News

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

Historic Boston Inc. ready to save landmark Mattapan farm

The Fowler-Clark farm has been boarded up in recent years to prevent further damage from squatters. The farmhouse dates to the 18th century. Reporter file photo

A historic but endangered Mattapan landmark could soon have a new owner that would ensure that it remains viable for decades to come. Historic Boston Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the Fowler-Clark farmhouse on Norfolk Street. The transaction will not be executed until next March, giving the non-profit preservation group time to raise funds and create a definitive plan for re-using the property’s old structures for housing.

The farmhouse, which was built at the turn of the 18th century, is one of the city’s last tangible links to a now-distant agrarian past. Designated as historic landmarks in 2006, the house and an adjacent barn have since been boarded up by city inspectors worried that squatters would destroy the buildings through vandalism or fire.  Read more

‘Don’t Dump on Us’ task force wants neighbors’ help in fight over trash transfer facility in South Boston

Members of the “Don’t Dump on Us” task force have asked the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association to support their fight against the siting of a trash transfer facility in South Boston. “We need as many voices as we can to fight this. We want to make sure this doesn’t sneak up on us before it’s too late,” Marion Kaiser told the association at its monthly meeting on Monday night.  Read more

Neponset Greenway update: Phase 2 construction set to begin

A rendering shows what a connection of the Neponset Greenway near the gas tank on Dorchester Bay would look like.

Construction on the second of three phases of the Neponset River Greenway will soon get under way as the project to connect Readville’s Martini Shell to South Boston’s Castle Island continues on schedule and on budget, according to Jack Murray, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation.

“This has been a real priority of the governor’s,” Murray told the Reporter. “He’s directed us to get this project in the ground before the end of his term and we’re working hard to make it happen.”  Read more

St. Ambrose parish celebrates centennial with Mass, lunch

By 
Patrick E. O’Connor, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 9, 2014

St. Ambrose parish in Fields Corner marked its centennial on Sunday with a Mass and luncheon. . 	Bill Brett photoSt. Ambrose parish in Fields Corner marked its centennial on Sunday with a Mass and luncheon. . Bill Brett photo

Past and present parishioners of St. Ambrose Church came together for a special Mass on the occasion of the centennial of the parish this past Sunday morning. With Bishop Robert F. Hennessey returning from the Merrimac region to serve as principal celebrant, the Mass began with a colorful procession of Vietnamese children and Fr. Finn, pastor, welcoming the bishop back to a parish he frequently visited during his time as auxiliary bishop in Boston.

A multi cultural parish today, the liturgy of the word was proclaimed in Spanish, Vietnamese and English. In his homily, Bishop Hennessey commented on the life and times of the patron saint of the parish and reviewed the history of the parish, founded in December, 1914 to meet the needs of a growing Catholic congregation in Fields Corner. Founding pastor, Rev. John P. Harrigan broke ground for a lower church in March, 1915. In Nov, 1924, the upper church was dedicated by Cardinal O’Connell, giving Dorchester an imposing church reminiscent of Notre Dame with twin towers in the front. A new rectory followed in 1928 and a grammar school, staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1936.  Read more

Former Neponset funeral home director charged with flurry of crimes

By 
Staff
Oct. 8, 2014

Joseph V. O'Donnell. Photo courtesy Suffolk County DA's Office

A former Neponset funeral home director has been named in a "sweeping, 278-count indictment" charging him with illegally storing dead bodies for years in a storage facility while bilking customers out of tens of thousands of dollars in pre-payments for burials that never happened. Joseph V. O'Donnell, 56, is also alleged to have operated his family-owned funeral home without a license in over 200 funerals and cremations.  Read more

A Northeast earthquake apocalypse? Best to be ready

Image courtesy USGS

At 10:16 a.m. next Thursday, Oct. 16, employees and school kids from across the region will be asked to “drop, cover, and hold on” under their desks a la the 1950s when the maneuver was seriously and widely practiced as a defensive measure against an atomic bomb attack by Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union.

No Stalin and no bomb this time. State officials want Massachusetts residents to join next week in a national earthquake preparedness exercise that has been dubbed the Great Northeast ShakeOut. The under-the-desk-quickly drill is meant to get people thinking about what they’d do to stay alive in the event that they don’t get pulverized in the initial tectonic take-down.  Read more

Along the Nile, Strand-style: ‘AIDA’ opens Oct. 17 at the theatre; Dot residents get a break

Aida: Actors Gene Dante  and Ta’Nika Gibson star in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of Aida, which opens next Friday at the Strand Theatre. Photo courtesy of Fiddlehead Theatre Company/mattmckeephoto.comAida: Actors Gene Dante and Ta’Nika Gibson star in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of Aida, which opens next Friday at the Strand Theatre. Photo courtesy of Fiddlehead Theatre Company/mattmckeephoto.comThere aren’t a lot of camels, date palms, or pyramids in Uphams Corner, but when the Fiddlehead Theatre Company debuts its production of “Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida” next Friday, Oct. 17, the Strand Theatre, the grande dame of Columbia Road, should be out-Cleopatra-ing the Queen of the Nile herself with the hit musical’s retro-Egyptian enchantments.

