Archive by category Other

‘We Have Lost An Icon’ : Cable Television Exec. Director Duke Bradley Passes Away

Robert “Duke” Bradley Sr., executive director of Chelsea Community Cable Television for more than 30 years, died on Aug. 12 following a sudden illness.

Mr. Bradley was a lifelong resident of Chelsea and one of its most popular and admired individuals. Known for his warm personality, his charisma, his sense of humor, his splendid, color-coordinated attire and his strikingly handsome countenance, Mr. Bradley found the perfect second career as the executive director of the local cable station.

Robert “Duke” Bradley

Already recognized for his dedication and service to the city and many felt he would have been an outstanding mayor of Chelsea, Duke thrived in his capacity as the first-and-only executive director of the station. He received numerous awards and citations for his excellent work and his devotion to Chelsea.

Obligated only to televise governmental meetings, Mr. Bradley, “Duke or Dukie” as he was affectionately called, made it a point to extend the station’s coverage to social, educational, athletic, and news events throughout the city. He encouraged residents to produce shows and personally hosted election night shows that viewers enjoyed so much.

Duke was welcomed everywhere in the city and the greetings were always warm and sincere from people who gravitated toward him at events such as Chamber of Commerce dinners and CHS sports contests.

“Duke was a larger-than-life personality in Chelsea,” said Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson. “When he was in the room, people wanted to interact with him and he was so cordial and kind to all. He was a great storyteller and had a tremendous sense of humor. We have lost an all-time great. He will be missed.”

Duke Bradley would often tell the story of how as a young man he would be called upon to put on and shut off the lights on the Sabbath for the Orthodox Jewish congregation at the Walnut Street Synagogue. The Jewish community never forgot his kindnesses and it loved him dearly as did people of all ethnicities.

Roy Avellaneda, councillor-at-large and local business owner, said, “I was saddened to hear of the passing of Duke Bradley. I came to know Duke from his work at Chelsea Cable. We would always joke about who was better dressed when we were at formal community events. Of course, he was always the best dressed. His positive demeanor was contagious.”

Rich Cuthie, executive director of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, lauded Mr. Bradley’s contributions to the Chamber while also noting his princely apparel.

“Last night in France I was very saddened to learn via Facebook of Duke’s passing,” said Cuthie. “As the leader of Chelsea Community TV, he was valued as a long-time Chamber member and as a true partner covering Chamber events and initiatives, and all things Chelsea.

“Above all, however, “Dapper Duke” as I called him, was not just the best dressed man in Chelsea, he was a true gentleman and a class act,” said Cuthie.

Ricky Velez had the honor of working at the local cable TV station for two decades, the last 10 years as technical director.

“Duke was an amazing man, always upbeat, always showing me to enjoy life,” said Velez. “He always put family first. He had the best sense of humor. He treated everybody with respect. He was one of the best bosses I ever had.”

A Proud and Devoted Family Man

Duke was devoted to his family and especially proud of his grandchildren, who brought fame and acclaim to the Bradley name.

Duke and his beautiful wife, Dorothy (Fee) shared 58 years of marriage. They were an inseparable pair who loved to travel and spend time with their family.

They were so proud of their children and had plenty to be proud of. Their daughter, Paula Bradley Batchelor, helped the TV station grow and become a local institution and she was there from its incorporation in 1988. She has continued to be instrumental to the success of the station.

The Bradley’s son, Robert Jr. has achieved much success as an architect and is a credit to the family name.

An avid sports fan, Mr. Bradley became particularly immersed in Boston College athletics when Paula became a Division 1 college cheerleader for the Eagles during the exciting Doug Flutie era. His strong connection to Boston College was rekindled when his grandson, 6-foot-4-inch Austin Bachelor, became a student there and was a member of the Boston College baseball team.

But Austin, following the lead of his three athletically gifted brothers, had already provided his grandfather enough memories to last a lifetime when he starred on the Peabody Western Little League team that advanced to Little League World Series in Williamsport. Duke was front and center in the Peabody rooting section and it was a true family affair – his son-in-law, now-Chelsea Police Capt. David Batchelor, was the manager of the team and all the Bradleys and Batchelors were much a part of the hoopla. And Austin brought great joy to his grandparents throughout the unforgettable journey from Peabody and Lynn to Bristol (Conn.) and Williamsport, especially when the All-Star pitcher and catcher slugged a home run over the fence in a World Series game on national television.

Duke would become a fan of Swampscott athletics and happenings, too, closely following the athletic and academic successes of Robert and Kimberly (Brown) Bradley’s children.

And Duke’s allegiance had previously extended south to the University of Arkansas where he watched his relative, Pat Bradley of Everett, become the Southeastern Conference’s all-time three-point king.

