Chelsea Conservation Commission says “No”

Chelsea Conservation Commission says “No”

The Chelsea Conservation Commission (ConCom) last week voted down Massport’s plans to store contaminated dredge from the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal dredging project in the Chelsea Creek.

The plan was to store the contaminated dredge in what are called Confined Aquatic Disposal Cells, or CAD Cells, and place those cells in the creek. There was widespread opposition to the plan from environmental activists in both Chelsea and East Boston.

However, a similar CAD Cell program occurred a few years back when the Army Corp of Engineers was dredging the Conley Terminal. The City of Chelsea at that time allowed CAD Cells to be placed in the creek, following the City of Boston’s lead that allowed for CAD Cells to be placed in the Boston Harbor.

When wind of a second plan to place for contaminated dredge into the creek, those who have worked hard for environmental justice along what was once one of the most polluted bodies of water in New England were outraged.

Last week’s Chelsea ConCom vote was a major victory for those activists.

“The Chelsea Green Space Committee and its partners on the Chelsea Creek Action Group were thrilled with the Chelsea Conservation Commission’s decision to not amend Massport’s permits that would allow the Authority to dump additional contaminated dredge material in the Chelsea Creek,” said Roseann Bongiovanni of the Chelsea Collaborative. “We have been reaching out to Massport for more than 6 months to better understand the project, its impacts on the Creek and adjacent community and what mitigation the Authority is planning for this work. To our surprise, Massport simply ignored our meeting requests, yet they want to dump even more contaminated dredged soils in our Creek? It’s so infuriating.”

During an EPA meeting on the project last year, Chelsea residents reminded attendees about concerns raised that MassPort had not contacted or engaged the CAD Cell project’s Steering Committee or Mystic River advocacy groups during the planning or decision making process that resulted in the decision to transfer dredged material from the Boston Harbor to CAD Cells in the creek.

There were also concerns at that meeting that the communities of the Chelsea Creek and Mystic River are making a large contribution by having the dredge materials deposited in their waterways but they are not directly receiving any benefit for that action.

It seems now Massport will have to go back to the drawing board.

“The maintenance dredging project is being done at the Black Falcon cruise terminal,” said Massport spokesman Matt Brelis. “It is similar to work done last year at Conley Terminal, where overtime, berths fill with surface sediment that runs into the harbor during storms. Last year, both Boston and Chelsea approved the storage of the dredged Conley sediment in a cell in Chelsea Creek. Boston has approved an amendment to that permit to allow the Black Falcon sediment to be disposed of in the same manner. Because Chelsea did not approve the amendment, Massport is considering its options.”

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Distracted to Death: Texting Law Hard To Enforce Despite Increasing Dangers

As the state’s texting and driving law hits its five-year anniversary, texting and driving – or phone distractions of any type – are a sight more common than ever on streets and highways.

More often than not, at any busy intersection, one can observe driver after driver passing by with one eye on the road and the other eye on a cell phone.

Meanwhile, local police departments report that the law on the books is virtually impossible to enforce, and if successfully enforced, requires heavy homework and records requests – all for a simple citation.

Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes said he puts the problem of distracted driving on par with driving while intoxicated (OUI). He said those that text and drive can be more hazardous to the public than drunk drivers.

“Is it a problem? Absolutely,” he said. “It’s getting to the point that we know people getting an OUI are distracted at the same level as those texting and driving. This is so prevalent that I think it’s probably – due to the frequency of occurrence – it is just as great a risk as people who get behind the wheel and drink and drive. If I’m texting for two or three seconds, in that same time a kid can run in front of your car while you’re looking down. You can go head on into another car in that time. It’s a huge problem. Law enforcement is in the middle because it’s a difficult law to enforce at this point.”

State Police statistics for crash data show that, for those accidents that were pinpointed to distracted driving, the numbers are on the rise. Though the crashes pinpointed to distracted driving or cell phone use are probably miniscule compared to the actual problem, the existing numbers have doubled since 2010.

In 2010, the State Police pinpointed 194 crashes attributed to the two categories. That increased to 226 in 2011, 229 in 2012, and eventually 317 in 2014.

At the same time, State Police have gone from issuing 893 citations in 2012 to 3,105 in 2014, though part of that increase was due to a Pilot program in the Merrimack Valley area in 2013 and 2014.

That Pilot program, however, might be expanded in coming years and could be one way to target the growing problem of using Smart phones for texting, e-mail, Internet, etc. while driving.

“During [the Pilot] we used some different tactics, including spotters and unmarked trucks and SUVs, which allowed troopers a better vantage point to spot texters,” said State Police spokesman David Procopio. “This was funded with a grant and we were very pleased with the results. I am sure we will consider seeking grant funding to expand on that pilot program.”

