Featured

Malden Muslims experience their second Ramadan during a pandemic

By Martha Bezzat During last year’s Ramadan, mosques were closed due to pandemic, but Malden resident Fatima Chibane said that difficult period was a reminder that we should not take all that we have for granted.  “Last year was the first time we were all forced to observe Ramadan in solitude,” she said. “It gave us the opportunity to only focus on the worship of Allah and our connection with Him without any distraction.”  Still, she is pleased that mosques are open for this year’s Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting which began this year on April 13 and goes to May 12.  “We are trying to stay connected and be there for each other especially during Ramadan, which is really heartwarming to see,” she said.   “Tarawih [evening community prayers] is one of my, and many Muslims, favorite parts of Ramadan,” she said. “It helps us feel spiritually uplifted. At least we can join others. at the mosque respecting social distancing.” One local mosque for Malden Muslims of diverse backgrounds, including Moroccans, Algerians, Syrians, Palestinians, […]

Arts

Malden aims to purchase District Court Building to transform into the Malden Center for Arts and Culture.

By Saliha Bayrak  An imposing but empty brick building stands on the western side of Malden — abandoned after being deemed unfit to serve its original purpose as a courthouse. Now, city officials hope to turn the nearly 100-year-old building into a center that would house Malden’s lively arts and culture scene. The city of Malden is aiming to purchase the former Malden District Court building and transform it into what would be known as the Malden Center for Arts & Culture. Members of local government and Malden artists say that a center dedicated to arts and culture would be a much-needed benefit to the city. “We knew that there was this kind of nebulous cluster of artists that just needed a point to coalesce around. And that’s why we’ve been looking for an art center,” said Kevin Duffy, Malden strategy and business development officer. The idea was initiated by Mayor Gary Christenson; Duffy is playing a critical role in the first stages of this initiative — acquiring the building. Duffy worked with Christenson to […]

Events

March 26 candlelight vigil in Malden honors Atlanta shooting victims, calls for anti-racist policies

By Kamila Rodrigues Last week’s vigil in Malden decrying violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) began with a simple Facebook post and blossomed into a multi-faceted community gathering.  On the afternoon of March 21, Malden resident Maddie Lam made a post to the Facebook group “Malden Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” after the targeted attacks on Asian American women in Atlanta in which eight people were killed. Lam, a musician, poet, and painter, described the fear she felt and expressed concern for the Asian community and their safety. Her statement resonated with many; dozens of Malden community members responded and hundreds liked the post. Karen Colón Hayes, a community member and organizer, saw the post and sprang to action. “I immediately reached out to her and we began planning. We had a Zoom call with members of both MaldenCORE and GMAACC and we centered Maddie as the lead,” said Colón Hayes.  Lam joined Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition (GMAACC) and began planning for the community vigil alongside Malden Community Organizing for Racial Equity (MaldenCORE). […]

Featured

The Show is Over for Showcase in Revere

By Nicholas Forgione If 2020 were a disaster movie, an obvious cliche would be the end of a long-standing movie-house in America’s Beach City. In fall of 2020, Revere’s Showcase Cinema de Lux —  closed due to pandemic restrictions — announced that its doors would  not reopen and that the property would change hands. While the area has other  movie-houses, (including some owned by Showcase), the end of Revere’s Showcase is the end of an era.  From its location near Revere’s Northgate Shopping Center, on the border of Malden’s Ward 8 along Route 1, Showcase Cinema was the backdrop for, and part of, the stories of area residents for more than five decades.   The  end of the Revere’s Showcase Cinema reflects the conflict between  sentiment and practicality.  Earlier this year, National Amusements Inc., the owner of Showcase Cinemas, reached an agreement with real estate firm NorthBridge Partners for the sale of the theater;  the property will be leased to  Amazon.  Jonathan, a former resident of Malden who worked at Showcase in the 1990s, recalls “lots of fun memories.”  Jonathan concedes to being “saddened” at an emotional level. And, he […]

Education

Malden High School students reflect on a year of remote learning

By Saliha Bayrak Having a conversation over the lunch table, waving to your friends between classes, sharing excitement over college admission letters — these are some of the things that Malden High School teenagers yearned for as they attended their classes virtually.  As Malden High School (MHS) transitions to hybrid learning with a phased process that started the week of March 15, nearly one year after schools switched to fully remote, students look back on all the ways that online learning has impacted their life. Remote learning uprooted the life of teens around the city and forced them to reimagine what their high school experience will look like. Now they ponder on how they will move forward.  Sheilly Patel, a senior at MHS, worries that she may miss some of the big milestones of high school such as senior prom and graduation. But she also misses the small activities that accompanied going to school in-person.  Patel says that she often finds herself “missing that kind of little social things that happen in between classes,” and […]

Education

What does a water tower in Guatemala have to do with Malden?

