Four Dorchester schools targeted as underperformers

School Superintendent Carol Johnson said last night the Paul Dever, John P. Holland, William Monroe Trotter elementary schools and Harbor Middle School must either dramatically improve their scholastic results or face "serious consequences," possibly including shutting them down and sending students to other schools.  Read more

Lower Mills Stroll on tap this evening

Despite the drizzly weather, it was last year around this time that the first Lower Mills Holiday Stroll surprised organizers by attracting over 300 people, many of whom later returned to patronize shops they had peeked in on.

Tonight’s more elaborate second venture promises to attract even bigger crowds with its freebies, art displays, a book-signing for the new paperback about the Baker Chocolate Company, even free trolley service to shuttle shoppers too weary to “stroll” across the bridge between Dorchester and Milton.  Read more

Edward Everett Square fans can't wait for spring

Jill S. Gross, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 19, 2009

Come next spring, Edward Everett Square will blossom with new sculpture, vibrant flowers, and words that help tell the area’s story – a culmination of nearly 15 years of work to transform a drab and hectic intersection into a community asset.

Organizers hope the space, once completed, will not only lend beauty to the site but also become a destination for tours and schoolchildren. With the planning and work on the artwork and plantings for the square winding down, the community has formed a corporation to maintain the square’s improvements and promote its cultural uses.  Read more

Foreclosures spell opportunities; City, non-profits helping on deals

The corner of Colman and Henry Streets in September of 2007The corner of Colman and Henry Streets in September of 2007

Melanie Jansky wasn’t planning to buy a foreclosed property, but she wanted a condo that was affordable. “I was looking around the city,” she said. “Dorchester made sense for work, and also because I was living in Codman Square and I liked it there.”

A Randolph native who works in Jamaica Plain, Jansky ended up with a foreclosed condo in a three-decker on Lonsdale Street. The previous owner, who bought the unit in March 2006, had paid $285,000. Jansky got it for $169,000, with some cost-saving help made available by the City of Boston in areas with high rates of foreclosures.

“I know what the previous owner paid,” said Jansky. “It was totally redone. The whole building was gutted and redone. Everything was new. There was nothing I had to do before I moved in.”

Thanks to the city’s neighborhood stabilization program, Jansky said she was able to avoid the requirement for private mortgage insurance, without having to make a down payment of at least 20 percent. The city also offers additional money for owners who occupy the unit for the long term.

“It wasn’t that much more than my rent, when I was renting,” she said.

At a time when many foreclosed units in Dorchester’s three-deckers are being rebundled as multi-family homes, the unit on Lonsdale Street might be an exception. What they all have in common is that they’re coming on the market with sharply reduced prices, and they’re definitely in demand, if not always for owner-occupancy. In response, the city and non-profit developers are intervening in the market to protect tenants, avoid vacancies, and make sure the new owners are financially stable.  Read more

Two shot, one dies

Boston Police report that one of two men shot while sitting in a car at Bowdoin and Norton streets on Monday has died.  Read more

Police say Marshall School shooting was gang related; step up patrols in area

Boston Police say a 22-year-old man shot inside the John Marshall Elementary School gym last night "is well known to law enforcement" and that he attempted to flee the scene rather than wait for help.  Read more

Two sought for series of street robberies

Boston Police are looking for two men for a series of robberies in the area of Welles, Talbot and Dorchester avenues.  Read more

One-alarm fire in two-family house

A one-alarm fire broke out shortly before 2 p.m. today at 19 Bullard St., the Boston Fire Department says.  Read more

Firefighter rescues teen from two-alarm fire

A fire reported around 4:45 p.m. on Thursday 83 Evans St. quickly went to two alarms.  Read more

C.F. Donovan's apparently shuts down

C.F. Donovan's: Shuttered todayC.F. Donovan's: Shuttered today

C.F. Donovan's, the popular Dorchester neighborhood restaurant and bar on Savin Hill Ave. across from the T station, was shuttered this morning and appears closed.  Read more

‘Fiddler’ at the Opera House: A mixed reaction

Through this Sunday, Boston lovers of “Tradition”-al musicals are getting the chance to see the great elegiac “Fiddler on the Roof,” starring the man who has become synonymous with central role of the long-suffering milkman Teyve.

Many elements of the production remind one why this show, despite its painful subject matter, managed for ten years to hold the title of Broadway’s longest-running musical. Other aspects suggest that “Fiddler” and other shows of its ilk may have seen their day.  Read more

ABCD looking to winter’s cold, aiming to help with fuel costs

Sue Asci
Nov. 12, 2009

As winter approaches, applications are already on the rise for federal fuel assistance. The doors opened just last week for this year’s allotment.

