The Boston City Council today approved a budget that includes the addition of 200 summer jobs, the restoration of school truant-officer jobs that were in jeopardy and $1 billion for Boston schools. The budget also restores police cadets. Read more.
The City Council says state Rep. Dan Hunt (D-Dorchester) and state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester) are on the right track with a bill that would try to remove billboards from open-space areas through a tax credit to billboard companies that remove them.
“This bill incentivizes businesses to be better neighbors,” said Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain).
The City Council agreed with a request from Councilor Sal LaMattina (North End, Charlestown, East Boston) to hold off voting on a proposal to formally hand the old Winthrop Square garage to the BRA until councilors get a chance to actually read the "memorandum of understanding" that would govern the proceeds of any sale or lease of the property to a skyscraper developer. Read more.
If Portland, OR and even nearby Lexington can require permits for sandwich-board signs, why not Boston? The City Council tomorrow considers the issue, in the form of a request by at-large Councilor Michael Flaherty for new regulations that would require store owners to get permission from the city to put the free-standing ads in front of their shops. Read more.
UPDATE: The council postponed the vote.
The City Council on Wednesday is scheduled to vote on a deal in which it would hand over the old Winthrop Square garage to the BRA, which would then select a company to build a skyscraper on the parcel.
At a hearing today, BRA Director Brian Golden said all the proceeds from the sale would go into city coffers, rather than to the BRA's separate fund - less what he said was a small administrative fee. The details, he said, would be spelled out in a "memorandum of understanding" he could not provide today but which he said would be ready for councilors Wednesday morning - giving them only a few hours to consider it before the scheduled vote. Read more.
The City Council approved a measure by at-large Councilor Steve Murphy to hold a hearing on a proposed state law that would let Boston police officers respond to calls in what has become one of Boston's fastest growing neighborhoods. H.2107, sponsored by state Rep. Nick Collins (D-South Boston), would give Boston Police joint jurisdiction in the area. Read more.
The City Council started its meeting today by celebrating the West Roxbury Raiders, 2015 Boston City League baseball champions. Read more.
They better not come crawling to him for jobs, because he only hires his friends - even if they've been fired by the state's highest court for conduct unbecoming a court official.
City Councilor Steve Murphy said today he has postponed a planned hearing Monday on the Boston Public Library's handling of valuable prints and other items, not because two of those items, worth an estimated $630,000, turned up misfiled rather than stolen, but because he does not want to "compromise the integrity" of federal and city investigations into "the whereabouts of library valuables." Read More
At-large City Councilor Steve Murphy predicts the items we know about that are missing from the BPL are only "the mere tip of the iceberg" and is calling on all of the library's trustees to follow President Amy Ryan and submit their resignations immediately. Read more.
City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) acknowledges it's a "pretty radical" idea. But he says the city should consider paying teens identified as being at risk of engaging in violence a monthly stipend to stay out of trouble.
At a City Council meeting today, Jackson said a stipend program in Richmond, CA, in which teens are paid between $300 and $1,000 a month to follow a "life plan" they write with counselors has dramatically reduced that city's murder rate. Read more.
The City Council today approved a hearing on conditions for housekeepers at the Wyndham Hotel on Blossom Street, whom they said are routinely exposed to blood, feces, vomit, syringes and other possibly unhealthy materials left in rooms by Mass. General patients staying at the hotel. Read more.
Substance-abuse experts and recovering addicts say a proposal by City Councilors Bill Linehan and Frank Baker to fund new treatment programs through a 2% tax on Boston alcohol sales could provide new beds - and new hope - to addicts who now have to wait long periods for help.
Boston 2024 plans to release a major overhaul of its proposed plans for the Olympics next month, group CEO Rich Davey told a City Council committee today.
The revised plan would provide new details about possible venues, housing and other infrastructure, and may include locations outside of Boston or even New England, Davey said this morning, at at a hearing called by Council President Bill Linehan's Special Committee for the Olympics.
The Boston City Council starts its regular meetings with a convocation or prayer by a clergy member selected by a particular councilor. Today, members of the local International Society for Krishna Consciousness opened the council meeting with a request for help for survivors of the Nepal earthquakes and by singing the Hare Krishna mantra.
They were invited by at-large Councilor Michelle Wu, who noted 2015 is the group's 50th anniversary in Boston. Wu and Council President Bill Linehan wore garlands presented by group members.
City councilors will haul in executives from Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. for another chat about the way they're running Faneuil Hall Marketplace - this time for their plans to start charging buskers up to $2,500 for performance space. Read more.
The City Council today took the first step towards installing sunscreen dispensers in city parks: Approving a motion for a hearing on the idea.
City Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain), who proposed the dispensers, said it could be done at no cost to taxpayers if the the city partners with a sunscreen company or local health-care institution to fund the $100 to $200 cost of the dispensers. He said this is how Miami is paying for its free sunscreen.
The City Council today unanimously called on the Boston Public Health Commission to study the possible ramifications of a proposed gas pipeline down Grove Street in West Roxbury and a proposed "metering and regulating station" for the pipeline right across the street from the West Roxbury Crushed Stone quarry, which still uses dynamite to dislodge the boulders it crushes.