Letters to the Editor

Family of Jessica M. Ahearn Expresses Gratitude to Community

To the Editor,

We extend our deepest thanks to you for your kindness and support during our time of grief.  We appreciate it more than words can express and it will always be remembered.

Family of Jessica M. Ahearn

We Need Your Comments and Concerns

To the Editor,

On Monday August 28, representatives from the Charlestown Preservation Society (CPS) met with BPDA Deputy Director Devin Quirk and BPDA Director of Planning Aimee Chambers at City Hall. We discussed the issues regarding the final PLAN: Charlestown document, including the surprise increases in height and density in the latest draft, and they apologized for errors in communication and the PLAN: Charlestown process. 

Director Chambers noted that they are listening to our concerns and that changes will be made to the final draft and those changes will be presented to the community at the ‘Final Closeout’ meeting on September 11. 

As we’ve shared, we hope to see significant changes based on the community’s comments as well as our concerns in the next draft of PLAN: Charlestown along with an additional 30 day comment period for that draft. It is critical that the BPDA as well as our elected  officials hear your comments and concerns prior to September 6, in order to make those changes.

CPS welcomes smart development. However, the plan the city has developed and fast-tracked for approval leaves too many critical public safety issues unanswered, endangering the essence of what makes Charlestown a great place to live for residents today, and those  that will call Charlestown home in the future.

Expanding the community from 19,273 to 35,000 people and the added influx of 2,000,000 people during tourist season, demands that emergency response preparedness planning and egress must take precedence above all other considerations. There are too many unanswered questions  to finalize or support this PLAN.  

Please  take a moment to review the PLAN, and to comment, and email Mayor Wu

[email protected] with a copy to the following:

[email protected][email protected],

[email protected],

[email protected][email protected] &

[email protected]

Charlestown Preservation Society, 

Amanda Zettel

Richie Banerji

Darrell Villaruz

Chris Doggett

Nora Blake

Ryan Gavin

Lisa Ha

Marley Kanda

Ellen Kitzis

Pippa Nava

Chris Remmes

Tiffany Riddle

Molly Stern

The Charlestown Plan: A Developer’s Dream or a Community’s Demise?

To the editor:

Has anybody been sitting in traffic recently trying to get in and out of Charlestown and wondering “what gives?”  Well, the latest traffic report rank’s Boston as the second worst traffic in the nation, with Chicago being the first. We should be “jumping for joy “, last year we were awarded the first place.

But, according to the Charlestown Plan, the Boston Planning and Development Agency who support over fifty buildings proposed in our one square mile, we might be back in first place. Quite frankly, the BPDA doesn’t have any serious planning in place or the foresight to address the roads, infrastructure, mobility issues and increased density thrust upon this neighborhood of one square mile.  

The BPDA claims to have the communities support for their future planning. They have around 300 plus “responses”, many anonymous. We currently have 16,000 adults living in Charlestown. Is this truly a credible snapshot of the communities’ views and approval? The BPDA recently announced a closing date to go forward to the BPDA board for final approval. 

Their plan is a developer’s dream and the community’s demise.

Whatever happened to the over 4,000 signatures on a petition for a Master Plan? Community involvement and input went out the window as it wasn’t factored in their sparsely attended “community meetings” via Zoom. One communication after another, touts yet another building proposal. Adding up all the future buildings amounts to over fifty new structures gracing our small, historical community.

Years ago, I asked the BPDA to take out a full- sized map of Charlestown, in our local newspaper to provide a better understanding of just where these buildings would be located. But as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Providing these details would have been fatal to their scheme to develop every square inch of land to their liking, sans greenspace but more buildings.   

As I was reading in last week’s Patriot Bridge, the Charlestown Preservation Society now opposes the current Charlestown Plan. This group has always put the neighborhood, its historical significance, and most especially, the infrastructure and quality of life for its residents as the cornerstone of their work. They now acknowledge they have been ignored. We have been ignored. The community has been ignored. This process is a window of doing what’s best for the developers and the BPDA. Not for the Charlestown community.

Please join the Charlestown Preservation Society and oppose the current Charlestown Plan. Simply, there needs to be planning with due diligence not haphazard building as the status quo.

Nathaniel Rich, in the Atlantic, published in 2016 wrote, “The Prophesies of Jane Jacobs”, New York City’s renown urban activist, who with her neighbors stopped the destruction of the neighborhood by the powerful Robert Moses:

“No one questions anymore that the lively neighborhoods require diversity of use and     function, that more roads lead to more cars, that historic buildings should be preserved, that investment in public transportation reduces traffic and promotes neighborhood activity, that “flexible and gradual change” is almost always preferable to “cataclysmic”, broad-stroke redevelopment.  

When cities fail, they fail for the same reasons democracies fail – corruption, tyranny, homogenization, overspecialization, cultural drift, and atrophy.”

OPPOSE PLAN CHARLESTOWN: Call, email and write to Mayor Wu and the Chief of Planning, Arthur Jemison.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Stop the BPDA from altering the fabric off Charlestown’s historic and vibrant community.

 Ann Kelleher

Flynn Organizes Trainings on Ethics, Civility, Professionalism

To the Editor,

During his term in leadership at the Council over the last twenty months, Boston City Council President Ed Flynn has organized a series of training sessions with colleagues and staff aimed at encouraging civility and professionalism, as well as abiding by state ethics laws and other regulations.

Most recently, Council President Flynn hosted a Massachusetts State Ethics Training for over two hours on Tuesday, August 8 which covered conflict of interest law, gift restrictions, code of conduct and related ethics issues. On Thursday, August 10, Council President Flynn held a three hour Working Session regarding an Anti-Bullying Policy for City Councilors, Council staff, and Council Central Staff that he previously introduced in May. The Council has also held seven trainings related to the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Law, along with annual compliance and Massachusetts Commision Against Discrimination (MCAD) training. He has held multiple working sessions with the City Clerk and colleagues to review the Boston City Council Rules adopted by the body.

In addition, Council President Flynn is working closely with Boston City Council Central Staff on researching a Code of Ethics policy to be introduced later this year, along with recommendations around best practices on time off for Council staff. Council President Flynn continues to also engage in discussions with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation on potentially hosting a Civility Training later this year.

Moreover, Council President Flynn has focused on several administrative issues that have arisen this term, including implementation of an updated Executive Garage policy. During these challenging times for the management of meetings in municipal government, with anti-vaccine and other protestors, Council President Flynn has also worked in conjunction with City of Boston Property Management on upgraded security infrastructure at the Council, such as installation of panic buttons, putting a stanchion at reception, and requiring key card access at the Piemonte offices side. 

Council President Flynn assumed leadership of the body during a particularly difficult time in our city and country; navigating the Omicron variant and subsequent transition back to in-person work and Council meetings, a new budget process, a contentious redistricting process that was ultimately sent back by a federal judge, as well as a number of ethical and legal lapses from several Council colleagues. Council President Flynn has spoken at length on several occasions, on both the Council floor as well as via memos to colleagues, on the critical need for civility, professionalism and decorum, and to be available in City Hall to address quality of life and constituent service issues from neighbors.

“My goal as Council President, and for the remainder of my term, will be to continue to work on ensuring that the City Council is focused on conducting the people’s business, and that we have a professional working environment for all,” said Council President Flynn. “While working closely with our dedicated Central Staff, I continue to focus on implementing policies to address the need for civility and respect, and to promote a culture that is inclusive and attracts talent to public service at City Hall, where everyone feels welcome in the workplace without fear of any bullying or harassment.

Boston City Council President

Ed Flynn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.