Hotel Cleanup Approaches $3 Million, City Manager Calls for Revised TIF

By Seth Daniel

A clean-up that was supposed to cost about $1 million has ballooned to a $3 million project for the new Homewood Suites hotel going up across from Chelsea High School, prompting City Manager Tom Ambrosino to ask the Council to revise the terms of the existing tax break for the hotel.

Ambrosino proposed an enhanced Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) agreement for the hotel, and two smaller TIFs for a new hotel on Broadway and the move of Rosev Dairy to Griffin Way.

“Instead of it costing $1 million, the cost to clean it up was about $3 million,” Ambrosino told the Council on Monday. “There were certain assumptions about that made when the City sold the land to the developer and granted the original TIF about what that cost would be. The investment is significantly higher now. The total cost for them is actually $6 million. They’ve come back looking for an adjustment to the TIF we gave them.”

The hotel was once a heavy metals manufacturer, Lawrenceville Metals, and officials at the groundbreaking of the hotel said the heavy metal contamination was some of the worst they had seen in the Northeast region. However, it was believed that the costs could be contained at $1 million.

That has not panned out, leading to delays that were, until now, unexplained.

The new TIF agreement looks to move from five years to seven years with enhanced tax breaks on the new value.

Year one and two would go from 50 percent tax reduction to 60 percent.

Year three and four would go from 40 percent to 50 percent.

Year five would be at 35 percent.

The last two years would remain unchanged at 25 percent.

The overall investment into the property is pegged at $33.79 million.

“The developer would get an additional $500,000 in tax relief,” said Ambrosino. “They would get that additional relief to help them with the unexpected $2 million cost for cleaning up the property.”

He said there would still be significant new tax revenues brought in by the property even with the enhanced proposed TIF. He said new tax revenues would still exceed $1.5 million per year from the property.

Another hotel on Broadway, near the Revere line, was proposed to for a TIF as well.

The Broadway Hotel is expected to invest $29.56 million into the vacant property at 1012-1018 Broadway.

The TIF terms for that agreement are proposed to be five years, with 50 percent at year one, 40 percent at year two, 25 percent at year three through five.

Finally, it was announced that Rosev Dairy on Second Street has decided to relocate within Chelsea to a building they have purchased and will renovate on Griffin Way.

“This is really a token TIF to let the company know we are encouraging their investment,” he said.

That TIF agreement proposes five years with a 5 percent break.

TIF agreements have been routinely used in Chelsea to attract and retain businesses. It is important to note that businesses getting a TIF only get the percentage break on the new value they create. The existing value on the property is taxed at the regular rate.

The matters were sent to be scheduled for a public hearing.

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Police Briefs 06-23-2016

SEVERAL CAR ACCIDENTS KEEP POLICE, FIRE BUSY

Chelsea Fire and Police were kept busy this past week responding to several motor vehicle accidents.

On Thursday evening, June 9, a motor vehicle accident was reported in the vicinity of Eastern Ave and Cottage Streets.

According to witnesses the accident occurred when one of the operators traveling north on Eastern Avenue attempted to make a left turn from Eastern Avenue onto Cottage Street and was struck by a vehicle traveling south in the opposite direction. Both vehicles suffered extensive damage as well as a telephone pole that was struck in the process. One of the operators to the hospital with non life threatening injury and both vehicles were towed from the scene.

On Friday morning, June 10, a Tractor Trailer attempting to turn onto Highland Street from Central Avenue struck a parked vehicle owned by Ventura Taxi (see photo). The accident caused a serious traffic delay as crews from Todisco Towing attempted to remove the mini van that was locked onto the rear bumper of the truck. No injuries were reported.

On Sunday afternoon, June 12, Chelsea Fire and Police responded to the area of 221 Webster Ave. on a report of a multiple car accident with airbag deployment. Chelsea Fire Fighters from E3/ L2 under the command of Act. Capt. Rogers arrived to find the aftermath of a two-vehicle accident. Multiple passengers in one of the vehicles suffered non life threatening head and neck injuries and were transported to the hospital.

Chelsea Police are investigated the cause of the accidents.

SCAMMER LOOKING FOR FINGERPRINTS

The Chelsea Police Department and Chelsea Public Schools are issuing a warning of a possible scam targeting parents of students. Families have reported to the School Department that someone is calling and posing as member of the school district stating they will be going to their home to fingerprint their children. This is not true as no such program is being conducted. All Chelsea residents should be aware that they should never give any personal information about themselves or family members over the phone and never invite anyone to their residence.

