Mayor-elect Walsh opens up on immigration, Secure Communities

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Nov. 26, 2013

Hoping to meet in the next few weeks with other new mayors from around the country to discuss immigration, Boston Mayor-elect Marty Walsh on Tuesday said if he could "get around" enforcing the Secure Communities Act he would.

Walsh attended the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition's annual free Thanksgiving luncheon and spent some time serving mashed potatoes before dishing on how immigrants would have a "friend" in City Hall.  Read more

L’affaire Dorchester: Codman students lead charge against French snub

Codman Academy students at French consulate: Students hand-delivered a letter to the Consul on Tuesday morning seeking an end to French travel warnings that single out Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury as places for tourists to avoid. Photo courtesy Codman AcademyCodman Academy students at French consulate: Students hand-delivered a letter to the Consul on Tuesday morning seeking an end to French travel warnings that single out Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury as places for tourists to avoid. Photo courtesy Codman Academy

On Nov. 14, the excellent website Universal Hub first reported that the government of France has issued a series of advisories to its citizens related to travel in the United States. The advisories focus on regional and city-by-city warnings about avoiding certain parts of the US due to concerns about crime.

In the case of Boston, the French government counsels its citizens thusly: “Foot traffic and at night should be avoided in the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury. French attention must also be drawn to an increase in petty crime, observed especially during major cultural and sporting events and in some tourist areas such as Chinatown, Fenway, and the North End.”  Read more

Walsh adds surgeon, UMass Boston professor and others to transition team

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh's transition team on Friday added three co-chairs, including the former CEO of Boston Children's hospital, a UMass Boston professor and the head of a Roxbury-based organization.  Read more

Mayor-Elect Walsh says goodbye to House colleagues

State House News Service
Nov. 21, 2013

On his way from the House of Representatives to Boston City Hall, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh brought his fellow lawmakers to their feet several times Wednesday afternoon, as he gave a farewell, imparted thanks on most everyone in the chamber and recounted his days as a “hotheaded” freshman representative in 1997.

Walsh, who beat City Councilor John Connolly for the mayoralty on Nov. 5, said he would be back in the chamber in January asking for more money for Boston.  Read more

Senate sends $11-per-hour minimum wage bill to House

Matt Murphy, Andy Metzger and Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Nov. 19, 2013

The Senate voted 32-7 on Tuesday to increase the state's minimum wage by $3 over the next three years to $11 an hour, approving legislation that would give Massachusetts the highest minimum wage in the country and give the state's lowest-wage workers their first raise in six years.

The bill (S 1925) would also tie future increases in the minimum wage to inflation and guarantee that no matter what happens to the federal minimum wage - currently set at $7.25 - the minimum in Massachusetts would remain 50 cents higher.  Read more

Jackson and O'Malley among councillors eyeing City Council presidency

With the municipal races behind them, city councillors and their new incoming colleagues are turning to another election: City Council president.  Read more

‘Building Pathways’ opens door to union jobs

Building Pathways: Students learn about fiber optics at IBEW Local 103. Photo by Gintautas DumciusBuilding Pathways: Students learn about fiber optics from instructor Tom Olson at IBEW Local 103. Photo by Gintautas Dumcius

Tom Olson holds up a pale blue cord in front of the class. Outlets and wires hang from the ceiling over the heads of 15 men and women, many of whom are wearing green hard-hats. “FiOS,” Olson says, holding the blue cord a little higher. “Anybody know what that stands for?”

The answer comes cautiously, in unison, from the class: “Fiber integrated optical solutions.” Says Olson, “Now, when you see the commercials with Comcast and FiOS and Verizon, you’ll be able to say ‘I know what FiOS is.’ Fiber integrated optical solutions, right? High-end communications, guys and girls. It doesn’t get any faster than that. That’s transmission through glass.”  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: The names game is on: Who wants Walsh seat?

The confetti had barely left the cannon on election night by the time speculation was underway about the next race.

The elevation of Dorchester’s Marty Walsh to the mayor’s seat in City Hall means there will be a House seat vacancy within the 13th Suffolk District next year. Inside the Park Plaza Hotel’s ballroom that night, there was already talk about who might be interested in replacing Walsh, a Democrat and labor leader in union-rich Dorchester. Walsh has served in the House for 16 years, winning the job in 1997 in a special election after Jim Brett, another Dorchester guy who ran for mayor but received different results, decided to take a job with the New England Council.  Read more

Experts discuss impacts of rising seas at JFK Library

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Nov. 13, 2013

If sea level rise projections become reality and high tides a century from now resemble what today are major floods, the Aquarium Blue Line Station would likely be underwater while across the harbor the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital will be better prepared to weather frequent incursions of harbor water, according to Boston Harbor Association Executive Director Julie Wormser.

“By mid-century, every year the T’s going to have to deal with a foot and a half of seawater. By the end of the century it’s dealing more with five feet of seawater,” said Wormser, who said the Aquarium Station would need to be moved.  Read more

State alcohol laws are barrier to commerce, lawmakers told

Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Nov. 12, 2013

When it comes to beer, wine and liquor licenses, the Legislature is being asked to step aside and relinquish some control.

Lawmakers on Tuesday heard from craft beer brewers who want changes to a law they say "handcuffs" them in their ability to compete because of unbreakable ties to wholesalers. Municipal officials appealed to remove control of liquor licenses from the state and give it to local officials. And wine drinkers want to lift a ban on direct wine sale shipments to consumers.  Read more