News Briefs

Raft Program Rental Assistance

If anyone needs help paying rent, they may be eligible for financial assistance through the Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. RAFT has expanded its eligibility requirements to help people with COVID-19 related job losses or financial hardship. Some things to consider:

•Your immigration status does not matter. 

•You may be eligible for RAFT if you have not been, or will not be, able to pay rent, mortgage payments, or utilities due to COVID-19. 

•You must be in contact with your landlord or property manager (RAFT funds are paid to them). 

•If you are not on the lease, you can provide your landlord’s contact information to confirm that you are a tenant. 

•If you need help to cover your security deposit (for first or last month’s rent), you can specify the unit you plan to move into, even if you have not yet signed the lease. 

•You are not eligible if you are in an Emergency Assistance Shelter.

Households can receive up to $4,000 for a 12-month period. To check eligibility and for help with applications, call the CONNECT Hotline at 617-712-3487.

CAPIC Fuel Assistance Update – You May Now Be Eligible!

COVID-19 is affecting us all whether it’s our health, household income, our social well-being or a combination of all three. If you are a resident of Chelsea, Winthrop or Revere and are finding it difficult to keep up with home heating expense during this time please do not hesitate to reach out to CAPIC. All applications can be completed remotely.  Call today, you may be surprised you qualify! Please call 617-884-6130.

FEMA Announces Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season

To address the challenges of managing disaster response and recovery efforts during this year’s hurricane season, FEMA is releasing the “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season” to help emergency managers and public health officials best prepare for disasters, while continuing to respond to and recover from coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance can also be used by private sector and non-governmental organizations to gain an understanding of the government’s posture, planning and readiness efforts.

 The guide provides actions emergency managers and public officials can take to prepare for response and recovery operations during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. Specifically, the guidance:

• Describes anticipated challenges to disaster operations posed by COVID-19;

• Highlights planning considerations for emergency managers based on current challenges;

• Outlines how FEMA plans to adapt response and recovery operations;

• Creates a shared understanding of expectations between FEMA and emergency mangers; and,

• Includes guidance, checklists and resources to support emergency managers response and recovery planning.

Although some aspects of FEMA’s program delivery are different this year, others remain the same. FEMA does not anticipate major changes in program eligibility, timeliness of grant awards, or level of assistance provided under the Individual and Households Program.

 While the guide focuses on FEMA’s program delivery during the 2020 hurricane season, most planning considerations can be applied to any disaster operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, including no-notice incidents.

FEMA will continue to operate under the framework of locally executed, state managed, and federal supported incident response. By creating a shared understanding of expectations among FEMA and state, local, tribal and territorial partners prior to hurricane season, the nation will be better positioned to achieve operational outcomes in disaster response and recovery efforts.

Local Students Named to The Dean’s List at MCPHS University

MCPHS University is pleased to announce the students who have been named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2019 semester:

* Danelia Santos is a native of Revere and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Predental-Dental Hygiene. Danelia will graduate in 2020 from the Boston, Massachusetts campus.

* Victoria Pelletier is a native of Revere, and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. Victoria will graduate in 2019 from the Worcester, Massachusetts campus.

* Nicolas Velasquez Leon is a native of Revere, and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Nicolas will graduate in 2021 from the Boston, Massachusetts campus.

* Keyri Chan-Ramirez is a native of Revere, and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Keyri will graduate in 2021 from the Boston, Massachusetts campus.

* Amanda Barrett is a native of Revere, and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy. Amanda will graduate in 2020 from the Boston, Massachusetts campus.

The Dean’s List recognizes those students with a full-time course load who have achieved outstanding scholarship with a 3.5 GPA or higher for the academic term.

Local Honors Program Residents Receive Academic Honors

 Northeastern University is pleased to recognize those students who distinguish themselves academically during the course of the school year. The following students were recently named to the University’s dean’s list for the Spring semester, which ended in April 2020.

* Revere resident Wallid Soukaki, a Northeastern University student majoring in bioengineering. In addition to achieving distinction through the dean’s list, Wallid Soukaki is a member of the University Honors Program

* Revere resident Noah Adamson, a Northeastern University student majoring in political science. In addition to achieving distinction through the dean’s list, Noah Adamson is a member of the University Honors Program

To achieve the dean’s list distinction, students must carry a full program of at least four courses, have a quality point average of 3.5 or greater out of a possible 4.0 and carry no single grade lower than a C- during the course of their college career. Each student receives a letter of commendation and congratulation from their college dean.

