News

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

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

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

Best Neighbor contest seeks to highlight city’s civic-minded neighbors

By 
Jeanette Origel, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 17, 2014

Carlos Vargas, the president of Vargas & Vargas Insurance in Lower Mills had grown weary of the negative news he was hearing about the communities he loves and does business in. Back in 2009, he decided to do something about it,launching a vehicle aimed at celebrating the best qualities of places like Dorchester and its people.

Five years later, his annual Boston’s Best Neighbor contest is going strong and is now accepting nominations until September 19.  Read more

Dot kids learn dance from pros at BU summer program

By 
Jeanette Origel, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 17, 2014

Three Dorchester teens are part of Boston University’s summertime Reach Program, an opportunity for dancers to perform alongside professionals as they are trained in dance and choreography. The coveted teen apprentice spots must be won through an audition process, which gives the teens a chance to study dance for three weeks of intense daily class and rehearsal with older mentors.

The program includes a summer tour that includes 11 performances and 30 workshops aimed at bringing dance workshops to city kids at local camps and community centers in the Greater Boston area.  Read more

Mayor’s office offers up a social media boot-camp class

By 
Jacob Aguiar, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 17, 2014

The first class in Mayor Martin Walsh’s new Civic Academy initiative was held at South Boston’s District Hall last Saturday. The event drew a mix of social media-savvy activists, old-school pen-and-paper types, and a group of people who fell somewhere in between.  Read more

Neighbors get more detail on Morton bridge project

For 10 days in August, most of the traffic that typically crosses the Morton Street bridge will be weaving its way using Washington Street, Talbot Avenue, and Blue Hill Avenue as alternate routes while work crews replace the existing bridge deck with a new, modern span.

While MassDOT and organizers expect the detoured traffic situation to be hairy from Fri., Aug. 8 to Mon., Aug 18, they also expect that locals who know their own shortcuts will use them. The main goal is to keep major traffic —such as trucks— off the side streets.  Read more

Bilingual ballot now a reality for Hub’s Viet, Chinese voters

Flanked by advocates including DOT-I's Huong Phan and Mayor Walsh, Gov. Deval Patrick signs the Bilingual Ballot Bill in Chinatown. Flanked by advocates including DOT-I's Huong Phan and Mayor Walsh, Gov. Deval Patrick signs the Bilingual Ballot Bill in Chinatown.

Ballots in Vietnamese and Chinese will be made permanently available in certain parts of Boston beginning with this fall’s primary and general elections, thanks in part to the work of Dorchester’s community activists and elected officials.  Read more

Patrick appoints Karen Charles as DTC commissioner

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jul. 16, 2014

A former special election candidate for the Massachusetts House and veteran state government administrator has been appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick to head the Department of Telecommunications and Cable. Patrick on Tuesday appointed Karen Charles to become the next commissioner of the DTC, where she currently works as chief of staff. Charles ran in the Democratic primary for the 5th Suffolk District seat this past spring, ultimately won by Rep. Evandro Carvalho.  Read more

Senate okays Sunday morning liquor store openings

By 
State House News Service
Jul. 15, 2014

Both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature are now on record in support of legislation authorizing retail liquor stores in Massachusetts to open for sales at 10 a.m. on Sunday, rather than noon.

The House approved the legislation (H 228) in March and the Senate on Thursday approved the bill without debate. The Senate rejected a motion by Sen. Robert Hedlund to postpone consideration of the bill until July 24.  Read more

Hopkins Street residents redefine their community with a garden

By 
India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 15, 2014

Garden in Dorchester Honors Efforts Against Violence from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

On Saturday, July 12, residents of Hopkins Street hosted Mayor Marty Walsh, other officials and peace activists from around the city to dedicate a parcel of city-owned land as the Steven P. Odom Serenity Garden. Graced by ancient oak and mulberry trees, the shady spot will now offer residents a gathering place and a chance to commune with nature.

According to event organizer Faylis Matos, the garden represents the shared vision of the neighborhood group Redefining Our Community, known simply as ROC.

“Often Dorchester is stigmatized as a place of darkness, a dangerous place,” said Matos. “But we won’t allow people who don’t live here to define us.”  Read more

Senate takes up charter cap issue this week

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jul. 14, 2014

The Senate this week will debate legislation to lift the cap on charter school enrollment in some school districts, entertaining a bill that is significant different from a bill that has passed the House and which includes a measure to tie a cap lift to state reimbursement funding.  Read more

Martin Richard Foundation seeks runners for NYC marathon

By 
Staff
Jul. 14, 2014

Team MR8 — the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation— is recruiting charity runners for the New York City Marathon this fall. It will be the second major race effort for the organization, named for the Dorchester 8 year-old who was killed in the April 2013 terror attack on the Boston Marathon.

Individuals who wish to “Run for Martin” can apply online by visiting www.TeamMR8.org and clicking the “Run New York” icon.  Read more

Pedestrian struck and killed in Lower Mills

A woman was hit by a white pickup truck shortly after 5 a.m. on Saturday at Washington and River streets.

Kevin Wiles, who photographed the scene, reports she was taken to Carney Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The Boston Police Department reports she was 32.

