THE PRINT EDITION
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
VOLUME XIX- ISSUE 74
Mass/Cass Relocation and Demolition Begins
by Rick Winterson
he Mass/Cass tent city is being torn down. Its destitute denizens are being (or will be) housed elsewhere. The by-now massive tent city will disappear before winter weather hits our City. Since early this year, Mass/ Cass had grown like a poisonous mushroom; by now, it stretches along both sides over many, many blocks of public streets. But it will soon be gone, and the unfortunate residents of Mass/Cass have been promised a place to live, if they can’t find somewhere safe to go on their own. As of Monday morning at 8 a.m., November 1, the project to dismantle Mass/Cass began. Mass/Cass started its short life when then Mayor Walsh converted a parking lot at the Boston Medical Center (the BMC) into a “convenience
There’s still a lot to do along Southampton. station” for the homeless in the City of Boston. This area rapidly became overcrowded, and many homeless were “camping out” in tents along the sidewalks on the northeast corner of the Massachusetts Avenue/Melnea Cass Boulevard intersection.
T he enc a mpment qu ic k ly became known as “Mass/Cass”, a nickname formed from two key syllables in the roadways’ names. T he e x t reme ly den s e automobile tra f f ic at t his intersection, coupled w it h sidewalks that soon became
totally obstructed, forced Mayor Walsh’s decision to move this “tent city” across the intersection and a block or t wo down Southampton Street. This was a stretch of road already known as “Methadone Mile”, because of dispensaries on Bradston and Atkinson Streets, as well as the construction on Atkinson of what the City is calling a public “Engagement Center”. Since its relocation, the tent city has signif icantly expanded along both sides of Southampton, Atkinson, and Bradston. It now is openly drug-infested, unsafe to traverse on foot, and has become a public health crisis. Quite justif iably, the MBTA has eliminated its bus stop at that point on Southampton. And everyone still calls the e nc a mpme nt “M a s s /C a s s”. In October, Interim Mayor Kim Janey issued an Executive Order from her office. Her Continued on page 3
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THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
2021 Elections Leave Few Doubts by Rick Winterson
The Mayoral Election The voting figures spoke clearly. On Tuesday, November 16, mayoral candidate Michelle Wu will become the first woman, as well as the first person of color, to be sworn in as the Mayor of the City of Boston. She decisively defeated Annissa Essaibi George, another woman of color – 63% for Wu versus 37% for Essaibi George (unofficially, 74,800 to 44,400 was the split of 119,200 total votes cast). Essaibi George conceded the mayoral campaign to Wu at 10:37 p.m. on Tuesday. Immediately afterward, in Wu’s acceptance speech, she spoke of “Boston for everyone” and the welcome for everyone who comes to our “green new deal City”. She reflected upon her arrival in Boston: “I knew I was home”. And among the many supporters Wu thanked were Angela Menino and Mayor Thomas Menino. Essaibi George’s concession speech, although brief, was also gracious; it was humorous as well. She offered to teach Wu how to pronounce the word “Mother” with a Boston accent.
Local City Councilor Elections District 2 City Councilor Ed Flynn ran unopposed, so of course he will continue to be responsible for South Boston, the key part of his constituency. Congratulations, Ed! And Frank Baker, who is the District 3 City Councilor, successfully defended his position against Stephen McBride - 8,500 votes (63%) to 4,900 (37%). District 3 includes South Boston’s McCormack housing, part of the Polish Triangle, and one side of Andrew Square. South Boston’s Michael Flaherty retains his seat as one of four City Councilors-at-Large. It’s a pleasure to report that his vote total of 62,000 (18%) was the highest number of votes cast for any City Councilor-at-Large candidate. As you know, Michael has had many years of experience in City government. Julia Mejia (61,000 votes) and Ruthzee Louijeune (55,000 votes) were also elected as City Councilors-at-Large. Erin Murphy was elected the fourth City Councilor-at-Large by a slim margin.
The Ballot Questions Boston voters left no doubt about their acceptance (or rejection) of the three ballot questions addressed to them in Boston’s 2021 Election: QUESTION 1 – Should the City Council be given the ability to take part in the City of Boston budgeting process? This is a binding ballot question, which voters approved by 68% - a landslide victory for the City Council’s role in setting Boston’s overall annual budget, as well as giving it a say about how funding is to be split between various City government functions. QUESTION 2 – Should Eversource’s plans to build an electric substation on Chelsea Creek in East Boston be approved? Although this was a non-binding ballot question, a huge majority of votes (83% or 5 out of every 6 votes cast) rejected the proposed substation, even though state regulators had already approved this project. QUESTION 3 – Should the Boston School Committee be elected in the future, even though it is an appointed Committee now? This was another non-binding ballot question. It also generated a large majority vote of approval (more than 75%, or 3 out of every 4 votes cast) of the School Committee becoming, once again, an elected government body.
