News

Yoon launches bid, calls Menino's style 'outmoded'

As about 200 supporters chowed down on Singapore rice noodles and boneless spare ribs, City Councillor At-Large Sam Yoon formally kicked off his mayoral run Tuesday night.

In his speech to supporters, Yoon made little mention of the 15-year incumbent, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, instead charging that the power in city politics has been concentrated in the hands of the "chosen few." He pledged to "change Boston politics forever."  Read more

She says 'soul' helps leaders in crisis

Margaret BenefielMargaret BenefielThe lessons of the still-unraveling economic crash will likely take economists and social scientists years to deconstruct. Dorchester's Margaret Benefiel, however, thinks the root cause can be summed up rather simply: Short-sighted, selfish greed. In a word, soullessness.  Read more

Condominium sales way up as prices plummet

For most of Boston, the chill in the housing market has meant a more glacial turnover, especially for condominiums. But in Dorchester's condo market, figures from the Warren Group show a blizzard of sales accompanied by a steep plunge in the median price.

By comparison with the same month for the previous year, the Warren Group reports condo sales in Dorchester this January were up by 45.8 percent, while the median price was down by 69.3 percent. That was the largest drop in median price for any part of Boston with more than a half dozen transactions.  Read more

Help find Belle the lost dog!

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge

UPDATE: Belle has been found and returned safely! Thank you Dorchester!

20 lbs, mini beagle, collar with tags, last wearing brown/grey dog coat.

Lost 03/02/09 10a.m. Whitmore Ter/Glendale St./Hancock St. Do not chase - please call about any sightings with time and location! Call Brian at the Animal Rescue League Boston at 617-594-2519.

New busing proposal leaves Dorchester short

After a School Committee review of a controversial proposal to create a five-zone busing plan for Boston Public Schools rather than the current three-zone one, the only certainty is the need for further changes.

Preliminary analysis based on each school's No Child Left Behind status showed a higher percentage of schools in need of academic improvement in zones that would have included Dorchester and Roxbury, thus limiting strong schools to choose from.  Read more

'Unsung hereos' share spotlight

Two honored as Dorchester Neighborhood Fellows: Desire runs Dorchester's Association of Haitian Women in Boston, while Grey is a Dorchester resident who directs the city's trauma response unit. Photo courtesy TPITwo honored as Dorchester Neighborhood Fellows: Photo courtesy TPI

Two neighborhood people were hailed as "social entrepreneurs" in an awards banquet held on Monday evening in the South End. Courtney Grey, a Dorchester resident who directs the city's trauma response efforts, and Haitian-American activist Carline Desire each received $30,000 prizes as part of the recognition from The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), which hosted the 19th annual Neighborhood Fellows event.  Read more

Some new relief is in the offing as Americans file 2008 taxes

By 
Carole Feldman, Associated Press
Mar. 5, 2009

If you're a first-time home buyer, victim of a natural disaster, or if you installed a small wind turbine in your backyard to generate electricity, you could find some tax relief when you file your 2008 return.

There also are new incentives to save for retirement, and some popular tax breaks have been renewed.

Start filling out your taxes, in fact, and you might find, "The IRS really gives me an opportunity to save some money this year,'' said Jeff Schnepper, MSN tax expert and author of books on taxes and finance.  Read more

Shopping promotion gets Uphams Corner man moving

Troy Crawford, above, who lives and works in the area, won a new iPod Touch through the Uphams Corner Main Streets promotion. Photo courtesy UCMS.  Read more

Brothers drop new anchor in Uphams Corner

Butcher Ramón Perez shows off some choice cuts at Brother's Supermarket in Uphams Corner.: Photo by Pete Stidman. Click to enlargeButcher Ramón Perez shows off some choice cuts at Brother's Supermarket in Uphams Corner.: Photo by Pete Stidman. Click to enlargeThere are benefits to having a large family. One of them, it seems, is a set of natural partners in the business world.

