President's Message

June 2003
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Thank you for the past two years. Time flies when you are having fun.

First let me congratulate Paul Nutting on his recent election as President. I am sure that Paul will bring his enthusiasm to the post and do a great job. Paul has always been an active member. Dianna Wilson will make an excellent Vice-President, and like Paul has been a very active member of our association and has done a great job as Treasurer. It is wonderful that Chuck Mattina has agreed to take on the post of Treasurer again. Chuck has always done outstanding work. We are all grateful that Anne Riley has accepted the position of Recording Secretary. Anne has done a fabulous job with her Beautification Committee. I feel that I am leaving the CSHCA in great shape.

I would like to thank everyone that has helped me during my tenure. An organization of this size does not work unless many members help to make it work. First and foremost, again let me thank Bill Walczak. Without Bill I would not have lasted two months never mind two years. Joe Chaisson is another member who helped whenever asked. We are lucky to have Joe!! Dianna Wilson and John Anderson have done a great job with our newsletter which is not an easy task, especially chasing me for this monthly letter. Others that I have not mentioned please receive my sincere thanks.

A special word of thanks to Bill Cotter and his UMASS committee. See it was not a "done deal." Bill is to be commended for his professionalism. Now we have a chance to start a new chapter with our friends on the Point. UMASS Boston is still a great institution that serves a vital purpose.

Again, thank you for the past two years. It has been a privilege and an honor.

See you at the Little House on June 2nd at 7:00 P.M. Check the agenda. Bring a neighbor. And as they say "KEEP COMING".
~ Bob Donovan

May 2003
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Our May 5th meeting will be where you can air your concerns regarding our neighborhoods. We will have our election, but most of the meeting is left open. This is so that any member who would like to bring up a topic, may do so. It has been brought to my attention that because of the late time of evening when we usually bring up new business, most members just want to go home. Well that may be the same, if so we will have an early exit.

The letter from Mayor Menino to Chancellor Gora is an exciting event. The Mayor is to be congratulated for his sound reasoning and passionate prose. Bill Cotter and the members of the UMass committee also deserve our praise and gratitude. Thank you to all!!

No war can be fought without foot soldiers. Maybe we are not fighting wars but we certainly do have battles. To win these battles we need members who are willing to do more than just attend a meeting once a month. However, if all our members did do that, we would have the most active association ever. I realize that it is not easy to attend every meeting, and I am grateful to those that do. Your presence is the backbone of the CSHCA. As I write this we still need volunteers for 2 of our elected offices. Please consider one of these either Recording or Corresponding Secretary. Many hands make quick work. Many hands also make an effective civic association.

At this time I would like to express my sincere thanks to my vice president, Bill Walczak. Bill has decided not to run again for any office of the CSHCA in the upcoming year. For the past two years, Bill has been a trusted true friend and basically my co-president. Bill adds a great deal of intelligence and enthusiasm to any endeavor.
Thank you, Bill.

See you at the Little House on May 5th at 7:00 P.M.
Bring a neighbor!
~ Bob Donovan

April 2003
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

This time last year the subject for my letter was the Columbia Road intersection of the Expressway. It was topical because there had just been a fatality. It is a year later and although we have been assured that plans are underway to rectify the situation, things still look the same. Even though priorities may change, we want to stay as proactive as we are able. We are good at being reactive, but being proactive is a better way to be.

With that in mind, many of our members feel that we are at a critical place in time for our neighborhood as we now know it. Residence dormitories at UMass/Boston will or could change our community as it now exists. To what extent is the only subject left to ongoing debate. The number of beds is not where the debate should lie, but if there should be bed one. This is where our energies should be directed. Thirty years ago our community worked with UMass to mutual benefit. Maybe it will happen again.

At our upcoming general meeting we will be conducting a little experiment. Spire has generously printed up cards, which can be used for CSHCA member voting purposes. When you sign in, and you are a current dues paid voting member, you will be given one of these cards. The idea is to make sure that people who are voting at meetings are in fact able to do so without question. Please arrive a bit earlier than usual so as to help move this extra sign in step to run smoothly. Again, this is only an experiment and the general membership can vote to keep it this way or not.

Yes, it is that time of the year again when we nominate officers of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association. We will take nominations from the floor for all the offices for the upcoming year of 2003-2004 at our April 7th meeting. If you, as a CSHCA member, have any interest in becoming more actively involved with our association...please consider being an officer.

As always, we will have an agenda that will make the meeting interesting for all.

