President's Message
December 2004

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

Another calendar year comes to a close. More and more I feel like an old man. Seems like only yesterday that we began the year. As I write this Thanksgiving has not yet been celebrated with Christmas fast on its heels (been to any shopping malls lately?).

Although sometimes it is very hard to be thankful, we do have lots for which to be grateful…

For the fact that brave citizens volunteer for our armed services, so that we remain free.

That we have people who volunteer to make our neighborhood the best that it can be.

That we can disagree without being disagreeable (most times).

That we can take this time to socialize with one another.

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 holiday party and raffle.

The abbreviated agenda will consist of Police Reports and CSHCA Committee Reports. We may have representatives of the Mass Highway Dept. to discuss the changes proposed for South Bay. It is not confirmed as this goes to print. We will try to update the website and/or place flyers as time permits.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on December 6th.

Bring a friend. Bring an appetite. Good luck in the raffle!


~ Bob Donovan

Reminder…Many of our memberships are expiring in December. Please make sure that you remain current.

November 2004

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

How fast time flies. We are now planning our November meeting. Thank you for faithfully attending. Every member's attendance is truly appreciated. There is strength in our numbers.

Unfortunately, we lost Joshua Shorr, a former member who headed our Auto Insurance Committee over the past few years. Josh was the grandson of Kit Clark and will be missed by all who knew him. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Now we have a little administrative work to do. Our individual membership dues of $5.00 cover the calendar year. Many should have received a "renew" notice on their label for this newsletter. Dues collected now will be for individual membership through the 2005 calendar year. Any dues collected after January will also be for the calendar year 2005. If expired membership dues are not paid, the mailing of the newsletter will cease to be sent to you with our February edition. Dues must be paid 30 days before CSHCA voting privileges. Our monthly newsletter and voting rights for only $5.00 annually. Such a deal!!

This month we have a special invited guest to add to our festivities. The new interim chancellor of UMass-Boston, Dr. Keith Motley, will be our guest. Chancellor Motley will speak to our membership for the first time. Please make every effort to attend as we know that our relationship with UMass-Boston is vitally important.

Advanced Notices - Representatives from the Big Apple Circus will appear before us at our January civic meeting to discuss their future endeavors. Although the event dates are not till May, their representatives wish to inform us of their plans as early as possible. As an aside, "The Penisula", Corcoran's rental apartment building, will be discussed at our next E-Board meeting, 11/8/2004.

As usual we will have our Police Reports and our CSHCA committee reports at our November meeting. I will try my best to keep the meeting moving along so that we can adjourn at a reasonable hour. We have been pretty successful at doing this over the past two months.

Next meeting - November 1st , Election Eve, at 7:00 PM at the Little House.

Hope to see you there.

Don't forget to bring your membership renewal dues and a donation to The Little House Food Pantry.

~ Bob Donovan

October 2004

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

Congratulations to all for a terrific meeting on September 13th. The appearance of Mayor Menino brought a level of excitement to our meeting, which has seldom been matched. Ann Riley and her Beautification Committee did an excellent presentation. All their hard work paid off and we were the beneficiaries. The winners received wonderful prizes. Now everyone will want to participate in their next venture.

The attendance was fabulous and duly noted by all. We are only as effective as our numbers. Not all meetings can be as exciting, but every meeting is important for our mission. I realize that some parts of our meeting can be mundane (if not downright boring) for some people. But for others, that might be the reason that they are attending. Please bring your patience with you. I will try to move the agenda items as quickly as possible, but I also want every member to feel as if they can have their say.

Our meeting this month as we go to press is similar to last month's. By that I mean that we will have our reports. However we may have a significant guest. Please check our website or look for flyers before the meeting.

Did you know????

There is a $250 fine for performing non-emergency repairs on a City of Boston street. Oil changes and tune-ups are not considered emergencies.

There is a $150 first time $300 each subsequent fine for "front yard parking".

A landlord must provide at least 2 trash barrels with lids per each apartment unit.

The City of Boston Code Enforcement Department handles all of the above. They can be reached at 617-635-4896.

See you at The Little House on October 4th at 7:00 PM. Remember to check the website ( for the updated agenda. Come early and introduce yourself. Bring another neighbor!

*** Please note that due to the Columbus Day holiday our next E-Board meeting date will be on Wednesday, October 13th.

~ Bob Donovan

September 2004

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

Here we go again. Summer is coming to an end and Autumn is fast approaching. Cool weather, colorful trees, and our monthly meeting resumes. Welcome back. We missed you.

