Help Alleviate Suffering in Both Afghanistan and Haiti
To the Editor,
Today we see two new humanitarian crises developing on opposite sides of the globe,” said Daniel Pereira, Communications Director for the MIRA Coalition. “The collapse of the Afghan government and rapid advance of the Taliban puts the lives of hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians at risk – especially those employed by U.S. military and coalition forces over the last 20 years of war and conflict, as well as women and children.
In Haiti, we see a rapidly rising death toll as a result of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake just West of Port-au-Prince, further devastating a nation already suffering deeply from the COVID-19 pandemic, the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse, political and gang-related violence, and an incoming tropical storm.
MIRA urges the Biden administration to help alleviate suffering in both Afghanistan and Haiti by providing safety for those seeking refugee status and protection. Given our government and military’s involvement in Afghanistan over the last two decades, we have a duty of care to those civilians the U.S. employed over those 20 years, who may now face violence and reprisals from Taliban forces.
These civilians can be protected in the short term and given shelter, and the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program can be both expanded and expedited, given that more than 300,000 Afghans have had some affiliation with US forces, yet only 16,000 Afghan SIVs have been issued since the program began in 2014. The U.S. could also extend TPS protection to Afghans now residing in the U.S., and assist on-the-ground efforts to protect and resettle the many refugees who will doubtless begin seeking routes out of the country.
MIRA also calls on the Biden administration to provide immediate humanitarian relief to Haiti and to implement an immediate halt of all deportations to Haiti, including deportations at the border. The Biden administration and Department of Homeland Security should also expand and open up the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti, allowing those who may arrive in the coming weeks and months to also receive TPS status.
Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition
A Thriving Institution
To the Editor,
I admire the perseverance of Temple Tifereth Israel in Winthrop and would like to share the success story of Temple Emmanuel here in Chelsea. We are a thriving institution in a historic building in Cary Square. We serve our Temple community and the City of Chelsea.
We have distributed about 275,000 free meals to Chelsea children during the pandemic by partnering with the Shah Foundation. Last March the Chelsea Historical Commission designated Temple Emmanuel “a historically significant structure and asset for the City of Chelsea.” We have a restored sanctuary with beautiful Romanesque features and a large renovated social hall with a vaulted ceiling.
Most importantly, we have members from Chelsea, the North Shore, and across the US. We offer religious services and programs throughout the year. Our attendance has increased now that we conduct services and social events both in person and via the Internet. Rabbi/Cantor Chapman is celebrating 15 years of inspiring us with her wisdom and operatic flourishes.
We are planning an open house for new members on Sunday afternoon, August 22 at 4 PM. Please join us!
Many thanks to Cary Shuman, the Chelsea Record Editor-in-Chief, for covering our important events.
Sara Lee Callahan
A True Gentleman
To the Editor,
I was fortunate to have worked with Chelsea Fire Lieutenant George Ostler for a period of time while assigned to the 883 Broadway Fire Station. George’s late brother, “Robbie” Ostler, also a firefighter, was assigned to another fire station.
George F. Ostler Sr. was a product of the “Greatest Generation”. I recall, when George was just about to turn sixty-five years old, we responded to Revere for a three-alarm fire. Although George was twenty-six years older than me, I told him he had the stamina of a thirty-year old. George’s work ethic, dedication, and commitment reflected well upon himself, the Chelsea Fire Department, and the City of Chelsea.
In October 1991, the then “City Receivership” closed the Everett Avenue Fire Station. The fire station, known as Engine 5’s quarters, displayed a plaque in honor of the late Firefighter James Carolan, who was killed September 30, 1918, during World War I, when he was a Navy sailor aboard the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, (ye was only 27 years old).
Not too long after the Everett Avenue fire station was closed, the City sold the building. George Ostler, although retired, was able to get the Carolan plaque re-finished through the Chelsea Historical Society. On Firefighters; Memorial Sunday June 1, 1997, George spoke in length on the history of Firefighter James Carolan. The plaque now is displayed at the Central Fire Station in Fay Square.
Fire Lieutenant George F. Ostler, Sr. was a true gentleman, great firefighter, and historian, I shall forever remember him.
Louis T. Addonizio
Chelsea Fire Chief, RET.