See you at the Little House on April 7th at 7:00 P.M. Bring a friend or your neighbor!
~ Bob Donovan

March 2003
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

As I mentioned last month, we are a hardy group. This past snowstorm allows us an opportunity to shine. Hopefully by the time we read this, things are back to normal. Last month's meeting was a testimony to our membership. Let's have as many members at this month's meeting.

This month is a clean-up on some of our standing topics. The agenda is full with committees and closings- The Little House Health Center and MRM. Maybe by now we have had a miracle and GOOD news can be announced. Always the dreamer.

March is also the month to appoint a nominating committee for offices for next year. If you are interested in any office, please make that desire known. It is with regret that I announce the resignation of Jean Pishkin as Corresponding Secretary. I want to thank Jean for her work for the CSHCA.

I would like to apologize to Gail Hoban of UMASS/BOSTON for failing to recognize her at last month's meeting. Gail was there to present plans for UMASS's plans for new docks. Hopefully UMASS will be[present at this meeting. Everyone's time is valuable and I apologize to UMASS for the oversight.

So check the agenda and come to the meeting. Again the Planning Committee will be active.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on March 3rd Bring a friend. Be a candidate!
~ Bob Donovan

February 2003
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

This past month has been a very trying month for me as I am sure it was for many of you. If the bitter cold wasn't bad enough, I became sick with whatever "FLU" was going around. To top off my month, my furnace went out on the coldest night in years. Things can only get better.

My month is probably typical for many of you. I sincerely hope not that many. But life happens. That is why you who are truly committed to the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association are to be commended. It is not easy to attend various meetings on various subjects, but it is necessary. When the weather gets cold, as it is now, attendance at our meetings can suffer. We seem to be a hardy bunch. Thanks to all who make our Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association the effective organization that it is.

This month's agenda is full, but I promise to try to keep the meeting moving and hopefully enlightening.

Do remember to bring something for our CSHCA Food Drive Basket. We hope to have this a monthly collection to help benefit the Little House Food Pantry.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on February 3rd.

Bring a friend or neighbor!
~ Bob Donovan

January 2003
It's a new year, and 2003 promises to be an interesting and eventful. In many ways, our need for an active community has never been greater. We face many issues which only an active citizenry can deal with.

2002 ended with news that the auto insurance rates will increase beyond their already outrageous levels. Amazingly, we were told in the newspaper that our part of the city has been "subsidized" for many years to the tune of over $400 per year per person and this will be phased out. How does one get "subsidized" when a driver from Dorchester with a perfect record can pay a thousand dollars more per year than a suburban driver with accidents and speeding tickets? They seem to have a new meaning for the word subsidized. We need to fight this in 2003.

Beyond that, our state will be transformed into a battle zone over the state budget. Our new governor ran for office saying that he could eliminate the fat in the state budget and preserve services. In fact, he even said that the 50,000 residents scheduled to be removed from Medicaid on April 1, 2003 would not be because he would make the government more efficient and save the services. After the election, the tune changed, but we need to make sure that the lives of poor and working poor residents aren't thrown into chaos with the elimination of their services, and that our community organizations aren't destroyed in the interest of preserving tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals.

We will also deal with the issue of the UMass dorms, and we should use this as an opportunity to ensure that the completion of the Columbia Point peninsula is done in a way that preserves open space and creates a good, working community there that complements our community.

Our January meeting will kick off an important year for our community. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. With your help, 2003 will be a good year for the Columbia-Savin Hill community.
~ Bill Walczak
Vice President

Our January 6th meeting is to be an important one for we have the Boston Redevelopment Authority joining us to host a public meeting. We will be discussing the Globe Newspaper Company Post Press Expansion Project.
~ Bob Donovan

December 2002
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Welcome Back! Last month we had a very spirited meeting which I thought was well attended. Now if we can keep it up.

I would like to address a couple of issues which arose from our last meeting. I try to be as fair as I can with respect to allowing discussion to flow. If anyone feels as if I cut them off by use of my gavel or any other means I sincerely apologize. As the meeting extends I am trying to be sensitive to those members who must leave by a certain time.

To all members please use this newsletter to express any sentiment that you may have. That's what the newsletter is there for, to serve as another way for us to voice our concerns. The newsletter is limited by space restrictions but, we to try to pack in as much as possible. Read it and write it!

This month we will have a very abbreviated agenda so that we may have our Holiday (the main holiday being Christmas, this politically correct stuff is very difficult sometimes) Party. Many thanks go to the members who have put much time and effort into this year's event. Also, a hearty thank you to all in the community who have graciously donated items for the party and raffle. We truly appreciate their continued support of CSHCA and suggest that you give them your support by frequenting their establishments.

