They came from all walks of life, bowlers and business people, friends and family, people of all faiths and backgrounds – and what they all had in common was this: to have known Kathleen “Kathy” (Pawlak) Finklestein was to have known an extraordinary human being.
Kathleen “Kathy” Finklestein
Many, like Joe Surette, who came with his wife, Cathy Walata, to the Welsh Funeral Home to say good-bye, said just so with their words and actions.
“She was truly one of the nicest people I ever met in my life,” said Surette. “We are all so saddened by her passing.”
Kathleen “Kathy” Finklestein died on April 10 after experiencing a sudden and overwhelming advance of cancer that had struck this brave and seemingly indestructible woman four years ago. She was 62 years old.
The daughter of the late Chester P. and Carole M. (Lombardozzi) Pawlak, Kathy grew up in the family home on Broadway. She was an excellent student who attended St. Stanislaus Parochial School on Chestnut Street, Shurtleff Junior High School, and Chelsea High School, Class of 1973.
During her high school years, she started dating another “All-A” student with a similarly warm personality and generousness, Neal Finklestein. They were married in 1979 and shared 39 years of happiness together. As Kathy’s sister, Chrissy Pawlak, told the large assemblage at the Mass at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Revere, “It was at Chelsea High School where she hit the jackpot of all jackpots, she started dating Neal. Everyone should have a Neal in their lives.”
Many knew Kathy from the candlepin bowling scene. She helped her wonderful father, “Chet,” run Chelsea Square Alleys, a place where the Pawlak family made everyone feel welcomed and safe.
Kathy became an outstanding bowler and she and her sister, Chrissy, reached the top tier of the sport when they appeared on the Channel 5 “Candlepin Doubles” professional bowling show. She also won a mixed doubles championship in the old Chelsea Record Bowling Tournament, leading the way with a record-setting, five-string score of 610.
Hall of Famer Richie “Hawk” Halas, one of so many bowlers who paid their respects to Kathy, said of his fellow professional, “As great a bowler as she was, she was an even better person.”
Known for her keen organizational skills, Kathy directed candlepin bowling leagues in Chelsea and Malden, providing bowlers with a fun night of competition and camaraderie each week.
Chelsea business owners became admirers of Kathy Finklestein and her incredible work ethic through her efforts at the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. Programs such as the Pot-O-Gold Dinner and the Brighter Holidays Committee Awards presentations brought so much enjoyment to Chamber members because Kathy put her maximum effort in to every endeavor she undertook.
Allan I. Alpert, past president of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, said Kathy, who owned Chelsea Secretarial Services, was a tremendous asset to the organization.
“Kathy was very active as an outstanding member of the Chamber of Commerce as our secretary, and when we didn’t have an executive director, she pretty much filled the role on a voluntary basis, and would not take any compensation from the Chamber that she loved so dearly,” said Alpert. “She is really going to be missed.”
Peter Zaksheski, also a past president of the Chamber, said of Kathy, “You could not have a truer friend and confidante than Kathy. When I was Chamber president, if I were good, Kathy was the reason. She was the backbone. She was such a great person.”
The Rev. Richard A. Uftring presided over the funeral Mass at the church. He knew Kathy personally through her being a faithful parishioner and a Eucharistic Minister and her membership in the Church Crochet Club.
“Kathy lived her faith, she loved her family – this is her family of friends,” said the Rev. Uftring.
Kathy’s cousin, Judy Covino, and sister, Chrissy Pawlak, each delivered beautiful words of remembrance.
“Kathy was all about giving and she gave it all to her involvement in the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce where you would find her on the planning committees for the Pot-O-Gold, the Christmas Holiday Children’s Holiday Party, and of course my favorite, the annual trip to Foxwoods or Mohegan,” said Covino.
“She was a great behind-the-scenes person who never took the credit. The success of so many fundraisers were the results of her tireless efforts.”
Covino noted how Kathy and Neal loved going to the Boston Garden to cheer on the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. “She also attended many Red Sox games, including Big Papi’s last game.”
Covino told how Kathy would assist others as the family caregiver.
