Monday, February 08, 2016

IndyCar Boston Confirms Boston Grand Prix Public Meeting

At the Fort Point Neighborhood Association's January 26, 2016 neighborhood meeting featuring the Boston Grand Prix, the promoters announced their first public community meeting will be held February 9th. Late yesterday IndyCar Boston confirmed the meeting details:

When:
Tuesday, February 9th
6:00 pm-8:00 pm

Where:
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center - Room 156
415 Summer Street, Boston, MA  02210

Boston Grand Prix's community meeting will discuss plans to bring a Verizon IndyCar Series race to the South Boston Waterfront. The race organizers and their team will present plans for the race including road construction and closures, benefits to the community, and a question and answer period. 

To view IndyCar Boston's Grand Prix presentation presented at FPNA's January meeting, press coverage and other documents, click here. The presentation was in response to questions generated by Fort Point residents in advance. View the questions.

published originally 2.4.16

Children's Wharf Park Design Community Meeting

Chris Cook, Commissioner of Boston Parks & Recreation, invites the community to a meeting for renovations to Children's Wharf Park on:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
6 pm - 8 pm
Boston Children's Museum
Business Entrance, 308 Congress St. 


THE PROJECT:
As part of the Boston Parks and Recreation Departments
continuing eefforts to provide quality open space and
recreation areas for use and enjoyment by all residents of the city, efforts are underway to make improvements to Children’s Wharf Park, located at 64 Sleeper Street.

The Parks Department is very interested in what the community has to contribute to the design process.

The newly designed park will be an inclusive play area and waterfront park in honor of Martin Richard.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
The Parks Department and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. will engage with the community on the design process and project schedule. Following this presentation, there will be an open discussion about project goals and opportunities.

For more information, contact Lauren Bryant at 617-961-3019 or via email


originally posted 1.29.16

Fort Point Channel Landmarks February 2016 Meeting

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

Thursday, 11 February 2016
5:00 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 HEARING

5:00 PM Previously presented: 14 January 2016
Application 16.921 FPC 376 Congress Street
Applicant: Bill Lukashok, Hill Country Boston, LLC (tenant)
Proposed Work: Modify storefront openings, replace storefront infill, replace two banner signs, install a marquee, and install a canopy and patio

5:30 PM Previously presented: 14 January 2016
Application 16.907 FPC 44 Thomson Place
Applicant: John Kiernan, Fort Point Channel Investors, LLC(owner)
Proposed Work: Remove infill and modify openings, create at-grade entrance(s), and install signage

5:45 PM Previously presented: 14 January 2016
Application 16.908 FPC 25 Thomson Place
Applicant: John Kiernan, Fort Point Channel Investors, LLC(owner)
Proposed Work: Remove infill and modify openings, create at-grade entrance(s), and install signage

6:00 PM Previously presented: 14 January 2016
Application 16.909 FPC 47 Farnsworth Street
Applicant: John Kiernan, Fort Point Channel Investors, LLC(owner)
Proposed Work: Remove infill and modify openings, create at-grade entrance(s), and install signage

PROJECTED ADJOURNMENT: 6:30 PM

originally published  2.2.16

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Grants Available

The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Fort Point Channel Operations Board are accepting applications for this year’s Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Grant Program. Now in its fifth year, the program provides financial resources for capital improvements and public programming within and along the Fort Point Channel, as envisioned in the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan. The plan was established in 2002 through a collaborative effort between the BRA, City of Boston, landowners, nonprofit and cultural leaders, and residents to encourage new cultural activities and year-round programming in Fort Point.

A total of $40,000 is available to organizations for the 2016 grant cycle, and applications are due on February 29, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Applicants can request up to $40,000, but the BRA and the Fort Point Channel Operations Board have historically allocated smaller amounts to multiple organizations in order to promote a range of activities and improvements in the neighborhood.

The competitive grant seeks creative proposals for water-based programming in and around Fort Point that will benefit the general public, including such things as new water-based infrastructure, public events, art installations, and educational opportunities.

To be eligible, an organization must be tax-exempt or operate under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit. For-profit organizations may be eligible for funding at the discretion of the Fort Point Channel Operations Board if the project constitutes a not-for-profit, public project. Grant contracts are expected to be awarded by March 28, 2016, and projects must be completed by June 1, 2017.

View 2015 funded projects at the Boston Redevelopment Authority website.

