Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Eyeing for June, Mayor Janey announces expansion of in-person critical city services

City Hall Photography by EastBoston.com
Increased in-person service hours at City Hall, reopening of some BCYF day programs, and staggered reopening of BPL all eyed for June

BOSTON - Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - Mayor Kim Janey today announced the upcoming expansion of in-person city services at Boston City Hall, the Boston Public Library system (BPL), and the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF). These services will expand access to in-person city services and programming and opportunities for Boston families ahead of summer, as public health metrics continue to improve.

“As the City prepares for summer and our continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we bring more city services back in person, especially as our public health metrics improve,” said Mayor Janey. “I want to thank all of our city departments that pivoted at the beginning of the pandemic to continue to deliver critical services to residents safely. I’m excited to welcome back more residents to City Hall and for the joy that reopening our libraries and city-sponsored summer programming will bring.”

As of May 4, 2021, 44.3 percent of Bostonians are fully vaccinated, and 64.5 percent have received at least one dose. The citywide community positivity rate continues to decrease, dropping to 2.4 percent, with no neighborhoods above the 5.0 percent threshold. New positive tests in the City of Boston decreased by 28 percent over the past week, averaging 80.1 new positive tests per day. The total number of COVID-19 tests conducted in Boston remained stable at 2,960 tests, a decrease of 1% in the past week. COVID-related emergency room visits decreased by 6 percent over a two week period, and the percentage of occupied non-surgical ICU beds is 91 percent, under the threshold of 95 percent. We currently have 75 COVID-19 patients in Boston hospitals. That is one of the lowest numbers recorded since the start of the pandemic. 

The Boston Public Health Commission closely tracks six core metrics to monitor the progress of the City’s response, to guide decision making and to shape our response moving forward. The metrics being monitored include trends related to the number of positive tests, overall positivity and how COVID-19 is impacting our healthcare system. 

Due to continuing improvement in the City’s COVID-19 metrics, the following service changes will take effect in the coming weeks:

Boston City Hall

Starting Monday, June 7, 2021, Boston City Hall will be open to the public by appointment only for a fourth day each week. In addition to Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, residents will be able to make in-person appointments on Monday as well. For the latest status of City departments, visit here.

Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library will reopen for limited in-person services in June. With these expanded services, BPL will prioritize bringing back critical services that help residents with economic and educational recovery, and will be scheduling robust summer programming for both adults and youth. All reopening plans will follow the latest public health guidance, and BPL will provide further information in the coming weeks. 

Boston Center for Youth & Families (BCYF)

Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) will increase its youth programming to align with Phase Four, Step One of the Reopening Massachusetts plan. This will allow for the expansion of programming for children and youth, including arts and crafts, fitness classes, and game nights. Additionally, BCYF will offer summer day programs at several centers this summer, including Camp Joy, which provides programming for children and young adults with special needs. BCYF will provide further updates about their summer programming in the coming weeks, all in accordance with public health guidance. For more information, visit boston.gov/BCYF.

“Boston’s long fight against COVID-19 is starting to bring the end of this pandemic into view,” said Mayor Janey. “I’ve asked my chiefs of Health and Human Services and Economic Development to take a look at accelerating Boston’s reopening timeline, in light of improving public health metrics across all of Boston’s communities.”

 The City of Boston will continue to monitor public health metrics and adjust services and openings based on the latest COVID-19 data and trends. For more information on reopening, visit boston.gov/reopening.  

Source: Mayor's Press Office

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Mayor Janey calls on Eversource to cancel the proposed substation in East Boston

BOSTON - Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - Building on a commitment of environmental justice and protecting public health, Mayor Janey today, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, and GreenRoots advocate Noemy Rodriguez, to urge Eversource to justify or cancel its proposed electrical substation in East Boston.

“As mayor of Boston, I will not remain silent when the people of East Boston are crying out,” said Mayor Janey. “From what I have seen, the substation plan is based on flawed projections and flawed priorities. I urge Eversource to prioritize environmental equity and the wellbeing of East Boston residents over their profits.”

In February 2021, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board gave its final approval for an electrical substation near Chelsea Creek in East Boston. Eversource Energy made the initial proposal in 2013, stating the facility was necessary to support the capacity of a substation in Chelsea. Eversource’s initial estimates for projected energy demand have not been met and new, adjusted data has not been shared publicly. Community members have expressed opposition over the proposal, due to concerns about public safety and environmental justice. 

“Environmental justice says we need to ask hard questions about who is asked to carry the burden and who receives the benefits,” said Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space Mariama White-Hammond. “I stand with the Mayor and the residents of East Boston to protect those residents who already experience so many burdens. In addition to questioning whether we really need this facility, we need to understand whether or not this facility is in alignment with very real changes that are happening on our planet. I look forward to continuing to work with the community to ensure environmental justice for all residents of Boston.”

East Boston is considered a state designated Environmental Justice Community. 64 percent of community members are people of color and 54 percent of the community are immigrants. This area faces a variety of environmental hazards, such as noise and air pollution from Logan International Airport, traffic congestion, storage of fuel, manufacturing processes along the Chelsea Creek, as well as storage of road salt and sand along the Chelsea Creek. The proposed location for the substation is adjacent to City Yards, a highly utilized public park where children play, which could lead to potential safety hazards. Climate change and rapid sea-level rise exacerbate the potential danger of having an electrical substation on the waterfront. The citing of this substation in an environmental justice community already facing several environmental hazards, combined with the exposure to children and the risk of flooding, is unsafe. 

"Families in East Boston have been through a lot this past year and we hope that our parks can remain an environmentally safe and inviting space for our children,” said Noemy Rodriguez of GreenRoots. “We carry enough of an environmental burden already; if actually needed this substation should be placed somewhere else."

Expanding on Mayor Janey’s commitment to environmental justice and reducing air pollution, last week the City of Boston began accepting applications for the new Community Clean Air Grant program. Funded through the Air Pollution Control Commission, the City is seeking to support locally-driven proposals from residents, nonprofit organizations, and businesses for projects that will produce meaningful, measurable steps to reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and air pollution. There will be three rounds of funding throughout the year for projects that will contribute to the City of Boston’s 2019 Climate Action Plan update, which details specific actions the City is taking over five years to significantly cut emissions across all sectors in order to reach Boston’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The City of Boston will be accepting applications until Friday, June 4th. 

