Terry Kitchen

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

EDITING FOR CLARITY


I was recently asked by the American Legion Neighborhoods Greenway Coalition to edit a letter urging people to comment on the Mayor's Imagine Boston 2030 plan. The original letter (at bottom below) contained a lot of information, and links to other documents and organizations. My edited version (top below) narrows the focus to what people can do right now to make an impact, mentions the two places in the plan most relevant to their cause, and the only link is to the plan. Click it and let the mayor know what you think!

Hi Neighbors,

The Mayor's Imagine Boston 2030 draft plan is out and American Legion Parkway is included! This plan will become the blueprint for our city, so it is vitally important our voices be heard now. Many voices from our neighborhood need to comment to ensure that American Legion Parkway improvements become a committed part of the plan.

Ten minutes of your time could make a huge difference in getting the city to allocate resources to upgrade our neighborhood’s quality of life, including traffic calming and other public health and safety issues, and "right-sized" development. The comment period may close soon, so please comment today!

To comment, please click the Imagine Boston 2030 Survey link below. There are two important places to mention American Legion Parkway:

Q3 Enhanced Neighborhoods - Protect American Legion Parkway’s green spaces and establish safe walking and bike paths so our neighborhood’s families may safely enjoy this beautiful and vital link in Boston’s extended Emerald Necklace.

Q9 Initiatives: Economy, Energy & the Environment, and Open Space - Recognize American Legion Parkway as the vital green link connecting Franklin Park with the neighborhoods of Roslindale, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Mount Hope and Jamaica Plain, and establish and maintain safe walking and bike paths and pedestrian crosswalks. Protect and enhance its green space by limiting development and cleaning up long-neglected roadside lands and waterways.

Here’s the link: https://surveyplanet.com/580537c1c18cdb234289836e

Thank you for caring about the neighborhood and city we all call home.

Best,
American Legion Neighborhoods Greenway Coalition

Here is the ogiginal draft:

Hi Neighbors near and nearer,

The Mayor's Imagine Boston 2030 draft plan is out and the American Legion Hwy/Parkway is included. This plan will become the blueprint for our city. Many voices from our neighborhoods need to comment on the plan to help ensure that American Legion improvements become a "committed" part of the plan, not just a proposal.

They are still asking for comments, but the comment period may close soon. Ten minutes of your time to email them your individual support could make a huge difference in getting the city to prioritize and allocate city, state, and other resources to upgrade our Corridor neighborhoods' quality of life, including traffic calming and other public health and safety issues, and "right-sized" development.

--> To comment, please complete the Imagine Boston 2030 Survey. Please read the two talking points below before starting the survey:

https://surveyplanet.com/580537c1c18cdb234289836e.

Mention the American Legion Corridor's neighborhoods, roadways, and natural assets wherever you can. Refer to the two planning docs below, and also to BPDA Zoning Article 29 below, enforcement of which would solve a lot of our problems, and prevent a lot of future ones (note yellow highlights). Best to also email your comments to the officials at the bottom of this email (We'd also appreciate your comments for archiving).

​1. The Imagine Boston 2030 draft plan mentions the American Legion Greenway on p. 252. Inclusion of American Legion Hwy/Parkway "paves" the way for prioritizing and allocating city, state, and other resources to upgrade our Corridor neighborhoods' quality of life. It states that the city will "undertake a longer term effort to work with key partners to create a “network” of green spaces The Emerald Necklace will be an anchor to a wider network of open spaces that will connect parks city - wide. Streets will be designed as green links, connecting Moakley Park, the Emerald Necklace to Pope John Paul Park, the Neponset, American Legion, the Arboretum, Roslindale Square, and Stony Brook Reservation." http://20222-presscdn.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Ib2030-Vision-Report-WEB-2016-11-17-SPREADS.pdf

2. The Boston Open Space and Recreation Plan 2015 - 2021 mentions on p. 303: "The American Legion Highway corridor includes a mix of large undeveloped or underdeveloped parcels which could function as an open space resource to this community if access and connectivity between parcels is addressed. The Boston Nature Center and Canterbury Brook, which winds through this area, could become the organizing elements of this potential open space improvement."

