Thursday, October 31, 2013

No Eastie Casino: "Casino Proposal in Turmoil, Deserving of a 'No' in Eastie, Revere"

This just in from No Eastie Casino!

EAST BOSTON, MA -- Oct. 31, 2013 -- Unlike this season's Red Sox, the investors in a proposed casino are not a championship team for Boston. Suffolk Downs has indicated it won't have a new operations partner by the time East Boston and Revere residents go to the polls on Tuesday. But with or without a casino operator, the casino plan should be turned away on Tuesday by voters.

"Slot machines kill jobs," said Celeste Myers, co-chair of No Eastie Casino, citing research that shows that casino revenues come at the expense of local businesses, "and there will be at least 4,000 of them at Suffolk Downs. For our small businesses, our families, and a safe future for East Boston, we urge our neighbors to vote no on Tuesday."

No Eastie Casino previously called for Suffolk Downs to immediately withdraw its casino application after a Gaming Commission investigation turned up disastrous finances for both Caesars Entertainment and Suffolk Downs' primary owner, Richard Fields. Despite Wednesday's finding of suitability, the Gaming Commission also found that Suffolk Downs knew about many of the problems raised in their investigation but failed to take the appropriate steps to ensure problems were fixed.

"Suffolk Downs completely failed to perform any due diligence to assess Caesars until it was clear they could not move forward with Caesars in the mix," Myers said. "Track management and city officials were notified of Caesars' problems, and yet the proposal went forward full-steam ahead. This amounts to a serious breach of trust on the part of Suffolk Downs."

The Caesars debacle, in addition to No Eastie Casino's rigorous education and voter outreach efforts, appears to be causing more East Boston residents to doubt Suffolk Downs' casino plan. Still, voters in East Boston and Revere will walk into precincts Tuesday to cast ballots with Caesars Entertainment still mentioned throughout the project description and likely no replacement operator in sight.

But for many residents of East Boston, a casino approval process marked by roadblocks mirrors a desperate, dying casino industry. A City attorney admitted this week that Boston is prepared for the fact that Suffolk Downs' new partner may not be a "first-class gaming operator" at the industry standards set by Caesars and that a new operator may require reopening the mitigation agreement. Myers points to this as evidence that it is clearly time for Suffolk Downs to withdraw.

"When states are bailing out their casinos, casino workers are walking off the job in disappointment, and small businesses are shutting their doors, we should be clued in that casinos are a losing economic development strategy," Myers said. "Suffolk Downs has had ample opportunities to select first-class partners, and they continue to come up short. East Boston deserves so much more."


It's Celeste Myers on NECN's Broadside with Jim Braude

Broadside: Showdown over East Boston casino

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rep. Basile supports as House Passes VALOR Act II Legislation strengthens 2012 Valor Act and enhances commitment to Commonwealth’s veterans

(BOSTON) – State Representative Carlo Basile joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives today to pass the 2013 VALOR Act which builds on existing legislation to expand opportunities and services for military personnel, veterans and their families.

The legislation provides increased property tax relief and enhances employment, educational and healthcare support services. It also establishes a home modification program for veterans to help individuals stay in their homes and function independently.

“This legislation sends a message to our veterans that we appreciate their bravery, sacrifice and service,” Speaker DeLeo said. “Most importantly though, it aids those who have supported us during some of the country’s most difficult times. I’m incredibly proud that Massachusetts leads the nation in aiding veterans and military personnel and I believe this bill furthers that commitment.”

“Thanks to the efforts of Speaker DeLeo, Chairman Dempsey, and my colleagues on the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, we as a Legislature have done so much for our veterans and their families,” Representative Carlo Basile, Chairman of the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs (D-East Boston) said. “This legislation allows us to do our small part in helping those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our families and our way of life. The VALOR Act II is our way to honor veterans, the bravest men and women of the Commonwealth, and offer them in some small manner, our sign of appreciation.”

The bill also includes the below provisions:

* Allows students currently enrolled in college, who are called to active duty, to either complete their coursework without penalty following duty, or to withdraw and receive a tuition refund.

* Requires the Division of Professional Licensure to waive the initial application or certification fee for licensure for any veteran;

* Establishes a post-deployment council to make recommendations and study mental health issues to support military members transitioning to civilian life after deployment;

* Requires the Department of Public Health to issue guidance to acute hospitals and ambulance service providers to ensure the identification of veterans in emergency settings;

* Extends the award qualifications for the Medal of Liberty and updates criteria to qualify for a Purple Heart, Gold Star and the Support Our Veterans license plates

The 2013 Valor Act passed the House unanimously.

