The Memorial Day weekend is
upon us, a three-day weekend that for most Americans marks the start of the
summer season. Many will celebrate appropriately with barbecues and outdoor
activities with family and friends.
However, amidst our
festivities, we should not forget that Memorial Day is America’s most solemn
national holiday, marking our nation’s tribute to those who made the Supreme
Sacrifice for our country.
Memorial Day initially was
observed on May 30 and was known as Decoration Day, in an era before the turn
of the 20th century, when the Northern states paid tribute to the Union
soldiers — who gave their lives to preserve America as we know it — by
decorating their graves that were a part of the landscape of every Northern
community whose sons died to preserve the Union and free the slaves.
That tradition continues to
this day, with the graves of those who gave their lives for their country being
decorated with American flags and flowers around the country, whether by
veterans organizations or family members.
The new century soon brought
with it wars, seemingly every generation, that would give new meaning to the
words Supreme Sacrifice. Starting with the Spanish-American War in 1898,
American blood was shed on foreign soil in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf
War, and then Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention in other far-off places
around the world that are known only to our government.
Although history has been
less than kind in judging the wisdom of our policy-makers who involved us in
many of these conflicts, what is beyond dispute is that in every war to which
we have sent our young men and women, they have performed with courage and
patriotism in the belief that they were serving the best interests of our
For those of us who have
been spared the horrors of war, it is difficult, if not impossible, to
appreciate the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf by those who served
— and died — while wearing the uniform.
It is these brave Americans,
who gave “the last full measure,” whom we honor on Memorial Day. Without their
heroic efforts, we would not be writing this editorial — nor would you be
So as we enjoy the long
holiday weekend with friends and family, let each of us resolve to take a
moment — if not longer — to thank those who gave their lives in order that we
might be able to enjoy the freedoms that make America the greatest nation on
Abraham Lincoln’s words in
his Gettysburg address ring as true today as they in 1864:
Four score and seven years
ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in
Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a
great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so
dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We
have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for
those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether
fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we
can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far
above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long
remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is
for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which
they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be
here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored
dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full
measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not
have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of
freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people,
shall not perish from the earth.
In the aftermath of the terrible coordinated
attacks by suicide bombers on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka that killed more than
300 people and wounded about 500 in churches and hotels across the small
nation, the Sri Lankan government took the extraordinary step of shutting down
social media platforms, including Facebook, You Tube, and Twitter, in order to
prevent the dissemination of misinformation that might incite even more
bloodshed among its various sectarian groups.
This decade has seen the spread of social
media that rightly might be compared to an out-of-control wildfire. What
initially was seen as an innocuous manner of sharing information among friend
groups — think of friends sitting around a camp fire telling stories — has
turned into a raging inferno whipped by the winds of greed and hatred that is
destroying everything in its path.
Say what you want about the recently
released Mueller Report, what is beyond dispute is that it shows that the
Russian government used social media through coordinated bot attacks to spread
misinformation among large swaths of the American public who utilize these
forms of media. In short, the Russians are using social media to undermine our
The attacker in New Zealand who committed
the atrocities in two mosques drew his inspiration from social media postings
by right-wing organizations and individuals from around the world and then
posted his carnage live online. It was hours before the social media companies
were able to take down what he posted, but by then the damage had been done and
his carnage had been viewed around the globe.
In some respects, these abuses of online
platforms by those who wish to spread fear and disinformation are just the tip
of the iceberg of the curse that has become the Internet.
There is no such thing as privacy for
anybody, unless you live under the proverbial rock. Everything we do on-line is
tracked and establishes a profile that can be used — and misused — by those
who are keeping track.
The Chinese government is showing firsthand
how the Internet can be wielded by a malevolent government (and non-government
actors) to control both unfavored opposition groups and individuals.
The Chinese are employing facial recognition
software to identify every person in their country — a monumental task in a
nation of a billion or so people — but it already is being used to keep track
of, and suppress, minority religious groups.
The Chinese government also is issuing a
“score” for every person in the country — think of it as a credit score, but
taken to the nth degree — that ultimately will rank every person in the
country on a scale of social and economic acceptability, creating a hierarchy
that will determine a person’s lifelong fate.
It also is clear that the internet has
become the new battlefield among nations and others. Who needs nuclear weapons
when a hostile government or terrorist organization or criminal enterprise can
disable a nation’s energy grid or wreak havoc on the financial system or hold
individuals and businesses hostage simply by employing malevolent software?
