House fire on St. Margaret's Street causes heavy damage

Adam Pieniazek, Special to the Reporter
Apr. 25, 2009

St. Margaret Street Fire: One firefighter was injured in the Saturday blaze. Above, firefighters work on the roof of 39 St. Margaret St. Photo by Adam PieniazekSt. Margaret Street Fire: One firefighter was injured in the Saturday blaze. Above, firefighters work on the roof of 39 St. Margaret St. Photo by Adam Pieniazek

A two-alarm fire caused $350,000 in damages and brought at least eleven fire trucks and over fifteen additional emergency response vehicles to 39 Saint Margaret Street this morning. The Boston Fire Department received a call at 11:13 a.m. for a house fire at the owner occupied three decker. The first floor of the Dorchester household was unoccupied, with the second floor occupied by the owner and the owner's children lived on the third floor. All of the residents escaped injury, but a firefighter was hurt in a fall inside the dwelling.  Read more

Citywide clean-ups planned for today

A flurry of neighborhood clean-ups are happening across the city today. The event —dubbed Boston Shines and coordinated by Mayor Menino’s office — will target parks, sidewalks and other public spaces. Anyone can turn out for the morning activities— which start at 9 a.m.  Read more

Globe backers on NY Times: 'Shame on them'

Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Apr. 24, 2009

Supporters of the Boston Globe and its hundreds of workers in and outside of the newsroom angrily denounced the New York Times Company on Friday and warned that the Globe's demise would disemploy hundreds of people at a time of recession.  Read more

Busing's future on the line in May meetings

For the second time in five years, Boston parents will have a chance to speak out on how to change the student assignment plan for the Boston Public Schools. But the series of five community meetings next month takes place amid dramatic changes in everything from enrollment size and the school budget to the mix of students and the definition of quality education.  Read more

Mike Durant carries on rugby tradition

Mike Durant: Savin Hill resident and BC High junior plays on USA's under 17 rugby team.Mike Durant: Savin Hill resident and BC High junior plays on USA's under 17 rugby team.Mike Durant’s got a healthy dose of rugby in his blood. His grandfather — the legendary Dr.  Read more

Dot's Pressley joins race for at-large council

Ayanna Pressley: Candidate for city council at large.Ayanna Pressley: Candidate for city council at large.It's the "Obama effect", say many political observers, and Boston is not immune. Out of 18 individuals now indicating their intent to run for council at-large, 11 are people of color, likely setting a record for the city.

And the stage is set for another first as Sen. John Kerry's political director Ayanna Pressley is planning to apply for her nomination papers today, according to those close to her campaign.  Read more

Viet-AID project, altered, up for approval again

The plan to build on a long-vacant lot at Bloomfield Street and Geneva Avenue is up for neighborhood approval again, in a meeting that was originally scheduled for tonight but has been rescheduled for May 7.

Matt Thall, interim director of the non-profit developer Viet-AID has been meeting with abutters and community groups over the past months, trying to come up with a plan that appeases all. No easy task when some residents seem opposed to any development of any kind on the site and others have a desire to see more than the plan entails.  Read more

Heroes growing on trees in Dot?

It could be the high population of firefighters living in the neighborhood, spreading their bravery like osmosis, or maybe just a local sensitivity to smoke in the air, but here’s another story of neighbors helping out in times of conflagration.

At around 7 p.m. on Sunday, Therese Clougherty called in a fire at 5 Whitten St. after her boyfriend spotted smoke while outside having a cigarette. As she dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone, Clougherty said, she spotted someone in trouble.  Read more

Earth will be awakened for Boston Shines on Saturday

Chief Kenny Black Elk, aka Kenneth Barber, and the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition are planning an “Earth Awakening” at Geneva Cliffs this weekend.

“We give thanks to the earth, thanks to the moon and of course we give thanks to the creator,” said Barber. “We do a tobacco ceremony and after we dance and rejoice.”  Read more

Plan to determine future of empty lots

The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Department of Neighborhood Development have teamed up to study the potential futures of dozens of vacant lots in Four Corners, Codman Square and Bowdoin-Geneva. The first of the design charrettes, for the Codman area, is scheduled for next Tuesday.  Read more

Orchestra helps young people discover classical music

Last year, the youth-friendly Discovery Ensemble chamber orchestra’s introductory workshops to classical music and free concerts in Dorchester were so enthusiastically received that the group will be welcomed back for new programming here next week.

