Dot Ave. work moving along

Mike Deehan, 
 Special to the Reporter
Jun. 16, 2010

As road crews pound away at the $15 million renovation and revitalization of Dorchester Ave., City Hall and the state agency overseeing the work expect the project to continue on schedule for the remainder of the next two years. 

McCourt Construction, the contractor selected to work on the project, is currently installing new street light and traffic conduits, curbs, drainage and wheelchair ramps at Peabody Square, Andrew Square, and near St. Mark’s Rd. There are no major detours or lane closings at this point, with only the Bushnell St. extension at Peabody Square closed off. 
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‘God has new adventures for you,’ St. Mark’s School students are told

“The new succeeds the old and builds on it, and so it is with St. Mark’s School after 87 years. Its work, in God’s plan of things, is completed and God has new adventures in learning in store for its students.”  Read more

Five wanted for Bayside attack; police say one attacker videotaped the whole thing

The University of Massachusetts Police Department says it is looking for five people for a June 7 attack and robbery in the old Bayside Expo Center parking lot - which they say one of the five videotaped.  Read more

Patrick, Cahill team up to blast Baker in radio debate

Jim O'Sullivan and Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Jun. 16, 2010

BOSTON, JUNE 16, 2010……Republican Charles Baker took fire from both sides over his 10-year performance as a health insurance executive during Wednesday morning’s debate, as both Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick and Independent Treasurer Timothy Cahill ripped his role in overseeing steep premium increases.  Read more

Public meetings on transit needs begin tonight in Dudley Sq.

Tara Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 14, 2010

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will be holding a meeting this Monday to help choose the consultant team for a study of the transit needs of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. The study, which will be conducted this summer and the following year, aims to identify resident’s concerns about public transportation in areas not within walking distance of an MBTA subway station.  Read more

T officials scramble to muffle noisy trolleys at Ashmont

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jun. 11, 2010

This YouTube video shows the Ashmont turn-around of the Mattapan High Speed Trolley. The noisy circuit is the cause of consternation for abutters.

The MBTA will try to mask the high-pitched screeching caused by Mattapan Line trolleys turning around at the newly re-built Ashmont Station, a problem that drew the T's new boss to a lively community meeting last night. Officials admitted to an angry crowd of abutters Thursday night that there was a design flaw in the newly built trolley bridge that abuts the station: A too-sharp turn, coupled with the steel wheels of the 70-year-old trains hitting steel rail, results in an ear-splitting sound. The sound becomes even louder on hot days because of the increased friction.

The general manager of the MBTA, Rich Davey, pledged to meet with residents once a month “for as long as it takes” to deal with the issue.

“We will solve it,” Davey told the crowd. “If it’s a man-made problem, there’s a man-made solution. I’m certain of that.”  Read more

School of Rock: BC prof plumbs roots of Latino influence in rock music

Jonathan Rodriguez, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 10, 2010

Next Thursday, June 17, the Pope’s Hill Neighborhood Association will be honoring Dorchester resident, Roberto Avant-Mier, with a book-signing event for his recent publication, “Rock the Nation.” The signing will be held at the Neponset V.F.W. Post from 7 to 9 p.m. and will be accompanied by hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

The book, which will be available for purchase at the signing, sheds a new light on rock music’s relevance to the Latino/Hispanic community and the stereotypes that surround both.  Read more

Wilkerson pleads guilty to attempted extortion charges

Former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson pled guilty last week in federal court to eight counts of attempted extortion. Prosecutors recommended that she be sentenced to no more than four years in prison.

Wilkerson, a Roxbury Democrat, was arrested Oct. 28, 2008 and federal prosecutors charged her with allegedly accepting more than $23,500 to push legislation to benefit developers and secure a liquor license. The arrest came days before the November 2008 election, in which she had mounted a sticker campaign after Sonia Chang-Diaz knocked her off the ballot in a Democratic primary.  Read more

BPL brass pressed to halt closings

Boston Public Library trustees, who voted to close four libraries in April, are willing to hold a public meeting later this month to discuss plans for the libraries and a potential influx of state aid to prevent their closures, according to City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo’s office.

Arroyo last week had pressed Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan to re-convene a meeting of the BPL’s trustees after state lawmakers attended a City Council hearing on the BPL budget and noted they were getting a noncommittal response when offering state aid to keep libraries open.  Read more

Pols flocked to Dot Ave. for Sunday’s parade

They put their signs on cars, bikes and their volunteers: Local and state politicians were out in force for the Dorchester Day Parade on Sunday.

Another election year – this one on the state level – meant the candidates for governor and down-ballot races donned sneakers to walk the 3.2 mile route along Dorchester Ave.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: Group pushes for interim rep in St. Fleur’s seat

The New Democracy Coalition, a nonpartisan nonprofit group, is pushing for the speaker of the House of Representatives to appoint an interim replacement for state Rep. Marie St. Fleur, who is leaving to take a post within the Menino administration.

The State House News Service reported today that St. Fleur will resign effective Friday, June 11.  Read more

‘Gang’ flier prompts strong feelings pro and con

Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 9, 2010

The homicide rate is up in parts of Mattapan and Dorchester compared to last year and residents are taking notice. Within the course of three weeks, four grisly murders have rocked local neighborhoods.
Shockingly, three of the victims were under the age of 18. With the most recent murder of 14 year-old Nicholas Fomby-Davis on Bowdoin Street, many question why an surge of gang violence has suddenly beset the city’s youth.

