Monday, October 31, 2016

Fort Point November Gathering: The Sea, Fort Point & Massport

updated 10.31.16 with inclusion of Helipad/Heliport discussion in preparation of upcoming City Council Hearing. .

Fort Point Neighborhood Association
November Gathering for the Neighborhood

All Welcome

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
please note new date
6 pm
Factory 63
63 Melcher St.


Julie Wormser
The Old City & The Sea
Boston Harbor Now 

with a special update on

Massport South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center
adjacent to Waterside Place bordering Haul Rd, D St & WTC Ave.
Anthony Guerriero, Nhuy Hoag & Michael Vatalaro

and introducing

YO! Sushi

79 Seaport Blvd
seeking wine & malt liquor license
Shake Shack
77 Seaport Blvd
seeking wine & malt liquor license

 a discussion in preparation of  
City Council Helipad/Heliport Hearing
November 16, 2016 at 6 pm, location tbd

***featured restaurant: Better Bagels***

originally published 10.20.16

Boston City Council Looks At Questions 2 & 4, Parking, Housing, Airbnb & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered these items and more at their October 19 and October 26, 2016 meetings:

Confirmations: Boston Landmarks Commission: City Council voted to confirm Richard Henderson until June 2019.

Charter Cap Fiscal Impacts: Councilors Ciommo, Essaibi George, and Jackson reported back on Monday’s hearing exploring the fiscal impacts for the BPS and City of Boston budget should the ballot initiative to lift the charter cap (Question 2) pass. The City’s Chief Financial Officer and budget analysts testified about the challenges BPS faces to fill budget gaps caused by resources leaving the district and following students to charters. The matter will remain jointly in the Committees on Ways & Means and Education.

Equity in Marijuana Licensing: Councilors Baker and Pressley reported back about Monday’s hearing on ensuring equity in the marijuana licensing process should the ballot initiative to legalize adult use of marijuana (Question 4) pass. Councilor Pressley noted that of the 108 medical marijuana licenses awarded in Massachusetts so far, none have gone to a business owned by a person of color. Among the 25 states that have legalized medical marijuana, less than 1% of operators are businesses owned by people of color. She mentioned that if marijuana is legalized in Massachusetts, communities most impacted by high rates of incarceration from marijuana-related crimes should have equitable opportunities to participate in the business. The matter will remain in the Committee on Jobs, Wages & Workforce Development.

Recruiting Educators of Color: Councilor Jackson refiled his hearing order to continue the conversation on strategies for recruiting and retaining educators of color in Boston Public Schools. The hearing order notes that as of 2015, BPS students of color represented 86% of the total student population while only 37% of BPS teachers were people of color. The matter was sent to the the Education Committee.

Housing Innovations: Councilors Baker and Zakim filed a hearing order to discuss cooperative owned housing, especially single room occupancy and micro units as a way to create more affordable housing options in Boston. Both emphasized the need to relieve the housing crunch in Boston, which is making our city unaffordable to too many families. The matter was sent to the Housing and Community Development Committee for a hearing.

Parking: Councilor LaMattina as chair of the Committee on Parks, Recreation and Transportation and Councilor Baker as sponsor reported back on yesterday’s hearing about parking policies. At the hearing, Boston’s Chief of Streets Chris Osgood and Commissioner of Transportation Gina Fiandaca testified about the programs in place to achieve their three goals of making parking more convenient, better-managed, and less-needed. Several Councilors expressed concerns at the hearing about the number of unfilled and recently reduced parking enforcement positions, which bring in more revenue for the City. Members of the public testified about the need to use street space to better accommodate all roadway users, including demand-responsive pricing at meters, more transit/walking/cycling infrastructure, charging a fee for residential parking permits (which are currently free and not limited to a certain number per household). The matter will remain in committee for a working session.

Airbnb: Councilors LaMattina and Baker called for a hearing to discuss for-profit lodging at personal residences through companies such as Airbnb and whether Boston should issue regulations at the city level. The co-sponsors and several colleagues called for regulations to address quality of life and safety issues in neighborhoods when certain housing units turn into permanent hotels through Airbnb. Councilor Jackson urged caution about stopping innovation, and Councilor Linehan pointed out that some of his constituents, particularly seniors who are struggling to make their property tax payments, need this as a revenue source to stay in their homes. The matter was sent to the Committee on Housing and Community Development for a hearing.

Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch Live)
• Monday, 10/31 at 10:00AM, Working Session: Street Occupancy Permits (Government Operations)
• Tuesday, 11/1 at 11:00AM, Climate Ready Boston Grants (Environment and Sustainability)
• Tuesday, 11/1 at 2:30PM, BPS Student Residency Policy (Education)
• Thursday, 11/3 at 10:00AM, Building Permit Applications (Government Operations) Thursday, 11/3 at 12:30PM, Various Grants (Public Safety and Criminal Justice)
• Thursday, 11/3 at 4:00PM, Water Transportation (Parks, Recreation & Transportation)
• Friday, 11/4 at 3:30PM, Working Session: BPS High School Start Times (Education)
• Wednesday, 11/9 at 11:30AM, Speed Limits (City, Neighborhood Services & Veterans Affairs)
• Wednesday, 11/9 at 6:00PM, BPS Bus Passes (Education) [Off-Site at Reggie Lewis Center, Roxbury]
• Tuesday, 11/15 at 5:00PM, BPS Master Facilities Plan (Education)

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. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

South Boston Open Studios Next Weekend

Visit fellow South Boston artists and craftspeople November 4th and November 5th from 12 pm to 6 pm at South Boston Open Studios.

South Boston artists will open their doors to share their work and their studios with the public. Discover what’s new on the Southie art scene. South Boston Open Studios is free and open to the public, rain or shine. 

Places to go: 
555 Gallery at 555 East 2nd St.
The Distillery at 516 East 2nd St. 
King Terminal at 110 K St. 
South Boston Art Association's "Around the Corner" Gallery at 317 E Street (behind Neatly Nested)*

*Also open on Friday 4 pm - 7 pm, Saturday 10 am - 6 pm & Sunday 12 pm-4 pm. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Voting: The Who, What, Where & When

The first opportunity to vote in South Boston for the Presidential Election is this Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 12 pm - 6 pm at the Condon School (200 D Street). 

Weekday voting is available through November 4th at Boston City Hall from 9 am - 5 pm with extended evening hours until 8 pm on: 

Friday, October 28th
Monday, October 31st
Wednesday, November 2nd

For  a complete list of voting locations throughout the City visit

In preparation of early voting in Massachusetts, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, has prepared a sample ballot. If you live outside of Ward 6, please click here to view your sample ballot. 

Election day is Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The polls will be open from 7 am - 8 pm. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

South Boston Bus Service Community Meeting

updated 10.28.16 Submit public comments to MBTA Service Planning Department before November 9th deadline.

The MBTA is pleased to announce a public meeting to present the 30% design plans for South Boston Bus Stop and Service Improvements Project for routes  5, 7, 9, 10 and 11 (Currently travels A Street outbound toward West Broadway only).  The goals for this effort include:

·        Enhance service reliability
·        Optimize bus stop locations and spacing for safety, efficiency, and minimal parking impacts
·        Improve bus stop accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities

The public meeting* will be held:

Wednesday, October 26th
6:00 PM
Tynan School
650 E. 4th Street
South Boston

In related news, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and Representative Nick Collins announced a new comprehensive transportation plan to improve public transit while reducing congestion. As a follow up to the South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan, Senator Forry and Rep Collins successfully advocated for $11 million to be directed toward South Boston transportation needs. Within the $11 million, $9.7 million will go toward the Cypher Street extension from D Street to E Street and reconstruction of E Street to extend from Cypher Street to Summer Street. More details at Caught in Southie.

*If you need a reasonable accommodation (such as American Sign Language interpreters, assistive listening devices, handouts in alternate formats, etc.) and/or language assistance to fully participate, please submit your request to Trish Foley at or 857-368-8907 at least 2 days prior to the meeting.  Such accommodations will be provided free of charge. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities.

originally published 10.18.16

Monday, October 24, 2016

City Announces Early Voting Locations for Presidential Elections

When can you vote? Hint: It is earlier than you think.

In June, our district Councilor, Bill Linehan, sponsored a hearing to review election procedures for the upcoming 2016 presidential election. And last week, the Board of Election Commissioners unanimously approved the establishment of twenty-eight early voting sites across every Boston neighborhood.

Early voting sites for the November 8 election will be open from October 24 through November 4 at 5:00 PM. Residents can either vote at Boston City Hall during regular business hours (9 am - 5 pm) or at any of three early voting sites located in each City Council district from 2:00 through 8:00 PM. Voters can visit any site they find convenient. City Hall will also be open five evenings for early voting. 

On Saturday October 29,  there will be nine early voting locations open simultaneously in each city council district open from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. Fort Point (district 2) votes at the Condon School (200 D. Street). 

 At the end of each day, all submitted ballots will be secured at a City Hall vault to be counted on Election Day itself.

You can view the early voting site locations and schedules online here.

