BHCC Receives $2.4M in Private Grant Funding

BHCC Receives $2.4M in Private Grant Funding

The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation awarded $2.4 million to Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) to establish the Early College program at BHCC, marking the largest private grant awarded in the College’s history.

The announcement was made in Chelsea Wednesday afternoon at an event celebrating the early college designation to Chelsea High School’s Early College program by the Baker-Polito Administration. Board Members from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation joined Governor Charlie Baker to see firsthand the impact of Early College. At the event, Governor Baker and the legislators in attendance heard from four Chelsea High School students who shared how their experiences in the program influenced their decision to pursue a college-level program.

  • Transformation to a Consolidated Early College Model

The funding from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation allows BHCC to consolidate its Early College efforts into a core model that anticipates growth in scale and performance, as well as distillation and dissemination of its promising practices to the field. The $2.4 million grant covers a three-year project horizon, and will serve more than 500 high school students, coming from a portfolio of partnerships with high school and community-based organizations in Greater Boston.

“We are so thankful to the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation for this extraordinary grant. It allows us to consolidate and scale our early work, to gather data and evidence of success and to make a strong case to the leaders of the Commonwealth that Early College is a viable and scalable solution to talent and economic development,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger.

An early adopter of Early College, BHCC currently collaborates with seven high schools and community-based organizations, serving nearly 500 early college students in addition to almost 400 participants in dual enrollment. Increasing demand and initial successes with traditionally underserved students and the potential for greater educational equity and student achievement pressed the College to consolidate the Early College efforts into a core model and make it central to the College’s Mission. The grant supports the Early College effort exactly at this important inflection point and gives the College the financial and structural lift to reach the next level of success.

“The Foundation’s Board of Trustees is pleased to be partnering with one of the Commonwealth’s leading community colleges to bring a transformative model proven in other states to Greater Boston. By bridging high school and college experiences, Early College will help many students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and enjoy the benefits of the Commonwealth’s strong economy,” said Lynne Doblin, Executive Director of The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation.

  • Early College: A Cross-Segment Convergence in Education Strategy

This important work signals a convergence of new thinking from education leaders and policymakers around the State.

“An important goal of the Early College program is exposing students to college-level work while they are still in high school so they can envision themselves on a track toward a college degree,” said Governor Baker at Wednesday’s event. “The college-level experience, combined with the credits they earn in the courses, sets many students up for success by the time they arrive on a campus.”

The Secretary of Education, the Board of Higher Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education all support the effort to recognize Early College work by awarding designations to strong partnerships around the Commonwealth, with the promise of sustainable funding in the near future. These designations, of which BHCC is a part, will stimulate experimentation, document effective practice and demonstrate impact.

The standard-setting work of BHCC’s Early College will be a powerful proof point, and the data to be gathered over the next three years will provide strong evidence as to the efficacy of Early College as a way to increase high school graduation and college completion and broaden career exploration.

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Massport CEO Thomas Glynn Announces Intention to Step Down

Massport CEO Thomas Glynn Announces Intention to Step Down

After six years as head of Massport, CEO Thomas Glynn announced last week that he would step down from the post

After six years on the job, Massport CEO Thomas Glynn has resigned and will leave his post in November.

in November, a year earlier than his contract.

Glynn said his last days at Massport will be in November even though his contract will expire in 2019.

“This is a great job, but after six years and at the age of 72, I feel it is a good time to pass the baton to the next leader who will have the chance to lead a great team,” said Glynn.

Glynn took over the reins at Massport in September 2012 and was picked from a field of over 40 candidates. The Board confirmed him unanimously that year, noting his vast senior leadership experience and his commitment to public service.

Leo Robinson, longtime Chelsea city councillor-at-large, thanked Glynn for his work at Massport and his responsiveness to issues raised by the city’s residents.

“Mr. Glynn has had an outstanding tenure at Massport,” said Robinson. “He did some very good things for our city. I feel our relationship with Massport improved during his time as CEO and I hope we continue to have a continuing strong connection with his successor.”

According to state leaders Glynn’s tenure as Executive Director and CEO at Massport will be remembered for the growth of international flights at Logan Airport; revitalization of the Working Port of Boston and Worcester Regional Airport; and the Omni Hotel diversity initiative.

“Throughout his tenure leading Massport, Tom Glynn has been a tireless advocate for furthering the Commonwealth’s reputation as an international destination,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Tom’s hard work to expand service at Logan and the Commonwealth’s other transportation hubs has driven economic activity across Massachusetts, and I thank him for his years of dedication and service.”

