Port Norfolk

Port Norfolk says nay to billboard, cash payment

A billboard at Dorchester Avenue and Hoyt Street: Photo by Pete Stidman.A billboard at Dorchester Avenue and Hoyt Street: Photo by Pete Stidman. Click to expand.It just got a little tougher to put up new billboards in Dorchester.

John McLaughlin, a principal of Sullivan McLaughlin Companies, offered the Port Norfolk Civic Association $50,000 up front and 8.3 percent of net revenue for 20 years in exchange for permission to erect a billboard on his property next to the Southeast Expressway on Tuesday night. A relatively generous offer from a man well respected and trusted in the Port. But neighbors turned it down flat.

"I've been fighting for 30 years against billboards," said Ben Tankle, who helped start a civic group in the waterfront village in 1958. "The money is just them dangling the carrot, saying 'Come on… I'll give you 50 grand.' Well I'm not going to sell my vote."  Read more

Port Norfolk Civic considers billboard deal

Plans to erect a new billboard on the Southeastern Expressway stalled this week after Port Norfolk neighbors demanded more time to review the proposal, which would divert an unspecified percentage of profits back into the community in return for their acceptance.  Read more

Port Norfolk park dream gets $7m boost in bond bill

Up to $7 million would be provided for the cleanup of an abandoned Port Norfolk lot under an environment-focused borrowing bill lawmakers are attempting to get to Gov. Deval Patrick's desk this week. The funds would go towards a long-awaited revamp of the blighted 14-acre area, where chemical levels were discovered to be lower than expected in the waterfront soil. The site's best-known occupants were the Shaffer Paper company.

"This is something that is a long time coming, and it'll provide opportunity to clean it up and create waterfront public space," said state Sen. Jack Hart.  Read more

Some see new 'value' to billboards

Over a dozen years ago, Dorchester's self-appointed billboard king, Joe Chaisson, and a handful of other diehards were fighting hard to stanch a flow of the giant roadside signs into the neighborhood. They managed to create some tough obstacles for advertisers, such as forcing property owners to get a city zoning variance if they want to add a new billboard next to federaly-assisted highways in the city, or modify an existing one.

Before that, neighborhoods had little say in it.  Read more

Night to remember a giant of Port Norfolk

On Friday, Dec. 14, 2007 lifelong Port Norfolk resident Michael "Porpar" Leahy suffered a massive heart attack after working a long shift plowing snow at Logan Airport.

In a coma, Michael was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. Family, friends, and Massport coworkers spent the greater part of a week trying to cheer him up by telling stories and playing his favorite music. When it was clear that Mike would not survive, everyone who loved him had a chance to say good-bye.  Read more

Neponset 'Esplanade' gets $5m OK

Three miles of bike path starting in Mattapan Square, a revamped Martini Shell for performances, and a new canoe and kayak launch in Hyde Park will be part of a new "Neponset River Esplanade," Gov. Deval Patrick announced last week, approving $5.18 million for the work.

The park will be another step in the state's long-term master plan to build parks and paths along the entire coast of Dorchester and the banks of the Neponset, connecting Boston Harbor to the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton.  Read more

Neponset River Greenway Council

617-542-7696, ext. 16.

Defense says Port Norfolk arson killing not gang-related

An attorney defending a Dorchester man charged with murder and setting fire to a Port Norfolk Street home in 2001 lit into a top witness for the prosecution this week, accusing her of setting up the fire and lying to a grand jury investigating the case.

In a heated exchange on Tuesday, Robert Galibois, a Barnstable lawyer defending Eric King, on trial for the arson and murder, attempted to rip apart the testimony of Tamia Brown, who has pleaded guilty as an accessory before the fact to the murder of 53-year-old Shelby Caddell by directing King and others to the home.  Read more

Study could clear way for park in Port Norfolk

In a small step forward for a blighted Port Norfolk lot, state conservation officials unveiled preliminary findings this week that chemical levels in the waterfront soil are lower than expected.

The findings put the fenced-off 14-acre area on track to be finally turned into a massive neighborhood waterfront park, a project nearly 30 years in the making.

"It's an understatement to say this is a long time coming," said Maureen Feeney, District 3 councillor, who attended the meeting after Mayor Thomas Menino's state of the city address.  Read more

Four alarm fire burns Port Norfolk home

A four-alarm fire at a home on the corner of Woodworth and Walnut Streets brought 93 firefighters and 13 fire trucks to Port Norfolk on Tuesday. The fire intensified quickly in high winds and power lines on all sides of the two and a half story home complicated fire fighters' attempts to extinguish the flames.  Read more