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October 15, 2006

Comments

brickbottom

Matthew,

Just an honest question I have for you. At what age do you think that youth stop becoming youth and become adults?

Also, if you can answer my first question do you think that adults should be able to play basketball in the playgrounds around young kids and youths?

Thak you for your answer.

Snotty nose knows

We also need an area to sell our wares. A lot of the kids that hang out there will naturally want to go a head and make this a place for some of us to do business. We would like a concession stand built that has heat in the winter and ac in the summer. We would definitely like to legalize marijuana so that selling in the park will be easier.

Naturally, we understand that this will make young families very nervous and we realize that we will by nature attract the wrong crowd. That is why we agree to all surrender our rights when on the court and sign waivers that allows for random searches and drug and alcohol testing while in public parks. even though the police will never do their job we believe that the surrounding neighbors will feel much safer if we were to give up these rights.

So can we have a full court?

parent of young kids

Thanks for your comments Matthew. I've lived in Somerville for about 5 years, and in that time I've had two kids. We often head over to Lexington Park for the play structures, bike path, etc. I've been very aware of the tensions between what you call the "old" and the "new" Somerville. It's often felt strange for me to be on the "new" side; when I was growing up I felt the same frustrations that you and others have expressed with the sometimes poorly wielded authority of older adults. I think that point underlines one important reality: The "new" residents aren't on one end of a simple continuum, with the "old" guard at the other pole. We all have histories, and have more in common than is sometimes apparent.

I've seen things on both sides at LP that have made me concerned. I've seen parents let their young kids ride all over the basketball courts while local teens try to play basketball. The blatant insensitivity of these parents to the adolescents on the court is part of what leads to unnecessary tension. We parents need to watch out for our kids, and talk to other parents whose kids are interfering with teens who are making appropriate use of the park.

On the other hand, it felt fairly bad to be at the park during the height of the tagging. Reading "kill a yuppie," and knowing that the sentiment was aimed at me (however simplistically) was unpleasant. Mostly, the muttered comments and cold stares at parents from the teens at the park felt like evidence of something sadly broken. In place of open communication there was hostility.

It wasn't one side or the other that was responsible; to think that way is to abandon all hope of a solution. It doesn't feel better now, with fewer teens on the benches and on the courts. I very much agree that we need to open up the discussion again, with an eye toward a solution that works for all park users. I like the idea of a full court with higher fences - this would be easy to accomplish. If this change were made, perhaps a few signs spelling out ground rules would help all park users coexist more peacefully. Parents could be alerted to keep their kids off the courts when that space is being used for basketball. Basketball court users could be alerted to the presence of young kids, and reminded to watch out for loud swearing, etc.

If we can't get a wide range of fairly reasonable people to share a park without deep frustration, what kind of statement does that make? I think we can make it happen.

Thanks for reading!

Idiots, Idiots, Idiots

This city is unbelievable. Now we need a task force on how to get along at the park. When I grew up a park was a park. Kids from the neighborhood met at the park, hung out at the park and socialized at the park whether they were playing basketball, drinking beers or feeling tits for the first time. That was part of life and nobody bothered a soul. Occasionally a cop would drive by and tell everyone to screw if it got a little too noisy. Everyone survived and moved on when they reached a certain age. Now, the yuppies move in and have to analyze who uses the park, how they use the park and how they should be using the park. DOG PARKS, BIKE PATHS AND MURALS...get a life!!!!!!!!!! Stop making mountains out of molehills.

Marcus Peterson

Alot of people in the Somerville City counsel should be ashamed of themselves. My fellow Somervillians, make sure to pay attention, elections will be coming soon

brickbottom

Idiot,

That's when kids respected their neighbors and had a sense of community about their neighborhood. That's when neighbors felt safe walking or stopping by a park because they knew who the kids were and who their parents were. They knew that these same kids protected their neighborhood from outside influences.

Nowadays no one knows who someone is or who to trust or rely on if they ran into problems. Nowadays you have a bunch of so called youths riding around in cars to different parks to hang in, there is no consistency.

When I hung around a certain park in the seventies believe me no outside influences dared to pollute our park or our neighborhood with any type of disrespect, whether that disrespect was aimed at us or our neighbors. NO ONE DARED!

Vikki Vale

Hey, Idiot CUBED- get a grip.
Every group has their own valid arguments.
When you become a quadroped and have to run in an open space- I can honestly hope you arent stuck in a battle for that space to run in.
Vikki
Gotham City

PS- i hope my dog doesnt meet you one day!! :D he likes to bite idiots.

Matt McLaughlin

Bricks,

How old is an adult? I suppose 18 is the legal definition, although I wouldn't consider someone a true adult until 21+. Age isn't the driving factor, however, at least to me. Our goal is to help the youth because we identify with their problems the most, but the point is to make the park, specifically the courts, usable for everyone. The way the courts are set up now just doesn't make sense.

We are not out to defend people who want to use intimidation to get their way. Several people who have helped us with the LP project have been victims of angry youth at the park. Many people assume we're defending everything the "old" Somerville does at the park. They don't see how often we talk to the youth to get them to do the right thing, and how successfuly we have been at curbing the tensions at LP. We're not defending their every actions, we're just trying to help them because no one else will.

