Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The state's Restaurant and Business Alliance said there was "no sign of opposition" at a hearing this week.
The Joint Committee on Revenue in the Massachusetts legislature held a hearing last week on the notion of a potential meals tax holiday for August and one supporting group liking its chances. According to the state's Restaurant and Business Alliance (R.A.B.A), the hearing held last Tuesday for the Meals Tax Holiday Bill saw "no sign of opposition" to the measure. Twelve legislators have signed on to the bill primarily sponsored by Rep. Keiko Orrall of Lakeville and Sen. Michael O. Moore of Millbury. If passed, the legislation would go into effect from Sunday, Aug. 11 through Thursday, Aug. 15. "We should offer a Meals Tax Holiday to benefit employees and small local business owners inside Massachusetts to help stimulate the economy," said …
Sunday, May 19, 2013
The new system will provide more detailed service alert information via text and email.
The MBTA is rolling out an entirely new alerts system next month which includes changes from the details provided in alert messages to a visual website enhancement. Through the new system, which goes into effect June 4, users can opt to receive email or text alerts for a late bus or train or a service interruption, much like the old system. However, the new alerts “will be clearer and more detailed with additional information regarding specific trip times, service schedule changes, and distinct directional, branch and station communications,” according to anMBTA press statement released Thursday. MBTA Deputy Press Secretary Kelly Smith further explained the new system in an email to Patch: "It’s built around a core of GTFS data. GTFS, …
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Recap and analysis of the week in state government.
Like pieces of a puzzle that don't quite fit together yet, the Big Three may have been separated at birth, but with each incremental step their destinies seem to grow more intertwined. No, we're not talking about those Big Three - Gov. Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and Speaker Robert DeLeo - though they play major character roles in this thickening plot. Instead, three bills have come to define the early months of the 2013 legislative agenda and resolutions on tax hikes, local road funding and the annual state budget continue to be elusive and dependent on one another. Patrick spent the early part of his week welcoming British Prime Minister David Cameron to Boston for a few quick meetings and a visit to the Copley …
Friday, May 17, 2013
Friday marks the 9th anniversary of the law that allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry in Massachusetts.
Dozens of local gay and lesbian couples gathered at the Boston Public Garden Thursday to celebrate the 9th anniversary of the law that gave them the right to marry in Massachusetts. The celebration, put on in partnership between Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), the Respect for Marriage Coalition and Mayor Thomas Menino, ended with a group photo at a location popular for wedding photography. "It's been an extraordinary five years," said Ellen Wade of Newton, who along with her wife, Maureen Brodoff, were one of the plaintiffs in the landmark case they won in 2003 that led to the adoption of marriage equality in the state. "It's been exciting and inspiring, and we're grateful to have played a small part in showing the country …
The recently released draft document sets standards in Boston for bee- and hen-keeping, composting, rooftop farms and other activities.
After more than a year of discussions, the city has published a draft document outlining new rules for urban agriculture in Boston. From the keeping of hens and honey bees to regulation of composting, aquaculture, rooftop farms and farmers markets, the new document sets standards for a variety of urban agriculture activities that are not currently addressed in Boston’s zoning code. The Boston Redevelopment Authority, Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives and Mayor’s Urban Agriculture Rezoning Working Group have been meeting monthly since January 2012 to work on the document. The new regulations, Article 89 of the Boston Zoning Code, will “create clarity and predictability for anyone interested in commercial food growing and creating farms …
Thursday, May 16, 2013
In total, 24 people signed up for mayoral nomination papers, and 27 people signed up for nomination papers for at-large city council.
The deadline to sign-up for election nomination papers for Boston's mayoral and city council elections has passed -- with 24 possible candidates for mayor. To put that in perspective, there were five total candidates in 2009's preliminary election for Boston mayor. The deadline to sign up for papers was Monday at 5 p.m., and there were no big surprises at the deadline -- like Mayor Thomas Menino deciding to seek reelection. "The 24 candidates who signed up by Monday’s deadline must now gather 3,000 signatures by May 21 in order to appear on the September 24th election ballot," said city spokesperson Emilee Ellison. Some possible candidates have already started to announce they're not running for office, like Frank John Addivinola Jr. and …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The explosive-sniffing dogs recently began service with the MBTA by way of the Middle East.
Three bomb-sniffing dogs were led into service along the MBTA this week. The Metro’s Boston edition reported Monday the three dogs – Moxie, Shifty and Wire – completed tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, completing weeks of training to get them used to working around civilians. The Metro also published a photo gallery of the dogs with their transit police counterparts Tuesday.
Monday, May 13, 2013
The lawyers for Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov have said the two defendants had nothing to do with the bombings.
Two friends of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have waived their right to a probable cause hearing. Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, who have been charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by misleading investigators, had a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, according to WBZ. The two defendants filed a joint motion. Their lawyers said the men had nothing to do with the bombings. The two suspects have been accused of removing a backpack with explosives, as well as a computer, from Tsarnaev's Univerity of Massachusetts-Dartmouth dorm room, where the three met and became friends.
Switching from Microsoft email to Google's Gmail services will save the city 30 percent, according to the mayor's office.
If you correspond via email with any of Boston's city employees, you probably won't even notice a difference. But starting soon, the city of Boston will be switching its email system from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps, a cloud-based email and communication system that the city says will save about 30 percent on communications and technical costs each year. “By bringing city government into the cloud, Boston continues to modernize our technology while saving taxpayer dollars and freeing up city workers to focus on the vital work of helping people," said Mayor Thomas Menino. "Our technology experts will now be able to focus on moving the city forward, rather than maintaining servers." The city has about 75,000 email users, including …
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The crowded field includes contenders also seeking the mayor's chair.
The mayor's race has gotten all the attention, but there are actually more people running for an at-large City Council seat this year. There are currently 25 people trying to secure the four at-large slots. Which makes sense: If Mayor Tom Menino is the keystone on Boston politics, then removing him leads to all the other stones shifting and sliding into new places. Some would-be candidates are hedging their bets, taking out nomination papers for mayor and at-large city council. Others are focused on one race. May 13 is the last day to take out nomination papers, so there's a small chance this list will grow. And there's no guarantee all 25 will return with the required signatures. For now, however, the ranks of at-large candidates are …