Friday, May 26, 2017

Boston City Council Looks At Community Preservation, Pregnant Workers, Chamber Accessibility & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and many more during their May Council meetings:

Community Preservation Committee: Councilor Flaherty reported back on May 15th's working session on the creation of the Community Preservation Committee. State law requires that after communities opt in to the CPA, the local legislative body passes an ordinance to define the composition and procedures of the committee that will make recommendations on how to allocate CPA funds. This ordinance proposes a committee of 5 members appointed by the Mayor (heads of various agencies/commissions that oversee affordable housing, parks and open space, and historic preservation as statutorily defined) and 4 appointed by the City Council, serving staggered 3 year terms. The group would be responsible for recommending allocations of expenditures from the Community Preservation Fund, which must be appropriated by vote of the City Council. CPA projects must be related to the acquisition, creation, and preservation of open space, historic preservation, and affordable housing.
At the working session, a revised draft that included more specific language on transparency, committee member expertise, and the selection process was reviewed. The Yes for a Better Boston (YBB) Coalition which had led the community mobilization efforts pushing for the ballot initiative had requested that all four Council appointments should come from a list of 12 people that YBB would provide. The Administration also drafted an ordinance that would have the Mayor appoint these seats – 1 from a list created by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and 3 from a list of 9 from YBB. Councilors expressed concern about allocating seats to specific organizations, given that ordinances will be on the books for years to come and the composition and leadership of organizations can change. Our proposal is for the Council to create a subcommittee to oversee the selection process (through an open application portal on the City website that could include support letters from organizations) and hear recommendations from the CPA Committee on allocation. Councilor Flaherty also mentioned that there was some discussion on whether the Council needed to formalize the committee structure by June 1st in order for the City to begin collecting and potentially disbursing the funds in this fiscal year; if that is the case, we would have to vote on the ordinance at next week’s meeting. The matter remains in the Committee on Government Operations.

Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Nationals: The Council voted to adopt President Wu's resolution filed in partnership with Councilors Jackson, McCarthy, and Zakim to urge the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals. TPS is an emergency immigration status given when people are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. The TPS designation allows eligible Haitian nationals to temporarily continue living and working in the United States, and it was granted to Haitian nationals who were in the US as of January 12, 2010, the date of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The designation has been renewed multiple times, and the latest extension expires July 22, 2017, with a decision due by May 23rd to leave enough time for a 60-day notice period. Legally, the decision should only be based on current conditions in Haiti, and whether people could safely return. We know that Haiti has not yet recovered from the 2010 earthquake and the nation suffers from economic and political crises, rampant Zika and Chikungunya, the effects of a devastating cholera epidemic, and the destructive effects of Hurricane Matthew. However, there have been recent reports that the Trump administration has requested questionable data regarding TPS beneficiaries’ involvement with the criminal justice system and public benefits system, suggesting that they are looking to build a misleading narrative. Several Councilors rose to support extending TPS for Haitian nationals, citing the strong and thriving Haitian American community in the Greater Boston region, which makes up the country’s third-largest Haitian population; nearly 1 out of 10 Haitians living in this area have TPS. May is Haitian Heritage Month, and the City of Boston is proud to be the first city in the nation to formally celebrate Haitian Heritage Month.

Council Chamber Accessibility Project: President Wu gave a brief update on the Council Chamber accessibility project, which is proceeding on schedule for renovations this summer beginning in early July and lasting until September. Plans are being finalized to use Faneuil Hall for those summer meetings during construction, except that the space is booked already for the dates of our last two meetings in September, so those dates dates may need to be adjusted or a different location found. As a reminder, the project will lift the Council floor and make our space fully accessible for those with mobility challenges and/or using wheelchairs. Currently, the Council floor is three steps down from the main floor, and the only way down is from a ramp that requires someone in a wheelchair to go all the way around to the back entrance for access. The new plans will mean that no one will have to go around to the back to access the Council floor, and that the Councilors’ entrance and President’s podium will be fully accessible. It will also change a row of public seating to provide wheelchair-accessible seating (currently nonexistent). The improvements will also include sound treatments on some of the walls to help attendees hear better, LED lights that will save energy and provide adequate lighting on one side of the Chamber that is currently dark, and new carpeting in the form of carpet tiles that are easier to clean and overall more cost-effective to maintain.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: The Council voted to pass Councilor Pressley’s resolution supporting the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act proposed at the state level, which would protect women needing reasonable accommodations during and after pregnancy. The City of Boston already has these protections in place. Councilor Campbell and I, both expecting this summer, were especially eager to support!

Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch Live)
  • Wednesday, 5/31 at 2:00PM, Fenway Cultural District (Arts & Culture) [Offsite at the Museum of Fine Arts Remis Auditorium]
For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fort Point Channel Landmarks June 2017 Meeting

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

Thursday, June 8, 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

17.1002 FPC 253 Summer Street (continued from 1/2017)
Applicant: Susan Twomey, Bergmeyer Associates. Inc.
Proposed Work: lnstall wall painted signage (Lolita) at one location; remove infill at openings fronting the channel; install menu boxes at two locations; relocate the Harborwalk Signage; create a new door opening within the Harborwalk; install stairs and metal corner guards at Necco Court entry; modify Certificate of Design Approval 16.1560FPC and 17.71OFPC with changes to the lighting, window sash material within the Harborwalk. and modify the design of the paired entry doors within the Harborwalk.

Applicant: Peter Cavanaugh, General Electric
Proposed Work: Rehabilitate the connector bridge on Necco Court.

Applicant: Peter Cooke, T-Mobile Northeast LLC
Proposed Work: Install telecommunication equipment on the roof of the building.

Applicant: Kosta Jovanovic, Crown Castle
Proposed Work: Modify Certificate of Design Approval l7.6l7FPC by changing the style of two light poles featuring telecommunication equipment.

II. REVIEW and RATIFICATION OF May ll, 2017 MINUTES

III. STAFF UPDATES

PROJECTED ADJOURNMENT: 7:45 PM

FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION
David Berarducci (Chair). Susan Goganian, John Karoff (Vice-Chair), Lynn Smiledge, Michele Yeeles
Alternates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fort Point Salutes Massachussetts Fallen Heroes Patriot Week

The Fort Point Neighborhood Association is proud to have Massachusetts Fallen Heroes as a sponsor of Fort Point's Love Your Block. On Saturday May 20, 2017, the kick-off Patriot Week (May 20 -May 29, 2017), Fort Point residents gathered to volunteer and to salute our veterans and honor their sacrifice. 




Patriot Week kicks off today with the 2nd Annual Patriot Fest Concert at the Lawn on D. Performers include Tyler Farr, Eric Paslay, Dalton and The Sheriffs and Louie Bello. The concert is a celebration of service on Armed Forces Day. Tickets are available for purchase through Ticketmaster.com.

Massachusetts Fallen Heroes partners will light up their buildings, schools, and landmarks GOLD to Honor our Fallen during Patriot Week Light It Up Gold campaign. Fort Point partners are the: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Atlantic Wharf and the nearby Rose Kennedy Greenway.

On Saturday, May 27th there will be a re-dedication of the Memorial & Reception to honor the Fallen at the Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes memorial at Seaport Common next to District Hall. 

For a complete listing of events, visit Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Patriot Week.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

FPNA May Fort Point Gathering: Tall Ships, Beer, Pianos & Parking

Join the Fort Point Neighborhood Association

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
6 pm - 8 pm
Factory 63
63 Melcher Street


for
Fort Point May Gathering


featuring
June 17 - June 22, 2017 

with a re-permitting presentation for
332-340 Summer Street
an open air parking lot

plus

Trillium Brewing
New Location & Concept

&
D Street Dueling Pianos
Element Boston Seaport Hotel, 391 D Street
seeking a 7 day full liquor & entertainment licenses

featured restaurant: Yoki Express

originally published 5.17.17

Friday, May 19, 2017

GE Groundbreaking Construction

Updated 5.17.17: Find out more construction details at GE Innovation Point Community Engagement meeting on Monday, May 22, 2017 from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm at Factory 63, 63 Melcher St. RSVP

GE held their official ground breaking Monday morning.
GE  Groundbreaking 5/8/17 Fort Point

In advance of the groundbreaking GE's Ecosystem Transition Leader, Peter Cavanaugh, spoke to the Fort Point neighborhood at FPNA's April 25th gathering. View presentation.

Mr. Cavanaugh explained how GE selected Boston and in particular Fort Point to be the perfect setting for the digital and industrial company. 

At the neighborhood's request, the rest of the talk focused on the construction of GE Innovation Point. Below are some construction highlights and updates.  Once construction begins later this spring, updates will be available at GEReports or you may email or call 617-443-3434. Suffolk Construction will construct the new building. Consigli Construction will rehabilitate the two historic NECCO candy factory buildings. 

