Monday, June 1, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Night at the Pine Street Inn

Check out is Monday morning:

"South End gentrification makes for variety of residents; Luxe condos and high-end retailers share South End with shelter guests" by Katie Johnston Globe Staff  May 10, 2015

When residents move in to the new Troy Boston apartments in the South End, where two-bedrooms top out at $4,666 a month, a slew of gifts from local organizations await them. Ceramic measuring cups from a high-end home furnishings store. Tickets to the Boston Ballet. And a plastic colander packed with chocolate chip cookies from the homeless shelter across the street.

An inkling, perhaps, of something new in the city, at the corner of have and have not.

Oooooh. The stench you smell is not body odor or urine; it's in$ulting eliti$m at its fine$t.

The gift from the Pine Street Inn is part of the shelter’s attempt to reach out to — and reassure — the flood of well-heeled people moving into the area about the roughly 500 homeless men and women living in their midst. It’s a welcome wagon of sorts, from the neighbors, and another world.

Maybe we should all just bow down when a certain cla$$ comes walking by.

Gentrification has been closing in on the shelter for years. Restaurants and galleries encroached from one side, luxury condominiums crept in from another. Now, with a Whole Foods and several high-end residences opening in one of the last undeveloped pockets in the area, potentially adding more than 1,000 new residents in the next few years, the shelter is almost completely surrounded by upscale developments.

The contrast can be stark.

It's the way we are going. Just $urrender to it. There is no one in public office or institutional leadership that will take on the money ma$ters.

On a sunny afternoon last week, a glassy-eyed man and a woman missing several teeth sat on the curb between the shelter and the Mobil gas station — just across East Berkeley Street from the posh Troy Boston development, where leather couches and gas fireplaces populate the lobby. Professionals with heaping Whole Foods salads and bottled water strolled down the sidewalk.

With a fixed-rate 99-year lease from the Boston Housing Authority on its main shelter building, Pine Street Inn isn’t going anywhere soon. So it’s trying to build good neighborly relations. In addition to the welcome baskets, the shelter has set up a special ringtone for locals who call the front desk, giving staff a greater ability to track problems affecting the neighborhood. Shelter officials are inviting property and retail managers in for tours, and planning to visit new apartment complexes to meet with tenants.

The rich truly do get richer, in every way. Starving homeless have no need for cookie. Did the woman above a favor, in fact.

For the past few years, a Pine Street facilities crew has been going out into the surrounding area early every weekday morning to pick up trash.

What, they heard the homeless into the shelter?

Last year, the shelter hired its first security director, a retired Abington police officer who attends community meetings and responds to reports if shelter guests act out in the neighborhood.

“People are afraid of things they don’t know,” Pine Street executive director Lyndia Downie said. “I get, walking by this, why it could look scary from the outside. It’s down this alley; it’s a big building. Oftentimes, when people come in and they talk to the guests, and they see it, it just takes some of that away.”

Still, some tension seems inevitable.

And if there isn't any the pre$$ will stir some up!

Chris Johnson, who has lived near the shelter for eight years, said he occasionally sees people who are drunk or high or passed out on the sidewalk, and noted that shelter representatives have been known to get “an earful” at neighborhood association meetings about guests loitering at a nearby park.

Maybe we should just execute them all and the atrocious scandal of homelessness in AmeriKa would just go away.

So far, Pine Street is not aware of any complaints from the new neighbors. But its director is prepared, especially as more shelter guests head outside. “It’s early,” Downie said. “And it’s not that warm yet.”

Out on the sidewalk by the shelter Wednesday, Elvin Berrios and Mohamed Adam were smoking cigarettes during a break from a job training program at Pine Street. Both men said they became homeless just over a year ago when they lost their jobs.

Well, the jobs were taken from them but let's not argue over semantics.

While they are not opposed to all the “high-class people” in the area, they noted it is giving the neighborhood a different vibe. “This guy,” Adam said, gesturing to a hypothetical poor person, “he cannot afford to buy anything here.”

Property managers say it’s no secret that there’s a homeless shelter in the midst of their outdoor pools and rooftop terraces, but it’s not a selling point.

