Friday, September 11, 2020

Mayor Walsh and Superintendent Cassellius: Our fall school plans are guided by health, safety, and equity

By Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Superintendent Brenda Cassellius


From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping Boston’s families safe, healthy, and equitably supported has been our top priority. That’s why we made the tough but necessary decision to close Boston Public Schools buildings in March. In a matter of days, we began distributing Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots to students, we set up meal sites to continue feeding tens of thousands of students and families, and we transitioned to fully remote learning. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort, and one we kept up while planning the upcoming school year.


We are still facing uncertainty from coronavirus, but the values that guide us are unchanged. Our plans for the upcoming school year put health, safety, and the needs of our most vulnerable students at the center of our plans.


After conducting an equity analysis and incorporating the feedback of thousands of stakeholders, we have decided to move forward with a cautious, responsible, phased-in hybrid model for the school year. In the optional hybrid model, students learn at home three days a week and attend school in-person two days a week.

This is our plan:


  • We pushed the first day of school back to September 21, to give schools and teachers extra time to prepare. 

  • On September 21, all students will start with all-remote learning. 

  • No sooner than October 1, the option of hybrid learning will begin for students with the highest needs. 

  • No sooner than October 15, optional hybrid learning may begin for the three grades of kindergarten: K0, K1, and K2. 

  • No sooner than October 22, opt-in hybrid learning may begin for grades 1-3. 

  • No sooner than November 5, opt-in hybrid learning may begin for grades 4-8. That will include grades 6-8 in the high schools that include those grades. 

  • And no sooner than November 16, opt-in hybrid learning may begin for grades 9-12. 

In every step, families have the choice of whether to opt in to hybrid learning or stay fully remote. BPS is surveying families about their learning environment and transportation preferences for the fall. We know that many families want and need their children to be in school, but many other families are not yet comfortable with in-person learning. That’s why we are honoring family choice.

We’ve learned a lot from the spring remote learning period. This plan is an opportunity to make remote learning more robust, inclusive, and creative. We are expanding technology and internet access; creating new outreach and support plans for families; developing solutions for special education students and English learners; and talking with childcare providers.

We have also spent months preparing our school buildings and training staff to protect students’ and teachers’ health. We are working with school leaders and facilities professionals to make sure every school is safe and in compliance with DESE recommendations. We will not send students, teachers, or staff into buildings that are not safe.


We are focusing on equity and meeting the needs of our students. Our plan responds to the significant opportunity gaps facing students from low-income households, students of color, immigrants, and English language learners. Many parents are essential workers who must return to work, and cannot leave their young children home alone. For these families, opportunity gaps grow with every day students are out of school. It’s also important to remember that school is about much more than learning. For many students, it’s their place of safety, support, and social development.

Supporting students with special needs is a big focus of this plan. We are prioritizing high needs special education students by giving them the option of in-person learning, two days a week (Monday and Tuesday for Hybrid Group A, Thursday and Friday for Hybrid Group B) starting October 1, and up to 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) starting October 12 based on family choice, considerations to ensure safety based on classroom capacity, and any potential need to reroute transportation for students. This is the right thing to do. We are committed to meeting the requirements of every student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).

We need to keep our communities safe, get kids back to school, and provide quality education. That’s what this plan makes possible. At every step, we will follow public health data. Every family will have the choice about when to send their children into school buildings. And we will continue the work that began long before COVID-19: to close opportunity and achievement gaps, and give every single child the quality education that they deserve. 

We are deeply grateful to all of the teachers, school leaders, staff, families, students, and public health experts who lent their time and expertise, and helped us consider all aspects of our plan. This is the most difficult chapter in our city’s recent history, and time and time again the Boston community rises to the challenge with solidarity and compassion. 

To see the full BPS reopening plan, and for more information about how to submit feedback, visit

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Health Center appoints Greg Wilmot Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Wilmot brings more than 20 years of health care experience to new role

Boston, MA (September 2, 2020)—East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC), the largest community health center in Massachusetts and among the largest community health centers in the country, today announced that Greg Wilmot has been promoted to the role of senior vice president (SVP) and chief operating officer (COO). Wilmot most recently served as vice president and executive director of Neighborhood PACE, part of the national Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly network that provides comprehensive care and support for adults 55 and older with specific needs and preferences. In this new capacity, Wilmot will continue to oversee the PACE program while also playing a key role in the development of EBNHC’s 2025 strategic plan.

“This year the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center celebrates its 50th anniversary providing easily accessible, high-quality health care to some of our most vulnerable populations,” said Wilmot. “No patient is ever turned away and it is a privilege to be a part of an organization that has made such a tremendous impact on the local community. As we chart a course for the health center’s future, I’m looking forward to helping shape its strategic planning efforts.”

Wilmot brings more than 20 years of experience in the health care field to his new role. Prior to joining EBNHC in 2017, Wilmot worked at AllWays Health Partners, a member of Mass General Brigham, where he led the organization’s MassHealth Accountable Care Organization strategy and operations. Wilmot previously served as Boston Medical Center’s director of business development, where he partnered with clinical and administrative leaders at the hospital and across key partners to create new opportunities for growth and expand clinical services and quality goals. Wilmot also worked for former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services as senior advisor and director of strategy and performance management and held various operational and management roles at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

“Greg’s appointment comes at an important time for EBNHC and the communities we serve as the health center continues to grow and expand,” said Manny Lopes, CEO. “As COO, he will play a key role in integrating the PACE program into the overall health center, which will improve patient care and organizational efficiency, as well as in the development of EBNHC’s strategic planning.”

Wilmot holds a BA in psychology from Boston College and an MBA from Northeastern University. Wilmot resides in Framingham, MA, with his wife Romina and their two daughters.