“Tom Glynn has guided Massport through an historic era of airport expansion, continuing the unfortunate trends of previous Massport CEO’s,” said East Boston organization AirInc. in a statement, the neighborhood’s Massport environmental mitigation watchdog group. “Since 2012, when Mr. Glynn accepted the appointment to lead the Massachusetts Port Authority, airport passenger activity at Boston’s landlocked airport has increased 37 percent according to their own reports.  Along with this growth, has come additional beneficial economic activity, which the Port Authority is quick to point out.  If Mr. Glynn’s success is to be measured by the growth of airport operations, his tenure at the helm of Boston Logan has been a wild success. However, the expansions Mr. Glynn has set in place are unsustainable.  At its current rate of 5 percent annual growth, Logan will surpass 90 million passengers by 2035.  Nighttime operations, traffic, and noise will more than double.  And emissions will increase by 174 percent.”

AirInc. hopes the next CEO of Massport will make significant adjustments without pushing expansion further.

However, some like Massport Board member and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack argued that Glynn made relationships building with the Authority’s neighborhood communities a top priority.

“Tom Glynn has done an exceptional job leading Massport, ensuring that Logan Airport is a good neighbor while at the same time growing the number of passengers and domestic and international destinations served,” said Pollack.

Massport’s CFO John Pranckevicius will serve as acting CEO beginning November 17, 2018.

Massport Board member and East Boston resident John Nucci said the Board will begin a search process that may extend beyond Glynn’s departure date.

“Tom’s departure is a major loss for Massport and for the affected communities,” said Nucci. “He knew how to listen to neighbors and put a premium on giving back to those neighborhoods that had to live with Logan’s impacts. As a board, we have a major challenge ahead of us finding someone to fill his shoes. As we search for a successor to Tom, I hope the board will be looking for someone with demonstrated public sector experience. The secret to Tom’s success was his ability to navigate the halls of government  with great skill.”

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Chelsea Jewish Lifecare and JGS Lifecare Announce Affiliation

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare and JGS Lifecare Announce Affiliation

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare (CJL), a highly respected leader in senior living with campuses in Chelsea and Peabody, and  JGS Lifecare (JGS) a leading health care system serving seniors and their families in western Massachusetts,

(L-R) Susan Goldsmith, chair of the board JGS Lifecare, Adam Berman, president CJL, and Barry Berman, CEO of CJL.

announced their intention to affiliate.

“Affiliating our two organizations makes a great deal of sense at this time,” said Adam Berman, president of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “CJL and JGS share the same mission, philosophy, values and goals. We both strive to provide the highest possible quality of care. For us, this common synergy is the key to a long and successful relationship.”

“Our organizations are similar and like-minded in many regards,” said Susan Goldsmith, chair of the board for JGS Lifecare. “Both are centenarian organizations that have been serving seniors for over 100 years. We are both non-profit, faith-based and founded on Jewish principles while serving people of all faiths. We offer the same spectrum of services, including skilled nursing, long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, home health and hospice, assisted living, independent living, and adult day health care. Above all, our commitment to providing the best possible care for our elderly community is the driving force behind both institutions and all we do.”

The relationship between CJL and JGS has developed over recent years. After Chelsea Jewish opened the award-winning  Leonard Florence Center for Living in 2010, the country’s first urban model Green House skilled nursing facility, JGS consulted with CJL in preparation for the construction of its own Green House model. The highly acclaimed Sosin Center for Rehabilitation opened in 2016 on the Longmeadow campus. This affiliation is therefore a natural progression of the developing relationship between the two organizations.  Once consummated, CJL will manage the daily affairs of JGS in accordance with the direction set by the JGS Board of Directors.

“This affiliation is beneficial to both institutions and will ensure our stability and future growth for generations to come,” continued Goldsmith. “It’s no secret that across the health care continuum, it’s become increasingly important for organizations to come together for long-term viability, to learn best practices from each other and to better serve the greater good.”

“We believe this is a terrific opportunity for us to combine our expertise to better serve the growing senior population across the state of Massachusetts,” said Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “Our combined resources and economies of scale will ensure the future growth and enhancement of all of our services.”

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Residence Inn Petitions to Expand Property by 68 Rooms

Residence Inn Petitions to Expand Property by 68 Rooms

The Residence Inn by Marriott on Maple Street has petitioned the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to expand their 128-room hotel by another 68 rooms.

The expansion would take place in the existing surface lot to the north of the hotel. The idea would be to create a 200-room dual branded hotel, which is a current direction in the lodging industry.

The expansion would add 28,234 sq. ft. to the existing structure. The majority of the hotel is extended stay rooms now, but there would be 12 non-extended stay rooms created during the expansion, if approved.

