The South Boston Boys and Girls Club is gearing up for its annual St. Patrick’s Day 5k Road Race and needs both runners and volunteers.
The event, which has become a favorite among athletes from across the city, is set for Sunday, March 16 from 11 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m.
Registration costs $22.50 and the first 650 runner to sign-up will receive an official race shirt designed by the Dropkick Murphys.
To register, click here.
Those that would like to volunteer as course officials/leaders or course monitors are encouraged to contact Heather Robb at hrobb@BGCB.org or Seanne Falconer at email@example.com.
All funds from the race benefit the South Boston Boys and Girls Club.
The Boston Public Health Commission will host a Recovery Health Fair on Tuesday at the Joseph Tierney Learning Center to connect local residents to addiction-support services.
Located at 125 Mercer St., the free event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Health Commission staff will be on hand in addition to community coalition members and substance-abuse advocates.
Tuesday’s program is expected to include information about substance abuse services available in Boston, as well as information on overdose prevention, neighborhood support groups, and drug kiosks for the disposal of prescription drugs.
For more information contact Devin Larkin (617) 534-9385 or at DLarking@BPHC.org
(Image courtesy DND)
Close to a year ago, the Department of Neighborhood Development floated the idea of turning two adjoining lots between West 1st Street and West 2nd Street in South Boston into a mix of open space and housing. Now, after steady lobbying by residents, it seems that the space will instead be a new park.
On Tuesday night, department officials met with residents at the Condon School to give updates on the park transformation timeline and what the next steps will be. Although there is plenty of support from the city and residents, the effort to bring a park to the community lacks funds and will likely move slowly.
“When we first came out, we thought it would be good to propose something that would combine housing with green space but we quickly heard that the neighborhood needed green space,” John Feuerbach, senior development officer with DND, explained to residents Tuesday.
Located at 174 West 2nd St. and 179 West 1st St., the city-owned lots are currently vacant excluding a Public Works building located on the West 2nd Street parcel. The lots, which total approximately 16,000 square-feet, are worth a combined $416,300, according to the city’s Assessing Department.
Tuesday’s presentation concentrated heavily on notes from a design charrette held in October. Although the charrette tackled all possible uses for the space, including parking and community gardens, the majority in attendance believed that the space should support a use that combined both a passive park and community gardens.
“We found that parking maybe isn’t the best idea because you really don’t get many spaces,” Tim Love, an architect and South Boston resident who helped facilitate the charrette, explained to residents Tuesday.
Even when using the entire space for parking, only 38 spaces are gained, with a few existing on-street spaces lost due to curb cuts. The majority in attendance Tuesday, many of which participated in the planning meeting, nodded in agreement with Love’s assessment.
“I don’t think parking isn’t a very good use,” said Kelly O’Shea, an area resident. “Most of the people that would go here [to the park] live in the neighborhood anyway.”
With the majority supportive of a park, residents began conversations about the details, including if the existing building should be removed.
“It’s an attractive looking building, but I don’t want to sacrifice the view into the park,” said Jon Ramos, an area resident. “I think the best value to the park would be to eliminate the building.”
“Knocking it down is probably the best way to go, but before we do that, can the building be put to use for the community?” said Brain Mahoney, an area resident.
Dogs were also a hot topic.
“I think you have to expect dog usage,” said Bill Gleason, president of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association. “What could be the effect of dogs on this space?”
While many conceded that dog owners need to get their pets out, many said that not every open space in the neighborhood should be open season.
“I’m of the viewpoint that not every park should allow dogs,” said Gary Murad, vice president of the St. Vincent’s Lower End Neighborhood Association. “When I sit on the lawn, I don’t want to sit on what they left.”
Other suggestions included the addition of bike racks, the possibility of a community grill, and how the space could connect to the adjacent Signal Building.
As of now there is no concrete design for the space, but that is expected to be the easiest part of the process. Finding the money to design and build the park is expected to be the biggest challenge.
“I think what’s clear is that these are types of uses [park/community garden] are supported by the community,” said Feuerbach. “At this stage we are still looking for a source of funds,”
Neighborhood development officials said they are committed to finding funds to begin the design phase. A representative from the Boston Parks and Recreation Department also said parks is committed to working with the community and will look to its Fiscal Year 2016 budget for possible funding.
