Wednesday, February 27, 2013

East Boston Democrats to caucus on Sat., March 2

East Boston Democrats will hold Caucus to Select 2013 Convention Delegates on March 2, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Paris Street Community Center

BOSTON – Democrats in East Boston will hold a caucus to elect delegates to the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s 2013 nominating convention on March 2, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Paris Street Community Center, 112 Paris Street, East Boston.

All registered Democrats in East Boston are eligible to participate.

The caucus is open to the press.

WHAT: East Boston Democratic town caucus to select delegates for the 2013 Massachusetts Democratic Party’s nominating convention. 

WHEN: March 2, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Paris Street Community Center – 112 Paris Street, East Boston

WHO: Contact Ed Deveau, Caucus Chair at

BACKGROUND:  Delegates to the 2013 Massachusetts Democratic Party nominating convention will select candidates to compete for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. The convention will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at the Tsongas Center at UMASS Lowell.

The East Boston Democratic Caucus will elect delegates and alternates to the 2013 Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Delegates will be divided equally between men and women. Those not elected as Delegate and/or Alternate, who meet the qualifications, may apply to be add-on delegates in the following categories: youth, minority, and disabled.

Rev. 3:30 p.m.                                        

Source: Ed Deveau

Monday, February 25, 2013

East Boston groups release community survey on waterfront development and casino proposal

Highlights of the Community Alliance Survey (Released February 25, 2013)

  1. From May 2012 through August 2012, residents from across the neighborhood distributed surveys on paper and online in English and Spanish to their neighbors, at neighborhood association meetings, at community events, and via online networks. In the end, 360 surveys from East Boston residents were collected.
  2. Overall, the survey found that knowledge about the waterfront projects is highest in Jeffries Point, Eagle Hill, and Orient Heights. Residents who live in Maverick Square or Central Square, as well as Latino residents, are least likely to know about any of the proposals for waterfront redevelopment.
  3. Support for waterfront development is high, with most residents expecting positive changes in the neighborhood once those developments are completed. However, residents are also concerned about the potential for gentrification.
  4. Over half of residents surveyed are opposed to the proposed casino. Only one-quarter of residents support the casino. Importantly, opposition to the casino is higher among registered voters than the general population. Opposition to the casino is wide across each section of East Boston, with the exception of Central Square.
  5. Most of the respondents are US-born residents, are in the working-age range, and include a largely equal representation of different income groups in the neighborhood.
  6. The most important difference between the population of East Boston and the residents who completed the survey is that more than half of East Boston's population is Latino but only 30% of survey respondents described themselves as Latino. 
  7. The overwhelming majority of respondents are currently registered to vote in East Boston.
  8. Almost two-thirds of residents surveyed stated that they knew about at least one of the proposed waterfront development projects. However, knowledge of the waterfront projects varied considerably across the neighborhood. Knowledge of the projects is highest in Jeffries Point, Eagle Hill, and Orient Heights. Fewer than half of the residents living in Maverick Square and Central Square reported knowing about any waterfront development projects compared to 71% of the rest of the neighborhood.
  9. The only section of East Boston in which Latino knowledge of the waterfront proposals was similar to non-Hispanic White knowledge was in Jeffries Point. In all other sections of the neighborhood, Latinos are the least likely to know about these projects. Over 70% of Latino residents in Maverick Square and Central Square reported that they did not know about any of the proposed projects.
  10. Similarly, low income residents across East Boston are least likely to know about any of the waterfront development projects compared to other income groups. About half of the low income residents did not know about any of the waterfront development projects. With the exception of Jeffries Point, low and middle income residents were much less likely than high income residents to know about any of these projects.
  11. Most respondents have positive expectations about what the waterfront redevelopment will bring to East Boston.
  12. Many residents were very concerned that the developments will result in displacement of current residents, as well as loss of affordability. Many residents are concerned about how these developments will change the fabric of the community
  13. The overwhelming majority of residents surveyed know about the casino project. Over 50% of residents are opposed to building a casino in East Boston. Only one-quarter of residents stated that they support a casino with the rest either having no opinion or not having enough information to form an opinion. Opposition to the casino is highest among registered voters.
  14. Support for a casino in East Boston is highest among residents with a high school education or less.
  15. Residents who completed the survey expect higher crime, more traffic, more air pollution, more noise, and less parking. Over 40% of residents expect pride in the neighborhood to decline. However, residents do expect that there will be more jobs from the casino.
Full Survey at 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Survey Reveals Waterfront and Casino Development Concerns Among East Boston Residents; Presser on Feb. 25