The University Honors Program offers high caliber students the chance to further hone their studies and interests, live in special interest residential communities, participate in enriched, interdisciplinary courses, and engage in research and creative endeavors, service, and global experiences. Invitation into the University Honors Program is highly competitive and students must maintain a high GPA to maintain membership.

Eastie Pride Day summer festival officially canceled for 2020

Earlier this month, Mayor Martin Walsh decided to cancel all city-permitted parades and festivals taking place outdoors through Labor Day. The move was aimed at curbing the gathering of large crowds and keep up social distancing throughout the summer months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement forced the Eastie Pride Day committee to make the tough decision to pull the plug on the late August festival that draws thousands to Piers Park for the daylong family friendly celebration. This is the first time the event has been canceled in its 32-year history.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of Eastie Pride Day 2020,” said the Committee in a statement Friday. “This decision was made in compliance with the City of Boston’s recent order regarding public events. Eastie Pride Day is a summer tradition for many families. For over 30 years we have celebrated Eastie’s diverse culture, rich history, and community pride. During these times of uncertainty, we hope you continue to foster that Eastie pride we all share, uplift one another, and support our beloved community. We wish you good health, and encourage all to continue to follow public health guidelines. We look forward to celebrating with you next year.”

Eastie Pride Day was founded in 1988 by former Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina as a summer block party and community celebration to bring Eastie residents closer together.

So, on a hot summer night in 1988 at East Boston Memorial Stadium the first Eastie Pride Day was held. However, LaMattina admits he thought it would only be a one-time event.

“When we planned the first Eastie Pride Day we thought that would be it,” said LaMattina. “Have everyone come down, show off their Eastie Pride and it would be over.”

But the success of the very first East Pride Day was all LaMattina and longtime organizers like Larry and Carol Smith and the late Anthony Albano needed to keep it going.

So for more than 30 years LaMattina, was the key organizer, and now a younger generation of community leaders like his daughter Liana LaMattina and Rep. Adrian Madaro, have been keeping the event going, an event that he holds very dear to his heart.

Although LaMattina is disappointed in this year’s cancellation, he is happy the Committee is doing their part to help control the spread of COVID-19.

“We’ve had years with rain and thunderstorms. Years where we had to move the festival inside. There were years that we had to cut Eastie Pride Day short due to severe weather. But, we always had Eastie Pride Day,” he said. “With that said we can’t be too careful in these crazy times and must do our part as a community to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy until we can find an end to this pandemic.”

Mass. Voters for Animals Endorses Gravellese for State Rep.

Joe Gravellese’s campaign for State Representative has been endorsed by Massachusetts Voters for Animals, a statewide advocacy group dedicated to electing humane leaders who prevent cruelty to animals.

“Mass Voters for Animals is delighted to enthusiastically endorse Joe Gravellese for State Representative because we feel that he stands out as a person who truly cares about animal welfare and would be a strong advocate for the prevention of cruelty,” said Marge Peppercorn, a member of Massachusetts Voters for Animals’ steering committee.

Gravellese has an extensive record of working on issues related to animal protection from his time working as legislative director to Representative Lori Ehrlich from 2013-2016. 

During this time, Ehrlich’s office helped advocate for and sign in to law legislation that responded to the “Puppy Doe” incident, when a pitbull was found so badly abused that she had to be euthanized. The bill updated the state’s animal cruelty laws to hold abusers accountable.

Gravellese also worked on legislation allowing Good Samaritans to legally rescue animals trapped in hot cars, crack down on “puppy mills,” end the exploitation of wild animals in traveling shows, and stop the illicit ivory trade, which is funding overseas criminal enterprises and threatening elephants with extinction. 

Since leaving the State House, Gravellese has been an active donor and fundraiser for a no-kill cat shelter in Boston.

“How we treat animals says a lot about our values,” said Gravellese. “Research shows that a person who has committed animal abuse is five times more likely to commit violence against people. Strong animal protection laws are important to protect all of us.”

“I’m proud to have the endorsement of Massachusetts Voters for Animals, and pledge to continue to be an effective voice to protect the vulnerable as your State Representative.”

Gravellese was previously endorsed by International Union of Operating Engineers Local 4, Bricklayers Local 3, and Tunnel Workers Local 88.

Leone Graduates From College of the Holy Cross

Nicholas Leone, of Revere, received a bachelor of arts degree Magna Cum Laude from College of the Holy Cross on May 22, 2020.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, Holy Cross hosted a virtual celebration for its Class of 2020, featuring a special message from Holy Cross alumnus Dr. Anthony Fauci ‘62, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Leone was among 707 students who received electronic diplomas as part of the event.

The virtual celebrations will be followed by an in-person commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 to be held in spring 2021.

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