Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Community Preservation Act Fall Funding Opportunity

The City of Boston's Community Preservation Committee Fall funding round to support historic preservation, affordable housing, and parks and open space is now open.

The first step is to complete the required Eligibility & Information Form due on September 7, 2018 and may be submitted now. CPA staff will respond within a few weeks to let you know if you will be eligible to complete the full application. It will be similar to the spring pilot application with a bit more specific information. Call or email with questions or to discuss your project. Check below for "Office Hours" where staff will be available to meet and offer assistance.

The application will be released Wednesday, August 15 with a hard deadline of Friday, September 28. Application information sessions and deadlines are  listed below:
Wednesday, August 15
Fall CPA application posted on www.boston.gov/cpa

Friday, September 7
Required Fall Eligibility & Info Form due

Tuesday, September 28 | 12-2pm | 26 Court St, Boston 02108
Community Preservation Committee (CPC) Training
How to use CPA funds to bond for greater impact.

Friday, September 28 | 5pm
Fall CPA applications due - no exceptions

* If you are a potential CPA applicant, keep reading below for 
office hour and 
application info session dates.

Fall Funding Round Priorities

The Community Preservation Committee expects to focus on affordable housing projects this fall, but all categories are welcome to apply. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

Helpful guidelines:

Affordable Housing - all applicants will be expected to complete Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) housing proposal materials. You can find them posted on the DND webpages by August 15.

Historic Preservation - the Community Preservation Committee hopes to see a commitment to ongoing stewardship of a historic resource. This includes a "Conditions Needs Assessment" or capital master plan, as well as a history of fundraising and upkeep. Historic houses of worship may apply for funds to do capital work on the exterior of the building that does not include religious imagery.

Parks & Open Space - if your project is on public land, make sure you have been in contact with the agency responsible for care and maintenance to discuss project implementation and oversight.

No request is too small and applications of up to $1 million will be accepted.

Need Help?

CPA Office Hours: Staff will be available to answer questions, talk about projects, and offer assistance.

Please RSVP so we know when you're coming | 26 Court St, 9th floor, Boston 02108
  • Monday evening, August 6 from 6-8pm
  • Thursday morning, August 9 from 9-11am
  • Wednesday lunchtime, August 15 from 12-2pm
  • Friday lunchtime, August 17, from 12 - 2 p.m.
Application Info Sessions (Bidders' Conference)

If you are applying for funds this fall, you are expected to attend an Info Session. The session will go through the application questions so you can learn what we're looking for and how to best describe your project.

Please RSVP so we know when you're coming | 26 Court St, 9th floor, Boston 02108
  • Tuesday morning, August 21 from 9-11am
  • Thursday evening, August 30 from 6-8pm
  • Wednesday afternoon, September 5 from 4-6pm

Monday, July 30, 2018

Boston City Council Looks At Young Women, Lobbyists, Salaries, Wetlands & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their June 27 and July 11, 2018 meetings (NOTE: Next City Council meeting will be August 1, 2018):

Wetlands Protection Legislation: I filed a hearing order regarding the local wetlands protection legislation to examine the policies and resources available for the development and implementation of local wetlands ordinance. Urban wetlands are an effective land use for alleviating the effects of climate change, particularly managing flooding and reducing the urban heat island effect. They also provide important ecosystem services, such as water filtration, wildlife habitat, and pollution sequestration, including carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. A total of 198 municipalities within the Commonwealth have enacted local wetlands ordinances, and those, such as Arlington, that have included consideration of climate change in their regulations, have effectively provided better protection against flooding and heat island effects. The matter has been assigned to the Committee on Environment, Sustainability & Parks for a hearing.

Archaic Statutes Targeting Young Women: The Council voted to adopt Councilor Pressley’s resolution to urge the House Committee on Ways and Means and Governor Baker to, respectively, pass bill S.2260 “Act negating archaic statutes targeting young women” and sign it into law. She noted that with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement of his retirement from the court, the President and his administration can nominate a new Supreme Court judge, upending a delicate pro-choice majority. The lawsuits seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade, which provided access to safe and legal abortion care, are moving through the lower courts. There are several archaic statutes still on the books in Massachusetts that limit access to birth control and abortion and pose new threats to women’s reproductive freedom should the federal government overturn Roe. Bill S.2260 would repeal archaic laws targeting women, including the laws that could be used to criminalize abortion.

