Harvard - no plans to buy more of Allston

Almost a year ago, Harvard announced a self-imposed 1 year moratorium on purchasing new property in Allston. According to today's Crimson, "Harvard does not intend to purchase more real estate in the neighborhood in the coming months".

At the same time, I'm not sure that it makes sense for Harvard to pat itself on the back too much for having "cleaned up the Citgo station". The new paint is nice, but forgive me for not being impressed by the state of this 1/2 acre property that Harvard has owned for 3 years.

Reminder: Allston bridge & transportation meeting tonight

6:00 @ in the Gardner School auditorium (30 Athol St)
Learn more about the upcoming reconstruction of the Western Ave & River St bridges and how we can have a better neighborhood in which to walk, bike, and drive.

Now is not the time for premature speculation

MCB's Moveout Paints Uncertain Future for SCRB and Allston Science Complex The Harvard Crimson

“It is premature to speculate on what departments or programs may or may not be settled into Allston and when,” wrote Faculty of Arts and Sciences spokesman Jeff Neal in an e-mailed statement.

“The general understanding is that Allston will someday come alive, but now it’s quite vague,” said MCB Executive Director Susan H. Foster. “We just are living for today.”

Lowe's meeting tonight - an incomplete and unfair playing field

The BRA is hosting another meeting about the proposed Lowe's tonight - 6:30 at the Jackson Mann.

If you want to read up on the proposal before the meeting, the Draft Project Impact Report is posted here. But the DPIR is a 687 page, 42.5 MB file. There is no way any Allston/Brighton resident in their spare time could ever come close to reading and analyzing the whole thing. Pretending that we can really have a fact-based discussion about the impacts of this project (such as transportation) does a disservice to the entire process. How much of the 206 page transportation section have you read?

Think this will be a net job creator and economic engine? Or will it take business away from the many businesses in Brighton that sell similar products? Has anyone with any expertise and independence studied this important question?

In other communities, developers have agreed to fund an independent study conducted by and for the community. Even Harvard agreed to fund a $150,000 independent study in exchange for the Phase One wavier from the State. This waiver allowed Harvard to proceed with the Science Complex construction without review of a master plan for what they thought would be the rest of their Allston build-out.

And all of this would be so much easier, less contentious, and more meaningful if the BRA had followed through with this idea for a neighborhood planning initiative. It sounded great 3 years ago, but then it silently vanished leaving us to these ad-hoc and uninformed debates.

Allston-Brighton Neighborhood Planning Initiative - Boston Redevelopment Authority
In 2007, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (“BRA”) held a series of
community workshops and meetings for the Allston-Brighton Neighborhood Planning Initiative ("ABNPI")...The ABNPI is a planning effort that will address various planning issues south of the Turnpike... The ABNPI will result in a report prioritizing short-term and long-term recommendations and serve as a guide for the City of Boston.

Oak Sq in today's Globe

It was a lovely day in Oak Square today with many dozens of kids and families starting the Little League baseball season with a parade and then picnic in the park next to the Oak Sq Y. Much more depressing is the story in the Globe about what Oak Sq has lost.

An ache at the core of old Oak Square - The Boston Globe

Allston Residents React to Purcell’s New Post - What is a "good tenant"?

Paul Berkeley raises an important point - what makes a "good" tenant? From the perspective of a generic landlord or generic neighbor one could list a variety of attributes that could be considered "good". When the specific conditions of Harvard and Allston are considered, those lists could be further refined.

Also, different definitions of "good" might arise from considering the situation more broadly. For example, an over-saturation of any one type of tenant might not be "good", even though each individual tenant when considered in isolation might be "good".

Allston Residents React to Purcell’s New Post The Harvard Crimson

"Great Appliance Exchange" not so great

What they say:

Patrick-Murray Administration Will Launch "Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange" Thursday, April 22
Starting at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Earth Day, federal stimulus-funded rebate program will reward consumers who trade energy-guzzling appliances for new, super-efficient models

What really happens:

Website (http://masssave.com/residential) hasn't worked since 9:45. Gives error:

403 - Forbidden: Access is denied.
You do not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials that you supplied
Phone # (877-MA-SWAP-1) is constantly busy

Bloomberg story about Purcell's new Allston job

Harvard’s Purcell to Help Faust on Allston Expansion (Update2) - Bloomberg.com

And one from the Crimson too

Harvard's indirect Allston approach

Harvard made yesterday what seems to be a major administrative change that will influence the future of Allston and Brighton where a few thousand people live alongside Harvard's many acres.

Allston learns about this presidential appointment because I got a Google Alert about a blog post from Tennessee that publishes an internal email from a Harvard Dean. I wonder if anyone at Harvard thought an email to residents of Allston and Brighton might be appropriate.

Considering that no such neighborly notice was sent, either it never crossed Harvard's collective minds to proactively and publicly share this news, or it was considered and decided not to be done. Either way, seems a shame.

Mahoney's - bigger and better

Great to see Mahoney's on Western Ave doing business on its expanded site. More room for more plants and more customers.

Harvard now has a Special Allston Advisor

New gig at Harvard for Bill Purcell « In Session: Tennessee Politics

William Dawes and his horse coming to Allston

American patriot William Dawes will ride through Allston on Monday morning and will stop at the Hill Church on N Harvard St at 10:00.

Honan Fellows - Thanks!

Thanks to the Honan Fellows, West End House Boys & Girls Club, and Allston Brighton CDC for yesterday's cleanup of the Lincoln Street Green Strip. It looks great!

