T H U R S D AY, M ar c h 1 2 , 2 0 2 0TheSunPublished every ThursdayServing Back Bay - South End - Fenway - KenmoreGateway to the South End holds‘topping-off’ ceremony MondayBy Seth DanielVirtually everyone associatedwith the 100 Shawmut Ave. project brought by The Davis Companies converged on the constructionsite Monday morning to celebratea ‘topping-off’ ceremonyThe 100 Shawmut Ave. project features 137 living units in thecorner building on what is a redevelopment of the previous building and an addition of a towerabove it. It’s part of an overallProject Development Area (PDA)build-out that includes a newchurch, nearly 600 units of housing, including all of the affordablehousing units that were required tobe in 100 Shawmut. Those parts ofNABB MIXER AT SUMMER SHACKthe project have yet to be filed withthe City, though.However, Monday was a celebration of the current buildingand its approaching occupancyin 2021. The building formerlyhoused the ABCD Pre-School program, which moved several years(Topping off, Pg. 4)Playground planned for Charlesgate ParkBy Dan Murphy and Lauren BennettA revitalized Charlesgate Parkcould boast a 14,000 square-footplayground, according to members of a team devising a plan toreclaim the “key link” that connects the Kenmore, Back Bay andFenway neighborhoods and wouldunite the Charles River Esplanade,the Emerald Necklace and theCommonwealth Avenue Mall intoa single-park system.“Its size gives us a lot of opportunities to do things in the playground itself,” said Marie LawAdams, a founding principal ofthe Landing Studio, a Somerville-based architectural firm,during a meeting sponsored bythe nonprofit Charlesgate AllianceTuesday at Boston University’sKilachand Hall.The playground would belocated on the North Field of theproposed park while a dog parkis planned for its South Field andlikely divided into two sections to(Charlesgate Playground, Pg. 4)SoWa KICKS OFF FIRST FRIDAYS ON MARCH 6PHOTO BY DEREK KOUYOUMJIANAudrey Spellman and Karen Quandt of NABB enjoy a social time atthe Summer Shack in the Back Bay before heading over to a concert atBerklee School of Music. The NABB event sold out and featured themusic of Rob Lewis, a success musician and Berklee alum.Boston, EBNHC preparingfor novel coronavirusBy John LyndsIt was only a matter of timebefore the coronavirus, orCOVID-19, that spread acrossChina landed in Boston. TheBoston Public Health Commissionannounced that as of Monday,there was one confirmed case ofcoronavirus in Boston and eightcases that are presumed positive.The presumptive positive cases didnot require hospitalization and areself-isolating at home. The CDC iscurrently testing to confirm theseeight cases.Coronaviruses are a large familyof viruses that includes MERS andSARS. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. This newvirus and disease were unknownbefore the outbreak began inWuhan, China, in December 2019.(Coronavirus., Pg. 11)Potential sale of Hynespondered at town hall meetingBy Dan MurphyPHOTO BY DEREK KOUYOUMJIANWire Sculptor Brian Murphy is a sculptor who finds linear humor in wire. Here, he designs a new piece duringthe SoWa Artist Guild’s First Friday event on March 6 – the exciting kick-off to a new season of First Fridaysand Second Sundays. The Artist Guild on Harrison Avenue in the SoWa Art Design District houses hundreds of working artists.While the state legislature isreportedly expected to decide onGov. Charlie Baker’s proposal tosell the Hynes Convention Centerby mid-May, elected officialsand other neighborhood leadersconvened a town hall meeting todiscuss what the decision couldpotentially mean for the futureof the Back Bay on Saturday atthe Copley Branch of the BostonPublic Library.“Public space is where everybody is equal, and by reducing public space, it promotes inequality,”said Sen. William Brownsberger,who hosted the meeting in concertwith Reps. Jay Livingston and JonSantiago. “Our constituents havedeep reservations about the Hynes(Hynes Convention., Pg. 3)
PA G E 2THE BOSTON SUNMarch 12, 2020editorialOUR UNDERPREPAREDHEALTHCARE SYSTEMThe coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping across the world hashighlighted how ill-prepared the U.S. healthcare system has become fordealing with a national health emergency of this potential magnitude.The U.S. has lagged far behind other nations in terms of testing ourcitizens to determine whether they have contracted Covid-19. Not onlydid our government not have anywhere near the number of test kitsavailable to meet the demand for testing, but those that we did havewere defective.As a result, we have lost precious time in identifying how many ofour citizens have the disease and the extent of the outbreak in specificparts of the country.Cutbacks in the budgets of the federal agencies responsible for ensuring our nation’s health have reduced the ability of the federal government to respond to such threats speedily and competently.Guest Op-EdHave a hippity hoppity