Police Briefs 11-16-2017

Police Briefs 11-16-2017

SUSPICIOUS CHARACTER

On Nov. 5, at 3:15 p.m., a CPD officer, while parked across from the Chelsea Police Headquarters, was approached by a young male. The officer reported that the male seemed to be out of breath and in a panic.

He told the officer that he was riding his bicycle on Central Avenue by the cemetery and observed a truck drive past him four times, and each time the operator made comments to him that made him feel uncomfortable. The officer gave a description out to all Chelsea units to BOLO for a black Dodge Ram truck as reported by the young male. A short time later Chelsea officers observed the truck after it hit a vehicle near Chestnut and Fifth streets. Other Chelsea Units responded and stopped vehicle and placed operator under arrest. The vehicle was reported to be stolen out of Reading.

Michael Valentin, 17, of Revere, was charged with unlicensed operation, reckless operation, leaving the scene of property damage, and receiving a stolen vehicle.

STOLE CELL PHONE

On Nov. 5, at noon, a CPD officer on walking patrol in uniform observed from a distance of 100 feet a known female. The officer observed the female approach the victim, who was sitting against a wall by Cherry Street at Everett Avenue. The officer observed the female grab the victim with both hands and start to push him. The officer then observed female take a cell phone from victim. She was placed into custody on scene.

Meghan Mastrangelo, 36, of Revere, was charged with unarmed robbery.

UNLICENSED LIVERY DRIVERS

On Nov. 6, at approximately 6 a.m., a traffic officer was monitoring the intersection of Crescent and Eastern avenues. At that location, the officer observed a vehicle take a right hand turn from Crescent Avenue onto Eastern Avenue without stopping. The operator was discovered to be unlicensed and was allegedly employed by Nunez Livery of East Boston.

The Traffic Division has been monitoring the practice of this livery company hiring unlicensed drivers. The operator was placed into custody and the vehicle was impounded.

Osmin Antonio Gomez-Bran, 21, of 743 Broadway, was charged with unlicensed operation and failing to yield at an intersection.

HIGH COURT AFFIRMS CONVICTION 

The state’s highest court this month upheld a Suffolk Superior Court jury’s murder verdict in the 2006 homicide of Yolande Danestoir by her son.

The 33-page unanimous decision affirms the conviction of Norton Cartright for first-degree in his mother’s slaying inside the Reynolds Street home they once shared – where Cartright had continued to live in a crawlspace after being ordered to stay out of the residence. Evidence at trial established that Cartright beat her with a hammer, causing fatal injuries, after she found him inside the apartment.

Cartright’s primary argument on appeal was that his videotaped and audio-recorded admissions to State and Chelsea police detectives were not voluntary, that his prior motion to suppress should have been granted, and that his statement should not have gone before the jury. The high court disagreed.

“We conclude, as did the motion judge, that the defendant’s confession was voluntary, and therefore admissible,” the court wrote, noting that the detectives “pointed accurately at the evidence arrayed against him” and that their suggestion of possible mitigating circumstances “were within the bounds of acceptable interrogation methods.”

Cartright also argued that the detectives’ appeals to let the victim “rest in peace” in the “afterlife” by telling “the truth” were improper. The high court rejected this claim, as well, finding that they were not “calculated to exploit a particular psychological vulnerability of the defendant” and did not render his incriminating statements involuntary.

“Contrary to the defendant’s contention, the religious references here were of a type that other courts have concluded were permissible,” the high court wrote. “Nothing indicates that police took advantage of, or knew of, the defendant’s personal religious beliefs, or of any special susceptibility he might have had to religious appeals.”

Police Log

Monday, 10/30

Juan Valle, 38, 127 Division St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Laura Fontanez, 52, 152 Congress Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.

Wednesday, 11/1

Christopher Rivera, 25, 54 Maverick St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Alisha Cohen, 38, 36 Winthrop Rd., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage and disorderly conduct.

Thursday, 11/2

Alexandra Corn, 60, 49 Bromfield Rd., Somerville, was arrested for larceny over $250.

Friday, 11/3

Carlos Sanchez Renderos, 29, 140 Grove St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Kevin Merrill, 37, 240 Albany St., Cambridge, was arrested on a warrant.

Marcio Mezabaca, 32, 220 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, leaving scene of property damage, failure to stop for police, assault to murder and resisting arrest.

Saturday, 11/4

Jose Orozco Dias, 44, 73 Congress Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

Sunday, 11/5

Meghan Mastrangelo, 36, 106 Mountain Ave., Revere, was arrested for unarmed robbery.

Pedro Mejia, 34, 1641 Shore Rd., Revere, Larceny over $250.

Monday, 11/6

Antonio Gomez-Bran, 21, 743 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, failure to yield at intersection.

Jenry Lopez-Alvarez, 29, 106 Webster Ave., Chelsea, waas arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

Tuesday, 11/7/17

Pena Aguilar Bonifacio, 48, address unknown, was arrested for trespassing.

Henry Hernandez-Valentin, 47, 21 John St., Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing.

Wednesday, 11/8

Alexander Hubbard, 45, 14 Savin St., Roxbury, was arrested on warrants.

Friday, 11/10

Allan Tzalam Hernandez, 18, 48 Harvard St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

German Sanchez, 23A Philomena Ave., Revere, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

Saturday, 11/11

Robert Daniels, 18, 73A Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

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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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Chelsea’s Commitment to Industrial Areas Spurs Major Purchases

Chelsea’s Commitment to Industrial Areas Spurs Major Purchases

By Seth Daniel

Residential is king in today’s development world, with developers vying for land to build luxury apartments where previously no one would have even parked their car.

That means, however, that industrial areas are shrinking or disappearing in the Greater Boston area, and places like Chelsea’s industrial area on Eastern Avenue and Marginal Streets are commanding high prices and great interest from developers intent on grabbing committed industrial property before it disappers.

That couldn’t be more true in Chelsea, where industrial/commercial properties are commanding a premium after several recent notable sales, and major developers from the region are scooping them up before it’s too late.

On Eastern Avenue, National Development – a well-known development company with major holdings in Boston, including the trendy new residential Ink Block development – has purchased 130 Eastern Ave. for $10 million in August from the Cohen Family, according to property records.

Pending a zoning variance, they plan to demolish the entire existing 38,000 sq. ft. warehouse on the seven-acre site.

Ted Tye of National Development said they hope to start construction on the new 32-foot clear height building in late 2017 upon completing final designs and receiving all the permits and approvals. They expect construction to conclude  in fall 2018.

Tye said they have one tenant for the new property, but that tenant hasn’t been disclosed yet.

“There is an increasing demand in Greater Boston for quality distribution space close to Boston,” said Tye. “Chelsea is ideally located and has been great to work with on expanding the City’s commercial base.”

Part of the certainty comes from the fact, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said, that Chelsea has committed itself to keeping things industrial – unlike other areas, such as Everett’s Lower Broadway area by Wynn Boston Harbor casino where all bets against residential creeping in are off right now.

“I think we have made a commitment to see industrial areas that are now industrial to remain industrial and that these areas are relatively important to the City,” he said. “We have plenty of areas for residential expansion, including the Forbes site. I think we’re committed to retaining a vibrant industrial district. Chelsea historically has done a great job. We’re not likely to create residential developments in our industrial areas.”

Ambrosino said one thing the City requires is that in the development of these new properties, that they are improved aesthetically a bit. For example, National Development will landscape its property upon completion, and the new LTI Limo Company – which moved from Everett’s Lower Broadway area to Chelsea’s Eastern Avenue this year after being bought out by Wynn – is also going to landscape its property significantly.

“There aren’t a lot of industrial areas in Greater Boston and so this industrial area has become quite desirable,” said Ambrosino.

Meanwhile, just last week, more significant action took place in the district with the sale of two prominent warehouse to the Seyon Group, a Boston commercial development firm with 30 years of experience.

E-mails to Seyon Group were not answered in time for this story, but property records – first reported by Bldup.com – showed that Seyon purchased two warehouses for more $10 million total last week.

They purchased 201 Crescent Ave. from New England Lighting Company, which is closing down, for $3.75 million. New England Lighting bought the warehouse in 2009 for $2.65 million. The building is empty and for lease.

Meanwhile, at the same time, Seyon Group bought 150 Eastern Ave. from O’Brien Realty for $7.475 million. O’Brien also owns 140 Eastern Ave., and it purchased 150 Eastern Ave. in 2015 for just $4 million – nearly doubling their money in two years time.

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Recupero Celebrates New Crossing Light as Opponent Drops out of Race

Recupero Celebrates New Crossing Light as Opponent Drops out of Race

By Seth Daniel

For at least three years, Councillor Giovanni Recupero has been pleading for a pedestrian crossing light on Marginal Street so as to make getting to the new PORT Park safe.

With tractor trailers and vehicles of all types flying down the thoroughfare, reaching the new park is very dangerous, especially for a child or a mother with a stroller.

For all those three years, he was told to find the money and maybe he could get it.

Well, he did, and last Monday night, Sept. 25, the crossing area was voted in by the City Council.

“This is one of the best things I have done,” he said. “I worked very hard for this. It took me three years. There was no funding, they said. Well, I found the funding. Now we have it.”