This just in:
(EAST BOSTON, MA February 22, 2013)– A group of concerned East Boston residents came together to form the “Community Alliance.”  This group collaborated with Neighbors United for A Better East Boston (NUBE) and Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna, a professor at Northeastern University and East Boston resident, to develop and implement a survey in the summer of 2012 to determine what residents know and how they feel about proposed projects in Eastie, such as the various waterfront development efforts and the casino proposed for Suffolk Downs. “There’s a lot of potential change coming to East Boston,” described Alliance member Tina St. Gelais. “We wanted to know what people think about the different projects.”

After collecting 360 surveys from residents, the Community Alliance found that knowledge of the waterfront projects varies considerably across East Boston.  Perhaps most surprising is that some of the residents living closest to the waterfront are the least likely to have any knowledge of the proposed development projects. “I was surprised to see that residents in Orient Heights are more likely to know about waterfront projects than Maverick Square and Central Square residents,” said Dr. Estrella-Luna. Knowledge of the projects is highest in Jeffries Point, Eagle Hill, and Orient Heights.  The survey also revealed a clear ethnic divide: Only 34% of Latinos were aware of any of the waterfront projects, compared to 81% of non-Hispanic White residents.

Though most residents surveyed have positive expectations about what the waterfront development will bring to East Boston, some reported concerns of how the development could change the fabric of community life. As a Jeffries Point resident wrote, “In my opinion, one of the best things about EB is the close knit nature of working-class people (mostly immigrants) who have struggled to build better lives for themselves. Any waterfront development should be designed to encourage integration between newcomers and long-time residents.”

Members of the Community Alliance view the results of the survey as a wake-up-call. “We’re not opposed to development,” said Alliance member Magdalena Ayed. “But huge segments of the population are not informed about the changes on the horizon for East Boston. It’s time to come together as a community.  Residents should be informed and engaged in planning the future of their own neighborhood.”

Unlike the waterfront development projects, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed know about the proposal to develop a casino.  Opposition to the casino is greatest among registered voters, over 50% of whom stated that they did not support the casino proposal.  Support for a casino in East Boston is highest among residents with a high school education or less.

Residents reported that they expect many negative impacts if a casino were built in East Boston, such as higher crime, more traffic, more air pollution, and more noise.  They also expect an increase in addictions of all types as well as additional pressure on police and fire services.  Residents overwhelmingly stated that the general quality of life and sense of community would decline should a casino be built at Suffolk Downs.  One life-long Orient Heights resident wrote, “Nothing good will come to Eastie if [a] casino comes.”

The Community Alliance invites you to join them for a Press Conference on Feb. 25 at 11:45 am in the Maverick Landing Community Room (31 Liverpool Street, East Boston) for more details about the results of the survey

Source: Maverick Association of Residents, Magdalena Ayed

Friday, February 15, 2013

East Boston Main Streets chooses new executive director, Max Gruner

(East Boston, MA) February 13, 2013....The Board of Directors of East Boston Main Streets, a community development and support organization serving East Boston’s businesses and residents since 1995, has announced the selection of Max Gruner as its new Executive Director.  Mr. Gruner will fill the vacancy created by Clark Moulaison’s departure in January to open Carmella’s Market at 86 Cottage St.  The selection was made after an extensive regional search and selection process.

“We are very pleased to announce this appointment,” reported Elizabeth Tanefis, Board President at East Boston Main Streets.  “Max will bring leadership and creativity to the organization and its programs as well as a strong sense of commitment to the future, sustainable development of East Boston.”

Mr. Gruner’s resume includes over 15 years of non-profit management experience.  He has served as a leader in the arena of Health and Human Services, particularly Developmental Disability, Education, Community Development, and Transportation.  Mr. Gruner holds a Master’s Degree as well as numerous certifications in non-profit management.  Prior to this appointment he was a founding partner in a strategic consulting group, was executive director of a state-wide trail organization, and served as a senior manager of a human service organization.  Mr. Gruner has founded several non-profits, has served on numerous boards, as well as having founded a language immersion charter school.

