The Charlestown Neighborhood Council (CNC) unanimously voted to request a license for Courageous Sailing to host summer events on Pier 4 with the agreements and limitations that were approved in 2013. Courageous Sailing hopes to hold 10 evening and 10 daytime events under an approximately 50’X100’ tent to help fund the Courageous Youth Program, and to enable use of the tent (under an arrangement with Peterson Party Rentals) as shelter from the elements for the duration of the season.
“It’s vital for our programming to have that tent. It also serves as the home base for our organization,” says Dave DiLorenzo, Executive Director of Courageous Sailing, who hopes to continue “facilitating a good relationship with the community with as little disruptions as possible.”
Five percent of Courageous Sailings’ operating budget is met through fundraising, which assists in providing low-cost, sailing-based youth development opportunities to children and families throughout Boston.
“I think the program is amazing,” says Amanda Reinfeld, Member At-Large.” They’ve done a great job to support the community.”
The Warren Prescott Spring Sailing Program teaches sailing fundamentals to students at the Warren Prescott Elementary School for four weeks during the summer. Another program, The Boston Harbor Summer Learning Project, offers math, English Language Arts, marine science, and history classes, as well as sailing lessons at the Harvard-Kent Elementary School.
“We serve about 1000 kids a year, and about 40% of those kids come to Charlestown. It’s our heart. It’s our core,” DiLorenzo says. “We have a tremendous amount of entity in this community.”
The CNC feels that DiLorenzo is a responsible individual who worked well with the 2013 restrictions, and is always open to listen and respond quickly to those who voice their concerns. DiLorenzo will continue forwarding emails to residents and surrounding businesses, informing them about upcoming festivities, and who to contact with questions and comments.
There have been residential complaints about noise levels in the past. To reduce impact on neighbors, Courageous agreed to maintain sound levels at a 68 decibel limit; recording decibel readings for each event, and taking into account the wind direction.
“I am a fan of Courageous. I love the organization,” says Barbara Babbin, Councilor At-Large. “If I had one thing constructive to say about the wonderful response you have had, it would be to have the police stay after the event.”
Guests departing events at night can be disruptive. Chairman, Tom Cunha, suggested that attendees should not be allowed to leave the venue with alcoholic beverages; and that the bar tender should announce ahead of time when last call is. Additional security at the entrances and exits would also be beneficial.
Some Flagships residents believe that a public pier should not be used for fundraising activities, and that the pier does not present itself as open to the public because of the large tent. CNC suggested posting a sign at the beginning of the pier, noting that anybody may traverse it.
“It’s a non-profit using public land for a non-profit mission,” voices Michael Parker, Flagships resident. “If a private entity wanted to make money off it [Pier 4], it would have to prove the community benefits. That’s a big distinction.”
Complaints from neighbors about noise levels have dramatically decreased, and much of the community and CNC, agrees that Courageous events have been much more controlled than in previous years.