News

Chairman: Kroc Center close to fund goal

The money gap that has held up the construction of a new community center on Dudley Street is gradually closing - and could soon be filled entirely. That's the word from Soveriegn Bank chairman John Hamill, who is heading up the capital drive for the Salvation Army's Kroc Center.  Read more

Man charged in stabbing death of girlfriend

A 29-year-old Dorchester man is being held without bail this week after he allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death in a Ridgewood Street apartment on Sunday morning. Luz Forty, 38, was found by police when they were called to the scene. Police say the suspect, Mario Gonzalez, called 911 and told them that an intruder had broken into the apartment they shared and stabbed Luz to death. He later admitted that he was the attacker, according to prosecutors. Gonzalez is due back in court on May 5.

Hancock Manor nursing home to close come April

By April some 70 residents and 82 employees of the Hancock Manor Nursing Home will need to find new situations for themselves as it was announced this week the 16-year-old facility would close.

The Vinfen Corporation, which owns and operates the 72-bed home, submitted a proposal to close it to the Department of Public Health on Feb. 9. It was quickly approved on Feb. 12. The company hopes to vacate the building by mid-April and put it on the open market.  Read more

Parents, kids speak out loudly against school cuts; School panel hears cries at Court St.

Students protest school cuts: By Nate LescovicStudents protest school cuts: By Nate LescovicPassing through a tunnel of chanting students and parents at BPS's Court Street headquarters, the School Committee met last Wednesday to receive the preliminary budget. While demonstrators stayed positive with their message of "Invest in our Future" and "Save our Schools," the mood in the meeting could not hide the dismal reality of a head-on fiscal crisis.  Read more

Sen. Chang-Diaz faces early tests on Beacon Hill

Weeks into the job, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz is already playing defense.

The freshman lawmaker, like others who are facing their first year on Beacon Hill, is up against a billion-dollar budget crisis that is causing prized programs to get pared down or eliminated entirely.

The issues facing legislators are steadily mounting, including a reorganization of the state's transportation bureaucracy, ethics reform and with the departure of House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, casinos are back on the front burner.  Read more

Young Achievers School readies for move to Mattapan

The Young Achiever's K-8 Pilot School is on a quest to make a summer time move from its current location in Jamaica Plain into the Solomon Lewenberg Middle School in Mattapan a smooth transition.

"We had a big kickoff breakfast for community partners last week [Friday]," said Principal Jinny Chalmers. "We're also reaching out to all of the families of the kids in the sixth and seventh grade at the Lewenberg."  Read more

Crime is focus of new Mattapan civic group

An effort to start up a new civic association along the border of Mattapan and Hyde Park got off to a slow start Tuesday night when only around 15 interested residents showed for a meeting representing a neighborhood of over 1,200 homes.

Inspired by a high crime rate - including a triple non-fatal shooting at Taunton Avenue and Oak Crest Road in January - teacher Ginny Allen and others, with help from Boston Police Department's District E-18, are pulling together neighbors to address crime and other problems. The new group is called the Matta Park Civic Association.  Read more

C-11 police see rise in daytime home burglaries

An uptick in daytime burglaries has Boston Police stepping up patrols and calling this week for increased vigilance from residents.

Captain Richard Sexton, who commands the Area C-11 district, told the Reporter that breaking-and-entering reports have been on the increase for three consecutive months.  Read more

In 'worst of times,' Menino ponders policy

During an hour-long interview in his Parkman House retreat on Beacon Street last week, Mayor Thomas Menino challenged state government to conceive of an "outside-the-box" solution to the state's fiscal problems, committed to spend political capital in pursuit of a long-delayed reform to the city's school transportation program, and doggedly refused to say whether he would run for reelection, even as he assembles a campaign team with the September preliminary seven months away.  Read more

Yoon's entry widens race for mayor

The cards are on the table. The challengers to Mayor Thomas Menino, namely Councillors Sam Yoon, Michael Flaherty, and activist Kevin McCrea, have played their first hands.

And almost overnight, the talk around the proverbial City Hall water cooler has turned from tones of 'They don't have a chance against an incumbent,' to a subtler 'This is going to be interesting.'  Read more

News in brief

A committee of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization is mulling over how the state will spend part of the expected stimulus funding, and the immediate future of the construction of Four Corners Station on the Fairmount Line and phase two of the Ashmont Station on the Red Line hang in the balance.

The transportation programming and planning committee of the MPO met early this month and members received lists of projects under consideration. The chosen public works will be put in an amendment to the body's Transportation Improvement Plan for fiscal year 2009.  Read more

DeLeo pushing set of ethics changes

House Speaker Robert DeLeo is proposing a new set of ethics changes, including allowing the removal of any member of the House leadership team who is indicted.

