Letters:

January 5, 2018
By

Concerns over Allegheny Street development

The Home for Little Wanderer’s Harrington House program for younger children currently resides on Alleghany St. and is supported by our Mission Hill Community. The Home intends to build a new residence on the site, adjacent to Harrington House, to be occupied by its Children’s Collaborative program for traumatized older teens.

Contradictory versions regarding use and occupancy were presented by the Home to the Community at a few last-minute meetings, such as: number of beds; whether out-patient services will be provided; number of clients; amount of traffic; as well as the Home’s intent for Harrington House. The site is not zoned for out-patient services. The Home has yet to state there will be NO out-patient services.

The Home has stated it will house both programs – children and older teens – adjacently, for an undetermined time; however, the Home does not appear to have applied for any such State approval or licensing.

Traffic is an issue on Alleghany, a small dead-end, very densely populated, one-lane street. Harrington House has individual school buses for the youth, employees come and go, as well as emergency vehicles. Fenway parents drop off/pick up their children, special events at Fenway necessitate street overflow parking; supply trucks come and go; and a required fire lane removed many parking spaces. Ubers/Lyfts cause noisy traffic jams, nights and weekends, chauffeuring college students to parties. Snow exacerbates traffic and parking issues. The Home has just added 38 NEW parking spaces for its Collaborative program.

Does the Collaborative program effectively serve the traumatized older teens? Harrington House had 14 emergency calls in approximately 3 months; the Collaborative, with similar number of residents, had more than 100 emergency calls in the same timeframe. How can a program be effective with that many 911 calls?

There is also concern that potential interactions between older teens in the Collaborative, coming/going at all hours, with the college party scene, local gang rivalry, as well as corner drug dealings, drug use behind the site on the ledge, and homeless persons, could promote a “perfect storm.” There may also be interaction with adjacent high school students.

We would like information as to oversight and effectiveness of the Collaborative program. Attempts to ascertain information from DCF and DMH, which, according to the Home, fund the Collaborative program, have thus far been futile.

Our Mission Hill Community has supported the Harrington House, named for a Hill family, and has welcomed other group homes, when other neighborhoods refused. We would like Harrington House to remain on Alleghany Street. The children are younger and the house is “locked down” at night. The children are supervised when outdoors during the day. Harrington House is a good fit for our small street.

The Collaborative program, however, is ill-suited for this site. We, abutters, neighbors and community members, have asked for a Stop Work Order, as yet, to no avail.

Jeannine Barry

Mission Hill resident

On Joe Timilty’s passing

As someone who loved politics and worked with many of Boston’s elected officials, I always thought highly of Joe Timilty and was saddened to hear of his passing.

I remember when he ran and was elected to the Boston City Council in 1967 and considered him a new and fresh face in Boston politics. In 1969 when I was old enough to vote, he was among the first politicians I ever voted into office.

Back in 1969, he was only 31 years old and out of Dorchester Lower Mills. He was both ambitious away that he was a voice and vote for the citizens of Boston. I remember when he ran for mayor two years later against Kevin H. White and Louise Day Hicks and finished third. Following that loss, he ran for state senate in a district that included Mattapan, Hyde Park , Dorchester, and Canton and Sharon. He served up on Beacon Hill until 1985.

He tried two more times for mayor but failed both times. Many including myself have said that he was the best mayoral candidate who never got elected. During the Carter Administration, he was the national voice for Urban American’s housing challenges and continued representing all Americans on the issue of housing.

His was a passion for public service. He did fall into a little trouble about 25 years ago but worked his way through it and came out undefeated. Timilty will be remembered for his outspoken defense of ordinary working families struggling to survive and prosper.

He was both throwback and old school when it came to representing the Citizens of Boston and was indeed in love with his City.

SAL GIARRATANI

East Boston

Bag ban no big deal

Don’t know if it’s just me but I don’t see all the controversy over a plastic bag ban coming to a business near you. Why the Retailers Association of Massachusetts is opposed to it is beyond me. The prohibition applies to those single-use plastic shopping bags we see at all our supermarkets. This trade group apparently doesn’t like the idea of to forcing retailers to charge at least 5 cents for reusable bags covered by the new city ordinance.

I can tell you from first hand knowledge while visiting Austin, Texas for the past several years, that a plastic bag like Boston’s hardly scratches the surface of any draconian measures by supermarkets.

Whenever shopping down in Austin, Texas supermarkets, I always carry my own bags or buy a great sturdy reusable bag for 25 cents. These bags can last up to five or six months use. It is good for the environment and actually good for supermarkets and their customers.

Kudos to the Boston City Council for passing this ban unanimously and quickly. Mayor Walsh’s concern over this 5 cent bag fee is not necessary. Down in Austin, Texas the same outcry was heard before implementation, then once in force, everyone saw not great change or hardship. The worse thing is forgetting to bring your own shopping bags. Spending 25 cents for a great reusable  shopping bag is no big deal. If you forget to bring your own bags, you spend another quarter.

After a while, people don’t even think about the ban as they get used the new status quo. They start never going to a retailers without a bag of their own.

Politicians opposed to this plastic bag ban need to stop scaring folks and encourage folks top see it as something positive . No one is going to starve because they have no shopping bag.

SAL GIARRATANI

East Boston