CSANA October 4, 2017 – Minutes
Carol Blair convened meeting at 7 pm. 17 people attended.
Minutes of September 6, 2017 meeting approved.
Treasurer’s report approved.: Expended $560.25 on block party (some bills not yet received), and took in $616.49 (cash donations and raffle income). Current balance: $2,799.14. Donors received thank you notes and tax-exempt receipt.
Kyndal has begun to energize CSANA’s Facebook page, and has also created a Twitter handle: @ChesterSquare
September 9th Block Party successful: 62 people signed in; new contact info for 23 people; donations mitigated expenditures to a large extent; Carol provided list of contributors (over 30 individuals plus almost 20 businesses and institutions – see attached). “We can start planning next block party April 1” Nick says.
Michelle reported that people at block party, responding to ideas for the park, liked the following: play area, crosswalk to join two halves of park, lighting, game tables, art, seating, master planting plan. About 30 people signed up for Friends of Chester Park. Kyndal has arranged for Marchelle Jacques-Yard (Boston Parks Dept) to join us in November to talk about how a friends group might work.
Sara and Alyssa volunteered to co-chair a “cookie swap” event in December. Lauren offered that it could be held at Dane House (SE Historical Society’s headquarters on Chester Square). Other events were proposed but did not inspire a leader to step forward.
Eric Hoagland, who has entered into an agreement to buy The Alexandra, spoke about the challenges of preserving the building’s façade and developing the site. In order to make sense to investors, he believes he would need to build up, perhaps to 20 stories. Mr. Hoagland proposes to build apartments, rather than condos, again, for investors. South End Historical Society provided a list of priorities for preserving the facade. After Mr. Hoagland’s presentation, discussion identified several areas of concern and specific points of agreement, and voted that the president should articulate these in a letter to Mr. Hoagland summarizing the presentation and CSANA’s response. (see letter below)
Announcements: October 7 Unity Cookout; October 10 Homelessness & Recovery Working Group; October 21st House Tour (SEHS); October 25 Hubway workshop; October 27th district 7 city council candidates Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center; November 1 CSANA monthly meeting; and, for aircraft noise complaints, call 617-561-3333 (24/7)
Meeting adjourned: 9:15 PM
October 5, 2017
Thank you for coming to CSANA’s October 4 meeting to introduce yourself, and for taking the time to answer our questions. As of now, we understand
• You have an agreement, the terms of which are confidential, to buy The Alexandra from Church of Scientology.
• You are in “due diligence” mode for the next few months, exploring options, feasibility and needed approvals.
• Your experience is with mixed uses, mostly residential.
• You plan to restore the façade of The Alexandra.
• Your main entrance and elevator would be on the Ivory bean site.
• You will seek tax credits/grants for historic preservation.
• To make a profit, you believe you’ll need to build higher than the historic building.
We hope you’ll return to our meeting soon, as your plan takes shape. We look forward to seeing how the project evolves in response to the peculiarities of this very special location. In the meantime, as you engage with your prospective partners, we’d like you to consider the following:
• South End Historical Society has provided you with a careful description of priorities for The Alexandra (attached here), and a rendering of the restoration proposed by the current owner.
• The Alexandra is taller than its neighbors on both Washington Street and Massachusetts Avenue – all historic buildings in the South End Landmarks District. Your proposal to add height is something we will have to consider very carefully.
• Apartments or condominiums? Compact units with shared amenities? Ground floor retail? Green space? Parking? These choices will factor heavily in expected benefits and burdens for the neighborhood.
• The first residents of The Alexandra relied on horse-drawn streetcars and local stables when they couldn’t walk to their destination. In the next century, motor vehicles had their way with the city. Streetcars were taken off the street and put on viaduct, rattling and banging in front of the Alexandra’s windows. A 20-ft tree-lined pedestrian promenade in the center of Massachusetts Avenue was lost when the street was rebuilt to carry Southeast Expressway traffic into Boston. Now, in the 21st century, urbanites are shifting to active and sharing modes of transportation. We must plan for pedestrian and bicycle travel, and for vehicles that spend more time moving people than parked. The transportation plan for your building should be proactive to maximize mobility while minimizing car ownership.
• Construction impacts – This dense rowhouse district gives you many neighbors and buildings that will feel the impacts of your construction as if they are part of it. A careful plan, delineating potential construction impacts and mitigation will be essential.
I hope this letter will help you to build a strong team of professionals and get them off to a good start. We very much want to work with you to make this a winning project.
Carol W Blair, President
Chester Square Area Neighborhood Association
Cc: Brian Golden, Boston Planning & Redevelopment Agency
Faisa Sharif, Mayors’ Office of Neighborhood Services
South End Landmarks Commission
Lauren Prescott, South End Historical Society
George Stergios, Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association
Brian Gokey, Hurley Blocks
Stephen Fox, South End Forum
From South End Historical Society: priorities for restoration of the Alexandra:
The rendering attached, which I believe was the first pass at it by the Church of Scientology, shows the rooftop cast-iron cresting restored. SEHS wants the cresting restored.
The other rooftop item SEHS would like to see restored is the stonework topped by a stone finial that is at the center of the front facade on Washington Street. If you look at the photo showing the Orange Line being built you can see how it looked originally. The lower portion of it still survives, and although it’s eroded you can see some initials there. We think the initials were H (Hotel), A (Alexandra), or W (Walworth), possibly in some combination with one or two superimposed over another. The missing level of stonework above the surviving piece is something SEHS thinks can be restored from photos.
The two metal-clad oriels on the Massachusetts Avenue side should be restored to original configuration with decorative metal panels above the second floor windows that is similar to the carved stone lintels above the other second floor windows. Also, one of the oriels (the one on the right) is missing the decorative ironwork at the bottom of the second floor window on the left oriel. That should be restored/replaced. They were probably painted to match the color of the buff sandstone that makes up the majority of the facade, possibly with some use of the reddish color that is used for the contrasting string courses in the stonework.
On the front façade, the two flat bays terminate at the top in a bracketed cornice that runs around the building at that level. The two bays are also topped by cast-iron cresting that is held in place by stone corner blocks. One of the cast iron cresting elements is entirely missing (the one on the left) and should be reproduced/replaced to match the surviving one.
On the street level there are two of the finest cast-iron storefronts in Boston. Years ago in an earlier refurbishment, they were cleaned up and painted in a striped color scheme using the buff and reddish colors of the stone. SEHS recommends that again. A consultant was used at the time to decide what was period appropriate. Victorian cast iron was often painted to match other elements of the building, usually stone, to get the look for less. Landmarks may have some information in their file for the building regarding who was used as the consultant. Similar cast ironwork surrounds the shuttered Massachusetts Avenue side entrance to the corner storefront and should be treated the same way.
The secondary entrance to the building (fire stairs?) is to the right of the storefront entrance on that side and is boarded up. Photographic records should be checked to see what that door looked like, as well as the main entrance door on Washington Street.
Lastly, the matter of the Ivory Bean house lot next door and how they want to treat that is certain to come up, but until something is proposed it’s difficult to comment on that.
CSANA Meeting Minutes – September 6, 2017
12 people attended. Sara reported $2817.75 in our account, reflecting reimbursements for spring plantings. August minutes were approved.
Nick reported on plans for Sept 9 block party:
– Carriageway on even-numbered side of park will be closed for games (Alyssa coordinating with Huntington Ave YMCA).
– “Savin Hillbillies”, led by Bill Wolczak (CEO of South End Community Health Center), will get us singing and toe-tapping.
– Jim will organize food (burgers, hot dogs, pizza and beverages).
– Several groups will have information tables and give-aways.
– Local businesses have donated 12 prizes for our raffle.
– Patricia has posters for store windows and street posts.
