Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day in Boston. Now an Italian-American state senator from Everett is going green, too.
State Sen. Sal N. DiDomenico plans to add an "O" to his name on Friday, March 7, when he'll hold his first-ever St. Patrick's Day party, 6:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus in Charlestown.
"I'll be O'DiDomenico that day," quipped the two-term Democrat. "We got creative with the name."
The event, which is sold out, will feature music by Devri, a popular Irish band, as well as an Irish step dancing troupe, and stand-up by comedian Jimmy Tingle.
"It's really going to be a fun, festive atmosphere," DiDomenico said.
Political jokes and jabs are planned, along with Corned Beef & Cabbage.
There will be Democrats and Republicans, too.
Charles Baker, a Republican candidate for governor, is expected at the event, DiDomenico said.
Democratic candidates for governor -- State Treasurer Steven Grossman, Attorney General Martha Coakley, and Juliet Kayyem, a former state and federal homeland security official, are also expected, DiDomenico added.
Gov. Deval Patrick can't attend, "but he will be sending a video message," DiDomenico said.
Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey plan to attend, DiDomenico said.
And so will Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a son of Irish immigrants who will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day as Boston's first new mayor in 20 years.
"Marty is a friend," DiDomenico said of Walsh, who took office in January after 16 years on Beacon Hill as a state representative from Dorchester.
The pols will likely trade barbs and jabs over dinner, but all in good fun, and in the name of charity.
The senator recently established The DiDomenico Foundation, a nonprofit that will raise money to fund scholarships for high school students from the senator's district, which includes all of Chelsea and Everett, along with several precincts in Boston and Cambridge.
Money will also be used to buy toys for low-income families at the holidays.
"It's a great opportunity to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and do some great things for people," DiDomenico said.
Kathy McCabe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe
By late afternoon, there were no official turnout estimates available from city officials, but poll workers in Revere reported a steady flow of voters throughout the day for Tuesday's referendum on Mohegan Sun's proposal to build a $1.3 billion resort style casino at Suffolk Downs.
"I think the [turnout] has been equally steady citywide," said Joan Regan, a poll supervisor at St. Mary's Church in west Revere.
By mid-afternoon, nearly 1,000 voters had cast ballots at the church, the polling place for Ward 6, precincts 1 and 2.
Among the first voters was Revere mayor Dan Rizzo, who cast his ballot at about 8 a.m., Regan said.
Jane DeFronzo, 64, said she voted "yes" after casting her ballot just before 2 p.m. at St. Mary's.
"It's either going here or to Everett," said DeFronzo, who walked to the polls from her apartment nearby. "I'd like to see Revere get some money out of this."
Across the city on Broadway, the Reverend George Szal, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, stood holding two "No Casino" sings.
"Short term gains, long term pains," Szal said, explaining his opposition. "This casino will not fulfill its promise. It might provide provide some jobs in the beginnings but they won't last."
Szal said he was among the first in line, at 7 a.m. at Revere High School to cast his "no" vote.
The battle lines between supporters and opponents were clearly drawn. Cars, trucks, and even a mini-bus circled the city, plastered with red and blue "Vote Yes" signs or yellow and red "No Casino" signs.
Volunteers from each camp held signs outside many of the city's 21 polling locations, which included schools, churches, and fire stations.
They waved to motorists and flashed "thumbs up" whenever drivers beeped in support.
More than 200 workers are staffing the city's 21 polling places. Revere has 25,680 registered voters, and a flurry of new registrations were made in the run-up to the election.
Voters will be asked to decide if Mohegan Sun should be allowed to develop a casino on 52 acres of land on the Revere side of Suffolk Downs, a 160-acre thoroughbred race track that also lies in East Boston.
The Revere Beach-themed development would include two hotels, chic shops and restaurants, and a 24-hour casino overlooking the race track.
The outcome will determine if Mohegan Sun will remain a contender in the state's casino sweepstakes.
A "yes" vote will allow the project to advance before the state's gambling commission.
A "no" vote would kill the project, since the state's gambling law requires local approval.
Mohegan Sun is competing against Wynn Resorts of Las Vegas for the one license to operate a resort casino in Greater Boston, which is expected to be awarded by the state gambling commission in May or June.
Wynn proposes to build a $1 billion resort casino on vacant industrial land on the Mystic River. Everett voters last June approved that project, voting 86 percent in favor.
In Revere, the ballot will include a summary of key economic benefits of a host community agreement, a key requirement of the state's gambling law.
Mohegan Sun's agreement with Revere calls for the Connecticut-based casino company to make a one-time payment of $33 million to the city, plus annual payments of $25 million to $30 million.
Revere residents also would receive hiring preference for the estimated 2,500 temporary construction jobs, and 4,000 permanent jobs expected to be created if the project is approved.
