Northern Avenue Bridge: Fix It or Nix It?

January 28, 2016

From our Late to the Bridge Party desk

The headscratching staff freely admits we’re confused: Is Boston’s venerable Northern Avenue Bridge slated for a $100 million fix or a $100 million replacement?

Or are they the same?

From yesterday’s Jordan Graham/Owen Boss piece in the Boston Herald:

Public shock unlikely to derail GE deal

Critics blast tax breaks

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 1.32.04 AM

Massive tax breaks that helped bring General Electric’s world headquarters to the Hub are being blasted by critics for creating too sweet a deal for the global conglomerate — but don’t expect a public movement like the one that derailed the Boston 2024 Olympic bid to sidetrack the relocation.

In exchange for agreeing to move its global headquarters to the booming Seaport District, GE will get $145 million in grants and tax breaks from the city and state. But under the agreement, Boston will also pay up to $100 million to fix the dilapidated Northern Avenue Bridge . . .

 

Then again, there’s Shirley Leung’s column in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

Out with the old, Lynch says

The Northern Avenue Bridge could soon fall down, and US Representative Stephen Lynch is ready to release $9.4 northern ave. bridge 1-175606million in federal funding to help design a new one.

The city will need to match a portion of the money, but Lynch has been waiting more than a decade for Boston to do something about the century-old span. Last week, officials said they plan to start removing the dilapidated bridge in March after the Coast Guard raised concerns that it might tumble into the Fort Point Channel.

 

But here’s the headscratching part:

The Walsh administration will begin a formal public process this spring to decide whether to rehab the bridge or build a new one. The city has to do something after committing up to $100 million to replace the link as part of its agreement to woo General Electric Co.’s world headquarters to Boston.

 

Except the Herald says the commitment is to fix the link, not replace it.

So, to recap:

The local dailies agree that the Northern Avenue Bridge is dilapidated.

But, as Leung might say, will the state fix it or nix it?

You tell us.


Boston Herald: Boston.com Credibility Went Southie in St. Pat’s Coverage

March 18, 2015

No question: Boston.com has had its troubles lately.

And here comes more. From Boston Herald scribe Jessica Heslam’s column in today’s edition of the failly local tabloid:

Boston.com lowers the bar

Another kerfuffle after Southie 
post: ‘Every day is a drunk day’

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One day after a new editor took charge to impose standards at the Boston Globe’s beleaguered Boston.com, the website is drawing fire again — this time for posting a story that stated, “Every day is a drunk day in Southie.”

Headlined “True Life: I Was a Bartender In Southie During the St. Paddy’s Day Parade,” the post was written by Boston.com wire staff writer Jamie Loftus, who wrote about her experience at a South Boston restaurant during Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“Every day is a drunk day in Southie, but St. Paddy’s Day runs by a completely separate set of laws,” wrote Loftus, whose website bio says she is also a “standup and sketch performer.” “Sure, the tips are good, but servers earn every cent when it comes to dealing with the drunk masses first thing in the morning.”

 

Money quote: “I’m surprised such bigoted views are still tolerated at Boston.com,” said U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston).

There’s also a tsk-tsk from former Boston mayor/current Herald contributor Ray Flynn, but it’s not worth repeating.

What is worth repeating: Boston.com needs some serious adult supervision.

Either that, or the Boston Globe should tear the sheets with Buston.com.


Hark! The Herald! (Radio Daze Edition)

August 8, 2014

From our Walt Whitman desk

It’s been one year since the feisty local tabloid launched Boston Herald Radio, and the paper is celebrating the anniversary in its accustomed style.

Start, as usual, with Page One.

 

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“Best yet to come”? That’s good to hear.

Inside, the firsty local tabloid devotes a full-page, Joe Battenfeld-bylined piece to the anniversary bash.

 

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Our favorite part:

Herald Radio’s launch was named to the prestigious Frontier Fifty list of outstanding talk media webcasts in the nation by industry bible Talkers Magazine.

 

Which got the headscratching staff to wondering: How many talk media webcasts are there in the nation?

We couldn’t find the answer on the Googletron (we’re guessing it’s a lot), but we did locate BHR on the Frontier Fifty:

 

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Let’s hope Boston Herald Radio’s second anniversary headline is, We’re Number 35! We’re Number 35!

Good luck, guys, and happy anniversary.


Hark! The Herald! (U.S. Senate Debate-o-rama)

April 9, 2013

The Boston Herald has officially become a perpetual self-promotion machine. Case in point: The feisty local tabloid 1) co-sponsored a UMass-Lowell debate last night between Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch (that’s good); 2) streamed it live on the Web (okay); and 3) devoted six full pages to it in today’s paper (huh???).

Start with the front page:

 

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Then on page 2 Hillary Chabot provides the basic play-by-play, and a plug for the debate replay .

 

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Flip to pages 4 and 5 for columnists Margery Eagan and Joe Battenfeld, plus a helpful Scorecard, plus another plug for the debate replay.

 

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Then pages 6 and 7 feature reaction from readers, a focus group, UMass-Lowell junior Corey Lanier, and the Herald’s Peter Gelzinis.

 

Picture 5

Oh, yeah – don’t forget to watch the replay.


