News

Happy 374th birthday! Mather Elementary, America’s oldest school, is ramping up for the big milestone next year

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 10, 2013

Dorchester’s Mather Elementary School will soon turn three and three-quarters centuries old – but not yet.

The fact that this year is the Parish Street institution’s 374th birthday rather than its 375th is not stopping the members of its parents’ council, however. They’ve already begun planning a year’s worth of celebrations leading up to the big 375th bash.

“We’re celebrating what the Mather is today, which is probably the most diverse school in the city – economically, racially, and ethnically,” said Marie Zemler Wu, a member of the school’s parent council.  Read more

New eatery offers hot dogs, soul food in Adams Corner

Hardy & Person Catering: Jonathan Hardy and Kari Person are the operators of a new restaurant at 787 Adams Street that specializes in gourmet hot dogs and soul food. Photo by Bill ForryHardy & Person Catering: Jonathan Hardy and Kari Person are the operators of a new restaurant at 787 Adams Street that specializes in gourmet hot dogs and soul food. Photo by Bill ForryWill gourmet hot dogs and soul food be a hit in Adams Corner?

A pair of neighborhood natives think so— and they're putting their combined culinary skills to the test with the opening of Handy & Person Catering, a new eatery that celebrated its grand opening last Saturday. The restaurant — nestled between the Beach House and the Hair Image salon at 787 Adams Street— fills a previously unmet niche in a busy district that already boasts a slew of established lunch and dinner spots.  Read more

School bus drivers in surprise strike; resolution uncertain

Members of the union representing Boston school bus drivers rocked the city on Tuesday by deciding to go on a surprise strike that enraged Mayor Thomas Menino and disrupted the race for his successor.

Menino called the strike an “illegal action” and asked parents to have back-up plans ready for picking up their children. At a press conference outside the mayor’s office on Tuesday night, Marie St. Fleur, a Haitian-American who became a top Menino aide after serving in the state Legislature, urged the 635 bus drivers, many of whom are Haitian, to return to work.  Read more

UMass Boston proceeds apace on first phase of 25-year master plan

By 
Will Taylor, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 10, 2013

An artist’s rendering shows the layout of the UMass Boston road system and campus after the completion of the Utility Corridor and Roadway Relocation project. Image courtesy UMass Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston has long had major plans for campus development and remodeling, and a $150 million construction project now in its eighth month is a key element in the first phase of its $750 million, 25-year master plan to update the university for the long term.

Working from the ground up, engineers and construction teams have been busy since the early spring installing a new utility corridor and planning for a new roadway and traffic pattern across the campus grounds.  Read more

Book Festival opens city’s mind, venues to wide range of authors

The National Endowment for the Arts reported that last year less than 47 percent of Americans read even one book for pleasure. One way Bostonians are trying to remedy this deplorable state of affairs is by promoting the Boston Book Festival (BBF). This Saturday the fifth annual BBF will attract between 25,000 and 30,000 people to Copley Square for twelve hours of free book-promoting events.  Read more

Uphams Corner murder prompts meeting with police, residents

Days after the nephew of a longtime peace activist was shot and killed, dozens of members of the community gathered in Uphams Corner to mourn and voice their frustration with violence in their neighborhoods. On Monday night at the Kroc Center, community members packed the cafeteria to hear from police officials and speak out against the violence.

Leroy Carvalho, 31, was the victim of a fatal shooting on Oct. 2 on Albion Street. He was the nephew of Isaura Mendes, who has lost two sons and three other relatives to neighborhood violence.  Read more

Former rivals agree: Walsh the one for mayor

Team of Rivals: John Barros, left, and City Councillor Felix Arroyo, right, endorsed State Rep. Marty Walsh’s candidacy for mayor of Boston during a press conference in Egleston Square on Tuesday morning. Photo by Paul MarottaTeam of Rivals: John Barros, left, and City Councillor Felix Arroyo, right, endorsed State Rep. Marty Walsh’s candidacy for mayor of Boston during a press conference in Egleston Square on Tuesday morning. Photo by Paul Marotta

State Rep. Marty Walsh this week picked up the support of two former rivals and a Democratic ward committee in his pursuit of the mayor’s office while City Councillor At-Large John Connolly received backing from East Boston Councillor Sal LaMattina, one of Walsh’s State House colleagues, and a ward committee.

