Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s Chance To Show Some Courage

```()flynnFormer Mayor Ray Flynn is to be honored. He deserves it. In the matter of full disclosure I am not a totally disinterested person when it comes to giving him his due. I’ve always liked him. It was not just because he was from South Boston but more importantly on the couple of occasions that I met him he mentioned his fondness for my mother and aunts, especially Honey. He called them the Rogers girls. They were good friends with his parents. He was a natural politician because he had the ability to remember things like that and he was a man who did well in life rising to the position as an ambassador of this country to the Vatican.

Last week I read the following: “Mayor Martin J. Walsh is asking the Boston Redevelopment Authority to rename the Marine Industrial Park after one of his predecessors, Raymond L. Flynn, who worked as a union dock worker at the South Boston port before launching his legendary political career”  He went on: “We can think of no better way to celebrate Mayor Flynn’s legacy of social and economic justice than to name the area where his father, his brother, and, indeed, Mayor Flynn himself worked as members of the International Longshoreman’s Association,”

As I said it is a nice honor for Ray Flynn and I am happy for him. It is not about him I am writing because I am sure from the little I know of him he would not have done what our present mayor has done.

Mayor Walsh had a chance to weigh in on naming another piece of real estate for a person from South Boston. This time it was naming a library after Bill Bulger who was a trustee of the Boston Public Library and did much to funnel money into it to keep it running properly.  A group got together and sought to have the local South Boston library named after him. It was a small gesture for a man who had done so many good things.

Walsh was asked by a Herald reporter on August 15, 2014, whether he supported naming it after him. He replied: “We’re looking at it. The way the library is told to me you don’t name a library unless someone’s deceased. Ah, I’m not big into naming everything. . . .  I know we named the Bruce Bolling building . . . so we’ll look at it and see what happens. . . . I’m not opposed to it. I’m not in favor of it. I’m just neutral.”

Naming the Bruce Bolling building sort of gave lie to his statement he’s not big into doing it. That building that will have as its occupants up to five hundred members of the Boston Public School’s administration is a six floor building. Renaming the massive Marine Park adds to it.  So why can’t the major take a stand on such a small stand as to name a library after Billy Bulger.

I don’t suppose the mayor’s weak-kneed answer would have anything to  do with the Boston Globe editorial opposing it. When was the last time you read an editorial in opposition to the naming of a library?  Or did he quake reading the article by Jeff Jacoby, the same Globe reporter who asked people to shun Billy and called him “the vindictive pol” and suggested if the people wanted to name something after Billy they should have to pay for it.

Mayor Walsh should be more of a stand up guy. There is no doubt Billy Bulger deserves some recognition for his contributions to Boston and the state of Massachusetts. He was the longest serving president of the State Senate and did much good. The sordid rumors associating him with his brother were used for political get back and were empty of facts.

I would like to suggest that rather than naming a library after him the new proposed walkway that is being built to accommodate GE which will replace the Old Northern Avenue Bridge be named after him.  If the bridge next to it can be named after a politician’s wife who did nothing of note, surely Billy can be honored in a similar way to make up for all the abuse he has suffered and to honor a man who did great things for the city and the state.



23 thoughts on “Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s Chance To Show Some Courage

  1. These are moments that are difficult for people in public life.Bill Bulger and Mayor Walsh have a mutual respect for one another.Bulger is not waging a campaign to have a library named after him.He would never want to put somebody he respects in a tough spot. For all the good that Bill Bulger did for the BPL over so many years it should be an easy call in my opinion.On the merits he certainly deserves it.Lets see what happens.

    1. My Mistake,

      you are right Judge. Bill Bulger’s tenure on the BPL board makes him eligible.

      I withdraw my opposition and ask to join in Mr. Connolly’s motion.

    2. Paul:

      I know Billy is not pushing for it. (I also know he prefers Bill but old habits are hard to break.) I am pushing for it because I don’t want his contributions to Massachusetts to be forgotten.

  2. Matt,

    How about this quote by Adrian Walker (Globe reporter)…..IN a Globe article,………talk about embarrassing the family….or a Freudian (or not so Freudian) slip.
    He’s OPENLY stating the Globe’s underhanded policy.

    “In recent years, he has become a magnet for investigations, all of them driven by Globe stories.”

    Then he leads off with dry-cleaning and sunglasses…
    Poor Brian Joyce…….P.O.O.F.

    1. In the same article, Walker says…

      “Regardless, it is important to remember that Joyce has not been charged with anything,…”

      Way to go, Globe….

      1. Rather:

        He’ not been charged but right now in the Globe’s ediorial room they are sitting down with the prosecutors trying to figure out what to charge him with. How about obstructing and FBI investigation. When the FBI went to his office he wouldn’t open the door for them. Like I mention in today’s article he (according to his lawyer) is in the middle of cooperating with the FBI and it pulls the sleazy raid to help the Globe. Were getting more like Egypt everyday with the boys running wild.

    2. Rather:

      My post on my take on it will be out Monday. Stay tuned. I had to decide between it and FBI today so I thought I’d talk about the Hoovermen.

    1. “Siri, how do I get to the site where Whitey, et al. reburied their victims?’
      ” . . . then head south on WILLIAM BULGER BOULEVARD . . . ”
      Careful what you wish for, John.

  3. Dope slapped a scrappy young feller the other night. I was bicycling in the twenty degrees zone fully lighted all bells and whistles and as I completely minding my own business was passing them his consort hollered … Potato …. at me. I am Scots Irish and the Irish in me came up. I wheeled back and around … curious … enquired as to whether it was an ethnic slur . I do not bother people and at 57 do not like being harassed by cheeky and condescending collegians . I was not abrasive. I just had a genuine sociological curiousity as to what motivated such a bizarre remark. I am distinctly ” Boston Irish ” in appearance.