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) has been a vital part of the community for the last 50 years, providing easily accessible, high-quality health care to all who live and work in East Boston and the surrounding communities of Chelsea, Revere, Everett, and Winthrop. EBNHC supports more than 1,000 employees and handles 300,000 visits per year—more than any other ambulatory care center in New England. For more information, please visit

Friday, September 4, 2020

R.I.P Mike Valerio, Italian immigrant who started Papa Gino's pizza on Bennington Street

Michael A. Valerio 1931-2020
Reprinted from

It is my sad duty to inform you that Michael A. Valerio, “Mike” to his friends, went home to heaven on Wednesday afternoon, September 2nd.

He was a faithful husband to Helen, loving father to Linda, Laura and Michael Jr. He was an Army veteran, a successful entrepreneur and businessman, a philanthropist and to me and many others, a very dear friend. He will be missed beyond measure, and the grief of those who knew and loved him is deep.

Mike was not a man who sought the spotlight, but behind the scenes he was a force of nature. After military service, he started a small pizza shop in 1953. With his wife Helen by his side every step of the way, they labored long hours, refused to go into debt and over the next three decades, turned a modest storefront in East Boston into over 200 stores, one of the largest restaurant chains in New England - Papa Gino’s of America.

Cooking remained a passion and past time for Mike long after his retirement as a restauranteur. He was often cooking when I called him, preparing a pasta dinner for Helen and himself. His love for his wife, children and family was demonstrated in ways small and large. If you met Mike and Helen in a social setting, you would have no hint of how successful they were. He carried himself with an unassuming humility, and yet he was one of the most generous men I’ve had the privilege of calling a friend.

He was also one of the hardest working people in America. I often awakened to find emails from him written at 2, 3 or 4 am about some idea he had and was anxious to talk to me about. I used to wonder when he slept. His energy was absolutely amazing, and reminds me of another outstanding leader on the scene today, President Donald J. Trump, who Mike deeply admired and vigorously defended.

I have known Mike and Helen for 37 years. He and his wife are the God parents of my youngest daughter. He was a member of my board of directors, and has been a significant donor since the day this organization was founded in 2009. He and I worked together on most of his major projects to help the country going back to the early 1980’s. I was a commentator on “Topic Religion” a radio program on the station he and Helen purchased in Boston in 1983.

We were allies and wide eyed idealists in Massachusetts politics who actually believed that we could take the state for conservative Republicans. We gave up on Massachusetts, but Mike never gave up on America. He was a courageous patriot who put his heart, soul, time, energy and money into helping save our country from the liberalism and progressivism which is now being exposed as socialism and communism.

Michael A. Valerio, was born in Italy, about 50 miles southeast of Rome. He was only five years old when he immigrated to the United States with his family, settling in the predominantly Italian East Boston. He grew to love America with a passion. When he achieved the capability, Mike expended tremendous effort and resources to preserve the nation he loved and the opportunities it gave him. He went from poor immigrant kid to prosperous businessman.

For those of us who knew him, the greatest parting gift we can offer is to remain vigilant and unrelenting in our quest to preserve America’s freedom, Judeo-Christian culture, economic and entrepreneurial vitality and faith in God. He wanted to make sure that the American people understand the threat posed by communism, in whatever guise it takes - progressivism,  Marxism, socialism or fascism. To Mike, it all springs from the evil human inclination to rob others of freedom. To assure the future of our country, he spent his life trying to stamp out this ideological poison. Mike will not be here to vote on November 3, but had he been, he was going to strike a blow for freedom by casting his vote for Donald Trump.

This is my first opportunity to publicly express my love and gratitude to Mike and Helen for their years of faithful friendship and support. STAND is one of many nonprofit organizations to which they donated. However, whether we were working on a project together or just waiting to figure out the next move, he was my dearest friend.

Please pray for his wife Helen, their children, grandchildren, extended family and all of his friends as we grieve the departure of this great patriarch and patriot. He fought for this country to the very end, and he is already missed.

Rest In Peace Mike. Thank you for your service to our nation. We will use the memory of your dedication and sacrifice as yet another reason to fight on. We will not let you down. America will remain a shining city on a hill.

God bless,

Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr.


Monday, August 31, 2020

Free Covid-19 Testing in Central Square as City Introduces Mobile Option

Boston's COVID-19 mobile testing site, in partnership with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, will now be offering COVID-19 testing in East Boston's Central Square. This COVID-19 testing initiative will be available starting tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1 to Saturday, September 12 on Border Street at Liberty Plaza Shopping Center in East Boston. Testing will be available at no cost for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. No appointment is needed but registration is required. To pre-register, please call 617-568-4500.

"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been dedicated to monitoring and making decisions based on the latest COVID-19 data. With the increase in cases in East Boston, we are expanding testing access there to ensure that all residents can get tested," said Mayor Walsh. "Thank you to the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center for your continued partnership in helping Bostonians stay safe and healthy."

The dates and hours of operation at Central Square Park in East Boston are: 

Tuesday, September 1st: 2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 2nd: 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 3rd - Friday, September 4th: 2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

Saturday, September 5th: 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 8th: 2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 9th: 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 10th - Friday, September 11th: 2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

Saturday, September 12th: 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

This mobile site testing initiative was announced by Mayor Walsh back in May as a way to help fill any gaps in testing availability, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing. The site has previously been located in Roxbury, Allston, South Boston and Mattapan. In Mattapan, there were 927 COVID-19 tests ordered. Of 798 results received, less than 2.2% tested positive for COVID-19.

"East Boston has seen an alarming rise in COVID-19 rates and its critical that we take
immediate actions to stop the spread of the virus," said East Boston Neighborhood Health Center president and CEO Manny Lopes. "Testing is one of the most important infectious disease control tools in our arsenal and we are glad to be partnering with the City of Boston to provide pop-up testing sites throughout the city."

