Friday, November 22, 2013

Friends of Meridian Street get no satisfaction as taxis avoid by-pass road

This just in from  Friends of Meridian Street:

Empty Logan Airport taxis continue and still a problem on East Boston public streets.

It's 4am and still a steady stream of empty Logan Airport taxis using Meridian Street and East Boston public streets to Chelsea instead of the multi- million dollar Coughlin Bypass Road build with taxpayers money built specifically to keep commercial traffic from Logan Airport off the public streets of East Boston. These words of Massport and Massachusetts Department of Transportation leaders have never been backed up and East Boston residents, families and children are still paying with their health, safety and maintenance.

After warnings from Massport officials:

“The opening of the Martin A. Coughlin Bypass Road marks a significant milestone in Massport’s commitment to minimize Logan Airport’s impact on our East Boston neighbors,” said Massport CEO Thomas Glynn. “Thousands of airport-related commercial vehicles will no longer use East Boston’s streets. Massport is proud to make Mr. Coughlin’s vision a reality for East Boston.”

“The Martin A. Coughlin Bypass Road is a great example of the quality of life improvements that can be made by thinking creatively and collaboratively about abandoned infrastructure,” said Massport Board Chairman and MassDOT Secretary& CEO Richard A. Davey. “The new roadway also complements the new Chelsea Street Bridge by allowing traffic in the area to flow more efficiently.”
Why is nothing being done about this? There is no excuse after years and years of complaints to our elected officials and state leaders.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sen. Petruccelli's letter to gaming commission on the "Revere" plan

Just in to 
The two-page letter from state Senator Anthony Petruccelli to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Suffolk Downs' Revere-only proposal. Related story can be found here.

November 20, 2013

Stephen Crosby, Chairman
Massachusetts Gaming Commission
84 State Street, Suite 720
Boston, MA 02109

Dear Chairman Crosby and Commissioners:

On behalf of my constituents of the First Suffolk and Middlesex District, I write today to express my increasing concern over recent efforts by Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC (“Sterling Suffolk”) to proceed with the resort casino development originally proposed for the 161-acre land parcel at Suffolk Downs in East Boston (the “Project”).  In a letter to the Commission, dated November 13, 2013, Sterling Suffolk expressed their intentions to move forward with the Project despite the unsuccessful ballot question in East Boston.  Indeed, Sterling Suffolk has proposed to modify the Project’s development plan so that it fits entirely within the 52-acre Revere parcel at Suffolk Downs.  To do so, in my opinion, undermines the spirit and intent of the Commonwealth’s Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 (the “Gaming Act”). 

When the State Legislature crafted and passed the Gaming Act, my colleagues and I carefully drafted provisions pertaining to host community agreements and the conduct of an election.  M.G.L. c.23K, §15 specifically requires an applicant, as a prerequisite to filing an RFA-2 application (“Phase 2”), to receive a certified and binding vote on a ballot question at an election in the host community.  (See also 205 CMR 124.00.)  Also, where a proposed gaming establishment is situated in more than one community, as is the case with the Project:

The applicant shall execute an agreement with each host community, or a joint agreement with both communities, and receive a certified and binding vote on a ballot question at an election held in each host community in favor of such a license.  M.G.L. c.23K, § 15(13).

Taken together, the intent of these provisions is clear.  Only favorable referendum results in both host communities allow the applicant to proceed to Phase 2.  That did not happen with Sterling Suffolk’s Project.  Because one host community voted in the negative, the Project proposed for Suffolk Downs is dead.  If Sterling Suffolk wishes to proceed with an alternative development plan on the Revere parcel, then under the terms of the Gaming Act:

[They] shall not submit a new request to the governing body within 180 days of the last election; and provided further, that a new request shall be accompanied by an agreement between the applicant and host community signed after the previous election.  M.G.L. c.23K, § 15(13). 

However, in their November 13th letter to the Commission, Sterling Suffolk asserted that, regardless of the November 5th election results, Revere’s host community agreement remains in effect and need only be modified to reflect a shift to Suffolk Down’s Revere parcel.  Sterling Suffolk does not interpret the referendums to have been votes about the Project (and host community agreements) itself; rather they view the referendums as votes on whether Suffolk Down could be developed for a casino at all. 

