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  • Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Happy Birthday, Mr. Mayor

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Mayor submits $227 million FY18 budget

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Twin Sachem Scholars

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Help choose the next Malden Reads 2018 book selection!

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00

News

Revere Beach gets top marks on water quality report card

Revere Beach is at the top of the class in terms of water quality, according to a report card recently released by a local environmental organization. Revere received a 98 percent on primary beach safety in the Beach Water Quality Report Card released by environmental advocacy organization Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. The report card is based on water quality data collected during the 2016 beach season on 15 public beaches in 10 communities, including Lynn, Swampscott, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull.

“This year’s report card contains good news for many of our beaches,” said Save the Harbor’s spokesman, Bruce Berman. “However, 2016 was a very dry year, with just 5.3 inches of rain and one large storm with over one inch of rain compared to the 10.2 inches we had in 2015 and the 13 inches of precipitation we expect in a typical beach season. Though the annual results are important, an analysis of all the data we have collected since 2011 tells a more complete story.”

Revere Beach has done typically well over the past few years. Last year the beach also received a 98 percent score, and its six-year average is 95 percent. The highest grades received by Revere Beach in the past six years were in 2014 and 2012, when it received 100 percent. Its lowest grade occurred in 2011: 88 percent.

King’s Beach in Lynn and Swampscott and Tenean Beach in Dorchester have consistently been at the bottom of the report card, with scores below 85 percent. However, Save the Harbor has installed rain gauges and flow meters at King’s Beach to help the community evaluate and address the persistent pollution problems that close that beach nearly one in five days in a typical year.

Praise for Revere Beach’s water quality is welcome news as the city gears up for one of its most popular events. The 2017 International Sand Sculpting Festival will take place on Revere Beach from July 21 to 23.

 

FY2018 budget proposal maintains fiscal discipline while making key investments

~ Op-Ed ~

On Monday night, I submitted to the City Council my proposal for the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. In the coming weeks, I look forward to a wide-ranging conversation with the Council.

This year’s budget continues the progress made last year toward putting Revere on sound fiscal footing and making strategic investments in the future of our city.

Maintaining fiscal discipline: This year’s budget proposal continues to hold the line on unnecessary expenses, ensuring that we are delivering city services as efficiently as possible.

The budget includes salary increases negotiated with the DPW, police and fire unions. In spite of these mandated raises, overall non-school spending increases were held under 3%.

No use of stabilization funds: The proposed budget does not tap into rainy day funds at all. Additionally, we added $1 million in free cash to our reserves this year. It is critical to ensure that our reserves remain strong in the event of an economic downturn.

Continued investment in constituent services through the 311 center: Last year’s budget created the Office of Innovation and Data Management, tasked with bringing a “311” constituent services center online.

This year, the budget fully funds the call center positions necessary for the implementation of this 311 system, which will officially launch this fall. 311 will be a one-stop resource for residents to call, text, tweet, or message city staff to get non-emergency constituent service issues resolved. 311 represents an important step in my overall goal of making City Hall more customer-friendly.

Professionalizing city government: Another commitment from last year that is strengthened in the FY2018 budget is the Human Resources department. An HR consultant is currently in place, implementing recommendations from the HR audit on how to professionalize workplace standards and practices at City Hall.

This year’s budget continues this important work, fully funding the HR Department for this fiscal year. The city is currently in the process of hiring a full-time HR director.

The budget serves as a blueprint for the work we will do over the next year to professionalize our government, strengthen city services, and deliver value for the taxpayers of Revere.

   

Council reflects on residency requirement

The Revere City Council discussed the residency requirement for city employees once again at the June 5 City Council meeting. The council placed on file an appointment for Public Safety Information Technology Professional position on May 22 because the applicant, Tab Bandit, is from Saugus.

Mayor Brian Arrigo said there were comments during that City Council meeting that upset him, namely the notion that he constantly is asking for residency waivers, a comment he believed was misleading. He pointed out that he has hired 39 people and 37 of those people live in Revere. The two employees who required waivers are Reuben Cantor of the IT Department and Omar Boukili of the Mayor’s Office.

“I am here every day to make sure I provide the best services for the city,” he said. “For me to do that, I need to hire the best and brightest.”

Even so, the mayor went on to affirm that he is committed to hiring Revere residents for city jobs. “I don’t want to give waivers out. The best thing for me is to hire Revere people,” he said.

Ward Four Councillor Patrick Keefe said he was ok with hiring people outside of Revere if they were the best candidates. “I prefer to see Revere residents get jobs,” he said. “I want to see the most qualified applicants getting jobs as well.”

Keefe voted in favor of Cantor and Boukili for their waivers but not Bandit. Keefe said he felt that with the other two residency waivers he was more aware of the of the applicants’ credentials and why the city wanted them and needed a waiver. He said he felt that he didn’t know that much about Bandit. “I want to be more prepared when I come to council,” he said.

Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto said he is going to work on changing the residency requirement to a residency preference. According to Zambuto, in years past the council has ignored that requirement unless it is an election year.

Ward Five Councillor John Powers agreed. “The people of the city voted for you and myself to represent them to the best of our ability,” he said. “To give someone a job just because they are from Revere and not the best applicant is the wrong thing to do.”

The council agreed to have conversations about the requirement in the future. The council placed Bandit’s application on file and he will not be taking the position.

   

State Rep. RoseLee Vincent says bill to ban Native American mascots at Massachusetts schools “lacks common sense”

State Rep. RoseLee Vincent said she believes Saugus residents won’t have to worry about renaming their beloved Sachem sport teams.