The Chelsea Public Schools posted this message to its website on Tuesday.

“Some families in the Chelsea Public Schools may have received a phone call stating that someone from the school district will be going to their home to fingerprint their children,” it read. “CPS is NOT doing so and we advise neither answering any questions nor providing any information to this person…We have received information that families with children in the Chelsea Public Schools may have received a phone call stating that someone from the school district will be going to their home to fingerprint their children. We advise you to not answer any questions or provide any information to this person. If you have any questions regarding this message please feel free to contact the Parent Information Center at 617.466.5500. The Chelsea Police Department is aware of the phone calls and will monitor the reports closely.”

If you have received a call you can contact the Chelsea Public Schools Parent Information Center at 617-466-5500 or Chelsea Police at 617-466-4800.

HEROIN BUST

On June 1, around 5 p.m., members of the Chelsea Police Drug Unit set up surveillance in the area of 170 Revere Beach Parkway as a direct result of receiving multiple complaints for illicit drug activities..

Detectives were sitting in the parking lot of Metro Credit Union in an unmarked vehicle conducting surveillance when they observed a drug transaction between two vehicles. Based on observations both vehicles were stopped. The subsequent stop resulted in the subjects being placed under arrest and narcotics seized.

Alexis Rodriguez, 32, of Lynn, was charged with distribution of a Class A drug, conspiracy and four warrants.

Dana Memory, 28, of Somerville, was charged with distribution of a Class A drug and conspiracy.

Kelvin Veras, 26, of 120 Central Ave., was charged with distribution of a Class A drug and conspiracy.

THREATENS BAR PATRONS WITH BB GUN

On Friday, June 3, officers were dispatched to the Las Papusas Restaurant located at 92 Washington Ave. for a report of a male party who had a handgun threatening people in the area. Officers were given a description and detained a suspect based on witness statements. The victims stated that the male approached them in front of the bar and lifted his waistband, which revealed to them a black handgun. He then made threatening comments to the victims.

Officers were able to detain and search suspect’s car and recovered a black BB gun. Suspect was placed under arrest.

Jose Nolasco, 26, of Everett, was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and threatening to commit a crime.

Police Log

Monday, 5/30

Joshua Conte, 28, 2 Margaret Rd., Stoneham, was arrested on warrants.

Tuesday, 5/21

Gary Desir, 30, 583 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for possessing Class B drug, trafficking cocaine.

George Mitchell, 73, 16 Fifth St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Melvin Reyes, 23, 649 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operation of a motor vehicle unlicensed, speeding.

Wednesday, 6/1

Michael Herlihy, 34, 39 Kingston St., Boston, was arrested for disorderly conduct, carrying a dangerous weapon, receiving stolen property over $250.

Thomas Caterina, 52, 911 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Stacy Gordon, 36, 24 Wamesit Ave,. Saugus was arrested on warrants.

Angela DeAngelis, 34, 109 Congress Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Kelvin Veras, 26, 120 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for distribution of Class A drug, conspiracy to violate drug law.

Dana Memory, 28, 1366 Broadway, Somerville, was arrested for possessing Class A drug, conspiracy to violate drug law.

Alexis Rodriguez, 32, 124 Green St., Lynn, was arrested for distribution of Class A drug, conspiracy to violate drug law, warrants.

Thursday, 6/2

Steve Pomeroy, 40, 12 Woodland Ave., Everett, was arrested for possessing Class B drug, conspiracy to violate drug law.

Friday, 6/3

Dania Quinones, 34, 11 Cottage St., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.

Jose Nolasco, 26, 100 Russell St., Everett, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon, threat to commit crime.

Saturday, 6/4

Lili Pan, 26, 76 Maple St., Malden, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

Rudy Martinez, 29, 128 Putnam ST., East Boston, was arrested on warrant.

Jesus Perez, 19, 37 Suffolk St., Chelsea, was arrested for firearm, discharge within 500 ft of bldg., assault and battery attempt with firearm, disorderly conduct, firearm without license, carry loaded, ammunition without FID card, possess.

Roberto Marin, 27, 70 Chester Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, unregistered operation of motor vehicle, unregistered motor vehicle, uninsured motor vehicle (criminal), reckless operation of motor vehicle.

