Commission votes to designate Savin Hill home as landmark

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Nov. 27, 2013

24 Grampian Way: Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to make it a city landmark on Tuesday.24 Grampian Way: Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to make it a city landmark on Tuesday.

The Boston Landmarks Commission on Tuesday voted 9-0 to designate a controversial Savin Hill property as a city landmark.

The commission agreed that the home, located at 24 Grampian Way, is significant at the national, state and local level, in large part due to its association with George Wright, a national sports figure, according to Ellen Lipsey, executive director of the commission. Wright, a member of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the 1930s. The municipal golf course in Hyde Park is named after him.

The home, also known as the Kehew-Wright house, is also associated with whale oil merchant John Kehew and industrialist William Prescott Hunt.  Read more

Arts Boston’s half-price tickets deal makes a perfect gift for theatre-goers

Boston’s Mayor’s Holiday discount ticket bonanza just went from special to spectacular. To mark the tenth anniversary of the year-end, half-price ticket marketing campaign and to honor outgoing Mayor Menino and wife Angela, ArtsBoston renamed the program “The Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular.”

At, bargain-hunters can find more than 25,000 half-price tickets to over 135 of the region’s most beloved holiday performances as well as exclusive dining deals, a $10 dining voucher, and gift ideas.  Read more

Walsh works on transition numbers

State Rep. Marty Walsh last week added more members to his transition team and sat down for coffee with the man he is replacing, Mayor Thomas Menino. Walsh said he wants the city’s 64 departments covered under the transition team and he is still looking to see how many vacancies will have to be filled before he takes office in January.

“We still have five weeks left,” the mayor-elect told the Reporter this week.  Read more

Boston Children’s Chorus wins National Arts honor

Paige Pihl Buckley, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 27, 2013

The Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) was awarded the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by First Lady Michelle Obama at a ceremony in Washington, D.C over the weekend. The BCC was selected from more than 350 applicants and 50 finalists for the award, which recognizes exemplary after-school programs and includes a $10,000 grant and a year of capacity building support.

“It was an unbelievable experience for us,” said David Howse, executive director of the Boston Children’s Chorus. “We’re quite proud to represent Boston and its communities.”  Read more

Holiday tree lighting tour begins today at 3p.m.

A full-on flurry of tree lighting ceremonies will begin this Saturday as neighborhood volunteers join with officials to “light and unite” the city. The Dorchester Holiday Celebrations Committee will launch the seasonal event with a ten-stop trolley tour that begins in Lower Mills at Meetinghouse Bank at 3:10 p.m. on Nov. 30. The traditional tour will then follow a route to Port Norfolk’s Redfield St. (3:30); Harbor Point (4); Meetinghouse Hill at Rev. Allen Park (4:30); the Strand Theatre in Uphams Corner (5); Blessed Mother Teresa Church (5:30); Ryan Playground (6); Fields Corner at Park St.  Read more

Two hours of free metered parking this weekend

The City of Boston will once again be providing parking incentives during the holiday season— including two hours of free parking on select days at city meters. Boston drivers can also participate in the popular “Toys for Tickets” program and the chance to purchase a Boston Meter Card at 20 percent off the face value of the card.  Read more

New administrator begins tenure at St. Ann and St. Brendan parishes this weekend

Fr. Jason M. Makos

Father Jason M. Makos will begin his duties as the administrator of St. Ann and St. Brendan parishes this weekend. It will be the first city assignment for Makos, a 36-year-old East Bridgewater native who has served as pastor of Holy Ghost Parish in Whitman for the last three years.

“Father Makos is a hard-working priest who takes great joy in parish life,” said Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. in a statement to the Reporter. “Since his ordination in 2005, Fr. Makos has demonstrated the pastoral leadership skills that will help him to guide the parish communities at St. Ann and St. Brendan as they proceed with the work of Disciples in Mission, the archdiocese’s planning initiative.”  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Corner Office hopefuls gearing up for ’14 push

In about 400 days, Gov. Deval Patrick will exit the State House and take the long walk down its steps, rejoining the citizenry and, he hopes, grabbing a hefty paycheck once he’s re-ensconced in the private sector. Patrick has repeatedly said that he isn’t running for a third term, citing a promise to his wife Diane, and he has stuck to his pledge, leading to a wide open race to succeed him and to Massachusetts strengthening its hold on the title of the Land of Perpetual Elections.  Read more

Play Ball! initiative, middle schools team up to make football a reality

Will Taylor, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 27, 2013

Dever-McCormack team in action last Friday at Harvard Stadium. Photo by Billy Owens

The lights were ablaze and the stands abuzz at Harvard Stadium last Friday afternoon and evening as four local teams took to the historic gridiron for a couple of championship games. The Crimson squad, however, was not among them – the players all hailed from the city’s middle-school system.

For the record, the boys from Dever-McCormack in Dorchester topped the team from the Ohrenberger School in West Roxbury, while in the city championship tussle, it was Roxbury’s Timilty School over the Frederick Pilot School. But the games were about more than wins and losses.  Read more

Back from Libya, Lynch calls situation ‘much improved’

Congressman Stephen Lynch greeted Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) troops in the Sinai Peninsula earlier this month. Photo courtesy Rep. Lynch's office

US Rep. Stephen Lynch, traveling with a delegation of Congressional colleagues, visited Libya for the first time earlier this month and reviewed embassy security in the wake of the death of a US ambassador in Benghazi in September 2012.