    Some badinage ensued. I can be rather witty in the clutches and our young swain, who was not a bad fellow, but … condescending … in a conplicated pretext involving her love of french fries and so forth, got peevish and turning away and walking hurled back … ” Potato ” … over his shoulder. This was a turn too far. Combat ensued and after grappling on the ground I let him up. He had heart and gave a decent account of himself. Frankly, I liked the kid’s style . His style still included in its worser aspects, requiring cultural remediation I felt, the need to say … Sir you are drunk. I am a tee totaler, not a reformed alcoholic, but a complete abstemious … fanatical … Tee Totaler. Was this another ethnic slur ??? I enquired. That’s when I rang his bell. I stunned him, but not to really hurt him. And I did not close to finish him up. Like I said, I liked this kid’s spirit, on balance, very much. He wondered why at this point I had treated him so cruelly. I smiled and said … ” Well, I’m a Potato !!! ” I let him know he was a good tough kid and I respected that, but perhaps he should be mindful of the conpany he kept . Incident over. She really cauaed him some problems. I just wanted ro be left alone. I have my own problems.

    I offer this anecdote because I know this blog is written by Boston Irish, in person of its moderator , the redoubtable Connolly, and by a plurality of contributors to it. We are an irascible lot ; contrary, often hostile, and unsparing in the defensive hatred with which we man our respective battlements. Yet, inevitably a sly wit and goodheartness in its service that are hallmarks of the Irish character, asserts itself.

    Billy Bulger, Ray Flynn, and yes in the modern incarnation, Marty Walsh : For the love of all that’s holy lets re-name Morrissey Boulevard as William F. Bulger Boulevard, he’d be tickled at that I think : Re-name Marine Park as is being touted, Flynn Marine Industrial or whatnot : And as to Marty Walsh, well we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it 🙂

    Time passes. None of us are saints. Warts and all Billy and Ray are both very worthy individuals, and I think Marty is cut from a template , a Boston Irish template , recognizable as well to many of us . As an angelic young lady, whose courtesy to an older lady in a market downtown I noted and complimented her on last summer, articulated quite genuinely to me … ” I have learned it is much easier to be nice than to be mean ! “

  4. I want so bad to agree with you Matt but I can’t. Here’s why.

    Bill Bulger was never a city offical. His public service was in the legislature and UMass.
    If you look around and see what things are named for polticians you see city/town stuff named after local yocals and state owned stuff named after local yocals who got elected to the legislature.
    The Ruane Courthouse in Salem. The Brian Honan public library in Brighton. The Quinn Building at UMass Boston.
    Now you might sight two exceptions.
    1. The push to name the Convention Centert (owned by the state’s convention authority) after Tom Menino. However The mayor of Bosotn has two appointments on the Convention Authority and to a lesser degree, Menino had the vision and power to make happen what we see today at the Seaport.

    2. George Keverian Elementary School in Everett. Yes he was the long time state rep and house speaker but he spent the last 20 years of his life working as the veterans affairs guy for Everett. Worked longer there than his time in the house.

    Anyway if anything is to be named after President Bulger it should come from Linda Dorcena Forry and Nick Collins.

    You know what would be great? A huge endowment to UMASS for the William M. Bulger Institute of…

    Money talks. I would love to see that.
    “Hey Marty Meehan you big feeling fraud, here’s 20 million dollars for that new institute of whatever you’ve been trying to get off the ground. Your welcome. Anytime. Listen, we’ll call the thing the William M. Bulger Institute. Got that Marty? Good. I’ll have my people work out the details with your people. Take care.”

    1. Hey Ernie,

      Love what you’re doing, man. Keep up the good fight.

      BTW…did Conley ever submit to suggestion to subjugate, or subdue the shade-shysting Sherlock?

  5. Matt,

    The Former Senate President and the citizens of South Boston have earned and deserve the library to be named after him.
    As for Ray,….maybe they could name a barstool at J.J. Foley’s after him.
    He was just on the news for driving through the front of his neighbors house the other day.

  6. Hello Matt,
    Great Blog, I don’t suspect that the naming of anything in his name holds any great importance in Senator President’s Bill Bulger’s life. After what his family has been put thru , over the years, from the press and others, I might suspect he would enjoy being left alone to enjoy his frequent walks around his beloved “Southie ” with his many friends and family.

    1. JRC:

      Thanks. Good to hear from you. The attention you gave to the Catherine Greig posts made me think if I ever need a PR guy I’ll hire you. I agree with you that this may not matter much to Billy and that he’s happy with his life as it is with his friends and family. I’m not so much interested in his personal feelings as I am in having future generations know his name and know all the good he did. He certainly did more than Lenny Zakin or Rose Kennedy.

  7. If the Globe and its devotees could ever see beyond the paper’s idiotic position, then the Triple Eagle would have that library named after him. This is as it should be, given Billy Bulger’s book-loving bent.

    Still, Walsh would have to display a bit of courage here, which is nothing to hold your breath for.

    Skip the bridge idea; that would be beneath Bulger’s true stature and would actually amount to a huge failure of the City and an insult by the City.

    1. GOK:

      I like the bridge idea and would like to hold the mayor’s feet to the fire on it. If I was the dictator I would name the street where the Globe is moving its offices to after it vacates Morrissey Boulevard to Bill Bulger Way.

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