The package of reforms also includes mandatory ethics training for lawmakers, a stronger ethics committee with the power to introduce legislation, and a clamp down on so-called "phantom voting'' by members of the House who are absent during debate.  Read more

Lynch named chair of Congressional subcommittee

LynchLynchCongressman Stephen F. Lynch, who represents parts of Dorchester in the Ninth district, has been named to chair the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  Read more

Made in Dorchester: Exhibit to showcase 19th century pewter

The Gleason Pewter and Silver Plating Company on Washington Street: Photo courtesy Dorchester Historical Society.The Gleason Pewter and Silver Plating Company on Washington Street: Photo courtesy Dorchester Historical Society.  Read more

Mayor's bike plan draws support, and criticism

The first year of real bike planning in the city of Boston has come to a close, and the city's bike coordinator, Nicole Freedman presented the results to a crowd of around 175 people at the Boston Public Library last Thursday. But despite 250 new bike racks, the first bike lanes of any length now painted on Commonwealth Avenue, and even a bike lane in the works for Dorchester Avenue, not all were happy.

A few were downright angry.  Read more

Unlicensed radioman says he'll go the distance

Charles Clemons, operator of the unlicensed Grove Hall radio station TOUCH 106.1 FM told the Reporter this week he plans to take advantage of the new political climate and go for a walk - from coast to coast.

"This is the prime time to show President Barack Obama that we're serious about our voices," said Clemons. "It's not fair that one community has more media control than another community. Only 1.3 or 1.8 percent of all radio stations are owned by African-Americans."  Read more

Walsh, Wallace lead renewed charge for casinos

The resignation of House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, an avowed opponent of casino gambling, was barely official last week before eyes on Beacon Hill turned to the renewed potential of bringing three casinos to the Bay State.

DiMasi's successor, Rep. Robert DeLeo, is a supporter of slots at the state's racetracks and is open to discussing casinos. Last year, under DiMasi's watch and direction, House lawmakers overwhelmingly defeated Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal to expand gambling.  Read more

Middle Eastern flair planned for Adams Corner eatery

The future home of Chateau Kabor on Adams Street: Photo by Rochelle Ballin.The future home of Chateau Kabor on Adams Street: Photo by Rochelle Ballin.  Read more

Mattapan, Dorchester down the most in housing slump

The Warren Group reports single-family home sales were down last year in Boston by almost 15 percent. The median price decreased by more than 11%. The largest decreases in sales were in Brighton, South Boston and West Roxbury. The largest price drops were in Mattapan, at almost 31 percent, and East Boston, at more then 26 percent.  Read more

Menino, Yoon staying mum on what they plan for 2009

City Councillor Michael Flaherty is quickly positioning himself as a mayoral candidate of change with a campaign launch on YouTube and now an online invitation to 18,000 city employees and all city residents to share ideas with him. But his expected opponents in the race, outside of the South End's candidate Kevin McCrea, have kept it fairly quiet.

Incumbent Thomas Menino, caught in an off moment at a Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association meeting Monday, said he is focused on balancing the city's budget and putting off his decision on a possible fifth term.  Read more

Neighbors balk at siting for Blue Hill Station

Though the call for new stops along Fairmount Line commuter rail has been a loud and long one, the station designs on the table are hardly free from concerns and some residents are even demanding the proposed stop at Blue Hill Avenue be moved or simply scuttled.

The Woodhaven Culbert Regis Neighborhood Association penned a strongly worded to Gov. Deval Patrick in opposition to the Blue Hill Avenue stop this week. They state the project will have a negative impact on property values by damaging the area during construction, and by increasing traffic, noise and light pollution.  Read more

HUD scrutinizes subsidized units in Fields Corner

Under new leadership just last month, the Fields Corner Community Development Corporation (CDC) has been taking home failing grades on its federal report card for the last two years, the Reporter has learned.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reviews all the properties it subsidizes each year, grading how well they are maintained on a scale of 1 to 100. Properties graded in the 90 to 100 range are considered high performers. Those below 60 are designated "troubled."  Read more

Budget woes clear way for debate on busing

With massive cuts looming overhead, everything is on the table in next year's Boston Public Schools budget, including the city's controversial busing plan.

Superintendent Carol Johnson presented her proposed budget to the School Committee Wednesday, just after the Reporter's press time. The plan is expected to include major cuts to administration and programs as the city faces an overall $140 million shortfall by some estimates. Schools will likely suffer numerous layoffs, with many teaching slots in jeopardy.  Read more

A boost for Carney: $4 million from state delegation gets nod from Patrick

Last year administrators at Caritas Carney Hospital were preparing for the worst, outpatient services were down, insurance payments did not cover costs, and it looked as though state funding was going to be curtailed. The equivalent of 50 full-time positions were cut in March 2008. Since then, however, much of the news has been positive, and now there's a new ray of light.  Read more