Friday morning a battle erupted between South Boston Pop Warner and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) over the use of the football field and the Murphy skating rink. Many Southie residents awoke to find a letter from South Boston Pop Warner President Dan Ferrara in their inbox or spotted it on Facebook. The passionately written letter stated that DCR was evicting Pop Warner from using the Murphy skating rink for their concession stand and their electricity. Ferrara urged readers to contact Governor Patrick’s office to help with the situation (see letter below).
Accordign to the DCR, Pop Warner was not being evicted and that they did not have the proper permits or authorization for the use of the skating rink. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) responded with the following statement:
“For seventeen years DCR and its predecessor agency the MDC has valued its relationship with the South Boston Pop Warner Football organization. We wish to be clear that the organization is not being evicted from Evans field nor relocated to Moakley Park. Earlier this season the organization attempted to connect electrical service to one of its trailers without required permits or authorization from DCR. This prompted discussions about the use of the site and the Murphy Rink. DCR had concerns about public safety and code violations and expressed these concerns to the organization. We are currently in discussions with South Boston Pop Warner to resolve the issues to the satisfaction of all parties.”
With the help of Representative Nick Collins and Sean Pierce from Senator Linda Dorcena Forry’s office, South Boston Pop Warner and the DCR was able to smooth things over just in time for the last game of the season on Saturday. On a Facebook post, Southie Pop Warner stated:
We are happy to say that the “Snack Shack” will be up and running for our last home game tomorrow 09/27/14!
Thank you to all who called and shared, thanks to you, DCR will continue to work with us.
The two sides will be meeting next week to discuss the future of the field and the use of the Murphy rink. Stay tuned!
The last South Boston Pop Warner home game kicks off Saturday at 2:30pm. Stop by and show your support and buy something from the Snack Shack!
Dear Parents, Coaches and Friends, I need your help.
Recently, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) evicted us from the Murphy skating rink which we have used as our concession stand since we started in 1998. In 1998, the then MDC Commissioner David Balfour arranged our use of the rink and we have not had a problem until this year.
This eviction came from Nicholas Gove, the DCR Director for the Boston Region. We have repeatedly tried to meet with the DCR Commissioner Jack Murray to discuss our current situation but the Commissioner has refused.
Additionally, the DCR has severed all power to our football and cheerleading trailers. The current situation puts the entire South Boston Pop Warner (SBPW) program in peril. The concession stand proceeds go to ensure we have Boston EMS service and referees for our games. The lighting in the containers ensures that no child or volunteer gets injured in the dark.
DCR service over the last several years has deteriorated. They cut the grass but that’s about it. DCR use to provide bleachers, line and aerate the field. Now they do not provide any of that. We purchased the bleachers several years ago and purchased a paint machine as well as paint. We paint the field and provide our own barrels. And most recently, we had to purchase a new scoreboard controller for the scoreboard. SBPW operates as a solely volunteer organization.
Earlier this year, we heard rumors that we would be relocated to Moakley Park. The board of directors has no desire to move to Moakley Park. The football field at Moakley Park has been the home to youth soccer for over 40 years. And our park has been our home for 17 years. And the field will remain our home with your help.
The program is not about any single person, it is about the kids. In 1997, we worked for entire year to put the program together. At the time, youth cluster suicides dominated the South Boston news and the group of us dedicated our free time to fundraising and making decisions to run the program. Many of the decisions still govern the way we operate the program. The program was and remains a program to keep kids occupied in a structured and organized program because any of them are at-risk.
As I stated the program has always been about the kids but I am willing to have my reputation judged against any of the DCR officials. I am a South Boston native, a West Point graduate, and a distinguished former military officer. I am a veteran of Desert Storm served with the First Infantry Division as a field artillery officer and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for my service. West Point has taught me to be a leader who knows distinctly knows between what is right and what is wrong. The DCR’s current position is petty politics and decidedly wrong.
I urge you to contact the Governor’s office at 617-725-4005 and ask for his assistance in resolving this issue.
Sincerely, Dan Ferrara South Boston Pop Warner President