Daily Item of Lynn: MBTA expanding Silver Line bus service

"Gov. Deval Patrick announced on Wednesday that a new branch of the Silver Line will be created linking Boston's South Station and Seaport District to East Boston and Chelsea." Read more at the Daily Item of Lynn.

Ray Flynn speaks out against casino in East Boston

Former Mayor Ray Flynn says casinos exploit the poor! He's right! Casino discussion with NECN's Jim Braude comes in around 5:40.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Week 7 East Boston Malden Youth Hockey News

M.E.B. hockey squads finished up parity play last weekend in the Valley league and some teams even began their regular season with games now counting towards their season records. 

Mite K     (5-8 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 11, Winthrop 4

Kasabuski Arena, Saugus MA
For the second straight week, the Mite K team knocked off an undefeated team with an 11-4 win over Winthrop. Solid two way play all around with some fantastic goaltending from Will Fosdick. Four goals from Jake Simpson, a hat trick for Chris Hanifan, two goals from Chris Cecca, and a goal each from Ryan Thomas and Cristian Monge.
SQUIRT (9-10 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 6, Newton 3

Fessenden School, Newton MA

PEEWEE (11-12 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 0, Wellesley 5

Valley Forum, Malden MA

BANTAM AAA (13-14 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 4, South Boston 3

Porrazzo Rink, East Boston MA

In the crosstown rivalry Ryan Noonan created opportunities to put it behind the Shamrock goaltender to give the M.E.B. Mustangs the lead with a little more than two minutes to play in the first period. The second period opened with more tough play, but James Pandolfo was able to score at 1:11 into the period on a loose puck in front of the Shamrocks' net off a hard fought effort by Nick Miller to put the home team up 2-0. With a little more than three minutes to play in the second, Louis Staffieri poured on some speed through center ice and lit the lamp for the Mustangs on a feed from Ryan Noonan from the M.E.B. blue line, 3-1. In the third South Boston moved to within one on a power play goal at the 9:30 mark of the period. Another power play and another goal for South Boston tied the game just seven seconds into the penalty. With more back and forth play and more scoring chances for both sides, the goalies kept the score tied until another effort from Nick Miller feeding James Pandolfo gave the M.E.B. Mustangs the lead again with just 2:46 to play in the game.  The play was tense in the final seconds, with a face-off in the M.E.B. zone, and continuous pressure from South Boston. In the end, Malden/East Boston prevailed, with a final score of 4-3.

Malden/East Boston 7, Woburn 1

O’Brien Rink, Woburn MA

The Bantam AAA's enjoyed a little Saturday Night Fever in a physical battle versus the Woburn Bantams Saturday night. After many opportunities, Nick Salgado placed a sweet pass on James Pandolfo's stick resulting in a beautiful roofer under the bar. The second period M.E.B. really hit their stride starting with Ryan Noonan doing his best dancing with the stars move out of the corner and banging it home. Nick Capillo broke in with a solid high wrist shot from just inside the blue line that hand cuffed the goalie and bounced in. Next up was a great feed from Jared Downey up to a breaking Louis Staffieri who blasted in alone moving the goalie right out of his equipment and dropping into the mesh. Not to be stopped, Nick Miller banged home one of many rebounds to go up 5-1. To end the second period onslaught, Mike DeFillipo totally out muscled a much larger opponent in the corner steal the puck and sending a near impossible angle shot off the goalie and into the net. With the physical play intensifying by the Woburn boys, M.E.B. held their composure and finalized the scoring with a Paul Curtis tally placing a 7-0 final score to goaltender Anthony Giuliano's shut out collection.

Malden/East Boston 7, Lexington/Bedford 0

Valley Forum, Malden MA

Coming off a Saturday night win, the M.E.B. Bantam AAA’s started the regular season Sunday with a tilt against Lexington-Bedford. The boys picked up where the left off the night before with a Louis Staffieri show circling the offensive zone until he had nice angle on the net and popped it home. Then it was James Pandolfo as the poster child for being in the right place at the right time, banging in the first rebound of two to end the period up 3-0. The opposition buckled down, and M.E.B. had a tough time getting quality shots keeping the score board idle for the second period. But with determination to finish hard, the third period scoring started with a great top corner shot from Nick Miller. Not to be outdone, Anthony Cecca followed suit with a top corner shot of his own on an M.E.B. power play. After a nice break in by Staffieri, he hung in to pick up his own rebound and swung it wide to through it into an open net past a sprawled goaltender. To round out the scoring  Cecca set up Pandolfo for his Hat Trick ending the game at 7-0. Another fine showing for shutout-master Anthony Giuliano between the pipes.

