2006 Presidents' Messages


November 2006
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

November is upon us already. The election will be held the day after our general membership meeting. Do not forget to vote.

With the prospect of the vote on the by-laws occurring the agenda was purposely left light. However as you can read elsewhere, some changes were made to the original draft. It has been decide that another distribution of the final recommendation be made to the full membership. At our meeting on Monday night there will be copies for those who are present. Please have your name checked off as you pick up a copy. In this way we will only have to mail out the remainder to those members not present. This will allow us to save time, effort, and cost.

The invited guest from the MBTA is not able to attend this month, so we will reschedule. We will have our committee reports along with the Public Safety Reports.

Now with mixed emotions I must inform the membership of my decision to move out of Dorchester. I have resisted this for a long time, but due to personal issues the time has come. Consequently I am resigning from my position as President of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association. I have tried my best in the position, but to be honest the last year has taken a toll on me personally. I realize that the timing is not the best, but I am committed to this move and it will happen before January 1, 2007. My sincere appreciation goes out to all who have been instrumental in keeping the CSHCA such an effective organization. It is not without a heavy heart that I write this. Change is good.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM. Please try to allow a little extra time. Bring a friend. Bring an item for the food collection.
~ Bob Donovan



October 2006
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Summer is gone and fall is here. Halloween will soon be upon us. But before Halloween, Spooky World will be at the Bayside Exposition Center. There is a web site where you can get the dates and hours of operation. I am sure that traffic and parking will not be an issue since Bayside has not notified us of any concerns. Of course they did not notify us of this show coming, either.

We have a beautiful beach in Savin Hill. The boardwalk is a place where I love to take a walk. My last walk 16 light bulbs were out and one globe was broken. On August 10th, the night of a Beach Meeting there were 15 board walk lights out. I do not know how many lights have to be out before DCR replaces them. Maybe less meetings and more work might be a solution.

The proposed by-laws changes were mailed out to each memberís residence. We will have some at our meeting for those that may have not received them or need an extra copy. We have extended the comment period to October 17th. The plan is then to start the process at the November General Meeting. Remember the comments have to be written. The form is on the last page of the mailing. Thanks to Ed Geary and his committee for their hard work.

Kudos must be given to Anne Riley and Marlea Mesh and their respective committees for their performance at the September Meeting. Hopefully both events will be annual. Not everything has to be negative.

This month we will have representatives from UMass Boston to speak on their "Master Plan" and current parking condition. The "Master Plan" may or may not include living-learning areas, which may be confused with "dorms." The parking issue is on going and by the time of our meeting we should have about a months worth of information.

I have been remiss in not acknowledging our Treasurer, Nora McDonnell, for her outstanding performance in that position. As we are all aware, the process to enter the meeting has become a little more laborious. It is Nora who has to check our membership list, update our mailing list, and distribute our voting cards. Thank you Nora.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM. Please try to allow a little extra time. Bring a friend. Bring an item for the Little House Food Pantry.
~ Bob Donovan



September 2006
To All Members of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association:

Welcome back. Here we are at the end of a beautiful but rainy summer, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end.

One matter that I would like to stress this year is the use of voting cards at ALL meetings. As you know, one must be a dues paying member in good standing (at least one month) in order to vote on CSHCA matters. We will adhere to this at each meeting. In order to accomplish this, we will need to arrive early and to bring our patience. Thank you in advance.

This year will start with a reception which will start at 6:00 PM. This is the idea of your membership committee so that members old and new can socialize before we start our general membership meeting. There is an announcement elsewhere in this newsletter.

Not all news is good. Tragically an elderly person lost her life when she was hit by an automobile at the intersection of Columbia Road and Dorchester Avenue. It was reported that she may have been crossing when the light was green. That may have been the case. My question would be: did she start to walk across when the light was red and yellow or whatever is the appropriate color to cross nowadays? The time allotted to cross a street does not seem to match the patience of most drivers. To me this is most noticeable at the on and off ramps on Columbia Road. This needs constant attention.

Again we will have our annual Curb Appeals Awards Ceremony. This is our most positive event. Many kudos to Anne Riley and her Beautification Committee.

Also on our agenda is John Meaney from the City of Boston Inspectional Services. Mr. Meaney will discuss again how to eradicate our rodent population. It seems to me that the rat population has never been so large as now. I have been told of daylight sightings on numerous streets. We must be vigilant that before our streets are dug, that some sort of baiting be done. Whenever any substantial digging is to be done, pre-baiting must be mandatory. This is not a quality of life issue, this is a major health issue. We must make sure that we are not adding to the problem. Please bring your specific issues.