“It’s definitely not something that we’re overly vocal about,” said Kathleen Leito, part of the Troy property management team.

At the nearby Ink Block development, where apartments rent for up to $6,000 a month, Stephen Sherman and his wife have begun to settle into their modern corner unit with a wall of windows facing downtown. The homeless shelter was not a factor in their decision to move here, said Sherman, 35, a real estate agent with a Boston terrier puppy named Oprah. What was a factor: the proximity to his job in the Back Bay and restaurants in the South End, garage parking, and a concierge in the lobby.

Sherman acknowledged the irony of a homeless shelter giving gifts to greet its upscale neighbors: “It seems backward.”

I found it heart-breaking.

But the way Downie sees it, it’s a step forward.

“For a long time, we were reacting,” she said. “We’re trying to be more proactive.”

(Blog editor's chin slumps top chest)

When the Pine Street Inn moved from its namesake address in Chinatown into its Harrison Avenue location, the site of the old Boston Fire Department headquarters, in 1980, it was no man’s land. There were few residences, and its closest neighbors were a laundry, a transmission shop, and the expressway.

But as more art galleries and restaurants popped up — and condo property values more than quadrupled in less than 20 years, according to Zillow, the online realty company — more people moved in.

As it has changed, Barbara Spears, a longtime South End real estate agent, said she has encountered people who don’t want to live close to a homeless shelter, or be hemmed in by highways, for that matter, but they are far outnumbered by people eager to move into the up-and-coming area. Indeed, Ink Block has rented more than half of its 315 apartments since opening at the end of January, and sold all but one of 83 condos, which range from $500,000 to $2 million.

If an Olympic stadium is built just on the other side of Interstate 93, as is proposed, the neighborhood is bound to get even hotter.

New arrivals are doing their part to keep relations warm. Whole Foods department heads spent a morning chopping vegetables at Pine Street before the store opened, and they donated part of the opening day proceeds to the shelter. Ink Block purchased cutting boards made by Pine Street job trainees as gifts for new residents and is hosting a shelter fund-raiser. Troy is also considering giving cutting boards as welcome gifts and is planning a socks and underwear drive.

People who want to live in this part of the South End don’t want a homogenous neighborhood, Ink Block developer Ted Tye said. The buildings on the former site of the Boston Herald, abutting the interstate, reflect the area’s industrial roots, with a mail room made out of a metal shipping container and spray-painted apartment numbers.

“Our corner of the South End has some grittiness to it,” Tye said. “You can either turn your back on it or you can embrace it.”


Time to go:

"Study says ‘housing first’ approach works for homeless" Washington Post  March 05, 2015

They needed a study to tell them that?

WASHINGTON — A Canadian study  in the Journal of the American Medical Association lends backing for a common-sense approach to moving people off the streets that has been used in Washington, Boston, and other US cities since the 1990s: Ensure that the homeless receive permanent shelter first, and their chances of achieving stability will increase.

Known as the ‘‘housing first’’ approach, the program offers social support as well. But it emphasizes finding secure shelter in the community first, in contrast to homeless programs that insist on preconditions such as sobriety or psychiatric care and moving through transitional housing.

The study, carried out by researchers at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that giving mentally ill homeless people financial help to secure free-market rental housing and mental health support services enhanced chances of stability....


Btw, the bridges back have been burned:

"City councilors skeptical about rebuilding Long Island Bridge" by Meghan E. Irons, Globe Staff  March 25, 2015

Boston city councilors expressed skepticism Wednesday about spending tens of millions of dollars to replace the Long Island Bridge, which was hastily shuttered in October and is being demolished piece by piece.

It's only part of the solution.

The subject of replacing the bridge came up during this week’s lengthy council meeting. Councilor Charles Yancey of Mattapan urged having a pair of hearings on the impact the bridge’s closing has had on homeless residents who received services on Long Island.

The city has restored a Southampton Street building to house many of the 700 displaced homeless.

Officials have said reconstructing the 3,450-foot-long bridge will cost $80 million. The city’s capital plan includes $35 million for the bridge, but it remains unclear where the city would get the rest of the money.

Councilor Stephen J. Murphy of Hyde Park said that each year the city’s budget includes a list of priorities that must be considered before replacing the bridge. Murphy said the city could spend much less on ferry service and focus its resources on more pressing needs.

“We only have so much money to spread around all this list,’’ he said. “For about $4 million, the City of Boston could invest in a ferry to ferry people back and forth to Long Island.”

Councilor Tito Jackson of Roxbury said the city should seek adequate long-term solutions for housing the homeless instead of focusing on replacing the bridge. Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars on a new bridge, Jackson said, “how about spending [that money] to build housing so we can actually solve the problem, rather than dealing with the underlying issues of the bridge?”

Since Jan. 5, six of the bridge’s 16 spans have been demolished, and Walsh Construction Co. of Chicago, which is being paid $20.6 million, is expected to complete demolition by the end of April. The city has issued a request for proposals for a bridge design. The design is expected to cost $9 million.



"With a rumbling boom and a burst of smoke, the controlled demolition happened at 11 a.m., sending a dark billow of smoke into a whipping breeze. The demolition, by Walsh Construction Co. of Chicago, is expected to cost $20.6 million and to be finished by the end of April. The city has issued a request for proposals for design of a new bridge. The design is expected to cost $9 million. Building a new bridge is expected to cost at least $80 million."

Such an in-your-facer after those three WTC towers were reduced to rubble in the same fashion (what, no pictures or video????).

Of course, despite all the promises in the wake of the bridge shutdown, the new digs won’t be fully ready until summer at earliest -- although I now find out they are months early with it. No more bridge over troubled waters; they have found a new home and are ready for visitors!

Much of the talk was kept quiet as "More than 100 police officers and firefighters rallied Friday at City Hall for increased disability benefits, putting a further strain on the uniformed unions’ oft-tense relationship with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.... Nearby, a parade celebrating Israel’s independence was marching along Fifth Avenue. De Blasio took part in the festivities."


He couldn't take the subway, either:

"Subway service was disrupted for hundreds of thousands of commuters Wednesday after a massive theft of copper cable from train tracks, transit officials said. The theft of 500 feet of cable forced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to suspend train service entirely between the Rockaway Boulevard and Broad Channel stations in Queens and replace it with shuttle buses during the morning rush hour. The cable was stolen from about a dozen locations along the tracks, the MTA said. ‘‘We are working closely with the NYPD Transit Bureau to help them investigate this crime and identify the culprits responsible,’’ New York City Transit president Carmen Bianco said. More than a dozen employees of the MTA’s Long Island Rail Road were arrested in 2013 on charges they conspired to sell $250,000 worth of copper wire over a three-year period."

Maybe that is why the train crashed. 

Next stop Boston:

"Cranes and skyscrapers are springing up all over Boston, but a massive development proposed for Copley Place still isn’t any closer to breaking ground after almost seven years of planning. The project, a 52-story tower and an expanded Neiman Marcus department store, was scheduled to receive approval Thursday by the Boston Redevelopment Authority but was pulled from the agenda at the last minute because of continued neighborhood opposition. The developer, Simon Property Group, has repeatedly clashed with housing activists over how many of the tower’s residential units would be priced as affordable." 

Maybe Walsh better watch what's over his head.

Mayor Walsh pledges $39m for less-costly housing

Walsh says Boston mostly on track to hit 2030 housing goals

BRA change sends a message: It’s Walsh’s city now

Boston homeless veterans center to get $31m upgrade

You buyin' in?

City faulted on aid to homeless


For those lagging, maybe the state can help:

"State officials call new charitable giving tax credit program a success" by Sacha Pfeiffer Globe Staff  April 16, 2015

The tally is in on a new Massachusetts tax credit designed to promote a specific type of charitable giving, and state officials say they’re pleased with the outcome.

Then I'm likely not.

Called the Community Investment Tax Credit and available for the first time in 2014, it offers a 50 percent credit to anyone who donates money to a community development corporation, or CDC, which is a nonprofit that tries to improve low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

It's an art form:

"nonprofits provide new ways for corporations and individuals to influence

As if they already didn't have enough. Now you know why they are so prominent in the new$paper.

It’s a complicated program in which CDCs receive allocations of credits that they use to entice donors. A $1,000 donation results in a $500 credit to the donor,which means a CDC allocated $100,000 in credits must raise at least $200,000 in contributions to maximize its credits. The goal is to use government money to attract private dollars.

State revenue is expended only if the credits are claimed.

Last year, $3 million in credits were allocated to 38 CDCs statewide, and state officials now say nearly $2.4 million of those credits were claimed. That translates into almost $4.8 million collectively donated to the CDCs by approximately 1,100 total donors.

“We’re delighted with the results for the first year of this program,” said Joseph Kriesberg, president of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. “It’s funneling philanthropy to high-impact organizations, and this is by far the largest infusion of private philanthropy into community development that I can recall in the last 20 years.”


Top performers, including the Franklin County CDC in Greenfield.

Poorest in the state, but I call it home.

The majority of donors were individuals, but there were also corporate contributors. State Street Corp. gave $500,000 to the United Way’s Community Partnership Fund, which distributes the money to CDCs across the state. Boston Private Bank & Trust Co. donated about $110,000 among 16 CDCs. And New Balance made a $40,000 donation to the Allston Brighton CDC.

Yes, yes, the banks and corporations are looking out for us all, yes, yes. I'm embracing them.

The CDCs use the donations to spur economic development in a variety of ways, from offering job training to building affordable housing to providing after-school programs.

Some groups had considerably less fund-raising luck, but “we never expected every CDC to have 100 percent success because that’s not how the world works,” Kriesberg said.

“We knew that in the first year of the program there was going to be a steep learning curve for the state agencies administering it, for the CDCs involved, and for donors,” he added, “so to get as far as we did and see as many groups succeed as they did is very exciting.”

Another $5.2 million in credits have been allocated for 2015, and $626,000 in unused credits from 2014 will roll over into this year. In addition, another $800,000 in credits are expected to be allocated by year’s end, making more than $6 million available for 2015. The program is slated to expire in 2019.

State has a $2 billion hole, but.... why not give the rich folk another tax break?


We are all now dependent upon the generosity of our lords and ma$ters:

"‘Shark Tank’-style contest for nonprofits stirs furor; Say model is ill suited for social endeavors" by Sacha Pfeiffer Globe Staff  March 30, 2015

Eager to sign up. Or completely appalled.

Those were the two general responses to my recent story about a wealthy Boston venture capitalist who is organizing a “Shark Tank”-style competition for nonprofits. Envision fledgling charities — on stage, in front of an audience — being grilled by prospective investors, or “sharks,” on their social missions and business plans. Those that survive could walk away with big bucks and free consulting.

Inevitably, my in-box was flooded with e-mails from tiny nonprofits of all kinds yearning to participate. In the competitive world of nonprofit fund-raising, the prospect of shark tank money is alluring.

But the story also triggered an upswell of indignation. A similar event — coincidentally announced the same week by the Council on Foundations and quickly revamped following widespread outcry — added to the uproar.

“Nobody Needs a ‘Shark Tank’ in Philanthropy,” read a headline in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. “Poverty and hunger aren’t Jeopardy categories,” said the accompanying article, which decried the event as a “competitive circus” that would be “disrespectful at best, demeaning at worst.”

Early-stage not-for-profit organizations could pitch their missions to investors, who would fund those they consider most promising.

Another Chronicle piece condemned the idea as “a humiliating exercise that resembles a reality television show rather than a thoughtful approach to improving the world.” The Nonprofit Quarterly derided the competitions, too, calling them “philanthropic scrums masquerading as thoughtful grant-making.”

Hunger Games contests for nonprofits” is how Jon Pratt, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, sums it up. “I hope nonprofits organize a boycott,” pronounced William Schambra, a philanthropy scholar at the Hudson Institute.

I put this issue to Marjorie Ringrose, executive director of Social Venture Partners Boston, which helps connect philanthropists and nonprofits and selects worthy organizations in part by having them do short pitch sessions. She spends a lot of time thinking about how to do smart charitable giving.

“It certainly touched a nerve,” Ringrose said.


She’s referring to the effort to bring market principles to charitable giving, a movement at least a decade old. It’s been fueled by a new breed of philanthropist — often young, wealthy entrepreneurs from tech and finance who think of the money they give to nonprofits as investments, not gifts or donations. They frequently refer to the “portfolio” of charities they fund, and they want a return on their charitable investments, just as they do with the stocks they buy.

