YAWKEY WAY UPDATE
The Public Improvements Commission (PIC) could vote on changing the name of Yawkey Way to Jersey Street as soon as March 29, but one member said he wants to hear from the Red Sox principal owner John Henry directly, according to the Boston Globe.
The effort to change the name first appeared in front of the Commission on Thursday, March 15 when they heard compassionate arguments on both sides of the decision.
The proposal to change the name of the street that runs alongside Fenway Park was requested by the Red Sox, who say their former owner Tom Yawkey was a racist whose name should be removed from a public way. Those who are in favor of keeping the street name argue that Yawkey’s charitable giving should not be erased from the city’s history books.
NEEDLE KIOSKS IN THE PARKS
The South End Forum’s Opiate Working Group met on Tuesday at the new AC Hotel to discuss a number of items. One of the key points covered in Tuesday’s meeting was the idea now being seriously considered of putting hypodermic-needle kiosk containers in the parks around the South End that are hot spots.
One of those spots is in Franklin Square, and City representatives also appeared at the Blackstone/Franklin Square meeting – which was also on Tuesday – to discuss placement of kiosks there.
The kiosks, according to Jen Tracey, of the Office of Recovery Services, would serve to help provide a place to put the needles instead of on the ground.
“We are working on developing a plan for that right now, specifically in the Blackstone area,” she told the Working Group.
Already, some kiosks have been placed around the City – one at Clifford Park, one on the Dimock Campus in JP, one at Orchard Gardens School. That pilot program is now looking to be expanded, but it is controversial.
“This is not a non-controversial issue,” said Forum Moderator Steve Fox. “Some believe that by putting them in a public place, it will encourage activity like that in the park.”
Sue Sullivan of the Newmarket Business Association said the kiosk in Clifford Park has been very effective at keeping needles off the ground. She also said there hasn’t been any evidence of increased usage.
Tracey said they have some data, but neighbors said the City should be prepared to bring very specific data to the community before placing them.
“If you’re going to go out to the community and say you’re going to put one of these kiosks in front of my house, you better have the data to prove it’s going to help,” said one neighbor from Worcester Square.
OVER AT OLD DOVER
The Old Dover Neighborhood Association met on Tuesday, March 20, to discuss several agenda items. One of the top items was the potential re-naming of the organization. For several months, Old Dover has been discussing whether to change its name, a move that came more imminent when the New York Streets area re-joined the Association. The group will formally decide on the new name at the May monthly meeting. It is largely considered to be a rebranding of the neighborhood, which is significant.
One of the choices, however, will be to keep the name Old Dover, or perhaps just called it Dover – as it is the ‘Old’ part that is bothering many people due to the neighborhood being new and hip.
Four new suggestions were brought before the Association on Tuesday. They included EBNA (East Berkeley Neighborhood Association), WAHANA (Washington Harrison Neighborhood Association), WHEDIN (Washington, Harrison, East Berkeley, Dover, Ink Block Neighborhood), NESENA (Northeast South End Neighborhood Association).
Of the suggestions, the most popular on Tuesday was EBNA, with NESENA coming next. A healthy contingent of longtime neighbors also has a preference to keep things the “Old” way.
The vote in May will tell the future.
•Old Dover has met in Project Place on Washington Street for quite some time. However, the April 17 meeting will be on the move, as the Association will hold its meeting at the new AC Hotel in Ink Block.
•Officer Javier Pagan provided a safety update to Old Dover, reporting on two unique matters. First, on Feb. 26, around 3:45 a.m., a man reported he was walking to work in Chinatown when he saw a white car with an object pointing out the window at East Berkeley and Harrison Streets. As he watched the car, suddenly he began to be shot with some sort of objects. At first, he thought he had been shot five times, but it turned out he had been hit with paint balls. The matter is under investigation. Second, on March 3, at 3:15 p.m., a woman reported that she was in the 200th block of Shawmut Avenue when a white male approached and pushed her to the fence. The man grabbed her purse, which contained about $4,100 in jewelry.
SOUTH END DATES
•Starting Tuesday, March 27, Tidy Up Tuesdays at Blackstone and Franklin Square parks will take place from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. On the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, come out and help clean up the parks! The event is sponsored by The Square Dog and Friends of the Squares.
•On Saturday, March 24, Children’s Hospital will hold a fundraiser at J.J. Foley’s South End on East Berkeley Street, starting around 7 p.m.
•The Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) will hold its monthly meeting on March 27, at 7 p.m., in the Newton Pavilion, mezzanine level.
•Bike Share Expansion meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 28, from 6-8 p.m. at the Tenants’ Development Corporation at 23 Wellington St. Come give your feedback on locations for new bike share stations. At the open house, you can review maps, ask questions, and share your preferences.
•The Blackstone Franklin Square Neighborhood Association Spring Social will take place on Tuesday, April 17. The location is TBD, but mark your calendars for an evening over drinks and apps to celebrate with neighbors. All are welcome and encouraged to join.
BACK BAY HAPPENINGS
•The French Cultural Center of Boston is pleased to present world-renowned French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet with the first-ever Mosaique Award for Exceptional Achievement. Mr. Thibaudet will be honored at an awards ceremony at the French Cultural Center in Back Bay on Friday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. To buy tickets to the Award Ceremony visit frenchculturalcenter.org.