While it is true that Revere and East Boston voted on land use, it is also unquestionable that the host community agreements were essential to the voting process.  All ballots required, and did in fact contain, “a fair, concise summary of the host community agreement.”  205 CMR 124.05.  My colleagues and I in the Legislature recognized that it was imperative to ensure that Massachusetts residents in an impacted community have adequate notice of, and be well-informed about, any casino proposal prior to voting.  Accordingly, the Gaming Act specifically requires a host community agreement to be made public, and that host and surrounding communities have ample opportunity to weigh the potential impacts on local businesses, traffic, jobs, as well as public safety. 

Furthermore, it is false to argue that an alternative development plan on the Revere parcel is anything but a new proposal, which would require a new host community agreement and referendum under the provisions of M.G.L. c.23K, § 15(13).  Any proposed project development on the Revere parcel would undoubtedly look very different from that which voters reviewed prior to November 5th.  Buildings and parking lots would need to be relocated, not to mention the racetrack and stables.  Such changes materially alter the Project as it was initially proposed.  In effect, this undermine the Gaming Act’s requirements for transparency and notice that ensure members of the impacted communities, including myself, have adequate time to weigh the merits of a proposal. 

I understand why Sterling Suffolk wishes to pursue an alternative development plan on the Revere parcel.  As an organization, they’ve invested a great deal of time, effort, and money to see the Suffolk Downs Project to fruition.  I, too, was disappointed that the Project failed to receive the two affirmative referendum results needed to proceed to Phase 2.  I believed, and still believe, that a casino has great potential to rejuvenate communities within my District.  Nevertheless, the Commission cannot allow a gaming applicant to circumvent the process required by the Gaming Act merely because the results were disappointing. 

I appreciate the opportunity to state my position to the Commission, and request the Commission’s clarification on the status of Sterling Suffolk’s application.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at my office. 


State Senator
First Suffolk and Middlesex District

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Malden-East Boston Youth Hockey - Week 5 Wrap-up

M.E.B. hockey action continues. Also don’t miss the Home for the Holidays Adult Street Hockey Tournament being held outside at the Linden School in Malden on Nov. 30 starting at 8:00 am. Boston Bruins alumni, Santa Claus, and the M.E.B. Mom’s Team will all be there.

MITE     (5-8 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 8, Agawam 14
Kasabuski Arena, Saugus MA

The Mite K team faced a very tough Agawam team and lost 15-8. A double hat trick from Jake Simpson and a pair from Chris Cecca rounded out the scoring for M.E.B. Chris Hanifan made 30 saves and kept the game close.

SQUIRT (9-10 Years Old)
Malden/East Boston 6, Andover 1
Valley Forum, Malden MA

PEEWEE (11-12 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 3, Somerville 3
Veterans Rink, Somerville MA

It was a great game of hockey for the ever improving Peewee’s. In the 1st period Somerville got out to a 2-0 start but M.E.B. got its fire stoked when Kevin Ivany stonewalled Somerville on a penalty shot with 10 seconds left in the 1st. On the next face off Marc Giodarno won the face-off and scored as time expired in the period. The 2nd period saw physical play from both sides as Giodarno scored two more for the hat trick. Somerville tied it up 3-3 as the 2nd ended and the 3rd period was a donnybrook as M.E.B. and Somerville solidifying their growing rivalry.

BANTAM AA (13-14 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 8, Agawam 1
Kasabuski Arena, Saugus MA

The Bantam AA’s keep their winning streak alive at 5 and continue to sit atop the Bantam East American AA division in the Valley League..

BANTAM AAA (13-14 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 5, Natick 2
Veterans Rink, Somerville MA

Natick got up 2-0 in the first 2 periods. Just over a minute into the 3rd Ryan Noonan banged home a tally from a Mike DeFilippo dish to assure the Mustangs weren't counted out of it. Louis Staffieri finished off a nice pass from Jonah Carlson to tie things up. Twenty seconds later Nick Salgado popped in a rebound shot from the point to go up 3-2. Natick in desperation pulled their goalie but Nick Miller sealed the deal with an open netter with :53 left. Zach Rich slammed a bomb that sailed just under the cross bar to close out the comeback and give the Mustangs a come from behind win.

Malden/East Boston 6, South Boston 0
Connery Rink, Lynn MA

The Mustangs took control early and never looked back with a pair of goals from James Pandolfo, and goals from Louis Staffieri, Anthony Cecca, Ryan Noonan, Mike DeFilippo as they overpowered their cross-town rivals.

MIDGET (15-18 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 3, Wakefield 1
Connery Rink, Lynn MA

Midgets still trail Wilmington by three points in the Tier 2 East division as their abbreviated season nears its end.

