Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The People's Harbor: A Happening In A Street Park

Artist For Humanity invites you to participate in the culminating exhibition of "The People's Harbor," a series of community-based collaborative art experiences produced by Artists For Humanity's teens and mentors this summer. Add your creative voice to the series’ final large-scale painting. 
August 16, 2018
5 pm - 7 pm
A Street Park
141 A Street
Artists For Humanity (AFH) is but one of a larger consortium of organizations working to increase access to and sustain Boston's beautiful waterfront. For more information about the collaborative initiative click here.
 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Two Local Art Organizations Are Making Magic This Summer

The Distillery Gallery presents Make Reality Magic Again, A Retrospective Exhibition of the Voyeuges Series & Public Premiere Screening of Episode III. Reception and screening are Thursday, August 16, 2018 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. 

Voyeuges involves a cameraman and musical ensemble observing the street from a row of second story windows, creating together cinematic footage and an improvised musical score in response to either the happenstance occurrences on the block, or improvised public performances and installations by members of the ensemble. The footage and accompanying live music are cut down to a short movie with a hint of narrative arc. The mood leans naturally towards mystery and suspense, and sways from feelings of daydreaming to mundanity to absurdity, madness and back again - a weird and beautiful form of movie entertainment.

Make Reality Magic Again is on view through August 18th.  The Distillery Gallery is located at 516 E 2nd St.

The Fort Point Theatre Channel takes you on tour with Jose Rivera's Cloud Tectonics
Cloud Tectonics is a humorous time-bending love story written by Academy Award-nominated José Rivera. Celestina, a hitchhiker whose pregnancy is lasting over two years, and Aníbal, a baggage handler at LAX, meet in the rain for an unforgettable and life-altering encounter in the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Sometimes our paths are meant to overlap and diverge simultaneously.

These special workshop performances feature live music and Foley effects by L.A.-based musician Olivia Brownlee and is presented by actor/director Jaime Carrillo in association with Fort Point Theatre Channel. 



August 14 @ 7:30 pm
The Fort Point Room at Atlantic Wharf
290 Congress Street, Boston
August 17 and 18 @ 7:30 pm
Boston Playwrights' Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

August 21 @ 7:30 pm *

The August 14, 17, and 18 performances are free.
To reserve your seats, please email Jaime@fortpointtheatrechannel.org.

Click here for tickets to the August 21 performance at Gloucester Stage.

Cast: Jadira Figueroa (Celestina), Jaime Carrillo (Anibal), &
Fernando Barbosa (Nelson) 
Musicians: Nick Thorkelson, Mitchel Ahern, Anaís Azul, Francis Xavier Norton,
Luz Lopez, & Fernando Barbosa

REMINDER: Channel Dance continues from 11 am to 1 pm on August 19, 2018 at Waterfront Plaza (290 Congress St) across the Channel from the Boston Children's Museum.  Story Dance returns September 2, 2018 at the same time and location. All events are free and open to kids and families. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

It Is Not Too Late To Dine Out

Dine Out Boston, popularly known as Restaurant Week, enters its final week of 2018 Monday, August 12th through Friday, August 17th. It is not too late to sample area restaurants at special prices. Choose your favorite or try some place new among award winning restaurants in Boston, Cambridge and the suburbs.

Participating Fort Point and Seaport restaurants include: 75 on Courthouse Square*, Bastille Kitchen*, Blue Dragon, Babbo Pizzeria, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, Gather*, Mastro's Ocean Club*, Menton** Miel, Morton's The Steakhouse, Ocean Prime**, Rosa Mexicano, Sapore Ristorante + Bar, Smith & Wolensky, Sportello, Strega Waterfront, Tamo, The Smoke Sshop BBQ and Tuscan Kitchen.

Chefs design prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner. Each participating restaurant selects ONE of the three price options. Lunch prices are $15/$20/$25. Dinner prices are $28/$33/$38.



For a complete list of participating restaurants, search Dine Out BostonLast day to participate is Friday, August 17th. 

*Dinner only
** Lunch only

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

South Boston Traffic Safety Meeting

There will be a public South Boston Traffic Safety Meeting on:


Thursday, August 9th
6 PM
Tynan Elementary School
650 E 4th St.
(accessible from bus routes 7, 9 and 11)

Come speak with Public Safety and Transportation Officials as well as the elected officials about traffic safety improvements in South Boston.

