President's Message 2000-2001

November, 2001
We are an active bunch. I say that with much pride. Now that I have been President for a very short time, first off let me applaud the many members who make this association tick. For fear of forgetting someone, I will not mention names, but if you have allowed yourself to serve; on any board or committee, or have even attended any of our sponsored meetings, I thank you. The members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association are the strength and backbone of the association. Again, THANK YOU!!

That having been said, we are always interested in new members. Please try to bring someone with you to the next meeting. Also to that end we have formed a Diversity Committee to try to encourage more diverse representation. Let us increase diversity and membership.

Staying with the theme of committees, we have formed two new ones, an Insurance Committee, and a UMASS / Boston Relationship Committee. The first hopes to answer the question of the exorbitant amount that we pay for our insurance, both auto and property. This could get exciting. The second will try to re-establish a working relationship with UMASS/ Boston. Maybe we will learn of things before we read of them. At least that is the hope.

The agenda for our November 5th meeting should prove to be informative. We will have at least two special guests. From the City of Boston, we will have Jim Cahill, Director Code Enforcement Police. This will provide us with an opportunity to learn what the responsibilities of his department are, and how we may assist his people. If you have any issues with trash, this is your opportunity to have it rectified.

From the Commonwealth, we will have a representative from the Mass. Highway Department to discuss the salt/sand depot under the expressway. Bring your comments and concerns.

We will also have a lively discussion on Question 1. We hope to have a proponent and an opponent. This is the legislation which would set aside a property tax increase for affordable housing and conservation land. Should be interesting.

Lastly, kudos go to Paul Feeney of Columbia for a splendid cleanup of the end of Moseley Street. Kudos also to "A Strong Cup of Coffee" for allowing us meeting space this past month. And belated kudos to The Banshee for allowing the same last month.

See you November 5th at the Little House!
~Bob Donovan

October, 2001
God Bless America.

With the tragic happenings in New York, it is hard to prioritize anything. Nothing else seems of any importance. However life must go on, no matter how trivial our problems may seem at this time. With that said ,I continue

I thought that last month's meeting was very successful. Thanks to all that made it so. It was encouraging to see so many faces, new and old. Please remember to come to our October meeting. I promise that it will not last as long. And remember bring a friend.

We had planned to have a representative from the state highway department but unfortunately, we have to postpone that topic till another time. Please bring any concerns regarding this topic to the meeting so that we may plan accordingly. This matter will be addressed.

On the agenda we will be discussing the possibility and implementation of a resident parking program. This will be pretty much an open discussion as to the prospect of instituting a resident parking program. If you are interested to have this accomplished in your area please do not miss this meeting. Some areas of our community have already shown an interest, thus we will have a starting point. This will not happen without the input of the effected areas. This will require a great deal of work. However, if we can share the load then we will be successful. Please bring your thoughts and ideas on this most important subject.

Remember the date Monday, October 1st, 7:00 PM at the Little House. See you there.
~Bob Donovan

September, 2001
This is my first opportunity to thank you on my election as your President. Thank you. Twenty years is a long time and yet it certainly does not seem that long ago when I first was elected President along with Bill Walczak as Vice-President. This time we are prepared to do an even better job.

Twenty years ago the neighborhood was in a process of change. Change has done us well. This is a great neighborhood, getting better. One of the reasons for this is an active citizenry. If Columbia-Savin Hill is nothing else, it is active. I would like to commend my predecessors for keeping CSHCA alive and vigorous. However, CSHCA is its membership. And that is something that I would like to address. CSHCA is open to all and all are welcome. Our neighborhood has changed and that should be reflected at our meetings.

It is not enough just to read this newsletter, check the agenda, see what if anything effects you personally, then decide to go or not go to the meeting. Many times the meeting can almost have a life of its own which cannot be foreseen by a perusal of the agenda. To have your voice heard you must attend the meeting. Two hours ? once a month. Who knows, it might even be interesting. I will try to move the meetings along as quickly as possible. Please come and maybe even bring a neighbor along.

