News Briefs

March 31, 2017
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COUNCIL PASSES NOMINATION PAPERS

The Boston City Council this past Wednesday, March 22, voted to pass Mayor Martin Walsh’s home-rule petition to amend the rules around nomination papers.

This home-rule petition, if passed by the state, would allow registered voters to sign as many candidates’ papers as they wish, rather than limit them to one valid signature for candidates for Mayor and District City Councilors and up to four candidates for City Council At-large.

Councilor Essaibi George opposed the ordinance, citing the large number of candidates that successfully collected enough signatures to make the ballot in 2013 as evidence that the current system is not too burdensome. She added that having some requirements for potential candidates is a good thing.

USES HISTORY EXHIBIT APRIL 6

United South End Settlements (USES) invites the community to attend the opening of the USES125 Exhibit, an exhibit exploring the rich history of USES and the settlement house movement which highlights notable Southenders who’ve had an impact on participants of the neighborhood’s settlement houses. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 6, from 6– 8:30 p.m. and the exhibit will remain on display at the Harriet Tubman House (566 Columbus Avenue) through the end of the year.  All are welcome and no registration is necessary.

“It’s been grounding and inspiring to research and prepare our history exhibit at this time, while USES is engaged in a strategic planning process that’s pivoting our focus to families with growing children, ” said President and CEO Maicharia Weir Lytle.  “We’ve reconnected with our roots while creating our exhibit, and have renewed our commitment to the core settlement house values of equality, inclusion, and opportunity for all. At the same time, we’ve been reminded that as an organization, USES has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of the community. We have a responsibility to always be moving forward.”

Local author and historian Russ Lopez led the research for the USES125 Exhibit. Jovita Fontanez and Rep. Byron Rushing co-chaired an exhibit research committee that includes Jennifer Coplon, Frieda Garcia, Nick Haddad, Claire Hayes, Ken Kruckemeyer, Tunney Lee, Weir Lytle, Bill Meserve, Lauren Prescott, and USES Vice President of Development Nikki Stewart.

Through archival research and materials, the exhibit explores local history beginning with the foundation of Andover House in 1892, through the merger of five South End settlement houses to form United South End Settlements in 1960, and up to present day and beyond with the implementation of a new strategic direction.

USES125 contains exhibit panels exploring the 125 years of history, as well as a slide show of photos and a community board where stories and memories can be displayed. Community members are encouraged to leave commentary and contribute photos to the display.

This exhibit is the second in a series of events commemorating USES’s 125th anniversary. To learn more, visit www.uses125.org/history or contact Nikki Stewart, Vice President of Development, at nkstewart@uses.org or 617-375-8132.

BPDA TO HOST IAG ON STUART STREET

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) is hosting an Impact Advisory Group meeting on the proposed 212 Stuart St. tower slated for the Bay Village.

This meeting will take place on Thursday, March 30, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at South Cove, 230 Stuart Street in the Bay Village.

The proposal calls for an approximately 146,000 square foot, 19-story building, with retail or restaurant use on the ground floor and 131 residential units on the upper floors.

The BPDA previously held a public meeting on this proposal on March 20, where the developers showed their latest plans.

This meeting is different from a traditional community meeting. As part of the development review process, IAG members work closely with BPDA staff to identify the impacts of a project and recommend appropriate community benefits to offset those impacts.

Although IAG meetings prioritize discussion between the developer and the IAG members it is still open to the public to attend and make comments if time allows.

STING! ART AT THE BEEHIVE

The Beehive’s co-owner and resident curator Jennifer Epstein and guest curator Ian Marcus Corbin of Matter & Light Fine Art, are pleased to present the 24th installment in The Beehive’s continuing art series entitled “Rites of Spring: Rebirth in Color and Form.” This multi-artist exhibition features vibrantly colored, sensuous abstract paintings that recall the vital, explosive energies of spring.