Sponsored By:
Mayor Martin Walsh, Congressman Stephen Lynch, Senator Nick Collins, Clerk of Courts Michael Donovan, City Councilor Ed Flynn and City Councilor Michael Flaherty

Questions/Concerns contact the Mayor Of Neighborhood Services South Boston Liaison John Alison at 617-635-2680 or via email.


originally published 8.6.18

Fort Point Landmarks August Meeting

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

Thursday, August 9, 2018
6:00 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

18.1507 FPC 374 Congress Street
Applicant: Bill Whitlock, Whitlock Design Group for Pink Taco
Proposed Work: At Congress St. façade; install channel and flag signage.
At the corner of Boston Wharf Road and Congress Street; install
marquee signage.

II. REVIEW and RATIFICATION OF JUNE 14, 2018 HEARING MINUTES

III. STAFF UPDATES

PROJECTED ADJOURNMENT: 6:30 PM

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

originally posted 8.1.18

What Have You Spied At Martin's Park?

While walking by Martin's Park over the last few weeks, what did you spy with your eagle eye?: 
  • Paving around Sleeper Street beside and in front of the garage?
  • New Bridges: one bridge abutment poured in concrete, the other being formed now?
  • Pile work started along the Harborwalk?
  • The majority of the playground equipment delivered to the lay down yard?
  • Concrete sidewalk sample panels poured?
  • Locust posts delivered?
If you saw all of the items above, you have a keen sense of observation and a good memory.

Bridge Abatement 
Plaza Paving

Mini  Pile Installation

Locust Posts

Here is what to keep an eye out for in the next 2-3 weeks:

Granite Quarry Stones
  • Continued work along Sleeper Street and on the garage, including curbing, paving, etc. 
  • The majority of the work over the next few weeks will be installing the piles along the Harborwalk
  • The second bridge abutment will be poured with concrete
  • Electrical work
  • Prepping the play ship for installation
  • Form work for the amphitheater
  • Granite stones (from the quarry) will begin to be delivered


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lauren Bryant with Boston Parks & Recreation Department. 

Monday, August 06, 2018

GE Moves Forward On Harborwalk & Necco Reconstruction

The first phase of Harborwalk construction began with relocation of the Harborwalk onto the existing parking lot, removal of the existing Harborwalk lights, abandonment of wells in the Harborwalk and mobilization of materials.  The Harborwalk will be reconstructed in phases.  Demolition of the existing Phase 1 Harborwalk and excavation for the new Phase 1 Harborwalk light locations (the existing lights will be refurbished for re-use) and sidewalk will begin in early August, followed by construction of new light foundations and new sidewalk.    

The balance of the Harborwalk reconstruction, Phase 2, from the trailers to Necco Ct will be constructed from mid-September through the end of 2018.  The temporary walkway for that phase has already been constructed.  Landscaping and certain plantings will be completed in the early spring of 2019 to meet planting season requirements of the plants. 

The first-floor concrete deck in the west building has been placed. The slab for the lobby area between the buildings within the future glass enclosure has been placed.  The existing first floor of the west building has been removed providing a new “first” floor space that showcases the timber frame construction and is over 17 feet tall.  The columns have been braced with the lower cast iron portions of the columns wrapped in concrete.  Preparations continue for concrete placement on the fifth floor of the west building which will be placed in August. 

Preparations continue for the slab on grade in the east building.  All remaining underground utilities have been completed and the grade beams supporting depressed slabs have been placed.  Reinforcing steel for the concrete encasement of the columns will complete shortly.   

The timber beams, girders and deck have been restored through the fifth floor of the west building, tying the existing floors back into the concrete core.  The original stairs in the NW corner of the building have been removed and were replaced with beams and timber decking to close up the opening from the stair removal.  The opening from the freight elevator that was demolished is being closed up on each floor with timber beams, girders and decking. 

The welding of clips and support angles on the east core required to support the beams and timber decking is nearing completion.  Placement of timber beams, girders and decking tying the building back to the core in the east building is underway.   

Construction of the masonry walls of the freight elevator in the east building is complete and the remaining core shaft wall is being placed as the timber deck replacement advances up through the building. 

Initial electrical, mechanical and plumbing rough-in continues in the crawlspace and on floors of the west building.  Construction of new ductwork and piping risers continues in the west building which is being coordinated with construction of the core’s interior masonry walls.

