Wynn Boston Harbor is working closely with well-known international companies to implement battery technology into their building, a new technology that will help them store cheaper power purchased during off peak hours, and contribute to an overall energy usage that is but 60 percent of what would be expected for a building of its size.
The new battery technology program complements two co-generation plants, a rainwater irrigation system, a huge solar array and a “very aggressive” LED lighting program.
All of it will combine to make the Wynn Boston Harbor facility one of, if not the, most efficient large building in the region.
“We will be running at 60 percent of what the standard energy usage calculation is for a building like ours,” said Chris Gordon, president of Wynn Design and Development Massachusetts. “The interesting thing is when you look at green buildings…it comes down to less energy usage…These buildings are so well insulated and sealed that you save a lot just on leaks. The window seals are so much better than they were 30 years ago, it’s amazing. You save when you use less. Interestingly enough, years ago people started to build green buildings because it was the right thing to do. Now it’s a good business decision and a good environmental decision.”
Perhaps setting the pace for efficiency is a program that will likely be the first of its kind in the Boston area – an emerging technology using battery storage devices to optimize energy usage.
It’s something Gordon said is very new, but he predicted would likely be in every building, and in several homes, in the near future.
The change, he said, is the new technology being developed around better battery storage. Several companies have pushed the limits on new battery technology for electric cars, solar power and for energy efficiency.
Gordon said they are working with several companies to put an array of batteries on their property, but don’t have a specific company named as of yet.
The idea, he said, would be to install a 90,000 sq. ft. solar installation on the roof of the function hall and entrance, which will generate solar energy to be stored in the batteries.
The bigger savings, however, will be having battery storage available to store power purchased from the grid at off-peak times.
“You don’t want to buy power at peak periods, so if you have storage capacity using batteries, you can buy when prices are low,” said Gordon. “There are times of day and times of the year that are more expensive and they don’t want you to buy then. For example, in the summer with lots of air conditioners running, you don’t want to buy energy on a hot day. It’s more expensive…I don’t know if we’re the first, but we will be one of the first certainly to use this in Greater Boston.”
He said they will employ one person on site to monitor commodities markets to decide which time is best and what time is not best to buy energy. He indicated that all of this is just now available because of the rapid innovations in battery technology, which allows for smaller installations.
“The battery technology in a building like ours is a new concept,” he said. “In the old days, using them for energy efficiency was tough because they were massive. Now they are a lot smaller and you can put them in a building and they don’t take up as much real estate.”
Another major piece of the operation will be two co-generation plants that are being installed in the back of the house.
The units are about 15’ x 10’ and generate electricity that will be used to power the building. Co-generation works on the principal of heating water and creating steam by burning natural gas. Both the steam and hot water are then used to heat the building. However, as they are created, they turn a turbine that creates electricity as a by-product – electricity that can be used immediately in the building or stored in the battery system.
The two co-generation plants will produce 8-10mgW of electricity.
“Co-generation produces hot water, steam and also electricity,” said Gordon. “We’ll produce a lot of electricity with them, but we’ll keep it all on site. That means we’ll produce a lot of our electricity and the solar will be used on site as well…All in all, we believe we’ll be able to run 70 to 80 percent of the building’s functions just off of the power we have inside if we want to or need to.”
He said that if there is a power outage, they believe they will be able to power all critical functions, and still have enough left over to maintain the usual comforts.
“After all the critical functions are accounted for, like the lighting and heat, there will still be a lot more left,” he said. “People will be quite comfortable in an outage. You could pave people there as an emergency shelter really, because we’re well above the flood plain and we will have ample power stored.”
Other efficiency measures include:
A 10,000 sq. ft. green roof on top of the second floor of the building.
A giant water tank in the parking garage that will harness and store all of the rainwater on the site. That rainwater will then be used in the irrigation system to water all of the extensive plantings inside and outside the building.
All together, it also equals a tremendous amount of savings for the resort.
“We don’t have the exact figures yet, but we’re using 40 percent less than we should, and so you’re looking a very big number in terms of savings on energy,” he said. “We hope that it not only saves us money, but also that it sets the pace for everyone else.”
Above the Flood Plain
Many might have seen the photos of water rushing into the front doors of the Golden Nugget casino in Mississippi late last week as Hurricane Nate hit the Gulf Coast, but Wynn Boston Harbor officials said they don’t ever expect such a thing to happen at their resort despite being right on the Mystic River.
