Harbor walk under construction on Columbia Point; detours set

Folks planning to take a stroll around Columbia Point’s Harbor Walk will have to take a road less traveled through detours as crews work to rehabilitate the pathway and shoreline through the end of the year.

The detour will pull off the Harbor Walk at the waterfront at the Massachusetts Archives, diverting to the new walkway along University Drive north, before rejoining the HarborWalk at Harbor Point apartments.  Read more

GOP’s Baker: Dot a ‘tougher sell’ than most places

Two of the five gubernatorial hopefuls gave Dorchester some love this week in the hopes its voters would return the sentiment in the fall.

Returning to Dorchester for the first time since the Dot Day Parade, Republican Charlie Baker knocked on doors and pressed palms with residents of St. Brendan’s Parish on Saturday. His visits have drawn positive comments from a number of the people, including Dorchester’s honorary mayor Erin Murphy, who tagged along with Baker and a handful of other Dot residents on Saturday.  Read more

Dot, Mattapan students take to the stage, find inspiration in Shakespeare’s words

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!”

Last week, local audiences obligingly lent their ears to this famous speech and the rest of “Julius Caesar” during two free public performances starring a cast of Dorchester and Mattapan high school students.

Thursday and Friday audiences enjoyed Shakespeare’s tragic history play at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, the latest production of the Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute, a collaboration between the Huntington Theatre Company and Codman Academy Charter Public School (CACPS), now in its ninth year.  Read more

Adams Street Branch of BPL welcomes new librarian for children

Kimberley Theodore, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 31, 2014

Meaghan SchwelmMeaghan Schwelm started her first full-time position this summer as a Librarian at the Adams Street branch of the Boston Public Library after working as an intern through Americorps at the Jamaica Plain branch, and most recently at the Education Resource Center library at Boston College.

“Working at the Jamaica Plain Branch and Boston College was a lot of fun. [The experience] made me feel like youth services in a public library was what I wanted to do,” Meaghan Schwelm said.

The 33-year-old Jamaica Plain resident graduated this past May from Simmons College with a masters in Library Science.  Read more

As miracles go, this one 100 years ago was a beauty

Calendar journalism is huge this year. Haunting as well as exhaustive are the endless reflections on the centennial of World War I’s dramatic beginning, about to explode with the booming of the guns of August 1914 soon to be recalled. All of it highly merited, of course, the so-called Great War having been the pivotal event of the entirety of modern times.  Read more

Almont Park ready for football; baseball is next

Almont's new gridiron: Interim Parks and Recreation Commissioner Chris Cook, left, and Ryan Woods, director of External Affairs for the department, are shown on the new football field at Almont Park. The Mattapan Patriots take the field on Friday. Photo by Bill ForryAlmont's new gridiron: Interim Parks and Recreation Commissioner Chris Cook,right, and Ryan Woods, director of External Affairs for the department, are shown on the new football field at Almont Park. The Mattapan Patriots take the field on Friday. Photo by Bill Forry

It’s been ten years coming, but an ambitious, $4.2 million reconstruction project at Mattapan’s largest city-owned park is now well underway. Almont Park’s marquee addition, a newly-installed football field, will open this week— just in time for the neighborhood’s Pop Warner program to start practices on August 1.

This week, Mayor Martin Walsh added another new element to the build-out at Almont: Heeding calls from residents, Walsh has ordered the project to add a little league baseball field to the next phase of the construction, expected to begin this fall. The baseball diamond will be added to a corner of the park that is now used mainly for cricket— and it will give Mattapan a chance to start-up a youth baseball league next spring.  Read more

My walk in the park took a dangerous turn

DOT PARK : Ed Forry retraced his steps on a quiet path in Dorchester Park on Tuesday evening. This is the same path on which Forry was accosted on Sunday afternoon. 	Bill Forry photoDOT PARK : Ed Forry retraced his steps on a quiet path in Dorchester Park on Tuesday evening. This is the same path on which Forry was accosted on Sunday afternoon. Bill Forry photo

It was not my usual walk in the park.