This year there are a couple of issues that I would like to see us try to tackle. The first is the inequity of the insurance industry in their dealings with Dorchester. It seems to me that automobile and home premiums are out of whack. Let's have this explained to us, if there is such an explanation. If not then let us try to do something about it. Maybe we can turn complaints into action. A second issue is to have the Mass Highway Department and all state agencies treat the roads and property that run through our neighborhood with the concern and care as if we were a suburban community. Personally the on and off ramps of the Expressway are an eyesore and would not be tolerated anywhere else. This must end!! With the support of the CSHCA it will.

As I write this the agenda is not yet firmed up, but we are working on it. There will definitely be candidates for various offices at our meeting. And the Planning Committee Report is always interesting. Ruth Davis is to be commended for her efficiency at this most thankless task. Thank you Ruth.

I would be remiss if I did not publicly thank Annissa Essaibi on her energy commitment and valuable service to CSHCA especially the last two years as President. Thank you Annissa and congratulations on your recent wedding to Doug George. God Bless you both.

So, September 10th at 7:00 PM go to the Little House, bring a friend, and bring your issues to your Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association.
~Bob Donovan

May, 2001
Happy Spring! As my term as President comes to a close I reflect very warmly on the last two years. The residents of the Columbia/Savin neighborhood have much to be proud of. You are very hard working and involved in your community and interested in what happens to it. Over the last two years my pride in this neighborhood has grown 10 fold. I have experienced first hand the dedication that you have to this neighborhood and the welcome you have given to all the new residents that have since become active participants in our Civic Association. Because of your work to make this a better neighborhood I have been happy to serve as President of Columbia/Savin Hill Civic Association. You made my job easy. I know our meetings are long (we still have a June meeting to get through) but we accomplish so much together. We work together even when our opinions differ. We demand process and inclusion when there are events in our community that impact us- the residents who chose to make this neighborhood our home.

I owe a special thanks to those that volunteered as officers of the civic association this past year. Paul Nutting has done a wonderful job with the newsletter and as Vice President, Joe Chaisson as the Treasurer and taking on the public safety issues we face at the South Bay Mall and Super 88, Gerry Thomas for getting all those letters we send out, and Katie Hegarty who is a godsend and provides us accurate minutes every month. I must also give a huge thanks to Ruth Davis and Doug George for their tremendous work as Planning Committee co-chairs. The Planning Committee is the backbone of the CSCHA. Without them we would never has as much success as we do keeping our neighborhood strong and active. There are also the Executive Board members that give more time to meet monthly and discuss the direction of the civic association.They are: Nora McDonnell, Vince Halpin, Alda Kirsis, Bobby O'Sullivan,and Frank Baker. Thank you. I hope that the next President is as lucky as I have been to have your support.

February, 2001
I am thrilled to announce that Saint William's Church Choir will be singing at the start of our meeting on Monday night. That will save me the agony of recruiting someone to start our pledge of allegiance. Many of our members are a part of the choir and usually can't make our meetings because practice conflicts with the monthly meeting so it should be a nice return for them.

A few important things are happening in February that will have a great affect on our neighborhood. The Dorchester wide meeting on the four red line stations will be sponsored by D.A.N.A. on the 13th at the Cleveland Middle School and then our Savin Hill T Committee meeting will follow. Also starting in February will be the meeting of the Parking Committee.

I haven't received any calls from members interested in any of the officer positions. I hope that a few of you will answer the call to service and volunteer. If you have any questions on the time commitment necessary and the amount of satification you will feel from serving, please do not hesitate to call me or another officer. See you soon!
~ Annissa

Happy New Year to all and welcome to the year 2001! I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays with your friends and family. This coming year will prove to be busy one. I hope to see the Red Line stations in Dorchester under renovation in the year 2001 or at least close to it. Coleman Flaherty of Savin Hill will be the chair of the committee organizing efforts around the Savin Hill T renovations. There will be a Dorchester wide kick off for the renovations in February and from there we will begin our neighborhood meetings.

Another wonderful thing coming up for us is a guest appearance by Anthony Sammarco at our March meeting. He will discuss the history of our area in a presentation to be held in place of our meeting. This event is being organized by Joe Chaisson. Details will follow in next monthís newsletter.

