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Revere Year in Review

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  The COVID-19 pandemic continued to be a cause for concern in Revere in 2021, but there were plenty of other headlines to go around, as students headed back to school for in-person learning, residents successfully fought back against parking meters on Revere Beach, and voters elected some new and familiar faces to office.

  Word about the state Department of Conservation & Recreation’s (DCR) plans to install parking meters along Revere Beach first came to light at the end of 2020. The DCR’s initial plans to install meters along America’s Oldest Public Beach called for metered parking along Revere Beach Boulevard from Eliot Circle to Carey Circle. By April, Mayor Brian Arrigo announced an agreement where no meters would be installed on the west side of Revere Beach and that certain areas would see the creation of resident-only parking spaces.

  But the headaches continued for residents, especially at the Jack Satter House, and the battle over the meters continued throughout the summer. In October, the saga came to a happy end for the city’s residents and elected officials as the City Council voted to approve state legislation from Revere’s state Representatives, Jessica Ann Giannino and Jeff Turco, banning the meters.

  The meter issue came full circle by the end of the year when the City Council awarded certificates of appreciation to residents Pat Melchionno, Cynthia (Cindy) Kiejna, Roxanne Aiello, Rick Sarno, Peter Martino, Wayne Rose and the residents of the Jack Satter House as a whole for their advocacy against the parking meters on Revere Beach.

  Turco won a special election in late March to replace retiring Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo in the town of Winthrop and parts of Revere.

  There was also a special election later in the year, as Boston City Councillor Lydia Edwards defeated Revere School Committee Member Anthony D’Ambrosio in the Democratic primary for the First Suffolk/Middlesex Senate seat. Edwards is running unopposed in the Jan. 11 special election to replace departing state Senator Joe Boncore, who left office to take a job in the private sector. While D’Ambrosio had widespread support in Revere, where he garnered over three-quarters of the votes cast, Edwards won with about 60 percent of the votes district-wide.

  In between the two special elections was the municipal election in November, which saw a number of hard-fought and close races. On the City Council side, incumbent Ward 5 Councillor John Powers lost his seat to former City Council President Al Fiore. In the at-large race, current City Council President Anthony Zambuto finished out of the running after 22 years in office, as former mayor and Councillor Dan Rizzo topped the ballot. The other new faces on the City Council in the coming year are Veterans Service Office Director Marc Silvestri, who won an at-large seat, and local businessman Anthony Cogliandro, who won the Ward 3 seat held for many years by retiring Councillor Arthur Guinasso.

  Giannino stepped down after a decade as a councillor to focus on her position as state representative.

  One of the biggest issues the City Council took up this year was redistricting. Results of the 2020 U.S. Census saw Revere’s population grow by about 20 percent over the past decade, the biggest jump in the state. But there was controversy over the redistricting process, as several discrepancies and oddities in the census process raised concerns about residents being listed as living in commercial and other areas where no one actually lives. After a tense two weeks, the City Council voted to approve the recommended new ward and precinct lines rather than have the issue decided by the state.

  The year also saw major movement on the development of the riverfront area near Gibson Park. An overlay district was approved that will allow for the private development of the G&J tow yard, and the City Council approved funding to purchase the adjacent former boatyard for use as a community boating and recreation area.

  Efforts to build a larger, improved public works building and yard were also approved by the City Council this year.

  In a tight School Committee race, four incumbents were returned to office while incumbent Frederick Sannella came up short in his reelection bid. Carol Tye topped the ticket and was joined in reelection by Michael Ferrante, Susan Gravellese, and Stacey Bronsdon-Rizzo. The newly elected members to the School Committee were John Kingston and Aisha Milbury-Ellis.

  The School Committee had a busy year, as the district made the transition from remote to in-person learning between the end of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

  Later in the fall, the district and the teachers’ union signed a new three-year contract that was finalized in addition to the district and teachers’ negotiations over the past nearly two years over remote and in-person learning protocols.

  Looming on the horizon in the New Year is the selection of a site for a new Revere High School. A year of Revere High School Building Committee meetings and public forums came to an end with the consultants narrowing down the potential sites for a new high school to the current high school property or the Wonderland site. With either option, consultants stated that the total cost of a new building would be in the neighborhood of $400 million and that it would be ready for new students by the fall of 2026.

  The building process hasn’t been without its share of questions, especially among some of the city councillors. Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo, especially, has introduced several motions asking for more input and information from the School Department about the building process.

  Several newer boards and commissions also saw their share of action this year. The Public Arts Commission took up a number of projects to help beautify and bring arts to the city, including plans to help transform the Beachmont Fire Station to an arts center. The new Human Rights Commission wasn’t afraid to tackle several hot-button issues, including a recommendation to do away with the celebration of Columbus Day.

