Politics

Library chief 'strongly supports' keeping branches open if funding found

BPL president Amy Ryan speaks at Lower Mills meetingBPL president Amy Ryan speaks at Lower Mills meetingThe city's library chief said Monday night she would "strongly support" keeping all of Boston's library branches open if funding was found. Amy Ryan, the head of the Boston Public Library system, said she would also be prepared to make that recommendation to the library system's board of trustees.

The comments, a marked shift in tone after months of talk of closing the Lower Mills branch and others, came at a packed meeting at the Richmond St. library. About a hundred supporters gathered at the Richmond St. library on Monday night as part of a "working session" on the future of the library.

Sen. Jack Hart (D-South Boston) said he was seeing an "attitude change." "I think we're heading in the right direction," he said.  Read more

Star witness of Turner trial expects a conviction

"They're going to crucify his ass."

Those are the words of Ron Wilburn, the star witness in the trial of City Councillor Chuck Turner, just after he wrapped up testifying to the jury.

Caught standing by the elevators of the Moakley Courthouse, and with his attorney elsewhere, Wilburn gave the following assessment to reporters: It won't be the money that gets Turner, it will be the alleged false statements he made to the FBI about not knowing Wilburn, an undercover informant for the FBI. Turner, who represents Roxbury and Dorchester, is also charged with accepting a $1,000 bribe.  Read more

LG Murray spending Monday in Dorchester

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray will be spending Monday in Dorchester, according to a schedule released by the Patrick-Murray re-election campaign. The day includes visits to some of the more conservative parts of Dorchester: a trip to Adams Village with City Councillor Maureen Feeney, a stop at Florian Hall, and meet and greets at Keystone and Savin Hill apartment complexes.

Full schedule below the jump:  Read more

Thoughts on Day 8 of the Turner trial

With the jury in City Councillor Chuck Turner's corruption trial adjourning for the weekend, here's some takeaways.  Read more

Candidates vow to help displaced Haitians, oppose ballot questions 2 & 3

GBIO consensus: Charlie Baker, Gov. Deval Patrick, Dr. Jill Stein and Treasurer Tim Cahill stand united against questions 2 & 3. Photo by Erik Jacobs GBIO consensus: Charlie Baker, Gov. Deval Patrick, Dr. Jill Stein and Treasurer Tim Cahill stand united against questions 2 & 3. Photo by Erik Jacobs Greater Boston religious leaders this week asked the four candidates for governor to pledge that, once in office, they will create a comprehensive dwelling strategy for Haitian refugees and advocate at the federal level for legal status that will allow these families to work. All four candidates – Gov. Deval Patrick, the Democratic incumbent, Republican challenger Charlie Baker, independent candidate Timothy Cahill, and Green Rainbow Party candidate Jill Stein – said “yes” at a Sunday forum at the Temple Israel of Boston.  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Pope’s Hill group to host debate on ballot questions

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Oct. 20, 2010

The Pope’s Hill Neighborhood Association is hosting a debate next week on three ballot questions voters will decide when they head to the polls in less than two weeks.  Read more

Lower Mills branch backers sense shift of ‘tone’ on closing

Supporters of the Lower Mills library are urging fellow activists to show up in force at a meeting at the branch tonight [at 6:30 p.m. at the Richmond Street branch] with Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan as a local lawmaker said there has been a “shift in ‘tone’” coming from City Hall about whether it will be closed.

At last Tuesday night’s meeting of the Lower Mills Civic Association, a representative from the mayor’s office said “re-use” of the building isn’t the focus of the Monday meeting.

Editorial: BPL board must reverse its decision to close branches  Read more

Mattahunt center in limbo; community bypassed, say critics

By 
Gintautas Dumcius and Bill Forry, Reporter Editors
Oct. 20, 2010

Mattahunt School and Community Center: City closed center last summer and a proposed partnership with Wheelock College has yet to begin.Mattahunt School and Community Center: City closed center last summer and a proposed partnership with Wheelock College has yet to begin.

(Editor's note: This article was updated online on Friday, Oct. 23 to reflect comments from Boys and Girls Club of Boston president Joshua Kraft.)

Eight months after the city of Boston began the process of closing some of the city’s 46 community centers, the Menino administration is still laboring to finalize a deal with Wheelock College to take over the former Mattahunt Community Center in Mattapan, which ceased operations as a city-run center last summer. The move is drawing criticism from community members and one of Mattapan’s city councillors, who are calling for more input and engagement with the broader community.

City officials and other supporters of the Wheelock deal say it will create a unique partnership that will expand programming at a time when the city is reeling from the effects of a weak economy and prepping for an even tighter budget next year. A deal can’t be brokered “overnight,” but an agreement will be announced in the coming weeks, they add.

“There’s a great opportunity with Wheelock,” said Daphne Griffin, executive director of the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, which oversees the city’s community centers. “Not only are they well-respected…but they have a very strong institutional program background around out of school time and after school time.”  Read more

Coakley, Reilly push back on McKenna's Wilkerson case claims

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Oct. 19, 2010

Republican Jim McKenna refused to back off his claim Tuesday that Attorney General Martha Coakley granted disgraced former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson "immunity" in her campaign finance violations case as Coakley aides and her predecessor disputed McKenna's description of the settlement.  Read more

Patrick signs $420m spending bill

From the folks at State House News Service:

Services for the disabled, the state's massive MassHealth budget and the State Police received funding infusions under a $420 million budget bill that Gov. Deval Patrick signed without fanfare Friday, shortly before attending a governor's candidate forum.

The bill, paid for through federal stimulus funds that won’t be available next fiscal year, deploys accounting methods aimed at putting nearly $200 million into a state rainy day fund that lawmakers and Gov. Deval Patrick have drained more than $1.5 billion from during the recession.