Friday, April 28, 2017

South Boston's WWI Heroes 100th Anniversary Remembrance


Join the South Boston WWI Commemoration Committee, honored guests, speakers, WWI Gold Star family relatives and the general public to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by over 100 South Bostonians during the Great War (World War One). 

Saturday, April 29, 2017
10 am
Excel High School (formerly South Boston High School)
95 G Street

These men are memorialized by gold-toned portraits inside the high school, commissioned by Mayor James Michael Curley and the City of Boston. They were first dedicated in 1932 at South Boston High School (now named Excel High School), where they still exist today and can be viewed at the ceremony.

World War One re-enactors and a WWI tank will be on site from 10 a.m.-10:55 a.m. The formal program begins at 11:00 a.m. inside the Auditorium and will include music, speakers, and a Roll Call of the Fallen.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Stage Set For Power Plant Redevelopment

HRP 776 Summer Street, LLC, a joint venture of Redgate Real Estate Advisers and Hillco Redevelopment Partners, filled a letter of intent with the Boston Plans and Development Agency (BPDA) on April 24, 2017 for the redevelopment of the Edison Power Plant located at 776 Summer Street.  

The filing comes after two public Open Houses (Summer & Fall 2016) and two community workshops in January and February. Based on the recommendations of hundreds of South Boston residents, the project will:

  • Decommission and clean up the industrial site so it’s clean, healthy and safe
  • Take down the walls and fences surrounding the 15.2-acre site and create connections into and through it, so the property is accessible to the South Boston neighborhood down to the edge of the Reserve Channel
  • Rehabilitate and reopen three historic turbine halls, “allowing them to become the heart and soul of the project”
  • Create an acre-plus public open space adjacent to the Reserve Channel “that celebrates the working port”
  • Add local retail and other neighborhood amenities in ground-floor spaces
  • Create both indoor and outdoor spaces that support an arts and industry district for artists, artisans and makers

The proposed redevelopment of the approximate 15.2 acre site will most likely involve partial demolition and partial re-use of the existing buildings (Turbine Halls), and the construction of eight new buildings over the next 10 - 15 years. It is anticipated that the completed project will be 2.1 million square feet of residential, office, hotel, restaurant and other commercial uses along with ancillary parking. 

The filing of a letter of intent is followed by the submission of a project notification form, which starts the Article 80 review process. Given the size and complexity of this project, a planned development area plan will most likely be necessary.

Boston City Council Looks At Winthrop Square, Youth, Property Exemptions & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more during their April 12th and April 26, 2017 meetings:

Residential Property Exemptions: The Council voted to pass Councilor Ciommo’s home-rule petition to amend the current ownership and occupancy deadline for residential property exemptions in the City of Boston. Currently, homeowners must apply by January 1st in order to receive residential exemption for the following fiscal year. That means that homeowners who buy their homes between January 2nd and July 1st do not receive the benefit for potentially over a year after the purchase of their home. The home-rule language would eliminate a potential 18-month wait time and make home ownership a bit more accessible. The residential property tax exemption was increased this year to 35% of assessed value up to certain amount, to a little over $2,400, up from around $1,900.

Winthrop Square Garage Development: The Council voted 10-3 (Councilors Jackson, Zakim and Wu opposing) to pass an amended home-rule petition that would clear the way for the Millennium Partners proposal to redevelop the current city-owned garage structure at 115 Federal Street into a 775-foot skyscraper. This proposal currently violates state shadow laws protecting sunshine on Boston Common and the Public Garden, as it would cast a shadow on many days of the year extending from downtown across the Common, across the Public Garden, and onto Commonwealth Mall. On the worst days of the year, the shadow would last until 9:30 AM on the Common. The home-rule petition provides an exemption for this project from these state laws, as well as capping additional development near the Common from creating additional shadow, and adding formal state law shadow protection for Copley Square. Councilor Flaherty reported back on Monday’s well-attended 7-hour hearing where we heard from many stakeholders. Several Councilors spoke on the issue today: Councilors Linehan and LaMattina spoke to emphasize that this was a great deal for the city, providing $153M for affordable housing in East Boston and South Boston and parks investments in the Common and Franklin Park that would not otherwise be possible, as well as $12M anticipated in annual tax revenues. Councilors Zakim and Jackson stood to oppose the measure, describing this as false urgency and pitting neighborhoods against each other. Councilor Pressley explained that she would be supporting the measure because of the incorporation of goals and metrics for the inclusion of Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), and Millennium had agreed to quarterly rather than annual reporting. Councilor Campbell described her support as based on the idea of equity, that Franklin Park and her constituents deserved investment, and even though the process was not ideal, the city should learn from the mistake and move on. Councilor O’Malley dismissed impacts on flora and fauna from the additional shadow and lauded funds for maintenance of the Common and Franklin Park. He dismissed the process concerns, citing that the Council had voted last year to engage the BRA in managing the process. Council President Wu presiding over the discussion didn’t speak on the matter at the meeting; however,d explained her position in a Boston Globe op-ed. Wu was most concerned about the fact that at least some employees within the BRA seemed to recognize that there would be major legal changes needed due to the shadow laws (since they are quietly referred to in the RFI and RFP), but did not disclose this to the Council or the public until after a developer was designated. The language the Council voted on today includes two minor formalities correcting language, and one clarification that projects that have received Zoning Board of Appeals approvals but haven’t received permits for construction will be grandfathered in, which applies to particular projects near Copley Square. The home-rule petition will now move to the Mayor for a signature and then to the state legislature for approval.

