Monday, November 26, 2012

Very Quick LDNA Summary

Tonight's LDNA meeting had no formal agenda, but the LPD report and some related issues took us well past eight.  In the interests of time (my own, that is...I have to study non-linear optimization models and then wake up in a few hours without turning into a zombie), I will keep this short.

Sergeant Michael Giuffrida (LPD) led off with a crime summary for events downtown this month.  They included:

  • An unprovoked robbery/beating by 4-5 assailants against a single victim at Middle and Shattuck;
  • Disorderly conduct and vandalism incidents in the John/Paige/Lee areas;
  • An armed robbery of a female UML student near the ATM at Warren/Central;
  • A shoplifting incident at Kenner Shoe (189 Market);
  • Vehicle break-ins.  We were told that city-wide, the overwhelming majority (70 percent or so) of thefts from vehicles take place when the vehicle is left unlocked;
  • Recently, a man who was "not of sound mind" made quite a scene at Palmer and Middle.  LPD handled the situation and a drunken punching of a Centro patron simultaneously.  The LPD Captain present at the meeting credited the Thurs-Fri-Sat overtime force authorization, which is allowing LPD to quickly respond to incidents downtown.  He also emphasized that although petty crime incidents may appear higher in some categories, the activity itself is unchanged...but the response is swifter.  The Centro incident had a two-minute response time;
  • Incidents in the Kerouac Park/Mass Mills area have come down a bit because of the stronger LPD presence and because of the colder temperatures, which make youth less likely to congregate in the area;
  • An incident in which vandals were jumping on the roofs of cars (and causing serious damage to at least two cars) on Market Street.  Building residents were able to shoo the vandals away and get the license plate of the "getaway" car (details pending on this);
Henri Marchand, Asst. to the City Manager, was present on behalf of the city. Issues that came up included: scaffolding and poor lighting in the area between Canal Place I and Canal Place III; the status of the Victorian Gardens/Bacigalupo Park; downtown voting location alternatives (handicap accessibility to Masonic Center and proximity of political sign holders to building were mentioned by Craig Himmelberger); the Enel status update on the E. Merrimack Bridge (recently updated to LDNA site by Corey Sciuto); flood insurance policies being forced onto downtown condo owners; and some issues surrounding the crosswalk on Market Street near the Natty Park Visitors' Center.  

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