News

Backers say Ross has votes for council presidency

City Councillor Michael Ross will succeed Dorchester's Maureen Feeney as the president of the Boston City Council next year through a unique agreement that will make his chief opponent for the job, Councillor Steve Murphy, the body's vice-president. The arrangement was disclosed on Wednesday, hours after the Reporter's website broke the news that Ross had lined up the seven votes he needs to win the presidency.  Read more

Racially-charged start to the latest round

The latest round in the slugfest between incumbent state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson (D-Roxbury) and Democratic nominee Sonia Chang-Diaz has taken a racially-charged turn, after one high-profile Wilkerson supporter said that Chang-Diaz is not a "person of color", even though Chang-Diaz is of white, Asian and Latin descent.  Read more

Savin Hill survivor gears up for Breast Cancer walk, calls mammograms a must

The American Cancer Society will host its "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk this Sunday along Boston's Charles River. The annual fundraising event, designed to support research into the cause and cure of breast cancer, begins at 8 a.m. at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, and continues in a rolling two hour start until 10 a.m. The walk is expected to attract thousands of walkers from among cancer survivors and their families and friends.  Read more

Cape Verdean activists get organized for Team Obama

Each election cycle provides an opportunity for encouraging voter participation among immigrant communities. Many believe that with Barack Obama on the ballot, Election 2008 could be a golden ticket, rearing voting blocs across the city that 2009 mayoral contenders will have to pay heed to.

"I expect a huge participation just based on our get out the vote effort," said Denise Dabney, Dorchester for Obama organizer. Dabney said immigrants and other people of color showed an out of the ordinary enthusiasm to register - even among those who were not yet citizens.  Read more

Presidential politics enter S. Vietnamese flag day

By 
By
Oct. 1, 2008

After Saigon fell on April 30, 1975, the yellow flag with three red stripes (often flown in Dorchester's Vietnamese-American community) was forbidden on Vietnamese territory. It was the flag of the South Vietnamese, first born after France signed the Ha Long Bay Accord with Emperor Bao Dai of Vietnam in 1948.  Read more

Rental units now planned for Morton's old police station

By 
Judy Vance
Oct. 1, 2008

What will become of the crumbling brick building with the boarded windows at 872 Morton St. in Mattapan?  Prime property along a busy commercial district, directly across from a newly renovated commuter train service, sits an old Boston Police station house whose fate will ultimately be decided not only by its huge potential, strong community support for revitalization and an interested developer, but also by a downturn in the housing market.  Read more

Yoon weighs mayoral run -- in a maybe sort of way

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By
Oct. 1, 2008

Based on language on invitations printed and passed out for a fundraiser held this month in California, Boston's daily newspapers ran a story framing City Councillor Sam Yoon as a possible candidate for mayor of Boston in 2009.

Although Yoon and his new spokesperson, Curtis Ellis, were both determined to leave the possibility of a Yoon run open (and what aspiring politician would weigh down their name if it was floated anywhere as lofty?), the hullabaloo about 2009 seems based more on a slow news week than an impending reality.  Read more

Unsolved murders top agenda at St. Mark's civic meeting

By 
By
Oct. 1, 2008

The separate murders of two men on King Street in the last month-and-a-half weighed heavily on the minds of those gathered for Tuesday night's meeting of the Saint Mark's Area Civic Association.

Nicklan Rosa, 25, was shot to death in the driveway of a home he lived in at 26 King Street on the afternoon of Sept. 18. Police say that an unidentified, lone gunman targeted Rosa in what they say was likely a gang-related dispute.  Read more

Wilkerson write-in try awkward for Dems

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By
Oct. 1, 2008

As state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson cranks up her political apparatus for a write-in campaign to keep the Second Suffolk District seat she's held for 15 years, her colleagues on Beacon Hill, in City Hall and among the Dorchester delegation are largely staying on the sidelines.  Read more

Congressmen offer take on economy

Dorchester's two men in Congress - Michael Capuano in the Eighth District and Stephen F. Lynch in the Ninth - agree they want to see Wall Street help foot the bill for any government-sponsored bailout of the financial industry. Nonetheless, the men came down on opposite sides of Monday's vote on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion bailout bill.  Read more

Yawkey Fund pumps $15M into Catholic schools

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By
Oct. 1, 2008

Some eighth grade pupils were kept after school last Friday at the Neponset Avenue campus of the new Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy, but it was not for poor behavior or to clean the erasers. The students were invited to stay late to receive a group of visitors who brought welcome news for the school's future.  Read more

Smokers, stores push back on city plan

As a light drizzle stopped on late Sunday night, Liz McBride stepped out of Dbar on Dorchester Avenue to light a cigarette. According to Boston Public Health Commission it will soon be illegal to smoke in the patio of a bar. But McBride says she is smoking a legal substance. "It is an infringement of my rights, and I will continue smoking."

Cigarettes will be prohibited in areas adjacent to worksites such as patios of restaurants and bars, and loading docks, according to a new legislation proposed by Boston Public Health Commission.  Read more

Flaherty: Mayor's City Hall plans moving 'down the road'

On Monday evening, Councillor at-Large Michael Flaherty and the Boston Redevelopment Authority officials he was intent on grilling about Mayor Thomas Menino's plan to move City Hall to the South Boston waterfront were just about the only ones left in the City Council's chamber.

