Charles R. Karpenko of Revere, formerly of Chelsea, died on February 2.
A late member of the 5-2 Club of Chelsea, he was the beloved husband of the late Jennie (Scrivano); devoted father of Jeanette Durgin of N. Andover, Charles A. Karpenko of Amesbury, Richard Karpenko and his wife, Ernestine of Saugus, Alfred Karpenko of Saugus and Carol DeSimone of Revere; dear brother of Frederick Karpenko and his wife, Carmela of East Boston and the late Anna Palermo, Helen Palermo and Rose Williams; cherished grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of 13.
His Funeral will be held from the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons~Bruno Funeral Home, 128 Revere St., Revere on Friday, February 5 at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Anthony’s Church at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting Hours are today, Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery. For online guestbook and memorial, please visit: www.Buonfiglio.com
Active in many fraternal organizations
Joseph M. Bocchetti of Revere, formerly of East Boston and Chelsea, died on Saturday, January 30 at the Lahey Clinic, Burlington following a long illness. He was 80 years old.
Born in Tewksbury and raised in East Boston, he attended Boston Public Schools and entered the United States Army during the Korean Conflict, proudly serving his country. When “Joe” returned home, he began a career in the Construction field. He worked as a “Rigger” for several of the larger construction companies in and around the Boston Area. Due to failing health, Joe was forced to retire.
Joe was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #1272 , Revere, Beachmont V.F.W. Post #6712, American Legion Post #61, Joseph L. Mottola VFW Post # 4524 and The Sons of Italy of Revere.
He was known for being very social and was very active in many of the area’s fraternal organizations. He had a love for playing cards with the guys at many of the social clubs. He especially liked playing “Gin” & “Texas Hold’em”. He was a Regular at Suffolk Downs, betting or just socializing. During his life, Joe resided in East Boston, Chelsea and Revere.
He was the loving and devoted father of James J. Bocchetti of Revere, Joseph V. Bocchetti and his wife, Lisa L. of Haverhill and Joanne M. Peters and her husband, Carleton M. of Lynn; cherished grandfather of Vanessa M. Pozerski and her husband, Christopher of Crofton, Maryland., Eric Russano of Revere, Marissa C. and Ashley N. Bocchetti, both of Haverhill; adored great grandfather of Hayden Robert Pozerski. He was the beloved son of the late Vincent Muscara and Concetta “Connie” Bocchetti. He is also lovingly survived by nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Vertuccio and Smith Home for Funerals, 773 Broadway (Route 107 ) Revere. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, N.E. Chapter, 60 Walnut St. Wellesley, MA 02481.
Please visit www.vertuccioandsmith.com.
Animal lover whose life centered around family
Marie C. Cole, a longtime Chelsea resident, passed away on January 18 after a brief illness at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford. She was 86 years old.
Born and raised in Revere, she was one of three children born to Vito and Therese (Rizzo) Lepore. After attending High School, Marie worked for a brief time at Schraft’s Candies in Boston. In the late 1940’s, she married Edward L. Cole and shared 45 years together before his passing in 1991.
A devoted homemaker and mother of four, she also worked outside of the home at Bartolo’s Café in East Boston where she was the cook and table waitress.
Her life centered around family and in her lifetime Marie enjoyed many simple pleasures; such as sitting in front of her home on Saipan Road. enjoying the sun and passing time playing her electronic board games. Playing bingo and other games of chance at Foxwoods, Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Feeding the urban wildlife; squirrels and a disabled neighborhood raccoon. And of course her favorite feline companions “Gypsy” and “Kimba.”
In addition to her parents and husband, Marie was also preceded in death by her siblings; Robert Lepore and Jean Sarmanian. She is survived by her beloved children and their spouses, Edward L. Cole, Jr. and his wife, Janet of Chelsea, James W. Cole and his wife, Denise, Thomas “Bucky” Cole and his wife, Carol of Saugus, Patsy Pistone of Revere and her late husband,, Guy. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Hallmark Health VNA & Hospice, 178 Savin St., Ste 300, Malden, MA 02148 or Alzheimer’s Assoc. 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472
Of East Boston, formerly of Sicily
Anna (Rizzo) Recupero of East Boston, formerly of Sicily, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her loving and devoted family on January 30.
She was the beloved wife of Giuseppe; devoted mother of Giovanni and his wife, Anna of Chelsea, Francesco, Giuesppe and his wife, Carol, all of East Boston; dear sister of Leo Rizzo of Rhode Island, Salvatore Francesca and Antonia Rizzo, all of Italy and the late Nino and Calogero. She was the adored grandmother of 19; great grandmother of 27; great great grandmother of five. She also leaves many loving nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will honor Anna’s life by gathering in the Ruggiero Family Memorial Home, 971 Saratoga St. (Orient Heights) East Boston at 8:30 a.m. today, Thursday, before leaving in procession to Sacred Heart Church, Brooks Street, East Boston for a Funeral Mass in celebration of Anna’s life at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with Anna being laid to rest in Holy Cross Cemetery. For complimentary transportation to and from the funeral home, please call 617 569 0990. For more information visit: www.ruggieromh.com
Kenneth Parrow, Jr.
