News

Artist Celia McDonough is Dot’s calendar guru

By 
Paige Pihl Buckley, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 12, 2013

Celia McDonough: Photo by Rebecca Kowalski.Celia McDonough: Photo by Rebecca Kowalski.The annual Celebrate Dorchester calendar, featuring artwork by Neponset’s own Celia McDonough, is now on sale for $10 at local retailers.  Read more

Traveling on the Menino trolley: Mayor hails the value of ‘change’

Last stops for Mayor's trolley tour: Mayor Tom Menino speaks at a stop in Mattapan Square. Photo by Don HarneyLast stops for Mayor's trolley tour: Mayor Tom Menino speaks at a stop in Mattapan Square. Photo by Don HarneyMayor Thomas Menino looked out the trolley window and there was Doyle’s, the Jamaica Plain pub that has a Menino room filled with pictures like the one showing him victorious on Election Night in 1993 and another of him walking along a Dorchester beach with a barefoot Gov. William Weld. Across the street from Doyle’s lay the artificial turf on English High School’s field, something, Menino noted, that he had pushed for in a long-ago capital budget.

The mayoral car, leading the way for the trolley carrying Santa Claus, kept moving through the light rain, rolling into Readville in front of Westinghouse Plaza, once the site of a factory that was an economic engine for the Hyde Park neighborhood, and that employed Carl Menino, the mayor’s late father. With the mayor sitting in front, the trolley, filled with aides and family members, drove on.

Asked earlier this month what his plans were for the last few weeks in office, Menino grinned and said – aside from going to “work every day and make sure government’s working, leave my administration in good shape for Marty Walsh” – he planned to be lighting many Christmas trees.  Read more

Reporter's Notebook: Linehan presidency seen set; Wu stance stirs a fuss

South Boston Councillor Bill Linehan appears to have the seven votes he needs to become president of the City Council, sources told the Reporter earlier this week. The battle for the council’s top job historically has been a contentious and fluid affair, and there could be a shift before councillors vote early next month. But insiders say Linehan seems to have the votes lined up, with newcomer Michelle Wu as his seventh supporter.  Read more

New DSNI leader brings grassroots zeal to job

Chris Jones, right, has succeeded John Barros as executive director of DSNI. Photo by Travis Watson

Christopher Jones grew up in Pine Bluff, a humid city 45 miles southeast of Little Rock and on the Arkansas River.

He rode dirt bikes and fought grasshoppers. Both of his parents were ministers.  Read more

Nine Dot youngsters have roles in Jose Mateo’s ‘Nutcracker’ tour

Nutcracker: Dancer Elisabeth Scherer, who grew up in Dorchester, performs as the Snow Queen in Joe Mateo Theatre Company’s The Nutcracker.  Photo by Karen Wong  Nutcracker: Dancer Elisabeth Scherer, who grew up in Dorchester, performs as the Snow Queen in Joe Mateo Theatre Company’s The Nutcracker. Photo by Karen Wong This week, six-year-old Roberta Owens-Pearl, who attends the Condon School, will be among nine young Dorchester residents charming audiences in the José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s (JMBT) 26th Anniversary “Nutcracker” Tour, which, after stints in Duxbury and Cambridge, will end up at the Strand. Roberta will be appearing on the same stage that her father, George S. Pearl, Jr., and her namesake grandmother appeared on in a 1991 production of a Tyler-Perry-ish torn-between-two-worlds drama.

Now her Blue Hill Avenue neighbors and other Dot residents will get to see Owens-Pearl and the rest of this acclaimed company that first performed at the Strand in 1987. Generous funding means more than a thousand people will see the show for free. With support from ArtPlace America and the Kresge Foundation, the Boston Foundation has partnered with key leaders in Uphams Corner to fund cultural groups including JMBT through ArtPlace Uphams Corner.

Hundreds of complimentary tickets are being given to such Dot groups as Dorchester House, Lena Park CDC, Project R.I.G.H.T., Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts, Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester as well as to the Mattapan Community Health Center.  Read more

Walsh, Craven honored by Friends for Children

Pictured from left to right are: Friends for Children President Neal Kelleher, Board member and presenter Mary Joyce-Morris, Katherine Craven, Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh, Board member and presenter Charles Tevnan.

Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh and UMass Building Authority Executive Director Katherine Craven were named Man & Woman of the Year by Friends for Children, a local nonprofit whose mission is to provide compassion and guidance to families in need of care for their children. The awards were presented at the charity’s annual holiday celebration at Philips Old Colony House in Dorchester before a gathering of more than 150 Friends for Children supporters on Dec. 6.  Read more

State plans quick turn-around on fix for Morton Street bridge

By 
Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 12, 2013

It will be loud, it will be inconvenient, but it hopefully will only last for 10 days.