“If you look up caregiver in the dictionary, Kathy’s picture would be right beside it. She was always there for everybody.”
Chrissy Pawlak said as time went on, “Kathy became my first and forever best friend. Following her through life was easy, even though those were really big shoes to follow. My sister was the smartest person I will ever know academically and in life.”
Chrissy recalled how much Kathy and Neal enjoyed being with their family and friends at gatherings and on trips. “I know Kathy loved every minute of it. She took over the holiday traditions, keeping everybody together at her house. The summertime was her favorite where the backyard and the pool were open and the barbecue was going.”
Chrissy perfectly articulated what everyone, including their good friend, Jimmy Manzo, will know forever, “Kathy really was a beautiful person and a blessing to the world. She was the first one to step up to help anyone. She loved doing a lot of things for a lot of people. She will always be my hero. Give mom and dad hugs and kisses. I will forever be proud to be Kathy’s sister and you, Kathy, truly were the wind beneath our wings.”
The MBTA is gearing up for the big rollout of its Silver Line SL-3 expansion on Saturday, April 21, as operations on the expansion of the bus rapid transit look to change the landscape, and the commute, of the City.
For the first time ever, “can’t get there from here” territory like South Station will be only 27 minutes from the Mystic Mall on the new SL-3 buses, according to information from the MBTA.
“SL3 will make commuting to the Airport, Seaport, or South Station better for anyone who rides bus routes 111, 112, 114, 116, 117, anyone travelling on the Blue Line, or anyone who is driving,” read information materials from the T. “Right now, your commute might be pretty complicated. If you’re going to the South Station area, you probably start out on a bus, and then make a few transfers to get to the Red Line. If you drive, you deal with a lot of traffic, and pay for tolls, and parking.”
On Wednesday, MBTA General Manager Luis Ramirez was out to Chelsea to get a sneak peek of the new service, taking the SL-3 from Airport Station through to the new Chelsea Station. Deputy City Manager Ned Keefe accompanied him, as well as several MBTA officials.
The new SL-3 service will operate in Chelsea between the hours of
5 a.m. (Monday through Friday) to 12:55 a.m. On Saturdays, it opens at 5:30 a.m. and Sundays at 6:30 a.m.
Service will run every 10 minutes at peak periods, which are between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Service runs every 12 to 15 minutes in off-peak and weekend times.
It will operate in Chelsea out of three brand new, heated stations – complete with covered bike racks at each. The stations are:
Chelsea Station – 174 Everett Ave.
Bellingham Station – 225 Arlington St.
Box District Station – 200 Highland St.
Eastern Avenue Station – 40 Eastern Ave.
As part of the project as well, the 111 bus will be enhanced.
It is expected that of the 11,700 riders of the 111 bus, some 2,000 will switch to the SL-3 service, reducing the crowds on the 111 somewhat.
Additionally, the MBTA plans to work with the City of Chelsea to improve the 111 bus with potential dedicated bus lanes and signal optimization.
Chelsea has a new leader for what will be a new school, as current Chelsea High Assistant Principal Ron Schmidt has been tapped to lead the new Chelsea Opportunity Academy, which starts on July 1.
Supt. Mary Bourque announced the hire this week, soon after she announced the organization of the Opportunity Academy, which is funded through a $750,000 grant from the Barr Foundation.
“A new school, needs a new principal,” she wrote. “It is therefore, with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Chelsea High School’s Assistant Principal, Mr. Ronald Schmidt, to Principal of the Chelsea Opportunity Academy, effective July 1, 2018. The appointment of Mr. Schmidt to Principal of COA was an easy one to make as a Superintendent. Mr. Schmidt’s education as well as his deep career experience has prepared him to run his own school – a different type of school. He is committed to students in need of a different high school experience to be successful… Mr. Schmidt was hired as Assistant Principal of Chelsea High School in 2003 and has served the students and families of Chelsea with all of his energy and heart.”
The Barr Foundation awarded Chelsea Schools the ‘Engage New England: Doing High School Differently’ grant to purposefully implement the Opportunity Academy in the 2018-2019 school year. It will be the district’s 10th school and second high school.
