Posted in the Fitchburg Forum
FSU neighbors say loud parties taking toll on
By Alana Melanson, amelanson@sentinelandenterpris e.comsenlandenterprise.com
Posted: 09/26/2012 06:36:49 AM EDT
SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / BRETT CRAWFORD Congress Street residents Elizabeth Lorigan, her daughter Jaclyn, 11, and her fiancŽ, Charles Valcourt, have endured noise from late-night FSU parties. FITCHBURG -- When Elizabeth Lorigan moved to her Congress Street home nearly 25 years ago, the college parties that would occur during the school year would practically "level the neighborhood," she says.
"It would look like Mardi Gras had happened every Thursday night," Lorigan, 51, said Monday.
At one point, Fitchburg State University cracked down on the student drinking, she said, and for years the situation had vastly improved. Lorigan is concerned now, however, that the situation may be slipping back to what it was.
Last year, the first major college party didn't occur until around Halloween, she said, but this year it was a few weeks before school was even in session. The parties get so loud that Lorigan likened it to the sound of a football stadium.
"A lot of music, a lot of swearing, fighting and all that jazz," said Lorigan's fiancé, Charles Valcourt, 51.
He said the parties on neighboring Highland Avenue can happen on pretty much any night, but Thursdays -- known to many college students as "Thirsty Thursdays" -- are usually the worst. They begin sometimes as early as 6 p.m. and they don't stop until 4 or 5 a.m., he said.
"It just goes on and on and on," Valcourt said.
Lorigan said she has been out of work for a while, but wonders how her neighbors who must get up early to go to work and get their kids to day care are faring when they are woken up by the parties.
"Don't get me wrong, things are still much
better now than they used to be," she said. "The college has always tried to work with the community."
But the fact that her 11-year-old daughter, Jaclyn, has been woken up late on Thursday nights or early Friday mornings is a problem, Lorigan said.
Jaclyn, a sixth-grader at Longsjo Middle School, wakes up on her own every morning at 6 a.m. to be at school for 7:30, Lorigan said. She's a conscientious student who cares about doing well in school, she said.
When her sleep is disrupted, Jaclyn spends the day tired and cranky, she said, which leaves her less able to focus on her work. She blames a recent B-plus test score (as opposed to her usual A or A-minus) on being awoken due to one of these loud parties.
Party-goers also throw trash around as they leave, Valcourt said, and some have even urinated on their property. Lorigan said the trash usually consists of "empty beer bottles, boxes, the cans, the red cups."
And the trash doesn't stay where it's thrown, she said -- it gets blown to wherever the wind may take it, which is usually up the street and onto other people's properties. Her elderly neighbor was even given a citation once for having this trash in her yard, Lorigan said.
According to Fitchburg Police Capt. Paul Bozicas, four officers disbursed the most recent party at the Highland Avenue apartments on Thursday night after midnight. The attendees were all compliant, he said, but they tend to continue to make noise as they leave.
There was also no indication that it was only a college party, Bozicas said, since the students and locals do tend to mingle off-campus.
"The neighborhood itself does have college parties, but you can't assume every party is college-related," he said. "That's not fair either."
According to Matthew Bruun, director of public relations for FSU, the school "has high expectations of behavior for students who reside in, or visit, the neighborhoods surrounding the campus."
Although the university does not own any off-campus apartments in the area in question, he said, the expectation is the same for those who reside in university residence halls or in private, off-campus housing.
"Our campus police work closely with the Fitchburg Police Department and we do not tolerate large, disruptive parties," Bruun said. "An explicit good-neighbor policy is part of the student handbook and all students are expected to abide by it."
Depending upon the severity or frequency of violation of the policy, students living in university-owned residence halls may lose their residency, he said. All who violate the policy, whether they live on or off campus, could face sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the university, Bruun said.
"I'm not bad-mouthing the college, the campus police or the Fitchburg police," Lorigan said. "But I don't think our city police officers should be the baby-sitters for the neighborhood, either."
Follow Alana Melanson at facebook.com/alanasentinel or on Twitter @alanamelanson.
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci...
This article brings more to light that meets the eye.
I want to state clearly that Mr. Bruun is not telling the true story here. NOTHING has been done to address this partying,NOTHING.
The neighbors in this area are COMPLETELY disrespected by Bruun and his cohorts. They LIE!
We need leaders who adress these bruuns and others when they make these MAKE BELIEVE statements!
And then to have the downplay the partying? Lt, does it matter if it is University students or locals?? All due respect this LT. is old school portraying outdated policies.
