Monday, June 30, 2014

East Boston Main Streets Honored By Boston City Council

East Boston, MA (June 28, 2014) – On Friday, June 15th, East Boston Main Streets Executive Director Max Gruner and Director of Community Outreach Antonio Arevalo were presented by City Councilor Sal Lamattina with a commendation from the Boston City Council recognizing Main Streets’ effort in successfully bringing the inaugural Eastie Week 2014 to the East Boston Community.

“A special thanks and token of appreciation needs to be paid to Max Gruner and Antonio Arevalo,” said Councilor Sal Lamattina. “Not only did they organize 10 days of successful programming for Eastie Week, they never cease to take advantage of every opportunity to incorporate all of the residents of East Boston no matter what the holiday or occasion may be. These two men symbolize what makes East Boston stand out from the rest of the city, the ability to accept and include everyone and make them feel at home. No one should ever be afraid to embrace their culture or where they came from and Max and Antonio know that all too well. Congratulations and keep up the great work”!

After having organized consecutive daily events for a week and a half that included a complimentary harbor cruise enjoyed by over 700 East Boston residents, open studios highlighting two original art installations commissioned especially for Eastie Week, an original documentary movie screening produced for East Boston, as well as numerous social events that included community yoga and salsa socials, the East Boston Main Streets team was found celebrating Fathers’ Day at the culminating Block-Party on Maverick Street.  “It is wonderful to see EBMS’ effort in the community recognized by the city council, and I am particularly honored to see our great and hard working staff be acknowledged in this way,” said Max Gruner, executive director of EBMS.

For more details or questions please contact Max Gruner at or at 617-561-1044.

EBMS is a non-profit corporation. Its mission is to create a more 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.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Celeste Myers, Candidate for state Representative, Statement on SJC casino ruling, Revere hearing

The following was submitted by Celeste Myers dated 6/25/2014:

"We, the people, are the winners and beneficiaries of yesterday's ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts that allows voters to decide in November whether or not to repeal the 2011 casino gambling law. Regardless of how you feel about casino gambling, this was an ill-conceived law from the start, a reality born out in a process marked with many missteps, a lack of transparency, and even the occasional end-run around the law.

The events in Eastern Massachusetts since last November's vote in East Boston and Revere should serve as exhibit A for the brokenness of this legislation. After being defeated at the polls in East Boston, the casino proposal for Suffolk Downs was given new life by the Gaming Commission to proceed as a "Revere-only" project. Even our local elected officials, and later our new mayor, wrote letters of objection to the commission's ruling vowing to defend Eastie residents' votes. The Mayor sought host community status for a "revised project" that has every bit as much of an impact on the the people of East Boston as the one we voted down in November. Last night, in Revere, residents and leaders of impacted areas had a final opportunity to speak out about this project before the commission decides between the two Eastern Massachusetts casino proposals.

Not a single local elected official (or any of their aides) representing Boston, let alone heavily impacted East Boston, showed up.

When I am your representative, I pledge to work tirelessly for you. When an opportunity arises to use my position to defend my neighbors or my neighborhood, I will not balk. My number one priority is the community, and I promise to show my dedication not only with words -- but action as well.

We can all celebrate that democracy will shine in November, when we have the opportunity to repeal a law that threatens both the Commonwealth and our neighborhood. While I do not know how residents of the Commonwealth will vote, I fully support their ability to do so. The stakes could not be higher."

Source: Celeste Myers

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 26: EB Greenway meets

Friends of the East Boston Greenway
With the East Boston Greenway Council

Thursday June 26, 2014
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
East Boston Branch Library, 365 Bremen St.
*Note special start time & location*

We will move through normal meeting business
followed by a history slideshow celebrating the Greenway effort’s 20 years!

1.  Introductions and Welcome 

2.  Greenway Safety and Security Update
•  Boston Police Dept. –Community Service Officer Simons, District A-7

3.  Continuing the Greenway
•  Wood Island Link Section, Massport
    -  Construction completion update
    -  Community opening celebration – date?
•  Narrow Gauge Section to Constitution Beach, BRA
- Permitting progress, project status and updated 2014 timeline

4.  Programs & Volunteers
•  Youth Conservation Corps – Teens working mornings on Greenway 7/7 – 8/15
•  THIS SATURDAY! Sat. June 28, 10:30am: Greenspace Connections and Trees Walk in Jeffries Point. Meet at Piers Park entrance.
•  Seed Share open at EB Library

5.  New Business

6.  Greenway History Slideshow

All meetings on 4th Thurs at East Boston YMCA, 215 Bremen Street at 6:30 p.m.
Upcoming meetings:
Thurs. July 24     August Mtg TBA     Thurs. Sept. 25
        Boston Natural Areas Network
        617-542-7696 •

James Aloisi WWI vet travels to D.C. via Honor Flight NE

Source: Carol Ann Aloisi

James Aloisi, Sr., a longtime East Boston Resident was among a group of World War II Veterans that were taken by Honor Flight New England to visit the World War II Memorial and other memorials in Washington, D.C. Accompanying each veteran was a volunteer, or guardian (family member or program volunteer), who traveled at his or her own expense and offered assistance to the veteran throughout the trip. In addition to visiting the World War II Memorial, the veterans observed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and visited the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial Wall.  The day drew to a close with visits to the Marine Memorial and then to the site of the Air Force Memorial, with its panoramic views of the city and soaring arches. The Honor Flight group returned to Baltimore and then flew on to Boston after a full, active day.

