News

New library pushed as plus for Burke High, Grove Hall

By 
Martine Louis
Jan. 9, 2008

The Jeremiah E. Burke High School will break tradition as the first Boston public school to include a public branch library and community center within its footprint under a city hall plan. The new facility, to be built this year, is deemed a "national model" by Mayor Thomas Menino, who said the library will serve the needs of both the 1,200 students at the Burke as well as Grove Hall residents.  Read more

New year opens with two murders in Dot

Six days. That's how long it took for Boston to witness its first homicide of the year, a shooting on Bowdoin Street that was quickly followed by another murder the next night at a take-out Chinese restaurant on Dorchester Avenue.

Both were young black males.

Joseph Clarke, 23, of Dorchester, was shot at the intersection of Norton Street and Bowdoin Street in Sunday's early mornings hours, at about 1:49 a.m. He had been shot in the head. He was sent to Boston Medical Center and pronounced dead.  Read more

Low-ceiling on Freeport bridge snares trucks

The MBTA bridge above Freeport Street was hit by trucks four times in 2007 and twice last week. The T says the bridge was inspected after each encounter and that it is structurally sound. Photo by David Benoit.  Read more

Youth builders push green envelope

By 
By
Jan. 9, 2008

YouthBuild students Douglas Walker, Kenneth Cardoso and William Brewington, all in their early 20s, move a structural insulated panel into place on the second floor of 26 Arbutus St. Photo by Pete Stidman

Call it another rung on the ladder toward an environmentally sustainable Boston, or perhaps, another tug on the rope that will bring that lofty goal down to earth.  Read more

Over mayor's wishes, Feeney plans civic summit

By 
Martine Louis
Jan. 9, 2008

It was a historic moment for Maureen Feeney as a unanimous noontime vote among city council colleagues on Monday, Jan. 7 made her the longest-serving woman council president in Boston's history. Re-elected for her second term as president, Feeney says the experience was one of her proudest.  Read more

City may put homeownership developments on pause

The city of Boston could take a breather on new affordable home ownership development starts, said Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) spokesperson Lucy Warsh.

"We are taking a close look at our planned projects and those in the pipeline," said Warsh. "We want to make sure we make the right choices."  Read more

Pine Street to take control of Savin Hill elderly home

The Tuttle House, an 26-unit elderly housing facility in Savin Hill, is set to be transferred to the Pine Street Inn, New England's largest non-profit for the homeless, which plans to invest $300,000 in renovations at the site, according to members of the Tuttle House's board.

Two members of the 14-member board that currently governs the facility say its mission will stay the same was part of the deal.

"It's a place for frail elders," said Bill O'Shea, president of the board. "Things have to stay the same."  Read more

Welcome boost to BPD, NHL buffs

The latest crop of cadets from the police academy gave a welcome boost to the Boston Police Department, and for NHL buffs, a nifty piece of local trivia. More accustomed to wearing uniforms bearing flames, ducks and Canucks, Dot Native and former NHL Defenseman Chris O'Sullivan is now officially a boy-in-blue.  Read more

Another Dot hockey prospect headed for the Heights

Every day, Jimmy Hayes puts on his hockey pads, laces up his skates, and dons his country's hockey jersey. As a member of the under-18 team at the National Team Development Program, Hayes is one of a select few that get to play day in and day out for the good old U.S. of A. But the forward still hasn't forgotten about Dorchester, the place he grew up playing on ice.  Read more

Fire kills two children on Bellevue St.

By 
Martine Louis
Jan. 2, 2008

The joy of a holiday and birthday celebration turned to tragedy last week as a fast-moving house fire inside a Bellevue Street three-decker stole the lives of two children, one of whom had just celebrated her ninth birthday just hours before. Flames ripped through the blue-colored home just after midnight on Dec. 29. Twelve residents escaped, but two young children in the Zizi family-Rooben, 11, and Rebecca, 9- did not.  Read more

Harbor School to bring new philosophy to Cleveland

The student population at Grover Cleveland Middle School on Charles Street in Fields Corner has been whittled down to its eighth graders, and when they graduate this spring, the school will cease to be. But the end of the Cleveland will be a beginning for Harbor Middle School, a pilot school based on Bowdoin Street that has been slowly claiming space in the Cleveland building since September. When the full plan is realized, it could mean a new, integrated K-12 educational choice for Dorchester parents.  Read more

Dot woman vows to fight city on residency reform

The fight to keep Boston employees within city limits may resurface this year and could become a campaign issue if a Dorchester activist has her way.

Eileen Boyle, an activist with "Save Our City," a pro-residency group, and a member of a residency compliance commission, is seeking signatures for a petition that charges both the mayor and the city council do not have the authority to change the rules requiring municipal employees to live within the city.  Read more

City vows to get tough on cigarette ad signage

On the outside of one convenience store in Dorchester, at the corner of Adams Street and Centre Street, they spread like a rash: 23 ads for eight brands of cigarettes. The ads run from doors to windows, and around the corner to the side of the building. There are even ads partially blocked by other ads.

