Thursday, October 08, 2015

State Police Drills at Black Falcon Terminal Friday

Massachusetts State Police will be conducting emergency drills in collaboration with the Queen Mary at the Black Falcon Terminal tomorrow from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Emergency and tactical police vehicles will be visible at the terminals, but are part of the drill.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Congress Street Pedestrian Signal at Boston Children's Museum

There will be a new pedestrian signal installed at the existing crosswalk close to the Boston Children's Museum. After years of construction planning with the City, the Boston Children's Museum, the Seaport TMA and numerous Fort Point neighbors, the signal is moving forward, and rather quickly at this point.

The current details of the project are as follows:
  • The signal will allow pedestrians wishing to cross Congress Street in this location to activate a new pedestrian signal while simultaneously giving a red stop light for vehicles traveling in both directions of Congress Street.
  • Standard construction hours will be Monday - Friday from 7:00AM – 3:00PM.
    • Some occasional Saturday early morning work may be required for specific project components such as paving.
    • The Seaport TMA will provide updates on any weekend work.
  • The current plan is for activity to begin on the southern side of Congress Street first (side of 303 and 313 Congress) then move to the northern side.
  • Police details have been requested to help manage traffic flow, however there may be instances in which work is taking place without a detail present. (Contractors are typically allowed to work without a detail if they have shown evidence of requesting them.)
  • The Seaport TMA and Boston Children’s Museum have stressed the importance of this location needing a police detail due to the high volume of pedestrian activity, traffic and general activity here.
  • The project schedule anticipates most of the work being completed by the end of the November, with the actual traffic signal installed and the pedestrian/traffic signals active in early spring.
Work will begin again on Thursday, October 7, 2015.
  • The contractor will complete the sawcutting that started Tuesday on the museum side of Congress Street before setting up on the southern side of the street.
  • The contractor will start working on the southern side of Sleeper Street, progressing towards the Bridge.
  • The contractor will be doing the cuts that come across the street though, so there will be some impact to traffic in the early days.  
source: Lauren Grymek, Executive Director, Seaport TMA

Friday, October 02, 2015

Boston City Council Looks At Gas Leaks, Street Trees, Unfair Rail Fares & More

Councillor-At-Large Michelle Wu provides notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the items below at their September 30, 2015 meeting

Emergency Impact of Closing Long Island: Councilors Pressley as Chair of the Committee on Healthy Women, Families & Communities presented a report summarizing the findings from working sessions that Councilor Yancey called for on the impacts of closing Long Island. The report focuses on the impacts on substance abuse programs and men & women experiencing homelessness. The matter remains in committee for further discussion and action.

Reentry Resources: Councilor Jackson reported back on yesterday's City Council hearing at the Suffolk County House of Corrections - the first City Council hearing in the country that has taken place in a jail. The Council heard from formerly incarcerated men and women, community advocates, and family members. Councilor Jackson emphasized the need for a one-stop shop to support reentry, including getting driver's licenses back, finding housing, etc. Councilor Murphy recommended engaging our large institutions to support formerly incarcerated people through PILOT, such as having hospitals offer treatment for substance use and universities partner around access to education. Councilor Pressley noted the importance of recognizing the sexual abuse-to-prison pipeline for women, that many incarcerated women are survivors of physical or sexual abuse, and the child of an incarcerated parent is four times more likely to drop out of school. The matter remains in the Committee on Black and Latino Men & Boys.

Gas Leaks: We voted to suspend and pass two resolutions filed by Councilors O'Malley & Zakim following up on the gas leaks hearing last week. The first resolution voices support for state legislation that would shift the financial burden of paying for gas leaks from consumers to the utility companies, following a model already in place in Texas and Pennsylvania. The second resolution supports state legislation that would compel utility companies to fix leaks when a street is opened up for other construction. As noted at the hearing, currently the utility companies are notified but not required to act when a street is opened up.

Street Trees: Councilor Wu called for a hearing on the care of street trees, an issue that has come up again and again knocking on doors and speaking with residents across the city. Public shade trees, or street trees, help make our neighborhoods feel welcoming and also improve air quality. However, they need help dealing with the stresses of living in an urban environment, particularly when young trees are planted to replace mature trees. Several Councilors suggested including Public Works in the conversation, because many constituent requests describe buckling sidewalks or overgrown branches that need to be pruned. Some Councilors also noted that the response time to tree-related requests can be quite long. Boston currently has 29% tree canopy coverage across neighborhoods, and Greenovate Boston and the Grow Boston Greener campaign has a goal of getting to 35% coverage by 2030. We need help and partnerships between the City and residents to get there, and this hearing will analyze the resources we have in place to care for street trees. The matter was sent to the Environment & Parks Committee for a hearing.

Unfair Commuter Rail Fares: Councilors McCarthy, Murphy & Wu called for a hearing on inconsistencies in Commuter Rail fares across Boston. The MBTA draws a line between Zone 1A and Zone 1 stops, with a significant fare increase from $2.10 to $5.75 across that arbitrary border. Roslindale is just outside Zone 1A, so residents pay significantly more than residents in some towns outside Boston that fall in Zone 1A. Councilor McCarthy noted the impacts on parking, with residents driving across these zone lines, parking their cars in overcrowded MBTA lots and spilling over into the surrounding neighborhood. Several colleagues noted that this is an issue of fairness, and all of Boston should have access to the lower commuter rail fare.

