Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pine Street Inn Wins; Neighborhood Yuppies Crestfallen....

I was very pleased to learn that the Pine Street Inn has finally acquired the Upton Street property presently known as Hope House and has not given in any further to the baseless demands of the Union Park Neighborhood Association.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the controversy, the Pine Street Inn had been planning to purchase the property for quite some time for use as low-income housing for people who were previously homeless. Stringent guidelines for acceptance into this program have been in place and acceptees into the program have shown a track record of successfully integrating from homelessness back into homeful society, at least in 26 other similar Pine Street Inn housing locations. On-site supervisors are part of the plan as well.

When the Pine Street Inn formally announced its intention to purchase the property, neighbors on Upton Street (hereinafter, "Uppity Street") wouldn't hear of it. After a series of meetings with the Union Park Neighborhood Association, which includes Uppity Street, Pine Street Inn agreed to cut down the number of residents from 45 to 37 and finally to 30. This despite the fact that Hope House, the current occupant, houses 60 people in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. Of note is the fact that those 60 or so Hope House residents are transient in nature, whereas the Pine Street residents are looking to put down roots in the community.

Additionally, Hope House has been on Uppity Street for more than 25 years. Presumably, the Upton Street residents so outraged by the Pine Street Inn have not. As one astute South Ender pointed out in a letter to the editor of the South End News, purchase prices on Uppity Street properties in the last 25 years have assuredly reflected the presence of a single room occupancy building complex in a discount to the buyer. That's why Uppity Street properties generally don't cost as much as Union Park properties (well, that and the fact that one-half the street overlooks a particularly unattractive back of the West Dedham Street post office, there's no garden and/or fountain in the middle, etc.).

One would think that the Uppity Street residents would be thrilled at the prospect of having one-half the number of occupants living in the subject property, complete with supervisors and a population that wasn't nearly as transient as the present population, not to mention the fact that drug or alcohol abuse would result in not being accepted into the program.

However, according to last week's South End News, the president of the Union Park Neighborhood Association stated that the Uppity Street neighbors have a "preference for ownership....When you have ownership, the people who own those apartments care about crime and they care about trash and they care about the schools. When you have a neighborhood filled with renters,...the neighborhoods tend to deteriorate fairly quickly."

Translation: When you have people who look like you and act like you and earn like you and spend like you, its much better. As one high-up Uppity Street resident was quoted in a Boston Globe article several months ago, "unlike you and me, its difficult to tell who these people are."

I'd like to know where these owners are who care so much about trash and schools. Certainly not in the pages of the South End News where one South End yuppie, a couple months ago, explained that she sends her darling daughter to kindergarten outside the city as there are "no good schools in the South End." What about the trash scattered all over Waltham Street on every trash pick up day? I doubt its all just renters who lazily toss their trash outside of proper trash tossing hours.

And what about the lazy empty-nester couple in my building who couldn't be bothered to put their trash in the proper place and repeatedly just threw it down, untied and unsecured on the floor in the trash room? Owners!!

The noisy trust fund brat beneath me (see entry entitled "I own here") who thought nothing of blaring her stereo speakers out in the courtyard at 3am on a weeknight? Sorry, not a renter.

The other trust fund babes who lived across the hall and thought it was funny to play fetch with their dog up and down the hall also at 3am on a weeknights? You guessed it, owners (well, at least their parents were owners).

The creepy older guy in my friend's luxury condo building who always reeks of alcohol and has troublingly young prostitutes coming in and out at all hours? Owner!! Bet he really cares about crime, trash and schools.

The dog owners who think nothing of letting their dogs pee in the doorway of my friend's store time and time again, despite having been asked not to? Owners, not renters!!

The person who threw a beer bottle out of his luxury loft window which landed on the head of an innocent passer-by? Owner!!

Although generally speaking, I agree with the sentiment that owners care more about their neighborhoods than do renters (take a walk around Commonwealth Ave. in Brighton/Allston sometime). However, that generalization fails to apply in the South End of recent years. Which has become, in effect, Brighton/Allston East. To put it another way, you get pretty much the same element, only in nicer cars and in nicer condos, which are paid for primarily by mommy and daddy. And in Brighton/Allston, there aren't as many heirloom tomatoes or over hyped and overpriced restaurants. Also, in Brighton/Allston, you can still buy toilet paper - the regular kind. I think you might still be able to find toilet paper in the South End, but only of the hand-woven, organic, fair-trade, hand-painted-to-match-my-guest-bathroom variety.

But getting back to the Uppity street issue, as I've stated before, I only wish that I had been given the opportunity to pick and choose my South End neighbors as the Uppity Street Ass-sociation thinks it has the right to do. If you live in a city, you do not get to choose your neighbors, especially when your neighbor had previously been a home to 60 former alcohol and substance abusers in recovery, thereby removing the surprise element from the argument (What? That charming townhouse next door with the elderly couple is being turned into a house for recovering substance abusers?!??).

I wish there had been a community meeting to discuss whether or not it was appropriate to allow my neighboring (but apparently high functioning) alcoholic, binge-drinking, late-night partying frat boys and sorority sisters and creepy old pimps to purchase their luxury condos near mine. And I wish that my building and ones like it had the availability of an on-site supervisor to help my high-income neighbors with their addiction problems. I also wish that there had been a community meeting to discuss the propriety of the disgusting and offensive anti-Pine Street Inn posters that popped up in windows all over Uppity Street this summer.

Those options are not available, however, in a city. I think that the Uppity Street folk so up in arms about the prospect of, well let's just say it, poor people moving in next door belong in a suburban gated community. Their suburban mentality, whereby they believe in a homogeneous, white-washed and polar-fleeced neighborhood population, does nothing to add value to the South End. In my opinion, it has made the "neighborhood deteriorate fairly quickly," to put it into their own words. Apparently, if you have no maple and granite counter tops (the mark of the nouveau South Ender), cannot drop $100 on two pieces of sushi or a meal involving pan-seared pea shoots, heirloom tomatoes and whatever else was trendy in most other cities about 5 years ago, and can't bring South End real estate prices into every conversation, then you are not welcome here.

I've always been somewhat fascinated by the oval garden in the middle of Union Park and how the residents of that street have taken such pride in maintaining such a beautiful, yet exclusive (to them) public urban space. Perhaps the Upton Street residents could make an appeal to move the iron fence over one block so that they could gate themselves in, far from the poor people and minorities who are so different from themselves.

169 Comments:

Anonymous AC said...

Well said!

October 29, 2008 at 3:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Seth Tisue said...

Amen.

October 29, 2008 at 6:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Gregg said...

As a resident of Union Park, I've had a mix of emotions - mostly embarrassment and anger that I live here, with neighbors like the UPNA president and his fellow board members. THEY are the "kind of people" who should not be living around here.

Great column! VERY well stated!

October 29, 2008 at 8:41:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Not Whitey Bulger said...

This is exactly why the South End needs that biolab. It couldn't be built near better people.

October 29, 2008 at 9:21:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are a pathetic whiner. just move to santa fe...

