News

UMass starts design on new science building

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By
Aug. 13, 2008

A digital rendering of the Campus Center at UMass-Boston with the proposed science building in the background. Courtesy of UMass-Boston

Now that Gov. Deval Patrick has signed the $2.2 billion higher education bond bill - $125 million of which will go for improvements at the UMass-Boston campus - college administrators are hot to trot to begin transforming the 70s-era Columbia Point campus that is often referred to as a 'fortress' or a 'prison.'  Read more

Businesses hope to recover after Uphams fire

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By
Aug. 13, 2008

A midnight blaze tore through King Zion's Den on Hancock Street on Aug. 3. The African collectibles retailer and two other stores sustianed some $600,000 in damage, according to a Boston Fire Department estimate.

Fire Chief Bill Meyer attributed the fire to a short circuit of some kind.  Read more

In Boston, Feds say naturalization process will accelerate

By 
Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Aug. 13, 2008

Tens of thousands of Massachusetts immigrants may find out sooner rather than later about the status of their naturalization requests.

Pointing to progress in processing millions of naturalization applications nationally, U.S. immigration officials announced Tuesday that the average time of processing is expected to drop six to eight months by the end of September.  Read more

City moves on Hendry rehab

The wheels of Boston's Foreclosure Intervention Team (FIT) churn on this week, as housing officials approved a developer for four city-owned three-deckers on blighted Hendry Street.

On Tuesday, the Boston Redevelopment Authority board put their seal of approval on Bilt-Rite, a Roxbury-based developer that the FIT recommended over three other bidders. The selection opens the door for the city's first redevelopment of properties acquired directly from the banks that foreclosed on them, at least during the current crisis.  Read more

Patrick's town meeting now an 'informal meet and greet'

When the governor's office rolled out plans for an 11-stop, town meeting tour of the state in early July, Boston residents were cheered to see that it included a stop locally. In a press release in July, the governor's office included Boston's Caribbean Day Parade on Aug. 23 as one of the 11 town meetings.  Read more

Mining for sewer overflow tunnel completed early

A giant custom-made mining machine the size of a six-car subway train emerged from the ground on the Dorchester border next to Carson beach yesterday. The machine took a year to build, but finished its 2.1 mile-long, 17-foot-in-diameter slog through sand, gravel and Boston blue clay all the way from Conley Terminal next to Castle Island in eleven months, over six months ahead of schedule.  Read more

Two arrested after gun is pulled at Neponset park

A 18 year-old Brockton man and a 16 year-old Dorchester teen were arrested Sunday night after they allegedly flashed a loaded 9 millimeter handgun and waved a knife during a dispute on the street hockey court at Garvey Park in Neponset. Police were called to the city-owned Neponset Avenue park around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night. According to a police report, two victims at the park reported that an assailant in a hooded sweatshirt had pulled the gun on a group of young people before fleeing the park.  Read more

Viet-AID members call for arbitration in Chu dispute

Drama continued this week between the board and new directors of Viet-AID and supporters of former director and Vietnamese community leader Hiep Chu, who was fired on July 18. Last Saturday, over 80 of those supporters and others coalesced as "Concerned Community Members" at a meeting in the Vietnamese-American Community Center.

"The problem is we cannot communicate with someone who's not here," said attorney Vy Truong, who has on office nearby on Dorchester Avenue, at the meeting. "They show us how disrespectful they are to us, the people who vote for them."  Read more

Reassessing the streetcar's values

It wasn't too long ago when businessmen returning from their downtown offices alighted from streetcars at Fields Corner, Uphams Corner, Grove Hall and many, if not most, of the major streets in Dorchester. Those days are gone, the tracks in the roadbeds destroyed during the heyday of America's love affair with the automobile some sixty years ago.  Read more

Ballot translation bill among casualties on Beacon Hill

Backers of translating candidates' names into Chinese characters on election ballots won a partial victory last week, adding a $20,000 proposal to provide "sample" ballots for Asian-American voters to use in the September primary.

Supporters were prepared to forge ahead with plans to independently print thousands of their own "sample" ballots in case that failed, with ballots voluntarily created and printed, thanks to an anonymous donor and a group of local organizations providing translations.  Read more

In Lower Mills, installing new bike rack is all about location

This week, Mayor Thomas Menino proudly announced new bicycle lanes on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston and American Legion Highway in Roslindale, all part of a master plan to make Boston more bike-friendly. The first bit of that amiability to hit Dorchester will be a fresh batch of bike racks, thanks to all the noise DotBike, the neighborhood's new bike advocacy group, has been making.  Read more

Thursday means movies at park

On Thursday nights, the field at Pope John Paul II Park transforms from a sports venue to a movie destination. It's a night where people ditch the TV and watch movies unde the stars, catch the breeze from the Neponset River, load up on bug spray, and munch on popcorn.

For children like Alia Thompson, 10, it's a night that she can do something more grown- up.

