Thursday, November 16, 2017

Discover Newly Changed Plans For Seaport Square

updated 11/16/17: Seaport Square at BPDA Board for approval 11/16/17 at 6:10pm (per agenda) at City Hall, 9th floor, room 900. View Seaport Square Board Memo and revised PDA.

updated 10/20/17: Seaport Square returns to BCDC on Tuesday, October 24 at 5pm, room 937A, City Hall. Public invited to attend. 

updated 10/18/17: Remember to submit public comments by end of day, October 27, 2017 (details below).

Last week (9/12/17) WS Development, who in 2015 purchased the remaining 12.5 acres of Seaport Square, filed a Supplemental Information Report (SIR) to their Notice of Project Change submitted seven months prior. The filing responds to the many public comments submitted from Boston residents, performing art organizations and others including the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) and Boston Parks & Recreation Department. WS Development also filed an amendment to Seaport Square Planned Development Area 78  three days later.

Two of the largest calls came in response to the jettisoning of a 200,000 sf arts center and the elimination of Seaport Hill Park. 

Discover the new plans for performing art spaces, open green spaces and other changes at: 

  • Seaport Square IAG Meeting: November 8, 2017 from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm at District Hall, 75 Northern Ave. The Impact Advisory Group (IAG)will be discussing the changes made to the PDA and cooperation agreement. The public is welcome to listen. View revised PDA
  • Boston Civic & Design Commission (BCDC): October 24, 2017 at 5 pm in room 937A, City Hall.  View Presentation.
  • Seaport Square Community Meeting: October 4th from 6pm - 8pm at District Hall, 75 Northern Ave. 
  • Seaport Square Community Meeting: September 27th from 6pm - 8pm at the Seaport Hotel, in Seaport Ballroom #1, 1 Seaport Lane. View Presentation.
  • Seaport Square IAG Meeting: September 20 from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm at District Hall, 75 Northern Ave. The Impact Advisory Group (IAG)will be discussing the changes made to the proposal. The public is welcome to listen.
  • Boston Civic & Design Commission (BCDC): September 19, 2017 at 4 pm in room 937A, City Hall. View Presentation

View the Seaport Square Supplemental Information Report and amendment to Seaport Square Planned Development Area 78.
Public Comment Deadline: October 27, 2017
Submit comments to BPDA Project Manager Michael Rooney

Related Posts
originally published 9.18.17

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

City Council Hearing For Seaport/Fort Point Public Facilities (Civic Spaces) & Services

Updated  11/14/17: City Council Hearing is postponed pending a new date.

City Council President Michele Wu is sponsoring a hearing (docket #1320) to review plans for public facilities (including civic spaces) and services in the Seaport on:
Thursday, November 16, 2017
11 am
City Hall
5th Floor, Christopher Iannella Chamber
Public is welcome to attend and offer testimony (details below:)
Watch Live

  • Whereas, The South Boston Waterfront or Seaport neighborhood has undergone an unprecedented residential transformation, with the population more than doubling between 2000 and 2015; and
  • Whereas, The residential population of the Seaport neighborhood is set to continue to grow at a high rate, given that more than 4,100 new units of housing were approved between 2010 and 2016 with some estimates that the population will exceed 20,000 people by 2030; and
  • Whereas, Residents in the Seaport and Fort Point do not have immediate access to civic spaces or public facilities, as there is no school, library, community center, fire station or police station in the neighborhood, and
  • Whereas, The ongoing and projected developments in the neighborhood represent important opportunities to address the lack of public facilities and services; Now Therefore Be It
  • Ordered, That the appropriate committee of the Boston City Council hold a public hearing to review the unprecedented residential transformation of the South Boston Waterfront and to discuss plans to expand access to public facilities and services in the neighborhood. Representatives from various City of Boston Departments and other interested parties shall be invited to attend. 

