Wednesday, June 13, 2018

District 1 city councilor Lydia Edwards on the recently passed short-term rentals regulation

On Wednesday, June 13th, the Boston City Council voted 11-2 to enact legislation regulating short-term rental platforms such as AirBNB. Councilor Edwards joined the council in voting to pass the legislation. The legislation:

  • Allows owner-occupants to list their own unit, a part of their unit or an adjacent whole unit in their building as a short-term rental for 365 days per year
  • Prohibits ownership or operation of short-term rental units by outside investors 
  • Creates a public registry of short-term rentals 
  • Completely exempts lodging houses, bed and breakfasts and certain corporate housing with established contracts with educational, medical or other institutions from regulation as a short-term rental. “Executive suites,” addressed in the zoning code, also function outside of the short-term rental regulation. 
  • While in session, the Council also voted to adopt amendments which would improve data collection and allow investor-owner units a brief grace period to fulfill existing leases as their business model is phased out.

“Thank you to Mayor Walsh and my colleagues for diligent work on the short-term rental ordinance. This legislation balances the rights of homeowners to earn supplemental income with protections for housing stock under pressure from the investor-owned segment of the short-term rental industry,” said Councilor Lydia Edwards. “By preventing loss of traditional rental units to short-term rentals, the ordinance will supplement citywide efforts to preserve housing units and increase housing stock through new construction.”

“The ordinance also enables a fair playing field for a diverse hospitality industry,” added Councilor Edwards. “Visitors to Boston will retain numerous options, including short-term rentals, traditional hotels, lodging houses, bed and breakfasts, executive suites and corporate furnished housing.”

Councilor Edwards is committed to reviewing the success and challenges of implementing the short-term rental ordinance and revisiting the issue as necessary in the future. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Following Joint Call for Master Plan, Councilor Edwards Applauds Mayor Walsh’s Announcement of PLAN: East Boston City Council to Hold Public Hearing This Summer

City Councilor Lydia Edwards, State Senator Joe Boncore and State Representative Adrian Madaro today issued a statement applauding the Walsh’s administration decision to move forward with PLAN: East Boston. This planning initiative is intended to promote predictable development across the neighborhood, advance anti-displacement strategies for residents and businesses, address transportation challenges, improve waterfront connectivity and adapt to climate change.

“I’m pleased the Walsh administration is moving forward with long-needed planning for East Boston to address critical issues like housing displacement, traffic congestion and climate resiliency,” said Councilor Edwards. “I look forward to discussing the initiative when the council holds a hearing on neighborhood planning in East Boston this summer.”

“As East Boston continues to develop, we need to plan adequate to address the needs of this community,” said Senator Boncore.  “Addressing our infrastructure, transit options, housing stock, congestion and climate change concerns are critical to ensuring our neighborhood continues to grow in a thoughtful manner.”

“I applaud Mayor Walsh for his commitment to development planning in East Boston,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro. “PLAN: East Boston will provide our community with the clarity and guidance to move forward in an age of rapid development. With a comprehensive, community-driven planning initiative, we can ensure that the fabric and character of our neighborhood are maintained and that private development and public infrastructure work in harmony. This is an important step to realizing a lively, affordable, and diverse East Boston for years to come.”

File Graphic: EBDOTCOM

The East Boston delegation had previously issued a joint statement on May 9th calling for an East Boston Master Plan, and prior to the Mayor’s announcement, Councilor Edwards filed a hearing order to ensure East Boston residents could weigh in about their goals for the neighborhood. The hearing is presently being scheduled and will be held in East Boston.

Source: 
Joel Wool, (617) 635-3200

joel.wool@boston.gov

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

East Boston Pride: Flag raising on Friday, June 8 at Piers Park



Friday, June 8, 2018
6:00 PM in Piers Park
5th Annual Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

Joint event hosted by East Boston LGBTQ Residents and allies, MassPort. Representatives from our elected officials will also participate. 

Source: Celeste Myers


Corrected.