As a general statement, the turnout for the 2021 Elections was on the low side. The initial prediction of this turnout was estimated to be 130,000. Actually, the turnout was closer to 120,000. This is out of a total of 400,000 registered voters in the City of Boston.
A Sports Brief: By the Numbers
umbers were a big part of the Pats’ 27 to 24 weekend win over the Chargers. This win got them to 4W-4L – a .500 percentage (finally), and what’s even more important, about a 50-50 chance of earning a playoff berth (they are now in second place in the AFC East). So root for them during their last nine games, if you please. They face the Panthers next week (also 4-4). Later on, the iron arrives – the Titans (6-2) late in November and two games against the Bills (5-2) in December. Letting the Chargers put up 24 points meant that the Pats’ defense matched their sevengame, 2021 year-to-date average of 24 points-against. That’s not great, but it’s OK, we guess – the Patriots’ “D” kept the Chargers numbers low enough to win. The high point of the game certainly was the pick-6 by Safety Adrian Phillips, but the game’s unsung hero has to be Nick Folk. He converted four field goal attempts from steadily increasing 26, 30, 46, and 48 yard distances. Whew! A total of 12 points; the last one was the game winner! And how often since 2001 (20 years ago) have you seen the Pats win games with a field goal in the fourth quarter? This last observation has nothing to do with numbers, or with the Patriots for that matter: The Boston Celtics must start playing with much greater consistency. They simply are not making a lategame effort. Led by Marcus Smart and Al Horford on the court, and motivated by Coach Ime Udoka and his staff from the bench, this team has got to get to work. And soon! Period!
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
Continued from Page 1
order forbids the use of tents, or any other form of temporary shelter, in the City of Boston. Any existing “tent cities” must quickly be demolished, including Mass/Cass. A s mentioned, this work began last Monday morning. The Commonwealth is assisting Boston; Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker calls Mass/ Cass a “humanitarian crisis”. At this moment, there are several hundred individuals living in Mass/Cass. Without doubt, some of them have lost their jobs or can’t find affordable housing in Boston, but Mass/Cass also became a center for dealing drugs early on, and its living conditions are frightfully filthy. Reloc at ion of perhaps 20 or 30 M a s s /C a s s residents has already started. Newly elected Mayor, Michelle Wu, comitted to the following:
State funding and Undertaking a
An early demolition of a camp in Mass/Cass. programmed approach to planning – data metrics, budgeted money, doctors’ care, policing, etc. Appoint a powerful official to head up clearing out Mass/Cass. A leader who’ll set up a task force, an at-once focus on addiction, mental health. Insist upon addiction management at first (or worded otherwise, “recovery from substance abuse”), counseling,
A “shelter” within an MBTA bus kiosk at Mass/Cass.
Striking a camp on a sidestreet of the methadone mile.
medical treatment, and programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous are potential remedies, a good diet, mental health, and reasonably decent housing (perhaps Sheriff Tompkins’ offer of empty, renovated jail space) come next. Put one high-level, experienced achiever in charge, with a charter to assemble a task force to overcome and eradicate Mass/ Cass at all levels, including
cleaning up the horrible mess caused by Mass/Cass. At the end, there should be nothing left there (!) to go back to. Communication/cooperation with surrounding towns, especially where the spouses and children of the Mass/Cassers are living right now. A lot of the Mass/Cass homeless come from elsewhere than Boston (WHY? Because more than almost anywhere else, drugs are readily available at Mass/Cass).
An ambulance is called during the Mass/Cass demo.