Reprecincting: Councilors Pressley & O'Malley pulled the resolution filed last week out of committee, and we voted to suspend and pass it in support of Rep. Aaron Michlewitz's state legislation to remove Boston's exemption from the statewide requirements of redrawing precinct lines every 10 years for equal numbers of people in each precinct. Having equal numbers of voters per precinct would be more efficient use of election administration resources and also reduce the wait time to vote in certain very large precincts.

For prior Boston City Council meetings, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email at

Election Officers Wanted At Upcoming Elections

Interested in a done in a day job? Become an election officer at the polls for upcoming elections. For more details on this one day paid opportunity, click hereThe next election is Tuesday, November 3, 2015. If you have not yet registered, you have until October 14th and can apply online.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Dorchester Ave. Visioning Workshop

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) invites you to attend a visioning workshop to prioritize feedback received from the Walk/Bike Tour and Open House, and to begin shaping a vision statement for the plan on: 

Thursday, October 1
6:00 pm
Iron Workers Local 7, 195 Old Colony Ave

orginally published 9.23.15

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Boston City Council Looks at Gas Leaks, Sandwich Board Permitting & More

Councillor-At-Large Michelle Wu provides notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the items below and more at their September 23, 2015 meeting:

Sandwich Board Signs: Mayor Walsh submitted a draft ordinance on sandwich board signs on public sidewalks, following a hearing order by Councilor Flaherty on June 17th that has since had a hearing and working session in my Committee on Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The new regulations would lighten the permitting load on small businesses by eliminating the free-standing sign permit, but include rules to guarantee accessibility and accountability: maximum size of 24"x36", weather resistant material, can be outside only during the business' hours of operation, must identify the name/address/phone of the business & sign owner for liability purposes, displays content limited to the business' goods for sale, and does not display alcohol or tobacco advertisement. Now as proposed legislation, the matter was sent to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.

Gas Leaks: Councilor O'Malley reported back on Monday afternoon's 3.5 hour-long hearing with City officials, state legislators, and activists on gas leaks in Boston, citing the importance of dealing with this safety, environmental issue and financial issue. He noted that while there is coordination between the City and utilities when roads are opened up for construction or resurfacing, there are no requirements to mandate the utility companies to actually fix the leaks when streets are opened. Councilor Murphy added that currently there is no independent inspection to check whether the leaks have been repaired and to certify their safety, and the City should have a role in this. The matter will remain in the Environment & Parks Committee for further working sessions.

Resolution Supporting State Reprecincting: Councilors Pressley & O'Malley submitted a resolution to support Rep. Aaron Michlewitz's state legislation to remove Boston's exemption from the statewide requirements of redrawing precinct lines every 10 years for equal numbers of people in each precinct. They cited the residential shift in Boston toward northern neighborhoods, making some precincts very large and causing long voting lines, and leaving some very small precincts that waste public money on staffing and election administration. For example, Ward 5, Precinct 1 has 6010 registered voters while Ward 8 Precinct 6 has 805 registered voters. Councilor Murphy offered a successful amendment to reference the City Council's previous work on this, as the state legislation comes out of Councilor Mike Ross' home rule petition in 2011, which the Council passed and led to the state legislation. The matter was sent to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.

For complete minutes of September 23rd meeting and prior Boston City Council meetings, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email at

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September Dates To Remember

Homage: Old Northern Avenue Bridge Art Opening
September 23d 5:30 - 7:30 pm 
249 A Street

South Boston Bus Stops & Route Improvement Planning
September 23d 5:30 - 7:30 pm Condon School, 200 D St
September 30th 5:30 - 7:30 pm Tynan School, 650 E 4th St
Preliminary planning meetings for South Boston bus stops and service improvements. 

FPNA Welcome Back Meeting
Monday, September 28th *new date*
Factory 63
Catch up with your neighbors and neighborhood updates including pedestrian crossing light at Boston Children's Museum, District C-6 community police report and special appearance by City Council President Bill Linehan.  More details.

175-179 W 1st St & 174 W 2nd St Public Park & Community Garden Meeting
September 28th and October 13th
6:30 pm
Condon School, 200 D Street

Boston Police Seaport/Fort Point Community Meeting
Tuesday. September 29th
6 pm
District Hall, 75 Northern Ave
Vivien Li Farewell
Tuesday, September 29th 5:30pm - 7:30pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress Street
The Boston Harbor Association hosts a farewell celebration for TBHA President, Vivien Li. Tickets $20.

Save the date of October 27th for FPNA's Fort Point meeting for the neighborhood
at Factory 63 from 6pm - 8pm.

originally posted 9.22.15

FPNA Welcome Back September Meeting

Come find out what happened in Fort Point while you were away this summer and catch up with your neighbors at the Fort Point Neighborhood Association's Welcome Back meeting.

