Friday, December 3, 2010

Temple Beth El's plan to start construction

From: Allan Heff <>
Date: Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 10:07 AM
Subject: New Construction at Temple Beth El on Ward S

Temple Beth El is starting a major overhaul of their building.  This is believed to be mostly interior construction, but some changes will be made to the exterior of the building.  The Morseland Area Neighborhood Association liaison committee is looking for comments and questions about the construction from the neighbors to present to the temple and to the city.  If you have questions or comments about the construction, please either email me or phone Naomi Myrvaagnes at 617 332-2954.  Also, if anyone is interested in getting more involved, please let us know.

A letter from the temple to the city about the construction is attached.


Allan Heff

Snow Removal issues

Naomi Myrvaagnes to Alderman Stephen Linsky
December 3, 2010

Dear Stephen,

A need that the Morseland Avenue neighborhood has brought up before is now more pressing in light of the proposed snow removal ordinance.

After heavy or icy snowfall, our crowded streets and intersections become dangerous and even impassible.  There is simply no room to put snow removed from driveways and sidewalks, the plows leave heavy loads in front of driveways and huge piles at intersections.  Even a small pile in this crowded area makes foot traffic impossible.  My husband is unable physically to remove what  the street plows dump in front of our driveway.

Because there is so much foot traffic in the immediate vicinity, I strongly urge that the City do sidewalk plowing the length of Morseland on both sides, plus at least one block in all directions on Ward, Elmore, Channing, Mill.

What is removed from the sidewalks and streets then needs to be collected, for the sake of walking and parking!!!  Beyond pedestrian concerns, there is always a winter parking crisis in the area.   Cars parked many feet from the sidewalk because of snow spillover  make the streets impassible.

 I repeat the request that snow piles be removed as they are in the commercial districts.  Even though we are labeled Residential, our immediate neighborhood functions like a commercial district and needs to be cleaned accordingly.  We need the city to accomplish this.

I am copying this request to other members of the neighborhood association and to the Mel Hoffman of the Shaarei Tefillah Liaison Committee.

Please let us know how we can best bring this matter to the decision-makers and have the problem solved.  Thank you.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good Neighbor Hazard Control

Proposed Good Neighbor Guidelines for hazard control during Demolition/Construction in residential areas.  March 13, 2007 

To: Alderman Marcia Johnson

Fr: Ellie Goldberg, 79 Elmore Street, Newton, MA 02459   617 965-9637

Dear Marcia

This note is a response to your request for suggestions for the Aldermen to consider regarding the prevention of demolition hazards (the creation of large quantities of dust and wide distribution of pollutants) that the Morseland area neighborhood experienced last summer during Congregation Shaarei Tefilah's demolition of the historic 1770's house on Morseland Avenue.   

As I reported to you at the time, the demolition of 29-31 Morseland Ave. was done, with no notice to the neighborhood, and with no containment or wetting to control the clouds of dust that spread all over the neighborhood onto passersby, into open windows of homes throughout the neighborhood, contaminating yards and gardens, children's play equipment, etc.  It is not unusual for old building materials and soil to be contaminated with a variety of pollutants including lead, arsenic, chlordane and other pesticides, Fiberglas, asbestos, and other contaminants.

This is a copy of the proposed Good Neighbor Guidelines I shared with Michael Kaufman at a meeting at Beth El last night where we discussed the upcoming Beth El demolition/construction plans.  I would be interested to know if city departments already have responsibility for health and safety, traffic, noise and pollution control of other hazards and nuisances and what updates of training, clarification of expectations, coordination, or additional resources could prevent and protect neighbors of future demolition and construction projects in our neighborhood as well as in other residential areas facing similar projects.

Please contact me if you have questions. Please forward to anyone you think would have an interest.

