Featured

Diversity, Service & Solutions: Ramon Norales reflects on his life in Malden

By Joy Pearson In May 2020, Malden Reads planned to host the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS), a statewide, event-based, participatory digital archiving program that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories. Due to the pandemic, the in-person event could not be held. So Neighborhood View, in collaboration with Malden Reads, is contributing photographs and stories online as part of the Malden Mass. Memories Stuck-at-Home Show. The following story continues the series of participant profiles, which focus on photographs and what they mean to that resident of Malden. It was the cultural and ethnic diversity of Malden that attracted Ramon Norales to move here in 1997.  During the past 25 years, Ramon has devoted his life to family, to work, and to his Malden community through his ethics of service and solutions. In 1971, 7 ½-year-old Ramon Norales immigrated to New York City from Spanish-speaking Honduras in Central America to be with his parents.  In New York City, he grew up in Harlem   Later, he attended NYC Technical College in […]

Education

Indigenous wisdom, poetry and history guide community event at Malden River

By Anne D’Urso-Rose I know that our ancestors are really happy for the work that we’re doing. It’s been a 400-year fracture – with colonization and assimilation – and it’s really going to take all of us to come together, in ways like this, to bring balance back to the land and to the water. Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr. – Malden, MA, 9-24-22 As the country recognizes indigenous Peoples Month this November, Neighborhood View reflects on a recent community event that embodied the spirit of remembering, understanding and connecting with Native people, history and culture. “Words on the Water” (morning) and “Project Misik” (afternoon) was a combined day-long event on Sept. 24 in a spot along the banks of the Malden River that is generally hidden from public view. In that space, more than 200 residents, a sampling of Malden’s diverse community, gathered over the course of the day to take part in an Indigenous blessing ceremony, paddle canoes on the waterway, share a meal of Haitian food from “The Island” restaurant, and learn how […]

Featured

Advocate Founder James Mitchell: “A newspaper is something that belongs to the city”

By Shannon A. Garrido Berges Old black and white photographs of bikers soaring over cars and a dramatic shot of the Hindenburg surround me. I sit in an office filed with stacks of  newspapers that read “Advocate’” in bold red letters. The man behind the headlines,  James David Mitchell, sits before me. Mitchell, founder of The Advocate, discusses his journey in approaching the world of local journalism. He details the challenges The Advocate has and continues to face and what that means for the future of local journalism.  His father, James Mitchell Sr.—who sits at the desk parallel from us— started the Chelsea Advocate when Mitchell was a child and worked on many other publications as well. His father’s occupation became a source of interest for Mitchell from a young age  and heavily influenced him to pursue journalism. “When I was a kid, my father used to take me [and my three siblings] to his newspaper office, but I was kind of the only one who was always reading all the time,” said Mitchell. After […]

Arts

CD Collins aims to “move mountains” with spoken word

By Michael Cao “I want to take you take on a journey deep into the hills, up the hollows into the mist and mystery to Hazard, Kentucky, a drumming heart of the planet. Where we have so much treasure —the mountains, minerals, music and the people of Appalachia.”  – CD Collins Light drums and keyboard chords punctuated the words. The sounds were of music, poetry, stories. People were not sitting in a traditional concert hall, rather they were gathered in the backyard of a historic house in Malden to experience art in a myriad of forms.   In early October, musician, writer, and poet CD Collins organized a spoken word event, entitled “Words Move Mountains” at the Wilson House of Visitation, a historical house at 68 High Street in Malden. According to Bahai history, Abdu’l-Baha, the son of Baháʼu’lláh, visited the house in 1912. David Weigert, a retired professor from Berklee College of Music and caretaker of the house, co-produced the event with Collins. (Urban Media Arts did a podcast with Weigert talking about his story and […]

Arts

Mystic Valley Salon’s Spencer Woturski Offers an LGBTQIA+ Friendly Haircut Experience

