â€¦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 â€œbig fanâ€ 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.
â€œIt got to the point where I end up cleaning up the trash myself. I shouldnâ€™t have to do that,â€ she said. â€œThereâ€™s grass growing, thereâ€™s bushes out of control. Thereâ€™s a lot of empty buildings on Quincy Streetâ€¦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 isnâ€™t being picked up.â€
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.
â€œI get concerned when residents tell me thereâ€™s trash on the street,â€ Menino said, while adding that some of the property is owned by the state because of the commuter rail station construction. â€œI think weâ€™re doing a better job. Can we do better? Yes, we can.â€
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.
â€œPeople say, you know, the mayorâ€™s trying to curry favor with the ownership. Well, the ownership has not been my friend,â€ Menino said. â€œBut I think itâ€™s important that we have a newspaper in the community that talks about the good things that are happening, because you usually donâ€™t read about the good things happening in the community. You hear all the bad things. When somebody gets shot, thatâ€™s the first thing you hear.â€
(The Lit Drop wonders: What about â€œTommy Times,â€ though? Hard-hitting journalism, right there.)
Another caller, â€œCarol from Dorchester,â€ apparently had not had her coffee yet, calling in to complain about FOX25 because they did not carry President Barack Obamaâ€™s speech last night. She also said that people on the station criticized Obama for commenting on Gatesgate.
â€œIâ€™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?â€ she said. â€œA lot of people need to stop watching the Channel 25 news because of the things they be saying. A lot of people donâ€™t notice whatâ€™s going on. But I do.â€
Menino said he didnâ€™t believe FOX25 was racist. â€œI donâ€™t think theyâ€™re racist,â€ he said. â€œI mean, they might be outrageous at times. I mean, I read some of the papers, theyâ€™re outrageous also at times. They want people to read the paper, watch [the news]. Sometimes they make those statements which I donâ€™t approve of either. We have to make sure we all work together.â€
Touching on the incident between Cambridge police and the Harvard professor, Menino said, â€œWe have to make sure we understand thatâ€¦ the ugly head of racism will always pop no matter how well things are going. Bostonâ€™s going real well now. But you never know whatâ€™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.â€