Civics

All rise please! Paul Murphy’s Court is now adjourned

By 
James W. Dolan, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 28, 2010

Hon. Paul MurphyHon. Paul MurphyDorchester buried one of its favorite sons this week when Judge Paul Murphy was laid to rest. A graduate of St. Mark’s School, BC High, Boston College, and Harvard Law School and a Korean war veteran, Judge Murphy had a long and distinguished career; first as a state representative and then as First Justice of the West Roxbury District Court.

Essentially shy and reserved, he nonetheless was an effective politician who won the respect and admiration of his colleagues as much for his humility as for his brilliant mind.

He became the House majority leader recognized widely for his loyalty, good advice, and sound judgment. Even after he became a judge, legislative leaders would call upon him for advice and counsel.

Comfortable yet not entirely at home in the world of politics, the five-term state representative from Wards 16 and 17, was appointed to the bench by Gov. Frank Sargent. For this compassionate man, the move provided the opportunity to more directly affect the lives of the many unfortunate souls that appeared before him daily.  Read more

Scouting alive and well in Dorchester

By 
Staff
Oct. 26, 2010

Scouts honor: C-11 police host Dot packs: Pictured top row: Mike Simmons, Pack 28 Committee Chairman, John Anderson Assistant Cub Scout leader, Chris Gross Assistant Boy Scout leader, Scout David Pelczar, Scout Brendan Brock, Scout Cameron Gross, Scout Robert Carney, Scout Alex Sorel, ScouScouts honor: C-11 police host Dot packs: Pictured are on top row: Mike Simmons, Pack 28 Committee Chairman, John Anderson Assistant Cub Scout leader, Chris Gross Assistant Boy Scout leader, Scout David Pelczar, Scout Brendan Brock, Scout Cameron Gross, Scout Robert Carney, Scout Alex Sorel, Scout Martin Chomicki, Scoutmaster Bill Sorel, BPD Captain Richard Sexton C-11,
front row: Scout Tiwan Bonner, Cub Scout Sean Simmons, Cub Scout Mike Roache, Cub Scout Robbie Reeves, Cub Scout Andrew Murphy, Founding Scoutmaster (over 50 years) and Troop 28 Committee Chairman Mr. Joe Barry

The Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts of Pack & Troop 28 of the James Rice Post participated in a service project at Boston Police District 11 on Gibson Street in Dorchester recently. The project consisted of cleaning the green area in front of the station and preparing the ground for installation of some anti weed block fabric in 50' rolls.  Read more

BPL president Ryan: If funding comes, "strongly supports" keeping branches open

By 
Reporter Staff
Oct. 25, 2010

Boston Public Library president Amy Ryan has just told an overflow crowd at Lower Mills library that she will "strongly support" keeping BPL branches open if sufficient funding is supplied to do so. More than 100 people are packed into the Lower Mills branch on Richmond Street to hear on update on the BPL's plans. The library was supposed to close this fall, but was granted a reprieve by Mayor Tom Menino last summer.

Ryan has told the assembly that she will recommend that the board of trustees vote to keep the branches open. Such a move would mark a dramatic reversal of the BPL's prior positions on branch libraries.

Developing story...  Read more

Former state rep, judge Paul Murphy has passed away

By 
Reporter Staff
Oct. 22, 2010

Former Dorchester state representative and judge Paul J. Murphy died on Thursday, according to his alma mater, Boston College High School. Murphy, a native and longtime resident of St. Mark's parish, was a five-term state representative for Dorchester's Wards 16 and 17. He retired as Chief Justice of West Roxbury District Court.  Read more

Almont Park to get $3.6 million overhaul

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 22, 2010

Almont Park in Mattapan will see significant renovations beginning next year, residents were told in the a public meeting held on Wednesday evening at the Mattahunt School.  Read more

Editorial: Reverse the vote to close the Lower Mills library

A meeting at the Lower Mills library on Monday evening could well decide the fate of that branch and, ultimately, branches throughout Dorchester and across the city at large. It is now time for all people who feel — as we do — that libraries are a critical civic asset to show up and make their voices heard.

Library officials have scheduled two sets of meetings, starting this weekend. One set of seven meetings — dubbed “strategic planning” sessions by the BPL brass — starts on Saturday with a kick-off event at the Copley Square central library. Then, on Monday, a second-tier set of four meetings— all to take place at branches that are scheduled to close — begins with a gathering at the Lower Mills branch at 6:30 p.m.  Read more

Meeting on Nov. 1 will give Fields Corner community a look at Lucky Strike site plan

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 20, 2010

Residents of Fields Corner will get their first look at a revamped proposal to develop the former site of the Lucky Strike bowling alley at Park and Adams streets on Mon., Nov. 1, when the project developers host a meeting for community members and abutters.

Former Fields Corner Civic Association president Hiep Chu will find himself on the other side of the issue at the meeting, having recently left his position with the association and joined the Lucky Strike development team as a paid consultant.  Read more

Lower Mills branch backers sense shift of ‘tone’ on closing

Supporters of the Lower Mills library are urging fellow activists to show up in force at a meeting at the branch tonight [at 6:30 p.m. at the Richmond Street branch] with Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan as a local lawmaker said there has been a “shift in ‘tone’” coming from City Hall about whether it will be closed.

At last Tuesday night’s meeting of the Lower Mills Civic Association, a representative from the mayor’s office said “re-use” of the building isn’t the focus of the Monday meeting.

Editorial: BPL board must reverse its decision to close branches  Read more

Mattahunt center in limbo; community bypassed, say critics

By 
Gintautas Dumcius and Bill Forry, Reporter Editors
Oct. 20, 2010

Mattahunt School and Community Center: City closed center last summer and a proposed partnership with Wheelock College has yet to begin.Mattahunt School and Community Center: City closed center last summer and a proposed partnership with Wheelock College has yet to begin.

(Editor's note: This article was updated online on Friday, Oct. 23 to reflect comments from Boys and Girls Club of Boston president Joshua Kraft.)

Eight months after the city of Boston began the process of closing some of the city’s 46 community centers, the Menino administration is still laboring to finalize a deal with Wheelock College to take over the former Mattahunt Community Center in Mattapan, which ceased operations as a city-run center last summer. The move is drawing criticism from community members and one of Mattapan’s city councillors, who are calling for more input and engagement with the broader community.

City officials and other supporters of the Wheelock deal say it will create a unique partnership that will expand programming at a time when the city is reeling from the effects of a weak economy and prepping for an even tighter budget next year. A deal can’t be brokered “overnight,” but an agreement will be announced in the coming weeks, they add.

“There’s a great opportunity with Wheelock,” said Daphne Griffin, executive director of the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, which oversees the city’s community centers. “Not only are they well-respected…but they have a very strong institutional program background around out of school time and after school time.”  Read more

Patrick signs $420m spending bill

From the folks at State House News Service:

Services for the disabled, the state's massive MassHealth budget and the State Police received funding infusions under a $420 million budget bill that Gov. Deval Patrick signed without fanfare Friday, shortly before attending a governor's candidate forum.

The bill, paid for through federal stimulus funds that won’t be available next fiscal year, deploys accounting methods aimed at putting nearly $200 million into a state rainy day fund that lawmakers and Gov. Deval Patrick have drained more than $1.5 billion from during the recession.