Sunday, 6/5

Faisal Yerow, 20, 180 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering vehicle/boat for misdemeanor (2 counts).

Amy Pinabella, 43, 14 Bloomingdale St., Chelsea, was arrested for destruction of property over $250, malicious, threat to commit crime.

Oscar Pineda, 31, 163 Chester Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

Monday, 6/6

Juan Perez, 18, 100 Heard St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Juvenile Offender, 17, Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Oscar Reyes, 38, 92 Park ST., Chelsea, was arrested for drinking/possessing open alcoholic beverage in public

Tuesday, 6/7

Justo Barrios, 37, 115 Chester Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, flashing red light violation.

Alexandria Vega, 32, 40 Orange St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Kimberly Ginewica, 39, 75 Williams St., Chelsea, was arrested for distribution of Class B drug.

Luz Rodriguez, 54, 835 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for harassment prevention order violation.

Keith Studmire, 33, 444 Harrison Ave., Boston, was arrested for refusal to produce license, registration and plates, disorderly conduct, number plate violation to condeal ID (criminal), receivint stolen property, operating motor vehicle with revoked/suspended registration (criminal).

Wednesday, 6/8

Miguel Carrasquillo, 18, 58 Adams St., Quincy, was arrested for receiving stolen property over $250, breaking and entering nighttime vehicle/boat for felony.

Thiago Araujo, 31, 76 Baxter St., S. Bosotn, was arrested for possessing Class B drug, Possessing Class E drug (3 counts), operating under the influence of drugs.

Jessica Taormina, 28, 4 Trask St., Gloucester, was arrested for possessing Class A drug, Possessing Class B drug and possessing Class E drug.

Juan Amaro, 33, 259 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Sophea Phoeng, 28, 36 Lambert St., Revere, was arrested on (2) warrants, shoplifting.

Kevin Oliva-Acosta, 19, 113 Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing Class B drug and (2) warrants.

Saturday, 6/11

Ernesto Ramirez, 38, 62 Chester Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering for misdemeanor, destruction of property over $250, malicious.

Christine Lindsay, 31, Address unknown, was arrested for breaking and entering for misdemeanor, destruction of property over $250,malicious.

Sunday, 6/12

David Kerns, 41, 321 Pawtucket St., Lowell, was arrested on a warrant.

Mario Hurtado, 23, 725 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for distribution of Class B drug.

Alexis Bingham, 19, 12 Ord St., Salem, was arrested for possessing Class A drug and possessing Class B drug.

Richard Russo, 26, 300 Commandants Way, Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Monday, 6/13

Robert Jackson, 53, 35 Hawthorne St., Chelsea, was arrested for harassment prevention order violation.

Tuesday, 6/14

Juvenile Offender, 17, Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime vehicle/boat for felony, trespassing, receiving stolen property.

Miguel Carrasquillo, 18, 58 Adams St., Quincy, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime vehicle/boat for felony, trespassing.

Wednesday, 6/15/16 Nathan Andrews, 31, 46 Tudor St., Chelsea, was arrested on (2) warrants.

Thursday, 6/16

Jeffrey Whitley, 52, 767 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for harassment prevention order violation.

Juvenile Offender, Chelsea, was arrested for dangerous weapon on school grounds, carrying.

Melissa Hardy, 37, 423 Eastern Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on (2) warrants.

Alfredo Murillo, 58, 11 Cross St., Chelsea, was arrested for drinking/possessing open alcoholic beverage in public.

Friday, 6/17

Nicole Castro, 28, 55 Essex St., Cambridge, was arrested on a warrant.

Saturday, 6/18

Joseph Woodside, 32, 26 Lexington St., East Boston, was arrested for shoplifting.

Sunday, 6/19

Michelle Machuca, 33, 310 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, leaving scene of property damage.

Michael Leone, 29, 165 Cottage St., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants, assault with dangerous weapon (2 counts).

Miguel Castaneda, 31, 189 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime vehicle/boat for felony, furnishing false name and SSN.

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Police Briefs 06-16-2016

SEVERAL CAR ACCIDENTS KEEP POLICE, FIRE BUSY

Chelsea Fire and Police were kept busy this past week responding to several motor vehicle accidents.