Mayor Janey’s Administration is taking steps to recognize and address the risks of climate change, and to protect Boston’s urban ecosystem. Last month, Mayor Janey proposed the following investments for environmental resilience and climate justice in the Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Capital Plan proposal:

  • $48 million for Phase 2 and 3 of Renew Boston Trust, which is designed to identify energy retrofit project opportunities in City-owned buildings to create future energy savings. 
  • $5 million for a Climate Ready Boston Harbor study to support the development of a study that will examine the feasibility of measures along and within the Boston Harbor to reduce vulnerability of coastal flooding due to sea level rise caused by climate change.
  • $20 million to design and implement a signature, climate resilient waterfront park along the Fort Point Channel.
  • $1.7 million per year for the ongoing program of street tree planting throughout the city
  • $1.8 million to repave pathways at Dorchester Park 
  • $7.5 million to repave pathways at the Back Bay Fens to improve accessibility and site conditions
  • $15.5 million to complete the park redesign at Copley Square to optimize resilience to high-traffic events and storm-water
  • $9.4 million to redesign and construct a new Malcolm X Park through the City’s first Equitable Procurement Pilot program

As indicated in the 2019 Climate Action Plan update, the City of Boston is taking action to lower carbon emissions and reverse the impacts of climate change. Between 2005 and 2016, the amount of carbon pollution emitted by city operations was reduced by 18 percent. This year, the City announced the completion of $11 million in energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to 14 municipal buildings, representing $680,000 in savings and a one percent reduction in municipal greenhouse gas emissions. In February, Community Choice Electricity began supplying over 200,000 residences and commercial customers with more affordable and renewable electricity. In order to provide high quality, safe, and cleaner affordable housing to our most vulnerable residents, the City of Boston recently awarded $34 million to support the creation of 608 new units that will be built to zero emissions standards. Climate Ready Boston is simultaneously strengthening Boston’s climate change resilience and adaptation with near- and long-term planning through neighborhood-level engagement and solutions. 

For more information on how Boston is actively preparing for the impacts of climate change and advancing the vision of a resilient city, visit boston.gov/environment.



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

NAGE/SEIU Local 5000 chooses Jon Santiago for mayor of Boston

BOSTON—The National Association of Government Employees (NAGE / SEIU Local 5000) has endorsed Jon Santiago in the race for mayor of Boston. NAGE becomes the latest labor union to throw their support behind Santiago, following Laborers Local 223, the Dorchester-based building trades group. 

“On behalf of the 20,000 NAGE members living and working in Massachusetts and more than 2,000 in the City of Boston, I am proud to announce our support of Jon Santiago for Mayor of Boston,” said David Holway, national president. “This is the most consequential election in the history of Boston and our members believe in Jon Santiago’s ability to unify the city through proven crisis leadership and foster a recovery rooted in equity and opportunity for all.” 

NAGE represents public and private workers including federal, state and municipal employees including first responders, correctional officers, nurses and emergency medical technicians and office workers. NAGE affiliated with SEIU in 1982 and remains committed to empowering union workers of every race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, physical ability and sexual orientation and building lasting economic security for their members. 

“I am honored and humbled that NAGE workers from here in Boston and across our state have placed their trust in me and are joining this movement to build our city back from this pandemic, stronger than ever before,” said Santiago. “By building this coalition of working people and neighbors from every background who share our vision for a recovery rooted in equity and opportunity, we’re going to bring Boston together and strengthen the way our city serves its people. I can’t wait to have the men and women of NAGE / SEIU Local 5000 at our side in this campaign as we write the next chapter of our Boston story.” 

With today’s endorsement, NAGE joins a list of endorsers supporting Santiago for mayor. The group includes Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz of the North End, Assistant Majority Leader Mike Moran and Representatives Kevin Honan of Allston, Rep. Ed Coppinger of West Roxbury and Rep. Dan Ryan of Charlestown. Other notable endorsements for Santiago include Dorchester’s Laborers Local Union 223, community leader Horace Small, former Executive Director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, and the Latino Victory Fund. 

Jon Santiago is currently serving his second term as the State Representative for the 9th Suffolk District representing the South End, Roxbury, Back Bay, and Fenway neighborhoods of Boston. He is an emergency room physician employed at Boston Medical Center, the city’s safety net hospital. He serves as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve and has deployed overseas. Prior to these experiences, Santiago served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. He lives in the South End with his wife, Alexandra. 

Sean Downey
Hilltop Public Solutions

Mayor Janey announces updates to City of Boston's Reopening Guidance; Will delay state rules by 3 weeks.

Modified and delayed guidance of the latest phase of Reopening Massachusetts plan will allow the City of Boston to prepare for industry-specific needs

(BOSTON - Tuesday, April 27, 2021) - Mayor Janey today announced that the City of Boston will move into a modified version of the state’s current phase of the Reopening Massachusetts plan, effective Friday, April 30. The City of Boston will delay most of the state’s reopening guidance announced today by three weeks, in an effort to accommodate the unique preparations needed by the City. In late March, the City announced that it would not move forward with additional reopening steps until the citywide positivity rate remained at or below 2.75 percent for two consecutive weeks. It is currently at 3.6 percent. However, given improved trends in the positivity rate and other COVID-19 public health metrics, the City will move cautiously to advance reopening efforts. The latest modified update will support Boston’s economic recovery as COVID-19 health metrics continue to improve. All reopening guidance will be subject to current COVID-19 public health data.

As of April 20, 2021, 33.1 percent of Bostonians are fully vaccinated; 55.1 percent have received at least one dose. The citywide community positivity rate continues to decrease, dropping to 3.6 percent, with three neighborhoods slightly above the 5.0 percent threshold (East Boston, Dorchester and Roslindale). New positive tests in the City of Boston decreased by 34 percent over the past week, averaging 144 new positive tests per day. The percentage of available adult ICU beds remains stable, and the percentage of non-surge ICU beds continues to be below the City’s threshold. Boston has had two reported deaths in the past week. 

“In every aspect of Boston's reopening, we will take the right measures, at the right time, to protect our people and businesses,” said Mayor Janey. “As we look ahead to better days, we must remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Reopening our economy does not remove our personal and collective responsibility to remain vigilant. Thank you to all Bostonians for your continued efforts and cooperation as we reopen our city.”

Effective Friday, April 30, the City of Boston will align with Commonwealth’s updated Face Coverings Order. This states that face coverings will be required at all times at indoor and outdoor venues and events, except when eating or drinking. Face coverings are recommended to be worn both inside and outside during small gatherings at private homes. Face coverings are not required outside in public spaces when individuals are able to remain at a safe distance from others.

Also effective April 30, public gatherings in Boston may increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors, in alignment with the Commonwealth's previously announced limits. In Boston, all private gatherings and events in private residences will remain subject to current capacity limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. However, public and private gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors on June 19 in Boston, three weeks after the higher limits go into effect in other parts of the Commonwealth. The City of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission will continue to closely monitor public health data and adjust reopening plans as necessary.

The City of Boston will align with the Commonwealth’s updated guidance for indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks, allowing capacity to increase to 25 percent, effective May 10.