Lynch, a South Boston Democrat and a senior member of the House Subcommittee on National Security, said the situation has “much improved.” He traveled with Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who chairs the subcommittee, Rep. Peter Welch, a Vermont Democrat, and Rep. Cynthia Lummis, a Wyoming Republican.  Read more

Main Streets likely to gain under Walsh: Eyes expansion, ‘strengthening’

The building at One Peabody Square sits at the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and Ashmont Street, All Saints Church on its left and a Tedeschi’s on its right. The squat office building that once housed a chiropractor’s office is one of several places in the area that is listed as “for rent” every time the St. Mark’s Area Main Street e-mails its newsletter. Next to the Peabody Square clock and across the street from the Ashmont MBTA station, the 2,800-square foot property is viewed by some as a missing link for an area.  Read more

Mayor-elect Walsh opens up on immigration, Secure Communities

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Nov. 26, 2013

Hoping to meet in the next few weeks with other new mayors from around the country to discuss immigration, Boston Mayor-elect Marty Walsh on Tuesday said if he could "get around" enforcing the Secure Communities Act he would.

Walsh attended the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition's annual free Thanksgiving luncheon and spent some time serving mashed potatoes before dishing on how immigrants would have a "friend" in City Hall.  Read more

Walsh adds surgeon, UMass Boston professor and others to transition team

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh's transition team on Friday added three co-chairs, including the former CEO of Boston Children's hospital, a UMass Boston professor and the head of a Roxbury-based organization.  Read more

Mayor-Elect Walsh says goodbye to House colleagues

State House News Service
Nov. 21, 2013

On his way from the House of Representatives to Boston City Hall, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh brought his fellow lawmakers to their feet several times Wednesday afternoon, as he gave a farewell, imparted thanks on most everyone in the chamber and recounted his days as a “hotheaded” freshman representative in 1997.

Walsh, who beat City Councilor John Connolly for the mayoralty on Nov. 5, said he would be back in the chamber in January asking for more money for Boston.  Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Two possibles say no to run for Walsh seat

The 13th Suffolk District field remained in flux this week as one candidate waded deeper into the upcoming race to replace state Rep. Marty Walsh while two potential contenders said they would sit this one out.

Steve Bickerton Jr., a local operative who worked on Walsh’s mayoral campaign, and Michael Christopher, a former Walsh aide at the State House now working for Gov. Deval Patrick, said they would be taking a pass on the race. And both said they haven’t decided whom they’ll be backing.  Read more

Landmark hearing Tuesday for Grampian Way house

The Boston Landmarks Commission is scheduled to vote next week whether or not to designate the house at 24 Grampian Way in Savin Hill as a local landmark. The home, also known as the Kehew-Wright House, is owned by the family of the late Ray Tomasini, which is seeking a permit to tear down the deserted structure.

The 14-member commission will meet at 5:45 p.m. next Tuesday (Nov. 26) on the ninth floor of City Hall.  Read more

For Dot Y, a Saturday full of unity and giving

Paige Pihl Buckley, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 21, 2013

Dorchester YMCA-Carney Hospital Flu Clinic: l-r,  Kevin Washington, CEO YMCA of Greater Boston; Kathy Townsend, Executive Director Dorchester YMCA; Shirley Alexander Hunt; Andy Davis, CEO Carney Hospital; Dr. Miguel Concepcion and Xavier Alexander, receiving his flu shot.Dorchester YMCA-Carney Hospital Flu Clinic: l-r, Kevin Washington, CEO YMCA of Greater Boston; Kathy Townsend, Executive Director Dorchester YMCA; Shirley Alexander Hunt; Andy Davis, CEO Carney Hospital; Dr. Miguel Concepcion and Xavier Alexander, receiving his flu shot.The Dorchester YMCA celebrated unity and giving on Saturday with three events to bring the community together.

“It was diverse, inclusive, a day of safety and unity, which was all in the spirit of giving,” said Kathy Townsend, executive director of the Dorchester YMCA.

“We started out with our annual Stop & Shop turkey giveaway,” said Townsend. “We gave away 250 turkeys.”

The turkey giveaway was one of twelve sponsored by Stop & Shop throughout New England.  Read more

Heavyweight Palmer puts boxing world on notice: ‘I want to be one of the greatest, ever’

Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 21, 2013

Donnie Palmer knocked out Solomon Maye on Nov. 2- his third straight KO victory. Image courtesy

Fresh off his third straight win, Dorchester boxer Donnie Palmer has his eyes fixed upward, looking to be the best boxer there is.

