Letter to the Editor

Earth Day Event

To the Editor,

Once again, the Pier 5 Association will be hosting an Earth Day event on the 22nd of April from 12-3 p.m. at Pier 5 in the Navy Yard.

There will be many new venues regarding what we all can do to “Invest in Our Planet”, the theme of this year.

There will be many children’s activities as well as entertainment, refreshments, and opportunities to learn about current initiatives at this event.

We all must be concerned about climate change and prepare for the future for our next generations.

It is wonderful to witness the younger generation advocating for their future and we all need to step up to the plate to support and encourage their involvement.

Please save the date, April 22, meet your neighbors and help with suggestions and ideas to keep our planet healthy and a happy place for all.

Please sign up to volunteer: setting up, cleaning up. helping distribute flyers. Email [email protected].  

Please donate: https://pier5.org/#contribute.

Help pay for the “Love Dog” live band (a big hit last year), displays and refreshments. 

Invest in the fun of your community!

Pier 5 Association

High-Quality Housing That Is Affordable

To the Editor,

After having shared our initial proposal for The Helm on Third permanent affordable housing project, we have been holding small-group meetings to listen and respond to feedback from residents of Charlestown. Since our first public meeting, we have made adjustments to the plan for the project, including the makeup of residents for the project, and have been sharing these plans, listening to feedback, and responding to questions from community members.

As part of this community outreach process, we’re having small-group meetings to encourage meaningful dialogue, with up to 20 people at a time in attendance. Anyone who is interested in participating in one of these Zoom discussions can sign up at the below link: http://bit.ly/helmonthird

Once folks sign up for a meeting, they’ll receive an Outlook invitation with a Zoom link for that particular time slot. This Zoom link will be for those who have signed up for that time slot, so we advise them not to forward this link, as only those who have signed up for that time slot will be admitted to the Zoom meeting. If others would like to participate in a meeting, they should sign up for another meeting at one of the other time slots offered.

It continues to be more than our hope, but our commitment, that we will continue to engage in a dialogue that clarifies information, incorporates feedback, and embraces full, fair and transparent public meetings. We have worked with the Charlestown Neighborhood Council to schedule a large-group in-person meeting in April, after these small-group meetings throughout the month of March. This meeting will be held on Thursday, April 13th. We are working with the CNC to confirm a location for this meeting; once confirmed, we will widely publicize the details so that as many community members can join as possible.

Together, with your support, we have an opportunity to make an even stronger community by creating high-quality housing that is affordable and brings to those who need it the dignity, peace and stability that only a home can provide. We appreciate all of the feedback we have received so far, and look forward to more meetings with the community to review our revised proposal and answer everyone’s questions.

Karen LaFrazia,

President St. Francis House

William Grogan,

President The Planning Office

for Urban Affairs

Request for Public Meeting Regarding the Helm on Third, Constitution Inn Project

To the Editor,

To the management of the YMCA, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, St. Francis House, and members of our community:

We are concerned residents of Charlestown, among hundreds, who believe we deserve active and fully inclusive participation in the future of community development. We are fighting for a fair say in the future of our community, so our residents and visitors can experience the best of our neighborhood today and tomorrow.

It has now come to our attention that the YMCA, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, and St. Francis are holding private meetings regarding the Constitution Inn (Helm on Third) project behind closed doors without any opportunity for full community public comment or scrutiny. The community is entitled to know how certain groups and individuals were chosen to receive an invitation. Some of the invited attendees we spoke to suggested that there might be a new proposal, but that proposal has yet to be made official. The nature of these meetings does not reflect the principles of inclusive and democratic decision-making. Therefore, to restore clarity and provide information to everyone in the community, we request a townwide public meeting with the YMCA, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, and St. Francis regarding the proposed Constitution Inn project, 150 3rd Ave, Charlestown, MA 02129.

There are proponents, opponents, and many who just want clear, concise, and accurate information in order to make an informed opinion. Unfortunately, no one has accurate information, and a lack of transparency on the part of the developers does not work to establish trust in the community which is required. Therefore, we respectfully request you hold a townwide public meeting that adheres to the following terms:

1.       The meeting must occur before the project’s filing with the BPDA to ensure the community can provide feedback and voice its concerns about the development plans.

2.       The meeting should include a detailed presentation of the proposed project, including all relevant plans, specifications, and details regarding both the property and all its proposed uses, which will be implemented at the premises.

3.       The meeting should be held in person, with live Q&A, to allow for a direct and constructive dialogue between the presenters and the community.

4.       We recommend that an independent 3rd party moderates the meeting so that all voices are heard, and the discussion remains respectful, informative, and relevant.

5.       The community must receive adequate notice of the meeting at least two weeks in advance and in multiple formats, including the press, the internet websites of all parties, and public service announcements in the Patriot Bridge, to reach as many residents as possible.

We believe these terms are reasonable and essential for achieving a shared vision that reflects our community’s needs, aspirations, and values. We look forward to your response and collaboration in this process.


Nancy Mara-Aldrich

Rosemary Macero

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