Saturday, April 30, 2005

Giants Team picture

The Giants after their recent scrimmage victory over the Reds!

April 30, update

Busy, Busy....

Had a wonderful time at our campaign open house last night. Former City Councilor David Scondras came by and had many fine words of advice, and was in deep conversation with the reporters from the South End News. There were south end baseball coaches and commissioners in attendance, Globe staff, and many newcomers. Thanks to all for coming.

Unlike some of my other colleagues in this campaign, I still have a more than fulltime job. So I have spent today catching up on paperwork and campaign issues. Tomorrow I'm teaching Motorcycle Safety Classes in Worcester. One of my students will be my fiance Dr. Clara Lora.

I will be coaching the Giants monday night in their season opener vs. the Expos, after the game I will attend the forum by Superintendent Payzant in Roxbury on closing the achievement gap between the minority students and the white and asian students. Tuesday I will be taking John Tobin up on his offer to meet and campaign with him at the Neighbor to Neighbor meeting in Jamaica Plain. Wednesday I'll be speaking to the democracy for america group at the harriet tubman house in the south end.

More later, enjoy the weekend and thanks for checking in.


Voting date information

September 27, 2005 City Preliminary Election September 7, 2005 (8:00 PM): Last day and hour for Voter Registration for the September 27 City Preliminary Election, mailed items must be postmarked before September 7, 2005. November 8, 2005 City Election October 19, 2005 (8:00 PM): Last day and hour for Voter Registration for the November 8 City Election, mailed registration must be postmarked before October 19, 2005.
Find your local polling place at the link below:
Any problems or questions? The Massachusetts Elections Division can help, click below

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thoughts from the campaign trail...

Dear Royal Rooters, welcome to the blog. Whether I win or lose, I really feel as if I'm making at least a soupcon of a difference. Today, the BRA cancelled their monthly secret behind closed doors meeting without any explanation at all. When I spoke to the woman at the BRA who is responsible for letting all the councilors know about the meeting she replied in a stern voice:

"let me be perfectly clear. I am not answering your questions. My name is ____ _____" She refused to say anything else. All I did was ask whether the meeting was on or off. Certainly doesn't sound like open, honest government to me.

I officially signed up to be on the ballot today. Registration papers are next tuesday. We can use help getting signatures.

I went to the BRA event in Allston-Brighton tonight. The crowd was 100% against the changing of the zoning code. Not a single person spoke up for it. Susan Tracy and a gentleman from the mayor's office were there but they didn't comment. Councilor McDermott was there, as he said, to listen to the constituents concerns. I spoke about my concerns: why the BRA can't tell how many properties are affected, why a piece of legislation that has only had one problem in 41 years is being revised, especially when it was not a problem, it was just ZBA issuing a permit they should not have, and that the BRA is having secret meetings about zoning which should not be happening in an open democratic society. I handed out copies of the dorchester reporter article about the affair, which was well received. I was invited to the A/B community meeting next Thursday.

I suggested to the BRA that they take into account the citizens who are not for this exemption, and change the zoning code to read that there will be no exemptions to the minimum lot frontage requirement. They obfuscated....

I told Andrea Estes at the Globe today about how mysteriously the policy of the Inspectional Services Department changed between 1998-2001 when the permit for the infamous house was issued. Previously if one went before the ZBA, there would be a 20 day "holding period" before any permit was issued from the time the application was received at ISD. This was the appeal period. Essentially this buffer was put in to keep people from building things at risk. For some reason this policy was changed under the former commissioner Kevin Joyce who was let go after causing taxpayers over $500,000 in legal and other fees when Julie Fothergill refused to fix a contract for him. By the way, under state law the head of ISD is supposed to be a registered engineer which has not been the case in a long time. It has been headed in the past by non construction industry people with political ties. If this 20 day buffer time idea had still been in force, the project never would have received a permit.