Congratulations to Capt. Dunford on his promotion. We will miss him, but we do wish him well in his new endeavors. The newly installed commander of C-11, Captain Thomas Lee, will introduce himself at our meeting. Come meet him and express any concerns.

Catherine O'Neill from Bayside is also on our agenda to discuss parking issues.

We will have a UMASS update. In response to some criticism, it is my belief that it is premature at this time to make any motion pro or con regarding the Dorm issue. There is an impact study to be done. This study may take anywhere from 3 to 6 months for the results. I for one am interested in this before I commit to taking a stand. This may not be popular but I believe that it is rational.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on December 2nd. Bring a friend. Bring an appetite! Good luck on the raffle. We will be offering a FREE raffle ticket to members bringing a guest that signs up as a new membership that night! Don't forget to renew your own membership! It's that time of year when many of our memberships expire.
~ Bob Donovan

November 2002
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Another month is upon us so that means it must be time for a meeting. With all that we have to do, why should we go to another meeting? The same people talk about the same things for the umpteenth time. I have better things to do. I'm tired after work. Nothing really involves me. If this is your attitude, please discuss it with me or any other active member. These meetings are your meetings. It's imperative that we have an active association and one measure of "active" is attendance at our meetings. Please try to make it your monthly habit.

Any thoughts about the University of Massachusetts at Boston plans to build residential dormitories?? Many have received a letter from UMASS concerning this development. Our UMASS Committee Chair, Bill Cotter, will give us an update at our November 4th meeting. It should be worth attending to hear more information about their plans.

Also, our Savin Hill MBTA Committee Chair, Coleman Flaherty, will present an informative update as to the progress of the remodeling of the T station. Again, another reason to attend.

I would like to thank CSHCA member, Ed Geary, Jr. for volunteering his many computer talents to become our new Webmaster. Our very special thanks to Elizabeth Zarella for all her efforts as our previous Webmaster. Again, our meeting is on the eve of an election. We realize many of our members are politically active and may have a full plate. Regardless, please try to attend our meeting, even if you cannot stay till the end. Our strength is in numbers.

As a reminder, many of our annual memberships expire in December. To avoid long lines at December's meeting, please renew your individual memberships in advance. Just another good reason to attend our meeting in November. See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on November 4th. Bring a friend or neighbor!
~ Bob Donovan

October 2002
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

It has been brought to the attention of our Association that our area seems to have been targeted for multiple occupants/multiple use dwellings. Our lovely neighborhood of beautiful Victorians appears to lend itself to uses such as Rooming Houses, Sober Houses, Halfway Houses.  While these uses in and of themselves may be fine, it is the concentration that worries me, and I believe many of my neighbors as well.

While there may be nothing that we can do as an individual to prevent this from happening, I would like to think that collectively we can. At the very least we should try to limit the infestation of these types of dwellings. Many times we say that this or that is a NIMBY (Not In MY Back Yard) issue and seem to lose the argument by displays of stubbornness. Well this is a NIMBY issue that enough is enough! The problem is that we learn of these ventures after the fact, and are told that we are powerless to do anything. If we can not do anything under present legislation, then let's push for NEW legislation.

Food for thought.

With that in mind, if you know of any of the above operating near you please get that information to us. We want addresses and facts. This is not perception, this is fact! As I write this letter, we will have two agenda items, the folks from Spire Corporation and a Commissioner's representative from the City of Boston's Inspectional Services Division. Please try to make it to our meeting. If we do not have active members, we do not have clout! See you at the Little House on October 7th at 7:00 PM. Bring along a friend or better yet bring a new neighbor!
~ Bob Donovan

September 2002
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Can you believe that it is already that time of year? Summer is rapidly vanishing and Fall is just around the corner. Must be time to get ourselves out to the Little House. September 9th at 7:00 PM. And as always bring a friend.

Since this is an election year we thought that it would be a proper time to have a candidate's night. We will have candidates for State Representative, State Senator, and Registrar of Deeds Suffolk County in attendance. Come and support your candidate (if you have one) or if undecided use the meeting as an informational tool. Either way make sure that you attend. Let's let our candidates see how truly involved we are. As we all know there is strength in numbers.

