Community Police & Fire

Globe Reporter Takes Late Night Tour Through North End With Boston Police

Boston Police Sergeant Thomas Lema took Martine Powers, a Boston Globe reporter, on a Saturday night tour of the North End in late September. This resulted in Monday’s front page story, “In the North End, police find themselves caught in the middle between young partiers and older residents.

“Their complaint is, ‘What are youse doing about these people who are out making all the noise?’ And you want to say, ‘Well, there’s 15 bars right there that are all letting out. It is what it is,’” Lema said while driving down Commercial Street. “But you can’t say that to anybody at any meeting, that we can’t do anything about it. That’s just the wrong answer.”

Sgt. Lema is head of BPD community relations in District A-1 and described this same late night tour at the last North End Public Safety meeting on October 5, 2012. In the meeting video at 30:20, he talks about his efforts to break up a loud party on Greenough Lane and confronting loud revelers walking the streets during a typical Saturday night.

After the latest round of noise complaints, I ran the recent NorthEndWaterfront.com poll on noise issues asking who you thought was to blame. College students topped the list, followed by young professionals and restaurants/cafes/bars. Many readers commented that absentee landlords are also at fault, a category I failed to include in the poll answers.

It was just over three years ago in September 2009 when the Boston Globe published a very similar front page article on the North End noise and late night revelry issues. The “culture clash” issues were again cited as a conflict between age groups and the neighborhood’s reputation as a late night destination.

The timing of the latest Globe story could help City Council passage of a proposed citywide “nuisance ordinance” that would allow police to fine landlords and revelers for loud parties. Councilor Sal LaMattina sponsored the measure that is also being championed by Neighborhood Council President Stephen Passacantilli. A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, October 25, 2012, 6:00 pm at City Hall. (See the Nuisance Control hearing notice.)

I would be remiss not to point out a couple of minor errors in the latest Globe article. First, there is no Dunkin’ Donuts on Commercial Street as stated in the article where a “lanky girl in jeans and heels is unequivocally sloppy drunk.” I am guessing the reporter is referring to the Dunkin’ on Atlantic Avenue at the Aquarium Harbor Garage because it is close to the Faneuil Hall bars. Secondly, a regular NorthEndWaterfront.com reader points out that the Globe often refers to the North End’s cobblestone streets, when in fact there are none. There are stone “pavers,” such as seen in North Square, but no true rounded cobblestones remain.

Loud parties, noise and quality of life issues are addressed directly by Boston Police at the monthly North End Public Safety meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 1, 2012, 6:30 pm at the Nazzaro Center, 30 N. Bennet Street. It is open to the public.

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12 Replies to “Globe Reporter Takes Late Night Tour Through North End With Boston Police

  1. It’s great that Artu has been proactive with their signage outside of their door asking patrons to respect the neighborhood. It would be nice to see other establishments follow suit or at least have them sign a pledge to do so when they seek a liquor license.

  2. I live near North Station/theGarden, and I really appreciate the speed and efficiency of the BPD after Bruins or Celtics games. It’s noisy for a short time, but everybody’s moved along out of town pretty quickly.

    Maybe the locals could start a facebook page-of-shame (with photos and videos) to memorialize the bad behavior they see on their streets. Somebody stake out Dunkin with a smartphone and see how much those kids appreciate the attention the next day. Bet their parents and their bosses would take note, too.

  3. The growing problem with the North End and the loud college students moving in lies with the LANDLORDS. The reason being that the landlords are not reinvesting in the properties making it a attractive place to live for professionals and families. They prefer to accept low rents instead of renovation. The landlords and life long residents of the North End need to decide soon whether they want to turn into a “Beacon Hill” or a “Allston-Brighton” in the next few years. Because at this rate this neighborhood will turn into a college dwelling like Allston-Brighton with Subways and Mcdonalds opening up on Hanover Street.

    Jonathan Merrigan
    North Margin St
    Boston Ma

  4. PLEASE take the time to attend the hearing supporting the noise control ordinance! It is not perfect, but it is the first enforcement effort against to hold absentee landlords accountable! Thursday, October 25th at Boston City Hall, 5th Floor at 6:00 pm. It is at night so that working people can attend.