– Michelle & Josh will bring plans to engage neighbors in planning for Chester Park and the neighborhood: (1) historic Chester Square, (2) today’s neighborhood – a plan where you can add a post-it with your idea/suggestion, and (3) illustrations of ideas from other places, inviting feedback.
Hubway is adding more than 70 new bike share stations in Boston. If you have an idea about where to locate these, please consider attending the Hubway workshop Wed Oct 25 at 23 Wellington St 02118 (Tenants Development Corp). You may also go online: suggest.thehubway.com. For more information: boston.gov/bike-share-expansion.
Minutes of CSANA Meeting Aug 2, 2017
17 people attended.
Sept 9 block party (11am-3pm) – Nick and Patricia, co-chairs
Mentioned as having worked out well in the past: guest book (get addresses, emails for our newsletters), face-painting, music, tables for neighborhood institutions (So End Historical Society and BMC mentioned), game tables, yoga, blood pressure testing (BMC), yard signs to advertise event.
New/different suggested: north side (past few events have been on south side); use event to solicit input & support for neighborhood plan; organize friends of Chester Sq; Eldean volunteers to solicit donations from businesses; YMCA has offered gift certificates for a raffle as well as staff & equipment for games; close carriageway – let kids play in street; remove some parking for the day to feel the difference; draw/paint pavement to show possibilities; rain or shine (prepare alternate activities); Look for neighborhood musicians with energetic sound (Armani, Jon); reach out to neighboring N.A.s (Claremont, Hurley, Blackstone); Contact BPD when we have permit so they can bring sawhorses; Jim volunteers to help with food; water games; voter registration; ask businesses/restaurants for donations (cash, time, or products); door hangers to promote event, solicit volunteers from neighborhood.
Police Report indicates a rise in gang activity/gun violence
7/3: shooting mass ave (maybe drug related)
7/6: gun possession/threats outside of Checks Cashed
7/8: Mass Ave B&E car
7/20:Mass Ave & Washington Street—Robbery at ATM
7/27:Shot man on Northampton Street
7/30 Brandon Harris Way-guns shot
Call 911 to report concerns
South End Forum’s Homelessness & Recovery Working Group:
Patricia is working on architectural strategies to address challenges of the area.
Responding to Andrew Brand’s presentation on behalf of the Working Group, CSANA voted the following: “We support the efforts of the Homelessness and Recovery Working Group to develop a community values statement and a good neighbor policy to facilitate cooperation between service providers, their clientele, public safety providers and neighbors.”
Planning for Chester Square area: To engage more neighbors in the planning process, offer images of other places, historical maps/photos, and concept sketches to react to. Also try chalk to paint what you want on the ground, post-its to add comments/ideas. Put plans on CSANA website as well.
Ryan McCallister, Program Director, Victory House
Minutes of Meeting July 12, 2017
Thirteen attended. First item was outside the agenda and brought by a resident of Mass Ave about the shooting incident at 521 Mass Ave on July 3, 2017. Discussion referenced questions on whether drugs or gangs involved, did victims and shooter know each other and danger of stray shots causing harm. It was agreed that community police at D4 would be contacted to come to the next meeting and to obtain a copy of the police report.
Planning for Chester Park: ideas include event to draw residents to the park with programming; crosswalk between two halves of park; paint street to match 1917 plan; reduce cover (shrubs) near fountain, and close street for an event. May make sense to identify projects that make change in segments, to obtain small grants and budget items – perhaps from Community Preservation Act funds. Important to reach out to neighborhood to get as much input, and then buy-in, as possible. Publish plan on CSANA website, hold events to showcase planning and get input. Engage elected officials. (State Rep Byron Rushing was present and very helpful in this discussion.) Please email CSANA with ideas, comments.
Carol is in a Tremont Street safety working group to improve pedestrian safety. May seek alliance of Neighborhood Associations to pursue improvements for all of Tremont Street.
Shawmut Ave stop sign compliance: The lack of a stop line has been reported on 311. The lack of bump-outs at the Springfield intersection means stop signs are further from drivers’ line of sight than at preceding intersections.
Northampton St Truck traffic: We understand a traffic study was completed and will be provided to us.
Homelessness/Recovery Working Group: The City is preparing a day space for people who otherwise spend their days in public spaces. This new space will be behind the Southampton St shelter and will accept people who are often denied access to other shelters because they’re not sober or carry drugs, etc, or they decline to separate from a partner. This facility is will be a 6-month pilot project. Patricia and her design team have presented early finding s to the working group and will share these with CSANA at our August meeting.
Sewers and rodents: Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics will consult with us on rat/trash/sewer problems related to our alleys.
Proposed 223 Northampton St: We’ve had no response to our recent letter outlining objections.
District 7 [City Council] candidates will be invited to walk the neighborhood to better understand our issues.
Next meeting: August 2, 2017
Notes from June 7, 2017 CSANA Meeting
Treasurer’s report – no change.
Open discussion on Chester Park area’s physical environment/planning. Ideas included:
Creating a crosswalk to connect two sides of Chester park; draw attention to fountains
Accessibility to diverse needs
Climbing activities for children
Dog activities—also taking into consideration odor control and cleanup
Reducing drug activity and loitering by trimming or removing water fountain hedges and possibly installing a public safety camera in park
Bicycle parking near businesses and transit
Reduce parking on Mass Ave to create more greenspace &/or rapid bus right-of-way
Anchor/heart of neighborhood
Outdoor activities: yard sale, cookout, movies, kid friendly
Rodent control—due to mild winters, and possibly other factors, rat population is growing. Properly securing trash barrels can help. We need to get help from the City.
Airport Noise remains an issue. Construction on Logan runways is exacerbating the problem Planes are flying over the South End more often. Please continue reporting excessive noise to 617-561-3333.
A proposal from South End Forum to regulate/restrict stroller parking on sidewalks similarly to bicycles was reviewed. The proposal lacks input from stroller owners and is not consistent with allowances for sidewalk cafes (re: obstructing straight line pedestrian path).
Ryan McCallister, Program Director, Victory House
Minutes – CSANA Meeting May 3, 2017
Treasurers Report 2933.49 – Assistant Treasurer will be Eldean Allston.
New owners of Boston Flower Exchange building presented their vision: commercial center (non-residential), tech innovation center, possibly life science, retail, restaurants, and civic space. Unique, neighborhood inclusive, Inclusive of pedestrians and bicyclists, improve bussing and shuttle services. Day/night aspect and a space that is for “everyone”. Possible construction in one year. Create an exit and entrance off frontage road to reduce traffic (not definite). Improve Silver Line and Crosstown busses to include the new business area.
Henderson Foundation Grand (takes applications in May & Oct)
Problem areas to prioritize: trash, traffic, medians
Plantings, landscapes, park events, activities
What do we want to do in our park?
Children play area (kid friendly)
Holiday events (permanent)
Neighboring Neighborhood Associations (Hurley)
Activities, events, use of school and play area
WE ARE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO LEAD THE NEXT NEIGBHOORD EVENT AND FUNDRAISERS…ANY VOLUNTEERS???
Meeting Minutes April 5, 2017
Minutes of the March meeting were accepted.
Treasurer’s Report – Sara Mitchell: No expenditures or changes in last month. $200 is in the budget for neighborhood clean-ups ( spring and fall). and $400 is in the budget for plantings. She encouraged specific proposals for using those funds. Sara also said she will not be able to coordinate the Fall Festival. and recommended a committee be formed by the next meeting for planning whatever event we would like to have this summer or fall.
Report on the Addiction, Homelessness, Recovery Working Group meeting – the past meeting was mostly a presentation by the Boston Planning and Development Agency. There was also an proposal to place planters in the median of Massachusetts Ave. There will be an Open Meeting of the group on April 25 at 6:00 p.m. at Blackstone Community Center.
