News

Supreme Court ruling seen as having immediate impact on campaigns, elections

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Apr. 2, 2014

Well-heeled Massachusetts political donors will be free to spread their wealth among as many candidates for state and federal office as they wish this year after the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down aggregate federal campaign contribution limits, a ruling that state regulators said would extend to state limits as well.  Read more

Carvalho wins Democratic primary in Fifth Suffolk race to replace Henriquez

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Apr. 1, 2014

Evandro Carvalho: Won Democratic primary election today. Photo by Mike DeehanEvandro Carvalho: Won Democratic primary election today. Photo by Mike DeehanAttorney Evandro C. Carvalho on Tuesday won the five-way Democratic primary in the race to replace former state Rep. Carlos Henriquez, sources in two camps said.

As the winner of the April 1 Democratic primary, Carvalho moves on to the ballot in the April 29 general election. No Republicans are expected on the ballot, since there were no candidates that emerged during the primary.

A Fields Corner resident who once worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Carvalho was born in Cape Verde and came to Boston at age 15. He graduated from Madison Park High and went to UMass Amherst and Howard University School of Law.  Read more

Dorchester man charged with shooting uncle during a funeral procession

Gai Scott, 36, is scheduled for arraignment in Plymouth District Court on Monday on charges he tried to kill his uncle, Raymond Scott, as the two drove in separate cars on Rte. 3 for a funeral service for Raymond Scott's mother Saturday afternoon.

Raymond Scott, who grew up in Dorchester, is known as Benzino and has a long career as a rapper and publisher of a hip-hop magazine. He is currently a cast member of the VH1 reality show "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta."

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's office, the two Scotts had been feuding of late.  Read more

Today: Voters choose among five for Fifth Suffolk representative

Four of the five candidates on next Tuesday’s ballot in the Fifth Suffolk District appeared before a crowd at First Parish Church on Sunday afternoon. Shown, l-r, Evandro Carvalho, Karen Charles Peterson, Jennifer Johnson and Barry Lawton.  Profiles on each candidate, Pages 4 and 5.Four of the five candidates on next Tuesday’s ballot in the Fifth Suffolk District appeared before a crowd at First Parish Church on Sunday afternoon. Shown, l-r, Evandro Carvalho, Karen Charles Peterson, Jennifer Johnson and Barry Lawton. Links to profiles on each candidate are available below.

Voters in the Fifth Suffolk House District had a chance this week to see the candidates hoping to succeed former state Rep. Carlos Henriquez up close. Four of the five Democrats on the April 1 primary ballot appeared before a crowd of 50 people at First Parish Church on a Sunday afternoon, offering answers to questions about charter schools, constituent services, and how to handle gun violence, particularly in Bowdoin-Geneva.  Read more

Key Fields Corner building getting a snappy new look

The old Emerald Isle building in Fields Corner is being renovated by new owners. The first new tenant— a T-Mobile store— will move into the building next month. 	Photo by Bill ForryThe old Emerald Isle building in Fields Corner is being renovated by new owners. The first new tenant— a T-Mobile store— will move into the building next month. Photo by Bill Forry

Renovations to a key commercial building in Fields Corner are underway this month as four new tenants prepare to open up shop along Dorchester Avenue. The building, which once housed the defunct Emerald Isle bar and Yum-Yum Chinese restaurant, has undergone a “gut-rehab” in recent months.

The 6,000-square-foot building carries a Faulkner Street address, but its five retail spaces face a bustling stretch of Dorchester Avenue in the heart of the business district. The building abuts the popular Blarney Stone restaurant, which has thrived in spite of the still-forlorn exterior of its next-door neighbor.  Read more

Walsh’s gun buyback offer: ‘No questions asked’

Standing at the edge of a Codman Square park, city officials this week restarted a gun buyback program in a bid to curtail neighborhood violence. Dubbed “Your Piece for Peace,” the program has police accepting or picking up guns with “no questions asked,” officials said. The program is open Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at various district police stations.

If the gun, which can’t be loaded or an antique, is accepted by police, a $200 Visa gift card will be available in return.  Read more

Carvalho envisions ‘fresh start’

By 
Jordan Frias, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 27, 2014

Evandro Carvalho is a former prosecutor in Roxbury and graduate of UMass Amherst and law school at Howard University. He has lived in Dorchester since he immigrated to this country at age 15 from Santiago, Cape Verde.

At age 32, Carvalho is the youngest among the candidates vying for the Fifth Suffolk House seat.Although he has a lot of support from his Cape Verdean neighbors and beyond, Carvalho said he has a lot of work to do to ensure a win in the April 1 primary.

