Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Mayor Walsh announces Lina Tramelli as Neighborhood Liaison for East Boston

BOSTON - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the appointment of Lina Tramelli as the East Boston Neighborhood Liaison within the Mayor’s Civic Engagement Cabinet. Jesús García-Mota who previously held this position will now be Mayor Walsh’s liaison to the citywide Latino community. 

“Lina has a fantastic background in public service and I couldn’t be more excited for her to become the East Boston liaison,” said Mayor Walsh. “East Boston is a neighborhood full of tradition, growth and diversity and I know she will continue to be an advocate for the residents and businesses in East Boston.” 

As the East Boston liaison, Lina will serve as the primary contact for constituents and businesses looking to connect with the Mayor's Office, and will facilitate the delivery of services in collaboration with City departments.

The Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) encourages, facilitates and maximizes citizen input and participation through service requests, neighborhood meetings, mailings and emergency responses. To report non-emergency issues to the City, residents are encouraged to connect with BOS:311 by dialing 3-1-1 or by downloading the free BOS:311 app on iOS or Android platforms. 

“I sincerely want to thank Mayor Walsh for this appointment as his liaison to East Boston,” said Lina. “Since taking office, the Mayor has made sure East Boston receives excellent city services and I very much look forward to continuing that mission and joining his administration” 

Born in Colombia, Lina received her bachelor's degree from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá. She graduated from Harvard University with a master’s in Liberal Arts last year. 

Lina is a native Spanish speaker and proficient in Italian. In her spare time, Lina enjoys exploring the different cultural institutions in East Boston as well as enjoying the local food scene. She is a resident of East Boston.

Source: Mr. S. Chambers, Mayor's Office 3/20/2019


Mayor Walsh awards 221 Arts Organizations and Projects over $480,000 in Boston Cultural Council Organizational Grants

BOSTON - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Boston Cultural Council (BCC), have awarded 221 Boston arts organizations and projects Boston Cultural Council organizational grants, totaling $487,000. This marks the City's largest ever investment in local arts organizations, and is part of an effort to bring accessible opportunities to engage in the arts throughout the entire City.  

[Editor's Note: The East Boston Artists Groups, East Boston Friends of the Library and Zumix are among the East Boston grantees for 2019.]

"The organizations that received Boston Cultural Council grants this year demonstrate the enormous power of creative expression, and reflect the cultural vitality of our city," said Mayor Walsh. "I'm eager to see how each organization strengthens Boston's neighborhoods through arts programming in 2019."

Grants of up to $5,000 were awarded to organizations in two categories. Organizations with a budget of less than $1 million received general operating support, and organizations with a budget of over $1 million received project-specific support. In order to be eligible for either award, organizations had to either be based in the City of Boston, or offer programming in the City. The City of Boston contributed $300,000 in funding and the Mass Cultural Council (MCC) contributed $187,000 in funding to the BCC. A total of 244 applications were received.

Organizations were evaluated on a series of criteria, including diversity of the organization, how well they serve historically represented populations, whether they provide public benefit, and whether they meaningfully reflect the goals and ideas of the Boston Creates cultural plan.

Performance by OrigiNation, one of the 2019  Boston Cultural Council grantees

"The support of the Boston Cultural Council is very significant to us, as it represents public investment in the diversity of LGBTQ art," said Harold Steward, Interim Executive Director of The Theater Offensive, a 2019 BCC grantee. "It lends credence to our aesthetic of theater that is by, for, and about Boston residents with a goal of building community and understanding among neighbors by amplifying often untold perspectives and unheard voices. We so appreciate the support of the City of Boston investing public funds in programs like ours that directly support community members."

The selected organizations represent an array of disciplines, including visual arts, theater, film, music, dance, and the humanities. The number of grantees has increased by 40 this year, with 181 organizations receiving BCC grants in 2018. For a complete list of 2019 grantees, visit here.

"Boston is home to so many incredible arts organizations and cultural institutions that work tirelessly to bring opportunities to engage in creative expression to every individual, in every neighborhood," said Chief Kara Elliott-Ortega. "It's great to see Boston provide increased support and resources to these organizations year after year, and witness the impact it has on our local communities."

This year, the BCC developed an equity statement and awarded several organizations with an additional Model Equity Organization award of $5,000 in an attempt to further promote cultural, economic, and racial diversity in the arts. The winners of the 2019 Model Equity Organization award were Urbano Project, Arts Connect International, and BAMS Fest.

Mayor Walsh with Model Equity Organization grantee Marian Taylor Brown of Arts Connect International, and Chief of Arts and Culture Kara Elliott-Ortega

"For ACI the Model Equity Organization award is a beautiful recognition of both the work that we are currently doing, as well as the work that we endeavor to do," said Marian Taylor Brown, Executive Director & Founder of Arts Connect International. "It is particularly significant for us this year as we are running an inaugural Arts Equity Summit March 22nd - 24th where award monies will support the participation of local Artist Fellows attendance. We thank all of the organizations, artists, and individuals who are doing this cultural work around the city, and are especially thankful to the Boston Cultural Council for their leadership in the creation and piloting of this award."

