State Athletics Organization Honors Chelsea High Senior Yarid Deras

State Athletics Organization Honors Chelsea High Senior Yarid Deras

Cross Country standout Yarid Deras may not talk much about her achievements, but the senior Chelsea High scholar-athlete has plenty of others to tout her accomplishments.

Aside from her coaches and Athletic Director Amanda Alpert, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has also honored her.

On Nov. 14, at the MIAA Recognition Breakfast, Deras was named the Commonwealth Athletic Conference’s Female award recipient. It’s an honor she will add to being the upper division league MVP this year in Cross Country.

“It’s very surprising to me how fast four years have gone,” she said. “I didn’t start running until my freshman year. It was the first thing I really did my freshman year. I didn’t really think I would enjoy it. I enjoyed the team and not so much the running. The summer after my freshman year, something happened and I really learned to love the sport for what it is. I will definitely continue running after high school, maybe for a club team in college.”

Deras’s coach, Don Fay, had nothing but good things to say for his senior leader and league MVP.

“I have coached Yarid for the last four years,” he said. “She is one of the most impressive young ladies I have ever met.  Extremely smart, hard-working and competitive. She never misses practice, and never complains. Yarid is a truly nice, genuine person.”

Alpert said Deras is soft-spoken and very humble, always the last person to talk about any of her achievements.

Deras said the team is small, with about eight girls, but they are very competitive. She said over the years she has learned to be a leader, but that may not always come vocally.

“I think I don’t really lead vocally,” she said. “I don’t say much, but I think I lead by example. I don’t do much with words, but I set the example for the younger runners on my team. That’s how they have come to respect me as a leader.”

Even though she was this year’s league MVP, Deras said the highlight of her Cross Country career was last year when the team won the league meet and went undefeated for the entire season. Her sophomore year, she also won the league MVP and turned in an excellent 21.04 time in the 5K.

As a senior, she still has outdoor track to look forward to, and the Chelsea girls are also very strong in that sport as well. She said she will run the one-mile and two-mile races for the team.

She is currently looking at several colleges, including Smith College and Providence College.

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Drug Treatment Center Looks to Strengthen Ties in the Community

Drug Treatment Center Looks to Strengthen Ties in the Community

As part of the Recovery Month activities, the Health Care Resource Center Methadone Clinic on Crescent Avenue

Counselors and staff at the Health Care Resource Center Methadone clinic on Crescent Avenue pause for a picture during their open house last Thursday, Sept. 27, as part of Recovery Month. Directors said they hope to build strong ties with the community and overcome the misconceptions about what they do.

opened its doors on Thursday, Sept. 27, to let residents find out more about what they do.

Victoria Johnson, treatment center director, said they offer a valuable service to patients looking to beat an addiction to opiates and other drugs. Known as medication assisted treatment, Methadone is administered at the Chelsea facility to about 750 patients on a daily basis – and it’s a system that has seen many happy endings.

“One of the biggest things we’re up against is the misconception of what we do and the benefits of medication assisted treatment,” she said. “Also, when people stigmatize the patients, it hurts the community. It’s the biggest fight providers are always up against.”

The clinic has often been seen as a location that Chelsea doesn’t want, and hasn’t been in close connection with the community at times. However, Johnson said they treat many residents of Chelsea and the surrounding communities and they want to forge closer ties. She also said they already work closely with the HUB/COR program and with the Chelsea Police.

During Recover Month, she said she wanted to stress they are part of the solution to this epidemic.

“We have a lot of people who have recovered,” she said, meaning they have weaned themselves off of Methadone. “We try to get them to come back and talk to the counseling groups we run about their success. We want them to share about how life has been when they no longer need to be medicated. We also try to stay in the community and build strong connections. A lot of people don’t know how to get into treatment, and that’s the biggest question we have.”

A typical day at the clinic starts about 5:30 a.m. when the staff arrives and prepares for the first patients to come in at 6 a.m. Those patients are typically those that work or take care of children or elderly family members. Normally, they will take their does and be in and out in about 15 minutes. Dosing continues throughout the morning until 11 a.m.

Anyone using the treatment also has to come in for a counseling component two hours per month, and 15 counselors are on hand to run group counseling for a variety of types.

Most of the patients pay for the service with MassHealth, and some insurances like Blue Cross/Blue Shield pay for the treatment as well.

Typically, Johnson said, patients will come in and stabilize using the Methadone treatment. That takes about two weeks to two months.

She also said they have very strict policies on loitering outside the clinic. She said if they find patients loitering or causing issues outside, they will call the police. Any problems with law enforcement can cause the patient to be removed from treatment.