As of August 24th, 2020, East Boston is experiencing a 10.8% average positive test rate for the current week compared to the citywide average positive test rate at 2.3%. Bringing the mobile testing team is one step the City of Boston is taking to address the increase in the positivity rate in the neighborhood. The City is in communication with the State about finding temporary isolation housing so people can quarantine away from their families if they test positive for COVID-19. 

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) has been mobilizing teams to provide care kits, information, and education to residents and businesses using the languages spoken in the neighborhood, including Spanish. They are distributing information at MBTA stations and key intersections, as well as neighborhood parks where people gather to play sports. Cross-departmental teams in the City of Boston, elected officials who represent the neighborhood, medical and social service providers in the community, union leaders who represent working people in the neighborhood, and Church officials and clergy have helped to get the message out.

In addition to the City's mobile testing sites, COVID-19 testing is available at over 20 locations across the city. Mobile testing sites also continue to be available at select locations, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing. Individuals can call the Mayor's Health Line with any questions using 617-534-5050. For a complete list of all testing sites, visit here. 

The City of Boston has been partnering with community health centers to increase access to testing, particularly in neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of COVID-19. As of Monday, August 24, 2020, there were 167,859 COVID-19 tests of Boston residents. Out of 167,859 total tests, 9.4% have tested positive, which is down from 10.1% reported through Monday, August 17. For all Boston residents, the positivity for tests decreased slightly from 2.7% for the prior week (August 11-17) to 2.3% for the current week (August 18-24). The latest numbers of cases from the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) by neighborhoods are available here.

Mayor Walsh and the Boston Resiliency Fund Steering Committee have dedicated over $1,720,000 to expand COVID-19 testing and conduct culturally appropriate outreach and education to community health centers across City of Boston neighborhoods, including Bowdoin Street Community Health Center, Codman Square Community Health Center, The Dimock Center, DotHouse Health, Mattapan Community Health Center, Uphams Corner Community Health Center, Whittier Street Community Health Center, Charles River Community Health, Fenway Health, Greater Roslindale Medical & Dental Center, Harbor Health, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, South Boston Community Health Center, NEW Health Charlestown, South End Community Health Center, and Brookside Community Health Center. The Fund has also supported telehealth services and equipment at those community health centers as well to connect testing to safe treatment options at home.

Resources and information about COVID-19 are available online. Resources available on and through City departments include support for renters and homeowners; small businesses; free meals for Boston students; free toiletries for Boston students; support for older residents; information on homeless shelters; resources for those in recovery or those who have a substance use disorder; and mental health resources. More information on Boston's reopening can be found at

For additional questions or programs, please visit our coronavirus website or call 3-1-1, Boston's 24-hour constituent hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to receive text alerts on a regular basis, available in 11 languages.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Republican write-in candidate Rachel Miselman for the 7th Congressional District

Rachel Nicole Miselman is a Republican write-in candidate for the Seventh Congressional District seat, of which East Boston is a part.

“My grandmother’s parents met and began a lifetime together in East Boston in the early twentieth century. So, I am very fond of East Boston and committed to the residents. Despite being terribly pricier, East Boston remains a place where immigrants come, work, and sometimes fall in love!”

“As for the job of congresswoman, I see this office as being the means through which all voices in the district are heard. Moreover, one of the primary responsibilities is securing federal dollars for things like infrastructure, health centers (like the East Boston Community Health Center), and senior programs.”

“Our current congresswoman is not doing any of this. She is not doing the job. I will do the job.”

Rachel Nicole Miselman is from West Roxbury and Dorchester. She attended Boston Latin School and Harvard University. At these two schools, she learned about the importance of civic engagement and academic excellence. She used this instruction to train as a barrister at the same institution as Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher and then to advocate for human rights. It equally enabled her to become a teacher at private language schools for over twelve years.

This is her first run for public office. “I am not a member of the political class, “ she says. “I am a citizen of the district, all of which I love and cherish.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Rep. Adrian Madaro on COVID in EB: "Many working-class Eastie residents don't have the privilege of working from home."

East Boston has the highest COVID infection rate in Boston. Last week it was 7.9%. This was over 4 times the state average. It was almost 50% higher than the second-highest neighborhood. Many cities around us are seeing the same or higher. Let's talk about why. And what we can do.

Some people might imply that residents are to blame for not following guidelines closely enough. This is wrong. Our community isn't worse at wearing masks/social distancing, or taking fewer public health precautions than any other.

That's not why our rates are higher than the suburbs.

Our COVID infection rates are higher because our communities are systemically more vulnerable to the spread of this disease. This was true at the beginning of the shutdown, and it has become truer as MA has progressed through the phases of Reopening.

Many working-class Eastie residents don't have the privilege of working from home. Their jobs require them to go out to work, and in most cases they're interacting with coworkers or members of the public through jobs in the service industry - construction, cleaning, restaurants, etc. While the shutdown meant some (but not all) of these service workers were staying home, our state's reopening means that even more are back to work out in the public now. This means Eastie residents & surrounding communities have an increased risk of COVID exposure and infection.

And housing is expensive and hard to find. Most Eastie workers live in apartments that are full of family or roommates, and short on space. People share rooms. When everyone's living together in a small space, there aren't many opportunities to social distance. This means that when a worker gets sick, they have nowhere to quarantine. This puts the rest of their household at higher risk of contracting COVID. Reports indicate that this kind of "family spread" is one of the top ways that COVID is spreading in East Boston.

Residents in high-risk communities like Eastie are more prone to COVID due to health issues that are the result of longstanding environmental burdens. We are Environmental Justice communities with a long history of air pollution. Eastie residents have long suffered from elevated rates of respiratory illnesses, such as asthma & COPD, a legacy of living next to an international airport and a major highway. COVID is a respiratory illness. It's no surprise our residents are at an increased risk.

Earlier this year,

released a report on the role of environmental pollution in higher rates of COVID infection in low-income communities of color. It's no coincidence that these communities remain the hardest-hit now.

