Congratulations, Pope John Hoop Team

Congratulations, Pope John Hoop Team

We join the local sports community and the Catholic Central League in congratulating Pope John XXIII High School of Everett on winning its first basketball state championship in its history.

Coach Leo Boucher and his team that included Chelsea standouts Luis Velasquez and Mehkhi Collins, brought much excitement to their fans this season and many students, alumni, and supporters traveled to Springfield Saturday to watch their Pope John Tigers defeat the defending state champion Maynard High Tigers for the Division 4 title.

It was a great day for the small school who rose up and defeated much larger schools and teams from powerful conferences in the MIAA Tournament. The team’s spectacular guard, Angel Price-Espada, submitted a performance for the ages with 49 points, including 10 three-pointers.

Mr. Boucher, a resident of Charlestown and a former basketball standout himself, previously showed his tremendous coaching skills at the St. Clement School, winning a state title there. When the school closed its doors, Pope John officials made a wise decision to bring him on board as its basketball coach.

It was also inspiring to see school administrators, Head of School Carl DiMaiti, Principal Thomas Mahoney, and Director of Athletics Ryan Murphy being a part of the fan delegation at the game and holding the championship so proudly following the Tigers’ 89-57 victory.

Mr. DiMaiti has presided over athletic successes before as the head of school at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn. A former track coach, Mr. DiMaiti understands the importance of interscholastic sports competition and how it can help build a positive foundation for student-athletes and pave the way to a college education. Mr. DiMaiti’s children, Drew and Carole, were both outstanding high school athletes, with Drew winning an individual state hurdles title before moving on to nearby Tufts University.

Mr. Mahoney is in the Chelsea High School Hall of Fame as the founder and head coach of the CHS soccer program that produced GBL titles and All-Scholastic players when he was leading the program. He is an alumnus of Pope John (and Boston College) as a member of the Everett school’s first graduating class, so this championship is doubly meaningful to him.

Mr. Murphy was an excellent choice to lead the school’s athletic program. He is always accessible to those who call upon him. He has helped student-athletes proceed through the college application process and been an exceptional representative for the school at AD meetings. A school’s athletic success begins at the top, and Mr. Murphy has the entire program heading in the right direction. And now he has a state championship team in his program.

To Coach Leo Boucher, associate head coach Larry Washington, freshman coach Paul Williams, and the Pope John basketball players – thanks for the memories and congratulations on an historic championship season.

We’ll see you all in the Pope John XXIII High School Hall of Fame one day.

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Sports 03-22-2018

Sports 03-22-2018

Pope John I

Price-Espada scores 49 as the Tigers win the Div. 4 state title

By Cary Shuman

Sparked by a sensational 49-point performance by junior guard Angel Price-Espada, the Pope John XXIII High School basketball team blitzed Maynard, 89-57, to capture the Division 4 state championship Saturday at Springfield College.

The decisive victory marked the Everett school’s first state title in basketball as coach Leo Boucher and his team claimed the crown via a phenomenal 24-1 season.

Price-Espada, the 5-foot-7-inch Catholic Central League MVP and All-Scholastic, had the Pope John fans standing and cheering during one of the greatest individual offensive performances in MIAA state tournament history. He hit six consecutive 3-pointers in the second quarter as part of an extraordinary, long-range shooting showcase that gave the Tigers a 52-31 lead at the half.

Included in the Price-Espada thrill-a-second package was a mid-air, behind-the back pass to senior Michael Thompson who finished the spectacular play with a layup.

 “Angel played phenomenal today,” said Boucher. “I haven’t seen a performance as great as that, not as a player in high school, not as a player in college, not as a basketball coach for 27-plus years – the closest thing I ever saw was Dana Barros versus Don Bosco 100 years ago, and I’ll date myself. That was probably the most incredible shooting performance I’ve seen in a long time.”

In addition to Espada, other members of the Pope John cast stepped up in the state final just as they done in postseason victories over Winthrop, Fenway, Austin Prep, and Mashpee.

Marquis Bouyer, senior center, scored 8 of his 17 points in the first quarter, establishing his powerful presence in the paint as Pope John led 18-11 after one period. Bouyer also finished with 11 rebounds.

