Chelsea Council Sets Tax Rate, Institutes 25 Percent Exemption

By Seth Daniel

The Chelsea City Council voted to institute a 25 percent owner occupant property tax exemption and to apply the maximum commercial shift to help residents absorb a tax increase that has come due to sharp increases in residential property values.

While Chelsea had the opportunity to use up to 35 percent for its exemption, the Council chose to take a conservative approach in order to reserve some tax relief for upcoming years, when taxes are expected to rise further on the back of increasing property values.

“If the first 10 months are any indication, I expect property values are going up next year and I can almost assure you that taxes will be going up,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “I urge you to save some of this exemption in order to have more tools in your toolbox for next year.”

The Council did agree to that course of action, voting 10-0 to institute the 25 percent exemption. The current exemption is set at 20 percent.

Meanwhile, the Council also voted 10-0 to institute the maximum residential factor of 175 percent, which shifts tax burden to commercial properties.

Property values went up across the board, but the largest increases came on three-families – which saw an 18 percent increase in values over last year.

The decisions made on Monday will help the Assessor’s Department set the tax rates for commercial and residential properties, which will have to be approved by the state Department of Revenue.

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The Results:Chelsea Goes All Out for Hillary, Approves CPA

By Seth Daniel

Chelsea voters bucked the nationwide trend and voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and more important locally, easily approved the Community Preservation Act (CPA) proposal that would provide money to help fund community projects and affordable housing.

Turnout was heavy in Chelsea with early voting contributing to about 10,000 votes cast in the City.

In the presidential race, Clinton got 7,395 votes (79 percent) to Republican President Elect Donald Trump’s 1,558 votes (17 percent). Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 201 votes.

The most important matter on the ballot locally was the CPA, which calls for an assessment on property taxes to match state funds that become funding for community projects, such as parks, and affordable housing.

Voters approved the CPA 5,460 votes (66 percent) to 2,752 votes (34 percent).

In the other questions, Chelsea basically followed the state voting trends.

  • Question 1 (slots in Revere) saw 45 percent voting for and 56 percent voting against in Chelsea.
  • Question 2 (lift charter school cap) was defeated in Chelsea 4,809 (55 percent) to 3,889 (45 percent).
  • Question 3 (cage-free eggs, animals) was okayed 6,628 votes (79 percent) to 1,797 votes (21 percent).
  • Question 4 (legalization of marijuana) was approved in Chelsea 5,460 votes (66 percent) to 2,752 votes (34 percent).

There were not other competitive races on the ballot, but Congressman Michael Capuano got 7,337 votes, Sen. Sal DiDomenico got 6,916 votes, Rep. Dan Ryan got 4,742 votes, and State Rep. RoseLee Vincent got 1,910 votes.

Sheriff Steve Tompkins received 6,601 votes in Chelsea.

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Police Briefs 11-10-2016

Monday, 10/31

Yazmin Vega, 29, 9 Guam Rd., Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing, assault and battery, assault and battery on a police officer, home invasion and resisting arrest.

John Lewis, 32, 292 Salem St., Revere, was arrested for unarmed robbery

Tuesday, 11/1

Kevin Cardoza, 18, 106 Bloomingdale St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Dennis Miranda, 19, 52 Congress Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

William Amaya, 31, 21 County Rd., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.

Pablo Portillo, 26, 78 Essex St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, leaving scene of property damage.

Wednesday, 11/2

Gregory Tillery, 23, 62 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon.

Jose Mancia, 50, 133 Shawmut St., Chelsea, was arrested for larceny over $250.

Thursday, 11/3

Nicole Castro, 29, Homeless, Chelsea, was arrested for sexual conduct for fee.

Friday, 11/4

Jasmine Vargas, 33, 855 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Saturday, 11/5

Christopher Barry, 27, 21 Folly Mill Terrace, Seabrook, NH, was arrested for shoplifting.

Walter Astu, 35, 70 Essex St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, stop sign violation, reckless operation of motor vehicle, unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, failure to stop for police.

Sunday, 11/6

Samson Beauregard, 43, Homeless, was arrested for assault to rob (unarmed).

Cassius Belfon, 26, 34 Moultrie St., Boston was arrested on a warrant.

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One Man’s Grit, Resilience and Perseverance Brought the FBI to Chelsea

By Patricia Simboli

If you want to teach the lessons of grit and resilience, perseverance and testing the limits of one’s physical and mental limits, then look no further than Anthony C. Simboli.