BB Thorton

I would rather see the youth get involved with one of the organized leagues. I believe there are base-ball and softball leagues by fanney road and I am sure there are all kinds of leagues in town. Is there not some basketball league? What about hockey leagues they can play in? Why don't they go play soccer with the Brazilians at Foss park? If it is a trust issue, and these kids don't want to hang out with organized groups then we can allow the military recruiters to go the park and recruit these guys and fix them up.

But seriously, If there is no record of violence at the park then I don't see any reason why we don't just try it out for a short time, on trial basis. If problems occur we end it. There is nothing wrong with trying it out..

brickbottom

Matt;

You say: "Many people assume we're defending everything the "old" Somerville does at the park."

It's not the "old" Somerville I'm worried about it's the new Somerville I'm worried about.

The one's who tossed my young daughters and their friends off of the basketball court (my daughters are old enough to play basketball and are on many teams, traveling and intercity) and I got a call from a parent that was up there and had to settle the situation the "old" Somerville way after they refused to share the court (play half court) with my daughters and their friends. I didn't recognize one of these kids and heard later that they were from Cambridge and East Somerville. So what would have been your solution to this situation?

This is a tough nut to crack.

Take care of yourself Matt.....be safe.

Brick

lifelong res som

To the parents of little ones: Just remember, one day your kids will be teenagers wanting to hang out at the park and/or use the basketball courts. I am a parent of a successful adult daughter who grew up in Somerville who sometimes hung out and yes played basketball at both Lexington Park and Trum.

Teens need to shape up

I'll support this full court as soon as the teens shape up and become productive members of society. It they only sit around smoking why should I pay to give them anything? Leave the court like it is. The city paid good money to fix that park.

somerville resident for 31 yrs

parent of young kids...

I agree with you. people are fairly reasonable espeicially when everyone has a say(including the so called non-prodictive teenagers, teens need to shape up). we need more level headed people like you around here.

somervilleoldtimer

quit whining about the yuppies! If your parents or your aunt mary didn't sell there houses for top dollar so they can move to billerica or stoneham, prices wouldn't be so high and you could still afford to live here. it's people like you who let the yuppies move in. and god bless them, at least they aren't dopes who sell out and then gripe about it.

somervilleoldtimer is right

somervilleoldtimer, your absolutely right. if these greedy oldtimers hadn't sold out, there would be no houses for yuppies to by, and they would just move on to arlington. and these whiners talking about not being able to afford somerville anymore should have bought there own house 10 years ago anyway when it was cheap.

huh

Remind me again, what is a yuppie?

From Wikipedia:
Yuppie is an acronym for "Young Urban Professional". It is a term that's often used to describe a certain demographic pejoratively, with connotations of selfishness, materialism, and superficiality.

I know a lot of the people who get painted as yuppies in these discussions, and they don't fit the mold, as quoted above. Can't we figure out how to talk about this stuff without using such stupid language? The language we use shapes the way we conceptualize and solve the problems we're talking about here. It's lazy to use a word like yuppie - let's try to think in more complex terms, or we're not going to get anywhere.

for huh

huh, a Yuppie is anyone that moves into Somerville that wasn't born here. Haven't you read the graffiti?

old gent

I'm still here. In my neighborhood there are 6 homes with us oldsters still here.
In the 50 years that I have lived in this neighberhood, 4 of our friends have died and outside investors have moved in and created condos etc.

Off the top of my head. Koty, Curtatone, Piro, Ralph,(school administraters, city administraters and workers) all have taken their profit.
I'll be here until I get hit by a car sweeping the city street. Yes, I know that Joe moved back into Somerville.

It's done, move on

It sounds like the city decided this years ago, after an open discussion in the community. The battle is over and you lost. Matt, I think it is time to move on to other battles.

Ron Newman

Reconfiguring the basketball court as a single full-court instead of two parallel half-courts obviously makes it more useful, and would not cost much money. I don't understand why this is even the slightest bit controversial.

Basketball Jones

Are neighbors concerned about the makeup of the crowd and the times that the crowd will be on the court? How many full courts do we have in Somerville? Are there not some more accessible courts that are further away from nearby houses, you know in bigger more open areas? Sometimes the location and setup of a particular area can make it more or less dangerous.

Rec Player

I can not remember one single kid from that neighborhood that was any good playing hoop. Build them 2 courts maybe one can will learn to dribble.

Great Breaking news

state investigators have linked a Republican campaign to letters sent to thousands of Orange County Hispanics warning them they could go to jail or be deported if they vote next month.

In a nearby town City leaders have approved an ordinance prohibiting landlords from renting to illegal immigrants, the latest in one of many efforts by local governments across the country to crack down on undocumented workers. "It is time we do something legal and ethical about the affordable housing crises" one member was reported to have said. he went on to say "we tried to extort money out of legal citizens who own rental property in order to win votes so we could add more parking at our local bar, we will probably loose the next round of ellections as a result and our bar will go out of business too. But honest people are better off now."

Ron Newman

and what does that have to do with a basketball court in Lexington Park??

Celtics sidliners

As a result of all of that the jobless rate has gone up in Massachusetts. This allows more people to hang out at basketball courts all day. How many of these kids would rather get job learning construction or something but can't?

Ron Newman

As a result of a city ordinance in California, more people are using basketball courts in Somerville? You are making no sense.

Vikki Vale

if you Re-Read that last one Ron, you would have comprehended it...

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