Upham's Corner Online

  Late Breaking News - Greater Uphams Corner

Last Updated: July 15, 2012     Nancy J Conrad

Boston NAACP Holding Cash Mob Saturday at "A Nubian Notion" July 28, 2012 10 AM – 4 PM

A Nubian NotionThe Boston NAACP is promoting their economic development initiative by holding their second “Cash Mob Saturday” (a variation on the Flash Mob concept) focused on “A Nubian Notion” at 146 Dudley St in Dudley Square.

Shoppers can expect to find items such as: books, posters, novelty gifts, sterling silver West Indian bangles, earrings, incense, oils, CD's, publications, greeting cards, figurines, and Kwanzaa gifts. In addition, A Nubian Notion carries convenience store groceries, and is widely known as a popular ticket outlet for concerts and community events.

Read more about the NAACP initiative and about the wonderful history of A Nubian Notion.

Uphams Corner Community Connection’s Seventh Annual
Open House 2012 August 16thUCHC Open House 2012
View Event Flyer

The 7th Annual Open House will feature information provided by community agencies from around the City of Boston and live music by Jazz 208 featuring Gil White!

All Community Youth Welcome! Middle School Age! Come After School (charter)

Food and refreshments will be served

To RSVP or participate in this event Thursday August 16th, 2012
Please call for further information 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Gwen Jones @617-287-0786 Ext 20 543 Columbia Road
Lucine Jules@ 617-287-436-2943 Ext. 30 Strand Theatre
Charles "Poncho" Brown @ 617 287-0786 Ext 31

Community Connections / HIV Services provides medical and social case management and peer support
to individuals living with HIV and their families.
On site staff is able to communicate in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole.

Motivational Speaker Charles "Poncho Brown, MS, Presenting to Youth & Community Members
"The Substance Use & Abuse Connection to HIV/AIDS!"
Sponsored by: The Upham’s Corner Health Center & Upham’s Home Care & the Boston Public Health Commission

Wheelock Building Undergoing Renovation
July 16, 2012

Wheelock Building DemolitionIt's 9AM on a Monday morning.  Steve Rumpler, Sr. Project Manager for DND, works in the Office of Business Development where Boston's Restore program (to assist businesses with storefront presentation) is managed.

He is just crossing Columbia Rd and heading into the Wheelock Building, one day after a demolition crew removed the signage backing that was precariously on its way down already.  Working from early on Sunday morning until well in the afternoon, the demolition crew  carefully removed the signs and wood to reveal historic decorative stone molding and a building exterior in dire need of repair. 

The Wheelock Building is considered one of Uphams Corner's historic buildings and runs from 554 to 562 Columbia Road.

Constructed in 1890, this yellow brick building was named in honor of A.P. Wheelock, who operated a large livery stable at 531 Columbia Road. In earlier years, Wheelock Hall provided meeting spaces for local groups, and a dance hall (named Fox Hall) on the fourth floor.

Today, the building includes residential units, retail space on the ground level, and at 558 a bowling alley on the third floor and a billiard hall on the second. The building’s fourth floor currently sits vacant.

Win-Win Situation for All

According to a spokesperson from Main Street, "No, the demolition was not one of the Uphams Corner Main Street Design Committee official projects." 

"But," says Mr. Rumpler, "This looks like a wonderful potential façade improvement project that could take advantage of the Office of Business Development’s Restore Program."  He smiled as he jauntily entered the building, ascending the beautiful staircase that leads to the pool hall and further up the stairs, to the dance hall.

Wheelock Building Demolition Wheelock Building Demolition
Wheelock Building Demolition Wheelock Building Demolition

Cars Blocking MBTA Bus Stops - Who Cares? July 16, 2012

Cars blocking MBTA bus stopOn Friday, July 13, 2012, an issue #449575 was submitted to the City of Boston that 3 cars were parked in an MBTA bus stop on Hancock St (stop closest to Whittemore outbound).  At 11am, the two cars shown in the photo were parked there.  At 7pm another car was parked behind these two, fully blocking the bus stop to the corner.

