ofo, the world’s first and largest station-free bike-sharing company, has been popular among Chelsea residents and has big plans to expand its presences in the area, according to company representatives.
ofo operated pilot programs in four Boston area cities, including Chelsea, from September to December 2017, and looks forward to building on those programs and further expanding in the coming months.
In Chelsea, as across the Greater Boston area, ofo has hired a local team, including experienced fleet managers and mechanics who together have more than 30 years of experience in the local bike industry.
“I was thoroughly impressed with the ofo pilot program as company officials were very responsive from start to finish,” said Councilor at-Large Roy Avellaneda. “As an advocate for eco-friendly and improved public transportation for Chelsea, I was thrilled to be able to have the city offer a bike sharing program to Chelsea residents. The amount of positive feedback from users and the usage data provided by ofo at the end proved two things: 1. That a bike sharing program is needed in Chelsea; 2. There is much room for growth and use in our community.”
The company has worked closely with local city officials to ensure smooth operations leading up to and through launch, and will continue its collaboration to help improve urban travel and ensure all corners of the city have access to this new affordable and convenient way to get around. ofo has also sponsored local events, such as Chelsea’s bike-marathon.
“Collaborating with local officials to bring this affordable, convenient and green transportation option to Chelsea has been a great experience,” said Head of ofo U.S., Chris Taylor. “Thank you to the residents who’ve welcomed us into the community. We look forward to continuing this partnership, growing our business and offering more bikes to folks throughout the Boston area this year.”
ofo currently operates in more than 20 cities across the U.S. and more than 250 cities worldwide. Since ofo’s launch in the greater Boston area in September, users have taken more than 35,000 trips and traveled nearly 70,000 miles.
ofo’s founders pioneered the concept of station-free bike sharing, which eliminated the inconvenience of docking stations and their expense to city taxpayers. The bikes can be parked anywhere and cost only $1 per hour.
To get started, Chelsea residents can download the ofo app available for iOS and Android. The app helps users find a nearby bike via GPS and unlock it by scanning a QR code. Once a ride is complete, locking the bike ends the trip automatically and the user will receive a digital receipt and map of their route.
The gaming world was spun on its side Friday afternoon when a Wall Street Journal report went public and described a pattern of sexual harassment by Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn – allegations that filtered through Las Vegas and into Everett where Wynn is building a $2.4 billion resort casino just a short distance from Chelsea.
Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn.
Chelsea has a Surrounding Community Agreement (SCA) with the Wynn Boston Harbor casino.
Wynn, for his part, and the parent company, Wynn Resorts, has pushed back heavily against the allegations in strong statements on Friday.
“The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous,” said Steve Wynn in a statement. “We find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations, regardless of the truth, and a person is left with the choice of weathering insulting publicity or engaging in multi-year lawsuits. It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation.”
The report came on Friday around 2 p.m. online, and then hit the front page of the Saturday Wall Street Journal print newspaper. The story detailed – from the first paragraph – the allegation of a manicurist in Las Vegas who was called to Wynn’s office in 2005 and allegedly forced to have sex with the casino mogul. That woman was given a $7.5 million settlement after reporting the matter to Human Resources in Las Vegas.
The Journal also alleged that it interviewed dozens of other workers who have worked at Wynn casinos and they also detailed what the Journal reported as a pattern of misconduct.
That was followed up by Wynn resigning as Republican National Committee finance chairman on Saturday – a post he only took up early last year.
In their statements, Wynn and Wynn Resorts delved deep into the ongoing divorce suit between Wynn and his ex-wife, Elaine, citing that as the source of the allegations. The divorce has been ongoing for quite some time between Steve Wynn and Elaine – with the sticking point being over a revised settlement payment for Elaine Wynn’s former involvement in the business. She was a former board member of Wynn Resorts.