Boston City Council Looks At Massport-City Development, Guns, Youth & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered these items and more on February 3, 2016:

Massport/City Development: Councilor Flaherty called for a hearing on Massport Development Plans for City- or EDIC-owned parcels, especially in the Marine Industrial Park. He noted it was reported that MassPort recently put out an RFP for property, which would be a unique economic development opportunity for the City and seafood industry. However, the site is on a ground lease with 53 years and no guarantee of renewal. Any future changes would have to come before the City Council, so Councilor Flaherty believes that Massport needs to engage with the community and Council now. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Planning & Development for a hearing.

Firearm Safety/Gun Violence Prevention Resolution: The Council voted to suspend and pass Councilor Pressley’s resolution in support of HR 2612/S 1473, a bill sponsored by Senator Ed Markey to authorize the appropriation of funds to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearm safety or gun violence prevention – treating gun violence as a public health issue. Under that framework, the federal government should be providing research to support prevention and reduction of gun violence as it would for other public health crises.

Youth Development Program Funding: Councilor Campbell submitted her first hearing order today, calling for a review of funding for youth development programs in the public safety context. She emphasized the need for developing proactive, coordinated, systematic programming, because our youth development programs often address mental health services, mentoring, job opportunities for our youth in a way that impacts public safety. She noted that 20,000 people are incarcerated in MA, with the majority returning from state and federal detention facilities to the city of Boston. Many are first exposed to the criminal justice system as youth. At the hearing, she will focus on the need to maximize investments in our youth and hear from young people about what is working. As is Council tradition, all stood and gave her a standing ovation for her first remarks on the Council floor. The matter was sent to the Committee on Public Safety & Criminal Justice for a hearing.

Municipal Lobbying: Mayor Walsh submitted a home-rule petition to create regulations on disclosure and registration for lobbying at the city level, modeled after existing State-level regulations. The rules would apply to both executive and legislative lobbying, including communications with all city employees at all levels over government operation. The rules would also include procurement contracts in the regulatory framework. The matter was sent to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.

Attend a City Council Hearing
Check the legislative calendar here for upcoming hearings and working sessions that may interest you and make sure to spread the word.

Members of the public are always welcome to attend and speak at Council hearings. Please arrive early to sign-up for public testimony and bring fifteen copies of any written documentation you wish to present. 

Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch at www.cityofboston.com/citycouncil/live.asp)
  • Tuesday, 2/9 at 10AM, Council Chamber: Hearing on Ordinance to Exempt Elderly Residents from Snow Removal Obligations (Government Operations)
  • Tuesday, 2/9 at 1PM, Piemonte Room: Working Session on Urban Renewal (Planning & Development)
For complete an prior Boston City Council meeting notes, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email. 

How To Be Safe In South Boston

How to Be Safe in South Boston (...and beyond)

FREE Bystander Training by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)

When: Tuesday, February at 7PM
Where: South Boston Boys & Girls
Club -230 West 6th Street (02127)
Free & Open to the public
Featuring BARCC Staffers:
Stephanie Trilling, Manager of Community Awareness & Prevention Services
Cassie Luna, Community Awareness & Prevention Services Coordinator

Information about the free BARCC Bystander Training: “This in-depth, skill-building workshop focuses on how to safely act to challenge inappropriate sexual and violent behaviors in one’s community and environment. It includes current research that reveals why people do or do not intervene as well as empathy building exercises and role-plays.”

The training is approximately 1 1/2 hours and is free and open to the public. To RSVP and for more information contact: Kathleen via email KBSMFA(at)hotmail.com or call 617-876-2371.

A big thank you to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center for donating this training for the South Boston community and to the South Boston Boys & Girls Club for graciously hosting this event. Special thanks to State Senator Linda Forry and her staff and also to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) and ONS South Boston Liaison John Allison for their help with this event.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

MBTA Fare Increase Public Meeting Tonight

The MBTA is holding meetings for the public to offer recorded comments, which will be considered by the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board and MassDOT. A series of 10 public meetings (January - February) on fare changes will be followed by a vote of the Board, which is anticipated to occur in March. The Board will consider public input on two possible scenarios.

Fare adjustments are just one part of a broader effort by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to close the T's $242 million structural deficit with a series of cost cutting measures and improvements in operational efficiency.

Tuesday, February 2
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Public Hearing
State Transportation Building
Floor 2, Conference Rooms 1,2,3
10 Park Plaza. Boston
Topic: Fare Changes

The T has created an online Fare Options Comparison tool to give customers the opportunity to calculate fares under the proposed changes. Go to:http://goo.gl/IBezHv.