The Opportunity Academy will be a school within a school model, so it will be located on the campus of Chelsea High School.
The design of the school is to serve students who are overage, under-credited, and who are struggling with the traditional American high school experience.
It will provide students with flexible scheduling, blended learning, and individualized support in order that students make continual progress towards earning a high school diploma.
“Mr. Schmidt is the only one I want to lead this high school, so great is my faith and confidence in him,” wrote Bourque.
A 66-unit apartment building looking to be constructed on what is now a vacant, derelict property looks to achieve a lot of firsts – the first Silver Line-based development and the first project to include affordable housing under the City’s new ordinance.
Greg Antonelli is proposing to build the building at 170 Cottage St., and the project has gone through the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) one time, and will head to the Planning Board soon.
The property has long been forgotten, but with the development of the Silver Line, which opens this Saturday, April 21, the property has seen a new luster. While it is has been full of trash in the past and a constant code violator, Antonelli said he hopes to make it something Chelsea can be proud of.
“I think it’s a project that will really be an improvement to that area,” he said. “It’s been vacant 40 years. It attracts litter and illegal dumping. There is a record of code enforcement violations for 10 or 15 years for illegal dumping there.”
The Silver Line, as well, played no small part in his decision.
“That was huge,” he said. “It was very important to the project. It played a big role in my decision because public transportation is very popular now…We believe the Silver Line is going to help with parking, traffic and congestion problems we’re experiencing. We believe the residents of this development will use the Silver Line to get to work and to Boston.”
Antonelli is providing 90 on-site parking spaces as well, and the development has 52 two-bedroom units and 14 one-bedrooms.
One key piece, and another new piece, is it will include 20 percent affordable housing for the 80 percent median income.
It is the first time that a project has come in under the new inclusionary zoning ordinance. That means that 13 or 14 units will be reserved for those who qualify under the affordable housing statutes.
“That’s me giving back to the City,” he said. “I’m not in it for the quick money, but rather a long-term partnership with the City.”
Council President Damali Vidot has gone on record already supporting the project, saying it will develop a problem property.
“There are constant complaints about this lot as a dumping site for construction materials, mattresses and all sorts of trash,” she said. “I’d like to see something developed there, especially something that activates both Cottage and Bellingham Street. Being that this is my neighborhood, I can attest to the huge parking issue in this area. However, this project will only be nine parking spots short and the developer’s proposal to increase the required amount of affordable units from 15 percent to 20 percent is a show of good faith and investment in the community.”
Councilor Enio Lopez has also shown support for the project, and the City has been working with Antonelli on it as well.
Already, they have agreed on a design that will activate both sides of the street, that being Cottage and Bellingham.
After the project makes a stop at the Planning Board, it will go back to the Zoning Board for a vote.
The Board of Directors of Wynn Resorts announced Wednesday that it has expanded its board to 11 members, with the appointment of Betsy Atkins, Dee Dee Myers and Wendy Webb as independent directors, effective immediately.
All three new appointments are women, which the company pointed to as making more progress against its recent sexual misconduct allegations that ousted its former CEO Steve Wynn. Two of the new directors have connections to Massachusetts.
The Board approved the new directors at a previously scheduled meeting in-person in Las Vegas on April 17.
The appointments, which were made after a lengthy search by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee with the assistance of a search firm, involved interviews of solely independent candidates and advances the Company’s commitment to diversify the gender, skills and experience of the Board. These independent directors strengthen the Board’s expertise in corporate governance, communications and public affairs, technology, strategic positioning, hospitality and branding.
The Wynn Resorts Board now comprises 36 percent women, bringing Wynn into the top 40 S&P 500 companies in terms of female board representation.
“We are pleased to welcome Betsy, Dee Dee and Wendy to the Wynn Resorts Board of Directors following a thorough search process that included input from shareholders and an independent executive search firm,” said D. Boone Wayson, Chairman of the Wynn Resorts Board of Directors. “We are confident that their extensive and wide-ranging expertise will provide fresh and valuable perspectives to support the Company’s leadership team and business strategy.
