News Briefs

Councilor Zakim Calls for a Hearing Regarding Sandwich Boards on Public Walkways

Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim has filed a hearing order to review the current rules for Free Standing Signs (also known as sandwich boards) on city sidewalks.“Ensuring unimpeded access to our public sidewalks is an important issue of equity and safety for the City of Boston, while sandwich boards may be appropriate in many business districts there are some areas where they create significant obstacles to access.” Last year the pilot program was extended for an additional year to allow for continued discussion of these rules with community stakeholders.

Conversations with Caregivers: An Education Series

The Dementia Caregiver Support Program of the MGH Division of Palliative Care and Geriatric Medicine is sponsoring its next seminar called “Conversations with Caregivers: An Education Series” on Tuesday, March 19, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Mass. General in the O’Keefe Aauditorium. These seminars are for caregivers and people with dementia and focus on topics related to Dementia. The guest speaker will be Ann M. Hollis, OTR/L, DriveWise occupational therapist in the Cognitive Neurology Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and her talk will focus on driving safety as it relates to individuals with dementia. Seating is limited, so call 617-724-0406 to R.S.V.P. Light refreshments will be served, and parking vouchers will be available. There is no charge for this event.

Back Bay Happenings

•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

•Boston Center for Youth and Families has brought back its free, Family Gym time to the Blackstone Community Center. The program is a weekly activity for children ages 3-8. It runs on Saturdays from 10-11:30 a.m. This session of Family Gym will run through April 13. In the fall the program will expand to additional BCYF community centers. For updated information or program cancellations follow @BCYFCenters.

•The Blackstone/Franklin Neighborhood Association will resume meeting on March 26 at 7 p.m. in the D-4 Police Station. The meeting will include an update from the state on the move of the Shattuck Hospital to West Newton Street, as well as changes being considered at Franklin Square regarding a needle kiosk station, increased lighting and a book collection bin for More Than Words. Member David Stone will also update on developments in the cannabis proposals for the neighborhood.

•The East Berkeley Neighborhood Association (EBNA) will meeting on Tuesday, March 19, at the AC Hotel, 225 Albany St. The meeting will feature a priority discussion with Councilor Ed Flynn, an update on Peters Park construction, and volunteer opportunities in the neighborhood.

•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 March 19, April 23, and May 21.

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

•Tuesday, March 19: The Boston Ward 4 Democratic Committee will be meeting at 6 p.m. at the South End Library for a Q&A session with State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and State Reps. Jay Livingstone, Aaron Michlewitz, and Chynah Tyler, followed by a panel discussion with transit experts Chris Dempsey for Transportation for Massachusetts, Stacy Thompson of Livable Streets Alliance, and Lee Matsueda of Alternatives for Community & Environment. Email any questions to [email protected].

•The Grayken Center at BMC will hold naloxone training sessions on March 14th (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and May 8 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) in the Menino Lobby of Boston Medical Center. Attendees will learn how to respond to an opioid overdose and fill out a request for naloxone.

Fenway Times

• The Peterborough Senior Center holds bingo at 12:30 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.

• The 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 & 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.

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 4th 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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