“They’re not causing those problems here,” she said. “I always say to people, if they see it, call the police. Our goal is to get people into treatment, stabilize them, and set them up for success.”

Cutline –

Counselors and staff at the Health Care Resource Center Methadone clinic on Crescent Avenue pause for a picture during their open house last Thursday, Sept. 27, as part of Recovery Month. Directors said they hope to build strong ties with the community and overcome the misconceptions about what they do.

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School Updates

School Updates


  • The Chelsea High Cross Country team welcomed our Middle School Cross Country team for an intense indoor cardio workout two weeks ago. The Middle School Cross Country team has been working so hard to prepare for their season. Yesterday, they completed their first time trial of their meet course. Their coach is extremely proud of their determination and team work.


  • The Berkowitz School held its first school-wide assembly this week. Students had a great time learning about the core values of respect, responsibility, empathy, and determination. Students were also recognized for exemplifying these values. We also had a visit from our special friend and Mascot, “Berky,” who told our students about our year-long apparel fundraiser. Students will be taking home flyers with information on how to order our Berkowitz school customizable clothing. Clothing can be ordered at Some 20 percent of all sales will go directly towards Berkowitz School student activities.


  • The Hooks School had its 1st Annual Back to School Social. Students and families sat in front of the Hooks School, had a picnic and listened to some read alouds from Principal Lubarsky and Assistant Principal Dore. Teachers on the Family Outreach Committee organized this event and did an outstanding job getting students from all four grades.


  • The 8th grade teachers at the WSTA have organized grade-wide team building events for our students throughout the first few weeks of school.


  • The boys’ and girls’ cross country teams got off to a strong start on Wednesday, Sept. 12, with both teams winning their meets against Whittier Tech and Presentation of Mary.  The girls, who are the defending dual and league meet champions, were led by captains YaridDeras and Jocelyn Post, who finished first and third. SailaCarriento was sixth overall, Karina Avalos was tenth, Yarelis Torres was eleventh and twin sister Nicole was thirteenth.  The girls will be competing in Malden next week against Mystic Valley.

The boys’ team was led by captain Justin Turner who was the overall winner.  Co-captain Julio Valladares was second overall followed by Raphael Castillo in fourth.  Oscar Amaya was fifth and Jazmany Reyes and Limilson Tavares finished eighth and ninth respectively. The Whittier boys were the two time defending league champions and had won 23 straight dual meets before Wednesday’s loss to Chelsea. The boys will also be competing next Wednesday against Mystic Valley.

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Station of the Cross

Station of the Cross


Julio Figueroa as John The Apostle, Ramona Rodriguez as Mary Mother Of Jesus, and Kinian Lobo as Mary Madeline march in grief at Jesus’s suffering during the annual St. Rose of Lima Church’s Stations of the Cross throughout the streets of Chelsea on Good Friday, March 30. Hundreds of parishioners came out to participate in the march.

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Three-Alarmer Caused by Extension Cords, Air Conditioner

Three-Alarmer Caused by Extension Cords, Air Conditioner

At 4:38 p.m. on May 19, Chelsea Fire received a call for a house fire at 127 Shurtleff St. Upon arrival, heavy fire was showing from the 3rd floor with exposure buildings in close proximity on each side. Deputy Chief Robert Houghton transmitted the working fire and struck the second alarm. Fire quickly spread to the 3rd floor porch and cockloft area.

Major flames erupted from this fire at a home on Shurtleff Street May 19.

Major flames erupted from this fire at a home on Shurtleff Street May 19.

Firefighters mounted and aggressive attack, and a third alarm was struck for additional manpower. Searches of the building were negative with occupants self-evacuating. There were no civilian injuries. Three fire fighters were injured battling the blaze, none of which were life threatening. Overall 16 occupants were displaced and being assisted by the Red Cross.

The fire was contained to the third floor of the structure of origin. None of the exposure buildings were affected. The cause of the fire was electrical. An air conditioning unit was being energized using several extension cords.

“Residents should be aware of the dangers associated with powering air condition units and appliances with extension cords. This creates an extreme fire hazard” said Chief Len Albanese. “Overloaded extension cords are the cause of many accidental fires that can be avoided using proper fire safety precautions.”

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Sports 09-01-2016

Bruins Beat by Bob Morello

Bruins Warrior Ice Arena opening

Next Thursday (September 8th), the Boston Bruins will officially cut the ribbon on their new practice facility, the Warrior Ice Arena (80 Guest Street, Brighton) at 7:00pm. Currently a handful of B’s players have been participating in ‘Captain’s Practice.’ The grand opening will have, from the Bruins organization, Owner Jeremy Jacobs, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs, President Cam Neely, General Manager Don Sweeney and a few current Bruins players. Political attendees will include Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo.