  5. I attended the Meeting up City Hall on Oct. 23 and
    these are my opinions. The fines have to be given
    out immediately. The Boston Police cannot give out
    any warnings and let it slide. Let the word get out that
    you are not going to disrespect the residents, who were here
    longer than these newcomers, who have urinated,
    threw bottles and cigarettes off rooftops, and have had
    sex in our doorways. They claim it is not the students,
    well look at the pictures in Metro, you will see mostly
    college students.
    We have had over 20 years of warnings without fines,
    and look where we are today.
    The bottom line is People only get away with what you
    allow them to get away with.
    Fines, and more Fines are the way to go. The fine
    should go to the person causing the problem whether
    they live in the neighborhood or not, and if they are
    residents, fine them first and the second offense should
    then be imposed on the tenant & landlord and they should
    be evicted. There is far too much time being spent on
    threats, now our politicians & police have to back up
    this so-called nuisance ordinance. All of you who care
    about this neighborhood should be at City Hall at 6 p.m.
    on Oct 25th, the 5th Floor. Whether they are students
    or young professionals the fine has to be given out.

  6. They should end the street festivals. Those are far more disruptive than any problems I’ve see with students. Keep St Anthony’s but end the rest of them. I don’t think fines will get the message across to students. They should make sure they get in trouble with the school. Too many incidents and they’re expelled. A small fine will be worth it for a great night of partying.

    I’ve also never understood the theory of going after landlords. Are they suppose to babysit these kids? The city should be more concerned with making sure the landlords are following all the city codes and not taking advantage of renters.

  7. Dear Jon:

    The feasts have been celebrated for decades if not centuries. It is part of the North End culture. People who move here should not think the societies should disband them because they find them disruptive.

    1. Is that really a valid argument? Just because it has been done for years doesn’t me its right to do now! I am so sick of reading these posts from people whose argument revolves around well we were here first so you have to do what we say. Its rediculous to hear that. I don’t hear the South Boston residents freaking out about the intruision of the non-Irish. As a young professional I am not advocating for the idiots who urinate in the streets but this concept of we were here first is just absurd. Times change people!

      1. I haven’t lived here all my life and I avoid the feasts as much as possible. However, they are not going away just because young professionals and students do not like them. You knew what the neighborhood was like before you moved here. Its like the people who bought condos in the old Christopher Columbus High School or at 44 Prince St which are on either side of the Nazzaro Center playground and then complain about the basketball courts. Did they not see them when they were looking at the condo? Your argument is BS. TImes change I agree. But deep rooted traditions do not. The old timers might die off but the members of the scoieties range in age from their 20s up through the 80s. Get used to it or do what many people do during the feasts…go away for the weekend. The problem is not the feasts. The problem is people who drink and can’t handle it, have no respect for their neighbors, and think that everyone should just accept the screaming, puking and urinating cause things change and people need to get used to it.

    2. Well now that this neighborhood is turning into a college/young professional neighborhood, the late night drinking is part of the North End culture as well. I can understand the frustration with the kids, but its not like the long-time residents don’t disturb anyone with the festivals.

      Boston is a huge college town. The same thing happens all over the country where residents complain they live next to noisy students and in most cases the colleges have been there longer than any resident. The partying is never going to end no matter how many ordinances, fines, meetings there are. The only thing that will stop college kids from living here is if rents become too expensive (think Back Bay). If you really want peace and quite all the time, then move to the suburbs. Everyone needs to be realistic and stop complaining. I know the festivals won’t end because they make the North End businesses a ton of money and I know the students are here for good because it’s close to school and affordable.

      1. @Jon is just being difficult because he knows it bothers people to think that selfish jerks like him are taking over the neighborhood.

        Here’s a news flash, families are the fastest growing household type in the North End. Now that the Eliot is expanding the years ahead will bring lots more. I know two families that just moved here and another that was going to move but is now staying.

        There is no excuse for excessively bad behavior, even if you’re young. I’m a young professional and disgusted by what goes on here.

        People need to take pride in where they live, young or old.

        And by the way, I love the festivals.

  8. I HAPPEN TO LIVE ON THE STREET WHERE ST. ANTHONY’S FEAST IS & WISH THEY WOULD GET RID OF ALL THE FEASTS, BUT THIS IS WHAT THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS ABOUT.
    BOSTON GOT PICKED IN 2011 FOR THE DRUNKEST CITY IN THE U.S. AND THAT DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE FEASTS. WHEN STUDENTS OR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
    START URINATING OFF ROOFTOPS, URINATING IN DOORWAYS, HAVING SEX IN DOORWAYS, AND THROWING BEER BOTTLES AT OUR BOSTON POLICE FROM ROOFTOPS,
    YOU DEFINITELY KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS OUT OF CONTROL. THE FINES ARE BEST WAY TO GO, IN MY OPINION, AND THEN EVICTIONS. THE NORTH END IS A
    GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD TO LIVE AND CONVENIENT TO EVERYTHING, WHY SHOULD WE HAVE THESE MISFITS DESTROY IT. FINES SHOULD BE GIVEN OUT TO ANYONE WHO
    IS DISRUPTING THE NEIGHBORHOOD, WHETHER THEY LIVE HERE OR NOT.

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