“It was a good meeting and a lot of groundwork has been laid,” Sheila Dillon, the director of DND, said after the meeting. “I’m really looking forward to the next set of conversations were we can really get more into a design.”
(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2013)
Efforts to revamp the dark concrete space underneath Interstate 93 between South Boston and the South End are progressing, Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials told residents Monday night.
Since late 2013, MassDOT has been constructing parking lots underneath the hulking structure that carries traffic into and out of Boston. Eventually, 432 public parking spaces, lighting, and security will be added to the approximately 8-acre area in three separate lots.
Phase 1 of the parking project features the construction of two lots for 235 parking spaces accessible from Albany Street. Improved pedestrian connections and added lighting along West 4th Street, which connects to the South End’s East Berkeley Street, are included in the plan. An operator for the two lots will be selected by the summer.
Phase 2 of the project is the construction of 192 parking spaces accessible from Traveler Street by December.
Some of the parking will be reserved for electrical vehicle charging and ZipCar parking.
As part of the project, a number of improvements will be made to the area, including the possible addition of public art, event space, lighting, and walking paths.
Money generated by the parking lots will eventually pay for their construction, said MassDOT.
On Monday, residents and area advocates began discussions about more permanent public realm improvements to the area. In addition to MassDOT’s funds, the project has $250,000 to spend specifically on the improvements. The money was donated by the developers of 275 Albany St., according to the Boston Herald.
Temporary artistic lighting has already been added to the lots along East Berkeley Street, with permanent improvements expected in the near future.
Planners also discussed the future of Lot 5, the area north of Traveler Street where the additional 192 parking spaces will be added.
“The parking allows us to do a bunch of secondary improvements, such as improve pedestrian and bike conditions,” Robin Blatt, a project manager for MassDOT, explained to residents.
The space has long been a haven for unwanted activities, including drug usage and homelessness. In early 2013, a man was found murdered underneath the structure.
“We had a situation out here where MassDOT was using the space with the concentration on the highway above,” said Blatt. “They were using it for a single use and we know there were some unintended consequences.”
Designers with Landing Studios, MassDOT’s consultant for the project, gave a number of examples of possible additions to the space that they believe could make a huge impact to the area.
Lot 5, which has yet to be built or fully designed, will house a number of empty areas that can’t be used for parking. The idea for those empty spaces is to create something that will draw people and add an amenity to the neighborhood. The Lot 5 construction and design phase will also include the installation of permanent public realm improvements near the other two lots.
“The strategy is to take the areas we can’t use for parking and create something positive,” Blatt said. “Instead of saying ‘keep out,’ we want to introduce as many activities as we can.”
Although a permanent design has yet to be generated, a number of creative uses were suggested for the Lot 5 space, which offers views of the Fort Point Channel.
“I’m going to propose we have some sort of dog use there,” said Bill Gleason, a South Boston resident and member of the Community Advisory Committee for the project. “If there will be one thing that will get people out there 16 hours a day, it’s a dog park.”
For the large sidewalks that connect East Berkeley Street to West 4th Street, Dan Adams, an architect with Landing, suggested a series of large, flexible lights that could illuminate the sidewalk for pedestrians and highlight public art and signs.
The space has also been imagined as an area that could support food trucks/carts, art galleries, and performance/event space. MassDOT is expected to add bike cages, crosswalks, and ramps to the area to support pedestrian and bicycle connections.
Residents at the meeting offered feedback on the proposed uses.
“It’s very loud under there,” said Michael Moss, a Fort Point resident. “Realistically, you probably couldn’t have live music.”
“For the safety of people crossing between these two locations, I’d like to see a bit of a barrier added between the road and pedestrians,” said Lindsey Chitichiello, who manages restaurants in the South End and South Boston.
Some had concerns about how the project would benefit cyclists.
“I haven’t seen anything that is going to keep me and my fellow bike riders safe,” said Jon Ramos, a South Boston resident. “If a little piece of the sidewalk could be dedicated to bikes that would help.”
Although the scope of the project does not include roadway work, designers said the project will support a connection to the South Bay Harbor trail near East Berkeley Street. A path could potentially be added from the Broadway Bridge to the Lot 5 area to help riders bypass the busy intersection near the bridge.
