Archive for February, 2013

Connolly All In for Boston Mayor

John ConnollyWe political types live for such times. Boston City Councilor John Connolly beards the lion. Whether or nor longest-serving, wildly popular Tom Menino runs for a sixth mayoral term, John is going for the big office.

He comes on with us Tuesday, March 5th, at our usual 2:30 PM Eastern. Click here if you can join us live. You can catch the show later to hear or download at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.

John is, as Colbert and such like to say, a friend of the show. He’s been on and has always been candid and insightful.

The cornerstone of his campaign is getting a high-quality public school in every neighborhood — an American ideal since the days of Horace Mann. Of course, we’ll get practical with how he’ll campaign if Menino’s in or out. This looks like an exciting season.


Pits and Pots: Consalvo Podcast

We got to two hot topics with Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo — zoning of medical-marijuana dispensaries and breed-specific dog regulation. Those are two big ones and the District Councilor is ahead on both.

Mild Disclaimer: Mike knows Rob and is in his district. Hyde Park was the default neighborhood example in this show.

He separated any moral or other quibble on locales for prescribed pot sales and likely growing. Instead, he has taken the lead on defining the zoning for what is a legal use. Listen in as he talks about the considerations, what public hearings have and will occur, and by the bye he went directly from our show to a meeting with the Boston Redevelopment Authority on this specific issue.

He figures Boston will be on, if you pardon, the high end of the maximum of five dispensaries a country may have. He defines likely and unlikely spots.

Dogs may be even trickier. Boston was one of many Massachusetts cities and towns that had breed-specific regs — in this case, things like muzzles on the 4 or 5 definitions of pit bulls when in public. Then last fall, the commonwealth ban the bans, forbidding breed-specific rules. Consalvo talks about the input from animal control, police and EMS that led to Bostons regulations.

He describes his reasoning and how he hasn’t given up or given in. Instead, he is leading on two state laws to attack the attackers. One approach is amending the new law to include wording like “after the word ‘dog’, the following words:- unless municipal attack data indicates a specific breed may be deemed dangerous.” That goes back to Boston’s original ordinance.

He describes another law in the works that would allow enforcement of fines after dog attacks. As it is, the $250 first and $500 subsequent attack fines have little power to inspire the owners to train and control their dogs. He wants Boston to have the power to attach liens on property or auto-excise bills.

Listen in as Consalvo describes his strong moves in these two areas.

icon for podpress  Rob Consalvo [30:25m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Consalvo on Vicious Dogs, Pot Stores and More

Rob ConsalvoOne of Boston City Council’s most innovative and prolific legislators joins us. District 5 Councilor Rob Consalvo will update us on a few of his big projects.

If you can listen live, click here Tuesday, February 26th, at 2:30 PM Eastern. Afterward, you can listen to or download the show there, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.

He is confident (“I’m right. They’re wrong.”) that breed-specific dog regulations are a way to protect the public, regardless of the commonwealth’s attitude. He also dovetails nicely with last week’s podcast on medical marijuana. He grabbed the lead in defining zoning for the dispensaries sure to come to Boston. No doubt he’ll have some surprises for us as well.


MA Pot Podcast

We’re the 18th state (plus D.C.) to legalize medical marijuana, but MA is not ready. We’re well down the circus parade as elephant holding the tail of the one ahead, but we haven’t gotten our act together. We’re likely a year or more away from open dispensaries or even figuring out what paperwork a pot-enabled patient can, should and must have. We could have looked over the shoulders of the leaders.

Today, Ryan and Mike talked about some of the gross and finer points of the law and its implementation, and particularly the conflicts with federal laws.

It may or may be surprising that neither of us is a pothead, a.k.a. regular marijuana user. However, we’re aware that pot is nowhere near as bad for individuals or society as meth, crack, heroin or alcohol. We support giving pain relief and other medical help for those with serious medical conditions.

We kicked around the possibilities and likelihood of Congress aligning federal laws with the rapidly growing number of state statutes and implementations, or even a future Presidential candidate taking the libertarian position in favor of leaving pot regs to the states.

Listen in for analysis of where the problems are and how likely the solutions may be.

icon for podpress  MA Pot Gets Hot [25:29m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


MA Not Ready for Pot

We’ve managed to do it wrong again. The voters approved medical marijuana. We had a deadline (May 1) for implementation. Yes, this May Day. We blew it.

We had other states as templates. We are still holding hearings. Harrumph. We don’t have regulations or requirements for dispensaries, criteria for justifying prescriptions, much less what to do when federal and state laws collide.

If you can join us live for this jolly discussion, click on our BlogTalkRadio page at 2:30 PM Eastern today. You can catch our relative wisdom and wit later there, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.


Blizzard Effects Podcast

We did pretty well as a commonwealth in all senses of that. Here at LA, we discussed the big snow and what it meant and will means.

We got into the few deaths, the controversy of shutting down the roads, Boston’s laggard side-street work, and more. We reveled in our Governor’s call to put the power cables and boxes underground.

We’ve goofed up a lot more in the past and this was a pretty good showing.

icon for podpress  Snow Brings Changes [30:58m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Snowpocolypse Podcast

After a dry winter last year and only teaser snow so far, we in Boston, Massachusetts and most of New England got a big one. We’ll talk about how it was and what it is likely to mean to cities, states, and pols.

If you can join us live, click over to the Snow also brings changes Tuesday, February 12th at 2:30 PM Eastern here. You can call in with your own laments or giggles at 718-664-6966.

If you can’t catch it then, you can download or listen to the show back here, at the show URL or on our Left Ahead iTunes page anytime. snowdacha.png


MA GOP Flunks Podcast

We got to solve the MA GOP’s candidate problems. They’re welcome.

We kicked around the panicked exodus of likely US Senate contenders to run against the Dem winner among US Reps Markey and Lynch. We covered the muddled election of their new party chair and the egocentric betrayal of failed and former pol Scott Brown.

Ryan contends they won’t be able to field a viable candidate. Mike figures Brown has soiled and spoiled himself going forward, even for governor next year.

Listen in as we set out proposals for how they can avoid reliance on sudden appearances of the next big GOP star.

icon for podpress  MA GOP Flunks [38:36m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download