Friday, July 20, 2018

Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project Work Begins Next Week

July 26 through August 11: MassDOT will replace westbound side of the bridge

Intensive construction operations will mean significant travel impacts throughout the region

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reminding members of the public that significant travel impacts will begin next week as part of the intensive construction operations to replace the westbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.

On the evening of Thursday, July 26, a section of Commonwealth Avenue and the Boston University Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic, and MBTA bus detours for the CT2 and 47 routes will go into effect. The MBTA Green B Line will be replaced by shuttle buses at the start of service on Friday, July 27, and lane reductions on I-90 in Boston will then begin later that evening.

Crews will start demolishing the westbound side of the bridge on the morning of Saturday, July 28. The MBTA Commuter Rail Worcester/Framingham line and the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited line will be replaced by bus shuttles throughout the weekend, and during the following weekend, in order to ensure adequate room for operations. The new westbound side of the bridge will then be constructed with steel beams, prefabricated concrete deck panels, and asphalt by August 11.

(A photograph taken in summer 2017 of MassDOT’s construction operations to replace to the eastbound side of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.)

This $110 million bridge replacement project, which would take an estimated four to five years using conventional techniques with significant lane-takings and service disruptions, is scheduled for completion in 2019 under the accelerated plans. The westbound side of the bridge will be constructed this summer using 3 cranes that weigh 600 tons each. Crews will utilize this equipment to put in place 45 steel beams and 214 pre-fabricated concrete deck panels along with 680 cubic yards of concrete and 520 tons of hot mix asphalt.

The full upcoming travel impacts will be as follows:

Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Pedestrians and bicyclists will have access across the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge on the eastbound side throughout construction.

Download the Blue Bikes app on the App Store or Google Play to find a station near you. For a limited time, Blue Bikes is dropping their Single Trip Pass to $1 from July 26 - August 11, available in the Blue Bikes app.

MassDOT is also partnering with the City of Boston to provide an additional temporary Blue Bikes station at Silber Way on Commonwealth Ave during the construction period.

For more information, visit www.bluebikes.com


Drivers

Commonwealth Avenue

Commonwealth Avenue (between Packard’s Corner and Kenmore Square) will be closed to vehicular through traffic (local access only) from 7:00 p.m. on July 26 to 5:00 a.m. on August 11. 

Access through this area will be maintained for local businesses and customers, residents, MBTA buses, emergency services, pedestrians, and bicyclists during this time.

See the “Commonwealth Avenue Closure Detour” on the Traffic Management page. 

Boston University (BU) Bridge

The BU Bridge will be closed to vehicular and bus traffic from 7:00 p.m. on July 26, to 5:00 a.m. on August 11. Access will be maintained for pedestrians and bicyclists only.

See the “Boston University (BU) Bridge Closure Detour” on the Traffic Management page.

I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike

From 9:00 p.m., on July 27, to 5:00 a.m., on August 6, I-90 (between the Allston Interchange and the Beacon Street Overpass in Boston) will have no more than two lanes open in each direction during peak hours. 

I-90 in this area will be further reduced to one lane in each direction at various times during off-peak, weekend, and weekday overnight hours.

The I-90 eastbound on-ramp from Cambridge Street/Soldiers Field Road will be closed during this entire period.


  • The I-90 westbound Exit 20 off-ramp to Brighton/Cambridge will be closed intermittently.
  • I-90 will fully restored to four lanes in both directions at 5:00 a.m., on August 6. 
  • See the “I-90 (Mass Pike) Ramp Closures Detour” on the Traffic Management page.


 Memorial Drive

 ·         The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will allow vehicular traffic on Memorial Drive in Cambridge on Sunday, July 29, and Sunday, August 5, in order to minimize impacts on local roadways and allow for safe and reliable travel throughout the area.

 ·         DCR will add an additional Sunday closure of Memorial Drive in Cambridge this fall meaning vehicular traffic will not be allowed between Western Avenue and Mount Auburn Street from 11:00 a.m., to 7:00 p.m., on Sunday, November 18.

