2008 Presidents' Messages

January 2008
Dear Neighbors,

Thank you to all of our Merchants, and members who donated raffle items and baked goods to our Holiday Party, especially Larry Baker at Priority Parking who donated the Patriots Tickets. Congratulations to Lauren Smyth, who was our lucky winner!

In order to continue the discussion on the UMass Master Plan that began at last month’s meetings, representatives from UMass Boston present the Master Plan and address questions at the January meeting.

Corcoran Jennison Companies as responded to our appeal for help in printing our newsletter. Thank you very much to the Corcoran Jennison, especially Catherine O’Neill our neighbor and member who made this possible.

I hope that all had a very merry and restorative holiday, and I wish you a very healthy and Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing all of you on the 7th at 7pm!
~ Deirdre Habershaw

February 2008
Dear Neighbors,

At this month’s meeting we will be doing something a little bit different. We do not have any specific planning items to address this month, so we will be having an open discussion on the Master Plan for Columbia Point that will be going on for the next several months. We are fortunate to have a number of representatives from our community appointed to the Master Plan Task Force, including Bill Cotter, Matt Gordy, Paul Nutting, and Don Walsh. This discussion will serve as an information gathering session for our representatives so that once the task force meets they have some reference point for how our membership feels the master plan should come together. Please come to the meeting prepared with, not only your concerns for how the proposed development could negatively effect our community, but also aspects of the point that you hope will be preserved, and desires that you may have for development that could benefit our community.

As I am sure you have unfortunately heard, there was a fatal stabbing in an apartment on Tuttle Street in January. My deepest sympathy’s go out to the victim’s family, as well as the resident of the apartment, and the property owner. I would like to say, especially to those of you that may be new to the area, that this is not a frequent occurrence, and is quite out of the ordinary. A crime of this kind can happen anywhere. It just so happens that this time it tragically occurred in one of our homes. All we can hope is that the Boston Police will find the criminal and that something like this will never happen in our neighborhood again. If you are interested in joining or starting a crime watch in our area, please contact the Neighborhood Crime Watch Unit of the Boston Police Department at 617-343-4345.

I look forward to seeing all of you on the 4th at 7 PM at the Little House!
~ Deirdre Habershaw

March 2008
Dear Neighbors,

I hope that everyone had a nice month of February. Fortunately, the last month has been relatively quiet, and frankly I don't have much in the way of an update on issues. So I would like to take this opportunity to recognize two people who are very helpful to me and to the association.

George Jenkins and Jim Castiola keep our web site updated, and send emails to member when we are trying to get information out quickly. I just wanted to let everyone know just how much I appreciate their work. Often I am sending one of them an announcement that is time sensitive and they are both very generous in taking time from their lives to send it out quickly. I couldn't do it without either of them.

At this month's meeting we will be forming a nomnations committee which will oversee the nominations and election of officers. Please consider being a member of this committee. Furthermore, we will be taking nomnations for officers at the April meeting. At this time we anticipate having two vacancies. Nora McDonnell has decided not to seek re-election (Treasurer), and the Corresponding Secretary position has been vacant for some time. If you think you may be interested inone of these positions, but have questions; please don't hesitate to ask Nora or another officer for details on the various responsibilities.

I look forward to seeing all of you on March 3rd at 7 PM.
~ Deirdre Habershaw

May 2008
Dear Neighbors,

I hope that everyone was able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather we had during the month of April. It was nice to see so many people out and about enjoying our fabulous neighborhood. Thank you so much to all of the volunteers that devoted their Saturday to beautifying our neighborhood for Boston Shines. Unfortunately, I was not able to participate this year, but I heard from Lauren Smyth that the turnout in Savin Hill was phenomenal. I am grateful to Anne Riley, Bill Walczak, Chris O’Neil, Joe Chaisson, Paul Nutting, and Michael Christopher for organizing all of the volunteers throughout the neighborhood. Hopefully the great weather will continue into the month of May because we have a lot of great outdoor events coming up this month including the revival of the Neighborhood Yard Sale and the Plant and Bake Sale.

This month we will have our election of officers. We are still accepting nominations, and will continue to do so up until voting at the meeting. At this time we do not have a candidate to take over the treasurer responsibilities from Nora. I would strongly urge you to consider the position. Nora has been doing a fabulous job keeping our finances and membership info in order, which is a very important component of keeping the association going. Being an officer is a great way of staying informed on what is going on in the area and allows you the opportunity to participate shaping the organization and prioritizing our objectives. If these are things you are interested in, I encourage you to nominate yourself for treasurer or consider joining the Executive Board, which is also accepting new members. I can ensure you that there will be plenty of help from the other officers and Executive Board members in getting you started in either of these roles if you chose to accept one.

