News

Cedar Grove Taps Members Plus

The Cedar Grove Civic Association endorsed the Members Plus Credit Union as the next tenant of the vacant Adams Corner Sovereign Bank property, at a contentious and well-attended Tuesday night meeting. More than 150 people, encouraged by different parties' get-out-the-vote efforts, voted Members Plus to the top of a preference list the association will send to Sovereign, which has promised to cooperate with the community in determining the site's fate. Members Plus (57 votes) beat out a bistro (43) and electronics store (8).  Read more

Appeals Court Reaffirms Ruling in Melville Ave. Case

A state appeals court has upheld a 2003 Suffolk Superior Court decision ordering the destruction of a Melville Avenue home that has pitted neighbors against each other and stirred passions in the normally staid area.

The January 14 ruling sided with plaintiffs' request that a 99 Melville Ave. home, built in violation of existing zoning codes, come down. The court ruled that the Zoning Board of Appeals "acted in excess of its authority" in granting a variance that was "promptly" contested by several neighbors.  Read more

Ashmont Station Project Running into Trouble

Spiraling cost estimates for the Ashmont Station renovation could force MBTA designers to scale back the list of amenities and further delay the start of construction.

Construction bids outpaced T construction cost estimates by a minimum of more than $10 million, with one bid exceeding forecasts by more than $21 million. The frail economy makes procurement of additional public funds difficult, several city and state government officials said.

Sticker shock has forced T officials to regroup and evaluate the feasibility of the project.  Read more

Man's Body Found Outside Church

Churchgoers filing out of the nine o'clock Mass at Blessed Mother Teresa church on Monday morning discovered the dead body of a man on the grounds of the church.

The Medical Examiner's office on Thursday said that the victim, 43 year-old Richard Lanoue of South Boston, died of accidental hypothermia.

Captain Paul Russell, commander at the South Boston-based Area C-6 police district, said that Lanoue was pronounced dead shortly after police arrived at the scene at about 9:45 a.m.  Read more

A Case of Need: Amid Sadness, Husband Still Grateful

Humming first, then singing, walking around and looking for pictures of him with his wife, Rich Chace came back to that first line of the chorus in "Eleanor Rigby," the haunting Beatles song: "Ah, look at all the lonely people."

It'd be tough to blame Chace - a man whose wife, Mary McGrath, is sick in the hospital with cancer and a bleak prognosis - for thinking the words apply to him. But lonely he's not.  Read more

Wanted: Clean-Up in Aisle 88

Irked by code violations and what they say is inadequate parking, Columbia/Savin Hill residents ripped the Super 88 grocery store at the South Bay complex for being unresponsive to community concerns.  Read more

Carney Promises No Change in Service, Despite New Fees

Patients with Blue Cross health plans who go to the Caritas Carney Emergency Room for treatment will not experience any changes in their care despite a payment dispute between the ER doctors and the insurance company, the Dorchester hospital promised. "This will not impact patient care, treatment or coverage," said Patrice McCune a spokeswoman for the Caritas hospital system.  Read more

As Finneran Leaves (Officially), Milton Candidate Joins 12th Suffolk Field

Caesar may have regretted heading to the Senate on March 15, but the Ides of March this year will make one politician very happy.

The House of Representatives scheduled a special election to fill the 12th Suffolk House seat vacated by former Speaker Thomas M. Finneran, planning a primary for March 15 and a general election on April 12. In the heavily Democratic district, the earlier date likely will decide the next rep.  Read more

Together, Parents Taught a Lasting Lesson in Love and Hope

Twenty-two months.

It doesn't sound like a long time.

In truth, from this perspective - written hours after we gathered 'round Mom's grave in Cedar Grove - it doesn't feel like a very long time, either.

Still, if you had told me back on Feb. 20, 2003- that bitter, frightening day on which we first received word that Mom had pancreatic cancer - that we'd have 22 months with her, I'd have gladly seized it.  Read more

Civic Groups Set on Sovereignty over Sites along Boulevards

Cedar Grove residents voted Tuesday to limit the options of an Adams Corner lot to three suitors with deep community ties, leaving open the possibility of converting the building into parking spaces.

Suitors for the space, vacated by Sovereign Bank, pressed their cases at the monthly Cedar Grove Civic Association meeting, part of an ongoing saga that has pitted the bank against area civic groups, and left one developer threatening litigation.  Read more

ABCD Eyes New Home for Dot Facility

ABCD officials are still not sure if they will rebuild their former Dorchester headquarters - destroyed three weeks ago in an apparent electrical fire - or find a new location. For now, the anti-poverty agency's Dorchester programs are headquartered in makeshift space in a senior housing complex on Beechwood Avenue, off of Geneva Ave.  Read more

Amidst Thanks, Giving Options Away from the Table

It's a week before Thanksgiving, but all through the 'hood, there's a sensation that Christmas is already afoot.  Read more

Blaze Guts Service Center

The building containing the Dorchester headquarters of Action for Boston Community Development, the city's official antipoverty program, was destroyed by fire last week.  Read more

Ballot Rundown Offers Little Challenge to Incumbents

Badnarik and who? What is the Green-Rainbow Party? And where's Ralph?