There I was, late on a Sunday afternoon in July, making my way in broad and sunny daylight through the beautiful 27-acre park near my home in Lower Mills.

As usual, my thoughts were off in a quiet reverie – as I approach my 70th birthday, I no longer move swiftly, yet I remain committed to regular walks to forestall some of the downside effects of aging.

Suddenly, and without any sort of warning, I felt an arm reach around my neck from behind. It seemed at first to be maybe a friend, horse-playing as guys can do, with a sneak-up surprise. But the grip was very strong, and it was squeezing the air out of my lungs and the blood out of my head. This was no friend.  Read more

Adams Corner’s ‘Sonny’ Elia dead at 88

Sonny Elia: The elder restauranteur, left, was shown with his son Richard outside his restaurant in Adams Corner in 1999. Photo by Bill ForrySonny Elia: The elder restauranteur, left, was shown with his son Richard outside his restaurant in Adams Corner in 1999. Photo by Bill ForryAlexander J. “Sonny” Elia, who owned and operated the eponymous Adams Corner bar and restaurant for close to six decades, died this week at age 88 after a brief illness.

Mr. Elia was a fixture in Dorchester beginning in 1968 when he bought an Adams Street bar then known as Amaru’s Café. Prior to that, Elia and his extended family ran a popular luncheonette in the South End called The Colonial. In a 1999 interview with the Reporter, Sonny recalled that the Adams Corner business proved so challenging that he initially regretted the decision to buy it and attempted to sell it back to the Amaru family.  Read more

Legislative pile-up likely means little time before big votes

Michael Norton, Andy Metzger, and Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Jul. 30, 2014

More than 18 months after kicking off the 2013-2014 session, Democratic legislative leaders on Beacon Hill are playing a familiar game, leaving high-stakes issues up in the air until the final moments allotted for major legislating and likely leaving their colleagues with little time to review bills before voting on them.  Read more

Disability community marks anniversary of the ADA

India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 29, 2014

Jerry Donovan and Caitlin Weiler: At the City Hall observance of the ADA anniversary. Photo by India SmithJerry Donovan and Caitlin Weiler: At the City Hall observance of the ADA anniversary. Photo by India SmithOn Thursday, July 24, Boston’s disability community met on City Hall Plaza to commemorate the Americans With Disabilities Act, signed on July 26, 1990. The gathering included people using wheelchairs, people using American Sign Language, and people assisted by service animals, as well as personal care attendants, family members and many other supporters. Instituted four years ago by Kristen McCosh, Boston’s Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, the annual event marks progress toward the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of city life.

According to McCosh, the day is not meant for long speeches, but is mainly a time to get together and celebrate. This year’s event began with a procession around City Hall Plaza, following a route that has been made wheelchair accessible in part because of the mandate of the ADA. After looping around City Hall, the parade returned to a tent where several organizations had set up tables. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and others were offering information. Lines formed at food trucks and a hot dog stand, while Radio 103.3 provided background music.

Dorchester resident Ann Siegel of the Boston Center for Youth & Families was handing out brochures on activities for kids. Many of the center’s programs are in Dorchester and Mattapan.  Read more

Landsmark appointed to BRA Board

Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service
Jul. 29, 2014

Dr. Theodore Landsmark, the president and CEO of Boston Architectural College, has been tapped as a member of the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s board of directors. Mayor Martin Walsh’s office announced the appointment, which must still be approved by the City Council, on Tuesday morning.  Read more

Reporter co-founder assaulted, robbed in Dorchester Park

Ed Forry chatted with Mayor Walsh today outside of the Engine 20 firehouse in Neponset.

Ed Forry, the co-founder and longtime publisher of the Reporter, was treated for minor injuries sustained when he was assaulted and robbed by an unknown assailant in Dorchester Park on Sunday afternoon. Forry, 69, was walking alone through the park in the vicinity of the Dorchester Ave. entrance closest to Carney Hospital when the attack occurred.  Read more

TODAY! More Wiffles for TK: Aidan’s Barber Shops host ‘buzz-off’

Wiffles for TK: Tommy and his dad Eddie KellyWiffles for TK: Tommy and his dad Eddie KellyAidan’s Barber Shops in Lower Mills and Adams Corner have been doing a brisk trade in wiffles this month. Always a seasonal favorite, this year’s mid-summer boom is attributable to a little boy from Dorchester whose close-cropped hair style was made out of medical necessity.

