November 28, 2017 Meeting Minutes

St. Mark’s Area Civic Association

Minutes of the November 28, 2017 Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM.  There were 35 souls present. 

Officer Mike Keaney gave his police report.  He spoke about the C11 holiday party for kids in the neighborhood to be held on December 15.  They are looking for toys to be donated or cash to be given to help buy toys.  There will be a wrapping party on December 11 and 12, possibly the 13th as well if necessary from 6-8pm.  The wrapping party will take place in the building behind the Dutch Maid plant off Park Street.  Call 617-343-4524 for questions about the party.

There was an armed robbery on Penhallow St., two robberies on November 13 and 20 in the Mass Market at 1732 Dot Ave, and another robbery at Lynch’s on the corner of Centre St. and Dot Ave.  It was the same m.o. as the ones at Mass Market.  Otficer Keaney mentioned the launch of Community Cam Share, a program to allow police to use peoples’ security cameras located on their property to check in case of a crime in the vicinity.  He distributed applications at the meeting for those who would like to participate.  Of you would like an application, contact Sgt. Det. James Cullity at [email protected]


Supt. Richard Sullivan from the MBTA came to give an update on the T.  Here has been crime at the Shawmut T station on November 12, 14, 16, and 18 mostly around 6:00pm.  There were 4 telephones snatched on the grain as it entered the station.  He referred to the “hot seat” on the train – that’s the seat closest to the door.  People using their phones while in the hot seats are the ones most likely to get robbed; since it’s easy for the perpetrator to snatch and run off the train.  If you’re seated in the middle of the car, it’s harder for the perp to get off the train with your item.  Supt. Sullivan reported that one 15 year old was arrested for all 4 robberies!  Another incident occurred when an 18 year old sold sneakers on Facebook.  “Keon” agreed to meet the person at Shawmut.  The kid shows a gun and takes the sneakers.  Supt. Sullivan suggested that if you’re buying/selling something on Craig’s List or other medium, say that you’ll conduct the transaction in the lobby of the police station.  If the people are legitimate, they will agree.  In yet another incident, a 19 year old was on the station platform when he was pistol-whipped and the perp took the sneakers off his feet.  The perp was arrested.  In both Fields Corner and Andrew  stations there is a problem with the youth being loud and intimidating.  Ashmont, on the other hand, has been pretty good.  Supt. Sullivan mentioned a “See Say” app for your phone which when loaded provides instant communication with the T.  His direct line is 617-222-1174.  During the Q&A, there were many questions about the proposed payless fare and how it would affect people.  The plan is still being worked on.  He stressed that headphones and other electronics are the #1 larceny crime on the T.


Andy Duong, owner of 16 Nixon Street, was represented by his Stuart Schrier who presented his request to change the occupancy from a one-family to a three-family house.  Mr. Shcrier said that sometime in the 1940’s the building was converted to a legal lodging house and is currently taxed as a 3-family.  Essentially the neighborhood is a 2-family zone.  The 5,800 square foot lot meets the minimum requirement, but provides no parking.  There were questions about an abutters’ meeting.  Neighbors said they were not notified, although one person present said he did get a notice.  David Cotter was once again not at the meeting; so questions about how the abutters’ meeting was held (or not held) wee unanswered.  Many at the meeting from both our civic association and from the Melville Park Civic Association who attended the meeting said that Dave Cotter has been unreachable for months.    According to Mr. Schrier, the Building Department has no proboes with the work that has been done on the building—the permits were pulled and approved.  The Zoning Board has not approved the project, which is why Mr. Duong was at the meeting.  A motion was made to postpone a vote on the proposal until the abutters (those within 300 feet of the four corners of the property) are notified and the meeting is held.  The motion carried with a vote of 11 Yes and 6 No.


Mike Wilson from Crawford Drugstore talked about Small Business Saturday that took place earlier in the month.  His group of small businesses in the Saint Mark’s Area with Ashmont Main Streets.  One of their goals is to have gift cards ready before Christmas.  These cards would be available for each participating store for use in that store.  Next year they hope to have gift cards that could be used in any of the participating stores.  Cards could be bought at either Crawford Drug (1735 Dot Ave) or across the street at The Modern Dog.  Due to the full agenda, Mike didn’t have time to talk about the parking study conducted for Greater Ashmont Main Streets, but said he would stay after the meeting to talk to people and answer their questions.


Matt Frank, President of Fields Corner Main Street talked about his organization that includes businesses from Parkman Street north to Freeport Street, but also includes dbar, since it is right over the line and there is no Main Streets organization in that area.  Their goal is to make Fields Corner a vibrant area by putting up holiday wreaths now and then Vietnamese lanterns for Asian New Years in February.  Another project is to reclaim the plaza at B’Benny’s Sub Shop to make it a place for music and art with coloring books for kids about Fields Corner.  Matt passed out directories of 35 businesses in the area and admitted that they are already outdated because more businesses are moving into the area and becoming members. 

Board member Rachel Fagen spoke about volunteer opportunities and ways to donate money to organizations for the holiday season.  She said that she will post the information on the website. 

President Doug Hurley announced that the holiday party (in lieu of the December meeting) will be held at the home of Jim Rodenmacher and Doug Shaheen 21 Cheverus Rd., from 7 to 9 on Tuesday, December 26.


The meeting ended at 8:35.


Respectfully submitted,

Douglas 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