The following notes come from longtime North End resident, Richard Montemarano, who attended the first neighborhood watch meeting this week where he made these comments. He explains that the all-caps are just easier on his eyes.

FIRST OF ALL WE HAVE TO IDENTIFY THAT WE THAT WE HAVE A PROBLEM OR SOME ISSUES AND CONCERNS IN THE COMMUNITY. (WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED)

WE HAVE ALREADY BROUGHT AWARENESS OF THESE ISSUES AND CONCERNS TO OUR LOCAL PUBLIC OFFICIALS.

I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THIS NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM NOT BE OVERZEALOUS, AND IT TAKES IT’S TIME TO BRING AWARENESS TO THE COMMUNITY IN A WELL THOUGHT OUT AND PROFESSIONAL APPROACH. CAUSE AND EFFECTS OF EACH OF THE PROBLEMS SHOULD BE STUDIED, AND IMPORTANT FACTS AND DATA SHOULD BE OBTAINED.

THIS IS A VITAL STEP BEFORE TRYING TO RECRUIT MORE MEMBERS FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM.

IF YOU GIVE PEOPLE SOMETHING TO FIGHT FOR! A CAUSE TO BELIEVE IN! THEY WILL GET INVOLVED, AND THEY MAY JUST BE PASSIONATE ABOUT IT.

THE RESIDENT’S MAIN COMPLAINTS ARE THE ISSUES OF WILD PARTIES, UNRULY AND LEWD BEHAVIOR IN OUR STREETS, AND TRASH VIOLATIONS.

ALTHOUGH SOME OF THIS BEHAVIOR IS NOT A CRIMINAL OFFENSE, IT IS A VIOLATION OF COMMON LAW (A PUBLIC NUISANCE) THE RIGHT TO QUIET ENJOYMENT AS A COMMUNITY.

FOR EXAMPLE

LET’S LOOK AT THE ISSUES OR CONCERNS THAT WE THINK ARE A PROBLEM IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THEN LET’S DETERMINE IF IT IS A VIOLATION OF AN ORDINANCE OR A CRIME? OR A HABITUAL PROBLEM IN THE COMMUNITY.

LET’S REVIEW WILD PARTIES AS AN EXAMPLE.

SO WHY ARE THERE SO MANY WILD PARTIES IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD?

LET’S LOOK AT SOME OF THE PROPONENTS FOR THE CAUSE OF THIS PARTICULAR PROBLEM

a.)          OUR COMMUNITY’S AGE DEMOGRAPHICS ARE 48% FOR AGE 30 AND UNDER. // 26% OF THAT FIGURE IS AGE 25 AND UNDER.

b.)          ABSENTEE LANDLORDS

c.)          PROPER SCREENING OF TENANTS FROM LOCAL REALTORS AND MANAGEMENT COMPANIES.

d.)          TRANSIENCE – THE AVERAGE LENGTH OF TENANCIES IN OUR COMMUNITY IS 1 YR. OR LESS. WE HAVE A VERY HIGH TENANT TURNOVER RATIO IN THIS COMMUNITY.

e.)          WE HAVE A LARGE NUMBER OF COLLEGE STUDENTS AND YOUNG PROFESSIONALS WHO LIVE, WORK AND VISIT HERE.

f.)           COMMERCE IN OUR COMMUNITY, RESTAURANTS AND BARS MAKE UP ABOUT 85% OF ALL BUSINESS.

g.)          A REPUTATION OF BEING A VERY SAFE COMMUNITY FROM MOST VIOLENT CRIMES IS WHY MOST PEOPLE CHOOSE TO LIVE, WORK AND SOCIALIZE IN THE NORTH END.

h.)          TOURISM, THE NORTH END IS WORLD RENOWNED AND PROVIDES A GREAT AMOUNT OF REVENUE TO BUSINESS OWNERS AND LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT.

 

SO HOW DO WE TRY TO MANAGE THIS SPECIFIC PROBLEM?

1ST. WE MUST ACCEPT REALITY!!! AND THAT REALITY IS THAT THIS NEIGHBORHOOD HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY OVER LAST 25 YEARS. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE, AND WE MUST REALIZE; AND ACCEPT IT!!!

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL’S AND COLLEGE STUDENTS MAKE UP 50 % OF OUR RESIDENTS, ONLY 18% OF RESIDENTS LIVING IN THIS COMMUNITY ARE OVER THE AGE OF 50.

SO FIRST AND FOREMOST!

WE MUST ENGAGE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THEY PLAY A PART IN VOLUNTEERING IN THIS PROGRAM.

