Please bring back Bill Bulger

James W. Dolan
Mar. 19, 2010

Let’s face it: The St. Patrick’s Day political breakfast doesn’t work anymore. It’s embarrassing, a pale imitation of a sparkling tradition that lived years ago when Billy Bulger presided.

It has become a colossal bore as politician after politician lamely tries to inject a little humor into an event that, if not dead, is at least on life support. One by one they rise uncomfortably to deliver their feeble attempts at humor.  Read more

Boston Ballet troupe wows ’em at the Strand; interaction between stage and audience ‘electric’

The deafening cheers and whistles, vigorous arm-pumps and frequent standing O’s that greeted last Friday’s debut of the Boston Ballet at the Strand Theater banished any lingering doubts that Dorchester-area schoolchildren could really respond to high art.

Organizers were very gratified by the kids’ genuinely enthusiastic reaction to the carefully crafted hour-long show, staged at 10 a.m and 4:30 p.m.  Read more

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Henriquez officially in for Fifth Suffolk seat

Carlos Henriquez, a community activist who has twice run unsuccessfully run against District 7 Councillor Chuck Turner, is jumping into the race to replace state Rep. Marie St. Fleur (D-Uphams Corner).

Henriquez said he is making his move after consulting with several local activists long affiliated with the Fifth Suffolk district. He said a move to state representative would be a change from "pot hole politics," which he would have handled had he won a city council seat, to dealing with pot holes and legislation on a state level to support local work.  Read more

They are running the Marathon for Sean Murphy – and along the way to beat back head/neck cancer

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 19, 2010

Every April tens of thousands of runners converge on the city for the Boston Marathon. And all have their own stories of how they came to face this famed 26-plus mile challenge.

For Paula Murphy, who grew up in Dorchester, running in the Boston Marathon this year has a significant meaning as well as a mission. She will run in honor of her late husband, Sean, and to raise awareness and funds for research on head and neck cancer.  Read more

Cell phone store for Bickford's site

Rumors abound about what the future holds for retail development at the eastern end of Gallivan Blvd, at the site of a now-closed Bickford’s restaurant near Neponset Ave.

One project that is confirmed to begin soon is the construction of a new Verizon Wireless store where the family restaurant now sits. Neighbors expect the restaurant to be demolished or heavily remodeled, to make way for what Cedar Grove Civic Association president Sean Weir called a “state of the art” Verizon Wireless retail store.  Read more

Elder care health facility to open soon on Frank Wood site

A Morton Street property that formerly served as a retirement and convalescent home for retired workers in the printing industry will soon become a full service elder care health facility.

The facility, a familiar landmark at 1135 Morton Street at the foot of Codman Hill, was once the home of the Frank Wood Home, a 62-bed facility that operated for four decades until closing in the mid-1990s. The property was purchased in 2007 by the Dorchester-based Harbor Health Services Inc. at a cost of $4.25 million.  Read more

Library watch: Much going on inside

Chris Lovett
Mar. 19, 2010

When the Fields Corner Branch library closed at 6 p.m. last Thursday night, Celeste Figueroa came out with four DVDs, a book, and her two daughters. “A library’s like a museum,” she said. “It’s a way to get out of the house, because being in the house is like being in jail.”

Figueroa described the library as a “fun place,” but her nine-year-old daughter Selena made it clear that she had chosen Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine for her fourth-grade English assignment on summary and prediction.  Read more

Uphams Corner mulls deal on St. Kevins; talks planned

Neighbors and former parishioners of St. Kevin’s – some still sorting out their views on the potential fate of the Uphams Corner property – plan to meet soon with the partnership attempting to acquire the site of the former parish.

The Archdiocese of Boston is conveying St. Kevin’s church and school to a combination of three organizations that includes St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center, Holy Family Parish, and a nonprofit real estate developer tied to the archdiocese, the Planning Office of Urban Affairs, that wants to use the property primarily for affordable housing.  Read more

Man found shot to death on Norwell Street

The Boston Police Department reports finding a man in his early 20s with gunshot wounds inside 71 Norwell St. shortly after 11 p.m. yesterday.  Read more

Neponset rages in unrelenting rain as residents lose power and underpasses flood

Neponset River in Lower Mills around 5 p.m., SundayNeponset River in Lower Mills around 5 p.m., Sunday

With the nor'easter dumping several inches of rain on the region, the level of the normally placid Neponset rose dramatically along its course on Sunday.  Read more

New deal for St. Kevin’s and St. Peter’s properties

Gintautas Dumcius, Contributing Reporter
Mar. 11, 2010

The former St. Kevin parish campus on Columbia Rd.The former St. Kevin parish campus on Columbia Rd.The former St. Kevin’s Parish property in Uphams Corner and two parcels of the St. Peter’s Parish campus on Meetinghouse Hill are going to be converted into affordable housing for Boston families, with some of the new residents emerging from homelessness.

The Archdiocese of Boston will be conveying the St. Kevin’s site to a partnership of three organizations that includes St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center, Holy Family Parish, and a nonprofit real estate developer tied to the archdiocese. Separately, the sale of St. Peter’s convent and rectory buildings appears to be imminent.  Read more

Boston Ballet bolsters dance card at Strand

Long something of a wallflower, the Strand Theatre is finding its dance card filling up quickly in 2010 with a couple of noteworthy debuts.

