Mike Morin Delivers a Strike

Author’s inside look at TV candlepin bowling is a must-read for fans

Chelsea was once home to two candlepin bowling establishments, Broadway Lanes owned by George Michelson, and Chelsea Square Alleys, owned by Chet Pawlak.

In addition to each man being beloved in the Chelsea bowling community, Mr. Michelson and Mr. Pawlak shared another distinction: George and Charlotte Michelson and Chet and Carole Pawlak each had two children who bowled on television. Bonnie and Robert Michelson and Kathy [Finklestein] and Christine Pawlak earned their places among the ranks of the world’s best bowlers by appearing on Channel 5 bowling shows.

Mike Morin, a New Hampshire radio celebrity and a long-time candlepin bowler himself, has written a book that will surely warm the hearts of the Michelson and Pawlak families and candlepin bowlers everywhere.

And yes, Hall of Fame bowler Richie “Hawk” Halas and the great Max Valentin, who launched their pro careers at Broadway Lanes (atop Slaton’s Furniture Store) would also take pride in reading Morin’s work.

Morin has authored, “Lunch With Tommy and Stasia: TV’s Golden Age of Candlepin Bowling,” a look at all the candlepin bowling TV shows that once graced the airwaves.

And in another Chelsea connection to the book, Charlie Sherman, a former Shawmut Street resident and highly acclaimed New Hampshire TV personality, wrote the foreword for Morin’s book.

Anyone who ever watched Don Gillis’s “Candlepin Bowling” will appreciate Morin’s behind-the-scenes stories, interviews and warm memories of the game’s greatest bowlers, including Tommy Olszta, who now resides in Florida, and the late Stasia Czernicki, whose names appear in the book’s title.

The book was two years in the making. Writing about candlepin bowling was a natural fit for the 68-year-old Morin.

“I felt I had some inside knowledge because I did some work for the ICBA, appeared on the TV show (Candlepin Stars and Strikes on Channel 50) for nine years, and on radio (his broadcasting career spanned 48 years) – I felt I had the right combination of interest and skill to do the book,” said Morin.

The author grew up in Detroit and was a ten-pin bowler for 30 years. When Morin moved to New England in 1984, he began bowling candlepins and still competes regularly at Park Place Lanes in Windham, N.H.

“The book was something I had been thinking about for ten years, but I finally had the opportunity to write it when I retired from my radio career,” he said. “I was honored to do it.”

Morin said the first bowling show was televised on Channel 5 in 1958 and continued until January, 1996. “The initial host was Jim Britt and about three years in, Don Gillis took it over and rode it all the way to the end,” noted Morin.

A former champion on the Amateur Candlepin Tour (ACT), Morin places his focus on the Channel 5 (WCVB-TV) show in the book.

“That’s where the biggest stars and the biggest names came from, and it was on for the longest number of years – and had the most viewers, over 200,000 people every week,” said Morin. “Very often the Channel 5 show had ratings higher than any other sports show on any given weekend.”

Bowling fans will be delighted by Morin’s interviews with more than 75 bowling stars including Dan Murphy, Charlie Jutras, Jim Putney, Hawk Halas, Chucky Vozella and of course, Tommy Olszta, whom Morin considers the best of all time.

“Tommy did it when he had to – he had more appearances on the Channel 5 show than anyone else,” said Morin. “He was a gentleman, a fierce competitor.”

Other “phenomenal bowlers,” according to Morin include Chris Sargent and his father, Mike Sargent, Charlie Jutras, and Jeff Atkins.

Three of bowling’s currents superstars, Jonathan Boudreau, Jeff Surette, and Dave Barber, are also featured in the book.

“Jonathan is phenomenal,” said Morin. “I feel badly because he was born too late to take advantage of all the television opportunities that the other guys had.”

The book is generating positive responses in the bowling community and beyond. Bowling center owners and the bowlers themselves are thankful and grateful to Morin because there has not been a book written about candlepin bowling since 1980.

“This book covers all the people who were on TV,” said Morin. “And I got a lot of the behind-the-scenes stories that people never heard before.”

Morin also did some research and met with the children of Arthur Terlemezian, the gentleman who sat in the front row during Channel 5 shows and wore his traditional glasses and cardigan sweaters.

Morin has done several book signings at bookstores, libraries, and bowling centers. “I get the best results, no surprise, when I go to bowling centers,” he related.

As for the book’s unique title, Morin explained, “Because candlepin bowling was such a tradition on Saturdays at noon, people would sit down with their lunch trays or tray tables in front of the TV, and they would have lunch with their favorite bowling stars, who I felt were Tommy and Stasia. So that’s why I called it “Lunch With Tommy and Stasia, because that’s what people did every Saturday for 38 years.”

(Mike Morin’s book is available for purchase on Amazon.com and at independent bookstores in New Hampshire or by sending an email to mikemorinmedia@gmail.com.)

