Fenway Frenzy: Heightened Security

By: Jada Montemarano

It is a warm, sunny day as Boston University senior and Yankee fan Nicholas Picht walks up to the famous green monster. As Picht gets closer to his gate at Fenway Park, he notices something different. He witnesses a long line of people trailing down Lansdowne Street.

“There are never lines at Fenway,” said Picht. “The only lines usually are the ones for sausages outside the park.”

Fenway Park has instituted new security measures for the start of the 2015 season. Fenway released a statement saying,

“To comply with Major League Baseball stadium operations practices for the 2015 season, and to enhance security and expedite screenings at the gates, fans will walk through new metal detectors at every gate. Fans will remove cell phones, cameras, and other large metal objects before walking through the metal detectors. Fans do not need to remove smaller objects, such as wallets, coins, keys, jewelry, eyeglasses, shoes, and belts."

According to Picht, there was no real security in the past. He said he remembers getting patted down quickly, and that was it.

These new measures are a part of the Major League Baseball’s initiative for higher security across all stadiums in the league. According to a MLB press release, the league has been working with the Department of Homeland Security standardize all 30 team’s stadiums. Fans should expect screening by hand-held metal detection or walk-trough magnetometers. Bag checks were already a uniform procedure at all ballparks.

In a news release, John McHale Jr., MLB’S Executive Vice President of Administration, said,

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our fans. In the last several seasons, our experiences in many markets and at our jewel events have indicated that fans have a high level of understanding of these efforts. We believe this step will pose minimal inconvenience and ultimately will serve the best interests of fans."

“Yankee Stadium has had stricter security for a while, especially in the new stadium,” said Picht. “New York is different, well maybe not since the marathon here, but ever since 9/11 New York security is top notch everywhere.”

Nicholas Neville, a freshman at Boston University, said, “The Sox are my home team. Security never really crossed my mind when going to a game. I figured this was the way all ballparks did it and have done it for years.”

Alyssa Galvin, a junior at Boston University and Red Sox fan, also had the same reaction. She said she never gave security at Fenway much thought before, but noticed it at other venues.

“I went to a game at Gillette last season and waited in line for 45 minutes,” said Galvin.

According to the Department of Homeland Security in “Fiscal Year 2014 Report to Congress,” the National Football League already implemented the Center for Visualization and Data Analytics or CVADA.

The CVADA provides “simulation and screening tools that helped MetLife make on-scene decisions... CVADA-Rutgers also produced a best practices manual for stadium security operations.” According to this report, the CVADA was also planning to work with the MLB, which is now in effect.

“Security is something you have to plan for and there is no reason why baseball stadiums shouldn't be taking the same precautions as other venues,” said Galvin.

When Galvin was waiting in line at Fenway, she said it only took about ten minutes longer than usual, but she already noticed people getting impatient. There were even those who tried to cut the line. According to the “A-Z Guide” on Fenway’s website, the gates do open 90 minutes before the game starts, which gives fans’ time to settle in.

“People will be bothered when their normal routines are disrupted, but everyone will probably be used to it within the year,” Galvin said.

Her advice for fans is to not bring bags because the “no bag” line moves much faster.

Neville said, “Too much preparation is not needed. Just arrive ten minutes earlier than you have in the past.”

He did say the metal detectors were a big change for him, because it felt like airport security.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the MLB has already worked with them for the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign that other sports leagues and venues implement as well. Homeland Security has been awarded more than $36 billion dollars in grant funding to “prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats or acts of terrorism.”

All three fans go to at least five Red Sox games a season and agreed that these precautions are necessary, especially with the recent events in Boston and across the United States.

“You could have brought a bomb into Fenway and no one would have known,” said Picht. “It is 2015. With the many things that have happened in the world, you need security.”

Click here for a map of the gates at Fenway Park: 

He did admit that it was relaxing to just walk right into Fenway for a game and not have to be bothered, but the new measures do not deter from the fun.

“Let them pat you down, don't bring dumb things, and just go and have fun,” said Picht.

Neville said, “You can never be too careful at large sporting events.”

Fans should also be on the look out for updates by their hometown teams on the new programs that they will implement.

Do you think the new security measures are necessary? Fill out this poll: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K3HN26L

Published on November 20, 2013 · 7:11 pm

By Jada Montemarano
BU News Service

BOSTON — On a cool, crisp November day, Denise Labardi sat on a park bench admiring a small garden enclosed by a large cast iron gate. Orange and yellow leaves littered the ground and swirled as the wind blew. The garden was full of pink roses, some dying as winter was approaching. “It is so cold, but still very pretty,” said Labardi.

Labardi,who  was visiting from St. Louis,  stopped by the Rose Kennedy Garden on her travels along the Freedom Trail in the North End. In 1987, the garden was planted to honor Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, the mother of President John F. Kennedy whose life was lost 50 years ago. The garden, a small section of the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, contains 104 rose bushes  – one for every year she lived. She died in 1995 at age 104.

“My mom was a huge Kennedy fan. I was only two when he died, so I don’t know much about him or Rose Kennedy. I only know about him from my mother,” said Labardi. During a tour of Boston, a guide mentioned this historic site, which convinced Labardi to visit during her stay. Not knowing much about Rose Kennedy, Labardi read the two mounted, bronze plaques at the entrance of the park.

“With this garden the people of Boston honor all gold star mothers,” was written on one plaque. Rose Kennedy was named a gold star mother in 1944 when her son Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. was killed in World War II. Two more of her nine children also lost their lives serving their country: President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated while in office.

