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News

Middlesex Sheriff’s Office offer free R.A.D. class on January 9-11

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Program open to women living or working in Middlesex County

CHELMSFORD, Mass. – Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian has announced the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) will host a free women’s basic self-defense course in early January. The Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) program will be held January 9-11 at the MSO’s training academy in Chelmsford in collaboration with the Billerica, Concord and Tewksbury Police Departments. The classes, which will run from 6-9 p.m. each night, are open to women age 16 and over, living or working in Middlesex County. The R.A.D. program includes a combination of classroom instruction and dynamic hands-on training where participants learn self-defense techniques and tactics.

“Rape and sexual assault are violent crimes that disproportionately impact females,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “These classes are designed to teach women basic self-defense techniques, while at the same time building their confidence should they find themselves in a dangerous situation. We are proud to collaborate with our local law enforcement partners to offer this critically important program.”

Women interested in participating in the class should contact the MSO Office of Community Affairs at 978-495-7410 to register.

 

A Snapshot Look at 2016

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COMMUNITY COMPACT: Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito sign a Community Compact agreement between the city and state this February while State Rep. Joseph McGonagle looks on. Under its compact, Everett chose to adopt best practices related to climate change mitigation, sustainable development and land protection, and Complete Streets. In return, the state will provide technical assistance in implementing those practices and new grant opportunities.

   

Boyce reaches millennial mark as Everett cruises past Belmont, 93-51

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Everett basketball’s Ghared Boyce works fast and provides plenty of fire power to the Crimson Tide on the court.

So it’s really no surprise that he reached the 1,000-point mark in his high school basketball career as just a junior.

Boyce routinely shoots over 20 points per game and did so again on Wednesday night as Everett beat Belmont 83-51 in the Boston Area Basketball Challenge Holiday Classic.

Boyce actually had 21 points against the Marauders, which helped Everett outpace their opponents for the win and improve to 5-0.

“Ghared has a great outside shot,” said Everett coach John DiBiaso. “He has an explosive first step and he’s just a natural scorer. He’s also helped by his teammates, who give him great distribution.”

Boyce scored 26 of his 28 points in the final three quarters and 24 overall in quarters two and three, which was key to helping Everett overcome an early deficit. In fact, Belmont actually managed to keep it a tight game in the first quarter, but Everett overwhelmed their opponents with a 28-9 run in the second.

Jordan McAfee also stepped up on offense for the Crimson Tide, scoring 13 points and seven rebounds. Theo Zidor was a force on offense as well for Everett, as he had 15 rebounds and five blocks.

The BABC Holiday Classic also includes Bishop Stang, Woburn, and Cathedral High School, New Rochelle (New York), Portsmouth (New Hampshire), Bishop Hendricken (Rhode Island), St. John’s Prep, Dorchester, and Quincy.

   

Keeping a community healthy

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~ Op Ed ~

Throughout my life I have never felt better than when I committed myself to eating a balanced diet. It is truly amazing how much better you feel when you know you are building a better body through proper diet and exercise.

That is why I am very excited about the City of Everett’s new chef for the Healthy Meals Program for members of the Community Health and Wellness Center located at 29 Maple Ave.

Today in Everett, approximately 47% of our children are overweight or obese, a rate amongst the highest in the state. Additionally, a study completed by Cambridge Health Alliance indicated that the majority of adult residents are either overweight or obese, or at risk. This public health problem jeopardizes the quality of life for our residents and is of great concern to me personally. I am so proud that our local government is taking a leadership role nationally in offering residents the tools to improve their health and in particular, the Healthy Meals program allows members to buy healthy precooked meals at an affordable price.

The Healthy Meals program focuses on three major tenants of proper nutrition: portion control, nutrient timing and macro-balanced dieting. At a cost of $80.00 per week, you select the quantity of each meal per week from healthy menu options. The City of Everett will provide you with nine prepared meals for pick up every Tuesday and Thursday at the Everett Community Health and Wellness Center. Then you simply heat and eat a healthy meal in as little as five minutes. The meal package includes three meals a day for six days and an approved snack list to eat between meals and support from our Registered Dietitian for any questions or guidance.

