LETTER TO THE EDITOR: TIMES AND ITS PUBLISHER FORMER DISGRUNTLED YACHT CLUB MEMBER ROSS GETS CALLED OUT AFTER NASTY TIMES NEWS COLUMN IN RETALIATION OF RIVAL NEWS COMPETITION AND ELECTION

I’M CALLING YOU OUT—IDIOTS!

Recent articles printed in this newspaper last September 6 and the 13th authored by an anonymous group called ”We” were pointed out to me as a caustic attack on an organization with which I have had a long and wonderful relationship.

The title of the first article could very well have been captioned, as its writers noted… “Winter Hill Yacht Club for Criminals!”

A closer reading of that scandalous article readily discloses that it was admittedly prepared and submitted by a former “Senior Member” of the club whom, for whatever reason, has decided to embellish his (or their) malevolent intent to discredit and abase the fine character of this club and its members by the writers’ vain, biased, inaccurate and unfounded accusations clearly intended to besmirch the functions and character of this honorable organization. Perhaps the idiots who collaborated on this article and took the time to pen such garbage have an agenda other than that of discrediting the club. But they certainly intend to attempt to disgrace the club and to further their purpose have caused the prior articles (including a September• 13 response) to be printed in this fine paper in a futile attempt to arouse a rag-tag army of zombie believers to join their worthless cause

It is also clear that those writers (called “We”) are nothing more than minor league rumor mongers hiding behind the sanctity and anonymity of the Internet like some teeny-bopper, seventh grader bullies free to float their malicious condemnation of others, yet utterly and cowardly afraid to disclose their true identities for fear of reprisal and being personally called upon to answer for their evil malevolence! Let me tell you readers, these idiot authors and gutless wonders, have gotten under my skin and despite my own common sense I am calling then out! But before that, I’ll have to explain my position.

The should clearly understand, however, that the views expressed in this missive have not been sanctioned, reviewed, or contributed to in any manner by the yacht club as a whole nor by any officer or member thereof. Further, this is in no way intended to be forth or taken as a defense for any present or past activity of the club which activities proudly speak for themselves and their historical record. Rather, they are intended to be a personal attack to excoriate, castigate, castrate and neuter the mindless miscreant (and his followers) whom had used the club for his personal perverted (financial) gratification and who now arises to blasphemies the organization which had treated him so well. Such views are solely the content of this writer in response to the idiot (s) to whom it is directed!

This has had an association with this club starting from year1955 (that’s some 62 years ago) when I acquired my first small boat as partner with my late brother, Donald B. Snow, the former highly esteemed and venerable member of local Masonic renown .0ver the years I have held every important office in this club and have acted as legal counsel and financial officer as needed. I keep up with and I know the rules and know of which I speak!

As history will have it, during the 1880’s a group of individuals having an interest in rowing and sail boating met and formed an informal association with no particular name. From a small system of floats and moorings Its members enjoyed the pleasure of the tidal river flow and by 1892 said group had grown and became what was then called the ‘Mystic River Rowing and Sailing Club”, still a rather informal association but conducted under a set of rules and managed by its elected officers. During the spring of year 1912 twenty-nine members of the association caused to be filed Articles of Organization with the secretary of the Commonwealth to create a lawful charitable organization by the name of Winter Hill Yacht Club, Inc. That organization has been in existence for 105 years, to date, and it still flourishes to meet the needs of those members of the general public wishing to enjoy the challenges and the recreational opportunities of our marine environment.

The Mystic River has historically provided the means for commercial and recreational boating and, more recently, the waters have been graced by the attractive facilities paid for and erected solely by the club membership. The club purchased, had title to and were the owners of its own land. This paper’s older readers will perhaps recall the old floating clubhouse barge and that the club owned and/or had the use of all property which ran along the Mystic Avenue from Silk’s Carwash all the way to the Bal-A-Rue roller skating rink, a distance in excess of 1100 feet (over l/5 mile). The club also enjoyed its tidal waterfront location which extended not only by its length but to the centerline of the Mystic River as it flowed upstream to Medford. The club was blissfully happy its existence in that location and would have been there today had not the government forces decided to construct a new highway now known as Route 93-N. Again, your old-time readers will surely remember how the river was entirely rerouted and the yacht club’s premises filled over in that wild construction-era process. Thus, during the early 1960s, the federal and state agencies wiped out the club’s eighty year by an eminent domain proceeding. The club was left high and dry and no longer had a home!

