Clad in a plain red t-shirt, khaki shorts, and a cap with a “Dan Conley” sticker on its front, Bobby Madden was working “Marty Walsh” country.
On a recent Saturday morning, the 69-year-old Dorchester fixture, who is an investigator in Suffolk District Attorney Conley’s office, made his way up St. Brendan’s Hill with a young assistant district attorney at his side and a list of super-voters in his hand. They were part of a small group of canvassers looking to identify Dorchester supporters of Conley, who is one of the 12 candidates running for mayor.
Madden, who grew up in the area and lives on Gallivan Boulevard, didn’t need the list. The neighborhood is largely made up of families whose breadwinners are police officers, firefighters, and teachers. He knows most of them, and most of them know him. Read more
The mayoral race chugs along. Highlights from Wednesday include: Read more
Sep. 4, 2013
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 4, 2013……Citizen petitions to raise the minimum wage, zero out a new tax on computer services and expand the state’s bottle deposit law were certified by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office to continue on toward the ballot, while a proposal to prohibit casinos and a bid to provide the right to a trial over restraining orders were denied. Read more
It’s the rare political memoir that earns a place in the Boston canon before it’s even sent to the printer. It’s rarer still when its author’s name hasn’t appeared on a city ballot in three decades.
But Larry DiCara has frequently defied convention in his half-century turn on Boston’s political stage.
His new book, “Turmoil and Transition in Boston: A Political Memoir from the Busing Era” focuses on his years as a member of the Boston City Council— from his 1971 election as a 22-year-old reformer to his fourth-place finish in the 1983 mayoral race. As the subtitle suggests, DiCara offers a refreshingly candid insider’s take on the school desegregation crisis that roiled the city throughout the ‘70s and beyond. DiCara finds ample fault on both sides of the busing divide and, in doing so, steers a course towards a more nuanced, mature, and accurate understanding of the era – a time when Boston damn-near scuttled its own ship. Read more
Dorchester’s two representatives in Congress appear unlikely to support a military intervention in Syria, as their former colleague in the Massachusetts delegation, Secretary of State John Kerry, is pressing lawmakers to act. The US says that the Syrian government, which is in a struggle with rebels, has attacked its own civilians with chemical weapons. Read more
The Sept. 24 prelim is 20 days away. Read more
Sep. 3, 2013
Officials at Boston City Hall haven't seen many new voter registrations in the weeks leading up to this month's preliminary municipal elections, but are bracing for a possible blitz of new voters generated by mayoral hopefuls looking for an advantage in a crowded 12-person field.
The deadline to register to vote in the Sept. 24 preliminary is Wednesday. Read more
Aug. 30, 2013
In response to a News Service questionnaire, ten of the 12 candidates for mayor of Boston offered their positions on how state law could be altered to allow for more liquor licenses for the city. Currently, the Legislature selectively grants additional licenses for communities, but Boston has for years operated at the maximum number of licenses, creating high demand and steep prices for existing licenses. Mayor Thomas Menino supports a home rule petition from City Councilor Ayanna Pressley that would allow the city to do away with the cap and regulate its own licensing. Read more
Aug. 29, 2013
Several members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation called for caution and forethought in the nation’s approach to Syria, which might include military force.
U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, and Congressmen John Tierney, Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch indicated openness to the use of force, while calling for more information and in some cases the assertion of Congress’s constitutional power to declare war.
“The one thing that I’m absolutely certain of is that Congress has to be consulted and in my opinion, consulted means more than just informed. In my opinion it means Congress has to be asked for permission to use military force,” Capuano said. Read more
The calendar says it’s almost autumn, but there’s still plenty of time this weekend for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” thanks to the Dorchester-based Brown Box Theatre Project. Shakespeare’s enchanting comedy about fairies, stage-struck workmen, and fickle lovers wandering around in an Athenian forest will be given five local performances this weekend. Read more
Aug. 29, 2013
On two consecutive recent Tuesday nights, the Dorchester District Court’s Probation Department allowed the Reporter to accompany its officers while they met with probationers. The reporter rode first alongside two officers on daytime rounds and later with the Boston Police-affiliated NiteLite program that watches over potentially more volatile offenders. Read more
Gov. Deval Patrick, along with U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, Congressman Michael Capuano, and Attorney General Martha Coakley, appeared at the Carter Post on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan yesterday for a Democratic “unity” breakfast in the 12th Suffolk District. But the “unity” part of the get-together seemed somewhat problematic in the days leading up to the event. One of the three Democrats on the Aug. 13 primary ballot said she would not be there, and a second was not planning to endorse the third, the winning nominee, Dan Cullinane. Read more
Lawyers representing the owners of a distressed Mattapan farm property are fighting back against the city of Boston after one of its agencies seized control of the Norfolk Street landmark earlier this month. City Hall lawyers are defending the move— saying that they has an obligation to save the historic farmhouse and an adjacent barn from what one official has termed “demolition by neglect.”
