Chelsea Chief Brian Kyes introduced Gov. Charlie Baker to a room of police chiefs from around the state during Tuesday’s meeting of the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association. The meeting took place in Everett, and Gov. Baker made a major public safety policy announcement at the gathering in regard to criminal background checks. See Page 5 for more photos.
Standing alongside Chief Brian Kyes, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday re-filed legislation to provide law enforcement and the courts with additional tools to ensure dangerous criminals are held in custody pending trial.
First filed on September 6, 2018, the
proposal would expand the list of offenses that can provide grounds for a
dangerousness hearing and close certain loopholes at the start and end of the
criminal process that currently limit or prevent effective action to address
legitimate safety concerns. Governor Baker made the announcement in Everett at
the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association Meeting, an
Association Chief Kyes is the leader of.
“Public safety is a fundamental
responsibility of government and in order to fulfill that duty, we must allow
local police and district attorneys to effectively deal with people who
repeatedly break the law,” said Governor Baker. “Last session we enacted
several provisions to ensure that a small lapse in judgment doesn’t ruin a
life, and we must now give law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts the
tools they need to keep our communities safe. We look forward to working with
the Legislature to pass this important bill.”
The proposal will strengthen the ability of
judges to enforce the conditions of pre-trial release by empowering police to
detain people who they observe violating court-ordered release conditions;
current law does not allow this, and instead requires a court to first issue a
“Loopholes in the current system limit or
prevent effective action to address legitimate safety concerns,” said
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This bill will empower law enforcement with
the flexibility and tools they need to protect their communities from dangerous
Under this proposal, judges will be
empowered to revoke a person’s release when the offender has violated a
court-ordered condition, such as an order to stay away from a victim, or from a
public playground. Current law requires an additional finding of dangerousness
before release may be revoked.
“A defendant’s past criminal history should
absolutely be considered as a factor at any such dangerousness hearing rather
than just the alleged crime that is currently before the court,” said
Kyes, Chelsea Police Chief and President of the Massachusetts Major City
Chiefs. “It is essential that in conducting a proper risk analysis in
order to determine whether the defendant is to be considered a potential danger
to any victim, witness or to the public in general, that their past criminal
history – especially as it pertains to previous convictions for violent crimes
– is considered and weighed based on its relevancy pertaining to a demonstrated
propensity to commit violence. This bill will rectify the existing gap that
currently occurs during a dangerousness hearing.”
The legislation also expands the list of
offenses which can provide grounds for a dangerousness hearing including crimes
of sexual abuse and crimes of threatened or potential violence. It also follows
the long-standing federal model in including a defendant’s history of serious
criminal convictions as grounds that may warrant a dangerousness hearing.
Current law requires courts to focus only on the crime charged and ignore a
defendant’s criminal history when determining whether the defendant may be the
subject of this sort of hearing.
Additional provisions of this legislation:
•Improves the system for notifying victims
of crimes of abuse and other dangerous crimes when a defendant is going to be
released by creating clear lines of responsibility among police, prosecutors
and corrections personnel to notify victims about an offender’s imminent
release from custody, and create a six-hour window for authorities to inform a
victim before an offender is allowed to be released.
•Creates a new felony offense for cutting
off a court-ordered GPS device.
•Requires that the courts develop a text
message service to remind defendants of upcoming court dates, reducing the
chance they will forget and have a warrant issued for their arrest.
•Allows dangerousness hearings at any point
during a criminal proceeding, rather than requiring a prosecutor to either seek
a hearing immediately or forfeit that ability entirely, even if circumstances
later arise indicating that the defendant poses a serious risk to the
•Requires that the probation department,
bail commissioners and bail magistrates notify authorities who can take
remedial action when a person who is on pre-trial release commits a new offense
anywhere in the Commonwealth or elsewhere.
•Creates a level playing field for appeals
of district court release decisions to the superior court by allowing appeals
by prosecutors, in addition to defendants, and giving more deference to
determinations made in the first instance by our district court judges.
