Columbia-Savin Hill activist Joe Chaisson remembers a time in the early 1980s when a string of hard knocks left him with crippling property tax debt and a burdensome water and sewer bill. Only with the help of a skilled lawyer was he able to pay off the debt on his property, while a special offer from the city's Water and Sewer Department helped him regain his footing without losing utilities service at his home. Read more
The field of candidates hoping to fill the city council's vacant second district seat widened considerably this week as the council was poised to finalize dates for a special election, with a preliminary to be held on April 17 and final election on May 15. Read more
The new year brings with it a new legislative session at the State House, and already legislators who represent the neighborhood have filed bills in a fashion that is impressively diverse in quantity (State Rep. Martin Walsh filed over 100 bills, state Rep, Willie Mae Allen filed one) and topic. From toughening gun laws to protecting child witnesses, much of the proposed legislation could have an immediate impact on the neighborhood. Read more
Jan. 23, 2007
The city and the fire union are currently locked in a dispute over drug and alcohol testing and other reforms that are critical for the future of the Fire Department. I am astounded by the union leaders' unwillingness to eliminate substance abuse and unethical personnel practices. For some reason, they refuse to be part of the solution - and that's a shame. It's such a disservice to the honorable men and women in that department. The residents of Boston deserve a fire department that has a random drug and alcohol testing policy for its members. Read more
Boston City Councillor James M. Kelly died early Tuesday morning after a prolonged battle with colon cancer. Those who knew him for any of the roles in which he served &endash; as a city councillor, sheet metal worker, friend, or father &endash; spent this week celebrating the life of a man known for his tireless commitment to those who depended on him. Read more
Jan. 2, 2007
Newly elected City Council President Maureen Feeney says she knows it will take time to adjust to the new role, added responsibility, and changing expectations that come with her new post.
"Yesterday was hectic &endash; today it became real," she said in an interview from her City Hall office on Tuesday afternoon. She's hoping that reality will be one of new and exciting challenges in her 13-year career on the council, and bring new notoriety to the third district that she loves. Read more
Between two pillars and an iron arch that read "Stanley Bellevue Urban Wild," Mayor Thomas Menino declared last Saturday that the ground upon which he stood would remain an urban wild in perpetuity. Neighbors delighted in what had been a long process to secure the site.
"This is the result of years of struggle for open space in our community," said local resident Michael Pratt in an interview on Monday. "This will be a safe haven for children." Read more
Several city councillors and voting rights advocacy groups have called for drastic reforms to the city's election operation after department policy led to ballot shortages in as many as 30 city precincts across Boston last Tuesday. Read more
At right: Bill Celester at a key crossroads of the Sixth Suffolk: Blue Hill Ave. and Morton Street. Photo for the Reporter by Don West
It would seem, at first glance, that there are two Bill Celesters. On the one side is the tough-talking cop who won praise as a district commander in Roxbury and as Police Superintendent in Newark, NJ. On the other is an ex-con, who pleaded guilty to three counts of wire, tax, and mail fraud and who did two years in federal prison on those charges. Read more
A week after State Representative Shirley Owens Hicks announced plans to retire after 20 years of service in the State Legislature, only one Sixth Suffolk constituent has definitively entered the November contest to replace her.
By late Friday evening only William Celester, a retired Boston Police officer and former Area B-2 commander, had drawn papers from the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office. And though Celester drew his papers before Owens-Hicks' announcement, he said his decision to run followed rumors that the incumbent would retire. Read more