WE MUST ALSO MAKE SURE THAT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM, (RESTAURANT OWNERS, AND REALTORS. UNIVERSITIES ETC.)

ONE EXAMPLE MAY BE TO REACH OUT TO SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY,

SINCE A LARGE PERCENT OF STUDENTS LIVING HERE ARE SUFFOLK STUDENTS.

AND THAT TREND DOES NOT SEEM LIKE IT IS GOING TO DECREASE ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE. MAYBE THE UNIVERSITY CAN GIVE STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATE AN EXTRA CREDIT OR A WAIVER FOR A CERTAIN COLLEGE FEE, FOR VOLUNTEERING IN THE PROGRAM FOR A SPECIFIC TIME PERIOD.

TRANSIENCE IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES WE FACE IN MANAGING BEHAVIOR IN OUR COMMUNITY. MOST OF THE YOUNGER RESIDENTS ARE MOVING IN AND OUT WITHIN A ONE YEAR TIME PERIOD, SOME STUDENTS MOVE QUARTERLY, OFTEN JUST EXCHANGING ROOMMATES. THIS IS WHY IT IS HARD TO GET THESE YOUNG RESIDENTS TO TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR COMMUNITY.

WE HAVE TO TRY AND MAKE THEM PART OF THE SOLUTION AND NOT JUST A PART OF THE PROBLEM.

WE HAVE TO BE MORE PROACTIVE, WE NEED TO TRY AND PREVENT THE FIRES INSTEAD OF RUNNING AROUND TRYING TO PUT THEM OUT.

WE THEN CAN ENSURE THAT OUR LOCAL REALTORS PROVIDE LITERATURE ABOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE WATCH PROGRAM; AND THAT THEY SCREEN PROSPECTIVE TENANTS CORRECTLY.

IF WE CAN GET THEM ON BOARD TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THEIR CLIENTS ABOUT THE PRIDE RESIDENTS HAVE IN THIS COMMUNITY, AND THAT WILD PARTIES AND LEWD BEHAVIOR WILL NOT BE TOLERATED IN THE COMMUNITY.

WE ALSO HAVE TO GET THE BUSINESS OWNERS ON BOARD.

I AM FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCE.

BUT WE ARE AT THE POINT WHERE COMMERCE HAS OVER SATURATED OUR TINY COMMUNITY AND THE RESULTS HAVE BEEN A CONTINUAL DETERIORATION OF QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE RESIDENTS IN THE NORTH END. THIS TREND DOES NOT SEEM TO BE SLOWING DOWN EITHER, AS THE MAYOR WANTS THE REVENUE THESE BUSINESSES PRODUCE.

UNFORTUNATELY THE RESTAURANTS AND BARS IN OUR COMMUNITY PROFIT AT THE RESIDENTS EXPENSE!

THE MORE PEOPLE COMING DOWN HERE TO CONSUME ALCOHOL, THE MORE PROBLEMS WE ARE GOING TO HAVE.

RESTAURANTS NEED TO POST SIGNS OUTSIDE THEIR ESTABLISHMENTS ASKING PATRONS TO PLEASE BE COURTEOUS OF RESIDENTS.

PLEASE TALK SOFTLY LATE AT NIGHT.

PLEASE NO LOITERING.

ARTU RESTAURANT HAS DONE THIS ALREADY.

RESTAURANT AND BAR OWNERS MAY BE ABLE TO DONATE FUNDS FOR NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH SIGNS TO BE INSTALLED IN OUR STREETS.

MAYBE THEY CAN TAKE TURNS DONATING A GIFT CERTIFICATE ONCE A MONTH, WHICH THE WATCH PROGRAM CAN GRANT TO OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO A VOLUNTEER FOR THAT MONTH.

MAYBE THEY CAN PROVIDE FUNDS FOR NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

T-SHIRTS?

I THINK THEY SHOULD BE PAYING FOR POLICE DETAILS ON HANOVER ST.

SO THE REST OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD CAN UTILIZE THE 2 CURRENT POLICE OFFICERS TO PATROL THE REST OF OUR STREETS ON FOOT.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY THEY MUST PARTICIPATE.

THEY PROFIT FROM THE SALE OF ALCOHOL IN OUR COMMUNITY. AND THEIR PATRONS ARE OFTEN LOUD, AND SOMETIMES LEWD AND VANDALIZING OUR COMMUNITY.

WE CAN NO LONGER LISTEN TO THEM TELL US THAT COLLEGE KIDS CAN’T AFFORD THEIR PRICES, AND THEY HAVE VERY RESPECTFUL PATRONS.

WE HAVE ALL SEEN PEOPLE OF ALL AGES DRUNK, URINATING, SCREAMING, AND FIGHTING IN OUR STREETS.