The only thing that the LT left out was a message to the neighbors,"if you don't like it then move".
These positions and allowance of make believe stories is what has kept Fitchburg from becomming a safer and better place to live for decades.
It is an "us against them mentality". Mr Bruun, what you have stated is FALSE and make believe! Parties go till 4am undisturbed by the police!! FACT!
The old statements such as "they are only college students" and the students TRUE REPLY mr. BRUUN; "IT IS ONLY FITCHBURG"!
This is the scope of the problem as students smash car windows, tip over cars, start fires, break side view mirrors and steal and destroy mail boxes and their neighbors property and furniture!
Mr. Bruun is either LYING 100% or he is not present in his job at all! His view is a story tale.
And message to the LT. who seems to enable the students through his excuses and downplaying of their behaviors; As a law enforcement officer in Fitchburg for decades you more than any other has first hand accounts of the results of mixing students with locals at parties which usually ALWAYS involves bleeding from injuries, ambulances and many patrol cars reporting.
I voted for our current ward councilor but I must state that he has been extremely quiet and has not spoken on these matters in representation of the residents in ward 5!
The only neighbors that you do not hear from are those with families employed by the Unioversity in fear of being fired as my brother was. The Governor allowing Mr. Antonucci to remain at the helm is a clear showing that there is no accountability.
Now many will point to all the accolades which Mr. Antonucci has been given. Believe me as I have been at the city council debate where all the candidates drooled out ass kissing accolades to an undeserving University president.
All due respect but I don't see the need for ass kissing as the university pays ZERO property taxes! The University costs the city.
Continue to pat each other on the back is all that gets done in Fitchburg. No one request for accountability they just continue to kiss each others asses!
It reminds me of the Minhos for Governor commercials with everyone stuck up their ass!
True leadership would slam their fist down on the table and to demand a change and better results. But under the current "connections" nothing will be done at all!!
Mr. Bruun tells the city to step it up! As your Mayor I would tell Bruun to either step it up or find a new career. I would invite the Sentinel in for constant interviews. I would call for attention to these issues at councilor meetings!
The citizens do count! Our councilors and the Mayor have stated through their inaction that the citizens DO NOT COUNT but the students COUNT 100%!FACT!! FACT!!
This isn't leadership it is called ass kissing and the back brushing of the good ole boy network. This is counter productive toward a better and safer Fitchburg as it divides, ignores, disrespects the average citizens and bring NO RESPONSIBILITY!!!
The State is still unravelling the financial mess left behind by the "who is who atmosphere that lead to top heavy salaries and double city and state pensions!
I can see that this is beginning to build up to a Ward 5 run. We need representation. I cannot read this article any longer as it reads of total BS!
Mr. Bruun, maybe you are in charge of putting that bright, un needed blue light on Cedar street. There has been ZERO incidents where this blue light stands, in fact very few students even walk past it.It is only used as a directional post such as right at the blue light then left at Highland.
I need to ask the Lt. Lt do you have any relations to the "off campus" outfit that supplies off campus housing to students utilizing the same colors as the University? Or "allowed" use of marketing? As a State University that is funded by tax payer funds this should not be allowed even if they are all members of the good ole boy network!
These parties are allowed at certain "off campus" housing and I wonder why? Can anyone research who the owners are and what city department that they are employed or state department?
The quality of living within Fitchburg has to become better. I feel that this is the Mayors main job duty.
The Mayor and city councilors should be going out on "city walks". See the city, get out, show the other citizens that it is ok to walk Main street. Make it into an "exercise for civility" theme walks, say every Tuesday.
FSU is a "guest". Yes, it is good for Fitchburg image to have such a University in the city. At the same time we must not send the message to the Fitchburg citizens that they come last and probably not at all!!
Our elder citizens have been forgotton and pushed into state and federal funded housing. Everyone understands how the economy is stimulated by these state and federal funds coming into Fitchburg.
I strongly feel that we should do what and everything we can to assist our elders in being able to remain in their homes.
As a Mayoral candidate I proposed a tax relief on seniors who lived in their homes. I proposed a utility increase exemption for elders concerning the water and sewer rate increase.
Caring for our elders and all citizens is sincere in my heart but unfortunately it is politically driven in other local leaders hearts.
Mayor Wong needs to begin to walk the talk! Put politics aside and truly begin to care for the citizens of Fitchburg. Start by acknowledging the citizens sacrifices made as the city was able to save money.