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend and testify.  If you have not testified at a Council hearing before, please arrive (5) minutes before the call of the hearing to sign up and become familiar with the hearing format, testimony locations, and sound system. Please bring fifteen (15) copies of any written documentation you wish to present at the hearing. Written comments may be made part of the record and available to all Councilors by sending them by email. If you know of others who may be interested in this hearing, kindly notify them.

Committee Liaison: Juan Lopez. Contact via email or call 617-635-3041
Committee on Planning & Development Chair: City Councilor Michael Flaherty

Special Meeting For Bastille Kitchen

The Fort Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA) invites neighbors and abutters of Bastille Kitchen to attend a meeting regarding Bastille Kitchen's request for a live entertainment license on:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
6 pm
Chalet @ Bastille Kitchen 
49 Melcher Street

Bastillle Kitchen and Chalet are requesting a live entertainment license for private functions and as live background music at brunch and dinner. 

Attend to learn more.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Tuesday Is Election Day

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, Boston residents go to the polls to elect a Mayor, four City Councilors-At-Large and a District City Councillor.  The polls are open 7 am - 8 pm. 

For residents of Fort Point and the Seaport, the place to vote is the Condon School located at 200 D. Street (off of W. Broadway and behind the Laboure Center).

View District 2 Sample Ballot to see who is running 
and how the candidates will appear on the ballot. 

Exercise your civic right and vote
If you live and/or work in Fort Point and the Seaport, then you know the neighborhood is rapidly growing and evolving. Infrastructure improvements can't keep pace with development. We need the City's help to get more city services (fire & police), transportation improvements (buses, bridges & bike lanes), civic/cultural spaces (libraries, schools & community centers), and open green spaces (parks) to support and enhance our community and neighborhood. The Mayor and City Council play an instrumental part, and they look at voter turnout. Please make time in your busy day to vote for our next Boston Mayor, District 2 City Councilor and four Councilors-At-Large. Let the City know we live here and are in engaged in our neighborhood.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Fort Point Landmarks November 2017 Meeting


Thursday, November 9, 2017
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.from Faneuil Hall).

Design Review

18.391 FPC 343 Congress Street: Replace an existing metal cut-out blade sign with a neon lit painted aluminum sign.

18.454 FPC 55 Thomson Place: At front facade install wall signage.

Review and Ratification of October 12, 2017 Public Hearing Minutes

Discussion Item

Amending Section 8.0 Recommendations of the Fort Point Channel Landmark District Study Report, specifically regarding commissioner nominations.

Staff Updates

Projected Adjournment - 7:00 pm

David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karofl Lynn Smiledge, Vacancy
Altemates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy

Sunday, November 05, 2017

New Hotel Planned For Summer Street

updated 11/1/17: Public comment deadline extended to November 8, 2017

updated 10/27/17: Summer Street Hotel at Boston Civic Design Commission October 31 at 5 pm at City Hall, room 937A,

You may have read in the news earlier this Fall of a proposed 1,000 plus room hotel to be located at 440 Summer Street (Summer & D Streets) from the Davis Companies and the Omni Hotels Management Corporation.  The Boston Plans and Development Agency (BPDA) will be hosting a public community meeting on:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
6 pm - 8 pm
Westin Boston Waterfront, The Otis Room
425 Summer Street

The Summer Street Hotel project will contain approximately 788,500 sf to be comprised of approximately 1,054 hotel rooms, ballrooms, function rooms, meeting spaces, restaurant/retail space, and together with public realm improvements. This project is part of parcel D2 of the Waterside Place Project.

View Summer Street Hotel Project documents

Comment deadline: November 8, 2017
BPDA Project Manager, Casey Hines

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Climate Ready Boston To Focus On Fort Point Channel & Harbor

South Boston is expected to experience more coastal and stormwater flooding due to climate change. Remember the flooding and ground water rise from King Tides over the past two years?

The City of Boston is exploring solutions to decrease these risks as part of the Climate Ready South Boston initiative.

Add your on-the-ground perspective to the neighborhood’s resiliency
by completing this community survey.