Retired Chelsea Fire Captain and former Ward Five Alderman
Kenneth J. Parrow, Jr. passed away January 27 at the Chelsea Soldiers Home where he had been receiving supportive care for the past few years. He was 91 years old.
Born, raised and a lifelong resident of Chelsea, he was one of five sons of the late CFF Kenneth J., Sr. and Kathleen (Thornton) Parow. Kenny attended local schools and was a member of Chelsea High School, Class of 1941. He enlisted in the US Navy during World War II and was honorably discharged in February of 1946.
Shortly after returning home to Chelsea, he wed his beloved Alice Therese Rennie. The couple remained in Chelsea and together raised their family of three sons and one daughter.
As a young father, he joined the Chelsea Fire Department, following in the footsteps of his late father, Chelsea Firefighter Kenneth Parow, Sr., His father was one of the first of Chelsea professional firefighters who died several years earlier from line of duty injuries in 1943. Kenny rose through the ranks retiring at the rank of Fire Captain in 1982 after 33 years of service to the community.
He also served as union president of the Chelsea Firefighters Local 937 and under Mayor Spellman, Kenny was the civil defense director for Chelsea. In his retirement, he was elected to the Chelsea Board of Alderman representing the city’s Ward 5 district.
In September of 2014, he was widowed after 66 years of marriage with his beloved wife Theresa. In addition to his wife and parents, Kenny was also preceded in death by three brothers: Walter J., Robert J., and Edward Brian Parow. He was the devoted father of Kenneth J. Parow, III of Chelsea, Donna Marie Cronin of Hardyston, NJ, Richard J. Parow and his wife, Mary Alice of Windham, NH and Robert J. Parow and his wife, Terry of Wilmington; dear brother of George V. Parow of Clearwater FL and is also lovingly survived by his grandchildren: Michael K. Cronin and his wife, Amanda, Shawn R. Parow, Dr. Aimee Marie Parow, Christopher J. Parow, Christopher J. Cronin and his wife, Sarah, Kevin J. Parow, Allison L. Parow, Drew Cronin and his wife, Lauren, Timothy J. Parow and Briana K. Parow and his adored great grandchildren: Kali, Emily, Cameron, Thomas and Caitlin Cronin.
His Funeral was held from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, (Soldiers Home) Chelsea. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, PO Drawer 498, Emmitsburg, MD 21727. To send expressions of sympathy, please visit
of East Boston
Vincent J. Luciano passed away at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after a sudden onset of heart illness. He was 84 years of age.
Born and raised in East Boston, he was one of three children born to Nicholas and Anna R. Luciano. He attended local schoolsand graduated from High School in Utica New York. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 serving during the Korean Conflict; he was honorably discharged and returned home to East Boston. He continued his education at Boston University receiving a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
He married Ann M. Tennerini and shared the past 56 years together residing in Chelsea with his wife making their home on Columbus Street to raise and support his family. Vincent worked as a Spectrometrist with Thermo Jarrell-Ash, developing scientific lab equipment. He retired in 1994 after 35 years with that company. In his lifetime, he enjoyed relaxing with family on weekends, being an all-around home-handyman, watching baseball and football, following the Red Sox and Patriots.
He is survived by his beloved wife Ann M. (Tennerini) Luciano. He was the devoted father of Judith Luciano and her husband, Brian Seigel of No.Andover, Joan Federico and her husband, Pat of Saugus, Janet Luciano and her husband, Steven Stoddard of Tewksbury. He was the dear brother of Carol Ballou of Amesbury and Daniel Luciano of Peabody; cherished grandfather of Dr. Domenic Martinello and his wife, Natalie of Chester, NH and Frank Federico of Saugus.
Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. Entombment was at Holy Cross Mausoleum, Malden.
Sophie “Puffie” Zullo
Active in resident affairs at Admiral Towers
Sophie M. “Puffie” Zullo, a lifelong Chelsea resident, passed away after a short period of declining health on January 4 at the Bear Hill Nursing Center at Wakefield where she had been receiving supportive care over the past two weeks. She was 95 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, she was the daughter of the late Vincent and Michalina (Sylvanowicz) Bazylewicz. Sophie attended local schools and continued her education and formal training in hairdressing at the Regency Beauty School in Boston. As a professional hairdresser she worked for Stella’s Beauty Salon in Chelsea.
She was married to Charles “Jerry” Zullo and raised her family of three daughters and one son in Chelsea. As a single mother she supported her family working outside of her household for Jordan Marsh in Boston at the store’s blouse counter and at the Gilchrist’s candy counter in town. She was later hired as the Office Manager for Metal Spinners, a machine shop in Malden, working there up to her retirement. She was a member and secretary of the Polish National Alliance, she enjoyed Square Dancing and was past president of the Checkerboard Squares dance club.
