Chelsea city councillors are looking at ways
in which they can legally find a way to reserve some of the recreation
marijuana licenses for Chelsea residents.
Councillor Roy Avellaneda forwarded an order
recently to reserve at least two of the four recreational licenses for Chelsea
residents, as so many residents have been impacted by the War on Drugs and the
prosecution of marijuana possession crimes.
Avellaneda said his order is to amend the
current retail marijuana ordinance in similar fashion to Somerville and Boston.
At the state level, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) signaled early on
that it would approve licenses quicker in communities like Chelsea that
historically have been heavily impacted by drug prosecution.
However, Avellaneda and other councillors
said they have only seen well-heeled investors from out of town turning up to
take advantage of that designation in Chelsea.
“The recent rush we have seen by well-funded
and politically connected individuals and groups to apply for the available
licenses puts those living in communities like Chelsea at a serious
disadvantage,” he said. “The goal of the legislation I have introduced is to
provide a two-year window for two of the four licenses just for Chelsea
residents or a business entity comprised of 60 percent Chelsea residents…I
think we would have better host agreements and community benefits
offered by an individual or group based from Chelsea than from someone with no
connections to this city. Should we allow the money made from these lucrative
licenses leave the city? Or should we try to keep that revenue here?”
The Council held a Committee of the Whole
meeting on Monday night, Feb. 4, to discuss the matter and try to find a
Council President Damali Vidot said she and
Avellaneda and the rest of the Council seem to be on the same page with the
idea, but may differ on how to accomplish it.
“My concern at Monday’s meeting and a
couopld of other councillor’s concerns were that we could be interfering with a
business’s right ot commerce,” she said. “If I own an adult-use shop and want
to sell it, I don’t know if we can limit who you sell it to. We don’t want to
cut people off at the knees. That will effect investors because they may not
want to enter into a place where there are so many limits on their
investment…Also, we’re only allowing the rich to get richer. If you live in
Chelsea and have the money to buy one of these, you’re obviously already rich.”
She said the marijuana licenses mimic the
regulations for liquor stores, and there are no such limits on liquor licenses.
That said, she agreed that Avellaneda has a
good idea that needs to be explored and hopefully implemented in some fashion
to help Chelsea residents – to empower those economically who have been
affected in the past.
Avellaneda said the idea is consistent with
the recent 100 percent residency requirement for all new police and fire hires,
as well as the affordable housing requirement for Chelsea residents.
“It asks that any new jobs created in
Chelsea have a priority for Chelsea residents,” he said. “I doubt Chelsea would
lose any opportunities or see a delay in applications because any outsider
looking to open in Chelsea would look to partner with a Chelsea resident rather
than risk losing a chance at a license by waiting two years.”
Western Front Moving
Quickly on Webster
The Economic Empowerment marijuana proposal
on Webster Avenue is moving quickly through the local process for a marijuana
dispensary at 121 Webster Ave.
Western Front is a minority-owned firm that
received the Economic Empowerment designation from the state last spring, and
had its community meeting shortly after. The firm plans to open a dispensary
and also employ those who have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs –
particularly people from the Chelsea. The ownership of the company comes from
Boston and Cambridge though.
Western Front is scheduled to go before the
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. It is the first ZBA hearing
in Chelsea for a marijuana proposal.
A Chelsea firefighter fighting the stunning blaze created by Pollo Campero in Park Square on Sunday night. The popular restaurant was a total loss, but owners said they intend to re-build.
Heavy smoke poured from the popular Pollo Campero restaurant in Park Square on Sunday night, with firefighters facing treacherous conditions that forced their evacuation numerous times as they tried to put out the stunning fire.
In the end, crews battled and made quick
work of it – getting it out within an hour.
Chief Len Albanese said it is still under
investigation this week, and that it was a total loss.
“The fire is still under investigation;
however, I can report at this time that it appears that the fire started in a
concealed space within a wall, then traveled to the loft space above the
ceiling where the fire was allowed to burn for some time before breaking out
and activating the Fire Alarm system,” he said. “This would account for the
major fire condition on arrival even though the building had a working fire
alarm system. Also, there were no sprinklers within the structure. The fire
remains under investigation for a definitive cause that will be reported upon
There were no civilian injuries, but one
firefighter was injured.
