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A Legend is Leaving:Gladys Vega to Step Down as Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative

A Legend is Leaving:Gladys Vega to Step Down as Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative

By Cary Shuman

Gladys Vega, a pilla

Gladys Vega

Gladys Vega

r of the community and executive director of the Chelsea Collaborative since 2006, is stepping down as the leader of the well-known agency whose headquarters are on Broadway.

Vega, who has earned victories for Chelsea residents against injustices and helped improve community-police relations, informed her friends and colleagues in a personal letter this week that she would be stepping down.

“The Collaborative has been my home for 29 years and the time has come for me to move on,” wrote Vega, adding that it has been “a tremendous honor to lead such a skilled and dedicated staff.”

City and state officials reacted with deep emotion that Vega, who has done so much to improve the qualify for life for residents and helped establish the Collaborative as a national model, would be calling it a career in the city.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino praised Vega as a tremendous advocate for residents who worked tirelessly on their behalf in important causes. Ambrosino said that Vega was “a true friend” to the city and a highly respected community organizer statewide.

Sen. Sal DiDomenico said that Gladys Vega “has been an outstanding advocate for the City of Chelsea and a champion for the many new residents from throughout the world who call Chelsea home.

“It has been a pleasure working with her over the years to serve the city and to enhance the social, environmental, and economic health of our community and its residents,” said DiDomenico.

Vega began her association with the Collaborative as a receptionist when executive director Edward Marakowitz headed the organization and it was located at 300 Broadway.

Vega’s passion for her work and the personable and professional manner in which she conducted herself became obvious to her colleagues. A 1985 graduate of Cheslea High School who had come to Chelsea from Puerto Rico when she was nine, Vega understood the challenges facing Latino residents and how to best help them grow and prosper in their new community.

Vega became the office manager and then worked as a tenant organizer. She showed her impeccable community organizing skills right away, fighting for tenants’ rights and gaining an important victory against an absentee landlord. Her organization has stood at the forefront advocating for immigrant families. The Collaborative became the go-to place for Chelsea youths seeking a summer job.

The question being asked by residents in all corners of the city is: Why is Gladys Vega leaving at the height of her power and name recognition and with the unmatched skills to rally people for important causes locally and nationally?

“I always told my family when I turn 50 years old (she celebrated her birthday at a large party in June), that I wanted to do something different because I feel the Collaborative has taken my social life away in a manner that all I do is work and be committed to the organization and the movement,” said Vega, who has two children, Melinda, 28, and Jerry, 21.

She spoke emotionally about the loss of her mother, Juanita Vega, who was a great inspiration in Gladys’s life. “There have been all these things that have happened in my life and I have never slowed down. I want to try a different job and leave myself time to help raise my two grandchildren. I have never been happier to have those two individuals in my life and I want to make sure that I don’t steal time from them like I stole from my two children.”

Vega also talked about health issues that she has had in the past but she happily reports to her many friends and supporters, “This year I’ve been in the best health. It’s been a very good year.”

There have been so many personal accomplishments during her brilliant reign as executive director, it was difficult for Vega to pinpoint one.

“But I’d say my biggest accomplishment was putting Latinos on the map and building a bridge between communities regardless where people come from and regardless of documentation,” said Vega. “To be able to put a passion in people that Chelsea is a great community to live in – we are a group of people that have worked very hard to build up Chelsea. Our movement has made history because our goals have always been to focus on the growth and betterment of Chelsea as a community.”

Vega lauded the many Chelsea administrators and community leaders that have helped the Collaborative succeed on its journey. She singled out the leadership of former city manager Jay Ash. Vega was front and center involving Latinos in city government when Ash ably piloted the total resurgence of Chelsea. She traveled with many others to Denver when Chelsea received the coveted All-America City Award from the National Civic League.

Many say that honor was Jay Ash’s finest hour as city manager and Gladys Vega was a valuable member of the team – its preeminent community organizer – that helped bring the city national recognition.

“We, those of us who care deeply about the community, worked with Jay Ash to help turn the city around,” said Vega.

She also spoke reverentially about the positive impact that Police Chief Brian Kyes has had in helping immigrants feel safe in the city.

“I love the fact that Chief Kyes gets the concept of diversity. I’ve worked very close with him and I know that people trust him and trust his leadership. I’m very proud to say that I was a part of the selection committee for chief and Chief Kyes has not let me down. I have been very impressed with his work and the police officers’ work in our community.”

Former Collaborative assistant executive director Roseann Bongiovanni and Colloborative President Rosalba Medina, a Chelsea Police detective, also drew plaudits from Vega.

“Roseann started at the Collaborative at the age of 19 – she was like my sister in the movement,” said Vega. “Little by little we kept working together until we built this environmental justice movement. Both of us learned together and worked very hard to build an environmental justice model that is the envy of other cities. We had more victories than we had losses.”

