News

Familiar Dot face is city’s No. 2 cop

Number two at BPD: Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross spoke at a press conference last week as Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, behind him, looked on. Photo by Chris LovettNumber two at BPD: Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross spoke at a press conference last week as Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, behind him, looked on. Photo by Chris LovettWilliam “Willie” Gross, a longtime law enforcement presence on the streets of Dorchester, is now the Boston Police Department’s superintendent-in-chief, the No. 2 position on the force.

Gross, a Maryland native who started as a patrol officer in 1985, is the first African-American to be appointed to the role. He has worked on the gang and drug control units, and became deputy superintendent in 2008. He was later promoted to superintendent and night commander, overseeing police responses to night calls.  Read more

Parents try out new BPS system

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 16, 2014

Boston Public Schools are in the second week of school registration for the new school assignment system.  Read more

Dorchester man seeks new trial, citing withheld evidence, police corruption

By 
Elaine A. Murphy, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 16, 2014

Sean K. Ellis: After 20 years behind bars, he seeks a new trial.Sean K. Ellis: After 20 years behind bars, he seeks a new trial.A Dorchester man serving a life sentence for a cop killing 20 years ago – a crime he says he didn’t commit – may yet have a chance for a new trial and freedom. Sean K. Ellis, arrested in 1993 at age 19, was one of two teenagers convicted of putting five bullets into the face of Boston Detective John Mulligan -- “to get his gun for a trophy,” prosecutors said. The other youth, Terry Patterson of Hyde Park, then 18, was freed from prison in 2007 after a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court discredited fingerprints that police claimed were his.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: Gubernatorial hopefuls eyeing Walsh volunteers

With his supporters flooding the streets of Boston on the day of the preliminary election in September, Marty Walsh’s field organization was the envy of rival campaigns. On Election Day in November, the organization had people at every Red Line stop on the Dorchester leg of the transit system, pulling voters to their polling locations.  Read more

City plans renovations, public art for Town Field park

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 16, 2014

Town Field is home to the All Dorchester Sports League and other baseball and softball groups locally. Above, an ADSL t-ball game in 2010. Photo by Bill Forry

Last renovated in 1998, the fields at Fields Corner’s Doherty Gibson Park — more commonly called Town Field— will get a $275,000 facelift starting this summer, along with a public art project that is still in development. Residents at a community meeting held last Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Cleveland Community Center gave their input with some saying that the park’s current condition is an embarrassment.

Among the issues the renovations will hope to address are drainage, fence repair, repair to the batting cages. The playground will not be included in the renovation, said Allison Perlman, project manager for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.  Read more

Five compete for Uphams art display commission

By 
Jordan Frias, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 16, 2014

An 18-month partnership between the Boston Foundation, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and several community-based partnerships has led to a public art installation competition in Uphams Corner.

The Uphams Corner Art Commission project drew 29 applicants from across the nation, a roster that has been narrowed to five local artists, artist teams, artisans, and architects. The finalists were chosen by a panel of monthly advisor groups composed of residents, community stakeholders, and MBTA officials.  Read more

Harvard Street re-opens mental health facility on Blue Hill Avenue

A long-dormant building on Blue Hill Avenue has reopened as offices for five mental health clinicians to provide treatment for adults and children from city neighborhoods served by Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center. At a ribbon-cutting Monday at 895 Blue Hill Avenue, Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center President and Chief Executive Officer Charley Murphy said the clinicians will help to complete the medical and dental services currently provided to about 8,000 patients a year by the center.  Read more

Former House Speaker, Attorney General Robert H. Quinn dead at 85

Robert H. QuinnRobert H. Quinn

Robert H. Quinn, a Savin Hill native who recovered from a life and death bout with tuberculosis as a young man to became one of the Commonwealth’s most powerful political leaders of his generation, died on Sunday morning after being stricken at his home in Falmouth.

Mr. Quinn, 85, was a state representative from Ward 13 who became speaker of the Massachusetts House and, later, state attorney general. He was a pivotal figure in bringing the University of Massachusetts to its present home on Dorchester’s Columbia Point in the 1970s.