Ian Marcus Corbin is the co-owner and director of Matter & Light, located at 63 Thayer Street in SoWa, Boston’s art & design district. Matter & Light represents contemporary artists from around the world whose work is united by the exploration of profound spiritual questions in the medium of raw, visceral materiality. These works aim to leave the viewer with clearer eyes and a deeper appreciation for the strange, beautiful tensions of the human condition. For more information visit www.matterlightfineart.com.

Sting! XXIV: Rites of Spring features the work of Elizabeth Awalt, Aristotle Forrester and Natalia Juncadella.

WSANA TO DONATE TO HURLEY SCHOOL

The Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) voted 12-0 on Tuesday night to donate a portion of the proceeds from its Tree Lighting Raffle to the Hurley K-8 School in their neighborhood.

Bill Minnocchi reported that after having done some research, he was very excited about the prospect of supporting an end-of-year effort at the Hurley.

He said the principal told him that if they were to receive the money, they would use it to fund the Arts STEM Week in June – a program seeking to keep kids engaged through outside professionals and artists throughout the end of the school year.

“There are probably always better things, but this seems like a really good one,” he said.

The WSANA annually donates the proceeds from the raffle to an organization, usually in the amount of between $1,000 and $1,500. Last year they donated to Rosie’s Place.

This year it was unanimously the Hurley School, which has been a beneficiary in the past as well.

SOUTH END BUSINESS BREAKFAST

Several neighborhood partners and the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) will host a South End Business Breakfast on Monday, April 24, at 10 a.m. in the Gaslight Brasserie du Coin, 560 Harrison Ave.

The event will offer an opportunity to network with small business in the South End and hear about financing opportunities, design and signage assistance, crowd funding and technical assistance for small business.

Speakers include Jenny Effron, Washington Gateway Main Street; Bill Nickerson of the BPDA; Karleen Porcena, Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC); and Steve Rumpler of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

RSVP by April 21 to Washington Gateway at WGMS.director@gmail.com

CLIMATE WEEK AT FRIENDS OF MUDDY RIVER

The Muddy River Project Walk Phase 2 Brookline will take place this Sunday, April 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. It will meet at the Longwood T-Station at Chapel Street and Longwood Avenue.

This event will feature a walk by Fran Gershwin, Chair, Muddy River Restoration Project Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee; it will start at the Longwood T Station, and follow the Brookline side of the Riverway to Leverett Pond in Olmsted Park.

The focus will be on the Brookline features of Phase 2 of the Project and current project status. The event will end with refreshments in the lobby of the Brook House 33 Pond Avenue.

Other upcoming events include the 11th Annual Colleges of the Fenway Muddy River Symposium (free) at Wheelock College at 43 Hawes St., Brookline, on Thursday, April 13, from 4 – 7:30 p.m.

Studio Without Walls Art Exhibition in Riverway Park, at Longwood T-Station, will take place on Monday, April 24 to Wednesday, May 24. Opening day will be Saturday, April 29.

UNWELCOME GRAFFITI PICKS UP

Graffiti in the Worcester Square Area and the Chester Square Area has picked up in recent months, and many buildings and stores have found unwanted “tags” on their walls.

On Tuesday, at the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) meeting, it was reported that a pizza place, a Greek restaurant and other landmarks had been hit with graffiti in recent weeks along Harrison Avenue. It was identified by the Association as a major problem on the rise.

Some residents reported that the best option is to call 3-1-1 or to use the 3-1-1 app and send a picture of the graffiti. In some cases, neighbors reported that the City removed the graffiti completely within 48 hours after having been notified through the 3-1-1 app.

It was reported that in the Chester Square area, graffiti has hit the vacant Alexandra Hotel building several times recently.

FENWAY CIVIC PROPOSES SLOW STREETS

The Fenway Civic Association is looking to start the process to apply for a Neighborhood Slow Streets program. The Association recently passed the current deadline but hopes to encourage support amongst the Fenway residents and let people know that this program is there.

The currently proposed area runs down Massachusetts Ave., to Huntington Ave., and runs down towards the Back Bay Fens and up through Hemenway St.

This would encompass the Fenway Whole Foods, Morville House (senior housing), Symphony Community Park and Edgerly Road Playground.