Ellie Goldberg, 617 965-9637

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Proposed Good Neighbor Plan

Temple Beth El needs to plan to minimize adverse impacts during the Beth El expansion and during maintenance and landscaping.   
Special Note: Children walk to and from school, and to the bus pick up area on Morseland and Commonwealth Avenue, and congregate on the corner. Beth El project managers and contractors need to be considerate of children and other walkers and traffic in the area. The project coordinator should also be aware when children are on vacation, have an early release day from school, and other times when extra care and consideration is necessary to prevent accidents. Planned coordination should include the Newton Safety Officers and Traffic Officers as well as neighborhood residents to manage high risk activities.

Also, many residents have young children, work at home, are elderly, medically fragile, and have other reasons to need information and cooperation from Beth El and the contractors to avoid hazards, to avoid disrupted access to residences and personal or work activity, to avoid disruption of phone service and necessary electrical services (computers, refrigerators, cable, hot water, heat, air-conditioning), to avoid gas leaks from street digging or sewer and drain breakdowns, to ensure access at all times for emergency vehicles, to maintain neighborhood safety and security, etc.
All problems are foreseeable and avoidable with good planning and communication.  

The plan should include:
a.    Project Schedule and Construction Management Plan, committee members, etc.
b.   A notification and communication system so that Beth El provides all neighbors, especially direct abutters, with a reliable advance calendar of the demolition, construction, repair and maintenance activities, and, prompt notice of any changes. 
c.    The home, business and cell phone numbers of Beth El's operations manager, project coordinator, and all contractors so that abutters know in advance who the contractors are (security concerns) and so abutters and other residents can get an immediate response to any question and complaint regarding noise, debris, hazards, etc. during the day or night.

A building demolition creates large quantities of dust and wide distribution of pollutants so that anticipatory guidance and oversight is required for pollution control to protect the neighborhood. 

Beth El contractor's need to prevent emissions from the work site by shrouding, wetting, covering and otherwise managing area to prevent emissions of particulate matter.  

Potential air pollution hazards include dust, asbestos, chlordane, lead, arsenic, etc. as well as noise. 

Instead of testing for hazards, assume dust is contaminated and completely enclose and shroud the area and wet down dirt and building for maximum dust control. Do not exhaust fumes and particulate facing any residences. 

Be considerate of children and other walkers and traffic in the area. Children walk to the bus pick up area on Morseland and Commonwealth Avenue, and congregate on the corner, and walk to and from school. 

Safety: Need designated truck access and exit routes. Timing of truck traffic needs to be considerate of neighborhood needs. 

Noise: This is a residential area.
-Do not start demolition or construction activity that creates noise before 8 a.m.  
-We assume that no work will be done on Shabbat. If work is done on Sundays, it should start after 9 a.m.
-Neighbors should be notified of times when activities will produce extremely loud noise so that they can plan accordingly.  Contractors should do everything they can to mitigate noise. 

Crew: No smoking on the job. No littering of neighborhood property, sidewalk or street. Have designated parking area and parking guidelines.

Trash Control: Provide for worksite trash and debris disposal and crew's personal trash, garbage and other debris.  Dumpster and dumpster pick up guidelines should minimize hazards to children during bus pick up and drop off times, and noise and disruption to neighborhood.

Plan for adequate police and inspectional services and oversight when large vehicles such as concrete trucks are pouring cement or bulldozers and/or backhoes are digging and dump trucks are coming and going?  


Good Neighbor guidelines for trucks and service vehicles
-No idling
-Designated crew parking area
-Designated truck access and exit routes
-Designated truck waiting/idling locations so as not to block streets or add to pollution and noise
-Designated truck and service vehicle parking areas
-No overnight parking on residential streets
-Plan for safe truck turning

Share guidelines for site security: plan for security fencing and lighting, day and night.

Guidelines for maintaining sidewalks during construction and after? Who will shovel snow? Where will snow go?

Plan for adequate police and inspectional services and oversight when concrete trucks are pouring cement or bulldozers and/or backhoes are digging and dump trucks are coming and going. 

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