And you think we have town-gown problems here...

New Strain on Duke's Ties With Durham - New York Times

Vehicle break ins decline in Allston

A crime of opportunity finds its niche - The Boston Globe: "Motor vehicle larcenies were down in Dorchester, Roslindale, and Allston-Brighton, neighborhoods where police said they have increased their presence near parking lots and alleyways."

DiMasi delivers blow to slots bill

DiMasi delivers blow to slots bill - The Boston Globe
Cheers to Speaker DiMasi!
"It comes with a cost, a social cost, as well," DiMasi said "I'm not sure at this particular juncture that I would put all my eggs in one basket and turn to gaming for the revenues I want to see this economy grow."

Kevin McCrea & others v. Michael Flaherty and the Boston City Council

Here is a link to the Suffolk Superior Court decision about the closed, private meetings held by the City Council on subjects of urban renewal, zoning, and public health. The Council was found to have created systems to "intentionally avoid complying with the Open Meetings Law."

The public health meeting was with Boston University officials to discuss a tularemia exposure incident on January 20, 2005. Tularemia is bad stuff. Here is what the Centers for Disease Control says about it:
Francisella tularensis is very infectious. A small number (10-50 or so organisms) can cause disease. If F. tularensis were used as a weapon, the bacteria would likely be made airborne for exposure by inhalation. People who inhale an infectious aerosol would generally experience severe respiratory illness, including life-threatening pneumonia and systemic infection, if they are not treated.
Sounds like that if this is getting loose in Boston the public deserves to understand if we are at risk.

The Massachusetts Open Meeting Law "mandates that all meetings of a government body be open to the public and that no quorum of a governmental body meeting in private for the purpose od deciding or deliberating toward a decision on any matter." You can read more about this law at the League of Women Voters website.

Too bad that our City Council conducts its business like Dick Cheney's secret energy task force.

Boston City Council fined for breaking open meeting law

Council fined for breaking meeting law - The Boston Globe
The Boston City Council violated the state Open Meeting Law 11 times over a period of almost two years, a superior court judge ruled yesterday, imposing $11,000 in fines and ordering the body to obey the law or face further action by the district attorney.
In a scathing 20-page ruling, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Nancy Staffier Holtz said the City Council had intentionally violated the law, which is designed to let the public view and participate in governmental decision-making. She said the council also had concocted flimsy excuses for the violations.

Despite 9/11 Effect, Railyards Are Still Vulnerable

Despite 9/11 Effect, Railyards Are Still Vulnerable - New York Times
This story is about railyard security in New Jersey, but how much safer is the huge railyard in Allston?

New team is battling to tag out the taggers

New team is battling to tag out the taggers - The Boston Globe
Jamaica Plain Anti-Graffiti Bank strives to keep it out of sight

Saving a tradition - St. Anthony's Minstrel Show - Allston-Brighton TAB: Saving a tradition
Antonelli and a handful of other local volunteers are responsible for getting all the parts together and onto the stage tomorrow through Monday for the 105th St. Anthony's Minstrel Show.
It has not been an easy year for the venerable neighborhood show. The school that hosts it was closed by the Boston Archdiocese last year, and the cast numbers have fallen dramatically this season. But they are a committed crew, coming together to rehearse every Friday and Sunday from early January to late March to ensure that the show goes on.

Welcome to The BC

Welcome to The BC
A spoof of FOX's "The OC", The BC tells the story of a troubled Boston University student who gets in trouble with the law and his only hope lies with a priest who takes him into Boston College.

BC to help run St. Columbkille elementary school

BC to help run ailing elementary school - The Boston Globe
Boston College announced yesterday that it will run St. Columbkille School with the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston starting in September, a bid to ensure the survival of the only parochial school left in the Allston-Brighton area while the future of urban Catholic schools remains in jeopardy nationwide.

