The effects of COVID

The changes to our society caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down our lives for longer than a year, continue to reverberate.

Public school students appear to have suffered losses considered so great that there is no coming back.

This is evidenced by so many school teachers dropping out of the public school education field, and the need for so many teachers at a time of crying need.

The pandemic ruined the school lives of millions of children across the nation and the world.

Taken away from them were activities, socialization programs and even public and well attended graduations.

Teaching, for many months, was accomplished, if you want to call it that, by zoom or on computers and smaller laptops – hardly the best solution to the problem of moving on during a time when nearly everything public about our lives was shut down.

Nothing replaces the teacher doing their things inside a classroom where everyone can presumably learn in person, every day for years until successful graduation.

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Overcrowding and a new high school

We reported last week that efforts to getting a new high school on the gas burner with the state agency responsible for such things is looking very slim.

Everett is seeking a new high school that is estimated to cost $500 to $550 million, a gargantuan sum of money for any community let alone Everett.

Actually, a new high school approved by the state is looking almost impossibly unlikely, given the lack of funding by the state for new facilities such as high schools, and their spiraling costs.

As we reported last week, the state might possibly pay about 50% of the total cost of a new Everett High School.

This would leave the city $250 million short of paying the bill for a new high school. Where would that come from?

The taxpayers.

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Thank you Councilor Smith

When a $98,000 legal bill was presented to be paid by the city council last week at a meeting of the Ways and Means Committee, Councilor Stephanie Smith showed real spine in tabling the motion.

“If you do that, the bill won’t be paid and it is due,” said a clerk of the city council to the committee members.

After a great deal of back and forth, Smith was adamant.

She said she was tabling the motion until she received the information she was asking for regarding the federal probe into racism now ongoing.

Despite the protests of the clerk, Smith did not budge.

“The law firm can wait two weeks,” she said.

Councilor Darren Costa agreed.

He said he didn’t like voting on measures about which he didn’t know anything.

Both councilors asked for information regarding the probe. Smith wants some sort of explanation from the law firm representing the city or from the US Attorney’s office detailing whatever it is they can detail about an investigation that remains shrouded by a vail of protection.

The US Attorney’s office does not publicly reveal particulars about investigations it is conducting.

In this case, it has been quiet about the probe.

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A stadium for Everett?

Whether or not a stadium is built by the Kraft Family to house the Revolution soccer team which they own is a question remaining to be officially answered.

As we note in our news article in this edition, there are some restrictions on the use of the land in addition to substantial pollution and removal costs for the buildings and chimneys.

However, if the restrictions are overcome in the Legislature – and our bet is that the Legislature will do the right thing – then Everett is on the cusp of welcoming a major league soccer team to be housed in a major league, state of the art soccer stadium to likely be built by the Kraft Family.

Will this be good for Everett?

You bet it will be good for Everett.

From a tax standpoint alone such a soccer stadium will contribute untold millions yearly to the city treasury in property taxes.

Such a facility welcoming 20,000 to 30,000 people to games will cause the need for hundreds of employees, and suppliers, and every form of business consistent with the operation of a major stadium.

By itself, the jobs are an incredible bonus.

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$250,000 more for legal bills

It appears that the US Attorney’s probe into racism here will have cost the city about $750,000 by June.

On the School Committee side, add another $690,000.

Add those two up and its almost $1.4 million and rising nearly every day.

That’s an awful lot of money for an expensive probe that some say will lead from nothing to nowhere.

There are many imponderables about this probe.

If it is about nothing why is it so expensive?

If it is so expensive, then why would we ever believe it is about nothing?

The government doesn’t reveal its hand when conducting a probe or an investigation.

To expect the government to tell some Everett city councilors what is going on behind the curtain of secrecy that shrouds every probe and investigation is pure folly mixed with naivete. Asking the city’s lawyers for some sort of indemnification as to what they are doing is an impossible request.

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