Presentation of the Now and There proposed art project by Kate Gilbert. The emphasis of the organization is with art for social change. Previous projects have been done in Dudley Square and elsewhere, and the books documenting these were passed around. The current proposed project will be by street artist, Ann Lewis, working with women who live at McGrath House at 699 Massachusetts Ave. They are seeking a large visible wall for the temporary art installation which would be up for 18 months and then be removed. They would like the support of the neighborhood association, especially to get approval to use the wall near Dunkin Donuts at 614 Massachusetts Ave. So far the property management company has refused. Other possible sites were discussed. The Landmarks Commission will review the proposed project. The question was raised whether the neighborhood has a say in this project. Bud offered to see if he could influence the property manager at 614 Mass. Ave. The association was supportive and would write a letter of general support.
Michelle’s Park Design – Computer visuals of the park pointing out gaps in the tree canopy. Recommendation to fill larger gaps in canopy with tall trees and fit in short ornamental or legacy trees in smaller open spaces, proactively in case some trees die. In order to get the specific trees we might request, we need to continue to develop a good relationship with the city parks department. We may also fundraise for special trees. A grant opportunity with the Henderson Foundation was mentioned with an application deadline in May Ideas for flowering bushes (forsythia, hydrangeas, etc.), hanging flower baskets, light post banners, entry signs, and flowers were discussed. Good to coordinate colors on the two sides of Mass. Ave. We decided to meet on Sat 14th at noon at 562 Mass Ave. to further develop a plan and goals and report at the next meeting. Some questions to address:
What do we want to see in 10 years in terms of trees, the canopy, the trees?
What plants are native, legacy that are historic or will thrive best in this area?
How can we feature the uniqueness of the parks, marking it as a special place?
Other action steps included a visit to the Arnold Arboretum (Michelle and Bud), asking a horticulturalist to visit our park for advice, and a trip to Peter’s flower market.
Spring Clean-up will be on Saturday, May 6th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Wheelbarrows are needed. Bud will check to make sure mulch is delivered to both sides. Proposal to plant at least two hydrangeas on each side. Alice Drew suggested planting flowers used in the Victorian period such as Foxgloves.
Door Hanger Tag Design – Includes a symbolic graphic, the CSANA name, and three upcoming events or meetings (with Spanish language version on back). Suggested both sides should have same layout/content. General design favorably received with minor changes and additions discussed, including a smaller size. Agreed to order up to $200 worth for Spring Clean-up advertising. Door Hanger design by Patricia, who will follow-up on suggested changes.
The Abbey Group and the Police Dept were not present
Next meeting is May 3rd.
Meeting Minutes March 1, 2017
Police Report by Officer Diaz:
Alarming knifepoint robbery @ Shawmut and Northampton. Suspect early 20’s or late teens, Caucasian.
Be cautious of activity in West Springfield Alley
Increase in B&E in apartments–consider adding an at home security system/front entrance camera.
Treasurer’s Report: No change since February 2017
Addiction, Homeless, & Recovery Working Group:
Boston Healthcare for the Homeless and Boston Public Health Commission are collaborating on issues and provided updates on their work.
Goals include: dispersing homeless to prevent loitering, space for clients to gather.
Short term strategies: day shelter, shelters within churches and other buildings to get people off the streets, provide public restrooms.
Next meeting will be March 21st
Spring Cleanup: 5/6:
Looking for brooms, shovels, bags, rakes, mulch from the City. Bud will ask Sam Chambers for these delivered to Chester Park.
Flowers possibly? Association members will reach out to local flower shopss.
Also, we are looking for a leader to spearhead this event
Arbor Day is on April 28th, close in time to clean up. —Should we ask for new trees and residents to care for them? BMC is responsible for-median that should have plants and will be contacted on this.
Door Hangers– we have a volunteer who can create door hangers. Looking for ideas for how to design them and what to put on them (some in Spanish, fun facts, upcoming events)
Alexandra Hotel– important to have a masterplan when negotiating with developers. We want to establish our vision as Washington Gateway is now.
Next meeting April 5, 2017—will utilize the first 30 minutes to go over Chester Park map and how we can revitalize the park.
Minutes – CSANA Meeting December 7, 2016 at Hampton House
Meeting began at 7:05 pm with introductions of attendees.
Minutes for November 9, 2016 meeting were reviewed and approved.
Sara Mitchell’s written report showed a balance of $2936.33, $69 expenses for fall clean-up, and $148.99 total donations through PayPal to date. Treasurer’s report approved.
BPD’s Wallace Tilford reported crime is down. Asked to follow up on a drive-by shooting on Mass Ave, the afternoon of October 10, Tilford said he would obtain the police report and get back to us.
Mark Carrig reported on Fall Clean-up and thanked Victory House and other neighbors who filled 151 leaf bags and collected other trash from the parks.
Katie Reed, staff for the South End Landmarks District, explained SELD Commission’s work is to preserve the historic character of the neighborhood. SELDC review is triggered by a building permit application or a citizen report. She provided examples of violations (exterior construction not allowed) and explained they don’t have resources to monitor conditions, so they need us to report violations. The City’s 311 system allows you to include a photo with your report. Several asked for better communication, noting a lack of response to reported violations. Ms Reed replied they are overwhelmed – staff and resources are insufficient to deal with current petitions and complaints. They hope to document the backlog to advocate for more resources. Bud and Mark agreed to inventory and report violations on their respective blocks, so we can begin to monitor the situation and work with SELDC to address violations over time. Ms Reed offered to come back and to provide information on the status of complaints upon request.
Nominations for officers for calendar year 2017: Carol Blair for President; Sara Mitchell for Treasurer; Bud Larievy for Vice President; and Michael Rodriguez for Secretary.
Recommendations from the South End Forum’s parking task force were reviewed together with comments emailed by residents. Discussion considered several issues, including potential for adding new demand to an overburdened situation, potential for abuse with new programs, parking for owners and employees of local businesses, need for accurate survey of existing parking. The recommendations were approved by a vote of three to two.
South End Forum’s working group to address addiction, recovery and homelessness is now meeting monthly.
Early morning aircraft noise has become a problem for the South End. Aircraft departing Logan (high thrust) fly low over the area beginning around 5am. Complaints to FAA and Massport are encouraged.
Meeting adjourned at 9:01 pm. Next meeting is January 4, 2017.
Minutes – Nov 9 – 155 Northampton St
Carol convened the meeting at 7 pm. Bobelle volunteered to take notes.
Minutes for the October meeting were reviewed and approved.
Sara reported our treasury now stands at $2936 plus $4.55. The last increment was a test of our new PayPal account. Sara will ask Julian to create link to PayPal from our website. Suggestions for fundraising included documenting the need/purpose of funds, considering both short- and long-term needs, suggesting an amount for annual membership, being clear that any amount helps, encouraging subscription-type donations, an end-of-year appeal, solicitation of both businesses and residents, a meeting devoted to developing a fundraising strategy.
Fall Clean-up is scheduled for Sat Nov 19. CSANA will reimburse Mark for leaf bags. Sara will mark banners for 10 am start and put them out. Ryan volunteered manpower and gloves from Victory House.
Officer Shulla reported a relatively light month on the police report. Several residents asked about a shooting incident on Mass Ave. Officer Shulla took down information and offered to get back to us.
Michelle Laboy described possibilities for a plan of the neighborhood that could be used to survey trees and plantings, and to support dialog around issues related to the historic/mature tree canopy, the understory of ornamental trees and shrubs, planter boxes, and street trees. Such a plan might also be used to review parking and other items of interest. After considering the merits of large table plans vs plans to be projected on the wall, the group agreed to start off with the latter (easier to update and less costly). Bud can provide a projector and Sara can provide a screen. Michelle offered to bring a beginning plan/inventory to January or February meeting.
Carol shared a chart showing the projects we’ve worked on this year and the many people who have invested their time and talent, asking that each of us consider our priorities and where we might be active in the next year. She noted three areas needing new commitment: note-taking, fundraising and event planning. Ryan offered to take notes for our meetings. Nominations for 2017 officers will be welcome at December meeting. Officers will be elected in January.
