News Briefs

INJECTION SITE IN SOUTH END?

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) caused a stir this week when its membership voted to endorse supervised drug consumption areas, also known as safe injection sites, for the state. While nothing has been decided, and top state elected officials are skeptical at the moment, already the MMS has said they would like to pilot such a thing in Boston, likely in the South End where the opiate crisis is front and center.

Already, a WBUR report suggested that the safe space at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, which opened last year, could be a likely spot for such a supervised drug use site.

Neighborhood leaders are skeptical about putting yet another human service program into the neighborhood, especially in the Mass/Cass area.

Stay tuned.

UNION PARK TO MEET MAY 24

The next General Meeting open to all in the Union Park neighborhood will be held on Wednesday, May 24, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Community Center at 346 Shawmut Ave.

The tentative agenda includes these items:

  • Council President Michelle Wu on Boston City Council activities
  • Proposal from Walden Local Meats for 316 Shawmut Ave.
  • New restaurant proposal for 600 Harrison Avenue (The Girard)
  • Plans for development at the Flower Exchange site

BRIDGE WORK BEGINS MAY 15

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is proceeding forward with the project to replace the City of Boston owned Massachusetts Avenue Bridge that travels over Commonwealth Avenue (also known as the Tommy Leonard Bridge) in Boston and will begin work-related activities the week of May 8 in preparation for the closure of the westbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bypass that travels underneath Massachusetts Avenue on May 15.

This closure is necessary to allow crews and contractors to safely and effectively conduct construction operations, and traffic traveling westbound will be detoured to remain on the Commonwealth Avenue surface roadway. This detour will remain in place throughout the duration of the project.

Work-related activities beginning on Monday, May 8, will consist of signage and safety control installation, tree protection, clearing, and temporary fencing installation. Construction operations throughout the spring are anticipated to consist of extended daytime work shifts for approximately six days per week and include replacing the deteriorated bridge facing, roadway slab, barriers, and reconstructing the bypass roadway under Massachusetts Avenue.

MassDOT and the City of Boston are continuing to coordinate the project schedule with other major construction projects in the area, and will evaluate construction progress to confirm the schedule for future phases. The scope of work for this project consists of replacing the bridge superstructure with prefabricated components. The project will also include making improvements to the substructure and installing new sidewalks, lighting, fences, and bicycle lanes on Massachusetts Avenue.

BAY VILLAGE SPRING CLEANUP

The Bay Village will hold their spring cleanup of their sidewalks and streets this Saturday, May 6, at 8 a.m. Street sweepers will come through for a deep clean and the City will provide brooms, shovels, rakes, bags and trash removal.

All cars must be moved by 8 a.m. Residents can park for free in the Revere garage from the morning of the cleanup until 2 p.m.

To participate, residents are asked to meet at the garden on the corner of Church and Melrose. Coffee, doughnuts and other goodies will be available.

All residents are welcome to attend. Direct questions to [email protected]

 

FLYNN GETS STATE REP. ENDORSEMENT

State Rep. Nick Collins (D-South Boston) has endorsed his longtime friend and colleague Edward M. Flynn for the District 2 Boston City Council seat.

“Through his work in the courts, Ed has been a soldier in the fight against opiate abuse, helping countless people with addiction issues to get into treatment,” Collins said. “And as a tireless community advocate, Ed has proposed connecting residents of District 2 to the jobs and benefits resulting from the district’s economic development boom. He has been steadfast in his support for our seniors and veterans and has called for more affordable housing. Most recently, I stood with Ed as he worked to ensure that LGBT veterans could march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. I also applaud his support for new historic preservation rules that will require community review of small-scale developments on historic sites.”

RESIDENTIAL UNITS SET FOR ISABELLA STREET

New Boston Ventures, the developers behind The Lucas at 136 Shawmut Ave., that is converting an old church into residential units with a glass tower in the South End, has proposed renovating buildings down Isabella Street in the Bay Village to residential units.

The developers presented their design and ideas at the Bay Village Neighborhood Association’s (BVNA) executive meeting this past Monday, May 1. The committee voted to approve the developer’s variances needed with the City of Boston to proceed.

The project includes converting the “Our Lady of Victoria” buildings that were once owned by the church from 25 – 29 Isabella Street to nine residential units.

There will be a roof deck, rear decks, and the garden out front to meet the open space requirements. A closed entranceway that faces the street will be re-opened.

The developers have been working with the Historic Commission to make sure that they are in compliance.

The parking spaces that are located on the sidewalk now will be converted to a garden. There will be parking spaces below-grade for each unit to have about two parking spaces available.

