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April 13, 2012     Post-Gazette
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April 13, 2012

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POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 13, 2012 Page 7 me if I lived near Chelsea Street to which I answered, "Yes," almost everyone lives near Chelsea Street in East Boston. I took the Ted Williams Tunnel to the Bennington Street exit ramp and as I turned left into Day Square, I saw the flashing red lights ahead of me. I found the fire scene immediately. I drove home and parked my car, then returned to get a closer look on foot. It reminded me of that other fire and collapse months ago further down Chelsea Street to- ward Maverick Square. Whenever, I hear the word "fire" and "East Boston," I know it is never a good mix of words. Even in the dark with spotlights on the building, it looked totaled, which it was. The fire water guns were blasting an endless stream of water into what was once someone's liv- ing room. I heard everyone escaped with few injuries. A seven-alarm fire with few injuries is a miracle and one of the reasons for this miracle was a guy named Paul Antonino driving north on Bennington Street to his home in Wakefield when he saw some smoke. He took a right on Putnam and a left onto Chelsea and there he saw windows full of flames. He jumped out of his car and knew he had to do something. He was with his daughter who was very afraid for him as he dashed into the building. She called 9-1-1 and the rest is history. Antonino kicked in doors and got folks, many eld- erly, out of the building to safety. No deaths except for a few unlucky cats without any lives left to use up. Antonino could have stayed outside yelling and waiting for the fire appara- tus but he jumped in with both feet and did what he had to do. Paul Antonino is being called a hero by the neighborhood, the fire department and the mayor but he said, "Don't call me a hero ... it's just what you do." Yes, it is just what you do but unfortunately, many aren't doing that anymore. He's probably embarrassed by all the hero talk because we are all called to look out for each other. Paul's roots are in the North End, another cramped urban neighborhood and he knows what can happen in fires like this latest one. "Hero" is often a word misused. Basketball players aren't heroes. Baseball players aren't heroes. Big shot politicians aren't heroes. Real heroes are ordinary people deciding to take inordinate actions to help others. In this particular incident, a 53-year-old father with his daugh- ter driving down Bennington Street saw trouble and couldn't be an innocent bystander. We all have the capacity for being a hero and we never know when that moment will come when it is expected of us. This guy passed the hero test even ff he doesn't want to be spotlighted. He did what he had to do when he had to do it. I think he should be called a hero and praised for his courage when it was truly under fire. Thank you, Paul for just being the guy you are. Mayor Thomas M. Menino declared Wednesday, April 4 th Paul Antonino Day in the city. In a ceremony at the Mayor's office, Mayor Menino gave Antonino a proclamation and thanked him for his actions helping to save elderly resi- dents from a seven-alarm fire. The East Boston Savings Bank has started a donation drive for the cause. Donations can be made in person or bY mail to: 10 Meridian St., East Boston, MA 02128. Checks should be made payable to "Families of Chelsea Street Fire." PS: Whenever anyone puts the safety of others ahead of them- selves that to me is the definition of a real hero! PAUL ANTOoNI00N?: A HERO Mrs. Murphy . . . Ax l See It A commu- Winthrop Yacht Club in Charlie Baker running On Sunday evening, April I St I was nity pulled honor of Probation Officer against Deval Patrick, giv- driving in Roslindale on the way together dur- Dave Arinella's retirement ing Patrick the edge and ul- home when someone called asking  u ing a devas- from the East Boston Court timate win. Will Patrick tating fire House after many years of come to the aid of Cahill on Chelsea Street to help victims of a fire that claimed their homes and all belongings. These heroes are to be commended for their unselfish assistance. Thirty people were left home- less for the holiday following the seven-alarm fire. Fortu- nately no one was seriously injured ... A tip of the hat belongs to First Priority Credit Union on Bennington Street after being named one of 2011's Top Credit Union Lenders in the March 26 th issue of the Bankers and Tradesman publication ... In case you missed the ac- tion! The Chelsea Creek Action Group were out in full force recently at Maverick Station to oppose the MBTA proposed T hike, and cuts in services. Members of the Action Group dressed in capes and masks passed out literature at