In 2016, Climate Ready Boston released a comprehensive report of risks and protection strategies for a climate-impacted city like Boston. Last weekend, the City released study results and recommendations for East Boston and Charlestown. The City kicked off Climate Ready South Boston on October 4, 2017.

South Boston faces increased climate risks going forward. From now to 2050, nearly a quarter of South Boston’s land area will be exposed to a 1 percent annual chance of coastal flooding event, with some areas along the Fort Point Channel exposed to even higher probability events. Some streets and highways are also expected to be exposed to low-probability coastal flooding in the near-term, with those likelihoods going up as time goes on. Protecting South Boston also protects the connected neighborhoods of South End, Roxbury, and Dorchester from future flooding risks.

The City is committed to finding both short- and long-term solutions to coastal flooding and other impacts from sea level rise, and currently studying the issue to explore potential ways to minimize or eliminate flooding challenges, with a focus on key floodwater entry points into the neighborhood.

For the South Boston Waterfront the flood entry points are: along the edge of the district, including flooding from Fort Point Channel, Boston Harbor, and the Reserve Channel. The low-lying nature of the South Boston Waterfront likely requires flood protection connections to high ground across Fort Point Channel. Potential flood protection solutions include a floodgate aimed at preventing storm surge from flowing into the South Boston Waterfront from Fort Point Channel. The gate could be placed at a number of locations, including the Northern Avenue Bridge, Seaport Boulevard Bridge, Congress Street Bridge, or Summer Street Bridge. In addition to a gate across Fort Point Channel, flood protection solutions would require either a barrier system to connect to high ground south of West Broadway, perimeter protection near the Reserve Channel, or a gate across the Reserve Channel. (source: Climate Ready Boston report)

You can read more about neighborhood climate risk and resilience in the South Boston section of the Climate Ready Boston report here.

Take the survey and add your voice to this critical discussion about how to prepare Fort Point and the whole city for a more resilient future. Sign up for our Greenovate email list to stay up-to-date on details for the December community open house. Greenovate will also be a featured speaker speaker January 30, 2018 Fort Point Neighborhood Gathering hosted by the Fort Point Neighborhood Association.

originally published 11.1.17

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Art From Fort Point To The Distillery

The Artists at 249 A Street invite you to their annual group show tonight Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm in the Gallery At 249 A Street. The show covers a variety of mediums from painting, drawing, photography and prints to ceramics, mixed media and sculpture. Take a sneak peek. The exhibition closes November 10th.

On Friday November 3, 2017, Canvas Fine Arts is celebrating their 10th Anniversary and the kick-off of South Boston Open Studios with a reception and ArtBeat issue party at 6 pm. R.S.V.P.   

The artists and craftspeople of South Boston invite the public into their studios to see their work, hear about their process, and provide an opportunity to purchase original pieces directly from the artist this Saturday, November 4th and Sunday, November 5th from 12 pm to 6 pm. Children and families are welcome. South Boston Open Art Studios takes place at The Distillery, a former beer and ale brewery and producer of other social spirits, located at 516 E 2nd Street (H & 2nd Streets). View participating artists.

Factory 63 Change of Use Public Meeting

updated 10/20/17: Public comment deadline is November 6th (details below)

The Boston Planning & Development Agency is hosting a community meeting regarding the change of use of Factory 63 on:

Thursday, October 19, 2017
6 pm
Factory 63
63 Melcher Street

Currently Factory 63 is an apartment building with a basement level shared residential and community space where the Fort Point Neighborhood Association holds monthly neighborhood meetings, and art events and local art by Fort Point Arts Community and Artists for Humanity is displayed. Come learn about the proposed changes and how the building will support the neighborhood and the arts. 

