By - 6/3/09 - 10:23 am

The Boston Public Market opened last week at Dewey Square (South Station). It will operate every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm, through October 30, selling locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats, and other farm products.

They don't seem to be doing much publicity yet, so I decided to give them some free advertising here.

By - 6/3/09 - 8:09 am

News from the ivory tower: Harvard has endowed the nation’s first chair in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered studies. This will be the first of its kind, and was established by the school’s gay and lesbian caucus.

By - 6/2/09 - 12:52 pm

MassEquality's political action committee today backed Tom Menino's re-election bid:

Tom Menino ranks among the most-pro LGBT mayors across the country. From Day One he has always stood with us in building a stronger, safer, and more equitable city for all. Whether it was his refusal to participate in the St. Patrick's Day parade after organizers barred an LGBT group from marching or his early advocacy and action on behalf of the campaign for equal marriage, Tom Menino has always been our champion.

Complete statement:

By - 6/2/09 - 8:54 am

Sam Yoon says the city could save several million a year by ditching most of the cars individual workers now have and replacing them with a fleet from which workers would check out cars.

Yoon says Washington, DC recently signed a contract with Zipcar that let it reduce the number of non-emergency vehicles from 360 to 58:

Boston has 1,125 vehicles in its fleet not including police, fire, and schools. Of those, 871 are cars and vans, each with an average cost of ownership of $10,000. If we can reduce our fleet by just 100 cars, we would save 1 million dollars per year, every year.

He adds the Washington cars will be equipped with GPS devices that trigger alarms should the car be driven outside established boundaries. Ultimately, he says, some of the vehicles could be replaced with all-electric cars - recharged at stations around the city.

His complete statement:

By - 6/1/09 - 2:44 pm

The Irish Times gives Boston high marks - to the point of making its readers wonder if they might like to live here:

... The city is smaller than Dublin, with about 600,000 inhabitants, but, like Dublin, it punches above its weight in culture, arts, entertainment, sport, politics, food and fun. ...

Only quibble:

... The Irish, of all ethnic groups, have maintained the tightest grip on the city, both in city hall and Massachusetts State House, although the grip was loosened when an Italian-American, Thomas Menino, ended 63 years of the Irish at the city helm, in 1993. ...

Would Gov. O'Patrick and House Speaker O'Leo agree?

Via Mark O'Neill, just back from Dublin, where he reports nobody there can do a good Boston accent, either.

By - 6/1/09 - 8:50 am

Ross Levanto explains why he'll be filling in an oval for Tom Menino again this fall:

... I am supporting the Mayor because I really do not have much to complain about. I have attempted to contribute to my neighborhood over the past several years to clean the streets, provide my input on an agreement with a local university, and to debate the merits of additional liquor licenses. I played a minor role with my neighbors creating a new program to replace and prune trees, I assisted with the transition to new trash pick-up schedules, and I participated in neighborhood "welcome wagons" to greet new neighbors in September. Each and every step of the way, I felt as though Mayor Menino acted in concert with the interests of the city and supported my efforts. ...

Still, he lists challenges he thinks the mayor needs to deal with, including education, payments in lieu of taxes and getting Boston ready for the future.

By - 6/1/09 - 7:25 am
Good. Better.

Seeming to acknowledge that a lot of those 300,000 Bostonians who've met Tom Menino actually like him, would-be replacement Michael Flaherty has come up with a new campaign theme:

Times change. You're probably not driving the same car you owned in 1993. Maybe you've changed jobs too. Upgraded your computer a few times. And you probably tackle problems differently than you did 16 years ago. Learned from experience. Trial and error, and all that. ...

Now, if Sam Yoon or Kevin McCrea wanted to be wise guys, they could finish Flaherty's slogan:

Good. Better. Best.

By - 6/1/09 - 7:12 am

Dunkin Donuts has launched a $10 million marketing campaign to promote donuts as affordable comfort food in this economic climate, the Herald reports.