HAZARDOUS WASTE DROP OFF

The annual Hazardous Waste Disposal (and Electronics and Textile Recycling) event on May 6 will have a drop off location that is very convenient for South End, Back Bay and Fenway: The Public Works Department facility at 400 Frontage Road (just on the other side of the Expressway). In previous years, this event has required a drive to West Roxbury, Mattapan or Columbia Point, making it a bit more difficult for downtown neighborhood residents.

There will be free household electronics recycling (some materials excluded), paper shredding will be available. Check the City’s website for a full list of items that are allowed.

There will be no latex or acrylic paint accepted.

This service is for Boston residents only and proof of residency will be required.

FOPG BORDER BRIGADE

Join the Friends of the Public Garden’s Border Bridge alternating weeks on Thursday, 5-7 p.m. The next one is schedules for May 11.

Just show up ready to help at the Boylston Street border. FOPG is looking for champion volunteer weeders to help maintain the now-beautiful Boylston Street border and the Beacon Street border in the Public Garden. Gloves, kneepads, and some brief instructions on weed indentification will be provided. No previous experience necessary and one can participate every week, a couple of weeks, or only once.

Participants will get a free Friends of the Public Garden t-shirt and a book about the Public Garden.

Email [email protected] if interested in volunteering.

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH: WATER/GAS REPAIRS

South End Moderator Steve Fox announced at Tuesday’s meeting that National Grid and Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) are preparing for a very disruptive summer of work on several South End streets.

A contract to replace all of the water pipes on certain streets over the summer has been awarded to Umbro Construction, and in preparation, National Grid has hit the streets already to begin making repairs.

National Grid is working, in particular on Rutland Square and West Canton Street.

“This is all in preparation for BWSC coming in and completely replacing all of the water lines,” said Fox.

The job looks to be just the first half of a larger project, with the second half likely bid and awarded next year.

The construction schedule will include several weeks to set up bypasses on the affected streets, then four to six weeks of construction and then another two to three weeks to take down the bypass. It will also include very intrusive digging and detours.

“We’re talking about three or four months of construction non-stop,” said Fox. “This is going to be pretty disruptive on Tremont Street. It’s going to be difficult going to and fro.”

The streets include:

  • Worcester Street, Shawmut Avenue, Rutland Square, Greenwich Street, Tremont Street (from Camden to Hammond) and West Canton (which will get a more extensive water, sewer and drainage replacement).

On June 6, at the South End Forum meeting, Irene McSweeney, the director of Construction for Boston Water and Sewer will be on the agenda to explain what to expect during their South End construction.

BAY VILLAGE ANNUAL FUNDRAISER

Bay Village residents will celebrate the 2017 Annual fundraiser at Davio’s, 75 Arlington Street this Sunday, May 7, from 5 -7 p.m.

Tickets include two hours of appetizers and open bar (select beers, wine, and cocktails). In addition to a wonderful opportunity to socialize there will be a silent auction and raffle.

All Bay Village residents and non-residents are welcome to this fun event.

Tickets are available at www.bayvillage.net or at the door.

Funds raised will support the work of the BVNA including neighborhood holiday decorations, garden plantings, social events, cleanups, and other work that makes Bay Village beautiful and ties the community together.

ANNOUNCING: ELLIS SOUTH END SCHOLARSHIP EXTENDED

Announcing scholarship applications being accepted for The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association

Career Technical Education (CTE) Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to a senior high school student or recent high school graduate who plans on pursuing or is pursuing a technical degree at an accredited institution. The awarded scholarship will be $2,000 to be paid directly to the institution to offset costs for tuition or fees. To be eligible for this award, the student must graduate from high school or have a GED and reside in the South End or Lower Roxbury.

The application deadline has now been extended to June 1, 2017.

For more information contact:  [email protected]

Download a scholarship application at:

http://www.ellisneighborhood.org/uploads/4/0/5/0/40506663/cte_scholarship_application.pdf

LOVE YOUR BLOCK (a/k/a/BOSTON SHINES) COMING UP

The former “Boston Shines” is now re-branded as “Love Your Block.” Regardless of its name, the traditional Neighborhood Spring Clean Up is around the corner. All around the South End neighborhood, residents will gather to clean up the area.

Ellis: Equipment will be available at BCA Plaza so we can all chip in to help the neighborhood look beautiful. The Ellis will have a table set up from  9-12 for coffee and doughnuts.

Old Dover: residents will gather in Peters Park at the Shawmut Avenue entrance for a clean up from 10-3 p.m..

Eight Streets: The association will meet in Ringgold Park in the morning.

Blackstone/Franklin: Meet in Blackstone and Franklin Squares at 9:30 a.m.