http://www.cityofboston.gov/images_documents/Section-7.2.12_tcm3-53002.pdf. My favorite excerpts: 1. Enhance neighborhoods: Improve public realm, strengthen neighborhood services and connectivity, and encourage contextually sensitive development to improve urban vitality and to affirm each neighborhood's distinct identity. 2. Health:

Encouraging a healthy environment, including safe streets and communities that are pedestrian and bike-friendly where it is easy to bike and walk; reducing disparities in health outcomes, increasing access to healthy and affordable food;

https://www.boston.gov/news/mayor-walsh-announces-release-imagine-boston-2030-draft-plan-expand-opportunity-guide-strategic

3. BPDA Zoning Article 29:

GREENBELT PROTECTION OVERLAY DISTRICT

 (has always included American Legion Hwy, just hasn't been enforced)

SECTION 29-1. Statement of Purpose. The purposes of this article are to preserve and protect the amenities of the city of Boston; to preserve and enhance air quality by protecting the supply of vegetation and open space along the city's Greenbelt Roadways; to enhance and protect the natural scenic resources of the city; to protect the city's Greenbelt Roadways from traffic congestion and to abate serious and present safety concerns.

SECTION 29-4. Applicability. Any Applicant seeking a building permit for exterior construction or alteration for a Proposed Project within a Greenbelt Protection Overlay District shall be subject to the requirements of this article where the Applicant seeks to erect one or more buildings or structures having a total gross floor area in excess of five thousand (5,000) square feet; to enlarge or extend one or more buildings or structures so as to increase the total gross floor area by more than five thousand (5,000) square feet; or to Substantially Rehabilitate one or more buildings or structures having, or to have after rehabilitation, a total gross floor area of more than five thousand (5,000) square feet; or to increase the impervious surface of a site by more than two thousand (2,000) square feet in addition to the existing impervious surface.

--> SECTION 29-6. Standards. To obtain a conditional use permit the Applicant shall show that the Proposed Project complies with the following standards in addition to the standards set forth in Article 6: (a) provision for adequate vehicular access, off-street parking and loading and shall not have a significant adverse effect on traffic and parking on the Greenbelt Roadway and adjacent streets; (b) provision for landscaping treatment that ensures that the natural and aesthetic quality of the Greenbelt Roadway area will be maintained; (c) provision for the design of all structures that is compatible with surrounding neighborhood.

SECTION 29-8. Enforcement. The Commissioner of Inspectional Services shall not issue any building permit for exterior construction or alteration for a Proposed Project subject to this article unless the Proposed Project complies with this article.

4. Legislator Contact Info (please save it into your own contacts for future use):

Mayor’s Office

Daniel Murphy, Roslindale Coordinator of Neighborhood Services, 617-438-6592, Daniel.Murphy@boston.gov

Mayor Marty Walsh, 617-635-4500, Mayor@boston.gov

District City Councilors:

Andrea Campbell (D4), 617-635-3131, Andrea.Campbell@boston.gov , D4 Roslindale Liaison Caroline Kimball-Katz, Caroline.Kimball-Katz@boston.gov

Timothy McCarthy (D5), 617-635-4203, Timothy.McCarthy@boston.gov

Matt O’Malley (D3), Matt.OMalley@boston.gov

At-Large City Councilors:

Michelle Wu (President), 617.635.3115, Michelle.Wu@boston.gov

Ayanna  Pressley, 617-635-4217, Ayanna.Pressley@boston.gov

Annissa Essaibi George, 617-635-4376, A.E.George@boston.gov

Michael Flaherty, 617-635-4205, Michael.F.Flaherty@boston.gov

State Senator

Chang-Diaz, Sonia, 617-722-1673, Sonia.Chang-Diaz@state.ma.us

State Representative

Holmes, Russell E., 617-722-2220, Russell.Holmes@mahouse.gov

Commissioner of Parks and Recreation

Chris Cook 617-635-4505  Parks@cityofboston.gov

Commissioner of Transportation

Gina Fiandaca 617.635.4680 BTD@cityofboston.gov

Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space

Austin Blackmon 617-635-3850 environment@boston.gov

Best,
American Legion Neighborhoods Greenway Coalition




  

Monday, January 23, 2017

My first letter to the new President

My first letter to the new President, sent via www.whitehouse.gov. I encourage you to let him know what's on your mind as well.