That is definitely the case for the Fernandez brothers, who just opened their second Brother's Supermarket on Dudley Street in Uphams Corner last month. The six brothers each have a role in managing or working at one or more of their three liquor stores and two groceries in Roxbury and Dorchester.  Read more

Sam Yoon makes it official

Calls for an elected school committee, and notes that Boston's three favorite pastimes are sports, politics and revenge.

Dorchester Youth Hockey's Mite A are winners

Dorchester Youth Hockey's Mite A team defeated Hyde Park last weekend to win the District 1 Championship. This year the Mite A team won the Mayor's Cup and the District Championships in losing only 1 game all season. Congratulations to the players Brendan T. Donovan, Aidan Burke, John. B. Driscoll, Anthony J. Juliano, Devin Kelley, Cameron S. Mannion, Donovan J. Mannion, Kevin Mannion, Jack McCarthy, Quinn M. McCarthy, John T. Murray, William Penella, and Jeremy M. Souza and their coaches Eric Donovan and Paul McCarthy. Photo courtesy DYH.

Gonzalez says he's running for at-large seat

Correction

In last week's story about City Council at-Large candidate Tomas Gonzalez, his former position with the Menino Administration was misreported. Gonzalez was Menino's Latino Liaison from 2002 to 2004, and chief of staff for the Elderly Commission from 2004 to 2007. Also, a clarification: political strategist Deborah Shah has conversations with but is not actually working for Gonzalez.  Read more

Stats report takes heat from Menino rivals

Mayor Tom Menino made some of the city's performance statistics public last week with a new website, but his election-year challengers are already giving the report card a failing grade.

"It reminds me of the old Soviet Union five-year plans," said candidate Kevin McCrea, a South End businessman. "It's amazing how they always hit their target every single year until they collapsed. This isn't what an accountant would say is real financial performance data that could be evaluated in an objective manner."  Read more

Families get tax season help, financial tips in Codman Square

Tax help: Sheila McMillan of Dorchester (left) was among a group of residents who received free help Monday night in filing her federal and state taxes at the Dotwell site at 450 Washington Street in Codman Square. Pictured with her are (l-r): Doreen Treacy, Director Dotwell Civichealth Institute, and Mt Washington Bank officers Marc Lerebours, Assistant Branch Manager, and Oscar Moreno, Assistant VP and Branch Manager. Photo by Ed Forry.Tax help: Sheila McMillan of Dorchester (left) was among a group of residents who received free help Monday night in filing her federal and state taxes at the Dotwell site at 450 Washington Street in Codman Square. Pictured with her are (l-r): Doreen Treacy, Director Dotwell Civichealth Institute, and Mt Washington Bank officers Marc Lerebours, Assistant Branch Manager, and Oscar Moreno, Assistant VP and Branch Manager. Photo by Ed Forry.

Business was bustling Monday night at the new Codman Square home of the Dotwell Civic Health Institute.  Read more

As neighbors resist, plans for Blue Hill station roll on

A passel of direct abutters to the proposed Blue Hill Station on the Fairmount Line continued to oppose it at a design meeting held last Thursday, despite wide support in the surrounding neighborhood.

"We certainly don't get the kind of attention that a church in Copley Square gets," said Barbara Fields of the Woodhaven area neighborhood association. "If it is going to impact our homes like we think it will and you can't assure us otherwise, we can't support it."  Read more

Locker room improvements delayed at Neponset ice rink

When Dorchester Youth Hockey President Matt Sweeney watches his 400 young skaters hit the ice at the Devine Memorial Rink, he breathes a temporary sigh of relief. Despite any hard hits on the boards, his top safety concerns right now are the health repercussions stemming from the aging floor matting in the locker rooms.

"It's old and dirty and we don't want our kids putting their feet down on it," Sweeney said.  Read more

Alternate plan floated for bike path

Boston Natural Areas Network and DotBike are beginning a push for a new twist on a old plan for a bike path along the Dorchester coast that was abandoned in the wake of 9/11.  Read more

Little hope seen in Obama's homeowner stability plan

Those on the frontlines of the foreclosure crisis locally are saying many who struggle to make their mortgage payments in the neighborhood may not be helped by President Barack Obama's new Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, announced last week.

