News

Reporter's Notebook: 1,501 afternoons in Dorchester

Gin Dumcius conducted one of his many interviews with Mayor Tom Menino last June outside the McCormack School on Mt. Vernon Street. Photo by Bill Forry

Editor's Note: Today is the last day on the job for Reporter News Editor Gintautas Dumcius, who has worked for the Reporter in various capacities for the last ten years. Gin's byline will continue to appear in the Reporter and at DotNews through his work at the State House News Service, where he will work as a full-time reporter beginning next week.- BF

One of my first assignments for the Dorchester Reporter involved being “embedded” on a Dorchester Day float. It was June 2004 and I was in the Dorchester Historical Society’s float as it motored through the rain and down the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare for the parade’s 100th anniversary.  Read more

Patrick’s man Walsh eases into Lower Mills

John Walsh : standing in front of his new Lower Mills digs.	Photo by Gintautas DumciusJohn Walsh : standing in front of his new Lower Mills digs. Photo by Gintautas Dumcius

Dorchester Democrats have a new member of their party in their midst: The former chairman of the state party. John Walsh, the man who helped Deval Patrick win the gubernatorial race in 2006 and become the first Democratic governor in Massachusetts in 16 years, has moved into Lower Mills with his wife Donna.  Read more

Taking part in the Way of the Cross offers comfort in sorrow at St. Peter’s

By 
David Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 24, 2014

Stations of the Cross: On Good Friday, members of St.Peter’s Parish Via Sacra carried the Cross around the neighborhood to the sites where community members died as a result of acts of violence.                      			                    Photo by David EisenstadterStations of the Cross: On Good Friday, members of St.Peter’s Parish Via Sacra carried the Cross around the neighborhood to the sites where community members died as a result of acts of violence. Photo by David Eisenstadter

Luisa Tavares fought back tears as she stood at the site of her son’s death reading the Fourth Station of the Cross, the one in which Jesus meets his mother on the way to his death on Calvary. But before Tavares began, Father Richard Conway told those assembled at Navillus Terrace that they were there to remember Junior DaVeiga and Andrew Tavares, two victims of violence in that very spot.  Read more

Abutters, MBTA remain at odds over rail station

Residents of the Woodhaven Street area remain in deep disagreement with state lawmakers and transportation officials over the siting of a commuter rail station between Blue Hill Avenue and Cummins Highway.

A meeting on April 10 did little to quell the discontent. State Rep. Russell Holmes, a Mattapan Democrat who supports the project, said another meeting has been scheduled for mid-May, with MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott expected to attend.  Read more

Let’s talk about house gutters: Lower Mills man rehabs homes with one eye on history

Steven Dimeo in his Lower Mills dining room.             Photo by Gintautas DumciusSteven Dimeo in his Lower Mills dining room. Photo by Gintautas Dumcius  Read more

Superior Court nominee, Dorchester Court's chief, wins high praise during hearing

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Apr. 23, 2014

Roundly praised by councilors for her calm under pressure, her judiciousness and her humility, Dorchester District Court Chief Justice Rosalind Miller won plaudits from members of the Governor’s Council on Wednesday vetting her nomination for an appointment to the Superior Court bench.

At the request of Councilor Marilyn Devaney, Miller described how she took on a brutal kidnapping and rape case when she was a prosecutor and grew doubtful that the young victim had correctly identified her attacker. Miller requested a scientific test, which exonerated the defendant.  Read more

UMass student charged with making bomb threats that twice emptied campus building

A man was arraigned in Dorchester District Court today on charges he called in bomb threats that emptied UMass Boston's Wheatley Hall last Thursday and again on Tuesday.

In both cases, the building was evacuated but no actual bomb found.

Dean Beckford, 29, of Somerville, had bail set at $20,000, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

UMass officials identify him as a senior.