Michael Thompson, a senior forward, contributed six points, following his clutch, 14-point effort that helped Pope John defeat Mashpee in the state semifinal.

Junior forward Luis Velasquez, one of the most unsung players for the Pope John contingent, scored 10 points, including a pair of baskets amidst the Tigers’ 34-point explosion in the second quarter.

Senior Mehkhi Collins, a late-game hero against Mashpee, juniors Cam Erikson and Conor Kelly, and freshman Jason Ford also contributed well for the Tigers.

Pope John led 5-0 in the opening minutes, thanks to a Price-Espada three-pointer and a Bouyer basket inside the lane. Maynard would close the gap to three, 9-6, but Bouyer’s mini-surge of five points (two off a nifty pass from Collins), and Velasquez’s basket keyed a 7-0 spurt. Price-Espada hit two of three free throws (he was 9-of-11 overall) after he was fouled attempting a three-pointer.

And then it happened. Price-Espada took over the game with a rapid succession of three-pointers, the majority hitting nothing but net. In eight, breathtaking minutes, the dynamic backcourtman scored 23 points, 31 total for the half.

Price-Espada stayed red hot in the third period and at one point, he had 41 points while the entire Maynard team combined also had 41.

Bouyer closed out the Tigers’ memorable day with seven fourth-quarter points. Rashid Griffin had a three-pointer as the Tigers rolled to an impressive 32-point victory over the defending state champions.

Boucher was asked what it was like to be able to deliver to Pope John its first-ever state championship.

“I didn’t deliver anything – the kids behind me delivered,” he responded humbly. “That’s who made the delivery. I put them in the right position for them to make that happen. It’s a real honor to be able to coach a group of kids like that. The kids came to play.”

Bruins Beat

Bruins face tough, brief road trip

With the excitement of Ryan Donato’s dynamic debut just starting to settle, the Bruins are once again, back on the road again. Their one game homestand following on the heels of a four game road trip (in seven days), shows how messed up the NHL schedule really is. For Boston it means another stretch of four games on the road in seven days. Those games will be played against four teams, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and the Winnipeg Jets. Each of them is either attempting to gain a playoff spot, or move up in their conference standings, which means tough competition.

With the tight races currently changing many team’s positions daily, the Bruins will not have an easy game in the road trip. As the Record went to press last night (Wednesday), the Bs were hosted by St. Louis. The Blues were just three points out of a playoff spot, trailing eighth place Anaheim, with a single game in hand. The Blues have been playing .500 hockey over their last ten games, but are on a two-game win streak. Next stop will have Boston taking facing the Stars (Friday, 8:30pm), as the struggling Stars continue to fall out of a possible playoff spot, riding a two-game losing streak after posting a 2-5-3 record for their last ten contests. Sunday (7:30pm) will have the Bruins playing the Minnesota Wild. The Wild sit in the fifth spot of the Western Conference, rather precariously as the eighth spot is only four points in the rear, as they look over their shoulder, having only put up numbers good enough for a 5-4-1 record for their last ten games. Boston’s final game of their four-game road trip, will be in Winnipeg to match up against the streaking Jets on Tuesday (8:00pm), the Jets are rolling along on a three game win streak, and a hot 7-2-1 stretch for their last ten. The Bruins return to TD Garden ice on Thursday, March 29 (7:00pm) to host Atlantic Division leading Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Bruins’ 99 points at press time had them tied for third most in the league with the Vegas Golden Knights. Which is rather startling when one looks back over the 2017-18 season, and the unbelievable amount of injuries that the Bs have endured to many of their top players. Patrice Bergeron sustained both a lower-body-injury, and is currently out of the lineup with a fractured foot. Recently acquired Rick Nash is out with an upper-body-injury; Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is missing, also with an upper-body-injury; David Backes has missed 21 of the 71 games played thus far this season, due to medical issues that included a bout with diverticulitis and colon surgery, multiple suspensions, and most recently a leg cut that has him presently off the ice. The loss on defense of Charlie McAvoy to an MCL knee sprain had left a void on the local’s blueline, which Boston has somehow been able to manage; dependable Adam McQuaid lost time due to a broken right fibula; also on defense, Kevan Miller suffered an upper-body-injury; Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask missed some action following concussion-related problems; David Krejci missed time with an upper-body injury; defenseman Torey Krug felt the effects of a fractured jaw; Noel Acciari was the beneficiary of a fractured finger; Jake DeBrusk is currently missing action with an upper-body-injury; and rookie Anders Bjork suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Congratulations to Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna who will be inducted into the Eastern College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. The ECAC Hall of Fame committee announced the ceremony honoring Bertagna will take place Friday, May 4 at the Crowne Plaza in Danbury, Connecticut. Bertagna began his professional coaching career in 1985 with the Boston Bruins, remaining with the team as their goaltending coach until 1991, and rejoined the team for the 1994-95 season. Bertagna is currently in his 36th year as a college hockey administrator. This season marks his 21st year with Hockey East, after serving in a similar capacity with the ECAC for 15 years. He is the longest serving commissioner in Hockey East history and is currently the longest serving hockey commissioner in the NCAA.

