Schools on tap to open this fall, EPS working on final plans

The Lafayette School is one of the city’s schools scheduled to open this fall. (By Jim Mahoney)

By JOSH RESNEK

As the pandemic appears to be raging out of control in other parts of the nation imperiling the economy and the approaching school year, the situation here is apparently at a place where Everett’s school superintendent and local officials are planning for a reopening sometime in late August or early September.

All plans are tentative at the moment all roads lead to a reopening of some kind.

“The schools will reopen. You can depend on that.”

How many days in the week students will attend in classroom instructions remains a question, and how many older students will be allowed to matriculate through internet instructions is now being decided,” said a source with an understanding of where the Everett school district and its leadership are apparently leaning.

With infections soaring in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, the reopening of schools en masse throughout those states has been called into serious question as officials struggle to meet the social and educational needs of young students with the need for a safe and healthy environment.

In Los Angeles, the largest school district in the nation, the superintendent there has decided schools cannot reopen with the virus out of control.

The thinking is the same in Houston, Texas and in Miami’s Dade County.

President Trump’s promise to withhold funding from school systems who fail to reopen for the new school year appears to have dissolved into nothingness following a huge outcry from superintendents of schools throughout the nation.

Continue reading Schools on tap to open this fall, EPS working on final plans

Phase 3 reopening starts as Coronavirus tamping down

La Hacienda has both outdoor and indoor dining available as Phase 3 kicks in for reopening. (Photo By Jim Mahoney)

City has high rate, but restaurants can serve again with restrictions

By JOSH RESNEK

The City of Everett remains a hotbed of Coronavirus, according to a July 1 report released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

As of this week, Everett has reported 1,775 confirmed cases of the virus, which translates into 3,636 cases per 100,000 people with a positivity rate of 24.85% – a shockingly high figure that makes the city in the top three in Massachusetts.

To date, 7104 men, women and children have been tested here for an average testing rate of 14634 per 100,000.

The testing figures can all be extrapolated in a prorated way and redetermined based on our estimated 60,000 population.

Bottom line, Everett would have suffered mightily had Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito failed to put in place among the strictest set of health and hygiene standards in the nation along with a highly restrictive set of rules and regulations regarding social distancing, face masks and tracing.

Continue reading Phase 3 reopening starts as Coronavirus tamping down

Herculean task to ready schools by September planned by EPS

Everett High School. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

By JOSH RESNEK

The Everett School Department is right now creating a set of plans to comply with state requirements about the possible reopening of the public schools in September.

Whether or not the public schools will reopen in September remains as uncertain from day to day as the New England weather.

All public school districts in the Commonwealth must present their reopening plans in August, according to guidelines issued by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“Submitting a completed plan is not a guarantee that schools will be reopened,” said a longtime school department employee with knowledge of the process.

“A lot will depend on how the nation is doing with the virus as the time for reopening approaches,” he added.

That being said, July is a planning month for most school districts, and this includes Everett.

Reopening the public schools here is considered a Herculean task.

Continue reading Herculean task to ready schools by September planned by EPS

Wynn properties losing staggering sums of money

Encore hopes to reopen by next week.(Photo By Jim Mahoney)

By JOSH RESNEK

Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel is now preparing to reopen for the first time since the COVID-19 virus shut it down on March 15.

Since that time, the financial losses all around from the closing have become apparent as almost 4,000 employees have been laid off, no money has come in, millions more have been spent to conform with Massachusetts Gaming Commission health and hygiene standards. Overall, the shorter term outlook is grim.

Encore has not paid the city of Everett more than $12 million it is owed for in lieu of tax payments. The hotel, which will be opening only four days a week with no amenities, has not generated any room tax fees for the city – a tremendous loss – and many aspects of the Encore operation have been called into question.

Even with the reopening, the limits put upon capacity and the requirements for health and hygiene with social distancing, masks, and a lack of roulette, craps and card games, translates into a cycle of impossibility as executives try to bring back revenues enough to carry the operation.

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Encore doors set to open next week

Pandemic closing marks rough first year for Encore

By JOSH RESNEK

The Encore Casino and Hotel in Everett celebrated its first anniversary last week; its huge polished brass and glass front doors closed tightly since March 15.

This was not the way the first anniversary was supposed to be.

Since March 15, the world has been turned upside down by the pandemic – and one of its victims, early on, is the gaming business and especially Everett’s casino and hotel.

The future of our casino and hotel remains unknown at the moment.

It is impossible to predict what the outcome will be on business for the casino and hotel as a result of the pandemic.

The questions about the casino and hotel’s future goes beyond the pandemic, however.

The casino wasn’t working right from the beginning.

It never lived up to what it was supposed to be from the start. Built to function like a Babe Ruth that was likely to win the home run crown, it was batting only .250 when it closed down. As a business, the casino’s short life span featured spotty numbers, smaller crowds, larger expenses, more regulation and not a dime of profit since the doors swung open in late June 2019.

Then the doors shut. The entrance to the casino and hotel was blocked with cement stanchions behind which stood a long row of chain link fencing.

Continue reading Encore doors set to open next week