Meanwhile, in local police departments, they are finding more frustration with the law and some said they would be in favor of taking stronger measures – such as moving to hands-free only use of cell phones in vehicles.

Kyes said it is very difficult for law enforcement to prove their case under normal circumstances – such as where there is no accident, but where officers definitely detect impaired driving.

“We see it all the time,” he said. “I’ve stopped cars and stopped individuals and you just have these grey areas. They say they weren’t texting. They say they were just talking. They say they were using GPS…At the end of the day, I am a big fan of hands-free. If that’s a law, it eliminates the guessing games for law enforcement.”

Such a plan has been floated recently by Gov. Charlie Baker, who indicated he would be favorable to passing a hand-free cell phone law. Such a law exists in Connecticut, as has been reported in several media outlets such as Fox 25 news, and it has allowed law enforcement there to come down hard on texters. That state writes about as many citations in one year as Massachusetts has written in five years.

Revere Police (RPD) said they try to pinpoint cases that they can prove and making the effort in court for those who fight the citation.

Early on, during implementation of the law in 2010, Revere Police told the newspaper they were skeptical about how it would be enforced. Leaders in the department at that time said they saw problems with proving a case and, from the beginning, took a practical approach to enforcement.

“We do write a couple of citations a week from our patrols in regard to texting and driving,” said Lt. Amy O’Hara of the RPD. “There have been times when we have subpoenaed phone records from an operator that were useful in a case, such as in a car accident. The cell phone records have been useful to us in cases like that…Our officers, if they see it, they’re going to make a motor vehicle stop. We get a couple a week.”

O’Hara said one thing that officers often suggest to drivers – and even themselves – is to pull over and send a text or e-mail if it’s extremely important. Otherwise, just wait.

“When I first started, if I wanted to communicate with someone, I had to wait until I got to the station or pull over and use a pay phone,” she said. “The thing you have to realize is just how important or unimportant that text is. It is extremely dangerous to text and drive.”

Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie said he didn’t have specific numbers as to how many people Everett Police cite for distracted driving or texting. However, he said they concentrate on educating people rather than trying to win a disputed citation or prove something in court.

“There are probably not a lot of violations in terms of people getting written up for it,” he said. “It appears we probably stop people, try to talk to them, and try to educate them. Some have been cited. Some have been given warnings. The numbers, though, are extremely low. Overall, the whole issue of distracted driving no doubt is a problem. I think people are distracted in general – not just when they’re driving but really people are distracted overall in daily life. That carries over into their vehicles.”

Until a time when the law is changed, however, Kyes said in Chelsea they plan to mount a campaign similar to the State Police pilot program to use new techniques to catch texters – including using video in unmarked cars.

“Because it is so prevalent we do have plans to address it and we’re going to put one of our traffic units in an unmarked motor vehicle with one observer and one driver,” he said. “They’ll drive around certain high-traffic areas at key times of the day. We’ll make observations and when we see texting and driving – people punching keys – we’ll stop them and do some traffic enforcement…We would probably also go a step further where the observing police officer would utilize a video. It’s not just what we say, but what we see, in case someone disputes it.”

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Record Setting Snow Wreaking Havoc on Baseball, Softball Teams

Record Setting Snow Wreaking Havoc on Baseball, Softball Teams

Huge mounds of snow still covered the CHS Softball field last Friday. When it will finally melt is anybody’s guess.

Huge mounds of snow still covered the CHS Softball field last Friday. When it will finally melt is anybody’s guess.

Sliding into second base these days would require a snow pants and galoshes rather than cleats and long pants, and high school teams across the area are finding that the record-setting snow could force most their season to be going, going and gone.

With more than one foot of snow still occupying many baseball and softball fields due to the Snowmageddan of the past 60 days, many local high school programs are scratching their heads about what they’ll do to conduct part of a season without a field. Athletic directors and coaches from Everett, Chelsea and Revere all said they are having to look for creative solutions – and most practices are indoors for the moment – but they believe that they’ll figure out a way.

Unlike track or tennis, the ball fields cannot be plowed clean, and shoveling them out might provide some good exercise for the players, but isn’t exactly practical.

John DiBiaso, Everett High’s director of athletics (AD), said in his career as AD, he couldn’t recall wintry weather wreaking as much havoc on the spring sports schedule as it has this year.

“This is the worst weather we’ve ever experienced heading in to the spring season,” said DiBiaso.

He said the baseball and softball fields are “not close” to being ready for the start of the 2015 season. The Everett varsity baseball and softball teams play their home games at Glendale Park, which is still covered in snow after a brutal winter that set a record for snowfall in the Boston area.

“We’re practicing inside the high school and Lafayette School,” said DiBiaso. “I don’t think we’ll be playing any preseason or regular season games for awhile. It will be at least two weeks, if not more.”