Mayor Walsh announces planning initiatives for East Boston

BOSTON - Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), with stakeholders from across the City, will launch planning initiatives this year in Downtown, East Boston, Mattapan, Newmarket, and a mobility-focused planning initiative in Allston-Brighton. Guided by Imagine Boston 2030, Mayor Walsh looks to continue working in partnership with communities across the City to ensure Boston preserves wisely, enhances equitably, and grows inclusively.  Through these three principles of "preserve, enhance, and grow," the planning initiatives will work with the community to create a comprehensive vision for each of the planning areas and guide future growth and investment.

"Over the last four years, we have set strong foundations in our planning efforts that will guide our growth as a city in a way that is responsible and inclusive, for many years into the future," said Mayor Walsh. "These five new planning processes represent a continuation of our commitment to fulfill the individual needs of each neighborhood that both preserve the distinct historic character, and allow for us as a community to plan together for our bright future ahead."

The planning initiatives build on the strategies outlined in Imagine Boston 2030, Boston's first citywide plan in 50 years aimed at guiding growth and those of Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030, Mayor Walsh's plan to create housing at a variety of income levels across the City. The goals outlined in the Mayor's housing plan are currently being reviewed to ensure that they continue to reflect current conditions. 

Imagine Boston 2030 prioritizes inclusionary growth and puts forth a comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the City.  To achieve this vision, Imagine Boston identifies places for growth and enhancement that will help the city achieve its goals of becoming more equitable, improving quality of life, and preparing for climate change. This includes:

Enhance Neighborhoods: In some residential neighborhoods - such as East Boston and Mattapan - comprehensive planning will include a focus on balancing contextually-sensitive development alongside preservation; supporting existing residents and businesses through increased access to opportunity, affordability strategies, and anti-displacement policies; improving the public realm and access to open space and neighborhood-serving amenities; addressing mobility challenges; and supporting neighborhood resiliency and preparing for climate change. In other neighborhoods - such as Allston-Brighton, mobility planning will help to address the challenges presented by the increased pace of development projects.

"I applaud the Mayor for following through on his commitment to East Boston regarding development planning," said Ernani Jose DeAraujo, Vice President of the Eagle Hill Civic Association.  "While residents have benefited from the strong economy and many jobs created in the past few years and as home prices have increased, we need a comprehensive plan for development to make sure all families can stay in East Boston and continue to thrive, regardless of their income."

"As a resident of East Boston and a Board Member with the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association, I've seen many changes in the neighborhood," said Renee Scalfani. "Thank you to Mayor Walsh and the BPDA for listening to residents and business-owners and establishing this PLAN: East Boston initiative. This is something that will help the neighborhood tremendously and working with the City on this issue will be beneficial for all the residents of East Boston." 

PLAN: East Boston

PLAN: East Boston will work with the community in the existing neighborhoods in East Boston that are facing increased development pressures to determine a shared vision for the future of the neighborhood. Community discussion will focus on preservation of the existing residential fabric, enhancement of the vitality of existing residential communities and businesses, anti-displacement strategies for residents and businesses, connectivity along the waterfront, mobility, and flood protection and climate resiliency. 

The BPDA is exploring moving forward with an East Boston Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD) for East Boston's existing residential neighborhoods, an interim zoning tool that is used to maintain increased public review and community voice in the evaluation of proposed new development during a planning process.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June events at the East Boston Library

Check out What’s Happening at the East Boston Branch Library


Family Story Time 
This weekly story time features books, songs, and movement. Tuesdays at 11:15 a.m.. For ages 2-5 accompanied by an adult. 

Little Groove Music
Tuesday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 12 at 10:30 a.m.
Little Groove presents music classes for toddlers and preschoolers.  Come sing, move play instruments and more.  For ages 2-5 accompanied by a caregiver.

Countdown to Kindergarten Playgroup
Fridays at 10 a.m.
For children 1-5 years of age.Moms, dads, grandparents and other caregivers are welcome! Children will start to build on their school readiness skills. 

