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Boston city councilor refuses to shovel his sidewalk

UPDATE: After Channel 4 aired its initial report, a reporter went back Wednesday night and found Turner shoveling his sidewalk.

Now that's speaking truth to power, Mr. Turner!

He claims people in his neighborhood don't use sidewalks.

"The law is the law, but the reality is the cultural practice is not to use the sidewalks even when the snow isn't there," Turner said.

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Comments

Cultural practice? The people get exactly what they deserve.

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I'm one of Chuck Turner's neighbors. (Hi Chuck!) I actually don't think that I deserve to slip on the ice because he can't bother to shovel his walk. Chuck, please shovel your walk. Thanks.

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not shoveling is not news.... no way this is actually news...

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Is it just expected that all city councilors do stupid things - to the point where we shouldn't care anymore? Or are you arguing Chuck was making some grander sociopolitical statement?

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I really believe that not shoveling is simply not news, should he shovel? sure, matter of fact, of course he should... but its just not news its that "gotcha news" that has turned media into gossip rather then actual news... I'd rather know what Chucks doing to get violence off of the streets then what hes doing to get snow off his sidewalk... sorry to say to me this just isn't news no matter how you slice it...

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If this had just been Chuck Turner not shoveling his walk because he'd been out of town, or sick, or busy or even just forgetful, then, yeah, not much of a story - although I bet it still would have run.

What elevated this to a serious water-cooler topic was Turner's attempt to turn this into some sort of grand sociopolitical statement: He REFUSED to shovel his walk because his constituents have a "cultural" issue with clean sidewalks. What would he do next? Lead a protest march (in the middle of the street, of course) down to City Hall? "ENOUGH NOW, WE WON'T PLOW!"

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his response was weird, all I can think about is he meant neighborhood culture in which case he's half right I lived in Roxbury and folks barely shoveled I live in Roslindale now and folks shovel like its a sport. But that doesn't make it alright not to shovel... one of those if everyone jumped off a bridge would you type of thing...

I still think the news channel was playing weird gotcha news and if I was the news editor Id say to the reporter "ok now go get me some real news"

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Just because Turner's a city councilor, he thinks he's above the law and refuses to shovel his sidewalk?! Doesn't Chuck Turner know that he could be liable if someone walking past his house along that unshoveled, unsanded stretch of sidewalk falls and gets injured? If he thinks the so-called "homestead" business would protect him, a saavy attorney could get around that with no trouble whatsoever.

It's incredible how people think that these stupid "cultural" traditions take presidence over the laws. Disgusting.

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This should have been included as part of the article.

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In any case, you can find him pretty easily: Go to www.switchboard.com and select Find a Person. Then search for Chuck Turner, Roxbury, MA.

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I just want some basis for evaluating the claim that people in his neighborhood don't use sidewalks (which presumably means that they walk in the street instead).

Looks like he's on Fort Hill next to Highland Park. I do not live there, but I do recall having used sidewalks when I've visited there.

(eeka? Molly? Love to hear from you on this subject)

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We don't use the sidewalks in our neighborhood? Really? Personally, I try to use them to get to the store and the T station and friends' houses and stuff, but sometimes there will be one or two property owners whose sidewalk is either a foot deep in snow or covered in a sheet of ice, so then I'm not able to use the sidewalk. I'd really like to be able to use the sidewalks in our neighborhood though.

Chuck, if you read this and you want to give me a call, I can tell you about several of our neighbors who are elders, have disabilities, and/or don't have cars. Your practice of not shoveling affects these folks in particular, because they can't just hop in the car or run across the street and walk elsewhere.

If you want to stop shoveling for whatever other reasons you can think of, please, feel free, but please stop using the excuse that your neighbors don't walk on the sidewalks. This neighbor would like to.

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... this would lose you my vote in the next election. It's not going to make you many friends in the progressive groups that usually endorse you, either.

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I'm glad this was clarified because when I first saw the article, my first thought was, "he lives in Roxbury? I didn't know that the park benches in the Common were part of Roxbury." How did this vagabond get elected to our city counsel? I suggest we begin building a catapult to toss him into the sea.

