News Briefs

Marijuana Operation Looking at Wellington/Columbus Ave Location

The Claremont Park Neighborhood Association is meeting Thursday with a potential equity operator of a recreational marijuana dispensary slated for 549 Columbus Ave.

Taba Moses has proposed to open a large marijuana dispensary in the building on the corner of Wellington and Columbus. It is owned free and clear by David Bean, and currently hosts a work space concept.

Claremont President Bob Barney said the proposal is in the very early stages and they’re not taking a position until they hear more about it. He said they’ll listen to the proposal and formulate a position in the weeks to come.

Avante-garde Party off Mass Ave to Benefit Alzheimer’s Research

One knows it’s going to be a good time when the organizers won’t even tell you where the soiree is located.

That’s the case for Gameday, a fundraiser by Tucker Mitchell to benefit Alzheimer’s research at the underground ArtPlug Studios off of Massachusetts Avenue.

The part includes musical performances by Liam, Beno, T-Cap and Tucker Mitchell, as well as visual arts and all kinds of creative endeavors. The party is on Friday, Feb. 22, and doors open at 7 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $10, and $15 at the door.

Want to know where it is? We’re not telling.

But one can find out and purchase tickets by emailing [email protected] for address and info.

Rep. Santiago, City to Host Opiate Town Hall

Rep. Jon Santiago, in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services, is hosting a Town Hall forum to discuss the opioid epidemic from 6-8 p.m. on March 7 at the McKinley Elementary School auditorium. This Town Hall aims to bring together local government officials, service providers, and residents to listen, learn about, and explore solutions to the opioid epidemic at Mass/Cass. Everyone is invited to help kick off this new and innovative approach to community engagement. Opening remarks will be made by Rep. Santiago, with City Health and Human Services Director Marty Martinez discussing the City’s approach to the epidemic.

Hempfest Permitted for One Day in September 2019

This year, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Chris Cook has informed MassCANN, the organizers of Hempfest, “The City requires event permitees to abide by their permit conditions. As a result, the City is modifying the terms of your permit for 2019, by limiting the duration of the event to one day.” The Commissioner states that MassCANN has eight serious permit violations including the responsibility of removing trash generated by event attendees and to clean up litter in and around the event boundaries. Each year this event has grown, both in number of days and number of participants. This past year, there were more widespread permit violations, placing an unacceptable burden on the park.

South End Shop Closing

After 13 years in business, Willey Boston – 8 Union Park St. – will be closing at the end of February. This week they will begin discounting merchandise and retail fixtures.

Esplanade Association Announces Frost Fit Winter Series

A new outdoor fitness series encourages people to venture outside and experience the beauty of the Esplanade in winter while kicking off the new year with regular workouts. All are welcome to warm up, score cool swag, and get their blood pumping at the Frost Fit Winter Series Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts with the support of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

This is a first-of-its kind fitness series on the Esplanade! First, every Saturday in February (February 2, 9, 16, and 23, with snow dates on March 2 and 9), instructors from the November Project will lead participants through running loops, body-weight exercises, and other fun, energetic activities designed to keep them moving (and therefore warm). Anyone who attends these workouts, which run from 10:00am to 11:00am in front of the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, will receive a Frost Fit Winter Series fleece headband, bagels, coffee, and hot chocolate. Headbands are limited to the first 450 participants.

Fitchburg Man Killed on Northampton

At about 12:35 p.m. on Monday Feb. 4, officers assigned to District D-4 (South End) responded to a call for a person shot in the area of 186 Northampton St. On arrival, officers located an adult male victim suffering from gunshot wounds. The victim, suffering life-threatening injuries was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. The victim has since been identified as Juan Morales, 32, of Fitchburg.

The Boston Police Department is actively reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is strongly urged to contact Boston Police Homicide Detectives at (617) 343-4470.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).

Back Bay Happenings

•Eataly at the Prudential Center hosts Apres Ski Festival Weekly Winter Happy Hour every Thursday in February. Beer, wine, and other beverages are available to sip on, while comfort food inspired by the Italian Alps will be offered. There is also a live DJ! Go to for tickets and more information.

•Commonwealth Avenue Mall Lighting: Dark stretches of Commonwealth Avenue Mall will stay bright year round, thanks to the launch of a plan to design and install permanent lighting of the statues on each block of the Mall. The first project will be the Morison statue in the Spring of 2019, followed by the Garrison and Collins statues. We are currently raising funds for the Commonwealth Avenue Mall Statue Lighting. If you’d like to help, you can donate online at or by sending a check in the mail. For more information, email Margaret Pokorny at [email protected], or call 617-723-8144.

•Friends of the Public Garden Annual Meeting: Save the date for our 49th Annual Meeting on Thursday, March 28, featuring a presentation by Chris Cook, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Omni-Parker House, 60 School St. R.S.V.P. at

South End Dates

•IBA will meet with neighbors on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. in the Gallery at Villa Victoria, 85 West Newton, regarding its $47.2 million plan to rehabilitate 146 units of public affordable housing. In previous community meetings IBA and their architects have presented their plans for these properties which includes significant modifications to the exterior (to restore these brownstones to historically accurate standards) and to completely refurbish the interiors.

The rehab project for these buildings will be starting next week and IBA would like to inform neighbors about the project, the timeline and be able to answer any questions.

•The Blackstone/Franklin Neighborhood Association will resume meeting in March on the third Tuesday of the month.

•USES will have a public meeting regarding the sale of the Tubman House. It will be a time for the community to come out and hear the plan, as well as ask questions about the effects of the sale. The meeting will be Monday, Feb. 25, at 48 Rutland St., South End.

•The Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) will meet on Feb. 26 in the surgical wing of BMC’s Menino Pavilion – a new and permanent location for the meeting.

•Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George will hold a campaign kick-off fundraiser on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at JJ Foley’s in the South End, 117 E. Berkeley St. at 5:30 p.m. Suggested contributions range from $50-$1,000. Senior citizens are complimentary.

•The South End Forum will have its quarterly meeting on Tuesday, March 26, 6 p.m. at the AC Hotel, 225 Albany St. Other meeting will be May 7 and June 11.

•The South End Forum Opiate Working Group has released its meeting schedule for Winter/Spring 2019. The group will meet at 4 p.m. in the Crosstown Hilton on Feb. 19, March 19, April 23, and May 21.

Fenway Times

•Billy Joel Returns to Fenway Park

The Boston Red Sox announced that Billy Joel will return to Fenway Park on September 14. He will also be the first artist to be inducted into a Music Hall of Fame display being created this offseason depicting the artists who have had multiple successful shows at Fenway Park. Tickets are now on sale to the general public.

–Phish will also be playing at Fenway Park on July 5 and 6. Tickets will go on sale to the public beginning Friday, February 1 at 10am.

–The Who will take the stage at Fenway Park on Friday, Sept. 13. Tickets are now on sale to the general public.

–Zac Brown band will play at Fenway Park on Saturday, Aug. 31. Tickets are now on sale to the general public.

•The Peterborough Senior Center holds bingo at 12:30 p.m. and a Tech Café at 11 a.m. every Wednesday. Come play bingo and meet new people, or can get help with your phone or tablet/computer.

•44th Annual Gardeners Gathering

On Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Northeastern University Shillman Hall & The Egan Center, Join local and regional gardeners at this annual event hosted by The Trustees of the Reservations–all free and open to the public! *Over two dozen gardening, urban homesteading, and community organizing workshops**Keynote address and presentation of the Community Garden Awards by Mayor Walsh**Special guest speaker Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director of New York City Community Garden Coalition**Exhibitors’ gallery: Boston-area agriculture, gardening, and environmental organizations*A detailed itinerary will be available at a later date.

•The Making of a Community Garden Film on Feb. 27: Meet the gardeners and filmmaker who are working together on a documentary about Boston’s community gardens. Filmmaker Mark Gardner will show clips from the work in progress, and a few of the film”s stars will share their stories and answer your questions. You can help us make the movie by dreaming up a title and maybe even recording your own community garden story! Enjoy locally sourced appetizers, beer, and wine. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Tickets include food and one drink, and all proceeds support Trustees Boston Community Gardens. Food, drinks and mingling start at 6 p.m.; the program begins at 6:30 at More Than Words Warehouse Bookstore, 242 East Berkeley St. $12 for Trustees members, $20 for nonmembers.

•Fenway Victory Gardens 2019 Seed Swap: Come celebrate Carnival, the end of Winter, and the beginning of Spring! Please bring your favorie seeds to share with your fellow gardeners—we’ll have envelopes and pens! The event will be on Monday, March 4 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Lansdowne Pub.

Major Donation To City Lights

Duggan Hill of City Lights reported that he is very pleased with the Related Beal Quinzani’s project for how they’ve given back to the community.

The long-time youth and adult arts programs has been the recipient of a major donation to City Lights as a gesture to the community.

Hill reported that the donation will go towards completely replacing the entire film and sound editing space in City Lights.

“I’m really impressed with this project and they’ve been very generous,” Hill said.

Related Beal officials said they were just glad that they could help the organization in some way. City Lights is about a half-block from the Quinzani’s project.

BPD Arrest Burglary Suspect

At about 9:20 a.m., on Jan. 29, detectives assigned to District D-4 (South End) responded to the Bloom Couture Floral Studio, 769 Tremont St., for a breaking and entering report. On arrival, officers spoke to a store employee who stated that, upon opening the store at 9:10 a.m., she discovered that the store had been broken into. Upon looking around the store for evidence of a break-in, officers observed several signs confirming that the store had been broken into including damage to a rear exterior door, the door jamb and a cash register. After reviewing the store’s security camera, officers were able to generate a description of the suspect. Moreover, a check of fingerprints lifted from the store’s cash register and later processed by the BPD’s Latent Print Unit enabled officers to identify a potential suspect. In light of the aforementioned, detectives applied for an arrest warrant for Luis Mercado, 44, of Boston charging him with the crime.  At about 11:29 a.m., on Sunday, Feb. 17, officers located and arrested the suspect in the area of the 112 Southampton St. homeless shelter. While being taken into custody, the suspect stated, “I’m all done, this is it.” Mercado is charged with Unarmed Breaking and Entering into a Building (Nighttime). The investigation remains active.

South End Authors Book Fest

On Thursday, April 4, from 4-8 p.m., the South End Authors Book Festival committee will be holding its fourth annual event.

The event will be held at Tent City, 130 Dartmouth St., in the Harry Dow Community Room – across the street from the Back Bay Transit Station.

This event is held every year, so that local authors can present their writings to the General Public for sale. Through the years the itinerary has been pretty much the same, authors introducing themselves and their books to the attendees. Guests intermingling with each other discussing the books being presented. All enjoying good conversation centered around a bit of light refreshments and drink. Also, sometime during the evening, a short presentation by a guest speaker. All and all everyone, authors and guests always end up having a good time.

The Festival Committee would like, this year, to offer a special invitation to all the would be young adult/teenage writers in the community to come to the festival to discuss their writings, the authors writings, or just writing in general.

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