That’s because early in the process, officials said, they decided to change the design of the building so they would be well-above the 500-year floodplain and the storm surge levels too.
Chris Gordon of Wynn Design and Development Massachusetts said they don’t expect to get that kind of flooding on their waterfront site.
“The flood levels are at nine feet, and even with flood surge added, that’s still just 11 feet,” he said. “The garage entrance is at 13 feet and the entrance to the building is at 24 or 25 feet. In addition, all of the utilities have been moved out of the garage and are on top of the Central Utility Plant. If the garage does flood someday, we just pump it out. The pumps are already there and ready if need be. We don’t ever expect to see the garage flood, but if it does, we just pump out the water. It really does no harm.”
Gordon said it all goes back to a willingness to look at resiliency in the Boston area and go the extra mile instead of fighting it.
“Instead of debating it or trying to discredit it, we said, ‘Let’s just move the building up.’ And that has worked out really well.”
Residential is king in today’s development world, with developers vying for land to build luxury apartments where previously no one would have even parked their car.
That means, however, that industrial areas are shrinking or disappearing in the Greater Boston area, and places like Chelsea’s industrial area on Eastern Avenue and Marginal Streets are commanding high prices and great interest from developers intent on grabbing committed industrial property before it disappers.
That couldn’t be more true in Chelsea, where industrial/commercial properties are commanding a premium after several recent notable sales, and major developers from the region are scooping them up before it’s too late.
On Eastern Avenue, National Development – a well-known development company with major holdings in Boston, including the trendy new residential Ink Block development – has purchased 130 Eastern Ave. for $10 million in August from the Cohen Family, according to property records.
Pending a zoning variance, they plan to demolish the entire existing 38,000 sq. ft. warehouse on the seven-acre site.
Ted Tye of National Development said they hope to start construction on the new 32-foot clear height building in late 2017 upon completing final designs and receiving all the permits and approvals. They expect construction to conclude in fall 2018.
Tye said they have one tenant for the new property, but that tenant hasn’t been disclosed yet.
“There is an increasing demand in Greater Boston for quality distribution space close to Boston,” said Tye. “Chelsea is ideally located and has been great to work with on expanding the City’s commercial base.”
Part of the certainty comes from the fact, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said, that Chelsea has committed itself to keeping things industrial – unlike other areas, such as Everett’s Lower Broadway area by Wynn Boston Harbor casino where all bets against residential creeping in are off right now.
“I think we have made a commitment to see industrial areas that are now industrial to remain industrial and that these areas are relatively important to the City,” he said. “We have plenty of areas for residential expansion, including the Forbes site. I think we’re committed to retaining a vibrant industrial district. Chelsea historically has done a great job. We’re not likely to create residential developments in our industrial areas.”
Ambrosino said one thing the City requires is that in the development of these new properties, that they are improved aesthetically a bit. For example, National Development will landscape its property upon completion, and the new LTI Limo Company – which moved from Everett’s Lower Broadway area to Chelsea’s Eastern Avenue this year after being bought out by Wynn – is also going to landscape its property significantly.
“There aren’t a lot of industrial areas in Greater Boston and so this industrial area has become quite desirable,” said Ambrosino.
Meanwhile, just last week, more significant action took place in the district with the sale of two prominent warehouse to the Seyon Group, a Boston commercial development firm with 30 years of experience.
E-mails to Seyon Group were not answered in time for this story, but property records – first reported by Bldup.com – showed that Seyon purchased two warehouses for more $10 million total last week.
They purchased 201 Crescent Ave. from New England Lighting Company, which is closing down, for $3.75 million. New England Lighting bought the warehouse in 2009 for $2.65 million. The building is empty and for lease.
Meanwhile, at the same time, Seyon Group bought 150 Eastern Ave. from O’Brien Realty for $7.475 million. O’Brien also owns 140 Eastern Ave., and it purchased 150 Eastern Ave. in 2015 for just $4 million – nearly doubling their money in two years time.
Thee members/associates of the 18th Street Gang, including one Chelsea man, pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Boston in connection with illegal, street-level gun trafficking.
Oscar Oliva, a/k/a “Droopy, 26, of East Boston; Ralph Bonano, 23, of East Boston; and Dennis Pleites Ramos, 23, of Chelsea, pleaded guilty to engaging in the business of dealing with firearms without a license. Oliva also pleaded guilty to one count of possessing with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for January 2018.