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"cultural practice is not to use the sidewalks " WTF?!?!?! What does that mean? By cultural is he implying that Black people only walk in the street regardless of snow? Is that what he means? Laugh my ass off !! I love it..... When he says it no one blinks .....lets get real folks, it is representation like this that is the biggest detriment to the minority community. He is an a-hole & I hope he slips on a snowbank !! "cultural practice"...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH I love it !!!!

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I don't see anything in the rest of your post that implies he is being used by other folks.

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means dope, jackass, jerk.

As in "that kid who just pee'd in the water fountain
is a real tool!"

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Where did Chuck Turner say that only the Black folks on Fort Hill don't use the sidewalk? If that were the case, then wouldn't he need to shovel the sidewalk so that the folks of other races could use it?

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If the city could come out to Chuck's house to fine him as part of WBZ's investigative reporting, why can't they also come out to the rest of our neighborhood and ticket the other folks whose sidewalks are a sheet of ice? People in general have done a good job, but there are some who never shovel. I know neighbors who've called the city and asked them to come out and check it out, but they never come. I've never heard of anyone (except now Chuck) getting ticketed in our neighborhood. We can't get the city to come out and fix anything. Or to plow the street half of the time.

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You would expect a councilman to show the example.
I watched this on WBZTV and Turner said he would pay the fine for failure to remove the snow but wouldn't clean his sidewalk. This is missing the point.
Paying the fine shouldn't be in lieu of shoveling the sidewalk. It should be the fine for failure to do so. The inspectors should check at regular interval and keep on fining until the sidewalks have been cleared.
Just today, in Blackstone, Rita Plante -- a mother of five who worked as a teller at a local bank -- was hit from behind as she approached her home on Blackstone Street late Tuesday afternoon.
Police and neighbors say Plante was forced to walk in the street because the sidewalks in the area were still covered in snow.

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I lived on the Brighton / Brookline line and you could see where Brookline began because that is where the bare sidewalks began. Chuck Turner is right that people in Boston, in general, don't shovel their sidewalks. That doesn't make it right and Chuck's behavior definitely sets a bad precedence.

From what I gather Chuck Turner isn't a tool or a loser. Just a bad example of a human being.

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The problem of not cleaning/shoveling/sanding sidewalks down exists in Somerville, too. How I wish officials in cities and towns here in the Commonwealth would crack down on people who refuse to do what's necessary and right.....shovel and sand down their sidewalks.

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i think the problem there is the fact that so many of the residents are renters.renters do not shovel as a rule. i used to shovel out my whole side walk and so did all the neighbors. as the years went by and the houses were sold to the professional landlords the shoveling stopped.before i moved last week my sidewalk was the only one in the neighborhood cleared of snow.

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My Somerville apartment building is managed by a company in Brighton, and they do a fantastic job of clearing sidewalks after every storm.

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If someone were to write some sort of message in colored water on Chuck's sidewalk (or lawn, if he has one), that wouldn't be vandalism, would it? I mean, it's colored water.

But it'd sure stick around till the snow got shoveled.

I bet you could think of some pretty nasty things to say, too.

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Do you mean like writing your name in the snow?

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Like dog-fighting, or not liking dog-fighting or--huh? Which "culture" does not practise sidewalk-walking?

"Oh, I'm sorry. I don't walk on sidewalks. It's not part of my culture."

"In a multicultural society, shovelled sidewalks are an imposition on those for whom sidewalk walking is shameful."

"This is Boston. We don't walk on sidewalks. Well, some people do but..."

New weasel words. It is a civic duty to shovel one's snow, so shovel it!

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Chuckie doesn't have time to shovel the sidewalk. He's too busy getting the Globe to print Sadiki's porn collection on page 2.

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From what I gather from those who serve on the City
Council with him...not only is he adverse to using a shovel, but to soap, water and toothpaste as well.

Roxbury deserves this creep. Doesn't pay his parking tickets
either. Is it possible to actually make Diane Wilkerson look good?

