The Chelsea Night Market plans is smoking,
and that’s because the first installment on June 8 will have fire jugglers,
amongst musicians, comedians and a full slate of food and craft vendors.
Unveiled earlier this year, the Night Market
is part of the City’s Chelsea Prospers campaign and looks to add activity to
the downtown area on summer evenings with a creative and exciting market in the
Luther Place municipal parking lot once a month.
As the plans come together for the first
Market, Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney said she couldn’t be happier with the
way things have come together.
“It’s going amazingly,” she said. “We’ve got
this really cool Turkish band that’s playing on the first day. We will also
have the Boston Circus Guild coming and they will have two performances. There
will be folks on stilts, jugglers, people juggling fire and close interactive
magicians. They will have a 20-minute fire performance during the evening.
Think juggling things on fire with incredible music behind it.”
Graney said she couldn’t yet reveal the
vendors, but they have 13 signed up so far that will be a great mix of exciting
items and food.
“I’m really excited so many local businesses
and food businesses are looking to take part,” she said. “We’re not doing food
trucks because we want an intimate atmosphere with open BBQs and food service.”
All of that will be flanked with creative
lighting that is meant to ‘wow’ visitors as they come via the newly-refurbished
“Our plan is to encourage people to come
into the Market using the Chelsea Walk and it will be like ‘kapow,’” she said.
“They’ll be hit with the lights and music and circus acts and vendors.”
There will also be community entries into
the Market, with a group of comedians participating and the Chelsea Pride
Committee having a booth.
“The Pride Committee will be having their
flag raising the day afterward, but they will have a booth at the Market too,”
she said. “They plan to use grease body paint to have people write things on
themselves that they are proud of. I love a lot of the community vendors are
trying to do new and different things instead of just standing behind a table.”
The first Night
Market will be on June 8 from 7-10 p.m. with a rain date of June 15.
In the end, it was a unanimous vote by the
School Committee to enter into negotiations with Almudena Abeyta as the next
superintendent of schools, although it took a handful of votes to reach that
The Committee met Thursday, May 9 to
consider three finalists to replace Mary Bourque, who is retiring this year
after more than 30 years in the Chelsea schools.
While each of the three finalists for
superintendent garnered some support from Committee members Thursday night,
Abeyta, currently the assistant superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and
Assessment for the Somerville Public schools, had the majority of the support
from the board throughout four votes.
While there was not unanimous support for
Abeyta from the get-go, Committee members universally praised the high quality
of all three finalists. In addition to Abeyta, the other two finalists were
Anthony Parker, the Weston High School principal, and Ligia Noriega-Murphy,
assistant superintendent of secondary schools in the Boston Public Schools.
“Chelsea is very lucky tonight to have three
outstanding candidates,” said At-Large School Committee member Frank DePatto.
“The city is in good hands with any of the candidates.”
DePatto noted that having three highly
qualified candidates did make for a difficult decision for the Committee
members, a sentiment echoed by District Five School Committee member Henry
Wilson – who just joined the Committee a few weeks ago.
“I changed my mind and then I changed my
mind again,” said Wilson. “Today, I did a lot of praying.”
District Seven School Committee member Kelly
Garcia said Abeyta was the candidate who spoke most to her as an educator.
“She answered every question with calmness, urgency,
confidence, and experience,” said Garcia.
In the first round of voting, it looked like
Abeyta was in as the choice of the School Committee with a 5-3 vote. The
Committee’s ninth member, Rosemarie Carlisle, could not attend the meeting
because of a medical issue.
However, after some legal consultation, it
was determined that the vote was taken after only one name was entered into
nomination. Under procedure, the Committee should have entered all candidates
being considered into nomination.
During that round of voting, Abeyta fell
just short of a majority, garnering four votes, with Noriega-Murphy getting
three and Parker grabbing one vote. A second round with the top-two vote
getters ended with a 5-3 majority for Abeyta, enough to secure approval.
DePatto, who voted for Noriega-Murphy during
the open nominations, made the motion to make the vote unanimous for Abeyta.
Even though he
backed Noriega-Murphy, after the meeting, DePatto said he was happy with the
outcome of the meeting.
There are many yard sales held in Chelsea, but this may be the first from which a book is sprung.
Author and educator Stacy Amaral is pictured at the welcoming table for the yard sale that was held Saturday.
Chelsea resident Stacy Amaral and the weekly
adult English-Spanish class that she coordinates will use the proceeds from
last Saturday’s yard sale on Clark Avenue to write a new book about immigrants’
experiences in their home country and in Chelsea.
The group has received a grant from the
Chelsea Cultural Council. In order to meet the remaining expenses for the
publishing of the book, the group decided to hold a yard sale fundraiser. The
class itself is supported by Chelsea Community Connections.