Officials from the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) took control of the Fowler-Clark Farm at 487 Norfolk St. on August 10 citing concerns about its ongoing deterioration. The city agency brought in landscapers and heavy equipment to clear the property of debris and brush— and to secure the buildings— racking up a bill in excess of $50,000, according to a letter obtained by the Reporter this week. Read more
What will the next mayor of Boston do with the Strand Theatre, the Uphams Corner landmark that debuted as a movie palace in the waning days of World War I? Like a Charlie Chaplin character flickering across its earliest screen, the Uphams Corner landmark stumbled and lurched across the 20th century and, on more than one occasion, damn-near plunged hat-first into an abyss of debt and decrepitness. And, like the ‘Little Tramp’ himself, the Strand has proven to be an enduring and endearing figure – with the promise of new audiences and a heroic revival that has been years in the making. Read more
Aug. 28, 2013
On a humid Tuesday afternoon, Bill Walczak was waiting outside City Hall. His mayoral campaign, like the others struggling for attention in a 12-person field, had just been handed a small gift from a few floors above: an agreement between the city and Suffolk Downs to bring money, jobs, and a $1 billion casino to East Boston. In other words, something specific to run against, aside from his opponents. Read more
There are 28 days left before the Sept. 24 preliminary and 70 days left before the Nov. 5 final election.
-- Bill Walczak’s campaign has released its first television ad, scheduled to air on WCVB during the 6 p.m. hour, his campaign said. The ad focuses on Walczak’s work at the Codman Square Health Center and the Codman Academy charter school. “Come on Boston, let’s think big!” Walczak says at the end. His campaign did not respond to a request for details about the ad buy.
The ad is below. Read more
In July, the Dorchester Reporter prepared its own questionnaire for mayoral candidates and asked each of the 12 candidates on the Sept. ballot to participate. To date, nine of the 12 candidates have submitted the survey, which included biographical questions, details about their political ideology and specific policy questions that have both citywide and neighborhood-specific implications. The Reporter also included a "case study" section that asks candidates how they would deal with a longstanding redevelopment question in Uphams Corner: the Leon Electric Building. Read more
Nine of the twelve mayoral candidates have weighed in on a host of topics – from gun violence to the names of their role models – that were included in a questionnaire they received from the Dorchester Reporter. They offer varied and sometimes lengthy responses as to how they would deal with the key issues facing the city, and a new administration. Read more
Mayor Thomas Menino created Boston Main Streets, a program that offers financial and technical assistance to local businesses, in 1995, and it has grown in size and scope since then. The city funnels federal grant funding and devotes City Hall staffers to Main Streets, which now boasts districts in 20 neighborhoods, including Fields Corner and Mattapan. Read more
Aug. 22, 2013
Dorchester’s Pierce House is a quaint, unassuming structure, nestled in a small lot directly across the street from the Kenny School. A sign on the front walkway is the only indicator of its historical significance.
However, the house’s interior tells a different story. Several rooms are set up as craft and teaching spaces, with one room set up using period furniture, some of which belonged to the Pierce family. Wide slabs of wood are laid across the floor, and thick beams hold up the roof overhead.
“This is all original beaming,” said Ivy Wagner, the Pierce House museum teacher. She explained that most of the original architecture of the house is still in place. Read more
Aug. 22, 2013
It would seem that in order to become a viable Democratic candidate in Massachusetts, you need to do at least two things: open a campaign account with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance and hold forth in the living room of a certain Lower Mills home to begin to get your message out to the grassroots.
Juliette Kayyem — who formally announced her candidacy for governor on Wednesday morning— can cross both off her gubernatorial bucket list this week.
On Sunday night, the former Boston Globe columnist and Homeland Security adviser for President Barack Obama introduced herself to about 30 dedicated Democrats at the Adams Street home of Joyce Linehan. Kayyem’s comments focused on her biography, philosophy and experience working for both Gov. Deval Patrick and Obama. Read more
East Boston is in the pole position when it comes to reaping jobs and vendor contracts from a proposed resort casino at Suffolk Downs. But the partners behind the project are starting to reach out to Boston’s other neighborhoods as well— beginning with a Sept. 10 “business partnership forum” at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury. Read more