Wu vows to vote against school budget without changes in elementary start-time plan

City Councilor Michelle Wu (at large) vows she won't vote for a school budget that would go towards screwing families at elementary schools that would start so early:

It seems to me BPS is attempting to rein in transportation costs at the expense of working parents who will need to find child care & manage the physical/emotional toll of young kids subjected to 11-hour days.

We all understand that it may not be possible to tweak a single school’s schedule without impacting others’. It’d be impossible to achieve later high school starts & universal 8-8:30am elem school starts in a cost-neutral way. But we need transparency on what the trade offs are. How much extra in transportation costs if each school started at the time that its families rated as ideal? What about w staggered times between 8-9am? ...

We need solid information on the costs and real discussion about trade offs before any plan should be implemented. There is certainly not enough time for that before the 2018-2019 lottery starts January 3rd.

Whenever govt is looking to make changes that would be hugely disruptive for so many residents who are too busy to be full-time advocates, we must have more time to receive & incorporate feedback. 4 weeks spanning the holidays is not acceptable.

So let’s halt implementation of any changes & properly reconsider — not just algorithms but real families & school communities.

Huntington Theatre tower gets approval

WBUR reports the BPDA approved plans by a developer to put up a 32-story residential tower on the old BU Theatre property on Huntington Avenue.

The approval includes creation of new theater space in the tower for the Huntington Theatre Co., which would lease the space for $1 a year. The theater company now needs to raise roughly $70 million to outfit the space.

East Boston murder reverberates a world away

Duncan Ketter, who officials say died in a holdup inside an SUV in East Boston, was born in Kenya, where his mother and other family members still live. A Kenyan newspaper talks to his sister:

“We were informed that my brother was home from church on Sunday when a girlfriend asked him out. He stepped outside his house to meet her so they could hang out with two other male friends who were in a car,” narrates the sister who believes it was a setup.

Marine industrial park would get less mariney under city plan

The BPDA is seeking state approval to allow more non-marine companies to move into the Raymond Flynn Marine Industrial Park, saying there's just not that much demand for decaying waterside facilities with no rail access, while there's tons of demand for space for R&D space and meat processing.

Rather than invest what it says would be millions of dollars to shore up the docks, bulkheads and jetties, or try to figure out what to do about the lack of rail service to the industrial park off Northern Avenue, the BPDA wants to open the park up even more to the sorts of R&D-focused companies that might otherwise be looking to new space in the Seaport, as well as meat processors looking to leave Widett Circle - in what could be up to 4.7 million square feet of new space.

Under a master plan approved by the state in 2000, at least 67% of the space in the 191-acre industrial park of Northern Avenue has to be set aside for marine-related concerns, such as fish processing and ship repair. In its The BPDA, which owns the 191-acre industrial park, did not specify a new percentage, but says it would only allow buildings that could be converted to marine use should demand ever pick up again - through buildings with first floors designed for industrial uses with large loading bays, with office, research or light-industrial use on upper floors.

Specific targets for the new buildings, which could rise as high as 200 feet, would be "biotech, life science lab space, e-commerce, as well as local food businesses and advanced manufacturing," the BPDA says.

The BPDA says rents from upper-floor tenants might even help pay for repairs to the aging marine facilities.

Notification of project change (1.3M PDF).

Somebody's really interested in the idea of a primary between Mike Capuano and Ayanna Pressley

A roving UHub reporter who spent the evening at home tonight reports getting a push poll on the prospect of at-large Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley running against US Rep. Mike Capuano next year:

Tons of questions about a Capuano vs. Presley primary. If you would vote for a Democrat over a sitting Democrat, questions that really highlight how great Ayanna is, etc.

Murder's still murder even if the victim dies in the hospital rather than at the scene, court rules

The Supreme Judicial Court today ruled today two men get to spend the rest of their lives in prison for murdering Alfonso Rivas in a Codman Square apartment in 2012.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury had convicted Oasis Pritchett and Reginald Holley on first-degree "felony murder" charges, in which both were convicted without prosecutors having to show which one actually fired the single, fatal shot into Rivas's head. Rivas had agreed to let the two into the apartment after arranging to sell them some high-quality marijuana, prosecutors say.

Pritchett's lawyer argued a felony-murder conviction requires the victim to have died during the course of the alleged crime, which he asserted didn't happen in this case because Rivas held on for three hours and actually died in a hospital.

The court rejected that argument, citing similar rulings in earlier cases that prosecutors only had to show that the death flowed from the original crime, which in this case was the armed robbery:

Here, it was sufficient that the fatal shot was delivered during the course of the armed robbery; that the victim died a few hours later does not negate the fact that the victim was killed in the course of the armed robbery.

The court also rejected other arguments by Pritchett's and Holley's attorneys that they should have been tried separately - because each could blame the other for the murder - and that police did not have sufficient probable cause to obtain cell-phone text messages that incriminated the two both before and after the murder, including a text conversation in which Pritchett texted a girlfriend to explain he had "fucked up" and when she asked "so whos prego," he had to explain that, no, it was something far worse.

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