Friday, November 21, 2014

ABCD rolls out Fuel Assistance Program: Thousands of children, families and seniors helped

(BOSTON, November 21, 2014) —Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. is grateful to announce the beginning of the fuel assistance program as part of the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program helps thousands of low-income children, families and seniors lead lives of dignity - helping them afford climbing cost of basic utilities as they work toward financial independence and self-sufficiency. Already 14,000 applications have been received, only 2 weeks into the program. New and past participants are encouraged to apply.

Families who qualify for heating assistance also can benefit from the ABCD weatherization programs and qualify for repair or replacement of faulty heating systems. ABCD also helps clients reduce energy usage.

ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew explained how thousands of Boston’s most vulnerable residents benefit from the program, which keeps children, seniors and working families warm. “It is a way to help low-income residents afford basic needs as they work toward reaching their own economic independence.” said Drew. He noted that he is concerned that the 30 to 40 percent hike in electric rates will put a strain on families and that the cost of heating with oil and gas is also out of reach for those who juggle bills and try to manage on very low incomes.

“There are increasingly more families living in poverty in Massachusetts and winter puts harsh demands on the budgets of those struggling to survive,” he said. “Right now, in Massachusetts, the maximum fuel assistance benefit for the poorest families is $1,025 with oil at $3.37 per gallon, which gives a household only a little more than one tank of oil. Those who applied in November will use up their benefits right in the midst of the holiday season.”

Drew continued, “We are grateful to our New England congressional delegation for their efforts to advocate for full funding.”  ABCD urges the President and the entire congressional delegation to restore LIHEAP funding to the fiscal year 2009 level.  “The LIHEAP budget has gone from $5.1 billion authorized by Congress in 2009 to $3.4 billion this year,” Drew said.

 You Can Help!

ABCD Winter Emergency Campaign

Children’s wishes, toy drives, snow boots and comforters, warm coats and turkey dinners; there are hundreds of ways your help can directly make the holidays and the winter months a more hopeful and affordable season for those in need.

The ABCD Winter Emergency Campaign reaches some of Boston’s most vulnerable families in a time where even winter coats and boots are an expense many families struggle to afford.  Through the campaign, individuals and corporate donors contribute gifts of school supplies and toys for children, winter clothing, holiday meals, as well as funds to help those in need.  Additionally the ABCD Adopt-A-Family program matches donors with some of Boston’s most vulnerable and impoverished families – helping fulfill wish lists with items of basic need and holiday gifts for children.

For more information on the ABCD Winter Emergency Campaign and the ABCD Fuel Assistance Program please visit

The ABCD Fuel Assistance program serves Boston, Brookline and Newton.  Applications for fuel assistance and information on all our energy programs are available at ABCD’s downtown office and at neighborhood sites or by calling the ABCD Fuel Assistance Hotline at 1-617-357-6012.

For a list of ABCD neighborhood locations please visit:

About ABCD:
ABCD serves more than 100,000 low-income Boston-area residents annually through its central offices and a decentralized network of Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs), Head Start centers, Family Planning sites and Foster Grandparent sites. Programs and affiliations include Fuel Assistance; Head Start; Child Care Services; Child Care Choices of Boston; Education; Career Development; Housing and Homelessness Services; Health Services; Family Planning; Urban College of Boston; University High – an Alternative High School; Ostiguy High School for high school students in recovery; Weatherization; Foster Grandparents; Elder Services; Intergenerational Programs; management of the Combined Federal Campaign, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and City of Boston employee giving campaigns; advocacy and consumer services.

Monday, November 17, 2014 2014 Basile Thanksgiving Dinner at Sacred Heart

Details at

Friends of East Boston Greenway Meeting Nov 20; Plus lots of related news

Reminder: Friends of East Boston Greenway Meeting
Thursday, November 20, 2014, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
East Boston YMCA, 215 Bremen Street
Meeting is the 3rd Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Agenda attached.
Please plan to attend. A developer planning a new large building at 135 Bremen Street abutting the Greenway will be presenting the project and seeking feedback regarding its interface with the Greenway path.

East Boston Programs of Interest

Birds of Belle Isle Marsh Presentation
Monday, November 17, 7:00 p.m.
Orient Heights Yacht Club 61 Bayswater St., East Boston 
Soheil Zendeh is a founding member of The Friends of Belle Isle Marsh. He is a lifelong birder and nature enthusiast. His passion and knowledge have long been an inspiration. Free and Open to the Public. Sponsored by the Friends of Belle Isle Marsh.