The City of Boston plans to allow the following industries to reopen or resume June 1, subject to certain capacity limits and safety measures, three weeks after the Commonwealth will allow for their reopening in other parts of the state:

  • Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events
  • Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments for moderate and high-risk sports
  • Singing indoors at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses, subject to the Commonwealth’s Theater and Performance Venue guidance

The City of Boston plans to allow the following industries to reopen or resume starting June 19, subject to certain capacity limits and safety measures, three weeks after the Commonwealth will allow for their reopening in other parts of the state:

  • Street festivals, parades and agricultural festivals, at 50 percent capacity
  • Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries for seated-service only, subject to a 90-minute table limit, and no dance floors.
  • Food will no longer be required with alcohol service, and 10 people can be seated at a table.

If public health metrics support continued safe reopening in Boston, effective August 22, industry restrictions will be lifted, and 100 percent capacity will be allowed for all industries. This would be three weeks after the Commonwealth takes this step in other parts of the state. Remaining Phase Four, Step Two industries and businesses, including dance clubs and nightclubs; saunas, hot tubs, steam rooms, and health clubs; and ball pits, would be allowed to reopen on August 22 in Boston. All businesses will be expected to adhere to ongoing safety guidance, and mask wearing will continue to be required indoors.

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED) will also hold two upcoming webinars about updated reopening guidance on Friday, April 30th at 2:00 p.m. and Wednesday, May 5th at 8:30 a.m. OED also hosts weekly small business calls every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.and Reopen Boston Business Office Hours every Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. These meetings ensure business owners, customers, and workers have access to all of the guidance and details necessary to return safely, as Boston reopens. For more information, please visit boston.gov/smallbusiness.

All of this guidance is subject change based on evolving COVID-19 public health metrics. For more information about reopening in Boston, visit boston.gov/reopening. For more information about the state’s reopening plan, visit mass.gov/reopening. 

Source: Mayor's Office 4/27/2021

Read more East Boston news at www.eastboston.com

City of Boston and partners to bring job fair series to incarcerated and returning citizens

Virtual events will include participants from Suffolk County Jail, Suffolk County House of Correction

(BOSTON - Tuesday, April 27, 2021) - As part of the City of Boston’s efforts to reintegrate returning citizens into the community, Mayor Kim Janey today announced a virtual job fair series designed to help current or formerly justice-involved individuals access job openings, educational opportunities, job search skills, and other critical resources. The events, held throughout May, are organized by MassHire Downtown Boston Career Center, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, BeProximate, and Project Opportunity, a City initiative that works to create equitable opportunities for residents with criminal records (CORIs).

“Each year, more than 3,000 people return to Boston upon their release from incarceration,” said Mayor Janey. “These returning citizens deserve the opportunity to create a fresh start and make positive contributions to their community. But that transition depends on our support. A second chance begins with a job prospect, an education pathway, the critical resources for daily living – exactly the things this job fair series promotes.”

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, series partners have worked together to ensure that inmates at Suffolk County Jail and Suffolk County House of Correction can participate in the virtual events. Both facilities are operated by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department.  
“We know that good, sustainable employment is one of the critical elements for the success of anyone returning to society from incarceration,” said Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins. “This is why we offer many different skills-building and job preparedness training programs for the men and women in our care and custody. Unfortunately, the CORI continues to be an obstacle for many returning citizens seeking employment, so access to resources and opportunities like these is extremely important.”

“At MassHire Downtown Boston Career Center, we recognize the significant barriers to employment faced by returning citizens and individuals with CORIs,” said Doreen Treacy VP of Career Services at MassHire Downtown Boston. “We are committed to helping reduce these barriers by equipping jobseekers with the tools they need and connecting them to hiring events and resources.”
The event series is free and open to all Massachusetts residents, but requires participants to register at tinyurl.com/JobEdFair. The schedule of events is as follows:

    Why and How to Create a Resume: Tuesday, May 4, 1-2:30 p.m.
    Interview Basics: Thursday, May 6, 1-2:30 p.m.
    Job Fair Prep: Tuesday, May 11, 1-2:30 p.m.
    Job Fair: Wednesday, May 19, 1-2:30 p.m.
    Education/Resource Fair: Friday, May 21, 1-2:30 p.m.

The job fair will feature Amazon, Flour Bakery, Greater Boston Food Bank, Monroe Staffing, VPNE, and Whole Foods Market, with more employers to come.

Mayor Janey has proclaimed the final week of the series, May 17 - May 21, – which culminates in the job fair and education/resource fair – “Second Chance and Reentry Week” in Boston. The week will include an exhibit and panel discussions organized by BeProximate to advocate for the support of returning citizens. Speakers will include Suffolk County D.A. Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins, and State Rep. Liz Miranda.
“In the City of Boston, cross-sector fertilization drives social innovation to address both citywide and neighborhood-specific needs,” said BeProximate founder Diana Saintil. “However, we must extend our politics beyond our personal proclivities to devise cross-sector solutions to address the most salient reentry challenges in housing, employment, health, and education for returning citizens. We must BeProximate to people with empathy. Proximity with apathy is too great a threat to transformational change.”
In addition to promoting career development opportunities, the event series also extends the outreach of Project Opportunity, a collaboration of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety, the Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens, and SOAR Boston. Project Opportunity connects residents with free legal consultation to review the potential for sealing or expunging their CORIs. The City of Boston pays for the cost of accessing a CORI, while partner Lawyers Clearinghouse provides legal consultation and full representation if an individual’s record can be sealed or expunged.

The job fair series also supports the mission of the Mayor’s upcoming 2021 Summer Violence Prevention Plan. The Plan develops a framework to scale up prosocial activities, strengthen intervention efforts, ensure neighborhoods are supported and connected to resources, expand intentional outreach and engagement for specific populations, and provide positive activities and community engagement in public spaces.

Source: Mayor's Office 4/27/2021

Read more local news at http://www.eastboston.com

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Charlestown's state Representative Dan Ryan is the latest Boston official to endorse Santiago for Mayor

(BOSTON, April 25, 2021)—Jon Santiago has earned the endorsement of another Boston legislator with Charlestown State Representative Dan Ryan joining his campaign for mayor.

“I’m proud to support Jon Santiago for mayor and am excited to begin campaigning side by side with him,” said Ryan. “Dr. Santiago is a proven leader of teams, a passionate public servant, and front-line healthcare worker that we need in this moment for our city. Jon is uniquely positioned to lead our city through these challenging times and chart a full and equitable recovery for Boston.”

Ryan was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014 and represents the 2nd Suffolk District including Charlestown. Ryan currently serves as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws. In the House, Ryan has been among the body’s leading voices on issues important to veterans. He was also among the most vocal advocates for the landmark 2018 opioid prevention bill, engaging with law enforcement and advocates to expand crisis intervention response training. He and Santiago worked closely together on the milestone Student Opportunity Act, passing a once-in-a-generation package to strengthen public education in Boston and throughout the commonwealth.  

