The Planning Board has approved plans for an
eight-unit, four story condominium building at Spencer and Eastern Avenues,
despite concerns from some board members about traffic and the size of the
The project at 254 Spencer Ave. will now go
before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for several variances, including
parking relief. The developer is proposing eight parking spots at the site,
where 12 are required by the City.
The developer will tear down the existing
two-family house on the 5,000-square-foot lot and replace the home with the
market-rate condo units. The units will be about 1,000 square feet each and
likely sell for about $500,000 each. The project will abut the larger Acadia
affordable housing development.
Although several Planning Board members
raised concerns about the size of the project, Mimi Rancatore was the only
board member to cast a vote against the project.
Rancatore said she appreciated the look and
quality of the new building, “but I think it is just too big.”
While Rancatore said the four-story building
would be comparable to the Acadia project, it would be bigger than other homes
and buildings in the neighborhood. She said it could create a domino effect,
with other developers buying smaller homes and knocking them down to build
higher in the area.
City Council President Damali Vidot also
said she liked the overall look of the project but was worried it could set a
precedent leading to denser development in the neighborhood.
However, a number of residents who live in
the neighborhood said they supported the project and questioned why the
Planning Board had not taken greater action to stop the larger Acadia and 1005
Webster Avenue projects if they were concerned about traffic and
“Why give (the developer) a hard time about
this when it is the same level as the Acadia,” said neighborhood resident
Barbara Richard. “We in the area approve of it.”
The Planning Board approved the project with
the condition that the developer look at ways to add some more trees and
shrubbery near the front of the building.
“In my opinion, the project will make a nice
transition from the Acadia down to the two- and three-story buildings next to
it,” said Planning Board Chairman Tuck Willis. “Certainly, what is there now is
underutilized and in bad condition, and this building would clean that up.”
•In other business, the Planning Board
discussed a proposed zoning amendment from the City Council concerning
off-street parking regulations. Under the zoning change, residents of buildings
where the developers have sought zoning relief for the number of on-site
parking spaces would not be eligible to participate in the City’s off-street
sticker parking program.
“This would be a way to encourage
development but not further burden the residents who live here,” said Vidot.
But Rancatore said she believes the
amendment would be hard to enforce and only encourage illegal parking.
The Council, Planning Board and City
officials will meet in the fall to further discuss the parking regulations.
Herbals withdrew its site plan for a retail marijuana facility at 200 Beacham
St., but are expected to be back before the Planning Board with a revised plan
On May 11, at 6:50 p.m., a CPD officer
observed a vehicle speeding on Eastern Avenue. The vehicle was pulled over and
the operator refused to provide his identification to the officer. He was placed into custody after his repeated
refusal to identify himself. He was later Identified and learned to not be
Bryan Nunez, 30, of 63 Shawmut St., was
charged with refusing to identify himself, negligent operation, and unlicensed
Breaking and Entering
On May 18, at 1 p.m., officers responded to
an apartment at 77 Library St. for a report of a past breaking and entering to
the residence. Upon arrival, Officers spoke with the reporting party who stated
that an unknown male party had broken into their apartment and fled after her
younger brother confronted the male and chased him out of the residence.
The victim was able to utilize her find my
iPhone app that led the victim, and police, to a Shurtleff Street address. The
victim identified the suspect, and he was placed under arrest.
Ariel Melendez, 42, of 61 Shurtleff St., was
charged with breaking and entering in the day, and larceny from a building.
Driving under the Influence
On May 18, at 8:44 p.m., a CPD officer was
dispatched to 92 Clinton St. for a report of a motor vehicle accident with no
reported injuries. The officer observed two motor vehicles involved in a minor
crash. As both were exchanging information, the officer detected a strong odor
of alcohol from one of the drivers. The officer formed the opinion that the
operator was driving under the influence of alcohol and the driver was arrested
on the scene.
Marvin Mancia, 39, of 109 Clinton St., was
charged with OUI Liquor.