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MBTA to Implement New Software System to Avert Chelsea Street Bridge

MBTA to Implement New Software System to Avert Chelsea Street Bridge

the potential to be spoiled – like many Chelsea commutes – by the often untimely lifting of the Chelsea Street Bridge.

The Bridge is a key pinch point on the new SL-3 route as it heads to and from Chelsea to East Boston and the Seaport. As great as the projected 30-minute ride to South Station sounds, it could easily be thwarted by the Bridge being in the “up” position.

The Chelsea Street Bridge goes up multiple times a day, and from start to finish lasts more than 20 minutes. Such delays could drastically impair the service of the Silver Line.

That was identified as early as last summer as a looming problem for operations of the SL-3 by the MBTA Board.

On Monday, in a presentation to the Board, the MBTA revealed a new software system that will help in trying to mitigate what could totally ruin the reliability of the new service.

The new software will be used by the Chelsea Street Bridge operator, who will notify the MBTA bus dispatch center when the bridge is going up.

The software will provide bus dispatch with estimated duration and projected travel time for each of two possible detours around the Bridge. The dispatch will then use that information to determine the best response for each bus.

MBTA officials said that the Bus Operations Division is in the process of developing a Standard Operating Procedure to divert the SL-3 service in response to the Bridge going up. An alternative roué has been identified and will be tested during various times of the day to project run times and reliability.

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Sports 03-15-2018

Sports 03-15-2018

Collins stars in Pope John’s win over Mashpee

By Cary Shuman

When the lights were the brightest, Mehki Collins was at its best.

Collins, who has Chelsea connections, scored 23 points and was Mr. Clutch in the final minutes as the Pope John XXIII High School basketball team defeated Mashpee, 70-62, in the state semifinal Monday at the TD Garden.

Mehki is the son of Teresa Baker and Michael Collins. He is the grandson of Beverly Martin-Ross and the godson of former Chelsea High basketball standout John Martin. It was a proud family gathering at the Garden as Mehki, a  junior guard, and Michael Thompson (14 points), a senior forward, took over the game and delivered a thrilling victory to the Tigers.

Luis Velasquez, a junior forward from Chelsea, also propelled the Tigers with six points and a key steal in the fourth quarter. He, too, has been a major contributor for the Catholic Central League champions.

Pope John will play Maynard for the Division 4 state championship Saturday at Springfield College. The school principal at Pope John is former Chelsea resident Thomas Mahoney, who founded and coached the CHS boys soccer team.

Pope John coach Leo Boucher said Collins has earned his reputation as a clutch player.

“Mekhi has always stepped up and been a leader,” said Boucher. “He is always there at the end of the game to take care of the basketball when we need him to. I thought he played really well offensively and was a catalyst for us. He hit some big shots and free throws in the fourth quarter.”

Collins said the team has played as a close-knit team all season.

“We play together and have so much fight in us, and I’m so proud of my teammates and my coaching staff,” said Collins. “We never give up.”

He was excited to play at the TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics.

“It means a lot to win this game on the Garden floor,” said Collins. “I didn’t feel any more pressure in this game. They passed the reins to me and I did what I had to do. My teammates put me in the best position to score.”

Collins attended the Hooks School and began his basketball career in the Chelsea Youth Basketball where he played for coach Maurice Cromwell. His skills were well known and his coaches predicted a bright future for him.

And they were right.

On Saturday, Collins and the 23-1 Pope John Tigers will try to bring home a state championship for the first time in school history.

Pope John basketball team beats Mashpee at the Garden

Collins, Thompson lead Tiger team into the Massachusetts state finals

By Cary Shuman

Pope John’s brilliant guard Angel Price-Espada was hobbled by a leg injury so head coach Leo Boucher looked to other players to give his team a boost in the decisive fourth quarter of Monday’s state semifinal at the TD Garden.

Senior forward Michael Thompson and junior guard Mehkhi Collins both answered the call with heroic efforts in the final stanza. Thompson scored 12 of his 14 points, including two clutch free throws, in the second half, while Collins had 14 of his game-high 23 points, as North champion Pope John defeated South champion Mashpee, 70-62, on the famous parquet floor.

The Tigers (22-1) advance to the Division 4 state championship game in Springfield against defending state champion Maynard (22-3).

Espada came out dishing and had seven assists, to go along with nine points (11 overall) in the first half. The Tigers’ dependable inside player, Marques Bouyer, also made an early statement with 10 points in the first half as Pope John led 37-32 at intermission. Bouyer also reigned over Pope John’s control the defensive boards. Luis Velasquez helped out the Tigers’ offensive with six points. Cam Erickson, the Tigers’ sharpshooting junior, had a basket while Connor Kelly was a key contributor off the bench, also netting two points.

Velasquez had two hoops in the third quarter before Thompson went on a mini-tear with three baskets and a key steal with the game tied at 49-49. A basket by Collins gave Pope John a 51-49 lead after three quarters.

Pope John was leading 59-57 when Price-Espada left the game after sustaining a right leg injury. He would return to the game, though clearly not at 100 percent.

Collins connected on a free throw and Collins added a basket to keep Pope John ahead, 64-61. Another Thompson hoop, two free throws by Collins, a steal by Velasquez allowed the Tigers to seal the victory.

“That was a terrific basketball game,” said Boucher. “Mashpee just keeps coming at you, they’re a phenomenal basketball team. They were everything we thought they would be and more.”

Collins was a catalyst in the first quarter for the Pope John offense with eight points. He saved his best for last with the game on the line.

“We got together as one unit and played together and we have so much fight – I’m so proud of my teammates, our coaching staff and Pope John” said Collins. “They passed the reins to me and I did what I had to do. My teammates put me in the best position to what I had to do and score.”

Thompson was equally humble about his clutch effort.

“I have to thank my teammates for putting me in that situation,” said Thompson. “I was struggling a little bit, but they kept giving the ball. Their confidence in me and keeping me motivated is what decided those final layups for me.”

Boucher said Collins and Thompson were difference makers in the game.

“I thought our upperclassmen, our junior [Collins] and our senior [Thompson] stepped up,” said Boucher. “Angel was hurt and the leg was bothering him the whole game, but these kids stepped up. They’ve worked hard to get to where they got to, and they won’t be denied. They’re trying to earn the respect they truly deserve.”

Boucher was asked what it meant for the school to be playing in its first state final.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Boucher. “For a little school like us, we have about 200 boys – our basketball team is just about everything to us, so it’s pretty cool. We have a great administrators, great kids, and great supporters.

Two of those administrators, Head of School Carl DiMaiti and Principal Thomas Mahoney, a member of the school’s first graduating class, sat courtside Monday and will now join a legion of PJ students and alumni in Springfield in search of the school’s first state basketball title.

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins continue to show their resilency by scoring five unansewered goals

Just when it looked like the Bruins were headed for the rare (this season), two losses in row, the Bruins on Tuesday night had an epiphany, scoring five unanswered goals in the third period to notch a 6-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The realization that they had lost the services of defensemen, Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug, and forward Jake DeBrusk, due to injury, the future looked bleak. The forecast had the Hurricanes holding a 4-1 lead and a solid look at a win going into the third period, like many New Englander’s, the youth playing for Boston felt the prognosticators were wrong and decided to do something about it.

