Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Fort Point Neighborhood Gathering: Housing, Tuna & A Look Ahead

Fort Point Neighborhood Association
February Neighborhood Gathering
All are welcome

Tuesday, February 28
6 pm - 8 pm
Factory 63
63 Melcher Street

399 Congress Street
(fka Sausage Parcel)
a 400+ rental housing project
Crescent Realty: Owner
 Stantec: Architect
John Moriarty & Associates: Construction

and introducing
Aceituna Grill
57 Boston Wharf Road
seeking wine and malt liquor license


A Look Ahead
a neighborhood conversation about Fort Point

*** featured restaurant: Barlow's Restaurant ***

originally published 2.22.17

Monday, February 27, 2017

Seaport Square: The Final Parcels

updated 2.21.17 with Feb. 16th meeting focus (see asterisk below)

The final parcels (approximately 13 acres) of the Seaport Square development are up for review by the community on: 

Monday, February 27, 2017
6 pm - 8 pm
District Hall
75 Northern Ave

The developer, WS Development, will be discussing their proposed changes to the remaining Seaport Square parcels (blocks). Read the notice of project change filed with the BPDA (Boston Planning and Development Agency) on February 7th. 

Seaport Square is approximately a total of 23 acres of land, defined by an L-shaped series of development blocks and generally bounded by Northern Avenue and Seaport Boulevard (between Old Sleeper Street and Pier 4 Boulevard) and by Stillings Street, Boston Wharf Road, East Service Road and Pier 4 Boulevard and B Street (between Seaport Boulevard and Summer Street).

*Comments made at the earlier February 16th public meeting maybe incorporated or responded to at the February 27th meeting. The first community meeting focused primarily on the public realm (open space) with some discussion of arts, cultural and civic uses and transportation. The entire project also encompasses office, residential and retail uses. 
originally published 2.10.17

Saturday, February 18, 2017

2017 Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Grants

The Fort Point Channel Operations Board is pleased to announce a grant program for 2017. The Grant Program provides financial resources for capital improvements and public programming within and along the Fort Point Channel as envisioned in the City of Boston’s Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan.

The Fort Point Channel Operations Board expects to award up to $50,000 in total funding for the 2017 Grant Program.  Applicants can request up to $50,000 in funding, although typically smaller amounts are awarded. 

Applications are due 12:00 p.m. February 24, 2017. Click here for the application form and guidelines. If you have any questions, contact Erikk Hokenson, Waterfront Planner, Boston Planning & Development Agency. 

originally published 2.9.17

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Life In Fort Point Captured On FIlm

If you are new to Fort Point or have been here forever, you must see the Fort Point Theatre Channel's Fort Point-Inspired Short Films written by Rocco Giuliano and directed by Henry Dane. "Landfill: From Guppies to Yuppies" and "Exile from A Street" will be shown Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 7 pm at Art Under the Stairs located at Midway Artists Studios, 15 Channel Center Street. Free admission. Light Refreshments.

Enjoy an evening of sometimes arrogant, often hilarious commentaries about life and movies, and movies about life . . . in Fort Point. You’ll see Emmy-nominated vignettes aired on Boston TV as well as short films currently clogging up the festival circuit. You’ll also get the chance to demand answers from writer/performer Rocco Giuliano and producer/director Henry Dane (who reserves the right to shift blame back to Rocco). Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind event that won’t change Fort Point one iota, but will help you avoid another depressing episode of 60 Minutes. More details.

The Fort Point Theatre Channel (FPTC) is dedicated to creating and sustaining new configurations of the performing arts. FPTC brings together an ensemble of artists from the worlds of theater, music, visual arts, and everything in between as a forum for collaborative expression while enriching the Fort Point community, Boston, and beyond.

originally posted 2.3.17

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Boston City Council Looks At Affordable Housing, Reprecincting, Sex Offenders & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items during their Feb 15, 2017 meeting:

