Next stop for Fairmount Line: Weekend hours, lower fares and a new Blue Hill Avenue station

Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Oct. 16, 2014

State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey spoke at a Thursday morning event to announce a series of investments in the Fairmount Line. Also shown, at left: State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Councillor Charles Yancey, Governor Deval Patrick. Photo by Susana Hey/MBTA

Gov. Deval Patrick came to Mattapan on Thursday morning to roll out a flurry of planned improvements to the Fairmount commuter rail line, including plans for a new station on Blue Hill Avenue and — more immediately— regular service on the weekends starting next month.

“Everywhere the train has gone has been good for the local economy and that’s why we feel so strongly about this kind of investment,” Patrick said.  Read more

Open Studios puts Dot artists in new frame

Eliza Dewey, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 16, 2014

Art aficionados and fans of “buy local” get ready – Dorchester Open Studios is back! The free annual community art festival, which takes place October 24-26 at a variety of public venues and artists’ homes, provides local artists with an opportunity to showcase their work and sell their products. The featured artists come from a wide variety of disciplines, including music, dance, photography, painting, ceramics, glass working, jewelry making, sculpture, videography and more.

The three-day event kicks off with an evening reception and performance on Friday, October 24 at the Black Box Theatre at Codman Academy. The reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by a show at 7:15 featuring local performing artists. The event is free.  Read more

UMass Boston’s plans for dorms dovetail with mayor’s housing goals

Dorms of the Future: UMass Boston’s 25 year master plan, published in 2009, identifies two sites near the juncture of Mt. Vernon Street and University Driveas a “preferred location” for the first phase of on-campus housing for students. The potential dorms are highlighted (above) in orange.Dorms of the Future: UMass Boston’s 25 year master plan, published in 2009, identifies two sites near the juncture of Mt. Vernon Street and University Driveas a “preferred location” for the first phase of on-campus housing for students. The potential dorms are highlighted (above) in orange.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is exploring its options as it seeks to build residence halls to house 2,000 students on its Columbia Point peninsula campus by 2025, planning that the university says is in line with Mayor Martin Walsh’s just-released citywide housing plan to accommodate a population that is expected to grow beyond 700,000 residents by 2030.  Read more

Polish Triangle to strut stuff at festival

Dancers gathered around a sign for the Polish Triangle at a festival held in 2009. Photo courtesy Darek Barcikowski.

Just in time for fall, a re-blossoming neighborhood will feature its finest at Sunday’s Harvest Festival in Boston’s Polish triangle. The festival, held in honor of Our Lady of Czestochowa, a sacred icon of the Virgin Mary, is the latest instance of the Polish neighborhood’s renewal being put on display. The afternoon-long celebration (noon to 6 p.m.) at the Dorchester Avenue church will include music and dancing, children’s activities, Polish food, a book sale, and more, all to benefit the parish. Mayor Martin Walsh will also make an appearance to mark the five-year anniversary since then-Mayor Thomas Menino officially named the neighborhood as the “Polish Triangle.”  Read more

Hotel plans major expansion at Mt. Vernon Street site

An artist's rendering of the proposed expansion at Bayside DoubleTree Hotel.

The current building boom on Columbia Point could include more hotel rooms if a plan by the Bayside DoubleTree Hotel on Mt. Vernon Street is approved by city planners. The DoubleTree would add a new wing to the rear of its current building under a plan filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) last week. The news was first reported in the Boston Business Journal.

The six-story addition would include 86 new guest rooms, a 3000 square-foot restaurant and a ballroom, according to the newspaper. The hotel presently has 197 rooms and a small, take-out café that serves coffee, sandwiches and snacks.  Read more

Heritage Festival campaign beat: First Coakley, then Baker

Both top-tier gubernatorial candidates stopped by Sunday’s Irish Heritage Festival, an annual event in Neponset that Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker say they had attended before. The attorney general walked among the festival booth before noon while Baker, her Republican opponent, swung by in the final hour of the day-long festival. The candidates drew different receptions from the crowd, perhaps due to the more than 100 revelers who had gathered in a fenced-off beer garden next to Florian Hall by 4:30 p.m., when Baker showed up.  Read more

The Mather School is marking 375 years of public education; NYPD’s Bratton, an alumnus, to speak at assembly

Eliza Dewey, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 16, 2014

Students and faculty from the Mather Elementary School marched in the Dorchester Day Parade last June to highlight their 375th anniversary, which will be officially marked next week. Photo courtesy Marie Zemler-WuStudents and faculty from the Mather Elementary School marched in the Dorchester Day Parade last June to highlight their 375th anniversary, which will be officially marked next week. Photo courtesy Marie Zemler-Wu

Next week will be an important milestone for one of Dorchester’s most treasured institutions: Mather Elementary School on Meetinghouse Hill will be marking its 375th birthday. Founded in 1639 with the support of taxes on local landowners, the school is the oldest public elementary school in North America.