“Dan Ryan is a tireless advocate for Boston at the state house and in his community, and I’m honored to welcome him to our campaign,” said Santiago. “His work on the opioid crisis, issues important to veterans, and expanding public education funding have helped create a safer and stronger Massachusetts. His endorsement is so important in this race, and I look forward to working with him to lead us through a recovery to a post-pandemic Boston that’s stronger than ever before.”

With today’s endorsement, Ryan joins four of his Boston colleagues in the legislature including Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz, Assistant Majority Leader Mike Moran, and Representatives Kevin Honan and Ed Coppinger in supporting Santiago’s campaign. Other notable endorsements for Santiago include Laborers Local Union 223, community leader Horace Small, former Executive Director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, and the Latino Victory Fund.

Jon Santiago is currently serving his second term as the State Representative for the 9th Suffolk District representing the South End, Roxbury, Back Bay, and Fenway neighborhoods of Boston. He is an emergency room physician employed at Boston Medical Center, the city’s safety net hospital. He serves as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve and has deployed overseas. Prior to these experiences, Santiago served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. He lives in the South End with his wife, Alexandra. 

Source: Santiago Campaign 4/25/2021

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Rollins: Suspect in East Boston murder will be held without bail

BOSTON, December 29, 2020 — Arraignments took place yesterday in two Suffolk County courts in connection with separate Christmas Eve attacks.  In a Roxbury courtroom, a man was arraigned in the near-fatal beating of a senior citizen inside the victim’s own home, while the man charged with killing 28-year-old Kerwide Barthelemy as the victim attempted to break up a fight faced arraignment in East Boston.

During a proceeding conducted via Zoom, WYSE RICHARDSON, 23, was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault and battery on a person over 60 and aggravated burglary.  Judge Debra Delvecchio of the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court ordered Mr. Richardson to undergo an evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital.

Mr. Richardson is accused of breaking into a Pompeii Street apartment building and violently beating a 66-year-old resident and ransacking the man’s apartment at approximately 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve.  The victim suffered a serious head injury and was transported to an area hospital.  The victim remains hospitalized.  Based on the severity of the victim’s injuries, the case is under investigation by detectives assigned to the Boston Police Department Homicide Unit.

In a separate, telephonic proceeding in the East Boston Division of the Boston Municipal Court, STEVEN HATFIELD, 36, was arraigned on a charge of murder in Mr. Barthelemy’s December 24, 2020, stabbing death in Maverick Square.  At the request of Assistant District Attorney Amy Martin, Judge John McDonald ordered Hatfield held without bail and ordered that he stay away from and have no contact with witnesses in the case or the victim’s family.

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Mr. Hatfield became involved in a physical altercation with another individual in the area of Maverick Square in East Boston.  When Mr. Barthelemy attempted to intervene, Mr. Hatfield allegedly stabbed him in the torso, mortally wounding the victim.

Mr. Hatfield, who had blood on his clothing from the attack, fled into his South Bremen Street apartment building.  Inside the building, he began to yell and behave in a manner that prompted the building’s security guard to call police.  Boston Police who responded to the stabbing also arrived at the building after learning that the assailant resided there.

“The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy and happiness.  For a loved one’s life to be ripped away on Christmas Eve inflicts additional pain during this already challenging time,” District Attorney Rollins said.  “The violence these two men are accused of inflicting is deeply troubling. Each will be held accountable for their actions.  Just as importantly, my staff and I are here to ensure that Mr. Barthelemy’s loved ones as well as the Roxbury man currently fighting for his life and his loved ones have the services they deserve and may require at every step of their path in the legal process and on their journey toward healing.”

Elise McConnell and Anite Cetoute are the assigned victim witness advocates.  Attorney Joseph Simons represents Mr. Hatfield.  His case returns to court January 28, 2021.  Mr. Richardson was represented at arraignment by Byron Knight.  The case returns to court January 15, 2021.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Pipefitters Union Holiday Charity Drive Provides Food and Toys for Boston Families

In light of surging COVID-19 rates, record-high food insecurity, Union’s donations bring joy to families facing economic and health impacts of the pandemic    

BOSTON, MA — Pipefitters Local 537, one of Boston’s largest unions, held a charitable drive Saturday at their Union Hall to collect donations to aid struggling community members this holiday season. The initiative comes at a time when thousands of families are facing food and financial insecurity with the impact of COVID-19. 

“This has been a challenging year for many working families, and it can be even harder during the holidays,” said Pipefitters Local 537 Business Manager/Financial Secretary-Treasurer Tom Kerr. “Giving a bag of groceries or a brand-new toy to a child this holiday season is the least we can do for our neighbors.” 

Local 537 collected an estimated $20,000 of brand-new toys for Marine Toys for Tots, including Lego sets, games, dolls, and sports equipment, in addition to hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food items for Catholic Charities Food Pantry in Dorchester. 

“I’m blown away by the donations and kindness shown by our fellow members this weekend,” said Local 537 Organizer and Toys for Tots Coordinator Chris Brennan, whose one son is an Air Force veteran and the other is currently serving in the U.S. Navy. “As parents, we always want our kids, and every kid, to have a great, fun holiday.” In the coming days, Brennan, Marine veteran and Local 537 Inside Guard Danny O’Brien, and a team of union members will work as Santa’s helpers, coordinating with Toys for Tots to distribute the toy donations. 

Dorchester, East Boston, and Hyde Park have some of the city’s highest rates of COVID-19. The severe economic impact of the pandemic has left many families without the income they depend on to pay daily living expenses. As food bank visits remain at an all-time high, Massachusetts has the highest percentage of residents facing hunger in the country, nearly one million people.

Throughout the pandemic, Local 537 has been working to help local communities. Its Charitable Foundation donated $20,000 to the Greater Boston Food Bank ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, which provided 60,000 nutritious meals to at-risk residents across the Commonwealth. The Union also donated much-needed PPE (gloves, goggles and face shields) to Quincy’s Manet Community Health Care Center.

About Pipefitters Local 537: 

Pipefitters Local 537 represents over 3,000 members across Massachusetts and is affiliated with the United Association. From medical campuses to area universities, we are proud to have worked on pipefitting, welding and HVAC-Refrigeration projects of all shapes and sizes throughout the region for over 100 years.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Melissa Shook: a Commemorative Exhibition


Melissa Shook, Self-portrait, Photograph

December 5-26, 2020

Melissa Shook:

a Commemorative Exhibition

A retrospective of work by the late artist

Curated by Krissy Shook

Reception: Saturday, December 12, 2-6pm

Please join Krissy Shook and Atlantic Works Gallery
in celebration and memory of artist and gallery member Melissa Shook

Masks and social distancing required. Gallery will be monitored to limit visitors at any given time.