“I think we are the underdog,” he said.  Read more

Karen Charles Peterson: Time’s right for her to ‘give back’

Karen Charles Peterson placed her hands over the car’s air conditioning vents for warmth as her campaign manager drove her back to her Dorchester home. She had spent two hours in the cold, knocking on doors, down Savin Street and up Quincy Street, covering the Roxbury sliver in the Fifth Suffolk House District that also includes Dorchester.  Read more

Lawton: Experience needed to fill Fifth Suffolk void

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 27, 2014

A longtime teacher with experience drafting political legislation, Barry Lawton is making another attempt at the Fifth Suffolk seat in the State House.

Lawton ran unsuccessfully in 1988, 1999, and 2010.

“We need to have strong, skilled, vocal leadership and we don’t have it now,” Lawton said at Merengue, the Blue Hill Ave. restaurant on a recent Friday. “The past three representatives we’ve had have left early and this is now the third budget cycle we are unrepresented.”  Read more

Johnson puts focus on human services, economic equality

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 27, 2014

As a candidate campaigning to represent the majority-minority Fifth Suffolk House district, Jennifer Johnson stands out for her biography and her track-record as a activist devoted to a progressive agenda. Born and raised in Louisiana, Johnson is a white woman who has found a home in Dorchester and hopes to work on behalf of the district to improve economic equality for its constituents.

“I want to fight for the district and make sure that we continue to have somebody who fights for us in the State House because our district is frequently left behind,” Johnson said.  Read more

Double Dutch champ Sharrice Perkins remembered in memorial tournament

By 
Will Taylor, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 27, 2014

Sharrice Perkins, one of three victims in a horrific 2012 shooting on Harlem Street, was remembered last Saturday at a Double Dutch tournament in Roxbury, an event at which Perkins would have felt quite at home. Perkins was a state championship jumper herself, traveling with her team to the worlds championship competition as a middle and high-school student.

Perkins was just 22 when her life was taken in a parked car. Two other women—Kristen Lartey and Genevieve Philip— were also shot dead and a fourth woman was left wounded. The case remains unsolved.  Read more

Katie’s Quest: Support mounts to help Galway’s O’Halloran

By 
Jordan Frias, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 27, 2014

Katie O'HalloranKatie O'HalloranA correction has been appended to the article.

“They say the closest city to Galway is Boston,” said Rosario Sullivan of Ireland.

Sullivan was present at Mayor Marty Walsh’s Community Luncheon in West Roxbury at the Irish Social Club of Boston on Saturday, passing out fliers and talking to guests about her friend Katie O’ Halloran.

Sullivan has been in Boston for almost two weeks to help spread the word about the Katie O’Halloran Benefit that will be held here in Boston.  Read more

Man acquitted for murder of Irish immigrant after Irish festival in 2011

A Suffolk Superior Court jury today acquitted John Graham, 19, of Lynn on a charge of first-degree murder for the death of Ciaran Conneely following the annual Irish festival in Adams Corner on Oct. 10, 2011, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Prosecutors had charged Graham killed Conneely in a robbery attempt on Nahant Avenue.  Read more

House breathes new life into charter school bill

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Mar. 26, 2014

House lawmakers on Wednesday resurrected legislation that would lift the cap on charter school enrollment in underperforming school districts, adopting a new version of the bill after the Education Committee failed to agree on a proposal.

During a lightly attended session Wednesday morning, the House adopted a plan offered by Education Committee Co-chair Rep. Alice Peisch that allows more charter schools without addressing increases in reimbursements to traditional public schools that some lawmakers and advocates have demanded.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: Golar Richie mulls run for statewide office — but is time on her side?

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 26, 2014

“Charlotte for Mayor” didn’t work out. Could “Charlotte for Treasurer” or "Charlotte for Lt. Governor" happen any differently?  Read more

Bid for compromise on charter school cap falls short

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 26, 2014

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and state Rep. Russell Holmes, two lawmakers who represent parts of Dorchester and Mattapan, were unsuccessful this week in pushing a compromise that would lift the cap on charter schools.

Chang-Diaz’s office announced the compromise on Saturday, days after the Education Committee had given itself a one-week extension to March 25 to put together a bill. But March 25 came and went with no action on legislation.  Read more

Two fires displace 16

Deering Road fire

Ladder 29 extended to the roof at 44 Deering Rd. Photo by BFD.

A two-alarm fire on Deering Road in Mattapan and a smaller fire on Talbot Avenue in Dorchester Tuesday night and early Wednesday displaced 14 people, according to the Boston Fire Department.

Firefighters responded around 9:10 p.m. to 44 Deering Rd., where a fire that started on the second floor spread to the walls and ceiling on the third floor.

