AHA! New Bedford announces campaign for A Community Thrives, part of the USA Today Network: Crowdfunding campaign needs to raise $6,000 in local support to be eligible for over $2 million in additional grants by The Gannett Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Candace Lee Heald, Director of AHA!
Phone: 508-965-4816
Email: AHACoordinator@southcoastcf.org
Website: AHA! New Bedford and A Community Thrives Campaign

New Bedford, MA — In 1997, the local newspaper, The Standard Times, convened a planning process to identify the SouthCoast as a regional hub. An Arts and Culture subcommittee had the idea to create a program that would celebrate the uniqueness of the region’s past, present and future: Art, History and Architecture, or AHA! Two years later, free AHA! Cultural Nights began every second Thursday of the month, and is now a long-standing tradition in New Bedford.

AHA! has a 20+ year history of offering free programs to the community, mostly located downtown, and collaborates with over 60 artists, cultural institutions and small businesses. When the pandemic hit in March, AHA! quickly pivoted to an online format and #VAHA! (virtual AHA!) brought the city’s rich arts and culture to an online audience and became a statewide model recognized by the Mass Cultural Council.

AHA!’s latest project, “Reimagining Resilience”, has been accepted to participate in the nationwide crowdfunding campaign by USA Today Network called A Community Thrives. A Community Thrives allows neighbors, friends, family and peers to show their excitement and support for community building ideas such as Reimagining Resilience. In turn, this support unlocks access to +$2,000,000 in grants to bring the project to fruition in 2021.

In partnership with the New Bedford Economic Development Council and New Bedford Creative, “Reimagining Resilience” will use AHA!’s existing framework of monthly virtual and in-person free cultural nights to connect community members to the resilience of New Bedford.

The plan for the project is to enlarge the current in-person footprint of monthly events with outreach to community neighborhoods, carrying the message that New Bedford is ready to create, regenerate and re-engage at all levels.

“Working together is what we do — that’s what makes us New Bedford. It’s how we got here and it’s how we will get through this pandemic stronger, with everyone supporting one another — residents, artists, galleries, cultural venues, neighborhood associations, and commercial enterprises,” says Lee Heald, Director of AHA!

From September 21 to October 16, AHA! needs to raise $6,000 in order to be eligible for over $2 million in additional grants by The Gannett Foundation. Visit the campaign page today to show your support.

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Bristol Community College offers Free Skills Development Webinars

Contact: Kevin Spirlet
Associate Director of Media Relations
774.357.3361
508.207.8943 (cell)
kevin.spirlet@bristolcc.edu

 

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the lives of so many, both personally and professionally. To assist the region, Bristol Community College’s Business Solutions & Partnerships area is offering free, virtual professional development webinars to develop or strengthen in-demand skills.

 

These innovative webinars provide professional and technical skill development for job seekers, educators, employers and employees looking to increase proficiency in current and forecasted remote work and learning environments. The sessions focus on how to best adapt to the evolving “new norm” of business and education.

 

“Bristol Community College is proud to assist our communities with free professional development webinars during this unprecedented time of change in business and education,” said Jennifer Menard, Interim Vice President, Economic & Business Development, Bristol Community College. “Bristol’s mission is to serve our communities by being able to quickly respond to their needs. This is a great opportunity to aid our regions’ dedicated educators and professionals who are working remotely and in need of virtual in-demand training.”

 

Bristol’s Business Solutions & Partnerships area are offering the free, 60-90-minute live video webinar sessions, accessible from the college’s website listed below. 

 

The webinars will focus on three areas: Virtual Career Exploration and Personal Branding, Upskilling for Distance and Remote Learning for Educators and Professional and Organizational Virtual Training.

 

Career Exploration & Personal Branding includes topics such as developing an effective resume, building a professional LinkedIn presence, the power of personal branding and more.

 

Upskilling for Distance and Remote Learning for Educators includes optimizing student engagement through the Google classroom, time and priority management in the “new norm,” keeping audiences engaged virtually through Zoom, understanding cultural change and the racial divide and more.

 

Professional and Organizational Virtual Training includes development in areas such as improving your productivity with Microsoft Office applications, ways to improve business process improvement virtually, understanding cultural change and the racial divide and more.

 

How to Register: 

 

Participants can register for all or one of the topics in the series.

