News Briefs


Next fall, a plastic bag ban will go into effect for stores across Boston. Mayor Martin Walsh signed the ordinance this past Sunday after the Boston City Council voted to ban the bags late last month.

According to WBUR, Mayor Walsh signed the ordinance banning the bags to help with environmental benefits, like reducing litter, but had concerns about the effect of the ban on lower-income residents.

The ban means that stores can charge customers who don’t bring reusable bags five cents for every thicker plastic bag and for paper bags. Stores will keep the proceeds.


Mayor Martin Walsh, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) announced Tuesday; the City of Boston will expand the Boston Post-Overdose Response Team (PORT), thanks to a $150,000 award from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).

The City will enhance the team of public health advocates, harm reduction specialists and first responders, connecting with individuals and families through in-person, home-based outreach following an overdose. The recently awarded funds will be used to improve coordination between agencies, expand the team’s hours to reach even more Boston residents, and monitor and evaluate the program’s effectiveness.

In the first 12 months of the program, Boston PORT made almost 200 follow-up visits to homes of individuals who experienced an overdose in 14 different neighborhoods.

In 2016, 207 Boston residents died from opioid-related overdoses, according to the DPH. Over half of all fatal overdoses in 2016 and year-to-date 2017 occur in homes across all Boston neighborhoods.

This program allows an opportunity for public health advocates and first responders to provide overdose prevention education to Boston residents who may not be engaged in services and offer access to a range of recovery support services, including treatment.


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.


  • 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.
  • The next South End Forum will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m. in the South End Library.
  • The next Blackstone/Franklin Square general business meeting will take place Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 7p.m. at the D4 Police Station.
  • Help clean up the Neighborhood in Blackstone and Franklin Square Parks: Tidy Up Tuesdays from 7-8 a.m. will take place on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month to help clean the beloved parks.
  • Annual Scholarship Fundraiser for the Blackstone/Franklin Square neighborhood association will take place on Feb. 8. The annual event gives some extra support to the youth in the city by making their lives a little easier as they begin college. Mark you calendars now. Details to follow!


Mayor Martin Walsh has launched the 14th annual Mayor’s Holiday Special supported by the Highland Street Foundation, produced by ArtsBoston and created in partnership with the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Tickets are on sale now at and at the ArtsBoston Booths located at Copley Square and Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

The Mayor’s Holiday Special is an annual event designed to shine a light on arts and cultural events that take place in Greater Boston during the holiday season. This two-month celebration of performing arts features thousands of great deals to over 500 mostly holiday performances, as well as dining experiences and an online calendar of free holiday events across the city.


  • Fenway Community Center Holiday Open House – join members of the Fenway Community Center for a free holiday open house party on Thursday, Dec. 21, from 6 – 8 p.m. at 1282 Boylston St. Meet your neighbors, explore upcoming events and programming, eat local treats, enjoy live music, and visit the membership table to learn how you can enjoy FCC benefits all year long.
  • Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association annual Holiday Party will take place on Thursday, Dec. 21 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Audubon Café, 838 Beacon St., Boston. Free drink coupon for all members whose dues are up to date. You can quickly renew online at

R.S.V.P. [email protected].


  • The community meeting with National Grid and members of the community concerning the Back Bay pipeline will take place in Rabb Hall at the Copley Square Boston Public Library on Jan. 16 from 6 -7:30 p.m. The Public Improvements Commission recently granted National Grid permits to proceed with the natural gas extension to service the development of One Dalton in Back Bay.


A joint venture between Cabot, Cabot & Forbes and CIM Group filed a letter of intent to the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) on Dec. 13 that they want to proceed with the 60 Kilmarnock St. redevelopment project.

It will follow a Large Project Review under Article 80 B of the Boston Zoning Code for a residential development project with a ground floor retail component to be located at 60, 67-75, 70-80 Kilmarnock St., and 59-75 Queensberry St. in the Fenway neighborhood.

The project will include a total of approximately 400 residential units in two buildings separated by Kilmarnock Street, along with ground floor retail space fronting on Kilmarnock Street, and landscaped areas and other amenities and services for residents.

The project will include a total of 300 accessory, below-grade and surface parking spaces.

The developers anticipates filing, within 30 days of submitting the letter, an Expanded Project Notification Form for the project, which will add to the supply of housing units, retail services, and more to the West Fens neighborhood.


The W Hotel located at 100 Stuart St., in Boston is petitioning the City to maintain and operate the categories of audio device, jukebox, one television, five wide-screen televisions, one projector, 12 instrumental musicians, 12 vocalists, disc jockey, and dancing by patrons.

A public hearing will be held on this application at Boston City Hall, Room 809A, on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 at 11:30 a.m.

This application comes after many late night let-outs of the nearby clubs have caused numerous problems in the nearby residential Bay Village neighborhood.


The Boston Ward 4 Democratic Caucus Committee will be hosting its 2018 caucus to elect delegates to the June 2, Massachusetts Democratic Party convention on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. at the South End Library. All registered Democrats living in Ward 4 are welcome to attend and run as a delegate. Delegates will vote on gubernatorial and other statewide candidates.


On Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, the Beacon Hill Seminars Spring Kickoff featuring group leaders speaking about their spring courses will take place at the Church of the Advent, Moseley Hall, 30 Brimmer St., at 5 p.m. Refreshments generously provided by Toscano.

Beacon Hill Seminars are held in historic Beacon Hill and is open to curious adults throughout the Boston area.

If you are a member, or are thinking of becoming a member, please join to hear about the exciting array of spring offerings.


The City’s Inauguration event for the City Council and for Mayor Martin Walsh will take place on Monday, Jan. 1, at 10 a.m.

And yes, it does take place on New Year’s Day morning.

According to the City Charter, the Inauguration has to take place on the first Monday in January. This year, that would be on New Year’s.

The time will take place at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St.

In other cities and towns, the Charter includes a provision that indicates that the inauguration should take place on the first Monday in January that “is not a state holiday.” Maybe such a change should be considered in Boston, too.


Boston’s First Night First Day 2018 celebration will feature six Enchanted Forest-themed, handcrafted ice sculptures that will be scattered throughout Copley Square. Here are some fast facts about the creation of these fascinating ice sculptures that make this year’s display a must see:

  • The 60 block ice sculptures for Boston’s First Night First Day 2018 will weight approximately 13,500 pounds.
  • There will be 20-60 blocks of ice used for each of the six sculptures in Copley Square.
  • It takes 41 gallons of water to make each block.
  • Each block weights 325 pounds and 25 – 35 percent of the ice is carved away during sculpting, making a 20-block sculpture about 4,500 pounds.
  • Over 50 tools are used to make each sculpture.
  • It takes 30 hours to make a 20-block sculpture and up to 100 hours for a 60 block.
  • The tallest sculpture this year will be the “Forest Castle” at about 16 feet.

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