News

BPL exhibit maps changing face of the city’s neighborhoods

By 
David Eisenstadt
Mar. 20, 2014

Vietnamese population mapVietnamese population mapFrom Irish, Jews, and Italians to Vietnamese, Haitians and Cape Verdeans, a new map exhibition covering the past 100 years shows Boston’s changing population. “City of Neighborhoods: The Changing Face of Boston” opens Saturday, March 22, at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.

“The original inspiration was all of this great data that came out of the 2010 census,” said Michelle LeBlanc, director of education at the Leventhal Map Center and co-curator of the show. “It told us about what has been going on with population and demographics, and being the map center we wanted to show this through maps.”

As researchers pulled the information together, it was clear that each neighborhood had its own story within the larger picture of the city of Boston, LeBlanc said.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: More time for talk on charter school cap issue

The debate over lifting the charter school cap will stretch into next week as the Legislature’s Education Committee continues to seek a compromise. Charter school advocates have ratcheted up pressure on lawmakers, including state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, co-chair of the Committee on Education, calling on them to release a bill lifting the cap. Separately, public school parents who oppose charter schools sent a petition to the committee this week, demanding that the cap stay in place.

In a meeting at the State House on Tuesday, the committee gave itself an extension to kick out a bill.  Read more

Violins make a connection at Elder Service Plan center

By 
Jordan Frias, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 20, 2014

Elizabeth Moody, left, and Dr. Bernice Wong play together at the Elder Service Plan on Morton Street.

At age 66, Elizabeth Moody said a prayer that she would be able to play the violin again. And that prayer was answered, in large part by her violin teacher, Dr. Bernice Wong, medical director at the Elder Service Plan center on Morton Street.  Read more

Public asked to weigh in on Mt. Vernon Street revamp

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is asking Dorchester residents to help redesign Columbia Point’s Mt. Vernon Street. The city planning agency has set a meeting for next Thursday, March 27 at 6 p.m., inside the Corcoran Jennison Community Building at 270 Mt. Vernon St.  Read more

St. Patrick's Day Breakfast serves up laughs, leaders

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 19, 2014

Sen. Forry with Governor Patrick: The governor quipped: “Have a good look everybody. This is what a Forry and a Patrick looks like these days." Photo © Don WestSen. Forry with Governor Patrick: The governor quipped: “Have a good look everybody. This is what a Forry and a Patrick looks like these days." Photo © Don WestLinda Dorcena Forry took the microphone on Sunday morning and looked out into the crowd at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center where some 700 residents from Dorchester, South Boston, and Mattapan were dining on eggs, hash, and sausages.

“Last year I got eight seconds,” she quipped.

This year, it was two hours and a half. She is the First Suffolk District’s state senator now, instead of a candidate, and with the position comes the job of hosting the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, where politicians traditionally have traded light barbs with one another.  Read more

Boston pols see liquor law as key in livening up neighborhoods

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Mar. 18, 2014

Chris Douglass, of Ashmont Grill; Karen Henry-Garrett, of Dot 2 Dot Café; and Donnel Singleton, a Roxbury businessman, testified in favor of a bill to give Boston more control over liquor licensing. Photo by Mike Deehan, State House News Service

Boston pols and business people seeking to wrest control of restaurant liquor licensing from state lawmakers and a governor-appointed board told a legislative committee Tuesday that some neighborhoods are starved for nightlife.  Read more

Car hit with hail of gunfire near Ronan Park

By 
Reporter Staff
Mar. 17, 2014

A mid-afternoon shooting erupted across from the entrance of Ronan Park on Monday, according to neighbors. Six to nine shots were fired at a car around 4 p.m. on Mt. Ida Road. The targeted vehicle, a black sedan, crashed into two parked cars. The broad-daylight incident drew a swift and massive police response.

