News

Disability community marks anniversary of the ADA

By 
India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 29, 2014

Jerry Donovan and Caitlin Weiler: At the City Hall observance of the ADA anniversary. Photo by India SmithJerry Donovan and Caitlin Weiler: At the City Hall observance of the ADA anniversary. Photo by India SmithOn Thursday, July 24, Boston’s disability community met on City Hall Plaza to commemorate the Americans With Disabilities Act, signed on July 26, 1990. The gathering included people using wheelchairs, people using American Sign Language, and people assisted by service animals, as well as personal care attendants, family members and many other supporters. Instituted four years ago by Kristen McCosh, Boston’s Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, the annual event marks progress toward the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of city life.

According to McCosh, the day is not meant for long speeches, but is mainly a time to get together and celebrate. This year’s event began with a procession around City Hall Plaza, following a route that has been made wheelchair accessible in part because of the mandate of the ADA. After looping around City Hall, the parade returned to a tent where several organizations had set up tables. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and others were offering information. Lines formed at food trucks and a hot dog stand, while Radio 103.3 provided background music.

Dorchester resident Ann Siegel of the Boston Center for Youth & Families was handing out brochures on activities for kids. Many of the center’s programs are in Dorchester and Mattapan.  Read more

Landsmark appointed to BRA Board

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service
Jul. 29, 2014

Dr. Theodore Landsmark, the president and CEO of Boston Architectural College, has been tapped as a member of the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s board of directors. Mayor Martin Walsh’s office announced the appointment, which must still be approved by the City Council, on Tuesday morning.  Read more

Reporter co-founder assaulted, robbed in Dorchester Park

Ed Forry chatted with Mayor Walsh today outside of the Engine 20 firehouse in Neponset.

Ed Forry, the co-founder and longtime publisher of the Reporter, was treated for minor injuries sustained when he was assaulted and robbed by an unknown assailant in Dorchester Park on Sunday afternoon. Forry, 69, was walking alone through the park in the vicinity of the Dorchester Ave. entrance closest to Carney Hospital when the attack occurred.  Read more

More Wiffles for TK: Aidan’s Barber Shops plan Aug. 4 ‘buzz-off’

Wiffles for TK: Tommy and his dad Eddie KellyWiffles for TK: Tommy and his dad Eddie KellyAidan’s Barber Shops in Lower Mills and Adams Corner have been doing a brisk trade in wiffles this month. Always a seasonal favorite, this year’s mid-summer boom is attributable to a little boy from Dorchester whose close-cropped hair style was made out of medical necessity.

Tommy Kelly, age 4, has been battling a tough cancer diagnosis since June. Two weeks ago, Tommy and his dad, Eddie, decided to get matching wiffles as a sign of solidarity for Tommy’s anticipated hair loss from his cancer treatments. Once he posted it online, Eddie’s shot of their matching wiffles went viral, especially among the legions of firefighters from around the country who have been monitoring Tommy’s battle. (Eddie Kelly is a nationally respected labor leader and president of the state’s leading firefighters union.)

Heather Flynn, who owns and operates both Aidan’s locations, decided that she and her staff wanted to do something extra to show support for the Kelly family. She decided to plan a “Buzz-off for TK”— a day-long event set for Monday, August 4, a day when the shops would typically be closed for a day-off.  Read more

Fields Corner-based MassCOSH focuses on worker safety

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 25, 2014

When Marcy Goldstein-Gelb hears something described as a “freak accident,” a buzzer goes off in her head.

Executive director of the Dorchester-based Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), Goldstein-Gelb said many accidents described that way could have been predicted and avoided.

“In most cases, it has happened before and will happen again unless we do something,” said Goldstein-Gelb.

MassCOSH’s mission is to advocate for workers facing unsafe conditions, particularly teens and immigrants, who are the most vulnerable, according to Goldstein-Gelb.  Read more

Mattahunt’s Cope earns degree from Wheelock College

By 
Kimberley Theodore, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 25, 2014

Mattapan’s Rashad Cope, director of the Wheelock College and Mattahunt Community Center, graduated from Wheelock College in May with a master’s degree in Educational Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership.

The 31-year-old said that community centers like the one he now leads played a big role in his childhood growing up in Roxbury. His mother, Cherie Cope, was the administrative coordinator at the Shelburne Community Center and other community centers in Mattapan. Cope grew up spending a lot of time shadowing his mom and looking at the work she did.  Read more

District Attorney: Police did nothing wrong in fatally shooting man who'd pulled a gun on them

Police officers were in legitimate fear for their lives when they fired at a man reaching for a gun in Mattapan on June 2 of last year, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said Friday.  Read more

Mattapan man charged with OUI, manslaughter for death of pedestrian last fall

Dervin Hibbert, 53, was arraigned Friday in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of manslaughter by motor vehicle and motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence for the death of a man standing on a Cummins Highway sidewalk last fall, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

A Suffolk County grand jury indicted Hibbert on the charges earlier this month. They carry minimum mandatory terms of five years and one year, respectively, the DA's office says.  Read more

Fields Corner farmers market continues mission

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 24, 2014

Comic courtesy of Greg Watson

It was a tough sell back in 1978: convince farmers from the far edges of the state to travel to Boston’s core to sell their wares at three of the city’s first farmers markets.

