Forecast: February

| Boston Magazine |

BIOGRAPHIES
02/17 THE GLOBE DELIVERS A TED KENNEDY CLOSE-UP

Kennedy-philes, rejoice: On top of an ambitious seven-part series on the life of Ted Kennedy we hear the Globe will be running this month, the paper today drops a beefy biography edited by Washington bureau chief Peter Canellos. “We consider this the definitive biography,” Canellos says. By hitting shelves now, the tome will scoop the senator’s much-anticipated autobiography, for which he received an eye-popping $8.5 million advance.

KERFUFFLES
02/01 STAKES ARE RAISED IN THE HEALTHCARE WARS    

Tufts Medical Center CEO Ellen Zane set up a turning point in the Hub’s evolving healthcare battles when she said her hospital might stop accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield’s patients starting today, unless the firm began reimbursing Tufts doctors at a rate comparable to what it paid docs at other Boston teaching hospitals. The demand followed the revelation that Partners HealthCare hospitals had worked out a plum deal with BCBS back in 2000, when Partners employed a no-nonsense negotiator—named Ellen Zane. Though Governor Patrick is trying to get insurers and healthcare providers to play nice, expect more of this kind of brassy brinkmanship.

 

ASSESSMENTS
02/02 TAX BILL DUE ON THE HOUSE THE CRASH FORGOT

Boston’s property tax rate dropped 3.1 percent this year, but Ofer Nemirovsky, the private-equity mogul at work on a 24,000-square-foot palace in the Back Bay, is still cutting a hefty check as his third-quarter property taxes come due. The $28,000 he owes is for the pair of townhouses he’s joining to make the city’s largest home. When the 15-bathroom spread is finally finished, his annual tax bill on it could approach a quarter mil.

 

SPORTS
02/02 PUCK DROPS ON A BLOCKBUSTER BEANPOT
Blessed though we (finally) are here in the Hub of Hockey with the resurgence of the Bruins, this is no year to forget our collegiate icers and their annual tussle for city bragging rights at the Garden. For the past 16 years, Harvard and Northeastern have been Beanpot also-rans, with Boston University and Boston College taking turns with the trophy. Both BU and BC are consistently national powers, and each is again looking fearsome: BC, which has played in the past three NCAA title games, is the defending national champ, while BU has been ranked in the top five all season.

But this year you’d be wise to take in tonight’s semifinal games (BU vs. Harvard; BC vs. Northeastern), not just next Monday’s title bout. That’s because of the surprise play of the Huskies of Northeastern, who’ve been among the nation’s top-ranked all year and have spent a good portion of the season sitting atop the Hockey East conference. Plus there’s Harvard, which is, well, the number-one-ranked college in America, says U.S. News & World Report. Sure, the Crimson are a mediocre squad in a lackluster conference, but they gave BC all it could handle in an overtime thriller in last year’s finals. If they show up to play again, this ‘pot could be one for the ages.”

TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, beanpothockey.com.

 

HONORS 02/03
The deadline for state teacher of the year nominations.
Send yours to djwalker@doe.mass.edu.

 

CONSIDER THIS
QUESTIONS YOU’LL HAVE REASON TO ASK THIS MONTH
What’s next for Mitt Romney? In January, the ex-governor stuck his toe back into the business world by rejoining the board of the Marriott hotel chain. As for his political plans over the next four years, perhaps those will come into clearer focus after the speech he’s scheduled to give at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC (2/26–2/28). It’ll be interesting to see whether, after arguing for a restructuring of the auto industry in the fall and advising Congress on economic recovery last month, Romney uses the speech to continue promoting his rediscovered image as a moderate problem-solver, or as a chance to fire up the conservative base.

Just how bad will things get for Boston schoolkids? Forced to trim $100 million, city school administrators will submit a budget this month that is expected to lead to widespread job cuts. The grim likelihood is that extracurriculars and electives will get dialed way back.

Did Boston.com just break the Internet? Small-town-newspaper behemoth GateHouse Media, publisher of dailies like the Newton Tab, doesn’t much care for the Globe website’s practice of linking to its online stories. GateHouse says it amounts to stealing content, and has filed suit demanding that Boston.com stop. If the federal judge expected to issue a ruling this month agrees, the ripple effect, dooms-dayers say, could disrupt the way blogs and sites like Google News aggregate and link to content all over the Web. GEOFFREY GAGNON

SCREENINGS
02/06–02/14 DATE MOVIES, MINUS THE SAP  
Hand it to the Brattle: Staging a mini fest of romantic films while steering clear of saccharine fare is some feat. The offerings span the gamut from Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina to Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly in Bound. It all wraps up with the peerless—if a little sentimental—Casablanca (penned, as every trivia geek will remind you, by Theo Epstein‘s granddad). ”

40 Brattle St., Cambridge, brattlefilm.org.

 

THEATER 02/07
Dirty Dancing arrives for its pre-Broadway run. Get seats now (lest you get put in a corner).
Boston Opera House, bostonoperahouse.com

 

INITIATIVES
02/11 CITY HALL GOES NETWORKING
Envisioned as an economic development tool to bring together Hub-connected people, the mayor’s Boston World Partnerships goes live today at bostonworldpartnerships.com. City Councilor Michael Flaherty, who’s likely to run against Menino later this year, has been blasting the project as wasteful (the Boston Redevelopment Authority ponied up a million bucks for it), particularly the online component, saying a Facebook page would have done just fine. He ought to know: Flaherty’s got himself a Facebook page that lists some 1,500 friends and reveals an affinity for the Black Eyed Peas.

