Feeney talks about the Wilkerson debacle

City Council president Maureen Feeney defended her reputation - and lashed out at the alleged corruption of Senator Dianne Wilkerson - in an interview with the Reporter this week. Feeney was among the several elected and appointed officials from the city and state government who were named by their titles in a 32-page affidavit from FBI special agent Krista Corr, which detailed the extortion charges against Wilkerson last week.

In sum, Feeney says her actions were completely on the up and up, and legal.  Read more

New plan closes fewer schools

Supporters of some Boston Public Schools that may be closed received a reprieve last week as the superintendent backed down from a number of facets in her "Pathways to Excellence" plan to reorganize amidst passionate objections from parents, staff and civic leaders. The School Committee was set to vote on the plan Wednesday night, after the Reporter went to print.  Read more

Dot service station named in emissions scam; Owner denies 'Joe the Fish' was used at station

Attorney General Martha Coakley's office charged seven emissions inspection stations with conducting illegal clean scans of cars that should not have passed the test last week, including one from Dorchester.  Read more

First-time voters seen energized

She would rather vote for Tina Fey than for Sarah Palin, said Erin O'Connell, a UMass-Boston student and first time voter. But she is excited to be able to cast her ballot in the "most historical" election in her lifetime.

O'Connell is among many youth who are registering in record numbers to vote in an election that she says will affect everyone, especially the youth. At UMass-Boston, 1,300 voters have been registered through a drive led by the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group.  Read more

Sticker race continues as Wilkerson stands accused; 'Racially divisive' election seen ahead

Gintautas Dumcius and Pete Stidman
Oct. 29, 2008

As elected officials and voters were lining up on either side of a sticker-campaign showdown between state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and Democratic nominee Sonia Chang-Diaz in the final days of the campaign, a game-changer exploded on Tuesday morning when the incumbent was arrested and charged with federal corruption and wire fraud.  Read more

Bike patrols earn praise at Neponset

The initial police response to the recent spike in Greater Neponset crime has satisfied neighbors for now, who lavished praise on the new bicycle unit patrolling the streets at a community meeting last Wednesday with Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis.

"There's a feeling of increasing confidence already," said neighbor John Sweeney. "I think we're on the right track."  Read more

Baugh asked to resign from Lena Park CDC

E. Lorraine Baugh, CEO of the Lena Park CDC where she has worked for the past 11 years, was asked to resign from her post last week. She complied with the request.

"I received no advance notice or warning nor did I have any inkling that such a move was contemplated," Baugh said in an e-mail obtained by the Reporter.  Read more

Everyone has a 'Walter Fahey story'

The following article about former Boston Police officer Walter Fahey was published in the Reporter in 1997. Walter passed away last week at age 76.

In 1957, the year Walter Fahey became a cop, the Soviets launched Sputnik, Ted Williams hit a robust .388 and the tallest building in Boston, the John Hancock tower, was a mere 26 stories high.  Read more

Reports: Mass. insured still struggle with costs

Associated Press
Oct. 29, 2008

While more Massachusetts residents are insured now, many still struggle to keep up with health care costs, according to two new reports released Thursday.

A poll by The Boston Globe and the Blue Cross Blue Shield found that 97 percent of adults in Massachusetts have health insurance, but even with coverage many have trouble paying health care bills. One-third of those polled said the cost of care remains their biggest health concern.  Read more

Report: Violence, obesity, asthma are on rise across the state

A new report looking at health trends in Massachusetts is warning that girls and young children are increasingly involved in violent behavior, and deaths from domestic violence have tripled since 2005.

The Massachusetts Health Council report also finds that asthma rates, lack of access to dental care and obesity also are on the rise. And hepatitis C rates among younger people has increased.  Read more

DotBike spawns imitators in city neighborhoods; Neighborhood-based groups recall bicycling heyday

Bicycling groups aren't yet endorsing candidates for public office, holding back-room meetings at City Hall or clogging the roads with bicycles, but for the first time in decades, the neighborhood-based bike group seems to be back.

DotBike, a small group of dedicated bike commuters, formed during the city's bike summit a year ago, now others are following suit.

In May, Allston-Brighton Bikes took shape. Last week, RozzieBike and JPBike held their first meetings. It's got all the makings of a trend.  Read more

Long before Salem, Dorchester executed its own 'witch'

Every year around this time, the town of Salem, MA observes a rather macabre part of their local history as they mark the executions of 14 women and five men, all accused witches, that occurred there over several days in 1692.

But decades before Salem began its bloody purge, Dorchester was the site of an apparent "witch" execution.

In 1648, eighteen years after Dorchester's first English settlers arrived, Alice Lake was arrested right here in Dorchester for witchcraft and, according to historical documents recently uncovered by a distant relative, was executed.  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

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

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

Viet voting bloc building strength across the state

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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