St. Mary’s High School sophomore guard Christina Nowicki played in the Boverini Basketball Tournament in Lynn with a heavy heart, having lost her grandmother, Beverly Nowicki, who died on Dec. 27 after a long and courageous battle against illnesses.
Christina and her sister, Mia, a St. Mary’s 2017 graduate, a freshman at Assumption College and an All-Scholastic softball pitcher, each delivered beautiful remarks in memory of their beloved grandmother at the funeral Dec. 29 at the Welsh Funeral Home in Chelsea. Grandson John Paul Nowicki was also present at the memorial observance.
Paul Nowicki gave a heartfelt eulogy about his mother, who was a registered nurse and director of the Cottage Manor and On Broadway Nursing Homes in Chelsea.
Paul remembered how residents of the nursing home would often comment to him about the tremendous care his mother and her staff provided to the residents.
“It was overwhelming how much good she brought to everyone else,” related Paul.
Mrs. Nowicki and her husband, retired Chelsea firefighter Fred Nowicki, provided tremendous support and encouragement to Paul and his brother, Scott throughout their lives. Paul is undisputedly one of the greatest athletes in Chelsea history. He was a three-sport performer and two-sport All-Scholastic at Matignon High School and went on to earn a spot in the Division 1 Clemson University football program. Mr. and Mrs. Nowicki were at all their sons’ games beginning in Chelsea Little League and Chelsea Youth Hockey, humbly remaining in the background as Paul brought countless memories with his exploits on the field and in the rink, and the many individual awards he received.
“Scott and I always said that Mom was our foundation,” said Paul. “Dad was the provider and the protector and mom was the foundation. Mom was everything to Scott and me and it is something that will never be replaced. In good times and bad times, mom was always there for both of us.’’
Speaking to his father, Paul noted, “As Mia and Christina said, your love for my mom, how you treated mom, how you provided for mom, how you protected mom – it inspires us every day and will continue to inspire us every day.”
Paul was elected as an alderman and city councillor in Chelsea and it was mother, a popular resident of the city and the daughter of Police Capt. Robert Renfrew, who organized those successful political campaigns.
Paul told the gathering how the doors of the family home were always open to family and friends, thanks to the warmth and kindness of his gracious mother, who made everyone feel welcomed at the Nowicki residence.
“It was always an open door at the house and there was no better time than Christmastime – mom and dad would host both sides of the family and then around 5 o’clock the doors would open and in come all the friends and those are the times I remember,” said Paul. “You realized you were a part of something bigger.”
Addressing his many friends, Paul said, “No matter when you came in to our lives, my mother always loved you guys because you were loyal to Scott and me and that meant a lot to us because my mom respected and liked you so much an that Scott and I made good decisions with our friends.”
In Beverly Nowicki, Chelsea has lost one of its most popular and well-known citizens. The children of Paul and Tracy Nowicki and the grandchildren of Fred Nowicki and Beverly Nowicki are carrying on the family’s legacy with their excellence in athletics, combined with their exemplary character, cordiality, and kindness.
CHS boys soccer drops 2-1 heartbreaker to Boston Latin in tourney
The Chelsea High boys soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision in as excruciating a fashion as possible in the first round of the Division 1 North Sectional of the MIAA State Soccer Tournament this past Saturday evening under the lights at Chelsea Stadium.
After spotting Latin a 1-0 lead in the first 15 minutes, the Red Devils, who entered the contest as the No. 7 seed in the D-1 North, settled down and soon came to control the play for most of the remainder of the contest.
However, it would not be until there were seven minutes left to play that Chelsea would bring the score back to level when Red Devil senior Jephte Marcellus found the back of the Latin net. Fellow senior Kevin Vasquez set up the goal with a superb crossing pass from his defensive position into the top of the box, where Marcellus settled the ball and drilled a powerful shot past the Latin keeper.
The teams then battled fiercely for the remainder of regulation and through both of the 10-minute overtime periods. After a total of 100 minutes of play, the contest came down to penalty kicks, with each side getting five.
Chelsea went first and the teams alternated, with the first four attempts by both teams finding the back of the net. However, the Latin keeper guessed correctly on Chelsea’s fifth shot, making the save, and the fifth Latin shooter made good on his attempt to end the game.
