The five years have passed quickly since
Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro decided they wanted to run a basketball tournament
for the youth of Chelsea.
“We’re just two Chelsea guys in the
community giving back,” said Umemba.
Year Five for the Let It Fly Basketball
Tournament is here and the best players in the area will gathering on Saturday,
Aug. 10 at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club on Willow Street.
The first tournament in 2015 was held
outside in 90-degree heat. The steamy weather prompted Kyle, 26, a graduate of BB&N and George Washington
University, finance professional and fashion model – and Cesar, 28, a graduate
of Salem State University known as “The Grand Young Man” for scoring 1,000
points in his CHS basketball career, CHS basketball coach and paraprofessional
in the school district – brought the tournament indoors and it’s been played at
the JGBC basketball gymnasium ever since.
According to the two co-directors, all the
stuff that makes the tournament so special will be back in 2019. There will be
public address announcing for each game, a DJ’s musical entertainment, free
refreshments, and a raffle table.
Key community leaders such as CBC President
Joan Cromwell (“We couldn’t do this without Joan,” son Kyle Umemba says
proudly) and Chelsea Police Community Liaison Officer Sammy Mojica Sr. will be
on hand to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Chelsea Police Officers
David Batchelor and Keith Sweeney are also valuable contributors to the
tournament each year.
Sammy Mojica Jr., who played college
basketball at Drexel and is currently a professional player in the Puerto Rico
Basketball League, will make a guest appearance. One year, NBA player Nerlens
Noel of Everett, made a guest appearance.
of the best players in the Let It Fly Tournament will be Jarnel Guzman, an
All-Scholastic guard who led Lynn English to the Division 1 state championship
in March.“If they’re a big name player in New England, they’ll be here,” said
Twelve teams, eight high school and four
middle school, will compete for the titles. A standing room only crowd is
expected throughout the day.
“It’s great energy,” said Umemba. “We want
others to follow our lead and I think it’s having that kind of effect. One of
our scholarship recipients, Alfredo Hernandez, held a tournament at Chelsea
“There was a tournament held at Clinton
Court that was generated by our idea for a tournament,” added Castro.
Umemba and Castro aren’t sitting on their
success. The plans are to take ‘Let It Fly’ national in the next few years.
And if their organizational talents in
making Let It fly the premier summer hoop extravaganza in Greater Boston are
any indication, we would suggest either get on aboard or get out of the way.
“We’re building a platform in Chelsea,” said
“The important thing is that everybody has a
time,” concluded Castro.
if you can’t be there to enjoy the tournament in person, Chelsea Community
Cable Television will be there to record the action for a broadcast.
grateful to Mr. [Robert] Bradley and his station for covering it every year.”
said the directors.
Contractors engaged by the City of Chelsea
will repave the length of Division Street this August, providing a major facelift
to an alley that parallels Broadway through the downtown.
Leveraging this work, Chelsea Prospers, the
City of Chelsea’s downtown initiative, is overseeing a public art project in
the area. Working with the Downtown Coordinator, Neighborways Design is
facilitating a community artmaking process to create and install public art and
other improvements to beautify and activate the first block of Division
Street between Hawthorne and Fourth streets.
This is the first important step to link the
heart of downtown with the waterfront via a low-stress “Neighborway” street.
Neighborways in other parts of the country
are known as neighborhood greenways or bicycle boulevards. Designed for
low-traffic and low-speed, they are a child- and elder-friendly and engaging
way to get around the city. Through public art the goal is to increase the
safety of people walking and on bikes to make this street passageway an area
where people, not just cars, feel welcome.
The long-term plan is to tackle Division
Street block by block, bringing additional public art each summer all the way
to the waterfront.
The art for the alley will be designed and
implemented by local residents, retailers and building tenants who get to know
each other through involvement in the design process and participation in
creating the art and other treatments in the alley.
Throughout the summer the team of
Neighborways Design is meeting with stakeholders at public events and in small
groups to develop a design concept. Public artist Liz Lamanche is then
synthesizing and refining these ideas into a cohesive design.