Wellness Center members can pick up meal order forms at the Wellness Center. Payment for meals can be made either in the Collector’s office or at the Wellness Center with debit or credit card. Please note that cash payments can only be made at the Collector’s office.

Become a member of the Wellness Center

If you own a business or work in Everett, you can become a member of the Wellness Center at $15.00 a month per individual or immediate family or you may also pay a one-time annual fee of $150.00. The fee includes all classes and seminars. The Center, which opened on April 16, 2015, incorporates a Fitness and Nutrition Center, the Recreation Department, and the Energize Everett initiative (which works locally to increase opportunities for Everett residents to eat healthy and be active in the places they live, learn, work, and play). The Wellness Center is quickly becoming a major asset to our community. Employees, residents and others invested in Everett now have access to a state-of-the-art Fitness Center for an affordable cost. Furthermore, the facility progressively offers classes, nutrition consultation and now, a meal program to enhance your personal health and wellness goals.

I urge you to take advantage of the Health and Wellness Center.

Best wishes for a healthy 2017!

   

The Advocate looks back at the top stories of the year

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~2016: Year in Review~

John Hanlon elected council president

At the city council’s first meeting of the year in January, Former Mayor and Councillor-at-Large John Hanlon was unanimously elected by his colleagues to serve as council’s third president.

The meeting began immediately after an inauguration ceremony where the 2016 city council was sworn-in, including new Councillor-at-Large Wayne Matewsky, new Ward 6 Councillor Michael McLaughlin and new Ward 3 Councillor Anthony DiPierro. The newcomers took the seats of Cynthia Sarnie, Sal Sachetta and Michael Marchese, respectively, in last November’s election.

In his brief remarks after taking the President’s Chair, Hanlon thanked his colleagues for their show of support as Everett approached the “threshold of a new age.” “We’re in a time of change for our council, and in line for a number of wonderful things to happen in the city of Everett,” he said. “I will act faithfully and fairly and trust in faithfulness, not only for this board of councillors, but for the entire city.”

Boston & Wynn strike a deal

After over a year’s worth of harsh words, litigation and general acrimony, casino developer Steve Wynn and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh finally struck a deal over Wynn Resort’s casino project in late January.

Under the agreement, Boston agreed drop all of its legal challenges against the development in exchange for an additional annual $400,000 payment on top of the $1.6 million annual figure the Mass. Gaming Commission had already ordered Wynn to pay.

The deal brought to an end a seemingly endless series of lawsuits by the City of Boston against Wynn, which cost the capitol $1.9 million in legal fees. Most of their suits had been thrown up in Superior Court, though Boston had been reticent to say until now when it had had enough.

“We fought the good fight, but at the end of the day, the judge dismissed our lawsuit,” Walsh said.

Wynn Everett puts construction on hold

After Somerville filed an appeal by Somerville against a key environmental permit in late February, Wynn Everett suspended construction on its Everett resort.

Somerville appealed Wynn’s Chapter 91 license, a permit required for waterside construction projects. Somerville’s mayor, longtime opponent of the casino project Joseph Curtatone, argued that concerns about traffic and air pollution have not been sufficiently addressed by the state. The review of Somerville’s appeal is expected to take at least six months to a year.

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, who also spoke at the conference announcing his delay, called on supporters to reach out to Curtatone and urge him to drop his appeal. “I’m appealing to my friend, who hasn’t taken my call in a couple days now,” DeMaria said. “Mayor Curtatone: There’s thousands of people who would come to your office if you need them to come. And if you want us all to come, we will come there and ask that you just cut it out.”

Dr. Stella retires as Assistant Superintendent

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Thomas Stella, whose career spanned over four decades and included stints at a teacher’s desk, in the principal’s office and as a leader in central administration, retired from the Everett Public Schools at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

“He will be greatly missed,” said Superintendent Foresteire. “But the systems and practices he has put in place will endure. There’s no doubt that Dr. Stella has left an indelible mark on the Everett Public Schools.”

