May 3 meeting to take up Neponset canoe launch plan

Rachel Zarrell, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 21, 2011

A discussion about the expansion of the canoe launch dock at Neponset Park for Milton High School’s crew team and the surrounding community will take place at a public meeting at St. Brendan’s Church Hall on Tues., May 3, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  Read more

Dot Park will shine this season

Dorchester Park, the 30-acre, Olmsted-designed jewel that anchors our neighborhood to the south, has a magical quality this time of year. The buds are poking out from their winter slumber, the trees are springing back to life and kids are once again swarming the ballfields and playground.

Dot Park has benefited from a tremendous civic lifeline that has grown up around it over the last two decades. The Dorchester Park Association, Inc.— led by the indefatigable Jane Boyer— has helped to program and clean the park each year and is the driving force behind a fantastic line-up of events this season, including Saturday morning’s Easter Egg Hunt (10 a.m. sharp at the tennis courts). Boyer has able and energetic help from a team of park enthusiasts, including Richard O’Mara, the owner of Cedar Grove Gardens, who has been instrumental in organizing fundraisers and helping to coordinate clean-ups and tree plantings.  Read more

Food and Fitness Coalition plans events in Mattapan

Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 21, 2011

The Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition (MFFC) will be holding two events at the Mattapan Library in upcoming weeks. On Saturday, April 23, the group will unveil a project titled “Healthy on the Block,” a partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission. The project aims to increase access and visibility to healthy food options in Mattapan’s corner stores. Two stores, Mama’s Market and Lily’s Market, both located on Blue Hill Ave, have already started working with consultants from the BPHC under this program. MFFC hopes to expand the project into two more stores in the near future.  Read more

Democratic activist John Doogan dead at 64

John Doogan, a Savin Hill resident and a fixture in local Democratic politics since the 1960s, died on Friday. Doogan served as the parliamentarian for the Massachusetts Democratic Party and was a longtime member of the party’s state committee.  Read more

Tonight: Labor movement topic of Ashmont forum

Reporter Staff
Apr. 15, 2011

The Dorchester Speaker’s Forum will present a lecture and discussion with UMass Boston Professor and noted Labor Historian James Green on Friday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at All Saints Church in Ashmont. The free program comes as unions are dominating domestic news.

Green is professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he directs the graduate program in public history. He also teaches courses on the history of Boston, working class history and social justice movements and has served as president of the Labor and Working Class History Association and as research director for the PBS series The Great Depression.  Read more

Hyde Park's Dorcena launching at-large run

Hyde Park resident William Dorcena, the owner of a business named CenaMaven and the brother of Dorchester state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, told the Reporter on Monday that he has formed a campaign committee and is jumping into this year's City Council At-Large race.

"I've always thought about public service," Dorcena said, adding that he will focus on public education, public safety and the economy as his top three issues. As the father of a young daughter, a taxpayer and a business owner, he said, he feels "I have to play a more pro-active role."  Read more

BRA: We’ll customize neighborhood census stats, maps

Gal Tziperman Lotan
Apr. 7, 2011

The Boston Redevelopment Authority – or BRA – announced last Thursday that it will provide customized 2010 Census maps to those who disagree with the way it drew neighborhood boundaries or want a specially-tailored breakdown of the city.

“While the neighborhoods the BRA has mapped out for census number crunching by-and-large match how most perceive Boston’s configuration, we acknowledged some may dispute where neighborhoods begin and end,” the agency said in a press release.  Read more

New Kroc Center hailed, but fee structure remains concern

Kroc Center: Major William Bode of the Salvation Army, Mayor Tom Menino, John Hamill of Sovereign Bank and Linda Wendfeldt, Joan Kroc’s daughter, enjoy Saturday’s ribbon-cutting of the Kroc Community Center on Dudley Street, Dorchester. Photo courtesy Mayor’s office Kroc Center: Major William Bode of the Salvation Army, Mayor Tom Menino, John Hamill of Sovereign Bank and Linda Wendfeldt, Joan Kroc’s daughter, enjoy Saturday’s ribbon-cutting of the Kroc Community Center on Dudley Street, Dorchester. Photo courtesy Mayor’s office

The new Kroc Center seems to have it all as it aims to serve local residents and families and more than 19,000 children living within a mile of the facility: The aquatic enter center with a heated indoor water park and a water slide. The gymnasium with two high school regulation courts. And the rock climbing wall, a ropes course, and a performing arts center.

Located in the Uphams Corner section of Dorchester and hailed as a jewel, the $115 million center was formally opened with great fanfare on Saturday.

“The dream has been realized,” Mayor Tom Menino told a crowd assembled for the opening ceremony. Menino played a key role in assembling a fundraising team that raised millions of dollars to help buttress the much larger sum donated by the Kroc family to build the center.

But the Kroc Center remains somewhat of a work-in-progress. Political and community leaders are still working behind-the-scenes with Salvation Army officials, who operate the center, to ensure that local residents and families can afford the membership rates the center is asking— fees that some say are too high.  Read more

Meade's BRA turn offers promise of needed reforms

Peter Meade is well-respected as both an out-front power broker and a behind-the-scenes adviser to some of the region’s most influential civic and business leaders. He is an inspired choice to lead the city’s planning agency, the Boston Redevelopment Authority or BRA.

Mayor Tom Menino with Peter MeadeMayor Tom Menino with Peter MeadeMeade’s imminent tenure is sure to be consumed quickly by large development questions that have bedeviled Boston even before the recent recession: the Filene’s hole in downtown Boston, the Ferdinand building in Dudley Sq. and the continued development of the waterfront. All of these projects — and many more—will benefit from Meade’s unique skill set and his productive relationship with Mayor Menino.  Read more

Top Patrick aide receives outpouring of support after heart attack

Ron Bell: On the mend after serious heart attack. Photo by Chris LovettRon Bell: On the mend after serious heart attack. Photo by Chris LovettA top adviser to Gov. Deval Patrick was released from the hospital Monday after suffering a massive heart attack.

Ron Bell, who serves as Patrick’s senior adviser on community affairs, was leaving a Dedham meeting on Wednesday afternoon when he felt a shortness of breath and asked a friend to take him back to the State House.

His friend, Peter Lin-Marcus, instead took him to the emergency ward at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where doctors ran tests and had an ambulance take him to Massachusetts General Hospital’s intensive care unit, Bell said.

“I’m so glad to be alive,” Bell, 48, told the Reporter on Monday.  Read more