Politics

About that T lot in Mattapan Sq.

The state’s heavy investment in the Fairmount commuter rail line will soon be put to the economic test in a very tangible way: Two requests for proposals have been issued by the city of Boston in recent weeks to gauge interest in a pair of sites deemed as ideal for so-called “transit-oriented development.”  Read more

Patrick appoints Karen Charles as DTC commissioner

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jul. 16, 2014

A former special election candidate for the Massachusetts House and veteran state government administrator has been appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick to head the Department of Telecommunications and Cable. Patrick on Tuesday appointed Karen Charles to become the next commissioner of the DTC, where she currently works as chief of staff. Charles ran in the Democratic primary for the 5th Suffolk District seat this past spring, ultimately won by Rep. Evandro Carvalho.  Read more

Senate okays Sunday morning liquor store openings

By 
State House News Service
Jul. 15, 2014

Both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature are now on record in support of legislation authorizing retail liquor stores in Massachusetts to open for sales at 10 a.m. on Sunday, rather than noon.

The House approved the legislation (H 228) in March and the Senate on Thursday approved the bill without debate. The Senate rejected a motion by Sen. Robert Hedlund to postpone consideration of the bill until July 24.  Read more

Senate takes up charter cap issue this week

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jul. 14, 2014

The Senate this week will debate legislation to lift the cap on charter school enrollment in some school districts, entertaining a bill that is significant different from a bill that has passed the House and which includes a measure to tie a cap lift to state reimbursement funding.  Read more

Patrick's final budget weighs in nearly $10 billion larger than first

By 
Gintautas Dumcius and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Jul. 11, 2014

Capping a nearly $10 billion increase in state spending under his tenure, Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday signed a $36.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2015, slashing $16.1 million with his veto pen and asking lawmakers to give him the power to make unilateral spending cuts if necessary.  Read more

Charter school wants to buy T lot in Mattapan Square and move there

MBTA Lot: Roughly two dozen vehicles were parked in the T’s Mattapan lot early Monday afternoon. 	Lauren Dezenski photoMBTA Lot: Roughly two dozen vehicles were parked in the T’s Mattapan lot early Monday afternoon. Lauren Dezenski photo

A Hyde Park-based charter school is in talks to buy an MBTA parking lot in Mattapan Square and build a new school next to the T trolley and bus station along River Street. While the $1.5 million sale to Boston Preparatory Charter Public School, if executed, would fill the space at an often half-empty parking lot with a new building, it would also squelch earlier hopes for using the state-owned land as the anchor for a mixed-use, transit-oriented development – something that state lawmakers say should remain the top priority for the site.  Read more

Coming soon: A 10-day red light on Morton Street

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 9, 2014

Work on a replacement bridge for Morton Street is going on this week. The roadway will close for ten days next month to fix the new span in place. Photo by Bill Forry

Bridge replacement work to shut section Aug 8-17

For ten days next month – from Aug. 8 to Aug. 17 – the well-traveled section of Morton Street above the railroad tracks and near the Norfolk Street intersection will be closed to traffic as the state lays in place a new Morton Street bridge. While rerouting plans for buses are known, transportation officials will present the detour details for all residents, businesses, and travelers at a meeting tonight (July 10) at 6 o’clock at the Economy Plumbing site at 875 Morton St.  Read more

$250k in state budget for Ventura Park rehab

State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and State Rep. Dan Cullinane are shown in the playground area of Ventura Park.

Ventura Park’s playground equipment and baseball field are about to get a major upgrade, thanks to a $250,000 shot of state funding promoted by two Dorchester legislators.  Read more

Study: Dorchester beaches trail region in water quality

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Jul. 1, 2014

Beaches in South Boston and East Boston had significantly less bacteria in 2013 than years past, while improper sewage hookups and other pollutants continue to mar the waters at Lynn, Swampscott, Dorchester and Quincy swimming spots, according to Save the Harbor Save the Bay’s third annual report card.  Read more

Charter backers urge Senate to act on House bill

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jun. 30, 2014

Charter school advocates rallied on Beacon Hill Monday for expansion legislation that has already cleared the House, pressing the importance of tackling the issue by the end of July and reminding lawmakers that the bill does more than simply lift the cap on enrollment.  Read more