Steve Wynn gives a look inside newly dubbed Wynn Boston Harbor

Steve Wynn, holding court among a group of reporters and local officials at Wynn’s Medford office, dropped a series of news bombs during a surprise news conference in Everett this March, including new design details for his Everett resort, a new name for that project – Wynn Boston Harbor – and comments on everything from Somerville’s appeal against Wynn’s waterfront construction permit to Donald Trump.

Unveiling his new scale model, Wynn spoke to the “idea” that precedes “the building,” taking the assembled group through a tour of his “floral themed” resort, which “took the sensibilities of Matisse and blew them up,” and where “a family could come and enjoy all of the amenities of the resort and never have to see a gambling device.”

“This is Boston, after all, not Las Vegas.” he said. “Now you know what it looks like, exactly. No surprises. Everything will look exactly as it appears here today.”

He also announced that the project’s expected cost was being raised to $2 billion. Previous estimates were at $1.7 billion.

Ground broken for Everett’s first hotel

This April, Everett passed a major milestone when a groundbreaking was held for the city’s very first hotel

Expected to open for guests in 2017, the 101-room hotel, called enVision Everett Hotel, located at 1834 Revere Beach Parkway is part of the Ascend Hotel Collection and is set to feature a “locally inspired” and “vintage” design, featuring an interior design evoking the building’s history as a shoe factory and commercial space. The hotel’s development will involve renovating the currently existing structure.

Council once again rejects plan to allow mayoral fire chief appointments

For the second time in two years, the city council unanimously rejected a proposal by Mayor Carlo DeMaria this June to exempt the position of fire chief from civil service, which would have effectively allowed him to appoint chiefs from outside the ranks of the Everett Fire Department.

The change was passionately opposed by the current fire chief and the firefighter’s union, who felt that local firefighters should have the opportunity to ascend through the ranks to the chief position, and that to open up the possibility of hiring from outside was unfair and could potentially hurt morale. The mayor had argued that the change would allow the city to select the “best person for the job,” noting that fire chief was the only department head in the city not directly appointed by the mayor.

The council was ultimately unswayed, voting 10-0 to reject the proposal, which would have petitioned the city’s state delegation to make the change.

A number of Everett firefighters who attended the meeting to watch a swearing-in ceremony for their new chief and a number of new firefighters lingered in the council chambers until the civil service item came before the council. Many applauded after the roll call vote to reject the plan.

Official construction starts on Wynn Boston Harbor

After a count of ten and a chorus of blow horns, to say nothing of months of ligation, official construction began this August at the Wynn Boston Harbor Site.

And officials on the ground were clear that this was not another false start: after receiving Chapter 91 permit after defeating a legal challenge by the City of Somerville, a tighter 34 month construction timeline went into effect, putting Wynn on course to open their resort in June of 2019.

“There are no more hurdles we’re waiting for,” said President of Wynn Development and Design Chris Gordon. “This thing is ready to go, and we’re moving now.”

According to Wynn’s construction time line, the steel frame, which will be on the rise by the end of the year, will be completed by the end of 2017. At the end of 2018, the building will be weathertight and furniture moved in.

McGonagle wins State Rep. primary by 700 votes

Everett backed its incumbents in this September’s primary, helping its county sheriff, state representative and member of the Governor’s Council to reelection.

State Representative Joseph McGonagle overcame a primary challenge by political newcomer Gerly Adrien, taking in 1,773 votes to Adrien’s 1,150. There were five write-in votes and 40 blanks. Because there was no Republican candidate in the race, McGonagle went on to easily win re-election in November.

Terrence Kennedy swept Everett in the Governor’s Council race with over two-thirds of the vote in a three-way race, taking 1,963 votes to Stephen Borelli’s 404 and Richard DiMeo’s 197. There were nine write-in votes and 395 blanks. Kennedy went on to handily defeat his primary challengers across the 6th District.

Homecoming Day 2016: A Celebration of “Everett Pride”

Once again, the city of Everett has outdone itself.

Every year, we hail our annual “Homecoming Day” program as the best ever… and then the next year, it gets even bigger and better.

And that was the case in 2016 – Homecoming was definitely THE BEST EVER!

It’s obvious to even the most casual observer that this day-long program requires much coordination, dedication to detail and a lot of hard work. And the ones who made it all happen – and happen so well – were our exceptional Supt. of Schools Frederick Foresteire, his staff and a crew of very dedicated and capable volunteers.

