Menino's budget puts councillors on the spot

Pressure on city councillors is expected to mount as Mayor Thomas Menino’s budget, which includes the closing of four neighborhood libraries, lands on their desks this week.

Anthony Paciulli, the president of Meetinghouse Bank who delivered 4,000 signatures to library officials to keep the Lower Mills branch open, noted that the councillors have the power to veto the budget, which is due for a vote by June. “Now the pressure is really on the elected officials to make their positions clear,” he said. “There’s no neutrality here. There’s no middle position.”  Read more

Menino lays out $2.5b plan

Mayor Thomas Menino yesterday laid out a $2.5 billion spending plan for fiscal 2011 that includes 250 fewer jobs, four fewer libraries, and eight fewer community centers, while expanding education funding and grappling with rising health care costs.  Read more

Adult day program honors its ‘Maggie’

By Jill S. Gross Special to the Reporter
Apr. 15, 2010

Margaret Shea dedicated most of her professional life to keeping seniors out of nursing homes as she led and lobbied for a program that offers a homey space where they can receive nursing care as well as sing, do crafts, and share daily meals with friends.

For the 23 years that Shea worked at Mattapan Adult Day Health, she was not only a nurse and director to the elderly and disabled clients, but also a friend who made them laugh, threw parties for them, and helped them find renewed zest for life.  Read more

$10K drawing for Dot Day is Thursday

Fundraisers for the Dorchester Day parade will be holding their $10,000 drawing on Thursday (April 22) at Florian Hall. It is one of seven events leading up to the 3.2-mile June parade, which carries an annual cost of $40,000.

Tickets are $100 each, and there is a limit of 300 for sale. Gretchen Carney, one of the organizers of the parade and the drawing, said about 100 tickets are still available. Christopher “Tiger” Stockbridge will be emceeing the event.  Read more

Kennedy widow to speak to UMass grads

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, will give the commencement address to graduating UMass-Boston students in June, campus officials said this week. The commencement is scheduled for Fri., June 4, at 9:30 a.m. on the Campus Center’s lawn.

The Louisiana native married Kennedy in 1992 and was one of his closest advisers. She is the president and founder of Common Sense about Kids and Guns.  Read more

City agency pulling out of Marshall, Mattahunt community centers

Gintautas Dumcius
Apr. 13, 2010

The Boston Centers for Youth and Families will pull out of eight facilities, including the Marshall community center in Dorchester and the Mattahunt community center in Mattapan, the agency's executive director told city councillors on Wednesday. The announcement comes ahead of Mayor Thomas Menino filing his fiscal 2011 budget with the City Council on Wednesday.  Read more

Police say man shot eight times no longer interested in helping their investigation

A man shot repeatedly in an apparent dispute with his ex-girlfriend's current beau is no longer cooperating with police, but police had enough evidence to arrest the many anyway, a police lieutenant told the Boston Licensing Board this morning.  Read more

Mattapan bar could be in trouble over brawl that left three injured

A bruising battle at the Avenue Tavern in Mattapan Square that sent three to the hospital on March 6 was due to some "older kids" trying to re-assert their authority in the neighborhood after 8 1/2 years in prison, a bar manager told the Boston Licensing Board today.

The board decides Thursday whether to levy any penalties against the bar for the fight and for a follow-up inspection a week later that found far more people inside than allowed by the bar's license.  Read more

High bail set for alleged accomplice in murder in court parking lot

A Hyde Park man was murdered in his car in the Dorchester District Court parking lot last week minutes after he and a suspect's wife left a court hearing on a suit over a car engine, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office says.  Read more

Library trustees vote to shut Lower Mills branch

Boston Public Library trustees voted Friday to close four branches, including the one in Lower Mills.

But City Councillors At-Large Felix Arroyo and Ayanna Pressley, and West Roxbury's Councillor John Tobin vowed to fight to keep all the branches open when the city council gets the proposed budget next week.  Read more

Lower Mills branch on closing list

By Adam Gaffin, Special to the Reporter and Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Apr. 8, 2010

Boston Public Library trustees are expected to vote tomorrow morning on a plan that would shut branches in Lower Mills in Dorchester and three other locations, allowing the BPL to close a $3.6 million budget gap and concentrate on the “transformation” of the citywide system.

Library President Amy Ryan said that despite 4,000-plus signatures from Lower Mills backers protesting a closing, usage has gone down there since the opening of new libraries in Mattapan and Milton.  Read more

Anger, queries mark meetings at branches

By Mike Deehan and Nick Marshall, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 8, 2010

Though attendees at weekend meetings to discuss possible Boston Public Library branch closings voiced many opinions on what was happening to the city’s library system, their main point was clear: Do not close any of them.

