Chelsea Firefighters Reflecting on Boston Fire, and Attend Funerals

Chelsea Firefighters Reflecting on Boston Fire, and Attend Funerals

Fire departments around the Commonwealth were ordered to lower all flags to half-staff in honor of the fallen Boston Fire Fighters from last Wednesday’s 9-alarm fire in the Back Bay. Here, Chelsea Firefighter Michael Fiola lowers the flag at the Chelsea Firefighters Memorial last Wednesday evening, March 26.

Fire departments around the Commonwealth were ordered to lower all flags to half-staff in
honor of the fallen Boston Fire Fighters from last Wednesday’s 9-alarm fire in the Back Bay.
Here, Chelsea Firefighter Michael Fiola lowers the flag at the Chelsea Firefighters Memorial
last Wednesday evening, March 26.

The tragic 9-alarm fatal fire in Boston last Wednesday has Chelsea firefighters reflecting on their own procedures and preparing to attend the funerals for both fallen Boston jakes.

Earlier this week, department shift commanders took the time to speak to fire crews about the Boston fire. In addition to going over the incident internally, they also reviewed their own ‘mayday’ procedures.

“The firefighters are having a difficult time with this fire where it appeared to be a routine job that suddenly turned tragic,” said Dep. Chief John Quatieri.

Meanwhile, Chelsea Fire plans to send more than 50 members and an honor guard to each of the two funerals. A limo company in Medford was kind enough to donate a bus, Quatieri said.

“Joseph’s Limousine in Medford was kind enough to donate a bus to the department, each day, to transport our personnel to the funerals,” said Quatieri.


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Obituaries 04-03-2014

Osvaldo Garcia

Worked for American Biltrite

Osvaldo M. Garcia passed away on Sunday afternoon, March 30, at home after a five month battle with an overwhelming illness.

Born in Rancho Veloz, Cuba 83 years ago, upon entering the United States in 1968, he settled with his family in Chelsea and remained here until moving to Revere 10 years ago. Prior to retiring, he worked for more than 20 years at American Biltrite here in Chelsea.

He was the devoted husband for 62 years of Juana (Alvarez); beloved father of Osvaldo Garcia of Revere and Ana Hernandez and her husband, Jorge of Chelsea; dear brother of Lazaro, Pedro, Margarito, Vincente, Giraldo, Juansito Garcia and the late Jose and Guillermo Garcia; cherished grandfather of Dominic Garcia of Revere, April Garcia of Chelsea, Jacquelyn Hernendez of Chelsea and Alexander Hernandez of Watertown. He is also lovingly survived by his great grandchildren Angelique, Alexis, Ariel, Dante, Deanalee and the late Devin as well as by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are kindly invited to attend a Funeral from the Smith Funeral Home, 125 Washington Avenue, Chelsea today, Thursday, April 3, at 8 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass to be celebrated in St. Rose Church, 600 Broadway, Chelsea at 9 o’clock. Services will conclude with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.

To send a message of condolence to the Garcia family, please visit


Joseph Gallant

25-Year Bartender at the French Club

Joseph H. Gallant of Revere, formerly of Chelsea, died on March 20 at the Chelsea Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was 83 years old.

Born in Chelsea and a resident here until moving to Revere, for many years he worked for Rev-Lynn Contracting in Winthrop and for over 25 years, he was a bartender at the French Club.

He was the devoted husband OLE-object

Funeral arrangements were by the Smith Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden.


Roberta Selbovitz

Former Longtime Hooker Oil Bookkeeper and Beloved Chelsea-Revere-Winthrop Homecare Caseworker

Roberta (Tarr) Selbovitz of Revere, formerly of Chelsea, passed away on March 26.

The beloved wife of the late Max “Cremo” Selbovitz and long time companion of Tim Murray, she was the longtime bookkeeper at Hooker Oil and was a beloved caseworker at Chelsea-Revere-Winthrop Home Care for over 15 years. An accomplished ballet dancer, she was a member of Hadassah, the Chelsea YMHA, and a member of the Sisterhood at Orange Street Shul.

