News Briefs

October 27, 2017
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OPIATE WORKING GROUP TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING IN NOV.

The South End Forum’s Working Group on Opiates will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. for the South End, Newmarket, St. Botolph and other adjacent neighborhood. The meeting will be an opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, and learn about what the Forum’s Working Group on Addiction, Recovery, and Homelessness has learned after a year of collaboration, education, and consideration of various initiatives and solutions that confront our neighborhoods in the wake of the unprecedented opioid epidemic.

The venue is still being finalized, but the format for this public meeting is designed to offer neighbors ample opportunity to ask thoughtful questions and to hear from a wide range of Working Group members representing an expansive cross-section of disciplines and expertise including public health, addiction medicine, law enforcement, urban design, recovery providers, homelessness specialists, outreach workers, policy makers, city councilors, neighborhood association representatives, and others who will be part in an on-stage panel to directly respond to questions and comments from the neighborhood on behalf of the Working Group.

Rather than have various disciplines make formal presentations, the format instead will include a few moments to welcome attendees, make introductions, and then offer a brief 15-20 minute introductory summary of what we have learned and done over the past year, to include some of our key observations, and a brief review of some of the ideas that we believe hold promise going forward.

FALL CLEANUP NOV. 18

The former Boston Shines, now dubbed Love Your Block, for the fall season will take place in the South End on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Faisa Sharif, neighborhood coordinator, told the Eight Streets Neighborhood Association and the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) that details are still being ironed out, but that there would be information coming very soon.

IBA TO BE A POP-UP CENTER FOR PUERTO RICAN NEWCOMERS

The Boston Public Schools has scheduled three pop-up centers to help welcome students coming from the devastated island of Puerto Rico to live in Boston.

Reportedly numerous young people and their families are flocking to Boston to live with extended family as their island continues to prepare.

One of the BPS pop-up centers will be in the South End at IBA, 100 W. Dedham St. The times will be on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays, from 1-4 p.m.

SOUTH END DATES

  • South End Soccer will have its Fall Fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 29, 5-8 p.m., at the Beehive, 541 Tremont St. Come have fun with friends and neighbors, and support South End Soccer. Help raise funds needed to provide free programming annually to more than 1,200 youth. Amazing hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, raffle and more. Tickets only $50.
  • The next Working Group on Addiction, Recovery, and Homelessness in the South End will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 4 p.m. in the Hampton Inn and Suites meeting room. Other meetings will include Jan. 16.
  • There will be a District 7 City Council forum on Friday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m. in the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center on Malcolm X Boulevard.
  • The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, in Project Place at 7 p.m.
  • The Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association will have its General Meeting on Nov. 14, 7 p.m., at D-4 Police Station Community Room.
  • The Blackstone School will have an Hispanic Heritage Museum Exhibit and Fundraiser for Puerto Rico at the School Cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 26, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Cash donations only accepted.
  • Ringgold Park Halloween has been secured for Oct. 31 in the evening, but this year there will be no food served.
  • The BPDA will hold an IAG/public meeting for Exchange South End (former Boston Flower Exchange site) on October 26, at 6 p.m. Learn about the project and provide comment. The meeting is at the Ruth Lillian Barkley Apartments, 1472 Washington St.
  • The next meeting of the Old Dover Neighborhood Association will be on Tuesday, Nov. 28. The regular time was to be Nov. 21, but due to Thanksgiving, the date has been pushed back one week.
  • The Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association will have its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the community room of 88 East Newton St., 7 p.m. Council President Michelle Wu is scheduled to be a guest for the meeting.
  • Join the Friends of Watson Park for the Fall Cleanup on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. – 2p.m. This kid-friendly event will include planting Daffodil bulbs, spreading compost and mulch, and cleaning up the park for the fall. All are welcomed.
  • Christmas is in the air at Worcester Square. The WSANA has scheduled its Tree Lighting for Dec. 3, from 4-6 p.m. in Worcester Square with a special visit from Santa Claus on a Fire Truck. Fundraising tickets are now available from WSANA members. It is the only fundraising event for WSANA of the year, and it promises to be a fun time once again. President George Stergios said one neighbor has volunteered to put new icicle lights around the Square for the season, which is much appreciated.

