Wong joins FSU student leaders to forge city-campus bonds
Posted in the Leominster Forum
#1 Mar 7, 2013
Shared assignment: Building community
Wong joins FSU student leaders to forge city-campus bonds
By Alana Melanson, amelanson@sentinelandenterpris e.com
Posted: 03/07/2013 06:35:52 AM EST
SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / JOHN LOVE "The students are our best assets to tell us what we need to work on in the city, because they are the customers, they are the consumers in the area," said Mayor Lisa Wong, who met Wednesday with the Fitchburg State University Student Government Association at Chaibo, a downtown restaurant.
FITCHBURG -- Mayor Lisa Wong on Wednesday held the first of what will be monthly dinner meetings with the Fitchburg State University Student Government Association to work collaboratively to build a better relationship between the university community, local businesses and the city at large.
Wong said she has made many inroads with connecting the university to the city, such as through getting to know professors, many of whom are now involved with various boards and commissions.
A problem that still persists, however, is getting the college students downtown and patronizing local businesses, she said.
"The students are our best assets to tell us what we need to work on in the city, because they are the customers, they
SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / JOHN LOVE Kyle Madej, right, vice president of FSU's Class of 2014, talks with Mayor Lisa Wong as student trustee Nathan Gregoire listens Wednesday.
are the consumers in the area," Wong said.
She said it's important for the city to capitalize on the constant coming and going of FSU students, and to use the information they can give to help both the city and local businesses make changes that could lead to students staying in the area long after they graduate.
Of the approximately 10 FSU students Wong had dinner with at Chaibo Wednesday evening, none had previously heard of the tea and coffeehouse, despite the fact that most had been to or at least heard of Destaré, the martini bar just upstairs and around the corner.
Wong is looking to the students to find out why they haven't heard of places like Chaibo, why they don't spend much or any time downtown, and what
the city and local businesses can do to gain them and their peers as customers.
"How does this become your Saturday homework hang out, or part of your night out?" she asked.
Sarah Minton, 20, of Quincy, 2014 class president, said students need to hear more from businesses that are willing to hold student events. Megan Pierce, 18 , of Rochester, 2016 class president, said local businesses need to hold more promotional events that allow students to try out what they have to offer.
SGA President Matthew Costello, 21, of Raynham, suggested a trolley tour of businesses holding open houses.
"That might be a way to get people in the door and then they'll realize what Chaibo is or what other businesses are so they can come back," he said.
"The struggle I feel we have as college students, is sometimes when a new group comes in or a new class comes in, they don't know what's good around, they don't know what to look for in the city of Fitchburg," said student trustee Nathan Gregoire, 20, of Ludlow. "They hear things about downtown that were true maybe 10 years ago but aren't anymore, because they're hearing it from older individuals who are on campus."
He said restaurants will participate in the October Food Fest, but then don't advertise on campus again afterward.
Super Fans Deli & Pizzeria, though a newcomer to the downtown, has become a quick college student favorite because it has been persistently advertising on campus, Costello said, and has also benefited from word of mouth.
#2 Mar 7, 2013
SGA Treasurer Riley Sullivan, 21, of Somerset, said the fact that Super Fans is open until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday is a big plus for college students.
Costello said he believes the monthly meetings with Wong are a step in the right direction, and that the SGA has set a goal this year of increasing collaboration with the city and building community ties.
He said a continued effort will help to make students more aware of what is happening in the city and what it has to offer, as well as make the city more aware of how the students perceive it, to begin breaking down those perceptions.
Follow Alana Melanson at facebook.com/alanasentinel or on Twitter @alanamelanson.
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/ci_22737...
#3 Mar 7, 2013
So mayor Wong, let me get this right. The students do not shop downtown but they are customers which should direct how businesses do business?
To be honest, most students are on a Ramon Noodle budget. I understqand you attempting to cater to them.
