Police Break Up Allston Party

Police Break Up Allston House Party
Police broke up a party at 33 Arden St. (click for map) Saturday night that they said looked like a scene out of the movie "Animal House."

Landlord with Allston/Brighton ties lashed for Katrina evictions

Landlord with Boston ties lashed for Katrina evictions - The Boston Globe
Leonard J. Samia, one of Boston's largest and most notorious landlords who owns many buildings in Allston and Brighton, is evicting tenants from a building he owns in the New Orleans suburb of Terrytown. Many say he is using the chaos of the Katrina aftermath to take advantage of these tenants.
Reputation among tenant advocates precedes magnate - The Boston Globe
Residents of Allston and Brighton are familiar with the Samia name. His offices are on Birmingham Parkway in Brighton and he owns many properties here. (I am looking out the window of my house at a For Sale sign he has in front of a property he owns on Mansfield Street.) In 1999, a three-story deck at a Samia-owned apartment building in Allston collapsed, injuring 15 people. As a result, Samia was cited with nine building code violations, including operating an illegal boarding house. City inspectors said the two-year-old deck had been attached to the building with only nails.

Police seek to stop surge in prostitution

Police seek to stop surge in prostitution - The Boston Globe
Police in Brighton and Allston have arrested about 68 people, many of them Asian, in connection with prostitution rings, said Captain William Evans.

Planning for Brighton Allston Bicentennial

Allston-Brighton TAB: Brighton Allston Bicentennial: "For more information, call Theresa Hynes at 617-782-1718 or Tim Schofield at 617-557-4545, or e-mail him at tim@schofieldlawfirm.com"

New group, Allston Brighton 2006

Allston Brighton TAB: New group, Allston Brighton 2006, got your back
Story in today's TAB about the new grassroots group Allston Brighton 2006 that is forming to talk about how we can improve our neighborhoods. Our kickoff meeting is Saturday from 3-5 at the Honan library. More info is at:

Comm Ave improvements

Walk on, walk on, Comm. Ave. - The Boston Globe
To follow up Charlie's comment on a previous post, here is a link to a Globe story from January 1 about improvements to Comm Ave. It sounds like a great project. As it says below, there is no timetable for the project to be extended through Allston and Brighton. Because it is a state project, Reps Honan and Moran are probably the ones to talk to for more information.

Excerpts from the Globe story:
The Massachusetts Highway Department hopes to award a $12.7 million contract shortly to rebuild the road, as well as the sidewalks and median, between Kenmore Square and the Boston University Bridge.
"It's an effort to make Commonwealth Avenue much more pedestrian-friendly," said MassHighway spokesman Jon Carlisle. The three westbound travel lanes would be compressed to two most of the way from Kenmore Square to the BU Bridge. With the new space, the median where the Green Line trolleys run would be widened and landscaped, and sidewalks would be rebuilt. Trees and benches would be added.
The plans also call for the crosswalks to be raised and made more visible. To enhance traffic flow, the traffic signals would be synchronized. Boston University would give up a slice of a parking lot near the BU Bridge to allow construction of a new right turn lane onto the bridge from westbound Commonwealth Avenue.
The work is expected to take 2 1/2 years. MassHighway expects to award the contract soon in hopes of having the project start in the spring. The state plans eventually to rebuild Commonwealth Avenue all the way to Boston College, although there is no timetable for that work.

State Senate - Galluccio vs. ???

Cambridge Chronicle -Letters
Cambridge City Councilor Marjorie Decker isn't running for the seat being opened up by Jarrett Barrios. Will anyone else step up to make this a race?

Livable Communities

A few websites with different ideas about what makes a city livable
America's Most Livable Communities
Making Cities Livable
Transportation for a Livable City

Boston-specific sites:
Barr Foundation: Making Boston a More Livable City for All
Boston Bicycle Planning Initiative
Boston 400: Shaping the Future City

The Boston Indicators Project 2004

The Boston Indicators Project 2004
This is an interesting web site of data about population, health, housing, and open space in Allston, Brighton, and all of Boston. It has information about the whole city and each neighborhood (select from the 'Geography at a Glance' menu on the left) and shows historical trends using census data from 1990 and 2000.