Jay Ash, former city manager, said he went all the way back with Mr. Bradley to his days of growing up on Cottage Street where the Bradley family also resided. Jay attended kindergarten at the Shurtleff School with Paula Bradley. They graduated together from Chelsea High School in 1979.

“To me, Dukie represented the very best of what Chelsea represented,” said Ash. “He was a loyal guy who was a great family man and a terrific citizen of the community. He was very visible on the streets not only because of his running, but also because he was at every event for decades. He always had a smile on his face and always had a kind word or greeting for people.”

Ash enjoyed his conversations and interactions with Dukie.

“I have had the opportunity to talk to him about sports, community, family, and education – he was just an inspiration,” said Ash. My heart goes out to the entire family.”

Dr. Mary Bourque, superintendent of Chelsea schools, appreciated the professional coverage Mr. Bradley gave students in the district for their extracurricular and athletic achievements. The station always covered well events such as National Honor Society induction ceremonies, the year-end CHS sports awards night, and the CHS commencement exercises.

A CHS alumnus herself and daughter of esteemed local historian George Ostler, Dr. Bourque knew from personal experience how revered Duke Bradley was by all who knew him in the city.

“I’m just so sad about Duke’s passing,” said Bourque. “He was a gentleman, always full of life and joy and pure kindness to everyone. He never had a bad word to say about anyone in life. I have just the utmost respect for him and his family. It’s a true loss to Chelsea and we have lost an icon.”

CBC President Joan Cromwell Pays Tribute to Duke Bradley

Upon hearing about Duke Bradley’s passing, Joan Cromwell, president of the Chelsea Black Community whose family has known and admired Duke Bradley for many years, wrote a beautiful tribute to the Chelsea legend:

My Thoughts On An Icon

Sad, sad day in our city

I pray our city flag is flying at half-staff

Duke Bradley…Chelsea born, Chelsea bred, Chelsea beloved, Chelsea’s best

Duke Bradley…He came from US, walked with US, believed in US, and gave us the platform to tell our life, our history, our many stories

Duke Bradley…Proudly the sharpest dapper gentleman in town, admired, respected, and loved by All.

There is a beautiful dove in Heaven…Duke Bradley

Sad and mournful are thy ways, Grieving, wailing Summer days!

I (we) love you.

God rest your Soul and may you Rest in Perfect Peace

Deepest Condolences,

Joan Cromwell and family

Chelsea Black Community family

Read More

One Year Later : Councillor Believes ‘Nip’ Ban Has Reduced Alcohol-Related Issues

One year into the ban on ‘nips’ – or small alcohol bottles – at least one city councillor is proclaiming victory based on ambulance data that shows major decreases in the numbers of alcohol-related transfers.

Councillor Roy Avellaneda said he has been monitoring data and anecdotal information surrounding the nip ban, which he advocated for a little over a year ago, and believes that the ban has resulted in major victories.

First among those victories is the numbers of alcohol-related transfers done by the ambulance in Chelsea.

“It’s been one year and it’s been the most significant feature in what we see with alcoholism and reducing the alcoholism that plagued the downtown,” he said. “If I was solely to look at how the number of ambulance transfers has decreased for alcohol-related calls, it strongly correlates to the time that the nip ban went into place.”

Date from Cataldo ambulance regarding alcohol-related calls shows that there was an astounding number of those transfers in the past. In 2015, there were 872 transfers, followed by 715 in 2016 and 742 in 2017.

The nip ban went into effect in the middle of 2018, and Avellaneda points out that the ambulance data begins to decrease at the same time.

In 2018, there was a decrease to 556 transfers, and this year, 2019, data would support that the transfers have nose-dived. As of June 30, there were only 127 transfers. Doubling that number in the second half of the year would still only result in around 260 transfers – which would be 50 percent less than in 2018 and nearly 600 fewer transfers than in 2015.

“My figures show a result of 66 percent fewer alcohol-related ambulance responses and I think that’s unbelievable,” he said, noting that public works personnel have also said they are experiencing less nip bottle litter issues too.

While other things might have also contributed to the decrease, including the advanced work of the HUB by the Police Department and its partners, Avellaneda points out that the HUB does great work but mostly related to opiate and drug issues. The alcohol issues, he said, stood out to him initially because they had plagued the downtown since he was a kid in the 1980s. It had become normal, and the numbers of ambulance transfers shocked him when he first saw that they numbered in the 800s.

They were nearly seven times greater than those of other issues, like opiates, and that’s when he said he decided to join the fight to ban nips.

“I felt we were focusing way too much on one issue and not enough on the other,” he said. “There were seven times as many responses for alcohol and we needed to do something on that too…It’s something I’ve seen since I was a kid. It got to a point where we just accepted it. When you talked to merchants about it, they would say, ‘Well, that’s Chelsea.’ That’s not the Chelsea we want and we don’t have to allow these behaviors – and by that I mean the behaviors of people who are selling these nips to people with a problem or addiction.”

The battle has been difficult, though.

While the City has instituted the ban, nine package stores in the city have sued in court, and that case is pending before the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC). The City is arguing that the ABCC doesn’t have jurisdiction, while the stores argue it does. That has been pending for many months, since earlier this year.

The process is slow because Chelsea has been the first community to successfully go through with a ban, despite the fact that many have tried and many desire to follow suit.

“There are a lot of eyes on this decision,” said Avellaneda. “There are a lot of communities around the state what want to try this. There are many that did try to pass it but the alcoholic beverage lobby is so strong they turned back. Chelsea has done it and all eyes in the state are looking at us to see if we can withstand a legal challenge.”

Surviving that challenge could be made even stronger if the data holds regarding ambulance transfers.

“There is no next step here, just monitoring the situation,” he said. “They didn’t just go buy the next size to drink. We aren’t seeing the next size bottles littering the streets. That argument is out. I believe we can see this made significant changes and we’ll just build on that.”

Read More

Construction Updates

August 11 – August 24, 2019

Traffic Impacts

•Route 1 Northbound: Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the right lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

•Route 1 Southbound: Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the right lane at the Carter Street off-ramp. Just beyond the Carter Street on-ramp, the travel lanes shift to the right. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

•Ramps: As of Monday, July 15, the Fourth Street Off-ramp will be closed for 2-3 months.

•Local Streets: Orange Street under Route 1 will close temporarily on Saturday, August 17, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. From Monday, August 19 to Friday, August 23, Spruce Street between Sixth Street and Everett Ave will be CLOSED overnight from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for bridge work with traffic detoured one block to Arlington Street. The Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration and Carter Street workzone will remain in place until Fall 2019.

Work Hours

•Most work will occur in during daytime working hours (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take place during afternoon (2 p.m. – 7 p.m) and overnight hours (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m. – 2 p.m). Overnight work on the Tobin Bridge will occur on Friday, August 18 (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

Summary of Work Completed

•In the two weeks prior to August 11, crews continued work on the bridge deck, cured concrete, repaired steel, bridge deck, and joints, installed dust containment systems, power washed and excavated support column footings, and placed concrete columns.

Description of Scheduled Work

•Route 1 Northbound: Repair steel, waterproof bridge deck, and lay asphalt. Additionally, bridge deck removal will continue on the right side of the workzone through the Chelsea Curves.

•Route 1 Southbound: Paint new deflector plates.

•Underneath the Structures: Replace and paint steel; continued installation of dust containment systems; power wash and paint columns and support beams; excavate, drill, and grout around support columns; erect steel; place new concrete columns, and ongoing material deliveries.

Travel Tips

Drivers should take care to pay attention to all signage and move carefully through the work zone. Police details, changes in lane markings, temporary controls such as barriers and traffic cones, signage, and other tools will be used throughout the project to control traffic and create safe work zones.

The contractors are coordinating with local event organizers and police to provide awareness and manage traffic impacts during events. For your awareness, during this look-ahead period, the following events are scheduled:

•Red Sox (Fenway Park): 8/16 at 7:10 p.m., 8/17 at 7:10 p.m., 8/18 at 1:05 p.m., 8/20 at 7:10 p.m., 8/21 at 7:10 p.m., 8/22 at 1:05 p.m.

•TD Garden Events: 8/14 at 8:00 p.m., 8/15 at 7:30 p.m., 8/16 at 7:30 p.m., 8/17 at 7:30 p.m.

Read More

Thank You, Bruce Harrison is Leaving REACH After 12 Years of Service

Bruce Harrison has been a championship coach and a champion for Chelsea’s youth since his days in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League at the old Chelsea High gymnasium on Clark Avenue.

For the past 12 years, Harrison has been a group leader at the Chelsea REACH after-school program led by Executive Director Linda Alioto-Robinson.

REACH Executive Director Linda Alioto-Robinson thanks Bruce Harrison for his 12 years of outstanding service.

“We help students to stay in school, graduate, go to college or trade school, or get a job,” said the 57-year-old Harrison, a 1981 CHS graduate, the father of three children and grandfather of two.

Harrison announced this week that he will be leaving REACH to take a position in the Chelsea school system.

“I’m going to be working in school security,” he related. “I’m sad about leaving. I like the REACH program and helping kids. But I’m doing it for my family.”

Robinson-Alioto said that Harrison was a valuable member of the REACH staff.

“We’re going to miss Bruce a lot – he’s the best group leader ever,” lauded Robinson-Alioto. “But we’re all happy for him for his new job. It’s a full-time position and he’s a father and a husband and you need a full-time job. REACH was just part time, so we’re happy for him and we’re happy that he’ll still be in Chelsea.”