 

To register or to view a complete listing of the course focuses and topics, please visit:

 

http://bristolcc.coursestorm.com/

 

For more information, please email businesssolutions@bristolcc.edu or call 774.357.2527.

 


 

Business Solutions & Partnerships at Bristol Community College serves the community’s needs for professional development and credentialing leading to opportunities in a wide range of career options and new academic pathways. Business Solutions & Partnerships provides access to affordable, high-quality programs with experienced instructors.

 

These competency-based programs are closely tied to industry needs providing upskilling, credentialing and professional development that is aligned with real jobs and includes new skills and competencies in an ever-changing economy and workplace. Business Solutions & Partnerships also offers high-quality training to the business community to meet regional needs in top industry sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, finance, energy and sustainability.

 

For more information about Business Solutions & Partnerships at Bristol Community College, please visitwww.bristolcc.edu/corporateservices.

 


 

About Bristol Community College

 

Bristol Community College (Bristol) has core values rooted in student success and lifelong learning. For more than 50 years, Bristol has served as a leading resource for education and workforce development in the region including locations in Attleboro, Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton.

 

The college offers a rich variety of degree, certificate, and training programs along with flexible online offerings that lead to an associate degree, a career-ready certificate, or the ability to transfer to baccalaureate colleges throughout the state and country. The Center for Workforce and Community Education provides customized training for businesses and the community. The college also strives to put the needs of learners first with support services and career advancement opportunities that lead to student success by reducing barriers to educational access.

 

Bristol annually serves more than 11,000 credit students and 18,000 students who participate in noncredit activities. The college is one of the largest employers in the region and is dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment with a rich diversity of beliefs, cultures, languages, abilities and lifestyles. Bristol is a public community college accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). http://www.bristolcc.edu/.

 

Owner of Hatch Street Studios in New Bedford Offers Rent Deferment During COVID-19 Crises

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

NEW BEDFORD, MA – On Tuesday, April 21, 2020 Jeff Glassman, Owner of the multi-story Hatch Street Studios complex at 88 and 90 Hatch Street, New Bedford, MA, offered his artist tenants two months of rent relief.
 

Glassman, on a Zoom call with the artists on Tuesday, offered two months of deferred rent to ease their financial burden during the current economic situation related to COVID-19.

 

Artists have the option to spread the deferred payments, May and June rent, over 12 months starting July 1st, 2020.
 

Hatch Street Studios is New Bedford’s largest community of visual and performing artists. More than 60 professional and novice visual and performing artists create work here in a variety of mediums; painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, woodworkers, ceramicists, musicians and others.
 

Glassman purchased the building in 2015. He has worked closely with artists to grow the Hatch Street creative community as well as the art community in New Bedford as a whole.
 

“Since purchasing the building 5 years ago, I have been working with the artists to continue to grow the community within the building and on a larger scale here in New Bedford,” said Glassman. “My goal has always been long term with this community. Hopefully a little relief with their expenses now will help them get through this mess we are all experiencing.”
 

“I can’t say enough on how important it is to the creative community to have an engaged and involved building owner,” said Adrian Tio, Hatch Street artist.
 

Glassman also owns Darn It!, Inc. on Belleville Ave which is a refurbishment and quality control, and warehousing and distribution business for many retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers worldwide. Darn It!’s remains open with a reduced workforce and increased health and safety measures, producing masks for several businesses and organizations in the area.
 

For more information about Darn It! or Hatch Street Studios, please contact Jeff Glassman at 508-999-4584.
 

Hatch Street Studios maintains an online presence with information on individual artists.
 

Visit www.hatchstreetstudios.com for more information.

 

Governor Baker announces Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund

Anthony W. Richards, II
Deputy Chief of Staff, Access & Opportunity
Office of Governor Charlie Baker
Access and Opportunity is an executive office created to increase diversity and inclusion within state government.
Massachusetts Statehouse
Office: 857-400-5215
Cell: 617-910-8875

 

 

The Governor and First Lady Lauren Baker announced today the launch of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will help support essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations across the state, including Massachusetts residents and immigrants facing homelessness, food insecurity, and loss of critical services as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. The Fund was conceptualized by the One8 Foundation, who helped establish the fund and provided a lead donation of $1.8 million. The MA COVID-19 Relief Fund is administered by Eastern Bank. The Foundation for Business Equity (FBE) and The Boston Foundation are acting as fiscal sponsors for the Fund. Elissa Flynn-Poppey of Mintz Levin provided invaluable advice and counsel.

