Monthly Archive for November, 2010

TCC Meeting notes for November 18, 2010

Download TCC 2010-11-18 Minutes

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
9:30 AM, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, 4th Floor

Attendance: Barbara Rubel, Bill Linehan, Bill Moy, Chin-Wen Lee, Chutze Chou, David Sokoler, Enoch Liao, Helen Chin Schlichte, James Chan, Jianghe Niu, Kenny Wong, Kye Liang, Ming Lin, Nancy Eng, Norman Eng, Sherry Dong, Sue Kim

I. Refreshments, Welcome, and Introductions

II. Introduction – New Program Coordinator, Kye Liang

-funded by a grant for one year by the Chinatown Trust Fund

III. BRA Update, Sue Kim

-No significant new projects since 2008. Several dormant projects coming back online.

1. 120 Kingston “Dainty Dot” went from about 147 units to 200 units by reducing unit size and shifting from condos to apartments. Construction may start in spring.
2. Kensington near China Trade Center. Started in 2003, still going through public notice of chnge. Moved from mix of units to all rental, reduced parking spaces, increased # units. Doing off-site contribution to Hong Lok House instead of on-site affordability.
3. Hong Lok House – still involved in issues around design review.
4. Oxford Ping On project, tied to 120 Kingston. Increased mix to more 2-bedrooms, fewer units.
5. Parcel 24 – working on notice of project change, going from market rate condos to mostly all rentals. Still have affordable condos. Switching architects.
6. 275 Albany Street, the Normandy Group, has been approved. Looking to add 408 hotel rooms. BRA thinks good for access to Convention Center, Hospitals, etc.
7. Harrison-Albany Corridor Strategic Plan – hope by January to come up with urban design framework (including limits on height, massing) and transportation design.
8. Mary Soo Hoo Park – delayed on start of construction this past fall to modify design after Lee family parcel no longer part of design. Present modified design to public after re-design.

IV. Chinatown Weatherization, Alice Leung, Chinese Progressive Association

-Chinatown is one of 4 pilot sites to partner with state and utilities. 3 pieces to pilot:
1. Outreach to local site
2. Gap funding to cover up to $3500 for weatherization costs
3. Trainees into this field

-Goals of project:
1. Effectively addressing climate change
2. Stabilize the community through decreasing expenses and creating jobs

-Target is 60-120% state median income. Most would get all weatherization work subsidized.
-Below 60% SMI already have ABCD network program.
-Those above 120% SMI pay only 25% for Boston City residents.

-Program includes:
* A no-cost Home Energy Assessment to identify the energy-saving improvements that are right for you
* Free compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) to help start saving energy immediately
* Up to $2,000 for approved energy-saving measures from NSTAR or National Grid and up to an additional $1,500 from Renew Boston for eligible customers
* 0% interest loans for qualifying energy-efficient equipment

-English speaking customers call 617-635-7283 and mention Chinese Progressive Association
-Chinese speaking customers call 617-357-4499
-http://renewboston.org/

V. City Councilor Bill Linehan

-Apologize for not coming sooner, but TTC meeting coincides with meeting for elected officials of South Boston. Finally just suspended that meeting for one week to make it here. Please let Dennis Lui know that I’m here because he’s been inviting me for 10 months!

-Grateful for James Chan on my staff to represent Chinatown.

-Been chair for Committee on Economic Development since elected. Have 25 years of experience in city government. Naïve to and avoided the development game because land issues can be so controversial. But as City Councilor for this district, have to be immersed and informed. District 2 has 60-70% of all development projects in city for next 10 years. One of most economically viable, profitable districts.

-Also vice-chair on housing. Also serve on several other committees – rules, neighborhood safety, and others.

-The committee action is that generally the chair and vice chair do most of the work with central staff, since all councilors are on multiple committees.

-Ran on platform of moving things forward for residents.

-Regarding Chinatown – learning new things all the time. Would like to see Chinatown continue to expand, as it is an epicenter for Chinese activity, commerce. Concerned about expensive costs in Chinatown, advocate for that and affordable housing.

-Regarding parking in Chinatown, just filed order with city clerk to look into that very issue. Having a hearing on parking.

-Advocate for mitigation in development projects.

-Regarding Greenway, James appointed to Greenway Leadership Project.

-Aware and understand issue of encroachment and different views on where Chinatown extends to. And when we develop NY streets area, Chinatown will definitely have a place at the table.

-Hoping to collaborate together in Chinatown for a Storefront Library with resources from BPL, universities, and even wealthy residents. We have some of the richest residents, and most of the poorest residents in the city.

VI. Announcements, Updates, and Kaffeeklatsch

-BRA Notice of Project Change Meeting, Kensington Place, Tuesday, November 30, 6:00-7:30PM, Metropolitan Community Room

-BRA Update Meeting, Mary Soo Hoo (Chinatown Gateway) Park, Thursday, December 2, 6:00-8:00PM, 90 Tyler Street

-Helen Chin-Schlichte, announced the proposed Boston Chinese Immersion Charter School. For more information please see www.bostonchineseimmerson.org.

