News

Mattapan man posed as his brother in phony car crash

Raymond DeGraca, 56, entered a guilty plea in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday for reporting a false car accident with a fake identity and lying under oath, among other charges. In October 2002, DeGraca registered his car using a Rhode Island driver's license with his own picture but using his brother's information. The following year, he falsely claimed to his insurer, the Amica Mutual Insurance Company, that his vehicle was hit by another driver.  Read more

Party defends Chuck Turner

The state's Green-Rainbow Party, of which City Councillor Chuck Turner is a member, called this week for Council President Maureen Feeney to re-instate Turner to his committee positions and accused federal prosecutors of attempting to destroy Turner's political career. In a statement, the party said the "right of [his] constituents to select their city councilor should not be revoked as a result of questionable FBI accusations and leaked snippets of video tape."  Read more

Dot artists make holiday pitch: 'Think of us when choosing your gifts'

Ekua Holmes' painting "Free" is one of the paintings that will be on exhibit at this weekend's Franklin Park art show. Image courtesy Franklin Park Coalition / Ekua Holmes

"Buy local." The slogan works for veggies, fruits, and dairy products. Why not for holiday gifts? At least that's the pitch from visual artists from Dorchester and near-by neighborhoods who make at least part of their living from sales of their work.  Read more

Teen center leader's car torched, house destroyed

Police are investigating an arson attack on this Shepton Street home last Thursday. Photo by Pete Stidman.

Paulo DeBarros was mum on Friday as he helped teens move furniture around in the newly remodeled St. Peter's Teen Center, where he is director.

"I've got other stuff to do," he said. "The police are doing their work and the fire department is trying to find out what happened."

Normally a man of few words, DeBarros spoke these while holding back emotion.  Read more

The Bears create unity at Complex

Assistant coach John Evans walks the sidelines as head coach Rich Moran, behind him, yells encouragements to his team, the Dorchester Bears, in a game against Madison Park High School at White Stadium on Friday. The Bears beat the Cards, 31-14, marking the end of a 5-5 season. Photo by Nate Leskovic

Creating unity on a football team that represents three different schools in one building has been a challenge for Dorchester Bears Coach Rich Moran.  Read more

Reporter wins four Ethnic Media awards

Reporter managing editor Bill Forry accepts an award for best feature writing from Frank Herron, director of UMass Boston's Center on Media and Society.  Read more

Neighbors gather to hail openings of Carruth Building, Wainwright Bank

Pictured at ceremonies on Saturday at The Carruth are (from left:) Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, Renie Smith of City Council President Feeney's office, Liliana Sanchez, Wainwright senior vice president, Chris Douglass of Tavolo, Patrick Lee EVP Trinity Financial, Mayor Menino, Jim Keefe President Trinity, Evelyn Friedman, Chief of Dept of Neighborhood Development and Bill Richard, president of the board of directors of St. Mark's Area Main Streets. By Bijoyeta Das.  Read more

Turner decries 'media court,' vows innocence

City Councillor Chuck Turner at City Hall on Monday. Photo by Pete Stidman

City Councillor Chuck Turner raged at City Council President Maureen Feeney and the "corporate media" in front of City Hall on Monday, berating them for trying him in a "media court."

 Read more

Mattapan's tap legend Dianne Walker wins prestigious fellowship

Mattapan's Dianne Walker goes by many names. Some call her Lady Di. Her students refer to her affectionately as Aunt Dianne. Admirers sometimes call her the "Ella Fitzgerald of Tap."

Thirty years as one of the greatest tap dancers of our time has earned her all these monikers. Last week, it also earned her a $50,000 grant as this year's recipient of the Rose Fellowship from the United States Artists Foundation.  Read more

School committee green-lights Johnson's plan

The Boston School Committee voted to shutter six schools and expand the pilot school program last week, bringing the superintendent's system-wide reorganization decision-making process to a close.

Though changes that eliminated the schools were affirmed earlier this month, an official vote on the closings was needed for procedural reasons. The closures include Dorchester's Lucy Stone, Quincy E. Dickerman, and Pauline Agassiz Shaw schools.  Read more

New medical command center named for Dot's Stephen Lawlor

The city of Boston dedicated a new, state-of-the-art command center for its EMS department last week. The Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center memorializes a Dorchester man who had a 27-year career with Boston EMS before he died of cancer in 2005.

Lawlor's family was on hand for the dedication of the command center, which is located at the Boston Public Health Commission's headquarters in Roxbury.  Read more

Walsh's name in the mix for possible Speaker's bid

By 
By
Nov. 26, 2008

There's been a King Tom. Right now there's a King Sal. Could there be a King Marty on the way?

As ethics investigations and a fight over who will be the next House speaker roil Beacon Hill, Rep. Martin Walsh's name has cropped up in news reports and within the walls of the State House as a candidate to succeed Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, a Boston Democrat.  Read more

Panel offers ideas on urban violence

Access to substance abuse treatment for all regardless of income, mandatory K-12 bullying and violence prevention programs, and aggressive steps to reduce access to illegal firearms are among the anti-urban violence recommendations released last Thursday by the governor's Anti-Crime Council.