A reception was held Monday at MassArt's Pozen Center to congratulate the 2019 grantees. To learn more about the BCC Organizational Grants, visit  here.

About the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)
The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include leading up the City's cultural plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester.  For more information, click here.

About the Boston Cultural Council (BCC)
The Boston Cultural Council, under the umbrella of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, annually distributes funds allocated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, to support innovative arts, humanities and interpretive sciences programming that enhances the quality of life in our city. The BCC is comprised of 15 Boston residents appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh to serve for up to six years each. The BCC annually reviews applications during a series of fall meetings conducted to evaluate the overall quality of proposed programming and its potential benefit to diverse audience in neighborhoods throughout Boston. For additional information on the Boston Cultural Council, please visit here.

Source: Mayor's Press Office 3/20/2019

Friday, March 15, 2019

March 19: Boston City Councilors Lydia Edwards, Kim Janey to hold hearing on Investor and Commercial Properties Transfer Fee

Legislation could raise hundreds of millions for affordable housing, deter speculative real estate practices 

WHAT: The Boston City Council will hold a hearing TUESDAY, MARCH 19th on housing legislation filed by Councilors Lydia Edwards and Kim Janey to enact a real estate transfer fee on high value, commercial and investor-owned properties. The fee would EXEMPT owner occupants and sales under $2m, conveyances between family members, and allows for additional local exemptions.

A transfer fee of up to 6%, split evenly between buyers and sellers, would generate millions of dollars each year - hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years - for affordable housing to help stabilize communities. All funds would go to the Neighborhood Housing Trust for production of affordable and workforce housing.

The proposal also includes a higher fee on secondary sales, or flipped properties, in an effort to deter practices that destabilize neighborhoods and artificially inflate real estate prices.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend or submit testimony.

WHERE: Iannella Chamber, 5th Floor, Boston City Hall

WHEN:   2:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

WHO:

·  Boston City Councilors
·  Representatives of the Walsh administration
·  City Life Vida Urbana, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Institute for Policy Studies, Boston Tenant Coalition, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations

Friday, March 1, 2019

Pirandello Lyceum's 2nd Annual Boston Bel Canto Opera draws a full house at Dante Alighieri Society



On Sunday, February 17th, the Luigi Pirandello Lyceum sponsored the 22nd Annual presentation of the Boston Bel Canto Opera at the Dante Alighieri Society in Cambridge.

The event was sponsored by Attorney Frank Fradella, Dr. Peter Campisano and Joyce Tower.  

It was coordinated by Pirandello Lyceum Corresponding Secretary, Dorothy Maio, and supported by Board members Stephen Maio, Maria Luisa Saraceni and Vice-President/Treasurer Maria Capogreco.  

The Opera, featured renowned Maestro Bradley Pennington and the Boston Bel Canto Opera Singers, sopranos Lisa Ann Correnti and Meredith Hansen, and tenors Giovanni Formisano and David Rivera-Bozon gave a stellar performance. 

It was an inspiring performance taken from some of the Masterworks of the operatic repertoire presented to a full house. 






The BBCO singers are consummate, elite opera singers. Their performance was richly done and was breathtakingly beautiful. They all have golden voices producing music as richly and warm as it is remarkably clear. Their clarity of tone is so beautiful to hear and it’s combined with a breadth and depth of emotion that creates a splendor and beauty unparalleled to our ears. As always, their performance personifies the “sublime beauty”, the “Bel Canto” -  beautiful singing - it is truly “bell’arte!”   

This year's special acknowledgement was the presentation of the coveted “Pirandello Certificate of Recognition” awarded to the elite Boston Bel Canto Opera singers by President, Dr. Domenic Amara and Board Member, Dr. Anthony Lori. 

Last  year, Dr. Amara presented to the Pirandello Lyceum Board Members his idea of creating and presenting a “Pirandello Certificate of Recognition” Award to individuals or organizations that promulgated our beautiful and rich Italian Culture, History and Language. 

With the Board’s approval, Dr. Anthony Lori and James Pinzino, President of IAM Books,  were appointed to a committee to select and award a certificate that recognized their contribution  and demonstrated to the recipient(s) that their contribution was understood and appreciated.

The Lyceum looks forward to next year’s event.


Source: Pirandello Lyceum 2/28/2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Music from East Boston's Stiletto





Who am I?


I am Stiletto! I am true to myself and I own it. I am a true patriot, fighting through music, for our rights, our history, our children’s and grandchildren’s future. My hero and inspiration is my dad, a WWII Battle of the Bulge U.S. Army veteran. He taught me about life, love and respect. I was adopted at birth, so I have always had an 'on the outside looking in' perspective at life. I have been described as 'TNT in the key of C'. My music brings unity, not division, law and order, not chaos. I am pro-life, pro-Trump, and God fearing. I support and back law enforcement and all first responders. I believe in our Constitution, and the right to bear arms. I am old school and live life fearlessly with passion. I have been down the dark road and back, and even revived from the dead. I want everyone to join the race…. The Human Race!! My music reflects life’s journeys, emotions, reality and truths. I am a small town Eastie girl from Massachusetts with a tough hard edge, yet still enough heart to love. Tap into the movement……The Universe is Calling.