Project Description: On September 21, 2017, the Proponent filed a fourth Notice of Project Change (the “Fourth NPC”) and this Amendment to allow a single change to the Third Revised Project (the “Fourth Revised Project” or the “Project”). The sole change from the Third Revised Project is to acknowledge approximately 2,695 square feet of existing residential GFA in the basement of the existing building of 63 Melcher Street, which is owned and is being renovated by the Proponent, for Office and/or Cultural and/or Community use. Separate from the sole change under this Amendment – to acknowledge 2,695 square feet of the 63 Melcher Street Basement Space as GFA for Office and/or Cultural and/or Community use – the form of ownership of 63 Melcher Street will be altered to a condominium under M.G.L. c. 183A. For more details click here.

Public comment deadline: November 6, 2017
Send comment to BPDA Project Manager Aisling Kerr or online (scroll to bottom)

originally published 9.29.17

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What Will You Be Doing A Week From Today?

A week from today District 2, which includes the Fort Point and Seaport neighborhoods of South Boston, will have a new City Councilor. In order for that to happen, you must cast your vote in the Boston Municipal Election on:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
7 am - 8 pm
Condon School
200 D Street
(Off of W. Broadway behind the Laboure Center)

Also on the ballot are the mayoral candidates and candidates for the four City Councilor-At-Large seats. 

If voting by absentee ballot, you have until noon on November 6th. Visit for more details. Not certain of your voter registration status? Check here.

Still undecided on whether Ed Flynn or Mike Kelley will best represent the neighborhood? The neighborhood associations of South Boston hosted a District 2 Candidates Forum on October 18, 2017. Watch online their answers to our issues.

The Fort Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA) encourages all neighbors to vote. We all count on our elected officials for their support of neighborhood initiatives and issues. Elected officials look at voter turn-out. If you have been to a FPNA monthly gathering, then you know elected officials have been featured speakers, often drop in and send representatives to keep abreast of what the community is saying and doing. 

originally published 10.31.17

Monday, October 30, 2017

October Fort Point Gathering: Congressman Lynch, Parking & Tacos

Join the Fort Point Neighborhood Association's
October/November Neighborhood Gathering 

Monday, October 30, 2017 
6 pm - 8 pm
Factory 63
63 Melcher St.

special guest

Congressman Stephen Lynch

USPS & Developmental Impacts
on Fort Point & Reserve Channel Communities


P&G Gillette Parking Lots 8 & 9
Alan Sheard, P&G Gillette
Ken Fields, Fort Point Associates

and introducing

sister restaurant to Barcelona Wine Bar
25 Thomson Place

*** featured restaurant: La Casa de Pedro***

Save the date December 5th for our year end neighborhood event.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Boston City Council Looks At South Boston Funding, Right To Charge & To Purchase, CPA & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their October 18, 2017 meeting:

Yesterday (October 18, 2017) was Councilor Bill Linehan’s final Council meeting, as he submitted a letter of resignation and we thanked him for his combined 43 years of service to the city. Mayor Walsh joined us to present Councilor Linehan with a silver Revere Bowl, and in line with Council tradition I presented him with a crystal gavel given to outgoing Councilors who have served as Council President.

South Boston Community Funding: The Council voted to pass Mayor Walsh’s order to accept additional funding from Massport for the South Boston Foundation. This $1.5 million is pursuant to the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) agreement, and will be paid in ten annual payments of up to $150,000. Councilor Linehan urged support of this as his final item he wanted to accomplish for his district.

