February 2016 Minutes

St. Mark’s Area Civic Association


Minutes of the February 23, 2016 Meeting

The meeting was called to order began at 7:05.  There were 45 souls present.


Officer Mike Keaney gave his police report.   He talked about the R.A.D. program, which is Rape and Aggression Defense.  These are free classes for women and is a nationally recognized 9-12 hour course aimed at providing women with the necessary self-defense education in a relatively short period of time.  Contact C-11 Community Service Office at 617-343-5315 for more information.  Mike mentioned that the annual Bike Rodeo will be the second week in June.  The Cadet Program for new recruits is going strong.

Mary Grady and her daughter Eleanor Pelletier gave a presentation on Ban the Bag Boston, a project by the Girl Scouts at the Mather School to ban plastic bags in Boston.  The girls have made T-shirts and bags to sell as a fundraiser.  City Councilors Wu and Campbell are strong supporters of this initiative.  There is a petition on Change.org and Facebook has a Ban the Bag page.  A meeting is being held on March 26 at the Adams Street Library. 

Former SMACA President Luis Jimenez spoke about a proposal to put a public toilet in the Ashmont area.  Business Owners have wanted one, because there is no public restroom in Peabody Square.  There is a proposal to have it located in the North Plaza, near where the holiday tree stands.  Peter O’Sullivan wants feedback on the proposal and may be reached at peter.o’[email protected].  Saint Marks Area Main Streets is facilitating this initiative, but is not taking a stand either pro or con.  The MBTA does not support having it located in the T station or on the plaza.  Luis provided three links for more information: 

1)1)  WGBH about the public toilets - https://news.wgbh.org/post/flushing-out-truth-about-bostons-public-toilets . 

2)      Regarding the toilet placed at Dudley - http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/roxbury/2011/07/self-cleaning_restroom_added_t.html

3)     Recent Dorchester Reporter article about the Ashmont proposal -  http://www.dotnews.com/2016/public-toilet-eyed-ashmont

Jon Rodriguez and Sherry Pedone gave a Powerpoint presentation on the school budget.  Jon provided some statistics, including that there are 125 schools with 57,000 students.  The racial breakdown is 41% Latino, 35% African-American, 14% White, and 9% Asian.  They discussed budget cuts and the effect on classes, Prop 2 ½ , decreased state funding, and charter schools.  More information is available at citywideparentcouncil.org that has an 11 minute video.   

Brian Diah, Outreach Coordinator for Silver Lining Mentoring, was unable to attend the meeting; so his coworker Brenna gave the presentation in his place.  The group mentors kids impacted by the foster care system.  They are looking for mentors who are “cheerleaders”, not parents for the kids.  They ask that you show up when you’re supposed to, so that the kids with have a steady influence in their lives.

Tri Pham and Carolyn Conway from Tri Seafood are requesting a Beer and Wine license which will be restricted and non-transferable.  The current seating is 19 and Tri would like to increase it to 30.  His current restaurant license has a closing hour of 11:00, but he closes at 10:00.  He plans to continue closing at 10:00 and said that he will only serve beer and wine in conjunction with serving food.  Alcohol will not be served by itself.  After a question and answer period a vote was taken to support the request with a vote of 22 Yes and 0 No.

The meeting adjourned at 8:31.

Respectfully submitted,


Doug Shaheen

Secretary, SMACA

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St. Marks Area Civic Association
The St. Marks Area Civic Association is a group of community conscious residents who want to improve the quality of life in our section of Dorchester. We meet in the lower hall of St, Marks Church, at 1725 Dorchester Ave on the last Tuesday of each month