So what do we need to do? First, we need increased resources and assistance from the state. Gov. Baker has recently set the stage for this by designating high-risk communities, and pledging additional aid.

It is also critical that the state expand access to isolation sites in at-risk communities for workers who cannot quarantine at home without putting their families at risk.Isolation sites will help reduce family spread - a major component of COVID infection rates in East Boston.

Finally, we need Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Our sick leave system was not designed for a global pandemic. Workers should not have to choose between their health and economic security. Many are forced to continue working even if exposed to COVID because they need to pay the bills.

We have an obligation to help our most vulnerable residents who have been systemically more exposed to COVID infection.

Massachusetts is only as safe as our most at-risk communities. If we want to stop the spread, we need to ensure equity in the fight against COVID-19.

This aid should include:
• Increased testing and tracing capacity
• Priority for federal funding aid
• More PPE and disinfectant resources
• Increased and improved public health messaging and communications
• Improved enforcement measures.

See more at:

Monday, August 17, 2020

Mayor Walsh announces contract with Sterlingwear to produce gowns for first responders

BOSTON - Monday, August 17, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston has signed a contract with Sterlingwear of Boston, a locally-owned, third generation East Boston garment manufacturer, to produce up to 150,000 medical gowns for Boston's first responders and frontline workers. The partnership has helped re-employ highly skilled garment workers while providing needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"During these challenging times, I am pleased that the City of Boston has been able to support a long-time, locally owned business, while producing needed, high quality PPE to support Boston's first responders," said Mayor Walsh. "We will continue to support our local and small businesses that employ our residents and fuel our neighborhoods."

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a worldwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and Mayor Walsh and the Greater Boston Labor Council (GBLC) worked closely together to identify a way to support both a locally-owned business and workers, while increasing the supply of PPE for Boston's first responders and frontline workers. Prior to pivoting operations to produce medical gowns, Sterlingwear of Boston was set to close after the federal government ended a 45 year contract to manufacture the traditional U.S. Navy wool peacoats earlier this year.  Sterlingwear of Boston is the last remaining garment manufacturer in the City of Boston.

"Our members at Sterlingwear of Boston are very proud to apply their craft in the service of protecting frontline workers right here in the City of Boston. The work of garment workers can often go unnoticed, but we're thankful to the Greater Boston Labor Council and Mayor Walsh for working with us and Sterlingwear of Boston to highlight the important work that our members do in the needletrades," said Warren Pepicelli, Manager / International Executive Vice President, New England Joint Board UNITE HERE. "This is an important example of why we should value manufacturing work and what is possible when we put our neighbors back to work." 

"As a family owned company now in its third generation Sterlingwear of Boston is no stranger to making high quality garments for our nation's heroes," said Frank Fredella, CEO and Owner, Sterlingwear of Boston. "Over the past 55 years we've been proud to make uniforms for almost every branch of the US military from our East Boston factory. We're immensely proud to be putting our years of experience in the garment industry to work by manufacturing critically needed PPE for frontline workers during this pandemic. It is fitting that Bostonians will be wearing PPE made right here in their city. We hope they'll wear them with the same pride we take in making them."

In addition to supporting the City's first responders, Sterlingwear of Boston is expected to manufacture medical gowns for small and local businesses, including community health centers, and assisted living and nursing homes. 

The City of Boston has created a platform to help businesses source the personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies they will be required to have available in order to ensure the safety of employees and customers as industries reopen.  Along with industry-specific reopening requirements, the page includes a list of self-identified, local suppliers of PPE and cleaning supplies, information on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' vendor database, and partner organizations helping to connect businesses with vendors.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Rayla Campbell, hopeful GOP candidate for Congress visits East Boston ward committee

At its meeting on August 11th, the East Boston Republican Committee hosted the Republican candidate for Congress, Rayla Campbell.  

Rayla is running as a write-in candidate for the Republican nomination in the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District.  

Following a successful election campaign up to election day on November 3rd, Ms. Campbell will represent this district at the National level in Washington DC.  She is in stark contrast to the incumbent radical liberal policies of socialist Ayanna Pressley!

Rayla supports the right to bear arms under the 2nd amendment, a strong military support for the Veterans, National Energy Independence, and is a Pro-Life Candidate.   Rayla's web address is:

The meeting was chaired by Joseph Steffano, Chairman of the Boston - Ward 1 Republican Committee

Source: Joyce Kelly

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins Statement on Bail and the Bail Fund

BOSTON, August 11, 2020 — “Each one of the over 25,000 cases we handle a year is unique and the Office examines many factors in determining how best to proceed in each case. The decision to request bail or move for dangerousness is one of many that requires a careful consideration of what best serves the victim.  And to be clear, the alleged rapist isn’t the victim in the case.  The person raped is.  

“Dangerousness under s. 58A requires an evidentiary hearing. There are important victim-centered reasons for not requesting such a hearing and instead requesting bail. Further, the dangerousness statute only allows defendants to be held without bail for a limited period of time, after which they are eligible for release on bail, and only permits prosecutors to request a dangerousness hearing during an arraignment.

“What I find interesting about the Bail Fund’s recent behavior of posting higher bails for violent serious crimes - like the alleged rape recently committed by a convicted sex offender and rapist - is that any incentive for good behavior by the alleged offender is removed.  When a family member or friend posts bail, there is an added pressure on the defendant.  Any violation, whether a new offense or not showing up in court, could result in that family member or friend losing their money that was posted for bail. That’s how the bail statute works. The Bail Fund isn’t a friend or family member of the accused.  There is no discussion on the ride home of ‘what the hell are you doing?’ or ‘what in the world have you done?’  There is no pressure applied to the accused by the Bail Fund. Rather, their mantra is ‘Free Them All.’ 