Salary Increases: The Council voted 11-2 (Councilors Pressley & Zakim in the minority) to pass the Mayor’s ordinance amending salary categories for certain city employees, including elected officials, following the recommendations of the City of Boston Compensation Advisory Board. The Mayor’s salary will be increased from $199K to $207K, to take effect after the next Mayoral election, and Councilors’ salary will go from $99,500 to $103,500, to take effect after the next Council election. Although I still believe that elected officials should not set their own salaries and therefore we should have a fully independent board set the amounts without a Council vote, this year’s process was as close as practically possible to an independent review in the near term. The Compensation Advisory Board retained an independent consultant to analyze classification and compensation from cities across the country, and the board voted unanimously to present this recommendation to the Mayor. The increases will not take effect this term, but now have been passed with plenty of time for anyone to run for these positions with the new compensation. You can view the committee’s report here.

Lobbyist Registration and Regulation: The Council voted (through a voice vote; Councilor Baker opposing the Home-Rule Petition) to pass an ordinance that I filed with Councilors Flaherty and Campbell to require lobbyist registration and disclosure, as well as an amended home-rule petition originally filed by the Mayor. The goal of the legislation is to ensure transparency by requiring registration and disclosure of lobbying activities, to create fairness and consistency by applying the same rules across the board, and to reinforce public trust in government by guaranteeing convenient, timely access to information about attempts to influence the government’s decisions. Mayor Walsh had previously filed a Home-Rule Petition based on state lobbying regulations and the Administration wanted to preserve fines of up to $10,000 and criminal penalties mirroring the state. My co-sponsors and I believed that we could most effectively implement lobbyist registration and disclosure requirements not through a home-rule petition, which would involve waiting for the uncertainty and longer timeline of state approval but through a city ordinance more tailored to municipal decision-making and that could be implemented immediately. The ordinance also removed thresholds in the home-rule petition that exempted lobbyists from disclosure and registration if making less than  2500 during the reporting period or if engaging in fewer than 25 hours of lobbying per reporting period, focusing instead on what counts as lobbying whether paid or unpaid, regardless of how many hours per month.More and more decisions affecting parties with significant financial interests are coming through City Hall on a regular basis (e.g. short term rentals, cannabis industry licensing, development and zoning decisions, and more). We believed it was most important to set the rules through city law now, even at the city’s standard fines of $300 per violation per month, then seek heightened penalties through a simplified home-rule petition. The ordinance additionally refined the definitions of the types of activities categorized as lobbying to match city business, and increased the frequency of disclosure from twice a year to quarterly. The provisions of the ordinance will take effect 180 days after the Mayor signs the legislation, giving some time for the Clerk’s office to set up systems for registration, access, and enforcement.

Upcoming Hearings (Livestream)

Tuesday, 8/7 at 2PM: Hearing on vacant affordable housing units and improving access to those units in the City of Boston (Housing & Community Development)

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically.      

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Northern Avenue Bridge: A Gateway For Pedestrians, Bicyclists & Cars?

Over 50 neighbors from Fort Point, Seaport and the Downtown Waterfront gathered to hear the City of Boston's plans and concepts for the future of the Northern Avenue Bridge at a special FPNA neighborhood meeting on July 18, 2018.

The City's Chief of Streets Chris Osgood along with Northern Avenue Bridge team members Chief Engineer Para Jayasinghe of Public Works and Joe Allwarden of AECOM presented. The bridge architects are Urban Idea Lab and Brownlie, Ernst & MarksThe Bridge redesign focuses on: improving mobility, honoring history, strengthening climate resiliency, and creating a destination. View the presentation here

A lot of the discussion centered on the need for a vehicular lane on the bridge and the desire to view the underlying data, part of the South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan of 2015. Concern over traffic gridlock on Atlantic Avenue and backup onto Seaport Blvd. from Northern Ave. arose from residents living on both sides of the bridge. It became apparent that a new transit analysis will be pivotal in understanding the modes of transportation best suited for the Northern Avenue Bridge in conjunction with the other Fort Point Channel bridges for overall mobility. Towards the end of the meeting, a resident asked how many are in favor of a walk and bike bridge only. The overwhelming majority of residents indicated that they are in favor of a pedestrian bike only bridge.  To further that point of view a request was made that a pedestrian bicycle only bridge design option be considered. 

The Northern Avenue Bridge holds extreme appeal to the neighborhood whether it be its charm and character, easy walkability, local historic nature (mechanics and maritime history) or all aspects combined, making the bridge an important gateway connection between the Seaport and the Downtown Rose Kennedy Greenway.  Placemaking and programming of the bridge at the deck level appeared more popular than the concept of a floating island destination perpendicular to the bridge on the water. 

