News

Church group strains to meet needs of hungry

A hum of Kreyol rose softly from the tiny room at the Greater Boston Nazarene Compassionate Center on River Street as local residents filed in early on a rainy Wednesday morning. Soon, we were standing nearly shoulder to shoulder with more than 100 people waiting eagerly for their share of the bounty of food piled high on a couple of tables.

The GBNCC has been running a food bank on River Street for nearly 14 years. On Wednesday mornings starting around 10 a.m., volunteers distribute parcels of food to neighbors. Most days, the center is packed long before distribution begins.  Read more

Dot groups get funding from United Way

By 
Tara W. Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 24, 2010

The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley will kick off the next phase of its community funding program next month —a three-year plan investing in youth and childhood development programs that includes funneling $5.19 million towards programs serving Dorchester.

This next stage aims in its first year to provide intervention or treatment for children at risk for developmental delays or behavioral issues, provide children with academic support and mentors, and help families retain permanent housing and secure jobs.  Read more

Councillors want hydrants to stay plugged this summer

It was, Councillor Maureen Feeney recalls, complete pandemonium: Last summer, somebody opened five hydrants in the area around Norton and Bowdoin streets and the area became an instant disaster zone: Basements were flooded, backyards washed out, cars damaged and some little kids were sent tumbling down the hill because of the force of the water. Thank God a fire didn’t break out in the area at the time, she says.  Read more

MBTA tries watery solution to screeching; seems to work

Transportation officials appear to have found a temporary way to stop the screeching of trolley wheels at Ashmont Station.

Neighbors of the station have complained to MBTA officials of high-pitched squealing caused by 70-year-old Mattapan Line trolleys taking a sharp turnaround. The friction of steel wheels hitting steel rail, along with the sharp turn – which officials admit is the result of a design flaw – produce the sound.

Local resident Vic Campbell told the Reporter that water jets were installed on the tracks on Friday.
“Not a single sound came out of the wheels,” he said.  Read more

Library closures delayed as lawmakers keep pressing for keeping branches permanently open

The Menino administration and Boston Public Library trustees on Monday said the proposed closure of libraries would be delayed as more public input is gathered, and finally acknowledged that if they’re given additional money they will keep them open.

But Boston’s State House delegation of elected officials, pushing to keep the libraries open permanently, blasted trustees for the decision, saying it still leads to the libraries being closed.  Read more

Three-alarm fire sends two firefighters to the hospital with burns

The Boston Fire Department reports a stove fire erupted around noon in a duplex at 120 Southern Ave.  Read more

Firefighters rescue man from Speedwell Street blaze

By 
Reporter Staff
Jun. 19, 2010

Speedwell Street Fire: A firefighter rescues a victim using a ladder at 22 Speedwell Street. Photo by Mike DeehanSpeedwell Street Fire: A firefighter rescues a victim using a ladder at 22 Speedwell Street. Photo by Mike Deehan A three-alarm house fire on Speedwell Street prompted a ladder rescue, damaged two neighboring homes and displaced more than a dozen people on Saturday morning. Firefighters rescued at least one resident at 22 Speedwell using a ladder. The fire was brought under control around 11:30 a.m. Universal Hub reports that the fire caused $300,000 in damage to the three buildings and left 17 people at least temporarily homeless.  Read more

13-year-old with several outstanding warrants arrested for armed robbery

The Boston Police Department reports a young teen arrested Thursday night on charges he threatened another kid with a gun during a bicycle robbery at Dix and Lafield streets was already wanted for other criminal violations.  Read more

Summer camp mixes sports, academics at Mildred Ave.

By 
Jonathan Rodriguez, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 18, 2010

Are you a parent looking for a last-minute solution for the summer break blues? EduSports Inc. may be the perfect solution for your boy or girl.
Based out of the Mildred Avenue School in Mattapan, the EduSports summer enrichment sports camp provides boys and girls, ages 5-16, with a balanced program of academics and sports. EduSports helps its participants grow academically, socially, and physically through its program, which is broken up into six individual sessions between July 6 and August 13.  Read more

Fields Corner Main Street plans "stimulus" party for Wednesday

By 
Reporter Staff
Jun. 18, 2010

Fields Corner Main Street is planning a "stimulus party" for Wednesday (June 23) at Peggy O'Neil's bar at 1310 Dorchester Ave. The event— with the theme "even your neighborhood needs a bailout!"— will run from 6:30-9:30 p.m. More details here.  Read more

Summer beach bash gets financial boost

By 
Reporter Staff
Jun. 18, 2010

Beach Fest Boosters: (l-r) Samantha Overton, DCR, Deputy Director of Urban Parks, Patty Foley, President SHSB, Maureen McQuillen and Deirdre Habershaw, both of the Dorchester Beach Festival.Beach Fest Boosters: (l-r) Samantha Overton, DCR, Deputy Director of Urban Parks, Patty Foley, President SHSB, Maureen McQuillen and Deirdre Habershaw, both of the Dorchester Beach Festival.

