News

Locals seek say in St. Kevin's fate

The former St. Kevin's School on Columbia Road, now listed for sale by the Archdiocese: Photo by Pete Stidman.The former St. Kevin's School on Columbia Road, now listed for sale by the Archdiocese: Photo by Pete Stidman.The former site of St. Kevin's Parish on Columbia Road is officially on the real estate market, and local civic and business groups are taking steps to make sure their voices are heard before any transaction happens.

The future of the 2.23-acre Uphams Corner property - which was closed last summer to create the Pope John Paul II academy at five other campuses - will be the subject of three community meetings this spring. The first is set for tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Cape Verdean Adult Day Care Center on Hancock Street. Although the upcoming meetings are not sanctioned by the Archdiocese, one of the chief organizers said that church officials have been receptive.  Read more

Lawmakers weigh gas tax proposal

Amid all the hubbub in the Commonwealth over Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed 19-cent hike in the gas tax - with some business organizations calling for a 25-cent raise, state senators calling for reforms first, revenue later, and other legislators calling for less, less, less - local transit advocates are calling for more, more, more for the state's public transportation. Meanwhile, most local lawmakers are leaning toward a smaller tax increase.  Read more

Shooter gets lengthy term for Levin crossfire death

A Dorchester man will serve 27 1/2 to 30 years in prison for the crossfire killing of a visiting Kentucky woman in March 2007. A judge last Friday sentenced Casimiro Barros to the maximum after he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the death of 22-year-old Chiara Levin.

Prosecutors say Barros, 22, and Manuel Andrade, 35, were shooting at each other on Geneva Ave. when a stray bullet hit Levin in the head. She and friends had gone to a party with Andrade after meeting him in a nightclub.  Read more

Dot's Holmes moves to Convention Center job

Dorchester native Justin Holmes, who has had a high profile in City Councillor Maureen Feeney's office during her recent two-year stint as Council President, has taken a new job as director of government relations for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority under director James Rooney.

"He certainly made my presidency a much more positive experience because of his extensive capabilities," said Feeney this week. "I'm just so happy for him. The fact that there were people vying for him in this economy really speaks volumes."  Read more

So far, UMass build-out not impacted by money crunch

Facing a deficit totaling millions of dollars, UMass-Boston is forging ahead with plans to expand its Columbia Point campus, including a science complex, dorms and garages.

UMass officials say that despite the weak economy and state budget cuts, they remain on track to break ground on their own science building in autumn 2010. The 250,000-square foot "integrated science complex" is expected to open at the end of 2013.  Read more

Dot bicyclist to join Mass. Ave. reconstruction lawsuit; case may set precedent for bicyclists' rights in the state

At least one member of DotBike has stood up to be counted among the plaintiffs suing the City of Boston and the state for allegedly not doing everything possible to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists in a reconstruction of a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue from Albany Street to Westland Avenue, and more DotBikers may follow.  Read more

Eagles still working to appeal sanctions after Disney fight

It has become a waiting game for the Dorchester Eagles. The football and cheerleading program is waiting for the national Pop Warner board to come back with a decision that could decide the fate of the neighborhood's pigskin future.

The Eagles are also waiting for the Osecola County Sheriff's Department in Florida to process charges being pressed against a Cranston, R.I. coach who allegedly took part in a brawl with an Eagles player at Disneyworld last year.  Read more

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