Archive for March, 2013

March 31, 2013

Cleveland Circle Hotel/Condo project revised again

Plans for a hotel, apartment and retail complex on the site of the long-closed Circle Cinema site have been altered once more in an attempt to win approval for the going-on-two-years effort, according to Since the property spills into Brookline, both municipalities get a say. The BRA is hosting a meeting this Wednesday, April 3 at the Hamilton School, corner of Chestnut Hill Ave. and Strathmore Road.

March 28, 2013

Menino’s most important win

The most important election Tom Menino ever won was capturing the office of City Council president in 1993. Later that year, he gained the mayor’s office when Ray Flynn resigned to become the US ambassador to the Vatican. It put him in a strong position for the special election that he won later that year. Of the twelve other councilors then serving, only Charles Yancey remains on the council. No doubt he is writing a congratulatory resolution saluting hizzoner right now. Jim Kelly, Dapper O’Neil, Bruce Bolling and Tony Crayton have passed on, while others are now retired, serve in other government postions or work in the private sector. Maura Hennigan ended up as Clerk Magistrate of Suffolk Superior Court after losing badly to Menino in 2005. Bob Travaglini progressed to president of the Massachusetts Senate. Rosaria Salerno settled in as city clerk after coming up short in her bid to become mayor in the same election that removed “acting” from Menino’s title. She is now retired.

March 26, 2013

Two more robberies with knives as weapons

There were two robberies involving knives in Allston last week, one successful, one not. Both occurred shortly after 1AM on Thursday, March 21. In the first, near the corner of Glenville Avenue and Harvard Avenue, two men, one white, the other race unknown, made off with the victim’s mobile phone and wallet. The second incident, in the vicinity of the corner of Linden Street and Commonwealth Avenue, was foiled when the victim ran from the three men who were threatening him. One had first asked for a light, but followed up with “Give me everything you got.” After fleeing to the Linden Superette, he met the responding police and gave his report.

March 26, 2013

Russian restaurant hearing delayed

The plans for a 450-seat Russian restaurant at 14-20 Linden Street are on hold for now, at least until the owners meet with Allston Civic Association and the BPD. The Zoning Board of Appeal deferred yesterday’s schedule hearing to May 7, according to Adam at UH.

This expansion almost certainly would require approval from the Licensing Board.

March 24, 2013

95 years old, but who’s counting?

Alice Mills, a long-time volunteer at all three local branch libraries, will be honored by the Friends of the Faneuil Branch in recognition of her dedication and to mark her 95th birthday. For many years, she coordinated ESL learning groups, which she referred to as “Friendly Conversations,” and continues this work at the Honan Allston branch. Her career ranged from a stitcher (and union leader) in a shoe factory to administrative assistant at Children’s Hospital and BU. The party is Tuesday, March 26 from 6:30 to 8PM, all invited.

March 24, 2013

“I don’t want to hurt you, give me everything you got”

A 20-year old student had a knife held to his throat after being knocked to the ground near 21 Quint Avenue, Allston on Monday, March 18 around 7PM. After threatening him with the knife, the two thieves made off with his wallet and iPhone. The suspects were described as two white Hispanic males, both 18-22 years old, one being around 5’9″.

March 24, 2013

BPD take a breather from BU parties, break up BC bash

Taking their cue from the partying habits of BU students on Ashford and Pratt Streets in Allston, well over one hundred BC undergrads crammed themselves into the basement and backyard of 16 Gerald Road, Brighton on the evening of March 16. Police responded to a noise complaint and ended up seizing a couple of beer kegs. The crowd made a fast exit once they realized the BPD has arrived. The 2-family house is owned by Richard Cohen, who lists that as his address although he does not get the owner-occupant tax exemption.

March 24, 2013

Da or nyet? Russian club seeks permit for 450-seat restaurant

The ever-evolving Russian Benevolent Society at 14 Linden Street, Allston wants to become a 450-seat restaurant and lounge with live entertainment, as well as adding a patio that would accommodate 90 patrons. It started out as a private social club, but has gone from that to serving the public three days a week, and last year to a seven-day-a-week operation. Apparently there was a steam room in the building as of 2010, but no mention if this is still part of the operation. The hearing will be Tuesday, March 26 at 9:30AM before the Zoning Board of Appeal in City Hall.

March 20, 2013

Sharing the road, bikes & cars

A spate of injuries and deaths of bicyclists has prompted the city to take a look at the stretch of Commonwealth Avenue between Kenmore Square and Packard Corner. On an experimental basis, Brighton Avenue will be getting enhanced shared bike/car lane markings, according to Boston Bikes. It involves adding signs and markings in phases starting this spring.

I’ve wondered if having bike lanes on side streets where possible, rather than main roads, would make for a more relaxing, and safer, road for bike riders. The few times I have ridden from Oak Square to Kenmore have been harrowing. On a visit to New York I found traveling along Manhattan’s avenues on two wheels was similarly scary, while the cross streets were fine.

