Madison Park turnaround will take time, says the mayor Headmaster resigns

Days after the headmaster at Madison Park Vocational and Technical High School resigned, Mayor Martin Walsh praised the move, calling it “a step in the right direction.”

Added Walsh in a statement to the Reporter on Tuesday evening: “We’re only in the first days of this change and we recognize that we have much more work to do.”

The headmaster, Dr. Diane Ross Gary, tendered her resignation to Boston Public Schools superintendent John McDonough on Friday after more than a week of unrest among students over nonexistent and inadequate class scheduling.  Read more

Healey surge registered at Dot polls

Maura Healey: Called ‘star power’ candidateMaura Healey: Called ‘star power’ candidateAt first blush, the odds appeared stacked against attorney general candidate Maura Healey, especially in Dorchester. She was a political newcomer, running her first campaign against a well-known fellow Democrat, Warren Tolman, whose backers included Gov. Deval Patrick, Mayor Martin Walsh, state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, and his older brother, union head Steven Tolman.

All of which didn’t matter much when voters made their endorsements on primary day. Citywide, the former assistant attorney general beat Tolman by ten points, 55 percent to 45 percent, thanks in part to strong support in Charlestown, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale. Statewide, her margin was much greater, 62.4 percent to 37.6 percent.  Read more

New tool allows Bostonians to explore solar potential

Michael Norton, State House News Service
Sep. 17, 2014

Boston residents and businesses may now go online and learn about the solar power potential of their homes and buildings, including installation cost estimates. Mayor Martin Walsh on Tuesday announced Solar System Boston, a mapping system the city has launched in partnership with Greenovate Boston and Mapdwell, an MIT spinoff, that the mayor says will allow users to explore their own potential to take advantage of solar prices that the Dorchester Democrat says are "plummeting."  Read more

Wynn wins: Gaming commission awards chooses Everett for casino

Michael Norton and Gintautas Dumcius, STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
Sep. 16, 2014

Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 3-1 on Tuesday to award the Boston-area resort casino license to Wynn Resorts and its plan for an Everett casino.

The $1.6 billion Everett casino plan prevailed over Mohegan Sun's $1.3 billion proposal for a casino in Revere, next to the Suffolk Downs racetrack and on the East Boston border.  Read more

Census: No big changes in US poverty, income last year

Andy Metzger and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Sep. 16, 2014

The nation's poverty rate dipped in 2013, especially for Hispanic individuals, while the number of people remaining in poverty and median incomes remained relatively unchanged from 2012, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data.  Read more

Deadline looms for city entrance exam

Sep. 15, 2014

The deadline to register for the test needed for entrance to one of the city’s three exam schools in Sept. 26. The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) takes place at 12 locations across the city on Sat., Nov. 8 at 8:30 a.m. The three exam schools are Boston Latin Academy, Boston Latin School, and John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics & Science. New students are admitted to grades 7 and 9 at all three exam schools. Students must currently be in grades 6, 8 and 9 to take the ISEE.  Read more

Madison Park headmaster resigns

Lauren Dezenski
Sep. 13, 2014

The headmaster of Madison Park Vocational and Technical High School resigned Friday night, effective immediately.

Interim Superintendent John McDonough accepted Dr. Diane Ross Gary’s resignation after a tumultuous seven days at the city’s only vocational high school, which included a student-led protest over a fourth day without schedules for students. McDonough delivered the news to the Madison Park community in an email and recorded phone call early Saturday evening.  Read more

DOT BY THE DAY Sept. 13 – 20, 2014

Saturday (13th) – Annual Harvest Festival & Perennial Divide, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Natives, 30 Edgewater Dr., Mattapan. Free event hosted by Boston Natural Areas Network. Festival includes games for young and
seasoned gardeners as well as the traditional skill-building workshops,including urban beekeeping, making your own herbal teas, and a Kraut mob where you’ll learn how to ferment your fresh produce. For more information contact BNAN at
617-542-7696 or email  Read more

Wong to serve as Fire Dept. deputy commissioner

Connie S. Wong has been appointed Deputy Commissioner for Labor Relations, Human Resources and Legal Affairs for the Boston Fire Department. Wong will serve as the chief legal advisor on all matters to the Fire Commissioner Joseph E. Finn.

“Connie brings a strong background in the fire service having previously worked with our various divisions at headquarters and in the field,” said Finn. “As Deputy Commissioner, Connie will be the highest ranking civilian working for the Boston Fire Department.”  Read more

Police: Assault charges pending after racially charged fight at Garvey

A racially charged argument between teenagers hanging out at Garvey Park ended violently last Saturday night when a 19 year old was slashed in the face with a knife. Boston Police detectives from Area C-11 are investigating the incident— which resulted in non-life threatening injuries to the victim— and charges are expected to be filed in the case, according to Boston Police spokesman Sgt. Michael McCarthy.  Read more

TechBoston alumna gives away backpacks to kids

Backpack'd: Kelsie Norman, middle, gave away more than 100 backpacks to middle school students at TechBoston Academy on Monday. 	Photo by Bill ForryBackpack'd: Kelsie Norman, middle, gave away more than 100 backpacks to middle school students at TechBoston Academy on Monday. Photo by Bill Forry

Kelsie Norman is no stranger to the halls of TechBoston Academy, the grade 6-12 school that now occupies the old Dorchester High building on Peacevale Road. She graduated from TechBoston back in 2008 and has gone on to become a college graduate and a sheet metal worker.

