Ward 4 Democratic Committee Elects Delegates to the State Convention

Ward 4 Democratic Committee Elects Delegates to the State Convention

Registered Democrats in the City of Chelsea Ward 4, held a Caucus on February 3, 2018 at the Chelsea Public Library to elect Delegates to the 2018 Democratic State Convention.

Elected Delegates are:

Olivia Anne Walsh

91 Crest Ave.

Luis Tejada

103 Franklin Ave.

Thomas J. Miller

91 Crest Ave.

Theresa G. Czerepica

21 Prospect Ave.

This year’s State Convention will be held June 1-2 at the DCU Center in Worcester, where thousands of Democrats from across the Commonwealth will come together to endorse Democratic candidates for statewide office, Including Constitutional officers and gubernatorial candidates

Those interested in getting involved with the Chelsea Ward 4 Democratic Committee should contact Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh, Ward 4 Chair, at 617-306-5501.

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Chelsea Wards to Elect Delegates to Democratic State Convention

Chelsea Wards to Elect Delegates to Democratic State Convention

Registered Democrats in these will hold a caucus on February 3, 2018, 10:00 a.m. at Chelsea Library to elect delegates and alternates to the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic State Convention.

This year’s state convention will be held June 1-1 DCU Center in Worcester, where Democrats from across the state will come together to endorse Democratic candidates for statewide office, including Constitutional Officers and gubernatorial candidates. The caucus is open to all registered and pre-registered Democrats in Chelsea Wards 1, 2 & 4.

Pre-registered Democrats who will be 18 by September 18, 2018 will be allowed to participate and run as a delegate or alternate.

Youth, minorities, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals who are not elected as a delegate or alternate may apply to be an add-on delegate at the caucus or at  www.mass.dems.org.

Those interested in getting involved with the Democratic ward committee Committee should;

Jose Vaquerano Ward 1 617-279-3867

Sandra Brown Ward 2 617-466-1548

Olivia Walsh Ward 4 617-305-5501

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On A Mission

More than 300 Bostonians packed the Boston Convention Center last week to raise more than $300,000 and celebrate College Bound Dorchester and its mission of using education as a means to end systemic, urban poverty and change the neighborhood of Dorchester from within. The nonprofit’s annual gala, “I am My Future,” was led by master of ceremonies WHDH-TV’s Alberto Vasallo and familiar faces on the guest list included College Bound Dorchester CEO Mark Culliton; Mrs. Massachusetts Janelle Woods-McNish and College Bound Dorchester’s Leader of Coaching Transition and College Support, Kamau Parker from Chelsea. Current and former College Bound Dorchester students also shared their personal story of transformation success through the program. Based in Bowdoin-Geneva, College Bound Dorchester works with students, ages 14 to 27, to pass their HiSet exam, get into community colleges, earn associates degrees, find employment and earn a living wage. The goal: Dorchester youth graduating college is the norm, not the exception.

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Townplace Suites a Sellout Show on Eastern Avenue

Townplace Suites a Sellout Show on Eastern Avenue

The new TownPlace Suites on Eastern Avenue opened up March 6, but this week already saw two sellout nights at the new 140-room hotel. Here, Julie Scott, senior VP of sales and revenue management, and Joe Fiorello, sales manager, show off the impressive lounge at the new hotel.

The new TownPlace Suites on Eastern Avenue opened up March 6, but this week already saw two sellout nights at the new 140-room hotel. Here, Julie Scott, senior VP of sales and revenue management, and Joe Fiorello, sales manager, show off the impressive lounge at the new hotel.

If the brand new TownPlace Suites on and the two-year old Residence Inn were somehow people, one would quickly make the assumption they were closely related.

The newest hotel in Chelsea – and the first one on the eastern side of the city – opened on March 6 by Colwen Hotels and, while they are distinct, they have a similar luxury feel.

Walking into the lobby from busy Eastern Avenue, one is quickly immersed by large windows with lots of natural light, while a double sided fireplace warms the area where chairs and a business center are perched. On the other side is a smartly outfitted, granite-filled lounge and bar where guests can get a drink, have something light to eat, get busy on work and catch up on the day’s news or sports via large screen televisions.

A uniquely designed breakfast station with several tables in a circular alcove overlooking the Chelsea Street Bridge also highlight the entry space.

Such highlights have already drawn tons of visitors to the new hotel, said Sales Manager Joe Fiorello.

“We’ve only been up and running since March 6 and on Sunday, March 15, we had our first sellout. Then, on Monday, March 16, we had our second sellout. Things have been going really great.”

Julie Scott, a marketing representative with Colwen, said the TownPlace is the closest Marriott to the Airport – being just 1.3 miles from Logan and only a quick trip into Boston.

“We are the closest Marriott to the airport, just slightly closer than the Courtyard in East Boston,” she said. “It’s such a short trip from here to get anywhere. It really feels like an urban hotel here. You’re right on the street, you’re by everything and that’s very cool…We are seeing a lot of corporate business here. Downtown Boston is quite a lot more expensive. It might be $300 a night in Downtown Boston and we’re half of that per night…You won’t find a TownPlace like this one anywhere.”

