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  • Two alarm blaze rips through Highland Ave. building

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • RHS senior receives $5,000 Hood® Milk Sportsmanship Scholarship

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Mayor submits $227 million FY18 budget

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Playground Dangers

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Community ’N Unity Celebration

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00

News

Mayor, city confront opioid epidemic at the street level

Community leaders and Revere residents gathered at the high school to discuss the opioid crisis. “It’s an important issue my office is trying to tackle,” Mayor Brian Arrigo said.

That is why his office created the Substance Use Disorder Initiatives (SUDI) office last year. SUDI’s goal is to support those most affected by the issue through policy and systems change. This includes strategies that meet all aspects of the continuum of care model (i.e., prevention, intervention and recovery).

“There are still some people that don’t understand why we need that office,” Arrigo said. “At the end of the day, that office is [about] saving lives.”

Last year, Revere became one of the only cities in the Commonwealth to open up an office dedicated to addressing the issue of heroin and opioid addiction.

SUDI Grant Assessment Coordinator Julia Newhall said one of the most important things the office does is meet people where they are. “The goal is not always abstinence or recovery,” she said. “The goal is to keep them alive.”

Newhall stated that while she hopes SUDI can help all who will eventually get clean, the first step is to make sure they have someone they can turn to and trust to get help. The office can provide support to people to get the services they need, like finding a detox center or by supplying them with Narcan – which has been saving so many lives.

“It’s a complicated issue,” she said. “It’s complex but we have to continue to bring awareness to it.”

Ward Four Councillor Patrick Keefe wondered if someone from the office could meet with the various little leagues in the town. “Maybe we could have some preseason conversations about these issues and substance abuse,” he asked.

Newhall thought it was a great idea. “They would be able to go and talk to the youth and provide an engaging conversation, too,” she said about the staff.

The work of the SUDI office and its outreach team last year directly saved an estimated 87 lives through use of Narcan, and indirectly impacted many more lives through helping connect residents with treatment and recovery programs.

 

Council plans temporary moratorium, reduction of billboards

Revere is one closer step closer on having a temporary moratorium on billboards. The City Council passed a motion during their May 1 regular meeting requesting that the city planner draft an ordinance for the city establishing a six-month moratorium on billboards to allow the city to conduct a zoning study on the placement and reconstruction of billboards. This also includes electronic billboards.

The motion was presented by Councillor-at-Large/Council President Bob Haas. The rest of his colleagues were united in agreement.

“I think we have the highest amount of billboards on the North Shore,” Ward Four Councillor Patrick Keefe said at the Zoning Subcommittee meeting on May 1.

Thanks to major arteries, including Route 60 and Route 1A, which are heavily-travelled commuter roadways connecting the North Shore to the Boston and the South Shore, the city has always been ripe for billboard advertising.

Keefe said he would like to see a plan where if companies want to put up new billboards in the city, a recession plan is developed for the billboards they already have up. “I am for this especially if we can reduce the number of billboards in our city,” he said.

Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo suggested the city send a letter to the MBTA requesting they respect this moratorium. The MBTA can put up a billboard on their property without the approval of the city.

Ward Three Councillor Arthur Guinasso agreed with Rotondo’s suggestion. “The MBTA is over and beyond our control,” he said. “They should be good neighbors to all of us.”

The council voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

   

Network wants to make immigrants feel welcome

The Revere Immigrant Solidarity Network (RISN) wants immigrants of Revere to feel safe and welcomed. “After seeing what was happening on a national level, we wanted to make sure everyone here felt safe and had the resources they need,” Julie Brown of RISN’s Communications Team said.

One of the things they did as a group was denounce Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo’s motion for Revere to reject a proposal by state delegates calling for Massachusetts to become a so-called “sanctuary state.” Brown said that motion made Revere immigrants feel unwelcome.

Rotondo’s motion opposed the sanctuary state idea of protecting illegal immigrants – persons who have come into the country illegally and have broken laws. A “sanctuary city” status is not law but a self-imposed position taken by cities, such as Somerville and Chelsea, whose population is dominated by minorities.

Currently, neighboring Chelsea and East Boston have been overwhelmed with gang violence from the Salvadorian street gang MS-13, who have been fighting over drug turf. As it has dominated the news, city councillors were concerned over suspects’ immigration status, questioning why so many have been allowed to walk freely without police scrutiny in such “sanctuary cities” as Chelsea. The sanctuary city status “policy” does not allow officers to question a suspect’s immigration status, which has become a political lightning rod nationally.

“It didn’t make sense to me. Why have a bill that says you are not going to do something? It’s like the ex that calls to say they are never going to call you again. Why not just not call? Why do you have to go out of your way to make people feel unwelcome?” Brown said.

RISN held a rally before the May 1 City Council meeting. They plan on meeting with councillors to discuss the issues immigrants face every day in the city. They have been told the motion has been tabled indefinitely.

One of those issues is the Revere public school system. “Many parents feel like they don’t have the proper resources they need to advocate for their children or be involved in their children’s education,” Brown said.

RISN works with parents to connect them with the proper resources and help educate Revere educators on how to work with the immigrant population. They are also working with immigrants to educate them about their rights and connect them with legal services if they need them.

Brown wants people to know that RISN isn’t interested in partisan politics. “We don’t care if you are democrat, republican or something else,” she said. “We want to strip that stuff away and have a conversation. Once you get past all that – that is when the real progress happens.”

   

2017 Annual City Census Responses Due

If you have not yet returned your response to the 2017 Annual City Census sent to you in January, please call the Election Department at 781-286-8200 and we will take your information over the phone. State law requires every and all Revere residents, regardless of status, to respond to this notice under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 51, § 4. City Hall is open from 8:15 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 8:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on Friday.

The Board of Election Commissioners, City of Revere

 

   

Revere Police launch effort to reduce motor vehicle injuries and fatalities by increasing seat belt use

Mayor Brian Arrigo and Chief of Police Joseph Cafarelli recently announced that the Revere Police Department, in partnership with the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Massachusetts State Police and up to 200 other Massachusetts local police departments, will take part in the national Click It or Ticket campaign between May 8 and May 29. This high-visibility mobilization will promote seat belt use through increased traffic enforcement in an effort to reduce motor vehicle deaths and injuries.

“More people buckling up means more lives saved,” said Chief Cafarelli. “Our officers will be out enforcing the seat belt and child passenger safety laws so that fewer people are needlessly injured or killed in crashes in Revere.”

Massachusetts seat belt usage is significantly lower than the national average – 78 percent compared to 90 percent, according to the state’s annual seat belt observation study. Sixty-four percent of the 172 people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Massachusetts roads in 2015 were known to be unrestrained, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Seatbelts saved an estimated 72 lives in Massachusetts in 2015, according to NHTSA, and an additional 41 deaths could have been prevented if seatbelt usage was at 100%.

“The simple act of buckling up will give you a fighting chance in the event of a crash – increasing your chances of surviving by at least 50 percent,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Highway Safety Division. “We’re asking all drivers to protect themselves by wearing a seatbelt on every trip – short or long, day and night – and to keep their eyes on the road.”

   

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