North Suffolk Mental Health Association Partnering With CHA to Fight Opioid Epidemic in Local Cities

North Suffolk Mental Health Association Partnering With CHA to Fight Opioid Epidemic in Local Cities

Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), an academic community health-system serving Everett and Boston’s metro-north region, is teaming up with the North Suffolk Mental Health Association (NSMHA) to help get individuals struggling with addiction connected to treatment by piloting a new recovery-coach program at CHA Everett Hospital. Two coaches from NSMHA are now available to patients who struggle with addiction or present with mental health issues in the Emergency Department, inpatient psychiatry and CHA’s med-surg units.

The total number of estimated and confirmed opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts, through the first nine months of 2017, was over 1,400 – a 10-percent reduction from the same period in 2016. At the same time, from 2012 – 2016, over 70 people in Everett died from opioid misuse.

The pilot program places recovery coaches in direct contact with patients, on a voluntary basis, following an overdose reversal with naloxone, the lifesaving anti-opioid medication. The aim is to link individuals to treatment and recovery services locally. Other patients may present with medical conditions related to substance use and the recovery coach can use this opportunity to engage the patient in treatment.

“A recovery coach is a person who helps remove personal and environmental obstacles to recovery, noted Kim Hanton, director of addiction services at the North Suffolk Mental Health Association.”

“Coaches serve as personal guides and mentors supporting individual and family recovery where support networks are limited.  NSMHA has incorporated this model throughout the addiction division since 2013.  We are thrilled to partner with CHA sharing each of our expertise to build a continuum of support which begins at the most vulnerable time – entrance into the emergency department”

CHA’s chief of emergency medicine, Benjamin Milligan, MD, and a group of providers in the Emergency Department, including Josh Mularella, DO, Emily Adams, PA, and Christine Trotta, PA, ran the Boston Marathon last year and dollars raised through their efforts helped to fund the pilot initiative.

NSMHA’s recovery coaches are trained and certified professionals who guide or mentor patients seeking recovery support from alcohol and other drug addictions. Recovery coaches do not provide clinical services, instead they offer the critical support or link to the services and resources that a person needs to achieve and sustain recovery.

“We are excited to have recovery coaches embedded at CHA Everett Hospital and believe they will strengthen the hospital’s role as a link in patient’s long-term ‘chain of recovery,’” commented Melisa Lai- Becker, MD, site chief of emergency medicine at CHA Everett Hospital. “The ability to partner a patient immediately with a peer who is able to help them navigate to the next link in the chain is invaluable. We are optimistic that the program will have a lasting impact and we may expand the initiative in the future providing a model for a potential statewide network of peer recovery coaches.”

Immediate support when a crisis occurs is vital for effective engagement in recovery and treatment. When a patient arrives at the CHA Everett Hospital Emergency Department he/she is offered a NSMHA recovery coach during peak hours (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

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Remembering ‘Bear’ Burke

Remembering ‘Bear’ Burke

 When the Chelsea Youth Baseball League, more widely known as the Pony League, was at its height of popularity from the late 1960s through the 1980s, when large crowds made their way to Merritt and Voke Parks for nightly games, James “Bear” Burke was one of the true coaching legends.

James Burke

James Burke

Mr. Burke, a Chelsea baseball coaching force and former employee of the Chelsea DPW, died on Jan. 24, 2018. He was 75.

The managers in the Pony League were giants in the eyes of their players. Pony League was huge in those days and you had to tryout and be selected in a player draft.

You begin with manager Larry Notkin, whose eye for talent was second to none and whose Red Sox, Cubs, and Royals teams were always a title contender. Al Palladino was the knowledgeable and nervous manager of the Twins (and then the Yankees), perpetually dispensing words of baseball wisdom to his players.

Paul Casino, clerk to the Chelsea City Council, was so popular and respected as the manager of the Angels. He was elected easily to the Chelsea School Committee and Board of Aldermen and served this city well. Casino coached some of the league’s all-time greats including Bobby Spinney, Paul Spracklin, and Eric Shuman.