On Sunday evening, at 11:40 p.m. Chelsea
Fire Alarm received an alarm of fire from Box 1134 for the Pollo Campero
restaurant located at 115 Park St. First arriving companies from Chelsea E2 and
L1 under the command of Capt. Phil Rogers reported heavy smoke showing on
arrival from the rear of the building. C4 Deputy Wayne Ulwick arrived
on scene assuming command and immediately ordered the Working
Fire. Due to the heavy smoke and reports of heavy fire within the interior
of the building, a Second Alarm was requested bringing companies from Revere,
Everett, Boston and MassPort to the scene. Crews were ordered out of the
building several times due to conditions rapidly deteriorating from
heavy fire conditions within the structure forcing firefighters to attack the
fire with defensive operations using blitz guns, hand lines
and ladder pipes
The fire was brought under control within an
The Boston Sparks Club under the command of
President Paul Boudreau responded to the scene supplying Re-Hab and
refreshments for the firefighters. Chelsea Police also provided traffic and
crowd control during fire. Crews from Medford and Boston provided mutual aid
during the fire.
Chief Albanese said it was a defensive fight
for firefighters because the structure was too far along to be saved.
Nevertheless, owners are determined to rebuild.
“It was determined that the fire was well
involved within the structure, and crews were ordered out of the building and
proceeded with a defensive fire attack,” he said. “Given the time of day, a
closed business and no reports of occupants, this was the safest course of
action given that very early on it was apparent that this building could not be
saved. Members of Fire Prevention are working with the ownership, who reported
to us that they intend to rebuild as soon as possible.”
City Manager Thomas Ambrosino got a new
five-year contract and a healthy serving of praise from the City Council Monday
The council approved the contract with a
10-0 vote. Councilor-at-Large Roy Avellaneda was not present at Monday night’s
Ambrosino gets a three percent raise with
the new deal, from $184,913 annually to $189,945.
Council President Damali Vidot said a
sub-committee made up of Councilors Luis Tejada, Giovanni Recupero and Yamir
Rodriguez had been evaluating Ambrosino for several months, and agreed that he
has done a good job and should be invited back.
“He’s done a great job and he wanted to go
five years instead of four years so he would be closer to retirement age at the
end of this contract,” she said. “I think he deserved it. I felt he earned five
years. He got a really good evaluation and people are very pleased with his
Vidot said the evaluation showed councilors
and the public felt he was a little too hands-off on his management of
departments, and wanted to see him be a little more hands-on with them. For
Vidot, she said one of his strengths has been treating the City Council with
“He has really given the City Council the
respect it deserves,” she said. “I didn’t see that in the previous
administration. Chelsea seems to really be coming together. There seems to be
so much more interest in social and civic issues and more unity overall.”
On Monday night, the praises continued at
the Council meeting before they voted to extend the contract five more years.
“The city manager has done a great job,”
said District 8 Councilor Calvin T. Brown. “He’s committed, a creative thinker,
and a very approachable city manager.”
Several councilors commented on Ambrosino’s
responsiveness to residents’ concerns.
“Whenever I have had a problem in my
district and brought it to his attention, the city manager has been very
responsive,” said District 1 Councilor Robert Bishop.
District 5 Councilor Judith Garcia said
Ambrosino has been an incredible asset and resource for the community.
“He has invested a lot in the community, and
I hear it from my constituents a lot,” said Garcia.
In addition to the three percent pay raise,
Ambrosino will get an additional $500 per year for travel, and the former
Revere mayor’s new contract will be for five years, compared to his current
“I’m very pleased and very grateful to the
city council for giving me a vote of confidence,” Ambrosino said following
Monday night’s meeting. “I will do everything I can to continue to make them
proud of my work.”
Ambrosino has said since last fall he would
like to be asked to return to Chelsea for another contract term. He said he
feels like he has more work to do in the city, particularly with his downtown
•In other Council news:
A resolution passed by the City Council
Monday night recognized February as Black History Month and thanked the Lewis
H. Latimer Society, Bunker Hill Community College, and the Chelsea Black
Community “Remembering Black Migration, WWI, and the Chelsea Fire” for the
contributions to the city.
The Council also recognized Feb. 21 as Dr.