Following the formal portion of the event, Warrior Ice Arena will host the “Boston Youth All-Star Game featuring Bruins Alumni” with local squirt players from the Boston communities of Allston-Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, South Boston, West Roxbury. The Youth All-Stars will team up with Bruins alumni and together they will play the first official game on the Warrior Ice Arena surface. Doors will open at 6:00pm with festivities set to begin at 7:00pm.

On the business end, general manager Don Sweeney continues to be a ‘busy man,’ announcing that the Bruins have signed four players to one-year deals. Amongst those signing were former Harvard University star, Dominic Moore, to a one-year, two-way contract. The 36-year old Moore has a lengthy travel history, having already made appearances with nine NHL teams prior to signing with Boston, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the San Jose Sharks. His most recent stay was last season with the New York Rangers who originally drafted Moore in 2000. The Bill Masterton Trophy winner in 2013-14, Moore was honored for exemplifying the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

In addition, Sweeney also announced the recent signings of defenseman Chris Casto, three year Providence Bruins, forward Brian Ferlin, two-year Providence Bruin, and defenseman Alex Grant, previously with the Arizona Coyotes organization, all signing one-year, two-way contracts. July signings had: defensemen Colin Miller and Joe Morrow, defenseman Tommy Cross, former Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin, defenseman John-Michael Liles, forwards Riley Nash, Tyler Randell and Tim Schaller. Not to be lost in the mix is the July 1 signing of free agent, winger David Backes, who spent ten seasons with the St. Louis Blues before agreeing to a five-year, $30 million deal with the Bruins. Backes’ five seasons as Captain of the Blues, should put him in a good position of a leadership role with the Bruins.

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Congratulations,CHS Class of 2016

For our community, high school graduation time is a city-wide celebration, even for those who do not have children or relatives among the graduates. All of us take pride in the accomplishments of our graduates, for we know that they represent the future leaders of our community and our world, and that all of us have played some small role, even indirectly, in their nurturing and development from young children to the adults they are today.

Seeing the balloons and other signs of graduation-related celebrations around Chelsea brings a smile to our faces, for they evoke the memories from the time when we were high school grads.

For the parents of the grads, who will be watching their sons and daughters proceed to the podium to receive their diplomas, the moment will be bittersweet. We are reminded of the words from that song from Fiddler on the Roof:

Where is the little girl I carried?

Where is the little boy at play?

I don’t remember getting older,

When did they?

Thinking about the cross-currents of time and space shared by the previous classes of Chelsea High School and 2016, we realize that no doubt it is inconceivable for the members of the Class of 2016 even to imagine coming together for their 25th or 50th reunion.

However, if any members of the Class of 2016 feel that the 2031 or 2066 are a long, long way away, we do have one piece of advice to offer all of the members of the class: “Carpe diem” — seize the day. Unlike a sports event, life does not offer any time-outs. The clock keeps ticking — “Time and tide wait for no man,” as the poet said — and we must strive to do the best we can every day of our lives. Fifty years from now, we can assure all of the graduates that none of them will want to look back 50 years and think, “What might have been…”

We offer our congratulations to the members of the Class of 2016 and their families. We know we join with the entire Chelsea community in wishing them the best of luck in the years ahead.

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Scholar-athlete times Two: Gustin Plays Two Division 1 Sports at Holy Crossby

Scholar-athlete times Two:  Gustin Plays Two Division 1 Sports at Holy Crossby

Sean Gustin is a rarity in college sports, a two-sport All-Academic selection. And he’s doing it at the highest level, playing Division 1 hockey and baseball at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester.

Gustin has strong Chelsea roots. He is the son of Andrea (Pompeo) Gustin and Bryan Gustin and spent the first five years of his life on Cottage Street in the city.

He is the grandson of Carol Pompeo of Chelsea and the late Joseph Pompeo. They are related to the well-known Kopaczynski and Lombardozzi families of Chelsea.

Gustin was in the area Tuesday pitching for the Worcester Bravehearts of the Future Collegiate Baseball League. He did not allow an earned run in two innings as Worcester defeated the North Shore Navigators, 2-1, at Fraser Field in Lynn.

“Sean has been impressive,” said Worcester Bravehearts coach Justin Edwards. “He’s done everything really well for us. He’s closed some games and come in to games in middle relief. He’s been one of our most consistent guys out of the bullpen. I didn’t know he played hockey but that shows what a great athlete he is. He’s real competitive.”