Next Meeting: Thursday, December 9th, 9:30 AM @ BCNC 4th floor Conference Room

TCC Meeting notes for October 14, 2010

Download TCC 2010-10-14 Minutes

Thursday, October 14th, 2010
9:30 AM, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, 4th Floor

Attendance: Barbara Rubel, Beverly Wing, Cindy Zhang, Colette Randal, David Sokoler, Dennis Lui, Elaine Ng, Emily Wu, Fred Bennet, Kate Chang, Kun Chang, Kye Liang, Lisa, Lisette Le, Marion, Monica, Nicole Tambouret, Norman Eng, Samuel Tsoi, Sherry Dong, Shirley Mark, So Yee, Sue Kim, Sunny Schwartz, Suzanne Hinton, Vincent Gonzalez

I. Refreshments, Welcome, and Introductions

II. Institute of Contemporary Art, Colette Randal

• Institute of Contemporary Art has been in its current location for ~5 years, with 10-12 exhibitions/year, theater by the waterfront, and a family activity space on the 1st floor.
• Presented on events held at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Fall of 2010, including:
o ICA Play Dates – Last Saturday of each month, specialized events for free for families. For more information, e-mail klomatoski@icaboston.org or call Kathlee Lomatoski at (617) 478-3134
o Classes and events specialized for teens are offered. For details, visit http://www.icateens.org.
o Brochure distributed with additional information

III. Immigration Forum, Sam Tsoi, MIRA Coalition
• Presented demographic information on immigrants with more specific information on Asian-American immigrants in the U.S. and Massachusetts
o As of 2008, 37,960,935 foreign-born residents in the U.S. (12.5% of population)
o As of 2008, 919,771 immigrants in MA (14.2% of population)
o Presented on economic footprint of immigrants, inc. being 17% of the state’s workforce and 35% of Boston’s, $1.2M in income taxes
o Largest concentrations in local cities being in Chelsea, Lawrence, Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston
o Overview of immigration policies in the US including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that wasn’t repealed until 1943, the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments, and Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
o Long wait-list in particular for China, India, Mexico, and Phillipines, last of which has categorical wait-lists extending until 1987 applications
o Stating that Temporary Protected Status is granted to nationals of foreign countries who are presently in the U.S. in the case of an on-going armed conflict, natural disaster, and extraordinary temporary conditions, and lasts for 6, 12, 18 months.
o Emphasis on DREAM act, that would provide a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants who pass two years of college or enroll in military, was not passed when bundled with military spending bill, will be put forth on its own in near future.
o Emphasis on Commonwealth Care providing access to the state’s ‘public option’ health insurance, that immigrants have had their services terminated on 8/31. Number have shifted to CeltiCare, which provide ‘less adequate’ services. Seeking people with stories who can testify for a bill to provide Commonwealth Care, expected to be voted on soon. For information, contact Samuel Tsoi at MIRA, 617-350-5480 x216 or at stoi@miracoalition.org

IV. Congressman Michael E. Capuano

• Identifies a shift from policy to politics in the past month
• Feels that the level of corruption in Massachusetts is low, if there is little reported by a District Attorney running for office that would find all that they can
• Feels that the TARP worked, that “no one liked doing it”, but that it was a choice between “perfect and nothing” or “imperfect and something”
• Supports Duval Patrick for Governor. Difficult to bring people content about status quo to the voting booth. Believes ‘Charlie Baker is not a bad man’, but does ‘not agree with his policies’.
• Feels that “people should have discussions on important issues instead of stupid discussions about divisive issues”. To ‘put votes or legislation on the floor’ instead of only talking.
• Feels that the stimulus as a whole worked, but that it does not visibly display the net effect, as it ‘saved jobs’ instead of doing as much ‘job creation’, resulting in the effects being less tangible, that “no one knows that their job is saved”. Feels that he would have encouraged more ‘job creation’ in the stimulus. That the stimulus affects MA $2B per anum. Class sizes in Boston were maintained the same size as a result of the stimulus.
• States that Democrats act like cats and Republicans act like a ‘pack of dogs’ in terms of enforcing a message.
• Does not feel much legislation would be passed during the lame duck session, except with the possibility of a middle-class tax cut.

V. Announcements, Updates, and Kaffeeklatsch

-Preview of next meeting’s topics

-Update of hiring process for TCC staff – currently conducting interviews of qualified applicants

-CNC Safety Committee Report, Barbara Rubel

-AAPIP 20th Anniversary Celebration, Oct. 20th @ BCNC. See www.aapipboston.eventbrite.com

-BRA Public Meeting for Notice of Project Change for “The Kensington” (659-679 Washington Street) on Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at 6:00 PM at the Metropolitan Community Room. Questions/Comments should be addressed to Tai Lim, BRA Senior Project Manager (Tai.Lim.BRA@cityofboston.gov)

Next Meeting: Thursday, November 18th, 9:30 AM @ BCNC 4th floor Conference Room

NOTE: Date Change due to Veteran’s Day holiday on November 11th.