In 2015 and 2016, a federal investigation identified a network of street gangs, which had created alliances to traffick weapons and drugs throughout Massachusetts and generate violence against rival gang members. Based on the investigation, 53 defendants were indicted in June 2016 on federal firearm and drug charges, including defendants who are allegedly leaders, members, and associates of the 18th Street Gang, the East Side Money Gang and the Boylston Street Gang. These gangs operated primarily in the East Boston, Boston, Chelsea, Brockton, Malden, Revere and Everett areas. During the course of the investigation, over 70 firearms, cocaine, cocaine base (crack), heroin and fentanyl were seized.
Oliva was a leader in the 18th Street gang, a multi-national criminal organization that operates throughout the United States, and was involved in a large conspiracy to deal in firearms in the Greater Boston area. Oliva was personally involved in at least 12 firearms deals involving at least 13 firearms to a cooperating witness. In total, the cooperating witness was able to obtain over 30 firearms from the conspiracy during the investigation, including assault rifles, shotguns, and handguns – several of which had obliterated serial numbers. Bonano and Pleites Ramos were involved with selling handguns in the Greater Boston area. In addition to the firearms trafficking, Oliva also sold cocaine base (crack cocaine) to a cooperating witness.
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.
John W. Buzderewicz passed away on Friday, September 22 at the Boston Medical Center in Boston after a long and ongoing illness. He was 69 years old.
The beloved husband of
Marylou Kemp-Buzderewicz, he was born and raised in Chelsea, a son of the late
Joseph S. Buzderewicz, Sr. and Dorothy (Seeley) Buzderewicz. John attended school in Chelsea and graduated from Chelsea High School. He enlisted in the US Navyand served honorably during the Vietnam Era. He was a resident of Chelsea for mostof his life and resided in Quincy for the past 18 years. He worked for many years as asalesman for Eagle Electric Supply in Boston and later for Controller Services in Avon before retiring several years ago.
He was a member of the PPC of Chelsea and theChelsea Yacht Club where he was a past board director and past vice commodore. Hewas also a member of the American Legion Nickerson Post 382 in Squantum.
In his lifetime, John was a devoted husband to Marylou and doting grandfather of five, he enjoyed boating and socializing with his dock buddies at his yacht club.
He is survivedby his beloved wife of 11 years, Marylou Kemp-Buzderewicz; two cherished stepsons and their wives; Kenny Kemp and his wife, Christine of Billerica and Scott Kemp and his wife, Marina of Byron, MN. He was the adored grandfather “DziaDzia” and “Buzzy” to Jody, Jack and Kevin Kemp, Kealie and John Kemp; dear brother of Francis “Frannie”Buzderewicz and his wife, Pat of El Mirage, AZ, Robert Buzderewicz and his wife, Carla of Maine, Richard Buzderewicz of Chelsea and David Buzderewicz and his wife, Doreen of Hampton, NH, and the late Joseph S. Buzderewicz, Jr. He is also survived by severalloving nieces and nephews and extended family members.
Relatives are most kindly invited to attend a memorial gathering and remembrance service on Thursday, October 19 beginning at 12 noon at the
Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea. A prayer service will be begin at 1 p.m. concluding with military honors. In tribute to John’s love of boating on the “Sea Eagle,”those attending his last “Bon Voyage” are requested to dress with casual nautical attire. The Funeral Home is fully handicap accessible, ample parking opposite Funeral Home.
For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com
Anthony Memorial – Frank A. Welsh & Sons Chelsea, 617-889-2723
Of Boston’s North End
Betty (Goldmeer) Pisano of Boston’s North End died on October 4.
She was the beloved wife of the late Pasquale “Pat” Pisano; devoted mother of Cecile Leone and her husband, Luigi of Kingston, Marsha DeSantis and her husband, Phil of Marshfield, Denise Cipoletta and her husband, Joe of Florida, Elissa Pisano of Lynnfield and Roxane Bangs and her husband, Frederick of Lynnfield; dear sister of Joseph Goldmeer of Arizona and the late Charlotte Rasmussen and Morris Goldmeer; cherished grandmother of nine including the late Patrice Gioia, adoring great grandmother of 19, and great great grandmother of one great great grandchild. She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were by the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home, Revere. Interment was private. For guestbook, please visit www.Buonfiglio.com
LTC Alfred A. “Smilin’ Al” Alvarez
Had long and distinguished military career
LTC Alfred A. “Smilin’ Al” Alvarez (retired) passed away at home on Monday, July 31 at the age of 93 surrounded by his loving family.