“If this office made a decision to request bail and not a dangerousness hearing to spare the victim of a rape any additional trauma, I can absolutely live with that decision.  But bailing out a convicted sex offender and rapist, and then going home, is the act of a coward.  So is not making a statement after you make a decision like that. The Bail Fund bailed out Shawn McClinton and he is now accused of raping someone else, in Boston. I would have so much more respect for the Bail Fund if they had bailed him out and then let him stay in one of their homes. Because that’s what family members and friends usually do when they bail a loved one out. Not bail them out, set them loose on a community they don’t live in, and drive back to the safety of their homes.”

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office serves the communities of Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, Mass. The office handles over 25,000 cases a year. More than 160 attorneys in the office practice in nine district and municipal courts, Suffolk Superior Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court, and the Boston Juvenile Courts. The office employs some 300 people and offers a wide range of services and programs to serve anyone who comes in contact with the criminal justice system. This office is committed to educating the public about the services we provide, our commitment to crime prevention, and our dedication to keeping the residents of Suffolk County safe.


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Salesian Boys & Girls Club Receives Funding from Grubhub to Support COVID-19 Relief Efforts

The organization is committed to doing Whatever It Takes for youth, families, and communities during this pandemic.

(East Boston – July 23, 2020) – Salesian Boys & Girls Club would like to thank Grubhub for a recent financial gift that will help us continue providing COVID-19 relief services in the East Boston community. In times of tragedy and crisis, Boys & Girls Clubs have stepped up to provide safe places for kids and teens. Today, the organization is committed more than ever, to ensure Club staff, members, families, and communities have the resources and support they need to navigate these uncertain times – while also partnering with state and local officials to do more.

We are extremely grateful for our friends at Grubhub for their generous gift to our COVID-19 Relief fund!

The Club will use Grubhub’s generous gift to defray the cost of installing safety enhancements to the facility and for supplies and equipment for our summer camp program.  We will also use a portion of the funding towards operational expenses and to purchase needed supplies and equipment for afterschool and virtual programs and activities in the fall.

Salesian Boys & Girls Club relies on public and private support to continue our mission, especially in times of crisis. The Club would not be able to continue its mission without the support of companies like Grubhub. The donation was made possible through Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s COVID-19 Relief Fund.


Salesian Boys & Girls Club is committed to providing vital relief services immediately. The East Boston community will need Clubs more than ever as the nation begins to emerge from this time. The donation will also enable Club doors to re-open so that they can continue to provide out-of-school time services to current members and the local community. With unemployment on the rise and the long-term economic impact of COVID-19 unknown, it’s crucial that we equip our young people with the essential skills to successfully enter the workforce. Also, when our Clubs re-open, there is a concern that mental health resources will be needed to help youth as they transition out of this difficult time.


To learn more about Salesian Boys & Girls Club visit

About Salesian Boys & Girls Club

For 75 years, Salesian Boys & Girls Club has served the needs of East Boston and the surrounding communities' disadvantaged children regardless of religious beliefs or affiliations. Our Club provides a safe, welcoming environment while providing outlets for self-expression and improving the self-esteem of our members. We have implemented community-based after school and out of school programs serving 250-350 young people ages six to nineteen daily and over 1,200 youth yearly.

The Club provides caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs which promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles enabling young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens.



Monday, August 3, 2020

City Councilor Edwards to speak on charter amendment: August 6

Proposal filed by Councilor Edwards would modernize Boston’s budgetary process, expand participatory budgeting

WHAT: The Boston City Council’s Committee on Government Operations will hold a hearing on a proposed amendment to the city charter filed by Councilor Lydia Edwards. Councilor Edwards filed the amendment in response to the calls for systemic change in Boston and nationally. 

Under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 43B, section 10, subsection (b), a member of the city council may suggest a charter amendment. 

The proposal by Councilor Edwards will give Boston residents a choice in what the city’s budgetary process should be and, if approved by voters, would give taxpayers a greater say in how their tax dollars are spent by allowing for an expanded participatory budgetary process. 

During Thursday’s hearing the council will review the proposal by Councilor Edwards and suggest possible changes to it. Once the ballot question is finalized and approved by the city council it will be reviewed by the Attorney General to determine its constitutionality. If ruled to be constitutional, Boston voters will decide the future of the city’s budget process during the November 2021 municipal election.[1][2][3]

WHERE: Streaming live at 

WHEN: 10 a.m., Thursday, August 6

For more information: please contact Ricardo PatrĂ³n -

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Mayor Walsh announces ordinance allowing plastic bags extended to Sept. 30

BOSTON - Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the City of Boston's executive order to exempt all establishments from the plastic bag ban ordinance will stay in place until September 30. 

This transition period will allow stores to use up any single-use plastic bags that they have purchased during the emergency. The five-cent per bag fee will also not be in effect.
"In March, we suspended the City's ban on plastic bags and the 5-cent fee for paper bags in order to give both stores and customers more flexibility during this difficult time," said Mayor Walsh. "While we're extending that suspension to best serve businesses and residents, I want to be clear that the Boston Public Health Commission and the state Department of Public Health have said that reusable bags are safe and people should feel free to use them."
On October 1, all provisions of the plastic bag ban ordinance will come back into effect. This includes the elimination of most single-use plastic bags and the requirement for the five-cent fee. 

The ordinance still allows the ISD Commissioner to grant exemptions on a case-by-case basis. Residents in Boston are now able to use reusable bags if they would like to.
More information about the City's plastic bag ban is available on The City's previous guidance on allowing plastic bags during the COVID-19 health emergency is available on

Monday, July 6, 2020

Councilor Edwards files city charter amendment to expand Council's budgetary power

BOSTON (July 6, 2020) - Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards has filed a proposed amendment to Boston’s city charter that would give the Boston City Council budgetary powers equal to those of the mayor. 

The historic proposal was filed under a provision in state law that allows local elected officials to propose amendments to city charters which has never been used before.