“This by far was our best game of the season,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki of the Red Devils, whose last regular-season contest was a 5-0 rout of a tourney-qualifying Salem squad. “We had an early case of the jitters, but then played our style of ball and controlled the tempo. We were sharp at both ends of the field. It was just a tough way to lose.”
Milutinovic Coach of Year; Umanzor-Torres league MVP; four others named all-stars
Post-season accolades poured in for the Chelsea High boys soccer team at the meeting of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference coaches this past week.
Long-time CHS head coach Mick Milutinovic, who guided a young Red Devil squad to a CAC Large Division title after a slow start, was named the CAC Large’s Coach of the Year.
Red Devil senior captain Kevin Umanzo-Torres was named the Most Valuable Player of the CAC Large. Fellow captain Bryan Armas, the CHS keeper, and teammates Jephte Marcellus, Carlos Arevalo-Garcia, and Delmer Romero were named all-stars.
High finish for CHS star LeClerc in coaches’ meet
Last Saturday the CHS boys and girls cross-country teams traveled to Wrentham for the Frank Mooney State Coaches Invitational.
The Red Devils were led by senior captain Jose Leclerc who ran a personal best of 16:38 for the 3.1 mile course and was sixth out of 529 runners. Jose earned a medal for his extraordinary performance.
“Jose ran a smart race and moved up as the race wore on,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “This Saturday is the Eastern Massachusetts Division 2 championship, and Jose has a very good chance of qualifying for all-states, which is the top seven individuals who are not on an all-state qualifying team.”
Also running well for Chelsea were junior Justin Turner, who ran a 66-second personal record (PR) of 18:44. Yosef Rubin ran 18:57, which was a PR by 14 seconds.
Jazmany Reyes had a PR by 38 seconds, running 18:58. Limilson Tavares and Ronny Gomez each ran PR times, 19:07 and 19:08 respectively.
“We could have all of our top seven this week break 19:00, which has never happened before,” said Fay. “We have a lot of depth and one of the better runners in the state this year.”
For the Lady Red Devils, Yarid Deras medaled (top 50) with a 44th place performance among the 327 girls who were on the starting line. Yarid’s time of 21:24 was her second-best clocking on the Wrentham course.
Jocelyn Poste broke 22 minutes for the first time (21:58) and finished 65th. Amanda Dias finished in 106th place in 22:33 and Cynthia Mancia came across in 120th position.
Both the girls and boys teams will be returning Saturday to the state training facility in Wrentham to compete in the Division 2 Eastern Mass. championship race.
by Bob Morello
Bruins fighting the injuries
The month of November has started out pretty well for the Bruins, that is, when one considers the current extensive injury list of Boston. At press time the team had listed: Brad Marchand (upper body), Anton Khudobin (lower body), David Krejci (upper body), Ryan Spooner (abductor tear), Noel Acciari (fractured finger), David Backes (colon surgery), and Adam McQuaid (lower body). With a M.A.S.H.-like roster it is surprising that the Bs have been able to put up numbers that reflect their competitiveness and team depth. Coming into last night’s matchup with the New York Rangers, their stats show that with 13 games played, they are just three points behind second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division, with three games in hand, and five points behind second-place Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference with Boston holding four games in hand.
On the Bruins’ radar, following their trip to New York, will be a home-and-home series with Toronto this weekend. Friday (7 p.m.) the Leafs will host Boston, and the team returns home to Garden ice for the back end on Saturday. A good chance for the locals to move up the standings, both in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. Their schedule has the Bs right back on the road for a three-game road trip to the West Coast, that will have them visiting the Anaheim Ducks (Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 10 p.m.), the Los Angeles Kings (Thursday, Nov. 16 at 10:30 p.m.), and end their trip to the West with the San Jose Sharks (Saturday, Nov. 18 at 10:30 p.m.), before returning to the East Coast to be hosted by the New Jersey Devils (Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.).
