Weekly News

The Night Light

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PHOTO BY JOSEPH PREZIOSO
A view down Broadway at night with Encore Boston Harbor towering in the background.  

A Command Performance by the Mayor’s Staff

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(Photo by Josh Resnek) Councilor Mike McLaughlin shown questioning the mayor’s employees about the troubles at the Wellness Center. From left: Councilor McLaughlin, Assistant City Solicitor Keith Slattery, City Solicitor Colleen Mejia, Human Resources Director Lara Wehbe Ammour, and Dr. Omar Easy.

Wellness Center Questions Go Unanswered

By Josh Resnek

Councilor Michael McLaughlin’s laudable attempt to get to the bottom of the difficulties both past and present facing the city’s out of control Wellness Center was met by derision and hostility by Dr. Omar Easy, Human Resources Director Lara Wehbe Ammour, and City Solicitor Colleen Mejia.

Watching the show and approving of it was the mayor.

Personnel matters can’t be discussed, they all said in their own inimitable way, while at the same time evading any responsibility for the goings on at the troubled Wellness Center.

One official yelled at McLaughlin and said she had offered to allow him to answer written out questions that he presented to her.Continue Reading


Wynn Sued for Pressuring Business to End its Lease

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(Photo by Josh Resnek) Shown above is the building at 36 Mystic Street just 100 yards from the front door of the casino. The business owner leasing the building claims Wynn Resorts has joined with his landlord to interfere with his business by trying to break his lease.

By Josh Resnek

The Wynn Company is being sued for $9.6 million plus attorneys’ fees for intentional interference by an Everett business for allegedly attempting to force the car repair company from extending its lease with the property located at 36 Mystic Street.

A&R Realty Trust, the owner of the property across from the casino, has housed ADH Collision for the past four years.

According to Rocco Vigorito, the landlord at 36 Mystic Street, ADH Collision’s lease allows occupancy through October, 2019 and with extensions, until 2029.Continue Reading


Everett Basketball is Back!

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— Eye on Everett —

The Next Generation

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By Josh Resnek

Gerly Adrian cuts a familiar figure in the Everett of today.

At city hall, nearly everyone knows her and to know her is to like her.

In political circles, which are still largely white and male with very few exceptions here, she is a woman in a man’s world…but it is a disappearing world she is growing into prominence in.

Last time out she lost to the rep by 180 votes in what was a very close race considering the substantial backing the rep had. Congressman Michael Capuano had incumbency and everything else that comes with being part of the small family that tends to re-elect one another from race to race.

Ayanna Pressley, who wiped out Capuano is the new sheriff in town, so to speak.

Capuano isn’t even a memory at this point and as for Ayanna, we will likely never or rarely see her here.

This being said, the world opening up to Adrian is a road already traveled by Pressley, who is now serving in Congress where Capuano had sat successfully for 20 years until she rained on his parade.Continue Reading


Serious About Science

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Twins Emily and Lillian Learned showcase their project, ‘Paper Reinvented,’ during last week’s City-Wide Middle School Science Fair. The Keverian students received a medal of distinction for their entry.

For a full listing of winners and more photos, please Continue Reading


Council Votes on Plan That May Not Be Legal

City Solicitor Can’t Answer Capone’s Question on Legality


By Josh Resnek

Without tending to care very much at all whether or not what they were approving is legal, the city council Monday night voted to proceed with the mayor’s proposal for revitalizing, and essentially, remaking, Everett Square after about 100 years of inertia.

This is, as was discussed by the urban planner/consultant who addressed the city council, a very important first step in getting on with the intensification of density, and all the natural things that come with it, in order for the square to come alive, and to aid the city economically and socially in the years to come.

The plan, in its infancy and something that will take about 20 years to complete, includes new buildings with 6-8 story heights, street floor commercial efforts and the hoped for unification of the many different parts of this program intended to make Everett Square, the single most exciting place in the city.Continue Reading


Wellness Center Director Walks Away

Faked Registration as Dietician; Tufts Degree Also In Question

By Josh Resnek

The head of the city’s troubled Wellness Center and the chief architect of the mayor’s effort to award the city school’s $5.1 million food contract to a new vendor, has resigned or was fired by the mayor.

It was one or the other or a bit of both, according to city hall sources who wished remain unnamed.

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Councilor Mike McLaughlin said Karen Avila (right) should be fired immediately when he heard the charges leveled against her early on Tuesday, as reported by the Leader Herald on its Facebook site.

“She should have been fired instead of being allowed to resign,” McLaughlin told the Leader Herald. “Personal relationships should not be allowed to get in the way of the duty we have to protect and to serve our residents,” he added.

Avila’s leadership of the Wellness Center had gained notoriety recently because of reports that at least two former employees of the Wellness Center had claimed they were bullied and harassed by the leadership of the center.

Also, Avila’s work record was suspect with claims by Wellness Center visitors that she was never there at her job.Continue Reading


Mayor Challenged on Food Service Plan

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Mayor DeMaria (above) had a lot on his plate this week.

New Proposal Said to be Costly and Inefficient

By Josh Resnek

The mayor’s intrusion into the administration of the School Department showed its ugly side at Monday night’s School Committee meeting.

The mayor wants to remake the wheel by ending the school food delivery program with the Aramark company and attract a new company to do more at a much higher costs with no real return.

His effort to rethink the district’s food service has caused fear and consternation among 85 cafeteria employees all concerned about their jobs.Continue Reading


Hookah Happening

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A hookah and drink served at Karma Lounge on Ferry Street.

Karma Lounge Opens on Ferry Street

By Lorenzo Recupero

If your fancy is enjoying a smoke while having an adult beverage but you’re finding it hard to locate a landing pad for such a time locally, Karma Lounge has got you covered.

At 355 Ferry Street, the former home of Castillo’s, you’ll find Karma Lounge, an indoor haven for all cigar and hookah smokers alike.

The hookah and cigar lounge offered at Karma is the first of its kind in Everett history, something 29-year old owner, Varun Punj, is quite proud of.Continue Reading


Mayor’s Silence Deafening When It Comes to Rising Taxes

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Owners of properties throughout the city have recently received some of the heftiest
tax increases levied here in the past two decades.

Residential owners, longtime owners of two and three family homes, and newer residents of the city who bought at the highest prices ever struck, have received tax increases, this, despite the city receiving more than $30 million in added in lieu of tax revenues from Wynn Resorts.

Councilor Fred Capone last week told his colleagues on the council that it would appear that bringing the casino here has not yet proven to be of any real advantage to the city, that is, other than the promise of much bigger and better things to come as the mayor is predicting.Continue Reading


Breaking the Mold at Mystic Valley

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Everett’s Anastasia Bessler (#55) makes a tackle for Mystic Valley.

Bessler Named CAC’s First-Ever Female All-Star

By Lorenzo Recupero

Football may be a predominantly male sport, but don’t tell that to one Mystic Valley senior, Anastasia Bessler, who has excelled in the sport regardless of her gender.

A Boston Herald report a year ago accounted for less than 60 female football players in all the high school programs across the state, Anastasia being one of the headliners amongst them. Recently, she was named the Catholic Athletic Conference’s first ever female all-star performer.

As a CAC all-star, Anastasia will be eligible to play in the Shriners All- Star Football Classic played by all the top seniors from eastern and southern Massachusetts each summer for the last 40 years.

“She’s in the trenches with the boys,” said Michael Bessler, Anastasia’s father, a lifelong Everett resident. “A lot of people don’t even know she’s a girl until she takes her helmet off,” said Bessler proudly of his daughter who was already Mystic Valleys first female football player and team captain.Continue Reading