Civics

Amateur mapmaker gets Dot just right

McCarthy's Dorchester mapMcCarthy's Dorchester mapIf you’re a Dorchester-phile (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), then you have to get a look at the map that a man named Ed McCarthy has created depicting our neighborhood. The map — which McCarthy has sold one-by-one to friends and colleagues since 2008— is beautifully illustrated and pops with interesting flashbacks about Dorchester’s past. An image of the map is shown here at right. You can get a closer look by looking at the attachment below.

Much to the relief of this space, the map is also a well-drawn and accurate laying out of historic Dorchester. McCarthy is a veteran city ambulance driver who knows the streets of Boston as well as anyone could. Fascinated with Boston history and geography, he grew increasingly dissatisfied with the neighborhood maps that he saw in circulation in books and at City Hall. So he decided to work up one himself.

“I said, ‘I can do this,’ so I hit the library and did the research. I got registered at the state archives and spent a lot of time at the BPL. I tried to get every reference I could find and I packed it into the map.”  Read more

Residents weigh in on residential plans for vacant Morrissey Blvd. lot

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Dec. 11, 2012

Dorchester residents and elected officials sounded notes of support on Monday night for a residential project next to the JFK/UMass MBTA station. But the chair of a task force that set up guidelines for development on Columbia Point expressed dissatisfaction with the density of the five-story project.  Read more

Chambers presents Columbia Point dealership plans, draws concern over master plan impact

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 7, 2012

Herb Chambers: Auto magnate looks to enter hometown market. Herb Chambers: Auto magnate looks to enter hometown market. Savin Hill residents heard from one of the region’s leading auto dealers Thursday about his plan to bring a pre-owned BMW dealership to Columbia Point, an area expected to see high growth in residences and businesses. Herb Chambers Companies of Somerville plan to convert the former WLVI-TV station near the northern end of Morrissey Boulevard into a sales and service center for the high-end German automaker.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city’s planning agency, hosted the meeting at the Cristo Rey Boston High School on Savin Hill Avenue.

Chambers himself attended the meeting and answered residents concerns about the project. “I think this is great for Dorchester because there’s a lot of positive energy going into the area,” Chambers said to the crowd of about 35 people gathered in the Cristo Rey library.  Read more

Walczak wing adds capacity, promise at Codman Center

Codman's latest addition: Sandra Cotterell, CEO of the Codman Square Health Center, left and Meg Campbell, executive director of the Codman Academy Charter Public School, outside the newly-opened William J. Walczak Education and Health Center on Epping Street. Codman's latest addition: Sandra Cotterell, CEO of the Codman Square Health Center, left and Meg Campbell, executive director of the Codman Academy Charter Public School, outside the newly-opened William J. Walczak Education and Health Center on Epping Street.

It’s a brand new four-story building with a strikingly familiar name.

The William J. Walczak Education and Health Center — named for the founder of the Codman Square Health Center— is open for business – and classes. An official grand opening is on hold pending the return to action of the only other living Bostonian who gets his name on big new buildings these days – Mayor Thomas Menino – but the building itself has been in partial use since September and is due to be fully up and running by year’s end.  Read more

Patrick cuts spending by $225 million, will seek power to cut local aid

By 
Michael Norton and Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Dec. 4, 2012

As part of a plan to address an estimated $540 million mid-year budget gap, Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday slashed spending by $225 million and asked the Legislature to allow him to unilaterally reduce unrestricted local aid to cities and towns by 1 percent.

Unrestricted local aid pays for local services, such as public safety budgets, and is delivered separately from state aid to fund local education spending, which is not targeted for cuts under Patrick’s plan.

“I don’t think this is draconian. Obviously every city and town worries about an impact on their local aid, but as I say this is relatively modest. We are spreading the pain as broadly as possible and sensible and we have a solution for closing that gap in unrestricted local aid if the Lottery continues to help,” Patrick said.

The spending cuts ordered by the governor will hit nursing homes, special education funding, school transportation for the homeless and reimbursement rates for hospitals that treat low-income patients.  Read more

Menino sends blunt letter on "fiscal cliff" to Obama and House speaker

Mayor Thomas Menino's office has fired off a chatty letter to President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, chock full of shots at the capitol’s culture and glimpses of life inside Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The blunt letter, signed by Menino, urges Obama and Boehner to speak plainly about "fiscal cliff" negotiations and asks them not to cut health research funding, pointing to the hundreds of millions of dollars the Bay State receives from the federal government.  Read more

Meeting to discuss planned BMW dealership on Morrissey Blvd.

Proposed Herb Chambers dealership on Morrissey Blvd.Proposed Herb Chambers dealership on Morrissey Blvd.The Boston Redevelopment Authority will convene a public meeting on Thurs., Dec. 6 to discuss auto magnate Herb Chambers' plan to convert the old Channel 56 building on Morrissey Boulevard into a car dealership and repair center.

The Reporter first reported in October that Chambers intends to purchase and renovate the now-empty TV studio at 75 Morrissey Blvd, which is valued at $4.5 million according to city records. The sale price of the property has not been disclosed and it is not yet clear if Chambers has acquired the property at this time.  Read more

Bowdoin-Geneva Main Streets leader fired by board

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Nov. 23, 2012

The Bowdoin-Geneva Main Streets organization is "in transition" following the abrupt departure of its executive director, Sandra Kennedy, who was terminated "for cause" by the group's board of directors last month. Weeks after Kennedy's dismissal, a representative of the Main Streets' board filed a police report alleging that a former employee had misappropriated funds from the group.

Kennedy, who had led the organization for six years, was fired on Oct. 17, according to the Department of Neighborhood Development, which works with the Main Streets groups.  Read more

Tree lightings begin across neighborhood on Nov. 24

By 
Reporter Staff
Nov. 13, 2012

The annual Holiday tree lighting trolley tour of Dorchester villages organized by the Mayor’s Office will be held on Sat., Nov. 24 beginning at 3:10 p.m. in Lower Mills at Meetinghouse Bank.  Read more

Elizabeth Warren and the unions

An hour before he was scheduled to meet with US Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren at the State House on Thursday morning, Gov. Deval Patrick swung through the offices of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 in Dorchester.

“We have work still to do,” Patrick said, referring to the transportation reform debate expected to occur next year, including “how to pay for it.”  Read more