BANTAM AA (13-14 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston AA 2, Lexington/Bedford 2

Valley Forum, Malden MA

Malden/East Boston AA 8, Everett/Revere 0

Valley Forum, Malden MA

MIDGET (15-18 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 6, Woburn 1

Valley Forum, Malden MA

Malden/East Boston 5, Medford 1

Connery Arena, Lynn MA

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Monday, October 21, 2013

October 24: East Boston Kiwanis Club Kicks Off Holiday Canned Food Drive with Collection Effort at Shaw’s Supermarket

(EAST BOSTON, October 22, 2013) – The Kiwanis Club of East Boston will kick off its holiday food drive with a canned food collection effort on Thursday, October 24, 2013, from 4-7 p.m. at Shaw’s Supermarket in Liberty Plaza, East Boston. The food drive will benefit the food pantry at the Grace Church Federated and the Meridian House, both in East Boston.

Shaw’s customers are asked to purchase canned foods, pastas, and other dried goods and drop them off at the Kiwanis table that will be set up outside the exit doors at Shaw’s. The Kiwanis will also accept monetary donations, which will be given to the food pantry and used to purchase additional food items. All food items and donated funds go to help those in need in the East Boston community.

Starting on Thursday, the East Boston Savings Bank will also support the Kiwanis holiday food drive by setting up canned food boxes at the three EBSB branches in East Boston – Meridian Street, Central Square and Orient Heights – so that donations can also be dropped off at those locations until Christmas. Those donations will also be given to the Grace Church food bank and the Meridian House.

The Kiwanis Club of East Boston is an organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time through community service

Saturday, October 19, 2013

East Boston resident calls upon Suffolk Downs to withdraw casino application

East Boston resident and casino opponent Ernani DeAraujo criticizes City of Boston for embracing SD casino proposal without "due diligence."

"According to the Boston Globe, Caesars was disqualified because of alleged mob ties overseas. I think the ownership of Suffolk Downs owes the City of Boston and especially the residents of East Boston an apology for not doing their due diligence in selecting their "world class" partner and for trying to yoke us to a casino operator that is engaging in allegedly unethical and criminal behavior. This is a complete embarrassment for our City that embraced Caesars on Suffolk's recommendation and Suffolk Downs should say sorry and withdraw their application to end this fiasco."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

East Boston/Malden Youth Hockey Week 6 roundup

M.E.B. hockey squads continue parity play this week in the Valley League as well as the second round of the 2013 Boston Mayor’s Cup Hockey Tournament.

Mite K (5-8 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 17, Peabody 12

Kasabuski Arena, Saugus MA

The littlest players put up the biggest score, which could have been mistaken for a football score this week with a 17-12 win over a very tough Peabody squad.

The Mite K team also advanced to the final round of the Boston Mayor’s cup with a victory over Dorchester at U-Mass Boston.

Mite S (5-8 Years Old)

The Mite S squad saw their Boston Mayor’s Cup tournament play come to an end with a loss on Sunday at  UMass-Boston.

SQUIRT (9-10 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 7, Lexington/Bedford 1

The Edge, Bedford MA

The squirts are also heading to the Boston Mayor’s Cup finals with a win over the weekend at Northeastern University.

PEEWEE (11-12 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 3, Wakefield 11

Valley Forum, Malden MA

BANTAM AAA (13-14 Years Old)

Game moved to Porrazzo Rink in East Boston on 10/17/13 at 8:00 pm vs. South Boston. This is not a game to miss at city rivals battle it out.

BANTAM AA (13-14 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston AA 1, Belmont 1

Cronin Rink, Revere

After two scoreless periods, Belmont got on the board with 5:15 remaining in the game.  Not backing down, the Mustangs fought back and with a fast break out of the defensive end by Jared Downey fed Curtis Taddeo streaking down the right side who sped past the Belmont defender and stuffed the puck behind their goalie with under three minutes to play with a quick move and a high target up over the pads.  M.E.B. carried the play for the remainder of the game, with several chances to win it, but couldn't find the back of the net. Thomas Guarino played another strong game in goal for M.E.B. denying many Belmont scoring chances throughout the game.

