Councilors to try again to shield older residents from effects of gentrification

City Councilors Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) and Steve Murphy (at large) will try once again to persuade the state legislature to let Boston residents over 55 who meet certain income requirements defer parts of their property tax until they sell their homes.

Linehan says the matter is even more urgent now that the city has come out with revised property assessments, which he said are really hitting long-time residents of his district hard - he said he himself has seen his quarterly tax bill rise $200 due to the latest assessments.

This will mark the third time the two have sought the legislative authority needed to let Boston grant deferrals to residents over 55 who have lived in their homes for at least ten years and who make below certain levels defer up to 50% of their annual tax bills. The accrued taxes - plus 4% interest - would become due on the sale of the home or the death of the homeowner.


Man who wants to be a Boston cop sues city, state for sex discrimination

John Caulfield, who passed the Civil Service exam for police officer in 2011, says Boston Police Department bypassed him two years later to offer spots at the police academy to women who scored lower on the test.

In a lawsuit filed last week in US District Court, Caulfield says BPD wanted to recruit at least 10 women that year and that this

In March 2013, BPD requested a selective certification of female candidates for appointment to the police academy. [The state Human Resources division] approved and issued the certification. In doing so, Defendants expressly afforded one gender a preference in hiring over another and violated federal and state antidiscrimination statutes as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Caulfield wants the city to knock it off, put him at the top of the next list of academy recruits and pay him compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys' fees.


Little Beacon Hill restaurant faces big lawsuit over name

A Mongolian hotpot chain that wants to break into the US market is suing Little Lamb, 326 Cambridge St., on charges it's using the chain's name and logo without permission.

In a lawsuit filed last week in US District Court in Boston, Xiao Wei Yang Catering Linkage in Inner Mongolia, Ltd. says it originally signed a franchise deal with the owners of Little Lamb, but that it decided to pull out after learning, it says, the two owners were married, rather than competing restaurant operators. Also, company charges, Cheng Xu and Yonghua Qin then refused to pay the chef the company flew to the US to help them set up their restaurant.

This fraudulent representation, among others, induced Plaintiff Xiao Wei Yang-China to enter into the Cooperation Agreement.

Xiao Wei Yang wants Little Lamb to stop using the company's logo, reimburse it and the chef for its expenses and pay double or treble damages.


"Don't believe the hype" #BlackLivesMatter and Public Safety

Long before Nelli Ruotsalainen protested on I-93, Massachusetts government decided to eliminate the breakdown lane and use it for rush hour traffic. That is not on Nelli Ruotsalainen, that is on us.

The government's concern is that the Interstate 93 protest in Milton broke the way we provide public safety services. In fact, we know of not one death nor one injury caused. I'm not saying it couldn't have happened, I'm saying it didn't.




At the Bunker Hill Monument, graffiti never dies - it just comes out in the rain

Andy shows us what he saw this morning on one side of the Bunker Hill Monument.

UPDATE: As you'll see in the comments, the graffiti has actually been there since the 1970s, when anti-British sentiment ran high in Boston. And as I heard from somebody who Knows These Things, the National Park Service did its best to remove the graffiti, but there are limits to what it can do with risking damage to a national monument AND the graffiti seems to become especially prominent in the cold and/or rain.


World-class article announces Boston's emergence as world class

The Globe, a world-class newspaper if ever there were one (its very name, after all, rather self evidently declares that) ran a world-class piece today in which our world-class luminaries declare that the Olympics thing proves Boston has finally arrived as a world-class city that ranks right up there with other world-class cities, because, after all, we're world class!

In case that didn't quite sink in, the Globe and the world-class entertainers and politicians it quotes cannot stress just how world class Boston has become and that the rest of the world damn well better sit up and take notice of how world class this truly world class city is, because after certain decades we'd all just rather forget, Boston is now world class, in a world class way that really reflects how world class the Hub of the Frickin' Universe has become. That's right, baby, we're world class!


So you still can't pahk ya cah in Hahvid Yahd, but there's always Boylston Street is the URL (well, one of the URLs) for Boston's new pay-by-phone pahking app. From the people who brought you Wicked Free WiFi, and who no doubt will announce Spahkling Cleah Bubblas in city pahks this summer.

H/t Marilyn Moedinger.


Manhunt for suspect in serviceman's Theater District murder ends with arrest in Dominican Republic

Peter Castillo, 26, of Salem, was arrested Thursday in the Dominican Republic and returned to the US to face charges he gunned down Stephen Perez in a Tremont Street parking garage on April 28, 2012, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Castillo, who has been on the lam since 2012, arrived in the US this morning and is being held in a federal lockup in New York. The DA's office says he's likely to be sent to Boston next week to face arraignment on a first-degree murder charge.

Two other people were indicted on perjury charges for allegedly lying to the grand jury investigating the murder; they have yet to come to trial.

Perez, a Revere resident, had just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

In a statement, the US Marshal's office in Boston said:

The manhunt for Castillo gained momentum when U.S. Marshals developed significant information leading them to believe he was at a residence in the city of Santo Domingo. Marshals forwarded the information to the country’s Direccion Nacional Control de Drogas Fugitive Task Force whose members responded to the location. Upon arrival, authorities discovered Castillo, with the help of local neighbors, fled the residence and hid in the neighborhood. After a brief search, authorities located and arrested him at approximately 6:15 p.m.

Innocent, etc.