Richie Pezzuto was the highly energetic manager of the Astros, taking Dennis “Hawk” Murray as the No. 1 pick in one of the drafts and building a powerhouse.

George Triant managed the Orioles, who with a lineup of Mike Lush, Jerry Dion, Bobby Ham, Larry Skara, Wayne Morris, Paul Halas, and other big-time players, became the only team in league history to go undefeated.

Steve Socha took over the Red Sox and had all-time Little League All-Star southpaw Paul Wheeler, a terrific hockey and baseball player, on his roster.

And then there was Jimmy “Bear” Burke, the beloved manager of the Pirates who exuded his enthusiasm for the game of baseball every time he stepped on the field. The “Bear,” as he was affectionately known, knew his baseball well. His in-game exchanges with the other managers, especially Notkin, were of a competitive nature. All the managers were friendly rivals trying hard and devoting countless hours of practice time to their teams with the hope of claiming the coveted playoff championship.

Al Palladino remembers tangling with “Bear” as an opposing coach and then having him as his assistant coach. He has fond memories of his longtime friend.

“I feel so bad that Bear has passed away,” said Palladino. “He was such a good guy. He had a kind heart. I coached against him when he had the Pirates and he came back and coached with me when I had Paul Nowicki on my team.”

Palladino recalled a humorous interaction that the Bear had with another local sports legend, the late Arnold Goodman, during a league meeting. “They were on opposites of an issue but the Bear stood up and said, ‘I make a motion because Arnie Goodman says so,’ “and everyone in the room just broke out in laughter because Jimmy and Arnie had finally agreed to agree on the matter.”

Bucky Cole, one of the Pony League’s greatest ballplayers, was a member of Bear’s Pirates team in the mid-1960s. Cole joined the Pirates after a sensational career in the Chelsea Little League where he was that era’s Mike Lush.

“I was a proud member of his Pirates team and we played Larry Notkin’s Red Sox team in the finals and we lost to them,” recalled Cole. “The Bear put his heart and soul in to coaching. He really loved coaching. He and Larry were good friends but they were always rivals to the final game. It was like the Yankees and the Red Sox going at it. He was a great guy.”

Cole said he also worked with James “Bear” Burke in the Chelsea Park Department.

“What’s interesting is that my son, Tommy, also had the Bear as a coach when he was 16 years old,” said Cole. “That’s how long he coached.”

And that’s how long the Bear was a positive influence on Chelsea youths – for a lifetime.

The city of Chelsea has lost another widely revered personality in its sports history.

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Good Samaritans Help Injured Dog in Everett

Good Samaritans Help Injured Dog in Everett

Jamie-Lee Hersey, of Wakefield, was driving along Revere Beach Parkway at approximately 11 p.m. on Tuesday night when she came across a severely injured dog in the middle of the road alongside Simoniz Car Wash.  Instinctively, she immediately pulled over to help the dog, and was joined by another good Samaritan, Chris Desrochers, of Revere, who stopped to assist.

Together, Hersey and Desrochers barricaded the small dog between barrels at the car wash in order to shield it from further injury as they contacted the Everett Police Department.

Within minutes, Everett Animal Control Officer Stacia Gorgone was on scene to assist, despite being off duty at the time.  Gorgone described the scene as gruesome.

“The bottom half of his body was mutilated” she said about the small dog, and she suspected that he would need a leg amputation if he managed to survive.

A video reveals the dog was idle in the middle of the road, but the injuries are more consistent with a fall as opposed to being struck by a vehicle.  After the story circulated on social media,  Animal Control received an anonymous tip that someone had witnessed what they believed was a sweatshirt, thrown from a vehicle window at the same location within the same time range.  The Everett Police Department are currently investigating whether these injuries were a case of abuse or an unintentional accident.  Nobody has come forward to claim the dog as their own.

“It’s not clear if it’s intentional or an accident,” Gorgone explained, concerned after hearing the witness account.

While vets originally tried to save the dog’s leg, Gorgone shared the dog has since had his leg amputated, but is under great care.

“He is doing amazing,” she shared.  “He got his leg amputated as to not prolong suffering.”

