Crime bill conferees closer on school drug zones, list of three-strike crimes

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
May. 7, 2012

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MAY 7, 2012…. House and Senate lawmakers negotiating a crime and sentencing bill are moving closer to an agreement over the list of crimes that would trigger a “three-strikes” elimination of parole and over a reduction to the size of school zones that carry increased penalties for drug crimes.

Though Senate negotiators told their House counterparts on Monday that they needed more time to review a counteroffer from the House presented roughly three weeks ago, both sides expressed confidence that progress was being made and a bill would be finalized before July.  Read more

Dot House celebrates new expanded services

May. 7, 2012

Dot House celebration: Dorchester House CEO Joel Abrams addressed a crowd at the facility this morning. At right, (l-r) are Councillor Frank Baker, Senator Jack Hart, Mayor Tom Menino. Photo by Ed ForryDot House celebration: Dorchester House CEO Joel Abrams addressed a crowd at the facility this morning. At right, (l-r) are Councillor Frank Baker, Senator Jack Hart, Mayor Tom Menino. Photo by Ed Forry

Mayor Menino and CEO Joel Abrams are among those celebrating the official ribbon cutting for an $11.4 million expansion project at the Dorchester House this morning. The project doubled the size of both the Clinic Pharmacy and Lab and includes a beautiful new Physical Therapy clinic, renovated offices for the WIC program, additional conference rooms, and a larger more comfortable break room for staff.

Dorchester House was among the first health centers in the country to receive Federal Stimulus Funds in 2009 to expand the building in order to provide more access to health care. The Dot House can now accommodate over 26,000 additional patient visits annually. More in this week's Reporter.

Steward taps North Carolina man for Carney presidency

Andrew DavisAndrew DavisA health care executive from North Carolina has been hired to take over as president and CEO of the Carney Hospital next month. Andrew Davis was introduced to the Dorchester Avenue hospital’s board at a private meeting on Monday.

Accompanying Davis were Ralph de la Torre, the chairman and CEO of the Steward Health Care System, which owns Carney Hospital, and Josh Putter, Steward’s chief operating officer.  Read more

Mattapan's Matthews goes the distance to fight hunger

Lisa Hagen, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 26, 2012

Monica MatthewsMonica MatthewsFor the past 24 years, Monica Matthews has walked 440 miles and raised over $50,000 to end hunger.

As the second highest individual online fundraiser for The Walk for Hunger, Matthews, a Mattapan resident, continues to walk each year to support Project Bread, the Massachusetts anti-hunger organization.

In 1988, Matthews was encouraged to participate in The Walk for Hunger, the 20-mile walk that began in 1969, when a co-worker asked her to join a team. Once she learned about the program, she said she was in shock because she could not imagine anyone in the state or country being hungry. She “choked and teared up” because her two children were ages 6 and 8 at the time, and she said she could never imagine them hungry.  Read more

Tonight: Meeting focuses on Blue Hill Ave. corridor

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 25, 2012

City Hall is teaming up with residents and merchants for a reinvigorated effort to reshape the Blue Hill Avenue corridor. Mayor Menino’s Neighborhood Response Team is working with local groups in an attempt to root out crime in the area and find out what kind of community the neighborhood would like to become.

A flyer publicizing meeting tonight called on residents to help develop a plan of action “to transform Blue Hill Ave corridor to a walk-able vibrant neighborhood.” The flyer says the meeting, to be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Rev. Michael Haynes Early Education Center at 263 Blue Hill Ave. in Roxbury, will deal with prostitution, drugs, drinking, loitering, economic development and community engagement along the Blue Hill Avenue corridor.  Read more

Walczak’s abrupt departure from Carney Hospital post leaves uneasy questions unanswered

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Apr. 18, 2012

After 14 months at the helm, Savin Hill’s Bill Walczak is out as president of Carney Hospital. The sudden shake-up raises questions about the future of the Dorchester Avenue facility, which was sold to a private equity firm in 2010 and is now facing the appointment of its fourth president in two years.  Read more

Talks indicate crime bill conferees still appear far apart

Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Apr. 13, 2012

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, APRIL 13, 2012…..House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s point-man in talks with the Senate over omnibus crime and sentencing legislation raised the prospect Friday that the two sides could fail to reach agreement and suggested that they consider passing a narrow bill that could win support.  Read more

City condemns landmark Norfolk Street farmhouse

Fowler-Clark Farm: Norfolk Street landmark condemned by city inspectors. Ed Forry photoFowler-Clark Farm: Norfolk Street landmark condemned by city inspectors. Ed Forry photo

A historic farmhouse on Norfolk Street, one of the last vestiges of the neighborhood’s now-distant agricultural past, was condemned by city officials on Tuesday after inspectors found the vacant buildings unfit for human habitation. The Fowler/Clark Farm, which is listed as a historic landmark, was boarded up by emergency crews as firefighters and other city workers combed the property for evidence of trouble—which was found in abundance.  Read more

White House to honor Dorchester Youth Collaborative founder

Reporter Staff
Apr. 3, 2012

The White House plans on Wednesday to honor Emmett Folgert, the founder and executive director of the Dorchester Youth Collaborative, for his anti-youth violence work. Folgert is one of twelve people the Obama administration intends to recognize as part of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.

The Youth Collaborative serves 100 teens a day, mostly from the Fields Corner area, allowing them the space for activities such as break dancing or ping pong. Help in finding employment opportunities is also available.  Read more

State falls down in policing real estate broker

The Boston Globe published a troubling but important story in its Business section on Sunday (subscription required). The article, by Jennifer McKim, revealed that a Mansfield man, Michael David Scott, continues to operate a busy real estate business focused on properties in Dorchester and Mattapan even as he awaits trial in a federal court for 68 charges of mortgage fraud.

Most disturbingly, the Globe report detailed that Scott continues to conduct business with the official approval of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which has not moved to suspend or revoke his license to broker real estate deals, despite the many serious accusations lodged against him.  Read more