“To be clear, this is the first step in our effort to refresh the Board.” said Wayson. “We intend to add additional new directors in the coming months. The Board is committed to enhancing value for our shareholders, delivering superior experiences for customers and creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all of the Company’s employees.”
Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts, said, “I am thrilled to welcome these highly qualified independent directors to our Board. We have made it a priority to implement meaningful change at Wynn Resorts and are committed to elevating our corporate governance practices and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. In addition to strengthening our Board, these appointments make Wynn a global leader in board diversity.”
Maddox continued, “These appointments signify a turning point for us, and I look forward to working with each of our new directors as we usher in a new era at Wynn.”
The new additions to the Board and resulting change in board composition are part of a series of significant strategic changes made by the Company. As previously announced, the Board has launched an internal investigation, led by a third-party law firm, into the Company’s awareness and response to allegations regarding its former CEO, Steve Wynn. Other recent significant actions to improve the workplace environment and further stabilize Wynn initiated by the Board and Maddox include:
The separation of Steve Wynn from all company operations and the sale of all of Mr. Wynn’s stock in the Company, including 8 million shares to two long-term institutional investors.
Settling six years of litigation with Universal Entertainment for $2.4 billion, an effective redemption price of $78 per Company share.
Raising $927 million through the sale of 5.3 million shares in Wynn Resorts to Galaxy Entertainment Group, Macau.
The resolution of litigation filed in 2012 by former Board Member Elaine Wynn, thereby finally resolving all claims in that litigation with no payment by Wynn Resorts.
The creation of a new department within the Company to focus on gender equality, diversity, fair treatment and female leadership.
The launch of new employee benefits, such as paid parental leave – making Wynn the first casino resort company to do so in Las Vegas.
The Company and all new board members will promptly comply with all regulatory requirements.
Betsy Atkins is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, and Wendy Webb is a graduate of Smith College and Harvard University.
The Estates on Admiral’s Hill, part of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, will hold a Spring Open House for its two assisted living residences in Chelsea on Thursday, April 26 from 2-5 p.m. This event is the perfect opportunity to see what life at an assisted living is all about.
There will be one-on-one consultations with Executive Director Yari Velez and Director of Admissions Kristen Donnelly; they will provide tours as well as answer any questions about senior living.
Located on scenic Admiral’s Hill at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea, The Estates is comprised of a traditional assisted living residence, Cohen Florence Levine Estates, and a specialized and memory care residence, Florence & Chafetz Home for Specialized Care. Amenities include fresh, delicious meals, cozy café with home-made baked goods, hair and nail salon, library, living room, great room for concerts and shows, welcoming dining room with private chef and outdoor courtyard area for seasonal recreational activities.
“We are thrilled to open our doors and invite the public to this special spring time celebration,” states Yari Velez, Executive Director of the Estates. “Our staff and our residents are looking forward to meeting area seniors and their families. Spring is a time of new beginnings and moving to an assisted living can be a wonderful change. You’ll meet new friends, have access to first class amenities and, most importantly, enjoy a worry-free lifestyle.” Velez added, “Our residents are so important to us – they really are like family.”
Individuals who RSVP to the open house ahead of time will receive a beautiful floral plant. Please call Kristen Donnelly at 617-887-0826 or email email@example.com to confirm attendance.
On Tuesday, April 10, at Chelsea District Court, the courtroom was filled with people who had arrest records as long as the Declaration of Independence. They sat at the tables where defendants usually sit.
They’d all been there before numerous times due to their addiction, drug use and petty crimes. This time, though, they were there to graduate – to acknowledge that they’d completed a program at least 18 months long with the courts that helped them turn their lives around.
The program is Drug Court, and it was innovated in Chelsea in 2000 and continues strong through the support of judges, probation officers, recovery coaches and other resources. It is a last stop, last chance for many people who have been in and out of jail for their entire lives.
“It saved my life,” said Erin Eckert, cradling her young toddler girl and noting that she was at the lowest one can get while on the streets of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass in Boston’s South End – known as Methadone Mile. “It took me a long time to do this and make the decision. When I did, it literally saved my life.”
On Tuesday, seven people graduated from the program. Most had been in jail several times, had years or decades of court involvement. This time, though, they changed that trajectory. Most had been clean for more than a year, and most were employed. Families and supporters came to celebrate.