Seventy-five years ago, nearly 80, he started selling newspapers outside St Mary’s Church in the North End. Riding his bicycle piled high with so many papers he had to stand up to see. He and his brother Pat (who could often be found warming up at the back of the church) cornered the market on Sunday sales only to be told to “shoo” by the “big boys” in town back in the `40s. With that bump in the road, he turned to selling greeting cards door to door and went on to get himself a Boston College education while working nights at a printing shop.

Thanks to this determination and resilience he learned, it is an HISTORIC DAY in the City of Chelsea as the FBI takes occupancy of its new building on Maple Street and Everett Avenue. More than 30 years ago, Anthony made a commitment to the city of Chelsea and has not given up. Despite incredible odds and obstacles, he and his children, Anthony and Patricia, have worked to bring businesses and beautiful buildings to the city that was devastated by fire.

The City has been a great beneficiary.

As a group of civilians and agents relocate from Center Plaza Boston to Chelsea, we cannot yet know the long term impact and benefits.

Right now, though, flags are flying. Signs have been unveiled. Employees are arriving and a new day is dawning in the City of Chelsea.

The story goes on and on. But today he still works every day. And if the “big boys” from the `40s, who controlled the streets of the North End, could not appreciate his determination, we sure hope the big boys from the FBI will be grateful for the Herculean effort he made to build a beautiful building and to continue the change in Chelsea.

We are proud to call a talented, determined, and generous man one of our own. We hope his vision, determination and commitment to the City will be shared by other developers as new projects are on the drawing boards in the city.  It is important for all new developments to be of the highest quality and greatest purpose to protect the existing investments and all of the risk and development effort that has been born by many who have set the stage for further growth.  The City has an enormous responsibility to protect these investments and to continue the strong positive momentum.

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Let’s Remember — And Thank — Our Veterans

This Friday, November 11, marks the annual observance of Veterans Day. The holiday originated as Armistice Day in 1919 to mark the first anniversary of the end of World War I, which formally was concluded on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918.

The first world war was referred to at the time as “the war to end all wars.” It was thought that never again would mankind engage in the sort of madness that resulted in the near-total destruction of so much of the world and the loss of millions of lives for reasons not entirely clear to anybody either before, during, or since.

Needless to say, history has shown us that such thinking was idealistically foolhardy. Just 21 years later, the world again became enmeshed in a global conflict that made the first time around seem like a mere practice run for mass annihilation.

And even after that epic second world war, America has been involved in countless bloody conflicts in the 71 years since General Douglas MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender on the Battleship Missouri.

Armistice Day officially became known as Veteran’s Day in 1954 to include those who served in WWII and the Korean War, and subsequently in the years thereafter to the present time, to express our nation’s appreciation for the men and women who bravely have answered the call of duty to ensure that the freedoms we enjoy as Americans have been strengthened and maintained against the many challenges we have faced.

Although Veteran’s Day, as with all of our other national holidays, unfortunately has become commercialized, we urge our readers to take a moment, even if just quietly by ourselves, to contemplate what we owe the veterans of all of our wars and to be grateful to them for allowing us to live freely in the greatest nation on earth.

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Sports 11-10-2016

CHS Roundup

CHS football team edges South Boston with 2nd half comeback

The Chelsea High football team turned in another impressive performance to claim its second straight win and third in four games with a come-from-behind, 16-12 victory over South Boston this past Saturday.

Southie jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the opening period thanks to a 95 yard drive that culminated with a 28 yard touchdown pass.

A tremendous punt by Nick Ieng from the CHS 30 had pinned Southie at its own five yard line, but an effective running game dug Southie out of a deep hole that eventually led to the TD play via the air. Red Devil David Bui had sacked the Southie quarterback for a 10-yard loss on the drive, but it did not stop the Southie momentum.

The Chelsea offense meanwhile, proved unable to generate much of anything. The Red Devils went three-and-out on their first possession and then fumbled on their next possession, turning the ball over to Southie at the CHS 22.

However, Red Devil Bryan Rivas made a huge defensive play on first down when he intercepted a Southie pass and returned it to the CHS 18 yard line.

“That was a big play by Brian to make the pick,” said CHS head coach Jack Halas. “Southie had just recovered a fumble and took a shot at the end zone.  We were able to respond well and get the interception to keep the game from opening up.”

The Red Devil offense continued to struggle however, and returned the favor to Southie with an interception that set up Southie at the CHS 19.

South Boston appeared in prime shape to forge into the end zone when they had a first down at the CHS six. However, the Red Devil “D” came up with another big play when freshman defensive lineman Victor Lopez broke through the line and stripped the ball from the Southie running back. Chelsea’s Nelson Hernandez recovered the loose pigskin at the CHS 14 to thwart the Southie scoring bid as the half came to an end.