Officials at Action for Boston Community Development, which distributes resources from the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, said the state has already received $162 million in federal funding.  Read more

Boston Bowl: Model of endurance

Sue Asci
Nov. 12, 2009

Boston Bowl on Morrissey Blvd. marked its 50th anniversary of operation in Dorchester last week, its longevity a direct result of maintaining value and the ability to adapt to changes in the business model, its owners say.

“Bowling is still a good value,” said Phil Strazzula Jr., vice president of the company. “When times are tough, many people stop taking trips or family vacations. But they still want to do things with the kids.”  Read more

St. William’s update: Pastor seeking realtors

The parish that owns the site of the former St. William’s School is looking for realtors to lease or sell the property even as the Boston archdiocese insists that the door remains open to moving a private Roman Catholic high school into the vacant property.

The parish pastor, Father Jack Ahern, and the archdiocese had been locked in negotiations over bringing North Cambridge Catholic High School, part of a national network of 22 schools across the country called Cristo Rey, to the former St. William’s School site. The Savin Hill property is currently being used as a storage site.  Read more

Talking to Red Line riders

Jill S. Gross, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 12, 2009

Claude Leonidas continues to make his weekday trek from Mattapan to South Station on the MBTA, undeterred by a critical report last week highlighting a huge backlog -- $500 million worth -- of maintenance projects needed to keep the system safe.

Other than the annoyance of delays and a lack of communication about what caused them, Leonidas said he hasn’t experienced anything where he felt his safety was threatened. “I still feel safe riding the T,” said Leonidas, who takes the Mattapan trolley and the Red Line to work.  Read more

Lawmakers ask state to withdraw 28x proposal

Local lawmakers are calling on state transportation officials to pull back on the proposal for an express busway along Blue Hill Ave. for which the state is seeking a $140 million federal stimulus grant.

The request from lawmakers comes after months of community meetings at which many residents and businesses of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury greeted with skepticism a proposed transit line called "Route 28X" that would run along dedicated bus lanes on portions of the corridor between Mattapan Square and Ruggles Station.  Read more

Fixing the T called ‘Herculean’ task;

An aging infrastructure. A massive debt load. And 51 unfunded projects classified as a “danger to life and limb of passengers and/or employees.” Those are just a few of the problems facing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the agency that oversees the Red Line and other transit lines that together provide for 1.2 million rider trips on an average weekday.  Read more

Dot arts program hailed at White House

Reporter Staff
Nov. 12, 2009

Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses (FDNH) received the Coming Up Taller Award for its Art a la Carte program at a ceremony hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House last week. FDNH CEO Mark Culliton and Art a la Carte student Liana Rae Farmer, above, were greeted by the first Lady at the ceremony in Washington. Photo courtesy FDNH.  Read more

Man sought for Neponset Circle bank robbery

Suspect: Wanted for Sovereign Bank holdupSuspect.The FBI has released a surveillance photo of a man wanted for holding up the Sovereign Bank branch at 780 Gallivan Blvd. around 4:25 p.m. on Nov. 5.  Read more

Prince Hall works to prevent problems at dances

Prince Hall Grand Lodge says it's tightened its policies on hall rentals after a post-dance incident in September that left one woman attacked and a police officer fearing for his safety.  Read more

Fire displaces nine on Winter Street

The Boston Fire Department reports a one-alarm fire at 10 Winter St. this afternoon did roughly $30,000 in damage and displaced seven adults and two children.  Read more

Fireplace fire escapes, sets Mattapan house on fire

A two-alarm fire that broke out shortly before 7 p.m. did an estimated $400,000 damage to a single-family home at 83 Blake St., the Boston Fire Department reports.  Read more

Police investigating Molotov cocktail thrown into Dorchester District Court

Somebody apparently tried to set Dorchester District Court on fire around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to Boston Police.  Read more

Bank robbed on Gallivan Boulevard

Boston Police report the Sovereign Bank at 780 Gallivan Blvd. was held up yesterday afternoon.  Read more

Wilkerson attorney asks dismissal or venue change

Citing “inflammatory” media coverage of her arrest on corruption charges, “outrageous” behavior of federal prosecutors, and a potential under-representation of minorities on a jury, the attorney for former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson on Monday called for either a dismissal of charges or a change of venue for her impending trial.  Read more