News

Liquor stings keep stores on their toes

Inside Lisa's Liquors in Adams Village one night a few weeks ago, the manager was anxious, rejecting the license of a 40-year-old man because it had expired.

That wasn't the only reason: It could have had something to do with the team from the Alcohol and Beverage Control Commission milling around the area, waiting for teens to illegally pick up alcohol or have an adult procure it for them.  Read more

A planned marriage: Two rare cranes make a go of it in Franklin Park

It isn't glamorous, nothing more than a chain-link fence, a few trees, a puddle and a pile of hay bales, but to Pepe and Kotze it's a new beginning, a chance to get to know each other and maybe lay an egg or two.

"He does want to get close to her, but as you notice, she keeps moving away from him," observes Fred Beall, Franklin Park Zoo's general curator, from just outside the African wattled crane exhibit there. "We'll know when they're bonded because they'll be standing next to each other."  Read more

Dorchester Ave. a dividing line in skinhead flick

Kevin Hearns has a successful career on Wall Street, a beautiful wife in New York City, and a haunting past back at home in Dorchester, where he ran the streets as a violent, racist neo-Nazi kid. When an ailing family member brings him back to Boston, he is forced to face his demons and accept responsibility for young lives lost to the senseless violence and unfounded hatred that characterized his younger days as a skinhead.  Read more

Only token opponents for St. Fleur, Hart

A pair of perennial candidates will challenge two of Dorchester's most powerful incumbent lawmakers this fall in a sleepy state election cycle that will likely benefit from a huge turnout for the presidential showdown in November.

Marie St. Fleur, a state representative since 1999 and vice-chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, was re-elected to the Fifth Suffolk seat with a roaring 84 percent in 2006. Now, she will gear up for another re-election campaign and for a familiar challenger, Roy Owens, in the Democratic primary in September.  Read more

Dorchester Day invitation helped Navy captain realize 'a dream'

The USS Porter (DDG-78), a US Navy destroyer, is shown decked out in celebratory colors at the Black Falcon Terminal in South Boston on Monday, June 2. Photo by Bill Forry

It's 6 a.m. on a Friday morning and the opening chords of The Standells' Boston anthem - typically heard blaring from behind the Fenway scoreboards - sound a bit tinny. Not too surprising, given my location: a cozy bed perched deep in the bowels of a Navy destroyer, just a few feet from the water line.  Read more

Flaherty, Menino trade fire over city finances

Still mulling a bid for the mayor's office, Councillor at-Large Michael Flaherty has ratcheted up the rhetoric against incumbent Thomas Menino. Flaherty last week released a statement hitting the Menino administration on the city's fiscal policies, calling them "dysfunctional" and "short-sighted."

The statement came as some political observers privately wonder whether Flaherty has had second thoughts about jumping into a race against Menino next year. Menino is showing all the signs of a definite run for a fifth term in '09.  Read more

art vows to scrutinize UMass on dormitories; Affordable housing 'left out' of Columbia Point planning

As presentations from developers and city planners wind down and the floor opens up for discussion, differing opinions continue to heat up the cauldron of the Columbia Point Master Plan Task Force. The task force will help the Boston Redevelopment Authority create comprehensive development guidelines for the point, where a handful of large projects are imminent.  Read more

Clocks wind down on ballot translation plan

Time is running out for a Boston City Council-endorsed proposal on bilingual ballots and the translation of candidates' names into Chinese characters, frustrated Asian-American activists say.

Mayor Thomas Menino signed the proposal after the city council unanimously approved the local legislation in mid-May, but the bill appears to be stalled on Beacon Hill.  Read more

I know Marty Walsh... You, sir, are no Marty Walsh

By 
Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Jun. 4, 2008

Democratic state Sen. James Marzilli was arraigned Wednesday on charges including attempted sexual assault after a Tuesday afternoon incident in Lowell where he used a fellow lawmaker's name to identify himself to police, prosecutors said. Also Wednesday, a third woman leveled charges against Marzilli as details of his bizarre case emerged.  Read more

Study eyes Franklin Park for transportation fixes

Bicyclists bump along on its worn asphalt footpaths, walkers climb the large granite blocks around its perimeter, and drivers speed through its center on Circuit Drive, sometimes scaring the bejesus out of those waiting for the bus near the Shattuck Hospital. And that's not the half of it.  Read more

A bird's eye view in Mattapan

Recreational tree climber Andrew Joslin high above the Gladeside Urban Wild in a red oak tree. Photo by Pete Stidman

It isn't always necessary to hop in a car and drive for hours to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. And with gas prices on the rise, many are looking to commune with nature close to home. One of the rare activities in this category, so far at least, is recreational tree climbing.  Read more

Dorchester's Main Street, 2008: For avenue steeped in transition, more changes to come

On Dorchester Avenue, there are signs of change and of changes to come.

Near St. Mark's Church, at the Dot2Dot Café, a family sits down for an early breakfast with a laptop on the table, while the air ripens with the smell of a bacon and mushroom quiche in the oven.