Reprecincting: Councilor Linehan & I filed a home rule petition to add additional polling locations in the six largest precincts in Boston. The recommendations came out of a public hearing with the Elections Department and community members, pointing out that these largest precincts create significant voter access challenges. In the decades since Boston last made major adjustments to equalize precinct sizes, the city's population has shifted such that today our biggest precinct (Ward 3, Precinct 8 in Chinatown) has over 6,000 registered voters, while the smallest (Ward 8, Precinct 6 near South Bay) has just under 500 voters. That means very long lines at certain polling locations and difficulty with voter access. View my detailed summary of the reprecincting hearing, This home rule petition would allow the City to subdivide these largest precincts in time for the upcoming municipal elections, without changing political district lines or ward lines. We are proposing to subdivide the 6 largest precincts—which are much larger than the rest—to reduce voter wait times and increase access to polling locations:
  • Ward 3, Precinct 6: Downtown
  • Ward 3, Precinct 7: South End
  • Ward 3, Precinct 8: Chinatown
  • Ward 5, Precinct 1: Bay Village, Chinatown
  • Ward 6, Precinct 1: Seaport, Fort Point, South Boston
  • Ward 9, Precinct 3: South End/Lower Roxbury
The changes would need to be approved by the City Council and state legislature by June at the latest to implement in time for the September 2017 Preliminary election. If passed, the home rule petition would allow for voter registration locations to be changed in the statewide system. The matter was sent to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.

Sex Offender Registration: Councilor Flaherty filed a hearing order to discuss policies and procedures for the registration and tracking of sex offenders in Boston. Currently, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts operates the Sex Offender Registry Board (“SORB”) to protect residents and prevent further victimization. Offenders who have a residential address must register every year with their local police department, and homeless offenders are required to register every 30 days. According to recent statistics, at least 200 sex offenders with a last known address in Boston are in violation of not updating their registration with the Boston Police Department. Additionally, a total of at least 150 offenders have listed shelters or public spaces as their last known address, raising public safety concerns. Councilor Flaherty noted two loopholes in the current system: 1) sex offenders who are homeless may be registering without a verifiable address (South Station, Franklin Park, etc.) and 2) offenders who do not want to reveal their own address may be listing a neighbor’s address or another community member’s address. The matter was sent to the Public Safety & Criminal Justice Committee for a hearing.  

Affordable Housing: Councilor Essaibi-George filed a hearing order to determine strategies for streamlining the process to apply for affordable housing. According to the Boston 2030 Housing Plan 3rd Quarter Report of 2016, there are currently 18,786 affordable housing units permitted or completed and 21,270 units of affordable housing in the City’s development pipeline. Additionally, the City is at 108% of the Boston 2030 target pace needed to create 1,500 new units for extremely low income households. Councilor Essaibi-George applauded this rapid increase in affordable housing units, but emphasized the need to ensure the affordable housing application process is easy for all residents to access and navigate. Councilors Jackson and Campbell spoke about the importance of adjusting the current application process so that it also becomes less daunting for small developers to provide affordable housing units. The matter was sent to the Housing & Community Development Committee for a hearing.

Investing in Mental Health Supports: Councilors Pressley & Essaibi-George reported back on yesterday’s hearing to explore additional investments in mental health resources for city departments. Councilor Essaibi-George highlighted the need for additional clinicians and social workers to accompany Boston Police in ridealongs, ensuring mental health patients receive proper support during encounters with police. Currently, there are two clinicians funded by Boston Medical Center’s BEST program to accompany police officers, and there are eight social workers (five at district stations and one each assigned to the school police, gang unit and domestic violence unit). The matter remains in the Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery Committee.

Audit Committee Reporting: The Council received a filing from Chairman DiCara of the Audit Committee with an annual report of their meetings held with the City’s independent auditor, KPMG LLP, and the City Auditor. In 2016, four meetings were held to discuss various aspects of the City’s audit. You can read more in the report.

*Please note that next Wednesday February 22nd, there is no Council meeting due to the Presidents Day holiday. The following week’s meeting on Wednesday March 1st has been rescheduled from the regular 12:00PM start time to a 2:00PM start time in order to accommodate the Boston Municipal Research luncheon featuring Mayor Walsh’s major policy speech, an event that the entire City Council traditionally attends.

Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch at www.cityofboston.gov/citycouncil/live.asp)
  • Thursday, 2/16 at 10:00AM, Surcharge to Finance the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (Government Operations)
  • Thursday, 2/16 at 11:00AM, Affordable Housing in East Boston/South End (Government Operations)
  • Thursday, 2/16 at 12:00PM, Composition of the Boston Arts Commission (Government Operations)
  • Monday, 2/27 at 10:00AM, Barr Foundation Grant (Environment & Sustainability)
  • Monday, 2/27 at 1:00PM, Boston Garden Economic Development (Planning & Development)
  • Monday, 2/27 at 6:00PM, Policy Briefing: Childcare for Homeless Families (Healthy Women, Families & Communities) [Offsite at Horizons for Homeless Children]
Suggestions for Civic Engagement: In response to many, many recent questions on how to get involved and make a difference in policy-making and community engagement, I'm working on putting together a guide with suggestions and concrete steps that people could take to have an impact. Please send along any groups, programs, or ideas that I could include and highlight!
www.michelleforboston.com / 617.652.0136 / info@michelleforboston.com 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Snow Emergency Ends 8am Monday

UPDATE: Snow emergency ends at 8am. Parkers have until 10am to move their cars at the discounted rate. 

