News

State making hard push for okay on 28X line plan

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 30, 2009

The state Executive Office of Transportation (EOT), clearly trying to push along to approval its 28X dedicated line up Blue Hill Avenue from Mattapan, held yet another community gathering on Monday concerning the proposal, this time with plenty of visual aids to illustrate the plan for guests.  Read more

Mayoral candidates cry foul over proposed meals tax increase

By 
Gintautas Dumcius and Mike Deehan, Reporter Staff
Jul. 30, 2009

Mayor Thomas Menino is calling for higher lodging and meals taxes this week with a proposal submitted to the Boston City Council, ensuring a tax vote for the 13-member panel in a municipal election year.

If the proposal is passed, it would take effect on October 1.

The mayor told the State House News Service that he didn’t plan to earmark the anticipated revenues on particular spending areas, but noted the monies could pay for police forces presently funded by a “competitive” federal grant.  Read more

Dot Beach Festival is on tap

A group of Boston-area residents took to the Dorchester coastline this week – not to watch the sailboats from the Savin Hill Yacht Club or to view the sunset from Malibu Beach – but to get their hands dirty in preparation for a celebration the likes of which the neighborhood sees only once a year.  Read more

Fore! JP II Park hosts disc golf play

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 30, 2009

A modern take on an old sport – disc golf – may soon be coming to Dorchester. For some two years now, Nathan Robbins and Rob McArthur of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) have been working to build a disc golf course at Pope John Paul II Park.

“It’s a great recreational opportunity for all ages, it’s affordable, and you can play it anywhere in the country, at any time.” said Robbins, who plays the game himself, at the second of three demonstration days at PJP II Park last Saturday.  Read more

Yoon, Menino aides clash in Mattapan

Campaign trail tensions erupted when top officials from Mayor Thomas Menino's administration this week crashed a Mattapan forum hosted by mayoral hopeful and City Councillor At-Large Sam Yoon.  Read more

Sounds of renewal on Dudley Street

The communities of Dorchester and Roxbury came together Monday for the groundbreaking of a new community center that neighborhood residents and city officials hope will be a hub of services for the two populations, providing recreation and educational opportunities for a large cross-section of the local community.  Read more

Murder rate falls in city; cause debated

If homicides have decreased in Boston over the past few months because of the weather, that would hardly account for the fatal shooting of Soheil Turner.

The 15-year-old student was shot on May 7, a rainy morning, outside a convenience store on Dudley Street. According to investigators, the killer, who was wearing dark sunglasses, was equipped with a .380 semi-automatic handgun and an umbrella.  Read more

Girl hit by stray bullet in her own home

Boston Police say the 12-year-old was injured during an apparent barrage of bullets outside her Whitman Street home around 8:30 p.m. on Monday.  Read more

No charges against cops who fatally shot rampaging man with what seemed to be a real gun

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office said today that Boston Police officers acted properly and lawfully when they brought down a Dorchester man apparently hellbent on dying after an argument with his wife in November, 2007.  Read more

Dorchester District Court briefly evacuated after bomb threat

Employees at Dorchester District Court walked into the pouring rain this morning after somebody called in a bomb threat, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, which reports a number of its workers stayed at their desks during the incident.

Second man charged for Mattapan murder

Abiona Justice Sharpe, 20, of Revere, was arrested in New Jersey this week on charges he helped murder a man standing on the sidewalk at 23 Wilcock St. on May 13, according to Boston Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.  Read more

City Council weighs need to re-draw precinct lines

Officials in City Hall are weighing a redraft of Boston’s district precinct lines, saying a do-over is long overdue. Under state law, each precinct must be capped at 4,000 residents, and cities and towns are required to equalize the precincts every ten years, after the federal census is completed.

But Boston is exempt from the law, and last time the city undertook an overhaul of its precincts was in the 1920s. City officials say with population growth and shifts, an imbalance has been created. The imbalance has led to some precincts in which people have waited in long lines to vote.  Read more

Bowdoin St. garage permit gets legal examination

The on-going controversy over a permit granted to a Bowdoin St. auto shop reached a new level of bureaucratic entanglement Tuesday afternoon when the City’s Zoning Board of Appeal declined to rule on a permit issued by the Inspectional Services Department that allows the shop to legally operate as a repair shop.

The Board of Appeal voted to move the issue to the City’s Legal department in order to closer examine the legality of the permit and the shop’s operations.  Read more

Introducing Studio 916 on Dot Ave., one man’s gift to the arts locally

Fifteen hundred square feet may seem like an ample amount of floor space, until you hear all that William Harris wants to do with it. Harris, who spent the first 28 years of his life living on Grant Street, has returned to his Columbia stomping grounds to open a brand- new gallery and arts center.

