Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company” or “Meridian”) (NASDAQ: EBSB), the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank (the “Bank”), following the new tax law being passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 22, 2017, announced the following enhanced commitments to the Bank’s employees, infrastructure investment and charitable giving which will benefit its customers and the communities it serves:
- The minimum wage for all employees will increase to $15 per hour
- An additional 20% will be added to the 2017 bonus as part of the Bank’s Incentive Compensation Plan that will be paid to the Bank’s 500+ employees in January 2018
- An increase to the Capital Spending Budget as a result of plans to build six new branch locations in 2018
- An increase in charitable giving by targeting $1 million in donations to community and non-profit organizations in 2018
Richard J. Gavegnano, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “While our wage policy has consistently been higher than the state mandate of $11.00, the passing of the new tax law has provided the Bank the opportunity to boost its planned minimum wage hike and share those benefits with many of the employees our customers see every day. As a result, our Board of Directors voted to increase the Bank’s minimum wage to $15 per hour as well as increase the 2017 bonus that all employees are eligible to receive by 20%. It is our hope that this hourly wage increase and additional bonus commitment will attract and maintain employees and demonstrate the Bank’s commitment to invest in our workforce.”
According to Gavegnano, while the Bank continues to study the provisions of the new tax law, the Bank believes it is clear that this law supports the Bank’s long-term growth prospects and goals. “Our plan is to continue to branch out to areas in our marketplace that are not being serviced by a community bank. East Boston Savings Bank added two branch offices from our acquisition of Meetinghouse Bank in Dorchester and Roslindale, and in 2018 we will be adding branch locations in the Boston neighborhoods of Cleveland Circle and Brigham Circle as well as locations in West Peabody and Lynnfield. We will continue to research new branch opportunities and stimulate economic growth by providing local jobs and loans to help businesses and individuals thrive.”
Beyond banking, East Boston Savings Bank is committed to being a good neighbor by giving back to the communities we serve. “Each year the Bank makes contributions and/or donates a variety of items supporting community and local civic groups. Our employees volunteer their time for many meaningful causes. In 2018, the Bank and the East Boston Savings Bank Charitable Foundation are committing to make contributions of at least $1 million to well-deserving not-for-profit organizations.”
It is due to East Boston Savings Bank’s commitment to its employees and communities that the Bank was recognized by The Boston Globe as one of Massachusetts’ “Top Places to Work” in 2017. “In my experience, top workplaces are where people work well together while understanding that what they do is worthwhile. There is no substitute for the hard work and great customer service that our employees consistently provide. Our employees understand what it means to go the extra mile for their customers. I’m proud of our employees and what we accomplish together,” said Gavegnano.
Meridian Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank. East Boston Savings Bank, a Massachusetts- chartered stock savings bank founded in 1848, operates 33 full-service locations and one mobile location in the greater Boston metropolitan area. We offer a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located in our primary market, which consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts. For additional information, visit www.ebsb.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements herein constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may be identified by words such as “believes,” “will,” “expects,” “project,” “may,” “could,” “developments,” “strategic,” “launching,” “opportunities,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “plans,” “targets” and similar expressions. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Meridian Bancorp, Inc.’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors. Factors that could cause such differences to exist include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, changes in interest rates, regulatory considerations, and competition and the risk factors described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks materialize or should underlying beliefs or assumptions prove incorrect, Meridian Bancorp, Inc.’s actual results could differ materially from those discussed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release.
BREAKING AT THE HEALTH CENTER
On Oct. 4 at 8;12 a.m., a male subject was placed into custody after he was observed entering and checking motor vehicle door handles by police in the MGH Clinic parking lot, located at 151 Everett Ave. No stolen property located on his person.
Egno Silva, 26, of Beverly, was charged with Breaking and Entering in the day for a felony.
THAT’S MY SPOT!
On Oct. 6 at 6:43 p.m., officers responded to 827 Broadway on a past assault involving neighbors. Officers were advised that one of the involved may be in possession of a knife. Officers determined it was an argument over a parking space with one of the participants claiming she was threatened with a knife.
Officers placed the subject under arrested for the assault.
Luz Rodriguez, 55, of 835 Broadway, was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.
