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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Columbia Pt. to the top of Africa: Reporter's own Jack Conboy summits Mt. Kilimanjaro

By Martine Louis
Sep. 19, 2007

After a 5-day hike up one of the worlds tallest mountains -Mount Kilimanjaro - Jack Conboy, 28, is back home.

Conboy, marketing manager for the Reporter Newspapers, says he has always loved the wilderness and wanted to climb a glacier, but what made him set off for Tanzania this month was the opportunity to support a positive cause.  Read more

Dot lawmakers weigh Patrick's casino plan

Gov. Deval Patrick delayed months before publicly taking a pro-casino gambling stance on Monday, unveiling a proposal for three casino licenses in the state. State legislators are currently pouring over his plan, giving the benefit of the doubt, they say, but none deny there is a storm brewing on the hill.

Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi issued a careful but "skeptical" statement the following day, but included pointed questions that revealed his position on the issue:  Read more

C-11 cops gain new footing with "Safe Street" teams

Early one evening this week, two little heads with a problem poked into the cruiser that had pulled over on Washington Street. The two brothers, around ten years old, had left their two bicycles in their backyard, only to have them stolen by alleged gang members.

As Sgt. Lucas Taxter called in the group of police officers further up the street, the taller brother hesitantly looked down in the direction of the Codman Square Library, where the gang members were hanging out.  Read more

Mayor rolls out new bicycle coordinator: Will Dorchester feel the difference?

As Mayor Thomas Menino's quadriceps have grown from riding his new silver Trek bike around Hyde Park over the past six weeks, so has his administration's resolve in making the city a friendlier place all cyclists.  Read more

High school footballers hope to go to Pennsylvania

David Benoit
Sep. 19, 2007

The Dorchester Academy of Public Service- part of what was once known as Dorchester High - has about 45 players on their football team this year. That is a total of 33 more than were on the team three years ago, when Coach Rich Moran left the program he built at Hyde Park to come to his own neighborhood and resurrect high school football.  Read more

Phillips Old Colony House time to benefit disabled vets

Next Friday, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns will visit Dorchester's John F. Kennedy Library to discuss his latest opus: a seven-part series called The War. It's heralded as the definitive PBS account of the American role in World War II. The folks at the Kennedy Library have had to set up a lottery system to deal with the demand for tickets to hear Burns discuss the series, which will begin its televised run on Sept. 23.  Read more

City lots may fuel expansion by church near Codman Square

Pastor Antoine Montgomery said he's been calling the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) every week for over a year. Last week, the calls may have paid off. DND is asking residents for input on the possible development of seven vacant lots situated around Montgomery's Prayer Tower Apostolic Church at 141 Norfolk St. in the Codman Square area.

The Codman Square Neighborhood Council met Sept. 5, but came to no conclusions as to how the lots should be used. The church has a master plan that could include all seven.  Read more

District 7 Council race pits new blood vs. veteran activist

Voters counting the days until the preliminary election Sept. 25 - there must be a few - are witnessing a race for City Council's District 7 seat that pits one of a growing cadre of 30-something political hopefuls of color in the city against a civil rights-era office holder that is not about to retire.

Henriquez, 30, is challenging Chuck Turner, 66, for the seat. Althea Garrison, a perennial candidate for District 7, state Rep. and other offices is also in the race.  Read more

Four Corners eyes plans for rail station

The Greater Four Corners Action Coalition met to inspect the MBTA's 30 percent completed plans for the Four Corners commuter rail station on the Fairmount Line last Wednesday, Sept. 5. Neighbors who showed up approved the station's location, with platforms on either side of Geneva Avenue, but demanded more disabled access features, more walkways, local labor on construction crews, and more.

"We really don't put elevators at unmanned stations," replied MBTA planning director Joe Cosgrove to one demand. "The question is, who maintains it?"

"The T," someone yelled out.  Read more

City to initiate master plan for Columbia Point

A passel of large development projects on and around Columbia Point has the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Mayor Thomas Menino itching to create a "comprehensive vision" for the Dorchester peninsula.

"There are so many exciting developments in this vibrant neighborhood and a comprehensive master plan will help the city ensure these changes are balanced with community input an eye for long term sustainability and matched with appropriate infrastructure," said City Councillor Maureen Feeney in a prepared statement.  Read more

Hearing probes policies towards church sitings

A City Council hearing on how churches go about converting houses zoned for residential use into houses of prayer was held on Aug. 30, and illustrated what some residents say is a growing problem in Dorchester.

"This country was founded on the freedom to practice [any] faith without any encumbrance from anyone, especially the government," said Councillor Maureen Feeney, who called the hearing. "But it does come down to the rights of the people who are living in the area, at least in District 3."  Read more

New superintendent visits neighborhood elementary schools

New superintendent of Boston Public Schools Dr. Carol Johnson started work on Aug. 27, and showed up in Dorchester the following two days to visit the John Marshall and William Monroe Trotter elementary schools. Both schools are "Superintendent Schools" - part of a top ten list of schools that are at risk of state intervention due to low student performance in MCAS testing. Four of these schools are in Dorchester, one is in Mattapan.  Read more

Motley holds cards on UMass campus plans

He is "still in a discovery mode" when it comes to the campus strategic plan for the future, UMass-Boston's Keith Motley said, and that includes dorms.

Appointed as UMass-Boston's chancellor in June, Motley takes over the campus as Boston's only public university seeks to compete with its private counterparts, raising enrollment to 15,000 from 12,000 over the next few years.

The campus is also struggling with an estimated $600 million in deferred maintenance costs, along with a two-level substructure that had previously served as a parking garage.  Read more

A matter of turf: Gardeners await fate of plots

A now-dormant gardening group that once helped pioneer the city's urban farming movement may spin off six neglected Dorchester garden plots to a new steward.

The group, called Boston Urban Gardeners or BUG, hit hard times in the late 1990s, ceased doing business, and then earned nearly $450,000 from the sale of their headquarters building in Jamaica Plain in 2000. They have debated what to do with the money ever since, frustrating gardeners who want funds for improvements.  Read more

Murphy insists: I'm still a candidate for at-large seat

Speculation that at large City Councillor Stephen Murphy might take a job with the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency should be put to rest, said Murphy himself this week.

"I'm not taking the job," he said. "I'm running for City Council. The Connolly campaign put it out there and I denied it at the time. The denial stands. It's none of anybody's business if I decide to take a job. If I get one, I'll announce it."

At-large candidate John Connolly said his campaign doesn't single out any one of the four incumbent at large councillors seats as an opponent.  Read more