Only in Boston: Duck Boat storrowing linked to T-related protest

The Globe reports the driver of that Duck Boat that had its roof peeled back like a can of Norwegian sardines yesterday was on Storrow Drive because traffic was being diverted around the State House due to a protest by MBTA janitors, many of whom are getting laid off. State Police fined the driver $100.

Developer unwraps plans for South Boston waterfront office building

Architect's rendering.

Skanska today filed its detailed plans for the 13-story office building it wants to build on what is now a parking lot in the Raymond Flynn Marine Park (the former Boston Marine Industrial Park).

The proposed building, on Parcel Q1 on Drydock Avenue near the Summer Street entrance to the industrial park, would include ground floor-retail space and three levels set aside for 150 parking spaces. The site, which also includes part of a "dormant" rail line, is about 0.85 acre, and is next to the site for a proposed hotel.

The Project will transform a currently vacant site into an architecturally distinct building that will highlight the entrance to the RFMP, an area that has become increasingly active with new buildings and businesses over the past several years.

The developer says the project complies with a 2000 master plan for the industrial park that requires development that "ensures a strong manufacturing and water dependent industrial base in the City of Boston," although it involves neither manufacturing nor water-dependent uses, because it will bring more workers into the industrial park, which will help bolster it as an "identifiable commerce center."

Also, according to the plans, "constructing desired office space in proximity to public transportation and downtown Boston;" and "providing active ground floor uses and green space that will energize the pedestrian experience" are somehow associated with marine industrial uses.

Parcel Q1 project notification form (54M PDF).

More renderings:

Architect's rendering
Architect's rendering


Uber driver already charged with exposing himself to passing women in Boston now charged with repeating his performance in Everett

Everett Police report arresting a Malden man who lists his occupation as "Uber driver" on charges he exposed himself to a woman walking down the street yesterday from the front of his Dodge Caravan yesterday.

Paul Griffin, 28, was already facing similar charges for a similar offense involving two women near West Street in Downtown Crossing, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports. He was released on $500 bail in that case.

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria expressed his disgust and said the case - and the arrest of an Uber driver earlier this month on a rape charge - shows why the state legislature should put more teeth in its recently enacted ride-hire regulations - and force drivers for companies such as Uber to undergo fingerprinting.

This is the second incident of Uber drivers assaulting women just in the last couple of weeks and we are still waiting for the Department of Public Utilities to implement new regulations requiring criminal background checks for Uber drivers. I once again call on the Legislature to go back into session. Amend this legislation to immediately require thorough background checks for all drivers, and require fingerprinting. Clearly, these drivers should be thoroughly vetted and they are not.

DeMaria is also demanding a meeting with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to discuss how the company needs to do better screening its drivers:

Within the past several weeks, we as a community have experienced two extremely disturbing incidents relative to Uber drivers who should never have been allowed the opportunity to drive for your company.

In the exposure case, Everett Police say:

Patrol Officer Nicole O’Donnell observed the suspect vehicle being operated on Ferry Street by Glendale Park. Ptl. O’Donnell, along with Ptl. Kristopher Gaff stopped the vehicle. As the officers approached the vehicle, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and drove into oncoming traffic on Ferry Street. The suspect vehicle turned onto a dead end street and the suspect fled on foot from the vehicle. The suspect was eventually taken into custody after fleeing through several yards and streets.

Griffin was charged with open and gross lewdness, lewd and lacivious conduct, failure to stop for police, reckless operation and resisting arrest.

Innocent, etc.

One state authority wants to sue another over Boston Harbor electrical cable

Massport wants in on a federal lawsuit against Eversource and the MWRA over an electrical cable that feeds the Deer Island sewage plant, which the government says was not installed as deeply under Boston Harbor as required, which means it's now in the way of a $350-million dredging project.

Massport recently asked a judge in US District Court in Boston to let it join the legal affray - on the side of the Army Corps of Engineers. Massport says the cable will keep it from dredging the Reserved Channel for two berths at the Conley Terminal able to handle larger ships that will soon be able to come through the Panama Canal.