Good news this week for those who enjoy the annual Dorchester Beach Festival. Organizers have secured a $4,000 grant for this year’s celebration from the group Save the Harbor / Save the Bay. The funding from the Better Beaches Small Grants Program supports programming on the metropolitan region’s public beaches and are made possible by a $25,000 grant from The Boston Foundation, $25,000 of in-kind support from theDepartment of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and financial support of Save the Harbor’s corporate partners.  Read more

Update: Couple married at St. Brendan's Mass

By 
Tara Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 17, 2010

Happy couple: Rev. John Connolly, pastor at St. Brendan's Church, celebrated a wedding Mass for Doris Bates and Jack Quinn last Saturday. At left is the bride's brother Earl Bates. Photo by Dennis WalshHappy couple: Rev. John Connolly, pastor at St. Brendan's Church, celebrated a wedding Mass for Doris Bates and Jack Quinn last Saturday. At left is the bride's brother Earl Bates. Photo by Dennis Walsh

Jack Quinn and Doris Bates, who were featured in a story in last week's Dorchester Reporter, were married on Saturday at St. Brendan's Church in Dorchester. Fr. John Connolly celebrated the Mass in front of scores of friends and family, including Doris' brother Earl, who presented the bride and Myles Dowling, who served as best man. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Blessed Mother Teresa parish to host namesake's relics

By 
Tara Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 17, 2010

The relics, crucifix, rosary and sandals of Mother Teresa will be on display at the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Dorchester Friday, June 18th. The church welcomes the public to visit Friday for the veneration of these items.  Read more

Red Line service disrupted briefly as police search for carjacking suspect

Red Line service was halted at the JFK/UMass stop this morning after a man being chased down the Southeast Expressway crashed his car near the station and ran away.

The Boston Police Department says the man was spotted carjacking a car at Chandler Street and Columbus Avenue in the South End around 8 a.m. He then led police on a chase down the Expressway and into Dorchester, where he crashed his car near Buttonwood Court, off Columbia Road, and fled on foot.

Police at first thought he might have tried to escape on the Red Line, but allowed service to resume shortly before 9 a.m.

No delay in trash/recycling on Bunker Hill Day

By 
Reporter Staff
Jun. 17, 2010

Yes, if today's your normal day, you still have to put your trash out: no holiday for sanitation workers.

BPD diversity under microscope at City Council hearing

To explain why diversity on the Boston Police Dept. was important, Giovanna Negretti acted as a translator for an elderly Brighton resident, Lilian Perez.

Speaking Spanish at City Council hearing Tuesday night, Perez told city councilors about being robbed in her home in 2004. She said she was then unable to find a police officer who could listen to her story in Spanish. When she came back to see police later on, she said she was told she should speak English.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: Library trustees to meet June 21 as fingerpointing continues

As city and state budget decisions loom, a meeting of the Boston Public Library’s board of trustees is set for June 21. The 3 p.m. gathering will be in the Copley Square branch’s orientation room.  Read more

Mattapan’s Rousseau is a woman on the go

By 
Tara Merrigan Special to the Reporter
Jun. 17, 2010

Nancy RousseauNancy RousseauSoon after an earthquake devastated Haiti in January, three thousand people packed Hibernian Hall in Roxbury. The high turnout, with only a few days notice, was in part thanks to Mattapan resident Nancy Rousseau and several others who organized the event.

“It was challenging to pull off that event in such a short time and be the anchor of the event on that day,” says Manolia Charlotin, Rousseau’s friend and colleague. “She was so calm. It really impressed me that she could maintain that level of calm on such a hectic day. I suppose that’s because for Nancy her work is about the people she’s helping. It keeps her focused.”  Read more

Boost for Codman Sq.: New building will feature housing units

Under construction: Levedo building near Codman SquareUnder construction: Levedo building near Codman Square

More affordable housing is coming to Codman Square: In the works since 2007, the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation started construction earlier this year on the 36,781 square-foot Levedo Building, which will include 24 affordable rental units and commercial sites.  Read more

In speech and song, St. Fleur bids House colleagues adieu

Marie St. Fleur: “The job can’t be done half-hearted.”Marie St. Fleur: “The job can’t be done half-hearted.”“Merci.” With that note of gratitude to her former colleagues on Beacon Hill, Marie St. Fleur this week brought an end to ten and a half years in the state House of Representatives. The Dorchester Democrat resigned Friday from her Fifth Suffolk District House seat and started her new job in City Hall the following Monday.

A few hours before she would give an emotional farewell speech, a State House custom afforded to outgoing legislators, to the 159 lawmakers gathered in the House chamber, St. Fleur sat down with the Reporter to reflect on her time in office, her new job as Mayor Thomas Menino’s chief of advocacy and strategic investment, her thoughts on a governor running for re-election and the candidates vying to succeed her.  Read more

Blue Hill stand offers fresh produce, helps homeless

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 17, 2010

A community-run farm stand that opened for business on Bue Hill Ave. last week will help a local homeless shelter serve some of the neighborhood’s neediest residents. The farm stand— located at 1062 Blue Hill Avenue — will pass its proceeds along to ReVision House, a nearby facility that helps women and their children.  Read more

Under the stars on Meetinghouse Hill, churchgoers and girl scouts gather

By 
Jonathan Rodriguez, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 17, 2010

The First Parish Church in Dorchester and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts are holding their third annual Backyard Campout on Saturday, June 26. The event, which will be held from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m. on the grounds of the church, will be staged in collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Backyard Campout, a national-wide event that strives to expose America’s youth to the outdoors.  Read more

On Tap: Dot Art’s Snazzy Jazzy Arty Party: Hope for program help rides on Saturday fund-raiser

“If we disappeared, I don’t know who would pick up the slack. There would be such a huge gap in the culture of Dorchester!” exclaims Leslie MacWeeney, executive director and founder of Dot Art, the local arts education program that provides free or low-cost classes to children, teens and adults.  Read more

Savin Hill raises alarm over crime

By 
Mike Deehan Special to the Reporter
Jun. 17, 2010

Savin Hill residents decried what they called an increase in prostitution, underage drinking, and other illicit activity in their neighborhood at a community meeting Tuesday evening. About 100 residents gathered at the Dorchester Yacht Club to meet with city and state officials about what they said was a lack of police presence in the area.

Police said that they would respond to any calls that come in to investigate the area, but that recent budget cuts and a concentration on violent crime have made patrolling the beaches and playgrounds of Savin Hill more difficult.  Read more

Dot native at helm of City Hall’s engagement effort

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 17, 2010