BHCA Community Corner

Downtown Boston Gas Leak Tagging Event

To raise awareness about the estimated 215 methane gas leaks located downtown, BHCA Green Committee members will join volunteers from all over Boston at noon on Saturday, December 10 at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Arlington Street. Other residents are welcome to participate in this event being sponsored by Mothers Out Front (MOF), an organization dedicated to addressing climate change.

Raising awareness about the scale and impact of the leaks, which have been identified by National Grid, is essential to developing effective public policy, according to MOF. If methane is allowed to leak into the air before being used, it absorbs the sun’s heat, warming the atmosphere. For this reason, it is considered a greenhouse gas, 100 times more potent at trapping energy than carbon dioxide (CO2).   It is injurious to the health of humans and trees. Under the current law, however, National Grid is not required to fix them until they are large enough to cause an explosion.

After a brief talk by MOF organizers on Saturday, volunteers will join others in their own neighborhood to place small signs where leaks have been located so that residents and elected officials can visualize the extent of the problem. Volunteers are welcome to wear clothing that calls attention to the issue.

For more information about gas leaks, go to   mothersoutfront.org/gasleaks.

WINTHROP SQUARE GARAGE

The BHCA has been actively engaged with City officials regarding the proposed Winthrop Square Garage project that has received much coverage in the news lately.  The City has struck a $153 million deal to sell the defunct property on Federal Street in the Financial District to Millennium Partners, who propose to build a 750-foot mixed-use tower on the site. The project is of particular interest to BHCA because it will cast shadows on the Boston Common and Public Garden.

While the exact nature and extent of the shadow impacts is not yet known, Millennium has indicated that the building will not comply with the existing state laws restricting shadow impacts, and the City is seeking legislative action to accommodate the project.

BHCA will continue to work with City officials to better understand the implications of the project on shadows in our parks as the design is refined, and serve as a voice of the Beacon Hill community in this process going forward, according to Chairman Mark Kiefer.

CLOTHING DRIVE SUCCESSFUL

Thanks to the very generous support of the community over the Thanksgiving holidays, the BHCA was able to donate 40 cubic feet of clothing to Center Club, a clubhouse for adults with psychiatric disabilities located at 31 Bowker Street. “The many warm clothes and shoes we collected will be given to homeless individuals served by the Club,” explained BHCA Executive Director Patricia Tully, who expressed gratitude to the many neighbors who brought used clothing to the office at 74 Joy Street. The more professional garments will be given to those seeking to re-enter the workforce after a long absence.”

A PIECE OF THE PAST

Although there is some question about the origin of candle lighting on the Hill, there is little debate about the genesis of carol singing on Christmas Eve. The first record of it dates back to 1859, when the boys’ choir from the Church of the Advent wrapped themselves in warm clothing and traversed the Hill singing carols. Although the practice waned somewhat during the Civil War, Mrs. Ralph Adams Cram of 52 Chestnut revived it in 1906, when she first organized a group of carol singers. Neighbors immediately warmed up to the practice and it soon became a Beacon Hill institution.

Later on, Dr. Richard C. Cabot and his group of more experienced singers started a tradition of marching from MGH throughout neighborhood streets carrying Paul Revere lanterns on poles to mark their progress. Other groups of carolers would join them on their way and the sounds of Christmas would resound from every street on the Hill.

[Source: The Life & Times of a Neighborhood]

Get involved

Beacon Hill Civic Association committees comprise volunteers from all over the neighborhood who work together to make sure each and everyone of us has a good quality of life in this very special place we call home. Whether your interest lies in community building, civic engagement or historic preservation, we welcome your participation.

Meetings this week

Tuesday, December 6: Streets and Sidewalks Committee, 74 Joy Street, 6:30 pm.

Wednesday, December 7: Cambridge Street Quality of Life Committee, 74 Joy Street, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 7: Zoning and Licensing Committee, 74 Joy Street, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, December 9: Membership and Special Events Committee, 74 Joy Street, 8:00 a.m.

Upcoming Special Events

Holiday Undecorating Day

Saturday, January 7 and Sunday, January 8.

Sunday Brunch at Hampshire House for volunteers

45th annual Beacon Hill Gala

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Dinner & Dancing at the Four Seasons

Visit the Beacon Hill Civic Association website bhcivic.org and/or call the office (617-227-1922) for more information on how to get involved.

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