(UPDATED) Sources: Rep. Collins backing Connolly in mayoral race

State Rep. Nick Collins, a South Boston Democrat, is backing City Councillor At-Large John Connolly in the race to replace Mayor Thomas Menino, several sources told the Reporter on Wednesday.  Read more

#BosMayor Round-Up, Morning Edition: Sept. 4, 2013

The Sept. 24 prelim is 20 days away.  Read more

At deadline's eve, little bump in Boston voter registrations

Mike Deehan, State House News Service
Sep. 3, 2013

Officials at Boston City Hall haven't seen many new voter registrations in the weeks leading up to this month's preliminary municipal elections, but are bracing for a possible blitz of new voters generated by mayoral hopefuls looking for an advantage in a crowded 12-person field.

The deadline to register to vote in the Sept. 24 preliminary is Wednesday.  Read more

#BosMayor Round-Up: Aug. 31, 2013

The Sept. 24 preliminary is 23 days away.  Read more

State House News Q&A: Mayoral candidates on liquor licensing

Mike Deehan, State House News Service
Aug. 30, 2013

In response to a News Service questionnaire, ten of the 12 candidates for mayor of Boston offered their positions on how state law could be altered to allow for more liquor licenses for the city. Currently, the Legislature selectively grants additional licenses for communities, but Boston has for years operated at the maximum number of licenses, creating high demand and steep prices for existing licenses. Mayor Thomas Menino supports a home rule petition from City Councilor Ayanna Pressley that would allow the city to do away with the cap and regulate its own licensing.  Read more

Mass delegation weighs possible US action in Syria

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Aug. 29, 2013

Several members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation called for caution and forethought in the nation’s approach to Syria, which might include military force.

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, and Congressmen John Tierney, Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch indicated openness to the use of force, while calling for more information and in some cases the assertion of Congress’s constitutional power to declare war.

“The one thing that I’m absolutely certain of is that Congress has to be consulted and in my opinion, consulted means more than just informed. In my opinion it means Congress has to be asked for permission to use military force,” Capuano said.  Read more

Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer’ on tap at local outdoor venues this weekend

The calendar says it’s almost autumn, but there’s still plenty of time this weekend for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” thanks to the Dorchester-based Brown Box Theatre Project. Shakespeare’s enchanting comedy about fairies, stage-struck workmen, and fickle lovers wandering around in an Athenian forest will be given five local performances this weekend.  Read more

Probation beat: Making the rounds

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 29, 2013

On two consecutive recent Tuesday nights, the Dorchester District Court’s Probation Department allowed the Reporter to accompany its officers while they met with probationers. The reporter rode first alongside two officers on daytime rounds and later with the Boston Police-affiliated NiteLite program that watches over potentially more volatile offenders.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: ‘Unity’ isn’t unanimous at 12th Suffolk breakfast

Gov. Deval Patrick, along with U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, Congressman Michael Capuano, and Attorney General Martha Coakley, appeared at the Carter Post on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan yesterday for a Democratic “unity” breakfast in the 12th Suffolk District. But the “unity” part of the get-together seemed somewhat problematic in the days leading up to the event. One of the three Democrats on the Aug. 13 primary ballot said she would not be there, and a second was not planning to endorse the third, the winning nominee, Dan Cullinane.  Read more

City defends taking of Mattapan farm

Lawyers representing the owners of a distressed Mattapan farm property are fighting back against the city of Boston after one of its agencies seized control of the Norfolk Street landmark earlier this month. City Hall lawyers are defending the move— saying that they has an obligation to save the historic farmhouse and an adjacent barn from what one official has termed “demolition by neglect.”

Officials from the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) took control of the Fowler-Clark Farm at 487 Norfolk St. on August 10 citing concerns about its ongoing deterioration. The city agency brought in landscapers and heavy equipment to clear the property of debris and brush— and to secure the buildings— racking up a bill in excess of $50,000, according to a letter obtained by the Reporter this week.  Read more

Will next mayor make or break the Strand Theatre?

Strand Theatre: Columbia Rd. landmark goes unused most days.

What will the next mayor of Boston do with the Strand Theatre, the Uphams Corner landmark that debuted as a movie palace in the waning days of World War I? Like a Charlie Chaplin character flickering across its earliest screen, the Uphams Corner landmark stumbled and lurched across the 20th century and, on more than one occasion, damn-near plunged hat-first into an abyss of debt and decrepitness. And, like the ‘Little Tramp’ himself, the Strand has proven to be an enduring and endearing figure – with the promise of new audiences and a heroic revival that has been years in the making.  Read more

Suffolk Downs pact with city puts casino vote issue in spotlight

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Aug. 28, 2013

On a humid Tuesday afternoon, Bill Walczak was waiting outside City Hall. His mayoral campaign, like the others struggling for attention in a 12-person field, had just been handed a small gift from a few floors above: an agreement between the city and Suffolk Downs to bring money, jobs, and a $1 billion casino to East Boston. In other words, something specific to run against, aside from his opponents.  Read more

#BosMayor Round-Up: Aug. 27, 2013

The Sept. 24 preliminary is 27 days away. In today's round-up: City Councillor Michael Ross releases his first TV ad, while fellow City Councillor Rob Consalvo highlights a blighted property in his new ad.  Read more

#BosMayor Round-Up: Aug. 26, 2013

There are 28 days left before the Sept. 24 preliminary and 70 days left before the Nov. 5 final election.

