Chelsea residents can expect to see a flurry of activity from the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) over the coming year.
Earlier this year, the City Council approved Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding for a round of pilot projects recommended by the CPC.
The projects recommended by the CPC included money for the rehabilitation of the city’s Civil War monument, improvements to the Garden Cemetery, a Marlborough Street Community Garden proposed by The Neighborhood Developers (TND), renovation of the Governor Bellingham-Cary House, renovations to the Congregation Agudath Shalom Museum (Walnut Street Synagogue) and for the city to hire an Affordable Housing Trust Fund housing specialist on a one-year contract basis.
Chelsea voters approved the adoption of the CPA in November 2016. It will provide hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to be used for the creation and acquisition of affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and recreation. The CPA trust fund currently has a balance of just over $2.2 million before any money was spent on the recent round of pilot projects.
The projects that could be funded during the initial pilot round were capped at $50,000 each. The total of the seven proposals that came before the CPC is just under $270,000, according to CPC Chair Jose Iraheta.
Although Iraheta said he can’t speak for the other members of the CPC, he said he was excited by the Council’s approval of the pilot program.
“The committee has been entrusted by our fellow Chelsea residents to help preserve our open spaces, historic sites, and housing affordability,” Iraheta said. “The projects that were funded through this pilot honor our fellow community members’ wishes. I cannot wait for our next funding round and see what kind of solutions our community comes up with.”
One of the immediate goals for the CPC is to make sure everyone in Chelsea knows what the CPA is, what the community values are, and how the CPC funds have been used, according to the CPC Chairman.
“The CPC will focus on standardizing the community engagement efforts, capture our community’s voice in the community preservation plan and create a straightforward application process so people can know what to expect,” Iraheta said. “We want to create a system that is responsible for our community’s goals and priorities. If organizations and individuals know what to expect, we hope to see more robust and strong community projects that reflect our community’s values.”
To accomplish this, he said the CPC will be engaged in deep reflective conversation around the pilot process, including inviting CPC members from other communities to learn from their experiences, building on proven practices.
“My expectations are for the next grant applications to receive more solutions that meet the values, goals, and priorities laid out in the Community Preservation Plan,” Iraheta said.
A CPC meeting was scheduled to be held on Thursday night.
During the summer, the CPC will work to finalize engagement and application timelines for CPA projects. The next round of funding will not be limited to the $50,000 cap of the pilot round, Iraheta said, but a final decision has yet to be made on if there will be a larger cap on the requested amount.
Organizations or individuals can get more information on how to apply and on the Community Preservation Plan through the City of Chelsea’s Community Preservation Committee dedicated portal at www.chelseama.gov/community-preservation-committee.
Iraheta said he would like to continue to see proposed projects that meet the core values of the Community Preservation Plan.
“The CPA funds are a tool that strengthens our communities through funding for open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing, and outdoor recreation preserve,” he said. “The CPC does not implement projects; community organizations and individuals do. If your proposal adheres to the values in the Community Preservation Plan, we will consider your application for funding.”
Teamsters Local 25 awarded college scholarships worth $60,000 to 30 high school students at its May 19 membership meeting, held at the Local 25 Union Hall. Nevena Jurisic, of Chelsea, was among the recipients. A recent graduate of Chelsea High School, Ryan will attend Salem State University fall. Nevena is the daughter of Tihomir Jurisic, a Teamsters Local 25 member that works at Paul Revere Transportation.
“These students are the future of our nation,” said Teamsters Local 25 President Sean M. O’Brien. “They are smart, engaged and an example of all that is good in the world. If the achievements and goals they have had so far is any indication, we can expect nothing but greatness from the future generation.”
President O’Brien was joined by Massachusetts Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-3), who helped present the student scholarships.
“I am so proud of the 30 recipients of the Teamsters Local 25 Scholarships. I grew up in a union household, and know first-hand how important this kind of support can be to families working hard to make ends meet so they can build a better life for themselves and their children. Supporting one another is what union membership is all about. I look forward to these students continuing to grow and make a positive impact in their communities,” said Trahan.