An early demolition of a camp in Mass/Cass.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
Grateful for your Support
Mayor Janey Announces Boston Veterens Parade The annual Boston Veterans Day Parade will take place on Saturday, November 6
I wanted to take the time today to thank each and every member of Team Flaherty for your hard work, dedication, and time spent sharing the message of my campaign with their family and friends. It’s no secret why we finished first. It was because of all of the support and hard work from supporters like you. We have a big year ahead of us. In just two weeks, our City will have a new Mayor, and shortly after, a new City Council makeup. The pressing challenges facing our City-affordable housing, our achievement & opportunity gaps in our Boston Public Schools, and COVID-19 recovery--are also opportunities to bring the City we love and call home to new heights. I look forward to fighting for the issues that matter most to residents and continuing to push to make our City a place where opportunity and prosperity are shared by all of our neighborhoods. Thank you for placing your faith in me. I am so grateful for your support. As always, if I can ever be helpful to you or your family, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 617-635-4205, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, Michael
ayor Kim Janey today announced that the annual Boston Veterans Day Parade, held by the American Legion and the City of Boston Office of Veterans’ Services, will take place on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. In previous years, the parade has been held on the Veterans Day holiday, November 11. The traditional ceremonies that the City of Boston Office of Veterans’ Services supports will still take place on November 11 and throughout the entire month of November, but the parade will take place on November 6 to kick off Veterans Month. “Veterans Day is an opportunity to honor the service and sacrifice of veterans, their families, and those who continue to serve,” said Mayor Janey. “This year, the Veterans Day Parade will take place on November 6, to kickstart Veterans Month. I encourage Boston residents and visitors to view the event from the Boston Common and pay respect to those who have bravely and selfishly fought to protect us and our values.” The parade begins at 12:00 p.m. at the corner of Charles Street and Boylston Street (Boston Common), and then marches to Government Center. It will proceed down Boylston St. to Tremont St., then on Tremont St. to Government Center. Residents are encouraged to view the parade from Boston Common.
This is a new parade designed to honor the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families, as well as thank all who continue to serve. Units will include the Danvers Falcons Marching Band, various Color Guards, VFW and American Legion Posts, and a Duck Boat with local veterans onboard to include World War II veterans. Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Services Bryan Bishop, longtime curator and planner for the South Boston and Somerville Parades, is the co-lead and visionary for the Boston Veterans Parade. “We’ve tried to reimagine what this parade can be,” said Bishop. “It takes a couple years to build up a spectacle as big as the South Boston parade, but with these fresh ideas and new opportunities, this year will be a springboard into a new time honored tradition in the City of Boston.” James Sinatra, co-lead from American Legion’s Suffolk County District Seven, echoes those sentiments and sees an even bigger impact this parade can have in the years to follow. “The Office of Veterans Services and the American Legion see an extremely unique opportunity upon the completion of the City Hall Plaza,” said Sinatra. “Just looking at the present here in 2021 though, it is a great thing to be back to honor and celebrate our veteran community on November 6th.” Additional information about the event can be found here: www. b o s t o n . g o v /c a l e n d a r / 2 0 2 1 boston-veterans-parade.
Councilor Flynn Thanks The People of District 2
would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to my neighbors, friends, and constituents for re-electing me to serve as your District 2 Boston City Councilor for a third term. I sincerely appreciate the hospitality you have extended to my family, my staff and I at civic meetings and events across our city. It is an honor to serve as your District 2 City Councilor, and I have worked hard every day for our residents and community. Throughout my time in office, I have used my position of public trust to speak out on many important issues through City Council Hearings, community meetings, press releases, letters, social media platforms, as well as with our civic groups. As an elected official, my focus has always remained on public safety, housing stability & affordability, social & economic justice, and quality of life issues for our residents and families. In terms of public safety, I have been a strong advocate of pedestrian and traffic safety on all of our roads. I created a 12 point plan and held hearings to advocate for traffic calming infrastructure improvements, slower speeds and increased enforcement. I called for and held hearings on many other public safety issues, including construction safety and gas leaks in the City of Boston. When it comes to housing, I held hearings during my time in office on affordable housing and the Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) so that it can be updated to help keep working families in Boston. I have held hearings on increased property taxes and advocated for relief for longtime neighbors. I also passed an ordinance previously to help our seniors who have fallen behind on their property taxes to pay with reduced interest and on more affordable terms. I continue to advocate for neighbors and civic groups when it comes to zoning
and licensing matters at City Hall. Moreover, I have always stood with our working families seeking fair and living wages, affordable healthcare, safe working conditions and a secure retirement. Whether it was United Steelworkers during the National Grid lockout, Unite Here Local 26 at Marriott Hotels, UFCW 1445 at Stop & Shop or Macy’s, my family and I were proud to stand with organized labor. I also joined workers and advocates fighting against wage theft, and passed resolutions in the City Council in support of laidoff workers at our various hotels. With accessibility and inclusion in mind, I continue to advocate for improved language access at all levels of our city government. My social media posts are translated into Spanish and Chinese, and I have four women of color on my staff who are bilingual. Moreover, I have been working on the issue of digital equity and ensuring that our residents have access to affordable internet and digital resources. I also work closely with the Disability Commission on accessibility for our persons with disabilities, and I will be hosting a hearing on November 9th to discuss ways to increase communication access on public facing televisions and ensuring that closed captions are available. Government serves us best when it takes the legitimate concerns of its citizens and civic organizations seriously. I have not only listened to your concerns, but have taken the lead on issues affecting our most basic government services. I promise to continue to advocate on behalf of the people of District 2, listen to your feedback, be accessible in our community, and work hard to deliver results for all of our neighbors.
