Police: Child reports attempted abduction near St. Brendan's school

Boston Police issued a "community alert" on Monday after a 12 year-old boy was the victim of an alleged attempted abduction on his way to St. Brendan School. According to the police alert, the child was approached by a stranger at about 8:15 a.m. Monday as he walked to the school along Gallivan Boulevard.

The unknown male- described as a white male, age 40-50 - attempted to pull the boy by the arm into a vacant lot next to 663 Gallivan Boulevard. The boy broke free and made his way to the school, where he immediately notified the principal, police say.  Read more

City negotiates deal on Uphams Corner

May. 14, 2008

One month after the Reporter detailed the story of Boston's largest property-tax scofflaw in mid-February, the city apparently came to an agreement with the Department of Labor and moved to foreclose on the property. A decision could come any day that would potentially place the property in the hands of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, or assign a real estate agent to sell it post haste.  Read more

Cedar Grove hails O'Toole

Martine Louis
May. 14, 2008

John O'Toole received quite a shock on May 13 when he discovered that neighbors, fellow civic leaders and even his family had been plotting behind his back. The former president of Cedar Grove Civic attended Tuesday's meeting to receive a Good Neighbor award as a thank you from his peers. Instead, O'Toole got a surprise visit from Mayor Thomas Menino, city councillors Maureen Feeney and John Connolly and State Rep.  Read more

In Grove Hall, radio rebels dig in

Touch FM's MC Spice exhorts listeners to nominate their "Wednesday women" yesterday - the women they know and admire who own businesses in the community. A contest of slow jams determines which nominee will win free ads on the station. The station was recently fined $17,000 by the Federal Communications Commission for operating without a license. Photo by Pete Stidman  Read more

Coalition calls community meeting on Carney

A growing coalition of healthcare leaders, Caritas Carney Hospital employees, elected officials and others have called a community-wide meeting to gather ideas and voices to aid the hospital's survival.

"This meeting is for us to take the message much more public, inviting civic groups, the public, Carney employees and elected officials," said Dan Driscoll, CEO of Harbor Health Services. "Closing Carney is a bad idea from an economic point of view, a pubic health point of view and a physician retaining point of view."  Read more

Life expectancy rises for city, but racial gaps remain

Bostonians may be living longer, but deep disparities continue to exist between whites and minorities, the Boston Public Health Commission said in a report this week.

Bostonians born between 2004 and 2006 can expect to live about 78 years, but broken down, blacks can expect to live 74 years, while whites can expect to live almost 79 years and Latinos 81 years, according to the commission's Health of Boston report. Life expectancy for the Asian population couldn't be calculated due to the small number of deaths.  Read more

Legislature, Council taking steps to confront rising tide of foreclosures

A trio of bills aimed at stopping an expected wave of thousands of foreclosures this year went before a Beacon Hill committee this week as the City Council appeared poised to okay its own legislation.

The three bills, sponsored by state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, would ban evicting tenants from foreclosed properties without "just cause," create a 180-day moratorium statewide on foreclosures and set up a judicial process.  Read more

Invasive knotweed helps heal Franklin Park Zoo's giraffe

Daria Casinelli
May. 14, 2008

To feed a finicky giraffe with wasting disease, you need the right food and plenty of it. Beech leaves might be Franklin Zoo denizen Beau the giraffe's absolute favorite, but an invasive plant in Franklin Park called Japanese knotweed turns out to be a close second.

According to Pearl Yusuf, Assistant curator for hoofs and horns at the Franklin Park Zoo, volunteers from the Franklin Park Coalition (FPC) are helping the giant ruminant get enough of his second favorite food to save him from giraffe wasting syndrome.

"They have it and we need it," said Yusuf.  Read more

Walsh, Allen, Forry among those headed to Denver

State Rep. Marty Walsh won't be the only delegate from Dorchester heading to the Democratic National Convention in Denver this August, after all. State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and Reps. Willie Mae Allen and Linda Dorcena Forry will also be part of the group.

Walsh is a supporter of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, while Wilkerson, Allen and Dorcena Forry are supporters of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. The three were elected as pledged delegates to the Illinois senator last Saturday, when the state Democratic Party met in the IBEW Local 103 Hall in Dorchester.  Read more

Dot Mayoral race winding down

Mayor of Dorchester contenders are wrapping up their campaigns in the final week of the contest that helps bring the Dorchester Day Parade down the avenue. The candidate to raise the most money for the cause wins. All three candidates are to hand in their funds May 19, but not before a few more fund-raising events.  Read more

Dot tapper starts pro company

Sean C. Fielder leads a rehearsal of the Boston Tap Company. Image courtesy BTC

Contrary to what some think, tap-dancing is no career for sissies. Just ask Fields Corner resident Sean C. Fielder about the grueling practice or check out the patches that dot the favorite performance jeans of this self-confessed "diehard Boston sports fan": logos of the Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox as well as Adidas. This fleet-footed fireball sees himself as the Kobe Bryant of the local dance scene.  Read more

Activists hold court at civic summit

Many were from Dorchester. But they were also from Back Bay, Roslindale, Brighton and Mattapan. Most of the 450 attendees, many of them leaders in their communities, stayed at the unprecedented civic summit through the drizzly Saturday afternoon, trading business cards with each other and taking in workshops on fundraising, zoning, communication and voter education.  Read more

Bui's boys take it to the hoop

MASAE team photo Back row (left to right): Coach Vinh Bui, Shaun Galano, Mark Castillo, Jim Tran, Paul Bedard, Justin, and Alex Mortel. Bottom row: Duy Pham, Branden Ngo, Mikey Pham, Aly Tran, Hung Tran, Mike Tran, Thanh Nguyen and Minh Truong. Not pictured: Phibe Pham, Mico Tran, Kevin Tran.  Read more

City-owned parcels draw multiple bidders along Norfolk

A few alternate futures are being considered for the intersection of Woodrow Avenue and Norfolk Street, in the form of competing bids for seven city-owned vacant lots in the area.

