Gov. Patrick to sign gun bill on Wednesday

Michael Norton, State House News Service
Aug. 11, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick plans Wednesday morning to sign omnibus legislation aimed at reducing gun violence in Massachusetts.  Read more

Neighbors pitch in to send care packages to troops in Afghanistan

Jacob Aguiar, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 6, 2014

Care packages for local men serving in Afghanistan were gathered and packed at Tuesday evening’s National Night Out event at Town Field in Fields Corner. Photo by Jacon Aguiar

A diverse cross-section of the Dorchester community turned out to celebrate and honor three of our own serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan at the neighborhood’s National Night Out festivities at Town Field Park in Fields Corner on Tuesday night.  Read more

New layer of security needed at city parks

The public safety threat that was manifested this week by the assault and robbery of Ed Forry in Dorchester Park made the news well beyond the tight-knit village of Lower Mills. The incident resulted in stepped-up police patrols, maintenance, and vigilance in the park itself. At Cedar Grove Gardens, whistles – made available by Councillor Frank Baker’s office – were made available to customers. There was a buzz in and around the park that everyone needs to be on heightened alert, especially because Ed’s assailant was not identified or apprehended.

The regular police patrols will surely dissipate. And, we hope, the sense of alarm will fade away, too. In the absence of any further incidents, things in Dot Park should return quickly to normal.

But one thing needs to change soon— and not just at Dorchester Park, but in and around all city parks.  Read more

Almont Park ready for football; baseball is next

Almont's new gridiron: Interim Parks and Recreation Commissioner Chris Cook, left, and Ryan Woods, director of External Affairs for the department, are shown on the new football field at Almont Park. The Mattapan Patriots take the field on Friday. Photo by Bill ForryAlmont's new gridiron: Interim Parks and Recreation Commissioner Chris Cook,right, and Ryan Woods, director of External Affairs for the department, are shown on the new football field at Almont Park. The Mattapan Patriots take the field on Friday. Photo by Bill Forry

It’s been ten years coming, but an ambitious, $4.2 million reconstruction project at Mattapan’s largest city-owned park is now well underway. Almont Park’s marquee addition, a newly-installed football field, will open this week— just in time for the neighborhood’s Pop Warner program to start practices on August 1.

This week, Mayor Martin Walsh added another new element to the build-out at Almont: Heeding calls from residents, Walsh has ordered the project to add a little league baseball field to the next phase of the construction, expected to begin this fall. The baseball diamond will be added to a corner of the park that is now used mainly for cricket— and it will give Mattapan a chance to start-up a youth baseball league next spring.  Read more

Bus shelter roofs targeted for “green” treatment along Fairmount corridor

Something leafy and green is growing on top of three bus shelters along the Fairmont Line–and that’s the plan. The $15,000 pilot project is aimed at showing community members how roofs laden with green plants such as those installed on the three bus shelters improve air quality, reduce storm water run-off, and cut down on heat islands during hot summer months.  Read more

My walk in the park took a dangerous turn

DOT PARK : Ed Forry retraced his steps on a quiet path in Dorchester Park on Tuesday evening. This is the same path on which Forry was accosted on Sunday afternoon. 	Bill Forry photoDOT PARK : Ed Forry retraced his steps on a quiet path in Dorchester Park on Tuesday evening. This is the same path on which Forry was accosted on Sunday afternoon. Bill Forry photo

It was not my usual walk in the park.

There I was, late on a Sunday afternoon in July, making my way in broad and sunny daylight through the beautiful 27-acre park near my home in Lower Mills.

As usual, my thoughts were off in a quiet reverie – as I approach my 70th birthday, I no longer move swiftly, yet I remain committed to regular walks to forestall some of the downside effects of aging.

Suddenly, and without any sort of warning, I felt an arm reach around my neck from behind. It seemed at first to be maybe a friend, horse-playing as guys can do, with a sneak-up surprise. But the grip was very strong, and it was squeezing the air out of my lungs and the blood out of my head. This was no friend.  Read more

Disability community marks anniversary of the ADA

India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 29, 2014

Jerry Donovan and Caitlin Weiler: At the City Hall observance of the ADA anniversary. Photo by India SmithJerry Donovan and Caitlin Weiler: At the City Hall observance of the ADA anniversary. Photo by India SmithOn Thursday, July 24, Boston’s disability community met on City Hall Plaza to commemorate the Americans With Disabilities Act, signed on July 26, 1990. The gathering included people using wheelchairs, people using American Sign Language, and people assisted by service animals, as well as personal care attendants, family members and many other supporters. Instituted four years ago by Kristen McCosh, Boston’s Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, the annual event marks progress toward the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of city life.

According to McCosh, the day is not meant for long speeches, but is mainly a time to get together and celebrate. This year’s event began with a procession around City Hall Plaza, following a route that has been made wheelchair accessible in part because of the mandate of the ADA. After looping around City Hall, the parade returned to a tent where several organizations had set up tables. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and others were offering information. Lines formed at food trucks and a hot dog stand, while Radio 103.3 provided background music.

Dorchester resident Ann Siegel of the Boston Center for Youth & Families was handing out brochures on activities for kids. Many of the center’s programs are in Dorchester and Mattapan.  Read more

TODAY! More Wiffles for TK: Aidan’s Barber Shops host ‘buzz-off’

Wiffles for TK: Tommy and his dad Eddie KellyWiffles for TK: Tommy and his dad Eddie KellyAidan’s Barber Shops in Lower Mills and Adams Corner have been doing a brisk trade in wiffles this month. Always a seasonal favorite, this year’s mid-summer boom is attributable to a little boy from Dorchester whose close-cropped hair style was made out of medical necessity.

Tommy Kelly, age 4, has been battling a tough cancer diagnosis since June. Two weeks ago, Tommy and his dad, Eddie, decided to get matching wiffles as a sign of solidarity for Tommy’s anticipated hair loss from his cancer treatments. Once he posted it online, Eddie’s shot of their matching wiffles went viral, especially among the legions of firefighters from around the country who have been monitoring Tommy’s battle. (Eddie Kelly is a nationally respected labor leader and president of the state’s leading firefighters union.)

Heather Flynn, who owns and operates both Aidan’s locations, decided that she and her staff wanted to do something extra to show support for the Kelly family. She decided to plan a “Buzz-off for TK”— a day-long event set for Monday, August 4, a day when the shops would typically be closed for a day-off.  Read more

Fields Corner-based MassCOSH focuses on worker safety

Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 25, 2014

When Marcy Goldstein-Gelb hears something described as a “freak accident,” a buzzer goes off in her head.

Executive director of the Dorchester-based Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), Goldstein-Gelb said many accidents described that way could have been predicted and avoided.

“In most cases, it has happened before and will happen again unless we do something,” said Goldstein-Gelb.

MassCOSH’s mission is to advocate for workers facing unsafe conditions, particularly teens and immigrants, who are the most vulnerable, according to Goldstein-Gelb.  Read more

Mattahunt’s Cope earns degree from Wheelock College

Kimberley Theodore, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 25, 2014

Mattapan’s Rashad Cope, director of the Wheelock College and Mattahunt Community Center, graduated from Wheelock College in May with a master’s degree in Educational Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership.

The 31-year-old said that community centers like the one he now leads played a big role in his childhood growing up in Roxbury. His mother, Cherie Cope, was the administrative coordinator at the Shelburne Community Center and other community centers in Mattapan. Cope grew up spending a lot of time shadowing his mom and looking at the work she did.  Read more