Other recommendations include immediate steps to offer reentry supports to violent offenders, job training for individuals between 14 and 22 years old, and the establishment of ways to immediately respond to and treat children who witness violence.  Read more

New Americans get Governor's ear through advisory council

He's been here 33 years. But Dorchester's Binh Nguyen, president of the Vietnamese American Community of Massachusetts and a Vietnamese immigrant, still remembers how difficult it was to learn English, which slowed access to the opportunities that drew him to America.

State's policymakers are lending their ears to challenges that immigrants like Nguyen face. Immigrants - including refugees and those who are undocumented - are invited to a series of meetings called the New Americans Agenda.  Read more

Judge orders evaluation for suspect in bus attack

In Dorchester District Court Tuesday, Judge David Poole ordered a 20-day mental evaluation for 32-year-old Steven Phillips, who allegedly flashed two teenage girls on the Route 23 MBTA bus just before 3 p.m. on Monday, and then stabbed them both. Phillips will be sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for the evaluation, on a recommendation by the court's clinician.  Read more

Odor facility clouds future of Bayside project

A long simmering disagreement over an odor control facility planned for Columbia Point - next to the future site of Corcoran Jennison Companies' gigantic "Bayside on the Point" developmen - became a slugfest this week when a state board voted not to alter its original design after months of backroom negotiations.  Read more

Wilkerson resigns office after official indictment

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By Michael P. Norton and Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Nov. 20, 2008

Sen. Dianne Wilkerson resigned Wednesday, after her indictment Tuesday on federal charges that she took $23,500 in bribes to take legislative action.

Wilkerson had come under heavy pressure from colleagues, who voted to ask for her resignation within days of her arrest last month.

Her resignation marks the end of a Senate career that saw her come to prominence as one of the state's few prominent African American politicians in the early 1990s, champion a string of progressive causes, and run into a long list of ethical violations and legal problems, including tax evasion.  Read more

Women considering potential bids for council seats

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By
Nov. 19, 2008

Conversations on the prospects for next year's city council race rarely fail to come to the question of gender equity. Only one female - Dorchester's own district three councillor Maureen Feeney - currently holds elected office in City Hall, though women make up over half of the city's population.

This seeming strategic advantage for one or more women in Election 2009 is finally drawing a few qualified candidates out of the woodwork.  Read more

Stats show serious crime down citywide and locally

Statistics released this week by the Boston Police Department show a slow-down in serious crime across the city, with significant reductions in our neighborhood's two main police districts, C-11 and B-3, compared to last year's figures. The good news is relative: Homicides are well up this year in C-11, where 2008 began with a flurry of gun violence that has slowed, but not ceased, in recent months.  Read more

Holiday Stroll draws hundreds to Lower Mills

The first annual Holiday Stroll of Lower Mills - held last Thursday night, Nov.13 - drew more than 300 persons into the village business district to meet with neighbors and merchants.  Read more

Walsh asks reform on ethics amid turmoil over sponsorship

By 
By
Nov. 19, 2008

House Majority Leader John Rogers, whose bid to succeed Speaker Salvatore DiMasi suffered a setback last week when rival House Ways and Mean chair Robert DeLeo gathered scores of supporters in a show of strength, has begun calling members and asking them to remain loyal to DiMasi as whispers grow louder of eroding support for the speaker.  Read more

Dot's Hockey Man at The Heights

Jimmy Hayes circles around and around on the ice. The game slows down for him as he watches. Nick Petrecki slides the puck to Carl Sneep, and then, suddenly, Hayes has it. He spins around, and it's just him and the goal. The rink goes silent; this is his shot. He takes a big stroke, and the puck hits the goalpost. There is confusion, congestion in front of the goal; the sound begins to filter in again as Hayes wonders, Did it go in?  Read more

Uphams shooting spree fatal to bystander

Remembrances at the shooting site. Photo by Pete Stidman

Neighbors say it is a "neutral street," a place where others from all parts of the surrounding neighborhood congregate to hang and drink or smoke. But that crossing of paths on Elder Street near Uphams Corner ended in tragedy during the wee hours of Sunday morning, in a shooting spree that took the life of a 19-year-old mother. Four others survived gunshot wounds in the melee.  Read more

Next great neighborhood' planned for Morrissey site

Future visions of Columbia Point crystallized further last Thursday when Synergy, the owner of a large swath of property that includes the Shaw's on Morrissey Boulevard, unveiled its vision for creating a new "main street" on the site.

Much like developer Corcoran Jennison Cos. is promoting their Bayside on the Point development on the other side of Morrissey, Synergy is touting their own project as "Dorchester's next great neighborhood."  Read more

Civic group opposes CVS plan on Dot Ave.

Almost one year after developer Tuankhan "Tony" Vu paid $5 million for a large, oddly shaped property near the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and Pleasant Street, civic groups are rejecting his early drafts for a redevelopment there.

"I feel bad for Tony Vu because I know he's in a financial crunch," said Jones Hill resident Matthew Strauss. "But it's been a lot of frustration. CVS won't budge. I guess they figure they're the only player in this… It's almost like they want to put a suburban mall on this lot."  Read more