New director takes helm at Geiger Gibson Center

Lou BradyLou BradyDorchester's Geiger Gibson Community Health Center has a new executive director.  Read more

Kenneally is raising funds, mulling run for at-Large seat; Rest of the council-hopeful field is still shaping up

Andrew Kenneally: "Decision next month."Andrew Kenneally: "Decision next month."Andrew Kenneally, a former staffer for City Councillor Michael Flaherty, said he hasn't decided whether he will run for the Council at-Large seat his old boss is likely to vacate just yet, but he's fundraising anyway.

"I'm probably going to make a decision next month," he said. "I'm just trying to see what's out there in terms of raising cash and it's looking pretty good."

Kenneally has deposited $4,400 in his account, according to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, but said he is likely to reach $10,000 by the time this paper is printed.

Jamaica Plain's Felix G. Arroyo is the leading fundraiser among the challengers so far, with over $13,000. His first fundraising event - for Three Kings Day - is Jan. 10 at Mojitos nightclub downtown.  Read more

Investment pays off for Fields Corner shopping center

Fields Corner shopping mallFields Corner shopping mall

Some call it a retail area. Others a strip mall.

To Tom Cifrino, it is the "Fields Station Shopping Center," and for him, it's a family legacy, a Dorchester business begun by his father and uncle almost a century ago.  Read more

Feeney reign a model of 'unity' politics

Maureen FeeneyMaureen Feeney  Read more

New year push for CORI reform

Activists are planning on another run next year at overhauling the state's criminal offender record information system.

Saying the records are sometimes inaccurate, hard-to-read and burdensome for individuals with minor criminal records who are seeking jobs, activists will re-launch their efforts after failing again earlier this year to help individuals remove what they call a "scarlet letter" from their record.  Read more

State, Corcoran duel in "court of public opinion" over odor control

It had to happen sooner or later. The bitterly opposed MWRA and Corcoran Jennison Companies and their hired engineers argued their cases in an ad hoc people's court last Thursday, temporarily interrupting the community planning process for Columbia Point.  Read more

Wilkerson to crowd: Ministers conspired against me

Pete Stidman
Dec. 23, 2008

In a meeting last week that was insulated from the lenses of TV cameras and newspaper reporters, former State Senator Dianne Wilkerson lashed out at several ministers affiliated with the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston and the Boston Ten-Point Coalition, essentially accusing them of conspiring to remove her from office.  Read more

Yoon's transparency push bears council fruit

Dec. 23, 2008

Capitalizing on the political moment, Dorchester's at-large City Councillor Sam Yoon is clamoring for a little more transparency in city government of late, and last week his efforts produced a baby step forward on that.  Read more

Morrissey retailer to close doors

National Wholesale Liquidators, the discount retailer that specializes in a no-frills shopping experience, will close its Morrissey Boulevard store in the new year. The company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 10 and has been seeking a buyer since 2006, according to published reports.  Read more

Locals take stage for First Night

On the night of Dec. 31, some folks are out on the town late; others are under the covers early to wake up fresh for the start of the new year. But there will be no relaxing for a sizeable number of Dorchester and Mattapan artists who will be part of 12 solid hours of cultural programming as they share their talents with over a million people as part of the 33rd First Night Boston, the oldest, largest and most-often-copied New Year's Eve arts celebration in North America.  Read more

Mattapan leaders plan to seek Main Streets designation

In a time of looming economic gloominess, a number of Mattapan business owners are banding together in hopes of winning a city-designated Main Streets district in the new year. Advocates for the idea have set up a working committee to lobby for the city's support for a Mattapan designation. The group met last Tuesday to discuss the pros and cons.  Read more

Bank robber strikes out twice, gets 100 months

Guns and masks and getaway cars are not required for a stiff sentence for bank robbery. Prosecutors told a U.S. District judge that on July 10, Scott F. Backus, 46, of Dorchester, passed a note demanding money to Citizens Bank employee in downtown Boston. When the employee didn't immediately respond, Backus backed out and walked to a second Citizen's Bank and repeated the process. Again he got cold feet and walked out, but this time he ran smack into federal agents who had just left the first bank to answer the call at the second bank.  Read more

Eyewitness Christmas: Tellin' it how it was

Editor's note: Tony, an angel, visits earth fairly often now because there is a lot for him to do here. He dictated this article to an old friend of ours, Ed Madden, about 13 years ago, while he was still with us. He says they are still engaging in a bit of deviltry, and enjoying every heavenly minute of it. By Tony, an Angel

I don't really know how I got picked for the job of going down to Bethlehem that night. It certainly wasn't my great singing voice. You folks think all angels are born singers, but we're not.