 

TRANSPORTATION
02/12 VIRGIN AMERICA, NOW BOARDING AT LOGAN

Virgin debuts its service from Boston to San Francisco and L.A. today, flying on spiffy new Airbus A320s with slick features like touchscreen TVs and on-demand music. Virgin brass are mum on what else is in store for passengers on the maiden departure, a 1 p.m. flight to LAX. Founder Richard Branson officiated an en route wedding when the carrier made its first trip to Vegas, and the airline held a rock concert when it began flying to Seattle. Here’s hoping we see Sir Richard decked out in a colonial getup. ” Virginamerica.com.

 

HUMAN RESOURCES
02/19 THE PATS CALL A QB KEEPER…OR NOT

If they haven’t yet, today’s the last day for the Pats to slap the NFL’s “franchise tag” on QB Matt Cassel. The move would give the free agent a $14 million, one-year contract, while denying him the right to seek a long-term deal from another team until next year. With Tom Brady, why would the Pats sink so much money into a presumed backup? Time will tell, but here are two theories: Either Tommy Terrific’s recovery is going even worse than reported, or sneaky Bill Belichick sees a chance to sign and then trade Cassel, thus handpicking Cassel’s next team (not the Jets) while still getting something in return.

 

MY AGENDA
ELIZABETH WARREN
HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR AND CHAIR OF THE CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL  FOR ECONOMIC STABILIZATION

The Cambridge bankruptcy-law expert heads the committee that’s keeping Congress honest with that $700 billion in bailout cash. She issues her next monthly report on 2/9, but that’s not all she’s got lined up for February.  

My husband and I are looking forward to a special visit from our three-year-old granddaughter, Lavinia Annapurna Elizabeth Tyagi. She’ll fly in from L.A. with her mom, Amelia Warren Tyagi, a finance expert who’s attending a workshop at Harvard Business School. We’re planning lots of dress-up and a trip to the New England Aquarium.

We’re longtime members of the Museum of Fine Arts and go every month or so. I’m a fairly democratic art enthusiast: I love rich paintings, sculpture, paper—everything, really—so I always find the exhibits engaging. I’m looking forward to the display of 1930s Japanese paintings. ["Showa Sophistication," debuts 2/11]

Spending Valentine’s Day at the ballet is a tradition. We have season tickets and I didn’t even write down the name of the ballet in my calendar this year because we go no matter what’s scheduled. [Black and White at Boston Ballet, 2/12–2/15] AS TOLD TO BRIGID SWEENEY

NIGHTLIFE
02/20 THE GUARD CHANGES ON LANSDOWNE STREET

About a year and a half after the Lansdowne Street clubs Avalon and Axis were shuttered, the impressive 2,400-seat House of Blues opens tonight in their place, with French flamenco rockers the Gipsy Kings on stage. The new building heralds the return to Boston of a concert-hall franchise that began in Cambridge in 1992. It also completes the exit of club king Patrick Lyons, who, after 30 years spent running Beantown venues, sold his space to the House of Blues in order to concentrate on his restaurant ventures.

15 Lansdowne St., Boston, hob.com/boston.  

 

COMPETITIONS
02/22 THE CRAZIEST WORKOUT YOU’VE EVER SEEN
What started as a geeky way to spice up winter training at Harvard’s Newell Boathouse has morphed into a full-on world-class meet, wherein some of the globe’s finest scullers do their thing on ergometer machines. If after checking out the spectacle that is the C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championships you wind up inspired, stick around: The fancy erg machines are sold at a huge discount right after the sweaty scullers roll off them. ”

Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, crash-b.org.

 

REVELATIONS
02/24 FRESH CLUES IN THE GARDNER CAPER
Nineteen years after the famed robbery at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—and after gallons of ink have been spilled by writers fascinated with it—author Ulrich Boser joins the hunt in his new book, The Gardner Heist, which he reads from tonight in Brookline. Plenty of the story’s details are well known in these parts: that the robbery netted 13 works (including Vermeer’s The Concert, shown here), now valued at over $500 million; that the museum has posted a $5 million reward, thought to be the largest bounty ever offered by a private institution; that the cops have been baffled by dead-end tips that reach from South Boston to South America.

By the end of his reporting, Boser became obsessed with finding the purloined art. While the paintings remained elusive, he did manage to dig up a long-overlooked witness named Jerry Stratberg, who, as a college kid leaving a Fenway party, might have passed the thieves outside the museum. With Stratberg’s help, Boser fingers jailed Southie art thief David Turner, who (spoiler alert!) responds to the author in a bizarre poem that professes his innocence.

Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline, brooklinebooksmith.com.

 

SPORTS 02/25
The Sox open their exhibition season today…without first baseman Mark Teixeira. New England Sports Network, 1:05 P.M.

 

THE BEST PARTS
THE HIGH POINTS OF THIS MONTH’S CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS
ART You probably know Shepard Fairey for Hope, his famous rendering of President Obama. That portrait will be part of the splashy Fairey show that opens 2/6 at the ICA, but make sure to squeeze past the hordes to check out his edgier stuff (like Obey Female Muslim, below), which melds Fairey’s street-art roots with revolutionary icono-graphy.

FILM The Hollywooders who’ve mangled our accent are legion. But in her new flick What Doesn’t Kill You, Amanda Peet pulls it off with flair. Without the cash for a dialect coach, producers on the indie project told her not to try it. Thankfully, Peet didn’t listen. Written and directed by Southie’s Brian Goodman, the film has garnered glowing reviews, but its distributor went bankrupt—a wicked pissah, you might say. While you wait for the film to hit area theaters, catch Peet in the trailer at whatdoesntkillyoumovie.com.

MUSIC During their 2/24 gig at the Paradise, Tapes ‘n Tapes will play their best tune, “Insistor,” which features an opaque chorus about Harvard Square. The band says the allusion is to Good Will Hunting, but don’t tell—it’ll be more fun if you leave your friends guessing.

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2009/01/forecast-february/