Let me ask another question? HAVE YOU ASKED THE SAME QUESTIONS TO THE CITIZENS OF FITCHBURG? Have you asked the seniors who cut back at least two meals out at a local restaurant due to increases in watre and sewer??????
I appreciate the students reaching out to you after they heard an earful at the Ward 4 & 5 meeting last thursday.
Lets start with RESPECT coming from the students towards the community???? Drinking and driving, destroying property, destroying the peace and breaking bottles everywhere.
Then talk about the fires, the tipping over of cars, the fights, the disturbing of the peace, the public urination and the trash blowing down every street with the Uni9versity neighborhood?
The use all the city resources. When there was 4 cars on Friday and Saturday sometimes they would all be in the University neighborhood while the rest of Fitchburg wa left to fend for themselves.
Ambulance rides, fires and partying till 5AM. Is this OK with you? I went to college as many residents in the 5th Ward did as the other neighbors stated "we were all your age once but come on and relax with the partying and respect us is all we ask".
Is it bad for the residents in Ward 4 & 5 to request to be respected?? Let us know Mayor or have you already?
A dinner, once a month,Really??? She we all just move out and leave our properties for them????
What about the 6 neighbors who are to their max in dealing with the disrespect?? The neighbors who cannot sleep due to the partying and then have to get behind a steering wheel in order to get to work with NO SLEEP?????
Underage drinking is against the law. Disorderly is against the law. Disturbing the peace is against the law. Starting fires is against the law. Breaking personal property is against the law.
What is your answwer? What can we do for you kidsto accomodate your partying needs? Staret with picking up their broken bottles, their trash left everywhere attracting rodents and port a potties so our elders do not have to see them urinating under the street lights you turned on for them specifically!!
You do not have any listening skills or you just block the citizens out altogether! No side view mirrors and you NEVER walk around Fitchburg. You live here and you have absolutely NO CLUE!
#4 Mar 7, 2013
"The students are our best assets to tell us what we need to work on in the city, because they are the customers, they are the consumers in the area,"
Mayor Wong does the 40,000 plus citizens matter at all? Do you think the city's elder citizens are customers? Have you noticed that the constant increase in every utility, fee and fine in the city has swlallowed the bulk of our seniors disposable incomes???
"Mayor Lisa Wong on Wednesday held the first of what will be monthly dinner meetings with the Fitchburg State University Student Government Association to work collaboratively to build a better relationship between the university community, local businesses and the city at large."
Excuse me Mayor, did you say the "first"? It is good to see that they took the initiative.
"She said it's important for the city to capitalize on the constant coming and going of FSU students, and to use the information they can give to help both the city and local businesses make changes that could lead to students staying in the area long after they graduate."
Do you really think that a sandwhich made a certain way will capture their interests in staying in the city? How about building businesses so the citizens of Fitchburg can better their second to last place finish concerning the states highest unemployment levels??
What exactly are students going to tell you the Mayor in reference to what shops toopen downtown? Shouldn't this be done in an open forum and not over a once a month dinner?
And you mention that you have drawn professors onto city boards?? How Monopulizing of you! Exactly which boards have you appointed interests of the University to?? Planning boards, license boards?
#5 Mar 7, 2013
What's your problem with everyone? I know some Melansons and they are very hard working honest people. These stupid post's is why you get punched out all the time. You deserve it.
#6 Mar 7, 2013
You have changed the bylaws for the students, you changed the zoning laws, you made it easier for Millionaires to build student housing without having to abide by zoning rules as localbusiness owners have to.
So, if someone builds an apartment building are you going to exempt their parking requirements?
First, you have taken away from the local landlords who rent to students. These homeowners use the rent to PAY PROPERTY TAXES, TO PAY FOR HIGH WATER AND SEWER BILLS and to pay a host of LOCAL CONTRACTORS SUCH AS PLUMBERS, ELECTRICIANS, CARPENTERS, ROOFERS, LANDSCAPERS AND HANDYMEN!!!
