David Bernstein alerts us to a nascent controversy over the Boston Election Department's decision to move the "St. Brigid's polling place" (which is not actually at St. Brigid's) to, um, somewhere else. Michael Flaherty, in particular, thinks hijinks are afoot, given how Southie feels about the incumbent mayor, but the election folks insist they know how to do this right, so Flaherty should stop making a federal case out of (presumably because that's what the feds are for).
Of course, even if he wanted to, he couldn't, since he obviously doesn't live in Boston.
The other day, the Globe explained why Bostonians get to see roughly 72,000 commercials a day in which FiOS Guy triumphs over Cable Oaf even though they can't sign up for it. Verizon says it'll get around to wiring up New England's largest city one of these days and that dense cities are simply harder to wire than spread-out suburbs, but Tom Menino says it's a personal vendetta against him because he wants the company to pay taxes on its wires along public ways.
Ars Technica reports Boston isn't alone: New York and Washington have been slow to get FiOS as well.
Dan Farnkoff passes along this photo of a defaced Yoon sign on Poplar Street in Roslindale.
This just in from the Menino camp: Hizzona says he'll be participating in three debates and "a forum," so get out your calendar now:
The first is Weds., Aug. 26 on Channel 4 between 7 and 8 p.m. (with a rebroadcast the next night on Channel 38. A second hour-long debate will follow on Thurs., Sept. 10, 5-6 p.m. on Channel 25 (with co-sponsorship by the Herald). Menino will face off with challengers Sam Yoon, Kevin McCrea and Michael Flaherty.
The third debate will be Mon., Oct. 19, sponsored by the Globe, NECN, Channel 2 and WBUR. No time listed for the tete-a-tete between Menino and whover comes in second in the Sept. 22 primary (what? I shouldn't assume Menino will be one of the two finalists?).
There's also some sort of forum that Channel 5 is trying to work out.
Sam Yoon tweets: Right direction, not enough.
Says the state should raise the gas tax instead (which, of course, isn't going to be happening anytime soon), Wicked Local Allston/Brighton reports:
... The proposed 19.5 percent fare increase is an unsustainable cost for many Boston residents. In addition, service cuts have been proposed on many evening and weekend routes, as well as those routes that have experienced lower ridership. However, these routes are often the only option for many residents who work evening or weekend shifts and do not have any other reliable forms of transportation. ...
Mayoral candidate Kevin McCrea says he would emulate a pilot state program and hire civilians to handle flagging at construction sites - but also make detail work available to police cadets who can't get on the BPD because of budget constraints:
The benefits of this are many. We allow police officers to be at their best for their important job of public safety. We help to lower the unemployment rate in Boston by hiring residents to fill these jobs. We lower taxes for Boston residents by lowering the costs of construction to our roads, bridges and buildings in the City of Boston. This can help lower the cost of building housing as well.
His complete statement:
Christina Meehan suggests that a foreclosed building is not the best place for the Menino campaign to put a large "Moving Boston Forward" sign.
Looks like a Flaherty volunteer in JP needs some education on what can go in mailboxes.
The Globe reports Tom Menino's decided to have the city loan up to $200,000 to investors in the Bay State Banner to help keep the paper going.
The money would come from a fund managed by the BRA. In April, the Banner called for Menino to resign because of the way the BRA was handling redevelopment of a parcel across from Boston Police headquarters - and said "no self-respecting African-American" could vote for him. However, Menino denied using city money to help prop up the Banner was an attempt to stifle criticism:
I will step up any time and help any business in this city. I'm trying to help a business survive. Tell me if that's wrong.
'FNX listeners narrowly pick his Rage Against the Machine choice over some other guy's choice. Selected comment:
Yoon looks like a badass. I feel if I don't vote for him he'll come to my house and punch me in face, steal my wallet, and drink milk straight from the carton.
Meanwhile, David Bernstein explains why Deval Patrick's newfound admiration for charter schools could help Yoon more than Menino.
Well, nobody who's going for his fifth term in office; you know the other three will definitely be there.
WBZ announced Jon Keller will moderate a debate on Aug. 26, from 7 to 8 p.m. at 'BZ studios for livecasting on Channel 4 and 1030 AM.
Today's Boston election roundup:
Chris Kulikoski, running against District 1 (North End, East Boston, Charlestown) incumbent Sal LaMattina, says the city needs to find new ways to combat rats. He said "rats as big as cats" scurry around near his Charter Street home after dark and that the city might have to take steps such as banning leaving trash on the street overnight: "Presently, trash sits out all night for next-day collection. Since rats are nocturnal, it only makes sense not to leave trash out overnight for rates to feast on. These are not the feasts the North End should be known for."
Mayoral hopeful Michael Flaherty says he wants a referendum this November to let voters say if they want a limit on how long somebody can serve as mayor. In a statement today, he says:
The fact that our current Mayor just marked his sixteenth year in office brings new relevance to discussions on term limits. However, when it comes to making any decision about term limits, we must recognize that we are talking about limiting voters' choices about who is representing their interests at the government level. For that reason, I believe government officials have no business deciding whether we should impose term limits. If residents truly believe that the issue of imposing term limits should be debated, then i think it should be debated by the residents, not public officials. That is why I would support the idea of putting this issue on the ballot for voters to decide this November.