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Obituaries 06-13-2019

Santo Agri

US Army veteran of World War II

Santo A. “Sam” Agri passed away Thursday morning, June 6 at

the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home surrounded by his loving family. He was 95 years old. Born in East Boston, the son of the late Giuseppe and Josephine (Astorino) Agri, Sam grew up in Revere and attended Revere public schools. He enlisted in the US Army on July 26, 1943 and served almost a year and a half overseas, including Western Germany, Rome and Southern France. Corporal Agri was honorably discharged on December 12, 1946, receiving the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

Upon returning home from the service, Sam opened an aluminum siding business with his brother. He owned the business for many years before he began working at the Naval Ship Yard in Charlestown. As a carpenter by trade, Sam worked on the USS Constitution while employed at the Naval Ship Yard.

Sam and his beloved wife of 68 years, the late Theresa R. (Bellino) Agri, were long time Chelsea residents.

Sam and his wife had a passion for dancing. They would travel all over to dance. A few of their favorite spots included the Chelsea Polish Club, Polcari’s, and the Cathay Pacific Restaurant in Quincy.

Sam adored his large family and loved spending time with all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by all his family.

Sam was the devoted father of Joseph M. Agri of Florida, Janice J. Christoforo and her husband, John of Holbrook, Joan Ramage and her husband, Joseph of Avon and Joyce Agri and her husband, Stephen Thomas of Malden. Sam was pre-deceased by 13 brothers and sisters. He is also lovingly survived by six grandchildren: John and Matthew Christoforo, Dominic and Andrea Taverna and Eddie and Theresa Klosiewicz and four great grandchildren, Julia, Nicholas, Jimmy and Thomas Christoforo.

Sam’s Funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, June 8 at Our Lady of Grace Church in Chelsea. Interment with Military Honors concluded the service at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Carafa Family Funeral Home in Chelsea.

Luis Garcia Maldonado

Nov. 30, 1958 – June 8, 2019

Luis Garcia Maldonado passed away Saturday morning, June 8 at the Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett after a brief illness.

He was born in Progreso, Yoro, Honduras into the family of the late Amelia Maldonado-Perez and Luis García-Robles. He received his formal education in Honduras. He married Lelis Carcamo and, with his young family, came to the United States, settled in Chelsea and for a brief time moved to Texas before returning to Chelsea some 25 years ago.

Luis supported his family working as a marina laborer. He was employed for many years in the shipyard of Boston Towing and Transportation, maintaining their fleet of tugboats and barges. A hard worker and devoted family man, in his spare time Luis enjoyed home gardening, time with family and friends, cooking, socializing and traveling to Honduras to visit with family.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Lelis Carcamo and was the devoted father of Gina Flores and her husband, Jose of Lynn, Karla Carcamo and Leslie García, both of Chelsea and Heidy García of Progreso-Yoro, Honduras. He was the cherished grandfather of Evelin Esteban, Cindi Flores, Laura Flores, Elizabeth Alacaron and Joshua Alacaron; dear brother of Carminda García-Maldonado, Elvia García-Maldonado, Mercedes García-Maldonado, Humberto García-Maldonado, Paulino García-Maldonado and Famelisia García-Maldonado. He is also survived by many great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

Family and friends are invited to visit at the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea today, Thursday, June 13 from 3 to 8 p.m. His funeral will begin from the Welsh Funeral home on Friday, June 14 at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Rose Church, 600 Broadway Chelsea at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with interment, location to be announced. Funeral home fully handicap accessible, ample parking opposite funeral home.

Daniel Mikolajewski

Decorated veteran and GE retiree

Daniel Mikolajewski of Chelsea died on May 11.

Danny was born in December of 1946, the youngest of four children and was a lifelong resident of Chelsea. Raised on Beacon Street, he spent his youth at St. Stanislaus School. He attended Everett Vocational for printing and worked odd jobs during and after high school until he enlisted in the United States Army in September of 1966 and was stationed in Vietnam during the war. It was during those three years of service that he fought for the peace of others and the safety of his comrades. Within the three years of being in Vietnam fighting the battle, it was because of his courage, dedication and bravery that Danny was awarded The National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal , 3 Bronze Stars for Meritorious Achievement, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and The Combat Infantryman Badge.

In 1969, he was honorably discharged and off to start a new chapter in his life. It was at this time he met his beloved friend of 50 years and wife of 48 years, Betty.

Danny worked for Lawson Machinery and Tool for some time until he secured a job as a helicopter engine tester for General Electric in Lynn, where he worked for 37 years until his retirement.

Danny was a former longtime member of the Polish Falcons of Chelsea and attended Patriots games as a season ticket holder before they started to win. He was an avid bowler on multiple teams at Townline in Malden and, in his remaining years, he spent time as a member and avid cribbage player at the Polish Political Club of Chelsea.

He was the beloved husband of Elizabeth “Betty” (Gubski) Mikolajewski, devoted father of Kristin Beth (Mikolajewski) Breen and her husband, Joseph of Quincy and Daniel Mikolajewski, Jr. and his wife, Siobhan of Norwood; brother of Geraldine Douglas and her husband, Arthur of Lynnfield and the late Edward Miles and his surviving wife, Joyce Miles of Wilmington and Wallace Miles; brother-in law of Sr. Barbara Ann Gubski, SND of Chelsea; cherished grandfather of Madeline Adele Breen, Evelyn Claire Breen and Fiona-Maggie Mikolajewski.