A brief conversation about winter lighting for Chester Park resolved to put white lights on the fountains, as last year.
CSANA Meeting Minutes – October 5, 2016
- Vision Zero plans were available for review. Carol summarized Massachusetts Ave improvements for pedestrian and cyclist safety, now in construction.
- Pedestrians crossing Washington St at Northampton now have a crosswalk, painted shortly after our September walk-through with City officials.
- Notes from the September meeting were approved.
- Sara Mitchell reported total Fall Fest expenses of $734.38. Year to-date expenses total $1519 and year-to-date fundraising has brought in $550. Treasurer’s report approved.
- Sara offered a budget of $1655 for next year ($1060 for three events, $400 for plantings, $100 for fliers/posters, $45 fees to Commonwealth of Massachusetts and $50 for contributions/appreciations. Budget approved.
- Noting a gap between income and expenses, the meeting considered raising the budget through Kickstarter. Douglass Williams (Mida Restaurant) offered to help.
- Fall festival report: about 150 people attended; 69 signed in; 28 gave address in neighborhood. 11 of these provided email address not already on our list. Neighbors in conversation, and working and relaxing together made the day a great success. Still, event organizers believe we should do more, next year, to promote the event to people who live in the Chester Square Area Neighborhood.
- Officer Shulla reviewed the most recent police report: Nothing out of the ordinary.
- The meeting agreed to support the Community Preservation Act – Question #5 of the Nov 8 ballot.
- Curb parking was discussed and action was deferred to a later meeting.
- The meeting voted to prepare a request to Boston Bikes for new bicycle parking posts, to be located in sidewalk along buildings (rather than in bricked area at end of Chester Park) and near businesses and transit where possible.
- Next CSANA meeting Wednesday, Nov 2 [since postponed to Nov 9, due to renovations at Hampton House].
Notes from Sept 7, 2016 Meeting of CSANA
Sara Mitchell reported we have received, to date, 2 business donations and one resident donation totaling $400. Current balance is 3445.71. Last year, we spent $1048.91. This year, we are more than half-way to spending that before the Fall Festival and fall clean-up.
Niles DaSilva suggested we may want to reach out to new residents and others who may not be aware of CSANA and agreed to work on preparing a “door hanger” to leave on doorknobs.
Logistics and assignments for FallFest were reviewed.
Concerning fall plantings, Bud Larievy will purchase plants and work with Mark Carrig to organize planting.
Alice Drew is watering the out-of-town side of the park and could use help.
Peter Borgemeister, architect for 526 Mass Ave, provided new plans for the garden at McAllister House and told us they await approval by Boston Water & Sewer Commission.
Bud volunteered to get together a petition for Comet Place one-way.
A walk-through of Northampton St with City officials to consider improvements is scheduled for Sept 12.
Bud, newly elected VP of Washington Gateway, reported they’ve established the Alexandra Hotel redevelopment and safety at Washington St & Mass Ave as a high priority.
Mark Carrig announced the fall clean-up would take place Nov 19. He’s requested 300 daffodils and a police detail. Mark also asked for a letter to support his request for two bicycle posts to be located in the end zone of Chester Park, similar to two existing posts at the other end. He told us the request had been disapproved by the Landmarks Commission and he hopes they’ll reconsider if neighborhood support can be documented. There was a short discussion concerning alternative locations, but no conclusion on the matter.
Carol Blair (10/1/ 2016)
Minutes for August 3, 2016
Sara Mitchell provided a written report indicating our account has $3,045.71. “Also, in response to our fundraising letter, distributed at our July meeting, we have received $50 donation (not yet deposited). I don’t believe the fund raising letter has been distributed widely. We now have the fall festival flyer, so that can be included with the letter. I suggested that we set a goal for raising $2000 this year as our spending has steadily gone up each year since the $1000 spent three years ago. This amount covers expenses for the year, fall and spring plantings, clean up activities and the Fall Festival. I encourage people to forward the letter and the flyer to their neighbors. We need to be forward looking as we are looking to do more projects and activities in the future. I feel that the more “buy in” we have from the residents and the businesses, the more we can accomplish in creating a vibrant neighborhood. I am thankful for all the in-kind and financial donations that association members have given so far.”
Fall Festival Sept 17 (12n-3pm)
Please come to the next festival organizing meeting, Tues Aug 9 at 6:30 pm in Chester Park (East/downtown side). Copies of the flyer were distributed (many thanks to Alice Drew!) fall festival flyer 2016
Comet Place 1-way signs have not yet appeared. Carol will contact Mayor’s office.
Vision Zero – Mass Ave from walk-through July 30: proposed changes include
Maximize pedestrian intervals
Synchronize South End signals with Back Bay signals
Time signals for 25 mph flow
Widen bike lane
Also talked about
Control boxes obstructing pedestrian path
Possibilities for dangerous intersection at Washington and Northampton
Bike lane on Northampton St (alternate route for cyclists. Also to slow NH traffic)
Garage behind 561 Mass Ave – see LtrComment2016Jul31LtHead
527 Mass Ave and proposed 223 Northampton – see comment2016Jul25LtrHead
1721 Washington St – see letterheadLiquor1721Was
Mida restaurant – Trouble with liquor license application. Sept/Oct opening expected
Chester Park – Mark Carrig will request bicycle parking U-s for even-numbered side, to mirror odd side.
Fundraising – Mark provided a list of businesses that might join in our campaign.
Next CSANA Meeting: Wed September 7
CSANA 7/6/2016 Meeting Minutes (Miren Urrutia)
Hampton House, 155 Northampton St – 7pm Meeting opened by Carol.
June meeting minutes were approved at 7:06pm.
Treasurer’s Report: Sara
Current Budget same as last month: $3045.71
Neighborhood Crime Report:
Officer Schoulla advised residents not to keep anything visible in your cars, including change in the console, to prevent break-ins.
Fall Event: Sara
- Sara facilitated an event planning meeting recently to discuss this year’s Fall Festival.
- Confirmed Date: Saturday September 17th
- Theme: Then and Now
- Sara proposed a $700 budget for this year’s festival, Including the meat, publicity, activities, and different supplies for the festival. Upon further discussion the budget amount was amended to $850, and the motion was passed to approve the budget.
- Mark has also requested $150 for mums for both side of the park plus plantings for the festival.
- Sara would like to have a photo booth at the festival. If anyone has any information on how to go about this (including costs) please contact her at email@example.com
- Sara discussed this year’s fundraising goal of $2,000 and passed out copies of a fundraising letter to be distributed to residents and businesses in the neighborhood.
- Sara facilitated an event planning meeting recently to discuss this year’s Fall Festival.
Proposal to Subdivide 527 Mass Ave & build on “223 Northampton St”
Owner Larry Christofori, together with Atty Dennis Quilty and architect Cynthia Larson, described nine units of “high end” apartments in five floors above ground, plus roof decks, rear decks, terra cotta cladding, and 3-story metal bump-out. Residents were divided in their response. Some were adamant that a subdivision should not be allowed and no building should be approved, due to: loss of symmetry for the block and loss of open space
- Residents voiced many more concerns:
- The proposal doesn’t fit in with the historic neighborhood. It doesn’t resemble the row -in style, scale, or materials.
- Nine new units would be added with no parking or transportation capacity. Neighbors would see more competition for limited street parking.
- Windows of the proposed building would look into neighbors’ windows.
- No more sunlight to neighbors’ back yards.
- Concerns about fire and egress.
- Utility connections (No more loading on private, antique sewer. Don’t delay overdue street resurfacing)
- Too many units generating many impacts
- What about needed repairs to 527 Mass Ave? Christfori said they want to build a new building before repairing the existing building.