“It’s been an honor to work with Rosie Medina,” said Vega. “She has been a great liaison and partner in the Chelsea criminal justice system. Her leadership of our board has been outstanding.”

Vega said she worked closely with her cousin, Juan Vega, and community activist Tito Meza to help increase the number of Latino police officers in the department.

Vega regrets that she will not be continuing her work with current city manager Tom Ambrosino at the helm of Chelsea city government.

“As I think about moving on, I would have loved to have worked closer with him – my time with him has been brief, but it has been an amazing partnership. I think Tom, having been elected mayor of Revere, has a great sense of community organization and a sense of helping his constituents and listening to the people with a great level of professionalism. He treats everyone equally. I love what he has done as our city manager and I’m a huge fan of Tom Ambrosino – who has stated that there is no room for hate or injustice in the city.”

Vega will stay on board at the Collaborative until a successor is named. There will be a farewell celebration in December at the Homewood Suites Hotel in Chelsea.

City Council President Leo Robinson congratulated Vega on her successful tenure at the Collaborative, understanding that she has been one of the city’s most visible and most admired community leaders for three decades.

 “Gladys Vega did a very good job for Chelsea residents and I wish her good health and good luck in all her future endeavors.”

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Superintendent says This Year Will Be About ‘Leadership for Social Justice’

Superintendent says This Year Will Be About ‘Leadership for Social Justice’

By Seth Daniel

Supt. Mary Bourque called on faculty and staff from around the district at her annual breakfast on Monday, Aug. 28, to lead students, families and the district to social justice.

“We are a district committed to ongoing improvement on behalf of our students and as such we have four schools implementing Turnaround Plans this year and five schools implementing Accelerated Improvement Plans,” she said. “We believe we can do better for our students and these plans are a reflection of where we will work to do a better job in the coming year. This is social justice… Our profession of education is one of leadership and service—service to young people and service to the next generation. Our work is about building the future. Our profession of ‘urban’ education is one of social justice. We open the doors of opportunity for our students.”

Her comments come one year after unveiling a new five-year plan for the district at last year’s breakfast.

A good  part of her speech detailed some of the goals that have been met.

One major accomplishment laid out last year was the ability to get computers in the hands of students and to use them to focus on the new trend of student-centered learning. This year, she said a major part of that goal of getting computers – or one-to-one technology – has been accomplished.

“We expanded our technology initiative and proudly boast that we now have one-to-one devices in grades 2-12,” said Bourque.

Other initiatives achieved and pointed out in the plan included:

  • We expanded our Caminos dual enrollment program at the ELC and will continue to expand annually.
  • We continue to build the internal and external pipelines and career ladders for future teachers and administrators with our partnerships with Lesley, Endicott, and Harvard Colleges to name a few.
  • At Chelsea High School (CHS) the district successfully initiated the biliteracy credential and 11 graduating seniors received the award upon graduation in June.
  • At CHS, Advance Placement scores show a 4 percent increase in qualifying scores of 3, 4, or 5 from 32 percent last year to 36 percent of AP tests administered this year.

Another major achievement she pointed out was the growth in the dual enrollment program with Bunker Hill Community College.

She said in 2017, CHS graduates earned 1,162 college credits equaling 385 courses during their years at CHS and while working on their high school diploma.

“That was a savings of over $200,000 on college tuition and fees and over $50,000 on books,” she said. “Does anyone doubt that we will be offering a pathway for students to complete their Associate’s Degree at the same time they are receiving their high school diploma from Chelsea High by June 30, 2021? Let us be the first high school in the State to offer this pathway.”

Going back to her theme of social justice, Bourque said the times are very uncertain, and with teachers and staff in the Chelsea Schools leading on a social justice mission, they are also leading in accordance with the district’s mission.

“Our foundational beliefs center around our mission statement:  ‘We welcome and educate ALL students,’” she said.  “This is social justice in action, to welcome and educate– inclusive of all– to seek equity in educational opportunities for career and college success for each and every student…

“As a school system, our goal remains to ensure all of our students graduate with the skills, confidence, and habits of mind they need to be successful in college, career, and life,” she continued. “We have no misplaced compassion for our students. We hold them to the same standards of excellence as all other students in our State of Massachusetts are held to. This is Chelsea Public Schools’ social justice.”

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Leominster Man Charged in Connection with Chelsea Shooting

Leominster Man Charged in Connection with Chelsea Shooting

 A Leominster man was arraigned Monday on charges he took part in the shooting of another man in Chelsea last weekend.

Juan Oliva, 27, of Leominster, was arraigned in Chelsea District Court on charges of armed assault in a dwelling, armed assault with intent to murder, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and carrying a loaded firearm.