She was a 20 year resident at Admiral Towers in Chelsea and was active in resident affairs there. A renowned home cook and baker she once received an award for her fudge recipe given by the Karo Syrup Co.
In addition to her parents and former husband, she was also preceded in death by siblings; Jane Juliano, Monica Thacker, Albert and Theodore Bazylewicz, a son-in-law Dick Ross and two of her grandchildren. She is survived by her loving children and their spouses; Barbara Ross of Saugus, Christine Gray and her husband, Harold of Laguna Niguel, CA, Phillip Zullo and his wife, Lisa of Tewksbury, Geraldine Degurski and her husband, John of Burlington; a sister of Amelia Phillips of Cambridge, eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the
Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden.
Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to “Boston” Catholic TV, PO Box 9196, Watertown, MA 02471
NYNEX retiree, hospital volunteer and lifelong St. Stanislaus parishioner
Helene H. Jakusiak a lifelong resident of Chelsea,, passed away on January 31 at the Eastpointe Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center in Chelsea where she was receiving supportive care for the past few months. She was 96 years old.
Born, raised and a lifelong resident of Chelsea, she was the beloved daughter of the late Anthony and Maryanne (Matys) Jakusiak. Helene attended St. Stanislaus Parochial School and graduated from Chelsea High School. Early on she began her working career with New England Telephone and Telegraph Co.,in Boston beginning as a switchboard operator and later in the business office in Boston. She transitioned along with New England Tel & Tel. Co. to NYNEX before retiring from a career that lasted for more than two score years.
She was a lifelong parishioner and communicant of St. Stanislaus Church in Chelsea and a longtime member of the Telephone Pioneers of America. She was a past member of the former St. Stanislaus Get Together Club and the Chelsea Senior Citizens Club. In her lifetime she enjoyed working as a volunteer at the Chelsea Soldiers Home, Quigley Hospital and at the Whidden Memorial Hospital. She also enjoyed traveling.
In addition to her parents, Helene was also predeceased by all of her siblings and their spouses; the late John Jakusiak, Alexander and Helen F. Jakusiak, Mary and John Dobbs, Edna and Andy Soja, Chester and Connie Jakusiak and Stanley Jakuisiak. She was the cherished aunt of Joanne Stevens and her late husband, Danny, Bernadette Hockney and her late husband, George, Marcia Aloi and her husband, Fred, Felicia Schwindt, Janice Hitchcock and her husband, Al, the late Maryanne Jakusiak, Virginia Stevens and Patricia Hatfield, dear step-aunt to Gloria Morris, Lawrence Scacchi, Maryanne Scacchi, and the late Diane Testa. She was the cherished great and great grandaunt of Jeffrey and Debbie Aloi with their daughter Theresa, Victoria and Patrick Curran with their daughters Alannah and Allie, Gary Hockney and many additional great-nieces, great-nephews, great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.
Her Funeral will begin from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Saturday February 6 at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial at St. Stanislaus Church, 163 Chestnut St., Chelsea at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to a charity of their choice.
Meat cutter, past member of
Merritt Club in Chelsea
Lawrence P. “Larry” Creilson passed away unexpectedly on January 19 in his Everett home. He was 91 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, he was the youngest of three children born to Leo J. and Alice (O’Brien) Creilson. Larry attended local schools and was a member of Chelsea High School Class of ’43. He was called into active duty with the Navy in December of ’42. He served at the rank of Radioman 2nd class and was stationed in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre aiding in the Philippine liberation forces. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned home to Chelsea.
Returning to civilian life he began working at the Chelsea Naval Hospital. There he met his future bride, Carmella “Mella” Rizzo. They were soon married and settled in Everett raising their family of one son and two daughters. Larry continued working primarily as a meat cutter in the Naval Hospital kitchen. He also held various second jobs to better support his family, among them was as the head waiter for the “Boston Club” on Beacon St. in Boston. He remained with the Naval Hospital right up to the time of its closing in1974. From there he went to work for Newman’s Meat Market as a butcher and also as a short order cook for Frank’s Donut Shop in Cary Square and lastly with Curley’s Restaurant in Chelsea Square before taking his full retirement.
Larry was widowed four years ago after sharing 64 years together with his beloved wife “Mella.” In his lifetime Larry enjoyed time with family and was a passionate Red Sox fan, preferring radio broadcast of the games over TV. He was a past member of the Merritt Club in Chelsea. Although he resided in Everett for the past 67 years, it was said that he still lived in Chelsea, working, trading, shopping and visiting with friends both new and old.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was also predeceased in death by his siblings; Angelina Skerry and John Creilson. He was the devoted father of Linda McNamara and her husband, John of Ireland and Lawrence P. Creilson Jr. and his wife, Linda of Snellville, GA, and Susan Dascoli and her husband, Frank of Saugus. He was the cherished grandfather of Andrea Connolly and her husband, Gareth, Michael Dascoli, Gina Dascoli, Alexander Creilson and Nicholas Dascoli and the adored great grandfather of Charlotte, Isabelle and Rachel Connolly.