Friday, February 22, 2019

East Boston Athletic Board 3rd Annual Cornhole Tournament: April 13


Join us for the 3rd EBAB Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the Salesians' Boys and Girls Club!

We will be hosting a Bracket Style Tournament with Cash Prizes for the top four places. Each team is allowed 2 players, and must register through this Google Form: https://goo.gl/forms/zq2t7POimprtZ54v2

The Google Form is to keep track of attendees and make brackets in advanced. The tournament fee $100 per team and must be paid on or before Monday, March 25, 2019 to the EBAB Member you select in the drop-down box on the form.

You may also choose to pay via PayPal at this link: https://paypal.com/webapps/hermes?token=9SW66297DK354283U&useraction=commit&mfid=1549913740865_37cc7c316a62c


Please note there is an additional $5.00 processing fee. — Food will be provided and there will be a cash bar! If you plan on enjoying yourself, please plan on walking or getting a ride, as we are always concerned about safety! 



Saturday, February 16, 2019

Libertarians release statement on William Weld's GOP candidacy

On February 15, the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts released this statement on William Weld's decision to seek the GOP nomination for President in 2020.


This morning, Former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld announced an Exploratory Committee for seeking the Presidential Nomination of the Grand Old Party. The Libertarian Party of Massachusetts offered a response this afternoon. LPMass Chairman Lyons said:

“As libertarians, we agree with many of the concerns that Governor Weld highlighted in his criticisms of the President, the Two Old Parties, and the nature of political discourse in general. The Governor had been an ally of the Libertarian Party on these issues for the past three years, and longer in an unofficial capacity.

This morning, the strategy embraced by Governor Weld and the Libertarian Party diverged, but the Libertarian Party's purpose remains to reduce the threatening power of Government and to maximize the individual liberty to control one’s own destiny. I wish the Governor the best of luck on his Republican excursion, and the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts thanks him for his time and contributions to our efforts.

I hope that while he is in the Republican Party he will continue to work to free the minds of those individuals he described as having “Stockholm Syndrome” with the incumbent, and that he will remind them that the “Party of Lincoln”, of Theodore Roosevelt, and of Ronald Reagan that once stood for Liberty, now primarily stands for divisiveness which conquers us all. The Libertarian Party of Massachusetts will welcome all those who flee the Republican Party in protest of the direction of the new GOP regardless of the outcome of the elections.

Similarly, we would like to extend the same offer to disenfranchised Democrats who are now experiencing what the GOP went through in 2016- a crowded field of aristocrats whom are seeking to improve their own station in life by climbing the political ladder and our grandchildren will be the ones who inherit trillions of dollars of National Debt because of the Two-Party system that enables these radical demagogues to seize control of our future.

The Libertarian Party, as always, is here to remind voters there is a third way, a better way, and that our primary political position is to empower you, the individual, to make the choices that are best for you without interference from any Party, especially political parties. If you believe in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, you should consider joining the Libertarian Party today. Together we will create a better tomorrow."

In Liberty,


Jeff Lyons

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Mayor Walsh recommends 56 projects, $34 million for inclusion in CPA funding

BOSTON - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City's Community Preservation Committee (CPC) this week recommended 56 projects, totaling more than $34 million, for inclusion in the fall funding round for the Community Preservation Act (CPA). The CPC held a public meeting on Monday, February 11, 2019, to vote on the Mayor’s recommended slate of projects for funding. The projects will be submitted to the Boston City Council for approval with an anticipated vote from the Council in March.

After a thorough review process of the applications received, the following projects are being recommended for funding:

    Citywide

        $5,000,000 to combat displacement through the purchase of existing rental units to income-restrict them as permanently affordable housing via the Acquisition Opportunity Program (AOP).

        $3,800,000 to provide funding for a program offered by the Boston Home Center that will assist income-qualified first-time homebuyers.

    Allston

        $25,000 to renovate Ringer Park behind the West End House for the thousands of youth they serve each year with installation of an irrigation system, sod, and a drinking fountain.

    Back Bay

        $420,000 to stabilize, restore, and weatherproof the First Baptist Church steeple.

        $200,000 to restore the stairs and fenced-off main entrance of the Arlington Street Church on Boylston Street.

    Beacon Hill

        $27,000 for a seed grant that will support the planting and management of the Esplanade trees, a key component of the City’s effort to support and expand the its tree canopy.

    Boston Harbor

        $365,000 to repoint the brick on the Salah Hall building on Thompson Island used for STEM education by thousands of Boston Public Schools students.

    Brighton

        $1,000,000 to build 12 deed-restricted affordable condominiums on formerly City-owned land (90 Antwerp Street), which will be available to first-time homebuyers who earn up to 80% of Area Median Income, which the federal government currently deems to be approximately $75,000 for a family of three. 