"There's not much to be optimistic about," said Bruce Marks of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of American (NACA).  Read more

Updated teen center re-opens at St. Peter's

Cardinal Sean O'Malley greeted young people in the newly renovated St. Peter's Teen Center: Photo courtesy Catholic Charities.Cardinal Sean O'Malley greeted young people in the newly renovated St. Peter's Teen Center: Photo courtesy Catholic Charities.

Former Celtic legend M.L. Carr stood beneath one of the new baskets. Afternoon light shined through the new windows, glistening on the hardwood at the renovated Teen Center at St. Peter's. The scent of fresh polish on the floor wafted through the gym.  Read more

Bank-owned blight builds up near Fields Corner

So far, outside of a few hotspots like Hendry Street, the blight of the foreclosure crisis in Dorchester has been restricted to the occasional boarded up house or messy lawn. But Vivian Girard of Fields Corner's Five Streets Civic Association is seeing his neighborhood edge toward a darker future and he plans to keep a finger in the dyke that holds it back.

Walking around with Girard on Five Streets' turf - which includes Charles, Leroy, Ditson, Josephine, and Westville streets to the east of Geneva Avenue - the encroachment of decay is visible.  Read more

Arson strikes church in historic theater

Firefighters responding to a pull box alarm on Blue Hill Avenue and Columbia Road found smoke pouring out of the New Fellowship Baptist Church early on Saturday morning. Rushing to discover the source, they found a back door to the church open and fires in multiple locations inside, including the stage.

"The firefighters ruled that the fire was set," said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald. "They based that on the fact that the fire was in multiple locations… and they ruled out all the other possible causes."

The department estimated the damage at $250,000.  Read more

Two arrested for year's first homicide

Boston homicide detectives announced Tuesday the arrest of two men suspected of the Jan. 7 murder of 36-year-old Tyrone Smith on Dorchester's Stanwood Street.

Dorchester residents Trevor Mason, 21 and Daryl Pullen, 20, are expected to be arraigned in Dorchester District Court this week in the shooting of Smith, as well as a 36-year-old unnamed female who survived the attack.  Read more

A new take on Old Abe

Sebastian Louis, a junior at Codman Academy Charter Public School: Portrayed Abraham Lincoln at a President's Day ceremony held at the Massachusetts State House. Louis recited the Gettysburg Address as part of a special assembly in the House Chamber to mark Lincoln's 200th birthday. Pictured with Louis are State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Donna Glick, the education director at the Huntington Theatre. Photo courtesy Huntington Theatre Company.Sebastian Louis, a junior at Codman Academy Charter Public School: Portrayed Abraham Lincoln at a President's Day ceremony held at the Massachusetts State House. Louis recited the Gettysburg Address as part of a special assembly in the House Chamber to mark Lincoln's 200th birthday. Pictured with Louis are State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Donna Glick, the education director at the Huntington Theatre. Photo courtesy Huntington Theatre Company.

Mayor gets sneak peek at new library

Books and computer access are still the ultimate lures, but the soon-to-open Mattapan branch library rewards visitors with a public space that would be well-suited to a prestigious college campus. The Blue Hill Avenue building, which will open to the public during an official celebration on Saturday morning, got a final thumbs-up from Mayor Tom Menino, who toured it on Monday morning along with the architect, library staff and other elected officials.  Read more

State girds for infusion of billions from fed stimulus

By 
Michael Norton and Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Feb. 20, 2009

While a portion of the expected federal funds infusion should be used to shore up education and health care accounts, Massachusetts, estimated to receive over $11 billion, should focus the spending on job-creating public works projects and heed lessons learned from the Big Dig, according to the House chair of a new committee formed to oversee stimulus spending.  Read more