Monday, February 29, 2016

Who will be the primary winners in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts Presidential Primary is Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Cast your vote at the Condon School located at 200 D Street (behind the LabourĂ© Center). The polls are open from 7 am - 8 pm. 

Take a sneak peak at what your sample ballot will look like. 

To verify you are registered to vote, click here.

Help Preserve The Northern Avenue Bridge

You have walked, biked or drove across it. You may have sailed under it. The Northern Avenue Bridge is more than a transportation link connecting Downtown to the Seaport and Fort Point, it is an important part of the historic fabric that characterizes our Fort Point neighborhood. It inspires and graces numerous paintings by Fort Point artists. It is a tourist destination for visitors wanting to experience the operation of a historic swing bridge, imagining the era when the Fort Point Channel was full of commercial vessels. It can be preserved and adapted for the twenty-first century. 
It's true! The City of Boston has taken its first steps toward taking down the century-old Northern Avenue Bridge, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard have warned is in a state of severe deterioration. The bridge will be moved in six large pieces by barge to East Boston.

However, removal of the bridge does not mean it will be demolished. 
Key decision makers at City Hall have expressed interest in considering a preservation-oriented solution, but have not yet decided on the bridge’s long-term future. Before any work on the bridge can begin, the City must obtain several federal, state and local authorizations, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Each of these agencies have issued official correspondence and are seeking public comment.

Now is a critical time for YOU to call for a preservation solution that returns the bridge to Fort Point.

From now through March 1you have the opportunity to share your opinions and concerns about the future of the Northern Avenue Bridge with key decision makers.

Your input is essential to this process.
The Boston Preservation Alliance is providing the proposed language and contact information below and on The Boston Preservation Alliance, but don't hesitate to modify your message as you see fit. Your correspondence will be received by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Massachusetts Historical Commission and filed as part of the required public comment period associated with both federal (Section 106) and state (950 CMR 71.07(3)) review.

Please join The Boston Preservation AllianceThe Friends of the Northern Avenue BridgeThe Fort Point Neighborhood Association and others in voicing your support for the preservation of the Northern Avenue Bridge. View Walk Boston's letter of support.

[Send email correspondence to and and]

Dear Mr. Kevin Kotelly, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Ms. Brona Simon, Mass. Historical Commission,

CC: Mayor Marty Walsh

I write today regarding Boston’s Northern Avenue Bridge in response to the U.S. Army Corps’ “Public Notice” (and associated Section 106 Review) and Massachusetts Historical Commission’s “State Register Consultation” (950 CMR 71.07(3) ) and your invitations for public comment.

I feel strongly that the Northern Avenue Bridge is an integral element of Boston’s culture and environment which should be preserved. The bridge is an important, character-defining feature of the Fort Point District and the city as a whole. Its loss would mark a significant degradation of the historic neighborhood and the historic features that are so important to defining the City of Boston. A repaired bridge is the best solution to the city’s needs. It can continue to be a city icon while supporting transportation needs to the growing Seaport area and would be a far preferable solution to a new bridge. A restored bridge would represent the city’s unique character of blending old and new and can become a revitalized city feature.

I urge both the U.S. Army Corps and Mass. Historical Commission to require a Memorandum of Agreement that places the proposed dis-assembly and move of the bridge within a larger framework for the reconstruction, repair and return of the historic bridge. Placing the bridge in East Boston with no additional steps would not meet the requirements for treatment of a historic structure of this significance.

I request to be considered a “consulting party” and informed of future meetings, discussions, and actions on the bridge. We urge your agencies to hold public hearings on the matter.

[Your Name]

published originally 2.25.16

South Boston Residential Rezoning Ready For Community Input

The Boston Redevelopment Authority invites you to attend the South Boston Rezoning Initiative public meeting tonight

February 29, 2016
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Tynan Community Center Cafeteria
650 E 4th St

The Boston Redevelopment Authority, in collaboration with the Mayor’s office and your local elected officials, has initiated a community conversation regarding South Boston’s zoning, particularly the traditional residential areas. This process has included a presentation to all South Boston civic groups in the fall of 2015. The BRA now intends to expand the conversation and initiate a community wide dialogue focusing on the current state of South Boston’s zoning regulations, as well as potential future changes. The BRA is seeking community wide input for zoning change recommendations. The South Boston Rezoning Initiative is a separate process than PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Seaport Square M Block (Residential & Retail) Public Meeting

Update: Comment period deadline extended to March 1st.

Join the Boston Redevelopment Authority to learn about Seaport Square's M Block on:

Monday, February 22, 2016
6 pm - 8 pm
District Hall
75 Northern Avenue

The meeting will review updates to plan development area (PDA) 78 in regards to the M block parcel of Seaport Square. Seaport Square in its entirety will connect the Fort Point, Fan Pier, Pier 4, and Waterside Place.  