 

Dear President Trump,

Congratulations on winning the election, and I'm sure you will do your best for our country. As I read your An American First Energy Plan, I was disappointed to see no mention of solar, wind, and other renewable energy. As President, you are not just responsible for our country at this moment, you are also a steward for the future of our country and our planet. Please consider that since the beginning of the industrial revolution some three hundred years ago, we have used almost half of the planet's fossil fuels, fuels that it took the planet millions of years to produce. It may be tempting to continue to burn oil, coal and gas, but with our continued population growth the resulting pollution, greenhouse gases, and wear on the environment of burning fossil fuels will quickly outweigh any short-term economic benefits. Already, people in Beijing and Tokyo regularly wear masks because of air pollution. You mention lifting environmental restrictions, but please remember the acid rain of the 1970s which killed forests in the Adirondacks in your own state of New York before Clean Air laws were in place to limit pollution. I myself lived in Los Angeles from 1976 to 1981 and can attest to smog so thick it was impossible to see across a football field. Renewable energies such as solar and wind, which have no harmful emissions, are our best long-term solution. Luckily the cost of renewable energy has fallen to be competitive with fossil fuels, and in many cases (such as home solar collectors) can contribute without expensive infrastructure. I urge you and your administration to consider the best long-term interests of our country and planet, and to choose to promote and invest in renewable energies as the best way forward.

Respectfully,
Terry Kitchen

Thursday, November 10, 2016

NERFA This Weekend - Folk Comes to Stamford CT!


Though we're still all recovering from the election (and its aftermath), life does go on, and this weekend I'll be joining a few hundred of my folksinger friends at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance conference in Stamford, CT. I'll be doing some late night showcases (listed below), both solo and with Mara Levine, and we'll also be in the exhibit hall at tables 19 & 20. Stop by and say hi if you make it!

Friday Night:

12:15-12:45  Room 2043  Rhode Trip (tk w/ Lori Diamond & Fred Abatelli, Grant Maloy Smith)
1:15-1:45  Room 2076  Jane's Joint (tk & mara w/ John Ferullo)
2-2:30  Room 2068  LilFest (tk & mara)



Saturday Night:
1-1:30  Room 2103  Access Film Blue (tk & mara w/ Robin Greenstein)
1:55-2:15  Room 2048  SAW Senate (tk & mara)

 

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Spirits of '76

I don't get back to Findlay, Ohio very often, but last weekend was a good excuse - my high school reunion, and a chance to make some noise with my high school bandmates. We re-learned Alice Cooper's 'I'm Eighteen' (which we used to do when we were 15) and Mott's 'All the Young Dudes' and snuck in 3 songs from our 1985 vinyl record. I'm sure we had more fun playing than the poor souls who had to listen to us (after one quick rehearsal that afternoon) but they seemed to enjoy us and some even danced, making it more successful than our average '70s Findlay Teen Center gig. Bill, Chris and I (collectively known as Loose Ties once we hit Boston) were joined by our classmate Dave Young on keyboards - the first time we'd ever played together. Maybe we should start a band...

That morning was a tour of the high school, which was the first I'd seen of a mural of class valedictorians, which elicited a collective gasp from my classmates: you were valectictorian? A review of grade point averages has been undertaken, and I expect to be demoted any day.