  Revere firefighters dealt with several major fires over the past year, including a fire on Constitution Avenue on Thanksgiving that displaced residents of a four-unit building, a five-alarm fire that destroyed multiple homes on Endicott Avenue in May and a major fire on Kingman Avenue in June.

Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso is shown with former State Rep. and Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo during a political fundraiser for Guinasso in Revere a few years back. Guinasso sponsored a motion to honor the former state representative who retired from the Mass. House of Representatives in January with a Certificate of Merit. (Advocate file photo)
The Revere Planning Board gave its okay for a definitive subdivision plan for a nearly 12-acre slice of the 160-acre parcel that will be part of the first phase of construction in Revere, including a three-story office and retail building across from the Beachmont T stop, a six-story hotel along Winthrop Avenue, and an eight to 15-story mixed-use residential building. The HYM Investment Group’s (“HYM”) vision for Suffolk Downs is shown with the architect’s rendering. (Courtesy of HYM Investment Group)
In January, Julia Gallogly of Beachmont Elementary School was named a Fenway Honor Roll Top Educator. (Courtesy Photo)
City officials mourned the loss of former longtime Revere resident Priscilla Nickerson this week. Nickerson died at the age of 59 on Thursday, Oct. 14.
YEAR IN REVIEW: Shown below, Hill Elementary School Principal Melissa Lomas (at right) greeted masked students as they entered the building on Wednesday, Aug. 25 after a year of Zoom classrooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Pop_Fire
A rendering of the Point of Pines Fire Station, which is expected to be operational by January 2023, according to Fire Chief Chris Bright. The city council approved a $9.2 million bond in 2019. (Photo Courtesy of the Revere Fire Department)
In September, Mayor Brian Arrigo sent a letter to Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) Director Dr. Bisola Ojikuta lambasting the plan to use the Revere hotel to help alleviate the myriad of homelessness and drug issues at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard in Boston.
SUCCESS: Protestors against parking meters received many beeps of support in front of the William Reinstein Memorial Bandstand on a Saturday morning in April. The DCR ended the parking meters months later.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Shown above, 77 Revere police officers, 87 fire dept. personnel and 19 911 dispatchers were vaccinated at the Rumney Marsh Academy. MGH’s Dr. Nathalee Kong gave the first dose of the Moderna vaccine to Revere Police Chief David Callahan.
Revere School Committeeman Anthony D’Ambrosio announced his candidacy for the state senate seat vacated by Joseph Buoncore. Due to the extremely light voter turnout in November, D’Ambrosio lost to Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards. Pictured is Anthony with his proud parents, father, Gerry and mother, Michelle at his announcement event.
The new Bianchi’s at the Sandbar pizzeria, which first opened in 1952, closed its original location in 2018 just down the Boulevard but remained open at Renzo’s through November 2020. In July, Mayor Brian Arrigo awarded a citation to Bobby, dad, Butchie and mom, Carolyn Bianchi on their grand re-opening at the former Renzo’s site.
There’s nothing like the colors of a sunset over Revere Beach, which celebrated 125 years as America’s First Public Beach with a celebration on July 12.
RHS junior Carolina Bettero was the first person to make RHS history scoring 100 career points in varsity girls’ soccer’s playoff game in May. Pictured, Proud mom Cynthia Betttero congratulated her daughter on the athletic milestone.
Group 5-2
TURKEY DAY VICTORY: Scoring 16 straight points in the second half ended up being enough for the Revere Patriots as they edged the Winthrop Vikings, 16-13, in the resumption of the annual Thanksgiving Day football clash between the two teams at Harry Della Russo Stadium. Pats Head Coach Lou Cicatelli (seated center) joins his team with the Thanksgiving Day game trophy in celebration.
At the end of May, firefighters are shown at a triple-decker home on 141-143 Endicott Ave. at a five-alarm blaze involving several houses. Thankfully, no injuries were reported but 16 residents left homeless. (Advocate file photo)
In February, Perkins Eastman was selected as the architect for the new Revere High School. Perkins Eastman was involved with the construction of the Dunbar Senior High School in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of Perkins-Eastman)
Ashley Melnik-2
Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women names City Clerk Ashley Melnik as 2021 Commonwealth Heroine in June.
In a Revere Advocate story published in October, a multi-family home located at 63 Marlborough St. in Chelsea was purchased in 2015 for $549,900 by Boston City Councillor and state senate candidate Lydia Edwards who used an FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan which required Edwards to take up residence there. Edwards continued to reside in East Boston, which violated the terms of the mortgage loan. (Advocate staff photo)


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