According to the DA's office:  Read more

Radio station founder makes case for TOUCH 106.1FM

By 
Staff
Apr. 18, 2014

Owner of Low-Power FM Station Vows to Fight Shut-Down from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

Chris Lovett of BNN-TV's Neighborhood Network News interviews Charles Clemons, co-founder of TOUCH 106.1FM, a Grove Hall-based low-powered radio station that was shuttered on Thursday by federal officials because it operates without a license.

Gov. Patrick: "Disappointed" by shut-down of TOUCH 106.1FM

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Apr. 18, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick was “incredibly disappointed” by the raid conducted by U.S. Marshalls to shut down the unlicensed, underground Dorchester radio station Touch 106.1 FM, an outlet for black community voices in Boston. Patrick said his office tried to dissuade the U.S. Attorney’s office from taking the action it did to close the station.  Read more

Unlicensed radio station "Touch" 106.1FM shut down in Grove Hall

By 
Staff
Apr. 17, 2014

Above, TOUCH 106.1FM operator Charles Clemons speaks about the federal raid on his unlicensed radio station. According to Clemons, US Marshals and FCC officials arrived at the station's offices today next to the Grove Hall Neighborhood Development Corporation and seized equipment belonging to the station, effectively taking it off the air.  Read more

Peace Cup hockey tourney boosts Team MR8 cause

Pat Brophy and Pat Doherty will run Monday's Boston Marathon for Team MR8. Photo by Bill Forry

Dorchester’s own Patrick Brophy and Patrick Doherty organized a hockey tournament in Canton last Saturday that drew about 90 players across eight teams for the first-ever Peace Cup to raise funds for the Martin W. Richard Foundation. Each player wore a number 8 as a tribute to Martin.

The tournament was followed that evening with a party at the McKeon Post which raised more donations for Team MR8, the marathon squad that has —to date— gathered almost $1 million for the Richard foundation.  Read more

Baker, in Fields Corner, cites value of ‘balance’

On the stump in Fields Corner: Charlie Baker makes a point. Photo courtesy Viet-AIDOn the stump in Fields Corner: Charlie Baker makes a point. Photo courtesy Viet-AIDCharlie Baker is running late. He walks into the Viet-AID community room at 5:53 p.m., 38 minutes after the gubernatorial meet-and-greet was supposed to start, a victim of evening traffic on Dorchester Avenue.

Thirty people have scattered themselves throughout the room, and as the he makes his way to the podium, he stops to shake hands, making sure to reach out to as many as he can. At six-foot-six, Baker towers over almost everybody there, except for one young man, whom he pulls close and says, tongue-in-cheek, “This guy’s tall.”

It’s a windy Monday night in April and Baker, a Swampscott Republican running for governor, is in Fields Corner. “Mr. Baker, welcome to Viet-AID,” Nam Pham, the Vietnamese-American development organization’s executive director, says in making the introduction to the crowd. “He used to be my boss,” Pham adds, referring to when Pham served as head of the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants under Gov. William Weld.  Read more

Two from Dot play key roles in USA Hockey win

National champs: Seventeen year-old Brenna Galvin, left, scored the national championship goal for the Charles River Blazers, coached by her Dot neighbor, Kerri Doolin. Photo by Craig GalvinNational champs: Seventeen year-old Brenna Galvin, left, scored the national championship goal for the Charles River Blazers, coached by her Dot neighbor, Kerri Doolin. Photo by Craig Galvin

Brenna Galvin, 17, scored the game-winning goal this month to give her Charles River Blazers team its first-ever national championship in the 16-and-under division of USA Hockey. Galvin, a forward who wears No. 8 for the Blazers, backhanded in the winning shot in the final period of a showdown with the Marquette (Michigan) Sentinels— a team that had beaten the Boston girls, 5-1, earlier in the tournament.  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook- One to keep an eye on this fall: Cullinane’s run for reelection

Put this race down as one to watch in the fall: The 12th Suffolk House election. After winning a special election last year, Dan Cullinane, a Dorchester Democrat, is running for a full two-year term. Several potential challengers who have pulled nomination papers have until April 29 to submit 150 voter signatures each to local elections officials. Corey Allen, a Mattapan activist, jumped into the race in December. If he and the others get on the ballot, a spirited race for the majority-minority seat will follow.  Read more

