BRA gives green light to more than 100 new housing units
Three new residential projects received approval at a recent meeting of the board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), representing 129 new units of housing, including 95 “affordable” units.
The Bloomfield Gardens project, located on Bloomfield Street in Dorchester, includes the redevelopment of a vacant lot into an approximately 36,000-square-foot building containing 27 residential units, all of which will be created as affordable housing, including seven set aside for homeless families. The project also features about 6,700 square feet of dedicated open space.
The city Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) has agreed to fund up to $1 million for the project, with the total cost expected to be about $10 million. Developers plan to begin construction in the spring of 2010, with an estimated completion date of the summer of 2011.
Also receiving BRA Board approval were a project change for the $21 million Cheriton Heights project in West Roxbury, which will now consist of a six-story building with 70 affordable elderly housing units and is expected to begin construction in December, and the Penniman on the Park project in Allston, which will create a four-story building with 32 new units, five of which will be deemed affordable.
Members of three men’s groups stood outside hardware, grocery and drugstores last weekend to collect supplies for local domestic violence shelters.
Handing out “wish lists” of items requested by Boston-area shelters, volunteers collected toothbrushes, shampoo, diapers and other needed supplies.
“We’re here because we want people to know that preventing domestic violence in our communities is everyone’s responsibility, and it’s important to speak up about it,” said Daniel Fairclough of Close to Home, a Dorchester-based domestic violence prevention organization.
The supply drives were coordinated by the Boston chapter of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS), which works to involve men in pro-feminist issues, and to spotlight connections between sexism, racism and homophobia.
“People often mistake domestic violence for being a woman’s problem,” said Dennis Brown of the Unitarian Universalist Men Against Domestic Violence. “The truth is the U.S. Justice Department estimates that 90 percent of all domestic violence victims are female, and most abusers are male. That means it’s time for good men to stand up and speak out against this crime.”
Statistics show that domestic violence and sexual assault remain pervasive problems.
According to Justice Department statistics, abuse at home is the number one cause of injury to women and the number one cause of emergency room visits by women. In addition, children who witness domestic violence are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home or commit sexual assault themselves.
The 150 boxes of supplies collected during the two-day drive were divided among a number of local shelters and organizations, including the Elizabeth Stone House, Renewal House, HarborCov, The Network/La Red and the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence.
nets $100K donation from Raytheon
Fisher House Boston recently announced that technology and innovation leader Raytheon Company has donated $100,000 to the organization.
The $100,000 gift is the largest single donation to Fisher House Boston, which has a capital campaign goal of $3 million in private donations.
The gift will be used in the construction of the Fisher House Boston project, which broke ground last October on the grounds of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in West Roxbury.
The Fisher House Foundation provides the families of wounded and ill veterans with no-cost housing near military and Veterans Administration medical centers. Fisher House Boston will be the only such facility in New England.
“Having supported Fisher House sites in other states across the country, we’re so pleased to welcome Fisher House to Massachusetts so that we can further honor New England’s servicemen and women and their families,” said Raytheon Chairman and CEO William H. Swanson in a statement.
Raytheon is also sponsoring a series of public service announcements on New England Cable News requesting support on behalf of Fisher House Boston, running now through the end of July.
Now under construction, Fisher House Boston will feature 20 suites, a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a spacious dining room, and a living room with a library and toys for children.
Berklee to hold student auditions in Kenya
Berklee College of Music will hold audition and interview (A&I) events in Kenya, offering musicians a chance to win scholarships to attend the college.
Open to citizens of any African nation, the auditions will be conducted in Nairobi, Kenya, on June 2 and 3 at the Brookhouse School. For more information, visit http://www.berklee.edu/ scholarships/africa.
Brookhouse Artistic Director Eric Wainaina, a Berklee alumnus, has also planned several events to give area musicians the opportunity to learn from faculty and alumni. Auditioning musicians and area groups are being invited to clinics and master classes on June 4 and 5 at Brookhouse.
“Schools in Kenya run the gamut from high-quality to schools in the slums that have music programs but can’t afford to put windows in the school building,” said Wainaina. “I’d like to discuss how different schools deal with their economic circumstances and what some of the solutions can be.”
Founded by Berklee President Roger Brown and his wife Linda Mason, the Africa Scholars Program is designed to create opportunities for gifted African musicians who lack the financial means to study at Berklee.
“These events offer a stronger connection to the host institution and let us introduce students to the Berklee arena,” said Ron Savage, chair of Berklee’s Ensemble Department, who is heading the auditions. “They also allow us to learn more about them, which is very important.”
While the 2008 auditions in Accra, Ghana, and Durban, South Africa — which resulted in $1.4 million in scholarships for 26 young musicians — were very successful, the college opted for a change of venue this year to give even more musicians a chance to attend.
“If you’re in East Africa, and you need to travel to Accra to audition, it’s as expensive as coming to Boston,” said Wainaina. “Having auditions in different parts of Africa is necessary.”
Berklee will be awarding another four-year, full-tuition scholarship this year. African candidates who audition at events in other cities will also be considered for the award.
More than 20 percent of Berklee’s students already come from outside the United States and represent more than 70 countries.