Meanwhile, Kevin McCrea says Sam Yoon's call for term limits today is just another example of "Sam stealing convenient ideas," noting he's he's been calling for term limits since he launched his campaign earlier this year.
And what of incumbent Mayor Tom Menino? Well, he's trying for his fifth straight term this fall.
To the editor:
Councilor Michael Flaherty’s idea to slash the city’s motor pool by having workers ride the T is a brilliant strategy for doubling the number of employees on the payroll. How else does he expect to maintain the same level of productivity when workers are forced to spend half the day waiting for trains and buses that run infrequently and arrive late, if at all?
Is Flaherty trying to save the city money or earn points with the unions by creating jobs for their members?
Mayoral hopeful Sam Yoon is celebrating Tom Menino's reign by vowing to serve no more than two terms as mayor - just like Menino once did:
If eight years is long enough for the President of the United States, then it should be long enough for the Mayor of Boston. Politicians, just like everything else, have a shelf life. After two terms, staleness begins to creep into administrations. Term limits ensure fresh leadership and a healthier democracy.
Kevin McCrea writes the owners of One Beacon Street get a tax break of between $5 million and $8 million a year for building in a "blighted" area:
The juxtaposition of the One Beacon tower on beautiful Beacon Hill, just down from the State House and Franklin Park which is in the heart of Dorchester and Roxbury is striking.
When will our society stop giving tax breaks to the rich, while crying poor and shutting down cultural attractions in poorer sections of town?
He was joking on an 'FNX appearance this morning, right?
Yoon goes online with the lefties at Daily Kos and promptly gets bushwacked by some Somerville residents upset about parking enforcement there. But he manages to steer the conversation back to Boston issues - some interesting stuff there about transportation - and ignore questions about when he's going to get rid of Joe Trippi.
Via Kat Powers.
How else to explain the humongous Flaherty and Menino signs now sprouting up on front lawns everywhere? But it is kind of odd that Yoon and McCrea signs are still so small.
Meanwhile, Joyce Linehan reports that, at least in South Boston and West Roxbury, Flaherty supporters seem to favor Chevy Suburbans.
The Herald reports the Sox offered up to $400,000 to save the Boston Police mounted unit, which often helped keep order around Fenway Park but that "the mayor looked a gift horse in the mouth and said 'neigh.' "
In a statement, Councilor and Would-Be Menino Replacement Yoon said:
Our mounted unit was an important community policing tool and public safety resource for our parks. News of its elimination prompted an outpouring from across the city of people pleading to save the unit. There were dozens of cost-saving reforms the mayor could have implemented to save the unit. But once again, Mayor Menino chose symbolism over substance.
Now we hear reports that the City turned down an offer from the Red Sox to continue funding the mounted unit. At a time when Boston is cutting back on schools, city services, and public safety, it would be shortsighted and foolish to reject an outstretched hand. The administration needs to clarify what happened and be transparent about any offers that were made regarding the mounted unit.
“These are the very public-private partnerships that can make our city great – and can transform education, athletics, and the arts for Boston's children. We need a mayor who can tap into all the generosity and talent that Boston has to offer.
Maybe Tom Menino figures he can keep delaying negotiations over debates until after the election. The Herald reports His Honor continues to play coy on the whole debate issue, while his mouthpiece tut-tuts a group organizing forums as unworthy of the mayor's attention because he finds it "doubtful" the group can actually organize a debate.
Kevin McCrea, who says he'll debate anyone anytime, fulminates:
... What does that mean? You mean they can't invite a bunch of people and put 4 chairs and a microphone on a stage? I would believe that Menino might not be able to handle that on his own, but MassVOTE?
The arrogance and disregard for the people shown by Menino is truly incredible. What is more incredible is how the mainstream media in this town play along with his invisible suit as well. The TV stations and the Globe and the Herald play along with this ruse because they are afraid of his vindictiveness, and they aren't doing the fourth estate's job which is to expose what is going on. ...
William Feegbeh of Brighton couldn't get enough signatures to get on the ballot, so he's running a write-in campaign - part of which apparently involves sneaking his signs into the windows of unsuspecting merchants - Michael Pahre reports.
Apparently Michael Flaherty spent so much on his Kitchenaid mixer he couldn't afford a database deduperBy adamg - 7/2/09 - 9:47 pm
Eeka arrived home today to find four identical Flaherty Good/Better mailings in her mailbox, addressed to the two people who actually live there:
... When I've volunteered for campaigns, they've had me do such exciting tasks as, well, going through their database and taking out obvious duplicate voters, so as not to waste money/trees/energy on mailings, not annoy households with duplicate phonecalls, and most of all, not make prospective voters think that the candidate is wasteful and can't bother to have humans work for him or her. ...