Written comments about the MBTA fare proposals will be accepted through Friday, February 12, 2016, and can be mailed to: MBTA, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Fare Proposal Committee; online at mbta.com; by email at fareproposal@mbta.com; or by phone at (617) 222-3200, TTY (617) 222-5146.

Friday, January 29, 2016

FEMA Corps Explain Flood Insurance Rate Map Changes

Is your Fort Point property or residential building subject to changes in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) effective March 16, 2016?

To discover and prepare for flood zone changes, FEMA, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the City of Boston Environment Department will have representatives at local civic meetings to provide assistance to people with further questions about the changes, including additional information about flood zones, personal assistance with reading the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and available options to mitigate the impact of those changes. 

FEMA Corps representatives attended the Fort Point Neighborhood Association's (FPNA) January 27th neighborhood meeting and will return to answer questions at FPNA's February 23d meeting from 6pm - 8pm at Factory 63. 

To better understand the potential impact, utilize the following resources:

  Look up addresses of the updated maps at the FEMA Map Service Center Portal 
  
  Instructions to view the updated maps:

  • Enter Address
  • Note your panel number
  • Click “Show All Products”
  • Select the “Pending Products” folder under the blue box
  • Select “FIRM Panels” 
  • Select the one that has your panel number and locate your house

  Call a FEMA Map Specialist to help read the map at 1-877-FEMA-MAP (877-336-2627)
   
  Visit floodsmart.gov for more information about flood insurance

  Call a FEMA Insurance Specialist to discuss insurance options at 1-888-379-9531. 

View related posts

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Boston CIty Council Looks at Pay Equity, Condon School, Charter Changes & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered these items and more on January 27, 2016:

Appointments
• Neighborhood Jobs Trust: Councilor Mark Ciommo and Trinh Nguyen were appointed as Trustees until January 2018
• Carl Spector was appointed Commissioner of the Environment Department
• Jake Sullivan was appointed Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

• Housing Trust: Councilor Zakim was appointed until December 2017 (this was a Council President appointment; all the others were Mayoral appointments)

Massachusetts School Building Authority: Mayor Walsh filed statements of interests for repair cost reimbursement for the following schools: West Roxbury Education Complex, Jackson-Mann K-8 in Allston, McCormack Middle School in Dorchester, Dever Elementary in Dorchester, Boston Latin School in Fenway, Channing Elementary in Hyde Park, and the Condon School in South Boston. The matters were assigned to the Ways & Means Committee for a hearing.

Hubway Grant: The Council voted to authorize a grant in accordance with Councilor McCarthy’s recommendation that would fund Hubway bike share stations in Brighton ($95,600 from the Boston College Neighborhood Improvement Fund). Councilor McCarthy and Councilor Ciommo both stated that Hubway needed to have better communications with the City and Councilors about the placement of stations, because the Council is committed to supporting multi-modal transportation but placing the stations without community feedback can lead to unintended traffic and safety issues.

Landmarks Designation: The Boston Landmarks Commission filed for Council approval on two new designations: the Winthrop-Carter Building (1 Water Street, downtown) and the Alvah Kitterage House (10 Linwood Street, Roxbury). These would automatically take effect on February 12, 2016 if no vote takes place. The matters were assigned to the Committee on Planning & Development for a hearing.


Pay Equity Resolution: The Council voted unanimously to suspend and pass Councilor Pressley’s resolution supporting state legislation to establish pay equity (S.2107/H.1733). The legislation would amend the current Massachusetts Equal Pay Act to include provisions that would allow employees to discuss compensation among co-workers, prohibit employers from inquiring about previous compensation in the interview process, and create a standard for internal review for businesses to ensure compensation is in accordance with industry standards. In the US, women working full-time earn 79% of what men earn. Black women working full-time earn 68% of what men earn, and Latina women earn 54%. 

Income Inequality: Councilor Pressley filed a hearing order to discuss how to reduce income inequality in Boston and identify best practices for economic mobility, workforce development, asset building, and retention. She noted that the order was in response to the Brookings Institute’s recent study that found Boston was the city with the greatest income inequality in the country. The matter was sent to the Committee on Jobs, Wages & Workforce Development.

Special Education Equitable Transitions: Councilor Pressley called for a hearing to review the FY17 BPS special education budget and identify solutions to ensure equitable transitions of BPS youth as they graduate or age out of BPS. Councilor Jackson noted that he appreciated the focus on the BPS budget, as he doesn’t believe the increases to the budget this year are sufficient, given that they don’t match inflation. The matter was assigned to the Education Committee for a hearing.

