The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association met on Tuesday, April 10, with an eye on cracking down on graffiti in the neighborhood.
Eight Streets President Michael Almond and member Gail Suyemoto led the group on a discussion about graffiti and how to best handle it.
Suyemoto explained that many members have been working with Officer Richard Litto and have been able to approach seven business owners to remove graffiti from their buildings. Five of the seven, she said, didn’t even know it was there and were glad to have it removed.
One of the first steps is to call 9-1-1. While people are hesitant to do that because they feel like it would bother the police, Officer Litto has informed the neighborhood that is what the police want.
“We have heard that this is being discussed by the sergeants at the D-4 roll calls and the new captain is very eager to tackle this and the number one quality-of-life issue is graffiti,” said Suyemoto. “A lot of people feel like they’re bothering the police department, but this is what they want us to do. If they have several of these reports in one spot, they can know to patrol it or look for it.”
After calling 9-1-1, it is advised to make a police report.
Then, property owners are advised to make a 3-1-1 report as well.
The City does have a Graffiti Busters program that operates between March 1 and Nov. 1. If one makes a report, the program will visit the property, and after signing a waiver, they will remove the graffiti.
They do prioritize public buildings and public property first, however.
Almond reminded residents that there is nothing preventing a person from filing a 3-1-1 report on a neighborhood property, even if they don’t know the owner.
He and Suyemoto said a homeowner can remove the graffiti themselves, but experience has dictated that it is very difficult to remove.
The group has agreed to be proactive, with street captains notifying commercial property owners of any graffiti that pops up.
- Watson Gets Its Water
The Friends of Watson Park have been painstakingly trying to get the water in their little park turned on for the better part of two years, but to no avail.
However, earlier this month, they learned that all of the excuses given them were nothing but bunk.
“We were just really spinning our wheels,” said Almond. “This is nothing but frustration.”
John Payne and Louane Hann reported that the water had suddenly been turned on this month with little problem. That was after many reasons and excuses from the Boston Parks Department and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) as to why it couldn’t be done. At last notice, they were told they had to lay new water piping. However, it seemed someone just came and flipped the switch earlier this month.
It was more than a little frustrating for the group, which has raised money to build out the water system.
“Sometimes getting things done in City government is no who you go to, but who you go around,” said Suyemoto. “I think Eight Streets and Watson Park have bene trying to follow the process and it’s been to their detriment. These types of situations just really need to be addressed.”