Southie's Jim Kelly lauded by city hall colleagues

Boston City Councillor James M. Kelly died early Tuesday morning after a prolonged battle with colon cancer. Those who knew him for any of the roles in which he served &endash; as a city councillor, sheet metal worker, friend, or father &endash; spent this week celebrating the life of a man known for his tireless commitment to those who depended on him.  Read more

From Franklin Field projects to City Hall

Patrick McGroarty and Bill Forry
Jan. 2, 2007

Newly elected City Council President Maureen Feeney says she knows it will take time to adjust to the new role, added responsibility, and changing expectations that come with her new post.

"Yesterday was hectic &endash; today it became real," she said in an interview from her City Hall office on Tuesday afternoon. She's hoping that reality will be one of new and exciting challenges in her 13-year career on the council, and bring new notoriety to the third district that she loves.  Read more

One killed, one injured on Florida Street

One man was killed and a second seriously injured in a shooting at 91 Florida Street on Tuesday night.

Officers from District C-11 responded to a report of a person shot at the apartment building on the corner of Florida Street and Monsignor Lydon Way around 9:35 p.m. and found two men suffering from gun shot wounds. Myles "Tony" Lawton was shot in the mouth and pronounced dead at the scene. The second man was taken to Boston Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.  Read more

Menino says Bellevue Urban Wild will remain just that

Between two pillars and an iron arch that read "Stanley Bellevue Urban Wild," Mayor Thomas Menino declared last Saturday that the ground upon which he stood would remain an urban wild in perpetuity. Neighbors delighted in what had been a long process to secure the site.

"This is the result of years of struggle for open space in our community," said local resident Michael Pratt in an interview on Monday. "This will be a safe haven for children."  Read more

More fallout expected over city ballot fiasco

Several city councillors and voting rights advocacy groups have called for drastic reforms to the city's election operation after department policy led to ballot shortages in as many as 30 city precincts across Boston last Tuesday.  Read more

Store owners at odds over wine question

For front row seats to the battle over Ballot Question One, an initiative that would create a new category of liquor licenses allowing grocery stores to sell wine, look no farther than Morrissey Boulevard.  Read more

Renovations brighten the Holland school

Almost $20 million in improvements to the John P. Holland Elementary School has transformed an old drab concrete building into an educators dream.

"I feel like I won the lottery," said Michelle O'Connell, principal of the Holland School.  Read more

Next phase of Baker development hangs on resident vote

Residents of the Baker Square Condominium complex in Lower Mills have until September 14 to vote on an agreement that could mark a decisive turn in a long-awaited construction of new housing units in presently-empty buildings on the historic chocolate factory footprint.  Read more

Maintenance seen as lacking at Dot beaches

Members of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission asked local residents to weigh in on the condition of Dorchester's beaches during a forum at the Savin Hill Yacht Club last Thursday evening. Residents praised improvements to water quality at the beaches in recent years but voiced their dissatisfaction with beach maintenance, which falls primarily under the jurisdiction of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).  Read more

Bacteria keeps Dot swimmers out of water, luck

Malibu Beach lifeguards say that even the recent heat wave couldn't draw crowds to their stretch of shore. Pictured from left to right are: Kasey Ryan, Kiley Flaherty, Tim Boyle, Jessica Toomey, Mallory Toomey, Sunny Toomey, Ashley Clancy, and Mike Christopher.

With the oppressive heat slamming the city this week, local beaches would seem to be a welcome respite. If they were clean enough to be open, that is.  Read more

Contractors given green light to resume roadwork

Utilities companies and their private contractors will be allowed to resume construction on city streets Tuesday morning after a meeting with officials from the city's departments of Public Works and Basic Services.

The Monday afternoon meeting came six days after Mayor Thomas Menino issued a stop-work order on all construction involving city streets following an especially bumpy ride down Dorchester Avenue.  Read more

Tenant dispute imperils Fields Corner mall plan renovations

Plans to bring A.J. Wright to the Fields Corner Mall are imperiled this week because a clause in their lease for space at the mall would allow them to walk away if renovations do not begin on the site by June 30. Work was scheduled to begin on the mall earlier this month, but the refusal of existing tenant, Bd's, a discount store, to leave the site has delayed the start of renovations.  Read more

Thousands expected to bade farewell to fallen State Trooper Paul Barry

On Thursday June 15, 2006, Massachusetts State Police Trooper Paul Barry died as a result of an accident while on duty. The funeral services for Trooper Barry will be held at Saint Mark Church, 1725 Dorchester Avenue in Dorchester. The wake will be held on Monday from 2:00pm to 8:00pm and the Funeral Services on Tuesday at 11:00am.

Out of respect for Trooper Barry and the logistical concerns surrounding his services, a groundbreaking for the Ashmont TOD project scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday has been postponed. It has not yet been rescheduled.  Read more

In Lower Mills, dam's future a hot topic

Water, water, everywhere, but no way to swim upstream.