This was an extremely critical period for the yacht club. With the liquidation and burial of the club’s former premises under Route 93 the members hard-pressed to find new facilities to accommodate their numerous vessels. The Club’s officers established a membership committee to negotiate with the Parks and Recreation Division of the Metropolitan District commission (the MDC), the then existing authority over all the banks of the Mystic River, and through worrisome negotiations the Commission did eventually authorize and grant to the club a lease of the rights to approximately 150 feet of land along the bank of the river generally abutting the old railroad swing-bridge #7. Although the granting of this space to the club was certainly welcome, the leased could best be described as an oil soaked decrepit peace tidal embankment strewn with discarded oil barrels and abandoned sunken barges with all the marine flotsam and jetsam customary thereto. But the club was happy to get it, better than nothing. So the club effectively swapped over 1000 feet of waterfront property which it owned outright or had the use of in exchange for approximately 150 feet of idle, unproductive, untaxed land useful to no one, except, now….. the yacht club!

However with the spirit of mutual cooperation and investment the membership, consisting of many talents and experiences, pooled their knowledge, resources and hard labor into first constructing by the end of 1965 the marina pier facilities to accommodate the use and the storage of their vessels. Every member, turned out: the armless, the legless, the sick and the weak, the young and infirmed, a priest and —yes! —even a criminal (should it matter?); regardless of wealth or technical capabilities, bent their backs in resurrecting this proud club from the dredges of its new location into the facility which stands today– a proud edifice to the hard work and diligence of all its members. It must be stressed at this point that neither the MDC, nor any other government agency, nor the city of Somerville, contributed one penny to the process of re-creating the yacht club and its facilities. Every dollar of cost and every ounce of labor was provided by the members themselves. Yes, that’s what yacht clubs do! And that’s why they exist as a means of reducing one’s cost of enjoying recreational boating to an amount which can hopefully be afforded by hard-working, blue-collar common folk. With the foregoing as background I next state my basic reasons for my utter disgust with the anonymous coward and his rag-tag army of “do-gooders”, each of whom by their fraudulent innuendos, attempt to threaten this well established and fundamental organization!

In recognition of the many years contributed by the members to the general maintenance, construction, and management of club affairs the club established new rule during the early 1970s to reward certain members for their long and enduring contributions and services to the club by creating new class of membership entitled “Senior Member status”. Qualification for this class depended in part on the age of the member and/or, secondly, the number of years during which such person was member. The reward for designation to this class was such that the member would now be exempt from paying minimum annual dues as well as freedom from work-party hourly time requirements of all members. However, such member retained all seniority rights to marina slip assignments and he or she was still responsible to pay for all other services and benefits provided by the club. One would say that this was a minor benefit but helpful to those in retirement. This gets me to the first major point of my problem with that senior member, the idiot writer of the original September 6 article.

Anyone who has ever had a boat has always had the problem of where the vessel will be kept, stored and from where it will be sailed, with due consideration, of course, for its protection from damage, vandalism and storms. Further, the cost of such a facility sought becomes the major consideration for all boat owners. They aren’t stupid! They review all the ads, check out the marina locations and study the prices demanded by commercial marina operators. They initially become shocked and discouraged at the rates demanded from commercial marinas and wonder whether boating is really right for them, can they really afford the cost. Many readers are not familiar with this pricing structure but suffice to say that a range of from $50 per foot to $210 per foot is currently in vogue depending upon the marina site. So, what’s the new boat owner to do? Then a friend suggests, perhaps, that he or she check out the local yacht club scene whose rates generally and typically are to be a fraction of those demanded by commercial marinas. The sole reason for the large disparity in rates is that the yacht clubs are like mutual funds where costs are shaved by the members performing nearly all the work in a communal effort to keep the cost of boating down to an affordable amount. Typically, the fraction I am referring to for yacht club marina and storage rates ranges from 3% to no more than 10% of typical commercial marina rates. Is it any wonder then that when new members are accepted into any yacht club they feel (to quote a phrase) died and gone to Heaven”.

