News

Reporter's Notebook: Teachers’ union backs Chang-Diaz challenger

The Boston Teachers Union is supporting state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz’s challenger.

Hassan Williams, a Roxbury Democrat mounting a challenge to the first term senator, touted the endorsement in a release this week. Like Chang-Diaz, Williams, who has a law degree from Boston College, has worked in Boston schools.  Read more

Bayside building needs immediate repairs, report says

The former Bayside Expo Center is in “fair to poor” condition, with repairs needed to its roofs and parking lot, according to a report commissioned by the University of Massachusetts, the site’s new owner.

“We recommend complete replacement of the existing roofs as they are beyond [their] useful life and are currently leaking,” staffers with Commercial Construction Consulting, Inc., wrote in a report for UMass. Portions of the report were released to the Reporter upon request.

An area of 700 square feet in the food court was wet during the company’s inspection, the report noted.  Read more

Approval, apprehension greet proposed Caritas system sale

By 
Tara W. Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 8, 2010

Elected officials, Caritas Christi employees, community activists, and Dorchester residents are voicing both approval and apprehension over the proposed sale of the Caritas Christi Health Care network, which includes Carney Hospital, to Cerberus, a private firm based in New York.

At a public hearing on the proposal last week in the packed auditorium of the IBEW Local 103 Hall, many officials, residents, and Carney employees voiced their support for the $830 million deal, capital from which could infuse between $15 and $20 million into Caritas Carney alone.  Read more

Free Pope JPII Park movies begin tonight

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 8, 2010

The Boston Natural Area Network this week kicked off its 16th annual Neponset Greenway Festival, a collection of free events along the Neponset River in Dorchester, Milton, Mattapan, and Hyde Park. A staple of the Festival is the outdoor Family Movie Series at Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester and the Martini Shell in Hyde Park. The first screening at the park is tonight at sunset.

According to BNAN President Valerie Burns, the idea for outdoor movies was inspired by the history of Pope John Paul II Park, which was home to a drive-in movie theater 50 years ago.  Read more

Officials focus on saving jobs

Gatumba Abu is one of the lucky few.

A custodian at the Holland Elementary School in Dorchester, Abu had received a layoff notice three weeks earlier. “A lot of people overlook our jobs,” he said, standing near the entrance of the City Council’s chambers last week. “But we’re a big part of the school department.”

As he contemplated how he would pay his mortgage, city councillors and Menino administration officials worked to save his job and those of 14 others.  Read more

Beating the heat one drop at a time

It was just about 100 degrees on Tuesday when this young man found relief under a spray at Neponset Park off Hilltop Street. Temperatures and humidity are expected to ease off come the weekend. 	Photo by Ed Forry.It was just about 100 degrees on Tuesday when this young man found relief under a spray at Neponset Park off Hilltop Street. Temperatures and humidity are expected to ease off come the weekend. Photo by Ed Forry.  Read more

Follow-up meeting on Ashmont trolley noise

By 
Reporter Staff
Jul. 8, 2010

A meeting on the trolley screeching at the Ashmont MBTA station has been scheduled for July 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the All Saints Church hall. The MBTA’s general manager, Rich Davey, is expected to attend. The meeting comes after a June 20 gathering at the same church, where angry residents faced off with Davey and other MBTA officials over the noise levels. Since then, the MBTA has installed a sprinkler system and sound-deadening blankets to curb the noise level.  Read more

Protests grow louder over community center closures

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 8, 2010

Community Center Closing: View from Four Corners from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

Above: Ralph Ortiz and Pamela Bush of the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, discussed their opposition to the shut-down of the Marshall Community Center with Chris Lovett, anchor of the Neighborhood Network News on BNN-TV. The interview aired July 8, 2010.

As the Boston Centers for Youth and Families removes staff from eight of the city’s 46 community centers, residents who have grown up around the centers are continuing to protest the move.
 The city agency’s underlying strategy is to save money during fiscal year 2011 by conserving resources that would have gone to underutilized centers.  Read more

Dot YMCA stays committed to programs for teens

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 8, 2010

In the wake of a shooting just outside its doors last year, the Dorchester YMCA says it’s stepping up its commitment to providing teens with activities and programs this summer. The Y, along with the Boston Foundation and the My Summer in the City program are launching an ambitious slate of summer events as part of its Urban Agenda effort.  Read more

Barros going abroad to teach sport, character

By 
Tara W. Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 8, 2010

BarrosBarrosTomé Barros, a young Cape Verdean man who grew up in three-decker on Sumner Street in Dorchester, loves the game of basketball.  Read more

Recycling push called plus for city

By 
Matthew DeLuca, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 8, 2010

RecyclingRecycling

Early last July, the city began to roll out a new single-stream recycling program as part of an effort to improve recycling rates in the City. The single-stream system enabled residents to combine all of their recyclables into one container, a 64-gallon blue, wheeled cart that has become the sign of improving recycling rates throughout the city.  Read more

Four shot on Hendry Street

The Boston Police Department reports that four people were shot around 9:15 p.m. on July 4th outside 18 Hendry St.  Read more

Happy Independence Day! A July 4th party to remember

By 
Reporter Staff
Jul. 3, 2010

Happy Independence Day! In the spirit of the holiday, please enjoy this article by Peter F. Stevens, who recalls how the town of Dorchester celebrated the Fourth way back in 1855.