That, says a forthcoming study by the environmental engineering firm Milone & Macbroom, is the problem facing American Shad who have returned to the Neponset River in encouraging numbers in recent years. Shad and other fish are hampered in their attempts to navigate the river by unhealthy levels of PCB contaminants and several obstacles too large to swim or jump across, including the Baker Dam in Lower Mills.  Read more

Carney delivers first baby in six years

The best laid plans of expecting mothers and fathers often go awry.

Joe and Kathleen Baker planned to have their fourth child by C-section, scheduled for Monday, May 22, at South Shore Hospital. But the baby must not have gotten that memo, because early Sunday morning, Kathleen went into labor. Complicating matters further, the baby insisted on entering the world immediately, so soon that his parents had to make an emergency stop at Carney hospital, where Emmett Joseph Baker became the first baby born there since 2000.  Read more

Far from home: Iraqi scholar plans future in homeland

For a brief moment last week, Abdu Ahmad felt like he was being followed.

Walking home last Tuesday from the Shawmut T stop, he turned around to see two men who looked about his age - twenty-six - behind him, and behind them a third one sat on a bicycle. One was dressed all in blue - blue jacket and blue shorts, while another was dressed in black.

Ahmad turned off his MP3 player to hear what they were asking: Where was he from?  Read more

Drive for dresses makes prom night dreams possible

What is the value of a prom dress for a high school girl? The expensive dress might only get worn once, but the memories of that celebrated evening will last a lifetime. But for some high school girls, spending hundreds of dollars on a new dress is not an option and not worth sacrificing other necessities. Fortunately, there is a resource for girls who want to attend the prom without being left barefoot and broke the next day  Read more

Teen crisscrosses country to be by 'Idol's' side

After weeks of seeing his sweetheart only on TV, 17-year old Dorchester resident Chris Kowalski greeted his girlfriend, American Idol contestant Ayla Brown, in Hollywood last week.

According to Jack Kowalski, Chris's father who accompanied his son to Los Angeles, the trip was a reunion of two close friends.

"They were thrilled to see each other," says Jack Kowalski. "They are terrific friends who share a very warm connection with common interests."  Read more

Civic discord lingers over Columbia-Savin Hill committees

In what has become a monthly occurrence, Monday night's general meeting of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association was marred by infighting and shouting matches, as a lingering dispute over the association's bylaws and voting rules continues to swirl.

At last month's meeting, the membership voted to suspend all voting by the association's various committees. Under the motion, the association's various committees would still meet, but any matters requiring a vote would be put before the full association at the monthly meeting.  Read more

Celester brings checkered past, expertise in crime and punishment before Sixth Suffolk voters

At right: Bill Celester at a key crossroads of the Sixth Suffolk: Blue Hill Ave. and Morton Street. Photo for the Reporter by Don West

It would seem, at first glance, that there are two Bill Celesters. On the one side is the tough-talking cop who won praise as a district commander in Roxbury and as Police Superintendent in Newark, NJ. On the other is an ex-con, who pleaded guilty to three counts of wire, tax, and mail fraud and who did two years in federal prison on those charges.  Read more

Two Main Streets programs celebrate new partnerships

Fields Corner Main Street received a $10,000 check from Neighborhood Health Plan, their new corporate buddy, at an annual winter meeting on Monday night.

FCMS's previous corporate buddy, Keyspan, had provided a four-year sponsorship that expired at the end of 2004. But by that time FCMS was largely inactive, and only in the past year did the program again pick up steam.

The new partnership is another step forward for the Main Street program, which was reinvigorated last year by a new board of directors and executive director in Evelyn Darling.  Read more

Former Boston cop plans run to replace Owens-Hicks

A week after State Representative Shirley Owens Hicks announced plans to retire after 20 years of service in the State Legislature, only one Sixth Suffolk constituent has definitively entered the November contest to replace her.

By late Friday evening only William Celester, a retired Boston Police officer and former Area B-2 commander, had drawn papers from the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office. And though Celester drew his papers before Owens-Hicks' announcement, he said his decision to run followed rumors that the incumbent would retire.  Read more

Opponents keep fight against BU's Biolab alive

The fight against the controversial Biosafety Level 4 Lab, which is slated to be built in the South End starting later this month, is not yet over, according to activists opposed to the lab. Despite the recent announcement that the project had received final approval from the federal government, local opponents hope that last-ditch legislative attempts can still block the lab's operations, even if the building itself is constructed.  Read more

Banton St. development fills in one of Ashmont's 'missing teeth'

As work gets under way later this month on those other two big projects in Peabody Square, businesses are preparing to move into a new development at the corner of Banton Street and Dorchester Ave.

The lot that lay empty on the corner of Banton Street and Dorchester Avenue for more than twenty years is now the home of a three-floor development that includes twelve rental luxury apartments and four commercial spaces on the ground floor that have already been leased. As soon as the building passes final inspection, businesses plan to open.  Read more

In Uphams Corner, existing youth center ponders future role

Last month, at a hastily called press conference at the Alexander-Magnolia community room, elected officials and representatives from the Salvation Army proudly announced that Boston had been selected to receive $80 million in funding from the Salvation Army to construct a new community center on Dudley Street. Getting little mention that day was the fact that almost a decade earlier, another organization had eyed Dudley Street for a new community center.  Read more