He was born on April 25, 1924 in Chelsea and was predeceased by his parents, Fred and Clara Alvarez and his older brother, Frederick. Losing his father at the age of six, his widowed mother raised three children during the Depression. Excelling at school, he skipped the sixth grade and was later editor of the High School newspaper. Attending Northeastern University, he joined the US Army shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and after stateside training joined the First
Infantry Division in England.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, he went ashore on Omaha Beach, Normandy and fought his way inshore. Following the Normandy landing, he participated in numerous battles including “Hurtgen Forest” and “the Battle of the Bulge.” He ended the war in Europe in Czechoslovakia in 1945.
Following his commission from OCS in 1949, he served two combat tours in the Korean War. In 1965, he served 18 months in the Dominican Republic conflict, then in 1967 he was in Bolivia confronting “Che Guevara” terrorists. In 1968-1969 as a LTC in the 7th Special Forces “Green Berets,” he served a combat tour in Vietnam where shortly after arriving in-country the helicopter he was riding in was hit by enemy fire and forced to make an emergency landing. He returned stateside and served in the XVIII ABN Corps until retiring in 1974 after 32 years in the Army. Following his retirement from the army, he served as North Carolina State Regional Director of Human Services and later as Cumberland County Master Planner, where he directed personnel assets for the local community.
Taking a plunge into retail merchandising, he was general manager of “The Capitol” department store. In addition to his normal work routine, he found time to help with education efforts at FTCC where he taught soldiers management subjects.
On the weekends, he served as a radio talk show host and later was successful writing and publishing military short stories. Inducted into the US Army OCS Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Georgia in 2003 as well as selected as Military Analyst for National Geographic Society tours to France and England for D-Day 60th remembrance in 2004. He was honored at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans and named “Chevalier of the French Legion of D’Honneur” by the French government in 2008. He received the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine” from North Carolina Governor Holshouser. A charter member of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, he served as docent and participated in various speaking assignments to local and regional audiences.
His awards include: Combat Infantry Badge, Legion of Merit, (2) Bronze Stars for valor with Oak Leaf Clusters, Master Parachutist, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Presidential Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Gliderist Badge, Army Occupational Medal (Germany – Japan), Belgian and French Fouragere, Vietnam Service and Campaign Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Pacificador – Brazil Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (1st OLC) and 14 Battle Stars.
He is survived by his sister, Mary (age 97), his wife, Florence (to whom he was married for 68 years), his son, Commander (USN, Ret.) Michael and his wife, Catherine, daughter, Colleen Wellons and her husband, William, son Kevin and his wife, Cynthia and son, Sean and his wife, Amy. In addition, he leaves 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A true warrior who put country first in time of war, in peacetime he was happiest surrounded by family and friends and will forever be fondly remembered for his sense of humor and stories.
“ Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life, you don’t have to live forever, you just have to live … And he did.”
A memorial service was held on Saturday, August 5. Burial with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, December 20 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the “Airborne and Special OPS Museum” or to the” Veterans of Foreign Wars.” “Good Night Sweetheart.”
A member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique in Chelsea, pleaded guilty on Sept. 28 in federal court in Boston to RICO conspiracy involving the attempted murder of a rival gang member.
Domingo Tizol, a/k/a “Chapin,” 23, a Guatemalan national who resided in Chelsea, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, and admitted responsibility for the attempted murder of a rival 18th Street gang member in Chelsea in May 2015. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Jan. 4, 2018. Tizol is the 17th defendant to plead guilty in this case.
On May 26, 2015, Tizol and, allegedly, Bryan Galicia-Barillas, a/k/a “Chucky,” another MS-13 member, repeatedly stabbed an 18th Street gang member on Bellingham Street in Chelsea. The victim survived the attack.
After a three-year investigation, Tizol was one of 61 defendants named in a January 2016 superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. According to court documents, MS-13 was identified as a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder gang rivals whenever possible.
The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the parties will recommend that Tizol be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Tizol will also be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner Thomas Turco of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Thompkins; Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Chelsea Police Chief Brian A. Kyes; Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie; Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary; Revere Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli; and Somerville Police Chief David Fallon made the announcement.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations and the remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The City and several community partners are working with Councillor Roy Avellaneda and the bike sharing company oFo to possibly launch the service to Chelsea residents in the coming months – if all goes well.