 Read more

Dot's Eagles contemplate flying the Pop Warner nest ; Coach: Adult attacked player to set off Disney brawl

It has been a hectic week for the Dorchester Pop Warner Eagles organization. What was supposed to be a time of fun and - potentially - glory at the Pop Warner National Championship tournament in Florida turned into a nightmare after members of Dorchester's midget squad were involved in a brawl at a Disney World hotel with a rival team from Rhode Island. The fight resulted in a tough disciplinary crackdown by the national Pop Warner board, which has barred all levels of the Dorchester league from participating in post-season competition for the next three years.  Read more

Former Tuttle Street resident charged in January murder

After an 11-month investigation, a Suffolk County grand jury this week indicted a Dorchester man in the fatal stabbing of a young Roxbury hair stylist. Steven Odegard, 41, was charged with the first-degree murder of Daniel Yakovleff, who was found stabbed on Jan. 17 in Odegard's third floor apartment at 56 Tuttle St.  Read more

Richie to head governor's political team

Dorchester's Charlotte Golar Richie, a top government relations adviser to Gov. Deval Patrick, is leaving the administration to helm Patrick's political operation, according to sources familiar with the change.

A former lawmaker and housing chief in Boston, Richie joined Patrick as senior director of federal, state and community affairs in July 2007, as the administration was recovering from early difficulties.  Read more

He's only four, but Alexander has a big need

Alexander Phan, 4, reads with his father Steve Phan. The youngser is suffering from a rare disease and needs a bone marrow transplant. A donor drive is set for this Saturday at St. Mark's Church. Photo by Rochelle Ballin.

For a four year old, Alexander Phan is extremely intelligent. When he isn't playing with his 19-month old sister Kayla or his six-year-old brother Peter, he is sitting at the wooden table by the door of his family's apartment, writing.  Read more

Outrage over T's trolley tree cuts

The remains of two mature trees and a stand of bushes along the Neponset Greenway. Photo by Pete Stidman.

Many users and neighbors of the Mattapan High Speed Line were horrified last week at what they called a total clear-cutting of all vegetation anywhere near the line's tracks.  Read more

Family apologizes for phony cancer fundraiser

A 24 year-old local man who claimed he was dying of cancer last summer faked it, according to an account reported by Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker last week. In his Friday column, headlined "Lying for love," Walker told readers that he too was duped when he wrote a sympathetic piece about Jake Severino last summer, just before a fundraiser was held to benefit him at Florian Hall. The Reporter also published a brief news item before the Sept. 11 "time" in our Sept. 4 edition.  Read more

Feeney appoints 'fact-finder' on Turner council role

Council President Maureen Feeney appointed former Chief Magistrate Judge Charles B. Swartwood III this week as an independent fact finder to advise the council on whether District 7 Councillor Chuck Turner is fit to serve on the council.

"He began his work yesterday," said Feeney's chief of staff Justin Holmes. "It isn't to find guilt or innocence, it is a question of qualification."  Read more

Face slasher gets decade behind bars

Dorchester's Steven Banks, 48, was sentenced last Friday to nine to 10 years in prison for slashing the face of his former girlfriend's former boyfriend. According to evidence and testimony introduced at the trial, the love triangle met on Hopkins Street, Nov. 13, 2007. When the woman introduced her former boyfriend to Banks as "one of my oldest and dearest friends," Banks said, " I don't shake hands." After a "discussion" Banks slashed the victim's face from ear to chin and took off in a motor vehicle. The knife was later found by police in Banks' possession.  Read more

Health commission votes to ban cigar, hookah bars

The Boston Public Health Commission voted last Thursday to extinguish cigar bars and hookah bars and end the sales of tobacco in pharmacies and on college campuses, giving Boston some of the toughest anti-tobacco rules in the nation.

The panel, however, decided to give the bars 10 years before they would have to close, doubling the original proposed grace period for the establishments.

Boston is the largest city, by far, to move to outlaw smoking bars, which have been exempt from the city's four-year-old workplace smoking ban.  Read more

DCR floats 'disc golf' idea for Pope John Paul II Park

A rough sketch that was passed around this month's Neponset Greenway Council meeting has some devotees of the flying disc flying high.

Drawn up by an intern at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, according to sources who were there, the sketch envisioned a nine-hole disc golf course in a lesser-used section of the Pope John Paul II Park.

"It's just an idea at this point," said Wendy Fox, spokesperson for the DCR. "We're just looking at it."  Read more

Nuestra CDC begins its fight against blight

On the Roxbury-Dorchester border around Quincy and Dacia streets, the battle to stem blight caused by foreclosed and empty properties has begun. Nuestra Community Development Corporation acquired its first foreclosed three-decker at 21 Dacia, just inside the Dorchester border and right in the middle of one of three "Foreclosure Intervention Team" priority areas chosen by the city.

"We need to buy one building every month or two," said Nuestra director David Price this week.  Read more

Foreclosure activity nationally drops to June levels

The number of American homeowners dragged into the housing crisis fell last month to the lowest level since June as new state laws lengthened the foreclosure process, RealtyTrac reported last Thursday.

"We're going to have a pretty significant spike in January,'' said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president for marketing. Plus, as job losses mount, "increases in foreclosure activity follow that pretty directly,'' he added.  Read more