- Residents agreed that are options: no to anything, yes to this proposal, or a compromise. Also agreed: Carol, with the assistance of abutters, will craft a response directly to presenters to voice these concerns.
- Residents voiced many more concerns:
Proposal for “Bullfinch Liquors” at 1721 Washington St
Vikesh Patel described a “high end” craft beer and wine store, with a brand that would be set it apart from other liquor stores in the area.
- Concerns expressed by residents include:
- With two vendors on the block and several more within an easy walk, the neighborhood doesn’t need another liquor store.
- With many people in the neighborhood struggling with addiction, and many working hard to avoid temptation, another liquor store is a bad idea for this location.
- Are the owners really appealing to the South End demographic, or their perception of the South End demographic?
- Did the owners follow proper procedure and engage the appropriate parties in making their proposal?
- Some residents expressed openness to the proposal.
- Jim made a motion for CSANA to respond to presenters officially with: “we oppose a new liquor store in that particular location”. 12 were in favor, 2 opposed, 1 abstained. The motion passed.
- Concerns expressed by residents include:
Garage Behind 561 Mass Ave
- The Saglios invited us to an abutters meeting Jul 11th @ 6pm, opposite 186 Northampton St.
Chester Park: Mark
- Holly hedges trimmed, leaks are being patched in fountain, 16 new trees in neighborhood, Mark reported 2 trees that will need to be cut down and replanted (one has since been cut down).
- New Decorative Trash Barrels: Mark has decided to no longer pursue the idea as the new barrels would have less capacity and therefore be prone to overflowing.
In the interest of time Carol reported that she will email the association the remainder of the updates.
Next Meeting: 8/3/16 7pm at Hampton House
CSANA 5/4/2016 – 7pm – Hampton House: 155 Northampton St
Meeting Minutes: Miren
7:05pm Meeting opened by Carol.
Announcement made that contract has been extended with Hampton House through April 2017
Boston Shines: Bud
15-20 people showed up to help, including 5 Victory House residents
Unfortunately not enough mulch, the street trees will need some. Bud will revisit getting more mulch from Sam in the near future. VH guys available to help with this project
Park Lighting Opportunity: During Boston Shines Bud engaged Sam in conversation about the lighting opportunity discussed in April’s meeting.
- Sam supports this idea and states the Boston Police will as well.
- The suggestion was also made to get Boston Art Academy involved for performances and art events.
- He supports the idea as it will not only enhance safety in the park, but help change perceptions of Chester Park as part of “methadone mile”
- Bud and Wesley have been asked to prepare a grant proposal for Sam, including a 2 year plan for concerts and events in the park
Alexandra Hotel: No updates
South End Forum: Next meeting is Tuesday May 10th, 6 pm, South End Library
Minutes & Website: Miren
- April meeting minutes approved at 7:25pm. Strategies discussed in order to post minutes to website within a few days of each meeting. Mailchimp will be used this month to email meeting minutes as well as upcoming meeting info & agenda.
- Wesley has volunteered to help with posting news and events to the website
Treasurer’s Report: Carol
- $324.91 spent by Mark on Boston Shines event. Motion passed at 7:42pm to table reimbursement item until next meeting when Sara is present, as well as review the bylaws regarding the reimbursement procedure..
- Carol facilitated a discussion on preparing budgets in advance so we are able to be prepared on what we will need to spend for neighborhood beautification and events. Ideally money would be allocated for spring and fall with an ensuing discussion on fundraising needs and goals.
- Suggestion was also made by Bud to involve local businesses.
Transportation: Northampton Traffic: Gerry
- There is a lot of excess early morning heavy vehicle traffic on Northampton Street. The vibration and noise is exacerbated by the condition of the street, which in turn is made only worse by the constant heavy vehicle traffic.
- Carol was informed last year that the “plan” was to improve the street this last year. However this has not yet happened and due to a current National Grid project unlikely to happen in the near future.
- BTD has invited us to submit a petition for truck exclusion on Northampton.
- It was decided to make the suggestion in the petition to route heavy vehicle traffic to Melnea Cass instead of Mass Ave.
- Carol will get in touch with Sam to get clearance to talk to BTD directly and get more information.
Summer event suggestions: 4th of July cookout, cookout on a weeknight (more neighbors likely around), farmer’s market. This will be discussed in more detail at next meeting.
Future Guests: Northeastern coming to June meeting
Park Beautification: Bud offered to host a group to develop ideas for Chester Park Monday May 16th at 6pm
Motion to adjourn the meeting passed at 8:20pm.
Next Meeting: Wednesday 6/1/16 Hampton House @7pm
CSANA 4/6/2016 at 7pm – Hampton House: 155 Northampton St
Meeting Minutes: Miren
7:04pm Bud opened meeting w/ introductions. Last meeting minutes reviewed/approved at 7:06pm.
Treasurer’s Report: Sara
- Current budget: $3,370.62
- Sara would like to have 3 committee members to assist in drafting a fundraising letter, with the objective of beautifying/lighting the park, as well as events for the whole year. (May meeting)
Boston Shines April 30th
- Bud will work develop mulch request for Sam Chambers
- Miren will handle getting wheelbarrows (preferably two)
- We will do flyers that mention FB and website
- Start time will be 10am. VH clients will be available to help starting at 9am
Alexandra Hotel – List of potential buyers/developers down to 5 from 52
Mass Ave/Shawmut Store Vacancy – What do we want to see there?
- Coffee shop, ice cream/frozen yogurt place – Something that adds to the community
- Randi has requested that this be moved to May’s agenda
- Sara suggested owners of Tropical Foods attend a CSANA meeting (how we can support them?)
Comet Place – waiting on info from Sam Chambers
Beautification, Activities and Safety in Chester Park
- It was suggested to look into a 3 month lighting opportunity in park (like in Franklin Park)
- Idea is to light trees 2/3 way up
- This could be done to trees around the fountain or all trees
- Both sides of park will support lights, as well as flood lights that will not shine into residences
- Idea will be to Increase safety and decrease drug use in area as well as beautification
- May need partner/sponsor (going back to Sara’s request for a fundraising committee)
- Wesley suggested approaching art schools in area about doing an installment
- need to determine:
- What do we want
- Who to partner with
- What do we prioritize
- As a result the following was decided:
- Subcommittee: Bud, Mark, Wesley, Sam
- Prioritize working on planters first
- Mark has done inventory on dead and missing trees and will send to Boston Parks Dept
- Daffodils on median: Done by Mark
- There was a motion by Sara to determine how much money CSANA would spend. It was agreed this would be discussed again next month after inventory of supplies is completed.
- It was suggested to look into a 3 month lighting opportunity in park (like in Franklin Park)
South End Forum – Recent discussion about traffic – Bud noted Mass Ave has worst traffic in the South End.
- There was a digital speedometer recently installed on Mass Ave on odd side of the park.
Website – Wesley has volunteered to help. Julian paid domain fees and will need to be reimbursed
Next Meeting: Wednesday 5/6/16 Hampton House @7pm
CSANA 3/2/2016 – 7pm – Hampton House: 155 Northampton St
Meeting Minutes: Miren
7:01pm Meeting opened by Carol and introductions.
Last meeting’s minutes were reviewed and needed amendments noted. The minutes were approved at 7:05pm.
Sarah gave her Treasurers’ report and that there had been no action this last month.
Sgt Tilford/BPD: Police Report
- Crime down overall
- Passed along advice to residents about putting brass screws in double doors to prevent molding being popped out- this has happened in some recent break-ins
- Opened up floor to discuss what neighborhood needs to “preserve quality of life”
- New development: Tremont Crossing Towers near Ruggles St,- by Northeastern
- Bud brought up issues relating to parking and what will be done to accommodate drivers already here
- Ben volunteered to contact community liaison to have them come to a CSANA meeting
South End Forum Agenda
Social Services Debate:
- Agreed that the most important thing we can do is support existing services
- CSANA has agreed on the following action plan:
- Support what we have
- Expand within the context of existing services
- Require coordination between services
- If new, go to other neighborhoods
- Be supported by medical community in some way (MGH, etc.)