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.
Steph Simon wins two events at the Dartmouth Relays
Chelsea High track star Stephanie Simon won
two events this past Saturday at the Dartmouth Relays in Hanover, New
Hampshire, a meet that annually attracts some of the best track and field
athletes in the Northeast.
Stephanie won the
long jump by a quarter of an inch with her leap of 17′-7″ and captured the
triple jump with a distance of 38′-5″, the latter being a
Bruins enjoying bye week
Without the excitement of
the Patriots win over the Kansas City Chiefs, on their way to the Super Bowl,
this would have been a boring week for Bruins fans. With the bye week before
the All-Star break, the Bs have been blessed with a 9-day hiatus. The reason
for feeling blessed is due to the concussion suffered by goaltender Tuukka Rask
versus the New York Rangers last Saturday. Recent comments from Rask’s agent,
Brett Peterson, were a shade encouraging, stating that he believes, “There
isn’t “anything to be too concerned about in respect to Rask’s recovery, and I
think it is day to day for him right now.” Rask’s concussion extended the list
of Bruins concussed this season, adding his name to the list that included,
David Backes, Urho Vaakanainen, Jake DeBrusk, and Charlie McAvoy. Boston
resumes their regular season schedule on Tuesday, January 29, when they face
the streaking Winnipeg Jets on Garden ice.
The Bruins can certainly
count their lucky stars, as one of the major reason for the team currently
holding on to sixth place (27-17-5) in the Eastern Conference has been the
goaltending duo of Rask and Jaroslav Halak’s steady performances in net.
Numbers wise, Rask is 14-8-3, 2.43 goals-against, and a .919 save percentage –
Halak is 13-9-2, 2.47 goals-against, and a .919 save percentage. The mirrored numbers
attest to their outstanding and mostly consistent play. Add to that the
powerful first line, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, the
trio responsible for 60 of the Bs 143 goals scored, and an impressive 150
points to date. Combine those stats with the solid play on the defense, and it
certainly looks promising for this team when their full roster is on board.
As is the case every season, each point is crucial, as it shows in the present playoff picture, where seven teams are clustered in the East, battling for position. Teams trailing the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning (76 points), New York Islanders (63), Toronto Maple Leafs (60), Washington Capitals (60), Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Montreal Canadiens, all with 59 points, and the Pittsburgh Penguins hanging in there with 58.
David Pastrnak is the lone
Bruins representative at the 2019 NHL All-Star game in San Jose, California.
Fans tuning in are reminded of the change in programming, this year’s event
will be played this Saturday, January 26th at 8:00pm EST, instead of the usual
Sunday date, with the Skills Competition moved from its traditional Saturday
night to this Friday, January 25. Following the All-Star break, the Bruins
return to Garden ice for a two-game homestand, beginning Tuesday (1/29 at 7
p.m.) to take on the Winnipeg Jets, and back on the ice again Thursday (1/31 at
7 p.m.) to host the Philadelphia Flyers.
ZDENO CHARA TO CAPTAIN 12th ANNUAL PJ DRIVE
The Boston Bruins and the
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners are teaming up with Cradles to
Crayons and DCF Wonderfund, both non-profits that ensure positive living
conditions for children, to present the 12th Annual “PJ Drive” to benefit
Massachusetts’ youth in need. The drive will run from February 1, until March
15. The PJ Drive provides new, unused pajamas to babies, children, and teens in
communities across Massachusetts. Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara will lead this
year’s PJ Drive for the fourth time. The PJ Drive originally started during the
2007-2008 season by former Bruin P.J. Axelsson and his wife Siw. Since then,
over 100,000 Massachusetts children have received PJs through the Bruins PJ
The Boston Bruins will be
hosting an in-game PJ collection on Saturday, February 9, at the Boston Bruins
vs. LA Kings game at 1 p.m. at TD Garden. Fans who donate PJs or $10 at this
game will be entered in a raffle to win Bruins autographed prizes. Please note
that all PJs must be new and unused to be donated. Fans can register their own
organization to be a PJ Drive donation site. The top three organizations that
collect the most PJs will receive five tickets to one of the following games:
Bruins vs. New York Rangers on Wednesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m., or Bruins vs.
