Bar owner may leave Bowdoin-Geneva

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

Arroyo out, Connolly in for at-large council; Anemic turnout across city

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

AG Coakley to review finances of Caritas group

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

Cedar Grove civic gives nod to village billboards

For years, two Clear Channel-owned billboards have occupied prime real estate atop a prominent Adams Corner building, stirring the ire of some neighbors who deem it an eyesore. But in September, after a persistent Clear Channel and a generous landlord offered to donate $150,000 to the St. Brendan School if the signs are allowed to stay influential local civic association agreed that the boards should stay put. If the legal details work out, they will.  Read more

Saturday event aimed at lead poisoning problem

Martine Louis
Oct. 31, 2007

While the number of childhood lead poisoning cases has greatly reduced in Massachusetts - from 772 in 2003 to 460 last year - hundreds of Boston youths remain at risk. Neighborhoods such as Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury and Hyde Park carry the highest percentages of illnesses. The housing stock, older homes with heavy concentrations of lead paint particles, is the chief culprit.  Read more

Special court tackles rise in gun arrests

In August 2006, Jeffrey Grand-Pierre gave Boston Police officers a workout. The 22 year-old suspect led police on a foot-chase down Washington and Dade Streets, tossing his Ruger .22 revolver before they caught up with him at Shawmut Avenue and Williams Street. Last month, the 22-year-old's case went to trial. Grand-Pierre was convicted and sentenced to two-and-a-half years for carrying a firearm.  Read more

Carney's woes overstated in report, MDs say

Patients feared the worst after a front page headline in the Boston Globe last Wednesday announced that the Caritas Carney Hospital might be "sold or shuttered." The hospital phone lines lit up with hundreds of worried calls. The influx forced the hospital to distribute a "Talking Points" handout to staff, instructing them to tell everyone: "There are NO plans to close Carney Hospital."

But, perhaps surprisingly, staff morale seems to be a notch higher this week.  Read more

Reconsider the rainbow Forum to recall origins of gas tank design, artist

Corita Kent, the artist who designed the Boston Gas rainbow tank in Dorchester, was a "rock star" in the 1970s. But the gas tank at Commercial Point put her on the map in Boston. Kent died in 1986, but her rainbow design lives on and is the largest piece of copyrighted art in the world. Photo courtesy Corita Kent Center

Kennedy, congressmen push for energy reforms at Dot House

David Benoit
Oct. 24, 2007

Kayla Leonard, only one day after her second birthday, reached her hand across to touch little John Jordan, three months old. Completely unaware of the situation that surrounded them, the two smiled at each other as they sat on their mothers' laps at the Dorchester House on Monday.

Ten feet away sat an influential panel of men in shirts and ties, two congressmen and two former congressmen. They were there to talk about the fate of children like Kayla and John, who may not have the heat needed to keep them healthy this upcoming winter.  Read more

Free clinics aimed at battling flu onset

Influenza starts to make its presence known in October and November. For some - especially senior citizens and health care workers - the dangers are especially acute.

Vaccines are available and, once again this year, a number of opportunities are available to get free flu shots in the neighborhood.

Caritas Carney Hospital will have two clinics inside the hospital next month. The first is on Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 9-11 a.m. at the hospital's basement level medical clinic. A second clinic is set at Carney on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 4-6 p.m. in the Area C basement.  Read more

Talk of Carney sale said to have caught president by surprise

State House News Service
Oct. 24, 2007

News that the Caritas Carney Hospital in Dorchester could sell or close has sparked concern among legislators and health care industry leaders, who called the facility both a health care and employment provider. People who spoke with hospital president, Dan O'Leary, at this morning's Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast said he was blindsided by Boston Globe revelations that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston was considering moves to sell or shut down the fiscally struggling hospital.  Read more

Kids, teens wrestle with crime impacts, STD figures at Great Hall

Martine Louis
Oct. 24, 2007

"Snitching." Reporting crime to the police. To many youth in Boston, it is the ultimate "no-no." Fearing getting hurt or killed themselves, young men and women in Boston have increasingly opted to keep silent, according to a health status report from the Boston Public Health Commission.

"We are dying out here! Someone has to do something!" one woman cried out from a large audience at Codman Square's Great Hall, where the report was delivered to the public on Monday.  Read more

Long-shot candidate challenges Feeney for second time

Michael Coté's website touts a lone endorsement: The Massachusetts ACORN Political Action Committee.