Camera Rebate Initiative:
- CSANA passed motion that rebates for security cameras should only be granted in case of financial need
Sam Chambers: City Hall Liaison
- Discussed support for restricting trucks on Northampton St.
- Shared that BTD is wary to ban air brakes on Mass Ave
- Discussed issue of drivers running stop signs on Shawmut/West Springfield/Worcester intersections.
- BPD will contact Sgt Taxter as it is likely a compliance issue, not a sight issue
- Boston Shines: April 29th
- Comet Place:
- BTD agreed to one-way entering Northampton and exiting Shawmut
- 505 Mass Ave/Trash Citations:
- Sam will reach out to code enforcement
- Building owners need to provide trash receptacles to tenants
- Street Cleaning:
- Started March 1st
Douglass Williams: Mita (formerly Clucklt!)
- Shared that the new restaurant will be called Mita (“generosity” in Italian).
- Timeframe: wanted May 1st, thinking late June
- Applying both for full liquor license and outdoor seating for Mita
- CSANA asked Douglass to bring seating plan to next meeting
- 2 motions:
- A motion was passed for CSANA to give a letter of support to Mr. Williams for the application of a full liquor license
- A motion was passed for CSANA to give a letter of support to Mr. Williams/Mita for outdoor seating
- Michael has agreed to write and submit both letters of support
Meeting adjourned at approx. 9pm
Next Meeting: April 6th 2016 155 Northampton St
CSANA Minutes February 3rd, 2016
7pm Hampton House: 155 Northhampton St
At 7:02pm Carol opened the meeting and facilitated introductions. The
last meeting’s minutes were reviewed and approved.
T 7:06pm Carol presented the Treasurer’s Report in Sara’s absence.
The current balance is $1052.47, no change from last month.
The next topic discussed was the Alexandra Hotel.
• South End Historical Society going to take a while in taking position. Meeting this upcoming Tuesday at 8am
• Concerns for last 2 years of the safety of the site.Bud Larievy prepared report to advocate for owner to be more responsible
• Bud informed brokers that CSANA would like to be part of development process.
• It was determined that CSANA would take a position on what type of restoration to the Alexandra would best support the neighborhood
o Option 1: boutique hotel
o Option 2: condominiums
o Estimates: ~$15m to renovate either way
It was decided and a motion approved that the official CSANA statement would be “CSANA would endorse the restoration of the Alexandra Hotel as a boutique hotel for the neighborhood with community engagement opportunities”
At 7:37pm the motion was approved on CSANA statement re: Alexandra Hotel
The next discussion on the agenda concentrated on the proposed one-way for Comet Place.
• Currently major safety issue due to children playing in area
• Suggestion: entrance on Northampton, exit onto Shawmut
• Motion approved to support Hampton House administration in designation of 1 way from Northampton, with an exit onto Shawmut
At approximately 7:44pm Charlotte Fleetwood from the Boston Transportation Department presented about Vision Zero.
• Safety on the Streets for everyone (driving, walking, biking)
• Vision Zero Task Force meets monthly and includes representatives from police, public health, BTD
o Mass Ave a particular focus for safety
• Building Safer Streets (with a focus on rapid implementation)
o Shorter light cycles/wait times
o Extend curbs to shorten crossings
o Install flex posts and planters to protect walkers and bikers
o Install mini traffic circles
• Visionzeroboston.org: everyone is encouraged to visit!
o Online safety concerns and input map
Add comments to map
o However not a substitute for Boston 311
Next, at 8:18pm Douglas Williams from the upcoming new restaurant at Tremont & Mass Ave (old Estelle’s/Cluckit) presented to the meeting.
• Want to pursue full liquor license
• Restaurant will be “Italian influenced/American executed”
• Neighborhood restaurant, price point $30-40/person
• Timeline: hoping for May 1st, 2016
• Full liquor license will not be voted upon until March meeting as it was not on agenda
At approximately 8:45pm the conversation shifted to CSANA updates.
• South End forum to lobby against more social services in the South End for those “on the margins of society” as it is time for other neighborhoods besides the ours to step up in hosting and supporting these services.
o The question was raised on whether CSANA should support the SE Forum stance
o It was determined that the CSANA view would be that we are supportive of services but we have our fair share.
However before supporting the Forum we would need to see the language and be careful about what statements were made
o The discussion progressed to existing services in the area. The question was raised as to what could be done within our own neighborhood to support both our community and those in need
CSANA committed to conducting outreach and providing support to the service organizations in the neighborhood
9:15pm Sgt. Taxter—Boston Police Update
o Sgt Taxter updated everyone on police activity in the neighborhood for the last month
o Cell phone robbery/prevention tips presented
o Sgt. Taxter also described a typical illegal/drug transaction to assist in the neighborhood watch efforts
o For instance: Watch for an individual that gets into a car and goes for a short drive around the block
At 9:30pm the meeting adjourned.
Meeting Minutes – Jan 6, 2016 – 7 pm @ Hampton House
Carol Blair opened the meeting at 7:01. Sara Mitchell took notes, as our secretary is away. Also attending: Jeff Hamilton, Mathew Martin, Michael Rodriguez, Dawn & Doug Saglio, Will Krause, Sgt Luke Taxter, Jim O’Donnell, and Sam Chambers.
Finances – Sara Mitchell reported a balance of $3,410.62 in CSANA’s account as of Jan 6, 2016. In 2015, income (monetary donations) totaled $400 and expenses totaled $1052.47, mostly for events and plantings in the park. Sara suggested more input for future decisions regarding petty cash expenditures (up to $150). Discussion followed, focusing on possibilities for fundraising. Doug Saglio, Mark Carrig, Michael Rodriguez, and Matt Martin agreed to work with Carol and Sara to follow up.
Crime Report – Sgt Taxter presented BPD’s crime report for the area. He noted many of the crimes were likely preventable. Please remember to lock home and car doors, have packages delivered to safe location, and never leave valuables in car. Learn more at safety meeting at 6 pm, last Monday of the month, District 4.
South End Forum – Mark Carrig announced South End Forum will meet January 12. Carol briefed the meeting on the agenda.
Chester Park – Mark reported winter lights are up in Chester Park. Thanks to those who worked to create the display. It was suggested we consider a multicultural installation for next year, perhaps beginning in October, to allow time for an inclusive deliberation process. Mark also agreed to purchase inexpensive stakes to mark walkways in the park for snow plowing.
Events – Carol reported on December event with residents at Fortes House (caroling) and suggested we consider events with other institutions in the neighborhood, in the coming months.
Comet Place – Sam Chambers reported BPW has added Comet Place to the street sweeping list. Also, BTD has indicated a willingness to install one-way signs. We’ll need to indicate which way traffic should flow.
Shawmut Ave – Michael Rodriguez expressed concern with Shawmut Ave traffic not responding to stop signs. Sam volunteered to explore the situation and possibilities.
Truck Traffic – BTD indicates Northampton St is a designated truck route. We’ve asked Sam to find out “where is it written” so we can consider further steps to reroute truck traffic from Northampton St. A new request, from residents of Mass Ave, asks for signs or other deterrence against engine-braking by trucks. Sam will investigate.
Election – Officers for 2016 are: President, Carol Blair; Vice-president, Bud Larievy; Secretary, Miren Urrutia; Treasurer, Sara Mitchell. Michael Rodriguez will serve as assistant secretary.
Nearby Development – Hamilton Company has increased the number of “affordable units” (from 6 to 9) in their proposal to build 45 units on Frederick Douglas Green (150 Camden, currently zoned for 9 units). Northeastern University has proposed a 20-story dorm between Tremont & Columbus (10 Burke St, where NU’s 2013 master plan shows 6-8 stories).