March 20, 2013

Plow damages 20 cars on Comm. Ave.

Car owners suspect a city of Boston plow was responsible for damage to twenty vehicles along Commonwealth Avenue near BC. The cars were hit Tuesday night.

March 19, 2013

Dead body found at Beacon Rail Yard

The body of a woman was found on the property last night, according to the Suffolk County DA’s office. The identity of the 29-year-old New Hampshire resident has not been released. The case is being investigated by the State Police.

March 16, 2013

Building approved with parking developer didn’t want

The building originally intended for the carless has been approved by the BRA, but with 35 parking spaces for the 41 apartments, along with two spots for bikes per unit. It will occupy the property at the corner of North Beacon and Everett Streets. The final approval is up to the Zoning Board of Appeals, but is extremely likely. Too bad there weren’t any changes to the size and design. Five storys is too high, and the exterior is just ugly.

The no-parking aspect always struck me as a bit of greenwashing and not a new concept. Commonwealth Avenue and its side streets are packed with parked vehicles from residents of the parking-free buildings that line it. This, despite the B-line that runs up the middle.

Building approved with parking developer didn’t want

March 13, 2013

Menino draws a line on Harvard

After meeting with local residents, Mayor Menino has sided with the Harvard Allston task force on the issue of relocating a number of university services to 28 Travis Street. The city’s position makes approval of the move and construction of future buildings dependent on a number of conditions, described on The school seems inclined to go along.

How about getting the university to sell some of its Allston property? It recently unloaded the Arsenal on the Charles in Watertown. Other developers would be able to move faster, and it would be good to have some balance with not all uses oriented to one owner.

March 11, 2013

Back in the day, seems everyone was taking pictures of Brighton is featuring two sets of photos, one of Brighton that compares the same sites today and in years past, and another of Cleveland Circle that illustrates past photography and future plans.

Kudos to Charlie Vasiliades of the BAHS for putting together the Brighton series.

March 10, 2013

Cleveland Circle bar cited for overcrowding, serving a minor (no, not Mary Ann’s)

A visit by the BPD on March 1 to the City Side bar turned up 35 more patrons on the second level than the 95 allowed, along with a very drunk guy who was using someone else’s canceled Mexican passport as an ID. Violations issued, expect a hearing at the Licensing Board in the future.

March 9, 2013

Sutherland Pharmacy robbed again

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Sutherland Pharmacy has been hit again by an armed thief. About a year ago the same thing happened, and the store, located at 1690 Commonwealth Avenue, was broken into within the past year. Wearing a mask according to the BPD report, the gunman entered the premises around 1PM on Tuesday, March 3 and ordered everyone to get on the floor, then demanded the drugs Xanax and Klonopin. He fled in the direction of Wilson Park, located behind the block of commercial buildings. Police were unable to locate the suspect when they arrived soon thereafter, and ask anyone with information to contact Station 14 at 617-343-4256.

March 7, 2013

Crime fighters looking for new recruits

The job features challenges such as dealing with student parties in Allston, late-night craziness on Harvard Avenue, shootings in Dorchester, and break-ins everywhere. Plus your exploits get chronicled on the BPD website and various other media outlets in Greater Boston. Check out one of the information sessions.

March 7, 2013

Woman has handbag stolen, then threatened with gun

A woman had her purse snatched as she entered her apartment building at 50 Englewood Road on last Thursday at 5:30PM. As she chased the thief down Strathmore Road, hollering “Give me back my bag, I’ll give you all my cash,” he stopped, turned and pointed a handgun at her, demanding “Give me all your cash or I will shoot you.” At that point an unknown man shouted to leave her alone, causing the thief to drop the bag and flee in his car, which was parked on Strathmore. Despite a call to area police vehicles they were not able to apprehend the suspect. Information obtained from BPD report.

March 6, 2013

Community gives Harvard a ‘yes, but…” answer

The Harvard Allston task force voted Tuesday night to support the plan to relocate the Campus Services facility, but only if the school agrees to move the facility again once the Western Avenue science complex is complete. The building would be home to a number of functions, including managing Harvard’s fleet of vehicles.

March 5, 2013

You could write a book about it


People who made a difference, past and present, are the subject of the new book “Legendary Locals”. The profiles include the Winships and their support for soldiers of George Washington, Olympic gold medal winner Harold Connolly, and present-day state representative Kevin Honan. Bill Marchione, author of “The Bull in the Garden” and a key founder of the BAHS, wrote the foreword.

The author, Linda Mishkin, will have a book signing on April 6th from 1:00 to 3:00PM at the BAHS Heritage Museum/Veronica Smith Center, 20 Chestnut Hill Avenue. She will do a repeat embossing on May 7th from 6:30-8:00PM at the Faneuil Branch Library, 419 Faneuil Street in Oak Square.


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