October 30, 2008 at 5:22:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Dave G said...

I'm super glad I moved away from the South End. Dude, it's not what it used to be, it's not going to become the same 'hood you once knew.

What is the point of being outraged by all of this? They're are more of them then there are of you and they're going to keep coming. If you want to be pissed at anyone, be pissed at your old neighbors who cashed out. Or better yet: CASH OUT!

Come to JP. We have more space, more homos and cool families, and WAY more mom and pop stores.

For real. Grass isn't greener, but it's mo' better.

October 30, 2008 at 7:58:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous megan said...

"you are a pathetic whiner. just move to santa fe..."

hmmh, some anonymous jerk trolling on an internet blog. And who's the pathetic person here?

October 30, 2008 at 4:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger femme-de-lune said...

The point you leave out of your blog is that there are over 500 people in the South End -- way more than the pathetic folks in the Uppity Street Neighborhood Association -- who have gone on record supporting Pine Street Inn and affordable housing. That's the real South End. Why don't you come to a Welcoming Committee meeting sometime and join in our efforts instead of spewing out more negativity about our neighborhood? Oh, and by the way, I live on Uppity Street.

October 30, 2008 at 5:41:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Glen said...

Simple question: Why don't the members of the UPNA Neighborhood Association convene an emergency meeting and throw the (their) bums out? Seriously. All of us who live in the SE are tainted by the actions taken by a few racist folks who happen to crudely think they are right and everyone else got it wrong.

October 30, 2008 at 6:12:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh I agree- lots of the annoyance on my block is the random latenight partycrowd stumbling home to their condos (and/or putting their trash out in open paper Neiman Marcus shopping bags) It's getting as bad as the Back Bay for gosh sakes- But, wanted to add, the tenants- can we call them "tenants" since they're paying rent please- in lodging houses on my block have been good neighbors, helping out when it snows, or there's a canned food drive or whenever we've had anything going on the block. Plus they had to jump through hoops to get in, since the application process is pretty competitive, and are paying a decent percent of income to be there. There shouldn't be some implied standard for any neighbor having to outperform the rest of the local residents, just because his or her income is lower than someone else's on the block. Nor should someone seeking safe subsidized housing have to be exposed to undue publicity just because the building they're moving into happens to have been an object of contention. Hope it gets rented up swiftly and smoothly, and will be run as well as the other lodging houses always have been.

October 30, 2008 at 6:50:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Bruce said...

There are many people on Upton St. that support and welcome Pine St. to our street. Only a loud handful are against it. Your blog could benefit from a little more nuanced approach. Also, take feme-de-lune's advise and join the effort in real time so that we can make the South End the kind of place we want it to be.

October 30, 2008 at 7:15:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Bahstan said...

We need to de-escalate the rhetoric and get on with a healing process. I really hope more folks will be able to help with that effort. When the article appeared last week in the South End News quoting the president of a neighborhood association saying, “When you have a neighborhood filled with renters … the neighborhoods tend to deteriorate fairly quickly." It causes many folks to feel very bad.

As a neighbor in the South End, I support the Pine Street Inn’s purchase of the Hope House facility on Upton Street. Over the past year there has been a long series of contentious public and private discussions that ultimately has resulted in a better project design for both the future residents, and for the neighborhood. The modifications made by Pine Street Inn reduce the original planned density and now provide features that the incoming residents have said are important. We have seen the neighbors (over 500 signatures and counting) support the project, the need for more solutions to homelessness and the value of diversity in the South End. To that extent the public dialogues have been a positive example of the democratic process.

The continuing stream of “press releases”, newspaper quotes, cartoons in windows, banners, threatened lawsuits and other public pronouncements do NOT represent majority of the residents on Upton Street, or the mainstream feelings in the South End. It’s time we moved on and tried to repair some of the pain created by the differences expressed. We need to prepare to welcome the new neighbors who are joining us and who are taking the next big step towards improving their lives.

October 30, 2008 at 7:30:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Jim Smith said...

I'm not sure that this blogger is much better than the folks he's railing against. He doesn't even seem to believe enough in his own words to publish under his own name. I'm pleased to see the Pine Street deal coming to a close and I'm hopeful that my neighbors are able to unseat the husband and wife teams who took over their neighborhood association last winter when they have the chance. Unfortunately, I live about 200 ft. outside of the UPNA boundaries so I can't help in that regard, or I would. Getting involved is the way to effect change, not just complaining or adding more vitriol to the discourse. Hopefully the Southend blogger will find a place where he likes to live and can be a positive voice in his community rather than a negative one.

October 31, 2008 at 5:22:00 AM PDT  
Blogger thesouthender said...

How do you know that I'm not involved in local issues such as this one? And judging from the comments on this blog that are in agreement with it, I'm not so sure that I'm a negative voice - not everything has to be a glowing, favorable, upbeat and positive commentary on what is, frankly, alot of destructive and negative and ugly behavior in this neighborhood. I'm not sure that things like the disgusting anti-Pine Street Inn posters in the windows on Upton Street can be commented upon in a positive and upbeat manner.

Its tough to write positively about the eradication of what made this neighborhood so great years ago. Diminishing diversity, a growing chasm between the haves and the have-nots (with the haves having a particularly repulsive attitude for the most part) don't really lend themselves to positive criticism. And isn't criticism generally seen as negative in any case?

There are plenty of blogs and other media that incessantly praise the South End as the new mecca for the white, upper nannified classes. This one does not. If you love the new South End so much, start your own blog. I'm keeping mine and I'm proud of its negativity and vitriol. A little negativity and vitriol can go a long way and they are not necessarily bad attributes if they get people thinking and talking and even doing.

Oh, and by the way, its supposed to be funny.

October 31, 2008 at 6:04:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your vitriol is admirable -- I think all femme-de-lune is asking is that you note, once in a while, that there are groups and people out there fighting the very same forces that you oppose, and that not everyone on Upton Street can be classified as "Uppities". Give it a try, man -- thank the Welcoming Committee so that others who are like-minded will know that there is something they can do from a positive angle!
Peace.

October 31, 2008 at 6:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger femme-de-lune said...

Hi Southender--

Why don't you meet me for coffee/tea at a mutually convenient time and place and we can chat about what's good and bad about the South End? Email is femme-de-lune@yahoo.com

Femme

October 31, 2008 at 6:24:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sick of the South Enders that believe they need to protect themselves from the undesireables that live 'too close' to them. They would, if they had their way, erect a very tall gate from Massachusetts avenue over to Dartmouth Street if at all possible. How dare people who are of ill means, no means and those who rent continue to live in this area. How dare those who have been here most of their lives continue to live here. What a sad state of affairs in the year 2008 or is 1943?

October 31, 2008 at 7:28:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous fenway said...

Hopeful the Globe will get hold of this latest posting. I, too, know the two husband and wife teams that ran away with the UPNA and can tell you they are not even embarrassed!

October 31, 2008 at 8:10:00 AM PDT  
Blogger thesouthender said...

