Thursday, November 1, 2012
The Boston City Council supported a redistricting map, the third one, after the first two were vetoed by Mayor Menino.
The Boston City Council is hoping the third's time the charm for their latest redistricting map submitted to Mayor Thomas Menino on Wednesday. The Council supported a redistricting map at Wednesday's meeting by a vote of 11-2, with the two votes against the map coming from District 4 City Councilor Charles Yancey, and the chair of the Census Committee, District 2 City Councilor Bill Linehan. The map now awaits Menino's approval or disapproval. Menino has vetoed the last two redistricting maps, citing concerns of an "over-concentration of protected groups" in districts both times. The Council-approved map was originally submitted by Councilors Frank Baker, Rob Consalvo and Matt O'Malley. At Wednesday's meeting, District 7 City Councilor …
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A new scheme for City Council districts could pull one or two JP neighborhoods out of District 6.
A proposed redistricting map could split up Jamaica Plain, leaving the neighborhood no longer represented mainly by one city councilor. City Councilors must agree on a new district map soon. The law requires updating district boundaries with each Census. A final vote is expected Wednesday at the council's last meeting before the legal deadline next week. The difficulty is how to redraw districts while not diluting representation of people of color. Mayor Thomas Menino has rejected two maps passed by City Council so far, arguing they don't pass muster on that score. Such maps could even face legal challenges. Here's how it breaks down: District 6, the seat held by City Councilor Matt O'Malley, currently represents almost all of JP. …
Monday, October 15, 2012
City Councilor Felix Arroyo hosts a celebration of Latino Heritage on Monday at City Hall, complete with live music and food.
As Latino Heritage Month draws to a close, the son of Boston's first Latino city councilor is hosting a celebration at City Hall. Felix Arroyo, a Jamaica Plain resident and at-large city councilor, invites everyone to this year's celebration. It will be held on Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the council chambers, which are on the fifth floor of City Hall. There will be live music and free food. This year, the city's burgeoning Latino business sector takes center stage. The following small business owners will be recognized. Of course, many of them are from Jamaica Plain:
Monday, September 3, 2012
At least four high-profile Massachusetts politicians will address delegates in North Carolina next week.
Massachusetts' former governor, Mitt Romney, touted his record in his the keynote address of the Republican National Convention Thursday, but next week Gov. Deval Patrick will likely air his view of his predecessor's term. Patrick is expected to speak on Tuesday, the first night of the convention. And he isn't the only high-profile Massachusetts politician expected to criticize Romney at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Mayor Thomas Menino is scheduled to speak Wednesday, according to the Boston Globe. Two other Massachusetts politicans with national profiles, former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry and senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren, are also slotted to take the stage in Charlotte this week. Out in the crowd …
Thursday, August 23, 2012
After 16 months of discussing the 2010 US Census results, the Boston City Council passed a redistricting map that tries to keep as many neighborhoods in one district as possible. JP's district councilor, Matt O'Malley, voted for the new map.
With a large Asian contingency in Boston City Council's meeting chamber, the body supported a redistricting map that keeps Chinatown in one City Council district. The vote was not easy. It passed 7-6. Councilmembers with JP ties split their vote: At-Large City Councilor Felix Arroyo, who lives in JP, opposed it. The neighborhood's district councilor, Matt O'Malley, supported the new map. The (attached) redistricting map now needs to be signed by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. "Today's vote sends the issue of redistricting to my office," Menino said, "and we will review this map to make sure all residents are properly represented. We will take a close look before making any decisions." Redistricting is legally required every 10 years based …
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
One positive aspect of Wi-Fi hotspots across the city would be providing access to those who cannot afford access to the Internet.
New York City recently converted payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots, and City Councilor At-Large Felix Arroyo would like to see the same happen in Boston. "We're using iPads, tablets, and an increase in Wi-Fi would lessen congestion on phone networks. A key point is for the access to technology, for people who don't have access to the Internet," said Arroyo at Wednesday's Boston City Council meeting. "We already do it with libraries and community centers. We depend more and more on the Internet in our daily lives." New York recently made 10 payphone kiosks into Wi-Fi hotspots, providing free wireless service up to 300 feet away. Arroyo said a neighborhood group, or a private company, such as a local business, would sponsor the hotspot and pay …
Thursday, July 19, 2012
The city will install 400 new solar powered trash compactors to promote recycling, but they won't be in residential areas — at least not yet.
Next month, the city will install 400 new solar powered compactors to promote recycling in Boston. But chances are they won’t be anywhere near JP. Yet. The Big Belly compactors will go in "high traffic areas" such as Downtown Crossing and Fenway, but they won’t line residents’ streets – at least not at first. It's also likely they'll be kept out of public parks due to the advertisements on the cans, which is part of a bartering agreement that allows the city to have the barrels for free. "How do we expand this into the neighborhoods?" At-Large City Councilor Felix Arroyo asked during a public hearing on Tuesday. "I think everybody knows where the Big Bellies will end up." Arroyo is a JP resident. A big step toward city-wide single …
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
City Councilor Mike Ross said Charles Street on Beacon Hill is an example of a business district where retail is being strangled by too many street-level banks.
Clusters of banks can strangle the retail vitality of certain Boston streets, warned City Councilor Mike Ross. Ross said Charles Street on Beacon Hill is an example where too many "big box banks" are buying up storefronts at inflated prices mom and pop shops can't afford. The resulting row of banks deadens what could be lively retail zones. "It’s not right for every street to make this 'No Bank First Floor' zoning change, but I believe it’s right for Charles Street on Beacon Hill," said Ross, who represents District 8. Ross said that banks close at 5 p.m. and aren't open on weekends, all of which has a deadening effect for the neighborhood businesses. He made his remarks at Wednesday's City Council meeting. The matter will be taken up by …
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Plus information on the continuing decrease in federal funding for affordable housing.
Would you tolerate more advertising in the city if it meant convenient recycling receptacles on city sidewalks? That’s what Councilor at-large Felix Arroyo proposed Wednesday at this week’s Boston City Council meeting. Arroyo, who lives on Wachusett Street in JP, said he recently visited Chicago, where he found recycling bins positioned with street trash cans. Upon further investigation, he said, he found out that the bins were provided and cleaned by a private company at no cost to the city. In exchange, the company places family-friendly advertising on the bins. He called it a “no brainer” to bring this kind of program to Boston—whether it be with the company that operates in Chicago or with another firm. The council supported the idea, …
Thursday, April 5, 2012
The council unanimously approved a resolution urging the legislature to reject a "Stand Your Ground" style bill currently in the senate.
City Councilors unanimously approved a resolution urging the legislature to reject a senate bill modeled after Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law at their weekly meeting on Wednesday. Stand Your Ground City Councilors Tito Jackson, who represents Egleston Square, and Felix G. Arroyo, an at-large councilor who lives in JP, introduced the resolution calling upon Beacon Hill to reject senate bill S.00661, titled “An Act Relative to the Common Defense,” otherwise known as “Stand Your Ground.” The resolution was passed with no dissent. “This proposal is dangerous, and allows for vigilantism in the name of public defense,” said Jackson about the senate bill, which would expand the allowable use of deadly force in self-defense considerably. “It…