Whitey Bulger killed after transfer to West Virginia prison
In a big story that dominated the news cycle this week, mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was killed in a West Virginia prison. Bulger was the kingpin of the Irish mob in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s, and famously snitched on members of the New England Mafia. He had a lot of enemies, which ultimately led to Bulger being slain shortly after he was transferred to USP Hazelton, a remote West Virginia prison. There are now two Massachusetts mobsters suspected in the killing, one of whom is Paul J. DeCologero, once part of a North Shore crime gang named the “DeCologero Crew.” Bulger was transferred from a Florida prison for unknown reasons, where he was serving a life sentence for taking part in 11 killings.
New affordable housing units coming to Wellesley
Wellesley’s new affordable housing plan is being realized, and students will soon be seeing the project’s impact in local areas. The plan was approved in order to bring Wellesley into compliance with state statute called Chapter 40B, which requires that 10 percent of Massachusetts towns’ housing must be affordable –– right now, Wellesley comes up short at 6.53 percent affordability. According to the plan, by 2028, there will be 400 new affordable units constructed in Wellesley. Some areas being considered for their placement include Wellesley Square (which could house new units above storefronts), near the Wellesley Hills train station, and in Lower Falls. Overall, this plan will result in 45 new units being built each year.
Massachusetts voters to weigh in on overturning Citizens United
Massachusetts is set to play a very important role in overturning Citizens United, which is a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allows unions, businesses and nonprofits have no limit on political spending. One of the ballot questions posed on Nov. 6 asked voters to create a state commission that would consider amendments to overturn Citizens United. Four states — Colorado, Montana, Washington and California — have already gotten the go-ahead from similar ballot questions. Still, Massachusetts would be the first to form a citizens commission to directly address the task of overturning the decision and explore possible ways to do so. The initiative comes from longstanding opposition to the decision, as many have contended that the ruling elevates rich corporations’ voices over those of regular Americans. Unions, nonprofits and businesses are not allowed to donate directly to campaigns, but Citizens United made it so they can contribute unlimited amounts to efforts to sway voters’ decisions. The fifteen-member commission would include three members appointed by the governor, the secretary of the commonwealth, the attorney general, the house speaker and the senate president respectively, and the rest of the spots may be filled by any resident of Massachusetts.