After my year hiatus, it is good to return as President. Thank you to Paul Nutting for his diligence and hard work. The Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association has always been about its members first and foremost. Active members who are vocal, passionate, and committed to their neighborhood. We have to maintain that passion and grow our membership. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, but the bigger wheel gets more oil. Let's be that "bigger wheel".

Because of Labor Day, our next meeting will be September 13th. Our agenda is flexible and will focus on committee reports to bring our membership up to date on their activities. We may not meet formally in the Summer months, but that does not mean that we are inactive.

It has been brought to my attention that there are a number of Crime Watches scattered throughout our boundaries. I would like to offer our meeting as a sort of "networking" opportunity for these neighborhood watches. If any member of any street watch wishes to address the meeting, please contact me. Use us as a resource to get your message out.

I would like to thank Gail Hoban of UMASS Boston for generously extending invitations to the Boston Pops with James Taylor concert with fireworks. UMASS has a new Chancellor, a new Student Union Building, and hopefully a new respect for their original mission.

Congratulations are in order for all who were instrumental in establishing the NEW Ryan Playground. If you have little ones, it is a must visit!

The Democratic National Convention came and went without incident. Kudos are in order for Mayor Tom Menino, Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole, and Supt. Robert Dunford. Boston was on the national stage and impressed all. It is truly a great thing when a can-do attitude overwhelms pessimism. Pride can be contagious.

See you at the Little House on September 13th at 7:00 P.M. Check the agenda. Bring a new neighbor or an old friend. And as they say KEEP COMING.

~ Bob Donovan

June 2004

Dear Neighbors:

I want to congratulate (and thank) Bob Donovan for taking on the Presidency of the Association once again. It is with mixed emotions that I did not run, but as I said, it is a commitment I no longer wish to make. However, I will not be going away; most of you know of my strong interest in open space, beach and harbor issues and these will continue to be my focus. I feel like I had two administrations and would like to thank members of my fall team, Chuck Mattina and Dianna Wilson. After their departure, I was fortunate enough to have Nora McDonnell and Bob O'Sullivan step up. Marlea Mesh, Anne Riley and Bill Cotter all were adept at managing their sub-committees, and Ed Geary and John Anderson work very hard to keep us informed. Joe Chaisson, Gretchen Carney and Alda Kirsis are valuable members of the executive board and all of these people are dedicated to making the neighborhood a better place to live. I also want to thank Ann Nee and her staff for their accommodation, as well as the McLaughlin Center staff. I also appreciate the attendance of our public safety officers and the elected officials and their staff. After being involved in Dorchester civic life for several years, I am very grateful to have met and worked with many good people from throughout the community. But the one thing that strikes me the most is that it is a relative few who are involved (and cross over) in the many different civic endeavors throughout Dorchester. I only wish our numbers would grow-things don't just happen-we make them happen.

Have a great summer and good luck to Bob and his team.

~ Paul Nutting

May 2004

Dear Neighbors:

I've made the decision not to run for President next term. The position is very constraining when it comes to offering my own opinions, taking vacations, and more importantly in the sense that it takes too much of my time, which I'd rather be spending on specific issues that are important to me.

Please remember that the Savin Hill Park cleanup is scheduled for May 1st and the Savin Hill Beach cleanup is the 15th. I have arranged for Spire to print historic keepsakes for all of the participants. All tools and refreshments will be provided at both events.

Sometimes it is difficult to compile a realistic agenda in time for the newsletter and have it come to fruition at our meeting. One topic, although I don't know who will speak, will be the "cleaning" of North Dorchester Bay beaches at the expense of South Dorchester Bay; this issue is just now coming to light. We only have 2 meetings left before the summer hiatus. Think Spring!

~ Paul Nutting

April 2004

Dear Neighbors:

Hopefully Spring will be arriving soon, we need it. My tenure as President is almost over, with only three meetings left. At the April meeting we will call for nominations from the floor. Bob O'Sullivan is heading a nominations committee; if you have any questions about the positions or the process, contact him.

On a sad note, most of you have heard by now that Army Sergeant Londono of East Cottage Street lost his life fighting the war in Iraq. Since the family lives in our community, we need to do everything that we can to show our support for them. As I write this on St. Patrick's Day, I have contacted several people who are organizing a compassionate community-wide response. Please do all you can to support these efforts.

