Former Mayor Thomas Menino dies at 71

Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service
Oct. 30, 2014

Thomas M. Menino: He'll be remembered long after the signs come down.Thomas M. Menino: He'll be remembered long after the signs come down.

Thomas Menino, a self-described "lunch bucket guy" who rose from his roots in Hyde Park to dominate Boston and Massachusetts politics as the capital city's mayor for 20 years, has passed away after battling cancer. He was 71.

City's political world reacts to news of Mayor Menino's death

Long after signs come down, Menino's name will live on

Elected to the city's top job in 1993 after spending four months as acting mayor, Menino burnished a reputation as a tireless worker and a chief executive focused on delivering neighborhood services.

"Kevin White was the city-builder, gazing out of his fifth-floor window at cloud-topped towers," a 1994 Boston Globe magazine profile of Menino said. "Ray Flynn was the racial healer, jogging through the neighborhoods in search of social and economic justice. Tom Menino is the urban mechanic, cruising the streets with his fix-it list, wanting to know why the grass hasn't been mowed at Garvey Playground."  Read more

The state ballot questions: A ‘No’ and three ‘Yes’ votes

The Reporter recommends the following positions on the four questions that will appear on state ballots on Nov. 4.

Question 1—A move to eliminate the current indexing of the gas tax would hamper the capacity of the state and city to make needed repairs to roads and bridges. The Reporter agrees with Mayor Walsh and other local leaders and advises a NO vote.  Read more

City is weighing four plans for use of key Mattapan site

An image from the city of Boston request for proposals shows the Cote Ford property in Mattapan as seen from Cummins Highway. Image courtesy City of Boston

Four proposals have been submitted to the city of Boston by development teams eager to build a mix of housing and retail on the site of a long-empty Mattapan car dealership.

The Cote Ford property on Cummins Highway is situated close to a planned new station on the Fairmount commuter rail line, prompting renewed interest in what has been a forlorn corner of the neighborhood for decades.  Read more

Time to vote: Races and issues await decisions

Voters heading to the polls on Tuesday will be presented with a choice for governor in a tight race, a chance to repeal the state’s casino law, and votes on three other ballot questions and a number of offices. The polls open in Boston at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.  Read more

From the Irish side: Somber words on Menino health crisis

Last week’s news that former Mayor Thomas Menino was suspending his book tour and entering palliative care for his cancer brought somber words from a number of Irish-American politicians who know him well.  Read more

Boston Municipal Court nominee's background rooted in defense work

Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Oct. 29, 2014

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, OCT. 29, 2014....Defense attorney Lisa Grant does not think having spent her entire career as a criminal defense attorney will hinder her from being an impartial judge.

Grant, 47, who was nominated by Gov. Deval Patrick to become a judge in the Boston Municipal Court, Dorchester Division, said Wednesday she understands that could be a concern. But she said is able to see things from a victim's perspective as well, having had family members who were domestic violence and sexual assault victims.  Read more

Baker's fisherman story rooted in 2010 campaign

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Oct. 29, 2014

Republican Charlie Baker's tearful debate story Tuesday night about a fisherman from New Bedford and his two sons may go down, win or lose, as one of the more memorable moments of the 2014 campaign for governor.

But in the post-debate rehashing of Baker's emotional moment on stage, it became clearer that the encounter between the candidate and the unidentified South Coast fisherman occurred when Baker was running in 2010 against Gov. Deval Patrick, not this most recent go-around.  Read more

For Governor: Martha Coakley is the better choice for our neighborhoods

Martha CoakleyMartha CoakleyMassachusetts voters have two solid choices on Tuesday's gubernatorial ballot. Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker each offer a skill set and range of experiences that would serve them — and the Commonwealth — well as our next chief executive.

But Martha Coakley is the better choice for the communities we cover. She is more likely to preserve and follow through on state projects and policies set in motion by the Patrick administration that people in Dorchester and Mattapan have long strived to secure.  Read more

WBUR poll shows only slight edge for Baker

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Oct. 28, 2014

While two recent surveys suggested more clear leads in the gubernatorial race, a MassINC/WBUR poll released Tuesday found the race basically unchanged from last week with Republican Charlie Baker holding a 1-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley.

Baker leads Coakley 41-40, and leads 43-42 when people leaning toward a candidate are included, advantages that are both well within the 4.4 percent margin of error. The survey of 494 likely voters was conducted Oct. 22-25, with deep dive into the opinions of voters in Boston.  Read more

Gov. Patrick: "We don't need a plan to quarantine"

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Oct. 27, 2014

While four states have reportedly established quarantine protocols for people who have been in contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, Gov. Deval Patrick said Massachusetts will be following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols and does not have a procedure to quarantine people.

"We don't need a plan to quarantine. We're doing what the CDC has advised. I think we are well prepared," Patrick said Monday morning at an event where he announced USA Track & Field will return to Boston for next year's indoor championships.  Read more