Mayor appoints 15 to Uphams Corner advisory panel

By 
Elizabeth Murray, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 9, 2012

Fifteen residents, business and non-profit leaders have been named to a newly-formed Uphams Corner Working Advisory Group by Mayor Tom Menino. The working group plans to hold its first meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at The Salvation Army Kroc Center at 650 Dudley Street in Village Room B.

The working group is part of the larger Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative (FIPI). It will coordinate information with the FIPI Corridor-wide Advisory Group throughout the two-year project. The FIPI planning initiative will look at the 9.2 mile Fairmount Indigo commuter rail line, which links South Station to Readville, crossing through Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park.

FIPI is the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s (BRA) largest planning study to date and will impact roughly 190,000 residents, or nearly one-third, of Boston’s population. The corridor-wide advisory group has three Uphams Corner representatives, but the Uphams Corner Working Advisory Group will look specifically at the Uphams Corner part of the line. The study as a whole will identify opportunities for commercial and residential development, transit access, public realm enhancements and community building initiatives.

The BRA issued the call for nominations for the Uphams Corner Working Advisory Group in April 2012. It received 45 nominations, from which 15 people were chosen for the working group. Mayor Menino selected those he thought would best assist the City of Boston with developing short and long-term strategies, and he ensured there was a balance of residents, property owners, business leaders and non-profit organization representatives in the group, according to BRA Assistant Director of Media and Public Relations Melina Schuler.

“I am confident that the Upham’s Corner Working Advisory Group will have a significant impact on the City’s efforts to identify how to best grow this key community along the Fairmount Indigo commuter rail line,” Mayor Menino said in a statement.

Among the members chosen are Lisa B. Alberghini, President of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs; Aldelina Alves, a resident associated with Uphams Corner Health Center; Judy Beckler, St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children; Courtney Curran, resident; David Davenport, Jones Hill Neighborhood Civic Association; Alex Dosouto, business owner; Andrew Forster, The Salvation Army; Christopher Jones, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative; Andrea Kaiser, The Upham’s Corner Community Center; Max MacCarthy, Upham’s Corner Main Streets; Paul Meehan, property owner; Yaz Mohammad, business owner; George Papadopoulos, business owner; John E. Tighe, resident; and Dahria Williams-Fernandez, business owner.

Beckler, the president of the board of trustees for St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, said her goals for this working group are very much aligned with the overall goal of the working advisory group – to look at working and housing opportunities along the line.

“Uphams Corner already has really wonderful resources and this is just an opportunity to make it more vibrant than it is today,” Beckler said.

MacCarthy, the executive director for Uphams Corner Main Streets said he’s excited to be involved in the working group and that it is a great opportunity to bring together a very civically engaged community for planning.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to really take a lead on the future of their neighborhood,” MacCarthy said. “I think a lot of people are excited to get started with it, so I think it will be fantastic.”

All working advisory group meetings are open to the public and will be posted at the BRA website bostonredevelopmentauthority.org and the FIPI website fairmountindigoplanning.org. The public is also encouraged to sign up for meeting notifications by contacting the co-directors of the planning study, Ines Soto-Palmarin (ines.palmarin.BRA@cityofboston.gov) or Jeremy Rosenberger (jeremy.rosenberger.BRA@cityofboston.gov).