The dog is currently under care with the DogMother LLC, a local holding facility for animals.  Due to high medical bills, a GoFundMe has been set up to alleviate expenses.  Already, over $9,000 has been accumulated, but volunteers are working relentlessly to raise more funding.

Since the incident, Hersey and Desrochers have already been in the process of adopting rescue dogs of their own.  Gorgone, who is an advocate for animal rescue, explained this is the silver lining to the injured pup’s story:  “Not only did they save this dog, but they were inspired to rescue other dogs, too.”

Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/HelpJamiePup and anyone with further information about the indecent is encouraged to contact the Everett Police Department at 617-387-1212.

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Coming to a TV Near You:Hollywood Hits Revere Beach for a New Pilot Program

Coming to a TV Near You:Hollywood Hits Revere Beach for a New Pilot Program

by Sue Woodcock

Film crews descended on Revere Beach Boulevard and Bill Ash’s Lounge at the end of last week. Crews were filming a television pilot for Showtime called, “City on the Hill” and a scene called “The Approval.”

Crews have also been filming in Malden. Star actor Kevin Bacon (Footloose) is tagged to be a part of the show although he was not in Revere.

The scenes are set in the late 1980s or early 90s and the show is supposed to be a “cop-type” drama.

The Department of Recreation and Conservation (DCR) closed down Revere Beach Boulevard from just before Shirley Avenue to Revere Street. One scene being shot was along the boulevard starting at the Bandstand and traveling down to the State Police Barracks. The shot, captured from a camera mounted to the top of a blacked out Porsche Cayenne (rented out for two days at $40,000, according to a crew member.) The scene being filmed showed an armored car truck being followed by a minivan.

All the vehicles being used are late 1980s and 90s models. There was an old Lincoln Continental, a Jeep Grand Wagoner with wood paneling and an old Volvo.

The outside of Bill Ash’s Lounge was transformed to the “Ebb-Tide” a restaurant/bar type of place. Last Wednesday afternoon about 20 electricians and crew members were inside the dive redoing all the lighting.

The crew was very tight-lipped about what they were working on and unknowing members of the public who just wanted to go for a walk, were redirected away from the filming areas.

No word on when the show will air.

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From the FBI Building Opening to MS-13 Guilty Pleas,Chelsea was Full of News in 2017

From the FBI Building Opening to MS-13 Guilty Pleas,Chelsea was Full of News in 2017

By Seth Daniel

There were more than a few big news items in Chelsea this year.

In fact, there were too many to include in a review of the year in news as the city began to move faster and faster throughout the year.

Here is a sprinkling of some of the top news items from the Chelsea Record in 2017:

• Chelsea High students returned in January to a fly-free building. Student had missed a substantial amount of school in December due to a fly epidemic in Chelsea High. Work crews used the Winter Break to fix the problem.

• Chelsea the Sanctuary City was upended and scared for what the future might hold when new President Donald Trump issues an executive order in January to defund Sanctuary Cities. Chelsea and Lawrence quickly file a lawsuit to prevent the order from being acted upon. The order was later ruled unconstitutional by an Appeals Court on the West Coast.

• On Feb. 16, more than 41 businesses in the Broadway area close down for the day and more than 2,000 students are absent from Chelsea Public Schools during the national Day Without an Immigrant protest. The streets are eerily quiet in the normally bustling Broadway business district.

• The new FBI Boston headquarters holds its official ribbon cutting ceremony after having been open four months on March 7. Former FBI Director James Comey – then the director – was on hand to welcome Chelsea officials and regional law enforcement to the ceremony.

• The Homewood Suites Hotel and Function Room opens in March to the public and its owner, Colwen Hotels, pulls a building permit in the same month to begin construction on a new hotel on Broadway at the Revere/Chelsea line. The hotel continues to be under construction.

• A Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) plan to redevelop the Central Avenue housing development with private developer Corcoran is shot down by a vote of the City Council on April 24 due to Corcoran asking to be permitted to use some non-union workers on the job. An amended plan for the development is expected in 2018.