Project Work Hours:
At the meeting the Project work hours were stated to be from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday.  This time range is in accordance with Boston City Ordinances: however, this is in excess of a typical workday.  The majority of work on-site will be performed during the hours of 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.  There will be work that is performed after 3:30 pm due to logistical or safety reasons. GE will try to limit this work to the extent that possible, specifically any work that is loud. Off-hour and weekend work will be utilized in cases when the Project schedule needs to be maintained or phases of the work need to be performed to minimize impacts to the neighborhood.  A schedule of such activities will be provided in advance.

Truck Routes: 
The neighborhood raised questions regarding the routes for construction truck traffic. Trucks are needed to remove debris and material excavated or removed from the site, and to deliver new construction materials as the project proceeds.  Truck traffic related to this construction site shall vary considerably throughout the construction period.  Construction of the General Electric Headquarters is expected to generate an average of 30 trucks per day for the entire construction period. The impact of construction trucks in the evening peak hour is expected to be insignificant because most deliveries are completed prior to the end of the typical construction work day (3:30 PM). Truck activity is expected to be uniformly distributed throughout the work day.  Thus, an anticipated average of 30 trucks per day to the site translates to approximately 4 trucks every 1 hour if distributed over an eight-hour work day. Trucks coming to and from the site are required to use major arterial roadways or highways and not local streets.  View truck routes approved by BTD.  Delivery drivers will be encouraged to use the main roads as much as possible.

Construction Personnel Parking:
The number of workers per day will vary as construction proceeds.  Over the entire Project construction period, the average number of workers per day will be between approximately 250. Please keep in mind that that this is an average over the life of the Project.  As mentioned at the meeting, the location of the construction site makes public transportation very accessible and many workers will use this transit option.  The site is convenient to the MBTA’s Red line stop at South Station, and is close to MBTA Bus Stops serviced by the Route 4, 7, 11, 448, 449, 459, SL1, SL2, and SL waterfront.  Many commuter rail lines also run through South Station.  Suffolk will also provide sufficient and secure storage areas for workers’ equipment to facilitate and encourage the use of the “T”.  Any personal vehicles will be restricted from parking at or around the construction site to reduce the impact to residential parking.  Due to the proximity of public transit systems, employees will be encouraged to use the MBTA as well as carpooling. Subcontractor parking will be limited to an off-site parking location.  GE will encourage the use of public parking lots located away from the project site to ensure a location for on-site workers to park, as well as the local neighborhood.

Related Posts

Fort Point Outdoors

From the extension of the South Bay Harbor Trail to a walking tour of Fort Point to Love Your Block Fort Point Style to SUP Yoga, there are many opportunities to be part of the great outdoors this week. Don't miss next week's Mayor's Coffee Hour celebrating the A Street Park Acceptance as the first City Park in Fort Point. Details below: 

Last Friday, over sixty employees from more than a dozen companies planted flowers in Fort Point starting a living tapestry for all to enjoy in time for last weekend's Fort Point Art Walk. This Saturday is the residential neighbors' 
opportunity to finish what they started. Come help create outdoor beauty by volunteering with your neighbors and planting flowers at the Fort Point Neighborhood Association's thirteenth annual beautification event: 

Love Your Block Residents Volunteer Day
Saturday, May 20, 2107 
10 am - 3 pm (Welcome anytime)
Wormwood Park
Wormwood & A Streets
Thank you party at Wormwood Park at 5pm.


Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga opening weekend at Fort Point Pier (P&G Gillette dock) on Sunday, May 21, 2017 from 11 am - 12:30 pm. Increase focus & concentration. Increase balance & core strength. Connect with nature. Challenge your practice with SUP YO! Limited space. Register.


Join Mayor Walsh and Commissioner Cook of the Boston Parks & Recreation Department to celebrate A Street Park's induction into City park land at:

Mayor's Coffee Hour
A Street Park Acceptance
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
9:30 am - 10:30 am
A Street Park (adjacent to One Channel Center Garage)

The A Street Park will become the first City Park in Fort Point. All participants will enjoy free coffee and breakfast treats provided by Dunkin' Donuts, fresh fruit from Whole Foods Market and a plant for your family.  


MassDot invited the public to be part of the discussion of the design and construction of the South Bay Harbor Trail on:
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
6:30 pm
Mass Bay Credit Union
147 W 4th Street
South Boston, MA 02127

The proposed project extends the existing South Bay Harbor Trail shared use path behind Gillette to Dorchester Avenue, including Traveler St. and West 4th Street to Albany Road at Union Park Street. The total approximate project length is 0.85 miles. A secure right-of- way is necessary for this project. Acquisitions in fee and permanent or temporary easements may be required. The City of Boston is responsible for acquiring all needed rights in private or public lands. MassDOT’s policy concerning land acquisitions will be discussed at this hearing. 

