By - 7/21/09 - 4:34 pm

Mike Ball struggles against the blandness he says makes up the platforms of most of the people running for at-large seats on the city council this year:

... Rather than nothing ventured, nothing gained, the motto for the council primary is more like the turtle who sticks his neck out gets his head cut off. ...

By - 7/20/09 - 10:12 pm

A weekend visit by out-of-town friends served as a welcomed reminder of how much fun it is to browse the Boston-Cambridge used bookstores. We didn't manage to visit all of them, but we spent quality time in four:

Brattle Book Shop on West Street is full of great finds, especially the $1-$3-$5 outdoor bargain stalls. This is my favorite used bookstore in the area.

Commonwealth Books adjoining the Old South Meeting House is a great little bookstore jam packed with books.

By - 7/17/09 - 1:00 pm

Mass. High Tech reports on Openairboston, the non-profit trying to build a citywide public WiFi network.

The effort initially focused on traditional wireless access points (like the ones you can see on lightpoles all over Brookline), but organizers realized that would prove impossibly expensive and so are now using a "mesh" approach, in which each subscriber's computer is essentially equipped to act as an access point through a cheapo router. The result: Free WiFi in parts of the Fenway.

By - 7/16/09 - 7:25 am

Hey guys, hey.

for anyone planning on coming to the Saturday Rebel Shakespeare Performance of Hamlet, Orfeo Group has asked us to switch our start time. It was 11am. It is now 4pm.

So, their 2pm performance of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" is 15 bucks, but if you say "i'm a rebel," it'll cost you 10 bucks. You don't have to go to it. You can show up just to see Hamlet at 4. Or, you can show up for Hamlet, and then attend their 6:45 performance of "Complete Works," but you won't get the discount on the ticket. That's only for show 1.

By - 7/14/09 - 7:50 pm

Yelp Boston thinks Allston/Brighton, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and Roslindale are "beyond city limits!" Maybe it's time to break down and actually hire editors from the area? Nah.

Via Bostonist.

By - 7/14/09 - 4:06 pm

Today's Boston election roundup:

Chris Kulikoski, running against District 1 (North End, East Boston, Charlestown) incumbent Sal LaMattina, says the city needs to find new ways to combat rats. He said "rats as big as cats" scurry around near his Charter Street home after dark and that the city might have to take steps such as banning leaving trash on the street overnight: "Presently, trash sits out all night for next-day collection. Since rats are nocturnal, it only makes sense not to leave trash out overnight for rates to feast on. These are not the feasts the North End should be known for."

By - 7/14/09 - 10:47 am

The Globe reports on wrangling over a new city ordinance aimed to prevent motorcyclists from tearing through Boston late at night on modified bikes that sound even louder than usual and scare the livestock. Or as one Back Bay resident put it: "Acoustic terrorism."

By - 7/14/09 - 10:16 am

UPDATE: The Flaherty campaign says it does too proofread stuff; the posted copy was a proof that was corrected before it was actually handed out.

His press releases are full of errors and so are his campaign fliers (check the third blue box).

Via Jordan Newman (granted, a Yoon operative).

By - 7/13/09 - 9:18 am

To: [email protected]

To the editor:

Councilor Michael Flaherty’s idea to slash the city’s motor pool by having workers ride the T is a brilliant strategy for doubling the number of employees on the payroll. How else does he expect to maintain the same level of productivity when workers are forced to spend half the day waiting for trains and buses that run infrequently and arrive late, if at all?

Is Flaherty trying to save the city money or earn points with the unions by creating jobs for their members?

Jonathan Kamens

By - 7/13/09 - 9:13 am
Face lost

Plunged to the ground: Decorative molding at the roof line of 337 Huntington Ave. Photographed after it fell off by Robert Beene. Compare to the Google Street View below.

WBZ traffic reports that a partial building collapse at 337 Huntington Ave. in Boston has closed the road and the Green line E trains near the Northeastern T-Stop.

A map of Northeastern University lists the building as a residence hall.

Channel 5 reports roofers were working on the building when part of the front collapsed.

Another photo from the scene.

By - 7/13/09 - 8:09 am

Mayoral hopeful Sam Yoon is celebrating Tom Menino's reign by vowing to serve no more than two terms as mayor - just like Menino once did:

If eight years is long enough for the President of the United States, then it should be long enough for the Mayor of Boston. Politicians, just like everything else, have a shelf life. After two terms, staleness begins to creep into administrations. Term limits ensure fresh leadership and a healthier democracy.

By - 7/12/09 - 9:19 am

The news that AOL has shut down CompuServe (thus proving yet again that pretty much everything AOL buys fails sooner or later) gets About Black Boston to reminiscing about how local black entrepreneurs used the network back in the day:

... American Visions was the official magazine of the African American Museums Association when CompuServe partnered to launch its content online. Bill Clinton was the President of the United States as the project was unfolding. Musician Greg Osby was gigging at Wally's Cafe and signed copies of CDs distributed to online members of Go Afro. Boxer Joe Frazier, actress Pam Grier, and author Connie Briscoe ("Sisters and Lovers") were forum guests. George Curry published Emerge Magazine and appeared before the online chat audience twice. There were many other black celebrities there online. ...

Ed note: One of the first newspapers to go online, via CompuServe, was the Middlesex News in Framingham in the early 1980s. We even had a Japanese news crew spend time in the newsroom filming editors preparing stories for uploading to subscribers, who actually paid ($5 an hour) to download news stories - at 300 baud. Here is some more, along with a screenshot of Fred the Middlesex News Computer - I'm not sure my design skills have improved much since then!

By - 7/11/09 - 3:30 pm

The new recycling bins arrived at my apartment this morning in JP. I made quick video about them.

By - 7/11/09 - 12:29 pm

Interesting to see how much has changed - and hasn't - since the 1920s:


By - 7/11/09 - 9:08 am

Kevin McCrea writes the owners of One Beacon Street get a tax break of between $5 million and $8 million a year for building in a "blighted" area:

The juxtaposition of the One Beacon tower on beautiful Beacon Hill, just down from the State House and Franklin Park which is in the heart of Dorchester and Roxbury is striking.

When will our society stop giving tax breaks to the rich, while crying poor and shutting down cultural attractions in poorer sections of town?

By - 7/10/09 - 1:44 pm

Boston Police report that car break-ins across the city are up 6% this year - but up 52% in Area D-4, which covers the Back Bay, the South End, Fenway and part of Roxbury.

Police say motorists need to stop leaving valuables - such as GPS units, MP3 players and plain cash - in plain sight when they leave their cars. Also, they need to remember to lock their doors.

By - 7/8/09 - 10:59 pm

Yoon goes online with the lefties at Daily Kos and promptly gets bushwacked by some Somerville residents upset about parking enforcement there. But he manages to steer the conversation back to Boston issues - some interesting stuff there about transportation - and ignore questions about when he's going to get rid of Joe Trippi.

Via Kat Powers.

By - 7/8/09 - 12:17 pm

How else to explain the humongous Flaherty and Menino signs now sprouting up on front lawns everywhere? But it is kind of odd that Yoon and McCrea signs are still so small.

Meanwhile, Joyce Linehan reports that, at least in South Boston and West Roxbury, Flaherty supporters seem to favor Chevy Suburbans.