In 1976 Danny became a father, first came the birth of their daughter Kristin Beth and six years later in 1982 son Daniel Jr was born. Both of which he was very proud. He became a father once again with the addition of his son-in-law, Joe and daughter-in-law, Siobhan to the family. But the most recent of happy times in his life for the past eight years was his three beautiful grandchildren, Maddie, Evie and Fiona-Maggie. Never a time went by when he didn’t crack a smile or belt a laugh because they brought him pure joy in that moment of time.

Danny’s lengthy illness with cancer called him home on May 11, 2019. He passed with the one true constant in his life of 50 years by his side his best friend and beloved wife.

A Celebration of Life was held on Sunday, June 2 in the Smith Funeral Home, 125 Washington Avenue, Chelsea. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Leonard Florence Center for the Living, 165 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA 02150 or to the American Cancer Society, 3 Speen St., Suite 250, Framingham, MA 01701 or to Exceptional Citizens Week at Camp Fatima atwww.ecweek.org/donate.

Sonya Cannon

Of Everett, formerly of Chelsea

Sonya J. (Senna) Cannon of Everett, formerly of Chelsea, died on June 6.

She was the beloved wife of the late Thomas., mother of Ronald M. and his wife, Jodi A. of Pelham, NH, sister of Ronald F. Senna of Everett and is also survived by two grandchildren, Mackenzie M. and Thomas J., one niece, Suzanne Senna, and one nephew, Sean Senna.

Funeral arrangements were by the Salvatore Rocco & Sons Funeral Home, 331 Main St., Everett. Interment was in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. For more information: 1-877-71-ROCCO or roccofuneralhomes.com

James Lanzillo

Member of Chelsea Knights of Columbus

James A. Lanzillo, of Revere, formerly of Chelsea, died on June 4.

During his working years, he was employed as a supervisor of maintenance for an apartment complex. A member of the Chelsea Knights of Columbus # 83 and was active in the Explorer Post # 109. A lover of Revere Beach, he especially enjoyed flying kites there.

He was the devoted son of the late Richard and Ruth (Perry) Lanzillo, longtime companion of the late Tara Tormay, beloved brother of Richard Lanzillo of Florida, Robert Lanzillo and his wife, Cathy of Saugus, Paul Lanzillo and his wife, Debbie of Saugus and Denise Domelowicz of Peabody. He is also lovingly survived by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews as well as his canine companions, Lucy, Rocco and Cassie.

At his request, all services will be private.

To leave a message of condolence for Jim’s family, please visit www.smithfuneralhomes.com

Giuseppe Colucciello

Of North Reading, formerly of Chelsea

Giuseppe Colucciello of North Reading, formerly of Chelsea, died on June 8.

He was the beloved husband of the late Assunta (Savignano), cherished father of Luigi Colucciello and his wife, Kathleen of Chelsea, dear brother of Michelina, Juigi and Angelo, all of Italy and the late Camille and Carmela and adoring grandfather of Tia and Nicholas.

His funeral will be from the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home, 128 Revere St, Revere on Friday, June 14 at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. A visitation will be held today, Thursday, June 13 from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery. For guest book, please visit www.Buonfiglio.com

Carmen Jimenez

Caring and loving person who will be remembered for her keen wit and sense of humor

Carmen Jimenez passed away early Tuesday morning in the peaceful surroundings of Chelsea home after battling cancer over the past few years. She was 47 years old.

Born and raised in Olancho, Honduras, she was one of nine children born to the late Juan Jimenez and Angela Herrera. She came to Chelsea as a young lady bearing and raising her own three children here. Carmen worked in the produce department at Demoulas in Wilmington for past 20 years.

Carmen enjoyed playing bingo, music and dancing and she will forever be remembered for her keen wit and sense

of humor, always the loving and caring person who loved entertaining family and friends.

To mourn her passing and cherish her memory, she leaves her beloved children: Mislean Zelaya of Revere, Michelle Cruz and Angel Zelaya, both of Chelsea, her sister and housemate, Gladys Herrera. She was the cherished grandmother of Emanuel, Franklin, Liam and Skyla Zelaya.

Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend visiting hours at the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Friday, June 14 from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral home is fully handicap accessible, ample parking opposite funeral home.

Her burial be held later next week in Honduras at the Central Cemetery in Armis, Olancho. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit: www.WelshFuneralHome.com

Anthony Memorial – Frank A. Welsh & Sons, Chelsea, 617-889-2723

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Chelsea Night Market Inaugural Event Planned for June 8

How much awesomeness can be contained within Luther Place?

The people of Chelsea will soon find out as the first of a series of five monthly events takes place downtown on Saturday, June 8, with the launch of the Chelsea Night Market.

Presented by the City of Chelsea through its downtown initiative called Chelsea Prospers and local events production company Jukebox, the Chelsea Night Market is an ambitious undertaking for a hidden corner of the downtown that’s beginning to awaken.

Last year, GreenRoots took the lead in the block’s transformation by creating a colorful mural with Chelsea artist and one of the state’s top muralists Silvia López Chavez on the Chelsea Walk.