Still, Mohegan's proposal has unleashed heated debate among city residents. On Sunday, supporters and opponents held dueling rallies trying to convince voters to approve or defeat the project.
Tuesday's election will mark the second time since November that Revere voters have been asked to approve a casino at Suffolk Downs.
An earlier proposal, which did not identify a casino operator, won 60 percent of the vote. But the proposal was soundly defeated in East Boston.
Suffolk Downs then partnered with Mohegan Sun to propose a new project to be built solely in Revere.
The MBTA today announced the start date for its planned two-year closure of Government Center Station -- Saturday, March 22.
The 24-month closure is part of a $90 million project to renovate and rebuild the busy station at City Hall Plaza.
MBTA personnel began posting signs today at Government Center and other stations, T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.
The T has also created a webpage with additional details, including recommendations for how passengers should navigate the system during the closure.
A transfer point for the Green and Blue lines, the station is the 13th busiest in the MBTA system and the third oldest, according to the T. On average, 11,315 people enter Government Center Station on weekdays.
Work on the Government Center Station project began in the fall while the station remained opened.
During the closure, trains will still run through, but will not stop at the station.
The T has said it will take steps to try to reduce impacts from the closure, including running: special bus route that will stop at Government Center, Haymarket, and State stations. And, Bowdoin Station, normally closed on weekends and after 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, will be kept open seven days a week and until the same time other stations close.
The overhaul, the first significant modernization to the Government Center Station in 50 years, will bring it into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and make myriad other improvements. The most dramatic change will be a tall, glass-lined station entrance, or headhouse, emerging from City Hall Plaza.
Other work will include: renovating Green Line and Blue Line platforms; overhauling the electrical system; installing new elevators, escalators, LED signs, improved lighting, and an expanded fare collection area, and reconstructing some of the surrounding parts of Cambridge Street and City Hall Plaza, officials said.
The station is scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2016. After it reopens, some work will continue before the project's scheduled completion at the end of 2016. The T has said it expects federal funding to cover about 80 percent of the project cost.
State Representative Wayne Matewsky of Everett was arrested at his home on Friday morning on a civil warrant for failing to pay $446 owed to a former campaign worker.
The first-term Democrat was taken into custody by a constable. He was arraigned in Malden District Court before Judge Lee Johnson.
Matewsky paid the outstanding bill in court, and the case was dismissed, according to the clerk’s office.
In a brief telephone interview on Friday afternoon, Matewsky said the arrest was part of a “smear campaign.”
“I paid the guy two checks and he didn’t cash the second one,” said Matewsky, 55, a former Everett common councilor. “I consider the matter closed.”
But Brian Durkin, the former campaign worker, disputed Matewsky’s assertion.
“He never sent me a second check,” Durkin said in an interview on Friday. “He paid me $400 in cash. He didn’t have the other $46, and I told the judge, ‘He must need that more than I do.'”
Durkin filed a complaint against Matewsky in Malden District Court seeking $2,700 for signmaking services he provided to Matewsky’s campaign last spring.
A clerk court reduced the amount to $842. Matewsky was found to be in default, after he failed to appear for a payment review hearing on Jan. 16.
A civil warrant was issued. Durkin hired a constable to arrest him. “I felt it was the right thing to do. He owed me this money,” Durkin said.
Matewsky’s arrest is the latest controversy to involve him since he was elected last April to fulfill the unexpired term of former State Representative Stephen “Stat” Smith, who resigned after pleading guilty to charges of absentee ballot fraud. Smith was sentenced to four months in federal prison, and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.
Last March, on the night after he won the Democratic nomination, Matewsky was accused of berating employees at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Everett. Staff said Matewsky used profanities after complaining about being seated near a special needs child.
Matewsky strongly disputed the charges, but accepted a reprimand issued last April from his then-colleagues on the Everett Common Council.
Kathy McCabe can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe.
Following a Revere City Council vote to set Tuesday, Feb. 25 as the date for a referendum vote, Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs on Friday launched a campaign to build support for its $1 billion resort casino proposal.
Voters in Revere will vote up or down on the recently announced host community agreement with Mohegan Sun, which guarantees the city between $25 million and $30 million in annual revenue, up to $33 million in pre-opening payments, about $45 million in infrastructure improvements, and new athletic fields.
After Palmer voters rejected Mohegan Sun’s plans for a resort casino in that town and East Boston voters turned down a casino at the East Boston racetrack, Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs teamed up on a revised casino plan on 52 acres owned by Suffolk Downs in Revere, where voters in early November had approved plans for the East Boston casino.
The Revere casino plan is competing with Steve Wynn’s Everett casino proposal for the eastern Massachusetts license.