Like I've been saying, greed has infected every damn institution and soul in that cla$$. It's over (as far as I can see from my soapbox on the corner)

But how do you calculate a social return on investment? A successful company makes money. What does success look like in the nonprofit sector, and can it be measured?

The answer to that, and whether it can be answered at all, is a subject of massive debate in philanthropic and nonprofit circles. Consider the Pine Street Inn. It’s a $53 million operation and one of Boston’s most respected nonprofits, but because hunger and homelessness still exist in the city, does that mean it’s failing in its mission?

And they are soaring in the midst of continuously yawning wealth inequality here.

The pushback to the shark tank concept, Ringrose said, is partly rooted in a concern that some social endeavors, like fighting poverty, are so difficult and complicated that they can’t be thoughtfully vetted in a pop-culture-inspired competition. A companion worry is that more targeted nonprofit missions, such as college readiness programs that can quantify exactly how many disadvantaged kids they help graduate, will have a natural and unfair advantage.

“I think it’s pretty ridiculous,” said Bob Giannino, chief executive of uAspire, a Boston nonprofit that helps students afford college. “A 10-minute pitch by someone who could have an awful lot of glitz and showmanship . . . is not the way we should be addressing our social problems.”

Giannino also dislikes what he calls the “eat or be eaten” aspect of the shark tank because collaboration is considered crucial in the charitable sector — unlike in business, whose lifeblood is competition.

Also reflected in the comments of shark tank opponents is a sense of weariness among many nonprofits, bordering on resentment, at basically having to beg for money from wealthy funders. To be publicly interrogated on stage by a rich investor adds to that sense of insult....

Which indicates the greedheads have really gone to far if their $ocial con$ciou$ organizations are getting sick of it.


Time to be reborn:

"Incubator backs emerging research at Broad Institute" by Sacha Pfeiffer Globe Staff  April 10, 2015

In Sharmil Modi’s line of work, $40,000 is basically a rounding error.

And the in$ults keep coming.

As an investment analyst at Baupost Group, the giant Boston hedge fund, Modi is routinely involved in financial transactions many multiples of that.

So he was floored when he learned that some scientists at the Broad Institute, the Cambridge biomedical research center whose lofty mission is to “completely transform medicine and biology,” lack the money to do research projects that would cost $40,000 or less. Eyeing his affluent colleagues, he wondered if they could help close that funding gap.

“I looked around the room and thought, there are people of means here, and they know people of means, so why hasn’t the hat been passed around?” Modi, 38, recalled. “Sometimes it’s hard to square how it’s possible that they could do so much with those small dollars and why those projects aren’t being funded.”

His astonishment has led to a partnership between up-and-coming scientists in need of funding and young professionals who may not be able to give millions — yet — but can perhaps give thousands, and are pooling their money to maximize their impact.BroadIgnite also gives donors the opportunity to meet the scientists they are funding and visit them in their labs, offering a rare front-row view of the impact of their charitable dollars.

The funders and scientists even have opportunities to socialize together. At a recent BroadIgnite gathering at the sleek Café ArtScience in Kendall Square, about 70 young professionals from the financial services, legal, real estate, and tech sectors drank cucumber cocktails and feasted at a raw bar while listening to Broad scientists explain their research....

They were “going after a certain demographic,” and jyou which see which one for yourself.


Apparently, you “don’t always need a lot of money. Sometimes you just need a little money” to find the "holy grail."

Meanwhile, across town:

"Seaport hotel could see tax relief, but critics are wary" by Jon Chesto, Globe Staff  March 21, 2015

City and convention center officials are considering property tax breaks to help build a massive hotel complex across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, even as the area has emerged as one of the hottest urban real estate markets on the East Coast.

So the same cla$$ can have a nice place to party; that's what this is.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said officials are “in discussions” about providing a public subsidy for the South Boston waterfront project, which would have at least 1,200 rooms and cost roughly $800 million to build.

“Everything is on the table,” the mayor said Thursday night. “If it’s going to help grow the area, I’m certainly not going to walk away from it.”