I met with councilor Turner today and had a nice but brief meeting. I told him of my idea to have the City bid to build over the mass pike, and create thousands of median income housing, connect the city and have a limited number of high end, and low end housing units. We need to build more housing for the working class!!! Of course, we would need to have competent accountable construction managers which seems to be difficult in this city and state. This is obviously a long term idea to be studied, not one of my pressing issues.

Someone warned me that my opposition may try and portray me as a disgruntled developer who hasn't won BRA contracts. On the contrary, I am a happy developer who made a fair share of money in my dealings with the BRA. But that doesn't mean that I don't think the BRA should be abolished and a voter accountable city planning agency should be established.

Good night,

Globe, Dorchester Articles about City Hall, BRA shenanigans, back room deals with the Zoning Code

All Contents © Copyright 2005, Boston Neighborhood News, Inc.
City Prioritized BRAAmendment for Melville Case
April 21, 2005
By Jim O'SullivanNews Editor
As Dorchester activists remain skeptical about proposed amendments to city zoning laws, internal City Hall documents reveal that Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) officials negotiated the terms of the multi-neighborhood change with attorneys working for owners of a controversial Melville Avenue property.
The records also reveal that the Menino Administration considered the political dimensions of the 99 Melville Ave. case, and that BRA officials structuring the amendment took into account how an attorney for the owners of that property could "use" the change.
"There is a lawsuit pending and the Mayor has made clear his commitment to resolving that matter - which can happen only with this zoning amendment," Rebecca Lee, special counsel to the BRA director, wrote in a March 30 e-mail, responding to Rebecca Barnes, the BRA's chief planner, who had suggested delaying the amendment due to concern over "controversial issues in the next few months."
On February 28, Lee asked BRA designers to "fix" the amendment quickly, reasoning that 99 Melville attorney "Marty Healy may be able to use it in the litigation later."
Before Mayor Thomas M. Menino appointed her to the BRA last November as director Mark Maloney's legal adviser, Lee worked in the real estate department of Goodwin Procter, the law firm representing the 99 Melville Ave. owners.
The documents, obtained by the Reporter under the Freedom of the Information Act, pertain to suggested changes in the way the city permits lots for developments. Richard Shaklik, the BRA deputy director for zoning, told the Reporter in March that one amendment would define "lot frontage" and "lot width" as the same measurement, repairing an "oversight" in the code. The other, he said, would add lot frontage to a clause in the code regulating exceptions to minimum lot size. Shaklik, who proposed the amendment in a February 24 memorandum, said the changes would apply only to existing lots which meet pre-existing standards, including "at least three-fourths of the minimum lot size and lot width requirements."
Officials maintain that the alterations amount to minor clerical adjustments.
But BRA and administration officials admit they don't have an estimate of how many lots could be impacted by the amendment, which is marked for enactment in Dorchester, Roxbury, Fenway, Allston-Brighton, and East Boston.
Allston-Brighton Councillor Jerry McDermott has asked that his neighborhood be ruled exempt from the change, and said Tuesday that he has not heard back from the BRA about how many units would be affected there.
In a March 25 e-mail, Lee asked BRA officials for an answer to the same question.
The most recent document obtained by the Reporter is dated March 31.