“I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks thinking about how to answer the calls for systemic change and investment in our future,” said Councilor Edwards. “An annual up or down vote alone on the mayor’s budget cannot bring about the long term change that is needed and that people are calling for. That change will not come from any one vote or annual budget. It’s time to break the wheel of Boston’s budget making process. This will take time, research, negotiations, and sustained conversations about what we want to invest in as a city. Until we change the budget process, we don’t have an opportunity
to have those conversations in a meaningful way.”

The proposed amendment specifically targets the budgetary powers of the City and is separate from the complete charter reform Edwards proposed earlier this year. "Boston can move forward on specific reforms to our budgetary process even as we pursue a democratic process to examine the entire charter,” added Councilor Edwards. “That process will require much more organizing and eventually candidates will have to run for an opportunity to write the charter. I am still committed to writing a clear, accessible, complete charter but right now people are asking for direct impact and influence on our budget. We can give them that power by modernizing and democratizing the budgetary process and expanding participatory budgeting, which would give residents greater control over portions of the budget."

Under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 43B, section 10, subsection (b), a member of the city council may suggest a charter amendment. After a hearing and final vote by the city council the Attorney General must approve the question's  constitutionality and then it will be put to the voters to decide in November 2021. This proposal would be the first known charter amendment to be implemented using this process.

If Boston voters approve this amendment next fall, the Boston City Council and the Mayor would share power over the city’s budget. This includes the ability to create proposals for the city’s capital and operating budgets, change line items within the proposals, allocate parts of the budget for a participatory budget process (voter direct allocation), and amend the budget for Boston Public Schools.

Additionally, this change would also give the city council tools to more quickly respond to the need for budget cuts in times of fiscal austerity and allow for public deliberation on what services could or should be reduced without lasting harm. This change also allows for earlier budgetary deliberation should either the Mayor or Council desire to do so.


East Boston Branch of the Public Library now open for pick-ups

Need some summer reading books, dvds or some beach books? 

The East Boston Branch Library can help. The East Boston Branch Library is now open in the afternoon for holds pickups as part of the BPL to Go program.  Patrons can request items with their library card at, email  or by calling 617-536-5400.

When the items come in, they will receive notification with instructions how to schedule a pick-up.  

The library is open for scheduled pickups, Monday-Thursday from 2 to 6 and on Fridays from 1 to 4.  

Books and other materials can also be returned during these hours.   

If you have others questions or need more assistance, please email

For more information please visit:

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Now + There Asks: What does East Boston need right now?

Join Now + There Thursday, June 25 at 12:30 pm as they take their weekly online conversation series, “N+T Asks,” into eight Boston communities to find out: "What does your neighborhood need right now?" Next up is East Boston, Boston's largest migrant neighborhood. N+T Executive Director Kate Gilbert will be joined by Gladys Oliveros, Director of East Boston Main Streets, and local artist Veronica Robles for an active dialogue investigating current community challenges and ongoing systemic issues that affect East Boston’s past, present, future. Join the discussion to learn ways to help meet the critical needs of the neighborhood and explore opportunities for and examples of responsive creative expression.

Each "N+T Asks" conversation features a 30-minute conversation with a community leader and an artist followed by a 30-minute open discussion. Joining the conversation is free and open to all. 
Learn more and register here

Friday, June 12, 2020

Update from the Italian American Alliance: Meeting with the Mayor in the Works

For Immediate Release
June 12, 2020

A scheduled Sunday afternoon rally at 2 p.m. by Italian Americans at Christopher Columbus Park to respond to the recent vandalism of the Christopher Columbus statue has been cancelled. 

In its place, Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh will meet with the leaders of the Italian American Alliance who had scheduled the rally. 

Dr. Frank Mazzaglia, Communications Officer the for the Alliance, praised Mayor Walsh for his sensitivity to the feelings of Italian Americans across the state who were outraged at the statue's vandalism. 
The Columbus statue was paid for through the private donations of citizens and associations in the North End.

Leaders of the Italian American Alliance expect a positive outcome concerning the statue's future following an honest dialogue. In addition to its 2,280 members, the Italian American Alliance is also an umbrella association which includes most prominent Italian American organizations in Massachusetts.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

CANCELLED: Italian American groups to rally to restore Columbus statue




Boston's North End


Leaders of prominent Italian American organizations wasted no time to react via teleconference Wednesday evening to plan appropriate action following the cowardly vandalism and subsequent removal of the Christopher Columbus statue that graced the North End’s Columbus Park.

Representatives of the Sons and Daughters of Italy, UNICO, The Federation of Italian Organizations, the St. Joseph’s Society, the Pirandello Lyceum, and the Italian American ALLIANCE were unanimous in their agreement to hold a rally to demand that the statue be restored and returned to its rightful place of honor.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh pledged to keep the Columbus statue on Columbus Park and the rally will remind the Mayor of his pledge.

The General Chairman for the event, Sunday, June 14 at 3 pm at Columbus Park in the North End, will be James Di Stefano, President of the Italian American ALLIANCE.

The Conference represented the largest Italian American organizations in Massachusetts and in the following days, others are expected to participate.


Editor's Note: The following is taken from a lecture by noted anthropologist Carol Delaney, Ph.D. The series will provide Rally participants useful background.

Most of the sections here are presented in a few short pages so as to allow you to easily digest the valuable information she offers.This comes to you in 6 sections.

Part I A Starting Point and Part II The Voyage are longer than most because she sets the groundwork. Happy reading ! Carol Delaney is a magnificent woman and a great researcher.