America’s military might — our trillions of
dollars worth of aircraft carriers, stealth bombers, and drones — is no match
for a computer virus or worm that attacks our nation’s infrastructure.
George Orwell, in his novel “1984,”
describes a dystopian future in which the government, symbolized by Big
Brother, scrutinizes every human action with the aim of creating conformity
among its citizens.
Orwell wrote his novel in 1948. It is ironic
— and incredibly prescient of Orwell — that the internet as we know it today
was beginning to take shape in 1984.
It is clear in 2019 that the world Orwell
predicted in 1984 has arrived — and we fear that things are going to get a lot
worse before we figure out how to get this Frankenstein monster under control,
if we ever do.
Several local restaurants and the City’s Chelsea
Prospers program is stepping up to celebrate all things about the pupusa this
Sunday, April 7, at Emiliana Fiesta as part of the first annual Pupusa Fiesta.
As a precursor to the coming Night Market
events, and a nod to the City’s Latino and Central American heritage, the City
and local business owners have combined efforts to put on a free festival to
highlight the stuffed corn tortilla delicacy – as well as all the trimmings
that go with it.
Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney said that
five businesses have signed up to participate in the free event, where they
will have pupusa samples, forchata drinks, pupusa-making demos, curtido and
“It’s kind of flexing our muscles to see how
well we get people together and I also wanted to have a celebration of a
particular food that we have in Chelsea,” said Graney.
Julio Flores of El Santaneco Restaurant said
they are very excited to participate and feel it is very important that a dish
like the pupusa is being highlighted.
“We’re very excited because we opened the
restaurant in 2000, and since then we’ve participated in different events like
Taste of Chelsea and others,” he said. “However, this is the first time it’s
going to be just about the Latino cuisine – particularly the pupusa. That’s a very
A pupusa is a thick corn tortilla stuffed
with cheese and beans – sometimes meats as well. Curtido is a common side dish
with the pupusa and it is a vinegar-based slaw made of cabbage and carrots –
and a touch of spiciness.
“I think the city manager and Mimi and
Chelsea Prospers are doing a great job because I’m not 100 percent sure, but I
think it’s the first time there is an event just about Latino food. It also
opens up the opportunity for this to happen again. I would love to see this as
an opportunity to start a tradition and that it won’t be a one-time event.”
He also said it gives homage to the culture
in Chelsea, but a culture that is changing.
“The City is changing,” he said. “The Latino
community has been in Chelsea many years.”
The Pupusa Fiesta
will take place on Sunday, April 7, from 2-5 p.m. at Emiliana Fiesta, 35 Fourth
St. It is a free event.
Hundreds of friends, family, former high
school classmates, and co-workers paid their respects to Trina Louise Wilkerson
during memorial observances at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Malden.
Trina passed away unexpectedly on March 6.
She was 45 years old.
Reggie Wilkerson, her older brother and one
of Chelsea High’s greatest quarterbacks, said he appreciated the many people
who came out to pay tribute to his sister’s beautiful life.
Trina was a lifelong supporter of Reggie’s
and the caretaker of the well-known Wilkerson family.
“Trina was a great little sister, the best,”
said Reggie. “She was always there for me. She took care of our family, and
that was so important. She took so much care of everybody in our family.”
Reggie and Trina participated in Chelsea Pop
Warner together, he as a football player, she as a cheerleader.
Trina was an amazing party organizer and
loved being around people. She uplifted others with her smile and kind words.
When Irena Wilkerson, Reggie and Trina’s
beloved mother, passed away, Trina decided to organize a party to honor her and
donate the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. Reggie helped out, to be
sure, but Trina was the planner who took care of the details to insure the
success of the event, making sure that everyone had a good time.
Reggie said he will carry on with the fifth
annual fundraiser – in memory of Irena Wilkerson and Trina Wilkerson – and host
the benefit this Saturday, March 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Merritt
Paying their respects
One of the many friends who turned out for
the tribute to Trina Wilkerson was Phunk Phenomenon Dance Studio owner Reia
“Reia was one of my sister’s best friends,”
said Reggie. “Reia, my sister, and I used to take dance lessons together at
Genevieve’s. I was a dancer, too. We used to wear our little costumes.”
City Councillors Leo Robinson and Calvin
Brown joined other local dignitaries in paying their respects to Trina.
