News

Walsh adds surgeon, UMass Boston professor and others to transition team

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh's transition team on Friday added three co-chairs, including the former CEO of Boston Children's hospital, a UMass Boston professor and the head of a Roxbury-based organization.  Read more

Mayor-Elect Walsh says goodbye to House colleagues

By 
State House News Service
Nov. 21, 2013

On his way from the House of Representatives to Boston City Hall, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh brought his fellow lawmakers to their feet several times Wednesday afternoon, as he gave a farewell, imparted thanks on most everyone in the chamber and recounted his days as a “hotheaded” freshman representative in 1997.

Walsh, who beat City Councilor John Connolly for the mayoralty on Nov. 5, said he would be back in the chamber in January asking for more money for Boston.  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Two possibles say no to run for Walsh seat

The 13th Suffolk District field remained in flux this week as one candidate waded deeper into the upcoming race to replace state Rep. Marty Walsh while two potential contenders said they would sit this one out.

Steve Bickerton Jr., a local operative who worked on Walsh’s mayoral campaign, and Michael Christopher, a former Walsh aide at the State House now working for Gov. Deval Patrick, said they would be taking a pass on the race. And both said they haven’t decided whom they’ll be backing.  Read more

Landmark hearing Tuesday for Grampian Way house

The Boston Landmarks Commission is scheduled to vote next week whether or not to designate the house at 24 Grampian Way in Savin Hill as a local landmark. The home, also known as the Kehew-Wright House, is owned by the family of the late Ray Tomasini, which is seeking a permit to tear down the deserted structure.

The 14-member commission will meet at 5:45 p.m. next Tuesday (Nov. 26) on the ninth floor of City Hall.  Read more

For Dot Y, a Saturday full of unity and giving

By 
Paige Pihl Buckley, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 21, 2013

Dorchester YMCA-Carney Hospital Flu Clinic: l-r,  Kevin Washington, CEO YMCA of Greater Boston; Kathy Townsend, Executive Director Dorchester YMCA; Shirley Alexander Hunt; Andy Davis, CEO Carney Hospital; Dr. Miguel Concepcion and Xavier Alexander, receiving his flu shot.Dorchester YMCA-Carney Hospital Flu Clinic: l-r, Kevin Washington, CEO YMCA of Greater Boston; Kathy Townsend, Executive Director Dorchester YMCA; Shirley Alexander Hunt; Andy Davis, CEO Carney Hospital; Dr. Miguel Concepcion and Xavier Alexander, receiving his flu shot.The Dorchester YMCA celebrated unity and giving on Saturday with three events to bring the community together.

“It was diverse, inclusive, a day of safety and unity, which was all in the spirit of giving,” said Kathy Townsend, executive director of the Dorchester YMCA.

“We started out with our annual Stop & Shop turkey giveaway,” said Townsend. “We gave away 250 turkeys.”

The turkey giveaway was one of twelve sponsored by Stop & Shop throughout New England.  Read more

Heavyweight Palmer puts boxing world on notice: ‘I want to be one of the greatest, ever’

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 21, 2013

Donnie Palmer knocked out Solomon Maye on Nov. 2- his third straight KO victory. Image courtesy NewEnglandBoxing.net

Fresh off his third straight win, Dorchester boxer Donnie Palmer has his eyes fixed upward, looking to be the best boxer there is.

While in one sense, the six-foot-ten Palmer rarely looks up, in another that’s all he does. Palmer wants to turn his three wins into getting not just one title, but winning all possible heavyweight titles. “I want to be great; I want to be one of the greatest, ever,” he said.  Read more

Remembering JFK: A weekend for the ages

A son's salute: John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s casket on Nov. 25, 1963. Photo by Stan Steams/CorbisA son's salute: John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s casket on Nov. 25, 1963. Photo by Stan Steams/Corbis
It was 50 years ago tomorrow – November 22, 1963 – that the life of the nation’s – and Boston’s – young political leader, Jack Kennedy, came to a stunning end. Our country’s president, shot and killed, dead in an instant from an assassin’s bullet.

It was unbelievable … shocking … stunning … dreadful … horrific … ghastly – you choose the word. And for my then-young generation, that afternoon marked the beginning of the end of an era of hyped-up optimism and the opening chapter in the series of tragic events – the loss of another Kennedy, a King, and a Malcolm X – that would come to mark the tumultuous decade of the 1960s.  Read more

Walsh back to work; meets Patrick, makes time for Dot meeting

Mayor-elect Walsh and Gov. Patrick outside the governor’s office on Monday. Governor’s Office photoMayor-elect Walsh and Gov. Patrick outside the governor’s office on Monday. Governor’s Office photo

As his transition team seeks to get a handle on the levers of city government, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh met with local and state officials early this week after returning from a post-campaign vacation in the Turks and Caicos island territories. He also stopped by a regular meeting on crime and civic issues near Codman Square.

“I’m going to pay special attention to our neighborhood,” Walsh told a crowd of 200 people at the Joseph Lee Elementary School on Monday night. He then quipped: “That part’s off the record.”

Walsh, who has served as one of Dorchester’s state representatives on Beacon Hill for 16 years, spent about a half hour fielding questions on charter schools, light poles, parking, trash pick-up, and public safety. At the end, he pledged to appear at the next meeting and to be a regular presence at future meetings. Speaking to reporters outside after the session, Walsh said the community is active and holds elected officials’ “feet to the fire, and that’s a good thing.”  Read more

Bell rings, mayor reminisces at First Parish ceremony

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 20, 2013

Rev. Art Lavoie, Mayor Tom Menino and Tom Cunningham, Chair of the Board of Trustees at First Parish Dorchester.Rev. Art Lavoie, Mayor Tom Menino and Tom Cunningham, Chair of the Board of Trustees at First Parish Dorchester.

Mayor Thomas Menino was honored Saturday in a ceremony at the historic First Parish Church, one of the venues that helped launch his 20-year term in City Hall.

The church’s “20 Bells for the Mayor” fundraising gala attracted a crowd of over 100 people to celebrate the rededication of the church’s steeple and to hear from the mayor. Former state Sen. Jack Hart of South Boston emceed the event and offered memories of Menino’s time in office and service to the community.

The auditorium of the church served as the venue for the first debate of the 1993 mayoral election, the race that Menino won to become mayor in his own right after succeeding Mayor Raymond Flynn on an acting basis. President Clinton tapped Flynn as his ambassador to the Vatican, and in the final election, Menino faced off against Dorchester state Rep. Jim Brett.  Read more

Strand fit for ‘Little Princess’; Seats for $10 offered to Dot residents

Sirena Abalian stars as Sara Crewe and Jared Dixon as Pasko in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of “A Little Princess” at the Strand Theatre, Nov. 21-Dec. 8.Sirena Abalian stars as Sara Crewe and Jared Dixon as Pasko in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of “A Little Princess” at the Strand Theatre, Nov. 21-Dec. 8.

Opening Thursday night at the Strand is a lavish musical that ends with Queen Victoria herself saving the day and declaring “anyone can be a princess.” Young ladies may find that this revival of the 2004 musical “A Little Princess” lends wings to their dreams of tiaras and coaches, but three black Dorchester males are reporting that it is giving them practical experience in re-enacting their African roots.

The Nov. 21 show is the first of 14 performances of “A Little Princess” as presented by the Fiddlehead Theatre Company, declared earlier this year by Mayor Menino as the 2013-14 resident theatre company of the Strand. This “heart-felt musical for the whole family” runs through December 8. Fiddlehead is offering a special discount $10 for Dot residents this weekend only; those interested should check with the box office.

Last year Fiddlehead proved it could mount a Broadway-sized production in Uphams Corner when, with assistance from the Boston chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, it staged the hit show “Ragtime.” In addition to garnering respectable reviews, Fiddlehead’s “Ragtime” averaged 550 spectators a night over its 12-performance run, selling out a few times and breaking even over all by attracting large multiethnic audiences.  Read more

Senate sends $11-per-hour minimum wage bill to House

By 
Matt Murphy, Andy Metzger and Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Nov. 19, 2013

The Senate voted 32-7 on Tuesday to increase the state's minimum wage by $3 over the next three years to $11 an hour, approving legislation that would give Massachusetts the highest minimum wage in the country and give the state's lowest-wage workers their first raise in six years.

The bill (S 1925) would also tie future increases in the minimum wage to inflation and guarantee that no matter what happens to the federal minimum wage - currently set at $7.25 - the minimum in Massachusetts would remain 50 cents higher.  Read more

Police: Street robberies spike as thieves target smart phones

Boston Police say that thieves targeting people carrying smartphones are responsible for a string of street robberies in Area C-11 in recent days.  Read more

O'Sullivan inducted into Curry College Hall of Fame

By 
Staff
Nov. 15, 2013

Michael O'Sullivan: Curry College Hall of FamerMichael O'Sullivan: Curry College Hall of FamerMichael (Mikey O) O’Sullivan, son of Daniel and Denise O’Sullivan from Dorchester, was inducted into the Curry College Hall of Fame for Hockey on Nov. 1.

Mikey began his hockey career starting with Dorchester Youth Hockey (DYH). Hewas part of the famous midget team (1999-2000) that placed first in their division, won the state championship and traveled to Houston and won the national championship.

Michael attended Archbishop Williams High School. As a senior, Archies’ went on to the state finals and the team placed second. Michael was ranked 4th all-time in scoring at Curry College with 172 career points. He excelled on the ice during his four hockey seasons there. In his junior season, he was named the Joe Concannon Award winner as the Division III New England Player of the Year, while also being named the ECAC Northeastern Player of the Year.  Read more

‘Building Pathways’ opens door to union jobs

Building Pathways: Students learn about fiber optics at IBEW Local 103. Photo by Gintautas DumciusBuilding Pathways: Students learn about fiber optics from instructor Tom Olson at IBEW Local 103. Photo by Gintautas Dumcius

Tom Olson holds up a pale blue cord in front of the class. Outlets and wires hang from the ceiling over the heads of 15 men and women, many of whom are wearing green hard-hats. “FiOS,” Olson says, holding the blue cord a little higher. “Anybody know what that stands for?”

The answer comes cautiously, in unison, from the class: “Fiber integrated optical solutions.” Says Olson, “Now, when you see the commercials with Comcast and FiOS and Verizon, you’ll be able to say ‘I know what FiOS is.’ Fiber integrated optical solutions, right? High-end communications, guys and girls. It doesn’t get any faster than that. That’s transmission through glass.”  Read more

Salas’s salon keeps pace with styles in Adams Village

Mary Salas: Hair Image owner holds a photo from the 1980s that shows her with other stylists who worked at the salon. Photo by Bill ForryMary Salas: Hair Image owner holds a photo from the 1980s that shows her with other stylists who worked at the salon. Photo by Bill ForryMary Salas was born to style hair.

As a child growing up in her native Greece, she never met a doll that didn’t need a complete makeover.

“I had a passion,” says Salas. “I wanted to go to school to become a stylist, but in Greece at the time, the men were the hairstylists. I was told I should become a seamstress instead.”

Needless to say, Mary was thrilled when her family immigrated to the United States at age 16. She and her sisters moved in with family members in Savin Hill and she came of age in a three-decker at 99 Sydney Street that’s since been destroyed by fire.  Read more

Short and sweet: Red Line bridge replaced in 3 days

By 
Will Taylor, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 14, 2013

Clayton St. bridge: After months of preparation, workers swung a new bridge into place above Clayton Street over the Veterans Day weekend. The new span, pictured above, carries Red Line trains above the street en route to and from Fields Corner station. 	Photo courtesy MBTAClayton St. bridge: After months of preparation, workers swung a new bridge into place above Clayton Street over the Veterans Day weekend. The new span, pictured above, carries Red Line trains above the street en route to and from Fields Corner station. Photo courtesy MBTA

“Get in and get out as fast as you possibly can. I think people prefer [this] to the pain of years of construction.”

The speaker was State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, and he was referring to the guiding principle behind the installation over the weekend of a new $5.5 million bridge above Clayton Street near Clam Point that shut down Red Line train service between Ashmont Station and JFK/UMass from Friday evening to Monday morning.  Read more

Ex-rivals to help Walsh transition; Menino headed to BU

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh has unveiled the beginnings of a transition team that includes three of his electoral rivals, one-time state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie, who finished third in the Sept. 24 preliminary; City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo; and former School Committee member John Barros.  Read more

Dorchester actors drive ‘Splendor’ into final weekend

Four actors from Dorchester are the principle players in Company One Theatre’s production of “Splendor." Above, Top, Nicole Prefontaine and Greg Maraio. Photo courtesy Company One Theatre

This weekend is your last chance to catch a quartet of actors from Dorchester who form part of the talented cast of “Splendor,” just ending its world premiere run at the Boston Center for the Arts, Plaza Theatre.

Company One Theatre opened its 15th season with this the latest effort of Obie Award-winning playwright, Kirsten Greenidge, under the direction of C1 Artistic Director, Shawn LaCount.