With the money he found, and a significant amount of extra funds allocated due to cost overruns, the signal is now designed and ready to be installed in the spring, hopefully in time for next summer.

Recupero identified $145,000 in funds from the Eastern Salt mitigation fund that came in 2007 as a result of adding the second salt pile. Part of that money went to the Highland Park Field, and some was left over.

Recupero said that’s the money he found.

However, earlier this month, City Manager Tom Ambrosino reported that a major increase in the cost had occurred. The design and construction had gone from $145,000 to $402,000 due to the signal being far more expensive that estimated.

However, Ambrosino still supported it.

“Although this is a major change in scope, I still feel this signalization is a worthwhile effort,” he wrote. “If we want pedestrians to get safely to the park from the abutting neighborhoods, the new scope of work is essential.”

The additional funding of $257,000 was voted in by the Council Sept. 25 as well.

For Recupero, it’s a double celebration as on Monday his opponent, Kris Haight, withdrew from the Council race.

Haight, a public transportation advocate, said his work was too demanding to also give attention to a Council position.

“After great consideration, I have decided to bow out of the Chelsea City Councilor’s race,” he wrote in a statement. “I am dropping out for a number of reasons, but time and effort is the biggest one. My day job has become a bear, to the point where I am going non stop most of the day. I’m just exhausted when I get home, let alone have to get on my feet to canvass for a few hours to meet the voters.”

He said the demands of his job would not allow him to be an effective councillor, and if elected, that wouldn’t be fair to the residents.

He said he is no longer a candidate.

Recupero said he is running and hopes the voters notice the things he’s done, such as the pedestrian crossing signal, and believe he’s doing a good job for them at City Hall.

“It would be my honor and pleasure to continue representing the people of District 6 for another term,” he said. “I will try my hardest, and I hope they will help me get back to City Hall for another term.”

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ZBA Approves Winnisimmet Lounge by Ciao

ZBA Approves Winnisimmet Lounge by Ciao

By Seth Daniel

The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved a special permit and variances that pave the way for the newest culinary advancement in the City – with the owners of Ciao Pizza and Pastas moving forward to open a small plate lounge that will serve alcohol and gourmet foods.

The proposal by Edson Coimbra and Marvin Posada, owners of Ciao, completes a recent aggressive expansion by the gourmet pizza parlor on Williams Street. The Lounge will be on the first floor of a new building at the old location of Parrotta’s Bar.

Coimbra lined up many supporters who came to speak on behalf of the owners and their vision for the space, which does include a bar, but not the kind of rowdy bar that the space was known for when Parrotta’s occupied it.

Some abutters have not been happy with the plan as they believe it could re-ignite troubles at the location that existed when the old bar was there.

Coimbra has said he plans to bring an upscale dining experience similar to the small plate restaurant Barcelona in the South End.

With their approvals in hand, Coimbra said they would begin work on the new restaurant hand in hand with the development of the dwelling units.

Meanwhile, Ciao is nearly complete with the build out of a gourmet grocery and pasta factory at a space in Chelsea Square.

In other ZBA news:

  • The 45-unit apartment building proposed at 170 Cottage St. was continued once again.
  • Variances and a special permit were granted at 157 Clark Ave. for an awning for a store and an increase in the parking lot from 14 spaces to 28 spaces.
  • A cell phone store was okayed at 364 Washington Ave.
  • Combining two lots was allowed at 25-27 Suffolk Street in order to build a new four-family dwelling.
  • A minor modification was granted to a dental office at 950 Broadway for extension of office space.
  • A minor modification was granted to the car wash at 284 Eastern Ave. to use another building.

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Police Briefs 06-08-2017

Police Briefs 06-08-2017

‘BLAST’ THREAT GETS CHARGES

On June 3, at 7:02 p.m., a subject was placed into custody after he made threats over the phone to ‘blast’ and shoot employees at the T-Mobile store located at 158 Everett Ave. He was located at his residence on Grove Street and apprehended.

Jorge Castro, 37, of 84 Grove St., was charged with bomb/hijack threats.

ALMOST HIT A CRUISER

On May 31, at 9:50 p.m., officers were patrolling northbound on Eastern Avenue when they observed a vehicle driving in the southbound direction of Eastern Avenue. The vehicle  was observed crossing over the yellow double lines and narrowly missed colliding into the Patrol vehicle. The operator was placed under arrest for OUI after a failing a field sobriety test.

Jose Arias-Munguia, 46, of East Boston, was charged with operating under the influence of liquor, marked lanes violation and possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

ACQUAINTANCE SLAP-FEST

On June 1, at 10:12 a.m., officers responded to an argument between two parties in front of 21 Lash St. Upon arrival, officers were flagged down by a female party, later identified the person who had called the police. The victim told officers that the female who was known to her attacked her by striking her in the face several times, and she was able to free herself to call police. The subject was located by Boston Police in East Boston and placed under arrest and turned over to CPD.