DARTMOUTH STREET PARK RESOLUTION

Some neighbors, including Scott Schumacher, have recently been on the forefront of complaints about Dartmouth Street Park and its proclivity for attracting homeless folks and drug users.

A letter from Schumacher appeared in the Sun several weeks ago, and in the ‘What are you going to do about it?’ category, Schumacher said he has been in meetings with the city and the park owners, the trustees, to forge a great solution.

He said he had met with the Trustees recently, and they helped him to remove the sleeping bags and other items that have been accumulating.

The park will also be locked at night now, and Schumacher is organizing volunteers to help the trustees with general upkeep.

“Time will tell if the park will be turned around,” he said. “For now, I am glad that the trustees have an action plan and expressed to me their commitment to making this park enjoyable for everyone.”

Can’t argue with that.

RESTAURANT SCENE

  • Reports from Boston Eater blog suggest that the new-to-Boston Lobstah on a Roll concept – now opening in Arlington – has plans to bring its restaurant to the South End at the former Emma’s Pizza/Mangia shop 537 Columbus Ave. The restaurant centers on seafood, but also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • It appears that the Jugos Supremo is now open on the corners of Massachusetts Avenue and Tremont Street. Work began there more than a year ago and then slowed down considerably. Then, this past summer, things picked up again and the place is now open.

WSANA VOTES FOR TESTY BALCONY

Two neighbors had it out at the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) over a balcony proposal on East Concord Street that is the result of some tension between both parties.

After a presentation and discussion, the WSANA voted 9-2 to write a letter of support to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for the rear balconies, which are brought by Ghita Akkar of 49 East Concord St.

Balconies at one time were the rage of the neighborhood, but President George Stergios said not too many requests have come before them in the past several years.

Akkar is looking to put two new 6-by-9-foot, black metal balconies on the second and third floors next to her bay window and butting up very close (22 to 24 inches) to her neighbor, Chris Foster’s, bay window. Therein lies the quarrel.

Foster said the balconies would be only inches from her bed and her breakfast area.

“I will be in my bed sleeping and next door very close someone will be sitting on the deck,” she said. “That’s a privacy concern for me.”

There was a considerable amount of back and forth bickering among both parties, who clearly aren’t happy with one another, but the proposal did have a thorough vetting.

WSANA did add as a condition to its support that the developer continue to work to resolve the privacy issue in some fashion.

FORUM TO FOCUS ON TRANSPORTATION

The South End Forum Fall Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. at the South End Library. This meeting will have “South End Transportation Impacts and Issues” as a key focus and include senior representatives from Massport, the FAA, Chris Osgood (chief of streets) and Gina Fiandaca (commissioner of transportation) among several other guests and agenda topics.

DEMO STARTED ON HARRISON ALBANY BLOCK

Demolition on the Harrison Albany Block project in the South End started last week with the removal of a home at 75 E. Dedham St. and the small guard shack in the former parking lot. Removal of the façade at 100 E. Canton St. will being in early November.

The abatement of the interior of the remaining buildings continues.

Another abutters meeting for construction impacts hasn’t yet been scheduled.

The project includes 650 residential units 8,600 square feet of ground level retail with two levels of underground parking.

UNION PARK EVENTS

The Union Park Neighborhood Association (UPNA) announced its upcoming social events throughout the rest of the year. Some of the events include:

  • Friday, December 1, 6-8 p.m., Holiday Party, Benjamin Franklin Institute.

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.

SOUTH END TREE REMOVAL MEETING

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department will hold a public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 10:30 a.m. on a request to remove one public shade tree on East Newton Street in the South End.

City of Boston’s Tree Warden will hold the hearing in the third floor conference room at 1010 Massachusetts Ave., Roxbury.

The request is for the removal of one Sophora tree measuring 12 in. dbh (diameter at breast height) due to renovation and expansion of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine located at 100 East Newton St.

Public testimony will take place at the hearing or may be provided prior to the hearing in writing to the Tree Warden, Boston Parks and Recreation Department, 1010 Massachusetts Ave., third floor, Boston, MA 02118 or by emailing parks@boston.gov with “South End Tree Hearing” in the subject line.

A final decision regarding the request will be made within two weeks of the hearing.