Now, back to the idiots! Our first idiot brags about his status as a senior member. As can be seen from above that would entail many years of his membership and many years of his service to the club. Seeing he could not qualify for membership without first being the owner of a vessel. In his search for a desirable place for his vessel it’s clear that he opted to seek admission to membership in the Winter Hill boating organization as compared to electing any of the numerous commercial marinas. Why did he choose the club? Money, of course!

Our alleged senior member discovered that in addition to being the present owner of a vessel he was also required to have his application for membership sponsored by at least two present club members each of whom were required to sign his application as sponsors and be willing to stand before the entire membership body and attest, in a brief synopsis of, his personal knowledge of the individual and of his or her fine character! All that prior to the acceptance of said applicant into full club membership.

Accordingly, in partial reliance upon the sponsor’s recommendation and upon majority vote of the membership in attendance, our disgruntled senior member was thus installed with all the rights privileges and benefits under the rules and bylaws of the club. Oh yes, did I mention that he would be provided copies of the club rules and then be allowed the unlimited use of the facilities of the club— all at the minimal club rates for marina use and winter storage? I meant to!

By his own admission the senior member had many years of enjoyment in the use of the club, its facilities and paid nothing more than the minimal costs thereof. Year after year after year. Perhaps at some point this person grew tired of boating and, perhaps, sold his boat and drifted into the senior member status still providing him his bragging rights, continued seniority, no annual dues nor work party obligations. He’s another who had “Died and gone to Heaven”!

It seems most likely to this writer, as it might too many reasonable readers, that this alleged senior member is an absolute and utter ingrate. He’s had many years of inexpensive and joyous boating from this club at the prices which he could afford. We can’t blame him for his frugality or for relishing in the perverted (financial) gratification afforded him by the club. I get it! That’s why we have the club! But never have we had a member who terminated their membership, by resignation or involuntarily, who didn’t walk away proudly with fine thoughts in remembrance of his years in this organization. And never have we had a person like our subject idiot who would walk away and years later come forth and frivolously cause to be printed vicious, malicious and accusatory lies with the sole purpose of attempting to rile the unknowing general public and vilify and besmirch this club and those people who had treated him so well. His actions make no sense-— except to conclude that he has another hidden agenda and is showering his public insults against the club as a not so subtle diversion. But I’ll have none of it!

Our disgruntled senor member also decries the club for being a haven of sorts for the ‘criminal element’. He attended numerous club monthly meetings and more than likely voted to accept numerous new members. The idiot is as familiar with the new member application rules as any other member (quite likely having been a sponsor in the past for other new applicants) and the sponsor’s requirement to testify to the character of each. He participated in this process and now he’s claiming the club is loaded with — (plural) criminals. One wonders what his motivation must be for him to slap the club in its face, demean its character and viciously slam the club as a club for “criminals”.

This has no knowledge of any current member carrying the tag of “criminal” in their history and if they did.. .so what! There exists no specific provision in the club’s lease with the DCR (formally MDC) dealing with the limitations on status of club members nor does the club’s antidiscrimination provisions preclude the admission of parties with some form of past criminal problems. It all falls back on the sponsor’s personal opinion of the applicant’s current character at the time of the vote on his admission. Your idiot trouble- maker fully well knows this but continues to blow smoke out of his lowest orifice and hopes someone (or no one) gets the drift! Personally, if a member or someone has a clouded past it’s only because they might’ve violated any of our country’s thousands of rules, they got caught and paid their price for the misdeed. Now they should again be in the good graces of society and free to conduct their life as the rest of us who have been fortunate enough not having been held to account for our misconduct!