The Everett High track and tennis teams are always conducting their practices indoors, “making the best of a tough situation,” according to DiBiaso.

“I think everyone is in the same boat,” he said. “The seasons are supposed to start in early April but I’m pretty sure that everything is going to get pushed back.”

In Chelsea, the story is the same as in Everett.

Chelsea baseball Coach Alan Beausoleil conducted tryouts for his team on Monday inside the Chelsea High School (CHS) gym. Using rubber balls, Beausoleil and his coaches ran prospective team members through ground ball practice, throwing drills and some rudimentary batting practice.

It’s all improvised, he said, noting that normally he would at least be able to go to the high school’s turf football field. The ball fields in Chelsea are much worse than other fields, as the City had to use the baseball and softball fields as “snow farms” to store plowed snow from the area’s school grounds. At some spots on the softball field, nine-foot tall piles still stood on the pitcher’s mound last Friday.

“Our field has great drainage and in most winters we are outside that first week of the season,” he said. “Obviously that is not going to happen this year as there are still mounds of snow on the baseball and softball fields. We are hoping for a warm stretch in the near future that would allow us to get out there sooner, rather than later. In preparation we have already moved back our first game and our new start date is April 9. The good thing is that, unless you have a turf field that has been plowed, then we are all in the same boat.”

Chelsea softball coach Ted Freeley said he hopes that the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) moves the season back officially.

“Mystic Valley is the only school we play that I know has a turf field, so they might be in a little better shape than most, but the rest of us are in the same boat,” he said on Monday while leading his team through a series of indoor throwing drills. “We might have to move back the start of our season anyway or else we’ll end up playing five games a week. I’ve never seen anything like this, not this bad. I remember two to three years ago we had a lot of snow like this, but it had come over the whole winter, so it melted gradually. I don’t know when this will be gone.”

Fortunately for Chelsea, a few years ago the schools invested in an indoor batting cage. Both Chelsea coaches said that will be the savior for their teams this year.

“We will be holding practices indoors for the foreseeable future and fortunately about three years ago Chelsea High School purchased an indoor batting cage that will definitely help us out in the long run,” said Beausoleil.

Being creative like that seems to be the mantra, such as in Revere where that district’s high-quality turf soccer/lacrosse field is working overtime for the spring sports season.

“Right now the turf field behind our high school is ready to go,” said Shaun Hart, Revere High School (RHS) AD. “That’s huge for us and so far we’re not behind. Unless you get a mild winter, we expect to be inside the first week. We’ll build time into the turf field – splitting it with our boys and girls lacrosse teams – so baseball and softball can get in time outside. They’ll be able to work with the lights on and use the length of the turf field. Kids can get out there and stretch out their arms and get in throwing shape.”

Getting time in the batting cage in Revere – which does not have it’s own indoor cage – is about connections, he said. With the scramble by teams to get batting practice in, many indoor cages are booked solid.

“It is hard to find time, but when you’ve been around long enough, you know who to call,” he said with a laugh.

He said that, like the other programs, scrimmages in Revere have already been cancelled – worrying coaches like Revere softball coach Joe Ciccarello, whose team is coming off of a long postseason run last year and has high expectations for this year.

Hart said his coaches – and all baseball and softball coaches – worry most about their pitchers. Unlike basketball or other sports, it isn’t possible to make up games en masse – such as booking four games a week. That, Hart said, has to do with pitching.

Softball pitchers, and especially baseball pitchers, can’t be expected to pitch multiple times in a week without getting hurt. That, he said, is the best case for calling on the MIAA to move the season back in light of the extraordinary snow circumstances.

“We’re going to continue to move on,” Hart said. “I’m hoping the MIAA pushes the season back a week for everyone. That would take the pressure off. If they could take game one and move it back to game 21, that would help. Bottom line is it’s the right thing to do. We can’t play four games in a week. There’s no team where they have a pitcher with four starts in one week in them…A kid who could save the game for you can’t be available to come in. You’re going to end up having your left fielder pitching, making good teams into average teams.”

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Townplace Suites a Sellout Show on Eastern Avenue

Townplace Suites a Sellout Show on Eastern Avenue

The new TownPlace Suites on Eastern Avenue opened up March 6, but this week already saw two sellout nights at the new 140-room hotel. Here, Julie Scott, senior VP of sales and revenue management, and Joe Fiorello, sales manager, show off the impressive lounge at the new hotel.

The new TownPlace Suites on Eastern Avenue opened up March 6, but this week already saw two sellout nights at the new 140-room hotel. Here, Julie Scott, senior VP of sales and revenue management, and Joe Fiorello, sales manager, show off the impressive lounge at the new hotel.

If the brand new TownPlace Suites on and the two-year old Residence Inn were somehow people, one would quickly make the assumption they were closely related.

