News

In vote push, Patrick drops in on Haitian Seniors

Gov. Deval Patrick visited the Sant Belvi Adult Day Center for Haitian elders on Tuesday to deliver a stump speech on behalf of the Democratic ticket. Photo by Lauren Dezenski

The path to the corner office runs through the Haitian community for any aspiring governor, according to Gov. Deval Patrick – and he would know. “You cannot win without the Haitian community. You shouldn't even try without the Haitian community,” he says.

Patrick delivered that line and more with the help of a translator to a packed room of more than 150 Haitian seniors on Monday afternoon at the Sant Belvi Adult Day Center. The governor’s appearance at Sant Belvi was part of a whirlwind of a day stumping for his would-be successor, Attorney General Martha Coakley at senior centers across Boston.  Read more

Council praises Baker’s 'innovative' mixed-use library proposal, charter reform hearing soon

By 
Lauren Dezenski
Oct. 22, 2014

Councillor Frank Baker

Councillor Frank Baker’s idea to study turning branches of the city’s public libraries into mixed-use spaces was well-received at Wednesday’s meeting of the Boston City Council.

The proposal would study integrating the branch libraries throughout the city to into mixed-use developments, creating new and larger libraries, updating the buildings as well as adding valuable space for commercial and residential uses that would benefit the community. It was reported to the Committee on Economic Development and Planning and Labor, chaired by Councillor Sal LaMattina.

Councillor Tito Jackson commended Baker’s proposal, praising as it “innovative and disruptive.” “Councillor Baker has never been known to be disruptive on the council,” he said jokingly. At-Large City Councillor Michelle Wu said the mixed-use space would be especially beneficial in neighborhoods such as Chinatown and Councillor Charles Yancey concurred, added that he knows from experience how beneficial libraries can be to a community.  Read more

Yancey’s Mattapan high school clears major hurdle

By 
Lauren Dezenski
Oct. 22, 2014

After more than 20 years, City Councillor Charles Yancey’s proposed state-of-the art high school in Mattapan is within reach after the measure was initially approved at the City Council meeting on Wednesday.

“This was the right thing to do and it’s long overdue,” Yancey told the Reporter after the meeting. “I’m very happy and satisfied.”  Read more

All eyes on pending sale of Boston Globe property

The 16 acre Boston Globe site on Morrissey Boulevard is for sale. The Globe's new ownership under John Henry is staying mum on who the finalists are to buy the property. A city master plan for Columbia Point has identified the Globe as a prime parcel for mixed-use redevelopment— a plan endorsed by Mayor Marty Walsh. Photo courtesy Colliers International

Future of Morrissey Blvd. site is very much on Mayor Walsh’s mind

Mayor Martin Walsh hopes that the sale of the massive Boston Globe property on Morrissey Boulevard will result in a new mixed-use development that will follow guidelines laid out by a city-led task force four years ago.  Read more

Bill Walczak named president of Lewis Family Foundation

Bill Walczak

Bill Walczak, the pioneering Dorchester civic and health activist who was a candidate for mayor of Boston last year, will join one of the city's leading progressive foundations as its first president. Walczak will lead the Lewis Family Foundation, which has donated more $130 million in more than 60 countries since its launch in 1981.

“We are delighted to have Bill join the Lewis Family Foundation as we work to make real, lasting and positive change,” said Harriet Lewis, chairman of the Lewis Family Foundation, in a statement issued today. “Bill’s entire career has been dedicated to social change."  Read more

Man gets 18-20 in prison after admitting to 1992 Savin Hill rape

Abercrombie
Abercrombie

A former Dorchester resident was sentenced to 18-20 years in state prison today after he admitted he raped a woman walking home from the Savin Hill MBTA stop on Oct. 30, 1992.

Terry Abercrombie, 52, had avoided detection until 2012, when a DNA database run by the FBI found a match with DNA evidence the Suffolk County District Attorney's office had entered in the database in 2006.

DA Dan Conley said the DNA match and additional evidence convinced Abercrombie to plead guilty.  Read more

Authorities say argument inside Chinese take-out place led to murder

A Quincy man was ordered held without bail Tuesday on charges he fatally stabbed another man in the neck outside the Chung Wah take-out place at 199 Bowdoin St. Thursday evening, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

According to prosecutors, Edgardo Clark, 29, got into a confrontation with Gerald Williamson, 31, around 7:30 p.m. In a statement, the DA's office says:  Read more

Baker wants hearing to explore siting libraries in new mixed-use buildings

City Councillor Frank BakerCity Councillor Frank BakerCity Councillor Frank Baker will seek a City Council hearing to explore ways to integrate public libraries into new mixed-use buildings as the city’s building boom goes into high gear.