 “We are passionate about helping kids connect with and love classical music,” exclaims Belfast, Northern Ireland-born Courtney Lewis, founder and music director of the ensemble that consists of 40 young professional musicians.  Read more

Advocates say House budget will decimate local programs

Lew Finfer did not mince words. Hours after House leaders released their version of the fiscal 2010 budget last week, he blasted out to his network an e-mail titled, “Public Safety and Youth Programs DEMOLISHED by House Ways and Means budget proposal.”  Read more

St. Brendan's mourns loss of pastor

Fr. James Fratus: The well-loved pastor at St. Brendan's parish passed away after a battle with cancer on April 8, 2009.Fr. James Fratus: The well-loved pastor at St. Brendan's parish passed away after a battle with cancer on April 8, 2009.They knew he was ill. The cancer — diagnosed last fall — was a serious threat, but one that Father James Fratus seemed to tackle with the same solemn optimism that characterized his parish leadership.

Never did the faithful of St. Brendan’s believe that the man who’d led the parish for the last eight years would leave them so soon. On April 8 — at age 58 — Fr. Fratus died, prompting a period of mourning in this close-knit Catholic community along the Neponset River that continues this week.  Read more

Ten try for mayoral ballot, Menino jumps in

It isn’t everyone who just ups and decides to run for mayor. But then again maybe it’s trending that way. Outside of the challengers we know by now—contractor Kevin McCrea and councillors Sam Yoon and Michael Flaherty—there are six others who pulled papers for the job when the window at the city’s election department opened up last week, making a total of nine. Incumbent Mayor Tom Menino’s announcement yesterday makes it 10.  Read more

Menino to make it official, seek fifth term as mayor

Mayor Tom Menino will announce his intention to seek re-election this year to a record fifth-term as Mayor of Boston this evening at three events in Boston, Roxbury and Roslindale.  Read more

Help clean-up the neighborhoods on Saturday

A flurry of neighborhood clean-ups are planned for Saturday, April 25 — dubbed Boston Shines day in the city. The event — coordinated by Mayor Menino’s office — will target parks, sidewalks and other public spaces. Anyone can turn out for the morning activities— which generally start at 9 a.m.  Read more

Yoon and Tobin to hold emergency pre-school hearing

As parents all over the city fret over the future of 10 preschool and after-school programs that are set to lose city funding for their staff, City Councillors Sam Yoon and John Tobin are holding a last-minute hearing to determine once and for all if they really will be able to survive, as the Menino administration contends.  Read more

‘Good citizen’ aids cops in mugging arrests

Three juveniles were arrested Monday evening after they allegedly beat a man near the JFK-UMass MBTA station. The Boston Police bicycle unit, returning from duty at the Boston Marathon, made the arrests- with a major assist from a helpful witness who tracked the suspects as they attempted to make their escape.  Read more

Police probe death of man on Hilltop Street

Boston Police detectives probing the death of a 46 year-old man, who was found outside a home on Hilltop Street on Tuesday morning, do not believe that foul play was involved.
Elaine Driscoll, a spokesperson for the BPD, tells the Reporter that police believe that the man died after a fall that caused trauma to his head. Driscoll says that homicide detectives will stay on the case at least until the Medical Examiner's office issues a report. The identity of the victim has not been released.

T board members call capital plan unrealistic

Jim O'Sullivan
Apr. 19, 2009

The MBTA Board, facing fare hikes and possible service cuts, postponed a vote Monday that would have authorized the agency’s five-year, $3.68 billion plan for capital improvements, after members voiced concern about borrowing an additional $1 billion to finance the program. 

MBTA Board chair James Aloisi said the plan was not a commitment to the borrowing and spending it prescribed.  Aloisi, Gov. Deval Patrick’s top transportation aide, said he planned to schedule a special meeting when the board will determine its course on capital spending.
   Read more

New fruit orchard planned at historic farm

Pete Stidman
Apr. 19, 2009

After years of resting on their laurels, or more particularly—maintaining the raspberry bushes, cherry trees and grape vines that they planted in nooks and crannies all over the city prior to 2000—Earthworks Boston is again in the business of planting brand new orchards, including at least one in Dorchester.  Read more

Council hearing eyes potential reforms to campaign finance

Spurred on by recent corruption scandals here and in states across the country, City Councillor at-Large Sam Yoon pressed a little-discussed issue in Boston city politics in a city council hearing last Thursday: campaign finance reform.  Read more

Firefighters give Flaherty the official nod

City Councillor Michael Flaherty has picked up the official endorsement of the city's firefighters union, Local 718. The campaign made the announcement on Friday afternoon, a day after Flaherty rolled out four other union endorsements. A public endorsement event will be held on May 9th at Firefighters Family Day in Neponset's Pope John Paul II Park.  Read more

Superior Officers union endorses Flaherty bid

Apr. 17, 2009

Before Mayor Thomas Menino has even announced his intentions to run for mayor or not, challenger Michael Flaherty, a City Councillor, has received the endorsement from the top echelons of the Boston Police Department.  Read more