The pile cap for the new column to support the bridge across Necco Ct is complete and is protected by a temporary plywood enclosure.  Fabrication of materials for the bridge reconstruction is commencing.

Brick masonry restoration mock-ups are complete for each step in the masonry restoration process.  Cutting and repointing of the masonry façades are underway on both buildings.  Repair and replacement of damaged brick is performed as the restoration progresses.  Mast climbers will continue to be moved around the building as masonry restoration progresses.  Cutting and repointing of masonry will continue for several months.  Washing of the facades will be performed once the masonry restoration is completed and mortar has cured for the required duration.

Masonry openings for the new windows on the 4th and 5th floors on the south side of the east building will be completed when masonry restoration moves to the south façade of the east building.  The first of the large openings in the first floor has been cut into the west building.  As bracing and reconstruction of the opening continues additional large openings will be made on the south facades.  The preparation of existing window openings is underway to restore masonry and provide the blocking necessary to receive the new windows.  Masonry repairs of the interior walls is performed when weather precludes façade restoration work.

The crane continues to support placement of timber beams and girders as well as placement of the mechanical and plumbing risers.  Steel erection will commence in early August with erection of the steel for the glass enclosure between the two buildings.  The crane will also support removal of the roof of each building and the erection of the structural steel for the mechanical spaces and the new 6th floor.  The crane will remain on site through most of the 2018 construction season.

The ductbank from the telephone manhole on Necco St. into the building is complete.  GE will continue to work closely with the owners of Necco Ct. and Necco St. to maintain access during completion of this work.

Electrical ductbank installation at the west end of Necco Ct. will be completed in sequence with Eversource work to replace the transformers.  A new switch and transformer have been energized by Eversource above elevation 19.5 in the newly constructed transformer yard.  GE is working closely with Synergy, its tenants and Eversource to coordinate the changes to electrical service in the 253 Summer St. and Melcher St. buildings.    

GE Innovation Point Construction updates occur about monthly in frequency or when there are major transitions in the construction process. Visit 
www.gereports.com/boston for the latest information or contact GE at innovation.point@ge.com.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Three Chances To Meet Councilor Flynn on Saturday

City Councilor Ed Flynn will hold Neighborhood Office Hours at three locations throughout South Boston this Saturday, August 4, 2018 including Capital One Cafe on Seaport Boulevard. Councilor Flynn will be at:

Caffe Nero, 416 West Broadway from 8:30am-9:30am

Capital One Cafe, 57 Seaport Blvd from 2:30pm - 3:30pm 

South Boston Public Library, 646 East Broadway, from 4:00pm-5:00pm. 

Residents are encouraged to stop by and bring constituent and neighborhood issues directly to Councilor Flynn and his staff. 

Wormwood Park Closed Monday

On Monday, August 6, 2018 the United States Postal Service will be removing some diseased trees from Wormwood Park. The work will start around 7:30 am and is anticipated to be completed in one day. Although the work will be performed from the USPS parking lot side, the park will be closed to ensure public safety. Neighbors are encouraged to use Binford Street Park or A Street Park instead. 

Wormwood Park came into existence due to the dedicated efforts of a group of Fort Point neighbors during the Central Artery project and is located on USPS land. 

Neighbors remain an integral part of the park's care and enjoyment. The Fort Point Neighborhood Association organizes plantings in the park during the City's Love Your Block spring program. If you are interested in being part of a Wormwood Park Gardening Group, please contact FPNA

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Community Preservation Act Fall Funding Opportunity

The City of Boston's Community Preservation Committee Fall funding round to support historic preservation, affordable housing, and parks and open space is now open.

The first step is to complete the required Eligibility & Information Form due on September 7, 2018 and may be submitted now. CPA staff will respond within a few weeks to let you know if you will be eligible to complete the full application. It will be similar to the spring pilot application with a bit more specific information. Call or email with questions or to discuss your project. Check below for "Office Hours" where staff will be available to meet and offer assistance.

The application will be released Wednesday, August 15 with a hard deadline of Friday, September 28. Application information sessions and deadlines are  listed below:
Wednesday, August 15
Fall CPA application posted on www.boston.gov/cpa

Friday, September 7
Required Fall Eligibility & Info Form due

Tuesday, September 28 | 12-2pm | 26 Court St, Boston 02108
Community Preservation Committee (CPC) Training
How to use CPA funds to bond for greater impact.