Sumner Tunnel

The additional “swing lane” on Route 1A southbound at the Sumner Tunnel will have extended hours so that it is opened at 3 p.m., on Friday, July 27, and will remain open through 5 a.m., Monday, July 30.

The swing lane will then be opened daily from 1 p.m., through 10 p.m., between Monday July 30, and Thursday, August 2.

The swing lane will also be opened at1 p.m., Friday, August 3, and will remain open through 5 a.m., Monday, August 6.

I-93 HOV Lane

The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will be open during the normal morning hours of 5 a.m., through 10 a.m., from Monday, July 30, through Friday, August 3.

The HOV lane will open early for the afternoon commute at 2 p.m., from Monday, July 30, through Thursday, August 2, and will then open at 1 p.m., on Friday, August 3.

MBTA Green B Line

The Green B Line will be replaced with shuttle buses between Babcock Street and Blandford Street Stations from 5:00 a.m. on July 27, to 5:00 a.m., on August 11. The MBTA will be providing regular service updates to customers.

MBTA Commuter Rail

The Commuter Rail Framingham/Worcester Line will operate regular service on weekdays.

On the weekends of July 28-29 and August 4-5, bus shuttles will replace Commuter Rail service in this area.

Free bus shuttles will replace Commuter Rail train service between Framingham and Wellesley Farms. After Wellesley Farms, the shuttle bus will then continue nonstop to Riverside, where riders can connect to the Green D Line. 

In addition to the local shuttles, express shuttle service will be available between Framingham and Riverside.

MBTA Bus

MBTA Bus Routes CT2 and 47 will be detoured from their normal routes from 7:00 p.m. on July 26, to 5:00 a.m. on August 11. These detours are expanded from the 2017 detour routes due to the closure of the Boston University Bridge this summer to all vehicles including MBTA buses.

The Route 57 Bus will operate its normal route and will not make outbound stops in the construction area.

See the “2018 MBTA CT2 and 47 Bus Detour Map” on the Traffic Management page.


Amtrak

Amtrak’s Lakeshore Limited Line will be replaced by shuttle buses between South Station and Albany, NY for the weekends of July 28-29 and August 4-5.


MassDOT asks for the community’s help to reduce traffic volume in the area as much as possible. MassDOT encourages the public to consider:

  • REDUCE – Work with employers on flex time or telecommuting as an alternative to travel during this time period. Take your summer vacations during this time and avoid traveling through the area if at all possible
  • REROUTE – Plan alternative travel routes around this construction area during the times mentioned.
  • REMODE – Consider using alternate modes of transportation which may include public transit, walking or biking.

The Baker-Polito Administration appreciates the cooperation and patience of the traveling public as core transportation infrastructure is improved. Members of the public are encouraged to utilize the appropriate technology tools including mass511.com, our GoTime travel app, and other wayfinding resources to find the most appropriate route, mode, and timing of travel during our construction operations.

Individuals are encouraged to sign up for email notices to receive public meeting notices, construction updates and traffic alerts. The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project website also contains specific details and maps and individuals can contact MassDOT with questions at: CommAveBridge@dot.state.ma.us

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Committee on Planning, Development

Mark the date! Wakefield's "Festival Italia" set for Sat., August 18



EVERYONE’S INVITED TO FESTIVAL ITALIA 2018

Mark your calendar  August 18th – Festival Italia

Plans are being formulated  to put on another free, fun, family-friendly event featuring food, music, entertainment, children’s’ event and more.  

To date the Wakefield Community Partnership has planned the following:  

  • Boys & Girls Club will sponsor a Kids’ Zone at the Lincoln St. Parking Lot;
  • Street performers will be entertaining along Main & Albion Streets;
  • Hartshorne/Curley Insurance will set up a kids area across from their office on Albion St.;
  • LaPiazza, hosted by the Wakefield Community Partnership, will be set up in front of The Savings Bank, a great place to meet up with friends and family; 
  • Three stages will be featuring music.  
  • The popular train ride will return, as well as the Wheel of Chance. 