        $200,000 for a restoration project that will turn the Charles River Speedway buildings into a gathering space with dining facilities, retail shops, an outdoor plaza, and historic features.

    Charlestown

        $500,000 to restore the exterior of Memorial Hall, a 1791 mansion serving veterans and the larger community, and home of Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War.

        $20,000 to add new sod, benches, and fencing for Kelly McGoff Park, a public park maintained by a mixed-income homeowners association.

        $6,000 to add informational signs to the Gardens for Charlestown, the only community garden in Boston always open to the public.

    Chinatown

        $290,000 to repair the exterior and prevent water damage in the Chinatown Immigrant Heritage Center at the old Josiah Quincy School building.

        $100,000 to renovate the volleyball and basketball courts of the Reggie Wong Memorial Park, Chinatown’s only active park space.

    Dorchester

        $850,000 for a new playground for the Joseph Lee K-8 School that offers a specialized program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

        $790,000 to complete the renovation of Garvey Playground with active use areas and a community-requested dog park.

        $600,000 to build a new park for family day care programs and community events adjacent to Lena Park’s affordable housing units. 

        $500,000 to renovate the Pierce Building at Uphams Corner, a cornerstone of the new arts district.

        $460,000 to purchase three lots for a new park and playground at Norwell Street with a public-private partnership and a neighborhood association.

        $140,000 to plan and design a new park in the center of Grove Hall, across from the Jeremiah E. Burke High School, Grove Hall Branch Library, and Grove Hall Community Center.

        $100,000 to design the renovation of Coppens Square with a fountain, plaza, and landscaping.

        $75,000 to the Farmers Collaborative to renovate an empty lot to grow food with raised beds, an arbor, and fruit trees near Fields Corner.

    Downtown

        $350,000 to help with major repairs to HVAC and other systems at the Old State House, one of the oldest and most visited sites on the Freedom Trail.

        $315,000 to restore 17th and 18th century artifacts from beneath Faneuil Hall showing Boston’s role in the transAtlantic slave trade, works of local artisans, and an emerging global marketplace.

    East Boston

        $950,000 to the Grace Apartments development to build 42 units of low-income elderly housing, including five units of housing for the homeless.

        $735,200 to the proposed Aileron development to build seven housing units, including four affordable units. 

        $600,000 for a new playground at the East Boston Early Education Center. 

        $575,000 to restore the Nantucket Lightship, Boston’s only floating museum. 

        $500,000 to create a new park to connect the renovated Boston Housing Authority Orient Heights development to the surrounding neighborhood.

        $300,000 to build a fully accessible dock and dock house, creating access to the waterfront for youth and an adaptive sailing program at LoPresti Park across from the Boston Housing Authority Jeffries Point development.

    Hyde Park

        $450,000 to build an outdoor exercise station and playground at the Thomas M. Menino YMCA for public and YMCA use.

        $350,000 to repair the roof and exterior masonry features to stop water damage for the First Congregational Church of Hyde Park, now the Hyde Park Seventh-day Adventist Church.

        $20,000 to create a sitting area on the library grounds with benches and landscaping, which will include the restoration and display of historic cornices, at the Hyde Park Library.

    Jamaica Plain

        $498,000 to build a new playground adjacent to the Martha Eliot Health Center,  Boston Housing Authority Mildred Hailey Apartments, and Jackson Square shops.

    Kenmore/Fenway

        $400,000 to complete the design for Charlesgate Park, a 13-acre historic park, part of the Frederick Law Olmsted original Emerald Necklace, that will transform the area and connect the Back Bay Fens and the Charles River. 

    Mattapan

        $1,000,000 to the Morton Station Village development of 40 units of mixed-income housing including nine deed-restricted home ownership units that will be available to households earning 80-100% AMI, or from about $77,000 to $97,000 for three persons. The Morton Station Village will also feature a serenity park to honor the memory of the late Steven P. Odom, and is being built on formerly City-owned land.   

        $680,000 to renovate the field and track in Norfolk Park, adjacent to the Mildred Avenue K-8 School. The playground will also be redone. 

        $135,000 to turn vacant land on Flint Street into an urban farm called Astoria Farm for education and fresh local produce.

    Mission Hill

        $927,500 to Terrace Street Artist Condominiums to build 13 home ownership units with live/work space for qualified artists earning between  70 - 80% AMI, or between $60,000 and almost $70,000 for a two-person household.

        $850,000 to Sociedad Latina to restore exterior features, bay windows, masonry, and roof for 1912 townhouse serving thousands of Latino youth.

    North End

        $1,960,500 to the Knights of Columbus to reuse their headquarters to create 23 affordable apartments for seniors, including three units of housing for homeless seniors, and a neighborhood meeting space.

        $1,000,000 to add sea level rise mitigation features to Langone Park to prevent flooding and create a resilient waterfront as part of the City’s Resilient Boston Harbor and Climate Ready Downtown plans. 

    Roslindale

        $500,000 to create a green link between Roslindale Square and Forest Hills with a refurbished gateway at Arboretum Road near the Boston Housing Authority Archdale development. 