That pedestrian walkway provides the entrance to the next phase of the effort with activation of the space through the Chelsea Night Market.

Edwardo Chacon of Jukebox said, “Vendors are still being accepted for future markets and there’s always room for more artists and performers to join in. Our priority is to engage as much local talent as possible. We’re excited by all the energy growing around the market and the new connections we’re making. This is going to be epic.”

Here, in the large parking lot on Cherry Street behind the businesses on Broadway between Fourth and Fifth Streets, event visitors every month will find the area transformed with activity and something new to discover on each visit.

More than a dozen booths will feature local businesses, artists, merchants and community groups. Merchandise includes both new, vintage, thrift and handcrafted items.

Jack’s Men’s Shop will highlight emerging brands for men’s fashion, while Allen’s Cut Rate features a selection of high-quality fragrances. You’ll find hand-crafted jewelry by Beaded Inspiration and Sacred Soul Fire. Over at the booths for Dandelion District and High Energy Vintage there’s a variety of vintage items including old school video games, nicnacks and clothing.

At Jukebox’s booth, show off your local pride with swag that shouts your love of all things 02150. Among the offerings are T-shirts and totes emblazoned with Chelsea. All proceeds are dedicated to supporting the next projects to improve Luther Place.

A variety of other tents will feature community groups and artists.

Test your aim with Archery Games Boston, show off what you’re proud of with the Chelsea LGBTQ Coalition, and play around with the team from the Phoenix Charter Academy Chelsea.

Several local restaurants are on board with menus of street food as well.

Get a sandwich hot off the grill from the chefs of Broadway House of Pizza, nibble savory Chinese food from Chung Wah, or sink your teeth into an empanada from Pan y Café.

On the main stage a variety of performers will entertain the crowd.

MC for the night is comedian and actor Chase Abel. Host of the podcast “Ready Set Blow” with Randy V, he’s a regular at Boston’s top clubs.

Among them is a band headed by Bengisu and Tuzcu.

It’s impossible to describe their mix of Turkish-funk-rock, but it will definitely get a groove going.

DJ Tempo Sauve’s upbeat house electronica is gathering a strong following, and he’ll keep the energy going throughout the night. There’s a rumor some comedians from the recent show at Tu Casa may stop by too.

The performance highlight, however, undoubtedly will be the crew from the Boston Circus Guild. They’ll be roaming among the crowd to show off their amazing skills and costumes and then at 9:30 p.m., will take the stage for a 20-minute fire performance that will top off the night.

Serving as a backdrop to the main stage and to provide a tangible reminder of the market through the summer, the wall of 456 Broadway will serve as space for temporary mini murals with new designs appearing each month by local artists.

The Chelsea Night Market team is grateful for the support of the Chelsea Record as a media sponsor helping them to spread the word about the upcoming event and to highlight the new happenings of downtown Chelsea.

For additional information check out the Chelsea Night Market’s website at www.chelseanightmarket.com, the facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/529915294079626/ or contact at Mimi Graney, at mgraney@chelseama.gov

Future dates include:

•July 13 (raindate 7/20)

•August 10 (raindate 8/17)

•September 21 (raindate 9/28)

•October 5 (raindate 10/12)

CITY OF CHELSEA, MA

Department of Planning and Development

City Hall, 500 Broadway, Room 301 · Chelsea, MA 02150

Phone: 617.555.1708 · Fax: 617.658.6725 · Email: deptemail@chelseama.gov

CITY OF CHELSEA, MA

Department of Planning and Development

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Chelsea Mensches The Jewish Journal Newspaper Honors Lubarsky, Medros at Awards Breakfast

The Jewish Journal newspaper honored members of its community who have made special contributions through their volunteer efforts and philanthrophy.

Jewish Journal Publisher Steve Rosenberg (second from left) congratulates Todd Levine, Adele Lubarsky, and Ed Medros on being named “Mensches” in recognition of their volunteer efforts and philanthropic work.

Adele Lubarsky, principal of the Hooks Elementary School, and Ed Medros, president of the Walnut Street Synagogue, were honored as Mensches at the breakfast held May 19 at Temple Ner Tamid, Peabody.

Lubarsky, a Chelsea High School graduate, thanked the Journal for the honor in her acceptance speech.

“And it is an honor as president of Temple Ner Tamid to host this event,” said Lubarsky. “In my mind there are few higher Jewish compliments to pay someone than to call them a mensch.

“A mensch is a person who can be relied on to act with honor and integrity. The Yiddish term means more than that: it also suggests someone who is kind and considerate. For me, the term mensch does not come easy.

“When I thought about my definition of mensch, I went to my favorite source: Google. Brigitte Nicole in “Lessons Learned in Life” provided me with the framework of what I consider I needed to do to be considered a mensch.

“Surround yourself with people who are kind, caring, who are growing and want to learn. People who don’t mind saying sorry or thank you and will ask you if you need anything. These people will keep you positive. To find these people is to be one,” said Lubarsky.

The popular school administrator added, “For me, this honor belongs to everyone in my family and Temple life who have supported me in the past and helped me become a mensch.”