Community Choice Aggregation: Councilor O’Malley reported back on yesterday’s working session to discuss implementing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in Boston. Councilors O’Malley and Wu had called for this working session to convene stakeholders in a discussion to explore the adoption of CCA, a program established by state law that allows cities and towns in Massachusetts to use bulk purchasing power on behalf of residents and small businesses to set a higher percentage of clean, renewable energy. According to the state’s process, City Councils can vote to authorize the Administration to proceed with an alternate energy contract that sets higher renewable energy standards, including the ability to focus on regional clean energy sources and spark jobs in our local green economy. The utility companies would still deliver the energy to consumers and administer billing as usual. Individuals can opt out of the bulk contract and return to their own default sources at any time. Councilor O’Malley noted that CCA is currently adopted or in the process of being adopted by 40 different cities and towns across the Commonwealth. The matter remains in the Environment & Sustainability Committee.

Boston Youth Clean-Up Campaign: Councilors O’Malley and McCarthy filed a hearing order to discuss re-establishing the Boston Youth Clean-Up Campaign (BYCC) program. The BYCC program, also known as the “red shirts” and later, “gray shirts,” was established over 25 years ago to provide employment to Boston teenagers between ages 14-17 for six weeks during summer break. Primary duties for teenagers included cleaning up vacant lots, streets, parks and public facilities. The program was eliminated in 2002 due to budgetary constraints. Councilors O’Malley and McCarthy spoke about the benefits of bringing the program back, as it could provide jobs to thousands of teenagers to clean up neglected areas of the City that we don’t currently have the staffing to maintain, and brought up the possibility of expanding it during winter months for help with snow removal in the City. Councilors Flaherty and Jackson spoke about extending the program to City of Boston youth ages 19-22, as many students are currently in BPS until that age and need support with transition to employment. The matter was assigned to the Committee on City & Neighborhood Services and Veteran Affairs for a hearing.

FY 2018 Budget: Mayor Walsh filed his recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget totals $3.14B, including $1.08B for Boston Public Schools. The total operating budget represents an increase of 4.8% ($144M) over FY17. Starting at the end of this month, the Council’s Ways & Means Committee, chaired by Councilor Ciommo, will hold hearings to look into each department’s proposed budgets. The Council will vote on the FY18 budget in June. All of the associated dockets were assigned to the Ways & Means Committee. You can see more detail on the proposed budget in the Mayor’s press release at: https://www.boston.gov/news/mayor-walsh-releases-2018-recommended-budget.

Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch Live)
Friday, 4/28 at 2:00PM, Regulating Municipal Lobbying Activities (Government Operations)
Wednesday, 5/31 at 2:00PM, Tentative, Fenway Cultural District (Arts & Culture)

