Home / The Lit Drop /

If you saw Mayor Thomas Menino on Quincy St. this morning

…You can thank one local homeowner who called into TOUCH 106.1 FM to complain about the unkemptness of the Quincy Street area in Dorchester, close to the proposed Columbia Road commuter rail station.

Describing herself as a “big fan” of the mayor and a new homeowner, the woman said she had complained about the trash to City Hall officials but nobody would get back to her.

“It got to the point where I end up cleaning up the trash myself. I shouldn’t have to do that,” she said. “There’s grass growing, there’s bushes out of control. There’s a lot of empty buildings on Quincy Street…that are boarded up, with your name plastered all over the place... These properties are not being looked after. The lawns are not being mowed, the trash isn’t being picked up.”

Menino, who was on the program for a half-hour fielding questions, pledged to head over to the area after his radio appearance ended and to get back to Charles Clemons, co-owner of the radio station, about the issue.

“I get concerned when residents tell me there’s trash on the street,” Menino said, while adding that some of the property is owned by the state because of the commuter rail station construction. “I think we’re doing a better job. Can we do better? Yes, we can.”

Asked by one of the TOUCH hosts about the $200,000 loan to the cash-strapped Bay State Banner, Menino defended his offer to the paper, which has often been critical of him, and engaged in some media criticism.

“People say, you know, the mayor’s trying to curry favor with the ownership. Well, the ownership has not been my friend,” Menino said. “But I think it’s important that we have a newspaper in the community that talks about the good things that are happening, because you usually don’t read about the good things happening in the community. You hear all the bad things. When somebody gets shot, that’s the first thing you hear.”

(The Lit Drop wonders: What about “Tommy Times,” though? Hard-hitting journalism, right there.)

Another caller, “Carol from Dorchester,” apparently had not had her coffee yet, calling in to complain about FOX25 because they did not carry President Barack Obama’s speech last night. She also said that people on the station criticized Obama for commenting on Gatesgate.

“I’d like to ask the mayor why Channel 25 is such a racist station. How come every time they have something bad to say about the mayor or President Obama?” she said. “A lot of people need to stop watching the Channel 25 news because of the things they be saying. A lot of people don’t notice what’s going on. But I do.”

Menino said he didn’t believe FOX25 was racist. “I don’t think they’re racist,” he said. “I mean, they might be outrageous at times. I mean, I read some of the papers, they’re outrageous also at times. They want people to read the paper, watch [the news]. Sometimes they make those statements which I don’t approve of either. We have to make sure we all work together.”

Touching on the incident between Cambridge police and the Harvard professor, Menino said, “We have to make sure we understand that… the ugly head of racism will always pop no matter how well things are going. Boston’s going real well now. But you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. We always have to fight back and never allow those folks to take over our city or even have a platform.”