Saturday, October 31, 2015

Vote Election Day Tuesday

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 is Boston's municipal election day. It is our day to vote for our District 2 City Councilor and City Councilors-At-Large.  There are five candidates running for the four City Councilor-At-Large positions. The candidates are Michael Flaherty, Stephen Murphy, Ayanna Pressley, Michelle Wu and Annissa Assaibi George.  District 2 City Councilor and current City Council President Bill Linehan is running unopposed. 

Tuesday, November 3d
7 am - 8 pm
Condon School
200 D Street

Get out and cast your vote for Boston City Council. With our constantly growing neighborhood, the support of our City Councilors is critical in addressing the impacts and opportunities for Fort Point residents today and for years to come. 
Related: Boston City Council Looks At posts.

Falling Back on Halloween

An extra hour of trick or treating or an extra hour of sleep? However you choose to use that extra hour, don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour. Daylight savings time ends at 2 am on November 1st.
 Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Art Thursdays in Fort Point

The Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC) presents Big Picture III, an  annual large works show at Atlantic Wharf Gallery featuring paintings, drawings, photography, site-specific installation, and mixed media works by thirteen FPAC member artists. The opening reception is tonight. Big Picture III is on view through February 2016.

Thursday, October 29th
5 pm - 7 pm
Atlantic Wharf Gallery
290 Congress Street

Memory, photo-illustration by Sylvia Stagg-Giuliano

The Bong Tree by Lisa Houck

Mosaic Muse  features the work of six artists using diverse techniques and materials to create contemporary mosaics. The exhibit's opening reception will be held:

Thursday, November 5th
5 - 7 pm 
FPAC Gallery
300 Summer Street

Mosaic Muse will be on on view through November 27, 2015.

Boston City Council Looks At FIOS, South 2 North Station Transit, Pay & More

REMINDER: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 is the local municipal election day in Boston. Don't forget to vote. Polls are open from 7 am - 8 pm.  Fort Point's local polling location is the Condon School at 200 D Street. For a review of the Boston City Council, meetings notes are provided via Boston City Council Looks At posts. 

Councillor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the items below and more at their October 2015 meetings:

FiOS: The Council voted unanimously to pass Councilor O'Malley's resolution urging utility regulators to give Boston residents access to FIOS fiber optic internet service. Although Verizon declared at the hearing that they would not be pursuing additional FiOS expansion, Councilor O'Malley stated that he hoped we could pursue other avenues for high-speed fiber, such as Google Fiber or a municipal broadband network like other cities have established. Councilor Baker noted that this could be seen as an issue of union busting, as Verizon has been squeezing IBEW Local 2222 for some time, and adding fiber in Boston would increase jobs.

Solar Personal Rapid Transit: Councilors O'Malley and Murphy reported back on the recent hearing called for by Councilor Murphy on creating a pilot program for solar-powered monorail service between North Station and South Station, funded by private partners. The Council voted to pass Councilor Murphy's resolution urging the state legislature to approve Senate Bill 1837, which would grant personal rapid transit providers with the authority to access rights-of-way in the state. 

Liquor Licenses: The Council voted to suspend and pass a home-rule petition submitted by Mayor Walsh that would correct a technicality in the State Legislation that prevented the City from accessing the 15 transferable alcohol licenses granted over 3 years. The state legislation had also granted 60 non-transferable licenses restricted to Main Streets businesses. However, the overall cap number in the state legislation didn't reflect the additional transferable licenses, and so the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission is holding to the stricter language until the State Senate takes up this home rule petition. Councilor Pressley, who championed liquor license reform and passed a similar home-rule petition through the Council in 2014, clarified that this was merely to correct a drafting error and does not represent any additional liquor licenses above what was granted by the Legislature last year

Medical Marijuana Zoning: Councilor Flaherty reported back on the hearing about establishing a zoning prohibition that would bar any additional medical or recreational marijuana sales within 2500 ft of an existing medical marijuana dispensary. He and Councilor Baker noted that the Council should get in front of marijuana legalization and set these zoning rules so that no single neighborhood would have to bear the burden of marijuana sales. Councilor Jackson pointed to New Market as a neighborhood that is an epicenter of health care services, including methadone clinics, and the detrimental impact on the neighborhood overall. The matter remains in the Committee on Economic Development, Planning & Labor

Safe Needle Disposal: Councilors Flaherty, Murphy & McCarthy reported back on the hearing with the Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Police, and EMS discussing procedures for safe disposal of needles, syringes, and lancets. Councilor McCarthy explained that pharmacies are permitted to sell needles, and this was an effort to prevent substance users from transmitting illnesses through shared needles, but this has led to a proliferation of needles in public spaces as we struggle to meet the need for recovery services. Since the City established the safe needle pickup team to respond to reports of needles in parks and other spaces, 5,000 needles have been picked up. The Councilors emphasized using 311 to report any needles and plan to hold further working sessions on establishing an education campaign around safe needle disposal, increasing safe needle drop-off locations, and more. The matter remains in the Government Operations committee.