Merchants and organizations will be set up along Main St. and Albion St.
Food Vendors are still welcome to  participate in this event, contact us at info@wakefieldcommunitypartnership.com 

Check our new website at www.wakefieldcommunitypartnership.org  to stay updated.  
The WCP is always looking for volunteers to help out the day of the festival. Send us an email to Volunteer@wakefieldcommunitypartnership.org  


Monday, July 16, 2018

Gove Street Citizens Association Meeting Set for July 23

Gove Street Citizens Association Monthly Meeting Agenda 

Monday, July 23, 6:30-8:30pm
Catherine Leonard-McLean Community Room  
(formerly Noddle Island Community Room) 
Logan Airport Rental Car Center




1. Welcome & Project Updates

2. GSCA Updates: Project tracker, website  

3. City of Boston Office Neighborhood Services Updates 

4. Project Presentations

  • a. 197-207 Maverick Street  This project consists of the demolition of the existing commercial structure containing Maverick Street Market (ask 205 Maverick) and construction of a new 5 story, community based redevelopment (without displacement) containing a new home for the existing marketing and potential laundromat operation, if desired, along with 55 residential units and 34 off-street parking spaces. Attorney Joe Hanley.  
  • b. 175 Orleans Street This project consists of the rehabilitation of the historic structure at 175 Orleans Street into a 127 room hotel. The rehab will include one additional story and 65 parking spaces with retail space on the bottom level. The owners will be present to provide updates on the status of this project.  


Next Meeting date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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.



Friday, July 13, 2018

At the border: Capuano: What President Trump Wants Us to Forget

by Congressman Michael E. Capuano


By now, nearly every American has seen the terrible images of children being torn from their families, heard the sound of children begging immigration officers to call their relatives. Those images and sounds are the truth of what has been happening at our border because of Donald Trump’s despicable and immoral immigration policies. Now, the Administration officials who said they could easily reunite children and parents are failing to meet a court order to do so, because it turns out they can’t do what they said.

I traveled to the Texas border a few weeks ago to get more information about what the federal government is doing to families there. Along with Congressional colleagues, I traveled to the Centralized Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, where those who are detained at the border are first sent. We went to the McAllen Border Patrol Station and Intake Facility, where officials monitor the border and detain individuals. We went to the Port Isabel ICE Detention Center, where detainees are kept. 

We visited the “processing center,” as it’s called, and saw rows and rows of  silver Mylar blankets, with small figures lying underneath. Children. We saw a half-used box of diapers sitting out. Some of the children being taken from their parents are no more than infants. 

When I was in Texas, I saw children in cages, scared and confused. These children will suffer lifelong trauma and consequences as a direct result of Donald Trump’s hateful policies. The detainees I saw were terrified and confused. Many did not know where their children were. Some knew where their children were being held but had not spoken to them in a long time. No one knew when they might see their children again. And no officials could answer our questions on how families would be brought back together. 

Today, Donald Trump would like that all swept under the rug. Hesitantly, and with great delay, his administration is reuniting select families. This is not enough, and it’s not acceptable. Donald Trump wants us to forget about the horrors created by his policies -- but we can’t and we must not. I will not stop working to bring each and every family back together. That’s why I attended a rally in Boston the day after I stepped off the plane from Texas, why I joined protesters during the Keep Families Together march, and why I’ve been sharing what I’ve seen with you. 

Bearing witness to this trauma isn’t enough – pointing out that what’s happening is wrong doesn’t stop it. That’s why we need policy change, and why I have introduced legislation to stop the deportation of families at the border and reunite separated families quickly. To be clear, it won’t be easy to pass anything in the Republican-controlled Congress. It will be a battle. But it is a battle we absolutely must fight. 

We must continue to stand up to Donald Trump and make sure this policy ends and never happens again. Without all of us standing up to Donald Trump and fighting for what is right, nothing will change. We must pressure the party in charge -- the Republicans -- into listening to America’s conscience. Ripping families apart is, simply put, evil. I will do everything in my power to bring these families back together. Together, we will end this policy and make a difference. Trump’s horrible policies deny who and what we are as a nation, our deepest held values and beliefs. We are a nation of immigrants, stronger because of it.