    Roxbury

        $1,750,000 to Bartlett Station Lot D for construction of 52 units of housing, including 42 units restricted to Bostonians over the age of 55 who earn at or below 80% of AMI, or $69,000 for a two person household . This development also , includes 5 units of housing for formerly homeless Bostonians.Lot D is part of the Bartlett Station redevelopment of the former MBTA bus yard in Dudley Square, and is being built on City-controlled land. $1,000,000 to the Rio Grande Project, a proposal for a 25-story residential and commercial tower that will include 193 market-rate units and 48 affordable income-restricted units to those earning below 50% of Area Median Income, or less than $50,000 for a household of three persons. 

        $850,000 to Abbotsford, home to the National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAAA) or “the Big Head Museum,” to replace the roof and restore masonry to make building weather tight.

        $850,000 to the Dr. Marie E. Zakrzewska Building to restore windows on the first three floors of this historic building, so that the Dimock Center can create a residential recovery program in the space for men dealing with substance use disorder.

        $500,000 to the former St. James African Orthodox Church for acquisition and emergency stabilization of the building for reuse as affordable housing and community and artist workspace.

        $150,000 to create a green link with new stairs, path, and plaza connecting Highland Park, Marcella Field, and Jackson Square T station.

        $100,000 to St. Luke's for emergency stabilization for Ralph Adam Cram structure that will become a small arts venue.

        $45,000 to Charles St. AME to support a conditions assessment and emergency patching to prevent further water damage from the roof prior to the development of a full restoration plan.

        $35,000 to Paula Titus Park to design a new passive park on a vacant parcel. 

    South End

        $400,000 to Union United to complete accessibility features for a community food pantry and meeting space.

        $146,000 to Peters Park for the completion of the park renovation, which will include path restoration and athletic features for local youth sports.

        $136,500 to Haley House to complete fire safety features in the historic townhouse used for a daily soup kitchen, job training program, and volunteer housing.

    West End:

        $400,000 to Old West for tower restoration of 1806 building designed by Asher Benjamin.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT (CPA)


By adopting the CPA in November 2016, the City has created a Community Preservation Fund. This fund is capitalized primarily by a one percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills that began in July 2017. The City will use this revenue to fund initiatives consistent with CPA guidelines: affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and public recreation.

As part of the City's plan to oversee the investments made through the adoption of the CPA, Mayor Walsh worked in partnership with the Boston City Council to form a Community Preservation Committee (CPC) that will study community preservation needs and make recommendations on how CPA funds should be allocated. The CPC is made up of nine members, five of whom are representative of the City's boards and commissions and four of whom are appointed by the City Council. The funding of any project requires a recommendation from the committee and appropriation by the City. For more information, visit the Community Preservation webpage.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Mayor Walsh appoints Dr. Lorna Rivera to the Boston School Committee

BOSTON - Thursday, January 31, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the appointment of Dr. Lorna Rivera to the Boston School Committee, the governing body of the Boston Public Schools (BPS). Dr. Lorna Rivera is the Director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development & Public Policy, and an Associate Professor of Women's & Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

"A Boston Public Schools parent and an accomplished educator with an extensive background in student advancement and strengthening diverse communities, Dr. Rivera is a wonderful addition to the Boston School Committee," said Mayor Walsh. "I look forward to Lorna's valuable contributions to our students and schools as we continue to work together to create more opportunities for all students."

The seven-member Boston School Committee is responsible for defining the vision, mission and goals of the Boston Public Schools; establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget; hiring, managing and evaluating the Superintendent; and setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement.

"As the parent of a 5th grader at the Charles Sumner elementary school, I am honored to serve on the school committee, and am really looking forward to working with others to create a better future for our youth," said Dr. Rivera. "I am also an educator and education researcher who is committed to advancing Boston Public Schools' and Mayor Walsh's goals to address opportunity gaps and to support the needs of Boston's diverse student populations."

"I am very happy to welcome another parent to the Boston School Committee," said Michael Loconto, Chairperson of the Boston School Committee.  "Dr. Rivera's deep experience with the Boston Public Schools will allow her to hit the ground running and continue supporting district-wide work to close opportunity and achievement gaps."

Currently, Dr. Rivera is working on the Latinx Student Success Initiative, a partnership with Bunker Hill Community College, to improve retention and graduation rates for Latinx college students. Dr. Rivera also works with the Talented & Gifted (TAG) and Proyecto Alerta afterschool programs that serve Latinx bilingual students in the Boston Public Schools. She has extensive community service and co-founded a national nonprofit, WE LEARN, dedicated to advancing women's literacy. Dr. Rivera serves on the Advisory Boards of the Center to Support Immigrant Organizing and the Latino Education Institute, and on the Board of Directors for the Hyde Square Task Force, an arts-based youth development organization serving Afro-Latinx youth in Boston.  

