Say what you will about the state of politics in our country these days, one thing that is undeniable is that Americans have become more engaged in the political process than at any time in our recent history.
The recent election of scores of women, of diverse backgrounds, to public office has signified that men no longer will be running the show.
This is a good thing, not only for women, but also for men — and by extension, for our entire nation and the world — because when those who control our democratic institutions reflect the make-up of those whom they are serving, the end result will be policies that benefit all Americans, in all our diversity, rather than just the few.
It took the current political environment to wake us up from our complacency .
We look forward to our new Congress and trust that the talented and energetic women who will be serving as our senators and representatives will bring a positive attitude and some meaningful changes to the status quo.
There are three questions on the ballot for the upcoming state election on Tuesday, November 6. The three are about as unrelated and disparate as one could imagine.
The first question asks voters to adopt a proposed new law that would require minimum staffing by nurses in every hospital in the state. We have to admit that when we started reading the full text of the very lengthy proposed new law, our eyes began to glaze over because of the use of terminology that may be common to doctors and nurses, but which means little to the rest of us.
However, what is clear is that those who proposed this question have a good idea of what they’re doing.
We doubt there is anyone who would dispute that nursing care in hospitals is critical for patients. It also is beyond dispute that avoidable mistakes in hospital care are a leading cause of death of patients in even the best hospitals.
In our view, this ballot question comes down to a cost/benefit analysis: Is the added cost of minimum staffing for nurses (and by the way, no one really knows what that dollar figure might be) worth the undisputed benefits for patient care?
Question 2 seeks to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit the spending by corporate entities. The amendment is designed to overturn the Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared unconstitutional the limits imposed by Congress on campaign spending by corporations.
In deciding this question, voters would do well to recall the words of Louis Brandeis, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
The only way to change Citizens United is to amend the Constitution — a drastic measure, no doubt .
Question 3 seeks approval of an already-existing state law, that was approved by the legislature in 2016, that bans discrimination against transgender persons. The law has been working well and is endorsed by many groups and organizations, including the Mass. Police Chiefs Association. A “Yes” vote keeps in place the current law.
The Chelsea High Cross Country team welcomed our Middle School Cross Country team for an intense indoor cardio workout two weeks ago. The Middle School Cross Country team has been working so hard to prepare for their season. Yesterday, they completed their first time trial of their meet course. Their coach is extremely proud of their determination and team work.
BERKOWITZ SCHOOL UPDATES
The Berkowitz School held its first school-wide assembly this week. Students had a great time learning about the core values of respect, responsibility, empathy, and determination. Students were also recognized for exemplifying these values. We also had a visit from our special friend and Mascot, “Berky,” who told our students about our year-long apparel fundraiser. Students will be taking home flyers with information on how to order our Berkowitz school customizable clothing. Clothing can be ordered at berkowitzspiritwear.com. Some 20 percent of all sales will go directly towards Berkowitz School student activities.
HOOKS SCHOOL UPDATES
The Hooks School had its 1st Annual Back to School Social. Students and families sat in front of the Hooks School, had a picnic and listened to some read alouds from Principal Lubarsky and Assistant Principal Dore. Teachers on the Family Outreach Committee organized this event and did an outstanding job getting students from all four grades.
WRIGHT MIDDLE SCHOOL
The 8th grade teachers at the WSTA have organized grade-wide team building events for our students throughout the first few weeks of school.
CHELSEA HIGH SCHOOL
The boys’ and girls’ cross country teams got off to a strong start on Wednesday, Sept. 12, with both teams winning their meets against Whittier Tech and Presentation of Mary. The girls, who are the defending dual and league meet champions, were led by captains YaridDeras and Jocelyn Post, who finished first and third. SailaCarriento was sixth overall, Karina Avalos was tenth, Yarelis Torres was eleventh and twin sister Nicole was thirteenth. The girls will be competing in Malden next week against Mystic Valley.
The boys’ team was led by captain Justin Turner who was the overall winner. Co-captain Julio Valladares was second overall followed by Raphael Castillo in fourth. Oscar Amaya was fifth and Jazmany Reyes and Limilson Tavares finished eighth and ninth respectively. The Whittier boys were the two time defending league champions and had won 23 straight dual meets before Wednesday’s loss to Chelsea. The boys will also be competing next Wednesday against Mystic Valley.
