The late Victor Bailey, a world-renowned jazz musician and painter, will be honored on Dec. 9 at the final show in the Spencer Lofts Gallery. Bailey was a resident of the Lofts for about two years before passing last year.
It’s only appropriate that Victor Bailey would close down the Spencer Lofts Gallery.
The world-famous jazz musician, who passed away last year from complications related to MS/ALS, once lived at the Spencer Lofts while working as a bass professor at Berklee College of Music. After taking up art as well as music, he had a great collection of works that were expertly shown in the gallery when it re-opened two years ago. It drew a major crowd and was a highlight for the long-time gallery in the loft building.
“He passed away in November 2016 and lived here about two years ago,” said Dar DeVita, who coordinates the gallery and announced this week that Bailey’s fundraising show would be the last show there. “He was a lovely man and everyone got along great with him here. He was always so happy and loved it here. He really loved that people in the building knew him for his painting, and not just his jazz. After we had closed the first time, he was our re-opening show. Now, sadly, he will be our last show before we close again.”
The fundraiser will benefit Bailey’s estate through the proceeds from the many works that remain in his family’s possession. Bailey’s paintings will be on display in the gallery and will be available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit the Victor Bailey Estate and the Berklee College of Music.
The time will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 4-8 p.m. in the Gallery at Spencer Lofts. Parking is available on site.
Additionally, several of Bailey’s colleagues from Berklee will be on hand to play live jazz music throughout the evening – which will be a tribute to not only his music prowess, but also his artistic abilities.
Born into a music family in Philadelphia in 1960, Bailey attended Berklee and launched a hugely successful jazz career, while also writing many well-known R&B songs for major artists.
An accomplished bassist, Bailey was an Associate Professor of Bass at Berklee College of Music. He performed and recorded with Sonny Rollins, Lady Gaga, Miriam Makeba, Madonna, Mary J. Blige and many others during his long, notable career. He also recorded with Chelsea’s own Chick Corea from time to time.
Bailey was the bassist in two of the most influential jazz-fusion groups: Weather Report (he replaced the legendary Jaco Pastorius) and Steps Ahead.
Bailey drew up upon his jazz career for inspiration in his art career.
DeVita said it will be a bittersweet evening for the Gallery though, as it is closing down for good. Though many Chelsea residents have treasured its contributions to the arts scene in the city, DeVita said many of the residents in the building are not interested anymore.
“We are closing it down,” she said. “I’ve resigned as of Jan. 1 and there is no one taking over. The building doesn’t understand the value of the gallery and my time is up. I’m hoping the show will spark some interest in someone to take over. Maybe it will be a person in the building that will see the value of this and want to keep it going. If not, it will just close.”
The Gallery was a coup for Chelsea when the lofts were built more than a decade ago, one of the few arts locales in the City.
Reception and admission to the Gallery are free and open to the public. The Victor Bailey Exhibit runs through December 31, 2017. Gallery hours by appointment.
Accessible parking is available, as is on-street parking.
The upcoming Chelsea Viaduct state highway project may include plans to eliminate the 5th Street onramp next to the Williams School, and Councillor Roy Avellaneda said he wants answers about the plan.
Avellaneda said at the Nov. 20 Council meeting that he has learned that MassDOT is considering closing down the onramp, which he said is critical for making sure the downtown and Everett Avenue are not flooded with vehicle traffic at certain times of the day.
“There is a proposal by MassDOT to close the 5th Street onramp to the Tobin Bridge at Arlington Street adjacent to the MITC Building,” he said. “They are talking…about doing away with it and eliminating it. It jumps off the page to me. I am wondering what impact that will have to the other two off-ramps and what kind of drastic impact it will have on our downtown.”
The MITC (Massachusetts Information Technology Center) Building is a state-owned building that houses computer technology and electronic records for the state. It has several hundreds employees.
A spokesman for MassDOT would not confirm or deny that there is a plan to take away the on-ramp. He said the plans are still in design for the overall viaduct project, and a public process with members of the community is underway.
A meeting took place earlier this month in Chelsea to discuss the project, which will begin in 2016.