Fiorello said there are 128 Studio King Suites and 12 one-bedroom suites. The facility serves extended stay customers and nightly customers too. There is a heated, saltwater pool and a fitness center as well.

Each room is outfitted with a kitchen facility as well and there is also plenty of free parking, which is another advantage of the Chelsea location.

“That’s a really big thing in Boston,” Scott said. “To have free parking is really desirable.

On Monday morning, taking advantage of the lobby was Alyssa Johantgen, who was staying with her husband in the TownPlace. The couple is from Minnesota and they chose to make a mini-vacation out of his business trip to Boston.

“My husband is here for work and we really like it here,” she said. “We’re from Minnesota so we’re used to the cold. We walked the Freedom Trail in the snow on Sunday and it was fun.”

Right now, the hotel is getting a lot of overflow business from the airport as well, but both Scott and Fiorello said they expect more guests such as the Johantgens when the new Silver Line project debuts next door at the MassPort Parking Garage.

That public transportation connection will give guests a one-seat ride to the Seaport District, the South Boston Convention Center and South Station.

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Towne Place Suites Set to Open in February

Towne Place Suites Set to Open in February

Maureen Foley (left) and Dakeya Christmas of Colwen Hotels in the comfortable and cozy lobby at the Chelsea Residence Inn this week. Both said that the expansion of hotels in Chelsea is all about the regions need for more rooms to meet the booming demand of conventions and international tourists. The company has two hotels in the works in Chelsea, with the Towne Place Suites on Marginal Street set to open in mid-February.

Maureen Foley (left) and Dakeya Christmas of Colwen Hotels in the comfortable and cozy lobby at the Chelsea Residence Inn this week. Both said that the expansion of hotels
in Chelsea is all about the regions need for more rooms to meet the booming demand of conventions and international
tourists. The company has two hotels in the works in Chelsea, with the Towne Place Suites on Marginal Street set to open in mid-February.

Some 14 years ago when Colwen Hotels was first considering putting a hotel in Chelsea, it was all about proximity to the airport.

Now, with the group preparing to open its second hotel – the Towne Place Suites on Marginal Street – on Feb. 16 or 17 and having two more Chelsea hotels in the works, the focus has little to nothing to do with the airport.

“The idea originally started as a hotel for the airport because of the airlines,” said Maureen Foley of Colwen. “As it happened, you had the growth at the Boston Convention Center and international tourism really took off and it all created the perfect storm for us.”

In fact, the focus on Chelsea by Colwen has everything to do nowadays with the hot commodity of the Boston area for conventions and international travel and Chelsea’s close proximity to the engine of the region’s booming economy.

“I think economically people are seeing the growth in Boston and seeing that it’s a booming city and the opportunities are there,” said Foley. “They need more hotel rooms and the time is right economically. We do play into the proximity of Chelsea all the time. We are very close to Boston and in a lot of cases we’re closer to Boston than many parts of Boston. However, having the background on what’s going on in the Boston area really changes how you view this as a whole. It’s not just about another hotel in Chelsea. Boston and the entire area are really booming for conventions and tourism.”

As proof of that, according to Smith Travel Research, Boston’s hotel occupancy rates (which include Chelsea) ranked 7th in the top 25 market areas in 2013. That was behind prime places like New York, Hawaii, Miami Beach, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The occupancy rate for 2013 was around 73 percent.

This year, the 2015 projections for occupancy are way up.

The Pinnacle Group predicts that Boston occupancy rates will be at 80 percent this year, which is up 7 percent from 2013. Meanwhile, the average room cost per night is predicted to be $255.94. Those numbers would be some of the best occupancy rates and room rates for just about any market in the United States.

Meanwhile, the Boston Convention Center in South Boston’s Seaport District is driving the growth in hotels tremendously and many guests in Chelsea’s hotels look to be those heading to the Seaport District.

Foley said she believes that a lot of hotel spillover from the Seaport District does end up in Chelsea, and that will really be true once the Silver Line is completed from the Seaport to the Mystic Mall.

“That will be an absolute game changer,” she said.

As it is now, Boston is 39th on the list of having the most International meetings in a market – meetings that take place at the Boston Convention Center or the Hynes Convention Center.

While 39th sounds like an “iffy” proposition, that worldwide number is higher than Washington, D.C. (43rd), New York City (64th) and Chicago (65th).

The number is also tempered by the fact that the Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau cannot book some of the largest conventions due to the fact that the Greater Boston area doesn’t have enough hotel rooms to handle such things.

Therein lays the drive behind the expansion of hotels in Chelsea – in places like Marginal Street and the upper end of Broadway where one would have never thought a hotel would land.

Foley said it probably doesn’t make sense to the naked eye, but once one understands the business model and the region’s needs that lie behind such decisions, it makes far more sense.

“The Convention and Visitors Bureau cannot host some of the largest conventions because we don’t have enough rooms,” she said. “We can really compete as a convention city if we build more hotel rooms.”

That’s the model for so many hotel companies like Colwen and the Wyndham for expansion.

Colwen will open its Homewood Suites by Hilton across from Chelsea High School in November.

