News

Parents mixed on demise of Stone, Shaw schools

Though children clamber over a shiny new playground outside the art-deco style Lucy Stone School in Dorchester, their school's days may be numbered. The Stone and the Pauline A. Shaw School in Mattapan are two of five schools marked for closure in Superintendent Carol Johnson's plan to trim a bloated Boston Public School system budget while trying to improve upon performance and choice.  Read more

Viet-AID goes back to the drawing board, again

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Oct. 8, 2008

After a tumultuous meeting on Tuesday night, Viet-AID is again carrying its carefully-crafted presentation for Bloomfield Gardens - a proposed 29-unit affordable housing building - back to the drawing board.

After making several changes - reducing the height of the building, setting it five feet back from the sidewalk, and taking off part of the fourth floor - they have less support than they did with the old plan.  Read more

Pathways' plan a tough test for Johnson, system

Starting her second year as Boston School Superintendent, as Carol R. Johnson has to make headway on improvements while looking for ways to save money - all in the midst of a global economic crisis.

"It's always easy to add and difficult to subtract," she said last Wednesday night, as she presented her plan, "Pathways to Excellence," at a meeting of the Boston School Committee.  Read more

MOD breaks the mold in Four Corners

As the current financial crisis sends an uncertain nation scurrying for shelter, Four Corner's MOD Boston boutique is in the midst of a confident expansion that will add a men's section and an online store in time for holiday shopping.

Owner Patrick Targete's combination of entrepreneurial skill, creative marketing and community involvement - along with the keen fashion eye of manager Janeen Williams-Casey - is propelling the Washington Street shop forward and solidifying it as an anchor of the neighborhood.

"That's what's keeping us in business," said Targete.  Read more

Police union eyes Neponset veterans' post for HQ

Members of a veterans' post in Neponset will gather later this month to discuss a proposal to sell their longtime headquarters to the city's largest police union. The Boston Police Patrolmen's Association (BPPA) - now headquartered in Dorchester near South Bay - would like to purchase the John P. McKeon AMVETS Post at 4 Hilltop Street. In a letter sent to the post's membership last weekend, veterans were asked to attend a special meeting on Saturday, Oct. 25 to discuss the proposal to sell the building and to hear a presentation of "a new building" for the post.  Read more

Splashes of color, creativity add flair to utility boxes

A pilot program launched this week by the city will add some color to a handful of the ubiquitous utility boxes that dot the city from stem to stern. The PaintBox project is starting with 13 boxes citywide, including ones in Mattapan Square, Neponset Avenue, Uphams Corner and Codman Square.

On Tuesday, freelance artist Thomas Burns was nearly finished with his box at the corner of Fairway Street and Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan Square. The 35 year-old Dorchester resident took inspriration from his neighborhood's signature housing stock - the three decker - for his design.  Read more

Dot's Hindus celebrate Nine Nights

Hindus from across New England gather to celebrate Navratri or Nine Nights, at Dorchester's Ganesh Temple near Codman Square. Photo by Bijoyeta Das.  Read more

Chang-Diaz gets embrace of elected Dems at rally

Sonia Chang-Diaz, the newly-minted Democratic nominee for the state Senate's Second Suffolk seat, took a victory lap this week with some of the state's top Democrats as incumbent Sen. Dianne Wilkerson battled back against renewed allegations that she lied under oath at a 2005 court hearing.  Read more

Backers say Ross has votes for council presidency

City Councillor Michael Ross will succeed Dorchester's Maureen Feeney as the president of the Boston City Council next year through a unique agreement that will make his chief opponent for the job, Councillor Steve Murphy, the body's vice-president. The arrangement was disclosed on Wednesday, hours after the Reporter's website broke the news that Ross had lined up the seven votes he needs to win the presidency.  Read more

Yawkey Fund pumps $15M into Catholic schools

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Oct. 1, 2008

Some eighth grade pupils were kept after school last Friday at the Neponset Avenue campus of the new Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy, but it was not for poor behavior or to clean the erasers. The students were invited to stay late to receive a group of visitors who brought welcome news for the school's future.  Read more

Wilkerson write-in try awkward for Dems

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Oct. 1, 2008

As state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson cranks up her political apparatus for a write-in campaign to keep the Second Suffolk District seat she's held for 15 years, her colleagues on Beacon Hill, in City Hall and among the Dorchester delegation are largely staying on the sidelines.  Read more

Congressmen offer take on economy

Dorchester's two men in Congress - Michael Capuano in the Eighth District and Stephen F. Lynch in the Ninth - agree they want to see Wall Street help foot the bill for any government-sponsored bailout of the financial industry. Nonetheless, the men came down on opposite sides of Monday's vote on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion bailout bill.  Read more

Cape Verdean activists get organized for Team Obama

Each election cycle provides an opportunity for encouraging voter participation among immigrant communities. Many believe that with Barack Obama on the ballot, Election 2008 could be a golden ticket, rearing voting blocs across the city that 2009 mayoral contenders will have to pay heed to.

