School Supplies, Other Needs Lost in the Shuffle of Market Basket Turmoil

School Supplies, Other Needs Lost in the Shuffle of Market Basket Turmoil

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.


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Back to School Equals Back to Downtown Chelsea

Back to School Equals Back to Downtown Chelsea

Several downtown Chelsea businesses and the Chamber of Commerce are preparing for a major retail promotion this coming Friday, Saturday and Monday that looks to capitalize on back-to-school shopping.

Chamber Director Rich Cuthie said there are some 20 businesses participating in the promotion this year, and it looks to be bigger and better than ever before.

“These business are Chamber members and non-Chamber members and we have 20 or so,” he said. “There really is a nucleus of stores downtown and they will have balloons in front of them to let people know they are part of it. It’s a good mixture of stores.”

While back-to-school is the major retail push in the promotion, one doesn’t have to be after pencils and sweatpants to take advantage of the effort. Stores include clothing stores, phone stores, bakeries, pizza shops, nail shops and even a barber shop in the Parkway Plaza.

“You don’t need to be a student and back to school could mean you are a college student and are getting a new cell phone,” he said. “You don’t need to be a Chelsea Public School student or parent to participate and enter the drawing.”

Aside from the sales, the Chamber will be holding a drawing for three Mastercard gift cards – $100, $50 and $25. To enter the drawing, one needs to make a purchase at a participating store this weekend, and take the receipt to the Chamber of Commerce office at 308 Broadway.

“We’ll stamp it and have people fill out a card to enter the drawing,” said Cuthie. “On Monday, after it’s all over, we’ll hold the drawing and notify the winners.”

Cuthie said the push is very simple – to capture the foot traffic on Broadway and get them to think about buying locally.

“Basically, the Chamber is trying to capitalize on the foot traffic the downtown has,” he said. “There are tons of people walking the streets of Broadway at every hour of the day. We’re trying to get them to pop into the stores and spend some money locally for back-to-school.”


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Unravelling the Trauma of the Journey: North Suffolk Forms Support Group

Unravelling the Trauma of the Journey: North Suffolk Forms Support Group

It was only the second meeting of the new support group for young girls who have come to Chelsea illegally from Central American countries as part of the recent influx, but even with just two meetings, there was finally a moment of relief for the girls.

As Clinicians Ada Aroneanu and Nidia Samayoa went around the room and asked each girl to describe in one word how they felt after the meeting, one after the other said, “relief.”

After seeing countless teen-age girls in the schools or as referrals from MGH-Chelsea with a need for talking out their experiences, North Suffolk Mental Health Association responded recently to the call and decided to form a weekly therapy group for these – and any other – such girls.

It’s just one of several efforts that have popped up in Chelsea recently as city government and local organizations have marshaled resourced to deal with what has quickly become a humanitarian crisis in Chelsea’s streets, schools and halls of justice.

There is no way of counting the numbers of unaccompanied minors or young adults who have come to Chelsea in the recent influx from Central America, but the schools have estimated that a few hundred have enrolled in the middle and high schools. One thing is for certain, more and more young people and young adults are arriving every day in Chelsea very confused and, often, very mistreated.

“I would say adjusting to a new life and a new place and frankly – new family members – is just a huge transition for a lot of adolescents,” Aroneanu said. “Also, dealing with the realities of the distinct traumas of what they experienced in their home countries and then on their journey’s over. That often goes unaddressed.

“A lot of young clients describe their experience as being confusing and one of not knowing how to feel or who to rely upon,” she continued. “It’s hard them to make sense of the experience. We felt we had to form some sort of group where we could address it.”

Aroneanu and Samayoa had been working in the Chelsea schools last year when they discovered that there was just a tremendous need for these young people to unravel what had happened to them, but most important for the teen-age girls – who often times had been sexually assaulted or mistreated in their home countries and on their journeys.

“I made the decision that the first effort should be female only,” said Aroneanu. “It’s not to lower the needs of the young men, but I think a lot of the trauma experienced can be gender specific. What we wanted to do was provide a safe environment for the female population…One reason we felt that providing these services was really important is that this is a highly vulnerable population – especially the girls. They are at a high risk of getting in with risky behaviors as a way of coping with the stress – whether that be substance abuse, risky sexual behavior or even becoming gang involved.”

Supervisors at North Suffolk said they fully supported the two clinicians from the very start, saying it fit squarely in the middle of the organization’s mission.