Florida Panthers on Saturday, March 30, at 7 p.m.
BLOOD DRIVE THIS WEEKEND
The Bruins will host their annual Blood Drive with the American Red Cross on this Sunday, January 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at TD Garden. The day will be filled with family-friendly activities, including a kids’ obstacle course, plus touch-a-truck, and appearances by Bruins mascot Blades. Donors can make appointments by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visiting RedCrossBlood.org, and by entering sponsor code BRUINS, or by using the American Red Cross Blood Donor app. All donors will receive a long-sleeve American Red Cross T-shirt. Free parking for the Blood Drive will be provided at the North Station Garage. Also taking place on this day at the Garden will be the First Responder Challenge powered by National Grid.
Ask 100 people where the Mill Hill
neighborhood separates from the Mill Creek neighborhood and one would probably
get 100 different answers.
Neighborhoods in Chelsea have been loosely
defined for decades, with some not even named at all, but now Downtown
Coordinator Mimi Graney is looking to residents of Chelsea to define the City’s
neighborhoods more precisely.
“It came up because City Planner Karl Allen
has been working on a project by the Produce Center and he kept calling it West
Chelsea,” she said. “Every time he did that, people would laugh at it. It
brought up the question as to what do you call that area. It was the same thing
for the Walnut Street Synagogue area. Then you have people talking about
Prattville. We decided to try to figure out what you call the various
neighborhoods of Chelsea.”
That started with a query of the Chel-Yea
group last month, and during that event and with online follow ups, Graney said
she got very impassioned responses.
People, she said, took it very seriously.
“Several people said everything was just
Chelsea, but others had strong opinions about Admiral’s Hill and Prattville,”
she said. “It has solicited a lot of interested conversations.”
Graney has produced a map with suggested
boundaries and names. So far, they have included Prattville, Mayor’s Row,
Chelsea High, Addison-Orange, Soldiers’ Home/Powderhorn Hill, Cary Square, Mill
Creek, Mill Hill, Spencer Avenue, Eastern Ave Industrial Area, Box District,
Bellingham Hill, Salt Piles, Waterfront, Downtown (including Chelsea Square and
Bellingham Square), Williams School, Carter Park, Mystic Mall, Produce District
and Admiral’s Hill.
It was difficult, she said, to find the real
boundaries of the Soldiers’ Home neighborhood versus Cary Square, she said, and
many said the Spencer Avenue area should be called Upper Broadway. Mill Creek,
on the other hand, has been confused in some ways with the Parkway Plaza.
She said the exercise is one that moves
beyond the fun of talking about it, and moving towards making it a place.
“The legacy of the fire in the Mystic Mall
area sort of upended most boundaries there,” she said. “People are
uncomfortable with the area beyond Carter Park and Chelsea High area. If it
doesn’t have a name, it becomes this no man’s land. Naming a place has a power
to it. I’m hoping people in these areas claim that power in that naming.”
Graney said they
will continue to take input on the neighborhood boundaries, and will likely
present something to the community in the near future.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said this week that the City has negotiated three Host Community Agreements (HCA) with marijuana operators looking to establish dispensaries in the City.
Ambrosino said all three HCAs are identical and are really a formality for the dispensaries, which include the one at the former King Arthur’s, the one on Eastern Avenue and the one on Webster Avenue at Chelsea Commons. He said the City’s policy is they would negotiate an HCA with any entity that had gotten through the process and wanted to proceed to state approval.
“My guess is that it’s another year or so before any of them are set up,” he said. “It’s my understanding that all of the enterprises with HCAs here are not very close to being approved by the state Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).”
The HCAs are the next step after the community meeting, which all three have completed. To go before the CCC, an entity must have an HCA in place, and Ambrosino said the law is clear towards what can be in those agreements.
