By - 1/2/09 - 6:55 pm

As Boston's two major dailies head towards a seeming financial death spiral, it's time once again to ask whether they should be charging for access to online content.

When the computer age dawned, a "hacker ethic" emerged, holding that information should be free and accessible to all. (Steven Levy's fascinating book, Hackers, is especially recommended.) That ethic has permeated the Web, which in less than a decade has become an incredible free library of human knowledge and a great source of informed and diverse commentary.

By - 1/2/09 - 4:07 pm

When you're using dubious documents to try to get an ID card at the RMV, Rick Sawyer reports.

By - 1/2/09 - 3:50 pm

David Bernstein reports that Yoon surpassed his must-raise-100k-by-New-Year's goal and so will now run for mayor. Maybe. Pete Stidman at the Dorchester Reporter wonders if Yoon didn't already have the cash in hand when he sent out his pre-Christmas plea - he notes Yoon's wife knows a bit about fundraising techniques.

By - 1/2/09 - 1:23 pm

January 21, 2009: An Act of Faith

Massachusetts Communities of Faith Speak Out for Transgender Equality

Keshet and The Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality invite you to help kick off a faith-based campaign in support of a civil rights bill for transgender equality.

Join with clergy, lay leaders, and community members from many faiths and spiritual traditions to celebrate our work and learn how you can take action and help pass a bill that will make Massachusetts a more just state for everyone.

January 21, 2009
7:00 - 9:00 pm

By - 1/2/09 - 11:21 am

Says there's no way he'd do that. At least, that's what the Herald headline tells us. As Dan Kennedy notes the story itself is filled with the sort of weasel words that leave City Hall an out should city finances deteriorate even more - so the Globe Globe story the Herald is in reaction to isn't necessarily wrong (besides: It said the layoffs were under consideration, not a fait accompli).

And what about teachers and firefighters? The Herald either didn't ask or is holding that for its new series: City Hall Under Siege.

Meanwhile, the Outraged Liberal wouldn't be at all surprised if Menino authorized the leak that led to the Globe story (which was based on conversations with two unnamed officials in an alleged position to know) as a way to send a message to Deval Patrick to go easy on the local-aid cuts.

By - 1/1/09 - 9:53 am

The Globe reports Boston Police are looking at laying off up to 200 officers.

And the city's looking at cutting several hundred teaching jobs. Principals have already been told to expect 5-15% budget cuts.

By - 12/31/08 - 9:00 pm

Boston Photo Mobbers post their favorites.

By - 12/30/08 - 8:45 am

The Globe reports Menino says now's not the time, partly because the city needs to save the money he wanted to spend on all those studies and construction and moving, partly because nobody would pay the city what it once thought it would get for the current City Hall.

By - 12/30/08 - 3:19 am

History is what you think of when you think of the city of Boston. Yet the history of city hall departments needs to be made more accessible to those of us with strong interests in municipal governmental history. Routinely public access is deflected or blocked for public meetings and to public records regardless of what officials claim about transparency. A Mayoral Directive and a Boston City Council Order are needed for the more routine transmittal of public city documents to our Government Documents Department of Boston Public Library.

By - 12/29/08 - 10:33 am

Bad weather washed out ticket sales for this year's festival, leaving WUMB radio with a $12,000 loss. So there will be no festival next year.

By - 12/29/08 - 10:00 am

The good news is violence is still nowhere near the levels of the crack-fueled early 1990s. The bad news, according to this report by Northeastern's James Fox and Mark Swatt, is that violence among this group is on the increase, even as violent crime in Boston in general is going down.

Between 2001 and 2007, the homicide rate among blacks in Boston, aged 14-24, increased from 36 to 64, or 78%, compared to a decrease among the comparable white group from 15 to 9, they report. Across Massachusetts, the homicide rate among blacks, 14-24, increased 98% (the homicide rate among comparable whites also increased, but by 17%, so that more young blacks now die violently in Massachusetts than young whites, even though they make up a much smaller percentage of the population).

The Globe has analysis and comments.

By - 12/29/08 - 9:11 am

Down amidst the news about Tom Menino spending roughly $400,000 a year campaigning for the past three years against, oh, nobody in particular is Hizzonah's assertion that he's not yet sure if he'll be running next year.

Meanwhile, Yoon recently sent out a fundraising e-mail that went something like: I need to raise $100,000 by the end of the year to run for mayor in 2009 or I'll be called home.

By - 12/28/08 - 8:36 pm

Jess Mullen bemoans the area's lack of such a place:

... Isn't Boston one of the top five coffee centers in the United States? Not that there isn't good coffee here. I would even go so far as to say we have good cafes, but few that are set up such that you'd want to stay, and I'm thinking none that want you to stay for very long. ... Do I have YET ANOTHER reason to move to Paris?

By - 12/28/08 - 10:51 am

Record highs? You guys are getting the weather we had here in the Chicago area yesterday (typing this waiting for our flight home). One thing you probably won't have, though: Tornado watches. You know how they say approaching tornadoes sound like freight trains? Last night around 10, in Kankakee, for about five minutes, it sounded just like a freight train (as opposed to the Train They Call the City of New Orleans, which pulls out of Kankakee) was headed right our way. Even the Midwestern-bred wife was concerned.

By - 12/28/08 - 10:47 am

Via Kevin McCrea, City Council President (for a few more days) Maureen Feeney wishes it known the council probably won't be spending $50,000 to decide what action to take, if any, against the Innocent until Proven Guilty Councilor. Oh, sure, McCrea relays, the council is still hoping to hire that $500-an-hour retired federal judge (no, they haven't actually hired him yet), but:

By - 12/27/08 - 10:54 pm

OK, maybe not a pear tree, but a turkey. In a tree. In Boston.

By - 12/26/08 - 10:40 pm


By - 12/26/08 - 1:57 pm

Think of the children, or something, as you read the Herald's report on just how much local artsy bigwigs make.