Contribute ideas to the design by visiting
the Neighborways outreach table at the Chelsea Night Market on Saturday, Aug.
10. The team will be on hand between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. In case of rain the
event will be rescheduled to Aug. 17.
The Community Painting Day to execute the
design is scheduled for Saturday, August 24, starting at 9 a.m. when all are
invited to execute the design.
In case of rain,
the event will be held the following day on Sunday, August 25.
The Massachusetts Department of
Transportation (MassDOT) began the closure of one of three southbound travel
lanes on Route 1 in Chelsea and the Tobin Bridge the morning of Tuesday, May
14, snarling traffic in many parts of Everett as commuters looked for an
The public was also reminded the one-lane
northbound closure on the Tobin Bridge and Route 1 was expanded the morning of
Tuesday, May 14. MassDOT anticipates that these lane closures will lead to
increased travel times on sections of Route 1 northbound and southbound for
drivers and MBTA bus customers for months to come.
These traffic impacts are associated with
MassDOT’s Tobin Bridge/Chelsea
Curves Rehabilitation Project and lane closures will remain in place for
approximately two years. Additional overnight lane closures will be necessary
throughout the project meaning only one lane of travel may be open during
certain evening hours.
In order to accommodate travelers during
this necessary construction work, MassDOT is opening the I-93 southbound
carpool lane between Medford and the Zakim Bridge to all vehicles regardless of
the number of occupants. This lane will continue to function as an “express
lane” and vehicles in this lane on I-93 southbound will not have access to Exit
28 (Mystic Avenue) or Exit 26 (Storrow Drive).
“North Shore commuters should be aware that
beginning the morning of Tuesday, May 14, a travel lane will be closed on Route
1 southbound in Chelsea, and the lane closure that is already in place on the
Tobin Bridge and Route 1 northbound will be expanded,” said Highway
Administrator Jonathan Gulliver last Friday. “MassDOT is carrying out this
necessary rehabilitation work in order to ensure the continued use and
reliability of Tobin Bridge and Chelsea Viaduct. We appreciate the cooperation
and patience of the traveling public and advise everyone to make smart
decisions such as considering public transit, using the appropriate technology
apps to find the best route and time to travel, and building extra time into
their commutes to account for potential roadway congestion.”
Travelers are also reminded of options such
as free fares in the inbound direction on the MBTA Silver Line 3 bus line
offered at the Chelsea, Bellingham Square, Box District, and Eastern Avenue
stops for the duration of construction. In addition, public transit customers
will be able to use a CharlieCard to travel between North Station and Chelsea
on the Commuter Rail. The MBTA is also running additional MBTA Blue Line trains
to increase capacity. These measures are all being funded by MassDOT Highway
Division project funds.
MassDOT is also advising the public to also
consider using the Haverhill or Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail lines and
note that the Haverhill Line historically has parking capacity at Haverhill and
Bradford stations. The Newburyport/Rockport Line historically has parking
capacity at Newburyport, Salem and Lynn station. Customers can monitor
@MBTA_Parking on Twitter for capacity updates and information. In
addition, the MBTA has installed a digital parking capacity sign at the Blue
Line Wonderland parking lot so drivers approaching the lot can get “real time”
information on parking availability.
carrying out work on the Tobin Bridge and Chelsea Curves section of Route 1 at
the same time so that the most impactful work will be completed by 2021. If the
projects were done at separate times, drivers would be inconvenienced for
additional years. This work will eliminate the need for weight restrictions and
postings, and MassDOT will use accelerated construction techniques to shorten
the overall construction time.
After more than a year of research, reflection and evaluation, Bunker Hill
Community College (BHCC) has revealed a newly designed bulldog mascot to
represent the College’s Athletics program. The new BHCC Athletics Bulldog was
revealed at the College Faculty/Staff Forum on March 12.
The refreshed mascot design features a running bulldog, energetic and with
its eyes focused forward, seeking success in a manner congruent with the
program’s mission and consistent with the uniqueness of BHCC.
The bulldog has long been the mascot of BHCC Athletics. New Director of
Athletics Dr. Loreto Jackson, who joined the College in 2017, felt that the
mascot needed a refresh to better align with the College’s purpose and
values. “The former bulldog had many different renditions,” explained Dr.
