Gearing-up time at Kennedy Institute: ‘Iconic’ design unveiled; Mt. Vernon St. or EMK Blvd.?

How does Edward M. Kennedy Boulevard sound as the new name of Columbia Point’s Mt. Vernon Street?

Peter Meade, the president and CEO of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, acknowledged that he had been approached by some Dorchester residents about the possible renaming of the street, which starts by Columbia Rd., runs past the former Bayside Expo site, through the Harbor Point community, and ends at the UMass-Boston campus. “We’ll see where that idea goes,” Meade said. “You have to make sure the people who live here and work on that street think it’s a good idea.”  Read more

CORI reform law hailed by advocates

Governor Deval Patrick will sign legislation on Friday that proponents say will overhaul a criminal records system and reduce crime by easing access to jobs for former criminals.

The governor is scheduled to sign the bill on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Freedom House in Grove Hall.

“It’s going to give you a chance to get a better job, because it takes off some of the restrictions that have faced ex-offenders getting jobs,” said Lew Finfer, executive director of the Massachusetts Communities Action Network and a Dorchester activist who has been pushing the bill on Beacon Hill for years.  Read more

Joshua Tree in Dorchester Park

The Joshua Tree, a U2 tribute band, drew a large crowd to the Dorchester Park “bowl” last Thursday (July 29). The band performed many of the Irish super-group’s hits in an evening show that last one-and-a-half hours. The concert was sponsored by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Dorchester Park Association. Photo courtesy Jamie Kaszanek

Neponset’s Devine ice rink gets a new, natural look

The façade of Neponset’s Devine Ice Rink has a brand new look this summer that harkens back to the neighborhood’s not-too-distant past. A team of 10 young painters from the Mayor’s Mural Crew last month completed a colorful panoramic on the side of the state-owned facility on Morrissey Boulevard. The mural includes elements of present day Boston — the gas tank and the city skyline— alongside natural scenes that are still visible along parts of our coastline: salt marshes and egrets.  Read more

Neighbors patrol streets, send message in Savin Hill

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 4, 2010

A group of Savin Hill residents fed up with the prostitution and drug dealing in the area took to the streets Tuesday night in an effort to show that crime will not be tolerated in the beachside neighborhood. The effort apparently dissuaded at least one alleged drug user from hanging around.  Read more

Study of X-way pollution will focus on Dot streets

Air Quality StudyAir Quality StudyStarting next month, local environmental activists will be joining up with Tufts University researchers for a study on the effect of air pollution floating into communities situated next to and near the I-93 expressway.

The year-long study, called the Community Assessment of Freeway and Health Study, will include the Columbia/Savin Hill area, including those living on Columbia Rd. and Savin Hill Ave., and east of Dorchester Ave., and the St. Mark’s area, which includes between Dorchester Ave. and Adams St., and Dix St. to Wrentham St.  Read more

DeLeo not giving up, calls gambling bill's path 'very difficult'

By Jim O’Sullivan and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Aug. 3, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 3, 2010….....Speaker Robert DeLeo declared the critical-condition gambling bill still breathing Tuesday morning, as Plainridge Racecourse laid off 157 workers and blamed Gov. Deval Patrick’s refusal to support racetrack slot machines.

DeLeo said Patrick’s decision to send expanded gambling legislation back with an amendment effectively killed the prospect of 15,000 jobs, but on Tuesday morning said the bill is not dead though its prospects are “very difficult.”  Read more

Long-haired woman sought for bank robberies in Dorchester, South Boston

Boston and state police report they are looking for this woman in connection with robberies of the City of Boston Credit Union, 1010 Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester on July 28 and the First Trade Credit Union, 753 E. Broadway in South Boston on July 31.  Read more

Patrick closes door on single racino, plans to return gambling bill today

By Kyle Cheney and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Aug. 2, 2010

BOSTON, AUG. 2, 2010……As expanded gambling legislation formally arrived on his desk Monday, Gov. Deval Patrick reversed course on his approval of a single racetrack slot facility and said he would immediately return the bill with an amendment to approve gambling at resort casinos but not stand-alone slots facilities.

"I am done with that," Patrick said during a campaign-related press conference in Boston, referring to racetrack slots, his proclamation further rattling the political discord over the legislation that became increasingly apparent in the past five days. Referring to casinos, Patrick said, "Let's enact what we agree on."  Read more

Loophole? Patrick given power to block racinos in bill's fineprint

Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Aug. 1, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 1, 2010…...The gambling bill lawmakers sent Gov. Deval Patrick late Saturday contains language that appears to empower the governor to bypass legislative intent on the chief point of disagreement by granting a panel he would control the option of not sanctioning any slot machine facility licenses at all.  Read more

Showdown: Patrick won't sign gambling bill, DeLeo doubts veto

By Jim O'Sullivan, Michael Norton and Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Jul. 31, 2010

Gov. Deval Patrick withheld support Friday for a three-casino, two-racino compromise reached by legislative leaders in time for a vote Saturday, calling the restriction of the racino license bidding to racetracks unacceptable.  Read more

Agreement on crime bill includes CORI reform

Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Jul. 30, 2010

House and Senate negotiators reached a deal late Thursday on legislation restricting the public life of criminal offense records and striking most of the Senate’s efforts to provide reduced sentences for non-violent offenders, according to sources familiar with the compromise.