Upcoming Budget Hearings (Ways & Means):
  • Thursday, 4/27 at 11:00AM, Public Facilities Department
  • Thursday 4/27 at 2:00PM, Budget Assessing
  • Friday, 4/28 at 11:00AM, Boston Police Department Overview and Revolving Funds
  • Monday, 5/1 at 10:00AM, BPS: Extended Learning Time
  • Monday, 5/1 at 11:00AM, BPS: School Budgets
  • Monday, 5/1 at 2:00PM, BPS: Human Capital and Equity
  • Tuesday, 5/2 at 10:00AM, BPS: Academics and Student Support Services Part 1
  • Tuesday, 5/2 at 2:00PM, BPS: High School Strategy and Underperforming Schools
  • Wednesday, 5/3 at 5:45PM, Parkman Fund (Off-site: Veronica Smith Senior Center, 20 Chestnut Hill Ave, Brighton)
  • Wednesday, 5/3 at 6:00PM, Parks and Recreation Department
  • Thursday, 5/4 at 11:00AM, BCYF Overview and Revolving Fund City Hall Childcare
  • Thursday, 5/4 at 3:00PM, Youth Engagement and Employment
  • Monday, 5/8 at 6:00PM, Public Works Department (Off-site: Cleveland Community Center, 11 Charles St, Dorchester)
  • Tuesday, 5/9 at 11:00AM, Boston Fire Department
  • Wednesday, 5/10 at 6:00PM, Boston Transportation Department (Off-site: Hyde Park Municipal Building, 179 River St, Hyde Park)
  • Thursday, 5/11 at 11:00AM, BPS: School Operations
  • Monday, 5/15 at 11:00AM, Department of Innovation and Technology
  • Thursday, 5/18 at 11:00AM, Department of Inspectional Services Overview and Revolving Funds
  • Monday, 5/22 at 2:00PM, Boston Public Library
  • Monday, 5/22 at 6:00PM, BPS: Academics and Student Support Services Part 2
  • Tuesday, 5/23 at 10:00AM, Boston Public Health Commission: Boston EMS and Office of Recovery
  • Tuesday, 5/23 at 2:00PM, Boston Public Health Commission
  • Thursday, 5/25 at 10:00AM, Department of Neighborhood Development: Overview and Office of Housing Stability
  • Thursday, 5/25 at 1:00PM, Boston Planning and Development Association
  • Monday, 6/5 at 11:00AM, BPS: Carryover
  • Tuesday, 6/6 at 11:00AM, Departmental Carryover
For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fort Point Research Study: Experiences & Perceptions of Crime

Researchers at UMass Boston are interviewing residents of several Boston neighborhoods, including the Fort Point neighborhood of South Boston, for a study on experiences living in the area and perceptions of crime. The study is looking to hear from people who don't experience much (if any) crime in their neighborhood as well those who experience crime in their neighborhood. 

PARTICIPATION DETAILS:
Participation is confidential
Interview lasts 1-1.5 hours.
You will receive $40 for participating.
Interview takes place at a time and place most convenient for you

HAVE QUESTIONS?  WANT TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW?
Contact Jennifer Skinnon via email or at 617-335-8698
PhD Student
Department of Sociology
W04-150
University of Massachusetts Boston

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Associate Professor Andrea Leverentz, Department of Sociology, UMASS Boston. 

Shadows On Our Parks

updated 4.26.17: Home rule petition passes 10-3 with Councilors Jackson and Zakim, and Council President Wu against. 

updated 4.25.17: The home rule petition, docket #0566, is on Wednesday, April 26th City Council agenda for approval. Please contact City Councilors FlahertyLinehan, Pressley, Essaibi-George and Council President Wu with your opinion on this amendment to the State shadow laws.

Mayor Marty Walsh has filed a Home Rule petition with the City Council to amend the two State shadow laws that protect the Boston Common and Boston Garden in order to allow the Winthrop Square tower to be developed.

The hearing for the Winthrop Square Home Rule Petition is scheduled for: 


Monday, April 24, 2017
1:30 pm
Boston City Hall, 5th Floor, Ianella Chamber

The proposed Winthrop Square development while replacing a former downtown parking garage with a more active mixed use building violates State laws protecting the parks' sunlight and sets a precedent that encourages exchanging a one-time infusion of funds for an exemption that creates a blueprint for future developers and permanent negative impacts on the parks. 