“I look forward to partnering with the people and businesses of East Boston to continue to increase the quality of life of all residents and to create a vibrant and prosperous business district that will benefit all who live, work, and visit East Boston,” remarks Mr. Gruner.  “I am dedicated to this work because it provides us an opportunity to showcase the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and vibrant business opportunities of a community that is ideally situated to truly becoming the Gateway to Boston.  East Boston Main Streets, in partnership with all our private and public partners, plays a key role in supporting and developing the innumerous opportunities for growth in order to increase the areas quality of life for all.”


East Boston Main Streets is a public/private partnership initiative of Boston Main Streets, which was established by Mayor Thomas M. Menino. The program has been operating in East Boston since 1995 to create a vibrant business district by initiating private and public improvements, promoting commerce, and supporting efforts to improve the quality of life for all who live, work and do business in East Boston.  East Boston Gateway, Inc. is a Non-Profit Organization Recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

Source:  Max Gruner  February 15, 2013 617-561-1044 via

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fund established to help victims of fire at Sumner and Orleans Street

An email written by Steve Holt (by way of Will Perry):
Eastie Family,
In case you haven't heard by now, Monday night there was a ferocious fire in a multi-family apartment building at the corner of Sumner and Orleans streets. Flames were shooting through the roof, much of the second and third floors were charred, and the rest of the building sustained water damage. Worst of all, 21 of our neighbors are now homeless.

After speaking with the Mayor's interim neighborhood liaison, Danielle, it appears the best way we can serve those who have been affected by the fire is to provide them with gift cards to Target. That way they'll be able to stock up on the necessities, including blankets, food and clothes in their own size.

Our neighbor, have set up a page over at Eastie Now where we can make donations. We have created a PayPal account, where you can either use your own PayPal login or pay by credit card. (Simply up the "quantity" on the payment page to increase the default $5 donation) You may also drop cash donations by the ZUMIX front desk. Billy, JPNA board member Renee Scalfani, and Sgteve Holt will be collecting money donated there and taking it to Target to get the cards, probably sometime next week. The affected families will be able to pick up their gift cards at ZUMIX on their own time. Again, here's the link where you can donate:

We're hoping to raise $500 per family that was displaced
. (21 people were displaced in total) If you are able to donate, please do so by Sunday night so we can know where we stand on Monday. Please forward this to friends / family and post it to your social networks.
There may be more ways to help down the road, but this is the most immediate.

Many thanks!

Rep. Basile tapped to Chair Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs

(BOSTON- February 6, 2013) Speaker Robert DeLeo today announced the elevation of Rep. Carlo Basile to the post of Chairman of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. Rep Basile previously served as the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services.

“I am honored and humbled by the faith and confidence that Speaker DeLeo has shown in me with this appointment,” said Basile. “I have always held those who serve our country in the highest regard and I pledge to do all I can to advocate for our veteran community here in the Commonwealth.”

Rep. Basile has long been a champion for veterans and their causes. He has sponsored several pieces of legislation and participated in many events highlighting their service to our Nation and Commonwealth. 

Last month he was awarded Legislator of the Year by the Massachusetts Veterans’ Service Officers Association for his work on the Veteran’s Home Modification Bill, which he originally filed last session and re-filed this session, and for his involvement with the Wounded Vets Bike Run

Last year Rep. Basile helped raise $85,000 for two severely wounded vets from New England.

Elected in 2007, Rep. Basile is entering his fifth term in office in the House of Representatives. He proudly represents the people of East Boston where he lives with his two boys, Carlo and Christian. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

[BFDfirephoto] Sent you a message! on Twitpic
 photo credit BFD

BFD battles blaze on Sumner Street.

Eastie Neighbors, Zumix EastieNow: Fund established for fire victims

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2013 Outlook from Punxsutawney Phil,: Spring is near!

Groundhog Day: Home

And so ye faithful,
there is no shadow to see
An early Spring for you and me.