After gaining community support, the next step will be to apply to the City when there is a next round of applications during this pilot program.

BMC TO START MASS AVE MEDIAN

A major local announcement came from Boston Medical Center (BMC) on Tuesday, March 28, at the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA), noting that BMC will now be maintaining the median strip on Mass Avenue.

The announcement was cheered by neighbors in attendance.

The hospital, after many years of disputing its requirement to maintain the strip, has hired a contractor to maintain it this year and for years to come. The contractor will be responsible for the strip from Harrison Avenue to Washington Street. When the weather breaks, the contractor is supposedly ready to get to work.

“It is going to be taken care of now,” said the rep from BMC at the meeting.

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.

KICKED OFF FOR DISTRICT 7

Deeqo Jibril officially announced her candidacy for Boston City Council District 7 on Tuesday night, March 28, at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury. District 7 covers the southern portion of the South End.

Jibril is a Somali-American immigrant who has done extensive work in social justice, community activism, and anti-radicalization across the country. She has worked with the ABCD Housing Department and Roxbury Children Services as a case manager helping immigrants to navigate the process to obtain affordable housing across Massachusetts. As the founder and Executive Director of the Somali Community and Cultural Association in Boston, Jibril works to elevate the role of Boston’s Somali community in the political, social, and economic life of the city.

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.

FENWAY CDC 44TH ANNUAL MEETING

The Fenway Community Development Corporation (CDC) will host its 44th Annual meeting entitled, ‘Celebrating Our Success, Building Our Community’ on Thursday, April 13, at 6 p.m. at Fenway Health, 1340 Boylston St.

Community service awards will go to Fair Foods, Marc Pelletier, David Robers and Louvere Walker-Hannon. There will also be food and a major announcement that cannot be missed.

RSVP by April 10 to CMargarita@FenwayCDC.org or (617) 267-4637 x10.

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.

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.

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.
  • On April 25, 6 p.m., at the Blackstone Community Center, the South End Forum Working Group on Addiction, Recovery and Homelessness will meet. The meeting will be specifically about South End neighbors being able to share their thoughts, constructive suggestions and concerns about the challenges facing the Mass Ave/Melnea Cass area. Members of the Working Group representing South End service providers, institutions, government agencies, neighborhood associations, and our many partners will be on hand to listen to ideas and concerns from individual residents.
  • On Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m., Jenna Blum, the New York Times bestselling author of ‘Those Who Save Us,’ will be at the South End library to talk about her novella ‘The Lucky One.’ She also promised to give a sneak preview of her next book, due out in 2018, ‘The Lost Family.’ This is a rescheduled date from last year when Blum had to cancel her talk due to a family emergency.
  • Blackstone/Franklin Square Spring Social, members of the Blackstone will combine with the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) on Tuesday, April 18, for a spring multi-association social time. The fete will be at 7 p.m in Gaslight Brasserie du Coin.
  • The 8th Annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place on Sunday, April 16, in Library Park, from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. Easter eggs are being filled with chocolates, poems and knock-knock jokes. There will be a separate area sectioned off for tiny hunters to prevent the very enthusiastic larger children from crushing the little ones. The Easter Bunny reportedly is counting the days.
  • 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 ntruppin@comcast.net.
  • 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.

SWAN BOATS TO OPEN

Mayor Martin J. Walsh will host the first ride of the season on the popular Boston Swan Boats as they open at the Public Garden lagoon on Saturday, April 15, at 11:30 a.m.

“This will be the 141st year the Swan Boats have entertained residents and visitors in the Boston Public Garden,” said Mayor Walsh. “Boston is ready for spring, and it’s a wonderful tradition to join the Paget family and Boston students for the first springtime ride around the Public Garden lagoon.”

This annual rite of spring is made possible thanks to the Paget family, owners and operators of the Swan Boats first launched by Irish immigrant and shipbuilder Robert Paget. Paget designed the Swan Boats after attending the opera Lohengrin in New York City.  At the end of the opera, the hero crosses a river in a boat drawn by a swan.

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.

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