The newest hotel in Chelsea – and the first one on the eastern side of the city – opened on March 6 by Colwen Hotels and, while they are distinct, they have a similar luxury feel.

Walking into the lobby from busy Eastern Avenue, one is quickly immersed by large windows with lots of natural light, while a double sided fireplace warms the area where chairs and a business center are perched. On the other side is a smartly outfitted, granite-filled lounge and bar where guests can get a drink, have something light to eat, get busy on work and catch up on the day’s news or sports via large screen televisions.

A uniquely designed breakfast station with several tables in a circular alcove overlooking the Chelsea Street Bridge also highlight the entry space.

Such highlights have already drawn tons of visitors to the new hotel, said Sales Manager Joe Fiorello.

“We’ve only been up and running since March 6 and on Sunday, March 15, we had our first sellout. Then, on Monday, March 16, we had our second sellout. Things have been going really great.”

Julie Scott, a marketing representative with Colwen, said the TownPlace is the closest Marriott to the Airport – being just 1.3 miles from Logan and only a quick trip into Boston.

“We are the closest Marriott to the airport, just slightly closer than the Courtyard in East Boston,” she said. “It’s such a short trip from here to get anywhere. It really feels like an urban hotel here. You’re right on the street, you’re by everything and that’s very cool…We are seeing a lot of corporate business here. Downtown Boston is quite a lot more expensive. It might be $300 a night in Downtown Boston and we’re half of that per night…You won’t find a TownPlace like this one anywhere.”

Fiorello said there are 128 Studio King Suites and 12 one-bedroom suites. The facility serves extended stay customers and nightly customers too. There is a heated, saltwater pool and a fitness center as well.

Each room is outfitted with a kitchen facility as well and there is also plenty of free parking, which is another advantage of the Chelsea location.

“That’s a really big thing in Boston,” Scott said. “To have free parking is really desirable.

On Monday morning, taking advantage of the lobby was Alyssa Johantgen, who was staying with her husband in the TownPlace. The couple is from Minnesota and they chose to make a mini-vacation out of his business trip to Boston.

“My husband is here for work and we really like it here,” she said. “We’re from Minnesota so we’re used to the cold. We walked the Freedom Trail in the snow on Sunday and it was fun.”

Right now, the hotel is getting a lot of overflow business from the airport as well, but both Scott and Fiorello said they expect more guests such as the Johantgens when the new Silver Line project debuts next door at the MassPort Parking Garage.

That public transportation connection will give guests a one-seat ride to the Seaport District, the South Boston Convention Center and South Station.

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Cut! No Way: Chelsea Businesses Make Case For Keeping Movie Tax Credit

Cut! No Way: Chelsea Businesses Make Case For Keeping Movie Tax Credit

As the big director on Beacon Hill has called ‘Cut’ in regards to the controversial movie industry tax credit program, local businesses are responding with ‘Action.’

As Chelsea has eased into becoming one of the hottest Hollywood filming locations east of the Mississippi River, local businesses and individuals have also eased into doing business and seeking employment with those major-scale productions that so frequently come to town.

Now, with Gov. Charlie Baker questioning the wisdom of a critical tax credit subsidy program for movie companies – a subsidy that has in large part been responsible for the movie boom here – local businesses are speaking out against the plan. The idea of eliminating such tax credits has been on the table in Massachusetts numerous times, but has never gained serious momentum until now. Meanwhile, across the country, other states like Michigan are beginning to look at eliminating their movie tax credits as well. All of it is based on numbers produced by state governments showing the direct jobs created doesn’t equal out to the lucrative tax breaks or handouts given to movie companies.

Across the board, businesses in Chelsea that sell paint, carpet and groceries said the state isn’t counting all the costs – especially those that can’t be counted.

“I think they have not figured things properly when looking at the numbers,” said Barry Kirshon of Kirshon Paint and Window Treatments. “Those numbers might be right, but they’re not looking at the domino effect because these movie companies spend so much money the government doesn’t know about. I don’t know how they would know how much they spend in my store or at the hotels, or at the lumberyard in Revere or at Chelsea Floor Coverings here in Chelsea…They’re not looking at the entire aspect of this.”

Kirshon estimated that 15 percent of his business last year came from movie productions, allowing him to add jobs and overtime.

“We’ve actually added more employees because of it and added more overtime for existing employees,” he said. “If they take it away, we can’t bring in new employees or give more overtime – which brings the store more income taxes and, from my business, more sales taxes.”

Another business locally that has benefited is Stop & Compare Supermarket in Bellingham Square.

Business owner Albert Calvo said his bustling supermarket has been taken over not once, but twice, for the filming of a major motion picture. That series of movies, ‘Ted’ and ‘Ted 2’, occupied his store for filming. In the case of ‘Ted 2,’ the store was compensated for two days of lost sales.

