Boston City Council experiments with testimony via online conferencing

People who can't make it to City Council hearings on department budgets this year (what with them being held during the day and all) can now testify via Google Hangouts, Council President Michelle Wu said today.

In a pilot program that starts this week, Ways and Means Chairman Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton) will accept comments from up to ten people via the online videoconferencing service, after other people are done with their IRL comments at his hearings.

You'll need a Google e-mail account - and a working camera and microphone on your computer or phone - and will have to sign up in advance. More details. Council hearing schedule.

In media mess: New paper couldn't have chosen a different name?

The Bay State Banner, which serves Boston's black community, is blasting the new Boston Guardian for using a name with historic significance for Boston-area blacks:

Is our history so unimportant that they would take this name to serve Back Bay residents?? Melvin Miller didn't even use the name when he founded the Banner as the legacy of the Guardian. We have a front page of the Guardian framed on the wall of our office. This is beyond disrespectful.

Related book:
The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America's Civil War.

Chute and ladders: Trash fire erupts in Pru Center apartment building

Residents wait for all clear. Photo by BFD.

Several feet of garbage at the bottom of a trash chute at 770 Boylston St. ignited overnight, starting a two-alarm fire that sent some residents into the chill night air.

Although the flames didn't reach very high in the 27-story building, the smoke did. The Boston Fire Department reports that while some residents were allowed to shelter in place, others were helped to evacuate, depending on how bad the smoke was in their apartments. The smoke was a particular issue in the 243-apartment building's middle levels, the department says.

The fire, reported around midnight, was declared out shortly after 2 a.m.

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 00:00