“Many of them were a little concerned about coming out, asking ‘will we make it out alive?’” recalled Greg Watson, who was hired by the state to help organize a network of farmers markets in and around the city.
Residents were miffed too, including some in Fields Corner, where the first of the three markets was slated to open.  Read more

Savin Hill mom tackles difficult topic with book, video

By 
Jacob Aguiar, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 24, 2014

Children who appeared in the video "Spread the Word - Knowledge is Power" produced by Savin Hill resident Nancy Goode Talalas were welcomed at Boston City Council on June 25. Talalas spoke to the council about her proposal to develop a Prevention Through Education curriculum for the Boston Public Schools. Photo courtesy Nancy Goode Talalas

"It is not something I want to do, it is something I feel I have to do," said Nancy Goode Talalas, a Savin Hill resident and author of a children's book titled "My Private Places." The book is meant to educate children about their bodies and give them the knowledge they need to be empowered against sexual predators.  Read more

Political Round-up: Mattapan’s Allen challenges Cullinane in Sept. primary

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 24, 2014

Corey J. AllenCorey J. AllenCorey J. Allen, a mainstay in the Mattapan and Dorchester neighborhood for years, is challenging Rep. Daniel Cullinane in the Democratic primary on Sept. 9 and trying hard to let people know that he’s running.

“A lot of people in the neighborhood know me as “Coach Allen” or “Mr. Allen. “When they see the campaign signs with ‘Corey J. Allen,’ they don’t even realize it’s me that’s running.” To help make that connection, Allen is rolling out a series of lawn signs that feature his headshot.

Unlike the three other candidates in the race, Allen’s bid is his first for public office. He had considered last September’s special election for the 12th Suffolk seat vacated by Linda Dorcena Forry after she moved to the State Senate, but in the end he stayed with City Councillor Rob Consalvo’s mayoral campaign until the November election.  Read more

Proposed Ashmont Tire project takes shape

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 24, 2014

A rendering of what Trinity Financial hopes to build on the current site of the Ashmont Tire property on Dorchester Ave. This view looks south on Dorchester Avenue with the existing Carruth building to the left. Image courtesy Trinity Financial Inc./The Architectural Team

Community members got their first detailed look at what a proposed six-story, mixed-use building coming to the Ashmont Tire site on Dorchester Avenue would look like at a meeting held on Monday evening at Carney Hospital’s Riseman Lecture Hall.  Read more

Longtime civic leader Rosanne Foley takes charge in Fields Corner

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 24, 2014

Rosanne FoleyRosanne FoleyFields Corner is about to get a shot in the arm from one of its most active and avid supporters: Rosanne Foley.

A Dorchester resident since 1986, but making up for lost time ever since, Foley has been involved in some aspect of the Dorchester community for years. She is eager to use her new position as the Fields Corner Main Streets executive director to continue her advocacy work.

“I try to make it about what the community wants and just facilitate what they want to happen,” Foley said. For starters, that will be sprucing up the neighborhood, helping to fill vacant storefronts, improving walk-ability and bike-ability, and a whole lot more. Even, Foley hopes, a Hubway station or two.  Read more

Meetinghouse Bank weighs possible branch in Fields Corner

Meetinghouse Bank owns this building at 1281 Dorchester Ave. and has recently begun a renovation project to convert the former liquor store-turned-storefront church into new retail space. The bank is weighing a plan to open its own branch in the building. A jeweler has recently opened in a second space, to the right in this photo. Photo by Bill Forry

Meetinghouse Bank, the longtime Dorchester-based community bank with branches in Lower Mills and Roslindale Square, is eyeing a possible expansion into Fields Corner. The bank, which owns a property at 1281 Dorchester Avenue, has engaged a firm to study the market’s growth potential and demographics around the Fields Corner neighborhood before making a final decision.