Amendment's beginning
McDermott said that Allston-Brighton residents "are concerned, and rightfully so, that what seems like a minor technical amendment could have a wide-reaching impact. You would think that before the BRA suggested a large change, that they would know the ramifications of such a change."
Dorchester City Councillor Maureen Feeney has championed the amendment, calling consternation over it "driven for the wrong reason."
Feeney has also championed the cause of the O'Flahertys, the Melville Ave. family who constructed a single-family home beside their two-family, after the city's zoning board of appeals (ZBA) approved BRA-opposed variances in the design plans in 2001. Several neighbors fiercely opposed the building, and three - Peter Ent, John Young, and Yvonne Ruggles, wife of Menino spokesman DeWayne Lehman - filed suit against the appeals board.
Years of legal and behind-the-scenes wrangling ensued, with the O'Flahertys completing construction despite court warnings that 99 Melville would have to be torn down. In January, a state appeals court sided with the plaintiffs and earlier decisions that the ZBA "acted in excess of its authority" in granting the variances and that the home should come down.
Records show that the city almost immediately began reconsidering its zoning code, collaborating with O'Flaherty attorney Martin Healy, the Goodwin Procter lawyer who has edited the "Massachusetts Zoning Manual" since 1989, and advised Big Dig permitters.
Healy repeatedly offered comments and proposed changes to the amendment, and Lee encouraged BRA officials to check their plans with Healy, on February 23 asking BRA land use counsel Donald Wiest to "connect directly with Marty."
Healy did not respond to a voicemail left at his office.
"It's consistent with BRA practices that we provide draft memos," and consult outside parties, said BRA spokeswoman Susan Elsbree, "so that they know what we're contemplating."
Barbara Gruenthal, attorney for the plaintiffs and thus Healy's opponent, said Wednesday she was not consulted, and didn't learn that an amendment was in the works until March 3, a week after Shaklik's memo outlined the plan.
Elsbree said she didn't know how Healy learned of the amendment.

'Mired in other issues'
On March 30, Shaklik sent an e-mail to Maloney and several other BRA officials, including Lee, summarizing a meeting with two other BRA officials and Menino's neighborhood services director Jay Walsh, and expressing skepticism about the amendments' chances of winning popular support. Shaklik acknowledged residents' "feeling that these neighborhoods are being 'over developed' and that the ZBA has been too generous in granting zoning relief," and said amendment opponents "feel that the only reason the amendment is being proposed is to benefit the homeowner in the 99 Melville Avenue case."
Shaklik wrote, "The proposed amendment is defensible from a technical zoning perspective but has obviously become mired in other issues … Consequently, the proposed amendment is likely to become more controversial and receive more press attention as we move forward."
In a reply the next day, Maloney wrote, "I am disappointed that the meeting mentioned below did not include Rebecca Lee. She has been working on this with [city policy and planning chief] Michael Kineavy and the Mayor. I believe the best strategy is to accomplish the technical correction for Dorchester right away and then strategize about doing the rest of the communities that could become involved. Please connect with Rebecca right away so that we can proceed on that basis."
'You don't need this'
On March 22, a hearing before the zoning commission - which establishes code policy, whereas the zoning board interprets it - drew 50 people, many of whom, including city councillors, said they learned of it at the last minute. At Menino's behest, according to the documents, the commission delayed a vote on the amendment until a series of public meetings could be held in the affected neighborhoods.
After councillors and activists ripped the vetting process as too secretive, city officials scheduled a Dorchester meeting on the amendment for 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 25, at the IBEW Hall on Freeport St., and are planning separate discussions for the other neighborhoods.
Since the 99 Melville Ave. case first put neighbors at odds in 2001, it's been politically-laden, with Feeney vocally supportive of the O'Flahertys, and City Councillor Charles Yancey - who lives around the corner and in whose district the property actually sits - staying largely clear of the battle. Susan Tracy, the politically-wired former state representative and Jacqueline O'Flaherty's aunt, has advocated for the O'Flahertys' cause.
Yancey did not respond to messages left at his office.
As recently as last month, the lingering, election year political implications, popped up on the administration's radar screen, when Patrick Lee, a partner in the Dorchester development firm Trinity Financial and the husband of former Menino chief-of-staff Alyce Lee, who left that post in 1995, contacted Kineavy.
On March 8, Patrick Lee e-mailed Kineavy that local opponents of 99 Melville Ave. visited him and his wife the day before. The opponents, Lee warned, "are girding for battle." Lee said they were not seeking the house's demolition, but rather an apology and the reimbursement of $70,000 in legal bills.
Lee continued, "You all don't need this fight, not now and probably, not ever … Michael, seems like there is a solution to this problem that has the Mayor being a savior, rather than pitted against some of the neighbors on Melville Avenue."
Later the same day, Lee wrote to Maloney that he thought "an avoidable political fight is looming" and offered to help broker a compromise.
In a March 11 e-mail to Lee, Kineavy wrote, "[I]t would be great to find some way to bridge the gap here. The e-mail was the first time that I heard that the opposition's ultimate goal wasn't to have the house torn down. That's our starting point too. So maybe there is some room for compromise. Alyce suggested that Mark may have some ideas around the money side of the issue."
But less than two weeks later Lee had grown less sanguine about reaching a solution. In a March 22 e-mail, the day of the zoning commission hearing, he told Kineavy and Maloney, "The conversations I have had with people on both sides of the case don't leave me with the hope that the parties can work this out together. There has been too much personal animosity over the many years. Mark, the conversations didn't even progress to the point where it made sense to put the idea you and I discussed on the table."
Kineavy, through eastern Dorchester liaison Molly Dunford, deferred all questions to the BRA.
Patrick Lee did not immediately respond to a voicemail left at his office.