I look forward to seeing all of you on Monday, May 5th @ 7:00 PM at the Little House.
~ Deirdre Habershaw

September 2008
Dear Neighbors,

Welcome back!

Hopefully everyone had a fun and relaxing summer.

Thank you to all of our members who lent a hand in planning and executing the First Annual Dorchester Beach Festival. Especially Paul Nutting and Maureen McQuillen, the committee co-chairs, who went above and beyond to ensure that this event was a huge success.

This month we will be joined by the Bayside Redevelopment team. As you may remember, we were given an overview of the proposal for development of the Bayside site at our meeting in June. Over the last several months the plans have become more solidified and are currently under review by the BRA. We will be afforded the opportunity to look at these more concrete plans at this month’s meeting.

Additionally, we will be announcing the winners of this year’s Curb Appeal awards and will be recognizing a few of our neighbors for the work they do on behalf of our community.

Looking forward to seeing all of you on Monday, September 8th at 7 PM at the Little House!

~ Deirdre Habershaw

October 2008
Dear Neighbors,

This fall we got off to a great start. If you weren’t able to join us last month, you should know that we thanked Nora McDonnell for her years of hard work as treasurer of the Association. Dan Brennan has taken over the responsibilities as our new treasurer, so please contact him if you have any questions about the status of your membership.

Have you noticed that Dorchester Ave has been looking cleaner and cleaner? Well, it is no fluke. The noticeable lack of litter between Freeport Street and Columbia Road is due to one particular woman. Joanne Sullivan, employee of the City of Boston Public Works Department and resident of Auckland Street, has been putting in long hours and significant muscle power to sweeping our sidewalks and keeping the gutter’s clear of trash. Several residents and business owners have noticed her work for a few years. Now the Boston Municipal Research Bureau has taken note, and will present her with the Henry L. Shattuck Award for Public Service. Later this month Joanne will officially receive this coveted award, which honors exceptional city employees. The Executive Board of the Association has decided to honor her as well. So at this month’s meeting we will be recognizing Joanne for her strong work ethic and attention to detail that makes such a huge improvement to our neighborhood.

In addition to recognizing Joanne, State Senator Jack Hart will be addressing the Association, and we will have a discussion with the Columbia Point Task Force about their progress on the Columbia Point Master Plan. The Beautification Committee will also be hosting our first Spring Bulb Sale, so plan on buying bulbs now to support the committee and beautify your garden come spring!

I look forward to seeing all of you on Monday, October 6th at 7 PM at the Little House.

~ Deirdre Habershaw

November 2008
Dear Neighbors,

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather. You don’t have to travel far from home to see the gorgeous New England foliage. There is plenty of it right in our own neighborhood.

I have been mentioning this for several months now, but the association is trying to reduce its paper usage by allowing members to receive their newsletter via e-mail. If you are willing to help out in this way, please sign-up at the monthly meeting, or email president@columbiasavinhillcivic.org

If you signed up for this service in the past, but are still receiving your paper copy in the mail, please make either Dan Brennan or myself are aware of this so that we can correct the issue.

At this months meeting we will be having a forum to distribute information on the ballot questions that we will all see on Election Day. There are three questions on the ballot, and we will be devoting 5 minutes to either position on all three questions, so if you are feeling a little ill-informed or have not made up your mind by election eve, please come by the meeting to get a little information.

Please remember to vote on November 4th, the day after our regular monthly meeting!

Looking forward to seeing all of you on Monday, November 3rd at 7 PM at the Little House!

~ Deirdre Habershaw

December 2008
Dear Neighbors,

You may not be aware that in addition to my duties as president and my fulltime job, I am a graduate student at Boston University pursuing a degree in Urban Planning. As you may imagine my schedule involves juggling a number of different commitments during a given week. I have been able to do this rather successfully for the past two years by enrolling in classes that do not meet on Monday nights. Unfortunately, this as caught up with me, as I eventually knew that it would, and I am required to enroll in a class starting in January that meets on Monday night. The members of the Executive Board have agreed to move the Executive Board meeting to the second Tuesday of the month starting in February. I will attend the monthly meeting when it is most necessary, Otherwise meetings in the future months (February, March, and April) will be run by Bobby O’Sullivan or Maureen McQuillen. I really appreciate the willingness of the Executive Board to accommodate my schedule, especially Maureen and Bobby.

At the December meeting we will be having our annual holiday party. If you are interested in bringing a baked good please let me know. Just make sure to label what it is and its basic ingredients for members with food allergies. We will also be having raffles of items that are donated by local merchants.

I look forward to seeing you at the Little House on Monday, December 1st at 7 PM.

~ Deirdre Habershaw