By Jack Drees There is a new “Hair Therapist” in town, and his name is Spencer Woturski. He is the owner of Mystic Valley Salon, a spot for coiffures and caring. Located at the 888 Eastern Avenue shopping plaza, Mystic Valley Salon offers familiar beauty salon services. However, it also focuses on providing services to and creating a safe spot for the LGBTQIA+ community. Woturski regards Mystic Valley Salon as a “Safe Space.” A Safe Space is when a “business or entity is accepting to different varieties of people and their lifestyles. And we do not impose judgment to some of the things people are looking to do or change themselves,” says Woturski, himself a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition to making customers feel great in regard to their hair on the outside, he wants customers of various backgrounds to feel pleased on the inside. The shop contains pride-themed material to symbolize the intention of visually welcoming everyone. Mystic Valley Salon opened in May 2022, to provide eco-friendly hair treatments, ranging from haircuts […]

Featured

Malden Makes Language Access a Priority at the Polls

By Martha Bezzat To serve Malden’s growing number of non-native English speakers, the city administration  is implementing new technology that will impact voting and language access for voters this November for the midterm state and federal elections. A new campaign called “I Speak” was initiated during the Sept. 6 primary election and was an opportunity to do a trial run of new Pocketalk devices that support voters speaking other language backgrounds to access, read, and understand the ballots. Poll workers were trained prior to the election and were specifically trained to recognize when voters may be having difficulty with language accessibility and to practice cultural sensitivity. The process works like this: 1) voters can point to a picture on language recognition cards to indicate what language they speak, 2) then a poll worker plugs that language into the Pocketalk device, which contains 72 languages, and 3) then they will be able to have a conversation with the poll worker, in English with translation back and forth, about their needs or questions. Susan Ecker, a Malden resident and […]

Featured

Malden’s housing crisis reaches far and wide

By Shannon A. Garrido Berges As more people—students and families alike—occupy Malden’s newly vibrant downtown, looming housing instability threatens to stall the city’s economic progress. As the region recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are dealing with both a growing economy and a housing crisis. Many citizens in Malden are finding it harder to keep up with the housing cost burden, leading many to rely on a faulty, sometimes exploitative rental market. Neighborhood View interviewed Amanda Linehan, city council representative for Ward 3, about the landscape of housing in Malden today and what the future might hold.  “Over the last few decades, we have not produced enough entry-level housing that’s affordable to working families and working households. And on the other side of that coin, there isn’t anywhere for retiring folks to downsize into,” said Linehan. “So a lot of the larger homes, even apartments that in another generation would have cycled over to a younger demographic [don’t, and] those folks have nowhere to go.” Alex Pratt, Malden Community Development Director, also […]

Events

Malden hosts Brazilian election site: Ex-pat voters weigh in on candidates

By Anne D’Urso-Rose I heard several warnings not to drive on Salem Street on Sunday, Oct. 2, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Malden was hosting a polling site – one of only two sites in Massachusetts – for Brazil’s fiercely contested presidential election for the country’s expats in the area. According to WBUR, many of the more than 37,000 Brazilian citizens who live in New England were preparing to cast their ballots in the presidential election at these two Massachusetts voting locations. On a whim, I rode my bike down to do a story for Neighborhood View. The outside of the Salemwood School was abuzz with energy.  Lots of bright yellow and Brazilian flags waved in the breeze. Voters were checking the polling information outdoors before heading inside to cast their ballots.  A woman stood atop a safety block in front of the school, using it as a podium, holding the head of a Trump doll and shouting excitedly in support of Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro, the current rightist Brazilian president, is being challenged by […]

Events

Malden anticipates Orange Line reopening but will the commute be better?

By Michael Cao As Malden residents anticipate the promised re-opening of the Orange Line by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), commuters expressed mixed feelings about the suspension, which was intended to facilitate major repairs and upgrades of the transportation system.  The MBTA’s Building a Better T 2022 program suspended the Orange Line on Aug. 19. This included three stations that could impact Malden residents. Passengers were provided with shuttle bus service as alternative travel options.  William C., interviewed by Neighborhood View outside the Malden Center Station and who asked that his last name not be used, said he has been riding the T for more than four decades. “The shuttles are nice to ride on, luxury buses are nice and comfortable,” he said. “But it’s still not as quick as the train at the Orange Line, which goes directly to stops.” He also said that he has seen the MBTA fixing the same track many times over the years. He expressed disappointment. “I hate to say this, but they are doing a lot of work […]