What is happening with the South Bay Harbor Trail Public Art Initiative, wayfinding signage, buoys and historic markers? 

Written comments may be submitted to Patricia A. Leavenworth, P.E., Chief Engineer, MassDOT, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Roadway Project Management, Project File No. 604761.Project inquiries may be emailed to dot.feedback.highway@state.ma.us


In celebration of historic preservation month, Boston by Foot hosted a special walking tour of Fort Point on Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 6 pm - 7:30 pm. The tour will focus on the Channel itself from how it came to be through the activities of the Boston Wharf Company, South Station development, the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, and recent activation efforts. It will feature the workings of its three remaining historic bridges, plus the memories of the Mt. Washington, the rolling bridges at South Station, and the ambitious cofferdam. The tour starts at James Hook, 440 Atlantic Avenue (corner of Atlantic & Seaport Boulevard). Tickets are $15. More details.

originally published 5.15.17

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Proud Mary Filming In Fort Point Wednesday

Screen Gems is currently in production on a new film Proud Mary. Proud Mary stars Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures, Empire) and follows the story of a hit woman whose life is turned upside down when events awaken an undiscovered maternal instinct.

Filming will take place on Melcher St. between Summer St. and A St on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 from 7 am to 5 pm. 

In order to reduce impact in the area, Screen Gems will rent private parking lots for the vast majority of the crew and stage most of the trucks on Summer Street. The filming will require a limited staging area for equipment trucks and picture. For this purpose, there will parking restrictions on:

  • Necco Ct. between Necco St. and A St.
  • Melcher St between A St and Necco St
  • Necco Ct. between Necco St. and A St.
  • A St. Between Summer St. and Necco St.
  • Summer St Opposite Boston Convention Center

Resident are encouraged to check near their cars for posted signs marking exact no parking locations. For example, signs are posted on A Street from Necco St to Wormwood St.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Stephan Hartman, Locations Department by email or call 617-905-1049. 

The Screen Gems crew and the Proud Mary cast are excited to film in Fort Point, and it is only through the continued support of neighborhoods like yours, and their local businesses and residents, that the Massachusetts film industry can continue to grow and thrive.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fort Point Beautification Days Start Friday

Love Your Block, the spring citywide program to beautify and clean up Boston one block at a time, starts Friday in Fort Point. 

With the continuous support of the City of Boston and Fort Point corporate sponsors, restaurants and volunteers, FPNA is celebrating its thirteenth annual Fort Point beautification event. 

Employees from over a dozen companies will be volunteering in their work neighborhood planting flowers and designing tree circle gardens along A Street and select tree circle gardens on Congress Street. If you are walking by, you are encouraged to stop and say hello. 

In support of Fort Point's artist neighbors and the upcoming FPAC Fort Point Art Walk the evening of May 12th from 4 pm - 7 pm, and May 13th through May 14th from 12 pm - 5 pm, the Fort Point Residents Volunteer Day will take place the following Saturday:

May 20th from 10 am - 3 pm
Sign up and join your neighbors and plant, sweep or rake for an hour or stay all day. Tools, gloves and commemorative t-shirt provided. There will be a Thank You Party in Wormwood Park at 5 pm.  New this year the residents at the Artist Building At 300 Summer St will be designing and caring for tree circle gardens in front of their building. If you have tree circles in front of your building that you can adopt (water and weed) all season long, 
let FPNA know.




Fort Point Channel Landmarks May 2017 Meeting

The FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION will hold a public hearing on:
Thursday, 11 May 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.  ELECTION OF OFFICERS

II. DESIGN REVIEW

Applicant: Megha Vadula, Redgate
Proposed Work: Modify Certificate of Design Approval 16.1760FPC by modifying the design of the entryways, adding signage, and install a roof deck at the 7th floor.

Applicant: Susan Knack-Brown, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Proposed Work: Remove two windows on the secondary north facade and install mechanical vents and air intakes.

Applicant: Matthew Demers, Stack + Co.
Proposed Work: Remove infill at two openings and install mechanical louvers with a dark green finish.

Applicant: Denis Dowdle, Madison EV Parking LLC
Proposed Work: Install freestanding halolit metal signage in the parking lot.

III. 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 & CRITERIA

17.1081 FPC 332 Congress Street: Replace the roofing membrane system, and copper gutters and leaders in-kind.

l7.932FPC 268 Summer Street: Install metal sign panel within one ground floor opening and a metal blade sign adjacent to the opening ("Jack Conway Realty"), both with
external illumination.