I would love to appoint some member to the post of Recording Secretary. This is a vital position in our organization that remains at this time unfilled. Anyone with an interest please contact any of the officers.

This is an election year so I would imagine that candidates for various offices may show at our meeting. If we have the time I will allow the candidates 2 minutes to speak. We will do this on a first come first served basis.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM (6:00 PM for the Social) on September 11th. Bring a friend. Bring an item for the food collection.
~ Bob Donovan



May 2006

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

Honesty is of the utmost importance to me. To kill an overused business term, at the end of the day, all one has is one's reputation. It seems that mine has been sullied and that exasperates me. Twice I have been accused of actions which I deem deplorable. This is not fun.

I know that we have been having our issues. I have been trying my best to keep the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association moving forward in a positive light. My efforts have not been successful. New members who have just joined have not lasted a full meeting without requesting their dues be paid back. Long time residents shake their heads, and just laugh when asked about rejoining.

It is great to have the Little House filled with members. But when the meeting becomes more circus than civic, I cannot hide my frustration. I want to be your President, not your ringleader.

This month we will have our election for Officers. We will do this first because it has been brought to our attention that we need to do this by paper ballot (even if there is only one candidate for each office). We have been in violation of our by-laws when we have had voice votes.

This month we will finally thank Molly Dunford for her exceptional performance and hard work. We wish Molly all the best in her new position, Laison to the City Council.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on May 1st. Bring a friend!

Remember to bring a non-perishable food item, household cleaner or toiletry item for the Little House Food Pantry.
~ Bob Donovan



April 2006

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

Spring is here. It is a time for renewal. It is the time of the year when the Beautification Committee takes on the utmost importance (not that the rest of the year is shabby). It is a great time to get out and about. It also is the perfect time to meet your neighbors old and new.

The next paragraph is basically from last month's newsletter and from the tone of the "Letters to the Editors" in this issue was not effective. But I restate it nonetheless. I have never nor will I ever represent the CSHCA against the will of its members. My decision was based on keeping the CSHCA effective and moving the general meeting in a reasonable manner.

The Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association has always been a democratic organization. In my tenure as President, I have always tried to be fair, sometimes to a fault. I have made an Executive decision to set aside last month's motion that no votes can be taken at any Committee meetings. This decision was announced at the Executive Board meeting and was made only after much deliberation. To allow the vote to stand would basically put the CSHCA in gridlock. I do not believe that any decisions made in behalf of the CSHCA were wrong or made with any malicious intent. We are all volunteers who work hard for the betterment of our neighborhood. We have large boundaries and many issues with which to contend. Let us fight together and not one another.

Also, in this issue there is an item referring to the suspect who was nabbed in a pair of abduction-rapes. It appears that the Boston Police did a terrific job. However, it still remains that these events happened, and that we have to be constantly vigilant. Especially single women are the most vulnerable. I say this as a father of a young woman who often travels alone. We may have our differences in policy matters, but our safety and that of our families is paramount. In this matter we remain united.

Another item I would like to address is the issue of some homeless who seem to have made the Ryan Playground their home away from home. As many know, I recently became a grandfather, and enjoy taking my grandaughter to the park. There have been times when the homeless have made the enjoyment of the Ryan not worth the effort. With the recent NSTAR project, this situation has been much better. The Ryan Playground is a great resource, and again it is a matter that needs our constant vigilance.

We will also have our committee reports. Check the Agenda.

Also, please remember that we offer free childcare for our members and guests at our general monthly meetings.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on April 3rd. Bring a friend.

Remember to bring a non-perishable food item, household cleaner or toiletry item for the Little House Food Pantry.
~ Bob Donovan



March 2006

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

To all who attended last month’s meeting, let me say thank you for your attendance and participation. For the third consecutive meeting the number of members who showed up was outstanding.

The number of members who showed up was outstanding, but the meeting in my opinion was not. The Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association has always been a democratic organization. In my tenure as President, I have always tried to be fair, sometimes to a fault. Last month’s meeting turned ugly, and it turned my stomach. I have made an Executive decision to set aside last month’s motion that no votes can be taken at any Committee meetings. This decision was announced at the Executive Board meeting and was made only after much deliberation. To allow the vote to stand would basically put the CSHCA in gridlock. I do not believe that any decisions made in behalf of the CSHCA were wrong or made with any malicious intent. We are all volunteers who work hard for the betterment of our neighborhood. We have large boundaries and many issues with which to contend. Let us fight together and not one another.

To all our new members, let me extend a sincere welcome. Please consider the possibility of being an active member. Attending the monthly meeting is great, but there is more to the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association than a once a month meeting. There are committees that are essential to our organization. Thank you to Justin Green for accepting the position as Recording Secretary. To all our members, both old and new, we need your participation. Please consider increasing your commitment to the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association. It will only make a strong organization stronger.