 

Donations can be made online by visiting MACovid19ReliefFund.org.

 

“I am so grateful to Lauren for her leadership on this important effort, and to the One8 Foundation team, Eastern Bank, FBE, and The Boston Foundation for their hard work and dedication in getting the fund off the ground,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The compassion and generosity of the people of Massachusetts continues to inspire and amaze me, and I have no doubt that our state will continue to step up and give back to Massachusetts communities so that we can come through this crisis stronger and more united than ever before.”

 

One8, the family foundation of residents Joanna and Jonathon Jacobson, have been joined by other Massachusetts philanthropists providing lead gifts including the Klarman Family Foundation, Joshua and Anita Bekenstein Charitable Fund, Charlesbank Capital Partners/Barbara and Michael Eisenson, the Fireman Family Foundation and an anonymous donor. Additional founding donors include: the Edgerley Family Foundation, Liz and Phill Gross, Mannion Family Foundation, Dupre-Nunnelly Charitable Gift Fund, the Baupost Group, Rob and Karen Hale, TJX, Mickey and Bob Atchinson, the Abrams Family Foundation, Michael and Jill Stansky Family Foundation, the Frieze Family Foundation, William Helman, MFN Partners, Lynch Family Foundation, Stephanie and Brian Spector, Ernie Boch Jr., Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, Maurice and Luly Samuels, and Chris and Lisa Collins.

 

Together, these generous donors will kickstart the fund with over $13 million.

 

Donations raised through the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund will be distributed in partnership with the state’s community foundations that cover counties statewide and other critical non-profits, ensuring that Massachusetts communities can benefit from access to this much-needed pool of resources.

 

“These are unprecedented and uncertain times, and the people of Massachusetts are struggling. The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund will help us connect those who are most acutely impacted by COVID-19 with the resources and services they need to get through this difficult time and stay safe, healthy, and supported,” said Lauren Baker, First Lady of the Commonwealth of the Massachusetts. “I encourage all individuals, businesses, foundations – everyone who cares about our state – to consider contributing to this Fund. Every bit helps, and every donation will be used to help our communities.”

 

Jonathan Raymond will serve as the Fund’s Executive Director, supporting fundraising and the effective distribution of funds across the state. Raymond is the Executive Director of the National Association of School Superintendents, and was formerly the President of the Stuart Foundation, a K-12 education foundation in California.

 

“COVID-19 is impacting our state in countless ways, from housing and food insecurity to job losses and an incredible strain on essential workers and the health care system. The need is felt in every corner of our state and across every community” said Joanna Jacobson, Trustee of the One8 Foundation. “Our message to the people, non-profits, and communities of our state is this: We know you are hurting, and we are here for you. Our team is proud to support this effort, and we will continue to do everything we can to reach out and help our neighbors who need it most to get back on their feet.”

 

Eastern Bank is a founding donor to this initiative and is providing their services to the Fund at no cost.

 

“This pandemic is affecting every person, organization, and community and the Fund understands that supporting each other is the best way to get through this together,” said Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank. “We believe in doing what we can to help all communities across Massachusetts and to provide a safe and reliable way for donations to be made to this Fund.”

 

The Boston Foundation is hosting this statewide donor advised Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund to accept donations from foundations and donor advised funds.

 

“These unprecedented times call for unprecedented efforts on the state and local levels. While we have increased our active support for non-profits in Greater Boston, we are also proud to stand with donors recognizing the needs across our great commonwealth,” said Paul Grogan of The Boston Foundation.

 

To learn more about the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund and to make a donation, please visit MACovid19ReliefFund.org.

 

About One8 Foundation

 

The One8 Foundation propels and supports outstanding leaders with compelling ideas that deliver scaled, sustainable social impact. One8’s areas of strategic giving are enabling educational excellence in a rapidly changing world by focusing on applied learning and STEM, strengthening preparedness and access to 21st century careers, providing vital local support to those in need and supporting vibrant Jewish communities in the US and Israel. To learn more, visit www.one8.org.

 

 

Women rule — the downtown New Bedford business scene

Posted Nov 9, 2019 at 4:00 PM

NEW BEDFORD — Women rule. Obviously.

And while you’re thinking of all the ways they do, here’s one more: They’re rocking the business scene in downtown New Bedford.