Gallery Hours: Fridays and Saturdays 2-6pm or by appointment, (323-304-9968)

Monday, November 30, 2020

Mayor Walsh appoints Aisha Miller as Chief of Civic Engagement

Aisha Miller
Aisha Miller new Chief of Civic Engagement
Photo: Courtesy City Hall 

BOSTON - Monday, November 30, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the appointment of Aisha Miller as the Chief of Civic Engagement for the City of Boston, effective Monday, December 7, 2020. 

The Civic Engagement Cabinet is composed of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, the Mayor's Office of Public Service and Community Outreach, Boston 311, and SPARK Boston and is dedicated to the efficient and effective delivery of City services, as well as creating opportunities for Boston residents to participate with local government. 

Miller is currently the Assistant Commissioner of Constituent Services for the Boston Inspectional Service Department (ISD). "Aisha brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in civic engagement to this new role, and I am proud and excited to appoint her as my Chief of Civic Engagement," said Mayor Walsh. "Managing the Constituent Services Division at ISD required building relationships with the community, outside stakeholders and various city agencies to ensure each Boston resident is afforded the best quality of life. I am confident that she will also excel in this new role and all City departments will benefit from having her as a Cabinet Chief." 

 "I am excited and esteemed by this opportunity to lead one of the essential departments in the City of Boston that connects to all Boston residents. I look forward to continuing the initiatives spearheaded by Chief Jerome Smith and creating new initiatives under the leadership of Mayor Martin J. Walsh," said Aisha Miller. "I was born and raised in Mattapan, enriched with families and hard-working parents like my mother that instilled values in their children. Moments like these prove to young people of color that opportunities are at their fingertips through hard work and dedication. For me, it's simple; a girl from Mattapan has the chance to give back to the people who have prepared her for this moment."

Aisha will take the role of Jerome Smith, who served as director of the Office of Neighborhood Services and Chief of Civic Engagement for over six years. Current Chief of Staff for the Civic Engagement Cabinet, Edward M. McGuire III, will assume the role of Director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services effective Monday, December 7, 2020. 

Faisa Shariff was recently appointed as the Deputy Director of ONS. Jerome Smith's last day working at the City of Boston will be Friday, December 4, 2020. As Chief of Civic Engagement and Director of the Office of Neighborhood Services, he advised the Mayor on efforts to preserve and enhance the quality of services delivered to residents, including overseeing Mayor Walsh's Civic Academies and NEW (Neighborhood Engagement Walks) Boston, developing neighborhood partnerships, resolving problems related to code enforcement, rebranding and managing Boston 311, and spearheading Mayor Walsh's Problem Properties Task Force, Fireworks Task Force, and Police Reform Task Force. 

 "Jerome has been an integral part of my team for many years, and greatly contributed to the continual improvement of delivering City services," said Mayor Walsh. "It has truly been a pleasure to work with him and we wish him the best in his future endeavors." "It was a privilege to serve the City of Boston under the Walsh administration doing such meaningful work as the Chief of Civic Engagement and Director of Neighborhood Services," said Jerome Smith. 

"I was dedicated to bridging the gaps between our communities and local government as I firmly believed that it is only by strengthening our neighborhoods that we can succeed as a city. With the support of the Mayor, my excellent staff and I were able to improve the delivery of services to constituents and to find innovative and meaningful ways in which to engage the residents of Boston. I am confident that the Cabinet will continue to do incredible work." 

For more information, please visit www.boston.gov/departments/neighborhood-services.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

R.I.P. John L. Forbes, former Executive Director of the East Boston Social Centers

A reflection on the passing of John L Forbes who served as director of the East Boston Social Centers for so many years.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Obituary: Judge Joseph Ferrino

Judge Joseph Vincent Ferrino, Sr. passed away peacefully on November 22, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Born in 1926 in Boston, MA, he was a child of Sicilian parents who immigrated to the Boston area via Ellis Island around 1910. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife of over 60 years, Marie A. (“Jeanette”) Ferrino, his brother, Peter J. Ferrino, MD, and his sister, Annette M. Nazzaro. 

He is survived by his four children: Joseph V. Ferrino, Jr. of Winthrop, MA, Joanne F. Zahrobsky and her husband Colonel Joseph R. Zahrobsky, USAF (Ret.), of Tampa, FL, Paula J. Fosa of Winthrop, and Richard H. Ferrino and his wife Rhonda K. Ferrino of Winthrop. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, several great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Judge Ferrino was a World War II veteran, a Boston area attorney, a district court justice, a veterans organization leader, a patriotic organization founder, a beacon in the Italian American community, and a volunteer for hundreds of community causes and organizations.

A graduate of Boston University Law in 1951, Judge Ferrino returned to his roots to open a one-man practice in a brownstone law office in East Boston. There he served clients and became involved in several national causes until, in 1971, the Governor of Massachusetts appointed him a judge in the East Boston District Court. 

In 1976, he was promoted to presiding justice of that court. Over the ensuing 25 years, Judge Ferrino stewarded his court into a unique community asset--a multi-dimensional community court complete with a totally unique in-court community medical clinic and a Boy Scout coeducational Explorer Post. 

In addition, he also initiated Law Day in the Massachusetts courts. In 1989 the president of the Massachusetts Bar Association presented him their Public Service Award, calling his court “unparalleled in the state.” 

In addition to his court responsibilities, Judge Ferrino was a member of the Massachusetts, North Suffolk, and Boston Bar Associations. He sat on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Jurists, the Governor’s Task Force on Juvenile Justice, and the Judicial Committee on Courthouses and Facilities. He also served as President of the Justinian Law Society and was recently named "Honorary Dean". 

His academic lecture and advising resume included Harvard University, the National Judicial College, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the University of Massachusetts, Brandeis University, Salem State University and numerous others. Many of these activities resulted in published scholarly work.

Beyond his legal career, however, Judge Ferrino lived a remarkable life in many other diverse fields. He entered the Merchant Marines and then later, enlisted in the U. S. Navy for the last 24 months of World War II. After the war ended, he attended college at the University of Alabama, and Boston University for law school. But he never lost his connection with veterans. He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Italian American War Veterans, the East Boston Veterans Council, and most notably, the American Veterans--commonly known as the AMVETS. There, he commanded its local post, served as its Massachusetts Judge Advocate, co-wrote the national constitution and by-laws, and commanded its Northeast District. He went on to serve as its National Judge Advocate and its representative to international veterans councils in The Hague and Geneva. Finally, in 1968, he was elected its 25th National Commander and served in Washington, DC for a year.

He was also fiercely patriotic. Judge Ferrino founded the Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. It became a major focus of his energies, particularly after retirement from the bench in 1991, and he served in multiple offices, including president. His work in building the group from scratch ultimately provided hundreds of young people an immersive U. S. policy and education experience at the Freedoms Foundation national education center in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania even as his local chapter served Massachusetts as a cornerstone organization in public affairs and traditions.