Jackson. “The designs were not unique to BHCC, and, more importantly, did not
embody the philosophy of BHCC.”
The College enlisted national brand identity firm Phoenix Design Works to
assist with the mascot development. After research and discussion with
department stakeholders, Jackson wanted to remove the common ideas of
bulldogs—that they are mean-spirited, arrogant, combative or lazy. Instead, the
BHCC Bulldog should portray respect, tenacity, a competitive spirit and
loyalty. Also important was a gender-neutral mascot, unrestrained by the
classic bulldog spiked collar.
Bunker Hill Community
College is a member of the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association
(NJCAA), Division III. For more information on BHCC Athletics, please
Bobby Goss, Eddie Richard, Richard Bradley
Steve DePaulo, Katrina Hill, Drenda Carroll, Nicole Hancock and the late
Anthony “Chubby” Tiro” are among the best to ever compete in the Chelsea High
Stephanie Simon has joined that illustrious group – and she’s only a junior.
Simon completed her indoor track campaign
with an unprecedented accomplishment: winning the long jump championship in the
Emerging Elite Division at the 2019 New Balance Nationals that was held in New
Simon soared to victory with a career-best
jump of 18 feet, 10.75 inches, remarkably eclipsing her previous best by seven
CHS track coach Cesar Hernandez was not
surprised by Simon’s victory or the dramatic way in which she achieved it.
“Stephanie had jumped 17-9 as her best in
her first three attempts,” said Hernandez. “In the final, she took off to
18-10. I knew she had it in her.”
Hernandez and CHS Director of Athletics
Amanda Alpert watched the drama unfold at the Nationals.
“It was exciting to watch the long jump
competition,” said Hernandez. “It feels good to coach a national champion.”
Alpert, who has won national championships
as a women’s professional football player and coach, said the whole scene at
Nationals was “amazing.”
“To hear and see the number that Stephanie
posted was amazing,” said Alpert. “It was just about her hitting the board
right and she did.”
Alpert said Simon’s competitiveness and work
ethic set the foundation to victory.
“Stephanie is a rarely seen combination of
hard work, dedication and pure talent,” said Alpert. “She has put in so much
time in to making herself better both physically and mentally. Her dedication
to the sport and her craft is amazing, but a lot of that comes from the Chelsea
track coaching staff. They work to instill the importance of hard work and
dedication because that is what is more important and will help you succeed
after high school.”
Alpert expounded on the Chelsea coaches’
contributions to the Stephanie Simon success story.
“We have an incredible coaching staff that
has played a part in the team and Stephanie’s success,” said Alpert. “We are
fortunate to have Cesar Hernandez, who is a Red Devil himself and competed on
the collegiate level as jumper and has helped bring Stephanie to the next level.
“While Mark Martineau and Adam Aronson (both
collegiate-level track athletes) are no longer coaching, Mark laid the mental
frameworks for what it means to be a student athlete, and Adam had taken a lot
of time to teach the athletes how to be lifters and work their way around a
Simon and her teammates will begin their outdoor track schedule in April. There is no doubt that Stephanie Simon is on the radar of college colleges nationwide.
At a certain point, it would be wise to just leave the Chelsea High record books in girls’ track blank until junior Stephanie Simon graduates.
Chelsea High junior Stephanie Simon is putting together another outstanding indoor track season this year, and will head to the National Championship meet in New York this weekend. When she’s not on the track, though, one might find her weaving in and out of the streets on her skateboard.
The champion jumper, runner and hurdler
tends to break most school records, and then break her own records time and
time again. At a certain point, her coaches say, they will probably fill it all
in after she graduates.
Simon, 16, comes from a strong athletic
family – and her sister, Martine – is the only runner to have ever beat her in
a meet. Now, she has focused in on jumping events and has put together a string
of wins during the indoor season this winter.
Recently, she took first place in the
Division 2 state long jump, and took second place in the New England Championship
meet. Earlier this year, at the multi-state Dartmouth Relays, she took first in
the long jump and high jump.
This weekend, she will travel to New York
City for the second year in a row to compete in the National Championship
But back in Chelsea, if you see a young lady
cutting it up on a skateboard, that might be Stephanie Simon.
“When I’m not training or practicing, I like
to ride a penny board,” she said. “I ride it everywhere, even to school. I
think that’s why I can jump. I think that’s something every jumper has to have
to be successful and that is being able to take a risk. You have to be willing
to take a risk to throw yourself in a pit of sand or give it everything you
have to flop up and over the high jump bar. It’s the adrenaline I like.”
Simon was born in Chelsea to Hubert and
Mathilde Simon, who originally came from Haiti. Her older brother, Norbert, was
also a track standout, as was her sister, Martine, who graduated last year. She
said her younger brother, Emanuel, has potential in the 200 sprint.
She attended the Early Learning Center, the
Berkowitz School, the Clark Avenue Middle School and has settled in at Chelsea
High – where she keeps a 3.4 grade point average and is active in academics.
But her cool demeanor likely comes from
having to contain herself on the track. Unlike with the sprints – where she
also has great success within the conference meets – she said she has learned
that a jumper (whether high jump, long jump or triple jump) needs to stay in
“Adrenaline is good for running, but for
jumping you have to kind of put it in a bottle and use it to motivate you and
counter it with technique,” she said. “For jumping and sprints, unlike distance
running, it’s half mental and half physical.”
It will be a very important quality when she
arrives at the New York City Armory this weekend with her coach, Cesar
Hernandez. Last year was her first indoor national meet, and she said it was
“Last year, stepping into that building was
so overwhelming,” she said, noting that there hasn’t been another Chelsea
runner since Bobby Goss decades ago to go to nationals. “Every runner there was
working hard and wanted to win. I didn’t do so well, but it made me even more
determined to do better at the national outdoor meet in North Carolina last
spring and I did.”
When she went to the Dartmouth Relays
earlier this year, she said that same New York feeling came upon her, but she
was able to shake it off, which is something she said she will do when she goes
back to New York this week.
“I told myself it’s the same events and the
same sand,” she said. “I was able to recover and move on.”
Amazingly, Simon was never a runner until
she got to high school, unlike many top runners who have been at it since grade
“My freshman year I didn’t even run that
first season,” she said. “I liked soccer. I was able to make varsity my
freshman year. In the winter, I played basketball. Then I did outdoor track and
I was really good at it. In track, there was so much support and it was like a
big family. My freshman year I was trying to figure everything out. Everyone
kept telling me I had more potential in track. I listened to them and I’m glad
Simon credited Coach Hernandez with helping
her take bigger and bigger steps as a runner and, especially, as a jumper. As a
raw athlete, she had talent, but she said Hernandez helped her to develop
technique and pushed her not to just rely on athleticism.
“If he wasn’t my coach, I would not be doing
what I’m doing,” she said. “He fits the kind of coach I need.”
She also credited her teammates for being a
great support system.
She also credited her family, who she said
has been very proud of her academically and in sports.
“In our family,
everyone has their thing they are best at,” she said. “I guarantee I win at
Chelsea Collaborative staff members are busy
helping residents prepare for rewarding career opportunities at Encore Boston
Harbor, slated to open in Everett this June. Encore Boston Harbor, the
first five-star urban gaming resort in the U.S, plans to hire over 5,000
workers for a range of rewarding hospitality careers. For more information,
More than 175 career-seekers participated in
workshops in recent weeks alone on resume writing and how to create a
Skillsmart profile. Skillsmart is a portal that helps match peoples’ interests
with positions at Encore Boston Harbor. “We are proud to create pathways
to better paying positions, so our residents can achieve better economic
mobility, and don’t have to work two jobs just to make ends meet for them and
their families,” said Sylvia Ramirez, Workforce Development Manager at Chelsea
Chelsea Collaborative is part of Encore
Boston Harbor’s community action network. Encore Boston Harbor is
committing $10 million over the next four years to support a wide range of
social programs and civic institutions that will help those in need and improve
the lives of residents in local communities.