Early voting was authorized by the Massachusetts legislature in 2014, and the City Council urged implementation as soon as possible. City Councilors secured $670,000 to support early voting through this year’s budget process, including funds for electronic polling books and a citywide marketing campaign to help spread the word. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 marks the last day to register to vote or to update your address for the November presidential election. Register online, by mail or in person. To verify that you are registered to vote, click here

originally published 7.26.16

GE Headquarters Project Public Meetings

updated 10.24.16: GE Headquarters project will be presented at a special BDPA (BRA) Board meeting 11/1 at 5:30pm. The Board postponed 10/20 presentation and vote to ensure strict compliance with open meeting law. 

State and City public meetings are being held for the General Electric Headquarters development project.

General Electric Company (GE) and the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment)  filed an  Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF) on August 1, 2016 with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to construct a new campus headquarters for GE.  The project site is a 2.4-acre parcel adjacent to Fort Point Channel, bordered by Necco Street and Necco Court. The campus will include three buildings with a gross floor area of  approximately 388,700-sf, including 95,400 sf in two rehabilitated 6-story buildings and 293,300 sf in one new 12-story building.  The new campus will be situated on the former site of The Channel. The buildings will be connected by two pedestrian bridges. The project will include 30 below-grade parking spaces under the new building. The rehabilitated buildings will contain public space on the ground floor and the new building will contain public space on the first two floors, including a museum.  The project also includes exterior public waterfront access, pedestrian and bicycle amenities and landscaping.

Under the  the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Article 80 large project review process, the BRA is holding Impact Advisory Group (IAG)/Public meetings on the GE Headquarters project. An introductory meeting was held on August 17th. View meeting presentation

On August 10th General Electric submitted a Planned Development Area (PDA) Plan and an amendment to the 100 Acres Master Plan. These filings, along with all other documents submitted by GE, are available on the BRA website. The Third Amendment to the Master Plan, along with the details of the GE Headquarters project submitted in the EPNF, will be discussed at the public meetings listed below:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
BPDA (BRA) Board Meeting
Boston City Hall, Room 900

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Fort Point Channel Landmarks Commission
Boston City Hall, 5th floor, Piemonte Room
6:45 pm per revised agenda

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
BCDC Approved GE Headquarters Design
View Meeting Presentation

Wednesday. September 27, 2016
BCDC (Boston Civic Design Commission)
View Meeting Presentation

Wednesday. September 21, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
BCDC (Boston Civic Design Commission)
View Meeting Presentation

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
View IAG/Public Meeting Presentations

Public comment period for EPNF, PDA, and Third Amendment of PDA 69 (100 Acres): September 30, 2016. All comments should be submitted via the website form or to Sonal Gandhi, BRA Senior Policy Advisor.

GE has requested a Phase 1 Waiver to allow the rehabilitation of the two existing buildings, the lease of these buildings to GE, and the use of public funds, to proceed prior to the completion of MEPA review of the entire project.  The Proponents have also filed an Expanded ENF with a request for a Single Environmental Impact Report (Single EIR) in place of the standard Draft and Final EIRs.

The project is subject to a mandatory EIR for a new non-water dependent use occupying one or more acres of tidelands.  The project also exceeds 2,000 or more new average daily trips on roadways providing access to a single location; demolition of all or any exterior part of any historic structure listed in the Inventory of Historic and Archaeological Assets of the Commonwealth.

The project will receive State Financial Assistance from MassDevelopment through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and will enter into a lease agreement with MassDevelopment.  The project will require a Chapter 91 License from MassDEP and review by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. The project requires a Public Benefit Determination because the site is located on filled tidelands.

A public consultation session occurred September 6th to solicit advice and comments from agencies, officials, and citizens regarding which environmental issues, if any, are significant for this project. Comments also accepted regarding the Proponents’ Phase 1 Waver request and Single EIR request.

MEPA comments deadline extended to September 30, 2016
Certificate due October 7, 2016: View Certificate
Contact for project information: Elizabeth Grob, (617) 728-7777
MEPA contact: Alex Strysky, (617) 626-1025 
originally posted 9.1.16

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Children's Wharf Park 3rd Community Meeting

10.19.16 update: This meeting will provide the latest, yet not final design of Martin's Park. Come see and give your input. 

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department invites the community to the third meeting to discuss upcoming renovations to Children’s Wharf Park located at 64 Sleeper Street, Boston.

Thursday, October 20th
6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Boston Children's Museum 
Business Entrance, 308 Congress Street 

As part of the Boston Parks and Recreation Departments continuing efforts 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 appreciative of the communities contribution to the design process, and look forward to updating you on the this exciting project.The park will be an inclusive play area and waterfront park in honor of Martin Richard.

The Parks Department will provide an update on the project and the designer, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., will share their latest design for the park. Following the presentation, there will be a discussion about the project.