Bay State GOP Has a (Corned) Beef with Bay State Dems

March 14, 2013

From our Late to the (St. Pat’s Day) Party desk

First it was the gays and lesbians who couldn’t march in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Now it’s the Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls who can’t attend the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

Wednesday’s Boston Herald Page One:

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The Hillary Chabot/Joe Battenfeld piece:

Saint Patrick's Day<br /><br />     * Wearing of the green|<br /><br />     * In Irelan‘No corned beef’ for 
GOP Senate hopefuls

The St. Patrick’s Day schmoozefest in South Boston will be missing something notable this Sunday — not bad jokes or warm beer, but all three Republican U.S. Senate candidates, who say they’ve been snubbed by the annual gathering of political power brokers.

Both Democratic Senate candidates, U.S. Reps. Stephen F. Lynch and Edward J. Markey, were invited and given speaking roles at the roast, which is traditionally a chance for candidates to get noticed by a statewide viewing audience.

“We weren’t invited to the party. No corned beef for Mike Sullivan,” said Lisa Barstow, spokeswoman for the former U.S. attorney, one of the three GOP Senate candidates. “It’s either a silly oversight or poor form. … Mike’s definitely got his Irish credentials.”

That’s a significant break with tradition, as the Herald piece notes. Bill Weld, Scott Brown, even Charlie Baker – all were invited to the hoedown in the past.

That was then. This is now:

Boston City Councilor Bill Linehan, the new host of the event, confirmed to the Herald last night that he didn’t invite any Republicans to speak this year, but said it was because only elected officials such as Lynch and Markey were getting speaking roles.

The Boston Globe-Repeater followed up with . . . nothing.

Score another one for our feisty local tabloid.


Poll Vault at the Boston Herald

March 7, 2013

Our feisty local tabloid today released a new poll on the U.S. Senate race (which pretty much runs true to form), and gave it that special Herald something.

Start with Page One:

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Two elements of note: 1) the Cryptkeeper photo of Ed Markey; and 2) the rose-colored subhead.

Inside spread:

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From Joe Battenfeld’s lead piece:

U.S. Rep. Edward Markey is the clear frontrunner to win the special U.S. Senate election, but his support is so soft he’s failing to break the 50 percent mark even against a field of little-known GOP challengers, a new UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll reveals.

 

Helpful graphic (see full poll here):

Picture 7

 

Meanwhile, crosstown rival Boston Globe has a piggyback piece on the Herald poll with a decidedly more  measured tone.

Markey leads Lynch by wide margin in poll

Representative Edward J. Markey holds a wide lead over his Democratic rival for the Senate, fellow Representative Stephen F. Lynch, and would easily beat all three Republican candidates in a head-to-head matchup, according to a new poll.

Markey leads Lynch by 29.5 percentage points among potential Democratic primary voters, 50 percent to 20.5 percent, with 23 percent undecided about their preference in the April 30 primary, according to the UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll released Wednesday night.

Markey, of Malden, would also beat the Republicans candidates by double-digit margins, although the poll found that the vast majority of voters do not know who those candidates are, suggesting they have room to grow if they can broaden their profiles.

 

Room to grow. That’s putting it mildly.

Not at all the style at the Herald.


Thursday Globe Totally Eats Wednesday Herald’s Dust

March 1, 2013

The hardreading staff likes to characterize the feisty local tabloid as a lively index to the Boston Globe.

But in this case, the Boston Herald was a lively index to the next day’s Boston Globe.

Exhibit A

Wednesday’s Herald Page One:

picture-119

 

Thursday’s Boston Globe:

greenhouse_donnie3_metroEmerson frat backs a brother in transition

On Monday morning, few outside his circle of family, friends, teachers, and classmates likely had heard of Donnie Collins. By Wednesday, he was internationally famous.

Collins, a sophomore at Emerson, seems in many ways a typical college student. He loves J.R.R. Tolkien and “The Colbert Report.” He obsessively updates his Tumblr blog.

But it is his differences that have caused his story to go viral: Born female, Collins is transitioning into a man, and members of his campus fraternity are giving new meaning to the word brotherhood through an extraordinary act of support.

“I’m really grateful for that,” he said in an interview Wednesday near the downtown campus. “It’s taken me a while to realize that I can’t possibly repay them in any way except to accept their help.”

 

Exhibit B

Wednesday Herald Joe Battenfeld column:

DSC_1359.JPGEd Markey is no stranger 
to flip-flopping on issues

Democratic Senate candidate Ed Markey, whose supporters have slammed rival Stephen Lynch for changing his position on abortion, has performed a few impressive flip-flops of his own — on issues ranging from abortion to school prayer.

The Malden congressman, who has the strong backing of abortion rights advocates, supported a constitutional amendment banning abortion and repeatedly voted in the U.S. House for a ban on all federal funding of abortions, including in cases of rape and incest, in the late 1970s, records show.

Markey, a Catholic, changed his position in late 1983, just before he made an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate. He said at the time he didn’t want to impose his personal beliefs on others.

 

Thursday’s Boston Globe:

tlumacki_ed markey_metro861Markey says abortion shift was personal

Since US Representative Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston backed off his staunch opposition to abortion early this month, his rival for US Senate has been trying to distinguish himself as the only Democrat in the race who is “100 percent pro-choice.”

US Representative Edward J. Markey of Malden has made the case so well, in fact, that the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America plans to formally endorse him on Thursday.

But three decades ago, Markey was also an abortion opponent who had a conversion before embarking on a campaign for higher office. His evolution began as a congressman, months before he ran for the same Senate seat he’s seeking now.

Like Lynch’s shift, Markey’s change engendered some suspicion. The National Organization for Women issued flyers highlighting Markey’s past votes against abortion rights, and antiabortion advocates were annoyed that Markey had abandoned them.

In an interview on Wednesday, Markey said his shift on abortion was never a political calculation.

 

Uh-huh.