Judge Ferrino’s role in the Italian American community was legendary. Over the decades he served in every leadership role in the Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts. He was instrumental in building the cultural center in Cambridge, MA. In 1998, working closely with the governor, he was instrumental in establishing the annual October Italian Heritage Month in Massachusetts. He maintained active membership in a plethora of Italian American organizations his entire life. He also worked closely with the Italian Consulate in Boston, hosting and supporting a number of consuls general and their work in Massachusetts and New England.

Judge Ferrino also served in numerous other leadership and advisory capacities. At various times he co-chaired the 1987/1988 East Boston and Winthrop Bicentennial Committee, the Trinity Neighborhood House, the Boston Bicentennial and the Boston Jubilee. He incorporated and advised the East Boston and North Suffolk Mental Health Clinics. He served as president of the East Boston Chamber of Commerce, the East Boston Kiwanis Club, and the East Boston Social Centers, Inc. He sat on the Boards of the YMCA Armed Services, Huntington General Hospital, Trinity House Camps, Inc., and the Board of Trustees of the Boston Public Library. He served as Scoutmaster of Troop 15, and sat on the Executive Board of the Boston Council of the Boy Scouts. And he co- published the East Boston Leader.

Judge Ferrino’s U.S. and International awards and decorations were myriad. He was knighted by the President of the Italian Republic as Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella della solidariet√† italiana (A Commander of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity). In May 2016, Freedoms Foundation presented him its highest national award, the “Spirit of ‘76” medal and, in 2018, the Massachusetts State House of Representatives honored him for his “collective body of work” on the Italian Heritage Month Committee. In 1989 he was honored with a Grand Knighthood in the Order of Saint Michael the Archangel of the Massachusetts Italian American Police Officers Association. He held awards and recognition from every level of the Massachusetts Bar and countless other organizations.

Arrangements are being made through Caggiano Funeral Home of Winthrop, MA. In view of the national health emergency, memorial and interment services will be held privately for the immediate family only. A retrospective public celebration of life is contemplated for some later date when safety can be assured. Friends wishing to make a memorial gesture are encouraged to donate to the American Diabetes Association.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Mayor Walsh, Governor Baker, Boston Housing Authority and Trinity Financial celebrate completion of phase two of Overlook Terrace at Orient Heights

(BOSTON - Thursday, November 12, 2020) - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker today marked the completion of Phase Two of Overlook Terrace at Orient Heights with a virtual 'ribbon cutting' event - joining the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and the development team of Trinity Financial and the East Boston Community Development Corporation.

Phase Two of the project involved the demolition of 87 original units in four buildings and the new construction of 88 State Public Housing rental units in a combination of apartment style and townhouse homes. The Phase Two property, which also includes new community and open spaces and play areas, achieved LEED Gold certifiability for sustainability and energy efficiency. 

Photo credit: Anthony Crisafulli, Trinity Financial

"The Orient Heights development is a great Boston story," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "We brought lots of partners together, we got creative sourcing funding, and we harnessed the economic strength of our city to create powerful opportunities for working families. I congratulate everyone involved in the financing, design and construction. I thank the tenants for their patience and input, and the BHA for working with them on relocation and return."

"I'm pleased to celebrate the completion of Phase II of Overlook Terrace at Orient Heights, preserving hundreds of affordable units for Boston residents," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Thank you to Mayor Walsh, the Boston Housing Authority and all the partners that worked together with our administration to make this project possible."

Originally built in 1951, the 331-unit Orient Heights state public housing community has become physically distressed over the years. For the past five years, BHA, DHCD, and the residents of Orient Heights have been working with the development team to transform the community. Phase One of the redeveloped Overlook Terrace at Orient Heights, which was completed in 2018, included the construction of 120 units of new replacement state public housing. The total development investment in Phase One was of approximately $51.2 million, including affordable housing resources from the City of Boston, and funds raised through an allocation of federal 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; tax-exempt bonds for construction financing; state public housing capital funds from BHA and DHCD.

Phase Two, being celebrated today, was made possible with $10 million from the City of Boston, including the proceeds from the sale of the Winthrop Street Garage as well as Inclusionary Development Policy funds secured from Article 80 development projects in East Boston. Financing for Phase Two was also provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts's DHCD, the BHA, MassWorks, MassHousing, RBC Capital Markets, and Citizens Bank. 

As part of the upcoming FY22 Capital Plan, Mayor Walsh is committing another $19 million for Phase Three, which is anticipated to complete the replacement and modernization of the remaining 123 units in order to achieve a one-for-one replacement of the original 331-units, and is projected to commence in 2021. 

"Orient Heights has been a vital housing resource for low-income families in East Boston for almost 70 years. With these new units we are building a future for our residents," said BHA Administrator Kate Bennett. "The work we're doing today will secure a vibrant, stable home for hundreds of families at Orient Heights for decades to come."

The BHA, which has owned and managed the Orient Heights public housing development since its original construction in the 1950s, undertook a planning process in 2008 with the support of DHCD to consider redevelopment options for the community. In January 2015, with an award of funding from DHCD, the BHA selected the development team of Trinity Financial and East Boston CDC to work with both agencies and the residents of the Orient Heights community to finalize a redevelopment strategy. In partnership with the BHA and DHCD, the development team secured financing to implement the redevelopment, and will own and manage the buildings post-redevelopment. The BHA will continue to own the land and will lease the land to Trinity.  

"This property is a critical part of the BHA's portfolio in meeting the City of Boston's affordable housing needs. It has been a privilege to be part of such a collaborative public-private partnership with our colleagues at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, the Boston Housing Authority, East Boston CDC, the Orient Heights residents, and our colleagues in finance and development to see this second phase through to completion." said Eva Erlich, Vice President, Development with Trinity Financial. "We're thrilled to be marking this milestone for Phase Two, and look forward to completing the full transformation with the third and final phase.  "

Since January of 2015, BHA and the development team have held public meetings with residents and the neighborhood, regular meetings with the Local Tenant Organization and various meetings with City and State officials. The redevelopment effort has been supported by a local community that recognizes Orient Heights as an integral part of the neighborhood. BHA, Trinity, and the East Boston CDC will continue to meet with public housing residents and neighbors in the broader community on an on-going basis throughout the remaining stages of redevelopment.

Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston have dedicated substantial resources to redevelopment efforts at BHA Public Housing sites across the city. In addition to the city's $10 million investment for Orient Heights Phase Two, Mayor Walsh has invested $6.5 million to redevelop the Whittier Public Housing Development in Roxbury, $30 million for a future redevelopment of the Bunker Hill Public Housing Development in Charlestown, $25 million to Anne Lynch Homes at Old Colony in South Boston, and $5 million this year to kickstart renovation efforts for BHA Public Housing for seniors and residents with disabilities across the city.