“The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is continuing to move forward with the design of the Chelsea Viaduct Rehabilitation Project and is committed to rehabilitating this important structure to ensure long term reliability throughout this area,” said the spokesman in a statement. “MassDOT has developed a comprehensive public participation plan that will engage local civic leaders and elected officials, area businesses and members of the community as well as commuters.”
The land where the onramp is located was actually taken by the Highway Department decades ago when the Tobin/Mystic Bridge was being constructed. That particular piece of land was the home to Union Park – a park that housed the Civil War statue now across the street from City Hall. The park was laid out in a “spoke” formation with all paths leading to the Civil War monument in the center. However, during the Bridge construction, it was part of a massive land-taking in Chelsea and was designated for highway use.
It’s on that basis where Avellaneda said he wants more information. He said he wants to know what the plan is for that land if the onramp is taken away. He said since it was taken by eminent domain for highway use, it should be returned to the City if it is no longer a highway use.
He said he has suspicions that the state just wants to use the land to create more parking for the MITC employees.
“Do they want to expand parking for the MITC?” he asked. “That land was taken by eminent domain for one purpose and that was for a highway. If the highway is no longer using it for a highway, that land should go back to the City. That land was taken away from Chelsea and should not go to the MITC for parking and for them to continue their spread. The plan for 5th Street needs to be found and any hidden agenda out there needs to be found.”
The Chelsea Viaduct is a structure which runs between the Tobin Bridge to where Route 1 crosses above County Road and the Viaduct carries traffic through the area known as the “Chelsea Curves.”
The Chelsea Viaduct is structurally deficient and in need of repair and rehabilitation in order to ensure the reliability of this important connection.
Working with the City of Chelsea, residents living near the Viaduct, roadway users, and other stakeholders, the project team is currently designing a plan for construction that minimizes and mitigates temporary construction impacts. MassDOT’s current schedule includes reaching the 25 percent design milestone before the end of this year, continuing design and related work throughout the winter, and then advertising the project to potential construction bidders in the spring of 2018.
When completed, the Viaduct Rehabilitation project will provide repairs to the structure’s supports and a new travel surface for vehicles traveling on it. Work on the viaduct will be coordinated with construction activities occurring as part of the separate Tobin Bridge Deck Rehabilitation Project.
Wynn Boston Harbor is working closely with well-known international companies to implement battery technology into their building, a new technology that will help them store cheaper power purchased during off peak hours, and contribute to an overall energy usage that is but 60 percent of what would be expected for a building of its size.
The new battery technology program complements two co-generation plants, a rainwater irrigation system, a huge solar array and a “very aggressive” LED lighting program.
All of it will combine to make the Wynn Boston Harbor facility one of, if not the, most efficient large building in the region.
“We will be running at 60 percent of what the standard energy usage calculation is for a building like ours,” said Chris Gordon, president of Wynn Design and Development Massachusetts. “The interesting thing is when you look at green buildings…it comes down to less energy usage…These buildings are so well insulated and sealed that you save a lot just on leaks. The window seals are so much better than they were 30 years ago, it’s amazing. You save when you use less. Interestingly enough, years ago people started to build green buildings because it was the right thing to do. Now it’s a good business decision and a good environmental decision.”
Perhaps setting the pace for efficiency is a program that will likely be the first of its kind in the Boston area – an emerging technology using battery storage devices to optimize energy usage.
It’s something Gordon said is very new, but he predicted would likely be in every building, and in several homes, in the near future.
The change, he said, is the new technology being developed around better battery storage. Several companies have pushed the limits on new battery technology for electric cars, solar power and for energy efficiency.
Gordon said they are working with several companies to put an array of batteries on their property, but don’t have a specific company named as of yet.
The idea, he said, would be to install a 90,000 sq. ft. solar installation on the roof of the function hall and entrance, which will generate solar energy to be stored in the batteries.
The bigger savings, however, will be having battery storage available to store power purchased from the grid at off-peak times.
“You don’t want to buy power at peak periods, so if you have storage capacity using batteries, you can buy when prices are low,” said Gordon. “There are times of day and times of the year that are more expensive and they don’t want you to buy then. For example, in the summer with lots of air conditioners running, you don’t want to buy energy on a hot day. It’s more expensive…I don’t know if we’re the first, but we will be one of the first certainly to use this in Greater Boston.”
