News

St. Kevin's grads and alums share farewell Mass

At St. Kevin's School, the final day was celebrated with a special mass for the school. Tears and laughter and plenty of song carried off the students inside the chapel on Columbia Road.

Fr. Tim Kearney, a former St. Kevin's seventh-grade teacher, celebrated the Friday morning service. Thirteen Sisters of Charity, the order that ran the school, were in attendance, most former faculty members. Alumni crowded the back pews behind the students, and afterward re-introduced themselves to their former teachers. There were fond memories and hopes for the future.  Read more

Forum targets gun source

At a community meeting held at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School last Wednesday the question heard most was, "Where did the gun come from?"

It's a non-rhetorical question that Citizens for Safety are urging people to ask after every single shooting since the majority of shootings in Boston are with illegal guns.  Read more

Class is out at St. Peter's School

St. Peter's School had their last day of school ever last Friday, ending 110 years of Catholic education on Bowdoin Street.

At the last graduation ceremony Thursday night, some parents said they hadn't found new schools for their children yet, others confirmed enrollment in the new Pope John Paul II Academy, but all lamented the decision to close the school, a bright spot in a poor neighborhood racked with gang violence and a high concentration of foreclosures.  Read more

Grove Hall radio station plans rally at FCC offices

Supporters of TOUCH 106.1 FM, the low-powered radio outfit that is broadcasting from a Grove Hall studio in defiance of a federal order, will take their campaign to the Quincy offices of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) next week.

A 45-minute "peaceful rally" will be staged on Monday morning, according to MC Spice, the station's creative director and morning drive-time host. Spice called it a "move to call attention to the biased constriction of black news and black radio ownership by the FCC."  Read more

No deal on Bowdoin Community Center

Well over five years of work, planning and hope found a dead end last month when a consultant advised that it would not be feasible for the Bird Community Center in Uphams Corner to operate a second center at 191-195 Bowdoin St. A meeting this Monday will begin a discussion about what else can be done there.  Read more

New Fairmount Line station meetings announced

Now that designs for the Four Corners Station are near complete, the MBTA has scheduled meetings for the remaining three planned stations along the commuter rail's Fairmount Line. Thirty percent design meetings for the Talbot Station (July 10, 6:30 p.m., 193 Talbot Ave.), Blue Hill Avenue Station (Aug. 5, 6:30 p.m., 5 Mildred Ave.) and Newmarket Station (Aug. 7, 6:30 p.m., 550 Dudley St.) will collect community input on the designs, which can occasionally inform alterations to them.  Read more

Historic Boston digs into Fields Corner's past

Ever since brothers Enos and Isaac Field opened up a little store there almost 200 years ago, the corner of Adams Street and Dorchester Avenue has been known as Fields Corner. Today it is a bustling 'urban cluster' of shops, restaurants and other businesses, many of them owned and run by Vietnamese-Americans.

Historic Boston Incorporated began looking at ways to illuminate that arc of history last December, when it chose the corner as one of two pilots for historic renovation of neighborhood centers in the city, and some of the early results of their research are in.  Read more

New pastors take over at St. Greg's, St. Ann's

Two of Dorchester's most storied and vibrant Catholic parishes have new leadership this month. Rev. Sean Connor, a 42 year-old former police officer who became a priest at age 35, has taken charge at Neponset Avenue's St. Ann parish. And in Lower Mills, Fr. Vincent Daily, 47, who began his priestly career as a curate at St. Gregory's in 1990, has succeeded the man who was his first pastor, Monsignor Paul Ryan.  Read more

Makeover ahead for Donovan's in Lower Mills

The Lower Mills Civic Association unanimously signed off Tuesday night on a plan by new owners to renovate Donovan's Village Tavern on Dorchester Avenue. The approval came with a caveat: At the urging of the association's vice president, Richard O'Mara, members tacked on a limit to how late a planned outdoor patio can serve food and drink.

The restaurant will stop serving at 11 p.m., a request the owners, who attended the association meeting at St. Gregory's school auditorium, said was reasonable.  Read more

Ten indicted in Franklin Field crack cocaine case

An eight-month undercover investigation by District B-3's Drug Control Unit and the FBI has yielded 10 federal indictments and three Suffolk County arrests, all related to the distribution of crack cocaine within the Franklin Field housing development. Many of those arrested were also involved in a street gang based at Franklin Field that has a long-standing and violent beef with youth from the Franklin Hill area, prompting the investigation.  Read more

Some see new 'value' to billboards

Over a dozen years ago, Dorchester's self-appointed billboard king, Joe Chaisson, and a handful of other diehards were fighting hard to stanch a flow of the giant roadside signs into the neighborhood. They managed to create some tough obstacles for advertisers, such as forcing property owners to get a city zoning variance if they want to add a new billboard next to federaly-assisted highways in the city, or modify an existing one.

Before that, neighborhoods had little say in it.  Read more

Q. Can Bay State Democrats 'drain' their hearts of bitterness?

For some Democrats, after a long and bruising primary, uniting behind Sen. Barack Obama as the presumptive party nominee won't be easy. As Clinton's concession speech played on televisions sets last Saturday afternoon, thousands of Democrats gathered for an off-year Democratic State Convention in Lowell.

A top supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton, City Council President Maureen Feeney, said the party has its work cut out when it comes to the healing process.  Read more

Liquor stings keep stores on their toes

Inside Lisa's Liquors in Adams Village one night a few weeks ago, the manager was anxious, rejecting the license of a 40-year-old man because it had expired.