Now move along, homeless folk. 

That approach troubles Greg Sullivan, research director at the Pioneer Institute, a conservative think tank in Boston.

“If the convention center expansion can’t attract a major hotel company to build a hotel directly across the street from the convention center on its own merits,” he said, “then what is the point?”

Because the process of selecting a developer remains in the early stages, Walsh and others involved said it is too soon to negotiate the size of any subsidy the city would provide.

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority wants the hotel built in conjunction with the center’s $1 billion expansion. But the future of that expansion became uncertain when Governor Charlie Baker’s administration put a hold on the issuing of bonds, expressing caution about spending money on the project amid a large budget deficit.

Bad Baker (I actually like the guy so far and feel sorry for him; he's having to clean up eight years of mismanagement).

Convention Center Authority chief James Rooney’s uncertain tenure is also complicating matters. Rooney, the expansion project’s biggest cheerleader, could be gone soon: He is considered a top contender to take over as chief executive of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce this spring.

He was seen as next leader of Boston chamber along with a few other new faces, and the ripple effects are still being felt

Btw, did you see the size of the check?

Expansion proponents remain hopeful that Baker will soon authorize the bonds. But if it gets shelved, officials say they would probably scratch the current hotel bidding and restart the process for a smaller hotel.

Baker spokesman Tim Buckley said the administration is not considering additional state funds for the hotel, and the administration recently shared that view with the convention center leadership.

Last month, three development teams submitted a total of six proposals for the hotel project. An eight-member panel with representatives from the convention center and the Massachusetts Port Authority is expected to select a winner by this summer, in time for the hotel project to break ground in 2016 and open in 2019.

The hotel would be built on two Massport-owned parcels totaling five acres along Summer Street and separated by D Street, to be connected with a pedestrian bridge. The complex would be on par with Boston’s largest hotel, the 1,220-room Sheraton in the Back Bay.

Massport chief executive Thomas Glynn said he remains optimistic about keeping any public subsidies to a minimum.

No need to get people angry when they are suffering and you are scooping from the public treasury.

He declined to say how much of a property tax subsidy the development teams are seeking as part of their bids, or if all of the bids rely on a subsidy. Proposals with smaller subsidy requests will get better scores in the bid review.

“Our job is to get the best deal for the public sector,” Glynn said. “We want the private sector to step up as much as possible.”

Pfffft! And I've been told the wealthy areas are booming!


The Pioneer Institute has waged a war against any convention center hotel subsidy for at least a year, arguing that if the convention center is successful, the activity there should be enough to spur private construction without public help.

Well, the Globe just let you know which $ide they are on -- even when they agree!

I see Baker has put at risk everything just to show who’s in charge of the hotel and it's rates for rooms ("good news") even if they are a little smaller

“My concern with this procurement is that lurking in the shadows is the motivation to provide a subsidy to the developer,” said Pioneer’s Sullivan, a former state inspector general.

Expected to $ee it in there even if we couldn't see it.

It is not unusual for tax breaks to be given to hotel projects in Boston, and some early participants in the waterfront’s current boom received property tax relief.

Typically, these breaks consist of a transition period in which the full property tax is deferred for many years, and the amount paid to the city rises over that time. These packages are usually worth millions of dollars.

Aside from property tax breaks, there are other ways to help spur construction....

Never mind that the parking is bad enough, although I don't know how they can know that.


Rising sea levels (allegedly) not much of a concern when it comes to the Bo$ton waterfront?

"After a tough winter that kept buyers off the roads and homes off the market, early signs point to a strong rebound in real estate activity this spring. Listings are up. Open houses are attracting big crowds. Properties are attracting multiple bids. But the same issue that has bedeviled the housing market in recent years continues to tamp down sales and drive up prices: a tight supply of homes for sale." 

Propping up prices, as I have said so many times as the propaganda pre$$ raved about the housing market.