Boston’s upcoming five-game schedule will have a huge impact on the team’s standings, and gives them a chance to recover their position, with many of the injured hopefully ready to return to the lineup. The return of Marchand was not expected for last night’s game with the Rangers, but he will likely be a game-day decision for both the Friday and Saturday Toronto games this weekend. Krejci has found his way to practice ice earlier this week, but is not penciled in for any of this week’s games. In goal last night (Wednesday) versus the Rangers, Khudobin was expected to be backing up Tuukka Rask, and if he continues to progress, he should be getting a start for Boston in the Toronto home-and-home series, Friday or Saturday. Noel Acciari is also expected to return for the Toronto series.
If there is a silver lining to the Bruins’ extensive injury report, it would be the fact that Boston has had an ample amount of time to test several of their youngsters toiling for the Providence Bruins. Several Baby B’s players have had impressive showings, and all have definitely enjoyed their stay with the big club, using the opportunity to show their NHL ability. It certainly has given the Bruins the potential of a ‘bright future!’
The Housing Court in Boston has been a refuge since the 1970s for mediation, litigation and resolution of all sorts of housing issues, but throughout all of that time, it has been closed off to Chelsea landlords, tenants and City officials.
Instead, they had to file cases in Chelsea District Court with court officials who were more adept at understanding criminal statutes rather than housing codes and laws. It was a constant point of contention, as many in the city wished for the professional expertise of those in the Housing Court division.
That wish came true on July 1, and Housing Court Chief Justice Timothy Sullivan and Department Administrator Paul J. Burke told the Record they are busy rolling out the court right now to the rest of the state – including Chelsea. That comes after it was approved in the State Budget this year, an appropriation and direction from the Legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker to bring housing court to everyone.
“Over the years we grew to have five divisions in Housing Court, but there were still 84 communities underserved or unserved by the court,” said Judge Sullivan. “In July, the State Budget authorized us to expand and absorb those communities. Previously, for example, in Chelsea and Revere, one had no access to Housing Court. They could litigate disputes, but it had to be in district court.”
Housing Court began in the 1970s to address substandard housing conditions in Boston, and gradually grew to other areas of the state. However, that specialized court never go the go-ahead to expand everywhere to offer their unique services.
Judges and staff in Housing Court are specially trained and have tremendous expertise in housing issues – particularly when it comes to mediating landlord-tenant disputes or evictions, which make up about 66 percent of the 41,000 cases filed annually. Another 15 percent come from municipalities looking to enforce the sanitary code or code violations on problem properties.
The call is nothing new for Chelsea to be absorbed into Housing Court, and even Supreme Judicial Court Justice Ralph Gants has been a strong advocate for the creating of a statewide Housing Court – not to mention numerous local housing organizations.
However, it wasn’t until this year that the call was answered, and Sullivan said they were ready and continue to ramp things up.
Already, he said, many cases that had previously been filed in Chelsea District Court for Revere and Chelsea have been transferred to the new Eastern Division in Boston’s Edward Brooke Courthouse.
Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop will now be included in the jurisdiction of that Eastern Division. The Legislation also creates a new, Sixth Division, on the South Shore – currently being rolled out in Brockton. It will be known as Metro South.
The Western Division has no change, but the other divisions throughout the state will also be absorbing the communities like Chelsea who have had no access to the specialized services of the Housing Court.
“As we build our new Sixth Division in Norfolk County, we’ll also be absorbing probably 52 to 54 communities in other parts of the state – for example Chelsea and Revere – in four of our five existing divisions,” said Sullivan.
“We have really hit the ground running,” he continued. “Fortunately, with Paul Burke’s expertise, this had been talked about for some time and he had a plan on the shelf ready to go. This idea to expand had been kicking around for a bit in the State House, probably for about four years or more. Paul did a magnificent job preparing for that.”
One of the major services that will now be offered to Chelsea resident through Housing Court is access to a Housing Specialist to help mediate cases before the come to a judge.
“The Housing Specialists are very skilled at bringing people together, both sides, to work out an agreeable resolution to landlord/tenant disputes,” said Sullivan.
Burke said 80 percent of the cases mediated by a Housing Specialist resulted in an Agreement for Judgment, and presumably meaning that all parties left the courthouse satisfied and that the judge never had to engage with the parties.
Last Thursday, which is known as Summary Judgment Day, the Edward Brooke Courthouse was teeming with people coming to resolve housing cases – most of them landlords and tenants trying to work out disputes.
