In 2006, local filmmaker Dave McLaughlin took to the streets with his Boston-bred cast to begin filming "On Broadway," the story of a carpenter-turned-playwright in Irish-American Boston. Noted as "the next Good Will Hunting" in Boston Magazine, McLaughlin's "On Broadway" made its Boston debut this week at a March 12 charity event, with proceeds going to the Joey Fund. The film will be released to local theatres March 14. Read more
Jim Rooney, honcho of the State's Convention Centers, likes to work at 'fixing things in the city I love'
Mar. 12, 2008
To say that James E. Rooney has an appetite for the impossible is to say that Wimpy, the plump, convivial bon vivant in the Popeye cartoon, loves hamburgers. And like Wimpy, Rooney's appetite - in this case for what appears to be beyond reach for most - is not bigger than his stomach. By any measure, Rooney, now the high-flying executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), has over the last decade endured some of the most formidable challenges of any executive in the public sector. Read more
As part of its ongoing efforts to increase local food production in urban areas, the Food Project's Build-a-Garden program is now accepting applications for the 2008 growing season. In its second year, the Build-a-Garden program plans to install 75 raised-bed gardens throughout the Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods. Read more
Every musical tradition has its sad songs. One of the saddest from my own Irish tradition, The Fields of Athenry, can bring tears to your eyes - whether it is sung softly in the original folk version or shouted in the punk rock remake by Boston's Dropkick Murphys. The song begins:
By a lonely prison wall, I heard a young girl calling:'Michael, they have taken you away. For you stole Trevelyn's corn.So the young might see the morn.'Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay. Read more
Mar. 5, 2008
Gov. Deval Patrick, stung by House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi's harsh criticism a day earlier of his casino construction job estimates, swung back Tuesday with a letter to House members calling rejection of his proposal, without offering an alternative, "not acceptable to your constituents or mine." Read more
Whether you're into yoga, trendy kettlebell or Zumba classes, facials, Reiki, or chatting about books, Transformations Movement Company on Gallivan Boulevard aims to provide something different to the Dorchester community.
Transformations was born out of an idea to bring fitness classes to the Adams Village area. Owner Kathleen Aicardi, personal trainer and author of Revere Beach Diet said the need for something other than a traditional gym motivated her to open the studio in June 2007. Read more
In January, State Rep. Marie St. Fleur joined a delegation to Cape Verde to meet with government officials and address growing concerns among Cape Verdean communities at home and abroad. The group held a session with over 10 deportees to discuss the hardships they face as they struggle to reintegrate in Cape Verde.
Also on the agenda was business development on the islands, the political relationship between Cape Verde and the United States, and the social and cultural issues that arise from Cape Verde's ties to America. Read more
Mar. 5, 2008
Jesuina da Veiga, 43, is a mother of two and taught elementary school in Cape Verde for 19 years. But as a fresh immigrant in the United States she became a student again.
When she settled in Dorchester two years ago she couldn't speak a word in English. She used a translator whenever she visited the health center, and she couldn't help her children with their homework.
"Sometimes I felt sad. Sometimes I cried," she said. Read more
Amid an ongoing special grand jury investigation, four Dorchester men and a Brockton resident were arraigned this week on murder charges stemming from the brutal stabbing of a 16-year-old last year. Police are still searching for a sixth suspect.
Those charged with murder included Markeese Mitchell, 16, of Brockton, with the rest from Dorchester: Admilson Vizcaino, 16; Terrance Pabon, 18; and Paul Goode, 25. Richard Allen, 20, is charged as an accessory. Read more
A bid to make discrimination against transgender people a crime in the state got a boost this week, as City Council President Maureen Feeney, Suffolk County's top cop and an aide to Mayor Thomas Menino voiced support for the measure.
The bill (H 1722) adds gender identity and gender expression to current non-discrimination laws affecting housing, public education, employment and hate crimes.
"The language in this bill is absolutely necessary," said Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral.
Feeney said transgender people "need our protection, our voice." Read more
Short-selling, foreclosure sales, a buyer's market and worse have continued downward pressure on housing sale prices in Dorchester through the fall and winter months, particularly in the multi-family market. Some are selling for a fraction of what they did just two or three years ago.
The more desirable neighborhoods - just about everything along the MBTA's Red Line--are the least affected, say brokers, with other areas to the west - without subway connections--in a virtual freefall. Read more
With the game too close for comfort, the Lawrence Academy Spartans needed a calming influence. They hadn't been making shots all game. They were fouling like crazy, giving free points to Nobles Academy.
At least four trips in a row they put the Bulldogs on the charity line. It was the playoffs, and they were blowing it. They needed that leader to set them right. It wasn't their coach. It was a junior.