On Thursday evening, June 9, a motor vehicle accident was reported in the vicinity of Eastern Ave and Cottage Streets.

According to witnesses the accident occurred when one of the operators traveling north on Eastern Avenue attempted to make a left turn from Eastern Avenue onto Cottage Street and was struck by a vehicle traveling south in the opposite direction. Both vehicles suffered extensive damage as well as a telephone pole that was struck in the process. One of the operators to the hospital with non life threatening injury and both vehicles were towed from the scene.

On Friday morning, June 10, a Tractor Trailer attempting to turn onto Highland Street from Central Avenue struck a parked vehicle owned by Ventura Taxi (see photo). The accident caused a serious traffic delay as crews from Todisco Towing attempted to remove the mini van that was locked onto the rear bumper of the truck. No injuries were reported.

On Sunday afternoon, June 12, Chelsea Fire and Police responded to the area of 221 Webster Ave. on a report of a multiple car accident with airbag deployment. Chelsea Fire Fighters from E3/ L2 under the command of Act. Capt. Rogers arrived to find the aftermath of a two-vehicle accident. Multiple passengers in one of the vehicles suffered non life threatening head and neck injuries and were transported to the hospital.

Chelsea Police are investigated the cause of the accidents.

SHOTS FIRED ON WASHINGTON AVE

On June 4, around 1:14 a.m., officers responded to 156 Washington Ave. for the report of shots fired. Chelsea dispatchers advised responding officers that the witness caller reported that they observed a Hispanic male wearing a white t-shirt and camouflage shorts running down Washington Avenue towards Bloomingdale Street carrying a black handgun.

Upon arrival officers conducted an immediate search of the area for potential suspects and potential victims. While conducting a search of the area, officers were able to utilize video from a nearby store that captured evidence. Based on that video and officers’ actions they placed subject under arrest. A firearm was recovered later by officers.

Jesus Perez, 19, of 37 Suffolk Ave., was charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, assault and battery attempt with a firearm, disorderly conduct, carrying a loaded firearm without a permit and possession of ammunition without a permit.

VICTIM TURNS TO SUSPECT

On May 31, officers responded to 583 Broadway on a report of a home invasion. The officer’s noted the victim never called police but ran into a nearby store thinking he may have been shot. Upon arrival officers were informed at the store by the reluctant victim that two armed males entered his home while he was in his bedroom. He was confronted by the two suspects and a struggle with the two males he could not identify ensued. He reported that he was pistol whipped, causing a laceration to the face area. The victim also reported that the suspects fired two rounds but he was not hit by the rounds.

Gary Desir, 30, of 583 Broadway, was charged with cocaine trafficking and possession of a Class B drug.

HEROIN BUST

On June 1, around 5 p.m., members of the Chelsea Police Drug Unit set up surveillance in the area of 170 Revere Beach Parkway as a direct result of receiving multiple complaints for illicit drug activities..

Detectives were sitting in the parking lot of Metro Credit Union in an unmarked vehicle conducting surveillance when they observed a drug transaction between two vehicles. Based on observations both vehicles were stopped. The subsequent stop resulted in the subjects being placed under arrest and narcotics seized.

Alexis Rodriguez, 32, of Lynn, was charged with distribution of a Class A drug, conspiracy and four warrants.

Dana Memory, 28, of Somerville, was charged with distribution of a Class A drug and conspiracy.

Kelvin Veras, 26, of 120 Central Ave., was charged with distribution of a Class A drug and conspiracy.

THREATENS BAR PATRONS WITH BB GUN

On Friday, June 3, officers were dispatched to the Las Papusas Restaurant located at 92 Washington Ave. for a report of a male party who had a handgun threatening people in the area. Officers were given a description and detained a suspect based on witness statements. The victims stated that the male approached them in front of the bar and lifted his waistband, which revealed to them a black handgun. He then made threatening comments to the victims.

Officers were able to detain and search suspect’s car and recovered a black BB gun. Suspect was placed under arrest.

Jose Nolasco, 26, of Everett, was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and threatening to commit a crime.

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Girl Scout Parade to Honor Gold Star Mother on Memorial Day

By Seth Daniel

The annual Girl Scout Parade will have Diana Ramirez – a Gold Star Mother – riding at the front of the line this year as she honors her son, the late Sgt. Nelson Rodriguez, as the 2016 Parade Marshal.