-- Bill Walczak’s campaign has released its first television ad, scheduled to air on WCVB during the 6 p.m. hour, his campaign said. The ad focuses on Walczak’s work at the Codman Square Health Center and the Codman Academy charter school. “Come on Boston, let’s think big!” Walczak says at the end. His campaign did not respond to a request for details about the ad buy.

The ad is below.  Read more

Candidates talk policy in Dorchester Reporter survey

In July, the Dorchester Reporter prepared its own questionnaire for mayoral candidates and asked each of the 12 candidates on the Sept. ballot to participate. To date, nine of the 12 candidates have submitted the survey, which included biographical questions, details about their political ideology and specific policy questions that have both citywide and neighborhood-specific implications. The Reporter also included a "case study" section that asks candidates how they would deal with a longstanding redevelopment question in Uphams Corner: the Leon Electric Building.  Read more

Mayoral candidates respond to Reporter survey

Candidates for mayor are shown during a candidate's forum on Youth Jobs held on Aug. 13 in Boston. Photo by Chris Lovett

Nine of the twelve mayoral candidates have weighed in on a host of topics – from gun violence to the names of their role models – that were included in a questionnaire they received from the Dorchester Reporter. They offer varied and sometimes lengthy responses as to how they would deal with the key issues facing the city, and a new administration.  Read more

BRA status under next mayor is focus at forum

Mayor Thomas Menino created Boston Main Streets, a program that offers financial and technical assistance to local businesses, in 1995, and it has grown in size and scope since then. The city funnels federal grant funding and devotes City Hall staffers to Main Streets, which now boasts districts in 20 neighborhoods, including Fields Corner and Mattapan.  Read more

Historic homes offer window into Dorchester’s past

Brianna MacGregor, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 22, 2013

The Pierce House on Oakton Avenue, built in 1683, has been open to the public since 1968. Photo courtesy Historic New EnglandThe Pierce House on Oakton Avenue, built in 1683, has been open to the public since 1968. Photo courtesy Historic New England

Dorchester’s Pierce House is a quaint, unassuming structure, nestled in a small lot directly across the street from the Kenny School. A sign on the front walkway is the only indicator of its historical significance.

However, the house’s interior tells a different story. Several rooms are set up as craft and teaching spaces, with one room set up using period furniture, some of which belonged to the Pierce family. Wide slabs of wood are laid across the floor, and thick beams hold up the roof overhead.

“This is all original beaming,” said Ivy Wagner, the Pierce House museum teacher. She explained that most of the original architecture of the house is still in place.  Read more

Kayyem preps for corner office bid in visit to Lower Mills

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 22, 2013

Latest to announce run for Governor in 2014: Juliette Kayyem was Globe columnistLatest to announce run for Governor in 2014: Juliette Kayyem was Globe columnistIt would seem that in order to become a viable Democratic candidate in Massachusetts, you need to do at least two things: open a campaign account with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance and hold forth in the living room of a certain Lower Mills home to begin to get your message out to the grassroots.

Juliette Kayyem — who formally announced her candidacy for governor on Wednesday morning— can cross both off her gubernatorial bucket list this week.

On Sunday night, the former Boston Globe columnist and Homeland Security adviser for President Barack Obama introduced herself to about 30 dedicated Democrats at the Adams Street home of Joyce Linehan. Kayyem’s comments focused on her biography, philosophy and experience working for both Gov. Deval Patrick and Obama.  Read more

Casino partners plan Sept. 10 vendors’ forum in Roxbury

East Boston is in the pole position when it comes to reaping jobs and vendor contracts from a proposed resort casino at Suffolk Downs. But the partners behind the project are starting to reach out to Boston’s other neighborhoods as well— beginning with a Sept. 10 “business partnership forum” at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury.  Read more

Staged readings lean on power of August Wilson’s works

It all started with a conversation between Adams Village resident Clifford Odle and Barbara Lewis, who heads the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture at UMass. They agreed that a retrospective on the works of acclaimed playwright August Wilson would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase Boston-area black actors and stage directors, several of whom live here in Dorchester.  Read more

New manager takes charge at Lambert’s Fitness Center

Lambert’s Fitness Center (LFC) for Women, owned by April Visco, has a new gym manager effective Mon., August 16.

Visco said that, with the imminent addition of several large gyms to the area, she wants LFC to be as competitive as possible. She thinks new manager Dave Pagano will help an even greater sense of community in the fitness center.

Located at 735 William T Morrissey Blvd in Dorchester, LFC boasts a variety of group exercise classes and a spacious environment for women to work out in - and Pagano hopes to bring the highest level of customer service possible to his new job.  Read more

Commentary: What homeowners need to know about new city ordinance

Bryan Glascock
Aug. 22, 2013

Boston is moving forward with the newly amended Rental Housing Registration and Inspection program, which requires all private rental units to be registered with the City and inspection of all non-exempt rental units to be conducted at least once every five years.  Read more

Staples National School Supply Drive Partnership

Staples National School Supply Drive Partnership - This Summer, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Staples are teaming up with Teen actor, Jake T. Austin, for the 6th Annual Staples for Students national school supply drive, to help kids get the tools they need to build great futures. From 6/30 to 9/28 Staples customers can donate $1 or more at their local Staples store with 100% of the proceeds benefitting local students from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester.  Read more

Police probe attack that left man near death in Adams Corner

Boston and State Police are investigating an attack early Sunday that left a man lying unconscious around 4:15 a.m. on Sunday outside the China Sky/Windy City building at 516 Gallivan Blvd.  Read more