5 Charged In Alleged Identity Theft Scheme

More on this story from the March 21 Boston Globe - 5 Charged In Alleged Identity Theft Scheme: "Five people appeared in court Monday to face a variety of charges after they were arrested in connection with an alleged identity theft ring. Beginning on Jan. 26 and continued to date, the company has delivered, via FedEx, 22 cameras and one cell phone with a total value of about $20,000 to 35 Allston St., Apt. 1 in Brighton," prosecutor Michelle Kalowski said. The five defendants were allegedly recruited in a Russian chat room and were paid $50 per package received. The defendants were released, but they had to surrender their passports.

Alliance of Boston Neighborhoods

Alliance of Boston Neighborhoods: "Promoting communication and citizen participation for the neighborhoods of Boston"

Shifting gears, group merges transit message

Shifting gears, group merges transit message - The Boston Globe: "Usually, when advocates for non-car-based transportation try to get something done -- better bike paths, say, or improved mass transit -- they go it alone. But now, a new advocacy group called the LivableStreets Alliance is pledging to tie all of those interests together."

Police charge five in connection with identity theft scheme

Eyewitness News - Police charge five in connection with identity theft scheme: "Police charge five in connection with identity theft scheme

BOSTON Boston police arrest five people in connection with an identity theft scheme.
Investigators got a tip from a New Jersey-based camera company that they had delivered cameras and a cell phone worth about 20-thousand dollars to 35 Allston Street in Allston. Police say the identities of at least seven different people were used to get the credit to buy the equipment.

What public pressure can get done

What an amazing turnaround! On Friday the brigde was going to be closed indefinately. By Saturday the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority agreed to make temporary repairs to keep the bridge open.

Story in Saturday's Globe
Crumbling Echo Bridge gets quick fix - The Boston Globe
Bowing to public pressure, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority will reopen Echo Bridge in Newton Monday with temporary railings to prevent people from falling off the 60-foot-high structure. The temporary 4-foot high wooden snow fence will remain there until up to $1 million can be raised for permanent railings. The state agency, which owns the 129-year-old arched stone bridge, had planned to close the walkway due to safety concerns over the cast-iron handrails, which are cracked, rusted, or missing. While it will be closed over the weekend, the pedestrian bridge will reopen next week.

The authority decided to keep the bridge open because of pressure from preservationists and state Representative Ruth B. Balser, a Newton Democrat.

Story from Friday's Globe
Landmark becomes bridge to nowhere
The landmark retains its trademark echo. But the 129-year-old arched stone bridge is no longer a scenic link between Newton and Needham over the Charles River. Echo Bridge is scheduled to be closed today, indefinitely, due to safety reasons.

Locals drive home transportation concerns

Allston-Brighton TAB: Locals drive home transportation concerns: "Nearly 40 people, from residents to members of special interest groups, gathered at the Honan-Allston Library Saturday to vent their frustrations about transportation problems in Allston and Brighton."

Breaking-and-entering cases up

Allston-Brighton TAB: Letter from Captain Evans: Breaking-and-entering cases up: "In recent months, we have seen an increase in B&E incidents in the Allston area. In light of this fact, we would like residents to be more vigilant to help stem the tide of these crimes."

Our Lady of the Presentation School talks hit a snag

Parochial school talks hit a snag - The Boston Globe: "After nearly two years of negotiations, of ups and downs, setbacks and breakthroughs, the group that wanted to buy Our Lady of the Presentation School from the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston thought that at long last they were on the brink of a deal. But optimism has suddenly faded for speedy acceptance of a $2 million offer the group submitted late last month."

Harvard - higher education-community partnerships

Beyond blame at Harvard - The Boston Globe: "Being a regional player. A recent Boston Foundation report calls for ''a new era of higher education-community partnerships' that would draw on the united resources of Harvard and its college and university neighbors, merging them with civic and community efforts in Greater Boston. Joint effort could transform the local landscape by breathing more energy into healthcare, affordable housing, public safety, K-12 public education, and workforce development."