Dr. Rivera's family is originally from Puerto Rico, and she was raised in Chicago and attended Chicago Public Schools. Dr. Rivera has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from DePaul University, state of Illinois licensure in Language Arts & Social Studies grades K-9, and a Masters and Doctorate in Sociology from Northeastern University. Between 1994 and 2001 she taught G.E.D. classes and also was the director of the Adult Learners Program at Project Hope in Dorchester.  

In 2001, Dr. Rivera joined the faculty at UMass Boston and her research focuses on women's and adult literacy programs, racial/ethnic health disparities, and the education of Latinx students and immigrant students. She is the author of many scholarly articles and the award-winning book, Laboring to Learn: Women's Literacy & Poverty in the Post-Welfare Era (2008, University of Illinois Press). Her research has been funded by the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the National Academy of Education, the Spencer Foundation, National Center for Family Literacy, and National Institutes on Health.  

Dr. Rivera has lived in the Jamaica Plain and Roslindale Square neighborhoods for over 27 years, and she is the proud parent of a ten-year old boy who attends the Charles Sumner Elementary School. Dr. Rivera also formerly served as the Co-Chair of the Parent Council at the Sumner school. She lives in Roslindale.

The seven members of the School Committee are Boston residents appointed by the Mayor of Boston to serve four-year staggered terms. Mayor Walsh made these appointments based on a list of candidates recommended by a 13-member Citizens Nominating Panel composed of parents, teachers, principals, and representatives of business and higher education. Under the legislation that established the appointed School Committee, "the Mayor shall strive to appoint individuals who reflect the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the city." In December, Mayor Walsh appointed Quoc Tran and reappointed Jeri Robinson to the Boston School Committee.

Source: Mayor's Press Office 1/31/2019

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Boston receives $26.3 million federal HUD grant for homelessness

(BOSTON - Wednesday, January 30, 2019) - Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today the City of Boston has received nearly $26.3 million in federal funding in support of Boston's homelessness programs. Boston was awarded the funding as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the results of its annual 2018 McKinney Homeless Continuum of Care funding competition.

"Our city's success depends on providing opportunities for all of our residents, making sure everyone has a safe, stable home and the support they need to succeed," said Mayor Walsh. "These funds will help us do the work of getting homeless Bostonians access to critical services and housing. I want to thank HUD and the entire Massachusetts delegation for their continued support."

"We commend Mayor Walsh and his team, along with our local homeless service providers for their dedicated efforts towards helping our homeless neighbors find stable housing," said David Tille, HUD New England Regional Administrator. "HUD is proud to provide this funding to the City of Boston team to assist in furthering their plan to end chronic and veteran homelessness."

The Walsh Administration, which has made ending homelessness a priority, will apply this HUD funding to programs that support Boston's Way Home, the City's plan to end chronic and veteran homelessness. Through the efforts of Boston's Way Home, Boston has ended chronic veteran homelessness, and has housed 1,600 formerly homeless people.

The programs funded cover a range of services and supports, including housing search, the creation of housing for chronically homeless people, rapid re-housing funds, and stabilization services to allow newly housed chronically homeless individuals to receive the supports they need to succeed.  

Organizations funded include Bay Cove, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Casa Myrna, FamilyAid, Heading Home, HomeStart, Kit Clark Senior Services, Project Hope, Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, Metro Housing Boston, New England Center and Home for Veterans, Pine Street Inn, St. Francis House, and Victory Programs.

During Mayor Walsh's inauguration in 2018, he announced the launch of Boston's Way Home Fund, which has a goal of raising over $10 million over the course of four years to create 200 new units of supportive, sustainable, long-term housing for chronically homeless men and women. After one year, $5 million has already been pledged in support of this effort.

On Wednesday, Mayor Walsh will lead Boston's 39th annual Homeless Census. Mayor Walsh and City and State officials, civic, faith, non-profit and business leaders and volunteers as they canvass Boston for the City's annual homeless census. The census will record information about all homeless individuals in Boston, including those who are  living on the street, in emergency shelters, domestic violence programs, transitional housing, and in specialized programs serving homeless youth and veterans.

The Continuum of Care is a federal program designed to end homelessness by supporting community-wide systems of care, providing funding not only to state and local partners, but also to nonprofit providers who are part of the Continuum. This approach creates a more strategic use of resources, while improving coordination and integration between programs. It has also been found to improve data collection and performance measurement; and has the benefit of allowing communities to tailor programs to the particular resources, organizations, and challenges of that community.

The application for the 2018 Continuum of Care competition was submitted by the Supportive Housing Division of the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development, in partnership with all of the organizations that make up Boston's Continuum of Care, including the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Pine Street Inn, HomeStart, and many other housing providers across the City. The application consisted of hundreds of data points and narratives about Boston's system and programs, along with 45 individual project applications to support thousands of the most vulnerable Bostonians on a path to permanent, sustainable supportive housing. So far, HUD has only announced Continuum of Care funding for renewal projects, and expects to announce a second round of funding for new programs at a later date. The City has applied for an additional $3 million in funding for new programs.

For more information on Boston's plan to end homelessness in Boston,  
please visit here. 

