News

In the virtual world, Dot disabled find their voices

Nine special needs adults in Dorchester have found a world where their disabilities are invisible and their voices are heard. It's a three-dimensional, virtual world called Second Life, where users or "residents" log on to socialize, connect, and create with other people around the world.  Read more

DORCHESTER PROJECTS IN FY09-FY13 CAPITAL PLAN

IN DESIGN

Byrne Playground - restore the play equipment and reconstruct the court and passive areas. ($385,000)

McConnell Playground - remove and replace outdated play equipment, curbing, paving, landscaping and other ancillary site improvements. ($201,000)

Ripley Playground - remove and replace play equipment, courts, fencing and other miscellaneous items. ($570,000)

Great Hall at Codman Square - improve access to building for persons with disabilities and replace boiler. ($870,000)  Read more

FBI to join task force on mortgage fraud cases

The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that between $4 and $6 billion in losses can be attributed to mortgage fraud nationwide in fiscal year 2007. It has 35 task forces working across the country on the problem and considers 16 states hotspots for the crime, but Massachusetts is not on the list. The task forces work in places like Florida, where swamp peddling is still alive and well. But the FBI will soon participate in a mortgage-fraud working group with state and city agencies, said a spokeswoman for the agency.  Read more

Unique arts program lets students 'freestyle'

By 
By
Apr. 9, 2008

After a long day at school, the last place most middle school students want to be is in a strictly- structured environment. On the flip side, the last thing they need is too much free time.

With that in mind, faculty and undergraduates from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and high school students from Boston Arts Academy have devised a unique art program that is now up and running at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School on Columbia Road.

This free after-school program - dubbed the "Art Jump Off!" at the suggestion of students - meets every Tuesday afternoon.  Read more

DA Conley says two local businesses played role in widespread gambling ring

Fifteen teams of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies hit a number of locations across Boston and the state with warrants on Tuesday, targeting a major underground gambling ring. Two businesses in Dorchester allegedly served as fronts for the gambling ring, according to Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley's office: Thalia Beauty Salon, at 338 Blue Hill Ave., and Gentileza's Market, at 140 Bowdoin St.  Read more

Hidden votes for McCain in Dot?

A recent call to the state Republican Party inquiring about Dorchester supporters of John McCain, the presumptive nominee, yielded only one name: that of a woman who bought a bumper sticker.

But don't be fooled. Susan Kelly says she isn't the only one who'll be pulling the lever for McCain this November. "There are a lot of closet Republicans that I know," who remain in the closet thanks to the job positions they hold, she says.  Read more

Historic Lower Mills is all abuzz with talk of new developments

You may have to go back to the 19th century to find a time of more growth and bricks-and-mortar change in the historic village of Lower Mills. With a flurry of re-development projects already underway - and more potential sales on the near horizon - Lower Mills is on the verge of transformation unseen, perhaps, since the lifetime of Walter Baker, the chocolate magnate whose factory came to define the riverside village.  Read more

Church group agrees to buy old St. William's

The destiny of the former St. Williams Church on Dorchester Avenue may be a simple change of faith. It will not be transformed into a mixed-use residential building, a senior center or a work-training program for the developmental disabled. Instead, it is now on track to become a Seventh Day Adventist Church.  Read more

A look at current and potential Lower Mills developments

 

1. 1203 Adams Street. Kiley catering building on Adams Street. A developer has proposed a plan to turn property into a Dunkin' Donuts with drive-through. This project has encountered resistance from civic and merchant leaders.
2. 1126 Washington Street. Molloy's funeral home and adjacent properties on Washington Street are for sale, according to family member Dan Molloy.  Read more

It's all about the money for 'mayoral' candidates

Dorchester Day season has officially begun and the race is on for the coveted title of Mayor of Dorchester. Three candidates will battle it out this year for a prime spot in the June 1 parade and other to-be-determined duties.  Read more

Study scopes out health gaps by village

Researchers have developed a new methodology that they hope will be used by state and local health departments to track health disparities by neighborhood village - as in Savin Hill, Uphams Corner or Franklin Field - with the hope of encouraging more effective public policy.  Read more

Task force gets closer look at Columbia Point plans

The Columbia Point Master Planning Task Force saw the reasons they were pulled together last Thursday as a trio of would-be developers brought forth their big plans, or lack of them, for Dorchester's big toe sticking out into the bay, Columbia Point.  Read more

Carney Hospital lays off 50 workers

"It needed to be done," is what some are saying after nearly 5 percent of Caritas Carney Hospital's workforce lost their jobs last Thursday. For the people who work there, the logic was little comfort.

"It was probably the worst day in my 18 years being here in terms of the pall it cast in the hospital," said former chief of staff Dr. David Lustbader, who also sits on the board of trustees for Carney. "But I've worked a long time with Dr. [Daniel] O'Leary and there wasn't any option going forward."  Read more

MTV run ends for Status Quo dancers

Dorchester's Ernest "E-Knock" Phillips and five other members of Status Quo are back in town after narrowly losing a contest for $100,000 and the "America's Best Dance Crew" title - promoted by MTV's show of the same name.