There are many volunteer hours expended by those that make the Association run. John Anderson and Ed Geary, Jr. publish the newsletter and website, respectively and I want to thank them both for keeping us informed.

~ Paul Nutting

March 2004

Dear Neighbors:

As voted at our February meeting, a public meeting has been arranged to address the situation at Bayside Expo. As I write this while on vacation on February 17th, I am aware that on February 26th members of the McCormack and CSHC Associations will meet with our elected officials and Bayside representatives at St William's Parish Hall to solve some of the traffic issues around Bayside. I will not be there, but am hopeful a resolution can be achieved. We'll have a report at our March 1st meeting. Thank you to our committee chairs for carrying out their missions and providing reports to the membership.

It looks as though the Columbia Point Community Partnership is folding. This group was started by Hubbie Jones to bring together the residents of the area with the institutions and businesses. Annissa Essaibi-George and Bill Walzcak were our representatives to the group; I thank them for their service.

See you on March 1st

~ Paul Nutting

February 2004

Dear Neighbors:

With the January meeting under my belt, I have reached the halfway point in my term. Things have been relatively quiet and uncontroversial, but with the holidays behind us,I think the issues will heat up just as sure as will the weather. Last month I unintentionally deviated from my own policy of heavily screening potential speakers for relevance. I was under the impression that including the presentation on Snow Place would be of service to our seniors and for most of you, that turned out not to be the case. I'll be more careful in the future.

Because many of you approached me with concerns about the Big Apple Circus coming to Bayside Expo for 6 weeks, Catherine O'Neil and other representatives of this venture will be coming to our February meeting. This same contingent spoke to the McCormack Civic group where similar concerns to ours were raised, but not completely allayed. With two weeks lead-time, I am hopeful that some of the vague responses provided to the McCormack folks are more complete for us.

Representatives from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (MDC) will present their plans for West Link Park. It is located to the rear of Bayside Expo and the completion of this project will add yet one more link in the chain of parks (which I call the Sapphire Necklace) that comprise the Harborwalk through Dorchester. I have seen the completed plans at the Boston Conservation Commission hearing, and since this is a small section of a much larger linear park, I spoke up to insure that access across or around the site would be maintained during the 18 months of construction; this request was honored and written into the Con Com's "Order of Conditions". The parkland along the Harborwalk within HarborPoint is owned by the DCR, but maintained by Corcoran-Jennison; a similar agreement has been struck for West Link Park. Because this agreement provides for better maintenance and stewardship of the parkland, I for one am thankful to Corcoran-Jennison Company and am boldly suggesting that it formulate some potential names for the park.

See you on February 2nd.

~ Paul Nutting

January 2004

Dear Neighbors:

I'm glad that everyone enjoyed the Holiday Party and raffle at our December meeting. I want to thank Dianna Wilson, Marlea Mesh, Anne Riley, Joe & Carol Chaisson, Alda Kirsis and Marta Carney for helping out with the party and raffle planning. Our local merchants really came through for us and we need to show our support for them.

Well, it seems that just as "my" administration is settling in, yet another change is in the offing. First, Chuck Mattina left the Treasurer's post; second, I had to find a Planning Committee chair; and now, Dianna Wilson is leaving the VP spot. She will be returning to college and her classes meet on Monday nights. Because I don't want to operate without a back up,I need to have a VP for the Association. You'll recall that during our elections back in the spring, the VP position was the only contested seat and Bobby O'Sullivan was the runner-up to Dianna. Since our bylaws have no mechanism for replacing a resigning officer, I thought I would adopt the City Council policy of installing the runner-up. So Bob will be our new VP beginning in February.

I'd like to thank Dianna for her contribution to the Association and to Dorchester. She was extremely useful to me in completing several projects and has always been and I'm sure will continue to be involved in the community-thank you Dianna.

Because I believe that the agenda should deal only with matters of import to most of the membership, sometimes the meetings will be short. I do not seek out issues or speakers to address us, unless it is something pressing. If you feel differently, please let me know.

~ Paul Nutting

December 2003

Dear Neighbors:

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving. Despite all of the world's tragedies and the barrage of challenges facing us on a daily basis, I believe that most of us, if not all of us, have a great deal for which to be thankful. It always helps to think about what you do "have" as opposed to what you don't.

Please remember to join us Saturday evening for the annual Holiday Tree Lighting event at St. Margarets Church, thank you to Dianna Wilson for representing us on this committee.