“I’m looking to get new libraries and put them in larger buildings,” said Baker, who filed a hearing order on Tuesday that will be discussed at tomorrow’s regularly scheduled council meeting. “It may only be workable at two or three sites, but I want to look at the opportunities now and the feasibility. It’s being done in other cities like Washington DC, San Fransisco and Dallas. We want to talk about it because we have to come up with an alternative.”  Read more

Dudley intersection to be dedicated to Sr. Margaret Leonard

Sr. Margaret Leonard

The corner of Dudley Street and East Cottage Street in Dorchester will be dedicated to longtime community leader Sr. Margaret Leonard in a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 31. Sr. Leonard is the executive director of Project Hope, which assists homeless families. She is part of the Little Sister of the Assumption community, which has been active in the Dudley Triangle neighborhoods for decades.  Read more

Woman stabbed to death early Saturday

The Boston Police Department reports a woman was fatally stabbed in a fight around 4:45 a.m. at 188 Washington St. in Dorchester.

The woman, believed to be in her 20s, was taken to Boston Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Quincy man charged with fatal stabbing on Bowdoin Street

The Boston Police Department reports officers found Gerald Williamson, 31, suffering from a stab wound around 7:20 p.m. on Thursday at 205 Bowdoin St.

He was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he died.

On Monday, police arrested Edgardo Clark, 29, of Quincy, and charged him with Williamson's murder.

Former Neponset funeral home director held on $50,000 cash bail

By 
Staff
Oct. 20, 2014

Joseph O'Donnell, the former Neponset funeral home director now under indictment for an array of alleged crimes related to the business, was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail at his arraignment today in Suffolk Superior Court. O'Donnell, 56, allegedly bilked customers out of nearly $150,000 over several years and illegally stored dead bodies in two storage lockers while operating without a license. O'Donnell is due back in court on Dec. 9.  Read more

SUV winds up on home's front steps

SUV on front porch of 44 Hill Top St.

Photo via BFD.

The Boston Fire Department reports firefighters responded around 4 p.m. on Friday to a report of an SUV up the front stairs of 44 Hill Top St.

The driver is being evaluated for injuries. A woman and two children in the car checked out OK, the department says.

Neponset Trail section to close for three weeks, detour planned

By 
Reporter Staff
Oct. 17, 2014

This section of the Neponset Greenway will be closed for three weeks beginning on Monday.

Beginning Monday, the Neponset Trail and Greenway will be closed between Granite Avenue and Butler T Station according to the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The closure will last approximately three weeks as crews reconstruct a stone dust pathway, DCR said in an advisory on Friday. Travelers can bypass the construction zone using detour signs along public sidewalks from Granite Avenue to Milton Street and then from Adams Street to Butler Street.

For more information visit mass.gov/DCR

Dem operative to lobby for medical marijuana dispensaries

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, State House News Service
Oct. 17, 2014

A top Democratic operative and the campaign manager of a November ballot effort has registered as a lobbyist. The move comes two months after she participated in meetings with Boston City Hall officials and a company seeking to open a medical marijuana dispensary.  Read more

Next stop for Fairmount Line: Weekend hours, lower fares and a new Blue Hill Avenue station

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Oct. 16, 2014

State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey spoke at a Thursday morning event to announce a series of investments in the Fairmount Line. Also shown, at left: State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Councillor Charles Yancey, Governor Deval Patrick. Photo by Susana Hey/MBTA

Gov. Deval Patrick came to Mattapan on Thursday morning to roll out a flurry of planned improvements to the Fairmount commuter rail line, including plans for a new station on Blue Hill Avenue and — more immediately— regular service on the weekends starting next month.

“Everywhere the train has gone has been good for the local economy and that’s why we feel so strongly about this kind of investment,” Patrick said.  Read more

UMass Boston’s plans for dorms dovetail with mayor’s housing goals

Dorms of the Future: UMass Boston’s 25 year master plan, published in 2009, identifies two sites near the juncture of Mt. Vernon Street and University Driveas a “preferred location” for the first phase of on-campus housing for students. The potential dorms are highlighted (above) in orange.Dorms of the Future: UMass Boston’s 25 year master plan, published in 2009, identifies two sites near the juncture of Mt. Vernon Street and University Driveas a “preferred location” for the first phase of on-campus housing for students. The potential dorms are highlighted (above) in orange.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is exploring its options as it seeks to build residence halls to house 2,000 students on its Columbia Point peninsula campus by 2025, planning that the university says is in line with Mayor Martin Walsh’s just-released citywide housing plan to accommodate a population that is expected to grow beyond 700,000 residents by 2030.  Read more

Polish Triangle to strut stuff at festival

Dancers gathered around a sign for the Polish Triangle at a festival held in 2009. Photo courtesy Darek Barcikowski.