NO ALARM CAN WAKE HIM UP
On Oct. 7 at 2 a.m., officers responded to the area of Greg’s Service Center located at 51 Park St. on the report of a car alarm going off and not stopping.
Officers observed a male party who was passed out in a truck on the property. The subject was placed under arrest after stating he entered the truck to sleep for the night.
James Sullivan, 23, of 101 Park St., was charged with breaking and entering in the night for a felony and one warrant.
REVERE MAN SENTENCED FOR BANK ROBBERY SPREE
A Revere man was sentenced Oct. 11 in federal court in Boston for robbing 10 banks during a 19-day spree from late December 2016 to early January 2017.
He was arrested in Chelsea on Jan. 7, and confessed to robbing the banks.
Fred Mandracchia, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 100 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $16,695 to the banks he robbed. In July 2017, Mandracchia HYPERLINK “https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/revere-man-pleads-guilty-multiple-bank-robberies” pleaded guilty to 10 counts of bank robbery
Following a Jan. 3, 2017, robbery of the Mechanics Cooperative Bank branch in Fall River, law enforcement identified Mandracchia as the individual responsible for that robbery. Based on similarities in the robberies and the physical description of the perpetrator, Mandracchia was suspected to have also been involved in nine other Boston-area bank robberies.
On Oct. 8 at 11:25 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 7-11 store at Broadway and Williams for a report of an unwanted party. The male party had been previously given a no trespass order by the store. Upon arrival officers observed the male harassing customers at the entrance. He was placed into custody at the scene.
Daniel Humphreys, 37, of 855 Broadway, was charged with resisting arrest and trespassing.
PRESCRPITION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY
City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and Police Chief Brian Kyes are again hosting the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday October28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chelsea Police Headquarters. This national program aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. The public is asked not to dispose of any items listed on the front of the kiosk such as needles, auto-injectors such as epi-pens or flammable objects. There is a separate container to dispose of sharps.
Additionally, the citizens of Chelsea are reminded that this public collection kiosk at Police Headquarters is available for anonymous use 365 days a year.
Hector Lopez, 38, 88 Williams St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Okbay Bahatu, 32, 318 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant and possessing alcoholic beverage.
Egno Silva, 26, 338 Rantour St., Beverly, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime.
Dania Lopez, 21, 48 Watts St., Chelsea, was arrested for a warrant, unregistered motor vehicle, not in possession of license, registration not in possession.
Alexandria Vega, 33, 342 Blue Ledge Dr., Boston, was arrested for common nightwalker.
Nicole Skillin, 40, 2 Rice St., Saugus, was arrested for sexual conduct for fee and warrant.
Elvedina Sejdinovic, 23, 39 Crescent Ave, Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Luz Rodriguez, 55, 835 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.
James Sullivan, 23, 101 Park St., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime and on a warrant.
Jorge Izaguirre, 21, 72 Fremont Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor and possession open container of alcohol in motor vehicle.
Miguel Hernandez, 53, 104 Library St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor.
Picardy Lamour, 24, 7 Murray St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor and leaving scene of property damage.
John Londono, 28, 186 Chester Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence ofliquor, flashing red light violation.
Daniel Humphreys, 37, 855 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest.
A story on the front page of last week’s Chelsea Record regarding the Summer Reading Program indicated that the reading program conducted by teachers from the various schools in the Burke Complex will be on Tuesdays this summer. In fact, the program takes place on Wednesday afternoons.
LIBRARY FINE AMNESTY THIS WEEK
Bring back those books or movies you found under the couch and receive amnesty from library fines at the Chelsea Public Library from July 13-17. For that entire week, all patrons who bring in items marked as lost or missing on their record will have fines waived.
To be eligible, the items must be from the Chelsea Library and cannot just be left in the book drop. For more information, call (617) 466-4350.
COUNCILLORS APPLAUD MORE WALKING BEATS
City Councillors reported this week that they had received a communication from Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes and his senior leadership team that there would be an initiation of more walking patrols throughout the City in the coming weeks and months.
That came as a welcome announcement to some councillors who have been calling for such walking beats – especially on Broadway and the surrounding streets for two years. Walking beats have been present at times by police, but councillors have called for far more than exists.
Councillor Joe Perlatonda has been one of the major protagonists in the call for walking beats and said understands it to be a priority of incoming City Manager Tom Ambrosino.
