Officials putting finishing touches on plan to raise rents and provide public access
IT HAS TAKEN THREE YEARS, but state officials are finally putting the finishing touches on a plan to start charging yacht and boat clubs fair rents for the public land they are leasing.
The plan, mandated by the Legislature three years ago and currently under review by the state Inspector General, would grant long-term leases to the 31 clubs while also requiring them to pay more in rent and provide greater access to the public.
Prominent educational institutions with boat houses along the Charles River, including Boston University, Northeastern, Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Belmont Hill, and Buckingham, Browne & Nichols, would see the biggest changes under the plan.
Harvard, for example, was paying only $1 a year in rent for its Harvard Sailing Pavilion along the Charles. State officials upped the rent to $5,000 last year, but that figure will jump to $18,000 under the draft plan and subsequently increase at a steady rate for the next 30 years. The rent could eventually reach as high as $100,000 a year under the more aggressive scenario outlined in the plan.
CommonWealth obtained a draft copy of the leasing plan that was labeled “for discussion purposes only,” suggesting revisions are possible. The responsibility for drafting the leasing plan falls to the Department of Capital Asset Management, the state’s real estate arm, working in conjunction with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the state agency that actually owns the properties. Officials at both agencies declined comment without first seeing the document...Read the whole article at CommonWealth magazine.It is worth noting that not only does the Dorchester Yacht Club owe no back rent , but that we pay (in addition to the $10,000 annual fee) property tax on the land we lease, as if we owned it. Also worth remembering is that the DYC did own its own land, which was taken by emininent domain in 1957 in order to build the Southeast Expressway, and that in exchange we were given a 20-year lease (long since expired) for the land we now occupy.
By Gintautas Dumcius Mar. 13, 2013 Swamped on the regular:
Morrissey Boulevard, frequently closed, like last Friday, to traffic during high tides and storms could be modernized with new revenues from a proposed tax hike now being pushed by Governor Patrick. Above, the roadway during last fall’s hurricane. Photo by Devin M.
Morrissey Boulevard, a major south-north artery running along Dorchester’s coast that is frequently forced to close due to storm surges accompanying high tides could be in line for a $25 million overhaul under Gov. Deval Patrick’s tax hike proposal, a top official with the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation said on Wednesday.
The latest closing of the parkway came last Friday when winds and snow from a stronger-than-expected two-day storm rendered it unpassable both ways, causing commuter-focused UMass Boston, which is located off the boulevard, to delay opening its Columbia Point campus until 10 a.m. on Friday, and then to call it a day at 2 p.m.
“It’s a design that is not boding well in the 21st century and we need to do something to address it,” said Jack Murray, deputy commissioner at DCR, an agency that oversees 450,000 acres of parks, beaches, bike trails, and parkways.
Murray, who lives in Milton and often uses the boulevard, said that in the last 15 years the roadway has seen an uptick in flooding issues, which the agency attributes to “poor drainage and climate change.” Incremental increases in the sea level will have “significant” impacts on the parkway, he said...Read the rest of the story
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Florida man’s floating home was a house, not a boat, and not covered under maritime law, in a case that could affect thousands of people around the country who make their home on floating structures in marinas, bays and coves.
The high court ruled 7-2 for Fane Lozman, who argued that the gray, two-story craft approximately 60 feet in length that he towed to the marina in Riviera Beach, Fla., should not have been affected by maritime law.
Justice Stephen Breyer, who included a picture of Lozman’s craft in the opinion, said maritime law affects vessels which are “watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.” The key words, Breyer said, were “capable of being used” and the court was concerned with practical possibilities, not merely theoretical...Read the rest at the Washington Post.
By Dave Wedge
Sunday, March 18, 2012
The city’s shiny, new $4.2 million state-of-the art fire boat — dedicated with great fanfare just six months ago and funded in part by federal stimulus money — has already suffered pump problems and is being yanked out of the water for a hull inspection, the Herald has learned.
The 71-foot John S. Damrell, which was paid for jointly with federal and city funds, was purchased from a Canadian ship builder to replace the Boston Fire Department’s problem-plagued, 40-year-old boat, The Firefighter. But the acclaimed vessel — christened in Charlestown last September — has already had to undergo pump repairs and will be pulled out of the water in the next few weeks and put in dry dock for maintenance inspections, BFD spokesman Steve MacDonald confirmed.
News of the Damrell’s impending drydocking comes as another Boston fire boat, the 27-foot Norman Knight, has been out of service for nearly two years due to broken water pumps, a malfunctioning generator and other maintenance problems. That vessel, which was donated to the department by actor Denis Leary
, sat on blocks in a BFD maintenance garage on Massachusetts Avenue until last week, when it was put back in the water just days after a Herald inquiry.
The Norman Knight’s absence became an issue three weeks ago when a fire broke out at the Dorchester Yacht Club. With the Knight out of service, a Massport boat had to assist firefighters in dousing the flames...
Read the rest of the story in the Boston Herald
Commercial fishermen endorsed to catch and land striped bass may do so through Wednesday, August 10, 2011. The fishery will close at 00:01 hours on Thursday, August 11, 2011. From that point forward, the landing of striped bass for commercial purposes will be prohibited until the 2012 season opens.
Dealers are reminded that through August 15, 2011 all striped bass imported into Massachusetts must meet or exceed the 34” minimum size limit. Beginning on August 16, 2011 all striped bass imported into Massachusetts must be tagged designating the state of origin and must meet or exceed the minimum size in the jurisdiction of origin.