For the book, Amaral will conduct individual
interviews with the members of the class. The residents are originally from
Puerto Rico, Honduras, El Salavador, Cape Verde, and Zambia.
“I’ll transcribe their interviews, write
them out, and then we’ll put the book together and get it printed,” said
Amaral. “It’s a wonderful group of people that I’m working with in this class.”
The name of the book will be “Estamos Aqui
(We Are Here.”
Amaral grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., New
Jersey, and Puerto Rico and lived in Central America. She is a 1969 graduate of
Clark University and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Counseling. She was
a teacher and an adjustment counselor in the Worcester school system and
founded a dropout prevention program for Latino youth in Worcester.
She is an author who previously wrote
“Sharing Voices: Getting From There to Here.” She has also written articles for
Interestingly, there were many old books
being sold at the yard sale. There was also delicious Latino food items for
sale. Neighbors poured in to the yard to support the yard sale and wish
the well with its book project.
“We are grateful for the residents coming to
our yard sale,” said Amaral, who has lived in Chelsea for four years.
project is the building of a new garden at the corner of Marlboro and Willow
Streets. The effort is being funded by the Community Preservation Act.
A 38-unit affordable housing project at the
former Midas site on Broadway can move forward after the Zoning Board of
Appeals (ZBA) unanimously granted a special permit for the project Tuesday
The $15 million project is a partnership
between the Traggorth Companies and The Neighborhood Developers (TND). The
developers initially came before City officials last year with plans for a
42-unit housing development with some market rate units included.
In addition to cutting the project down to
38 units and making all the units affordable, a planned fifth floor of a
building along the Broadway side was eliminated.
“This project cannot do everything for
everyone, but it can achieve many things for Chelsea by creating 38 units of
affordable housing,” said Dave Traggorth of the Traggorth Companies. “This
blighted site pays very little in taxes. This will change that and bring
revenue to the city.”
In addition to providing affordable housing,
Traggorth said there will be public access to Mill Creek for all Chelsea
As has been the case during past public
hearings on the project, a number of community members touted the need for
affordable housing in Chelsea and TND’s past successes in bringing affordable
units to the city.
City Council President Damali Vidot said she
has never supported a TND project in the city until this one.
“There is a huge problem with affordability
in this city and we are displacing residents at a rapid rate,” said Vidot.
Resident Sandy Maynard supported the
creation of affordable units and the improvement of a blighted site in the
“I can’t think of a better project than this
one to meet that (affordable housing) need and to beautify Chelsea,” said
Maynard. “That lot is an ugly, ugly place.”
Several residents who have been homeless
also spoke in favor of the project and of the need of affordable housing.”
A letter from District 3 City Councillor Joe
Perlatonda cited his objections to the project, including the welfare of
neighboring residents due to traffic and parking concerns.
City Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda, who
has spoken against approval of the 1001-1005 Broadway project in the past, said
his overreaching concern has been TND’s lack of a vision to bring affordable
home ownership, as opposed to rental units, to the city.
“Teachers and city employees are not able to
bid on homes (in Chelsea) and they are pushed out,” said Avellaneda. “I
understand the need for affordable housing, but there is no balance here …
There is a broader discussion that is needed in this community.”
The special permit granted by the ZBA was
required because the project did not meet minimum zoning requirements for rear
yard setbacks, number of off-street parking spaces, and maximum lot coverage
A housing lottery will be held for all of
those units, with 30 offered at 60 percent of the Average Median Income (AMI)
for the area (about $64,000 for a family of four) and eight at 30 percent AMI
(about $32,000 for a family of four). The maximum preference allowable under
state law will be given to Chelsea residents for the units.
There will be 42 parking spaces for the 38
units (the majority of which will be two-bedroom apartments). And because of
state law regulating public access to public waterways, 31 of those parking
spaces will be available as public parking from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to provide
access to Mill Creek for everyone.
•In other business, the ZBA held a public
hearing for a retail marijuana shop at the site of the former King Arthur’s
strip club at 200 Beacham St. GreenStar Herbals, Inc. is seeking to tear down
the existing two-story building and replace it with a one-story retail
Representatives from GreenStar said the
building will feature state-of-the-art security and 34 parking spots on site.
Representatives of several of the neighboring local produce businesses came to
express concerns about traffic and parking affecting their businesses.
The GreenStar proposal still needs to go
before the Planning Board later this month before coming back to the ZBA for
special permit and variance approvals.
•The ZBA also
denied a special permit for a church to operate out of the second and third
floors of 307 Broadway because the plan did not include any parking spaces.
The new Chelsea Stadium is only a few weeks from being completed and put into use, school officials said this week.
The new track will be named after late teacher/track coach Bernard Berenson, who is in the state Coaches Hall of Fame.
Facilities Director Joe Cooney said the
rainy weather has slowed down the surfacing of the track, but that most
everything else in the long-awaited Stadium project is completed.