The end of the civic year for us is just around the corner and that means nominations and elections for new officers. I will not be able to run for re-election next year but between school and work I am just overwhelmed. I will continue to be very active in the Association, just not as its President. So, that means we are in search of a new President. I hope to bring a few of our members into the leadership fold. Please see me or any of the officers if you are interested in running for a position. Bobby O'Sullivan will continue as Nomination Chair. I can't stress it enough that we need some new blood in the officers's ranks. It is an exhausting but extremely rewarding task to serve in any of these roles. I hope that you will volunteer. Thank you.
~ Annissa

December, 2000
Well the holidays are upon us and that means.. our annual holiday party at our December meeting! Since I became active with the CSHCA I have always looked forward to this night. A short meeting and time to chat with one another is something great to have every now and then. My challenge to each of you at the holiday party: meet someone new at this meeting! Better yet, introduce yourself to a new neighbor and invite them to come with you to the meeting.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you will support the businesses in our community as you start your holiday shopping. Many of our local businesses donate goodies to our annual party and they're a great place to start your shopping and a nice way to say thanks for operating good businesses in our neighborhood.

Also, as the weather gets colder, remember to check in on your elderly neighbors that may not be able to get out especially when the snow starts (and it is coming!). When that snow does come, please try to clear your sidewalk area as soon as possible, and lend a shovel and your back to your neighbors that might not be able to get out and do it for themselves. We are all in this together.

See you in December!

November, 2000
It is that time of year again. At our November meeting we will nominate Citizen of the Year, Elected Official of the Year and Local Business of the Year. I have always enjoyed these awards because it is the time we can formally thank those who have done so much for this neighborhood. As much fun as this award is we should remember to take it seriously.  In past years we have had no problem getting nominations but I urge each of you to consider your choices thoroughly. Please come to the meeting ready to celebrate one another and reward our local politicians and businesses.

I would also like to thank those of you who turned in the membership surveys. Unfortunately, I did not get a lot returned so we will have another few weeks to get them completed. Please do your best to return these surveys for the next general meeting. Only answer the questions you want and bring it to the meeting on Nov 6 or mail them to me.

I look forward to seeing you on November 6. Happy Halloween!!

October 2000
Happy Autumn to all! I can't believe how fast this year is going by. Before we know it, it will be Christmas so start thinking of who you would like to nominate for our yearly awards. As the leaves start to fall from the trees, please remember to sweep them up and keep our streets clean. And, speaking of trees, Anne Riley from Dorchester 2000 will be addressing us at our October meeting about that very subject. Trees are a great thing to have not to mention they keep noise pollution down, and when they are maintained, they simply make a neighborhood look beautiful. If you have a tree in front of your home, try to maintain it the best you can and work with your neighbors to do the same. The small things make a big difference!

I will also be collecting the Membership Surveys though the middle of October. These will be reviewed and a membership update on the survey will be ready for the November meeting. This is a very important tool for the Association to set some goals for the coming year and to set some direction for the next few years. Please complete them and return them at the meeting or mail them.

I look forward to seeing all on October 2. Until then, please keep in touch.

September, 2000
Here we are.. the end of summer and back to the grind. I can't belive that next week is September! I am looking forward to the new Civic Year and what a way to start it off - we have a web site,, check it out! Thanks to Elizabeth Zarrella, who did some amazing work to get this up and running.

Last year I rambled on about several goals for the year. This year I want to do something different. At the September meeting I will hand out surveys for our members to complete. (I'll also get the survey posted on the website the week of the 11th.) I want to hear what you think we should focus on for the new year. In October I will roll out your goals and ideas for the Columbia/Savin Hill Civic Association to focus on.

For the 3rd year in a row, the Friends of Ryan Playground will be hosting a Neighborhood Yard Sale at the playground on Sunday, Sept. 17 from 10 - 3 pm. Tables will be $10 and white elephant table donations welcome. Please call me at 474-0797 for reservations or questions.

Enjoy what is left of summer! See you all on the 11th!

© 2003 Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association