Letters to the Editor

Thank You, Abraham Lincoln Post #11

To the Editor,

I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Abraham Lincoln Post #11 scholarship committee for my selection as the William Noonan Award recipient. As I wrap up my senior year at St. Joseph College (ME), this award will go a long way in helping me defray my college expenses. The continued support by the Abraham Lincoln Post #11 to so many “Townie” kids trying to obtain an education is another example of how very special the Charlestown community is. Again, thanks so much and GOD BLESS!!!

Patrick Kelly

Division Within Our Community

To the Editor,

The moment for building a more diverse, inclusive, resilient, and climate friendly, Boston is now. And yet, the current BHHR plan calls for segregating hundreds of Charlestown residents into separate low income buildings and removing hundreds of mature trees from Boston’s oldest neighborhood. Such a plan is in direct opposition to the city’s commitment to protect the well-being of its residents.

YES, people need and deserve good, safe, homes. People also need access to trees, clean air and shade. By pitting the need for housing against the need to care for the environment the BHA has deepened a division within our community that is based on a false choice. The notion that we must choose between the much needed development of new and improved housing for our neighbors, and preserving hundreds of mature trees, is a narrative we need not buy into.

I recognize the conditions which exist at the current Bunker Hill/BHA housing present a significant threat to the health and safety of those who live there. We all agree urgent measures must be taken to create better homes for the BHA residents, in both the short and long term. This letter is not an attempt to prevent the project from happening. On the contrary, my hope is that it begin as soon as possible guided by the values that make our community so special.

To date, the development team’s proposed design for phase one has not been approved by the BCDC which means there is an opportunity to craft a more considerate, non-segregated, climate conscious, approach. The City of Boston should seize this opening and fulfill its promise to protect its residents from the stigma of separate but supposedly equal housing, and the destruction of a precious urban forest. Reducing density is the key.

The City owns a lot of land in Charlestown. Plan Charlestown ought to encourage the City to put these parcels to good use by carving out space for a mix of market rate and deeply affordable apartments. Any strategy with the potential to reduce density on the Bunker Hill parcel, provide the BHA residents with new homes as quickly as possible, eliminate segregation once and for all, and preserve hundreds of mature trees, is worth exploring.

There will be 2 hearings (via zoom) this month – the first, is on Wednesday, Feb 10 with the Zoning commission and the second is with the Boston Design Commission (date tbd). The developer needs approval from both of these groups to begin the project. By showing up to these meetings with constructive concerns, questions and feedback we will send a clear message to the City that in order for ‘our’ expectations to be met we will need a plan that promotes a diverse, vibrant, healthy, and resilient neighborhood.

Johanna Hynes

Thank You, Abraham Lincoln Post #11

To the Editor,

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Abraham Lincoln Post 11, GAR and President, Joseph Zuffante for the generous scholarship award from the Veterans Outreach Program. It is an honor for me to have applied for the scholarship in the name of my grandfather Leo C. Boucher USMC Korea. The tremendous dedication and commitment that the Abraham Lincoln Post has shown to our Charlestown veterans gives this scholarship even more significance. I would also like to thank all of the Charlestown veterans who have served and continue to serve our nation with honor and distinction.  This scholarship will assist me as I continue my studies in my junior year at Catholic Memorial High School.

Aidan Boucher

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