The Parade, which starts at 8 a.m. at Welsh Funeral Home on Broadway, will be followed by official Memorial Day Exercises at City Hall at 9 a.m.

Ramirez is the mother of Sgt. Nelson Rodriguez, who was killed in combat while serving in Afghanistan in June 2008.

The annual Parade is planned and organized by the girls of the various Chelsea Girl Scout troops. The Girl Scouts in the city have grown from a few dedicated girls just five years ago to become one of the largest activities for girls in the city.

The Girl Scouts want to encourage all local organizations to walk in the parade and for residents to come show their support for veterans and their families. Organizations that are walking should meet in the parking lot of Welsh Funeral Home, 713 Broadway, by 8 a.m. The parade route goes from the funeral home down Broadway to Chelsea City Hall, where the Memorial Day Celebration will take place.

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Police Briefs 05-26-2016

Monday, 5/2

Vanessa Johnson, 25, 48-50 Clark Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Barbara Parrino, 26, 119 Atlantic Ave., Revere, was arrested for intimidation.

Anastacio Rivera, 25, 116 Curwin Circle, Lynn, was arrested on a warrant, operating motor vehicle with suspended/revoked license, failure to wear seat belt.

Nicole Skillin, 39, 39 Lynnway, Lynn, was arrested for common nightwalker.

Jessica Taormina, 28, 4 Trask ST., Gloucester, was arrested for common nightwalker.

Luis Maldonado, 25, 15 Congress Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.

Tuesday, 5/3

Jefferson Dyett, 27, 215 Spencer Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Robert Goodrich, 53, 13 Normandy Rd., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant and larceny from building.

Wednesday, 5/4

JOse Maldonado, 43, 129 Cottage St., East Boston, was arrested for operating a motor vehicle unlicensed, stop sign violation.

Rudis Garcia, 44, 196 Poplar St., Chelsea, was arrested for drinking/possessing open alcoholic beverage in public and on a warrant.

Nain Montiel, 47, 87 Garland St., Everett, was arrested for drinking/possessing open alcoholic beverage in public.

Nathan Andrews, 431, 46 Tudor St., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants and destruction of property +$250, malicious

Thursday, 5/5

Luis Santiago, 29, 233 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with suspended/revoked license, speeding.

Amy Kennett, 52, 349 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.

Friday, 5/6

Carlos Zavala, 47, 111 Blossom St., Chelsea, was arrested on indecent assault and battery on person 14 or over, assault with a dangerous weapon.

Jefferson Dyett, 27, 115 Everett Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for larceny over $250

Russell Kirby, 44, 94 Eastern Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for shoplifting.

Saturday, 5/7

Nicholas Asaro, 31, 77 Eagle St., East Boston, was arrested for operating under the influence of drugs, possessing Class B drug.

Sunday, 5/8

Jose Lopez, 24, 115 Nichols St., Everett, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

Katelyn Ferguson, 28, 86 Division St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Monday, 5/9

Benjamin Estrada, 57, Homeless, was arrested for trespassing, drinking/possessing open alcoholic beverage in public.

Leonardo Chavez, 57, 56 Chester Ave,. Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing, drinking/possessing open alcoholic beverage in public.

Melanie Reddy, 32, 767 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing.

Demond Steele, 37, 767 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing.

Dania Quinones, 34, Homeless, was arrested for trespassing.

Tuesday, 5/10

William Cryer, 33, 85 Newton St., Boston, was arrested on warrants.

Hector Rivas, 30, 76 Harvard St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant, operating motor vehicle with suspended/revoked license, carrying dangerous weapon.

Urbano Meola, 49, 8 Belmont St., Malden, was arrested on a warrant.

Ysidro Fernandez, 34, 28 Bishop Joel Smith Way, Dorchester, was arrested for strangulation or suffocation, assault and battery on a disabled person with injury.

Wednesday, 5/11

Carl Woodley, 50, 15 Hancock ST., Everett, was arrested for receiving stolen motor and warrants.

Friday, 5/13

Rigoberto Gonzalez, 58, 73 Clark Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for drinking/possessing open alcoholic beverage in public.

Gerry Mondou, 44, 83 Watts ST., Chelsea, was arrested for larceny over $250, warrants.

Saturday, 5/14

Samuel Bonilla, 25, 32.5 Louis St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery and affray.