 On Valentine’s Day weekend, the former movie palace hosted the world premiere of a Tyler-Perry-like musical by a Dorchester minister. And next week Boston Ballet makes its first-ever visit to Uphams Corner with a presentation specifically designed for the city-owned arts venue.  Read more

Poetry, arts enhance outreach worker’s life, and his connection to city’s youth

Jill S. Gross Special to the Reporter
Mar. 10, 2010

Matthew ParkerMatthew ParkerMatthew Parker began turning his feelings and thoughts into poetry when he was a young teen growing up in the South End, with the rhythms and stories he created providing an outlet and an escape from the violent street life he saw around him.

At the same time, he was a budding leader in his community, organizing neighborhood activities and taking his first job as a camp counselor. Now, more than a decade later, his talents for poetry and leadership have made him a quiet force to help Boston youth find their own passion to steer them away from the streets -- be it poetry, music, sports, or dance.

“I try to give them something else to enjoy outside of their daily routine that is filled with so much trauma,” said Parker, who now lives in Dorchester.  Read more

Pols to tune each other up at St. Patrick’s Day breakfast

For some politicians, it can be more petrifying than Election Day: Getting up on a stage and trying to be funny.

But that’s exactly what the Bay State’s top elected officials – and perhaps some of the folks running against them – will be attempting at the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston on Sunday morning.  Read more

Staffers at four Dot schools face re-applying for jobs

With state education officials pressing for dramatic improvement at twelve schools citywide that have been deemed underperforming, staff members at four Dorchester area schools will be asked to reapply for their jobs, local school officials said this week.
The schools taking action are Jeremiah E. Burke High, William Trotter Elementary, Paul Dever Elementary, and Harbor Middle School.  Read more

Neighbors stir in support of library branches

Residents are rallying in support of their branch libraries as city officials consider consolidations and the closing of an expected $3.6 million budget gap in the fiscal 2011 budget.

In Lower Mills, the head of the local merchants’ association is organizing a letter-writing campaign in a bid to save the local branch. Tony Paciulli, the president and CEO of Meetinghouse Bank, said it is the “most vulnerable one” out of the 26 neighborhood libraries.  Read more

Color the Village green: Adams Corner, St. Patrick’s Day: Made for each other

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 10, 2010

With Boston boasting one of the highest concentrations of residents with Irish heritage in the country, it’s not surprising that every March the city is a center for celebrations around St. Patrick’s Day. Locally, a growing number of people have been flocking to Adams Village on the 17th to celebrate the holiday with old and new friends.

That is why a group of Village merchants recently joined forces to publicize all of the dining, shopping, and entertainment specials being offered on the holiday.  Read more

Local man sentenced to nearly 28 years for role in family drug ring

Quoc Trinh, 30, was sentenced today to 27 1/2 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges he help run the family marijuana and Ecstasy business out of its Bloomfield Street home.  Read more

Two-alarm fire forces 13 into the cold

The Boston Fire Department reports a fire that broke out around 11:30 at 12 Stanton St. early Saturday morning went to two alarms.

The fire, which spread from the second to the third floor, did an estimated $200,000 damage. Nobody was injured, but the Red Cross was called in to help nine adults and four children find places to sleep.

Missing girls found

UPDATE: WCVB-TV reports the two were found in Everett and are OK.  Read more

Missing girls

Family offers reward for information on Ramone Daley's murderer

Relatives of Ramone Daley gathered at Boston Police headquarters today to announce a $10,000 reward for information on whoever gunned down the young Floyd Street resident as he left for work early on the morning of Feb. 27.  Read more

Man shot to death on Draper Street

Boston Police report finding a man lying in front of 85 Draper St. with gunshot wounds around 7:25 p.m. yesterday.

Benjamin Martins, 30, of Dorchester, was transported to Boston Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Anyone with information can contact the homicide unit at (617) 343-4470 or the anonymous tip line by calling (800) 494-TIPS or texting 'TIPS' to CRIME (27463).

“I will never feel the like of that gaze again"

Peter Stevens, Reporter Staff
Mar. 4, 2010

For 44-year-old Gregory Grene, of the popular band The Prodigals, nothing will ever be the same. His twin brother, Andrew, a well-known UN political affairs officer, perished in the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January. Gregory headed to another island, Ireland, to help bury his brother in Belturbet, County Cavan.  Read more

On friendly turf, Patrick pitches policy and politics

The 2010 gubernatorial race came to Dorchester this week as Gov. Deval Patrick hosted an “urban town hall” at a Codman Square church. “It’s hard to be heard above the din of ‘hate radio,’ ” Patrick told a welcoming crowd that packed Rev. Bruce Wall’s Global Ministries Christian Church on Sunday night. But the governor had little trouble in the friendly room that gave him a standing ovation upon his entrance.  Read more

There was something fishy about the house at 59 Bloomfield St.

The federal government has started proceedings to take control of a Dorchester house it says two brothers built to become the center of an international drug ring that was broken up with a series of arrests in 2007.

The government says it will sell off 59 Bloomfield St., currently assessed at $503,000, to help recoup some of the roughly $3 million in drug and money-laundering profits made by Anna Trinh and Tiem Trinh, both convicted in federal court on Dec. 23, 2009, on a variety of drug charges.  Read more