Is State Violating Bridge Repair Law?

Below is a link to a great post about the State's planned reconstruction of the River St, Western Ave, and other bridges. Should the State repair only the bridge's structural deficiencies? Should the roadways and approaches to the bridges also be considered? How can we avoid ending up with bridges that are structurally sound but functionally obsolete?

Is State Violating Bridge Repair Law? Steve Miller's Blog

State Senate Unofficial Election Results

State Senate Unofficial Election Results (Middlesex, Suffolk, & Essex) « Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

Flaherty wins big (%-wise) in Allston/Brighton, but 293 votes isn't much of a prize. (I think he had almost 293 lawns signs in A/B).

Flaherty 293
Simmons 61
DiDomenico 41
Albano 36
Benzan 33
Hill 8

Online auction to support the Pine Street Inn

Sports tickets, restuarant gift certificates, golf, art, and much more, all at reasonable prices.
Bid to support the many programs of the Pine Street Inn.

Pine Street Inn - Auction Items - BiddingForGood Fundraising Auction

Flaherty wants a recount

Claiming "evidence of voting irregularities in Everett", Tim Flaherty is calling for a recount of the votes from yesterday's State Senate primary.

Congratulations to Senator DiDomenico

Everett city councilor claims win in state Senate primary - Cambridge, Massachusetts - Cambridge Chronicle

Voted yet?

I was voter 103 from Ward 22-2 at 5pm

Western Ave wall coming down

Wonder when it will go back up...

Another Harvard tenant in Allston

Silk Road To Move to Allston | The Harvard Crimson
The Silk Road Project, a nonprofit arts and educational organization created by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma ’76, will move its headquarters from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I. to a Harvard property in Allston in July.

1.5 blocks of Harvard Ave bike lanes

Lanes were recently painted between Cambridge St & Comm Ave (southbound) and Comm Ave & Brighton Ave (northbound). The more the better, and hopefully more are yet to come.

Everett St in bloom and seed

Thanks to the Gardner Pilot Academy first graders who helped spread wildflower seeds on the Everett St slope this morning! And if you haven't been by the site recently, you might enjoy a visit to see the daffodils, hyacinths, and others in full bloom. Without a doubt it has never looked better.

Vote in Tuesday's State Senate election

Please remember to vote on Tuesday if you are eligible. To check, visit
http://wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php. Links to the candidates' websites are on the right.

Ward 21 Democratic Committee endorses Albano for State Senate

The Ward 21 Democratic Committee recently interviewed all Democrats running for State Senate and voted to endorse Michael Albano.

Please remember to vote on Tuesday

A new look for the Science Complex site

Harvard Plans to Beautify Allston Construction Site The Harvard Crimson

Western Ave & River St bridge ABNNF meeting - April 27

The reconstruction of the Western Ave and River St bridges will be the largest infrastructure project in our neighborhood since the construction of the Mass Pike. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve transportation and recreation for people walking, riding bikes, and driving. Interesting ideas are being proposed such as the addition of pedestrian/bike underpasses in this Globe op-ed by Renata von Tscharner, the founder and president of the Charles River Conservancy.

Please join us on April 27 from 6:00-8:00 at the Gardner School auditorium (30 Athol St) for a meeting with LivableStreets, the Charles River Conservancy, and others to discuss these important projects.

State Senate candidates raise $300,000

MassBeacon.com takes a look at the fundraising by the Middlesex, Sufffolk, & Essex Senate candidates.

Mansfield murder update from UHub

No bail for man charged with Allston murder Universal Hub

Harvard construction meeting on Wednesday

The next Harvard Construction Management Sub-Committee meeting will be Wednesday, April 7th, at 6:00 PM in the cafeteria of 114 Western Avenue (former WGBH building)

Possible homicide on Mansfield St last night

So I guess this is why I saw a cop walking on Lincoln St this morning between Mansfield and Franklin Streets.


Last night around 11:58PM, officers from District D-14 (Allston) responded to the area of 7 Mansfield St. for a male that was assaulted. While en route, officers were advised that someone had been stabbed.

On arrival, officers observed a male victim lying on the ground suffering from apparent stab wounds. The victim was transported to the Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced.

Boston Police Homicide Detectives are actively investigating the facts and circumstances of this incident. Community members with information regarding this matter are urged to call Homicide Investigators at (617)-343-4470. Individuals who wish to provide information anonymously may do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Hotline at 1-800-494-TIPS or texting ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department is interested in your information, not your identity. The identity of individuals providing information anonymously will be strictly protected.

How Harvard & BC are planning and reorganizing


Insiders Insight Redux

During this tremendous downturn, colleges and universities have been busy planning and reorganizing their operations. Hear what they have been doing to streamline their processes and how this will affect the way construction business may be done in the future.


Pamela Delphenich, Director of Planning, MIT

Nancy May, Vice President for Facilities, Northeastern University

Maureen McDonough, Esq., Director of Program Administration for the Allston Development Group at Harvard University.

Mary Nardone, Associate Vice President for Capital Planning and Construction, Boston College

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

8:00am - 10:30am
$90 Members, $120 Nonmembers
Seaport Hotel, Boston

Cape Ann Fresh Catch sign up time

If you are interested in signing up for 3 months of the freshest fish that you can buy, and you are willing to make a quick trip to Cambridge once a week to pick it up, now is the time to visit the Cape Ann Fresh Catch Community Supported Fishery website and sign up for the Spring season.