•Creates a task force to recommend adding
information to criminal records so that prosecutors and judges can make more
informed recommendations and decisions about conditions of release and possible
detention on grounds of dangerousness.
also closes loopholes at the start and end of the criminal process that
currently limit or prevent effective action to address legitimate safety concerns.
It extends the requirement that police take the fingerprints of people arrested
for felonies to all people arrested, regardless of the charge, to ensure that
decisions about release can be made with knowledge of a person’s true identity
and full criminal history. It also allows, for the first time, bail
commissioners and bail magistrates to consider dangerousness in deciding
whether to release an arrestee from a police station when court is out of
The City of Chelsea is happy to announce that the Senior Tax Work-Off Program is being offered once again. We offer clerical tasks and various office duties.
The Senior Tax Work-Off Program is a special program offered by the City of Chelsea to help financially eligible seniors receive a reduction off of their annual real estate taxes. If a senior qualifies for this program, they then work for the City’s departments, earning $12.00 per hour for up to 125 hours for a maximum of $1,500.00 per year.
Deadline for all applications is January 31, 2019
There is a limit of 25 participants per year, in the event the city receives more than 25 participants a lottery will be held to determine the current year’s participants.
For further information visit https://www.chelseama.gov/ or contact Denia Romero at 617-466-4170 / email@example.com
Veterans Tax Work-Off Abatement Program
The City of Chelsea is happy to announce that once again we are offering the Veterans Property Tax Work-Off Abatement Program.
The program provides qualified Veterans and spouses of qualified Veterans who work up to 125 hours for the City an abatement of up to $1,500 against their real estate taxes.
We offer clerical tasks and various other office duties. If a Veteran qualifies for this program he/she would then work for the City’s departments, earning $12.00 per hour for up to 125 hours for a maximum of $1,500 per year.
Deadline for all applications is January 31, 2019
There is a limit of 25 participants per year, in the event the city receives more than 25 applicants a lottery will be held to determine the current year’s participants.
For further information visit https://www.chelseama.gov/ or contact Denia Romero at 617-466-4170 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Say what you will about the state of politics in our country these days, one thing that is undeniable is that Americans have become more engaged in the political process than at any time in our recent history.
The recent election of scores of women, of diverse backgrounds, to public office has signified that men no longer will be running the show.
This is a good thing, not only for women, but also for men — and by extension, for our entire nation and the world — because when those who control our democratic institutions reflect the make-up of those whom they are serving, the end result will be policies that benefit all Americans, in all our diversity, rather than just the few.
It took the current political environment to wake us up from our complacency .
We look forward to our new Congress and trust that the talented and energetic women who will be serving as our senators and representatives will bring a positive attitude and some meaningful changes to the status quo.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino told the City Council he believes it might be time to start a discussion about charging everyone a trash fee in the coming years as costs continue to rise for rubbish collection and recycling.
This came at the same time that he announced water and sewer rates would increase by 7.95 percent this year and the existing trash fee would climb 10 percent over last year.
Currently, trash fees are only charged to properties that are not owner-occupied. However, Ambrosino said it might be time to change all that.
“This new trash fee represents an increase of 10 percent,” he said. “Residential owners will pay an additional $32.88 annually as a result of this increase. I recognize that annual increases of 10 percent are painful, but even with this increase we will not cover the cost of our trash system with our fees. I have mentioned for some time that the City should consider changes to our current rate structure for Solid Waste Disposal. Specifically, I suggest we start the discussion of at least some nominal fee for owner occupied units. Otherwise, 10-plus percent increases will be the norm for the foreseeable future.”
The trash rate will increase to $30.09 monthly for residential property and $141.96 monthly for commercial units in mixed buildings.
Meanwhile, for water and sewer rates – which affect every homeowner – the combined rate increase will be 7.95 percent over last year. The average water user can assume a bill of $1,776 annual for water and sewer charges.
The water rate alone will go up 6 percent, and the sewer rate alone will go up 9 percent. Together, they arrive at the combined rate increase of 7.95 percent for residential users.
For Tier 1 users, the combined rate is $14.80 per hundred cubic feet.
The rates went into effect on July 1, but a Monday’s Council meeting Councillor Bob Bishop was quick to criticize.
