News in Brief

SoWa Artists Guild to hold January Events

SoWa Artists Guild will hold its SoWa First Friday on Jan. 5 from 5 to 9 p.m., as well as its  SoWa Sundays on Jan. 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All events will be held at 450 Harrison Ave.

Visit,, or for more information.

Virtual Community Meeting Set for Jan. 8 To Discuss Plans for South End Branch Library

The Boston Public Library and the city’s Public Facilities Department will sponsor a virtual community meeting to discuss plans for the South End Branch of the BPL on Monday, Jan. 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. At this time, the meeting can be accessed online at 

The meeting will be hosted by Mayor Michelle Wu; Dion Irish, Chief of Operations; David Leonard, President of BPL; and Kerrie Griffin, Public Facilities Department Director. The new architects from Utile Inc will be introduced and the project plan will be shared with the community as well during the meeting.

Rescheduled Virtual Public Meeting Set for Jan. 11 To Discuss DPIR for Proposed 2 Charlesgate West Project

The Boston Planning & Development Agency will host a virtual public meeting to discuss the Draft Impact Project Report (DPIR) for the housing development with ground-floor retail proposed for 2 Charlesgate West on Thursday, Jan. 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

​Scape, the British real estate developer which is also redeveloping  1252-1270 Boylston St., into a 477-unit apartment building,  is proposing a  251,000 square-foot building, comprising 400 residential housing units, 3,000 square feet of ground floor retail, and 75 below grade parking spaces, at the corner of Ipswich Street, where Charlesgate turns from the Bowker Overpass onto Boylston Street.

​The upcoming meeting was rescheduled from an original date of Dec. 21 of last year.

​Visit to tune into the Jan. 11 meeting, or for more information on the project.

Second Back Street Neighborhood Project Meeting to be Held Virtually on Feb. 1

The Esplanade Association will hold its second Back Street Neighborhood Project Meeting to discuss ongoing safety projects at Esplanade entrances on Back Street. The meeting will take place via Zoom on Thursday,  Feb. 1, at 6 p.m.

​During this gathering, EA representatives will review progress made to-date, hear neighborhood feedback, and discuss proposed plans for additional safety improvements. Your presence and insights will greatly contribute to the success of the meeting, and the project.

Register for the meeting via zoom at

​To learn more about the project, visit; and to learn about other pathway safety initiatives, visit

More Than One-Third of Christmas Tree Home Fires Occur in January

More than one-third (34 percent) of U.S. home fires involving Christmas trees occur in January. With this post-holiday fire hazard in mind, the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) strongly encourages everyone to keep the festive memories and remove the hazards by disposing of Christmas trees promptly after the holiday season.

“As much as we all enjoy the look and feel of Christmas trees in our homes, they’re large combustible items that have the potential to result in serious fires,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at. “The longer Christmas trees remain in homes, the longer they present a risk.”

Carli notes that fresh Christmas trees, which continue to dry out and become more flammable over time, are involved in a much larger share of reported Christmas tree fires than artificial trees.

According to the latest statistics from NFPA, there was an estimated annual average of 150 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees, resulting in one civilian death, 10 civilian injuries, and $14 million in direct property damage between 2017 and 2021. Overall, fires that begin with Christmas trees represent a very small but notable part of the U.S. fire problem, considering that they are generally in use for a short time each year.

To safely dispose of a Christmas tree, NFPA recommends using the local community’s recycling program, if possible; trees should not be put in the garage or left outside. NFPA also offers these tips for safely removing lighting and decorations to ensure that they remain in good condition:

• Use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet, as this can harm the wire and insulation of the cord, increasing the risk for shock or electrical fire.

• As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.

• Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags or wrap them around a piece of cardboard.

• Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children and pets where they will not be damaged by water or dampness.

Lyric Stage Boston Presents ‘Trouble in Mind’

A tale that was meant to be told over 60 years ago, Dawn M. Simmons brings to Lyric Stage Boston, Alice Childress’s unflinching look at the standards of 1950’s Broadway in Trouble in Mind.  

Meant for a Broadway run in 1957, Trouble in Mind never made its debut after producers urged Childress to subdue the content. Childress refused, and after a successful Broadway run in 2021, Lyric Stage is proud to present this re-discovered theatrical marvel as the playwright originally intended. 

It’s 1955, and after enduring indignities and lost opportunities, Wiletta Mayer, a seasoned Black actress, is finally making her Broadway debut. Written by a white playwright, her star vehicle is the allegedly progressive “Chaos in Belleville,” which turns out to be anything but. Leading a cast of both younger and experienced actors, Wiletta challenges not only the soft racism of her white director but also the veiled prejudice that limits her aspirations and success. With warmth, humor, and sharp insight, this moving backstage look at identity and stereotypes cracks open searing truths about the American theater that remain heartbreakingly contemporary.

Director Dawn M. Simmons says, “Have you ever read something so relevant, so fresh that you wondered who’s been reading your texts? That’s how I felt when I first read Trouble in Mind. It’s funny, “on time”, smart, and so maddeningly current I knew it had to be written by someone working in the theater today.  But Trouble in Mind first premiered in 1955. I’ve put together a cracking team of Boston’s finest artists, and we’re gonna put on one heck of a show for you. Laugh, cry, and be outraged with us, but most importantly, be in community with us as we hold the mirror up to nature and take you back to 1950s New York, which sometimes doesn’t feel all that long ago.”

Performances begin Friday, Jan. 12 and run through Sunday, Feb. 4.

Sullivan Square Traffic Advisory

Motorists should  be advised that the Sullivan Square Underpass will be closed beginning on Tuesday January 2 through Friday May 31  to perform repairs to the structure.

Motorists are encouraged to plan accordingly and/or seek alternative routes.

If you have any questions, please contact:

[email protected].

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