Sincerely, Ed Flynn Boston City Councilor, District 2
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
Fall is Popping This tree on E Street provides a burst of color in the neighborhood.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
St. Monica’s Halloween
by Rick Winterson
t. Monica’s Church is well known for the Food Pantr y, called Monica’s Kitchen, that it sponsors and operates. The Food Pantry is run by a group known as “The Good Samaritan Ministry”. This highly valuable community function is cheerfully administered and well used, to the benefit of those who live all around
the Church’s neighborhood in South Boston. One of the most popular aspects of the Church’s Food Pantry is the Peace Picnics they have had all this year. As Halloween approached this year, the Good Samaritan ministry asked themselves, “Why don’t we use our Food Pantry as a way to celebrate Halloween?” Halloween (at least originally) was a religious event that led into All Saints Day on November 1. Nowadays, it is a Holiday that is anticipated with much joy, especially by our children. So they answered their first question by asking, “Why not?” After not all that much thought, St. Monica’s Good Samaritans, led by Deacon Paul Kline, decided to hold their own Halloween celebration last Sunday afternoon. They thought of this as another kind of Peace Picnic and (of course) they called it “Trick or Treat Sunday” for Halloween. At the Trick or Treat Sunday Peace Picnic, the Samaritans served hot chocolate, doughnuts,
and an immense choice of various candies. Naturally, the event was focused on children, so the Samaritans gave away school supplies as well. The costumes were nothing short of magnificent. Witches, goblins, and all kinds of superheroes showed up. Young, old, costumed or not – everyone who showed up was welcomed. We did not keep count, but we
are certain that many hundreds stopped by to get their “Treats”. The Good Sa marita n Ministry is a Catholic ministry in South Boston. It is centered around the Food Pantry at St. Monica Church, but attracts compassionate volunteers from the churches of Gate of Heaven, St. Brigid, St. Peter, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
South Boston’s Camp Grounds
Two tents (both occupied) pitched in Columbus Park, by the corner of Day Blvd. and Babe Ruth Drive.
y this time, you certainly k now that M a s s /C a s s , now located in the center of Southampton’s methadone mile, is being shut down (and cleaned up, we might add) by Boston, starting last Monday. Most of the people living in that “tent city” at Bradston, Atkinson, and Southampton will be given shelter and offered treatment for whatever ails them, including
substance abuse. That’s good! A few Ma s s/C a s s residents have made their way elsewhere on their own. We d ne s d ay no on, we came across a tent occupied by an individual who was just waking up as we passed by, on the pedestrian path in back of Moakley Field’s tennis courts. She appeared sad, but after a few minutes she took part in our conversation. She spoke about a love affair gone bad, and expressed her disgust at Mass/ Cass and what it had turned into. “I’ll never go back there,” she said. She then began striking her tent, so we asked if she had a place she could go to. She paused and then said she’d be OK by the evening, mentioning “an apartment” she had been prom ised. A c ouple of ot he r i nd i v idu a l s r e lo c a t e d to other parts of South Boston.
Mass/Cass? Nope. Andrew Station at Night.
A Mass/Cass camp-out by the Moakley Tennis courts.
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THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
“Best of Boston” Black Owned BOS Close for Winter
ae’da Turner is the Founder and Managing Director of BlackOwned BOS (an abbreviation for Boston, of course), a varied consortium of retail pop-up shops in our City. In her dual roles as founder and manager, Jae’da has brought her highly creative group of pop-up shops to our area, in South Bay and in WS Development’s neighborhood in the Seaport – both last summer and in the summer of 2020. When you shop at Black Owned BOS, you’ll f ind strikingly original products that simply are not available anywhere else
in Boston – unique clothes for adults and children, cosmetics and skin-care products, f loral arrangements, house plants, jewelry, artwork, coffee, and much more, all marketed by black entrepreneurs. One of our photos shows the huge array of materials used in a Black Owned BOS creation. Jae’da recently, just as she was closing her Seaport pop-up market for the winter told us that Black Owned BOS will definitely return to the Seaport next spring, although exact dates haven’t been determined yet. Jae’da also hinted that she might open some
retail pop-ups in the Seaport this winter, possibly in connection w it h WS D e ve lopme nt’s a n nu a l Snow por t projec t. And please understand that the words “highly creative” are not just South Boston Online’s
opinion. Black-Owned BOS was awarded a “Best of Boston” this year by Boston Magazine, as the 2021 Best Retail PopUp. In a City where pop-up shops are rea lly booming, that’s a very significant honor!