Prosecutors requested bail of $25,000 and orders that Oliva wear a GPS monitor, abide by a curfew, and stay away and have no contact with witnesses in the event he is to be released on bail. Judge Matthew Nestor imposed bail of $5,000 and ordered Oliva to submit to GPS monitoring and stay away from the victim’s home and from the hospital where the victim is receiving treatment. He was also ordered to stay away and have no contact with a second man sought in connection with the shooting.

Chelsea Police and State Police detectives assigned to Conley’s office responded to a Carter Street residence shortly before midnight Saturday after a man had been shot during an altercation with Oliva and a second man.

According to prosecutors, Oliva and another man travelled to the Carter Street residence to confront the victim about an alleged assault of another individual that had occurred earlier that day. Oliva and the victim became involved in a physical altercation, during which the second man shot him, prosecutors said. The victim was struck in the leg and lower torso.

The victim’s injuries were not considered life-threatening, and he was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment.

Chelsea and State police identified Oliva during the investigation that followed. With the help of the Leominster Police Department, Oliva’s vehicle was located at his residence yesterday morning and he was taken into custody.

Oliva was represented by David Deranamie.

He returns to court Sept. 28.

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Police Briefs 08-31-2017

Police Briefs 08-31-2017

HAZ-MAT DRUG SITUATION ON WEBSTER

Chelsea Police and State Police assigned to the Suffolk DA’s office responded Wednesday afternoon to an unattended death on Webster Avenue, where an adult male was found deceased in a vehicle outside his home.

Based on the presence of an unknown white powder on the deceased’s body, a Fire Department hazardous materials team responded and took a sample that is currently being transported to a state lab for testing.

It was the first time that the Police Department has used new protocols from Chief Brian Kyes to handle Fentanyl situations. That came after two officers were sent to the hospital with complications after being exposed to Fentanyl during an incident this month.

SLASHED IN THE FACE

On Aug. 17, at 1:03 a.m., Officers were flagged down by a witness in the area near Bellingham Square. The witness stated that a male was stabbed near 196 Shurtleff St. Officers responded and spoke to th victim who stated that he was “hanging out” with a female when a male party approached and pulled out a butterfly style knife and subsequently slashed the victim across the face.

The victim was transported to MGH Boston for a laceration to his face.

During the investigation it was revealed that all parties knew each other and a suspect was placed into custody.

Rigoberto Ramirez, 39, of 23 Eleanor St., was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, mayhem, and carrying a dangerous weapon (second offense).

ASSAULTED ELDERLY MAN

On Aug. 25, at 3:59 p.m., officers responded to a fight in progress at Broadway and Second St. Upon arrival, the suspect was observed fleeing the scene. After a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was placed into custody for assault on a person over 60. The victim was treated for injuries at CHA Everett.

Kirk Crowley, 49, of 855 Broadway, was charged with assault and battery on a person 60 or over.

BREAKING AND ENTERING

On Aug. 19, at 6:14 a.m., a break into a motor vehicle was reported at 113 Cook Ave. The victim provided the suspects’ descriptions to officers. While canvasing the area, officers encountered a suspect who took off on foot in opposite directions. After a foot pursuit, the subject was placed into custody. Three credit cards, and iPhone 6S, $70 USC, and a pocket knife were located on his person.

A 15-year-old juvenile from Everett was charged with breaking and entering in the day for a felony, receiving a stolen credit card, and carrying a dangerous weapon.

HIT IN HEAD WITH BOTTLE

One Aug. 26, at 2:50 a.m., police responded to an Assault at the Wyndham Hotel, located at 201 Maple St. Victim was located outside the hotel. He had sustained a severe laceration to the back of his head. The victim stated that he was assaulted by several male parties outside of room #501, one of which struck him in the back of the head with a bottle. The victim subsequently was transported to MGH Boston for treatment. After further investigation, three suspects were placed into custody.

Daniel Prito, 27, of 201 Everett Ave.,; Adalberto Pineda, 24, of Malden; and Eric Romero, 24, of Malden; were all charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

ROBBED AT KNIFEPOINT

On Aug. 18, at 2:39 a.m., a victim flagged down Officers in the area near Fourth Street and Pearl Street. The victim stated that he was robbed at knife point by two male and two female parties. The suspects attempted to steal his money, but were only able to get his car keys before fleeing the scene.

The victim suffered a minor laceration to a finger, which he was treated on scene by EMS. After further investigation, three individuals were placed into custody. A warrant has been obtained for the fourth person involved.

Stephen Panzino, 39, of Everett; Johnna Grimaldi, 34, of Everett; and Michael Alden, 43, of Reading; were all charged with armed robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Police Log

Monday, 8/14/17

Alexandria Andrades, 26, 16 Bryant St. Everett, was arrested for assault and battery on a police officer, reckless operation of motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, speeding and stop sign violation.