Should Dorchester voters be able to tear themselves away from the aftermath of the World Series - win or lose - to vote on November 2, next Tuesday, they'll find a ballot more crowded than has been reported. For instance, it's not just Bush-Cheney and Kerry-Edwards atop the ticket, and Ralph Nader's nowhere in sight. The two major parties are joined by tickets from the Libertarian (Michael Badnarik and Richard Campagna) and Green-Rainbow (David Cobb and Pat LaMarche) parties.  Read more

Bringing Her Medicine Back to Dorchester: Anne Rogal Returns to Carney

Many of her former patients at the Neponset Health Center will be glad to learn that Dr. Anne P. Rogal is setting up shop at the Caritas Carney Hospital after a four-year sabbatical from the area.

"This is kind of a coming home story," the affable Rogal said. "I did my residency here from 1985 to 1988 and then settled in at the Neponset Health Center. I have been connected with Dorchester for a long time."  Read more

B-3 Captain Narrowly Escapes Basement Ambush

The commander of one of Dorchester's two main police districts narrowly escaped death last week when he was ambushed by a desperate fugitive in the basement of a Franklin Field duplex. In a Wednesday afternoon shootout, the gunman unloaded a total of five bullets at close range at Area B-3 Captain Timothy Murray, who returned fire and felled the suspect with two bullets from his own service revolver. Murray, who suffered a sprained ankle in the incident, was otherwise unhurt, an outcome that one police source familiar with the incident called "the grace of God."  Read more

Police Commander Says Most Crime Stats Down in District Three

Despite an alarming spike in homicides and shootings on his district this year, the commander of the B-3 Boston Police says that crime is actually down in most categories in the Mattapan-Dorchester area. This month, Captain Timothy Murray is canvassing community meetings and crime watch groups in the area in an attempt, he says, to "put in perspective what is actually happening out on the streets."  Read more

Bambino Reverses Curse?; Neponset Infant's Family Hopes Stork Makes Return Trip, This Time with a World Series Ring

It's a great deal of pressure for a youngster, heading into his first postseason with only a few weeks in The Show under his belt. He was an early September call-up.

But the rookie appears to be handling all this newfound attention with aplomb. He doesn't say much, doesn't complain much. The only hint that the pressure's getting to him is a knack for wetting his pants.

His grandmother hails him as a sort of baseball Moses, a bonnet-clad messiah, the bambino who reversed the curse. There are great expectations for Championship Charlie.  Read more

An Academic Settling: <I>Out of Public's Eye, Retired Pol Imparts Life Lessons at Suffolk

Brittany and Timothy and Langdon saunter in, sipping on water bottles or dipping into baskets of French fries, clad in fleece vests and frayed nurses' scrubs, Birkenstocks and warm-up pants, Kangol hats. Presently, they hear an allusion to Gene Autry, which is explained with a reference to Roy Rogers. An Edmund Burke mention meets with a similar reaction.  Read more

BC High Pigskin Coach Cotter Nearing End Zone

When he was in the sixth grade, Jim Cotter's boyhood curiosity led him to a construction site on Columbia Point. He recalls that whatever structure was being built was just beginning to take shape. Concrete had been poured and steel girders reached towards the sky.

The young Cotter shimmied up one of the girders, and as he neared the top, he recalls a man dressed all in black calling after him. He asked the man what the structure was. The man in black told him it was to be a high school.

The man, it turns out, was a Jesuit. The girder was a part of BC High's foundation.  Read more

Civil War Memorial to be Re-Dedicated on Sunday

A once-lost and forgotten memorial to a group of Dorchester men who served in the Civil War will be re-dedicated this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in Lower Mills. A refurbished stone tablet honoring 51 members of Washington Street's First Methodist Church who fought for the Union will be unveiled, along with a new, stone scuplture of a kneeling soldier designed by a local man.  Read more

Budget Bill Includes $900K for Gallivan Overpass

The House and Senate have both approved a supplemental budget bill that includes $900,000 in state cash to build a pedestrian walkway over a particularly busy stretch of Gallivan Boulevard. The bill is now on the desk of Governor Mitt Romney, who has until this weekend to either sign the budget into law or veto the whole package, which includes a total of $722 million to fund projects across the Commonwealth.  Read more

Civic Agenda Keys on Developments; Menino Announces Dot Ave Traffic Relief Project

Frayed ties in one Dorchester village could lead to another civic group for the Boston neighborhood that already boasts the most, while a long-dormant organization clears its throat to announce its return. As the civic returns from summer break this month, issues of development traffic and safety remain high on agendas across the neighborhood.

A number of major improvement projects continue to truck along, with MBTA station rehauls and various roadway improvements inching further toward completion. Several parks have undergone or are undergoing serious renovations.  Read more

Activists Aim for Local Sovereignty in Site Fates

Frothy, occasionally bitter, and ever-percolating.

Relations between local civic groups and would-be developers? Maybe, but more immediately in Adams Corner, those words could describe the future wares of what is now a Sovereign Bank.

Looking to exert community influence over the fate of two soon-to-be vacant properties, activists have moved to abandon hopes for a municipal parking lot and are entertaining other ideas for the Adams Corner property, including a Starbucks coffeeshop.  Read more

All Saints Choir Going National

It ain't a bad hall, not bad in the least bit. Not that their usual joint is anything to shake a decrescendo at, but as out-of-town places go, this one's pretty good.

When the All Saints Choir of Men and Boys takes what might blasphemously be termed a stage next week, it won't be in the venerated Episcopalian landmark in Peabody Square, but in the much newer and much larger National Cathedral in Washington D.C.  Read more