“Just a great young lady,” said Calvin
Brown. “I’m so fortunate to having gotten to know Trina and her beautiful
family. We have lost a great person, someone who loved Chelsea and gave back to
Also turning out for the memorial
observances in Malden were Trina’s co-workers at Hyde Park Community Center.
“My sister was a youth counselor in Boston,
so there were a lot of youths whom my sister mentored during their childhood –
they spoke at the services,” said Reggie.
“It was very touching to hear their stories and how much they loved my
sister and what she did to help them succeed in their lives. I was like, ‘wow,
Reggie said during the observances a
gentleman approached him and said, “Your sister (Trina) helped my daughter so
much. She suffered from low self-esteem, her confidence level was low and she
didn’t believe in her artwork. He said to me, ‘your sister mentored her and she
raised her confidence level and she got my daughter to believe in her work.
“And Reggie, I want to tell you that because
of Trina, my daughter was accepted to the school of her choice – and we owe
this all to your sister.”
Heartwarming stories like that about Trina –
a 2017 recipient of the CBC’s prestigious Chelsea Trailblazer Award – have
helped Reggie and the family during this difficult time.
“Trina did so
much for kids and the community in general,” said Reggie proudly. “I want to
carry on her legacy of caring and kindness and her generosity of spirit.”
So much happens within every municipality that needs to be shared: upcoming events, new initiatives, important updates, celebrations of success. And there’s myriad ways in which each department of City Hall interfaces with the public in routine ways, from applications for parking permits to business licenses, to simple correspondence to the uniforms of Department of Public Work employees repairing the streets. Inherent in all of this communication is a message about how the municipality functions. Each represents an opportunity to say something about the City of Chelsea itself.
The new Chelsea City Seal features a more appropriate figure and a consistent design.
To make the most of these
opportunities, the City of Chelsea has just released a Style Guide that details
the specific graphic style for all communications from the ten City Hall
departments and nearly twenty boards and commissions. The goal of the
effort is to establish a consistent brand identity that’s professional, clear,
and attractive. The guide details typography, colors, photography and
formatting that together create a distinctive look for City Hall’s print and
digital materials. For administrative staff at City Hall, a suite of templates
facilitate the quick creation of regularly needed materials within the
established style. The refreshed documents include letterhead and envelopes,
agendas and minutes, business cards and brochures, forms and flyers, reports
and PowerPoint slide decks.
The underlying goal of
the project is that quality, consistent design will demonstrate a unified voice
whenever expressed by an agent of Chelsea’s city offices. Quality design
demonstrates competence and professionalism. Through a clear graphic identity
the public will be able to better recognize services provided by municipal
Over the past eight
months, a team of City Hall staff representing a variety of departments worked
with design consultant, Catherine Headen, to develop the guide. After
reviews, working sessions and a special event with City Hall staff the
completed Guide and templates are formally released this week.
A major aspect of the
work was refining of the City Seal. Over the decades numerous changes had
led to an evolution of the design, drifting the illustration away from the
original as detailed in the banner hanging Chelsea’s City Council
Chambers. When the team began, nearly a dozen different images were in use
as a City Seal across municipal departments. The design details had
changed so significantly that the group was surprised to discover lost elements
prescribed within the City Charter: “The following shall be the device of the
corporate seal of the city: A representation within a circle of a shield
surmounted by a star, the shield bearing upon it the representation of an
American Indian chief and wigwams; at the right of the shield, a sailboat such
as was formerly used for ferriage; at the left of the shield, a view of the
city and a steam ferryboat; under the shield, the word “Winnisimmet;” around
the shield, the words “Chelsea, settled 1624; a Town 1739; a City 1857.”
The unveiling of the new look with take place over time. City staff will
continue to use the print materials already on hand but will use the new
templates for all their future materials. The new style is intended for the
main City Hall departments and doesn’t extend to the City’s Police and Fire
departments or to the schools.
The growing movement for the federal
government to take the lead in effecting policies that will negate the effects
of both economic inequality and climate change has been incorporated into what
is being referred to as the Green New Deal.
Our U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey, is among
those who is spearheading the legislation, along with newly elected
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
The key features of the Green New Deal are
both economic and environmental.
Health insurance for all Americans, job
creation, and the expansion of the safety net are among the highlights of the
economic aspect of the proposal.
On the environmental front, the goal is for
the United States to become carbon-neutral within 10 years.
Both aspects of the proposal will face
opposition in Congress from Republicans. The economic aspects will require
raising taxes on the wealthy, which essentially would repeal the tax cuts
approved by the GOP Congress last year.