Translation and Social Justice
Monday, June 4th, 6-7:30 p.m.
GrubStreet and the Boston Public Library present Translation and Social Justice, a bilingual creative writing workshop. Instructors: Denise Delgado and Gabriel Sosa.  This workshop welcomes participants comfortable in either English or Spanish and is open to anyone with any level of writing experience or skill.

Drop-In Tech Help for Adults & Seniors
Mondays from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Tech confusion? We can help!
If you have questions about a laptop, Chromebook, Android or iPad tablet, Kindles and eBook readers, iPods, or about smartphones of all sorts, drop by with your fully-charged device and we can help you learn a new technique or trick to get your tech device working for YOU!

Yu-Gi-Oh Club -meets every Saturday from 1:30-3:30. 

English Conversation Groups 
Mondays at 6:30 and Tuesdays at 1 p.m.
Come practice speaking English with our conversation group.  It meets  meet on Mondays.These groups are free and open to the public.  No registration needed.

Legendary Locals of East Boston
June 7th at 6:30 p.m.
Join us for this lecture by Dr. Regina Marchi, a fourth-generation East Bostonian and professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University. Dr. Regina Marchi will tell the history of East Boston through the experiences of its diverse residents. East Boston is the site of key developments in the nation’s history, including the first naval battle of the American Revolution, the creation of the world’s fastest sailing ships, the country’s first underwater tunnel, and the nation’s first public branch library. Learn about its famous residents from colonial governor, John Winthrop and repentant Salem witch trial judge, Samuel Sewall, to clipper ship builder Donald McKay and the world’s first female clipper ship navigator, Mary Patten. (Sponsored by the Friends of the East Boston Branch Library.)

Eastie Makes a Cookbook
Have you learned how to cook something amazing from your grandparents?  Have a recipe you want to pass down?  Invented a new recipe? Add your recipe, your culture, and your voice to our cookbook!

We will be collecting recipes, stories about your favorite foods, and photos of meals you’ve made from now until the end of June. Share your recipe with librarian Djaz in person, by posting to this event, or by emailing Djaz at jidakaar@bpl.org!


Read to a Dog
Monday,  June 4th and June 18th at 4-5 p.m.
Nellie loves to listen to stories. Come read a book to her and make a new dog friend. She’s available on a first-come, first-served basis.
•Special thanks to Dog B.O.N.E.S. of Massachusetts

Boston Looks Seaward
Thursday, June 14th at 6:30 p.m
In the nineteenth century in his East Boston yards Donald McKay built clipper ships whose sailing records have yet to be broken. Today Boston continues to look seaward as we embrace our maritime heritage. Learn more about that history in this slide lecture by William Fowler, Professor Emeritus at Northeastern University (Sponsored by the Friends of the East Boston Branch Library.)

For information any of these programs, call or come in to the East Boston Branch Library, 365 Bremen Street, (617) 560-0271.

Google Map to Bremen Street




Friday, May 25, 2018

Opening June 2: Sandrine Colson and Diane Modica at AtlanticWorks

“Discovery & Discernment ...A Journey Back to Now”
June 2 - 23, 2018 By Sandrine Colson and Diane Modica

Modica and Colson each explore their rich ancestry and heritage and the connections that the past and the present create within us. The confluence of the visible and invisible forces, the communal nature that we all share with the past and with one another; the seen and unseen history that influences our personal experience. No one gets in or out of time without resilience, trauma or gifts.

Opening Reception & Artist Talks:
Saturday June 2 @ 6-9 pm
Third Thursday Reception:
Thursday June 21 @ 6-9 pm
Gallery Hours: Fridays & Saturdays @ 2-6 pm



For more info visit www.atlanticworks.org or call 617-567-7200
ATLANTIC WORKS GALLERY, 80 Border Street, East Boston, MA 02128

Thursday, May 17, 2018

May 29: Gove Street Citizens Association: Monthly Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, May 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Catherine Leonard-McLean Community Room  
(formerly Noddle Island Community Room) 
Logan Airport Rental Car Center

1. Welcome & Project Updates

2. Elected Officials Updates

a. Senator Joseph Boncore
b. Representative Adrian Madaro
c. City Councilor Lydia Edwards

3. Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC)
BWSC has been upgrading and/or replacing the water, sewer and drainage systems in the neighborhood. BWSC Director of Construction Irene McSweeney will discuss the next phase of construction for the coming months. 