He will lie in repose today from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Margaret Church at Blessed Mother Teresa Parish on Columbia Road. His funeral Mass will be said tomorrow at 10 a.m. at St. Margaret’s with interment to follow at Cataumet Cemetery on Cape Cod.  Read more

If Henriquez seat opens up, state official says she'll take a look

NOTE: A correction has been appended to this story.

As convicted state Rep. Carlos Henriquez faces pressure from the governor and mayor to resign, a state official is mulling a run for his seat.

Karen Charles, currently the chief of staff to the state Department of Telecommunications and Cable, is a Dorchester Democrat and lives on Meetinghouse Hill. She previously served as chief of staff at the MBTA. She has also worked in the late Councillor Bruce Bolling's office.

"For me, it's about serving my community," she said.  Read more

‘Oh, Yo-Yo Ma, the pipes, the pipes are calling…’

The famed cellist Yo Yo-Ma performed at the inauguration of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Jan. 6 at Boston College’s Conte Forum. From left: Johnny Walsh, Mary Walsh, Mayor Walsh, Lorrie Higgins, Yo-Yo Ma, and Rev. Ray Hammond. Photo by Chris Lovett

One of the more memorable moments of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s inauguration ceremony at Boston College’s Conte Forum on Jan. 6 occurred during a musical interlude featuring Yo-Yo Ma, the 59-year-old Chinese American cellist who lives in Cambridge. Many in the audience anticipated that Ma might seek to tickle the mayor-elect’s Irish heartstrings, given that the official program book promised a “traditional Irish melody” as part of his medley, which also included George Crumb’s Toccata and Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3.

As he took the stage, more than a few boyos in the forum were elbowing each other with wisecracks of the “Yeah, Marty’s a huge Yo-Yo Ma fan” variety. But, when Ma eased into his interpretation of the mournful ballad “Danny Boy” — the smart talk ceased and the deep breaths began.  Read more

Decision on proposed upscale wine and cheese shop for Savin Hill could come Thursday

The Boston Licensing Board could vote Thursday whether to let a shuttered Vietnamese market on Dorchester Avenue be turned into an upscale shop selling everything a young professional could need for a dinner party - from wine and gourmet cheeses to self-service olive oil and home-made peanut butter.  Read more

DeLeo, Patrick and Walsh: Henriquez should resign

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jan. 15, 2014

Rep. Carlos Henriquez

Update (4:30 p.m.): In separate statements, Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Martin J. Walsh have both called upon Rep. Henriquez to resign. Walsh said: "A jury has convicted Rep. Henriquez and a judge has sentenced him to serve jail time. In light of this, I would encourage Rep. Henriquez to resign, in the best interests of the constituents he represents."

Following the conviction Wednesday of Rep. Carlos Henriquez on charges of assault and battery against a woman he had been dating, House Speaker Robert DeLeo urged the Dorchester Democrat to “weigh very, very heavily” the option of resigning his seat or face a House Ethics Committee investigation.  Read more

Henriquez's position at State House unclear following conviction

By 
Michael P. Norton, State House News Service
Jan. 15, 2014

House members who arrived on Beacon Hill Wednesday for their first substantive session of 2014 were distracted first by a political meeting at a nearby hotel and then by the news that one of their colleagues was led away from a Medford courtroom in handcuffs and is headed to jail.  Read more

Rep. Henriquez sentenced to jail after conviction on two assault counts

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Jan. 15, 2014

Rep. Carlos Henriquez

Rep. Carlos Henriquez was led away in handcuffs Wednesday after being found guilty by a jury in a domestic violence case stemming from an early morning rendezvous in Arlington Heights during the summer of 2012.

Henriquez, a Dorchester Democrat in his second term, was found guilty in Cambridge District Court of two counts of assault and battery, and was acquitted on an additional count of assault and battery, witness intimidation and larceny of a SIM card.  Read more

Rep's assault trial heads to jury

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Jan. 14, 2014

As testimony wrapped in the trial of Rep. Carlos Henriquez, his accuser, 25-year-old Katherine Gonzalves, reiterated her allegation that the Dorchester Democrat attacked her in the back seat of a rental car in the early hours of July 8, 2012.