On Tuesday, Walsh locked hands with City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo and former School Committee member John Barros and raised them high as the three politicians stood united in front of a bank of television cameras, “Martin Walsh for Mayor” stickers on their lapels, in a small park in Egleston Square. Because of their status and influence in communities of color, the Arroyo and Barros endorsements were eagerly sought after by both mayoral finalists. In the preliminary, Arroyo came in fifth, with 8.77 percent of the vote, while Barros received 8.1 percent, placing sixth.  Read more

Magistrate nominee lauded for work in Dorchester, Brookline

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Oct. 9, 2013

In a congenial interview with the elected panel that reviews judicial nominees, colleagues of Edward Savage recounted his travels from the "mayhem" of Dorchester District Court to the rigors of Brookline's demanding citizenry.  Read more

Teen charged in Monday night shooting on Corona Street

By 
Reporter Staff
Oct. 8, 2013

A 15-year-old from Dorchester was arraigned Tuesday in Dorchester District Court on attempted murder and firearm charges after he was identified as the gunman in a shooting on Corona Street on Monday night that left an 18 year-old man wounded. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office says the male suspect— whose name is withheld because he is a juvenile—was ordered held on $500,000 bail by Judge Leslie Harris.  Read more

Menino may take legal action to force bus drivers back to work

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Oct. 8, 2013

Menino slams bus driver strike: The mayor called for striking bus drivers to return to their jobs tomorrow. Photo by Isabel Leon/Mayor's OfficeMenino slams bus driver strike: The mayor called for striking bus drivers to return to their jobs tomorrow. Photo by Isabel Leon/Mayor's OfficeCaught off guard by a strike of Boston’s public school bus drivers on Tuesday morning, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said the city would pursue every legal action possible against the drivers as he asked families to arrange transportation home for their children and cancelled afternoon athletics.

"I want all these bus drivers back to work tomorrow morning,” Menino said during an afternoon press conference at City Hall, ridiculing the “illegal action” taken by the unionized drivers to go on strike in violation of their contract.

Menino said the management company Veolia Transportation, Inc. would go to court on Tuesday afternoon to seek an injunction compelling the drivers to return to work, and promised that if drivers would go back to work his administration would sit down with union leaders to work out disagreements over provisions in their contract.

He said the city would also explore possible disciplinary action against drivers who participated in the strike.  Read more

Surprise bus drivers' strike puts brakes on kids' commute

By 
Reporter Staff
Oct. 8, 2013

A surprise and unauthorized school bus drivers strike impacted at least half of the city's student population this morning, according to the Boston Public School department. The work action, which BPS officials have condemned as "illegal", involves around 300 drivers and will impact about half of the city's 33,000 students who ride buses daily to public, parochial and charter schools.  Read more

Mayoral pair hit the trail, key on endorsements, arbitration award

The two finalists in the race for mayor spent the days after the Sept. 24 preliminary chasing endorsements and trading statements over an arbitration award favoring the police department that has dominated the campaign trail.  Read more

Sudan Street house under scrutiny after complaints

This house at 56 Sudan Street has been the subject of complaints from neighbors in recent weeks and will be the subject of discussion at a City Hall meeting on “problem properties.” Photo by Gintautas Dumcius

A house in Savin Hill is facing designation as a “problem property.” The home, located at 56 Sudan St. and a longtime source of complaints from neighbors, will be on the agenda of Mayor Thomas Menino’s “problem properties” task force when it meets this week.  Read more

Strand hosts star-crossed lovers: Romeo and Juliet now on stage

Jason Bowen and Julie Ann Earls star in the Actors’ Shakespeare Project production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, now being staged at the Strand Theatre through November 3. Photo by Stratton McCrady

“As a person of color and as an actress, I can say, ‘It’s always nice when you’re at the theater to see a little something of yourself up on the stage.’ ”

At least that’s the experience of Codman Square resident Miranda Craigwell, who will be playing Lady Capulet as the Actors’ Shakespeare Project (ASP) returns to Uphams Corner this weekend for a month-long, multiracial production of “Romeo and Juliet.”  Read more

Dot dad remains critical after crash on the Arborway

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 3, 2013

Kevin CellucciKevin CellucciLast month, a horrible midday car accident on the Arborway near Forest Hills left several people injured— including Dorchester carpenter and father of three Kevin Cellucci, who remains in a coma. Next month, his family, friends, and supporters will come together to support him with a fundraiser.

