Mayor’s Weekly Column

From the Desk of Thomas M. Menino

Boston is a city known for its history, but we are also a city focused on growth and on becoming a leader in technology and innovation in the 21st century. As technology evolves and people and business increasingly rely on connecting electronically, it is a priority to provide access to this important technology to as many residents as possible. Boston has an excellent digital infrastructure and Boston Broadband offers wireless access in many areas of the city, from the Rose Kennedy Greenway to Grove Hall, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

This week, I was excited to announce that the City of Boston will use $1.9 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to further develop the Boston Broadband program. Thanks to the hard work of our Congressional leaders who recognized the importance of this funding for Boston, the city will now be able to provide over 18,000 people with internet access every week, equaling over a 40-percent increase across the city.

Asst Secretary Koh Visits North End Health Center

Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary of health for Health and Human Services, visited the North End Community Health Center on Hanover St. this week....

City Election Department Visiting Neighborhoods

Dear Community Members:

Please be advised that the Boston Election Department’s team of annual listing (City Census) officers will be visiting each neighborhood throughout the next few weeks to update the annual listing of residents. 
Every City and Town in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is mandated by law to conduct an annual listing.  Information obtained during the listing process is forwarded to the Office of the Jury Commissioner for use in compiling jury pools, and is also used as an indicator of the population changes in the City.  The information gathered also helps to ensure the accuracy and the integrity of the voting list.  The Listing Officers will go door-to-door in neighborhoods, and are easily identified by their City-issued photo-IDs and bright orange vests.

City Report: Boston Is Healthier

    Mayor Menino Releases 2010 Health of Boston Report
  Mortality rates continue to decline, fewer drug and alcohol deaths

Fewer Boston residents are dying of cancer, heart disease, injuries, and stroke, four of the five leading causes of death in the city, and Asian residents in Boston have the highest average life expectancy of any racial or ethnic group, according to the new Health of Boston report released today by Mayor Menino.
 
The 399-page report prepared by the Boston Public Health Commission contained plenty of good news about the health of Boston residents: Fewer substance abuse deaths, high rates of cancer screening, fewer teen pregnancies, fewer adults smokers and salmonella cases, and the near- disappearance of children in Boston with elevated lead levels.
 
But serious challenges remain. The report found that Boston’s black and Latino residents continue to experience higher levels of chronic disease, mortality, and poorer health outcomes compared to white residents. In 2008, the asthma hospitalization rate for black and Latino children was more than three times the rate for Asian children and four times the rate for white children.  That same year, the diabetes hospitalization rate for black and Latino residents was about four times the rate for Asians and whites.  For Boston’s black residents the health inequities begin early in life and persist throughout the individual’s lifespan: In 2008, the black infant mortality rate was more than four times the white infant mortality rate, and black residents had the shortest average life expectancy.

Mayor’s Weekly Column

From the Desk of Thomas M. Menino

8/9/10 As the Massachusetts legislature concluded its 2009-2010 Formal Session, more than 25 important initiatives from my legislative package were sent to Governor Patrick to be signed into law. While I am proud of all of these legislative accomplishments, I want to highlight a few initiatives that will have a significant impact on our city and our residents. Working with the legislature, we successfully advocated for bills that will reform our CORI system, prevent foreclosures, reduce prescription drug abuse and fraud, and improve insurance coverage for autism. I congratulate the Governor and legislature on a successful session and thank them for their dedication to these important issues.

Rep. Aaron Michlewitz Inteviewed By South End News

Kate Vander Wiede of the South End News interviews State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, who represents the North End, South End and areas of downtown in...

Mayor’s Weekly Column

From the Desk of Thomas M. Menino

There has been a lot of focus over the last several months on the troubling increase in gang-related youth violence in our neighborhoods. While gang violence is certainly not a new issue, the nature of gang activity among youth has evolved and we have had to adapt our strategy accordingly. In collaboration with state and federal government agencies and community partners, the City of Boston has launched a targeted, community-based strategy to more effectively suppress violence in Boston’s neighborhoods and support the families and residents in those communities. Reducing violence is a job that no single agency can do alone, but it’s one we all can do if we act together.

State Demands Greater Accountability From Greenway Conservancy

In a scathing letter to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, the State’s transportation department, MassDOT, has imposed strict conditions on the public funding...

75th Anniversary of Suffolk Downs Comes Amid Casino Proposal

NECN reports on the 75th Anniversary of Suffolk Downs and the prospects for a casino resort at the East Boston/Revere racetrack. Owners unveiled pictures...

Columnist Talks Neighborhood Groups, Including NEWNC & NEWRA

Karen Cord Taylor, at BostonColumn.com, pens about neighborhood groups in this week’s column. “Neighborhood associations are groups residents love to hate. They are always...

Mayor Menino Talks at NECC Breakfast; Proposes Closing Traffic on Hanover St.

Mayor Thomas Menino used a breakfast gathering of the North End Chamber of Commerce (NECC) to propose a new initiative to close Hanover Street...