News

Plots Thicken: Leyland St. Community Garden doubles in size

By 
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

Walsh: Review shows ‘troubling deficiencies’ in BRA

By 
Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 23, 2014

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is in “dire need of reform” according to the recently released audit on the planning agency commissioned by Mayor Martin Walsh this spring.  Read more

Police press for discretion over rifle, shotgun licenses

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Jul. 23, 2014

Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence founder John Rosenthal joined police chiefs from around the state, as well as Boston Police Commissioner William Evans and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, at a press conference on Tuesday to express support for a measure giving police chiefs discretion in awarding rifle and shotgun licenses. Photo by State House News Service

Giving police chiefs discretion to decide who should have a license to carry a shotgun or rifle is crucial to prevent gun violence, domestic violence murders and suicides, police officials and other activists said at a State House rally Tuesday.  Read more

South Boston pub owners plan Neponset Avenue restaurant

The owners of Shenanigans in South Boston have bought an old party-supply store on Neponset Avenue and plan to turn it into a full-service restaurant with a similar theme and menu.  Read more

Investigators find 12 bodies from former Dorchester funeral home in Weymouth storage locker

A Neponset Avenue funeral director who is already behind bars awaiting trial on charges he stole funeral pre-payments from an elderly couple could be in even more trouble after detectives and pathologists recovered 12 bodies from the Public Storage facility in Weymouth and cremated remains at another self-storage place in Somerville, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.  Read more

State's highest court rules teen to be tried as adult for Fields Corner murder

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that Ernest Watkins IV, charged with first-degree murder for a fatal Fields Corner stabbing in 2012, can be tried as an adult.

Watkins, 14 at the time of Cherby LaJoie's murder outside the Fields Corner Red Line stop, had sought to be tried in juvenile court, which cannot impose a life sentence.

A Superior Court judge denied his motion. The Supreme Judicial Court said the case raised no double-jeopardy questions and that Watkins can be tried as an adult under a state law that sets 14 as the minimum age for adult murder cases.  Read more

Codman Academy to begin work on its renovation of Lithgow Building

Renovations to start soon: The Lithgow Building in Codman Square will undergo a major interior renovation to create classroom space for its new owner, the Codman Academy Charter Public School.    Nereyda Rodriguez photoRenovations to start soon: The Lithgow Building in Codman Square will undergo a major interior renovation to create classroom space for its new owner, the Codman Academy Charter Public School. Nereyda Rodriguez photo

It won’t be obvious from the outside, but the 115-year-old Lithgow Building that anchors Codman Square is about to undergo a major transformation.  Read more

Hopkins Street garden re-casts its community’s spirit

By 
India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 17, 2014

Last Saturday, the residents of Hopkins Street in Morton Village welcomed Mayor Marty Walsh, other officials, and peace activists from around the city to the dedication of a parcel of city-owned land that is now the Steven P. Odom Serenity Garden. Graced by ancient oak and mulberry trees, the shady site offers residents a gathering place where they can commune with nature.  Read more

DOT BY THE DAY July 17 – 25, 2014

Thursday (17th) – The L Street Running Club hosts the 27th running of the Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K road race at 7 p.m. The course runs along Day Boulevard, from the roadway leading into the Boston Teacher’s Union, to P Street, and back to the union hall. Day Boulevard will be closed from 6:55 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., but no cars will be towed or mandated to be off the streets for this race. Runners will park at Carson Place or the UMass parking lot, or they will come by train; they should not take residential parking places. Go to lstreet.org for more info.  Read more

As she awaits another new kidney, Isis Rivera hails life

By 
Jeanette Origel
Jul. 17, 2014

Isis Rivera, who is battling kidney disease, celebrated her 16th birthday last month with a “Princess and the Frog”-inspired Quinceanera party organized by Make-A-Wish.  	Photo courtesy Make-A-WishIsis Rivera, who is battling kidney disease, celebrated her 16th birthday last month with a “Princess and the Frog”-inspired Quinceanera party organized by Make-A-Wish. Photo courtesy Make-A-Wish

Isis Rivera marked her Sweet Sixteen in grand Quinceañera style last month. The Dorchester girl and her family and friends observed the traditional Latin American celebration of a girl’s transition into womanhood with a party bus and huge bash at Spinelli’s Function Facility in East Boston.

The birthday blow-out – sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation – was made all the more special because Rivera, a junior at the TechBoston Academy, has been battling a life-threatening illness for the last four years.  Read more

Best Neighbor contest seeks to highlight city’s civic-minded neighbors

By 
Jeanette Origel, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 17, 2014

Carlos Vargas, the president of Vargas & Vargas Insurance in Lower Mills had grown weary of the negative news he was hearing about the communities he loves and does business in. Back in 2009, he decided to do something about it,launching a vehicle aimed at celebrating the best qualities of places like Dorchester and its people.

Five years later, his annual Boston’s Best Neighbor contest is going strong and is now accepting nominations until September 19.  Read more

Neighbors get more detail on Morton bridge project

For 10 days in August, most of the traffic that typically crosses the Morton Street bridge will be weaving its way using Washington Street, Talbot Avenue, and Blue Hill Avenue as alternate routes while work crews replace the existing bridge deck with a new, modern span.

