Sunday, May 12, 2013
Switching from Microsoft email to Google's Gmail services will save the city 30 percent, according to the mayor's office.
If you correspond via email with any of Boston's city employees, you probably won't even notice a difference. But starting soon, the city of Boston will be switching its email system from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps, a cloud-based email and communication system that the city says will save about 30 percent each year. “By bringing city government into the cloud, Boston continues to modernize our technology while saving taxpayer dollars and freeing up city workers to focus on the vital work of helping people," said Mayor Menino. "Our technology experts will now be able to focus on moving the city forward, rather than maintaining servers." The city has about 75,000 email users, including individual accounts for its 57,000 Boston …
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
With $18.1 million spent even before this most recent storm, the city has spent more than its budgeted amount for snow removal this winter.
Before this most recent storm had even started, the city had overspent its $17.8 million snow removal budget, with costs so far coming in at $18.1 million. However, that's not to say the city can't continue to clean up after snowstorms, according to the city's chief financial officer, Meredith Weenick. Weenick said that the city's $2.5 billion budget should be able to take on the extra costs of this year's snow removal through surpluses in other areas. "It all falls to the bottom line," Weenick said. "Over the course of the year, we watch the budget, and based on my projections, I feel confident that the known surpluses will cover the projected deficits, and even the potential for the next storm," she said. The $18.1 million overall …
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Check out this footage of what Nemo looked like for plow truck operators.
With another possible storm headed our way this weekend, Boston's public works employees could have some long hours ahead. Ever wonder what a storm looks like from their point of view? Curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and take a look. SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The city has declared all parking meters will be free on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013.
After a hard weekend of snow and shoveling, the city of Boston decided to show its residents and businesses a little love this week. To celebrate Valentine's Day, Mayor Menino announced on Wednesday that all parking meters in the city of Boston would be free all day on Valentine's Day. Menino said the move is an effort to help businesses "make up for lost time" due to this past weekend's blizzard. “Whether you’re showering yourself, a friend or a special someone with love this Valentine’s Day, we want to make it as easy as possible for residents and visitors to spend some time and money at Boston businesses and restaurants tomorrow,” Mayor Menino said. “Get out there and share the love!” Well, you heard him. When you're taking you're …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
More than 600 plows will be active during this weekend's blizzard, according to the Mayor's Office.
With a borderline "historic" blizzard approaching the city, Boston officials have already begun to make arrangements for snow removal, power outages and emergecy rescue. With the latest forecasts predicting 1-2 feet of snow to fall in Boston from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, city departments are already preparing. More than 600 pieces of equipment and snowplows will be active on city streets by early Friday morning, according to the mayor's office. The Office of Emergency Management is coordinating with city agencies, NSTAR, and the Weather Service, Boston Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services have arranged for additional staffing, and police will be stationed at major intersections around the city. The Inspectional …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
A new data-driven website and downloadable app lets Boston residents check in on the city's services performance, including transportation, crime, fire, parks and other departments.
Crime in Boston has gone down by 4 percent compared to last year. Fires are reached within 4 minutes 66 percent of the time. 1,190 cars were towed in September. Thanks to a new data-driven website and downloadable app, Boston residents can now check in on the city's performance across various city services, including downloads at the library, tree issues in parks, police and fire response, and traffic and parking issues. Called the Boston About Results program, the idea is to track each department's goals against the city's actual statistics in a way that is open and transparent to the public in an effort to let residents see how the city is performing. In addition to the web-based scorecard, there's also an iPad app called Citizen …
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino presented his five-year capital plan on Wednesday, and several South End parks are among the areas set for improvement.
Mayor Thomas Menino presented his proposed five-year $1.8-billion capital plan Wednesday at Adams Park Roslindale. “Adams Park is a great example of how our capital plan works to bring people together. With this plan, every resident is within a 10-minute walk to the nearest project,” said Menino. “Just as important as investing in buildings is investing in programs and places where neighbors can come together to have fun and connect with each other. I’m excited that this capital plan makes play a priority.” "Play" is certainly a priority at Ringgold Park, as the Mayor's plan calls for the replacement of play equipment at the site. Childe Hassam Park is also set for improvements to pathways, benches and landscaping under the plan. City …
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The City of Boston has promised to enforce trash violations more strictly in the South End, but the bags called for on the city's website appear to reside in the domain of the Unicorn.
The City of Boston recently announced its Enhanced Trash Enforcement Initiative, in response to South Enders’ complaints about trash being strewn along streets and sidewalks following weekly pickup. An email newsletter from the Rutland Square Association last week said the city’s Inspectional Services Commissioner, Bryan Glascock, authorized the Code Enforcement Divsion to focus on trash violations in the South End. The only problem is, the City of Boston’s trash bag regulations call for the garbage bag equivalent of a pink elephant. Specifically, the trash bag regulations read as follows: At first glance, these specifications seem benign enough, but as Patch reader George Hand pointed out in an email, finding bags that meet these criteria…
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Menino said budget prioritizes community engagement, while investing in people, as well as infrastructure.
Yesterday Boston Mayor Thomas Menino proposed a $2.4 billion budget for fiscal year 2013. The Boston City Council is now tasked with examining the budget, and passing a budget by June 30. Menino's proposed budget includes a five-year $1.8 billion capital plan, including $217 million for new projects in fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1, 2012. According to a press release, the new projects "reinforce the Mayor’s priorities to build a comprehensive youth development strategy, enhance government’s personal connection to the neighborhoods and foster job creation by emphasizing collaboration among government, business and non-profit leaders." “We are perhaps the strongest city in the nation right now – our finances are stable, our economy …
Friday, December 16, 2011
The board unanimously supported the recommended changes from the plan Thursday.
Major zoning changes, intended to bolster development on the east side of the South End, came one step closer to becoming a reality Thursday night. The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Board unanimously approved the changes, represented in the Harrison-Albany Corridor Strategic Plan, sending them to the Boston Zoning Commission for final say in January. The changes, which would allow increased building heights in the area, among other steps to promote development, are technically amendments to the city’s Zoning Code. The Harrison-Albany Corridor plan, which directed these proposed changes, was crafted by a group of residents and business and property owners over the last two-and-a-half years. In addition to allowing increased building …