Voice you opinion by attending the hearing, submitting City Council Testimony and contacting Councilor Linehan, Councilor FlahertyCity Council President Wu Representative Nick Collins and Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. If you are unable to attend the hearing, watch live online


originally published 4.24.17

    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    April Fort Point Gathering: GE, MA Fallen Heroes & Love Your Block

    Join the Fort Point Neighborhood Association

    Tuesday, April 25, 2017
    6 pm - 8 pm
    Factory 63
    63 Melcher Street

    for
    Fort Point April Gathering

    featuring
    General Electric Corporate Headquarters
    Groundbreaking To Opening
    Peter Cavanaugh
    GE Ecosystem Transformation Leader

    and introducing
    Massachusetts Fallen Heroes
    Patriot Week: May 20 - May 29, 2017
    Daniel Magoon, Executive Director

    with the latest on
    Fort Point Love Your Block 2017
    (formerly Boston Shines)
    Businesses & Residents Volunteer Days

    plus
    Neighborhood Updates

    *** featured restaurant: Coppersmith ***


    originally published 4.21.17

    Hearty Arty Party: Art Social In Southie

    The South Boston Arts Association invites you to a night of music by Hogan's Goat, delicious appetizers, amazing silent auction with lots of original art by local artists*, cash bar and friendly conversation and networking. 

    Hearty Arty Party
    Wednesday, May 3, 2017
    6 pm - 9 pm
    Supper Club  at CAPO
    443 West Broadway
    Purchase tickets

    Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Medicine Wheel and the Young Ambassadors program of the South Boston Health Center. 

    * Art auction application deadline extended to Wednesday, April 26. For info, call 617 464-4237. Art work must be delivered to the SBAA Art Gallery, Arts Around the Corner, at 317 E Street (behind Neatly Nested) on Saturday, 4/29 from 10 am to 4 pm or Sunday 4/30 from Noon to 4 pm.

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    RCN Site Redevelopment Community Meeting

    Friday, April 21st is the public comment deadline. Please submit your comments on this project bordering the A Street park located between 1 Channel Center (State Street) and Artist for Humanities. You may online or to via email to Michael Rooney

    The Boston Planning & Development Agency is hosting a community meeting regarding the RCN Redevelopment located at 105 W. First Street on:

    April 12, 2017
    6 pm - 8 pm
    Laboure Center
    275 West Broadway

    View from A Street Park
    View Project Documents
    Comment Deadline: April, 21, 2017

    Project Description: 105 West First Street Owner, LLC (the Proponent), an affiliate of Ares Management LLC with CV Properties, LLC as the developer, proposes to redevelop an approximately 42,219 square foot site (the Project Site) located at 105 West First Street in South Boston. The 105 West First Street project (the Project) will now comprise a seven story (originally 8 story), approximately 250,000 square foot office building containing 1,600+ square feet of ground floor space on West First Street for retail, café or restaurant use and 2,400+ square feet of convener space on West First Street, 10,000+ square feet of innovation space fronting on West Second Street, and 3,000+ square feet of tenant amenity space. The retail/restaurant/café use and innovation space on West First Street and West Second Street respectively are designed to activate the ground floor level of the building. The Project will also include approximately 35 parking spaces in an underground parking garage accessed from West First Street, as well as wider sidewalks and related streetscape improvements along both West First Street and West Second Street.

    Submit your comments by April 21st online or to via email to Michael Rooney.

    Related Posts

    originally published 4.3.17

    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Sail Boston South Boston Community Briefing



    Sail Boston is hosting a South Boston Community Briefing to let you in on their plans for the return of the Tall Ships to Boston June 17, 2017 through June 22, 2017. Set your course for the BCEC (415 Summer Street) Room 0525, on Tuesday, April 18th at 6:30 pm. Discover the fleet of Tall Ships sailing into the Boston Harbor from ports far and wide, the best viewing areas and public boarding events.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    Visual & Performing Art Around Fort Point

    The FP3 Gallery presents Josh Falk | Small Worlds: Looking Glass.

    Opening Reception:
    Thursday, April 13
    6:00-8:00 pm
    FP3 Gallery
    346 Congress Street

    Growing up in and around a small industrial city that was surrounded by rural landscapes, mixed media artists Josh Falk has always been influenced by the juxtaposition of these two worlds and the often subtle ways in which they overlap. As if the city itself was a living terrarium, Falk would learn and respect the ways in which two opposites could naturally coexist and complement one another throughout his life. More details

    The FPAC Gallery presents Big Red & Shiny show's Teenaged, a group exhibition of thirteen artists in celebration of the independent contemporary art magazine's thirteen years of publication.  In Teenaged, BR&S features artists who have contributed to the diversity of art making in some way, be it their own writing, or profiles, interviews, or reviews of their visual work. This sampling of art making in Boston demonstrates the vitality of contemporary art practices in the city. The show runs through April 22, 2017.