That was MassDOT Municipal Liaison John Romano’s description of the $6.3 million replacement of the Morton Street Bridge at a community meeting at the Economy Plumbing training room in Mattapan on Monday.

Demolition of the existing bridge will take place on August 8, 2014, and the project will be completed on August 17, according to Romano.  Read more

St. Gregory’s Christmas concert to feature singer Tajci

A Christmas Concert set for Fri., Dec. 20 at St. Gregory’s church will feature a performance by an acclaimed Croatian singer Tajci, whose Christmas Concert Experience has been seen by millions around the world. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. at the church, located at 2223 Dorchester Ave.

“I am telling the story of our longing to believe, waiting, then awakening to and celebrating the joy of the Christmas season,” said Tajci, who now lives in America with her husband and three sons. “I’m offering this concert as a chance to slow down and enjoy each moment of the season.”  Read more

From Mayor Menino: “The thing that makes a city most is change”

By 
By Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Dec. 12, 2013

Photo by Isabel Leon

With his remaining time at city hall now numbered in days not months, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino on Tuesday morning reflected on his time in office, while outlining challenges ahead for the city he has led for two decades.

Menino said the “dramatic decline” in federal support for Boston will test not just city, but its non-profit and research industries. Menino also said he worried about the increase in income inequality and the rising cost of higher education, which has put a college education further out of reach for many students.  Read more

Youth share stage with stars in Urban Nutcracker

Ella Moye-Gibbons, Empress Nordeus, Megan Nguyen, Zayda Adams, Kaitlyn Nguyen are among the seven young dancers from Dorchester who are performing in the Urban Nutcracker this season. Not pictured are Kyre Ambrose and Hope Williams.

“Since I was little I liked to dance. It shows me who I am,” says Zayda Adams one of seven Dorchester youth who successfully auditioned to appear in this year’s Urban Nutcracker.

Featuring more than 30 professional dancers and 75 youth, the Urban Nutcracker is living up to its theme of “celebrating dance meets diversity,” particularly for those Dorchester youth relishing the experience of live performance side by side with stars.

A showcase for ballet, hip-hop, tap and flamenco, the Urban Nutcracker is showing through December 22 at John Hancock Hall. Discounted tickets are available at mayorsholiday.com/home4 or can be purchased at the door.  Read more

$4.25m in funding set for clean up of Port Norfolk site

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Dec. 11, 2013

(Updated - 12/12 10:51 a.m.) Port Norfolk waterfront: State officials announce $4.25 plan to clean up old paper mill site.Port Norfolk waterfront: State officials announce $4.25M plan to clean up old paper mill site.A parcel of land in Port Norfolk will see an influx of $4.25 million in fix-up funding over the next three fiscal years, according to a plan that state officials laid out on Thursday. Civic activists have been pushing the state for decades to clean up the 14-acre Shaffer Paper site.

The funding will be broken down this way, state officials say: $250,000 for permitting in fiscal year 2014, $1 million in fiscal 2015, and $3 million in fiscal year 2016 when the bulk of construction work is expected to occur. The money will be included in Gov. Deval Patrick’s capital plan.

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh, state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, state Rep. Dan Cullinane, City Councillor Frank Baker and officials from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation stood in the shadow of the MBTA bridge, the Neponset River behind them, and announced the commitment.

DCR officials were scheduled to gather public input on their plans and discuss how best to connect the parcel with the Neponset Greenway Trail at the monthly meeting of the Port Norfolk Civic Association on Tuesday, Dec. 17. But that meeting was postponed until January due to an expected snowstorm.  Read more

Council to weigh Savin Hill home’s landmark status

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Dec. 11, 2013

The City Council’s economic development committee will hold a hearing on Thursday, Dec. 12 on the designation of 24 Grampian Way as a landmark. The committee, chaired by District 2 Councillor Bill Linehan, will meet at 1 p.m. inside the council’s chambers.  Read more

Lower Mills eatery Ledge to be sold and re-named

By 
Ed Forry, Associate Editor
Dec. 11, 2013

The Ledge Kitchen & Drinks includes a popular outdoor dining area, shown above. The restaurant will be sold to new owners, who plan to change the name.

