City Council

By - 7/9/14 - 12:57 pm

City councilors today backed a call to ask Boston Police to stop cooperating with federal immigration officials who want people held on suspicion of being in the country illegally when they are not facing criminal charges.

City Councilor Josh Zakim (Fenway, Mission Hill, Back Bay, Beacon Hill) said people should not be afraid of talking to police when they've been the victims of crimes themselves out of fear they might be picked up and deported.

By - 7/8/14 - 4:51 pm

At-large Councilor Michael Flaherty says Boston Police should start posting the information on Boston's 630 Level 2 and 3 sex offenders on the city cable station for residents who might not know they can look people up on a state Web site.

Flaherty will ask the council tomorrow to approve calling a hearing to ask police why they shouldn't be required to resume the sex-offender broadcasts they stopped in 2008. His request also says police should broadcast the names and photos not just of resident sex offenders but of sex offenders who work in Boston.

By - 6/26/14 - 8:37 am

MassLive reports the council voted 7-6 yesterday for a school budget that will force all BPS students in seventh and eighth grades to ride the T to school this fall, or find another way there.

WBUR reports BPS hopes to save $8 million a year by switching from school buses to CharlieCards.

By - 6/18/14 - 3:04 pm

City councilors from across the city said today their constituents are complaining about the seemingly unstoppable onslaught of plastic-sheathed Globe Direct ads.

"These bags are everywhere," City Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) said at a council meeting today. "Lawns, hedges, porches, steps."

By - 6/18/14 - 7:13 am

Before a storefront business can open in Boston, it has to get a permit for its fire-alarm system. No, make that two permits: One from Inspectional Services and one from the Fire Department.

In a report submitted to the city council and the mayor today, at-large Councilor Michelle Wu says this sort of thing makes it hard for Boston to truly be the sort of entrepreneurial city it claims it wants to be.

By - 6/12/14 - 11:19 am

The city council next week considers a request from Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) for a hearing on what to do about Globe Direct's unceasing efforts to coat the entire city in advertising circulars.

In his hearing request, McCarthy reports "numerous" complaints from constituents about the sheathed ads turning into litter.

By - 6/9/14 - 2:05 pm

In a message to the City Council today, Mayor Walsh says an outpouring of objections has convinced him to retain a city ordinance that requires city department heads and other top appointees to live in Boston.

But, Walsh continues, the current tough Boston housing market can make it difficult for new appointees to find a place to live here in the six months they currently have, so he wants to up the time requirement to a year.

The council will consider the proposal at its Wednesday meeting, which begins at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

By - 6/3/14 - 8:25 am

The City Council could vote tomorrow to authorize borrowing money to tear down the old Dearborn Middle School building on Greenville Street and transform it into a modern Dearborn 6-12 STEM/Early College Academy.

City officials hope to win a state grant to fund at least part of the project for the academy, which has used the old building for several years.

By - 5/22/14 - 6:02 pm

At-large Councilor Michelle Wu, who lives in the South End, tweeted this morning:

Completely my fault for forgetting street cleaning today on Tremont, but towing from South End to Hyde Park seems excessive!!

By - 5/14/14 - 10:34 pm

David Bernstein takes a look at a resolution before the City Council today to recognize the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court's desegregation ruling. Ten councilors voted for it while councilors Bill Linehan, Steve Murphy and Sal LaMattina voted "present."

LaMattina and Murphy talked to Bernstein about why he voted that way; Linehan and Yancey, who sponsored the measure, didn't return his calls.

UPDATE: Linehan did talk to the Globe, said Yancey filed it at the last moment and he didn't really have a chance to read it and he wasn't going to vote on something he didn't have a chance to consider.

By - 5/14/14 - 8:35 pm

Mass Live reports on an 8-5 vote against a proposal to fight research on the world's deadliest microorganisms at BU's South End research facility.

By - 5/7/14 - 3:28 pm

City councilors began work today on a zoning change that would allow art galleries to open in areas such as Newbury Street, where, technically, they are currently prohibited.

City Councilor Josh Zakim (Back Bay) said he was amazed to learn recently that ISD rejected a request by Pucker Gallery, 171 Newbury St., to move to 240 Newbury St. because of the prohibition.

By - 5/6/14 - 7:33 am
Mounted Boston police officer in the 1920s

Mounted cop races down Tremont in the 1920s. Photo by Leslie Jones. See it larger.

At-large City Councilor Steve Murphy wants to bring back the Boston Police mounted unit, disbanded in 2009.

In a request for a formal hearing on the issue, Murphy writes:

The Mounted Police Unit provided a sense of security and comfort to residents and visitors.

The council considers Murphy's hearing request at its regular Wednesday meeting, which begins at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

By - 5/3/14 - 4:01 pm

Among the several exercises during the weekend "Urban Shield" first-responder drills was a simulated hostage taking inside the Boston City Council chambers at City Hall.

SWAT cops from around the Boston area first navigated their way up a darkened set of stairs to the fifth floor, then, as they scanned a hallway with their guns, made their way into the chambers.

By - 3/11/14 - 8:04 am

City Councilors Matt O'Malley (JP, West Roxbury) and Ayanna Pressley (at large) say it's time for the city to look at picking up food scraps from Boston residents, to reduce the city's trash-disposal costs and create new fertilizer for local parks and even farms.

The City Council tomorrow considers their request to start the process rolling.

By - 3/4/14 - 3:49 pm

Several city councilors say they're not opposed to medical marijuana but that Southampton Street is just the wrong place for one of the two dispensaries provisionally approved by the state because it's already in the middle of an area with large methadone clinics, a jail, trash-transfer facilities and the BU biolab.

And at a hearing today, councilors expressed major disappointment in state officials, none of whom showed up.

By - 2/26/14 - 12:39 pm

The City Council today unanimously endorsed a proposal by Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) to create a commission on the status of black men and boys.

Jackson said that two years after Trayvon Martin's death, Boston faces a crisis: Black boys are twice as likely as Asians and whites to drop out of school, they're more likely to get involved in the criminal justice system and to be a victim of a violent crime, "and their life expectancy is shorter."

Jackson said he hopes the commission will focus on boys and men from "cradle to career," and to focus on positives, on how to ensure they enjoy "long, healthy lives."

By - 2/17/14 - 9:09 pm

UPDATE: The Limerick Leader has revised its story and now calls Linehan merely ONE of Boston's top politicians. You know what this calls for, of course:

There once was a paper in Hibernia
That seemed to confuse Boston with Serbia
A man named Linehan
They called the top strongman
Gave local writers a hernia

By - 2/12/14 - 1:21 pm

The Boston City Council today called for a hearing on the medical-marijuana dispensaries the state recently approved for Boylston Street in the Back Bay and Southampton Street on the South End/Roxbury line.

Councilor Steve Murphy (at large), who submitted a letter of "non opposition" to the general idea of dispensaries was blunt: "I was lied to" by the operators of the proposed Boylston Street facility - who listed him as supporting their specific location.

By - 1/30/14 - 8:47 am

The City Council has stepped into a contract dispute between the Weather Channel and DirectTV, urging the two companies to settle a contract dispute that is frustrating DirectTV subscribers who would rather watch Jim Cantore than Harvey Leonard or Pete Bouchard.

The council yesterday unanimously approved a resolution by at-large Councilor Steve Murphy calling for a prompt end to the dispute.

Murphy called the Weather Channel "an invaluable national and local service" that "enables private citizens to make important decisions regarding their work, travel and recreation plans."