Smaller version of proposed South Boston restaurant gains approval

The Boston Licensing Board today approved plans for the proposed Republic restaurant at Dorchester and Dresser streets after the proposed owners - who are putting up the 30-unit residential building it will go in - agreed to shrink its size from 240 to 130 seats and to eliminate an outdoor patio along the street.

In approving David Winnick and David Matteo's plans, the board also required them to shut accordion-style windows at 8 p.m.

Nearby residents attended a hearing yesterday morning to both praise and oppose the plans for a stretch of Dorchester Street that has long consisted of commercial buildings.

Residents in favor, who included both long-time residents and newcomers who said they moved to South Boston from the suburbs or Bay Village to be in the city or to have more room for their families, said the restaurant will bring a much needed local place for people who just want to walk down the street for a bit to eat. The older among them said the restaurant would let them enjoy a meal and a conversation, unlike certain other South Boston restaurants that are geared towards boisterous young folks.

Opponents said the reduction in seats didn't go far enough and predicted that, especially with the accordion windows open in the summer, they would be beset with noise from a place better suited for Congress Street or Broadway - enough noise, some feared, to drive them out of the neighborhood.

The mayor's office and several city councilors, including Bill Linehan and Michael Flaherty supported the proposal. An aide to Flaherty asked the developers to consider talking to the owners of adjoining commercial properties about using their parking spaces during the evening hours.

Osprey takes over the roost at Jamaica Pond

There was this large bird sitting at the very top of one of the dead branches poking out from the little island at the north end of Jamaica Pond this afternoon. I thought it was a young bald eagle at first, but folks who actually know what they're talking about (both here and on Facebook) said no, that's an osprey.

Eagle?

Bald eagle at the pond in January.

What would Boston be without the Hancock Tower? New owner aims to find out

Banker and Tradesman reports the Hancock Tower is now officially just 200 Clarendon St. Seems Hancock objected to having its name remain on the tower once it no longer owned it or rented any space in it.

For a city with residents who still refer to Rte. 128, that's going to be a hard sell, Hancock.

Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock. Hancock.

As heat continues, area employers ask workers today to save energy

From Harvard and Brandeis to landlords in downtown Boston, people are being asked to turn off lights and close blinds to help conserve energy so that the operator of the regional power grid doesn't have to take more extreme measures to help its electrical grid deal with all the added demand from air conditioners.

Updated to correct source of the request - ISO New England, not Eversource. Thanks, cybah!

Upstate New Yorker gets six months for South Boston condo scam

A Skaneateles, N.Y. man who set up shop in Brighton, was sentenced to six months in federal prison this week for his role in a scheme in which he and his associates profited from mortgage fees on a building they converted to condos at 25-31 W 5 St. in South Boston, the US Attorney's office reports.

Michael St. Claire will also have to spend four months in home confinement and pay $1.2 million in restitution for the scheme to defraud lenders.

St. Claire had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to federal prosecutors, his Morpheus, LLC bought the ramshackle building and turned it into 12 condos. Then, prosecutors say, he and his accomplices recruited sham buyers and made up bogus income statements for lenders. The lenders approved the loans, St. Claire and pals paid off the sham buyers and pocketed the fees - after which the buyers promptly defaulted.

The feds say lenders lost $1 million to the scheme.

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