Mattapan's Dianne Walker goes by many names. Some call her Lady Di. Her students refer to her affectionately as Aunt Dianne. Admirers sometimes call her the "Ella Fitzgerald of Tap."
Thirty years as one of the greatest tap dancers of our time has earned her all these monikers. Last week, it also earned her a $50,000 grant as this year's recipient of the Rose Fellowship from the United States Artists Foundation. Read more
To help cut costs in a worsening economy, Lena Park Community Development Corporation (CDC) told parents last week that it will eliminate its popular daycare and after school programs at its building on American Legion Highway. Asked if the rest of the building might close, interim director Ronald Jones said it hasn't been decided yet, but he didn't rule it out.
In a phone interview Monday, Jones cited rising energy and maintenance costs on the building, rising healthcare costs and contractor's rates, and a shrinking flow of donations. Read more
Shanyce Morgan, a junior at Noonan Business Academy at the Dorchester Education Complex, addresses Superintendent Johnson during a Tuesday evening meeting at Mildred Avenue Community Center. Photo by Pete Stidman
Oct. 1, 2008
What will become of the crumbling brick building with the boarded windows at 872 Morton St. in Mattapan? Prime property along a busy commercial district, directly across from a newly renovated commuter train service, sits an old Boston Police station house whose fate will ultimately be decided not only by its huge potential, strong community support for revitalization and an interested developer, but also by a downturn in the housing market. Read more
Pressures from various neighborhoods have kept a change in Boston's police districts slow cooking for years, but the final touches are being added to a new re-districting recipe that may be ready by November, as long as no neighborhoods get steamed.
District captains have been reaching out to their constituents, feeling out how each views the natural boundaries and allegiances in their neighborhoods. Read more
No opening date has been set yet, but the new Mattapan Library is swiftly becoming a reality on Blue Hill Avenue. Members of the task force that advised the city on its construction got an advance tour on Monday, just to see if there were any lingering concerns from the group. Read more
A Boston Police deployment that saturates city villages with targeted, daily foot patrols is getting strong reviews from community activists after its first full year of implementation. First employed in the spring of 2007 - and then launched more broadly in several Dorchester and Mattapan villages last summer - Operation Safe Streets has become the signature strategy of Commissioner Edward Davis's two-year-old administration and is likely to expand into new sections of the city in coming months - including Uphams Corner. Read more
Eight years ago, the sprawling campus of the old Boston Specialty and Rehabilitation Hospital was largely dormant and - in places -crumbling. The shuttered Foley building - the old hospital's battleship building - was a foreboding presence along River Street.
Today, after an investment of more than $80 million in construction costs, the 27 acre campus is buzzing with new homes, streetscapes and amenities. Read more
Dorchester and Mattapan appear to have emerged relatively unscathed from an encounter between the state's $28.2 billion budget and Gov. Deval Patrick's veto pen. Patrick on Sunday vetoed $122.5 million out of the budget lawmakers sent to his desk earlier this month. Read more
Jul. 2, 2008
Sixty-eight-year-old Lula Mae Johnson is living proof that education has no statute of limitations.
In May, Johnson was one of 37 adults to cross the stage during a GED ceremony at Faneuil Hall. Now the Mattapan resident says her next step is a college degree.
Back in her native South Carolina, Johnson was a student at Roberts High School. The summer before her senior year Lula, then 19, says she and her boyfriend decided to get married, which led to her decision not to return to school. Read more