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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Council hopeful makes pitch, one party at a time; Connolly banking on turnout push

"It's quiet out here," is the standard Dot-onian comment on the at-large City Council race this cycle. With expectations of a low-turnout, little to no press coverage and only five candidates with operations proven to pull significant votes citywide, incumbents seem to be dusting off the old campaign gear only now, three weeks before the final election.

On the other hand, skilled political observers willing to bet a trifecta in the race are exceedingly rare.  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

They help tenants who are facing foreclosure

For two hours one night last week, a red Zipcar crisscrossed Dorchester, heading through Uphams Corner, Codman Square, and Fields Corner on what has become a regular mission: fighting the foreclosures plaguing the state.  Read more

Steady stream of domestic cases tries Dot courthouse

A teen accused of beating his girlfriend over a period of six hours. A nephew charged with allegedly throwing a window fan at his uncle. Another man stood accused of coming at his girlfriend with a machete.

These are just a few of the domestic violence cases that have crossed before a judge in Dorchester District Court's first floor courtroom recently. At one time they would have gone to a courtroom on the second floor, specifically set aside for such cases. Now, they are lumped in with the rest of the previous nights' arrests.  Read more

New school chief seeking ways to turn 'drop outs' to 'drop-ins'

In her appearance Saturday at Grove Hall's Freedom House, Boston School Superintendent Carol R. Johnson was expecting questions from the audience, many, perhaps, about the troubling high school dropout rate that was reported earlier last week, but it was Ian Powell who made her stop and think.

"What motivates you in what you do?" asked the 21-year-old student of Boston Arts Academy from Dorchester.

"That's a very good question," said Johnson.

Powell explained his idea of motivation was "something that gets you started every day."  Read more

McBride returns to big stage on Saturday night

Eoin Cannon
Oct. 3, 2007

Dorchester's Kevin McBride, the man who ended Mike Tyson's competitive career, tries to resurrect his own championship hopes on Saturday night in New York City, in a heavyweight contest against former top-ranked contender Andrew Golota. The fight is set to take place on the undercard of the Samuel Peter-Jameel McCline WBC title bout at Madison Square Garden, which will be broadcast on Showtime.  Read more

What the bubble left behind: Dot street ravaged by foreclosures

If there's a bottom in Boston's housing slump, it's around Hendry Street in the Meeting House Hill neighborhood. Sandra Smith has lived there for three years. That's all it took for a fully occupied street of wood frame houses to become a gallery of plywood.

"It looks like a ghost town," she said.

On one side of Hendry was a pair of boarded-up three-deckers. One of them was declared unfit for habitation. The weeds growing out front were more than four feet tall.  Read more

Burglary on the rise in District C-11, murders down

Bring in your air conditioners, lock up your windows and keep an eye on the neighbors' place when they're away, said Captain John Greland of District C-11. Break-ins for the last two months are at a 3-year high in his district.

"Around 71 percent of them occur during the day," said Greland. "Most of the entry is through the side and the rear. They push in the A/C unit, they force the door or they force the window."  Read more

Caritas Christi could go it alone, says Carney head

For the second time this year, a potential buyer of the Caritas Christi Health Care chain that owns Carney Hospital has decided not to pursue the deal. Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives halted its merger talks with Caritas officials last month.

Caritas is still open to such a merger, said Caritas Carney Hospital president Daniel O'Leary, but it is still profitable and should not be counted out on a go-it-alone strategy.  Read more