Harrison was busy with REACH Monday running the annual Lemonade Stand fundraiser at the Stop & Shop store. Proceeds went to REACH and the St. Luke’s Church Food Pantry. Sean O’Regan and his brother, James O’Regan Jr. donated the supplies for the lemonade stand.

Harrison has coached in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League for many years. He led the Bucks team to multiple championships alongside assistant coach Leo Robinson. Many observers felt that “Brucie” was at the top of the list of legendary coaches of the 1980s that included Larry Notkin, Steve Selbovitz, Gerry Godin, Ronald Robinson, Mark Zamansky, Steve Fried, and Dave Drinan.

Harrison was honored at an event earlier this year as the Boston Boys and Girls Club “Volunteer of the Year” for his coaching efforts at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club (JGBC), Chelsea.

Josh Kraft, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and the former executive director of the JGBC, made the presentation to Harrison at the ceremony held at Fenway Park.

Read More

Councillor Tejada Praises Let It Fly Classic directors

City Councillor Luis Tejada will be a spectator at the fifth annual Let It Fly Basketball Classic Saturday at Jordan Boys and Girls Club.

“I wouldn’t miss it,” said Tejada. “The directors [Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro do such a great job running this event.”

Tejada said the whole atmosphere at the tournament is exciting. “It’s like one of these urban scenarios that you see on TV with the whole basketball game going on and everyone is yelling and screaming, but having a good time. It’s just a fantastic atmosphere.”

Tejada said the event always draws an enthusiastic crowd, “but it’s safe, it’s protected. The police are there. Everybody is there just to have fun and raise money for our Chelsea High School students. It’s a win-win-win situation all around, so it’s definitely one of those worthwhile events to attend.”

Tejada, a past tournament sponsor, said he will also be bringing his children and nephews to the Jordan Boys and Girls Club. “My kids love basketball and my nephews play in basketball leagues, so we’ll all be heading over to watch it,” he said.

Tejada said he’s looking forward to seeing Chelsea Black Community (CBC) President Joan Cromwell at the tournament. Joan is the mother of Co-Director Kyle Umemba.

“Joan and I grew up around the same time in Chelsea,” said Tejada, who is 1986 Chelsea High School graduate. “Joan is amazing. She’s all over the place, always helping out and it’s always, ‘what can I do to improve our area?’ “She is just a beautiful person. It’s just an amazing Chelsea family that is here to help our residents and our neighbors. They’re one of these Chelsea pride families. When you speak of Chelsea and families that you’re proud of, they’re right at the top.”

The tournament begins at 10 a.m., with games continuing all day until a champion is crowned. There are refreshments, musical entertainment, and raffle drawings. Admission to the games is free.

Read More

Massport Announces Communication Campaign as Series of Construction Projects Begin at Logan

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today announced a communication plan to inform passengers, employees and tenants about an upcoming series of construction projects at Boston Logan International Airport. The projects will have major impacts to the traveling public, including roadway detours starting this fall, and will all be completed within the next five years.

The Authority is preparing New England’s gateway airport for a growing number of passengers driven by the robust economy and industry trends. Massport is branding this campaign “Logan Forward,” complete with a new website and a text alert program coming later this fall to keep the public informed as we make important investments to improve the customer experience at Logan. In addition, Massport is training airport staff, and will use radio, print and digital advertising to get the word out to our passengers. There will also be signage throughout the airport terminals and along the roadways. Logan served 40.9 million passengers in 2018, and has nearly 20,000 full and part-time employees.

“‘Logan Forward’ is our commitment to improve the passenger experience and we pledge to keep the public informed every step of the way throughout the construction process so they can appropriately plan ahead,” said incoming Massport CEO Lisa Wieland. “This will be a long process and communication with our passengers will be key.”

Massport is undergoing a nearly $2 billion capital plan to improve the efficiency and customer experience throughout Logan Airport. It involves several major projects over the next 5 years, including:

· Terminal B to C roadway improvements;

· A new Terminal B-C post-security connection;

· New gates and a 2,000-space parking garage at Terminal E;

· Increased sustainability efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

· Better access to and more high occupancy vehicle (HOV) transportation options.

A new website www.LoganForward.com has been set up to provide more information about each of these projects, as well as construction timelines and updates. A new text alert program is also in the works and will be available later this fall. Passengers, employees and tenants will be able to get up-to-date messages about road detours and traffic impacts.

“Logan Forward” also includes a robust Ground Transportation plan aimed at reducing the airport’s environmental footprint by strategically providing more options for passengers to use HOV, like Logan Express (LEX). LEX is the seventh largest transit system in Massachusetts with Back Bay and four suburban locations in Braintree, Framingham, Woburn, and Peabody.

Within the next 5 years, a new LEX service will be available at North Station and another suburban location; more parking spaces will be available in Braintree and Framingham; and more buses will service Framingham. A new centralized TNC, or App Ride, pickup/dropoff area inside Logan’s Central Garage is also under construction to give passengers a better experience and an option for discounted shared rides. The goal is to eliminate about 1.5 million empty, or “deadheading,” TNC vehicles and double LEX ridership from 2 million to 4 million. This will reduce congestion and air emissions at Logan and will benefit our neighboring communities.

Construction on a few of these projects has already begun and so far there has only been a handful of minor interruptions. Starting this fall, and throughout the next 5 years, there will be major impacts.

Some of the improvements are needed to support the current passenger load and construction for the Terminal B to C roadway improvement project has already begun. The project will replace the aging roadway infrastructure between the two terminals and significantly reduce traffic congestion, especially during peak hours of operation. Separate roads for both terminals will ease traffic flow and increase curb space at Terminal C. As part of the Ground Transportation strategy, we are also adding new roads to and from the Central Garage to separate App Ride vehicles from other traffic.

“We have a responsibility to build a modern, world-class facility because it is what our airline partners want and passengers expect,” said Aviation Director Ed Freni. “We’re using this as an opportunity to prepare the entire airport for the future and it is critical that we keep the traveling public, airlines and tenants informed every step of the way. Not only are our terminal facilities old and need an upgrade, but we are improving the roadway system, reducing congestion and air emissions at the airport and our neighboring communities, and building more sustainable features at our terminals.”

Built in 1967, Terminal C is Logan’s busiest terminal, home to JetBlue Airways and served over 12 million passengers in 2018. Construction for the Terminal C Optimization and the Terminal B-C Connector projects will begin next spring. The combined projects will consolidate the security checkpoints, renovate the public spaces, and expand the food and retail concessions and passenger amenities. A new concourse connecting Terminals B and C post-security will also be completed in 2021.

The Terminal E Modernization project will add nearly 400,000 square feet of space with 7 new gates, 3 of which were approved in 1995 but never constructed, to the international terminal. These new gates will be able to serve larger and more energy-efficient aircraft commonly used for international flights. The project will include new TSA security checkpoints, an expanded ticketing hall, renovations to the existing building, new high-capacity baggage carousels, and improvements to the Customs and Border Protection area to be completed by 2023. Terminal E was built in 1974 and currently serves 5 million passengers annually who fly to 56 nonstop international destinations.

Read More

Luis Tejada Announces His Run for Re-Election as District 2 Councilor

It’s amazing, 4 years have flown by. It’s been a cathartic experience serving my community! We have accomplished many important things in our little neck of the woods proudly named Soldiers Home or Powderhorn Hill.

I want to thank you for electing me to serve our Chelsea Neighborhood, I want you to know that I do not take this Honor of serving lightly as I realize that the seat belongs to You, the masses, and not me and so I hope I have performed up to your standards and I do hope you elect to allow me to serve for another term.

Together we have done many big and small things that have improved our quality of life, things such as improving the safety of our streets at night by improving the lighting. Our streets have never looked brighter and that is fantastic, the safety of all of us is of primary importance. The city steps, particularly the Washington Ave. to Franklin Ave. side was hard to light up but we found a way to finally light that up without disturbing the neighbors while providing maximum illumination and security.

Thanks to the great job performed by DPW, we have kept on top of the damage created by snow and storms on our streets. We have given senior citizens discounts on water, have increased the residential exemption in an effort to further lower residential taxes and mitigated the proposed increase of water to residents from almost 3 percent to 1 percent.

We negotiated favorably on behalf of our residents with the DOT and on Summit ave we are working on minimizing thedisturbanced cause by the building of the new hospital. We are taking care of streets on Washington Ave and County Road, and are embarking on more efforts to beautify our Soldiers Home like improved Christmas and holiday ligting this season.

We also provided barrells both for trash and recycle inan effort to curb the rodent problems in the city.

Thanks to the great work by all of the boards and groups like the Chelsea Hill Community, we can see the ever flourishing beauty that is Chelsea, come through more and more everyday! We have beautified the city with trees, newer streets and newer sidewalks. Improved the condition of our parks. Our city is the safest and our transportation efforts are the best they have ever been.

All of this we have done together, with You, our neighbors, hand in hand, at meetings that have run through the night, along with a City Council that Cares and is Commited to bringing the Best Services to our Communities. A City Manager that is commited to seeing Chelsea grow and phenomenal people serving in the various boards doing their best to make Chelsea the varied complex and magnificent place it is to call Home.

It is an pleasure to have the Honor of fighting alongside with you for the betterment of our Chelsea and my little slice of heaven our beloved Soldiers Home!

Changes are in the air.

Did you know, that a long time ago, Chelsea was , get this, a Vacation Destination, yes our own little Chelsea Massachusetts was Elite. We do of course know, because it has been drilled into our heads, the Chelsea that everyone called and wrote about as the Worst Crime City in America or Poorest City in America.

Chelsea has a Mystery about Her! This gorgeous city we call home has been up and down and over but never out, Its a City I Adore and I am So Proud to call Home and my Area of Soldiers Home, the Only Place for My Family.

We have all heard, its not a secret anymore, Chelsea is the New It Place. Yup a place where just 20 years ago our families rented 3 bedroom apartments for $450 everything included, is Now, Once Again, Elite!

They call it Gentrification!

The dictionary defines Gentrification as : Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses.

Chelsea is in need of Well Rooted, Caring, Informed and Responsible Leadership. One who understand the struggles of the lifelong residents of Chelsea and will work towards the efforts of helping those residents remain here and welcome our new reality and our new neighbors and make them feel at home just as we were made to feel at home when we first came here, its the Chelsea Way!

There is a balance that the Council needs to be able to strike and that is how to help our well-rooted families that have been here for generations, remain here, it is a struggle that I have pledged to help fight in an effort to alleviate some of the burden being placed by the increasing rents.

How do I help, I am on the Board of Capic, an amazing organization full of wonderful people working to alleviate many of lives problems and particularly Homelessness, Volunteering as an instructor at Chelsea Restoration doing first time home buyer seminars in an effort to help people achieve a part of the American dream and form Roots that call Chelsea their home.

Working alongside the City Manager on a Master Plan which will set the direction the city is going to take for decades to come. This alone needs a council that is knowledgeable with bold leadership that will help bring about a brighter future for Chelsea as it moves into its new and ever changing face while at the same time ensuring that the historical value and character remain intact.

Chelsea matters to me , I have lived here since my arrival from Colombia in 1977, Chelsea and particularly Soldiers Home have been where my New American Roots began to take shape back in 1977 and they never left. Don’t fret my friends, my family and I have maintained every little bit of our heritage from back in Colombia and we enjoy our sancocho y chicharon y pan debono en la manana con cafe.

I cannot function without my dunks in the morning.

My roots are here in Chelsea Soldiers Home, I have my village here, my two beautiful sons and daughter, nieces, nephews, aunts, cousins, my beautiful mom Alda, two amazing sisters and many other extended family.

I love doing my part in protecting our home and I am asking for your Vote to Re-Elect me to serve on your behalf in the Council for our Great area District 2 Soldiers Home!

It has been an Honor serving the needs of our area and know that I do not take Lightly the Responsibility of Representing Our Interest and our Area.

I , Luis Tejada , ask for your vote so that we can continue the fight for an ever improving, never settleling Chelsea and Chelsea Soldiers Home District 2 .

Preliminary elections may happen on Sept. 14, with the countdown to narrow the running mates down to two and then its off to the election in November.

Thank you in advance for participating in the process and for taking the time to read this my message to you my dear friends.

Luis Tejada 617-306-0732, c21tejada@gmail.com.

Read More

Time Rolls On : Bellingham Square Clock Is Repaired

The historic clock in Bellingham Square is right on time.

Thanks to the efforts of the world-renowned Chelsea Clock Company, the clock has been repaired and is now showing the correct time for all 1,440 minutes of each day.

“The clock is fixed – I’m very happy,” proudly reported master horologest Bhupat Patel of Chelsea Clock. “We’re going to come back again to put the new lenses on the glass. The city is going to remove all the rust and repaint the clock.”

Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson was on hand for the relaunching of the clock.

“They did an outstanding job,” said Robinson. “Tom [Ambrosino] had reached out to me to get in touch with Chelsea Clock to fix the clock.”

Robinson is the brother-in-law of long-time Chelsea Clock official D. Bruce Mauch.

Read More

Chelsea Centro : Business Community Looking to Re-Brand, Reinvigorate Downtown

One might have seen the colorful paint job on the gazebo at Bellingham Square and wondered what it was all about.

Well, it’s more than just a colorful paint job.

Rather, it is the first step in what business and City leaders hope will be a coordinated plan for the downtown business district – a plan that has already gained the confidence of state government with Chelsea getting two $20,000 grants to further the project along.

TDI Fellow Carlos Matos, Chamber Foundation President Sergio Jaramillo, Councillor Leo Robinson, and new CHISPA BizLab coordinator Deise Paraguay in front of the newly-painted gazebo in Bellingham Square

Carlos Matos, a fellow assigned to Chelsea from the MassDevelopment Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) program, said the gazebo was just the first piece of several placemaking initiatives they hope to achieve with the Chamber, a new business lab dubbed CHISPA BizLab, and the Chamber Foundation – among many other partners.

“The gazebo was the beginnings of this placemaking and focusing attention on the downtown,” he said. “It’s bright and like the things you’ve seen in Boston. We studied it and these are designs that will resonate with residents of Central America and South America in shape and color. They will also appeal to everyone because it adds color and vibrancy to the area.”

“The initiative is working well so far,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “Hopefully, progress will continue in our efforts to revitalize the Downtown.”

Sergio Jaramillo, who is a long-time Chamber member and the new president of the Chamber Foundation, said they hope to use a coordinated approach to bring life to the downtown, help businesses and make downtown Chelsea a place to be.

“Our desire is to have Chelsea be a destination point for the region – just like Chinatown and the North End and as it is becoming in East Boston,” he said. “We want to have Chelsea be that place they want to come to because of the activities and food and quality of life that is here…Jay Ash was great for building up the coffers of the City again and building up Everett Avenue. I think now we are on the cusp and ready to do the other half of the city.”

Added Matos, “There are great opportunities on Everett Avenue and the question is now how do we transform them from isolated goals to a greater economic impact and draw them to the downtown for that greater economic impact. That’s the challenge we’re working on now.”

An extension of the gazebo branding effort, now being dubbed ‘Chelsea Centro’ as a test run – complete with bags and buttons as promotional tools, is a $20,000 grant from the state that will bring the same bright color scheme to Luther Place – where the successful Night Market has been held twice this summer.

The parking lot/market will be painted in bright colors, and also be painted to accommodate basketball or street soccer – giving it many different opportunities for activation. That will be supplemented by murals on the walls in the same color scheme, and sun shades to protect from the summer heat. That grant is supported by a $55,000 matching grant from the Chamber, which will also help to provide programming for the district.

Chamber Executive Director Rich Cuthie has been very excited about the branding of the downtown using the grant and the Chamber’s resources. He said, like Jaramillo, that the district is on the cusp of something very exciting. That is particularly the case for the storefront improvement program, which has been paved by the passing of new storefront regulations by the City Council this year.

Part of that will be financed by the new CHISPA BizLab, which the state awarded a $20,000 grant to start. That will be supplemented by a $6,000 grant by the Chamber Foundation.

Meaning “spark” in Spanish, CHISPA will help to provide small business technical assistance and advocacy for Latino businesses. It will also serve as a business incubator for new startups in Chelsea’s business district. That assistance will particularly go towards helping the food-related businesses in the district.

Already, CHISPA director Deise Paraguay has started talking to local businesses, officially beginning on July 15. Right now she said she is listening and learning – trying to bring everyone together. She will also act as the organizer of all of the projects involved with the re-branding effort.

Jaramillo said they have hired a company to fly a drone up and down Broadway to highlight the district. Similarly, they have contracted with a professional kitchen to bring in all of the restaurant owners from Broadway to consult with professional chefs. Using traditional recipes, they will work to invigorate their menus and give them new life.

Jaramillo said he is confident that in a few years, the new efforts will all pay off with an enlivened and exciting downtown for residents and those who want to come to Chelsea as a destination.

“I see in a few years that we will have an opportunity for the business community to capture a new market,” he said. “There will be more going on here and it will be more visually interesting for residents and visitors coming here. When people say, ‘Where should we go to dinner?’ They will say they want to go to Chelsea. Creating places where people want to live and visit is the best thing to do.”

Added Matos, “A lot of people are clamoring for authenticity in the places they go to. The places in Cambridge and Somerville are maybe lacking that. We think Chelsea has that authenticity you want and can’t get anywhere else. We want to highlight that, and that’s what we are setting out to do now.”

Read More

First Zero-Emission, Battery-Electric Buses Join the Silver Line Fleet

This week at the Southampton Bus Garage and Maintenance Facility, Governor Charlie Baker, MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak gathered to celebrate the introduction of the MBTA’s first brand new, zero-emission, battery-electric bus (BEB) prototypes into the MBTA’s Silver Line fleet.

“The procurement and testing of new battery-electric bus technology is exactly the type of investment we aim to continue with the Transportation Bond Bill in order to help the MBTA plan for the future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration will continue to explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth’s transportation system and we look forward to more improvements as the MBTA makes progress on delivering a more reliable bus system.”

“These new zero-emission, completely battery-electric bus prototypes are an emerging technology aimed at providing a safe, reliable, comfortable ride while lowering energy costs and reducing dependence on fossil fuels,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We are pleased to take steps forward with the process of evaluating whether these kinds of new technologies that promote sustainability are appropriate for daily service for MBTA customers.”

“We’re excited to introduce these first battery-electric buses into service on the Silver Line to test how they operate in real-world conditions on Boston streets and in the Silver Line tunnel,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “This is an exciting first step in testing new technologies to electrify our bus fleet, save on fuel costs, and reduce our maintenance needs. We look forward to seeing how these buses perform, gathering data on power consumption, and testing their range during extreme weather as we continue to seek ways to reduce greenhouse gases and improve service for our customers.”