"This is the fifth floor?" quipped John Palmieri, head of the city's planning and development agency, after the hearing was over. "This feels like the basement."  Read more

Council hearing probes baby's shooting, EMS response

Two of Boston's elected officials this week praised police response to a Mattapan shooting that injured a baby, but pressed for more direct communication between officers and emergency response workers.

In a Tuesday hearing, Councillors Charles Yancey and Stephen Murphy questioned officials from the city's Emergency Response Services and other agencies on a June shooting on Fairlawn Avenue.

"We might have gotten trained medical personnel looking at the baby two three four minutes before they ultimately did," Murphy said.  Read more

Next stop: 21st century in Fields Corner

The new platforms at Fields Corner Station on the Red Line. Photo by Pete Stidman.  Read more

City seeks to get ahead of weather with food and fuel summit

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino this week sent out an invitation to neighborhood residents to attend a free program this weekend to help make plans for weathering the coming winter months. City officials say they organized the event as a way to get people preparing for what is likely to be a tough winter in the cost of both food and home heating fuel.

The "Food and Fuel Summit" will convene on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Madison Park High School in Roxbury, and it is designed by the city to inform residents about private and public assistance programs.  Read more

Wilkerson will run on stickers as a last resort

By 
By
Sep. 24, 2008

Stung by a 228-vote loss in the Democratic primary, state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson this week confirmed that if a recount effort fails, she will run a sticker campaign to retain her seat in the November 4th the general election.

Wilkerson lost to challenger Sonia Chang-Diaz in the September 16 primary, with Chang-Diaz receiving 50.5 percent, or 9,051 votes, to Wilkerson's 49.3 percent, or 8,823 votes. Both Wilkerson and Chang-Diaz have asked for votes in specific wards to be re-counted, a process that will take place at City Hall this Saturday.  Read more

New women-only fitness center bright spot in Codman Square

By 
By
Sep. 24, 2008

Brilliant yellow and orange walls welcome new registrants to the front desk of Healthworks in the Codman Square Health Center, a new women-only fitness center that offers more than just a workout session.

Scheduled to open in October, the club is a result of a partnership between the non-profit Healthworks Fitness Centers and Codman Square Health Center. A similar operation is already in place at St. Mary's Women and Children Center in Upham's Corner.  Read more

As economy sours, campaign to preserve income tax kicks off

Opponents of the ballot question eliminating the state income tax officially launched their campaign last week in Grove Hall, trotting out a Worcester businessman, a UMass-Boston student, a Cape Cod nurse and a Dorchester special needs teacher and saying the ballot question's passage would lead to public schools closings, roads and bridges falling into disrepair and higher taxes and fees in other areas.  Read more

A focus on raptors in Mattapan

The Boston Nature Center in Mattapan will host its annual Rappin' with Raptors festival this Saturday from 1-4 p.m. The free event brings visitors up-close and personal with live raptors. There will also be musical entertainment by the Branches Steel Orchestra, displays and artwork for sale, a "green bag" raffle, and a cookout with meat and vegetarian options. The event marks the sixth anniversary of the George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center, which is situated on the 67-acre Nature Center, just off Walk Hill Street.  Read more

Long track led to Red Line restorations

Although civic leaders had long called for action, the present transformation of Dorchester's Red Line stations dates back to well organized grassroots activism in the late 1990s. The now dormant Dorchester Allied Neighborhood Association (DANA) tapped into emerging e-mail chains to ferment an alliance of dissatisfied T-riders along the spine of the Dorchester Avenue corridor. The activists' focused lobbying kept lawmakers lazer-locked on their own efforts to push through bond money to fund the T improvements.  Read more

Numbers show a sharply divided electorate in Second Suffolk

Along with asking for a recount, the two Democratic candidates in a close race for state senate in the Second Suffolk District are bracing for the possibility of yet another rematch. At a meeting tonight with supporters at the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge in Grove Hall, Senator Dianne Wilkerson said, if the recount fails to give her the nomination, she will run as a Democratic sticker candidate in the final election November 4.  Read more

Pot decriminalization battle heats up as foes flex muscles

By 
Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Sep. 24, 2008

Opponents of a ballot question to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana showcased their political muscle last Wednesday on a day in which the two sides traded barbs over the effects of marijuana use and even campaign finance practices.

At a press conference outside the capitol, district attorneys, mayors, religious leaders, concerned parents and Patrick administration officials, one by one, blasted the question. Passing such a proposal would set off a flood of violent crime, medical problems, impaired driving and youth drug use, they argued.  Read more

Davis orders extra cops on patrol: in Neponset

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis this week told a gathering of civic leaders that he would order more police patrols to begin Tuesday in Greater Neponset, part of a beefed-up policing presence aimed at curbing what many residents say has been an uptick in violence and delinquency in that part of Dorchester.  Read more

Chang-Diaz unseats Wilkerson in Senate showdown

By 
Gintautas Dumcius and Bijoyeta Das
Sep. 17, 2008

Sonia Chang-Diaz, who prevailed in her primary challenge of incumbent State Senator Dianne Wilkerson on Tuesday, is greeted at her Jamaica Plain victory party by supporter and mentor Barbara Lee. Photo by Bijoyeta Das.

By a narrow margin, voters in the Second Suffolk district on Tuesday handed the seat of incumbent state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson to her challenger, Sonia Chang-Diaz, who is now heavily favored to win the Senate seat in November.  Read more