Bike sharing services have become increasingly popular, and in the Boston area the market is dominated by HubWay. However, the company requires extensive funding from municipalities to build out stations – stations that take up valuable parking spaces in key downtown areas.
Councillor Roy Avellaneda said he has realized that bicycle ridership in Chelsea has really begun to boom. So, promoting it has become one of his platforms on the Council. For some time, he said he and City Manager Tom Ambrosino tried to get HubWay into Chelsea, but that kind of fell apart recently – and might not have been the best fit for Chelsea anyhow.
Then, out of the blue, a former co-worker introduced him to the bike sharing company oFo – which is launching its service in Revere next week and already operates in Worcester – along with 16 other countries in the world.
The oFo system seemed to be the perfect fit, he said.
“While there has been an attempt to bring HubWay to Chelsea, they haven’t been overly excited to come,” he said. “This just made perfect sense. To find an alternative to HubWay was very appealing.”
oFo – which is not so much a name as a picture (the name is to resemble a picture of someone riding a bike – has been in and around Chelsea for the last few weeks now.
At the annual Ride for REACH, they provided several signature yellow bikes for participants to ride. They have been doing other promotions as well.
The service is unique because it doesn’t require any stations. Bikes are simply locked up to racks or other legal spots and left when a user is done. Using a phone app, those signed up for oFo can locate a bike via a GPS map. Once they locate a nearby bike, they can scan the QR code on the bike with a cell phone, and then go on their way. Every bike is GPS monitored by the company, and the rates are far better than HubWay.
A typical HubWay is $5 per hour, while an oFo rental is $1 per hour.
“The biggest plus for me is we can get this off the ground fast,” said Avellaneda. “We have high ridership of bikes now and we can offer a product like this to the residents that is easy and very affordable. It looks like a no-brainer.”
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said they are meeting with the company today, and he said it does seem interesting on its face.
GreenRoots has also had meetings with them, and Director Roseann Bongiovanni said it’s an intriguing idea.
“oFo came to meet with GreenRoots a few weeks back,” she said. “The members were all impressed and pleased with the company. Generally we’re supportive of a greater bicycle presence in the community, but what made this program more attractive was the affordable pricing and the lack of a docking station which could impacting parking in a city that struggles with that challenge.”
She said they do see some holes in the program, but things GreenRoots thinks can be overcome.
“We’d like to work with the City and oFo to overcome two obstacles: bike access for youth and those who don’t have credit cards,” she said, noting that payment is through an app connected to a credit card.
The program is made that much more attractive due to Revere launching the program next week. With that neighboring City on board, it would allow Chelsea riders an even greater network of bicycles to find and use.
The company does provide a physical presence in the area, and said they quickly respond to any issues such as broken bikes or improperly stored bikes.
“People don’t realize how many people are now riding bikes in Chelsea,” said Avellaneda. “If you get up at 5 a.m. in the morning, you will see so many people riding bikes to Market Basket or the Produce Center.”
A Chelsea man has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to two years in jail in connection with trafficking illegal guns in Greater Boston, Attorney General Maura Healey announced.
Jesse Cardona-Restrepo, 22, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday to the charges of Trafficking a Firearm (one count), Carrying a Firearm (one count) and Possessing Ammunition (one count). Following the plea, Judge Peter M. Lauriat sentenced Cardona-Restrepo to two years in the House of Correction followed by four years of probation. The AG’s Office recommended a sentence of two and half to four years in state prison followed by three years of probation.
Cardona-Restrepo was one of nine defendants indicted in seven separate cases in April 2016 in connection with a gun and drug trafficking operation in East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Jamaica Plain.
The charges were the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which uncovered that the defendants were members and associates of the 18th Street Gang and the East Side Money Gang and were allegedly trafficking illegal guns and drugs including heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. The defendants were arrested as part of a larger sweep where 66 gang members were arrested and charged with federal and state charges.
An investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives(ATF) revealed that Cardona-Restrepo illegally sold a revolver and ammunition in Chelsea.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Sara Shannon, of AG Healey’s Criminal Bureau, and Assistant Attorney General Gina Kwon, Deputy Chief of AG Healey’s Enterprise, Major and Cyber Crimes Division. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Chelsea Police.
Reclaimed space is at an all-time high in today’s modern cities, and Chelsea is leading the way this month with the soon-to-be unveiled Mystic River Overlook Park – a rare stretch of City-owned parcels under the Mystic/Tobin Bridge that have been transformed into a funky new park.