“It was another great response by our kids,” noted Halas. “We stood tough and came up big when we had to with our backs against the wall.  It was an excellent play by Victor.”

Chelsea’s frustrations on offense continued at the start of the second half, with the Red Devils turning the ball over on downs at the Southie 44 after taking the opening kickoff.

The Chelsea defense forced South Boston to punt and the Red Devils ended up on their own 45 after a Southie penalty for an early hit on punt return man Nick Ieng. The CHS offense then finally kicked into gear. Ieng was the principal man-of-attack for Chelsea with some nice runs and took in a pass reception from quarterback Luis Jimenez that brought the ball to the Southie 17.

Jimenez took to the airwaves again and found Ieng for a TD connection. Bui ran in the two-point conversion untouched to give the Red Devils an 8-6 advantage.

However, South Boston responded in lightning-quick fashion with a screen pass on a second-and-eight that went for a 68 yard touchdown and a 12-8 lead.

“Obviously, that was not the way we wanted to defend the tunnel screen,” said Halas. “We read it too slowly and didn’t tackle well.  But being able to defend the South Boston two-point conversion once again proved huge in the victory.”

However, the Red Devils refused to concede the momentum to South Boston. Chelsea started on its own 31 and had a third-and-short from the 39 when Ieng broke a long run for what would prove to be the winning touchdown.  Jimenez tossed a pass to Ieng for the conversion and a 16-12 CHS lead.

On the ensuing South Boston possession, Ieng picked off a desperation Southie pass on a third-and-very-long. The CHS offense appeared to stall out at its own 43 on a fourth-and-two, but Halas gambled and the Red Devils made the first down. Although Chelsea failed to pick up another first down and punted the ball — with Ieng making a game-saving tackle at the Southie 38 — the CHS defense eventually would hold firm as time ran out.

“Being able to pick up the first down on fourth-and-two was big for us,” said Halas. “We should have closed the game out on offense, but South Boston had some fight in them too.  We really did not cover that punt very well and were lucky that Nick Ieng saved the day.  That gave us a shot to win it on defense.”

The final series of the game proved to be a bit of a nail-biter, as Southie converted a fourth-and-26 from their own 46 to bring the ball to the CHS 28.

Another successful Southie pass set up a second-and-one at the CHS 19.  An incomplete pass brought up third down, but freshman Edwar Escobar broke through to sack the Southie quarterback for a five yard loss. A Southie toss into the end zone was batted down by Bui to preserve the victory.

“That was just a crazy last possession by South Boston,” noted Halas. “We had them in fourth-and-26, yet they converted a first down.  We knew they had to go to the air, and we were trying to get some pressure on their quarterback. The third down sack by Edwar was clutch, and David Bui made an excellent play on the final play to secure the win.

“I was very proud of the way the boys competed,” continued Halas. “We were down 6-0 at halftime and did not have much going offensively.  We made a couple of adjustments, the boys continued to fight, and we were able to come from behind twice in the ballgame to get a victory.  It was a good character win for our football team.”

The Red Devils will seek their third straight win tonight (Thursday) with a 6:45 encounter at Burke High School. A victory tonight and in the Thanksgiving Day finale against Matignon would provide a 5-6 final record and conclude the season with four straight victories.

CHS soccer team  edged in state tourney 

The Chelsea High boys soccer team turned in one of its best efforts of the season, but came up short in a 2-1 loss to North Andover in a first-round contest of the MIAA Division 2 North Sectional of the state soccer tournament.

Coach Mick Milutinovic’s Red Devils took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when senior Melvin Gare, who has become a huge factor for Chelsea in the latter third of the season, delivered a perfect strike on a direct kick from just outside the box into the top corner of the No. Andover net.

Chelsea was awarded the kick when Humberto Suarez was taken down from behind by a No. Andover defender as he broke in on goal. The play earned the No. Andover player a yellow card, though it just as easily could have been a red card (which would have left No. Andover a player short for the rest of the game) and a penalty kick for the Red Devils.

The Red Devils continued to press in their offensive end, but could not find the finishing touch to deliver the ball into the back of the No. Andover net.

No. Andover then netted a tying goal with six minutes to play in the half, leaving matters at level as the teams headed into the intermission.

No. Andover then forged ahead with a marker with 20 minutes to play. Despite their best efforts, the Red Devils were unable to attain the equalizer, bringing an end to their season.

“We never gave up,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “We fought hard right to the end and left everything on the field.”

Cartagena CAC MVP; four named all-stars

Post-season accolades for members of the Chelsea High boys soccer team, the co-champs of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference Large Division, were announced this week.