If you or someone you know has a child who wants to play hockey, we have open enrollment. For more information visit 
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Maverick Association of Residents to host Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors: Nov 24

This just in from MAR:

Maverick Association of Residents cordially Invite all senior residents to a Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors at Maverick Landing Sunday, November 24, 2013 3:00 – 5:00 pm Community Room, 31 Liverpool St  Come Enjoy a Traditional Home-cooked Turkey Meal with your Neighbors! No Reservations Required, Raffles offered too! For Questions, Call 617-567-1303.

Stop & Shop donate turkeys at the East Boston Y

Nicolas Morales helps his mother, Iris Morales, pick up a turkey from Stop & Shop store manager Rich Nolan, Thursday, Nov. 14 at the YMCA of East Boston in East Boston, Mass. Committed to sharing meals and giving thanks in the communities it serves, Stop & Shop is donating more than 21,000 turkeys to hunger relief organizations and families throughout the Northeast in need this holiday season.

Stop & Shop Delivers 250 Turkeys to YMCA of East Boston Nov. 14 in Time for Thanksgiving
Turkey Express is just one of many ways the supermarket will share meals and give thanks
this holiday season

Stop & Shop’s Turkey Express trucks will deliver 250 turkeys to the YMCA of East Boston in East Boston in time for Thanksgiving. The delivery is one of eight stops on Stop & Shop’s Turkey Express route throughout New England and 12 across the Northeast.

According to a recent survey by the Boston Medical Center, East Boston showed the highest rate, at 25.4 percent, of childhood food insecurity out of the 10 Boston zip codes. Within Boston, there is a high demand for donations to local food banks and Stop & Shop’s donation to the YMCA of East Boston will help to feed more than 1,000 people. 

“We strive to be a better neighbor both in and out of our stores and we are committed to fighting hunger in our communities year round” said Joe Kelley, president of Stop & Shop New England. “We understand that the holidays can be particularly difficult for families in need, so we encourage everyone to share a meal and give thanks this holiday season. Together, we can help support the families who depend on hunger relief organizations when they need it most.”

This November, Stop & Shop will donate more than 21,000 turkeys to local food banks throughout the Northeast with its Turkey Express program. Deliveries will run through Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

East Boston Malden Youth Hockey Round Up - Week 4

M.E.B. hockey season enters its fourth full week of the regular season. A few teams had the weekend off but there was still plenty of great action.

MITE K     (5-8 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 7, Melrose 12
Kasabuski Arena, Saugus MA

Chris Hanifan had a hat trick, Jake Simpson, and Chris Cecca each had a pair of goals as the Mites lost one fighting to arch-rivals Melrose in the Elite division. John Summers kept the team close for most of the game making some great saves. A tough Melrose goaltender made the difference in this one.

SQUIRT (9-10 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 0, Concord 5
Merrimack Arena, North Andover MA

The Squirts find themselves in unfamiliar territory in the very competitive Squirt South National AA division.

BANTAM AA (13-14 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 6, Cape Ann 3
Connery Rink, Lynn MA

The Bantam AA’s continue to sit atop the Bantam East American AA division in the Valley League with a big win over Cape Ann.

MIDGET (15-18 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 6, Everett 3
Connery Rink, Lynn MA

Midgets chase Wilmington for the top spot in the Valley League Tier 2 East division.

If you or someone you know has a child who wants to play hockey, we have open enrollment. For more information visit 
Email us your questions @ 

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Eastie Clean-up Day Set for November 24, Sunday

Want to improve your community? Want a way to show your thanks around the holiday?
Then join for an Eastie Cleanup Day

Sunday November 24th


Refreshments provided!

Meet at Maverick Station by the Health Center

For more info contact Emma 919-271-8568

*This entry was corrected to reflect the planned date: Sun. 11/24. 

Rep. Basile's Thanksgiving Dinner, November 28, 2013 at Sacred Heart

Please join State Representative Carlo Basile and family for the 5th Annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner on Thursday, November 28th, 2013 at  Sacred Heart Church, 303 Paris Street. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.  and dinner will be served from 11:00 a.m. -1:30 p.m. For more information and transportation call Nancy @ 617-438-5539 by no later than November 18, 2013. If you know of any East Boston residents who are alone for the holiday or could benefit from a warm meal in a festive atmosphere, please send them our way!

