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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
In what was described as an "honest communication problem," the Boston Redevelopment Authority failed to notify the St. Mark's Civic Association of a new condo development proposed for 9 Banton St. Only a handful of residents showed up for at Nov. 7 community meeting showing the plans.
"I was disappointed there wasn't more of a turnout," said Barbara Bean, ex-president of the St. Mark's Civic Association (SMCA). "I felt like the word hadn't really gotten out." Read more
Nov. 14, 2007
The Mattapan Community Health Center hopes to construct a new, three-story facility in place of its present building at 1425 Blue Hill Avenue. The organization met with neighborhood merchants last month about its plans and has embarked on an ambitious capital campaign to raise the $18-20 million needed to fund the project.
The center, founded in 1972 by local resident and nurse Edna Smith, was first located further up Blue Hill Ave. It moved into its present location in in 1980. Today, MCHC serves 7,000 patients annually, but boasts a limited 13,000 square foot space. Read more
The portrait hung in a Savin Hill Avenue parlor for at least a century. Its subject, a young boy in a green waist-coat, well coiffed, sits in an ornamental chair holding an orange and petting his devoted puppy.
The six-year-old child's soft blue eyes peer back at us through the ages, daring us to read his thoughts.
One idea that was not likely on his mind: "Someday, this painting is going to fetch my kin a whole treasure trove of greenbacks." Read more
After years of trying to broker a deal to bring in a new owner, some in the Uphams Corner neighborhood are getting their wish: Bell's Furniture store at 28 Hancock St., has been sold.
"I think we've been focused on the Bell's [site] for three years," said Matthew Strauss, treasurer of the Jones Hill Civic Association. "Any time we've tried to do some sort of deal, they would back out of it."
Contact information for the Bell family could not be found for this article, and the Bell's furniture phone number did not answer on multiple attempts. Read more
Studies document PCB contamination problem in Neponset River; New reports could prove decisive in resolving dams' fate
The Baker Dam in Lower Mills is one of two dams on the Neponset River in Boston. Environmental advocates want the dam removed to facilitate fish migration. New studies due out this month will also point to the dam's role in trapping sediments that contain PCBs, remnants of industrial waste dumped into the river decades ago. Reporter file photo
Editor's note: The Archdiocese of Boston is finalizing plans this month to restructure our neighborhood's remaining Catholic grammar schools, a process known as the 2010 Initiative. Cardinal Sean O'Malley is expected to announce details of the plan, which is likely to include school closings, by the end of this month. In this context, this article looks back at the roots of Catholic education in Dorchester. Read more
Violent crime is down citywide, but Andy Barros would say the numbers are up in Bowdoin-Geneva, where he co-owns a bar on Bowdoin Street called Gigi's Palace. Recent events have made Barros, a father of five, fearful for his life. The bar may be sold or relocated. Read more
In a rare rebuke by a city electorate fond of its incumbent pols, voters on Tuesday replaced at-large city councillor Felix Arroyo of Jamaica Plain with West Roxbury's John Connolly, an attorney and former teacher who finished fourth overall. Incumbents Michael Flaherty, Steve Murphy and Sam Yoon - in that order - took the top three spots in citywide balloting. Yoon, who lives near Field's Corner, won the majority of Dorchester's precincts and made strong inroads citywide, replacing Arroyo as the leading minority vote-getter in Boston. Read more
Now that three different Catholic hospital chains have declined to take over Caritas Christi Health Care from the Archdiocese of Boston, Attorney General Martha Coakley has deemed it a good time to perform a review of the chain's ability to "stand alone."
"It is our hope and expectation that this review will help develop a road map with which our office, the Archdiocese, Caritas management, the health care community and the communities that Caritas serves may ensure that the health care mission is preserved and strengthened," said Coakley in a statement. Read more