Opinion: Honoring Boston’s Backbone — Our Labor Force

It has been a year of uncertainty but as the days grow longer and warmer, vaccinations continue and the number of COVID-19 cases trend in the right direction, there is a sense of hope on the horizon. As this time of stress and uncertainty tapers off, we should never forget the people who made a difference during these darkest of times. Just as we honor our veterans of the armed forces on specific holidays throughout the year, from now on we need to always remember that not all heroes wear uniforms. On May 1, we began the month by commemorating May Day or International Workers Day. It is a day set aside to commemorate the gains and struggles made by workers and the labor movement in our world. May Day is especially important this year as a commemoration of the immeasurable contribution that front-line workers made here in Boston and across the globe during this past year. 
When Boston and our country faced the greatest public healthcare emergency in over a century, healthcare professionals showed up day-after-day-after-day.

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Letter: To Hyde Square Task Force About Community Process for Sale of Church

The following is a letter sent to the Hyde Square Task Force from the Friends of the Blessed Sacrament Church requesting an open, transparent community process during the selection of a developer for the church. We were pleased to hear that the Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) has received several formal offers to purchase the Blessed Sacrament Church building, and that there is interest in the property beyond condo developers. We are also encouraged by recent statements that HSTF will prioritize a buyer that appreciates the significance of the church building to the Boston Latin Quarter and that HSTF will be considering community benefit as well as financial benefit and make sure any future buyer listens to the voices and concerns of the Latin Quarter community. As you consider proposals to develop the church, Friends of Blessed Sacrament requests that HSTF create a process where the community gets a chance to meet potential developers and give input and feedback before HSTF makes a final decision. Specifically, we request that before taking a board vote to select a developer, the HSTF hold one or more public meetings where the community can hear from potential developers and give their feedback and comments.

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Governors, Emerald Necklace Conservancy & More Support Using Arborway Bus Yard Instead of Redeveloping Shattuck Campus for Supportive Housing

The state has proposed redeveloping the 13 acres of the Shattuck Hospital campus site into an integrated health care, behavioral health and supportive housing. A virtual meeting was held on Tuesday night in which numerous people testified, including former Governor William Weld and former Governor Michael Dukakis. Both preferred the MBTA Arborway Yard Bus Facility site on Washington Street for the services instead of redeveloping the Shattuck Hospital campus. Click here to review the proposed Shattuck Hospital campus redevelopment. The following statement is from Karen Mauney-Brodek is the President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy
The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) hosted a virtual public hearing yesterday evening to present the draft request for proposals for the aging Shattuck Hospital site at Franklin Park. Approximately half of the members of public who spoke at the hearing felt that the proposed alternative 18-acre MBTA Arborway Yard Bus Facility site nearby would be the best location for the supportive housing and services needed, whereas many others agreed it would be great, but they didn’t think the Commonwealth was capable of working in the community’s best interest.

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Opinion: Neighbors Come Together to Save Historical Zamora Street Home

The neighbors, homeowners, and community around Zamora Street are urging the city of Boston to oppose the demolition of a historic home to make way for an undisclosed number of condo units on lovely little Zamora Street. The home at 15 Zamora Street and the adjoining non-conforming open parcels hold a stately 5,000 square foot two-family home. The home was built in 1898 by former Mayor Edwin Curtis and his brother Nelson, members of the prominent Curtis family which inhabited Jamaica Plain for more than five generations, dating back to the 1600s. The land on both sides of it represents the last open space north of Perkins Street between the Riverway and South Huntington Avenue. Rightfully, at a hearing on February 23, the Boston Landmark Commission (BLC) unanimously opposed the demolition of this property and set in motion a 90-day demolition delay, however next steps in the process lie with the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) and tip in favor of development without further obligations to the community.  
The small but spirited community of Zamora Street has pulled together to understand the Article 85 policy and how to save this home which was specifically noted to meet criteria D and E of Section 85.5 0.3 due to association with one or more historical persons.

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Opinion: Marking Developmental Disability Awareness Month During the COVID Crisis

My connection to Best Buddies and the Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) Community started with a bit of a selfish desire. I really wanted to meet Tom Brady. I would gladly pedal in a charity bike ride if I got to meet the G.O.A.T. But what came from that initial interest in meeting Brady, turned into one of the most transformative experiences of my life. It started me on a journey that forged life-long friendships with partners cemented by countless hours of training at Regan’s Motivated Fitness in South Boston and across the streets of Greater Boston. Best Buddies International has a mission of enhancing the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities by creating one-to-one opportunities for friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living situations.

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