FinCom calls for Swan Boats audit

The Boston Finance Commission is calling for an audit of Swan Boats Inc., the family-run ferry service in the Public Garden that says it earned $1.4 million between 2008 and 2010 and paid the city rent of just $62,000.

The Boston Herald reports that FinCom Executive Director Matthew Cahill sent a report to Mayor Thomas Menino criticizing the city’s Parks Department for letting Swan Boats owner Lyn Paget fail to document receipts and expenses or provide a full audit of the business. “I just want to make sure the taxpayers are being fairly compensated,” Cahill said.

Cahill is following up on a story in CommonWealth magazine last summer. The report detailed the Swan Boats’ shaky financial reporting and noted that customer payments for tickets and souvenirs were being tossed in a drawer. The CommonWealth story quoted Cahill as saying: ”How much are they making off of those swan boats is the question and how much is the city losing?”

The Swan Boats are a Boston institution, dating back 135 years. Cahill says it’s time the city received fair compensation for the monopoly it grants the Swan Boats. Either that, he says, or the city should consider building its own Swan Boats and running the business itself.

                                                                                                                                    –BRUCE MOHL


Gov. Deval Patrick laughs off more suggestions that he’s running for president, but sounds more open to the idea of a Washington appointment.

The Massachusetts Senate approves a bill allowing doctors to test patients for HIV if oral consent is provided. Currently, written consent is required, the Lowell Sun reports.

The Salem News, in an editorial, calls on the Legislature to legalize the sale and use of fireworks.

A judge rules that an arbitrator must review the promotion of 11 probation employees, including a relative of former state Rep. Marie Parente, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports.


An aide to Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan says the mayor fired him because of his decision to run for state rep against a friend of hers, the Lynn Item reports.

Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua says none of the cops hired over the last three years with state and federal grants will lose their jobs when the grants run out, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

The home rule petition passed by Freetown voters to try to keep Meditech from abandoning the planned headquarters apparently is more restrictive than state law concerning Massachusetts Historical Commission oversight, according to company spokesmen.

The Brockton 21st Century Economic Development Corp., which runs the city’s baseball stadium, voted to enter the financially struggling Brockton Rox into an amateur collegiate league and hold more concerts at the stadium to pay off the $8 million bond.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell is following through on his campaign promise to make sure absentee landlords maintain their properties to the maximum standards.

Somerville keeps up its fight to revoke John Buonomo’s pension.

Department of Conservation and Recreation officials are silent as the Wollaston Yacht Club misses its deadline to pay six years of rent. CommonWealth reported on the yacht club’s lease in the Winter issue.


The Senate rejects Roy Blunt’s contraception amendment.


Elizabeth Warren has lots of union support, but it could be somewhat of double-edged sword in her bid to knock off Scott Brown, the Globe’s Noah Bierman writes.

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The Michigan Republican Party “reinterpreted” the rules and awarded the state’s two at-large delegates to Mitt Romney rather than splitting them with Rick Santorum,  giving the former Massachusetts governor a 16-14 win. Romney goes back to the well to deal with Santorum’s stubborn rise, and by the well, we mean several million dollars in negative attacks.

Maine Senator Olympa Snowe explains why she is leaving the Senate.

A Christian Science  Monitor report examines why supporting the  Blunt amendment may backfire for GOP candidates such as Scott Brown. Michael Tomasky, writing for The Daily Beast, says Mitt Romney missed his moment on contraception during a television interview in Ohio.


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MassChallenge, the non-profit that offers money to promising start-ups, launched its third annual competition with more than $1 million in prize money..

Keller@Large says the economy won’t fully rebound until we have effective leadership but wonders if there’s anyone, anywhere capable of providing it.

Tim Geithner uses the anniversary of the Bear Stearns bankruptcy to chide deregulation proponents in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

The Journal sizes up the business implications of the palace intrigue roiling Wynn Resorts.


Hazing casts a cloud over Dartmouth College — the leadership of its president, Jim Kim.

The Springfield schools, as well as ones in surrounding districts, are offering more advanced placement courses.


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A sex offender who moved to Massachusetts from Oklahoma is charged with failing to register with authorities in Lowell, the Lowell Sun reports.

More child sexual abuse charges have been handed down against a former Newton public schools second grade teacher.


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The Los Angeles Times isn’t setting up a paywall, it’s offering subscribers a chance at membership, the Nieman Journalism Lab reports.

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