Scope tough to judge
While the BRA insists that the changes would amount to a correction of an ambiguity in the code, no figures have been offered which estimate how many units meet its terms, leaving questions for McDermott and others.
"To be honest, I really don't understand what the full impact of this is going to be on Dorchester and the other neighborhoods," said Rosanne Foley, an Ashmont Hill activist.
In a February 23 e-mail, Wiest wrote, "Once enacted, our text amendments will have the effect of immediately legalizing any proposed or current project that complies with a minimum lot size exemption provision in every way other than lot frontage," but did not speculate about how many projects would be ruled legal.
Since sending an e-mail to approximately 50 community leaders in southeastern Dorchester soliciting properties that might qualify, Pope's Hill Neighborhood Association Philip J. Carver, a frequent zoning policy critic, said he has received 120 responses, but hasn't confirmed they meet the standards.
Michael Cote, a Fields Corner activist who has studied the zoning code for nearly a decade, said the city's online property records don't allow for easy figuring of which lots would qualify.
"It's extremely complicated to even figure out whether an individual lot meets the requirement, let alone across the entire city," Cote said.
While officials have publicly insisted they conceived the amendment because of issues the Melville Ave. case brought to light, instead of as a means of legalizing the property, Shaklik's March 30 e-mail acknowledged the widespread sentiment to the contrary, one that Cote echoed.
"Everything about this looks to me like the city is going out of its way to change the rules so they can say that they were right all along, and that the people who challenged them [over 99 Melville] were wrong," Cote said.
"It's not because of the case, but because of the case we've seen deficiencies in the code," Elsbree said.
"Not everything is a conspiracy," said Feeney. "Sometimes it's about good government and doing the right thing and making sure that our laws and the language in the laws are appropriate."

Back to Reporter Home Page


By Andrea Estes, Globe Staff April 28, 2005
A politically connected Dorchester family is getting help from the highest levels of City Hall to save a newly constructed house that two courts have ordered destroyed because it violates Boston's zoning code.

Though Suffolk Superior Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court have sided with angry neighbors and ordered removal of the house built by Jackie and Anthony O'Flaherty, officials including Boston Redevelopment Authority director Mark Maloney and Mayor Thomas M. Menino have intervened on the family's behalf.
The BRA asked a high-powered Boston zoning lawyer to represent the family. The lawyer, Martin R. Healy of Goodwin Procter, is chairman of the firm's real estate development and permitting practice and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2005-2006, according to his resume. He is working for the family for free.
Menino recently ''made clear his commitment to resolving" the matter, according to a March 30 e-mail by a BRA lawyer, and the BRA is now trying to amend the zoning code so that the house would no longer violate the rules. This week Maloney contacted a lawyer representing the neighbors in an effort to broker a compromise with neighbors.
The O'Flahertys are a longtime Boston family, with several generations living in Dorchester since the 1920s. Jackie O'Flaherty's aunt is Susan Tracy, a popular former state representative who worked for the administration of former mayor Raymond L. Flynn and currently sits on a committee of women supporting Menino's reelection bid. Tracy is friendly with several of Menino's top aides and has been active in the family's efforts to save the house.
Menino and other city officials said they are trying to correct an injustice and not doing anything for the O'Flahertys that they wouldn't do for others.
''This is a working family that made a mistake, and if someone wants them to tear down the house, it's totally wrong," said Menino, adding that he hadn't met the O'Flahertys until recently. ''These are hard-working people who thought they were doing the right thing. They got bad advice, so they turned to government. We're trying to be helpful."
Controversy over the 2,000-square-foot house on Melville Avenue began even before it was built in 2001 because some neighbors didn't want another house built on the lot. The lot didn't meet the zoning code's requirement for 50 feet of frontage on a public street. The O'Flahertys went to the city's Zoning Board of Appeal for permission to build. At the time, the O'Flaherty's were living in a two-family house on the property.
Several neighbors turned out to object, but, they said, weren't allowed to speak. Construction of a new house would result in three structures on the lot, including the two-family house and a barn at the rear. But the total number of buildings was not an issue before the Zoning Board.