Tastes of the Season:  Fall Harvest Cooking Class
Tuesday, November 18, 6:00 - 8:00pm
East Boston YMCA, Teaching Kitchen at 54 Ashley Street
The East Boston YMCA Cooking For Life programs is wrapping up is free fall community cooking classes on Tuesdays that teach basic cooking skills and emphasize healthy cooking on a budget. All of the classes are taught by the Y’s Director of Kitchen Services, Chef Meg Tallon. November 18 is the last free Tuesday this fall. Cooking with seasonal ingredients ensures maximum freshness and helps you get the most for your food dollars. This class uses the fruits and vegetables of the fall harvest season to create a fall feast on a budget. Classes are held at the Y Teaching Kitchen at 54 Ashley Street on Tuesday evenings, 6:00-8:00 pm. Free on-site childcare is available to participants. Advance registration is required. Please call Meg Tallon at 617-418-7331, ext. 203, to reserve your spot.

In addition to the free community cooking classes, the East Boston Y also offers a wide array of cooking master classes --- including Decadent Desserts, Easy Italian and Extreme Holiday Meal Makeovers. Master classes are $40 for members and $50 for non-members. The proceeds from the master classes support the Y’s free community cooking and nutritional education programming. To find out more about the master classes, visit

Zumix Jazz at the Firehouse
ZUMIX is pleased to present the Winter Jazz at the Firehouse Concert Series, featuring two nights of incredible jazz music in ZUMIX’s beautifully renovated Firehouse, just a couple blocks from East Boston’s Maverick Square. All proceeds support ZUMIX’s award-winning work using music as a tool to empower youth and build community. Each evening will open with emerging artists from ZUMIX youth programs. Beer, wine, and light refreshments available for sale. Visit or call 617-568-9777 for more information.Tickets $15.
• November 23, 5pm: Nick Grondin Group, Opening Act: ZUMIX’s Jazz Ensemble
• December 7, 3pm: Jim Porcella & Steve Marvin (Vocals) featuring Jim Rice (Piano), Guest MC: Ed Gardella, Radio Host of WICN's Jazz Matinee

Candice Cook
Program Manager
Boston Natural Areas Network 
617-542-7696 x16 *Note new email

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nov. 12: Elected officials to cut ribbon at new PortSide Development; Roseland's Big Day in Eastie


WHAT: Ribbon-cutting event for the opening of Portside at East Pier Building 7, part of Roseland and Massport’s newly completed flagship luxury residential and retail complex. The property – which is East Boston’s first waterfront residential project in decades – is the first to open as part of Roseland’s larger, master-planned, mixed-use waterfront development in Jeffries Point.

WHO:                 State Senator Anthony Petruccelli; State Representative Carlo Basile;
Brian Golden, Acting Director, Boston Redevelopment Authority; Marshall Tycher, President, Roseland; Tom Glynn, CEO, Massport
WHERE:              Portside at East Pier
                             Marginal & Lewis Streets, East Boston, MA
                             Guests encouraged to wear flat shoes

WHEN:                2 p.m., Wednesday, November 12, 2014
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Portside at East Pier Building 7 features five stories comprised of 176 apartments – including six extended-stay units – in addition to 3,600 square feet of ground floor retail space and 192 parking spaces. The waterfront property is the first of three building to open as part of Roseland’s larger, master-planned, mixed-use development, which will contain a total of 550 luxury apartments and more than 70,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation to Present George Washington Honor Medals: Nov. 15

Former Boston Mayor Menino, Operation Troop Support in Danvers and Community Activists from East Boston, Boston and Winthrop to be Honored at Ceremonies in Lynnfield
The Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge will present prestigious George Washington Honor Medals in memory of former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and to Operation Troop Support in Danvers and its founders Dick and Christine Moody.

The Chapter will also present “Spirit of '76” Awards for meritorious service and patriotism to East Boston businessman and philanthropist Benito Tauro and honorable mentions to businessman and activist Donato Frattaroli of Boston and community volunteer Lt. Frank Scarpa Jr. of Winthrop.

The awards will be presented at the Bay State Chapter’s 34st Annual Awards Luncheon on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 12:30 p.m., in Spinelli’s Banquet Facility, Rt. 1 South in Lynnfield. Tickets are $50.

