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Gerrish Street Gang Member Sentenced on Racketeering and Drug Trafficking

Gerrish Street Gang Member Sentenced on Racketeering and Drug Trafficking

An East Side Money Gang (ES$G) member was sentenced last week in federal court in Boston on racketeering and drug trafficking charges.

Henry Del Rio, a/k/a “Junior,” a/k/a “JR,” 21, of Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to five years in prison and four years of supervised release. In February 2018, Del Rio pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

Del Rio is a self-admitted member of the ES$G, a Chelsea-based street gang, which uses violence to further its criminal activities and enforce its internal rules. Specifically, ES$G uses violence to protect its members/associates, target rival gang members/associates and intimidate potential witnesses. The ES$G is also involved in drug trafficking, including cocaine, cocaine base (a/k/a crack) and heroin in Chelsea and surrounding communities.

Del Rio conspired with other gang members and associates to distribute heroin and other drugs in Chelsea. Additionally, Del Rio sold a confidential informant a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an obliterated serial number and a 30-round, high-capacity magazine from Del Rio’s residence on Gerrish Street in Chelsea.   Del Rio is one of 53 defendants indicted in June 2016 on federal firearms and drug charges following an investigation into a network of street gangs that had created alliances to traffic weapons and drugs throughout Massachusetts and to generate violence against rival gang members. According to court documents, the defendants, who are leaders, members, and associates of the 18th Street Gang, East Side Money Gang and the Boylston Street Gang, were responsible for fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts.

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Temple Emmanuel, a Renaissance in Chelsea

Temple Emmanuel, a Renaissance in Chelsea

Chelsea was a thriving center of Jewish life during the last century.  Located just four miles northeast of downtown Boston, Chelsea had the densest concentration of Jews outside of New York City.  The Jewish immigrants to Chelsea established about two dozen orthodox synagogues and one conservative temple.  Temple Emmanuel was formed in the 1930s and continues with a dedicated congregation from the local area and across the US.

As a commitment to Temple Emmanuel and Chelsea, the members raised almost $100,000 and just completed an extensive renovation.  The sanctuary was built in the 1840s as a Methodist-Episcopal church with high ceilings and excellent sight lines to the ark.  In the 1950s the sanctuary, which seated almost 500, was often full for the high holidays.  We still attract crowds to our major functions.  A few years ago we mounted a Jews of Chelsea Exhibition that attracted more than 500 visitors.

The re-invigoration of Temple Emmanuel reflects a loyal membership and a dynamic tireless president, Sara Lee Saievetz Callahan.  Sara Lee learned effective leadership from her mother and grandmother, who were very active in the community including the Chelsea Soldiers Home and the Assumption Church.  Rabbi Oksana Chapman has been very creative in preserving some religious aspects of conservative traditions while adapting to embrace a diverse community.  For example, services now include a chorus and musicians; interfaith and same-sex weddings and congregants are celebrated.  The temple renovations include a large social hall and an updated kitchen, which can accommodate up to 135 for both religious and secular functions.

Chelsea is in the midst of a renaissance and is growing with the construction of government, commercial, and residential buildings plus a new transportation hub.  Temple Emmanuel welcomes new residents, those with roots in Chelsea, and anyone seeking a welcoming and warm environment (haimish in Yiddish).  We invite visitors and prospective members at any service or function.

Temple Emmanuel is throwing a party and invites you to celebrate our recent renovations and continued commitment to the renaissance of Chelsea.

Saturday evening

June 16, 2018

7-11 PM

Temple Emanuel

60 Tudor Street in Chelsea

Enjoy our food stations!

Dance and enjoy our entertainment!

View our exhibit: a century of Chelsea cultural life!

Just $100 per person, which includes two tickets for beer and wine. Call 617-889-1736 for more information.

Come see the preservation of Chelsea history.  The Temple Emmanuel building dates from the 1840s as a Methodist-Episcopal church with high ceilings, excellent sight lines, and solid elegant woodwork.

As a commitment to Temple Emmanuel and Chelsea, we raised almost $100,000 and are completing an extensive renovation.  We continue as enthusiastic supporters of our community by investing in the renewal of Chelsea.  Come see our progress and celebrate with us!

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Clark Ave’s Siriani Named Rotary Teacher of the Year

Clark Ave’s Siriani Named Rotary Teacher of the Year

It came as quite a surprise, but was much deserved, as Supt. Mary Bourque and Clark Avenue Middle School Principal Michael Talbot informed Clark Ave teacher Sally Siriani on May 31 that she was the Chelsea Rotary

Supt. Mary Bourque, Teacher of the Year Sally Siriani, and Clark Ave Principal Michael Talbot.

Teacher of the Year.

Siriani has spent 20 years in the district, all at the Clark Avenue Middle teaching math and science in grades 5 and 6.

“I love the kids,” she said. “I as born to do this. I put magnets on the refrigerator when I was little and pretended to grade homework papers. I played school all day. My friend Holly Correia, who now teaches in Revere, would always play school. We would take stuffed animals and put them in seats and play school all day long. I’m flattered and honored and shocked. It’s great to be recognized.”

Siriani grew up in Winthrop and attended Catholic Schools there, graduating from Winthrop High School in 1990. She attended Fitchburg State and then worked at the now-closed Assumption School in Chelsea. When it closed down, she was hired to be one of the first teachers in 1998 to come into the new Clark Avenue Middle School.

Previously, the building was used as Chelsea High School.

Current Supt. Mary Bourque was the assistant principal at the time and said that Siriani was the backbone of the school.

“Personally, I know Ms. Siriani from our early days at the Clark Avenue School and her deep devotion to providing the highest quality education for all students,” said Bourque. “I also remember the days when a new school was but a conversation for us all. Ms. Siriani has lived through another Clark Avenue Middle School milestone – construction – and is now teaching  a new generation of students in the new building that we used to only dream about in 1998.”

Principal Talbot said her strength is building relationships with her students.

“She collaborates with the other Math teacher at her grade level in order to best meet the needs of all of her students,” he said. “She regularly uses pre-assessments to see where the gaps are and flexibly groups her students in differentiated activities in order to help them with the mastery of the skills that are required. She also asks students to self-assess themselves, set realistic and challenging goals, and then plans thoughtful learning activities for all of her students.  She works incredibly hard on behalf of her students and she is able to build strong relationships with her students, as evidenced by so many coming back to see her each year.”

Siriani was to be honored at the Rotary Lunch on Tuesday, June 5.

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Packed Chambers:Budget Passes, but with Some Rare Controversy, Drama

Packed Chambers:Budget Passes, but with Some Rare Controversy, Drama

The City Budget vote at the Council is usually a night of empty seats and methodical tabulation.

Not so this past Monday night when teachers, students and School Department employees packed the Chambers and councillors debated over several controversial cuts to the document.

One councillor, Bob Bishop, even cast a lone vote against the City Budget.

In the end, the Council did approve the budget 10-1.

The total spending came in at $195,964,074, with the breakdown as follows:

  • General Fund Budget, $174,074,177.
  • Water Enterprise Fund, $8,397,199.
  • Sewer Enterprise Fund, 12,808,779.
  • General Fund Free Cash, $683,919.

The total sum represents an increase of 6.6 percent over last year’s budget.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said it was a document that represented a philosophy in government and he was proud of it.

“A budget is not just a compilation of numbers and spreadsheets,” he said. “A budget is always a document expressing a philosophy of government. This budget delivers services and programs and invests in our people, our community.”

The real drama came for the School Department, which needed a large influx of City cash into its coffers to avoid massive cuts to it program after being shorted several years by the state’s funding formula.

The City is required to give a set amount of money to the School Department each year, but in the budget crunch of the last few years, the City has kicked in extra funding. On Monday, numerous representatives from the schools were there to speak in support of what amounts to about $4 million (or 5.7 percent) above the required spending amount.

“The state is letting Chelsea down,” said Sam Baker, vice president of the Chelsea Teacher’s Union. “They can’t be relied upon to support urban Gateway districts like Chelsea…When the federal government lets you down, the state government lets you down, there is only one place left to turn – to the neighbors and the local officials of the city. This budget shows that the students and schools in Chelsea can rely on their local neighbors.”

Several others spoke as well, particularly for keeping special education position intact – positions that have been cut heavily in the past few years. School Committee Chair Jeannette Velez urged the Council to approve the additional spending in the budget.

After the vote, the room erupted in applause for the sake of the schools.

But it wasn’t that easy.

While the Council was uniformly in favor of the school measures, there were several things they were flat out against. Major amendments were proposed and hashed out on close votes over the course of an hour.

Almost all of them were proposed by Council President Damali Vidot.

First was a cut of $15,000 to the Law Department – which was a dart in the back of many on the Council. The cut represented funding put in the budget for the Council to have its own attorney on retainer to give them a second opinion when they aren’t satisfied with the City’s staff lawyers.

Only Councillor Giovanni Recupero and Damali Vidot voted for it, with it losing 9-2.

One cut that did survive was a $100,000 cut to the Fire Department as a shot across the bow for their use, and some on the Council would say abuse, of overtime in the last few years.

Vidot said the Department has seen numerous new hires in the last year and has proposed to increase its overtime budget. She said that number should be going down, not up.

The cut was approved 6-4, with Vidot, Recupero, Bishop, Luis Tejada, Enio Lopez and Rodriguez voting yes.

Vidot also proposed to cut the Police Department salaries by $150,000 to curtail the use of overtime pay being given to officers who do walking beats around the downtown. She said that should come out of regular pay at the regular rate, not as overtime pay.

That measure lost narrowly, on a 5-6 vote. Those voting against that were Calvin Brown, Tejada, Avellaneda, Robinson, Perlatonda, and Garcia.

A major discussion took place after that to cut the new Downtown Coordinator position, which comes at $72,000. Vidot said it was a failed program and should be staffed by a Chelsea person who can bring all different Chelsea residents to the downtown to connect in one place. She said she doesn’t see that happening.

However, the majority felt that good things were happening and the coordinator needed more time.

A key supporter was downtown district Councillor Judith Garcia.

That cut failed 3-8, with only Vidot, Lopez and Bishop voting for it.

The final controversial cut proposal was to eliminate monies being spent to keep retiring EMS Director Allan Alpert on board for a year. Alpert plans to retire on June 30, but will be kept on as a consultant to bring the new director up to speed. The cost for that is $55,000.

Vidot said it was unnecessary, and she said it’s time to stop keeping retiring City Hall people on the payroll as consultants.

However, other councillors such as Avellaneda, said there was a succession plan in place for Alpert that didn’t pan out. Now, to make sure a new plan could be put in place, Alpert needed to be allowed to stay on another year.

After much controversial discussion, the cut was defeated narrowly 5-6. Those voting to keep Alpert on were Rodriguez, Tejada, Avellaneda, Robinson, Perlatonda, and Garcia.

For the overall budget, all councillors except Bishop voted for it.

Bishop, who has emerged as a staunch fiscal conservative on the Council, said the spending was not sustainable.

“I cannot vote for this budget,” he said. “I can’t be for this budget because it is not sustainable. We’ll hit the wall one day and that $25 million in the Rainy Day Fund will go out one ear because out budget is almost all salaries.”

The City Budget goes into effect on July 1.

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Chelsea High Class of 2018 will Graduate this Sunday

Chelsea High Class of 2018 will Graduate this Sunday

The Chelsea High School Class of 2018 will hold its Commencement Ceremonies Sunday at 1 p.m. at the high school.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque will address the large gathering and offer her official congratulations to the graduates.

City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and School Committee Chairperson Jeanette Velez will also be part of the ceremony.

Former CHS director of athletics Frank DePatto said he is looking forward to attending the ceremony for the first time in his capacity as a member of the School Committee.

“I know this class very well and they are an accomplished group academically and athletically,” said DePatto. “I look forward to being present as our graduates attain this important milestone in their lives. Graduation represents the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another. I wish the graduates continued success as they move on to college, the military, and the work force.”

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DiDomenico Delivers for Chelsea in FY19 Budget

DiDomenico Delivers for Chelsea in FY19 Budget

Sen. Sal DiDomenico and his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate recently passed a $41.49 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019, including targeted investments to create opportunities and ensure access to the tools that individuals, children and families need to succeed in the economy and in their communities. This budget invests in key areas related to education, local aid, health and human services, housing, and tools for low income families.

“After careful deliberation, the Senate has passed a thoughtful budget that both reflects the shared priorities of our chamber and addresses the pressing needs of our communities,” said Sen. DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. “This budget includes key investments in many of my top priority items that will have a positive and direct impact on Chelsea, and I am happy to report that all of my amendments providing additional resources for our community were adopted to the final Senate budget. I would like to thank Senate Ways & Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka and Senate President Harriette Chandler for all of their great work to craft a budget that will undoubtedly help to move our entire Commonwealth forward.”

The budget invests significantly in education for people of all ages and backgrounds and focuses particularly on elementary and secondary education, including $4.91B for the Chapter 70 education formula, its highest level ever. This funding allows for a minimum aid increase of $30 per pupil for every school district across the state and 100% effort reduction to bring all school districts to their target local contribution. Under the Senate budget, Chelsea would receive $77.4M in Chapter 70 funds- $4.3M more than they received in state funding last fiscal year.