Roberta was the devoted mother of Stephen Selbovitz and his wife, Susan and Dr. Leslie Selbovitz and his partner, Marcy Solomon Slovin and daughter-in-law Leslie Zide. She was the dear sister of Ralph Tarr, Barry Tarr, and the late Paul Tarr; the dear sister-in-law of Zoey Tarr and Libby Tarr and the loving grandmother of Mariel, Michael, David and Matthew. She was the dear niece of the late Etty and Meyer Swerling and Ida and Bill Cohen.

Services at Temple Emeth, Chestnut Hill were held on March. Interment was in Lynn. Contributions in Roberta’s memory may be made to the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home Foundation, 165 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA. 02150. For online guestbook , please visit the funeral home website,


Patrick Francis Doherty

GE Retiree and Chelsea Soldier’s Home Resident, Formerly of Everett

Patrick Francis Doherty passed away Monday morning at the Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett. He was 83 years old.

Born in Cambridge, the son of the late Daniel J. and Bridget T. (Doherty) Doherty, Patrick was raised in Everett and attended Everett Public Schools. He graduated from Everett High School, Class of 1947 and just after high school, he enlisted in the US Navy on December 1, 1947. He fought during the Korean War and was honorably discharged on November 7, 1951. Upon returning home from the service, Patrick worked at General Electric as a machinist, assembling electric components.

Patrick was an Everett resident for over 60 years but has been a resident of the Chelsea Soldier’s Home for the last 14 years. He will be missed by all his family and friends at the Soldier’s Home.

Patrick was the beloved brother of Marguerite V. LeBlanc and her husband, Arcade of Waltham, Cecilia L. Connors and her husband, Bernard of Arizona and the late Donald J. Doherty and John J. Doherty. He is also lovingly survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the St. Michael Arch Angel Chapel, Chelsea Soldier’s Home, 91 Crest Ave., Chelsea on Friday, April 4 at 11 a.m. Visitation will take place in the Cardinal Cushing Pavillion, adjacent to the Chapel, from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will take place at the Glenwood Cemetery in Everett.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the William R. Carafa & Son Home For Funerals in Chelsea.


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Red Devil Baseball Opens Season Today

Red Devil Baseball Opens Season Today

Although spring has yet to be sprung, the schedule shows the Chelsea High baseball team opening its 2014 season today (Thursday) when the Red Devils host Greater Lawrence at 4:00.

“It’s been a terrible spring training season,” said CHS head coach Alan Beausoleil. “It’s always short enough as it is before the season gets underway, but with the bad weather, it’s been shorter still.”

However, in the limited time that the Red Devils have been outdoors, including a pair of scrimmages with Marblehead, Beausoleil has been impressed with his team’s performance.

“We did a lot of things well against a Marblehead team that plays in a tough league (the Northeastern Conference),” said Beausoleil. “We have a lot of returning players whom we’re counting upon to take us a long way. Last year we had a 6-14 record, but we lost all five of our extra-inning games. Hopefully, with the experienced players we have on this year’s team and the leadership of our captains, those kind of close games will go into the win column for us.”

The Red Devils will be led by a quartet of captains, seniors Carlos Vega and Armando Montes and juniors Luis Rodriguez and Carlos Ramos. Other key varsity returnees include Luis Martinez, Francisco Mercedes, Yvad Rosario, Orlando Rodriguez, and George Hernandez. Strapping freshman Thomas Melanson figures to see a lot of action at catcher when Luis Rodriguez is taking a turn on the mound.

After the opener today with Greater Lawrence, the Devils will travel to take on Northeast Regional Vocational tomorrow.

Chelsea will be back in action next Thursday, playing Mystic Valley at Malden Catholic Stadium under the lights at 6:00 and then entertaining North Shore Tech next Friday.


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Our Fallen Heroes

Our Fallen Heroes

People in this world may be divided by political views, race, sexual orientation, and religion but there is one group of people that are blind to this and will run into a burning inferno and save your life regardless if you are a democrat or republican, gay or straight, black or white, Catholic or Jewish.

These groups of people are the brave men of the Boston Fire Department

This week we lost perhaps two of the finest men to serve in the Department, Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Fire Lieutenant Ed Walsh.