Submitted by the campaign on Congressman Mike Capuano, July 13, 2018.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Eastie Week 2018: July 7 - July 15




Eastie Week is celebrating its 5th Year Anniversary of highlighting East Boston’s people, community, culture, and history. Join us for over a week of free and low-cost public programming ranging from Community Cruises, cultural events showcasing the neighborhood’s music, food & culture!

Details here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fr. John Nazzaro Receives New Assignment from Salesian Provincial

(East Boston - July 11, 2018) Fr. Tim Zak, Provincial of the Salesians of St. John Bosco last month informed Fr. John Nazzaro of the Salesian Boys & Girls Club that he will be transferred officially to Don Bosco Prep High in Ramsey, N.J. in August.  Before assuming his new responsibilities, he will be attending classes at the Chicago Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois.  

Fr. John has been associated in a variety of responsibilities at the Salesian Boys Girls Club in the past 35 years, more recently as Executive Director for the past 11 years.  






Fr. John expressed his deep filled gratitude for the young people and the business community who have supported the club.  “I have received much more than I have given to the community of East Boston and its surrounding areas,” Fr. John Said.  Fr. John expressed his appreciation to God for not only allowing him to be a youth leader in the Community but also as Salesian Priest who has ministered to this community through Baptisms, marriages, reconciliation, counseling and unfortunately many funerals. “I love this community and I truly love being a Priest. If I was not a Salesian I would never have had the opportunity to work with young people over these past 35 years.  East Boston is my home and I will miss a lot of the wonderful people I have worked with as well as a lot of my old friends.”

Fr. John grew up on Falcon Street and has great memories of the Presto, Mario, Baglio, Scalifani and the DiMarco families who made Eastie special to grow up in.  As kids we were a band of brothers hanging out, playing sports and memories that have lasted a life time.

As a young person going to the Salesian Boys & Girls Club and Dom Savio High School I fell in love with the Salesian Spirit and the traditions of its founder, St. John Bosco.  As a boy a Salesian Brother gave me a book “Wolves to Lambs, it was about how St. John Bosco changed young people from wolves to lambs by being kind to them and giving them a safe place to play.  Once I finished that book I was ready to save the world.  Over the years even though its not been easy I feel we have changed a lot of young people’s lives at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club.  Legends like Fr. Sid, Fr. Bob, Dave Ferrara and Wally Bowe just to name a few had a tremendous impact on my life.

Fr. Tim Zak has expressed his commitment to the community of East Boston by committing 5 Salesians to live at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club.  

This past January Fr. John announced that the Salesian Boys & Girls Club’s Board of Trustees appointed a new Executive Director, Mr. Michael Triant.  Since January Fr. John and Mike have been working on a smooth transition for the young people, staff and the community.  “Mike is ready and able to take over the reigns as leader of our Salesian Boys & Girls Club as well as keep some of our great traditions but also bringing some fresh new ideas.  He knows the Salesian Spirit and with the help of our community the Salesian Boys & Girls Club will continue to help thousands of young people in the future, Fr. John said.”

“I would like to thank everyone who has been so supportive of the Salesian Boys & Girls Club, the Salesian Community and to me personally.  I leave East Boston a very rich man.  Not monetarily but because I have met so many wonderful people who have Graced me by their presence.” 

“Our job in helping young people will never be done.  Transitioning young people from Wolves to Lambs still is a challenge and we need your help. I am truly grateful to my Earthly family, my Salesian Family and my Salesian Boys & Girls Club family.   I am so Blessed these years to be able to come home and experience a little bit of heaven in my life.  If there is any gift people would like to give me or an expression of thanksgiving please continue to support the Salesian Boys & Girls Club.”

-30-

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

Progressives Logroll Themselves Out of a Pro-Tax Constitutional Amendment … But For How Long? | NewBostonPost

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s recent rebuke to supporters of a graduated income tax amendment showed how progressives failed to understand the checks and balances of the state’s constitution —conceived admirably by John Adams and amended narrowly and —perhaps ironically —by turn-of-the-20th-century Progressives. 

