New Savin Hill clock rises in memory of Leo Lydon

Leo Lydon memorial clock on Savin Hill Ave.Leo Lydon memorial clock on Savin Hill Ave.Workers installed an impressive new time-piece on Savin Hill Avenue this morning: a clock named in memory of the late Leo Lydon, a lifelong Dorchester resident and judge who was a well-admired civic activist and youth mentor. Lydon died in a car accident in 2000. The clock has been paid for by donations raised over the last several years by friends and neighbors of Lydon, who held fundraisers and sold bricks to pay for the tribute.

"He was one of those rare people that nobody had anything bad to say about them," state Rep. Martin Walsh said in a 2007 Reporter story on efforts to memorialize Lydon. "He was respected and loved by all."

The clock has been installed just outside the Savin Hill MBTA station. The MBTA will provide the electricity needed to run the clock.  Read more

Top Menino aide starting UMass Boston center for 'community democracy'

A top aide to Mayor Thomas Menino is trading in City Hall for UMass Boston. Judith Kurland, who had previously served as Menino's chief of staff, is establishing the Center for Community Democracy and Democratic Literacy at UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies.

Kurland served as Menino's chief of staff from September 2006 to December 2009, when she stepped down to take a job as Menino's chief of programs and partnerships.

"It has been meaningful and worthwhile to be part of this team for the past four years, a time that is among the hardest the city has ever had to face," Kurland wrote in an email to colleagues last week.  Read more

Year-end spending bill includes $350K for Boston libraries

Beacon Hill lawmakers will be taking up a $320 million spending bill this week, according to the State House News Service. The bill includes $350,000 for the Boston Public Library system, which faced the closure of four branches earlier this year.

Library officials reversed course after community outcry, and pledged to keep open the libraries on the chopping block -- which included the Lower Mills branch -- if funding became available.

At an October meeting with neighborhood residents, library officials said a $375,000 budget gap exists until the end of the fiscal year in June. The cost of keeping just the Lower Mills branch open is $108,000.

After the jump is the report from the State House News Service:  Read more

Globe: Interviews with three incoming state reps

The Boston Globe's Your Town for Dorchester sits down with the three incoming state representatives for the area, including Carlos Henriquez, Nick Collins and Russell Holmes.

They will be sworn into office in January.  Read more

Census count confirms Mass. to lose House seat

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Dec. 21, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 21, 2010…. As widely predicted, Massachusetts will lose at least one of its 10 seats in Congress during the 2012 election cycle based on population counts collected during the 2010 Census, according to data released from the U.S. Census Bureau.

During a conference call with reporters, Census Bureau officials confirmed Tuesday morning that Massachusetts is among ten states to be losing at least one U.S. House seat.  Read more

With House seat on the line, redistricting strategists eyeing possibilities

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Dec. 20, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 20, 2010... As leaders on Beacon Hill anxiously awaited the Tuesday release of 2010 Census population totals, those soon to be involved in the complicated and likely contentious process of carving up the state’s political districts took stock of what awaits and the debates, both political and practical, that loom.

The U.S. Census Bureau plans on Tuesday to release national and state population figures providing key data to states charged with redrawing the boundaries of Congressional districts, including ten in Massachusetts that are all held by Democrats.  Read more

Preliminary election to replace Turner likely set for Feb. 15; final election on March 15

The preliminary special election to replace former City Councillor Chuck Turner will be held on Feb. 15, with a final election set for March 15, under an order the City Council is expected to approve tomorrow.

Turner, District 7's representative on the 13-member body, was expelled from the council by an 11-1 vote on Dec. 1 after a federal jury found him guilty of corruption charges. District 7 includes Dorchester, Roxbury, Lower Roxbury, and parts of the Fenway, and the South End.  Read more

‘Over the Bridge’ signals break with longtime Savin Hill civic group

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 9, 2010

A new neighborhood group that says it wants to serve the “Over the Bridge” (OTB) portion of Savin Hill is making waves on both sides of the Expressway. But a local state representative and others say the group is unnecessary if it’s aiming to be a civic group, citing the present existence of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association.

According to organizers, the Historic Savin Hill Advocates, a group of residents centered around that neighborhood’s historic district east of Route I-93, is banding together to promote the interests of their enclave.  Read more

Mattahunt Task Force begins outreach work

Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 8, 2010

Wheelock College has taken its first steps in a community process that residents hope will bring extensive programming options to Mattapan’s Mattahunt Community Center, one of eight city-owned facilities targeted by city officials — who pulled their staff from the Mattahunt last spring. A new task force headed by Colorado Street civic leader Gareth Kinkead and a Wheelock College official held a brainstorming session with members of the community on Dec. 7 at the community center. A larger public meeting is set for tonight, Dec. 9.  Read more

Mattahunt partnership kicks off with United Way donation

Reporter Staff
Dec. 3, 2010

United Way supports Mattahunt CenterUnited Way supports Mattahunt CenterWheelock College officially launched the Community Engagement Process at Mattahunt Community Center in Mattapan on December 2 with a reception at the center. The partnership for the Mattapan neighborhood between the City of Boston and Wheelock College will support academic achievement in young people, youth leadership and development, and offer adult and family programs for people supporting children and youth.

At yesterday's event, United Way CEO Mike Durkin presented a $30,000 donation to help subsidize the programming at the center. A public meeting to discuss the partnership will be held next Thursday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the center on Hebron Street. Pictured above, left to right, are Wheelock College president Jackie Jenkins-Scott, United Way CEO Mike Durkin, State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry and her daughter, Madeline.  Read more