Mattapan murder linked to heroin distribution

Boston Police reported today that shortly after Carlos Romero Franco, 31, was gunned down on Oct. 16 at 598 Harvard St., they discovered heroin there with an estimated street value of $1 million, as well as a gun and an unspecified amount of cash.  Read more

The Boston Book Festival offers a cornucopia for readers, listeners

Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Copley Square venues

The inaugural one-day Boston Book Festival will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Boston Public Library, Old South Church, Trinity Church and outdoors in Copley Square. Festival events will include presentations and panels featuring 90 writers, scholars, critics, and commentators; a focus on technology as it relates to reading; programming for children, teens and families; writing workshops and competitions; and spoken word and music performances.  Read more

For the Bay State, it’s mostly life in the unmoneyed weeds

Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Oct. 23, 2009

Unscientifically extrapolated from this month’s state economic data, forecasts and a national performance review of child protection laws that may want to circle back with Colorado:

We’re good at protecting abused and neglected kids, except for the occasional murder, but their parents are more likely to be unemployed or filing for bankruptcy – or, if they’re working for the state, on the brink of furloughs and layoffs.

But, if employed, they might be thinking of adding that toy room next spring.  Read more

As fewer artists, visitors take part, Open Studios looks for solutions; event is this weekend

With the 8th annual Dorchester Open Studios (DOS) fast approaching this weekend, ultra-stressed organizers are wrestling with how to maximize the local celebration of the arts in the face of declining involvement of artists and visitors.

Last year DOS advertised the involvement of 100 artists and actually had 86 participating; this time around, the projected number hovers around 65 and at fewer venues.  Read more

Her goal is to honor the elderly

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 22, 2009

Respecting the spirit and wisdom of the elderly is not only part of the mission at Standish Village, but it is also a core value of the Lower Mills-based assisted living facility’s new executive director Jean Patel Bushnell.

For Bushnell, the journey to this post, which she took over in September, began when she came to the U.S. from Georgetown, Guyana, at the age of 19. And while she has put a lot of energy into developing her education and career throughout that journey, it is her mother whom she credits for her success.  Read more

Mattapan renews Main Street push

Elizabeth St. Victor, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 22, 2009

Citizens and community leaders— and one business owner — from the Mattapan neighborhood gathered for the fourth time on Monday night with one big purpose in mind: How best to write a proposal for a Mattapan Main Street District that will get City Hall's attention and approval?

The Boston Main Streets organization was set up by Mayor Menino in 1995 to provide the city's neighborhoods with the design and financial support they need to maintain and upgrade their commercial districts.  Read more

Connecting past to future in Upham’s Corner

Jill S. Gross, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 22, 2009

History buffs and area residents strolled through the building where the nation’s first supermarket once thrived, threw balls down the lane of a shuttered candlepin alley, and even took a bow on the stage of the Strand Theatre on Saturday morning.

And organizers of a walking tour of Upham’s Corner hoped that as participants took in the sites where past generations watched movies, worshipped, stabled their horses, and bought their bread, they also would become energized about the neighborhood’s future.  Read more

Candidates playing offense, defense

The two mayoral candidates this week offered a preview of the closing weeks of the campaign as incumbent Thomas Menino defended a record of lower crime during his tenure and a history of fighting foreclosures, while City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty hammered the mayor over underperforming schools in the system and City Hall’s e-mail deletion controversy.  Read more

At one time a grand homestead, Wright House waits on the future

The former home of George Wright at 24 Grampian Way, Savin Hill. 	Photo by Ed Forry.The former home of George Wright at 24 Grampian Way, Savin Hill. Photo by Ed Forry.

What was once one of Dorchester’s grandest homes sits sadly today at 24 Grampian Way atop Savin Hill overlooking downtown Boston. The residence, deemed a “haunted house” by neighbors, has fallen into disrepair. It has a history, though: It was once owned by the legendary sportsman George Wright, a Dorchester fixture until his death at age 90 in 1937, who helped revolutionize American sports, particularly major league baseball, in the decades after the Civil War.  Read more

‘No merit’ to church appeal, says board

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 22, 2009

The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously on Tuesday to deny an appeal filed by the Eglise Baptise H. Bon-Berger de Boston Church to expand the maximum occupancy of its Ashmont Street site from 32 to 108 people.

“This case before us has no merit,’ said Zoning Board Chairman Robert Shortsleeve.

Edward T. Johnson, the architect for the church’s renovation project, appeared before the board but had no comment on the decision following the meeting. David Milien, pastor of the church, was not available for comment at press-time.  Read more

Court upholds conviction for 2005 slashing murder

The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the first-degree murder conviction of Michael Hart, 53, for killing a woman who confronted him after he'd slashed his ex-girlfriend's throat and then stabbed her on her Millet Street front porch in 2005.  Read more

Fields Corner bank held up for second time in 10 days

Boston Police report the Sovereign Bank branch at 1442 Dorchester Ave., was held up today - somebody passed a note to the teller.  Read more

Device theft leaves disabled man without a voice

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 16, 2009

A 38-year-old disabled Dorchester resident, who is not able to speak, lost a device Friday morning at Ashley’s Restaurant on Bowdoin Street that enables him to communicate.  Read more

Rains, High Tides Slow Traffic on Morrissey Blvd.