Absolutely nobody represents “Everett Pride” more in this community than Supt. Foresteire. Our high school athletes, year in and year out, have had no better friend and supporter than him. In fact, ALL of our high school students, whether they play sports or not, have a true friend and supporter in the person of the superintendent.

Homecoming Day 2016 in Everett is unrivaled. It’s the ultimate demonstration of true “Everett Pride.”

Our citizenry should be grateful to everyone who had a hand in making this year’s festivities THE BEST EVER!

City Council joins School Committee to oppose charter school expansion initiative

In a unanimous vote this September, the City Council passed a resolution expressing its opposition to the ultimately unsuccessful state ballot initiative that would have expanded the number of charter schools in Massachusetts.

The initiative, known as Question 2, would have given the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education the ability to approve 12 new charter schools in Massachusetts.

The month prior to the council’s vote, the Everett School Committee passed a unanimous resolution to oppose the ballot initiative and on Monday night several local parents and public school teachers came before the council to urge them to follow suit.

Councillors were enthusiastic about the resolution, all praising the city’s school system with many noting that while they were not against charter schools generally, the city could not afford to siphon more money away from its public schools.

Proposed Parkway slaughterhouse causes month-long controversy

Saba Live Poultry’s attempt to open a new retail slaughterhouse on Revere Beach Parkway created a storm of controversy this fall, drawing concerns from councillors and members of the public about everything from sanitation, animal rights, and building permits. Though Saba hired local Attorney Alfred P. Farese, Jr. to help them settle the council’s concerns, a disastrous Committee of the Whole meeting which ended with councillors questioning the petitioner’s honesty dashed any hopes of their getting council approval.

Saba ultimately attempted to withdraw their request to open in Everett in order to find a home in a more “hospitable” community, but the council opted to instead simply reject it outright, a move which will prevent the business from making another attempt to open in the city for at least two years.

Mayor proposes massive Malden River recreational project

This October, Mayor Carlo DeMaria introduced a major proposal for a new 10-acre recreational area at the former GE parkland site adjacent to Air Force Road on the Malden River. The plan would be accomplished through a court-approved land swap, trading Wynn Resorts the land on which the Nathan Lynde Playground currently sits for the former GE site.

The mayor was obviously proud of the proposal, saying that he believed “this new recreational space will be a true city asset for generations to come.”

The mayor presented a preliminary design for the park to the council. According to those plans, the city will combine the 3.5 acre GE site with the nearby Seven Acre Park to create a 10-acre recreation area containing multipurpose fields for soccer, football, lacrosse, field hockey and other sports, as well as a regulation track, several play areas, a splash pad, an enclosed dog park, a picnic area, a memorial wall, tennis courts, restrooms, lockers and possibly even a bocce court.

In all, councilors were enthusiastic about the project, particularly the idea of providing greater access to the waterfront to the city’s residents. “Anything that’s developing property that years ago we considered unusable or had no idea how we were going to get the means [to redevelop], I’m always in favor of that,” said Councillor Peter Napolitano. “You’ve got my backing.”

Everett backs Clinton, splits on Question 4

Everett backed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump by a slightly wider margin than the rest of the state in November’s presidential election, and went on to follow the state in rejecting ballot questions 1 and 2 and supporting Question 3, while narrowly bucking their neighbors to oppose Question 4.

Clinton took 66.52 percent of the vote, or 9,439 votes, to Trump’s 27.71 percent with 3,932 votes. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson took 307 while Green Party candidate Jill Stein took 164. There were 185 write-in votes and 153 blank ballots. Clinton went on to win Massachusetts at large by a slightly smaller margin, taking in 61 percent of the vote to Trump’s 34 percent.

Everett also followed the Commonwealth on three of the four ballot questions, rejecting Question 1 (allowing a new slots parlor license to be issued), Question 2 (expanding the number of charter schools in the state), and backing Question 4 (regarding caging farm animals), but bucked the trend with Question 4, which successfully legalized marijuana in the state. Police Chief Steven Mazzie came out against the proposal the week before the election, and Everett voters appear to have narrowly agreed with him, voting against by a margin of 48 percent to 46 percent, or 6,853 votes to 6,539. The ballot item would ultimately prevail statewide; however, with 53.6 percent of Massachusetts voters supporting it and 46.4 percent voting against it.