Tommy Kelly, age 4, has been battling a tough cancer diagnosis since June. Two weeks ago, Tommy and his dad, Eddie, decided to get matching wiffles as a sign of solidarity for Tommy’s anticipated hair loss from his cancer treatments. Once he posted it online, Eddie’s shot of their matching wiffles went viral, especially among the legions of firefighters from around the country who have been monitoring Tommy’s battle. (Eddie Kelly is a nationally respected labor leader and president of the state’s leading firefighters union.)

Heather Flynn, who owns and operates both Aidan’s locations, decided that she and her staff wanted to do something extra to show support for the Kelly family. She decided to plan a “Buzz-off for TK”— a day-long event set for Monday, August 4, a day when the shops would typically be closed for a day-off.  Read more

Fields Corner-based MassCOSH focuses on worker safety

Dave Eisenstadter, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 25, 2014

When Marcy Goldstein-Gelb hears something described as a “freak accident,” a buzzer goes off in her head.

Executive director of the Dorchester-based Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), Goldstein-Gelb said many accidents described that way could have been predicted and avoided.

“In most cases, it has happened before and will happen again unless we do something,” said Goldstein-Gelb.

MassCOSH’s mission is to advocate for workers facing unsafe conditions, particularly teens and immigrants, who are the most vulnerable, according to Goldstein-Gelb.  Read more

Mattahunt’s Cope earns degree from Wheelock College

Kimberley Theodore, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 25, 2014

Mattapan’s Rashad Cope, director of the Wheelock College and Mattahunt Community Center, graduated from Wheelock College in May with a master’s degree in Educational Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership.

The 31-year-old said that community centers like the one he now leads played a big role in his childhood growing up in Roxbury. His mother, Cherie Cope, was the administrative coordinator at the Shelburne Community Center and other community centers in Mattapan. Cope grew up spending a lot of time shadowing his mom and looking at the work she did.  Read more

District Attorney: Police did nothing wrong in fatally shooting man who'd pulled a gun on them

Police officers were in legitimate fear for their lives when they fired at a man reaching for a gun in Mattapan on June 2 of last year, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said Friday.  Read more

Mattapan man charged with OUI, manslaughter for death of pedestrian last fall

Dervin Hibbert, 53, was arraigned Friday in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of manslaughter by motor vehicle and motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence for the death of a man standing on a Cummins Highway sidewalk last fall, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

A Suffolk County grand jury indicted Hibbert on the charges earlier this month. They carry minimum mandatory terms of five years and one year, respectively, the DA's office says.  Read more

Fields Corner farmers market continues mission

Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 24, 2014

Comic courtesy of Greg Watson

It was a tough sell back in 1978: convince farmers from the far edges of the state to travel to Boston’s core to sell their wares at three of the city’s first farmers markets.

“Many of them were a little concerned about coming out, asking ‘will we make it out alive?’” recalled Greg Watson, who was hired by the state to help organize a network of farmers markets in and around the city.
Residents were miffed too, including some in Fields Corner, where the first of the three markets was slated to open.  Read more

Savin Hill mom tackles difficult topic with book, video

Jacob Aguiar, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 24, 2014

Children who appeared in the video "Spread the Word - Knowledge is Power" produced by Savin Hill resident Nancy Goode Talalas were welcomed at Boston City Council on June 25. Talalas spoke to the council about her proposal to develop a Prevention Through Education curriculum for the Boston Public Schools. Photo courtesy Nancy Goode Talalas

"It is not something I want to do, it is something I feel I have to do," said Nancy Goode Talalas, a Savin Hill resident and author of a children's book titled "My Private Places." The book is meant to educate children about their bodies and give them the knowledge they need to be empowered against sexual predators.  Read more

Political Round-up: Mattapan’s Allen challenges Cullinane in Sept. primary

Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 24, 2014

Corey J. AllenCorey J. AllenCorey J. Allen, a mainstay in the Mattapan and Dorchester neighborhood for years, is challenging Rep. Daniel Cullinane in the Democratic primary on Sept. 9 and trying hard to let people know that he’s running.