“I don’t believe the legislation has any legs,” Vincent, a Revere Democrat who represents part of Saugus (Precincts 3 and 10), said of proposed legislation that would prohibit Massachusetts schools from using Native American mascots.

“I would be opposed to that bill. I received quite a few emails from Saugus residents who aren’t happy about it,” she said.

“If it came to the House floor, I don’t believe it would pass. I knew that when I saw it. Common sense should prevail. Unfortunately, a lot of people have lost common sense,” she said.

One of Massachusetts’ most powerful politicians also stands in the way of the proposed statewide ban against Native American mascots. The legislation (S 291), which was the subject of a public hearing in Boston this week before the Legislature’s Education Committee, drew criticism from state Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.

“I think this is something the cities and towns should decide for themselves,” the North Hampton Democrat told WGBH Radio this week.

“I don’t think the state needs to regulate it. We regulate enough things; it should be left up to the communities.”

In an interview with The Saugus Advocate yesterday, Vincent also considered the matter a home rule issue that shouldn’t involve state government.

And even under the unlikely circumstances that the legislation did become law, Vincent said Saugus should be exempt.

“In Saugus’ case, I believe it’s paying tribute to the town’s rich Native American history.

“I never felt -- during my years in representing Saugus -- that it was anything but a tribute by a town that’s deep into its history,” she said.

“I don’t understand what the big deal is unless it’s an offensive term. And Saugus, certainly, is just the opposite -- a matter of pride. I feel sometimes we try way too hard to be politically correct,” she said.

Vincent said she’s also troubled by the statewide implications for Massachusetts, which uses Native Americans in the state symbol and on flags across the Commonwealth.

“A lot of our Native American history. We have so many symbols. Would we have to remove the Native American symbol on our state seal,” Vincent said. “I would be opposed to that symbol being stripped of the Native American. Nor should we be removing a symbol in a community. Just consider the cost factor of replacing it. Just in the state building. That seal is everywhere. It keeps our heritage alive.”

Around 40 Massachusetts schools use Native American imagery and themes for their mascots and logos, according to a parent seeking to ban the practice.

Lisa Thomas, one of two Tewksbury residents who petitioned Sen. Barbara L’Italien to file legislation that would impose the ban, told the Joint Committee on Education Tuesday that she grew concerned the town’s Redmen mascot would teach her children that “stereotypes and caricatures were OK.”

Jason Packineau, an enrolled citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota and community coordinator at the Harvard University Native American Program, discussed what he described as the impact of such mascots on his own life. The Lincoln resident said people call him “chief” or “savage,” and strangers ask to touch his long hair, which he wore in braids Tuesday.

Following the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee’s decision Tuesday to retire its Native American mascot and Indians name for its sporting teams, take a look at other Massachusetts high schools maintaining similar logos, sporting team names and imagery.

“Native people want to control their identity,” he said, asking the committee to remember that the mascots were not created by Native Americans.

While bill supporters (S 291) said the portrayal of Native Americans as mascots can be harmful and disrespectful to people they are intended to represent, opponents of the ban said the mascots honor historical relationships with Native American tribes and have become sources of town pride over the years.

“The town has an affinity and a great relationship with this name,” said Rep. Jim Miceli, who represents Tewksbury, citing a well-known statue in the town “of an Indian brave overlooking the community,” and the recent opening of a bowling alley and recreation complex named after the Wamesit village.

“I’ve lived in Billerica essentially all my life,” Lombardo wrote. “Never, in over three decades have I ever witnessed the name ‘Billerica Indians’ used and received by residents in anyway other than with pride and joy.”

The Massachusetts Teachers Association supports the bill, and the union’s Shauna Manning said mascots do not represent the “rich and complex history” of Native American people and do not acknowledge a “long history of genocide from the United States toward Native Americans.”

“We feel that Native American mascots are demeaning and perpetuate a myth that Native Americans are relics of the past who no longer exist,” she said.

Residents of Amesbury, Melrose and Winchester testified in support of the bill, saying they disagreed with their towns’ use of Native American mascots.

Miceli, a Wilmington Democrat, told the committee the issue is a priority in Tewksbury, where the school committee in March 2016 voted 4-1 to keep its mascot after hearing support from residents.

“I would love to see this bill killed, and I’m looking around and I think that’s a possibility,” Miceli said.

Billerica Republican Rep. Marc Lombardo changed his Twitter profile picture on Tuesday to the Billerica Memorial High School Indians logo and described the bill in written testimony as “political correctness run amok.”

Editor’s Note: The State House News Service contributed to this report

   

FUN-damental Basketball Camp open to boys and girls in the local area

The annual FUN-damental Basketball Camp, open to boys and girls in the local area, will be held from July 24-July 28 at the Immaculate Conception Parish Center, which is located at 59 Summer St. in Everett. The camp will be held between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for boys and girls entering grades 3 thru 9 as of September 2017.

The cost of the camp is $100. Tony Ferullo, boys’ varsity basketball coach at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, will be the camp director.

The purpose of the camp is as follows:

To provide all campers with the fundamental tools to help them become better basketball players;

To create a positive atmosphere where the camper will learn and have fun at the same time; and

To instill the spirit of the game into all campers, and inspire them to continue playing the game either competitively or just for fun.

Each camper – who will receive a t-shirt, certificate and medal – will participate in various drills, scrimmages and individual contests. Special guests will speak and share their personal basketball tips. An awards ceremony will take place on the last day of the camp, and parents and friends are welcome to attend.

For more information about the FUN-damental Basketball Camp, please contact Camp Director Tony Ferullo: 857-312-7002 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

   

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