The environmental goals will face a fierce
fight from the energy industry and other business groups.
The Green New Deal seeks to address what we
believe are the two great existential threats both to the American way of life
and America itself :
First, that we are becoming a plutocracy —
a government of the rich, for the rich, and by the rich.
Second, that climate change will wreak
environmental and economic havoc on our nation with catastrophic consequences
unless we take immediate steps to reverse its effects before they reach a
tipping point from which we cannot escape.
Some may call the Green New Deal a
pie-in-the-sky idea. But the reality is that unless we do something — and soon
— about the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and the
imminent threat of climate change, the future of America (and the world) is
Ryan Dion has fond memories of his days
growing up in Melrose and traveling to Route 1 to enjoy a steak at the Hilltop.
“Route 1 is my old stomping ground,” said
Dion, who graduated from Melrose High (Class of 1999) and UNH with a degree in
Business and Hospitality. “The old
Hilltop was family dinner most Saturday nights. I remember waiting two hours for
seating in Sioux City, Kansas City, and Dodge City. I use to run around the old
phone booths with my brothers.”
Dion is now the chief operating officer of
110 Grill, which just celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting
ceremony at its newest location on Route 1 in Saugus.
The 110 Grill in Saugus is the restaurant
group’s 18th location and it sits majestically on the former site of the
legendary Hilltop Steakhouse. The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured the lighting
of the iconic Hilltop cactus.
Asked to describe 110
Grill, Dion replied, “110 Grill is upscale, casual, American cuisine in a
trendy, casual atmosphere.”
110 Grill features
steaks, seafood, a variety of sandwiches, salads, and appetizers, as well as
monthly rotating specials that the chefs create.
Appetizers range from $7
to $15. Entrees range from $14 to $30.
Why have the 110 Grill
restaurants – now in three states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York)
proven to be so popular with diners?
“I believe it’s three
things – great food, great service, and the great ambiance,” said Dion. “What I
love about our concept is being upscale casual, you can come in here in a
business suit and have a $32 ribeye and a bottle of Duckhorn Cabernet, or you
come in shorts and sandals from the beach, sit at the bar and have a burger and
a beer. Either way, you fit in.”
The restaurants seats 155
persons, with a private function room available for lunch, dinner, and cocktail
“We’re absolutely excited
to get to know the local folks,” said Dion. “We have a great crew working here
from Saugus, Melrose, Revere, Lynn, and other area communities.”
110 Grill appears destined to be a huge hit on the local restaurant scene.
When one considers that it has been almost
51 years since Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, it is easy to
understand why so many of our fellow Americans today have so little
understanding of who he was and what he accomplished.
Every school child for the past generation
knows well the story of Martin Luther King. But an elementary school textbook
cannot truly convey the extent to which he brought about real change in our
country. To anyone under the age of 50, Martin Luther King is just
another historical figure. But for those of us who can recall the 1960s, a time
when racial segregation prevailed throughout half of our country and overt
racism throughout the other half, Martin Luther King stands out as one of the
great leaders in American history, a man whose stirring words and perseverance
in his cause changed forever the historical trajectory of race relations in
America, a subject that some historians refer to as the Original Sin of the
However, as much as things have changed for
the better in the past 50 years in terms of racial equality in our society, it
also is clear that we still have a long way to go before can say that all
Americans are judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of
their character, as Dr. King famously put it in his speech at the Lincoln
Memorial in 1963.
It is clear that there is a movement in our
country that seeks to take away many of the hard-fought gains of the past 50
years. The shootings and deaths of African-Americans while in police custody
that have shocked all of us in the past few years are just the tip of the
iceberg. Much more significant have been the judicial decisions that have
stripped away key provisions of the voting rights act, the disproportionate
treatment and incarceration of minorities for drug-related offenses, and the
voter ID laws and gerrymandering in many states that, in the words of a federal
court in North Carolina, attain with surgical precision the goal of preventing
people of color from being fairly represented in government at all levels.
“What would Dr. Martin Luther King
do?” we often ask ourselves. We can’t say for sure, but we do know that he
that as much as King accomplished in his lifetime, he would be the first to
understand that his work for which he gave his life still is far from done —
and we can only hope that his spirit and courage can continue to inspire this
and future generations to bring about a world in which all persons are treated
with dignity and respect.
This is an exemplary retrospective of the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath. Adam Tooze regales us with a depiction of the horrors that were unfurled during and after the crisis. the book is divided into four parts, each of which attends to different facets of the 10-year period following the financial disaster.