"A dilapidated garage in the heart of Boston’s Financial District has suddenly emerged as the hottest spot in the city’s booming real estate market. Eight developers have filed proposals for a skyscraper, several of which would be nearly as tall as the city’s largest, the Hancock Tower, on the site of a city-owned parking garage that is now closed. The competitors include a who’s who of local and national developers, a measure of how strong Boston’s real estate market has become.... Among the largest drivers of growth in the residential sphere: a 12.3 percent uptick in the value of condominiums, particularly upscale residences. Business values grew at faster rates in the city’s retail and financial hotspots, including downtown, Back Bay, and the Seaport Distict."

Next thing you know the state economy will be mirroring Brazil.

Who will be patrolling?

"City, state police spar over jurisdiction in Seaport" by Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff  June 01, 2015

It’s a policing turf battle that dates back to the early days of the Seaport District’s growth spurt, which has transformed the South Boston waterfront with new restaurants, office buildings, and residents.

But despite the rapid revamping of the neighborhood that was once made up of loading docks and warehouses, the wrangling between the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police over who should patrol the revitalized district remains at a stalemate.

Boston police want to extend their jurisdiction to property owned by the Massachusetts Port Authority along the waterfront and share policing duties there with their state counterparts. State Police say they are legally responsible for patrolling the area and that the current arrangement serves the neighborhood well....


Don't worry, though; the banks will help you find a placester. There is a template with a twi$t as common ground is finally found:

"$3.5m restoration set for Boston Common edge; City plans overhaul for a long-crumbling corner" by Meghan E. Irons Globe Staff  June 01, 2015

City parks officials are planning a $3.5 million restoration for a swath of Boston Common where the sidewalk is buckling, bricks are missing, and an aging trio of bronze statues have not had any TLC for years.

Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook promised a top-to-bottom redo of the Parkman Plaza, a dreary patch of the nation’s oldest public park. It includes the paved semicircle that is home to the visitor information center, where at least 500,000 tourists stop by each year seeking guidance to the city’s popular sites.

Seriously, where has all the goddamn money gone?

Cook said the department expects to start work this year. “The Common has suffered from a lack of investment in infrastructure,’’ Cook said. “Certain conditions that we take for granted in other public spaces have been left by the wayside for a long time. This will help the park function better and change people’s perception of it.”

That's what it's all about: imagery and illusion in support of a narrative!

Over the past two years, city officials conducted a study, interviewed people, and consulted with various groups — including the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Freedom Trail Foundation, and the city’s Landmarks and Art commissions — to gain a better understanding of how the space was being used. They wanted to know what was working well, and what wasn’t.

They determined that while the space was frequently used by tour groups and tourists, it was in poor condition.

They needed a $tudy for that? Who got paid?


The capital plan calls for spending $1.51 million on pathways and other improvements in Franklin Park, which borders Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and Dorchester. Cook is also seeking more accessibility for the disabled at the city’s other parks.

Other efforts to boost Boston Common were undertaken by developer Millennium Partners, which is building in Downtown Crossing.

Time to flop down another past post.

Around 2000, the developer spent $1 million to erect a fence and restore the side of the park along Boylston and Avery streets, said Joe Larkin, a principal at the company.

Back then, Larkin said the company also promised to donate $50,000 annually to the Parks Department for 20 years and has kept its pledge....


I'm done ranging around the Common for now.


"Renters are on the rise in America’s biggest cities, but many tenants are scrambling to keep up with growing rent bills and shrinking vacancies, according to a study being released Thursday. From Boston to Miami, New York to Los Angeles, more than half of tenants are paying what experts consider unaffordable rents, says a report by New York University’s Furman Center, which studies real estate and urban policy, and the bank Capital One, which is a leading affordable-housing lender. It financed the research. While various housing experts have noted such trends, the study zooms in on 11 of the nation’s most populous cities. Overall, it’s a portrait of increasing competition and often slipping affordability, but the picture isn’t universally bleak and looks noticeably different from city to city."

All goes back to childhood:

"This teen employment gap is another illustration of why the nation’s income divide is persistent and growing, as better-off families start with advantages that help their children get ahead, while low-income households struggle to break the cycle of poverty. Research shows that teens with summer jobs learn responsibility, punctuality, and other skills that give them a leg up when they enter the labor force as adults, helping them advance their careers and earn more over their working lives."


With unusual sales plan, Fan Pier luxury units sell out

Developer plans hotel for North End’s Lewis Wharf