Police find body Friday morning on Woodrow Ave.

The Boston Police Department reports finding a man's body at Woodrow and Milton avenues around 6 a.m. Friday, July 2.  Read more

It’s that time of year: some tips on fireworks safety

By 
Johanna Gusman, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 1, 2010

Many people celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang, literally. Fireworks are a staple at summer barbeques and celebrations throughout America. With the upcoming holiday, the Mattapan Community Health Center would like to reiterate the importance of firework safety. Almost 10,000 people were treated with firework-related injuries last year alone. Over the past ten years, thirty to thirty-three percent of these types of injuries were due to illegal fireworks.  Read more

Local educators honored as city’s finest

By 
Tara W. Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 1, 2010

Thirteen Boston public school teachers, one of whom teaches in Mattapan and four in Dorchester, received the Boston Educator of the Year Award last Monday night.

The honorees, who were nominated by their colleagues for the award, were recognized for their superb teaching and presented with crystal apples at the ceremony.  Read more

Bowdoin Geneva neighbors push to improve Census count

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 1, 2010

Looking to fight back against a poor census response and what some local activists called bad publicity for the neighborhood, city and U.S. Census officials launched an enumeration offensive earlier this month in the Bowdoin Geneva area, a neighborhood that has been singled out as one of Boston’s lowest responding areas.  Read more

Dot tackler helps propel US bid for world football title

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 1, 2010

While the boys are still playing for the World Cup in South Africa, the girls will be playing a different kind of football on the other side of the planet.

The International Federation of American Football kicked off their first ever Women’s World Championship in Stockholm, on Sweden, June 27. The tournament will run until July 4. Dorchester resident, Kelly Barker is on the roster for Team USA. Make no mistake, this is women’s only, full contact, gridiron football and Barker’s 6’ 2” 220 lb frame will not let you forget it.  Read more

Free summer fun on tap at Wainwright Park

By 
Jonathan Rodriguez, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 1, 2010

Wainwright Park is the place to be this summer for free fun for kids ages 6 to 18. St. Mark’s Parish and Dorchester Over the Summer (DOTS) have combined forces to offer more than six weeks of programming at the park, including a series of Saturday cook-outs.

“We just want to give the children the enriching and educational summer experience that they may be missing,” says Veronica Droser, who will coordinate the activities at Wainwright.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: City Council pushes for more library trustees, fundraising power

Several city councillors are pushing this week for the expansion of the Boston Public Library board of trustees and giving them the ability to fundraise for the cash-strapped system.

City Councillors Michael Ross, Ayanna Pressley, Felix Arroyo have filed a home rule petition expanding the mayorally-appointed nine-member board to 13 members. Term limits would also be instituted for board members.  Read more

Work Inc. heralds new home, options

By 
Tara W. Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 1, 2010

Work Inc., a non-profit organization that provides vocational training and employment for approximately 800 individuals with mental and developmental disabilities, celebrated its move to its new Beach Street facility with an open house and dedication ceremony last Thursday.

Last November, Work Inc. relocated from North Quincy to its new Dorchester facility, a refurbished warehouse in Clam Point which formerly housed Pollack Manufacturing.  Read more

Bigger buses get positive reviews on Blue Hill Ave.

By 
Alex Owens Special to the Reporter
Jul. 1, 2010

The MBTA’s route 28 bus line is notorious for crowded, slow, and inefficient service. T officials this weekend responded to the complaints with the deployment of 25 new, 60-ft long articulated buses. The new buses, which hit the streets on Saturday, have been well received by riders, who appreciated the extra leg room, seats for all and a quicker ride during their daily commute.

“I really like the new buses,” said Dorchester resident Robin Jeffreys. “This is definitely an improvement over the last buses as far as comfort,” she said, admiring the new accommodations.  Read more

Liquor store suffers from neighbor’s labor dispute

By 
Tara W. Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 1, 2010

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 791 members, Michael McKeon (left) and Al Ortenzi (right), protest at the entrance of the Harborpoint Marketplace on Morrissey Boulevard on Tuesday, June 29.  Photo by Tara W. MerriganUnited Food and Commercial Workers Local 791 members, Michael McKeon (left) and Al Ortenzi (right), protest at the entrance of the Harborpoint Marketplace on Morrissey Boulevard on Tuesday, June 29. Photo by Tara W. Merrigan  Read more

This (really) old house gets a facelift: Pleasant Street site dates back to original settlement

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 1, 2010

This (really) old house gets a faceliftThis (really) old house gets a facelift
While tourists are drawn to Massachusetts’s rich history in places like Beacon Hill, Plymouth, and Salem, Dorchester has its own share of notable landmarks, including the oldest surving structure in the city: the James Blake (circa 1661) near Edward Everett Square.
Now local preservationists have turned their gaze to another structure worth saving: a dilapidated house at 65 Pleasant St. that stands on a foundation that dates to the town’s very first days.  Read more

Decision on Bayside site’s fate expected later this summer

A decision is expected later this summer on what UMass-Boston plans to do with the former site of the Bayside Expo Center, which the university bought earlier this year.

Several options remain on the table for the property, which has 275,000 square feet of exhibition space and 20 acres of parking: using it for parking, classroom space, and razing the building. UMass-Boston’s budget chief Ellen O’Connor said the site is unlikely to be used as exhibition space.  Read more