“We’re getting very close,” he said. “When
it’s done, it’s going to look dynamite.”
The football field is completely done, he said, but the track has been tricky.
An overview of the new football field looks spectacular but getting the track down has been tricky in the recent rainy weather. The project began last summer and will be completed at the end of May.
Already there has been a base coat of
asphalt put down, but the rubberized surface on the track cannot be placed down
in the rain – which pretty much means it has been delayed for quite some due to
the deluge that has been seen lately.
He said there are two layers of rubberized
surface, and that when it is done, it will be a very fast track for the
The only other things outstanding are the
conduits for the lights, permanent bathrooms, and bleacher improvements.
He said they have
to complete the project by early May because graduation is taking place on the
new field on June 9.
With National Bicycle Month underway, a new
group of cyclists and pedestrians in Chelsea are looking to create momentum and
visibility on safety issues for those that aren’t using vehicles.
The Chelsea Bike and Pedestrian Committee
has formed over the winter and got things rolling with their first community
bike ride on May 8. Now, they said they would continue those rides every Weds.
evening at 6 p.m.
Resident Asad Rahman, an avid cyclist who
commutes to Boston daily from his Broadway home, has been involved in biking safety
issues for a number of years and said he worked with City Planners to try to
get more of a community built around bicycling and walking.
While he thought it might take some time,
surprisingly the movement has grown quickly and they are already planning their
first event and several events beyond that.
“More than ever, I think Chelsea is at a
crossroads to put people and bicycles first instead of cars,” he said. “We’re a
City with five or six street lights and several thousand people and cars go
very, very fast. We hope we can shift the paradigm that people come first and
cars come second…Right now we have a passionate group of people in Chelsea, and
we’ll ride around town on May 8th for about a half-hour and then have a social
time to continue building this community.”
With the help of the City and MassBike, the
Committee is planning several events such as a Bike Repair workshops and a bike
rodeo – this coming at future City events like Fiesta Verano and the Night
The group is on Facebook at BikeWalkChelsea,
and anyone interested in joining them can show up at City Hall 6 p.m. on May 8.
The Vision for the Committee includes:
•To advance cycling and walking as leading
modes of transportation in order to promote the health, wealth, and quality of
life for Chelsea residents.
The Mission of the Committee is:
safe, interconnected, and enjoyable infrastructure in Chelsea for cycling and
walking, through strategy with the Planning and Development department,
resident education on practical use, and community engagement to build
awareness and enthusiasm.
The Massachusetts Department of
Transportation (MassDOT) began the closure of one of three southbound travel
lanes on Route 1 in Chelsea and the Tobin Bridge the morning of Tuesday, May
14, snarling traffic in many parts of Everett as commuters looked for an
The public was also reminded the one-lane
northbound closure on the Tobin Bridge and Route 1 was expanded the morning of
Tuesday, May 14. MassDOT anticipates that these lane closures will lead to
increased travel times on sections of Route 1 northbound and southbound for
drivers and MBTA bus customers for months to come.
These traffic impacts are associated with
MassDOT’s Tobin Bridge/Chelsea
Curves Rehabilitation Project and lane closures will remain in place for
approximately two years. Additional overnight lane closures will be necessary
throughout the project meaning only one lane of travel may be open during
certain evening hours.
In order to accommodate travelers during
this necessary construction work, MassDOT is opening the I-93 southbound
carpool lane between Medford and the Zakim Bridge to all vehicles regardless of
the number of occupants. This lane will continue to function as an “express
lane” and vehicles in this lane on I-93 southbound will not have access to Exit
28 (Mystic Avenue) or Exit 26 (Storrow Drive).
“North Shore commuters should be aware that
beginning the morning of Tuesday, May 14, a travel lane will be closed on Route
1 southbound in Chelsea, and the lane closure that is already in place on the
Tobin Bridge and Route 1 northbound will be expanded,” said Highway
Administrator Jonathan Gulliver last Friday. “MassDOT is carrying out this
necessary rehabilitation work in order to ensure the continued use and
reliability of Tobin Bridge and Chelsea Viaduct. We appreciate the cooperation
and patience of the traveling public and advise everyone to make smart
decisions such as considering public transit, using the appropriate technology
apps to find the best route and time to travel, and building extra time into
their commutes to account for potential roadway congestion.”
Travelers are also reminded of options such
as free fares in the inbound direction on the MBTA Silver Line 3 bus line
offered at the Chelsea, Bellingham Square, Box District, and Eastern Avenue
stops for the duration of construction. In addition, public transit customers
will be able to use a CharlieCard to travel between North Station and Chelsea
on the Commuter Rail. The MBTA is also running additional MBTA Blue Line trains
to increase capacity. These measures are all being funded by MassDOT Highway
Division project funds.
