I live in Midway Studios in Fort Point Channel. And even though “all units are rented only to households that include a BRA certified artist”, $omehow Ops-Core, a company that produces helmets for the Norwegian Army, are tenants on the first floor of our building.
Recently, they also took over the beautiful theater space in the basement, demolished it, and are now converting it into a military production facility.
I just learned from neighbors that a few Midway residents reached out to Ops-Core with questions about fumes, potential health risks, hazards, fire code violations and other concerns.
Check out what CEO of Ops-Core, David Rogers wrote back in response.
It’s a doozy.
I agreed with Scott Dumont’s (aside: Scott is a representative from Keen Development Group)
response to the building’s questions, and do not have any other information to add.
However, on a separate topic, if you are having a meeting with the committee
tonight, I do have some other issues I would like to bring up.
It has come to my attention that some tenants are spreading rumors and
organizing efforts to disparage our company in hopes of forceing us to leave
15 Channel Center. Please feel free to circulate this email to anyone who
interested in what we are doing in the building.
These efforts seem to stem from three areas of concern, all of which I would
like to address briefly now, and in more detail with any residents who have
time to meet with me in person.
1. “Ops-Core will use the space is such a way that we create risk or harm to
the residents in the building”
> Allegations of toxic chemicals, hazardous waste, and people becoming sick
from harmful fumes have all circulated in emails and comments made to me
over the past couple of weeks.
- Ops-Core does not use any chemicals that are any more dangerous than
what is found in the kitchens and bathrooms in every apartment in this
building. We use nothing that compares to most household cleaners, and far
less dangerous than the paint thinners and other solvents used by artists in
- Our paint is waterbased, our cleaners are mild citrus based, and our
adhesive is five minute epoxy. Sometimes you will see people wearing masks
or eye protection because that is required by law for any employee in contact
with these substances. If you read the back warning labels on any of your
household cleaning products, you will see you are supposed to wear eye and
resporatory protection too. Just because we follow the instructions and most
people do no not, does not make us a risk to anyone’s health in the building
- Why isn’t anyone concerned about the gasoline in the cars below them in
the parking garage or the carbon monoxide exhaust that is vented out directly
onto the street to rise up and blow into their windows? Why isn’t anyone
concerned about the chemicals used by the cleaning company to protect the
floors and common areas of the building? Why isn’t anyone concerned about
the chemicals used by the other artists in the building to create their work?
2. “Ops-Core works on products for the military”
> We have been called “war profiteers” and worse by some of the residents
who do not share our views. Many of the people who do not like us for this
reason use Allegation #1 to create stir up issues because they don’t want to
admit the real reason for not wanting us in the building.
- Ops-Core only builds equipment to protect US and NATO soldiers. We do
not manufacture anything to hurt anyone. We are honored to protect
America’s young men and women who are put into harm’s way by our
country to defend our freedom. The majority of the people we are protecting
are under 20 years old and have signed up for military service to earn money
for college. They are not living off their parents, trust funds, wellfare, or
mooching off the American tax payer like many of the residents of this
building who don’t actually earn an honest living.
- Shame on anyone who is disparaging us because we spend our time
working to protect our troops.
3. -“Ops-Core took away our access to the theatre space and opportunity for
performance art in the local community”
- > Ops-Core did not take away the theater space. The building resident’s
failure to use, rent, or purchase it did.
- > Many of the people who do not like us for this reason use Allegation #1
to create stir up issues because they don’t want to admit the real reason for
not wanting us in the building.
- The theater space has remained vacant for the majority of its existence,
and was only used occasionally for performances when charging rates that
were significantly lower than market value. It created a massive financial
burden on the rest of the building finances, and prevented the landlord from
having the ability to do anything more than the bare minimum in building
maintenance and improvements. Now that Ops-Core has leased the space, it
will be bringing in millions of additional dollars to support the building, as well
as providing jobs for local residents and supporting our South Boston
neighborhood taxe base.
- It is not the building owner’s nor Ops-Core’s obligation to subsidize a free
performance space for the building residents. The false sense of entitelment
of many of our fellow residents simply astounds me. I have lived in the
neighborhood for the past 18 years and am also very familiar with the
expectations of some local artists. While many of our neighbors are very
talented and admirably pursue a life of art that makes the world a more
beautiful place, there are more than a few “artists” in the neighborhood who
do not. The majority (and some of the most outspoken) “posers” do no create
anything whatsoever. They are merely self delluted bullshiters and drama
queens who use art as an excuse to justify and rationalize their pathetic
existence while mooching from the others to sustain a living.
I am happy to meet with any of the people who are spreading rumors, false
accusations, and lies about Ops-Core and what we intend to do with our
space in the building. I challenge them to not be cowards with their
backstabbing antics, and instead stand up and confront me to my face.
For the rest of the building, please rest assured that Ops-Core intends to be a
good neighbor and is looking forward to sharing 15 Channel Center amicably
with those of you who do the same.
15 Channel Center Street
Boston, MA 02210
(note: Ops-Core was acquired by Gentex in January 2012)
So, I guess this is the part where I take my neighborly fruitcake back.
I don’t normally post things of this nature on FLUX., but when members of the Boston Arts Community are attacked and depicted as“self delluted[sic] bullshiters and drama queens who use art as an excuse to justify and rationalize their pathetic existence while mooching from the others to sustain a living” by someone who seems incapable of at least spell checking their scathing rant, I simply cannot sit idly by.
Quick Tip: The majority of artists who live in Midway, work regular 9-5′s in order to support their true passions, so I’m not sure how that is “mooching off the American tax payer.” Either I’m missing something, or just a shitty moocher.
And so, per David’s instructions, I submit and circulate this outspoken CEO’s e-mail and contact information for your afternoon perusal. Feel free to “stand up and confront him to his face” or share this post with friends/relatives/influencers/city officials/press/Menino.
Welcome to the neighborhood! ♥