MIDGET (15-18 Years Old)

Malden/East Boston 4, Burlington 4

Connery Memorial Arena, Lynn MA

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Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation to present G. Washington Honor Medals on Nov. 9

Friends of the Belle Isle Marsh, Hospitality Homes of Boston, the Ipswich River Watershed Association, and Thomas Materazzo of Boston to be Honored at Ceremonies in East Boston

The Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge will present prestigious George Washington Honor Medals to two community environmental preservation groups and an organization that provides temporary housing to families visiting the City of Boston during a loved one’s medical procedure. The Chapter will also present a “Spirit of '76” Award for meritorious service and patriotism to a long-time veteran’s affairs official in the City of Boston.

The awards will be presented at the Bay State Chapter’s 33st Annual Awards Luncheon on Saturday, November 9, 2013, at 12:30 p.m., in Spinelli’s Banquet Facility, Day Square, East Boston. Tickets are $40.

The Honor Medal will be presented to: The Friends of the Belle Isle Marsh; Hospitality Homes of Boston; and the Ipswich River Watershed Association.

“The Friends of Belle Isle Marsh, Hospitality Homes, and the Ipswich River Watershed Association all represent the best ideals of America – selfless service to community, helping those in need and preserving and protecting our natural resources,” said Joseph V. Ferrino, Sr., Founder and Executive Director of Bay State Chapter, Freedoms Foundation. “We honor these organizations with the George Washington Honor Medal because they have made a difference in the lives of countless citizens around our state and across this country.”

Thomas Matarazzo of Boston will be honored with the Bay State Chapter “Spirit of '76” Award for his dedication to the good works of Freedoms Foundation, and his many years of serving and supporting military veterans in the City of Boston.

The Friends of the Belle Isle Marsh is a grassroots environmental organization, formed in the early 1980s to help preserve the marsh and publicize its importance as an urban natural resource. Belle Isle Marsh is a 350-acre reservation administered by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. Among the largest surviving salt marches in Boston Harbor, Belle Isle features plants and wildlife now rare to the Boston metropolitan area. The Friends of Belle Isle Marsh is a group of community-based volunteers who seek to protect the marsh from development and promote its environmental significance through educational and recreational activities available to the public.
Hospitality Homes of Boston provides free short-term housing in volunteer host homes and donated apartments for families and friends of patients seeking care at Boston-area hospitals. Since 1983, this unique home-away-from-home experience has brought a compassionate response, as well as emotional and financial relief to guests in need. These services are made possible by the generosity of volunteer hosts and supporters. Thirty years ago, Hospitality Homes was the first program of its kind in the nation, and since then, the organization has served more than 14,000 families.

The Ipswich River Watershed Association (IRWA) serves as a “Voice of the River” that was once one of the most stressed waterways in the country and is now being brought back to health and vitality thanks to the hard work and caring of its volunteers and professional staff. Through advocacy, education and conservation, the IRWA has improved stream flow in the Ipswich and saved the river. The organization has reached thousands of people through educational programs, inspiring people to enjoy the scenic beauty of the river and use its resources wisely. IRWA offers use of its canoe dock, sponsors fireside chats, develops school curricula and educational materials, offers programs on how to save water, supports low-impact development and water resource protection and trains citizen-scientists who help monitor the health of the Ipswich River.

Thomas Materazzo of Boston – the Spirit of ’76 Award winner – was the Commissioner of Veterans Services for the City of Boston for more than 27 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served in combat during World War II. As Veterans Services commissioner, he was instrumental in erecting memorials to those killed in action in the Korean and Vietnam wars, along with refurbishing the World War II Monument. He also initiated a program to award more than 200 high school diplomas to WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans who left school before graduation to join the service. He is a long-time member of the Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation and is a Past President of the organization.

Tickets to the Bay State Chapter awards luncheon are $40 and are available from Chapter Founder and Executive Director Joseph V. Ferrino by calling 617-846-2122.

Freedoms Foundation honors Americans who go above and beyond in their efforts to educate their communities about the values of good citizenship, either through teaching or by example. The foundation has recognized several thousand dedicated individuals and organizations in its 63-year existence.

Freedoms Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching all citizens the principles upon which our nation was founded. The organization seeks to convey the close link between the rights and the responsibilities of citizens in a free society.