Two people who were in the car jumped out and ran off, leaving behind a person in the crashed car, neighbors said. The person, a female, appeared to be shaken but uninjured, according to one neighbor who spoke to the Reporter.  Read more

Mayor Walsh skips South Boston parade after fruitless negotiations

By 
Gintautas Dumcius
Mar. 16, 2014

The long back-and-forth over whether an advocacy group for equality can march in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade is over, at least for this year. Mayor Marty Walsh did not march, though he kept the door open until the last minute, hoping that parade organizers and the group, MassEquality, could come to an agreement on whether gay veterans could openly march.  Read more

Pols yuk it up at Southie St. Patrick's Day breakfast

By 
Michael P. Norton, State House News Service
Mar. 16, 2014

State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry took center stage at Sunday's event in South Boston. Photo by Chris Lovett

The state’s political elite paused for a group selfie, turned the probation department hiring scandal into a laugh line, and took pokes at Republicans Charlie Baker and Scott Brown during the annual St. Patrick’s Day political breakfast Sunday morning.

Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry opened the proceedings at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center by dedicating the event to former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, urging participants to make him laugh amid reports over the weekend that he’s battling advanced form of cancer.  Read more

Woman indicted for hit and run that killed seven year old; faces 20 years in prison

A Suffolk County grand jury has indicted Olivia Mora, 36, for manslaughter for the death of Briana Rosales, 7, on an Olney Street sidewalk last November.  Read more

School finance issues influence debate on charter cap lift

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Mar. 13, 2014

With the press on from charter school advocates to lift or eliminate the cap on charter enrollment in poorly performing school districts, the battle brewing over the issue in the Legislature appears to have as much, if not more, to do with the distribution of state education aid than the merits of charter schools.  Read more

MBTA gears up for March 28 launch of late-night service pilot

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Mar. 13, 2014

MBTA weekend service into the wee hours will start March 28, the Patrick administration plans to announce at a Cambridge subway station Thursday.  Read more

Condos planned for infamous Savin Hill Ave. “hole”

An architect’s rendering depicts a proposed condominium project above and next to Savin Bar & Kitchen on Savin Hill Avenue. Image courtesy RODE Architects Inc.An architect’s rendering depicts a proposed condominium project above and next to Savin Bar & Kitchen on Savin Hill Avenue. Image courtesy RODE Architects Inc.

Developers behind a proposal to build condominiums on top of the Savin Bar & Kitchen and a long-vacant plot of land next door explained some details of the plan on Tuesday night. In an appearance before the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association’s planning committee, the developers and their architects discussed the transit-orientated proposal for 14 units of housing, which would be located directly across from the Savin Hill MBTA station. There would be space for retail on the first level.  Read more

Race heats up for Fifth Suffolk state rep’s seat; Garrison lawsuit over ballot is tossed out

One special primary election down, one more to go.

Dorchester voters have gone to the polls eight times in the last 12 months, including last week, when they picked former State House aide Dan Hunt as Marty Walsh’s successor in a five-way Democratic primary.

The next one is set for April 1, with five Democrats competing to replace former state Rep. Carlos Henriquez, who was ousted from his Fifth Suffolk seat in February by an overwhelming majority of his House colleagues.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook | Gov hopeful Berwick: Voters ready for a ‘new progressivism’

Don Berwick stays away from caffeine.

“Decaf, please,” he reminds a waitress at McKenna’s in Savin Hill, as she goes to refill his cup.

He got off caffeine just before he moved to Washington, D.C. He had a headache for three or four months. And then, it “changed my life.”

“I didn’t like the stimulation all the time,” he says.

On the campaign trail, stimulation can seem like a necessity. The days are long, a never-ending schedule of greeting voters and phoning donors.

No wonder campaigns run on Dunkin’, or a reasonable facsimile. But Berwick does not.  Read more

Seattle mayor leads delegation to tour Boston schools

By 
David Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 13, 2014

Interested in improving early education in his home city, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and a delegation of other top city officials toured Boston schools last week.