He said they will employ one person on site to monitor commodities markets to decide which time is best and what time is not best to buy energy. He indicated that all of this is just now available because of the rapid innovations in battery technology, which allows for smaller installations.
“The battery technology in a building like ours is a new concept,” he said. “In the old days, using them for energy efficiency was tough because they were massive. Now they are a lot smaller and you can put them in a building and they don’t take up as much real estate.”
Another major piece of the operation will be two co-generation plants that are being installed in the back of the house.
The units are about 15’ x 10’ and generate electricity that will be used to power the building. Co-generation works on the principal of heating water and creating steam by burning natural gas. Both the steam and hot water are then used to heat the building. However, as they are created, they turn a turbine that creates electricity as a by-product – electricity that can be used immediately in the building or stored in the battery system.
The two co-generation plants will produce 8-10mgW of electricity.
“Co-generation produces hot water, steam and also electricity,” said Gordon. “We’ll produce a lot of electricity with them, but we’ll keep it all on site. That means we’ll produce a lot of our electricity and the solar will be used on site as well…All in all, we believe we’ll be able to run 70 to 80 percent of the building’s functions just off of the power we have inside if we want to or need to.”
He said that if there is a power outage, they believe they will be able to power all critical functions, and still have enough left over to maintain the usual comforts.
“After all the critical functions are accounted for, like the lighting and heat, there will still be a lot more left,” he said. “People will be quite comfortable in an outage. You could pave people there as an emergency shelter really, because we’re well above the flood plain and we will have ample power stored.”
Other efficiency measures include:
A 10,000 sq. ft. green roof on top of the second floor of the building.
A giant water tank in the parking garage that will harness and store all of the rainwater on the site. That rainwater will then be used in the irrigation system to water all of the extensive plantings inside and outside the building.
All together, it also equals a tremendous amount of savings for the resort.
“We don’t have the exact figures yet, but we’re using 40 percent less than we should, and so you’re looking a very big number in terms of savings on energy,” he said. “We hope that it not only saves us money, but also that it sets the pace for everyone else.”
Above the Flood Plain
Many might have seen the photos of water rushing into the front doors of the Golden Nugget casino in Mississippi late last week as Hurricane Nate hit the Gulf Coast, but Wynn Boston Harbor officials said they don’t ever expect such a thing to happen at their resort despite being right on the Mystic River.
That’s because early in the process, officials said, they decided to change the design of the building so they would be well-above the 500-year floodplain and the storm surge levels too.
Chris Gordon of Wynn Design and Development Massachusetts said they don’t expect to get that kind of flooding on their waterfront site.
“The flood levels are at nine feet, and even with flood surge added, that’s still just 11 feet,” he said. “The garage entrance is at 13 feet and the entrance to the building is at 24 or 25 feet. In addition, all of the utilities have been moved out of the garage and are on top of the Central Utility Plant. If the garage does flood someday, we just pump it out. The pumps are already there and ready if need be. We don’t ever expect to see the garage flood, but if it does, we just pump out the water. It really does no harm.”
Gordon said it all goes back to a willingness to look at resiliency in the Boston area and go the extra mile instead of fighting it.
“Instead of debating it or trying to discredit it, we said, ‘Let’s just move the building up.’ And that has worked out really well.”
A Chelsea man who once worked at the scene of a brutal double homicide in South Boston was ordered held without bail at his Suffolk Superior Court arraignment for the murders of Lina Bolanos and Richard Field on Monday, July 10.
Bampumm Teixeira, 30, was indicted June 28 and arraigned Monday on two counts each of first-degree murder, armed robbery, and kidnapping by confinement, and one count of armed home invasion for the May 5 incident at 141 Dorchester Ave. in Southie. At the request of Suffolk Chief Trial Counsel John Pappas, Clerk Magistrate Edward Curley ordered Teixeira held without bail.
Conley’s chief trial counsel, Assistant District Attorney John Pappas, told the court that Teixeira had previously been employed as a concierge at the South Boston building where Bolanos, 38, and Field, 49, lived on the 11th floor. As such, Teixeira was familiar with the interior of the building as well as its parking garage.