The ruling was a stinging defeat for Raise Up Massachusetts, the union-backed coalition that spearheaded the petition drive, and state Attorney General Maura Healey, who certified the petition last year. Healey, and others, made clear that, even in defeat, they intend to pursue higher taxes.

Both the Attorney General and her allies expected the court to overlook the niceties of constitutional law in favor of vague sentiments such as fixing potholes and reducing income inequality. 

Read more here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

From Main Streets: Celebrate the 2018 Business of the Year and 2018 Volunteer of the Year

Mayor Walsh and East Boston Main Streets invite the East Boston Community to Celebrate the 2018 Business of the Year and 2018 Volunteer of the Year on Saturday, June 30th at 10:00am


Mayor on Main:  Join Mayor Walsh and East Boston Main Streets’ Executive Director Max Gruner on Saturday, June 30th at 10:00am at 98 Prescott Street in East Boston to recognize this year’s recipients of the Business of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards.

East Boston, MA 25 June-2018 Now in its 22nd year, Mayor on Main and Main Streets will be recognizing this year’s Volunteer of the Year and Business of the Year for East Boston on Saturday, June 30th at 10:00am at Jendriel Collision Center, 98 Prescott Street in East Boston.

This year’s winners are:

Hector Guerrero, owner of Jendriel Collision Center:
Mr. Guerrero opened his business in East Boston 25 years ago, the same year his child was born and named the shop after his son, Jendriel.  Hector believes in excellent customer service and always prioritizing the best interest of his clientele.  His business is based on honesty, transparency, and highest quality work at an affordable price.  Hector thanks the East Boston community for their two decades of support and is grateful to the City of Boston for helping him grow and succeed.  A long time supporter of East Boston High School sports programming, Hector is looking forward to many more successful years in Eastie.

Dan Bailey:
Mr. Dan Bailey is a very effective community leader continuing the proud East Boston tradition of citizen engagement.  Always polite and professional, exceptionally well informed and well spoken, Mr. Bailey is the indefatigable face and leader of East Boston’s preservation movement.  Mr. Bailey consistently guides and focuses the energy of the community, brings people together for specific, well- defined, and tangible causes.  Mr. Bailey is an accomplished researcher, has created numerous important historical documents relevant to East Boston and is the consistent, calm voice of reason asking hard questions and proposing reasonable alternatives.

For more information contact Max Gruner at East Boston Main Streets at 617-561-1044

EBMS is a non-profit corporation. Its mission is to create a more vibrant business district by initiating private and public improvements, promoting commerce, and supporting efforts to improve the quality of life for all who live, work, and do business in East Boston.

Source: East Boston Main Streets

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Arriving in East Boston, the ICA Watershed throws open its doors




Last year at one of the mayor's press conferences on local improvements, longtime activist and neighborhood fixture David Arinella took note of what many of his neighbors knew for a lifetime: "East Boston is now 'HD' which is not ‘high definition’ but rather what we call 'highly desirable.'"  

To residents who battled airport expansion and fought for open space for generations, East Boston was always a prized neighborhood with its vibrant civic life and an impulse to thrive, an impulse often driven by its geographic isolation.   Everyone who claimed Eastie as their hometown embraced the great possibilities, an outlook passed along from cascades of immigrants dating back to the middle of the 19th century to the more recent arrivals.

Across the harbor and at City Hall, many began to take notice of a neighborhood that never had to be resilient because it was always alive — weaves of families roaring with the ferocity of jetliners passing overhead. The families cultivated the civic virtues with fraternal clubs, sports leagues, public meetings and charitable events. The value added is priceless. Over the past decade, real estate developers, high-tech millennials, artists and entrepreneurs streamed to Noddle's Island. The breathtaking Piers Park and East Boston Greenway completed the puzzle of passive and recreative parkland long missing.  Now cultural institutions are —literally and figurately — crossing the harbor to take a stake in the East Boston's future.

