Mitt Romney has a problem with little kids in the North End

Romney's enforcers took no guff this morningRomney's enforcers took no guff this morning.

Tenacity runs a summer tennis and literacy program for North End kids at the park at the corner of Commercial and North Washington streets. Parents who dropped their kids off on the way to work would pull into the parking lot next to the tennis court to let them off.

Until recently, that is. The Romney presidential campaign, based at 585 Commercial St., next to the lot, is now blocking it off to everybody but campaign workers, forcing parents to stop in a turning lane for the Charlestown Bridge and get their kids out. This morning, a couple of glowering guys enforced the no-lot policy. They told one irate parent there'd been a "hit and run" in the lot. Hit and run? Why, yes, somebody scratched a car and then left without taking responsibility. A parent? Well, nobody'd seen the "hit and run."

Another parent writes:

Parents have always been able to drop off and pick up from there with no problem and even now that parking lot is pretty empty, but apparently the new tenants do not want ANYONE using that parking lot. There have been arguments between parents and young men in suits, young men in suits placing and replacing traffic cones and now two young men in suits standing with a traffic barrier.

DCR is scheduled to meet with building management this week and is looking for documentation from the redevelopment of that site stipulating that they have easements for access (which is what many parent-veterans of the program have been told over the years). But in the meantime parents are unable to park safely anywhere nearby and many cannot even double-park to drop off because they have infants or toddlers strapped into car seats that they cannot leave unattended.

That's a terrible spot to let children walk out of your line of vision -- lines of buses, crowds of tourist, perhaps even the dreaded segways. It's a very unsafe situation for the children and a very unneighborly, unkind thing for the Romney campaign to be doing. Ten minutes of friendly access for a sparsely-used parking lot that they do not even own seems to be a lot more important to the Romney Campaign that the safety of children or their reputation.



Free tagging: 


The "carpet bagger" moved to

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The "carpet bagger" moved to Massachusetts about 20 years earlier than the jug-eared messiah moved to Illinois.

I think it's more than the amount of time he lived here

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I don't recall Obama trashing Illinois when he was campaigning, as a matter of fact I remember him telling a Boston audience that he wasn't going to pander, he is a White Sox fan.

I for one was pretty disgusted that Romney trashed our commonwealth, you know, the one he was governor of, on a regular basis to groups in other states. Even if they were only isolated incidents that were meant as jokes it leaves a pretty bad impression if your campaign needs "boy, how about those Massachusetts liberals" lines to build you up.

It also seemed, especially during the second half of his term, that he didn't care a whit about anything here unless it garnered him national press. A good example of this is the big dig ceiling collapse. "Whoa boy, get me a day-glo vest and a hard hat boys, it's time to play leader."

Adam scoops Glen Johson, who does a mitzvah in return

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@globeglen: Romney parking lot ban irks North End parents
July 12, 2011 9:34 PM

“It’s a very unsafe situation for the children and a very unneighborly, unkind thing for the Romney campaign to be doing,” one wrote today on the website “Universal Hub,” which first reported about the controversy.


If the city has a contract

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If the city has a contract saying that parents can drop off in the lot, then the campaign should allow it. However, I don't blame the campaign for not wanting cars in and out of the parking all day when they are paying a lot of money for private parking, and probably bringing in a lot of high-profile visitors - visitors they want to have spots for. It is their property and they have the right to protect it, especially if the cars are being hit. People who are responsible would park and walk their children safely to practice, not drop them off on an incredibly busy street.

Are you high?

"High profile visitors"? Who could you possibly mean? You mean Tagg? Scott Brown? See how those "high profile visitors" stay away in droves if a kid gets hit by a car there.

And an even more idiotic statement is

"People who are responsible would park and walk their children safely to practice"

Been to the North End lately? They have a magic parking fairy down there and she makes sure there are enough parking spaces in the North End for EVERYONE!!!

Get over it!

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Real northenders don't use cars for getting around the north end. These suburban-born parents with their over sized SUVs and "passion" for living in the north end need to get real! I do not doubt for one second that one of these prep-school mom's hit a car and did not leave a note.

Park your car and leave it there until the weekend!

What an ill-informed rant.

