Mayor Walsh: Is the honeymoon over?
We’re not quite there yet, but the honeymoon is starting to come to an end for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. The Globe looks at his hiring record so far at City Hall and finds it lacking in terms of diversity.
Of the 39 nonunion employees Walsh hired during his first month in office, 26, or 66 percent, are white and most of them are male. He had pledged that his administration would reflect the diversity of Boston, where 53 percent of the residents are people of color.
The Globe also reports that most of the hires come from Walsh’s political power base in Dorchester and South Boston. Six came from the State House, where Walsh served as a state rep before running for mayor. Three came from Felix Arroyo’s City Council office and two from John Barros’s campaign staff. Arroyo and Barros, minority candidates who failed to make it into the mayoral finals, threw their support behind Walsh and are now members of his cabinet.
Diversity is a major problem throughout the power structure in Greater Boston. A CommonWealth special report on the subject found great progress on diversity hiring by the state and the city of Boston. One troubling sign, however, was that white city workers pre-Walsh on average earned $60,822, well above the average for blacks ($37,257), Hispanics ($35,729), and Asians ($33,532). The numbers suggest minorities are relegated to lower-paying jobs.
Walsh says it’s still too early to judge his hiring record, and many in the minority community seem willing to give him more time. But the hourglass is starting to run out, and people are wondering if Walsh can deliver on all of the promises he made during the campaign.
Gov. Deval Patrick seeks to halve repeat offenses, the Lynn Item reports. State House News describes Patrick’s plan as a less punitive approach to dealing with criminals. Clive McFarlane of the Telegram & Gazette riffs on a poll by the MassINC Polling Group indicating the state doesn’t do a good job at preventing crime and rehabilitating criminals. Read Patrick’s speech here.
Patrick says he will release within days a report on the 2009 death of a mental patient who was being restrained by corrections officers at the Bridgewater State Hospital.
Scot Lehigh continues the dissection of Patrick’s governing woes.
Kevin Cullen says if Olga Roche had any decency — or British in her — she’d fall on her sword.
The Herald ties Scott Harshbarger to Probation hiring.
The Pittsfield NAACP wants evidence that the city is actively considering minority candidates for positions in municipal government.
A Weymouth woman died after a carport collapsed on her because of the accumulation of wet, heavy snow.
Back Bay’s ward Democratic committee scolds new Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu for supporting Southie throwback Bill Linehan for council president.
Supporters of a Plainville slots parlor rip a report that sides with Leominster‘s slots proposal.
Mohegan Sun ‘s former partner in Palmer sues to stop the casino operator from opening a potential casino in Revere.
Income inequality reigns in Boston, New York, and other large American cities.
Marijuana taxes in Colorado could top $100 million per year — far more than previous estimates.
Conservative activists plan to push for anti-abortion and anti-same-sex-marriage language in the state Republican platform — exactly the sort of direction gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Baker and North Shore congressional candidate Richard Tisei don’t want the party to go in.
In a what seems an effort to show they won’t go easy on their former op-ed colleague, an overeager Globe editorial page gives Democratic gubernatorial candidate Juliette Kayyem a smack for not voting in a few elections and initially offering some lame excuses. “Better just to fess up and move on,” reads the headline over the editorial — which ignores the fact that Kayyem actually tried to do that three days ago, telling a radio interview, “Look, I screwed up… There’s no excuse.”
Nervous about the Comcast-Time Warner merger, Harvard Law School’s Susan Crawford calls on mayors to build fiber infrastructure to introduce more competition into the world of Internet service.
An Illinois-based seafood processor plans to move into a former processing plant in Gloucester and resume operations, adding about 125 full-time jobs, the Gloucester Times reports.
Keller@Large takes issue with Red Sox owner John Henry saying Fenway Park has an “expiration date” of about 30 years.
The Wall Street Journal tracks Facebook‘s journey from social networking site to holding company.
National mortgage delinquencies near pre-recession levels.
Attendance is down markedly at high school athletic games over the past decade in the South Coast region, say team coaches.
WBUR’s Martha Bebinger follows up on what she calls the state’s “show me the money” moment in health care: the Health Care Policy Commission’s insistence that mergers lead to savings for consumers.
States say the Affordable Care Act allows them to review health insurance rate requests that exceed 10 percent but doesn’t allow them to block them, Governing reports.
Colorado pot sales are expected to hit $610 million in the coming fiscal year, with state taxes on weed bringing in nearly $100 million for substance abuse prevention, the Associated Press reports.
Munchie marketing: Some savvy Bay Area young ladies are setting up tables to sell Girl Scout cookies outside San Francisco marijuana dispensaries.
A Hail Mary: Mayor Marty Walsh sends a missive encouraging Pope Francis to visit Boston on his upcoming visit to the US — even though Cardinal Sean O’Malley has previously said a Hub stop by the pope is unlikely.
The state approves the settlement between Footprint Power and the Conservation Law Foundation, paving the way for the construction of a new natural gas plant in Salem. CommonWealth’s Paul McMorrow analyzes the deal and concludes Footprint will have to gradually scale back power production to meet emission constraints.
Environmentalists say the new protocol agreed to by the owners of Pilgrim power plant to respond to endangered whale sightings is not enough to protect them or other threatened species near the Plymouth plant.
Polar vortices and aching backs from snow shoveling notwithstanding, last month was the fourth warmest January in the world and the fifth driest first month since records have been kept going back to 1880, according to NOAA.
Don’t put Charles Krauthammer in the category of those who believe climate change is “settled science.”CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey is aiming to make his county the first to equip police cruisers and fire trucks in every town with Narcan, the drug that can reverse opiate overdoses.