What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Richard Rouse

You don’t need a groundhog to tell you that we still have more winter days ahead. Keep your sidewalk clear of snow and ice along with a healthy supply of rock-salt-type de-icers. There are many environmentally friendly brands readily available at our local stores. If you are truly concerned about your environment in Mission Hill, please remember that there are many older residents, people with physical challenges, and parents with young children who help make this such a wonderful community, and they may need assistance during inclement weather.

Two new businesses are preparing to open in the coming weeks. Alleghany Street resident Tony O’Brien (owner of Flann O’Brien’s) has taken over the recently closed Stylz by DaBarba site to unveil the Green T Coffee Shop at 754 Huntington Ave. You might recall that Tony won the Mission Hill Main Street’s Golden Broom award for maintaining cleanliness excellence for Flann’s, so you know he will be bringing high quality coffees and pastries and a friendly atmosphere to this new shop.

Recently, respected Boston attorney George Heos contacted me to report that Christine Chan, owner of the Ginger Exchange Restaurant in Inman Square, Cambridge, will be opening a new Japanese-style restaurant featuring sushi, rice and noodle dishes at the former Savant Project location at 1625 Tremont St., which shut down this past May. This is great news for the economic vitality of our commercial district and everyone wishes them success.

On Jan. 30, the South Huntington Market was robbed at knifepoint by two ski-masked thugs at 9:30 p.m. A store employee watched the thieves fled to an awaiting getaway car, and then he jumped into his own vehicle and followed them and flagged down a police cruiser, whose officers then apprehended the crooks, recovered the loot and charged the three with armed robbery.

Such crimes can occur at any time, and our local constabulary is ever at the watch to discourage these crimes. Our Boston Police District B-2 Capt. John Davin and his team will once again be joining Mission Hill Main Streets to visit our local storeowners as part of our outreach to provide advice to deter crime. One of our nation’s founders, who attended Boston Latin School, ran a small business and wrote a newspaper column, Benjamin Franklin, used to paraphrase Voltaire saying, “Common Sense isn’t very common.” Well, many of the suggestions that the police extoll are simply common sense. Keep your store windows clear of too many signs and posters to allow for good two-way visibility. Passers-by can see in and employees can clearly observe suspicious activity. Install video surveillance and make it well known that it is in use. Keep your establishment well-lit at night. Keep side and rear doors locked. Make bank deposits often and don’t establish a discernible pattern. Greet and get to know your customers. Capt. Davin also encourages that, “If you see something, Say something!” Reporting suspicious activity helps to prevent crime.

Our outstanding local patrol officer, John Ridge, reports that his pet peeve is how so many seemingly intelligent people forget to use caution while simply going about their business. People crossing the street while texting or engrossed in personal or cellphone conversations; folks tuned-out listening to their headphones, stepping out into the street between cars; parked drivers opening their doors; and people walking in a crosswalk and not looking both ways cause too many unnecessary injuries.

Finally, Mayor Menino’s office has received multiple calls from residents reporting that the company GE Security Systems, Versatile Marketing Solutions, Inc. of Warwick, R.I. is visiting homes of Boston residents saying that Mayor Menino and the city government are offering a free installation of a home security system. The City of Boston and Mayor Menino do not have any relationship with this company and remind residents that they should not give out personal information to anyone they do not know who calls or visits the home. Call 911 if you do!

The writer is the executive director of Mission Hill Main Streets.

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