News Briefs

TIME TO HAVE SOME FUN…AND TALK

‘Get Tapped’ will take place on Tuesday, March 28, from 6-10 p.m. at Banyan Bar + Refuge, 553 Tremont St. Tickets are $15 and that includes two drink tickets from kegs of Pabst, featured cocktails, limitless chicken wings, doughnuts, music, and live graffiti work by ‘Marka27,’ ‘Problak,’ and Lee Beard. All proceeds from the party go towards the Peters Park Art Wall project.

The event is seen as a time for the neighborhood to have fun, raise money for a cause and begin a discussion about the crisis facing small retailers in the business community.

NEW SERGEANT ON THE SCENE

Sgt. Jimmy Freeman was on hand at the South End Forum on Wednesday, March 15, to introduce himself as the new sergeant in charge of the Community Service Officers (CSO) at the D-4 Station. Sgt. Freeman has had experience in the homicide unit, the arson unit, the drug unit, the gang unit and a host of others. He is also one of the main detectives that helped solve the Craig’s List Killer case in the Back Bay in 2009.

Freeman takes the place of the popular Sgt. Luke Taxter, who moved out of D-4 to take a position in the Internal Affairs Department last month.

Sgt. Taxter was mighty proficient with the Twitter, and those in attendance wondered if Sgt. Freeman would be of the same mind. Freeman said he’s open to learning knew things, but admitted the Twitter-sphere isn’t his first inclination.

SEWER ALLEY SITUATION

Resident of the Rutland Square Neighborhood Association reported that they have secured a first meeting with the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) and the Public Works Department (PWD) very soon to address the challenging situation with private alleyways and sewers.

For quite some time, neighbors have butted heads with the BWCS over sewers that run under a private alley in the South End. This is particularly prevalent in the Rutland Square area, but it is an issue throughout the South End, Bay Village and Back Bay.

However, neighbors in Rutland Square have been leading the charge.

BWSC maintains that it doesn’t and will not maintain sewers that run in alleys that are private ways – leaving expensive and difficult maintenance and repairs on the backs of homeowners.

South End Forum moderator Steve Fox said the Forum has a long history of opposing this position by the BWCS, and reported that the first meeting could bring about some sort of progress.

“We think the water and sewer infrastructure everyone else uses should be maintained by the Water and Sewer Commission even on private ways,” he said. “We believe that if the homeowner is willing to sign a lien, we would like to see that result in a situation where they are then able to come in and do the maintenance and repairs.”

KELLEY TO ANNOUNCE CANDIDACY MARCH 30

Unveiling his motto as ‘The Future of District 2,’ Council Candidate Mike Kelley announced he will kick off his campaign with a fundraiser on March 30, at 5:30 p.m. in the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 West Newton St.

“Mike Kelley is a longtime South Ender, public servant and startup founder in Boston,” read the announcement. “He is a former member of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 1726. He served as aide to former Mayor Tom Menino, as well as 2001 Mayoral Campaign Manager, and Directed the City of Boston’s Rental Housing Resource Center from 2002-2008. As an entrepreneur, he founded Hire Me Local, a startup dedicated to connecting local people to local services. He and his husband Ricardo currently reside in Bay Village.”

District 2 encompasses Bay Village, Chinatown, downtown, South Boston and parts of the South End.

QUINZANI’S IAG TO MEET AGAIN, POST APPROVAL

The Impact Advisory Group (IAG) for the Quinzani’s project, which has already been approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency Board, will meet again on March 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the D-4 Police Station.

The IAG will discuss the proposed public benefits associated with the project at 370-380 Harrison Ave. It will be different than a traditional community meeting, the BPDA said. The IAG will be working closely with BPDA staff to identify impacts and recommend appropriate community benefits. Discussion will mostly be amongst IAG members, the developer and the BPDA. The public is welcome to attend, but will likely not be able to comment on the discussion.

BLACKSTONE SWIM TEAM

The Blackstone Sharks Community Center swim team is recruiting kids ages 6-17 for the upcoming season. It is open to boys and girls who want to improve their swimming skills and swim in the “fast lane.” They practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6-6:45 p.m. Membership at the Center is required and the fee is $25 per person. For more information, contact the pool staff at (617) 635-5162.

GETTIN’ THE GEESE

City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George has been working diligently to find a way to curb the geese in the City’s public parks.

Not only are they mean and have a bad temperament, but also they leave a terrible mess.

For the last several months, she has been working with experts from around the country who are addressing the same problem.

On Wednesday, March 29, anyone with an interest in the subject is invited to a meeting at 6 p.m. in the Franklin Park Clubhouse in Dorchester. There will be two experts from the Humane Society and representatives from the MSPCA as well. They will conduct a training for a comprehensive plan to curb the geese population in parks – including a new policy of egg addling that involves pouring oil on the eggs so they do not develop.

REEFER MADNESS

The South End Forum breached a conversation on Wednesday night, March 15, about the prospects of retail marijuana shops coming to South End business districts in the near future.

Moderator Steve Fox told the group that it was probably time to start talking about how to prepare for such stores that likely will want to locate in the South End, which could be problematic given the organization around improving addiction service and the large amount of service for addiction that exist in the neighborhood. Putting marijuana storefronts right where a concentration of addicts and addiction services are located could be gasoline on fire, he said.

“Because we are such a concentrated addiction services neighborhood, is there a location that is suitable for retail (marijuana) establishments?” he asked.

“I think Worcester Square in particular is worried about those establishments in their neighborhood, given the focus on addiction and recovery in that neighborhood,” he said. “Other neighborhoods might look at something like that a feel they don’t necessarily want to live next to that sort of business. Maybe we would want retail establishments above the ground floor and that would be a good way of controlling it. Because it’s also a cash business, that could eliminate some safety issues too.”

Bill Walczak of the South End Neighborhood Health Center said there are neighborhood in Denver, where marijuana has been legal for a few years, that have dealt with the same issue. He suggested potential neighborhood associations from Denver could be contacted for direction.

Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who attended the Forum meeting, said the Council has a lot of information about best practices that could be passed along to the various associations.

COMMUNITY CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR PETERS PARK ART WALL PROJECT

Washington Gateway Main Street (WGMS) in partnership with ALA Collective led by artists PROBLAK and Marka27, City Lights Performing Arts School, and Friends of Peters Park/Old Dover announced this week details for a community crowd funding campaign in support of the Peters Park Art Wall Project. The campaign kicks off on March1 at 6 a.m. and will be live for 30 days closing on Thursday, March 30 at midnight. The campaign aims to raise $12,000 to cover the costs of the artist, materials and supplies, as well as stipends for youth.

“This mural will be located in prominent public space in the neighborhood, so it is important that everyone have the chance to contribute, no matter how big or small, to this historically and culturally significant piece of art, ” said Jenny Effron, executive director, Washington Gateway Main Street.

The Peters Park Art Wall was proclaimed a legal graffiti wall in 1986 in an effort to decrease vandalism in the South End. The City, in partnership with area organizations and businesses, seeks to continue the tradition of curating and programming the Art Wall, both for the enrichment of the neighborhood as well as the preservation and celebration of this area’s diverse cultural history.

“For over 30 years the Peters Park Art Wall has stood as a neighborhood icon in Boston’s South End. Artists and community members alike have viewed the wall as a symbol of creative and cultural expression,” said Marka27 of ALA Collective. “ It’s an honor to continue the tradition of cultural expression through murals and street art, collaborating with a new generation of local Boston artists and youth. We are humbled and extremely grateful for all the community support that we continue to receive and look forward to another 30 years of the Peters Park Graffiti Art Wall being painted.”

The Mayor’s Office and Boston Art Commission released an RFP for conceptual designs on January 26 that closed on February 26. The RFP was open to all professional artists, artisans, or teams, with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and working with youth.

Individuals as well as corporations and businesses of any size are encouraged to get involved. Interested parties can participate by donating on Generosity or reaching out directly to Jenny Effron ([email protected]) at Washington Gateway Main Street for additional information about the program as well as partnership and sponsorship opportunities.

For more information, please visit www.petersparkart.com .

DISAPPEARING PLANE PROBLEMS?

In January, residents of the South End packed into the South End branch library to meet with Congressman Michael Capuano about the abundance of airplanes flying over the neighborhood, particularly those that go over in the early mornings starting around 5:15 a.m.

It was quite a meeting, with volumes of information available.

Since that time, though, many in the neighborhoods noted that it seemed the plane noise – which has grown incessant over the past two years according to neighbors – has all but dissipated.

Moderator Steve Fox announced at the Forum on Wednesday, March 15, that they have secured a follow up meeting with MassPort Director Tom Glynn, but he also noted that the planes coming over early have been drastically reduced.

“Is it just me or have other people noticed the flights are down?” he asked. “I find it remarkable. It has gone down by like 80 percent. It’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if someone got word to someone else and that caused a change. Whatever it is, since our meeting the numbers have gone way down.”

Eric Huang, president of the Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association, said it could be because there were a good deal of warm days in February, and warmer weather brings different wind directions.

“We thought about that too, and we hope you’re wrong,” joked Fox.

MASSPORT AIRPLANE NOISE COMPLAINT LINE

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY

Members of the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) garnered the support of the greater South End at the South End Forum on Wednesday, March 15, for their idea of creating a neighborhood-wide Good Neighbor Policy for the Methadone Clinics, homeless shelters and other addiction services in the area.

President George Stergios and member Andy Brand told the Forum that WSANA has discovered that many of the clinics and shelters have a Good Neighbor Policy, but that those policies aren’t very detailed when it comes to respecting the neighborhood. The idea is to create a more comprehensive policy for the entire neighborhood that would include input from the clinics, the neighbors, and City officials. Those policies are signed by those receiving services, and if one is caught repeatedly violating the policy, they can be discharged from the service.

Those at the Forum wholeheartedly agreed that it was a good idea.

“If you have to be here all day, there is nowhere to go,” said Brand. “It’s very hard to find anywhere to go, even to the bathroom. They end up using the bathroom on our property and that isn’t good for anyone. We don’t want this effort to just come from WSANA. We wanted it to come from the entire South End.”

Stergios said they wanted to make sure the service providers were also included, as they have the best knowledge of their business.

“The service providers will be able to say what’s possible and what isn’t rather than us dictating something about their business to them,” he said.

PINE STREET INN GOOD NEIGHBOR HOTLINE

Residents who have any problems or concerns related to the Pine Street Inn on East Berkeley Street and Harrison Avenue in the South End are invited to call the Good Neighbor Line. Security Director Kevin Smith said they are glad to get calls from the neighborhood and would address any matter brought to their attention.

The number is (617) 892-9210.

MAKING THE ROUNDS IN D-2

While candidates for Councilor Tito Jackson’s vacant seat have been all but absent from the South End so far, that certainly is not the case for those running for Councilor Bill Linehan’s vacated seat.

So far, one who has been mentioned in larger circles in South Boston is Ed Flynn, the son of former Mayor Ray Flynn. He has yet to cross the bridge to speak to any Southenders.

However, Bay Village resident – and former long-time Southender – Michael Kelley has been all over the place over the last several months. He is likely going to be kicking things off soon, and he has appeared at many neighborhood associations and the South End Forum.

More recently, Corey Dinopoulos of South Boston has been actively visiting the South End. He appeared at the South End Forum last week, and was on the agenda for Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association’s meeting on Tuesday night, March 21. There he introduced himself and answered questions.

