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

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

Bowdoin-Geneva gets point person for Main Street effort

There's restaurants and hardware stores, historic churches and schools, and a top-notch health center. The Bowdoin-Geneva business district has an impressive portfolio, but has long needed someone to manage those assets. Someone to encourage a diversity of businesses, to turn losers into winners, and perhaps most importantly, to provide a vision and direction for the future of the district.

Enter Sandra Kennedy, who's experienced in such things.  Read more

Crime tops concerns at Capuano's town meeting

Desperate from having lived through Boston's bloodiest year in a decade, residents of Bowdoin-Geneva repeatedly asked Eighth District Congressman Michael Capuano for his input on how the fight against gun violence on their streets could be won. The conversation took place at a community forum held by Capuano at the Bowdoin Street Health Center on Saturday afternoon. The discussion touched on a wide range of national and international issues, but violent crime on Boston's streets was a frequent topic for the 20 or so attendees.  Read more

BC High officials outline middle school expansion

Earlier this month BC High announced that it would add a seventh and eighth grade division to its existing high school on Morrissey Boulevard. The school will open its doors to those students in September of 2007, with each grade expected to enroll 100 students each. The move responds to a demand for Jesuit education in the middle school grades, the school says.  Read more

Quiz bowl, open houses mark week-long focus on Catholic schools

Catholic Schools Week, the annual observance that will be launched this weekend at parishes around the neighborhood, promotes more than just open enrollment for prospective students. This year's agenda includes furthering the parents' involvement in their childrens' educational needs.  Read more

Cedar Grove airs frustration with Minot St. proposal

An as-of-right proposal to construct a two-family duplex on Minot Street stirred long-standing passions about overcrowding in Dorchester at the Cedar Grove Civic Association's monthly meeting on Tuesday night. Stuart Schrier presented plans on behalf of his client, the property owner who goes by the name Han, to convert an existing one-family at 103 Minot Street into a side-by-side duplex. The lot is approximately 6500-square feet, and as such, is already zoned for a two-family dwelling.  Read more

Young Cape Verdeans look to accentuate the positive

Distraught at seeing their countrymen fall prey to drugs and violence, a group of young Cape Verdeans in Uphams Corner decided that they wanted to celebrate the positive aspects of their culture.

"The violence that goes on has nothing to do with who we are," says Augusto Gomes.

Gomes, who moved to America 17 years ago, and about a dozen other young Cape Verdeans, many of them students at Jeremiah E. Burke High School, formed Criolus Unidus, a group dedicated to celebrating Cape Verdean culture as a way of deterring young people from getting involved in drugs and violence.  Read more

Blue Christmas on C-11

It was three nights before Christmas, but already on Bowdoin Street, the clip-clop of hooves could be heard above the din of the evening traffic.

Come again?

That's right: Hooves.

But, instead of Dasher and Dancer, this Christmas brought Mumbo and Shorty, two of the Boston Police Department's finest. With their partners, Officers Jenny Boyce and Denise Schrener mounted up top, they trotted up Bowdoin Street before stopping at the corner of Olney Street for a spell.  Read more

Plan calls for phasing out of Cleveland School

In a November 16 report to the Boston School Committee, Superintendent Thomas Payzant announced that the Grover Cleveland Middle School would be closed by 2008. The Cleveland is one of six local schools affected by the superintendent's "reuse and reprogramming" plan. The same report also recommended that the Harbor Middle School as well as fourth and fifth graders from the Patrick O'Hearn Elementary School move to the building currently occupied by the Cleveland at 11 Charles St.  Read more

City continues to manage, improve Strand Theatre

The Strand Theatre in Uphams Corner has undergone a number of renovations and updates since the city of Boston took over management of the 87-year old property last July. This week representatives from the city's Department of Neighborhood Development led the Reporter on a tour of the theatre, to discuss where it's been and plans for the future.

"The city took over interim management to keep it up," said Barbara Salfity, deputy director of real estate for DND. "We want to be the steward of the Strand until we can put it into the right hands."  Read more

Dot Ave. apartment plan gets conditional green light at Columbia-Savin Hill

The Columba/Savin Hill Civic Association on Monday evening voted to grant preliminary conditional approval to the latest proposal for the Crescent Court Project, a conversion of the R & R Sales building on Dorchester Ave. into residential properties.  Read more

Foundation names Codman Academy teacher one of America's best educators

Thabiti Brown walks through the halls in the Codman Academy Charter School with confidence.

An air of assuredness might be expected from someone recently named one of America's best teachers, but it's clear that Brown draws his inspiration from a different source. "He's definitely real," says Noble Williams, a senior who has known Brown for four years. "He cares a lot about his students, and he doesn't try to make them like him."  Read more

Making the grounds: 3 intrepid reporters embark on tour of Dot coffee houses

Three writers, three hours ... fifteen cups of coffee.