Medros, who has done an outstanding job maintaining the history of the Walnut Street shul, also humbly accepted the prestigious award. “I am truly honored to be recognized as a mensch by the Jewish Journal and to walk in the same steps as all the other mensches here and everyone in attendance. I thank you very much. It is a labor of love for me to be president of the Walnut Street synagogue.”

Medros concluded his remarks by inviting guests to take a tour of the landmark Jewish house of worship.

Also honored was Todd Levine, whose family formerly owned Levine’s Meat Market on Central Avenue. Todd is now the proprietor of Levine’s Kosher Meat Market in Peabody.

The publisher of the Jewish Journal is Steve Rosenberg, whose family owned and operated Murray and Eddy’s Delicatessen on Broadway, Chelsea, for many years.

A former reporter for The Boston Globe, Rosenberg congratulated the honorees in an inspiring speech to begin the program. Rosenberg and a special committee of the Journal’s Board of Overseers, including Chairman Matthew Schwartz, Neil Donnefeld, Donna Lozow Pierce, and Susan Garnick, planned and organized the annual breakfast.

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TND, Traggorth Finally get the Green Light on Midas Site

A 38-unit affordable housing project at the former Midas site on Broadway can move forward after the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) unanimously granted a special permit for the project Tuesday night.

The $15 million project is a partnership between the Traggorth Companies and The Neighborhood Developers (TND). The developers initially came before City officials last year with plans for a 42-unit housing development with some market rate units included.

In addition to cutting the project down to 38 units and making all the units affordable, a planned fifth floor of a building along the Broadway side was eliminated.

“This project cannot do everything for everyone, but it can achieve many things for Chelsea by creating 38 units of affordable housing,” said Dave Traggorth of the Traggorth Companies. “This blighted site pays very little in taxes. This will change that and bring revenue to the city.”

In addition to providing affordable housing, Traggorth said there will be public access to Mill Creek for all Chelsea residents.

As has been the case during past public hearings on the project, a number of community members touted the need for affordable housing in Chelsea and TND’s past successes in bringing affordable units to the city.

City Council President Damali Vidot said she has never supported a TND project in the city until this one.

“There is a huge problem with affordability in this city and we are displacing residents at a rapid rate,” said Vidot.

Resident Sandy Maynard supported the creation of affordable units and the improvement of a blighted site in the city.

“I can’t think of a better project than this one to meet that (affordable housing) need and to beautify Chelsea,” said Maynard. “That lot is an ugly, ugly place.”

Several residents who have been homeless also spoke in favor of the project and of the need of affordable housing.”

A letter from District 3 City Councillor Joe Perlatonda cited his objections to the project, including the welfare of neighboring residents due to traffic and parking concerns.

City Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda, who has spoken against approval of the 1001-1005 Broadway project in the past, said his overreaching concern has been TND’s lack of a vision to bring affordable home ownership, as opposed to rental units, to the city.

“Teachers and city employees are not able to bid on homes (in Chelsea) and they are pushed out,” said Avellaneda. “I understand the need for affordable housing, but there is no balance here … There is a broader discussion that is needed in this community.”

The special permit granted by the ZBA was required because the project did not meet minimum zoning requirements for rear yard setbacks, number of off-street parking spaces, and maximum lot coverage percentage.

A housing lottery will be held for all of those units, with 30 offered at 60 percent of the Average Median Income (AMI) for the area (about $64,000 for a family of four) and eight at 30 percent AMI (about $32,000 for a family of four). The maximum preference allowable under state law will be given to Chelsea residents for the units.

There will be 42 parking spaces for the 38 units (the majority of which will be two-bedroom apartments). And because of state law regulating public access to public waterways, 31 of those parking spaces will be available as public parking from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to provide access to Mill Creek for everyone.

•In other business, the ZBA held a public hearing for a retail marijuana shop at the site of the former King Arthur’s strip club at 200 Beacham St. GreenStar Herbals, Inc. is seeking to tear down the existing two-story building and replace it with a one-story retail facility.

Representatives from GreenStar said the building will feature state-of-the-art security and 34 parking spots on site. Representatives of several of the neighboring local produce businesses came to express concerns about traffic and parking affecting their businesses.

The GreenStar proposal still needs to go before the Planning Board later this month before coming back to the ZBA for special permit and variance approvals.

•The ZBA also denied a special permit for a church to operate out of the second and third floors of 307 Broadway because the plan did not include any parking spaces.

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New Group Looks to Raise the Profile of Bicycling

With National Bicycle Month underway, a new group of cyclists and pedestrians in Chelsea are looking to create momentum and visibility on safety issues for those that aren’t using vehicles.

The Chelsea Bike and Pedestrian Committee has formed over the winter and got things rolling with their first community bike ride on May 8. Now, they said they would continue those rides every Weds. evening at 6 p.m.

Resident Asad Rahman, an avid cyclist who commutes to Boston daily from his Broadway home, has been involved in biking safety issues for a number of years and said he worked with City Planners to try to get more of a community built around bicycling and walking.

While he thought it might take some time, surprisingly the movement has grown quickly and they are already planning their first event and several events beyond that.