“The instigation of these accusations is the continued work of my ex-wife Elaine Wynn, with whom I am involved in a terrible and nasty lawsuit in which she is seeking a revised divorce settlement,” said Wynn in his statement. “Elaine has explicitly threatened to slander and destroy me and I am surprised that the media is allowing itself to be used to advance this agenda. The conduct of Elaine during the course of the pending lawsuits has been shocking and deeply disturbing to me personally and as the CEO of Wynn Resorts. Despite such conduct, I have repeatedly refused to capitulate to her demands. In response, I remain focused on Wynn Resorts, our employees and our shareholders and will not be distracted from those efforts.”
A lawyer representing Elaine Wynn told the Wall Street Journal that they were not using the allegations as a strategy in the ongoing suit.
Wynn Resorts – the Wynn parent company – went into much greater detail about the litigation.
“The recent allegations about Mr. Wynn reflect allegations made in court hearings by Mr. Wynn’s ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, in her legal battle with him and the company,” read the statement. “It is clear that Mr. Wynn’s ex-wife has sought to use a negative public relations campaign to achieve what she has been unable to do in the courtroom: tarnish the reputation of Mr. Wynn in an attempt to pressure a revised divorce settlement from him.”
Wynn Resorts said it was “noteworthy” to point out that Elaine Wynn knew of the 2005 sexual harassment allegation as far back as 2009, but never made it known to the Board of Directors. She was a member of the Board at that time, and did not bring up those allegations until Steve Wynn remarried and the shareholders voted not to re-elect Elaine to the Board, they stated.
“Wynn Resorts is committed to operating with the highest ethical standards and maintaining a safe and respectful culture that has made Wynn Resorts the employer of choice for 23,000 employees worldwide,” read the statement. “The Company requires all employees to receive annual anti-harassment training and offers an independent hotline that any employee can use anonymously, without fear of retaliation. Since the inception of the company, not one complaint was made to that hotline regarding Mr. Wynn.”
The Chelsea Collaborative began its turkey drive for Thanksgiving recently and took delivery of several turkeys from Greg and Caryn Antonelli of GTA Company, Inc. Pictured here accepting the turkeys are members of the Collaborative, including Director Gladys Vegan and Sylvia Ramirez.
Massachusetts-based Chelsea Clock, one of America’s oldest and most distinguished makers of fine clocks, barometers, and tide instruments, is pleased to announce that Robert Ockenden, AWCI certified master clockmaker, has been named chief horologist for the company’s repair & restoration facility. Chelsea operates one of the largest branded clock repair facilities in the country.
Previously serving as director of repair and restoration services,
Ockenden will now play a key role in the development and leadership of the company’s new in-house certification and training program, soon to become a requisite for all Chelsea repair technicians and master clockmakers. While details of the curriculum are still under refinement, the program will focus on imparting the knowledge and technical skills necessary for excellence across all Chelsea-branded clock repair and antique clock restoration services.
“Chelsea is a venerable brand, with a rich, long history of manufacturing and repairing fine timepieces,” says JK Nicholas, CEO of Chelsea Clock. “We are very pleased to have someone with Bob’s horological expertise and extraordinary talents develop a state-of-the-art certification program that will help establish and maintain the highest levels of performance for all Chelsea repair services, now and for the future of the company.”
Ockenden is a nationally known, well-respected voice in the clock making industry. An AWCI-certified master clockmaker, he has been a frequent lecturer at both local and national AWCI conferences. Additionally, he has served in various capacities on the education, strategic planning, and certification committees of the AWCI and has been a consultant to the editorial staff of Horological Times. He is also a member of the British Horological Institute.
Founded in 1897 in Chelsea, Chelsea Clock is the oldest clock company in America and one of the most renowned and respected makers of fine timepieces. The chimes of the Chelsea Clock Ship’s Bell, originally designed and patented in 1898, have long alerted U.S. Navy sailors and worldwide mariners to the time during their “watch,” earning the company a distinguished reputation for producing authentic, high-quality, nautical timepieces.
Today, Chelsea Clock continues to produce a broad range of nautical and heirloom quality clocks, with styles ranging from the company’s renowned Ship’s Bell to classic reproductions and contemporary timepieces. The company’s wide range of fine products is available through marine merchants, specialty shops, jewelers and gift stores, as well as online at www.ChlelseaClock.com. For more information about Chelsea Clock, call 1-866-899-2805 or visit www.ChelseaClock.com.
Residential is king in today’s development world, with developers vying for land to build luxury apartments where previously no one would have even parked their car.
That means, however, that industrial areas are shrinking or disappearing in the Greater Boston area, and places like Chelsea’s industrial area on Eastern Avenue and Marginal Streets are commanding high prices and great interest from developers intent on grabbing committed industrial property before it disappers.
That couldn’t be more true in Chelsea, where industrial/commercial properties are commanding a premium after several recent notable sales, and major developers from the region are scooping them up before it’s too late.
On Eastern Avenue, National Development – a well-known development company with major holdings in Boston, including the trendy new residential Ink Block development – has purchased 130 Eastern Ave. for $10 million in August from the Cohen Family, according to property records.
Pending a zoning variance, they plan to demolish the entire existing 38,000 sq. ft. warehouse on the seven-acre site.
Ted Tye of National Development said they hope to start construction on the new 32-foot clear height building in late 2017 upon completing final designs and receiving all the permits and approvals. They expect construction to conclude in fall 2018.
Tye said they have one tenant for the new property, but that tenant hasn’t been disclosed yet.
“There is an increasing demand in Greater Boston for quality distribution space close to Boston,” said Tye. “Chelsea is ideally located and has been great to work with on expanding the City’s commercial base.”
Part of the certainty comes from the fact, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said, that Chelsea has committed itself to keeping things industrial – unlike other areas, such as Everett’s Lower Broadway area by Wynn Boston Harbor casino where all bets against residential creeping in are off right now.
“I think we have made a commitment to see industrial areas that are now industrial to remain industrial and that these areas are relatively important to the City,” he said. “We have plenty of areas for residential expansion, including the Forbes site. I think we’re committed to retaining a vibrant industrial district. Chelsea historically has done a great job. We’re not likely to create residential developments in our industrial areas.”
Ambrosino said one thing the City requires is that in the development of these new properties, that they are improved aesthetically a bit. For example, National Development will landscape its property upon completion, and the new LTI Limo Company – which moved from Everett’s Lower Broadway area to Chelsea’s Eastern Avenue this year after being bought out by Wynn – is also going to landscape its property significantly.
“There aren’t a lot of industrial areas in Greater Boston and so this industrial area has become quite desirable,” said Ambrosino.
Meanwhile, just last week, more significant action took place in the district with the sale of two prominent warehouse to the Seyon Group, a Boston commercial development firm with 30 years of experience.
E-mails to Seyon Group were not answered in time for this story, but property records – first reported by Bldup.com – showed that Seyon purchased two warehouses for more $10 million total last week.
They purchased 201 Crescent Ave. from New England Lighting Company, which is closing down, for $3.75 million. New England Lighting bought the warehouse in 2009 for $2.65 million. The building is empty and for lease.
Meanwhile, at the same time, Seyon Group bought 150 Eastern Ave. from O’Brien Realty for $7.475 million. O’Brien also owns 140 Eastern Ave., and it purchased 150 Eastern Ave. in 2015 for just $4 million – nearly doubling their money in two years time.
The City and several community partners are working with Councillor Roy Avellaneda and the bike sharing company oFo to possibly launch the service to Chelsea residents in the coming months – if all goes well.
Bike sharing services have become increasingly popular, and in the Boston area the market is dominated by HubWay. However, the company requires extensive funding from municipalities to build out stations – stations that take up valuable parking spaces in key downtown areas.
Councillor Roy Avellaneda said he has realized that bicycle ridership in Chelsea has really begun to boom. So, promoting it has become one of his platforms on the Council. For some time, he said he and City Manager Tom Ambrosino tried to get HubWay into Chelsea, but that kind of fell apart recently – and might not have been the best fit for Chelsea anyhow.
Then, out of the blue, a former co-worker introduced him to the bike sharing company oFo – which is launching its service in Revere next week and already operates in Worcester – along with 16 other countries in the world.
The oFo system seemed to be the perfect fit, he said.
“While there has been an attempt to bring HubWay to Chelsea, they haven’t been overly excited to come,” he said. “This just made perfect sense. To find an alternative to HubWay was very appealing.”
oFo – which is not so much a name as a picture (the name is to resemble a picture of someone riding a bike – has been in and around Chelsea for the last few weeks now.
At the annual Ride for REACH, they provided several signature yellow bikes for participants to ride. They have been doing other promotions as well.
The service is unique because it doesn’t require any stations. Bikes are simply locked up to racks or other legal spots and left when a user is done. Using a phone app, those signed up for oFo can locate a bike via a GPS map. Once they locate a nearby bike, they can scan the QR code on the bike with a cell phone, and then go on their way. Every bike is GPS monitored by the company, and the rates are far better than HubWay.
A typical HubWay is $5 per hour, while an oFo rental is $1 per hour.
“The biggest plus for me is we can get this off the ground fast,” said Avellaneda. “We have high ridership of bikes now and we can offer a product like this to the residents that is easy and very affordable. It looks like a no-brainer.”
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said they are meeting with the company today, and he said it does seem interesting on its face.
GreenRoots has also had meetings with them, and Director Roseann Bongiovanni said it’s an intriguing idea.
“oFo came to meet with GreenRoots a few weeks back,” she said. “The members were all impressed and pleased with the company. Generally we’re supportive of a greater bicycle presence in the community, but what made this program more attractive was the affordable pricing and the lack of a docking station which could impacting parking in a city that struggles with that challenge.”
She said they do see some holes in the program, but things GreenRoots thinks can be overcome.
“We’d like to work with the City and oFo to overcome two obstacles: bike access for youth and those who don’t have credit cards,” she said, noting that payment is through an app connected to a credit card.
The program is made that much more attractive due to Revere launching the program next week. With that neighboring City on board, it would allow Chelsea riders an even greater network of bicycles to find and use.
The company does provide a physical presence in the area, and said they quickly respond to any issues such as broken bikes or improperly stored bikes.
“People don’t realize how many people are now riding bikes in Chelsea,” said Avellaneda. “If you get up at 5 a.m. in the morning, you will see so many people riding bikes to Market Basket or the Produce Center.”
Excited residents and participants take off under the balloon arch at the beginning of last year’s LFCFL Walk for Living. This year’s walk will take place on Sunday, Sept. 25.
The Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCL), the only urban model skilled nursing Green House in the world caring for individuals with ALS – was opening a second home for individuals living with ALS.
Within days, the new Dapper McDonald ALS Residence was filled with a diverse mix of residents in terms of ages, occupations and geographic locations. These residents, many of whom are completely immobilized, are now able to live more independently by controlling the lights, turning on the TV, opening doors and raising window shades – all through the use of their eyes.
The 8th Annual ALS & MS Walk for Living, a fundraiser to support these neurological specialty residences and its residents, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m. at 165 Captains Row on Admirals Hill. The Dapper McDonald ALS Residence marks the third neurological specialty residence within the award-winning Leonard Florence Center. The Steve Saling ALS Residence and the Slifka MS Residence opened in 2010. The revolutionary technology, dedicated support staff and nurturing home environment enable the residents to live as independently as possible.
“This year’s Walk for Living will honor Bill and Sharon Stein; major benefactors of our ALS Residences,” said Barry Berman, CEO of the Chelsea Jewish Foundation. “Their extreme generosity has changed the lives of our pALS.”
He added, “We also wish to thank our local communities, businesses, residents and their families. Clearly, their support of the Walk, year after year, is truly invaluable.”
Beloved radio personality Matt Siegel, host of “Matty in the Morning” on KISS 108 will once again act as emcee and kick-off the two-mile walk. Major corporate sponsors include Donoghue, Barrett & Singal, Lundgren Management (AHOA), M&T Bank, Kayem Foods Incorporated, ShiftGear, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, A-1 Lighting Service Company, Genzyme and Eastern Salt.
Independent Newspaper Group is the media sponsor.
Immediately following the walk, there will be a BBQ hosted by Chili’s, doughnuts provided by Dunkin Donuts, face painting, live dance performances, a petting zoo, a photo booth and a raffle. There is a $10 donation fee to participate in the Walk, which includes a Walk for Living tee shirt, the BBQ and all the activities. Registration begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday, September 25; the Walk begins at 10 a.m.
The Walk for Living is one of the few walks that are dog-friendly.
Without a doubt, the extraordinary ALS and MS residents reflect the very essence of the Walk – and the Center. Ten years after his ALS diagnosis, Patrick O’Brien, produced and directed TransFatty Lives, which won the coveted “Top Audience Award” at the prestigious Tribeca and Milano Film Festivals, among other honors. Steve Saling, an architect who helped design the Center, was told to he had two to five years to live at the time he was diagnosed with ALS in 2008; today Steve travels throughout the country, giving presentations and speeches through a voice activated computer. Bonnie Berthiaume, the first multiple sclerosis resident to move into the Leonard Florence Center, noted that the LFCL changed her life by giving her the freedom to attend Red Sox games, the theatre and weekly outings.
Tony Epifani, 47, a World Cup Soccer player from Syracuse, whose wife, son and daughter reside in New York, was confined to one room day after day, ultimately feeling lost and disconnected from the world. Now, after moving to the Dapper McDonald Residence, he is fully ensconced in the day-to-day activities at the Center. Together, these ALS & MS residents demonstrate how they live life to the very fullest every single day.
“I am excited to emcee the 8th annual ALS & MS Walk for Living,” said Matt Siegel. “The Leonard Florence Center for Living residents are an inspiration to us all, with their courage, determination, humor and zest for living.”
Support the ALS & MS Walk for Living by sponsoring or joining a team, or making a much-needed donation at www.walkforliving.org. For more information, call Joelle Smith at 617-409-8973 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the cast and crew started rehearsing for ‘Hamlet’ in the PORT Park last week, the mildly sunny day soon gave way to a heavy, thick fog that rolled in off the Chelsea Creek and covered the park and the s
Actor Brooks Reeves (center) will play ‘Hamlet’ in Apollinaire’s Theatre in the Park production this month, which kicked off last night, July 13, at the PORT Park. The unique production has Hamlet giving his famous speech on top of one of the salt piles.
ets put in place for the production.
Brooks Reeves, 33, who is playing Hamlet, looked around at the surreal surroundings, heard a fog horn in the distance and said, “This is going to be very interesting,” he recalled.
“Sometimes you get thunderstorms and sometimes you get happy accidents,” he said this week. “Being outside is challenging and extremely rewarding. It’s especially rewarding when the weather is just right. The other day we were rehearsing and fog just started drifting heavy into the park. It was so beautiful and the sound travels so well in the fog. You could talk regularly on the set and be heard at the other end of the park.”
‘Hamlet’ by Apollinaire premeired for this summer’s run in the PORT Park on Marginal Street Wednesday night, July 13, and will continue until July 31 from Wednesdays to Sundays at 8 p.m. and is free thanks to generous donors and supporters of Apollinaire. Those interested in taking in the interactive, moving production are invited to bring a blanket and walking shoes – as there are 10 different locations within the Park that the audience will have to travel to.
“There are probably around 10 locations we’ll have sets on, and that means that the lighting and setup has been very challenging,” said Director Danielle Fauteaux Jacques. “This year is going to be very interesting because Eastern Salt has been working with us to create sets on top of the salt. We just did that on Monday. It’s going to be really fun and adds something very unique. It’s also an industrial landscape and so you have things going on around you. Even at Mary O’Malley Park we were also in a shipping lane. Sometimes having a massive boat passing in the background just adds to the atmosphere. It can be an exciting to have the things like that happen that aren’t expected.”
Jacques said it is notable because for the first time in more than a decade, they’ll be presenting a Shakespearean play – and on the Bard’s 300th birthday to boot.
“It is the first Shakespeare play we’ve ever done,” she said. “It’s different than a lot of plays because its something you’ve been familiar with all your life. We thought a lot about it before we decided to do it, but as you get further and further into it and deeper into it, you see the story and things jump out at you that you never really caught before.”
Reeves, who is now in his fifth show with Apollinaire and his 21st show in Greater Boston since moving here from Wyoming, said the moving sets are quite interesting in the outdoor setting.
“We’re pretty much using every part of the park except the jungle gym,” he said. “The ‘To Be or Not to Be’ speech I give is on a large salt pile that I have to climb up. The graveyard scene has also been transformed into this moving salt structure. The show is really fun. Don’t expect to just sit down and be there. Expect to move around and be part of the action. Expect expert sword fighting and a great cast and crew.”
Jacques said that those watching will have to move, and that’s part of the program with many Apollinaire productions and has been a hallmark of their outdoor shows the last 13 years. Even so, she said anyone who needs a wheelchair or walker will be able to get one from the crew. Those items will be on hand to borrow.
“There’s a lot of movement in the play and we go back and forth from the amphitheater,” she said. “When we leave the amphitheater, we go to numerous locations in the park and then move back to the amphitheater. It’s going to be a fun production run.”
This is Apollinaire Theatre Company’s 13th year of offering free bilingual productions in English and Spanish. In anticipation of the fall opening of its new youth theater, this summer our Chelsea Youth Theatre students will present the Spanish production on July 30 and 31 at 6 p.m.
Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and beach chairs, and a picnic to enjoy along with the harbor views.
On Saturday July 2nd at 2:10 pm Chelsea Fire Fighters responded to Box 236 located at the Elderly Housing Development at Sixth and Walnut Streets.
Upon arrival crews from E2 and T1 under the command of Deputy John Quatieri reported a heavy smoke condition on floor 2 but were hampered in locating the source of the fire. After forcing entry to several apartments crews located a kitchen fire and advanced a 1 ¾ attack line to attack the fire. As smoke poured through the building several residents began to appear at their windows to escape the heavy smoke before a primary search could be conducted. Deputy Quatieri immediately ordered the Working Fire and crews from E1 and L2 were directed to the first and second floors to conduct a primary and secondary search and evacuate trapped residents while E3 stood by as the Rapid Intervention Company.
At the height of the fire FF Robert Delaney of E1 conducting a search for occupants rescued a Chiahuahua from a smoke filled second floor apartment. A resident that was also rescued by Fire Fighters and suffering from smoke inhalation refused medical treatment.
The fire which was confined to a kitchen on the second floor of 38 Sixth Street was brought under control in about 20 minutes and tenants were allowed to re-enter their apartments.
Chelsea Housing responded to the scene to clean up the affected areas.
Chelsea Fire Prevention is investigating the cause of the fire.
Chelsea Firefighters responded to a fire at the Elderly Housing Development at Sixth and Walnut Streets.
When hammers start pounding nails on the new Wynn Everett casino, the hands holding those hammers will be local hands working for a local company.
Wynn Resorts announced a major milestone in the development of its $1.7 billion Wynn Resort on the Charlestown line by naming Suffolk Construction Company of Boston as general contractor for the project.
The choice was seen by many as a huge milestone towards breaking ground on the project, a milestone that has not come without a fair amount of strife.
“Wynn and Suffolk are finalizing plans to start construction of our three-million sq. ft. project,” said Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn Everett. “Building a five-star resort that meets the Wynn quality standards requires an attention to detail that is unwavering. Suffolk Construction shares our values and is working with us full speed to meet our groundbreaking target.”
Preparation and remediation of the 33-acre Wynn site along the Mystic River began in October of 2015 and is progressing on schedule. Construction of the Wynn Resort in Everett will generate 4,000 union trade jobs that cover 10 million total work hours. An additional 4,000 permanent operational jobs will be created when the resort is scheduled to open in 2018.
“In choosing Suffolk Construction, Wynn has demonstrated its commitment to work with local firms and Suffolk shares that same commitment,” said John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction. “This is a landmark project that will require a multitude of craftspeople, laborers and vendors all performing at the highest level of execution. Suffolk Construction is working with the union trades to open these opportunities to veterans, minorities, woman and all tradespeople across Wynn’s host and surrounding communities.”