“The water and sewer rates in Chelsea are too high,” he said. “I think we should be doing everything we can to hold the line or decrease these rates every year. Other cities and towns aren’t charging the rates we charge…It seems to be a feeding trough at the water and sewer department. I don’t like it.”
It came as quite a surprise, but was much deserved, as Supt. Mary Bourque and Clark Avenue Middle School Principal Michael Talbot informed Clark Ave teacher Sally Siriani on May 31 that she was the Chelsea Rotary
Supt. Mary Bourque, Teacher of the Year Sally Siriani, and Clark Ave Principal Michael Talbot.
Teacher of the Year.
Siriani has spent 20 years in the district, all at the Clark Avenue Middle teaching math and science in grades 5 and 6.
“I love the kids,” she said. “I as born to do this. I put magnets on the refrigerator when I was little and pretended to grade homework papers. I played school all day. My friend Holly Correia, who now teaches in Revere, would always play school. We would take stuffed animals and put them in seats and play school all day long. I’m flattered and honored and shocked. It’s great to be recognized.”
Siriani grew up in Winthrop and attended Catholic Schools there, graduating from Winthrop High School in 1990. She attended Fitchburg State and then worked at the now-closed Assumption School in Chelsea. When it closed down, she was hired to be one of the first teachers in 1998 to come into the new Clark Avenue Middle School.
Previously, the building was used as Chelsea High School.
Current Supt. Mary Bourque was the assistant principal at the time and said that Siriani was the backbone of the school.
“Personally, I know Ms. Siriani from our early days at the Clark Avenue School and her deep devotion to providing the highest quality education for all students,” said Bourque. “I also remember the days when a new school was but a conversation for us all. Ms. Siriani has lived through another Clark Avenue Middle School milestone – construction – and is now teaching a new generation of students in the new building that we used to only dream about in 1998.”
Principal Talbot said her strength is building relationships with her students.
“She collaborates with the other Math teacher at her grade level in order to best meet the needs of all of her students,” he said. “She regularly uses pre-assessments to see where the gaps are and flexibly groups her students in differentiated activities in order to help them with the mastery of the skills that are required. She also asks students to self-assess themselves, set realistic and challenging goals, and then plans thoughtful learning activities for all of her students. She works incredibly hard on behalf of her students and she is able to build strong relationships with her students, as evidenced by so many coming back to see her each year.”
Siriani was to be honored at the Rotary Lunch on Tuesday, June 5.
A heated discussion between the candidates for Suffolk County District Attorney took place in a packed room at Suffolk University Law School on Thursday, May 3.
The event was moderated by Meghan Irons, the social justice reporter at The Boston Globe, and was hosted by Boston Wards 3, 4, and 5 Democratic committees, Suffolk Law School, Boston NAACP, MassVOTE, and the Mass. Dems Latino Caucus.
Candidates Evandro Carvalho, Massachusetts state representative from Dorchester, Attorney Linda Champion, Greg Henning assistant district attorney, Shannon McAuliffe director at Roca, an organization that disrupts the cycle of poverty, and Rachel Rollins, Chief Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Port Authority, were ready to answer questions during the forum.
“About 77 percent of DA races go un-contested across the U.S.,” said Rahsaan Hall, Director of the Racial Justice Program and “What a Difference a DA Makes” campaign for the ACLU of MA, to a crowded room. “There is a lack of opportunities for communities to engage but, this is what democracy looks like.”
Hall said that many folks don’t even know what goes on in a DA’s Office and most don’t even know that it is an elected position.
“We are working to make sure the country and residents of Suffolk County are engaged and active,” said Hall.
Candidates were allowed 90 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds for rebuttal. Questions ranged from are you too much of an insider or outsider to change things, to how to stop cycle of repeat offenders to how will the candidates make the office more diverse?
Champion said she has three areas she will focus on as District Attorney beside safety: education, housing and jobs.
“When you have all of these things you can have an environment that everyone can feel safe,” she said. “I’m in this race to focus on what is the problem and that’s the lives of our residents.”
Henning said his goal as DA would to make sure that everyone is protected, and to re-connect the community with law enforcement.
“I will not only ensure community policing to keep the streets safe but to help people to not to engage and re-engage with the justice system.”
Rollins said that to make a real difference more people of color and women need to work in the justice system.
“To get fairness, equity and justice you need more diversity in the people that serves those decisions,” said Rollins.
McAuliffe distanced herself from the pack by focusing on her current work at Roca, a non-profit that takes young adults who have a high chance of repeat offense and steers them in a different path by providing job training and other opportunities.
“I’m the only one here that hasn’t worked for a job opening,” said McAuliffe who took on the current DA during the last election. “Reform needs a reformer, and that’s who I am.”
Carvalho said that in order to seek justice you need to look at who is making the decisions. He pointed out that the people making the decisions are largely white and those going in and out of the DA’s office are largely people of color.
“I live in Dorchester and my constituents deal with it every day,” he said. “They are trapped without help every day, and that has to change. As DA I will be sure to change things.”
Current DA Dan Conley announced earlier this year that he will not be seeking re-election. Conley has held the office since February 2002.
This will be the second open candidate forum of the year. The primary for the Suffolk Country District Attorney race will be on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 6.
After a long process, Sen. Sal DiDomenico allegedly fell a few votes short of gaining the Senate Presidency, a process that completed last week when State Sen. Karen Spilka corralled the 21 votes needed to secure the presidency.
It was announced publicly in a press conference on Thursday, March 22.
While no one was keeping score on the outside, and few on the inside were talking, it was believed by those watching closely that DiDomenico had as many as 19 votes just within the last month.
Sen. DiDomenico would not comment on the process within the Senate this week where he had tried to make a run for Senate President.
However, he did say publicly that he will still be the assistant majority leader in the Senate – a post he was recently promoted to and will keep under the new leadership.
He also said there is no bad blood between himself and Sen. President-elect Spilka after the long process.
“Before this process Speaker-elect Karen Spilka and I were close friends as we will continue to be,” he said. “We have worked well for some time as a result of me being the vice chair on her Ways and Means Committee. There is no bad blood or animosity between us. There comes a point in time when you have to bring the body together and move forward. I thought this was the right time to do that.
“Now that this process is over and we have a new senate president elect, I support Karen 100 percent and will do everything I can to support her as senate president,” he continued. “Our relationship is as strong as it always has been.”
Sen. DiDomenico did not want to comment any further on his role in the new leadership team, but affirmed the strong relationship between himself and Sen. Spilka.
“I look forward to serving under Senate President-elect Spilka and being an integral part of her team,” he said.
Observers had been worried that, as typically happens, the senator that comes out on the short end of the bargain gets relegated to the back of the room. Many thought that if Sen. DiDomenico lost, he might also lose all of the power and responsibilities he has worked towards since being elected and coming into leadership roles under former Sen. President Stan Rosenberg.
However, with DiDomenico affirming his positive relationship with Spilka this week, many believe that he will come out unharmed after the process finishes out.
As for the ascension, there is currently no consensus between Sen. President Harriet Chandler and Sen. President-elect Spilka about when she might take office.
Some postulated it could come on July 1 after the end of the current fiscal year.
Others thought it could come at the end of December.
During a press conference last week, Spilka indicated they had not yet ironed that out.
The Estates on Admiral’s Hill (www.admiralshill.org) will hold a holiday open house for its two assisted living residences on Tuesday, December 5 from 3pm to 5pm. Amidst holiday treats, lively piano music and hot chocolate by the fireplace, attendees will meet Executive Director Yari Velez and her talented team. One-on-one discussions and personalized tours will be provided as well as the opportunity to meet the current residents.
Located on Admiral’s Hill at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea, The Estates is comprised of two separate residences: Cohen Florence Levine Estates, a traditional assisted living and Florence & Chafetz Home for Specialized Care, a residence for those in need of additional support services. Amenities include fresh healthy meals, a 24-hour café with home-made baked goods, hair and nail salon, library, living room, great room for concerts and shows, dining room and outdoor courtyard area for seasonal activities.
