Dec. 16, 2010
The numbers are deeply disturbing: Nearly eighty percent of the shootings in Boston in 2010 have taken place in the three police districts that cover Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan.
Last year, 223 people were killed or wounded by gunfire in Boston, and 174, or 78 percent, of the shootings took place in districts B-2, B-3 and C-11. This year, with several weeks to go, the number of shootings in the city has increased to 258, and, again, 78 percent of them were in these three districts.
The Search for Solutions
These stark numbers only convey part of the story. The real story, those on the front lines of the battle tell the Dorchester Reporter, is the impact this violence is having on those who live and work in these neighborhoods – and whether they will assert strongly to families, friends, and acquaintances that they will not tolerate the continued presence of guns or further criminal activity in the homes and on the streets of their neighborhoods. And, too, there is the overarching question of the role of the rest of Boston in this enterprise: Will they join Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan – or abandon them – in taking on the challenge of saving the streets. Read more
A non-profit preservation group and the city’s Fields Corner Main Street program are joining with the owner of a Dorchester Ave. commercial building to restore its storefront to its former glory.
Construction on a new façade is expected to start later this week or early next week on the 1510 to 1514 block on the avenue, a two-story building that dates to the 1890s and houses the Dorchester Youth Collaborative, a lingerie store, Magic Wok restaurant, Bargain City, and a dentist’s office. The building is next door to the Fields Corner branch library and across the street from the Blarney Stone restaurant. Read more
Dec. 10, 2010
TJX Companies, the Framingham-based national retail giant, announced Friday morning plans to cut 4,400 jobs as the company slashes its A.J. Wright division, closing 71 stores, two distribution centers – including one in Fall River – and A.J. Wright’s home office in Framingham.
TJX also intends to convert 91 remaining A.J. Wright into T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or HomeGoods stores, an effort the company says will enable it to focus on its “more profitable” assets. Read more
Dec. 8, 2010
Fourteen would-be charter schools have applied to the State Department of Education to be granted charters to start up new schools in Boston out of 23 across the state. Representatives from several of the applicant schools appeared before a panel of state education officials in Boston City Hall on Tuesday to press their case.
Though plans for the schools are still in the preliminary stages and locations for school facilities are not definite, some of the proponents for the proposals heard Tuesday vowed to serve underprivileged students from Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. Read more
Dec. 3, 2010
Five months after he was installed as principal of Harbor Middle School, Dr. Robert Martin was removed by the city’s school department, parents learned in a letter from Superintendent Carol Johnson.
Johnson’s letter, which parents received last week on the day before Thanksgiving, said the change in leadership was effective that day, Nov. 24.
“We know how critical leadership is to our overall student improvement efforts, and we acknowledge that this decision has implications for you, your children, and the dedicated faculty and staff of the Harbor,” she wrote. “We expect to appoint a permanent principal to the Harbor by no later than mid-January.” Read more
Nov. 18, 2010
The Dorchester House Multi-Service Center has begun work on an expansion project fueled in large part by a $7 million federal stimulus grant that green-lighted the project last year. The new wing of the center will include a walk-in/urgent care clinic with 18 new examination rooms for primary and urgent care, a larger clinic pharmacy and laboratory. In total, between renovations and expansions, the project will transform about 40,000-square feet into more spacious and more accessible departments of the Dorchester Ave. health center. Read more
Nov. 12, 2010
Defying the cold and dark, two local groups are bringing back summer to support economic development in Dorchester. St. Mark’s Area Main Street (SMAMS) and Fields Corner Main Street (FCMS) will host Tiki-Tini – the sixth annual Martinis on the Avenue fundraiser – on Wednesday, November 17, 7 p.m. at the Blarney Stone, 1505 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester. Read more
Nov. 11, 2010
The site of a longtime Fields Corner bowling emporium will be turned into three-story building with 22 units of housing and space for commercial stores on the ground floor, according to a revised plan that has been shown to neighborhood residents.
“We’re trying to keep this building nice and compact,” said Clifford Boehmer, principal at Davis Square Architects, which is handling the design of the building.
Depending on when they receive financing, project officials hope to start construction next summer, with completion in the spring of 2012. Read more
Nov. 4, 2010
Superintendent Carol Johnson is delaying a vote on plans to close schools, giving parents opposed to the closures a month to regroup. Dorchester schools on the chopping block include Roger Clap Elementary and the East Zone Early Learning Center. School officials had also been pushing to merge the Lee Academy Pilot School and the Lee Elementary School.
“Overall, I’m optimistic that we have the extra month or so to get them to change their minds, and hopefully this opens up more of a debate,” said Kenny Jervis, one of the parents leading the charge to keep Clap Elementary open. “We’re happy we got the extra time but it’s nowhere near a victory yet.” Read more
Nov. 4, 2010
Dorchester’s spiritual community has borne firsthand witness to the community’s history, which stretches back nearly four centuries. It was members of a church community, the First Parish Church, that founded this city within a city. After decades of service to their neighborhoods, many of Dorchester’s church buildings are daue for a much needed facelift, and their congregations are turning to the city’s historical organizations for aid. Read more