On Monday, the case was closed for reason:  "No cars parked there."

UC News spoke with Cathy Rogers, While the case was opened on a Friday, the first opportunity the Transportation Dept had to send someone to investigate was Monday morning and, by then, the cars were gone.

At a recent MBTA community meeting at the Kroc Center, MBTA representatives stated that drivers in Cambridge are encouraged to report cars parked in bus stops.  But according to Ms. Rogers, “The MBTA does NOT report to Boston authorities when there is a car parked in the bus stop.”

How about the police officers who drive down Hancock St all day long?  “They can tag if they want.”  Otherwise cars are aloud to sit in the bus stop all day?  “Police can tag cars any time they want – 24 hours a day.”

But they didn’t.  Dorchester, in particular Uphams Corner "feels" neglected.  If this were the Back Bay, who would put up with this behavior?  Not the police, not the bus drivers. 

Call the Meter Maid Direct

"Ms. Rogers, how do we get the officials in the City of Boston to pay attention to violations of the law in Dorchester?"  She said her department followed up on the case promptly as soon as they got it.  "When we got the complaint, we sent somebody by there  to check it out and there were no vehicles in the bus stop.  That is all we can do."

Not even mentioning that photos of the license plates were included with the issue seemed to make a difference but she did have a suggestion that, in her opinion, is our best bet.  "If you ride by and see them, you can call us, the Meter Maids, 617-635-2057. We can send someone as soon as possible to try to take care of the situation."

Don't call 911 because parking violations are NOT a high priority for the police.  Parking violations are a higher priority for the Meter Maids than for the Police.  "Don’t hesitate to call because we are here almost 24x7.  We don’t work Saturday night and we don’t work Sunday."

But Ms. Roger's best comment was this.  "There’s only one girl in Dorchester but we can call and have her go by and check."

Dorchester neglected?  Never!!

A Message from the Friends of the Uphams Corner Library
Jun 30, 2012

Friends of the Uphams Corner Branch LibraryDear Friends,
It's official!  Our new officers are: 
  • Willie Pleasants (president)
  • Katherine Jenkins (treasurer)
  • Josette Teneus (secretary)
  • Dana Weaver (board)
  • Carol Wideman (board)
  • Nahndi Moulta-Ali (teen board member)
Please congratulate them when you run into them in the library!  Thank you to Marti, Janet, Kit, Ginnette, Meg, Irene, Kenisha, and Georgia for all of your hard work the past few years!
Remember to join The "Friends of the Uphams Corner Branch Library" Facebook group to stay up to date on when our fall meetings start up again.
Alexis Fronbin

Email us:  saveuclibrary@gmail.com

Showtime For Health At The Strand Theatre Boston
Sat August 18, 2012 7pm-11pm

This Week at the Dudley Town Common Farmers Market
Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 5:37 PM

The Food Project LogoTue, Thu - 3-7pm till end of October
Corner of Dudley Street and Blue Hill Ave

On Tuesdays: The Boston Cyclists Union will be at the market offering free labor for simple bicycle repairs. They have helmets for $5, affordable U-locks for youth, and parts and accessories.

On Thursdays: Youth from The Boston Children's Museum and Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative will be setting up a pop-up museum: a vibrant, temporary family space to play at the market.

From July 12 through August 23, teens from BCM and DSNI will facilitate free literacy, health and nutrition-based activities from 3:30-6:30pm. Check it out and sign up for Dudley's Thrive in 5, a program to provide support and opportunities to parents and their young children, preparing them for success in school and beyond.
The Food Project is offering workshops as part of the Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well Workshop Series. Workshops about gardening, cooking, storing and preserving are happening July and August on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Dudley Greenhouse.  See flyer, attached, for more info.