•The Fairmont Copley Plaza will be holding a dinner celebrating women and food on Thursday, March 29, from 7 – 10 p.m. with tickets at $125. The dinner will celebrate, and support women-owned food businesses in and around Boston. Fairmont Copley Plaza is inspired by the amazing talent and delicious food and drink produced by women in the city, and this special, four-course dinner will creatively incorporate provisions from a participating group of local female-led companies: Curds & Co., Nella Pasta, Bantam Cider, and nuFudge.
•NABB’s next Police Panel/Public Safety Forum will take place on March 29 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the first floor sanctuary of The First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St.
•NABB’s Condo Management Friends and Neighbors Group will meet following the public safety meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, in the First Church in Boston, located at 66 Marlborough St..
•The Licensing and Building Use Committee will meet on Monday, April 2, at 7 p.m. at the Lenox Hotel.
•The 2018 Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association’s Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, March 29, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ruggles Baptist Church, 874 Beacon St. The meeting will include an update on neighborhood projects, welcome from state and city officials, and election of the board of directors.
•The BPDA comment period for the OTO Hotel development proposal at 1241 Boylston St. has been extended to Friday, March 23. The Inspectional Services Department is currently reviewing the project to determine a final interpretation of the setback requirements in Article 66. The Boston Planning and Development Agency believes that it is important for clarity on this issue before the close of the comment period. The next Impact Advisory Group meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 27, at 6 p.m. at the Boston Arts Academy on Ipswich Street.
•In partnership with the YMCA of Greater Boston, the Fenway CDC and the Fenway Alliance is hosting a Community Preservation Act Forum led by Christine Poff, City of Boston Director of CPA. The event will take place at the YMCA, 316 Huntington Ave., on Tuesday, March 27, from 6- 8 p.m.
•The Fenway Garden Society invites you to their First Annual Volunteer Sign Up Plot Renewal and Seed Swap on Saturday, April 7 from 2 to 5p.m. at the Lansdowne Pub at 9 Lansdowne Street, Fenway.
WASHINGTON GATEWAY, SEBA TO COLLABORATE
Washington Gateway Main Street (WGMS) and the South End Business Alliance (SEBA) will share board members and do a little more collaboration in the near future.
They will start by swapping board members, with WGMS Board member Randi Lathrop now sitting on the SEBA Board. In exchange, SEBA President Eve Ward will now sit on the WGMS board as well.
Both organizations have a very different focus and mission, and in recent talks, believed they could help one another further each other’s mission by working together. Look for more collaboration news in the near future.
JAZZ ALONG THE CHARLES
On a single fall afternoon, 25 jazz ensembles will gather at a series of connected, walkable locations along the Charles River Esplanade, interpreting the same curated list of Boston-related tunes in one collective free concert that celebrates the great jazz community in Boston today.
Jazz Along the Charles: A Walkable Concert is produced by Celebrity Series of Boston and will take place on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2018. The audience will stroll along the Charles River on a two-mile loop as they go from one ensemble after another.
Local jazz ensembles of all styles and genres are encouraged to apply for participation in the concert and applications are currently being accepted through April 16, 2018. Amateur, collegiate, pre-professional and professional ensembles interested in being part of the shared experience and community of a large scale event are welcome.
For more information and applications are available at www.jazzalongthecharles.org.
SAINT CECILIA CONCERT SERIES
•Kelsey Debner, Soprano will be performing on Wednesday, April 11 at 7p.m. at Saint Cecilia’s. She will be performing works by W.A. Mozart, Josefine Lang, Libby Larsen, Lili Boulanger, and Joseph Canteloube. Admission is free and donations are gratefully accepted.
•Jeremy Bruns, Concert Organist and Associate Director of Music, St. Paul’s Harvard Square will be performing varied composers including J.S. Bach, Ad Wammes, and Marcel Dupre on Friday, May 4, at 8p.m. at St. Cecilia’s. Admission is free and donations gratefully accepted.
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.
SCHOOL VACATION ALL GIRLS SPORTS FESTIVAL
The Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families invite girls from throughout the city to spend their April school vacation at the All Girls Sports Festival in Roxbury. The three four-day event will take place April 17 to April 20 from 8:30a.m. to 3:30p.m. daily.
Activities will be held at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College, 1350 Columbus Avenue, and the nearby BCYF Madison Park Community Center at 55 Malcolm X Boulevard. The All Girls Sports Festival features a variety of sport clinics and health and wellness workshops supported by local colleges, non-profits, and City of Boston agencies. Free lunch will be provided.
Participants will find a variety of fun ways to exercise mind, body, and spirit and try out a variety of sports with expert instructors including basketball, tennis, Double Dutch, step dancing, track, swimming, rugby and soccer. Participants must be Boston residents ages 11 to 14.
For more information e-mail [email protected].
HARRISON PUT OFF AGAIN?
Members of the Old Dover Neighborhood Association and National Development’s Ted Tye both reported on Tuesday at the monthly meeting that the City has put off the Harrison Avenue Redesign project once again.
It has been since around 2012 when the City promised to completely re-design Harrison and make Washington Street and Traveler Street into two-way streets.
Several times it has been about ready to be advertised, only to be delayed.
This time, it was reported that the City had said it would begin after the UDR project at 345 Harrison Ave. wrapped up.
Now, that project is wrapped up, and the City has informed neighbors that the project now will be delayed until the Quinzani’s project is completed, which could be more than two years away.
“It’s so disappointing,” said Tye. Neighbors agreed.