Two honored at B-3 police meeting

Alex Owens Special to the Reporter
Oct. 21, 2010

Mattapan heroes honored: Councillor Charles Yancey, center, with Shaniqua Johnson and Saquawna AndersonMattapan heroes honored: Councillor Charles Yancey, center, with Shaniqua Johnson and Saquawna AndersonBoston Police from District B-3 held a monthly community meeting on Tuesday at the Mattapan Library with a packed crowd of more than 70 people on hand. This was the first regular B-3 meeting since the Sept. 29 shooting on Woolson Street that took the lives of three adults and a toddler, and residents were eager to receive updates about crime in the community. They were joined by Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, who answered limited questions about the murder investigation.
The police department also presented awards recognizing residents for their service to the community. Shaniqua Johnson and Saquawna Anderson were singled out for their bravery when they rescued a 93-year old woman from a house fire on Hazelton St. on Oct. 13.  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

Mattahunt center in limbo; community bypassed, say critics

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

Prosecutor: Man had gun used in 4 Mattapan killings

Denise Lavoie, Associated Press Legal Affairs Writer
Oct. 15, 2010

(AP) —The only person arrested in the shooting deaths of four people — including a 2-year-old boy — had one of the murder weapons and a victim's car, and other people are believed to have been involved, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Kimani Washington, 34, was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail after his arraignment in Dorchester District Court on charges of weapons violations, receiving a stolen car, drug trafficking and being a career criminal. Not guilty pleas were automatically entered on his behalf.  Read more

Woman sparks two-alarm fire by burning old mail in stairway

A fire that broke out shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday at 116 Hazelton St. quickly went to two alarms, the Boston Fire Department reports.  Read more

Safe Surrender program sets up shop at Blue Hill Ave. church

Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 7, 2010

An initiative aimed at getting people with outstanding arrest warrants to turn themselves in has begun in Mattapan this week. The Fugitive Safe Surrender Program program, which started on October 6 and will run to October 9, is based out of the Jubilee Christian Church, 1500 Blue Hill Ave. The effort is run by the Boston Police Department, the District Attorney’s office and the US Marshals Service and targets individuals with warrants for non-violent minor offenses, allowing a chance for a quick surrendering process.  Read more

Initiative begun to rehab empty homes in Mattapan

Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 7, 2010

The Mattapan Community Development Corporation will host a ribbon cutting for one of its rehabilitated homes at 327 Wood Ave in Mattapan on Wednesday, October 13 at noon. The renovation project is the first step in a strategy dubbed the Mattapan Housing Stabilization Initiative—a collaboration between the Mattapan CDC and the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation.

“We are going to take back Mattapan,” said Mattapan CDC director Spencer DeShields. “We are going to take those houses that are blighted, that are areas of [criminal activity,] clear all those things out and get families back in these buildings.”  Read more

Police, Chez Vous owner to meet on controlling after-hours crowds

When the Chez Vous rink on Rhodes Street closed at 11:45 p.m. on Aug. 20, more than 300 teens began running towards Blue Hill Avenue and Morton Street - where many then began fighting and blocking traffic.  Read more

Mattapan celebrates fall with Farmer's Market Harvest Fest

Reporter Staff
Oct. 2, 2010

Farmers Market CelebrationFarmers Market CelebrationThe Mattapan Farmers’ Market celebrated its Fall Harvest Day on Saturday morning. The farmers' market is held each Saturday in the parking lot of the Church of the Holy Spirit. Pictured above are volunteers from the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition along with State Rep.  Read more

Farmers Market Celebration

Farmers Market Celebration