SJC Justice David Lowy was the keynote speaker, sharing how he had lost a cousin last year to opiate overdose. Almost all of the big players in the state’s judiciary were in attendance.
Everyone cried, but they were tears of celebration and relief.
Chelsea started and innovated the program years ago, and now there are drug courts in many of the urban District Courts that are built on that same model. It is a strike against the opiate epidemic, and one that works for many people.
“This last time I was up and down with it,” said Kristen Barnett, who entered the Drug Court in February 2015. “All I know is I changed my life this time. I don’t know what to say why I did it this time, but I did. I’m happy to be here today.”
Six birds of prey that are native to Chelsea were presented during the Chelsea Public Library’s Wingmasters Bird Exhibit on April 7. Jim Parks and his partner, Julie Collier, rescue, rehabilitate, and release raptors such as eagles and osprey. The falcons, owls, and hawk displayed were born in the wild, but due to permanent injury are non-releasable; and so Parks and Collier care for them permanently.
“Ninety percent of the time the birds we rescue are releasable. They’re resilient,” said Parks. “Sometimes they are injured in such a way that their injuries can’t be fixed by any doctor.”
Parks and Collier visit 200 schools, museums, and libraries each year to educate the public about these remarkable animals. They work closely with Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton where veterinarians help Parks and Collier free most birds back into the wild.
“One of the biggest problems these birds deal with is their reputation. They’re often thought of as being dangerous,” explained Parks. “It’s good that we have birds of prey. These birds do us a huge favor by controlling the populations we want nothing to do with.”
Parks presented a four-ounce male, and a six-ounce female American kestrel falcon with cataracts. The female’s larger build is excellent for protecting her young; and her brown-shaded feathers keep her camouflaged.
“Falcons are built for speed because they hunt other birds. This is an incredibly difficult lifestyle,” Parks said. “They get high above the earth, close their wings and drop. They accelerate and capture a bird below. They can outfly every other bird in the world.”
The male falcon was picked up off the ground at three-weeks-old and hand fed. He bonded with a human and will never understand what it is like to be a wild falcon. Male falcons, built for hunting, are considered the most colorful bird of prey in North America.
“Unfortunately, this is a bird about to be added to the government’s endangered species list,” said Parks. “This is a bird running out of a place to live.”
Seven species of hawks live in Massachusetts, with the most common being the red-tailed hawk. The female red-tailed hawk that Parks exhibited was once a mile-high flyer. At 32-years-old, the six and a half-pound bird is the oldest bird that Parks and Collier have ever rescued. Her wing was shattered when she was hit by a car while hunting a rodent on the grassy median of Rt. 128 on Thanksgiving Day 13 years ago.
“A circling hawk is showing off his red tail in the sky as a way of telling other birds to go away,” described Parks. “When they’re hunting they stand in trees, keep their bodies still, and dart out feet first after their prey. Eagles and hawks have the best eyesight.”
Parks also showed an eastern screech owl, the most common owl living around us, a barred own, New England’s second largest owl, and the great horned owl, New England’s largest owl. Owls are one of the slowest and most silent flying birds in the world. They hide during the day, and hunt and nap at night; but because of their incredible camouflage often go unseen. Owls can also see eight times better at night than humans can, and use their acute hearing to locate prey.
“They are masters of deception. They know how to blend in,” said Parks. “No other bird looks like this. We stand upright, have round faces, and have eyes on the front, and so do owls.”
Parks explained that most birds are injured in their first year of life while they are still learning. He has been working with birds for 24 years; and prior to that worked at an engineering firm in Boston.
“As a photographer, I was always interested in the natural world,” explained Parks, who grew up in Lynn. “I liked all aspects of nature growing up.”
With decreasing habitats and an increasing human population, Parks hopes that more corporations will develop properties to accommodate wildlife.
“Impact injuries are sad because there are many man-made obstacles now in the world that cause them. Julie and I do what we do to give birds a second chance to live,” said Parks. “If you want to help, donate to an organization that buys land. If you don’t have a place to release a species, they won’t know where to go. Many animals cannot adapt, and that’s when you see animals fall off the map.”