The proponent, Boston Seaport M1&2 Land, LLC, proposes to construct an approximately 1,012,000 gross square foot mixed-use development containing approximately 735 residences, approximately 125,000 square feet of retail/commercial space and a below-grade garage containing approximately 560 lined parking,

Project Manager: Gary Uter
Close of comment period: March 1st

Autumn Lane

Seaport East

Seaport West

originally published 2.17.16

Monday, February 22, 2016

Mayor To Visit Fort Point For Selma March Exhibit Reception

Mayor Walsh will be in Fort Point at Grand Circle Gallery for a special Black history month reception of Revisiting Our Pilgrimage to Selma on:

Thursday, February 25, 2016
6 pm
347 Congress Street
Other special guests include: Rep. Russel Holmes, Chair of MA Black & Latino Legislative Caucus; Judge Joyce London Ford, retired US Magistrate Judge; Jean McGuire, METCO Executive Director and Ivan Espinosa-Madrigal, Director, Lawyers Committee of Civil Rights Under the Law.

There will be a photo and panel presentation by the Boston students who visited Selma in 2015. 

Artists For Humanity Open House Studios

Curious about what is being created in the studios at Artists For Humanity? No need to wait any longer. Artists For Humanity invites you to enjoy some wine and cheese while touring their studios on:

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
5 pm
100 2nd Street (2nd Street & A Street)

Artists For Humanity will host open house studios tours on the last Wednesday of the month. Discover what youth can create. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

FPNA February Neighborhood Gathering: Northern Avenue Bridge, Shines, Wine & More

Fort Point Neighborhood Meeting

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Factory 63 (63 Melcher St)
6:00 pm sharp

State of The Northern Avenue Bridge
Greg Galer, Executive Director
Boston Preservation Alliance

Boston Shines Kick-off

Attorney General Free Community Services

FEMA Corps: Flood Map Zone Insurance Changes

and introducing

Mayhew Wine Shop
20 Melcher Street
requesting a package store liquor license

Neighborhood Updates

Saturday, February 20, 2016

How To Be Safe In South Boston

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

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

When: Tuesday, February 23d at 7PM
Where: South Boston Boys & Girls Club
230 West 6th Street (02127)
Free & Open to the public
Featuring BARCC Staffers:
Stephanie Trilling, Manager of Community Awareness & Prevention Services
Cassie Luna, Community Awareness & Prevention Services Coordinator

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

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

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

originally published 2.7.16

Thursday, February 18, 2016

South Boston Bypass Road To Close To Non-Commercial Traffic

The South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Committee, made up of the leadership of MassDOT, the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the Massachusetts Port Authority, and A Better City announced today that the South Boston Bypass Road will close to non-commercial traffic on February 19th at 11:59 pm. 

Following the road closure to non-commercial traffic, the Massachusetts State Police will begin a progressive enforcement campaign to remind motorists of the traffic circulation changes. Motorists can expect to begin seeing message boards at the end of this week alerting them to the restrictions, which go into effect on February 20th.

The South Boston Bypass Road had been opened to all vehicles during a six month pilot program. The pilot program will shift to a second phase of gathering public feedback and analyzing the data.

The six-month pilot program was launched on August 17th and opened the South Boston Bypass Road to non-commercial traffic at all times in the section from Richards Street to West Service Road, and opened the South Boston Bypass Road in the eastbound direction from I-93 to Richards Street during AM peak hours (6:00 am to 10:00 am).  The pilot also opened the I-93 Northbound HOV lane from I-93 to the Ted Williams Tunnel to all cars at all times.  The implementation of the six month pilot was one of the cornerstone achievements on the South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Committee’s list of short-term improvements for the South Boston Waterfront. View the complete South Boston Waterfront Transportation Plan and Progress Report.  

MassDOT worked closely with the Port Area commercial trucking community, which relies on the Bypass Road to sustain their businesses, to monitor the impacts of the trial.  Final approval to open the South Boston Bypass Road was granted by the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency (MEPA) in August, with the understanding that this would be a six-month pilot to assess the impact and viability of opening the road to non-commercial traffic.

Next Steps
The South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Committee has committed to undertaking a public process to review the results of the pilot and determine the next steps for the South Boston Bypass Road.  After a brief transition period, the post-pilot data collection phase will begin and run through March. A public meeting will be held in March to review the results of the pilot and solicit input from the public. The South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Committee will also continue to work with the maritime stakeholders in the area to understand how the pilot impacted their operations.
A formal report documenting the findings of the pilot, including pre, during, and post-pilot conditions will be finalized in the spring of 2016.      