From cafés and clothing shops to fitness studios and salons, the compact center of the City that Lit the World has them all — many run by women.

“I always just wanted to be downtown,” said Lori Gomes, easing into an upholstered chair at Beauty Union, her salon next to Custom House Square.

A West End native, Gomes had a flair for hair as far back as high school, when she did hairstyling for friends in the bathrooms at New Bedford High. She got her first salon position in the city’s Times Square Building in 1989, and later went out on her own, opening L’Atelier Boutique Salone in a second-floor space above what is now dNB Burgers.

Still, she craved a location even closer to the city center, and a year ago, she moved to a first-floor spot on Acushnet Avenue, in the Co-Creative Center, under the name Beauty Union.

One of the things that surprised her about going into business was how much working capital she needed. A plumbing problem — a big deal at a salon — delayed her opening by two months, and she had already been paying rent on the space for three months before the delay.

Her stylists are young. Gomes likes the idea of giving them a chance to succeed in New Bedford, without moving away.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

With help from Elissa Paquette, who owns the women’s clothing shop Calico and is president of Downtown New Bedford Inc., The Standard-Times recently connected with more than 30 women making waves downtown. Most of them own businesses. A few lead cultural institutions, such as the New Bedford Art Museum.

Paquette first came to New Bedford one summer when she was a student at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, in Boston. She sublet an art studio from a friend. They ate Mexican food at No Problemo and checked out the Solstice skate shop.

She felt awed to see local business owners in their 20s.

“I had never seen that outside Williamsburg (Brooklyn),” she said.

Paquette had dabbled in selling vintage clothing on eBay, and she decided to make a go of it with a brick-and-mortar store in the Whaling City. She opened Calico as a vintage clothing shop in 2005, in a second-floor location over a nail salon.

After three years, she moved to a first-floor shop. But filling the larger store with curated vintage merchandise wasn’t easy. So she spent $1,000 to stock new clothing in a handful of styles. People bought them right away.

“That’s when I knew I was on to something,” she said.

One of the best things about being the boss, she said, is creating a culture and being in charge. But it means you’re in charge of everything.

“It’s the best thing, and the worst thing,” she said.

She jokes with employees that if the store needs a new vacuum, they’ll have to ask corporate — which, of course, is her.

Although she loves her job, she said leaving behind a 9-to-5 schedule may not be as freeing as some people envision.

“It’s a lot of work,” she said.

Paquette and Standard-Times photographer Peter Pereira, intrigued by the number of women who own businesses downtown, organized a photo shoot. More than 30 people showed up. Twenty-five subsequently answered a Standard-Times survey designed to give a broader view of women’s experiences doing business in the city center.

UPS AND DOWNS

Jenny Liscombe-Newman Arruda, co-owner of the art and craft gallery TL6 the Gallery, opened the shop with a friend, Arianna Swink. They studied metalsmithing together at UMass Dartmouth. At first, they made jewelry in a basement studio and sold it at other shops. But when the former White Knight Gallery became available, they decided to go for it.

“We were like, ‘This is our chance,’” she said.

It’s a labor of love. Both of them have other jobs, Swink as a tax accountant and Liscombe-Newman Arruda as a waitress at a downtown restaurant.

She said she feels some disappointment that city government hasn’t done more to help small downtown businesses. She also wasn’t satisfied with last year’s holiday parking program, which only allowed free parking for two hours. Anyone who got ticketed for parking longer had to present a same-day store receipt to get the ticket forgiven.

“That’s not welcoming,” she said.

She does approve of the newly extending parking times downtown, and she said the transition from the old Holiday Shops event at the Whaling Museum to the broader Holiday Stroll has been a success.

“I am a positive person,” she said. “But if we don’t speak up about problems, they won’t improve.”

WOMEN IN THE LEAD

Leaders working together to do better is one of New Bedford’s biggest strengths, and women are in the vanguard of that effort, according to Margo Saulnier, creative strategist for the city. From the founding of AHA! Night 21 years ago to the consortium of 27 people implementing New Bedford’s arts and culture plan, “it is the female leadership who are generating that collaboration,” she said.

What follows is a small sample of survey responses from 25 of the women who make downtown click. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

WHY NEW BEDFORD?

Abrah Zion, Miss Z Photography: I was born and raised in New Bedford. Downtown is a thriving hub. I wanted to be located in a central area and among other amazing business owners.