“Being a non-profit agency that has served the community for so many years, it’s sort of the support system that we provide and have provided to serve the community – no matter where people come from,” said Kasey Crist, director of child and family services. “We believe we should help if we can…Working with this group right now, we might be changing the whole trajectory of their lives for the future.”

Aroneanu said there are numerous issues from the journey that have come up, and some girls are able to speak about those issues within the group and others are not at a point where they can talk about it. That said, all of them have felt relief from just being in a safe environment where such issues are being discussed and dealt with.

Many of their stories of trauma and abuse, Aroneanu said, start in their hometowns well before they even left to come to the U.S.

Now that they are here, though, there are also other issues to detangle.

Many times, she said, the teens arrive to find their parent or parents have new families or have changed. Some, in fact, have never seen their parents, who left them behind to enter the U.S. when they were only babies.

“We see children who have been left behind and then come here and don’t know their parents or find new family situations,” she said. “They deal with not knowing their parents their whole life and now they are expected to recognize them as parents and be obedient. It’s particularly challenging when a teen arrives here and lives with their family and their family members are practically strangers to them.”

Overall, though, it’s not the traumatic stories or the sadness of the entire ordeal that has caught the attention of clinicians in the short time they have had the group. In fact, it’s the resilience.

“A lot of the girls I have worked with are extremely resilient,” said Aroneanu. “They very education-oriented and very optimistic despite it all. They are hopeful and that may not be true for the entire population, but it’s been extremely impressive to me how positive these girls are after having been through so much.”

The North Suffolk Mental Health Association group for teen girls who have come to the U.S. as unaccompanied minors takes place at 301 Broadway, Chelsea, every Thursday from 4-5:30 p.m.


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Tornado Formed over Chelsea in an Instant

Tornado Formed over Chelsea in an Instant

Weather is a funny science, but as radar and computer imagery has improved the prediction of the weather, most people are used to being well prepared for the slightest drop of rain.

Television stations inundate us with updates and cell phones beep out warnings frequently.

But when an F2 tornado formed over the Chelsea Creek and hit Revere Monday morning, there were few warnings – and no tornado warnings. Most people simply thought it was a bad storm, or heavy rain, and went about their business.

Glenn Field of the National Weather Service (NWS) Taunton office said the service had been following the storm all morning. It had formed in the Dover area in Norfolk County and had high-level rotation, but nothing had seemed to be ripe for spinning at ground level in order to make the essential top-to-bottom connection required to form a tornado.

Then, Field said, in an instant – faster than radar imagery could record – the tornado formed by the Chelsea Street Bridge and came together inconceivably and unbelievably.

It ripped its way up Broadway Revere and was over in three minutes.

Traditional radar captures images every four minutes.

Field said one image at 9:29 a.m. showed nothing.

The image at 9:34 a.m. showed the tornado already formed and carrying debris.

A 9:39 a.m. image was again harmless.

“It wasn’t until the image at 9:29 a.m. that it showed it was beginning to come together, but not totally,” he said. “At 9:34 a.m. the image showed just tremendous signals – all of a sudden. It was 100 mph – 50 knots in one direction and 50 knots in the other – and situated on top of Revere. There was also a debris cloud on the image that showed us…clearly things being lofted in the air. That was 9:34 a.m. and the tornado had already begun and it’s the first time we had evidence of it coming together. By 9:39 a.m., the clouds are separated again and not together at all. It came together as fast as it came apart. It lasted around three minutes and we say it happened officially at 9:32 a.m.”

Field said the tornado likely hit some warm surface air that escalated the formation around the Chelsea Street Bridge in Chelsea. The storm needed warm air on the surface to form a top-to-bottom spinning cloud – and southeast winds coming from Boston provided just what it needed.

“Unlike the Midwest tornadoes we see that form and come downward, this one had rotation aloft, but needed a trigger at the surface,” he said. “That warm front that was around Revere provided enough surface spin to combine with the aloft spin and it formed. Without that warm front, it probably never forms. It’s actually something that probably triggered a tornado warning downstream in Essex County, but that wasn’t much help to Revere. It happened so fast that all we were able to have is a severe thunderstorm warning, which expired at 9:30 a.m. Nothing came together at 9:30, so that warning expired.”

Field said there was a 40 minute severe thunderstorm warning that began at 8:50 a.m. on Monday, but unfortunately those warnings don’t often get heavily reported on television and they don’t appear on cell phone weather warnings.