In Cambridge, near the Somerville line, they are set to open a Fairfield Inn & Suites later this year.

The all new Marriott brand, the AC Hotel, is currently under construction by Colwen at Station’s Landing in Medford. Meanwhile, Colwen is planning an Autograph by Marriott hotel for Somerville’s Assembly Row in the near future.

Another Colwen AC Hotel with 200 rooms has been approved for the Ink Block development area in Boston’s South End where the Boston Herald used to operate.

All of the hotels from Colwen are geared to a particular market, though. That market is the Millennial Generation that, demographically speaking, shuns the ritzy confines of a luxury hotel and embraces smaller, less expensive hotels with solid amenities and nice, open lobby/social spaces.

“The Millennials want a less expensive place to stay with limited services and not so much a luxury hotel,” she said. “We think that we’ll see a lot of change towards that. They want their free Wi-Fi. They want to be in a fun area and they want to sit in lobbies and socialize. That’s exactly what we offer.”

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Casino Talk Despite Winthrop’s Complaints, Chelsea Still Sees Mohegan Sun Casino as a Worthy Partner

Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash spoke about negotiations being tough with the two casino projects that will effect his city, both Mohegan and Wynn. He said he chose to support Mohegan Sun because he saw into the window of the soul of both proponents and he felt Mohegan Sun actually cared about Chelsea and that the Wynn did not. "Issues need to be acknowledged today and not later," Ash said.

Chelsea City Manager Jay
Ash spoke about negotiations
being tough with the
two casino projects that will
effect his city, both Mohegan
and Wynn. He said he
chose to support Mohegan
Sun because he saw into
the window of the soul of
both proponents and he felt
Mohegan Sun actually cared
about Chelsea and that the
Wynn did not. “Issues need
to be acknowledged today
and not later,” Ash said.

Hundreds of people from all over the region packed into the South Boston Convention Center on Tuesday evening to make their voices heard on the Mohegan Sun casino project in Revere at a public input hearing before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC).

While a strong contingent from Winthrop came out to blast the casino plan and its proponents – Mohegan Sun – Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash said he is of a completely different mind than Winthrop officials.

Ash said he prefers the Mohegan project for several reasons, and he has had no such experience with Mohegan being untrustworthy.

“One day after they announced the partnership with Suffolk Downs, Mohegan’s CEO was in my office at City Hall,” said Ash. “He didn’t have to come and I didn’t expect him to, but by him coming it showed me how much importance they attach to the surrounding communities like Chelsea.

“I’ve seen in Mohegan a real commitment to regional benefit that I haven’t seen any of in the Wynn effort,” Ash said, noting that negotiations between Chelsea and Wynn are still ongoing. “Mohegan has eight surrounding community agreements successfully negotiated; Wynn has just one. Mohegan has stressed its partnerships with communities and businesses around the region, while Wynn has spent much more time thinking about just Everett. I can tell that Mohegan will be a real partner in the region’s growth; Wynn has given me no reason to feel the same.”

Ash was one of hundreds of leaders, elected officials and residents that testified before the MGC on Tuesday.

He prefaced his comments by saying he doesn’t want to demonize Wynn, but simply believes Mohegan will be a better partner for Chelsea.

“I preface this by saying that I don’t think we should demonize anyone that is willing to invest $1 billion in our area, and am convinced that both Mohegan and Wynn are good casino operators,” he said.

One of the biggest benefits to Mohegan, he said, is saving the horse racing industry at Suffolk Downs. He said having the horse track at the casino separates Mohegan from the competition.

More importantly, Ash said he believes Mohegan will open its doors before Wynn.

“I believe Mohegan will be up and operating far quicker than Wynn, which has chemical contamination to clean-up and much more traffic related issues to still be scoped out, yet alone solved,” he said. “By selecting Wynn, we may be forgoing years of having all the jobs and more than a half a billion dollars in revenues. Those are too great of sacrifices to make.”

Finally, Ash said he believes Mohegan is better because it is next to a T stop, close to Revere Beach, the Winthrop Golf Course and – most especially – Logan Airport.

“I don’t think we should be bringing national and international patrons into a heavy industrial area like Route 99 in Everett,” he said.

Council President Matt Frank – the Council’s casino designee – said he still prefers Mohegan as well.

“I still think it’s a good project for Chelsea,” said Frank.

A similar public hearing at the MGC took place for the Wynn project in Everett late yesterday, March 26.

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The Public Input Hearing, Mohegan Sun Casino Project

The Public Input Hearing, Mohegan Sun Casino Project

More than 400 people gathered at the South Boston Convention Center on Tuesday, March 25, to attend the public input hearing on the Revere Mohegan Sun casino project in front of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). Residents from all over Boston, Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea , Everett and the Greater Boston region spoke to the MGC for up to five minutes each about their views on the casino being allowed to be built. The two most argued cases for the casino were the job creation and economic benefits it will bring in for the region and how it will revitalize Revere into the destination it was in the 1920s. Opponents of the casino being built in Revere spoke about how it will create traffic in an already heavily driven area. They also spoke about how it could bring crime and drain the community of much needed independent business.

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