"Yo blue," yelled Darryl Cato-Bishop from his spot on the blocks, awaiting yet another Nobles free throw. "Where our heads at?" Read more
The City of Boston's bike coordinator Nicole Freedman has been keeping busy during the winter months with a number of projects aimed at making the city a better place for bicycling. One project though, gathering input for a bicycle route map for the city, has reached one of many draft stages but still lacks essential Dorchester details. Read more
In the wake of the murder of 29-year old Melissa Santiago across the street from his church, Pastor Bruce Wall led a sidewalk prayer service in front of the Washington Street home where the young mother was slain.
Santiago was stabbed on March 9 at her Washington Street residence, which is close to Wall's Global Ministries Christian Church. Her boyfriend, Jose Torres, was arrested in connection with the stabbing and sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental evaluation. He is due back in court March 28. Read more
City Council President Maureen Feeney is moving ahead with plans for a city-wide civic engagement summit set for May, aides to Mayor Thomas Menino have started holding office hours from Allston to West Roxbury and Councillor-at-Large Michael Flaherty is making his own forays into the neighborhood kitchens. All three initiatives, while unique in their own way, reflect a renewed effort by longtime politicians to shift their resources and re-engage a city electorate that has been dramatically altered by technology and shifting demographics. Read more
Enrollment for the first-year of Pope John Paul II Academy is going well, according to the Archdiocese of Boston. The Catholic school, which will open in September with five campuses across Dorchester, will replace the current eight-school, parish-based system.
Enrollment has climbed to over 70 percent, said Archdiocese spokesperson Terrence Donilon on Tuesday.
"Which is phenomenal when you think most Catholic schools wouldn't even be approaching that number until the spring," he said. "We saw this in Brockton, but somehow I have a feeling it's happening a bit more here." Read more
Public health officials at both the local and state level are fretting over new statistics that show wide discrepancies in infant mortality rates between white and black Bostonians.
"It's been a concern of ours for a long time," said Maia BrodyField, chief of staff to the Boston Public Health Commission. "Specifically for infant deaths, it's that it really does serve as an indicator of a population as a whole." Read more
Feb. 27, 2008
A Boston Police initiative aimed at conducting consensual home inspections in search for illegal firearms got a decidedly negative reception at a packed community meeting near Franklin Park last Thursday evening. The Safe Home program, which police officials introduced in concept last fall, has not yet been launched. Police have planned to pilot the initiative in high-risk neighborhoods such as Geneva Bowdoin, Grove Hall, Egleston Square and parts of Mattapan in the coming weeks. Read more
Whether it's a New Year's resolution to get fit in 2008, or the thought of donning a bathing suit in the next few months, fitness club owners in Dorchester say 'tis the season to start working out and getting healthy. Gym membership peaks in January, February and March, said Mark Jarvis, owner of Planet Fitness on Neponset Avenue and though she doesn't encourage "seasonal fitness," Christine Holmes, owner of Fitness Vibe on Blue Hill Ave., said if that's what brings people into her gym she will help them make a long-term lifestyle change. Read more
An attorney defending a Dorchester man charged with murder and setting fire to a Port Norfolk Street home in 2001 lit into a top witness for the prosecution this week, accusing her of setting up the fire and lying to a grand jury investigating the case.
In a heated exchange on Tuesday, Robert Galibois, a Barnstable lawyer defending Eric King, on trial for the arson and murder, attempted to rip apart the testimony of Tamia Brown, who has pleaded guilty as an accessory before the fact to the murder of 53-year-old Shelby Caddell by directing King and others to the home. Read more
Members of the Gallivan Boulevard Tenants Task Force in are up in arms after a motorist hit a pedestrian at Morton and Woodmere streets on Saturday, Feb. 16. The incident, though unique in nature, reminds residents of a number of other pedestrian strikes and accidents and their long-ignored campaign to get speed bumps on the development's roads. Read more
A group of nurses made the case for the Caritas Carney Hospital at the Lower Mills Civic Association last Tuesday night (Feb. 19), part of an ongoing effort by the Massachusetts Nurses Association to rally support for the hospital. Currently under review by consultants hired by parent Caritas Christi Healthcare and the Attorney General's Office, the nurses were concerned about the possibility Carney would close. Read more
The main players in the wildest election of 2006, both running sticker campaigns and coming within 692 votes of each other, are back. Sonia Chang-Diaz announced last week she would again take on incumbent Senator Dianne Wilkerson for the second Suffolk seat. Local filmmaker Robert Patton-Spruill, who directed "Squeeze," a 1997 movie about youth gangs in Fields Corner, may also be in the mix. Read more
During the week, Diane Staib can be found at Upham's Elder Service Plan in Dorchester, where she works as a geriatric social worker. On the weekends, she is usually roaming around the neighborhood, camera in hand, looking for the perfect shot that will become the latest addition to Under Dog Cards, a collection of greeting cards featuring local photography.
Diane donates about 10 percent of the proceeds from Under Dog Cards to the Boston Animal Rescue League, which she says is integral in creating responsible pet owners and preventing animal cruelty. Read more