Page 2 of 2 -- The Zoning Board issued the variance, and two weeks later the neighbors sued, arguing that squeezing the house onto a lot with such small frontage meant that the new building would block their view and access to light and air. They also argued that the house would increase traffic and congestion in the neighborhood.

A Suffolk Superior Court judge refused to issue an injunction to stop construction, but warned the family that they ''proceeded with the construction at their own peril." The family's lawyer assured the judge that if the family lost the case they would tear down the house.
They built the house, now valued by city assessors at $407,400, and moved in 2002. The following year, Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders ruled against them, ordering the Zoning Board to deny the variance and take ''all action necessary against the O'Flahertys to enforce the provisions of the code, including an order that they remove" the house.
In January, the state Appeals Court upheld Sanders's decision.
''This happened because of the process," said Yvonne Ruggles, one of the neighbors who sued. ''It was our understanding that as abutters we had the right to question the development. But when we went to the Zoning Board they didn't ask for the abutters. The lot was too small."
The battle over the house has galvanized the community, and hundreds of people turned out Monday night to speak for or against the city's proposed solution to the problem: changing the zoning code to circumvent the court decisions by ensuring that the lot complies with zoning rules.
Some residents worried that the amendment, which will make it easier for property owners to build without first going to the Zoning Board of Appeal for special approvals on lots that have smaller frontage, would have broad implications for neighborhoods across the city. They said it could make it easier for builders to squeeze projects onto tiny lots.
Under the proposed change, a property owner could be issued a building permit for a lot without having to go before the Zoning Board of Appeal as long as the frontage on a lot is at least 75 percent of the frontage specified in the zoning code.
Some Boston neighborhoods already have exceptions that allow building on properties that are 75 percent of the square footage spelled out in the zoning code and 75 percent of the width. But lots must still meet frontage requirements. The O'Flahertys' lot is just over 45 feet at the street, less than 5 feet shorter than currently required.
City officials said that they are not looking to change the zoning code simply to benefit the O'Flahertys, but that the family's ordeal has brought to light a problem in the code that needs ''clarifying." The city plans meetings in the affected neighborhoods before moving forward with passage of the zoning change.
Councilor at Large Maura Hennigan, who is running for mayor, said she has never seen the city bureaucracy organize so publicly on behalf of a single family.
''I've never seen such a blatant example of putting a personal relationship ahead of what should be an objective process," said Hennigan, who opposes the zoning code change. ''We can't have a city that sets its laws based on personal interests and friends."
Some Dorchester residents also said there is another dimension to the battle, reflecting tensions between lifelong working-class residents like the O'Flahertys and newcomers trying to curb development in a modest city block. Some testified on behalf of the O'Flahertys, saying that residents need to bridge that divide.
''Neighbors help each other and care about each other," Carolyn Kain, a neighborhood resident, said at Monday night's meeting.
The O'Flahertys say their lives have been made miserable by the controversy and fear a wrecking ball will demolish their home.
''We just wanted to have enough room for our family," said Jackie O'Flaherty. ''Our kids were sharing a bedroom, and we needed more space. It was always our dream to build on the lot.
''This has destroyed my family," she said. ''My 10-year-old daughter is crying over this all the time. It started off they wanted the power in the neighborhoods and it turned into an angry mob that would do anything and everything to hurt us. I can't fathom why they've taken it to the extremes they've taken it."
© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.