Parking Restrictions: Councilor LaMattina called for a hearing about existing parking notification procedures and the feasibility of expanding alerts. He noted that the resident parking program, which allows neighborhood residents to park on the street, can be affected by street cleaning, special events, and moving truck restrictions. He suggested that residents who do not use their cars everyday may not be aware of temporary no-parking restrictions that are posted after their car was parked, and the City's No-Tow alerts could be expanded to include this as well. The matter was referred to the Committee on City & Neighborhood Services and Veterans Affairs for a hearing.
Street Performers: Councilors LaMattina & Linehan proposed an ordinance to regulate street performers in Boston. The draft language would require a $40 permit to perform in a public area, giving the City the ability to prohibit performances in certain public areas and emphasizing accessibility on sidewalks. Councilor LaMattina noted that he had been working on a policy like this for several years in response to complaints about certain street performers' behavior and language. Several Councilors expressed concern about adding potential fees and punishments for street performers, as well as protecting free speech. As Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee, I (Councilor Wu) stated that we should be doing all we can to encourage public art and public performances, and there is a way to maintain accessibility without increasing red tape for arts and culture. The matter was referred to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.

City Council Pay Raise: The Council voted 9-4 to pass Mayor Walsh's pay raise proposal, setting Councilors' salary at $99,500 and the Mayor's salary at $199,000 starting in the 2016 term. Councilor O'Malley noted that he would be voting yes because he had a commitment from Government Operations Chair Michael Flaherty to have a hearing about tying future salary changes to Boston Area Median Income this calendar year. There was no other discussion on the floor. Councilors Pressley, Yancey, Zakim and Wu voted against it.

Replica Firearms: The Council voted to pass Mayor Walsh's ordinance banning the possession, sale, display, and use of any toy or imitation firearm that substantially duplicates or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm from public spaces in Boston. The ordinance imposes a $50 fine for violations, and the replica firearms will be confiscated by Boston police. Parents will be notified if youth under 18 years of age are found with a firearm, and individuals over 18 years old will be allowed to pick up their replica firearms at the district station after 24 hours. At the hearing, Police Commissioner Evans testified that this ordinance will be a tool for officers to discourage the sale and use of these replica weapons, which are used in robberies and other crimes throughout the city and are difficult to distinguish from actual firearms. There is no right of arrest for a violation in the ordinance.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

FPNA October 2015 Meeting for the Neighborhood

Fort Point Neighborhood Association
Meeting for the Neighborhood

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
6 pm - 8 pm
Factory 63
63 Melcher Street
6:00 pm General Meeting
and Neighborhood Updates
OUTLOOK Kitchen + Bar

6:30 pm
William's Tavern & My Diner
residential/mixed use development
100 A Street
Michael Moore, Brenco Construction

7:00 pm
Hill Country Barbecue
374 Congress Street

seeking a 7  day liquor license

Tasty Treats by OUTLOOK Kitchen + Bar 

Dot Avenue Corridor Plan: Streets & Blocks Workshop

Update: Next meeting dates are November 17, Tuesday 6 pm - 8 pm "Draw with Us" Workshop and December 14, Monday 6 pm - 8 pm "What we Heard" - Recap Session.

In a follow up to October 1st's Dorchester Avenue Corridor Plan Visioning Workshop, the Boston Redevelopment Authority is holding a Streets & Blocks Workshop on:

Monday, October 26, 2015
6 pm - 8 pm
Iron Workers Local 7
195 Old Colony Road

The community is invited to come together to begin creating planning scenarios that will include new streets and blocks, and future land uses in the study area.

This is the fourth in the series of Dot Ave Corridor Plan public events, which have included a Visioning Workshop, a Walk & Bike Tour and the Open House launch. 
originally posted 10.20.15, updated 10.26.15

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Daffodil & Iris Planting Party This Saturday Along A Street & Wormwood Park

Remember when last winter's snow gave way to daffodils along A Street?

Join the Fort Point Neighborhood Association on:

Saturday, October 24th: 10:30 am - 2:00 pm
Wormwood Park (Wormwood & A Streets)
A Street Fence

and plant daffodils and irises for spring! 

Our thanks to the City of Boston's Park & Recreation Department and Mayor Walsh's office for numerous daffodils and to a private donor for the irises.

Tools, gloves, apple cider and scones will be provided.

The forecast is calling for sunshine in the mid-fifties. Come take advantage of this final day of gardening and plant for an hour or two or more. You will be glad you did come spring.

Fort Point and Boston Seaport Neighborhood Forum

The City of Boston, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC) and the Urban Culture Institute invite those who work and live in Fort Point and the Seaport to join them in a discussion on arts, culture and planning on:

Thursday, October 22, 2015
6:30 pm - 8 pm
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Norther Avenue
Presenting are:

Julie Burros, Chief of Arts & Culture, City of Boston
Richard McGuinness, Deputy Director of Waterfront Planning, Boston Redevelopment Authority

The presenters will introduce their plans and vision for Fort Point and the Seaport, followed by a discussion with attendees.

The forum is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:15 pm.

Friday, October 09, 2015

How To Be Safe In South Boston (and Beyond)

On a related note, the George Foreman Club is offering free self defense classes to women who live or work in South Boston.  This includes, of course, Fort Point and the waterfront.  Sign up today for classes October 24th and October 31st and be prepared!

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