Cheryl Moniz, Arthur Moniz Gallery: Arthur (her husband, who died last year) and I were both born in New Bedford. We both loved the waterfront and New Bedford’s historical buildings and the rich history of downtown.

Cecelia Brito, Celia’s Boutique: I knew when I walked up and down Purchase Street, Union Street, etc., that I had to put “location” at the top of my to-do list. Location, location, location.

CHALLENGES YOU’VE FACED?

Lara Harrington, Boutique Fitness: Other people’s livelihoods are now dependent on our dedication to the growth of our business. This can be a challenge but also a motivator (and a wonderful thing to celebrate).

Jessica Coelho Arruda, Tia Maria’s European Cafe: Finding work-life balance, and figuring out how to finagle it all, has been a challenge. The first couple of years were the hardest, but as the business has grown, it has become easier to manage. I make it a priority to plan ahead, work efficiently and schedule time off.

Alison Wells, Alison Wells Fine Art Studio & Gallery: The biggest challenge for me is that in my career, I used to wear one hat: the artist’s hat. When I became a business owner, I suddenly had two hats to juggle, and it has been a challenge to balance them and not let one area suffer.

Elona Koka, Cafe Arpeggio: The amount of time the business requires, especially as a new owner, takes away from spending time with my family. I don’t really get to spend too much time with my daughter.

ON BEING A WOMAN IN BUSINESS

Caite Howland, The Beehive: I’m a mom, and making my own schedule is a great blessing. I get the chance to take some extra time while my kids are still young.

Val Kollars, New Bedford Tattoo Company: The tattoo industry is very male-dominated and very difficult for female tattoo artists. It’s what pushed me to have my own business.

Alison Wells, Alison Wells Fine Art Studio & Gallery: We often have to work harder to prove ourselves in gaining recognition and resources in the male-dominated art establishment. Having my own art business has helped me to carve out a role and niche for myself as a female artist of color. I have learned that being a business owner is about relationships and offering something more than the product itself, and this, in fact, is a unique strength women have.

Original story here.

Mitchell makes history, winning 1st 4-year mayoral term

Posted Nov 5, 2019 at 9:48 PM. Updated Nov 7, 2019 at 1:47 PM

Mayor easily topped challenger Moultrie

Incumbent Jon Mitchell swept to easy victory over challenger Richard Tyson Moultrie to become the first mayor in New Bedford history to win a four-year term.

In gaining a fifth term, Mitchell outdistanced Moultrie, 6,778 to 2,483, getting 72% of the vote to his challenger’s 26%.

All told, just 16.4% of the city’s voters went to the polls. “I know the weather might have played a role, but it’s extremely low,” Election Commissioner Manny DeBrito said, adding “It’s been a long interesting election season and I thank you all for your patience.”

For councilor-at-large, all five incumbents were re-elected but Brian K. Gomes, long one of the top vote-getters in the race, repeated his preliminary election showing, again finishing fifth among the five.

Mitchell will be most powerful mayor in recent history
In hanging on to his seat, Gomes beat Paul Chasse, the next closest finisher, by 936 votes.

Tops in the race was Ian Abreu (5,588), followed by Linda Morad (5,372), Naomi Carney (4,820), Debora Coelho (4,720), then Gomes (4,345). Totals for the challengers were: Chasse (3,409), Leo E. Choquette Jr.(2,309)), Lisa White (2,298), Michael Janson (2,049) and Carlos P. Felix (1,507).

In the contested ward races, Ward 4 was the only one without an incumbent and Derek Baptiste topped Joseph “Jo-Jo” Fortes, who previously served as councilor and was looking to return. The vote was 999 to 613, with Baptiste getting almost 62% of the vote to Fortes’ 38%.

Original story here.

Demolition of St. Anne’s set as city breaks ground on public safety center

 

NEW BEDFORD — A commanding South End corner, once home to St. Anne’s Church, will soon be transformed into a hub for fire, police and ambulance services.

Mayor Jon Mitchell, members of the City Council and leaders of the city’s public safety services held a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday for the South End Public Safety Center at 890 Brock Ave on the peninsula.

“This is a real mark of the city’s deciding to raise the bar for itself, to … build a first-rate public safety facility in a very important part of the city,” Mitchell said.

The 25,000 square-foot building will stretch from the corner of Brock Avenue and Ruth Street back to Salisbury Street, allowing fire trucks to enter from the rear. Trucks will exit directly onto Brock Avenue from four garage bays. A fifth bay will house an ambulance.