City Councilors come up with McCrea's Idea

Dear Madison Park,
Where was my credit??? One of the BIG IDEAS the globe published in the article about me was that I suggested that we should do a pilot program with a number of bars staying open to 4 a.m.Voila!!! Two weeks later a couple of city councilors are putting that idea forward!
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Kevin McCrea

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Contact information for all candidates

In the spirit on transparency and letting voters comparison shop I am posting all the information my campaign manager could find on the other candidates for City Council. As I've learned in my short time as a candidate, this is exhausting and I tip my hat to all the candidates because they clearly care deeply about the city or they wouldn't take on this endeavor.

City Council At-Large Campaign Websites
John Connolly
Sam Yoon
Matt O’Malley
Michael Flaherty
Felix Arroyo
Stephen Murphy
Joe Ready
No information on Patricia White’s campaign
Ed Flynn's phone number 617-269-0776

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Kevin's thoughts on Groundwater

Kevin McCrea
218 West Springfield Street
Boston, MA 02118
617-351-2453 (fax)

South End News

Dear Sirs:

This is in response to the letter to the editor “Where does Kevin McCrea stand on Groundwater” by Carter Jefferson.
When I saw the letter in the South End News the first thing I did was call information and get Mr. Jefferson's phone number. I called him and discussed the issue and where I stood. I referred him to my website and invited him to my open houses at 218 West Springfield Street the last friday of each month. I thought we had an excellent, open honest, discussion of the issue.
I explained that as a contractor who has renovated buildings in the Back Bay, South End and Beacon Hill I am very aware of the concern of the residents about this matter, and that I was at the Boston Public Library discussion of the topic as well to become more informed. I disagreed with him that it is the number one issue in the City of Boston, as I think housing and education are the most important issues, which concurs with the recent 48 page report by the non-profit Boston Foundation.
However, groundwater is a big issue that is not being addressed objectively by the city and state government. The reason for this is that local government is too often reactive and not proactive about problems. I call for the elimination of the BRA and the creation of a City Planning Agency that would be accountable to the voters. If we had a planning agency, we could plan ahead and have a blueprint to address development issues, zoning, roads and tranportation projects that affect the groundwater level. I feel that in this issue an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Certainly, I believe that this issue is important and if elected I look forward to working with the Groundwater Trust to keep it on the front burner. It certainly is more vital to the city than City Hall spending precious time and energy looking into whether or not local parking area owners display vibrant capitalism by price gouging suburbanites who drive to Red Sox games!
Thank you for your time.
Kevin McCrea