4. Friends of the East Boston Greenway
Update on funded work in the Greenway – Kannan Thiru & Chris Marchi

5. Project Presentations
a. 25 Everett Street
A project to demolish existing structures, combine front and rear lots and erect a 4 story, 8-unit residential building.
Attorney Richard Lynds, 2nd presentation/VOTE

b. 28 – 30 Geneva Street
A proposal to demolish existing structures and to build 6 stories, 32 units, and 15 parking spaces.
Attorney Jeff Drago, 3rd Presentation/VOTE

6. Neighborhood Services 



Location: The Catherine Leonard-McLean (formerly Noddle Island) Community Room is located on the first floor of the Logan Airport Rental Car Center, situated at the end of Porter Street. Free event parking in front of the building and in the Porter Street parking lot adjacent to the building.

LOCATION - The Noddle Island Community Room located on the first floor of the Logan Airport Rental Car Center situated at the end of Porter Street. Free event parking in front of the building and in the Porter Street parking lot adjacent to the building.




Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ward 1 GOP Committee reports on the Worcester convention

Republicans from across Massachusetts gathered Saturday, April 28, as delegates to the 2018 Massachusetts Republican Convention at the DCU Center in downtown Worcester to nominate candidates for various state-wide offices.  Several members of the East Boston Republican Ward Committee attended.   

The delegates who arrived Friday mixed and mingled at the Friday night parties with various major office candidates or interest groups at hotels and clubs nearby.

The convention took place in the central arena of the DCU Center.  The convention itself started Saturday morning.  Every delegate was issued and required to use the electronic format credential document issued to him or her when they arrived in order to prevent fraudulent voting.  East Boston delegates sat with their fellow Republicans in the district from Revere, Winthrop and downtown Boston. 

East Boston is Boston’s Ward 1 and is in the 1st Suffolk and Middlesex Senatorial District.

The hallway surrounding the arena was filled by representatives and displays of many candidates’ campaigns and political organizations seeking a presence at the convention.  During “down times” between speeches and ballot votes, the candidates, guests and campaign assistants wandered through the aisles, meeting and shaking hands with as many delegates as they could.

After opening exercises, the speeches, including a memorial for former First Lady Barbara Bush, began.  The nomination for certain state-wide offices were not contested.  The convention endorsed Keiko Orrall for State Treasurer, Anthony Amore for Secretary of State and Helen Brady for State Auditor.  

The first contested race on the convention ballot was for Attorney General; Jay McMahon overcame Dan Shores to obtain the party’s endorsement.  The incumbent lieutenant governor Karyn Polito was approved by acclamation.

The next vote was for Governor.  Dr. Scott Lively challenged incumbent governor Charlie Baker and won about 27% of the vote.  

The last vote at the convention was to endorse one of the five candidates running for U. S. Senate:  State Representative Geoffrey Diehl, John Kingston, Mary Beth Lindstrom, Darius Mitchell and Heidi Wellman.  Geoff Diehl won the convention endorsement on this race’s second ballot by obtaining 56% of the vote.

With voting on a second ballot necessary for the U. S. Senate endorsement, the convention ran longer than expected.  The convention ended around 6:00 p.m.

Submitted by Christopher Morton


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mayor Walsh files amended ordinance establishing guidelines and regulations for short-term rentals in Boston

BOSTON - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that he has filed an amended citywide ordinance establishing guidelines and regulations to better track and regulate short-term rentals in the City of Boston.