The City of Boston closed Boston Public Schools Monday and declared a Snow Emergency and Parking Ban which went into effect at 8:00 pm Sunday.

While parking on these parking ban is in effect, those with resident stickers can park at the following garages:

·      BCEC South Lot: 1300 spots for those with resident stickers and entrance is accessible via Cypher Street
·      Channel Center Garage: entrance is accessible via 116 West 1st Streetand residents may park at a discounted rate of $10 per day.  Must show proof of residency at garage office for validation.
·      BRA/EDIC Garage: accessible via 12 Drydock Avenue and parking is $1 per night for vehicles with South Boston resident stickers. Snow emergency parking is available on the 4th floor of the garage.
·      Municipal Lot #018: 60 spaces accessible via 450 West Broadway
·      Municipal Lot #021: 22 spots accessible via 650 E Broadway

Stay warm and don't forget to check in on your neighbors. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

City Declares Snow Emergency For Thursday

updated 2.10.17 Parking ban lifted at 8am. If you parked in a discounted garage, move your car by 10am or pay regular rates. Boston Public Schools are closed Friday.

Boston Public Schools are closed Thursday. A snow emergency and parking ban starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday. 

Cars parked on snow emergency routes will be ticketed and towed. In Fort Point, the following roads are subject to the parking ban: A St., Congress St., Northern Ave., Seaport Blvd. (from Atlantic Ave. to B St.), and Summer Street. 

You may begin parking at discounted garages at 8 a.m. To receive discounted rates at selected garages you may park up to  two hours before a snow emergency and must depart within two hours after snow emergency is lifted. Check with the garage for rates and details. Closest Fort Point garages are the BCEC parking lot (entrance Cypher St) and the Channel Center Garage. You must show proof of South Boston residency to receive discounted rate. More details at Boston.gov. 

originally posted 02.08.17

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Boston City Council Looks At Reprecincting, Immigration, Civil Rights & More

City Council President Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered these items and more during their Feb 8, 2017 and Feb 1, 2017 meetings:

Appointments: Mayor Walsh made the following appointments:
• Boston Cultural Council: Norris Welch, Marie Fukuda, Kathryn Niforos, Anh Nguyen and Ana Guigui for terms until October 2019
• Licensing Board: Lesley St. Germain as Secretary until June 2020
Air Pollution Control Commission:  Virginia Tisei and Russell Preston for terms until September 2019
• Boston Confirmation Commission: Kristen Kleisner until November 2019
• Boston Employment Commission: Jesse Jeter until July 2017

• Zoning Commission: The Council voted to confirm Annaise Foureau for a term until May 2018, Nelson Arroyo until May 2019, Michael Nichols until October 2018 and Michael DiMella until November 2017
• Boston Public Health Commission: The Council voted to confirm Manny Lopes and Tyrek Lee as members until January 2020

Reprecincting: Councilor McCarthy, Chair of the Committee on City, Neighborhood Services & Veterans Affairs reported back on a hearing on Monday regarding reprecincting in Boston. In the decades since the Council last made major adjustments to equalize precinct sizes, the city's population has shifted. Today our biggest precinct (Ward 3, Precinct 8 in Chinatown) has over 6,000 registered voters, while the smallest (Ward 8, Precinct 6 near South Bay) has just under 500 voters. That means very long lines at certain polling locations and difficulty with voter access. Read President Wu's detailed hearing summary.

Immigrant Defense Fund: Councilor Jackson filed a hearing order to discuss creating a pilot immigrant defense fund in Boston. The fund would help undocumented immigrants facing deportation or who have been detained retain a lawyer. He noted that other cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco have established such programs and seen very different outcomes for immigrants facing deportation with counsel. Several Councilors spoke in support of the idea of providing representation, but emphasized that we should explore public-private partnerships to seek outside funding, given the Council’s role in fiscal stewardship of the City budget. The matter was sent to the Committee on Healthy Women, Families & Communities for a hearing.