This week we'll have:

Zucchini and Cousa Summer Squash, Fresh Garlic - eat fresh or cure yourself by letting it dry
Sugar Snap Peas - very last week of these, Cabbage, Green Beans, Raspberries, Cucumbers, Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens, Greenleaf Lettuce Heads, Lettuce Salad Mix, Spicy Salad Mix, Scallions,Radishes,
Hakurei Turnips, Basil, Cilantro, Boc Choi, Potatoes, Carrots, Green Tomatoes, Dudley Greenhouse Tomatoes

We'll also be selling raw local honey, fair trade and organic coffee, and (on Thursdays only) artisan breads.

New this year: We Accept WIC Fruit and Vegetable Checks!
Also, SNAP/EBT/Food Stamp, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted! All season, any SNAP/EBT/Food Stamp purchase will be matched up to $10 at more than twenty Farmers Markets in Boston, including the Dudley Town Common Market.

Keep up with news from The Food Project:

Jess Liborio jliborio@thefoodproject.org

Company - a Musical Comedy
July 14, 2012

The musical and choreographic challenges of Stephen Sondheim's delightful comedy were well matched by the surprisingly professional capabilities of the Fourth Presbyterian Church community.

Jonathan Pierce as Robert, the lone holdout in a community of coupled (married) friends, was not only the aging child over which his friends doted but the charming, wasted and rightfully hesitant male who could see the failings and frailty in the relationships all around him, so why bother?

Every couple served as a looking glass into why relationships are so "hopeless" yet so enduring.  Sondheim's music was not the dessert that topped a hefty dry play.  Quite the opposite.  The music was its substance and strength - 15 pieces, some rattling so quickly you could barely understand a word, yet the artists delivered impeccably.

Some of our favorite songs included:  Another Hundred People, Getting Married Today and Barcelona.

A Hidden Jewel

The Fourth Presbyterian Church is a hidden jewel, generating such high quality work they deserve a much bigger audience, not so that the clapping, hoots and hollers will be louder but so that the local community can participate in quality local theater.

Why not have this group present their work at the Strand Theatre?  There couldn't be a grander or more fitting location, especially for Uphams Corner in its quest to become a destination for the arts.

Fourth Presbyterian Church
340 Dorchester St

Plough and Stars Project - Is Farming in Your Future?
July14, 2012

The move towards local growing, organic farming, being in touch with nature and a "simpler" and more physical life is gaining momentum. 
  • So instead of Stop and Shop, we shop Farmers Markets.
  • Or maybe we even grow our own, learning how to stave off the insects, rodents and squirrels who are just as hungry as we are.
  • How about a gardening course?
  • How about becoming a Master Gardener?
How about going to Farm School for one year?

Well that might just be going a little bit too far, but not for Erik Jacobs, accomplished professional photographer (works for the Globe).  In short order Erik is heading west to Athol MA to spend one year learning the farming trade - living, working, studying - fully immersed in a new way of life.

Erik is coupled with Dina Rudick, also an accomplished photographer and journalist.   The two of them have begun a journey they are calling "Plough and Stars"  - the real-time making of a modern day farm family in photos and in words.  http://ploughandstarsproject.com

The Plough and Stars Project Blogsite

Filled with the highest quality photos, their website is imbued with a deep spirituality and love of life and nature. Each photo waits, as if with baited breath, to continue the conversation as we gaze into a moment frozen in time.

The story of the cooked chicken, head and all - you will grin from ear to ear and laugh aloud and enjoy the sense of real life in their daily journeys striving to live connected to life.

Read about the Life and Times of Dorothy, the Backyard Chicken and why she met her demise ....

Plough and
Stars Chicken

Our Mission (taken from website)

We seek to live and nurture lives of meaningful connection: Connection to the earth, connection to each other, connection to our work and connection to our food. Through these connections we want to nourish bodies, quiet minds, foster community and be good stewards of the land.

Like many people, we are frustrated with our politically challenged society and consumer-driven lifestyles, and we find ourselves yearning at the same time for more and for less.  We believe that living closer to the earth brings us closer to the divine and that, at its essence, is what we celebrate:

UC News will be following Erik and Dina's journey over the next year, vicariously seeking a closer connection to the earth and wanting to learn more about the Farm School http://www.farmschool.org

The Intersection -
New Ministry
New congregation, The Intersection, begins ministry in Dorchester, July 21, 2012

The Intersection The Intersection
500 Talbot Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02124
Contact: Tiffany Chaney - 617-586-6206

  The Intersection, a new congregation under development of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), located at 500 Talbot Avenue, Dorchester, MA, will begin ministry on Saturday, July 21, 2012 with weekly Community Prayer at 9:30 a.m.

On Saturday, July 21st at 9:30 a.m., The Intersection will have its first service of Community Prayer and invite the community to join us. We will be praying for people, homes, and businesses in the community. This will launch new ministry at The Intersection. Each week at The Intersection there will be Community Prayer at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings and a Faith Stories Bible Study series on Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m.

The Intersection is birthed from a long, rich history of Lutheran ministry in the Dorchester community, with Our Savior's Lutheran Church having served the community in this location for 93 years. We are pleased to continue this legacy of sharing the Gospel with relevant, life-giving, grace-filled ministry in the Dorchester community.

For more information, please contact Tiffany Chaney at 617-586-6206 or visit us on the Internet at

Hancock Street Civic Association
July 19, 2012

The monthly meeting of the Hancock Street Civic Association will be held on Thursday, July 19, 2012 , at 6:30-8:00* pm

Upham's Corner Branch Library
Bird Street Community Center Building
500 Columbia Road,
Dorchester, Ma. 02125

27 Cameron St: Commercial Development
27 Cameron St

33 Hancock Street Restaurant Still a Problem
Jul 15, 2012

According to residents living close to "Restaurant at 33 Hancock Street," the restaurant that was to be but which has never opened its doors is still a problem.  Stephen Bingham, owner, has been  quietly using the premises to prepare food for his daycare facilities but, now, with the Wampanoag negotiations for a casino licence, he is nowhere to be found. Instead Chef Lee has come aboard and seems to be trying to resurrect activity at the site.

Stephen Bingham, the residents say, has not lived up to the promises he made to both the Hancock St Civic Association and to the Jones Hill Civic Association, namely to demonstration he could effectively run a restaurant for one year without problems in a predominantly residential neighborhood and without a liquor license.

Instead of opening the restaurant, Mr. Bingham has talked about and seems to be leaning towards private functions WITH alcohol.  He applied for a one-day license for super-bowl day stating that his restaurant would be used for a christening.  The license request was denied but the superbowl party took place anyway.

There is also talk about the restaurant trying to purchase vacant lots nearby to serve as parking for the restaurant.  Apparently Chef Lee showed up announced at a Hancock Civic Assn meeting to discuss this.  The presider tabled the conversation in the absence of adequate notice to area residents.

On May 30 one of the front windows was damaged by a small shell gun- probably a BB gun. Made up of two sheets of tempered glass, the window survived in tact with only the exterior pane shattered.  Within a week, restaurant staff had it replaced.  Several weeks later, the facility was the site of a private party as confirmed by this writer, an event which the residents state is happening a lot more frequently.

Restaurant at 33 Hancock St
Restaurant at 33 Hancock St

Holden St Neighborhood Watch Formed

Sat, Jul 14, 2012

The residents of Holden Street have formed their own Neighborhood Watch.  With the Assistance of Carolyn MacNeil, Director Neighborhood Crime Watch Unit , BPD, the residents held their first meeting, posed for a group photo and formed a facebook page.  Keep up-to-date with them.  http://www.facebook.com/HoldenStbosNeighborhoodWatch

Note that the effort to organize a neighborhood watch was precipitated by a B&E/attempted assault w. a weapon against a neighborhood resident. Some of us believe that the family/house was being ethnically targeted because they were Asian American. 

Thanks to Robin Chandler (a Holden St resident) for this news update.

Everything you've ever wanted to know about forming a Neighborhood Watch Group

Or contact Carolyn MacNeil directly at 617-343-4345 macneilc.bpd@cityofboston.gov

  Holden St
Neighborhood Watch

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