Since the implementation of the Mayor Walsh's housing plan in 2014, 23,000 new units of housing have been completed. With an additional 9,700 units currently under construction, the City has secured housing for an estimated 45,600 residents, making significant progress in meeting Boston's rapid population growth.  


The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) is a public agency that provides subsidized housing to low and moderate income individuals and families. In addition to conventional public housing communities throughout Boston, BHA offers rental assistance programs. BHA receives federal and state funding in order to provide housing programs to individuals and families. BHA's mission is to provide stable, quality affordable housing for low and moderate income persons; to deliver these services with integrity and mutual accountability; and to create living environments which serve as catalysts for the transformation from dependency to economic self-sufficiency.


Trinity Financial is a community-driven, diverse real estate development firm with a proven-track record of redeveloping complex urban sites from New York to Greater Boston. Our work spans half a dozen residential and commercial specialties, from multi-family housing to transit-oriented development. Over the past 30 years Trinity has completed more than $3 billion in innovative development, delivering high quality, sustainable, multi-family housing, ranging from affordable to luxury - all with a commitment to people and place. For more information about Trinity Financial, please visit www.trinityfinancial.com.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Mayor Walsh Column: Help your city by getting tested for COVID-19

 By Mayor Martin J. Walsh

(Boston, November 10) The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in profound ways, and has impacted nearly every aspect of city life. Although we have made great progress since the spring in controlling the spread of the virus, Boston has been facing an increase in COVID-19 positive rates for the last few weeks. Currently, 7.1 percent of people who get tested are testing positive. Since anyone can be infected and spread the virus even if they don’t show symptoms, testing is a key part of stopping the spread. 

I recently announced a new campaign called “Get The Test, Boston,” a pledge that encourages every Boston resident to make testing a regular part of their routine. It also encourages employers to let their employees know about testing resources available to them. The City of Boston is offering benefit-eligible City employees one paid hour every 14 days to get tested during their normal work hours. Several local businesses have also committed to signing the pledge, to ensure their employees know how and when to get tested for COVID-19. 

I encourage everyone in our city to look at the testing resources we have worked so hard to make available, and seriously consider getting tested to protect themselves and their communities as we work to stop this increase in COVID-19 cases. Here are some reasons why you should get tested: 

  • If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, like fever, cough, or shortness of breath

  • If you are at high risk for complications from COVID-19

  • If you have been in contact with someone who was infected with COVID-19

  • If you have traveled or have been in large gatherings

The City offers free testing for residents with or without COVID-like symptoms through our mobile testing teams currently in East Boston’s Central Square and at Jubilee Christian Church in Mattapan through Saturday, November 14. The teams change locations every couple of weeks to increase testing accessibility and availability, prioritizing neighborhoods that need dedicated testing efforts. For locations and hours of the more than 30 COVID-19 testing sites we have in the City, including these mobile sites, please visit boston.gov/covid19-testing

We are entering a critical time in this pandemic, and everyone who does their part will help save lives, and make a real difference. By following the safety guidelines, everyone can minimize the spread. In addition to getting tested, residents should continue to wear a face covering or mask, stay six feet apart from others, wash your hands often with soap and warm water, and avoid crowds and gatherings. 

Together, we will continue to keep our city and our communities safe.

Source: Mayor's Press Office 11/10

Sunday, November 8, 2020

From the archives: Jeveli's adds new dining room.

Update 11/9: According to several sources Jeveli's is only going into winter hibernation. 

Posters at the East Boston Open Discussion Group over at Facebook report that landmark Jeveli's Restaurant in Day Square will close on Tuesday, November 10.  Here's some ad copy I wrote for an ad in the East Boston Community News in January 1983.  I worked there as a teenager in various jobs; I learned a lot from the late Ted Jeveli. 

Another local institution sails away. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

East Boston Main Streets Launches Eastie Strong: Partnership with local businesses to support struggling restaurant industry


(EAST BOSTON, October 5, 2020) – East Boston Main Streets (EBMS) announced today that it is launching Eastie Strong, a partnership between EBMS and local real estate developers to provide much needed financial support to local restaurants, as they re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The initiative has two components. The first is “Adopt a Patio” which will provide capital to fund reopening costs related to complying with COVID-19 restrictions. The funds will be used to purchase items such as outdoor furniture, umbrellas, and space heaters. The second component is a “gift card program” under which sponsors will distribute gifts cards directly to tenants for use only at participating local restaurants. 

“We wanted to find a way to help our tenants as well as contribute to the local restaurant economy which has suffered greatly during the pandemic,” said Stephen Davis of The Davis Companies. “Thanks to East Boston Main Streets we can help our tenants afford a night out while providing a financial lifeline to restaurants and support the overall health of the East Boston economy,” added David Grossman of The Grossman Companies, who is spearheading the fundraising component of the program with The Davis Companies.

Gladys Oliveros, the Executive Director of EBMS, is running the program. “Over the course of the pandemic, we have discovered many unique challenges that local restaurants face: lack of access to government Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, decreased revenue from customers, and the need for capital to help cover the cost of creating new outdoor seating. This partnership will help address these problems while encouraging East Boston residents to dine at the many wonderful restaurants operating locally.”

EBMS Board (acting) President, Ida R. Candreva added, “The Board is excited to enter into a partnership that will support local restaurants.  Historically, this neighborhood has thrived on the local small businesses built by local residents.  This pandemic is certainly taking its toll on many of our neighborhood’s businesses and its vitality. This partnership will help put money back into our community and our local businesses, an important component to keeping ‘Eastie Strong’.  Thank you to our sponsors and thank you to Gladys for taking this project head on.” 

Founded in 1995, EBMS is a nonprofit community improvement organization serving the diverse neighborhoods of East Boston with a focus on Maverick and Central Squares. EBMS has been working to support local restaurants and businesses through the immediate shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting business owners to grants and helping to navigate evolving reopening guidelines. EBMS aims 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. 

The first round of Adopt-A-Patio funding will be distributed in mid-October with a potential second round in November, depending on need and resources. Sponsors of the program, as of this writing, include The Davis Companies, The Grossman Companies, Roseland, The Novus Group, MG2, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Trinity Financial, Volnay Capital, LendLease, and Norfolk Kitchen and Bath. Sponsors expect the list to grow over the coming weeks.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Italian American Alliance: The Real Story about the Columbus Statue in Boston; "Mayor broke his word."

The following is a statement released today by the Italian American Alliance.

The Italian American ALLIANCE is not fooled by Mayor Walsh’s recent actions concerning the Columbus statue, For starters, the Mayor broke his word to the ALLIANCE. 

In a private ZOOM meeting between Mayor Walsh, and the ALLIANCE -- which took place shortly after the Columbus statue was vandalized --the ALLIANCE  gathered residents of the North End and Donors of the statue to participate in the meeting. During that meeting, Mayor Walsh was very emphatic about several points.