Murray and his group observed preschool and kindergarten classrooms at the Eliot School in the North End and the Ellis Memorial School, an independent preschool program in the South End.  Read more

In Mattapan, police brass put focus on engaging youth

By 
Will Taylor, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 13, 2014

A open meeting was held last Thursday, March 6 in the Mattapan Branch Public Library to discuss violence in the neighborhood and to engage stakeholders in a discussion about resources, prevention, and response. In attendance were police officers, community organizers, and non-profit leaders, who fielded questions from local residents.  Read more

Essay contest asks students: What's your advice for Mayor Walsh?

Dot Day Parade set for June 1, 2014: Essay contest deadline is March 20Dot Day Parade set for June 1, 2014: Essay contest deadline is March 20The Dorchester Reporter is once again pleased to sponsor this year’s Dorchester Day Parade Committee Essay Contest. The contest is open to students in grades 6-8 who live in Dorchester or attend a Dorchester school. The deadline for the contest is March 20. Two prizes will be awarded to the two best entries.

This year’s topic relates to the historic election of Mayor Martin J. Walsh: “Please write an essay that gives the Mayor your advice on how to make Dorchester a better place for young people to live, learn and play. Please give at least three specific action steps that Mayor Walsh should take to make life better in your neighborhood.”  Read more

Candidates for governor put conditions on support for more charter schools

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Mar. 11, 2014

Lifting the cap on charter schools in certain underperforming school districts is a question that may test Gov. Deval Patrick this year or his successor next year, and a News Service survey of contenders for the Corner Office found broad, but qualified support that crosses party lines.  Read more

Man charged with Christmas murder on Wales Street

A Dorchester man was ordered held without bail Thursday at his arraignment on charges he shot a man to death after a Christmas-eve concert.

Ian Holness, 27, stood behind a door as murder and illegal-weapons charges were read against him in Dorchester District Court this morning, frustrating the relatives and friends of Rashaan O'Neil, 36, who wanted to get a look at O'Neil's accused killer.  Read more

Garrison suing state elections chief for ballot access in Henriquez seat race

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 6, 2014

Althea Garrison, a frequent candidate for public office, is suing state elections chief Bill Galvin, claiming she should be on the Democratic primary ballot in the special election to replace former state Rep. Carlos Henriquez.  Read more

Parade organizers, gay groups remain at odds; Walsh hopeful

Mayor Marty Walsh is still hopeful that a deal allowing gay groups to march in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 16 will happen even as the parade organizers and one of the groups appear to be far apart.  Read more

Main Streets districts, now a Walsh priority, get ‘innovation’ grants

Evelyn Darling, center, has led the Fields Corner Main Street organization since 2005. She will leave the group this month to take a new role with Viet-AID. She is shown above with members of the Main Street’s board last November at their annual Dotini event at the Blarney Stone. Photo courtesy FCMSEvelyn Darling, center, has led the Fields Corner Main Street organization since 2005. She will leave the group this month to take a new role with Viet-AID. She is shown above with members of the Main Street’s board last November at their annual Dotini event at the Blarney Stone. Photo courtesy FCMS

Programs in Mattapan Square, Uphams Corner, and Grove Hall that provide technical assistance to businesses in those neighborhoods received a boost last week with grant money for public art, business fairs, and marketing efforts.  Read more

‘Urban village’ eyed for Uphams Corner

By 
David Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 6, 2014

A correction has been appended to this article.

A rendering included in a draft report of the BRA’s Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative depicts improvements to the streetscape along Dudley Street looking west towards the Uphams Corner station. 	Image courtesy BRAA rendering included in a draft report of the BRA’s Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative depicts improvements to the streetscape along Dudley Street looking west towards the Uphams Corner station. Image courtesy BRA

At an open house held last Wednesday in the in the Salvation Army Kroc Center, the Uphams Corner neighborhood’s shining example of urban redevelopment, officials from the Boston Redevelopment Authority presented a draft plan for a number of new projects in the area.

Dozens of residents walked from station to station, learning about the various types of redevelopment planned and were encouraged to offer their own advice and comments on the project. The open house represented the kickoff of a 14-day comment period for the community.  Read more