                  CAROL DELANEY, Ph.D.
As you know, many people are calling to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day –indeed some cities and towns have already done so.
I have no problem with an Indigenous Peoples’ Day but I am very much opposed to it as a replacement for Columbus Day. We need to learn more about Indigenous peoples, but people also need to know more about Columbus.
Most people, even professors, know very little about him. Before I began my research, I too, knew hardly anything except “that in 1492 he sailed across the ocean blue.” I never imagined I would write a book about him.
Here is how it began.
In the fall of 1999 I was teaching a class at Stanford called “Millennial Fever” in order to observe the apocalyptic frenzy that was gripping the United States over the turn of the millennium. We also explored the history of the religious underpinnings of apocalyptic millennial thought. In one of the readings I came across a tiny footnote about Columbus’s apocalyptic millennial beliefs.
I was stunned. I had never heard of this, nor had any of the historians at Stanford. I was intrigued since a lot of my academic work has focused on religion [critically].
I started to read some books about Columbus but quickly became dissatisfied because NONE of them mentioned his religious beliefs, certainly not his apocalyptic beliefs. Instead they seemed to treat him as if he were just like us and only his clothes and his ships were different.
And that is a problem.
I am an anthropologist and our purpose is to try to understand people in their cultural context because that influences how they think and how they act. People during Columbus’s time didn’t think of separate/different religions –there was only one true belief and way of life –the Christian way. Other beliefs and lifeways were simply false.
Anthropologists generally study living cultures [my own fieldwork, for example, was conducted in a Turkish village] but if “the past is another country” as the saying goes, it seemed reasonable that I could visit Columbus’s world. I began to read a lot about 14th and 15th century Europe to get a sense of the world into which he was born.
1.    First, the universe was very small and the earth was at the center—the sun, the moon, and stars revolved around the earth.

2.    The earth had only three parts: Europe, Africa, and Asia –thought to have been peopled by the 3 sons of Noah!

3.    Jerusalem was at the center where the 3 parts met.

4.    People believed that there were only 7 millennia to the Earth’s existence – one millennium for each day of creation and people thought the End was near. Columbus had twice figured out how many years were left.

5.    Before the End of the world, Jerusalem had to be in Christian hands for that was where Christ would come in judgement. It was the duty of Christians to evangelize and try to convert non-Christians so they could be saved. It was an outrage that Jerusalem was held by Muslims.

6.    Although a number of crusades had been launched to recapture it, none had succeeded. As a boy, Columbus witnessed a crusade launched from Genoa –perhaps that is where he first got the idea.
[BY THE WAY: Columbus makes clear in several places that he was born in Genoa. In his will, he left money in the bank in Genoa to care for the people in his lineage…”since from it I came, and in it I was born.”]
People thought the end was near because of several events: The Bubonic Plague took the lives of 25 to 50 million people, and there were still outbreaks of it. There was also a schism in the Catholic Church whereby there were two Popes – one in Avignon and one in Rome and the schism was not resolved until the 15th century.
But the capstone to all of these turbulent events was the conquest of Constantinople by Muslims in 1453. This was devastating especially to the Genoese because they had a large trading colony there.
Muslims were clearly in the ascendant. Now they blocked not only the overland pilgrimage rout to Jerusalem but also cut off the trade route to the riches of the East that had been established by Franciscans and especially Marco Polo. Columbus’s copy of Polo’s Travels is well annotated and is one of the nine books from the library that still exist.
Columbus had a large library, and he knew three languages – Genoese, Latin, and Castilian Spanish. Genoese was not a written language so Columbus’s writings are mostly in Castilian Spanish and a few in Latin. Yet I still hear people, including TV news people, claim that Columbus was illiterate!!
Marco Polo, as well as the Franciscans, believed that the Grand Khan of Cathay [what we think of as China] was interested in Christianity, for he had asked that friars be sent to instruct him and his subjects. Some, like Polo and then Columbus, began to think that perhaps the Grand Khan could be persuaded to launch a crusade from the East as the Europeans marched from the West to recapture Jerusalem!!
Because the overland route to the East was blocked, most thought the only alternative was to sail down the coast of Africa to reach the Indian Ocean. This was the route explored by the Portuguese. Columbus had sailed with them a number of times but he was already thinking of going West across the ocean because Marco Polo said the landmass of Asia was huge and thus the ocean separating it from Europe must be quite narrow.
While sailing to Iceland for the Portuguese Columbus had experienced eastward flowing currents. Later when he passed the Canary Islands he felt westward flowing ones and decided that would be the place to start a westward crossing. Columbus petitioned the Portuguese to sponsor the voyage but since they were making progress taking the route around Africa they were not interested.
Columbus did not give up: he sent his brother to England while he went to Spain. His wife had died and now Columbus had his young son Diego in tow; together they sailed to the Port of Palos de la Frontera, from where, 7 years later, the first voyage would depart. They arrived sometime in the summer of 1485 and climbed up to the Franciscan monastery of La Rabida. Columbus had always been partial to the Franciscans and his friends noted that he was a passionate man of ardent faith. For example, Bartholome de las Casas knew Columbus and said this about his faith:
    “He observed the fasts of the church most faithfully, confessed
and made communion often, read the canonical offices, like a member of a religious order, hated blasphemy and swearing and was most devoted to Our Lady and St. Francis and was grateful to God for benefits received and was especially devoted to the idea that God should deem him worthy of aiding somewhat in recovering the Holy Sepulcher.”
Columbus and Diego were well received at La Rabida and lived there for several years while the monks worked on getting him an audience with Queen Isabella.
[I have visited La Rabida and the current monks are very proud of their connection to Columbus; they have preserved, relatively intact, several rooms where Columbus spent time.]

Editor's Note: Readers interested in this series may purchase "Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem" by Carol Delaney at your local book store. If it's sold out, have them order a copy for you from Free Press - a Division of Simon & Schuster.        