Like the feds, Massport wants the cable either removed or buried even deeper than it is now.

Under an agreement with the federal government, the 115-kV cable wass supposed to be buried at least 25 feet below the bottom of the harbor in 1989 and 1990; the feds, however, say at some points it's buried just 12 feet down.

West Roxbury pipeline protesters up ante, lock necks to cars to block work

Firefighter checks if saw will fit in wheel well before covering protester with protective gear.

Two protesters halted some work at the natural-gas transfer station in West Roxbury for 90 minutes this morning as firefighters carefully sawed through the bicycle u-locks that kept them attached to two separate cars, one in front of the main gate to the construction site, the other on Grove Street.

Protesters have locked their arms to the pipeline or fences around the Spectra Energy metering and regulating station at Grove and Centre streets before; this marked the first time anybody had used the neck technique.

Protesters say the West Roxbury pipeline, which will feed high-pressure natural gas into National Grid's Boston pipe system, is a feint to get fracked Pennsylvania gas to the coast for shipment overseas. Local residents, who first began protests in 2014, worry the pipeline could explode, incinerating the neighborhood.

As officer checks how secure the lock was (very), protester Mike Kenton wrote a support letter to Native Americans protesting a North Dakota pipeline.

Protester writes letter in West Roxbury

As a dozen or so supporters watched, Lor Holmes sat quietly, wearing protective glasses put on her by a firefighter, along with a protective sheath around her face, a helmet on her head, and a firefighter's turnout coat covering the rest of her, as a firefighter from Rescue 2 carefully cut through the lock. A second firefighter pumped water on the metal to keep it cool as sparks flew. Two fire extinguishers were propped nearby; a fire hose was also at the ready. Before they did any of this, though, firefighters asked her if she was really sure she wanted to go through all that.

Firefighter talks to protester in West Roxbury

After she was cut out, EMTs put her on a gurney to transport her to a waiting ambulance, where she was checked out, even as a firefighter was trying to jimmy open the lock around Kenton's neck.

Firefighter tries to unlock lock around protester's neck

Officials gave Kenton one last chance to get the key from a supporter. When he refused, firefighters repeated the same protective process they used on Holmes and a firefighter went to work.

Protester covered in protective gear

Kenton immediately began screaming and demanding they stop, which they did. After checking to see nothing was coming into contact with him, they resumed. Kenton resumed screaming, at one point demanding to know if the firefighters knew what they were doing.

After about five minutes, Kenton signaled he'd had enough and was willing to unlock the lock. Unfortunately, the supporter who had the key had had to leave for work - and didn't give anybody else the key.

After about five more minutes, Kenton was out, but refused to stand. Several cops picked him up; two then gently put him in a waiting prisoner-transport wagon.

Protester being put in transport wagon

He was soon joined by Holmes - after officers retrieved her from a group of supporters, to which she'd wandered from the ambulance. The two were then taken down to E-5 for booking.

With the gate blocked, truckers hauling construction equipment had to wait on Centre Street:

Spectra trucks

When protesters first arrived at the main gate around 6:10 a.m., a security guard leaped out of his car and tried to wrestle the lock away from Kenton. Several supporters, however, quickly blocked him, and the guard spent the rest of the time just standing in front of the main gate.

What the duck? Amphibious tourist craft storrows

Compare peeled-off roof of Duck Boat on left with pristine one on right. Photo by Kamil.

Shortly before 7 p.m. the driver of a Duck Boat learned first hand why Storrow Drive has those CARS ONLY sign, on the eastbound side, near Mass. Eye and Ear.

WBZ reports none of the 20 tourists on board was injured.

Naturally, that's the same exact spot where, only 3 1/2 hours earlier, Eastie Strong photographed a Storrowed U-Haul:

U-Haul driver made a bad decision

Looks like the Storrow Pool is closed before it even opens.