Maya Angelou Day in Chelsea.
•The council requested a meeting with
Emergency Management Director Keith Vetreno to discuss 911 services.
•Councilor-at-Large Leo Robinson requested
that City Manager Tom Ambrosino update the council on all planned development
in the city.
•District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero
requested a brighter streetlight on Charles Street, as well as a study for
traffic on the Meridian Street Bridge. The brightness of the new LED
streetlights has been a problem point for several years, as most of them are on
the lowest setting to save money on power. Recupero has routinely asked the
City to increase the brightness on the new LED lights.
Rather than Russell Disposal, the trash and
recycling trucks rumbling down city streets could one day say City of Chelsea.
While that possibility is a slight one at
the moment, the City Council is asking City Manager Thomas Ambrosino to look
into the costs of the City owning its own trash trucks and picking up its own
trash. Currently, the City has a contract with Russell Disposal, Inc. of
More than half the sitting councilors had
their name attached to the order that was introduced at Monday night’s meeting:
President Damali Vidot, District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero, District 1
Councilor Robert Bishop, District 4 Councilor Enio Lopez, District 3 Councilor
Joe Perlatonda, and District 2 Councilor Luis Tejada.
Lopez said he does not believe Russell is
doing a good enough job with trash removal, sometimes leaving trash behind and
picking up recycling on a haphazard schedule.
“They are being paid big bucks and they are
not doing it,” Lopez said. “For the amount of money we are paying, we can get a
few trucks and hire people from the city of Chelsea.”
Bishop said he has heard no complaints from
his district about trash collection, but did support having Ambrosino look at
“If this saves money, I’m interested in what
(the city manager) has to say,” said Bishop. “The whole idea is to see if we
can save money.”
In some procedural wrangling,
Councilor-at-Large Leo Robinson made a motion to move the issue into conference
“I feel like we keep putting things out
there and we have no idea what the costs will be,” said Robinson. The
councilor, who said his family has a long history in the waste management
business, said a single trash truck could cost over a quarter of a million
dollars, along with additional costs to retrofit the trucks to collect trash
barrels in Chelsea.
“If we make the move to go pick up our own
trash, there is a lot involved,” Robinson said. “I don’t have a number in front
of me, but it could cost $3 million to $3.5 million per year.”
Recupero said there was no need to put the
issue into council committee at this time, since the request was to have
Ambrosino get more information and numbers on municipal waste collection.
“If he tells us it’s not feasible, then it
can’t be done,” he said. “If it is feasible, then we can send it to committee.”
Perlatonda estimated that the costs could be
even higher than those estimated by Robinson.
While Cambridge has more than double the
population of Chelsea, he said annual costs of municipal collection there are
about $12 million.
“I don’t think it is going to be feasible to
find (an option) cheaper than Russell,” he said.
The vote to move the issue to committee failed,
with Robinson, Perlatonda, and District 7 Councilor Yamir Rodriguez on the
short end of the vote. The request will now go to Ambrosino for his review.
The people of Chelsea are demanding increased
frequency on the Silver Line, more reliability, and additional bus connections
from the MBTA. Over the next two years there will be three major construction
projects in Chelsea that will adversely impact bus traffic, and City leaders
and residents are concerned that the already poor services will worsen.
“There have been big shifts in population and
ridership, and the bus routes have stayed largely the same,” admitted Steve
Poftak, the newly appointed MBTA General Manager. “The T is playing catch-up.”
On January 24, Poftak sat with locals and
members of the City Council during the first inaugural Chelsea Transportation
Task Force meeting at City Hall. The goal of the committee is to gather once a
month for six months of interactive discussions with the community and Poftak
to develop solutions.
“For a lot of us who live on both of the
hills, buses are the only means of transportation,” commented a Bellingham
Square resident. “Every year or two, they threaten to cut off both of the
hills. That would leave us totally stranded, and I’m not having it.”
Many aren’t content with the massive traffic
that builds with the 20 minute rising and 20 minute lowering of the Chelsea
Street bridge, which slows bus travel. The MBTA noted that active discussions
with the Coast Guard regarding the creation of a period of time during peak
hours of commuting when the bridge does not open have been hindered by the
“We have limited control over the bridge.
