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Heated Meeting May Lead to More Hearings On Koullshi License

Readers react strongly to hearing that inspired some residents to walk out.

Last week’s meeting about the of the liquor license for —the smoking lounge under —left a number of people angry, and the Charlestown Neighborhood Council may hold more meetings on the matter.

Charlestown Patch was not at the Wednesday, June 20 meeting, and learned on Friday that attendees were “disgusted” by how Neighborhood Councilor Bill Galvin ran the event.

“It's one thing when people who have different opinions get emotional,” said commenter Noreen Manning, “but the angry SLAMMING of the hand on the table by Bill Galvin, who is supposed to be the MODERATOR of the meeting, was inappropriate and served to set a very hostile environment.”

Following the comments, Charlestown Patch contacted Galvin for response, and he got back to us Tuesday.

“It was heated,” Galvin said in an email. “At the heart of the problem is LATE NIGHT NOISE. The neighbors described the continuous beeping of horns from taxis and cars backed up due to cars outside the restaurant. And loud noise from inebriated customers who swear and yell outside their windows.”

Galvin’s email continued:

“The owner said he would meet with the abutters to help resolve any problems, but the abutters said that he always says that he will meet with them but never does,” Galvin said. “He has deceived the council in the past (proposed doubling the size of his space, which we approved, and then filed to triple the size with the city). So he has little credibility in the community although he certainly has his supporters.”

Galvin said the subcommittee hosting the meeting did not take a vote because it did not have enough members present, but “the council is prepared to host further meetings to facilitate a resolution.”

