News

Dot man convicted in Westin Hotel stabbing

A Dorchester man has been convicted of manslaughter for fatally stabbing a co-worker who ridiculed him about his failed attempts to date a waitress at the hotel restaurant where they both worked.

Ivan Lorenzo Sosa was found guilty Tuesday in the Sept. 16, 2006, death of 30-year-old Carlos Borrero Jr. of Chelsea. Sosa was charged with second-degree murder, but a Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted him of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to serve 8 to 12 years in prison.  Read more

Chang-Diaz unseats Wilkerson in Senate showdown

By 
Gintautas Dumcius and Bijoyeta Das
Sep. 17, 2008

Sonia Chang-Diaz, who prevailed in her primary challenge of incumbent State Senator Dianne Wilkerson on Tuesday, is greeted at her Jamaica Plain victory party by supporter and mentor Barbara Lee. Photo by Bijoyeta Das.

By a narrow margin, voters in the Second Suffolk district on Tuesday handed the seat of incumbent state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson to her challenger, Sonia Chang-Diaz, who is now heavily favored to win the Senate seat in November.  Read more

Codman Square teens hail decade of success

Dressed in black, Jeralda Sylvain, 15, is sporting a purple beaded necklace. Pinned to her hooded sweatshirt are a florescent anti-smoking label and a button in memory of her cousin, who was murdered.  Read more

Bayside proposal generates feedback in BRA review

Jay Rourke, project manager for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, is sifting through letters from civic leaders, local residents and city and state agencies this month, trying to create a new checklist of things Corcoran Jennison should study or consider altering about their Bayside re-development proposal on Columbia Point.  Read more

Suffolk agrees to brick veneer at St. Margaret's

Just a week after an unapproved cinder block wall on the back of a new gymnasium at the Columbia Campus of the Pope John Paul II Academy (formerly known as St. Margaret's) brought neighbors on Roseclair Street to a boil, Suffolk Construction has agreed to attach a brick veneer to the greater portion of the wall and add metal sheathing to its upper portions. The details were hammered out in a McCormack Civic Association meeting on Tuesday.  Read more

Viet-AID stalls on talks with 'concerned members'

By 
By
Sep. 10, 2008

The Vietnamese-American Initiative for Development's board of directors has apparently decided against meeting a group of insurgent community members with a third-party arbitrator, instead telling them they are free to meet with an arbitrator on their own.  Read more

Consultants quietly plan for Franklin Park changes

A presentation on a study of Franklin Park's transportation patterns that will inform recommendations for changes went largely unnoticed last month, due to short notice to the Franklin Park Coalition and what appears to be an absence of advertising for the meeting. Only five people showed up to the Aug. 14 meeting hosted by the Boston Parks Department, and the director of the FPC, Christine Poff, wasn't one of them.  Read more

Savin Hill man among world's best at handball

Ron Lescinskas has no coach and no big name sponsors. He scouts for discounted air tickets and flies alone to compete in the national handball tournament, which offers no prize money.

He plays for the love of the game.He learned to play as a youngster growing up in South Boston, and he plays it better than most people in the world.

"It is such a great game," said Lescinskas, who has been playing since the age of 10. "It is one of the most challenging sports and a great stress reliever."  Read more

Veto of Neponset cleanup funds puzzles activists

Gov. Deval Patrick's veto of $12 million for the cleanup of the lower Neponset River has left activists puzzled and hopeful that lawmakers will move to restore the money. The funds were meant to be part of a $1.7 billion bond bill that Patrick signed in August. In a press release announcing the signing, there was no mention of the Neponset veto or any others.  Read more

Allen and Gabriel face off in rare primary contest

Heading into the Sept. 16 primary, state Rep. Willie Mae Allen squared off against her challenger Faustina "Kathy" Gabriel in a forum last week, with both voicing their respective takes on violence prevention tactics and support for public transportation.

In the brief forum last Thursday at English High School in Jamaica Plain, Gabriel, a relative newcomer on the local political scene, sought to knock Allen off her perch, but failed to land any hits.  Read more

Eviction crisis will persist, say advocates

Last Friday, Soledad Lawrence was chained to the front of a condominium at 76 Perrin St in Roxbury, trying to keep Paula Taylor from being evicted. Lawrence, a tenant organizer for City Life, a Jamaica Plain non-profit that has been working to prevent evictions and foreclosures in Boston, intended to be arrested that morning.

"We always go in prepared to be arrested," she said in a phone interview this week.

Friday wasn't her day. She wasn't arrested, but four others were.  Read more

Ashmont Grill dinner to aide homeless families

Brookview House, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, that serves homeless families, will hold its fourth annual benefit "The 2008 End of the Summer Wine Tasting" event on Saturday, Sept. 13. The fund-raiser scheduled from 3:30 to 6 p.m. will feature a four-course dinner, wine tasting and a presentation about the activities of Brookview House. The event will be held at Ashmont Grill, 555 Talbot Ave.  Read more

Banker helps collar robbery suspect

Outraged when he realized that someone was attempting to rob his bank for a second time in 10 days, a Lower Mills bank president reacted by dropping his phone and running out of his office to give chase last Friday afternoon. And with the help of a Boston cop in his cruiser in a nearby parking lot, the collar was made.