"I expect a huge participation just based on our get out the vote effort," said Denise Dabney, Dorchester for Obama organizer. Dabney said immigrants and other people of color showed an out of the ordinary enthusiasm to register - even among those who were not yet citizens.  Read more

Presidential politics enter S. Vietnamese flag day

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Oct. 1, 2008

After Saigon fell on April 30, 1975, the yellow flag with three red stripes (often flown in Dorchester's Vietnamese-American community) was forbidden on Vietnamese territory. It was the flag of the South Vietnamese, first born after France signed the Ha Long Bay Accord with Emperor Bao Dai of Vietnam in 1948.  Read more

Racially-charged start to the latest round

The latest round in the slugfest between incumbent state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson (D-Roxbury) and Democratic nominee Sonia Chang-Diaz has taken a racially-charged turn, after one high-profile Wilkerson supporter said that Chang-Diaz is not a "person of color", even though Chang-Diaz is of white, Asian and Latin descent.  Read more

Rental units now planned for Morton's old police station

By 
Judy Vance
Oct. 1, 2008

What will become of the crumbling brick building with the boarded windows at 872 Morton St. in Mattapan?  Prime property along a busy commercial district, directly across from a newly renovated commuter train service, sits an old Boston Police station house whose fate will ultimately be decided not only by its huge potential, strong community support for revitalization and an interested developer, but also by a downturn in the housing market.  Read more

Savin Hill survivor gears up for Breast Cancer walk, calls mammograms a must

The American Cancer Society will host its "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk this Sunday along Boston's Charles River. The annual fundraising event, designed to support research into the cause and cure of breast cancer, begins at 8 a.m. at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, and continues in a rolling two hour start until 10 a.m. The walk is expected to attract thousands of walkers from among cancer survivors and their families and friends.  Read more

Unsolved murders top agenda at St. Mark's civic meeting

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Oct. 1, 2008

The separate murders of two men on King Street in the last month-and-a-half weighed heavily on the minds of those gathered for Tuesday night's meeting of the Saint Mark's Area Civic Association.

Nicklan Rosa, 25, was shot to death in the driveway of a home he lived in at 26 King Street on the afternoon of Sept. 18. Police say that an unidentified, lone gunman targeted Rosa in what they say was likely a gang-related dispute.  Read more

Yoon weighs mayoral run -- in a maybe sort of way

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Oct. 1, 2008

Based on language on invitations printed and passed out for a fundraiser held this month in California, Boston's daily newspapers ran a story framing City Councillor Sam Yoon as a possible candidate for mayor of Boston in 2009.

Although Yoon and his new spokesperson, Curtis Ellis, were both determined to leave the possibility of a Yoon run open (and what aspiring politician would weigh down their name if it was floated anywhere as lofty?), the hullabaloo about 2009 seems based more on a slow news week than an impending reality.  Read more

Smokers, stores push back on city plan

As a light drizzle stopped on late Sunday night, Liz McBride stepped out of Dbar on Dorchester Avenue to light a cigarette. According to Boston Public Health Commission it will soon be illegal to smoke in the patio of a bar. But McBride says she is smoking a legal substance. "It is an infringement of my rights, and I will continue smoking."

Cigarettes will be prohibited in areas adjacent to worksites such as patios of restaurants and bars, and loading docks, according to a new legislation proposed by Boston Public Health Commission.  Read more

Pot decriminalization battle heats up as foes flex muscles

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Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Sep. 24, 2008

Opponents of a ballot question to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana showcased their political muscle last Wednesday on a day in which the two sides traded barbs over the effects of marijuana use and even campaign finance practices.

At a press conference outside the capitol, district attorneys, mayors, religious leaders, concerned parents and Patrick administration officials, one by one, blasted the question. Passing such a proposal would set off a flood of violent crime, medical problems, impaired driving and youth drug use, they argued.  Read more

Long track led to Red Line restorations

Although civic leaders had long called for action, the present transformation of Dorchester's Red Line stations dates back to well organized grassroots activism in the late 1990s. The now dormant Dorchester Allied Neighborhood Association (DANA) tapped into emerging e-mail chains to ferment an alliance of dissatisfied T-riders along the spine of the Dorchester Avenue corridor. The activists' focused lobbying kept lawmakers lazer-locked on their own efforts to push through bond money to fund the T improvements.  Read more

Council hearing probes baby's shooting, EMS response

Two of Boston's elected officials this week praised police response to a Mattapan shooting that injured a baby, but pressed for more direct communication between officers and emergency response workers.

In a Tuesday hearing, Councillors Charles Yancey and Stephen Murphy questioned officials from the city's Emergency Response Services and other agencies on a June shooting on Fairlawn Avenue.

"We might have gotten trained medical personnel looking at the baby two three four minutes before they ultimately did," Murphy said.  Read more

As economy sours, campaign to preserve income tax kicks off

Opponents of the ballot question eliminating the state income tax officially launched their campaign last week in Grove Hall, trotting out a Worcester businessman, a UMass-Boston student, a Cape Cod nurse and a Dorchester special needs teacher and saying the ballot question's passage would lead to public schools closings, roads and bridges falling into disrepair and higher taxes and fees in other areas.  Read more

Next stop: 21st century in Fields Corner

The new platforms at Fields Corner Station on the Red Line. Photo by Pete Stidman.  Read more