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What an ill-informed rant. Before you go off, did you notice that the post says this summer camp is a literacy program? I checked out the link and Tenacity does not look like the kind of non-profit summer camp for children of "suburban-born parents with their over sized SUVs and 'passion' for living in the north end"...i.e. not prep school kids. These are parents who are going to work and trying to get their kids some of the same opportunities as those prep-school kids you clearly dislike so much.

Romney's campaign should be ashamed of itself. Non-profits like Tenacity are working to pick up the pieces of a severely resource challenged public education system, made worse by Republicans like Romney, who would rather give tax breaks to oil companies than invest in the education for our nation's children.

Do you pay for a private

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Do you pay for a private parking spot in an expensive city? How would you feel if all day long people were in and out of it, dropping off and picking up kids, maybe sticking around for 15 minutes to watch them. Would you be willing to go park elsewhere so these moms can "protect their children" by using the private spot you pay for?

It's not all day

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Parents drop their kids off at 9 a.m. and pick them up at noon. When I was there yesterday morning (don't worry, I took the T to North Station, then walked over, on my way to some hearings at City Hall), it didn't seem like a particularly large group of kids. We're not talking about a Red Sox game. I didn't notice any parents doing anything but getting their kids out of the car and making sure they were with the counselors (or whatever they're called). Well, except for the one guy who decided to give Spenser and Hawk a piece of his mind.

Sure, but come on

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Unless the city/DCR/whomever does have a deal with the site owner, I don't see why there seems to be an entitlement to use the lot even if it is empty.

First, as it appears, the lot doesn't appear to be a loop, so drivers are forced to either pull into an empty space or do a multi-point turn to get out making it more than "just pulling in to drop off the kids" and raising the potential for parking lot dings/dents on cars who pay to park there.

Second, it's a private lot. So, unless there really is an agreement with the building owner by the city, I don't get the arrogant assumption that these parents are making about just driving right on in as if they own the place (moving cones, etc). I mean, even after these parents are told not to use the private lot, they then choose to just park anywhere they damn please on the street, like the turn lane? Nice. This reminds me of the parents who park outside the Jackson-Mann Center in Union Square in Allston. They just pile up on Cambridge St in the turn lane for Brighton Ave right next to all the "No Stopping Any Time" signs.

If there's an agreement on the books, then this is all moot. Somehow I doubt there is or someone misunderstood what the agreement allowed for or something. However, in the absence of any agreement, this is just self-entitlement. If Tenacity doesn't want to help out by finding a better place for parents to meet them to drop off the kids, then the parents need to live with the reality of dropping off their kids in the city by arriving a little earlier, finding a meter, parking, walking their kid to the tennis courts, and then going back to their legally parked car. If that's too hard for them, then leave the car at home and hire a limo. The rest of us have to live in the city and abide by the do they.


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The "carpetbagger" is 14 years older than President Obama. What's your point or did you write before you thought?

It really not that hard

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But I guess I'll have spell it out for you.

If Romney is supposedly disqualified for President because he's a "carpetbagger" for entering politics almost a quarter century after he first moved to Massachusetts, then what does that make Obama, who entered politics much sooner than that after moving to Illinois?

I know I know!

This isn't Romney's fault ... its all the fault of ANTI FAMILY GAY MARRIAGE.

Yes. That's it. Its a pro-family response by the pro-family Romney campaign ... just ... gays.



Just honest - Romney and the rest of the Wingnut Nation are constantly telling me that my neighbors and friends are destroying the family by forming their own, and then they pull an anti-family stunt like this.

All those in favor...

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Of a spoof campaign video about how Mitt Romney secretly hates children, say "aye".


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Family Dog

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His own kids ratted him out on that one..they were traumatized by it.

Two sets of suits

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Mea culpa.

The parent who wrote me wrote yesterday, when the enforcers were younger. As I discovered when I went down there today (note: I did not take the photo; I took some, but they weren't that good), and as "yesterday's" parent discovered, they'd been replaced by more seasoned professionals.

Paul Blart

Driveway Cop.

+ Suit last worn at brother's wedding in 1998
- evile segway

Is this proof that Romney was secretly born in Mexico?

His father was, after all ... and it is a very third world thing to do to employ conspicuous do-nothings to protect your privilege with threats of force.

Hmmmm ... I'm sure some relative might remember him being born in Mexico ...