Additionally, this budget takes much needed steps to offset the cost to some school districts-like Chelsea and Everett- of educating economically disadvantaged students and allows these districts to more accurately count their students. In recent years, many Gateway City school districts have faced dire budget gaps due to a 2015 change in the way the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) calculates low-income or “economically disadvantaged” students. This count plays a key role in the Chapter 70 formula that determines the amount of funding school districts receive from the state.

As a result of this change, only students who are registered for social welfare programs like SNAP and Medicaid are categorized as economically disadvantaged, missing thousands of additional low-income students who are not accessing social services. However, under the Senate budget, communities will be allowed to choose their preferred method of counting economically disadvantaged students, thereby ensuring that Chelsea is able to count all of their students.

“I am thrilled that this change has been included in the FY19 Senate budget,” said DiDomenico. “This is a solution that I have long been advocating for, and I am confident this will have a major impact on the amount of Chapter 70 funding schools in my district will receive and will go a long way towards remedying the fiscal challenges that our local schools have been facing.”

As Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate, Sen. DiDomenico was able to secure a number of amendments providing additional funding for his local communities. In total, the Senator secured an additional $100K for the Chelsea community:

  • $25,000 CONNECT, a financial opportunity center in the city of Chelsea
  • $75,000 for a youth social worker in the Chelsea Public Schools

This budget also invests in programs and advances policies to encourage self-sufficiency and economic mobility for low income families, providing them with the tools to secure their essential needs and develop skills to join the workforce. Policy changes include:

  • Sen. DiDomenico’s bill to eliminate the family cap- a failed and outdated policy that denies Department of Transitional Assistance benefits to children conceived while the family was receiving assistance.
  • An increase in the child clothing allowance to $350 per child- a $50 perchild increase over FY18- to help families secure their basic needs
  • An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) state match to 30% of the federal credit

Other top priority items for Sen. DiDomenico that were included in the Fiscal Year 2019 Senate Budget and will benefit Chelsea residents are:

  • $3.8 million for the state’s pediatric palliative care network to ensure there is no wait list for these critical services so children and their families have the extra care and support that they need;
  • $319.3 million to fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker;
  • $100 million to reimburse school districts for costs incurred when students leave to attend charter schools;
  • $8.7 million for Childcare Resource and Referral Centers to boost salaries and decrease caseloads for caseworkers helping parents, childcare providers, employers and community groups navigate the state’s early education landscape;
  • $4 million for Youth-At-Risk Matching grants, including support for YWCAs, YMCAs and Boys & Girls Clubs;
  • $33.4 million for adult basic education services to improve access to skills and tools necessary to join the workforce;
  • $10.3 million for summer jobs and work-readiness training for at-risk youth;
  • $16 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council to support local arts, culture and creative economy initiatives;
  • $16.2 million for local Councils on Aging to strengthen programs and services in senior centers in communities across the state;
  • $142.9 million for a range of substance abuse treatment, intervention and recovery support services, including funding to open five new recovery centers; and
  • $18.5 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), including $3 million to expand eligibility to include persons with disabilities, seniors, unaccompanied youth and individuals.

A Conference Committee will now work out the differences between the Senate budget and the version passed by the House of Representatives in April. Fiscal Year 2019 begins on July 1.

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Auditions Being Held Midsummer Night’s Dream

Auditions Being Held Midsummer Night’s Dream

Apollinaire Play Lab invites youth ages 11 to 16 to audition for their summer production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! The youth production will take place in August, following the professional company’s production of the same play this July in PORT Park. All performances are FREE!

Apollinaire Theatre Company is known for environmentally staging its summer park shows. The audience moves with the action of the play, and different scenes are staged in different areas of the park. (If you attended the PORT Park production of Hamlet in 2016 you might recall the titular character delivering his to-be-or-not-to-be speech from atop one of the towering salt piles.) Following in the footsteps of the professional company, Apollinaire’s young actors will employ environmental staging with their youth production. The audience will be taken from in the Riseman Family Theatre out into Chelsea Square!

Armando Rivera, whom you may have seen on the Apollinaire stage (Everyman, First Love is the Revolution), will be directing the show. Armando has been a teacher and director at the Play Lab since 2016, just before the opening of the Riseman Family Theatre at the Chelsea Theatre Works. Armando says, “This is an amazing opportunity for young artists to create work that will be shared directly with their community. Our production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer will be a hilariously fun learning experience for everyone who gets involved.”

Auditions are being held this Saturday, June 9 at 2:00. You can email apl@aplylab.com to reserve your audition slot. There is no need to prepare a monologue and no previous acting experience is required. Youth who are interested in design and working backstage are encouraged to audition as well! Auditions will be in an open class format, and the entire group will work together over the course of the 45 – 60 minute audition.

The Play Lab didn’t forget Chelsea’s younger budding thespians! There are also dance & singing performance classes available this summer for youth ages 4-11. Children in these classes will appear as the fairies in two of the youth performances of Midsummer lending extra magic to the production! No audition is required for these classes; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Play Lab makes scholarships available to ALL who need them to attend!

Crista Núñez, who began teaching at the Play Lab in the spring, will lead the dance & singing performance classes. Crista, originally from Guatemala, has taught more than 300 students during her career at Ballet Armonía. She studied ballet for 18 years with the methodology of the Royal Academy of Dance from London. As a vocalist, she has won first place in national contests as a soloist and with her band. “Discipline and art are perfectly combined by participating in this class and performances of Midsummer,” says Crista. “Students will grow as professionals, experience being an integral part of a performance, and gain confidence.”

The Play Lab’s production of Midsummer is part of a larger effort organized by The Neighborhood Developers (TND) in conjunction with the City of Chelsea’s Downtown Initiative to activate Chelsea Square with arts programing this summer. In addition to the two-week run of the youth production of Midsummer (August 10-12 and 17-19), there will be other regular performances in Chelsea Square throughout the summer, including live music. The kickoff event for the summer series in Chelsea Square is Thursday, June 9, from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The Apollinaire Play Lab will be hosting a booth with fairy-themed crafts and sign-ups for the audition and dance & singing classes.

Visit them online at aplaylab.com! Or you can call (617) 615-6506.

The Apollinaire Play Lab is a program of Apollinaire Theatre Company (ATC), Chelsea’s award-winning professional theatre.  ATC produces adventurous contemporary theatre, and free outdoor summer shows. The ATC’s home is the Chelsea Theatre Works in Chelsea Square, which houses their three theatres: the Apollinaire Theatre, the Riseman Family Theatre, and the Black Box—a co-working rental theatre for Boston Area performing artists. Visit them on the web at www.apollinairetheatre.com.

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Celebrating Pride in Our Communities

Celebrating Pride in Our Communities

Every June, our communities come together to celebrate Pride Month, a tradition that grows stronger every year. In 1989, Massachusetts became the second state to pass a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry. Our state has always been a national leader on defending LGBTQ rights, and I’m proud of our communities’ work and reputation as a place that promotes inclusion and acceptance.

As we celebrate Pride in our communities, we look at how far we have come as a country, and how far we have to go. In Washington, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are trying to roll back the gains the LGBTQ community has fought so hard to make. As your representative in Congress, you have my promise: I’ll never stop fighting for equal rights for everyone.

Last June, I sat down with bipartisan leaders at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute to focus on advocacy and activism within the LGBTQ community in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. The theme of the panel was “stronger together” — despite the people that try to drive a wedge between communities, we are the strongest when we stand united in the face of discrimination. That’s a value I truly believe in.

The LGBTQ community is no stranger to fighting for their rights, and I’m proud that I’ve supported my constituents on the issues that matter. This includes co-sponsoring legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act; fighting against defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman; working to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell; supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; and supporting the right of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor same-sex spouses for green cards before court decisions upheld that right.

I’m proud of my 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign, but even prouder of the fact that when I served as Somerville’s mayor, I fought hard for equal benefits, including fighting against insurance companies who refused to extend benefits to same-sex couples. As mayor, I was successful in redefining who was eligible for extended maximum bereavement leave to include domestic partners — and all these fights came before our laws allowed or required these actions.

Today, we’ve come far. On Saturday, I’m honored to march in the 48th Pride Parade in Boston. 48 years of celebrating who people are, who they love, and the battles we’ve had to fight to make our city, our state and our nation a place where inclusion and acceptance are the norm, not the exception. I know we have work to do here in Massachusetts, and around our country. And during Pride Week in Massachusetts, I’m proud to join the LGBTQ community and celebrate what makes each and every person unique.

Happy Pride Parade, Pride Week and Pride Month — and here’s to another year of creating more opportunities for all.

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Obituaries 06-07-2018

Obituaries 06-07-2018

Francis ‘Frank’ Duggan, Jr.

January 20, 1932 – May 31, 2018

Francis T. “Frank” Duggan, Jr. passed away on Thursday, May 31, at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home where he had been receiving supportive care for the past four years.  He was 86 years old.

Born on Nantucket Island, the beloved son of the late Francis T. Sr. and Theresa P. (Heffernan) Duggan, he grew up in Cambridge where he attended local schools.

He enlisted into the US Army and served honorably during the Korean Conflict, returned to Cambridge and was employed for many years working for the Polaroid Corp with plant services and maintenance.   He settled in Chelsea several years ago and resided at Admirals Hill Towers for most of that time.  He was a member of the American Legion Post 61 in Revere and volunteered his time at the VA Homeless Shelter in Boston.

In his lifetime, he was a great Boston sports fan and a diehard and devoted Red Sox fan.  He lived a very military regimented life style.  During the past years at the nursing home, he participated   in  many activities. Well-known   for   wearing   stylish sunglasses, he was affectionately nicknamed “Hollywood” by residents and home staff members.

Frank was the former husband of the late Rosemarie (Melanson) Duggan and Janet L. (Gaylord) Duggan. He was the father of Kevin Duggan, Cheryl Willette and Mark Duggan, all of Woburn, Thomas Duggan of New Hampshire, Karen Michelle Duggan and Michael Duggan, both of Everett and the late Francis T. Duggan, III and the brother of Mary Duggan of Sarasota, FL and the late John “Jack” Duggan.  He is also survived by numerous grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Private Funeral Services will be conducted on Friday, June 8 from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea to be followed by military honors and interment at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.  For online guestbook or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit: www.WelshFuneralHome.com

Armando Giannasca

Of Chelsea, formerly of East Boston

Armando Giannasca of Chelsea, formerly of East Boston, passed away peacefully on May 23 at the age of 82.

He was the beloved husband of Mary Ann (Savignano) Giannasca, loving father of Michael Giannasca and his wife, Gina of Lynnfield and Armando Giannasca and his wife, Elizabeth of Peabody; adored grandfather of Amanda, Matthew, Lily, Armando and Ava; dear brother of Elena Cerundolo, Emilo Giannasca of Florida and the late Jenny Bruno, Yolanda Cutiello, and Fiore Giannasca. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements were by Vazza’s “Beechwood” Funeral Home, Revere.

Entombment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. For guest book, please visit:

www.vazzafunerals.com

Marjorie Irene Doucette

Of Chelsea

Marjorie Irene Doucette passed away Friday evening, June 1 at the Nemasket Healthcare Center in Middleboro after a sudden decline in health.

Born and raised in Chelsea, she was the beloved daughter of the late Victor and Marjorie (Button) Littlejohn. She attended local schools and graduated from Chelsea High School. She wed John E. Doucette and settled in Chelsea raising her family of five daughters and three sons. Marjorie also worked outside of her home as a quality jewelry inspector for Town and Country in Chelsea.

A resident of Chelsea for most of her life, Marjorie has been residing in Bridgewater for the past 13 years. She is lovingly remembered for her feisty spirit and fun-loving personality.

In her lifetime, she enjoyed reading and crossword puzzles and most of all, she enjoyed time spent in the company of family and friends.

In addition to her parents, Marjorie was preceded in death by two grandchildren and her beloved husband, John E. Doucette, Jr. in 1993. She was the devoted mother of MaryAnne Beck and her late husband, James of Bridgewater, Robert Doucette and his wife, Patricia of Chelsea, Ronald Doucette, Richard Doucette of Bridgewater, Diane Gonzalez and her late husband, Andre of Easley, SC, Eleanor “Ellen” Grungo and her husband, John of Middleboro, Patricia Gibbons of Everett and Barbara Bessette and her husband, Scott of Lakeville. She was the cherished grandmother of 14 and great grandmother of nine.

Funeral services will be conducted from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway Chelsea today, Thursday, June 7 at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Glenwood Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend.

Robert ‘Skip’ Mugford, Sr.

Formerly of Chelsea

Robert A. (Skip) Mugford, Sr., RPT, passed away due to the ravages of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) with his loving wife and children by his side.  He was born in Chelsea to Leander and Emmie Mugford, the youngest of seven children and was preceded in death by his sisters, Gertrude and Nellie, his brother, Murray, step-daughter Valerie Rush and hisnewborn grandchild, Anna Rush. He is survived by his sister, Marion Bishop, brothers George and Frank Mugford and a veritable multitude of loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and great-great nieces.  He is also survived by his loving wife, Jean and his children: Leigh Ann Alameda (Kurt), Robert A. Mugford, Jr. (Melissa), Kristin M. Mugford, and step-son Brian Wagner (Michelle); grandchildren: Kaleigh Alameda, Robert Rodney Mugford, Curtis and Stefan Wagner and Ryan and Colin Rush.  He is also survived by his first wife and mother of his children, Carol (Erwin-Mugford) Viegelmann.

While in high school, Skip was a member of varsity football and baseball teams and the band and was elected Most Talented Senior.  He was selected to the Middlesex County All-Star football team and played in the inaugural Harry Agganis Memorial All-Star football games. He received a football scholarship to Purdue University, graduating in 1966.  He then attended Stanford University on scholarship, receiving a Certificate in  Physical Therapy in 1967.

Skip served in the U.S. Army from 1960 to 1963.  Starting in the Infantry, he served briefly as a Drill Instructor, transitioned to the Military Police and ended up as an Investigator with the 86th Criminal Investigation  Division at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

After graduating from Stanford, instead of returning to Purdue as a member of their Athletic Training Staff, he followed his true passion working in hospital rehabilitation.  He was self-employed for 40 years as a contract physical therapist specializing in geriatric orthopedics.

Skip loved all sports, especially golf (he particularly enjoyed his local golfing brethren) and senior softball, playing shortstop for the Bandits out of Walnut Creek.  He played in the Newark 50+ Senior Softball League for 15 years and was twice selected Most Inspirational Player in the League.

He dearly loved flying and piloting his Cessna T210.  He achieved the following ratings:  Single and multi engine land and instrument land.  He also completed a 10 hour stunt flying course.

Skip served as President of Newark National Little League and was a NNLL umpire for eight years.  He served as president of his Homeowners Association several times.  He also served as Little Sir and Big Sir twice for SIR Branch 59 Newark/Fremont/Union City, California.  ​

Skip was on the Inaugural Committee that began the Newark Memorial High School Athletic Boosters Crab

Feed.  He also funded scholarships in his father’s name to several NMHS graduating seniors.

His life will be celebrated at Bay Area Baptist Church,  2929 Peralta Boulevard, Fremont, CA, today, Thursday, June 7 at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow. The graveside service will be held at Chapel of the Chimes, 32992 Mission Blvd.,  Hayward, CA at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, his family kindly requests that donations be made in his name to The ALS Association Golden West Chapter, PO Box 565, Agoura Hills, CA  91376.

Robert Lovely

US Postal Service employee

Born in Boston, he was the loving son of John R. Lovely, Sr. of Chelsea and the late M. Flora (Sirois) Lovely. He worked as a postal clerk for the United States Post Office.

In addition to his father, he also leaves one sister, Dianne Landry and her husband, Charles of New Hampshire; two brothers, Richard Lovely and his wife, Lorraine of Florida and Ronald Lovely and his wife, Beatrice of Chelsea. Robert was predeceased by his brother, Jack Lovely and is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus on Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. Gathering at the funeral home will be on Monday at 11 a.m. followed by a funeral service at noon in the Woodlawn Chapel, Woodlawn Cemetery, 302 Elm St., Everett. For directions and condolences, visit: www.BisbeePorcella.com.

Jean Arsenault

Member of the “Zolla” family, one of Revere’s oldest families

Family and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Monday, June 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Vertuccio & Smith Home for Funerals, 773 Broadway (Route 107) Revere for Jean A. (Iovine)

Arsenault. She was 88 years old and was a Revere resident for 61 years.

Her funeral will be conducted from the funeral home on Tuesday, June 12 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Adelaide’s Church, 708 Lowell St., Peabody at 10:30 a.m. and will be immediately followed by interment in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody.

Born and raised in Revere, she was a graduate of Revere High School, Class of 1948. Jean enjoyed a 15 plus year career within the Payroll Department at General Electric of Lynn. During her time there, she attended Felt & Tarrant Comptometer School. After her marriage to Donald J. Arsenault of Chelsea, the couple began raising their family in Chelsea before moving to Peabody 61 years ago. A devoted wife and mother, Jean also worked alongside her husband at their family business, “Acme Thread Co. Inc.” of Lynn for many years. For several years, she served as a Den Mother with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in Peabody. She was known for her skill at the sewing machine and her talents in her kitchen. She was an extraordinary cook and baker.

She leaves her adoring husband of 66 years, Donald J. Arsenault, Sr. of Peabody. She is the cherished mother of Donna Jean Colello and her husband, Edward of Brewster, New York and Donald J. Arsenault, Jr. of Webster, New Hampshire; the devoted grandmother of Nicholas A. Colello and his wife, Sarah of McKinney, Texas, Christopher W. Colello and his wife, Danielle of Brewster, New York, Mariana E. Colello and LeighAnne J. Colello, both of Brewster, New York and Cory D. Arsenault of Dover, New Hampshire and the great grandmother of Mackenzie Jean; dear sister to Helena I. “Helen” Gilleberto and her late husband, Antonio G. “Anthony” and Ronald N. Iovine, both of Revere and the late Robert E., Richard A. and Louis R. Iovine. She is also lovingly survived by her sisters-in-law: Edith L. Iovine of Maine and Barbara Ann Iovine of Revere.

For more information, please visit www.vertuccioandsmith.com

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TND to Announce Rafael Mares as New Executive Director

TND to Announce Rafael Mares as New Executive Director

As The Neighborhood Developers (TND) celebrates its 40th year in existence, the Chelsea-based organization is poised to announce its new director, Rafael Mares, at a celebration function tonight, May 31.

Rafael Mares, formerly of the Conservation Law Foundation,
will step in as the new executive director of TND in Chelsea, Revere and Everett. He replaces long-time director Ann Houston who has moved over to lead a collaborative organization between TND and Nuestra Communidad in Roxbury.

Mares is a Revere resident and will replace 15-year director Ann Houston – who will be moving on to a new collaboration project between TND and Nuestra Communidad in Roxbury. Houston will also be honored at the event May 31.

Mares has been working at the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) in the fields of housing, environmental justice and transportation – often working in the Chelsea, Revere, Everett area that TND serves.

“My work has always been on the state and regional level,” he said. “From time to time I had the opportunity work with Community Development Corporations (CDCs) in Somerville and Lawrence. I really enjoyed partnering with CDCs…So, I was particularly attracted to running a CDC in my own community of Revere…I always felt particularly excited about working on issues where I live.”

Part of the celebration will be to mark the creation of 400 affordable housing units in four years at TND, but Mares said he wants to do the same in much less time.

“My goal is to continue that good work, but speed it up,” he said. “We need to be working to do what we did in 40 years in a shorter time period. We need to be able to do that same thing in seven years…I think Greater Boston has seen significant growth and there has been pressure on people who have become displaced from housing…I feel in Chelsea, Everett and Revere – unlike downtown Boston – we still have opportunities for affordable housing unlike other areas where it’s rare. It’s extremely important to develop affordable housing before the opportunity is missed.”

Mares moved to Boston in 1996 to attend law school. After that, he worked at the Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain for 10 years. Then he went to CLF. He now lives in Revere with his family, including three young children. Incidentally, his home in Beachmont Revere burnt down last February, and he is living temporarily in Winthrop until the home there is rebuilt.

Houston said Mares is a great follow-up for what she did, and she challenged him to speed up affordable housing development.

“I think maybe he can do even better,” she said. “I’m going to challenge him to do that much development in six years.”

CLF President Bradley Campbell wished Mares well and said he is very capable.

Rafael has been a steadfast advocate for healthy communities across New England,” said Campbell. “His work ensuring equitable access to the MBTA and fighting for environmental justice in places like Lawrence, Massachusetts will have a lasting impact on countless lives. All of us at CLF will certainly miss his energy and the passion he showed for his work over the last nine years.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he is looking forward to working with him.

“I’m excited for TND and have a great deal of respect for Rafael,” he said. “He was a tremendous advocate at CLF. I feel he’s capable, straight forward and helpful. I’m looking forward to him taking on this new role.”

For Houston, she will be moving on to head up a new collaboration called OppCo, which offers services to CDCs – with the founding collaborators being TND and Nuestra.

She said there are a lot of things that can be done to scale, such as some services and administration of CDCs. However, she said they are looking to create something that keeps the power local and keeps the local touch in place while also saving money on combining services.

“The challenge we face is our work grows increasingly complex and to be efficient, we need greater scale,” she said. “You see savings, but you can lose that local connection. That connection is our most precious resource and we can’t lose that. TND has always been an organization that didn’t do well having to make a choice…OppCo is the answer to how we can do both.”

She said some of the services could include financial management, real estate development, asset management, residential services, data analysis.

“We hope OppCo becomes something that allows CDCs to increase capacity to serve local communities without sacrificing that local connection,” she said. “We’re encouraged by the excitement it’s received from CDCs so far.”

OppCo was in the planning stages all last year, and was launched officially on April 1.

The TND 40th Anniversary Gala and Annual Meeting will take place tonight, May 31, at 6 p.m. in the Homewood Suites in Chelsea. The guest speaker will be Congressman Michael Capuano, with honorees being Mike Sandoval (partner of the year), Inocencia Perez (volunteer of the year) and Jan Dumas (Revere member of the year).

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