Last Friday evening, about seventy neighbors gathered at the Holland Community Center in reaction to Fomby-Davis’ May 30th slaying by two reputed gang members. It seemed that everyone had a story of bloodshed, from the children who had lost friends to street violence, to a retiree who had been shot in the leg outside of a local liquor store. The common thread throughout was that a more vocal community would be a better protected one.  Read more

It’s a deal: Compromise reached in firefighter contract

Under pressure from City Council members, the Dorchester-based firefighters union and the Menino administration appeared to end years of bitter deliberations this week, coming to an agreement on a much-debated contract.  Read more

Wedding bells chime for a special couple

Tara Merrigan Special to the Reporter
Jun. 9, 2010

Doris Bates and Jack Quinn, both residents at Standish Village in Lower Mills, will be married on Saturday. 	Photo by Tara Merrigan.Doris Bates and Jack Quinn, both residents at Standish Village in Lower Mills, will be married on Saturday. Photo by Tara Merrigan.

Smiling and gazing into each other’s eyes, John “Jack” Quinn and Doris Bates described their feelings towards each other, their history together, and their upcoming wedding.

Quinn, 72, and Bates, 66, will be married—both for the first time—this Saturday at St. Brendan’s Church in Dorchester.  Read more

Man stabbed to death; arrest made

Thanh Van Truong, 55, was ordered held without bail at his arraignment today in Dorchester District Court today on charges he stabbed an acquaintance to death last night at 34 Lyon St., the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.  Read more

King Street eviction blocked by activists

Reporter Staff
Jun. 7, 2010

Chris Lovett of Neighborhood Network News reports on an attempted King Street eviction that was blocked by neighbors and activists this morning. Supporters say that the lender seeking to evict Ursula Humes from her home erred by not following through on a promised inspection. The full story, which aired tonight on NNN, is here:

Dorchester Woman Gets Eviction Reprieve from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

Clouds part as Dot Day pride takes to the streets

Reporter Staff
Jun. 6, 2010

Tiny dancer: Parade participants came in all ages and sizes during the 2010 Dorchester Day Parade. Photo by Ed ForryTiny dancer: Parade participants came in all ages and sizes during the 2010 Dorchester Day Parade. Photo by Ed Forry  Read more

10-year-old girl shot on same Grove Hall Street where teen was murdered last week

WHDH-TV reports the girl was shot in the leg tonight on Creston Street by a guy who just went down the street on a mini-bike, firing rounds.  Read more

Teen indicted for murder of another teen at YMCA last summer

A Suffolk County grand jury has indicted Sherman Badgett, 19, for shooting Aaron Brown to death on Aug. 19 at the YMCA, 776 Washington St., the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.  Read more

Councillor presses for trustees’ meeting to halt BPL closures

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jun. 4, 2010

Youthful opposition: Some of the BPL's key constituents- kids- took to the mic to protest library closings at a City Hall rally on Thursday, June 3. Photo by Dan CurrieYouthful opposition: Some of the BPL's key constituents- kids- took to the mic to protest library closings at a City Hall rally on Thursday, June 3. Photo by Dan CurrieUnder questioning from city councillors, the head of the Boston Public Library said Thursday evening she would ask the chair of the board of trustees to convene to weigh potential state and local aid aimed at preventing branch closures.

City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo pressed Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan on the board of trustees holding a meeting sometime next week after state lawmakers attended last night’s City Council hearing on the BPL budget and noted they were getting a noncommittal response when offering state aid to keep libraries open.

Ryan said she did not have the authority to say whether the money would be accepted and used to keep open the four branches slated for closure, including the one in Lower Mills. That authority is with trustees and their chair Jeffrey Rudman, she said.  Read more

A ton of marijuana seized, man arrested at Wilcock Street apartment

A lot of pot: Photo via Suffolk County DA's office.A lot of pot: Photo via Suffolk County DA's office.
A Mattapan man was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail today after police found what appears to be a ton of marijuana in his Wilcock Street apartment yesterday, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.  Read more

Minivan, bus collision highlights dangerous intersection

A minivan’s Saturday evening collision with an MBTA bus injured 14 people at one of Boston’s worst intersections: Gallivan Blvd. and Morton St.

MBTA authorities say the minivan’s driver ran a stop sign at the intersection and are charging her with failure to observe a traffic sign.

But the driver, Adalia Grant, told a television reporter she didn’t cause the crash.

She said she didn’t know what to think when the collision happened and it was “just the worst feeling you could feel.”  Read more

Student support for dorms at UMass remains high

UMass dorm study: Shows most students would prefer to live on campusUMass dorm study: Shows most students would prefer to live on campusSixty percent of all UMass-Boston students – and 70 percent of students living in Dorchester -- are interested in on-campus housing, according to a campus survey released to the Reporter.

About 1,700 students, many of them now living off-campus and renting, took the 97-question survey, which cost the university $10,500. Questions were meant to gauge the interest of students in housing; to find out how easy or hard it has been to find off-campus housing; to see if students have visited Harbor Point and Peninsula Apartments; to learn where students already live and how much they would be willing to pay for rent; and to determine the length of their current commutes.  Read more

Caritas sale hearing July 1 at IBEW Hall

A hearing on the $830 million sale of the Caritas Christi hospital system is set for the Local 103 IBEW Hall on Freeport St., according to state Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office. The July 1 hearing, the last one of six slated to be held in each of the communities affected by the sale, starts at 6 p.m. Carney Hospital is located on Dorchester Ave. between Lower Mills and Ashmont.  Read more

CORI reform, Senate budget topped busy week

Beacon Hill lawmakers last week offered a preview of how they plan to close out their legislation session later this summer: A flurry of legislation and millions of dollars thrown around.
On the House side, lawmakers passed by a 138-17 vote reforms to the criminal offender record information (CORI) system, months after the Senate passed its version. The House bill allows some felony records to be sealed after 10 years rather than 15 and after five years rather than 10 for misdemeanors.  Read more