“We were compensated with two days of lost sales, which goes to the bottom line, since we were shut down for two days and saved on operating expenses,” said Calvo. “They made repairs, painted the store, bought $2,000 of fruits and vegetables to film a big section of the store at no cost to us. I would estimate they spent around $6,000 to $8,000 on the property.”

Calvo added that when he spoke with the workers, may were locals from the Greater Boston area, including make-up artists, carpenters and set designers.

Naturally, having two major motion pictures in your store is also the kind of advertising that can’t be boiled down to a dollar figure.

“The goodwill and free press about our store is tremendous,” he said. “Lots of folks ask me about the filming of Ted in our store. Now they know where we are, where otherwise they would not. There are lots of benefits, and few costs. In summary, it was positive for our business.”

At Chelsea Floor Covering on Everett Avenue under the Mystic/Tobin Bridge, they have been providing materials to the movie industry for 10 years, and operated as the set for extensive filming of ‘The Equalizer’ two years ago. All in all, they said having the movie tax credit ended up luring the movie industry to their business, and then once they were in Chelsea to buy product, they realized what a great setting it was for a movie.

“It is important for us,” said Paul Tassinari of Chelsea Floor Coverings. “We’ve gotten a lot of business over the last 10 years. All the movies that have come to Chelsea have really helped us. Things have been tough over the last few years and the movies that come in do so much business and that’s been a good help. I don’t know if getting rid of the credit would make them not come here, but I think they’ll probably question it. It definitely lures them to the area to do films. We’d like to keep it in place, but I understand the dilemma. Maybe there’s a compromise that can be reached.”

Even the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce has stepped up in leading the fight, saying that many of its members and even local Chelsea set workers have benefitted from the movie industry. In a letter submitted to the Record this week, Executive Director Rich Cuthie said eliminating the tax credit could take it all away.

“There are residents of Chelsea in various lines of work who earn their livings working with local film production,” he wrote. “As their employment goes, so goes their spending in our local economy. We feel it is a miscalculation to believe that the elimination of the Film Tax Credit will not deter studios from filming in Massachusetts. Toronto, Canada has long stood in as an inexpensive ‘Any City, USA’ and will do so again under your proposal.”

Kirshon said that even suggesting the idea of eliminating the credit may have frightened some studios.

He cited one huge major motion picture that was to come to Boston this summer, but recently backed out in order to do its filming in Rhode Island. He said he didn’t know if the proposal had an effect on that, but it could have.

“Even a statement threatening to do this scares away the production companies,” he said. “When they hear that, they’re afraid they might not get the credit when they get here to film and they go elsewhere.”

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Police Briefs 03-19-2015

Police Briefs 03-19-2015

  • Chelsea man indicted in 2014 murder

A Chelsea man was indicted Wednesday, March 18, for the murder 29-year-old Javier Ortiz and the non-fatal shooting of another man last year.

A Suffolk County grand jury returned indictments charging Hector Enamorado, 36, with first-degree murder, armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

He has been held without bail since his arrest days after the Dec. 14 shooting. Wednesday’s indictments move the case from Chelsea District Court to Suffolk Superior Court, where it will be adjudicated.

Chelsea Police responded to a report of a person shot on Chester Avenue address at about 3:05 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 14 and located the 34-year-old surviving victim outside suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. That man directed police to an apartment inside where Ortiz was found suffering from gunshot wounds.

Both men were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where Ortiz died.

Chelsea Police detectives and members of the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit gathered evidence at the scene, witness statements, and additional evidence and sought a warrant for Enamorado’s arrest later that day. He was located on Dec. 16 and placed under arrest.

The grand jury proceedings leading to indictments were led by Assistant District Attorney Amy Galatis of the DA’s Homicide Unit. Enamorado is represented by James Cipoletta. A date has not been set for Enamorado’s arraignment in Superior Court.

  • Police investigating Saturday night shooting

On March 14, at approximately 11 p.m., Chelsea officers were dispatched to Cottage Street for reports of shots fired and a victim of a gunshot wound. Upon arrival Officer’s observed a male victim sitting on the porch with a gunshot wound to the right leg, below the knee on the shin. The victim was alert and stated that he had been shot while walking on Cottage Street in front of 58 Cottage St. The victim was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Chelsea Detectives are actively working the case. If anyone has any information on this incident they are asked to call Chelsea Police at 617-466-4800

  • Authorities raid sophisticated retail shoplifting ring: Confiscate $100,000 in merchandise

On Friday March 13, authorities raided an apartment set up to mimic a storefront and confiscated shoplifted merchandise valued at approximately $100,000, according to Peabody Police. Police also confiscated $10,000 in cash. The interior of the residential dwelling at 140 Chestnut St. was set up to mimic a storefront where prospective “shoppers” could view the alleged stolen merchandise, according to Peabody Police.