Funeral arrangements were by Frank A. Welsh & Son’s Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.
Toni Ann Mendoza
Dental assistant, Boston hotel waitress and talented singer
Toni Ann Mendoza passed away unexpectedly on Saturday January 30 at the Brigham and Women’s, Faulkner Hospital in Boston. She was just 29 years old..
She was one of four daughters born to Susan K. Griffin and the late Bruce Griffin. Toni attended grade school at St. Rose Elementary School and attended North East Regional Vocational Technical High School in Wakefield, graduating with a proficiency in Dental Assistance. She enjoyed working in that capacity at a dental practice in Burlington; she also worked waitressing at downtown Boston Hotels. Given her affable nature and personable charm she related well to all people, and made friends with great ease. She was lover of music and song and she very much enjoyed sharing her talent for singing whenever the opportunity allowed.
She was the loving mother of Alexander Mendoza, beloved daughter of Susan K, Griffin and the loving sister of Crystal, Jennifer and Erin Griffin, all of Chelsea. She was the former wife of Alex D. Mendoza and the cherished granddaughter of Sally Brennan and the late Thomas Brennan, Loretta Griffin and the late James Griffin.
All funeral services will be private.
Devoted to St. Mary’s Orthodox
Church of Chelsea
Anna Melesciuc of Revere, formerly of Chelsea, passed away on January 20 while rehabilitating at the Lighthouse Nursing Center in Revere following a brief period of declining health and aging. She was 94 years old.
Born in Newington, New Hampshire, she was one of 10 children given to the late Stephen and Urstina Mary (Rockowitz) DeMetrick. A longtime Chelsea resident she garnered her early education, married and settled in Chelsea. In the mid 1940’s, during World War II, she joined the home wartime effort working as a Production Aide for the BF Goodrich Company in Watertown manufacturing rubberized garments and boots for the troops overseas.
Anna held a lifelong devotion to St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Chelsea and was a member of St. Mary’s Council and the Church Women’s Guild. She had been a resident of Revere for the last 20 years.
In addition to her parents, Anna was predeceased by her beloved husband Alexis Melesciuc, her loving daughter Arlene Burke, son-in-law Robert L. Burke and siblings: the late Olga Beeler, Mary Pierro, Alice Freitas, Stephen and John DeMetrick, Raymond, Fred, Paul and Henry Metrick. She is survived by grandchildren: John Burke and Jennie Solis and her husband, Javier, all of Revere. She was the adored great grandmother of Alexis Solis.
Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.
Chelsea native Joe Smith celebrated his 88th birthday this week but there is a professional milestone to be celebrated as well.
Smith has received one of those incredible honors that only go to the well accomplished and the famous: a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce unveiled Smith’s star at a special ceremony attended by singers Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne.
During a legendary career that spanned four decades as a music executive, Smith led three major record companies: Warner Brothers, Elektra/Asylum, and Capitol.
Interestingly, Smith’s “star” was enshrined in front of the Capitol Records Building on North Vine Street.
Smith was humbled by the recognition that he enjoyed with friends and family, but he jested, “It’s a kick. I make my family go everyday and look at the star and report back to me.” Following the ceremony, Smith hosted a gathering at a country club.
Smith was president of the Chelsea High School Class of 1945. He has fond memories of his days in the city. “Chelsea was a great city and it still is,” said Smith. “I remember Choc Glazer and Nate Finklestein and a lot of other classmates. We were all pals.”
Following his service in the United States Army, Smith received his degree in Political Science and English from Yale University.
“I finished Yale and I decided I wanted to be a disc jockey. I was a DJ in Pittsburgh and Virginia and then I came back and I was a DJ in Boston for seven years. I was the first guy who played real rock and roll on Boston radio, WMEX-AM. I was on WHDH and WBZ Radio, too.”
He did local promotions for a record distributor before being hired by Warner Brothers Records to be the national promotions person.
“I got the offer to move out to the West Coast and my wife loved that because she was from the West Coast. So we moved out here with our two young children and I’ve been in California for a long time and I’ve made a lot of friends, made a lot of money, and had a really good career.”
Smith worked with and guided the careers of some of the greatest entertainers in the music industry. “From the Grateful Dead to Frank Sinatra and everything in between,” he said. “I spent a lot of time with Frank over the years. I went on the road and traveled overseas with him. You had to do a little hand holding with Frank because you never knew when he would blow up. He was the most interesting man I had ever met or worked with and he had this incredible talent.”
Smith recalled one trip with Sinatra for a show in Sao Paolo, Brazil. “There were 30,000 people there and Frank walks up on stage and he was in charge right away. The word for Frank was ‘swagger.’’’
Smith also had regular interactions with such enormous acts as the Beatles, Neil Young, Tony Bennett, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Linda Rondstadt, and Fleetwood Mac.