What a scumbag Romney is

The idea that he should be President of the United States is sheer lunacy and should be laughed aside by any member of the middle class.

Secret Service?

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Pretty sure they don't pick up security until the primary.

So these guys are rent-a-cops? What authority do they have to do this?

From the writing about Kerry

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From the writing about Kerry during the 2004 election it sounds like they don't pick up secret service protection until they're the actual nominee.

Changed Again

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Here's a more recent article. From this, it looks like they still provide protection to announced candidates:

The article from June 2007 says they started protecting Obama in May 2007, though they usually would have started in January 2008.

Close ...

He did put a sick dog in his crate and put the crate on the roof for a terrifying drive.

Sadly there was truly a hit

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Sadly there was truly a hit and run there a few months ago. Whoever the person was had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance.


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I couldn't find a news ref to a h&r in this neighborhood within the last year. Do you have a supporting link for your claim?


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Zipcar parks 10 cars in that lot. I haven't had any trouble picking up a car on the weekend (although they keep that saw horse up all the time which is annoying to get around), but I wonder what his goons would do if I tried to go on a weekeday.

Shame on City Year for using kids as political pawns

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Is it any wonder that "City Year" is complaining about not being able to continue to usurp private property rented by a Republican when far-left City Year co-founder Alex Khazei is once again seeking the Democrat nomination for U.S. Senate? Shame on City Year for using kids as political pawns.

And we have a winner, folks!

O-Fish wins the Free Republic Longest Possible Stretch of the Imagination to Turn This Into a Democratic Plot Award. No more calls, please!

As regards to those two goofs in the suits, why don't they just send a couple of those guys in the track suits that hang on Hanover St. to explain to those two morons what's socially acceptable and what isn't?

not the only shewers

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try pulling over on a city owned street around the State House, which you also own. Only to be shewed away by rangers or SP who you pay to do so.
Looks to me in this case that the property OWNER/LEASER is just protecting his property as opposed to the jack boots denying you access to what is yours!


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"Free Republic Longest Possible Stretch of the Imagination to Turn This Into a Democratic Plot Award"

You mean a "DEMOCRAT Plot". Remember, in wingnutland, Democrat is an adjective and Illegal is a noun.

That would be a cool story

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Alas, it's not true.

A parent contacted me yesterday, I went down today. Why me? The parent is a regular Uhub reader.

Could City Year and/or Khazei have put this parent up to it? Please. If they where that devious, they would've gone to the Globe, not some Blogger whose site only has a tiny fraction of the Globe's reach.

Yet another Romney flip flop!

“We are aware of the issue and are hopeful that the building management company can reach an accommodation with the organizers of the tennis program at the adjacent court,” said spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

The Globe subsequently requested comment from Newmark Knight Frank, the building manager.

Yet little more than an hour later, the Romney campaign changed its story."

That Mitt and his acolytes..they're on a collision course to wackiness!

This is absolutely true!

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This story is most definiately true! Those "gentlemen" have been posted in front of that barrier during morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups. I witnessed a young child run into a traffic lane on Commercial St yesterday while the mother tried to get her sibling into the car and another child was almost backed into by a car this morning. With as much money the Romney campaign raises I would think they could afford to show good will and park their staff cars in the garage accross the street in order to insure the safety of children attending summer camp!

Seems like one of Romney's

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Seems like one of Romney's opponents might be interested in why the parking spaces of Romney's staffers are more important than keeping children safe.

N. End Waterfront: "Tenacity is sponsored by City Year"

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Tiny North End Waterfront reports all that anyone needs to know on this, "Tenacity is a free tennis and literacy camp sponsored by City Year." I'm shocked, shocked I say, that Kennedy apologist, and perennial Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Alan Khazei's "non-profit" City Year organization is involved in a controversy seeking to tarnish a Republican.

Maybe Khazei could've spent some of that $3,136,036 he blew in his Quixotic 2009 campaign for U.S. Senate (he missed last place by 1%) to pay for a few valets. Even a small portion of the $284,076.00 he "earned" as head of the non-profit back in 2006 would pay for plenty of parking spaces. I would've thought that City Year would have knocked off the blatant Democrat electioneering, especially after the widely reported fiasco of unsuspecting City Year kids being sent to "earn community service credits" while campaigning for Sen. Cheryl Jacques (D-Needham).
Boston Herald (subscription required for full article)
August 24, 2001
Jacques' rally cost City Year crew credit
By DAVID R. GUARINO Dozens of City Year youth workers were stripped of key volunteer credits after being inappropriately used in a political rally staged by state Sen. Cheryl A. Jacques.