holidayHowever, there is a much-deeper problem that has been looming forBy Melissa Martin, Ph.D.years.The closing of community hospitals throughout the nation in the pastfew decades has created a crisis that already has placed our healthcaresystem at the breaking point -- a situation that will only get worse as theBaby Boomers begin to reach their late 70s and 80s.Anybody who has been to a hospital emergency room recently knowsall too well that our healthcare system is woefully inadequate even in thebest of times.The 46,500 beds in intensive care in the United States are occupiedvirtually 24/7/365 by mostly elderly persons with a wide range of healthissues. Covid-19, if uncontrolled, might lead to up to 1.9 million ICUadmissions, according to projections presented to the American HospitalAssociation -- a situation for which we have nowhere near the capacityor capability.Even without a pandemic or similar national health emergency, ourhealth care system is a disaster waiting to happen in the years ahead.THE BOSTON SUNPresident/Editor: Stephen Quigley, [email protected] Director: Debra DiGregorio ([email protected])Art Directors: Kane DiMasso-ScottReporters: Seth Daniel, [email protected] Bennett,[email protected] year, Easter falls on Sunday,April 12. So, make your menu,sew your outfit, and decorate yourdwelling while there’s still time.Easter has become a commercial event catered toward childrenwith baskets full of chocolate rabbits, dyed eggs, jelly beans, andother sweet treats. Easter is thesecond best-selling candy holidayin America after Halloween. Keepthat a secret from your kid’s dentist.How interesting that a dogis in the running to be the nextCadbury bunny—that will beone funny bunny. And I votedfor the two-legged dog from NewRichmond, Ohio, to be the 2020candy canine. Bark for the bunny!Lt. Dan is named after the “ForrestGump” character who lost his legsoverseas in combat. What animallover can resist a disabled dogwearing long ears and a fluffytail. Cadbury issued a casting callfor all pets to enter the contest tobecome the next Cadbury Bunny.Lt. Dan the dog is competingagainst a mini-horse, llama, pig,hamster, duck and two cats. Thewinner of the contest will starin Cadbury’s new TV commercialand receive 5,000. The CadburyBunny Tryouts Contest is sponsored by The Hershey Company inHershey, Pa.Vote at www.bunnytryouts.cadburyusa.com.How interesting that a giantbunny carries a huge basket andhops down the bunny trail to deliv-er colored eggs to children. Aren’tthe hens steamed? It’s hard worklaying eggs, only to give the creditto a happy hare. Plastic lookalikeeggs have replaced boiled eggs inthe annual Easter egg hunts. Thechickens don’t have to work aslong during the season, but pleasegive the poor cluckers a raise andretirement benefits. But no billionaire bunnies allowed according toBernie.The White House Easter EggRoll is an annual tradition. Since1878, when Rutherford B. Hayeswas in office, American presidentshave hosted the party on the lawnaccording to the White HouseHistorical Association website.The liberals probably want to rollTrump down Capitol Hill—thenhe will have a bad ‘hare’ day. Sorry,I couldn’t resist a hair joke. Wompwomp.The following corny jokes werefound at www.southernliving.com.Q: Therapist: What’s been up lately? A: Chocolate bunny: I don’tknow, I just feel so hollow inside.Q: How can you tell which rabbitsare oldest in a group? A: Just lookfor the gray hares. Q: Where doesthe Easter Bunny go when he needsa new tail? A: To a re-tail store.What’s for Easter Dinner?“In early Jewish history, lambs were sacrificed as offerings to God and served regularlyas part of the Passover feast. Then,when Jesus died during Passover,he represented the ultimate sacrifice for sin, the “lamb of God,”and the animal evolved into apotent symbol for Christians, espe-cially at Easter. Many OrthodoxChristians still follow the JewishOrthodox customs of not eatingany pork, so lamb takes centerstage at their Easter meal. Others,however, wouldn’t imagine Easterwithout ham. Symbolizing “goodluck” for many cultures aroundthe world, it made a fitting meal atall sorts of feasts and celebrations,according to the Encyclopedia ofReligion. Some historians believeEaster’s spring timing also factoredinto the choice: Farmers typicallyslaughtered pigs in the fall andthen took several months to smokethe pork, making a ham ready justin time for Easter dinner.” www.goodhousekeeping.com.The Real Deal of Easter“The Bible makes no mentionof a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggsto well-behaved children on EasterSunday; nevertheless, the Easterbunny has become a prominentsymbol of Christianity’s mostimportant holiday,” according toan article at www.history.com.Easter is a deeply religious holiday for many, packed with significance in the resurrection story ofChrist. Good Friday marks Jesus’scrucifixion and Easter Sunday celebrates his resurrection. The crucifixion of Jesus is recorded inthe New Testament books, knownas the Gospels: Matthew, Mark,Luke, and John.Blessings to all my peeps atEaster!Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is anauthor, columnist, educator, andtherapist. She lives in Ohio.
