News

Greenway Fest offers kites, flicks, canoes

Colorful kites take to the sky this year as the Boston Natural Areas Network hosts the 15th annual Neponset River Greenway Festival. The main event of this year’s free riverfest is the “Kites on the River” event, held at Pope John Paul II Park on Saturday, August 22. Expert kite flyers, show kites and even a kite ballet set to music will be a part of the event sponsored by BNAN, Sea Side Kites, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreations and Oldies 103.  Read more

Bank holdup on Gallivan Boulevard

Boston Police report the Mt. Washington Bank branch at 494 Gallivan Blvd. was held up around noon today.  Read more

Gospel songstress reaches for ‘Dream’

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 3, 2009

“All the cameras were probably the toughest part,” said Dorchester native Erin Lyder about her experience on national television. Lyder is a finalist on the Gospel Channel’s Gospel Dream talent search. The 24-year old vocalist and Berklee graduate drove with her parents for two days to the audition in Atlanta before advancing to the top ten.

“When I got there, there were so many talented people and I had a background in R&B and Urban. It was intimidating, but I just had to focus on God,” Lyder said.  Read more

Book celebrates Franklin Park’s history in pictures

“Do I have memories of Franklin Park? One day my mother, Mary Callahan, who worked at the golf pro shop, met my father, John Burke, where he worked at The Refectory, which our family owned. The result was me! I owe my existence to Franklin Park.”

Last Monday Gerry Burke, owner of Doyle’s Café in Jamaica Plain, welcomed fellow Franklin Park enthusiasts to a book signing party for “Franklin Park,” the latest paperback issued by Arcadia Publishing, the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States.  Read more

Dudley Street area residents come to listen, then elect reps on board

By 
Filipe Miranda, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 3, 2009

Close to 200 residents of Roxbury and Dorchester came to St. Patrick’s Church last Wednesday evening to elect representatives for the board of directors of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI). One by one, the 42 candidates, spanning three generations and a wide range of cultural backgrounds, walked to the pulpit and asked for their community’s support. And for nearly two hours, the residents in the crowd listened and marked their choices on the ballots.  Read more

UMass-Boston to host soccer game , clinic

UMass SoccerUMass SoccerUMass-Boston will host an afternoon of international soccer today, July 9. The event, set from 12-3 p.m. will start with a noontime tournament featuring Tall Ships crew members and naval cadets from Uruguay, Brazil, Romania and Portugal. The event also includes a soccer clinic for kids run by the Boston Breakers. The free clinic runs from 1:30- 3 p.m. It's all happening at the campus's soccer fields. Check online to make sure all is still a go.  Read more

Vacant lot in Codman Square re-born as Playground

By 
Filipe Miranda, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 2, 2009

Mayor Tom Menino had to squeeze his way through a small crowd to reach the gates of the new Elmhurst Street playground on Saturday morning. Standing between him and the inaugural ribbon were dozens of children, many ready with scissors, who had waited through the hour-long celebration for this moment.

A few feet behind, their families smiled as the countdown finished and the children poured through the gate into the swings and playhouse, enjoying the result of ten years of work.  Read more

Cops, businessman praised for Adams Village drug crackdown

The Adams Village Merchants Association joined with two civic groups last Friday to honor the Drug Control Unit from the Area C-11 Boston Police and a local businessman who they say have effectively teamed up to crack down on drug dealing in the neighborhood. Jeff Brewster, who became the franchise owner of the McDonald’s on Gallivan Boulevard last December, was praised alongside the seven-officer drug unit during an evening awards ceremony inside the Transformations health club in the village. About 75 people turned out to support the event, which was followed by a reception.  Read more

Audit finds management problems at UMass-Boston

By 
State House News Service
Jul. 2, 2009

Salary checks to an employee who had left the school nine months earlier, undue overtime payments for information technology workers, and missing computers are among the problems state Auditor Joseph DeNucci identified at the University of Massachusetts at Boston in a report released Monday.

DeNucci’s office said the school “is at risk of loss, theft and misuse of public funds due to serious weaknesses in its payroll and inventory procedures.”  Read more

Projects for Dot hang on in budget

Dorchester projects on the capital side of the city budget will remain largely untouched, with $200,000 for the Murphy Community Center, $400,000 for the Martin tot lot and $947,000 for renovations to the Adams St. Library, according to city officials.

Dorchester Ave. is still expected to receive $15 million for an accelerated construction pace to rework traffic flow at several sections and increase pedestrian safety, thanks in part to federal stimulus funds. Money is also included for the Great Hall in Codman Square.  Read more

Transit officials will apply for grant for Route 28 project

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 2, 2009

The state’s Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) held a meeting at the Mildred Ave. Community Center in Mattapan on Tuesday regarding the MBTA service developments in Mattapan, Roxbury and Dorchester, most notably the proposed 28X express bus line.  Read more

Celebration, discussion at Codman Square

Images from Dorchester’s past, present and possible future lined the walls of The Codman Square Health Center Monday evening, as the medical clinic and community center unveiled a new photo exhibit showcasing before-and-after portraits of sites around the village.  Read more

Master plan for Columbia Point published in draft form

City Councillor Maureen Feeney is raising questions on a draft plan released this week by city development officials to redevelop the Columbia Point peninsula. Feeney said the proposed density and proposed height of the buildings – four stories when furthest away from the JFK-UMass MBTA station and rising up to 20 stories when near the station – continue to be a concern.

