The newest initiative of City Manager Tom Ambrosino has everything to do with being hospitable and nice.
Fatima Melara and Tania Ceja have recently been hired to serve as greeters at City Hall, helping residents to find the right place to go and to get things done faster. The new initiative is one that City Manager Tom Ambrosino proposed in mid-year budget requests last December.
Kind of an oxymoron in New England, but that’s just what is happening at Chelsea City Hall where two new greeters have been hired to welcome those coming in to conduct business with the City.
“I have long stressed to Department Heads and Employees the critical goal of providing customer service to our residents and the need to make City Hall more ‘user-friendly,’” he said. “It is still the case that many visitors to City Hall wander our corridors searching for their desired destination. They often end up asking for directions or assistance in other offices unrelated to their needs, creating frustration for both visitors and our staff. We have installed an information desk in the foyer area and have staffed it with personable, bi-lingual employees.”
Walk into City Hall now, and a new desk sits right at the main entrance.
Behind the desk will sit either Fatima Melara or Tania Ceja – both who have lived in Chelsea more than 10 years and are familiar with the community.
Melara, 20, is a student at UMass-Boston and has lived in Chelsea for 11 years. She attended high school in Chelsea and has been very involved in the community. She speaks both English and Spanish.
Ceja, 24, has lived in Chelsea since she was 4 years old. She speaks both English and Spanish and said she wants everyone to have a great experience at City Hall.
“As a greeter at City Hall, I’m hoping to make everyone’s visit with us pleasant, faster, and easier,” she said. “My goal every day is to ensure you leave with a smile on your face.”
More than 500 Chelsea High students walked out of class on Thursday, March 15, as part of the national school walk-out movement to promote more efforts towards school safety.
Armed with only a megaphone, students marched into shin-deep snow and cold temperatures to participate in the movement locally, and to draw attention to school safety.
They were supported by the Chelsea Public Schools and the Chelsea Police, who stood in solidarity with the students, who ranged in age from 13 to 18.
“P-O-W-E-R,” yelled Stephanie Rodrigues, one of the key coordinators along with Diego Estrada. “We have the power. We have a voice. We can use our power…We deserve to be heard. We deserve to be safe. We don’t deserve to stand around and wait for someone to come kill us. You could be next. Unfortunately, the 17 students in Florida were killed by a man who should not have had a gun. This is not normal. We should not stand around and wait for someone to take action for us. We can take action.”
Student Eric Lazo entertained the crowd with impromptu chants and songs on the megaphone, for which most everyone in the crowd followed.
“I came out because this can’t happen again,” said Imane Rharbi. “We can’t have students being killed and unsafe. We need gun control right now. That’s why I came out.”
Junior Angel Vargas said he and many other students are concerned that they could be next, that the fear of something at Chelsea High is real.
“It’s important for all of us to come out here,” he said. “It was terrible what happened in Florida. That was the reason I came out. We are scared.”
Students cheered loudly, hats and scarves wrapped tightly around them, and then broke into a solemn moment as Rodrigues read the names of the 17 students killed in Florida on Feb. 14.
The national walk-out day was supposed to occur on March 14, and all over the state and country students staged walk-outs to call for more gun ownership restrictions and more funding for mental health services inside and outside of school. In Chelsea, the effort had to be postponed because of the blizzard on March 13 that cancelled school for two days.
Originally, the plan called for Chelsea students to have their walk-out in the school gym to avoid having to go in the snow. However, Rodrigues said she and Estrada were approached by students who said it should go on outside.
“We were approached by some students who felt we shouldn’t be focused on comfort by going in the gym,” said Rodrigues, who described herself as just another student and a track athlete. “We agreed. We shouldn’t be comfortable when making a stand. We wanted to show we were standing up no matter what the conditions were outside.”
Outside on Thursday, students carried signs that made many different statements.
Some depicted an anti-gun message, while others called for funding to help people who are mentally ill. Some signs blasted the National Rifle Association (NRA) and others called for remembrance of the Florida students.
Most striking, however, were the hand-made signs that read, “Am I Next?”
Rodrigues said it isn’t an overreaction in Chelsea.
She said students and adults are concerned about their safety in school, and it’s something that is a bit new.
“Honestly, I feel we are all scared, even the adults,” she said. “That’s what pulled us all together. We shouldn’t let our safety in school be in question. That brought us together…One day it could be us.”
Stephany Villatoro and Masireh Ceesay were two of about 500 Chelsea High students that participated in a walk-out for school safety on Thursday, March 15. Students said they came together because they were scared that one day they could be school shooting victims.
Nancy Baguada and Mauricio Rubi march through the snow to the walk-out.
Co-Organizer Stephanie Rodrigues fires up the student crowd at the Stadium with a megaphone.
Student Erik Lazo shouted out interesting chants and songs during the walk-out to get the crowd fired up.
Imane Rharbi said there can be no more school shootings. She said now is the time for stricter gun control.
Students rally on the Stadium field in the snow.
Junior Angel Vargas signs the petition from Chelsea High.
Student organizers standing with Chelsea Police Officers. Chelsea Police and Chelsea High security provided a safe perimeter for the students during the walk-out.
The Tobin Bridge rehabilitation project will begin next month, and state transportation officials will come to Chelsea to explain the impacts on March 27.
A map of the area of focus for the Tobin Bridge maintenance project that will begin next month. A public meeting on the project has been scheduled for March 27 in Chelsea.
The Tobin Bridge project is separate and distinct from the Chelsea Viaducts project, which has a different timeline and a different area of focus. The Viaduct project will start later next year.
This week, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reminding members of the public that work-related activities and traffic impacts as part of the Tobin Bridge Rehabilitation Project are currently expected to begin in April after MassDOT conducts an outreach process to inform the public of project impacts.
A public meeting on this project is currently scheduled for Tuesday, March 27, at the Chelsea Senior Center, 10 Riley Way.
To allow crews and contractors to safely and effectively conduct operations, one lane on the lower deck (Route 1 northbound) will be closed at all times in this area beginning in April and lasting through the end of the 2018 construction season. Overnight off-peak lane closures will be implemented on the upper deck (Route 1 southbound) as operations require during this time.
The Everett Avenue on-ramp will be also closed at all times for all vehicles beginning in late April, and this closure will last approximately one month. Following the re-opening of the Everett Avenue on-ramp, the Beacon Street off-ramp will then be closed for approximately two months. The Fourth Street off-ramp will also be closed for a one-month period, and this closure is currently expected to occur in November 2018. No more than one ramp will be closed at any given time throughout the duration of the project.
This $41.6 million maintenance project involves repairing a section of the deck of the Tobin Bridge which carries traffic between the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston and Chelsea. Work is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2020 with lane closures and traffic impacts occurring during each of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 construction seasons.
Work will include steel repairs to the upper and lower decks, concrete deck work on the lower deck, followed by waterproofing, resurfacing, and installing pavement markings. Operations will also consist of utility installation, installing curbing, paving, constructing a new parking lot under the bridge between Williams Street and Third Street.
The Tobin Memorial Bridge was erected in 1948-1949 and opened to traffic in 1950. It carries Route 1 with three travel lanes northbound on its lower level and three lanes southbound on the upper level. The 36-foot-wide roadway is bounded on both sides by safety walks (2’7″ wide) with steel-pipe railings on each side.
The main structure over the Mystic River is a three-span, cantilevered truss 1,525′ in length. Its center span is 800′ and the maximum truss height is 115′. It provides a navigable waterway opening 700′ wide by 135′ high. A smaller, simply supported warren truss spans the Little Mystic. It reaches a maximum truss height of 65′ and is 439′ long. Its navigable waterway opening measures 340′ wide by 100′ high.
Housing Families will host its annual Legislative Breakfast on Wednesday, March 28, from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. to raise awareness of the magnitude of family homelessness in Malden, Medford, Everett, Chelsea and Revere.
Housing Families’ Legislative Breakfast is a free event open to all and hosted at the Irish American Club, 177 West St, Malden, MA. A complimentary light breakfast will be served starting at 8:30am and the speaker series will run from 9:00 – 10:00 am.
Housing Families’ Director of Homelessness Prevention and Advocacy Laura Rosi said, “This is an opportunity for families who have experienced homelessness to share their stories and educate others about the issue. Community members will also have an opportunity to hear about State and local efforts to combat housing instability and learn about ways they can get involved.”
Ed Cameron, Housing Families’ CEO, added, “Our families in shelter have average income of less than $12,000 per year. With most apartments going for over $2,000 a month in our area, they just can’t afford to keep their heads above water.”
State and local elected officials have been invited to the Breakfast. To date, legislators scheduled to attend include: State Senator Jason Lewis, State Representative Paul Donato, Malden Mayor Gary Christenson, Medford Mayor Stephanie Muccini-Burke, Melrose Mayor Gail Infurna, City Councilor Neal Anderson, and Malden Public Schools Superintendant John Otieri.Other elected officials are expected to attend.
Special thanks to Bill Hart and the Malden Irish American Club for hosting the breakfast.
Service organizations sponsoring the breakfast are Housing Families Inc, Chelsea Collaborative, Homes for Families, and Shelter Music Boston. Housing Families is also grateful to its corporate sponsors for making this event possible: Kelliher & Callaghan, Lucey Insurance Agency, Stratford Capital Group LLC, Cataldo Ambulance, Fresco’s Roast Beef & Seafood, Hugh O’Neill’s Restaurant & Pub, Minuteman Press, New England Security, Shapiro & Hender, Yankee Pest Control, 3MG Boston, and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.
To RSVP, contact Patty Kelly at Housing Families 781-322-9119 x115 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley this week welcomed new community partners to an ambitious diversion project, hoping to double the capacity of a program that allows juveniles charged with some serious offenses to get their lives back on track without incurring additional entries on their records.
Conley’s office launched the Juvenile Alternative Resolution pilot project in February 2017 with half a dozen community-based agencies that provide individualized services to Boston’s youth. In May, the partner agencies began accepting juveniles who faced delinquency charges in the Boston Juvenile Court and showed a moderate to high risk of re-offending. And yesterday, Conley welcomed a new batch of agencies to the team.
“Historically, juvenile diversion in Massachusetts has been geared toward first-time and low-level offenders, and it’s been limited in the services available to promote post-diversion success,” Conley said. “We envisioned something more ambitious – something that would re-direct the lives of young people charged with more serious offenses, even high-risk teens. We sought out partners who could offer individualized services for a wide range of needs. And our shared goal across agencies was to divert young adults outward, away from the criminal justice system, instead of upward and deeper into it.”
By March of this year, 45 juveniles had entered the JAR program and received supervision, support, and services through one or more community partner agencies. Of that number, 12 successfully completed the program and 31 are on track to do so.
Together, the 45 participants accounted for 100 offenses. Almost two-thirds of those offenses were classified as “crimes against the person,” including assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and unarmed robbery. Some were as young as 11, but about half were 16 or 17 years old. About 60% of the juveniles were from Dorchester or Roxbury, about two-thirds were male, and almost all were youth of color.
Participants are also showing significant drops in the risk and need factors they had when they entered, Conley said, reflecting a course correction in the trajectory of their lives. Because JAR-eligible delinquency complaints are placed on hold upon entry to the program and dismissed upon completion six to nine months later, the cases never appear on the participants’ juvenile records.
By expanding the available partners, Conley hopes to double the program’s capacity in the year to come – and continue to accept even juveniles who have prior system involvement and face moderate- to high-level charges. The goal, he said, was to juvenile involvement in the criminal justice system in Suffolk County – and the barriers to social, academic, and employment success that can follow.
“We were warned that there was a risk in taking this older, more experienced cohort into the program,” Conley said, “but what we’ve seen thus far convinces me that the rewards outweigh that risk.”
In addition to formal diversion through the JAR program, first-time and low-level juvenile offenses are informally diverted every day by Suffolk prosecutors. Throughout the year, almost 60% of the county’s delinquency complaints were diverted, with diversions outnumbering youthful offender indictments by more than 10 to one.
“That’s as it should be,” Conley said. “Some crimes are extremely serious and some offenders pose a danger to the community. But most kids and teens come to us with minimal records for minor offenses – better suited to the justice of an angry parent than the Juvenile Court. The JAR program is for youth in between, whose actions are more serious but don’t include gun violence, sexual assault, or serious bodily injury.”
The first group of community partner agencies included Action for Boston Community Development’s Changing Tracks Initiative, the Justice Resource Institute SMART Team, MissionSAFE, the Salvation Army’s Bridging the Gap program, the RFK Children’s Action Corps Detention Diversion Advocacy Program, and UMass Boston. Yesterday, Conley welcomed new partners to the fold – including a collection of youth service programs offered through Action for Boston Community Development, the Charlestown Coalition’s Turn It Around program, More Than Words, and YouthConnect.
“Every life is a journey, and as youth service providers you’re the map and compass these kids need,” Conley told the assembled group. “We’re changing those young lives today, but we’re changing outcomes tomorrow that will strengthen families and communities for years to come. We’re making Boston a safer, fairer place. And that’s a legacy we can all be very proud of.”
On Monday, March 19, at 12:50 p.m., Chelsea Fire and Police responded to the intersection of Broadway and Eleanor Street after being alerted by Fire Capt. Richard Perisie of a motor vehicle accident. Capt. Perisie ordered a Box Alarm assignment that was immediately transmitted by Fire Alarm. Upon arrival fire crews from E3, E2, L2 and T1 under the command of Deputy Paul Giancola immediately began patient assessments and mitigated any hazardous fluid leaks.
Three parties were transported by Cataldo EMS to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Transit Police responded to the scene and took control of the incident.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.
MAN FOLLOWS GIRL, ASSAULTS OFFICER
On Wednesday, March 7, at 2:18 p.m., Officers responded to a report of a frightened juvenile who reported that a male on Marlborough Street was following her. Officers observed a man fitting the description and attempting to talk to him. The subject became defensive and began yelling; he was then placed into custody for assaulting an officer.
Robert Daniels, 19, of 73A Marlborough St., was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery and assault and battery on a police officer.
TOOK A NUTTY
On March 8, at 9:45 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of 89 Sixth St. on a report of a motor vehicle collision with unknown injuries. Upon arrival, officers observed a female directing them to two men engaged in a struggle on the ground, one of the men being her husband. The female stated her husband saw the other male causing damage with a knife to their car.
As officers separated the two, the subject assaulted two police officers and kicked an EMT who responded to render aid. The individual also made verbal threats to the victim. He was placed under arrest after a brief struggle.
Walter Perez, 27, of 128 Williams St., was charged with mayhem, assault and battery, assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, intimidating a witness, and assault and battery on ambulance personnel.
JUVENILE ASSULTED WITH BUTANE
On March y, a CPD officer placed a juvenile under arrest for assaulting another youth with a butane lighter during school.
The 17-year-old Chelsea youth was arrested on Guam Road and charged with assault and battery by a dangerous weapon, intimidating a witness, disturbing school and threatening to commit a crime.
On March 9, at 5 p.m., members of the Chelsea Police Drug Unit were on surveillance in the area of 150 Franklin St. when they observed a silver Mercedes pull up about 20 feet in front of their unmarked cruiser. They then watched a drug transaction in front of them and placed both under arrest.
Justin Jensen, 43, of 150 Franklin Ave., was charged with distribution of a Class B drug, conspiracy, and possession of a Class B drug.
James Femino, 61, of Revere, was charged with distribution of a Class B drug and conspiracy.
MS-13 MEMBER GUILTY
A member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique in Chelsea, was sentenced March 12 in federal court in Boston for racketeering conspiracy.
Domingo Tizol, a/k/a “Chapin,” 23, a Guatemalan national who resided in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Tizol will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence.
On May 26, 2015, Tizol and another MS-13 member Bryan Galicia-Barillas, a/k/a “Chucky,” attacked a suspected gang rival on Bellingham Street in Chelsea. Tizol punched and hit the victim while Barillas stabbed the victim multiple times. The victim survived the attack but suffered life-threatening injuries.
Tizol and Barillas were two of 61 defendants indicted in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. Barillas previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Joser Valentin, 49, 63 Highland Ave., Malden was arrested on a warrant.
Robert Daniels, 19, 73A Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct, assault and battery on a police officer and assault and battery.
Andrew Babigumira, 32, 62 Garden Circle, Waltham, was arrested for trespassing.
Walter Perez, 27, 128 Williams St., Chelsea, was arrested for malicious damage to motor vehicle, assault and battery, mayhem, assault and battery on a police officer, assault and batter with a dangerous weapon, witness intimidation and assault and battery on a ambulance personnel.
Juvenile offender, 17, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, witness intimidation, school disturbance and threat to commit crime.
Michael Bernard, 39, 15 Spencer Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Gilberto Vasquez, 48, 855 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle with suspended license.
Justin Jensen, 43, 150 Franklin Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for distribution of Class B drug, conspiracy to violate drug law and possessing Class B drug.
James Femino, 61, 371 Northshore Rd., Revere, was arrested for possessing Class B drug and conspiracy to violate drug law.
David Panameno, 42, 227 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the Influence of liquor.
Shawn Hilaire, 27, 307 Broadway, Fall River, MA, was arrested on a warrant.
Kyle Rego, 26, 186 Valentine St., Fall River, MA 02720 was arrested on a warrant.
Mario Galindo, 36, 94 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the Influence of Liquor, and operation of motor vehicle unlicensed.
Josmar Falcao-Ferreira, 57, 90 Bacon St., Waltham, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle unlicensed, stop sign violation and warrant.
Juvenile offender, 17, Revere, was arrested for shoplifting.
Yunis Aden, 24, 9 Guam Rd., Chelsea, was arrested for shoplifting, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and dangerous weapon.
Americans are paying too much for prescription medicines. State lawmakers are fed up with Washington’s apathy towards high pharmacy bills. So they’re taking matters into their own hands and pushing forward with several bills
Their proposals are well-intentioned — but they’re doomed to backfire and hurt patients. Why? The bills are based on false assumptions.
Many lawmakers believe that prescription drug prices are skyrocketing. They’re not. In fact, after accounting for all the rebates and discounts manufacturers offer, drug prices have barely budged in recent years. Drug spending grew just 1.3 percent in 2016, according to the latest federal data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Overall health spending increased by 4.3 percent.
In other words, drug spending is growing slower than hospital and nursing home expenditures. In fact, it’s growing even slower than the general inflation rate, which has averaged just under 2 percent.
Legislators also blame drug prices for rising costs in Medicaid, the entitlement program for low-income Americans that is managed and partly funded by the states. Once again, they’re mistaken.
Drug companies provide generous discounts and rebates back to Medicaid to curb its overall prescription drug spending. Medicaid’s statistics rarely reflect these discounts. In 2014, the program reported that its gross spending on drugs reached $21 billion. But after factoring in discounts, the program actually spent only $8 billion on medicines.
Federal law guarantees Medicaid the lowest drug prices on the market.
Nevertheless, state lawmakers insist that drug companies are charging too much. So they’re calling for a variety of price controls.
One measure floated in Utah would allow patients to import medicines from Canada. That’s a bad idea.
The policy wouldn’t lower healthcare costs. Ninety percent of all drugs sold in the United States are generic, and generics generally cost less in the United States than in Canada. a patient’s co-pay — what he actually pays at the pharmacy — is often lower than the price paid at a Canadian pharmacy, even if the list price of the medicine is higher in the United States.
Another proposal in Louisiana, would allow the state to infringe on manufacturers’ patents. State legislators want to give generic drug companies the right to make cheap knockoff copies of hepatitis C medicines, which are heavily utilized by the state’s Medicaid and prison populations.
This move simply isn’t necessary. In 2017, Medicaid spending on hepatitis C drugs fell by 28 percent — the biggest drop for any class of medicines.
If states start weakening patent protections, it will have a chilling effect on scientific research. Drug companies won’t plow billions in to developing new medicines if the government can break their patents on a whim. Patients would miss out on future treatments and cures as a result of this drop in research.
This isn’t to say that patients aren’t paying high prices for drugs. They are. But drug makers aren’t at fault.
Middlemen, like pharmacy benefit managers and insurers, are the ones raising prices on consumers.
PBMs negotiate drug prices on behalf of health plans. They secure big discounts and rebates from manufacturers. But PBMs and insurers routinely fail to pass these savings along to consumers. Instead, they hike consumers’ out-of-pocket expenses by forcing them to pay ever-higher co-pays and co-insurance.
If lawmakers want to reduce peoples’ pharmacy bills, they should demand more transparency from insurers and PBMs.
Peter J. Pitts, a former FDA Associate Commissioner, is President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.
We join the local sports community and the Catholic Central League in congratulating Pope John XXIII High School of Everett on winning its first basketball state championship in its history.
Coach Leo Boucher and his team that included Chelsea standouts Luis Velasquez and Mehkhi Collins, brought much excitement to their fans this season and many students, alumni, and supporters traveled to Springfield Saturday to watch their Pope John Tigers defeat the defending state champion Maynard High Tigers for the Division 4 title.
It was a great day for the small school who rose up and defeated much larger schools and teams from powerful conferences in the MIAA Tournament. The team’s spectacular guard, Angel Price-Espada, submitted a performance for the ages with 49 points, including 10 three-pointers.
Mr. Boucher, a resident of Charlestown and a former basketball standout himself, previously showed his tremendous coaching skills at the St. Clement School, winning a state title there. When the school closed its doors, Pope John officials made a wise decision to bring him on board as its basketball coach.
It was also inspiring to see school administrators, Head of School Carl DiMaiti, Principal Thomas Mahoney, and Director of Athletics Ryan Murphy being a part of the fan delegation at the game and holding the championship so proudly following the Tigers’ 89-57 victory.
Mr. DiMaiti has presided over athletic successes before as the head of school at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn. A former track coach, Mr. DiMaiti understands the importance of interscholastic sports competition and how it can help build a positive foundation for student-athletes and pave the way to a college education. Mr. DiMaiti’s children, Drew and Carole, were both outstanding high school athletes, with Drew winning an individual state hurdles title before moving on to nearby Tufts University.
Mr. Mahoney is in the Chelsea High School Hall of Fame as the founder and head coach of the CHS soccer program that produced GBL titles and All-Scholastic players when he was leading the program. He is an alumnus of Pope John (and Boston College) as a member of the Everett school’s first graduating class, so this championship is doubly meaningful to him.
Mr. Murphy was an excellent choice to lead the school’s athletic program. He is always accessible to those who call upon him. He has helped student-athletes proceed through the college application process and been an exceptional representative for the school at AD meetings. A school’s athletic success begins at the top, and Mr. Murphy has the entire program heading in the right direction. And now he has a state championship team in his program.
To Coach Leo Boucher, associate head coach Larry Washington, freshman coach Paul Williams, and the Pope John basketball players – thanks for the memories and congratulations on an historic championship season.
We’ll see you all in the Pope John XXIII High School Hall of Fame one day.
Price-Espada scores 49 as the Tigers win the Div. 4 state title
By Cary Shuman
Sparked by a sensational 49-point performance by junior guard Angel Price-Espada, the Pope John XXIII High School basketball team blitzed Maynard, 89-57, to capture the Division 4 state championship Saturday at Springfield College.
The decisive victory marked the Everett school’s first state title in basketball as coach Leo Boucher and his team claimed the crown via a phenomenal 24-1 season.
Price-Espada, the 5-foot-7-inch Catholic Central League MVP and All-Scholastic, had the Pope John fans standing and cheering during one of the greatest individual offensive performances in MIAA state tournament history. He hit six consecutive 3-pointers in the second quarter as part of an extraordinary, long-range shooting showcase that gave the Tigers a 52-31 lead at the half.
Included in the Price-Espada thrill-a-second package was a mid-air, behind-the back pass to senior Michael Thompson who finished the spectacular play with a layup.
“Angel played phenomenal today,” said Boucher. “I haven’t seen a performance as great as that, not as a player in high school, not as a player in college, not as a basketball coach for 27-plus years – the closest thing I ever saw was Dana Barros versus Don Bosco 100 years ago, and I’ll date myself. That was probably the most incredible shooting performance I’ve seen in a long time.”
In addition to Espada, other members of the Pope John cast stepped up in the state final just as they done in postseason victories over Winthrop, Fenway, Austin Prep, and Mashpee.
Marquis Bouyer, senior center, scored 8 of his 17 points in the first quarter, establishing his powerful presence in the paint as Pope John led 18-11 after one period. Bouyer also finished with 11 rebounds.
Michael Thompson, a senior forward, contributed six points, following his clutch, 14-point effort that helped Pope John defeat Mashpee in the state semifinal.
Junior forward Luis Velasquez, one of the most unsung players for the Pope John contingent, scored 10 points, including a pair of baskets amidst the Tigers’ 34-point explosion in the second quarter.
Senior Mehkhi Collins, a late-game hero against Mashpee, juniors Cam Erikson and Conor Kelly, and freshman Jason Ford also contributed well for the Tigers.
Pope John led 5-0 in the opening minutes, thanks to a Price-Espada three-pointer and a Bouyer basket inside the lane. Maynard would close the gap to three, 9-6, but Bouyer’s mini-surge of five points (two off a nifty pass from Collins), and Velasquez’s basket keyed a 7-0 spurt. Price-Espada hit two of three free throws (he was 9-of-11 overall) after he was fouled attempting a three-pointer.
And then it happened. Price-Espada took over the game with a rapid succession of three-pointers, the majority hitting nothing but net. In eight, breathtaking minutes, the dynamic backcourtman scored 23 points, 31 total for the half.
Price-Espada stayed red hot in the third period and at one point, he had 41 points while the entire Maynard team combined also had 41.
Bouyer closed out the Tigers’ memorable day with seven fourth-quarter points. Rashid Griffin had a three-pointer as the Tigers rolled to an impressive 32-point victory over the defending state champions.
Boucher was asked what it was like to be able to deliver to Pope John its first-ever state championship.
“I didn’t deliver anything – the kids behind me delivered,” he responded humbly. “That’s who made the delivery. I put them in the right position for them to make that happen. It’s a real honor to be able to coach a group of kids like that. The kids came to play.”
Bruins face tough, brief road trip
With the excitement of Ryan Donato’s dynamic debut just starting to settle, the Bruins are once again, back on the road again. Their one game homestand following on the heels of a four game road trip (in seven days), shows how messed up the NHL schedule really is. For Boston it means another stretch of four games on the road in seven days. Those games will be played against four teams, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and the Winnipeg Jets. Each of them is either attempting to gain a playoff spot, or move up in their conference standings, which means tough competition.
With the tight races currently changing many team’s positions daily, the Bruins will not have an easy game in the road trip. As the Record went to press last night (Wednesday), the Bs were hosted by St. Louis. The Blues were just three points out of a playoff spot, trailing eighth place Anaheim, with a single game in hand. The Blues have been playing .500 hockey over their last ten games, but are on a two-game win streak. Next stop will have Boston taking facing the Stars (Friday, 8:30pm), as the struggling Stars continue to fall out of a possible playoff spot, riding a two-game losing streak after posting a 2-5-3 record for their last ten contests. Sunday (7:30pm) will have the Bruins playing the Minnesota Wild. The Wild sit in the fifth spot of the Western Conference, rather precariously as the eighth spot is only four points in the rear, as they look over their shoulder, having only put up numbers good enough for a 5-4-1 record for their last ten games. Boston’s final game of their four-game road trip, will be in Winnipeg to match up against the streaking Jets on Tuesday (8:00pm), the Jets are rolling along on a three game win streak, and a hot 7-2-1 stretch for their last ten. The Bruins return to TD Garden ice on Thursday, March 29 (7:00pm) to host Atlantic Division leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins’ 99 points at press time had them tied for third most in the league with the Vegas Golden Knights. Which is rather startling when one looks back over the 2017-18 season, and the unbelievable amount of injuries that the Bs have endured to many of their top players. Patrice Bergeron sustained both a lower-body-injury, and is currently out of the lineup with a fractured foot. Recently acquired Rick Nash is out with an upper-body-injury; Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is missing, also with an upper-body-injury; David Backes has missed 21 of the 71 games played thus far this season, due to medical issues that included a bout with diverticulitis and colon surgery, multiple suspensions, and most recently a leg cut that has him presently off the ice. The loss on defense of Charlie McAvoy to an MCL knee sprain had left a void on the local’s blueline, which Boston has somehow been able to manage; dependable Adam McQuaid lost time due to a broken right fibula; also on defense, Kevan Miller suffered an upper-body-injury; Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask missed some action following concussion-related problems; David Krejci missed time with an upper-body injury; defenseman Torey Krug felt the effects of a fractured jaw; Noel Acciari was the beneficiary of a fractured finger; Jake DeBrusk is currently missing action with an upper-body-injury; and rookie Anders Bjork suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Congratulations to Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna who will be inducted into the Eastern College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. The ECAC Hall of Fame committee announced the ceremony honoring Bertagna will take place Friday, May 4 at the Crowne Plaza in Danbury, Connecticut. Bertagna began his professional coaching career in 1985 with the Boston Bruins, remaining with the team as their goaltending coach until 1991, and rejoined the team for the 1994-95 season. Bertagna is currently in his 36th year as a college hockey administrator. This season marks his 21st year with Hockey East, after serving in a similar capacity with the ECAC for 15 years. He is the longest serving commissioner in Hockey East history and is currently the longest serving hockey commissioner in the NCAA.