No Eastie Casino: "An Open Letter To Our Elected Officials and The Massachusetts Gaming Commission"

From No Eastie Casino 11/8/2013:

An Open Letter To Our Elected Officials and The Massachusetts Gaming Commission:
We are writing on behalf of the 4,281 East Boston voters who soundly defeated the ill-conceived proposal for a casino at Suffolk Downs on November 5.

Suffolk Downs’ casino proposal failed. The developer was unable to choose or properly vet a casino operator. Unambiguously located in both East Boston and Revere, the developer failed to win the East Boston vote.  Massachusetts law clearly states that if a proposed casino is located in more than one city or town, it must win a referendum vote in both communities, M.G.L. c. 23K, § 15(13).  East Boston said NO; Suffolk Downs’ casino application is dead.

Suffolk Downs is now trying to circumvent the law by suggesting it can simply "move the goalposts" to the Revere side, but a Revere-only casino is not what residents of East Boston or Revere were called to vote for.  East Boston voters said "no" to the impacts that a Suffolk Downs casino would bring, and a Revere-only casino will create the same impacts. Enough is enough - Suffolk Downs is no longer a legitimate contender. Any attempt to move forward with a Revere-only casino proposal is a deliberate effort to disenfranchise East Boston voters and circumvent the clear intent of the law. No Eastie Casino is outraged this idea could even be entertained.

East Boston residents expect and demand our elected officials to uphold and enforce the law, stand for the will of the people, and reject Suffolk Downs' last ditch effort to install a casino in our community.

No Eastie Casino calls on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to adhere to the proper licensing procedures, M.G.L. c. 23K, 205 CMR, and application deadlines previously set forth.  The law is clear and the voters have spoken.  We insist that Suffolk Downs be immediately removed from consideration for a gaming license.

We will not tolerate any breach of the law or the public process. We will continue to fight to keep East Boston safe for families and small businesses.  We will not stop until this threat to our community has been removed once and for all.

No Eastie Casino

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

This just in: No Eastie Casino: Tuesday's vote demonstrates we deserve better than a casino

(Editor's Note: The mayor of Revere doesn't think the Suffolk Downs casino debate is over; No Eastie Casino keeps fighting Rizzo's illusions)

(Boston - November 6, 2013) -- "We are pleased with the results of Tuesday's election. East Boston voters went to the polls and emphatically stated that they don't believe the promises put forth by wealthy casino developers. To the prospect of one of the hemisphere's largest casinos -- yet another burdensome development in our neighborhood - Eastie residents said, 'No - enough is enough.'"

"Our campaign began with two primary goals: to defeat the proposed casino, and to do so in a way that elevated the discussion about what is possible in our community and remove the barriers that have kept many of us apart for too long. Together, we organized, strategized, researched, canvassed, and reached out to our neighbors, small businesses, and communities of faith. Our movement is led by women and men across all faiths, income and education levels, ages, professions, nationalities, newcomers to East Boston and 'old-timers.'"

"We are deeply disappointed and concerned that, within minutes of finding out that voters in East Boston had resoundingly rejected Suffolk Downs' casino proposal, its wealthy owners and investors were already mobilizing to find a way around the voice of the people and Massachusetts gambling law." "It is clear upon review of the statute that the casino referendum needed to pass in both East Boston and Revere in order for the developers to move forward. East Boston's voters have spoken: we do not want a casino in our community. We renew our call for Suffolk Downs' owners and board members to withdraw."

"We believe that this last-ditch attempt by Suffolk Downs developers to move the goalposts after the vote shows that casino owners will continue to put profits before people. For these reasons, many members of No Eastie Casino have been working with the grassroots group Repeal the Casino Deal to repeal the gambling law by putting it to a statewide vote in 2014."

"We are prepared to continue our work to keep East Boston a vibrant, welcoming community for families and small businesses where equitable economic development--not development that preys on middle-income, working class and low-income families--is encouraged. We call upon the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to follow the law. We respectfully request that Mayor Menino, Mayor-elect Walsh and the City Council take East Boston's resounding 'no' for an answer on the casino question, protecting it from casinos in surrounding communities as well."

How East Boston voted on the casino ballot question, Question 1

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ray Flynn's remarks at anti-casino rally in East Boston, November 3, 2013

(Edited by FC)

What a dedicated group of East Boston citizens here fighting for a better community. Heroes are what you are. But I'm not surprised. This is the history of the people of East Boston and hopefully still will be.

