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.
One week after an idea was floated publicly by Councillor Roy Avellaneda to look into taking the Soldiers’ Home park (Malone Park) out of the state’s hands so the City could use it for youth sports programming, several councillors are lashing out and Avellaneda said it’s all politics.
This week, Councillor Luis Tejada, who represents part of the Park along with Councillor Matt Frank, said he is absolutely against any proposal to use the park for youth sports.
“I live directly across the street from the park,” he said. “For kids, we have 13-plus parks to play in. Question, how many parks do we have for the elderly and our veterans to go and be in peace and quiet? One, and now they want to take this away. The fact is that we do enough in this country to push our elderly and veterans aside so they don’t bother us and its a shame. We need to not allow this to happen. Not every park has to be set up for kids and young loiterers. Our elderly deserve respect. They have done their part in helping mold our city into what it is and it would be a shame to take the last place afforded to them just because some people feel they are not entitled.”
But Avellaneda said Tejada was playing politics.
He said he reached out to many councillors when he first starting thinking about the idea, back last spring when the playing field crisis first unfolded and it became apparent the City either needed a new field or needed to revisit the way it doled out its existing fields.
He said Tejada was open to the idea when they first spoke.
“If he had originally expressed his reservations and taken a position against this when I first talked to him, I wouldn’t have never gotten to the next step where we were meeting with the Soldiers’ Home,” he said. “For him to come out now and say he is totally against this, I ask why he mention he was against it six months ago when I first asked him about it…To do this now – being totally against it in the way he is – is bush league politics.”
Avellaneda said nothing was a done deal and it was simply an idea.
“Nothing was done in a vacuum and we never excluded the public or neighbors because, in fact, we never got to the point where we could get public input,” he said. “We were certainly going to get to that point. I was trying to find a solution to a problem. We had a long way to go.”
Councillor Damali Vidot, who initiated the discussion last year about the use of the playing fields.
She said Malone Park isn’t the answer, and looking at how the fields are doled out is what should be done first.
“I believe before the City starts to take away tranquil space from our beloved veterans and neighbors, we start to better manage our existing spaces,” she said. “We have a soccer field at Highland Park that has been completely monopolized by one entity under various names and catering to non-residents. Perhaps if we focused more on accountability and better management of those spaces, we could provide Chelsea youth the space they need as well as preserve space for our vets and neighbors during their golden years.”
A host of community organizations and city councillors have come together with the Chelsea Police to organize a Peace Walk from the Police Station to City Hall on July 27.
“In light of recent national violent act, Chelsea residents and leaders are uniting to stand in solidarity with the Chelsea Police Department to promote a message of peace an unity in our community,” read a statement from the organizers.
The Police CommUNITY Standing Together as One peace walk will take place on July 27 at 6 p.m. in front of the Police Station. Participants will walk to City Hall, where there will be a short speaking program.
The walk has been organized by the Chelsea Black Community (CBC), the Chelsea City Council, the Chelsea Police and concerned community members.
“In light of the recent disturbing and alarming occurrences taking place across the nation involving both violence against police officers – including nine murders – as well as some controversial use of deadly force incidents by police, we as local community stakeholders felt compelled to stand together in unity and demonstrate to our community at large that we are absolutely committed to peace, tranquility and mutual trust,” said Chief Brian Kyes. “Although we are by no means a perfect community, we realize that we must continue to learn from each other each and every day to overcome any challenges that we face together. We view our culturally diverse inner city as a ‘model’ from which many communities could possibly draw from our ongoing successes to overcome any existing obstacles and/or barriers in working towards enhancing police-community relationships.”
Following the controversial police-involved shootings of two black men, one in Minnesota and another in Louisiana, protests and rioting has unfolded across the country. Also in that, time, five police officers were assassinated in Dallas on July 7, and three were assassinated in Baton Rouge last weekend. A police officer was also gunned down in Kansas City on Tuesday.
Others have been shot in incidents all over the country, from Georgia to Washington, D.C.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. — The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution
The issue of what, if any, gun control laws are appropriate in a civilized society once again is in the forefront of the news after the tragic shooting in Orlando two weeks ago.
There is no question that among all of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is the most archaic, both in terms of its language and its intent.
The amendment appears contradictory on its face. It contains the phrase “well-regulated,” implying that the government has the right to make rules and regulations, but then concludes with the verb phrase, “shall not be infringed,” which suggests that there should not be any governmental rules or regulations.
In terms of the substance of the Second Amendment, the notion of a militia has no practical meaning today relative to what that term meant in the late 18th century. We are long past the days when farmers left the fields to become de facto soldiers, or when posses were rounded up to chase outlaws, or when settlers were on their own in a hostile environment.
But some pretend that a lifestyle that no longer exists still has meaning in the America of the 21st century.
However, it was only a few years ago that a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court resolved some of the ambiguity in the Second Amendment when the court declared that the right to bear arms applied to individual citizens, not merely to a government-organized militia.
But tellingly, the same majority acknowledged that the local, state, and federal governments have the authority to make regulations pertaining to that right. As is the case with all of our rights as Americans, none of them, including freedom of speech, is absolute, and the right to bear arms is no exception.
Some, led chiefly by the National Rifle Association, are opposed to gun regulation and registration laws of any kind because of their belief that even the mildest regulations will lead us down the proverbial slippery slope and ultimately will result in confiscatory gun laws.
However, that position of absolutism, while convenient for the NRA, simply is not the way our country works.
Henry Clay said it best, “Politics is the art of compromise.” Compromise is what our American system of government is all about. The Founders created a system of checks and balances among the three branches of government to ensure that compromise must take place.
No gun law will be a silver bullet (no pun intended) that forever will prevent every shooting, of which there are tens of thousands every year in this country that murder and maim us in numbers of epidemic proportions. Although ISIS-inspired terrorism has grabbed the focus of our attention, more Americans are killed and wounded every few days by our own citizenry in incidents of gun-related violence than have been killed by terrorists in all of the past 15 years combined.
To sum it up succinctly, we have met the enemy — and it is us.
Senator Ed Markey and others have proposed sensible gun regulations that will not deprive or unduly burden any law-abiding citizen of his or her Second Amendment rights, but which will greatly reduce the carnage that occurs in our nation on a daily basis.
We urge all of our lawmakers to undertake the work necessary to enact the laws we need to make America as safe as possible from those whose hearts and minds are filled with hate and criminal intent.