Dozens of residents met with city officials and BPL President Amy Ryan last weekend in a pair of meetings to voice their concern about the future of neighborhood branches. Many of the more outspoken critics of the possible closings blamed city and state officials for the library’s dire financial circumstances.  Read more

Menino upgrades marks for Patrick

Jim O’Sullivan, State House News Service
Apr. 8, 2010

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said this week that Gov. Deval Patrick, the state’s only Democratic governor since Menino took over City Hall in 1993, earned a grade of “C” for the first three years of his term before stepping his game up to a “B+” level the last four months.  Read more

Fairmount Line station planning stirring a fuss, A senator walks out

Transportation officials faced angry neighborhood residents last week in a pair of contentious meetings about the Fairmount commuter rail line, including one session that ended with a state lawmaker abruptly leaving the room.

“I’m losing faith in the Department of Transportation,” state Sen. Jack Hart (D-South Boston) told the Reporter after the meeting.  Read more

Gambling bill on fast track in House; too fast, some say

Five minutes. That’s how long, one lawmaker said jokingly, it will take for House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s expanded gambling bill to go from passage in the House to the Senate and then hit the governor’s desk.

The joke has a ring of truth: the bill is moving quickly through the legislative process. This week it cleared two committees and was well on its way to being debated on the House floor by April 13.  Read more

The ‘Constant Outsider’ Cirignano tells his story: It’s all about the good, the bad, and the cautionary

Despite the subtitle of his recent autobiography, “The Constant Outsider: Memoirs of a South Boston Mechanic,” and the sunrise photo of the statue of Admiral Farragut overlooking Pleasure Bay, Thomas M. Cirignano spent the first sixteen years of his life in Dorchester. Residents of Dot, Southie, and beyond who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s are invited to compare their own memories of that era in his unflinching, level-headed, and good-hearted reflection on those turbulent times.  Read more

EDITORIAL- Say no to any library closures

Ed Forry
Apr. 7, 2010

The public debate over the future of the branch libraries took a Darwinian turn yesterday morning when BPL Trustees chairman Jeffrey Rudman revealed he couldn’t possibly consider closing branches in Uphams Corner and Egleston Square, claiming they “deal with the most vulnerable people in this city. I would not close them.”  Read more

Lower Mills library on chopping block

Boston Public Library (BPL) trustees will vote Friday on a plan to shut the Dorchester Lower Mills and three other branches to cut a budget hole and concentrate on the "transformation" of the library system.  Read more

District Attorney: Teenager who exchanged gunfire with police apparently shot himself

A preliminary investigation shows the teenager pursued by police during a gang investigation on Navillus Terrace Saturday night exchanged fire with officers, then reloaded his gun, put it to his head and fired, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said this afternoon.  Read more

City Councillors: Closing libraries should be “last option”

Gintautas Dumcius
Apr. 5, 2010

Closing branch libraries should be the city’s “last option” and should follow an extensive review of Boston Public Library finances and “lengthy” public debate, nine city councillors wrote in a letter to Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan.

“The Boston City Council has faith in President Ryan’s leadership and we believe that the men and women who run and work for our libraries do so for all the right reasons – for love of service and learning,” the councillors wrote. “But we cannot support the plan to close libraries after so short a discussion period.”  Read more

Police shoot teen to death after he opens fire

The Boston Police Department says the 19-year-old died as he tried running away from officers conducting an anti-gang sweep in the area of Navillus Terrace and Winter Street around 9:41 p.m. on Saturday.

In a statement, police said: "While conducting [interviews] of the group, a male suspect fled from the group and was pursued by officers. In the course of the pursuit, the suspect turned around and there was an exchange of gunfire. During this exchange, the suspect, a 19 year old male, sustained fatal injuries."  Read more

Man pleads guilty to providing gun used to murder Steven Odom

Steven OdomSteven OdomDavid Johnson, 20, of Mattapan, will serve six to eight years in state prison for giving an acquaintance a loaded .357 Colt Python that the guy used to murder Steven Odom - when he mistook one of Odom's friends for the gang rival he really meant to shoot, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.  Read more

BPL president takes questions from community reporters

Gintautas Dumcius
Apr. 2, 2010

Days before the Boston Public Library’s board of trustees is expected to vote on whether to close branches or pare back hours, the head of the library system spoke today with a group of community reporters at the main branch in Copley Square.  Read more

Reporter names Dumcius news editor

Reporter Staff
Apr. 1, 2010

Gintautas Dumcius has joined the staff of the Dorchester Reporter and the Mattapan Reporter as news editor. A Quincy native, he attended UMass Boston, where he was news editor of the student newspaper, the Mass Media. He has been a contributing reporter for the Reporter newspapers, as well as a freelance reporter at the State House News Service.  Read more