On April 10, at 8:19 a.m., a well-being check was executed at 93 Parker St. Upon arrival at the address three individuals were observed fleeing the residence. After further investigation, all three were placed into custody for narcotics charges.
Derik Hidalgo-Sanjuan, 19, of 192 Shurtleff St.; David Hurtado, 27, of 725 Broadway; and Pedro Colon, 29, of Revere; were all charged with possession of a Class B drug and conspiracy.
KNOW WHERE I CAN GET SOME CRACK?
On April 14 at 2:47 a.m., two male parties were observed chasing each other in front of the Fine Mart, located at 260 Broadway. The victim stated that he encountered the suspect near 52 Hawthorne St. when the victim asked the suspect if he knew where he could purchase crack cocaine. The victim then pulled out $251, at which point the suspect grabbed the money and fled the area. The victim chased him down, and police locked the suspect up.
Johel Mims, 18, of Malden, was charged with unarmed robbery and assault and battery.
STABBED FATHER IN NEW YORK
On April 14, at 1:24 a.m., information was received from New York State Police that suspect had stabbed his father, who was sent to the hospital and required
emergency surgery. New York State Police had information that the suspect was fleeing the State of New York and heading to his mother’s residence in Chelsea. The subject was located at 9 Guam Rd. and placed into custody for being a fugitive from justice out of New York State.
Yunis Aden, 24, of Cleveland, was charged as a fugitive from justice.
A LONG, LONG DISAGREEMENT
On April 9, at 12:34 a.m., officers responded to the New England Produce Co. Bay # 1 (Travis Fruit Company) on the report of a past assault with the victim on scene. Officers learned that the two drivers who occupied the truck had an ongoing argument that started in Virginia and escalated during their travel to Chelsea.
It all came to a head on the dock at the Produce Center when one driver attacked the other by kicking him while he was on the ground. He was placed under arrest on scene.
Andrew Ramirez, 30, of Santa Fe Springs, CA, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot).
CRASH ON CHESTER
On April 14, at 11:15 p.m., officers responded to 138 Chester Ave. for a report of a car crashing into several parked vehicles. Dispatch reported that the driver was attempting to leave the scene. Officers observed a white Mercedes in the middle of the roadway with significant damage to the front end and the suspect standing just outside the driver’s door. Several neighbors were out on the sidewalk who were pointing to the suspect and stating that he was the driver. Based on observations the operator was placed under arrest.
Renato Garcia, 29, of 149 Congress Ave., was charged with operating under the influence of liquor, reckless operation, speeding, stop sign violation and failing to wear a seat belt.
Apollinaire Theatre Company presents the US Premiere of this viciously funny and unforgettable play about first love, teenage lust, and nature vs nurture.
Chelsea’s Apollinaire Theatre will begin a U.S. premiere of ‘First Love is the Revolution’ on April 13.
Rdeca is a young fox keen to test boundaries, whose curiosity lands her in a makeshift trap set by lonely 14-year-old Basti. When their paths cross, the sparks fly and an impossible bond spirals dangerously out of control.
First Love stars Hayley Spivey as the young fox Rdeca. Hayley recently appeared in SpeakEasy Stage’s Men on Boats and Lyric Stage Company’s Orlando. She is a graduate of Boston University with a BFA in Theatre Arts. She is joined by some Apollinaire regulars including Armando Rivera (Thoreau) and Dale J. Young (Gregor Mole), both most recently seen in Everyman, and exciting newcomers to Apollinaire including Bridgette Hayes and Khloe Alice Lin completing our fox family.
Performances of First Love is the Revolution are April 13-May 5, 2018
Fri. & Sat. at 8:00, Thurs. April 26, & May 3 at 8:00, Sun. April 22 & 29 at 3:00
Performances are at the Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, MA
Tickets are $30, $25 seniors, $15 students
Tickets can be purchased by calling (617) 887-2336 or on-line at www.apollinairetheatre.com
Information and directions at www.apollinairetheatre.com.
Performances will be followed by a Reception with the actors.