“More than ever, I think Chelsea is at a crossroads to put people and bicycles first instead of cars,” he said. “We’re a City with five or six street lights and several thousand people and cars go very, very fast. We hope we can shift the paradigm that people come first and cars come second…Right now we have a passionate group of people in Chelsea, and we’ll ride around town on May 8th for about a half-hour and then have a social time to continue building this community.”

With the help of the City and MassBike, the Committee is planning several events such as a Bike Repair workshops and a bike rodeo – this coming at future City events like Fiesta Verano and the Night Markets.

The group is on Facebook at BikeWalkChelsea, and anyone interested in joining them can show up at City Hall 6 p.m. on May 8.

The Vision for the Committee includes:

•To advance cycling and walking as leading modes of transportation in order to promote the health, wealth, and quality of life for Chelsea residents.

The Mission of the Committee is:

•To establish safe, interconnected, and enjoyable infrastructure in Chelsea for cycling and walking, through strategy with the Planning and Development department, resident education on practical use, and community engagement to build awareness and enthusiasm.

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Split Decision for Broadway Affordable Housing, Faces Tough Path Again

Split Decision for Broadway Affordable Housing, Faces Tough Path Again

It was a split decision for a 38-unit affordable housing project at the former Midas site on Broadway before the Planning Board on Tuesday night.

For the second time in less than a year, the Planning Board approved the site plan for the development, a partnership between the Traggorth Companies and The Neighborhood Developers (TND).

Late last year, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) narrowly denied the 42 unit affordable- and market-rate residential development at 1001 Broadway. The Suffolk County Land Court remanded the controversial Zoning Board affordable housing denial on Broadway back to the ZBA with a revised plan.

However, the project did not garner the necessary votes from the Planning Board for a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals to grant special permits for the project for parking and lot coverage relief.

The project will still come before the ZBA at its April 9 meeting for approval, but if the revised project is to move forward, it will have to do so without the Planning Board’s seal of approval.

Four of the six board members who voted Monday night did support recommending the special permits to the ZBA. But given the need to pull in a two-thirds vote of the overall nine-member board, it wasn’t enough to gain official approval of the project.

Planning Board members Todd Taylor and Shuvam Bhaumik cast the votes against the recommendation, in large part echoing the parking and larger economic impact of the project on the city.

Monday night’s two hour public hearing covered a lot of familiar ground for residents and city officials who have been following the course of the project over the past year.

Supporters of the project touted TND’s past successes in providing affordable housing in the city and the continued need to provide more affordable housing units in the city.

Those opposed to or with reservations about the development raised questions about traffic and parking, as well as continued development that puts affordable rental units on the market without providing for home ownership opportunities.

Representatives from TND and the Traggorth Companies presented their revised plans for the project, much as they had to the ZBA during an initial meeting earlier this month.

The major revisions to the proposed $15 million project include cutting the total number of units from 42 to 38, making all the units affordable, and eliminating the fifth story of the building that had been proposed for the Broadway side of the development.

The commercial space on the first floor in the initial proposal has also been eliminated and replaced by a community room.

“The goal of the project has not changed since we have begun,” said Tanya Hahnel of the Traggorth Companies. “Our number one goal is to provide affordable housing and increase public access to Mill Creek.”

The original proposal denied by the ZBA totaled 42 units, with nine of those at market rate. The revised plans cut four units out, and lower the height of the building facing Broadway from five to four stories.

A housing lottery will be held for all of those units, with 30 offered at 60 percent of the Average Median Income (AMI) for the area (about $64,000 for a family of four) and eight at 30 percent AMI (about $32,000 for a family of four), according to TND Project Manager Steve Laferriere. The maximum preference allowable under state law will be given to Chelsea residents for the units, Laferriere said.

There will be 42 parking spaces for the 38 units (the majority of which will be two-bedroom apartments). And because of state law regulating public access to public waterways, 31 of those parking spaces will be available as public parking from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to provide access to Mill Creek for everyone.

As with almost all development proposals in Chelsea, traffic and parking are a major roadblock to support for approval.

District 3 City Councillor Joe Perlatonda, who represents the area where the affordable housing will be built, said the project at the corner of Broadway and Clinton Street will only worsen a nightmare traffic and parking scenario.

While Perlatonda said the city needs more affordable housing, he said it can’t be at the detriment of the many residents who live in the already crowded and congested neighborhood.

“How are we going to get in and out of there?” he asked. “I think the board really needs to think this through.”

But for others, including City Council President Damali Vidot, the need for affordable housing units in Chelsea trumps the traffic and parking concerns.

“Housing shouldn’t be something we argue about,” said Vidot. “Affordable housing creation is absolutely needed.”

Vidot, who said she has almost never supported development in the city, said her main concern about the Traggorth/TND project was its impact on parking.

Hahnel said the developers would be willing to consider an agreement where residents would not be eligible to apply for city street parking stickers, thereby helping ease parking congestion in the neighborhood.

At-Large City Councillor Roy Avellaneda took a different view of the affordable rental units.

While Avellaneda said he is a supporter of affordable housing in Chelsea, he questioned TND’s recent history of developing affordable rental units at the expense of creating affordable home ownership opportunities.

