Politics

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

April tax receipts crash, state deficit nears $1 billion

By 
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