Maybe we could have some predictability with windows when we know the bridge
will be active and when we know it won’t,” said Poftak.
The Better Bus Project is investigating the
quality of the current bus network and working on cost-neutral proposals that
will result in more frequent services for customers. Researchers have been
speaking with riders to learn more about where people’s trips begin and end,
the economic demographics of the area, and where jobs are located.
“We are advocating for fair mitigation,” expressed
Council President Damali Vidot. “We’ve needed quality service for years and are
working at a sub-par level. Chelsea was an afterthought in the Better Bus
Project. We want to make sure we’re getting the service we deserve.”
The Better Bus Project has 47 proposals for
changes in the MBTA bus system that will impact 63 out of the 180 routes in 35
of the 50 communities that are served. Proposals include removing bus routes
with low ridership, and re-investing resources elsewhere.
The Transportation Task Force is suggesting
more inspectors, less cancellations, and easier transfers between Chelsea and
Lynn on the Commuter Rail.
“We are re-imagining the infrastructure on
Broadway,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “We will be presenting the City
Council with alternatives that do away with two fast lanes to make travel
safer. One idea is incorporating a dedicated bus lane.”
Gentrification has also forced many Chelsea
residents to relocate to Lynn because of the high cost of rent. One Chelsea
resident, who works in Lynn, voiced that it takes her up to two hours to
commute from Lynn to Chelsea using public transportation. She commented that
the only line that directly connects Chelsea to Everett is the 112 bus, and
many avoid it due to the lifting of the bridge; and recommended that the 426
bus through Lynn could stop in Chelsea, as it already passes over the Tobin
“In the overall bus network redesign, people
on the north side of the city are particularly interested in going to Lynn and
Malden,” Poftak concluded.
Better Bus Project proposals will be available
at www.MBTA.com with maps and data. The MBTA will also be providing riders with
a warm place to view proposals at Haymarket Station, where they see the most response from Chelsea residents.
Keynote speaker Lucia Robinson-Griggs receives a standing ovation for her speech from the audience, including her parents, Linda Alioto-Robinson and Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson, and City Manager Tom Ambrosino.
The People’s A.M.E. Church, led by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Whitley, and the Chelsea community honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the annual breakfast and awards ceremony Jan. 21 at Chelsea High School.
The Rev. Whitley and the Planning Committee
put together another impressive tribute to the late Dr. King, the civil rights
leader who dedicated his life to promoting unity and delivered one of American
history’s greatest speeches, “I Have A Dream,” on Aug. 28, 1963 in Washington,
City Manager Tom Ambrosino, State Rep. Dan
Ryan, Council President Damali Vidot, Councillors Leo Robinson, Joseph
Perlatonda, and Enio Lopez, School Committee Chair Richard Maronski and member
Yessenia Alfaro, CBC President Joan Cromwell, Latimer Society Co-Director
Ronald Robinson, and Roca Executive Director Molly Baldwin led a slate of
dignitaries in attendance at the tribute that featured, singing, dancing, awards,
and inspirational speeches.
The Chelsea Hub, a network led by the
Chelsea Police Department and comprised of 27 different agencies, received the
prestigious Spirit Award in recognition of its ongoing efforts to help people
facing difficult challenges. Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, Capt. David
Batchelor, Officer Sammy Mojica, Community Engagement Specialist Dan Cortez,
and Roca Assistant Director Jason Owens were among the award recipients.
The highlight of the program arrived when
Lucia Robinson-Griggs stepped to the podium and delivered the keynote address.
Robinson-Griggs, who holds degrees from
Bentley and Lesley and is a former high school and college scholar-athlete,
rose to the occasion with a heartfelt and eloquent address to the people of
“I’d just like to start by saying thank you
so much for inviting me to be here today to celebrate Chelsea while honoring
the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Robinson-Griggs, adding that
she was honored to be the keynote speaker after receiving the Young Adult
Dreamers and Achievers Award in 2018.
She noted the “I Have A Dream” and “We are
all created equal” theme of the program, stating, ‘it’s incredible how relevant
[Dr. King’s famous speech in 1963] still is here in 2019.”