Diontie Rovira, 23, 63 Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with suspended/revoked license, reckless operation of motor vehicle, stop sign violation.

Sunday, 5/15

Jeffrey Jackimocz, 26, Homeless, was arrested or carrying firearm without license, drug, possessing to distribute Class A drug, firearm without license, carry loaded, receiving stolen property +$250.

Brian Belew, 31, 179 Franklin Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon.

Emerald Crowley, 19, 86 Holyoke St., Lynn, was arrested on a warrant.

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Ambrosino Files First City Budget,Calls for Recreation Division

By Seth Daniel

Rising 4.2 percent over last year, City Manager Tom Ambrosino submitted his first budget from the City’s corner office on Monday to the City Council – and highlighted more expenditures for walking police patrols, two new firefighters and a newly established Recreation Division.

The Budget is up by $6.2 million (4.2 percent) and sits at a total of $155.3 million. The Budget is in structural deficit at the moment to the tune of about $500,000, but that is much less than is typical.

Spending for the City side of government is at $71.8 million and for the schools it is at $83.5 million.

City Councilor Leo Robinson, who has scheduled hearings on the Budget this month, said they will be considering all possibilities – especially related to public safety overtime.

“I think we really need to go through this budget and look at all the increases that are going to affect our community,” he said. “We need to look at overtime issues. We need to make sure we’re able to bargain fairly in negotiating contracts with the unions. And, hopefully, we’ll all have a better relationship and end up on the same team.”

A highlight for Ambrosino in the budget was the creation of a new Cultural and Recreation Division within the Health Department – a division to be headed up by Bea Cravatta of the Community Schools. That division will have four new employees and will look to fill the gap with programs for young people who might otherwise be enticed by street violence.

“We’re going to beef it up and have more programming,” he said. “It will be run by Bea Cravatta and will include four new positions, two full-time positions and two part-time positions. This will be something we’ll ramp up over the year and won’t be in effect on July 1. More than likely, people would see this making a difference next summer. It’s probably going to take a year to get that program running a full efficiency.”

He said that after the violence of the past winter and spring, it was time to provide some alternatives to young people.

“I’m happy we can offer more an by doing that attract more children and young adults,” he said.

In the same vein, he said his budget calls for doubling the amount of money spent on the Chelsea Collaborative’s Summer Youth Jobs Program.

Another call in the budget comes for more overtime money for police officers to walk beats in Bellingham Square and in the Broadway business district.

“I think walking beats give people a level of comfort,” he said. “How much of a crime deterrent it is could be debated. But there’s a comfort level gained from walking patrols and part of the goal is to make people feel better.”

School spending is also up this year and Ambrosino said the City is spending above its required amount for the first time in a long time.

“It’s time to support the school system,” he said. “If you want to attract good families to a city, you have to have a good school system. I am a strong supporter of the public schools.”

According to the most recent projections, the City will spend $2.8 million over the required amount.

Another highlight of the budget is the addition of two new positions to the Fire Department, something that also hasn’t been done in some time.

“I am certain they could use additional personnel and I want to slowly build that department up,” he said.

However, he said a fourth engine company – as has been called for routinely by the Fire Union – is not in the plans.

“I’m going to rely on the new chief for an assessment of that,” he said. “I’m not convinced of it at this point, but I’ll keep an open mind.”

Council hearings on the budget will be May 16 (6-9 p.m.); May 17 (6-9:30 p.m.) and May 18 (6-9 p.m.) in the Council Chambers.

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Chelsea Hunger Network Looks to Fill Empty Bowls in Chelsea

By Seth Daniel

Coming from a place of desperation has been a great piece of hope in the community known as the Chelsea Hunger Network, a group that has been guided tirelessly by Ron Fishman.

Fishman works for MGH part-time in the community coalition, and works part-time also at Trinity Property Management managing Chelsea Square Apartments on Broadway. In managing both duties, about 10 years ago Fishman got involved in the Hunger Network, which had probably started five years before at the behest of Project Bread.

Since that time, the Hunger Network has grown to include an annual Empty Bowls fundraising event, and support of the St. Luke’s Food Panty, the MGH Food Pantry, the Salvation Army Food Pantry and the St. Luke’s Soup Kitchen.