  
 Though my years in Findlay came at a tough time for my family, just after the loss of my only sibling Amy, it was nice to go back and get to spend time with the relatively small group of people (within our big class) that I really did connect with, and who made me feel welcome back in the day. The day after the reunion was beautiful, and I got to kayak on the Blanchard River through the countryside east of town. Legend has it the river inspired Tell Taylor to pen "Down by the Old Mill Stream" much as Findlay inspired my songs "The Seven-Eleven Overture" and "I Own This Town." Long live the spirits of '76!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine at People's Voice Cafe, NYC Sat Sept 17

Terry Kitchen and Mara Levine will be singing at the People's Voice Cafe in NYC on Saturday September 17. Also peforming will be the progressive folk band Hudson Valley Sally. The concert begins at 8 PM and admission is $20 ($12 subscribers). The People's Voice Cafe is held at the Community Church of NY, 40 East 35th Street (between Madison & Park). It should be a great night of inspiring music so we hope you can make it! More info at www.peoplesvoicecafe.org


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Brian Wilson - The Tote Bag


Last Friday Cindy and I and our friend Elaine went to Boston's Symphony Hall to hear the Boston Pops. Well, maybe more to hear their special guest, who used to be in this surf band. The guest was of course Brian Wilson, with Beach Boys alums Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin and a full band, in town to perform the group's 1966 album Pet Sounds. (The album was released in May of that year, making it both fifty years old AND ahead of its time. Sgt. Pepper's, the album it's most often compared to, wasn't released until June of 1967, a full year later.)

If you've seen Love and Mercy or know the Beach Boys' back story, you'd probably be wondering, like I was, if Brian was up to it - being the center of attention for a full evening, let alone being able to actually still sing. The orchestra wandered on, then the band, then, led by the stage manager, Brian himself, to a genuine hero's welcome by the crowd. Luckily there was no one behind me because I didn't sit down for the next hour.

The first set was Beach Boys' hits plus a few of Brian's solo recordings - everything but Pet Sounds - and Brian was engaged, introducing each song, sometimes funny but never ironic, much like his lyrics. He couldn't hit the high notes but did fine otherwise, and Al Jardine's son Matt added the falsetto that Brian lacked, sometimes taking over mid-line. The Beach Boys were already square when I started listening to music in the mid '60s, but 'In My Room' and 'Don't Worry Baby' were perfect singles then and were just as perfect in concert fifty years on. Blondie Chaplin came on for a few post-Pet Sounds tunes, 'Wild Honey' and 'Sail On Sailor,' and added some testosterone to balance Brian's romantic but chaste persona.

Set two was Pet Sounds, performed in its entirety - at least. With the full band of multiple guitarists, keyboardists, percussionists and singers, not to mention the full orchestra standing by, I bet every note on Pet Sounds was covered, even the theremin and car honks, and many were doubled. It was very nice, with some genuine highlights - Al Jardine's vocal on 'Sloop John B,' Brian and Al's call and response vocal on the tag of 'God Only Knows,' Nick Walusko's vintage Fender Jaguar on the tune 'Pet Sounds' - but it was more like a recital than a rock concert. Even the finale of the post-Pet Sounds single 'Good Vibrations' - one of the high points of the rock era - was a little too perfect to feel like rock'n'roll. But hey, I got to witness history, and I can only hope to perform as competently when I get to be Brian's age.

They let the orchestra go home, and Brian and the band came back on for an encore set of early Boys surf rock, with people twisting in the front rows. Fun, but still curiously harmless, like being at the taping of a PBS special. Then Love and Mercy, maybe his best solo song, given added poignancy by the movie's public airing of his private nightmare, and Brian was led offstage, band still playing. We happened to exit past the stage door, and saw Nick and some of the other band members greeting the crowd. Brian, we assumed, like Elvis, had left the building. But, unlike Elvis, Brian is still here to get the accolades he deserves. I don't call many people genius, but Brian is one of them. I dare anyone to write a song more romantic than 'Don't Talk, Put Your Head on My Shoulder,' more honest than 'In My Room,' or more heartbreaking than 'Caroline, No.' Long live Brian, and Al, and Pet Sounds. Elaine even bought the tote bag.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Emma's Possibilities