Urban Renewal: Councilor Linehan filed for a working session on the Urban Renewal Plan and process from the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The BRA’s urban renewal powers are set to expire in April 2016, and the agency has been seeking a 10-year renewal of their existing powers, which would require Council approval and approval from the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. The matter was sent to the Planning & Development Committee for a hearing.

Sister Cities: Councilor Flaherty called for a hearing on Boston’s Sister Cities program. He noted that Boston currently has ten sister cities around the world, allowing the city to develop educational, cultural, and economic ties, which are crucial to remaining a global leader in innovation. The matter was sent to the Committee on Arts, Culture & Special Events for a hearing.

Open Meeting Law Complaint: The Council voted to pass my order designating the City’s Corporation Counsel as our respondent for the Open Meeting Law complaint filed against the City Council by Shirley Kressel. Councilor Wu filed the order to comply with the state Open Meeting Law and the Attorney General’s regulations, which require that any legislative body that receives a complaint acknowledge it at a public meeting of the body and designate a respondent. The substance of the complaint deals with the Council’s December 9, 2015 vote to approve transfer of the Winthrop Square Garage to the Public Facilities Commission.

Charter Changes: Councilor Baker filed three home-rule petitions to change the Boston City Charter, which were assigned jointly to the Special Committee on Charter Reform and the Committee on Government Operations:

• Term of Office for Councilors: extending the term of office from two years to four years
• Process for filling Vacancy: in case of vacancy for Councilor At-Large, there would be a special election to fill the role instead of having the 5th place finisher automatically move into the role
• Concurrent Candidacies: prohibiting anyone from running for multiple city offices at the same time (e.g. Mayor and Councilor)

For complete an prior Boston City Council meeting notes, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

City Councilors Share New Year's Resolutions

Bill Linehan (District 2)
  • Spend more time in District 2 post-Council presidency
  • Continue alcohol tax initiative for recovery services
  • Create more workforce housing as Chair of the Committee on Planning and Development

Annissa Essaibi-George (At-Large)

  • Improve public safety by leading the fight against addiction and homelessness
  • Strengthen neighborhoods and their arts communities
  • Help Boston Public Schools deliver excellent education

Michael F. Flaherty (At-Large)
  • Spend more time volunteering with local non-profit and charitable organizations
  • Collaborate with district councilors and community leaders on neighborhood-based initiatives

Ayanna Pressley (At-Large)
  • Continue to work toward greater neighborhood equity
  • Ensure that every Bostonian can lead healthy and thrilling lives regardless of their status or community

Michelle Wu (At-Large)
  • Revamp the City Council website so that all dockets and documents can be tracked online
  • Encourage each committee to hold town hall meetings in the neighborhoods so the Council can set an action agenda
  • Expand the Council art and internship programs

Dot Avenue Corridor Plan: Placemaking & Mobility Workshop

Join the Boston Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 from 5:30 - 6:00 PM for networking and an open house on the Dorchester Avenue Corridor Plan. Then from 6:00 - 8:00 PM participate in a Placemaking and Mobility workshop, which will focus on the future character of the study area and various components of the emerging plan. The meeting will take place at the Mass Bay Credit Union located at 147 West Fourth St in South Boston. This is the sixth workshop of the Dorchester Avenue Corridor planning process. More details on the Dot Ave Corridor Plan.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fort Point Neighbors Raise Questions About The Boston Grand Prix

Fort Point neighbors came together at a recent Fort Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA) meeting to prepare questions for FPNA's upcoming neighborhood meeting with the Boston Grand Prix on January 26th from 6 pm - 8 pm at the Boston Children's Museum. The list of questions generated were provided to IndyCar Boston last week and are published below.  

The Fort Point community looks forward to informative, productive meeting covering all aspects of the event from construction to the race days through breakdown and restoration. This meeting is an important first step in understanding the impact and
necessary accommodations for those of us living and working in Fort Point. 

If you have not yet registered to meeting, please click here. Registration is required for admission. 


What is the status of agreements and permits following Letter of Intent (12/18/15)?

➢ State agencies and authorities (MBTA, Massport, MassDOT, & MCCA)
➢ Federal agencies (USPS)
➢ City of Boston
➢ What is the permit process timeline?

Will Fort Point residents, guest and clients be guaranteed 24/7 access to residential buildings, parking garages & on street residential parking?

