April tax receipts crash, state deficit nears $1 billion

Jim O'Sullivan and Michael Norton, State House News Service
May. 4, 2009

Less than three weeks after estimating a deficit as high as $550 million for the rest of the fiscal year, Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday that the actual gap could hit $953 million, as state tax collections fell at warp speed last month, nearly $1 billion below April 2008 and $456 million shy of already downgraded projections for the month.  Read more

Patrick, Menino unveil plan for "enhanced bus service" along Blue Hill corridor

State plans enhanced bus service to Mattapan: A rendering shows a "street view" of the changes along Blue Hill Ave. Source: EOTState plans enhanced bus service to Mattapan: A rendering shows a "street view" of the changes along Blue Hill Ave. Source: EOTGovernor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino announced at noon today that the 28 bus from Ruggles to Mattapan Square will be beefed up with a new Bus Rapid Transit service. It will be phase two of a project that will also connect Dudley Square to South Station as part of the existing Silver Line—a bus service between Dudley Station, downtown, and Logan Airport.  Read more

Dot's reps united in backing sales tax

The Dorchester delegation in the state House of Representatives joined the majority of their colleagues this week in support of hiking the sales tax to 6.25 percent from 5 percent, as Gov. Deval Patrick threatened to pull out his veto pen unless his tax and reform measures are taken up instead.

Members of the delegation added to the final vote of 108 to 51, helping secure a veto-proof majority. The all-Democratic delegation includes Reps. Willie Mae Allen, Linda Dorcena Forry, Gloria Fox, Marie St. Fleur, Brian Wallace and Marty Walsh.  Read more

Mayoral candidates race for signatures, and then some

Signatures: Frank O'Brien signs up on volunteer Steve Kinney's clipboard in support of Michael Flaherty's nomination for mayor on Tuesday.Signatures: Frank O'Brien signs up on volunteer Steve Kinney's clipboard in support of Michale Flaherty's nomination for mayor on Tuesday.The campaigns of incumbent Thomas Menino and challenger Michael Flaherty engaged in their first street skirmish Tuesday, as both campaigns asked volunteers to take a vacation day to make a show of power in gathering thousands of signatures on the day nomination papers are handed out by the city’s Elections Department.

Flaherty’s campaign declared they gathered over 4,000 signatures in five hours on Tuesday and turned them in for certification. That’s 1,000 more than the 3,000 required to get on the ballot. Because signatures can be and often are disqualified by Boston’s Election Department, the campaign will continue to ask supporters to sign up.

Our goal is to use this process to engage as many voters as possible,” said Flaherty spokesperson Jonathan Romano Monday.

Menino’s campaign traditionally tallies Tuesday’s entire signature haul and hands them in on the following day. At noon Wednesday, Emily Nowlin, Menino’s campaign manager said the campaign was submitting 19,000 signatures to the Elections Department.  Read more

Lynch: 'Inappropriate' to lobby Times to save Globe

Congressman Stephen Lynch felt it would have been "inappropriate" for him to join the rest of the state's DC delegation in lobbying the owner of the New York Times to keep the Boston Globe open. Lynch - whose Ninth Congressional district includes the Globe's Morrissey Boulevard headquarters- was the only Congressman from the state who did not sign onto a letter sent to Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. appealing for the Globe's salvation.  Read more

Globe backers on NY Times: 'Shame on them'

Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Apr. 24, 2009

Supporters of the Boston Globe and its hundreds of workers in and outside of the newsroom angrily denounced the New York Times Company on Friday and warned that the Globe's demise would disemploy hundreds of people at a time of recession.  Read more

Busing's future on the line in May meetings

For the second time in five years, Boston parents will have a chance to speak out on how to change the student assignment plan for the Boston Public Schools. But the series of five community meetings next month takes place amid dramatic changes in everything from enrollment size and the school budget to the mix of students and the definition of quality education.  Read more

Dot's Pressley joins race for at-large council

Ayanna Pressley: Candidate for city council at large.Ayanna Pressley: Candidate for city council at large.It's the "Obama effect", say many political observers, and Boston is not immune. Out of 18 individuals now indicating their intent to run for council at-large, 11 are people of color, likely setting a record for the city.

And the stage is set for another first as Sen. John Kerry's political director Ayanna Pressley is planning to apply for her nomination papers today, according to those close to her campaign.  Read more

Ten try for mayoral ballot, Menino jumps in

It isn’t everyone who just ups and decides to run for mayor. But then again maybe it’s trending that way. Outside of the challengers we know by now—contractor Kevin McCrea and councillors Sam Yoon and Michael Flaherty—there are six others who pulled papers for the job when the window at the city’s election department opened up last week, making a total of nine. Incumbent Mayor Tom Menino’s announcement yesterday makes it 10.  Read more

Menino to make it official, seek fifth term as mayor

Mayor Tom Menino will announce his intention to seek re-election this year to a record fifth-term as Mayor of Boston this evening at three events in Boston, Roxbury and Roslindale.  Read more