Another day, another truck stuck at East Boston underpass

The driver of an 18-wheeler disregarded or didn't see the signs banning big rigs from left turns at Bennington and Neptune around 6:30 a.m. and got stuck under 1A, just in time to jam up the morning rush hour.

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The Great Removal begins Monday

DPW workers will begin removing parking space savers as part of regular trash pickup starting on Monday, the mayor's office announced today.

Mayor Walsh asked residents who have their space savers removed to not simply go into Lord of the Flies mode:

If you spend hours digging out your parking space, you should have access to that space for a reasonable time period. I’m asking residents to remain respectful of their neighbors and their property as the process of space saver removal begins, and as we continue to clean up from nearly 8 feet of snow in less than 30 days.

Except, of course, in the South End, where the city approved a total ban on space savers that has been regularly ignored.

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Convicted rapist wearing an ankle bracelet charged with three armed robberies on Mission Hill street

Boston Police report a man was arrested Monday for three armed robberies on Calumet Street - based in part on the GPS device he was wearing as a condition of his probation on a South End rape and armed robbery conviction in 2007.

According to police, Abram Acevedo, 33, of Boston, approached a man walking down Calumet around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, told him he had a gun and demanded money. Police say he

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School superintendent candidate says Boston just too good an opportunity to pass up

Barely a year ago, Dana Bedden signed a contract with Richmond, VA to become its school superintendent through June, 2017. But next Tuesday, the Boston School Committee could vote to recommend Mayor Walsh hire him to lead Boston schools.

At an interview today, School Committee member Meg Campbell was blunt: How do we know that Bedden wouldn't turn around and do the same thing to Boston if, say, the Ford Foundation offered him a job?

Bedden said Boston is different - and worth the difficult conversations he said he's had with his mayor and even governor - because of its role in helping set the national educational agenda.

"I don't think there's anything better" than the chance to lead Boston schools, he said. "It's a rare opportunity to be a part of innovation, not only just within Boston, but also on a national scale. What happens in Boston has the ability to influence what happens in the nation." Bedden said if he were chosen in Boston and came here, he'd look to follow in the footsteps of Thomas Payzant and Carol Johnson, both of whom served far longer here than the 3.2-year national average for school superintendents.

He said that when he explained that to the mayor and governor, "they said they get it," because Boston is "a tier-one opportunity."

Bedden is the third of four candidates the committee and other panels are interviewing this week.

Bedden said one of his first goals in Boston would be to dive into BPS's $1 billion budget to see where savings could be made - to be applied to critical educational goals. He cited transportation, food services and facilities as particular issues in Boston and said he would want to be held accountable for how well he managed that budget - by both school leaders and by taxpayers, because "everyone is paying that bill."

He added that while he would also work to set an overall educational goal for BPS, he would also seek to recast central administration as one of serving the needs of individual schools. "We don't exist without schools. Or studentsm, he continued, adding his goal is to treat students as customers and to create "a customer-first mentality."

He gave an example from his career in Irving, Texas, where he served as superintendent before Richmond: When he looked at how to increase the number of students taking the SAT, he realized the traditional Saturday exam dates were keeping back students who could not get to the tests because they had work commitments or even just transportation issues on a weekend day. Changing the exam dates to a regular school date all by itself helped increase the rate of SAT takers, he said.

Another example, he gave: Changing the school system's reliance on traditional e-mail and Web pages to alert parents and collect information to a system that works better on smart phones, because while many parents still don't have computers at home, they do have phones.

Bedden said he recognizes the need for innovation at individual schools, but said, "innovation has to have a defined definition we all agree on," and that even with Boston's range of pilot and in-district charter schools, there needs to be a common set of metrics on which success can be judged.

Although Virginia is a "right to work" state with weak unions, he said he would be ready to work collaboratively with the Boston Teachers Union and other school unions, in part based on his background in Philadelphia and Washington, DC, which, like Boston, have strong school unions.

He said his experience in Philadelphia as the parent of a special-needs student also helped him prepare for the challenges of helping students with different experiences better succeed. He said his daughter's teachers were "wonderful" but they just didn't have the resources and training they needed.

And, he continued, "Don't tell [the students] to try harder; they arealdy are trying hard." Their parents, he said, have to be assured their children can succeed, by providing the sort of alternative education that proves "my son or daughter can get there they may just get there in a different pathway."

Also see:
Bedden's Boston application.
School superintendent candidate saddened by what he sees in Boston.
Superintendent candidate would decentralize Boston schools.
Superintendent candidate knows Boston challenges first hand.

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Cambridge teen charged with stabbing Boston man near Lechmere station

Cambridge Police say a local 17-year-old walked up to a man waiting for a bus on Cambridge Street around 9:30 p.m. yesterday, then stabbed him and ran towards the Lechmere T station.

The victim sustained two stab wounds to his lower back and buttocks area. He was later transported to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

While the victim was being treated, Cambridge Police searched the area for the suspect. Minutes after the stabbing was reported, just a few blocks from the location of the incident, officers identified the described suspect standing at a doorway of an unoccupied Thorndike Street building with blood on his hands. The suspect was placed under arrest.

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Fire erupts in Roslindale house

40 Florence St. Photo by Donatidaily.

The Boston Fire Department reports a fire at 40 Florence St. did an estimated $200,000 in damage and went to two alarms.

Fire and electrical investigators are still working on determining the cause and initial location of the fire, reported around 3:30 p.m.

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 15:30
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State highway guy to become interim state public-transit guy

The Herald reports that Highway chief Frank DePaola will take over from Beverly Scott at the embattled MBTA until a permanent general manager is named. Scott said she would resign in April, but DePaola's appointment starts next week.

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Parents in one city start petition drive to keep their school superintendent from heading here

Parents in Richmond, Va., are signing a petition to convince their current school superintendent, Dana Bedden from moving to Boston if he's offered the superintendent's job here.

Bedden, being interviewed in Boston today, is one of four finalists for the job left vacant when Carol Johnson left in 2013. The School Committee expects to pick one of the four on March 3 for consideration by Mayor Walsh.

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