WSANA: meet in Worcester Square at 8:30 a.m.

SOUTH END BASEBALL PARADE

The South End Baseball League will hold its annual Opening Day Parade on Saturday, May 6, at 10 a.m.

The Parade will start at the Villa Victoria and wind through Tremont, Waltham, Shawmut and to Peters Park.

The Parade will include a jazz band and lots of fun as the new season kicks off.

STROLLER MADNESS

The South End Forum has floated the idea of creating another pilot program that would float suggested regulations regarding the storing of strollers on the sidewalks, whether locked up or just left for temporary storage.

South End Forum Moderator Steve Fox said that with more children and families coming into the neighborhood, the new double-wide strollers have become a very common sight on the sidewalks. The problem is that many times they are left in a way that impedes access for the disabled.

“This is a hot issue for a lot of people,” he said. “We’re getting the two-wide strollers…The issue is obstruction of the public way. The City has no regulations formalizing how to deal with it. They do it with bikes, but not strollers.”

Fox said the Forum is proposing a pilot program that would regulate strollers like bicycles when stored on the sidewalk. They must allow 36 inches of clearance at all times, and they must not break up a clear path of travel – all of which are basic Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requirements. The pilot would also delineate – like bicycles – what kinds of signs are allowed to be used for locking up strollers for storage.

There is some pushback though, Fox said. Many groups of mothers have already responded vigorously to the proposal that was floated on the Forum’s Facebook page prior to the meeting. However, no one at the meeting spoke in great opposition.

Nicola Truppin said she understands the problem, but does’t want to have to become the stroller police.

“I understand both sides,” she said. “We have young families in the neighborhood and we want young families in the neighborhood…If we go ahead with the and there’s no enforcement, then it’s useless. The burden falls on us to go and keep on it and constantly remind people. I don’t know if I want to be that neighbor.”

Fox said they would post some draft regulations to their website and see what input comes of it, and he also said they would like to schedule more discussion that includes both sides at a future meeting.

TASTE OF THE BACK BAY

The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) will hold its 22nd Annual Taste of the Back Bay on Thursday, May 11, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Prudential Skywalk. Come and sample food and wine from some of Boston’s finest restaurants. This year a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Women’s Lunch Place in addition to NABB’s many community programs. Tickets are $125 members/ $135 non-members/ $150 day of event. For more information or to order tickets go to www.nabbonline.com or call 617-247-3961.

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

  • Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association will meet on Tuesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. in the D-4 Station. Calling All Candidates! Blackstone will be holding its annual election at our May general business meeting. All members are encouraged to run, as all seats are open to be filled.
  • The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association will hold its Annual Meeting on Weds., May 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. and followed by a reception. The guest speaker will be Council President Michelle Wu. It will take place at the BCA Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont St.
  • 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 on Weds., May 10, at 6:30 p.m. There will be free appetizers and a cash bar. Old Dover will have its monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 6:30 p.m. at Project Place.
  • The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association will meet on Tuesday, May 9, at Project Place, 7 p.m. The agenda will include a representative from new wireless provider Starry, an introduction to the new operator of the AC Hotel at InkBlock, a renovation to 1 Ringgold St., and an historic presentation from Lauren Prescott of the South End Historical Society.
  • The Friends of Hayes Park invite everyone to a celebration of spring at the Annual May Day in the Park, taking place on Sunday, May 7, from 3-5 p.m. Morris Dancers will help usher in the warm weather and Chica the Juggler will delight the kids with her many talents. There will be refreshments, music, and entertainment for all. Everyone is welcome.
  • The Boston Center for the Arts ‘BCA Ball’ will be held on Weds., June 3, at the Cyclorama on Tremont Street.
  • The South End Forum has called a meeting for June 2, 6 p.m.
  • 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.

NEW YORK STREETS WALKING TOUR

The West End Museum will host a walking tour of the New York Streets in May.

The walk will concentrate on Boston’s first urban renewal project, which took place in the area of the South End known as the New York Streets. Historian and West End resident Duane Lucia will lead the walking tour and Gloria Ganno, a former resident of the New York Streets, will assist Lucia for the walk.

The tour will be on Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. It will start in front of J.J. Foley’s on East Berkeley Street.

This tour will survey the area of Boston’s South End once known as the New York Streets, including the Ink Block, Washington Street and Harrison Avenue. Encompassing 24 acres of land comprising 12+ city blocks, the old New York Streets neighborhood—like the West End—was a vibrant, multi-ethnic neighborhood of tenement houses and mom-and-pop shops that fell victim to redevelopment in the City.

Cost: $7 Museum Members/$15 Non-members; Pre-registration required.

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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