Civics

Little Miss, Young Miss contests set for May 14

The Little Miss Dorchester and Young Miss Dorchester contests for 2011 will be held on Saturday, May 14 at 9 a.m. at the Columbia Rd. campus of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy.  Read more

Volunteers help put spring 'shine' on neighborhoods

By 
Reporter Staff
May. 1, 2011

Neighbors in Adams Corner teamed up to help clean the village yesterday as part of the citywide Boston Shines project, which enlisted them help of hundreds of residents and merchants over a two-day effort. Above, volunteers joined State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry and Cedar Grove Civic Association president Sean Weir in Adams Village.

Two more apply for nomination papers for District 7 race

The District 7 race may have an additional two candidates: Sheneal Parker and Haywood Fennell Sr.

Others who have applied for nomination papers at City Hall - as of this afternoon - include incumbent City Councillor Tito Jackson, David James Wyatt of Dorchester, and perennial candidates Althea Garrison and Roy Owens.

Parker, a Fenway resident, fell short during the signature-gathering phase for the special election earlier this year; Fennell missed the deadline and ran as a write-in candidate instead, picking up 2.22 percent of the vote in the preliminary.  Read more

In face of lobbying, senators mull next play in muni-health debate

By 
Kyle Cheney and Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Apr. 28, 2011

Now the focus of heavy lobbying, state senators have largely remained silent about collective bargaining and municipal health care since the House passed a plan this week to curb the negotiating power of local unions over their health care benefits.

Senators appeared hesitant and even uneasy Thursday about laying out their views on the issue. Most contacted by the News Service said they were unaware of the specifics of the House proposal, which thrilled business and municipal management groups and enraged labor officials after it was adopted late Tuesday night.  Read more

Redistricting hearings at city, state level on May 10 and May 14

Four days before the legislative panel tasked with redrawing the state’s district boundaries drops by Boston for a hearing, the City Council will take its own crack at the issue.  Read more

Green home blooms on Brent St.; Civic leader hopes to set example for builders

By 
Jackie Gentile, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 28, 2011

81 Brent Street81 Brent StreetThe new home at 81 Brent Street may look like any other house on its Codman Square block, but the three-family is different from the others. It’s completely green - not in color but in development and function. From the foundation to the solar panel-lined roof, the entire house is environmentally sustainable.

Codman Square Neighborhood Council President Cynthia Loesch had repeatedly proposed ideas of bringing sustainable building projects to the neighborhood, but says the council never got the response they wanted to hear from developers.

“I decided to do it myself,” Loesch says. “Let’s find out how much it really costs by square foot. Let’s find out all the proper rhetoric so we can argue with the developers better, and let’s really set a standard in Codman Square on the kind on housing and development we’d like to see.”  Read more

Unions enraged after House backs curbs on municipal bargaining

By 
Kyle Cheney and Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Apr. 27, 2011

Labor unions were in open revolt Tuesday against the Democratic leaders of the House, promising political consequences for House Speaker Robert DeLeo and other state representatives who voted during a late night session to slash the collective bargaining power of municipal workers.

Calling the vote to an assault on workers’ rights and comparing it to anti-labor proposals in Wisconsin and other states primarily dominated by Republicans, top labor officials packed the House lobby to issue finger-waving condemnations of the 111 lawmakers – including 81 Democrats – that just minutes earlier had endorsed the plan to curb the negotiating power of city and town employees.

“It’s clearly union busting. It looks just like Wisconsin to me. It looks just like Ohio to me. It looks just like Indiana to me. I am profoundly disappointed in every Democrat who voted to do away with collective bargaining here in Massachusetts,” said Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.  Read more

Menino coffee hours starting in May

Mayor Thomas Menino is hosting coffee hours in May, making his way through the neighborhoods. He'll be in Dorchester on May 10 at the Byrne playground from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

According to a Parks Department release, Dunkin' Donuts will provide the coffee and food. Each family that attends will receive a plant grown in the city's greenhouses and will be eligible to win a raffle prize package including a "Dunkin’ Donuts gift basket, Macy’s gift certificates, Swan Boat rides, and free parking downtown for the day." (Boloco burritos not included.)

The full schedule is included below.  Read more

Hearings on BPS budget set for next week

Boston Public School officials will get the first at-bat next week as the City Council weighs Mayor Thomas Menino's $2.4 billion fiscal 2012 budget.

A Monday hearing on the BPS budget - which comes in at $829 million - starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Iannella Chamber, and is expected to stretch into the afternoon. Mark Ciommo, chair of the Ways and Means Committee, and John Connolly, chair of the Education Committee, will oversee the proceedings.

On Tuesday, at 10 a.m., city budget officials will be up, giving an overview of the budget.  Read more

Community gardeners ramping up for a new season

By 
Jackie Gentile, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 21, 2011

April showers bring May flowers but come June, fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers will crop up in community gardens throughout Dorchester. The Boston Natural Areas Network is teaming up with local organizations including the Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition for the Boston Is Growing Gardens Project. In its second year, BIGG encourages residents, with and without experience, to cultivate a better community.

Project manager and BNAN staffer Grantley Payne emphasizes that BIGG will benefit the neighborhood in many different ways. “The message is great things are happening in community gardens. We want more of our residents taking advantage of them,” Payne said.  Read more