Special Committee on Civil Rights: The Council voted unanimously to approve my order to establish a Special Committee on Civil Rights, which will be chaired by Councilor Zakim. The Council had previously had a Committee on Human Rights & Civil Rights, but this was discontinued last year as part of our reorganization. I’d emphasized that every committee’s charge included protecting human rights and civil rights, and in the interest of balancing resources and focus with the creation of new committees (such as Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery and Jobs, Wages & Workforce Development) discontinued this committee, which had been less active. However, we have been hearing from constituents in the last two weeks that it is more important than ever for cities to lead in protecting civil rights and fighting discrimination, especially given the recent federal Executive Orders banning refugees, threatening sanctuary cities, and barring nationals from seven Muslim countries from entering the US. The committee will also have a revamped, proactive focus, taking on our third policy briefing series at the Council, focused on Civil Rights. For more details on the committee, view our press release.

City Council Communications Assistant: The Council voted to finalize the hiring of Candace Morales as the City Council Central Staff’s new Communications Assistant. Candace will be working with our Technology Director Kerry Jordan to expand our capacity to host and broadcast off-site meetings in the neighborhoods, as well as increase our outreach by generating content through video, newsletter, social media, and potentially the blog feature on the City website. Welcome, Candace!

Upcoming Hearings/Working Sessions (Watch at www.cityofboston.gov/citycouncil/live.asp)
  • Monday, 2/13 at 11:30AM, Community Preservation Committee (Government Operations) CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER
  • Monday, 2/13 at 6:30PM, Violence in City of Boston (Public Safety and Criminal Justice) [Offsite at Hibernian Hall] CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER
  • Tuesday, 2/14 at 2:00PM, Mental Health Clinicians in BPD (Homelessness, Mental Health & Recovery)
  • Monday, 2/27 at 1:00PM, Boston Garden Economic Development (Planning & Development)
For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Power Plant Redevelopment Open House

updated 2.2.17 with Charrettes location
updated 1.23.17 with February charrette date and times. location tbd.
updated 1.19.17 with walking tour times and R.S.V.P. information (see below)

The BPDA (formerly known as the Boston Redevelopment Authority) continues the planning process for the redevelopment of the L Street Edison Power Plant located at 776 Summer Street with two community charrettes in February to accommodate public input on housing, transportation, public realm improvements, cultural facilities and placemaking at the Edison Power Plant site. The first occurred Wednesday, February 8th from 6 pm to 8 pm and the second will take place Saturday, February 11th from 10 am - 12 pm at the Tynan School/Community Center located at 650 E 4th Street. The same information will be presented at both; therefore, you only need to attend one workshop. The process will inform the development plan for the property and future zoning. If you have any questions, contact Chris Busch, BPDA. 

A walking tour occurred January 21st from 9 am - 11 am. The second tour took place Saturday, January 28th from 1 pm - 3 pm. Tours started at the entry gate to the Edison Power Plant located at 776 Summer Street. 

The BPDA hosted and Open House January 18, 2017 from 6 pm to 8 pm at Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, 3rd floor conference, 22 Drydock Avenue Boston, MA 02210

originally posted 1.18.17

Monday, February 06, 2017

Community Boat Building April Vacation & Summer Camp Programs

Community Boat Building is excited to offer April vacation week and Summer vacation programs focused on ocean exploration and building to students aged 7 to 14 years old. 
The April vacation week program will be held April 18, 2017 - April 21, 2017 from 9 am - 4 pm. Students will learn how to make their very own skateboards. The program is $400 and limited to 30 students. To sign up email Margery Bradshaw or call 617-428-0155.

Summer Camp runs for six weeks starting July 10, 2017 and ending the week of August 18, 2017.Summer camp registration form

Week 1 July 10-14 – Wooden Gear Clocks
Week 2 July 17-20 – Wooden Robots
Week 3 July 24-28 - Pinball Machine
Week 4 Jul 31-Aug 4 - Sea Perch ROV underwater robot
Week 5 Aug 7-11 - Build a strip kayak*
Week 6 Aug 14-18 - Build a 10 foot row boat*

*10 foot row boat and strip kayak will be raffled off, learn to row a row boat, and learn about ocean animals.

Community Boat Building is located at 21 Liberty Drive in the Seaport.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Seaport Square Open House Tonight

WS Development is hosting an Open House with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) on:
Thursday, February 2, 2016
6 pm - 8 pm
District Hall
75 Northern Avenue

Come hear about proposed changes to the planned development area (PDA) for this final Seaport Square development parcel. This will be the fourth amendment to PDA #78. Seaport Square is 6.5 Million square feet of development consisting of 2.5 million residential, 1.5 million of new office, two hotels, a cultural and educational center and 1.5 million square feet of multi-level retail, restaurant and entertainment according to the BPDA website.