Politics

Heritage Festival campaign beat: First Coakley, then Baker

Both top-tier gubernatorial candidates stopped by Sunday’s Irish Heritage Festival, an annual event in Neponset that Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker say they had attended before. The attorney general walked among the festival booth before noon while Baker, her Republican opponent, swung by in the final hour of the day-long festival. The candidates drew different receptions from the crowd, perhaps due to the more than 100 revelers who had gathered in a fenced-off beer garden next to Florian Hall by 4:30 p.m., when Baker showed up.  Read more

Close to home, Walsh joins walk-through by inspection team: ‘Walking office hours’ to canvass city

Mayor Walsh, center, speaks about his office's Neighborhood Engagement Walk initiative while on Tuttle Street last week. At left is Dan Manning, who directs Walsh's Civic Engagement office; at right, Dorchester liaison Alec Bonelli. City Councillor Frank Baker is shown, far left. Photo by Bill Forry

Mayor Martin Walsh joined a walk-through of his Savin Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning to highlight his office’s efforts to catalogue, fix, and track solutions to ground-level problems on every street in the city. As a light rain fell, the mayor and a small entourage of aides — trailed by several TV camera crews— walked from his house on Tuttle Street and circled the block via Sydney Street to Savin Hill Avenue.

Along the way, Walsh stopped several times to inspect curbs, brick-work, and pavement, some of which has been heaved up by mature trees— and to get a first-hand look at how his liaisons throughout the city can identify problems and order up fixes in real time.  Read more

Gov. Patrick has clear views on four state ballot questions

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Oct. 15, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick is ready to bring his strong approval rating to bear on four ballot questions, aiming to preserve gas tax and gaming policies he helped enact, achieve a bottle bill expansion he has long sought and grant more rights to workers.  Read more

Dot 2 Dot Cafe gets liquor-license boost from Pressley, Mel King

The Boston Licensing Board could decide Thursday whether to grant a full liquor license to Dot 2 Dot Cafe, a Dorchester Avenue restaurant that doubles as a meeting space for local residents and organizations, and which is the place City Councilor Ayanna Pressley says she had in mind when she led a successful effort to gain more liquor licenses for the city's outer neighborhoods.  Read more

WIC benefits switch to debit card system this month

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Oct. 14, 2014

Poor women in Massachusetts who rely on federal assistance to buy milk, cereal and other specified food items for themselves and their children will no longer have to worry that everyone around them in the grocery store checkout line knows they receive aid.

Massachusetts this month began to switch from paper checks to debit-like cards for the federal nutritional assistance program that helps more than 125,000 women, infants and children in the state.  Read more

Officials: Risk of Ebola spreading in Mass is low

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Oct. 14, 2014

Mayor Martin Walsh, flanked by Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, spoke at a Tuesday morning press conference at Logan Airport. Photo by Isabel Leon/Mayor's office

Gov. Deval Patrick emphasized the relative safety of getting close to Ebola-infected patients, while state and local officials maintained the state is well equipped to handle cases of the virus that has spread death and devastation through three countries in West Africa.

"If I had Ebola, the commissioner standing right here would be at minimum risk of catching it, if any, if any," Gov. Deval Patrick said, standing next to Department of Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett at a Logan International Airport press conference Tuesday morning. "This is hard to catch. She would have to touch my blood or other bodily fluids . . . and don't."  Read more

In book interview, Menino weighs in on Walsh's performance

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service
Oct. 13, 2014

With his patience gone, Mayor Thomas Menino let Gov. William Weld have it.

It was the 1990s and Menino wanted a convention center in South Boston. Weld, along with New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, wanted a stadium, and the governor had been publicly "needling" Menino that the Patriots would leave the state if the mayor didn't change his mind.  Read more

State transportation chief Richard Davey stepping down

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Oct. 10, 2014

Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, the longest serving of the governor's the four transportation chiefs, plans to resign at the end of October, leaving the administration two months before the end of Gov. Deval Patrick's tenure.

Davey informed the governor of his decision late last month, and plans to depart on Nov. 1, becoming the second Cabinet official to leave the administration since Patrick asked his top lieutenants to commit in early 2013 to another two years to see the administration through to the end.

"It's time," Davey told the News Service. "I'm going to take some time to travel a little bit with my wife and start to think about what's next for my career. But we have a window to travel now, and I know the governor understands."  Read more

Kennedy Institute set for March 2015 opening

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service
Oct. 9, 2014

Full-scale representations of the U.S. Senate chamber and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's Capitol Hill office will open to the public on March 31, 2015, the Edward Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate announced Wednesday. A gala celebration is set for March 29 and a formal dedication ceremony for the 68,000 square-foot building will take place on March 30.  Read more

Historic Boston Inc. ready to save landmark Mattapan farm

The Fowler-Clark farm has been boarded up in recent years to prevent further damage from squatters. The farmhouse dates to the 18th century. Reporter file photo

A historic but endangered Mattapan landmark could soon have a new owner that would ensure that it remains viable for decades to come. Historic Boston Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the Fowler-Clark farmhouse on Norfolk Street. The transaction will not be executed until next March, giving the non-profit preservation group time to raise funds and create a definitive plan for re-using the property’s old structures for housing.

The farmhouse, which was built at the turn of the 18th century, is one of the city’s last tangible links to a now-distant agrarian past. Designated as historic landmarks in 2006, the house and an adjacent barn have since been boarded up by city inspectors worried that squatters would destroy the buildings through vandalism or fire.  Read more