Friday, September 28 | 5pm
Fall CPA applications due - no exceptions

* If you are a potential CPA applicant, keep reading below for 
office hour and 
application info session dates.

Fall Funding Round Priorities

The Community Preservation Committee expects to focus on affordable housing projects this fall, but all categories are welcome to apply. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

Helpful guidelines:

Affordable Housing - all applicants will be expected to complete Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) housing proposal materials. You can find them posted on the DND webpages by August 15.

Historic Preservation - the Community Preservation Committee hopes to see a commitment to ongoing stewardship of a historic resource. This includes a "Conditions Needs Assessment" or capital master plan, as well as a history of fundraising and upkeep. Historic houses of worship may apply for funds to do capital work on the exterior of the building that does not include religious imagery.

Parks & Open Space - if your project is on public land, make sure you have been in contact with the agency responsible for care and maintenance to discuss project implementation and oversight.

No request is too small and applications of up to $1 million will be accepted.

Need Help?

CPA Office Hours: Staff will be available to answer questions, talk about projects, and offer assistance.

Please RSVP so we know when you're coming | 26 Court St, 9th floor, Boston 02108
  • Monday evening, August 6 from 6-8pm
  • Thursday morning, August 9 from 9-11am
  • Wednesday lunchtime, August 15 from 12-2pm
  • Friday lunchtime, August 17, from 12 - 2 p.m.
Application Info Sessions (Bidders' Conference)

If you are applying for funds this fall, you are expected to attend an Info Session. The session will go through the application questions so you can learn what we're looking for and how to best describe your project.

Please RSVP so we know when you're coming | 26 Court St, 9th floor, Boston 02108
  • Tuesday morning, August 21 from 9-11am
  • Thursday evening, August 30 from 6-8pm
  • Wednesday afternoon, September 5 from 4-6pm

Monday, July 30, 2018

Boston City Council Looks At Young Women, Lobbyists, Salaries, Wetlands & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their June 27 and July 11, 2018 meetings (NOTE: Next City Council meeting will be August 1, 2018):

Wetlands Protection Legislation: I filed a hearing order regarding the local wetlands protection legislation to examine the policies and resources available for the development and implementation of local wetlands ordinance. Urban wetlands are an effective land use for alleviating the effects of climate change, particularly managing flooding and reducing the urban heat island effect. They also provide important ecosystem services, such as water filtration, wildlife habitat, and pollution sequestration, including carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. A total of 198 municipalities within the Commonwealth have enacted local wetlands ordinances, and those, such as Arlington, that have included consideration of climate change in their regulations, have effectively provided better protection against flooding and heat island effects. The matter has been assigned to the Committee on Environment, Sustainability & Parks for a hearing.

Archaic Statutes Targeting Young Women: The Council voted to adopt Councilor Pressley’s resolution to urge the House Committee on Ways and Means and Governor Baker to, respectively, pass bill S.2260 “Act negating archaic statutes targeting young women” and sign it into law. She noted that with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement of his retirement from the court, the President and his administration can nominate a new Supreme Court judge, upending a delicate pro-choice majority. The lawsuits seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade, which provided access to safe and legal abortion care, are moving through the lower courts. There are several archaic statutes still on the books in Massachusetts that limit access to birth control and abortion and pose new threats to women’s reproductive freedom should the federal government overturn Roe. Bill S.2260 would repeal archaic laws targeting women, including the laws that could be used to criminalize abortion.

Salary Increases: The Council voted 11-2 (Councilors Pressley & Zakim in the minority) to pass the Mayor’s ordinance amending salary categories for certain city employees, including elected officials, following the recommendations of the City of Boston Compensation Advisory Board. The Mayor’s salary will be increased from $199K to $207K, to take effect after the next Mayoral election, and Councilors’ salary will go from $99,500 to $103,500, to take effect after the next Council election. Although I still believe that elected officials should not set their own salaries and therefore we should have a fully independent board set the amounts without a Council vote, this year’s process was as close as practically possible to an independent review in the near term. The Compensation Advisory Board retained an independent consultant to analyze classification and compensation from cities across the country, and the board voted unanimously to present this recommendation to the Mayor. The increases will not take effect this term, but now have been passed with plenty of time for anyone to run for these positions with the new compensation. You can view the committee’s report here.