Maverick Sta- tion drawing a large number of commuter support. De- spite public protests a raise hike in fares and services cuts were voted inI ... There was a large turnout at the distinguished service. Among the guests were his dearest friends and co-work- ers. Everyone wishes Dave a long, healthy and happy re- tirement ... It was a stand- ing room only for State Rep. Carlo Basile's fund-raiser held at Spinelli's Function Facilities in Day Square. Rep. Basile has risen to the top of his class by providing good representation to his East Boston residents, and it showed by all the support he received. Basile, an East Boston native is well liked. Always willing to lend an ear to the needs of his constitu- ents, making him one of the more admired East Boston Representatives ... The in- dictment handed down to Tim Cahill former Lottery Chief may be justifiable given the facts that he alleg- edly used lotto money for campaign advertisement via lottery ads in his Izid for the governor's seat. Incidentally, many believe State Trea- surer Tim Cahill was put in as a straw to draw votes away from Republican candidate now, it should be interest- ing? ... According to Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the Black Panthers (all radicals) the people of the United States continue to discrimi- nate against blacks. Why can't these men give it up? Since Barack Obama be- came president the race card appears to be the order of the day. The Civil war is over, but Al Sharpton, Jesse Jack- son, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and militant black groups are working hard to create another Civil war. Every race, color and creed has been discriminated against since the beginning of time! How can we become a civi- lized nation, if big mouths such as the above continue with their old time rhetoric? The majority of us see people as people, not what religion, race or color they are. The nation can't stop the minor- ity of people that act as they do. They don't make up the majority ... Till next time t. Flavorful Landscapes- It's a Growing Trend by Melinda Myers, Gardening Expert, TV/radio Host, Author & Columnist Nothing beats the flavor of a fresh-from-the-garden to- mato; warmed by the sun, plucked right from the plant and eaten in the garden. And the good news, you don't need much space. Many garden- ers have and more will con- tinue to grow food in contain- ers or mixed in with their flowers, shrubs, and other ornamental plantings. Save the sunniest spots in your landscape for tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucum- bers and other vegetables where you eat the flowers or fruit. They produce their best and have the fewest dis- ease problems when grown in eight to twelve hours of sunlight. Root crops such as beets, radishes, and carrots can get by with about a half of a day of direct sun and leafy crops like lettuce and spinach can still produce in a shady location with only 4 hour of sunlight. Get your garden off to a good start. Use a quality pot- ting mix when growing in containers. It should have good drainage and retain moisture. In the garden, pre- pare the soil before planting. Add several inches of com- post, peat moss or other or- ganic matter to the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. This im- proves drainage in heavy soils and increases 'water holding capacity for sandy or rocky soils. Add a slow release fertilizer like Milorganite to the soil or potting mix. This goof proof organic source of nitro- gen meets the EPA Excep- tional Quality standards and will help encourage growth without interfering with flowering and fruiting. Jump start the season with the help of floating row covers. These polypropylene fabrics let air, light, and wa- ter through, while trapping the heat near the plants. The best part, you won't need a hammer, nail, or other tools. Simply lay the fabric over your planting, leaving enough slack for the plants to grow and anchor the edges to the ground with stones, boards or other items. Increase your harvest with intensive planting tech- niques. SuccessiOn plant- ing, several plantings of short season crops in the same space, can double or triple your harvest. Inter- plant quick-to-mature crops like radishes and lettuce, in between longer maturing (Continued on Page 12) Please accept sincere condolences, from the Spinelli's family and staff. During this difficult time, we would like to offer our facility at a specially reduced price, for you, your family and friends. SERVED UPON ARRIVAL Coffee, Mini Danish Pastries and Tea Breads BUFFET LUNCHEON MENU Tossed Salad, Assorted Rolls with Butter Chicken, Ziti and Broccoli Alfredo Eggplant Parmigiana Italian Sausages, Onions and Potatoes Above price does not include a 15% Administration Fee and a 7% Mass State Tax. 280 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON, MA Telephone: 617-567-4499 J