“It’s about time in my opinion,” he said. “It’s almost like it’s the Wild West and there’s a new sheriff in town or something and now they’re going to do these things. I want to know why the police chief didn’t do these things when the Council voted for them to be done a long time ago? I’d like to know that. I’m happy to see the change, though, and I think it will go a long way to people being able to walk and feel safe in their neighborhoods.”
APOLLINAIRE AT PORT PARK A HIT
Apollinaire Theatre Company’s 12th year of offering free bilingual productions in English and Spanish has some new twists this year when it puts on ‘Blood Wedding’ by Federico Garcia Lorca through July 26.
Already, critics have called it a “must see” production for anyone in Greater Boston to see.
First, the company is moving to Chelsea’s new PORT Park, which features an amphitheater inside what was a large oil storage tank. Audience members will also get to explore the park’s structures and playgrounds where some of Lorca’s more surrealistic scenes will be staged.
Second, for the first time Apollinaire in the park is partnering with another theater company. Escena Latina Teatro will be producing their own unique version of the Spanish original on Friday nights – called ‘Bodas de Sangre.’
Based on a true story of love and betrayal, Blood Wedding (90 minutes) is a powerful and innovative modern classic.
In Apollinaire summer tradition, the audience will move with the action. Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and beach chairs, and a picnic to enjoy along with the harbor views.
Performances are July 8-26
- Wed.-Sun, 7:30 p.m.
- English: Wed., Thurs., Sat., Sun.
- Spanish: Friday
The production is staged environmentally in multiple locations in the PORT Park, 99 Marginal Street, on the Chelsea Waterfront.
Information/Directions: www.apollinairetheatre.com or (617) 887-2336.
In case of rain, call (617) 887-2336 to check status.
MARKET BASKET BOOK AUTHORS TO CPL
The authors of the book chronicling the Market Basket protests last year will make a visit to the Chelsea Public Library on Tuesday, July 28, at 6 p.m.
The book ‘We Are Market Basket: The Story of the Unlikely Grassroots Movement that Saved a Beloved Business’ was released in May and to great acclaim. Authors Daniel Korschun and Grant Walker explore the entire history of the company and the staging and playing out of the historic protests last summer. There will be a great amount of discussion about what the successful protests will mean for business models in the future, as customers, employees and vendors learned the power they have over a business.
Korschun is an associate professor of marketing at Drexel University in Philadelphia and Welker is a reporter for the Lowell Sun. Both had front row seats for the conflict that played out last summer in Chelsea and all over Market Basket nation.
CAPIC GETS EASTERN BANK GRANT
CAPIC has received a $10,000 Targeted Grant from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. Violence Prevention is the target area this year and CAPIC will utilize funds to support domestic violence prevention and comprehensive support services for victims in Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop. Each year the Targeted Grant category is highly competitive and this award acknowledges CAPIC’s impact on the local community. CAPIC would like to thank the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation for the opportunity to enhance critical programming for victims and their families.
FLYING SQUIRREL PUPPETS
Everyone is invited to the 8th Annual Flying Squirrel Puppet Theatre’s production in Chelsea, when they will perform ‘Electric Robot Love.’
The show, a children’s puppet show, will take place on Friday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the Williams School, 180 Walnut St.
Admission is free.
PHOTO CONTEST FOR EAST CAMBRIDGE SAVINGS BANK
Grab your camera and show off your talent! East Cambridge Savings Bank is creating a custom 2016 Calendar featuring photos of the natural beauty of various locations throughout Middlesex and Suffolk Counties. Thirteen full page photos from all four seasons will be selected to appear in our calendar. We are accepting photos from amateur photographers until Sept. 30.
Visit any of our banking centers or click on link for complete details – https://www.ecsb.com/Photo-Contest.
CHELSEA RESIDENT GLORIA ROSAL AWARDED 2015 CITIZENS BANK CHAIRMAN’S CREDO AWARD
For her outstanding commitment to Citizens Bank’s credo, Chelsea resident Gloria Rosal has been awarded a Chairman’s Credo Award by Citizens’ Chairman and CEO Bruce Van Saun.
The Chairman’s Credo Award is the highest honor a Citizens Bank colleague can receive. It is awarded to colleagues who embody the Citizens Bank credo, performing their best every day to deliver the best possible banking experience for customers, colleagues, communities and shareholders.
