Reporter's Notebook: New outside PAC formed to focus on governor race

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Feb. 26, 2014

Outside spending slammed into last year’s mayoral race, the tally hitting $3.8 million when all was said and done. Union-backed organizations lined up behind Marty Walsh and an education reform group backed John Connolly.

A similar situation could play out in this year’s race for governor, but on a much larger scale as five Democrats scramble for the chance to face off against Charlie Baker, the presumptive Republican nominee, in November.  Read more

Passing of the scoop: Next generation in charge at The Ice Creamsmith

Dave and Robyn Mabel, left, have sold their landmark ice cream parlor to their daughter Sarah and her husband, Chris Skillin. The Ice Creamsmith re-opens for the season on March 1. Photo courtesy Mabel familyDave and Robyn Mabel, left, have sold their landmark ice cream parlor to their daughter Sarah and her husband, Chris Skillin. The Ice Creamsmith re-opens for the season on March 1. Photo courtesy Mabel family

It’s become a sort of secular holiday in these parts. On March 1, The Ice Creamsmith re-opens for business. And that means it’s spring again in Dorchester— the snowbanks, the groundhog and the Farmer’s Almanac be damned.

For 37 years now, neighborhood folks and their neighbors across the Neponset have synchronized their hot fudge fantasies and chocolate chip cravings to the sounds of David and Robyn Mabel’s blenders on this southernmost corner of Dot Ave.  Read more

Ledge gives way to ester: An eatery move in Lower Mills

New owners, including Eleanor Arpino, left, will spend the next six weeks making modest renovations to the Dot Ave. eatery before it re-opens as ester on April 1. Above, Arpino and new manager Luther Pickney show a rendering of the planned exterior of the re-designed restaurant.

Ledge, the Lower Mills restaurant that was sold last year, shut its doors for the final time on Sunday afternoon. The eatery will undergo modest renovations over the next month as the new owners – led by veteran restaurant manager Eleanor Arpino – take charge and train new staff.

In an interview this week, Arpino told the Reporter that the new business – called ester, a play on the neighborhood’s name – should be open by April 1. On Tuesday, staff were already at work cleaning out the Ledge’s bar and kitchen areas under the supervision of Arpino and ester’s future manager, Luther Pickney. Their team plans to re-paint the interior and replace the kitchen floor. There are no other major structural changes planned, but there minor adjustments will be made to improve the flow of kitchen operations, Arpino said.  Read more

Auto parts dealer eyes empty space on Granite Ave.

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Feb. 12, 2014

The long-vacant Hollywood Video store at the corner of Gllivan Blvd. and Granite Ave. is shown in a file photo from 1999.

A proposal to put an auto parts store in a chronically vacant space on the corner of Granite Avenue and Gallivan Boulevard received a lukewarm response Tuesday night at a meeting of the Cedar Grove Civic Association. Representatives from O’Reilly Auto Parts laid out plans to take over the space that once housed a Hollywood Video store.  Read more

Barros tapped as Walsh's economic development chief

Mayor Walsh announced the appointment of John Barros during a press conference this morning. Photo courtesy Travis Watson

Former mayoral candidate John Barros began his new job this week: chief of economic development under Mayor Marty Walsh. Standing with his wife Tchintcia, Barros was introduced at the South End headquarters of Future Chefs, a nonprofit focused on urban youth.

His name had been floated for jobs in the private sector, the office of lieutenant governor, and as a candidate for the Fifth Suffolk seat left vacant after the ouster of former state Rep. Carlos Henriquez. But, Barros said on Monday, “My true passion has been my work with the city.”  Read more

Bus drivers, allies push for fired workers to be re-hired

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Feb. 6, 2014

When school bus drivers, warring with the company that oversees the buses, went on strike in early October, in the midst of a mayoral election, they were largely on their own with little political support.

Marty Walsh and John Connolly, two candidates in the middle of a mayoral election, condemned their illegal action, widely described as a “wild cat” strike. A furious Mayor Thomas Menino demanded that they return to work as school officials scrambled to find other ways to get children to school that morning.  Read more

Report touts Carney’s positive impact on area

Carney Hospital pumped $8.1 million in community benefits into Dorchester and Mattapan in 2011 and 2012, according to the author of an economic-impact report commissioned by the system that owns the Dorchester Avenue facility. The hospital also provided the city with $2.7 million in property tax revenues.  Read more

Fields Corner residents press Lucky Strike developer on parking, traffic

Jordan Frias, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 17, 2014

Lucky Strike was once a popular bowling alley at the corner of Adams and Park streets.

Fields Corner residents on Wednesday questioned the developer looking to replace the abandoned Lucky Strike bowling alley on Adams Street with residential property.

BT Construction’s Hiep Chu, a developer and longtime resident of Dorchester, held the meeting at the request of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to give community members enough time to respond to his proposal.  Read more

Council could vote on landmark status of 24 Grampian Way on Wednesday

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Dec. 13, 2013

The City Council next week could vote on whether the dilapidated Savin Hill home at 24 Grampian Way should be designated a local landmark.

The council’s economic development committee, chaired by Councillor Bill Linehan, held a hearing on the landmark status on Thursday. The Landmarks Commission voted 9-0 on Nov. 26 to designate the home as a landmark, and Mayor Thomas Menino signed off on the designation the following day.  Read more

Lower Mills eatery Ledge to be sold and re-named

Ed Forry, Associate Editor
Dec. 11, 2013

The Ledge Kitchen & Drinks includes a popular outdoor dining area, shown above. The restaurant will be sold to new owners, who plan to change the name.

Ledge Kitchen & Drinks, a popular restaurant and bar credited with being a catalyst for the business district in Lower Mills, will soon have a new owner and a new name. The matter went before the city's Licensing Board today for approval. The board is expected to render its decision on Thursday.

Eleanor Arpino, general manager of Davio's in Park Square for 12 years, wants to turn the Ledge into ester, which she said would serve "contemporary comfort food." The restaurant "would be very much approachable for families" and would serve the sort of food she hoped people would buy as takeout two to three times a week.  Read more