With support from a $10 million federal grant, the MBTA procured from New Flyer the production of five zero-emission, battery-electric, 60-foot, articulated buses. All five are currently in Boston with the first BEB prototype having arrived in April 2019 to begin testing and operator training. Three BEBs are entering service today on Silver Line Routes SL2, SL3, SL4, and SL5 with the next two anticipated to enter service on these routes by the end of the summer.

Five charging stations are also being built within the Southampton Bus Garage and Maintenance Facility as part of the project where each BEB will be “refueled” overnight.

These BEBs are powered by both rear axle and center axle electric motors to enhance safe operation during the winter months. The majority of 60-foot Low Floor articulated buses in service in North America utilize only the rear axle to provide propulsion power by pushing the bus, which can experience traction issues during winter months when snow and ice are present. The performance of the BEBs’ axle placement will be one feature specifically tested and studied while in service.

The MBTA will also be one of the first systems to test 100 percent electric heat for comfortable onboard temperatures during winter months. Previously, U.S.-built BEBs operated diesel-fired auxiliary heaters.

With a commitment to vehicle efficiency, energy conservation, and sustainability, the MBTA continues to explore available technologies and new vehicles that are capable of zero-emissions operation in the Silver Line Transitway Tunnel, which serves the World Trade Center, Courthouse, and South Station stops. Innovative projects like the MBTA Silver Line Zero Emission Bus Project directly reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and also help improve ridership by offering a quieter, emission-free transit experience.

During a two-year period following the introduction of the BEBs into service, the MBTA will test and gather data on this emerging technology to measure BEB performance and operational effectiveness with a focus on power consumption of electric heaters, operator / passenger comfort, vehicle range impact during extreme conditions, charging requirements, and projected operating costs. The MBTA will operate these buses on Silver Line routes to measure the capabilities of the technology for consideration in future zero-emission bus procurements.

Over the past four years, the Baker-Polito Administration has invested unprecedented levels of funding for transit improvements that have included the purchase of hundreds of new buses as well as the purchase of hybrid vehicles:

•The MBTA has purchased 575 new buses with 381 already in service and 194 additional hybrid buses in production.

•More than one third of the bus fleet was recently replaced. Once the additional hybrid buses are in service, more than half of all MBTA buses will be less than five years old. These new buses replace the oldest and least fuel-efficient vehicles in the fleet and provide a more comfortable ride for passengers.

•The piloting of these five zero-emission, battery-electric buses is also the first step in testing new technologies to electrify the fleet.

•In April 2018, the MBTA introduced the Silver Line 3-Chelsea service, providing a direct link between Chelsea and the Seaport District. This project was the first new MBTA service since the Greenbush Commuter Rail Line came online in 2017 with the $56.7 million project jointly funded by MassDOT ($7.6 million) and the MBTA ($49.1 million).

•Following positive results from a Transit Signal Priority (TSP) pilot, the FMCB approved plans to expand the T’s TSP pilot to include broad corridors of the MBTA street-level system. TSP provides faster service to bus passengers by using signal technology to reduce dwell times for vehicles that operate in mixed traffic.

•As part of the Better Bus Project, the MBTA has partnered with cities and towns to implement dedicated bus lanes and queue jumps, resulting in faster trips for bus passengers. Bus lanes currently exist on Brighton Avenue in Allston, Washington Street in Roslindale, Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, Mount Auburn Street in Cambridge and Watertown, and Broadway in Everett.

The MBTA is currently investing more than ever before to upgrade its infrastructure under its current $8 billion, five-year Capital Investment Plan already in place, and the Baker-Polito Administration’s Transportation Bond Bill includes approximately $5.7 billion for the MBTA to continue funding improvements.

The bond bill also includes a number of proposals to accelerate capital investments that include investments in the MBTA’s bus system, including continued funding for the dedicated bus lanes, signal prioritization, bus shelters and other infrastructure; for sustainable transit system modernization investments to modernize the bus fleet and support the Better Bus Project; and for maintaining the bus fleet and operational improvements. There are additional provisions to allow for the use of design-build procurement for smaller projects, which reduces the timeline for delivering capital improvements, and job-order contracting, which is a faster, more cost effective way to address outstanding maintenance needs. The bill would also establish a process to leverage private-sector investment to fund and build transit improvements.

The provisions in the bond bill that seek to expedite the T’s pace of investment come on the heels of the T’s plan to accelerate capital investments by exploring more aggressive closures overnight and on weekends, increasing the regimen of proactive inspections, negotiating with contractors to compress project schedules, augmenting the existing workforce with a flexible team that can provide necessary services such as flaggers, bus operators, and power, signal, and track personnel to support capital investments.

Read More