THEY HAVE TO STEP UP AND BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION GOING FORWARD.

HOW MANY RESTAURANT OWNERS ARE HERE TONIGHT?

I HAVE HEARD THAT THEY ONLY ATTEND MEETINGS TO APPLY FOR LIQUOR LICENSES OR WHEN THEIR RESTAURANTS ARE VANDALIZED.

THIS WATCH MUST BE DILIGENT IN GETTING PARTICIPATION FROM THE RESTAURANT AND OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS IN THIS COMMUNITY.

THE YOUNG RESIDENTS IN THIS COMMUNITY.

AND ALL OF OUR ELECTED AND PUBLIC OFFICE OFFICIALS.

HOPEFULLY OUR LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN BE A CONDUIT TO THE BUSINESS OWNERS.

YOU HAVE TO USE THE MEDIA, MOST OF ALL OUR LOCAL NEWSPAPERS TO HELP GET THEM ON BOARD, AND YOU CAN PUT PRESSURE ON THEM WITH NEWS ARTICLES IF THEY DECLINE AT FIRST.

BUT BE RELENTLESS.

TECHNOLOGY TODAY HAS PROVIDED US WITH REAL TIME GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS, WITH EMAIL, INSTANT MESSAGING, FACE BOOK AND TWITTER.  EVERYONE CAN STAY INFORMED AND CONNECTED INSTANTANEOUSLY.

THESE TOOLS HAVE ALMOST ELIMINATED THE NEED FOR MOST NEIGHBORHOOD WATCHES TO HAVE TO PHYSICALLY PATROL THE NEIGHBORHOOD STREETS, THIS SHOULD BE LEFT UP TO THE POLICE; MOST OF OUR PROBLEMS ARE FROM 12AM. -5AM. THESE ARE NOT SAFE TIMES FOR RESIDENTS TO BE ON FOOT PATROLS, AS THEY WOULD BE DEALING WITH HIGHLY INTOXICATED PEOPLE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK HERE THIS EVENING.

# # #

NorthEndWaterfront.com welcomes commentaries on community issues via email to info@northendwaterfront.com. Opinions are those solely of the author. Responses to this commentary can be posted below in the comment section.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 COMMENTS

  1. Richie,
    I completely agree with all your points, but I think that there is something more important and fundamental going on here: A generational gap. I was raised in a manner that I want to be a part of my community, help in any way that I can, meet my neighbors, pick up a piece of trash if I see one, etc., etc. I’m afraid that the younger generation does not feel the same way. They stick their earbuds in their heads when they leave for work in the morning and just head into their daily grind with no regard, appreciation or concern with how wonderful of a neighborhood they live in.
    I realize that I am generalizing, but I truly feel that this is the most wonderful neighborhood in the world, and that if people just cared a tiny little bit, we could resolve so many generational, cultural, and societal issues that would truly allow this wonderful place that we all call home to be so much more conflict and trouble free.
    Please, let’s just all care a little bit: pick up a piece of trash when you see one, say “good morning” and smile to people on your way to and from work, think about your neighbors and friends. The wonderful people that you will meet will become lifetime, genuine friends for life if you just display the qualities of a good human being.
    I love this neighborhood. Please help me (and a few hundred other kindred spirits) keep feeling this way!
    Thank you!

  2. Well thought out Rich. It's simply amazing to me how the long time residents of the North End find themselves in a situation like this. Such a tight knit communty has to put up with so many "outsiders" who just don't respect the feelings of others who have grown up and lived there for so many years. Those of us who just visit in daytime or at night just can't grasp how difficult it is to live with such noise night after night. I'm sure that there are many who are recent arrivals that are respectful of others but it only takes a small percentage to make it miserable for everyone. We wish you the very best in getting everyone to cooperate in accomplishing the goals you are putting forward.

  3. Good job, Rich “standing up” for the North End. As a former North Ender, I feel blessed to have been born and raised there in different times when family ruled and problems such as these were taken care of in a variety of ways. You may be approaching this problem in a way that is simply unmanageable. Realtors sell, business owners provide services, landlords are often absentee, universities teach….they are not the primary allies for your cause. Let’s not forget God in our search for a solution….pray for a renewal of peace in this beautiful North End community that is so desired by the “outsiders” on their way up in the world! Ask God, His Blessed Mother and all the wonderful Saints that parade the streets during the summer feasts to intercede for your cause ..As Saint Pio says, “Do not tire yourself over things that cause anxiety, preoccupation and worry. Only one thing is necessary, to lift up your spirit and love God.”…..May God Bless the North End and the United States of America!

Comments are closed.