On Friday, Oct. 14, the Reporter staff spent a rainy afternoon circumnavigating the neighborhood in search of a perfect cup of joe. We profiled the brew being served from one end of Dot Ave. to the other and tested the human tolerance for legal stimulants.  Read more

Basement gallery spotlights artists of color

If you missed the fourth annual Dorchester Open Studios because of the lousy weather, "honeydew" chores, or sheer laziness, you're not off the hook yet! You can still view the works of local professional artists virtually anytime thanks to the vision and diligence of Dorchester artist and former New York advertising art director Laurence Martin Pierce. He has converted the basement of his 21 Oldfields Road home into the AfricanWinter Gallery, which opened in March of this year.  Read more

Confusion over Uphams land causes frustration, trash pile-up

A broken TV, tires, shards of glass, and a yellowing copy of the Boston Globe from Sept. 13 were a few of the items lining the sidewalk on Alexander Street last Friday afternoon. Trash and debris along the stretch of sidewalk that abuts the tracks of the MBTA's Fairmount Line has been a constant problem according to residents who say they want someone to take responsibility for cleaning up and maintaining what they call an eyesore.  Read more

Avian flu concerns put health officials on alert

The global spread of concern over a deadly strain of influenza has local public health experts questioning how the area would respond if an outbreak happened here.

Avian influenza, a virus that experts worry could mutate into a form transmittable between humans, has stirred frightened warnings from the World Health Organization, which said the disease could cause as many as 50 million deaths in the direst scenario.  Read more

Appeals court upholds Calf Pasture decision

A Boston Water and Sewer Commission lawsuit looking to recoup money lost in a legislative move to block the sale of a Columbia Point property was dismissed by the state Appeals Court last week. The decision effectively upholds efforts by Dorchester's Beacon Hill delegation to prevent a land deal between the commission and the University of Massachusetts at Boston.  Read more

Relations continue unraveling over Ashmont projects

MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas on Monday criticized the Trinity Financial development company and ripped community perception that the transit agency has fumbled its commitments around the renovation of Ashmont Station and adjacent work.  Read more

Incumbents fare well, but newcomers lurk in at-large race

Boston voters whittled the field for the City Council's four at-large seats to eight candidates Tuesday, selecting council President Michael Flaherty as the top finisher, followed by Councillor Felix Arroyo, in a low-turnout preliminary election preceding the November 8 final.  Read more

Despite gains, African-American political circles don't square with at-large candidates

Shortly after Linda Dorcena Forry's election to the House of Representatives was assured by her March 15 primary win, leading figures in the city's African-American political establishment met for a summit at the Hampton Inn on Massachusetts Avenue.  Read more

Quite a transformation of space: Ashmont Grill opening so close you can taste it

Jim O'Sullivan
Aug. 31, 2005

Occasionally, a prospective customer drops in and asks if the place is open for business, or the phone rings with the same question, or one of the local investors on the prowl for a free meal pops his head in to inquire.

The answer: Not yet, but close.  Read more

Another Victim in Ronan Park: After Activist's Death, Annual Festival Cancelled

The Ronan Park Multicultural Festival this year likely would have been marked with a somber tribute to John Beresford, who was killed there in May trying to stop a pair of muggers.

Beresford had, after all, been one of an earnest band of neighbors who came together to push the Park on its ascent, forming the Friends of Ronan Park, planting greenery, organizing the festival, which, since its inception in 1994, has been a summer highlight of that neighborhood. It was scheduled this year for Saturday, August 6.  Read more

Savin Hill Redliners Skeptical about T's Re-opening

Forget the boy who cried wolf. MBTA officials have announced and delayed the re-opening of Savin Hill Station at least four times prior to their current promise of July 31, and that record of credibility has left more than a handful of Savin Hill residents reluctant to rush out and buy a T pass.

As contractors put the finishing touches on the renovated and newly handicapped accessible train platforms, regulars on the shuttle bus from the interim Dot Ave. stop to JFK/UMass Station offered their thoughts on the MBTA vow that the station will open July 31.  Read more

Mixed-Use Ashmont Development Left 'on Life Support'

A key link in the effort to remake the area around Ashmont Station suffered a significant setback last week, as state officials announced they would not deliver an integral piece of financing.

While the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said the indefinite delay of the adjacent project won't impact their station renovations, neighbors and officials are worried that the state's decision not to furnish low-income housing tax credits for the mixed-use development could have deleterious effects on the Peabody Square area.  Read more