Without hesitation during a raging 9-alarm fire in the Back Bay, Kennedy and Walsh grabed a hose and ran into the blaze in total disregard of their own safety to begin pulling people out of the building.

Then, something went horribly wrong. They were cut off from their unit. They signaled a mayday. They tried to get out of the scorching heat and blinding smoke but paid the ultimate sacrifice for the lives of others.

This is what the men of the Boston Fire Department do every day.

Watching and reading the tributes all week makes one thing evident—Bostonians do not take them for granted.

It’s going to be a heartbreaking next few days as we tune into the funerals of Walsh and Kennedy. The bagpipes will play. Their brothers on the Department will stand in solemn honor as their fire trucks are paraded down the street with their boots and helmet on top.

These two men deserve every tear and every tribute they get.

Someone once said that no matter how long you train someone to be brave, you never know if they are or not until something real happens.

Well, something real happened last week in Boston and anyone who knew Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Fire Lieutenant Ed Walsh knows now there is no question they passed the test and are two of the bravest men Boston has seen.

If they had lived and somehow found their way through the licking flames and haze of smoke there is no question when the next call came in they’d be the first ones to grab a hose and try and save a life.


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Girl Scout Volunteers Awarded for Service

Girl Scout Volunteers Awarded for Service

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts is pleased to announce that 43 volunteers, three service units, and two committees will be recognized at their annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner on April 10, at 5 p.m. at the Chelmsford Radisson.

Those recognized will include Chelsea’s Eileena Long, leader of Chelsea Troop 71777.

“Our dedicated volunteers enrich the Girl Scouts’ experience on a daily basis through troop management and activities, community service and innovative programming,” said Pam Salkovitz, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. “Their passion and leadership allow our Girl Scouts to learn and thrive in a supportive environment that places them on the right paths to leadership.”

At the Volunteer Recognition Dinner, 37 Girl Scout volunteers will be presented with the Girl Scouts of the USA Appreciation Pin for actively giving outstanding service to at least one geographic area or program delivery audience. Three will be awarded the Girl Scouts of the USA Honor Pin for completing these achievements in two or more geographic areas.

The registered adult Girl Scouts accepting these awards have all demonstrated outstanding service in support of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. All awards require one nomination, one endorsement and the approval of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’ Board of Directors. To learn how you can volunteer and make a difference in a girl’s life, please visit


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Tobin Bridge Work to Resume in April for Final Year of Three-year Project

Tobin Bridge Work to Resume in April for Final Year of Three-year Project

MassDOT is reminding drivers that steel preservation/repair work and painting on the Tobin Bridge is set to resume in April.

The beginning stages of work will require daily lane closures on the upper and lower decks of the bridge during off-peak hours.

The permanent lane restrictions will take effect in approximately two weeks – weather permitting – for the setup of the work site.

As in the previous two years of the project, the lane restrictions will remain in effect through the fall of 2014.

This is the third year of a three-year, $44.8 million bridge preservation project.

MassDOT’s contractor is Liberty-Alpha Joint Venture.

For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: blog: , or follow MassDOT on twitter at and Facebook at .


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Casino Talk Despite Winthrop’s Complaints, Chelsea Still Sees Mohegan Sun Casino as a Worthy Partner

Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash spoke about negotiations being tough with the two casino projects that will effect his city, both Mohegan and Wynn. He said he chose to support Mohegan Sun because he saw into the window of the soul of both proponents and he felt Mohegan Sun actually cared about Chelsea and that the Wynn did not. "Issues need to be acknowledged today and not later," Ash said.

Chelsea City Manager Jay
Ash spoke about negotiations
being tough with the
two casino projects that will
effect his city, both Mohegan
and Wynn. He said he
chose to support Mohegan
Sun because he saw into
the window of the soul of
both proponents and he felt
Mohegan Sun actually cared
about Chelsea and that the
Wynn did not. “Issues need
to be acknowledged today
and not later,” Ash said.

Hundreds of people from all over the region packed into the South Boston Convention Center on Tuesday evening to make their voices heard on the Mohegan Sun casino project in Revere at a public input hearing before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC).