Organized retail shoplifting rings are supplied by boosters who frequent area retail establishments with the goal of shoplifting specified items requested by the ring leader(s). Shoplifting rings often resell items by different means, including online sales and overseas shipments. The merchandise confiscated was primarily clothing and perfume. In recent reports, retail losses attributed to such organizations are potentially in excess of $30 billion a year, police said. Officers from Peabody, Chelsea and Revere Police Departments, in conjunction with officials from Northshore Mall, Homeland Security, and corporate loss prevention agencies from Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister assisted with operation. The search warrant was the direct result of a lengthy and extensive Organized Retail Shoplifting Ring investigation led by Peabody Police. Three persons were arrested and taken into custody by the Chelsea Police Department.

Miguel Lopez, 32; Pedro Vasquez, 48; and Juventina Ramirez, 50; all of 140 Chestnut St. #3 in Chelsea.

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Another Link to a Childhood Is Gone …

Another Link to a Childhood Is Gone …

The passing of William Scantlebury of Betty Ann’s Donuts in East Boston, famous for his “sinkers” brings to a close another link to a childhood that was much simpler and easier than what our children are dealing with today.

The first time that my brothers and I tasted a “sinker” was in the mid 1960s when my grandmother would stop by our house on a weekday with her box of pastries from Betty Ann’s.

In the box there were an assortment of Danish — lemon and raspberry with plenty of icing, the cinnamon rolls, the chocolate chip cookies, maybe a pie or brownie but definitely a bag of “sinkers.” The caloric intake was not even considered as hands quickly went flying to get a share of the bakery stash.

For my family, going to Betty Ann’s was a treat on Sundays as we usually bought two dozen donuts – primarily jelly and hot. One would became accustomed to waiting in line and hoping that a new batch of donuts would keep on coming from behind the wall before the person in front of you took the last half a dozen.

Years of carefree childhood went by and then watching the waistline became more of a priority as one grew older.

But Betty Ann’s was always a treat on a limited basis and a link to a childhood.

Then one day after years of not going, I decided to take my youngest son at that time in the first grade for the experience while we were waiting for a plane to arrive at Logan Airport,. We went to Betty Ann’s for his first “sinker” and he was hooked as everyone has been for more than 80 years. Seeing the sugar covering the donut, he went wild. He savored every bite and finally announced that he should bring the donuts to his class because his friends would love them but maybe not the teachers.

That was more than seven years ago and in the years between then and now, he would always make me feel guilty if I drove home through East Boston and did not stop at Betty Ann’s.

Another link to my past is gone, but at least my son was able to enjoy a real “sinker” as I and countless other children had discovered in that magical time of our childhood and innocence. Hopefully, when he gets to be my age and sees an imitation, he will always think of a happy and carefree time in his life when one of life’s greatest problems was — who ate my “sinker”.

(Stephen Quigley is the President of the Independent Newspaper Group).

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Opt Out

Opt Out

A resounding 80% plus of seniors have OPT OUT requests on file at Chelsea High School according to figures given to Chelsea Uniting Against the War by Ron Whitehead, registrar at CHS. OPT OUT is the right for high school students or their parents to file a request in their school to prevent students’ personal information from being given to military recruiters. For 12 years, members of Chelsea Uniting Against the War have been passing out OPT OUT forms and information to students during the first week or two of school. Statistics indicate that more than half of the rest of the student body have not filed an OPT OUT request. Chelsea Uniting Against the War will continue as in past years to have information tables about OPT OUT a few times during students’ lunch periods in the next months to inform students of their rights against military recruitment.

On the morning of January 14, 2015 members of Chelsea Uniting Against the War distributed fliers in English and Spanish to students on their way to Chelsea High School about Martin Luther King’s opposition to war in honor of the upcoming federal holiday. King’s quote, “I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, exploitation and militarism.”…

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” from his sermon, “Why I Am Opposed to to the War in Vietnam” was included in the flier given its relevance today. Students were also given information about the Four Mile March on Martin Luther King Day in Boston and other major U.S.cities. A crowd from Chelsea Uniting Against the War joined thousands of protestors for the Four Mile March in Boston on January 20, 2015, Martin Luther King Day. The demands of the marchers included Jail Killer Cops, Demilitarize the Police, End Mass Incarceration, End the wars, $15 hour Minimum Wage, Fund Our Communities, and specific to Boston, No Olympics.

For more information about the efforts of Chelsea Uniting Against the War contact 617-884-2841 or chelseauniting@gmail.com

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East Cambridge, Chelsea Bank Merger Brings Together Power of Two

East Cambridge, Chelsea Bank Merger Brings Together Power of Two

About one year ago, when Chelsea Bank President Joe Vinard was at a banking conference in Florida, he bumped into East Cambridge Savings Bank (ECSB) President and CEO Gilda Nogueira, and that chance meeting 12 months later would turn into what is believed to be an exciting merger of the two local banks.