For Revere High School seniors graduation day is Thursday and this day is one of the few occasions that brings a smile to the faces of everyone in a community, regardless of whether they know a graduate. It is an occasion when all of us share in the joy — and pride — that graduation day marks in the lives of our young people. For older folks, graduation day recalls a time when we too, were young and full of life.
However, graduation day marks a bittersweet moment for parents, friends, family, and teachers, as well the grads themselves. As befits every turning point in our lives, it is a time of mixed emotions of joy, sadness, and reflection. Although the graduates and those close to them are looking forward to the exciting future that lies before them, at the same time, they will be looking back on the passing of their carefree youth and of the friends and experiences that have shaped their lives to this point.
The young women and men who receive their diplomas no longer are considered “youths” in the eyes of the world. They are full-fledged adults who have been deemed ready to assume all of the rights — and responsibilities — that adulthood implies.
The graduates, most of whom have turned 18, can vote, run for public office, enter into contracts, be tried fully as adults in the criminal justice system, and fight and die for their country.
For the parents of the grads, watching their “little boy or girl” proceed to the podium to receive his or her diploma will be a poignant moment. No doubt every parent will be thinking of the sentiments expressed in the song “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler On The Roof:”
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older
When – did – they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday when they – were – small?
Although economists these days tell us that the value of a high school diploma is not what it was a generation or more ago, the graduates should keep in mind, as they contemplate venturing out into an uncertain future, that their mere presence on the podium has proven that they have the ability and the determination to achieve whatever goals they may set for themselves.
We came across a news item from one of our sister publications, The Winthrop Sun-Transcript, from June 24, 1898. The article, which reprinted the Class Ode for the Winthrop High Class of 1898, is as timely today as it was 120 years ago, and sums up the feelings of all of us on graduation day.
He spent his entire professional career working in the country’s best restaurants and crafting innovative tastes in his own bistros.
Now, Chef Matt Morello is bringing his culinary skills to Revolutionary Clinics, making unique, cannabis-infused edibles. Revolutionary Clinics is a state-of-the-art medical marijuana company with a dispensary at 67 Broadway in Somerville and two planned in Cambridge.
“I have had amazing opportunities to train under some of the finest chefs in the country in world-renowned restaurants and hotels,” Morello said. “Now, I have the chance to be a part of a cutting-edge company like RevClinics.”
Morello says he is bringing his skills to the art of edible cannabis products. “Cannabis edibles present a unique challenge, unlike a cafe or restaurant where food is expected to be eaten right away. We have to be creative and innovative to ensure the highest quality product throughout its shelf life,” he said. “This requires the same attention to detail that is required at the highest level of fine dining.”
Among the morsels available at the Somerville dispensary: strawberry-lemon gummies, concord grape terp chews and passion fruit gummies. They are all created by Morello.
“Our edibles are the perfect mix of chemistry and the culinary arts,” he said. “Chemistry makes sure the products are consistent, of the highest quality, and effective. My job is to make it taste good.”
There are 61 communities in Massachusetts including the City of Boston that have placed a ban on those horrible plastic shopping bags and the City of Revere is poised to become number 62 after Revere City Council members Steve Morabito and Patrick Keefe sponsored a motion that is set for a public hearing on Feb. 26.
When we think of the litter problem in America, the item that is most ubiquitous and that most readily comes to our mind’s eye is the small plastic shopping bag that is at every checkout counter in every store across the country.
They float in our oceans, get stuck in trees and tall grass, or just blow in the wind, the modern-day equivalent of a prairie tumbleweed. There is not a space anywhere that is spared from their unsightliness.
There is no good reason to have them, given the degree of environmental degradation they cause, and we are pleased that communities in Massachusetts are doing the right thing to ban these bags.
The movement to do so, in our view, highlights what we all know: That preserving our environment is necessary from the bottom-up.
We can make a difference, person-by-person and community-by-community, and a plastic bag ban is a big step in that direction.
Maybe, Everett officials should consider being number 63.
It is difficult to understate the impact upon the future of our country of the Republican tax bill proposals that have been passed by the House and Senate and await a reconciliation between the two versions for a final vote by both.
The most complex piece of tax legislation to be enacted in more than 30 years was devised and voted upon with little or no debate and in the middle of the night (after midnight, actually) in the Senate, with cross-outs and extended, hand-written notes in the margins such that no Senator really knows what he or she voted upon.