“What an amazing experience it was to see this memorial and to be recognized and honored for our service to this Country, I can’t thank the people at Honor Flight enough for all they did for me and all they continue to do for all the Veterans of WWII said Mr. Aloisi.

Their day began at Boston's Logan International Airport, the State Police, the Massport fire and emergency staff, the TSA staff, Southwest Airlines staff, and other airport staff greeted the veterans warmly and provided comfortable and supportive arrangements as needed. Arriving at BWI airport in Baltimore, the Honor Flight group was greeted by a large celebratory welcoming crowd and then transported by buses to Washington DC.   When they returned to Baltimore to fly home the group organized a dance right in the airport terminal with music from the WWII era.

Honor Flight New England is part of the national organization Honor Flight Network and is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all of their sacrifices. Through generous donations veterans have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at their memorials at no personal expense. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. The program is recognized as a concrete way of expressing gratitude for the service and sacrifice of US military men and women.  Since 2009 HFNE has given over 900 veterans the opportunity to visit their memorials in the nation's capital.  If you know of a WWII Veteran that wants to travel to DC to see their monument or if you would like to be a Guardian to a Veteran on one of their trips please contact this amazing organization at or call them at 603-518-5368

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Let's hear it for Frankie Spolsino and community spirit!

This just in from East Boston Main Streets:

Longtime East Boston resident Frank Spolsino
[Editor's Note: Frankie Spolsino has been an acquaintance and friend for a long, long time. It's always a pleasure to meet up with him. He's a true patriot!]

East Boston, MA (June 24, 2014) – For the past month, Frank Spolsino has spent his lunch hour volunteering for East Boston Main Streets, sweeping the sidewalks around Maverick Square.  When asked about his motivation, Frank observes, “I live here, and it’s nicer when it’s clean!”

Litter in East Boston’s business district has been an issue for many years and, over the years, numerous programs and initiatives have tried to address the challenges of keeping our streets and sidewalks clean, with mixed results.  Boston Shines, an annual community clean-up event coordinated by EBMS and the City of Boston attracts over 100 volunteers, and other, community based clean-ups are also regularly attended by residents of East Boston.

“I do not believe that there is a silver bullet to address the litter issue in East Boston,” says Max Gruner, executive Director of EBMS, “our streets and sidewalks will be clean once a critical mass of residents and business owners take direct and consistent ownership of their space and show the independent initiative to clean up, every day, clean up.”

Frank Spolsino embodies this community spirit.  A life-long resident of East Boston, Frank is a regular volunteer at community events and clean-ups.  Realizing that more needed to be done, Frank takes it upon himself, every week, to do his part to help East Boston shine. 

Janet Knott, Chief of Staff for Councilor Sal LaMattina has known Frank for a long time, “Frank Spolsino is a dedicated community volunteer and kind neighbor. He can often be found cleaning litter from the street or working along the Greenway, always with a smile on his face."

For more details or questions about how to join Frank or how to create your own community volunteer group, please contact Max Gruner at or at 617-561-1044.

EBMS is a non-profit corporation. Its mission is to create a more 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.

Source: EBMA

Monday, June 23, 2014

Myers to Launch Campaign for State Rep on Thursday 6/26; Pledges to ‘Put Community First’

(EAST BOSTON June 23, 2014) - Committing to work tirelessly at the State House so that every East Boston resident has the opportunity to work, live, raise a family and be successful, Celeste Ribeiro Myers this week officially launches her campaign for State Representative in Suffolk County’s First District. Myers, a lifelong East Boston resident and former co-chair of No Eastie Casino, a group she founded, says she believes the neighborhood’s best days are ahead of it.

“I love this community, and I am running to make sure it remains a place for young families to settle, a gateway for newcomers to this country, and a thriving district for entrepreneurs that is the envy of other Boston neighborhoods,” she says. “Too often, big business – be it an airport, an oil company, a luxury developer or, yes, a casino – have tried to dictate the direction this neighborhood is going. I believe the people know best how East Boston is to grow and prosper.”

Promising to run an energetic campaign in which she shares with voters her ideas for healthy neighborhood development, more efficient transportation, and an economically thriving, environmentally responsible East Boston, Myers will lay out her more comprehensive platform at a campaign kickoff event Thursday, June 26, from 6-8 p.m., at the Zumix Firehouse, 260 Sumner Street in East Boston.

Myers is known for leading the ballot question campaign group No Eastie Casino, which last year successfully defeated a proposal to site a casino at Suffolk Downs in East Boston. (Her opponent, incumbent Carlo Basile, opposed an area casino as a candidate in 2007 but vigorously supported casino plans in the run-up to the vote.) As Suffolk Downs continued to push a so-called “Revere-only” casino in the days and months following the November vote, Myers regularly appeared before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission as a representative of the more than 4,000 residents who voted “no” and continues to push toward repealing the law.

