News Briefs

VOTER INFO NIGHT AT CSTO

The Chinese Progressive Association is providing a Voter Education Workshop on October 18 at 6 p.m. in partnership with Castle Square Tenants Organization at the Castle Square Community Center, 2nd floor. The night will discuss the candidates, what their platforms are and review the ballot questions that could potentially impact the community. This workshop is open to the public.

THREE WEEKS LEFT TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

With the first presidential and vice presidential debates accelerating the focus on the presidential election, Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin reminds Massachusetts residents that the deadline to register to vote in that election is only weeks away.

“To be eligible to vote in the Nov. 8 election for president you have to be registered by October 19, which is just two weeks away,” Secretary Galvin said, adding that voters that day will also elect members of Congress, the Governor’s Council, the state Legislature, and certain county officials.

“Voters will also decide the four initiative questions on the state ballot, as well as a number of local questions in various cities and towns,” he added.

If you are a United States citizens and will be at least 18 years of age on November 8, you can register to vote online, or by mail, or in person at your local city or town election office, the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office, or as part of certain transactions at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

To register online you must have a signature on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The online voter registration application https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/ may also be used to update your address or change party affiliation. Those voter registration forms must be submitted online by midnight on the deadline, October 19.

If you wish to register by mail, you can download the registration form, complete and sign it, and deliver it to your local election official. Mailed forms must be postmarked no later than October 19.

 

BUS TRAVELER

For many years, Traveler and Herald Streets were pretty much no-man’s land in Boston.

Desolate, dark and deserted were the best descriptions.

All of that is gone with the wind, and the two streets have once again become populated and, incredible, hot property in just a few year’s time. However, some old habits die hard.

It seems that travel buses, such as those from Lucky Star and the P&B Lines, have parked and idled on Herald and Traveler Streets as they wait for their departure times at South Station. It was no big deal when no one was around, but now lots of folks are around, and the problem is becoming a nuisance.

Perhaps even dangerous.

“The buses are constantly stopping to idle, especially on Traveler Street,” said Jamie Curtis of the New York Streets Neighborhood Association during its Tuesday night meeting. “They often like to park in front of the exit from the parking garage and it is becoming a safety situation.”

COSMO/IC PROJECT HAS MEETING ON GARAGE ELIMINATION

A third meeting on 771 Harrison Ave., known as the Cosmopolitan or Immaculate Conception Church, will take place on Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the D-4 Community room regarding major changes to the plan that include eliminating, and not replacing, 48 parking spots.

In September, the Boston Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) received word of the changes and asked the developer, Ron Simons, to submit a supplemental filing detailing those changes. The changes come from recently unearthed structural problems that prevent underground parking.

“This Supplemental Filing is necessitated by the discovery of structural conditions in the former IC Church which make construction of a parking garage in the basement level of the church not feasible,” he wrote. “As a result of the discovery of these conditions in the basement level, the garage component of the project is being eliminated and the basement instead will consist of residential units. Since there will be less parking for the project as a whole, the residential use is being changed from condominium ownership to rental apartments. In all other respects, the proposed project remains the same and is consistent with the Development Plan…”

The revised plans include 63 rental units, with six affordable, no units at the connection (there were nine), residential units now in basement, 25 spots still remain on Harrison Court, the loss of 48 parking spaces in the basement, and the addition of more outdoor patios and gardens.

TRAFFIC COUNTERS UP

Several City video traffic counting machines have been spotted in the area of East Berkeley Street and Harrison Avenue and Washington Street.

The area has been the target of major complaints about traffic from Old Dover Neighborhood Association, and it is also the site for a pilot program to bring in a completely redesigned streetscape that is to be bid out this month by the Boston Transportation Department.

Nevertheless, the counters certainly signal the beginnings of a traffic study for the area, something that’s been requested for a long time.

STANHOPE GARAGE ASKS FOR EXTENSION LETTER

A parking lot on Shawmut and Washington Streets has asked the New York Streets Neighborhood Association (NYSA) for a support letter to present to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a three-year extension of their parking facility – perhaps signaling that property owner Ron Druker may continue to put on hold his proposed 11-story office building slated for the empty lot.