Of course I'm thrilled that there's a welcoming committee and that certain residents are absolutely on the side of the Pine Street Inn and that not all of the Upton Street residents are on the same side as the UPNA.

I was surprised and very happy to see a half-page ad in the South End News this week welcoming the Pine Street Inn, paid for by a local realtor for whom, although we might disagree on certain issues, I have agreat deal of respect.

All I'm sayin' is that this is NOT an unbiased news source, nor does it have to be, nor is it affiliated with one.

There is a large group of South Enders for whom the current state of the neighborhood has become pathetic and self-indugent and rude, etc. Maybe some readers of this blog are surprised that there could be any negative feelings about the shiny happy South End of today.

My friends in the neighborhood, as well as people with whom I've spoken from all walks of life, from all age groups, income groups, genders and sexualities, have a different opinion of the South End and feel that most of the changes are not for the better. That sentiment is shared by people in Section 8 housing and people in Luxury condos and people somewhere in between.

Some people have a different opinion and they are certainly entitled to their beliefs. I'm just voicing the sentiments of many of my friends and neighbors. Finally, its just a blog, it ain't the New York Times.

October 31, 2008 at 8:19:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Rob Clifford said...

Hello choir (as I'm confident I don't have to preach to you, especially at this point in the strain where I've caught up and jumped in...)

I too have read this blog and enjoy the unabashed "say it like it is" candor it brings to the discourse.

Two things:

It's important to reinforce that the blogger and the posters are talking about the relatively few, mostly recent additions to the South End who are selfish, un-neighborly, and concerned only with their property values as they probably won't be here in a few years when they move on. And I think we all can attempt (I know I can) to be careful to not lump everyone (on Upton St, or in the South End, or pushing a baby carriage) together with our language. I recognize in this strain the names of good eggs like Bruce, and applaud others like Femme, who remind me that Upton St is not over-ridden with selfish, ugly people like the folks who over-took the UPNA Board. I, too, have admired John Keith's willingness to dive in, and now put his support (of Pine St Inn) in a half-page ad for all to see, but I've also wondered if I, as a dog owner for instance, was included in his distaste for the dog owners of the South End a few weeks ago. But when I really think about it, I know he's not lumping me in, and that he's talking about the very same selfish, arrogant dog owners and dog walkers I wrote to City Councilor Linehan about as he was about to hold a hearing to figure our why a few think they're above the rules and laws and don't have to keep their four-legged companions on a leash or pick up their droppings.

The other point, or somebody else's point I wanted to underscore and ask if anybody has some knowledge, is how/when can the saner and truly neighborly people of Upton St and Union Park elect some real representation BACK to their Board - rather then the few angry/selfish married couples on it now - restoring its integrity and helping to focus on the valid and forward-thinking issues that Board used to be able to focus on? Anybody?

October 31, 2008 at 10:19:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live within the boundaries of the Union Park Neighborhood Association and respect the fact that people have different opinions about Pine Street/Hope House. I can understand their concerns. What I found deplorable was their tactics. Underhanded, insensitive and deceitful and deploying these tactics under the cover of the UPNA. Every time I walk down Upton St. and see those mocking signs hanging from the buildings I think that these people are cruel.

Please understand that many residents - probably most - who live in the UPNA support the Pine Street Inn's purchase of the Hope House facilities. It is a handful of louts on Upton Street who engineered the hostile takeover of the UPNA board to further their own personal agenda. 12 out of 15 board seats are occupied by Upton Street residents who oppose the Pine Street Inn purchase (3 sets of married couples). Seats 13 and 14 are occupied by a married couple on Union Park who are in lockstep with the Upton board residents. This makeup falls short of representing the neighborhood as a whole, falls short of independence, falls short of representing all aspects of the community (anti renters as an example).

The residents of the UPNA have never been polled by the rogue UPNA as to their position on the Pine Street Inn/Hope House matter. The rogue UPNA has been making decisions withouth consulting its membership. It is an autocratic body.

This board needs to step down. They have wrongly used the organization to further their personal agenda. They have wrongly used the organization to promote intolerance. Their actions were divisive and they tried to blame it all on the Pine Street Inn. Myself and many others will not and can not trust this leadership. There needs to be a more sensible board that will serve EVERY aspect of the community. You can't heal a neighborhood with the same leadership that divided it.

The 15 member board is elected at the General Meeting held on the second Tuesday in January which would be 1/13/09. See the upna.org website to review by-laws, board members, etc. Notice that the last minutes posted were March for board meetings and May for general meetings? I wonder why....

The City needs to play a role as well and realize they are dealing with an organization that is representing a few...not the whole. The City should cease to recognize the rogue UPNA as a legitimate representative.

October 31, 2008 at 1:21:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Rob Clifford said...

Good to know, and well-said. Thanks.

I, for one, will support all you guys, in any way I can in January, to see that a truly representative group of residents be voted back on to the UPNA board. I totally agree with the writer above that healing can't fully happen with the divisive "leadership" currently in place. They should be ashamed, but as Fenway points out that these folks lack even a sense of embarrassment, I doubt they're capable of possessing any human emotion around the issue.

So let's look forward to January, and then to welcoming the new residents to the 'hood when Pine Street Inn is able to complete the renovations they have planned.

Oh -- and now I'm totally curious who the lone UPNA board member with values is who occupies seat #15.....

October 31, 2008 at 1:43:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seat #15 is the owner of Joe V's. He doesn't live here. Low on the value meter too.

October 31, 2008 at 2:01:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous fenway said...

So, wait, is Jimmy (seat 15) with or against the rogue UPNA board members?

October 31, 2008 at 2:43:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous WSJevons said...

Am I dense? (easy SE, easy)

I have been trying to follow this story for some time. However,I have yet to see the UPNAs reasons for objecting other than they just don't want it. Is that it? Is that essentially their stated reason?

And how has PSI been underhanded? The UPNA rants about it, but doesn't give reasons.

It seems too easy to write them off as a bag o' tools, right?

I don't get it.

October 31, 2008 at 3:52:00 PM PDT  
Blogger sbr said...

My UP apartment went condo in October. Couldn't afford the 1.5 mil no parking. Settled in Roslindale. All neighbors, restaurants are here. It was like the SE was 15 years ago. FYI most restaurants are buying baked and others goods from Rosi and selling them in SE at double to triple the going rate. So yupsters keep getting ripped off. Life is so tranquile and abundantly diverse here. Many acquaintances from SE are here. My life is so peaceful since I have left the pretentious restaurant row. Indeed "The South End is Over!!!"

November 9, 2008 at 12:23:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: Upton St.
is it time MAYBE to take those
posters DOWN? They sure are plentiful. The newcomers ( I like the people who still have Vermont Lic plates on their SUV.) need to get over it. Hope House leaving is OK, many men walking around killing time between meetings and smoking and swearing has not added to my walkabouts in the area. ALSO- could someone drop a nice note to the people on UPTON who cannot lift their baby carrier and sometimes bicycle UP their stairs?
Having them locked onto the sidewalk looks like hell and impedes the use of the sidewalk.
Its a pretty enough street without adding the blight of posters and bike locked strollers.
Just another question re earlier posts. How come there were no POSITIVE posters in peoples windows to help offset the 20 negative ones "proudly" displayed? Its too late now, I hope people move forward. I like the opinions expressed here, meant in good humor usually.

