News

They're lining up to test waters on run for Kelly seat

The field of candidates hoping to fill the city council's vacant second district seat widened considerably this week as the council was poised to finalize dates for a special election, with a preliminary to be held on April 17 and final election on May 15.  Read more

THE DREAM UNFOLDS: DIVERSITY IN DOT TODAY: In public schools, key is on closing 'achievement gap'

In a Faneuil Hall speech given on Martin Luther King Day last month, Governor Deval Patrick lamented a development that threatens to nullify Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision that spurred integration measures in America's school systems. Two lawsuits aimed at pulling the teeth out of the landmark precedent, one in Seattle and one in Lexington, KY, have reached the highest court.  Read more

City eyes economic growth in Mattapan: Density at Cote site has some concerned

A long-term planning project aimed at spurring business and housing growth in Mattapan is set to begin a new round of activity this year, with a newly organized committee of residents and merchants now in place and charged with implementing an "action agenda" for the neighborhood. Led by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the Mattapan Economic Development Initiative (MEDI) comes as a robust new round of public investment is beginning to have an impact in this community of 35,000 Bostonians.  Read more

Dot lawmakers busy with their legislative initiatives

The new year brings with it a new legislative session at the State House, and already legislators who represent the neighborhood have filed bills in a fashion that is impressively diverse in quantity (State Rep. Martin Walsh filed over 100 bills, state Rep, Willie Mae Allen filed one) and topic. From toughening gun laws to protecting child witnesses, much of the proposed legislation could have an immediate impact on the neighborhood.  Read more

Sensors aimed at curbing gun crimes

The city is poised to purchase a $1.5 million audio monitoring system that would allow the police department to track gunshots in sections of Boston most affected by violent crime. The city council was expected to approve a budget supplement at a meeting mid-day Wednesday to buy the system from a California-based company called SharpShooter Inc. Installation of the technology, which will include about 100 audio sensors stationed atop buildings over a six-square mile section of the city, will likely occur during the next two to three months.  Read more

Dorms take backseat to other growth in UMass presentation

UMass-Boston is more than halfway through its 'strategic' planning process, but with a progress report due at the end of this month, officials had little concrete information to present at a community forum Tuesday evening.

Several university officials reviewed the structure of the strategic and master planning initiatives for an audience that included a high percentage of Dorchester's more well-known neighborhood activists and representatives for many local elected officials.  Read more

THE DREAM UNFOLDS: DIVERSITY IN DOT TODAY New arrivals punch up ethnic mix Local identity no longer just black or white

First in a series of articles on the state of race relations in and around Dorchester.

If anything tries to be all things to all people in Dorchester, it's the mural on Bank of America in Fields Corner. The mural shows a row of faces - American faces with family origins in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. Beneath the faces, there's a Red Line train, with a slogan: "We're strong because we communicate."  Read more

Mattapan day health center's goal: Give elders and disabled a 'purpose'

At an old brown piano, an old man sits. His fingers deliberately strike the keys to a song he learned long ago. To his right, another "client" sings with the voice of someone who doesn't just remember the words but knows them deep in her soul.

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…"

"People help each other here," says Maggie Shea, the program director at the Mattapan Adult Day Health Program. "It gives people purpose. The women call each other sisters."  Read more

Cape Verdean experience enriched by embrace of larger community

By 
Maria Centeio
Jan. 23, 2007

Living in a neighborhood largely inhabited by first generation Cape Verdeans, life is full of the traditional essence of the country of Cape Verde. The old try desperately to keep custom alive, but the young persist in rebellion as they adapt to the American lifestyle. One among these rebels, I have fought to obtain the privilege that many Cape Verdean females so often dream of, a privilege few are awarded - to be free.  Read more

State Police target 'kid problem' in Neponset's parks

Well over 100 teens from Cedar Grove and Neponset have been summonsed into Dorchester district court in recent weeks and months in an aggressive attempt by State Police to curb loitering, vandalism and underage drinking in local parks. The increased law enforcement pressure comes as parents are meeting with mixed success in trying to lure teens off the streets and into programs at a city-run community center.  Read more

Frank Wood deal hailed

Lower Mills leaders who met with several of the 11 developers who had entered bids to buy the site of the former Frank Wood nursing home along Morton Street said this week that they are pleased with the winner, Harbor Health Services. Last week, Harbor Health signed a purchase and sale agreement with the Boston Center for Blind Children, which owns the 5.8-acre site along Morton Street, to purchase it for $4.25 million.  Read more

Mt. Washington banking on Codman Sq.

Officials from Mt. Washington Bank this week detailed their plans for a new branch office in Codman Square that is being hailed as a major investment along a forlorn stretch of Talbot Avenue. The $4 million project began late last month with the demolition of an unsightly and often controversial property that will now make way for a state-of-the art banking facility, the largest of its kind in the Mt. Washington portfolio.  Read more

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

Davis talks of new deployment plan in St. Fleur forum

Ed Davis, the newly installed commissioner of the Boston Police Department, plans to re-structure the department so that officers are more connected to residents and issues of particular city neighborhoods. The shift, to be mapped out during a transition process that already began with the foundation of an advisory committee made up of 150 officer volunteers, will include a shift from a department tendency to put resources into special units responsible for gang or drug activity to a model in which officers would be associated with specific city neighborhoods.  Read more

From Franklin Field projects to City Hall

By 
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