Proposed garage -– Dawn & Doug Saglio joined us to describe their plan to build a garage on Northampton St for 561 Mass Ave. Discussion included concerns about the height of the wall, the size and color of the door, and whether recent construction leading to existing conditions had been approved by the Landmarks Commission.
Alexandra Hotel – This landmark is on the market after decades of disuse. Discussion concerned putting together a vision for the restoration/renovation and reuse and inviting prospective buyers to collaborate with the neighborhood for planning and approvals. A boutique hotel or condos? A roof-top restaurant? Carol has contacted the South End Historical Society for information on the historic building and the hotel’s role in the neighborhood. Worcester Square Neighborhood Association and Washington Gateway have also indicated an interest in working with us.
Mass Food Market, corner of Mass Ave and Northampton St, is closing.
Next Meeting: February 3
CSANA Meeting Minutes – Nov 4, 2015 – 7 pm – Hampton House
Meeting convened at 7:05 with Sara Mitchell taking notes.
Introductions included Sam Chambers, mayor’s new liaison to the South End, Charline Walker, property manager of Hampton House, and Harvey Cox, chair of Hampton House residents’ task force.
Minutes from October meeting were approved as written.
Treasurer Sara Mitchell reported a balance of $3474.55 (same as October report).
BPD District 4 Capt Ivens and Neighborhood Watch Liaison Wallace Tilford both accompanied Sgt Lucas Taxter, who provided crime statistics for our area. Crime is down, they say. Please call, though, if you feel there is a problem: “Be our eyes and ears when we can’t be here!”
Tony Pagano, Dir of Prop Mgmt for Cushing Housing Corp and architect Peter Borgemeister, presented a landscaping plan for McAllaster House (526 Mass Ave), now undergoing extensive renovations to be completed summer 2016. Unfortunately, the roof-water infiltration system required by Boston Water & Sewer Commission leaves only 2 feet of soil depth in the front yard – insufficient to preserve or replace the cherry tree. The meeting supports the proposed planting plan, which includes a “Tree Hydragia”, an ivory Halo Dogwood, and azaleas, and is designed to complement the oak tree in the sidewalk nearby.
Some have received unfair tickets for improperly packaged or illegally placed trash. Neighbors present at the meeting have successfully challenged unfair tickets. Go to http://www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/wastereduction/regulations.asp for guidance on proper disposal of trash and recycling.
Sat, Nov 7, Mark Carrig will lead volunteers in planting daffodil bulbs in raised beds in Chester Park, as well as the ends of the median strip.
Sat Nov 21, Mark Carrig and Sara Mitchell will lead a neighborhood clean-up.
Sat, Dec 5 at 5 pm, Carol Blair and Jim O’Donnell will host Christmas Caroling at Robert Fortes House – affordable, senior housing at 541 Shawmut Ave, corner Northampton St.
Looking ahead to 2016, we want to
continue to gather neighbors for work and fun,
find new ways for neighbors to participate (online, events, work groups, …)
build on our relationships with Parks and other city departments, and with the many non-profits in our neighborhood.
For next year, Miren Urrutia volunteered to take minutes of meetings and distribute them.
Next meeting: Dec 2 – 7 pm @ Hampton House
CSANA Meeting Minutes – Oct 7, 2015
Meeting convened at 7:05 with Miren Urutia taking notes.
Minutes from September meeting were approved.
Treasurer Sara Mitchell reported a balance of $3474.55, after expenses for Fall Fest and plantings ($760) and donations ($400).
Fall Fest was a fine day. Many thanks to Sara Mitchell for rallying the YMCA, United South End Settlements, Calvary Baptist Church, Victory House, and the many neighbors to offer fun and games, food, and music for all. 63 people signed in. Costs exceeded the $400 budget by $42.62; a motion to increase the budget by $42.62 was moved and approved.
Wallace Tilford, of BPD Neighborhood Crime Watch Unit, reported, with respect to crime, “things are better than they have been in years!”, while also acknowledging that there are more people on the street who are homeless and/or struggling with addictions. He advised that we invite our community service officer, Sgt Lucas Taxter to join us with monthly statistics for our area. He distributed safety whistles, along with information on police and other resources, suspect reporting, and gun buyback program. Asked what we should do when we see a problem with someone in the park or on the street, he said, call 911 if it’s an emergency, or 311 otherwise, and we’ll do what we can.
Chester Park – Mark Carrig reports a new hydrangea and a Big Belly pair (trash & recycling) at Corner Café.
Mark has agreed to take responsibility for monitoring street trees. Thanks to Lloyd for starting this important work.
150 Camden was pulled from BRA’s Oct agenda, after opposition from neighbors.
The vacant lots at Camden & Shawmut have been cleared and mowed.
521 Shawmut Ave project went to Landmarks Commission with a plan that leaves two front dormers intact.
The “Cluck-it!” restaurant has closed for renovations. Chef Brian Poe announced they will “take a breather” to get a better feel for what this neighborhood needs. In the meantime, he will continue his work on Neighborhood Watch, repaint according to Landmarks guidelines, and remove patio furniture. He invites us to stop in at his other restaurant, the Tip Tap Room, 138 Cambridge St.
Carol will meet with Steve Fox, to answer questions about formal membership for the South End Forum in the Association of Downtown Civic Organizations.
A long and thoughtful discussion concerning Urban Renewal extension concluded with no position.
Meeting adjourned at 9:23 pm.
Next meeting will be Nov 4 at Hampton House, 155 Northampton St. We are delighted to be invited by this senior residence and look forward to partnering with them on shared issues. They will provide coffee. Who will bring snacks?
CSANA Minutes – September 2, 2015 @7:00 PM
Bud Larievy. Secretary
1. Announcements/ Primary Elections for City Council
2. 311 City of Boston App for City Reporting
• Good timing
• Fast response
3. 150 Camden Street/ no updates at this time
4. Senior Housing Report/ Bud Larievy will attend a meeting on Mon, Sept 21, 2015
5. 521 Shawmut Ave Development Presentation
• Set ISP permits/zoning from 4 family to 2 family
• Unit 1 / 2floors – Unit 2 /3 floors
• 1 deck, 2 balconies
• Steel staircases in the rear
• Proposal to eliminate the 2 Historic Victorian Dormers into one modern design
• Issues and concern with the elimination of the dormers and the historic preservation of the neighborhood architecture.
• Applaud the conversion from a 4 family to a 2 family
• Applaud the ground water retainer
• Letter will be sent to Landmarks incorporating points of discussion
6. Tito Jackson Introduction and Presentation
• The Urban Renewal is an important decision and welcomes neighborhood feedback and discussion
• Daniel Polanco is no longer working in his office as he has a new position
• Be aware of the needles that are strewn throughout the community. A 7 year old girl was pierced by one she picked up recently
• There is a serious lack of accommodations and beds for the homeless people and understands how this impacts our neighborhoods
• There are a very large concentration of methadone clinics in District 4 which also raises many concerns and effects
• Out of 67 residents arrested recently for drug use in the neighborhood only 2 were Boston Residents
• The MBTA pays for the transportation of the people who go to the Methadone clinics
• The addiction clients are protected by the American Disabilities Act and are entitled to a variety or services paid by the community
• Recommendation was made to increase signage warning of needles and process for removal
• More data needed
• Services need to be coordinated
• Massachusetts Ave and Albany Street are the Epicenter of drug dealing and crime
• Methadone Clinics need to be regulated
7. Chester Square Park Update same as previous month:
• Benches have been restored by the Parks Department
• The trees have been trimmed
• Replacement trees have been requested
• Need allocation of $200.00 for Autumn Plantings (so done)
8. Fall Fest
• Table and chairs will be transported but need volunteers to help
• Flyers have been distributed
• Goal of $2000 has been established
• Fall Fest Reminder will be sent via email
• Need a photographer for the event
• Need to enlist Victory House volunteer
9. South End Forum Agenda: Extending Urban Renewal and the Downtown Civic Association
Urban Renewal: positive negative elements
• Creation of Parks
• Sidewalk issues
• Need for affordable and middle class housing
• Need for more transparency
• Who benefits from this program
• Need a solid case/mission
• Need 50,000 affordable
• Need to create middle class housing especially for city worker families and medical personal…vacant parking lots by BWS
• BHA needs private partners to do the rehabilitation of units
Consensus was not reached as to whether or not to support or not support the Urban Renewal Provision at this time. More discussion and research are needed.