Joe Chaisson is back in the saddle and contacted me with some long-awaited good news: the reconfiguration of the access roads and parking at Super 88 at South Bay Plaza is finally going to happen. We will be hearing about these plans at the December meeting. Thank you to Joe, who has stuck with this issue for several years now and is finally seeing it come to fruition.

Our holiday party will commence at the close of regular business, which I hope will be by 8 PM; that way we'll have plenty of time to mingle and enjoy the food. While most of the food will be donated or purchased, feel free to bring anything you'd like to share.

If anyone has questions or concerns about the way I am conducting our business, please bring it to my attention and remember, the Executive Committee meetings are held on the Monday after the general meeting and all are welcome to provide input.

~ Paul Nutting

November 2003

Dear Neighbors:

I want to extend an apology to the membership and the staff of the Little House for allowing last month's meeting to run over by 15 minutes. Too many issues were on the agenda to be adequately addressed in the time allotted. For that reason, November's meeting will be scheduled more realistically and those who were cut from the previous agenda will be heard from first. I also want to reiterate my vow to conduct the meetings in a timely and efficient manner; and if I need to expeditiously steer the conversation to be germane to the matters at hand, please don't take offense.

The planning committee has a new chairperson, Marlea Mesh. For those who don't know her, Marlea is a local realtor and resident of Tuttle Street. Under her guidance, the Tuttle Street Neighborhood Watch recently won a National Night Out award, and she runs those meetings fairly and efficiently. I have every confidence that she will handle this new task well. The planning committee meets on the final Monday of the month at 7 PM in the Little House to provide a higher level of review to matters before the Zoning Board of Appeals and other development issues, please consider joining them.

I often get requests from individuals from our general membership (and others) to speak before the group on matters that I reject as not having a direct affect on the membership, but which may be interesting nonetheless. At our November meeting, I'd like to discuss an idea I have for a format for our December/Holiday Party Meeting. I have always felt that an after-the-meeting party feels rushed; and I for one do not want to eat that late. My proposal is to conduct all regular monthly business and reports in less than an hour. Then we will follow a predetermined and posted speaking schedule in the front room, while food is being served in the rear room. Speakers will be asked to submit a topic beforehand, and then will be allotted 3 minutes to address whomever is in attendance in the front room. This way, those who wish to socialize, can do so, but can also attend a presentation that interests them. Let me know what you think.

See you on the 3rd.

~ Paul Nutting

October 2003

Dear Neighbors:

I was pleased to see such a great turnout at our first meeting of the season, and we had several new members, welcome to them. Many of you complemented me on a well-run and informative meeting, thank you. My intention is to allow a reasonable amount of discussion on issues that directly affect us and to keep the meeting moving so that we are always done by 9 PM. Please remember that the meeting will begin promptly at 7 (arrive earlier, please) and I ask for your QUIET attention while the meeting is under way. The back hall is available for private discussions and conversations. Since the final city election is the morning after our November meeting, the executive board decided that we should invite the 8 final council candidates to address us during our October meeting; they will have 5 minutes to make their pitch. If in the aftermath of the preliminary election there is significant confusion presented by the new voting procedures, I will also request that Michael Chinetti, from the Election Department, return to address any confusion.

Nora McDonnell has stepped forward to assume the Treasurer's position and Annissa Essaibi-George will take our seat on the Columbia Point Community Partnership board of directors, thank you to both of them for their commitment to us and the neighborhood.

~ Paul Nutting

September 2003

Dear Neighbors:

I am looking forward to a productive and rewarding year as the leader of the Association. Every issue that comes before us is usually multifaceted. I will make every effort to educate myself about the pros and cons, the process, and effects of each issue in order to achieve the most advantageous result for the community. There is no progress polarizing at the extremes, but there is great progress when we collaborate in the productive middle. As companies, institutions and residents are constantly looking for zoning variances to expand here, it is very clear that we live in a desirable area of the city. This spring and summer the planning and executive committees worked closely with The Globe, BC High, and First Student School Bus Company to make sure that their plans for development would not only not adversely impact the neighborhood, but rather would provide a benefit.

We recently learned that Chuck Mattina, a past and now the present treasurer of the Association, is moving back to his hometown of Braintree. He will retain ownership of his Harborview Street house and will continue as our treasurer until a replacement emerges, any takers?

See you on September 8th at The Little House.

~ Paul Nutting

© 2004 Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association