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

Editorial: Common-sense reforms for ‘Sober Homes’; Chuck Turner's fall

A Reporter story published last month after a multi-week probe into the operation of so-called sober homes in the city raises important policy questions that demand answers from the industry and from our city and state governments. The report— done in partnership with Northeastern University’s Initiative For Investigative Reporting — found that local authorities have virtually no regulatory controls over these homes. Alarmingly, neither city nor state government officials could tell us with any level of certainty just how many such homes exist in our neighborhoods.  Read more

Report: Agreements with nonprofits are potential govt. revenue source

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Nov. 30, 2010

Some cities and towns burdened by diminished state aid may want to look toward agreements with non-profits, universities and other charitable organizations currently exempt from paying property taxes for an additional source of revenue, according to a new report.

A study released Tuesday by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy found that some, but not all, communities could find an untapped revenue stream in PILOT programs, or payment-in-lieu-of taxes, to help pay for public services that have been stretched thin during the recession.  Read more

Melville-Park group pushes to shift polling place

A correction has been attached to this article.

The Melville Park Neighborhood Association is petitioning the city’s elections department to change their present polling location at Oliver Wendell Holmes School, citing little available parking and low turnout.  Read more

Mystery rock: Was memorial meant to honor WWI hero?

Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 24, 2010

The plaque-less stone monument in Savin Hill’s McConnell Park. 	Ed Forry photoThe plaque-less stone monument in Savin Hill’s McConnell Park. Ed Forry photo

Savin Hill resident Heidi Moesinger has probably walked by the mysterious stone in McConnell Park hundreds of times, never knowing why it was there.

The stone, which sits about 50 feet from the park’s playground, is surrounded by a low, black fence and rests on a small hill overlooking the beach.

On the side facing the ocean, a faint, oval-shaped shadow and drill holes remain, suggesting that the stone was adorned with a plaque in the past. According to local residents, the rock has been sitting there for more than 60 years, but despite the fact that it looks to be some kind of monument, no one seems to be sure what it is meant to honor.  Read more

Merchants, residents cheers new Main Streets for Mattapan Square

Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 18, 2010

Mattapan Square has finally been designated for a branch of Boston’s Main Streets program, which has helped revitalize several other neighborhood business districts over the last 15 years. As the twentieth  Main Streets district, Mattapan Square’s application was accepted in August of this year and formally designated in early November by Mayor Tom Menino.  Read more

Parish-themed bash aims to help Leahy-Holloran Community Center

By Jackie Gentile, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 18, 2010

Any first encounter between two residents of Dorchester is as likely to begin with, “What’s your parish?” as it is with “What street do you live on.” While the neighborhood’s much-celebrated patchwork of Catholic parishes has yielded prominence to include other points of reference over the years, its relevance lives on.

Now comes a major fundraiser scheduled for Thanksgiving week: A “What Parish Are You From?” event to benefit the city-owned Leahy-Holloran Community Center fundraiser will be held next Friday, Nov. 26, at the Victory Road Armory. The evening will include cocktails, a cash bar, disc jockey and, of course, a major lure, in this case a $10,000 drawing.  Read more