September 26, 2017 Meeting Minutes

St. Mark’s Area Civic Association 

Minutes of the September 26, 2017 Meeting 

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM.  There were 42 souls present.  

Officer Mike Keaney, accompanied by Sgt. Duffy, gave his police report. He noted that shootings are up, but they were isolated incidents with targeted people.  He also noted that break-ins and enterings were up over the summer. The police have been trying to nip potential problems in the bud, such as catching people shooting up behind the church as soon as the police were notified. Some of his notable incidents over the summer include a drug arrest at 30 Msr. Lydon Way, a shooting at Leslie & Dix Streets, 8 bags of heroin taken at 12 Shepton St., a shooting at Centre St & Ginita St., a shooting on Santuit St., and 3 bags of cocaine taken at 428 Adams St. 

Jacquie Bishop and Rachel Fagen spoke about the survey to SMACA members as well as neighbors that is being conducted to help determine what our purpose is and what people would like to see accomplished at meetings.  They said that they hope to have surveys written in other languages for future surveys and John Finley of the Epiphany School said he can help by supplying translators.  Rachel and Jacquie plan to have the survey completed by the end of October. 

Travis Lee of TLee Development and Kevin Deebler of RODE Architects spoke about the Dot Greenway Project, also known as the tunnel cap over the Red Line that runs from Park Street to Ashmont Station.  The T has given preliminary approval to transfer property rights to have this projected get underway.  They plan to spend 5-6 months to collect comments and estimate $1.5 to $2.0 million for the project.  The concepts being discussed include fencing, controlling speed at street crossings, and street lighting.  The design is to be low-maintenance.  An important idea is to get local developers to contribute money to help fund the project.  To get more detail and see updates, go to the website  

Travis Lee is also interested in developing the Fitzpatrick Brothers parcel by Shawmut T Station.  He has worked on local projects including the Fields Corner Business Lab and the Lenane Building that houses the Homestead Café.  Travis plans to hold some design meetings (charrettes) in the near future and wants neighbors to attend to give their ideas of what they would like to see on the site.  He is considering mixed-income housing, however he noted that the definition of mixed-income depends on the funding.  He also mentioned having residences and small businesses appropriate to being near a T station.  There will be a development link similar to the one created for the Dot Greenway Project and when it’s up and running, he will let us know.


Mike Prokosch of the Boston Climate Action Network talked about Community Choice Energy Campaigna Massachusetts program which allows any city or town to choose the electricity supplier for all its residents and businesses.  The group is asking the City Council and the Mayor to buy into this program for Boston.  The cost of electricity would be the same or less than the current rate being charged.  There is a City Council hearing on Tuesday, October 3.  

Nino Barbalace, the owner of the new Zia Gianna Caffe and Bakery (located in the former Dot2Dot location) introduced himself and told us about his new business.  Nino is from Sicily and has cooked most of his life.  He’s been here six years.  Nino plans to open Tuesday through Sunday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM and start by serving coffee, expresso, cappuccino, pies, pastry, and American breakfast with Italian bread.  The business will be more café style with some restaurant style too.  He is considering an all you can eat buffet, too.  His goal is to open in early November.  Nino will be at the October 6 Ashmont Farmers’ Market with sample goods.

Mike Wilson of Crawford Drug gave an update on the building that he recently bought.  Tasha’s Closet, the women’s store down the street is opening a second clothing store for men and women in the vacant store between the drugstore and the new café.  Mike said that the building is now 80% new and refreshed.

Due to its being Election Day, there were no politicians or aides present; so there were no updates.

The meeting ended at 8:38.


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