“I’m putting my heart, my soul, and my wallet behind this project,” says Harris, who has been repeatedly warned not to expect much of a return, monetarily at least, on his investment.  Read more

Fed $, elections help push charter school

When Boston School officials tried to save money this year by cutting costs in student transportation, they met with strong resistance from parents who put more hopes in choice, even with the need for a bus ride.  Read more

Big changes ahead at St. Peter’s

The St. Peter’s Convent has been for sale for several years.The St. Peter’s Convent has been for sale for several years.
A community meeting to discuss new educational programs headed to Dorchester turned into a forum over the future of St. Peter’s Church last Wednesday night, July 15 as parishioners and community activists believe the moves could be are precursors to the eventual closure of the parish church.

“We’re here to stay,” at St. Peter’s Church, parish administrator Fr. Jack Ahern told the Reporter last week. The Boston Archdiocese recently began renovations of the church basement, which Ahern says is an investment on the part of Cardinal O’Malley in the parish and the Bowdoin St. neighborhood. “I’m not going to spend close to $200,000 putting bathrooms and elevators in the lower church because we want to close it next year,” Ahern said.  Read more

Aggressive push to sell Blue Hill Ave proposal

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 23, 2009

AloisiTransportation Secretary James Aloisi had his Charlie Card at the ready as he boarded the 28 bus in Mattapan Square on Wednesday morning. The main bus route from Mattapan to Roxbury had one more commuter than usual Wednesday morning as state Secretary of Transportation James Aloisi Jr. rode the Rt. 28 bus and spoke with riders about controversial changes he has planned for the Blue Hill Ave. corridor.

Accompanied by state senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Aloisi ate breakfast at Brother's Café in Mattapan Square before hopping on the bus for the ride to the Dudley Square Silverline station. “I don’t think people have paid attention to this neighborhood for a long time, so people are a bit skeptical, when we come in with this big idea,” Aloisi said.  Read more

Bayside Expo Center sets stage for return

The new owners of Bayside Exposition Center have hired a Virginia-based firm to book and manage shows and other events at the largely dormant venue on the Columbia Point waterfront. The Ballantine Managament Group, owned by a man who once worked as Bayside’s executive director, has begun booking consumer shows — including September’s Boston Home Show.  Read more

Local church preaches and prays a little differently

Most Dorchester residents don’t necessarily equate prayer with free fruit beverages, but at least one local house of worship is thinking outside the box and beyond the altar to take their message to the streets in unorthodox ways.  Read more

Menino makes pitch for more charter schools

Mayor Thomas Menino’s proposal to convert city schools labeled underperforming into “in-district” charter schools would be a boon to Dorchester and Mattapan, city and business officials said this week.  Read more

Police: Sudan Street residents chase down, capture burglar

Boston Police report a Sudan Street resident awoken by a loud noise early Tuesday morning went downstairs to find a man standing there.  Read more

Mt Washington Bank Acquired by East Boston Savings Bank

Mt. Washington Cooperative Bank has been acquired by Meridian Interstate Bancorp, Inc., a holding company which owns East Boston Savings Bank, the Reporter has learned. Under terms of the purchase, the two banks will retain their identities, with Mt. Washington becoming an operating division of Meridian Interstate headed by Edward J. Merritt, current Mt Washington President and CEO.  Read more

Police: Dorchester teen in Roxbury bar before he opened fire

Boston Police officials told the Boston Licensing Board today that Charkeem Hyatt, 19, of Dorchester, was in Packy Connor's Pub on Blue Hill Avenue before a disagreement spilled outside and he opened fire, shooting another man and three women who got in his way.

The board today reinstated the bar's license following an emergency suspension - but ordered the bar to close at midnight, instead of 2 a.m. Two of the board's three members said they would consider sterner action if the hear testimony from witnesses that Hyatt was in the bard early Friday.  Read more

Dorchester teen charged in incident that left four shot outside troubled Roxbury bar

Boston police report arresting Charkeem Hyatt, 19, of Dorchester, following a shooting spree outside Packy Connor's Pub on Blue Hill Avenue early this morning that ended, police say, with officers and Hyatt exchanging gunfire.  Read more

Ten free events to fill out your summer calendar

Classic park, classical music: The Boston Landmarks Orchestra returns to Dorchester Park for a free concert on Sunday, Aug. 9.Classic park, classical music: The Boston Landmarks Orchestra returns to Dorchester Park for a free concert on Sunday, Aug. 9.You say the summer doldrums have got you down? Cheer up now: There’s plenty of fun to be had in the neighborhoods this month and next, especially now that monsoon season seems to have passed. And as the late, great John Belushi might have said: “It don’t cost nothing.” Here’s a sampler of free, outdoor events that will fill out your summer calendar. Tell ‘em the Reporter sent you.  Read more