The Lot 5 space was pitched as an area that could include landscaping and drainage that would support the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Watersheet Activation Plan, an initiative that aims to bring more life to a cleaner Fort Point Channel.
“It may not be everything everybody wants, but it’s going to be a lot of good things for a lot of people,” explained John Romano, a community liaison for MassDOT. “We’re looking at this as a fun project…and I think we’ve already made some dramatic changes underneath the expressway.”
Over the coming months, MassDOT will meet with the Community Advisory Committee to begin the process of determine a more concrete design for Lot 5 and the sidewalks at East Berkeley and West 4th streets. A public meeting is expected to be held once the 25 percent design phase has been reached.
For more information about the project, visit the DOT’s project page.
(Image courtesy Google Maps)
The developers behind a residential project proposed for West 1st Street and West 2nd Street will present their plan to the South Boston community Monday night.
A public meeting sponsored by the Boston Redevelopment Authority will be held at the Condon School located at 200 D St. on Feb. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Plans, led by Triad Alpha Partners LLC, call for the construction of a three-story, mixed-use structure featuring 97 residential units, 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, and 115 parking spaces, according to the Project Notification Form submitted by the developers to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The retail space will be located along West 1st and C streets. The parking will be accessed from West 1st Street. The units will be split between one- and two-bedroom residences.
The project currently conforms to the existing zoning requirements in the neighborhood and is expected to be built "as of right." Because of its size, the project must go through the BRA’s Article 80 review process, which includes a public comment period.
The new structure is proposed to be built on five combined land parcels located at 181 West 1st St., 185 West 1st St., 184 West 2nd St., 190 West 2nd St., and 206 West 2nd St.
The property is currently home to a warehouse and storage yard, which will be razed to make way for the new building.
The parcel, which measures approximately 49,750 square feet, is located an approximate half-mile from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the Broadway MBTA Station.
For a copy of the project's Letter of Intent, click here.
(Image courtesy Triad Alpha Partners LLC)
Think your child has what it takes to become one of Boston’s inaugural Lego ambassadors?
From now until March 14, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston will be accepting applications from children ages 5 to 12 to participate on a team to help LEGOLAND become the best attraction of its kind.
Kelly Smith, Marketing Manager at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston, said this is another step that will bring the discovery center closer to its opening in May. The group selected Ian Coffey as the new master model builder on January 26, and now Coffey will select his panel of child advisors to give feedback on the new center.
“We had our Brick Factor competition to find the master model builder, but every one needs a great team of support,” Smith said. “So we’ve developed the junior competition, which will allow 12 kids to be part of a team to help Ian with events and activities leading up to grand opening, as well as after the fact.”
Ian Coffey, the master model builder for Boston’s LEGOLAND Discovery Center, said he is excited to select the team of children that will comprise the junior construction panel and that he will be looking for a variety of qualities in the applications.
“It’s my first real responsibility, which I’m really excited for,” Coffey said. “The things I’m looking for is how creative the children can be, how enthusiastic they are, and how their imagination comes about . . . [I’m looking for] who really had all those things coming together when they built with the Lego bricks.”
As part of the application, children must include a video or photo and written response explaining what makes them the biggest Lego fan and why they should be part of the panel. They should also show something they built with Lego bricks. Coffey said he is excited to see the responses and what the kids come up with by themselves.
“In an essay, I want to see the kid. I love the raw child, even a handwritten note,” Coffey said. “When you’re reading it and you can really see that they’re engaged in what they’re writing, that’s the kind of stuff that’s going to stick out to me.”
Smith said that while a major part of being ambassador is testing the rides and being excited about the attraction, another part is providing feedback to the center. She said LEGOLAND is an attraction for children, and as such their opinions help make the center the best it can be. She said that in the process, it also provides children a great opportunity to interact with adults and grow through working in a team atmosphere.
“It’s a team of 12, so they will need to work together and develop skills of teamwork. But also, interpersonal skills, speaking skills and confidence will be gained throughout the year . . . It’s a pretty strong role for a child,” Smith said. “[We’re looking for] children who feel comfortable working with a variety of different people.”
Smith said it will be interesting to see the number of children who apply. She said it’s great to be able to offer those selected the chance to experience the discovery center before it officially opens in May.