Tia Tavares, 25, 70 Shawmut St., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.

Tuesday, 8/15/17

Josue Estrada, 33, 55 Heard St., Chelsea, was arrested for larceny from building.

Wednesday, 8/16/17

Matthew White, 25, 366 Vane St., Revere, was arrested on unarmed robbery.

Thursday, 8/17/17

Rigoberto Ramirez, 39, 23 Eleanor St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, mayhem and dangerous carrying a dangerous weapon,(2nd offense).

Egno Wilva, 26, 22 H igh St., Everett, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime, resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer, and warrants.

Friday, 8/18/17

Stephen Panzino, 39, 295 Chelsea St., Everett, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and armed robbery.

Johnna Grimaldi, 34, 161 Union St., Everett, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and armed robbery.

Michael Alden, 43, 122 Village St., Reading, was arrested for armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and warrant.

Saturday, 8/19/17

Juvenile Offender, 15, Breaking and entering daytime, receiving stolen credit card, carrying dangerous weapon.

Robert Messina, 46, 150 Staniford St., Boston, was arrested on a warrant.

Luz Rodriguez, 55, 835 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for harassment prevention violation and threat to commit crime.

Scott Gaskill, 34, 12 Greenwood Pl., Lynn, was arrested for shoplifting.

Sunday, 8/20/17

Jose Rivera, 49, 143 Main St., Woburn, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage in public.

Tuesday, 8/22/17

Ramon Pagan, 56, 444 Harrison Ave., Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage in public.

Wednesday, 8/23/17

Kristopher Valdes, 40, 50 Parker St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

David Deus, 30, 98 Spring St., Medford, was arrested on a warrant.

Thursday, 8/24/17

Walter Saravia-Calix, 22, 57 Burma Rd., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Ramon Pagagn, 56, 444 Harrison Ave., Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage in public.

Friday, 8/25/17

Joseph Sarro, 54, 17 Court St., Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage in public.

Kirk Crowley, 49, 855 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery on a +60/siabled person.

Saturday, 8/26/17

Daniel Prito, 27, 201 Everett Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Adalberto Pineda, 24, 46 Roberts St., Malden, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Eric Romero, 24, 46 Robert St., Malden, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Sunday, 8/27/19

Cristian Polanco, 22, 30 Cary Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

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Harvey and Houston

Harvey and Houston

Many of us are just shocked as the reports of continued destruction from Hurricane Harvey keep coming in from the Houston, Texas area.  The fourth largest city in the United States is being virtually destroyed before our eyes by Mother Nature.

For those of us who have relatives in the affected areas, their message was as follows: “As of three hours ago we are still in our homes and the water has not reached us yet.”  The speed and duration of the storm has caught all by surprise.  The National Weather Service has run out of colors to show how much rain has fallen in certain areas. In the end, all agree that it will be years for this area to recover from a storm that will have lasted about five days.

Looking at the destruction from this super storm, one needs only look around our community to see similar, if not worse, destruction that is awaiting us.  Communities such as  Revere are just about entirely under sea level.  Winthrop has only two ways out of town, and both are over the water.  The New England Produce Center in Chelsea and Everett that supplies most of the fresh foods to the entire Northeast and parts of Canada would be destroyed by flooding either from a tidal surge or just rainfall amounts that a storm like Harvey has generated. Areas of East Boston along Boston Harbor are prone to flood regularly, not to mention what a Harvey would do.  And the Back Bay and Downtown areas of Boston that are just slightly above sea level would be destroyed by a super storm like Harvey or Sandy.

Unfortunately, experts predict that there is no longer an “if,” but a “when” we will be hit by super storm.

There is very little that can be done, given that many of the areas in our communities now have hard surfaces, such as roads and sidewalks, that prevent natural drainage of excessive rains.  Between rising sea levels and developments in the last few vacant parcels, we are a disaster waiting to happen.

However, there are certain measures that can be taken to minimize the effects of destruction.  Location of utility services such electricity should be placed not in the basement, but on the top floors of houses that are in flood plain areas.  We need to make sure that the water drainage can flow quickly from the catch basins in flood plains to the marshlands that surround communities.

Some of these measures will require a monetary commitment by either the state or federal government to implement.  But as we plan for future developments and infrastructure repairs, we urge our elected leaders to look at ways to get the funds that will mitigate the disaster that will come from a hurricane.

Today, elected leaders from our communities are asking for donations from residents to be sent to the victims of Harvey. We urge all to give what they can, as this is the only tangible help that we can offer at this time.

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Eclipse Proves to be One of the Most Popular Events of the Year

Eclipse Proves to be One of the Most Popular Events of the Year

By Seth Daniel

Look Up! Kristin Edwardsen, Lisa Makrinikolas and Michael Brannigan focus in on the eclipse.

Look Up! Kristin Edwardsen, Lisa Makrinikolas and Michael Brannigan focus in on the eclipse.

As the moon began to pass in front of the Sun on Monday, Aug. 21, the line of people who wanted to get in on the Eclipse Party on City Hall Lawn began to grow and grow.

Soon, hundreds had gathered to witness the spectacle, far more than anyone had expected.

But it was a marvel that grabbed the attention of the nation, and Chelsea was no different in that hordes of people gathered to have fun on a beautiful Monday and see something quite unique.

For some of the hundreds that gathered at City Hall, they understood that it might be a once in a lifetime event. Only 63 percent of the Sun was blocked out in Chelsea, and another coast to coast event like Monday’s isn’t going to happen until 2040 – though a total eclipse will occur in New England in 2024.

“This isn’t going to happen again here until 2024 and I might not be alive to see another one,” said Naomi Zabot, who attended with her sister, Devra Zabot. “I’ve been talking about this for a long time. My grandparents came from Chelsea and we have roots in Chelsea. This is the place to see history like this.”

Ivonny Carrillo attends the Pioneer Charter School of Science, and said she is good at science but doesn’t necessarily like it. However, the one exception is astronomy. So it was that she and her entire family came to City Hall to make sure to get special glasses and a prime viewing spot.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” she said. “I don’t really like science, but I am good at it. Astronomy is about the only science I do like.”

Aimmi Velez said she simply enjoyed everyone coming out for a non-traditional event. It wasn’t a community meeting or a block party, but a natural event.

“I didn’t think I would see this in my lifetime,” she said. “I think it’s cool people wanted to come out and be together to look at this very unique natural occurrence. It’s interesting people wanted to be together to see it.”

The event at City Hall was put on by the Chelsea Public Library as part of a grant from NASA, and that partnership helped a lot to get people in the area interested in the eclipse.

Librarian Martha Boksenbaum has been preparing for the event for quite some time and was very excited to see everyone want to attend the Chelsea event. She said it gives some momentum to the other activities that will be included as part of the NASA partnership.

For the better part of 20 minutes, Milena Carvalho used her glasses to watch the movement of the moon across the Sun. She said it was a very patient and slow process.

“This was something I wanted my whole family to see,” she said, noting that her children, husband and mother were there. “It was really interesting to watch. It was like looking at a half moon, but instead it was a half Sun. That was very cool.”

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Obituaries 08-24-2017

Obituaries 08-24-2017

James Joseph Warren ll

Sports lover

James Joseph Warren II of Chelsea passed away suddenly in his home on August 13

at the age of 48.

James attended Chelsea public schools in his youth and had a love for baseball and every sport.

He was the beloved son of James and Karen Warren of Chelsea and is survived by his brother, Jerimy Warren of Chelsea, sister,  Janeen Deleon and her husband, Osiris and nieces and nephews, Tayla and Jeremy Warren and Kamryn and Kollin Deleon of Peabody.

All services were held privately.

Francisca Rivera

Retired seamstress and hand stitcher, nurturer and caregiver

Francisca Rivera of Chelsea died peacefully Sunday morning with her family by her side at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston following a brief illness.  She was 89 years old.

The devoted wife of Eusebio  Rivera, she was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, the daughter of the late Gregorio and Adelina (Cortes Arce) Cortes Roman. She has lived in Chelsea for many years.

Francisca was employed for many companies, but was mainly a seamstress and hand stitcher her whole life before she retired many years ago. She was a care giver who helped nurture and raise many children of the neighborhood and was an inspiration to all who knew her and loved her including her many children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren, and of course the neighborhood children.

In addition to her loving husband, she is survived eight children: Eida Feliciano of Littleton, Domingo and Sigfredo Feliciano, both of Chelsea, Nelson Feliciano of Beverly, Jennifer Morales of Peabody, Steve

Rivera of Tewksbury, Jacqueline Forstrom of Clinton and Randall Rivera of Florida; 21  grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, six great great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by two brothers and four sisters.

Her Funeral Service will be held on Saturday August 26 at 3 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness, 40 Hy-Sil Ave, Revere, to which relatives and friends are kindly welcome to attend.

Arrangements were by the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St., Peabody.  Visit www.ccbfuneral.com  to sign on-line obituary.

Alice Williams

Revere native, resident of Chelsea and Florida

Alice L. (Upton) Williams died at the residence of her daughter, Sandra, where she has made her home for the past two years. She was 91 years old.

Alice was born and raised in Revere and graduated from Revere High School in 1943. She married and raised her family in Revere for more than 40 years. They moved to Chelsea where they remained for about 10 years and where she and her late husband were very active in the Mill Hill Naturalization Club of Chelsea until 1996 when her beloved husband, Wilfred H. “Bill” Williams, Jr. passed unexpectedly on October 11, 1996.

In 1998, she moved to Florida with her daughter, Donna E. Williams and remained there until moving back to New England when Donna passed in 2015.

She was the devoted mother of Sandra E. “Sandy” Johnson and her husband, John E. of Melvin Village, NH, JoAnn A. Williams of Brattleboro, Vermont and the late Donna E. Williams; the dear sister of Lawrence Upton of Hallandale, Florida and the late: Robert F., John, William, Thomas and Edward Upton, Dorothy Cuningham and Marilyn Perry. She was the cherished grandmother to: Jennifer J. Bennett and her husband, Sean of Concord, NH, Jason J. Johnson and his wife, Courtney of Birmingham, Alabama, Matthew Flake of Everett, Jon W. Johnson and his wife, Jill of Avon, CT., Anna Quinn and her husband, John of Brattleboro, VT, Joshua W. Johnson and his wife, Meghan of Wolfboro, NH and Kelsey Carew of Queens, NY. She is also lovingly survived by 11 great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Funeral arrangements were by the Vertuccio & Smith Home for Funerals, Inc. of Revere. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.  In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to your favorite Hospice Organization, in memory of Alice L. Williams. For additional information, please visit www.vertuccioandsmith.com.

Alexandra Judith Milroy’

Make-Up Artist

Private funeral services were held last week for Alexandra J. Milroy who passed away unexpectedly at 28 years of age on Friday evening, August 11.

She was thebeloved daughter of Paula A. Matrinko and Bryce Milroy. “Alex” spent her early years in Quincy, moved to Malden as a young girl and has resided in Chelsea for the past five years. She attended elementary school in Malden and the Northeast Regional Vocational School in Wakefield. She graduated Metro-Tech in 2007 with a certificate in cosmetology and continued her education at the David Nicholas Institute.

She worked as a make-up specialist for Sephora and was recently employed at Tweed Barber Shop in downtown Boston.   She enjoyed being a Make-Up Artist, time with friends and listening to music. She will always be remembered as being a great friend, her overwhelming personality and her loving but sometimes sarcastic wit.     She willforever be the beloved daughter of Paula A. Matrinko of Chelsea and Bryce A. Milroyand his wife, Laureen of Brockton; loving sister of Dominic M. Milroy of Chelsea, Jason and Matthew  Ignacio of Dartmouth and Meghan Rego and her fiancé, Kevin Pineirho of New Bedford. She was the dearly loved grandniece of Jenny Markevich and the cherished niece of Michael and Cheryl Matrinko, Nicolas Matrinko. She was the adored godmother to Aubrey Matrinko; cherished granddaughter of the late Paul and Nella (Markevich) Matrinko, Bryce and Ann “Chickie” Milroy and loving aunt to Hannah and Leah Ignacio, Marissa Pineirho and Joseph Ignacio. She is also survived by many loving cousins.

Should friends desire, contributions in Alexandra’s memory may be made to St. JudeChildren’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.   For online guest book or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com

Lorenzo Roderico Sanchez

Longtime fleet auto/truck mechanic for Republic Services

Lorenzo Roderico Sanchez passed away at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston

surrounded by his family on Monday, August 14. He was 60 years old.

Born and raised in San Jose de Idolo,

Suchitepéquez, Guatemala. he was one of eight children born to Nicolasa Amanda

Rodas-Merida of Texas and the late Rodrigo Sanchez-Flores. He received his early

education in Guatemala.

As a young man in his early twenties, Lorenzo immigrated to the United States and first settled in Somerville. He also resided for several years in Medford. He was the father of three children. For the last 10 years, Lorenzo resided in Lynn and was employed for many years as a fleet Auto/Truck Mechanic working for Republic Services in Boston.

Lorenzo’s favorite pastimes revolved around his family and friends, especially his children and all of his favorite nieces and nephews.  He enjoyed all things related to cars and trucks and will be fondly remembered for his calm and peaceful demeanor.

He is lovingly survived by his children: Maximiliana “Millie” Sanchez and her

husband, Brian Latter of Chelsea, Sandy Sanchez of Roxbury and Jeffrey Sanchez of

Revere.   He was the spouse of Maria Olga Sanchez de Cabral of Medford and the

cherished grandfather of Marissa, Aaron, Aiyanna and Adriana.  He is also survived by

three   beloved   brothers, four   adoring   sisters  and  by many   loving   nieces   and

nephews.

Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. Lorenzo is to be repatriated to his home country next week for entombment in his family’s mausoleum in the cemetery at San Jose de Idolo, Suchitepéquez in Guatemala. To send expressions of sympathy, please visit

www.WelshFuneralHome.com

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Kayaks and the Creek: Residents Want More Recreation Opportunities on the Waterfront

Kayaks and the Creek: Residents Want More Recreation Opportunities on the Waterfront

By Seth Daniel

Xavier and Angel Mojica enjoyed their time paddling on the Chelsea Creek on Tuesday, Aug. 8, during an event sponsored by GreenRoots to make a statement about recreational boating on the Creek. Both GreenRoots and City officials see the pier on Marginal Street as a key site to getting people more access to the Creek.

Xavier and Angel Mojica enjoyed their time paddling on the Chelsea Creek on Tuesday, Aug. 8, during an event sponsored by GreenRoots to make a statement about recreational boating on the Creek. Both GreenRoots and City officials see the pier on Marginal Street as a key site to getting people more access to the Creek.

When Sandra Perdomo’s little daughter saw the kayaks floating off the new pier on Marginal Street last Tuesday, Aug. 8, her eyes lit up as big as silver dollars.

She had never been on a kayak, and certainly had never really been anywhere near the Chelsea Creek for recreational events. But at the first-ever GreenRoots Paddle on the Creek event, there was plenty of room for everyone to grab a paddle and boat across the Creek to Eastie or just kick around the pier with a paddle.

“After she went out, my daughter said, ‘Oh mommy, can we do this again and again?’” said Perdomo. “One time wasn’t enough. She wanted to do this every day. For her, it was the first time in a kayak…This was a great opportunity for the community to be able to use the water for fun. For me, I felt it was the best community event in all of Chelsea because we had a good time with family and friends. It’s a fun activity outside and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

The event featured activities and the Chelsea Police Copsicle Truck up on the expansive concrete pier – which is basically brand new and very much underutilized.

Down in the water by the docks, kayaks were lined up and people were excited to get out on the water.

Looking down from the dock, GreenRoots Director Roseann Bongiovanni yelled, “We’re kayaking on the Chelsea Creek. Can you believe it?”

Few could.

But many like Bongiovanni and other City leaders hope that it becomes much more common.

“We’ve had canoeing and kayaking on the Creek before, but it was with the River Revel, which we had with East Boston,” said Bongiovanni. “We’ve never done it on the Chelsea side on the Chelsea Creek. We wanted to give the community and the kids the opportunity to use their waterway. We’ve been putting a lot of attention on that pier area and we have a vision that one day that could become a park. There’s much more to come on that site. It’s a very key site…Getting out there kayaking and canoeing felt very powerful to people. This was something people said you couldn’t do. We did it.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said the long-term goal is to have residents using the Creek for recreation despite the limits of it being a commercial and industrial waterway.

Both Ambrosino and Bongiovanni believe it can be a shared space for both commerce and leisure.

“One of our long-term goals here is to try to provide more access to the Creek,” he said. “I hope some day to have a park in that area where things like that can happen. The PORT Park is great but we’re trying to do something more. If we can use the pier there to do something, it would be great. Everything now is privately owned, but that may not always be the case in the future.”

Many of the youth at the event had never been on the Creek, and even more had never been in a kayak. It’s something that many have struggled with for years in Chelsea, whereas many young people live only a stone’s throw from the waterfront, but don’t even know the waterfront exists.

Long time resident Lisa Santagate said the waterfront had been blocked off to residents for more than a generation. She couldn’t recall ever being able to really access the Creek in her lifetime.

“This is not a one off thing,” said Bongiovanni. “It can be difficult to have recreational boating on the Chelsea Creek, but we’re going to have try as much as we can to get people on the Creek regularly so it becomes something that’s normal. We see that  (pier) as a key property that can change the Chelsea Creek in a dynamic way.”

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New Outdoor Sidewalk Seating Pioneered with Ciao Market

New Outdoor Sidewalk Seating Pioneered with Ciao Market

By Seth Daniel

Outdoor, sidewalk seating in Chelsea was something few ever considered until the owners of Ciao! Pizza and Pasta put together a proposal to have some tables and chairs on the sidewalk in front of their newest venture, Ciao Market, on Broadway.

When Edson Coimbra and Marvin Posado conceived the idea, they did their research, had an architect draw a rough sketch, outlined their materials and did pretty much everything they could to combat what they thought would be a skeptical response from City Hall.

To their surprise, they got no pushback, but a lot of cooperation.

Now, four tables and chairs are planted on the sidewalk outside Ciao Market in the 200th block of Broadway, and it’s a statement many believe for where Chelsea is going.