  1. The statue’s head had been smashed into 7 pieces and would take time to repair. However, he pledged to have it repaired.
  2. He asked for time. He said that in the present climate, it was not the right time to make a decision. He said he would listen to a variety of opinions before making a final decision – AND THAT HE WOULD HAVE A SECOND MEETING WITH THE ALLIANCE BEFORE ANNOUNCING IT.
  3. He asked us to keep the meeting confidential and out of the press – which we did with some misgiving and reluctance.


While some cautioned us not to trust Walsh, we did. It now appears that our trust was a mistake.  However, there’s no other way of saying it. The Mayor did not keep his word.

There are significant questions as to whether all the donors of the statue were ever consulted about Walsh’s decision.

There’s a need to review the terms of the gift to the city. There’s a need to know WHERE THE STATUE WILL BE PLACED. There’s also a need to know where the North End Council will pledge to develop substantial security around the statue and whether it INTENDS to meet the costs of carrying sufficient insurance for costs of repair should the statue be vandalized again.

In the end, there are serious questions concerning the overall process taken by Walsh which the ALLIANCE intends to pursue.

We are now creating a BOSTON COLUMBUS STATUE COMMISSION. Please let us know if you would like to get personally involved. Email us at Frankwrote@aol.com.


Submitted October 7, 2020

Background: Boston Herald "Boston Christopher Columbus statue won’t come back to site — but will remain in North End." October 6, 2020

Councilor Edwards issues statement on Housing Stability Notification Act

BOSTON (7 October 2020) - Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards has issued the following statement on the ordinance filed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh which would require landlords to distribute materials to tenants on their rights prior to filing an eviction:

“I want to thank Mayor Walsh for filing this ordinance and asking that the council pass it during today’s hearing. These actions show a sense of urgency that is required of all elected officials in Massachusetts with the eviction and foreclosure moratorium set to end in 10 days. I can promise the mayor, my colleagues on the council, tenants, landlords, homeowners and housing advocates across Boston that as the chair of both the Housing and Community Development and Government Operations committees I am committed to ensuring this body will pass a comprehensive ordinance protecting renters and owners facing eviction or foreclosure. I am committed to doing so before the moratorium ends on the 17th or immediately afterward during our weekly meeting on the 21st.

The ordinance filed by the mayor is a good starting point, but it is just that: a start. We must go further than what’s being proposed today to protect Bostonians from the coming housing crisis.

The Mayor should call upon the Boston Public Health Commission to issue an emergency order establishing a moratorium on eviction enforcement during the pandemic. This would prevent the levying of an eviction order on commercial and residential tenants and protect tenants against people entering their unit except in limited circumstances. Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh have requested that residents stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Evictions would make this impossible and would increase the risk to public health and safety.

Boston should also implement one of the proposals in the Housing Stability Act (H.5018/S.2918) at the statehouse and provide property tax relief for landlords that do not evict tenants for unpaid rent. This measure will provide much needed financial relief for landlords who are facing foreclosure as a result of their tenants not paying rent.

Finally, the mayor should call upon Governor Baker to do his job and lead the nation in cancelling rent and mortgage payments until the pandemic ends. Tenants, landlords, and homeowners throughout the Commonwealth are facing an unprecedented crisis on the 17th if we don’t take immediate action. I look forward to working with the administration, my colleagues and the housing advocates who have not had the opportunity to review today’s proposal on finding solutions to the challenges ahead.”

Source: Councilor Edwards' office 10/7/20

photo credit: EastBoston.com

Monday, September 21, 2020

Mayor Walsh, Boston EMS celebrate new EMT graduates at East Boston ceremony

City Hall Photography

BOSTON - Monday, September 21, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Boston EMS to celebrate the graduation of 10 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) recruits in a socially distanced, outdoor ceremony at LoPresti Park in East Boston. This graduating class will be assigned to 911 ambulances, strengthening the City of Boston's Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

"In our lifetime, we've never seen a crisis quite like the COVID-19 pandemic. And through it all, the men and women at Boston EMS have been on the front lines, leading the City's response with incredible courage and passion," said Mayor Walsh. "I'm proud to be here to congratulate the men and women graduating today as they join the best emergency medical services department in the country. "

Today's ceremony formally acknowledges 10 recruits' successful completion of a rigorous post-hire training program for EMTs at Boston EMS. Already state-certified EMTs prior to hire, this graduating class, completed an additional seven months of classroom and field training. Known as "Recruit Class 2020-1," the recruits were trained in a variety of life-threatening emergency situations, including active shooter incidents, hazardous materials exposure, transportation accidents, recovery services, human trafficking and mass casualty incidents. The training program also included a month-long reassignment to assist with the City of Boston's COVID-19 pandemic response, supporting field operations, dispatch operations and enhanced disinfectant procedures.

"Their rigorous training academy began when the City only had one confirmed case of COVID-19 and it continued through the surge of the pandemic in Boston. This recruit class has seen firsthand the courage, passion and heart it takes to do this job," said Boston EMS Chief James Hooley. "Welcome to Boston EMS. You are serving in historic times and you are ready."

This academy class responded to nearly 1,400 9-1-1 calls during their training. Those emergency incidents included baby deliveries, cardiac arrests, motor vehicle accidents, shootings, stabbings, strokes, overdoses and more. With guidance from seasoned EMT field training officers, recruits are not only prepared to care for patients, regardless of the circumstances, they also now understand the level of care, clinical excellence and professionalism expected of Boston EMS EMTs.

Boston EMS is one of the busiest municipal EMS providers in New England, responding to more than 125,000 emergency medical incidents per year. As a bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Boston EMS is committed to serving Boston's residents through clinical excellence, emergency planning and preparedness, and community outreach.

In his FY20 budget, Mayor Walsh added four EMTs to promote diversity and recruitment as well as resources to expand the capacity of Boston EMS's Community Assistance Team, also known as Squad 80. Squad 80 is a two-person team that travels in a non-transport vehicle and answers calls where patients have a low frequency of being transported to the emergency room, making more ambulances available for priority calls that need to get patients to the hospital. It also connects people to our recovery or homeless services and other city programs. In FY21, Mayor Walsh is investing in seven new ambulances, as well as new portable radios to support coordination and communication, new body armor to protect EMTs and Paramedics and new AEDs for patient care.

Boston EMS is the primary provider of emergency medical services for the City of Boston and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of pre-hospital emergency medicine. The department leverages the latest advances in both medicine and technology to bring high-quality, compassionate care to the people of Boston. Boston EMS also plays a key role in the City's emergency preparedness efforts and provides community programming designed to educate the public about important health and safety topics.

The Boston Public Health Commission, one of the country's oldest health departments, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Boston. Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of our mission - to protect, preserve and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The Commission's more than 40 programs are grouped into six bureaus: Emergency Medical Services; Child Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; and Recovery Services.