SOUTH END DATES

  • The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association cancelled its meeting on Tuesday, March 14, and will pick up items from that agenda at its April 11 meeting.
  • South End Settlement History, United South End Settlements (USES) will host a grant history of the South End settlement houses in an exhibit opening on April 6 at the Harriet Tubman House on the corner of Columbus and Massachusetts Avenues. The exhibit will remain up for the rest of the year.
  • The acclaimed novelist Gish Jen will present her latest book of non-fiction, The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East West Culture Gap on Tuesday, March 28. Jen examines the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about self and society, as she did in her 2013 Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self. Her widely praised works of fiction include Typical American, The Love Wife, Town and Country and Who Is Irish.
  • The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association Board of Directors meeting is on March 28, One Chandler Street, starting at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome.
  • Old Dover Spring Social, members of the Old Dover Neighborhood Association will be gathering for a social time at The Lion’s Tail restaurant in the Ink Block next month. Date and time to be announced. Later in the spring, GTI Properties will be hosting a Block Party for the Association on its property.
  • O’Day Bike Tune Up, The Boston Police, IBA, the new West Newton Group, Boston Bikes and Bikes Not Bombs will all come together on April 29, 1-3 p.m., in O’Day Park to host family-friendly bike tune-up event to help kids and adults get their bicycles ready for the summer. Volunteers and donations are needed, including rags, gloves, tools, air pumps and spray bottles. Donations will be accepted in the IBA offices on West Newton Street from April 10-17. For information e-mail Nicola at [email protected]
  • Scholarship awards. Scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who are planning to pursue a college or a technical degree and for students currently enrolled in higher education.

These scholarships include $1,000 Scholarships for Academic Achievement and Community Service and $2,000 Andrew Parthum Scholarships for Outstanding Community Achievement.

Applications are due by Friday, May 19, 2017.

FENWAY COMMUNITY CENTER

  • African Paint Night, March 30, 7-8:30 p.m., Paint the night away with art, music and wine. $10 members/$15 non-menbers. Price includes supplies and one beer/wine. Additional drinks are $5.
  • Fenway Civic Annual Quarterly meeting, March 28, 6:15-8:30 p.m.
  • The Type Bar, hand-typed letters mailed anywhere in the world. March 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Fenway Garden Society Security Meeting, April 4, 6:30 p.m.

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.

UPGRADES TO SOON COME TO MSBA FACILITIES

The Boston City Council voted this past Wednesday, March 15, to pass Mayor Martin Walsh’s order to submit statements of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for the Accelerated Repair Program for the following schools: Chittick Elementary School, East Boston High School, James Curely K-8, Joyce Kilmer K-8, Marshall/Up-Academy, O’Donnell School K-5, Oliver Perry K-8, Russell School K-5, Summer School K-5, Timilty Middle School, and Tobin School K-8.

In addition, the Boston City Council took the first of two necessary 2/3 votes to fund roof and boiler replacement costs for projects at the following schools: Boston Latin School, Condon Elementary, McCormack Middle School, Dever Elementary, and Channing Elementary. The City will be eligible for a 65 percent cost reimbursement from the MSBA.

CITY COUNCIL SUPPORTS CHILDCARE ASSISTANCE TO HOMELESS FAMILIES

The Boston City Council voted to pass a resolution filed by Councilors Essaibi-George, Pressley, Campbell and Wu in support of S257/HD3564, a bill proposed by Sen. Linda Dorcena-Forry and Rep. Marjorie Decker at the State House.

This bill would provide immediate childcare assistance to homeless families. It would also reinstate a previous policy from 2007 allowing families living in any and all types of homeless shelters to access subsidized full-time childcare for a minimum of six months.

This legislation follows the first of the Boston City Council’s Early Education & Childcare Policy Briefings last month. There the four women City Councilors dubbed “The Fab Four” heard from families experiencing homelessness about how much of a barrier it was to need to secure childcare while also pursing job applications, housing search and education.

 

 

CITGO SIGN TO REMAIN, FOR NOW

Last Wednesday, an agreement was reached between Related Beal and CITGO that will ensure the CITGO sign remains in Kenmore Square. Mayor Martin Walsh met with both parties and offered City Hall as a neutral negotiation location until they reached a resolution.

“I applaud Related Beal and CITGO for their willingness to come together in a collaborative way that will benefit the entire city,” said Mayor Martin Walsh in a statement. “The CITGO sign has become an important part of the community and I am delighted that both sides were able to agree on terms that will allow the sing to stay where it is.”

The sign is still under consideration for landmarks status but is currently under review.

ACNA TO HOLD ANNUAL MEETING

The Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association will be holding their annual meeting this upcoming Wednesday, March 29, at 7:00pm at the Ruggles Baptist Church located at 874 Beacon Street.

There will be a presentation on the ongoing Audubon Circle Redesign and local elected officials are expected to attend.

All members are welcome to join.

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