In Chelsea’s case, the City has asked for 3 percent of gross revenues from the sales of marijuana products. Those payments will come annually and will be in addition to the 3 percent local sales tax already approved. The first 3 percent mitigation payment would come 14 months after the dispensary opens.
A second monetary piece in the agreements includes two, $30,000 payments over two years to the City’s non-profits that have an anti-drug focus.
An important aside, Ambrosino said, is that the HCA doesn’t mean the City has agreed to support the license of any entity.
“My signing off on these is not a substantive decision on them,” he said. “I’m just giving them the chance to move forward and you have to have these in place to move forward. We’ll make the substantive decisions on these proposals not behind closed doors in a negotiation, but rather at the Zoning Board and Planning Board in a public as part of a process.”
Before any of the three dispensaries could open their doors, they would need state approval from the CCC. Then they would have to come back to Chelsea and get a special permit after visiting the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and the Planning Board. If that permit is achieved, they would then have to get a license to operate from the Chelsea License Commission.
Only then could an establishment open for business.
If you’re a Chelsea student who enjoys scientific exploration, then the Latimer Society’s third annual Chelsea Science Festival is a must-go on your summer calendar.
Latimer Society Co-Directors Leo Robinson and Ronald Robinson are calling this year’s event, “Science Carnival,” which means it will be both educational and fun.
The Carnival will be held on Friday, Aug. 10, from noon to 5 p.m., at the Port Park, 99 Marginal Street. Joseph and Shelagh McNamee of Eastern Minerals have generously donated the facility for the event, and it’s proven to be a perfect venue with its waterfront location.
“What we’re trying to do is bring practitioners of science together with members of the community, children, and families,” said Ronald Robinson. “We’re trying to get our younger students involved in STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math, but we do STEAM and the ‘A’ stands for art.”
Robinson said the event will have local and regional scientists and science-oriented organizations in attendance.
“It’s our big event of the summer,” said Robinson. “We’re also working with CAPIC’s youth development center once a week this summer with a program that helps youth learn about designing.”
What activities can students expect when they arrive at the Science Carnival?
They will have access to interactive stations staffed by representatives from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and the Suffolk County Mosquito Board, and of course, the Latimer Society, which is named for the brilliant scientist and inventor Lewis Howard Latimer, who was born in Chelsea in 1848.
“We’re all about promoting science because he [Latimer] was a noted scientist,” said Ronald Robinson.
The event is free of charge and open to students from Chelsea and other communities. Refreshments will be available.
“We expect students from Chelsea, Everett, East Boston, and Revere to be at the carnival,” said Leo Robinson, a longtime city councillor in Chelsea whose life has been dedicated to helping local students and athletes.
In concluding the interview about the Aug. 10 event, Ronald Robinson told a heartwarming story about two Chelsea students, ages 14 and 15, whom he had asked about their future career aspirations.
“One student said he’d like to play at Duke and in the NBA,” said Robinson. “I asked him what else he would like to be doing after college. So now I have him and his friend rebuilding a 3-D printer and they’re really enthusiastic about the project. And that’s what we do at the Latimer Society. We connect our youth with the sciences.”
And Ronald and Leo Robinson having been doing that well at the Latimer Society for more than 20 years.
The blinking signals at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Broadway have not functioned for years, but after some recent repairs, they are close to being fixed now.
The question, though, has become whether or not the City really wants to get them working.
“The constraint on operating the lights has not just been the control box,” read a letter from City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “Rather, there has been real concern that having the lights fully functioning on the typical green, yellow, and red sequence will adversely impact the flow of traffic. Because it has been so long since the lights have functioned in that fashion, I cannot opine of the legitimacy of that concern.”
Two years ago, the City Council approved money to fix the control box on the lights. That work was completed, and now a small $2,000 expenditure is all that stands in the way of another working traffic light.
