The Boston City Council starts its regular meetings with a convocation or prayer by a clergy member selected by a particular councilor. Today, members of the local International Society for Krishna Consciousness opened the council meeting with a request for help for survivors of the Nepal earthquakes and by singing the Hare Krishna mantra.
They were invited by at-large Councilor Michelle Wu, who noted 2015 is the group's 50th anniversary in Boston. Wu and Council President Bill Linehan wore garlands presented by group members.
City Councilor Michelle Wu breaks the news: On April 6, the City Council moves from RealPlayer streaming to YouTube streaming - and closed captioning - for its meetings and committee hearings.
City Councilors Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) and Michelle Wu (at large) - who recently had a son - want to let city employees who have kids take time off with pay.
Under their proposal::
During the leave period, the employee shall be paid 100 percent of her or his base wages for the first two weeks, 75 percent of his or her base wages for the following two weeks, and 50 percent of base wages for the remaining two weeks.
Employees would be able to take off longer periods of time without pay.
The City Council today unanimously approved a formal request to the MBTA to make its Friday and Saturday late-night service permanent.
Councilors Josh Zakim (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Mission Hill) and Michelle Wu (at large), who proposed the motion, acknowledged that keeping the service running will require what Zakim called "very creative and thoughtful" ways to pay for it, including possibly a surcharge for the service.
At-large City Councilors Michelle Wu and Steve Murphy are proposing a change in city ordinances to let smaller restaurants offer BYOB service.
In a proposal to go before the council tomorrow - assuming the council meets - the councilors will propose ending the city's current BYOB ban for restaurants that cannot afford one of the city's pricey liquor licenses or which are not located in the areas for which the state legislature gave the city new licenses. State law prohibits BYOB for restaurants with liquor licenses, but leaves the issue up to local authorities for restaurants without them.
Several city councilors say new flight paths out of Logan Airport have shifted early morning flights over neighborhoods not used to being awoken at 5:15 a.m. by low-flying jets - and they want the FAA and Massport to explain what they're going to do about that.
"It's really impacting heavily the quality of life of constituents in my area, who are not as familiar with low flying airplanes as they are now," City Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) said, adding he has also heard complaints from neighboring West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.
Councilor Michelle Wu (at large) last night gave birth to her and husband Conor's first child, Blaise Francis Pewarski, 7 lbs., 13 oz. and 20 inches long. Mom, father and son are doing fine.
City Councilors Michelle Wu (at large) and Josh Zakim (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Mission Hill) want to create an independent commission to consider future raises for city councilors.
The two plan to ask for consideration of their plan this afternoon, at the same meeting at which councilors will consider raising their salaries 29%, an amount Council President Bill Linehan proposed and said was fair, and that's that.
Before a storefront business can open in Boston, it has to get a permit for its fire-alarm system. No, make that two permits: One from Inspectional Services and one from the Fire Department.
In a report submitted to the city council and the mayor today, at-large Councilor Michelle Wu says this sort of thing makes it hard for Boston to truly be the sort of entrepreneurial city it claims it wants to be.
At-large Councilor Michelle Wu, who lives in the South End, tweeted this morning:
Completely my fault for forgetting street cleaning today on Tremont, but towing from South End to Hyde Park seems excessive!!
The order may also be the first WiFi'ing of the young Walsh administration - it came just a few hours after at-large Councilor Michelle Wu called for opening up city data.
By an 8-5 vote today, the Dorchester Reporter reports. New at-large Councilor Michelle Wu voted for him over at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley.
In addition to naming chairs of council committees and presiding over council meetings, Linehan would become mayor should anything happen to Marty Walsh.
Peter Stidman, director of the Boston Cyclists Union, is urging members and bike fans to call Michelle Wu - and other city councilors, but especially newcomer Wu - to try to convince them not to vote for Councilor Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) as the next city-council president:
You may remember that Bill Linehan is the only city councillor to oppose a bike lane anywhere in the city this decade. ... City Council has to approve all federal and state funding for bike projects and we cannot risk having the one councillor who opposed bike infrastructure setting the agenda.
A progressive group doesn't get how the at-large councilor-to-be could think of supporting Bill Linehan for city council president.
At 9:17 p.m., Stephanie Ebbert of the Globe tweeted:
John Connolly has conceded. It's Mayor Marty Walsh.
The Suffolk Downs casino proposal lost big in East Boston. Revere's mayor is vowing to try to have the entire project moved 500 feet so that it's all in Revere and Boston can suck it when it comes to community benefits, since Revere voters said yes to the casino.
David Paleologos, head of polling at Suffolk University, tells the Herald Asian women coming out to vote for Wu could be the deciding factor in the mayoral race, but nobody knows how they'll vote. If only somebody could poll them.
The New York Times tries to sum up our mayoral race, concludes many voters see it as a choice between the education guy and the union guy.
You always know an election's getting nasty when campaign signs start getting torn down.
The final televised debate is tonight, 7-8 p.m.
And not just the two or three who actually live in Boston. The Globe reports everybody from Ernie Boch Jr to "members of the board of the conservative Pioneer Institute" are tossing money Connolly's way.
Michael Freedberg doesn't say if he saw that article before he wrote Why John Connolly is the progressive and Marty Walsh isn't:
The Herald reports on a debate this morning between Marty Walsh, who is all about the Suffolk Downs casino, and Dan Conley, who says the entire city should vote on it and, if it rejects the idea, he'd sue to block any casino in Everett. Walsh said the only way to protect Charlestown is to negotiate with the developer of the proposed Everett casino. Conley said the state casino law is fundamentally flawed.