City Councillors voted down a plan on Monday night to require newly-hired police officers to live in Chelsea at least five years after starting the job – an issue decided by one vote in a 5-6 decision.
Supporters of the plan indicate that it is a very popular initiative among voters, and leading proponent Councillor Leo Robinson forced the vote on Monday night in order to see where everyone stood.
He said he was disappointed, but he said – given what he believes is widespread support in the community – that those who voted against it will have to explain their position to the voters.
“For me, it comes back to economics,” he said. “If we’re looking at building a larger middle class here and we’re allowing the best wage earners to take their money and spend it in other communities, we’re not getting any benefit…They wanted to table it, but I objected to that. I wanted people to stand up and vote on this and get everyone on record and not let it hand over our heads. I think this is the right thing to do for the City. I’m a life-long resident and I think these are the steps we should be looking at to improve our community. These guys who voted against it are going to have to tell the people why they did.”
Those voting for the new residency ordinance were Robinson, Giovanni Recupero, Calvin Brown, Paul Barton and Joe Perlatonda.
Those voting against the residency ordinance were Chris Cataldo, Paul Murphy, Matt Frank, Dan Cortell, Cliff Cunningham and Brian Hatleberg.
Council President Frank said he has a long record of opposing residency ordinances – a position in this case that is two-fold.
Frank said his father is employed by the City of Cambridge, and when he took the job there, that City had no residency ordinance. So, he was able to continue living in Chelsea.
“I wouldn’t be here, my parents wouldn’t be here and my siblings wouldn’t be here,” he said. “We would have had to sell our house and move to Cambridge just because…It would be a shame if we ripped other people out of their communities.”
Second, he said there were statistics provided on Monday that showed such an enforcement effort might not be necessary. Statistics showed that of the 11 police officers hired in the last five years, 10 of them are still living in Chelsea.
“If we would have instituted this ordinance five years ago, at the end of the day, we would have wasted all of this time and money and effort to keep one officer out of 11 from moving out of Chelsea,” he said. “It seems to me a waste of money. I don’t think it’s worthwhile.”
Other councillor supporting the ordinance said that there are instances of several police officers allegedly keeping a Chelsea address, but not necessarily living here. Having a mechanism to check the true residency under the ordinance would root out such things, they said.
Frank also pointed out many cities that have a residency ordinance end up having police and firefighters all living in the same neighborhood.
“I agree it would be great to have a police officer or firefighter living on every street, but in places like Boston, most of the police and firefighters live in West Roxbury,” he said. “You have entire streets there that are made up of police officers and firefighters. The same could end up happening in Chelsea.”
Councillor Joe Perlatonda said he favored residency for police, and felt those voting against it needed to explain themselves to the voters.
“I think the residency ordinance would have been a good thing,” he said. “I don’t know why they voted it down. That’s their thing. The residents of Chelsea wanted this, so let these guys who voted against this go out and explain their position to the voters.”
Councillor Dan Cortell said he had several concerns with the ordinance, but chief among them was how it would affect lateral transfers from other departments. A lateral transfer is a police officer from another community that is already trained and working and has been laid off or seeks to work elsewhere, and is then hired by another community.
“If you hire someone off of the Civil Service list, on day one they are a rookie and they need to be trained at the academy,” he said. “The other option is I can take someone who Everett can’t hire or who got laid off. That person doesn’t need to go to the academy and is already experienced and ready to hit the street on day one. That is my single biggest issue with this and what I see as a flaw in the policy…I’ll take every one of the transfers if they have good records and have had an unfortunate layoff.”
One key vote came from Councillor Clifford Cunningham, who was not available for comment by press time.
Cunningham apparently did not necessarily disagree with the ordinance, but said he couldn’t support it until the state’s 10-mile residency rule was first enforced by the City. State law calls for public safety employees to live within a 10-mile radius of the community where they are employed.
With that opposition, a key vote was lost, and the proposal failed.
City Manager Jay Ash said he thought it was a healthy discussion even though he didn’t favor the policy.
“I think the City Council has a responsibility to make public policy decisions and I have no problem with councillors raising issues like this, discussing them and researching them,” he said. “Not everything at City Hall is going to be unanimous. In this case, I think the Council made the right decision, but I have no problem with anyone raising the issue.”