Here is a link to the Boston Foundation report - A New Era of Higher
Education - Community Partnerships

Harvard's Allston campus

Harvard's Allston campus - Boston Globe Editorial
IT'S GOOD NEWS for the economic prospects of Boston that Harvard, despite its troubles, is continuing to expand into Allston. Just before Lawrence Summers announced his decision to resign as president, the university unveiled plans to relocate its Stem Cell Institute. But a better test of Harvard's ability to create a vibrant space comes with its attempt to move the Charlesview apartments off a crucial site...

Libraries, residents not on same page?

Libraries, residents not on same page, study finds - The Boston Globe
"The Boston Public Library system is underperforming most big city library systems, even though it has a bigger budget, more staff, and more books per capita than most, according to a study performed for the city."
What do you think about the libraries in Allston and Brighton?

Harvard Art To Migrate During Museum Renovations

The Harvard Crimson :: News :: Trading Spaces: Art To Migrate During Museum Renovations: "The Harvard University Art Museums recently announced a multi-year plan to overhaul its museums and to stake a claim in the University's new campus across the Charles River in Allston. "

NY Times Magazine - The Real Estate Issue

The March 5 edition of The New York Times Magazine has many thought-provoking stories. Here are three that could be particularly relevant to our neighborhood:

Profile of Harvard Economics Prof. Edward Glaeser
Why do houses cost so much when there's plenty of land to build on? Is public housing a good thing? Why do people still move to Detroit? Ed Glaeser has some answers.
Related links: the Rappaport Institute, The Taubman Center

Psst... Have You Heard About Bushwick?
A changing neighborhood in Brooklyn maybe with some similarities to Allston as Harvard expands

How do you build affordable housing without federal money?

Neighbor to Neigbor Massachusetts

Neighbor to Neigbor Massachusetts
This would be an interesting organization to work with in Allston and Brighton...

Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts builds power in low-income and working class communities around economic justice issues. The Working Family Agenda - good jobs, education and training, affordable child care, health care and housing, a welfare safety net, and progressive taxation - is the cornerstone of our program.
Our grassroots community organizing model includes:
Voter registration and education,
Candidate endorsements,
Public policy advocacy,
Grassroots coalition building, and
Developing sustainable local leadership.

In Allston, Tenants Await Land Swap

The Harvard Crimson :: In Allston, Tenants Await Land Swap
A sense of inevitability dominated the meeting convened last night in Allston to discuss the pros and cons of a new proposal by Harvard to swap a five-acre property in the Brighton Mills Shopping Center for the land currently occupied by the Charlesview Apartments...

Harvard Allston Task Force on BRA website

Harvard Allston Campus Planning and Institutional Master Plan
Schedule of meetings and meeting mintues are now online on the BRA's website.

Senior day care closing delayed - Local News: Senior day care closing delayed
Following community opposition, the senior day-care center at St. Gabriel's may be open a little longer, but it will still eventually close.

Opening grates

Opening grates: A city effort gets mixed results - The Boston Globe
As an example of a success story, the city points to Allston, where community leaders have been urging business owners to take them down for almost 10 years, as a success story. The grates create a feeling that ''this is a place where crime happens,' said Jennifer Rose, who is the executive director of Allston Village Main Streets. In the district of about 300 businesses, Rose said, many storeowners have taken down their grates, and others have decided not to put them up, to fit in with the changing district.
'They've seen that the others have done so, and it has been better for business,' she said.

Harvard Offers Swap for Key Allston Plot

The Harvard Crimson :: News :: Harvard Offers Swap for Key Allston Plot
Harvard representatives said yesterday they would swap five acres of land at the University-owned Brighton Mills Shopping Center and provide "resources" to construct a new low-income apartment complex there in exchange for the site of the Charlesview Apartments'now located at the center of the University's holdings across the River.

'Broken windows' crime theory

The cracks in 'broken windows' - The Boston Globe
Some research and history about crime reduction and Boston's initiative to reduce smaller crimes.