At the first of the day, their cases are called in a large courtroom to make sure everyone on both sides has appeared. If everyone is present, they usually move the case to a Housing Specialist. After a brief wait, the parties mediate the case with the Specialist.
If an agreement is worked out, an Assistant Clerk Magistrate can resolve the case with a short hearing. Then all parties are free to go and are to follow the new agreement – whether it be repairs or rent payments.
Anyone not satisfied, however, can ask to see the judge and, later in the day, go before the judge to discuss the matter.
Another program is related to the Housing Specialist program, but deals with anyone who might have a disability. It is called the Tennessee Preservation Project (TPP).
Clinicians who specialize in disabilities of all kinds are immediately called in to consult with court staff if anyone on a case is eligible for the services. They can consult and help to also resolve the case.
“They can help come up with a plan to accommodate the disabled individual and try to prevent homelessness, and at the same time alleviate the landlord’s problem as a result of the disability,” said Sullivan.
One example where that could apply is in a situation where there is a problem with Hoarding – or the gathering of things to the point where it violates the Sanitary Code. Any agreement made in consult with TPP can be rolled into an Agreement for Judgment with the Housing Specialist – meaning both parties are accountable to the agreement and it can be brought back before a judge is one party does not uphold it.
One of the final benefits now offered is the Lawyer for a Day program, where lawyers from the community volunteer their time and talent to assist those coming in without representation.
In a place like Housing Court, that is crucial, Sullivan said, because many don’t bring a lawyer.
Burke said more than 70 percent of litigants come without a lawyer, and the program helps people understand what is a very complex section of the law dealing with housing.
“The Lawyer for a Day program is of tremendous value to litigants,” said Sullivan.
For cities and towns, the entry into Housing Court is also a major boon, and they were likely the voices that finally pushed the effort over the top legislatively.
With so many foreclosures coming after the 2008 housing crisis hit, many cities and towns underserved by Housing Court found themselves in a difficult situation when trying to enforce the building and sanitary code on vacant homes tied up in foreclosure.
Municipalities had to get a court-appointed receiver to take over the home, which is something Housing Court is accustomed to, but District Court is not.
Many times, housing law expertise was needed, but cases had to be filed in the District Court.
“Our staff is trained and skilled in all aspects related to building codes, fire codes and we’re equipped to deal with the Housing Statutes in a very efficient way,” Sullivan said.
The rollout of the court is still in progress, and includes adding five new judges to the existing 10 judges now serving on Housing Court. There will also be one new Clerk Magistrate for Norfolk County’s new division.
Burke said the hope is to be fully up and running in all divisions by the end of the next fiscal year, which is June 30, 2018. That will include getting new staff aboard next spring to help absorb the cases that are coming in from places like Revere and Chelsea.
A key resource for those who have a case in the new Housing Court is the Access Centers that are in each division, including the Edward Brooke Courthouse.
The Center is available and staffed to help litigants file forms and get information on an upcoming case. It’s not a resource for the day-of, but can be invaluable for those who check it out ahead of time.
“That’s a resource people need to affirmatively reach out for,” said Burke. “You don’t wait for your day in court to use it. You have to seek it out ahead of time and then you can really be prepared for your court date.”
Catarina Andrade is one of several Housing Specialists in the newly expanded Housing Court that are prepared to help landlords and tenants resolve cases before going to a judge. Some 80 percent of cases that go before a specialist are resolved agreeably without seeing a judge.
Assistant Clerk Magistrate Tom Trilla conducts a hearing on a case that was successfully mediated by a Housing Specialist last Thursday in the Edward Brooke Courthouse –which houses the newly expanded Eastern Division of Housing Court. Such access to mediators and hearings were previously not available to residents of Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop. They had to go through the District Court for housing disputes.
Attorney Patricio Rossi – a Winthrop resident – is one of the many attorneys that volunteer their time to help those without representation in Housing Court. The Lawyer for a Day Program is another amenity of Housing Court previously not available to those in Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop who had to filing housing cases in District Court.
Chris Barnes, X. Bonnie Woods and Ali Clift were just one group of Chelsea artists who gathered at the Mystic Brewery to kick off the City’s effort to identify all of the artists working and living in Chelsea. While artists have long been active in Chelsea, no one has ever identified all of them and what they do.