March 12, 2020THE BOSTON SUNPA G E 3Former Councilor Josh Zakim joins Coaster Cycles as Public Affairs AdvisorThis week, Coaster Cyclesannounced that former Councilor Josh Zakim will be joiningthe company’s leadership teamas a Public Affairs Advisor. Afterchoosing not to seek re-election toa fourth two-year term, Zakim leftthe Boston City Council in Januaryof this year. During his six years onthe City Council, Zakim chairedthe Committee on Housing andCommunity Development; theCommittee on Civil Rights; andthe Special Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure, Planning, and Investment.“I am excited to continueworking in the urban transportation and mobility space. We needgreener, more efficient alternatives,especially for last-mile deliveries,”Zakim added. “Coaster has thepotential to make a hugely positive impact on the environmentand economy of cities across thecountry.”Hynes Convention (from pg. 1)and what might come in its place.”Like his constituents, Sen.Brownsberger said he felt blindsided upon first hearing of thepotential sale of the Hynes lastSeptember, proceeds from whichwould be used to underwritethe expansion of the BostonConvention and Exhibition Centerin the Seaport.State Rep. Joe Santiago echoedthis sentiment, describing the conversation around the potential saleof the Hynes – a discussion thathas taken place without sufficientinput from the Back Bay’s residential and business communities - asbeing “one-sided.”Similarly, City Councilor EdFlynn, said, “There should be avoice in this process for the residents, and there should be a voicefor the business community aswell.”Rep. Livingstone said he looksforward to seeing an economic study commissioned by theMassachusetts Convention CenterAuthority on the potential impactof the sale of the Hynes on theneighborhood, which reportedlyshows the potential for a 2.3-million square-foot, mixed-use project, consisting of office space,shops, restaurants and 650 housingunits. He added he is also eagerlyawaiting a “more in-depth” studyon the matter from the Back BayAssociation.Meg Mainzer-Cohen, president and executive director of theBack Bay Association, said sheexpects their economic study willbe released in the “next week ortwo,” and that it would look atthe long-term impact of losing theHynes on the neighborhood, aswell as examine other cities withmultiple convention centers “tosee if the Hynes could work intandem with the BCEC.”Meanwhile, Rep. Livingstonecontrasted the lack of public process surrounding the Hynes withthe process for the potential redevelopment of the Charles F. HurleyBuilding on Stanford Street, whichhe said has already included “sixor seven” public meeting priorto the release of a Request forProposals for the project.City Councilor Kenzie Bok alsopointed to the more-thoroughpublic process for the potentialHurley redevelopment, saying inthat instance, it helped provide a“roadmap” to guide future development.And like Rep. Livingstone,Councilor Bok also said she looksforward to reading the economicstudies on the Hynes to betterunderstand the matter.“What questions can we getanswered by an economic studythat could show better alternativesto the Hynes?” Councilor Bokasked. “Even if you demonstrate[the potential for] something morevibrant than the Hynes, you won’tget that by offering it to the highest bidder.”Councilor Bok also expressedconcern regarding the “economiccost of taking down a buildingthe size of the Hynes at a timewhen we’re trying to reduce carbon emissions.”ElliottLafferoftheNeighborhood Association of theBack Bay, described the Hynes as“the right size [venue] for intelligent-oriented conventions” and“unique” given its access to nearby hotels, as well as the PrudentialCenter and Copley Place.In contrast, he said the BCEC“looks like every other conventioncenter and could be anywhere,”and “to throw the Hynes away forthat would be stupid.”While those in attendanceat the town hall meeting largelyopposed the sale of the Hynes,Sen. Brownsberger said other lawmakers still might want to weighin on the matter.“There are 39 other senatorsand 100 other reps who may havesome views on these issues,” Sen.Brownsberger said. “We’re feelingour way to find out what momentum there is for the proposal andwhat we can do to exert controlover it.”As curbside congestion and traffic continue to worsen, cities arebeing very creative with solutionsto ensure the safety, health, andoverall livability. The addition ofbike lines, restriction of car access,and experimentation with vehiclecapping and congestion pricingare but a few of the changes to theurban landscape that make Coaster a valuable solution for transportation, logistics, and mobility services. Private companies are alsoadding to the need for this solution, particularly in last-mile delivery which accounts for 53 percenof total delivery costs.