Patrick unveils latest proposal for pension reform

State House News Service
Jan. 18, 2011

Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday pressed for an increase in the state's retirement age and a change to the way state pensions are calculated on Tuesday as he rolled out the next phase of pension reform he called necessary to ensure that the state's pension system remains affordable.  Read more

Murphy releases committee assignments

City Council President Stephen Murphy released on Thursday committee assignments for city councillors, with Dorchester's Maureen Feeney staying atop the Government Operations panel. East Boston's City Councilor Sal LaMattina will be the council's vice president, a position last held by Murphy as part of a deal two years ago to elect Michael Ross head of the body.  Read more

Judge rejects Turner's request to move sentencing date

A federal judge on Thursday denied former City Councillor Chuck Turner's request to move his sentencing date. The date is still set for Jan. 25, three and a half weeks before voters go to the polls to replace him.

Turner, who was tossed from the City Council after a jury convicted him of taking a $1,000 bribe, had argued that because his lead attorney, Barry Wilson, was out of the country until March, his sentencing should be postponed.

"This fact was known, considered and its implication understood when the sentencing date was established," Judge Douglas Woodlock wrote in his order, adding that he found "nothing in the current record before me to justify this belated effort to obtain a continuance."  Read more

In state of city speech, Menino stresses health reform, anti-gun task force

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jan. 12, 2011

He entered on the crutches to the theme of “Rocky” and ended with a quippy admonishment to the audience to “get your cars off the street” ahead of the incoming snowstorm. And in between, Mayor Thomas Menino, recovering from knee surgery, reviewed the past year’s education gains and sketched out a laundry list of plans for the coming year.

The speech was not as lofty as last year’s inaugural’s address, and focused largely on localizing issues of education, health care and public safety.  Read more

(UPDATED) Turner pushes for sentencing delay as false rumor flies

Who knows how it started. Maybe someone read a news article too quickly, or misheard a newsreader on the radio.

But by mid-afternoon Tuesday, former City Councillor Chuck Turner’s chief of staff was compelled to send out the following notice: Turner has left the building, but he has not left the country.  Read more

Sentenced to three and a half years, twice-convicted Wilkerson slams prosecutors

Former Sen. Wilkerson's statement after her sentencing. Video by Gal Tziperman Lotan.

It was strike two for former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson. More than a decade after the Roxbury Democrat was convicted of federal tax evasion charges, Wilkerson was sentenced on Thursday to three and a half years of prison for attempting to accept $23,500 in bribes in exchange for legislative action.  Read more

Menino's elderly affairs chief leaving administration

Mayor Thomas Menino's elderly affairs chief is leaving the administration. Eliza Greenberg has served as elderly affairs commissioner in April 2004.

She is taking a job outside of city government, the Lit Drop has learned.

Greenberg is the latest administration official to step down in recent months. She follows Judith Kurland, Menino's former chief of staff, who left in December to start up a center focused on community democracy at UMass-Boston. Menino's budget chief, Lisa Signori, left in September for a post at the Perkins School for the Blind.  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Mayoral watch is keeping chattering class very busy

Michael Flaherty:: Will he make an attempt to return to City Hall in '11?Michael Flaherty:: Will he make an attempt to return to City Hall in '11?
Locally, as politics-dominated years go, 2010 is unlikely to get topped anytime soon. A Republican from Massachusetts was elected to the U.S. Senate, and the nation sent dozens more to the U.S. House in a red tidal wave in November. As thoughts quickly turn to 2012 (when Scott Brown is up for re-election) and 2013 (a race for mayor), 2011 shouldn’t be overlooked. In the first two months alone, a Boston city councillor will get sentenced and an election to determine his successor will follow. Here are a few things that people will likely be talking about throughout the new year.  Read more

Top Menino aide starting UMass Boston center for 'community democracy'

A top aide to Mayor Thomas Menino is trading in City Hall for UMass Boston. Judith Kurland, who had previously served as Menino's chief of staff, is establishing the Center for Community Democracy and Democratic Literacy at UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies.

Kurland served as Menino's chief of staff from September 2006 to December 2009, when she stepped down to take a job as Menino's chief of programs and partnerships.

"It has been meaningful and worthwhile to be part of this team for the past four years, a time that is among the hardest the city has ever had to face," Kurland wrote in an email to colleagues last week.  Read more

Chuck Turner files suit to get his council job back

TurnerTurnerAs promised, ex-city Councilor Chuck Turner has filed a federal lawsuit demanding he be allowed back into the City Council chambers.

In his suit, co-filed Thursday with several constituents in US District Court in Boston, Turner charges his Dec. 1 expulsion from the council violated his and their Constitutional rights against punishments enacted after the fact - in Turner's case, a council rule allowing for ousters that was passed after his indictment - and that the move leaves all of District 7 without an elected representative. The suit also alleges violations of Turner's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.  Read more