That wasn't the only reason: It could have had something to do with the team from the Alcohol and Beverage Control Commission milling around the area, waiting for teens to illegally pick up alcohol or have an adult procure it for them.  Read more

BPS hints at busing changes, school closures

Strapped for cash in a tight budget year for the city, Boston's public schools has no choice but to change, BPS Superintendent Carol Johnson told a fired-up Boston City Council last Friday afternoon.

The council's hearing on the BPS transportation budget is always an interesting show, for the history it dredges up, and for the complex system of transporting students to and fro that it exposes. For the first time in years, the stars seem to be aligning for massive reform of that system, also known as busing.  Read more

Trial continues for alleged Bourneside St. killer

The three-week trial of the 21-year-old Dorchester man charged with the murders of three members of a rap group and their friend in their Bourneside St. basement studio could wrap up this week.

Calvin Carnes is accused of shooting Jason Bachiller, 21; Jihad Chankour, 22; Edwin Duncan, 21; and Christopher Vieira, 19, in December 2005. Prosecutors charge that Carnes was attempting to steal Vieira's Glock 9mm, along with an AK-47 rifle and a 12-guage shotgun, and point to his fingerprints on Vieira's car.  Read more

Wilkerson, Chang-Diaz share stage at South End forum

It wasn't exactly a debate. But sitting side-by-side at a "candidates' forum" on Tuesday evening, state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and challenger Sonia Chang-Diaz fielded questions from Boston's Ward 4 Democratic Committee on the state's health care law, Gov. Deval Patrick's long-dead casino plan and their legislative priorities.  Read more

Bullets buzz through Uphams Corner

A broad-daylight shooting in the middle of one of the neighborhood's busiest intersections shattered the window of a motorist stopped at the traffic light on Monday afternoon. A pair of bullets punctured the car and narrowly missed three family members - including a five-year old grandchild who was strapped in the backseat.

Four shots rang out in Uphams Corner just after 5:15 p.m., in what police believe was an armed confrontation between two groups of young people at the corner of Dudley Street and Columbia Road.  Read more

Street lit' finds niche locally

By 
Martine Lewis
Jun. 11, 2008

When her younger brother was murdered in the very Dorchester neighborhood they were raised in, Lashonda DeVaughn, 26, says she drowned her grief in a pen and paper.

Her book, A Hood Chick's Story, was released in 2007 and depicts the lives of youths caught up in a whirlwind of peer pressure, drugs and violence.

"I had had enough of what I was seeing around me and I wanted to speak to my peers in our voice and in our language," said DeVaughn.  Read more

Police work to head off violence at Caribbean festival

Boston Police have mounted an aggressive operation aimed at preventing a feared outbreak of gang violence at this weekend's Caribbean Festival in Roxbury and Dorchester. The department has already rounded up dozens of so-called "impact" gang members known to have violated conditions of their probation and have issued multiple "stay-away"orders to other young men they say are affiliated with warring gangs.  Read more

St. Angela's hits 100 in Mattapan Square

By 
Katelyn Harding
Jun. 11, 2008

Konpa music, a "dress to impress" contest, and a combination of Caribbean and Haitian foods are not typical components of a church get-together. Then again, St. Angela's Parish in Mattapan is no ordinary church, hosting three different masses on Sunday, with a choice of French, English and Kreyol.  Read more

A planned marriage: Two rare cranes make a go of it in Franklin Park

It isn't glamorous, nothing more than a chain-link fence, a few trees, a puddle and a pile of hay bales, but to Pepe and Kotze it's a new beginning, a chance to get to know each other and maybe lay an egg or two.

"He does want to get close to her, but as you notice, she keeps moving away from him," observes Fred Beall, Franklin Park Zoo's general curator, from just outside the African wattled crane exhibit there. "We'll know when they're bonded because they'll be standing next to each other."  Read more

Dorchester Day invitation helped Navy captain realize 'a dream'

The USS Porter (DDG-78), a US Navy destroyer, is shown decked out in celebratory colors at the Black Falcon Terminal in South Boston on Monday, June 2. Photo by Bill Forry

It's 6 a.m. on a Friday morning and the opening chords of The Standells' Boston anthem - typically heard blaring from behind the Fenway scoreboards - sound a bit tinny. Not too surprising, given my location: a cozy bed perched deep in the bowels of a Navy destroyer, just a few feet from the water line.  Read more

Flaherty, Menino trade fire over city finances

Still mulling a bid for the mayor's office, Councillor at-Large Michael Flaherty has ratcheted up the rhetoric against incumbent Thomas Menino. Flaherty last week released a statement hitting the Menino administration on the city's fiscal policies, calling them "dysfunctional" and "short-sighted."

The statement came as some political observers privately wonder whether Flaherty has had second thoughts about jumping into a race against Menino next year. Menino is showing all the signs of a definite run for a fifth term in '09.  Read more

I know Marty Walsh... You, sir, are no Marty Walsh

By 
Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Jun. 4, 2008

Democratic state Sen. James Marzilli was arraigned Wednesday on charges including attempted sexual assault after a Tuesday afternoon incident in Lowell where he used a fellow lawmaker's name to identify himself to police, prosecutors said. Also Wednesday, a third woman leveled charges against Marzilli as details of his bizarre case emerged.  Read more

A bird's eye view in Mattapan

Recreational tree climber Andrew Joslin high above the Gladeside Urban Wild in a red oak tree. Photo by Pete Stidman

It isn't always necessary to hop in a car and drive for hours to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. And with gas prices on the rise, many are looking to commune with nature close to home. One of the rare activities in this category, so far at least, is recreational tree climbing.  Read more