IV  REVIEW and RATIFICATION OF April 13, 2017 MINUTES

V  STAFF UPDATES

PROJECTED ADJOURNMENT: 8:OO PM

FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION
David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Lynn Smiledge, Michele Yeeles
Alternates: Thomas Rhodde, Vacancy
originally published 5.3.17

Friday, May 05, 2017

OUTLOUD, A Runway Experience Out Of This World

Fort Point artists Dawna Davis, Nathan Evans and Sara Kitaeff curate a fashion experience that showcases sophisticated, unusual and existential designs.  The runway show, OUTLOUD, is the grand finale for OUTLAYER, an exhibition of fashion and fashion related art that is off-center and over the line. 

Shake up your Saturday night with an evening of fashion, art and a runway experience that is out of this world. OUTLOUD is proud to be celebrating their third year of collaboration with Lasell College, Fashion Department (Newton, MA) and with ArtWeek Boston

Saturday, May 6, 2017
OUTLAYER.Art Exhibition Reception at 6:00 PM 
OUTLOUD Runway Experience starts at 7:00 PM
Midway Artist Studios
15 Channel Center Street, 1st floor
RSVP TODAY 

a free Artweek Boston Event


Fashion designers and artists: Stevie Black,Richard Chase, Nikolay Cherny, Anna Comella, Dawna Davis, Traeger DiPietro, Nathan Evans, Julian De La Garza, Monica Guenard, Lloyd Hall, Lisa Knox, Jessica Linder, Bridget Mackles, Karen McFeaters, Reginald Merome, Silvja Omeri, Adam Pajkowski, Caitlin Redington, Philip Sawyer, Olga Shmuylovich, Souther, Katherine Stevens, Allana Taranto, Sara Tchen-Susman, Tarik Welch and Omari Welch.

OUTLOUD is created by Dawna Davis and produced by Syndey Herndon in collaboration with Laselll College Fashion Design and Production Department.

Related Posts
originally published 5.2.17

Paper Shredding & Household Waste Drop-off Saturday

The City of Boston’s Public Works Department is hosting a household-waste drop-off this weekend for Boston residents. Boston residents may drop-off their unwanted textiles, household appliances, electronics, and hazardous waste items on:


Saturday, May 6
9 am - 2 pm
Central Public Works Facility
400 Frontage Road, Boston 02118

Want to get rid of those personal documents taking up unwanted space in your home? Paper shredding is available up to 10 copy paper size boxes or containers.

Keep in mind that latex and acrylic paint are NOT hazardous. Just let the paint dry out in the can and put it out on your trash day. View list of accepted items and restricted items.

You will need to show proof of Boston residency. Waste can only be dropped off by car. If you have any questions about the drop-off, please contact BOS:311.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

South Station Expansion Project For Public Comment


The South Station Expansion (SSX) project Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Section 4(f) Determination  is now available for public review and comment. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) are circulating the draft document for public review. The draft document can be found on the project website and can be reviewed at the following locations:
  • The State Library of Massachusetts
  • Boston Public Library – Central Library
  • Honan-Allston Branch of the Boston Public Library
  • Hyde Park Branch of the Boston Public Library
  • South Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library
The purpose of the South Station Expansion project is to expand South Station terminal capacity to meet current and anticipated future commuter rail and intercity rail service needs. The project would also promote city-building in a key area of Boston, and allow Dorchester Avenue to be reopened for public use and enjoyment for the first time in decades. The expansion of South Station would enable growth in passenger rail transportation within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and along the Northeast Corridor (NEC). 

In order to use federal funding, the South Station Expansion project is undergoing the federal environmental review process required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The Draft EA and Draft Section 4(f) Determination summarizes the project’s environmental benefits and impacts, and is similar in content to the Draft and the Final Environmental Impact Report (DEIR and FEIR) prepared in compliance with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, filed in October 2014, and June 2016, respectively.

To request a copy of the document, please contact Steve Woelfel, Deputy Director, MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning, at steve.woelfel@state.ma.us, or at (857) 368-9800.

Read the report and submit written comments by May 27, 2017. Please send your comments to MassDOT. Comments may be submitted by U.S. Mail, fax, or email:
Mr. Stephen Woelfel
South Station Expansion Project Manager
Deputy Director, MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4150
Boston, MA 02116
(857) 368-9800
Email: steve.woelfel@state.ma.us

Fax: 857-368-0639

Comment letters must be received by MassDOT no later than May 27, 2017.

For more information about the South Station Expansion project, please visit www.mass.gov/massdot/southstationexpansion.

Monday, May 01, 2017

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.

originally published 4.25.17

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.