“It is because of Gloria’s inspiring dedication to our credo and her tireless efforts to go above and beyond in both her professional and personal endeavors that we proudly award her this honor,” said Jerry Sargent, president of Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “Gloria embodies Citizens’ spirit of helping customers bank better.”
Rosal received the recognition at a company gathering this spring.
ARTS IN THE BOX
Free summer events at the Box District Park on Highland Street are back for another round of fun this summer.
Throughout July, there will be live musicians in the park every Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. The schedule includes:
- July 16, Albino Mbie
- July 23, Sara Ontaneda
- July 30, Carmelia Latin Jazz Band
Then in August, there will be free movies in the park every Friday from 8-10 p.m., including:
- August 7, Happy Feet
- August 15, Paul Blart 2
- August 23, Big Hero 6
- August 30, Jurassic Park
DISASTER KITS AVAILABLE AT SANDSCULPTING FESTIVAL
After surviving a winter of record-breaking snowfall, subzero temperatures, ice storms, and numerous heat and power outages, Massachusetts residents are being called to take action and prepare for the potential damaging effects of future storms well before they hit. On Friday, July 24, join The Allstate Foundation, Points of Light and Boston Cares to learn how to protect your family should disaster strike. Attendees at the Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival are invited to stop by the disaster preparedness booth to assemble a free disaster kit with items proven to help keep them safe. The event at the Revere festival is part of a 14-city, nation-wide disaster preparedness tour and education campaign.
Research shows 85 percent of Americans are un-prepared for disaster and nearly half lack emergency supplies for use in the event of a disaster. Poor disaster preparation leads to a needless loss of property and lives. Together with The Allstate Foundation, Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, is raising public awareness about the importance of disaster preparedness and is providing materials to help keep residents safe at home.
Be educated and prepared before the next storm hits. Find the disaster preparedness booth between Beach Street and Chestnut Ave. in Revere on July 24 to learn more about emergency preparedness and assemble a free disaster prep kit with items such as a hand-crank flashlight, whistle, emergency blanket, first aid kit, and more. Volunteers from Allstate and Boston Cares will be onsite to answer questions and teach residents about staying safe in the event of a disaster.
The disaster preparedness booth will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Revere Beach during the annual Beach Sand Sculpting Festival. The event is free and open to people of all ages. To learn more about disaster preparedness, visit goodandready.org.
CHELSEA READS PARK BY PARK
Raising a Reader kicked off its annual parks reading program on Wednesday, July 1, in front of City Hall.
The group for children ages 1-6, however, has many more dates planned throughout the summer. The program takes place on Wednesdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The schedule includes:
- July 22, Quigley Park
- July 29, Voke Park
- Aug 5, Quigley Park
- Aug. 12, Bosson Park
- Aug. 19, City Hall Lawn
Anyone who – over the years – has shopped or who knows workers at the Chelsea Market Basket knows that many families and young people who work there depend on their paycheck to buy the necessities of life.
Until recently, Market Basket jobs have been dependable, well-paid and dignified.
Now, though, paychecks have been slashed and the necessities of life have chugged on.
One of those necessities that is coming full speed at the workers – many of whom are now only part-time or who have had their hours cut completely – is the need for school supplies and back to school gear.
As the Market Basket company continues to be roiled in turmoil and inaction, the lives of the employees and their families haven’t stopped, and through the efforts of two Chelsea sisters, the unmet need for school supplies may have been met – and then some.
The heavy media coverage of the Market Basket situation has focused on Board member allegiances, business strategies and the unwavering support for former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
It has honed in on rallies and hordes of employees calling for a return to the old arrangement.
However, not many TV cameras have followed those same faces home where their paychecks no longer arrive in their bank accounts and their families have not stopped needing things like school supplies.
Janatha Gonzalez and her sister, Tracy DeJesus, have been front and center at most of the rallies -and even though they don’t work at Market Basket – they have supported their friends and neighbors from Chelsea at the huge rallies.
Earlier this month, though, they saw the trouble on those faces. It was a trouble that spoke of full-time work reduced to part-time work or even no work. It was a trouble that, at the same time, showed the coming of the school year and no means to prepare their children.