“Nobody’s cell phones go off for severe thunderstorm warnings, but they will go off for tornado warnings,” he said. “That’s unfortunate for Revere. We could have issued the tornado warning when it was over Dover, but that would have alerted Boston and Dedham and there wouldn’t have been a tornado there. It’s a fine line that we have to walk on. We were following the storm closely. It just suddenly spun up within one scan of the radar imagery. It lasted three minutes and was over.”

He said it is regrettable that there was no official warning, though he did say it’s probably a lesson for many to pay closer attention to thunderstorm warnings.

“There were 40 minutes of a severe thunderstorm warning prior to the tornado,” he said. “Going outside during that is something people could have prevented. If you were aware of the warning, you could have been inside…There hasn’t been a tornado in Suffolk County since 1950 so it’s definitely a rare event. We certainly wish we could have had a warning for an EF2 tornado, but the nature of New England tornadoes is that they’re very quick and very shallow. They are quite different than the Midwestern supercells that form and are easier to track because they’re on the ground for a long time.”

The tornado, he said, broke up just after Brown Circle in Revere – meaning that it beat its way the entire length of Broadway in three minutes.

According to the NWS official weather statement, the tornado had maximum winds of 120 mph and had a rating of F2, breaking down to F1 at many points. Its maximum path width was 3/8 of a mile and the total path was two miles long.


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A Tornado Strikes and a City Recovers

A Tornado Strikes and a City Recovers

When area residents awoke Monday morning, there was no sign or warning of what Mother Nature had in store for the city of Revere.

But in the course of approximately four terrifying minutes, a tornado – in all its fury and unpredictability – swept down Broadway and adjacent streets and caused tremendous damage to businesses, buildings, and homes.

The National Weather Service affirmed a few hours later that it was in fact a tornado that had wreaked such incredible destruction on the city of Revere.

The fact that there were no fatalities or serious injuries is amazing and one for which we are so thankful.

The outpouring of assistance from Revere’s neighboring communities and their public safety personnel in the aftermath of the tornado was heartwarming.

Mayor Dan Rizzo truly demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout the day and was clearly the executive in charge of the city and its recovery efforts from the outset. The Mayor is to be commended for his superior coordination of all the city departments in what was a unified and well-organized approach to a testing experience for the city.

The Mayor credited Governor Deval Patrick’s office for immediately reaching out to the city and pledging that the state would employ whatever resources necessary to help Revere recover from the devastating effects of the tornado. Our governor, our state representatives, Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo and Rep. Roselee Vincent, our state senator, Anthony Petruccelli, our congresswoman, Katherine Clark, and our U.S. Senators, Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, and our city councilors all were front and center providing assistance, support and resources during the day whether it was in person, through their direction, or in their presence of their aides.

Revere’s public safety departments – its firefighters and police officers – were on the scene within minutes of the tornado’s strike and doing everything they could to restore calm and order and to assist residents – almost all of whom had never witnessed a tornado in their lifetimes.

The Department of Public Works deserves a lot of credit for working around the clock to clean the debris that resulted from the tornado and restoring a sense of normalcy to neighborhoods that were strewn with wires, trees, branches, and metal objects.

The Tornado of 2014 is now a part of the city’s history. It will stand alone as an incredible weather happening, the type of which we hope we will never witness again. But the city can be proud of all the individuals who helped the city and its residents in a time of need.

Revere has learned how potent a tornado can be and it’s important for our future safety that all warnings about hurricanes, tornados, major snowstorms, and blizzards be respected and heeded by our community.


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Influx Has Everything to Do with Remittance Culture

Influx Has Everything to Do with Remittance Culture

The idea that the streets in America are paved with gold has always been a nearly undefeatable idea in the Third World.

The hope that if one can just get to the promised land – the American land of opportunity – that earning money will be easy and relative riches will literally be handed over. I’m sure it’s a belief that brings about the necessary hope that is required to make it through a difficult life of poverty; in fact, I’m certain that’s the case because I have personally heard those laments over the telephone and in e-mails or Facebook postings.

However, the reality is that once one arrives in an American place like Chelsea, the streets are not paved with gold.

The harsh reality for so many that came here illegally (and some legally) from Central America over the last 10 years is that things aren’t easy. Many came here with the belief that they would live comfortably – changing the prospects of a family overnight. In large part, millions of those that came were men, husbands, breadwinners, responsible people looking to nab a few golden streets to send back home via Western Union or Ria or whatever new multi-service center is popular/cheap.

