By Adam Swift
At its October meeting, the Jamaica Pond Association’s Board of Directors got a public safety update from Boston Police Officer Omar Cepeda, heard from District 6 City Council Candidate Ben Weber, and considered a zoning request for updates to a 21/2-story home at 84 Prince St.
Cepeda noted that the neighborhood was fairly quiet through September as far as crime was concerned.
One of the biggest incidents was a burglary on Lochstead Avenue in late September.
“The occupants in the home found an intruder in the kitchen area,” said Cepeda.
The intruder ran out the door as the residents called the police. Cepeda said the intruder was found by police and arrested.
The most unusual part of the incident was that it happened around 7:40 p.m. when people are typically home. Cepeda said most burglaries usually happen in the morning when it is less likely that homes will be occupied.
Cepeda said there was also a recent shoplifting incident where someone took $226 of merchandise from Whole Foods. A summons was issued for the suspect in that case, he added.
The officer also cautioned residents of Jamaica Plain to keep their bicycles off the street.
“Word from the detectives in the station is that bike larcenies are way up,” said Cepeda. “Please lock your bikes and don’t leave them outside.”
There was one incident where a car window was smashed to steal a bike that was inside the car, he said.
Cepeda said he would also see if Officer David Murray, who handles traffic issues in Jamaica Plain, could attend the next meeting of the Jamaica Pond Association.
The highlight of several committee reports was the request from the committee chairs that more regular dates be set for the committee meetings to help increase participation.
Tony Dreyfus of the Parks, Parkways, and Open Spaces Committee also discussed the possibility of revitalizing the Friends of Jamaica Pond group as a nonprofit tasked with advocating for issues directly associated with the pond.
“We seem to have some rising interest in possibly revivifying and enlarging the Friends of Jamaica Pond, which has played a big part in establishing and pushing forward work about the pond over the decades,” said Dreyfus.
The association also had the opportunity to hear from and question District 6 Council candidate Weber, who is facing William King on the November ballot.
The Jamaica Plain resident is a lawyer who started his career representing migrant farm workers in the South and provided free legal services with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid for several years.
He also worked in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office and currently specializes in workers’ rights cases.
Weber said one of the most important aspects of being a city councilor is providing constituent services, adding that his legal experience will help him be an advocate for the residents in his district.
Weber was asked several questions by association members, including his thoughts on the importance of environmental justice in Boston.
“I think we have wasted too much time delaying combating climate change,” said Weber.
Weber said he would like to see Boston be a leader in battling climate change and supports eliminating the use of fossil fuels in larger buildings in the city.
The association also heard from the representatives and architects for a couple looking to renovate a home at 84 Prince St. They are seeking to close in a porch and add more space on the top floor for work and living space.