Chelsea has long had a budding artist community, but few have ever fully taken stock of just what talents are blossoming in Chelsea’s creative community.
That is all changing as the Chelsea Cultural Council begins its effort to do an assessment of artist in the city and their various talents.
The kick-off for the event took place last Thursday, July 27, at the Mystic Brewery – where artists new and old came out for an evening of socializing with one another and City leaders.
“This is something we’re doing in conjunction with the artist survey we’re running to identify all the artists who live and work in Chelsea,” said Sharlene McLean, chair of the Cultural Council. “We decided it would be nice to have an event to kick it off where artists could met each other. Also, many of us on the Cultural Council don’t know each other and many of the artist don’t know each other. The overall effort is to get a sense of the artistic resources here and what their ideas are about holding artist-related events that will help them…This will not be the last time we get together for certain.”
Bea Cravatta, director of the Recreation and Cultural Affairs Division, said having a sense of the artists in the community is extremely important.
The Cultural Council, she said, is an entity that fits under her department and one that needs to be enhanced a great deal.
“There’s a lot of financial support out there; it’s just about where to find it and is your timing right,” she said. “This work is the heart and soul of the city and very, very important for health and enjoyment of the entire city.”
Long-time artists X. Bonnie Woods said the event was enjoyable and it was nice to see the artists and the Cultural Council get together. It was the first time she recalled such a thing happening.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack announced today that Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin has decided to resign from MassDOT.
“From grueling snowstorms to toll demolitions, Tom Tinlin was there to see our highway projects through on time and on budget and he always brought his sense of humor and kindness to the job,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “He worked tirelessly to support the Commonwealth’s commuters to ensure everyone got to their destinations quickly and safely in every corner of the state. On behalf of the entire Administration, I thank him for his service and wish him the best of luck toward future endeavors.”
Jonathan Gulliver will continue in the role of Acting Highway Administrator through September. Gulliver was named Acting Administrator in May after it was announced that Mr. Tinlin would take time off to address a medical issue. Prior to being named Acting Administrator, Gulliver had served as Director of Highway Division District 3.
Tinlin was scheduled to return to his work as Highway Administrator this week after being off the job since May 1. In announcing his resignation today, he said, “I am grateful for the excellent care I received after suffering from a subarachnoid brain aneurysm rupture and would like to publicly thank Dr. Ajith Thomas and all of the doctors and nurses at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for returning me to 100 percent so I can start the next chapter of my life as a healthy husband and father.”
Tinlin added, “While I am excited about what lies ahead, this has been a difficult decision. I have truly loved serving the people of the Commonwealth, and the City of Boston, and have taken pride in my public service roles for decades. And I am grateful for all the mentors I have had along the way.”
Tinlin joined MassDOT in January 2014 as its Chief of Operations and Maintenance and in March 2015 was promoted to Highway Administrator.
“Tom has led the Highway Division with integrity and pride and this state’s transportation system is better because of his management,” said Secretary Pollack. “Tom’s strong work ethic, organizational skills, and collaborative style motivated employees, engaged the public and created partnerships benefitting everyone in the Commonwealth. Tom never wavered in making decisions in the best interest of public safety and leaves MassDOT with a reputation he is deserving of, as a responsive and dedicated public servant.”
Since Mr. Tinlin joined MassDOT, new initiatives were launched by the Highway Division, including Complete Streets which provides money to communities for street infrastructure work, and the Municipal Small Bridge Program, a several year $50 million program to aid towns and cities in replacing or renovating small municipally-owned bridges. Under his leadership, in October 2016, the state transitioned from manual to all-electronic toll collections, a project which involved, in part, having specific design, management and road reconstruction plans in 23 work zones from the New York border to Boston. In addition, Mr. Tinlin oversaw the introduction by MassDOT of technology to modernize highway operations and provide new tools to the public to use for travel, including “real-time” travel to destination highway signs and the 511 system. In managing the Highway Division staff of more than 2,500, Mr. Tinlin embraced a multi-modal approach to roadway design and led the implementation of transportation plans for countless planned and unplanned events for the Commonwealth.