“The Ruth Street neighborhood has suffered for many decades, especially after Saint Anne’s Church closed over two decades ago,” Mitchell said. “It’s become less stable. Although in the last few years it has certainly become more stable and more safe, this … project will work very well to be an anchor for the neighborhood, in a neighborhood that needs that kind of anchor.”

The city will consolidate five deteriorating public safety buildings into one, at a price of $19 million. The cost to replace the buildings separately would top $30 million, the mayor said.

Workers are scheduled to begin demolishing the old Catholic church and school within weeks.

The city opened the former church to visitors at yesterday’s ceremony. Most of the pews and religious artifacts had been removed.

The Diocese of Fall River closed St. Anne’s in 2004 and combined the parish with St. James’ Church on County Street, which is now called Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at St. James Church. It has been vacant since.

Among the city services that will move to the new facility are fire stations 6 and 11. Station 6, located at 151 Purchase St., dates to 1882; and Station 11 at 754 Brock Avenue to 1907 — “both terrific buildings, but both past their prime,” Mitchell said.

New Bedford has not built a new fire station since the 1950s.

Outgoing Fire Chief Michael Gomes said he advocated for updates at the new building that would put firefighters’ safety at the forefront — things like separating fire-contaminated materials from personnel space.

Of the city’s seven fire stations, four are so old they were designed for fire apparatus drawn by horses, he said.

Mitchell said the plan for a combined public safety center stems from a 2015 study the city commissioned a few years ago from FACETS Consulting, which recommended consolidating the two South End fire stations.

The new facility will allow first responders quick access to numerous points in the southern part of the city, and residents will take comfort in having a police presence in the neighborhood, he said.

New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro was not able to attend the ceremony, but Deputy Chief Paul Oliveira delivered thanks on behalf of the departments. He said the existing South End substation is inadequate.

“This is a blessing for our officers, and we appreciate all the effort and time that’s gone into it,” he said.

The facility will hold six municipal functions: fire, police, emergency medical services, emergency management, fire prevention and animal control.

It is projected to open in the first half of 2021.

In addition to police and fire stations, the new structure will replace the former Fire Station 3, which now houses animal control and the Emergency Management Office, as well as 1204 Purchase Street, which houses the Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division.

“This is going to be first-rate — because that’s what New Bedford deserves,” Mitchell said.

Original story here

Old ‘Revere Copper and Brass’ will get new life as shipyard

After sitting vacant for over a decade, an historic mill on the waterfront is getting a new life as a commercial shipyard.

At the beginning of this month, Shoreline Resources, LLC purchased the 14-acre Revere Copper Products property on North Front Street for $50,000, according to documents in the Registry of Deeds.

The property, long known as Revere Copper and Brass, had a 147-year history of rolling sheet copper, fashioning brass nautical fittings, and even producing war materials at critical points in history, as previously reported by The Standard-Times, before the plant was shuttered in 2008.

After that, many suggestions were floated for the property — including a shopping mall, residences like Lofts at Wamsutta Place, and a casino — but none came to fruition.

There are a few potential reasons it could have sold now for what seems like a low cost for waterfront property, according to former city assessor Peter Barney.

Those reasons include that with yearly taxes between $40,000- $60,000 it was costing the former owners too much to maintain the empty industrial structure; the layout of the buildings are too industrial to be made into apartments; and any potential buyer would have to factor in the cost of cleaning and developing it, he said.

The new owners of the property saw what the site could be, though.

“We saw the site come up a few years back and we saw the potential with it,” said Michael Quinn who runs Shoreline Resources with his father Charlie.

The Quinns have their own long history with the city and its port.

“We’ve been in the commercial fishing industry for 30 years,” Michael said.

Currently the father and son own Quinn Fisheries, which has six commercial fishing vessels; Standard Marine Outfitters, a vessel supply company; and East Coast Fabrication, a ship repair company.

They have run the latter company for over a decade and saw the Revere site as an opportunity to expand on it, according to Michael.

“We only do retrofits now (at East Coast Fabrication), we don’t have the space to build,” Michael said.

That’s where the new site comes in. They plan on turning it into a commercial shipyard, Michael said, and their long-term goal is to build new commercial vessels and barges.

One of the reasons the site was attractive to the Quinns was because of the city’s harbor dredging project.