Right to Charge: The Council voted unanimously to advance the right-to-charge legislation that I introduced which would codify the right of condominium and homeowners to install personal electric vehicle charging stations in or near their dedicated parking spots. In Boston, we have many multi-family homes that have been converted to condos, sometimes with just 2 or 3 condos in the association, and the governing documents require unanimous consent for any changes to the property. That means one owner could prevent another from switching to an electric vehicle by blocking installation of charging infrastructure for any reason. Given that 30% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, we want residents in any living situation to be able to switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles, and we want to set the stage for charging infrastructure now since the costs of electric vehicles are quickly becoming more affordable. Other states and jurisdictions have passed similar right-to-charge laws that prevent condo associations from being able to block homeowners from installing charging infrastructure at the owner’s expense; associations may still add reasonable conditions or restrictions on the location and other features. At last week’s hearing, representatives from the Environment department and Transportation department expressed support for the content but passed along concerns from the law department that the City would be more vulnerable to litigation by passing this in the form of an ordinance rather than a home-rule petition. Although I am generally skeptical of filing home-rule petitions since we have no control over the pace and likelihood of state approvals, I have already spoken with state colleagues who are optimistic about passage on a reasonable timeline. With passage of the home-rule petition at the Council, we begin the process of advocating on Beacon Hill. More to come!

Tenant's Right to Purchase: The Council voted to adopt Councilor Pressley’s resolution urging the State Legislature to pass H.3017, An Act to Preserve Affordable Housing Through A Local Option Tenant’s Right to Purchase. This bill would allow tenants, or a non-profit on their behalf, the opportunity to match the fair market value offered by a prospective buyer for a building with three or more units. This would provide an important tool for Boston to fight the displacement and affordable housing crises.

NOTE on Community Preservation Act: The CPA committee and working group met last week to develop the application for the CPC and the guidelines for evaluation. The approved application should be up on the City website soon. We also discussed the fact that since passing the relevant orders and ordinances, we discovered a mismatch in timeline. The original order required that nominations be finalized within 90 days of passage, instead of within 90 days of the relevant committee being formed. In order to line up those timelines and give the City Council’s CPA committee 90 days to complete their work, we will be filing an amendment to the law at next week’s meeting.

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Final District 2 City Council Candidates Forum

Join FPNA and our sister South Boston neighborhood associations for this important community event and hear the differences between our final two Boston City Council candidates: Mike Kelley and Ed Flynn.

District 2 City Council Candidates Forum
October 18, 2017
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm (new time)
Mass Bay Credit Union
147 W 4th St (W 4th@ A Sts)
Free Parking
Handicap accessible

Free ride courtesy of Southie Shuttle
5:30 pm departure outside Barlow's Restaurant (241 A Street) 

We all have an important decision to make on November 7th. Make sure you are making an informed decision and then back it up by getting out to VOTE in the final election!

If you are unable to attend, the event will be live streamed on the South Boston Community Bulletin Board on Facebook.

Last day to register to vote is October 18th.

originally published 10.6.17

Sunday, October 15, 2017

MassDOT To Host North South Rail Link Public Meeting

The MBTA operates two largely separate commuter rail systems, divided by a one-mile gap between North and South Stations. This gap limits connectivity between rail systems to the north and south, including the MBTA and Amtrak, and has prompted interest over the years in linking the systems. A North-South Rail Link is considered to be a possible solution to alleviate traffic in the Seaport / Fort Point to/from North Station.

MassDOT is undertaking a Feasibility Reassessment for the North South Rail Link Project to update the prior work and determine if further technical and financial analysis is warranted. 

MassDOT is hosting a public meeting on: 

MassDOT – North South Rail Link Public Meeting
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
6:30 – 8:30 PM
Atlantic Wharf, Fort Point Room
290 Congress Street

The primary objectives of the North-South Rail Link Feasibility Reassessment are as follows:

  • Identify any significant changes to the context within which the NSRL would be implemented, such as demographic shifts, new transportation technologies and trends, and changes to the built environment.

  • Determine the major elements of the NSRL necessary to allow for an assessment of costs and benefits (two versus four tracks, whether or not to include a Central Station, the location of the north portal, as well as station and headhouse locations).

  • Identify a Right of Way envelope that could be used to inform future development plans in Boston, Cambridge, and potentially other impacted municipalities.

  • Develop an order of magnitude cost estimate, assuming the initial use of dual-mode locomotives allows the project to advance without full electrification of the commuter rail system. This cost estimate will be informed by recent experience in rail tunnel construction (both international and domestic) and industry best practices.

  • Estimate the benefits of NSRL, including ridership growth, increased system capacity, operational efficiencies, air quality improvements, and the creation of new redevelopment opportunities.
  • Friday, October 13, 2017

    It's The Weekend Art Party

    It is Friday. It is the start of the weekend. More importantly it is the weekend after Columbus Day. If you have lived or worked in Fort Point for any of the past 38 years, you know that means Fort Point Open Studios hosted by your artist neighbors and the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC). If you are new to Fort Point or never been to Open Studios, be ready to see art in the streets, in the Channel, in galleries and in artist studios. Best of all it is free until you are inspired to make that first purchase of art, of course. 

    Tonight before hitting the bars, visit select artist studios until 7 pm and don't miss the Grand Opening of The FPAC Space at the Envoy Hotel from 6 pm - 8 pm.

    Did you know Fort Point is home to three buildings dedicated to artists? 249 A Street Artist Cooperative arrived first in the mid eighties followed by The Artist Building at 300 Summer Street ten years later and Midway Artist Studios located at 15 Channel Center Street in 2005. 

    On Saturday, October 14 and Sunday October 15, 2017 from noon to 6 pm, explore over a hundred artist studios, see art demos, hear live musical performances and learn about art directly from the artist. Whether you are looking to start an art collection or add to it, buy one-of-a-kind gifts or just want to do something cool this weekend, check out the complete list of activities (for kids too), galleries and open studios in the Fort Point Fall Open Studios brochureFree parking available at the P&G Gillette lots at Binford & A Streets. 

    End your Saturday night at the Distillery Gallery's 10 year birthday celebration from 7 pm - 11 pm. The Distillery is located at 516 E 2nd Street.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    Fort Point Landmarks October 2017 Meeting

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

    Thursday, October 12, 2017
    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.from Faneuil Hall).

    Design Review

    18.407 FPC 5 Necco Street
    Applicant: Peter Cavanaugh, General Electric (CE)
    Proposed Work: Design updates to previously approved rehabilitation of 5 and 6 Necco Street (formerly 5 and 6 Necco Court) including: Necco Court Bridge west elevation design updates;  Necco Court Bridge east elevation paint color; window treatment at the first two floors on Necco Court and Necco Street; level 6 design updates; exterior signage; exterior lighting; and outdoor furniture and landscape.

    18.392 FPC 300 Summer StreetApplicant: Marggie Lackner, The Artist Building at 300 Summer StreetProposed Work: Replace existing chiller at roof with new chiller on the existing steel dunnage with required supplemental steel; and install window grates on four ground floor windows on the north elevation alleyway to match adjacent window grates.
    13.391 FPC 343 Congress Street:
    Applicant: Brian Lesser, Speakeasy Group, Inc.
    Proposed Work: Replace existing metal cut-out blade sign with a neon lit painted aluminum blade sign, replace existing metal cut-out sign above the existing metal canopy with a neon lit painted aluminum sign; and replace existing door handle.
    18.390 FPC 47 Farnsworth Street:
    Applicant: Jean-Claude Tetreault, Trillium Brewing
    Proposed Work: Modify openings, construct a roof deck and bulkhead, and install signage.
    18.269 FPC 253 Summer Street:
    Applicant: Michael McGowan, Bergrneyer Associates, Inc.
    Proposed Work: Install illuminated blade sign on Summer Street; install illuminated sign at Harborwalk window sign facing the channel; and install wall-painted signage (“Lolita”) on the Harborwalk (Continued from 9/14/2017 public hearing).
    18.394 FPC 25 Thomson Place:
    Applicant: Nick Makemson
    Proposed Work: Installation of two exterior patio dining areas and installation of signage.
    Administrative Review/Approval
    18.315 FPC 311 Summer Street: Remove three sections of existing window bars from the Summer Street ground level windows.
    Review and Ratification of 9/14/2017 Public Hearing Minutes
    Discussion Item
    Amending Section 8.0 Recommendations of the Fort Point Channel Landmark District Study Report, specifically regarding commissioner nominations.
    Staff Updates
    Projected Adjournment - 9:00 pm
    David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karofl Lynn Smiledge, Vacancy
    Altemates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy

    originally published 10.2.17

    Monday, October 09, 2017

    Congressman Lynch Introduces Air Traffic Noise and Pollution Expert Consensus Act of 2017

    U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch introduced this week the Air Traffic Noise and Pollution Expert Consensus Act of 2017, which is outlined below from his October 4, 2017 press release

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Massachusetts) introduced H.R. 3938, the Air Traffic Noise and Pollution Expert Consensus Act of 2017. The Act addresses increasing community concerns about airplane noise and pollution by requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to sponsor an Expert Consensus Report issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on the health effects of airplanes flying over residential areas. Expert Consensus Reports produced by the National Academies examine scientific and technological issues of national importance. The bill is co-sponsored by 13 members of Congress, including the co-chairs of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-New York) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Vice Chair Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Illinois).

    Federal and regional transportation authorities have received an increased number of complaints around airplane noise as new flight paths have been implemented as part of the FAA’s “Next Generation Air Transportation System.” The program – often referred to as “NextGen” – shifted flight paths in and out of airports, causing increased airplane activity over certain residential areas. In Massachusetts alone, MASSPORT received nearly 30,000 complaints about aviation-related noise from across 78 communities, including Hull, Hingham, Milton, and Boston, in the first half of 2017. That nearly doubled the number of complaints received during the same time period in 2016 and was more than four times the number received in the first half of 2015.

    “There is a clear demand from our constituents that we look into the impacts of new flight paths across the country,” said Congressman Lynch. “It is imperative that we understand and remedy any health effects caused by aircraft flying over residential areas, and the onus is on the FAA to produce this information.”

    Congressman Lynch’s Air Traffic Noise and Pollution Expert Consensus Act of 2017 would make available the best scientific information on the health impacts of air traffic noise and pollution by requiring the FAA to sponsor an Expert Consensus Report from the Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Under the bill, the National Academies would be required to convene a committee of health and environmental science experts within 30 days. The committee would examine the health impacts of air traffic noise and pollution and issue the Expert Consensus Report with their findings. The report would be submitted to the FAA Administrator, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and relevant Congressional Committees, including the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 

    Cosponsors of the bill include: Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-New York), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Illinois), Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colorado), Congressman Ro Khanna (D-California), Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona), Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-New York), Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-California), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-California), Congressman Scott Peters (D-California), Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-California), and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois).

    Friday, October 06, 2017

    Boston City Council Looks At Seaport/Fort Point Civic Amenities, Flight Paths, CPA, Energy & More

    City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their September 19, September 28 and October 4, 2017 meetings:

    South Boston Waterfront/Seaport Public Facilities: I filed a hearing order to discuss plans for access to public facilities, civic space, and city services in the South Boston Waterfront and Seaport / Fort Point areas given the continued residential transformation of the neighborhood. The area has seen population double in the last ten years, some projections estimate that the population will grow from about 4,000 current residents to upwards of 26,000 residents in 10-15 years. Currently there is no civic space in the area (e.g. no library, school, community center, fire station or police station), and we should be looking ahead to plan for how we will deliver city services and civic spaces to current and future residents. The matter was assigned to the Planning & Development Committee for a hearing.

    Community Preservation Act: Councilor Flaherty filed a communication with the Council announcing the members of the CPA Working Group, whose purpose is to assist the City Council's Special Committee on the Community Preservation Act in recruiting and evaluating candidates for selection to the Community Preservation Committee. The members are Boston residents Curtis R. Kemeny (Beacon Hill), Beverly Johnson (Mattapan), Cortina Vann (Dorchester), Shelly Goehring (Dorchester), and Jeffrey Gonyeau (Dorchester). The group will meet soon to approve the application materials and kick off the process.