Patrick's final budget weighs in nearly $10 billion larger than first

By 
Gintautas Dumcius and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Jul. 11, 2014

Capping a nearly $10 billion increase in state spending under his tenure, Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday signed a $36.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2015, slashing $16.1 million with his veto pen and asking lawmakers to give him the power to make unilateral spending cuts if necessary.  Read more

Mather School Kids Make Presidential Pitch: Come to Our 375th Birthday Party!

By 
Staff
Jul. 11, 2014

YOU ARE INVITED from Mather Elementary on Vimeo.

The students of Mather Elementary School on Meetinghouse Hill will celebrate their 375th anniversary. The Mather was the first public elementary school in North America— and the school hopes that President and Mrs. Obama will come to Dorchester for the special event. The kids make a very strong case in the video.
#mather375 #hbdmather #HowCanHeNotCome  Read more

Two brothers charged with second-degree murder for stabbing death outside hotel

A Suffolk County grand jury this week indicted two brothers on charges they used a detachable steering wheel and a knife in a brawl outside a party at the DoubleTree Hotel on Mt. Vernon Street that ended with one of their opponents dead of stab wounds.

Shawn Coleman, 22, of the South End, was charged with second-degree murder and was allegedly the attacker who inflicted Christopher Borgella's fatal injuries early on March 1.  Read more

Driver charged with running down teen on scooter then racing away

A Dorchester man was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bail today on a variety of charges related to a series of incidents Wednesday night that started when he allegedly drove away after hitting a 15-year-old on a scooter in Dorchester and ended with his capture in Jamaica Plain after police say he crashed into another car.

The teen remains in the hospital Thursday morning with injuries so serious the homicide unit was initially called in after the crash.  Read more

Charter school wants to buy T lot in Mattapan Square and move there

MBTA Lot: Roughly two dozen vehicles were parked in the T’s Mattapan lot early Monday afternoon. 	Lauren Dezenski photoMBTA Lot: Roughly two dozen vehicles were parked in the T’s Mattapan lot early Monday afternoon. Lauren Dezenski photo

A Hyde Park-based charter school is in talks to buy an MBTA parking lot in Mattapan Square and build a new school next to the T trolley and bus station along River Street. While the $1.5 million sale to Boston Preparatory Charter Public School, if executed, would fill the space at an often half-empty parking lot with a new building, it would also squelch earlier hopes for using the state-owned land as the anchor for a mixed-use, transit-oriented development – something that state lawmakers say should remain the top priority for the site.  Read more

July 4 goal for top cop: ‘Making sure nobody gets shot’

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans: Deploying more cops into Dorchester, MattapanBoston Police Commissioner William Evans: Deploying more cops into Dorchester, Mattapan

Boston’s police commissioner had his hands full last Thursday with last-minute logistics for that night’s big celebration along the Charles River, which had been moved up one day due to a forecast of inclement weather on Independence Day. But William Evans remained focused on his chief goal for the holiday weekend: “Making sure nobody gets shot.”

“We’ll have a lot of officers deployed tonight on the Esplanade to assist the State Police, but honestly, our priority is the neighborhoods and we’re putting a lot of resources into making sure this weekend is a safe one,” Evans told the Reporter on Thursday morning.  Read more

Dorchester Ave. cemetery nominated for Historic Registry

By 
Jeanette Origel, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 10, 2014

Dorchester South Burying Ground has been approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The two- acre, city-owned cemetery was established in 1814 and is one of 18 municipal cemeteries established between 1630 and 1892. It was laid out by the town of Dorchester to provide new burial space in as the original town burial ground — now called Dorchester North Burying Ground— grew overcrowded due to the town’s expansion in the early 19th century.  Read more

Political Round-Up: Walsh ‘feeling good’ about home-rule on liquor licenses

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 10, 2014

Leadership has extended Tuesday’s deadline for the House to advance Rep. Russell Holmes’s liquor license home rule bill to the final day of this legislative session, although Mayor Martin J. Walsh still “feels good” about the prospects for reform – despite dwindling days for action.  Read more

Plans in works to upgrade Codman Square buildings

Construction will begin on the first phase of Talbot Commons, a transit-oriented, residential development on New England Avenue, later this year. Image courtesy BRAConstruction will begin on the first phase of Talbot Commons, a transit-oriented, residential development on New England Avenue, later this year. Image courtesy BRA

Codman Square’s Talbot Norfolk Triangle is one of nine eco districts across the country that have been chosen to accelerate their regeneration, growth, and sustainability with eco-friendly investments that emphasize updates to existing buildings.

The plans to update existing residential and retail building stock to a set of standards laid out by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, rather than erecting new buildings makes Codman Square’s Eco District classification unique and ripe for replication in other parts in the neighborhood, city, and beyond, according to those involved with the project.  Read more

Walsh taps Deputy Chief Finn to lead Fire Department

Joseph E. FinnJoseph E. Finn

Joseph E. Finn, a native of Dorchester who now lives in Quincy, has been tapped by Mayor Martin J. Walsh as the commissioner of the Boston Fire Department and given a mandate to create a department as diverse as the city it protects.

Finn said he would work to improve minority representation in the department through outreach programs to minority veterans and high school mentorship programs. In that way, he said, more individuals can “understand the benefits of becoming a Boston firefighter and that this is a welcoming and honorable profession.”  Read more