Allen June 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Whatever the history, not having enough 'subcommittee members' (the individuals who called for the meeting in the first place) present to vote sends a terrible message to those wishing to open a business in Charlestown. No wonder new businesses don't want to come into Charlestown because the process can be easily stalled. Obviously, this isn't just about an upgraded liquor license, but at least show up and vote no or yes. Does anyone have a list of members that didn't show?
MLB June 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM
With all due respect to residents this is in a high profile location. Being on the "freedom Trail" residents must realize that they are sharing their neighborhoods with tourists as well. The restaurant is located on a block that is as much commercial as it is residential. Living in that area must come with the realization that your neighbors are not just residential but commercial as well. I would imagine that the commercial business owners are all in compliance with the proper permits and are up to date on taxes ,rents and fees. It is one of the realizations that residents must consider when they opt to love in areas such as this. Perhaps those involved can seek best practices from their neighbrs in the North End, South End to see how such issues are managed.
PattyK June 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM
I attended that meeting and when I asked why couldn't the owner just get rid of the valet parking- since that seemed to be the real issue...noise from customers waiting for their cars, and was informed that the owner was previously told to get valet service because people complained to cnc they didn't want his customers taking up any residential spots, so he pays the city for valet service, and now that doesn't make people happy either...So he can't win.
Emily June 27, 2012 at 01:14 PM
How would an enclosed smoking lounge affect people with asthma? They don't need to go inside it.
Just a person! June 27, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Boy o' boy, So many comments and so little members in attendance! I do believe that this meeting was about a license? Not about noise,car beeping, and people talking. As to address some of these posts, Noise- you live in the city on a Main st. Hello! Car/cabs beeping - again Hello you live in the city! Valet parking- if you don't have that then there will be more people walking down the street and bothering more neighbors. Hello! I could continue but! When you get to the most ridiculous comments I have heard yet! I really have to laugh and really think this is a joke. Come on, Double parking! It is a single lane street, or have you noticed that? Asthma, are you serious you think the smoking inside is going to affect people outside? ( take a look at the people outside Sullivan's pub and the Warren Tavern smoking) And I will just state again, this is about a license,! Not any of the above,that is what the meeting was about. I attended that meeting and it was disgraceful! With the CNC chairman making all kinds of accusations, Who! Supposed to be impartial! To residents calling young ladies not so nice names, and also profanity! Again I say are you people serious, you talk about noise, profanity and drunkenness, you better clean up your own act,before attending a public meeting where there are ladies present.
Joseph June 27, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Allen - Check out the CNC website for the updated minutes. The members present should be contained within. Oh wait, never mind. They don't post their minutes for the community to review.
Toonie June 27, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Jeff Connors - "Toonie" lives across the street from the Warren Tavern. Try that on! No complaints from me. Suck it up or hit the sticks.
Charlestown joe June 27, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Gee! I live on probably one of the busiest streets in Charlestown, (Rutherford Ave) and have, all my life! Trucks, busses, cars, and yes even people all hours of the night, both drunk and sober. I also lived close enough to the "elevated train" down Main st.to hear that all night. This is the city! We do not live on a deserted island, noise comes with the territory. The old saying goes, " if can't stand the heat get of the kitchen".
Stephen Spinetto June 27, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I moved to Charlestown in 1973, even with the el on main street, it was very quiet here at night. The el stopped about 12:30. Now its noise 24/7. We hear a backhoe operating (backup alarm) from the transfer station all day and all night, the beep beep nonstop can drive you crazy particulary at 3:00am. If you go up 93, the state has spent millions on noise control in the communities north of us. With 93 elevated here the sound is worse but we get no abatement. We get helicopters that hover in one place over our town for an hour, and for some reason on weekends a small plane that is low that just keeps circling Charlestown for hours, it's crazy. I know other folks that have complained about the aircraft but I don't know if anyone else is bothered by the transfer station, or other noise generaters. Noise in general would make an interesting article.
Alphanaut June 27, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I did not attend so my view of this issue is somewhat biased by attendee comments above. If the CNC representative referenced above was in fact making accusations instead of being impartial, that in my opinion completely destroys the credibility of the CNC. Please keep in mind that the Neighborhood in C'N'C is not only made up of local renters/owners, but ALSO of the businesses which try to operate and thrive in this Town. Right from the Chamber website: "The CNC is responsible for facilitating dialogue within the Charlestown community and between the residents of Charlestown and the City of Boston, State and Local agencies and businesses" The CNC does appear to take sides when it comes to approving or denying their support for a business, and while their support is not the be all end all for the business, their willingness to get involved directly with those approving or denying licenses/etc requires that they act under a higher standard. My personal opinion is that if a business is asking to grow, and it's not radically changing the environment around it, we should encourage them. There are too few growing businesses in our Town, and the fact that there might be a few more cars or people on the sidewalk on "MAIN ST" is not a good enough reason to halt their progress. Keep in mind that this is Main Street; nobody is asking to start a nightclub at the base of the monument on Monument Square.
Charlestown joe June 27, 2012 at 03:58 PM