Council approves plan to use Wynn money for tax relief

Those waiting to see tangible benefits from the Wynn Resorts project in Everett may finally get what they’re looking for next year, as the City Council unanimously approved Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s tax plan this November. The plan will offset the tax levy by $8 million, largely by using money provided to the city by Wynn Resorts under the city’s Host Community Agreement with the developer.

The mayor’s plan will offset the $96,745,937 FY17 tax levy by $8 million. This figure includes all $5 million of Wynn’s initial payment to the city (which will be used to pay down capital improvement debts), $1 million from the stabilization fund and $2 million from free cash.

The plan will also shift the Minimum Residential Factor by 1.75 percent and increase the Residential Exemption to 25 percent, further shifting the city’s tax burden from residential properties to commercial and industrial lots. The residential exception was 20 percent in FY16, but recent changes in state law allowed to city to make this year’s increase.

Under the mayor’s plan, the estimated FY17 tax rate will be $14.48 per thousand for residential properties and $35.69 per thousand for commercial properties. Both rates reflect a decrease from last year’s rates, where residential properties paid $14.61 per $100,000 and commercial properties paid $37.98 per thousand.

City and MBTA to pilot bus-only lane on Broadway

After years of planning and public hearings with MassDOT, the City of Everett and MBTA tested out one of the first of their planned traffic and public transportation improvements in the city this November, piloting a bus-only lane on Broadway between Glendale Square and Sweester circle.

The pilot was initially supposed to last only a week, but after a positive response from riders and preliminary data showing reduced commute times, the MBTA decided to run the pilot indefinitely.

Under the program, MBTA buses travel down the parking lane on the southbound side of Broadway, and all parking, drop-offs, and deliveries are prohibited on that side of the street between 4 and 9 a.m.

City signs cable agreement with RCN

Everett residents long dissatisfied with Comcast’s cable monopoly finally saw some competition come to the city this December, as Mayor Carlo DeMaria signed a cable license agreement with RCN in a press conference outside City Hall, allowing the popular regional telecom firm to bring their fiber-rich network to the city, providing broadband and entertainment services to Everett residents and businesses.

“We heard from residents all the time, ‘You’ve got to get a competitor in here because Comcast has a monopoly on cable television,’” said Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “We’re excited that RCN’s coming in and will be able to offer cable services to residents and bring some competition in, which I’m sure will lower rates for a lot of people.”

RCN has already begun some of the construction for their fiber network with the city’s approval, and is expected to begin offering services to customers in January. “People will probably see letters within the next few days announcing our arrival,” said RCN Senior Vice President and General Manager Jeff Carlson.

Relentless Crimson Tide are Super Bowl champions

The winning Super Bowl tradition found its way back to where it belongs – in Everett. The Crimson Tide football team became Division 1 high school state champions this December thanks completely to their impressive 21-7 victory over Xaverian in this year’s Super Bowl game at Manning Field in Lynn.

Everett “super” head coach John DiBiaso – who has now won 11 Super Bowls as man in charge of the Crimson Tide – seemed sure of his team’s abilities throughout the season. The Tide’s Super Bowl win is just confirmation of what the Crimson Tide as a whole believed was possible.

“I’m so happy for the seniors,” DiBiaso said. “This has been a great group of kids from the start of the season. There have been no discipline problems, no selfish attitudes and we have 100 hearts beating as one.”

This was the match-up everyone expected for the Super Bowl at the start of the season. Xaverian was ranked first in a Boston Globe poll while Everett was second. The Hawks edged the Crimson Tide in Week One, 17-14. But DiBiaso pointed out the week before the Tide’s win that both teams had gone through a lot since that point and that the Super Bowl was anyone’s game. Both teams finished the year with 13-2 records.

For Everett, who are now ranked first in the Boston Globe and Boston Herald season-ending poll, this victory also avenged a Super Bowl loss to Xaverian in 2014.

   

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