated the Chrysler dealership since the 1960s — has sold many times that.

This week, though, they are pitching a different kind of sale, one that even they admit has long odds of finding the right buyer.  Read more

Patrick's Health Secretary to host forum at Mattapan's Foley building

Governor Deval Patrick's Secretary of Health and Human Services — Dr. JudyAnn Bigby — comes to Mattapan tonight to moderate what the Patrick administration has billed as a "community forum on choices and priorities facing the Commonwealth in the current economic climate." The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Foley Senior Residences, 249 River Street.  Read more

Patriotic flag display marked Vietnamese anniversary

Flags along the Ave.Flags along the Ave.Despite allegations to the contrary made on a local blog, last week’s display of some 400 Vietnamese and American flags which sprouted on scores of Vietnamese-owned businesses across the neighborhood was the work of a volunteer committee working to mark the anniversary of South Vietnam’s collapse in 1975.  Read more

Council hopefuls chase signatures through raindrops

This week’s rain hasn’t dampened the spirits of the city’s political candidates as they fan out across the city to gather signatures each day. Competing for signatures, they cross each other’s paths often, and they’re civil to each other, most of the time.

Though Mayor Thomas Menino and challenger Michael Flaherty both turned in more than enough signatures to qualify last week, other mayoral challengers and those running for council are still slogging it out.  Read more

‘Enhanced’ Blue Hill bus line could resemble rapid transit

A bus on the Silver LineA bus on the Silver LineState and city leaders this week announced a $100 million federal stimulus project to greatly improve public transportation along Blue Hill Avenue from Mattapan to Dudley Square, including a new connection to South Station.

It isn’t the light rail service that Roxbury’s transportation advocates have clamored for since the Orange Line was pulled off Washington Street in the late ’80s. And many in Mattapan were taken aback after being left out of the loop on the new proposal. Yet, it is a direct connection to downtown from a host of underserved neighborhoods in Mattapan and Dorchester and transportation advocates seem to be warming up to the plan.  Read more