“I think everybody is so focused on getting Market Basket back together, but they people don’t see so much that these are families with one child or three children,” said Janatha. “Anyone not knowing what they’re job is going to be one week after another is going to face some difficulties. These families depended on their Market Basket jobs to pay for things like school supplies. Now they only have part-time work or they’re being given no hours at all. Even the students that work part-time to save money for college or to pay for their school supplies – this has ended their part time jobs. These are people here in Chelsea who depend on jobs that are not so dependable right now.”
With that in mind, the two sisters jumped on an idea promoted by a Facebook page calling for help with school supplies for Market Basket workers.
Both reached out to the Market Basket, asking if they could put a homemade box asking for school supply donations. While the store managers were a little hesitant at first, they did consent to the idea.
Other donation boxes were placed at the Chelsea Collaborative and at Tito’s Bakery on Broadway.
The end result has been a cornucopia of pencils, notebooks, protractors and compasses.
“The turnout has been amazing,” said Janatha. “I’ve been able to fill up 75 backpacks. We’ve been stuffing backpacks every day with so many supplies while we sit in our kitchen. It’s been encouraging to see the local businesses in Chelsea and Charlestown donate, as well as the individuals who have flocked to support the workers. It seems like as soon as we empty the donation box, we get another call from the managers at the store telling us the bin is full again.”
In addition to the backpacks, they have also assembled binders with more dedicated supplies like calculators and compasses. Those supplies will go to the high school students who depend on their Market Basket jobs to pay for their supplies.
“So many of these high school kids pay for back to school by working at the store, and now those jobs aren’t there,” said Janatha.
Donations will be taken through the end this Friday, and the backpacks and binders will be handed out to the part-time Market Basket workers at the Chelsea store from noon to 2 p.m. this Sunday, Aug. 24.
“We are really excited and are really looking forward to getting these much-needed supplies in the hands of the workers this Sunday,” said Janatha.
The windmill at the stalled Forbes Park development is now the focus of a federal lawsuit due to the fact that it was built largely with state and federal grants and is not being used at all. The entire project went to auction two weeks ago, with no takers. Word is that the bank might be in the process of negotiating with a traditional developer to resurrect the site.
It was supposed to be the development that ushered in the new Green Revolution in residential construction, but the Forbes Park development has totally fizzled and this week it sits empty – having had no takers at a recent bank auction and its signature windmill the focus of a federal lawsuit from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.
More than two years ago, the Record reported that the Forbes Park windmill wasn’t working and that the overall development was stalled and beyond rescue. At that time, it was reported that the state government’s Renewable Energy Trust Fund had sunk a $500,000 grant into the design and construction of the windmill a few years earlier – a grant that did not need to be paid back despite the fact that the windmill wasn’t working and likely would never work.
That said, late last month, the federal government moved in to collect it’s share of the windmill grant money – demanding $372,411 in grant money and $140,000 in interest payments via a lawsuit filed by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.
That lawsuit, as first reported by the Boston Globe, focuses on a review last year by the federal Renewable Energy Laboratory. The review by that agency found that the windmill wasn’t meeting minimum energy production requirements as it isn’t producing any energy. The federal grant used to construct the windmill requires a certain amount of energy output per year, or the grant has to be repaid.
The Laboratory apparently tried to collect the money from the developer, the charasmatic Blair Galinsky of Somerville, but to no avail. That triggered the federal lawsuit on July 23rd.
And good luck finding Galinsky.
Though he frequently and enthusiastically commented on the development when it was being proposed, he no longer returns calls for comment.
The property is now owned by the bank – a progressive institution owned by the SEIU Service Union and known for investing in Green projects. The bank, Amalgamated Bank, lost at least $130 million in mortgages given to Forbes Park over two years, according to public records.
The entire 17-acre site went up for auction two weeks ago, according to the Globe, and the Paul Saperstein Auction Company could find no takers.
The bank called the property back after no one in the small crowd that had assembled bid enough.
Bidding began at $5.7 million.
The bank retained ownership.
Though things seem to be dire for the former Green Revolution site – originally purchased by Galinsky in 2004 for just north of $8 million – there seems to be some hope from a more traditional developer.
With no one making a proper bid at auction, City officials seemed to indicate that failure cleared the way for the bank to negotiate with an unnamed developer to build 300 units on the site.