News

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

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

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

Conversation' takes shape for May 3rd Civic Summit

Council President Maureen Feeney announced speakers for the 2008 Boston Civic Summit this week, a gathering of civic activists on May 3 that she hopes will start a conversation about how to address what many councillors and activists see as waning civic involvement across the city.  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

Off-duty cops foil bag-snatch in Lower Mills

A pair of off-duty police officers on line for a Saturday morning buzz cut in Lower Mills Village lept into service to protect an elderly woman from a street robbery earlier this month. Their swift action not only prevented a likely bag-snatching, but led to the arrest of a 19 year-old Mattapan man who elected to go toe-to-toe with one of the cops.  Read more

Designs for Mattapan's library scrutinized at meeting

Tempers ran high toward the end of a Monday meeting on the new Mattapan Public Library currently under construction. Though neighbors were still concerned about traces of a cleaning chemical that contaminates the groundwater under the location, the real fireworks flew over furniture and carpets.

"Things went along without our input," said community activist Barbara Crichlow toward the end of a long presentation by the city's Property and Construction Management Department (PCMD). "He brought the materials here but there were no choices, we were dictated to."  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

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

DORCHESTER PROJECTS IN FY09-FY13 CAPITAL PLAN

IN DESIGN

Byrne Playground - restore the play equipment and reconstruct the court and passive areas. ($385,000)

McConnell Playground - remove and replace outdated play equipment, curbing, paving, landscaping and other ancillary site improvements. ($201,000)

Ripley Playground - remove and replace play equipment, courts, fencing and other miscellaneous items. ($570,000)

Great Hall at Codman Square - improve access to building for persons with disabilities and replace boiler. ($870,000)  Read more

FBI to join task force on mortgage fraud cases

The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that between $4 and $6 billion in losses can be attributed to mortgage fraud nationwide in fiscal year 2007. It has 35 task forces working across the country on the problem and considers 16 states hotspots for the crime, but Massachusetts is not on the list. The task forces work in places like Florida, where swamp peddling is still alive and well. But the FBI will soon participate in a mortgage-fraud working group with state and city agencies, said a spokeswoman for the agency.  Read more

In the virtual world, Dot disabled find their voices

Nine special needs adults in Dorchester have found a world where their disabilities are invisible and their voices are heard. It's a three-dimensional, virtual world called Second Life, where users or "residents" log on to socialize, connect, and create with other people around the world.  Read more

Historic Lower Mills is all abuzz with talk of new developments

You may have to go back to the 19th century to find a time of more growth and bricks-and-mortar change in the historic village of Lower Mills. With a flurry of re-development projects already underway - and more potential sales on the near horizon - Lower Mills is on the verge of transformation unseen, perhaps, since the lifetime of Walter Baker, the chocolate magnate whose factory came to define the riverside village.  Read more

Hidden votes for McCain in Dot?

A recent call to the state Republican Party inquiring about Dorchester supporters of John McCain, the presumptive nominee, yielded only one name: that of a woman who bought a bumper sticker.

But don't be fooled. Susan Kelly says she isn't the only one who'll be pulling the lever for McCain this November. "There are a lot of closet Republicans that I know," who remain in the closet thanks to the job positions they hold, she says.  Read more

DA Conley says two local businesses played role in widespread gambling ring

Fifteen teams of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies hit a number of locations across Boston and the state with warrants on Tuesday, targeting a major underground gambling ring. Two businesses in Dorchester allegedly served as fronts for the gambling ring, according to Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley's office: Thalia Beauty Salon, at 338 Blue Hill Ave., and Gentileza's Market, at 140 Bowdoin St.  Read more

Unique arts program lets students 'freestyle'

By 
By
Apr. 9, 2008

After a long day at school, the last place most middle school students want to be is in a strictly- structured environment. On the flip side, the last thing they need is too much free time.

With that in mind, faculty and undergraduates from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and high school students from Boston Arts Academy have devised a unique art program that is now up and running at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School on Columbia Road.

This free after-school program - dubbed the "Art Jump Off!" at the suggestion of students - meets every Tuesday afternoon.  Read more

It's all about the money for 'mayoral' candidates

Dorchester Day season has officially begun and the race is on for the coveted title of Mayor of Dorchester. Three candidates will battle it out this year for a prime spot in the June 1 parade and other to-be-determined duties.  Read more

A look at current and potential Lower Mills developments

 

1. 1203 Adams Street. Kiley catering building on Adams Street. A developer has proposed a plan to turn property into a Dunkin' Donuts with drive-through. This project has encountered resistance from civic and merchant leaders.
2. 1126 Washington Street. Molloy's funeral home and adjacent properties on Washington Street are for sale, according to family member Dan Molloy.  Read more

Church group agrees to buy old St. William's

The destiny of the former St. Williams Church on Dorchester Avenue may be a simple change of faith. It will not be transformed into a mixed-use residential building, a senior center or a work-training program for the developmental disabled. Instead, it is now on track to become a Seventh Day Adventist Church.  Read more

MTV run ends for Status Quo dancers

Dorchester's Ernest "E-Knock" Phillips and five other members of Status Quo are back in town after narrowly losing a contest for $100,000 and the "America's Best Dance Crew" title - promoted by MTV's show of the same name.

A crowd of friends, family, fans and other members of the 14-strong crew greeted the six fallen warriors at Logan Airport Friday night, and by Monday, Phillips and others were already imparting what they learned to the rest of the crew down at English High School in Jamaica Plain.  Read more

Neighbors hope to dedicate corner to Neponset 'hero'

Neponset Avenue and McKone Street is not just another corner to Jimmy King. It's the corner his son Army Private Kevin J. King left behind his childhood to serve his country.

At 19, Kevin was killed during training exercises as he prepared to deploy for Iraq last April. Those close to him hope to dedicate that corner as a Hero Square in his memory. The first step will likely take place this week, when City Council President Maureen Feeney proposes the resolution to initiate the square during the council session.  Read more

Task force gets closer look at Columbia Point plans

The Columbia Point Master Planning Task Force saw the reasons they were pulled together last Thursday as a trio of would-be developers brought forth their big plans, or lack of them, for Dorchester's big toe sticking out into the bay, Columbia Point.  Read more

T struggles to meet schedules on Fairmount Line

With four miles of one track out of service due to bridge construction, the MBTA is tossing their current schedule out the window for a new one to start on April 7. Only 34 percent of morning rush hour trains were able to adhere to it in February anyway.

"I think better information for the public is needed because standing on a platform not knowing whether their train is going to come or if it's not going to come is just not fair," said Pamela Bush, a member of the On The Move Coalition who also sits on the T Oversight Committee.  Read more