On Tuesday, resident Chris Hoeh took the podium at First Church to announce that Franklin Park Area Stop the Olympics was in place and in your face. Saying that "Jamaica Plain stopped I-95 and we can stop the Olympics," he urged everyone in the sanctuary to come out to the Mayors Boston Olympic Community meeting on June 30 to say Franklin Park and Harambee Park ( Franklin Field ) are not for the Olympics. "The meeting is a great opportunity!" In a hand-out, the group stated that Franklin Park Area Stop the Olympics was formed "in response to calls for locally organized resistance....We will help stop the Olympics and build the city we need." Hoeh - who lives on Adelaide street and is grade school teacher - spoke at the conclusion of a lecture by Smith College Professor Andrew Zimabalist on the "Economic Gamble of Boston 2024."
Thursday night a trio of groups will host a discussion of possible displacement of residents by the 2024 Olympics. The event, hosted by No Boston 2024, Black Lives Matter and the Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee, begins at 7 p.m. at Hope Central Church, 85 Seaverns Ave. Here's a link to the Facebook event page. Dubbed "Olympic Sized Displacement," the panel will explore whether Boston residents would be forced from their homes should Boston 2024 succeed in bringing the Olympics to the city. Organizers of the forum cite a 2007 study that found 2 million people had been displaced in the previous 20 years because of the Olympics.
Mayor Marty Walsh has created an Office of Olympic Planning headed up by newly appointed executive director Sara Myerson, according to a press release. Previously, Myerson served as chief of staff and director of policy for Boston-based Preservation of Affordable Housing. The committee will be focused on developing Boston’s plan for hosting the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For Franklin Park and other potential venues the office will look at economic analysis, mitigation analysis, public health and safety studies, and transportation planning. For now, Boston 2024 has proposed that Franklin Park would be a suitable venue for the modern pentathlon as well as equestrian events.
As Boston 2024 moves forward with its Olympic bid, many are still unsure of what what means for the City of Boston, including frequent users of Franklin Park. Here's a quick visual guide to what's on the table. Boston 2024 CEO Richard Davey assured a roomful of skeptical residents surrounding the park that "we expect significant change," back in March during a spirited public meeting at the Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse. According to page 9 of Boston2024's proposal to host the Olympic Games, the committee would increase White Stadium's seating to 20,000 for the Modern Pentathlon as well as Equestrian events. It would provide room for a whopping 60,000 througout the William J. Devine Golf Course for viewing Equestrian Cross Country.
Mayor Marty Walsh makes a point during a press conference with neighborhood media on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Credit: Chris Helms
Mayor Marty Walsh sat down with reporters and editors from neighborhood publications like the Jamaica Plain News on Wednesday. Here are some highlights from the conversation. Casey Arborway
The Casey project is state-run, but takes place on several city streets. Walsh has not taken a strong public role since before his election as mayor, when he buoyed bridge supporters by issuing a statement calling on the Department of Transportation to "fairly evaluate" replacing the Casey with a "beautiful modern bridge."