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Applications are available during the application period for 18 days, from 11/7/21-11/21/21. To request an application online visit: WEBSITE (if none, COB will enter bit.ly) To have a hard copy of the application mailed to your mailing address, please call 210-279-4520
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THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
HUB Church Seeks New Site by Rick Winterson
ou might not have realized this, partly b e c au s e of t he pandemic, but South Boston’s HUB Church has begun its ninth year here. Next year, in mid2022, Hub will celebrate the Ninth (9th) Anniversary of its founding in South Boston. And right now, Hub Church is seeking new, more permanent quarters. On Monday, we met with Charlie Dunn, Hub Church’s Pastor, to discuss this challenge. Prior to the pandemic, which prevented in-person gatherings (including church congregations), HUB Church spent several meaningful years in the Aloft Hotel on D Street. The year-long ban on public gatherings, coupled with the purchase of Aloft by the Marriott chain, made it impractical for the HUB Church to continue their leasing, so by mutual agreement it wasn’t renewed. HUB began their search for a new site last summer. In the meantime, HUB gathered outdoors throughout the summer, and this fall for five weeks at St. Peter’s Church, courtesy of Rev. Peter DeFazio. Last Sunday, HUB held a 4 p.m. service at The Well Coffee House in Downtown Boston. You might think that resembles the current word “pop-up” for short-term arrangements. Well, there are other words to express temporary religious arrangements, like “missionar y”. In fact, the HUB Church often refers to its members as being “missional”. But even more important, when you refresh yourself by scanning the Gospels, it will be obvious that Christ and His Apostles spent almost all of their time out of doors - gathering, serving, and preaching constantly at place after place, over the 70 miles between Galilee and Jerusalem. In fact, according
to Pastor Charlie Dunn, the pandemic and the need to relocate that followed ha s resulted in the HUB becoming a much healthier Church. Charlie quoted from John’s Gospel to verify this to us. He said that HUB is prepared to go anywhere – from private homes, gyms, bars, and galleries, to coffee houses. Charlie mentioned that they had once been offered the use of the upstairs meeting room at BPD Station C-6. And he laughed as he said, “We go wherever people are.” The HUB Church now has about 30 weekly members, and perhaps twice that number with those who attend HUB Church now and then. HUB’s members come from all over South Boston, including the Seaport; some are from Back Bay, Dedham, and other suburbs. Their activities include childcare and religious services for the kids, as well as small-group gatherings during the week. Equally as important, the contributions from members, along with support from nonprofits, businesses, and other churches, mean that the HUB Church is in decent financial shape. They are prepared to lease on terms that work for both them and the lessor. Above all, HUB is a South Boston Church. They strongly prefer to f ind a long-term gathering space right here. As Pastor Charlie says, “We’re here for good – both for the longterm and the good of this great neighborhood.” If you have or know of space that might fit their needs – as well as the owner’s needs, too – please contact the Church at 617-396-7611, or email the Church at: info@ hubchurchsouthie.com. Charlie assured us that you’ll receive a “quick response”. These are also the two contacts to use if think you might be interested in joining HUB Church. Log onto their website – HUBChurchSouthie. com – for more information
Charlie Dunn is the Pastor of South Boston’s HUB Church about the Church. HUB Pastor Charlie Dunn asked us to close with this statement, “We want our use
of any space to be a blessing to all involved. That’s really why we believe we’re here – blessed to be a blessing.”
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THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
South Boston Catholic Academy News All the students at South Boston Catholic Academy had a chance to take part in the Annual SBCA Halloween Parade in front of school, on East Broadway, this past Thursday morning. They were so excited to show their family and friends their marvelous costumes. All the students at South Boston Catholic Academy also had a fun time at their Halloween Party in their classrooms. Ms. McCarthy’s Grade 1A students had such a fun day celebrating Halloween! Grade 1A loved the parade, their party, and dancing at their party. Thank you to all our wonderful parents, teachers and staff for helping to make this year’s Halloween so much fun for all the children at SBCA! We hope that everyone had a safe and Happy Halloween!
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2021
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