News

Dot Park to get national historic recognition

By 
David Benoit
Dec. 18, 2007

Move over Central Park, Dorchester Park is about to be on equal footing.

In a move that the Dorchester Park Association (DPA) has been trying to make for years, Dorchester Park has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. In the next 45 days a bit of Washington bureaucracy will take place before the park is placed under federal protection, much like Central Park or Mount Rushmore, or any number of famous historic places throughout the country.  Read more

Ark-inspired building on Blue Hill to anchor near zoo

A building proposed for Blue Hill Ave. near Franklin Park will resemble an ark and hopes to jive with the nearby zoo. Image courtesy John Spears/GBDA

Just across Blue Hill Avenue from the entrance of the Franklin Park Zoo and down the street a bit, a strange triangular vacant lot is about to become a giant glass boat-shaped building with oversized animals perched on top.

"I am thinking of hanging a gorilla at the edge of the building," said private developer Natasha Kapij.  Read more

Dot student excels in class, community service

By 
Martine Louis
Dec. 12, 2007

In the four years Dorchester resident Abdoul Diallo has lived in the U.S. he has touched and inspired lives worldwide. From participating in constructing a playground for an orphanage in St. Croix to helping build housing for the homeless in Honduras, this 18-year-old has been deemed a leader.

Foreclosure rescue and the contractor special

If there's anything too hopeless for President George W. Bush's foreclosure prevention plan, it's the "contractor special" near Codman Square in Dorchester. Located in a three-decker on Whitfield Street, it helps explain why, as Mayor Thomas Menino pointed out, the resetting of adjustable mortgages to higher interest rates is only one link in the sub-prime chain-reaction.  Read more

Fields Corner Post Office to get facelift next year

Mailing a letter will be just a smidge more pleasant at the Fields Corner Post Office starting next summer, when construction crews finish upgrading the storefront to go with an interior revamped in 2005.  Read more

Key Catholic schools advisor sees "renaissance" ahead through 2010 plan

One of the chief architects of an ambitious plan to consolidate and revitalize Dorchester and Mattapan's parochial schools promised this week that the project would exceed even its own expectations, prompting a "renaissance" of the neighborhoods' Catholic education system.

John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction, leads a team of engineers and executives from his company who have been instrumental thus far in the 2010 Initiative, a committee that is chaired by Boston businessman and philanthropist Jack Connors.  Read more

Milestones in Catholic Dorchester

By 
By Edward F. Saunders, Jr.
Dec. 5, 2007

The Honorable Maureen E. Feeney President, Boston City Council Boston City Hall, 5th Floor Boston, MA 02201  Read more

Feeney 'unconvinced' on moving Carney away from acute care, critical of shift to 'beahvioral health' facility

Boston City Council President Maureen E. Feeney issued the following statement today on the Attorney General's report on Caritas Christi Health Care System and Caritas Carney Hospital.

"This report clearly echoes what we know about the Caritas Christi Health Care System: that it faces significant fiscal and operational challenges and in order to remain viable it must reform its governance to operate independent from the Archdiocese of Boston.  Read more

Public meetings set to discuss Neponset pollution, dams

A public meeting at Carney Hospital next week will detail the findings of a much-anticipated report on water quality in the Neponset River - and on whether two industrial dams, including the Baker Dam in Lower Mills, should be removed or altered.  Read more

MBTA slow to think rapid on Fairmount Line

As the design for a new Four Corners station on the MBTA's Fairmount Line nears completion, and funding trickles in from the state, a gap between the community and the MBTA's intentions for the project is becoming more apparent.

The T presented the 60 percent stage of the Four Corners design last Wednesday, only to hear a short list of demands from the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition. Many of the same demands were made at previous meetings, but some have not yet had an affect on architectural drawings for the project.  Read more

Health centers appeal to uninsured

Seven of Dorchester's health centers are banding together this week in a bid to get residents signed up for health insurance before the Dec. 31 deadline. From Codman Square to Upham's Corner, Dorchester residents will be able to enroll in state health plans on-site Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Residents who don't have health insurance after the end of the month will get hit with a $219 fine when they file their tax return in the spring. That fine will go up substantially in ensuing months.  Read more

Columbia-Savin Hill tables vote on UMass dorms

Taking a measured tone, the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association, which voted to oppose dorms at UMass-Boston over four years ago, is planning to meet with UMass officials as the university community considers reconfiguring its campus.

Members of the neighborhood association this week took a pass on taking a vote reaffirming the association's opposition to the prospect of dorms, which are included in each of the three conceptual plans  Read more

The man behind the First Night button

By 
Martine Louis
Dec. 4, 2007

Boston's 32-year old New Years Eve tradition is fast approaching and residents are eager to celebrate. First Night Boston- North America's largest art exposition- features the works of local, national and international artists and attracts over a million excited spectators. On Nov. 16 dozens gathered at Park Plaza Hotel and Towers to witness the unveiling of the First Night Boston button of 2008. Freelance photographer Mike Ritter, 27, says no one is more thrilled about this year's event than he is.  Read more

Merchants hope for holiday sales boost

By 
David Benoit
Dec. 4, 2007

'Tis the season to do some shopping, that much is known. But will the season's holiday bonuses and free spending translate into business for Dorchester and Mattapan merchants? Or will the one-stop malls and Internet sites rake it all in?