The only thing you should be running for is the hills!!!
Setting your sights on Ward 5 now? What happened to Mayor. I'll repeat my earlier statements. I will make sure my neighbors are aware of you and your postings here when it comes time to vote. You've provided more than enough insane material oon Topix to help them easily make their decision.
to the trolls who hate lynch. screw off. yeah he can be annoying but hes right. i live on cedar street and YES, many students walk past there. there are many incidents on this street the cops just stroll by if at all. the campus police go by slowly to disperse then leave. the parties come right back. fireworks every night, loud until sometimes past 6 am. i am not saying that nothing is being done but in a way nothing is. and yes, this cop just lied. he is one who actually has come around here to tell many tax paying citizens to "move" because its so easy from paycheck to pay check vs a invincible payroll and badge. people do complain and just like the entire nation, nothing is ever truly done in the long run. they don't do much because they are also afraid of the purto ricans and dominicans on cedar street. swat teams and cops are here from time to time and the courts, if a criminal is caught is let go with $200 or $500 bail regardless. now, i am not being racist. whites and blacks also are an issue. but the cops even admit there isn't much they can do and are afraid of retaliation. whatever it is, i have made many complaints. including some of my own neighbors. only to be told to do just that "move" even when people come around drunk to pick fights. nothing is done when they commit assault, destruction of property, ect. they ask "what do you want us to do about it?" in a very sarcastic uncaring voice and they just want to leave everytime before doing anything. if they can ignore BE's, assaults, drug dealing, loud music until 6 am and only go after anyone not in a large group...then i think it's time the people stop asking the police to do anything. get cameras, surveillance. record the parties night after night. the guy who is complaining in this article is a good friend of some people i know. and hes right. it's utter bs and they cause fights all the time after 11-12. so unless your going to judge me as well, and say im a cook just to do it. so be it. but i ain't lynch. and i notice the same. even though we all know nothing will be done once more and this will be put under the rug for another 25 years....i just want to confirm as a resident near the areas in question that it is true and that it is going right back to the way it is. and thats because the fitchburg police feel that if it isn't a murder, rape, a robbery, or a stabbing it is unimportant. those crimes later become bigger as the criminals are cocky as hell. hence why last year a car full of illegal ricans drove past a cop taunting him, and then shot at somebody down the street. they do not fear anything. and the cops are at fault for that. the rest of what they do that i have witnessed they do fine. because there are some good cops left. so thank you guys. but for the rest of these a-holes who like to help out criminals and do nothing. shame on you and don't be surprised when things pick up and the people have had enough.
Needless to say, a younger lawman who encounters a heavily intoxicated young college girl may feel that a romantic encounter is possible. And, the older lawmen on our forces just may enjoy a chance to have a close encounter with a heaviliy intoxicated young college women even if they know damn well that romance is out of the question. They can sim[ply either flirt with the young scarlets; or they can act out the role of the big hero as they let the intoxicated cuties walk away scot free, when they should be arrested.
We should not expect the FPD nor the College Campus Police to behave any different towards heavily intoxicated young women than lawmen throughout our land have been bahaving for years.....
Welcome to living next to a college, genius.
Lynch How come your the only one writing on this topic. Time to come out of mommy's basement. Why don't you go get a real job and quit sucking up money from the welfare line?
Oh wait most people don't like lairs to work for them :)
lol troll. i care not for your opinion or your insults. next. and yeah i lived next to colleges many times. i know how it is captain assumption. it still doesnt excuse the fact that its out of control. its people like you who don't obviously care about anything and have nothing useful to say that keep this going but ty for reading my post and responding.:) now go get a job.
another idiot of fitchburg no better then the guy he bashes on. if you had any concept of how things work and now what was spoon fed to you by your masters you'd see welfare is the least of the problems in this country as is ssi. but again, hate filled ignorant insulting troll like the last. NEXT! get educated and stop looking like the idiots you have been for the past 6 months bringing old topics up to bitch. NOBODY CARES. why don't you go and get a college education to make more money so you don't have to sit back like every other sorry loser stuck at a dead end job with crappy pay to even make you care about anybody on crumbs by the government. you sir, a a imbicile. ty :D
Its very simple, college neighborhood, college parties dumb shits ! It's been going on for 50 years and even more.
Don't like it then don't live there. People should have not bought a house there or rent there, duh !
Maybe the landlords should evict the students? Wow, that is an idea.
Don't like Fitchburg? Then why do you live here? Very simple question and I see no one has responded to it yet.