Pete Alvarado, Kevin’s cousin, still remembers the disturbing call from his sister on the day of the accident. He rushed to the hospital, where he found family members, close friends, and a parish priest from St. Brendan’s church.  Read more

Estate goes to court to reclaim Fowler-Clark farm from city

A worker hired by the city of Boston cleared overgrowth on the Clark-Fowler farm property on Norfolk Street in August 2013. Photo by Bill Forry

The owner of a historic but run-down Mattapan property that was seized by city officials in August went to court this week seeking an injunction allowing them to reclaim the land. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Judith Fabricant heard from both sides in the case on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to make a ruling in coming days.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: Jackson reelection bid gets gubernatorial boost

Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday headlined a fundraiser for his former aide, City Councillor Tito Jackson. The District 7 councillor, who worked on Patrick’s reelection campaign in 2010, is up for reelection this year, after winning a vacant seat in 2011 that opened up when Councillor Chuck Turner was convicted of accepting a bribe and lying to a FBI agent, and was bounced off the Council.

Jackson is facing opposition from Roy Owens, a perennial candidate, and local activist Jamarhl Crawford, who is waging a write-in campaign. There was no September preliminary in the district.  Read more

Golar Richie adviser defends campaign's third place finish

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Oct. 2, 2013

A top adviser to former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie’s mayoral campaign rejected criticism of her candidate and said there had been “quite a bit of unfairness” directed toward her.  Read more

Dorcena Forry says she owes 'no debt' to mayoral hopefuls

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Oct. 2, 2013

Dorchester Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry said on Wednesday that she would decide within the “coming days” whether to endorse in Boston’s mayoral election, but refuted a report that she must decide whether to “return the favor” to state Rep. Marty Walsh for his role in her special Senate election.  Read more

"Orderly shutdown" of federal government begins

By 
Matt Murphy and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Oct. 1, 2013

For the first time in more than 17 years, the federal government on Tuesday did not open for business after Congress failed to meet a midnight deadline to implement a temporary budget measure to keep government funded.  Read more

Savin Hill barn demolished

A dilapidated stable atop Savin Hill was torn down on Monday morning after city officials and the property owners reached an agreement in court last week to allow the demolition to proceed. A second structure at 24 Grampian Way— a three-story home that was once a stately mansion owned by 19th century sporting goods magnate George Wright— remains intact and will not be demolished “at this point”, according to a city spokesman.  Read more

Motorists beware: Casey Overpass will be closed for weekends in October

The Casey Overpass, which carries Route 203/Arborway over Washington and New Washington streets in Forest Hills, will be closed next weekend— Saturday, Oct. 5, and Sunday, Oct. 6, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.— as work crews perform what MassDOT calls "emergency repairs to the driving surface of the road to ensure the bridge can remain open during snow and ice events."

"MassDOT anticipates needing to close the bridge for the same duration for up to three additional weekends to complete the work. This work is weather dependent and must be done during dry weather in order for the asphalt to properly set."  Read more

Pressley is No. 1 in at-large contest

The at-large ballot in November will feature two Dorchester residents, while three fell short. Voters, allowed to pick up to four candidates, on Tuesday narrowed a field of 19 candidates to 8.

Ayanna Pressley, an Ashmont resident who won first place in 2011 and is running for a third term as a city councillor at-large, topped the ballot with 43,000 votes. Annissa Essaibi George, who lives in the Columbia/Savin Hill neighborhood, came in seventh place, picking up 12,236 votes. The 13-member City Council has four at-large seats.  Read more