Confronting Slavery: Local NAACP highlights the push for reparations

By Elizabeth Scorsello Growing up, Schiffon Wong listened to her grandmother talk about reparations for the country’s Black citizens. The family had been sharecroppers and her grandfather’s parents were enslaved, and they could barely make a living. “She used to say we never got our reparations and it always stuck with me,” Wong said.  Today, Wong heads the newly formed Reparations Committee of the Mystic Valley Branch of the NAACP, which seeks to provide the larger community with a better understanding of the issue of reparations.  The committee has launched a drive to send copies of the  book From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century, by William A. Darity, Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen to every member of the U.S. Congress to keep the subject of reparations in the public discourse. “It is our hope by sending this really important book to our congress it would give us the opportunity to educate them and engage them,” Wong said. “We want all of us to have a shared understanding anchored in […]


For Malden artist, nature’s beauty endures even in a pandemic

Another in a series of stories on how Malden residents are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.  By Elizabeth Scorsello Malden artist, Peg, dreamed about spending a week in May in Turin, Northern Italy, at the International Center for Ceramics to mark the year of turning 80. She had planned to take classes with potters from all over the world. Now, she wonders when – or if – she will ever get to make this trip. Peg, a resident of Malden for 14 years,  paints and draws, does ceramics and teaches art.  She taught kindergarten in the Boston School System. Retired and living in senior housing, she was teaching ceramics. And then the coronavirus appeared. “About a month ago the management (of senior housing) tried to get on top of it,” Peg told Neighborhood View. “We received a mailing describing the virus and (tell us to start)  washing hands, etc., to get ready for the coronavirus.” Two weeks ago a notice went up and a robo call started telling residents no visitors allowed except for family […]


Herbert L. Jackson honored through art, community and volunteerism

When Martin Boyle the art teacher at the Mystic Valley Regional High School heard about the Malden Arts Switchbox Project contest to design a switch box commemorating Herbert L. Jackson, he knew the students from the Art Club would enjoy doing this public art project. A switchbox is a metal cabinet that is mounted on a concrete pad containing a controller which changes traffic signals. The students ultimately learned about Malden’s first African American councillor while working outside in the community on something that will be there for years to come. Councillor Barbara Murphy, Ward 5, had approached Naomi Brave, president of Malden Arts, with the idea and offered $500 to the winning proposal.  Malden Arts agreed to pay the standard stipend for painting a box, $150, and Councillor Murphy the remaining $350, according to Brave. After Malden Arts reviewed the applications they went to the Malden Cultural Council for final acceptance with recommendations from Malden Arts. “[Ward 7 Councillor] Neal Anderson is a friend of the family and connected me with Herbert L. Jackson’s daughter and […]


Charles Ro Supply Company

Where in Malden have Neil Young, Frank Sinatra, members of the Red Sox, Patriots and former Bruins players all done their shopping? The answer is Charles Ro! The Charles Ro Supply Company is the largest Lionel train store in the United States. Located at 662 Cross St. in Malden since 1989 and clearly visible from Route 60, the one-block-long, three-story building consists of 50,000 square feet of retail and mail order operations for the Charles Ro Supply Company, and a manufacturing plant for their own USA Train line, according to the Charles Ro website. Forty-four years ago Charles Ro, a train hobbyist, began selling used trains out of a glass case in his hair salon. It was one of four salons that he and his wife, both hair stylists, owned in Everett, MA. Orders were taken from a wall phone, “handwritten, packed and weighed on a bathroom scale.” In 1980, Charles Ro, Jr. joined his father to help as the business expanded and they moved into an old A&P supermarket at 347A Pleasant Street in […]


The Great Chow offers sizzling Sichuan fare

James and Carol Lin, co-owners of The Great Chow emigrated from Taiwan, China in 1988. James, chef, became interested in cooking after working at a series of restaurants in the Boston area. Later, they owned restaurants in Arlington and Cambridge until they were attracted to Malden’s diverse population and the large number of Chinese immigrants from around Canton in South China and opened The Great Chow in Malden in December 2014. The Great Chow, located at 114 Ferry St., is a casual establishment where large windows fill the air with light that falls on wooden tables and chairs and floral prints decorate the walls. Carol, manager, expresses, “Our restaurant is simple because we want our customers to feel comfortable—that everyone can come here.” Lin caters to locals with Sichuan cuisine. Sichuan Province in Southwest China is famous for its hot and spicy food and the Sichuan peppercorn that is unique to this area of China and is used in its dishes along with red chilies to create distinct flavor combinations. “We have the real thing […]