Tinlin has spent nearly three decades in public service, working first for the City of Boston in a variety of roles and leaving the Menino Administration as Boston Transportation Commissioner. Tinlin holds a Master of Public Administration from Suffolk University and is active in many Boston organizations, participating in particular in many non-profit causes, many in the neighborhood of South Boston where he has grown up and raised his family.
When Councillor Giovanni Recupero walks around his district on streets like Suffolk Street and Hawthorne Street this summer, he’ll be walking on sidewalks.
That wasn’t the case for nearly 30 or more years, and the outspoken councillor this week is celebrating the end of a long fight to get the City to pay more attention to his oft-forgotten enclave of the city abutting Chelsea Creek. Just two summers ago, he took the Record on a tour of his district, much of which had no sidewalks, was littered with garbage and lacked even cursory street lighting – making it an inviting area for criminals and those who wished to dump dead bodies (which used to happen occasionally).
On Monday, he stood on the exact location at Suffolk and Highland Street where weeds, dirt and used drug needles formerly served as a sidewalk, and celebrated brand new concrete walking paths. It’s what would be the minimum in some neighborhoods, but was rare in District 6.
“That’s something the people here, including myself, thought would never be done,” he said. “I lived here 40 years and people never thought they would see a streetlight here and I never thought I would see a sidewalk on Suffolk Street. Everyone’s happy this summer. Why wouldn’t they be? These are things that have been neglected by the City for a very, very, very long time.”
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said the “love” for District 6 is part of an overall massive infrastructure investment in the City.
“The City is seeking to invest in infrastructure improvements, particularly streets and sidewalk, in many areas of the City,” he said. “The Council has been supportive, approving a Capital Improvement Plan in FY17 of $11 million and in FY18 of $19 million. As a result of this investment, residents of all areas of the City, including District 6, should see improvements that enhance their neighborhoods.”
In addition to the sidewalks and granite curbing on Suffolk Street, Hawthorne Street is currently getting sidewalks right now, and both will be paved this summer too. Last year, on Lynn Street and Lynn Street Extension, streetlights went up for the first time in decades – putting an end to the darkness and the crime that took place in the absent of well-lit streets.
On Wednesday, crews moved in to start paving and implementing sidewalks on Lynn Street as well. Lynn Street Extension will be paved, but it will not get sidewalks because residents preferred to have parking.
On Charles Street, a small street that has no residents and connects Suffolk and Marginal Streets, and abuts Boston Hides and Furs, Recupero pointed out a new streetlight just installed. He said it’s a small thing, but one that will prevent a lot of criminal activity in what is a dark and deserted area.
“They told me for a long, long time they couldn’t do this,” he said. “There it is so I guess they could do it. They just didn’t want to do it.”
Next year, Recupero has designs on getting the same thing done on Congress Avenue and Division Street, among others.
“District 6 should be equal to other districts,” he said. “It hasn’t been and that’s not fair because there are just as many hard-working people here as in the rest of Chelsea. They keep their properties nice and we should be able to keep the City property nice too.”
Say goodbye to the weeds! Councillor Giovanni Recupero walks along a sidewalk on Suffolk Street that seems to have more grass than sidewalk and it’s something he said is going to go away soon. Major resources have been allocated to District 6 this year and next year, it being the most neglected area of the city for years.
There’s a light shining in District 6 – a street light to be exact.
A major investment into the infrastructure of District 6 – located along the Chelsea Creek and back of the hill neighborhoods – is about to take place this fall and coming spring, and Councillor Giovanni Recupero is all smiles.
On a recent afternoon, while walking on a sidewalk that contained more grass that concrete due to years of neglect, Recupero pointed up to a street light on Lynn Street Extension, as well as new poles dotting the street all the way up Lynn Street and even down on Charles Street, next to the Boston Hides and Furs.
The poles are the locations for new streetlights, and not replacements, but rather locations on a street that was pitch black most nights and the center of a good amount of Chelsea’s street violence.
“It’s been dark over here for decades and it made it unsafe,” he said. “People didn’t feel safe. It was too dark at night. I asked for streetlights here for years and they told me that it could never be done, especially on Charles Street. Now it’s done. It was done with the help of the new City Manager and the new City Council who all have the best intentions of the people in mind. That’s why District 6 is finally getting attention. District 6 was the most neglected district in the city for years. It’s falling apart, but we’re going to get it back together now.”