A special permit is required for parking because 118 spaces are required, and only 86 are provided. A Site Plan Review process is also required.

The matter has been in front of the ZBA already for a preliminary hearing, and a vote on the the project is expected at this month’s meeting.

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Bongiovanni of GreenRoots Named Chelsea Unsung Heroine

Bongiovanni of GreenRoots Named Chelsea Unsung Heroine

Sen. Sal DiDomenico recently joined with Reps. Daniel Ryan and RoseLee Vincent to congratulate Roseann Bongiovanni on being recognized as an Unsung Heroine by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW).

Each year the MCSW recognizes women across the Commonwealth who make outstanding, yet perhaps unnoted, contributions to their communities.

Sen. DiDomenico and Representative Ryan nominated Bongiovanni, the executive director of the Chelsea-based environmental justice organization GreenRoots, for her efforts over the past 21 years to improve environmental conditions and quality of life in Chelsea.

On June 20 Bongiovanni was honored at the MCSW’s Unsung Heroines Celebration at the State House.

“I was happy to join Rep. Ryan and present Roseann with our citations.” said Senator DiDomenico. “This is a well-deserved honor for Roseann, who has made it her life’s work to assist individuals and families that need our help the most, and for her tireless efforts on environmental justice issues in our community.”

The Board, staff and members of GreenRoots were happy to hear the leader of their organization was getting credit for her years of work.

“On behalf of the Board, staff and members of GreenRoots, we would like to recognize Rosie for being recognized by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as an Unsung Heroine of 2018,” read a statement from the organization. “Rosie was chosen as the Unsung Heroine for our District. We are lucky to have her as a model of leadership and unwavering commitment to our community.”

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City Leaders, Community Rejoices with Ban of Alcohol Nip Bottles

City Leaders, Community Rejoices with Ban of Alcohol Nip Bottles

The bottles are little, but their size does not hide the volume of litter they create, nor the public drunkenness they spark.

And so it is, the License Board and City leaders worked together with Chelsea Police recently to ban alcohol nip bottles (1.7 oz. plastic bottle liquor shots) that litter the City’s streets and are believed to be a major cause of the open drinking in Bellingham Square and other locales.

The decision came down on May 22 with a 4-0 vote, with the impetus for the ban coming from City Councillor (and former License Commissioner) Roy Avellaneda. The measure not goes to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) for final approval, but it is expected to meet muster there.

License Commissioner Roseann Bongiovanni said it was quite a coup for the City to make this step.

“The licensing board took a big step forward in trying to crack down on the proliferation of public drinking and drunkenness by banning the sales of nips throughout the entire city,” she said. “We will also be discussing banning the sale of pints of alcohol and single beer cans at our upcoming meeting in June.  I’d like to thank Captain Houghton, Officer McLaughlin and the full CPD team who made a robust presentation about how alcohol abuse is far more problematic in Chelsea than heroin addiction is, yet the latter gets so much more attention. I also offer our deep gratitude to Gladys Valentin from CAPIC who spoke about the efforts she is leading to curb substance abuse and help those with addiction get the services they need.”

Avellaneda said he had always wanted to ban nips when he was on licensing, but was told it couldn’t be done legally. However, he said he read an article about Everett banning nips recently, and decided it was time to revisit the issue.

He wrote a letter to the License Commission, and once new Chair Mark Rossi took the reins, he scheduled the hearing – which took place on May 22.

“This alcohol abuse in public has been going on since I was a kid and I walked back and forth from St. Rose School and my dad’s baker on Broadway,” said Avellaneda. “You have to go the point of the source and we believe part of the problem is the sale of these nips. We hope this is a first step. We also want to stop the sale of single-cans of beer. I think anyone who wants a single serving can get that in a bar instead of in a brown bag on a park bench…This is about cleaning up the downtown and making it more family friendly and business friendly.”

Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes said the Department has been pushing for the ban for many years.

“This extremely important decision by the Chelsea Licensing Board is a huge step forward…,” he said. “For well over a decade the Police Department has been pushing for the elimination of sales of these so-called ‘nips’ – comprised of 1.7 ounces of alcohol – and single cans or bottles of malt beverages from our local licensed liquor and convenience stores. Far too often we have made observations of individuals in an inebriated state in the area of Bellingham and Chelsea Square because of the overconsumption of these particular alcoholic beverages. They have secreted the containers in their clothing only to be tossed in the street after their use. This local measure should go a long way towards reducing open air intoxication in our vibrant downtown neighborhoods.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino also supported the measure, saying it will help solve part of a long-standing problem.

“I think the impact on the downtown will be very positive,” he said. “We have an issue with litter and alcohol consumption in public. This is one of many positive steps we’re trying to address the problem.”

Avellaneda said it could end up helping the stores that depend on the sales of nips.

“We may see an environment created downtown that helps these stores in terms of sales in a different way to a different clientele,” he said. “Maybe they will increase their sales to other customers and that could make up the difference.”

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Forbes Plan Includes Tower:Concerns Over Density Already Voiced

Forbes Plan Includes Tower:Concerns Over Density Already Voiced

The Forbes Lithograph owners have come back to the City with a plan for 700,000 sq. ft. of development and 630 residential units for the 18-plus acre site on Mill Hill – but they still only have one entrance.

The project has yet to be formally filed, but the City has requested that the owners conduct a serious neighborhood information campaign first, which the company has been doing.

The project has been scaled back significantly from its 1.5 million square foot proposal two years ago that included skyscrapers, hotels, restaurants and about 1,000 units of housing.

The current plan would have 630 units, including several units in a 16-story building. The remainder of the units would be in a couple of other smaller buildings. The would be a small amount of commercial space, with retail and office workspace uses.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said it has been scaled back, but the City will not take a stand on it until the company files with the Zoning Board in July.

“It’s significantly less dense than the plan three years ago,” he said. “They can build the units by right as they meeting the density requirement. They will definitely need some zoning relief and the City has encouraged them to together with stakeholders and their parking access plan.”

There is still some question about the access, which comes from one bridge that would be rebuilt. Another access point over the Creek will not be part of the development.

“They explained it was just cost prohibitive with the decrease in units,” he said.

Already GreenRoots has met with them twice and that organization believes that the project is still too much.

“At both meetings, GreenRoots’ staff and members, as well as adjacent residents, voiced concern over the size and density of the project; the impacts on adjacent neighborhoods including on elementary school pedestrians and traffic and public transportation; and how the public access improvements to the Chelsea Creek waterfront would not be welcoming to the community at-large,” said Director Roseann Bongiovanni. “In short, this project must be scaled back significantly. A development in the likeness of Assembly Row cannot be built in a small neighborhood that does not have property access roads into and out of the site.”

Councillor Joe Perlatonda also has numerous concerns about the proposal. He said he has met with the developer, along with Councillor Leo Robinson, recently.

“First of all, there needs to be a two-way access to get in and out of this property which the only way the city would allow this is through a bridge connecting from the site to Rt. 1A, which will cost millions of dollars,” he said. “And what about the cleanup? Do we know if the land is contaminated? Is there a solution for pest control to combat the rodents? How long will this project take?… This will take years to develop even if this gets off the ground.

My fellow councillor and I would like to see a development that would consist of duplexes and single-family homes to keep up with the neighborhood.”

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Appreciation:Richard Feinberg

Appreciation:Richard Feinberg

Richard Feinberg, a beloved Chelsea High School teacher and a member of a longtime and well-known Chelsea family, died unexpectedly Monday. He was 70.

The son of the late Julius “Moxie” Feinberg and Helen (Bulafkin) Feinberg, Richard, or “Richie” as many knew him, grew up in Chelsea and graduated from Chelsea High School, Class of 1965. He was the wise and witty older brother to whom Stuart and Ralph looked for guidance and support. In fact, Stuart and Ralph followed their brother in to sports while Stuart again took the track of his brother in to high school basketball officiating.

At CHS, Mr. Feinberg was a popular, civics teacher who took an interest in his students’ aspirations and goals beyond the classroom.

“He’s my all-time, favorite teacher,” said Robert Brooks, CHS Class of 1981, who was among the many people who attended graveside services Tuesday for Richard Feinberg. “He was wonderful. He taught me so many great lessons in school and just about growing up in Chelsea. Even after I graduated and I wasn’t sure what direction I would take in life, he kept in touch with me and advised me. I had to be here today to honor Mr. Feinberg.”

Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson knew the Feinberg family well while growing up in Chelsea.

“Richie was a really good friend who gave back to our community,” said Robinson. “He and his father were instrumental at the Chelsea YMHA. I remember Richie refereeing in the Wild Animal League and he was always professional and fair in his calling of the games. Chelsea has a lot a great guy and another key figure in our city’s history.”

State Secretary of Housing and Economic Jay Ash, a former basketball star at CHS and Clark University, said that Richie Feinberg was a positive influence during his life.

“He was a mentor of mine, an influential character during my lifetime,” said Ash. “He was a tremendous educator and loved politics and loved community.I stayed in touch with him after high school and college and after being city manager. As secretary, I had the opportunity to speak to his class at Bunker Hill Community College. He loved politics and loved to be in the middle of everything. This is a big loss for all of us.”

Following his years as a teacher at Chelsea High, Richie went on to work at Northeast Regional Vocational High School in Wakefield and to serve as an adjunct professor of government at Bunker Hill Community College. He shared a love of education with his wife, Laural, who was a highly respected educator in the Lynn school system for 35 years. The Feinbergs have one daughter, Julie Lucas, of Lynn, and two grandchildren, Dylan and Kyle

A top basketball referee

Richie was also well respected on the high school basketball scene as both an outstanding referee and the dedicated commissioner of the Dual County League. He enjoyed mentoring new members of the basketball refereeing fraternity.

“I refereed with Richard and it was a great experience – he knew how to handle a game,” said Mike Muchmore, past president of IAABO Board 130. “He was my mentor. He’s the first commissioner that gave me a varsity game. He was meticulous. He would call every referee and ask them how things went.”

Paul Halloran, also a past president of IAABO Board 130 and a well-established college referee, said Richie’s expertise and goodwill extended beyond the basketball court.

“Richard was a well-rounded guy with expertise in many areas: antiques, basketball officiating, horse racing, politics, poker,” said Halloran. “He could engage in a thoughtful, thorough conversation on any of them at any tume. He was a real character and he will be sorely missed.”

Richie served on the Swampscott School Committee for 15 years, receiving a strong, town-wide vote in each election. Stuart Feinberg said politics was one of his brother’s passions.

“He loved Chelsea and politics was his baby,” said Stuart. “He was on the Swampscott School Committee and loved politics in general. He also loved sports and enjoyed gambling.”

Stuart said Richie always helped people whenever they called upon him for a favor or some assistance.

“He loved teaching and loved his students and he tried to help as many people as he could – he did as many favors as he could, that’s how he was, just a good person,” said Stuart. “Like everybody else, I was stunned by his unexpected passing.”

As a brother, Richie was top-shelf, according to Stuart.

“I looked up to him – he was a great brother to Ralph and me,” Stuart said emphatically. “He was fun to be around and I really enjoyed him. Especially for me, I’ll really miss him.”

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Cottage Street Project First Silver Line-Based, Affordable Housing

Cottage Street Project First Silver Line-Based, Affordable Housing

A 66-unit apartment building looking to be constructed on what is now a vacant, derelict property looks to achieve a lot of firsts – the first Silver Line-based development and the first project to include affordable housing under the City’s new ordinance.

Greg Antonelli is proposing to build the building at 170 Cottage St., and the project has gone through the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) one time, and will head to the Planning Board soon.

The property has long been forgotten, but with the development of the Silver Line, which opens this Saturday, April 21, the property has seen a new luster. While it is has been full of trash in the past and a constant code violator, Antonelli said he hopes to make it something Chelsea can be proud of.

“I think it’s a project that will really be an improvement to that area,” he said. “It’s been vacant 40 years. It attracts litter and illegal dumping. There is a record of code enforcement violations for 10 or 15 years for illegal dumping there.”

The Silver Line, as well, played no small part in his decision.

“That was huge,” he said. “It was very important to the project. It played a big role in my decision because public transportation is very popular now…We believe the Silver Line is going to help with parking, traffic and congestion problems we’re experiencing. We believe the residents of this development will use the Silver Line to get to work and to Boston.”

Antonelli is providing 90 on-site parking spaces as well, and the development has 52 two-bedroom units and 14 one-bedrooms.

One key piece, and another new piece, is it will include 20 percent affordable housing for the 80 percent median income.

It is the first time that a project has come in under the new inclusionary zoning ordinance. That means that 13 or 14 units will be reserved for those who qualify under the affordable housing statutes.

“That’s me giving back to the City,” he said. “I’m not in it for the quick money, but rather a long-term partnership with the City.”

Council President Damali Vidot has gone on record already supporting the project, saying it will develop a problem property.

“There are constant complaints about this lot as a dumping site for construction materials, mattresses and all sorts of trash,” she said. “I’d like to see something developed there, especially something that activates both Cottage and Bellingham Street. Being that this is my neighborhood, I can attest to the huge parking issue in this area. However, this project will only be nine parking spots short and the developer’s proposal to increase the required amount of affordable units from 15 percent to 20 percent is a show of good faith and investment in the community.”

Councilor Enio Lopez has also shown support for the project, and the City has been working with Antonelli on it as well.

Already, they have agreed on a design that will activate both sides of the street, that being Cottage and Bellingham.

After the project makes a stop at the Planning Board, it will go back to the Zoning Board for a vote.

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