News Briefs


After the controversial decision of the Back Bay Architectural Commission to approve the removal of a large Ailanthus tree on Marlborough Street this past year between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East, the Garden Club of the Back Bay realized how little trees lined that block.

With the support of both the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay and the Charlesgate Alliance, the Garden Club has been working with the Boston Parks Department to plant 23 new trees on this block this upcoming spring.

There are very few trees on the north side of the street and none on the south side. The final locations are still in the works and depend on the location of utilities, light poles and signage.

Residents of the block have been contacted to volunteer to water the trees near their homes. The Garden Club will put “gators” after the planting that need to be filled with a hose once a week over the course of the summer.

Anyone interested in helping defray the cost of the this project is encouraged to make a tax deductible contribution to The Garden Club of the Back Bay to help pay for continued maintenance, pruning and fertilization of the trees for the first three years after planting.

Donate online at



For the fifth year in a row, youth ages 12-25 in Boston have the opportunity to submit ideas for how the City of Boston spends $1 million dollars of its Capital Budget through the “Youth Lead the Change” participatory budgeting process. Youth Lead the Change, the first participatory budgeting process in North American by and for young people, is currently collecting ideas from young Bostonians until Wednesday, Feb. 14.

Over the past four years, thousands of young people have nominated projects for funding including expanding Wicked Free WiFi, installing water bottle refilling stations at parks, placing newer rash cans and recycling bins in select neighborhoods, Boston Public Schools renovation projects and many more city-wide capital projects.

Young Bostonians who would like to participate in the idea collection phase can submit their ideas at Ideas should be simple, bold, innovative, and realistic and sustainable ways to improve access and opportunity for young people.

Following the voting phase, volunteers will turn the ideas into projects in early spring, and then will set up voting locations for young people to select the final projects.


The Boston Parks and Recreation Department will be bringing the annual Children’s Winter Festival to the Boston Common in partnership with the Highland Street Foundation during school vacation week on Wednesday, February 21, from 10-3p.m.

The festival will include a 45-foot-long Toboggan Tunnel mountainous adventure with twin roller lanes, the 30-foot high inflatable Everest Climb N Slide, and the Snow Mazing maze.

In addition, the Highland Street Foundation is sponsoring a week-long Winter Camp at the Boston Common Frog Pond with free skating and rentals for all ages from Monday, February 19 through Friday, February 23.


Senator Will Brownsberger will host a series of town halls throughout his district in February. These events are free and open to the public, and all are encouraged to attend to share their thoughts on current events and legislative priorities.

  • Fenway: Sunday, February 11 from 11 – 1p.m. at the Fenway Community Center, 1282 Boylston Street, Boston.
  • West Fens/ Northeastern: Sunday, February 11 from 5 – 7p.m. at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy at 125 Fenway, Boston.
  • Back Bay: Monday, February 12 from 6:30p.m. – 8:30p.m. at First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston.


Boston’s Back Bay resident Wendy Hale will be among more than 75 artists participating in the 2018 New England Watercolor Society Signature Members Show, to be held from February 6 through March 4, 2018. Bringing together the work of some of New England’s finest watercolor artists, the show will be held at the Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street, Boston. Internationally acclaimed artist Frederick C. Graff will be this year’s exhibition judge.

Included in the exhibit schedule will be three Saturday gallery talks (1:00 pm) and three Sunday painting demonstrations (1:00 -3:00 pm) by member artists. For further information, please visit

The show is free and open to the public.  Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:30 – 5:30pm; Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 pm. Artists Reception and Awards -Saturday, Feb. 10, 2:00 – 4:00 pm. Closed Mondays.


  • Harrison Albany Block Project update meeting will be held Tuesday, February 13 at 6:30p.m. in the 2nd floor Community Room, Boston Police Station D-4 (640 Harrison Ave.)
  • Annual Scholarship Fundraiser for the Blackstone/Franklin Square neighborhood association will take place on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. in Estragon Spanish restaurant at 700 Harrison Ave. The annual event gives some extra support to the youth in the city by making their lives a little easier as they begin college. Visit to order tickets today.


Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn announced this week that he is eager to begin discussions regarding Mayor Walsh’s recently filed ordinance on short-term rental platforms in the City of Boston. Flynn praised Mayor Walsh for his actions to address the issues related to short-term rentals, which impact neighborhoods throughout the city. He said that Boston must look to close any potential loopholes and ensure this ordinance protects our neighborhoods from large corporations depleting our housing stock.

Specifically, Flynn will look closely at the “investor unit” classification, noting other cities like Nashville have voted to eliminate the entry of new investors, as well as setting a timetable for current investors to exit the market. Moreover, Flynn will study whether the 90 day limit on rentals is appropriate.

