News

NEWS ANALYSIS: Political eyes turn to mayoral, council contests

The 2008 presidential race has consumed the attention of the nation and true-blue Boston for nearly a year now, even though Barack Obama has dominated the polls locally. But the Reporter's temperamental seismograph is already picking up tremors from the election one year hence.  Read more

Wilkerson fall vexes some

On September 22, less than a week after State Senator Dianne Wilkerson had lost the Democratic primary by 213 votes, dozens of supporters turned out for her at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Grove Hall.

They came, not to bury the senator, but to praise her.

Jessenia Castillo told how the senator used her own money to protect her from a threat of violence by making it possible for her to stay at a hotel.

Also giving thanks to the senator were two relatives of Milena Del Valle, who was killed in the collapse of a ceiling panel in a connector tunnel on the Big Dig.  Read more

A main topic: Dianne Wilkerson and the damage done

At dinner tables, on the street and in church in Dorchester, discussions of state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and what it means for black politics are running apace with those about the first African-American president this country has ever seen.  Read more

Crossing guard dies from injuries

A Dorchester crossing guard who was run down on a Meetinghouse Hill street died last week. Marie Conley, 58, was hit by a car on the morning of Oct. 21 at the intersection of Parish and Winter streets, just steps from the Mather School. Mrs. Conley, a mother of four, was buried from St. Ann Church in Neponset on Monday. She was laid to rest at New Calvary Cemetery.  Read more

Huge turnout fuels romp for Obama-Biden

Boston politicians of an earlier generation - confident of their election day prowess and popular support - used to brag that City Hall workers would have to "weigh their votes" rather than just count 'em.  Read more

Obama's victory sparks jubilation in the bars, on the streets

Patrons at the Breezeway Bar and Grille on Blue Hill Ave. react to the news of Barack Obama's election on Tuesday night. Photo by Pete Stidman

His campaign went on for 21 months, the American people sat through over a year of primary and presidential campaigning, and opinion polls predicted a landslide. Yet no one dared believe it was true until the moment Florida flickered blue on TV screens everywhere, and when it became a fact it was overwhelming.  Read more

Political eyes turn to mayoral, council contests

The 2008 presidential race has consumed the attention of the nation and true-blue Boston for nearly a year now, even though Barack Obama has dominated the polls locally. But the Reporter's temperamental seismograph is already picking up tremors from the election one year hence.  Read more

Andelman to be honored with service award

By 
By
Nov. 5, 2008

A veteran Dorchester activist will be honored for her work to protect public health this week.  The Massachusetts Public Health Association is presenting Davida Andelman with its 2008 Public Service Award at the organization's annual meeting tomorrow.

 The award recognizes Andelman for her "outstanding commitment and dedicated leadership on behalf of public health, environmental justice and social equality in Dorchester and Massachusetts," according to Valerie Bassett, MPHA's Executive Director.  Read more

Lena Park cutting programs, may close headquarters

To help cut costs in a worsening economy, Lena Park Community Development Corporation (CDC) told parents last week that it will eliminate its popular daycare and after school programs at its building on American Legion Highway. Asked if the rest of the building might close, interim director Ronald Jones said it hasn't been decided yet, but he didn't rule it out.

In a phone interview Monday, Jones cited rising energy and maintenance costs on the building, rising healthcare costs and contractor's rates, and a shrinking flow of donations.  Read more

DotBike spawns imitators in city neighborhoods; Neighborhood-based groups recall bicycling heyday

Bicycling groups aren't yet endorsing candidates for public office, holding back-room meetings at City Hall or clogging the roads with bicycles, but for the first time in decades, the neighborhood-based bike group seems to be back.

DotBike, a small group of dedicated bike commuters, formed during the city's bike summit a year ago, now others are following suit.

In May, Allston-Brighton Bikes took shape. Last week, RozzieBike and JPBike held their first meetings. It's got all the makings of a trend.  Read more

New plan closes fewer schools

Supporters of some Boston Public Schools that may be closed received a reprieve last week as the superintendent backed down from a number of facets in her "Pathways to Excellence" plan to reorganize amidst passionate objections from parents, staff and civic leaders. The School Committee was set to vote on the plan Wednesday night, after the Reporter went to print.  Read more

Feeney talks about the Wilkerson debacle

City Council president Maureen Feeney defended her reputation - and lashed out at the alleged corruption of Senator Dianne Wilkerson - in an interview with the Reporter this week. Feeney was among the several elected and appointed officials from the city and state government who were named by their titles in a 32-page affidavit from FBI special agent Krista Corr, which detailed the extortion charges against Wilkerson last week.

In sum, Feeney says her actions were completely on the up and up, and legal.  Read more

Dot service station named in emissions scam; Owner denies 'Joe the Fish' was used at station

Attorney General Martha Coakley's office charged seven emissions inspection stations with conducting illegal clean scans of cars that should not have passed the test last week, including one from Dorchester.  Read more

Bike patrols earn praise at Neponset

The initial police response to the recent spike in Greater Neponset crime has satisfied neighbors for now, who lavished praise on the new bicycle unit patrolling the streets at a community meeting last Wednesday with Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis.

