September 2016 Minutes

St. Mark’s Area Civic Association

Minutes of the September 27, 2016 Meeting.

The meeting was called to order at 7:03pm. There were 36 souls present.

Officer Mike Keany gave the police report for the month. He reported that crime is down 6% from last year.  He said that the National Night out was a success with over 300 people in attendance.  Mike reminded us of his phone number 671-343-4524 and his email [email protected].  District C-11 is looking for candy donations for the annual Halloween party.  If you would like to make a donation, bring it to the October 25th meeting.  There were a number of questions about keeping homes safe.  Officer Mike said as obvious as it sounds, make sure that doors and windows are locked.  He also suggested having a call tree with neighbors to contact them (and be contacted) about suspicious activity in the neighborhood.

Officer Ken Berg from the MBTA came to the meeting to introduce himself.  He was reassigned from Charlestown to work evenings and noted that he hadn’t been in Dorchester in 15 years.  He said that the T has been quiet in our area lately.  He plans to attend meeting in the future as his schedule allows.  Ken’s email is [email protected] and his phone number is 617-222-1212.

John Findlay, Michelle Sanchez and Kevin the Contractor from the Epiphany School gave us an update on the construction taking place on Centre Street.  John said things are going well, but there have been some mishaps along the way which have been addressed or are being addressed.  Some neighbors are concerned about the number of trees being removed, but this had been explained at numerous neighborhood meetings that were held before the construction began.  “Reality began to set in” once construction began, he noted.  There is a meeting on October 4 at the school with more information.  People who would like weekly updates can contact Michelle Sanchez at the school to sign up to be on the email list or one can go on Facebook.  Michelle’s email is [email protected]. The construction is scheduled to be completed in August 2017.  He said to please contact the school right away if you have complaints or concerns instead of waiting until a meeting.

City Councilor Andrea Campbell stopped by.  She is visiting the various neighborhoods to get to know the neighbors and is even going door-to-door to meet people.  She noted that she is chairing the Public Safety Committee which includes a pilot program for police cameras.  She plans to set up a cabinet made up of local activists to discuss issues in the neighborhood.

Mary Woods reported on the July 23 neighborhood cleanup that had 8 or 9 volunteers.  She has scheduled a second cleanup on Saturday, October 8 between 10:00 and 2:00 and is looking for volunteers.  Mary passed out flyers with pertinent information.  Her target is to work in the Melbourne Street and Wells Avenue areas because they always need to be cleaned up.  She said should it rain, call her for a rain date.  A number of people expressed concern about absentee landlords in the area who don’t keep up their properties. 

Mike Oliver from the English as a Second Language (ESL) program gave us an update.  They have more people needing services than they have room for.  The program is expanding.  He announced a fundraiser called “Tastes From Around the World” including food from Haiti, VietNam, Cape Verde, and Central America being held in early October.  

President Doug Hurley asked members for suggestions for topics at future meetings.  Suggestions included having a representative from ISD talk about problems people are encountering with trash and messy properties, a rep from N-Star to talk about rates and programs available, and a discussion about development in the area.

David Cotter from the Mayor’s Office talked about early voting being open the 3rd week in October.  Go to or Google early voting elections in Boston to get more information.  There will be a voting location in each city council district.  Also ISD is changing its rating system for restaurants’ cleanliness:  A,B,C, Fail.  Dave also reminded people to call 311 for social services resources. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.

Respectfully submitted,



Doug Shaheen

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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