“My involvement as the coordinator of the Chelsea Hunger Network is because of Trinity,” said Fishman, who lives in Lynn. “Trinity is a property management company that manages primarily subsidized or low-income buildings. The company is concerned about the quality of life of residents and it’s important to enhance their lives. Trinity gave me the leeway to do this, which is part of their mission. I feel I’m very lucky to do that and have an organization to support it. Otherwise, I don’t know if I could do it and I don’t know where the Hunger Network would be.”

The more pertinent question, though, is where the needy would be without the energized support of Fishman and several other organizations and volunteers.

“Without having numbers in front of me, I could say every year the numbers of people coming through and the poundage given out is about 20 percent more year over year. That’s a conservative number. It’s unbelievable the food insecurity problem here.”

The Hunger Network really ratcheted up in 2008 when the economy tanked and following that when things remained tough. Many families were obviously struggling to find food and so many needed help.

In the wake of that, some five years ago, the Network decided it needed to have a fundraising effort to support the food pantries and soup kitchens that were being inundated.

This year, just a few weeks ago, the 5th Annual Empty Bowls celebration took place at Chelsea High School. Fishman said it was a great success, but the other part of the fundraiser, the bowl painting events scattered throughout January, February and March, has grown even more popular.

“This year we had as many people there at Empty Bowls as we did the year before,” he said. “Everyone said it was a great success and it is a wonderful event. Yet, we don’t attract more and more people. You need to find a way to get those people who painted bowls to come to the event because they invested so much time in the painting. First, we need to increase participation in the event overall. Second, we need to find out how to get people who painted bowls to come to the event.”

The bowl painting has really taken off, he said, and is an important artistic component to the Network. Those organizations that painted bowls were the Department or Children and Families (DCF), Bantu Group, Zonta Club, MGH, Chelsea High, Chelsea City Council, Chelsea Collaborative, TND and several church groups.

“So many people have painted bowls in the city and it’s really become a community-wide art project that brings everyone together and brings awareness to food insecurity,” he said. “We had to turn people away this year because we had too many bowls.”

With a mind toward growing the Network to help put more of a dent in the problem, Fishman said he will rely on the steady volunteers and coalition organizations that have been beside him the whole time.

“The buy-in from everyone is great,” he said. “The community uniting to get involved is a great thing. Hopefully, in the end they have done something for hunger and it benefits someone locally in need. The whole thing has built up and it’s been amazing to see that happen.”

Ron Fishman of the Chelsea Hunger Network has led the effort for the last 10 years.

Ron Fishman of the Chelsea Hunger Network has led the effort for the last 10 years.

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City Hall Could Get Lit Up

By Seth Daniel

The idea to light up Chelsea City Hall, perhaps using different colored lighting such as is done on the Bunker Hill/Zakim Bridge, is one step closer to a reality.

City Councillor Matt Frank proposed the idea last month in a Council order and City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he is interested in the idea.

“This I may be inclined to support, depending on the cost,” he wrote the Council. “If the cost is not too high, this might be a beautification effort we want to consider in conjunction with upgrades to Bellingham Square/Broadway Corridor area. Part of the rationale for the proposed investment is not just to attract more commerce to the area, but also to enhance the area’s aesthetic appeal. An improved look for the Clock Tower would fit well with this effort.”

Ambrosino said he would supply the Council with prices for the proposed improvement, which he expects to have some time this summer.

Frank said the idea was to enhance City Hall and provide a beacon for those in Chelsea and those driving past Chelsea – as the City Hall clock tower can be seen from numerous vantage points.

“People who know City government know that I always want to see the numbers first,” he said. “This is no different. I don’t envision it costing a fortune and I think it’s a good amenity to have in the City and getting it lit up again and hopefully having all the bells and whistles – such as the colored lighting for different special occasions. Even if it’s just lit up with regular lighting, it would be great for people to see it.”

Frank has suggested that colored lighting such as is installed on the Zakim Bridge could be installed to shine on City Hall. If there were a special occasion, the color could be coordinated with that occasion.

“We’ll see what the cost is; things can change on the dime,” he said.

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Police Briefs 04-28-2016

ARMED ROBBERY OF CHECK CASHER

Three men were arrested for armed robbery while masked on Monday night for allegedly holding up the Easy Telecom at 682 Broadway.

Around 5 p.m., a man stopped a police officer to tell about a robbery and assault at the store.

As the officer radioed the incident in, he observed three males running through the parking lot of Welsh Funeral Home that matched the description given by the citizen.