Meetinghouse Bank President/CEO Anthony Paciulli said that if the report is positive, he expects to recommend the expansion plan to his board of trustees for a final decision in the coming weeks.  Read more

Soul City Band to play free concert in Dot Park

By 
Staff
Jul. 23, 2014

Soul City Band Comes to Dot Park: The Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s ParkARTS outdoor summer concert series comes to Dorchester Park on Thursday, July 31 with the Soul City Band. The free show starts at 7 p.m. The stage will be located on the Adams Street side of the park in the “bowl” baseball field. Soul City Band bills itself as “Boston’s premiere soul cover band” with a song list heavy with Motown classics. For more information or a full schedule of events, call 617-635-4505 or visit the Parks Department online at cityofboston/parks  Read more

Plots Thicken: Leyland St. Community Garden doubles in size

By 
India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 23, 2014

Longtime gardener John DePinha holds up one of his prized zucchini. Photo by India Smith

They came from as far away as Stoughton and as close as next door. They came from Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Mattapan. The destination? A celebration on Tuesday evening, July 15, at the Leyland St. Community Garden near Uphams Corner. Guests, including city officials whose support had been crucial to the project, hailed the expansion and renovation of one of the oldest and largest gardens owned by the Boston Natural Areas Network.  Read more

Walsh: Review shows ‘troubling deficiencies’ in BRA

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 23, 2014

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is in “dire need of reform” according to the recently released audit on the planning agency commissioned by Mayor Martin Walsh this spring.  Read more

Police press for discretion over rifle, shotgun licenses

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Jul. 23, 2014

Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence founder John Rosenthal joined police chiefs from around the state, as well as Boston Police Commissioner William Evans and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, at a press conference on Tuesday to express support for a measure giving police chiefs discretion in awarding rifle and shotgun licenses. Photo by State House News Service

Giving police chiefs discretion to decide who should have a license to carry a shotgun or rifle is crucial to prevent gun violence, domestic violence murders and suicides, police officials and other activists said at a State House rally Tuesday.  Read more

South Boston pub owners plan Neponset Avenue restaurant

The owners of Shenanigans in South Boston have bought an old party-supply store on Neponset Avenue and plan to turn it into a full-service restaurant with a similar theme and menu.  Read more

Investigators find 12 bodies from former Dorchester funeral home in Weymouth storage locker

A Neponset Avenue funeral director who is already behind bars awaiting trial on charges he stole funeral pre-payments from an elderly couple could be in even more trouble after detectives and pathologists recovered 12 bodies from the Public Storage facility in Weymouth and cremated remains at another self-storage place in Somerville, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.  Read more

State's highest court rules teen to be tried as adult for Fields Corner murder

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that Ernest Watkins IV, charged with first-degree murder for a fatal Fields Corner stabbing in 2012, can be tried as an adult.

Watkins, 14 at the time of Cherby LaJoie's murder outside the Fields Corner Red Line stop, had sought to be tried in juvenile court, which cannot impose a life sentence.

A Superior Court judge denied his motion. The Supreme Judicial Court said the case raised no double-jeopardy questions and that Watkins can be tried as an adult under a state law that sets 14 as the minimum age for adult murder cases.  Read more

As she awaits another new kidney, Isis Rivera hails life

By 
Jeanette Origel
Jul. 17, 2014

Isis Rivera, who is battling kidney disease, celebrated her 16th birthday last month with a “Princess and the Frog”-inspired Quinceanera party organized by Make-A-Wish.  	Photo courtesy Make-A-WishIsis Rivera, who is battling kidney disease, celebrated her 16th birthday last month with a “Princess and the Frog”-inspired Quinceanera party organized by Make-A-Wish. Photo courtesy Make-A-Wish

Isis Rivera marked her Sweet Sixteen in grand Quinceañera style last month. The Dorchester girl and her family and friends observed the traditional Latin American celebration of a girl’s transition into womanhood with a party bus and huge bash at Spinelli’s Function Facility in East Boston.

The birthday blow-out – sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation – was made all the more special because Rivera, a junior at the TechBoston Academy, has been battling a life-threatening illness for the last four years.  Read more

Codman Academy to begin work on its renovation of Lithgow Building

Renovations to start soon: The Lithgow Building in Codman Square will undergo a major interior renovation to create classroom space for its new owner, the Codman Academy Charter Public School.    Nereyda Rodriguez photoRenovations to start soon: The Lithgow Building in Codman Square will undergo a major interior renovation to create classroom space for its new owner, the Codman Academy Charter Public School. Nereyda Rodriguez photo

It won’t be obvious from the outside, but the 115-year-old Lithgow Building that anchors Codman Square is about to undergo a major transformation.  Read more

Hopkins Street garden re-casts its community’s spirit

By 
India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 17, 2014

Last Saturday, the residents of Hopkins Street in Morton Village welcomed Mayor Marty Walsh, other officials, and peace activists from around the city to the dedication of a parcel of city-owned land that is now the Steven P. Odom Serenity Garden. Graced by ancient oak and mulberry trees, the shady site offers residents a gathering place where they can commune with nature.  Read more

DOT BY THE DAY July 17 – 25, 2014

Thursday (17th) – The L Street Running Club hosts the 27th running of the Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K road race at 7 p.m. The course runs along Day Boulevard, from the roadway leading into the Boston Teacher’s Union, to P Street, and back to the union hall. Day Boulevard will be closed from 6:55 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., but no cars will be towed or mandated to be off the streets for this race. Runners will park at Carson Place or the UMass parking lot, or they will come by train; they should not take residential parking places. Go to lstreet.org for more info.  Read more