Attorney David Gottlieb appeared before NYSA Tuesday night to ask for the letter on behalf of Stanhope, which leases the property from Druker. Gottlieb explained that the letter is a formality that Stanhope has to complete every three years to get an extension for the parking use on the the property. Gottlieb didn’t say whether or not his request meant the office building had been postponed. It was first proposed in 2013 and has yet to break ground.

“It is approved for an office building with about 300,000 sq. ft.,” said Ted Tye of National Development, who sits on the Board of Ink Block. “He does own the adjacent parcel up Washington Street, so he could do a larger project. Druker has been around 100 years and it’s because they aren’t conservative…They don’t take the risks some of those here do. They won’t break ground unless they have a tenant in place.”

Stanhope has operated the lot since 1971 on the site and offers 89 parking spots, also doing monthly rentals, and that will not change.

SOUTH END HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOUSE TOUR

The 48th Annual South End House Tour has been set for Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lauren Prescott of the South End Historical Society told the Eight Streets Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

The tour this year will feature six homes in the Pembroke Street area that will showcase a variety of styles in the South End, from three-story condos to majestic Brownstones to historic notables.

The South End Historical Society is located at 532 Mass Ave. and is interested in getting volunteers to help as “sitters” during the home tour.

PILES UPON PILES

Driving piles is an essential part of construction in the Boston landscape more often than not, but after 560 piles being pounded in the UDR project on Harrison Avenue across from the Ink Block this past summer, and several more pounded by the Seneca at Ink Block – heads are still rattling this Fall.

One of the common questions now at New York Streets Neighborhood Association (NYSA) meetings when developers come calling is whether or not piles will be used. The next question, if the previous answer was ‘yes,’ is just how many piles will be used.

“It was a lot all at once,” said Kristin Phelan, president of NYSA. “It’s over now though.”

Certainly, at NYSA, it is a bonus when any developer can tout the non-use of pilings.

FOLLOW THE BOSTON SUN ON TWITTER

The Boston Sun is online at www.thebostonsun.com and also actively posts on Twitter daily. Join the conversation at @TheBostonSun.

WRITERS SERIES AT SOUTH END LIBRARY

The 2016-17 South End Writes series will include debut novelist and baker Louise Miller (The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living); Dina Vargo (Wild Women of Boston) and the culinary luminary Gordon Hamersley.

  • Tuesday, October 25: Louise Miller, a Boston-based writer and pastry chef who won a scholarship to GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator program, will read from her debut work of fiction, ‘The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living,’ published this summer by Viking’s Pamela Dorman Books imprint.
  • Tuesday, November 22: Just in time to get advice about Thanksgiving’s feast, the beloved and greatly missed South End culinary luminary, Gordon Hamersley, will talk about his life as a prize-winning chef, current food writer for the Boston Globe and long-time neighborhood fixture.

 

CANDIDATE KEITH ENDORSED BY B&T

Calling him a “refreshing change” in “the current environment of extreme political polarization”, Banker & Tradesman has endorsed John Keith for Suffolk County Register of Deeds.

“A seasoned Boston real estate agent, Keith has a general familiarity with how the Registry operates and seems genuinely eager to learn what he doesn’t know,” read the endorsement.

“Keith is an active user of social media, tweeting his observations about real estate and the city with light, offbeat humor – under which lies a deep understanding of the market and the various forces that shape it. Throughout his campaign Keith has made clear he has both the ability and the desire to do the job, which comes with an annual salary of $124,000, and comes across as the most earnest and forthcoming of what is clearly a strong field of candidates.”

John Keith is a Massachusetts native, a graduate of Northeastern University, and a long-time Boston resident. He has been a real estate broker for the past 14 years. He has a background in management, and experience in accounting, software implementation, and data and business analysis.

The election for Suffolk County Register of Deeds is on November 8, 2016.

 

PUMPKIN FLOAT ON FROG POND

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has announced that the annual Fall Pumpkin Float returns to the Boston Common Frog Pond on Sunday, Oct. 23, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Hundreds of illuminated jack-o’-lanterns will be floated on the water accompanied by spooky family activities.