This week the Institute of Contemporary Art, fulfilling an aspiration of players on both sides of the harbor, cut the ribbon to its new outpost announced to the world as ICA Watershed.  The final product is the result of a two-way collaboration between residents and the city’s arts elite, with public entities such as city government and Massport playing midwives. By converting an old sheet metal factory on Eastie's waterfront in the middle of a reborn cottage maritime industry boats are still built, the ICA has cast an anchor that connects downtown’s creative class with a socially dynamic neighborhood, extending its mission to present and curate the cutting edge.  However, since the foundations of the new prosperity were established by the hard work and persistence of vision of residents, it can be said that East Boston elevates the stature of the ICA, rather than simply the reverse. But credit the ICA for its foresight for the watershed is not just a destination devoid of context. The new space pays generous tribute to East Boston’s maritime history, a short film featuring the stories of local residents welcomes visitors. With its open area for artist projects, meeting space, teen programming and a small outdoor patio with views of the ICA’s main Seaport campus and Boston’s 21st century skyline. Admission to the waterfront will be free to all, an incentive for middle and low-income residents to participate in the creative groundswell. Mindful of the transportation issues facing the city, the ICA forged a contract with Boston Harbor Cruises for ferry services. Sustaining a partnership with the community going forward is critical for local patronage. The ICA is relying on assistance from the East Boston Neighborhood Health, the East Boston Social Centers, Maverick Landing Community Services and Zumix, the renowned music learning center to provide programming. 




The June 22 event was punctuated by a display of photography by teens who compose a panorama of East Boston’s architecture, people and settings as it transitions from winter to spring. Expect more creative engagement from local artists such as Atlantic Works and others already established across the neighborhood.



The cavernous space is large enough for the ambitious installations that are the ICA's trademark. The walls are exceedingly generous. In her first Boston work, the inaugural artist Diana Thater seizes upon the raw industrial space before her, the “great room”, with a thoughtful multi-media installation that underscores the fragility of the natural world. "Diana Thater's strategies of intensified color and visually stunning moving images will offer visitors an extraordinary introduction to the Watershed and raise urgent questions about the impact of human intervention on the environment," says Jill Medvedow, the ICA’s director.  The work which deserves serious contemplation was almost lost in the excitement of the opening. (It will be on display through October 8 around the time of the neighborhood’s biannual Columbus Day Parade.)


Exploration and movement have always been undercurrents in East Boston life.  Thater’s moving images, in their own way, capture the restlessness and energy that has always made East Boston and its people a special place.  The famous shipbuilder Donald McKay designed and crafted the clippers barely a mile from the Watershed. A central historical figure beloved by later generations, McKay was endowed with a great imagination that set sail ships connecting New York and San Francisco in record time. It is entirely possible that the ICA, cutting down the boundaries between East and South will sustain that imagination.

Frank Conte is the editor and publisher of EastBoston.com, established in 1995.

The ICA Watershed will open to the public on the Fourth of July. Admission to the Watershed will be free. Preview days for East Boston residents will take place on June 30, July 1 and July 3. For more information visit www.icaboston.org. 



Friday, June 22, 2018

Boston Housing Authority, DHCD and Trinity Financial Cut Ribbon for Phase One and Launch Phase Two for East Boston Development

BOSTON - Friday, June 22, 2018 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh cut the ribbon today to celebrate Phase One of the redevelopment of Orient Heights Overlook Terrace and announced the City's commitment of $10 million to launch Phase Two. Phase One is the initial step to redevelop the 331-unit Orient Heights public housing development in East Boston. Mayor Walsh was joined by Boston Housing Authority (BHA) Administrator Bill McGonagle, representatives from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), MassHousing, along with the development team of Trinity Financial and East Boston CDC. 

"It's great to be able to celebrate this important milestone reached at the redevelopment of Orient Heights, which when completed, will make 331 units of housing available to residents and families in East Boston," said Mayor Walsh. "This project will significantly improve the facility for current and future tenants, and contributes to the City of Boston's committed to creating more affordable housing for all. I thank everyone involved for their partnership as we work together to see this redevelopment through completion."


Reconstructed public housing at Orient Heights under Phase 1 (EastBoston.com)


Orient Heights Phase One included the creation of 120 units of new affordable rental housing. The units are spread across four townhomes containing 32 units and one mid-rise building containing 88 units and on-site property management offices. All 120 units will receive an operating subsidy-75 percent of the units will receive state public housing operating subsidy and 25 percent of the units will receive project-based subsidy through the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. The Phase One project achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.