But a hard journey northward led to even more difficult times once here as these men struggled to make very little money and could ill afford to live. Some became estranged from the very families they had come here precisely to support, and inflation back home made their dollars less valuable.

Some of these men eventually re-married once here for awhile; or they fell into a life in the fast lane; or they just become lost in a far away place.

And they didn’t send as much money as they had hoped.

But make no mistake, they did and still do send money.

The Record reported last year that in 2012, nearly $250 million cash left the communities of Chelsea, Revere, East Boston and Everett in the form of remittances (money sent back to one’s home country). Some $2 billion left the state of Massachusetts alone in 2012. That’s a fortune, and most of it went to Central America – specifically El Salvador and Guatemala. The paper is still waiting to get those same numbers for 2013 from the state, but early reports are that even more was remitted.

Consulates from those countries told the Record in that very same report last year that their countries are deeply dependent upon money sent to family members from American relatives. It has become an important part of life in their countries.

And so what about those countries?

If you talk to assimilated natives of those particular countries – and really any country with a large remittance culture – they will tell you (maybe only secretly) that sending so much money home has ruined the society. People who keep residences in their home countries will tell you that they cannot find anyone to hire in order to maintain those properties. So many formerly hard-working people prefer to just wait for the weekly remittance from America. Why work when money just pours in from Western Union regularly?

This isn’t only in Central America, again. It’s the status quo wherever large sums of remittance money make up a significant portion of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Then there’s the problem with what happens to a poor economy when so much money starts rolling in without anything being produced or anybody earning said money. Prices skyrocket for food and housing. Land prices go through the roof. Heavy taxes are imposed. Everything all the sudden costs way more than it did, and the money that rolls in suddenly isn’t enough. The more money that is sent, the shorter it stretches.

Then the frantic phone calls begin to come – the money you sent isn’t enough. We need more.

What once cost $1 is now $10.

Now, there are hundreds of first-person reports of dangerous, blood-thirsty gangs that have emerged and are terrorizing the population – especially the women and young girls, so we’re told.

Is it no wonder?

All the men, husbands and responsible folks left years ago in order to make money in America and send it home. They are not there to protect their wives or ex-wives, their mothers and daughters. As is commonly said on the farm: when no one is guarding the hen house, the fox has a field day.

Those left are criminals who have run afoul of American laws and have been deported home, or young men whose father’s have not raised them and for whom the remittance wagon has lulled them into a stupor. Worse yet, organized drug cartels take over entire cities – operating their illicit organizations and stealing remittance money.

To get away from it all, right now we have hundreds of thousands of young adults and older teens pouring over the border to get to America by whatever means necessary. They are certainly fleeing violence, but there is also an aspect of them fleeing in order to get a job and send more money home.

That was expressly said by two women who spoke last week at the Collaborative – one of which who said she needed to send money home to her mother as soon as possible. Naturally, $1 doesn’t go as far as it used to and people need to eat.

The remittance culture needs to be addressed within this debate, but no one wants to talk about it. Just like Broadway Chelsea seems to be ground zero for the unaccompanied minor debate, it is also ground zero for cash leaving the country. Millions upon millions of dollars leave the community via Broadway Chelsea every year. Just a million of that money would transform the outlook of business on Broadway. That’s why this system cripples the community – puts local business out of business because any and all disposable income is being sent instead of spent.

A few months ago, I asked Gov. Deval Patrick about this very issue when he came to Chelsea. In a one-on-one conversation with him, I told him this is threatening all the Gateway Cities in the state and also the countries where the money is going.

He had no answers, and didn’t seem to like the subject, but he did turn the conversation around on me in order to ask what I would do.

Here’s what should be done. Tax every remittance transaction with a $5 surcharge that goes directly back to a community fund that would pay for the increased services demanded by the arrival of unaccompanied minors and other malleable populations. People keep asking how are we going to pay for this influx; here’s the answer. Where there are lots of remittances, there will be lots of unaccompanied minors. Additionally, the remittance system is by and large used by the folks who need this help. Those paying property taxes to the City that support schools/services are not the folks that typically are going to need these expanded and expensive services. Is it really fair to lay it all on them?

Mr. Governor, that’s one thing I would do – and now.

If we do not address this culture, it will only become more of a vicious circle and even more people will suffer and die. The remittance culture is a phantom; a lie that really only enriches the companies that ship the money and the governments/criminals where it ends up. It might help the people for a time, but not ever as much as they had hoped. Central America is now feeling this pain of what happens when an economy imports billions of dollars a year without producing anything; what happens when families are broken up by thousands of miles via an immigration system that is complicated; and most importantly, what happens when the streets don’t turn out to be paved with gold.