November 15, 2008 at 8:21:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For any and all who are dissatisfied with the current UPNA Board, please make yourselves known by coming to the Board Election General meeting Tuesday, Jan. 13 to cast your vote for an alternative.

January 12, 2009 at 5:47:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Bahstan said...

What time is the meeting and where??

January 12, 2009 at 9:24:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Bahstan too said...

It's at 7pm (Tuesday 1/13) in the Community Room at 346 Shawmut Ave.

January 12, 2009 at 10:00:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess all those that thought UPNA was not representing the neighborhood were wrong. Very wrong. Almost the entire neighborhood voted Tuesday and rejected the Pine Street slate.

January 15, 2009 at 2:42:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous should get his facts right before he mouths off. There were 136 ballots which is hardly the entire neighborhood. If UPNA were to reveal the vote, you could see how very short of the mark the "All Streets, All Views" slate was. This was not a so-called Pine Street slate -- nowhere on the slate flyer does it say anything about Pine Street. This was a slate composed of people from all economic strata, from many of the streets in the neighborhood with a wide range of views on issues affecting our little piece of the South End. We pledged to be open in our communications with our neighbors -- for example, we would have shared the vote totals with you, something that the current board chooses not to do for reasons that are a mystery to us. We wanted to heal the neighborhood, to end this divisiveness. I guess that effort will still be on everyone's wish list.

January 15, 2009 at 6:52:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous, I do have my facts correct. So many people voted that the turnout was higher than the last city council election. The neighborhood has spoken. The few rabid proponents of Pine Street were soundly defeated. And you are providing more disinformation about my neighborhood. UPNA provided me the results. If you did not get them than you either did not vote or did not bother to ask.

And the Pine Street slate was trounced. The ring leader, after one year of spreading disinformation about the UPNA, finished 18th!! Not first, not tenth, not even fifteenth. The neighborhood spoke loud and clear against the divisiveness of the Pine Street crowd.

January 15, 2009 at 7:05:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous is wrong and it is he/she who is spreading misinformation. I know the results and it is closer than you want to admit. There was no overwhelming victory here. We all can spin data this way and that way. Why won't the UPNA board post the results so everyone can see how close it was? Is it because they don't want the general public to know just how many people voted against their slate?

January 15, 2009 at 8:22:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous, the results are the results - no member of the Pine Street slate was able to muster the votes to be elected and the ringleader was trounced - 18th place. The Pine Street slate ignored the nomination deadline and attempted to hijack the UPNA board under the cloak of darkness. They secretly campaigned and emailed each other. They went door to door and passed out leaflets. The UPNA board did neither.

Seriously, you Pine Street crazies should get over yourself. You would turn Louisburg Square into one big Pine Street shelter if you could.

January 16, 2009 at 5:07:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Lives on Shawmut said...

Whether the incumbent board were re-elected by a large or slim margin, the dissident nominees had claimed on this blog and elsewhere that they represented the silent majority. If this was true, they should have won the election handily. Indeed, the dissident nominees actively lobbied the voting line outside and also inside the meeting room and the incumbents still won.

I voted for the incumbents not because of their stance on PSI (I wish both sides of the argument would tone down the rhetoric) but because I thought they would do the most good for the neighborhood. I see them in the neighborhood picking up trash, cleaning grafitti and doing other tangible things that help the neighborhood. I have never heard from nor seen the dissidents except when it involves the PSI or the recent election.

January 16, 2009 at 7:57:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All, for what it is worth, the Boston Courant released inaccurate numbers this AM.

The actual numbers are (average):

71 for the UPNA Board
50 for the Pine Street Slate

The median is virtually the same -
71-51.

January 17, 2009 at 5:18:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous, you can stop your carping, I just noticed that the upna posted the results on their website. The Pine Street slate lost by a larger margin that I thought!

January 17, 2009 at 7:25:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I would believe the results given by the present board anyhow. I get the feeling that they would do anything to stay on board and the previous election was not exactly the model of gentility and neighborly love.

January 18, 2009 at 10:05:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I get it. Oswald wasn't the shooter, man didn't walk on the moon, bigfoot roams Canada, and the UPNA election was rigged.

Just what we need. More crazies in the South End.

January 18, 2009 at 10:55:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Lochness??

January 18, 2009 at 11:22:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, so the rude, entitled people won another term on their neighborhood board with the full support of their neighbors.

I guess the title of this blog is appropriate.

January 18, 2009 at 4:01:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The demographics of the neighborhood have clearly changed. It's so obvious its becoming a place for strivers and married yuppies who probably max out their income to have a nanny. It doesn't shock me that most of these people are allied with the present UPNA. Its deliciously ironic though that most of the real snobby pompous ones live on Uppity Street or in small condos on Union Park. I wish these people could actually afford to move to Beacon Hill. They are sad rat race strivers and pretenders. Really quite pathetic.

January 18, 2009 at 4:28:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess we should rename this blog: Union Park neighbors win: Pine Street Chastened

January 18, 2009 at 4:41:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL at the idea that these bozos getting voted back on to this board means that the Pine Street Inn has done anything wrong.

January 18, 2009 at 5:09:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boston is always a little behind on things. The UPNA board and its supportive neighbors have yet to notice that the age of greed and blind self-interest is coming to an end.

January 18, 2009 at 5:15:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure that the Pine Street Inn believes everything they do has been blessed by on high. Someday they may listen to their neighbors as much as they listen to themselves.

January 19, 2009 at 5:49:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am sure that the Pine Street Inn believes everything they do has been blessed by on high."

Well, since you decided to use the term "on high", I think it's worth mentioning that the bible does teach us to help the unfortunate. Where does it say that we should cast the poor aside in pursuit of wealth?

January 19, 2009 at 7:35:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that makes it:

Baby Carriages 2 Pine Street 0

Too bad Pine Street chose to be so anti-family.

January 19, 2009 at 10:59:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad UPNA chose to be so anti-homeless/low income!

"Cast the poor aside in pursuit of wealth."

When they turn the South End into a gated suburban community, that's what should be carved over the entrance.

January 20, 2009 at 2:29:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a new member to the neighborhood i am at a loss for words.
I may be because i have only been in the neighborhood a very short time and don't know the extent of everything. The whole Pine Street Inn thing on Upton st is over as i understand, it's a done deal and they are moving in. Move on and lets learn to live/deal with it. I'm just very saddened by how a community has been torn over such a thing.

January 22, 2009 at 9:49:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the first day Pine Street released its proposal, it has shown nothing but contempt for its new neighbors. I am sure the South End will move on when Pine Street finally agrees to tailor a project that respects the views of everyone - including its new neighbors. It has been a bit amusing and childish to see Pine Street constantly refuse to meet with its new neighbors.