You minimize this part of OUR ECONOMY and you make it easier for a TAX EXEMPT corporation to supply student housing?? All the proceeds will go OUTSIDE OF FITCHBURG! All the contractors will be brought in from lowell and most likely illegals!
SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES !! SUPPORT THE CITIZENS OF FITCHBURG FIRST AND FOREMOST!!!! These citizens are already living here and raising families!!!!!!
#7 Mar 7, 2013
This has nothing to do with any Melanson's!! What are you talking about? I only know one Melanson, he is a crack head who works for the University. My brother caught him fooling around with another employee at work; my brother filed a report and they swept it under the rug because he had connections. He is a little scurvy worm of a guy who I wouldn't trust at all! He couldn't punch himself out!
#8 Mar 7, 2013
I know that the reporter is a Melanson and probably the most honest reporter at the Sentinel. She is a hard working reporter. I wish her the best at the Sentinel. I just wonder how long the editor will allow her to print the truth about Fitchburg???
I have heard of an officer Melanson whom I do not know but if I haven't heard anything negative about him then he probably is a hard worker. I've heard of another melanson who works at the University besides the scurvey RAT looking worm that I mentioned previously. I do not know that melanson neither.
#9 Mar 7, 2013
To be honest most students are not on a Ramon Noodle budget. Their parents do take care of them. The students have a very modest food court in the Hammond Building now that is better than most shopping malls. If they have to live on Ramon Noodles then they cannot afford college at all.
Most students do use their funds for other things such as alcohol so yes they may have to eat Ramon Noodles. When I was in college I didn't care about shopping in the community. It was school during the day and parties on Thursday and Friday nights. Most of the students leave on the weekends and go home.
The city and city officials cannot control the students behavior. The police will respond and the students will quiet down but after a short the party noise will be back once the police leave. Complaints can be filed but so what.
You happen to reside in a college neighborhood that has been growing and expanding. Either you have to adapt to that or move.
You cannot change the character of the neighborhood. It changes you. At one time all the homes in the college neighborhood were occupied by their owners but as the owners got older or passed away the homes were sold to people who want to make money being a landlord.
I have seen Myrtle Avenue go from 75% owner occupied to 10% owner occupied.
Again, yes that is the answer! If you don't like the neighborhood then move ! You are not gonna change it.
#10 Mar 7, 2013
The Fitchburg State Melanson's are honest hard working people. Yes, there are two Melanson's at the college who are father and son and are custodians. They are related to Officer Dominic Melanson who is also married to a fellow female FPD officer. Their father/uncle was the head teamster union boss who was well respected throughout the country in the 60's and 70's.
The Sentinel only prints what people tell them. If you don't like the Sentinel then don't read it! No one is forcing you to read the Sentinel. I don't even have it delivered or read it and I am happy.
#11 Mar 7, 2013
I agree that there is a percentage of students who have money. But you must be truthful as many recieve full boat Pell Grants and still live on short money. I am glad that our state has such a grant program and I support it. I also support the students and the pursuit of an education.
I have many friends who have graduated from FSC. This was at a time that the streets were flooded with prostitutes and heroin addicts. The neighborhood has actually gotten better the neighbors tell me.
Not all students drink neither! It is actually a small percentage of the whole! At BU the partying use to be out of control until a student died from drinking too much. Now another student at BU may have died from drinking too much but the tests are still out. If it comes back that the students died from drinking then you can believe that there will be less partying again at BU.
There is partying and then there is out of control partying. Party's should wind down after 1:00am and completely shut down or arrest made at 1:45AM. This is how you control out of control partying.
And yes many of the homes in the college area were actually once owned by factory owners and doctors. They have since all moved out. Recently, yes some city employees have bought properties and made partying palaces out of them.
When partying becomes out off control then the city ends up spending massive amounts of resources while other parts of the neighborhood go without police as they need them. This is poor management by the Mayor, period.
When I went to school I studied all the time. I was in honor societies and clubs within the school. I played sports. Not all students drink!! And by the way, I don't mind if the students do party as long as they are having fun and nothing is getting broken ,the party ends before 1:45AM and nothing gets broken.