“We still have work to do,” she said. “But we’re in a far better place than we were initially.”  Read more

Mixed Market: Prices entice homebuyers; lending woes persist

Mixed Market: Newly renovated homes for sale on Hendry Street. Photo by Chris LovettMixed Market: Newly renovated homes for sale on Hendry Street. Photo by Chris LovettCrosscurrents in Dorchester’s real estate market are pulling in different directions—extending the fall-off in prices of the past two years, but also showing signs of new vitality.

“If someone’s telling you there’s no business, they’re not in our neighborhood,” says the Dorchester office manager for Jack Conway & Co., Julie Simmons.

“There is a lot of activity now,” she says. “That $8,000 tax credit is really bringing people in.”

But even agents who vouch for people willing to buy and sell say their customers still meet obstacles.  Read more

In face of weak poll numbers, Patrick reaches back to Boston base

Fifty-one percent of Massachusetts voters negatively view Gov. Deval Patrick, compared to 48 percent viewing him positively, according to a Rasmussen/FOX25 poll released this week. But the low approval ratings were not evident at a two-hour forum with the Caribbean community on Tuesday night at the Unity Club near Codman Square, where Patrick stood on friendly turf and fielded questions on an impending increase in the state sales tax and changes to the state’s criminal offender record information (CORI) system.  Read more

Fire union protests "brown-out" at Neponset's Engine 20

Union rips Menino, Fire Department: Ed Kelly, president of Boston Firefighters Union Local 718, speaks at a press conference at the Engine 20 fire station on Wednesday, July 1, 2009. Photo by Bill ForryUnion rips Menino, Fire Department: Ed Kelly, president of Boston Firefighters Union Local 718, speaks at a press conference at the Engine 20 fire station on Wednesday, July 1, 2009. Photo by Bill ForryA union representing Boston firefighters condemned Mayor Menino and the fire department today during a press conference held at a Neponset Avenue firehouse— Engine 20—one of three firehouses across the city that have been shut down for the day by the department.  Read more

Red Sox win it all — in Cedar Grove

Red Sox champs in Cedar Grove: The Red Sox celebrate their championship win in the Cedar Grove Baseball League's major division last Friday, June 26. Photo courtesy Melissa GrahamRed Sox champs in Cedar Grove: The Red Sox celebrate their championship win in the Cedar Grove Baseball League's major division last Friday, June 26. Photo courtesy Melissa GrahamAfter an extended baseball season of rain delays, the Red Sox won the Major’s division championship of the Cedar Grove Baseball League on Friday, June 26 at Ventura Park in a 7 to 6 win against the Dodgers.  Read more

Menino, officials give push to CORI reform

By 
Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Jun. 30, 2009

Working to build momentum behind an issue that could prove politically dicey, elected and grassroots proponents of restricting employers’ access to the criminal records of job applicants said Tuesday the time is right for their perennial efforts to gain traction in the Legislature.  Read more

Convicted sex offender charged with raping, murdering woman on Columbia Road

Authorities today charged Fitzhugh Newton, 50, with raping a woman twice and then killing her early on Feb. 26 on Columbia Road.  Read more

Arts coalition treats hundreds to “The Color Purple” at Citi center

“I would go back again, and again, and again if I could!” exclaims Cindy Reed, one of scores of Dorchester residents who received free tickets for the June 16th Community Night performance of “The Color Purple,” the hit “musical about love,” currently running at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre.

“When I went, I was extremely tired and was hoping I wouldn’t fall asleep. When I left there, I wanted more,” she adds. “The singing was phenomenal, and oh my goodness, the African dancing piece!”  Read more

MBTA plans to revive its project at Mattapan Square

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 26, 2009

The MBTA and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) held a community meeting at the Mildred Ave. community center on Tuesday regarding the T’s plans to revive a stalled transit-oriented development (TOD) project at Mattapan Station. The initiative is aimed at bringing new mixed-use commercial and residential buildings into Mattapan Square. The transit agency hopes that the development will be built on and adjacent to the current site of the Mattapan Station parking lot, the approximately 2.5 acre asphalt area to the north east of the station.  Read more

Man could be deported for gunning down man 30 years ago; won't spend any time in prison

Richard Franklin, convicted this week of manslaughter for the 1979 death of Gregory McDavid, can't be sent to prison because he's already earned enough "good time" credits in a secure psychiatric facility to warrant his immediate release, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office says.  Read more

Survey finds CVS repeatedly overcharges city consumers

Boston’s largest pharmacy chain may be more careless than it is caring, according to two recent surveys investigating how CVS pharmacies throughout the city, including Dorchester locations in Uphams Corner and Grove Hall, responded to discrepancies between advertised prices and register ring-ups.

“What our second set of data shows is that CVS hasn’t really made an effort to change their behavior,” said Faron McLurkin, a spokesman for Cure CVS, the organization behind the investigations. Cure CVS is part of Change to Win, a coalition of labor unions.  Read more

T previews Route 23 bus improvements at meeting

The MBTA held an open community meeting Tuesday to preview a new plan set to improve the route 23 bus line. Part of the transit authority’s Key Bus Routes Improvement Project, the draft plan will utilize federal funds granted by the American Recovery and Redevelopment Act to invest in transit infrastructure along the Ashmont Station to Ruggles Station route.  Read more

‘Painful’ is word for state budget

Funding for Dorchester youth programs was halved in the $27.4 billion budget that hit Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk this week. Five youth programs were funded at $16.5 million for the fiscal year starting on July, down from the $34 million they received last year.

The programs include youth programs run by the Dorchester Youth Collaborative, Louis D. Brown Institute, Dorchester House, Codman Square Health Center, Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s, Project RIGHT, and the Black Ministerial Alliance.  Read more