The incident took place mid-day last Friday. Meetinghouse Cooperative Bank President Tony Paciulli was in his office at the bank on Dorchester Avenue at the corner of Richmond Street, when he realized that a man was attempting to pass a note demanding cash.  Read more

Police districts B-3 and B-6 could grow, C-11 shrink

Pressures from various neighborhoods have kept a change in Boston's police districts slow cooking for years, but the final touches are being added to a new re-districting recipe that may be ready by November, as long as no neighborhoods get steamed.

District captains have been reaching out to their constituents, feeling out how each views the natural boundaries and allegiances in their neighborhoods.  Read more

Local Poet starts small, wins big with 'chapbook'

Poet and Dorchester resident Anna Ross enjoys her backyard with her daughter Ita Berg. Photo by Kendra Stanton Lee.

When trying to establish oneself in the publishing industry, it may be best to start small. As small as, say, a chapbook. And what exactly is a chapbook?

Ask Dorchester poet Anna Ross who was awarded first prize in the 2008 New Women's Voices chapbook contest by Finishing Line Press.  Read more

Viet-AID goes back to drawing board on Geneva Ave. plans

By 
By
Sep. 3, 2008

The developer of a proposed 29-unit affordable housing building in Fields Corner was asked to make changes to the project and negotiate with abutters late last month, forcing at least a six-month delay. Some observers--pairing the opposition to this project with blockers of a smaller four-story building at the former site of the Lucky Strike Bowling Alley--note a developing trend in Fields Corner that is anti-density, hamstringing sizable investment in the area.  Read more

Two Dot banks sign onto veterans housing program

By 
By
Sep. 3, 2008

Two Dorchester community banks have signed on to offer low or no-down payment mortgages for veterans through a program sponsored by Mass Housing, the state program that develops and promotes affordable housing. The residential loan program "Home for the Brave" was crafted to assist veterans serving in current conflicts.  Read more

Revamped Catholic schools get set for first day

On Tuesday morning at nine, teachers, administrators and clergy of the Pope John Paul II Academy gathered at St. Mark's Church on Dorchester Avenue to celebrate a new school year, and what they term a new beginning for Catholic education in urban centers across the United States.  Read more

Dot's Dems see history from the front row

State Reps. Marty Walsh, Linda Dorcena Forry, Gloria Fox and Willie Mae Allen were among the delegates who traveled to Denver for last week's Democratic National Convention. The four are shown above inside Invesco Field at Mile High during the final night of the convention.  Read more

A new day dawns at Jeremiah Burke

Bent over her desk in Room 342, Anizia Piris is preparing for the start of the 2008-2009 school year. Today, the 12-year teaching veteran will start a new job as a math instructor at the long troubled and now newly refurbished Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Grove Hall.

When the school bell rings this morning it will usher in the first students the Washington Street building has seen since a massive rehabilitation project began in December 2006.  Read more

Neighbors peeved by style change at St. Margaret's

Father Paul Soper, who delivered a homily describing a new Catholic school system built on a leap, a prayer and millions of dollars Tuesday morning, sat Tuesday evening in a meeting of abutters to St. Margaret's School and his Blessed Mother Teresa Church. He was the only one who openly said he liked how the new gymnasium and cafeteria addition to the school - now half-built - looked from Roseclair Street.

"I like it," he said. "I like how it looks."  Read more

Vietnamese tradition comes to Dot Park

By 
By
Sep. 3, 2008

The 14th of September, which happens to be the 15th day of the eighth lunar month in the calendar used in Vietnam, is the day of Têt Trung Thu, a traditional child-centric harvest festival. For the first time - on Sept. 1 - that holiday which involves colorful lanterns, singing and moon cakes, will be celebrated publicly in Dorchester Park.  Read more

After year, college prep bears fruit at Federated

Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses' new focus on shepherding Dot's youth onto the college track is bearing fruit, says director Mark Culliton. In what was once called FDNH's GED program - but now is referred to as college prep 0 14 former high school dropouts have entered college.

"I always wanted to go to college, but I didn't want to go to high school," said 19-year-old Jazmen Huggins, a Dorchester resident and former Charlestown High School student who took FDNH's program from July to August this year. "It was like an epidemic at school, everybody was dropping out."  Read more

Policing parks a work in progress

When the city of Boston disbanded its Municipal Police Department - a small, but focused force that patrolled city parks, buildings and parking lots exclusively - some local residents worried that there would be a noticeable gap in police patrols and a potential explosion in vandalism, vagrancy and delinquency. A year-and-a-half later, there's been no measurable jump in park incidents, but there are lingering concerns about just how secure neighborhood parks can be post-Muni.  Read more

Pit stop with a purpose

It is 10:30 on a humid Friday morning and the Fair Foods truck is on time. So are their customers.

The line queuing up to the back of the truck parked at the corner of Adams and Whitten Streets is 10 deep, each customer eager to know what today's surplus will afford. Today there are potatoes and onions, just like last week's shipment. But there is also corn, and bottles of soda, too.  Read more