While a strong contingent from Winthrop came out to blast the casino plan and its proponents – Mohegan Sun – Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash said he is of a completely different mind than Winthrop officials.

Ash said he prefers the Mohegan project for several reasons, and he has had no such experience with Mohegan being untrustworthy.

“One day after they announced the partnership with Suffolk Downs, Mohegan’s CEO was in my office at City Hall,” said Ash. “He didn’t have to come and I didn’t expect him to, but by him coming it showed me how much importance they attach to the surrounding communities like Chelsea.

“I’ve seen in Mohegan a real commitment to regional benefit that I haven’t seen any of in the Wynn effort,” Ash said, noting that negotiations between Chelsea and Wynn are still ongoing. “Mohegan has eight surrounding community agreements successfully negotiated; Wynn has just one. Mohegan has stressed its partnerships with communities and businesses around the region, while Wynn has spent much more time thinking about just Everett. I can tell that Mohegan will be a real partner in the region’s growth; Wynn has given me no reason to feel the same.”

Ash was one of hundreds of leaders, elected officials and residents that testified before the MGC on Tuesday.

He prefaced his comments by saying he doesn’t want to demonize Wynn, but simply believes Mohegan will be a better partner for Chelsea.

“I preface this by saying that I don’t think we should demonize anyone that is willing to invest $1 billion in our area, and am convinced that both Mohegan and Wynn are good casino operators,” he said.

One of the biggest benefits to Mohegan, he said, is saving the horse racing industry at Suffolk Downs. He said having the horse track at the casino separates Mohegan from the competition.

More importantly, Ash said he believes Mohegan will open its doors before Wynn.

“I believe Mohegan will be up and operating far quicker than Wynn, which has chemical contamination to clean-up and much more traffic related issues to still be scoped out, yet alone solved,” he said. “By selecting Wynn, we may be forgoing years of having all the jobs and more than a half a billion dollars in revenues. Those are too great of sacrifices to make.”

Finally, Ash said he believes Mohegan is better because it is next to a T stop, close to Revere Beach, the Winthrop Golf Course and – most especially – Logan Airport.

“I don’t think we should be bringing national and international patrons into a heavy industrial area like Route 99 in Everett,” he said.

Council President Matt Frank – the Council’s casino designee – said he still prefers Mohegan as well.

“I still think it’s a good project for Chelsea,” said Frank.

A similar public hearing at the MGC took place for the Wynn project in Everett late yesterday, March 26.


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Fire Department Participates in Training with the Mass State Police Bomb Squad

Fire Department Participates in Training with the Mass State Police Bomb Squad

Pictured below are Firefighter Phil Rogers (in the bomb technician gear) and Mass State Police Trooper Dan Jones during last week's training.

Pictured below are Firefighter Phil Rogers (in the bomb
technician gear) and Mass State Police Trooper Dan Jones
during last week’s training.

The Chelsea Fire Department frequently works very closely with the Massachusetts State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Section, and last week several firefighters were able to train with the specialized unit in order to prepare for an emergency.

“We routinely train with the Mass State Police Fire Investigators,” stated Captain Richard Perisie, who is the fire department’s lead fire investigator. “We just recently started training with the Hazardous Device (Bomb Squad) units as well.”

The fire department provides support to the State Police Bomb Technicians any time they operate in the city.

“Our personnel need to be prepared if a device detonates,” stated Deputy Chief John Quatieri, “the troopers are putting themselves in an extremely dangerous environment, you just can’t downplay anything these days.”

The training provided to the fire department this past week focused on supporting the bomb technicians during incidents involving suspicious packages, improvised explosive devices and other types of explosive events.

The training was delivered by Mass State Police Trooper Dan Jones who is the EMS coordinated for the State Police Bomb Squad. Chelsea firefighters were informed of what type of injuries to expect if a device were to activate and how to rapidly get the technicians out of their protective gear if necessary.


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Running for a Good Cause: Saritin Rizzuto Will Compete in Boston Marathon

Running for a Good Cause: Saritin Rizzuto Will Compete in Boston Marathon

Saritin Rizzuto

Saritin Rizzuto

Saritin Rizzuto is usually running an event for a good cause. Now she will be running in a big event for a good cause.