Since 2006, Teamsters Local 25 has awarded nearly $600,000 in scholarship funds. All students are children or grandchildren of Local 25 members or retirees.
Teamsters Local 25 is the largest Teamsters Union in New England, representing more than 12,000 workers.
Matt Frank has always carried his own unique viewpoint of Chelsea, his own deep respect and love for a city he grew up in during its worst times, and for which he helped shepherd as a City Councillor during the ascent to some of its best times.
Now, after having retired from politics last election cycle, the life-long Chelsea resident has turned to a life behind the camera – taking up photography in a serious way and making more than a hobby out of it. Last weekend, he premiered his first solo show at the Chelsea Prospers Gallery in the windows of the former Salvation Army store.
“The show is up and I think we had a great opening before the Night Market last weekend,” he said. “This is a show I call ‘Modern Nostalgia.’ The focus is the things we know here that we have lost. We lost the water tower at the Soldiers’ Home and the Chelsea Clock building and the old Clark Avenue School, which I have pictured aside the new Clark Avenue School building…There are pictures of the downtown and the Tobin Bridge and one of kayakers on the Creek by the Bridge at sunset. Many don’t see Chelsea as elegant and pretty. But I think my photos are how a lot of residents see Chelsea…It’s an aspirational image and that’s how we feel about Chelsea at its best.”
Frank began playing around with a camera many years ago when he was working in Harvard Square, taking pictures for his job there as a necessity. It was a situation where he once got a very iconic photo of Lady Gaga when she was in Harvard Square visiting.
After he left the Council, he said he was looking for a hobby and all signs pointed to his camera. He purchased a little better camera and went to work in his hometown.
Since then, he has captured images that have gotten great feedback from residents as he showed them prints or posted them online – motion photos of Bellingham Square, or swans in Mill Creek, or sunsets over the Mystic/Tobin Bridge.
Soon, he was one of the leading voices – among many voices – in what Frank and others are calling the ‘Beautiful Chelsea’ movement.
That has come not just in the form of traditional photographs, but also with photo pillows, magnets, mugs and other items.
“It’s becoming a bit of a movement now,” he said.
Frank said he would like to continue his journey by adding more portraits, and more photos of people, but he said he also likes the idea of continuing on with inspiring photos of Chelsea. “Maybe I’ll focus on different communities, but honestly the Chelsea ones get a great reaction,” he said. “That’s because I know Chelsea. I suspect when I take pictures of other cities, it’s the same way. I think that what it is. My Chelsea pieces have my spirit in it. I think I see Chelsea in the way that others from Chelsea see it.”
Chelsea Jewish Lifecare has announced that the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home, the flagship property of the organization, will be renamed The Katzman Center for Living in honor of Elliot and Donna Katzman.
The Marblehead couple, who made a significant donation to Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, have longstanding ties to the nursing home, the city of Chelsea and to the healthcare organization.
“We are enormously grateful to Elliot and Donna Katzman for such a generous gift,” said Chelsea Jewish Lifecare CEO Barry Berman. “I have known the Katzman family for many years and am thrilled to have their name attached to the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home. Their support and friendship mean the world to us.”
Elliot Katzman and Donna (Frangiamone) were classmates at Chelsea High and will soon celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Both are Salem State alumni and the proud parents of sons and daughters in law Matthew and Katie, and David and Emily. They are even prouder grandparents to granddaughters Nora, Maggie, Julia and Clara. Elliot, a general partner at Commonwealth Capital Ventures, a private venture capital firm, has built some of New England’s most successful technology companies.
“Donna and I are truly thankful for the love and kindness that Chelsea Jewish Lifecare has shown our family,” said Katzman. “Our involvement began when my grandmother was a resident of the nursing home over forty years ago. Ten years ago my parents moved to the Cohen Florence Levine Estates Assisted Living where today my dad, Myer, still enjoys being a part of this caring community. Donna’s mom, Mary Frangiamone, is a resident of the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home. We want to pay tribute to the mission of the organization’s founders and the extraordinary leadership of Barry and Adam Berman.”
Adam Berman, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare president, noted that the nursing home has played a significant role in the organization’s history.