The updated ordinance is the result of collaboration with the Boston City Council and conversations among residents, advocates, and public and private stakeholders that reflect the shared goal of providing economic opportunities for residents and temporary accommodation for visitors, while preserving Boston's housing stock.

The regulations put forth modify Mayor Walsh's original ordinance filed in January, and further aim to capture the growth of Boston's growing home-share industry, while including deterrents to prevent operators from monopolizing Boston's housing market with short-term rentals. 

In addition, the regulations provide a standardized framework for regulating these units that both meet the needs of the evolving industry, provide protections for occupants and minimize the impact on surrounding neighbors of these units.

"Thoughtful regulation of short-term rentals that balance our efforts to preserve housing affordability with the growing demand for short-term rentals is key to keeping our communities stable,"said Mayor Walsh. "Boston is a great place to live and visit, and we look forward to responsibly incorporating the growth of the home-share industry into our work to create affordable housing options for all."

The ordinance allows for greater flexibility for property owners looking to list their primary residence as a short-term rental, as well as for owners of multi-unit properties.

The ordinance takes a three-tiered approach to classifying short-term rental units:


  • Limited Share Unit: consists of a private bedroom or shared space in the owner-operator's primary residence, in which the operator is present during the rental. The fee associated with this classification is $25 per year.
  • Home Share Unit: consists of a whole unit available for a short-term rental at the primary residence of the owner-operator (unit in which operator resides for at least nine months out of a 12 month period). The fee associated with this classification is $200 per year.
  • Owner-Adjacent Unit: consists of an owner-occupied two- or three-family building, in which the owner lists a secondary unit as a short-term rental for up to 120 nights per year. In addition, the owner is able to list their primary residence for an unlimited number of nights-per-year. The fee associated with this classification is $200 per year.


"This ordinance offers reasonable regulations of short-term rentals to close corporate loopholes, protect our housing stock, and stabilize neighborhoods," said Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu. "I'm proud to support this legislation as the Mayor and City Council work together to stem Boston's housing crisis."

The regulations also provide protections for the occupants of the short-term rental unit by prohibiting any property with outstanding housing, sanitary, building, fire or zoning-code violations from being listed. In addition, the operator is required to provide notice to abutters of a short-term rental unit within 30 days of approved registration.

The regulations require the unit to register with the City of Boston each year to verify compliance with the provisions of the ordinance, and pay an annual license fee. Penalties will be incurred to any person who offers an ineligible unit as a short-term rental, fails to register, or fails to comply with a notice of violation.

To assist with the enforcement of regulations, booking platforms will be required to provide the City with monthly data and information relative to the short-term rental listings that detail the location and occupancy numbers.

In January, the City released a Request for Information (RFI) to identify software solutions that will enable operators to register and renew short-term rental units online, and facilitate the enforcement of the conditions of allowable short-term rental use. The City is currently reviewing responses to the RFI.

Today's announcement builds on Mayor Walsh's commitment to addressing the housing demands in Boston. To date, the Walsh Administration has committed more than $100 million in funding to the creation and preservation of affordable housing. Today's announcement builds on the City's preservation and anti-displacement goals, outlined in Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, Mayor Walsh's housing plan, and the housing goals laid out in Imagine Boston 2030, Boston's first citywide plan in 50 years. As part of both plans, Boston has prioritized increasing the overall housing supply, with a focus on creating and preserving affordable housing.

Since the launch of the housing plan, 24,454 new units have been permitted. When complete, these developments will be enough to house 48,600 new residents, and begin to relieve pressure on rents in existing housing.  Of these, 4,649 new income-restricted units have been permitted, of which 2,234 are targeted to low income households. There are an additional 4,240 deed-restricted units in the City's development pipeline.

Data shows that the availability of short-term rental units has a direct correlation to housing costs. A 2016 study by UMass Boston found a 0.4% increase in rent prices due to increases in AirBNB listings, and a nationwide UCLA student also found a 0.42% increase.

In addition to rent increases, the commercialization of short-term rentals in residential dwellings and residential neighborhoods has the potential to reduce availability of long-term housing for owners and tenants alike, and is contrary to the Administration's goal of adding 53,000 units of housing across a variety of income levels by 2030.