I'm certain if one of

By J. Dunne on

I'm certain if one of Romney's nonprofits was hosting a free tennis camp, and Khazei bodyguards were telling parents they can't park, your response would have been that Romney was trying to tarnish a Democratic candidate? Oh wait, when a Republican is so clearly in the wrong that it can't be blamed on somebody else, you just fall back on the "57 states" analogy. Because, you know, that gives Sarah Palin the right to know nothing about anything.

For many people, reality shapes our ideology. For you sir, it appears to work the other way around.

J. Dunne, not so fast

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The reality is that the organization founded by Democrat activist Mr. Khazei is not only trying to use property that doesn't belong to them, but when called out for their misdeeds, they attempt to smear the Republican candidate who actually went through the process to legally rent the property. Further, Khazei's group frames it as a "Republican hurting families" issue, when in reality it's a group of squatters essentially, demanding use of property that isn't theirs. It's refreshing that at least a few commenters here and at see it for what it is. Whitey B. sums it up best below, "a classic politically motivated hackjob."

Does the term EASEMENT

mean anything in OFISH-L land?

Probably not - it has to do with the law and you have no interest in knowing the law, just making it up as you go along.

SwirlyGrrl says there's an easement, DCR says no

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@SwirlyGrrl: There's an easement? Why didn't you say so before North End Waterfront, UHub and went off on this tangent. Or are you the one making things up? Pot? Ketttle?

"DCR has not been able to show they have any easement rights on the property." -- North End Waterfront, July 13, 2011

Did you read that ...

Before or after you unwrapped the fish?

If you read the article above, they were still investigating into easements and other stipulations for public use when the property was redeveloped.

O-FISH-L, Not so fast

You say:

The reality is that the organization founded by Democrat activist Mr. Khazei is not only trying to use property that doesn't belong to them,

Can you provide any evidence to back your claim that the organization (by which I assume you mean City Year or the tennis program) is trying to use the property? Because the articles I read, here on my planet, said that it was a bunch of parents trying to use the property to drop their kids off, and there was no claim that the tennis program was trying to use the property.

Dirty Hippies

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It's a librul conspiracy! (Reality)

@Chris Owens, here's the evidence you requested

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"A meeting was held yesterday with representatives of the Tenacity program, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the property management company for 585 Commercial Street. Tenacity said they also had support from the City of Boston. The program has been operating at the location for many years, always with drop-off access in the sparsely occupied parking lot."
-- North End Waterfront 7/13/11

note: Earlier in the article, it was confirmed that the Tenacity program is sponsored by City Year


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Well, I don't actually find anything on-line that links Tenacity to City Year, but they are an AmeriCorps host site with a buttload of AmeriCorps volunteers. Could it be that North End Waterfront is confused as to which volunteer program backs Tenacity? I find it hard to believe that City Year would be providing volunteers to this program and not be mentioned on their web site. A search of CY's web site yields no mention of Tenacity. City Year is not a funding organization, so it would be very bizarre that they'd be providing funds instead of volunteers.

I don't know much about Tenacity -- I was aware of them and thought that they're probably just another one of these groups helping out inner city kids. Checking out their papers, it's a $2.7 million a year operation with an ED making close to quarter of a million dollars a year in salary and bonus. 27 staff and 19 of those AmeriCorps do-gooders. Good gig, if you can get it.

How is that evidence?

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How is that evidence that Tenacity has been using the parking lot? It sounds like parents whose kids attend Tenacity programs have been pulling through the parking lot to drop off their kids. That's an entirely different matter from Tenacity itself using it.


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Those Mormon kids on mission are looking older these days.


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haha this article is ridiculous. that building is not always rented out. when it's been empty there were no issues. when the building is rented, there often very little space for parking or getting in and out and ALOT of ppl illegally try to park and idle (I've seen party buses idling in there). there are plenty of areas nearby where parents can drop off their kids safely. I have seen kids dropped off on the sidewalk ten feet away without any problem. no one is speeding there, it's almost impossible because of the layout. and there certainly are no tours or segways that go through that area.

if some parents are inconvenienced slightly, they have no cause to be upset except as a result of their own selfish or lazy attitude.

this seems like a classic politically motivated hackjob.

