Civics

Hearing examines proposed crackdown on problem properties

By 
Callum Borchers, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 7, 2011

Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel Linskey: Testified during Wednesday's City Council hearing. Photo by Callum BorchersBoston Police Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel Linskey: Testified during Wednesday's City Council hearing. Photo by Callum BorchersThe Menino Administration explained Wednesday the discretion implied in a proposed city ordinance that would bill negligent landlords for police details at properties that generate frequent service calls. A city task force organized by the Mayor's office unveiled its first likely target on Tuesday: A Roxbury three-decker that has been a chronic source of 911 emergency calls in recent months.

Addressing the City Council’s Committee on Government Operations, Corporation Counsel Bill Sinnott stressed the legislation’s benchmarks—referral to the newly formed Problem Properties Task Force after four serious crime calls in a year’s time, monetary charges after eight—are simply guidelines.

“What the city wants to emphasize,” Sinnott said, “is this is not a numerical exercise. The numbers are there as a trigger, as a prompt for the city to take action to address the problems and to look for solutions.”  Read more

In this week's Reporter: Yancey as loyal opposition

City Councillor Charles Yancey is nothing if not relentlessly on message. Less than 15 minutes into a 40-minute interview he mentions one of his pet issues: a new high school for Mattapan. “I do have a lot of legislation that’s pending, and with regards to the high school, we haven’t had a hearing on it,” Yancey told the Reporter this week.  Read more

City plans crackdown on ‘problem properties’; owners facing fines

By 
Stephen Kurkjian and Rachel Zarrell, Special to The Reporter
Jun. 23, 2011

47-49 Savin Hill Ave: Six-family house has been source of concern in Savin Hill.47-49 Savin Hill Ave: Six-family house has been source of concern in Savin Hill.First in a two-part series.

When 19-year-old Derek Matulina was shot to death at the Savin Hill MBTA station on May 7, his father instinctively knew the house where the alleged killer, Nhu Ahn Nguyen, was initially reported to have fled after the shooting.

Having lived in Savin Hill for over a decade, Robert Matulina, now 61, remembered the house as an eyesore even before he left the neighborhood 10 years ago. While police now doubt the initial media accounts that the house had been a hiding place for the alleged killer and, possibly, witnesses to the crime, it was not surprising that those familiar with the neighborhood would find such reports credible.  Read more

Guardsman Lunnin: ‘110 percent’ effort expected

By 
Corey Burns, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 23, 2011

Spc. James LunninSpc. James LunninEditor’s Note: Dorchester is home to scores of young men and women who have left behind friends and family members to serve the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. To highlight their stories, the Reporter’s new column, “Over There,” will feature a new Dorchester service member ever week. Readers are invited to send in suggestions for men and women to profile by sending an email to Corey Burns at coburns@rivier.edu.

As a member of the Army National Guard, James Lunnin, 21, of Adams Village is currently serving overseas in Gardez, Afghanistan.

Lunnin works as a member of a security force for a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in the Paktiya Province, providing personal security for engineers, mechanics, medics, and administrative personnel who work to boost Afghanistan’s infrastructure. Much of the PRT’s responsibilities include engaging locals and assessing transportation, health care, security, and education in their respective provinces.  Read more

(UPDATED) MBTA GM: Greenway trail will include Mattapan

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jun. 17, 2011

Officials from the MBTA, the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the State House met yesterday in an attempt to move forward with a planned expansion of the Neponset Greenway.

The project, which has been vetted over the last two years, appeared to hit an impasse earlier this month, when Greenway supporters learned that the MBTA had safety concerns about having an at-grade crossing at the Mattapan Square MBTA station as part of the planned trail extension. DCR is working to extend the Greenway by one mile, connecting the riverside path from Pope John Paul II Park to a separate state trail in Hyde Park. The trail current stops short at Central Ave. in Milton.  Read more

Landmark status sought for 1859 Centre St. building

By 
Pat Tarantino, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 16, 2011

The one-time Industrial School for Girls at 232 Centre St.The one-time Industrial School for Girls at 232 Centre St.

Citing a need for further information and review, the Boston Landmark Commission has temporarily denied historic landmark status for a 19th century building in the St. Mark’s neighborhood recently purchased by the Epiphany School.

During a preliminary hearing at Boston City Hall on Tuesday, the 15-member board said they could not determine the historical significance of the Industrial School for Girls, located on 232 Centre Street, based on information currently available. The call for landmark status was petitioned by Dorchester Historical Society president Earl Taylor and was opposed by John Finley IV, the Epiphany School’s founder.  Read more

Mattahunt task force gets job done

Mattahunt School and Community CenterMattahunt School and Community Center

The Mattahunt Community Center is hard to find if you’ve never been there. It’s tucked away in a heavily residential section of Mattapan and shares a leafy campus with the middle school of the same name.

Chances are, most people — even those who live in Mattapan— have never been there unless they have kids who go to school at the Mattahunt or they vote in one of the two precincts that use the school as a polling place.

That’s all about to change.  Read more

Thursday meeting to detail Ryan Playground fixes

By 
Staff
Jun. 15, 2011

The state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will host a public meeting at the Foley Senior Residences on Thursday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. to present plans for a new water feature, as well as spray elements and site improvements, at the Ryan Playground on River Street in Mattapan.  Read more

Greenway plan needs more focus from state leaders

The news this week that the MBTA has come out against a plan to route the next phase of the Neponset Greenway though its property in Mattapan Square is a deep disappointment for proponents of the Greenway and a potentially huge setback in the decades-long fight to restore the Neponset River to public access. If allowed to stand, the T’s unwillingness to allow a grade crossing to route the trail through its property could derail this project, an outcome with long-term negative implications on both sides of the river.  Read more

Brown gets pole position in Dot Day’s parade of pols

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 6, 2011

Dot Day 2011: (l-r) Council president Steve Murphy, Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry (with daughter Madeline), US Sen. Scott Brown, Sen. Jack Hart, Chief Marshal John Connor, Patrick Kulakowski, Commanding Officer of the USS Carr, Mayor Tom Menino, City Councillor Felix ArroyoDot Day 2011: (l-r) Council president Steve Murphy, Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry (with daughter Madeline), US Sen. Scott Brown, Sen. Jack Hart, Chief Marshal John Connor, Patrick Kulakowski, Commanding Officer of the USS Carr, Mayor Tom Menino, City Councillor Felix Arroyo

Among the dancers, marching bands and other lively participants from Sunday’s Dorchester Day parade, some of the most energetic marchers along the route were the candidates for public office. Incumbents and would-be office holders were eager to shake hands, ask for support and match a smiling face to the campaign signs that are an ever-increasing presence along Dorchester Ave.  Read more