By - 7/30/10 - 11:01 am

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that start-up companies that buy expensive manufacturing equipment don't have to pay tax on it even if they have not yet actually started widespread manufacturing with it.

The state has long tried to encourage manufacturers to expand by waiving "personal" property taxes on purchases of equipment used to manufacture things. The state Department of Revenue had argued that a start-up called Onex Communications hadn't actually made "a finished product" with its $2.7-million chip-making equipment and so owed $179,838.54 in taxes and penalties.

By - 7/29/10 - 10:11 pm

Either Massachusetts' shoppers are using more reusable bags when visiting supermarkets or they're just carting away less food.

Yesterday, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Food Association announced that Massachusetts consumers used 25 percent fewer disposable paper and plastic bags this year than in 2007.

By - 7/29/10 - 12:35 pm

Apparently unions still have some clout. The Herald reports Shaw's Supermarkets' owners' profits tumbled 40% this year, largely due to the 18 week strike by produce handlers that was settled this month.

By - 7/20/10 - 3:04 pm


Both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald are reporting that an electrical short circuit spark was the cause of the July 8th basement fire at DeLuca's Market on Beacon Hill.

“It is known that there was an electrical problem earlier that morning that resulted in an electrician being called and then doing work in the basement,” Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

By - 7/18/10 - 7:18 am

Cambridge Day reports on a marketing blitz for Cambridge-based RelayRides, which, instead of its own fleet of cars, matches up people in need of a ride with people who have a car they're not driving right then.

By - 7/15/10 - 8:35 am

Taza Chocolate reports on the mess that is its new manufacturing plant:

... Our chocolate production capacity will be shut down for at least a week, and cash flow will be a big challenge as we find a way to finance the repair of the facility we just made a major investment in upgrading. The silver lining? Our stockpile of bars, Mexicanos, and other Taza goodies is still stored on the second floor of our building, and remains safe, dry, and delicious. ...

By - 7/14/10 - 7:53 am

Xconomy charges us up with some news about XL Hybrids, a startup (by an MIT professor, natch) that is stealthily developing a system to retrofit existing fleet vehicles with hybrid technology.

By - 7/9/10 - 11:50 am

Juli Lederhaus at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem reports on the contents of a package she got in the mail last week.

By - 7/8/10 - 9:30 am

Cambridge-based Genzyme yesterday sued Bedford-based Anika Therapeutics in an attempt to stop it from selling an osteoarthritis treatment Genzyme says infringes on its patents.

Anika currently sells an injectable gel, called Monovisc, in Canada, Europe and Turkey that lubricates the joints of osteoarthritis patients, reducing pain and increasing mobility. The company is nearing FDA approval for US sales.

By - 7/6/10 - 11:56 am

Senior Living Residences (SLR), a Boston-based assisted living company, has announced the opening of Compass on the Bay, a state-of-the-art free-standing Memory Support Assisted Living community located in Boston. This new community, formerly The BayView Assisted Living, is SLR’s flagship Alzheimer’s care community in which the company has fully implemented its “Compass Memory Support®” program- research-based treatment of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in the residential-style assisted living setting.
Compass on the Bay, located overlooking Carson Beach with views of the JFK Presidential Library, has just undergone a $3 million renovation which created new indoor and outdoor living spaces and a new front exterior. The community now offers a state-of-the-art living environment for seniors with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

By - 7/2/10 - 11:17 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a $25,000 fine against a New Jersey company for offering to sell securities to a Massachusetts resident without first registering with the state.

Bulldog Investors, of Saddle Brook, NJ, sued the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office over the fine, arguing it was not subject to Massachusetts law in the case and that merely sending a Massachusetts resident e-mail with background info on its products was not itself an offer to sell him some securities.

The court rejected the arguments, starting with:

By - 7/1/10 - 5:04 pm

The Wall Street Journal reports Google will pay $700 million to acquire Kendall Square's ITA Software, which makes the software that powers a number of online flight-booking services.

Back in April:
The Cambridge company you've never heard of that has Google over a barrel.

By - 6/29/10 - 10:24 am

Boston-based Wainwright Bank, which bills itself as "the country's leading socially progressive bank", is selling itself to much larger Eastern Bank, also based in Boston. They expect to close the transaction this fall, after which time the Wainwright name will eventually disappear.

By - 6/22/10 - 10:21 pm

Harry Mattison posts a copy of the BRA's letter to Lowe's telling it its proposal for a new store on Guest Street in Brighton is "inadequate." This could pave the way for New Balance's $250-million mega-development or a lawsuit, or both.

By - 6/16/10 - 10:20 pm

Bank pres.Bank pres.Peoples Federal Savings Bank, a small chain of Boston neighborhood banks that has survived more than 100 years, today filed suit against an upstart competitor that is opening branches across Massachusetts called People's United Bank.

In the trademark-infringement suit, filed in US District Court in Boston, Peoples Federal basically argues that it was here first and that the new bank should find something else to call itself. Oh, and pay Peoples Federal a lot of money for the "irreparable injury" it's caused.

By - 6/16/10 - 10:15 am

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference is still going on. The numbers jumped significantly from Monday to Tuesday and it's - in my opinion - pretty well attended now. That said, I did a quick eval of the conference through the Wednesday morning sessions.

Go read it here.

What events have you been to lately in town? Anything great coming up? Share in the comments.

By - 6/14/10 - 10:40 am

Another week, another conference. Boston might be a tourist destination, but if the activity down by the Waterfront is any indication, trade shows and technology events are increasingly being drawn to our fair city.

Right now I'm sitting in the Grand Ballroom at the Westin Waterfront listening to two folks from Hurwitz & Associates talk about Cloud Computing. Wait! Before you nod off, or slip out of your comfy seat on the T if you're reading this on your way to lunch...this stuff IS cool.

By - 6/13/10 - 10:50 pm

AOL's Patch hyperlocal network is advertising jobs for editors of new sites in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown and the South End, as well as all of Boston, according to postings on the AOL corporate site.

The incursion is a full scale attack on, well, almost nobody, since has yet to set up a single Your Town hyperlocal site in the city it's named for. The South End News does have a longstanding site, unlike the Back Bay Courant, which doesn't get this InterWebs thing.

By - 6/9/10 - 8:52 am

A couple years ago, Ariel Diaz and some friends quit their jobs to start an online venture that would let people post videos - and charge for them. He explains why it didn't work.


By - 6/7/10 - 8:03 pm

Veteran Roche Bros. shopper Matt O'Malley reports Roche Bros. has abandoned its long-time maroon uniforms. But he was apparently so stunned by the largest change since the Great Aisle Re-Ordering of '08 that he forgot to mention the new color. Anybody know? And does Rochie's sell smelling salts for Matt?

UPDATE: Matt revives long enough to reveal the new uniforms are black.