She encouraged members of the audience to
carry on Dr. King’s legacy “even when it isn’t easy to do so.” She said
everyone should work for a better Chelsea in the years to come.
my words today are going to be a charge for the people in this auditorium to
reach beyond this room and change the perspective,” said Griggs-Robinson.
She singled out the Chelsea High student
choir (who performed at Gov. Baker’s inauguration), the Latimer Society (in
encouraging careers in STEM), and the award recipients, The Chelsea Hub and others,
as being positive influences in the city.
Briggs-Robinson cited her personal
experiences as an associate head coach of the MIT women’s basketball team,
relating how the coaching staff encourages its players to be “a part of the
solution and be a builder, to find the good somewhere and work to help build up
She said that people should be positive in
their actions and in their interactions with others, that even a small act of
kindness or an inspiring phrase or a compliment can have a profound effect on
starting to change another person’s life.
“Kindness catches on,” said Robinson-Briggs.
Strive to be someone’s builder every day. Be their bright spot and give hope
that we can be the generation to make Dr. King’s dream a reality.”
Robinson-Briggs received a warm, standing
ovation as she returned to her seat beside her parents, Councillor-at-Large Leo
Robinson and Linda Alioto-Robinson, and City Manager Tom Ambrosino in the front
row of the auditorium.
The Rev. Whitley concluded the impressive
program by having all audience members join hands and sing “We Shall Overcome.”
And in an unsung
but important gift to the community, CCCTV Executive Director Robert Bradley
and Technical Director Ricky Velez videotaped the entire two-hour program and tribute
to Dr. King, including Robinson-Griggs’ remarks, for broadcast on the local
The City Council got back to business Monday
night with a special organizational meeting and then quickly taking care of the
new year’s first agenda items.
As expected, the Council approved a second
term for Damali Vidot as council president. District 2 Councillor Luis Tejada
was voted in as vice president, and Yamir Rodriguez as the Council’s delegate
to the School Committee.
“I want to thank all my colleague’s for
entrusting me with one more year as president,” said Vidot. She is the first
female councillor to serve two back-to-back terms as council president.
Vidot said she is looking forward to a year
of unity and respect on the council.
In other business, the Council unanimously
approved funding for new contracts for the City’s two police unions.
The contracts include a retroactive salary
increase of 2.5 percent for FY17 and 3 percent for FY18 and FY19. There is also
a 3 percent increase slated for FY20 and an additional 1 percent increase that
goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
The contract also implements residency
requirements for all new hires for the Police Department.
Later in the meeting, the Council also
approved an amended residency ordinance for all police, fire, and civil service
The ordinance requires that all personnel
who live in Chelsea at the time of the hire must maintain residency for five
years from the date of hire. Personnel who do not live in the city at the time
of hire have six months to relocate to Chelsea.
Councillor-At-Large Leo Robinson cast the
lone vote against the amended ordinance, using the example of a child who might
have to look after sick parents as a possible reason an employee may not be
able to relocate.
•During the public speaking portion of the
meeting, some familiar guests dropped in to say thank you to the Council.
Several members of the Chelsea High senior
class thanked the council for its recent vote to fund a turf field cover to the
tune of $170,000 for the new high school field.
With the field cover, the senior class and
subsequent classes will be able to hold outdoor graduations.
“We’ve put so much hard work into this, and
everything that has happened has been amazing,” said Senior Class President
Poste and several
other seniors presented the Council with a signed letter in appreciation for
their efforts. They also asked the council for their signatures on a
proclamation documenting the students’ and the Council’s efforts to work
together to make the turf field cover a reality.
The School Committee elected Richard
Maronski as its new chair during its first meeting of 2019 at City Hall.
Maronski, who has been a member of the committee for three-and-half years, succeeds Jeanette
Velez, who held the position for the past three years.
“I’m honored to be selected by my colleagues
to lead the School Committee in the coming year,” said Maronski. “I want to
thank Jeannette for her leadership and the commitment he has shown to the
students in Chelsea.”
The son of Ann Maronski and the late Charles
Maronski, Richard is well known in the community. He was the Chelsea High star
quarterback who led coach Bob Fee’s Red Devils to an amazing come-from-behind
34-26 victory over Everett in the 1980 Thanksgiving game. Maronski threw
touchdown passes to Paul Driscoll to spark Chelsea’s rally from a 20-0 deficit.