"There's a feeling of increasing confidence already," said neighbor John Sweeney. "I think we're on the right track."  Read more

DotBike spawns imitators in city neighborhoods; Neighborhood-based groups recall bicycling heyday

Bicycling groups aren't yet endorsing candidates for public office, holding back-room meetings at City Hall or clogging the roads with bicycles, but for the first time in decades, the neighborhood-based bike group seems to be back.

DotBike, a small group of dedicated bike commuters, formed during the city's bike summit a year ago, now others are following suit.

In May, Allston-Brighton Bikes took shape. Last week, RozzieBike and JPBike held their first meetings. It's got all the makings of a trend.  Read more

Baugh asked to resign from Lena Park CDC

E. Lorraine Baugh, CEO of the Lena Park CDC where she has worked for the past 11 years, was asked to resign from her post last week. She complied with the request.

"I received no advance notice or warning nor did I have any inkling that such a move was contemplated," Baugh said in an e-mail obtained by the Reporter.  Read more

Report: Violence, obesity, asthma are on rise across the state

A new report looking at health trends in Massachusetts is warning that girls and young children are increasingly involved in violent behavior, and deaths from domestic violence have tripled since 2005.

The Massachusetts Health Council report also finds that asthma rates, lack of access to dental care and obesity also are on the rise. And hepatitis C rates among younger people has increased.  Read more

Reports: Mass. insured still struggle with costs

By 
Associated Press
Oct. 29, 2008

While more Massachusetts residents are insured now, many still struggle to keep up with health care costs, according to two new reports released Thursday.

A poll by The Boston Globe and the Blue Cross Blue Shield found that 97 percent of adults in Massachusetts have health insurance, but even with coverage many have trouble paying health care bills. One-third of those polled said the cost of care remains their biggest health concern.  Read more

Sticker race continues as Wilkerson stands accused; 'Racially divisive' election seen ahead

By 
Gintautas Dumcius and Pete Stidman
Oct. 29, 2008

As elected officials and voters were lining up on either side of a sticker-campaign showdown between state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and Democratic nominee Sonia Chang-Diaz in the final days of the campaign, a game-changer exploded on Tuesday morning when the incumbent was arrested and charged with federal corruption and wire fraud.  Read more

Everyone has a 'Walter Fahey story'

The following article about former Boston Police officer Walter Fahey was published in the Reporter in 1997. Walter passed away last week at age 76.

In 1957, the year Walter Fahey became a cop, the Soviets launched Sputnik, Ted Williams hit a robust .388 and the tallest building in Boston, the John Hancock tower, was a mere 26 stories high.  Read more

First-time voters seen energized

She would rather vote for Tina Fey than for Sarah Palin, said Erin O'Connell, a UMass-Boston student and first time voter. But she is excited to be able to cast her ballot in the "most historical" election in her lifetime.

O'Connell is among many youth who are registering in record numbers to vote in an election that she says will affect everyone, especially the youth. At UMass-Boston, 1,300 voters have been registered through a drive led by the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group.  Read more

Long before Salem, Dorchester executed its own 'witch'

Every year around this time, the town of Salem, MA observes a rather macabre part of their local history as they mark the executions of 14 women and five men, all accused witches, that occurred there over several days in 1692.

But decades before Salem began its bloody purge, Dorchester was the site of an apparent "witch" execution.

In 1648, eighteen years after Dorchester's first English settlers arrived, Alice Lake was arrested right here in Dorchester for witchcraft and, according to historical documents recently uncovered by a distant relative, was executed.  Read more

State cuts hit hard in non-profit sector

For Bill Walczak, co-founder of the Codman Square Health Center, the $900 million in cuts to the state's budget that Gov. Deval Patrick announced last week are actually the second round. A number of state agencies absorbed cuts at the beginning of the budget year in July, he noted in a recent interview.  Read more

Dorcena Forry endorses Chang-Diaz

Another politician who endorsed state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson during the September Democratic primary has switched support to challenger Sonia Chang-Diaz. State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry said she is now endorsing Chang-Diaz for the general election.

"I've known Sonia for several years," Forry said, noting that Chang-Diaz, a former public school teacher, worked on her election campaign in 2005. Forry added that she admires Wilkerson, who is running a sticker campaign to retain her seat, "but the voters in her district chose Chang-Diaz in the primary."  Read more

ACORN offices in Fields Corner ransacked; $5,000 reward offered for information on last week's break-in

ACORN Massachusetts' head organizer Noemi "Mimi" Ramos arrived at her office the morning after last week's presidential debate to find the front door unlocked, three desktop computers missing, Internet and phone lines ripped out of the walls and general disarray.  Read more