Yes, he must have paid his dues and fees in compliance with club rules and, if so, definitely earned his title as senior member under the rules voted by the entire membership. It is, perhaps, unfortunate that the DCR recently rewrote the club ‘s lease demanding a substantial increase in annual rental obligations. It is also unfortunate that said costs had to be raised by providing equal assessments imposed upon all members including senior members. It probably is frue that some members found said assessment difficult to meet and opted to terminate their membership whether it affected regular members or senior members. However, said decision to terminate his membership was an individual choice and not one forced upon any particular group of members by the lawful vote of the membership. We all fell under the hardship of such action, but it was necessary.

Two more points, tired reader, then I’m through. Our proverbial idiot further demands that there local constabulary conduct an investigation into our membership; that we tear down the entrance gateway to the club’s parking area and have the club gate doors thrown opened to the general public. I’m sure when he submitted the garbage in that Article for printing he chuckled and laughed aloud at the turmoil he was maliciously instigating without thought that his anonymity would never be broached. He pays no heed to the fact that the club’s lease is not paid by any public fund and lawfully allows the club to control its own destiny while the terms of its lease are in effect. Such rights allow the club to protect its parking area for the sole use of its members and guests at the utter exclusion of non-members and the general public; and to protect its property from strangers and interlopers by expressly limiting or prohibiting access thereto. Exactly the same rights as would be enjoyed to protect our idiot in the use of his home.

Further, you jerk, it appears your idiotic mind is attempting to start a grass-roots effort to enlist the support of all the local politicians to back your asinine proposal to liquidate the club open the club’s parking area to the general public and turn over the facility which has served us (and you) so well for well over 100 years. You advocate abolishing the club and turning the premises over to some form of commercial enterprise which might run some Mystic River tour business or start a new rowing club such as that which founded us during the 1880s. Are you absolutely nuts?

I said at the beginning of this article that “I’m calling you out — idiot!” Both you and your ragtag dirt-bag assembly that authored the September 13 article!

Okay idiot! My knees might be creaky; my back may be achy; perhaps I have more tobacco smoke in my lungs than air; my neck might be stiff and my eyes growing dim but you know what, idiot ingate, I think there’s still enough juice in the tank to resolve my personal differences with you and your rag-tag army so I’m calling you out, personally, you anonymous coward ! I’m calling you out to meet me under the bridge at the yacht club, whether you ‘re alone or with your idiot army makes no difference to me! Be reminded, however, to bring your traditional seconds with you. You will need them to carry your body or bodies to the hospital when I’m through with you! Kindly notice, anonymous idiot, that I’ve endorsed my name and address to the bottom of this article. I’m sure you will know where to find me, that is you if you have the courage to do so. Please call,     I’m waiting!

Raymond A Snow

403 Highland Avenue, Suite 201

Somerville, Ma. 02144

October 7, 2017

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4 thoughts on “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: TIMES AND ITS PUBLISHER FORMER DISGRUNTLED YACHT CLUB MEMBER ROSS GETS CALLED OUT AFTER NASTY TIMES NEWS COLUMN IN RETALIATION OF RIVAL NEWS COMPETITION AND ELECTION”

  1. THe Somerville Times is a biased publication with an agenda. They routinely do not allow comments that are critical of the Mayor and others. I have tried many times to get comments in it, but cannot. THe Somerville News Weekly is far superior to the Somerville Times.

    1. Same here. Say anything about Curtatone or something positive about Trump and your post goes to the trash. They used to allow comments and it is within the last year it has changed. I tried different aliases but all were shot down. My posts are respectful that they should have done through. Notice now there are very few new posts where before it was changing many times during the day due to it’s openness that this paper now has. Plus they knock this paper where one has freedom to post. And I am sure Publicover would be horrified to see what it was turned in to.

  2. The Somerville Times is just a shill for Curtatone and his cronies. They have their system set up to prevent people that criticized Curtatone in the past from posting.

    An employee of the Somerville Times told me this is how they operate.

    1. Odd, I see negatives posts about Curtatone now getting in. Not much, but before nothing would. I haven’t tested the waters yet to see if mine will. Or if it is not too negative and someone is seeing the posts here and maybe trying to make them look better. Who knows. I will see on my next try.

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