Adams Corner parking woes to ease up soon

The parking lot in Adams Village remained closed this week as workers painted stripes and finished landscaping details. One new element of the lot is visible (foreground): a one way only exit onto Minot Street near Gerard's. Photo by Bill Forry

A large section of the key parking lot in Adams Village will re-open in the coming days as the first phase of an ambitious renovation project winds to its end. The privately-owned parking lot behind 540 Gallivan Boulevard has long served as the village’s catch-all car depot. It has been fenced off for the last seven weeks to allow construction crews to resurface the space and add new traffic calming features and lighting fixtures.  Read more

Suffolk cutting ties with Caesars, pushing forward with casino bid

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Oct. 19, 2013

Suffolk Downs has asked Caesars Entertainment to withdraw as a managing partner in the track's bid to build a resort casino in East Boston less than three weeks away from a scheduled referendum vote on the $1 billion proposed gaming resort.

Suffolk Downs Chief Operating Officer Chip Tuttle released a statement Friday evening explaining that the track had asked Caesars Entertainment, which operates casinos around the country from Las Vegas to New Jersey and New Orleans, to withdraw as a qualifier from its casino license application based on concerns raised by a state background check.  Read more

Estate goes to court to reclaim Fowler-Clark farm from city

A worker hired by the city of Boston cleared overgrowth on the Clark-Fowler farm property on Norfolk Street in August 2013. Photo by Bill Forry

The owner of a historic but run-down Mattapan property that was seized by city officials in August went to court this week seeking an injunction allowing them to reclaim the land. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Judith Fabricant heard from both sides in the case on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to make a ruling in coming days.  Read more

Mt. Washington’s top navigator is taking his leave

Jack ForbushJack Forbush

Jack Forbush has a knack for making himself essential without ever being the center of attention.

For the last 26 years, he has been Mt. Washington Bank’s quiet, amiable ambassador of goodwill as it has made good on an impressive expansion across the city’s neighborhoods from its original base in South Boston. Wherever Mt. Washington does business in this town, you are bound to hear stories about Jack Forbush and his uncanny talent for helping people and institutions connect with the bank and its staff.

Next month, the 66-year-old banker will take his leave, embarking on a well-earned retirement journey that he and Sue, his wife of 40 years, will kick off with a trip to the Cayman Islands. Jack won’t permit a big party in his honor – and it’ll be tough to pull off a surprise on one of the city’s most wired individuals. But, before he departs, Jack is going to get a victory tour that will be the community banking equivalent of Mariano Rivera’s last loop through the American League.  Read more

Mayor hopefuls: Tell us your plan for this case

Eyesore remains a hold-out on Dudley Street
Uphams Corner holdout: The seven-story Leon Electric building at the corner of Humphreys and Dudley streets — and right next to the Upham’s Corner T station— is a top target for redevelopment under the next city administration. Photo by Bill ForryUphams Corner holdout: The seven-story Leon Electric building at the corner of Humphreys and Dudley streets — and right next to the Upham’s Corner T station— is a top target for redevelopment under the next city administration. Photo by Bill Forry

There are many high-profile eyesores and abandoned lots across Boston that merit the attention, imagination and hustle of the next mayor. But few loom as large as the Leon Electric building in Uphams Corner.

The hulking warehouse complex sits right next to the MBTA commuter rail station at the corner of Dudley and Humphreys streets. The empty, fenced-off, weather-worn behemoth rises up seven stories and casts a foreboding shadow over the neighborhood business district below.  Read more

State House News Q&A: Mayoral candidates on liquor licensing

Mike Deehan, State House News Service
Aug. 30, 2013

In response to a News Service questionnaire, ten of the 12 candidates for mayor of Boston offered their positions on how state law could be altered to allow for more liquor licenses for the city. Currently, the Legislature selectively grants additional licenses for communities, but Boston has for years operated at the maximum number of licenses, creating high demand and steep prices for existing licenses. Mayor Thomas Menino supports a home rule petition from City Councilor Ayanna Pressley that would allow the city to do away with the cap and regulate its own licensing.  Read more

Will next mayor make or break the Strand Theatre?

Strand Theatre: Columbia Rd. landmark goes unused most days.

What will the next mayor of Boston do with the Strand Theatre, the Uphams Corner landmark that debuted as a movie palace in the waning days of World War I? Like a Charlie Chaplin character flickering across its earliest screen, the Uphams Corner landmark stumbled and lurched across the 20th century and, on more than one occasion, damn-near plunged hat-first into an abyss of debt and decrepitness. And, like the ‘Little Tramp’ himself, the Strand has proven to be an enduring and endearing figure – with the promise of new audiences and a heroic revival that has been years in the making.  Read more

Mayors behind push for greater local control of alcohol licenses

Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Aug. 19, 2013

A Boston city councilor and three mayors are pushing to overturn the state's "antiquated" liquor license law by lifting caps and wrestling control away from the state to give it to local communities.  Read more

Baker steps away from landmark debate on Savin Hill house

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Aug. 19, 2013

City Councillor Frank Baker: In disclosure, asks that his previous testimony before city commission be "struck from the record."City Councillor Frank Baker: In disclosure, asks that his previous testimony before city commission be "struck from the record."(Updated on Wed., Aug. 21)— District 3 Councillor Frank Baker this week said he would recuse himself from an ongoing debate about whether a dilapidated home on Savin Hill should receive landmark status from a city commission. In an unusual step, Baker also asked that testimony he made before the Boston Landmarks Commission — in which he argued against a landmark designation for the property on Grampian Way— last week be “struck from the record.”

The move, along with a disclosure form filed with the city clerk’s office noting that his brother had previously made an attempt to purchase the property, came after a neighborhood activist raised questions about his comments to the commission at a City Hall hearing.  Read more

Letter: Let’s all try to find a middle ground on the parking lot at Adams Village

Parking lot in Adams CornerParking lot in Adams CornerTo the Editor:
I think I can speak for the majority of the many attendees at the Cedar Grove Civic Association meeting on Tuesday evening when I say that we appreciate Mr. Tom Cifrino and his development team, including representatives from Boston Sports Clubs, for engaging the community in the conversation regarding what will be done with the former Rite-Aid space as well as the adjacent parking lot. We are impressed that BSC plans to make much needed aesthetic improvements to the building façade. We appreciate their stated desire to actively participate in our neighborhood. Moreover, we are excited for this chance to finally “get it right” with regards to the parking lot that is such an important piece of Adams Village.

We understand that the parking lot is private property, but the reality of the situation is that over decades, as we have all parked in the lot while we have lunch at Gerard’s, coffee at Greenhills, or attend a wake at O’Connor’s, the precedent has been set that it is a de facto public lot.  Read more