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He's Bold, he's Bald, he's Bright...

and he's a Bum.

Chuckie, you don't shovel the sidewalk for your own convenience. You do it for your neighbors. And when you're confronted about a failure of civic duty, you don't just make up some insulting bullshit.

What a disgrace.

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God, just pay some local kids to shovel the damn thing for you and shut up. The kids are happy, they make some $, the walk is shoveled and pedestrians are happy. Problem solved. Stop being such smart dumb asses.

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http://www.cityofboston.gov/mayor/24/

Chuck Turner
63 Beech Glen Street, Roxbury, Ma 02119
617-635-3510

Address received from here: http://www.bluemassgroup.com/showComment.do?commen...

and

http://www.cityofboston.gov/elections/pdfs/BallotO...

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If you report him, you'd be lying to the Mayor's office and wasting their time chasing down false leads now.

WBZ has an updated story that says "After our report Wednesday afternoon in which Turner said nothing would convince him to shovel, our cameras found him doing just that Wednesday night." So, he fluffed up when they put a bunch of cameras in his face and then quietly met his responsibilities after he thinks they had left.

Let's see what today's snowfall brings. I somehow doubt WBZ will be back out at his house to tape the follow-up...It'll all depend on how many other "Gotcha!" stings they had on their roster for the next few days.

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Aw, come on, have some pity on the poor man! Didn't you hear at the end of the story-- he's COLOR BLIND, people!

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"Aw, come on, have some pity on the poor man! Didn't you hear at the end of the story-- he's COLOR BLIND, people!"

That's so funny I forgot to laugh.

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In your submarine with the screen door?

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So he can't tell the white snow apart from the black asphalt?

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So, where are all the tire slashers from South Boston to rally to Chuck's defense? I mean, if laying claim on public land is simply how you do things in Southie, why shouldn't Turner get to break the law too in the name of neighborhood traditions?

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... is that one situation involves physical effort, and a certain amount of claim on that on which the physical effort was expended might be seen as morally right. In this other situation, it is a complete lack of effort, devoid of anything other than laziness.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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I don't shovel: "it's not part of the contract of life."

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Robert Winters has taken to publicly embarassing
the snow scofflaws:

http://rwinters.com/

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the man didnt shovel... how is that news? maybe wasnt the best response I agree, but seriously he didnt shovel? Oh no I guess he just lost my vote hahaha.... wow...

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while I'm glad that Chuck Turner finally did shovel out his sidewalk, it shouldn't have taken so much pressure and having so many people so angry with him for not doing so earlier. A city councilor is obligated to set an example and precedent for the communities and constituents that s/he was elected into office to represent.

Also, the whole Bay State has a law that, after a winter snow and/or ice storm, property owners are supposed to shovel/sand down their sidewalks and front steps, and, if they don't, they could be liable if somebody walking past that person's residence and/or place of business falls and gets hurt. Moreover, "homesteads" won't necessarily protect scofflaws like that against this kind of liability either, because a saavy attorney could get around that with little to no trouble whatsoever.

So, yes, not shoveling/sanding one's sidewalk is worthy news.

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So, here's a Globe story on yesterday's snow, exactly half of which portrays Chuck Turner's resentful neighbors in Roxbury digging out. Maybe the ensuing ten weeks of dutiful ISD enforcement have turned the culture around. Or maybe, Turner's civic-minded neighbors have actually been shoveling their part all along.

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ready for spring at this point, so I sympathize with the people who're grousing about it. I'm also glad that I don't have to shovel, since I live in an apartment building and have a garage space. However, I also agree that trying to move one's car without shoveling it out first (due to loss of a snowshovel), and blowing out their transmission is really way beyond stupid.

To all the people rebuking those who're complaining about the excessive cold and snow and suggesting that they move: Here's a suggestion: Tell that to people who have to make the unnpalatable choice of either paying their heating bill(s) or to pay for food and/or for putting a roof over their head(s). Have a little bit more sensitivity, as it not only also takes money to move, but many people stay put for whatever reasons. Why don't you show some empathy?

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