Robinson said he was disappointed to see the measure go down.
He said he felt like he made several compromises and answered plenty of questions about possible problems with the ordinance. He said he rolled back the effective day from May 2014 to January 2015, and he also excluded the Chief’s position and 9-1-1 employees from the ordinance – not to mention the fact that anybody already in the department has been grandfathered and wouldn’t be affected.
“It is disappointing, but now we have everyone on record,” he said.
Retired Kayem Employee, Long Active at St. Stanislaus Church and at Chelsea PAV Post 13
Albert L. “Barry” Barys of Saugus and a former longtime Chelsea resident passed away unexpectedly Monday evening March 24 while rehabilitating at the Annemark Nursing Home in Revere.
Born and raised in Chelsea, he was the beloved son of the late Joseph and Agatha Barys. He attended St. Stanislaus Parochial School and as a young man worked as a Shoe Laster for Walton Shoe in Chelsea, He enlisted in the US Navy during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1946.
He began civilian life working as a tailor and later as a meat smoker for Kayem Foods. In 1950, he married Josephine Kolomicka and together they raised their two sons and daughter in Chelsea.
He was a lifelong parishioner of St Stanislaus Church and former member of the Holy Name Society and Church Usher there.
He and his wife moved to Saugus 28 years ago where he enjoyed gardening and simply puttering around the house. He retired from Kayem Foods in the late 1980’s after 40 years of employment there. He was also a longtime active member of the PAV Post 13 in Chelsea where he and his beloved wife enjoyed many dances and social gatherings.
He was the beloved husband of 64 years to Josephine (Kolomicka) Barys; devoted father of Elizabeth Gilman of Burlington and her late husband, Chick Gilman, Frank Barys and his wife, Catherine E. of Middleboro and the late Joseph Barys.Cherished grandfather of Louis Gilman of Arlington, Julianne Gilman of Burlington, Jennifer Barys of Saugus and Abigail Barys of Hopedale; dear brother of the late Catherine Piaseczny, Celia Benson, Stephanie Jandrys, Mary Marshall and Walter and John Barys. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
His Funeral will be held from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Saturday, March 29 at 8:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial offered in his Remembrance at St. Stanislaus Church, 163 Chestnut St., Chelsea at 9:30 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to St. Stanislaus Church. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit
Josephine E. (Hovasse) Lang, formerly of, Chelsea, Revere, Hampton, NH and Venice, FL passed away in Denver, CO on March 12. She was 93 years old.
Jo, who was an avid bowler, bridge player, and Boston Red Sox fan, was born on March 26, 1920 in Revere to the late Elsie J. (Walwer) and August L. Hovasse and raised in Revere and Chelsea.
She is survived by her sons Brian T. (Joanne) Phillips of Telford, PA and Harry A. (Christine) Phillips of Denver, stepson Roger J. Lang III (Janet) of Lowell, two grandchildren, three step-granchildren, five step-great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, her husbands Roger J. Lang, Jr. and Harry S. Phillips and her stepson George M. Lang.
Her Funeral Mass will be at 12 noon on April 5, at Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell followed by burial and a reception luncheon. For more information, please contact: Mahoney Funeral Home, Lowell MA, 978-452-6361. Please make memorial contributions to the charity of your choice.
Supporter of Talking Books for Blind; Dedicated to Home and Family
Marion C. (Hanlon) Denning, a lifelong Chelsea resident, passed away unexpectedly in her Chelsea home on March 22. She was 85 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, the daughter of Thomas J. and Marion R. (Keyes) Hanlon, she attended local schools and was a graduate of St. Rose High School, Class of 1945.
She married Robert Denning and together they resided in Chelsea. Marion was a devoted wife and mother, dedicated to her home and family. She was predeceased by her beloved husband in 1989. Marion was faithful parishioner and communicant at Our Lady of Grace Church in Chelsea. She also supported Talking Books from Perkins School for the Blind.
The beloved wife of the late Robert J. Denning, she was the devoted mother of Barbara Martin and her husband, Edward of Stoneham; cherished grandmother of Michael Martin and his wife, Vanessa of Reading and Meghan Jones and her husband, Michael of Beverly; adored great grandmother of Brendan and Teagan Martin and is also survived by her dear sister Helen Hanlon of Chelsea, her brother Charles Hanlon and his wife, Terry of Peabody. She was the dear sister of the late Robert and Edward Hanlon and Thomas J. Hanlon Jr.