Keg Sales and Drinking in Allston

Powder keg - The Boston Globe
To keep a lid on its explosive mix of booze and youths, Boston has a new rule that police be told of every beer keg sold. But the law has a hole in it.

Police Bust Allston Keg Party

Police Bust Allston Keg Party: Five people are under arrest and will be arraigned in Brighton District Court after police say they provided alcohol to minors at an Allston house party. Shortly after midnight on Saturday, officers were called to Wadsworth Street (click for map) where there were reports of 200 college students fighting in the streets.

Boston candidates big spenders in '05

Boston candidates big spenders in '05 - The Boston Globe
Lots of $$$ in Boston politics. Here is what some candidates spent in 2005.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino spent nearly $1.7 million and raised $1.3 million. He has $202,000 left in his campaign account.
City Council President Michael F. Flaherty Jr. spent $512,000 and has $225,000 in the bank.
John Connolly spent $330,000 but finished a losing fifth in the November election.
Sam Yoon, who came in third, spent $220,000. Councilor Stephen J. Murphy spent $149,000; Councilor Felix Arroyo spent $130,000; Matt O'Malley spent $84,000; and Edward Flynn, spent $73,000.

Seat Belt law

House approves seat belt scrutiny - The Boston Globe
The Massachusetts House narrowly approved a controversial bill yesterday to give police officers authority to pull over drivers for not wearing seat belts. Here's how members of the House representing Allton and Brighton voted. A "yes" vote is in favor of the bill. A "no" vote is against it:
Kevin G. Honan, D-Boston - Y
Michael J. Moran, D-Boston - N
You can go here to vote in an online poll at Boston.com. Current results are 32% support the law, 68% oppose.

Groundhog Job Shadow Day

This is an opportunity for high school students in the Boston Public Schools to spend a morning observing someone at work. The Boston Private Industry Council is still looking for volunteers to have students shadow for the morning of February 2nd.

Please circulate this to friends and co-workers. If you are interested, please visit www.bostonpic.org or contact Josh Bruno at 617-488-1327, jobshadow@bostonpic.org.

Zoning Board of Appeal hearings - Jan 24

Even if these are not in your neighborhood and may not directly affect you, zoning board decisions set precedents that in the future could be relevant to something where you live. So if you would have an opinion if this was happening next door, it is worth writing a short letter about these appeals.

You can download zoning codes and maps here. The Allston-Brighton zoning is in Article 51.

Hearings at 9:30am, Tuesday Jan 24 in Room 801, City Hall.

Cathal Talbot
38-40 Ranelegh Road, Brighton
Replace existin porches with new porches at rear of dwelling

If you wish to support or oppose these proposals, it can be mailed to:
Board of Appeal, Room 204
Boston City Hall
Boston, MA 02201
For more information, call the Board of Appeal at (617)635-4775.

Mass. exodus

Mass. exodus - The Boston Globe: Jeff Jacoby on the decline in Massachusetts population
FOR THE second year in a row, the Census Bureau reports, the population of Massachusetts has shrunk...Not counting foreign immigrants, Massachusetts has been losing more people than it attracts every year since 1990...
In the state that produced Michael S. Dukakis and Sen. Kerry, the concerns of ordinary citizens are so often met with disdain, while the political class lets nothing get in the way of its own appetites and priorities...This is a state in which a tax cut can be decisively approved by the voters yet never go into effect. In which grocers can be prosecuted for pricing milk too low. In which archaic blue laws decree when shops may and may not open for business.