By Fern Remedi-Brown and Elena Martinez  Malden residents Fern Remedi-Brown and Ginny Remedi-Brown have been spearheading a nonprofit organization, Sowing Opportunities, that seeks to cultivate self-sustainability, education, and wellness in rural Guatemala – one village at a time. The locally based organization wants to highlight and celebrate Monday, March 22, United Nations #WorldWaterDay. This year’s theme is #ValuingWater  and the efforts of Sowing Opportunities demonstrate how a group of individuals is effectively addressing water issues in Guatemala.  Sowing Opportunities was born from the family’s quest and journey to find their adopted daughter’s birth mom. In 2015, Sowing Opportunities began working with the village of Chajmaic, Guatemala, where their daughter was born. With a Guatemalan team, they learned about the needs and aspirations of this indigenous, remote community.  Following a needs assessment conducted last summer, Sowing Opportunities decided to develop a greenhouse workshop in which a group of trainees would learn how to plant, to develop leadership skills, and to maintain a greenhouse – starting with corn and black beans – and to sell vegetables for their livelihood. […]

Education

Teaching from afar: How Malden’s educators have been working through the pandemic

By Catherine Riordan  Like many other schools across the country, Malden schools have had to grapple with how to teach children through remote and hybrid learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since last March, the Malden Public Schools have been fully remote but early grades returned with a hybrid phase of learning beginning on February 8. Wendy Yaakov, a kindergarten teacher at Malden’s Beebe School has taught her students throughout the pandemic. According to Yaakov, the focus with the children during this new hybrid learning space is on what they lacked, such as handwriting, and learning what it is to be in a classroom and not their bedroom. The children in her class have never had a traditional school experience as they began their school career remotely and entered hybrid learning. Yaakov said “It’s going to be an adjustment… for some of them; it’s the first time in school.”  Yaakov told of a little girl who asked her teacher if she needed to be doing more learning because the little girl is used to remote learning where teachers […]

Education

The TrailblazHers host a 5K in Malden dedicated to Louise Stokes.

The Boston-based women’s running group chose the Malden River Loop to host their weekly run dedicated to trailblazing women. (Photo by Frances Ramirez) By Saliha Bayrak, Amanda Hurley and Catherine Riordan A group of trailblazing women, clad in running gear and masks, were out for a run at the Malden River Loop on Sunday morning, March 7. The group, TrailblazHers Run Co, dedicated their weekly 5k run to Malden track & field star Louise Stokes, one of the first African-American women to qualify for an Olympic team.  TrailblazHers is a Boston-based women’s running group that was founded in October of 2020. The group’s members are fervently dedicated to unifying and uplifting each other while being powered by its mission to celebrate and empower women of all shapes, colors, and backgrounds.  The group originally emerged from an event known as the “Bra Run,” a tradition that continued for three years before the co-founders Elizabeth Rock, Abeo Powder, and Frances Ramirez, realized that there were many other women who were also looking for a community of runners.  Rock describes the organization as “A […]

Featured

Last Stand at the Bunker: Hobby Bunker to close its doors on Exchange Street

Photos and Text by Nicholas Forgione After more than 20 years of selling toy soldiers, board games, books and hobby supplies, the Hobby Bunker is retreating from 33 Exchange Street.   From its cavernous location beneath “the old CVS” at the eastern end of Pleasant Street, the Hobby Bunker was a place for local gamers and hobbyists to meet for games, show off their work in the store’s display cases, and purchase stuff for their  hobbies.  The Hobby  Bunker is also one of the last places in Malden, other than Stop & Shop and Walgreens,  that sells books.  According to its website, The Hobby Bunker will relocate on April 1 in Wakefield at 103 Albion St.  For Al, a Malden resident and long-time employee who asked that his last name not be used, this is more than a business relocation. “It is kind of crazy.  I have been coming here since I was a kid.” For Al, the Bunker leaving Malden represents the end of an institution. The gaming tables are a meeting place, similar to a local bar.   The staff knows its customers: Al has a pretty […]

Education

Uncomfortable Conversations: Staff and board at UMA take on race and social justice through internal dialogue

By Saliha Bayrak As the nation rose to voice their indignation and call for an end to racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd, Urban Media Arts (UMA), joined thousands of organizations across the country and made a statement of solidarity to champion the Black Lives Matter movement. The staff at UMA (formerly MATV) did not want this statement to be a momentary and hollow expression of support without any actions to succeed it. In the months that followed, staff members began to have periodic meetings and discussions to address issues of race, injustice, and inclusivity, guided by the belief that every course of action begins with a conversation. Terlonzo Amos, the Director of Operations at UMA, believes there is an urgency to have these conversations now due to the recent blatantly unjust events that occurred throughout the nation. “These problems have always been in the Black and brown community…since 1619,” said Amos. “For those that may not have believed that these things were happening…a light was shown on it.” Amos often leads these […]