Some fans call it the greatest game in the long history of the Chelsea-Everett
series that ended in 1989.
Several members of Richard’s family
graduated from Chelsea High School, including several uncles and aunts,
brothers and sisters, in a time period that ranged from the 1930s to 1990s. His
popular sister, Patricia Maronski Yee, was a CHS cheerleader and graduated in
1990. Richard graduated in 1982.
“I’m very proud of my family’s long history
of attending Chelsea schools,” said Maronski. ‘Everyone received a good, solid
all-around education and each has fond memories of their positive experiences
in the Chelsea schools. In particular, my father loved Chelsea. He was there
the day we beat Everett on Thanksgiving.”
Maronski also served as president of the
Chelsea Youth Basketball League and coached two teams in the league. He was
also the CHS freshman boys basketball coach.
A former Chelsea city councillor, Maronski
has established his priorities for the new year.
“My first priority is to form a committee of
Chelsea residents to help select a new school superintendent (Supt. of Schools
Dr. Mary Bourque has announced that she will be retiring from the position),”
said Maronski. “We are working with the Collins Center at UMass in the
Maronski would also like to address the
issue of Chelsea teachers leaving the school system for positions in other
“We have a high turnover in teachers in the
Chelsea schools,” said Maronski. “I’d like to see more stability in our
Maronski said the School Committee meets the
first Thursday (7 p.m.) of every month. He welcomes parents to attend the
meetings and speak during the public portion.
Committee elected Julio Hernandez as vice chair of the board.
Just as the Planning Board looked close to taking a vote on a major development plan for the Forbes site Tuesday night, Dec. 18, the attorney for developer YIHE asked the board to give his client another month to review potential changes to the project.
Paul Feldman, the attorney for the developer, requested a one-month continuance of the public hearing on the project after City officials, including City Manager Thomas Ambrosino, recommended decreasing the density of the residential units on the site.
Developers were seeking 630 studio, one-, and two-bedroom units in a mix of buildings on the property, along with 963 parking spots, and 20,000 sq. ft. of office, commercial, and retail space.
Chinese company YIHE purchased the 18-acre former Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing site, bordered by the Chelsea River and Mill Creek, in 2014 for just over $11.5 million. In 2015, the City rejected a far-reaching plan for the site that included skyscrapers more than 20 stories tall and more than 1.5 million square feet of residential and commercial development.
“The current proposal is more than half the size smaller than the one three years ago at 699,000 square feet,” said Feldman.
During a nearly three-hour public hearing Tuesday night, Ambrosino gave the project his qualified support, stating he approved of the developer’s plans to allow waterfront access to the public through a three-acre waterfront park. He also supported their willingness to work with the city on affordable housing levels and the plan to build 60 percent of the units as condominiums, dramatically helping to increase home-ownership levels in Chelsea.
“This is the first significant home ownership project to come to the city since I started here three-and-a-half years ago,” said Ambrosino.
However, the city manager said the project is too dense for the neighborhood, and asked the Planning Board to recommend to the Zoning Board of Appeals that the project be limited to 550 residential units. He also asked the ZBA to stipulate that 10 percent of the units in the project be set aside as affordable units at 50 percent of the annual median income.
“I advocate that outright denial would not be in the best interest of the city,” said Ambrosino. He noted that 630 units could be approved by right on the 18-acre parcel provided there were more parking spaces than the number proposed by YIHE.
During the public hearing, Feldman said the developer was willing to work with the city on affordable housing. With the recommendation to reduce the number of units, however, the attorney said his client would need more time to review the conditions.
“Given the enormous amount of information we have heard tonight, we do not want to be rushed,” said Feldman.
During the hearing, most of the questions from the board and the public revolved around some of the usual suspects with any large development — safety, traffic, and parking.
A good portion of the evening was dedicated to a traffic study conducted by the developer’s engineering firm.
Jeff Dirk of Vanasse and Associates said there would be a traffic impact from the 630 units, but that it would top out at about 200 vehicle trips during peak hours around 1 Forbes Street. He also noted that once traffic exited the development over one of two proposed new bridges to the site off Crescent Avenue, it would be dispersed throughout a number of thoroughfares throughout Chelsea, cutting down on overall congestion.