    Opening Reception
    Thursday, April 13
    6:00- 8:00 pm
    FPAC Gallery
    300 Summer Street

    The Fort Point Theatre Channel presents On With Living and Learning's (OWLL) Unsafe All Around: Excerpts from Humanity Not Statistics through the eyes of seven middle school girls from six Boston schools and in collaboration with Sisters on The Move. Unsafe All Around is a workshop performance with original music composed by the Sociedad Latina Youth Music Ambassadors. More details

    April 14, 2017
    8 pm
    Midway Artist Studios
    15 Channel Center Street
    FREE Admission & Light Refreshments

    OWLL is a collective of artists who use art for activism. OWLL brings together underrepresented women and at-risk youth with community elders and teaching artists in leadership workshops that culminate in culturally specific theater productions focusing on the social justice issues most relevant to the participants. OWLL’s collective art serves as a basis for deep community listening, transformation, and the development of a new narrative for participants’ and their communities’ future.

    Get ready to dance. The Fort Point Theatre Channel presents The Liz Borden Band. A melodic rock band with a love of vocal harmonies, a dose of punk, and a punch of attitude... Playing original songs, some new ones, even crossing the Dixie line...

    Saturday, April 22, 2017
    7:30 PM
    Midway Artist Studios
    15 Channel Center Street
    FREE Admission & Light Refreshments

    Fort Point Channel Landmarks April 2017 Meeting

    The FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION will hold a public hearing on:

    Thursday, 13 April 2017
    5:30 PM
    Boston City Hall - Piemonte Room (5th Floor)

    After 5:30 pm, enter and exit City Hall at the Dock Square entrance on Congress Street 
    (across from Faneuil Hall).

    Subject of the hearing will be applications for Certificates of Design Approval on the agenda below, review of architectural violations and such business as may come before the commission, in accordance with Ch. 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended.


    I. DESIGN REVIEW


    17.984 FPC 253 Summer Street
    Applicant: Jared Eigerman, Dalton & Finegold
    Proposed Work: Reclad the infill at the Summer Street entryways; replace the brass handrail with painted steel; and replace the granite pavers.

    17.1002 FPC 253 Summer Street
    Applicant: Susan Twomey, Bergmeyer Associates. Inc.
    Proposed Work: Install wall painted signage (Lolita) at two locations; modify Harborwalk light fixtures; install new light fixtures on the channel facade;remove infill at openings fronting the channel; and modify the design of the paired entry doors fronting Necco Court.

    ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW/APPROVAL: In order to expedite the review process, the commission has delegated the approval of certain work items, such as those involving ordinary maintenance and repair, restoration or replacement, or which otherwise have a minimal impact on a building's appearance, to commission staff pending ratification at its monthly public.hearing. Having been identified as meeting these eligibility criteria and all applicable guidelines, the following applications will be approved at this hearing:

    PROJECTS COMPLIANT WITH DISTRICT STANDARDS & CRITERJA
    17.974FPC 26 Thomson Place: Replace the roofing membrane system, and associated
    insulation, flashing, and gutters in-kind.

    III. REVIEW and RATIFICATION OF January 12,2017 MINUTES

    IV. STAFF UPDATES

    PROJECTED ADJOURNMENT: 6:30 PM

    FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION
    David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Lynn Smiledge, Michele Yeeles
    Altemates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy

    originally published 4.4.17

    Saturday, April 08, 2017

    Congress Street Bridge Lighting Project Community Meeting

    updated 4.8.17: In case you missed the meeting, the presentation is available on the BPDA website here. You can also sign up to receive project updates on the project's webpage. If you have thoughts on the concepts presented, please contact Erikk Hockenson at the BPDA

    The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) and its consultants, Hartranft Lighting Design and Jacobs Engineering, invite you to a community meeting on the Congress Street Bridge Lighting Project on:

    Thursday, April 6th
    6 pm
    Abigail's Tea Room 
    Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
    306 Congress Street (on the Congress Street Bridge).

    The meeting will include a brief presentation of the efforts to illuminate the Congress Street Bridge that spans the Fort Point Channel and a conceptual lighting design to spark discussion and provide the community with an opportunity to guide the development of the eventual lighting design. 

    Erikk Hockenson
    Waterfront Planner
    originally published 3.29.17