“It brings me great pride to addJosh’s excellent experience andperspective to the Coaster team,especially with our roots here inBoston and plans to expand in theregion,” Said Ben Morris, CEOof Coaster. “A market for a sustainable solution like Coaster isbeing created in cities as a resultof regulation and public pressureand I think Josh will be an excellent resource in helping Coasterunderstand that market and buildlong-standing partnerships.”During his tenure on the CityCouncil, Zakim chaired the Committee with oversight of the Boston Transportation Departmentand the city’s relationship with theMassachusetts Port Authority, theMBTA, the Convention CenterAuthority, and related transportation agencies. In particular, theCommittee had a mandate to oversee matters and coordinate actionrelated to transportation networkcompanies, and the city’s cyclingand pedestrian infrastructure.Coaster’s portfolio boasts arobust mix of public and privatesector clients including Aramark,Nestle, Pepsi, University of Montana, Lime, and Uber. CoasterCycles are offered in two sizeoptions and models can be configured to serve a variety of functions such as delivering food andpackages, pouring coffee or beer,and servicing scooter and bikeshare operations. Coaster Cyclesoperate in the bike lane, can accessareas cars cannot, do not requirea driver’s license, and can be outfitted with a variety of integratedtechnology features like CoasterPerformance and e-assist.SIMPLY FREE CHECKINGMAKES LIFE SIMPLEOPEN ANY NEW CHECKING ACCOUNTAND YOU’LL RECEIVE FREE:Instant Issue ATM/VISA check card with accessto Allpoint networkOnline Banking, Bill Payand e-StatementsMobile Banking, PeoplePay and Check DepositPlus, get your FREE GIFTwhen you open anynew checking account!NMLS # 457291Member FDIC Member DIF800.657.3272 EBSB.com 50 minimum deposit required to open any checking account. Other fees may apply, see schedule of fees for details. Freegift is awarded when account is opened. EBSB reserves the right to substitute a gift of similar value. Please note, in theevent the value of the free gift exceeds 10, the bank is required to report the gift value on form 1099-INT. The recipient isresponsible for all applicable taxes. 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PA G E 4THE BOSTON SUNMarch 12, 2020Topping off (from pg. 1)ago to the campus of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.“Our area of The South Endis in the midst of an enormoustransformation,” said FounderJonathan Davis. “100 Shawmutrepresents a very high quality,architecturally dynamic new gateway to this rapidly evolving neighborhood. Shortly it will also bringnew vitality to the neighborhoodwhen the residents of 100 Shawmut’s 137 beautiful new homestake occupancy early next year.”Davis called the building thenew “Gateway to the South End,”sitting on a corner across from theMass. Pike and Chinatown.The topping-off ceremonyincluded principles, members ofFounder Jonathan Davis talksabout how 100 Shawmut willbe the new gateway to the SouthEnd.the sales team and architects – toname a few – being able to sign thefinal piece of steel to go in placeat the top of the structure. Aftereveryone had signed the whitebeam, workers from IronworkersLocal 7 hoisted it up to the roof Neighborhood notables Paul‘Duffy’ Duffy and Ted Pietrastook their turn to sign the beam atthe topping off.Principles on the project, including Jonathan Davis and Brian Fallon, signed the beam.line for installation.Meanwhile, Davis also complimented the architects for bringingtogether an old, industrial buildingwith a modern glass tower.“Thanks to our talented architects from The Architectural Teamwho took on the challenging taskof successfully integrating a turnof-the-century industrial buildingtogether with a contemporaryglass tower,” he said. “The resultis highly successful and truly distinctive, unlike anything else in thecity. It’s an iconic structure in aniconic location.”Davis added that Suffolk Construction has done great work, andthe project is currently on time andon budget.Final Ink Block buildingbegins on Albany Street cornerBy Seth DanielThe long-awaited “fill out” ofthe Ink Block development hasstarted construction this month onthe corner of Albany and Heraldstreets – a corner that the developer said would be activated withresidents and replace the freewayfeel that dominates that bit ofurban no-man’s land.Ted Tye of National Development said that 7INK has begun andthat the work so far has includedmoving utilities from the site, anddriving piles into the ground. Bothactivities are expected to be completed by the end of March.That will feed into building thefoundation for the structure, andthen starting construction on thetower.The building is slated to be thefirst co-living space in Boston andwill be 14-stories tall. Co-living isa blend of smaller living units andmore generous