Ledge Kitchen & Drinks, a popular restaurant and bar credited with being a catalyst for the business district in Lower Mills, will soon have a new owner and a new name. The matter went before the city's Licensing Board today for approval. The board is expected to render its decision on Thursday.

Eleanor Arpino, general manager of Davio's in Park Square for 12 years, wants to turn the Ledge into ester, which she said would serve "contemporary comfort food." The restaurant "would be very much approachable for families" and would serve the sort of food she hoped people would buy as takeout two to three times a week.  Read more

Mark Wahlberg treats kids to holiday party

By 
Staff
Dec. 11, 2013

Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester alumnus and board member Mark Wahlberg held his Annual Foundation Holiday Party this past weekend. Mark is pictured with several Club members who enjoyed a hot breakfast, Radio Disney and gifts.

Mark Wahlberg joined kids from Dorchester and other communities on Sunday at the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation Party at the Tewksbury Country Club. Over 250 youth from Boys and Girls Clubs across the state were there, including members from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester. TheTewksbury Country Club, Reebok, Timberland, Dignity U Wear, New Balance, Bose, and Lenovo pitched in to support the event.

Bank of America plans to close Upham’s Corner branch

Bank of America plans to close its branch at 555 Columbia Rd. in Upham’s Corner next year. In a letter mailed out to customers last week, the bank noted that it has four other Dorchester locations, including one at 1104 Massachusetts Ave. in the South Bay Mall.

“Based on foot traffic and other metrics, we determined that we could continue to effectively serve our customers with one less location in town,” said T.J. Crawford, a spokesperson for Bank of America. Crawford said that the building— which will close for business on March 21, 2014— will “be marketed.”  Read more

One of Savin Hill's iconic homes gets a facelift

By 
Paige Pihl Buckley, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 6, 2013

Historic home preserved: Gingerbread details are the among the punch-list of  restoration work done at this gothic Savin Hill Avenue home. Image courtesy Classical DetailsHistoric home preserved: Gingerbread details are the among the punch-list of restoration work done at this gothic Savin Hill Avenue home. Image courtesy Classical DetailsThe former home of Dorchester Day’s founding father, James H. Stark, has received a carefully-executed facelift.

Originally built in the mid-1870s by his father John Stark for James and his brother Frederick, the gothic duplex has been owned by only a handful of families over the years. Though not classified as a historic landmark by the Massachusetts Historical Committee, Savin Hill has been designated as a Boston Landmarks district, and the Stark home is undoubtedly an icon.  Read more

Workers protest low wages outside Grove Hall fast-food eatery

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Dec. 6, 2013

With a two-track push for a minimum wage increase on a roll in Massachusetts, fast food workers and their supporters rallied for higher wages in a Burger King parking lot midday Thursday.

Kyle King, a 46-year-old Roxbury resident who works at a Burger King in downtown Boston, told the News Service that in nine years of employment with the chain restaurant his hourly wages increased from $8 to $8.15 and said he would not show up for his 5 p.m. shift Thursday out of protest.  Read more

Mayor-elect Walsh, Sen. Warren discuss agendas after meeting in Boston

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Dec. 5, 2013

Dogged by continuing speculation about possible White House ambitions, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday issued her latest denial about running for president, while Boston Mayor-elect Marty Walsh said he could use Warren's help where she is in the Senate to secure more federal funding for housing.  Read more

Project D.E.E.P. 2014 calendars are now on sale

Project DEEP calendarProject DEEP calendar
The Celebrate Dorchester calendar featuring the artwork of Celia McDonough is now on sale at local stores for $10. The proceeds of the calendar campaign are designated to providing summer camp scholarships for Project D.E.E.P. students in the One on One Tutorial Program during the academic year. Get full details here. Above, a panel from the new calendar depicts a vintage scene from Walter Baker Chocolate Company's days in Lower Mills.  Read more

Impressive on the field – and off

By 
Will Taylor, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 5, 2013

Jack O’Toole: Service to country, neighborhood is in his blood. Photo by Patrick O’ConnorJack O’Toole: Service to country, neighborhood is in his blood. Photo by Patrick O’Connor

Dorchester’s Jack O’Toole is poised for a life of service and adventure, with a commitment to join the Marine Corps on the near horizon. But for now, the Boston Latin High School senior, having just finished his last season with the football team, with three awards to show for it, is enjoying success as a student-athlete.

Playing on both sides of the line, as a wide receiver and an outside linebacker, he kicked field goals, to boot. He finished the school’s 11-game season with seven touchdowns and almost 500 receiving yards.
This impressive performance did not go unnoticed, and over the course of the season he was named a Boston Latin Scholar Athlete by the Boston Scholar Athlete Association, then the Most Valuable Scholar Athlete, and finally a Dual County All Star, an award decided by the coaches of competing teams.