“One of my best friends was Tony Bennett,” said Smith. “He’s a true legend. I enjoyed spending time with him. He’s still going strong.”
He fondly recalls being the emcee at a dinner in New York City where the Beatles’ John Lennon was a guest. “He’s the one who turned me on to Jimi Hendrix. We were at a club in London one night and it was about two in the morning and John said to me, ‘Hey, Yank, you want to hear a great guitar player,’ and we took limousines to a small club and there was Jimi.”
Smith later signed Lennon to a solo record contract.
In addition to his talents as a record executive, Smith was highly regarded for his skills as a master of ceremonies, emceeing many dinners and galas in Hollywood.
He has also appeared in three movies, one with Paul Simon. “All together, I was on screen for about 11 minutes.”
As a celebrity himself, Smith has often found himself in the company of other giants in media and politics, including former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, and television host and producer Dick Clark.
Looking back at his illustrious career, Smith said it was Chelsea that gave him the foundation to aspire for greatness.
“Chelsea was a tight-knit city back then,” said Smith. “We had so many people in so little space that you were all in to each other and you had a very close bond with your friends. I moved away from Chelsea and used to come back to visit my mother and dad when they were still alive.
“I’d hang out in Bellingham Square and Tony’s used to be a place to eat. I’ve gone to every Chelsea class reunion. I still keep in touch with people. I love Chelsea but California is the best place to live. I’ve been living here for almost 60 years now.”
Joe Smith (center) is pictured at his Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony with Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt.
The old saying ‘What comes around, goes around’ is usually put in negative terms, but for Chelsea High School senior Precious Perez and her former 4th grade teacher, Barbara Tracey, it’s a saying that epitomizes the caring that is extended from one person to another – and how over time as circumstances change, it can be returned.
In their story, both have been there for one another, whether it was a bright 4th grade girl who was born blind and was looking to be treated like everyone else, or whether it was a former teacher suffering through the slow degeneration of PLS – a degenerative disease similar to ALS.
When Perez entered the fourth grade, she had already been in the Chelsea Schools since kindergarten, and the small accommodations made for her as a blind person were pretty well known by most teachers.
Teacher Barbara Tracey, then at the Kelly School, wasn’t sure what to expect from the experience with Perez. It was the first time she had taught a blind student and she wasn’t sure how she should prepare.
In the end, Tracey – who can no longer speak and communicates through e-mail – said teaching Perez helped hone her craft, and it also helped the other kids in the class.
“Precious was a student in my 4th grade class, and she made me a better teacher,” said Tracey. “For example, I had to say ‘northwest’ instead of saying ‘over here’ and tapping the map. It was an excellent experience for her classmates too. She was the smartest student in my class.”
Tracey said it was a new experience for her in helping the other students to understand. She had often worried that the students wouldn’t understand Perez or wouldn’t treat her well, but it just wasn’t the case. There was, in the end, no need to protect her or give her special accommodations, but rather to just encourage her, Tracey said.
“I wasn’t surprised she was so smart because I tracked her when she was in the lower grades,” said Tracey. “I was surprised by the positive effect she had on her classmates. For example, Precious went to a special performance for visually impaired students at the Big Apple Circus. I did everything I could so the rest of the class wouldn’t know she was going. I thought they’d complain that they couldn’t go. I didn’t want Precious to hear that. The next morning she came in with a big, red clown bow tie on. There were a lot of questions. Finally, I had the kids sit on the rug and Precious in my chair. She told them about her experiences at the circus. I looked at their smiling and focused faces and I was surprised. There wasn’t a negative moment.”
Fast forward several years later, and it was time for Perez to be the one to help out Tracey – who suddenly found herself with limited capabilities when it came to walking and talking.
“Several years ago I started to have health problems,” she said. “I was falling a lot. Finally, two years ago, I got a diagnosis. I have PLS, primary lateral sclerosis. It’s just like ALS. I am a resident of the Leonard Florence Center for Living on Admirals Hill here in Chelsea. Precious came to visit me here every month last year when I was going through that. She and I text each other. We’re friends on Facebook. I’ve posted articles about her on Facebook. My friends think she’s amazing and she is my inspiration. I feel blessed to have her in my life. I was her teacher, now she’s mine.”
Perez said she has been inspired by her former teacher and, though she’s been a bit distracted by senior year college and graduation activities, she still thinks a lot about Tracey every day.
“I’m so happy I can have the opportunity to give back to her,” she said. “I think it’s really critical to know that anything can happen to anyone at any time. It’s really important to stay in touch with people who care about you and you can count on no matter what state they’re in.”
Perez, 18, is a busy senior at Chelsea High and recently was featured as an ‘A+ Student’ in the Boston media, has been a member of the CHS Goal Ball team and sang the National Anthem at the Chelsea City Council and School Committee Inauguration ceremony on Jan. 4. She has auditioned at nine colleges so far and is still waiting to hear from many of them. At the moment, though, she is pretty impressed with the music program at Gordon College.
Singing, in fact, is something Perez said she hopes to continue after high school and college.