Rizzuto, the energetic community relations officer for Metro Credit Union headquartered in Chelsea, will be competing in the Boston Marathon on April 21.

She has been training with seven-to-ten-mile runs on four weekdays and a 12-16-mile trek on the weekends.

Rizzuto is dedicating her run in the Marathon to raising funds for Casa Myrna, a Boston- based, non-profit organization that supports people affected by domestic violence. Casa Myrna makes a difference in the lives of 30,000 survivors annually.

“I have been a long-time advocate for domestic violence and its impact on our community,” said Rizzuto. “Therefore I wanted to devote my energies to supporting Casa Myrna.

”Rizzuto has launched a campaign of engaging 1,000 people to donate $10 each to meet the fundraising goal. “So far, with the help of generous donors, I’ve been able to raise $2,500.”

Rizzuto is continuing to reach out to prospective donors. “If anyone in Chelsea is interested in supporting this cause, please visit my Web site: CasaMyrna2104Boston Marathon


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Council Passes Housing Inspection Ordinance

Council Passes Housing Inspection Ordinance

In a contentious issue that concluded with a happy ending, the City Council on Monday night took a huge step in potentially ending the problem of illegal rooming houses and substandard apartments.

By a vote of 10-1, the Council approved the ordinance that would require landlords to have a City code enforcement inspection of their units every five years. Any basic deficiencies would have to be corrected before a unit could be deemed ok for rental. A friendly amendment by Councillor Giovanni Recupero called for iron-clad language that would protect owner-occupants from any such intrusive inspections, as many on the Council were initially wary of the plan due to personal property rights.

“I think the City did a very good job of meeting our requests and making sure everybody was happy,” said Council President Matt Frank.

The ordinance could end up going a long way to making Chelsea a much different place in terms of the condition of all the city’s rental units. While a great deal of the city is now on the upswing, some areas continue to be plagued by seriously substandard living conditions. Stories of emergency personnel finding families living in closets and babies in cribs next to a boiler in the basement are all too common; likewise, certain parts of Chelsea serve as a clearinghouse for renters who are on the fringes and will take anything with a roof – even if the living unit is far below basic standards.

Such inspections – especially on properties owned by absentee landlords – could put a major dent in the above problems.

Councillor Dan Cortell emerged as one of the biggest advocates of the plan – which first was proposed by the administration last year. He said it simply put teeth in an existing ordinance that many landlords were ignoring.

“It’s not landlord unfriendly; it’s a renter rights ordinance,” he said. “Everyone deserves to move into a unit that has a certificate assuring them that it meets basic habitable standards…Chelsea is a place, admittedly, that many people come to with $500 cash in their pocket and look to live anywhere in any condition. Those people are the exact people who need the most protections. They might be afraid to go to court or may not have another place they can move to.

“Chelsea has the issues we have regarding absentee landlords and owners because the existing ordinance was hard to enforce,” he continued. “You don’t know if people are breaking the law until you get in the unit. When you get in and see exterior locks on the doors and five people living in a unit where none of them are related, then you know you have an illegal rooming house to deal with.”

Frank said he was not supportive of the plan at first, but was won over recently when he saw pictures of some of the living conditions that City inspectors have found.

“I was oscillating on the issue and the turning point for me was seeing pictures of what some of these illegal units looked like,” he said. “Some people here are living in squalor…Apparently not every landlord in the City has respect for their tenants and we need to make sure everyone is living in units that are up to the basic, minimum standards. You have to have hot water; you have to have heat. You can’t have babies next to the boiler or holes in the ceilings.”

Recupero said he was pleased to see the ordinance pass with his amendment, noting that he agreed with the policy but wanted to be assured that the City wouldn’t overstep its authority one day. He said he didn’t want to see inspectors going into the homes of elderly owner-occupants and writing them expensive tickets.

“I’m on board with this,” he said. “The amendment was the protection that I was looking to get for the people – the common man.”

The lone vote against the measure came from Councillor Joe Perlatonda.

The five-year inspection would come with a $50 fee.


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