A team captain in hockey and baseball standout at the prestigious Belmont Hill School, Gustin wanted to play two sports in college and the Holy Cross coaches were amenable to his decision.

Sean’s former hockey coach ay Holy Cross, Paul Pearl (he has moved on to a coaching position at Harvard), said Gustin’s ability to play two Division 1 sports is worthy of national recognition.

“People should know about this because I think it’s a really big deal, it’s not easy to do this, it’s not easy at all. He’s also a great student to go along with his achievements.”

Gustin is often asked which sport he enjoys more.

“The reason why I continue to play both is that I love both sports. In hockey season I love hockey and in baseball season I love baseball. It’s really special for me to continue to play both at such a high level.”

Gustin runs in to some scheduling conflicts in February when hockey is heading toward the playoffs and baseball season is starting.

“I’ll be focused on hockey but I’ll go to a few baseball practices a week and do some pitching and talk with my teammates. Once hockey season ends, it’s baseball from there on out.”

Gustin said the key to his success in academics and athletics has been “time management.” He is a Dean’s List student majoring in Economics and received All-Academic recognition in both sports.

Bryan and Andrea Gustin are quite proud of their son’s academic and athletic achievements. They also have a daughter, Breanna, who is a soccer and basketball player at Arlington Catholic.

“Sean enjoys playing both sports and he works hard at it,” said Bryan Gustin, a former hockey captain at Merrimack College. “It’s a great experience for him at Holy Cross. They’re making it work and he enjoys it. We’re proud of him.”

Andrea, a former cheerleader and track athlete at Pope John High School, said her son began his participation in sports in Stoneham youth programs.

“He moved on to Belmont Hill in eighth grade and played two years varsity baseball and hockey and was captain of the baseball team,” said Andrea. “Between his junior and senior years the college coaches started to contact Sean about playing baseball and hockey.”

Andrea, who was admired by her classmates and friends while growing up on Cottage Street, said her son

“You couldn’t ask for a better son,” said Andrea. “He’s such a great kid and so kindhearted.”

And a great role model for student-athletes everywhere.

Bruins get honors, Garden gets makeover

Bruins players Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask received their due at Tuesday night’s NHL Awards night in Las Vegas. Bergeron earned double honors, having been named the winner of the 2013-14 Frank J. Selke Trophy. The Selke Trophy is awarded annually “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game. Bergeron is a repeat winner of the Selke, having won the honor in the 2011-12 season, and has been named as a finalist for three consecutive years. The second award he earned was the 2014 NHL Foundation Award. The NHL Foundation Player Award is awarded annually to the NHL player “who applies the core values of (ice) hockey—commitment, perseverance and teamwork—to enrich the lives of people in his community.”

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was named winner of the 2013-14 Vezina Trophy for the first time. The Vezina Trophy is awarded annually “to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position,” selected by the General Managers of the 30 NHL clubs. In addition, Bruins defenseman Torey Krug was named to the 2013-2014 NHL All-Rookie Team.

On Monday, former Bruins coach Pat Burns (1997-2000) was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame, in the ‘Builder Category.’ Burns began his 14- year NHL coaching career with the Montreal Canadiens – winning the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year for in his first NHL season (1988). He earned the award again with Toronto Maple Leafs (1993), and again with Boston in 1988 – a record three times – a record that should have paved his way into the Hockey Hall of Fame while he was still alive. Burns sadly passed away in 2010 at the age of 58. Burns also won the Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003.

Bruins fans craving hockey will have the opportunity to start to satisfy their desire as the pre-season schedule was revealed, and includes three games at TD Garden. The pre-season begins with the Montreal Canadiens hosting the B’s on September 23, the Bruins will return to TD Garden ice 9/24 to take on the Washington Capitals. The remaining schedule (subject to change) has 9/26 at Washington Capitals, 9/27 at Detroit Red Wings, 9/30 B’s hosting New York Islanders, 10/3 vs. Islanders in Bridgeport, CT, and 10/4 B’s hosting Red Wings.

The regular season opens against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden on Wednesday, October 8 at 7:30pm. Highlights at TD Garden include the annual day-after-Thanksgiving home game on Friday, November 28 against the Winnipeg Jets at 7:00pm, and a New Year’s Eve matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, December 31. Road highlights include a season-long five-game road trip, which will see the Bruins battle the Vancouver Canucks on February 13, the Calgary Flames on February 16, the Edmonton Oilers on February 18, the St. Louis Blues on February 20 and the Chicago Blackhawks on February 22.

Last week local media was invited to view the progress, to date, of the Delaware North Companies $70 million renovation two-year project at TD Garden. About 30% of the planned innovations are finished. Plans include the complete overhaul of Level 4 and Balcony Level 7, the installation of high-density Wi-fi, redesigned concourse hospitality zones and concession stands, and updated food and beverage concepts. Fans will enjoy the development of a new ProShop on Level 2, with double the space of the existing store. Fans will be able to visit the huge ProShop which stocks the entire Bruins/Celtics inventory during games, rather than the satellite locations, which offer fans limited inventory.

The renovation of Legends Club, the private high-end restaurant for Bruins and Celtics season ticket holders, will be breathtaking in size and scope. The Garden will be open throughout the renovations with limited construction impacts. The level 4 concourse, half of the food and beverage stands, and Legends Club is expected to be completed for the beginning of the season. The Bruins ProShop is set to open by the end of the year and the level 7-concourse makeover is slated for summer of 2015.

As part of this two-year renovation, Sportservice, the arena’s food and beverage services, and retail management company, will overhaul all the existing food and beverage locations on the concourses, and introduce 25 new portable food and beverage carts. More common space designed to provide a place for fans to socialize, dine and drink have been incorporated into the new design. Food and beverage concepts will emphasize bringing a taste of Boston to TD Garden with specialty menu items selected for their connection to Boston and New England.


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Dwyer Continues to Help Others and Make a Difference

Dwyer Continues to Help Others and Make a Difference

J. Barry Dwyer

J. Barry Dwyer

Chelsea resident J. Barry Dwyer has taken on another important role to make a difference in the community. “Barry,” former Chelsea High School Cross Country Track and Field Coach and former Chelsea School Committee member has joined Caregiver Homes as a Community Ambassador. As a native and lifelong resident of Chelsea, Dwyer understands how Caregiver Homes can benefit many families in the area who are at the crossroads of what to do when caring for an elder relative or loved one with disabilities.

“We are delighted that Barry has decided to join the effort to help spread the word of how more families can care for their loved ones at home with the support and training from a care team,” said Teresa Arnold, Area Director for Caregiver Homes.

Caregiver Homes is a statewide Adult Foster Care provider helping over 2,000 caregivers in Massachusetts care for loved ones and family members at home. Through case management support from nurses and care managers, Caregiver Homes helps families stay together and supports elders and individuals with disabilities who may otherwise not thrive at home due to medical or behavioral complexity.

Dwyer will be present at several community events this spring to discuss Caregiver Homes with those interested in learning about the organization as a possible solution to caring for family or friends. He will be working with Cynthia Mellor, Branch Manager of the Boston I branch, which serves Chelsea.

For more information, call Caregiver Homes at 866-797-2333 or visit


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Chelsea Jewish Foundation Partners with North Shore Community College

Chelsea Jewish Foundation Partners with North Shore Community College

The  Chelsea Jewish Foundation (CJF) announced that its educational division – the  Chelsea Jewish Academy (CJA) – has partnered with North Shore Community College (NSCC) to provide healthcare training to 50 new and incumbent workers.

The collaboration was created to meet the increased demand for Nurse Assistants and Home Health Aides. This partnership, formed after NSCC received one of 10 “Rapid Response” grants of $75,000 from the state, will create a myriad of new opportunities for locally developed, regionally specific jobs and skills training.

“We are proud to partner with North Shore Community College,” notes Adam Berman, Chelsea Jewish Foundation COO. “This program will enable us to support our own workforce as well as provide a path for future educational opportunities. NSCC possesses an excellent reputation as a first-rate institution and we are very much looking forward to working with them.”

The grant will allow CJA and NSCC to conduct five courses of 10 students each at 127.5 hours per course. The first course began in June 2013 and the last course starts in March 2014. Students who participate in the Nurse Aide/Home Health Aide course will receive additional support and coaching services from NSCC.  Additionally, all of the students who complete the course will be encouraged to take the Red Cross State Exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The CNA license enables individuals to enter a broad array of healthcare careers and strengthens the workforce by adding skilled workers to the regional economy.

The Chelsea Jewish Foundation has expanded significantly over the past five years and is now experiencing a great need for skilled healthcare staff.  Those who complete the training and/or acquire the CNA license will be offered interviews at CJF. Additionally, completion of this program will connect the students to a broad range of health and human service credit certificates and degrees at NSCC.

“We are eager to help students pursue further educational and career opportunities,” concludes Berman.


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