Morrissey Blvd Flloding 101609Morrissey Blvd Flooding
Friday's heavy morning rains and 11 a.m. high tides resulted in road flooding along Morrissey Blvd. Late morning traffic was down to one lane in both directions near Savin Hill. The road was flooded also near Freeport Street, under the Expressway/I-93 overpass. (Reporter IPhone photo/Ed Forry)  Read more

Police say woman laughed as her pit bull attacked school girl

Boston Police report a girl waiting for her bus to school on Talbot Avenue in Dorchester Wednesday morning was attacked by a pit bull but managed to avoid serious harm when a man driving by on a motorcycle stopped to free her from the dog.

According to a police statement, "individuals who witnessed the incident stated the dog's owner did nothing to stop the dog and was seen laughing."

Police say the girl, 12, suffered no injury because the man got the dog off her before it could bite through her shoe - the animal was latched onto her foot.

Police add witnesses said the dog was neither leashed nor muzzled. Police said Animal Control is now investigating the case.

Lehane to launch ‘Boston Noir’ at Book Festival

Fans of Boston’s highest-profile crime writer, Dorchester native Dennis Lehane, are awaiting the launch of his latest work, a celebration that will culminate the upcoming Boston Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Lehane, whose best-sellers have been made into major motion pictures, including “Mystic River,” “Gone, Baby, Gone” and the soon-to-be-released “Shutter Island,” has edited and contributed the lead story to the forthcoming anthology, “Boston Noir.”  Read more

Attention: Witching night draws nigh

Shue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 15, 2009

By land and by sea, Dorchester residents are expected to be out in great numbers this year celebrating the scariest of holidays, Halloween. From a scarecrow contest to floating pumpkins and costume parties, local organizations have something planned for revelers of all ages.  Read more

Mid-2010 opening seen for Ashmont entry

Jill S. Gross, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 15, 2009

Red Line commuters who have waited through years of Ashmont Station construction for a back entrance to the subway to reopen will have to trek around the station for another year and a half – at least.

The Radford Lane entrance to the station, tucked on the one-way side street off Carruth Street, won’t open until the middle of 2011, according to MBTA officials. The news has left some in the neighborhood upset about continued longer walks and concerned about the ultimate fate of the entrance.  Read more

Point plan gains mayor’s attention

Responding to residents of Savin Hill concerned about a draft development plan for the Columbia Point neighborhood, Mayor Thomas M. Menino stressed this week that the plan – and the height of the proposed buildings – was “not solidified.” Briefly addressing a gathering of small business owners while at a Dorchester Board of Trade luncheon on Tuesday, the mayor said, “I’ve heard it loud and clear.”  Read more

Church appeals; neighbors fume

The controversy over a church based out of a two-family residential building on Ashmont Street is building up again after two years of inactivity with neighbors outraged that David Milien, pastor of the Eglise Baptiste H. Bon-Berger de Boston Church, is renewing his drive to hold services there.

Milien is appealing a decision by the Boston Inspectional Services Department to deny his request to expand the maximum occupancy of the building at 487-489 Ashmont St. from 32 to 108 people.

A hearing on his appeal will be held next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at 1010 Massachusetts Ave.  Read more

Council hopefuls take up issues

The eight contenders vying for four citywide seats were split this week over how long pols in City Hall should warm the seats in the mayor’s office and on the City Council.

At a forum sponsored by the nonpartisan voting rights group MassVOTE, the City Council At-Large candidates also reiterated their stances on any reform of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city’s planning and development agency that has received a fierce drubbing on the campaign trail over an alleged lack of transparency.  Read more

Gathering of the Green

Thousands descended on Adams Village on Sunday to join in the first Irish Heritage Festival. Organizers deemed the inaugural fete a success.    Photo by Harry BrettThousands descended on Adams Village on Sunday to join in the first Irish Heritage Festival. Organizers deemed the inaugural fete a success. Photo by Harry Brett

Police oppose later hours for Blue Hill Avenue restaurant

Boston Police and two city councilors today opposed a request by Tasty Caribbean, 388 Blue Hill Ave. to extend its closing hours from midnight to 2 a.m.  Read more

Dorchester man convicted for stabbing death at South Boston bar

A Suffolk Superior Court jury today convicted Bernard Piscopo of voluntary manslaughter for the June 16, 2007 death of Adam Rich of Revere at the 6 House, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.  Read more

Mt. Washington bank branch on Gallivan Boulevard held up

Boston Police report the Mt. Washington Bank branch at 489 Gallivan Blvd. was held up before noon today by a white man wearing a light-blue Northface jacket. No weapon shown.