Sad State of Affairs
Recently, I was riding (on my bike) through the area Mayor Walsh once called Recovery Road, but is now better known as Methadone Mile. I was on my way to a 7 p.m. meeting when it struck me how much the Long Island facility for addiction treatment is missed ever since the bridge connecting the island to the mainland was torn down because of safety issues. There’s one stretch of road paralleling Melnea Cass, Atkinson Street, that becomes populated at this time of evening with homeless, mostly addicts, mostly young to middle-aged men and women, working deals, nodding out, walking or riding aimlessly on bikes they must have “borrowed” waiting for admission to the shelter on that street, one that was built hastily to accommodate some of the folks who had been displaced when Long Island closed. The scene is not unlike something you would see in a film documenting the despair and depravity of the slums in a developing country as there is no attempt to dispose of properly empty food cartons, bottles, tattered clothes being exchanged for slightly better protection. Most heartbreaking is the sight of the passed out individual here and there, ignored until the cops come by to do their regular sweep. To their credit, it seems these unfortunate souls do watch after one another in that they instinctively know when someone has OD’d and a call to the EMT’S for Narcan is necessary. The security personnel associated with the Shelter also keep an eye on the scene, but they can only do so much.
Most people driving through the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Melnea Cass on their way to the Expressway are appalled by the sad state of affairs on both sides of that major intersection, but this street and others like it are missed by most except for employees and visitors of South Bay Jail and the Greater Boston Food Bank down the street.
Supposedly, construction of the new 3,400 foot bridge at somewhere around $100 million will begin next year. There are ongoing discussions regarding the use of the remaining piers and there has been some resistance by the city of Quincy as such a major project would cause disruption within its city limits.
I wonder if Mayor Walsh and those who recognize the true extent of this tragedy – rampant addiction and deaths due to the proliferation of opioids and related substances – marvel at the spirit of the French people around the burning of Notre Dame, the outpouring of donations and promises to begin reconstruction immediately. Even American citizens have offered money and assistance. The crises around this one epidemic and the loss of access to a highly successful therapeutic campus should provoke the same kind of reaction, the same kind of enthusiasm from the citizens of Boston. Come to think of it, this bridge, when it finally gets built, could well be the most important civil engineering project since the Big Dig.
Michel L. Spitzer
Ward 19 Democrats to elect delegates to State Convention
Registered Democrats in the Boston Ward 19 Jamaica Plain/Roslindale) will hold a caucus on Saturday May 18, to elect delegates and alternates to the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic State Convention. All Democrats who are registered or pre-registered in Ward 19 are invited to participate.
The Boston Ward 19 Democratic Committee caucus will be held at the Farnsworth House Community Room, 90 South Street, Jamaica Plain. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. and will close at 10:00 a.m. Ward 19 Democrats must be inside by 10:00 a.m. to participate in electing delegates and alternates.
This year’s Massachusetts Democratic convention will be held September 14, 2019 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, where thousands of Democrats from across the state will come together to discuss Party business and celebrate our successes as we prepare for upcoming elections.
The caucus is open to all registered and pre-registered Democrats in Ward 19 (Jamaica Plain/Roslindale). Pre-registered Democrats who will be 16 years old by May 11, 2019 will be allowed to participate and run as a delegate or alternate. Ward 19 can elect 26 delegates and 5 alternates.
Youth, minorities, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals who are not elected as a delegate or alternate may apply to be an add-on delegate at the caucus or at www.massdems.org.
Those interested in getting involved with the Boston Ward 19 Democratic Committee should contact [email protected] or check out our website at www.bostonward19dems.
We offer our sincere thanks
In honor of National Volunteer Week, which is celebrated in April, we would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank and celebrate the over 560 volunteers whose steadfast dedication and commitment enable Care Dimensions, the state’s largest provider of hospice services, to fulfill its mission: to enrich the quality of life for terminally ill patients and their families. Our volunteers’ selfless acts of kindness and compassion, both large and small, allow our patients the comfort, companionship and dignity that make all the difference at a critical turning point in their lives.
Our volunteers provided over 45,000 hours of service last year. Whether at the bedside of a patient in a long-term care facility, in a family home, in the Care Dimensions’ offices or in one of our two inpatient hospice facilities (the Care Dimensions Hospice House in Lincoln or the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers), volunteers are an integral part of our success.
We at Care Dimensions would like to recognize Heather Guarnotta and Mary Louise Pauli of Jamaica Plain for their contributions and dedication to our agency.
For those who are interested in learning more about volunteering with Care Dimensions, please call us at 888-283-1722 or visit CareDimensions.org.
On behalf of our staff and Board of Directors, we offer our sincere thanks for all that our volunteers do each and every day for Care Dimensions.
President & CEO