“We must also focus on absentee landlords skirting the rooming house laws – essentially creating mini-hotels for profit,” said Flynn. “These actions gouge the rental market and create a shortage of rents that working people can afford.”

Flynn will be attending the hearing on this matter on Tuesday, February 13 at 10a.m. at Boston City Hall. The public is welcome to come testify.


The Union Park Neighborhood Association has welcomed Abigail Cohen as the new chairperson of the UPNA’s Friends of Union Park (FUP) committee.

Cohen has been a member of the UPNA board for a year and has lived on Union Park since 2011.

“There is something special about our park, and the one piece of it is that it is truly run by the neighborhood,” said Cohen. “My predecessors have done an amazing job of maintaining the park, and we all have benefited greatly from their work. I want to keep this going.”

Cohen said the maintenance of the park takes a great deal of funding. If FUP doesn’t raise at least $10,000 each year, they are at risk of having the city take control of the park.

Please consider donation to Friends of Union Park and for any questions reach out to [email protected].


  • CORRECTION – in a previous story “Community members want to strike a balance with Fenway Park: Live Nation petitions for up to 13 concerts,” stated a decision will be made the following day after the hearing held on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The Boston Licensing Board actually has 30 days after the hearing date to make a decision and none has been made yet on this matter.
  • A public meeting by the Boston Planning and Development Agency on the proposed 1241 Boylston Street hotel and restaurant will take place Monday, February 12 from 6 – 8p.m. at the Boston Arts Academy located at 174 Ipswich Street.
  • The Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral will be hosting its monthly community dinner on Monday, February 12 at 6p.m. at 165 Park Drive. Enjoy a hot meal with neighbors and friends. All are welcome.
  • Fenway CDC Organizing Community Meeting will take place on Thursday, February 15 from 6 – 8p.m. in the Fenway CDC Conference Room at 70 Burbank Street. Join community leaders for the monthly, strategic discussion on how we can work together to advance affordable housing in the Fenway. This meeting will focus on the City of Boston proposed ordinance on Airbnb and short-term rentals.
  • SAVE THE DATE! Fenway CDC’s 45 Annual Meeting & Celebration will take place on Thursday, April 12 from 6 -8 p.m. at Saint Cecilia Parish Hall.



  • English Conversation Café will take place February 13 and 27 from 7 – 8:30p.m. Open to all levels, this class offers casual conversations in English with native speakers. Both native speakers and people who want to improve their English are welcome to attend. Light refreshments provided. Free.


Ring in the Year of the Dog with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to celebrate Lunar New Year! Explore Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese traditions while enjoying a variety of music and dance performances throughout the Museum—including lion dances performed by the Gund Kwok Asian Women Lion and Dragon Dance Troupe and Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy. The New Jersey–based Korean Traditional Arts Academy also performs.

Participate in an interactive demonstration of Saebae, a Korean New Year’s ceremony; go on a tour or talk highlighting works in the Art of Asia galleries, offered in English, American Sign Language, and Mandarin; watch demonstrations of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese martial arts; and embark on a scavenger hunt in the galleries or drop in on hands-on family art-making activities to create your own masterpieces to take home.

The event will happen on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). The celebration runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers an array of programming throughout the day for all ages and abilities.




  • NABB Green Committee will be held on February 14 at 5:30p.m. at The Learning Project, 107 Marlborough Street.
  • Valentine’s Wine Tasting will take place on Wednesday, February 14 from 7 – 9 p.m. at 375 Newbury Street. To RSVP make your payment online at by Sunday, February 11.


Boston Ward 4 Democratic Caucus: The Ward 4 Democratic Committee, which covers precincts in Back Bay, Fenway, and the South End, will be hosting its 2018 caucus to elect delegates to the 6/2 Massachusetts Democratic Party convention in Worcester on Feb. 10 at 10a.m. at the South End Library. Doors will open at 9:30a.m. All registered Democrats living in Ward 4, as well as anyone interested in newly registering as a Democrat, are welcome to participate. Delegates will vote on gubernatorial and other statewide candidates. Questions? Email [email protected].

Boston Ward 5 Democratic Caucus: The Ward 5 Democratic Committee, which covers precincts in Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, Bay Village, Chinatown, the South End, and the West End, will be hosting its 2018 caucus to elect delegates to vote on statewide candidates at the June 2, Mass. Democratic Party convention in Worcester. The caucus will be held on Saturday, March 3 at 10 a.m. in the Guild Room of Old South Church (645 Boylston St., Boston). Doors will open at 9:30a.m. All registered Democrats living in Ward 5 are eligible to participate, as is any Ward 5 resident interested in newly registering as a Democrat that day. Please e-mail [email protected] with any questions.

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