"I think it is a long shot," Coté admits of his second run at the District 3 seat held by Boston City Council President Maureen Feeney. "Whether I win or lose depends on whether people are upset" about the issues in play, including property taxes and the number of cops on the street.  Read more

Firefighter endures game show hot seat, dignity intact

Pat Irish
Oct. 24, 2007

If there is anyone most qualified to endure the famed "hot seat" from television's hit show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," it's local firefighter Kevin Meehan. For the past four years, Meehan, 42, has worked with Engine #7, the oldest fire company in the United States. He is used to pressure. Whether working the pump or driving the fire engine, Meehan is well acquainted with the perspiration that accompanies tight situations.  Read more

Coyote on prowl around Fields Corner

Susan Abner, who lives on Mather Street near Fields Corner, is a professional pet groomer. She runs her own store, Snippers Hair Club for Dogs, on Dorchester Ave. in South Boston.

So, when Susan spotted a coyote prowling her street last Friday morning around 7:30 a.m., she knew it was not a dog. Out for her morning constitutional with her bijou, Abner spotted the scruffy, white-furred animal as it lept from a stone wall on the sidewalk and started towards her. She scooped up her tiny dog - and the family cat that was tagging along nearby - and got them in the house pronto.  Read more

American Legion Highway getting re-do; 520 new trees on tap

Over 200 trees were removed from the American Legion Highway between Blue Hill Avenue and Walk Hill Street last month, surprising members of the Franklin Park Coalition nearby.

"At first we thought it was maintenance, but there were too many coming down," said Christine Poff, FPC's director.

 Read more

Controversy looms over potential community garden transfer

Boston Urban Gardeners has proposed giving Dorchester Gardenlands Preservations six Dorchester garden plots in varying states of repair. Officers of BUG have stopped returning Reporter phone calls, and some in the neighborhood are against the deal based on DGP's history.  Read more

Bill Brett's Boston Portraits capture a city's spirit

Kai Leigh Harriott, who was left paralyzed at age three when a stray bullet flew into her Dorchester home, is one of many neighborhood people featured in Bill Brett's new book, Boston: An Extended Family. "Her mother told me her daughter would walk one day," says Brett. "And I thought it was important to show her in that way." Photo by Bill Brett

Urban wild to get major face-lift in Bowdoin-Geneva

A system of trails, benches, parking, an outdoor classroom and a stargazing area will soon appear in an urban wild near the crossroads of Bowdoin-Geneva known as Geneva Cliffs. Thanks to a flurry of local organizations and public and private donors, initial work could be complete by next summer, if the weather and contractors cooperate.

"We're just receiving bid packages today for the costs," said Sherry Flashman, a project coordinator for the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on Friday. "We have sufficient funding to build the project out to phase one."  Read more

Over $5.3 million granted to local healthcare providers; $4m to Carney

A crucial lifeline came through for neighborhood health care providers last Thursday when Gov. Deval Patrick awarded 2007's Essential Community Provider Trust grants. Only weeks ago, the pool from which these grants are taken was $10 million less than that of 2006, but a last minute budget supplemental passed in the House of Representatives provided $9.5 million for the fund.  Read more

Boy, 13, shot dead near his home; not seen as target

Steven Odom, 13, was just steps from his Evans Street door last Thursday evening when he was gunned down, shot in the head by an unknown assailant. Within minutes, he was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center, making the middle school student the 52nd homicide victim of the year.

Boston Police said this week that they do not believe Odom was the intended target of the shooting.

"The information right now suggests that he was struck accidentally by somebody who was firing at someone else," said Elaine Driscoll, a spokesperson for the BPD.  Read more

Plan to remove Dot Ave. turn stirs Fields Corner fuss

A brouhaha over a right-hand turn in Fields Corner may cause some bumps in the Dot Ave Project, which has so far had a smooth ride.

Jane Matheson, a Linden Street resident and executive director of the Fields Corner Community Development Corporation (CDC), is irate over the proposed elimination of a nearly 140 degree right turn from Dorchester Avenue southbound onto Adams Street northbound. The change, she said, would force drivers to turn right on Linden Street instead.  Read more

Governor gets street-level view of teens' struggles; He hears their complaints, suggestions

Martine Louis
Oct. 10, 2007

Yes, that was Governor Deval Patrick striding through Codman Square with a pack of teenagers and aides last Friday, Oct. 5.

"Wow he's walking in the hood. That's beautiful," said one man as the Massachusetts governor entered clothing shops, convenience stores, and hair salons, embracing and conversing with a wide array of supporters.  Read more

Neponset skaters see ice at the end of the tunnel

David Benoit
Oct. 10, 2007

When the kids of Dorchester Youth Hockey take to the ice in this season they will notice some significant changes to their surroundings. During the off-season the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) which operates their home ice, the Devine Memorial rink on Morrissey Boulevard, was able to make marked improvements. It might even feel like a different place.  Read more

Pilot program set to build Codman Square playground

A few legal matters are all that remain between neighbors of a vacant lot on Elmhurst Street and the playground they've envisioned there for more than ten years.

"I started when I had no kids," said Paul Malkemes, who lives in the Codman Square neighborhood and works at Boston Project Ministries a few doors down from the lot. "Now, I have three girls and still no park."  Read more