But long before the casino issue reared its head, Myers was active in the East Boston community. Her father, a former probation officer in Eastie, used to take her to protests against Logan Airport expansion and to volunteer with children at area family shelters. Celeste’s first pivotal opportunity to impact an issue came at the age of 9 when she wrote and delivered remarks to the Boston Public School Committee during a hearing in an effort to save her grade school, the Curtis Guild, from being closed as a result of budget cuts. More evident than her activist streak is her ardent desire to build community – usually in a hands-on capacity. Celeste played an instrumental role in producing community -galvanizing events including the Sacred Heart Festival, the Columbus Day Parade, Eastie Pride Day, the East Boston Community Thanksgiving Dinner, and has served as a team captain for the annual Relay for Life.

“For me, service is key,” she says. “The casino fight showed me how committed my neighbors are to protecting the neighborhood they love. So many of them tell me they’ve felt underrepresented at the state level; I’m ready and willing to step up and serve them, with the people and future of East Boston ever on my mind.”

Source: Myers campaign

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 28: Freedoms Foundation to Install New Officers and Members, Honor High School Students during Annual Meeting in East Boston

(East Boston, June 10, 2014)  The Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge will host its Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 28, starting at 12:30 p.m. in Spinelli’s Function Hall, Day Square, East Boston.

The meeting will feature the installation of new officers, board directors and new members for the 2014-15 chapter year and a chapter business meeting.

The meeting will also feature a video report on the Youth Leadership Conference to the Freedoms Foundation campus in Valley Forge, PA back in April, which was attended by 10 high school juniors sponsored by the Bay State Chapter and its members. 

Those students, from East Boston High School, Boston Latin School, Revere High School and Winthrop High School, will be honored for their efforts.

To RSVP for the annual meeting or for more information on the Bay State Chapter, contact Freedoms Foundation Executive Director Joseph Ferrino Sr. at 617-846-2122. Lunch will be served during the meeting.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Metropolitan Beaches Commission Releases Report On Boston Harbor Region's Beaches -- BOSTON, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

(BOSTON, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/) -- On Tuesday June 3, 2014 the Metropolitan Beaches Commission (MBC) released its report "Waves of Change" on the Boston Harbor region's 15 public beaches in Nahant, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull owned by the Commonwealth and managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

"The investments we have made on these beaches strengthen our communities and the economy, improve people's lives and demonstrate that government can work," said Senator Tom McGee of Lynn, who Co-Chairs the Commission.

The report identifies a number of continuing challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed to move these beaches from good to great. These include staffing levels at the beaches, which increased after 2007, but declined in recent years to the point where the Commission believes "that the beaches will inevitably reenter a cycle of decline, undermining the progress that has been made and failing to meet public expectations, as was the case before 2007."

Co-chaired by Massachusetts State Senator Tom McGee of Lynn and
Massachusetts State Representative Carlo Basile of East Boston the
Metropolitan Beaches Commission convened on June 3, 2014 to issue
findings and recommendations to better leverage resources for the Boston
Harbor Region's Beaches. (PRNewsFoto/Metropolitan Beaches Commission)
"The Commonwealth's investments in the Boston Harbor cleanup, the Boston Harbor Islands and our region's public beaches have already resulted in dramatic improvements in the quality of life for residents in Boston and the region's coastal communities," said MBC Commissioner Paul Grogan, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation. "To protect those investments we must continue to find ways to fund the incremental changes that are necessary to further improve our beaches."

Other key challenges and opportunities identified in the report include: water quality and beach flagging, coastal resiliency and sea level rise, water transportation, improved information technology and management systems, parking and public safety, dog management and piping plover nesting areas. The Commission also called for DCR to invest additional funds to support free events and programs that are so important enhancing the public's enjoyment of the beaches.

"Local friends groups and Save the Harbor have helped jump-start free events on these beaches, but government has a responsibility to provide direct financial support of these volunteer efforts to make them sustainable,"
said David Spillane of Goody Clancy, an award winning Boston-based architecture, planning and preservation firm, who helped Save the Harbor manage the hearings and produce the report.

According to Bruce Berman of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, the non-profit who helped lead and manage the inquiry and author the report, "These beaches contribute directly to the competitiveness of our region, making our cities and beachfront communities better places to live and work. Moreover, the combined economic impact of millions of residents enjoying these beaches also makes them important economic engines for the region's waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities, creating new jobs and economic

"The region's public beaches, like Constitution Beach in East Boston, are much more than a great place to spend the day," said Representative Carlo Basile of East Boston, who Co-Chairs the Commission. "They are portals to the environment, remarkable recreational resources with the potential to improve the quality of life for all our residents."

The Commission would like to thank the nearly 1,000 people who took part in the hearings and helped to shape the findings and recommendations contained in their report. Copies of the Commission's report "Waves of Change" and the hearing minutes, public comments, the budget analysis
and other technical reports and appendices on which the report is based
are available online at

For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @MetroBeaches. 

SOURCE Metropolitan Beaches Commission; Metropolitan Beaches Commission Releases Report On Boston Harbor Region's Beaches -- BOSTON, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --