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The Movement is Growing:Councillors Vidot, Rodriguez Lead Popular League

The Movement is Growing:Councillors Vidot, Rodriguez Lead Popular League

By Cary Shuman

Damali Vidot.

Damali Vidot.

Damali Vidot, popular councillor-at-large, knows from first hand experience the trouble that Chelsea youths can encounter in their formative years

“As someone who used to get in to trouble and who lost a friend a few days ago that I met when I used to get in to trouble, I know the importance of being there for these young people – just to have someone that they can count on to lead them in the right direction.”

That’s one of the reasons that the 39-year-old Vidot, along with City Councillor Yamir Rodriguez, Danny Mojica, and Isidra Quinones, founded The Movement, a summertime youth basketball league. The league held its playoffs and season-ending pizza party Saturday at Highland Park.

“The Movement was born out of some shootings that were happening in the community and we wanted to provide an outlet for kids 13-20 because I feel that’s an age that really doesn’t have enough supportive services that we wanted to engage them in during the summer,” said Vidot.

The Movement has grown to close to 100 youths who participate in the outdoor basketball league Wednesdays and Saturdays at Highland Park across from the Jordan Boys and Girls Club.

The mood was festive as the basketball players were united in spirit and celebrating the league’s second successful season. Police officers Keith Sweeney and David Batchelor Jr. were on hand to coach a team and affirm the support of Chelsea’s finest.

Vidot understands The Movement is only in touch with its players a few hours a week on the basketball court and that the players must take responsibility for their actions beyond the court.

“Even though we’re with them a limited number of hours during the week, I’m hoping it sets the tone for the rest of the week and they remember that there are grown-ups out there that actually care,” said Vidot.

Betsy Vicente, mother of 14-year-old, 6-foot-2-inch aspiring basketball player Christian Rios, said her son likes the competition and atmosphere of The Movement.

“He loves it. My son absolutely adores coming here. He looks forward to playing here every weekend and hanging out with his friends.”

Vicente said The Movement is like “a second family.”

“This is his neighborhood family,” said Vicente.  The kids feel safe and the league is bringing them together in a good environment.”

As for rising community leaders Damali Vidot, Jamir Rodriguez, Vicente said what many at the Highland Park basketball courts were thinking, “The leaders of The Movement are doing a phenomenal job. I like the new Chelsea.”

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Dog Owners to Rally Saturday in Kickoff for First Chelsea Off-Leash Park

Dog Owners to Rally Saturday in Kickoff for First Chelsea Off-Leash Park

By Seth Daniel

This little corner of Broadway and Commandants Way has been selected for the City’s first off-leash dog park for small to medium sized dogs.

This little corner of Broadway and Commandants Way has been selected for the City’s first off-leash dog park for small to medium sized dogs.

Get your paws to City Hall on Saturday, as dog owners across the City are invited to rally and parade down to Lower Broadway where the City is planning its first off-leash dog park.

The Paw-Raid event will start at City Hall Saturday, Sept. 9, at 11 a.m. From there, dogs and their owners will stroll down Broadway to the site of the proposed new park under the Mystic/Tobin Bridge.

The new dog park will be at the corner of Broadway and Commandants Way across from the Chelsea Yacht Club on a small, 2,000 sq. ft. corner of the newly-constructed Mystic Overlook Park – soon to be Chelsea’s first under-the-bridge open space.

“It’s a smaller park so it’s designed for smaller dogs,” said Planner Alex Train. “While we do have larger parks beside it, all of our parks in Chelsea mandate dogs be on a leash. This will be the first off-leash park in the City and will have about 2,000 sq. ft. for dogs to run around.”

The small park will be separated into two areas with a retaining wall and will have benches and a doggie water fountain. It will also include landscaping and other improvements.

The park is actually a gift to the City in many ways, with the Stanton Foundation of Cambridge footing – or “pawing” – 90 percent of the costs. The City only has to pay about 10 percent of the costs of the Park, which are being done in conjunction with the larger Mystic Overlook open space next door.

Train said the plan is to put the project to bid at the end of September and begin work in the fall. The hope is to have completion of it by late spring 2018.

The event on Saturday is designed by the City and the Chelsea Prospers movement to get a critical mass of dog owners who could serve as a “Friends” group to the park.

“It’s a celebratory event to make people fully aware of the construction schedule and get a gathering of dog owners to walk together down Broadway,” he said. “There will be a lot of ongoing maintenance that the City is hoping to share with any Friends of the Dog Park group that could form. We hope that we could collaborate with a Friends group to maintain and improve the dog park. We’re really trying to foster that congregation of dog owners with Saturday’s event.”

Train said that City leaders – and even planners like himself – have seen the need for more dog facilities.

“I’ve worked here for two years and the numbers of people I see with dogs is steadily increasing,” he said. “This is definitely needed.”

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Chelsea Artist is Highlighted in New Mural on the Charles River Esplanade

Chelsea Artist is Highlighted in New Mural on the Charles River Esplanade

By Beth Treffeisen

Artist Silvia Lopez stands in front of part of her mural under the Bowker Overpass on the Charles River Esplanade.

Artist Silvia Lopez stands in front of part of her mural under the Bowker Overpass on the Charles River Esplanade.

What was once a dark, graffiti-ridden, sore patch along the beautiful Esplanade is in the midst of being rejuvenated through a colorful, dynamic mural that is currently in the works.

The brightly colored mural will reflect the daily cacophony of fast paced bicyclists, skaters, joggers, boat traffic, and the rhythm of vehicles that pass daily along the Charles River Esplanade.

The mural titled, “Patterned Behavior,” by Boston artist Silvia Lopez Chavez is the Esplanade’s newest contemporary artwork and is expected to take about three weeks to complete. It is expected to be done by mid-September if not earlier depending on weather. The mural will remain up for one year and has a chance to be renewed to remain for the second year.

In 2013, Silvia received a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant for her ‘Fresh Air: Portraits’ of Chelsea project; which explored the environmental and political aspects within air quality issues in Chelsea, MA and was also a finalist for the Brother Thomas Fellowship Award.

“It’s been very cool,” said Chavez taking a break from sketching the mural along the Esplanade, “We have had a lot of good, positive responses from people using the space. People who use it daily are just screaming “thank you!”

The Esplanade Association, an independent non-profit that works to revitalize and enhance the state park, commissioned the non-profit Now + There to curate and produce a mural for the Esplanade in the area located west of the Massachusetts Avenue, bridge.

The project is privately funded through money raised by the Esplanade Association.

Jessica Crimmins, the interim executive director of the Esplanade Association said that they have been interested in doing a public art project for quite a while.

“There are a lot of reasons why people come to the Esplanade – running, biking, walking or touring, and now, they have another reason to come into the park, for culture and art,” said Crimmins.

The association created an “Arts in the Park” fund to back this project and hopefully other future works to correspond with their other programs such as “Healthy, Fit & Fun.”

Currently, the space serves as a blank canvas for graffiti artists, and Crimmins said she hopes the mural will deter people from continuing that in the area. Depending on how it goes, Crimmins said, the Esplanade Association will look into extending the murals stay.

Over 100,000 commuters on Storrow Drive and thousands of bicyclists,  hundreds of boaters and rowers, as well as many people on the Cambridge side of the river, will be able to see this mural everyday.

The concept for “Patterned Behavior” takes inspiration from the everyday activity and how humans utilize the space. When Chavez first began doing sketches and research in the area, she noticed that people tended to follow the same paths.

“Designing this piece, it was clear it wasn’t going to be faces or words, which can be present in my work, but more about the reflection of the space and movement and how to convey that with a ton of color – which is so me,” said Chavez.

She continued, “The color to me in an abstract way represents the variety of us here in the city, how we are from so many places. Boston has people from everywhere. That is my way of reflecting that. The beautiful colors are representative of the beautiful people here.”

For example, Chavez pointed to two yellow circles near the side of Storrow Drive and said in an abstract way that represents the cars going down. Other patterns such as arrows and lines represent the flow coming in from either side, intersecting and interacting with each other.

“It is a different experience depending on what direction you are coming from overall,” said Chavez.

This mural is the second commission by Now + There’s Year of the Woman programming and is the first initiative in the Esplanade Association’s newly expanded arts program.

Chavez said that she wanted to follow the Year of the Woman and hired an all-female mural crew. Chavez said that in the world of street art, graffiti art or murals, it is a very male-dominated community– kind of like a boys club of sorts.

She hopes to bring attention to female artists who continue to not get opportunities to build their portfolio.

“It’s something that’s a catch-22 – you have to think in reverse,” said Chavez. “I know a lot of strong artists that are female but not given the opportunity to do these projects…I hope this project opens more doors not just for me but for these amazing strong woman who are helping me.”

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), community organizations and neighbors approved this project.

The area the mural is on is very tricky to get permits for. The pillars and the wall belong to MassDOT, DCR owns the land and is charge of taking care of the park, and the main wall facing the river is a historic landmark, needing permission from the Boston Landmarks Commission.

“We had to go into getting all of the permitting, and that process was long,” said Chavez. “I was so grateful to have Now + there and the Esplanade Association to do that along the way.”

Chavez said it was difficult as an individual artist to go through this process and for most artists they don’t have the time or the capacity to do all of the work.

In addition, she had to get insurance that went into the millions of dollars to cover her assistants, herself and every object that she has at the site.

“Now, we’re here and that makes me very happy and it makes people very happy, which we have been seeing again and again which is fantastic,” said Chavez.

Kate Gilbert the executive director of Now + There, hopes that this mural will help reclaim the area that has slowly been taken over by cars.

“The art is sort of supporting the pleasant walk through here, but it is about cars versus people and what that is going to mean in the future,” said Gilbert. “[The mural] is going to make it more pleasant and useable space.”

In terms of the short stay the mural will have, Gilbert said she believes that it is important to keep changing the face of public art in Boston.

“There are some icons that are always going to stay, like the CITGO sign, but I always use the analogy you really don’t wear the same clothes that you wore 10 years ago,” said Gilbert. “I think temporary art reflects the changes that are happening now…there is a moment in time we are reflecting in artwork and hopefully in five years there will be something new.”

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Excel Students Detained by Border Patrol

Excel Students Detained by Border Patrol

By John Lynds

The U.S. Border Patrol's checkpoint in Lincoln, N.H. last week which resulted in the detention of two undocumented Excel Academy Charter School students.

The U.S. Border Patrol’s checkpoint in Lincoln, N.H. last week which resulted in the detention of two undocumented Excel Academy Charter School students.

Two Excel Academy Charter School students were among the 14 people detained as part of U.S. Border Patrol operation a week ago in Lincoln, N.H. Border Patrol officers established the checkpoint with the support of the Woodstock Police Department on Interstate 93 in Lincoln.

“Checkpoints are just one of the tools we utilize to enforce the immigration and other federal laws of our nation,” said Swanton Sector Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent John Pfeifer. “In addition to technology, manpower and intelligence, checkpoints help to deny access to major routes of egress away from the border and into our communities in the interior of the U.S.”

The checkpoint was the first major enforcement action of this type in five years in New Hampshire and while it resulted in the detention of 25 undocumented immigrants, two of those immigrants were Excel Students who were thriving in school according to Excel’s Executive Director Owen Stearns. Stearns confirmed the students detained were enrolled in Excel’s 7th grade and 11 grade classes. School has already begun for one of the state’s top charter school.

In a statement Stearns said the two students, whose names have not been released, were ‘exceptional students’ and were involved in athletics at the school and were leaders in their class.

President Donald Trumps hardline stance on immigration and executive orders made people like Stearns nervous. With 80 percent of his student body Latino students from Eastie and surrounding neighborhoods Stearns said Excel families on alert, especially after Trump’s executive order calling for more Border Patrol checkpoint operations throughout the country.

“I think we sort of girding ourselves for this and are now very sad and distressed and angry that it happened,” said Stearns in a statement. “And also fearful that it may continue to happen and this may not be the last time.”

Civil liberties groups, including the ACLU, argue these checkpoints violate Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizures.

“The Supreme Court has upheld the use of immigration checkpoints, but only insofar as the stops consist only of a brief and limited inquiry into residence status. Checkpoints cannot be primarily used for drug-search or general law enforcement efforts. In practice, however, Border Patrol agents often do not limit themselves to brief immigration inquiries and regularly conduct criminal investigations and illegal searches at checkpoints,” says ACLU-NH legal director Gilles Bissonnette in a statement.

While the checkpoint detained 25 undocumented immigrants, it also resulted in the seizure of two pounds of marijuana, as well as smaller amounts of cocaine, mushrooms and hash oil–all taken from U.S. citizens. This resulted in 32 arrests outside of the 25 people detained during the operation.

The detention of the two Excel students came a week before Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, escalating the White House’s targeting of immigrant communities.

“Repealing DACA subjects over 800,000 young people to deportation,” said Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Esq. “Beneficiaries of DACA, known as Dreamers, came to the United States as children and grew up here becoming integral members of our society. Deporting Dreamers would send them back to countries to which they have little or no connection and subject them in many cases to intense violence or poverty present in some of those countries. DACA’s repeal comes on the heels of pardoning ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio.”

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Trump Sends DACA to Congress, Hundreds in Chelsea Vulnerable

Trump Sends DACA to Congress, Hundreds in Chelsea Vulnerable

By Seth Daniel

Hundreds of young people and families in Chelsea were put on edge Tuesday when President Donald Trump announced he would end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – though with the caveat of keeping it intact for six months to allow Congress to attempt to enact a law.

The DACA program prevents the deportation of people brought to the United States illegally by their parents when they were under the age of 16. When President Barack Obama initiated it in 2012 via executive order, it allowed young people to do things they had not been able to do previously, like getting student loans, working legally and qualify for other programs. Anyone with a criminal record, however, was barred from qualifying for the program.

Now, all of that is up in the air for many people.

Joana (whose last name is shielded) is a freshman at Northeast Voke and a resident of Chelsea who said she has family and friends who are now in flux due to the decision – as well as the uncertainty as to whether Congress will act in the next six months.

“I feel like it wasn’t a very thoughtful decision because most of the kids in Chelsea are from other countries,” she said, noting that she has family who are in the DACA program. “It feels scary because you don’t know what is going to happen to a loved one. It’s a wait and see situation and something bad could happen in seconds, minutes, hours, months or even years…I find it all very pointless because families are scared and they tried everything in their power to bring their children here and all the sudden that opportunity they found so hard for is going away. They have sacrificed everything to get kids here and now that opportunity could end.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he was discouraged by the decision also, knowing that hundreds of Chelsea residents are enrolled in DACA and now find themselves in limbo as they wait to see if Congress will do anything.

“It is incredibly discouraging that our President is prepared to terminate a program that has been so beneficial and meaningful to childhood arrivals, many of whom have no knowledge of nor connection to their native land,” he said. “I’m hopeful that Congress will act quickly to remedy this unnecessary and heartless executive action.”

Supt. Mary Bourque said she has put out letters to parents and students, as well as guidance to staff and teachers about how to handle the anxiety around the decision, which affects so many Chelsea students and their families.

“Many of our students and their family members are DACA immigrants consistently contributing to our community and therefore our country,” she wrote. “We support our students and their dream for a future in the United States. I want to reaffirm to our Chelsea Schools community that the Chelsea Public Schools is committed to our mission statement, ‘We Welcome and Educate ALL Students and Families.’”

Bourque also affirmed to all parents that the schools are safe havens from immigration enforcement if, indeed, the program ends after six months.

“Our schools have been deemed by our Chelsea School Committee as Safe Havens for all students to learn and thrive,” she wrote. “It is through education that the doors of opportunity are opened for all our students. We, as the Chelsea School Community will continue to advocate for and support our students and their families as they embrace the American Dream through education. We will work on behalf of our students and families alongside our community based organizations and legislators in the coming weeks and months.”

Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger also reaffirmed a similar viewpoint in a letter signed by all of the state’s community college presidents.

“Those with DACA status attend and graduate from our K-12 schools and benefit from the ability to attend excellent post-secondary education in order to bring the skills and credentials needed in our workforce today,” read the letter. “Individuals with DACA status live in our communities, pay taxes, and are ready and willing to continue to positively contribute to our local economies and communities. Ending DACA and subjecting these individuals to deportation not only contradicts our shared values and the inherent principles in our educational missions, but also threatens the economic well being of our region, state, and country.

“We remain committed to meeting the needs of every person who walks through our doors looking to learn and achieve, regardless of their immigration status,” it continued. “We stand together to fight for the continued protection of all the young people with and eligible for DACA.”

The Trump decision did allow for anyone with a DACA permit expiring between now and March 5, 2018 to re-apply for another two-year renewal – giving protection through 2019. The application for renewal must be submitted by Oct. 5, 2017.

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City Manager,Police Take Two-Way Broadway to Business Community

City Manager,Police Take Two-Way Broadway to Business Community

By Seth Daniel

City Manager Tom Ambrosino and consultants for the City took their message of a two-way Broadway in the business district to owners of the businesses on Thursday morning, Aug. 31, with Ambrosino saying he would stake his position on the issue.

Members of City government met with business owner from Broadway and the adjacent downtown streets Thursday morning at the Green Street Apartments community room. Kicking off the morning, Ambrosino expressed his great support for the change.

“It is incumbent on me to try to reduce the level of skepticism and outright opposition to this change,” he said emphatically. “That is what I’ll try to do in the coming months…I am 100 percent confident I can do that by doing two things – telling you about the advantages and listening to you…Whatever you think of two-way Broadway – one-way Broadway, that one-way speedway, cannot continue. It is unsafe. It is confusing to pedestrians and motorists and it is counterproductive to businesses and merchants on the corridor.”

Ambrosino stressed he believes that one change can transform the City’s downtown – particularly in terms of easing traffic patterns, eliminating unsafe double parking situations and making it easier for pedestrians to get to businesses.

Ralph DiNisco of the consulting firm Nelson Nygaard said that two-way Broadway is possible from a traffic management standpoint.

He compared it to other communities like Revere and Somerville where the lanes are just as wide and the traffic volumes are far greater.

Having studied the volumes in Chelsea and other communities, Broadway Chelsea handles only about 6,500 cars per day, where other Broadways along the Route 107 corridor handle double that.

“From a traffic operations perspective, two-way Broadway can work,” he said. “The numbers aren’t so high that it’s impossible. It can easily work with some changes. From a big picture, there’s no fatal flaw…If you look at other places, they have converted to two-way, and they are successful…Broadway now is a speedway. Nobody stops going down Broadway. They go faster than you want a car to go in a very busy downtown business corridor with people walking around.”

Police Chief Brian Kyes also spoke highly of the change, saying it would help dangerous situations for pedestrians and prevent double parking of delivery trucks – which allows criminals to shield themselves from police.

“There are a lot of young mothers pushing a carriage and when they come out with a carriage from behind a truck, it’s a very, very dangerous situation,” he said. “I’ve heard the idea for many, many years and we at the police department think it’s a very good idea.”

But business owners weren’t so convinced.

Some, like Roman Gold of Margolis Pharmacy, felt that it could increase traffic and become a cut-through for people trying to avoid Rt. 1 traffic.

“You could start to see a lot more traffic redirected by things like the Waze app from Route 1 to avoid traffic tie-ups further up the road,”  he said.

Rick Gordon of Allen’s Cut-Rite said one of the biggest problems for merchants would be deliveries. Many merchants, he said, cannot afford to pay to have deliveries outside of busy times, and he said there isn’t adequate space for delivery trucks in the alley.

“Many people would have to pay $100 or $150 fees for scheduling deliveries,” he said. “I can’t really pass that fee on to my customers and it’s an undue burden on the small business. Many of us do UPS and FedEx only, but some get trailer trucks in periodically…What needs to be done is you need to start by re-striping the parking spots and doing the small things.”

Compare Supermarket owner Al Calvo said he thinks that the delivery problem – which was a great concern – could be solved.

“We’re emphatic with our vendors that there be no deliveries after noon,” he said. “I think there’s a way for us as business people to set the rules. Sometimes my deliveries show up after 2 p.m. and we don’t accept the load. We do have leverage.”

Some were also worried about whether or not the City could enforce the rules well enough, that there would be enough oversight.

Ambrosino said he guaranteed that, if approved, he would make it work.

“We have enough manpower and enough officers that want to work overtime if that’s what it takes,” he said. “I will put my reputation on the line. The City Council can fire me if it doesn’t work. I think it can be that transformative.”

The change cannot be unilaterally implemented. If it is recommended in the overall Re-Imagining Broadway study, it has to be submitted to the Traffic Commission. If approved there, it must go to the City Council for a final approval. At each step, there is plenty of room for public comment.

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DACA Should be Kept

DACA Should be Kept

By Joana of Citizen Schools

Have you heard anything about DACA and/or DAPA?  DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA is an American immigration policy founded by the Obama administration in June 2012. Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents sometimes called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, is a planned American immigration policy to grant deferred action status to certain undocumented immigrants. DAPA and DACA give immigrants opportunities such as employment, but there are some downsides to DACA and DAPA that affect many immigrants. DACA and DAPA programs do too little to protect undocumented immigrants while allowing them to legally stay in the US because their rights can be easily taken away and they don’t know if they can get citizenship. But others, like Republicans think that immigrants get too much support because there is too much spent on the immigrants.

 The first reason that DACA and DAPA programs do too little to protect undocumented immigrants because their rights can be easily taken away. Trump wants to impact immigrant’s lives in a negative way, “…striking Obama’s executive action on immigration are among his top priorities according to Trump’s 10-point plan to put America first,” (Chicago Sun-Times). This shows that at any given moment, Trump might announce that he will remove these programs unexpectedly, impacting many immigrants. The American Immigration council says, “As of December 31, 2015, over 700,000 young people have received DACA, broadening their educational opportunities,” showing that amount of immigrants lives can get impacted if the government takes DACA away. This country uproars with stereotypes against Hispanics that are either documented or not, but some citizen don’t really take in Hispanics opinions due to stereotypes about them not getting information or they are known as illegal and they don’t know what they are saying.

In addition, many citizens think that undocumented immigrants are criminals and many other stereotypes like all immigrants are lazy or they can’t afford a ‘proper home’. According to Pew Research Center, “About eight-in-ten (79%) say immigrants are a burden because they take jobs, housing and health care, while only 14% believe immigrants strengthen the U.S. because of their hard work and talents,” (The Political Typology). Immigrants have a lot of rights thanks to DACA and DAPA, but they are supposedly not using it effectively. Citizens are not willing to expand the programs because citizens think that these programs aren’t used effectively by immigrants. Some citizens opinions is that immigrants are not as hardworking as expected and this connects to the main point because with what the citizens think and when they see immigrants not doing anything, that leads them making assumptions about immigrants. U.S. citizens contribute to the programs helping immigrants. Some immigrants use these rights and financial aid wisely, but some do not. Through DACA and DAPA, immigrants have rights like a permit to work that needs to be renewed every two years, and have protection from deportation. With these programs some citizens think immigrants have more rights than citizens themselves do. CNN reported that, “Texas, the only state whose standing was explicitly recognized by the court, specifically argued that the immigrants’ “lawful presence” would require the state to provide them with “state-subsidized driver’s licenses” and unemployment insurance.” This shows that in a political view, some people think the immigrants abuse what they are given such as driver’s licenses.

         DACA and DAPA also do too little for immigrants because health insurance is not included in the programs of the DACA and DAPA, in which health insurance is a very important benefit. In National Immigration Law Center it shows, “As noted above, DACA and DAPA grantees are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, except for emergency Medicaid services,” (MILC). Not having health insurance is very problematic to immigrants and citizens should be able to get help and understand what’s wrong with them, immigrants should be able to go to the doctor to check what’s wrong with them and prevent major illness. Everyone should be able to get the care they need regardless of who they are. While undocumented immigrants can get help in emergency situations, they should be able to have physicals or be treated for non-life-threatening illnesses like the flu.

Alternatively, some U.S. citizens think DACA and DAPA do too much for undocumented immigrants. These citizens are scared to provide this aid to immigrants because they believe it could potentially taking away aid from programs for citizens. Mark Krikorian,  Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said, “It’s an illegal program. The president, simply, has no authority to grant benefits to millions of people.” Citizens think that  it’s unfair because they’ve been in the country longer or they were born in the country and because of the hard word they’ve done, their tax money goes to undocumented workers instead of programs for them.

Overall, DACA and DAPA are programs that aim to give undocumented students and parents a better future. DACA and DAPA do too little for immigrants because the health insurance situation, many U.S. citizens stereotype immigrants as criminals, stereotype immigrants as criminals,”, and that immigrants’ rights are not secure under these laws. that immigrants’ rights are not secure under these laws.But some other people that disagree with DACA and DAPA because they do too much to protect the undocumented ones.  Many lives are in danger with this one decision.


DACA and DAPA support immigrants and give them a head start, but in today’s news, DACA is at risk of being terminated. According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, DACA and DAPA can disappear any day now because of the decisions of our government. Immigrants in this country depend on DACA and DAPA and feel miserable because the people who depend on this law feel powerless. If they take away DACA, then there might not be as many immigrants in the United States as there were before. This information worries a lot of families, including my friends’ families because they started a life in the United States and all of sudden it will be taken away like a mother snatching a lollipop from a kid who’s not allowed to have sugar. The potential removal of DACA is devastating because a lot of families are in danger of being separated.     I have friends who are immigrants, people I work with who are immigrants, and parents who are immigrants. We all grew up in Chelsea, a place that we struggle in and a town that we call home.

 I grew up in a small urban city called Chelsea in Massachusetts. Chelsea is a city of immigrants trying to make a great life with what they have.  It is the city “with the highest percentage of immigrants in the state. [Where] many residents hail from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.” (Boston Globe, 2016). DACA and DAPA help these immigrants to have a better homes than they did before they came to the United States and give them job opportunities. They have better electricity, cleaner water, and have better access to healthcare, even though they can’t get health insurance.  Immigrants want to create better homes for their kids and try to give them everything they want. Children of immigrants want to have access to education after high school, they want to go to college and pursue their dreams of being someone important in this world like a surgeon or a lawyer. They just want a better life. People that come from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, etc. have struggles in their daily life back then and they want to benefit financially in the future in the U.S.

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Sports 09-07-2017

Sports 09-07-2017

CHS football team kicks off 2017 season Friday night

The Chelsea High football team will open its 2017 season Friday evening when Coach Jack Halas and his Red Devils host Lynn Tech under the lights at Chelsea Stadium.

The first kick-off of the new campaign is set for 7:00.

Leading the way for the Red Devils will be a quartet of senior captains,  Zach Leo, Tony Bui, David Bui, and Nelson Hernandez, who are among a group of 10 seniors on the varsity squad.

“This is an excellent group of seniors who provide a good example to our younger guys,” said Halas. “These seniors have led the way in our off-season conditioning program. They were begging to get into our weight room the Monday following Thanksgiving.

“We have had our best off-season yet since I’ve been coaching at Chelsea High,” continued the coach. “We have seen some solid gains in strength across the board. We even started a 1,000 Lbs. Club, which is the one-rep max combined of bench press, squat, and deadlift, and both Tony Bui and Zach Leo made the club.

“In addition to our dedication in the weight room, we were fortunate that our Athletic Director, Amanda Alpert, secured us a grant to upgrade our weight room,” added Halas. “We now have a beautiful weight room supplied by the Gronkowski Fitness Company.  All the same equipment that is in the Gronk Zones in the Boston Sports Clubs is now in the Chelsea High weight room.”

The Red Devils engaged in a pair of pre-season scrimmages, taking on Latin Academy August 26 and Saugus this past Friday.

“Latin Academy had a strong running game and we played them decently,” said Halas. “Overall, we played fairly well for our first time out.  Early on in pre-season, our numbers were so low that we couldn’t hold any live team periods in practice, so Latin Academy was our first live experience.

“Saugus threw the ball about 75% of the time, which is rare at the high school level. We fell behind early 21-0 but showed a lot of fight by clawing our way back into the game,” said Halas. “We had some faulty lighting issues at the stadium that cut the game short in the middle of the third quarter when we were trailing, 27-21. I was very pleased with our offense, especially our offensive line.  We had multiple 12-plus play drives resulting in touchdowns, which is exactly how we want to play.”

As for the season-opener against visiting Lynn Tech, Halas expects a stern challenge for his squad.

“Lynn Tech returns two all-conference running backs, so it will serve as a tough first test for us,” said Halas. “We expect a physical football game.”

Looking ahead to the fall season, Halas expressed confidence in his 2017 edition of the Red Devils.

“The senior leadership, combined with our offensive line and front seven on defense, are the strengths of our team,” noted Halas. “I expect big years out of senior captains Zach Leo and David Bui.  These two should be able to replace the loss of graduated captain Nick Ieng, who is attending Westfield State on a football scholarship.”

The one drawback thus far for Chelsea has been the low turnout. “Our numbers are very low with only 34 kids in uniform,” noted Halas.

After the Lynn Tech contest, Halas and his crew will travel to Northeast Regional Vocational School next Friday.

CHS boys soccer team opens with 4-0 victory

The names may change, but the result stays the same for the Chelsea High boys soccer team, which opened its 2017 season with a 4-0 victory over Shawsheen Tech Tuesday afternoon at Chelsea Stadium.

“For a variety of reasons, this has been the biggest turnover for our team in terms of personnel in many years,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “We have a very young team with a lot of new faces.”

Among the newcomers to the CHS program is senior transfer students Jephte Marcellus, who provided some instant punch for the Red Devils, assisting on three goals in his first appearance in a Chelsea uniform.

Sophomore Delmer Romero, another newcomer to the varsity squad, scored the first two Red Devil goals, the initial one coming just 30 seconds into the game on Chelsea’s first offensive push forward of the season.

“I think we caught Shawsheen a bit flat-footed at the start of the game,” said Protasowicki. Senior captain Kevin Umanzor-Torres delivered a through-ball to Marcellus, who chipped it past the oncoming Shawsheen keeper, setting up Romero for an easy tap into the open goal.

The Marcellus-Romero connection bookended the half with a goal with only a minute to go before intermission when a shot by Marcellus was deflected by a Shawsheen defender in the box. Romero gathered-in the loose ball, made a move on a Shawsheen defender, and then delivered a nice strike from a difficult angle Senior Kevin Valle, who has been recovering from a knee injury he suffered over the summer, went into the game for a brief stretch to start the second half and made the most of his appearance, scoring his first goal of the season to increase the CHS lead to 3-0. Marcellus sent a nice through-pass to Valle, who made a fine finish amidst heavy traffic.

Five minutes later at 54:00, Romero earned his third point of the game with a corner kick delivery that was headed into the back of the Shawsheen net by senior defenseman Carlos Arevala.

“Carlos made a hie run and finish,” noted Protasowicki.

The 4-0 lead gave CHS head coach Mick Milutinovic an opportunity to use a number of his freshmen to close out the game. Senior keeper Bryan Armas and junior keeper Diego Granados split the chores in net to share the shutout.

“It was a nice way to start the season,” noted Protasowicki, “but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Milutinovic and his crew were set to trek to Northeast Regional Vocational School this afternoon (Thursday). Northeast has been the chief rival to the Red Devils’ supremacy in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference in the past few seasons and this year should prove no exception.

Chelsea will journey to Haverhill to face Whittier Tech Tuesday and will return home next Thursday to host Lynn Tech.

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins rookies ready to hit the ice

Boston Bruins hockey is back on track, beginning with Rookie training camp opening September 8. Included are Bruins prospects who participated in last year’s tournament and also played in at least one regular season game with Boston in 2016-17), along with several invitees, and is scheduled to run through September 11, at HarborCenter in Buffalo. Players who participated in last year’s tournament and also played in at least one regular season game with Boston in 2016-17, include forwards Anton Blidh, Peter Cehlarik (not participating due to shoulder surgery), Danton Heinen, Sean Kuraly, defensemen Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Rob O’Gara and goaltender Zane McIntyre.

This will be the third consecutive year the Bruins will have participated in the Prospects Challenge. The Bruins’ rookies will compete against the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils rookies in the round-robin challenge featuring prospects from each of those teams. The participating teams will each play three games during the course of the event, which is being held entirely at HarborCenter.

Currently Boston’s Challenge roster includes: Forwards: Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk, Ryan Fitzgerald, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Jesse Gabrielle, Danton Heinen, Justin Hickman, Joona Koppanen, Sean Kuraly, Cedric Pare, Zach Senyshyn, and Oskar Steen, with rookie camp invitees Shawn Boudrias, Alex Gacek, and James Hamblin. Defensemen: Victor Berglund, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Emil Johansson, Jeremy Lauzon, Charlie McAvoy, Rob O’Gara, and Jakub Zboril, plus invitees Connor Clifton, Own Headrick, and Ethan Sakowich. Invited goaltenders are Kyle Keyser and Luke Richardson.

Schedule for the tournament will have the Bruins taking on Pittsburgh’s rookies (Friday, September 8 at 3:30pm); Saturday, Saturday, September 9 vs. Buffalo at 7:00pm;

Followed by a practice day, and their final game will be on Monday, September 11 vs. New Jersey at noon.

Single Game Tickets for the 2017-18 season will go on sale today (Thursday, September 7, at 11:00am. Purchase tickets on, through the official mobile app of the Boston Bruins, by phone by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or at the TD Garden Box Office.

The Bruins will open the season against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden on Thursday, October 5 at 7:00pm.  The Bruins will enjoy a season-long, six-game home stand beginning in February and ending in March, with games against the Carolina Hurricanes (2/27), Pittsburgh Penguins (3/1), Montreal Canadiens (3/3), Detroit Red Wings (3/6), Philadelphia Flyers (3/8) and the Chicago Blackhawks (3/10) at TD Garden.

For games played at TD Garden, tickets will range from $30.00-$453.00. In addition to seat location, ticket prices will vary depending on opponent and date of game. Ticket prices are subject to change and there is an eight-ticket limit per game.

Although full-season ticket packages are sold out, Bruins fans can join the Season Ticket Waiting List to score priority access for when full- season ticket packages become available. To join the Season Ticket Waiting List, fans should contact the Bruins at 617-624-2327, option 1.  Additionally, a limited number of partial and full season memberships are available in the Premium Club at the TD Garden. Fans interested in Premium Club memberships can contact the Bruins at 617-624-2582.

2017-18 Game Plans are also on sale. Each plan offers big discounts with an average savings of $600 off of box office prices with no facility fee. With a Game Plan, fans are granted access to a Legends Membership and the ability to purchase 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs® tickets before the general public.

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Obituaries 09-07-2017

Obituaries 09-07-2017

Robert A. Punch, Jr.

Chelsea DPW retiree

Robert A. Punch, Jr., passed away on Wednesday, August 30 at the Fairhaven Healthcare Center in Lowell where he has been receiving supportive care for the past year. He was 75 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea, he was a son of the late Robert A., Sr. and Ellen (Sullivan) Punch. He attended local schools and graduated from Chelsea High School, Class of 1960. Robert was married for 36 years to the former Donna Henry and together they raised their family in Chelsea for most of that time.

Robert worked for the City of Chelsea as a heavy equipment operator with the local DPW. He was medically disabled and retired in 1998.

After his retirement, he and his wife Donna relocated to Seabrook, NH and resided there for 15 years. Donna passed away four years ago and Robert then took residence with his daughter, Michelle in Dracut before going to Fairhaven. Robert was an avid reader, he enjoyed bowling and relished the time he had living and enjoying the company of his grandchildren.

In addition to his beloved wife, Donna and his parents, he was also predeceased by a daughter, Jennifer Punch. He is survived by his remaining beloved children; Michelle A. Thornton and her husband, William of San Antonio, TX, Brian Punch of Astoria, NY, Jimmy Doucette of Florida and Michael Punch of Massachusetts.

Arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh and Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. A memorial service will be announced to be held at a future date; relatives and friends will be most kindly welcomed to attend.

Donations in his memory may be made to the American Diabetes Assoc.

Jeannette ‘Janet’ Nemerowski

Worked at Chelsea City Hall Welfare Office

Jeannette “Janet” (Pucko) Nemerowski passed away Wednesday morning, August 30 in the peaceful surroundings of her Chelsea home.  She was 87 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea, she was a daughter of the late Zygismund and Bronislawa “Bernice” (Galazka) Pucko.  She attended St. Stanislaus Parochial School and graduated from Chelsea High School.  Janet wed Roman J. “Ray” Nemerowski and raised four children.  She also worked outside of her home in city hall in the Chelsea Welfare Office.  She was a member and past officer of the former PAV Ladies Aux. Post 13 in Chelsea and enjoyed her time at the Chelsea Senior Center playing Bingo, Bocce and Bowling.  She also assisted as a Chelsea Election Poll Worker.  She enjoyed following the Red Sox and Patriots, cheering for “Her Boys” when they won or jeering “Those Bums” when they lost.

Janet was predeceased by her parents, her husband, Ray in 1988 and last year by her son, Michael Nemerowski.   She is survived by her loving children; Peter Nemerowski and Elaine Boudreau, both of Chelsea, Stanley Nemerowski of Gilford, NH, and Michael’s wife, Lynne Nemerowski of Medfield, her adoring grandchildren: Christine Bellotti and Samantha Nemerowsk and her dear sister, Claire Kwiatkowski and her husband, Chester of Wilmington. She is also survived by several cousins, many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea.  Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.  Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the American Diabetes Assoc.  260 Cochituate Rd., Framingham, MA 01701.

Antonino ‘Tom’ Sorrentino

Family man and recently retired first class barber

Antonino “Tom” Sorrentino, a Revere resident for more than 60 years, passed away on his 88th birthday, Thursday, August 31, at Winthrop Place Nursing and Living Center of Winthrop following a brief illness.

Born and raised in Messina, Sicily, Italy, the family came to the USA, when Mr. Sorrentino was 10 years old and settled in Somerville and where “Tom” lived and was educated. He later moved to the Point of Pines Section of Revere for more than 60 years.

“Tom” began working as a barber at the hand of his older brother at the age of 13 in Boston. The brothers worked for the original Paul’s Barber Shop of Boston. Subsequently, they bought the shop and set up a chair in the “Financial District” of Boston. Another move brought the brothers to Chelsea, where they continued their business on Washington Avenue for over 45 years.

After Tom’s brother passed, he moved to Revere for the last 10 years of his working career whereupon his grandson, Shawn A. Sorrentino took over the family business until selling the established business in 2000.

Mr. Sorrentino would want to be remembered firstly, as the “quintessence” of a “family man,” a loving husband, dad, grandfather, brother and uncle. However and second only, as a classic hair-stylist and first class barber. He would often entertain his family with stories from the past, especially those regarding the many politicians and celebrities he served as clients over the years.

On December 8, 2003, Mr. Sorrentino lost the love of his life, his beloved and cherished wife, Eva F. (Sarto) Sorrentino. “Tom” continued the time honored and loving tradition of cooking and entertaining his large Italian family, especially on Sundays and holidays. He did this with zest and zeal until his health began to fail.

He was the devoted father of Richard A. Sorrentino and his wife, Doris N. “Darcy” (Simpson) Sorrentino of Revere and Anthony V. Sorrentino and his wife, Magaret “Peggy” Sorrentino of Melrose; the adored grandfather of Richard A. Sorrentino II and his wife, Michelle of Tewksury,, Shawn A. Sorrentino and his fiancée, Carla D’Errico of Winthrop, Michael J. Sorrentino and his fiancée, Diana DeLauri of Wakefield, Michelle R. and Paul A. Sorrentino, both of Melrose. He is also lovingly survived by six great grandchildren: Ryan A., Evan J., Amaya E., Cameron A. Olivia R. and Lilliana M. Sorrentino and by many cherished nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Vertuccio & Smith Home for Funerals, Revere. Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Residents’ Activities Fund at the “Prospect House,” 420 Reservoir Avenue, Revere, MA 02151. For additional information, please visit:

Toni Flaherty

Of Revere, formerly of Chelsea

Toni M. Flaherty of Revere, formerly of Chelsea, died unexpectedly at the age of 36 on August 31.

The beloved daughter of the late Michael and Marie “Honey” (Strazzulla) and the cherished granddaughter of Marie “Nonny” DeFazio of Revere, formerly of the North End, she is also survived by many loving aunts, uncles cousins and friends.

Funeral arrangements were by the Ruggiero Family Memorial Home, (Orient Heights ) East Boston.  Cremation was private. For more information,  please visit

John Covino

Lifelong Chelsea resident

John J. Covino, a lifelong resident of Chelsea,  passed away early on Saturday morning, August 26 at the Massachusetts General Hospital after a long and extended battle with kidney disease. He was 67 years old.

John, who received his education in the Chelsea School System, was an avid supporter of the Boston Red Sox and a lover of Oldies music. During his working years, which preceded his years of illness, John worked at the Chelsea Memorial Hospital in the kitchen for over 10 years and after its closing, worked for another number of years in the shipping and receiving department at Standard Box Company. In his spare time, he enjoyed his friends and the social events at the St. Andrews, BBC club.

He was the devoted son of the late Nicholas and Elizabeth (Hill) Covino, beloved brother of Anthony T. Covino and his wife, Donna of Winthrop and the late Bernard Covino and his surviving wife, Laura of Chelsea and Rosemarie Pawlak and her late husband, John. He is also  lovingly survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

At his request, all services were private. Expressions of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the American Kidney Foundation at

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Congratulations Alejandrina

Congratulations Alejandrina


Mrs. Alejandrina Rodriguez, a long-standing Chelsea resident and community activist, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Multidisciplinary Studies degree from Cambridge College recently.Her family wished her well and said they are very proud of her achievement. “I am so grateful to have such a blessing in my mother,” said the family. “She has been a role model for so many people in her community, including myself. It is to admire how she has achieved all these goals. Because of her, I am who she wants me to be, an educator. I have seen her work all these years, working day and night, striving to get to her classes after work, getting home late at night. She is unstoppable. She deserves the degree that she has obtained with all her effort. My mother is #1.”

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