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Author Topic: Unruly teens provoke anger Commercial St. business owners ask for city's help  (Read 2770 times)

Kat Kanning

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I wonder if we can come up with some non-governmental means to deal with this?



Unruly teens provoke anger Commercial St. business owners ask for city's help

Business owners in the Commercial Street area of Keene are fed up with a group of teenagers they say is raising a ruckus outside their doors.

Now, the Keene City Council's municipal services, facilities and infrastructure committee and other city officials are eyeing ways to combat the problem.

Jeanna C. Hamblet told the committee Wednesday that she owns four buildings in the Commercial Street area, including those that house the Lady of America fitness center, Chesco Inc. and Masiello Employment.

Lately, she said, a pack of teens - some 30 to 40 - has taken to gathering in the Commercial Street parking lot, near the skate park.


      


They leave trash, hang on cars and intimidate tenants and others entering the buildings, Hamblet said.

Cherie Metivier, who's owned the fitness center for four years, said the problems outside her business have elevated since August.

Metivier said she's seen young girls urinate between cars. Others leave trash, smoke cigarettes, get in fights and deal drugs. Obscene sex toys have been left on windowsills.

She recalled a particular day, Oct. 9, when "the whole property looked like the dump."

The "no loitering signs" owners put up were defaced, Metivier said, so she's taken to calling the Keene Police Department almost every day to report problems. Officers have conducted stakeouts from the second-floor aerobics room, taking pictures and surveying the group, she said.

Recently, Police Chief Arthur Walker said, officers issued about 20 court summonses to teens whom police observed smoking and littering. The teens will be arraigned in Keene District Court in a few weeks, he said.

But the business owners say that hasn't stopped much of the group from coming back.

Brian A. Mattson, the city's director of parks, recreation and facilities, said most of the teens aren't the same kids who frequent the skate park.

Many are out-of-towners who come by car, he said.

"They're there because this is a place to meet," Mattson said, adding that because the problems aren't actually in the skate park, there's little he can do.

Some teens appear to be walking over from Keene Middle School, Metivier said, and they're there from after school until dark.

Walker said it seems some of the teens have migrated from their usual hangout at Railroad Square.

"At this point, it's a very real problem," he said.

Officials discussed several ways to address the problem, including installing cameras. The purpose would be to record activity and figure out who's doing what, Walker said. Police have to see illegal activity happening before taking action.

Councilor Frederick B. Parsells suggested having a greater police presence in the area. Walker said officers patrol downtown and that there are other trouble spots to be addressed, too.

Councilor Ruth R. Venezia suggested asking administrators at Keene Middle School to put on a program about appropriate behavior. Councilor Angelo D. DiBernardo Jr. said members of area civic groups could talk to the kids, which he said would be "better than dumping the problem on the police department."

Parsells then suggested that officials record activity there and show it on Cheshire TV to "let mom and dad see what they're doing." He said he wasn't sure if that was legal.

Committee Chairman Robert H. Farrar suggested members wait for the teenagers to deal with their court summonses before they take any action. The committee unanimously agreed.

City Manager John A. MacLean said in the meantime, city officials would continue to evaluate the situation, consider some ideas and report back to the committee in a few weeks.
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KBCraig

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Maybe I just missed it, but who owns the parking lot?

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d_goddard

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I wonder if we can come up with some non-governmental means to deal with this?

I suggest presenting this information to the business owner. It's very inexpensive to implement.

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/08/low-tech_loiter.html
Quote
Amazingly, this works:

    To clear out undesirables, opera and classical music have been piped into Canadian parks, Australian railway stations, 7-Eleven parking lots and, most recently, London Underground stops.

    According to most reports, it works. Figures from the British capital released in January showed robberies in the subway down by 33 percent, assaults on staff by 25 percent and vandalism of trains and stations by 37 percent. Sources in other locales have reported fewer muggings and drug deals. London authorities now plan to expand the playing of Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel and opera (sung by Pavarotti) from three tube stations to an additional 35.

As a big Vivaldi fan, I'd be more than happy to donate one of my two copies of the "Vivaldi's Greatest Hits" CD.
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Kat Kanning

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That's great!
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error

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Oh yeah, teenagers HATE classical music. It's like light to cockroaches. :)
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KBCraig

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Classical music has worked on sidewalks. But parking lots? The article says the problem teens are arriving in cars. I'll bet a goodly number of them are packing sound systems that would drown out the 1812 Overture, cannons included.

I don't think a "battle of the speakers" would make peace with the neighbors.

Kevin
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Pat K

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Perhaps they could try sustained morter fire.
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mr.apathy

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How about proclaiming that were going to "turn over desks" there. Maybe homeland security will show up and ask them if they are handing out flyers?
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Lloyd Danforth

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 ;D
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Quantrill

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How about proclaiming that were going to "turn over desks" there. Maybe homeland security will show up and ask them if they are handing out flyers?

Awesome!    :biglaugh:
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Michael Fisher

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Re: Unruly teens provoke anger Commercial St. business owners ask for city's help
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2006, 11:21 AM NHFT »

Get a few extremely openly well-armed people to ask them nicely to leave and never return.

Problem solved.
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Unruly teens provoke anger Commercial St. business owners ask for city's help
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2006, 01:50 PM NHFT »

That doesn't seem as friendly as chamber music.
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Dave Ridley

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Re: Unruly teens provoke anger Commercial St. business owners ask for city's help
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2006, 09:51 PM NHFT »

Get a few extremely openly well-armed people to ask them nicely to leave and never return.

Problem solved.

the pacifist in mike still has not quite taken over heh heh
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jgmaynard

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Re: Unruly teens provoke anger Commercial St. business owners ask for city's hel
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2006, 10:52 AM NHFT »

Play classsical music and set up a Martini bar..... :D

JM
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FTL_Ian

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Re: Unruly teens provoke anger Commercial St. business owners ask for city's hel
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2006, 01:57 AM NHFT »

End government property.  Problem solved.
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