Collaborative is leading the Chelsea 500 coalition, which mission is to engage
the City, businesses, and local non-profits to create a workforce pipeline so
that 500+ residents can gain the skills and support necessary to apply for
positions at Encore Boston Harbor. While Chelsea 500 capitalizes on the
casino opening, its longer- term ambition is to build local workforce
development capacity to improve Chelsea residents’ odds of securing employment
in the near term, and to work with industry leaders to help diversify the
employment options. Members of the coalition include City of
Chelsea, Chelsea Collaborative, TND/Connect, Chelsea Housing
Authority, Chelsea Recreation and Cultural Affairs Division, Bunker
Hill Community College, Casino Action Network.
Stephanie Simon takes second place in the long jump at all-state meet
Chelsea High track star Stephanie Simon
captured second place in the long jump at last Saturday’s All-State Meet that
was held at the Reggie Lewis Center.
Simon was in third place approaching her
third and final jump of the day, but her leap of 18′-2.25″, which was five
inches better than her top jump to that point, propelled her into the second
spot, behind only Jada Johnson of Sharon, who had the best jump of the day at
Stephanie had advanced to the all-states by
taking first place the previous week in the Division 2 meet with a jump of
17′-9″. Thanks to her second-place finish at the all-state meet, Simon now
will compete in the All-New England Meet this Saturday.
competed in the 55 meter dash on Saturday, finishing in 16th place with a
clocking of 7.48 seconds. Stephanie had grabbed third place in the D-2 Meet the
week before to advance to the all-states.
There is no stopping Chelsea High track star
Simon continued her spectacular junior
season by winning the Division 2 state long jump title Saturday at the Reggie
Lewis Track Center in Roxbury.
Designated as the No. 1 seed in the competition based on her performance this season, Simon jumped 17 feet, 9 inches to claim the first-place medal.
Simon, who was undefeated this season in the
Commonwealth Athletic Conference (CAC), became the first female athlete in
school history to win a divisional state indoor track title.
Chelsea High girls track coach Cesar
Hernandez said Simon had an outstanding day, putting the 17-9 jump on the
scoreboard on one of her first jumps.
“I was very excited to see her win the
Division 2 state championship,” said Hernandez, a 2010 CHS graduate who
competed in the Red Devils’ boys track program.
reigned over the CAC indoor track circuit this winter as a champion in the long
jump, 55-meter dash, and 55-meter hurdles.
The talented 5-foot-5-inch athlete will compete in the All-State Championships this Saturday. Simon is the No. 3 seed in the event.“Stephanie is working hard and I think she has put herself is in great position to contend for the title,” said Hernandez
The Chelsea High boys and girls indoor track
teams dropped their first meets of the season last week to Greater Lawrence.
The outcome of the Lady Red Devils’ contest
came down to the final race, the 4 x 400 relay. Chelsea held a 41-40 lead
entering the relay, but Greater Lawrence won the race to win the meet by a
score of 45-41.
Highlights from girls meet included:
1st and third in the high hurdles: Stephanie
Simon, Sandra Tun
1st and third in the 50 yard dash: Stephanie
Simon, Sandra Tun
1st in the 300: Ana Chang
1st in the 600: Yarelis Torres Diaz
1st in the High Jump: Stephanie Simon
1st in the mile: Yarid Deras
On the boys’ side, the Red Devils came up
short by a score of 54-31. The highlights for Chelsea were:
1st in Shot Put: Rigo Flores
1st in the 600: Jazmany Reyes
1st, 2nd, 3rd in mile: Jazmany Reyes, Oscar
Amaya, Ian Padilla
1st, 2nd in 1000: Justin Turner, Limilson
SIMON WINS LONG JUMP AT
Chelsea High track star Stephanie Simon
captured the long jump event at this past weekend’s State Coaches Meet, an
event that features the top athletes in Division 1, with a leap of
18′-0.75″, a distance that qualified Stephanie for the nationals.
Teammate Ana Chang turned in a strong
performance in the 300 dash, finishing in 20th place among a field of 58
For the boys, Red Devil Justin Turner improved
his two-mile school record from 10:18 to 10:13.36.