In addition to creating new housing, the Walsh Administration is focused on protecting the tenancies of Boston's residents, launching the nation's first Office of Housing Stability in 2016.  In addition, Mayor Walsh has strengthened tenants' access to information by creating the city's first online guide to the eviction process.'

Source: Mayor's Press Office

Councilors Edwards, Wu Announce Support for Revised Short-Term Rental Regulation

Balanced proposal will enable homeowners to earn supplemental income while ending de-facto corporate hotels

City Councilors Lydia Edwards and Michelle Wu are backing a revised ordinance filed today by the Walsh administration to regulate the short-term rental industry. 

“I fully support the city’s efforts to regulate short-term rentals while providing an opportunity for homeowners to earn supplemental income,” said City Councilor Lydia Edwards, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Housing and Community Development. “This legislation will prevent speculative activity that has taken rental units off the market, displaced tenants and hindered the city’s efforts to provide stability for all of Boston’s residents.”

“This ordinance offers reasonable regulations of short-term rentals to close corporate loopholes, protect our housing stock, and stabilize neighborhoods,” said City Councilor Michelle Wu. “I’m proud to support this legislation as the Mayor and City Council work together to stem Boston’s housing crisis.”

The legislation creates a framework for homeowners to earn supplemental income by listing a bedroom in their unit year-round, the entire unit in which they reside, or a single adjacent unit in their owner-occupied, two-family or three-family home. Investor units, which have plagued neighborhoods like the North End, Chinatown and East Boston, would be prohibited under the legislation. 

The Boston City Council has been working in partnership with the Walsh administration and state officials to regulate the short-term rental industry. In March, Councilors Wu and Edwards offered revisions to an initial proposal by the Walsh administration, many of which are reflected in the new ordinance.

Source: Joel Wool, Director of Policy and Communications, Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Mark your calendars! The Pirandello Wine Tasting, Sunday, June 3, 2018

If you like to taste great wine and paired food in the company of good friends, then the Pirandello Wine Tasting is for you.

The event, which began two years ago, had great reviews.  The wines were spectacular, the Sommelier - Tino Valdesolo - was extremely knowledgeable, the paired foods were excellent, and the location convenient.  

This year’s event will be even better!

The “Tasting” is scheduled for Sunday, June 3, from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. at Spinelli’s in East Boston, MA.  Spinelli’s is located at 282 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA 02128. 

Tickets are $45 for Pirandello Lyceum members and $50 for non-members.  Proceeds from the event help support the Pirandello Scholarship Fund.  

So, mark your calendars: Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 4:00 – 7:00 P.M.  

This is a very popular event. Tickets are limited and should be ordered early.  Please send your check to Dr. Domenic Amara, Pirandello Lyceum, P.O. Box 565, East Boston, MA 02128.

The Pirandello Lyceum is a non-profit cultural organization which aims to encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of Italian culture among all people.  Its various programs reflect the significant accomplishments of Italian and Italian American things to arts, music, philosophy, cuisine, science and literature. 

For more information about the Pirandello Lyceum, visit our Website: www.PirandelloLyceum.com.  Membership applications are available on the Website. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

JPNA Meeting: May 14

Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association 

May 14th 7pm 

Jeffries Point Yacht Club 

565 Sumner st 


Agenda- 

Police updates  A7-  Sgt. Martin , Off. Simons 

Liaison Jesus Garcia Mayors Office -  Community updates 

Senator Boncore , State Rep Madaro , City Councilor Edwards -Updates to the community . 

154 Maverick Market Place-  Update occupancy  VOTE

238 Webster st -  VOTE  .  Demolish existing structure and add 9 units with 8 parking spaces .   4th appearance  Atty Drago/Grossman 

154 Maverick Market Place-  Melissa Tyler  

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Councilor Edwards Calls Hearing to Help Bostonians Repay Back Taxes

Boston can increase flexibility around property taxes to benefit seniors and other low-income homeowners 

Councilor Lydia Edwards this week called a hearing to ensure the City of Boston uses every tool at its disposal to ensure taxpayers can stay in their home during times of economic difficulty. 