Eastern Airlines retiree, flew 50 missions as a US Army Air Nose Gunner during World War II
Francis “Frank” Campedelli of Jacksonville, FL passed away peacefully at his Assisted Living Community, Wyndham Lakes in Jacksonville, FL on Friday, March 3. He was 94 years old.
Born in Chelsea and a graduate of Chelsea High School, Class of 1942,
Francis joined the US Army Air Corps in 1943 and honorably served his country during World War II as a nose gunner flying 50 missions on a B24 Liberator with the 15th Army, 98th Bomb Group, 344th bomb squad.
He was employed with Eastern Airlines at Logan Airport Boston for over 20 years and moved to Jacksonville in 1987 after his retirement.
Preceded in death by his wife and best friend, Lorraine Gifford Campedelli,
Frank is survived by his daughter, Jane Campedelli of Jacksonville, FL, his brother, Alfred Campedelli of Winthrop and niece, Joyce and her
husband, Paul Sartorelli of Georgetown. He also leaves many dear friends and extended family.
Another hero from the Greatest Generation gone but will never be forgotten.
Memorial donations may be made in his name to VITAS Healthcare, 7406 Fullerton St., Ste 105, Jacksonville, FL 32256.
Edward James Welsh
Formerly of Chelsea
Edward James Welsh passed away unexpectedly at his daughter’s home in Pelham, NH on Monday, March 19 at the age of 74.
Born and raised in Chelsea, the son of the late Joseph R. and Agnes (Cronin) Welsh, Edward attended Chelsea Public Schools and graduated from Chelsea High School, Class of 1961.
Edward was a Chelsea resident for most of his life but moved to Everett, where he has been living for the last 20 years. He retired last year after dedicating 18 years as a concierge at Constellation Wharf in Charlestown. Prior to his years as a concierge, Edward was a truck driver for various food companies. Throughout his life, Edward enjoyed horse racing and going to the race track, but more importantly he loved his family. He loved his children and being with his grandchildren, great grandchildren and his beloved Basset Hound, Fred.
The husband of the late Julia (Gordon) Welsh, with whom he shared 33 years of marriage before her passing in 1999, he was the devoted father of Coleen Kingsley and her husband Doug of New Hampshire and the late Brien Welsh, father-in-law of Kelley Baldasaro of Everett, loving son of the late Joseph R. and Agnes (Cronin) Welsh, brother of the late Joseph Welsh, Elaine Maillet, Nancy Lehmann, John Welsh, Barry Welsh, Gail Winam and son-in-law of the late Mary Orluck. He is also lovingly survived by five grandchildren: David Welsh and his wife, Ashlee of Haverhill, Dustin Kingsley and Shea Kingsley, both of New Hampshire, Caitlin Welsh and Briana Williams, both of Everett and two great grandchildren, Vincent Hernandez and Adriana Hernandez, both of Everett.
His Funeral will be held from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Saturday, March 24 at 8 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Stanislaus Church, 163 Chestnut St., Chelsea at 9 a.m. Services will conclude with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. Should friends desire, in lieu of flowers, contributions in Edward’s memory may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund P.O. Box 849168 Boston, MA 02284 or on-line at www.jimmyfund.org.