I strongly support Councilor Lydia Edward’s excellent recommendation that the MBTA provide sufficient capacity on the Blue Line-which serves East Boston, Winthrop, Revere and other north shore communities-to accommodate bicyclists during rush hour periods as well as during current non-rush hour periods.
There are a number of possible operational alternatives, including full and partial train car/ bike provisions, that are feasible but would need to be evaluated through a vigorous test program. The current pandemic downturn of Blue Line ridership provides the opportunity to perform such a test.
East Boston and other north shore communities deserve equal bicycle access to Boston-now is the time to do it.
Concerned Over Library
As a concerned Winthrop resident, I have for some time been dismayed by the state of our town library. In July, eight members of the library staff were furloughed and in August they were laid off. Concurrently, the library brought back only the most minimal of services to residents: curbside pickup and drop off services from 11-2, available four days a week.
For months, residents have urged Town Manager Faison to begin negotiations with the union to bring workers back, and for him and Library Director Diane Wallace to share a benchmarked plan for the return of at least some library services. Our repeated requests have resulted in calls for “patience,” condescending dismissals, and little to no action. Meanwhile, surrounding libraries (with infection rates similar to that of our town) have made great progress in terms of reopening services. This is, I would note, the third time that I personally have made an appeal in this paper asking for the very same things.
At the last Town Council meeting, councilors asked for the Library Director to join their next meeting, now scheduled for September 8. At that meeting, I would respectfully request that the Town Manager and the Library Director address the following three questions:
1. When and how will curbside pickup times be expanded?
2. What plans are being made to hire a new children’s librarian, given that these services are more essential than ever in the wake of the announcement that Winthrop public schools will start fully remotely this fall?
3. Where is the benchmarked plan for returning the staff to perform essential services?
I look forward to this conversation, and hope we can finally make some productive progress on a situation that continues to be a blight on our beloved town.
Since Donald Trump moved into the Oval Office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been a shrewd and effective opponent. She has been lauded as the most powerful woman in politics and one of the most capable Speakers in modern history. She is a leader who knows how to build coalitions, and get things done. Therefore, it is particularly meaningful that she has endorsed Joe Kennedy in his US Senate Primary against Ed Markey. In her endorsement, Pelosi highlighted Kennedy’s similar talents. In particular, she noted that he was “instrumental” in flipping the House. As usual, she’s right. In 2018, Kennedy fundraised and campaigned for Democratic congressional candidates, raising $5 million and stumping in close to 20 states.
Pelosi worked for decades in the House with Markey, and her endorsement signals a broad truth about this senate race — Massachusetts voters’ have a choice between a solid progressive vote (Markey) and a champion for the full progressive agenda (Kennedy). In addition to Kennedy’s contributions to the Blue Wave, he is a fighter for progressive policies in Massachusetts (where he spends most of his time), in Washington (where he is a leader in the House), and across the country. In contrast, Markey spends most of his time in DC, but still has the 9th worst voting record in the Senate. He also did not campaign for a single congressional candidate in 2018.
Joe Kennedy is already doing what a Senator from Massachusetts can and should do. He is a leader on all fronts, pushing the progressive agenda forward across the Commonwealth and country. Voters should send Kennedy to the Senate now.
State Senator Joseph Boncore
Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins
Winthrop School Committee Member Tino Capobianco
Bravo, to our Legislature
All of us continue to struggle with the ugly and devastating effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This intense struggle has caused our lives, as we have known them, to become distorted and unrecognizable. Hopefully, the scientific world will soon find a cure/vaccine to rid this “demon”.
Yet, there is another “demon” that has been lurking in our world for a very long time, and needs to be eradicated: the effects of climate change. The effects have destroyed our lands, air and waters, leading to illness and death to many people across the world.
Fortunately, the Massachusetts Legislature has recently passed “An Act Creating a 2050 Roadmap to a Clean and Thriving Commonwealth” (H. 4933).
* requires our state to increase the use of renewable energy
* establishes net zero limit on greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
* creates energy efficiency programs for low income families
* defines environmental justice populations
Under the leadership of Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and Rep. Thomas
Golden (D-Lowell), Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, the Bill was successful. This bill was one of the strongest bills passed on climate change across our nation.
More bills like this need to be created in order for another “demon” to be crushed.
After working with Ed Markey in the House of Representatives for over 25 years, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed Joe Kennedy to be the next senator from Massachusetts. In her endorsement, Pelosi emphasized Kennedy’s “instrumental” help in flipping the House during the 2018 mid-term elections, and noted that “[Kennedy] knows that, to achieve progressive change, you must be on the front lines leading movements of people.”
The endorsement captures the essential differences between Kennedy and Markey. While Markey is a reliable progressive vote (at least for the least 15 years), he has never used his office in the House or Senate to build the Democratic party or elevate other candidates. He has also been notably absent in Massachusetts, leaving constituents across the state frustrated by lack of access to him, and lack of help from his office. This is particularly true for those in central and western Massachusetts.
In contrast, Kennedy has a reputation for showing up, sleeves rolled, and working side by side with others. You can see this in the streets of Dorchester, Worcester, and Pittsfield, in Washington DC, and across the country. Kennedy has never met a stranger. Like Pelosi, who describes Kennedy as “brilliant,” “gentle,” “kind,” and “courageous,” those who meet Kennedy find him accessible and deeply invested in them. Joe Kennedy will be the senator that Massachusetts and the Democratic Party deserve.