Currently, while also participating the the CHS Chorale, she fine tunes her singing with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, which she has done for the last four years.
“Singing is something I love,” she said. “I can use singing to express the things I can’t find words to express.”
As a student coming through the Chelsea schools, Perez said she and her mother, Jennifer Alvarez, have always been able to team up with teachers. In the end, it has never been as much of a big deal as people assumed.
“Sometimes we’ve had to do things a little different to make things work,” she said. “It’s always been a team effort. We’ve all learned by the end of it…We’ve always worked it out and they’ve always worked with us.”
Supt. Mary Bourque said Perez has been an inspiration to the teachers in the district year after year.
“She refuses to be defined by anyone’s perception of her, but she fiends the world,” said Bourque. “She always keeps us grounded and inspired. She yet another resilient example of Chelsea students and Chelsea families that makes it so rewarding as an educator.”
Meanwhile, Perez said she always likes to remind people that she is not as exceptional as they may believe.
“I feel like there’s this tendency where a lot of people feel I am more exceptional than I really am,” she said. “I think it’s important for people to know I’m not any different than they are except I can’t see and they can. I do all of these things…People with disabilities are capable and we are people. I think that’s important.”
That’s a lesson, perhaps, that Perez was able to teach Tracey as time passed and the former student became the teacher’s teacher.
“Precious now is very inspiring,” said Tracey. “I have a framed photo of us in my room. Every time I look at her smiling face, I smile. I love being able to text her and follow her on Facebook…I have two videos of Precious on my iPhone which I show everyone. I’m very fortunate to have her in life.”
Precious Perez singing the National Anthem at the Chelsea City Inauguration on Jan. 4.
The Chelsea Police Department (CPD) and City Manager Tom Ambrosino released crime statistics from 2015 this month and, while overall crime is down, Chief Brian Kyes said they remain concerned that violent crime numbers remained the same as in 2014.
While overall crime was down 8.3 percent from 2014 (1,479 to 1,356 incidents), the numbers of violent crimes remained basically unchanged from 2014 – going from 419 to 420 incidents. Violent crime for reporting purposes comprises murders, rapes, aggravated assaults, and robberies.
There were no murders in Chelsea in 2015.
“While I am somewhat optimistic that Overall Crime is down just over 8 percent from 2014, both the City Manager, myself as the Police Chief and the police department as a whole remain extremely concerned that Violent Crime has remained consistent with the total numbers from 2014,” said Chief Kyes. “The [incidents] that contribute to these total numbers are predominantly Aggravated Assaults and Robberies, armed and unarmed. The vast majority of the Sexual Assaults…that took place in the city of Chelsea sadly occurred in a familial setting involving family members and/or known individuals.”
Kyes said it is a larger trend across the country right now to see an uptick in violent crime from what were historic lows. Kyes said one highpoint in the discussion is that there were no homicides in 2015, while there were 12 in 2010.
“I have been hearing from my counterparts around the State in all of the 35 Major Cities that they have been experiencing the same trend as it pertains to Violent Crime with either a slight increase or similar numbers from 2014,” he said. “As a result, this crime category will continue to be our major priority at the Chelsea Police Department for the foreseeable future and we will continue deploy all of our available resources while engaging the assistance of our local, state and federal partners to drive this number down over the course of calendar year 2016 and beyond. On a positive note Violent Crime has decreased 35 percent over the last three years since 2012 and there were no homicides to report in the City of Chelsea in 2015. We all remember in 2010 there was a record high of 12.”
The same story has, in fact, played out all over the region, and even in Boston.
The City of Boston reported an all-time low in homicides in 2015, but at the same time, violent crimes such as non-fatal shootings were on the rise.
The worst months for crime in Chelsea during 2015 were April, May and July.
In April, property crimes shot up to 110 incidents, the highest monthly level all year, while violent crime remained at an average level of 36 incidents. In May, property crime went down a bit, while violent crime surged to 49 incidents.
In July, both property crime (97 incidents) and violent crime (50 incidents) were both high.
For individual types of crimes, see below:
Murders went from 4 to 0.
Rapes went from 19 to 22.
Aggravated Assaults went from 226 to 214.
Robberies went from 170 to 184.
Burglaries went from 198 to 152.
Larcenies went from 741 to 663.
Motor vehicle theft stayed the same with 121 for both years.
The Street Robbery Task Force activities included 1,013 field interviews, 165 arrests, 69 warrant arrests, 34 weapons seized, 40 drug case evidence seized, 21 robberies cleared/arrest, and 423 motor vehicle stops.
Kyes said the statistics, which are part of an annual submission to the FBI crime statistics office, give him further reason to strengthen the newly-adopted walking patrol directive he unveiled last summer.
“Both the City Manager and myself are absolutely committed to a significant police presence by having our Officers spend quantifiable time each and every shift out of their cruisers walking the streets and neighborhoods where we have experienced the most serious crime problems,” he said. “We will also continue throughout 2016 our dedicated walking patrols in certain areas of the city. It is our intent to positively engage our residents with intensive outreach while eliciting their innovative ideas and suggestions to put in place to keep our community safe and secure.”