Monday, September 28th  *new date*
6:00-7:00 pm
Factory 63
63 Melcher St.

General Meeting
Neighborhood Updates & Discussion

with special appearances by
City of Boston Council 
President Bill Linehan

New Neighbor, Paul Piccirillo
 Vice President, Leader Bank

*Due to the Farewell for Vivien Li, The Boston Harbor Association President on Tuesday, Sept. 29th, the FPNA moved their regular last Tuesday of the month meeting to Monday, September 28th.

originally posted 9.21.15

Boston Police Seaport/Fort Point Community Meeting

The Boston Police Department invites you to attend a community meeting! 

When: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 6:00 p.m. 

Where: District Hall 75 Northern Ave, South Boston 

The Boston Police Department encourages residents and business owners both new and old to join us in a conversation about traffic, parking, and general concerns. You’ll meet the Police Commissioner, local officers and specialized units within the department and learn about resources that the Boston Police Department has to offer your growing community.

For more information please call the Neighborhood Watch Unit at 617-343-4345. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Opening Wed at 249 A St

Gallery at 249 A Street 
Old Northern Avenue Bridge

September 15 - October 12, 2015
Reception Wednesday September 23, 5:30-7:30pm
open by appointment

Nicole Aquillano
Dirk Ahlgrim
Joel Babb
Laura Davidson
Don Eyles
William Frese
Ian Kennelly
Lisa Knox
Kirk McNeil
Charles Norris
Heather Meri Stewart
Lenore Tenenblatt
George Vasquez
Jennifer Wood

Guest juror: Susan Merritt, independent curator

The gallery at 249 A Street presents a show of work inspired by the Old Northern Avenue Bridge and its bridge tender's house.

The Old Northern Avenue Bridge, built in 1908, is the last remaining industrial swing bridge in Boston. It spans the Fort Point Channel at the mouth of Boston Harbor. The bridge was designed by Boston's Chief Engineer, following his tour of drawbridges in England. Although it was designed for freight trains, a local political dispute resulted in it being used for other vehicles. The pedestrian walkways to the side were added in later years.

Bridge openings were initially operated by steam engine, but later changed to electric motor. The bridge tender's house (beside the bridge) is badly deteriorated, and its associated pier fields and deckings were removed in recent years.
The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in 1999, and functioned as a pedestrian crossing until December 2014, when it was closed to all traffic due to structural concerns. These concerns were first noted over a dozen years ago but no significant structural repairs were made.

The City of Boston is currently exploring various plans for the future of the bridge, ranging from restoration to demolition and replacement. 

Over the years the bridge has been an inspiration to many artists. The Gallery at 249 A is pleased to present this  juried exhibition celebrating the bridge and its adjacent bridge tender's house. The show includes photography, painting, drawing, and ceramics.

About the juror
Susan Merritt, independent curator
Since 2002, Susan has been committed to creating opportunities for artists. As art consultant for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), she launched the first convention center rotating art exhibition program in the nation. After working with a number of non-profit organizations, including FPAC, and serving on many committees, she is taking some time to work in her studio as an oil painter.

About the Gallery at 249 A Street
Gallery At 249 A Street features rotating art exhibitions and special arts events. The space is an evolving project of the 249 A Street Cooperative, one of Massachusetts's first limited-equity live/work cooperative for artists. The building, which is home to more than 45 artists and their families, has served as a model for artists' housing nationwide and was key in the growth of the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC). Gallery At 249 A Street was the home of the FPAC Office for its first eleven years. The 249 A Street Cooperative celebrated its 30th anniversary with the opening of this new gallery space in September 2014.

open by appointment. to schedule an appointment email:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

175-179 W 1st St & 174 W 2nd St Public Park & Community Garden Meeting

The Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) and  Boston Parks  and Recreation Department (BPRD) invite you to 2 community meetings to discuss and refine the vision for a public park and community garden at 174 W. 2nd Street and 175-179 W. 1st Street in South Boston. 

September 28, 2015 and October 13, 2015
6:30 pm 
Condon Community Center | 200 D Street | South Boston

At the meetings, DND, BPRD, neighbors and a Design Consultant will review plan elements and advance design plans for the site.  DND and BPRD look to improve the site based on community comments in the near future.  You are encouraged to attend the meetings.

For details and more information, please contact: Ryan Lundergan at
617-635-0323 or via email at

Monday, September 14, 2015

South Boston Street Festival This Saturday

Eat, shop and be entertained at the sixteenth annual South Boston Street Festival this Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 11 am to 4 pm. The festival takes place on East Broadway between I Street and L Street. 

Come browse and shop at over 100 local merchants, artists and organizations. The Fort Point Neighborhood Association will be there along with sister South Boston neighborhood associations.

Grab eats from some favorite restaurants such as Fort Point's Lucky's Lounge and many more...

Karen K and The Jitterbugs will be performing for the children as well as Southie band Thomas Park and more...

There will be special performances by The Peggy Wood School of Irish Step Dance and The Ultimate Self Defense & Performance Center. 

All the details at South Boston Street Festival.