Marathon Bombing Memorials not ready for this year’s race
Amid all the cheering spectators and triumphant athletes present at the finish line of this year’s Boston Marathon, there were a few things missing. The memorials for the victims of the 2013 Marathon Bombing were not yet in place. The goal was to have them finished and installed by this year, the fifth anniversary of the tragedy. Indeed, the space for their installment is ready. But the large sculptures of granite and bronze sit in a foundry with work still to be done. The city, the artist and the families of the victims all worked closely together to properly reflect the memory of the victims. Thus, these communities felt that getting the memorial right was more important than getting it done on time. The first design was not popular among the families, but the new design, which is more abstract, has been received much more positively. The artist is Pablo Eduardo, a Bolivian exile who has lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts for years. The new goal for installation is now in September.
Another boutique gym is going to open in Wellesley
Orangetheory Fitness, a fitness club that cannot stop expanding, is set to open in Wellesley on Central Street. The Ville already has two barre studios and a cycling studio, among other gyms and fitness clubs. Orangetheory Fitness has its own unique fitness philosophy and ways of approaching working out. However unlike in our beloved Keohane Sports Center, the classes here are not going to be free. In fact, baseline membership, which only includes four classes, is $60. That will be no sweat for Wellesley residents, whose average household income is over $159,000. (For perspective, the average household income for the state of Massachusetts is around $75,000.) The concern is that Wellesley is not investing its wealth wisely. As noted previously in this column, the town is below the state’s legal threshold for available affordable housing units. Clearly, though, Wellesley is not below average for fitness centers. The town is also building a $5 million sports and recreation center on top of all the gyms that are available.
UMass team estimates cost of climate change for Massachusetts
After the immense levels of flooding from this year’s winter storms, the University of Massachusetts released a report last Friday on how much global warming projects could cost the state of Massachusetts. They estimate the cost of the measures required to mitigate the effects of climate change to be around $2.4 billion for neighborhood projects. Current projections predict that $80 billion worth of real estate is at risk with sea level rise. This includes much of the newly-developed Seaport District and the heavily-populated neighborhoods of East Boston and Dorchester. An added challenge is that many of these neighborhoods are also low income and will unfairly shoulder most of the financial burden . The report suggests measures such as a carbon dioxide tax to spread the financial responsibility to more people. The construction of a seawall, a major project proposed to counteract the increased flooding and storm surges from climate change, could cost anywhere from $7 billion to $15 billion dollars. The state and region will have to come up with ways to fund all these projects fairly and effectively.
Boston Agency approves next step of Harvard’s expansion in Allston
Last month, the Boston Planning and Development Agency approved Harvard’s master plan creating a campus in Allston that will cover 14 acres. The plans were submitted in 2013 and the main part of this project, the Science and Engineering Complex, is scheduled to be done and functional for the 2020-2021 academic year. A Boston Globe article labels the expansion as “Harvard’s answer to Kendall Square.” As well as academic space, the development will include hotels, businesses and housing. According to Harvard spokesman Kevin Casey, the businesses given leases will be those “that have a thirst to be near entrepreneurial activity.” However, unlike Kendall Square, this space does not have direct access to the subway and is adjacent to the more residential area of Allston and Brighton, which is already experiencing a lot of development without the transportation infrastructure to support it.