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Live Blogging: Codman Square Neighborhood Council Meeting (1/2010)

So sorry this wasn’t live.

We’re at the Codman Square Neighborhood Council meeting for January 2010.

7:05 Brief history of what the neighborhood council is after introductions. This is the first meeting of this decade, thus making it very, very important. Recap of a few recent events in the neighborhood council.

7:09 Introduction of new and returning neighborhood council members.

7:12 Thanks and words from the president. And we’re jumping into the agenda.

7:14 Introductions. Wait, does the whole room have to do this? This is intimidating…and awkward.

7:16 Thanks to Only One Jamaican Restaurant over on Norfolk for providing food tonight. Yum!

7:17 C11 police folk are presenting for the Safe Street Team. Thank God. Everything, according to them, has been much quieter. Thanks to those who helped with the Christmas kids party.

7:19 63 Documented incidents since we last met and 16 of those were domestic violence related. Sad, but somewhat understanding. Outline of the 9 arrests that were made. There was also a robbery on New Years. The victim was asked for a light, and was robbed of his wallet.

7:23 B3 is up. 100 incidents since we last met. He brings up someone who was robbed of their Sidekick. This is a huge issue in this area, and in Boston. “Stop being stupid” is his message to the teens. These kids are sticking each other up for phones. It’s not worth it. He also talks about a trip that B3 took to a railroad. Wow 600+ kids at their Christmas party! Thanks to all those who contributed. Starting in February, there will be tee-ball, softball and baseball on Sundays. And there’s free self-defense class for ladies on Saturdays. I had no idea. And it’s free. January 20 is B3s monthly meeting, in case anyone’s interested.

7:28 Traffic complaints are very common these days. Drive safely and legally everyone. Thanks.

7:28 Senator Jack Hart is here to give us updates.  He starts by reiterating the words of the B3 officer. “Be safe and be smart.” Thanks to the whole neighborhood council for all that they do, especially the young people. And there are tons of young people here. He begins to talk about the economy, and that it’s turning around. There are big changes in our neighborhood and in our schools. Education reform is going to be huge this year, starting with charter schools. Transportation reform is an issue too. The State House is looking to consolidate to save money. He also mentions pension reform, all with the goal of making Mass. a better place. Hart also brings up the idea of manufacturing jobs in the life sciences field as a way to provide jobs to jump-start the economy. The is also talk of more partnerships between universities and organizations like Longwood to provide jobs to college grads. Closing remarks and he’s done.

7:41 Good question from Cynthia about green jobs. Hart responds that there will definitely be more innovation in green tech, which will give us green jobs.

7:43 Updates from the Neighborhood Health Council. They’re giving a summary of “Choices Make Changes”, which we live-blogged at https://sbexperiment.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/live-blogging-2009-dorchester-health-community-meeting/. Apparently, it was a great success and a pamphlet was made that compiled all of the ideas generated at the event. Awesome! Every third Thursday of every month, come check it out.

7:46 Information about the Farmers Market. Next year, the market will be opened up to all local and community merchants to see if people are interested in providing healthy foods!

7:47 Next up is the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation. Tons of community meetings about development of the Whittier Apartments and the parking lot that’s near it. If you live in that area, look forward to flyers for meetings.

7:51 If you or anyone you know is having issues with your bank or foreclosure on your home, go to 587 Washington St. It’s free and they want to help. They also buy and sell foreclosed homes. Good to know.

7:55 Next on the agenda: folk to talk about potential development of a 17800 sq ft. plot of land on Wheatland and Whitfield. The proposal is for four two-family houses. If you’re familiar with the area, the homes would look like the homes that are already on that block. The proposal is privately funded. Very nice plan, and the homes would be very close to the new train station that will be near Talbot. For those who are concerned or worried, the person who owns this land has a great reputation with Boston for renovating homes to livable condition.

8:09 Oooo good question. Will people from the neighborhood be hired for this project, specifically people of color? We don’t get a definite answer.

8:12 A representative from Codman Square Health Center asks for support from the council to construct a real parking lot near 450 Washington Street. It would provide approximately 50 parking spaces for their community center, which houses a lot of their services and initiatives. The address would be 435-439 Washington Street. This project would involve removing the rubble from a resident’s yard from the previous parking lot project. There would also be a addition of lighting, fencing and landscaping. The lighting is important, as it would help with some of the safety issues in that area.

8:20 Questions from the audience. Will there be charging for the parking? No. Will there be towing for people not using the lot? No. There is also talk about whether or not people who use 450 Washington can park in the lot of Church of All Nations. Honestly, I’m concerned that there were so many questions about this parking lot, yet no questions about the new housing project. It’s just a freaking parking lot people. But we let the gentleman slide when he couldn’t tell us how much the new housing units would cost? I think we need to re-evaluate our priorities and who we attack.

8:25 Announcement time. There are representatives from the Masons and Eastern Stars. Apparently, their lodge is doing things for the community, and they want to connect with people to get the word out. They have scholarship program, a MLK lunch and an Earth Day celebration. 80 Talbot Ave for more information.

8:31 Comment from the audience: what churches are doing things for the community?

8:31 Talk about renovating the community garden at Nightingale. Thursday January 14 and the Codman Square Tech Center, there will be a meeting to plan improvement and renovation of the garden.

8:33 Cynthia has all of the church representatives re-introduce themselves. There are tons of churches here. It’s true that they are pretty invisible. I mean, I’m sure that there are more churches in Codman Square than liquor stores, which is really odd for an urban area. Yet, the churches are, for the most part, empty, invisible institutions.

8:36 Thanks again. One more announcement from “The Green Room”, a local tv show. Go check it out.

8:37 And we’re out!



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