I think there are a few individuals on here that have too much time on their hands and needs to get a job !
Party on, FSU! have fun tonight, but save some energy, because tomorrow night is Thirsty Thursday!
Who has cheaper kegs-Gomes' or Peerless? Do they still give free sleeves of plastic cups with the keg?
If any of you who live near the college and can't handle the parties then F'N MOVE. The college students have just as much right to have a good time than anyone else, sure some over do it but for the most part they don't even come close to being a nusence as the drug dealers. You idiots keep blaming the cops for everything well guess what they have other issues to deal with.
Fitchburg police allege violations by liquor license holders
“Our enforcement strategies of servers and sellers of alcohol have been one element of a successful initiative to control violent crime,” Chief DeMoura said.“When a person becomes intoxicated or is served underage, their judgment dynamic changes considerably. Assaults, domestic violence, and weapons use can follow.”
“It is very simple: underage drinking is deadly serious,” Chief DeMoura added.“Parents need to know that hosting a party where alcohol is served to minors is both illegal and extremely dangerous for the minors, for others in the community, and for the parents themselves, given the legal liability they face.”
The problem is the justifications made by some law enforcement and then other officers feel diferently.
I would be skeptical of any officers opinion that has been on the force in Fitchburg for 20 years. There was period of time in Fitchburg unfortunately that the FPD didn't care.
It seems like the Lt and others in the department feel that the college kids should be able to party till 5am and create as much noise as they want regardless of the citizens who have to work. And it seems like some within the FPD also feel that these kids should be able to destruct property without being bothered.
Can Mr. Bruun list the incidents that the FSU police have initiated force of arrest? Can we also Mr. Bruun recieve a list of FSU police recieiving reports of out of control parties till 5am ??
More double talk from these officials; now if we could just have a local leader stand up for the citizens!
Now, let me ask, what is the difference between three car windows broken on elm or marshall st and that of three windows broken on Highland ave??? Can Mr. Bruun please answer this question??
There is a serious lack of respect being displayed by FSU students in which Mr. Bruun oversees!!
Where is the Mayor on this issue?? Not around??? Where is the city councilors on this issue??
Isn't it time to address these issues? Mr. Bruun, one more question. Do you know how many students live off campus? Do you know how many cars belong to off campus students who live in the area?
Maybe at the beginning of the year you could take a look at their cars and then at the end of the year take another look. Let me give you the answer, they are having accidents while drunk and that is where all the dents come from.
Now, someone is going to tell me that the FSU police don't see these cars leaving the massive parties?
Was the girl who drove into and knocked the tall alluminum light pole down on Main street a student? Was she coming from an underage drinking party??
Maybe FSU should take a look at what BU did to address their issues concerning underage drinking and uncontrolled partying??
And to all those who want to tell us all to just move. Let me tell you that there is a major difference between a college party that ends at 1:30 AM and one that is ALLOWED till 5AM!!!
And let me ask, how would law enforcement end partying after 1:AM??? Arrest, maybe???? Then chain gang community service sweeping the same streets that they liter??
How on planet earth can any official such as Mr. Bruun and a FPD Lt. even attempt to downplay or justify what Chief Demoura labels as dangerous behavior???
Mr. Bruun should be suspended for his ignoring of this behavior. While I am at it, when Mr. Bruun is someone going to wash the depiction of the handgun off of the dorm building on Cedar street? Is this considered worthy of your attention?
I haven't seen custodians even going to this building any longer or are they hiding out? While you are at it Mr. bruun take a blue light bulb with you and exchange that bulb on Cedar street to match the other blue lights that you have on the NON-RESIDENTIAL parts of North Street!
Cedar street is not a police station nor a police scene, remove it! Or just continue to disrespect and not care about local residents! Where is the light on highland ave? Can the college please install a strobe light on Highland???
I know you have an idea, since the blue light on Cedar brightly reflects over onto Highland maybe you can just put a strobe light bulb in that post,huh??
I encourage all local residents to not give up your fight for Mr. Bruun to acknowledge these students disrespectful behaviors towards the local residents.
I will be running voter registration drives in Ward 5, I encourage all citizens to stand up and vote and to bring your family and neighbors to the voting booths to vote. Strength in numbers!! Your vote counts greatly!!
I encourage all citizens of Fitchburg to do the same, register in groups, make it a group thing and then make sure you vote and offer rides to the polls!!! VOTE!!! Register and VOTE!!! Assist neighbors, relatives and friends to VOTE!!!!!
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