In Fields Corner, at Dippin' Donuts, a racially mixed clientele coils around the counter, while a new mixed-use development takes shape across the street.  Read more

Dot Ave's newest address offers big views, convenience

The Carruth houses a mix of retail and residential units. Photo by Chris Lovett  Read more

Settled before Boston, Dorchester home of many firsts

By 
Earl Taylor, president, Dorchester Historical Society
May. 29, 2008

Settled by passengers from the Mary and John about June 1, 1630, Dorchester originally was one of the largest towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and included South Boston, Hyde Park, Milton, Wrentham, Stoughton, Dedham, Sharon, Foxboro, and Canton. The town remained a rural farming community until its annexation to Boston on January 4, 1870.  Read more

Burke High student wins new car

On Friday, May 16, 50 deserving Jeremiah Burke High School students each received a key that they hoped would start the 1999 Saab 9.3 that Village Automotive Group had donated as part of their Keys to Success program. One by one, each student tried to start the grand prize in a school year-long program that rewarded students for their positive efforts in attendance, community service and academic improvement.  Read more

Once a toll road, Dorchester Ave. is a route that is rich in history

By 
Rev. Daniel Dunn
May. 28, 2008

As our Dorchester Day Parade Marshal assembles the official cars "across the bridge," they will be in Milton, which was part of the Town of Dorchester, until it became a separate town in 1662. Proceeding to the official starting point, the cars will cross the Neponset River at the spot where the Federal Triumphal Arch was erected in 1798, to commemorate the ratification of Jay's Treaty.  Read more

A few minutes with Mayor of Dorchester Ryan Woods

By 
Martine Louis
May. 28, 2008

The new mayor of Dorchester, Ryan Woods, says he's always on the go and ready to lend a helping hand to his hometown. While the 24 year-old Dorchester native says he enjoys an occasional movie or a game of golf, what pleases him most is community service.

On May 17, Woods hosted a dance at the Blessed Mother Teresa school, which raised over $17,000 [Woods collected a total of $24,259 for the Dorchester Day Parade] earning him the honorary title - Mayor.

Reporter: Where did you grow up in Dorchester and go to school?  Read more

Five years in the making, Lehane's latest novel looks to be a Boston epic

It won't hit stores until after Labor Day. Yet, reviewers have already received their advance copies of The Given Day, the new novel by Dorchester's dean of letters Dennis Lehane.

That kind of lead time says something about the book's heft. It clocks in at just over 700 pages, for one thing. But it also dramatizes an increasingly distant, yet momentous slice of Boston history: the 1919 Boston police strike. It's a moment in the city's history that Lehane says should be given the same historical heft as the trauma of the busing crisis in the mid 1970s.  Read more

Carney will be re-invigorated, says de la Torre

Caritas Christi Health Care CEO Ralph de la Torre surprised a Coalition to Strengthen the Carney meeting last week when he strode in and told the audience that Carney would not close or change its service mix in any major way. Instead, he said, it will embark on a major fundraising, recruitment and reinvestment effort to reestablish its image as a competitive healthcare provider.  Read more

Neponset Ave. nursing home looks to set new standard

By 
Daniel Ryan
May. 28, 2008

The front lobby is ornately decorated, with Persian-style rugs underfoot and antique furniture lining up along gleaming wooden walls. A friendly receptionist sits behind a large mahogany desk, ready to answer any and all questions and requests. An aquarium bubbles away in the corner, its aquatic residents filling the room with flashes of color.

The Ritz-Carlton? Maybe the Hilton?

Not quite.  Read more

Flaherty in the crux, will he run or won't he?

Will he run or won't he?

That is one of the questions floating in the backrooms of City Hall, even as the presidential race drags on and the mayoral election - in November 2009 - stands months away. Political horse race fans say the clock is ticking for Councillor at-Large Michael Flaherty as summer draws near, as does a major milestone for Mayor Thomas Menino, his potential rival.

July 12 will mark 15 years at the top slot in City Hall for Menino, who likes to play it coy when asked if he's running for an unprecedented fifth term.  Read more

Contemplating life without 'Himself', the Senator

By 
Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
May. 28, 2008

Benjamin A. Smith II was mayor of Gloucester in 1955, the year that a right end wearing number 88 snagged the Harvard Crimson's only touchdown in a 21-7 whipping at the hands of the Elis in The Game.  Read more

New farmer's markets in Dot may take food assistance cards

Three new farmer's markets are cropping up in Dorchester this spring, and they, along with other stands already selling fresh veggies, may soon take EBT food assistance on the spot with the city matching up to $5 per purchase.

"It may be coincidence but I think a couple forums have happened and people are much more aware of the poor health in the city related to nutrition," said Cammy Watts, a lead organizer in the initiative who works at Dorchester's The Food Project near Uphams Corner. "Many people in urban areas live in a food desert."  Read more

Parade has long history for Chief Marshal Joe Chaisson

Joe Chaisson, neighborhood activist and lifelong Dorchester resident, is the 2008  Dorchester Day Parade's Chief Marshal. At 76, he turns to the proverbial rocking chair and says "I'm not getting into you," choosing instead civic duties to stay young. Chaisson has been a fixture at Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association meetings for decades and has run the Dorchester Day Salute to Seniors since 1993.  Read more

Navy destroyer en route to Boston for Dot Day USS Porter crew to march at head of parade

It's easy forget how tied this place once was to the sea. Since the 1950s - and the construction of the Southeast Expressway - large chunks of our neighborhood have been virtually walled off from the water. But the names of our seaside villages and roadways tell the story of a time before the asphalt and steel slabs got in the way: Clam Point. Freeport Street. Port Norfolk.

Another large reminder of Dorchester's nautical roots steams into Boston Harbor on Friday, just in time to help celebrate the anniversary of the neighborhood's settlement back in 1630.  Read more