— Eye on Everett —

The Fourth of July

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It is the Fourth of July coming up.

It is my favorite holiday as it comes at the end of June and the beginning of July – at the beginning of summer.

In fact, on the Fourth of July there is much more summer in front of us than behind us. In New England, where the summers are fleeting, the Fourth of July is a moment to savor. It is as if winter is very far away. In fact, it is difficult to believe on the Fourth of July that winter even exists.

It is warm. It can be humid. Sometimes it rains.

This year, we are dealing with a pandemic, the Coronavirus.

The Fourth of July will come and go this year.

The general feeling among the people of Everett and in the cities and towns across this nation is that the virus supersedes the holiday. Many others believe the holiday has been ruined by all the restrictions caused by our response to the virus.

Those of us driving around and checking things out note the yearly display of flags waving everywhere.

Family members and friends are making plans for cookouts and parties although the celebration will be subdued for health reasons.

Block parties and large parties of all kinds everywhere well not be allowed.

Frankly, large gatherings are a bad idea.

There are other reasons the Fourth of July this year will be different from all other years.

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Shrimp and pasta when you’re hungry and need a meal in less than 15 minutes

Shrimp and pea pods with pasta. (Photo by Josh Resnek)


You get home. You’re starved. You have a few things on hand. You get to work immediately.

In this case, you are making a quick and delightful shrimp scampi type lunch or dinner.

Estimated time – about 12 minutes. Here’s how it works out.

Obviously, you had to shop for the few items that go into this delicious mix.

Chesapeake Bay shrimps are the only shrimps to eat.

You can buy a handful at Whole Foods for less than ten bucks. Pea pods are another wonderful addition, bought at whole foods for a couple bucks, a small handful. They go a long way. They remain fresh and crunchy for quite a while in the refrigerator.

A few very sweet cherry red tomatoes are needed.

Basic spices – a touch of salt and pepper, a bit of oregano. Spaghetti-whatever suits you.

Italian olive oil, of course.

You rush into the kitchen; you get to work.

It is noon. You are hungry.

You boil the shrimps and then skin them. Takes about six minutes to do both.

You take a small frying pan and toss the pea pods, chopped tomatoes into the pan under a small flame. A bit of chopped garlic does the trick as well if you have it on hand. (You never use a high flame. That tends to take the crunch out of the peapods).

Continue reading Shrimp and pasta when you’re hungry and need a meal in less than 15 minutes

Senate passes $200 million for transportation, budget

Last week, Senator DiDomenico and his colleagues in the Massachusetts State Senate, passed legislation to invest in municipal transportation projects and extend the Fiscal and Management Control Board. Thursday’s action also included the passage of an interim or 1/12 budget to ensure essential services continue to receive adequate funding. This 1/12th budget was signed into law by the governor Friday June 26, 2020.

“This investment in municipal transportation is a win-win: by funding shovel-ready improvement projects now, we can kick start our economy, all while moving forward with the development of a safe and equitable transit system for decades to come,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico. The transportation infrastructure bill, An Act financing improvements to municipal roads and bridges, authorizes $200 million in municipal roads and bridges funding, and includes $641,000 for the City of Everett. The legislation also renews leadership for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) by extending the Fiscal and Management Control Board for another year and maintaining the Board’s current authority.

Continue reading Senate passes $200 million for transportation, budget

A very different school year in store

Multiple options being drawn up for fall reopening guidelines

Everett High School is bathed in late evening sun on June 5, 2020. (Photo By Jim Mahoney)


On Thursday, the State of Massachusetts will be setting out a handful of possible solutions and options to aid and guide school systems in effecting a successful reopening of public schools in September.

It is expected the Baker Administration will be suggesting at least several reopening programs that will allow for virtual teaching for students done at home as well as in class teaching with strict social distancing and hygiene policies to stop the spread of the Coronavirus among students, teachers, and parents.

Everett Superintendent Priya Tahiliani will be carefully scrutinizing the state’s new guidelines.

She is likely to act affirmatively within the suggested framework to get education going in Everett again.

This we know right now.

Schools can and will likely reopen with safeguards in place, according to the state’s COVID-19 Command Center’s Advisory Board.

The state’s figures of infection have been falling as well as hospitalizations and deaths. They are within the CDC’s guidelines.

As many students as possible will be safely brought back to in-person school settings.

This will include measuring the risks associated with COVID-19 for in-person programs, but also the known challenges and consequences of keeping students out of school. The state is mindful that there is no substitute for in-person instruction.

The state is designing a social compact for reopening.

This provides for students and staff to stay at home if they are feeling sick or have any symptoms connected with COVID-19. School systems need enhanced protocols to monitor this.

Continue reading A very different school year in store

Thank the Lord we live in Massachusetts

Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito have carefully maneuvered Massachusetts away from the collapse of our state health hospital and health system by giving exceptional gravitas to the fight against the Corona- virus.

As of this week, only four states in the nation, are as well off as Massachusetts is in statistical Coronavirus categories – new cases are dropping, new hospitalizations are dropping, deaths are dropping while testing has increased dramatically.

The meticulous and very carefully and planned reopening of the economy is being accomplished. The cost for this has been excessive. Many smaller businesses have been hurt. About 900,000 Massachusetts residents are out of work.

But the virus has been dramatically shut down.

Many economists believe the virus cannot exist with a healthy economy.

Get rid of the virus, have a healthy economy.

Continue reading Thank the Lord we live in Massachusetts