Commercial fishermen are reminded that August 2011 trip-level reports are due no later than September 15, 2011, even if the permit was not fished. Failure to submit these reports for all months of the year in a timely manner may result in the non-renewal of your commercial permit and its endorsements in 2012. Trip level reports should be sent to DMF Statistics Project, 30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930. Blank forms and instructions were mailed out prior to the beginning of the 2011 commercial fishing season and additional copies can be obtained at:http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dmf/commercialfishing/trip_level.htm
For further information on closures and reporting contact MarineFisheries at 617-626-1520 or visit our website at www.mass.gov/marinefisheries
The DMF released their latest newsletter yesterday. You can download a PDF of the newsletter
from their web site. The lead article is about new regulations for catching striped bass that are under consideration.
BOSTON – June 15, 2011
- The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is responding quickly to damage incurred to the Georges Island pier over the past winter. Initial action plans have been put in place to ensure public access for the 2011 summer season.
“Georges Island is a tremendous asset to the Commonwealth” said Commissioner Edward M. Lambert, Jr. “DCR is committed to providing access to the island throughout the 2011 season and has dedicated $400,000 to make the necessary repairs to the pier.”
A floating dock will be installed by June 30, 2011. Once this is in place, the main pier will be temporarily closed for repairs.
As a result, public ferries, recreational boaters, and private charters will see changes to boating access at the island. There will be no access on the north and south finger piers. In addition, as the main pier undergoes repairs, there will be no dock access. Public ferries and charter boats will access the temporary floating dock. The Boston Harbor Islands Partnership is looking into the possibility of providing additional moorings to ensure that private boaters will continue to have access to Georges Island.
“I am impressed by DCR’s prompt and thorough response to address this issue” said Island Alliance President Tom Powers. “Thanks to quick action and ingenuity, community programming and subsidized transportation can continue, offering residents, visitors, and kids the opportunity to experience all that Georges Island has to offer.”
The repairs to the pier will be ongoing throughout the 2011 season. “We are hopeful that we can incorporate the changes to the pier into the new construction design and finalize a more permanent solution” said Boston Harbor Islands Superintendent Bruce Jacobson. “We will be working very closely with all of our partners as we look to gain funding for a new pier.”
The Department of Conservation and Recreation appreciates the patience of the public while working through these repairs. DCR’s commitment to providing citizens of the Commonwealth with access to its treasured resources is of the utmost importance.
###The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Edward M. Lambert Jr., the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visitwww.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at email@example.com.
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Visit the Energy Smarts blog..................................... www.mass.gov/blog/energy
Visit The Great Outdoors blog.................................... www.mass.gov/blog/environment
Visit our website........................................................ www.mass.gov/dcr251 Causeway Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA 02116 — (617) 626-1250 office / (617) 626-1351 (fax)
November 4, 2010 (Washington, DC) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today denied a petition calling for a ban on the manufacture and use of lead based fishing gear.
The Center for Biological Diversity, the American Bird Conservancy, the Association of Avian Veteranarians, Project Gutpile and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed the petition on August 3 to ban the production and sale of lead based ammunition and fishing tackle under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) of 1976.
EPA sent a letter to the petitioners today (http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/chemtest/pubs/SO.Frye.Sinker.Response.11.4.10.pdf) stating that they failed to demonstrate that the rule is necessary to protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. The letter also states that the increasing number of limitations on the use of lead fishing gear on some federal and state lands, as well as various education and outreach activities, call into question whether a national ban on lead in fishing gear would be the least burdensome, adequately protective approach to address the concern, as called for under TSCA. EPA's letter also notes that there are non-lead alternatives currently in the marketplace.
On August 27, EPA denied the portion of the petition relating to lead in ammunition because the agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under TSCA.
Seventy-eight members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) in September signed a letter (HERE) sent to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging the agency to dismiss the petition. The CSC members state in the letter, “There are 60 million recreational anglers in America that contribute $125 billion to our economy annually, and penalizing these men, women and children that are the best stewards of our environment, as well as the financial backbone to fish and wildlife conservation in our country, would be a terrible and unnecessary injustice.” Read the rest at The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation.
November 4, 2010 | Posted by Amanda Leland in Catch Shares
Amanda Leland, EDF Oceans Program - National Policy Director
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today released aresponsible policy to “encourage well-designed catch share programs to help maintain or rebuild fisheries, and sustain fishermen, communities and vibrant working waterfronts, including the cultural and resource access traditions that have been part of this country since its founding.” EDF applauds this policy because it will restore fisheries and improve fishermen’s lives and livelihoods.
For too long the government has propped up a failed system of ocean fishery management. Conventional management has resulted in shrinking fishing seasons, fishery closures, and increased waste. Fishermen are faced with burdensome and ineffective regulations. Because of this today’s fishing jobs are dangerous, part-time, and relatively unstable1, and more than 60 federal fish stocks are classified as overfished or undergoing overfishing. Rebuilt fisheries could increase the dockside value of commercially-caught fish by $2.2B (54% above current value) in the US2...Read the rest at blog at The Environmental Defense Fund.
Governor Deval Patrick is asking the US commerce secretary to raise fishing catch limits by the end of next week. Patrick made his request in a letter yesterday to Gary Locke as a follow-up to Locke’s visit to Massachusetts last month. Patrick said fishermen are facing severe hardship because of unnecessarily low catch allotments, and he asked Locke to raise the limits by Oct. 15. The limits are intended to protect fish stocks, but fishermen say that more can be caught without hurting efforts to stop overfishing. Patrick also suggested that Locke use $2.1 million in fines collected from fishermen to pay for an assessment of the health of groundfish stocks.
from the Boston Globe