A duel for the Senate

A duel for the Senate - The Boston Globe
Story about Cambridge city councilors Marjorie Decker and Anthony Galluccio who are running to represent Allston in the State Senate

Meet the Mayor

Mayor to lead four forums around city - The Boston Globe:
At each forum, residents, community leaders, and city officials will share ideas about how to improve the city and about Boston's long-range plans, Menino's office said yesterday. The mayor will lead each discussion.
Participants will be selected by lottery from a pool of people who register in advance. Residents can sign up online at www.cityofboston.gov/mayor/mayor_roundtable_form.asp or by calling 617-635-4500. The deadline is Jan. 27.

$540,000 a year job for ex-speaker Finneran

Finneran ready for business - The Boston Globe: "Having passed the one-year mark since his departure from the State House, Finneran is no longer legally barred from lobbying his former colleagues"

''This will be perfect for him; he's one of the brightest guys who ever served in the building," said former House speaker Charles F. Flaherty.
Flaherty, too, is a State House lobbyist and, like Finneran, changed careers under a haze of legal troubles.

Biotech executives said they expect Finneran, who is paid $540,000 a year, to lobby for faster permitting of new office buildings

Brookline man arraigned on armed assault charges

TownOnline.com - Brookline TAB - Local News: "Joseph, 20, is charged in connection with the shooting of 23-year-old Maseresha Demes, of Allston, on the morning of Oct. 7 outside an Allston apartment complex. "

Brighton's Concentration of Power

  1. The State Reps who represent Allston, Brighton, and some of Brookline live less than 4/10ths of a mile from each other but more than 2 miles from some of their constituents.
  2. My State Rep lives less than 2/10ths of a mile from his State Senator, but my State Senator is someone else who lives 2 miles away in Cambridge.
  3. Many elected officials live near each other in Brighton. I don't know of any who live in Allston.

Better district boundaries may not change all of these oddities, but it might improve the chances of:
- You and your State Rep both having the same State Senator
- More people represented by someone who lives nearby in a similar community

District Boundaries - Do they help or hurt Allston and Brighton?

Parts of Allston are represented in the State Senate by Jarrett Barrios (district in yellow). Brighton and other parts of Allston are represented by Steve Tolman.

One argument could be made that it helps to have two senators and two reps interested in what is happening in the same area.

A different line of reasoning is that this dillutes our influence, reduces accountability, and diminishes civic engagement.

Common Cause is supporting a new redistricting process that would
- Keep towns and city neighborhoods together.
- Practice non-partisan redistricting.
- Prevent redistricting from intentionally protecting or harming any candidate.
- Foster competition by treating incumbents like any other candidate and creating opportunities for local elected officials to "move up".
- Protect the voting rights of minority communities.
- Require a public process and public input.
You can read more about it at the Common Cause website

District Boundaries - House

Here's how Allston and Brighton are divided up between the House districts that are held by Kevin Honan (17th Suffolk, in green) and Mike Moran (18th Suffolk, in red). You can see the 17th Suffolk boundary on an interactive Google Map here.

Task force to oversee Harvard's Allston development

Task force to oversee Harvard's development of North Allston campus
The task force will serve as an advisory board to the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Harvard University throughout the master planning process.
The Harvard Allston Task Force members include:
Brian Golden, former State Representative, resident
Paul Berkeley, resident
Harry Mattison, resident
Cathleen Campbell, resident
Millie Holcum McLaughlin, resident
Andy Yu, resident
Ray Mellone, resident
Michael Hanlon, resident,
John Bruno, resident
Bruce Houghton, business owner
Mary Ellen Black, resident
Tim Norton, resident
John Cusack, resident
Valter Vitorino, business owner
Brighton Lew, resident
Brian Gibbons, resident
Rita DiGesse, resident

NH teen gunned down in Allston

More details about Sunday's shooting...
Union Leader - NH teen gunned down in Boston
Natalie Sumner, 18, a Franklin, New Hampshire High School student and Julio Ceus, 33, were shot to death about 9:23 p.m. inside Ceus’ 244 Kelton St. apartment in Boston’s Allston neighborhood, police and relatives said.
A high-ranking Boston official said it appears crack cocaine was being smoked in Julio Ceus’ apartment and drugs appeared to be a motive for the slayings, the first homicides in Boston this year.
Two men were seen fleeing the apartment building. No arrests have been made nor any suspects identified, Boston police said. Police said the victims were targeted and it was not a random act of violence.

