Clear Channel Entertainment's Don Law and Massachusetts environmental officials
are butting heads about Law wanting to keep his FleetBoston Pavilion on South
Boston's waterfront. Law is seeking an extension on his five-year state permit,
which ends in 2004, to continue using the Wharf 8 site for his summer concert
series. The problem is that environmental officials and others want to use the site to
help preserve the city's diminishing maritime industry. Under state and city policies,
Wharf 8 is designated for maritime use. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino however,
supports an extension.
To combat the dissention, parent company Clear Channel Communications has
offered to spend $50,000 a year on a program
to familiarize schoolchildren with the Boston Harbor Islands.
Menino spokesman Peter Nagle told the Boston Globe that the city is in favor of the
5,000-seat tented pavilion because "at present nobody's approached the city on an
appropriate maritime use for the site."
Another proponent of the pavilion is the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which
owns the site. Spokeswoman Meredith Baumann told the paper that the pavilion is
"consistent with our waterfront planning effort." Law's DLC Corp. pays $250,000 a
year to lease the wharf
But the state has the last word on any extension since only it can issue a permit and
it is holding its ground.
Officials at the State Department of Environmental Protection say the
proposed Harbor Islands educational program won't affect their decision, reports
the Globe. Department spokesman, Edmund J. Coletta Jr., said, "Obviously that
doesn't change the perspective we see here. The original decision, where
we asked them to look at alternative sites, still stands."
In the meantime, the state is looking for someone in the maritime industry to take
over the space.