I loved coming over to East Boston when I was young, visiting family friends, playing a lot of sports ( football, baseball, and basketball), which was long before I ever thought about being Mayor, Ambassador, State Representative or a Boston City Councilor. Whether it was going to Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel or The Assumption Church and than Sunday Dinner at a family friends house, the Columbus Day Parade, later singing Italian songs with the elderly at Don Orione Home, playing basketball with the kids at Orient Heights or talking with my father and Kathy's father's friends at the East Boston docks where they worked, and I worked down the docks during the  Summer as well. 

Kathy's Dad was a member of ILA right here in East Boston. It was always special. This is where I first witnessed community organizing in the 70's, whether it was opposition to airport expansion, escalating electric rates, traffic from the track, and gas tankers.

People like Lucy, Anna, Mary Ellen, Pixie, fought like tigers to protect this community and keep it great. Everybody knew each other and was active in the community. The neighborhood business districts were thriving, the Churches were filled every Sunday, you could hear hundreds of kids playing in every playground. East Boston Stadium, now named after my friend Probation Officer Jimmy Sartori, the Jets, Tornado's, Fittons, St. Lazarus, and the gym at Maverick. Names like Costigan, Marmo,Verone, Ivers, Lauria, Romano, Buonapane, Contilli, Bravaro, and O'Leary were leading East Boston High School to championships. Many went on to do the same in college. I know, I played against some of them.

Nobody has to tell me about East Boston, I spent a lot of time here, long before I got involved in politics.

No Boston neighborhood was more family-oriented, largely Italian, (but it had a lot of Irish at one time,) or had as much civic pride in fighting to protect its quality of life than East Boston. Mothers blocked runways and tunnels, we fought to re-open police and fire stations during Proposition 2 1/2. You raised money at benefit spaghetti dinners to support the cheerleaders and girls soccer teams, Joe Cuneo brought hundreds of people together to help sick kids at St. Jude's Hospital. Does anyone remember him?  I do, I was there. Ok, so I'm talking about my days, the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, and the early 90's, a great neighborhood, but it changed dramatically the last 15 years.

Latinos and a lot of young professionals moved in. The public schools deteriorated. Drugs and a lot of poor. So what's the solution to make the community strong once again? A gambling casino which will dominate and define the neighborhood which will Lead to Decline in residential property values. Increase Crime. Prostitution. Strip Bars. Unbearable Traffic through East Boston streets. Small businesses will be hurt.

So a big Gambling Casino is now the American urban proposal for what is really needed in cities?  And not jobs and affordable housing for working families. How about a new American Urban Marshall Plan for potentially vibrant communities like East Boston. Where do people who are willing to work hard, play by the rules, need affordable housing go to find that hope and opportunity. Certainly this dream is no longer available in South Boston, or Charlestown. Plenty of luxury condos and roof decks. And if this gambling casino goes through, East Boston will never be the once proud livable family neighborhood again either.

So why is Gambling Casino going in East Boston? Because the poor and Latino people live there and are desperate for any kind of job. Because they don't have any political clout?  I see them as Honest Decent people willing to work hard for a decent wage. Trying to support their families. We all admire them for that, but why can we do better as a city.

An American city should be a place where people come with a dream for a more positive and hopeful future. The kind of community that East Boson and my South Boston community used to be. 

What does East Boston need?  Let me tell you, a lot of kids in Little League, good schools, people working in factories, on the docks like my father, small businesses, laborers rebuilding the roads and building some housing for the elderly and schools for kids. 

What about a medical research center? I just drove my daughter and  her 7 year old son who was born a special needs child. When he tries to walk he falls and he can't talk. They are on their way to the National Institute of Health in Maryland to see if medical doctors can find a cure for Braeden and other children's struggles. Why can't we do that research right here in East Boston? Medical research and plenty of good jobs  for people willing to get training and work hard. That's called Pride and that's America,  That's what is needed in Boston at this time. Frankly, I'm convinced that this can happen, but it all begins with you and the people of East Boston on Tuesday. It's now all in your hands.

Boston is about to move in a more enlightened direction. A new vision of a better, open and more caring Boston. This is a time to think about what can be. Reject this silly Gambling proposal and bring this community together with a new, visionary and balanced economic plan which will create good jobs for East Boston residents, safer streets and better schools for your children. Do that and you will be proud to say, "East Boston Is My Hometown" once again.

Ray Flynn

(Ray Flynn served as mayor from 1984 to 1993, when he was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.)