“The Discovery Center is a really exciting attraction coming to the Boston area,” Smith said. “It’s kind of a unique opportunity for a child to be able to experience something so new and great and incorporate it with a toy that’s so educational and constructive. It’s such a great toy that so many children love.”
Coffey hopes that parents will encourage and help their Lego-loving children to apply. He said that for him, it was all about taking steps towards what he loves, and he hopes a lot of children will do the same.
“I want kids to come out of this after day one saying this is my dream, I can reach it. I can do this,” Coffey said. “The creativity, design, imagination, you can build those and shape them, but I really want children to understand that if they want to become something—even become a junior panelist—to just keep going for it.”
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston will be accepting applications for its junior construction panel from now until March 14. The 12 winners will be announced on their Facebook page on March 17. For contest rules and to apply, visit the LEGOLAND’s website.
Joseph Bagley, the city of Boston’s archeologist, will talk about South Boston’s history at an event at the South Boston Library on Monday.
“Joe Bagley's ‘Digging Southie: The Archaeology of South Boston’ will uncover the history that is beneath our feet,” explained Robert Allison, president of the South Boston Historical Society, the group sponsoring the event.
“South Boston has two major historical sites--Castle Island, the longest continuously fortified position in North America, and Dorchester Heights, crucial to the first victory in the American War for Independence," said Allison. "But South Boston also was a 19th century industrial center. Recent archaeological work throughout the neighborhood helps us understand how it was what it was and why it is what it is today.”
In addition to covering the prominent historical sites in the seaside neighborhood, Bagley said he will also discuss lesser known historical features of the community, including the neighborhood’s history as a center for glass manufacturing and as a possible site for Native Americans.
“For me, South Boston is an untouched neighborhood,” said Bagley. “No one has really looked at it and there is huge potential for there to be a number of important sites in the neighborhood.
“If you look at it on an old map, it was a beautiful spot. It had hills, it had fresh water, and could’ve been a good area for the native people.”
The free event will be held at the library at 646 East Broadway on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m.
South Boston defeated Dorchester, 45-28, in the first game and Fenway cruised to a 56-15 victory over Brighton in the second matchup of the Boston City League championship basketball semifinals.
The first semifinal between South Boston and Dorchester was a tight defensive battle. After a low-scoring first quarter, the Knights held a 7-6 lead.
Scoring proved no easier in the second quarter, and Dorchester took a 14-13 lead into the half.
I told them at the halftime we needed to go back to what we did the whole season to get us where we are, said South Boston coach Andrea Higgins. We were taking good shots, but we werent taking great shots. We needed to attack the basket, we needed to step up on defense. Our defense all year has created our offense.
Dorchester took an 18-13 lead at the start of the third quarter after junior guard Verdine Casimir scored and senior guard Phylis Nyamunda followed with a steal and a layup.
South Boston sophomore guard Jocelyn Harris answered with two consecutive layups and Kadijah Young hit a free throw to tie it. After Nyamunda gave Dorchester a 20-18 lead, Harris scored on another layup and drained a 3-pointer to put the Knights back on top.
Its a team effort all the time, Higgins said. And on any given night, any one of my kids has stepped up and Jocelyn kept us right there and actually gave us the lead.
The Knights took a 27-22 lead into the fourth quarter and never again. Junior forward Destinee Morris (game-high 18 points) nailed two 3-pointers off feeds from senior guard Elaina Wright-McCarthy in the final frame to close out the victory.
Nyamunda led the Bears with 12 points. Harris chipped in 11 for South Boston.
Heading into the championship, our goal is to win, Higgins said. Weve played Fenway twice, theyre our only two losses this year. Weve obviously seen them, we know what they have. We know what we have to do in order to win.
Fenways offense fired on all cylinders in the second semifinal game. Sophomore guard Takora McIntyre finished with 18 points for the Panthers and junior forward Jalisa Ross added 17. Senior guard Walae Hayek scored 6 points for Brighton.
Although Brighton was the fourth-place team in the South Division and earned a spot in the city tournament because the top two teams in the division were barred from competing, Fenway coach John Rice did not take his opponent lightly.
Its the cities, Rice said. Anybody here is good enough to be here and thats just the way we approached it.
South Boston and Fenway will compete for the City League title Thursday at 5 p.m. at Madison Park.
Theyre athletic, theyre tough, Rice said of South Boston. We played them twice.