The CSHCA extends a warm welcome our new Merchant Members: Boston Glass and Boarding, dbar Restaurant, Savin Hill Suds/Kennedy Cleaners and Tom’s Barbershop.

We will also have our committee reports. As this goes to print, we are hopeful to have a guest from the Boston Partners in Education. Check the Agenda.

Please remember to pay your dues as all dues are for the calendar year.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on March 6th. Bring a friend. Remember to bring an item for the Food Pantry.
~ Bob Donovan



February 2006

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

To all who attended last month’s meeting, let me say thank you for your attendance and participation. For the second consecutive meeting the number of members who showed up was outstanding. And this time we were not having a party. If the weather continues to be mild (and let’s all hope that it does), maybe we can “pack the house” for the third month in a row.

To all our new members, let me extend a sincere welcome. Please consider the possibility of being an active member. Attending the monthly meeting is great, but there is more to the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association than a once a month meeting. There are committees that are essential to our organization. For months we have been without a Recording Secretary, a critical position in any association. To all our members, both old and new, we need your participation. Please consider increasing your commitment to the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association. It will only make a strong organization stronger.

Rich Pacitti will be missed by all who knew him. Richard was one person who did not have any problem with commitment. Our condolences go out to his family and many friends.

Superintendent Robert Dunford of the Boston Police Department will be our invited guest at this month’s meeting. Our thanks to Captain Frank Armstrong for his participation at last month’s meeting. Officer Mike Keaney is a person who every month attends and informs our association. Our thanks to all who protect our safety, be it Boston, State, or Transit Police. We have stressed Public Safety, because it is my belief that Public Safety is the most important issue with which we deal.

I would also like to extend a public thank you to our District City Councilor Maureen Feeney. Maureen and her office are always well represented at any of our functions. Many times it is Maureen and her most capable staff who follow up on our issues. Thanks to all.

We will also have our committee reports. As this goes to print, we are hopeful to have a report from the St. William’s Reuse Committee. Check the Agenda.

Please remember to pay your dues as all dues are for the calendar year.

Finally, good luck to Anne Nee as she leaves The Little House after more than a few years. Anne was always a friend to the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association. This is good luck and not goodbye.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on February 6th. Bring a friend. Remember to bring an item for the Food Pantry.
~ Bob Donovan



January 2006

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

Happy New Year!!!!!

It seems like only yesterday we were welcoming in 2005. I guess you can call it a sign of getting old. The years seem to pass as quickly as months used to pass. Never mind how fast weeks and months fly by. No matter how fast the days continue to slip by, let’s resolve to make the most of them.

A couple of calendar items. First, membership fees are now due for the 2006 calendar year. All 2005 memberships have expired December 31st, 2005. Please take a minute to renew if you have no done so already. Thank you.

Secondly, this is my second consecutive year as your President. It has been brought to my attention that the by-laws preclude a third year. So, we will have nominations at our April meeting with an election at our May meeting. It has been an honor and privilege to serve.

Last months meeting presented both the best and in my mind the worst of our association. I apologize to all who wanted more time for our “Holiday” celebration. The agenda for the meeting ran much too long. I am to blame for allowing that to happen. Also, it was great to have such an attendance at a monthly meeting. However, it became obvious that many attended for one particular item. When that item had been discussed and voted upon, there immediately was a mass exodus toward the exit. Whatever else was on the agenda evidently did not concern these members. During my years of involvement, I have come to accept this action. I would like to thank Bill Cotter and the members of the Planning Committee for continually working for the betterment of the Columbia-Savin Hill neighborhood. I feared that we would not have a Planning Committee left after last month. Thanks again for persevering.

Please remember to pay your 2006 dues as all dues are for the calendar year.

The celebration after the meeting was outstanding. My thanks go to all of those who participated in making the party so successful. Also to all the donors of the raffle prizes, my sincere thanks. Whenever we have asked for anything our business partners have always stepped up to the plate. For fear of omitting someone or a business, I purposely am not naming names. Without all of your participation, none of this can happen.

One person who will be named is Anne Riley. Anne who is the chair of our Beautification Committee along with her committee members did an outstanding job of attaching beautiful wreaths to utility poles along Savin Hill Avenue and Dorchester Ave. Let’s hope that we have started a new tradition.

Please again, remember to pay your dues for the new 2006 calendar year.

See you at the Little House at 7:00 PM on January 9th. Bring a friend and please remember to bring an item for the Food Pantry too!
~ Bob Donovan