S Martin I have lived here 62 years, and I am sorry but i don't know the transfer station you are referring to???? As far as 24/7 try Rutherford Ave at Hood industrial Center/Bunker hill Industrial Park Do you want to talk about (back up alarms) try cement trucks, costa produce, (refer's running all night) in a No ParkIng Zone a storage facility all of this is 24/7 . So do I feel bad when someone talks about noise not really! That is my choice I choose to live here,and love it here! So the people who are complaining of a bar getting out at 1:00am or later making noise does not impress me. It is all done by 2 am. Where our problems go ALL night! So you bought it live with it, your choice stay or leave. Do not try to run other people's lives!
Katchoo June 27, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Kudos to you 'Just a Person'...makes one wonder whatis really lying beneath all the smoke and mirrors of 'just an additional license'...One does wonder...hmmmmm$$$
Stephen Spinetto June 27, 2012 at 05:26 PM
The transfer station is in the Bunker Hill industrial Park. Who said anything about running anyone's life. If you wish to put up with people interfering with your quUality of life it's your problem. Why should we have to have a low flying plane buzzing the neighborhood all day, why is it even there? The helicopter parks over Charlestown to get a live shot of downtown for the news, they could not do that much over Beacon Hill. There must be a reason that the state provides highway noise abatement everwhere but here, could it be we just say oh it's the city!
Toonie June 27, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Yes. Bottom line, it's the city. Can't handle the noise, then go find a sweet little cul de sac in the 'burbs. The restaurant should get their license and this discussion should really just end and never resurface.
Charlestown joe June 27, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Hello What I meant was the people trying to stop a business,from doing business. That's what I meant by trying to run people's lives, to suit their lifestyle. If they want peace and quiet they should have never bought on a Main St , across from a resturant, as Toonie said go find a cul de sac somewhere in Maine... And leave us city dwellers to our noise.
Stephen Spinetto June 27, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I have lived in the city all my life my wife grew up In NYCity, where i grew up Was much more ongested than Charlestown. I don't live on Main st but on a side street that used to be reasonably quiet. My issue is not the bar, it other unreasonable noise. I have no problem with anyone doing business but when the make an unreasonable pact on hundreds of persons and could reduce that impact then I do have a problem. Noise is a problem that does not have to be a problem for the business or neighbors .
Dan June 27, 2012 at 06:34 PM
The helicopter & plane are used when an LNG tanker arrives to off-load near Rt99 in Everett.
Dan June 27, 2012 at 06:44 PM
To help get rid of the Rt92 traffic noise for City Sq we need to push for the parking lots BHCC has be developed into a parking structure with stores or offices fronting Rutherford Ave. There is little else we can do. Noise control along the highway like what the did along Medford is not possible as no one is within 500 ft of the road at an even elevation.
Just a person! June 27, 2012 at 08:08 PM
"BOSE" noise canceling headphones ,about $250. @ Bestbuy Problem solved! :)
Stephen Spinetto June 27, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Dan I know that there is a helicopter when the LNG comes in but they hover over the town in other times, and the Plane stays for hours mostly weekends and sometimes all day. , I agree whith you on 93 a structure over there would be good land use and reduce the noise. What I don't get is why people just accept whatever is tossed at them, in NY if a taxi blares it's horn in a nieghborhood at 2:00 am they get fined. The issue is not the business it's how you behave,. Is ther another way the front end loaders can comply with OSHA without the loud warning horn. Passenger cars have technology that brakes if anything is detected for instance.
Toonie June 27, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Now we are reversing OSHA standards. This is rich.
kevin finn June 27, 2012 at 08:49 PM
ha ha ha i love it
Stephen Spinetto June 27, 2012 at 09:10 PM
I guess nothing can ever change or improve with nitwits like this. Kind of chickenshit thinking
Toonie June 27, 2012 at 09:18 PM
If that's not the pot calling the kettle black, then I don't know what it is?!
Larry Fine June 28, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Nothing worse than a taxi blaring its horn at 4 am in the morning. I thought that the beeping noise was sand and gravel or the MBTA rail yard?
Dan June 28, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Logan still allows small aircraft to land & take off so it's possible you're hearing the single engine planes in a holding pattern which is lower to the ground. Let alone the traffic, fire or police action the news media is covering with their helicopters. I don't think there's anyway around OSHA requirements with the backing up of trucks or front-end loaders. But, its possible for them to put up better sound control or limit the times they can use the equipment outside, if you can get enough people to push it. I agree, common courtesy for others would be nice. In todays world it has become 'Me first, let the other guy be dammed' so I can't see any real way to stop them once they have been let loose into our society. Our lack of teaching manors at home and in our school systems is to blame here.
WD June 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM
YES cars are able to double park on main st in front of tangerionos. They squeeze right next to the cars in the valet zone so that there is enough room for a small car to get by, but not enough for a truck or SUV. Then traffic backs up to the liquor store while out-of-town armani wearing hookah pipe-boy finds a valet to move his mercedes c class . This is what pisses people off.
Just a person! June 28, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Did anybody ever think to take down the number of these cabs and report them! Sometimes all it takes is a little effort on your part, Call the manager of the cab company and explain, sometimes you get get better results with sugar rather than vinegar! Expell some of your energy in a phone call, instead of expelling it here! Just an idea.
Katchoo June 28, 2012 at 02:38 PM
And the powers that be have the Lilliputians arguing whilst they go on about their business 'as usual'....keep them busy and they wont see whats really going on...this sort of banter could go on forever...Wasn't the meeting about extending an existing license for another area of the restaurant? It has been stated that the proprietor accomodates all regulations set upon his establishment, contributes to the community, obviously WANTS to be a good neighbor...but yet, he is screamed at during a Neighborhood Council Meeting...very neighborly!
Just a person! June 28, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Agree!, Katchoo. Said that from the beginning, it's not about noise, horns, trucks backing up, helicopters, asthma (the best one) or how much you spent on windows, A license that's all!

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