Allston shooting victims were targeted, police say

Allston shooting victims were targeted, police say - The Boston Globe: "Relatives told reporters this morning someone called the 33-year-old man on his cell phone asking him to open the door to his apartment. They said when he opened the door, at least one gunman fired into the apartment.
A police statement said preliminary investigations reveal the victims were targeted and that it is not a random act of violence."

Dog killed after it walks on utility panel

Dog killed after it walks on utility panel - The Boston Globe
This time it is a dog electrocuted walking on a Charlestown sidewalk. Last March a dog was killed in Allston. Seems the problem is still too real.

Two are fatally shot in Allston

Man, woman are fatally shot in Allston - The Boston Globe: Two people killed and a third injured last night at 244 Kelton St. (click here for map) in Allston

City of Boston Subscription Email Services

City of Boston
This link has several different email notifications that you can sign up to recieve - emergency notifications, CityLine newsletter, Office of Neighborhood Services updates, Arts and the City, Youth e-Newsletter, and a Weekly Funding Update

The erosion of worker safety

The erosion of worker safety - The Boston Globe
MASSACHUSETTS' DISTINGUISHED promise of worker safety is fraying. More of our workers work unsafely. When they sustain a serious work injury they are less able to access the protections of our four-generations-old workers' compensation system ... activist groups such as the Allston-based Brazilian Immigrant Center have monitored the immigrant workforce and its challenges.

Education, public safety top councilors' agenda

Education, public safety top councilors' agenda - The Boston Globe
Jerry P. McDermott, Brighton
''Public safety. We not only need to put more police on the streets, but we also need to increase the number of detectives, so that we can get some of these unsolved crimes solved.'"

Future of American Legion Post on Chestnut Hill Ave.

Veterans profit from building sale - The Boston Globe
Just after World War II, the City of Boston sold the Mary L. Brock School, a historic building on Chestnut Hill Avenue, to the American Legion Post in Brighton for $500. Last year, the Post sold the building for $1 million and the veterans of the post kept the money, approximately $20,000 each. The new building owner plans to convert it to a center for Muslims that will host daily prayer sessions, lectures, and other activities.
Criticism has emerged on two fronts, from those who say the veterans should not keep the money and from residents who have raised concerns about the center.
Bill Haas, cochairman of the Chestnut Hill Task Force, said residents are worried about density along Chestnut Hill Avenue. A resident's petition asking the BRA to conduct a traffic study reflects concern about all of the development, not just the proposed center, Haas said.''Whatever religion is there, if there is a lot of activity there, that brings density into the area," he said. ''It's not right to say as a community that Jews can do it and Catholics can do it and Muslims can't."
Map of location

Globe Watch gets Comm Ave street light fixed

Complaint: crossing Comm. on crutches - The Boston Globe
Is something broken in your neighborhood? E-mail globewatch@globe.com. Follow up on items at www.boston.com/globewatch

Presentation School Foundation op-ed

Collective effort needed - The Boston Globe by Kevin Carragee, chairman of the Presentation School Foundation

TAB coverage of Pike Fence saga continues

Allston-Brighton TAB, Dec 30 - Oh what a tangled Web - "A white cloth banner with roughly drawn letters announce a new destination for Allston residents to keep abreast of what's going on in their neighborhood - www.PikeFence.com - a Web site that outlines the saga of the Lincoln Street fence, parts of which fell down after a mere six weeks, and the continued distrust among residents about Massachusetts Turnpike Authority projects. "