That said, the flow of traffic at the intersection is fairly smooth, though there is quite a bit of confusion for those coming onto Broadway from Clinton Street.
Ambrosino said the Council should make the decision, but he recommends a pilot program for 30 to 60 days to see if a functioning lights helps matters or hurts them.
He also suggested upgrading the lights to a sophisticated system using smart systems, cameras and sensors that can automatically change the timing of the light based on traffic volumes. Those types of signals have been approved by the Council for the Williams Street corridor.
He said if there is more development on the Creek, these advanced lights might be in order.
“I do believe that, if any further development is to occur at either the Forbes site or the old Midas site, an upgrade to a smart intersection at this location will be an essential precondition to such development,” he said.
Care Dimensions, the largest provider of hospice and palliative care services in Massachusetts, celebrated National Nurses Week, May 6 -12 by honoring its nurses, many of whom are board certified in hospice and palliative care
. Care Dimensions’ new President & CEO, Patricia Ahern, a 41-year veteran in the field of nursing, said, “The capacity to explain complicated medical information is something that everyone values about nurses and the confidence that people have in the technical skills of nurses is remarkable. More importantly, nurses are gifted with the ability to discern the worry and apprehension that folks can’t quite get into words when they are feeling vulnerable and isolated.”
Erin Barker, RN., a Care Dimensions nurse from Chelsea was recognized for her professionalism, leadership and commitment to excellence in patient care at Care Dimensions:
Since the founding in 1978, nurses have helped to make the time of advanced illness dignified and meaningful for patients and their families. We welcome new members to our team of caring, compassionate nurses. Visit www.CareDimensions.org/careers to learn more.
About Care Dimensions
Making a Difference in Countless Lives for 40 years
Care Dimensions is the largest hospice and palliative care provider to adults and children in Massachusetts. As a non-profit, community-based leader in advanced illness care, Care Dimensions provides comprehensive hospice, palliative care, grief support and teaching programs in more than 90 communities in Eastern Massachusetts. Celebrating 40 years of service, Care Dimensions was founded in 1978 as Hospice of the North Shore, and cares for patients wherever they live – in their homes, in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities, in hospitals, or at our two inpatient hospice facilities (the new Care Dimension Hospice House in Lincoln, and the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers). To learn more about Care Dimensions or to view a tour of our hospice houses, please visit www.CareDimensions.org.
Metro Credit Union (MCU) has been selected to participate in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Equity Builder Program, which assists local homebuyers with down-payment and closing costs assistance. Metro received $110,000 through the program, which is available on a first come first serve basis. Homebuyers, at or below 80 percent of the area median income and complete a homebuyer counseling program are eligible to receive up to $11,000 to be used in conjunction with Metro’s flexible loan programs and reduced fees.
“We are pleased to be able to offer this assistance to help ease some of the challenges associated with a home purchase. Homeownership is key to building wealth and creating financial stability, and programs that assist homebuyers are a critical component in ensuring that our communities continue to thrive,” said Robert Cashman, President & CEO, Metro Credit Union.
Since 2003, the Equity Builder Program has awarded more than $35 million in EBP funds assisting 3,150 income-eligible households to purchase a home.
To learn more about applying for assistance, please contact a Metro Mortgage Specialist at 877.696.3876 or visit MetroCU.org.
About Metro Credit Union
Metro Credit Union is the largest state-chartered credit union in Massachusetts with over $1.3 billion in assets, and serves more than 170,000 members. It is a growing, federally insured financial institution and a leading provider of a full range of financial services to anyone living or working in Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Plymouth, Barnstable, Bristol or Worcester counties in Eastern Massachusetts, as well as Massachusetts state employees and retirees throughout the Commonwealth. Founded in 1926, Metro Credit Union is a non-profit cooperative institution, owned by and operated for the people who use and benefit from its products and services. Metro uses superior customer service and technology to deliver a full range of financial products to consumers and businesses in eastern Massachusetts. Learn more about Metro Credit Union at www.metrocu.org