Set in a fictitious suburb north of Boston, “Splendor” pieces together a mosaic of the lives of locals haunted by holiday nostalgia.  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: The names game is on: Who wants Walsh seat?

The confetti had barely left the cannon on election night by the time speculation was underway about the next race.

The elevation of Dorchester’s Marty Walsh to the mayor’s seat in City Hall means there will be a House seat vacancy within the 13th Suffolk District next year. Inside the Park Plaza Hotel’s ballroom that night, there was already talk about who might be interested in replacing Walsh, a Democrat and labor leader in union-rich Dorchester. Walsh has served in the House for 16 years, winning the job in 1997 in a special election after Jim Brett, another Dorchester guy who ran for mayor but received different results, decided to take a job with the New England Council.  Read more

Experts discuss impacts of rising seas at JFK Library

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Nov. 13, 2013

If sea level rise projections become reality and high tides a century from now resemble what today are major floods, the Aquarium Blue Line Station would likely be underwater while across the harbor the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital will be better prepared to weather frequent incursions of harbor water, according to Boston Harbor Association Executive Director Julie Wormser.

“By mid-century, every year the T’s going to have to deal with a foot and a half of seawater. By the end of the century it’s dealing more with five feet of seawater,” said Wormser, who said the Aquarium Station would need to be moved.  Read more

State alcohol laws are barrier to commerce, lawmakers told

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Nov. 12, 2013

When it comes to beer, wine and liquor licenses, the Legislature is being asked to step aside and relinquish some control.

Lawmakers on Tuesday heard from craft beer brewers who want changes to a law they say "handcuffs" them in their ability to compete because of unbreakable ties to wholesalers. Municipal officials appealed to remove control of liquor licenses from the state and give it to local officials. And wine drinkers want to lift a ban on direct wine sale shipments to consumers.  Read more

Mayor-elect Walsh talks Election Night, future in Reporter interview

Mayor Menino and Mayor-elect Walsh: Walsh admits to some nerves on Tuesday evening, but says: "I just got a feeling." Photo courtesy Mayor's OfficeMayor Menino and Mayor-elect Walsh: Walsh admits to some nerves on Tuesday evening, but says: "I just got a feeling." Photo courtesy Mayor's OfficeMarty Walsh arrived at the Park Plaza Hotel around 6 p.m. on Election Night and headed up to the 15th floor. For the first time during that day, he was nervous. West Roxbury, Beacon Hill and Back Bay, friendly turf for his opponent, John Connolly, had seen a high number of voters turn out.

Inside the hotel room, he was joined by his mother Mary, his brother John, his longtime partner Lorrie Higgins and her daughter Lauren, and his campaign manager Meg Costello. Walsh kept in touch with his campaign workers, who were crunching numbers inside the "boiler room" and keeping him updated.

Walsh showered and focused on writing his victory speech. He didn't write a concession speech, believing that if he had to deliver one, he would speak from the "heart and head," he said. "At 7:30, I just got a feeling, a feeling came over me, that we were going to be okay," the state representative and labor leader from Dorchester recounted 48 hours later, inside his campaign office at 11 Beacon Street, steps from the State House. "And the nervousness went away."  Read more

‘Ode to Joy’ will hail Baroque orchestra’s 40th year

Since it opened in 1911 the Strand Theatre has hosted performances by prestigious musical groups from the big bands of Glenn Miller and Count Basie to a touring orchestra from Vienna. But this weekend the former movie palace can chalk up another first – a performance of one of the world’s very most famous symphonies on period (historically accurate) instruments. Think a harpsichord instead of a piano, sheep’s gut instead of steel for the strings.  Read more

Pressley, Wu top ticket in at-large race for City Council

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 7, 2013

Ayanna Pressley: Topped the at-large ticket once again.Ayanna Pressley: Topped the at-large ticket once again.While men make up the vast majority of the City Council, it was two women –Dorchester’s Ayanna Pressley and newcomer Michelle Wu– who topped the ticket in the at-large race.

Another Dorchester woman, Annissa Essaibi-George, finished fifth. That’s not enough to earn a seat, but it does mean she will fill the shoes of any at-large councilor who decides against finishing his or her term.

Pressley was one of two incumbents running – the other was Stephen Murphy – and both were elected. Former City Councillor At-Large Michael Flaherty of South Boston won the other seat— about 10,000 votes ahead of Murphy, who finished fourth.

“The benefit of being an incumbent is to have a record to run on and I’m damn proud of mine,” Pressley said.  Read more