In addition to that, Recupero happily announced that Lynn Street would be paved all the way to the top, which was a joint project with Councilor Enio Lopez.
He also said Suffolk Street would be paved and sidewalks re-instituted – it being one of the worst streets in the entire City for pavement and sidewalks. In fact, Recupero pointed to sidewalks on Suffolk that no long exist because they’ve become so overgrown and other sidewalks that seem like lawns interspersed with a little bit of concrete.
“The money is already allocated for Lynn Street and Suffolk Street,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time.”
Another major improvement, and something Recupero said he was also told could never be done, is getting a traffic stoplight on Charles Street so residents can cross Marginal Street to the PORT Park.
Using a little-known neighborhood improvement fund provided by Eastern Salt, Recupero said he was able to secure $141,000 to get the light placed on Marginal Street.
“We have this great new park over there, but no on goes to it because there is too much dog (waste) there and because, most important, it was too dangerous to cross the street,” he said. “There was no crosswalk to get there and cars go too fast. The Council never wanted to let me get that because it was so expensive, but I found the money. That money was meant for my district and now we’re going to use it for the traffic light.”
Next on his list, he said, will be the other side to the district. He said Hawthorne Street is scheduled to be done next year, and he’s working on Park, Division and Shurtleff Streets.
“This is the most neglected portion over here so I’m working on that first,” he said. “It’s the worst part, but it’s getting better. Next, I’m going to concentrate on the other side of District 6 by Congress Street.”
The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week announced enforcement actions against 71 municipal issuers and other obligated persons across the country for violations in municipal bond offerings, with the only Massachusetts violator being the City of Chelsea for making false statements in three recent bond offerings.
The actions were brought under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative, a voluntary self-reporting program targeting material misstatements and omissions in municipal bond offering documents. The initiative offered favorable settlement terms to municipal bond underwriters, issuers, and obligated persons that self-reported certain violations of the federal securities laws. Chelsea self-reported its misstatements and has been working favorably with SEC investigators.
No one form the City was immediately available to discuss the settlement, which did not involve any cash penalties.
In the City’s case, on three occasions – in 2012, 2013 and 2014 – during competitive offerings the City indicated it had never failed to comply in providing financial reports on its bond offerings and that was not the case.
In 2012, the statement was false because the City had failed to file its 2007 audited financial report until it was 15 months late and failed to file both its annual financial statement and its audited financials for fiscal year 2010.
In 2013, the statement was false because the City had failed to file its audited financial statement and its audited financials for fiscal year 2010 by the time of the 2013 bond offering, though it was due beforehand.
In 2014, the statement was false because the City filed its annual financial statement and its audited financials for fiscal year 2010, 34 months late, and just prior to the offering.
“Respondent knew or should have known that these statements were untrue,” read the complaint by the SEC against the City.
Chelsea was not alone in the matter nationwide.
The SEC found that from 2011 to 2014, the 71 issuers and obligated persons sold municipal bonds using offering documents that contained materially false statements or omissions about their compliance with continuing disclosure obligations. Continuing disclosure provides municipal bond investors with important information, including annual financial reports, on an ongoing basis. The SEC’s 2012 Municipal Market Report identified issuers’ failure to comply with their continuing disclosure obligations as a major challenge for investors seeking information about their municipal bond holdings.
“The diversity among the 71 entities in these actions demonstrates that continuing disclosure failures were a widespread and pervasive problem in the municipal bond market,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division. “The MCDC Initiative has brought attention to this important issue and resulted in increased compliance by municipal issuers and underwriters.”
The parties, including Chelsea, settled the actions without admitting or denying the findings and agreed to cease and desist from future violations. Pursuant to the terms of the initiative, they also agreed to undertake to establish appropriate policies, procedures, and training regarding continuing disclosure obligations; comply with existing continuing disclosure undertakings, including updating past delinquent filings, disclose the settlement in future offering documents, and cooperate with any subsequent investigations by the SEC.
“The terms of the settlements reflect the credit these issuers earned for their cooperation in self-reporting pursuant to the MCDC initiative,” said LeeAnn Ghazil Gaunt, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Public Finance Abuse Unit. “Because the issuers also voluntarily agreed to take steps to prevent future violations, both they and their investors have benefited from the initiative.”
The SEC has now filed a total of 143 actions against 144 respondents as part of the MCDC Initiative. Last week’s actions are the first against municipal issuers since the first action under the initiative was announced in July 2014 against a California school district.
The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) met on Tuesday night, Aug. 9, for a full slate of proposals.
First and foremost, Chelsea developers Gerry Sneirson was approved to build a mixed-use project at the old Centro Latino headquarters – a key corner property in the Broadway business district.
The plan calls for one commercial unit in the basement and two on the first floor.
The first floor would also house parking for nine vehicles.
The second and third floors would have eight units each, for a total of 16 units.
The project would include building an addition to the rear of the building over the top of the existing parking lot.
In another matter, Steven McDonough was given a Special Permit to establish a small personal training gym at 311 Eastern Ave. He did not meet requirements for off-street parking.
Other matters reviewed were:
18 Parker St., Elba Rojas was approved for special permit and variances to convert a one family into a two-family home. It did to meeting minimum lot size and didn’t have required parking.
54 Palmer St., Raymond Lewis got a special permit to construct a driveway.
337 Third St., Third Street Realty Corp. was approved for a variance for dividing the lot and establishing two primary uses on a single lot and the company got a special permit for off-street parking requirements.
68 Pearl St., Sotiris Sotiropoulos received a special permit to covert a one family to a two-family.
214 Arlington St., Erik Rueda was given a special permit to change the use of storage space on his second floor to the use of a business office.
178 Chestnut St., Acquisitions Division LLC was continued for a special permit for a parking lot that does not meet minimum requirements.
37-39 Blossom St., Ana Melecio was continued for a special permit for construction of two carports.
The City Council has assembled a committee of three members to begin the annual evaluation process for City Manager Tom Ambrosino after the passage of his one-year anniversary on July 20.
As part of the City Charter, the Council must evaluate the Manager annually on a set of criteria defined by the committee.
This time around, Councillor Leo Robinson will chair the Committee and he will be joined by Councillors Matt Frank and Roy Avellaneda. Council President Dan Cortell appointed the members.
A meeting of the sub-committee hasn’t been scheduled yet, but will be once the Council reconvenes from the summer.
This week, in preparation, Ambrosino released his one-year self-evaluation of his work based on Economic Development; support for Chelsea Public Schools and Youth Initiatives; and Neighborhood and Quality of Life Issues.
For Economic Development, he pointed to the opening of Phase II of One North, just opened at the end of July; and the impending completion of the FBI building this summer. For hotels, the Hilton Homewood Suites and Events Center is fully into construction and will be completed in winter. He indicated two projects would break ground in the current budget year, including the Broadway Hotel near the Revere Line and the Fairfield Residential Project at the old Chelsea Clock.
The biggest piece of Economic Development, however, are tracts in the Downtown Business District and along the Chelsea Creek waterfront. Both are in the formative stages, but Ambrosino said there is major groundwork that has been completed on both.
He also indicated that the developers of the Forbes site in Mill Hill are interested in coming back to the City with a much smaller, but still major, redevelopment.
Ambrosino also highlighted investment in the Chelsea Public Schools, noting that the Council approved his recommendation to reverse a net school spending deficit and make a significant investment in the schools. The expansion in funding has allowed the Citizens School program in the middle schools to reach more kids, and to bring on an after-school and summer program provider in For Kids Only. He also highlighted the Clark Avenue School building project that is well underway and that he is closely shepherding, having overseen numerous school building projects while mayor of Revere.
The City Manager also stressed in his review that he has targeted funding youth programs, including doubling the summer jobs money available for youth, creating a Youth Navigator position, and establishing a new Recreation and Cultural Affairs Division of City government.
His greatest asset, though, has been investing in neighborhoods.
He listed the investments in the Downtown Corridor, as well as the quick successes of the Navigator and services on demand programs for those who congregation in Bellingham Square. Additionally, he highlighted park investments and streamlining services at City Hall.
“The paramount task of any municipal government is to improve the life of its residents,” he wrote. “During this past year, through collaboration and good decision-making, we have advanced this goal. I look forward to another productive year ahead.”