Prior to its official merging last week, Chelsea Bank was one of the oldest institutions in the state, having been operating for 129 years. However, it was also one of the smallest banks in the state with assets of $55 million. Vinard said during that chance meeting last year, this reality was on his mind.

As they parted that day to head off to separate meetings, Vinard suggested to Nogueira that maybe they should talk about a merger.

“A month later, the call came,” said Vinard during an interview recently in Cambridge at the ECSB headquarters. “They were 129 great years, but the industry has changed rapidly in the last few years. The last five to seven years have been very difficult for smaller banks to find their way. Regulations make it very expensive to keep the doors open. We wanted to find someone who had our same values and dedication to the customers and we have found that with this merger. When you…look at what we did and they do, we really have more similarities than differences…It’s really been no change and the customers seem very, very happy.”

On Monday, March 2, the merger officially went through.

Chelsea Bank is now a division of ECSB, and Vinard remains the president of that division. Chelsea Bank directors have joined the Board of Corporators of 1854 Bancorp, parent company of ECSB. The past chairman of Chelsea Bank has joined the Board of Directors of ECSB. The Chelsea Bank branch will remain open and all Chelsea Bank employees were offered positions, with 18 out of 20 employees choosing to stay. Customers will now have access to 10 full-service banking centers, 16 bank-owned ATMs and enhanced online banking services.

Together, the will boast total assets of $940 million.

One interesting fact that many might not realize is that ECSB – which is 160 years old in its own right – didn’t buy out Chelsea Bank. In fact, no money was exchanged. It was a mutual to mutual transaction.

“Putting the customer first is what it came down to,” said Nogueira. “We are a bank, but we don’t have shareholders. We are always looking to please our customers.”

Added Vinard, “A lot of times when this happens, people ask ‘Who got rich?’ Nobody made money here. It was about the customer. The depositors own the bank.”

Nogueira affirmed the same.

“It was mutual to mutual,” she said. “There is no money that changed hands. It’s merging. We have found a good partner. As a combined organization, we’re able to do more…We consider ourselves partners. That’s what we said when we began things with Chelsea and I believe customers will find that with East Cambridge…It’s been much more of a partnership than a merger.”

Both also affirmed that this wasn’t a situation where the larger institution, ECSB, absorbed the smaller, weaker Chelsea Bank.

“When we put the balance sheets together…the reality is even though we’re much larger in customer size, we are so similar even on the balance sheet. When we brought them together, the shift on the balance sheet was minimal.”

Already, Vinard said he has reaped some of the fruits of the combination – being able to call on a technology department when his computers were not completely in sync, or being able to phone over to the maintenance department to come and shove the sidewalks. With the merger, both said, Vinard and his staff have tapped into an entire network to help them.

“Before, that was all on me or my staff,” he said. “The message is if anything, this should be better. The customer service should be enhanced and improved and the customer experience made better. We should be able to do more for the community and for the customers and the commercial borrower…By just teaming up with East Cambridge we have opened the whole world of banking in Chelsea to all those small businesses up and down Broadway.”

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Obituaries 03-19-2015

Ida Storniolo

Of Chelsea

Ida (DiMarzo) Storniolo of Chelsea died on March 11.

She was the beloved wife of the late Albert Storniolo; loving mother of Alida Pappas and her late husband, Andy of East Boston, Catherine O’Neill and her husband, Douglas Polito of Chelsea, and Deborah Bosco and her husband, John of Torrance, CA; cherished grandmother of Alberta, Bronson, Kelley, Angelo, Debbie and Jamie; great-grandmother of Daniel, David, Gabby, Marina, Natalya, Bronson, Brittni, Jayden, Cody, Emma, Jacob and Leiana; dear sister of Catherine Bardaro of Everett, Dorothy Montalto of Somerville, the late Anna Salsgiver and Nicholas DiMarzo and is also survived by loving nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Magrath Funeral Home, East Boston. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.

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Matthew Michael Garvey

Retired Certified EMT; member of DAV and VFW Post 6712

Matthew Michael Garvey of Everett, formerly of Chelsea, crossed over peacefully on Friday, March 13 not long after celebrating his 85thbirthday. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren, Matt was a light in their lives and his love, support, wisdom, and sense of humor will be missed every day.

He was raised in Chelsea and served in the US Army Infantry in the Korean war. After an honorable discharge, he met his wife, Doris and settled in Chelsea. Through the years, he worked as a truck driver and then became a certified EMT. He was a proud member of the DAV and VFW Post 6712.

His grandkids will remember how he listened to his Irish Music on Saturdays, teaching them the words to the songs. He showed his wit by composing funny limericks and he also enjoyed being with them as much as they enjoyed being with him. The little things he taught them were huge in their lives.