MassDOT is also advising the public to also
consider using the Haverhill or Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail lines and
note that the Haverhill Line historically has parking capacity at Haverhill and
Bradford stations. The Newburyport/Rockport Line historically has parking
capacity at Newburyport, Salem and Lynn station. Customers can monitor
@MBTA_Parking on Twitter for capacity updates and information. In
addition, the MBTA has installed a digital parking capacity sign at the Blue
Line Wonderland parking lot so drivers approaching the lot can get “real time”
information on parking availability.
carrying out work on the Tobin Bridge and Chelsea Curves section of Route 1 at
the same time so that the most impactful work will be completed by 2021. If the
projects were done at separate times, drivers would be inconvenienced for
additional years. This work will eliminate the need for weight restrictions and
postings, and MassDOT will use accelerated construction techniques to shorten
the overall construction time.
Everett might be all-in
on the 4 a.m. extending liquor license for Encore Boston Harbor, but
surrounding cities like Chelsea aren’t so excited.
In comments this week,
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Chelsea City Manager Tom Ambrosino said they
weren’t in favor of Encore’s request for a limited 4 a.m. liquor license from
the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). The request is currently under
review and in a public comment period. It would only apply to those actively
engaged in gaming, and the last call would be 3:30 a.m. Most other liquor
licenses have a 2 a.m. cutoff.
Chelsea City Manager Tom
Ambrosino said he doesn’t support the idea, seeing no advantage to Chelsea in
having a luxury casino open late just a few hundred yards from the Chelsea city
“That would have no
positive benefit to the City of Chelsea, so it would not be something I would
favor,” he said.
Mayor Martin Walsh agreed
with those sentiments as well.
“When the Legislature
wrote the bill to have casino gaming, it was a 2 a.m. liquor license, which I
voted on,” said Mayor Walsh. “I think that at this point in time, we should get
the casino open, and see how the 2 a.m. license works. If there is a need, if
there is a desire, or if there is a concern that it hampers the business, then
I think we should explore the opportunity of maybe going until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.
But right now, at opening, closing at 2 a.m. – let’s see what it looks like.
You can’t say there are concerns there until it’s open. I would request we wait
and then have a full vetting. Right now it needs to be opened and see how it
all works with a 2 a.m. closing.”
Meanwhile, Everett Mayor
Carlo DeMaria said the later closing hour is critical to the casino being an
international destination, as no such 2 a.m. rules apply in other locales where
Wynn Resorts operates.
“The City of Everett is
committed to supporting the success of the Encore Boston Harbor Resort,” he said.
“In order for it to be a destination for an international clientele, the resort
needs to be able to offer these clients a cocktail during the time they
play. At 2 a.m., all the bars and restaurants will be closed, and drinks
will only be served to those on the casino floor by a trained and certified
server. Over-serving and irresponsible behavior will not be tolerated.”
He added that State
Police, Everett Police and Encore security would be on site during the late
hours and transportation services would be available for guests.
Walsh said he realizes
that the Springfield casino already has a 4 a.m. license, but he also added
that the circumstances are different in Everett. He said there are a lot of
other cities and towns in the immediate area without such licenses. He said
there has to be a dialog with everyone after the first six months.
“I’m not going to assume
they’ll do 4 a.m.,” he said. “I’ll ask the Gaming Commission to be respectful
of the surrounding cities and towns and see how the process works and see how
the casino does in its first six months. Then we’ll revisit it and have a
conversation and dialog at this point.
“We filed legislation (in
Boston) a few years ago to open some of the bars and clubs later,” he
continued. “So, that’s why I think you need a six-month vetting. Let’s assume
for a moment the Gaming Commission grants the 4 a.m. license, that puts a lot
of businesses in surrounding cities and town, including Boston, at a serious
disadvantage. I think let’s wait and see what the 2 a.m. does…It’s not simply
opening the casino until 4 a.m. It’s about having a conversation about other
cities and towns and their licenses and what would happen in their
The MGC is expected to talk more about the 4 a.m. license application at
its next meeting on May 22.
Registered Democrats in Chelsea Ward 4 will
hold a Caucus on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 9:30am at the Chelsea Public
Library, 569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA to elect Delegates and Alternates to the
2019 Massachusetts State Convention.
This year’s State Convention will be held of
September 14, 2019 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA, where thousands
of Democrats from across the State will come together to discuss Party business
and celebrate our successes as we prepare for upcoming elections.
The Caucus is open to all registered and
pre-registered Democrats in Ward 4.
Pre-registered Democrats who will be 16 by May 11, 2019 will be allowed
to participate and run as a delegate or alternate.
Youth, minorities, people with disabilities
and LGBTQ individuals who are NOT elected as a delegate or alternate may apply
to be add-on delegates at the Caucus or at www.massdems.org.
in getting involved with the Ward 4 Democratic Committee should contact the
Ward 4 Chair, Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh or Ward Secretary Thomas J. Miller at