News

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

DOT BY THE DAY July 10 – 18, 2014

Thursday (10th) – Drop-in Youth Sports Nights start this week, 5-8p.m. at White Stadium Basketball Courts. Pick-up basketball, flag football, kickball, and hula hoops. Free barbecue, face painting for children - come play! Teens and families welcome. Every Thursday through mid-August.
 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

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

UMass Boston cites activist Bell for his organizing spirit

By 
Kimberley Theodore, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 10, 2014

Ron Bell, a longtime community organizer and voting rights advocate, was honored on June 20 by UMass Boston’s Emerging Leaders Program with its Leading the Way Award.

The 51-year-old Mission Hill native was recognized as a model of collaborative leadership for his wide-ranging work to increase civic engagement and promote social change through his non-partisan Dunk the Vote voter education and registration program.

His political work includes roles as Gov. Deval Patrick’s deputy campaign manager in 2006 and as Patrick’s senior advisor for community affairs.  Read more

Summer Program Kicks-off

Summer Program Kicks-off - The on-site Summer program kicks off this week and the first session will run through 7/25. The program is open to members ages 5 to 12 and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A second session will run from 7/28 to 8/13. Both sessions are full and have a waiting list. Each session will include a variety of on-site and off-site experiences.  Read more

Union head: Caseloads still high, morale low at DCF

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service
Jul. 10, 2014

While saying relations with the new Department of Children and Families commissioner are an improvement over her predecessor, the president of the union representing social workers told a legislative panel the agency is still struggling with high caseloads and low morale.  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

Dorchester House makes a splash with its new pool

Dot House: Dorchester House President and CEO Walter Ramos is shown, left, with Head Lifeguard Dirk Bovell next to the pool facility which re-opened this week at the Dot House after a $600,000 renovation project. 	Photo by Bill ForryDot House: Dorchester House President and CEO Walter Ramos is shown, left, with Head Lifeguard Dirk Bovell next to the pool facility which re-opened this week at the Dot House after a $600,000 renovation project. Photo by Bill Forry

After a year-long renovation project, the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center has re-opened its swimming pool, just in time to serve hundreds of kids and adults clamoring for a cool-off spot.  Read more

Coming soon: A 10-day red light on Morton Street

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 9, 2014

Work on a replacement bridge for Morton Street is going on this week. The roadway will close for ten days next month to fix the new span in place. Photo by Bill Forry

Bridge replacement work to shut section Aug 8-17

For ten days next month – from Aug. 8 to Aug. 17 – the well-traveled section of Morton Street above the railroad tracks and near the Norfolk Street intersection will be closed to traffic as the state lays in place a new Morton Street bridge. While rerouting plans for buses are known, transportation officials will present the detour details for all residents, businesses, and travelers at a meeting tonight (July 10) at 6 o’clock at the Economy Plumbing site at 875 Morton St.  Read more

Neponset woman is first-time author

By 
Jeanette Origel, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 8, 2014

Neponset resident Paula Guerard realized a dream this month: Her first book for children, “Mary Lou Found a Really Big Shoe,” was published through Tate Publishing on June 17.

Guerard, 51, has been living on Glide Street since she married in 1989. She lives with her husband Mark, 18-year-old son Mark and 15-year-old daughter Patrice. A Dorchester native, Guerard attended St. Ann’s Grammar School and St. Gregory High School. She is a legal assistant for the MBTA, a florist at Kathleen of Boston and now a newly published author.  Read more

Nine teens charged with robbing, beating couple waiting for a bus; more sought

The Boston Police Department reports a man and woman standing at Washington and Erie streets were surrounded by up to 15 boys and girls, who began beating them when they resisted a robbery attempt around 9:30 p.m. on Monday.

In a statement, police say the two were waiting for a bus, when a girl came up to the woman:  Read more

City offers free meals for kids this summer

By 
Staff
Jul. 8, 2014

City schools and community centers are serving free meals this summer to any Boston child or teen under 18. The program, which started Monday, will run through August 29 at more than 120 locations, including 43 in Dorchester and Mattapan. Some of the locations include the Leahy-Holloran Community Center in Neponset, Bird Street Youth Center on Columbia Road, the Ryan Playground in Mattapan and the Dorchester House in Fields Corner. Most of the locations serve both breakfast and lunch.

See a map with locations here. Or call the Project Bread Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.  Read more

Man walks onto Expressway, where he is struck and killed by a car

A man, 38, walked onto the southbound side of I-93 at South Bay around 1 a.m. on Tuesday and was hit and killed by a car in the left lane, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office and State Police report.  Read more

Holiday weekend goal for top cop: ‘Making sure no one gets shot’

BPD Commissioner William Evans

Boston’s police commissioner has his hands full assisting with logistics for tonight’s July 4th celebration along the Charles River. But, William Evans says he’s staying focused on his chief goal for the holiday weekend: “Making sure nobody gets shot” in any of the city’s neighborhoods.

“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,” said Evans in an interview with the Reporter on Thursday.

“For us, it definitely helps to have the two nights combined into one,” said Evans, referring to the city’s decision to condense the two-night Boston Pops concerts into a single event tonight, Thursday, July 3. Inclement weather associated with a northbound hurricane, Arthur, prompted the schedule change. The weather will also likely ease the burden on city police, as Friday should be a quieter day across the board as outdoor plans are cancelled.  Read more