January 23, 2009 at 6:36:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comments like that ^^ remind me of Stephen Colbert's term for the Bush Administration's "facts" -- I think the word was Truthiness.

We've all read the Globe, Herald, South End News, and other news articles. We can draw our own conclusions based on the real facts and not on some propaganda spewed out by a few self-serving people looking to increase their property values.

January 23, 2009 at 9:42:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are correct. Pine Street could care less about the people surrounding its properties. Thankfully, many neighbors disagree with such tact and will hold them accountable. The South End belongs to its residents, not just a $40 million corporation.

January 23, 2009 at 10:27:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care what the Pine Street Inn does in terms of meeting with its neighbors. As the blogger says, "you don't get to pick your neighbors." Frankly, I'd rather that Pine Street Inn transitional resident housing move next door to me than any classist member of the Union Park Neighborhood Association.

The funniest thing about the whole situation is that Upton Street is such a sh*tty street but they think they live on Union Park! Its like complaining about the strap breaking on your your fake Gucci handbag.

January 24, 2009 at 2:42:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The funniest thing about the whole situation is that Upton Street is such a sh*tty street but they think they live on Union Park! Its like complaining about the strap breaking on your your fake Gucci handbag."

LMAO!!!! Well said!!!

January 24, 2009 at 8:44:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just moved into my new condo, 50% the price of my SE condo, 100% bigger, garage parking, swimming pool, gym, 3 short blocks from the T, 10 minutes to the SE, no snow to shovel, great views, high end concierge building, I could go on but I have a massage scheduled at 8:00. Have a good life beating each other up!

January 25, 2009 at 4:34:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the spirit of the Pine St. Inn absolutely deserves a central location in the community as its services are necessary for a inclusive society.

That being said, spend 60 minutes at the corner of E. Berkeley and Harrison any night after 8pm and it's clear the organization is unable to live up to the spirit of its charter. Prostitution, public urination, and drug dealing is out in the open and rampant, often within 50 feet of the Inn's entrace. The organization is not a good neighbor to any stereotype - yuppies or self-important bloggers.

January 30, 2009 at 10:41:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Pine Street Inn!!!

There are many people in the neighborhood ready to help you move in and become comfortable in your new home.

April 18, 2009 at 4:36:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where did you go? How can I live here with these scumbags with out you? I heard this at the nail salon today:

"She's dating a black guy. He's really nice, and she's Puerto Rican any way, so I guess it's fine."

The nasty Yuppie virus has fully infected the SE. I couldn't hate them more. The worse part is that I moved here 19 years ago to be nowhere near the Back Bay and their diseased selves, and now they've ruined my neighborhood. Gotta get the hell away from them. I feel hatred taking me over. I'm turning into one of them! AAAArrgghhh!

June 11, 2009 at 1:32:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not true that we opponents of the Pine Street Inn initiative are anti-homeless or don't want a Pine Street facility on our street. We just don't want three buildings. It is not just the number of residents, but the overall footprint (nearly 10% of the street's frontage). I have no objection to three buildings in the neighborhood, but not all on the same street, be it my street or another. I would welcome one builing on Upton, one of Union Park and one on Tremont (Shawmut has one already). Pine Street has successfully sited single-building facilities around the city. Why is it necessary to depart from that practice and push three on one street? J. Fox

June 21, 2009 at 3:30:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ What REALLY ARE your concerns. You claim that it's that you don't want to have these three Pine Street Inn buildings on your block. Well, a little more information would be helpful, like WHY NOT? Tell me why not. That's the question that your opposition group has never answered. Do you fear that it will have an effect on your property values? Or do you not want to be living next to lower-income people? If you provided a better explanation -- even if you gave reasons like I mentioned above -- I could maybe better understand what really are the issues here.

It is my understanding that the Pine Street Inn is taking over three EXISTING buildings that are, or were, being used by another organization that provided nearly identical services. Actually, the organization is going to have FEWER people living there. How do, or did, those buildings impact your block?

June 21, 2009 at 7:02:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IT is essentially a densely populated rooming house. Having three of them impacts the character of the street, no matter who lives there. while one does not. Again, one on Upton, one of Tremont and one on Union park...that's okay with me.

As to the Hope House v. Pine Street comparison, Hope House had a tight rein, close supervision, curfews, and swift eviction for rele violation. Pine Street residents have leases.

Also, you suggest that maybe we don't want low income folks living nearby...we are bordered by hundreds at Villa Victoria.

Finally, it would be helpful if Pine Street supporters resist telling us opponents why we feel as we do. Many suggest that all we are concerned about is our property value. No, the primary issue is the character of the street. And if property values were a tertiary concern, so what? We all have worked hard to build up equity; some concern for property value does not make one evil. Nor does it make me want to keep Pine Street away, just a disproportionately large facility: the largest of its kind on the smallest of host streets. Does that kind of density make sense?

Just because three buildings are there doesn't mean that its is a strategically sound plan, only an opportunistic one.

In sum, I have no problem with one building. I would have a problem with three on Union Park just as I do with three on Upton.
J Fox

June 22, 2009 at 5:13:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is currently the character of the street?

June 25, 2009 at 7:38:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The character is safe and family friendly. The character is not to have a situation like yesterday when a resident of the Pine Street SRO facility on Shawmut was lying in the middle of Upton Street, drunk and acting abusive to residents. And, apparently,phone calls to the Shawmut facility and the Pine Street headquarters were not answered.
J Fox

July 4, 2009 at 8:12:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did this happen? Who besides you saw it? There was a drunk last night on the bench outside Metropolis. He was polite, not abusive. I assume he may have passed out somewhere on Upton St. I rather doubt that he lives at Shawmut Ave. or that anyone asked him this question. Don't spread misinformation. And, my question for you, is why didn't you call the police?

July 4, 2009 at 10:42:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but when did having drunk people as part of the population of a city become a surprise? Drunk people? Oh my! they didn't have those in Wellesley (well, at least not outdoors).

I'd rather have the occasional drunk sitting on a park bench than the groups of drunk frat boys/girls who scream and shout down Shawmut on the way home from the Franklin at 2am, or any of the other groups of drunk frat boys and girls screaming and partying in their luxury condos at 3am on a weeknight.

July 5, 2009 at 2:38:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Jim Smith said...

RE: Annonymous J. Fox (That's James Alan Fox at J.Fox@neu.edu in case anyone wants to talk to him directly).