“We’ve been looking at the Phase Five project for a few years now and see it as a good opportunity to reactivate the site,” said Michael.

That was the goal of the harbor dredging project, according to Executive Director of the Port of New Bedford Edward Anthes-Washburn.

“The whole point of the planning we’ve done is to activate the parts of the waterfront that aren’t doing much,” said Anthes-Washburn, noting that included the Revere Copper property.

Anthes-Washburn said the city, with around 350 vessels that list it as their homeport, will benefit from the proposed shipyard.

“Having an expanded ability to work on the fishing vessels that call the port home is going to be great for the port,” Anthes-Washburn said.

Mayor Jon Mitchell agreed, “Establishing a shipyard at this site gives the port an increased capacity to service the fishing industry, the offshore wind industry, and others.”

In addition to attracting the Quinns, Mitchell said the dredging that will take place in the next few years will open the port to more business activities.

Both Mitchell and Anthes-Washburn said the shipyard will create jobs.

“When Revere closed that plant there was still a large number of people working there and although this site won’t be as large a direct employer it will allow other businesses to operate here who in turn will employee a significant number of people,” Mitchell said.

Before they start hiring a potential 20-50 employees (including welders, carpenters, and mechanics), Shoreline Resources has to start construction, which Michael said they plan on doing right away.

Construction will involve demolishing a few of the buildings on the waterside to create a few areas for the vessels, according to Michael Quinn, but they won’t be taking down the buildings on the roadside.

“We’re probably taking down two acres worth of buildings,” said Michael about the 14-acre site which has a total of eight buildings.

Mitchell said he’s had “some very constructive discussions” with the Quinns about preserving the buildings on the site that have the highest historical significance.

“There’s a lot of historical value to the site which is another reason our family wanted to take it on,” Quinn said. “We come from New Bedford and want to see the site reactivated and not go to waste.”

The construction plan for the site will take three to five years to complete, according to Michael, and they’ve been working closely with the city and other institutions to get the process underway.

Original story here.

Dredging will open 40 harbor sites, including Revere Copper, to new opportunities

They’re going to build boats at the old Revere Copper. To do it, son-and-father team Michael and Charlie Quinn need the harbor dredged in front of the iconic former metalworks.

Four feet of water is far from enough.

Their company, Shoreline Resources, is one of dozens in New Bedford and Fairhaven poised to benefit from a massive, nearly harbor-wide dredging plan, set to take place over the next two years.

The dredging will remove sediment along public and private wharves on both sides of New Bedford Harbor, deepen channels to improve access to marinas, and create areas newly usable for mooring fields.

Edward Anthes-Washburn, New Bedford port director, said the hulls of fishing vessels are getting deeper, requiring more draft.

“Allowing … the entire port to react to that and be able to dredge down, it really sets us up for decades of success,” he said.

The city and state are cooperating on a dredging plan whose main goal is economic development. But because the dredging will also remove contaminated sediment, the city was able to get the work permitted through the federal Superfund process already underway.

“It’s like a win-win,” said Timothy Cox, Fairhaven harbormaster.

Right now, shallow waters mean it’s not unusual for Cox’s staff to aid vessels that have run aground in areas north of Pope’s Island.

“A lot of the boats at Slocum Cove at moon tides can’t leave the marina or get to the marina,” he said.

Washburn said the commitment to dredge has already spurred investment, including the recent purchase of the old Fairhaven Hardware by Fairhaven Shipyard.

As many sites in Fairhaven are scheduled for dredging as in New Bedford, including 14 residential properties, according to Cox.

Fifteen Fairhaven businesses have agreed to participate as well, according to Paul Foley, the town’s director of planning and economic development.

Washburn said that as part of the State Enhanced Remedy, which is work done in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the harbor, the state is funding 80% of the navigational dredging in front of commercial properties.

The overall cost is about $100 a yard.

The 80% represents the portion of the cost attributed to the fact that sediment is contaminated and needs to be buried in a confined aquatic disposal cell, or CAD cell.

Businesses will pay 20% — which is roughly the equivalent of what they would have paid for dredging if the harbor were clean, Washburn said.

Residential owners will not get the subsidy, but because the work is tacked onto a larger project, they will pay about one-sixth of what they would have otherwise paid, he said.

Foley said a cleaner harbor will improve public perception of the harbor, and deeper water could allow for 100 or more additional moorings.

