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The North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) met on Monday, June 14th, where newly elected members Mario Alfano, Donna Freni and Giancarlo Tiberi sat for their first meeting after the May election. Officers were appointed in executive session with Stephen Passacantilli and Marie Simboli continuing as President and Vice-President, respectively, for another year. Mario Alfano was appointed “Acting” Secretary since the by-laws require officers to have served one year on the council.

Ten of the eleven members of the council were present on Monday with Luciana Burdi absent. The Council announced that they will determine at the next meeting what to do with the empty twelfth seat, formerly held by the late Bobby DeCristoforo.

Hazardous Material Vehicles in the North End
Following up on the well-attended June 2nd NEWNC Public Safety meeting, the Council drafted a letter to the U.S. Dept of Transportation to support the City of Boston’s request for a 15-month extension to finish its crucial public safety study regarding hazardous material trucks in the North End. It also states a position to oppose any re-routing of hazmat trucks through the North End, specifically Commercial St. Click here to read the NEWNC draft letter (pdf).

Stephen Passacantilli reported that Councilor Sal LaMattina has also sent a strongly-worded letter to Secretary Ray LaHood and Administrator Anne Ferro at US DOT. The City Councilor chides the administration for making it’s “unfair and imprudent decision” even before the agreed mandated safety study can be completed.  Based on comments received by his office, he also argues that residents should have their voices heard and that the “overwhelming feeling in the neighborhood is that the route used for the past four years is fine”. Click here to view LaMattina’s letter.

Dog Initiative Forum – June 23rd
Local officials and residents are organizing a series of forums regarding dog-related issues. The first one is June 23rd, 6:30pm at the Nazzaro Center. More information can be found here.

Public Safety Committee Meetings
Finishing the committee reports, Passacantilli said that the NEWNC Public Safety meeting will continue to meet on the first Thursday of the month, 6:30 pm, at the Nazzaro Center. Council members will rotate in chairing the meeting, along with Area A-1 Boston Police. The next Public Safety meeting is scheduled for July 1st.

“What’s Your Number?” Movie Production Filming Request
After filming in the North End for a week in late May, Numbers Productions Inc. would like to return to the neighborhood to re-shoot some scenes. Location Director, Mark Fitzgerald, explained that filming will take place on Saturday, June 19th from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a raindate of Sunday, June 20th. A remote helicopter will be used to film the Cooper Street building. Ten parking spaces will be used by the production and vouchers will be available to replace those spots.

During filming in May, the production passed out 480 parking vouchers. The city requires 1 1/2 vouchers per occupied space and the production gave out more than that. As before, there will be a hotline number for people to call to get vouchers. Flyers will be posted throughout the neighborhood.

In addition, there is a possibility that the movie production will want to re-shoot the Italian Wedding scene coming out of the Corner Cafe on Prince Street. The proposed date is July 7th. Street closings would occur on Prince Street and the surrounding area from Thacher to Salem Street.

221 – 227 Commmercial Street
Kevin Curry, current owner of the property at 221-227 Commercial Street presented to the council to request support for a variance to legalize the previous addition of an ATM machine as an “approved use.” Current zoning includes a car wash, gas and service station and drop-off/pick-up laundry. The space is currently occupied by Lavanderia, a laundry/cleaning service company. Lavanderia’s owner, Gary Pedi, is under contract to purchase the entire property from Kevin Curry and Nick DiMori. Before the sale can occur, the zoning needs to be amended to include the ATM machine.

After apologizing for missing the previous Council meeting due to a misunderstanding, Curry answered some questions about the property. He indicated that the gas tanks from the old Sunoco gas station were removed over 20 years ago. He was unaware of the ATM installation by a bank a few years ago.

Stephen Passacantilli asked about the new owner’s plans for the property. Future owner and Prince Building resident, Gary Pedi, said he has no immediate plans to change the space, but will be more specific after he gains control of the real estate. It remains unclear whether a permit is requred for the advertising signs on the property. Curry thought the Boston Redevelopment Authority could weigh in on the signs.

NEWNC voted 9-0 in support of the application to add an ATM as an approved use for the property at 221-227 Commercial Street. A hearing at City Hall is expected on July 25th.

The next NEWNC meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2010, 7:00 pm at the Nazzaro Center. For more information, see NEWNCBoston.org.

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