However, what is clear is that the tax bill will raise taxes on the middle class — some substantially so (especially here in Massachusetts) — and all but destroy the Affordable Care Act, while giving huge benefits to the ultra-rich in countless ways.
One of the most outrageous giveaways to the ultra-rich is that they can deduct the cost of maintenance of their private jets. Wouldn’t we all like to do that for our cars, the preferred mode of transportation for the rest of us?
In addition, this tax giveaway by the supposedly deficit-hawk, fiscally-conservative Republicans will be increasing the deficit by at least $1 trillion over the next 10 years, and most likely more than that.
All in all, this represents America’s move toward a real-life Hunger Games, in which most Americans barely will be able to scrape by with little or no prospect for economic mobility.
The American Century has been turned on its head — and we never will be the same again.
Accepting the Culture of Health prize at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation headquarters in Princeton, NJ, are Jose Iraheta, Leslie Aldrich, City Manager Tom Ambrosino, Sylvia Ramirez, Dan Cortez and Roseann Bongiovanni.
A delegation of Chelsea stakeholders and residents traveled to Princeton, New Jersey on Oct. 11 to accept the City’s Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health prize.
The national celebration took place at the headquarters of the Foundation, and a six-person delegation from Chelsea appeared.
Chelsea was announced as the winner of the prize last month locally, and accepted the prize officially last week. A community celebration in honor of the award tentatively has been scheduled for Nov. 16.
The Prize honors communities that understand health is a shared value and everyone has a role to play to help people be healthier. Chosen from more than 200 communities across the country, Chelsea’s selection stems from its success in pursuing innovative strategies, leveraging their unique strengths, and bringing partners together to ensure good health flourishes for everyone. Chelsea is one of eight communities awarded the Prize in 2017. There are 35 trailblazing communities throughout the nation that have been honored with this distinguished award throughout the past five years – including four others from Massachusetts. Past winners include: Cambridge (2013), Fall River (2013), Everett (2015), Lawrence (2015).
The passing this week of Glen Campbell, the country singer who crossed over into the pop genre in the late 1960s with hit records such as By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, Galveston, and many others, marks the end of an era for those of a certain (older) generation.
His records were both timely and timeless. Whether singing of lost-love (By the Time I Get to Phoenix) or about a soldier at war (Galveston) or of lost youth (The Dreams of the Everyday Housewife), Glen Campbell’s songs (many written by Jimmy Webb) spoke to the human condition.
In addition to his singing ability, Glen Campbell also was a superb guitarist, who performed as a sessions musician on many hit records for artists including Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, the Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and the Beach Boys before embarking on his own career.
Despite his success, Campbell himself was not immune to the vicissitudes of life. He was married four times and his battles with alcoholism and Alzheimer’s disease were well-known.
For those of us who were youngsters in the late 1960s and 70s, Glen Campbell’s songs were ubiquitous and crossed generations. His TV variety show, similar to others of those years, such as the Johnny Cash Show, The Smothers Brothers, and Laugh-In, were watched by the entire family in our living rooms on the one TV set in our household. His passing evokes bittersweet memories from our childhood and of our loved ones who also have passed in the years since.
Gold Star Mother Diana Ramirez said nothing can take away the pain of losing her son in 2008 to the war in Afghanistan, but gatherings such as the one on Memorial Day at City Hall Monday help ease the pain of loss.
Ramirez was the keynote speaker at Monday’s exercises, and also the Grand Marshal of the Girl Scout Parade. She said nothing can prepare one for the loss of a child in war.
“A young boy decided he wanted to join the military,” she said. “He joined the Army and two years later, he lost his life in Afghanistan. Time goes on, but the hurt never does heal. This community gathered here helps the hurt though. To see this group of kids here today. This is the medicine that helps our hurt.”
Following her speech, members of the DAV and PAV placed wreaths for the Gold Star Mothers and for those lost in the service of country.
The exercises on Monday were punctuated by the threat of bad weather, but that didn’t come until after a great musical program from the Chelsea High concert band took place. Also, students from each elementary school – all named after fallen veterans – read the story of those that their respective schools are named after.
Veterans Service Officer Francisco Toro and Supt. Mary Bourque thanked everyone for coming out.
Ramirez’s son, Nelson Rodriguez Ramirez, died while fighting in Afghanistan in June 2008.
Specialist Rodriguez Ramirez lived in Rochester, NY with his wife and daughter when he passed.
He died in Kandahar City in Afghanistan as a result of his unit coming in contact with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire.