Some Feel CHS Volleyball Team Should Have Picked Another Venue for Protest

Some Feel CHS Volleyball Team Should Have Picked Another Venue for Protest

By Seth Daniel

Just as there have been no shortage of supporters of the Chelsea High girls volleyball team taking a knee at the National Anthem this month, there is similarly no shortage of people who are bothered by the statement.

Veterans are particularly bothered by the choice of high schoolers using the National Anthem to protest injustice, as it is historically a time to remember American soldiers who are deployed, dead or disabled. In a City where the primary state veterans care facility – the Soldiers’ Home – is located, that rings even more true than the average locale.

Members of the Soldiers’ Home said they could not comment on the matter, but many who spend considerable time there were hurt by the choice.

Bruce Dobson, who is the vice president of the East region of the Vietnam Veterans of America Massachusetts State Council, said he would like to meet with the girls. He said they are simply being followers, and not leading for the change they want.

Instead, they are hurting people who have lost life and limb to protect them.

“Protesting is acceptable in our country,” Dobson, who lives in Winthrop, said. “But to take a knee during the National Anthem is not. The National Anthem is to show respect to the Veterans who gave you the opportunity to be able to protest. If the volleyball team wants to protest, go to the steps of City Hall and take a knee. That will get a reaction without being disrespectful to veterans. The volleyball team members are being followers; be leaders and do something in your community. I would be willing to engage the volleyball at any time.”

School Committeeman Richard Maronski said he doesn’t agree with their stance and doesn’t believe the schools should allow it. For him, not only is it disrespectful, but shows that the youth aren’t being guided correctly.

“One problem is the kid seem to be leading the way in what should be allowed; we have the tail wagging the dog,” he said. “We are in a soft school system. The standards are lessened. The sports program seems to be getting worse. On the issue, I don’t think it’s right and I don’t think they know exactly what they are doing…I  don’t think it’s right they get to take a knee wearing a Chelsea uniform. They can protest on their own time…I support the kids on what’s happening to them and what’s said to them, but I don’t support how they are going about it.”

Maronski said he attends St. Michael’s Church next to the Soldiers’ Home every Sunday, and Father Healey reads a list of the soldiers who have passed every week. He said he would like the volleyball team to attend that sad ceremony, and to also become acquainted with the many wounded soldiers living in the Home – soldiers who hold the Anthem as dear to them as their own lives.

Chelsea Veterans Agent Francisco Toro said he had no official position, but as the City’s chief advocate and service provider, he’s already heard a lot of opinions. Interestingly, not all are against – yet not all are for either.

“I provide services to the veterans and am an advocate and a voice for the veterans in this community,” he said. “There are some veterans who think that taking a knee is disrespectful and some that don’t think it is. If you were to go and speak to a group of 100 veterans in Chelsea, I would say that there would be no one group on one particular side or the other…I’ve heard both sides from the veterans on this.”

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MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy

A member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique in Chelsea, pleaded guilty on Sept. 28 in federal court in Boston to RICO conspiracy involving the attempted murder of a rival gang member.

Domingo Tizol, a/k/a “Chapin,” 23, a Guatemalan national who resided in Chelsea, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, and admitted responsibility for the attempted murder of a rival 18th Street gang member in Chelsea in May 2015. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Jan. 4, 2018. Tizol is the 17th defendant to plead guilty in this case.

On May 26, 2015, Tizol and, allegedly, Bryan Galicia-Barillas, a/k/a “Chucky,” another MS-13 member, repeatedly stabbed an 18th Street gang member on Bellingham Street in Chelsea. The victim survived the attack.

After a three-year investigation, Tizol was one of 61 defendants named in a January 2016 superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. According to court documents, MS-13 was identified as a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder gang rivals whenever possible.

The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  According to the terms of the plea agreement, the parties will recommend that Tizol be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Tizol will also be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner Thomas Turco of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Thompkins; Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Chelsea Police Chief Brian A. Kyes; Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie; Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary; Revere Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli; and Somerville Police Chief David Fallon made the announcement.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations and the remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Honored:Chelsea Receives RWJF Culture of Health Prize for Efforts to Improve Health and Well-Being

Honored:Chelsea Receives RWJF Culture of Health Prize for Efforts to Improve Health and Well-Being

By Cary Shuman

City Manager Tom Ambrosino with Roseann Bongiovanni, executive director of GreenRoots, and Leslie Aldrich, associate director of MGH Center for Community Health Improvement, at the Chamber of Commerce Government Breakfast, where he announced that Chelsea was a recipient of the RWJF Culture of Health Prize.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino with Roseann Bongiovanni, executive director of GreenRoots, and Leslie Aldrich, associate director of MGH Center for Community Health Improvement, at the Chamber of Commerce Government Breakfast, where he announced that Chelsea was a recipient of the RWJF Culture of Health Prize.

Chelsea City Manager Tom Ambrosino chose the Chamber Government Breakfast Wednesday to make a special announcement that the city has been awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize.

The Prize honors communities for their unwavering efforts to ensure all residents have the opportunity to live healthier lives. Chelsea will receive a $25,000 cash prize, join a network of Prize-winning communities, and have their inspiring accomplishments shared throughout the nation.

Ambrosino called to the podium GreenRoots Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni and MGH Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) Associate Director Leslie Aldrich for the ceremonial acceptance of the prestigious award. Both women were instrumental in compiling Chelsea’s application to the RWJF.

“I have exciting news to tell you – something very special,” said Ambrosino. “Chelsea, Massachusetts is a winner of the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize for 2017. And that’s worthy of applause.”

Even before Ambrosino completed his declaration, the crowd had responded with hearty applause.

Ambrosino said Chelsea is one of only eight communities nationwide to receive “this prestigious award.”

He called the application process “arduous” and added that it took months and months of work.

“And it couldn’t have been done without the two people here – Roseann Bongionvanni from GreenRoots and Leslie Aldrich from MGH (who oversees the Healthy Chelsea Coalition) They were the co-applicants to the RWJF on behalf of the city of Chelsea. And they worked extremely hard to get this application done. I’m very grateful and I want to thank them.”

Ambrosino said following the submission of the application, the city had to convince the visiting RWJF committee that it was deserving of the national award.

“It was the community that convinced the visiting committee that Chelsea was deserving. It was the incredible collaboration of our non-profits and community-based organization. It was the engagement of our business community led by our Chamber of Commerce and the powerful and emotional stories about what Chelsea meant to our residents.”

Bongiovanni thanked the Foundation for recognizing Chelsea’s efforts to become a healthier community.

“So many residents, city leaders, businesses and community partners have come together to make Chelsea a healthier community in which to live,” said Bongiovanni. “I am so grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for recognizing those efforts with the prestigious Culture of Health Award. It exemplifies a whole community coming together for the betterment of our people, our environment, our future.”

Aldrich praised Chelsea residents for their unity and the city for its strong commitment to being a healthy community.

“Being nationally recognized for this work, despite the many challenges this community has faced and that still exist, is a reflection of the community’s resilience and commitment to one another,” said Aldrich. “The friendships and partnerships that have been forged in the effort to make Chelsea a healthier place to live are true and lasting and what makes Chelsea such a unique community.”

Dan Cortez, community engagement specialist for the Chelsea Police Department, Sylvia Ramirez of the Chelsea Collaborative, and Jose Iraheta Zaldana of Neighborhood Developers and Chelsea Thrives, also had key roles in Chelsea’s success and will join the local delegation at the RWJF awards ceremony.

“I think in the past Chelsea has always had issues and challenges and maybe wasn’t coordinated enough to meet those challenges,” said Cortez. “But I think Chelsea in the past four or five years under the previous leadership of Jay Ash and now Tom Ambrosino and Chief Brian Kyes and other people like Capt. Dave Batchelor – we coordinate our efforts, we have a hub mindset where we can collectively approach these challenging issues and report on them – that provides the accountability that has been missing in the past.”

Ambrosino said the city will hold a community gathering to celebrate the award.

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Chelsea Man Sentenced for Running Illegal Guns

Chelsea Man Sentenced for Running Illegal Guns

A Chelsea man has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to two years in jail in connection with trafficking illegal guns in Greater Boston, Attorney General Maura Healey announced.

Jesse Cardona-Restrepo, 22, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday to the charges of Trafficking a Firearm (one count), Carrying a Firearm (one count) and Possessing Ammunition (one count). Following the plea, Judge Peter M. Lauriat sentenced Cardona-Restrepo to two years in the House of Correction followed by four years of probation. The AG’s Office recommended a sentence of two and half to four years in state prison followed by three years of probation.

Cardona-Restrepo was one of nine defendants indicted in seven separate cases in April 2016 in connection with a gun and drug trafficking operation in East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Jamaica Plain.

The charges were the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which uncovered that the defendants were members and associates of the 18th Street Gang and the East Side Money Gang and were allegedly trafficking illegal guns and drugs including heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. The defendants were arrested as part of a larger sweep where 66 gang members were arrested and charged with federal and state charges.

An investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives(ATF) revealed that Cardona-Restrepo illegally sold a revolver and ammunition in Chelsea.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Sara Shannon, of AG Healey’s Criminal Bureau, and Assistant Attorney General Gina Kwon, Deputy Chief of AG Healey’s Enterprise, Major and Cyber Crimes Division. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Chelsea Police.

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Robert H Bishop Announces his Candidacy for District One City Council

Robert H Bishop Announces his Candidacy for District One City Council

Bob Bishop recently announced his intention to seek the District One City Councillor seat in the upcoming City Primary Election, to be held on September 26, 2017.

Prior to his retirement, Bob Bishop served as Chelsea City Clerk for fifteen years and also held the position of Chief Procurement Officer for the City of Chelsea. Bob also enjoyed owning and operating a small business in the city for fourteen years.

Bob Bishop has stated that he is seeking this office because he has the interest in the betterment of the community, the time that is necessary to do the job well, and the experience to achieve the best results for the taxpayers and residents.

Addressing the recent increases in taxes, property values, and water and sewer rates will be a top priority. Bob has stated, “I have been involved as a department head in 25 of the last 30 city budgets. I know the budge process and how to do what needs to be done for the taxpayers and residents of District One.”

Bob has observed that unfortunately the number of voters participating in local elections has dropped over the past few years. All voters are urged to take part it he upcoming primary election September 26, 2017.  Bob is committed to addressing the issues and concerns of the homeowner and residents of the city…Anyone wishing to contact Bob Bishop can do so by calling 617-884-9265 or via e-mail at bishopbob46@gmail.com.

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Excel Students Detained by Border Patrol

Excel Students Detained by Border Patrol

By John Lynds

The U.S. Border Patrol's checkpoint in Lincoln, N.H. last week which resulted in the detention of two undocumented Excel Academy Charter School students.

The U.S. Border Patrol’s checkpoint in Lincoln, N.H. last week which resulted in the detention of two undocumented Excel Academy Charter School students.

Two Excel Academy Charter School students were among the 14 people detained as part of U.S. Border Patrol operation a week ago in Lincoln, N.H. Border Patrol officers established the checkpoint with the support of the Woodstock Police Department on Interstate 93 in Lincoln.

“Checkpoints are just one of the tools we utilize to enforce the immigration and other federal laws of our nation,” said Swanton Sector Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent John Pfeifer. “In addition to technology, manpower and intelligence, checkpoints help to deny access to major routes of egress away from the border and into our communities in the interior of the U.S.”

The checkpoint was the first major enforcement action of this type in five years in New Hampshire and while it resulted in the detention of 25 undocumented immigrants, two of those immigrants were Excel Students who were thriving in school according to Excel’s Executive Director Owen Stearns. Stearns confirmed the students detained were enrolled in Excel’s 7th grade and 11 grade classes. School has already begun for one of the state’s top charter school.

In a statement Stearns said the two students, whose names have not been released, were ‘exceptional students’ and were involved in athletics at the school and were leaders in their class.

President Donald Trumps hardline stance on immigration and executive orders made people like Stearns nervous. With 80 percent of his student body Latino students from Eastie and surrounding neighborhoods Stearns said Excel families on alert, especially after Trump’s executive order calling for more Border Patrol checkpoint operations throughout the country.

“I think we sort of girding ourselves for this and are now very sad and distressed and angry that it happened,” said Stearns in a statement. “And also fearful that it may continue to happen and this may not be the last time.”

Civil liberties groups, including the ACLU, argue these checkpoints violate Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizures.

“The Supreme Court has upheld the use of immigration checkpoints, but only insofar as the stops consist only of a brief and limited inquiry into residence status. Checkpoints cannot be primarily used for drug-search or general law enforcement efforts. In practice, however, Border Patrol agents often do not limit themselves to brief immigration inquiries and regularly conduct criminal investigations and illegal searches at checkpoints,” says ACLU-NH legal director Gilles Bissonnette in a statement.

While the checkpoint detained 25 undocumented immigrants, it also resulted in the seizure of two pounds of marijuana, as well as smaller amounts of cocaine, mushrooms and hash oil–all taken from U.S. citizens. This resulted in 32 arrests outside of the 25 people detained during the operation.

The detention of the two Excel students came a week before Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, escalating the White House’s targeting of immigrant communities.

“Repealing DACA subjects over 800,000 young people to deportation,” said Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Esq. “Beneficiaries of DACA, known as Dreamers, came to the United States as children and grew up here becoming integral members of our society. Deporting Dreamers would send them back to countries to which they have little or no connection and subject them in many cases to intense violence or poverty present in some of those countries. DACA’s repeal comes on the heels of pardoning ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio.”

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City Manager,Police Take Two-Way Broadway to Business Community

City Manager,Police Take Two-Way Broadway to Business Community

By Seth Daniel

City Manager Tom Ambrosino and consultants for the City took their message of a two-way Broadway in the business district to owners of the businesses on Thursday morning, Aug. 31, with Ambrosino saying he would stake his position on the issue.

Members of City government met with business owner from Broadway and the adjacent downtown streets Thursday morning at the Green Street Apartments community room. Kicking off the morning, Ambrosino expressed his great support for the change.

“It is incumbent on me to try to reduce the level of skepticism and outright opposition to this change,” he said emphatically. “That is what I’ll try to do in the coming months…I am 100 percent confident I can do that by doing two things – telling you about the advantages and listening to you…Whatever you think of two-way Broadway – one-way Broadway, that one-way speedway, cannot continue. It is unsafe. It is confusing to pedestrians and motorists and it is counterproductive to businesses and merchants on the corridor.”

Ambrosino stressed he believes that one change can transform the City’s downtown – particularly in terms of easing traffic patterns, eliminating unsafe double parking situations and making it easier for pedestrians to get to businesses.

Ralph DiNisco of the consulting firm Nelson Nygaard said that two-way Broadway is possible from a traffic management standpoint.

He compared it to other communities like Revere and Somerville where the lanes are just as wide and the traffic volumes are far greater.

Having studied the volumes in Chelsea and other communities, Broadway Chelsea handles only about 6,500 cars per day, where other Broadways along the Route 107 corridor handle double that.

“From a traffic operations perspective, two-way Broadway can work,” he said. “The numbers aren’t so high that it’s impossible. It can easily work with some changes. From a big picture, there’s no fatal flaw…If you look at other places, they have converted to two-way, and they are successful…Broadway now is a speedway. Nobody stops going down Broadway. They go faster than you want a car to go in a very busy downtown business corridor with people walking around.”

Police Chief Brian Kyes also spoke highly of the change, saying it would help dangerous situations for pedestrians and prevent double parking of delivery trucks – which allows criminals to shield themselves from police.

“There are a lot of young mothers pushing a carriage and when they come out with a carriage from behind a truck, it’s a very, very dangerous situation,” he said. “I’ve heard the idea for many, many years and we at the police department think it’s a very good idea.”

But business owners weren’t so convinced.

Some, like Roman Gold of Margolis Pharmacy, felt that it could increase traffic and become a cut-through for people trying to avoid Rt. 1 traffic.

“You could start to see a lot more traffic redirected by things like the Waze app from Route 1 to avoid traffic tie-ups further up the road,”  he said.

Rick Gordon of Allen’s Cut-Rite said one of the biggest problems for merchants would be deliveries. Many merchants, he said, cannot afford to pay to have deliveries outside of busy times, and he said there isn’t adequate space for delivery trucks in the alley.

“Many people would have to pay $100 or $150 fees for scheduling deliveries,” he said. “I can’t really pass that fee on to my customers and it’s an undue burden on the small business. Many of us do UPS and FedEx only, but some get trailer trucks in periodically…What needs to be done is you need to start by re-striping the parking spots and doing the small things.”

Compare Supermarket owner Al Calvo said he thinks that the delivery problem – which was a great concern – could be solved.

“We’re emphatic with our vendors that there be no deliveries after noon,” he said. “I think there’s a way for us as business people to set the rules. Sometimes my deliveries show up after 2 p.m. and we don’t accept the load. We do have leverage.”

Some were also worried about whether or not the City could enforce the rules well enough, that there would be enough oversight.

Ambrosino said he guaranteed that, if approved, he would make it work.

“We have enough manpower and enough officers that want to work overtime if that’s what it takes,” he said. “I will put my reputation on the line. The City Council can fire me if it doesn’t work. I think it can be that transformative.”

The change cannot be unilaterally implemented. If it is recommended in the overall Re-Imagining Broadway study, it has to be submitted to the Traffic Commission. If approved there, it must go to the City Council for a final approval. At each step, there is plenty of room for public comment.

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A Legend is Leaving:Gladys Vega to Step Down as Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative

A Legend is Leaving:Gladys Vega to Step Down as Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative

By Cary Shuman

Gladys Vega, a pilla

Gladys Vega

Gladys Vega

r of the community and executive director of the Chelsea Collaborative since 2006, is stepping down as the leader of the well-known agency whose headquarters are on Broadway.

Vega, who has earned victories for Chelsea residents against injustices and helped improve community-police relations, informed her friends and colleagues in a personal letter this week that she would be stepping down.

“The Collaborative has been my home for 29 years and the time has come for me to move on,” wrote Vega, adding that it has been “a tremendous honor to lead such a skilled and dedicated staff.”

City and state officials reacted with deep emotion that Vega, who has done so much to improve the qualify for life for residents and helped establish the Collaborative as a national model, would be calling it a career in the city.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino praised Vega as a tremendous advocate for residents who worked tirelessly on their behalf in important causes. Ambrosino said that Vega was “a true friend” to the city and a highly respected community organizer statewide.

Sen. Sal DiDomenico said that Gladys Vega “has been an outstanding advocate for the City of Chelsea and a champion for the many new residents from throughout the world who call Chelsea home.

“It has been a pleasure working with her over the years to serve the city and to enhance the social, environmental, and economic health of our community and its residents,” said DiDomenico.

Vega began her association with the Collaborative as a receptionist when executive director Edward Marakowitz headed the organization and it was located at 300 Broadway.

Vega’s passion for her work and the personable and professional manner in which she conducted herself became obvious to her colleagues. A 1985 graduate of Cheslea High School who had come to Chelsea from Puerto Rico when she was nine, Vega understood the challenges facing Latino residents and how to best help them grow and prosper in their new community.

Vega became the office manager and then worked as a tenant organizer. She showed her impeccable community organizing skills right away, fighting for tenants’ rights and gaining an important victory against an absentee landlord. Her organization has stood at the forefront advocating for immigrant families. The Collaborative became the go-to place for Chelsea youths seeking a summer job.

The question being asked by residents in all corners of the city is: Why is Gladys Vega leaving at the height of her power and name recognition and with the unmatched skills to rally people for important causes locally and nationally?

“I always told my family when I turn 50 years old (she celebrated her birthday at a large party in June), that I wanted to do something different because I feel the Collaborative has taken my social life away in a manner that all I do is work and be committed to the organization and the movement,” said Vega, who has two children, Melinda, 28, and Jerry, 21.

She spoke emotionally about the loss of her mother, Juanita Vega, who was a great inspiration in Gladys’s life. “There have been all these things that have happened in my life and I have never slowed down. I want to try a different job and leave myself time to help raise my two grandchildren. I have never been happier to have those two individuals in my life and I want to make sure that I don’t steal time from them like I stole from my two children.”

Vega also talked about health issues that she has had in the past but she happily reports to her many friends and supporters, “This year I’ve been in the best health. It’s been a very good year.”

There have been so many personal accomplishments during her brilliant reign as executive director, it was difficult for Vega to pinpoint one.

“But I’d say my biggest accomplishment was putting Latinos on the map and building a bridge between communities regardless where people come from and regardless of documentation,” said Vega. “To be able to put a passion in people that Chelsea is a great community to live in – we are a group of people that have worked very hard to build up Chelsea. Our movement has made history because our goals have always been to focus on the growth and betterment of Chelsea as a community.”

Vega lauded the many Chelsea administrators and community leaders that have helped the Collaborative succeed on its journey. She singled out the leadership of former city manager Jay Ash. Vega was front and center involving Latinos in city government when Ash ably piloted the total resurgence of Chelsea. She traveled with many others to Denver when Chelsea received the coveted All-America City Award from the National Civic League.

Many say that honor was Jay Ash’s finest hour as city manager and Gladys Vega was a valuable member of the team – its preeminent community organizer – that helped bring the city national recognition.

“We, those of us who care deeply about the community, worked with Jay Ash to help turn the city around,” said Vega.

She also spoke reverentially about the positive impact that Police Chief Brian Kyes has had in helping immigrants feel safe in the city.

“I love the fact that Chief Kyes gets the concept of diversity. I’ve worked very close with him and I know that people trust him and trust his leadership. I’m very proud to say that I was a part of the selection committee for chief and Chief Kyes has not let me down. I have been very impressed with his work and the police officers’ work in our community.”

Former Collaborative assistant executive director Roseann Bongiovanni and Colloborative President Rosalba Medina, a Chelsea Police detective, also drew plaudits from Vega.

“Roseann started at the Collaborative at the age of 19 – she was like my sister in the movement,” said Vega. “Little by little we kept working together until we built this environmental justice movement. Both of us learned together and worked very hard to build an environmental justice model that is the envy of other cities. We had more victories than we had losses.”

“It’s been an honor to work with Rosie Medina,” said Vega. “She has been a great liaison and partner in the Chelsea criminal justice system. Her leadership of our board has been outstanding.”

Vega said she worked closely with her cousin, Juan Vega, and community activist Tito Meza to help increase the number of Latino police officers in the department.

Vega regrets that she will not be continuing her work with current city manager Tom Ambrosino at the helm of Chelsea city government.

“As I think about moving on, I would have loved to have worked closer with him – my time with him has been brief, but it has been an amazing partnership. I think Tom, having been elected mayor of Revere, has a great sense of community organization and a sense of helping his constituents and listening to the people with a great level of professionalism. He treats everyone equally. I love what he has done as our city manager and I’m a huge fan of Tom Ambrosino – who has stated that there is no room for hate or injustice in the city.”

Vega will stay on board at the Collaborative until a successor is named. There will be a farewell celebration in December at the Homewood Suites Hotel in Chelsea.

City Council President Leo Robinson congratulated Vega on her successful tenure at the Collaborative, understanding that she has been one of the city’s most visible and most admired community leaders for three decades.

 “Gladys Vega did a very good job for Chelsea residents and I wish her good health and good luck in all her future endeavors.”

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Police Briefs 08-31-2017

Police Briefs 08-31-2017

HAZ-MAT DRUG SITUATION ON WEBSTER

Chelsea Police and State Police assigned to the Suffolk DA’s office responded Wednesday afternoon to an unattended death on Webster Avenue, where an adult male was found deceased in a vehicle outside his home.

Based on the presence of an unknown white powder on the deceased’s body, a Fire Department hazardous materials team responded and took a sample that is currently being transported to a state lab for testing.

It was the first time that the Police Department has used new protocols from Chief Brian Kyes to handle Fentanyl situations. That came after two officers were sent to the hospital with complications after being exposed to Fentanyl during an incident this month.

SLASHED IN THE FACE

On Aug. 17, at 1:03 a.m., Officers were flagged down by a witness in the area near Bellingham Square. The witness stated that a male was stabbed near 196 Shurtleff St. Officers responded and spoke to th victim who stated that he was “hanging out” with a female when a male party approached and pulled out a butterfly style knife and subsequently slashed the victim across the face.

The victim was transported to MGH Boston for a laceration to his face.

During the investigation it was revealed that all parties knew each other and a suspect was placed into custody.

Rigoberto Ramirez, 39, of 23 Eleanor St., was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, mayhem, and carrying a dangerous weapon (second offense).

ASSAULTED ELDERLY MAN

On Aug. 25, at 3:59 p.m., officers responded to a fight in progress at Broadway and Second St. Upon arrival, the suspect was observed fleeing the scene. After a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was placed into custody for assault on a person over 60. The victim was treated for injuries at CHA Everett.

Kirk Crowley, 49, of 855 Broadway, was charged with assault and battery on a person 60 or over.

BREAKING AND ENTERING

On Aug. 19, at 6:14 a.m., a break into a motor vehicle was reported at 113 Cook Ave. The victim provided the suspects’ descriptions to officers. While canvasing the area, officers encountered a suspect who took off on foot in opposite directions. After a foot pursuit, the subject was placed into custody. Three credit cards, and iPhone 6S, $70 USC, and a pocket knife were located on his person.

A 15-year-old juvenile from Everett was charged with breaking and entering in the day for a felony, receiving a stolen credit card, and carrying a dangerous weapon.

HIT IN HEAD WITH BOTTLE

One Aug. 26, at 2:50 a.m., police responded to an Assault at the Wyndham Hotel, located at 201 Maple St. Victim was located outside the hotel. He had sustained a severe laceration to the back of his head. The victim stated that he was assaulted by several male parties outside of room #501, one of which struck him in the back of the head with a bottle. The victim subsequently was transported to MGH Boston for treatment. After further investigation, three suspects were placed into custody.

Daniel Prito, 27, of 201 Everett Ave.,; Adalberto Pineda, 24, of Malden; and Eric Romero, 24, of Malden; were all charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

ROBBED AT KNIFEPOINT

On Aug. 18, at 2:39 a.m., a victim flagged down Officers in the area near Fourth Street and Pearl Street. The victim stated that he was robbed at knife point by two male and two female parties. The suspects attempted to steal his money, but were only able to get his car keys before fleeing the scene.

The victim suffered a minor laceration to a finger, which he was treated on scene by EMS. After further investigation, three individuals were placed into custody. A warrant has been obtained for the fourth person involved.

Stephen Panzino, 39, of Everett; Johnna Grimaldi, 34, of Everett; and Michael Alden, 43, of Reading; were all charged with armed robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Police Log

Monday, 8/14/17

Alexandria Andrades, 26, 16 Bryant St. Everett, was arrested for assault and battery on a police officer, reckless operation of motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, speeding and stop sign violation.

Tia Tavares, 25, 70 Shawmut St., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.

Tuesday, 8/15/17

Josue Estrada, 33, 55 Heard St., Chelsea, was arrested for larceny from building.

Wednesday, 8/16/17

Matthew White, 25, 366 Vane St., Revere, was arrested on unarmed robbery.

Thursday, 8/17/17

Rigoberto Ramirez, 39, 23 Eleanor St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, mayhem and dangerous carrying a dangerous weapon,(2nd offense).

Egno Wilva, 26, 22 H igh St., Everett, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime, resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer, and warrants.

Friday, 8/18/17

Stephen Panzino, 39, 295 Chelsea St., Everett, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and armed robbery.

Johnna Grimaldi, 34, 161 Union St., Everett, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and armed robbery.

Michael Alden, 43, 122 Village St., Reading, was arrested for armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and warrant.

Saturday, 8/19/17

Juvenile Offender, 15, Breaking and entering daytime, receiving stolen credit card, carrying dangerous weapon.

Robert Messina, 46, 150 Staniford St., Boston, was arrested on a warrant.

Luz Rodriguez, 55, 835 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for harassment prevention violation and threat to commit crime.

Scott Gaskill, 34, 12 Greenwood Pl., Lynn, was arrested for shoplifting.

Sunday, 8/20/17

Jose Rivera, 49, 143 Main St., Woburn, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage in public.

Tuesday, 8/22/17

Ramon Pagan, 56, 444 Harrison Ave., Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage in public.

Wednesday, 8/23/17

Kristopher Valdes, 40, 50 Parker St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

David Deus, 30, 98 Spring St., Medford, was arrested on a warrant.

Thursday, 8/24/17

Walter Saravia-Calix, 22, 57 Burma Rd., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Ramon Pagagn, 56, 444 Harrison Ave., Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage in public.

Friday, 8/25/17

Joseph Sarro, 54, 17 Court St., Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage in public.

Kirk Crowley, 49, 855 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery on a +60/siabled person.

Saturday, 8/26/17

Daniel Prito, 27, 201 Everett Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Adalberto Pineda, 24, 46 Roberts St., Malden, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Eric Romero, 24, 46 Robert St., Malden, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Sunday, 8/27/19

Cristian Polanco, 22, 30 Cary Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

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Public Health Alert:Chief Kyes, Area PDs, Send Out Warning on Bad Heroin; Four Dead in Chelsea Over 48 Hours

Public Health Alert:Chief Kyes, Area PDs, Send Out Warning on Bad Heroin; Four Dead in Chelsea Over 48 Hours

By Seth Daniel

Four people in Chelsea died of suspected opiate overdoses in a 48-hour period last weekend, with a fifth dying in Revere as well.

The surge in opiate deaths sparked Chief Brian Kyes to issue a community public health alert on Sunday, Aug. 13, warning everyone that it appeared a batch of illegal drugs on the streets of the area was dangerous and likely laced with Fentanyl.

“The Chelsea Police Department and State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office are investigating a sudden spike in overdoses, some fatal, within the last 48 hours,” read the alert. “The police want to alert the community of the danger of this recent influx of Fentanyl into the area which could possibly be the cause of these incidents. Police are actively seeking to find the source through chemical analysis.”

Kyes said the deaths happened so fast that he felt like there was a need to alert the public.

“We had four deaths from overdoses and Revere had one in a 48-hour period,” he said. “That’s five in our general area in a 48-hour period. Based on that spike and the overdose fatalities in only 48 hours, I sent out a warning in the form of a community alert or public health alert to let people know there appeared to be illegal drugs on the street that could be laced with Fentanyl and dangerous.”

On Friday, the first Chelsea overdose and death happened in the early evening when a 65-year-old man died. At 10 p.m. on Friday, a 28-year-old woman overdosed and died.

In Revere on Friday, an unidentified man died in the afternoon from a suspected drug overdose.

Back in Chelsea, on Saturday, a 48-year-old man overdosed and died.

Finally, on Sunday, a man was found outside in the shrubbery behind Beth Israel on Broadway who had overdosed and was deceased.

Kyes said that made 11 deaths from overdoses in Chelsea this year, which is actually lower that at this time last year.

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