Thank You from FCT!

Dear Editor, 

Families Creating Together would like to thank all members of the community for their unwavering support of our 10th Anniversary FCT Awards Dinner on November 9 at 1st Baptist Church. We particularly want to thank photographer Carla Osberg for her generous donation of time and talent in providing the outstanding photographs of the event which ran in the JP Gazette on November 22! Due to the wonderful generosity of so many supporters, FCT continues with strength and joy in our mission of providing expressive arts opportunities for children of all abilities and their families.

Best wishes,

Edward Pazzanese


Families Creating Together

Regarding Youth Vaping

Dear Editor,

Vaping by youth has become what the U.S. Surgeon General calls an epidemic and many people are working to find solutions.  I’m asked frequently what can be done to turn the tide, and now new resources are available to educate youth and help those who want to quit vaping. 

Sadly, many youth are unaware of the facts about and the dangers of vaping.  To help, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health developed a campaign designed for youth found at mass.gov/vaping.  It provides facts and materials for young people that compare vapes and cigarettes:  both put nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals in their body and both are highly addictive and dangerous for young people.

 The vaping epidemic has led parents, schools and youth-serving organizations to struggle with how to help youth who are addicted to nicotine and want to quit.  Now, two new free programs, This is Quitting powered by truth®and My Life, My Quit™, are available to help Massachusetts youth become nicotine- and tobacco-free. 

Quitting vapes or other tobacco products can be hard. Here are some ways you can help young people get the support they need:

      •        This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709.  In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

      •        My Life, My Quit TM has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Young people can call or text “Start My Quit” to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help. or sign up online at  mylifemyquit.com.

      •        Visit teen.smokefree.gov for tools and tips.

      •        Encourage young people to ask their school nurse or counselor, athletic coach, doctor, parent or other trusted adult for help.

      •        For more information, young people can visit mass.gov/vaping.

      •        More information for parents/adults is available at GetOutraged.org.

Talking with young people about vaping is essential—youth need to know that vaping is harmful and that help is available for those who want to quit.  Visit GetOutraged.org to learn more or contact me at or [email protected]

Edgar Duran Elmudesi

Metro Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership

73 Sheridan St. Façade Suggestion

Dear Editor,

As a neighbor (and architect in practice for more than thirty years) who lives diagonally across the street from the proposed development, I am submitting this letter to offer my strong support for the As-of-Right development at 71-75 Sheridan Street.  I welcome the proposed scale and density of the project. 

In general, I believe that the overall design responsibly blends historic and contemporary architectural themes.  Nonetheless, knowing that my neighbors worry that the development ought to be even more contextual, I offer a few minor aesthetic tweaks to the front façade of the units.  In the illustration below, I have overlaid a few ideas that are depicted on the left-most unit:

Suggested Modification and Current Proposal


1.   Remove the triangle transom window over the third floor window

2.   Create a horizontal head over the deck opening so that the gable end of the front façade is more compositionally complete

3.   Consider canting (in plan) side walls of the window bay so that it reads as slightly more “historical” in appearance.

4.   Consider large double windows in the bay, rather than the tryptic – again, in an effort to give the bay a more historical character.

5.   Perhaps a hexagonal wall vent at the gable end could be added – another historic reference

6.   Consider adding an overhang roof above the front doors of the units.  Doing so will add practical weather protection and further add a residential feel to the front façade.

 In terms of the overall massing of the project, I applaud the “stepped-back” front and rear facades because doing so successfully scales down the over mass and composition of the development.

I do understand that public commentary regarding the unit plans is no longer part of the permitting process, but I do want to mention how much I appreciate the fact that the upper-level units are elevator-accessed and all the units have entry access from grade level.  Age-in-place living is an increasingly important social need and I am very glad that this project will address that need.

I am aware that on Nov. 20 there was a somewhat contentious Article 80 Public Meeting.  Had I not been out-of-state working on a project for a university client, I would have attended and strongly countered the aesthetic, density, and massing objections to the development from a group of my neighbors. 

In closing, I hope that the BPDA will hold strong on the As-of-Right development standing of this project.  I am trusting that specious complaints suggesting the illegality of the development will not be given further consideration.

If further design review meetings are planned for 71-75 Sheridan, I look forward to attending and contributing in a positive and helpful manner. 

Peter Herman, AIA

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