Mayor Walsh today announced a plan to pay tuition at Bunker Hill and Roxbury Community Colleges for all BPS graduates with at least a 2.2 GPA who are eligible for federal Pell grants for low-income students. Read more.
Mayor Walsh said today he'll back a referendum on the November ballot to levy a surcharge on property taxes that could mean $16.5 million a year to help build affordable housing and spruce up and expand Boston parklands - plus additional matching funds from the state.
In a statement, Walsh said: Read more.
UPDATE: Amazon reverses stance, will start serving Roxbury.
Statement today from Mayor Walsh on Amazon's same-day delivery service:
We have been working with Amazon to show them that their current map of Boston leaves a hole right in the heart of our city, but it is clear they are not willing to change their policy. We understand that the people who run Amazon don't live here and might not understand our great neighborhoods, but this is an egregious mistake that must be changed. We will continue to push for inclusivity for the residents of Boston and we hope that Amazon realizes that this form of business is not good business.
Mayor Walsh today announced a deal in which Verizon will spend $300 million to bring its FiOS fiber-optic cable/Internet service to Boston.
Under the deal, the company will also attach wireless modems to city street lights and utility poles to provide better 4G and eventually 5G services to its wireless customers. Read more.
Muckrock reports that when a couple of reporters asked the mayor's office for copies of e-mail between GE and city officials, the mayor's office said it would be more than happy to hand over copies of the roughly 2,500 messages - for $1,746.24.
Because we have a pretty spineless public-records law, Muckrock has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to raise the money to get the e-mails.
The mayor's office showed this video at the St. Patrick's Day breakfast this morning.
Mayor Walsh wants to expand a pilot program in Charlestown in which the city increased the fine for curbside parking on street-sweeping days from $40 to $90 and in exchange stopped towing cars whose owners left them there anyway. Read more.
The Globe reports Mayor Walsh has told School Superintendent Tommy Chang to put more money into high schools following this week's student protests over potential cuts to foreign-language and other programs.
Walsh is hoping the state comes through with $5 million in extra reimbursement for the loss of students to charter schools the Globe reports. But part of the money will come from not expanding Advanced Work Classes in grades 4-6. The classes, which offer more rigorous instruction, are seen as a conduit to the city's exam schools and Chang had made their expansion part of his plans for improving tests scores in general and for dealing with racial disparities at Boston Latin School.
WBUR reports on proposals by the city Housing Innovation Lab to get more housing built for families that earn between $50,000 and $125,000 a year. One idea is to give builders the right to build more total units if more of them are marketed as affordable:
The lab is working with the Boston Redevelopment Authority planning areas in Jamaica Plain/Roxbury and South Boston to carry this out.
And violate state regulations on polling places, which bar electioneering inside a polling place, such as, oh, we don't know, two well known elected officials well known for supporting a particular candidate not just shaking hands outside a polling place but going inside and greeting people and stuff.
City Hall apparently thinks last year's snow-shortened route for the St. Patrick's parade in South Boston worked so well it's ordering up another shortened parade this year as well, parade organizers say - a decision that is not sitting at all well with many people in the neighborhood.
Under orders from the mayor's office last week, the parade, which will still start at Broadway station, will end at Farragut Road, rather than swinging south and heading towards Andrew Square. Read more.
Mayor Walsh's office announced tonight that Boston has signed a "Surrounding Community Agreement" that includes $68 million worth of payments to the city over the next 15 years and an effort to spend at least $20 million a year with Boston businesses over the same period.
The agreement marks the end of the city's increasingly futile court challenges to the Wynn casino on a parcel in neighboring Everett. Read more.
A task force assembled by the mayor says Boston nightlife would be improved by letting downtown restaurants and bars keep serving alcohol past the current state-mandated limit of 2 a.m. - and by letting people on outdoor patios order drinks without having to get food to go with them. Read more.
Mayor Walsh's office today announced a plan to bathe the exterior of City Hall with a new generation of light fixtures that will supposedly make it look more attractive even as they save on energy costs. Read more.
Once again, the Boston Globe writes about the BRA's impending unlawful mayor-assisted heist of the City's Winthrop Square garage, blaming the whistle-blower for holding up the works.
I posted the following comment: Read more.
In his annual State of the City address, Mayor Walsh declared that "the city of Boston is as strong as it's ever been," but he laid out several proposals to make it even better and to keep Boston at the forefront of cities in which residents look out for each other and help each other out.
Walsh emphasized schools and assured those listening that "the Boston Public Schools ARE my priority." But in remarks that seemed aimed at pro-BPS parents who protested outside Symphony Hall before his speech, he added that he is equally committed to students at the city's non-BPS charter schools. And enough, already, with pitting schools against each other, he said. Read more.
With Boston booming, there's no real reason Boston schools are being ordered to make cuts that could mean teacher and program cuts, is there? There is if you look at it as one of the first steps in Mayor Walsh's long-term plan to completely reorganizes BPS and build a system with fewer, but bigger schools, Mike Freedberg writes:
Complete reorganization of Bostonâ€™s schools system is certainly Walshâ€™s goals, as it is the goal of the cityâ€™s employers and of many of the cityâ€™s school-kid parents. This cannot possibly be accomplished all at once. You can only reform an entrenched vested interest by chipping away at it, a little at a time. Walshâ€™s $ 50 million FY 2017 schools short-sheet looks like the first chip in his long term plan.
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