But Norman’s formative years were here at TechBoston, where she found herself with the help of mentors like Keith Love and guidance counselor Jillian Smith.  Read more

City homes in on traffic issues at intersections on Pleasant St.

Dangerous turn:: The scene at Pleasant and Victoria streets last month after a motorcycle and pickup truck collided. Said Zac Salwasser, who took the photo, “It is very, very difficult to negotiate a turn onto Pleasant  from the side streets.”Dangerous turn:: The scene at Pleasant and Victoria streets last month after a motorcycle and pickup truck collided. Said Zac Salwasser, who took the photo, “It is very, very difficult to negotiate a turn onto Pleasant from the side streets.”
“On any given day, it’s a constant symphony of screeching tires and honking horns,” said Dorchester resident Zac Salwasser in describing daily life outside his home at the intersection of Pleasant and Victoria streets. “You have drivers from side streets coming in blind.”  Read more

New community garden hailed on Woolson Street

India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Sep. 11, 2014

Woolson Street garden: Mayor Walsh posed for a photo with Vidya Tikku of BNAN and Vivien Morris, far right, of Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition. Shown at center is Mirlande Joseph, whose twin brother was murdered on the street in 2006. Joseph helped to push for the creation of the new community garden, shown below. Photos by India SmithWoolson Street garden: Mayor Walsh posed for a photo with Vidya Tikku of BNAN and Vivien Morris, far right, of Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition. Shown at center is Mirlande Joseph, whose twin brother was murdered on the street in 2006. Joseph helped to push for the creation of the new community garden, shown below. Photos by India Smith

Residents of the Woolson St. neighborhood in Mattapan had much to celebrate last Saturday as they were joined by Mayor Martin Walsh and a large contingent of public officials for a ribbon-cutting for their new community garden. The project has been a collaboration between residents, the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development, the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, and Boston Natural Areas Network.

According to Mirlande Joseph, one of the neighbors who spearheaded the project, the garden is more than just soil and plants.  Read more

Opportunity sets up shop on Quincy Street

Quincy Street revitalization: Mayor Walsh and fellow elected officials at the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center opening on Monday. Photo by Don WestQuincy Street revitalization: Mayor Walsh and fellow elected officials at the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center opening on Monday. Photo by Don West

The $15 million, state-of-the-art Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center is officially open for business after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday at the long-vacant site of the departed Pearl Meats facility.

The 36,000-square-foot multi-use industrial food production facility will allow local food retailers of all sizes to prep their food with low overhead as they work to grow their businesses.  Read more

How to jump start a savings strategy: a primer

Edward Merritt, Special to the Reporter
Sep. 11, 2014

Recently, I have read in a number of financial publications that as many as two-thirds of Americans do not have good savings habits. Being a disciplined saver is an important way to make sure you’re financially secure and prepared for life’s critical moments. There are three basic questions to ask yourself when it comes to saving money: Where am I now? Where do I want to be? How do I get there?

Although there is no magic formula, there are some practical tips that can give you a jumpstart toward reaching your financial goals:  Read more

Savin Hill residents briefed on $215k park project Improvements coming to pathways, entrances next spring

Jacob Aguiar, Special to the Reporter
Sep. 11, 2014

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department hosted a second and final meeting last Thursday, Sept. 4 to summarize a project aimed at improving entrances, pathways, and public safety in Savin Hill Park. The $215,000 project, focused on passive areas of the park, is slated to begin next spring.  Read more

Cook gets the part as Parks and Rec chief

Chris Cook was sworn-in as Boston Parks and Recreation commissioner on Monday by City Clerk Maureen Feeney. Photo by Ryan Woods

Chris Cook had planned for a career as an actor. Instead, the West Roxbury resident is now running Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department – the vitally important city agency with a $35 million annual budget and more than 200 employees.