 "I get to stay up later," Thompson said, adding that on other nights her bedtime is 8:30 p.m.  Read more

Volunteers help seniors network, eat well at Carney

Caritas Carney Hospital hosted a bi-monthly senior supper last week at the hospital's cafeteria, and it was a near full-house for the event. Some 116 meals were served to neighborhood men and women, who each paid just $4 for the meal. The program also gave information about cancer prevention in a presentation by staff Oncologist Dr. Therese M. Mulvey, MD.  Read more

Local projects get millions via overrides, borrowing bills

The handful of budget line items for Dorchester and Mattapan that Gov. Deval Patrick vetoed last month were quickly restored by lawmakers in the final hours of the legislative session last week. The overrides came as millions in additional dollars for local projects were also approved in borrowing bills.

Most, but not all, of the override votes on last Wednesday and Thursday fell along party lines, with House and Senate Republicans sticking with the Democratic governor in an attempt to let his vetoes stand amid what they called a shaky economy.  Read more

Last-ditch effort to save former farm

A dirt and gravel yard separates the red house at 386 Ashmont from the street. An unpaved, pitted driveway leads behind the building to a newly erected, pea soup green three-story condominium, still partially wrapped in Tyvek sheeting. Next to it, circled by pickup trucks and milling construction workers, the foundation of a second build is being poured. The modular building that will sit astride the concrete will arrive in only days.

That's something Lucia Colombaro is trying to prevent.  Read more

Four Corners wins concession from T

The Greater Four Corners Action Coalition has succeeded in encouraging some significant changes to the MBTA Commuter Rail's plans for a Four Corners Station on the Fairmount Line. The adjustments could potentially set a new standard for the remaining three stations at Newmarket, Talbot Avenue and Blue Hill Avenue.  Read more

Membership seeks answers after Viet-AID fires executive director

By 
By
Jul. 30, 2008

A group of businesspeople, seniors and other Vietnamese community members are demanding an explanation from Viet-AID's board of directors for dismissing executive director Hiep Chu. The group called a meeting for this coming Saturday to confront the board, ask questions, and "voice the member's level of confidence with the current Viet-AID's board of directors."  Read more

Port Norfolk park dream gets $7m boost in bond bill

Up to $7 million would be provided for the cleanup of an abandoned Port Norfolk lot under an environment-focused borrowing bill lawmakers are attempting to get to Gov. Deval Patrick's desk this week. The funds would go towards a long-awaited revamp of the blighted 14-acre area, where chemical levels were discovered to be lower than expected in the waterfront soil. The site's best-known occupants were the Shaffer Paper company.

"This is something that is a long time coming, and it'll provide opportunity to clean it up and create waterfront public space," said state Sen. Jack Hart.  Read more

Potentials give '09 citywide run a look

Although some say it's a bit early to talk about Boston City Council election 2009 - particularly with several of this year's state races underway - many, including a handful of political junkies, city hall staffers and the Reporter, just can't help it.  Read more

Three-decker bingo: Lenders continue to pump big money into condos despite foreclosure histories

To judge by sale prices for three-decker condominiums in Dorchester, the housing slump is over - at least at a few locations. The prices do have connections to names that repeatedly turn up in foreclosure filings, and they stick out like tree stumps in a flood of declining values, but that hasn't stopped the flow of credit - whether from small lenders or high-profile companies such as JP Morgan Chase.  Read more

Landmarks Orchestra plays on, honors Dot Park

The Boston Landmarks Orchestra's musicians and audience stayed dry during Sunday's downpours by moving from Dorchester Park, now a registered National Historic Landmark, to St. Gregory School auditorium. Conductor Charles Ansbacher and his orchestra filled the gym with the sounds of George Gerswin and Antonin Dvorak as the rain fell outside. About 200 people braved the weather for the concert, which had been scheduled for Dorchester Park's upper ballfield.  Read more

Appeals court rejects Geneva Ave. shooter's guilty plea withdrawal

A state appeals court last week rejected a bid by a man who confessed to killing a 15-year-old bystander in a Geneva Avenue shootout to overturn his conviction.  Read more

Geneva housing proposal reveals difference in vision

For a handful of abutters, a proposed affordable housing development at Geneva Avenue and Bloomfield Street is too tall, too dense, and too short on parking.

For six nearby civic associations and Main Streets organizations, other abutters and several civic activists, it's much-needed rental housing and retail that would fill in a vacant lot less than 100 feet from the Fields Corner MBTA Station.  Read more

Fuller-Bailey area will get added police presence

Police pledged this week to devote more resources in the area after meeting with community members of the Fuller-Bailey Neighborhood Association. About 40 community members attended the meeting at St. Mark's VFW Post on Tuesday night, primarily revolving around a June 26 shooting on Carmela Lane. Two parents and their baby were almost caught in the middle of the shootout in the small street in between Fuller and Bailey Streets.  Read more

Council to probe EMS response to infant's shooting

A City Council committee will scrutinize the emergency response to a Fairlawn Avenue shooting that seriously injured a baby last month. Councillor Charles Yancey is calling for next Tuesday's hearing as part of his continued look into the city's 911 system.  Read more