By - 5/31/09 - 3:17 pm

Mike Ball and I had breakfast with Pressley this morning in JP (at Doyle's, of course). He does an excellent job summarizing the discussion so go read his account. Basically, Pressley is bright and personable and well versed in the ways of government, which would help tremendously in the consensus building she says are vital to the city, but at some point, she'll need to take some specific stands on issues.

By - 5/31/09 - 5:30 am

The Sunday Globe has a well-researched report on the value of tax exemptions and other financial breaks enjoyed by area hospital companies.

The piece gives context, and raises the question of whether hospitals should be paying more to the local government.

By - 5/31/09 - 2:02 am

Red line service was stopped around 1:30 AM today due to a girl jumping on the tracks, tweets Kevin Gilnack. The unknown female then proceeded to run up the tracks from Park Street and was caught at the Charles/MGH station.

Service was stopped due to officials turning off the third rail. Bus connections were apparently delayed too.

By - 5/30/09 - 1:53 pm

Channel 5 reports the Boston firefighter with the alleged pot farm in Maine has resigned from the Boston Fire Department.

Innocent, etc.

By - 5/30/09 - 10:09 am

Rather than working on real crimes, which is, you know, messy, Boston's finest are on high alert and are planning to blitz pot-smoking Phish concert-goers at Fenway Park. The Herald is overcome with the vapours at the very thought of such things happening in and around the "storied ballpark."

Hopefully there's some overtime in it, what with the cutbacks on detail work guarding holes, and all that.

By - 5/29/09 - 11:54 am

The Fenway Civic Association came up with a novel way this week to encourage people to write Tom Menino and City Council President Mike Ross to save the Boston Police Department's mounted unit: Give out Dave Matthews and Phish tickets to the first 30 people to send e-mail protests and CC the association (technically, all the missives were supposed to go to Ross, who would then print them all out to hand to the mayor on paper).

Where did the association get all those tickets? The Red Sox gave them to the association, although possibly not with the expectation they'd be used in a political letter-writing campaign.

Their suggested letter:

By - 5/29/09 - 7:56 am

Blue Mass. Group will interview Boston mayoral candidate Michael Flaherty on Tuesday, June 2, at 10:30 a.m. You can suggest questions at the link.

By - 5/28/09 - 12:59 pm

To begin the countdown to Socializing for Justice's 3rd birthday later this summer - we're heading back to where we held our 3rd event back in October 2006.

Join us for Bowling for Justice at Sacco's Bowl Haven* in Davis Square on Tuesday, June 9, at 5:30 pm.

(Sacco's features candlepin bowling. Whether it's your first time or you're a candlepin pro, just come to enjoy yourself.)

RSVP at www.sojust.orgNewcomers always welcomed!

By - 5/28/09 - 12:14 pm

Lauren Beckham Falcone reviews a book about "the happiest place on earth" by a "Disney addict" and reveals that she knows more drug slang than the average Mouseketeer. Perhaps that explains why it's so happy, though her references call up some pretty unhappy situations...

By - 5/27/09 - 12:04 pm

The Boston Public Health Commission today announced a seven-day shutdown for the Boston Renaissance Charter School on Stuart Street, effective tomorrow, due to "unusually high levels of influenza-like illness in recent days."

The commission says an average of 182 students have missed class over the past three days - out of a student body of 1,200. One student and one teacher have confirmed cases of swine flu, the commission reports.

School students and staff are asked to stay away from public activities over the next week.

Boston Renaissance is the eighth Boston school shut due to a suspected swine-flu outbreak.

By - 5/27/09 - 10:05 am

Johnathan King reports that on a trip back from Logan yesterday, he rode in a cab that was actually equipped with a credit-card machine (whadaya know, city regulations actually work). Only when he got to the end of his ride, the driver told him the reader, which spent the entire trip displaying pretty pictures and information from Boston Police, "isn't actually up and running yet."

By - 5/27/09 - 8:59 am

Monday, June 8th, Faneuil Hall Marketplace. There'll be some other guys named Varitek and Wakefield there, as well as a few of their buddies, but, hey, ME. And MY WIFE.

More Info

More Info, without having to endure my drivel