He also said the CPD will not celebrate the overall decrease in crime statistics as a milestone.
“The community can expect both ongoing covert and overt operations to address gang activity, drug distribution, prostitution, public intoxication and public drug use as well as all property crimes throughout 2016,” he concluded. “We will not take this slight decrease in overall crime as some type of victory or a sign that we have reached some significant milestone or benchmark but rather as a reminder that there is much more work to be done to increase the perception of safety in the hearts and minds of our residents and community stakeholders.”
Chelsea Police officers bid farewell last week to one of their own, K-9 Officer ‘Ancho.’
Ancho passed away last Tuesday, Jan. 19, with his handler, Officer Joe Capistran.
“It is with deep regret and heartfelt sorrow that I must sadly take this opportunity to announce the sudden and untimely passing of Chelsea Police Department K-9 ‘Ancho’ while resting at his home with his Handler and Best Friend Officer Joe Capistran,” said Chief Brian Kyes. “Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to Joey and his entire family during this extremely difficult time. As we know Ancho has been Joe’s loyal and always reliable partner for the past several years but more than that he was a beloved member of Joe’s family. He has been an incredible asset for the department and the City during his tenure and will be sincerely missed by everyone at 19 Park Street, but NEVER forgotten.”
K-9 Officer Ancho joins recently passed K-9 Officer Marco, who died not long ago. Both K-9 officers had been with the department for many years.
SATURDAY NIGHT SHOOTING ON ADDISON
Chelsea Police are investigating a shooting Sunday evening, Jan. 24, that occurred in the vicinity of 61 Addison St. and that left a 23-year-old Chelsea resident wounded with a non life-threatening gunshot wound.
The victim stated he was followed by a group of unidentified males who followed him and tried to engage him in conversation. The victim told officers he then observed one of the males, wearing a grey sweatshirt, reach into his pants and pull out a metallic colored firearm. The victim stated that as fled he heard two gunshots and later realized he had been struck in the neck area. Officers and EMS rendered aid and transported the victim to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to be treated.
Detectives are continuing the investigation and are asking the public help in providing information to identify the suspects in this case. Residents are asked to call the Chelsea Police Detective Unit at 617-466-4849 or contact police anonymously by visiting chelseapolice.com if they have information regarding this incident.
SUSPECT ID’D IN TU CASA STABBING
Chelsea Detectives are actively searching for a suspect in a Saturday night assault that injured two patrons at Tu Casa Restaurant on Broadway. Chelsea units were dispatched to the location at 403 Broadway on Saturday evening, Jan. 23, at 8:12 p.m. Upon arrival, officers observed two victims who received injuries consistent with being slashed.
Both victims were transported to area hospitals and have been treated for serious, but non life threatening injuries. Witnesses inside the establishment provided officers with information that has led to the identification of the person believed to be involved.
Chelsea Detectives secured and arrest warrant for that individual from Chelsea District Court and have issued a BOLO to area departments in an effort to apprehend the subject.
If anyone has information regarding this incident they are asked to contact the case detective at 617-466-4823. Chelsea residents may also contact the police and provide information through the police departments website anonymously at www.chelseapolice.com
Anyone who has watched Channel Five’s “On the Record” Sunday morning show knows that Speaker of the House has a tremendous knowledge of Boston sports — as he often has demonstrated on the “Pop Quiz” portion of the show. And as a Winthrop High sports fan, Bob is front and center at games — he has on more than one occasion proudly pointed out to his colleagues the excellence of Winthrop High’s sports tradition (and that we have the most famous Olympic hockey player ever, Mike Eruzione, living in our town).
So when the daily sports fantasy industry exploded this year, Bob had been following its growth closely and wanted to make sure that Massachusetts was entering this new endeavor with the proper regulations in place. The Speaker has announced that he will be forming a commission to study daily fantasy sports and we look forward to seeing the results of that study.
We know the Speaker will determine whom would be best suited to serve on this important commission and that the final study will be thorough and professional and will serve the best interests of the people of the Commonwealth.
The Chelsea High boys basketball team got back to the .500 mark with a victory over North Shore Tech, 58-44, Tuesday evening at the CHS gym.
The Red Devils took control of the contest from the outset, grabbing a 13-6 lead after one quarter and expanding their advantage to a healthy 30-9 bulge at the half.
Chelsea continued to build its lead after the intermission, allowing CHS head coach Jay Seigal to use all of his players extensively in the final two frames.
Angel Alvarez paced the Red Devil scoring attack with 15 points. Steve Lacey (13 points) and Jahro Marshall (10 points) also reached double figures for Chelsea.
Chris Torrez hit for six points, Guillermo Zelata added five, Werner Mazariegos chipped in three, and the trio of Balmeiro Daveiga, Jaime Celorio, and Cobi Molina contributed two points apiece.