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Collaborative to Meet July 10 On Children Crossing Border

Collaborative to Meet July 10 On Children Crossing Border

The Chelsea Collaborative and the MIRA Coaltion – both pro-immigration reform groups – will hold a roundtable meeting on July 10 to address the hot-button issue of unaccompanied children crossing the southern border illegally.

The meeting will take place from 3-5 p.m. at the Collaborative on Broadway and will focus on strategies to support local families and children caught up in this situation.

The Collaborative said that government statistics show that unaccompanied children crossing the southwestern border have increased 92 percent over the last year. The children range in age from 4 to 17 and are coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Many have families in the U.S., including some in the Boston area.

Those sitting at the table formulating solutions will be legal service providers, community-based organizations, refugee resettlement agencies, immigrant advocacy agencies, Central American consulates and others.

Following that, at 5:30 p.m., the Collaborative will sponsor a ‘Know Your Rights Immigration Summit’ at Chelsea High School. The focus of the summit will be discussing unaccompanied children who have crossed the border and there will also be an update on deferred action – which was announced two years ago this summer.


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Whew, What a Weekend!

Whew, What a Weekend!

To the Editor:

Thanks go to so many gardeners, friends and local merchants for all the good will and hard work that went into our 4th Annual Art Walk “Scarecrows in the Garden” and “Quilt Raffle” fundraiser at the Chelsea Community Garden. A few special shout outs must go to:

Groundskeepers Joe Reese and Enesa for their hard work the weeks prior to get the garden looking so lovely.

Maureen for her gorgeous entranceway.

Angela for donating her beautiful quilt.

Ida for volunteering to MC the raffle pulling on Sunday.

Melissa Shook for taking photos (”Check out Facebook) and donating her marvelous blobs for our fundraiser.

Alison and Daniel for donating house plants to the fundraiser.

Enesa and her daughter Mirela, Evelyn and Manny’s daughter, niece and friends for potting up marigolds and strawberries for the fundraiser.

Evelyn for her handcrafted jewelry raffle prizes.

Judy Komarow and her high school senior year artists for exhibiting the bird houses and donating them to our fundraiser.

Marianne Ramos for exhibiting her flying fish and donating them to our fundaraiser.

Marianne, Melissa and the Senior Center artists- Enesa and Joe Reese for the beautiful Girl Scout Pumpkin-head patch.

Joe Fuchs, master salesman for his arms length selling technique, unbelievable!

Our treasurer Eliza, for managing the coffee cans – we set a record. $831.31. Yes, indeed, we managed it! Let’s go build a shade shelter! Thank you everyone.

Bob Kowalik, our Master Urban Gardener for volunteering as “the Doctor is In.”

Hilary Parasmo from DCR for her info table on the city’s Tree Initiative.

And all our guest scarecrow artists: Helen and her pirate (Helen’s 95!), Jennifer K and her friend and their dandelions, Margaret Lewis and her pumpkin spice, Marianne’s flying fish, Chelsea High student’s bird houses, and Chelsea Senior Center paper mache heads.

Of course, all our gardeners who took the time to build a scarecrow for the exhibit.

Sal Mancini for making our wooden fruit medallions.

Of course, all our gardeners who came to the garden for our “painting party” and created 15 fun medallions to show off our fruit areas.

Arnie Casavant for donating his time to teach the “Year of the Fruit” drawing workshop.

Eliza and Shawn – point people for the drawing workshop.

Maren Olsen, Chelsea High for donating materials for the workshop

Bea Cravatta and Melanie Torres – Chelsea Community Schools

Rob and Linda for making the day of tributes a meaningful remembrance for all.

Manny for his baking his wonderful cookies, year in and year out!

Liberty Mutual service volunteers who came down in May to begin the garden spruce up.

ROCA youth for their fun paper cup arrow signs directing the way along the alley.

All the gardeners who stepped up to set up and clean up both days, sell raffle tickets and act as ambassadors to our Art Walk guests. A big effort, and done well. Many, many thanks.

Joe Greene and Charcoll for organizing the Art Walk and the opportunity for this garden magic

And our local merchants for their generosity. Please patronize them and thank them!

•Compare Supermarkets, Chelsea

•Shaw’s Supermarkets, East Boston

•Trader Joe’s Supermarkets, Saugus

•Demoulas Market Basket

•Stop and Shop Supermarkets, Everett

•Kayem Foods, Chelsea

•Dunkin’ Donuts, Everett Avenue, Chelsea

•Northeast Nursery

•Ricky’s Flower Market, Somerville

•Mahoney’s Garden Center, Winchester

•Kirshon Paints, Chelsea

•Coprico Printing, Chelsea

•Broadway Jewelers, Chelsea

•Utrecht Art Supply

•D’Arrigo Brothers, Chelsea

•Yell-O-Glow Bananas, Everett

•Home Depot, Chelsea

•Barrett Tree East, Cambridge

•Naked Juice

•Au Bon Pain, Cambridge

•Cumar Marble and Granite, Everett

Margaret Carsley

Chelsea Community Garden


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Council Passes $138.1m Budget

Council Passes $138.1m Budget

The City Council unanimously adopted the $138.1 million budget proposed by City Manager Jay Ash for FY’15, but not without some cuts first. While the funding is now set for municipal services starting on July 1st, both the police and fire overtime accounts were cut from the request filed by Ash.

“Overall, we agree with the continued direction that the city manager is steering government, and why not: we got two bond rating increases and excellent report cards on our general fiscal health. However, overtime continues to be a concern for me and many of us on the Council, so we took action to reduce both the police and fire overtime accounts so that it can be known that there isn’t an open checkbook and anything can go,” explained Councillor Leo Robinson, whose proposed cuts passed by 7-4 margins.

For his part, Ash said he recognized and got the message from the Council, but instead wanted to focus on all the positives that this, his fourteenth municipal budget had to offer.

“This budget contains several areas of expansion in services that will combine to continue the remarkable transformation and growth our community is undergoing,” said Ash. “The budget addresses numerous issues that are important to city councillors and residents of Chelsea, and it will make sure we remain both fiscally and programmatically strong.”

Council President Matt Frank concurred with Ash’s assessment.

“This budget continues our focus on smartly spending our limited resources to get the maximum results,” he said. “I’m particularly happy to see the components of our 10-point plan for public safety funded, and thrilled that the budget is balanced without any fiscal gimmicks or need to run to voters to ask them for a Proposition 2 ½ override.”

The FY’15 budget contains funding to hire five new police officers to support the 10-point public safety plan to which Frank referred. That action and others are consistent with the policing strategy that dropped reported crime by 25 percent last year in Chelsea.

“Again, smart spending to get maximum results,” said Frank.

The spending plan includes $500,000 for capital improvements to be paid for through receipts as opposed to funded through borrowing.

“We’re making a conscious effort to continue to spend on capital while reducing our overall debt. With the rebuilding of the Clark Avenue School and the reconstruction of Broadway on the near horizon, we want to do everything we can to put ourselves into the position of maintaining affordable debt loads while still undertaking necessary capital improvements,” said Councillor Brian Hatleberg.

The budget also funds the Inspectional Service Department (ISD) for the beefed-up neighborhood code enforcement team that is about to launch to secure health and safety improvements in housing for residents and first responders.

“That’s an important initiative and a major reason to be excited about all the progress this budget will help produce in the upcoming fiscal year,” said Councillor Clifford Cunningham.

More spending on schools, including an additional $300,000 to address social/emotional issues that hamper increasingly more school children, caught the eye of Councillor Chris Cataldo, the Council’s delegate to the School Committee.

“Our kids have increasing needs which require even greater responses. We’re providing the school department with additional resources to address those needs and we’re confident that our schools will continue to be great places for students to get an even greater education,” said Cataldo.

Overall, the budget increases 5 percent above the FY’14 budget.

Of the $6.7m in increased spending, more than half is accounted for by mandatory spending on education in the City’s public schools, charter schools and Northeast Voke. Negotiated pay raises for union employees, increases in employee health insurance premiums and the higher spending on infrastructure and other capital projects round out the major causes of the budget escalation.

“We’re maintaining our fiscal integrity, continuing to offer great services and advancing our goals of investing in our community. We’re certain to especially keep a close eye on areas of spending which threaten future balanced budgets, like wages, health insurance, retirement costs and the like, and we’ll continue to provide the oversight necessary to reduce the threats to fiscal stability that they cause,” said Councillor Dan Cortell.

Revenue growth, including from the City’s annual 2 ½ percent increase in property taxes, additional state aid and economic development activities, is expected to fund the increased spending.