"Our long-time friend Mayor Menino, who recently passed away, and Dick and Christine Moody of Operation Troop Support represent the best ideals of America – selfless service to community, helping those in need and working to provide a better tomorrow for the generations to follow," said Joseph V. Ferrino, Sr., Founder and Executive Director of Bay State Chapter, Freedoms Foundation. "We honor these individuals and their work with a national George Washington Honor Medal because they have made a difference in the lives of countless citizens in our city and across our state."

Thomas Menino was the mayor of Boston for 20 years before retiring in January 2014, and he served as a city councilor from Hyde Park from 1983 to 1994. During his unprecedented service to the city, he was known as “The People’s Mayor” and “The Neighborhood Mayor” because he was beloved by its citizens and he never forgot the people who inhabited the city’s many distinct and diverse enclaves.

Mayor Menino’s legacy can be seen throughout the City of Boston in new infrastructure, schools, parks and playgrounds, community gardens, public art, libraries, police and fire stations, better housing, renovated school yards, professional development programs for teachers, higher test scores for students and a reduction in crime rates across the city. He also championed many worthwhile development projects that made Boston a better place in which to live and work. He was also compassionate, never forgetting the homeless person who needed a meal, the child who wanted to go to summer camp or the teenager who needed a summer job. And when tragedy struck, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack or the Boston Marathon bombing, he was the leader who helped comfort the victims and honor their sacrifices.

Operation Troop Support was begun in 2003 by Dick and Christine Moody of Danvers to help veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and to boost the spirits of wounded veterans coming back from the battlefield. The Moodys began collecting badly needed items, packaging them and sending the care packages to military hospitals overseas and then directly to soldiers in the field. As word spread, more and more of the troops sought to receive the care packages.

The Moodys and volunteers who assisted them soon widened their mission to include Christmas gifts, a monthly military family support group and free legal advice for soldiers in need. During the 12 years of serving the troops, Operation Troop Support has shipped more than 250,000 care packages to deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. This work was accomplished with the help of thousands of volunteers from hundreds of supportive organizations in the Greater Boston area.
Benito Tauro of East Boston will be honored with the Bay State Chapter “Spirit of '76” Award for his dedication to the good works of Freedoms Foundation, and his many years of community service and philanthropy. He is a long-time member of the Bay State Chapter and has served on many Chapter committees, including Youth Activities, Christmas Gala and Finance. He owned and operated a number of businesses in the East Boston area, which included sportswear, dry cleaning, hardware and later the Rapino and Kirby Rapino Funeral Homes. He was a member and past president of the East Boston Chamber of Commerce, and an active member of the Dante Alighieri Society and the Kiwanis Club.

Donato Frattaroli of Boston will receive a “Spirit of ’76” honorable mention for his long-time success as a restauranteur and his community service. He has owned and operated restaurants such as Lucia, Fillippo, Via Veneto and Artu. Besides the Freedoms Foundation, he has also been active in such community organizations as Casa Monte Cassino, Order Sons of Italy in America, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, the North End Business Alliance, the Dante Alighieri Society, the Pirandello Lyceum, the North End Athletic Association and Italia Unita-East Boston.

Lt. Frank Scarpa Jr. of Winthop will receive a “Spirit of ‘76” honorable mention for his successful career in law enforcement and his commitment to the children of Winthrop. During his long career, he has started programs in the Winthrop schools about drug and alcohol awareness, mock trials, “stranger danger” and “sacred straight” that help keep local youth involved in positive activities. He has championed town-wide programs like “Operation Blue Light” and “National Night Out” as a way to fight crime. And he has been actively involved in the successful Winthrop Police Explorers Post #99, which has earned numerous state and national awards for its youth members.

Tickets to the Bay State Chapter awards luncheon are $50 and are available from Chapter Founder and Executive Director Joseph V. Ferrino by calling 617-846-2122.

Freedoms Foundation honors Americans who go above and beyond in their efforts to educate their communities about the values of good citizenship. The foundation has recognized several thousand dedicated individuals and organizations in its 63-year existence. Freedoms Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching all citizens the principles upon which our nation was founded. The organization seeks to convey the close link between the rights and the responsibilities of citizens in a free society.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association: November 10

Below is the monthly agenda for the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association, scheduled for November 10th at the Jeffries Point Yacht Club at 7pm.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

  • JPNA Housekeeping and Fall Fling wrap up!
  • Police
  • 154 Maverick Marketplace, liquor license and entertainment license, VOTING
  • City Councilor Michelle Wu with an update
  • Haynes Street Development, this is new construction on one lot, and a rehab of an adjacent building VOTING
  • Sherri Rafferty, professional public speaker