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ALLSTON-BRIGHTON

For planners' party, the Bus Stops here

Many Allston-Brighton residents spend their days holding down a job or two, their weeknights at meetings, weekends reading thick planning documents, and the rest of the time squeezing in their spouses and families.

Next Saturday, activists from all over the neighborhood will get together for some fun at the Bus Stop Pub.

"We're so inundated with institutional expansion," said Tim McHale, a member of the party's planning committee. "I thought it would be good to get the BC people together with the Harvard people, the Lowe's people, and the St. Elizabeth's people."

These folks, the invitation notes, are working hard to keep the neighborhood livable and improve quality of life. But most of them focus on one institution -- and several are expanding at the same time within a mile of one another. The gathering will allow activists to network and share information informally, McHale said.

"It's an interesting idea, which came from a bunch of us," said Kevin Carragee, who volunteers on the board of the Presentation School Foundation and with neighbors of Boston College who are concerned about its expansion plans. "Around here you can go to an important meeting every night. It's important to recharge your batteries."

Two musical groups McHale performs with will provide entertainment: the Boston Minstrels, which consists of roughly 80 volunteer singers who lead inspirational songs in prisons, residential homes, and shelters; and the Knuckleheads, a garage band that plays, says McHale, "rock and soulful blues." A $10 donation will cover the buffet, and there will be a cash bar. McHale admits to an ulterior motive. "We may need 2,500 people to show up on the City Hall steps someday." Or, as the invitation says, "Together we can create a neighborhood of our dreams."

Neighborhood activists and friends are invited to the event, which begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Bus Stop Pub, 252 Western Ave. in Allston. RSVP to McHale 617-787-2122 or bostonminstrel@aol.com.

ANDREAE DOWNS

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