Source: Mayor's Press Office

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Mayor Walsh and Boston Tax Help Coalition Kick Off 2019 Free Tax Prep Services

BOSTON - Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined the Boston Tax Help Coalition and other community partners at the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment to highlight free tax preparation services available to low- and moderate-income Boston residents. The Coalition provides free tax preparation services at more than 30 partner locations throughout the City to help residents who earn $55,000 or less per year maximize the Earned Income Tax Credit and claim the full refunds they are due.

"The free, IRS-certified tax services offered by the Boston Tax Help Coalition are an opportunity for hard-working Boston residents to save money," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank our dedicated volunteers who make these efforts possible, and encourage the thousands of residents who are eligible for these services to take advantage of them."  

The Coalition serves approximately 13,000 taxpayers per year and last year enlisted hundreds of volunteers to return $24 million in refunds and credits directly to taxpayers.

"As a business owner, I have saved a lot of money on having my taxes prepared at the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment," said Cynthia Jones, founder and CEO of The Women's Group of New England. "I am now moving forward and growing my business. I am so thankful for the staff at the Center. They were there when I needed them."

In addition to tax preparation, the Coalition provides clients with other services to improve their financial health. For example, the Coalition connects taxpayers to Bank On Boston, an initiative launched by Mayor Walsh that helps residents identify banking services that are safe, affordable, and non-predatory. Trained financial guides also offer taxpayers the Financial Check-Up, a key component of Boston Builds Credit, the City's free credit building program. A Financial Check-Up is a one-on-one session in which a taxpayer can review his or her credit score and obtain personalized credit-building strategies. The Boston Tax Coalition offers Financial Check-Ups at 15 tax sites, up from 12 last year.

New this year, the Coalition will also be using the Financial Check-Up as an outreach tool to identify taxpayers who aspire to homeownership. These taxpayers will be eligible for Homebuyer Readiness workshops and individualized financial coaching and credit building assistance to help them work toward that goal. These services will be available at the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment, with additional workshops offered through community partners across the city.

These homeownership services are made possible by a $175,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation as part of the organization's NeighborhoodLIFT program, a $6.75 million commitment to boost sustainable homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods.

"Wells Fargo is passionate about helping individuals, families and communities achieve their goals," said Jennifer Crampton of Wells Fargo's Community Lending and Investment division. "These local initiative grants will help most Boston area residents who want to become homeowners - a goal that aligns perfectly with the NeighborhoodLIFT program. We are excited to work together to make lasting changes for the better."

"The beginning of the tax season is our favorite time of year," said Alan Gentle, manager of the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment. "We see many residents who have been getting their taxes done with us for years. Plus, we're able to connect taxpayers with other services offered by our bilingual staff - from financial coaching to small business assistance to, now, homebuyer assistance."

The Boston Tax Help Coalition is part of the Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment.

About the Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh formed the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) in 2014 to connect City residents with access to credit building programs, financial education, individualized financial coaching, and income support. Residents who seek to improve their financial situation can use these tools to achieve economic well-being and pursue financial prosperity. OFE is an affiliate of the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development and the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

Monday, January 28, 2019

What's Happening at the East Boston Branch of the Public Library: February Events Listing

Concert-Box Not Found: Stories Saturday, February 2nd at 3 p.m.
Box Not Found: Stories, comes to to the East Boston Public Library!  This performance is open to the public at no cost.  This program will feature brand new works by composers Camila Agosto, Ariel Friedman and Ian Wiese. Each composer has written a piece inspired by a story that has a significant impact in their personal life.
  • Camila Agosto: Paper House
  • Ariel Friedman: Joshua Fit The Battle
  • Ian Wiese: What a Fast Little Engine! : Scenes from ‘Choo-Choo’
  • Natalie Calma: going places
Paper Lanterns, Tuesday, February 5 at 4 p.m.
The Lunar New Year starts February 5.  Many families decorate for the new year by hanging lanterns around their house or marching through the neighborhood carrying lanterns. Come make your own paper lantern and celebrate the Lunar New Year. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

ESOL Intermediate English Class
Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30 to 1 p.m.
Starting on February 6th
This is an adult ESL Intermediate English class for people with some English experience. You will review grammar basics, learn how to offer and request advice, talk about future hopes and plans, and fix common mistakes in English pronunciation! Registration is required. To register and for more information, please visit us, call 617.859.2446, or email literacyservices@bpl.org.
Classes are free.

Cooking for Babysitters
Thursdays, 2/7, 2/14, 2/28, & 3/7, 4 p.m.
Join us at the East Boston Branch Library as Debbie Alsebai (Kidz Cooking with Miss Debbie) teaches us how to cook some healthy and delicious meals perfect to prepare when babysitting!  This is part of a babysitting series. Dates for upcoming Babysitting Class presented by 4H will be announced shortly.
Space is limited to 15 kids, so please call the library at 617.569.0271 or speak to a librarian to sign up. THIS PROGRAM IS FOR KIDS IN GRADES 6-12 ONLY!!!


