By Phil Orlandella
Blocking handicap spaces has started again
Several North End residents continue to place chairs and/or orange cones in handicap designed parking spaces preventing other handicapped drivers from using the spot.
These are not private parking spots and anyone with the proper handicap identification plates or placards can utilize the space.
Hopefully those illegally blocking handicap spaces wise-up, get caught, received a fine or have their driver’s license taken away.
Firefighters prevent major blaze from spreading
Boston firefighters have been credited for preventing a five-alarm blaze at 52 Hull Street from spreading to two adjacent buildings on Christmas morning.
It took over 80 firefighters to control and finally get the fire out.
Under trying circumstances, they did an outstanding job protecting the adjacent property when it became impossible to control the fire, especially when the roof and other floors collapsed.
Virgilio never forgot his roots
There is a great saying “Never Forget Your Roots”.
For many, many years that notable message has clearly been undertaken by Stephen “Virgil” Virgilio who has over and over provided numerous activities and events for the North End community.
Most recently he has donated $4,000 to North End Against Drugs (NEAD), a non-profit organization which provides the neighborhood with many events and activities providing a clear message relating to the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
Virgil has certainly “Never forgotten his roots”.
Cutillo Park a niche for drug and alcohol abuse
It appears, according to residents that have spoken-up at community meetings, that Cutillo Park on Stillman Street has once again become a favorite stop for drug and alcohol usage.
The park has a small basketball court and a tot lot that is not being utilized because of the illegal activities taking place in the public space.
New signage like “Park closed” after a certain time, “Trespassers will be prosecuted” have been suggested but this has never worked in the past and continues not to be a deterrent.
More park lighting has been mentioned but currently the city doesn’t have any plans to do so.
There is only one-way and only one-way to cleanup the reported drug and alcohol use in the park, with enforcement with arrests and prosecution.
What’s going to happen when smoking marijuana becomes legally available?
Maybe, just maybe the winter weather will keep these users out of the public park.
Reduced city’s speed limit great idea
Reducing the street speed limit from 30-25 MPH on Boston streets is a solid way of saving lives or preventing serious injuries.
Some of Boston’s streets have become speedways with lead foot drivers leaning on the gas pedal with no concern for the general public.
Hopefully, the new law passed in the legislature and Boston City Council and signed by the Governor and Mayor will make a huge difference in the current situation that exists in the city.
While this bill is a great deterrent, it will only be successful with strict enforcement.
NEWRA Committee can use additional help
North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) Parks and Open Spaces Committee has numerous agenda items related to public areas within the neighborhood.
Currently, the Committee is dealing with sidewalk trees, renovations of Rachel Revere Park, Paul Revere Mall (Prado) and North Square.
They have a busy and productive neighborhood endeavor that will make the community not only look beautiful but safer as well.
Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at the Mariners House, 11 North Square, second floor at 7 PM and the Committee can sure use some additional help from the community.
Sherri Snow deserved SPARK Award
The North End’s own Sherri Snow, Executive Director of North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) has deservedly been named this year’s City of Boston SPARK Impact Award.
Sherri was honored in the category of Community Building and Neighborhood Improvement where she totally excels.
The award is presented and honors millennials for their many contributions to the city.
City officials got it right when they selected Sherri Snow for the SPARK Award.