Re: Enough of sober houses in Malden!
posted at 9/26/2011 8:50 PM EDT
The Heroin/Opioid grants referenced here have nothing to do with building sober houses - they are for cities to plan education programs to prevent heroin addiction among kids. Here's a press release from Mitt Romney's office announcing the grants:http://myclob.pbworks.com/w/page/21956269/08-05-2004a
Humanist, you're right that Malden didn't take advantage of the T when it came in in 1975/76. We created a huge new government center that blocked access to Malden Square, rather than invited commuters to restaurants and shops (not to mention turn drivers away from a literally dead-end downtown), turning T riders out to the neighborhoods.
Note that Melrose refused to let the Orange Line in. I hate to say this, but the other end of that line is, or was, in a not-terribly-nice neighborhood of Boston, and it's a straight shot back and forth. Happily, some Roxbury sections are pretty pleasant now (see parts of Fort Hill, for instance).
But as Malden business declined, in part because of our bad responses to the T's arrival, tax revenues declined, so government has had to make hard choices about spending, and policing, general maintenance (contributing to a "safe" feeling), code enforcement, etc., have withered as well. That and the scads of cheap multi-unit housing within easy walking distance of two Orange Line stations - and, again, much of it is historic, but some comes from bad government decisions, such as the monster at the corner of Summer and Pleasant, and other monsters lining Florence - I'm arguing, had very much to do with what we now see as Malden's condition.
But remember, we'd been spoiled over the past half-century or so. Malden was historically home to some nasty neighborhoods - the industrial stretch along what's now Route 60 / Stop & Shop area; the tenements on lower Summer; even old Suffolk Square, which was in every sense a ghetto until urban renewal. We started cleaning up in the late '50s, early '60s, sometimes by fire, sometimes by government action, just in time for us to screw up the T's arrival and the rise of suburban malls.
I've never understood what made Chelsea Chelsea, but an older relative - in her 80s now - remembers when she grew up in Malden, "I'm going to Chelsea" was the smartass answer to someone asking your destination - smartass, because everyone knew that no one sane would really be going to Chelsea.