News

Study could clear way for park in Port Norfolk

In a small step forward for a blighted Port Norfolk lot, state conservation officials unveiled preliminary findings this week that chemical levels in the waterfront soil are lower than expected.

The findings put the fenced-off 14-acre area on track to be finally turned into a massive neighborhood waterfront park, a project nearly 30 years in the making.

"It's an understatement to say this is a long time coming," said Maureen Feeney, District 3 councillor, who attended the meeting after Mayor Thomas Menino's state of the city address.  Read more

City to launch anti-litter push in Codman, Mattapan

Several Dorchester and Mattapan locales could pick themselves up in a new pilot program slated to start this spring. An anti-litter campaign is in the works that would encourage storeowners to keep it clean, train young children to give a hoot and blitz the area with advertising.

"Much of it is going to be education," said Richard Heath, an organizer for the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC) who helped city officials design the program.  Read more

Courthouse round-up: Convict pleads guilty to 1995 murder

Avoiding a second attempt at a trial, a former Dorchester man pled guilty this week to a 1995 murder, earning a 9 to 10 year prison sentence that will run simultaneously with his 27-year sentence for another murder.

John Tibbs, 36, was sentenced in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday by Judge Peter Lauriat. The first trial, centering on the slaying of 20-year-old Tennyson "Tenny" Drakes, ended in a deadlocked jury in October, after three weeks of testimony.  Read more

Pine Street to take control of Savin Hill elderly home

The Tuttle House, an 26-unit elderly housing facility in Savin Hill, is set to be transferred to the Pine Street Inn, New England's largest non-profit for the homeless, which plans to invest $300,000 in renovations at the site, according to members of the Tuttle House's board.

Two members of the 14-member board that currently governs the facility say its mission will stay the same was part of the deal.

"It's a place for frail elders," said Bill O'Shea, president of the board. "Things have to stay the same."  Read more

UMass defends dorms at Columbia-Savin Hill

By 
By
Jan. 9, 2008

In sharp exchanges with some local neighborhood activists, UMass Boston officials defended their plans to build dorms to house some 1,000 on-campus beds in the next ten years as part of the school's overhaul.

"We are a commuter school. We are going to continue to be a commuter school," Ellen O'Connor, the campus's vice chancellor for administration and finance, said to roughly 40 people assembled at Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association's Monday night meeting at the Little House.  Read more

Low-ceiling on Freeport bridge snares trucks

The MBTA bridge above Freeport Street was hit by trucks four times in 2007 and twice last week. The T says the bridge was inspected after each encounter and that it is structurally sound. Photo by David Benoit.  Read more

Local barber, union man brings trademark intensity to the fight of his life

By 
Dianne Morad, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 9, 2008

He was just going to work, same as always, no big deal. The headaches were painful, but nothing the 43-year-old hockey player couldn't handle. He'd been getting them for a couple of months, but hadn't really bothered to mention them. What was the point? They were just headaches and anyway, Jimmy Lang had to go to work.  Read more

Over mayor's wishes, Feeney plans civic summit

By 
Martine Louis
Jan. 9, 2008

It was a historic moment for Maureen Feeney as a unanimous noontime vote among city council colleagues on Monday, Jan. 7 made her the longest-serving woman council president in Boston's history. Re-elected for her second term as president, Feeney says the experience was one of her proudest.  Read more

City may put homeownership developments on pause

The city of Boston could take a breather on new affordable home ownership development starts, said Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) spokesperson Lucy Warsh.

"We are taking a close look at our planned projects and those in the pipeline," said Warsh. "We want to make sure we make the right choices."  Read more

Tiny Burt St. development awakens old grudges

A developer's plan to raze a decrepit house and install a shiny new three-decker in its place has stirred up resentment from a few with long memories. The developer Vu Quong's properties have been the center of controversy before.  Read more

Youth builders push green envelope

By 
By
Jan. 9, 2008

YouthBuild students Douglas Walker, Kenneth Cardoso and William Brewington, all in their early 20s, move a structural insulated panel into place on the second floor of 26 Arbutus St. Photo by Pete Stidman

Call it another rung on the ladder toward an environmentally sustainable Boston, or perhaps, another tug on the rope that will bring that lofty goal down to earth.  Read more

Columbia Point Master Plan Task Force chosen

Mayor Thomas Menino has appointed fifteen individuals, including residents of Columbia Point and adjacent neighborhoods, business people and one transportation advocate, to a Columbia Point Master Plan Task Force. The Boston Redevelopment Authority originally intended to choose the task force by last fall, but took longer than expected.

"There was no specific delay, it was just when we were able to get it down to the mayor and have him look at it," said BRA spokesperson Jessica Shumaker.  Read more

New library pushed as plus for Burke High, Grove Hall

By 
Martine Louis
Jan. 9, 2008

The Jeremiah E. Burke High School will break tradition as the first Boston public school to include a public branch library and community center within its footprint under a city hall plan. The new facility, to be built this year, is deemed a "national model" by Mayor Thomas Menino, who said the library will serve the needs of both the 1,200 students at the Burke as well as Grove Hall residents.  Read more

New year opens with two murders in Dot

Six days. That's how long it took for Boston to witness its first homicide of the year, a shooting on Bowdoin Street that was quickly followed by another murder the next night at a take-out Chinese restaurant on Dorchester Avenue.