➢ Garages: Stillings, Farnsworth, Necco, and Channel Center

➢ Streets

  • Summer Street from Melcher to Boston Wharf Road
  • Congress from Fort Point Channel to Boston Wharf Road
  • A Street from Congress to West Broadway
  • Sleeper St. from Congress to Seaport Blvd.
  • Farnsworth St./ Thompson Place /Stillings St./ Boston Wharf Road
  • Melcher St. from Summer to A Street
  • Wormwood, Binford, Medallion, Iron and Richards Streets

➢ Residential buildings:

  • 15 Channel Center: 89 units
  • 25 Channel Center: 76 units
  • 35 Channel Center: 44 units
  • 249 A Street: 45 units
  • 21 Wormwood: 117 units
  • 315 A Street: 202 units
  • 346 Congress: 89 units
  • 381 Congress: 44 units
  • 300 Summer St: 47 units
  • 319 A Street: 48 units (opening July 2016)
  • 326 A Street: 9 units
  • 355 Congress St: 2 units
  • 49 Melcher: 21 units
  • 63 Melcher: 38 units
  • 15-33 Sleeper St: 88 units

Noise Levels
➢ What is the maximum noise level during practices and races?
➢ What is the noise level from spectators, vendors and special events (i.e. concerts)?
➢ What noise safety precautions will be employed?


Construction and Breakdown Period and Schedule
➢ What is duration from start to finish?
➢ Will there be night and weekend work?
➢ What are the hours & days?
➢ Where is the lay down or marshalling area(s)?
➢ Who do we contact in case of problems, especially after hours?


Road Closures & Schedule (from construction to breakdown)
➢ What are the specific roads/intersections and closure duration (hours/days)?
➢ Will road closures limit access to public and residential parking?
➢ Will there be access to Interstate 90 & 93 on/off ramps on Congress Street?
➢ Will there be access to the Ted Williams tunnel to Logan Airport?
➢ Will there be emergency access and a clear evacuation route?
➢ What will be the truck alternate routes from the South Boston Bypass Road/Haul Road, including trucks from the Marine Industrial Park, Gillette, and USPS?
➢ Will there be interruptions to the Silver Line route & schedule? If so, what times & days?
What will be the impact on traffic on already busy streets like Congress & A Streets?
➢ What days/hours will access be restricted to South Boston Bypass Rd, West Service Rd. and Congress from W. Service into the Seaport?


Street Conditions & Use

➢ Given the poor condition of Cypher St, what upgrades are required to make it safe to include in the race course?
➢ What upgrades are required to make the other course roads safe for auto racing?


Location Placement
Please provide race course map displaying neighborhood streets and residential buildings in proximity to race course, grandstand viewing areas, television camera platforms, television and media production locations, safety runoffs,crew pits, etc. for presentation and as handouts for distribution.
➢ Has the race course changed since September 22, 2015?
➢ Where are the public access points/gates/grandstands/hospitality suites etc…?
➢ Where will the broadcast/media and related parking be located?
➢ Where are the grandstands, hospitality suites, sanitary facilities going to be set up?
➢ Will the Gillette & USPS parking lots along A Street be used for parking, spectator hospitality/ Fan Fest Tents, pre-event construction, sanitary facilities, etc…?

Grandstands
➢ What are the height and length of each grandstand?
➢ What is the volume (number of seats) for each grandstand and total number of seats?
➢ What other spectator viewing areas are planned?

Runoffs and Crew Pits
➢ What materials will be used to create runoffs?
➢ What is the placement of the crew pits and runoffs?
➢ What is the length of the crew pits and runoffs?
➢ What elevation changes are needed to create pits given current conditions?
➢ Will there be road closures to accommodate the construction of the runoffs and crew pits? If so, what is the duration?

Mobility
➢ How tall are the jersey barriers and safety fencing?
➢ Will there be unrestricted access to sidewalks?
➢ Will there be unrestricted access to bike lanes?
➢ Will there be restrictions to walk & bike ability in and around Fort Point?

What is the Trash removal plan and schedule for ?
➢ Event areas
➢ Gillette & USPS parking lots (if used)
➢ Grandstand areas, etc…

Security / Public Safety/ Crowd Control
➢ What is the Terrorism Prevention & Emergency Management Plan?
➢ How will you restrict the public from entering residential buildings adjacent to track and viewing areas?
➢ What about the protection of green spaces, landscapes, buildings and cars?
➢ What is the plan?
➢ Who is paying for additional local and state law enforcement?

Insurance: If the public gets hurt or there is building damage on/to a commercial or residential property adjacent to track or viewing area, will the Boston Grand Prix's liability insurance cover it?

Local Community Benefits: What are the benefits to Fort Point South Boston community?