Her Funeral will begin from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home 718 Broadway Chelsea on Friday, March 28 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church, 59 Nichols St., Chelsea at 10:30 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home today, Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to The Talking Book Library c/o Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon St., Watertown, MA 02472-2790. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com.
Licensed Nurse Practioner
Jennifer A. Winam, a lifelong Chelsea resident, passed away in her Chelsea home following a courageous battle with overwhelming illness. She was 42 years old.
Born in Revere, the daughter of James and Gail (Welsh) Winam, she attended local schools was a graduate of Northeast Regional Vocational Technical High School, Class of 1989. After graduation, High School, Jennifer continued her education becoming a Licensed Nurse Practioner. She worked for many years at the former Woodlawn Manor Nursing Home in Everett and was most recently employed at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. She enjoyed visiting Revere Beach and going to Bianchi’s Pizza.
A devoted mother, Jennifer was dedicated to her four loving daughters and she will be sorely missed by the many friends and family whose lives she touched.
She is the devoted mother of Jessica, Jennifer, Julia and Joanna Agostini, all of Chelsea; loving daughter of the late James and Gail (Welsh) Winam; dear sister of James, John and Christopher Winam; cherished aunt of Justin and Christopher Winam and is also survived by many loving relatives and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Rose Church on Wednesday. Services concluded with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the care and direction of the Frank A. Welsh and Sons, Funeral Home. To send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com.
Longtime Devotee of St. Luke’s Church
Barbara (Chick) Shaw, a former longtime Chelsea resident and a graduate of Chelsea High School, passed away peacefully on March 15 in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The daughter of Elmer and Leora (Moulton) Chick and the loving wife of Ronald Shaw, she was a longtime member of St. Luke’s Church where she and her husband were in charge of the Sunday School. Ten years ago, she moved to Saugus to be with her daughter, Martha, and about five years ago, they moved to South Carolina.
In addition to her daughter, Martha, she leaves two other daughters, Kathleen Spencer and her husband, Brien and Karen Medico and her husband, Joseph. She also leaves 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Services were held in St. George’s Church in South Carolina and will also be held on Friday, March 28 at 3 p.m. at St. John’s Church in Saugus. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett.
Edith C. (King) Hudson of Chelsea died on March 24. She was 94 years old.
She was the wife of the late James E. Hudson; beloved mother of Alvin E. Hudson of Bedford, Barbara D. Moores and her husband, Robert of Chelsea and Janice R. Johnson and her husband, Ed of Maine; daughter of the late John and Bertha (Butt) King; dear sister of Ellen Noftle and Minnie Snow, both of Newfoundland, Canada and the late Rev. J. Calvin King, Arthur King, Lillian King and Mariam Rockwood. She is also lovingly survived by many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend visiting hours on Friday, March 28 at the William R. Carafa & Son Home For Funerals, 389 Washington Ave., Chelsea from 9 to 10:30 a.m. followed by a Graveside Service at Woodlawn Cemetery, 302 Elm St., Everett at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Advancement Department Animal Rescue League of Boston, 10 Chandler St., Boston, MA 02116 or by visiting http://www.arlboston.org/donate.
Lifelong Chelsea Resident
Elaine D. Reid, a lifelong resident of Chelsea, died on March 21. She was 70 years old.
The retired Unit Manager at the former Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Boston, she was the beloved daughter of Hilda (Snow) of Chelsea and the late Gilbert S. Reid, the sister of the late Stanley S. Reid, sister-in-law of Gladys Vickers Reid of Boxford, dear aunt of Dorothy Reid-Sola of Saugus, Donna Reid-Full of Hamilton, Steven S. Reid and his wife, Kim of Boxford and grand aunt of Amanda Reid-Full of Hamilton. She is also lovingly survived by many cousins and friends.
Funeral Services will be conducted in the William R. Carafa & Son Home For Funerals, 389 Washington Avenue, Chelsea on Saturday, March 29 at 2 p.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will precede the service from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Interment at Glenwood Cemetery in Everett will be held at a later date.
For our readers with children, the above phrases will be recognized as coming from a song by Barney, the Purple Dinosaur. But they are as apropos as anything else we can think of to remind our readers that springtime also means clean-up time.
This is the time of year when city street sweepers will begin making their regular patrols around the city and our automobiles will have to be off the streets at certain hours so our men and women in the DPW can do their jobs of keeping our streets clean. This is especially important at this time of year when the sand and the leftover debris from the winter that has been covered-over by snow has been revealed.
So please obey the parking regulations. A clean city is something that benefits everybody and in which all of us can take pride.
Although the calendar told us that spring officially arrived last Thursday, Mother Nature, as usual, has decided on her own time frame for when she will allow spring to be sprung.
As we are writing this editorial at the beginning of the week, the weatherman is telling us that temperatures will remain below freezing all day for the next two days and then a major coastal snowstorm will descend upon us mid-week, delivering up to a foot or more of snow, before conditions return to a more normal weather pattern by the end of the week.
None of this should be surprising. We’ve had an unusually cold winter, thanks to all of those polar vortexes that spun our way, and it will take a while before the Arctic loosens its icy grip on us. But even in general terms, those of us who live in coastal New England never have a spring to speak of. Coastal breezes, bringing in the air from the 40-degree ocean water, keep us cool, even though temperatures may be 15 degrees higher just 10 miles inland.
The forecasts for Tuesday-into-Wednesday’s storm remind us of the April Fool’s Blizzard of 1997, which dumped more than two feet of snow in this area in a 24 hour period, making it what at the time was one of the four largest snowstorms ever to hit Greater Boston.
So Mother Nature is up to her usual tricks. And as always, to paraphrase the well-known saying, the weather will be something we will all talk about, but none of us all be able to do anything about it.
More than 400 people gathered at the South Boston Convention Center on Tuesday, March 25, to attend the public input hearing on the Revere Mohegan Sun casino project in front of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). Residents from all over Boston, Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea , Everett and the Greater Boston region spoke to the MGC for up to five minutes each about their views on the casino being allowed to be built. The two most argued cases for the casino were the job creation and economic benefits it will bring in for the region and how it will revitalize Revere into the destination it was in the 1920s. Opponents of the casino being built in Revere spoke about how it will create traffic in an already heavily driven area. They also spoke about how it could bring crime and drain the community of much needed independent business.
Vernon Clyde John of Chelsea passed away peacefully on March 13. He was 78 years old.
He was educated at Mucurapo Boys School, St. Crispin School and graduated from Fatima College, Trinidad. Upon graduation he was gainfully employed at Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC.)
In 1968 he migrated to the United States and settled in Boston where he spent the next 30 plus years working for the John Hancock Insurance Co, as a Data Processor until retirement.
Vernon was very easygoing and sociable. He had a great love for swimming, horse racing, playing cards and music. He especially loved playing and listening to the steel pan, keyboard and guitar. He was an active member of the Unity Sports and Cultural Club in Dorchester.
During the past several years Vernon had been experiencing several problems with his health. Despite these problems, he remained physically and emotionally strong and persistent through the good and bad days. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.
He was the beloved husband of Dianne John to whom he was married for 52 years; devoted father of Ricardo Vernon John and his wife, Charlene; loving grandfather of Brianna; the son of the late Dadwar John and Lillian Roberts and brother of Anton Roberts, Stanley Roberts, Yvonne Caldiera, Carol Aquing, Annette Roberts and the late Lawrence Roberts; brother in-law Hosein “Rudy” Ali, Anwar “Ricky” Ali, and he also leaves his sister in-law Dawn Gonsalves. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visiting hours will be held today, Thursday, March 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Smith Funeral Home, 125 Washington Ave., Chelsea . A Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Our Lady of Grace Church, 59 Nichols Street, Chelsea. A celebration of Vernon’s life will be held directly following the burial at the Polish Political Club, 58 Broadway, Chelsea. To send a message of condolence to Vernon’s family, please visit www.smithfuneralhomes.com
Irene I. (Dugan) Galeas of Chelsea passed away on March 16 at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home on Lafayette Avenue after a year long illness. She was 75 years old.
Born in Charlestown, she moved to Chelsea in 1973. She was the beloved mother of Theresa Castro of Chelsea, Karen Keefe of Newport, NH and the late Patrick and Kevin Keefe; sister of Dorothy Rushing, Charles Dugan and the late James, Barbara and Jeanne Dugan; cherished grandmother of Carrie, Joanna, Frankie, JJ, Justin, Savanna, Chris, Mark, Shannon, PJ, Sean, Casey, Ronnie, Dena, Famay and Wendy and is also lovingly survived by many great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and very close friends, Rick Morse, the Castro and Prudencio Families and Lisa Flores and family.
Family and friends are kindly invited to attend a Funeral from the Smith Funeral Home, 125 Washington Avenue, Chelsea on Saturday, March 22 at 8 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass to be celebrated in St. Rose Church, 600 Broadway, Chelsea at 9 o’clock. Visiting Hours in the Smith Funeral Home will be on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. Committal Service will be private. To send a message of condolence to Irene’s family, please visit www.smithfuneralhomes.com
Retired Hawthorne Realty Property Manager
Joseph S. Drigotas of Lynn, formerly of Chelsea, died at home on March 12 after a brief illness. He was 72 years old.
Born in Boston and a resident of Chelsea for 50 years, Buzzards Bay for six years and Lynn for the last eight, for over 45 years he was a property manager for Hawthorne Realty retiring in the mid 2000′s.
He was the devoted husband of Agnes (Doherty); beloved father of Christopher Drigotas and Joseph S. Drigotas and his wife, Rochelle, all of Lynn; brother of George Drigotas of Amesbury and the late Julia Anne Drigotas.
Funeral arrangements were by the Smith Funeral Home, Chelsea. Committal was private. Expressions of sympathy in Joseph’s name may be made to the American Lung Association, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004. To send a message of condolence to Joseph’s family, please visit www.smithfuneralhomes.com
Retired Marine Insurance Underwriter, Member of Knights of Columbus
John J. Lewin, a retired insurance underwriter and lifelong Chelsea resident, passed away on March 11 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after a long illness. He was 69 years old. Born and raised in Chelsea, the beloved son of the late Clarence W. and Catherine F. (Tumulty) Lewin, John attended local Schools and graduated from Chelsea High School, Class of 1963. He worked for various insurances companies specializing as a Marine Underwriter and retired several years ago from the Cigna Insurance Co. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Chelsea Council #83, and Fourth Degree Bishop Cheverus Assembly. He was also a former bowling league member.
In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by a brother, William E. Lewin. He is survived by two sisters ,Marilyn F. and Patricia A. Lewin, both of Chelsea, two brothers and their wives, Robert G. Lewin and his wife, Terry of Chelsea and Kevin Lewin and his wife, Karen M. of Saugus and his nephew and godson Brian Patrick Lewin of Arlington, VA.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel on Saturday, March 15. Services concluded with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett. Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to the care and direction of the Frank A. Welsh and Sons Funeral Home. To send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com.
On Thursday, April 10, Molly Baldwin of Chelsea-based non-profit Roca will be speaking at the 2014 Disrupting the Poverty Cycle Conference hosted at UMass Boston.
Baldwin’s work as Founder and CEO of Roca – an organization dedicated to moving high-risk young people out of violence and poverty – has gained significant notoriety of late due to Roca’s cutting edge partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts aimed at reducing incarceration and increasing employment among justice system involved young men around the state.
Roca also serves roughly 200 high-risk young mothers per year, helping them change destructive behaviors, and gain economic and social stability. Baldwin will focus her comments at the conference largely on Roca’s successful work with these young women.
According to the conference organizers, the mission of this year’s program is “to provide the opportunity for pioneering stakeholders across diverse sectors to share practical emerging approaches to engage low-income families in a journey to economic self-sufficiency. Experts in program delivery, applied research, public policy, philanthropy, and program participants are invited to this gathering with the purpose of generating cross-sector dialogue among those with a vested interest in seeing low-income families succeed.”
Baldwin will be participating in the event along with many prominent leaders, including keynote speaker Dr. Harry Holzer of Georgetown University, and panelists from respected organizations such as MDRC, Pew Charitable Trusts, CFED, and Jobs for the Future.
For Baldwin, who has worked for almost 30 years on addressing the issue of poverty among teenage and young adult mothers, the conference is an exciting opportunity.
“To be counted among such an esteemed, dedicated group of leaders is a real privilege – but more importantly the conference is creating a much-needed forum to discuss deeply critical issues that have yet to be resolved in this society,” said Baldwin.
More specifically, Baldwin adds, “These days, it’s getting harder and harder for working class and low-income single mothers to make ends meet – particularly with the group of high-risk young mothers that Roca serves. We need to speak openly and honestly about the issues affecting these young women, their children, and explore new approaches for helping them get out of the poverty cycle.”
The one-day conference was created to do just that.
Conference organizers are hoping to accomplish three overarching goals, as stated on the conference website:
•To hold a vital, engaging forum on U.S. poverty and economic mobility rooted in contemporary economic conditions and policy debates;
•To foster cross-pollination between academics, program leaders, public officials, and low-income individuals;
•To leave every attendee of the conference with at least two new ideas that can reshape/improve their work.
To register for the conference, visit Crittenton Women’s Union website at https://liveworkthrive.thankyou4caring.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=380. The Conference will be held on Thursday, April 10, 2014 between 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the UMASS Boston Campus Center, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston.
Last Friday’s regional casino partnership forum saw leaders from all over the area converge on Revere, including Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash. Ash, (center) is pictured with Mohegan executive Gary Luderitz, State Sen. Tom McGee (D-Lynn), and Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle.
City Manager Jay Ash wasn’t sure what to expect when he walked into Revere City Hall last Friday for the regional casino partnership forum.
What he found was an assemblage of municipal and business leaders from the region rarely seen in the same room – all looking to find a common denominator in supporting the regional approach of the proposed Mohegan Sun casino project in Revere.
Ash said he left feeling very good about where the project was going and how its leaders saw Chelsea fitting into their plans.
“I thought it was a great forum and an insightful one to me,” Ash said. “I’m seeing how much emphasis Mohegan Sun is placing on the region and how the entire region can benefit…I have to say it’s head and shoulders above any discussions I’ve had with any other casino operator.
“I left with a good feeling,” he added. “I’ve had the opportunity to see both proponents and the Mohegan Sun project continues to impress me as to where Chelsea fits into all of this.”
The forum included a panel of mayors and managers from Winthrop, Melrose, Saugus and Lynn who discussed how they wanted to see the project impact their areas. There was also a portion dedicated to business, where Chamber members and business leaders from all over the area contributed to the discussion. Finally, there was a panel discussion on traffic improvements with Mohegan’s traffic planner, John Kennedy, and City Manager Ash.
The meeting was the the brainchild of Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo and his Economic Development Director, John Festa. They said they would like to get the ball rolling on regional collaboration prior to any licenses being awarded.
“We don’t want to wait until a license is granted to start talking about ways we can do things together to make this project help elevate the entire region,” said Rizzo.
Ash said he felt like the transportation piece was an important discussion to start having due to the fact that the area’s roads so often isolate and “lock-up” cross community business opportunities.
“The transportation was an important discussion to have and opens up the ideas many of us have had to unlocking the things in the region that have been locked up by transportation issues for so long,” he said. “With such a big investment in our backyard, this is an opportunity to look at how that investment can help us unlock these opportunities.”
The Mohegan Sun casino proposal will have a public hearing in Boston at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) this Tuesday, March 25, at 4 p.m. Then, on April 7, there will be a hearing on the proposal in Revere at the Revere High School Auditorium at 4 p.m.
The meetings will seek to gain input from the Revere community and surrounding communities.
When Chelsea’s Roy Avellaneda pulled papers to run for state representative in the dead of winter last January, he said he knew it was going to be a race that continued until next fall – despite the March 4 Special Election.
And though Avellaneda lost that Special Election by a 2 to 1 margin to Charlestown’s Dan Ryan, this week Avellaneda vowed to continue on with that nine-month fight by pulling papers to run once again for the seat in this September’s Democratic primary.
He will once again face Ryan, who has also pulled papers for the fall despite not yet having won the April 1 General Election. He is considered to be the informal incumber, though, as there is no opponent in that April 1 election. The seat was vacated in January by long-time State Rep. Gene O’Flaherty.
On Wednesday, Avellaneda said he believed that having more time to form his campaign would make a distinct difference this time around.
“I had always figured anyone who was involved in this campaign as a candidate had to have concluded that they were going to run twice,” he said. “Win or lose, I knew it was going to be nine months of campaigning. We obviously ran and lost, but nothing happened on Election Day that served to change my mind about a second run…The one thing we needed in our campaign to do everything we wanted was more time. We didn’t have time to register people or do voter registration drives, which was a major goal of ours. Now we have six months to run this campaign and I think it will make a big difference.”
One of the disappointments in the race on this side of the Mystic Tobin Bridge was the dismal voter turnout in Chelsea. Despite having a popular, Latino candidate from Chelsea, voters didn’t swarm to the polls.
There are many reasons for that. Some of it is a trend going back several years, Avellaneda said, and some of it has to do with the challenge of cold weather campaigning last month.
Despite that, Avellaneda said he expects a much larger turnout in September for contested state races, and he believes the numbers are in his favor.
“We were disappointed by the low turnout on March 4, but in retrospect that has not been an issue that just turned up, but rather one that has been ongoing for years,” he said. “I’ll point to uncontested City Council races and the fact that we’ve seen School Committee seats with no candidates…We did get 80 percent of the Chelsea vote. Those who did show up in Chelsea knew our message and mostly voted for me. I’m trying to just enlarge that 80 percent. Our numbers tell us to expect triple the turnout in September. With six months to campaign, we hope we can take advantage of a higher turnout due to many more races like governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.”
He also said he believes an extended campaign will allow him to make inroads in Charlestown, something he just didn’t have the time to do in a period of a few weeks.
“I never had time to property campaign in Charlestown,” he said. “We didn’t even have a debate. I find it disappointing that there was not an opportunity for candidates to get on a stage and talk about their differences. There are distinct differences between Dan Ryan and myself…I know if I have a chance to walk into the hallways and living rooms of Charlestown, I know I will be able to walk out with their endorsement and their votes. I didn’t get a chance to give a proper introduction of myself to the people of Charlestown…This is not going to be solely won on either Chelsea or Charlestown. I am going to be in Charlestown a lot and my opponent will probably be in Chelsea. It will be a race across the entire district.”
The Chelsea Chamber of Commerce will hold its Installation of Officers Dinner Reception on Thursday, March 27 at Anthony’s in Malden.
Dennis Cataldo, vice president of Cataldo Ambulance Services, will take the oath as the new president of the local business organization. He succeeds Arthur Arsenault as president.
“On behalf of the Chamber, I want to congratulate Dennis on his elevation to president of our organization,” said Saritin Rizzuto, co-chair of the event with Renee Caso. “We also want to thank Arthur for his outstanding service to the Chamber during his term as president.”
Cataldo is a graduate of Malden Catholic High School and holds a degree in Management from Suffolk University. During his career as a leader of the highly respected Cataldo Ambulance Service, Inc., Cataldo spearheaded the acquisition of Atlantic Ambulance Service in 2003 and has overseen the subsequent strategies to grow that brand.
Today, the resources of Cataldo Ambulance and Atlantic Ambulance Service provide more than 140,000 medical transports per year. The company employs more than 700 qualified staff and operates a fleet of mor than 150 vehicles.
Cataldo is active in many organizations and holds the rare distinction of being president of two Chambers of Commerce, having previously served as president of the Malden Chamber of Commerce. Often recognized for excellence in his profession, Cataldo was awarded the EMS Leader Award by the Metropolitan Boston Emergency Medical Services Council.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Anne Thorndike, who will talk about her research focusing on health, wellness, and access to healthy foods in underserved populations.
The installation will begin at 6 p.m. with a social hour. At 7 p.m., guests will enjoy dinner. There will be musical entertainment, door prizes, a silent auction, and lots more.
The Chamber of Commerce would like to thank its sponsors: Metro Credit Union, Cataldo Ambulance Service, Eastern Salt, Chelsea Bank, Mass General Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Stop and Compare Supermarkets, Arsenault and Cline CPAs, East Boston Savings Bank, and KYOCERA New England.
Tickets are $60 per person and are available by contacting Chelsea Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rich Cuthie at 617-884-4877.