The Senate backed off its push to make non-violent state prison convicts eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentences, while the House relented in allowing non-violent house of correction inmates parole after two-thirds of their sentences, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.  Read more

Lynch gets boost from former President Clinton

Reporter Staff
Jul. 29, 2010

A Presidential Boost Without Incumbency from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

Chris Lovett of BNN-TV's Neighborhood Network News filed this report on Thursday's South Boston rally for incumbent Congressman Stephen Lynch, which featured an appearance by former President Bill Clinton. Lovett's report includes a conversation with Reporter News Editor Gin Dumcius, who covered the rally at the Ironworkers Hall.  Read more

Man shot to death near Shawmut MBTA stop

The Boston Police Department reports finding the body of a man shot repeatedly around 11:30 p.m., Wednesday at Dayton Street and Clementine Park.  Read more

Auction of C.F. Donovan's site postponed

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jul. 29, 2010

The auction of the former home of C. F. Donovan’s, the once-popular Savin Hill restaurant, was delayed until August 12. An auction was originally set to take place on July 29 at the 112 Savin Hill Ave. site. A $20,000 deposit is necessary to enter the bidding process. The new date has the same time: 10 a.m.  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Legislators’ regular July game – Getting to Midnight on the 31st

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor and Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 29, 2010

At this time two years ago, Gov. Deval Patrick stood in front of several schoolchildren and gave them a little civics lesson about Beacon Hill: “In this building, we make laws, and the laws are made by the Senate and the House. It’s insane down there right now.”

Lawmakers would adjourn hours later, at roughly 1:30 a.m. Friday, having dispensed with hundreds of bills but leaving on the table legislation that would expand gambling and give Massachusetts presidential electors to the winner of national popular vote legislation, as well as a crime package.  Read more

Columbia Point build-out scenario gets positive nods

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter and Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Jul. 29, 2010

Neighbors continue to butt heads when it comes to the city’s plans to foster retail and residential construction along the northern end of Morrissey Blvd. and re-connect Columbia Point to Dorchester. Reaction to the most recent proposal from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city’s planning agency, has been generally positive, with most residents and regular visitors, in an informal survey by the Reporter inside McKenna’s in Savin Hill and outside the JFK/UMass MBTA station, voicing support for the proposal.  Read more

Costello takes her story to the stage

Tara W. Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 29, 2010

Sue CostelloSue CostelloDorchester born and raised, Sue Costello always could turn any situation, no matter the circumstances, into a hilarious story later on.

“We used to go out on the weekends to the Dance Factory,” says Jennifer Gordon, who attended Mount Saint Joseph Academy with Costello. “One time Sue went out and got her head kicked in by five girls in the bathroom. I remember her coming in on Monday morning and telling us about getting beat up, but she made it comical.”

“She would put a spin on an experience and having all laughing at her tragedy. That’s one of Sue’s greatest gifts—her comedy is real and heartfelt.”

During her more than twenty year career, Costello has traveled throughout America performing stand-up comedy acts. She starred in her own self-titled television show and will appear in an upcoming film starring Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg.  Read more

Neponset Connection: Tours reveal routes, obstacles on trail's extension

Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 29, 2010

It was a site to behold: A group of close to 50 people, many swatting at mosquitoes, brushing off leaves and twigs, and picking prickly seeds from their clothes stumbled out of the brush and back into civilization along River Street in Mattapan. This was the scene last Thursday as officials from the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation’s led a walking tour for a planned one mile extension of the Neponset Greenway, the popular riverside recreation trail that currently ends at Milton’s Central Ave.  Read more

Menino hedges support for BPL trustee legislation

Weeks after his administration signaled support for a proposal giving the Boston Public Library’s board of trustees more members and the ability to raise funds, Mayor Thomas Menino is raising concerns about the idea.  Read more

Menino seen as supportive of job-ranking for diversity

The Menino administration is sounding notes of support for a City Council proposal to rank the diversity of the workforces of contractors and developers. The city encourages developers and contractors to hire Boston residents for 50 percent of jobs. The guidelines, first adopted in the 1980s, also suggest that minorities make up 25 percent and the project have 10 percent female workers.  Read more

Self-sufficiency program expanding in Dot, Mattapan: $500,000 grant from Boston Foundation

Jul. 29, 2010

The state’s largest regional provider of rental housing voucher assistance is receiving a $500,000 grant from the Boston Foundation to expand an economic self-sufficiency program into three neighborhoods along the Fairmount commuter line, including Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury.  Read more

Viet-AID takes aim at youth violence in Fields Corner

Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 29, 2010

Viet-Aid, a community development organization based in Fields Corner, officially launched several new youth programs at a neighborhood meeting last Saturday. The programs are aimed at engaging at-risk youth to respond to a series of violent crimes, including the severe beating of two teenagers by a gang of nearly two dozen in August 2007 and the January 2008 murder of 20-year old Jerome Hicks.

A 2008 study done by researchers from Harvard,the Boston Youth Survey, indicated a decline in grades and a lack of parental support among Vietnamese youth in comparison to other youth groups.  Read more

Codman Academy actors meet the Bard in summer theatre

Next Wednesday and Thursday, two dozen students from the Codman Academy Charter School—the majority Dorchester and Mattapan  residents—will perform Shakespeare’s rollicking battle-of-the-sexes comedy, “The Taming of the Shrew” at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. This production marks the fifth year of an award-winning summer partnership between the school and the Huntington Theatre Company.  Read more

Hart says legislative ‘inaction is costing us dearly’ with voters

Jim O’Sullivan, State House News Service
Jul. 29, 2010

A gambling bill accord this week appeared unlikely, as Senate Democrats ratcheted up criticism of their House counterparts and the Senate demanded a Wednesday night deadline for a deal they could send to full votes in both chambers.

Senate President Therese Murray authorized a top deputy late Tuesday to send a clear message to the House: allowing disagreement over whether to permit slot machines at racetracks to blockade progress on other high-profile bills is “unacceptable.”  Read more