Theyre our toughest competitor in the league every year. Theyre well-coached. Coach was a Division 1 ballplayer herself, she knows the game. You know, were both familiar with each other. I expect a good game.
As the Fort Point continues to grow with the almost constant addition of new restaurants and residential developments, community advocates are looking for ways to visually brand the neighborhood.
Neighborhood advocates, businesses owners, and non-profit leaders are expected to come together Wednesday, to continue discussions about how to create an identity for the neighborhood and abutting Fort Point Channel through the use of graphics.
“With this campaign, we really want to highlight Fort Point and express what it is,” explained Danielle Pillion, executive director of the Friends of the Fort Point Channel, the group leading the initiative.
“Right now we don’t have any signage in the neighborhood,” Pillion said. “There’s nothing that lets you know you’re in the Fort Point, tells its history, or what the amenities are.”
The process to visually brand the area kicked off last summer, with the selection of Stoltze Design as project's lead designer. Over the past several months, Stoltze has created a series of “graphic identities” for the community, with the three final options expected to be unveiled Wednesday.
“Our goal is to celebrate the historic district and the amenities that are here, while also educating people when they are in Fort Point,” Pillion added.
The graphic, once a selection has been finalized, is expected to be used throughout the neighborhood from light pole banners to way-finding signs.
“We’ve been getting a lot of press about the neighborhood and people will say, ‘where is Fort Point,’ and that signage will let them know they are here,” Pillion said.
The community is invited to provide feedback on the three designs at two public meetings scheduled for February 19.
The first meeting will be held Wednesday, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., at Atlantic Wharf, located at 290 Congress St., 2nd floor.
The second meeting will be held Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Atlantic Wharf, located at 290 Congress St., 2nd floor.
A final design is expected to be selected by the end of March, but because the neighborhood is in a Historic District, it must also be approved by the Fort Point Channel Landmark District Commission.
For more information visit the Friends of the Fort Point Channel's website.
Boston City League champions will be crowned this week in girls basketball, boys basketball and boys hockey. Basketball will be held at Madison Park with the hockey championship at Northeasterns Matthews Arena.
The action kicks off Tuesday with the girls basketball semifinals. The Boston South champion Dorchester Bears take on the runner-up from the North Division, South Boston, at 4 p.m.
South Boston earned an impressive 15-2 record this season. Dorchester, which finished at 9-8, will face an uphill battle as they try to knock off the Knights.
The second girls semifinal will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the champion from the North, Fenway, challenging Brighton, the South Divisions runner-up.
Fenway cruised to a perfect 12-0 City League record this season and is the favorite to win the title. Sophomore guard Takora McIntyre will look to carry her team in the tournament with her relentless defense and ability to score from all areas of the floor.
The winner of each semifinal will advance to the championship. The title game is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m.
The boys semifinals begin Wednesday at 4 p.m. with Central Division champion Dorchester going head-to-head with East Boston, the runner-up in the North Division.
Dorchester posted a 16-4 record this season courtesy of a high-powered offense comprised of seniors Markus Neale, Tavon Smallpiece, and Khail Newson. But Dorchester did lose to East Boston earlier this season, and the Bears defense will have its hands full with East Bostons sharpshooting junior forward Kevin Sinatra and junior guard Dion Knight. Knight has been one of the citys top scorers this season, consistently posting over 20 points per game.
Boston North champion New Mission will take on South champion Snowden in the second semifinal at 5:30 p.m.
New Mission fell to Brighton in last years city championship, but this year the Titans are in position to bring home the title. Snowden posted a 7-14 record this season and struggled against teams outside of the City League South Division. The Cougars will have a tough time containing New Missions high-scoring seniors Shaquan Murray and Asante Sandiford.
The boys championship game will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m., right after the girls championship.
A City League championship trophy for hockey will be awarded Wednesday morning at Matthews. Six-time defending champion Latin Academy will face off with East Boston for the title at 10 a.m.
The first time these two teams met this season, Latin Academy captain Mark Guerard netted a hat trick to give the Dragons a 5-3 victory. But East Boston refused to drop the second matchup and the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie. Although Latin Academy has won six straight titles, this is anyones game. If the Jets score early on Latin Academy goalie Thomas Guarino, who is only in eighth grade, East Boston could come away as the new City League champion.