A crowd of friends, family, fans and other members of the 14-strong crew greeted the six fallen warriors at Logan Airport Friday night, and by Monday, Phillips and others were already imparting what they learned to the rest of the crew down at English High School in Jamaica Plain.  Read more

Neighbors hope to dedicate corner to Neponset 'hero'

Neponset Avenue and McKone Street is not just another corner to Jimmy King. It's the corner his son Army Private Kevin J. King left behind his childhood to serve his country.

At 19, Kevin was killed during training exercises as he prepared to deploy for Iraq last April. Those close to him hope to dedicate that corner as a Hero Square in his memory. The first step will likely take place this week, when City Council President Maureen Feeney proposes the resolution to initiate the square during the council session.  Read more

T struggles to meet schedules on Fairmount Line

With four miles of one track out of service due to bridge construction, the MBTA is tossing their current schedule out the window for a new one to start on April 7. Only 34 percent of morning rush hour trains were able to adhere to it in February anyway.

"I think better information for the public is needed because standing on a platform not knowing whether their train is going to come or if it's not going to come is just not fair," said Pamela Bush, a member of the On The Move Coalition who also sits on the T Oversight Committee.  Read more

Wilkerson bill would freeze subprime takings

By 
By
Apr. 2, 2008

Saying that lawmakers on both the federal and state level have not done enough to stem the worsening tide of foreclosures, state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson filed last week a triad of bills that would put in place a 180-day moratorium on foreclosures resulting from "unfair" subprime loans, give tenants four to six months relief from eviction and provide for a foreclosure judicial process.  Read more

Boston tree party Planting program expands scope

Grow Boston Greener, a collaborative effort between the City of Boston and Boston's Urban Forest Coalition (BUFC), is continuing its quest to expand the city's tree canopy by planting 100,000 new trees by the year 2020. A special focus is being placed on parts of Dorchester and other neighborhoods where trees are sparse and the canopy is unevenly spread.  Read more

Egleston only for gun-search program

Mayor Thomas Menino this week defended a controversial program that has drawn criticism from community members and local politicians as an unconstitutional invasion of home privacy by police. Boston police officers are launching a pilot program, dubbed "Safe Homes," to search people's homes and look for guns, but are only going into one neighborhood - Egleston Square - instead of four "high-risk neighborhoods" as initially planned.  Read more

Viet-AID puts St. William's church property on the market

Plans to redevelop the former St. William's Church on Dorchester Avenue have been derailed and the Vietnamese American Initiative for Development, the non-profit owner of the site, is looking to sell.

"We're looking for a way out," said Hiep Chu, Viet-AID's director. "Obviously selling is one option because the development is not working."  Read more

Advocates push for bond money for the Neponset

State lawmakers are seeking to tack on a $12 million amendment to Gov. Deval Patrick's $1.4 billion environmental bond bill. The amendment would potentially include $7 million for the removal of pollutants, known as PCBs, from the Neponset River's sediments, with the rest potentially going for "fish ladders" and the exploration of the removal or maintenance of two state-owned dams in order to aid the return of herring and shad runs.  Read more

Frederick School helps children of Somali refugees

By 
Lydia Mulvaney
Mar. 26, 2008

A new pilot program at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot School on Columbia Road is offering culturally-sensitive, full-time mental health care to Somali children, many of them refugees.  Read more

Former postal supervisor gets jail-time for perjury

A one-time supervisor at Dorchester Center's post office has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for lying to criminal and civil investigators in the alleged sexual assault of a co-worker in the office's boiler room.

John Kelley, 46, a former acting manager, was sentenced last week by a U.S. District Court judge on two counts of perjury and one count of a scheme to falsify information, according to U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan's office. The sentence also carries two years of supervised release.  Read more

Menino touts Dot Ave. reconstruction

In a speech on Tuesday to the Dorchester Board of Trade, Mayor Thomas Menino previewed the budget he plans to submit to the City Council in April, vowing that police staffing levels will be maintained and school funding will be increased, even as the city's schools struggle with a wide deficit and, in some cases, under-enrollment. School closings would not be considered until late next year, he added.  Read more

Son of '70s 'slumlord' Wattendorf is himself under indictment

In one of Dorchester's darkest periods - the 1970s - neighborhood activists knew the name George V. Wattendorf well. He was known as a "notorious slumlord" by some and a victim of "bad tenants" by others.

For those that still remember him, a recent press release from the Attorney General's office sparked a few memories. George V. Wattendorf and his East Boston construction company G.V.W. Inc. were arraigned last month for allegedly violating the state's prevailing wage, overtime and record keeping laws, said the release.  Read more