“This open house is a chance for area residents to personally meet our amazing staff and residents and find out, first hand, what assisted living is all about,” explains Executive Director Yari Velez. “In addition to personalized tours, we can answer questions about the affordability of assisted living as well as the tax credit program.” She added, “Finding the right place to live for seniors can be a complicated process; our goal is to make the process as easy as possible.”
The open house will be held from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday, December 5 at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea. To RSVP to the open house and/or schedule a private tour, please call Terry Halliday at 98-854-1825 or email email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, a highly respected leader in senior living, employs over 1200 people and provides care to over 800 individuals daily, with campuses in Chelsea and Peabody, MA. Offering a full continuum of services, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare (www.chelseajewish.org) is redefining senior care and re-envisioning what life should be like for those living with disabling conditions. The eldercare community includes a wide array of skilled and short-term rehab residences, ALS and MS specialized care residences, traditional and specialized assisted living options, memory care, independent living, adult day health, geriatric care management, home care, personal care and hospice agencies that deliver customized and compassionate care.
Numerous media outlets reported on Wednesday that State Housing Secretary Jay Ash – the former Chelsea City Manager – has made an application to become the next city manager of Cambridge, possibly leaving the cabinet post on Beacon Hill for the confines of Cambridge.
Ash confirmed to the Globe on Wednesday that he has applied and is pursuing the job.
Ash did not return a request for comment from the Record in time for publication.
He was one of the first to join Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration in January 2015 and was credited with luring in and ushering in General Electric to Massachusetts earlier this year. He also concentrated on getting homeless families out of motels an into long-term housing situations – something that he worked on also while in Chelsea.
Ash also told the Globe that his current job requires a lot of travel across the state and prevents him from focusing in on one community. Rather, he said, he is constantly rushing from one place to another listening to the needs of various locales.
His expertise in drilling down on problems, as he did in Chelsea one by one, is not particularly as useful in his current position.
The city manager position in Cambridge would also nearly double his salary, the Globe reported.
Ash’s current salary is approximately $160,000, while the salary for the Cambridge city manager exceeds $300,000.
A decision on the position is expected by the City Council in Cambridge this fall.
A new provision being considered over the summer regarding zoning ordinances would allow the Methadone Clinic on Crescent Avenue and MGH-Chelsea to establish substance abuse counseling centers near their current site – though no medications would be allowed to be dispensed.
The Methadone Clinic on Crescent Avenue has recently come under fire, and particularly at a public meeting last month hosted by Councillors Luis Tejada, Roy Avellaneda and Leo Robinson. At that meeting, a huge turnout of residents opposed to the location of the clinic asked its owner if he would move it. The discussion went on for more than an hour.
All of the sudden, the Methadone Clinic seems to be a top concern of the public.
Now, City Manager Tom Ambrosino is proposing that the Council allow the clinic to expand its counseling services to an office building next door on Crescent Avenue through a change in the zoning ordinances. The change would also allow MGH-Chelsea to operate a counseling center near its location on Everett Avenue.
The change in zoning provides a definition of a counseling center, which stipulates that under no circumstances can it dispense medication. It also allows such centers to locate more easily in certain zoning districts of the city, including the Light Industrial and Highway Business Districts.
“There’s been no indication the Methadone Clinic is moving,” said Ambrosino. “The discussions we’ve had is the would like to have more counseling at a location next door. They have said they want to do more counseling to accompany the medication. MGH supports this idea too…There is a need for more counseling and we don’t have a zoning ordinance that allows it. We’re proposing to add it by special permit in these few districts away from residential areas.”
The change is part of a very large zoning package Ambrosino submitted to the Council right before its summer recess. The Council has been considering the many changes and proposals over the summer, and is expected to vote on it at the first meeting in the fall.
Last week, the Planning Board held a hearing on the ordinance for counseling centers, and took it under advisement.
Ambrosino said he knows the history of the Clinic, including the unpopular court order to put it on Crescent Avenue, but stressed that there would be no medication dispensed at the proposed counseling centers. He also said the Methadone Clinic has been responsive in recent years where maybe they weren’t in the past.
“In my tenure here, the Clinic has been pretty good to work to address problems when we’ve asked them to do so,” he said.