O’Toole got his start in football at age seven when he played for the Dorchester Eagles in the Pop Warner system. “I started playing down the street at Garvey Park,” he says, recalling his experience with the Eagles as formative. He still keeps in touch with an Eagles coach, Terry “Coach Beef” Cousins.  Read more

Burke High students make presence known at math challenge

By 
Staff
Dec. 5, 2013

Burke High students shown left to right: Sukari Brown, Tyreik Silva, Omotoyosi Oyedeji, Humphrey Ajike, Arium Rose Wyne and Jodi-Ann Duquesnay.

A team of students from the Jeremiah E. Burke High School’s National Society of Black Engineers Junior (NBSE Jr.) Chapter won second place in the 11th/12th Graders Division of the Try Math-A-Lon competition last week. The competition, held in Hauppauge, NY, helps increase students’ capabilities when preparing for college entrance exams such as SAT and ACT standardized tests.  Read more

William Raveis launches new office in Milton

Connecticut-based real estate firm William Raveis will be opening a new office in Milton to service Milton, Dorchester, Quincy and the surrounding communities. The office will be located at 95 Eliot St. next to the popular restaurant Steel & Rye. Chris Raveis, managing partner of William Raveis Massachusetts, announced the opening this week— noting that it will be the company’s 90th office in the Northeast with a combined lifetime sales volume of over $315 million. “Our company has grown significantly by attracting the most talented experienced sales associates,” said Raveis.

Dot Eagles bound for Super Bowl at Disney

Dorchester Pop Warner team headed for Super Bowl: The Dorchester Pop Warner Junior Midget team of 12- and 13-year-old players won the regional championship last weekend by defeating the Hartford Hurricanes. The team will travel to Orlando, Florida this weekend to play in the national Pop Warner Super Bowl tournament. The league is seeking help from Dorchester residents and businesses to help defray the costs of the trip. Photo courtesy Jean FelixDorchester Pop Warner team headed for Super Bowl: The Dorchester Pop Warner Junior Midget team of 12- and 13-year-old players won the regional championship last weekend by defeating the Hartford Hurricanes. The team will travel to Orlando, Florida this weekend to play in the national Pop Warner Super Bowl tournament. The league is seeking help from Dorchester residents and businesses to help defray the costs of the trip. Photo courtesy Jean Felix

The Dorchester Pop Warner junior midget team of 12 and 13 year-old players won the regional championship last weekend by defeating the Hartford Hurricanes, 29-6. The team will travel to Orlando, Florida this weekend to play in the national Pop Warner Super Bowl tournament at Disney World.

The Eagles will play their first round game on Sun., Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN3.

The team is seeking help from Dorchester residents and businesses to help defray the costs of the trip, which is expected to cost roughly $20,000. The team departs on a bus for Florida on Friday.

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh is one of the leaders rallying to the cause.  Read more

Savin Hill’s beloved ‘500 years ago’ mural gets repairs

Savin Hill Mural: Packy McDonough and Paul Brancone installed the “Savin Hill 500 Years Ago” mural in November 1999. The mural has recently been restored by artist James Hobin.  Photo courtesy James HobinSavin Hill Mural: Packy McDonough and Paul Brancone installed the “Savin Hill 500 Years Ago” mural in November 1999. The mural has recently been restored by artist James Hobin. Photo courtesy James Hobin

A treasured mural that depicts Native American life in pre-colonial Dorchester has been restored in recent weeks by the artist who originally painted and mounted the artwork on the side of McKenna’s Café 14 years ago.

The mural, entitled “Savin Hill 500 Years Ago,” was dedicated in November 1999 and has become a signature element of the neighborhood that shares its name. James Hobin, a Savin Hill native who lives nearby, created the mural over four months in a Pearl Street art studio before it was carefully hung at the northeast corner of Sydney Street and Savin Hill Ave.  Read more

Dot’s Bing Broderick takes charge at Dudley Square’s Haley House

By 
David Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Dec. 4, 2013

Bing Broderick

For 47 years, the diverse organization of Haley House, which provides food, housing, community events, and job training to the less fortunate has been led by one person – founder Kathe McKenna.

But McKenna is now giving over the reins of the organization to Dorchester resident Bing Broderick, who has managed the café and job training portions of Haley House for eight years. Broderick will be the new executive director.  Read more