Today, seniors and low-income homeowners who are “house rich, cash poor” face a big hurdle when they fall behind on property taxes. Although the city offers payment plans for back taxes, these plans require a substantial down payment and must be completed within one year. Homeowners who cannot repay back taxes within one year are at risk of foreclosure.

Councilor Edwards is pushing for Boston to expand the length of tax repayment and forgive a portion of interest on back taxes. State law allows municipalities to extend repayment of property taxes from one year to as long as five years and to forgive up to half the interest on back taxes. Adopting these provisions would reduce burdens on homeowners and allow more residents to stay in their homes. 

“As city agencies work to stabilize our communities and address the many housing and economic challenges we face, we should use all tools at our disposal to prevent crisis scenarios before they start,” said Councilor Edwards. “Offering another tool to seniors and low-income homeowners on repayment of late taxes is one simple step we could take to prevent foreclosures and allow residents facing economic challenges to stay in place.”

"Today, too many elderly and low income Boston residents face increasing property tax bills that they cannot afford," said Todd S. Kaplan, Senior Attorney of Greater Boston Legal Services. "By offering these residents more flexible payment plans to pay their back taxes with the opportunity to reduce accrued interest, we can help homeowners get current on their taxes and take real steps to ensuring Boston is a city for people of all ages and income levels."

###



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mayor Walsh opens nominations for SPARK Boston's Annual Impact Awards

Awards shine a spotlight on young adults aged 20-34 doing outstanding work to improve the City

(BOSTON - Thursday, April 19, 2018) - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced nominations are now open for SPARK Boston's 2017-2018 Impact Awards. The annual Impact Awards shine a spotlight on young adults aged 20-34 doing outstanding work to improve the City of Boston. Nomination forms are available online, and will remain open through Friday, May 18, 2018.  

"Boston is a city shaped by the actions and leadership of our residents, and our millennial population works especially hard to make their mark on our community," said Mayor Walsh. "The Impact Awards reflect the City's appreciation for this generation and the emerging leaders in our neighborhoods and industries."

"The Impact Awards are a grassroots recognition of Boston's leaders between the ages of 20 to 34," said Amy Mahler, SPARK Boston Director. "Nominees are submitted from our community, reviewed by our selection committee composed of SPARK Council members, and voted on by the Boston community. If you are or know of someone who deserves an Impact Award, nominate them today."

"The most amazing thing about the Impact Awards is being recognized by your peers and fellow change agents in communities across Boston," said Matt Parker, 2016 Impact Award winner and 2017-2018 SPARK Council Member. "SPARK and the City of Boston creates platforms lifting up the millennials that strive to lift up this great city. I am humble and blessed to receive such an award and look forward to this year's recipients."

This year's award categories reflect the diverse ways millennial residents act as leaders and change-makers in Boston:
  • Arts & Culture: Visionaries who weave arts and culture into the fabric of our communities to engage and inspire those around them.
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation: Civic innovators who help our city attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of engagement.
  • Activism & Issue Advocacy: Emerging leaders elevating the voices of young Bostonians on the issues that impact us all.
  • Public Service & Civic Leadership: Public servants, elected officials and other civic leaders working to ensure strong democracy and successful governance in our city.
  • Community Building & Neighborhood Improvement: Engaged citizens who work collaboratively to strengthen their neighborhoods and promote their communities' interests.
  • "Unsung Heroes": Outstanding teachers, social workers, nurses, emergency responders and human services professionals whose everyday dedication supports a healthy, thriving city.
Nominees must be between the ages of 20-34 and live/work in Boston to be considered. A selection committee comprised of members of the SPARK Boston Council will review all nominations and select the top nominees in each category. A round of online voting will follow, and winners will be announced at the SPARK Impact Award ceremony in June. To nominate a friend, colleague, neighbor or yourself, click here.  