Walsh marks 47th birthday with status report on seniors, $206k grant for UMass Boston

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

Mayor Martin Walsh celebrated his forty-seventh birthday on familiar turf last Thursday: At UMass Boston’s campus, he announced a $206,000 grant to university’s Venture Development Center and the completion of a research report on Boston’s growing elderly population.  Read more

Walsh task force focus is senior housing

Twenty-three percent of occupied housing units in Boston have a person who is 60 years or older, according to a new report from the city’s Elderly Affairs Commission and UMass Boston’s Gerontology institute.

That’s a number likely to grow, as the Baby Boom generation nears old age and how to house them will be of concern to Mayor Marty Walsh and his successors.  Read more

Updated Bottle Bill an investment in our future

By 
By Phillip Sego and Lila Farino
Apr. 17, 2014


Editor’s Note: A version of this article originally appeared in last week’s Reporter, but due to a technical error, it did not appear in its correct form. It is re-printed here in its entirety.

The Bottle Bill is the state’s single most successful recycling and litter prevention program. Since its passage over 30 years ago, more than 35 billion containers have been redeemed and recycled, and thus prevented from entering landfills or littering our streets.  Read more

On bombing’s anniversary, area artists confront the meaning of ‘Boston Strong’

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 17, 2014

Darrell Ann Gane-McCalla : Collage contrasts coverage of neighborhood violence with marathon. Darrell Ann Gane-McCalla : Collage contrasts coverage of neighborhood violence with marathon. In the midst of ramped up coverage of the Marathon and the Marathon bombing tragedy, a small group of Boston area artists gathered near the Boylston Street finish line on Tuesday evening to raise a contrarian view about the meaning of the slogan “Boston Strong” in the context of neighborhood violence.

Darrell Ann Gane-McCalla, a former Dorchester resident, was one of three artists to put together a show called “Boston Strong?” to spark discussion about the coverage of the Marathon bombings and the comparative lack of coverage of the victims of crime in the city’s neighborhoods, including Dorchester.

“One thing about my work is it is making commentary about how our culture is pretty violent in general with terrorism or domestic violence or street violence,” Gane-McCalla said.

Her piece, in which drawings of people covered newspaper articles of violent events, stood beside those of artists Shea Justice and Jason Pramas at the Community Church of Boston’s Lothrop Auditorium at 565 Boylston St., one block from the Boston Marathon finish line in Copley Square.  Read more

House blows up on Hansborough Street; 12 injured, 2 seriously

Hansborough Street house

Hansborough Street house after explosion, fire. Photo by BFD.

Two elderly residents were seriously injured when the house at 27 Hansborough St. exploded around 9:20 p.m. on Wednesday, the Boston Fire Department reports.

Ten other residents were injured less seriously in the apparent natural-gas explosion - which blew the house off its foundation and led to its partial collapse. The resulting fire went to three alarms.

Residents of surrounding houses were evacuated. National Grid gave the OK to let them back around midnight.

Four new members, including Dorchester's Hunt, join House in latest influx of new blood

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Apr. 16, 2014

Four new lawmakers were sworn into the House of Representatives and one said goodbye Wednesday – rituals that have become commonplace this legislative session after a slew of resignations and special elections.

Two State House veterans who have worked on Beacon Hill for many years, and two newcomers took the oath of office after winning special elections earlier this month. The new members were sworn in by Gov. Deval Patrick during a ceremony attended by many former House lawmakers as well as Congressmen Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano.  Read more

An evening of reflection for Garvey Park assembly

Garvey Park Vigil on April 15, 2014: Fr. Sean Connor, former pastor of St. Ann Church in Neponset, addressed a crowd of some 1,500 people who turned out in the rain at Garvey Park for a vigil to remember Martin Richard and the other victims of last year’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. 	Photo by Bill ForryGarvey Park Vigil on April 15, 2014: Fr. Sean Connor, former pastor of St. Ann Church in Neponset, addressed a crowd of some 1,500 people who turned out in the rain at Garvey Park for a vigil to remember Martin Richard and the other victims of last year’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. Photo by Bill Forry

It seemed at first that the rain – which had fallen softly throughout the afternoon, but threatened to pick up steam by mid-evening – might keep the crowd away.