Matt was pre-deceased by his wife Doris (Halpin) Garvey. He was a devoted father to Marianne Garvey, Matthew M. “Chuck” Garvey, and Margo French and her partner, Tucker, all of Everett. He was the son of the late Robert J. and Elizabeth (Whalen) Garvey; brother of Patricia “Patsy” Upshaw of Salem and the late Robert Jr., Gerald and William Garvey and is also lovingly survived by three grandchildren, Jaclyn and Daniel Domenichello of Everett, Matthew French of Medford and by many nieces and nephews.

He and his family so appreciated Hallmark Health and Hospice and their wonderful nurses and PCAs who came to the home every day as well as the VA Medical Center’s staff, doctors, nurses and the Homebase Program that allowed Matt to stay at home during his illness.

A Memorial Service will be conducted at The Chapel at Woodlawn Cemetery, 302 Elm St., Everett on Friday, March 20 at 9:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. Interment in the family lot is private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Disabled American Veterans P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, Ohio 45250 or the American Lung Association at www.lung.org/donate Funeral arrangements entrusted to the Carafa Family Funeral Home, Inc. in Chelsea.

A Memorial Service will be conducted at The Chapel at Woodlawn Cemetery 302 Elm St. Everett on Friday, March 20 at 9:30 A.M. Relatives and friends kindly invited. Interment in the family lot is private.

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Theresa Walles

Lontime Revere school teacher

Theresa L. (Ioven) Walles of Wilmington, formerly of Revere, died on March 17 surrounded by her family after a long illness at Spaulding Rehab in Cambridge. She was 69 years old.

The daughter of the late Frank and Renalda (Federici) Ioven, she was the beloved wife of Thomas L.; devoted mother of Thomas G. and his fiancé, Whitney of Chelmsford, Rena Stroud and her husband, Michael of Wilmington; loving Nonna of Zachary and Joshua Stroud; dear sister of Anthony Ioven and his wife, Mary of Mashpee and is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and cherished friends.

Her Funeral will be held from the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home, 128 Revere St., Revere Friday, March 20 at 9 a.m. followed by a Mass in St Anthony’s Church at 10 a.m. Relatives and Friends are kindly invited. Visiting hours will be today, Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society 30 Speen St Framingham Ma 01701. Interment Woodlawn Cemetery. For guestbook please visit www.Buonfiglio.com

William Morgan Bagley, Jr.

Retired Winthrop and East Boston pharmacist and former Chief of Staff for Head of State Administration Mass. House of Representatives

William Morgan Bagley, Jr. or “Bill” as he was lovingly known, passed away suddenly and peacefully, surrounded by his family on March 13 in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was 71 years old.

He was born in Winthrop on January 8, 1944, grew up in East Boston and lived for nearly 20 years in London, Hong Kong and Dalian, China before recently settling in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Bill was a Registered Pharmacist, graduating from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy following graduation from Boston College High School. He practiced pharmacy in drug stores in East Boston and Winthrop from the 1960s through the 1980s. He was active in state-wide politics including election to the Massachusetts Democratic Election Committee in Ward One, East Boston and acted as campaign chairman of many successful election and re-election campaigns. After retiring from pharmacy, he accepted the position of Chief of Staff for the head of State Administration in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

After retirement, Billy joined his wife, Carol in London where she worked for Fidelity Investments. From that point forward they lived abroad, travelling extensively throughout Europe and Asia.

Always sartorial and congenial, Bill was legendary for his uncurbed enthusiasm, limitless generosity and good nature. He always had a smile and a good word for everyone. Bill’s passion for life was almost matched by his love of playing golf. But his greatest enjoyment was spending time with family and friends. Bill Bagley’s life inspired us all.

Bill was the son of the late Attorney William M. Bagley and the late Grace E. (Snow) Bagley of East Boston, He and his wife, Carol A. Vahey, originally from Chelsea, shared 43 years together. Bill is also survived by his sister Dorothy R. Goodwin and her husband, Robert H. of Melrose; his brothers: Robert H. Bagley of Winthrop, Frederick D. Bagley and his wife, Paula J. of Naples, FL, Thomas R. Bagley and his wife, Mary J. of Delray Beach, FL. and his sister, Patricia G. Granara and her husband, Richard A. of Melrose. Bill was uncle and granduncle to many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Celebration of Life Mass on Saturday, March 21 at 11 a.m. in St. Anthony of Padua Church, 250 Revere St., Revere. Visiting Hours are respectfully omitted and interment is private. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches, Inc., P.O. Box 2000 Boys Ranch, FL 32064-9984. Arrangements are in the care of: The Vertuccio and Smith Home for Funerals, of Revere. For more information, please visit www.vertuccioandsmith.com

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