ANTENNAS CONTINUE TO POP UP

Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty called for a hearing at the Boston City Council hearing on Oct. 25, to discuss the increasing amount of small antennas being installed across the city on streetlights and on tops and sides of buildings, causing an unpleasant eyesore.

“I am mindful that we need to make constant infrastructure improvements and repairs particularly for cell communications,” said Flaherty. “But the small cells continue to be placed around the city.”

He said his office receives numerous phone calls from residents saying that another antenna has been placed on a light pole in front of their house or down the corner.

“It’s happening citywide and there’s no awareness,” said Flaherty.

Flaherty said that the City needs to find out of the wireless companies have different designs and models that could better fit within the aesthetic of the neighborhoods.

“None of this is being discussed publicly,” said Flaherty. “Whose making these decisions and why? Can we give folks a little more awareness and give them say to suggest a street that might be a bit more healthier?”

The matter was sent to the Committee on City and Neighborhood Services and Veteran Affairs. A hearing date has yet to be set.

BOSTON BOOK FESTIVAL RETURNS

The Boston Book Festival returns this Saturday, Oct. 28, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Copley Square. The free festival promotes a culture of reading and ideas and enhances the vibrancy of the city.

Featured speakers includes Tom Perrotta, Jacqueline Woodson, Claire Messud, Maureen Dowd, Dennis Lehane, and M.T. Anderson.

Dartmouth Street, between Boylston Street and James Avenue, will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 6p.m. on Saturday, Oct.  28.

“Two Zone No Stopping Boston Police Special Event Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.” parking restrictions will be in effect as follows: Boylston Street, Copley Square side, Dartmouth St. to oppose #551, including all multi-space metered parking spaces. Trinity Place, Copley Square side, St. James Avenue. to the side entrance of the hotel.

HALLOWEEN CENTRAL

Back Bay:

  • The Friends of Clarendon Street Playground and the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay invite everyone to celebrate Halloween in the Back Bay. The playground party will be feature a magic show, with a performance starting at 4:30 p.m. and a spooky good time. Pizza slices, drinks and glow necklaces will be on sale.
  • Traffic Advisory – Marlborough St., from Berkeley to Fairfield streets will be closed to moving traffic from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to ensure safe trick-o-treating. Parked cars may stay on these streets, but will not be permitted to move during the street closing.

South End:

  • Join the Friends of Ringgold Park on Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. for another fun and spooky Halloween event. Please note that there will not be food served this year, but there will be a parade with prizes and glowsticks.
  • Join the Friends of Titus Sparrow Park for the annual Pre-Trick or Treat Halloween Party on Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 5 p.m. There will be Upper Crust Pizza, coffee and savory snacks courtesy of the South End Food Emporium, Foodies and Pepsi Co.
  • Tadpole Halloween Block Party: The Tadpole store will have its Halloween Block Party on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 2-4 p.m. They will have music by Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys; food by Appleton Cafe, Blackbird Donuts, Flour Bakery and Whole Foods; glitter tattoos; a bouncy house; and this year, for the first time, a petting zoo.
  • SoWa Spooktacular: The SoWa Open Market will be ending their season with Boston’s biggest Halloween Party on Oct. 28-29, 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. The event will feature a costume contest (people and pets), free pumpkin painting, free face painting, spooky cupcake decorating, DIY succulent pumpkin planters, live music, and a magic show. Visit SoWaboston.com for more details on how to sign up for events.
  • Halloween on the Wellington Green: Join the Claremont Neighborhood Association (CNA) at the corner of Wellington Street and Columbus Avenue for the annual Halloween on Wellington Green Party. Everyone is welcome to come by for free tricks and treats.

A SPOT OF BEAUTY AT THE PRU

The Kaji Aso Studio in the Fenway will be presenting, “A Spot of Beauty” at the Prudential Center’s Newbury Arcade from November 2 – 18. It is free and open to the public.

The exhibit will be highlighting works by Mr. Kaji Aso, an artist, teacher, and mentor, along with other works from members of the studio.

The opening reception is Saturday, Nov. 4, from 3-5 p.m. An evening of music will be Friday, Nov. 11 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Artists at Work will take place Saturday, November 11 from 2 – 5p.m.

For more information e-mail administrator@kajiasostudio.com

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