showcased all throughout the Town Hall Tea Party Era a few years ago,
Massachusetts is hardly immune to right-wing buffoonery. Our crackers
are every bit as clueless as flag-waving imbeciles elsewhere; as for
elected officials, until recently we had a Republican in Washington
who tossed Wall Street's salad in the Senate steam room every chance
Boston Public Library
It's a good thing that there are millions of books for voters to read
while they wait on line at the Boston Public Library. Of course, not
everybody has to queue; while there's a quick skate for Ward 5
Precinct 8, the line for Precinct 9 was more than an hour long at
5:45pm, and is probably much worse than that by now.
Ben Franklin Institute
I'm not exactly old – this is just the third presidential election
that I've covered. But out of all the municipal races and everything
else that I've seen in my short time, the current scene off Berkeley
Street – of people waiting to vote at the Ben Franklin Institute –
is the worst electoral nightmare that I've ever witnessed.
The Massachusetts State House
How sweet it is to vote on Beacon Hill. Sure – the State House is
the only polling place I know of (and please correct me if I'm wrong)
where you have to pass through a metal detector, but I have to say,
it's kind of worth it. First of all, there's plenty of green space
for chilling outside beforehand, and for contemplating your choices
with a breathtaking view of Boston Harbor.
Nazzaro Community Center
When it comes to voting, this is the place to be seen, with long
lines but efficient workers who appear to be getting the job done. At
its worst – before, during, and right after rush hour – there was
a two-hour wait here. But even then the queue was mostly indoors,
kept cuddly by a carpeted hallway with bathroom facilities and other
amenities not seen elsewhere.
is the infamous precinct that everyone is talking about – on
Twitter and Facebook, at least, and in coffee shops around Davis
Square. As reported in short by the likes of Globe writer Maria
Sacchetti, who wrote that she waited in line for two hours, it is
indeed a mess, and was still that way when I showed up this
Cambridge City Hall
reporter walks into a virtually empty poll and says, “Hey – has
it been this calm all morning?” Six poll workers look at him and
collectively sigh, then one goes, “You're kidding honey – right?”
I actually wasn't joking, but out of respect for the women there I
pretended that I was, and thanked them for their civic commitment.
is my polling place, even though I don't live in Hyde Park anymore.
And because I don't live in Hyde Park anymore, I had to fill out a
mess of forms, show proof of my new address, and get bounced around
to a few people before I could vote. It's no big deal; even though
the first few people helping me were unfamiliar with the exact
process for “inactive” voters, we eventually got it done, and I'm
satisfactorily sure that my ballot will count.
good old days of earlier this year, sometime back in January, the
United States Senate race in Massachusetts took a demonstrably
positive turn, when Scott Brown and Liz Warren mutually pledged to
keep Super PAC slime out of the picture (plus off the radio and web).
The agreed upon remedy was that either candidate would have to donate
half the value of the outside ad buy to charity, as the Brown
campaign did twice in March.
weeks ago, I received an angry phone call from Cambridge and
Somerville State Rep Tim Toomey's campaign manager. It was both
deserved and expected; the week before, I'd published a deep and
positive profile of Mike Connolly, who's running as a progressive
independent candidate in the 26th Middlesex district.
as evictions go, it was quite a strange scene at Camp Charlie this
around 8:30pm on Monday night, authorities showed up at the
Massachusetts Statehouse, where Occupy Boston has been camped since
April 4 in protest of the legislature's failure to seriously address
mass transit issues.
the points that was made over and over again by those protesting MBTA
fare hikes (and Mass transit funding issues in general) yesterday was that this
fight isn't new. It's been roaring for decades, and just seems to
have grown extremely loud and and in-your-face over the past few
today, though, activists have extended their message into the
future, stressing that the war's not over.
turns out, the forces conspiring against MBTA fare hikes and service
cuts weren't joking. They didn't quite turn out a Wisconsin-sized
Statehouse occupation as planned, but much hell was raised, and they
even got a snap out of a Beacon Hill power player. Here's how it went
down, or at least how I saw things unfold .
elderly Red Line rider explained at today's public MBTA hearing at
the Mass Transportation Building: the fight for rider's rights isn't
a new one. The commonwealth has been down these tracks before, and
the past few months have been no exception. As generally happens when
lifelines get cut, the latest war over transit has evolved into a