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Comunicado de Prensa


Campana para elegir al candidato Kevin McCrea218 W. Springfield Street, Boston, MA 02118617-267-2453 tel.671-351-2453 faxCorreo electrónico:
El sábado, Abril 2, 2005, el señor Kevin McCrea anuncio su lanzamiento como candidato para Concejal (“At Large”) de la ciudad de Boston, durante una fiesta que tuvo en su casa localizada en 218 W. Springfield St. Esa misma noche, también le anuncio a su familia y sus amigos que se había comprometido con su novia Colombiana, la doctora en psicología Clara Lora-Ospina. Fue una gran noche para el candidato.
Kevin McCrea es un residente de la ciudad de Boston quien esta preocupado por la falta de dirección e honestidad en el gobierno regional. El cree que la ciudad de Boston podría llegar a ser la mejor en el mundo, pero para alcanzar esta meta se necesita tener un gobierno regional que se preocupe de tomar acción concreta a favor de todos los residentes y que se proponga de una manera seria a eliminar los problemas del sistema de educación, la falta de vivienda de precio medio y acceso equitativo a las instituciones gubernamentales para todos los residentes.
El candidato Kevin McCrea se distingue de los otros candidatos porque el no es un político. El tiene grados en filosofía y física y es dueño de una compañía de construcción, Wabash Construction, basada en Boston. Además, McCrea ha sido corredor profesional de motos y ahora enseña cursos de conduzca de motos para el estado de Massachussets. Sus tres cuestiones grandes como concejal de la ciudad serán: educación, vivienda y igualdad de acceso al gobierno; y según el, las tres son conectadas, así como todos estamos conectados como ciudadanos de la gran ciudad de Boston. McCrea piensa que si uno no recibe la educación apropiada entonces uno no aprende las habilidades de pensamiento críticas que se necesitan para conseguir un buen trabajo, ni el conocimiento de cómo exigir buen gobierno. Además, si la gente está luchando para pagar la vivienda y otras cosas fundamentales, no tendrán el tiempo de pasar la enseñanza a sus niños, obrar recíprocamente y apoyar sus escuelas, ni menos tener tiempo para asegurar que su gobierno sea justo y responsable.
El candidato Kevin McCrea dice que mira adelante hacia una discusión abierta sobre éstos temas porque “Cuando le niegan al pueblo el acceso al gobierno, él no puede utilizar ‘su’ gobierno para ayudar a la persona común,” y el promete “trabajar duro para cambiar este ciclo vicioso.”
Toda la información sobre el candidato y sus ideas se puede encontrar fácilmente en su página Web:

Saturday, April 23, 2005

McCrea Gets Sox to Donate Tickets!

Candidate for Boston City Council At Large Kevin McCrea 218 West Springfield Street Boston, MA 02118 617-267-2453 617-351-2453 (fax)
For Immediate Release:
City Council Candidate Kevin McCrea Convinces Red Sox To Donate Tickets to Youth Baseball
In a lattice of coincidence, Kevin McCrea was able to make lemonade out of lemons by being in the middle of an unfortunate situation. It turns out that Kevin is the holder of the Boston Red Sox Season Ticket for the right field Front Row ticket Section 4, Box 86 Row A1. That happens to be the seat between the fan who had contact with New York Yankee Gary Sheffield, and the fan whose beer ended up on Sheffield.
Kevin has also been the coach of the 6 to 10 year old French Cleaners Giants in the South End Youth Baseball League for the last three years. The night of the incident he sold his ticket for $20 because he was attending a campaign event in Charlestown. He didn't find out about the event until the next day.
In the past week McCrea has had conversations with Boston Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino and his assistant Adam Grossman. McCrea suggested turning this negative incident into something positive by donating some of the rescinded tickets to area youth baseball, and in particular the South End Youth Baseball league which is free to any kid who would like to play. Charitably the Boston Red Sox have taken McCrea up on his suggestion and are going to donate some of the tickets to South End Baseball. Larry Lucchino was on local Sports Talk Radio Station WEEI this week to announce how the Red Sox are giving back to the local community by donating these tickets.
McCrea is a huge baseball fan who attended almost all of the homegames last season and traveled to the Bronx to see the Sox vanquish the Yankees in Game 7 last year, and attended all 4 World Series Games, visiting his brother who lives in St. Louis for the baseball finals.He joked about the incident “In retrospect it is probably a good thing I wasn't at the game that night, although if Boston residents saw me yelling at the Yankees I might be a shoo-in for the election!” On a more serious note he said “My hat is off to the Red Sox for making this gift to the community. I took two eight year olds from my team: Iouless Rivera, and his cousin Victor Velasquez to their first game last Sunday. It is such a thrill and joy to get these kids to the park to see their heroes, when they might not otherwise get the chance.”