Have a good time.
Back to the available restaurants in the area; I know of the food court and the "One cards" that can be used at many local restaurants and that are sometimes paid for by the state which I support. The point is that there is only so much money that students spend on food. The Mayor can attempt to spread this money out which will hurt local businesses that depend on the students spending at their establishments.
#12 Mar 7, 2013
Well, as I mentioned I only know one Melanson and he is the scurvey RAT face POS that works as a custodian. Tell the boyfriend or the husband of the girl that he was taking into the dark rooms in the University that he is a good guy! He is a KNOWN crack head also not to bust your bubble! I figure this must be the son that I am talking about.
He lived in my house. He also broke wire tapping laws from what I am told. I don't know anything about his relatives, I only know about him and as I stated I wouldn't trust that RAT faced POS. Why are you bringing up the melanson family anyway?
My brother filed a report on him and they swept it under the rug. My brother as his manager requested for them to be seperated while at work. They tied my brothers hands concerning being able to manage these two. Once they were laying together in the dark while they were suppose to be working. If you are going to have relations then have them outside of work as it is no place to fool around and should never be allowed!
#13 Mar 7, 2013
I do notice that you use "city employees" or have to mention that when there is something that is an issue or negative to you that you have to make sure you state they have a city job.
Why is that?
So carpenters, electricians who are not city employees can buy properties and make partying palaces out of them?
The problem with you is you only connect your negative issues with city or government employees. How come you always do that? Why don't you ever connect your negative issues with a non-government employee?
Don't you see what you are doing and why even non-government people believe you are off balance?
#14 Mar 7, 2013
The local businesses depend on people utilizing their "ebt" cards !
#15 Mar 7, 2013
"Honest"??? I only can speak on one of them and I believe that it is the son. He is I believe 36ish years old?(shane)
In reference to his father and or his aunt and uncle; I do not know them! Then you state that his Uncle and Aunt's father was a head teamster? This is great as I am a Union person. My father was also a well respected Union leader and spokesperson in Boston. My brother as I remember was given a reward and gave a speach on the history of the Unions. I remember it because he had a very loud voice and the speakers will very big for the crowd as you could hear him for blocks.
It is obvious that I do not trust that dirty worm Shane, who cares? He is a crack head slug. He lived in my house, he loves to drink booze and smoke crack with all his money as he is always broke. By the way, he owes us $60.00 that he ducked us for months over. He is a little worm!
#16 Mar 7, 2013
You brought up the Melansons. Shane is a hard worker. If he was caught the he should have been disclipined but again there are always two sides to a story and your brother needs proof not just his statement.
#17 Mar 7, 2013
You are 100% correct as it is a method called "government spending"! It is used to stimulate the economy which it does in Fitchburg. Can you imagine if Fitchburg had no EBT? Market Basket would have to close!
EBT supports JOBS which is a good thing. Many adults and kids recieve paychecks which in turn they spend into the local economy. It greases the wheels.
Without EBT, you would be paying Stop and Shop and Haniford prices! Market Basket would have to lay off and raise their prices which would strain them and make it tough to operate.
Pell Grants is a form of government spending. This is good also.
#18 Mar 7, 2013
No, the problem is that one house is owned by a FPD member and the sidewalk is never shoveled and they deal drugs out of that house and gang bang! Then around the corner another house owned by a state trooper who rents to drug dealers and never shovels his walkways! Then down around the corner from there is a house owned by an officer who rents and allows MASSIVE underage drinking at the house!
There are also carpenters who I know renting to students, they clear their walks, they do not allow drug dealing and they control the students and are constantly fixing the properties and cleaning the streets!!! Then there is another massive tenanment building owned by a slumlord not a cop who rents to it seems ONLY drugdealers and a few non dealers who suffer. They file with the board of health and the housing court protects and backs the owners. I tell them report to the state and they do and things get done!!!! So yes city connections are a obvious problem in Fitchburg and it stinks!!!!