Both were young black males.

Joseph Clarke, 23, of Dorchester, was shot at the intersection of Norton Street and Bowdoin Street in Sunday's early mornings hours, at about 1:49 a.m. He had been shot in the head. He was sent to Boston Medical Center and pronounced dead.  Read more

Going Public: A beginner gets schooled on kindergarten, BPS choices

Last Friday was the first day of the initial four-week registration period for Boston Public Schools, and at the Campbell Resource Center behind the Burger King on Dorchester Avenue, that meant it was the busiest day of the year.  Read more

Welcome boost to BPD, NHL buffs

The latest crop of cadets from the police academy gave a welcome boost to the Boston Police Department, and for NHL buffs, a nifty piece of local trivia. More accustomed to wearing uniforms bearing flames, ducks and Canucks, Dot Native and former NHL Defenseman Chris O'Sullivan is now officially a boy-in-blue.  Read more

City vows to get tough on cigarette ad signage

On the outside of one convenience store in Dorchester, at the corner of Adams Street and Centre Street, they spread like a rash: 23 ads for eight brands of cigarettes. The ads run from doors to windows, and around the corner to the side of the building. There are even ads partially blocked by other ads.

For Mohamed Chibou, a compliance officer in the City of Boston Tobacco Control Program, the sight is fairly common among convenience stores in areas such as Dorchester and Roxbury.  Read more

Harbor School to bring new philosophy to Cleveland

The student population at Grover Cleveland Middle School on Charles Street in Fields Corner has been whittled down to its eighth graders, and when they graduate this spring, the school will cease to be. But the end of the Cleveland will be a beginning for Harbor Middle School, a pilot school based on Bowdoin Street that has been slowly claiming space in the Cleveland building since September. When the full plan is realized, it could mean a new, integrated K-12 educational choice for Dorchester parents.  Read more

Dot woman vows to fight city on residency reform

The fight to keep Boston employees within city limits may resurface this year and could become a campaign issue if a Dorchester activist has her way.

Eileen Boyle, an activist with "Save Our City," a pro-residency group, and a member of a residency compliance commission, is seeking signatures for a petition that charges both the mayor and the city council do not have the authority to change the rules requiring municipal employees to live within the city.  Read more

Hockey hero O'Sullivan trades blades for patrolman's badge

The latest crop of cadets from the police academy gave a welcome boost to the Boston Police Department, and for NHL buffs, a nifty piece of local trivia. More accustomed to wearing uniforms bearing flames, ducks and Canucks, Dot Native and former NHL Defenseman Chris O'Sullivan is now officially a boy-in-blue.  Read more

Cops put squeeze on Dot Ave. 'streetwalkers'

Responding to heavy community complaints, Boston police officers from District C-11 are putting the "squeeze" on prostitutes who walk Dorchester Avenue.

"We were getting so many of them, we had to address it," said Capt. John Greland. "We depend on the community to tell us where they've seen them."

The campaign started back in October, with the district putting out extra cars. Officers have so far stopped about 82 prostitutes, working with the Suffolk County District Attorney's office to impose "stay away" orders for the areas the prostitutes have been picked up in.  Read more

Reeling from car breaks in '07, cops take warnings door-to-door

When parking your car in the neighborhood, make sure you take out that GPS you got for Christmas, or that shiny iPod you bought yourself, even that spare change you keep for emergencies and tolls.

All of it's got to go. At least that's the message District B-3 police are sending after they saw a 60 percent jump in car break-ins last year.

"This is a crime of opportunity, so we are out there trying to re-educate the people," said Sergeant Timothy Torigian. "They've forgotten step one, which is get the stuff out of the car."  Read more

Another Dot hockey prospect headed for the Heights

Every day, Jimmy Hayes puts on his hockey pads, laces up his skates, and dons his country's hockey jersey. As a member of the under-18 team at the National Team Development Program, Hayes is one of a select few that get to play day in and day out for the good old U.S. of A. But the forward still hasn't forgotten about Dorchester, the place he grew up playing on ice.  Read more

Fire kills two children on Bellevue St.

By 
Martine Louis
Jan. 2, 2008

The joy of a holiday and birthday celebration turned to tragedy last week as a fast-moving house fire inside a Bellevue Street three-decker stole the lives of two children, one of whom had just celebrated her ninth birthday just hours before. Flames ripped through the blue-colored home just after midnight on Dec. 29. Twelve residents escaped, but two young children in the Zizi family-Rooben, 11, and Rebecca, 9- did not.  Read more

Carney Hospital seeks outside help from consultant

A high-end hospital turnaround expert has been brought in to diagnose the Caritas Carney Hospital on Dorchester Avenue. Dawn Gideon of Wellspring Partners, a hospital consulting firm recently acquired by Huron Consulting Group, is the chosen one, known for her role in trying to prop up the ailing and eventually failing Waltham Hospital earlier this decade, and more recently for making tough decisions for the St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers in New York, which spun off three of its five hospitals on her recommendations.  Read more