The department says there were no injuries from what turned into a two-alarm fire. Damage was estimated at $300,000. The cause remains under investigation.  Read more

Letter: Blasi's Cafe made Team MR8 fundraiser a success

By 
Suzanne (Morrison) McDevitt
Mar. 25, 2014

John Hanlon and Suzanne (Morrison) McDevitt, two members of the Team MR8 Boston Marathon team, who organized a fundraiser at Blasi's on March 16.

To the Editor:

I just wanted to send a warm thank-you to Blasi’s Cafe in Adams Corner for hosting the TEAM MR8 St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser on March 16th, organized by John Hanlon and myself.

Blasi’s was kind enough to open the entire restaurant to our guests that Sunday evening where they enjoyed the live Irish music of the talented Henry Brothers and were able to bid on multiple raffle items donated by many generous friends, family members and establishments from near and far. Blasi’s also contributed all of the delicious appetizers served that night.  Read more

Report: Agent acted in self-defense in shooting of Todashev

By 
Michael P. Norton, State House News Service
Mar. 25, 2014

The FBI agent who shot and killed Ibragim Todashev in his Orlando residence in May 2013 acted in self-defense, according to an investigation by Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton, who concluded there was no evidence that the agent committed “intentional misconduct or acted with any degree of malice.”  Read more

Chang-Diaz: Charter school compromise reached ahead of deadline

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 22, 2014

Lawmakers have reached a compromise on lifting the cap on charter schools, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz's office said Saturday.

Chang-Diaz co-chairs the Legislature's Education Committee, which had given itself a one-week extension to March 25 in order to kick out a bill on the charter school cap. Chang-Diaz, a Jamaica Plain Democrat, had come under pressure from charter school advocates to move the legislation out of committee.  Read more

Public asked to weigh in on Mt. Vernon Street revamp

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is asking Dorchester residents to help redesign Columbia Point’s Mt. Vernon Street. The city planning agency has set a meeting for next Thursday, March 27 at 6 p.m., inside the Corcoran Jennison Community Building at 270 Mt. Vernon St.  Read more

Violins make a connection at Elder Service Plan center

By 
Jordan Frias, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 20, 2014

Elizabeth Moody, left, and Dr. Bernice Wong play together at the Elder Service Plan on Morton Street.

At age 66, Elizabeth Moody said a prayer that she would be able to play the violin again. And that prayer was answered, in large part by her violin teacher, Dr. Bernice Wong, medical director at the Elder Service Plan center on Morton Street.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: More time for talk on charter school cap issue

The debate over lifting the charter school cap will stretch into next week as the Legislature’s Education Committee continues to seek a compromise. Charter school advocates have ratcheted up pressure on lawmakers, including state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, co-chair of the Committee on Education, calling on them to release a bill lifting the cap. Separately, public school parents who oppose charter schools sent a petition to the committee this week, demanding that the cap stay in place.

In a meeting at the State House on Tuesday, the committee gave itself an extension to kick out a bill.  Read more

BPL exhibit maps changing face of the city’s neighborhoods

By 
David Eisenstadt
Mar. 20, 2014

Vietnamese population mapVietnamese population mapFrom Irish, Jews, and Italians to Vietnamese, Haitians and Cape Verdeans, a new map exhibition covering the past 100 years shows Boston’s changing population. “City of Neighborhoods: The Changing Face of Boston” opens Saturday, March 22, at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.

“The original inspiration was all of this great data that came out of the 2010 census,” said Michelle LeBlanc, director of education at the Leventhal Map Center and co-curator of the show. “It told us about what has been going on with population and demographics, and being the map center we wanted to show this through maps.”

As researchers pulled the information together, it was clear that each neighborhood had its own story within the larger picture of the city of Boston, LeBlanc said.  Read more

St. Patrick's Day Breakfast serves up laughs, leaders

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 19, 2014

Sen. Forry with Governor Patrick: The governor quipped: “Have a good look everybody. This is what a Forry and a Patrick looks like these days." Photo © Don WestSen. Forry with Governor Patrick: The governor quipped: “Have a good look everybody. This is what a Forry and a Patrick looks like these days." Photo © Don WestLinda Dorcena Forry took the microphone on Sunday morning and looked out into the crowd at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center where some 700 residents from Dorchester, South Boston, and Mattapan were dining on eggs, hash, and sausages.

“Last year I got eight seconds,” she quipped.

This year, it was two hours and a half. She is the First Suffolk District’s state senator now, instead of a candidate, and with the position comes the job of hosting the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, where politicians traditionally have traded light barbs with one another.  Read more