The next Mayor's Task Force meeting will focus on transit analysis and the structural condition of the Northern Avenue Bridge. The meeting will take place Thursday, July 26th from 3 pm to 5 pm at City Hall in room 801. The public is welcome to attend. If you would like to receive updates on the bridge, please sign up at the project website NorthernAveBridgeBos.com. You may also email your comments to FPNA

The Task Force is composed of: A Better City, Boston Harbor Now, Boston Preservation Alliance, Fallon Co., Fort Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA), Green Ribbon Commission, Livable Streets Alliance, MCCA, Seaport TMA, US Court House, US General Services Administration, and the Wharf District Council along with Councilors Flynn & Flaherty, Senator Collins and Congressman Lynch’s offices.

Monday, July 23, 2018

355 Congress Street Abutters Meeting

The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services along with Boston Property Ventures invite surrounding neighbors of 355 Congress Street to a meeting to discuss proposed plans to change the building's occupancy from 2 units, restaurant, and offices to 7 units, restaurant, and offices. The ground floor of the property is owned separately by the Lyons Group and is home to Lucky's Lounge. 

What: 355 Congress Abutters Meeting

Where: 355 Congress St. sidewalk

When: Thursday, July 25, 2018

Time: 7:30 PM

Questions/Concerns, contact: John Allison
Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services

According to Bldup, Boston Property Ventures (BPV) acquired the upper upper floors and the air rights above 355-359 Congress Street in August of 2017. With the purchase BPV also acquired a permit to build an additional level for residential use (6th floor) with a roof deck on top. This provides BPV with an opportunity to create two luxury duplex units on the 5th & 6th floors along with additional high-end condominium units on the remaining 5th-floor space.  On the existing 4th floor, BPV is seeking to convert the building's use from office to residential. Upon receiving the required permissions, BPV will convert the entire 4th floor into luxury condominium units. Source: Bldup

originally published 7.20.18

City Councilor Michelle Wu To Hold Fort Point Office Hours

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu's neighborhood liaison, Rani Jacobson, will be in Fort Point:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018
8:00 am to 9:30 am
Caffe Nero
368 Congress Street

This event is a great opportunity to let Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu know your ideas and concerns in the neighborhood, the city at large, and how the Councilor can help. 

Drop by for your regular cup of coffee and conversation at this first time ever event. You will be glad you did.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Moakley Park & Ice Cream This Thursday

The City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with the Environment Department is in the process of creating a comprehensive long-term plan which balances recreational needs and community gathering spaces, with protection against climate-change impacts such as flooding from increased rainfall and sea level rise. 

Please attend the second in a series of public engagement events and share thoughts on what you would like to see in the Moakley Park Vision Plan. Refreshments and activities for kids will be provided.


I Scream. You Scream. We all scream for ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s Carnival also this Thursday, July 19th from 11:00AM – 9:00PM in the parking lot next to Seaport Common (across from Ocean Prime). There will be games, prizes, and rides, including the infamous I Scream Swing*. And, of course, free samples of all the newest ice cream creations, including Pint Slices, Non-Dairy flavors, Truffles flavors, and Moo-phoria light ice cream. 

*The Scream Swing has a height restriction of – 42″

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Future Of The Northern Avenue Bridge: A Neighborhood Icon & Gateway

updated 7.18.18: Preview the brand new Northern Avenue Bridge project website in advance of tonight's meeting.

The Fort Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA) is hosting a special edition Fort Point and Seaport neighborhood meeting on the Northern Avenue Bridge. Come hear the latest on the Northern Avenue Bridge and provide feedback on current concepts:
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
6 pm
Capital One Café
57 Seaport Blvd, 2nd Floor

The Northern Avenue Bridge: Design Concepts
Chris Osgood, City of Boston Chief of Streets
Urban Idea Lab & AECOM

The Northern Avenue Bridge
In March, Chief Osgood spoke to the neighborhood about the upcoming redesign of the bridge focusing on: improving mobility, honoring history, strengthening climate resiliency, and creating a destination. These concepts came out of the 2016 Northern Avenue Bridge Ideas Competition

In May, the Mayor appointed a Northern Avenue Bridge Task Force under the direction of Chief Osgood and composed of: A Better City, Boston Harbor Now, Boston Preservation Alliance, Fallon Co., FPNA, Green Ribbon Commission, Livable Streets Alliance, MCCA, Seaport TMA, US Court House, US General Services Administration, and Wharf District Council along with Councilors Flynn & Flaherty, Senator Collins and Congressman Lynch’s offices. The bridge architects are Urban Idea Lab and Brownlie, Ernst & Marks. The bridge consultants are AECOM. The Mayor's Northern Avenue Bridge Task Force meetings are open to the public. 

