News

City hauls 17 vehicles out of Mattapan man's back yard

City workers pull a junked car out of the mud behind 14 Hannon Street last Tuesday.

In a situation inspectors called "unbelievable," over 17 cars and trucks were hauled out of a residential backyard in Mattapan on Friday. The "junkyard," as assistant commissioner Darryl Smith called it, broke several zoning codes and presented a fire and safety hazard, he said. Neighbors said they had lived with it for more than 20 years, but never knew it was illegal.  Read more

Activists hold court at civic summit

Many were from Dorchester. But they were also from Back Bay, Roslindale, Brighton and Mattapan. Most of the 450 attendees, many of them leaders in their communities, stayed at the unprecedented civic summit through the drizzly Saturday afternoon, trading business cards with each other and taking in workshops on fundraising, zoning, communication and voter education.  Read more

Archdiocese breaks ground on Pope John Paul II Academy

The wheels of progress roll on at Dorchester's new Pope John Paul II Academy parochial school system. A new regional director has been chosen, a new pastor was appointed for St. Gregory's, and media photographers dodged dirt thrown by third graders on Columbia Road as they broke ground for the Columbia Campus' renovation and its new gymnasium and Cafeteria on Monday afternoon.  Read more

Candidates for Dot Mayor running at full tilt

The Mayor of Dorchester campaign is in full fundraising swing with a number of events taking place across Dorchester in the last remaining weeks of the race. The three contenders vying for the title have a healthy dose of competition, but it's all for a good cause.

"No sabotage yet. It could come to that, you know," John O'Toole, PJ Trapani's campaign manager and a former candidate himself, said with a chuckle.  Read more

Galvin still opposes 'Sticky Rice' ballot translations

A proposal before the Boston City Council to provide bilingual ballots and translate candidates' names into Chinese characters appears poised to reignite debate over the practice as the state's chief elections officer says he remains opposed to the translating.

As part of a 2006 law stemming from an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, Boston provides bilingual ballots for Chinese and Vietnamese-speaking voters.

But the agreement expires in December 2008, which has prompted Sam Yoon, councillor at-large, to file a bill making the agreement permanent.  Read more

ot businesses and volunteers are honored for contributions to the Main Streets initiative

A woman-owned legal practice in Fields Corner was among the 38 business and individuals honored Tuesday night for their contribution to an initiative between Boston and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. HNN Law, run by Nina Nguyen, was honored at the Greater Boston YMCA as part of the Boston Main Streets project, a 19-district program aimed at setting up thriving commercial districts.  Read more

Local merchants are hoping to brighten Morton Village

By 
Martine Louis
Apr. 30, 2008

In the dark is not where Dan Hardaway wants to run his Mattapan boutique, Final Touch with Class, one of fourteen businesses he said are cast in the shadows along Morton Street near the Morton Street MBTA station on the commuter rail.

It has been a two-year struggle for the Morton Street Board of Trade to get additional or stronger streetlights installed along the stretch of West Selden Street and Morton to Norfolk and Blue Hill avenues, yet Hardaway says not much has come of it.  Read more

In magazine's power rankings, Feeney comes in at No. 32, Menino No. 1

City Council President Maureen Feeney wants to be clear: when it came to Boston magazine ranking the 50 most powerful people in the city, she had nothing to do with coming in at No. 32.

"I did not nominate myself," she says with a laugh. She came in ahead of Arline Isaacson, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus and Alan Solomont, CEO of Solomont Bailis Ventures and heavy Democratic fundraiser (#33 and #34), Cardinal Sean O'Malley (#36), MIT President Susan Hockfield (#38) and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (#43).  Read more

Neponset 'Esplanade' gets $5m OK

Three miles of bike path starting in Mattapan Square, a revamped Martini Shell for performances, and a new canoe and kayak launch in Hyde Park will be part of a new "Neponset River Esplanade," Gov. Deval Patrick announced last week, approving $5.18 million for the work.

The park will be another step in the state's long-term master plan to build parks and paths along the entire coast of Dorchester and the banks of the Neponset, connecting Boston Harbor to the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton.  Read more

Shootings raise concerns around Hendry Street

A quadruple shooting near the Ka-Carlos restaurant on Hancock Street alarmed Bowdoin-Geneva activists enough to demand a visit from police brass and Department of Neighborhood Development director Evelyn Friedman last week. The concern was the possibility that rampant foreclosures in the neighborhood - which includes the now infamous Hendry Street with its rows of boarded up three-deckers - may be driving crime.  Read more

A proposal to protect tenants

Selling apartment buildings, as a rule, is easier when they are vacant, according to representatives of the real estate industry. But that bit of logic has opened a hefty subplot to the foreclosure crisis over the past year or so.  Read more

Grateful flock salutes St. Greg's pastor; Msgr. Ryan retiring after 27 years there

It was so packed at St. Gregory's Sunday Mass last weekend thatthey had to simulcast the morning service on TVs in the basement church. Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Council President Maureen Feeney and Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley took seats in the pews. And 12 St. Gregory's Elementary School children sang: "You are my hero."