At State Pier on the New Bedford side, dredging will help support the shipping of clementines and other produce. And a variety of businesses, such as Crystal Ice, will be able to provide services to larger vessels, Washburn said.

The dredging is expected to go down five feet, and most of the contamination is in the first three feet. The material going into the CAD cell is less contaminated than the area around it, according to Washburn.

The navigational dredging project will have its own CAD cell, south and east of an existing CAD cell created by the EPA. It will be capped with three feet of clean material.

Building the cell should take nine months to a year, and the dredging should take another year, Washburn said.

He said the waterfront is “incredibly vibrant,” diverse, and job-rich.

“We only have about 600 acres, and there are 6,800 jobs that are located in the New Bedford and Fairhaven waterfronts. So we’re doing pretty good in terms of the marine industrial activities that’s happening,” he said.

The harbor is growing as a fishing port at a time when many fishing ports are disappearing, in large part because of the diversity of what New Bedford Harbor offers, he said.

As new uses emerge, such as offshore wind, the port wants to create infrastructure to support them while continuing to grow as a fishing port and supporting the fishing industry, he said.

In all, 40 different sites will be dredged for navigation as part of the project.

Maps of the work will be on view at a public meeting Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. at Fairhaven Town Hall. The project is also scheduled for discussion the following week at the Fairhaven selectmen’s meeting, Washburn said.

New Bedford cited as a leader among clean energy communities

Local leaders gathered last week to celebrate New Bedford’s inclusion in a new Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center report on innovative clean energy programs at the municipal level.

“The best ideas for clean energy often start at the local level,” said Ben Hellerstein, state director for the policy center, in a press release. “If we want to have cleaner air, healthier communities, and a safer future for our children, we need to move rapidly toward 100% renewable energy from sources like the sun and the wind. New Bedford is showing how to make it happen.”

The report, Renewable Communities, features New Bedford alongside 21 other Massachusetts cities and towns that are leading the way to 100% renewable energy, according the policy center.

The report discusses renewable electricity, energy efficiency, clean transportation and heating, and energy storage programs, including New Bedford’s successful efforts to add electric vehicles to the municipal fleet.

“As a coastal city and the center of the commercial fishing industry on the East Coast, New Bedford has a lot at stake when it comes to climate change and sea-level rise,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell in the press statement. “We have led by example on these issues, so we appreciate the recognition of our efforts to embrace renewable energy. We have installed more than 16 megawatts of land-based solar and wind projects, positioned ourselves to be a leader in offshore wind energy, and pushed hard to convert our municipal fleet to electric vehicles.”

Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center shared a preview of the report, including a profile of New Bedford’s clean energy efforts. The full version of the report will be released on Friday, Aug. 2.

New Bedford has now converted more than 25% of its municipal passenger vehicles to electric vehicles. The city is believed to have a higher percentage of electric vehicles in its municipal passenger fleet than any other community in Massachusetts, according to the press statement from the policy center.

The city has also installed 16 megawatts of solar and wind generation, saving taxpayers approximately $1 million per year in avoided energy costs, the statement said.

The Environmental Massachusetts Research and Policy Center report comes as legislators consider a statewide commitment to 100% renewable energy.

The 100% Renewable Energy Act (H.2836, S.1958) would transition Massachusetts to 100% renewable electricity by 2035, and phase out the use of fossil fuels for heating and transportation by 2045. The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy held a hearing on the bill last week.

So far, 113 legislators have endorsed the 100% Renewable Energy Act.

“I had the valuable opportunity to work on the GreenWorks legislation that passed the House this past Wednesday and the theme that kept coming up was that there needs to be an equal focus placed on both adaptation and mitigation,” said Rep. Antonio Cabral, D-New Bedford, in the press release. “As a state, we must collectively lower emissions and consume less energy. At the city-level, New Bedford has made significant progress on this mitigation front . . . We all have a role to play in the fight against climate change – we just need to use the tools available to us.”

“At the SouthCoast Chamber, we are happy to see clean energy become more accessible for families and businesses,” said Rick Kidder, President and CEO of the SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce. “Achieving 100% renewable energy for Massachusetts would keep more dollars within our local economy and presents a great opportunity for job growth.”

Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center is visiting five other communities across Massachusetts to share the findings of the report.

“Communities like New Bedford are leading the way on clean energy,” said Hellerstein. “We hope to see state leaders follow their example.”