By Ling-Mei Wong and Sara Brown
Four Chinatown organizations met in December 2016 and January. The Chinatown/South Cove Neighborhood Committee met on Dec. 19, 2016. The Chinatown Safety Committee and Chinatown Resident Association met Jan. 4. The Chinatown Coalition met Jan. 12.
The Chinatown/South Cove Neighborhood Committee meeting took place at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association.
Attorney Kar Chang spoke for the New Jumbo Restaurant, which sought community support for extending its hours from 2:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Boston Police Department Capt. for District A-1 Ken Fong said there were safety concerns from club patrons coming after 2 a.m. closing.
After discussion regarding business requests for a 4 a.m. extension of operations, council members felt ensuring the quality of life and safety of residents in the community outweighed any potential benefits and would not support such requests.
Dunkin Donuts will move out of a rented location in Emerson College on 80 Boylston Street to a new location on 147 Tremont Street, due to renovation at Emerson. It is franchised by Watermark Donut Company, which is seeking support for its takeout license application to the Zoning Board of Appeals, said attorney Lesley St. Germain of McDermott, Quincy & Miller. The location is expected to have 24 seats and will retain its existing employees. Watermark runs more than 40 Dunkin franchises, including the Kneeland Street location in Chinatown. The council voted to support the franchise’s takeout license application.
A presentation on mixed-used project 115 Winthrop Square at the Winthrop Street garage was given by Joe Larkin of Millennium Partners. The proposed 700-foot building would cast a shadow on the Boston Common, which violates a Boston law that must be modified by a council vote. Community benefits from the $1 billion project include 100 units of affordable housing in Chinatown, affordable housing upgrades in East Boston, improvements to the Boston Common and improvements to Franklin Park. The council was invited to write support letters to the Boston Planning and Development Agency.
“If we do not get a project of significant size, we can’t get the benefits,” Larkin said. “We do a lot of work downtown and we feel Chinatown is the most important neighborhood.”
The Chinatown Safety Committee met at the Doubletree Hotel.
Boston Police Department District A-1 Sgt. Jimmy Chin reported on neighborhood crime.
“We ended the year well,” Chin said. “District A-1 is at 10-year low for Part 1 crimes, which are down 2 percent from the past year.”
There were no homicides, 12 larcenies, four larcenies from motor vehicles and 50 arrests in the past 30 days, Chin said.
Dana Nye, MBTA Transit Police community outreach coordinator, said Back Bay station had six drug offenses in the last 30 days. At South Station, there were two larcenies, three drug offenses and one loitering incident. At the Chinatown station, an assault occurred, along with a credit card fraud incident.
The Chinatown Resident Association met at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School.
Watermark Donut Company presented on its Emerson Dunkin Donuts franchise moving to Tremont Street.
The Oxford Street Tenant Association was represented by four residents from 22-30 Oxford Street. They spoke about the change of ownership. The Suffolk County Register of Deeds showed 18-20 Oxford Street and 22-30 Oxford Street were sold to Oxford Street LLC for $8.7 million on Nov. 3. Tenants said their rent increased $200 a month and new ownership was not responsive to maintenance requests, resulting in more loitering, trash and graffiti. They hoped to meet with the new owners to request five-year leases rather than one-year leases, regular maintenance and door repair for safety.
The Chinatown Coalition met at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.
The Greater Boston Legal Services presented on immigration law and anticipated changes when President-elect Trump is inaugurated.
According to Tram Nguyen, Trump promised to deport 2 to 3 million undocumented people from the country with the focus being on those who have criminal records.
“There are not 2 to 3 million undocumented people with criminal records so they could target those who do not have records to reach that goal,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen recommended immigrants to learn their rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney in case something happens. She also said undocumented individuals with criminal records should reach out to an immigration attorney.
“We live in a very uncertain political climate right now,” Nguyen said. “We don’t know what will happen and if something does happen, we don’t know when.”
This post is also available in: Chinese