Stuart Rosenberg, the president of the Mattapan Board of Trade, does not hold out too much hope for a sales bonanza.

"We are always optimistic now and the retail has changed so much over the years, and now with the Internet even more," Rosenberg said. "The mom and pops, the real micromanagement kind of people, are having a struggle."  Read more

OFF THE BENCH: Goodbye, Sister Chips

By 
James W. Dolan
Dec. 4, 2007

As a product of St. Mark's, St. Matthew's, and, finally, St. Gregory's grammar schools, I regret the necessary and inevitable consolidation of our once thriving parochial school system.

I remember with affection and respect the good nuns who dedicated their lives to teaching. Sure, there were occasional excesses; corporal punishment was a regular part of controlling classes of 50 or more rambunctious boys, and sometimes fear was used to maintain discipline.  Read more

New drug treatment program plans to move into Uphams Corner

An empty building at 35 Bird St. in Uphams Corner may have a new tenant soon, one that aims to promote sobriety in the neighborhood.

Human Resources Development Institute, a large company that specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment, is applying for a zoning variance to turn the property into an outpatient drug treatment center and a residential treatment center for women. The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 4.  Read more

Grove Hall activists probe ideas for a new youth center

By 
Sasha Link
Nov. 28, 2007

A Grove Hall meeting held last Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the William Monroe Trotter elementary school discussed the need to create a new youth center in that part of the neighborhood. The meeting was organized by Project R.I.G.H.T, Inc., Grove Hall Youth Workers Alliance and Grove Hall Outreach Connection.  Read more

Plans for Orlando St. land take neighbors by surprise

Most homeowners take interest when vacant lots in the neighborhood grow fences and start attracting construction crews, but when the lot in question adjoins park land, that curiosity can easily change to ire.

That's what occurred on a sleepy side street next to Almont Park in Mattapan recently, when neighbors discovered four lots they mistakenly thought were city-owned had been sold to a developer that builds housing for the developmentally disabled, Bay Cove Human Services.  Read more

Eighth-grader one of nation's best wrestlers

By 
David Benoit
Nov. 28, 2007

Eighth grader Kayla Cox has gotten used to people telling her she is good at things, particularly when she's on a wrestling mat. In a ranking full of older high school girls, Cox, a student at the Lilla G. Frederick Middle School on Columbia Road, is ranked number seven in the country.

At least one father asked her to take it easy on his son. She didn't listen. The kid went down.

It was her grandmother that got her interested in it, says her mother Dorothy Cox.  Read more

Fields Corner mall upgrade nearing completion

Upgrades to the façade and parking lot of the Fields Corner mall at Dorchester Avenue and Park Street may be completed early, according to managers, wrapping up next month, instead of the spring as originally planned. The Fields Corner Civic Association is now pressing the owners to sign a memorandum of understanding that would outline ongoing maintenance of the property.  Read more

Menino 'open' to UMass dorms

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, whose criticism all but finished UMass-Boston's first campaign to build dorms on Columbia Point four years ago, is now saying he's open to the prospect.

"It's not a non-starter for me," he said this week at a separate Boston Redevelopment Authority event.

With students departing for on-campus housing, affordable housing in the neighborhoods would be freed up, he said.  Read more

Condo market reflects changing landscape

The mortgage crisis and other factors are slowing sales on Dorchester's condominium market. Dorchester's digs are getting cheaper and taking longer to sell on average. Local realtors say Dorchester's public image might also be to blame, while some areas with good locations are still selling well.  Read more

Dot Ave. reconstruction plans in final phase

A tiny crowd showed up at a meeting in the parish hall of St. Gregory School last week to see the 25 percent completion stage of the Dot Avenue Project draft, a plan for the reconstruction of the avenue and its streetscape at several key intersections. Concerns from a few neighbors of Fields Corner seem to have died down, and only a need for a parking solution there remains.

"We're done," said Jeremy Rosenberger, the project manager for the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). "Time to move on to the next phase."  Read more

Neighbor plans dinner for Blue Hill fire victims, firefighters

By 
Martine Louis
Nov. 19, 2007

Last Monday, flames ripped through a three-decker home on Blue Hill Ave, injuring 14 residents - eight adults and six children. As firefighters hurried to put out the inferno, 54 year-old Mary Williams was one of the Mattapan residents who rushed to assist in the rescue efforts.

"Those are my neighbors," said Williams who lives directly across from the horrific scene. "What happened to these people is devastating and this is the time for our community to show them we care."  Read more

Holiday puts focus on year-round problem

By 
David Benoit
Nov. 19, 2007

As the neighborhood celebrates Thanksgiving, hundreds may be wondering if they will get one helping of turkey, forget about seconds. Every year, Turkey Day presents the people of Boston with the truth of hunger in our midst.

This year will be no different for those faced with skyrocketing fuel cost, health care bills, and costs of living. Dot is full of food pantries and shelters that provide food and services in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, but even they need help.  Read more