News

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

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

Bird lover's 'temple' has seen better days

A tributary flows into the Canterbury Brook next to the Boston Nature Center in Mattapan. Trash from storm drains and other sources covers its banks. Photo by Pete Stidman

On March 23, 1901, a letter from a young man who grew up in Uphams Corner was printed on the front page of the weekly newspaper the Dorchester Beacon. "Save a few free fields, save a few of the beautiful woodlots," wrote Frank Birtwell from Albuquerque, New Mexico. "Let the flowers bloom."  Read more

NStar crews to begin dig work on Cummins Highway

By 
Martine Louis
Mar. 19, 2008

The last stretch of work on an electric cable that will bring 1,800 megawatts of power to Boston from Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island could begin as early as today along Cummins Highway. The 18-mile installation project started from the Stoughton/ Canton line (along route 138), cutting through Milton, Mattapan, Dorchester and ending in South Boston.

Consumer demand for electricity is increasing and the growth is expected to continue, according to NSTAR, largely due to the proliferation of battery chargers, energy-sucking plasma TVs and air conditioners.  Read more

Local couple imports Filipino stick-fight expertise

Brian Jacobs, owner and operator of CSE-Boston, blocks an incoming jab and holds his attacker at bay, striking him just below the ribcage.

"That's a lotta love right there," Jacobs says to his students who come to his Uphams Corner apartment each week to learn the Filipino martial art of Combat Serrada Escrima.

"Every step of the way I'm disturbing him in some way," Jacobs continues, hooking his opponent under the arm. "Start to short circuit them and take them down into the cycle of doom."

In seconds, Jacob's attacker is on the floor, immobilized.  Read more

Dot delegation split on Patrick's casino proposal

When Gov. Deval Patrick sang a parody of the Foxwoods theme song at Sunday's St. Patrick's Day breakfast, he had some back-up: state Sen. Jack Hart and Reps. Marty Walsh and Brian Wallace.

"Sal, just think, 'bout the wonder of it all," they sang to House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, the top opponent on Beacon Hill to Patrick's plan to build three destination resort casinos.  Read more

New version of old fountain envisioned on Bowdoin St.

Earl Taylor, president of the Dorchester Historical Society, will be visiting civic associations this week to explain a plan to replace a long-lost fountain at Coppens Square in the Meeting House Hill area.

"It's right across from Hendry Street that is getting a lot of attention from the mayor right now," said Taylor. "Hopefully that can help us."  Read more

STD "epidemic" seen among teens

A recent report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that one in four teenage girls in the United States has a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and nearly half of young African-American women are infected.

"The report was no surprise," said Jane Tuitt, a nurse practitioner at Dorchester High School. Around 90 percent of the students she treats are African-American, Tuitt said.

"We've known for years that this population is at high risk. We see it," said Tuitt.  Read more

Bird lover's "temple" has seen better days

A tributary flows into the Canterbury Brook next to the Boston Nature Center in Mattapan. Trash from storm drains and other sources covers its banks. Photo by Pete Stidman

On March 23, 1901, a letter from a young man who grew up in Uphams Corner was printed on the front page of the weekly newspaper the Dorchester Beacon. "Save a few free fields, save a few of the beautiful woodlots," wrote Frank Birtwell from Albuquerque, New Mexico. "Let the flowers bloom."  Read more

Dot Day season kicks off next week: Vieria to run for 'mayor' of Dorchester

This might help get your spring spirits up: Dorchester Day season begins next week. The kickoff to three months of Dot Day celebrations is next Thursday, March 27, as a traditional meatloaf dinner is served at First Parish Church on Meeting House Hill.

Tradition reigns supreme at the evening event, says Ed Crowley, parade committee member and former parade clerk. "It's the first event, it's one of those things historically done."  Read more

Barack Obama's Speech on Race

Transcript

The following is the text as prepared for delivery of Senator Barack Obama's speech on race in Philadelphia, as provided by his presidential campaign.

 "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."  Read more

Violent video prompts soul-searching

At a meeting held last Saturday to strategize against youth violence, some parents saw it for the first time. Their stony faces watched as edited parts of a grainy video - known in some dark corners of the Internet as the "most brutal beatdown of 2007" - played out on a screen at the Vietnamese American Community Center in Fields Corner.  Read more

Jim Rooney, honcho of the State's Convention Centers, likes to work at 'fixing things in the city I love'

By 
Greg O'Brien
Mar. 12, 2008

To say that James E. Rooney has an appetite for the impossible is to say that Wimpy, the plump, convivial bon vivant in the Popeye cartoon, loves hamburgers. And like Wimpy, Rooney's appetite - in this case for what appears to be beyond reach for most - is not bigger than his stomach. By any measure, Rooney, now the high-flying executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), has over the last decade endured some of the most formidable challenges of any executive in the public sector.  Read more

Food Project offers help to garden builders

As part of its ongoing efforts to increase local food production in urban areas, the Food Project's Build-a-Garden program is now accepting applications for the 2008 growing season. In its second year, the Build-a-Garden program plans to install 75 raised-bed gardens throughout the Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods.  Read more

Attorney General suggests changes at Carney: Proposed loss of acute-care focus draws strong reaction

Attorney General Martha Coakley set off a whirlwind of criticism as well as some praise from Dorchester's healthcare community last week with her release of a report on Caritas Christi Healthcare.

