News

Dorcena Forry endorses Chang-Diaz

Another politician who endorsed state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson during the September Democratic primary has switched support to challenger Sonia Chang-Diaz. State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry said she is now endorsing Chang-Diaz for the general election.

"I've known Sonia for several years," Forry said, noting that Chang-Diaz, a former public school teacher, worked on her election campaign in 2005. Forry added that she admires Wilkerson, who is running a sticker campaign to retain her seat, "but the voters in her district chose Chang-Diaz in the primary."  Read more

ACORN offices in Fields Corner ransacked; $5,000 reward offered for information on last week's break-in

ACORN Massachusetts' head organizer Noemi "Mimi" Ramos arrived at her office the morning after last week's presidential debate to find the front door unlocked, three desktop computers missing, Internet and phone lines ripped out of the walls and general disarray.  Read more

Geneva Cliffs work completed, opening this weekend

It is the culmination of years of work by several community organizations, four city departments, and dozens of donors. Over $400,000 in improvements to the Geneva Cliffs Urban Wild have been completed, and the new park's grand opening is scheduled for Saturday morning.

"It took a lot of effort because people for a long time didn't have any vision that it would be an asset," said Sherry Flashman, a consultant on the project working with the Dorchester Bay EDC.  Read more

Lynch tours Iraqi cities

Congressman Steve Lynch returned to Iraq for the tenth time last week as part of a Congressional delegation visit. Lynch and two other House colleagues travelled to Samarra and Sadr City, a Shiite stronghold within Baghdad which has been a base of support for the radical cleric, Moqtadar al-Sadr. He also visited an Air Force hospital and dined with soliders from Massachuetts.

The Lynch tour was the first Congressional delegation to participate in a so-called "battlefield circulation" in Samarra, which was the site of the 2006 Golden Mosque bombing.  Read more

State cuts hit hard in non-profit sector

For Bill Walczak, co-founder of the Codman Square Health Center, the $900 million in cuts to the state's budget that Gov. Deval Patrick announced last week are actually the second round. A number of state agencies absorbed cuts at the beginning of the budget year in July, he noted in a recent interview.  Read more

ACORN offices in Fields Corner ransacked: $5,000 reward offered for information on last week's break-in

ACORN Massachusetts' head organizer Noemi "Mimi" Ramos arrived at her office the morning after last week's presidential debate to find the front door unlocked, three desktop computers missing, Internet and phone lines ripped out of the walls and general disarray.  Read more

Viet voting bloc building strength across the state

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Oct. 22, 2008

Sipping tea with senior members of the Vietnamese community in a garage on Dorchester Ave, Thu Nguyen, a young investment-banking analyst, was asked to mobilize the Vietnamese community for the presidential elections. Nguyen said despite his busy schedule he wanted to start an independent organization to build a "strong voice" among the immigrant community.  Read more

Polish Triangle officially named Polish Triangle

Members of the Krakowiak Polish dance group performed at last Saturday's dedication of the "Polish Triangle" near Andrew Square. Photo courtesy White Eagle Media LLC  Read more

New look eyed for old park

In some ways Franklin Park is a ruin of itself, roads overgrown with weeds winding through jungle-like wilderness and rocky ruins rising up from the groundcover. Back in the 1880s Frederick Law Olmsted carefully planned how visitors would tour the park on paths and carriage roads. But over the years, things have changed.  Read more

CDC's line up to buy foreclosed properties

Boston's community development corporations (CDCs) were on the forefront of rejuvenating city neighborhoods in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, and the push is on to innovate new tactics to address the foreclosure crisis.

Dorchester and Mattapan's CDCs are gearing up to take advantage of millions of dollars in new federal funding designated for turning foreclosed properties into rentals and affordable home-ownership opportunities, and the challenges are many.  Read more

Changes seen likely for city schools plan

Students board a school bus outside the Pauline A. Shaw Elementary School, one of several that would close under a plan devised by BPS superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson this fall. Photo by Pete Stidman.

Superintendent Carol Johnson's budget-trimming plan to reorganize, close, and consolidate schools may not be the final word for schools facing the axe.  Read more

Students challenge Johnson on plans

Shanyce Morgan, a junior at Noonan Business Academy at the Dorchester Education Complex, addresses Superintendent Johnson during a Tuesday evening meeting at Mildred Avenue Community Center. Photo by Pete Stidman

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Free flu shots available locally

With flu season fast approaching, the Boston Public Health Commission recommends flu shots for the following groups considered most at-risk for infection and serious illness, including children aged 6 months to 5 years, pregnant women, people 50 years of age and older and those of any age with certain chronic medical conditions.  Read more

ACORN office in Fields Corner burglarized, ransacked

ACORN Massachusetts' head organizer Noemi "Mimi" Ramos arrived at the organization's offices in Fields Corner Thursday morning, Oct. 16, to find the front door unlocked, three desktop computers missing, internet and phone lines ripped out of the walls and general disarray.  Read more

Solar panels may complement gas tank landmark

Just as NSTAR put the finishing touches on a 10-kilowatt demonstration solar power array at the Mass Audubon Center in Mattapan earlier this month, National Grid submitted plans to the city for six megawatts of arrays at locations across Greater Boston, including a highly visible spot around the company's landmark gas tank on Dorchester Bay.  Read more

Families find haven, fresh start at Brookview

Children work with site coordinator Daniel Depina at the Brookview House after-school program last Thursday. Pictured left to right are: Maryah Williams, Emmanuella Saturne, Isabella Saturne, Depina, and Jared Smith. Photo by Bijoyeta Das.  Read more

Buyers with cash rule roost in uneasy housing market

 

Over the past three years, prices on multi-family houses in Dorchester and Mattapan have plummeted, bouncing up and down around half of the peak prices they registered back in 2005 for most of this year. Condo prices have dropped as well, but not nearly as much, even though dozens of foreclosed condos have hit the market and sold for well under $100,000.  Read more

Vote No on 1' push in Fields Corner

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Oct. 15, 2008

Mimi Ramos, center, leads a team of ACORN volunteers and staff dedicated to defeating the ballot question 1, which would eliminate the state income tax. From left: Mattapan organizer Kesner Forestale of Dorchester, field organizer Ricky Nelson, Ramos, Mary Ann Jones of Boston, Becky Pierce of Dorchester, Loreliei Kluever, Ben Kuss and Chris Leonard, campaign director for ACORN. Photo by Bill Forry /p>

Karen Brown, like a third of people who are likely to vote Nov.  Read more

Boston win for McCain? Not likely

John McCain, regardless of his performance nationally, is going to lose Dorchester, Boston, and Massachusetts.

That makes him no different than Republican presidents back to Ronald Reagan - who, at least in part due to a near-mythic swing into the Eire Pub in 1984, connected with the blue-collar Democrats that often swing elections in these precincts. Both Bushes had their Stetsons handed to them here.  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

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

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

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

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

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