     Part 2 THE VOYAGE
by Carol Delaney, Ph.D.
               Columbus met Isabella in May 1486. She was clearly taken with him. She, too, was partial to the Franciscans, and was also interested in the recovery of Jerusalem as her grandfather and uncle had made that pilgrimage. She was quick to agree with Columbus’s plan because the Pope had given to Portugal all the land along the coast of Africa [as well as the right to enslave any Muslims or pagans they encountered.] That decree is known as Romanus Pontifex.

         Isabella submitted Columbus’s proposal to a committee for further study. It would be a long wait. During this time, Columbus met Beatriz de Harana. Though the daughter of peasants she was educated and could read and write –qualities that appealed to Columbus. They soon became a couple and in 1488 their son Ferdinand was born.

         In 1490 the Commission rejected Columbus’s proposal. So did a second commission. Columbus had been waiting 6 years and thinking about his project for a decade. He decided to go to France and was already on the road when a confidant of the Queen rushed to find him and brought him back telling Isabella she was losing a great opportunity at little cost.

         She signed the papers in April11492 and told the people of Palos to prepare ships for the voyage. As you know these were the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

         Once underway Columbus began to keep a diary –very unusual at the time, since not all sailors could write, and even if they could, they jotted down only wind, direction, and speed. At the beginning of the diary he recapitulated his understanding of the voyage. He wrote that he hoped to meet the person who “is called the Grand Kahn which means in our Spanish language “King of Kings”. To see how the conversion to our Holy Faith might be undertaken because so many times he had asked for men learned in our Holy Faith in order that they might instruct him in it and how the Holy Father had never provided them; and thus so many people were lost, falling into idolatry and accepting false and harmful sects. And you commanded that I should NOT go to the East by way of land. But by the route to the West,….by which route we do not know for certain that anyone previously has passed.”
The purpose of the voyage was to set up a trading post to obtain gold and spices that would finance the crusade. There was absolutely no intention of enslaving or killing the people belonging to the greatest empire in the world.

Finally, on August 3, 1492 the small fleet slipped away from Palos into the unknown. Columbus was confident and began to think of himself as Christ-bearer, like his namesake Christopher, carrying the Christian faith across the waters. But the men were afraid they might run out of food before they reached land and may also run into monstrous races described by Pliny.

Their anxiety increased when the rudder of the Pinto came loose on their way to the Canaries. Then there was an eruption of a volcano on the nearby island of Tenerife – Not good omens. But finally, they set out on the unchartered ocean and sailed due West.

Late in September they got entangled in the Sargasso Sea and saw some birds so they thought they might be approaching land But the crew became anxious and demanded that if they did not find land within three days, they should turn around before they ran out of food. Amazingly, in the next couple of days there were more signs that they were getting close. Late at night on October 11 Rodrigo de Triana, on board the Pinta called out, Tierra –Land. They sat out the night in great anticipation.

Their vigil was rewarded. Early morning a veil of mist opened and Columbus and crew ”saw an island. ..full of green trees and abounding in springs with a large lagoon in the middle.” Columbus was relieved: he had crossed the ocean no one thought possible and done so in 33 days—a feat that few sailors in small boats have surpassed –and had instinctively chosen the route that such sailors continue t follow.
October 12 is the date that Columbus wrote in his Diary but –he was using the Julian calendar whereas we use the Gregorian which was not adopted until 1582. Between the two is a difference of 10 days.
So, actually our holiday commemorates a day when he was still at sea.



President James Di Stefano
Chairman of the Board Dr. Francis Mazzaglia
Treasurer John De Pinto, CPA
Secretary Marisa Di Pietro
Vice President for Special Projects Florence Guidara
Vice President for Organizational Development Dr. Dean Saluti

2020-2022                                         2019- 2021                                   2018-2020
Marisa Di Pietro                                Dr, Domenic Anmara               Marjorie Cahn
James Di Stefano                               Jeaninne Camarda                   John De Pinto  Denise Furnari                                      James Kearney                         Dr. Dean Saluti
Florence Guidara                               Frank Pasciuto                           Antonio Sestito
Dr. Francis Mazzaglia                         Ross Zagami

Luciana Burdi
Rosario Cascio
Yolanda Cellucci
Charles Centore
John Christoforo
Atty. Aldo Cipriani
Michael Columba
Marilyn Devaney
Richard DeVito Sr.
Stephen Di Angelis
Kathy Di Stefano
Rep. Paul Donato
     Pio Frittitta
Martin Gabriella
Virginia Gardner
 Atty Ye Huang
       Ron Hill
 Michael Lomazzo
Dr. Anthony Lorri
James Matarano
Atty Cynthia Pasciuto
Larry Pellegrini
Angelo Rossi
Joseph Russo
Therese Sapienza
Marissa Sestitio
Domenic Susi
 Rudy Viscomi
Kathi Young

SOSTENITORI (Advocates/Recruiters)                                                      Joseph Barbieri
Chris Byrnes
Sen. Lou D’Allesandro
Ray Di Fiore
Tom Damigella
Dottie Donofrio
John Margri
Angelo Piccardi
Wayland, Waltham, and Weston—Virginia Gardner
Arlington – Ross Zagami
Framingham – Joseph Barbieri/ Frank Mazzaglia
                                         Marblehead – Jeaninne Camarda
                                         Marlboro – Dan Caruso
Newton – Virginia Gardner
Salem – Jeannine Camarda
Wellesley – Frank Mazzaglia
Winthrop – Enzo Amara
Massachusetts – Frank Mazzaglia
                   AMICI – Executive Producer Ross Zagami  Chair Antonio Sestito
                   ASIAN LIAISON- Atty. Ye Huang
                   COLUMBUS DAY PARADE LIASON – James Tierney
                   EDUCATION: Chair Dr. Dom Amara
                   CAMPAIGNS – Chair James Di Stefano and Frank Mazzaglia
                   COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Dr. Frank Mazzaglia
                   LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: James Di Stefano and Frank Mazzaglia
                   LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS – Rep. Paul Donato