Treat EVERYONE equal! Hold everyone equally accountable and respect will build! This is how to build a community. I was involved in Boston working with the police in order to build communities and better friendlier relations with the police which goes a long way in a community! I support the work of the police officer!
I am from Boston, I know how things operate. When I was sixteen I could buy liquer at a certain package store. He was an off duty officer who owned the place and worked there. He would take your money if it was green, Period! I am an alcoholic and I never would of turned this guy in because he was serving my needs.
Then there was a drug dealer that I knew in the neighborhood personally, he sold tens of thousands of pills, cocaine and pot. He is today the #1 drug detective in Boston. One day he disapeared from drug dealing and the next he was an undercover drug officer.
Once he became an officer he didn't sell drugs but the week before he was buying buckets of pills from pharmacy robberies and selling them all to the neighborhood kids. I have seen a lot in my life.
Some of my relatives were Captains and Chiefs. In Boston my mother was on a first name basis which all the Captains and superintendents in the BPD. I sat down with and conversated with Captains, I knew many police and I respected an honest Officer 100%!!!!!
#19 Mar 7, 2013
If you want to talk honest then you know that he was with the girl at work. She had a boyfriend who didnt know that she was cheating on him. I don't know if he ever found out but if I was a trouble maker then I would have told the guy but then I wouldnt want to see the guy get into trouble.
Shane did work but he also lied. He never paid us what he owed us which was a small amount but for someone who worked full time at the University he should of paid us. He is a worm, I haven't mentioned everything out here but he knows what he did! I wouldn't trust him at all. Matter of fact ask Every worker around him if they trust him and hear what they have to say!
I don't care about that little worm!! You brought the melansons up for what reason I don't know! The reporter happens to be a melanson but I feel that she is a good reporter. Actually she is one of the best reporters that Fitchburg has had in a long time.
And to mentione the police that are related to him. I don't know anything about them at all!!! I don't know them, if they are honest police then I wish them to be safe all the time and I wish them the best.
I tell the truth! For shane as I stated, we do not care about him at all! Heis a worm in our book. Good luck to him as his behavior will catch up with him in work! Administrations do change! Then all the connections are out of play but those screw ups still continue with their behaviors and that is when they pay the piper of justice, sweet old karma! The only righteous karma that I would like to see him go through is a loss of his job! But who cares about him? I do not, he can keep the $60 he owes us.
#20 Mar 7, 2013
Let me tell you, when I was underage drinking I got into trouble. I do not blame it on the booze but it did make me someone that I wasn't.
I made mistakes. Sometimes I fought with the police, I was very strong and a good fighter to the point they thought of it as a challenge. I was heading in the wrong direction.
I have not had a drink, a drug nor even a cigerette in 20 yrs. Before then I lost out on life, first I cheated myself then my family also was affected. My parents paid for catholic schools and highschools for all three of their boys. We went to church every sunday and we had to sing and kneel when it was time or my father would make sure with his loud voice.
My father taught us all the right things, anything wrong that I did I did outside of my house. My parents were very hard working saints. My parents encouraged us to join the choir, to be alter boys, to go to the store for all the elders in the neighborhood and to always assist the elders in the community and to never disrespect adults.
After the case in 1992 the head of Boston probation wrote in a letter for early release that it was always the sense of this board that Kevin would not have any problems with the law if he refrained from alcohol.
I do not condem people who drink but it is not for me is all! I do not ever have to prove that I can handle booze because I cannot, I like it too much.
I was lucky in school as I excelled, I was a genius in mathematics as I loved it. In my day, I was too smart as my peers put it so I regressed on purpose. I cheated myself.
Due to all my life experiences I encourage for EVERYONE to pursue education and to NEVER stop learning. Have an open mind and to be a good listener.
I anger many out here because I file complaints and I expose corruption which angers many as that is their way of life that I jeopardize.
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