Pappas told the court that a person wearing gloves, a hat, a hooded jacket, and a bright yellow shirt and carrying a string-style backpack was in the area of the building as early as 2:40 that afternoon and snuck into the garage shortly before 4 p.m. Bolanos entered the building at about 5 p.m. and Field at about 6:30 p.m.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m., the concierge at the building’s front desk contacted Boston Police to report a call he had received from a friend of a resident. The concierge reported that this friend had received a text message from Field telling him to call 911 for a man armed with a gun in his home. This same friend moments later called Boston Police directly and recounted the same plea for help.
Officers responded to the scene and proceeded to the 11th floor, where they observed a set of keys on the floor in the hallway outside the victims’ door. After knocking, announcing themselves, and receiving no response, they used the keys to access the residence.
After announcing themselves once again inside the darkened residence, one of the officers spotted an unknown person later identified as Teixeira dressed in dark clothing, and – believing this person either pointed or fired a weapon at them – two officers discharged their own weapons, injuring him. The officers provided first aid to Teixeira, who was wearing gloves, outside the apartment. He allegedly stated that another person would open fire on the officers if they went back inside.
Teixeira was transported to Tufts Medical Center and a Boston Police entry team made its way into the residence. Inside, officers found the Bolanos’ and Field’s bodies in separate areas; they had been bound, suffered massive traumatic injuries, and were declared dead at the scene.
Just outside the apartment, where Teixeira had been apprehended and briefly treated, homicide detectives found a string-type backpack containing a replica firearm, personal property belonging to the victims, and other items. In the immediate vicinity of the bag were a bright yellow shirt and a large carving knife. Just inside the door was a second backpack containing jewelry belonging to Bolanos.
Katherine Moran is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Teixeira is represented by attorney Steven Sack. The case returns to court on Sept. 12.
The elevator shaft and steel structure can be seen this summer going up on Chelsea’s next new hotel, a 124-room full service hotel at the Chelsea Line.
The Chelsea Broadway Hotel – not yet named officially – is making quick work of the vacant site next to the Walgreen’s on Broadway adjacent to the Chelsea/Revere line.
The hotel – another new hotel brought by Colwen and the XSS Group – is likely to be even better than the previous hotels, the last of which (Homewood Suites) just opened across from Chelsea High School. There are rumors that the Broadway hotel will include a restaurant that has water-side seating during the summer months. That, however, could not be confirmed.
The site overlooks the Mill Creek and marsh – an area that has been vastly improved and cleaned up in the last 10 years. The hotel property will also serve as a major connecting piece on the walkway that leads to the Chelsea Commons Park.
Already, the elevator shaft and steel structure are towering above Broadway as the building takes shape. Maureen Foley of Colwen Hotels said that the Broadway Hotel is a 124-room hotel that will open in late 2018.
She said anyone looking for job opportunities at the hotel or any of their other Chelsea hotels can log on to www.colwenhotels.com.
Those who work in the Chelsea Courthouse and those who frequent it with criminal cases know that there aren’t a lot of great days marked in the building.
It’s not exactly a place to come celebrate.
But occasionally, the smiles come out and the celebratory cake gets cut, and that one day of happiness in the Court is Drug Court graduation day.
On Tuesday, June 27, just such a celebration took place in the Chelsea Courthouse and four graduates from the grueling life-turnaround program celebrated sobriety, clean living and getting their path straight.
“Honestly, nothing good really ever happens in a courthouse,” said Judge Matthew Nestor. “One of the only good days in a courthouse like this is drug court graduation day. It’s really a great day for the participants. We’re proud to have watched them come such a long way and to see that they have accomplished a lot. It’s a day by day thing for them, but we’re proud.”
Drug Court is a special program pioneered and refined at Chelsea District Court many years ago, and a program that has been replicated in numerous other jurisdictions where drug use and addiction is a problem. Some defendants are given the opportunity to enter the program in lieu of their punishment, and strict and rigorous requirements for sobriety are enacted upon them.
Tara Fleming, a graduate, said she had been through it all – on the streets, doing drugs and making a life out of coming in and out of the court. That was until she began Drug Court in 2014. Now, she is on the right path and said the graduation day marked a huge milestone in her life.
“It has been an absolute turnaround,” she said. “I was homeless on the street. I hurt myself on the streets. I ended up in drug court after being arrested three times in two weeks. It saved my life. I’ve been fighting through it every since. I refuse to go back.”
Another graduate, Heather Harper, described the day as “colossal.”
“It’s colossal because since the age of 14 I’ve doing this – drugs and court,” she said. “Drugs, prostitution, everything. I’ve done it all. This is great right now to have accomplished this. Nov. 8, 2015 is the date that stands out to me. That’s the day I decided to start this. Eighteen months of Chelsea Drug Court and this is it. I have one thing that I like to remember, ‘Never look back unless it’s to see how far you’ve come.’”
Other graduates included Christopher Bonsai and Edward Sarmanian.
At 4:38 p.m. on May 19, Chelsea Fire received a call for a house fire at 127 Shurtleff St. Upon arrival, heavy fire was showing from the 3rd floor with exposure buildings in close proximity on each side. Deputy Chief Robert Houghton transmitted the working fire and struck the second alarm. Fire quickly spread to the 3rd floor porch and cockloft area.
Major flames erupted from this fire at a home on Shurtleff Street May 19.
Firefighters mounted and aggressive attack, and a third alarm was struck for additional manpower. Searches of the building were negative with occupants self-evacuating. There were no civilian injuries. Three fire fighters were injured battling the blaze, none of which were life threatening. Overall 16 occupants were displaced and being assisted by the Red Cross.
The fire was contained to the third floor of the structure of origin. None of the exposure buildings were affected. The cause of the fire was electrical. An air conditioning unit was being energized using several extension cords.
“Residents should be aware of the dangers associated with powering air condition units and appliances with extension cords. This creates an extreme fire hazard” said Chief Len Albanese. “Overloaded extension cords are the cause of many accidental fires that can be avoided using proper fire safety precautions.”
Described in journals as a person’s “perceived social isolation,” i.e., a subjective belief that they are socially isolated, another way of summarizing this condition is simply “feeling lonely.”
The opposite feeling – that you have a network of supportive relationships – provides numerous psychological benefits, including a sense of belonging, an increased sense of self-worth, and a feeling of security.
Thankfully, there are actions people can take to reduce a sense of isolation (discussed below).
Causes of Isolation
Many circumstances can lead one to feel isolated, including: a job loss; a divorce; injury or illness; the death of a loved one; having a family member with an illness that requires extensive care; etc.
Implications of Feeling Isolated
Besides negatively affecting one’s mood, feeling isolated and lonely is a risk factor for many medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, depression, and impaired executive functioning.
In fact, the influence of social relationships on the risk of death is comparable to well-established mortality risk factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption and exceeds the influence of other risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.
Ways to Reduce Isolation
Numerous authorities, including the Mayo Clinic, have suggestions for increasing one’s social network, such as:
Take a weekly class, whether at a gym, a local college, or as part of adult education, so that you will have regular contact with the same people and be more likely to establish friendships.
Join a lecture series.
Consider getting a roommate.
Change your housing situation to one where there are more opportunities to be a part of a community.
Go online (especially helpful for people who are homebound).
Options abound: join a chat room for people who share one of your interests, e.g., writing, cooking.
Keep in touch with out-of-state friends and family thru Skype, Facebook (or FaceTime on an iPhone).
Visit sites designed specifically for people going through stressful times, such as a divorce, or the arrival of a new baby. Expand your social sphere through social networking sites such as Facebook.
Primer on Building and Nurturing Friendships
Respond and Reciprocate. Answer phone calls, return emails, and reciprocate invitations in order to let people know you care.
Don’t compete. Be happy (not jealous) when your friends succeed.
Be a good listener. When someone is talking, really listen to what they’re saying (as opposed to formulating in your mind your next response).
Don’t overdo it. Be careful not to overwhelm friends and family with phone calls and emails. In addition, be wary of “oversharing” with new or casual acquaintances and on social networking sites.
Taking the time to build a social support network is a wise investment in your mental well-being and physical health. Research also shows that those who enjoy high levels of social support live longer. Whether you make more friends or improve the quality of relationships you already have, you’ll reap a plethora of rewards.
