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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Where's Tommy?

Four murders in Dorchester in three weeks, one a daylight shooting on an MBTA bus. Mayhem on the Orange Line. The publicity-seeking Guardian Angels patrolling the streets. It all begs a simple question.

Where's Tommy?

OK, so maybe the mayor for life wasn't luxuriating at the Ritz-Carlton in New York on the public's dime this week. But a search of Boston media this week finds Hizzoner strangely mute on topic No. 1 on everyone's lips.

Instead we hear about ongoing plans for the development of the South Boston Waterfront -- including a new City Hall -- which really is nothing more than the Menino Memorial. (Why does he get a building when Curley and White only get statues?)

Oh, there was a sighting in a story about a new Morton's Steakhouse for the Waterfront.

Our much-maligned governor -- who grow up in the mean streets of Chicago -- was front and center on the issue, urging adults to get more involved in the youth-led wave of violence.
"I realize it's a different time; it's not the '50s any more. But every once in a while, when that adult says, 'You know what? You're not supposed to come to work with your pants down there,' ... even when that kid rolls their eyes, they hear you. It gets through."
Patrick has also tried to walk the tightrope of meeting his campaign promise for more cops on the beat, keeping taxes stable and dealing with rising youth crime by shifting funds from antigang programs to beat cop programs. Advocates for the antigang programs were naturally dismayed.

But at least Patrick was visible. Check out cityofboston.gov and you see lovely tourism shots and word about a late April clean-up. Check out the news release section and you are greeted with urgent word about a free solar panel program.

It's entirely possible Hizzoner or a family member is under the weather. There's a fierce cold going around. And if it is anything more serious, that would be worthy of sympathy and concern.

But his invisibility this week as the city resembles a folding house of cards is troubling. If he's too ill to be out there personally (as, to be fair, he has been in the past) how about at least a statement on the website?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


(That's why he is invisible.)

March 31, 2007 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Howardjp said...

Funny, if you "google news" Menino, instead of using some flawed Boston.com link, you find an article about Philly experiencing its 100th murder of the year already, which goes on to talk about the leadership of Mayors Bloomberg and Menino in forming the national group Mayors Against Illegal Guns that is working hard to get Washington to finally respond to this crisis.

Look a little further and you'll see the Mayor out there after the Levin shooting, or out there again today, so don't compare a single line that our very good new governor put out there, when so many people in city government and outside of it are working hard to try to put a stop to all this, the tenuous Jackson Square truce just being one such effort.

Just look in the Globe the other day at the young man from Boston's Youth Opportunity Program (started by Mayor Menino), a former gang member who's trying to turn his life around and was up the State House lobbying to restore the Shannon funds cut from the state budget. Isn't THAT more effective than the Mayor calling a press conference? Think the folks from the City had a role in getting him there?

Look, I worked for His Honor in 1993-1994 when the homicide rate was still coming down from its peak of about 150 a year in 1990-1 to about 120 a year. I took a lot of those calls at 2 and 3 in the a.m. and had to pass them on to him (you just wanted to scream "stop!" after a couple of those calls, not because of the hour, but because of the human tragedies). Hey, that's his job, but it ain't easy. So if he spent one night at the Ritz in NYC in almost 14 years, maybe we can begrudge him that.

So good luck to the people who've been working these streets for years. The "quick fixes" will sell papers. The real work will again, eventually, stop the mayhem.

March 31, 2007 10:33 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Howardjp.. Thanks for the reasoned response (and I won't begrudge that one night at the Ritz either. Chalk that one up as bad timing, bit too hard to resist).

But whether it's flawed Boston.com links or Google News, my point is most people look at the Globe and Herald and the TV stations. And after the bus shooting, I saw the Angels and Bruce Wall's outrageous call for a tourist boycott, but not the mayor.

Crime is up all over -- and too many guns in the wrong hands is a national problem we refuse to address, thanks to the people who earn their living "protecting" the 2nd Amendment.

But for that one very brief but one very important snapshot in time after the bus shooting, I could not find Tom Menino in pictures or in words. And while he may be working with others behind the scenes, his lack of visibility was troubling.

April 01, 2007 6:12 AM  

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