“TND has a (real estate) portfolio but they keep building apartments,” said the councillor. “Where is the home ownership? Where is the balance?”

Avellaneda said the lack of more affordable home ownership opportunities in Chelsea is pricing out middle income and working families who want to set down roots in the city.

Taylor echoed Avellaneda’s sentiments that a lack of home ownership is an issue in Chelsea.

“I bet that by 2020, the new statistics will show that there is more affordable housing than home ownership (in Chelsea),” he said. “That’s not a good place to be in, and this is a problem that the city should really address.”

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Major Broadway Improvements Could Begin in 2022

Major Broadway Improvements Could Begin in 2022

A major $9.5 million improvement project for the one-mile stretch of Broadway from City Hall Avenue to the Revere line could get underway by the spring of 2022.

On Thursday, March 21, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation held a public hearing on the preliminary design plans for the roadway reconstruction. Although the state officials and engineers outnumbered the residents in attendance for the meeting, there was a good amount of information provided on the shape, scope, and timeline of the road reconstruction project.

“We are finishing the 25 percent design stage,” said Larry Cash, the MassDOT project manager. “After this hearing, we will be advancing to the final design stage.”

The purpose of the project is to increase safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles along the Broadway corridor and intersecting streets in the city, according to Weston and Sampson engineer Larry Keegan. He said there will be new turn lanes, additional vehicle stacking room, and traffic signals at the project intersections allowing for the safer turning of vehicles and improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. The plans also include dedicated bicycle lanes through the one-mile stretch.

“There have been 97 collisions over a three-year period” along that portion of Broadway,” said Keegan. “That is above the state average.”

Keegan pointed to poor intersection layout, outdated traffic signals, and deficient pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit accommodations as being among the chief culprits for the high number of accidents. All of those issues will be addressed during the roadway reconstruction, he said.

In addition to the repaving of the road itself, a major component of the work includes new sidewalks and improved drainage.

Sidewalk improvements will mean the removal of some trees.

“The existing trees are old and unhealthy, lifting up the sidewalks themselves so that they are not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant,” said Keegan.

Other areas that will get major upgrades are the MBTA bus stops along the route. Keegan noted that there is deterioration of pavement and pavement markings from years of use along the mile of Broadway, and that the deterioration is especially pronounced at the bus stops.

The proposed project will require permanent and temporary easements from adjacent property owners, but Cash said those easements are either temporary to allow for construction work along the road, or are for the installation or minor regrading of sidewalks.

As with any project that involves ripping up pavement and sidewalks to make way for improvements, there will be traffic and construction impacts once work gets underway.

But Keegan said the plan is to keep disruptions to a minimum and traffic flowing as easily as possible.

“No detours are anticipated at this time,” he said.

During the day, the plan is to have a single lane of traffic closed and have the traffic managed by police. At night, there will be two-way traffic, according to Keegan. Access to schools, businesses, and residences will be kept open as much as possible, he added.

Chelsea resident John Gunning asked if the bus stops would remain in the current locations and if there would be improvements to the bus shelters.

Keegan said engineers will be working with the MBTA during the next phase of design to address some of those issues.

“The T wants certain things and the city wants certain things (for the bus stops),” he said. “We are looking at different options at this point.”

Dunning said he would like to see fresh, new bus shelters and stops that will complement the surrounding area and completed improvements.

Cash said design, permitting, and right of way acquisition for the project will continue through 2019 and 2020 with construction anticipated to start in the spring of 2022.

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Chelsea’s Real Estate Resurgence Continues Bowen, Castillo Set to Unveil Parker Place Condos

Chelsea’s Real Estate  Resurgence Continues Bowen, Castillo Set to Unveil Parker Place Condos

Chelsea real estate agent Jeffrey Bowen said all the hard work by city officials over the past 20 years is paying off.

“Chelsea is booming,” says Bowen. “City Managers Jay Ash and Tom Ambroino, the city councilors, and the community have brought it back to where we are now. Chelsea is the No. 1 gateway city in America with the lowest price-per-foot next to a major metropolitan city (Boston).”

Bowen knows much the city’s resurgence and the booming real estate scene. He is currently marketing his third major project, Parker Place, 12 new luxury condominiums at the corner of Parker Street and Spencer Avenue. The developer for the three projects has been Jason Roback of Roback Real Estate.

“Jason prides himself in bringing value and quality to the future residents of Chelsea,” credited Bowen.

Bowen and his partner, Sandra Castillo, of ERA Russell Realty Group, will host an open house each Saturday and Sunday (12-2 p.m.) at Parker Place, which is already drawing significant interest among prospective buyers.

Bowen’s previous successes span the city, notably the Beacon Condominiums (81 Broadway) and the Thomas Martin Lofts (204 Spencer Ave.)

Parker Place, located at 87 Parker St, is a seven-story building featuring 12 units: 11 two-bed, two-bath, one two-bed, one-bath. Five of the units have garage parking, seven have outdoor spots. Out of the 11 two-bed, two-bath units, one is an affordable unit for medium-income residents (price to be determined by the City of Chelsea).