While MassDOT and organizers expect the detoured traffic situation to be hairy from Fri., Aug. 8 to Mon., Aug 18, they also expect that locals who know their own shortcuts will use them. The main goal is to keep major traffic —such as trucks— off the side streets.  Read more

Dot kids learn dance from pros at BU summer program

By 
Jeanette Origel, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 17, 2014

Three Dorchester teens are part of Boston University’s summertime Reach Program, an opportunity for dancers to perform alongside professionals as they are trained in dance and choreography. The coveted teen apprentice spots must be won through an audition process, which gives the teens a chance to study dance for three weeks of intense daily class and rehearsal with older mentors.

The program includes a summer tour that includes 11 performances and 30 workshops aimed at bringing dance workshops to city kids at local camps and community centers in the Greater Boston area.  Read more

Mayor’s office offers up a social media boot-camp class

By 
Jacob Aguiar, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 17, 2014

The first class in Mayor Martin Walsh’s new Civic Academy initiative was held at South Boston’s District Hall last Saturday. The event drew a mix of social media-savvy activists, old-school pen-and-paper types, and a group of people who fell somewhere in between.  Read more

Bilingual ballot now a reality for Hub’s Viet, Chinese voters

Flanked by advocates including DOT-I's Huong Phan and Mayor Walsh, Gov. Deval Patrick signs the Bilingual Ballot Bill in Chinatown. Flanked by advocates including DOT-I's Huong Phan and Mayor Walsh, Gov. Deval Patrick signs the Bilingual Ballot Bill in Chinatown.

Ballots in Vietnamese and Chinese will be made permanently available in certain parts of Boston beginning with this fall’s primary and general elections, thanks in part to the work of Dorchester’s community activists and elected officials.  Read more

Patrick appoints Karen Charles as DTC commissioner

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jul. 16, 2014

A former special election candidate for the Massachusetts House and veteran state government administrator has been appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick to head the Department of Telecommunications and Cable. Patrick on Tuesday appointed Karen Charles to become the next commissioner of the DTC, where she currently works as chief of staff. Charles ran in the Democratic primary for the 5th Suffolk District seat this past spring, ultimately won by Rep. Evandro Carvalho.  Read more

Senate okays Sunday morning liquor store openings

By 
State House News Service
Jul. 15, 2014

Both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature are now on record in support of legislation authorizing retail liquor stores in Massachusetts to open for sales at 10 a.m. on Sunday, rather than noon.

The House approved the legislation (H 228) in March and the Senate on Thursday approved the bill without debate. The Senate rejected a motion by Sen. Robert Hedlund to postpone consideration of the bill until July 24.  Read more

Hopkins Street residents redefine their community with a garden

By 
India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 15, 2014

Garden in Dorchester Honors Efforts Against Violence from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

On Saturday, July 12, residents of Hopkins Street hosted Mayor Marty Walsh, other officials and peace activists from around the city to dedicate a parcel of city-owned land as the Steven P. Odom Serenity Garden. Graced by ancient oak and mulberry trees, the shady spot will now offer residents a gathering place and a chance to commune with nature.

According to event organizer Faylis Matos, the garden represents the shared vision of the neighborhood group Redefining Our Community, known simply as ROC.

“Often Dorchester is stigmatized as a place of darkness, a dangerous place,” said Matos. “But we won’t allow people who don’t live here to define us.”  Read more

Senate takes up charter cap issue this week

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Jul. 14, 2014

The Senate this week will debate legislation to lift the cap on charter school enrollment in some school districts, entertaining a bill that is significant different from a bill that has passed the House and which includes a measure to tie a cap lift to state reimbursement funding.  Read more

Martin Richard Foundation seeks runners for NYC marathon

By 
Staff
Jul. 14, 2014

Team MR8 — the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation— is recruiting charity runners for the New York City Marathon this fall. It will be the second major race effort for the organization, named for the Dorchester 8 year-old who was killed in the April 2013 terror attack on the Boston Marathon.

Individuals who wish to “Run for Martin” can apply online by visiting www.TeamMR8.org and clicking the “Run New York” icon.  Read more

Pedestrian struck and killed in Lower Mills

A woman was hit by a white pickup truck shortly after 5 a.m. on Saturday at Washington and River streets.

Kevin Wiles, who photographed the scene, reports she was taken to Carney Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The Boston Police Department reports she was 32.

Patrick's final budget weighs in nearly $10 billion larger than first

By 
Gintautas Dumcius and Michael Norton, State House News Service
Jul. 11, 2014

Capping a nearly $10 billion increase in state spending under his tenure, Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday signed a $36.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2015, slashing $16.1 million with his veto pen and asking lawmakers to give him the power to make unilateral spending cuts if necessary.  Read more

Mather School Kids Make Presidential Pitch: Come to Our 375th Birthday Party!

By 
Staff
Jul. 11, 2014

YOU ARE INVITED from Mather Elementary on Vimeo.

The students of Mather Elementary School on Meetinghouse Hill will celebrate their 375th anniversary. The Mather was the first public elementary school in North America— and the school hopes that President and Mrs. Obama will come to Dorchester for the special event. The kids make a very strong case in the video.
#mather375 #hbdmather #HowCanHeNotCome  Read more

Two brothers charged with second-degree murder for stabbing death outside hotel

A Suffolk County grand jury this week indicted two brothers on charges they used a detachable steering wheel and a knife in a brawl outside a party at the DoubleTree Hotel on Mt. Vernon Street that ended with one of their opponents dead of stab wounds.

Shawn Coleman, 22, of the South End, was charged with second-degree murder and was allegedly the attacker who inflicted Christopher Borgella's fatal injuries early on March 1.  Read more