The Downtown Civic Association and South End Forum Union Discussion
Statement: The consensus of the Forum is to join but a unanimous vote by all neighborhoods is needed in order for this to move forward.
• South End Forum might be diminished in significance, power and value
• Politicians would choose not to come to meet with the Forum or the neighborhood groups and instead go to the DCA instead. A one stop solution to many meetings
• South End has been a cutting edge leader there are many issues and initiatives that do not pertain or are not accepted by Back Bay or Beacon Hill
• Cultural and policy values are not necessarily those of the Back Bay and Beacon Hill residents such as sidewalks, wheel chair ramps, affordable housing, diversity in particular the homeless, addiction, methadone clinic issues in the South End
Result of the Discussion:
Members voted not to approve a merger with the Downtown Civic Association and a letter will be sent to the South End Forum stating such and the reasons for opposition.
MEETING AJORNED AT 9:00 PM
Monthly Meeting: August 5, 2015, 7:00 pm
Recorder: Bud Larievy Time Keeper: N/A
- June Minutes
- The Minutes of the June Meeting were reviewed
- The motion to accept the minutes carried unanimously.
- Treasurer’s Report: No change in funding status
- Discussion of the BPD District 4 Meeting: Worcester Square Crime and Homeless Services etc. (Read the entire report that follows this month’s minutes.) Presented by Bud Larievy. The following are responses to the content:
- A CRIME WATCH Group will be formed under the leadership of Brian …..?
- Letters can be written to neighborhood leaders, city counselors, and state representatives
- Neighborhood “Walkthroughs” with Tito Jackson and Felix Arroyo Jr. Michelle Wu et.al.
- Victory Program and Elderly residents can be the eyes and ears as well
- Sara has talked to Dr. Jon Santiago who suggests that Narvon be widely distributed and is talking to Byron Rushing
- Crime Watch Group will be formed
- Chester Park-What’s happening….Mark Carrig
- There was a Chester Park walkthrough
- The list of tasks are being addressed and met by the Park’s Department
- Three trees need to be replaced
- The fountains need to be painted
- The hedges need trimming
- The benches need to be refinished
- The trash barrels need to be replaced
- The CSANA Annual Park Event
- The Park Event is scheduled for SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 starting at 10:00 am
- A letter is needed so as to solicit businesses for park beautification and maintenance
- The funding goal is set at $1500.00
- A letter sample will be drafted
- Music will be provided
- Flyer and distribution volunteers needed
- $400.00 of expenditures authorized for the following: $300 for hamburgers etc.; $200 for entertainment supplies for children; $50 for printing; $50 for paper goods
- Authorized by vote of those present at the meeting
- 783 Tremont Street Restaurant “CLUCKIT”
- An explanation of the name origin given
- The present color will be changed
- Both Landmarks and CSANA will receive color samples to review
- Additional issues of noise, parking, loud people and parking are needed as well
- An apology was given for the abrupt changes and lack of communication
- 150 Camden Street Meeting and Development
- No one was notified of the meeting
- The Green area behind and on the side of the Douglas Park Complex is subject for a change in status by the Hamilton Property Group (Harold Brown) from permission for construction of 9 townhouses to a building containing 44 units and built to the edge of the sidewalk
- Residents complained of no notification of the meeting and the lack of maintenance and property decay, increase in fees in maintenance and parking while experiencing a decrease in services since Hamilton assumed management 3 years ago
- An increase density of residences, decrease parking availability (the present garage cannot accommodate another 44 to 88 potential new cars) loss of open green space and the city trees on the street would be the result of this expansion
- There are other vacant sites on which they can build suitable housing within a one block radius
- A letter of Opposition will be written and sent to the BRA from CSANA.
- The site changes are on hold for now.
- September Agenda: Notification will be sent accordingly
* Meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm *
REPORT: HOMELESS & METHADONE CLIENTS
District 4 Meeting
July 9, 2015
Bud Larievy, Secretary CSANA
Primary Intent and purpose:
- Crime report on Worcester Square neighborhood area
- Address the issues of the neighborhood and South End
- Explain the assistance issues facing the neighborhood because of the influx of unattended homeless and methadone clients
- BPD District 4 leadership and special unit leaders
- Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place leaders
- Homeless Shelter leader
- City Hall Community Outreach representatives
- Neighborhood Media
- Frank Bacon City Counselor (Worcester Square)
- Very Concerned residents and business owner
- Methadone Clinic Leadership from the 4 clinics in our district
- District politicians and leaders
- City Hall Department leaders, especially Health Director Felix Arroyo Jr.
- State Representatives and leaders from out district
Report content and comments
- The District is overwhelmed with the influx of homeless and methadone clients
- Resources are being used to address their needs
- The Neighborhood residents and businesses are not able to receive the extra support that is needed to care for this population and the issues that arise
- Some 80% of the medical clients are not from this area and are coming in from all over the country because of the free medical care, methadone clinics and unregulated distribution of the treatments
- Heroin distribution, especially on Massachusetts Ave through to Columbus Ave.
- The “Highway effect” of clients exiting shelters and re entering in the afternoon along Massachusetts Ave Corridor.
- Congregation of drug users on corners, alleys, parks and squares soliciting and using drugs.
- Needles everywhere…3000 were collected in 60 days.
- Frequency of calling 911 for people passed out or swaying from the effects of heroin etc.
- Increase in crime, car break-ins, business disruption and thefts, trash increase and public urination, etc.
- Safety issues for all concerned
- Franklin Square is a gathering place for the homeless especially at night and most other hours as well
- State concentrated the homeless shelters and clinics in this area despite city concerns for the last 30 years
Suggested Actions and Communication Avenues
- Call 911 when the need arises…it will increase statistics,
- Invite politicians, city hall directors and methadone clinic leaders to locale meetings, forums and walking tours to address concerns
- Write, call, message agencies both at the state and city level
- Use Boston Connect to report crime, issues and needles for action
- Attend all neighborhood and future district meetings for further in put
- Request a crime study for CSANA
- Inform all residents in the area of the situation and the actions they can take
- Establish a “crime watch and reporting group”
Resources and Contact Information
- District 4 Police and Community Outreach
- City Hall community leaders and department heads
- State and City politicians
- Attorney General
- Secretary of Health
- Bain and Company
- Charlie Baker
Highlights from the month
June 3, 2015
Motorcycles – Info on when and where neighbors have experienced problems with motorcycle noise, was gathered to help police direct their patrols.
Chester Park: Mark and Michelle are leading our Chester Park work group. Miren joins them to organize Victory House residents who want to join in.
Curb parking – A preliminary inventory of parking restrictions was reviewed -corrections are needed. In a discussion of what changes to signage and the resident parking program would work best for our neighborhood, many interests were represented: residents who have a car all the time, residents who use a car occasionally (rental, Zipcar), residents who need parking for those who come to their home (visiting nurse, family, …), and those who work for businesses and institutions in the neighborhood. More to come …
Communications – We’re gearing up for more online participation, to supplement our monthly meetings. Helpful suggestions were gathered for our “Business” and “Resources” pages.
Power of the group: Each of eight people attending took responsibility for something.