This lavish production, which will run for two weekends only (Oct.17-26), marks Fiddlehead’s kickoff to its second season as resident company at the Strand. Previous well-received Fiddlehead musicals there include “A Little Princess” (2013) and “Ragtime” (2012).

Ta’Nika Gibson, who has the title role, got a preview of what a jam-packed Strand house looks like last Friday when she sang the national anthem a cappella for First Lady Michelle Obama and other honored guests.  Read more

Parking stand-off leaves Savin Hill condo plan in limbo

Savin Hill Ave. project: Architect’s rendering showed proposed condos over Savin Bar + Kitchen. Drawing courtesy RODE Architects.Savin Hill Ave. project: Architect’s rendering showed proposed condos over Savin Bar + Kitchen. Drawing courtesy RODE Architects.

The future of a vacant lot across from Savin Hill T station, previously the site of a proposed 14-unit residential and commercial development, hangs in the balance after the project’s private developer, David Higgins, said late Tuesday evening that he was walking away from the development.  Read more

Employees protest as UMass-Boston celebrates 50 years

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Oct. 7, 2014

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, OCT. 7, 2014....As University of Massachusetts officials marched from the State House to Boston Common to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Boston campus, more than 100 university employees held their own procession, protesting sick time and vacation pay concessions the university is asking them to make.

Protestors quietly stood in the background as UMass officials and local dignitaries, including former Senate President Robert Travaglini - an alumnus - and current UMass President Robert Caret, described the transition of the campus, from its formation in 1964 on the site of a former landfill to its status as a modern, harbor-front urban campus where students can "realize the American dream."  Read more

Man shot outside Ashmont station; suspect in custody

By 
Staff
Oct. 6, 2014

A suspect was arrested Monday night after a man was shot on Dorchester Avenue just outside Ashmont MBTA station. The victim, who was shot in the stomach, was transported to Boston Medical Center with what first responders described as "serious" injuries.

The 6:30 p.m. shooting left the station cordoned off with buses and commuters stuck as police swarmed the area. A description of the suspect, described as a black male wearing a black hoodie, white undershirt, white shoes and hat was quickly broadcast to officers. Around 8:30 p.m. Boston Police told the Reporter that a suspect was in custody for allegedly shooting the victim at "point-blank" range with a .45 calibre gun. The suspect was previously known to police and his image was captured by surveillance cameras.  Read more

Mattapan man sentenced to prison for distributing child porn on the Internet

Luis Miguel Gonzalez-Buzetta, 22, was sentenced this week to nine years in prison and permanent status as a sex offender, after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to child-exploitation charges related to the more than 6,000 sexually explicit photos and videos of young girls federal agents found on his computers, the US Attorney's office reports.

The FBI began investigating Gonzalez-Buzetta, 22, in 2013 after his e-mail address turned up on the computer of an Oregon man who was himself under investigation for distributing child porn - including photos of his own daughter.  Read more

Simco's has to shut a day for staying open too late one night

Simco's, 1509 Blue Hill Ave., will have to serve a one-day suspension after a police lieutenant found them open 45 minutes past their licensed 1 a.m. closing time one night in August.

The Boston Licensing Board ordered the punishment after Lt. Det. Eric Eversley testified at a Tuesday hearing that when he drove past Simco's around 1:45 a.m. on Aug. 9, he found the place humming: Not only were there eight to ten patrons waiting in line, there were cars double parked out front and there was even a guy selling CDs on the sidewalk.

Simco's is only licensed to stay open until 1 a.m.  Read more

Saluting Dot’s Irish heritage: Festival set; Florian Hall, McKeon Post

By 
Sean Smith, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 2, 2014

Dorchester Strong: A parade of local Irish dance schools preceded performances at the 2013 Irish Heritage Festival. The indoor and outdoor event drew thousands to Florian Hall and the McKeon Post for a day or music, food and Irish culture. 	Photo by Sean SmithDorchester Strong: A parade of local Irish dance schools preceded performances at the 2013 Irish Heritage Festival. The indoor and outdoor event drew thousands to Florian Hall and the McKeon Post for a day or music, food and Irish culture. Photo by Sean Smith

Dorchester’s Irish Heritage Festival is back for its fourth year, with a full slate of Irish music and dance performances, family entertainment, and cultural activities, as well as food and vendor booths. The festival will take place on Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Florian Hall (55 Hallet Street) and the John McKeon Post AmVets 146 (4 Hilltop St.); there will be a suggested donation at the entrance of $5 per person, or $20 per family, to support the event.  Read more

Pay boost matter a quandary for council

Boston’s city councillors are regrouping after an awkward City Hall hearing about a proposed pay increase on Monday at which councilors were told the proposal as it stands is illegal and punishable by fines and jail time.  Read more

For sale: 1912 comfort station; bids start at $100

Build in 1912 as a "comfort station" for commuters, this building on Columbia Road is now for sale through the city of Boston.