Initial Pilot Study Results
The initial data from the pilot shows that the changes had no adverse impact on traffic mobility in the South Boston Waterfront.   A notable change of volume was in the eastbound direction of the South Boston Bypass Road between Cypher/ Richards streets and West Service Road where volume increased approximately 21% since the start of the pilot, equating to about 100 more vehicles per hour using the road during the AM peak period. The initial data for I-93 Northbound HOV lane from I-93 to the Ted Williams Tunnel also suggested additional improved usage of the road without significant adverse impacts on travel time for motorists.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Free Chidren's Winter Festival

Update: Due to the weather, the Children's Winter Festival will take place on Thursday, February 18th from 10 am - 4 pm.

originally published 2.11.16

Monday, February 15, 2016

IndyCar Boston Confirms Boston Grand Prix Public Meeting

Updated: In case you missed the meeting, view the presentation along with new track details released 2.12.16 online at IndyCarBoston 

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

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

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

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

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

published originally 2.4.16

Friday, February 12, 2016

Boston City Council Looks At Community Preservation, Urban Renewal Powers, Marijuana & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered these items and more on February 10, 2016:

Community Preservation Act: Councilors Flaherty & Campbell filed an order that would accept the provisions of the MA Community Preservation Act. If the Council votes to approve the order, this would place the matter on the ballot for voters in the 2016 elections. The Community Preservation Act allows cities and towns to put a surcharge on property tax with the revenue going to open space, historic preservation, and affordable housing. The State also provides some matching funds. The order before the Council would put a 1% surcharge on the ballot. The matter was sent to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.

Urban Renewal Powers Extension: Councilor Linehan reported back on the Urban Renewal working session yesterday, which all 13 Councilors attended. At the working session, BRA Director Brian Golden, Planner & Urban Renewal lead Corey Zehngebot, BRA Senior Attorney Janet Carlson, and General Counsel Renee LeFevre walked through some specific projects and how Urban Renewal tools speed up site assembly, title clearance, etc. The fourteen individual plans identified for extension by the BRA include: Brunswick-King, Campus High School, Central Business District (Boylston-Essex), Central Business District (Franklin), Central Business District (South Station), Charlestown, Waterfront-Faneuil Hall, Fenway, Government Center, Kittredge Square, Park Place, South Cove, the South End, and Washington Park. Most Councilors seemed unconvinced about the need for a 10-year renewal of the exact same powers granted under the original plans, with no adjustments of plan boundaries, timelines, or specifics after the last year of public process. The item will remain in the Planning & Development Committee for further discussion before the April 2016 expiration.

MA School Building Authority: The Council voted to pass the order to submit Statements of Interest for the Accelerated Repair Program to the MSBA, as recommended by Chair Mark Ciommo. These would cover roof repairs at the West Roxbury Education Complex, Jackson/Mann K-8 in Allston, MrCormack Middle School in Dorchester, and Dever Elementary in Dorchester; and boiler repairs at the Boston Latin School, Channing Elementary in Hyde Park, and Condon Elementary in South Boston. Construction will occur over Summer 2017. The deadline is Friday, and if approved, would provide 65% reimbursement of costs.

Snow Removal Exemption: Councilors Flaherty & Jackson reported back on the well-attended hearing on Councilor Jackson’s proposed ordinance that would create an exemption for residents over 60 years old and disabled residents from the City’s snow removal rules. Currently, the City requires all homeowners to shovel the sidewalk in front of their home within 3 hours of snowfall, with a $50/day fine for non-compliance. At the hearing, Elderly Commissioner Emily Shea and Public Works Code Enforcement Director Steve Tankle testified that there is already a process for dismissing seniors’ tickets from non-compliance if the Elderly Commission can verify that the senior is unable to shovel or find help shoveling. The major concern was around ensuring accessibility, and many Councilors agreed that a volunteer program would not be feasible for coordination and accountability reasons. The matter will remain in the Government Operations Committee for further hearings.

Homelessness Families and Youth: Councilor Essaibi George gave her first speech on the floor, calling for a hearing on the impacts of homelessness on children, young adults and families in Boston.  She noted that this would be a long conversation with three goals: 1) acknowledging the crisis of family and child homelessness, 2) encouraging families to come out of the shadows by creating language to preserve the dignity of individuals seeking help, and 3) finding more effective and efficient ways to serve homeless families and children in schools and shelters. She noted that there are 4,000 homeless students in our schools. Many Councilors rose to thank Councilor Essaibi George for her leadership and efforts, noting important crossovers into other committees such as education and health. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery.

Medical Marijuana Zoning Amendment: Councilor Flaherty refiled his zoning amendment from last year establishing a zoning prohibition that would bar any additional medical or recreational marijuana sales within 1 mile of an existing medical marijuana dispensary. The matter was assigned to the Planning & Development Committee.

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

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fort Point Channel Landmarks February 2016 Meeting Cancelled

UPDATE: Fort Point Landmarks meeting is cancelled for tonight, February 11th


Thursday, 11 February  2016
5:00 PM
Boston City Hall – Piemonte Room (5th Floor)

After 5:30 pm, enter and exit City Hall at the Dock Square entrance on Congress Street
(across from Faneuil Hall).

Subject of the hearing will be applications for Certificates of Design Approval on the agenda below, review of architectural violations and such business as may come before the commission, in accordance with Ch. 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended. 


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

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

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

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


originally published  2.2.16

Monday, February 08, 2016

Children's Wharf Park Design Community Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

originally posted 1.29.16

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Grants Available

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

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

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

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

View 2015 funded projects at the Boston Redevelopment Authority website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

MBTA Fare Increase Public Meeting Tonight

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

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

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

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

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