Letters to the Editor

Magical Thinking vs Critical Thinking

To the Editor,

A recent op ed article in the Patriot Bridge, written by Mr. James Arthur Jemison, the Chief of Planning for the City of Boston caught my attention with the headline, “Charlestown Future is Bright.”

“Bright for who?” The Boston Planning and Development Agency? There needs to be a reality check and the real deal exposed.

Charlestown, being one square mile, has 20,000 residents and the BPDA seems to want to increase the residency rate going back to the 50’s where there were upwards of 40,000 people living in tenement style (now not permitted) housing in Charlestown during WW II, with workers who walked to the Navy Yard and factories. The senior planner projects the population in 2050 to be around 36,800 people and seems to think this is a great idea.

The reality is there is no infrastructure to handle doubling the census. There are only 3 ways in and out of Charlestown, with massive, stalled traffic in all directions that get us nowhere. Charlestown is in a severe flood zone, built on filled land, surrounded by the Charles River, The Boston Harbor and the Mystic River. The coastal climate predictions of rising sea levels portend of an unstable and livable existence in our one square mile.

What I really find perplexing in the article by Mr. Jemison in his “magical thinking” regarding building not one but two full-sized soccer / lacrosse fields. Where Mr. Jemison, might these be located?

After reviewing all the current approved buildings, those having been recently built, those in the process of being built, as well as proposed buildings coming down the pipeline, I find it incredulous that there will be any room for even one soccer field.

This seems like “magical thinking” to me.   

Here is the list of the future buildings in Charlestown:

• Hood Plant and Related Beal with a spec lab building in a busted Bio-Tech bubble.

• Bunker Hill Housing Development: Largest in New England; 4th in the country

• One Mystic: next to diesel bus facility depot, railyards, and 93 North ramp

• 40 Roland Street: Massive development along the Cambridge Street Sullivan Sq

• Schrafft / Revere Sugar: Massive development in a known flood zone

• Bunker Hill Community College Parking Lot: known flood zone & a toxic air nexus

• Rise Development: Massive development along Cambridge Street / Sullivan Sq

• Chain Forge Building: Proposed Navy Yard hotel with no parking

• Powerhouse Building 108: Proposed Navy Yard spec bio lab

• 201 Rutherford Street / 99 Restaurant: Gateway without sensitivity to historic Charlestown

• 60-66 Cambridge Street: Massive life science proposal for congested Sullivan Sq

• One Thompson Square: Most iconic historic building with a modern protrusion

• The YMCA /The Helm:

• Completed buildings include, Graphics Arts Building, Gatehouse, Ropewalk, Starboard

With the potential of adding of over 50 buildings, Charlestown could be Inundation District 2 following Seaport as Inundation District 1. As reported New York City is sinking 2 mm per year due to rising sea levels and flooding, as well as the landscape of building after building. Notably, seawater corrodes steel and destabilizes buildings. Where is the planning in Charlestown?

Over 106 acres of new development in One Square Mile, with three access roads, with water on three sides in a flood zone. Where is the planning?

To Mr. Jemison and the BPDA:  Please stop pontificating on the “bright future” of Charlestown. This is misinformation, a pipe dream and needs to stop.

A population of 36,000 residents, as well as the hundreds of daily commuters to the new lab offices, is a dismal outlook for this community, who also welcome a half a million tourists who come to see where democracy began, at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Finally, Mr. Jemison and the senior planner, please help me understand where the two full sized soccer / lacrosse fields will be located?  Please answer this inquiry before we hear more of your pandering, unconnected “plans” in our One Square Mile.

The community of Charlestown is asking for a Comprehensive Master Plan with planning, not a smorgasbord of randomly chosen developments to enrich the BPDA and the developers.   

We want and need to move on from this “magical thinking” that is thrust upon the Charlestown community by the BPDA. Please do the right thing and focus on “critical thinking,” that is our simple ask, to “Fix Boston’s Broken Development Plan: Abolish the BPDA” proposed by Mayor Michelle Wu. We support her plan, not the BPDA.

 Ann Kelleher

Protect our planet

To the Editor,

We have all felt the horrendous weather this summer.  Heat, humidity, rain, thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes have wreaked havoc on our country.

The Southwest has gotten clobbered.  The heated ocean waters off the coast of Florida are destroying the coral reefs. Whales are dying as they beach themselves on our shores.  Ice caps are melting causing sea levels to rise. Firestorms have hit Canada hard, destroying Canadian forests and causing a tremendous amount of smoke to permeate our air.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service has stated that “July is poised to be the hottest month ever on record.”

Recently, the New York Times exposed the area known as the Fertile Crescent (Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, West Bank, and Gaza) to be devastated by the effect of the shriveling up of the Euphrates River.  This has caused the  Mesopotamia Region to be without water in many regions.   Forty percent of Iraq, an area roughly the size of Florida, has been overtaken by blowing desert sands.

Italy and Greece have also been hit hard by record setting temperatures. Severe wildfires have scorched and devastated forests, homes, farms and animals.

All regions on our Earth have been affected. Climate change has become real and not just words.  It is not a time to be frightened but it is a time for  ACTION!  We must all join hands in an attempt to work together to stop this  “BEAST.”

We all acknowledge that there are wars across our world, destroying lives. But climate change is destroying our whole world!

It is vital for all global governments to band together to find and implement  solutions to “Climate Change.”  We must stop supporting the oil and gas producing industries that create the fossil fuels causing the  emission of poisonous gases into our atmosphere and cause climate change.  

Wealthier countries need to financially support under-developed countries, so they will be able to share in our goals.

Finally, we all have an obligation to protect our planet but more importantly, our first obligation is to take care of our children and the generations of children to come.

Please join your environmental community in supporting the fight against fossil fuels, thus protecting our children and our Earth.

Maryalice Sharkey

Mothers Out Front

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