By - 6/21/09 - 4:34 pm

We'll find out Tuesday when the Wards 4 and 5 Democratic committees host a forum for all 15 people running for the four at-large seats on the city council this fall. Ross Levanto reports the forum starts at 7 p.m. at the Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston St. in the Back Bay.

By - 6/21/09 - 11:37 am

The Globe today has an interesting, sad look at the crappy condition of athletics at Boston public high schools and middle schools, at least, at the ones that don't require an exam to get into.

However, it's advertised as the first of a seven-part series. It's by a Globe sports writer, so I'm assuming the other six parts will also be about the sad state of sports in Boston secondary schools.

When will we see a seven-part series about the crappy condition of other scholastic affairs in Boston schools?

We just found out the kidlet's school is losing its drama teacher. So what? That means what is basically a middle school will have NO specialty teachers next year. No music, no art, nothing but the basics. And no gym whatsoever.

By - 6/20/09 - 9:18 am

The Times (yes, not the Globe) reports triple-deckers are being foreclosed - and even abandoned - at a much higher rate than other types of houses. Blame out-of-town investors, who bought them up and repeatedly flipped many of them without putting much back into them, for simply abandoning the properties:

On some streets in New Bedford, tight rows of triple-deckers are now interrupted here and there by dirt lots, which impart the odd effect of missing teeth.

By - 6/20/09 - 9:02 am

The Boston Public Health Commission is out with its Health of Boston 2009 report.

Via Tinker Ready, who pulls out some interesting factoids.

By - 6/19/09 - 11:01 pm

Not really, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, which evaluates regions, states, and metro areas based on per capita business start-ups. Boston does not appear among the 10 most entrepreneurial cities in the 2008 index, listed here starting with No. 1 Atlanta:

Los Angeles
New York
San Francisco
Dallas-Fort Worth
Washington DC

It's not great news for the major eastern and midwestern cities.

Among the 15 largest metro areas, Boston finishes on the lower end.

By - 6/19/09 - 11:32 am

At around 6:30 AM on Thursday, air traffic controllers gave clearance for US Air Flight 27 (an Airbus 320) to take-off on runway 15R. Meanwhile, at the crossing with Taxiway M, a Ford Explorer driven by a construction worker did not call to the tower to request permission to cross and caused an extremely dangerous near miss at Logan. The plane's wing came within inches of the vehicle as it ultimately departed safely. The driver is suspended pending investigation.

By - 6/19/09 - 10:51 am

Not directly, of course. However, Thomas Kane, co-author of a study on Boston charter and pilot schools, went public today to say Mayor Menino is wrong to call for a blanket expansion of charter schools in Boston (Menino would convert under-performing BPS schools into charter schools):

By - 6/19/09 - 9:00 am

Sure, Ross still wants to keep college students from cramming into apartments like clowns in a Volkswagen, but now Councilor Stephen Murphy has come out of nowhere with a plan to tax college students, Channel 4 reports.

By - 6/19/09 - 8:57 am

Scot Lehigh doesn't like the Tom Menino on display during the whole Tall Ships fiasco.

By - 6/18/09 - 11:53 am

The Lit Drop, written by Dorchester Reporter and State House News Service reporters Gintautas Dumcius and Mike Deehan, will provide daily coverage of this year's mayoral and city-council elections.

Full disclosure: I do some work for the Dorchester Reporter and, in fact, set the blog up - and you might even see my name on some posts there.

By - 6/18/09 - 10:11 am

Barbara Ferrer: Boston public-health director.Barbara Ferrer: Boston public-health director.The city Public Health Commission is attempting to convince local businesses to not penalize workers who stay home for seven days either because they have the flu or they have to care for kids with it.

Barbara Ferrer, commission director, said seven days is the period required to ensure people are no longer infectious. "We really have asked the business community to help us with this," she said at a city-council hearing this morning called by Councilor Chuck Turner.

Also, she said, businesses need to trust their workers that they or their kids were sick, rather than forcing them to get notes from their doctors - because the medical system would be "doubled up" filling out all those notes.

By - 6/17/09 - 5:20 pm

Whoever's behind this site really, really, really hates Tom Menino. Still, it's interesting looking at a site calling for "an open and honest dialogue" on the issues facing Boston when its operators go out of their way to hide their identities:

Administrative Contact:
Private, Registration [email protected]
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States.

By - 6/17/09 - 5:07 pm

OK, so now we know the authority had $1 million just sort of sitting there, at least until Patrick and Menino came up with the plan to use it for controlling those notably rowdy Tall Ships fans.

Mike Mennonno notes that the five-day use of the slush pile is twice what it would cost to continue operating the Boston Police Department's mounted unit for an entire year:

By - 6/17/09 - 9:08 am

First, Happy BH Day, everybody! Yay! What are your plans for today?

The holiday this year coincides with our regular trash pickup day. Normally, when a holiday falls on a Wednesday, we know to put our trash and recyclables out on Thursday. But I guess there are advantages to being half asleep and forgetting it's a holiday and doing your usual trash-day routine, since the recycling truck just came by and emptied our bin. Maybe it's because the guys who man the truck work for a private company and not the city?

By - 6/16/09 - 11:20 pm

I know, I know: What?!? The Boston Business Journal reports that some survey found that not only is Boston not in a list of the top ten rudest cities for driving, it's actually ninth on a list of the top ten most courteous cities for driving. Compare to the 2008 survey, which found us second only to Miami in road raginess.

Via Todd Randolph, who demands a recount.

By - 6/16/09 - 11:21 am

For a city to thrive and grow it needs an economic development and planning strategy that is focused on the future, that seeks out innovative ideas – and acts on them. And as the old proverb goes: “Without a vision, the people perish.”

The planning process in Boston is not working – and it is not working because there is no long-term vision coming from City Hall.

Internal squabbling, a lack of new ideas and stale leadership are choking the city’s development.

Let’s look at just some of what is happening in Boston:

By - 6/16/09 - 8:24 am

The Globe reports.

By - 6/16/09 - 8:05 am

Mayoral candidate Sam Yoon says he's filing legislation to eliminate the Boston Redevelopment Authority and replace it with "a comprehensive City Department for Community Development & Planning." He said the city needs a planning department that can help guide smart growth and development centered on pedestrians, bicycles and public transit rather than cars.

Our disjointed, dysfunctional planning process is choking the city's development. Boston's future needs to be guided by better planning and real public participation. ...

Boston is the only city in the United States without a planning department separate from its redevelopment authority. The Boston Redevelopment Authority has outlived its usefulness and it should be disbanded. In its place, we need a comprehensive city planning agency which is accountable to the public, not just the developers and the Mayor. Boston's development should benefit the entire city and that requires a public process, not a political one.

It is high time to stop being defensive and secretive - let's open the doors and invite in people with fresh ideas to participate in planning for a new, forward-looking Boston.


By - 6/15/09 - 2:37 pm

A 30-year-old woman died of swine flu yesterday after more than a week in the hospital, city public-health officials announced today, adding that Boston is experiencing "a tremendous amount of H1N1 activity" - higher than any other city in the country save New York.