Featured

Community Spotlight: Asian American businesses and organizations make an impact in Malden

A look at Wah Lum Academy, District Kitchen, and the Chinese Culture Connection. By Saliha Bayrak and Kyla Denisevich. Photos by Keren He. What started off as martial arts lessons in the driveway of Mai Du 15 years ago is now the nationally renowned Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy in Malden and Quincy. Lined with a diverse array of businesses and organizations, Malden is a microcosm of a culturally rich world. Many of these locations are owned and operated by Asian Americans — entrepreneurs and community leaders like Du who are shaping the city to reflect their culture. Asians are the second-largest ethnic group in the city, comprising 22.5 percent of the population. Asian Americans have made unmeasurable contributions to the city and played a significant role in the community, which sometimes goes under appreciated. Denzil Mohammed directs the Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute, which works to educate Americans about the contributions of immigrants. “More than 11% of immigrant Asians in the U.S. are self-employed, meaning they’re entrepreneurs, they have some […]

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 […]

screenshot of Women Making a Difference opening slide during event
Arts

Zonta Club of Malden Recognizes Female Activists in Annual Ceremony

By Annie Bennett Five Malden activists whose advocacy covers issues as varied as the environment, girls education, child marriage, anti-Asian bias, and the arts were honored March 25 by the Zonta Club of Malden as part of the annual “Women Making a Difference” event. “Every day there are women in our community that are doing amazing things,” said Ari Taylor, Zonta Malden’s Recording Secretary and Chair of the Finance Committee. “Little (and) big things that you don’t even realize advance the status of women… and this event is to honor them, these everyday heroes.” The “Women Making A Difference” event, traditionally held during Women’s History Month in March, honors those who are pushing forward Zonta International’s mission within Malden, which includes “empowering women through service and advocacy.” This year’s honorees were Naomi Brave, Lisa Cenca, Kay Kahn, Marcia Menong, and Mei Hung. Last year’s event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this year’s event was held virtually. The goal of “Women Making a Difference” is to inspire others, Taylor said.  Members of Zonta […]

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

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. […]

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 […]

the Mayor and the councilman hold Trevor Noah's book, Born a Crime, in front of City Hall.
Arts

Malden Reads Launches New Season with Procession to City Hall

“It made the most sense at a time when we needed the humor and a need for us to learn about each other’s history.” Erga Pierrette By Annie Bennett Malden Reads hosted a COVID-conscious launch on Tuesday, January 26, with a car procession starting from the Malden Public Library on Salem Street, past UMA – Urban Media Arts (formerly MATV) on Pleasant Street, and ending at Malden’s new City Hall.  The procession symbolically linked the two anchor institutions (the library and UMA) that help coordinate the volunteer-run “One City, One Book” program, which first launched in 2011. According to the group’s website, the mission of Malden Reads is “to promote literacy and a love of reading, and to build community in the city of Malden.” It is known in the community for its unifying effect. This season, participants will be reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, a response to the fervent cries for racial justice across the world over the past year. Noah is a Black comedian and a South African native, most well-known […]

Featured

Addiction Epidemic Inside the Pandemic: The story from Malden

By Will Sullivan Paul Hammersley, an Addiction Recovery Resource Specialist in Malden’s Health Department, says he sometimes feels as if he’s “working a pandemic during a pandemic.” As a result of economic and emotional stressors exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are dying from drug overdoses nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the country was on pace for more than 80,000 drug-overdose deaths in 2020, more than any other year. The majority of these deaths will have been caused by opioids, a class of drugs that includes prescription medications like oxycodone (Oxycontin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), as well as fentanyl and heroin.  According to Hammersley, after only three people died from an overdose in Malden in 2019, that number jumped to 13 in 2020, with five of those deaths occurring in the second half of December. Nearly all overdoses in Malden are caused by opioids. Hammersley said the extended quarantine required to halt the spread of COVID-19 is the primary reason why there’s been an increase in substance use, relapses, and overdoses during the pandemic. […]