Attendees are asked to bring 8-inch or smaller carved pumpkins that will be lit and then floated on the Frog Pond for a dramatic early evening display.  In addition, attendees are invited to view creatively carved and decorated jack-o’-lanterns from various local sports teams and organizations.  Adults and children are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and participate in a wide range of fun activities.  Children are invited to decorate luminary bags which will be displayed and illuminated along the edge of the Frog Pond.  Test your courage and problem-solving skills in our haunted zombie maze.

This free family-friendly event will also include a magician, a visit from the L.L. Bean Bootmobile, children’s crafts, an IKEA selfie booth with LATTJO costumes and sweet treats to try, games and giveaways by Magic 106.7, and scarily delicious snacks and refreshments provided by IKEA, Capital One Café, HP Hood LLC, and DAVIDsTEA.

All pumpkins will be donated to The Trustees of Reservations after the event for composting.

For more information, please call the Boston Parks and Recreation Department at (617) 635-4505 or visit www.facebook.com/bostonparksdepartment or www.boston.gov/parks.

 

FENWAY COMMUNITY CENTER

The Fenway Community Center has booked several special events over the next several weeks. The Center is located at 1282 Boylston St. and the phone number is (857) 246-9053.

  • Social dancing on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:20-3:20 p.m. at the Center, mostly with Chinese music and frequented by Chinese elders, though all are welcome.
  • Student Volunteers – The Fenway Community Center is calling on Northeastern University students who will be living off-campus this fall to volunteer at the Center. Greeters are needed for a one-hour weekly commitment. Volunteers who serving 11 hours or more in a three-month period will be invited to the FCC Ice Cream Social as an appreciation. For more information, contact [email protected]
  • Welcome to the Neighborhood for Northeastern University students who might be interested in the Fenway Community Center. The group will meet every month on the first Thursday, starting Oct. 6.
  • Councilor Josh Zakim District 8 Fall Community Night will take place on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. at the FCC. Pizza and refreshments will be provided.

 

SOUTH END DATES

  • Hayes Park is having a Silent Auction Fundraiser on Thursday, October 20, from 6-8 p.m. at Woodmeister Master Builders, 1317 Washington Street. Tickets available online.
  • BRA Director Brian Golden is confirmed to return to the South End Forum at its Nov. 1 meeting, according to Steve Fox, moderator of the Forum. Golden spoke at length during the September Forum meeting, and many questions remained when time ran out. He will be back to continue the conversation.
  • Old Dover Fall Social, Join Old Dover Neighborhood Association for a Fall Social at LaMotta’s Restaurant, 1357 Washington St., on Tuesday, Oct. 11 from 6-8 p.m. Complimentary apps and a cash bar.
  • Alley Clean Up, residents from East Springfield and Mass Avenue will join neighbors and the Boston Police to conduct a fall cleanup of Alley 716. The event is billed as a great opportunity to meet neighbors and visit with old friends while addressing a quality of life situation. Gloves and garbage bags will be provided. Any questions can be addressed to Vicki Via at [email protected]
  • Bed Bugs! South End librarian Matt Krug has organized a seminar on Thursday morning, October 6, at 10:30 a.m. on the subject of bed bugs. Yes, bed bugs appear to be a problem in the South End. The speaker is Jonathan Boyar an associate certified entomologist and pest control operator with many years experience. For details, call 617 536-8241.

 

RETIREMENT PLANNING FROM GOLDEN AGE CENTER

The Golden Age Center and Castle Square Tenants Organization are partnering to bring valuable information to educate residents and the community regarding retirement planning. The SHINE program will present a retirement planning workshop on Monday October 17, 6-8 p.m. in the Castle Square Community Center on the 2nd floor (476 Tremont St.). The workshop will be conducted in English and Chinese. Refreshments provided.

Please contact Xiaoping Wang with any questions at 617-357-8548.

Workshop topics will include:

-Medicare, Medicaid, and other Health Insurance

-Social Security eligibility with Medicare, Medicaid

-Calculating social security retirement benefits

-Deciding between full and early retirement

-Managing 401 K or 403 (b) Retirement income

 

FENWAY/SOUTH END HOURS FOR CONGRESSMAN CAPUANO

Congressman Michael Capuano will hold office hours for the Fenway and South End neighborhoods on the second Thursday of every month at the Fenway Community Health Center, 1340 Boylston St.

The hours are from noon to 1 p.m. and will have a representative from Capuano’s office in attendance.

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