Related posts

originally published 10.6.16

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Downtown Waterfront Municipal Harbor Planning Advisory/Public Meeting

The Municipal Harbor Planning Advisory Committee was tasked with assisting the City in the development of a new harbor plan for the Downtown Waterfront District. The public and waterfront stakeholders are encouraged to attend:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
6 pm - 8 pm
Boston City Hall
Piemonte Room, 5th Floor

to hear about the Downtown Waterfront District Municipal Harbor Plan draft as submitted Sept. 6, 2016. The Downtown Waterfront MHP covers three key parcels: the Marriott Long Wharf (18,000 sf ground floor public activation), The Harbor Garage site (new 600' structure & 30% open space) and the James Hook Wharf site (305' structure & 30% open space). The plan spans the full extent of the Greenway District corridor, from Chinatown to the North End. 

All of the waterfront parcels within the Greenway District are subject to the state’s Waterways Regulations, Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L.) Chapter 91, which establishes specific building design and use requirements to ensure new waterfront projects serve a proper public purpose and support water-dependent uses. To facilitate the harbor planning process a range of public benefits and mitigation offsets need to be advanced for projects that propose building metrics that do not conform to Chapter 91 standards. This plan will inform the MHP process through the establishment of guidelines and priorities to further activate the watersheet and water’s edge.

Starting October 19th the BPDA (formerly BRA) will accept public comments on the draft. View all documents.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Help Document King Tide

October 17-19, 2016
Boston Harbor Now, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science are joining forces to crowdsource photos documenting portions of Boston Harbor's waterfront expected to flood during the King Tide.

Known as a "King Tide" (or locally, a "WICKED wicked high tide"), three high tides will be over two feet higher than average and give us a glimpse of Boston's average high tide sometime around or after mid-century.
The Massachusetts Coast will see its highest tides in 2016 in mid-October, when the sun and the moon are aligned and the earth orbits closest to the sun.  This year, Boston Harbor's highest annual tides will occur:
  • Monday, October 17, 12:31 pm
  • Tuesday, October 18, 1:21 pm
  • Wednesday, October 19, 2:13 pm

Boston's waterfront:

East Boston:  Meridian Street Bridge, between Central Square and Lo Presti Park
North End:  North Washington Street Bridge, Battery Wharf and Lewis Wharf
Downtown: Long Wharf through India Wharf
Seaport: Fort Point Channel, Fan Pier Park, Liberty Wharf
South Boston: Castle Island, Carson Beach
Dorchester: Morrissey Boulevard, Port Norfolk, Neponset River south of Granite Avenue

If you are in one of these areas within 20 minutes of the King Tide, could you take a picture of high tide and take notes of when and where you took it?  Once you're ready to send us your photos, here are two great ways to do so:
  1. Go to MyCoast on your computer or download the MyCoast app on your tablet or smartphone and create an account to upload your photos.  When you use the phone app to upload photos, the time, location and tidal phase will be automatically stamped on your photo.
  2. If you don't want to do this for whatever reason, you can email your photos to Boston Harbor Now, care of Julie Wormser:  jwormser@bostonharbornow who will upload your photos for you.  Please make sure to give the location, date and time and how to credit each photo.
Click here for a reminder of the upcoming tidal event and more info on how to share your photos via MyCoast.
originally published 10.11.16

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fort Point Opens Doors To Art

Art is taking Fort Point by storm with last week's opening of Radius, the inaugural exhibition by the Society of Arts & Crafts and this weekend's 37th annual Fort Point Fall Open Studios presented by the Fort Point Arts Community.

Friday, October 14, 2016 4 pm - 7 pm*
Saturday, October 15, 2016 12 pm - 6 pm
Sunday, October 16, 2016 12 pm - 6 pm

*preview of select studios 

Over 150 artists, crafts people, and designers, in studios in Boston's historic Fort Point warehouse buildings, in galleries, on the streets, and in the water around Fort Point will be showcasing their art. As you easily stroll around Fort Point keep your eyes open for public art, especially the Safety Orange Swimmers in the Channel. In addition to visual art, experience live music, performances and film screenings all three days. Drop-in at a drawing workshop for kids of all ages on Saturday & Sunday. View artists demonstrations. Don't forget you can buy art too. Did we mention this is a free event open to the public with free parking at A & Binford Streets lot? For more details and special Open Studios events, visit the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC),

Amy MacDonald
Can't wait? The FPAC Gallery is kicking off Fall Open Studios Thursday, October 13th from 6 pm to 8 pm with work from a selection of artists participating in the weekend long event. The FPAC Gallery is located at 300 Summer Street.  

Amy Baxter MacDonald: People & Places is also opening tonight at the FP3 Gallery from 7 pm - 9 pm. People and Places reflects artist and animator Amy Baxter MacDonald’s interest in motion, and her respect for the immediacy and honesty of the gesture or first impression, The FP3 Gallery is located at 346 Congress Street.