The space was long a construction staging yard and was highly contaminated, but it has been environmentally remediated and now walking paths, historic lighting and lush green grass have replaced the blight under the bridge near Admiral’s Hill.
“We spent a lot of money cleaning the site up,” said Alex Train, City planner. “We took out a lot of soil and construction debris and contamination. We trucked in lots of clean soil and replaced it…We tried to create a design philosophy that tended to mimic the edges in the architecture of the bridge, so there are three or four wavy walking paths that curve through the park and allow you walk through and under the bridge. We envision this as an active park for exercise.”
The City has placed cross-fit equipment in the new park, and envision the lush new lawn to be used for Yoga, exercise classes or other activities.
The remainder of the new park is more of a passive area with seats and areas to view the water and Boston skyline. Another City-owned parcel at the foot of the new park has been designated for the City’s first off-leash dog park. That, however, is a separate project from the Mystic River Overlook.
“We are now about two weeks away from opening the Overlook and just trying to tie up the loose ends,” said Train. “We were able to bring it in under the allotted budget as well.”
One of the action items for the near future of the park is to identify some public art opportunities. All over Greater Boston, cities are using spaces under bridges and highways as hip, urban landscapes for public art.
In Chelsea, a small piece of that was delved into last year with a small mural at the Everett Avenue onramp courtesy of the organization of Chelsea artists like Joe Greene.
Train said he hopes to have something more expansive in the Overlook.
“We are contemplating public art opportunities there,” he said. “It’s definitely a funky terrain and it’s a prime place for an art installation and unique lighting.”
He said they are working with the Cultural Council right now to identify local artists who might be interested.
The ability for the City to be able to create the park was unique because the City actually owned the parcels. On the other side of the Bridge in Charlestown, that community has been hamstrung by state red tape in being able to utilize vast tracts of land under the Bridge. That’s also an issue in Chelsea further into the Bridge approach area.
Train said the three land parcels belonged to the City because they had been transferred from the federal government to the City when the old Naval Hospital closed down.
“Everything else under Route 1, though, is state-owned,” he said.
That doesn’t hamper a larger vision, nonetheless.
Train said they hope the Overlook is just the first piece of what could be a series of parks, green spaces, bike paths and pedestrian paths throughout the underside of the Bridge.
Already, the state has plans to build a new public parking lot under the Bridge as it embarks on an upcoming maintenance project over the next three years. That could be the impetus, Train said, for more thoughtful park planning.
“That is something we envision,” he said. “We’d like to create an entire network under the Bridge for pedestrian walkways, open green spaces and public landscaped promenades.”
Funding for the Overlook came through a state PARC grant of $400,000 and another appropriation from the City Council.
Quirk Construction built the park, and the landscape architect was CBA.
Chelsea attorney, Olivia Anne Walsh, has announced her candidacy for election to the City Council, District 2 Seat, where she will be a fulltime Councilor. As a longtime resident of District 2, I have a true and unwavering sense of appreciation and loyalty to the City and my fellow residents,” said Walsh.
Walsh brings over four decades of experience in government at both the City and State levels, serving most recently as Legislative Chief of Staff to a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She also has the educational credentials to match this experience:
1976 University of Massachusetts, Boston
BS in Management
1981 Suffolk University, Boston
Master of Public Administration
1987 New England Law, Boston
Doctor of Juris Prudence
She has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar for almost 30 years. “I have been fighting for Progressive values my whole life, growing up in the Mattapan section of Boston, and for many years in the City of Chelsea,” Walsh noted.
Among community affiliations Walsh included:
Chair, Chelsea Ward 4 Democratic Committee
Commander, Chelsea Disabled American Veterans Chapter 10
Member, The Neighborhood Developers
Member, Green Roots Chelsea
“Progressive change takes a willingness to listen, hard work, and a commitment to bring people together for the common good. That’s what I will do each day for everyone in District 2,” added Walsh. “So many issues must be addressed: City services, economic development, affordable housing, public safety, elder services, Veteran care and traffic concerns, to name a few,” Walsh stressed.
“Together we can ensure that we have a strong consistent voice for our community. I look forward to having your support and ask for your vote in the City Election on Tuesday, November 7,” Walsh added.
Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh resides at 91 Crest Avenue and is available to hear your concerns at 617-306-5501.