Phase Two of the redevelopment will provide an additional 88 rental units in 2 townhouse buildings containing 16 units and one mid rise building containing 72 units and community space. The Phase 2 project will also include improvements to portions of Vallar Road, as well as open space enhancements.

"We are excited that the first phase of this project is complete," said BHA Administrator Bill McGonagle. "We are looking forward to working with our development partners, Trinity Financial, and the residents of Orient Heights, to begin Phase Two of this effort and continue to preserve needed affordable housing for current and future generations."

The total development investment in Orient Heights Phase One will be approximately $51.2 million. The financing plan includes $17.5 million in private equity raised through an allocation of federal 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits;  tax-exempt bonds for construction financing; $32.725 million in state public housing capital funds from BHA and DHCD; and affordable housing resources from the City of Boston.

Mayor Walsh is investing $10 million for Phase Two through the proceeds from the sale of the Winthrop Street Garage, as well as $1.83 million in Inclusionary Development Policy Funds, secured from the Davis Companies' 99 Sumner Street development in East Boston.  Phase Two demolition and construction is anticipated to begin this fall.

"Today marks an exciting milestone in the revitalization of the Orient Heights development," said Trinity Financial Vice President of Development Eva Erlich. "We are proud to be a part of the collaboration with the Commonwealth, the City, the Boston Housing Authority, East Boston CDC, the Orient Heights residents, and our colleagues in finance and development to see this first phase through to completion, and we look forward to continuing the transformation of this site with next phase."






Current residents will work with a relocation team regarding which relocation options best meet their needs. Relocation options include moving to another BHA public housing development of their choice or moving to privately owned housing with a state subsidized MRVP voucher. Residents also may choose to return to the redeveloped site when construction is complete or remain in place after initial relocation. 

The Orient Heights public housing development is owned and managed by the BHA, which undertook a planning process in 2008, funded by DHCD, to consider redevelopment options for the site. The BHA commissioned a master plan with an overall design concept and established the goals for the site's redevelopment-to transform the site into an attractive, energy-efficient and healthy housing community modeled on the successful transformations of the BHA's previous public housing redevelopments at sites such as West Broadway, Maverick, and Old Colony.

In January 2015, the BHA selected the development team of Trinity Financial and East Boston CDC to work with BHA and DHCD to finalize a redevelopment strategy for the site. This development team secured financing to implement the redevelopment, and will own and manage the buildings post-redevelopment. The BHA will continue to own the land and will lease the land to Trinity.

Old and new at Orient Heights Housing Projects (photo credit: EastBoston.com)


Since January of 2015, BHA and the development team have held public meetings with residents and the neighborhood, monthly meetings with the Resident Task Force and various meetings with City and State officials. The project has been largely supported by the community, which has seen a need to redevelop Orient Heights as an inclusive piece of the neighborhood. BHA, Trinity, and the East Boston CDC will continue to meet with the residents and the broader neighborhood on an on-going basis throughout the project's stages.

About Trinity Financial
Trinity Financial is a community-driven, diverse real estate development firm with a proven-track record of redeveloping complex urban sites from New York to Greater Boston. Our work spans half a dozen residential and commercial specialties, from multi-family housing to transit-oriented development. Over the past 30 years we have completed more than $2 billion in innovative development, delivering high quality, sustainable, multi-family housing, ranging from affordable to luxury - all with a commitment to people and place.  For more information about Trinity Financial, please visit www.trinityfinancial.com.

About the Boston Housing Authority
The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) is a public agency that provides subsidized housing to low and moderate income individuals and families. In addition to conventional public housing communities throughout Boston, BHA offers rental assistance programs. BHA receives federal and state funding in order to provide housing programs to individuals and families. BHA's mission is to provide stable, quality affordable housing for low and moderate income persons; to deliver these services with integrity and mutual accountability; and to create living environments which serve as catalysts for the transformation from dependency to economic self-sufficiency.

Source: Mayor's Press Office
Photo credits: EastBoston.com


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