“We got an e-mail back from the City saying that it was possible,” said Coimbra this week while holding down the fort in the new sidewalk seats. “That really told us this City wants these businesses and wants the businesses to grow…It sends a very positive message and creates this environment we’ve never seen before in Chelsea. This is history. It’s the first time ever. It really shows how the City officials are moving forward in Chelsea and how we can grow…This is the beginning of something really big, I think.”

City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher said they took the proposal from Ciao and have been working with the License Commission to establish a pilot program for sidewalk café seating. One stipulation is that alcohol is not permitted outdoors, but in time that could change.

“It’s great for our business community to be allowed to use our outdoor spaces from April through October,” she said.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said having such small, but noticeable changes, are the reason he felt that Broadway deserved a major investment. Already, a planning effort for the infrastructure of the area is wrapping up and money has been allocated for the improvements by the City Council.

This month, the first-ever concerts in Chelsea Square kick off, with one tonight by the Tarbox Ramblers as part of the Chelsea Prospers initiative from Chelsea Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney.

“The sidewalk seating just increases the ambiance of things and the atmosphere,” he said. “We are trying to make the area more attractive to diners, and shoppers and visitors. We want to encourage people – especially Chelsea residents – to come downtown and shop in the stores and eat in the restaurants – many of which are owned by Chelsea people. We want them all to be successful. This is one thing that we can do to encourage that.”

Some other places like Chelsea, including Everett, have recently pushed the idea of outdoor seating in its Square. Drafting regulations last month that require uniform seating and furniture (no plastic or cheap chairs), Everett is now actively seeking restaurateurs to seek outdoor dining spaces.

Coimbra said he and Posada felt that Chelsea Square is the perfect location for sidewalk seating. Few areas have such an ornately planned square made for pedestrians and having wide sidewalks and landscaped medians.

While it doesn’t come without some problems, Coimbra said he has been manning the seating since they put it out a few weeks ago. Most everyone has encouraged him, though some don’t like it.

“In the end, it really brings people into the café,” he said. “It’s a very simple thing that’s well put together. There are some people who cause problems, but most everyone feels safe. It’s not a war zone over here. It is safe on Broadway and this is working.”

Meanwhile, applications for the pilot have become available and the City and Coimbra and Posada are hoping for other owners to add seating.

“This could be just like Newbury Street all the way down Broadway in Chelsea Square,” said Posada. “I can think of three or four places that would be able to do this very easily if they wanted. We’re willing to help anyone do this too. We think we can all work together and it will be good for all of us.”

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Cambridge College Moves Campus to Charlestown

Cambridge College Moves Campus to Charlestown

Cambridge College, long considered a pioneer in adult learning, opens their new campus in Boston’s historic Hood Park (Charlestown), having moved from its former location on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.

The new, state-of-the-art campus consolidates the four schools into a single campus in Boston.

“We are delighted to welcome new, returning, and future students to Cambridge College’s beautiful new unified Boston campus,” said Deborah Jackson, President of Cambridge College. “The majority of our students live and work in the Boston area, and our new centrally-located campus will more effectively meet the needs of our busy students while attracting a broader population of new students.”

Located in the heart of Boston’s vibrant Charlestown neighborhood the new campus sits in the original home of the quintessential New England dairy company H.P. Hood and Sons. The bright and expansive campus offers a wide array of student centric amenities including multiple gathering spaces for small group work, flexible classrooms, ample free parking, a bus shuttle service, the CC Store, and the CC Bistro. As they head into their new modern classrooms, students will be inspired by wall quotes from luminary authors and thought leaders, and creative signage paying homage to Boston’s most notable thoroughfares, such as Washington Street and Commonwealth Avenue, will further enhance the Cambridge College student experience.

Located a mere five-minute walk from the Sullivan Square Orange line T stop, Hood Park is easily accessible to communities throughout the Greater Boston and surrounding areas. In addition, the campus is in close proximity to landmark development projects such as Assembly Row and the Schrafft Center. An array of anticipated new projects will provide a vast offering of housing and retail opportunities, green space, restaurants, and other exciting resources to the neighborhood.

Cambridge College’s new unified campus joins a community that has become a mecca for companies leading the charge in healthcare and biotechnology such as MGH Partners, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Visiting Nurse Association of Boston & Associates, Tierpoint, ERT, and Indigo Agriculture, to name a few.

“We’re excited to become a part of this exciting and vibrant Boston neighborhood. We believe that the new Hood Park community affords us the unique and exciting opportunity to build relationships with some of Boston’s most innovative companies,” said Jackson. “We look forward to becoming a contributing neighbor to the community and hope to forge meaningful relationships with our new neighbors, employers and businesses to both support the neighborhood and Cambridge College.”

Cambridge College will host a Grand Opening reception on October 19. For more details and information, please call 617.873.0621 or email officeofpublicrelations@cambridgecollege.edu.

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