            Last night at the Club Passim open mic in Cambridge I heard a talented young woman sing a song I thought was called "Emma's Possibilities," about a girl about to graduate and go out into the world, and all that awaited her. About halfway through the song I realized she was saying "endless possibilities," but by that time I had a whole story in my head going on about Emma - what would await her here in 2016, and beyond?
            The singer, an art school student, was of Asian-American descent, and played a ukulele rather than the folk-standard guitar. I don't know what research the Census Bureau has done on ukes versus guitars, but they have declared that by 2044, somewhere around Emma's fiftieth birthday, the U.S. will become a minority-majority country. That is, less than fifty percent of the country will non-Hispanic white.
            A year ago that might not have seemed such a big deal. After all, we have an African-American president, and the Hispanic and Asian percentage of Americans has been growing for decades. But the 2016 election - the first presidential election Emma will be old enough to vote in - reveals that many Americans are not ready for the rainbow America is becoming.
            In the 1980 election - the first presidential election I was old enough to vote in - we elected in a landslide a former B-movie actor who promised, in both his rhetoric and his policy proposals, to take us back to the 1950s, when life and politics were simple, and the world was divided into good (us), evil (the U.S.S.R.), and irrelevant (the rest of the world, except as chess pieces in the struggle between the two superpowers). We are generally regarded as having won that struggle, but life in the '80s was not so simple - along with images of the Berlin Wall coming down we should recall the bloody wars in Central America (in the name of fighting communism), our impotence in the Middle East (the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing which killed 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French servicemen), our tragically slow response to the AIDS epidemic, and, perhaps most tellingly, Reagan's removal of the solar panels which Jimmy Carter had installed on the White House.
            Here in 2016, the Republican candidates are promising to take us back to Reagan's '80s. But the world is even more complex, with more and bigger problems with no simple solutions. Driving many, if not most, of these problems is human population growth: Earth's population, around three billion when I was born, reached seven billion in 2011 and is expected by United Nations estimates to reach between eight and eleven billion by Emma's fifty-fifth birthday in 2050. So demand, and competition, for resources - water, food, housing, energy - will only increase, and the strain on all of our planet's already-taxed ecosystems to meet those demands will also increase. And we're crowding out other species as we grow.
            There has been progress - the development of renewable energies, new and more efficient methods of transportation and communication, great strides in medicine and genetics, greater acceptance of gays and other alternative identities in mainstream culture, and awareness of our planet as a finite resource - and hopefully Emma and her generation will continue to meet the many challenges we are leaving them. But it will be a bumpy ride. And until we resolve political problems like income inequality, access to health care, immigration status, money in politics, and institutional racism, it will be an uphill climb. And chances are that Emma and her classmates are starting that climb thousands of dollars in the hole from student loans.
            Despite all this, Emma's possibilities are endless. She may not have the blind faith in the American Dream that previous generations had, but that dream didn't apply to whole swaths of our country's population anyway. Emma will live on a warmer planet with more people, so she'll have to be resourceful, and she may have to re-invent herself multiple times as the world changes at an ever-faster pace. But the payoff is experiencing, and helping shape, the future, instead of trying to hide in the past. If you were at Club Passim last night hearing all about Emma's possibilities, you'd be hopeful too.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

TK interview and song on Standing "O" and Art of the Song!

(photo of tk's new spring haircut by John Allen)

I was recently interviewed by Katie Mitchell for the Standing "O" Project about my song "Sequel," growing up in the '60s, going to college with Barry (Obama), & folk music and politics. You can listen here

http://standingoproject.libsyn.com/terry-kitchen-mid-week-coffee-break

 and on itunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/art-song-standing-o-project/id707128897?mt=2

& there are lots of other interesting interviews on the Standing "O" website

https://www.standingoproject.com/

(and I have a page there as well filled with fun facts & dark secrets). "Sequel" will also be featured on next week's Art of the Song radio program and podcast. Thanks Katie!




Saturday, February 27, 2016

Instead of Donald Trump, Vote for Me!


     If you're wondering who to vote for on Super Tuesday (or any day this week), how about...Terry Kitchen? My new CD The Post-American Century is up for Album/EP of the Year (Solo) in Limelight Magazine's 8th Annual Music Awards. Please vote early and often - the poll's open from now until this Friday March 4 at 11:45 PM (EST), and you can vote up to 4 times from each IP address. Thanks for your support, and thanks to Limelight Magazine for supporting the Mass.-Rhode Island music scene!