But, as the 7 o’clock hour neared, neighbors began to stream into Garvey Park through the entrances on Neponset Avenue. They came in clusters and sometimes in larger packs with hoods and ball caps and scallys to shield against the elements. Some clutched the Stars and Stripes, which they then unfurled while bracing against the wind blowing in from Dorchester Bay.

Related: One year later, moving tributes in the Back Bay  Read more

He was a ‘little boy’ with a ‘zest for life, caring heart’

A flag-raising ceremony was held on Boylston Street on Tuesday afternoon. Among those on hand were the Richard family, former Mayor Tom Menino, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Vice President Joseph Biden, Governor Deval Patrick, and BAA Director Tom Grilk. 	Photo: Jeremiah Robinson / Mayor’s OfficeA flag-raising ceremony was held on Boylston Street on Tuesday afternoon. Among those on hand were the Richard family, former Mayor Tom Menino, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Vice President Joseph Biden, Governor Deval Patrick, and BAA Director Tom Grilk. Photo: Jeremiah Robinson / Mayor’s Office

On Tuesday, a year to the day after the Boston Marathon bombings, one Martin remembered and reflected on another. Mayor Martin Walsh knew Martin Richard, the eight-year-old Dorchester boy who was killed in the terrorist attacks.  Read more

Rating outlook adjusted for Carney's hospital network

By 
Michael Norton, State House News Service
Apr. 15, 2014

As policymakers try to revive emergency medical care at the recently shuttered North Adams Regional Hospital, another Massachusetts hospital network recently had its rating outlook lowered to stable from positive, with analysts saying Steward Health Care System needs to continue restructuring.  Read more

High above Peabody Square, an age-old tribute to a young boy

Jeff Gonyeau, a neighbor and parishioner at All Saints Church, played the bell chimes in the tower of All Saints Church in Peabody Square this afternoon. Gonyeau sounded the bells at 2:50 p.m. following a moment of silence that was observed across the city, region and nation in observance of the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Jeff Gonyeau plays the bell chime in All Saints Church: Photo by Bill ForryJeff Gonyeau plays the bell chime in All Saints Church: Photo by Bill ForryGonyeau played two hymns on the church's 11 bells using a chime in a wooden chamber nestled just one level beneath the bells. He played two hymns: "St. Columba", which is derived from the 25th Psalm ("The Lord is My Shepherd"); and "Land of Rest", a hymn that is often sung at memorial services. Both were selected by Gonyeau with the Richard family in mind.

Gonyeau is the same neighbor who stopped the clock in Peabody Square last year in the hours following the attack that killed young Martin and left his family wounded, including his little sister Jane. The clock became a focal point of mourning in the close knit Ashmont-Adams community where the Richard family live.  Read more

Moment of silence planned on somber anniversary

Peabody Square Clock— April 15, 2014Peabody Square Clock— April 15, 2014
The bells of All Saints Church will toll along with church bells across the city today in memory of the victims of the attack on the Boston Marathon— one year later. The bells will be rung at 2:50 p.m.

A moment of silence will be observed across the nation in memory of the victims at 2:49 p.m.

Volunteers have decorated the clock in Peabody Square will blue and yellow bunting in memory of Martin Richard. The clock became the site of a makeshift memorial to the Dorchester boy last year and was the scene of a quiet ceremony to mark the one-week anniversary of the bombings. No formal events are planned there today.

Neighbors will gather at Garvey Park on Neponset Avenue this evening at 7 p.m. for a candlelight vigil. The park was the scene of a similar vigil one year ago. Mayor Martin J. Walsh will attend this evening's vigil, which is expected to include prayers and bagpipes. Organizers say the event will go on rain or shine.  Read more