(UPDATED) Wilkerson sentencing re-set for Jan. 6, with judge expected to factor in developer's testimony

The judge who will sentence former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson on Jan. 6 said testimony given Wednesday by a local contractor is "relevant" to her case and will have an impact on his decision.

The contractor, Azid Mohammed, gave sometimes contradictory testimony, saying he gave Wilkerson over $5,000 between 2002 and 2006. He said Wilkerson requested the payments to help offset bills she had to pay at a time when she was reviewing his development project in Roxbury.  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Hybrid Boston School Committee? For some, something to ponder

Dissatisfaction over the Boston School Committee’s decision to close nine schools and merge eight others into four has stirred chatter about having elected committee members on the mayorally-appointed panel.

Boston shifted to a seven-member appointed committee from an all-elected 13-member school committee in 1992 after voters approved the change in a referendum. Four years later, the electorate supported sticking with the current model on another referendum vote.

But talk of going to a hybrid of elected and appointed members has started up again in some circles after the school department this fall moved to close schools for the coming academic year, pointing to thousands of empty seats across the district and an expected $63 million deficit in the budget next year.  Read more

Census calls it: State loses one seat in US House, Redrawn districts for 2012 election

The US Census Bureau has confirmed what the state’s top political leaders were dreading: Massachusetts will be losing a Congressional seat, one of ten states in the nation to do so, according to figures the bureau released on Tuesday.

Lawmakers will turn into mapmakers next year, redrawing the state’s political boundaries to account for a smaller US House delegation, now all Democrats, that will be diminished from ten members to nine in 2012.  Read more

Jackson announces District 7 run

Tito Jackson, a top political aide to Gov. Deval Patrick and Grove Hall native, said Monday he is running for former City Councillor Chuck Turner's District 7 seat.

Jackson finished fifth out of eight candidates in the 2009 City Council At-Large race, falling just short of grabbing one of the four At-Large seats on the City Council. Turner, who was booted from the council this month after he was convicted of accepting a $1,000 bribe, has said he is backing Jackson for the seat.  Read more

Preliminary election to replace Turner likely set for Feb. 15; final election on March 15

The preliminary special election to replace former City Councillor Chuck Turner will be held on Feb. 15, with a final election set for March 15, under an order the City Council is expected to approve tomorrow.

Turner, District 7's representative on the 13-member body, was expelled from the council by an 11-1 vote on Dec. 1 after a federal jury found him guilty of corruption charges. District 7 includes Dorchester, Roxbury, Lower Roxbury, and parts of the Fenway, and the South End.  Read more

Patrick lays out plans for Jan. 6 inaugural

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Dec. 14, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 14, 2010….Gov. Deval Patrick will a host a “scaled down” inaugural celebration next month, planning a far less lavish celebration than four years ago when he takes the oath of office in January for a second term in the midst of a slowly rebounding economy.  Read more

Mattahunt partnership kicks off with United Way donation

Reporter Staff
Dec. 3, 2010

United Way supports Mattahunt CenterUnited Way supports Mattahunt CenterWheelock College officially launched the Community Engagement Process at Mattahunt Community Center in Mattapan on December 2 with a reception at the center. The partnership for the Mattapan neighborhood between the City of Boston and Wheelock College will support academic achievement in young people, youth leadership and development, and offer adult and family programs for people supporting children and youth.

At yesterday's event, United Way CEO Mike Durkin presented a $30,000 donation to help subsidize the programming at the center. A public meeting to discuss the partnership will be held next Thursday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the center on Hebron Street. Pictured above, left to right, are Wheelock College president Jackie Jenkins-Scott, United Way CEO Mike Durkin, State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry and her daughter, Madeline.  Read more

In this week's Reporter: Rep. Walsh's new job in January, City Council presidency

In case you might've missed 'em, two items of political note in this week's Dot Reporter:

-- State Rep. Marty Walsh is taking a job as the head of a powerful regional union umbrella group. The Dorchester Democrat will continue working as a state representative.

-- Stephen Murphy, a Dorchester native and now a city councillor at-large from Hyde Park, appears to have the votes for City Council President.

-- Also, this occurred after we had gone to press, but City Councillor Chuck Turner was ousted by his colleagues yesterday. His last day as a city councillor is Dec. 3.  Read more

Turner expelled from council in 11-1 vote

Gintautas Dumcius
Dec. 1, 2010

Councillor Chuck Turner: Ousted by colleagues in 11-1 vote.Councillor Chuck Turner: Ousted by colleagues in 11-1 vote.It was not an easy decision for any of the city councillors. City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo had wrestled with expelling a mentor and a friend since the day he knew it could occur.

But by an 11 to 1 vote on Wednesday, Councillor Chuck Turner was removed from the 13-member City Council after an emotional hearing at City Hall's Iannella Chamber. It was the first time in the council's history that a member was removed.

Only Dorchester's Charles Yancey —- who repeatedly challenged the authority of the council to take the vote on Wednesday and whether it could expel a member -— voted against Turner's removal, which will be effective Dec. 3. Turner was unanimously convicted by a jury last month of accepting a $1,000 bribe and lying to FBI agents about it.

Read more from CivicBoston: Pariahs, Pantheons and Chuck Turner  Read more

Editorial: Common-sense reforms for ‘Sober Homes’; Chuck Turner's fall

A Reporter story published last month after a multi-week probe into the operation of so-called sober homes in the city raises important policy questions that demand answers from the industry and from our city and state governments. The report— done in partnership with Northeastern University’s Initiative For Investigative Reporting — found that local authorities have virtually no regulatory controls over these homes. Alarmingly, neither city nor state government officials could tell us with any level of certainty just how many such homes exist in our neighborhoods.  Read more