• The Chelsea Police and community/business leaders launch a new Downtown Task Force on May 1. Four beat officers have been assigned to the Broadway corridor and will meet with residents, City departments and business owners once a week.

• Scores of MS-13 members from Chelsea and surrounding areas – including multiple admitted murderers – begin to plead guilty to charges against them in Boston Federal Court. By year’s end, 27 of 61 individuals indicted in the three-year investigation have plead guilty.

• A huge debate breaks out over the summer in the midst of the Re-Imagining Broadway initiative about whether Broadway should become a two-way street in the business district. The matter has not been settled as of yet. It has been one-way for more than 50 years.

• Gov. Charlie Baker commits to funding a new $199 million Quigley Hospital at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home during a press conference in May. Later in the summer, the plan draws major controversy when it is revealed that the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home water tower must come down to make way for the new hospital. The water tower is seen as a symbol of the City for many.

• In another blow to tradition, the historic Chelsea Clock building on Everett Avenue comes down in October to make way for more than 700 units of apartment dwellings.

• Chelsea High School graduates 309 students on June 11 at commencement. It is the largest class in more than 15 years.

• Three incumbent councillors announce before summer recess that they will not run for re-election. They include Dan Cortell, Matt Frank and Paul Murphy.

• Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home on Lafayette Street celebrates a $16 million renovation project on June 21 with a huge ribbon cutting celebration.

• The Chelsea Fire Department gets a federal SAFER grant to add eight new members to the Fire Department. It adds to two new positions already committed to by the City. The 10 new firefighters are sworn in on Nov. 20. It is the largest expansion of the Fire Department contingent since receivership in the 1990s.

• Outdoor seating on Broadway is approved for area establishments. The new Ciao Market leads the way by putting a seating area on the sidewalk in Chelsea Square – a pioneering move for the City.

• The MassDOT Board approves a plan for major, multi-year rehabilitation work on the Mystic/Tobin Bridge and the Chelsea Viaduct. A vigorous debate over construction impacts and the scope of the project ensues between MassDOT and City officials.

• A group of Chelsea stakeholders and City officials announce that the City has won the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize at a Sept. 20 Chamber of Commerce meeting. The victory comes after nearly a year of planning, submissions and site visits. It comes with a $25,000 cash prize and a substantial amount of cache.

• CAPIC human services celebrates 50 years as a service provider in Chelsea, Winthrop and Revere. The Chelsea-based organization celebrates with a grand gala that united new and old members of the organization.

• The community rallies around families, friends and strangers facing catastrophe in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hits the island in the fall. Many residents flock to the Chelsea Collaborative to work in the relief efforts as a way of coping with the stress of not hearing from relatives.

• Three new councillors are elected to the City Council in the Nov. 7 City Election, including Calvin Brown, Bob Bishop and Joe Perlatonda. All three, however, have served previously on the City Council or former Board of Aldermen.

• The MBTA announces in December that most Silver Line Stations are nearing completion and service on the new Bus Rapid Transit line could begin as soon as April 2018. The new line will be known a SL3 and will go from the Market Basket Mall to the Seaport, via Logan Airport.

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‘Buy-Bye’:Major Chelsea Police Bust Targets Bellingham Square Drug Dealing

‘Buy-Bye’:Major Chelsea Police Bust Targets Bellingham Square Drug Dealing

Teams of officers saturated the Bellingham Square area Thursday morning, Dec. 7, and arrested several individuals on warrants for illegal distribution of cocaine and heroin as part of an undercover operation targeting street level dealing.

“This operation is an important piece in our all-encompassing effort in addressing the opiate issue in Chelsea,” said Chief Brian Kyes. “Our officers will continue to prioritize enforcement, community policing and to work with our partners to guide individuals suffering from addiction into treatment.”

The Chelsea Police Department with assistance from the Everett Police Department secured 20 arrest warrants on individuals as part of a three-month undercover operation named “Buy-Bye.” The operation targeted drug dealing in the Bellingham Square area of the city and included a search warrant and arrest in Everett. The Chelsea Police Department Drug Unit obtained warrants from both Chelsea District Court and Suffolk Superior Court based on evidence of hand to hand drug deals made to undercover officers.

Chelsea investigators are confident that all 20 individuals will be placed into custody.

As of Dec. 10, those arrested in Chelsea were:

  • Julie Maskell, 41, of Revere, on one warrant.
  • Luis Martinez, 49, of 108 Clark Ave., on one warrant.
  • Brittany Lopes-Rattigan, 28, of 2 Franklin Ave., on two warrants.
  • Robert Dellorfano, 37, of 15 Watts St., on one warrant.
  • Stacy Lightell, 43, of 10 Jones Dr., on one warrant.
  • Stanley Jeannis, 40, of Woburn, was charged with distribution of a Class B drug, possession to distribute a Class B drug, possession to distribute a Class A drug, drug violation near a school and one warrant.
  • Jimmall Marshall, 27, of 45 Fourth St., was charged with distribution of a Class B drug (subsequent offense) and one warrant.

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Massachusetts RMV Takes Steps to Make More Customers Eligible for Online Transactions

Massachusetts RMV Takes Steps to Make More Customers Eligible for Online Transactions

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is taking steps to allow more customers the opportunity to renew a driver’s license or ID card online. The RMV has extended the length of time a customer can use a license photo from 9 years to 14 years which means more customers than ever are eligible for online renewals.

In addition, customers will be eligible to renew their licenses or ID cards online for two consecutive renewal periods.  This will result in approximately 30,000 additional renewal transactions eligible to be processed online each month.  With thousands of additional customers now eligible to conduct renewals online, the amount of customers who must visit a service center will decrease, which will make in-person transactions more efficient for customers who do need to visit RMV service locations.

“The Registry is pleased to offer these helpful enhancements to service options that are currently available to our customers,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney. “We encourage customers to conveniently renew their driver’s license or MA ID card online if they are eligible to do so, saving a trip to a service center and perhaps avoiding holiday traffic too.”

Licenses and ID cards will need to be renewed in person at RMV service centers or AAA locations (for AAA members) every third renewal period (once every 15 years).  Customers should also know that they don’t need to wait for the RMV’s birthday card reminder to renew.  They can go online and renew up to 12 months in advance.

To be eligible for online renewal, a customer’s license/ID card photo must be less than 14 years old and must have been taken after the customer’s 21st birthday.

The RMV invites license and/or ID card holders to visit www.mass.gov/how-to/renew-your-drivers-license to check their license status and renew online.

Effective March 26, 2018, the RMV is changing the way customers get and renew their driver’s licenses and ID cards. On that date, the RMV will begin to issue driver’s licenses and ID cards which meet the federal requirement for credentials which are REAL ID compliant.

Massachusetts residents do not need a REAL ID until after October 2020, and will only need a REAL ID for air travel or to enter a U.S. government building.  On October 1, 2020, the following credentials will be accepted where REAL ID is required:  a valid U.S or foreign passport, U.S. passport card, military ID, or a driver’s license or ID that is REAL ID compliant.

Anyone with questions about REAL ID may visit: www.mass.gov/realID.

Additional information can be found on the website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.

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Councillor Wants Answers on 5th St Onramp

Councillor Wants Answers on 5th St Onramp

By Seth Daniel

The upcoming Chelsea Viaduct state highway project may include plans to eliminate the 5th Street onramp next to the Williams School, and Councillor Roy Avellaneda said he wants answers about the plan.

Avellaneda said at the Nov. 20 Council meeting that he has learned that MassDOT is considering closing down the onramp, which he said is critical for making sure the downtown and Everett Avenue are not flooded with vehicle traffic at certain times of the day.

“There is a proposal by MassDOT to close the 5th Street onramp to the Tobin Bridge at Arlington Street adjacent to the MITC Building,” he said. “They are talking…about doing away with it and eliminating it. It jumps off the page to me. I am wondering what impact that will have to the other two off-ramps and what kind of drastic impact it will have on our downtown.”

The MITC (Massachusetts Information Technology Center) Building is a state-owned building that houses computer technology and electronic records for the state. It has several hundreds employees.