Sousaku Bistro: Japanese Tappas and Bar in Malden

Sousaku Bistro, newly opened, is the collaboration of three warm and welcoming friends, chef Boky Chu and Malden resident, manager Lewis Lai and bartender Aiden Pan.  Sousaku means “creativity” in Japanese and is expressed in the menu and signature dish, Sousaku Sushi Pizza that is served on a bed of thin rice pressed with seaweed, coated with tomato paste and topped with choices like broccoli, zucchini and eggplant, shrimp, scallop and tuna, crawfish, or salmon and pineapple, and a layer of cheese and deep fried. They offer a colorful variety of sake cocktails like Melting Snow, a combination of sake, Grand Marnier, lemon juice and grenadine, Wasabi-tini, a mix of sake, plum wine, wasabi and pineapple juice, and others like Red Sun and Blueberry Mojito. “We serve the best whisky in the world.” says Lai of their Taiwanese Kavalan Whisky named best single malt at the 2015 World Whiskies Awards. Their artful hand is also presented in Chu’s hand-written Japanese script displayed on the wall, in the uniquely designed tables, domino chopstick rests and the […]


El Potro Mexican Bar and Grill gallops into Malden

Shopping local this holiday season? Check out Malden’s newest restaurant, El Potro Mexican Bar and Grill. Armed with several locations in the region including Somerville and Lowell, Malden’s El Potro is the largest venue of the three and is located at 156 Highland Ave. For the record, the restaurant’s name means “pony” in Spanish. “We want to become a part of the fabric of Malden,” El Potro’s owner Elias Interiano said in a City of Malden press release. “We look forward to getting to know the community and becoming a destination spot for families and friends.” Owners:  Elias and Joana Interiano Cuisine:  Authentic Mexican and Central American Opened:  September 15 in honor of Mexico’s Independence Day Music:  Mariachi from the band, Mariachi Estampa de America translated “Sounds of the Americas” Locations:  Malden, Somerville and Lowell Address:  156 Highland Ave., Malden Hours:  Sunday thru Wednesday 11 a.m – 10 p.m.; Thursday thru Saturday 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Phone:  781-605-3120 Website:      


New drone shop HeliDirect takes off in Malden

Remote helicopters taking flight in Malden? Yep, the drone craze has landed at 730 Eastern Ave. According to the City of Malden’s website, the new electronics shop called HeliDirect opened earlier this year. “HeliDirect President and CEO Sam Minh Le is a premier e-retailer for hobby-class and remote control helicopter and multi-rotor products, parts and accessories,” reported the City of Malden. “The engineering team and advisors for the business are MIT alumni. Many management and staff members are remote control helicopter and multi-rotor pilots and maintain a commitment to providing the best products and support in the industry.” Owner:  Minh Le, Malden resident Opened:  Retail store on July 15, 2015.  Began online sales in 2005 with mini-helicopters and in 2012 added drones. Products:  Mini-helicopters and DJI brand drones Expertise:  Technical support, repair service, before-and-after sales services Services:  Offering moderate, non-warranty, in-house repair services, fast shipping Location:  730 Eastern Ave., Malden, MA Hours:  Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Phone:  877-439-4354 Website: Below is a video segment […]


Profile of artist Stephanie Mahan Stigliano

“So many books from Baghdad’s libraries were flung into the Tigris that a horse could walk across on them.  The river ran black with scholars’ ink and red with the blood of martyrs.” —As written by Ian Frazier in the April 25, 2005 issue of the New Yorker, about the Mongols attacking Baghdad on January 29, 1258. The desert knows me well, the night and the mounted men. The battle and the sword, the paper and the pen. —Abu al Tayyib al-Mutanabbi (died 965 CE) “I love books and I think reading is so important in my life, important to culture and education and expanding your world view.” she said,  “I make books.  I love reading books.  I love libraries, everything about books, going to bookstores, sharing stories about books I’ve read.  So, I thought, ok, I can do this.” Malden artist Stephanie Mahan Stigliano’s thoughts about her invitation to participate in Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: An Exhibition of Artist’s Books and Broadsides. On March 5, 2007, on al-Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad, Iraq, named for the […]


Hope for drug-riddled Miller Park is realized in renovation

On Monday, June 22, 2015, a dedication ceremony was held for the reopening of Miller Park following its renovation that began in June 2014.  Among the attendees, along with the Mayor’s Office, the Malden Redevelopment Authority and the Malden Housing Authority was the Miller family, wife, Patricia, and son, Bob, of Robert D. Miller, the man named in the bronze plaque situated in the center of the park, for his “…unselfish service and personal dedication to the youth of Suffolk Square.” Neglected for 20 years, Miller Park, also known as Harvard Street Park, located in Malden’s poorest neighborhood, slowly became a haven for drug dealers and was surrounded by a community too fearful to enter its gate.  The Robins family, 30-year residents, have had sticks thrown through their window and on one occasion a brick came crashing through the glass and landed on the couch.  “That was terrifying.” Helen Robins said.  “One night,” Robins, whose house abuts Miller Park, recalled, “My niece was sitting on the back porch, on the stairs, having a cigarette and […]