New owners of North Station sports bar would ditch sports, cater to area's new well heeled residents

The Boston Licensing Board tomorrow decides whether to allow the transformation of the North Star, 222 Friend St. into a calmer, quieter "professional" establishment aimed at the sort of people filling the new apartments sprouting like mushrooms around North Station, rather than rowdier Celtics and Bruins fans.

Timothy Bartolomeu and his business partners want to buy the current bar and turn it into the Rogue Lounge, which his lawyer said would provide "a more professional, calm lounge experience" that would mirror "the significant investments made in this part of the city of Boston. He added, however, that the new lounge would undergo only minor cosmetic changes before opening.

"The concept is a welcome change for the neighborhood," Maria Lanza, the mayor's liaison for the area, told the board.

Roxbury mosque to open cafe in part so non-Muslim neighbors can better get to know them

The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center plans to open a cafe in its mosque at 100 Malcolm X Blvd in Roxbury Crossing.

At a hearing before the Boston Licensing Board this morning, one mosque official said part of the reason for the Islamic Common Word cafe is so "the public can begin to come in and meet our congregation - times are such, they are difficult."

The cafe, which would be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, would serve a variety of dishes from the countries from which mosque members come.

The board decides tomorrow whether to grant a food-serving license. The mayor's office and the offices of at-large City Councilors Ayanna Pressley and Annissa Essaibi-George supported the proposal. Nobody spoke against.

State to look at building dog park near Forest Hills T stop

On the heels of a tense meeting on a proposed giant dog park in Hyde Park, DCR officials return to Boston's southern tier in a couple weeks to discuss putting a dog park on the Southwest Corridor off Anson Street, a couple blocks north of the Arborway.

City Councilor Matt O'Malley, who first proposed a dog park somewhere in the corridor, posts the meeting notice: 6:30 p.m. on April 5 at English High School.

Who's uncooperative? We're uncooperative, at least with ICE

WGBH reports that ICE has labeled nine New England communities a "uncooperative" when it comes to just handing over undocumented aliens. Boston, Cambridge and Somerville all made the list.

Vestigial Suffolk County, though, doesn't make the list - perhaps because, as we learned from the story of the two Irish guys from Quincy, the Suffolk County sheriff's department continues to stow immigrants in exchange for ICE payments.

Resident evacuated when one wall of her building collapses in South Boston

Rick Macomber captured the scene at 62 O Street, where a wall gave way overnight.

Boston Police report:

Upon arrival, officers observed the above residence separating from the building next to it, as well as bricks and building debris on the ground around it. Officers heard a female shouting for help from inside the building but found the main front door to be locked. Officers made all attempts to contact other residents to no avail and then made a forced entry through the front door. They followed the woman's voice to the second floor and found that the door frame of the apartment was badly damaged, trapping the woman inside. The officers were able to kick the door in and escort the woman out of the building to safety. The officers then evacuated residents from surrounding buildings and cordoned off the collapse zone and adjacent streets with caution tape. No injuries were reported during the incident.

State proposes turning nearly a third of Boston's only large forest into a woodsy dog park

DCR Commissioner Leo Roy tonight unveiled a proposal to set aside all of Stony Brook Reservation west of Enneking Parkway - 140 acres of the 475-acre forest - for a dog park that would feature about a three-acre area of fenced-in play space and several miles of trails through the woods where owners could let their dogs roam free.

"It's 140 acres in the city of Boston, that's pretty incredible," Roy enthused to a crowd of about 75, after first shocking residents by saying the reason DCR would abandon plans to rehab the old Thompson Center along West Smithfield Road into a park that could serve both dog owners and others was because of a law, passed in 1967, that seems to forbid the spending of any money on the Thompson Center except to support recreational uses for kids with disabilities. The center has been closed for close to two decades.

Under the proposal created by a landscaping design firm hired by DCR, all the land between from Enneking Parkway on the east and West Boundary Road on the west and from Washington Street in the north to Dedham Parkway in the south would go to the dogs.

A small parking lot and a grassy area across from Turtle Pond - now used by the MWRA to store equipment for its project - would be turned into a parking lot with some 30 parking spaces and would be the entrance for the fenced-in part. A smaller parking lot on Dedham Parkway would let dog owners and their pets get into the more wild trails from the south, although they could also access the trails from the Enneking Parkway lot.

Roy said this would create the first dog park in Boston's southern half.

Association members demanded to know why Roy was only now telling them about the 1967 law, when they'd been working with DCR for five years on a Thompson Center plan.

"We just became aware of [the law]," Roy said. One resident asked how DCR had become aware of the law. "We heard it from the legislative delegation," he said.

Roy did not get more specific, but the only local legislator who has ever expressed any negative feelings about the Thompson Center proposal is state Rep. Angelo Scaccia (D-Hyde Park) - who has been fighting the plans to end the Thompson Center's current role as a feces-laden shooting gallery for the more mobile local drug addicts.

Neither Scaccia nor any other elected official attended tonight's meeting at the Hyde Park municipal building, although he and several city councilors did send aides.

Association President Karen Jones of West Roxbury said the Thompson Center proposal would be far better suited for senior citizens and residents with disabilities and said the association's plans include rehabbing its building for a variety of uses.

She vowed to fight to override the 1967 law, if it really wasn't made moot by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and pleaded with Roy to work with her group - which has already sunk $10,000 into plans for the Thompson Center - at DCR's encouragement - and which she said would prove a potent public/private partnership to build out a dog park there.

Plus, building a dog park right along Enneking Parkway could prove a disaster, she said - either a dog would run out into to the road and get killed by a speeding car, or a speeding motorist would swerve to avoid a dog and drive into a tree, she said.

Roy said residents should consider that overriding legislation could take several years, but said if they really wanted to try that, he would encourage them to talk to their legislators about - which drew the evening's only laugh, among residents who collected 1,000 signatures on a petition pleading with Scaccia to meet with them, which he has not.

Roy acknowledged his proposal could take several years as well, in part because DCR can't even do much surveying on the land until after the MWRA finishes its water-main project through Stony Brook Reservation, which could take another 18 months.

Residents, some of whom did favor the 140-acre proposal, questioned why and how the state could spend money on a dog park in a different part of the reservation when it would still have to clean up the Thompson Center, which they said is currently a blight on the area.

"I just don't understand how bureaucrats think," resident Joseph Smith said. Another resident said she did not understand how the state could be thinking about spending money on a dog park when its facilities for people - such as the swimming pool - are already substandard.

How the ban on electronic carry-ons from certain airports screws Logan

The government's quietly announced ban on electronic carry-ons from certain foreign airports on certain airlines could have a harsh impact on three airlines that have ramped up their operations at Logan Airport in recent years, because the ban could cause business travelers, who pay more for the ability to work in flight, to seek other ways to the US.

The ban covers flights on Emirates Airlines, which started flying to and from Logan in 2014 and Qatar Airways, which began flying to and from Logan in 2016.

A third airline, Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi, shares booking with JetBlue, which has turned Logan into one of its US hubs. Matthew George writes:

Laptop ban is disastrous for Boston - huge growth from Mid East carriers driving expon. growth of BOS's JetBlue hub.

The Washington Post, which notes the ban on carry-on laptops seems to have little actual security rationale - because the laptops can still be checked on a flight - wonders if the real reason is to punish airlines the government thinks are unfairly subsidized by their home governments, such as Emirates and Qatar.