Lobbyist Registration and Regulation: The Council voted (through a voice vote; Councilor Baker opposing the Home-Rule Petition) to pass an ordinance that I filed with Councilors Flaherty and Campbell to require lobbyist registration and disclosure, as well as an amended home-rule petition originally filed by the Mayor. The goal of the legislation is to ensure transparency by requiring registration and disclosure of lobbying activities, to create fairness and consistency by applying the same rules across the board, and to reinforce public trust in government by guaranteeing convenient, timely access to information about attempts to influence the government’s decisions. Mayor Walsh had previously filed a Home-Rule Petition based on state lobbying regulations and the Administration wanted to preserve fines of up to $10,000 and criminal penalties mirroring the state. My co-sponsors and I believed that we could most effectively implement lobbyist registration and disclosure requirements not through a home-rule petition, which would involve waiting for the uncertainty and longer timeline of state approval but through a city ordinance more tailored to municipal decision-making and that could be implemented immediately. The ordinance also removed thresholds in the home-rule petition that exempted lobbyists from disclosure and registration if making less than  2500 during the reporting period or if engaging in fewer than 25 hours of lobbying per reporting period, focusing instead on what counts as lobbying whether paid or unpaid, regardless of how many hours per month.More and more decisions affecting parties with significant financial interests are coming through City Hall on a regular basis (e.g. short term rentals, cannabis industry licensing, development and zoning decisions, and more). We believed it was most important to set the rules through city law now, even at the city’s standard fines of $300 per violation per month, then seek heightened penalties through a simplified home-rule petition. The ordinance additionally refined the definitions of the types of activities categorized as lobbying to match city business, and increased the frequency of disclosure from twice a year to quarterly. The provisions of the ordinance will take effect 180 days after the Mayor signs the legislation, giving some time for the Clerk’s office to set up systems for registration, access, and enforcement.

Upcoming Hearings (Livestream)

Tuesday, 8/7 at 2PM: Hearing on vacant affordable housing units and improving access to those units in the City of Boston (Housing & Community Development)

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically.      

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Northern Avenue Bridge: A Gateway For Pedestrians, Bicyclists & Cars?

Over 50 neighbors from Fort Point, Seaport and the Downtown Waterfront gathered to hear the City of Boston's plans and concepts for the future of the Northern Avenue Bridge at a special FPNA neighborhood meeting on July 18, 2018.

The City's Chief of Streets Chris Osgood along with Northern Avenue Bridge team members Chief Engineer Para Jayasinghe of Public Works and Joe Allwarden of AECOM presented. The bridge architects are Urban Idea Lab and Brownlie, Ernst & MarksThe Bridge redesign focuses on: improving mobility, honoring history, strengthening climate resiliency, and creating a destination. View the presentation here

A lot of the discussion centered on the need for a vehicular lane on the bridge and the desire to view the underlying data, part of the South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan of 2015. Concern over traffic gridlock on Atlantic Avenue and backup onto Seaport Blvd. from Northern Ave. arose from residents living on both sides of the bridge. It became apparent that a new transit analysis will be pivotal in understanding the modes of transportation best suited for the Northern Avenue Bridge in conjunction with the other Fort Point Channel bridges for overall mobility. Towards the end of the meeting, a resident asked how many are in favor of a walk and bike bridge only. The overwhelming majority of residents indicated that they are in favor of a pedestrian bike only bridge.  To further that point of view a request was made that a pedestrian bicycle only bridge design option be considered. 

The Northern Avenue Bridge holds extreme appeal to the neighborhood whether it be its charm and character, easy walkability, local historic nature (mechanics and maritime history) or all aspects combined, making the bridge an important gateway connection between the Seaport and the Downtown Rose Kennedy Greenway.  Placemaking and programming of the bridge at the deck level appeared more popular than the concept of a floating island destination perpendicular to the bridge on the water. 

The next Mayor's Task Force meeting will focus on transit analysis and the structural condition of the Northern Avenue Bridge. The meeting will take place Thursday, July 26th from 3 pm to 5 pm at City Hall in room 801. The public is welcome to attend. If you would like to receive updates on the bridge, please sign up at the project website NorthernAveBridgeBos.com. You may also email your comments to FPNA

The Task Force is composed of: A Better City, Boston Harbor Now, Boston Preservation Alliance, Fallon Co., Fort Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA), Green Ribbon Commission, Livable Streets Alliance, MCCA, Seaport TMA, US Court House, US General Services Administration, and the Wharf District Council along with Councilors Flynn & Flaherty, Senator Collins and Congressman Lynch’s offices.