The Northern Avenue Bridge was built in 1908 and is the last remaining swing bridge in Boston. The bridge closed to vehicular traffic in 1997 and remained open as a pedestrian bridge until December 2014.

originally posted 7.13.18

Friday, July 13, 2018

CHANNEL DANCE: movement-focused learning & performance for children & families

Starting with DANCE FREE this Sunday, July 15, we invite children & families to join us on on five Sundays this summer to dance, play, & create.

Dance Free, a dance and art-making event, will take place on Sunday mornings, 11 am-1 pm, July 15, July 22, & August 19.

Story Dance, a creative movement story hour, will take place on Sunday mornings, 11 am-1 pm, August 5 & September 2.

All Channel Dance events are FREE and take place at:
Waterfront Plaza
290 Congress Street, Boston
Waterfront Plaza is across Fort Point Channel from the Boston Children's Museum.

We'll provide water and light snacks for all participants,
as well as tap shoes when needed.
No registration is necessary, and
we will move inside if the weather is bad.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fort Point Landmarks July 2018 Meeting

updated 7.12.18: 374 Congress Street is canceled due to outstanding zoning requirement.


Thursday, July 12, 2018
6:00 PM
Boston City Hall - Piemonte Room (5th Floor)
After 5:30 pm, enter and exit City Hall at the Dock Square entrance on Congress Street 
(across from Faneuil Hall).

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


18.501 FPC  55 Thomson Place  
Applicant: James Mackey, Stephen J. Wessling Architects 
Proposed Work: At front façade, replace entry door, restore existing canopy, install new address identification, repoint masonry, demolish and reconstruct existing walkways, ramps and railings,replace lighting, remove and pave over plant bed.

18.1507 FPC  374 Congress Street
Applicant: Bill Whitlock, Whitlock Design Group for Pink Taco
Proposed Work: At Congress St. façade; install channel and flag signage. At the corner of Boston Wharf Road and Congress Street; install marquee signage. At Boston Wharf Road, install enclosed patio.

  Applicant: Margulies Peruzzi Architects 
  Proposed Work: At A Street Façade, install wayfinding blade signs.



Projected Adjournment: 6:45PM

David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Lynn Smiledge, Vacancy Alternates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy 

originally published 7.11.18

Monday, July 09, 2018

Seaport Farmers Market Opens Today & South Boston Farmers Market Opens Monday

updated 7.9.18: You can now get fresh veggies Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  The latest addition is The Trustees' mobile farmers market in the Seaport Thursdays from 2:30 pm - 6:30 pm at 85 Northern Avenue. The mobile market features meat, milk, cheese, eggs, and other local goodies from other Massachusetts farms.

The Boston Public Market Association is in the Seaport for this summer’s farmers market at One Seaport every Wednesday, 11:30 am - 6:30 pm, June through October. Find fresh, seasonal food from local Massachusetts and New England vendors offering produce, meat, seafood, bread, prepared food, and more for food on the go and your dining table.

Baking With Joy
A Rockland-based café and bakery known for providing nearly a dozen flavors of tea-breads, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, bars, and granola to local suppliers. All items are natural, made from scratch, and free of trans fat, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and GMOs.
*Will alternate weekly with Yummy Mummy Brownies.

Nutty Concept
A local family owned business that makes snacking healthy and delicious with creative variations on nuts.

Red’s Best
A Boston based seafood wholesaler carrying seafood from over 1,000 small, independent New England fishing boats and sustaining the livelihoods of American fishermen and their families.

Stillman’s Farm
A family-owned farm from in Lunenburg and Braintree, taking great pride in providing the freshest, most beautiful fruits and vegetables, amazing plants, and healthful meats.

Stillman’s Quality Meats
A true family farm that produces premium grass-fed meats and pastured poultry from farmsteads in Hardwick. Animals are raised in natural environments and all-natural diets.

Tuscan Kitchen
Embracing regional Italian cooking and its varied culinary traditions with freshly made pastas, breads and desserts alongside cured meats, poultry, and beef.

When Pigs Fly
A New England bakery representing old-world, artisan breads baked fresh from scratch every day, and using the finest organic, natural ingredients.

Yummy Mummy Brownies
A Westborough bakery featuring brownies, donut muffins, whoopie pies, coconut cake, freshly baked cookies, and brownie bark. All brownies are handmade in small batches, made with all-natural ingredients, and preservative free. *Will alternate weekly with Baking with Joy.