For Mohamed Chibou, a compliance officer in the City of Boston Tobacco Control Program, the sight is fairly common among convenience stores in areas such as Dorchester and Roxbury.  Read more

Reeling from car breaks in '07, cops take warnings door-to-door

When parking your car in the neighborhood, make sure you take out that GPS you got for Christmas, or that shiny iPod you bought yourself, even that spare change you keep for emergencies and tolls.

All of it's got to go. At least that's the message District B-3 police are sending after they saw a 60 percent jump in car break-ins last year.

"This is a crime of opportunity, so we are out there trying to re-educate the people," said Sergeant Timothy Torigian. "They've forgotten step one, which is get the stuff out of the car."  Read more

Carney Hospital seeks outside help from consultant

A high-end hospital turnaround expert has been brought in to diagnose the Caritas Carney Hospital on Dorchester Avenue. Dawn Gideon of Wellspring Partners, a hospital consulting firm recently acquired by Huron Consulting Group, is the chosen one, known for her role in trying to prop up the ailing and eventually failing Waltham Hospital earlier this decade, and more recently for making tough decisions for the St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers in New York, which spun off three of its five hospitals on her recommendations.  Read more

Hockey hero O'Sullivan trades blades for patrolman's badge

The latest crop of cadets from the police academy gave a welcome boost to the Boston Police Department, and for NHL buffs, a nifty piece of local trivia. More accustomed to wearing uniforms bearing flames, ducks and Canucks, Dot Native and former NHL Defenseman Chris O'Sullivan is now officially a boy-in-blue.  Read more

Cops put squeeze on Dot Ave. 'streetwalkers'

Responding to heavy community complaints, Boston police officers from District C-11 are putting the "squeeze" on prostitutes who walk Dorchester Avenue.

"We were getting so many of them, we had to address it," said Capt. John Greland. "We depend on the community to tell us where they've seen them."

The campaign started back in October, with the district putting out extra cars. Officers have so far stopped about 82 prostitutes, working with the Suffolk County District Attorney's office to impose "stay away" orders for the areas the prostitutes have been picked up in.  Read more

UMass trustees debate campus re-design, dorms

Two new academic buildings, including a gleaming, state-of-the-art science facility (minus dangerous infectious diseases). Two new parking garages to replace the crumbling substructure holding up the plaza and campus. A glass façade and new entrance to the Healey Library.

And, of course, dorms.

UMass-Boston's final conceptual plan, presented to UMass trustees on the last day of fall semester classes earlier this month, calls for 1,000 beds in the first phase, while reaching at least 2,000 beds by the end of the 25-year plan.  Read more

Mike Leahy loved to laugh, cheer his sons, and care for 'the Port'

Mike Leahy, right, passed away last Friday after suffering a heart attack on Dec. 14. He is shown above with his wife, Pat. Photo courtesy Leahy family.

Mike Leahy was born and raised in Port Norfolk, Neponset. He was the youngest of Jim and Bridie Leahy's five sons. He was the little brother and dear friend of James of Neponset, Brian of Neponset, Gerard of South Boston and the late Dennis Leahy.

He attended Saint Ann School and Cathedral High School.  Read more

State violence prevention grants help local efforts

By 
David Benoit
Dec. 23, 2007

In October, Governor Deval Patrick pledged to the family of 13-year-old murder victim Steven Odom that he would try his best to bring about change and stop the violence that has been snatching young lives in city neighborhoods.  Read more

In Codman Sq., agency helps homeowners on the brink

A Brockton woman was only a month behind on her mortgage payments in November when her son, who was the only one home at the time, received the vacate order.

A day and a half later, the impending foreclosure was reversed, thanks to officials at the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), which works to develop affordable housing and owns about 700 units.  Read more

Locals help give First Night its groove

One way or another, each of the over one million people participating in the upcoming 32nd First Night Boston, the oldest, largest and most-often-copied New Year's Eve arts celebration in North America, will sample the work of Dorchester and Mattapan artists who teamed with other talented, hard-working peers from across the region to bring off the day-long extravaganza.  Read more

Hanlon still learning from the job as first justice at Dorchester court

In 1990, Sydney Hanlon was ready to move up.

After 15 years as a prosecutor, handling hundreds of cases of rape and child molestation and tracking the use of money laundering and hundreds of pounds of cocaine, and persuading judges to see her side, Hanlon wanted to be a judge herself.

"I wanted to be the person who made the decisions," she says now with a smile.  Read more

Man shot during robbery at courthouse corner store

An early morning break-in at the Washington Street convenience store across from Dorchester District Court turned chaotic after a store employee shot himself in the foot during a struggle with the intruder.

Between 3 and 4 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, Courthouse Convenience owner Marc Stallworth and co-worker Gary Smalls entered the store to find an intruder coming up the stairs in back of the store.  Read more

Crime rates dropped, but youth killings tore at security

The drumbeat of gun violence on the streets of Dorchester and Mattapan continued this year. It was particularly pronounced on the Area B-3 police district, which has recorded 22 homicides so far this year, the most of any district in the city. Area C-11 -which covers the eastern side of the neighborhood - saw a drop in murders from last year - from 16 in '06 to 10 so far in '07.  Read more