    Flight Paths: Councilor McCarthy rose to give an update on his trip to Washington DC to meet with Congressmen Capuano and Lynch about the concentration of flight paths over a narrow band of households in recent years after the FAA instituted changes to GPS navigation systems. This has significantly increased noise and pollution over certain neighborhoods in Boston, including South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury and Hyde Park. Councilor McCarthy will make available the in-depth report from MIT commissioned by the Congressmen.

    Community Choice Energy: The Council voted unanimously to authorize the City of Boston to adopt the Community Choice Energy that I was proud to file in partnership with Councilor O’Malley. The order charges the Administration with beginning due diligence on a municipal electricity aggregation to increase clean energy for Boston residents and small businesses. At yesterday’s packed hearing, advocates, residents, and experts spoke about the environmental and economic benefits of increasing our renewable energy supply. We learned that dozens of municipalities in Massachusetts have instituted a CCE program with a 5% increase in renewable energy, and in all but one the rates have been cheaper than the Eversource basic plan rate. Boston’s 5% renewables increase would reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to removing 6,400 cars from the city’s roads.

    At today’s meeting, Councilors rose to speak about the urgency of committing to a clean energy future as we face the impacts of destructive climate change in weather disasters and the environmental refugees that we will welcome after each incident. Adopting a green municipal aggregation is the single largest action that Boston can take to immediately and dramatically increase our clean energy consumption. Moreover, the process has numerous safeguards, including the ability for anyone to opt out back onto the utility’s default basic plan. The utility company will continue to deliver the electricity and administer billing, so the transition would be seamless for the ~125,000 accounts that would chip in a little towards a big result. As mentioned at the hearing, not everyone can afford to install solar panels on their homes. CCE allows all residents to pool together and share in the transition to a green economy.

    With the Council now having voted to authorize CCE, the Administration will begin the process of researching and requesting proposals from energy procurement companies, and vetting them in consultation with state agencies and public process. There are still months of process ahead before any draft plan would be presented and approved.

    Short-Term Rental Housing: Councilor Zakim called for a hearing to discuss how the city reviews plans for new developments with respect to short term rental set-asides. The hearing is designed to increase transparency in the development review process around plans that a developer may have to set aside entire floors for short term rental corporations. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Housing & Community Development for a hearing

    Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch online)
    • Tuesday, 10/10 at 4:30PM, hearing on project with the National Black Women's Justice Institute (NBWJI) (Healthy Women, Families, and Children) [Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington St, Roxbury]
    • Tuesday, 10/10 at 2:30PM, working session on parking permits for home health professions (City, Neighborhood Services, and Veterans Affairs) [Piemonte Room, 5th Floor City Hall]
    • Thursday, 10/12 at 10:00AM, hearing on the right to charge (Government Operations) [Piemonte Room, 5th Floor City Hall]
    • TENTATIVE, 10/16 at 11:00AM, hearing on the BPD Detectives Benevolent Association collective bargaining agreement (Ways and Means) [location TBD]
    For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email. 

    Get In The Halloween Spirit

    Grab the kiddies and get in the Halloween spirit at the Friends of the South Boston Branch Library's 13th annual Fall Fair this Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 11 am - 2 pm.  There will be crafts, face painting and pumpkin decorating. Families with infants up to age twelve year are invited to participate. 

    The South Boston Public Library is located at 647 East Broadway. The branch holds a special collection of South Boston historical materials. There is a large collection of adult music CDs. A set of historical maps of Boston is on permanent display.

    The South Boston Branch first opened in April 1872 in the Masonic building at 372 West Broadway. It was the second branch library established in the United States. When the Masonic building was sold in 1948 the South Boston Branch was closed. In response to high demand for library service the branch was reopened in June 1950 in a storefront at 385-8 West Broadway where it remained until destroyed by fire in May 1957. Construction of the present building consolidated the City Point Branch with the South Boston Branch.