Here's a true story about the "character of the street". About a year ago as I was driving home (I live at Rollins Square on Washington Street) past Hammersley's, stopped at the light on Tremont, when two late-50's early 60's couples staggered out of the restaurant into their waiting Lexus sedan at the Valet. I thought to myself, "this isn't good," but, maybe not rightly, I ignored it. As I turned left on Tremont to go right on Waltham (apparently not fast enough as there was a pedestrian in the crosswalk at Waltham) the Lexus passed me on the left in the lane of oncoming traffic and had to swerve back into our lane to avoid a head on crash, in doing so he smashed into my driver's side front fender. As I pulled over, thinking he would do the same, he sped up (I followed) and he then ran the red light at Berkeley, I assume to get away knowing he was intoxicated. Point is, the unfortunate guy on Upton this weekend was at least not hurtling a three thousand pound piece of metal down the street - I call THAT abusive. We can all spin tales of life in the city that are something we wish hadn't happened. In my opinion the "character of the street," (all of our streets) is that lots of stuff goes on, some good and some not so good, and that's what makes living here interesting. We need to make room for all and work to eliminate both wealthy and poor substance abuse.

I never was able to track down the hit and run guy from Hammersley's despite the help of the Valet staff, the manager, and the police. In my experience, the wealthy abuse has caused me more grief than the poor abuse, but neither is a happy occurrence to be sure. A few years earlier when I lived on Worcester St., an intoxicated fellow was passed out on my stoop and that only required a quick call to the police and an ambulance came to get him and take him someplace safe. My Hammersley's run-in caused me a visit to the body shop, weeks of paperwork, running around, and insurance issues but fortunately no increase in my rates or personal injury.

I understand that contrary to Mr. Fox's post both Pine Street and the Boston Police responded to help out the guy on the Upton Street.

Finally, most buildings in the South End are floor-through, five story buildings with two occupants per floor. That makes 10 people per building. Ten x 3 = 30. Pine Street is not proposing densely populated anything at this point in their three units. More hyperbole and spin.

Oh, and to be fair since I just outed J. Fox, I'm Jim Smith and you can contact me at smithajames@gmail.com. Regards, JS

July 5, 2009 at 6:04:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Smith

Your unfortunate experiences have no bearing, as far as I'm concerned. Obnoxious or offensive behavior is unacceptable, regardless of source or form.

Your understanding of the events on Upton St the other day is just not consistent with the experience of those who tried in vain to contact the Pine Street folks.

I have not seen in all of this discourse, a sound reason why three buildings should be situated on one block, rather than three on three different blocks. Some people don't seem to hear or recognize our willingness to have the same level of involvement as other locales.

Finally, there is no secret in my identity for you to have proudly revealed. As you know, I have never been reluctant to put my name to my position. And while I don't care that my email address is out there because it is very easy to find, it really wasn't your place tp supply it.

July 5, 2009 at 9:40:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and of course the last post was from me, J Fox

July 5, 2009 at 9:41:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Jim Smith said...

Well, you're the one who publishes in the newspaper using your professional title to try to lend credence to your misguided personal crusade. A breach of academic ethics at best. You need to be ready for contact info to be public if you do that. JS

July 6, 2009 at 2:02:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Groundwater hearing: Any substantial renovation of a propety requires the installation of a recharge system to put water back into the soil. This is the law. The Upton Street properties owned by PSI need to install one just as many properties on Union Park have. The following properties on Union Park have had to install recharge systems:

#4
#5
#12 Current UPNA board member
#21 Installed recently. Current UPNA board member
#28 and #30 Recently installed
#39 Recently installed

None of these went before the UPNA for approval. Abutters and neighbors were not asked for input. Why? Because groundwater recharge systems are a City of Boston requirement..pure and simple. The board of the UPNA is holding Pine Street to a different standard than other redeveloped residences in the neighborhood.

July 7, 2009 at 7:22:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pine Street people will be the only ones with class on Uppity Street

July 7, 2009 at 9:50:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the information provided by the Pine Street fanatics on this blog are rarely correct. The previous blogger that mentioned the other properties on Union Park not having to go before the UPNA for input is WRONG. Almost every one did!! But the Pine Street fanatics don't seem to let the facts get in the way of their rhetoric.

July 7, 2009 at 3:35:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not one property mentioned went before the UPNA. Review the minutes on the website going back to 1/08 (upna.org). Not one of these properties was an agenda item regarding recharging systems and not one of them was discussed at any UPNA general meeting or UPNA board meeting as the published minutes prove. If these properties were brought before the UPNA for input, then the minutes would reflect same. There is no mention in any minutes...read them. Please do some fact checking yourself.

July 7, 2009 at 6:25:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous megan said...

I wish I knew who was telling the truth here. Mr. Fox is a professor, he has no reason to lie about what is probably public record. I'm more inclined to believe his story.

July 7, 2009 at 7:31:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Megan, "Unfortunately the information provided by the Pine Street fanatics on this blog are rarely correct" This blogger is not Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox identifies himself and his responses are more articulate. This 'anonymous' is a blogger that likes to mouth off with a knee jerk reaction and no facts to back it up. Megan, read the UPNA minutes. These are a matter of public record and verifies that these properties did not go before the UPNA regarding the installation of water recharge systems.

July 7, 2009 at 7:51:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is entry is for the uneducated Pine Street fanatic railing about 4, 5, 12, 21, 28, and 30 Union Park developments. 4 and 5 were years ago and undoubtedly came before the UPNA. 12, 21, 28, and 30 are in the minutes of 1/8/08, 3/11/08, and 9/9/2008 set forth ON THE WEBSITE. You should get your facts right before you pontificate your libelous waves. You obviously lied about checking the minutes. Why do you Pine Street fanatics keep lying about the facts?

July 7, 2009 at 7:55:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Joe said...

If groundwater recharge systems are required by the City of Boston, under the law as someone stated, what is the UPNA's role in the process of installing one? Can they reject a proposed system? Are the systems visible from the street? How much authority do the neighborhood associations have in these matters?

July 7, 2009 at 8:20:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, neighborhood associations have input but the city and the zoning board of appeal have final say.

July 7, 2009 at 8:23:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Joe said...

I just read the minutes of the January 8th UPNA meeting, which can be found here:
http://www.upna.org/files/1.08.08.minutes.pdf

The only mention of 12 Union Park is:
"Steve Baker of Steve Baker Design Group provided details regarding proposed renovations of 12 Union Park. The proposal includes restoration of the front façade to full historic condition, renovation of all floors, a new garage, and a largely glass façade in the rear. Some members asked questions regarding potential glare from the façade, the lack of Landmarks’ jurisdiction on the rear of building, and contractors’ use of the parking spaces in the rear of the building.

No mention of groundwater recharge systems

July 7, 2009 at 8:30:00 PM PDT  
Blogger TheBostonDesigner said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 7, 2009 at 8:35:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, rarely do people ask questions about the groundwater system. Perhaps they should, it is always mentioned. But the reality is that the development that triggers the groundwater process is what effects most people.

July 7, 2009 at 8:36:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Joe said...

Again 21 Union Park was mentioned in the March 11, 2008 minutes, Item 3 on page two:
http://www.upna.org/files/Minutes3.11.08.gm.pdf

No mention of groundwater

--

September 2008, Item 3 on page one, mention of 28-30 Union Park:
http://www.upna.org/files/GenMt09.08.doc

No mention of groundwater.