While in one sense, the six-foot-ten Palmer rarely looks up, in another that’s all he does. Palmer wants to turn his three wins into getting not just one title, but winning all possible heavyweight titles. “I want to be great; I want to be one of the greatest, ever,” he said.  Read more

Walsh back to work; meets Patrick, makes time for Dot meeting

Mayor-elect Walsh and Gov. Patrick outside the governor’s office on Monday. Governor’s Office photoMayor-elect Walsh and Gov. Patrick outside the governor’s office on Monday. Governor’s Office photo

As his transition team seeks to get a handle on the levers of city government, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh met with local and state officials early this week after returning from a post-campaign vacation in the Turks and Caicos island territories. He also stopped by a regular meeting on crime and civic issues near Codman Square.

“I’m going to pay special attention to our neighborhood,” Walsh told a crowd of 200 people at the Joseph Lee Elementary School on Monday night. He then quipped: “That part’s off the record.”

Walsh, who has served as one of Dorchester’s state representatives on Beacon Hill for 16 years, spent about a half hour fielding questions on charter schools, light poles, parking, trash pick-up, and public safety. At the end, he pledged to appear at the next meeting and to be a regular presence at future meetings. Speaking to reporters outside after the session, Walsh said the community is active and holds elected officials’ “feet to the fire, and that’s a good thing.”  Read more

Remembering JFK: A weekend for the ages

A son's salute: John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s casket on Nov. 25, 1963. Photo by Stan Steams/CorbisA son's salute: John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s casket on Nov. 25, 1963. Photo by Stan Steams/Corbis
It was 50 years ago tomorrow – November 22, 1963 – that the life of the nation’s – and Boston’s – young political leader, Jack Kennedy, came to a stunning end. Our country’s president, shot and killed, dead in an instant from an assassin’s bullet.

It was unbelievable … shocking … stunning … dreadful … horrific … ghastly – you choose the word. And for my then-young generation, that afternoon marked the beginning of the end of an era of hyped-up optimism and the opening chapter in the series of tragic events – the loss of another Kennedy, a King, and a Malcolm X – that would come to mark the tumultuous decade of the 1960s.  Read more

Bell rings, mayor reminisces at First Parish ceremony

Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 20, 2013

Rev. Art Lavoie, Mayor Tom Menino and Tom Cunningham, Chair of the Board of Trustees at First Parish Dorchester.Rev. Art Lavoie, Mayor Tom Menino and Tom Cunningham, Chair of the Board of Trustees at First Parish Dorchester.

Mayor Thomas Menino was honored Saturday in a ceremony at the historic First Parish Church, one of the venues that helped launch his 20-year term in City Hall.

The church’s “20 Bells for the Mayor” fundraising gala attracted a crowd of over 100 people to celebrate the rededication of the church’s steeple and to hear from the mayor. Former state Sen. Jack Hart of South Boston emceed the event and offered memories of Menino’s time in office and service to the community.

The auditorium of the church served as the venue for the first debate of the 1993 mayoral election, the race that Menino won to become mayor in his own right after succeeding Mayor Raymond Flynn on an acting basis. President Clinton tapped Flynn as his ambassador to the Vatican, and in the final election, Menino faced off against Dorchester state Rep. Jim Brett.  Read more

Strand fit for ‘Little Princess’; Seats for $10 offered to Dot residents

Sirena Abalian stars as Sara Crewe and Jared Dixon as Pasko in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of “A Little Princess” at the Strand Theatre, Nov. 21-Dec. 8.Sirena Abalian stars as Sara Crewe and Jared Dixon as Pasko in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of “A Little Princess” at the Strand Theatre, Nov. 21-Dec. 8.

Opening Thursday night at the Strand is a lavish musical that ends with Queen Victoria herself saving the day and declaring “anyone can be a princess.” Young ladies may find that this revival of the 2004 musical “A Little Princess” lends wings to their dreams of tiaras and coaches, but three black Dorchester males are reporting that it is giving them practical experience in re-enacting their African roots.

The Nov. 21 show is the first of 14 performances of “A Little Princess” as presented by the Fiddlehead Theatre Company, declared earlier this year by Mayor Menino as the 2013-14 resident theatre company of the Strand. This “heart-felt musical for the whole family” runs through December 8. Fiddlehead is offering a special discount $10 for Dot residents this weekend only; those interested should check with the box office.

Last year Fiddlehead proved it could mount a Broadway-sized production in Uphams Corner when, with assistance from the Boston chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, it staged the hit show “Ragtime.” In addition to garnering respectable reviews, Fiddlehead’s “Ragtime” averaged 550 spectators a night over its 12-performance run, selling out a few times and breaking even over all by attracting large multiethnic audiences.  Read more

Senate sends $11-per-hour minimum wage bill to House

Matt Murphy, Andy Metzger and Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Nov. 19, 2013

The Senate voted 32-7 on Tuesday to increase the state's minimum wage by $3 over the next three years to $11 an hour, approving legislation that would give Massachusetts the highest minimum wage in the country and give the state's lowest-wage workers their first raise in six years.

The bill (S 1925) would also tie future increases in the minimum wage to inflation and guarantee that no matter what happens to the federal minimum wage - currently set at $7.25 - the minimum in Massachusetts would remain 50 cents higher.  Read more

Police: Street robberies spike as thieves target smart phones

Boston Police say that thieves targeting people carrying smartphones are responsible for a string of street robberies in Area C-11 in recent days.  Read more