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2607891/limelightmagazinereaderspoll2016


 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Goin' to Kansas City!
     The international Folk Alliance conference takes place this week in Kansas City, and I will be there to hype my new CD The Post-American Century, do some showcases with my friends Mara Levine, Janne Henshaw, Johnsmith and James Curley, and generally cause trouble. I'll arrive Thursday just in time for the Folk-DJ reception, then perform and schmooze as below. See you there!
Thursday Nite 12-12:30 LilFest  (room 727) w/ Mara Levine, Janne Henshaw

Thursday Nite 12:30-1  Access Film yellow  (room 755)  w/ Mara Levine 

Friday 10 AM-1 PM  Exhibit Hall Booth 605 w/ Mara Levine, Dennis Warner, Stuart Markus

Friday Nite 11-11:20  NERFA Presents  (room 625) w/ Mara Levine

Friday Nite 1-1:30  LilFest  (room 727)  w/ Mara Levine, John Smith

Friday Nite 2-2:30  Austin Skyline  (Room 607)  w/ James Curley

Saturday 10 AM-1 PM  Exhibit Hall Booth 605 w/ Mara Levine, Dennis Warner, Stuart Markus

Saturday Nite 12:30-1  Access Film yellow (room 755) w/ Mara Levine, Stuart Markus

Saturday Nite  2-2:30  LilFest  (room 727)  w/ Mara Levine

More on the conference at folk.org 


Monday, December 14, 2015

Eternity - The Movie

    One of my favorite sub-genre of songs is 'songs that make getting older seem a little less scary.' I would include Jame Taylor's 'The Secret of Life' and Steve Seskin's 'When the Chain Links Up Again', and I wanted to try adding to the genre myself. The resulting song, 'Eternity', came out like an old-time country ballad, like the kind Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton used to sing, so I invited my friend Mara Levine to take the second verse, and the resulting duet is on my new CD The Post-American Century. Mara came to Boston recently to sing with me at the Nameless Coffeehouse, and the next day our friend Wayne Martin filmed this video of us singing 'Eternity'. Hope you enjoy it!


Filling out the video band are Norman Zocher (pedal steel) and John Coffey (bass), and special thanks to key grip/stylist Rebecca Lynch for making faces at us off camera. It was edited by Chris Constantine. I should also mention my lovely shirt was embroidered in the village of El Higueral in El Salvador, and that folksinger Dean Stevens sells their products here in the US. Thanks to Mara for being brave enough to try a few dance steps, and to all of my and my wife Cindy's relatives for contributing pix for the photo gallery. (There's a quick shot of my mother, four years old, dressed as a ballerina, and a beautiful still of Cindy on our wedding day.) I hope you enjoy the song, and I hope it makes the future seem just a little bit less scary.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Post-American Century Is On the Radio! 
I'm happy to say my new CD The Post-American Century is on the airwaves! It's currently #19 on the national Folk-DJ airplay chart (after debuting at #20 last month) and I've been interviewed on a number of shows. Artie Martello devoted an entire podcast of his show Mostly Folk to the CD (I'm episode 117), and Jon Stein, host of WTBQ's Hootenanny Cafe, featured 8 of the CD's 11 tracks on his show. I've also chatted with Art Menius on WCOM's The Revolution Starts Now, Kelly Walker on the Sundilla Radio Hour, Jim Marino on CFMU's Freewheelin', Bill Wagman on KDVS's Saturday Morning Folk Show, Joe Pszonek on WMSC's Radio Nowhere, and David Goodman and Marc Stern on WMBR's Room with a View. (Honorable mention to Diane Crowe, host of WMCB's Music of the People - we didn't get to chat on the air due to technical difficulties, but she was kind enough to play 4 cuts anyway!)
WFUV in NYC has featured the CD on 2 of its shows, Sunday Supper with John Platt, and Woody's Children with Bob Sherman. John Platt has also invited me and Mara Levine (who sings on the CD, as well as on her own CDs) to perform in the WFUV-sponsored On Your Radar concert series at the Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St. in NYC on Tuesday Jan. 12 (7 PM showtime). We're very excited and hope to see you there!
Since the holidays are upon us, I might mention The Post-American Century could be the perfect present for the folk music fan in your life. You can order CDs at www.terrykitchen.com and it's also available from iTunes