An all out chase then ensued with numerous officers and K-9 units.

One man, who dropped a red bag containing a firearm, was apprehended on Parker Street.

The two others fleet footed it over fences in the 700th block of Broadway. One man was located lying down and hiding on a third floor porch at 746 Broadway.

Police went back to the scene to begin recovering evidence.

On the scene, another citizen approached them and led them to a fenced in yard with bushes. Behind the bushes was a shirtless man hiding. He was taken into custody as well.

The clerk at the store told officers one man walked into the store with the red bag. He bent down and came back up wearing sunglasses and a mask. He began waving a handgun at her and demanded she open the money cage.

A second suspect then came in brandishing a handgun.

As this was going on, a man came in to conduct business. He was accosted by the robbers and hit in the head with the firearm and dragged to the money cage. The clerk opened the cage and the robbers began filling the bag with loot. As they filled the bag, the female clerk was hit in the face and head with the gun repeatedly. She was told she would be killed if she called police. The suspects removed the store phone and put it in the red bad.

Then they fled with approximately $5,000 cash.

Julio Mota, Michael Nogueira and William Rios were all arrested and charged with a variety of offenses, including armed robbery.

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Two Restaurants Approved for Everett Avenue by ZBA

By Seth Daniel

Two highly-anticipated high-end restaurant proposals got the thumbs up from the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday night, April 13, for the Everett Avenue Urban Renewal District.

The first approval came for the well-established Fusion Foods, which has been in the downtown district for several years under the ownership of Melissa Vo.

Vo is planning to move the business to the small building near the railroad tracks on Everett Avenue, a building which has housed a florist for several years.

The ZBA voted 3-0 for the plan, and Vo said they planned to open in the coming months at the new location.

Second was the brand new venture from Chelsea resident Mark Nadow and Eastie native and chef Mike Sheridan – called Chelsea Station Restaurant. The restaurant concept would have a bar area and about a 120 seat restaurant at 105 Everett Ave. – which is a former bank, and before that, a former fire station.

“This is going to be the first of its kind here,” said Attorney John Dodge. “This is going to be an economic driver for the City. It’s going to be on par with the restaurants you might see on Newbury Street in Boston. It could be like a Stephanie’s on Newbury Street…It’s really going to be a new experience in Chelsea unlike anything we’ve seen in the past.”

The owners said they planned to accentuate the old firehouse aesthetic in their design, and have several features in the design that remind one of things in an old firehouse. They also plan to expose the original brick in the station, which is one of the few buildings to have survived the two great fires.

The restaurant will provide 17 parking spaces, but has ample spaces that can be used after 5 p.m. in the Simboli properties across the street. One hitch in the process was there wasn’t an official letter saying those could be used. The board did vote 3-0 for the proposal provided that a letter is submitted.

  • Dave Peach of the Broadway Mini-Mall presented to the ZBA his plan for 15 units of housing above his building at 307 Broadway, also adding a fourth story to the old Masonic Building and Theatre. There are only four parking spots proposed, but the project is one in a spate of proposals that would seek to appeal to the non-car demographic. Peach and his attorney, Jay Duca, indicated they expected to have one-bedrooms at $1,100 and two-bedrooms at $1,500. The proposal moves to the Planning Board for review and will come back to the ZBA on May 12.
  • City Councillor Roy Avellaneda appeared before the ZBA with his proposal to operate a coffee shop in Cary Square – a venture called Pan Y Cafe. The shop is currently the Chelsea City Cafe and Avellaneda would take it over from current owner, Chuck Finley.

“This will be a great project,” said Councillor Luis Tejada. “My whole life has been in that little area. It always seems to me it could be a little Davis Square…I think this will improve the area.”

  • Another proposal by the owners of the commercial/residential building that houses Heller’s Liquors at 413 Broadway was less cut-and-dry. The owners proposed to make eight large units into 16 smaller units. ZBA members found several holes in the plan, including parking plans. The matter goes to the Planning Board and then back to the ZBA on May 12.
  • David Therrien, 20 High St., got approval for a driveway.
  • Alma Villanueva got permission to change the use at 84 Washington Ave. to open a grocery/meat market.
  • TJL Series LLC (Dunkin Donuts) got permission to install projecting lights on their new signs at the 232 Everett Ave. store.

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