About SPARK Boston

Boston is home to a large and diverse millennial population. SPARK Boston is a City of Boston initiative that aims to empower the millennial generation to play a greater role in planning for the future of our city.

SPARK Boston focuses on engaging the next generation of civic leaders and social entrepreneurs in the work of city government. This will shape how the City designs and develops policies, convenes stakeholders for important initiatives and works collaboratively with young people to shape Boston's future.

###
Source: 
Press Office, Thursday, April 19, 2018



Friday, April 13, 2018

MassDOT: RMV Preparing for high number of customers April Vacation Week

Customers encouraged to start applications online, visit mass.gov/ID to learn about new document requirements, and to check wait times online

BOSTON – Ahead of April vacation week, beginning on April 16, a time during which the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) traditionally sees a record number of customers at its service locations, the RMV is reminding the public to consider waiting if possible to visit a service location until after April 23.

The RMV encourages customers that, if they must visit a location April 17-April 20, to go online first to find out what documents are needed for the credential the customer seeks, fill out credential applications online and look at “real time” wait times for the service location the customer plans to visit.  In addition, the public is reminded that because Commonwealth of Massachusetts offices are closed on Monday, Patriot’s Day, RMV service locations will also be closed on Monday, April 16.

“While school vacation time can be a great time to run certain kinds of errands, some locations, including Registry service centers, can be busier than normal,” said Registrar Erin Deveney. “During an ordinary year, RMV centers on school vacation days see a high number of customers but next week will be especially busy with offices only open four days not five, and with each customer’s transaction taking longer on average than ever before because of the new federal and state requirements for more documents per customer to be validated. If people wish to take care of an RMV transaction between April 17 and April 20 we welcome them but they should go online to get informed and to find out where the shortest waits may be on a particular day.”

The best way to start any transaction is to visit the RMV’s website, at mass.gov/ID, where customers can “Get Ready” online by starting their application. The online application process includes entering contact information and proof of lawful presence which may be a U.S. birth certificate or passport number. After the application is submitted online, customers receive a confirmation email that reminds them of the documents they selected to bring to the RMV. The confirmation also includes a QR code that can be scanned at an RMV location, (from the confirmation email or a mobile device), which will speed the customer’s visit.

Students can also download the driver’s manual from the RMV website and study for their learner’s permit so they are completely prepared when they arrive for a test.

Before visiting a RMV Service Center, customers can visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles/locations to find out waiting times for all locations, and plan their trip accordingly.


Source:  MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sumner Tunnel Toll Plaza Reconstruction: Advance for April 15 - April 21

Sumner Tunnel Toll Plaza Reconstruction
Weekly Look-Ahead

Period of April 15, 2018 to April 21, 2018

Throughout the period covered by this look-ahead, MassDOT’s contractor for the Reconstruction of the Sumner Tunnel toll plaza will resume operations. No lane closures will be required and work will be during daytime hours between 6:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. No work will take place on Monday, April 16, Patriot’s Day.

At the Sumner Tunnel entrance, SNR will be installing light pole foundations and conduit in the Massachusetts State Police parking lot on Tuesday, April 17 and Wednesday, April 18. Crews from SNR will also install manholes, drywells and pipe in the Massachusetts State Police parking lot Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20. MassBay will install mast arm foundations Wednesday, April 18 through Friday, April 20. Crews will perform survey work as required. Police details will be onsite to assist with moving equipment across the road. No traffic setups will be required, and all work will be done in construction work zones.

UPDATED SWING LANE TIME:

The Sumner “swing lane” will open at 2 p.m. Friday, April 13 and it will remain open throughout the weekend and the Patriots Day Holiday/Marathon Day, Monday, April 16. The swing gate will close at 5 a.m., Tuesday, April 17 and resume normal operations for the rest of the week, opening 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.


The District will continue to monitor all traffic.  We will send out notification if there are any temporary adjustments to the swing lane hours.

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