According to Bowen and Castillo, the prices at Parker Place range from $449,000 to $539,000.

“Each condo has air-conditioning, maple hardwood flooring, custom kitchens, and stainless-steel appliances,” said Bowen. “This in an elevator building. Four of the units have roof decks. Eight of the units have balconies.”

Bowen said the area has become one of the hottest in the greater Boston real estate market.

“You have the DaVinci Lofts (960 Broadway), the Industrie Lofts (950 Broadway), the Spencer Lofts (60 Dudley St.), the Keen Lofts (220 Spencer Ave.), and the Thomas Martin Lofts (204 Spencer Ave.),’ said Bowen.

And the boon is continuing, with the Chelsea Zoning Board’s approval Tuesday night of the Forbes Development that will consist of 590 units.

A good time to buy

There is no time like the present to invest in Chelsea, according to Bowen.

“Condominium prices are 25-50 percent higher a mile or two away in East Boston and Charlestown,” said Bowen. “Downtown Boston and the Seaport District (South Boston) is double and triple. Chelsea is still very affordable. It’s a good time to buy. You get more bang for your buck. There is room to grow here.”

Other advantages for buyers are access to Route 1, the Silver Line, five bus routes, and a commuter rail. Five new hotels in Chelsea also underline the fact that the city is flourishing. The new Encore Casino opens in Everett in June.

Bowen takes personal pride in Chelsea’s resurgence. A resident of the city, he was featured in a recent segment on Channel 5’s “Chronicle,” showcasing all the good things that are happening here.

“Sandra and I are our team and we work well together helping people find the residence of their dreams,” said Bowen, who has been No. 1 in the luxury condominium segment of real estate in Chelsea. “I have a relationship with a lender that has a program with rates as low as 3.69 percent on a 30-year fixed mortgage that also includes $7,000-lender-paid closing costs (for qualified buyers).”

Said Castillo, “Whenever we go in to a building, we actually get the highest price for the seller. We also get calls from previous buyers and we’ve been able to double their investment. Our condos don’t last very long on the market because they are such a great value and they have everything people are looking for.”

(For more information about Parker Place Condominums, please email info@chelsearealestate.com).

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Licensing Commission Disciplines Several Establishments

Licensing Commission Disciplines Several  Establishments

If one is looking to hit the local bars this Cinco de Mayo, the options are going to be a little more limited than usual.

At its March 7 meeting, the Licensing Commission disciplined two local restaurants for a variety of infractions that will result in them losing their liquor licenses for the Cinco de Mayo weekend on May 4 and 5. (The restaurant Cinco de Mayo in Chelsea was not disciplined or called to the Commission).

In addition to losing its liquor license for that weekend, the Commission voted to roll back Acapulco’s hours of operation indefinitely, forcing the Fifth Street establishment to close at 11 p.m. instead of 1 a.m.

The Acapulco punishment stems from an incident last November when a security worker at the restaurant struck a customer over the head with a police baton.

The Commission also enforced an hours rollback from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m. – along with the weekend suspension – for Bar La Cueva at 802 Broadway. That punishment was enforced for an incident where several patrons were overserved, as well as for past concerns about noise and unruly patrons at the bar.

In addition, Commission member James Guido requested a hearing next month to consider revoking Bar La Cueva’s entertainment licenses.

The attorney for Acapulco said the issue at his client’s establishment is systemic of a larger issue in the city, where security at bars is handled by companies that act almost as paramilitary or law enforcement agencies.

Several commissioners agreed that there is a larger issue that needs to be addressed in the city with bar and liquor establishment security, but noted that Acapulco deserved a more forceful discipline than simply firing its current security contractor.

“You say security is a problem, but you’ve had the same company for a decade,” Commissioner Roseann Bongiovanni said.

The issues at Bar La Cueva seemed to extend beyond the recent incident where two people were overserved, as several commissioners noted that there have been noise and unruly patron complaints at the bar for years.

In a letter, one neighbor stated that the “karaoke singing by drunks is terribly loud and they overserve their patrons.”

John Dodge, the attorney representing the bar, said for the incident in question, his clients acted responsibly and asked the patrons who appeared to be intoxicated to leave.

But Bongiovanni noted that the bar has been a problem in the past, including racking up a 14-day liquor license suspension about two years ago.

“They have been a complete nuisance and annoyance to the neighborhood; you can roll your eyes all you want, counselor,” she said to Dodge.

Both the bars got off relatively easy compared to Fine Mart, a liquor and convenience store at 260 Broadway. The Commission suspended the store’s liquor license for a total of six weeks for three offenses, including an incident where an employee struck a woman who was intoxicated in the store, for selling nips after the enactment of the City’s nip ban, and for the sale of alcohol to a minor.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino, an ardent supporter of the City’s ban on 50 ml bottles of alcohol, said there needs to be consequences for businesses that violate the ordinance.

“The ban has been important in the city’s efforts to try to make Broadway a more attractive place to shop and dine,” Ambrosino said. “We’ve spent a lot of money to make it a better place. Having the nip ban in place is an important part of that. “(Fine Mart) has a prominent place in the corridor and has to comply with its license.”

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