South Boston Beaches Are An Oasis Not A Battleground

Despite the incessant and sanctimonious efforts by the mainstream media, many of which, it seems, have lost their souls in the race to the bottom (i.e., tabloid journalism) – the kind that sells – most ‘not easily influenced’ persons know that Dorchester Bay beaches are oases, and not extensions of the restaurant bar scene nor are they personal turf to fight over.

On Monday evening, CBS reported that State Troopers were called to Carson Beach and told a group of teenagers that they needed to follow DCR rules if they planned to stay at the beach and not disturb other beachgoers. They ordered the teenagers who were smoking marijuana to put out the blunt and leave. “Two members of the group, a 17-year-old male and a 16-year-old male, both from Boston, followed a Trooper around the area for more than 10 minutes yelling expletives and threats at him and other nearby Troopers,” police said.

Police told the group to leave again, but no one was arrested at this time. A short time later a 14-year-old boy from Boston approached a trooper and “directed further insults and slurs at him,” police said. The trooper ordered him to leave and said if he didn’t, he would be arrested for trespassing. The teen left but returned a few minutes later, at which point he was arrested.

Most of the group left, but at about 8:30 p.m. an estimated 50 teens returned to Carson Beach. Among them were the 16 and 17-year-old boys who had interacted with police earlier and been told to leave. Police said two 16-year-old girls from Boston allegedly tried to stop the troopers from arresting one of the teenage boys. The girls were arrested for interfering with a police officer.

So, when is the message, that urban beaches are for everyone and that respect for others is fundamental, going to be printed and promoted? In any event, in order to reinforce the message, given these recent outbreaks of “bad behavior”, police presence is likely going to be necessary. That shouldn’t have to be the case among intelligent and common-sense adults and young adults. As one local resident commented, “I wonder how many therapists, social workers or societal theorists are going to give up weeknights and weekends to run ‘let’s get to know you’ sessions with these troublemakers?”

The section of beach from K St. to I Street, frequented by long time residents, has been neglected by the DCR, populated by weeds and unmaintained sand dunes. It seems that the young folks, who frequent the part of the beach from I Street to G St., are behaving in a fairly civilized manner in that they clean up after themselves. M St. beach, on the other hand, is the abusive section and needs considerable oversight.

Alcohol consumption and in some cases drugs, principally marijuana, certainly contributes to this behavior. Alcohol-to-go sales have been extended under special COVID-19 legislation.

District Councilor Ed Flynn has been out front in calling on the alcohol licensing board to deal with this Covid 19-instigated alcohol delivery phenomenon. Flynn has said that there have been numerous complaints of people ordering liquor deliveries to an address along M Street or Carson Beach, and then bringing the alcohol onto the beach with beachgoers using addresses across Day Boulevard on Columbia Road to receive alcohol deliveries. They wait for the delivery driver’s text, before running across the street to pick it up. “It’s illegal to deliver alcohol to the beach,” Flynn says. “Someone that has possession of alcohol on the beach is subject to a fine and even arrest,” he says. “The package stores that deliver to the beach could be subject to a fine as well.”

Flynn and other elected officials recognize that South Boston’s beach alcohol problem isn’t new and existed before the COVID-19 pandemic. “The section of M Street all the way down Carson Beach to the bathhouse, down towards the McCormick Bathhouse, the amount of manpower we’ve put down there over the last two years just to control drinking alone and control the alcohol consumption has been exorbitant,” according to a state police official speaking at an emergency meeting.

But back to the core topic of this story. The media must play a role in protecting these resources, not using them as a backdrop for some salacious, sensational, disingenuous reinforcement of Boston and in particular South Boston as a haven for race based or other king of intolerance. The South Boston community residents, along with residents of many communities across the country, will not stand for it.