There was universal support for a recommendation to reduce the Archdiocese of Boston's influence over business decisions - a change in governance that was already underway, according to Cardinal Seán O'Malley - as well as a proposal to create a productivity-based pay system in the Caritas Physician Network.  Read more

Green jobs subject at roundtable in Dot

p>ACORN and the Boston Climate Action Network hosted a Green Jobs Roundtable at the Vietnamese American Community Center on Charles Street March 3. City officials and job training providers met with community members to discuss how to promote energy efficiency in Boston neighborhoods through the development of a homegrown green collar workforce.

"Our mission is if you train people to earn a good living they will be good citizens, contributing to the community," said Kathleen Lynch of the Ben Franklin Institute of Technology.  Read more

DA, cops work to assemble new Cold Case Squad

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley will be assigning a prosecutor to a unit the Boston Police Department is assembling to look into old unsolved murder cases, he said last week.

Conley said he recently met with Police Commissioner Ed Davis and is "very supportive" of the resurrection of a "cold case" squad.

"This opportunity to look back and solve some of the cases, give some families comfort. I'm very supportive of that," he told the Reporter.  Read more

Fellow vet leads state's charge to help returning soldiers

Just 23, James Crosby has already served his country - and his fellow veterans - with great distinction.

The Winthrop native joined the Marines in 2002 at age 17. Less than two years later, he was deployed to Iraq where - after just a month in country - he was seriously injured in a rocket attack that hit his base west of Baghdad in March 2004.  Read more

St. Ann's girls win CYO title for second year

St. Ann's champs: Top (l-r) Asst. Coach Charlie Conners, Candace Andrews, Maria King, Claire Folan, Molly Ryan, Kaelyn Sullivan, Fiona Morgan, Coach Lisa DelTufo w/son Charlie Jr. Bottom: Mallory O'Dwyer, Lauren Cavaleri, Kelly Sullivan, Taylor Ball. Photo by John Sullivan  Read more

Three great youth centers, but under one new name

By 
By
Mar. 12, 2008

Last Tuesday, the Board of Trustees of the Colonel Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club voted to change the name of the non-profit organization to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester. The unanimous vote is a key step in branding a new identity for the 34 year-old organization, which has grown to include three youth centers serving more than 4,000 youngsters across the neighborhood.  Read more

Hub Irish take star turn in 'On Broadway'

In 2006, local filmmaker Dave McLaughlin took to the streets with his Boston-bred cast to begin filming "On Broadway," the story of a carpenter-turned-playwright in Irish-American Boston. Noted as "the next Good Will Hunting" in Boston Magazine, McLaughlin's "On Broadway" made its Boston debut this week at a March 12 charity event, with proceeds going to the Joey Fund. The film will be released to local theatres March 14.  Read more

Eating Dirt in Ireland and Haiti

Every musical tradition has its sad songs. One of the saddest from my own Irish tradition, The Fields of Athenry, can bring tears to your eyes - whether it is sung softly in the original folk version or shouted in the punk rock remake by Boston's Dropkick Murphys. The song begins:

By a lonely prison wall, I heard a young girl calling:'Michael, they have taken you away. For you stole Trevelyn's corn.So the young might see the morn.'Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.  Read more

Cape Verdean deportees import U.S. problems

In January, State Rep. Marie St. Fleur joined a delegation to Cape Verde to meet with government officials and address growing concerns among Cape Verdean communities at home and abroad. The group held a session with over 10 deportees to discuss the hardships they face as they struggle to reintegrate in Cape Verde.

Also on the agenda was business development on the islands, the political relationship between Cape Verde and the United States, and the social and cultural issues that arise from Cape Verde's ties to America.  Read more

Patrick, DiMasi square off over casinos

By 
Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Mar. 5, 2008

Gov. Deval Patrick, stung by House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi's harsh criticism a day earlier of his casino construction job estimates, swung back Tuesday with a letter to House members calling rejection of his proposal, without offering an alternative, "not acceptable to your constituents or mine."  Read more