Agreed. Private property...not city parking lot.

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I am no fan of Romney, but this *private* lot frequently has signs forbidding parking, sometimes with the increased enforcement of gates.

It is the parents, rightfully prevented from trespassing, making the decision to be idiots by pulling over in a dangerous way. They could pull over in the cutout by the rink and watch their kids walk to the court...they are there for exercise after all.

Are you from the North End?

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Are you from the North End? It's summer, there are tour buses permanently parked in the cutout by the rink & you can't see anything from behind them. You also can't stop in the turning lane for the bridge. That's why it's impossible to drop off from the street. My kids attended this camp years ago and the building owners had no problem letting parents drop off and they had more than one tenant then. Some of us also had sleeping babies in the car, should we double park them too? The camp has been there longer than Romney and will be there after. The building owners have always been cooperative with the city and maybe they should have cleared up the question of access with the Romney people before signing the lease agreement. I guess they were expecting him to be reasonable or at least rational. This is a very dumb thing for him to do over empty parking spaces.

Yes, I am, and I respect private property.

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Pretty simple concept. In my experiences, tour buses tend to arrive a bit later in the morning, so are not a problem for drop offs. I could be wrong, however, it still seems better to pull over by the rink or the rink driveway than demanding a private property owner let you on private land.

If the building owner doesn't protect the right to block of the lot, they lose that right.

It may seem callous, but even with sleeping babies in the car, I don't think parties should get to demand access to another's property. Perhaps baby, parent and camper should not drive to the court, if it is such a tricky dropoff site. Or pull over at an acceptable spot and walk together.

Isn't this actually public park land, leased to the developer?

Everything else on that side of Commercial is public park land -- the tennis courts, the hockey rink, the swimming pool, the baseball fields, the bocce courts, the basketball courts, etc. -- all the way to the Coast Guard station.

It's reasonable for the parents to assume a public use easement exists, unless proven otherwise. If Mitt Romney didn't want to deal with this situation, he should have put his campaign office somewhere else.

No, that's not reasonable

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I don't see a parking lot and think "hey, that's probably public, right? I could just use that if I needed to really quick"...why is that a reasonable response to seeing a parking lot?

I'm pretty sure the red and white sign in the Google Street View on the side of the building is a "No Trespassing" it still reasonable to assume public access?

Why would a tenant who has been told he's given parking in a private lot attached to the building he's renting have to just "deal with it or move"? Remember, this is a tenant who has already even had someone come in and rob his offices in the past, so I can imagine why he might be even slightly paranoid about random vans pulling up and using his loading dock as a turn-around zone.

The tenant didn't call police or anything, they even decided to pay for their own security detail to monitor the lot...and yet it's still reasonable for the public to think they have access?

The deal here is that they were using the parking lot during the past year or so when nobody was in the building and the owners either didn't care or didn't know. Now, the Romney campaign is renting there again and has had a problem with someone damaging their car, so they put a stop to the *assumed* public access...and some of those people have an entitlement issue.

Maybe the DCR has an agreement to do pick-up/drop-off in the lot, but saying it's reasonable to assume that to be the case seems like a really big stretch.

Retail building parking lot - Reasonable to access it.

There are parking lots and then there are parking lots.....

I think if there's a parking lot associated with, say, a gas station, or a Dunkin Donuts, or a convenience store, or a retail strip mall, then it's entirely reasonable to drive in there and pause to drop someone off or pick someone up. (note: it's not reasonable to park there if you aren't using the associated businesses, nor to obstruct traffic.

A parking lot associated with a residential building; not so much so.

The lot in question is somewhere in between.

Romney campaign and security

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The Romney organization has a history of staffers intimidating the public by pretending to hold some kind of authority:

Herald article on Garrity

And he is apparently a freak for security:

Romney, a former business executive, is known to favor tight security. While governor from 2003 to 2007, he came and went from his State House office via a public elevator that was locked for his personal use.

Several of his former aides were known to wear Secret Service-style earpieces, lapel pins, and identification resembling a law enforcement badge.