By Sheldon Bycoff is President, Mental Health Programs, Inc.
Students from Chelsea public schools, including those that participate in Citizen Schools’ Expanded Learning Time, will kick off the new school year with 900 donated backpacks full of pencils, notebooks, rulers, and more. Citizen Schools, an organization that empowers public middle schools in low-income communities with longer learning days, received the backpacks filled with supplies as a donation from Kronos Incorporated, Mass.-based global leader in workforce management solutions.
Committed to supporting organizations that encourage, educate, and train the next-generation workforce through its GiveInspired corporate giving program, Kronos made the donation in recognition of Citizen Schools, an organization that inspires the future workforce. Kronos also joined forces with its partners Cognizant, The WFC Group, Workforce Insight, and one of its leading retail clothing and accessories customer to further add to the contribution.
“Kronos is excited to help Citizen Schools ensure that its Chelsea students have a great start to the school year,” said Liz Moughan, director, retail and hospitality practice group, Kronos. “At Kronos, we value the impact of giving back to our communities and investing in the future and we collaborate with a variety of causes and organizations that focus on growing and empowering the next-generation workforce. For these reasons, we recognize and value Citizen Schools’ tremendous contribution and are humbled and pleased to organize the backpack donation.”
Media is invited to the presentation of backpacks during a back-to-school event on Thursday, August 25 at 2:30 p.m. at the Williams Building, 180 Walnut Street, Chelsea. Liz Moughan, senior director of the retail and hospitality practice group, Kronos, and Megan Bird, executive director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts, will be on-site distributing backpacks to students along with employees from both Kronos and Citizen Schools. Chelsea city manager Tom Ambrosino is also expected to be on hand.
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization based in Boston, which provides academic support and enrichment to middle school students from high-need districts in six states. Volunteer teachers lead Expanded Learning Time (ELT) programs in subjects such as robotics, financial planning, and marketing during after-school hours. The organization’s mission is to help children from low-income school districts overcome the opportunity gap that exists between them and kids from more affluent communities.
Citizen Schools operates in two Chelsea middle schools, the Joseph Browne School and the Eugene Wright Science and Technology Academy, and will serve about 900 students this year. The dropout rate in Chelsea is more than triple the state average – 6.4 percent compared to 1.9 statewide. After the first year Citizen Schools partnered with Chelsea schools, English Language Arts proficiency rates improved by 16 percentage points. In addition, about 50 percent of Chelsea students come from homes characterized as economically disadvantaged and for 80 percent of those students, English is not their first language.
“Citizen Schools is proud to join forces with Chelsea Public Schools and Kronos,” said Megan Bird, executive director, Citizen Schools Massachusetts. “These backpacks and supplies will help prepare our students and get them excited for the start of the school year.”
The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) met on Tuesday night, Aug. 9, for a full slate of proposals.
First and foremost, Chelsea developers Gerry Sneirson was approved to build a mixed-use project at the old Centro Latino headquarters – a key corner property in the Broadway business district.
The plan calls for one commercial unit in the basement and two on the first floor.
The first floor would also house parking for nine vehicles.
The second and third floors would have eight units each, for a total of 16 units.
The project would include building an addition to the rear of the building over the top of the existing parking lot.
In another matter, Steven McDonough was given a Special Permit to establish a small personal training gym at 311 Eastern Ave. He did not meet requirements for off-street parking.
Other matters reviewed were:
18 Parker St., Elba Rojas was approved for special permit and variances to convert a one family into a two-family home. It did to meeting minimum lot size and didn’t have required parking.
54 Palmer St., Raymond Lewis got a special permit to construct a driveway.
337 Third St., Third Street Realty Corp. was approved for a variance for dividing the lot and establishing two primary uses on a single lot and the company got a special permit for off-street parking requirements.
68 Pearl St., Sotiris Sotiropoulos received a special permit to covert a one family to a two-family.
214 Arlington St., Erik Rueda was given a special permit to change the use of storage space on his second floor to the use of a business office.
178 Chestnut St., Acquisitions Division LLC was continued for a special permit for a parking lot that does not meet minimum requirements.
37-39 Blossom St., Ana Melecio was continued for a special permit for construction of two carports.