“It will be a relatively minor increase (in traffic) as you get away from the site,” said Dirk.
Feldman said the developers will work with the City to make infrastructure and traffic improvements in the area, including to Crescent Avenue itself. In addition, he said YIHE will work with the MBTA to improve public transportation to the site and the surrounding neighborhood.
While a dedicated bus stop is likely years away, Feldman said developers will provide a shuttle bus service to the nearest MBTA bus stops and the Silver Line for residents of the development and the neighborhood.
But some people Tuesday night, including District 3 City Councillor Joe Perlatonda, said the development team was painting too-rosy a picture of the traffic and parking impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
“This is in my district and I am still not on board,” said Perlatonda.
As it stands, the councillor said pedestrians dodge traffic on Crescent Avenue, and backups in the area can be severe, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up hours.
“Parking is also a major concern, and I also don’t want to see a bus circling Carroll Street and Clinton Street,” he said. “I see there being a complete bottleneck.”
Several residents and Planning Board members were also concerned about the two new planned bridges, questioning if they were too close together in case of emergency.
Feldman said a wider bridge would be for vehicles and a narrower one would be primarily for pedestrians, but could be used for emergency access by the police and fire departments.
However, Planning Board member Gladys Vega said she was worried that there could be issues in an emergency because the bridges are essentially side by side, with no other access point to the development.
City Council President Damali Vidot raised concerns about the density of the project, as well as the lack of three-bedroom apartments in the initial plans.
“I do appreciate the 10 percent affordable housing at the lower annual median income, if the developer is willing to do it,” Vidot said. “But I do have an issue with (Feldman) minimizing the impact of the project on the community. This would be an increase in population of 2,000 people, or about five percent of the city’s population.”
The Planning Board will take up the public hearing on 1 Forbes St. at its January meeting.
Feldman said he will also be asking for a continuance from the ZBA, which needs to grant a special permit to allow for fewer parking spots than are required under zoning for the Waterfront District.
This is an exemplary retrospective of the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath. Adam Tooze regales us with a depiction of the horrors that were unfurled during and after the crisis. the book is divided into four parts, each of which attends to different facets of the 10-year period following the financial disaster.
The author does a nice job of holding the reader’s interest. The book is filled with facts and figures pertinent to the monetary emergency, but Tooze does his best to make it accessible to the average reader.
The crisis originated in the United States when Lehman Brothers collapsed, but to quote Tooze: “ To view the crisis of 2008 as basically an American event was tempting,” but in fact the emergency spread all over the world, especially to the Eurozone, which experienced the brunt of the crisis around 2010 and 2011. Tooze divides the blame on liberals and conservatives alike, although I got the feeling that he is/was a moderate left-winger.
In Europe the difficulties involved Ireland, Spain and most famously and harmfully Greece, which experienced economic turmoil after European authorities imposed austerity measures due to a terrible run on banks. European countries, especially Germany experienced great duress over the prospect of bailing out Greece.
In addition, the world was beset by what was viewed as populist political remedies, in particular the rise of Donald Trump in America and the Brexit vote in Britain. Tooze attributes most of the blame for these maladies to the shaky fiscal situation which arose from the crisis of 2008. The author lumps all these phenomena under the financial banner, and I am not sure they were all interrelated, but he does make an intersecting case for it all.
Tooze’s chapter on Trump elaborates on what the author believes to be the rise of a right wing demagogue, but he barely mentions the positive effect that Trump has had on the U.S. economy.
The crisis of 2008 was widely viewed by many to be the most unstable period since the Great Depression, which germinated in 1929 and lasted beyond the 1930s. During the latest crisis, millions of people lost their jobs and/or homes in the period from 2008 to 2015. President Obama who inherited the mess from the previous Bush Administration, did his best to contain the crisis, but the enormity of the instability was such that government intervention by itself could not contain the onslaught from the failing banks.
Adam Tooze is a gifted writer and his book on the fiscal disaster is filled with minutiae relevant to the duration of the financial difficulties. I had never heard of Tooze before I read this book, but I will pay great heed to whatever he publishes in the future.
“Crashed” is an excellent read. The reader leaves it well informed on the niceties of finance. You, the reader will find it to be an excellent book. I recommend it heartily.