“A lot of people in the neighborhood know me as “Coach Allen” or “Mr. Allen. “When they see the campaign signs with ‘Corey J. Allen,’ they don’t even realize it’s me that’s running.” To help make that connection, Allen is rolling out a series of lawn signs that feature his headshot.

Unlike the three other candidates in the race, Allen’s bid is his first for public office. He had considered last September’s special election for the 12th Suffolk seat vacated by Linda Dorcena Forry after she moved to the State Senate, but in the end he stayed with City Councillor Rob Consalvo’s mayoral campaign until the November election.  Read more

Proposed Ashmont Tire project takes shape

Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 24, 2014

A rendering of what Trinity Financial hopes to build on the current site of the Ashmont Tire property on Dorchester Ave. This view looks south on Dorchester Avenue with the existing Carruth building to the left. Image courtesy Trinity Financial Inc./The Architectural Team

Community members got their first detailed look at what a proposed six-story, mixed-use building coming to the Ashmont Tire site on Dorchester Avenue would look like at a meeting held on Monday evening at Carney Hospital’s Riseman Lecture Hall.  Read more

Longtime civic leader Rosanne Foley takes charge in Fields Corner

Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 24, 2014

Rosanne FoleyRosanne FoleyFields Corner is about to get a shot in the arm from one of its most active and avid supporters: Rosanne Foley.

A Dorchester resident since 1986, but making up for lost time ever since, Foley has been involved in some aspect of the Dorchester community for years. She is eager to use her new position as the Fields Corner Main Streets executive director to continue her advocacy work.

“I try to make it about what the community wants and just facilitate what they want to happen,” Foley said. For starters, that will be sprucing up the neighborhood, helping to fill vacant storefronts, improving walk-ability and bike-ability, and a whole lot more. Even, Foley hopes, a Hubway station or two.  Read more

Meetinghouse Bank weighs possible branch in Fields Corner

Meetinghouse Bank owns this building at 1281 Dorchester Ave. and has recently begun a renovation project to convert the former liquor store-turned-storefront church into new retail space. The bank is weighing a plan to open its own branch in the building. A jeweler has recently opened in a second space, to the right in this photo. Photo by Bill Forry

Meetinghouse Bank, the longtime Dorchester-based community bank with branches in Lower Mills and Roslindale Square, is eyeing a possible expansion into Fields Corner. The bank, which owns a property at 1281 Dorchester Avenue, has engaged a firm to study the market’s growth potential and demographics around the Fields Corner neighborhood before making a final decision.

Meetinghouse Bank President/CEO Anthony Paciulli said that if the report is positive, he expects to recommend the expansion plan to his board of trustees for a final decision in the coming weeks.  Read more

Soul City Band to play free concert in Dot Park

Jul. 23, 2014

Soul City Band Comes to Dot Park: The Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s ParkARTS outdoor summer concert series comes to Dorchester Park on Thursday, July 31 with the Soul City Band. The free show starts at 7 p.m. The stage will be located on the Adams Street side of the park in the “bowl” baseball field. Soul City Band bills itself as “Boston’s premiere soul cover band” with a song list heavy with Motown classics. For more information or a full schedule of events, call 617-635-4505 or visit the Parks Department online at cityofboston/parks  Read more

Plots Thicken: Leyland St. Community Garden doubles in size

India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 23, 2014

Longtime gardener John DePinha holds up one of his prized zucchini. Photo by India Smith

They came from as far away as Stoughton and as close as next door. They came from Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Mattapan. The destination? A celebration on Tuesday evening, July 15, at the Leyland St. Community Garden near Uphams Corner. Guests, including city officials whose support had been crucial to the project, hailed the expansion and renovation of one of the oldest and largest gardens owned by the Boston Natural Areas Network.  Read more