USCIS Immigration Information Session:
February 8th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration officer will be at the branch to answer questions on immigration issues including eligibility requirements; filing procedures; finding knowledgeable, low-cost and safe legal advice and how to avoid scams. This is a cooperative effort of USCIS, BPL and the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement.


Small Biz Basics: Flyers, Menus, and More
February 12th at 10:30 a.m.
Do you have a small business or side hustle that you'd like to promote? Don't have the time to learn graphic design? Canva is a free tool you can use to make fancy flyers, menus, and more without breaking a sweat.
You'll need basic computer/internet skills and a list of ideas and we will go over Canva basics and craft one item to print and take.
??Registration is recommended. Please RSVP to jidakaar@bpl.org.


Caravan Puppets
Friday, February 22nd at 3 p.m.
Caravan Puppets has delighted countless children and families throughout the USA, Canada and Japan.  “The Four Season Bear” is a delightful tale of the year of a young bear with memorable songs, beautiful puppets, storytelling and audience participation.  Funding for this program was made possible by the Highland Street Foundation.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Public meeting on Feb 5 to discuss Eversource project change


NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a Eversource Energy ("Eversource") has submitted to the Energy Facilities Siting Board ("Siting Board") a Project Change Filing in connection with an Eversource electric transmission and substation project ("Project"), which the Siting Board approved on December 1, 2017.



The approved Project includes two new underground transmission lines that will travel through Everett, Chelsea, and East Boston, and a new electric substation ("Substation") in East Boston. Eversource now seeks approval from the Siting Board to modify a portion of the approved Project. The Company proposes to move the site of the new Substation approximately 190 feet to the west of its original location. Both the original site and the proposed new site for the Substation are located within a larger parcel of land owned the City of Boston in the East Eagle area of East Boston.

The Siting Board will be reviewing the impacts of relocating the Substation as proposed by Eversource. The remainder of the Project, including the new transmission lines, is not under review in this Project Change proceeding.
The attached legal notice describes Eversource's proposed Project Change. The notice also explains the opportunities for public participation in the review process. 

Please read this notice carefully. (FOR THE FULL NOTICE click here.)

The Siting Board is a state agency that will review the Company's proposed relocation of the Substation. The Siting Board will conduct a public comment hearing beginning at 7:00 p.m. on February 5, 2019 at East Boston High School, 86 White Street, East Boston, MA 02128 to receive public comment on the proposed change to the approved Project. 

A Spanish/English and a Portuguese/English interpreter will be present. 

At the public comment hearing, the Company will provide information on the proposed relocation of the Substation, and the Siting Board will present information on its review process and receive comments and questions from members of the community. 

All comments are important to the Siting Board; anyone with an interest in the Project Change is encouraged to attend the public comment hearing.

Individuals and groups affected by the Company's Project Change Filing who wish to be involved in the Siting Board review process may request to participate as either intervenors or limited participants. Such requests must meet the criteria outlined in the attached legal notice. The deadline to make such a request is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. 

Questions concerning participation will also be answered at the public comment hearing, and also can be answered by the Presiding Officer, whose contact information is below.

Copies of the Company's Project Change Filing are available for public inspection at the locations listed.


  • Office of the Boston City Clerk, Boston City Hall, One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201

  • East Boston Public Library, 365 Bremen Street, East Boston, MA 02128

If you have any questions about the Siting Board's review process, please feel free to contact the Presiding Officer, M. Kathryn Sedor, Esq., at (617) 305-3525, or at Kathryn.Sedor@mass.gov. The Siting Board's mailing address is: One South Station, Boston, MA 02110.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

ThreadTech Announces Grand Opening of East Boston Headquarters

EAST BOSTON, MA - Boston-based fashion hub, ThreadTech, will open its doors on Thursday, January 24th, from 6:30-8:30pm with an official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 7pm.

Occupying a historic former cotton mill, Maverick Mills, the event will be a night to remember. Staged by modern & contemporary Italian furniture manufacturer, VIP Saloti, and office furniture provided by Wayfair, the event will feature light cocktails and a tour of ThreadTech’s facilities, which will be home to Fashion Group International of Boston.

ThreadTech takes Fashion Designers from design to market, faster. Apparel companies can develop, produce, sell and distribute their clothing brands in one place. The first of its kind, ThreadTech offers deep experience in clothing development and apparel production.  

“The former Maverick Mills building is the perfect home for ThreadTech as it brings the rich history of textiles in New England – a process that completely transformed the way clothes are produced,” explains Donielle Martorano McKeever, Founder at ThreadTech with over 18 years experience in the fashion industry including production, mentoring, consulting and product development. “Now, over 60 years later, ThreadTech’s business model is again reinventing the term American-made, and we are thrilled to finally introduce our headquarters to the Boston community.”

ThreadTech is located at 175 William F McClellan Hwy, East Boston. 

The property has ample parking and is located minutes from Logan International Airport, Downtown Boston, public transportation and major highways. 

To learn more about ThreadTech’s services visit threadtechboston.com or reach out to ThreadTech’s VP of Sales, Thom Laub, at sales@threadtechboston.com.