July 7, 2009 at 8:43:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, as I said, it is the development that is most relevant. People are less interested in the groundwater plan than the major development. Who can blame them?

July 7, 2009 at 8:46:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous joe said...

"rarely do people ask questions about the groundwater system. Perhaps they should, it is always mentioned."

So you're telling me that this is an important topic that's always mentioned at these meetings, yet it never makes it into the minutes?

July 7, 2009 at 8:54:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recharging systems never made the minutes because they were never mentioned, let alone discussed. I was at a couple of these meetings and discussions were focused on decks and headhouses. These properties did not need the UPNA to sign off on recharging systems because it is a city requirement on redeveloped property. These properties did need UPNA input on decks and headhouses because ZBA requires abutter/neighborhood sign off on these matters. ZBA does not require same for recharge systems.

July 8, 2009 at 4:32:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are the UPNA minutes for May and June?

July 8, 2009 at 5:55:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have details about another incident tonight on Upton Street regarding a Pine Street person?

Does anyone know about the murder last night at the Pine Street housing on Washington Street?

This is getting pretty scary.

July 9, 2009 at 7:19:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that was an MCH Shelter.

The address is listed on their web site:
http://www.mahomeless.org/shelter/expindshelterboston1.html

July 9, 2009 at 10:04:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know about the murder last night at the Pine Street housing on Washington Street?

More disinformation from the anti-Pine Street crowd

July 9, 2009 at 10:09:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope. It is definitely Pine Street. The same type of housing that is being proposed on Upton Street. Very scary.

July 10, 2009 at 4:28:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1740 Washington St is definately the Mass Coalition for the Homeless Shelter (MCH). It is NOT Pine Street Inn permanent housing. Follow the MCH link below and you will see the 1740 adress listed.

www.mahomeless.org/shelter/expindshelterboston1.html"

Please stop trying to incite hysteria by posting incorrect information. The MCH facility is a day by day drop-in shelter. Very, very different than the permanent housing for qualified individuals that Pine Steet is planning for Upton Street.

The incident on Upton St. was a week ago--no different from the one I saw last night on Waltham Street when a drunk 20 something was vomitting on the street when he left The Franklin Cafe.

July 10, 2009 at 6:37:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the requirements for the residents of the proposed Upton Street housing? Will residents be required to be clean, sober, employed, etc.? What are Pine Street's plans for policing this? What type of programming will they be providing to make sure that residents complete a successful transition back to a stable and self-supporting life style? Is that the goal?

July 10, 2009 at 7:09:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These people will not stop at anything to discredit the Pine Street Inn.

July 10, 2009 at 7:17:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The residents must be on the BHA list of candidates for affordable housing. They are CORI and SORI checked (criminal background and sex offenders). All of them have an assigned caseworker plus there will be a resident manager at the house itself. They must be sober and/or drug free. The median age of the average resident is somewhere in the 40s. They are either working at low paying jobs or they receive disability or SS. 30% of whatever income they receive is earmarked for housing. Many of them have gone thru job training or work readiness programs and have been substance free for years.

The potential renters in the PSI homes are more thoroughly checked than any market rate person buying or renting a unit in the South End.

July 10, 2009 at 7:27:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The residents must be on the BHA list of candidates for affordable housing. They are CORI and SORI checked (criminal background and sex offenders). All of them have an assigned caseworker plus there will be a resident manager at the house itself. They must be sober and/or drug free. The median age of the average resident is somewhere in the 40s. They are either working at low paying jobs or they receive disability or SS. 30% of whatever income they receive is earmarked for housing. Many of them have gone thru job training or work readiness programs and have been substance free for years.

The potential renters in the PSI homes are more thoroughly checked than any market rate person buying or renting a unit in the South End.

July 10, 2009 at 7:27:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The residents must be on the BHA list of candidates for affordable housing. They are CORI and SORI checked (criminal background and sex offenders). All of them have an assigned caseworker plus there will be a resident manager at the house itself. They must be sober and/or drug free. The median age of the average resident is somewhere in the 40s. They are either working at low paying jobs or they receive disability or SS. 30% of whatever income they receive is earmarked for housing. Many of them have gone thru job training or work readiness programs and have been substance free for years.

The potential renters in the PSI homes are more thoroughly checked than any market rate person buying or renting a unit in the South End.

July 10, 2009 at 7:28:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quick response to my questions.

July 10, 2009 at 8:05:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ll

July 10, 2009 at 9:50:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Pine Street Inn website:

Facts on 38–42 Upton Street
June 2009

BUILDINGS
-- Three 5-story buildings,which most recently were used to house 60men recovering from substance abuse,will be renovated to create 30 Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The project creates 30 new affordable housing units: A live-in manager will occupy one of the units.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Pine Street Inn began by meeting with the local neighborhood association, local residents and a number of organizations in the area, offering tours of similar PSI-operated properties and distributing information about the plans for 38–42 Upton Street. PSI also gathered feedback from neighbors, has participated in 18 community meetings and continues to respond to questions and concerns on an ongoing basis. Despite the very vocal concerns of some, there has been overwhelming support throughout the South End for serving people in need of housing, with over 500 neighborhood residents indicating their support in various ways: by signing petitions, writing letters to elected officials and attending neighborhood meetings. In addition, full page ads in the South End News and Boston Courant with names of several hundred residents indicated the strong base of community support.

IMPACT ON NEIGHBORHOOD
-- 30 units of affordable housing planned vs. Hope House occupancy of 60 residents, a 50% decrease.
-- The units will be enhanced SRO (single room occupancy) which will provide a very modest bathroom and kitchenette for each unit. (They are not considered apartments.)
-- 30 units is a further reduction when considered that Hope House served an additional 20 individuals during the day for programs and meals.
-- 29 of the 30 planned units will be rented to tenants as permanent housing, not as a transitional or emergency program (A live-in house manager will occupy one of the units).
-- Tenants will not add to resident parking issues, as most tenants will not have vehicles. Pine Street employees will either park in property spaces on Draper Lane or will use public transportation.

TENANT SELECTION
-- All Pine Street Housing tenants are screened for CORI (criminal offenses).
-- Tenants will likely be selected from either Boston Housing Authority waiting lists or from a lottery system dictated by Boston Fair Housing Commission, which requires compliance with affirmative fair housing laws.
-- All tenants will have leases and will be responsible for complying with house rules, which among other requirements, forbids tenants from engaging in drug use and any illegal behavior on or near the Upton Street residence.
-- Tenants will pay approximately 30% of their income as monthly rent; many will have the remainder of their rent paid through a rental subsidy

PROGRAM SUPERVISION
-- 24 hour/7 day staff coverage will be provided, which includes case managers, evening and weekend counselors and overnight coverage by an on-site resident manager.
-- All tenants will be assigned a case manager and be required to meet with the case manager frequently to ensure life issues are properly addressed.
-- All tenant visitors/guests will be required to sign-in and out. No visitor or guest will be permitted to stay more than three nights in any given week

HOUSING EXPERIENCE
-- Pine Street Inn has operated permanent housing since 1984.
-- Currently operates 32 locations and 550 units in Boston and Brookline.
-- Consistently strives to be an outstanding neighbor and contributor to community - through property upkeep, providing excellent supportive services to tenants, active involvement in community and prompt responsiveness to neighborhood issues and concerns.
-- Maintains a list of neighbors who have agreed to be references for the Inn's housing programs.
-- Has shown a history of minimal crime/police response issues at its housing programs.
-- Often complimented when neighbors discover a Pine Street house has been in their neighborhood for years with "I never knew that property was a lodging house"

July 10, 2009 at 9:59:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also from Pine Street Inn website.