It sits idle, a relic of Dorchester’s days as a bustling streetcar suburb. Tucked between a weathered supply store and the olde town’s first cemetery, the Uphams Corner Comfort Station— as it was called in its days of utility— is far from comforting to the modern eyes. Boarded up since 1977, its dual entrances are sealed off from the Columbia Road sidewalk by chain-links. Just over the fence is the historic Dorchester North Burial Ground, where some of the original settlement’s founding mothers and fathers have found three-and-a-half centuries of rest.

Despite its crumbling condition, there’s still a certain charm to the tiny building with the red, terracotta roof— or what’s left of it. It was essentially a rest stop for commuters who found shelter and a “powder room” here on their way into the city.

For a limited time, it can all be yours for just $100.  Read more

DOT BY THE DAY October 2 – 7, 2014

Thursday (2nd) – Gov. Patrick will be guest chef at Men of Boston cook fest— This year’s Men of Boston Cook for Women’s Health is shaping up to be another star studded fundraiser for women’s programs in Dorchester.  Read more

Falchuk talks of ‘change’ when he takes the corner office

Hot on the heels of a fiery debate performance with four of other gubernatorial candidates last Wednesday, Evan Falchuk told the Reporter, “This is the way it’s been for me. It’s about being real and genuine.”
Widely considered the frontrunner among the three independent candidates for governor, the 44-year-old Falchuk has struggled to break into the overall conversation with Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley as he has sought during his campaign to get out in front in debates and forums and with the media leading up to voting in November.  Read more

Uphams Corner native leads diversity office at BC High

Nelson MirandaNelson Miranda  Read more

UMass remembers a pioneering professor: Oct. 20 concert will endow new Orville Wright Fund

By 
Jacob Aguiar, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 2, 2014

Respected professor and prolific musician Orville B. Wright passed away on June 20, 2012. His widow, Joan Wright, has now honored her husband’s commitment to teaching by establishing a scholarship fund in his name at the UMass Boston. A benefit concert for the fund will be held on October 20 on the university’s Dorchester campus.

“My husband was extremely passionate about his music and his teaching,” said Mrs. Wright. “He was a very giving person. That is why myself and my friends thought the scholarship would be a good way to remember him going forward.”  Read more

Recalling the Trumbull Street fire tragedy: 50 years later

By 
Patrick E. O’Connor, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 2, 2014

The five who lost their lives in the 1964 fire and collapse.

Fifty years ago this week, the city was saddened at the loss of five firemen battling a midnight blaze in the South End— including three men from Dorchester.

Shortly after midnight on the morning of October 1, 1964, firemen from the fire station on Harrison Ave behind the Cathedral responded to an abandoned brick building ablaze at 34 Trumbull Street in the South End. Laying down hoses, a front wall collapsed in two sections, killing four and a ‘spark’ by the name of Andrew Sheehan. A fifth firefighter (Jim Sheedy) died later that morning at City Hospital.  Read more

Walsh’s latest idea: ‘Neighborhood Innovation districts’

Is Dudley about to become the next Kendall Square?

It’s possible if the newly-created Neighborhood Innovation District Committee does its job.

To better encourage the development of centers of innovation across the city and in specific neighborhoods, Mayor Martin Walsh has unveiled a new committee charged with expanding innovation and entrepreneurship, his office announced last week.

The Neighborhood Innovation District Committee met in a public meeting for the first time on Wednesday night and will meet at least three to four times before the end of the year.  Read more

Viet-AID celebrates 20th year with My Gala

The Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (VietAID) honored former Boston Mayor and Ambassador Ray Flynn at its third annual My Gala - “Illuminating Past Successes & Embracing Future Opportunities” on September 13 at the IBEW Hall in Dorchester. The Honorary Co-Chairs were Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston CEO Josh Kraft and Boston Police Department Superintendent William Gross.

The event celebrated VietAID’s 20th anniversary this year.  Read more

Stabbing at Columbia Point hall remains unsolved because nobody will talk to the cops

A stabbing at a benefit for an injured motorcyclist at the Boston Teachers Union Hall in August remains unsolved because every person inside the hall interviewed by police either said they saw nothing or refused to talk, a police detective says.  Read more

Gov. Patrick rips 'stupid' Boston Herald cartoon targeting president

Reacting to a widely scorned Boston Herald editorial cartoon that the newspaper has said was not intentionally racist, Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday called it "stupid" and said he hoped for greater sensitivity.

"I don't need to pile on. I found the cartoon offensive. I think most people did. It was stupid," Patrick said, chuckling. "I think even the Herald sees that."

Patrick has regularly been roasted in the tabloid's pages. Asked about Wednesday's cartoon on his way to a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration he said, "Frankly my expectations are not very high. It was stupid."  Read more