Just in time for fall, a re-blossoming neighborhood will feature its finest at Sunday’s Harvest Festival in Boston’s Polish triangle. The festival, held in honor of Our Lady of Czestochowa, a sacred icon of the Virgin Mary, is the latest instance of the Polish neighborhood’s renewal being put on display. The afternoon-long celebration (noon to 6 p.m.) at the Dorchester Avenue church will include music and dancing, children’s activities, Polish food, a book sale, and more, all to benefit the parish. Mayor Martin Walsh will also make an appearance to mark the five-year anniversary since then-Mayor Thomas Menino officially named the neighborhood as the “Polish Triangle.”  Read more

Open Studios puts Dot artists in new frame

By 
Eliza Dewey, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 16, 2014

Art aficionados and fans of “buy local” get ready – Dorchester Open Studios is back! The free annual community art festival, which takes place October 24-26 at a variety of public venues and artists’ homes, provides local artists with an opportunity to showcase their work and sell their products. The featured artists come from a wide variety of disciplines, including music, dance, photography, painting, ceramics, glass working, jewelry making, sculpture, videography and more.

The three-day event kicks off with an evening reception and performance on Friday, October 24 at the Black Box Theatre at Codman Academy. The reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by a show at 7:15 featuring local performing artists. The event is free.  Read more

Hotel plans major expansion at Mt. Vernon Street site

An artist's rendering of the proposed expansion at Bayside DoubleTree Hotel.

The current building boom on Columbia Point could include more hotel rooms if a plan by the Bayside DoubleTree Hotel on Mt. Vernon Street is approved by city planners. The DoubleTree would add a new wing to the rear of its current building under a plan filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) last week. The news was first reported in the Boston Business Journal.

The six-story addition would include 86 new guest rooms, a 3000 square-foot restaurant and a ballroom, according to the newspaper. The hotel presently has 197 rooms and a small, take-out café that serves coffee, sandwiches and snacks.  Read more

Heritage Festival campaign beat: First Coakley, then Baker

Both top-tier gubernatorial candidates stopped by Sunday’s Irish Heritage Festival, an annual event in Neponset that Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker say they had attended before. The attorney general walked among the festival booth before noon while Baker, her Republican opponent, swung by in the final hour of the day-long festival. The candidates drew different receptions from the crowd, perhaps due to the more than 100 revelers who had gathered in a fenced-off beer garden next to Florian Hall by 4:30 p.m., when Baker showed up.  Read more

The Mather School is marking 375 years of public education; NYPD’s Bratton, an alumnus, to speak at assembly

By 
Eliza Dewey, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 16, 2014

Students and faculty from the Mather Elementary School marched in the Dorchester Day Parade last June to highlight their 375th anniversary, which will be officially marked next week. Photo courtesy Marie Zemler-WuStudents and faculty from the Mather Elementary School marched in the Dorchester Day Parade last June to highlight their 375th anniversary, which will be officially marked next week. Photo courtesy Marie Zemler-Wu

Next week will be an important milestone for one of Dorchester’s most treasured institutions: Mather Elementary School on Meetinghouse Hill will be marking its 375th birthday. Founded in 1639 with the support of taxes on local landowners, the school is the oldest public elementary school in North America.

The school has planned a week of events to celebrate the big day. One of the highlights will be a Duck Boat parade on Mon., Oct. 20, in which 90 students will board three of the famous land-water hybrid crafts at the school and proceed to the State House on Beacon Hill, where Dorchester legislators Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and Rep. Evandro Carvalho will present a proclamation honoring the school.  Read more

Cash for 'Stache: City Commissioners to shave iconic mustaches for Tommy Kelly

By 
Lauren Dezenski
Oct. 15, 2014

Joe Finn and "Buddy" Christopher, soon to be mustache-less

If you mustache how much it will take for two mustachioed Dorchester icons to go bare-lipped for a little boy fighting cancer, shave it for Thursday, Oct. 16.  Read more

Close to home, Walsh joins walk-through by inspection team: ‘Walking office hours’ to canvass city

Mayor Walsh, center, speaks about his office's Neighborhood Engagement Walk initiative while on Tuttle Street last week. At left is Dan Manning, who directs Walsh's Civic Engagement office; at right, Dorchester liaison Alec Bonelli. City Councillor Frank Baker is shown, far left. Photo by Bill Forry

Mayor Martin Walsh joined a walk-through of his Savin Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning to highlight his office’s efforts to catalogue, fix, and track solutions to ground-level problems on every street in the city. As a light rain fell, the mayor and a small entourage of aides — trailed by several TV camera crews— walked from his house on Tuttle Street and circled the block via Sydney Street to Savin Hill Avenue.

Along the way, Walsh stopped several times to inspect curbs, brick-work, and pavement, some of which has been heaved up by mature trees— and to get a first-hand look at how his liaisons throughout the city can identify problems and order up fixes in real time.  Read more