A spokesman for MassDOT would not confirm or deny that there is a plan to take away the on-ramp. He said the plans are still in design for the overall viaduct project, and a public process with members of the community is underway.

A meeting took place earlier this month in Chelsea to discuss the project, which will begin in 2016.

“The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is continuing to move forward with the design of the Chelsea Viaduct Rehabilitation Project and is committed to rehabilitating this important structure to ensure long term reliability throughout this area,” said the spokesman in a statement. “MassDOT has developed a comprehensive public participation plan that will engage local civic leaders and elected officials, area businesses and members of the community as well as commuters.”

The land where the onramp is located was actually taken by the Highway Department decades ago when the Tobin/Mystic Bridge was being constructed. That particular piece of land was the home to Union Park – a park that housed the Civil War statue now across the street from City Hall. The park was laid out in a “spoke” formation with all paths leading to the Civil War monument in the center. However, during the Bridge construction, it was part of a massive land-taking in Chelsea and was designated for highway use.

It’s on that basis where Avellaneda said he wants more information. He said he wants to know what the plan is for that land if the onramp is taken away. He said since it was taken by eminent domain for highway use, it should be returned to the City if it is no longer a highway use.

He said he has suspicions that the state just wants to use the land to create more parking for the MITC employees.

“Do they want to expand parking for the MITC?” he asked. “That land was taken by eminent domain for one purpose and that was for a highway. If the highway is no longer using it for a highway, that land should go back to the City. That land was taken away from Chelsea and should not go to the MITC for parking and for them to continue their spread. The plan for 5th Street needs to be found and any hidden agenda out there needs to be found.”

The Chelsea Viaduct is a structure which runs between the Tobin Bridge to where Route 1 crosses above County Road and the Viaduct carries traffic through the area known as the “Chelsea Curves.”

The Chelsea Viaduct is structurally deficient and in need of repair and rehabilitation in order to ensure the reliability of this important connection.

Working with the City of Chelsea, residents living near the Viaduct, roadway users, and other stakeholders, the project team is currently designing a plan for construction that minimizes and mitigates temporary construction impacts. MassDOT’s current schedule includes reaching the 25 percent design milestone before the end of this year, continuing design and related work throughout the winter, and then advertising the project to potential construction bidders in the spring of 2018.

When completed, the Viaduct Rehabilitation project will provide repairs to the structure’s supports and a new travel surface for vehicles traveling on it. Work on the viaduct will be coordinated with construction activities occurring as part of the separate Tobin Bridge Deck Rehabilitation Project.

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Historic Hand Raising

Historic Hand Raising

CHEL_20171122_A1

The Chelsea Fire Department (CFD) celebrated a grand swearing-in ceremony as hasn’t been seen in many years. Some 10 new firefighters were sworn in by Assistant City Clerk Patty Lewis and two firefighters were promoted. The historic night brings the CFD contingent up to 102 members.Chief Len Albanese said the new firefighters would bolster the ranks in a way that hasn’t been seen since receivership.

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Council Looks to Create Committee to Study Parking Around Upcoming Silver Line

Council Looks to Create Committee to Study Parking Around Upcoming Silver Line

By Seth Daniel

The Chelsea City Council voted 11-0 to on Monday night to begin looking at the forthcoming, new Silver Line Stations and how to prevent commuters from hogging parking spaces.

Councillor Roy Avellaneda introduced the order at Monday’s Council meeting in order to get ahead of what could certainly become an immediate problem once the Silver Line opens some time in the spring.

With working moving at a rapid pace, and residents now able to see the stations and where they will be, Avellaneda said he was compelled to call for some sort of study.

“There areas of the city where these new stations would open are certainly vulnerable and we should think about some parking regulations around them,” he said. “I can imagine there will be outsiders parking in these areas if allowed. So that we don’t harm our residents living in these areas, we should look at doing these parking restrictions now.”

Avellaneda received unanimous support on the Council, and his order calls for a working group to be assembled to look at what might work at the new stations.

The working group would include city councillors, the city manager, the city clerk, the police chief and the Planning Department.

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