Collins introduces a fresh face in Fourth District

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 14, 2010

Nick Collins: Democratic nominee for state repNick Collins: Democratic nominee for state repIt would be easy to forget the Polish Triangle and other parts of Dorchester when considering the largely South Boston-based Fourth District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. But it would be hard to know that judging from residents’ reactions to the Democratic candidate for that seat, Nick Collins.

Upon entering a local coffee shop to sit down with the Reporter for an interview, Collins was greeted warmly by name by shop patrons and staff alike and stopped to chat with voters about the weather (sudden downpours), hockey and his race to replace the retiring Rep. Brian Wallace as state representative.

Collins defeated three other Democratic candidates in last month’s primary to earn his spot on the ballot against Republican opponent Patrick Brennan.  Read more

Patrick predicts overflow crowd for president's visit

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Oct. 13, 2010

Gov. Deval Patrick, on the homestretch of his re-election bid, said Wednesday he’s not worried that President Barack Obama’s visit to the Hub this weekend could backfire for the incumbent Democrat by drawing attention to voter anxiety over the pace of the country’s economic recovery.

Obama plans to headline a campaign rally for Patrick on Saturday at the Hynes Convention Center as Patrick hopes to energize his party base for the final push to the Nov. 2 election.  Read more

Lower Mills Library decision will be harbinger of bigger things to come

One promise stood high from the Boston Public Library (BPL) management during last spring’s budget process: Cuts in personnel and branch closures would secure the stability – even the improvement – of library services citywide. We recently learned that this promise no longer holds true. Cuts in personnel that took effect this week will cause services and programs to be significantly reduced throughout Boston.

BPL President Amy Ryan acknowledged in two recent meetings (with the BPL Trustees and with the Friends of Libraries groups) that the system will be in “tremendous upheaval” with “adverse impacts” on services and programs. What, then, have the BPL system and the surviving branches gained from the decision to close the Lower Mills Library and other three neighborhood libraries in Boston? The answer is: Nothing!  Read more

For Governor: Deval Patrick

Four years ago, this newspaper endorsed the candidacy of Deval Patrick because of what we saw in him: The promise of a transformational leader who would bring change to state government.

Four years later, we endorse his candidacy for a more concrete reason: Because he has earned it.

Gov. Patrick has guided the Commonwealth through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He has done it with poise, professionalism and with a sense of purpose that has paid off:
The Massachusetts economy is now growing at twice the rate of the rest of the nation.  Read more

Public health board approves Caritas sale

State House News Service
Oct. 13, 2010

The state Public Health Council on Wednesday unanimously backed the sale of the non-profit Caritas Christi hospital chain to Steward Health Care System, a subsidiary of the major private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management.

The proposed transfer of the six hospitals attracted a crowd of about 100 to a council meeting Wednesday morning.  Read more

Your Honor, I would like to call... (Chuck Turner edition)

Top officials on Beacon Hill and in City Hall head a list of witnesses prosecutors and defense attorneys may call for City Councillor Chuck Turner's trial, which starts this week.

In court documents filed Friday, prosecutors outlined the list of potential witnesses they may call, including City Councillors Maureen Feeney of Dorchester and Bill Linehan of South Boston. Feeney was the City Council's president when Turner was arrested in Nov. 2008 on corruption charges.  Read more

Lawton: Lack of representation, turnout has hurt Fifth Suffolk

Letter to the Editor
Oct. 7, 2010

To the Editor:
The Boston Globe endorsement of state representative candidate Carlos Henriquez and last minute support from former state rep Marie St. Fleur during the September primary signal the continuation of a “tradition” the people of Dorchester and Roxbury can no longer afford. As the Globe opined, “he (Henriquez) will be the best candidate to continue the tradition of leadership from the Fifth Suffolk district.”

What leadership tradition is that, of leaving the district in the lurch by leaving for other jobs?
The geographic majority of the Fifth Suffolk clearly disagrees with the Globe’s assessment of what we need in new leadership, as I carried a majority of the district’s precincts.  Read more

Turner trial starts Tuesday in federal court

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Oct. 7, 2010

Councillor Chuck TurnerCouncillor Chuck TurnerAfter two years of warring in the court of public opinion and a flurry of legal filings, District Councillor Chuck Turner and federal prosecutors head to U.S. District Court next week.

In November 2008, Turner was hit with charges of accepting a $1,000 bribe and lying to FBI agents, a month after Dianne Wilkerson, then a state senator, was arrested on accepting thousands of dollars in bribes. Both cases involved a cooperating witness seeking to obtain a liquor license for a proposed club in Roxbury, who, according to Turner, was also involved in a “police corruption investigation.”  Read more

Council presses BPL officials on finances, branch closings

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Oct. 7, 2010

Councillor Charles Yancey: Presses BPL to keep branches openCouncillor Charles Yancey: Presses BPL to keep branches openFour libraries, including the Boston Public Library system’s Lower Mills branch, remain slated for closure next spring and both proponents and opponents are digging in for a battle over the Menino administration proposal.

Several city councillors and a number of library activists this week reiterated their opposition to the closures as administration officials asked for patience and said they were pushing ahead with meetings in each of the four communities – Lower Mills, South Boston, Brighton, and East Boston – affected by potential closures in each of those neighborhoods.

City Councillor Charles Yancey, who chaired a Post Audit Committee hearing into the library system’s finances on Monday, said he was seeking to “lower the temperature” and “detoxify” what he called a “poisoned” atmosphere.

“We’re going to do whatever we can to find resources” to keep the libraries open, he said after the hearing.  Read more

REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: An endorsement, and another Fifth Suffolk write-in campaign

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Oct. 7, 2010

Earlier this year, Althea Garrison did not have too many nice things to say about her Democratic primary opponents when she was running for Fifth Suffolk state representative. A frequent candidate for office, she labeled them “opportunists” and said they were “ego-tripping” as they jockeyed with her to succeed former state Rep. Marie St. Fleur.

Fast forward to now, with Carlos Henriquez having emerged as the winner of the primary and Barry Lawton mounting a write-in campaign for the Nov. 2 election after earlier falling short by 41 votes: Garrison says she’s endorsing Lawton.  Read more