Commentary by Phil Orlandella

Martignetti a Baseball Giant

Volunteers make the North End Athletic Association click. They are the heart and soul of the non-profit community organization that has been providing programs for North End residents for over 50 years.

One of those volunteers, who works hard in the NEAA Baseball Program, is Prince Street resident Ralph Martignetti who was this year’s Majors (Little League) Commissioner and currently as he’s done in the past, coordinates the Dodgers Traveling Baseball Team and coaches one of them.

Ralph has also coached in the Little League for many years. Be sure, a lot of time and energy is put into accomplishing these feats.

Over the years, Ralph has been totally dependable and productive and he should be recognized for his continued contributions to the youth of the community.

A First for the NEAA

A tip of the baseball cap to the North End Athletic Association (NEAA) for coordinating a Little League contest between a selected North End team and a Little League team made up of players from several towns in Italy.

It was a terrific idea and a rare opportunity to play a baseball team from another country right in their own back yard at Langone Park on Commercial Street.

The Italian team has been playing games in other cities and towns throughout the country before making a stop in Boston’s North End.

The game was a first international baseball game for the NEAA which continues to grow and improve each and every year.

Only 7 people attended

The weather was terrific. The Red Sox played an afternoon game. The local pool was almost empty and there was nothing of interest or importance happening anywhere in the neighborhood.

So why did the Wednesday, June 26, 7pm meeting to discuss the possible creation of a Neighborhood Watch only attract seven people including the person, Brian Brandt, who reportedly took it upon himself to call a “private” meeting of this committee which he claimed of having 40 residents sign-up to be a member of the Watch.

The Director of the Boston Police Neighborhood Watch Unit was never scheduled to be at the June 26 meeting.

Residents told the Review that Brandt knew this but went forward with the “private” meeting for members only without notifying residents that the Commissioner would not be attending.

One resident said, “If we knew that the Commissioner wasn’t going to attend, we would have cancelled the meeting.

Talk about confusion. First Brandt invited the Review to attend, the Review responded it doesn’t cover “private “ meetings.

Brandt followed-up with a please attend email and then asked the Review to leave the meeting because it was members only. The Review left but found out later there was a non-committee member who was allowed to attend. Who’s on First?

How can someone who is coordinating a neighborhood meeting not know that the Neighborhood Watch Unit doesn’t allow media to cover committee meetings? How can this person not advise residents that the Commissioner was not attending the meeting? How can this so called organizer tell the media to leave but allow a non-member to attend?

Brandt is already telling people who commented on the meeting to the local.com news line they have no right to make any meeting information public. What happen to Freedom of Speech?

Holding secret meetings with residents doesn’t reflect what the neighborhood wants, especially if only seven people attend. Secret meetings created a guy named Hitler.

Apparently, judging from the poor turn-out, there is no real interest in having a North End Neighborhood Watch or the first meeting was poorly organized.