The author does a nice job of holding the reader’s interest. The book is filled with facts and figures pertinent to the monetary emergency, but Tooze does his best to make it accessible to the average reader.
The crisis originated in the United States when Lehman Brothers collapsed, but to quote Tooze: “ To view the crisis of 2008 as basically an American event was tempting,” but in fact the emergency spread all over the world, especially to the Eurozone, which experienced the brunt of the crisis around 2010 and 2011. Tooze divides the blame on liberals and conservatives alike, although I got the feeling that he is/was a moderate left-winger.
In Europe the difficulties involved Ireland, Spain and most famously and harmfully Greece, which experienced economic turmoil after European authorities imposed austerity measures due to a terrible run on banks. European countries, especially Germany experienced great duress over the prospect of bailing out Greece.
In addition, the world was beset by what was viewed as populist political remedies, in particular the rise of Donald Trump in America and the Brexit vote in Britain. Tooze attributes most of the blame for these maladies to the shaky fiscal situation which arose from the crisis of 2008. The author lumps all these phenomena under the financial banner, and I am not sure they were all interrelated, but he does make an intersecting case for it all.
Tooze’s chapter on Trump elaborates on what the author believes to be the rise of a right wing demagogue, but he barely mentions the positive effect that Trump has had on the U.S. economy.
The crisis of 2008 was widely viewed by many to be the most unstable period since the Great Depression, which germinated in 1929 and lasted beyond the 1930s. During the latest crisis, millions of people lost their jobs and/or homes in the period from 2008 to 2015. President Obama who inherited the mess from the previous Bush Administration, did his best to contain the crisis, but the enormity of the instability was such that government intervention by itself could not contain the onslaught from the failing banks.
Adam Tooze is a gifted writer and his book on the fiscal disaster is filled with minutiae relevant to the duration of the financial difficulties. I had never heard of Tooze before I read this book, but I will pay great heed to whatever he publishes in the future.
“Crashed” is an excellent read. The reader leaves it well informed on the niceties of finance. You, the reader will find it to be an excellent book. I recommend it heartily.
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), and their partner GreenRoots successfully made the case in
MyRWA Director Patrick Herron and GreenRoots Director Roseann Bongiovanni celebrating their successful argument in Washington, D.C., to return funds to the area.
front of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Council to give Mystic communities a chance at $1.3 million in restoration funds.
“This is an opportunity to repair part of the Mystic River watershed by directing funds that resulted from the spill back to the area where the spill occurred,” said Patrick Herron, executive director. “We are excited that our Mystic communities have another shot at this funding.”
In January of 2006, approximately 15,200 gallons of petroleum product was spilled into the Lower Mystic River through an ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. terminal located in Everett. Accordingly, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) charged ExxonMobil with violating the Clean Water Act through negligence at the facility. ExxonMobil signed a plea agreement in 2009 that included a fine, the cost of cleanup, and a community service payment (CSP) that ultimately totaled $1 million to the Massachusetts Environmental Trust and $4.6 million to the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) fund. This plea agreement states that the funds should be used exclusively for qualified coastal wetland restoration projects in Massachusetts, with preference to projects within the Mystic River Watershed. During plea proceedings, the NAWCA Council and U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff assured the U.S. Attorney’s office and Judge Saris that a process would be put in place to ensure the CSP funds would be awarded in a manner consistent to the intent of the plea agreement.
All funds managed by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) were immediately put to work on stewardship and water quality improvements in the Mystic River Watershed.
In contrast, no NAWCA funds have come to the Mystic River Watershed. To date, $3 million of the ExxonMobil CSP given to NAWCA have been spent on other projects in the Commonwealth. The NAWCA Council was considering spending the remainder of the money ($1.36 million) on yet another project not in the Mystic. This would bring the amount spent on the Mystic to zero.
Herron and Roseann Bongiovanni, executive director of GreenRoots, made the trip to Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12, to argue that money should be given to the Mystic. Prior to the meeting, David Barlow, Gene Benson and friends at GreenRoots and Conservation Law Foundation developed and submitted formal comment letters to the Council that outlined the history of these funds and the context for preference for the Mystic.
“It was our communities and our waterbodies that were impacted by the spill on that cold January morning and now almost 10 years later, our communities are deserving of the penalty dollars to restore our ecological habitat and bring about environmental justice” said Bongiovanni.