Boston’s lone goal late in the first period came from Brad Marchand for a 1-0 lead. For Marchand was his 30th goal of the season, the third consecutive time he’s hit that mark, tying him with Glen Murray, the last Bruin to have three straight 30-goal seasons (2001-2004). At 10:04 of the third period the youngster Matt Grzelcyk scored Boston’s second goal to cut the deficit to 4-2. Then the floodgates opened as David Pastrnak, 56 seconds later, deposited his 25th goal at 11:00, Danton Heinen found a spark 21 seconds after, taking a pass from David Krejci to score his 13th at 11:21, to tie the game at 4-4. Just over five minutes later and no goals scored, Pastrnak took over, scoring the game-winner (#26) at 16:30 and an empty-netter (#27), for the first hat trick of his young career. A startling, entertaining ten minutes that earned the Bruins the two points, leaving them just four points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning who lost to the Ottawa Senators, with the Bs still holding two games in hand.

Once again the moves and non-moves Bruins general manager Don Sweeney made at the trade deadline have proved to be good, decisive ones. Sweeney’s addition of veterans Rick Nash, Brian Gionta, and Tommy Wingels up front, and Nick Holden on the blueline may have looked like overstock a bit, but has proved to be vital, with the loss of Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy. Add to that the undisclosed, possible injuries Tuesday night to Chara, Krug, DeBrusk, and it almost makes Sweeney seem clairvoyant.

Tuukka Rask in net has not looked as sharp as he had been earlier in the season, but despite the fact that he has given up a handful of goals in his last six appearances, with four goals in three of those games, he has managed a record of 5-1 in those six games. In 44 games thus far this season his record is still an impressive 29-11-0-4, goals-against-average 2.35, and save percentage of .917.

Boston’s four-game road trip continues with two more stops: Tonight (Thursday 7:30pm) versus Florida Panthers who are still fighting for a playoff spot (3 points back), with a huge game on Saturday, 7:00pm, with the Bs taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning, in what could still be a battle for the top spot in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. The odd NHL schedule has the Bruins returning to TD Garden ice on Monday (10/19 at 7:00pm) to host the streaking Columbus Blue Jackets who are currently riding a five game win streak, for a single game, before embarking on a five-game road trip beginning in St. Louis Blues on Wednesday (10/21 at 8:00pm). St. Louis is also three points out of a playoff spot. In summary, it will be a tough four games coming up for Boston with each time they face, still battling for position, and a spot in the playoffs.

Brad Marchand was named NHL second star of the week for the week ending March 11. General Manager Don Sweeney announced that the team has signed University of Wisconsin forward Trent Frederic to a three-year entry-level contract, beginning with the 2018-19 season. Frederic will join the Providence Bruins on an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) for the remainder of the 2017-18 season. Sweeney also announced that the team has signed University of Wisconsin forward Cameron Hughes to a three-year entry-level contract, beginning with the 2018-19 season. Hughes will also join the Providence Bruins on an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

CHS Roundup

STEPHANIE SIMON COMPETES IN TRACK MEET IN NEW YORK CITY

This past Friday, Chelsea High sophomore Stephanie Simon competed in the New Balance Indoor High School Track & Field National Championships held at the Armory in NYC.

“Stephanie went into this meet with a personal best high jump of 5’-5”,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau. “While the results were not what we had hoped for, it was a great achievement for Stephanie. She is the first national-qualified track performer we have had at CHS since the legendary Bobby Goss. The future is bright for this student-athlete.”

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Remembering Beverly Nowicki as a Friend to All

Remembering Beverly Nowicki as a Friend to All

By Cary Shuman

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.

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Sports 11-09-2017

Sports 11-09-2017

CHS Roundup

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.

Bruins Beat

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!’

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Housing Court Opens to Chelsea,Court Experts Ready to Handle Cases Immediately

Housing Court Opens to Chelsea,Court Experts Ready to Handle Cases Immediately

By Seth Daniel

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.

Sidebar –

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.”

Cutlines –

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Call to All Chelsea Artists Brings a Crowd in New Effort

Call to All Chelsea Artists Brings a Crowd in New Effort

By Seth Daniel

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.

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.

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MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J Tinlin Resigning

MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J Tinlin Resigning

 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.

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District 6 Gets Much-Needed Attention this Summer

District 6 Gets Much-Needed Attention this Summer

By Seth Daniel

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.”

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