And, much like an actor would have, he won the job by nailing the audition.  Read more

Coakley, Healey big winners in low-turnout vote: Rep. Cullinane, Tompkins, Arroyo score decisive wins

Lauren Dezenski and Bill Forry
Sep. 10, 2014

Rep. Dan Cullinane secured the Democratic nomination for the 12th Suffolk House seat with a decisive victory in Tuesday’s primary election. He and his three opponents are shown above as they worked the polls outside the Chittick School in Hyde Park. From left, Corey J. Allen, Ruthella Logan-Cruz, Rep. Cullinane, and Carlotta Williams. Photo courtesy Rep. Cullinane

Dorchester voters trickled to the polls in meager numbers in Tuesday’s primary, by and large selecting candidates who ultimately found success statewide. Locally, incumbent state Rep. Dan Cullinane scored a impressive win in a four-way race for the 12th Suffolk district, while Rep. Evandro Carvalho beat back a challenge from Althea Garrison in the 5th Suffolk and Sheriff Steve Tompkins defeated two challengers in decisive fashion

Turnout in the city of Boston barely breached 17 percent, with 63,386 votes cast of 380,202 total registered voters, according to the elections department’s unofficial returns. Locally, turnout fluctuated with bellwether polls in Neponset, Savin Hill, Lower Mills and Mattapan surpassing citywide participation.  Read more

Cullinane wins Democratic nomination in 12th Suffolk; Tompkins cruises to big win

Sep. 9, 2014

State Rep. Dan Cullinane has been nominated for re-election in the 12th Suffolk district after defeating three opponents in one of the city's rare contested legislative seats. Cullinane, who won a special election last year to succeed now Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, will win today's contest decisively, with about 62 percent of the vote, according to his campaign.  Read more

Police cite Savin Hill wine and cheese shop for stocking too much wine, not enough cheese

On July 17, a Boston Police detective entered Savin Hill Enterprise, the new wine-and-cheese shop at 1047 Dorchester Ave., and took careful note of how many shelves were used for wine and beer and how many for food items. He looked in the shop's coolers to compare the ratio of chilled alcoholic beverages to soda and water.  Read more

Dorchester teen spearheads Madison Park protest

Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Sep. 9, 2014

Kellsi Pemberton stands outside Madison Park Vocational High School on Tuesday morning. Photo by Lauren Dezenski

When it became clear on Monday afternoon that Madison Park Vocational High School students would spend their fourth day of the school year without schedules, 16-year-old Lower Mills resident Kellsi Pemberton decided to do something.

“We just want to go to school, go to our classes, and learn. That’s all we want and the school isn’t giving that to us, so we decided to organize,” Pemberton said.  Read more

Galvin sees low turnout, raising stakes for GOTV efforts

Gintautas Dumcius and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Sep. 8, 2014

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 8, 2014.....Secretary of State William Galvin on Monday said he expects around 550,000 Democratic ballots will be pulled during Tuesday's primary elections, with 165,000 to 170,000 voters participating in Republican primaries.

That works out to a turnout rate of 15 percent to 20 percent of 4.2 million registered Bay State voters for an election that features contested battles among Democrats for major offices such as governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and state treasurer.

"I hope I'm wrong," Galvin said during a press conference where he predicted many unenrolled or independent voters, who make up the majority of voters, are likely to sit out Tuesday's voting. "I hope it goes higher and higher. We're prepared for everyone to come out."  Read more

Police say a father killed himself two days after his son died under mysterious circumstances

Officers investigating the death of Patrick Marcelin's six-year-old son at 61 Devon St. on Thursday were unable to keep Marcelin from stabbing himself to death when they arrived at the apartment where he'd been staying on Saturday, the Boston Police Department reports.

According to police, the boy was in cardiac arrest when first responders arrived at his home around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, but that the exact cause of death remains under investigation. Then, police say:  Read more

For Paciulli, his bank’s business is ‘personal’

Tony Paciulli: Pursuer of justiceTony Paciulli: Pursuer of justicePresident and CEO Tony Paciulli is very clear about priorities at Meetinghouse Bank: “We emphasize personal attention” he tells his clients and staff. That philosophy is especially the case, it seems, when someone attempts to hold up his bank.

Last Thursday, shortly after 2 p.m., a lone note-passer demanded cash from a teller at the Lower Mills bank and then, with money in hand, fled on foot down Richmond Street. “I heard the teller scream and I came out of my office and saw him going out the door,” Paciulli told the Reporter. Intent on giving the matter his “personal attention,” the chief executive followed the man down Richmond Street, and caught up with him a block away at the corner of Butler Street.

“I tried to tackle him to the ground, but he was too big,” Paciulli said, describing the suspect as weighing more than 300 pounds. “We took a couple of shots at each other, but when I saw him reaching into his pants, I backed off, in case he had a knife or a gun.”  Read more

Ellis case update: Hearings on evidence dispute to be continued

Elaine A. Murphy, Special to the Reporter
Sep. 4, 2014

Judge Carol C. Ball presided over three days of hearings in Suffolk Superior Court last week that were held to consider appellate attorney Rosemary Scapicchio’s charges that prosecutors withheld exculpatory information from defense lawyers for Sean K. Ellis, who, after two mistrials, was convicted in 1995 of the September 1993 murder of Boston Police Detective John Mulligan. Scapicchio is seeking a fourth trial for Ellis, who has consistently maintained his innocence. Assistant District Attorneys Paul Linn and Edmond Zabin argued for the Commonwealth.  Read more