Carlos Cartagena was named the league’s co-Most Valuable Player and teammates Kevin Umanzor-Torres, Carlos Cruz, Angel Ruiz, and Humberto Suarez were named CAC all-stars.

All are seniors but for Umanzor-Torres, who is a junior.

CHS runners participate at State Coaches Meet; Deras, Martinez medalists

Last Saturday, eight Chelsea high school runners competed at the Frank Mooney State Coaches meet. There was a freshman race, a sophomore race, and a junior/senior race.

In the freshman race, Demitrius Martinez went out at a 5:27 mile in the Division I 3K race and finished strong with a 15th place performance in the field of 335 runners to earn a medal.

“Demetrius ran a very aggressive race,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “It was over a mile shorter than what he is used to, so he went out real strong in a very crowded race and finished in the top five percent in the race.  I was very impressed with the mile time.  I know Demitrius was disappointed with just missing CAC all-star status last week, so this was a good redemption race for him.”

Fellow freshman Abraham Barrientos finished in 192nd position with a time of 12:26 out of three hundred and thirty five runners.

For the girls, freshman Karina Avalos ran 15:52 for the 3K course, in 182nd spot.

Yarid Deras, the Commonwealth Athletic Conference champion, finished in 10th place in the Division I sophomore race to earn medal from among the field of 180 contestants.

“Yarid went out strong with the lead pack and got pulled along with the fast pace,” said Fay. “I was thinking top-20 would be a good race for her, but once again she exceeded expectations.

Yarid’s time of 21:04 was a personal best for 3.1 miles (5K) and was also the fastest time ever for a Chelsea girl on the Wrentham course.

Wuilfido Hernandex ran 21:50 and finished in 300th spot (out of 378 runners) in the Division I boys sophomore race.

The Red Devils were represented by a trio of CHS runners in the junior/senior race.  Junior Jose Leclerc ran 18:05 for the 5K course, a fine 64th place finish from a huge field of 528 runners, which ranked Jose in the top 12 percent of finishers. This was also the fastest time ever by a Chelsea boy on the Wrentham course.

Senior captain Adriel Cedano came across in 19:40 (237th place) and junior Alex Pedrero finished in 19:47 (259th place).

“I thought we had a tremendous day considering the caliber of competition we faced today,” said Fay. “We had two medalists, the best freshman times ever, and we had had our fastest male and female times today.  We represented Chelsea well this weekend.”

This Saturday, the girls will have two competitors at the Division 2 class meet in Wrentham, Yarid Deras and Jocelyn Poste. The boys will have the same six runners from last week competing in the Division 2 5K race.

“Our future looks bright for the boys, as we only have one senior in our top six for next year,” noted Fay.

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Obituaries 11-10-2016

Gerald Solar

Decorated Vietnam veteran, US Postal Service retiree, past member of NALC, AMVETS and past vice president of Chelsea PPC

Gerald L. Solar passed away Sunday morning November 6 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after a long battle with cancer. He was 71 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea, he was one of eight children born to the late Francis L. Solar Sr. and Frances (Parquette) Solar. He attended local schools and graduated from Chelsea High School. He was inducted into the US Army during the Vietnam Era on July 28, 1965 and participated in several battle campaigns earning two bronze stars before his discharge from active service. He returned to Chelsea and continued his education at Northeastern University. He worked for the US Postal Service as a letter carrier, delivering mail in the same Brookline neighborhood for 34 years before retiring in 1999.

He was a past member of the NALC and the AMVETS. He was also a late member and past Vice President of the PPC in Chelsea. At the PPC, he was active in many club affairs bartending and volunteering to cook for club events and sporting events. In his lifetime he enjoyed day/bus trips to Mohegan Suns and Foxwoods, movies and travel.

He was the devoted father of Frank W. Solar of Chelsea; dear brother of Josephine O’Brien of Chelmsford, Nancy Stock of Chelsea, Eleanor Cotter of Lynn, the late Frank L. Solar, Jr., Marie Britton, Ronald Solar and Evelyn Solar. He is also survived by his former wife, Christine Solar of Chelsea and by many nieces and nephews.

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

Angelina Follis

Devout parishioner of Our Lady of Grace Parish and past president of OLG Women’s Club.

Angelina M. (Saladino) Follis passed away Saturday afternoon, November 5 at the Rubin & Thompson Assisted Living in Saugus.  She was 93 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea, the daughter of the late Salvatore and Ignazia (Ippolito) Saladino,  Angelina attended Chelsea Public Schools and graduated from Chelsea High School, Class of 1941.  She was a loving homemaker, tending to her home and family for many years as her children grew up.  Angelina later worked at the Charlestown Navy Yard as a typist for nine years.  Upon leaving the Navy Yard, she worked as a secretary to the superintendent of the National Park Service in Boston before retiring in 1993.

Angelina has been residing in Saugus, but previously lived in Everett for a number of years.  She was a devout parishioner of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Chelsea and served as a past president of the OLG Women’s Club.  She enjoyed spending time with her children and all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren and also enjoyed spending quiet time reading. She will be greatly missed by all who loved her.

Angelina was the wife of the late Robert W. Follis; beloved mother of Robert W. Follis, Jr. and his wife, Rosemarie of Saugus, Michael Follis and his wife, Janet of Maine and the late Peter Follis and mother-in-law of Patricia Follis of Revere.  One of 10 siblings, she was the dear sister of Dorothy Wadland of Somerset, Josephine Durham of Florida, Hilda Fuccillo of East Falmouth and the late Grace Saladino, Carmelo Saladino, Frances Strawn, Elizabeth Mastone, Frank Saladino and Mary Sicarello.  She is also lovingly survived by eight grandchildren: Robert J. Follis, Robert W. Follis, III,  Peter T. Follis, Matthew M. Follis, Scott A. Follis, Patrick S. Follis, Kevin P. Follis, Katherine P. Davidson, 10 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Grace Church, 59 Nichols St., Chelsea today, Thursday November 10 at 10:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend.  Visiting hours will precede the Funeral Mass at the Carafa Family Funeral Home, 389 Washington Avenue, Chelsea from 8 to 10 a.m.  Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett.  Devout parishioner of Our Lady of Grace Parish.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Angelina’s memory may be made to Our Lady of Grace Parish Restoration Fund, 59 Nichols St,. Chelsea, MA 02150.

Gloria Crotty

Retired teacher and Mass Teachers Union member

Gloria C. (Petrocelli) Crotty, formerly of Revere, died at Greenwood Nursing Home of Lynnfield on November 2. She was 92 years old.

Gloria was a teacher in Wakefield for over 40 years and a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Union.

She was the beloved wife of the late Edward; loving mother of Don Crotty; devoted daughter of the late Vincent and Mary (Giella) Petrocelli and dear sister of Walter Petrocelli and the late Viola.

 A graveside prayer service was held on Friday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague, 304 Jim Thorpe BLVD, Prague, OK 74864. For guest book, please visit www.Buonfiglio.com

Daniel Dillon

Long time Revere teacher and local businessman

Daniel R. Dillon, a lifelong Revere resident, died on November 6.

Daniel was a U.S. Army Veteran, teacher in the Revere Public Schools for many years as well as a local businessman.  Daniel enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandsons. He had a great sense of humor and loved to make people laugh.

He was the beloved husband of the late Maryann (Anastas); devoted father of Malachy “Steven” of Florida, Douglas of Revere, Maryann Wood and her late husband, David of Manchester by the Sea and the late Daniel; dear brother of Althea Lundberg of South Carolina and the late Loren Dillon and Malcolm Dillon and is also survived by four loving grandchildren: Douglas, Frank, Daniel and Felix.

His Funeral will be held from the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home,  128 Revere St., Revere on Friday November 11 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in the Immaculate Conception Church at 10:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. Visiting hours will be today, Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. For guestbook please visit www.Buonfiglio.com

John Paul Borden, Sr.

Long time Harvard University animal caretaker/handler and former taxi driver for Tunnel Cab in East Boston

eacefully at the Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett on November 4 from an advancing illness. He was 79 years old.

 Born in Boston, the beloved son of the late Joseph and Elizabeth (MacNeil) Borden, he was best known as Paul to family and friends.  He was first raised in Chelsea where Paul’s father passed away when he was a young boy.  As a school age lad, he settled in East Boston with his mother and step-father Tim Moore and at the age of 17 he enlisted into the US Army and served honorably during the Korean Conflict.  Discharged in 1958, he returned to East Boston, married and began raising his family.

He worked for many years with Harvard University, Dept. of Animal Research, as an animal caretaker and handler.  For the past 15 years, he was the devoted husband and companion of Marie Cifuini, together residing in East Boston.  He also worked as a chauffeur/taxi driver working for Tunnel Cab in East Boston for several years.

During his lifetime Paul enjoyed attending racing sports at Suffolk Downs and Wonderland Park, visiting, socializing and conversing over a good cup of hot coffee with family and friends.  He always held a special spot in his heart for his late pet ferret “Candy” and cat “JJ”.

 He is survived by his beloved companion and wife of 15 years, Marie Ann Cifiuni of East Boston and his first wife, Janet Borden of New Hampshire. He was the devoted father of Raymond E. Borden, Sr. and his wife, Paulina of Winthrop, Ernest DiPiero and his fiancé, Elizabeth Karnofsky of Dracut and the late Joseph Paul Borden, Jr.; cherished grandfather of Raymond E. Borden, Jr., Mariah Rae Borden, Brandon Dunn, Anthony Russo, Daelan DiPiero Efthimios and Evangelos Georgakakis and the adoring great-grandfather of Jayce Ray Borden-Sandborn.

 Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea.  Interment at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne will be held a later date.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to an animal rescue league. or the American Diabetes Assoc.

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The 2016 Election – What’s on the Ballot?

Q.1 Expanded Slot Machine Gambling

This proposed law would allow the state Gaming Commission to issue one additional category 2 license which would permit operation of a gaming establishment with no table games and not more than 1,250 slot machines.

The proposed law would authorize the Commission to request applications for additional license to be granted to a gaming establishment located on property that is at least four acres in size, adjacent to and within 1,500 feet of a race track, including the track’s additional facilities, such as the track, grounds, paddocks, barns, auditorium, amphitheatre, and bleachers, where a horse racing meeting may physically be held, where a horse racing meeting shall have been hosted, and not separated from the race track by a highway or railway.

A YES VOTE would permit the state Gaming Commission to license one additional slot-machine gaming establishment at a location that meets certain conditions specified in the law.

A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws regarding gambling.

ARGUMENTS

IN FAVOR: Voting YES allows one additional slots parlor in Massachusetts, providing millions of dollars to Massachusetts communities and creating thousands of jobs. In 2013 alone, Massachusetts residents who played at neighboring state gaming facilities gave those states over $240 Million that could have stayed in Massachusetts.

Under the Gaming Law, nearly half the revenue collected benefits all Massachusetts residents.

If a community does not want it, it will not go there.

About $1 of every $5 collected goes to our State’s horse racing industry, sustaining jobs at racetracks and breeding farms.

AGAINST: Legalized casino gambling in the Commonwealth is too new and unproven to expand at this time.

There is one slot parlor in Massachusetts, and it is underperforming

Five casinos are expected to be opened in Massachusetts by 2019.

The ballot question was written by a casino developer, which may disrupt the process and limits established by the Legislature

Allowing it now will create a domino effect, and bring more casino and gaming developers to Massachusetts.

Q.2 CHARTER SCHOOL EXPANSION

This proposed law would allow the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools each year. Approvals under this law could expand statewide charter school enrollment by up to 1% of the total statewide public school enrollment each year. New charters and enrollment expansions approved under this law would be exempt from existing limits on the number of charter schools, the number of students enrolled in them, and the amount of local school districts’ spending allocated to them.

If the Board received more than 12 applications in a single year from qualified applicants, then the proposed law would require it to give priority to proposed charter schools or enrollment expansions in districts where student performance on statewide assessments is in the bottom 25% of all districts in the previous two years and where demonstrated parent demand for additional public school options is greatest.

New charter schools and enrollment expansions approve under this proposed law would be subject to the same approval standards as other charter schools, and to recruitment, retention, and multilingual outreach requirements that currently apply to some charter schools. Schools authorized under this law would be subject to annual performance reviews according to standards established by the Board.

The proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2017.

A YES VOTE would allow for up to 12 approvals each year of either new charter schools or expanded enrollments in existing charter schools, but not exceed 1% of the statewide public school enrollment.

A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to charter schools.

ARGUMENTS:

IN FAVOR: A YES Vote on Question 2 gives parents the right to choose the best public schools for their children.

Charter schools are PUBLIC schools, open to all children. They offer longer school days and more individual attention, and have a proven record of closing the achievement gap for kids trapped in failing school districts.

Today, almost 33,000 children are stuck on waiting lists for public charter schools.

Voting YES does not harm local school districts. Cities and towns with new public charter schools will receive MORE state education aid if Question 2 passes.

AGAINST: Every time a new charter school opens or expands, it takes funding away from the public schools in that district. This year alone, charter schools will take more than $400 Million from already underfunded Massachusetts public schools.

Under this proposal the number of charter schools in Massachusetts would nearly triple in the next 10 years, costing local public school districts more than $1 Billion a year.

If some public schools are falling short, we should fix them, not take money away and give it to privately-run charters. That means investing in areas such as STEM, arts and music, and Pre-K, not diverting resources to charters.

Q.3 CONDITIONS for farm animals

This proposed law would prohibit any farm owner or operator from knowingly confining any breeding pig, calf raised for veal, or egg-laying hen in a way that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely. The proposed law also prohibit any business owner or operator in Massachusetts from selling whole eggs intended for human consumption or any uncooked cut of veal or pork if the business owner or operator knows or should know that the hen, breeding pig, or veal calf that produced these products was confined in a manner prohibited by the proposed law. The proposed law would exempt sales of food products that combine veal or pork with other products, including soups, sandwiches, pizzas, hotdogs, or similar processed or prepared food items.

The proposed law’s confinement prohibitions would not apply during transportation; state and country fair exhibitions; 4-H programs; slaughter in compliance with applicable regulations; medical research; veterinary exams, testing, treatment and operation if performed under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian; five days prior to a pregnant pig’s expected date of giving birth; any day that pig is nursing piglets; and for temporary periods for animal husbandry purposed not to exceed six hours in any twenty-four hour period.

The proposed law would create a civic penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation and would give the Attorney General the exclusive authority to enforce the law, and to issue regulations to implement it. As a defense to enforcement proceedings, the proposed law would allow a business owner or operator to rely in good faith upon a written certification or guarantee of compliance by a supplier.

The proposed law would be in addition to any other animal welfare laws and would not prohibit stricter local laws.

The proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2022. The proposed law states that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.

A YES VOTE would prohibit any confinement of pigs, calves, and hens that prevents them from lying down, standing up, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely.

A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to the keeping of farm animals.

ARGUMENTS:

IN FAVOR: A YES vote prevents cruel treatment of animals in Massachusetts by ending the practice of cramming farm animals into cages so small they can’t turn around or stretch their limbs, and will remove inhuman and unsafe products from the Massachusetts marketplace.

Endorsed by the MSPCA, Animal Rescue League of Boston, The Humane Society of the United States, the Center for Food Safety and Consumer Federation of America, and by Massachusetts family farmers and the United Farm Workers.

AGAINST: A NO vote is necessary to protect Massachusetts consumers’ right to choose from the variety of healthy foods available for purchase today.

Question 3 proposes to ban the sale of any veal, pork, and eggs from any state unless produced according to with wishes of the ballot promoters.

A study undertaken at Cornell University estimates the cost of eggs to consumers – for a family of 5 – would be $70 a year.

The study also notes that an increase in food prices disproportionately harms lower income households, and can impact their ability to maintain a healthy and adequate diet.

Let the free marketplace respond to consumer concerns. The veal industry plans to completely phase out veal crates by the end of 2017, and 175 food suppliers have already pledged to switch to cage free eggs.

The proposed government mandate is neither necessary, nor wise.

Q.4 Legalization, regulation, & taxation of marijuana

The proposed law would permit the possession, use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts by persons age 21 and older and would remove criminal penalties for such activities. It would provide for the regulation of commerce in marijuana, marijuana accessories, and marijuana products and for the taxation of proceeds from sales of these items.

The proposed law would authorize persons at least 21 years old to possess up to ounce ounce of marijuana outside of their residence; possess up to then ounces of marijuana inside their residence; grow up to six marijuana plants in their residences; give one ounce or less of marijuana to a person at least 21 years old without payment; possess, produce, or transfer hemp; or make or transfer items related to marijuana use, storage, cultivation, or processing.

The measure would create a Cannabis Control Commission of three members appointed by the state Treasurer which would generally administer the law governing marijuana use and distribution, promulgate regulations, and be responsible for the licensing of marijuana commercial establishments. The proposed law would also create a Cannabis Advisory Board of fifteen members appointed by the Governor. The Cannabis Control Commission would adopt regulations governing licensing qualifications; security; record keeping; health and safety standards; packaging and labeling; testing; advertising and displays; required inspections; and other such matters as the Commission considers appropriate. The records of the Commission would be public records.

The proposed law would authorize cities and towns to adopt reasonable restrictions on the time, place, manner, of operating marijuana businesses and to limit the number of marijuana establishments in their communities. A city or town could hold a local vote to determine whether to permit the selling of marijuana and marijuana products for consumption on the premises at commercial establishments.

The proceeds of retail sales of marijuana and marijuana products would be subject to the state sales tax and an additional excise tax of 3.75%. A city or town could imp[ose a separate tax of up to 2%. Revenue received from the additional state excise tax or from license application fees and civil penalties for violations of this law would be deposited in a Marijuana Regulation Fund and would be used subject to appropriation for administration of the proposed law.

Marijuana-related activities authorized under this proposed law could not be a basis for adverse orders in child welfare cases absent clear and convincing evidence that such activities had created an unreasonable danger to the safety of a minor child.

The proposed law would not affect existing law regarding medical marijuana treatment centers or the operation of motor vehicles while under the influence. It would permit property owners to prohibit the use, sale, or production of marijuana on their premises (with an exception that landlords cannot prohibit consumption of marijuana by tenants by means other than by smoking); and would permit employers to prohibit the consumption of marijuana by employees in the workplace. State and local government could continue to restrict uses in public building or at or near schools. Supplying marijuana to persons under age 21 would be unlawful.

The proposed law would take effect on December 15, 2016.

A YES VOTE would allow persons 21 and older to possess, use, and transfer marijuana and products containing marijuana concentrate (including edible products), and to cultivate marijuana, all in limited amounts, and would provide for the regulation and taxation of commercial sale of marijuana and marijuana products.

A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to marijuana.

ARGUMENTS:

IN FAVOR: A YES vote is favored by law enforcement veterans because it replaces the current unregulated marijuana market, controlled by drug dealer, with a tightly regulated system controlled by state and local authorities. Passing this measure will allow local law enforcement to shift resources and focus to serious and violent crimes.

The initiative includes strict regulations for business licensing, product testing, labeling and packaging, providing many more consumer safeguards than exist now. Marketing to minors is strictly prohibited, as is public use and driving under the influence.

Local cities and towns can limit or ban marijuana business, and will govern operating hours, locations, and signage.

Taxing marijuana will generate at least an estimated $100 Million in annual revenue for state and local governments.

Regulation and taxation is working in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon, generating millions of dollars for education, infrastructure and more. Massachusetts can improve on the regulatory standards already in place and working elsewhere.

AGAINST: Vote NO on creating a billion-dollar commercial marijuana industry that, just like Big Tobacco, would make millions on the backs of our communities, compromise health and safety, and harm kids.

Vote NO because this measure:

Allows the sale and marketing of highly-potent marijuana edibles, like candy, cookies, gummy bears, and soda that are attractive to young people and can lead to accidental overdose by kids and pets

Allows people to “home grow” thousands of dollars’ worth of marijuana, even if neighbors object.

Ignores the deadly opioid epidemic and the impact legalized pot will have on overall drug use.

Q.5 Community preservation act

Shall Boston accept sections 3 to 7 inclusive, of Chapter 44B of the General Laws, as approved by the City Council, a summary of which appears below?

SUMMARY

Sections 3 to 7 of Chapter 44B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also known as the Community Preservation Act (Act), establish a dedicated funding source to enable the City of Boston to (1) help meet affordable housing needs; (2) create and rehabilitate parks, playgrounds and athletic fields; (3) preserve land for outdoor recreational uses and conservation areas; and (4) preserve and rehabilitate historic buildings and resources. In Boston, the funding source for these community preservation purposes will be a surcharge of 1% on the annual property tax assessed on real property beginning in Fiscal Year 2018; plus other funds that may be committed by the City for community preservation purposes pursuant to Section 3(b) 1/2 of Chapter 44B; and annual distributions made by the state from a trust fund created by the Act. The Commonwealth provides funds only to communities adopting the Act. If approved, the following will be exempt from the surcharge: (1) property owned and occupied as a domicile by any person who qualifies for low income housing or low or moderate income senior housing as defined in Section 2 of the Act; (2) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of residential real property; and (3) $100,000 of the value of each taxable parcel of class three, commercial property and class four, industrial property as defined in Section 2A of Chapter 59. A taxpayer whose tax is reduced by an abatement or exemption will receive a reduction in their surcharge in proportion to the reduction. Upon acceptance of the Act by the voters, a Community Preservation Committee will be established to study community preservation needs, possibilities and resources, and to make annual recommendations on spending the funds.

A YES VOTE would make the above changes in the law, increasing property tax, and establishing a Community Preservation Committee to study, observe, and allocate the funds annually where they are needed most.

A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to community preservation and property tax in the community.

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Chelsea Reads Celebration

Chelsea Reads Celebration

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Sarah Gay, (left) director of the Chelsea Public Library, and Martha Bocksenbaum (right) children’s librarian, invite all Chelsea families to attend the 11th annual “Chelsea Reads” Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the library, located at 569 Broadway. There will be hands-on-family
activities and crafts, special guest storytellers, performances, music, and fun. Every child in attendance will receive a backpack and free books while supplies last. The event celebrates National Family Literacy Month. City Manager Tom Ambrosino will be one of the celebrity readers.

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