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Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Occupy has got to go.

Posted in: Civic engagement   Boston politics
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And so the word has gone out to the Occupiers in Dewey Square: You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre rejected Occupy Boston’s plea for an injunction to bar eviction, saying the protesters’ First Amendment rights do not extend to seizing a public park such as the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Mayor Thomas Menino this morning issued an eviction order for the occupiers to pull up their stakes by midnight tonight but if they don’t leave, the message is mixed on when Menino will move to remove the encampment. While the city has argued the protest is violating all sorts of civic and safety regulations, Menino had been content to let the winter weather works its magic. But now, he seems ready to help Mother Nature out and accelerate the process, with a boost from the courts.

Compared to the use of force in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and elsewhere, city government in Boston has been remarkably restrained, allowing the protest to play out over the last 10 weeks and letting occupiers bring in almost everything but a big tent and the kitchen sink, even as some have grumbled the occupation is little more than a camping jamboree with little cohesion.

Which brings the question to the forefront again: Has the Occupy movement gotten its point across? A lot of that depends on whether you think the protesters have a point. At City Year headquarters in Boston tonight, MassINC is sponsoring a forum on the efficacy of Occupy’s message.

Entitled “Living the Dream in Massachusetts: Is the Occupy movement bringing us closer?” the session will start by asking audience members to choose a side, yes or no, and seat themselves accordingly to one side of the room or the other. A panel will then discuss the message and the messengers.  Chewing over the Occupy movement will be Nir Eisikovits, director of the Graduate Program in Ethics and Public Policy at Suffolk University; Paul McMorrow, an associate editor at CommonWealth magazine; and Dan Schneider, an editor and contributing writer to the Boston Occupier.

Occupy Everywhere has been good for some businesses. Books are sprouting up left and right analyzing the movement, and rapper Jay-Z had a short-lived clothing line for Occupy Wall Street. More entrepreneurial start-ups are sure to follow.

But for now, lots of eyes will be on Boston. Clearly, Menino has a delicate balancing act before him, showing sympathy for the message while standing up for the rights of the city’s residents and workers who aren’t camped in Dewey Square. So far, the protest has cost the city more than $750,000 plus the loss of one patch of Menino’s cherished Greenway.

The occupiers know they’ve had it pretty good in Boston so far. It’s now a question of whether the occupation will morph into civil disobedience – or even anarchy – as word goes out all around the country, even in one of the more hospitable cities: Occupy Elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                        --JACK SULLIVAN


BEACON HILL

Attorney General Martha Coakley nixes the attempt to put a repeal of the casino law to a statewide vote.

Anti-casino protesters in Foxborough deny that they’re being funded by Suffolk Downs. “Every cent that has gone into this anti-casino movement has been personally funded by the concerned citizens of this town,” a protester tells the Sun Chronicle.

The Berkshire Eagle likes Speaker Robert DeLeo’s elevation of Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, of Lenox, but pours very cold water on the demotion of Rep. Charles Murphy of Burlington.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Groton’s town manager is cleared of wrongdoing by the Board of Selectmen for having a series of online, flirty communications with a local woman, reports the Lowell Sun. It’s not the first time the administrator has been confronted with the issue, though.

Brockton area communities most at risk from West Nile Virus and EEE want a change in the state’s response to virus-carrying mosquitoes, including preemptive aerial spraying.

Boston plans to seize two buildings in Dudley Square for its new municipal facility. Predictably, the tenants aren’t pleased.

Lunenburg teachers vote no confidence in their superintendent and school committee.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is sentenced to 14 years in prison. Some legal experts say the sentence is too harsh.

New York state raises taxes on the wealthy.

ELECTION 2012

A Boston Herald poll has Elizabeth Warren up by seven points over US Sen. Scott Brown. Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts poll numbers also take a hit in the Herald poll.

Keller@Large says Democrats still see Mitt Romney as the biggest threat, keeping their attacks focused on him despite Newt Gingrich’s standing atop the polls. Karl Rove skewers Gingrich’s campaign organization, noting that the former House speaker didn’t even get enough signatures to secure a spot on Ohio’s ballot. Meanwhile, Tea Party activists are moving into the Gingrich camp, continuing their ABM (anyone but Mitt) speed dating of the non-Romney Republican field.

No one cares what Man of the Past Dan Quayle thinks about Mitt Romney. Here are 10 people whose opinions carry some weight, according to The Daily Beast. The Romney camp releases an ad touting their man’s longstanding commitment to his wife -- a slap at Gingrich, deep background Romney staffers tell the Wall Street Journal. Related: The White House would be quite pleased if this whole Romney-Gingrich thing could get protracted and messy and expensive.

Rick Perry continues sending flowers to religious conservatives in Iowa, releasing an ad in which he says, “You don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” The ad earns a swift rebuke from the Log Cabin Republicans.

The Newton Tab dissects the differing views on whether Newton, Brookline, and the northern portion of the reconfigured Fourth Congressional District still carries most of the clout, money, and votes.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The owner of the Boloco burrito chain fired a digruntled worker -- by Twitter. Via Universal Hub.

The Springfield Republican looks forward to increased transparency from the Federal Reserve.

EDUCATION

The Gates Foundation offers $40 million in funding to cities that have signed compacts for collaboration between charter schools and their school districts, Governing reports. Fourteen cities have already signed compacts, including Boston.

Students and faculty at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth told a search committee the most important traits for a new chancellor are commitment to fiscal transparency, increased private partnerships, and fundraising ability.

Andy Rotherham explains in his weekly Time column why Newt Gingrich’s nutty idea to fire school janitors and have students keep schools clean is actually not completely nutty once you acknowledge Gingrich’s penchant for delivering nuggets of wisdom hidden within bombastic, overly broad, tin-eared pronouncements.

Yvonne Abraham explains why Boston Teachers Union president Richard Stutman is living in the past.

Roxbury Community College President Terrance Gomes disapproves of a Boston Foundation proposal to merge the area institution with Bunker Hill Community College.  The Bay State Banner argues for keeping the school independent.

HEALTH CARE

Paul Levy can’t decide if the expansion plan proposed by Brigham & Women’s Hospital is so brilliant he can’t comprehend it or anachronistic, though his tone points to the latter.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled an FDA recommendation that the morning-after contraceptive pill be made available over-the-counter without age restrictions, a move women’s health advocates decried and blamed on politics -- presumably those of the looming presidential race. The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn calls the decision “disheartening.”

Massachusetts was ranked the fifth healthiest state in the country, according to a study by the United Health Foundation. Vermont came in first and Mississippi was last. Governing has the story.

The Cape Cod Times heralds advances in the fight against AIDS.

TRANSPORTATION

The Globe reports that the MBTA is weighing fare increases of 20 percent to 50 percent to help close the authority’s gaping budget hole.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Two, and possibly three, endangered North Atlantic right whales were spotted close to the coast in Plymouth last week, an extremely rare occurrence for the species and for this time of year.

Falmouth may get the go-ahead to restart one of its two wind turbines.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

A 65-year-old Saugus woman was arrested for allegedly funneling $800,000 from the library to her own personal account, the Lynn Item reports.

Someone shot a paint ball gun at the home of a Level 3 sex offender in Lynn who is accused of living too close to an elementary school, the Item reports.

Part 2 of David Boeri’s report on WBUR on a bad police confession.

MEDIA

NBC is courting Ryan Seacrest to replace Matt Lauer on the Today show if Lauer leaves next year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A judge ruled that a blogger must pay $2.5 million to a Seattle investment firm she wrote about, Mashable.com reports.

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