Ann Riley has volunteered to chair our Beautification Committee. Thank you Ann. Ann will address our assembly with some new and exciting ideas. There will also be a bit of business that has to be taken care of. That is the proposed change of ownership of Ned Kelly's. The new management will present their plan at our general meeting. This will be the first time for anyone from the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association. If you know any person interested in this please make sure that they attend.

Hopefully all had a great summer.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on September 9th. Welcome Back!!
~ Bob Donovan

June 2002
To All Members of The CSHCA,

As my most recent term as President comes quickly to a close, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all who have helped. Some I will name and others will be content in the fact that they are what makes the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association special. We are a vibrant and active association. To all I say thank you. To Chuck Mattina, Nora McDonnell and to Lorraine Downey, our outgoing officers, thank you for your efficient dedication to your responsibilities. Without such participation, we would not be the the organization that we are. Again, THANK YOU!!

We will have our annual election at the June meeting. We have done much together, yet much remains to be done. The Boston Water and Sewer Commission will present their plans for their proposed Material Handling Facility at Columbia Point. At this time there appears to be support only from UMASS Boston. Let your opinion be heard.

Traditionally we end the last meeting with a little social interaction. I will try to continue this practice.

See you at the Little House on June 3rd at 7:00 PM. Bring a neighbor.
~ Bob Donovan

May 2002
To All Members of The CSHCA,

Our next meeting is going to have an MBTA flavor. Lt. Shea of the MBTA Police will attend to enlighten us as to the safety of our MBTA stations. If you have any concerns please let them known. If you can not attend, please let some other member know or feel free to call me at 617-288-6634. The other part of our MBTA night is an update on the design of the Savin Hill Station. This project is in the works and may be happening sooner than we realize. Come to the meeting so that we may be prepared for any inconveniences. Let your thoughts and ideas known.

We will be visited by one of the Democratic candidates for Governor, Robert Reich. This is the time to show our candidates that the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association is a vibrant organization. Let's send a message.

Staying with the election theme, it is time to nominate our officers for next year. Please consider serving as we have openings that will need to be filled. It is a great way to meet your neighbors, while helping the community you live in to be a better place. I thank all who have been such a tremendous help to me this past year.

See you at the Little House on May 6th at 7:00 P.M. Bring a neighbor.
~Bob Donovan

March 2002
As this goes to print our agenda is in a state of flux. But as they say change is good. If all goes well then our agenda will be similar to what follows.

It has been suggested and I agree that our community offers so much that sometimes we are not fully cognizant of all that is offered. Towards that end it has been decided to have a "youth night". No there will not be a DJ or a live band playing music, but the theme of the meeting will be geared to our children. It is hoped that we will have representatives from our local agencies describing the activities and opportunities for our young people. This is meant to be informative and entertaining. So if you ever wondered what happens at the Little House or the Marr Boys and Girls Club then this is your opportunity to find out. I am sure that there are also programs at UMASS about which we may wish to find more information. As I mentioned, the agenda is being firmed up as I write this, but I think that you can get the gist of it.

At our last meeting there was a sign-up for the UMASS committee. I am chairing that committee temporarily until the committee can decide to meet and select its own chair. If you wish to join the committee please contact me or sign up at the February meeting.

It appears that we do not have a policy regarding the removal of a member from the mailing list for our newsletter. I strongly believe that The Neighbors is one of our strongest assets. I also believe that most times a membership lapses due more to oversight than intent. Thus, I do not think that a grace period of 6 to 12 months is unreasonable. I know others do, so we should discuss it. Give it some thought and let me know.

See you at the Little House on February 4th at 7:00 P.M.
~Bob Donovan

January 2002
First off, let me wish one and all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. This past year has been busy and full of activity. I am sure the New Year will be the same. Now on to the business:

We all will miss Ruth Davis as she not only leaves our association, but, also our neighborhood. Ruth has been extremely efficient in her responsibilities. We were fortunate to have use of her talents, and will be very hard pressed to find a replacement. Ruth is our " Citizen of the Year ". Ruth will still be with us for a short time, so let us take the opportunity to thank her for her selfless work.

The Merchant Awards will be presented to Arthur Donovan of Patty's Pantry and C.F. Donovan's and Vince Halpin and Daniel Strong of A Strong of Coffee.

The E-Board decided to have a more open discussion concerning UMass' desire to build dormitories. Please come and express your comments.

Also, the Committee for Auto Insurance Reform will present information for discussion. This affects all of us. Let's see if we can do something about it.

As always, the CSHCA is its members. Please come out for the meeting on January 7th. Bring a friend!

Together we will make the New Year a Great Year!
~Bob Donovan

2003 Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association