The South Boston Farmer’s Market kicks off its season on Monday, June 11th at 12 pm.

Get early spring vegetables and potted flowers, from returning Massachusetts based Freitas’ & Wenger’s Farms. Try local and fresh meat, like grass-fed beef and naturally raised pork from Shamrock Hives Farm this season. Wenger’s will also carry their famous baked goods.

Enjoy live music with Jan and Lou Borelli from 12 pm - 3:00 pm and the SBNDC will give away $2 coupons to its market shoppers, valid for fresh and healthy market products (as long as supplies last). Come to the market manager’s tent to get the coupon, including our market loyalty card! 

The South Boston Farmer's Market runs through October 30, and is held every Monday from 12 pm - 6 pm at 446 Broadway, on the sidewalk in front of the municipal parking lot.

originally published 6.6.18

Friday, July 06, 2018

GE To Begin Construction On Harborwalk

 GE Innovation Point Construction Update – July 2018

·         Harborwalk construction is scheduled to begin on July 9.  The Harborwalk will be reconstructed in phases.  The first phase will be the southern extent from the construction trailers to the bend in the Harborwalk.  To construct the first phase, the Harborwalk will be temporarily rerouted over the Gillette parking lot.  The temporary route will be set up the week of July 2.  Construction of the first phase will be completed by early September.  The balance of the Harborwalk reconstruction, Phase 2, from the trailers to Necco Ct will be constructed from mid-September through the end of 2018.  Landscaping and certain plantings will be completed in the early spring of 2019 to meet planting season requirements of the plants. 

·         The first-floor concrete deck in the west building has been placed.   The slab for the lobby area between the buildings within the future glass enclosure will be placed in July.  Preparations are underway for the slab on grade in the east building and for the concrete deck on the fifth floor of the west building to be placed during July.   

·         The wood beams, girders and timber deck has been restored through the fifth floor of the west building, tying the existing floors back into the concrete core.  The original stairs in the NW corner of the building is being demolished floor by floor and replaced with beams and timber decking to close up the opening from the stairs.  Demolition and placement of beams and decking will be completed in July.

·         Welding of clips and support angles on the east core required to support the beams and timber decking is underway.  Placement of beams, girders and timber decking in the east building, tying the building back to the core, will be commence in July.

·         Construction of the masonry walls of the freight elevator in the east building is underway and will complete in the month of June.  Masonry walls in the core of the west building are also underway and will continue through July.

·         Building electrical, mechanical and plumbing coordination is nearing completion.  Sleeves through the concrete are placed as concrete areas are formed.  Initial electrical, mechanical and plumbing rough-in has begun.  Construction of new ductwork and piping risers will begin in the concrete core of the west building this month.

·         The pile cap for the new bridge column across Necco Ct is complete and is protected by a temporary plywood enclosure.  Planning for the bridge reconstruction is continuing.

·         Brick masonry restoration mock-ups continue.  Cutting and repointing of the masonry façade is underway on the east building on the east and north facades as well as on the north façade of the west building.  Mast climbers are in use on the north façade and will continue to be moved around the building as masonry restoration progresses.   Cutting and repointing of masonry will continue for several months.  Washing of the facades will be performed once the masonry restoration is completed on each façade.

·         Masonry openings for the new windows on the 4th and 5th floors on the south side of the east building have been cut in, the masonry jambs, header and sill will be completed when masonry restoration moves to the south façade of the east building.  The preparation of existing window openings is underway to restore masonry and provide the blocking necessary to receive the new windows.  Masonry repairs will continue on the interior walls on several floors of the east building as well.

·         The crane continues to support the movement of concrete forms and placement of reinforcing as well as placement of timber beams and girders.  The crane will remain on site through most of the 2018 construction season.

·         The ductbank from the telephone manhole on Necco St. into the building will be installed this month.  GE will continue to work closely with the owners of Necco Ct. and Necco St. to maintain access during completion of this work.

·         Electrical ductbank installation at the west end of Necco Ct. will be completed in sequence with Eversource work to replace the transformers.  A new switch and transformer have been set by Eversource above elevation 19.5 in the newly constructed transformer yard.  Primary cable will be pulled this month from the Eversource manhole in Necco Ct into the switch and transformer by Eversource crews.   Once the new transformer and switch are energized by Eversource, the Synergy building will be placed on the new service.  GE is working closely with Synergy and Eversource to coordinate the changes to electrical service.  

These updates occur about monthly in frequency or when there are major transitions in the construction process. Visit www.gereports.com/boston for the latest information or contact GE at innovation.point@ge.com.