The school has planned a week of events to celebrate the big day. One of the highlights will be a Duck Boat parade on Mon., Oct. 20, in which 90 students will board three of the famous land-water hybrid crafts at the school and proceed to the State House on Beacon Hill, where Dorchester legislators Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and Rep. Evandro Carvalho will present a proclamation honoring the school.  Read more

Cash for 'Stache: City Commissioners to shave iconic mustaches for Tommy Kelly

Lauren Dezenski
Oct. 15, 2014

Joe Finn and "Buddy" Christopher, soon to be mustache-less

If you mustache how much it will take for two mustachioed Dorchester icons to go bare-lipped for a little boy fighting cancer, shave it for Thursday, Oct. 16.  Read more

Close to home, Walsh joins walk-through by inspection team: ‘Walking office hours’ to canvass city

Mayor Walsh, center, speaks about his office's Neighborhood Engagement Walk initiative while on Tuttle Street last week. At left is Dan Manning, who directs Walsh's Civic Engagement office; at right, Dorchester liaison Alec Bonelli. City Councillor Frank Baker is shown, far left. Photo by Bill Forry

Mayor Martin Walsh joined a walk-through of his Savin Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning to highlight his office’s efforts to catalogue, fix, and track solutions to ground-level problems on every street in the city. As a light rain fell, the mayor and a small entourage of aides — trailed by several TV camera crews— walked from his house on Tuttle Street and circled the block via Sydney Street to Savin Hill Avenue.

Along the way, Walsh stopped several times to inspect curbs, brick-work, and pavement, some of which has been heaved up by mature trees— and to get a first-hand look at how his liaisons throughout the city can identify problems and order up fixes in real time.  Read more

Gov. Patrick has clear views on four state ballot questions

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Oct. 15, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick is ready to bring his strong approval rating to bear on four ballot questions, aiming to preserve gas tax and gaming policies he helped enact, achieve a bottle bill expansion he has long sought and grant more rights to workers.  Read more

Dot 2 Dot Cafe gets liquor-license boost from Pressley, Mel King

The Boston Licensing Board could decide Thursday whether to grant a full liquor license to Dot 2 Dot Cafe, a Dorchester Avenue restaurant that doubles as a meeting space for local residents and organizations, and which is the place City Councilor Ayanna Pressley says she had in mind when she led a successful effort to gain more liquor licenses for the city's outer neighborhoods.  Read more

Team MR8 seeks runners for 2015 Boston Marathon

Oct. 15, 2014

Team MR8Team MR8The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation, an organization created to honor the memory of the eight year old Dorchester boy killed during the 2013 bombings near the finish of the Boston Marathon, is now accepting applications from charity runners who would like to join Team MR8 in next year's Boston Marathon.  Read more

WIC benefits switch to debit card system this month

Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Oct. 14, 2014

Poor women in Massachusetts who rely on federal assistance to buy milk, cereal and other specified food items for themselves and their children will no longer have to worry that everyone around them in the grocery store checkout line knows they receive aid.

Massachusetts this month began to switch from paper checks to debit-like cards for the federal nutritional assistance program that helps more than 125,000 women, infants and children in the state.  Read more

DA: Dorchester boy likely murdered by father, who killed himself

Oct. 14, 2014

Destin Marcelin, 6, died in a Dorchester apartment last month when his father, Patrick Marcelin, smothered or strangled him - or maybe both, Boston Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney's office report.

Marcelin then slashed his wrists, then plunged a knife into his chest after opening the door of a Mattapan apartment to police after they had tracked him down two days later.  Read more

Officials: Risk of Ebola spreading in Mass is low

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Oct. 14, 2014

Mayor Martin Walsh, flanked by Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, spoke at a Tuesday morning press conference at Logan Airport. Photo by Isabel Leon/Mayor's office

Gov. Deval Patrick emphasized the relative safety of getting close to Ebola-infected patients, while state and local officials maintained the state is well equipped to handle cases of the virus that has spread death and devastation through three countries in West Africa.

