By - 4/25/09 - 10:24 am

I know that to some this post will be alarmist, even silly, and -- thankfully at this juncture -- unrelated to Boston, but the flu outbreak in Mexico that shows signs of spreading into the Western and Southwestern states has grabbed my attention.

If you haven't caught the news:

By - 4/23/09 - 11:21 am

Yes, Ayanna Pressley, John Kerry's political director, is running for an at-large seat on the city council, the Dorchester Reporter reports.

By - 4/22/09 - 3:39 pm

On the plus side, Tom Menino's election site is up. And lookee here: Hizzona is on Facebook, Twitter (but not @mayormenino, since somebody seems to have grabbed that first for the sole purpose of denying it to Menino), YouTube and even Flickr (where you'll find photos not just of the mayor but of Boston neighborhoods).

On the negative side, the home page takes can take forever to load the first time you try to connect, even on a 1.5-megabit DSL connection. Now, I suppose it could just be the pent-up fervor of the 300,000 Bostonians who have personally met Menino all rushing at once to tell their stories of how they've met Tom. Or it could be the fact that the page weighs in at nearly 1.6 megabytes, thanks to a bunch of large JPG images that could easily be compressed with no discernible difference.

Strangely, this video is not on the Web site:

By - 4/22/09 - 3:03 pm

Sources close to the investigation of Philip Markoff have leaked new details of evidence found during a search of his Quincy apartment. It turns out underwear from two of the victims and a gun in a hollowed out copy of a "Gray's Anatomy" textbook were found.

Maybe I wasn't that far off with my dramatization after all.

By - 4/22/09 - 11:25 am

I know, you're shocked. Michael DiMella posts a chart ranking neighborhoods by condo prices (and showing the changes between 2007 and 2008). And by "neighborhoods," he means all the neighborhoods in the city, not just the chi-chi "core" neighborhoods - and Southie and Eastie - that some real-estate people seem to think is all Boston is.

By - 4/21/09 - 7:52 pm

With Tom Menino reviving his push for "resort casinos" in Massachusetts, two of his opponents for mayor are saying not so fast.

By - 4/21/09 - 7:51 pm

WBUR reports Tom Menino will announce tomorrow evening he is running for a fifth term, at an event in either Roxbury or Roslindale.

By - 4/21/09 - 7:42 pm

The Dorchester Reporter reports councilors Sam Yoon and John Tobin hold an emergency hearing tomorrow afternoon on the fate of workers at pre-school and after-school programs at city community centers, who could lose funding for their jobs under Mayor Tom Menino's current budget plans.

By - 4/21/09 - 4:00 pm least when we're not obsessing over tabloid murder dramas:

A university president has maintained on ongoing research project, attempting to rank America's Most Literate Cities:

This study attempts to capture one critical index of our nation’s social health—the literacy of its major cities (population of 250,000 and above). This study focuses on six key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources.

By - 4/21/09 - 8:13 am

Joel Brown interviews Boston Cyberarts Festival founder George Fifield on the annual series of events, which starts April 24:

... I interviewed Fifield by email over the last week or so, on topics from the economy to Shepard Fairey and the computer virus as art. ...

By - 4/16/09 - 8:48 pm

In addition to the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, Michael Flaherty now has the nod from unions representing electrical and utility workers and mail handlers.

By - 4/16/09 - 8:28 pm

Bobby Constantino takes a look at the House Ways and Means budget that came out today, notices it dramatically cuts teen-jobs, violence-prevention and criminal return-to-society programs, writes the last time something like that happened, in 2003, youth murders in Boston doubled.

... In spite of the fact that every shred of research coming out of the foremost institutions in the world, which also happen to be in our state, indicates that recidivism and prevention spending are more effective and cheaper than prison spending, our Department of Corrections budget section allocates 500 times more for prisons than it does for reentry.

This is just insane. It makes no budget sense, common sense or any other sense. There really is no explanation for ignoring all of the data and wasting money like this. It's almost like we actually enjoy wasting taxpayer money in this state. ...

By - 4/16/09 - 7:36 pm

Obama unveiled a plan for high-speed rail projects, which may include money for improving the existing line serving Boston, the NYT reports.

The current Acela to New York is little faster than ordinary rail service.

By - 4/16/09 - 5:47 pm

Yesterday was the first day to register to run for mayor and city council in Boston David Bernstein reports on who registered for mayor. In addition to names you know, we could also see signature gathering for: Gareth Saunders, William Feegbeh, Gary Finneran, John Hanney, William Theodore Leonard, and Joseph Wiley:

No sign of Mayor McChicken yet.

He also reports we finally have a female at-large city council candidate: Natalie Carithers of Dorchester. He runs down, um, posts names, of all the other candidates for at-large and district races so far - including, of course, Althea Garrison, the Harold Stassen of Boston politics.

So who are these non-Yoon/Flaherty/McCrea/McChicken types?

Gareth Saunders represented Roxbury in the city council before Chuck Turner. William Theodore Leonard is a Socialist Worker. John Hanney is a Republican from South Boston.

William Feegbeh? Dunno, but he has a great name. Can anybody fill in the blank? Ditto for the more prosaically named Gary Finneran and Joseph Wiley.

Now simply pulling papers doesn't mean they'll be on the ballot. Mayoral candidates need at least 3,000 valid signatures - a bar that kept both Saunders and Hanney off the mayoral ballot in 2005.

By - 4/16/09 - 5:47 pm

As we were told yesterday at the RoboBusiness Conference, multi-function robots with advanced location awareness and interactivity aren’t on their way anytime soon.

But according to Paolo Pirjanian, President and CEO of Evolution Robotics, we’re getting closer every day.

During his keynote this morning (Thursday) titled The Next Generation of Smart Robots, Pirjanian showed films of robot vacuums, cars, tanks and helicopters interacting in ways you might never imagine.

By - 4/16/09 - 2:00 pm

Paper says it's time to Menino to go; decision to withdraw local, black developers of the vacant lot across from the police HQ just the last straw:

After the Elma Lewis decision, no self-respecting African American can vote for Menino if he chooses to run again. It is time for Menino to step down so that he will be remembered for his many achievements.

By - 4/16/09 - 10:11 am

General Growth Properties, which operates Faneuil Hall Marketplace and owns the Natick Mall Collection, filed for bankruptcy today.