The bidders range from a church that bid on all seven lots, to a local retail property owner and an affordable housing builder which both bid only on some. It will be up to the city's Public Facilities Commission to assign each lot a developer.  Read more

Shooter apologies to young victim

Martine Louis
May. 7, 2008

From the Old Colony Correctional Center where he is currently serving a 15-year sentence, Anthony Warren apologized and then thanked the little Dorchester girl he shot and paralyzed in 2003.

"I have been blessed to be forgiven by a beautiful person like Kai Leigh. It has made me want to change," Warren said. "It has made me accept the change. It has shown me that forgiveness is good. And I appreciate the opportunity Kai Leigh has given me to grow as a person."  Read more

City hauls 17 vehicles out of Mattapan man's back yard

City workers pull a junked car out of the mud behind 14 Hannon Street last Tuesday.

In a situation inspectors called "unbelievable," over 17 cars and trucks were hauled out of a residential backyard in Mattapan on Friday. The "junkyard," as assistant commissioner Darryl Smith called it, broke several zoning codes and presented a fire and safety hazard, he said. Neighbors said they had lived with it for more than 20 years, but never knew it was illegal.  Read more

Archdiocese breaks ground on Pope John Paul II Academy

The wheels of progress roll on at Dorchester's new Pope John Paul II Academy parochial school system. A new regional director has been chosen, a new pastor was appointed for St. Gregory's, and media photographers dodged dirt thrown by third graders on Columbia Road as they broke ground for the Columbia Campus' renovation and its new gymnasium and Cafeteria on Monday afternoon.  Read more

Haitian-American activist plans council

Boston's city elections are a year away from getting started, but one Haitian community activist is already revving up a campaign for an at-large seat.

Jean Claude Sanon, a community organizer who has been on the radio since 1985, launched a bid this week for one of the four at-large seats on the City Council.  Read more

St. William's church block under agreement

The fire is out but the smoke has yet to clear from neighborhood disagreements over the Vietnamese American Initiative for Development's (Viet-AID) imminent sale of St. William's Church on Dorchester Avenue.

Thursday morning last week, Viet-AID leaders and members of the Church of Seventh-Day Adventists signed a purchase and sale agreement for St. William's. It is the last step before the actual $2.5 million transaction will take place, and it is legally binding for both parties.  Read more

Anti-violence groups look to senate budget

In a tight-budget year, the eyes of many local activists looking to boost domestic violence and youth violence prevention accounts now turn to the Senate, after the House passed a $28.2 billion budget that fell short of some of their aims last week.

Anti-domestic violence advocates were shooting for $10 million, but only received about a tenth of that in House budget.  Read more

Candidates for Dot Mayor running at full tilt

The Mayor of Dorchester campaign is in full fundraising swing with a number of events taking place across Dorchester in the last remaining weeks of the race. The three contenders vying for the title have a healthy dose of competition, but it's all for a good cause.

"No sabotage yet. It could come to that, you know," John O'Toole, PJ Trapani's campaign manager and a former candidate himself, said with a chuckle.  Read more

Shootings raise concerns around Hendry Street

A quadruple shooting near the Ka-Carlos restaurant on Hancock Street alarmed Bowdoin-Geneva activists enough to demand a visit from police brass and Department of Neighborhood Development director Evelyn Friedman last week. The concern was the possibility that rampant foreclosures in the neighborhood - which includes the now infamous Hendry Street with its rows of boarded up three-deckers - may be driving crime.  Read more

Local merchants are hoping to brighten Morton Village

Martine Louis
Apr. 30, 2008

In the dark is not where Dan Hardaway wants to run his Mattapan boutique, Final Touch with Class, one of fourteen businesses he said are cast in the shadows along Morton Street near the Morton Street MBTA station on the commuter rail.

It has been a two-year struggle for the Morton Street Board of Trade to get additional or stronger streetlights installed along the stretch of West Selden Street and Morton to Norfolk and Blue Hill avenues, yet Hardaway says not much has come of it.  Read more

Neponset 'Esplanade' gets $5m OK

Three miles of bike path starting in Mattapan Square, a revamped Martini Shell for performances, and a new canoe and kayak launch in Hyde Park will be part of a new "Neponset River Esplanade," Gov. Deval Patrick announced last week, approving $5.18 million for the work.

The park will be another step in the state's long-term master plan to build parks and paths along the entire coast of Dorchester and the banks of the Neponset, connecting Boston Harbor to the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton.  Read more

Grateful flock salutes St. Greg's pastor; Msgr. Ryan retiring after 27 years there

It was so packed at St. Gregory's Sunday Mass last weekend thatthey had to simulcast the morning service on TVs in the basement church. Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Council President Maureen Feeney and Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley took seats in the pews. And 12 St. Gregory's Elementary School children sang: "You are my hero."

Hundreds came to celebrate Monsignor Paul Thomas Ryan's 50th anniversary as priest at Sunday's Mass, showing he was a man who touched many lives.  Read more