"If I had Ebola, the commissioner standing right here would be at minimum risk of catching it, if any, if any," Gov. Deval Patrick said, standing next to Department of Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett at a Logan International Airport press conference Tuesday morning. "This is hard to catch. She would have to touch my blood or other bodily fluids . . . and don't."  Read more

In book interview, Menino weighs in on Walsh's performance

Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service
Oct. 13, 2014

With his patience gone, Mayor Thomas Menino let Gov. William Weld have it.

It was the 1990s and Menino wanted a convention center in South Boston. Weld, along with New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, wanted a stadium, and the governor had been publicly "needling" Menino that the Patriots would leave the state if the mayor didn't change his mind.  Read more

Mattapan native charged with murder in New York City


The Boston Police Department reports arresting a woman who was wanted for a Sept. 21 murder in Brooklyn.

The department's fugitive squad found and arrested Chivona Hughes, 32, in her old neighborhood, along Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan, police say.

Police in New York had been searching for Hughes for a Sept. 21 murder in which the victim was stabbed 75 times in the chest and head.  Read more

State transportation chief Richard Davey stepping down

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Oct. 10, 2014

Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, the longest serving of the governor's the four transportation chiefs, plans to resign at the end of October, leaving the administration two months before the end of Gov. Deval Patrick's tenure.

Davey informed the governor of his decision late last month, and plans to depart on Nov. 1, becoming the second Cabinet official to leave the administration since Patrick asked his top lieutenants to commit in early 2013 to another two years to see the administration through to the end.

"It's time," Davey told the News Service. "I'm going to take some time to travel a little bit with my wife and start to think about what's next for my career. But we have a window to travel now, and I know the governor understands."  Read more

Kennedy Institute set for March 2015 opening

Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service
Oct. 9, 2014

Full-scale representations of the U.S. Senate chamber and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's Capitol Hill office will open to the public on March 31, 2015, the Edward Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate announced Wednesday. A gala celebration is set for March 29 and a formal dedication ceremony for the 68,000 square-foot building will take place on March 30.  Read more

Yancey says it again: Mattapan deserves a ‘first-class’ high school

Councillor Charles Yancey

City Councillor Charles Yancey renewed his push for a high school in Mattapan at a well-attended hearing Tuesday night in the room in the Mattapan branch of the Boston Public Library named after his mother.

“I know I sound like a broken record even to my constituents, but our children deserve and need this school,” Yancey told an audience that had dwindled from 75 attendees to about 40 people by the end of the three-hour hearing. “Our first-class students deserve a first-class school.”

The hearing was the latest step in Yancey’s quest to build the city’s first new public high school in 35 years, and Mattapan’s first ever. The 14-term councillor was careful to note that while the school would be located in Mattapan, it would serve the entire city of Boston.  Read more

DOT BY THE DAY October 9 – 15, 2014

Thursday (9th) – UMass Boston Film Series offers free 7 p.m. screening of the HBO film “Love Child” No tickets required. Campus Center, third floor, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester. Q&A follows with director Valerie Veatch “Love Child” follows the first tried case of Internet addiction centered in the Republic of Korea.  Read more

‘It’s a girl’! for Jana and Beau at the Franklin Park Zoo

It’s a girl! Dorchester’s newest resident is a female giraffe calf born last Thursday morning inside a barn at Franklin Park Zoo. After a labor and delivery that lasted about an hour, Jana the giraffe gave birth to a calf that was standing an hour later. The baby giraffe, who has not yet been named, weighs 160 pounds and stands six feet tall. Since 2006, Jana and her mate Beau have had five successful births including the new calf. The pair are also grandparents as well, with offspring at zoos in the eastern United States.  Read more

Halloween time in the ‘hood: hayrides, pumpkins, and piñatas

The annual Great Pumpkin Float on the Neponset River is set for Halloween eve, Oct. 30.

Hayrides through the cemetery, costume contests and even a candlelit pumpkin float on the Neponset River. Dorchester does not play when it comes to Halloween.

• The Harvest Festival hosted by Cedar Grove Gardens has become a favorite for families. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 26, and includes a scarecrow contest and candy-stuffed piñatas that kids love. The festival also features free hayrides through Cedar Grove Cemetery, which will be glowing with fall colors later this month. Bring the kids in their costumes. The popular garden store is located at 911 Adams St.  Read more

Smith talks about sheriff bid; an Obama touts Coakley

Hassan A. Smith, an independent candidate, hopes the third time’s the charm in his bid for sheriff of Suffolk County, a job for which he says he has a special understanding. “We are suffering. The penal department is not doing what it’s supposed to be doing,” Smith told the Reporter. “We need to change the system so the department is set up for the people and by the people.”  Read more