Hundreds came to celebrate Monsignor Paul Thomas Ryan's 50th anniversary as priest at Sunday's Mass, showing he was a man who touched many lives.  Read more

Dot businesses and volunteers are honored for contributions: to the Main Streets initiative

A woman-owned legal practice in Fields Corner was among the 38 business and individuals honored Tuesday night for their contribution to an initiative between Boston and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. HNN Law, run by Nina Nguyen, was honored at the Greater Boston YMCA as part of the Boston Main Streets project, a 19-district program aimed at setting up thriving commercial districts.  Read more

The Misses of Dorchester: A showcase for accomplished girls

In 1993, I was a shy little six-year-old with missing front teeth and a lisp. As my mother put rollers in my hair the morning of the Little Miss Dorchester contest, she reminded me to do my best, speak loudly, and keep smiling.

I was nervous as I walked onstage. Then my little sister (my number one fan) yelled out my name in baby talk and I relaxed. After the contestants answered questions like: "What's your favorite subject in school?" and "What do you want to be when you grow up?" the judges convened to decide who would be the next Little Miss.  Read more

Local reps put focus on youth in budget moves; Amendments target violence

State representatives scrambled to file amendments totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars last week after House leaders proposed a $28 billion budget, and Dorchester's delegation was no different, bringing a focus on youth violence prevention programs. As it stood at press time, the Haitian Multi-Service Center would receive $158,000; Close to Home, a domestic violence prevention program, would receive $200,000; and the Ella J. Baker House would get $260,000.  Read more

Construction Co. bounced out of another neighborhood

The Walsh Corporation, a Dorchester-based construction contractor with an office on Park Street, is being forced to move a storage site for their equipment yet again.  Read more

Energetic Dot trio sold on health-conscious beverage

Three franchise partners are working to bring the ancient Polynesian fruit, "Noni" to Dorchester and surrounding communities in 8.33-ounce cans.

Called HIRO, these drinks are among the newest of the Utah- based, multi-billion dollar company Tahitian Noni International. Steve Davis, 39, calls HIRO "a healthier beverage line" that combines juice from this small, bumpy, pale-green fruit with other ingredients.  Read more

Dorchester, Mattapan residents hail three

"The city of Boston is not one color, but many shades of brown," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino at the 14th annual African-American Achievement Awards ceremony last week. "The movers and shakers are those in the black community."

Over dinner and live musical performances, local residents gathered at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury on April 17 to celebrate the unsung heroes of Boston. It was also an occasion to celebrate African-American culture.  Read more

Dot Board of Trade looks to 2020 with a focus

As a dizzying array of new developments hover on Dorchester's near horizon, the neighborhood's leading merchants group hopes to bring the myriad projects into sharper focus in a unique program planned for next Tuesday evening. The Dorchester Board of Trade will host a forum called "Dorchester 2020" at Florian Hall on Hallet Street from 6 to 8 p.m. The program, moderated by NECN reporter and Dorchester native Greg Wayland, will feature presentations on major development plans from the Fairmount Line corridor to the Columbia Point waterfront.  Read more

Ethos and partners offer blow-out for seniors in May

Mattapan seniors will see ice-cream socials, a Hawaiian luau, and a senior prom as facets of the fourth annual SeniorPalooza sponsored by Ethos and its community partners next month. More than 80 free and open to the public events will offer seniors and their families the opportunity to get active, meet their neighbors, and learn about local elder services.  Read more

An uneasy fit: Oil company, Urban Wild combo jarring to some

It was once a crime-ridden, trashed out lot, but today a network of gravel paths is weaving through newly cleared brush and finding the occasional granite bench. Over $400,000 of work is nearing completion at the Geneva Cliffs Urban Wild, beautifying the intersection of Geneva Avenue and Bowdoin Street. But just to the right of the park's entrance stands what some see as a fly in the ointment, the Star Five Oil Company, a decidedly non-nature-friendly flaw in the overall vision.  Read more

Menino says new budget offers city 'stability'

Mayor Thomas Menino unveiled last week a proposed $2.42 billion operating budget for Boston, a 5.1 percent increase that would be mitigated, in part, by increases in parking fines. A five-year capital budget of $1.5 billion was also highlighted, with expenditures expected to total $151 million in the coming fiscal year.

Some of the moves, particularly the increase in some parking fines, drew criticism from city councillors, who have 60 days to consider the budget and were still looking over it this week.

Menino said the budget provided "stability in a time of uncertainty."  Read more

Fire destroys six-family home near Codman Square

A four-alarm fire on Colonial Avenue left 18 people without a home Monday morning when the three-story apartment building went up in flames. There were tears and missing pets on the sidewalk as residents stood, wrapped in blankets, watching firefighters scale the building from all sides to stomp out the remains of a fire that took their possessions but, thankfully, said resident Julie Stewart, no lives.  Read more

Potential Wilkerson foe to back her chief rival; St. Fleur, Allen, Hart could face fall competition

One candidate who was challenging state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson has stepped aside as others have jumped in for their shot to represent parts of Dorchester.

Roxbury filmmaker Robert Patton-Spruill, who pulled nomination papers earlier this year, is now throwing support to Sonia Chang-Diaz, he said this week.

"I think if I did [run], it would just divide the vote," instead of furthering his goal of new leadership, he said. "I don't think state senators should be in there for life," he added, taking a shot at Wilkerson's eight terms in office.  Read more

Codman Square gas station fined; City cites price sign deception

The city of Boston is fining G & D Auto Center on Washington Street $450 for allegedly misleading its customers on the price of gas.

G & D calls their least expensive gas "economy" rather than "regular," though the company's signs on the street don't make this clear. The result is "a classic case of bait and switch," said Bob McGrath of the city's Inspectional Services Department, which issued owner Vidal Garcia a list of six violations last week.  Read more