Last Thursday the Red Devils hosted Revere in a non-league tilt that has become a rivalry game for both schools in recent years, reminiscent of the many Battles of Broadway in which Chelsea and Revere engaged decades ago. A good crowd filled the CHS gym and were treated to an up-and-down contest that was a close encounter from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
Chelsea took a slim 18-16 lead in the opening period. Revere led 30-29 at the half and 50-46 after three frames. The final quarter saw the Red Devils make many runs at the Patriots in an effort to overcome the Revere edge, but strong free throw shooting down the stretch (the Patriots were 15-of-16 from the foul line on the night) fended off the Chelsea challenge.
Torrez led Chelsea with 16 points, followed by Marshall with 15, Lacey with 12, Alvarez with seven, Zelata with five, and Mazariegos with three.
“We played well in both games,” said Seigal, whose squad now stands at 6-6 on the season. “Hopefully we can put together a bit of a winning streak to get into the state tournament.”
Chelsea hosts Lynn Tech Friday at 5:30 and travels to Whittier Monday. The Red Devils defeated both teams in their first meetings this season.
The Berkowitz School has been on a tear recently in responding to the Boston Celtics’ Recycling Education Initiative, sponsored by Chelsea’s JN Phillips Auto Glass. The school was selected and held a tip-off assembly on Jan 11, with the recycling contest running through Jan. 25. So far, students and their parents have responded in a big – and we mean really big – way. School officials reported
that more than 18,000 recyclable bottles had been brought in by students as of Tuesday. The winning school will receive tickets to a game, a visit by a Celtics player and Lucky the Leprechaun and a pep rally by the Celtics. The other two parts of the contest, reducing and reusing, will take place in February and March. Here, Berkowitz third graders Christopher Fuentes and Basma Yassine toss two more bags of recyclables on the growing pile of the record-setting recycling effort.
Seemingly under the watching eye of a photo of Martin Luther King Jr., Chelsea’s Evan Mitchell gives an enlivened and uplifting version of ‘Break Every Chain’ during Monday morning’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast and Celebration – sponsored by the People’s AME Church and the Chelsea Black Community. Several people came out to the awards ceremony to remember King and to participate in and celebrate acts of service done around Chelsea. The keynote speaker was Rev. Ellis Washington of St. Paul AME in Cambridge.
After putting the entire City on alert – and drawing considerable media attention from Boston – the alleged brutal random armed attack on a woman, purportedly by three young males with a Central American accent, turned out to be a false report.
Denissa Perez, 25, of Chelsea, will be charged with misleading a police officer in a criminal investigation.
Police put the public on notice Sunday morning after Chelsea Police took a report on Sunday, January 17, just after midnight, from a female victim in her 20s at the Whidden Hospital in Everett. She reported that while walking home from work at approximately 9:30 p.m. she had been physically attacked by three male suspects who had allegedly beaten her with their fists, repeatedly kicked her and slashed her with a knife in the area of Lynn Street Extension between Central Avenue and Maverick Street.
In response to the victim’s account of the attack and out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of the residents of the city of Chelsea the Police Department alerted the community early the next morning via a widely disseminated press release that three young male attackers may be living or staying in the area. Police Chief Brian Kyes said his department felt compelled and obligated to warn the residents of Chelsea to take general safety measures, to remain vigilant and keep themselves safe and secure in their travels in and around the city.
However, as part of any serious criminal investigation it is always the duty and responsibility of any police department to fully and completely corroborate any victim and/or witness account of what they allege had transpired in a given situation. As Detectives began the process of conducting a comprehensive follow up investigation of the victim’s version of the incident in question, police uncovered several inconsistencies in terms of the physical and digital evidence that they had available.
This trend continued throughout the investigation Sunday and all day on Monday.
As a result police were able to learn Monday night that, in fact, no attack took place involving this victim at Lynn Street Extension.
Rather, Detectives have since learned and confirmed that a fight occurred inside of an undisclosed address between several male parties. The alleged victim was present with this group and had intervened in an attempt to break up the fight and in doing so received a laceration to her hand from a broken bottle requiring several stitches and some additional bruises and scrapes about her person.
As a result of providing the police with this fabricated report of a crime mentioned above, misleading the police throughout the entire investigation, spreading significant fear throughout the city as well as expending considerable resources by the police in an attempt to find those responsible for what was believed to be a serious act of violence, the victim was charged with a crime.
Perez will appear in Chelsea District Court later this month to be arraigned on this and perhaps additional charges stemming from this investigation.
Chief Kyes said he wanted to especially single out the efforts of Det. Sgt. Will Brizuela, Det. Scott Conley and Officer Paul McCarthy for being diligent in their investigation.
“Allegations like this that are left unchecked can bring a neighborhood and even an entire city to its knees instilling considerable fear and paralyzing residents from venturing outdoors,” he said. “Their initiative and perseverance to find the truth in this alarming incident has allowed the entire community to breath a collective sign of relief.”