Pine Street Inn/Upton Street Meeting History
June 2009

As part of Pine Street’s community process, the organization has participated in 18 meetings over the past two years, from May 2007 to May 2009:

-- 5 private meetings between PSI and UPNA board
-- 2 public community meetings with the entire Union Park Neighborhood Association
-- 10 public South End Welcoming Committee meetings (the larger South End community with an interest and support of the project)
-- 1 public Licensing Board hearing

The breakdown of those meetings is as follows:

UPNA Private meetings (5):

- May 24, 2007 — Hope House introduced PSI to UPNA as buyers
- February 7, 2008 — PSI met with new UPNA Board
- June 24, 2008 — Lyndia Downie & Lisa Alberghini met with Kevin Cole & Don Fleming (UPNA board members)
- July 15, 2008 — Lyndia Downie & Lisa Alberghini met with Kevin Cole & Don Fleming (UPNA board members)
- November 13, 2008 — Meeting with UPNA board members, Councilor Linehan, Lyndia Downie, Jan Griffin and Aimee Coolidge

UPNA Public meetings, prior to purchase (2):
- June 12, 2007 — PSI and UPNA
- September 11, 2007 — PSI and UPNA

South End Welcoming Committee (10)
April 2, 2008
April 16, 2008
May 1, 2008
May 14, 2008
June 4, 2008
July 9, 2008
August 13, 2008
September 17, 2008
October 22, 2008
November 19, 2008

Licensing Board — July 16, 2008

Pine Street Inn purchased 38-40-42 Upton Street from Hope House on October 20, 2008.

UPNA Meetings, after purchase
As official members of UPNA, PSI has attended the following neighborhood meetings:

November 6, 2008
January 13, 2009
March 17, 2009
May 12, 2009

Pine Street Inn also participated in two neighborhood events:

November 22, 2008 — Neighborhood Clean-up
February 10, 2009 — Trash Committee meeting

July 10, 2009 at 10:04:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lastly from the Pine Street Inn website:

History of Pine Street and 38–42 Upton Street

The buildings at 38–42 Upton Street fit the criteria established by PSI for potential new project sites. Hope House (HH), a nonprofit agency with a long history of serving persons recovering from substance abuse, had owned and operated the site on Upton Street for over 50 years and was committed to selling its properties to another nonprofit organization that would maintain a commitment to affordable housing.

As a long-term and responsive neighbor in the South End, PSI initiated community-siting activities with the Union Park Neighborhood Association (UPNA). In all, Pine Street has participated in a total of 18 community-related meetings over the course of the past two years. As result of these meetings, PSI has reduced the density from its original proposal of 45 to 37 and then to 30 SRO units. Pine Street joined the Union Park Neighborhood Association upon purchasing the 38–42 Upton properties in October 2008, and a representative of the Inn regularly attends the Union Park Neighborhood Association’s general meetings.

Pine Street Inn worked diligently with neighbors and UPNA members to explain the proposed project and to familiarize the community with the Pine Street Housing management model. We emphasized the positive differences a reduction in density from 80 persons served during the day and 60 live-in residents at Hope House to half that number housed in the Pine Street project; the stability of permanently housed tenants; the detailed screening demanded of housing applicants; and the decrease in the impact of parking on the neighborhood.

PSI organized tours of its South End lodging houses for UPNA members and interested individuals. The visits offered the opportunity for UPNA members and others to meet tenants and staff, see the high quality of the real estate and have any questions answered.

In early 2008, the South End Welcoming Committee was formed by a group of concerned neighborhood residents to “promote diversity and extend a welcoming hand to all newcomers to the South End regardless of race, creed, economic status, gender or sexual orientation.” The Welcoming Committee includes representation from UPNA as well as 11 other South End neighborhood associations, and developed a strategy for building community and political support, including neighborhood meetings, signed petitions and letters to elected officials with over 500 signatures in support of the project. Ads were taken out in the South End News and Boston Courant listing hundreds of supporters’ names.

PSI has continued its outreach efforts to organizations, individuals, institutional neighbors and religious organizations based in South End, and counts among its supporters: South End Community Health Center, ETC Development Corporation, Boston Medical Center, Rosie’s Place, Haley House, Project Place, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and Cardinal Medeiros Day Center, as well as many individuals who reside in the neighborhood.

July 10, 2009 at 10:07:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city just confirmed that the murder took place at 1740 Washington Street and is the Pine Street Inn. Same model proposed for Upton Street.

July 10, 2009 at 10:19:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1740 Washington St is definately the Mass Coalition for the Homeless Shelter (MCH). It is NOT Pine Street Inn permanent housing. Follow the MCH link below and you will see the 1740 adress listed.

www.mahomeless.org/shelter/expindshelterboston1.html"

The MCH facility is a day by day drop-in shelter. Very, very different than the permanent housing for qualified individuals that Pine Steet is planning for Upton Street.

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You have your facts wrong. Call the Pine Street Inn. They will confirm. 1740 Washington Street is managed by Pine Street and was presented to Upton Street as the model facility for the street. We even were given tours through it. You seem to be the only person that is in denial.

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When did these tours happen? What month/year?

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Both Pine Street and Mass Coalition for the Homeless are listed at 1740 Washington Street and both websites show this address as well. If you called Pine Street and they confirmed that is was the Pine Street facility where the homicide occured, then I'll take your word for it.

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The South End News is reporting that the murder happened at the Pine Street Inn facility. The victim was a 17 year resident of the permanent housing facility. I didn't realize they had residents that long.

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What do you think "permanent" means? Just like everybody else, the residents of the Pine Street housing can stay there as long as they would like. Isn't it beneficial to the community to have lots of people who live there 17 years? Upton St. folk prefer condo owners who move in and sell as soon as the kids come. I'd rather have people who are here for the long term, who think of the South End as their permanent home.

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The name of this blog strikes me as funny, as we think the South End was over when our friends and families were run out of the area when they built the projects, the gays moving in, the yuppies buying it up and eventually the gentrifying of the neighborhood. Now you all live in million dollar condos surrounded by shootings, stabbings, and burglaries, that come out of the projects. Then you start a blog so that you can all bitch at each other. Whenever someone mentions how they love the south end I just smile and keep the laughter inside.

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Wow, this post is almost a year old. I guess the South End really is over. There's no passion about the neighborhood anymore.

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