“I remember being back-handed; I remember being held down; I remember being punched; I remember being held down,” Gonzalves said in her second day on the stand. She said she entered the lawmaker’s car with no keys, no purse, no money, only her cell phone.  Read more

Alleged victim describes attack, effort to reach Rep. Henriquez

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

After making out with him in the backseat of his rental car around 3 a.m., Katherine Gonzalves broke the news to Rep. Carlos Henriquez that she couldn't go home with him, the 25-year-old recalled on the witness stand at Henriquez's criminal trial Monday.

"His demeanor just changed," Gonzalves testified. She said, "He said, 'I drove all the way out here, into Arlington.' "  Read more

Public health officials tap DotWell's COO as medical marijuana director

By 
Michael Norton, State House News Service
Jan. 13, 2014

The former chief operating officer of a Dorchester public health program will oversee the state's medical marijuana program as its executive director.

Karen van Unen was introduced Monday by the state Department of Public Health as executive director of the program, and will play a major role in the selection of marijuana dispensary licensees.  Read more

Rep. Henriquez's attorney to seek dismissal of assault case

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Jan. 10, 2014

Rep. Carlos Henriquez is seeking a dismissal or finding of not guilty in his assault and battery criminal case after a previously undisclosed police report turned up during cross-examination in the trial Thursday.

Judge Michele Hogan met with Henriquez’s attorney and prosecutors Friday morning, saying the hearing’s purpose “is to make sure this defendant gets a fair and impartial trial.”  Read more

Rep. Henriquez trial breaks after detective offers surprise report

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Jan. 9, 2014

The trial of Rep. Carlos Henriquez took a recess Thursday afternoon after an Arlington Police detective produced a report that neither the defense nor the prosecution said they have seen and that his attorney said could jeopardize his right to a fair trial.

“It’s significant, I would say,” defense attorney Stephanie Soriano-Mills told Judge Michele Hogan after the jury was sent out of the courtroom around 2:45 p.m.  Read more

Walsh makes three more interim appointments, including Dot native Holmes as info chief

Justin Holmes

A top aide to Mayor Marty Walsh on Thursday afternoon announced three additional appointments. In an email to City Hall workers, Walsh chief of staff Daniel Koh thanked them for their patience and said he would keep them informed about new hires and promotions.

According to the email, which was obtained by the Reporter, Justin Holmes, a Dorchester native, is the interim chief information officer. Holmes, who served as chief of staff to Maureen Feeney when she was the City Council president, was director of constituent engagement under Mayor Thomas Menino.  Read more

Eyes turn to seat Walsh left behind

As Marty Walsh settles into the concrete confines of City Hall, the Dorchester-based House seat that he resigned from last Friday is attracting the attention of several attorneys and activists.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: A busy time for the new guy, filling all the important seats

Mayor Walsh rolled out cabinet level appointments on Tuesday. Photo: State House News Service

Joyce Linehan, the owner of a public relations business based out of her home in Lower Mills, was adamant in the days after the mayoral election: After spending most of 2013 on the campaign trail with Marty Walsh, working on policy matters and playing the part of close confidant, she wasn’t going to work at City Hall.

On Tuesday, she was inside the Eagle Room, off of the mayoral suite, standing next to five other hires and behind the man she helped elect. “I know what I said,” she stated in a blog post later in the day, explaining that she was taking the job of chief of policy.  Read more

Meeting on ‘Lucky Strike’ site next week

A proposal to build 22 units at the site of a former Fields Corner bowling alley will get a public airing next Wednesday, Jan. 15. The Boston Redevelopment Authority, which is reviewing the project, is holding the meeting, scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. at Kit Clark Senior Services at 1500 Dorchester Ave.  Read more

Another Walsh from Savin Hill honored by BC High

Robert Walsh, president of the RF Walsh Co and Vice chairman of the BC High Board of Trustees, has received the prestigious Paul J. Hunter ‘53 Man for Others award. Every year Boston College High honors one man for his outstanding service to the school and to others. The award was presented at The Hall of Fame dinner at the Hunter-Fahey Commons on November 26.  Read more