“Our entrepreneurial activities are helping to raise much needed new revenues,” said Councillor Paula Barton. “It’s great that we’re able to do more because in large part we’re bringing in new hotels, refinancing old debt and finding ways of generating new revenues outside of asking taxpayers for huge increases.”

The financial attention at City Hall now turns to closing out the current fiscal year. Ash said no major surprises are expected, so he expects the City’s fiscal year to end in the black once again.

“We long ago realized that everything else for the positive happens as a result of first having our fiscal house in order. That fiscal house, in fact, is well in order, so many other good things will continue to happen for us well into the next fiscal year,” said Ash.


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Obituaries 05-15-2014

Mariellen Mulligan

Chelsea Educator; Williams School Teacher of the Year 1993-1994; Nominated as Mass. Teacher of the Year 1999

Mariellen T. (McFayden) Mulligan grew up in Chelsea, later resided in Lynnfield and spent the past 10 years being cared for at Spaulding Hospital North Shore in Salem. The care she received there was exceptional which allowed her to count it as a home away from home.

She attended Our Lady of the Assumption Elementary School from grades 1 to 8 and later attended Mount St. Joseph Academy during her high school years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Boston State College and earned a Masters Degree from Salem State College.

Mariellen spent continuous summers with her family in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. When she was old enough she worked as a waitress at the World Famous Allen A. Resort which was located in Wolfeboro on Lake Wentworth. During her summer free time she enjoyed swimming, waterskiing and boating. She also worked at the Filene’s Basement in Boston in the luggage department while she completed her undergraduate and graduate studies.

She was accomplished in the area of needlepoint and created many outstanding pieces. Mariellen was a remarkable artist and received many awards for her beautiful and creative pictures.

Mariellen spent 30 enthusiastic years in the Chelsea Public Schools while being assigned to almost every grade from third up to high school as well as being a Title I reading teacher. During that time she completed her teaching assignments with the utmost professionalism and was described as being “an outstanding teacher who inspires her students to reach their expectations.” An administrator stated that “she has a unique ability as an educator to provide a classroom environment that reflects her enthusiasm and energy.”

She was elected Teacher of the Year at the Williams School for the school year 1993-1994. She was also nominated for the 1999 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Award. She was an outstanding role model for so many students as well as for so many future teachers who she trained from Boston University. One of the student teachers, Missy Ugland has remained in touch with her throughout the years, visiting from Wisconsin when she was able and recently sending post cards from the Czech Republic. Although limited in her physical ability, she never allowed circumstances to prohibit her from carrying out her professional duties. The wind beneath her wings can always be attributed to the limitless support she received from her devoted father, mother and sister.

One of the highlights of her teaching career, was when presidential candidate Paul Tsongas visited her classroom to discuss some of his educational policies. Always demonstrating total involvement as a teacher, she demonstrated total devotion and involvement towards her only daughter, Allison. Allison was the center of her life. Together they formed a special bond. Her love for her daughter was instrumental in overcoming obstacles time after time.

She was the loving and devoted mother of Allison Mulligan of Methuen; beloved daughter of Mary (Nelson) McFayden of Woburn and the late Edward McFayden; dear sister of Janet McFayden Ruggiero and her husband, Louis of Woburn and Edward McFayden, Jr. and his wife, Bozena of Ipswich. She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and caring friends.

Her Funeral will begin from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea today, Thursday, May 15 at 10 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Rose Church, 600 Broadway, Chelsea at 11 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Spaulding Hospital North Shore, 1 Dove Ave. Salem, MA 01970. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please


Antonetta Tumminello

Professional Singer and Self Taught Musician; Worked for Mass. Department of Revenue

Antonetta E. (Mongiello)Tumminello a lifelong Chelsea resident, passed away at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers following a brief illness. She was 85 years old.

Born in Chelsea, the daughter of the late Luigi and Elvira (Munzione) Mongiello, she attended local schools and raised her family in Chelsea. She also worked outside of the home as a Tax Clerk for 15 years with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Joseph in 2005.

Antonetta was a professional singer and vocalist performing for many years in the Boston and Southern New England area. She was a self taught musician who loved music as well as playing the piano. Antonetta was dedicated to her family and also held a strong devotion to Our Lady of Grace Church.

The beloved wife of the late Joseph Tumminello, she was the devoted mother of Rachel Finn and her husband, Martin of North Reading; dear sister of Mary Mongiello of Chelsea, Laura Wangrocki of Revere, Richard Mongiello of Chelsea and the late Carmen Mongiello and Josephine Weiner; cherished grandmother of Matthew Finn of North Reading and the adored aunt of Cheryl Gideon of Salem and Robert Weiner of Wakefield.

