By - 4/15/10 - 8:07 pm

Boston Food Diary alerts us to a brand-new, still-in-beta site called Smörgie (Nigel Tufnel a consultant?), whose goal is to let you share restaurant/bar recommendations:

By - 4/14/10 - 9:26 pm

Don't they have to be a sovereign nation (and be able to write a melody) to have a national anthem?

By - 4/14/10 - 7:05 pm

The DOT Blog, "Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation", released a statement from Richard Davey, the new head of the MBTA. It appears that an internal investigation turned up a wide pattern of falsified maintenance records for at least 200 of the MBTA's buses over the past few years. Employees at multiple levels within the MBTA were complicit in the cover-ups and as a result eight bus operations employees, including 3 superintendents, were fired.

By - 4/13/10 - 6:47 pm

The Dorchester Reporter prepares users of these centers for the news tomorrow, when Mayor Tom Menino proposes a budget that assumes non-profit groups will want to continue running the eight community centers he wants to excise from city responsibilitiy.

By - 4/13/10 - 3:07 pm

A man shot repeatedly in an apparent dispute with his ex-girlfriend's current beau is no longer cooperating with police, but police had enough evidence to arrest the boyfriend anyway, a police lieutenant told the Boston Licensing Board this morning.

By - 4/13/10 - 10:01 am

Award-winning photos of our fair Hub by some students at UMass Boston.

By - 4/12/10 - 3:52 pm

The Boston Regional Challenge takes a look at transportation costs as a cost-of-living factor; basically concludes the farther out you live, the more you pay for transportation (darn cars). The site includes the complete report and a calculator into which you can type in your address and get basic figures (and then you can change some of the assumptions to more closely model your actual costs).

By - 4/12/10 - 12:10 pm

Boston Public Library closing four branches
By Chelsea Feinstein, DAILY FREE PRESS

The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees approved a budget plan Friday for the upcoming fiscal year that will close four of the 26 BPL branches in order to reduce a looming $3.6 million budget gap.

In the meeting, the board voted in favor of a $38.9 million budget that will result in the closing of the Faneuil, Lower Mills, Orient Heights and Washington Village branches.

“After much study, the board has come to what I deeply believe to be a judicious and prudent decision for the Boston Public Library in a difficult time,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Jeffrey B. Rudman in a press release.

BPL President Amy Ryan said the budget plan was a positive step in helping the library system move forward.

“While we understand the natural attachment that people have to the branch with which they are familiar, all of the efficiencies in this plan will lead to a more robust, sustainable and modern library system,” she said in the release. link

By - 4/11/10 - 2:30 pm

Tina Fey reprised her impression of Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live" while hosting the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday night. It was Fey's first performance as the former Alaska governor since her iconic impressions during the 2008 presidential campaign when Palin was the Republican vice presidential candidate.

Fey appeared as Palin in a sketch introducing a mock "Sarah Palin Network," satirizing Palin's entry into media. Palin recently launched the program "Real American Stories" on Fox News Channel and will soon begin production on "Sarah Palin's Alaska," an eight-part series for TLC. link

Related: We have a simple plan to counter protest Sarah Palin

By - 4/10/10 - 3:54 pm

We need a majority of the Boston City Council to veto the budget and demand that at least $3.6 million be added to the budget for BPL.

Click here to find you city councilor. Click here to write you city councilor and ask her or him to veto the budget and demand at least $3.6 million more be added for BPL to save all of our BPL libraries.

By - 4/10/10 - 12:55 pm

First, a confession: I haven't read an Adrian Walker column in months. Somebody tell me if I've missed anything. But Mike Durant posts today that Walker talked to Menino, who admitted that this whole branch closing thing isn't really about money after all, so I wanted to take a look.

And I promptly remembered why I stopped reading Walker - Why waste my time on a bloviator who writes stuff like the following?

By - 4/9/10 - 10:36 am

Library trustees voted this morning to close branch libraries in Brighton's Oak Square, East Boston's Orient Heights, South Boston and Dorchester Lower Mills. City councilors Felix Arroyo, John Tobin and Ayanna Pressley, meanwhile, vowed to block any efforts to shut the branches.

"Today is not the end," Arroyo said.

Trustees unanimously rejected plans to shut either seven branches or keep all branches open but slash service hours at most locations in their effort to close a budget hole of more than $3 million.

By - 4/8/10 - 2:40 pm

Supporters of the Faneuil BPL branch in Oak Square plan to hold a protest march and candlelight vigil in front of the branch tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.

By - 4/7/10 - 2:15 pm

Multiple tweets of a major fire at 483 Beacon St. in the Back Bay.

Photo copyright Nancy & Ronan. Tagged as universalhub on Flickr.

By - 4/7/10 - 8:36 am

Faneuil: Soon to be an ex-branch?Faneuil: Soon to be an ex-branch?

Boston Public Library trustees will vote Friday on a budget plan that could shut the Faneuil (Brighton), Orient Heights, Dorchester Lower Mills and Washington Village (South Boston) branches in the fiscal year starting July 1. Residents from across the city meet tonight to discuss strategies on blocking the closings, 6:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul's, 138 Tremont St.

BPL President Amy Ryan said at a trustee meeting this morning the plan to shut the four branches would let the library system begin "a significant transformation" and let the remaining branches keep their existing hours. Ryan said the BPL would also explore partnerships with community groups to offer new services in the affected neighborhoods and across the city.

She said the possibly doomed branches either have low usage (Dorchester Lower Mills and Washington Village) or outdated buildings that would require extensive renovations. However, she said that with the shut down of Orient Heights, she would call for planning for an entirely new branch to serve all of East Boston. Computers from the ex-branches would be redistributed to the other branches, she said.

Ryan said she would seek to work with community groups to take over at least the Faneuil building.

By - 4/6/10 - 12:14 pm

The Globe reports a mayoral task force today will recommend the city increase the amount of "payments in lieu of taxes" most non-profit landowners pay in Boston to 25% of what they would pay if the property were not tax exempt. Non-profits warned of layoffs and higher prices passed onto consumers and students if the city tries that.

By - 4/2/10 - 7:06 am

Thought everyone city-wide should see Kevin's opinion piece - originally, as I understand, submitted to the Globe - unpublished, but now in the South End News:

Questioning the library 'crisis'
by Kevin McCrea
South End News Guest Opinion Contributor
April 1, 2010

By - 4/1/10 - 1:09 pm

I am not interested in arguing the list. I have a pretty good feeling that my library can beat these other libraries. But that's what the cutters want, they want to pit us one neighborhood against the other. I imagine the West End library is still there because modernizers of the past, in an effort to bring the West End into the 20th century, flattened the neighborhood in the name of progress, dense urban living and a major road interchange. But instead of a modern neighborhood, the West End became an infamous name, and a symbol of everything that went wrong in urban renewal.

By - 4/1/10 - 10:44 am

For some of us the earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12th is still fresh in our minds. Although the stories have fallen off the main pages of many major media sources, the immediate needs for assistance are still very real. As the United States pledges relief and the international community rallies to continue support hundreds of local volunteers still give all that they can on the ground in Haiti in largely unheard of areas.