Rose Kennedy was born not far away from her garden, at 4 Garden Court in the North End. As daughter of  Boston Mayor John Francis Fitzgerald, and wife of U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy, her life blossomed in the world of politics. “The garden is dedicated to a woman of faith and courage,” one of the plaques reads.


Published on October 9, 2013

By Jada Montemarano                                       Personal Blog                                    

BOSTON—-On October 9th, 7 years after graduating, graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication class of 2006, Kira Klapper, sat in a former classroom at BU and reflected on her times there in the early 2000’s where technology was ancient and finding a job was difficult. She seemed hesitant to tell eager, upcoming journalists her horror stories, but she continued anyway.

Klapper recalled how she recorded her reels on VHS tapes and had to transfer them to hard drives, but did not save any copies. Unfortunately, her hard drive and laptop were stolen right out of her own apartment after graduation.

“Make sure to back up your reels. People want to see you on tape. They want to know you can perform on camera,” said Klapper. She had nothing to show for herself after four, long years at BU. With all of her television confidence gone, Klapper reluctantly moved back to her mom’s LA home with no hope for the future.

Klapper had to figure out how to reproduce four years of material in order to get a job. She fortunately started a paid internship at an ABC affiliate in San Francisco, where she worked at 3 a.m., printing scripts, running tapes, and getting coffee. Despite these trivial tasks, Klapper used this experience to her advantage. She followed reporters to scenes and would record her own reports off-air after the professionals were done.

“I didn’t sleep for 9 long months,” said Klapper. Finally after finishing and sending her reel, she received her first job in snowy Mankato, Minnesota, stationed in lowly market 199.

Sitting quietly behind her in the front of the classroom, Klapper’s husband cut into the conversation and said, “Her mom would say, ‘At least it is in the ones.’” This was not the market Klapper had envisioned for herself, but she had to start somewhere.

After jobs at different stations, in Santa Barbara and Chico, California, Klapper came full circle and now works as a reporter/substitute anchor in the same ABC affiliate she interned in five years before, and still doesn’t sleep, with her day starting at 4 a.m.

“I am blessed that people let you into their homes to tell them what’s going on in their own community,” said Klapper. All of her struggles and hard work paid off, because she loves reporting, especially inspirational and uplifting stories. Klapper attempts to live a “normal life,” a saying she hates, but going to the gym and eating with friends seem to go at the end of the reel of her busy life.

“Fake it until you make it,” said Klapper reluctantly. She knew she just provided bad advice to a group of journalism students who were always taught to report with precision and accuracy. Klapper then clarified saying that sometimes it is hard to prepare for a report that happens under short notice, but make it work. Klapper faced many difficulties in her career, but she says that she ultimately made it work.


Fall Festivities

Published on September 10, 2014

By: Jada Montemarano                                                                                                                                             Personal Blog

Many college students in Boston do not have cars to travel to places that the T does not take them. It is hard to venture to the outskirts of the city and enjoy the Massachusetts country life. When Fall rolls around many students are reminded of the warm feelings of the holidays that are soon approaching. They want to go home to their families for apple picking and pumpkin pie. (Click the map above for addresses and more details for each event).

The leaves turn an orange-red and the hearts of city-dwellers long to actually see these trees changing. The downside of living in the midst of a city is losing all the beauty of the country. Like I said students are not able to sneak away and experience this. It is hard to get in the holiday spirit when you do not know where to look nearby.

Many students feel events held in Boston may be too childish for them, that the real stuff is back at home with family. So I went on a mission to find activities that can bring a little fall fun to a college student.

Some events are fun for a night out on the town and others bring you back to your childhood. There are many things to do with out having to leave the city.

Everyone's favorite SoWa Market changes theme during the holiday season.  It becomes the Market of the Living Dead on October 26th at 10 am.The 130 table market is taken over by ghosts and goblins to fright the night. There will be food trucks, pumpkin carving, and live music. This is your last chance to enjoy SoWa before next season. Come dressed in your finest costume and you could possibly win an amazing prize.

To bring back that family-feel, 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill provides a pumpkin carving day on October 11th at 12 pm. Those who reserve a spot can carve, paint, and take home a lovely pumpkin for the season. It is a free event but who would stop from ordering fun fall foods from the restaurant itself. 75 Chestnut features pumpkin bisque, apple martinis, and cranberry apple crumble. A perfect meal to end a perfect day.

For those who are up for a good spook, the Boston Ghosts and Gravestones tour is for you. Hop on the trolly of doom and visit the dark side of Boston. Visit the famous sites of Boston's past, whether in the trolley or walking, it will be the experience of a lifetime. Call 617-296-3626 for reservations.

Now for all my 21+ friends there are many Halloween events that you will not want to miss. Not all are on October 31st, but that means more Halloween fun for you. Come dressed in your best costumes and drink to the night. Most tickets are to be bought in advance. Check out the Liberty Hotel's Night of the Living Dead, Church of Boston Party, and Lansdowne Pub's Halloween Weekend Blowout. (These events were held the past years but dates and times have not yet been released for 2014).

If you are one of the students who doesn't have the opportunity to go home for Thanksgiving, don't be shy to spend the holiday the right way. Many hotels in Boston serve a full Thanksgiving dinner for a fixed price. Grab a group of friends and experience a family meal outside of the school's dining halls. A list of hotels are: Langham Hotel, Ritz-Carlton, and Beacon Hill Hotel. Restaurants: Legal Seafood, Top of the Hub, and 75 Chestnut.

If these events don't get you excited about the Fall in Boston then you are really missing out! Check out the map above for all the locations, dates and times of each event. Who said you need a car to enjoy all that is Halloween and Thanksgiving!