“The Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home is very near and dear to my heart,” said Berman. “We are honored to have Elliot and Donna involved with this special residence and we truly appreciate their substantial contribution.” Founded in 1919, the non-profit Chelsea Jewish Lifecare is one of the largest providers of senior healthcare services in the region. The Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home, soon
Winner of five Tony Awards including ‘Best Play’ and seven Olivier Awards, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to thrilling life on the outdoor stage at the PORT Park starting this week.
The play was adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens.
The play will be the annual drama in the park performance that is free and open to the public throughout July. The premiere started on Wednesday, July 10, but will continue Weds. through Sunday until July 28.
Tenacious and intelligent, Christopher has an extraordinary brain – better at solving math equations than navigating a world that’s stubbornly out of sync with how his mind works. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched, and he distrusts strangers. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit. His detective work leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.
Fifteen-year old Christopher will be played by 15-year old Seamus Doyle, who has appeared in Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s productions of Richard III and Fear and Misery in the Third Reich. His credits include Fiddler on the Roof with New Repertory Theatre, and more than 10 productions with Watertown Children’s Theatre. He previously played Christopher in a school production of Curious Incident at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols school.
Sound Designer/Composer David Reiffel will be creating the sonic world.
This is David’s 22nd show with Apollinaire – standouts include last summer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Norton nominee- Outstanding Fringe Production). His work has also been heard coast to coast from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage. He recently won the
Norton award for Outstanding Musical Direction. Lighting Designer Christopher Bocchiaro, whose work made a splash last summer, will be lighting the play and designer Elizabeth Rocha is creating the costumes.
The director is long-time Chelsea favorite Danielle Fauteux Jacques.
Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets or beach chairs, and a picnic to enjoy along with the harbor views.
Performances are July 10-28, Weds.-Sun., 8 p.m. and are free. All performances are in the PORT Park, 99 Marginal Street, on the Chelsea Waterfront.
Free parking is available on site. The run time is an estimated 2 hours 15 minutes.
Information/Directions: www.apollinairetheatre.com or (617) 887-2336.
In case of rain, call (617) 887-2336 to check status.
Apollinaire Theatre Company announced this week it has received a $45,000 grant from the Boston Foundation to launch a Resident Artist Program at the Chelsea Theatre Works, through the Foundation’s Open Door Grants program. Apollinaire Theatre built the new Black Box Theatre at the Chelsea Theatre Works to address the facilities crisis that Boston area performing artists face, a crisis which came to a head with the closure of the Factory Theatre in the South End in 2014. Apollinaire held meetings with Boston theatre artists to determine what their needs and desires were for a theater space, and together they drew up plans for a new theater that would do more than replace the Factory Theatre, it would offer amenities historically out of the reach of Boston’s small theatre community, including on-site rehearsal and shop space.
But theatre companies need more than a home, they need support and resources, said Apollinaire. Now with the Resident Artist Program, Apollinaire will address another issue: Boston is a difficult place for theatre artists to call home. Many talented, hard-working performing artists in Boston can barely scrape by. They have day jobs and families and somehow find time and resources to make their art, but it is not a sustainable model for an individual artist, a small theatre company, or a community. With the Open Door Grant, Apollinaire will be able to better serve Boston’s performing arts community, which will in turn expand Chelsea’s burgeoning arts scene and bring new opportunities to the local community.
Resident companies will be awarded free rent in the Black Box Theatre, rehearsal space for their productions, and shop space to build their sets, along with a project stipend. This will free up the companies’ budgets to reallocate funds where they feel they need it most, be it increased artist compensation, increased marketing efforts to build a stronger audience base, or the ability for resident artists to take on more ambitious productions that carry greater costs. Companies will also meet together to share ideas, brainstorm challenges, and leverage shared resources, working to create a multi-purpose incubation space where artists and companies can collaborate and share resources at every phase of their work. Companies will also be asked to give back to the community of Chelsea, and one resident spot will be reserved for a Chelsea artist or group. “At a time when our research has shown both the need for greater support for artists and the benefits of artists’ involvement in the community, we are pleased to be able to support Apollinare Theatre’s Resident Artist program with an Open Door Grant,” said Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Program at the Boston Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how this program builds and strengthens the network of artists who call Chelsea home.”
•Information Sessions will be held at the Chelsea Theatre Works on Tuesday July 16 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday July 18 at 1 p.m., and Monday July 22 at 7:30 p.m., and all interested artists are encouraged to attend.
Chelsea photographer Darlene DeVita hosted her “People of Chelsea” exhibit Monday night at City Hall.
The exhibit featured individual black-and-white photographs that DeVita had taken in the city. In the text underneath the photo, the subject expressed his/her opinions and thoughts about Chelsea.
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson and Police Capt. David Batchelor, one of Chelsea High School’s greatest all-around athletes, were among those featured in the exhibit.
Bill Carriere, who works full time at Home Depot in Chelsea, said he was “incredibly honored” to have his photo included in the exhibit.
“I’m proud to be among all the diversity and all the photos and wonderful stories that have been highlighted here,” said Carriere. “Darlene’s work is really amazing. She’s so passionate about this project.”
Sarah Putnam, a photographer who assisted DeVita as a Spanish language interpreter and editor of the interviews, said, “I love her work. She’s a very good photographer. She has a great eye and we just had so much fun working together.”
DeVita, who has lived in Chelsea for 15 years, said the exhibit was the culmination of a three-year project. She has been a photographer for 30 years, having first been inspired by a teacher, Byron Baldwin, at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, N.C. “I owe my photographic career to him,” said DeVita.
Councillor-at-Large Calvin Brown and Chelsea Police Community Engagement Specialist Dan Cortez joined residents in congratulating DeVita on her inspiring exhibit.
“I’ve been getting a very good response,” said DeVita, who helped launch the Chelsea Art Walk. “I love Chelsea and everything that is going on in the city. I want to see Chelsea stay as the great community that it is.”
Silvia Lopez-Chavez, a mural artist, said of her friend Darlene’s work: “I love the fact that she’s showcasing the beautiful people of Chelsea. There is such a variety of groups and people and it is nice to be able to connect the community through art. She’s a really good photographer and I got the opportunity to collaborate with her creating the banners in the city using her photographs.”
Few places in the food supply chain for Greater Boston and beyond are more vulnerable than the New England Produce Center.
That huge food resource for the region, along with other industries, are very close to sea level and, as discovered a few years ago, very prone to flooding and sea level surges.
Now, the City of Chelsea is poised to begin a major project at the Island End River that will help to protect the industrial areas along Beacham Street and enhance the environment around the improving Island End River.
“That area is about six or seven feet above sea level now, and experts expect sea level and storm surges at 14 feet above sea level by the end of the century,” said Alex Train, of the Chelsea Planning Department. “This project is in concert with Everett and it’s gathered a lot of momentum. It’s a priority of the City Manager and our department because we understand how much is at risk. It’s a gamble otherwise and we don’t like to gamble in the planning industry.”
Such a gamble was clearly seen two winters ago when huge coastal surge storms lifted the water levels into the industrial areas along the Island End, nearly causing major disruptions and opening a lot of eyes to the vulnerability of the situation.
The project has been supported by a grant from the Coastal Zone Management Office, as well as the Chelsea and Everett City Councils.
The project includes gray infrastructure, such as flood walls and berms by the Island End River. It also includes green infrastructure with the restoration of the salt marshes abutting the Island End. At the same time, they will also be able to add some amenities for the public like a Boardwalk to connect to the Admiral’s Hill Marina area.
“It’s going to be a sizeable project, but in the context of the surrounding industrial businesses and the produce center, it’s easily a worthwhile initiative on our end,” said Train.
Right now, in Chelsea, they are at 60 percent engineering design on the project. Everett is a little bit further behind as they are in the Designated Port Area (DPA) and require many more steps. Everett is currently in a schematic design phase.
On the Chelsea side, Train said they will culminate design this summer, and then look for further grants this winter. Then they will engage in the final engineering, permitting and construction phases.
The project will also be tied into the large Beacham Street roadway, sidewalk and bike path improvements that are also coming soon.
A report in 2015 by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) showed that the Produce Center generates $2.3 billion of economic activity per year, and the entire industrial district generates $7 billion per year. There are 5,000 direct jobs there and 10,000 supportive jobs there.
“Many of that activity and those jobs benefit Chelsea and Everett residents and they are solid middle-class jobs and we’re committed to protecting them for our residents,” said Train.
Other Development Activity
•The City has received a PARC grant for rehabilitation of the O’Neil Playground on the hill up from Williams Street. The new design will encourage water features and tree canopies. The restoration will look to prevent heat islands and provide a cool place during the summer. The project is currently under construction and should be substantially completed by the fall. It came in at a cost of $884,000.
•The Eden Street playground is currently in design. The new design will also feature a robust tree canopy and more permeable surfaces. The project will be bid out in September, with a fall start. Construction will start up again in the spring for a substantial completion by summer 2020. That project was supported by a $400,000 PARC grant.
•Voke Park is another area that will soon receive more attention. The Bocce Court and fields were done over two years ago, but now it’s time for some attention to be paid to the playground. Already, they have had one public meeting to get input on the park, and they are working on conceptual designs now.
“We’ll apply for a grant in July to secure funding,” said Train.
Design will be done in June 2020 and construction on that is likely to be 2021.
•The City is preparing to modernize the traffic signals and intersections at Williams/Chestnut and Williams/Broadway this summer. That upgrade will include new Smart Traffic Signals that are able to read the traffic flow and adjust signal timing on the fly. One of those lights has already been installed on Broadway and Webster earlier this year. Sidewalks will also be touched up as well.
This is a brief overview of construction operations and traffic impacts for the Tobin Bridge/Chelsea Curves Rehabilitation Project. MassDOT will provide additional notices as needed for high-impact work, temporary ramp and street closures, and changes to traffic configurations beyond those described below.
•No Work on July 4
No work will take place on Thursday, July 4 for the Independence Day holiday.
*Route 1 Northbound: Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the righthand lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. –10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m.–5 a.m.).
*Route 1 Southbound: Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the right-hand lane at the Carter Street off-ramp. Just beyond the Carter Street on-ramp, the travel lanes shift to the right. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. –10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m.–5 a.m.).
*Ramps: All on- and off-ramps will remain open at this time.
*Local Streets: The Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration will remain in place for approximately 2 months.
•Preview of Upcoming Traffic Impacts
*Beginning on Monday, July 15, the Fourth Street off-ramp will close for 1-2 months for required steel repairs, structural rehabilitation, and safety improvements.
*Most work will occur in during daytime working hours (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take place during afternoon (2 p.m.–7 p.m) and overnight hours (9 p.m.–5 a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m.–2 p.m).
Summary of Work Completed
*In the two weeks prior to June 30, crews shifted traffic to create continuous work zones, formed bridge deck, cured concrete, repaired steel, bridge deck, and joints, installed a dust containment system, power washed and excavated around support column footings, and placed concrete columns.
Description of Scheduled Work
*Route 1 Northbound: Form bridge deck, place and cure concrete, and repair steel, bridge deck, and joints. Clean water from a hydrant will be used to cure the concrete and may drip off the structure due the condition of the existing drainage system on the bridge. Crews will also remove asphalt and begin bridge deck demolition in the right-hand side workzone through the Chelsea Curves.
*Route 1 Southbound: Weld and paint new deflector plates.
*Underneath the Structures: Replace and paint steel, continued installation of dust containment system, power wash and paint columns and support beams, excavate, drill, and grout around the support columns, and place concrete columns.
Drivers should take care to pay attention to all signage and move carefully through the work zone. Police details, changes in lane markings, temporary controls such as barriers and traffic cones, signage, and other tools will be used throughout the project to control traffic and create safe work zones.
The contractors are coordinating with local event organizers and police to provide awareness and manage traffic impacts during events. For your awareness, during this look-ahead period, the following events are scheduled:
*Boston Pops July 4th Fireworks Spectacular (Charles River Esplanade): July 3 at 8:30 p.m., July 4 all day
*Red Sox (Fenway Park): June 30 at 10:10 a.m., July 12 at 7:10 p.m., July 13 at 7:15 p.m.