Her Funeral will be held from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Friday, May 16 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church, 59 Nichols St., Chelsea at 10:30 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home today, Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Should friends desire, contributions may be made in her name to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty St. Danvers, MA 01923. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please


Edward ‘Sonny’ Doherty, Jr.

Retiree of Samuel Cabot Stains of Newburyport

Edward V. “Sonny” Doherty, Jr. of Chelsea passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on May 8 following a long heroic battle with cancer. He was 76 years old.

A proud retired 43 year employee of Samuel Cabot Stains of Newburyport, he is survived by his childhood sweetheart and wife of 54 years Nancy (Brochu) Doherty. He was the loving and devoted father of Kathleen Fazio of Plymouth, William Doherty and his wife, Nancy of Walpole, Brian Doherty of Chelsea and Eileen Vitale and her husband, John of Peabody; beloved “Papa” to Christopher and Ryan Doherty of Walpole, Brianna and Mike, Jr. of Plymouth and Nicholas and Nina of Peabody and is also lovingly survived by his sister, Jean McCarthy and brother, Richard Doherty.

Funeral arrangements were by the Smith Funeral Home of Chelsea. Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. The family expresses sincere gratitude to Hope Health Hospice and the “ladies” of Senior Bridge for their compassionate care during his illness. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 75817, Topeka, Kansas 66675. To send a message of condolence to his family, please


George Havens, Jr.

GE Retiree

George A. Havens, Jr. of Chelsea passed away on April 21 at the Lighthouse Nursing and Care Center in Revere. He was 83 years old.

Born in Hudson Falls, NY and a benchwork assembler at General Electric in Lynn for over 25 years, he was the devoted husband of the late Alice (Gilmore); beloved father of Richard Havens of Haverhill, Irene Loussedes and her husband,Tony of Chelsea, Corinne Nason and her husband, John of Connecticut, Eugene Havens of Revere and the late Lawrence Havens of New York and the late Thomas Havens; cherished grandfather of Anthony and Edward Loussedes, Carolyn Trigillo and Paul and Richard Havens, Jr. He is also lovingly survived by his great grandchildren: Joshua, Oliver, Noah and Elliot.

Funeral arrangements were by the Smith Funeral Home, Chelsea. Committal Services and entombment were private.

Charles Christopher

President of Chelsea High School, Class of 1966

Charles Christopher of Alburtis, PA and Chelsea died after a long illness. He was 65 years old.

Christopher, also known as Chris, was the lead acupressist for the Leigh Valley Health Network’s pain management department. During the past 15 years he helped thousands overcome chronic pain.

Christopher was President of Chelsea High School, Class of 1966, A US Marine veteran of Vietnam, a successful salesman, expert in alternative medicine and a philanthropist.

He leaves his son, Adam of Chelsea, a special friend, Suzanne Ickles of

Alburtis, PA; his brothers: Richard and his wife, Lena of Saugus and Lenny of Methuen; his nieces: Nicole, Danielle, Renee and Melanie and nephews: Jason, Gary and Nick as well as his uncle, Jake Amato of Everett. He also leaves many loving cousins.

Funeral arrangements were by Nicos C. Elias Funeral Home: Tel 610-433-2200. There will be a celebration of life ceremony in the near future.


Aidee Solis

Worked at John Hancock Insurance Co. Restaurant

Aidee R. (Rodriguez) Solis of Chelsea, formerly of Argentina, died on May 11 at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She was 83 years old.

Prior to her retirement in 1995, she worked for John Hancock as a waitress in their restaurant.

She was the devoted mother of Adriana Graham of Chelsea, the great grandmother of Sasha Nicolau and her husband, Fabio of Danvers and Danielle Mitchell and her husband, Glen of Chelsea and is also lovingly survived by her great granddaughter Amelia Nicolau. Family and friends are kindly invited to attend her Funeral from the Smith Funeral Home, 125 Washington Avenue, Chelsea on Saturday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass celebrated in St. Michael the Archangel Chapel on the campus of the Chelsea Soldiers Home, 91 Crest Avenue, Chelsea at 10 o’clock. Service will conclude with entombment at Holy Cross Mausoleum, Malden. Expressions of sympathy in Aidee’s name may be made to St. Michael’s Chapel. To send a message of condolence to Aidee’s family, please visit


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