Thursday, April 21, 2005

April 20, 2005 Update

It has been quite a whirlwind the past couple of weeks. We have received some great press from the South End News, and the Boston Globe. I've been to events in West Roxbury, Roxbury, Charlestown, South End, Dorchester, and the Back Bay.
I'd like to thank Dan Settana at the Ward 20 meeting in West Roxbury for giving me the opportunity to speak to his group off the cuff. I'd also like to thank Maura Hennigan and her office and Mike Ross and his office for their time and advice on how to get out and campaign. I owe John Tobin a return phone call to set up a time and go campaigning with him, which he generously suggested we do in his comments to the Boston Globe about my candidacy.
I wrote a letter to the editor of the south end news about the groundwater issue in Boston, when someone wrote in asking my position on it. In short, I believe the issue goes back to the fact that we need a city planning agency to proactively address this and other issues.
I had a great time on Joe Heisler's TV show last Tuesday. I'd like to thank him personally for his time and interest in my open and honest campaign. He was altruistic enough to share a beer after the show and offer his advice.
I was advised by a few people before I went on the show that I should have friends and supporters be ready to call in questions. But that is the type of thing that I am running against. That is the same type of slippery slope as the reporter planted in the White House press corps. I got two great phone calls, a gentleman from Eastie who told me to stay positive, and actually be honest about what I'm going to do. I'd like to personally thank Joe from Dorchester, whomever he is, who called in and said something to the effect of "I don't know what kind of chance this guy has but he is the most honest politician I've seen and he has my vote!". These kind of comments are really inspiring me, I really appreciate it.
Hey, Joe--come to my open house at 218 west springfield street in the south end around 7 pm on april 29! I'd love to meet you.
Joe Heisler knows that guests have canned callers calling in. I think he rolled his eyes when I asked about the benign questions coming into the candidate that was on before me.
Some people have asked me about my past, now that the Globe has portrayed me as an "affable playboy" who likes to enjoy life to its fullest. Well, in the spirit of honesty and transparency and in no particular order.....yes, I have been arrested, no I have not been convicted of anything, yes, I shared one marijuana cigarette with a friend in high school, and I did try and inhale but I'm not sure I did it right, and I've never tried drugs again, although I do enjoy a good pint; I probably have exceeded the speed limit on occasion, a couple years ago I got a ticket for going 30 mph (in a 15mph zone) through the fast lane toll on the turnpike, I have sued people and been sued, most proud of taking on Keyspan (Pro Se) when they damaged my front yard. They offered $1200, after holding a number of depositions and discovery myself I found out that Keyspan had hired a subcontractor, who hired a subcontractor, who hired undocumented workers to dig up the streets. They settled for around $18,000. Don't be afraid to ask questions and challenge the status quo, big business and big government.
One good thing about being a contractor is that it prepares you a bit for politics. There is no way you can please all the people, and some people are always going to dislike you no matter how much you try. The key, I think, is to try and do your best, be honest with yourself and be able to sleep everynight because you gave it your best.
In my 30 days as a politician, I have a newfound respect and admiration for anyone who would run for office. I'd like to salute the other 9 candidates and I look forward to a lively and robust discussion of the issues. I'm open to debates and hope that we get a good chance to talk about the real issues with the press and the public.
Tonight I just got back from a heartfelt Ward 5 meeting. They have lost 3 of their longtime beloved members recently. There were a number of good stories, but I was most struck by David Scondras reminding us to let the people in your life now know how much you care for them, don't wait until they are dead. Also, he made the very important point that we need to have FUN in life!!! (where have i heard that before!) He was generous enough to offer his time to talk, and hopefully to come (and maybe speak, please!!!) to one of our open houses.
That is all for now, please contribute if you can, get a sign or a bumper sticker next week when they come in, and come to the open house on April 29th at the BIG house,

Go democracy!!!


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Kevin and his fiance Clara Lora who announced their engagement to family and friends at the Campaign Kickoff Party on April 2nd. CONGRATS!!! Posted by Hello

Kevin speaking with supporters at the BIG HOUSE on April 2nd to announce his candidacy Posted by Hello

Kevin with Maura Posted by Hello

Kevin speaks with supporters Shirley Kressel and Mayoral hopeful Maura Hennigan Posted by Hello