Luz Zapata, 42, of East Boston, was charged with assault and battery and intimidation of a witness.

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Avellaneda Proposes Planning Process to Change Zoning on Marginal Street

By Seth Daniel

In the wake of a Waterfront Planning Process for the areas next to Chelsea Street Bridge, Councillor Roy Avellaneda has called for the strip of land running along Marginal Street from Highland Avenue to Winnisimmet Street to be re-zoned to provide what he believes are better uses.

In an order presented to the Council on Monday and passed, he called for the City Manager and Planning Department to draft a zoning amendment for the City Council to review within 45 days, adding a Waterfront Residential Commercial Overlay District (WRCOD) to the highly-industrial – though partly residential – area. He said he believes the new overlay district would promote economic development, eliminate blighted properties and encourage residential and commercial uses.

Some of the uses suggested to be allowed in the new district include multi-family dwellings with four or more units, dwellings containing six or fewer units, multifamily dwelling units of 12-35 units per acre, hotels, bakeries, convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants, banks, cinemas and indoor commercial recreation – to name a few.

In addition, he calls for uses currently allowed by right in the industrial area should only be allowed by special permit, and those allowed now by special permit should be prohibited.

“What I’m doing is taking advantage of the face we’re in this process to look at the waterfront planning,” he said. “This part is not in that study. In the conversation I’ve had with residents down there who live along Marginal Street, they’d like to see less industrial uses – which doesn’t fit waterfront zoning. The things they would like to see are not allowed now, things like commercial mixed use, more larger residential or banks. We should take a look at this piece of land to and allow those things to happen…The current study, again, does not include that area. It’s been cut out…It would be great to envision something for that corridor, which is the front door of our city.”

District 6 Councillor Giovanni Recupero agreed that he believes it’s a good idea.

“I am in favor of it,” he said. “It will make our area much better and it isn’t going to make the taxes go up. All of that isn’t allowed there now. We would have retail and stores with apartments above. All of that makes sense down there.”

Meanwhile, there are rumblings that not everyone agrees with the idea, and it is believed that heavy industrial owners like the warehouse on Essex Street, Eastern Salt and Boston Hides & Furs might have concerns.

Some on the Council had initial concerns as well, though public comments were not yet made on the matter. It will be scheduled for a public hearing at the Planning Board, and later at the Council

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Goodbye Weeds:Much Needed Attention Begins to Hone in on District 6 Infrastructure

By Seth Daniel

Say goodbye to the weeds! Councillor Giovanni Recupero walks along a sidewalk on Suffolk Street that seems to have more grass than sidewalk and it’s something he said is going to go away soon. Major resources have been allocated to District 6 this year and next year, it being the most neglected area of the city for years.

Say goodbye to the weeds! Councillor Giovanni Recupero walks along a sidewalk on Suffolk Street that seems to have more grass than sidewalk and it’s something he said is going to go away soon. Major resources have been allocated
to District 6 this year and next year, it being the most neglected area of the city for years.

There’s a light shining in District 6 – a street light to be exact.

A major investment into the infrastructure of District 6 – located along the Chelsea Creek and back of the hill neighborhoods – is about to take place this fall and coming spring, and Councillor Giovanni Recupero is all smiles.

On a recent afternoon, while walking on a sidewalk that contained more grass that concrete due to years of neglect, Recupero pointed up to a street light on Lynn Street Extension, as well as new poles dotting the street all the way up Lynn Street and even down on Charles Street, next to the Boston Hides and Furs.

The poles are the locations for new streetlights, and not replacements, but rather locations on a street that was pitch black most nights and the center of a good amount of Chelsea’s street violence.

“It’s been dark over here for decades and it made it unsafe,” he said. “People didn’t feel safe. It was too dark at night. I asked for streetlights here for years and they told me that it could never be done, especially on Charles Street. Now it’s done. It was done with the help of the new City Manager and the new City Council who all have the best intentions of the people in mind. That’s why District 6 is finally getting attention. District 6 was the most neglected district in the city for years. It’s falling apart, but we’re going to get it back together now.”

In addition to that, Recupero happily announced that Lynn Street would be paved all the way to the top, which was a joint project with Councilor Enio Lopez.

He also said Suffolk Street would be paved and sidewalks re-instituted – it being one of the worst streets in the entire City for pavement and sidewalks. In fact, Recupero pointed to sidewalks on Suffolk that no long exist because they’ve become so overgrown and other sidewalks that seem like lawns interspersed with a little bit of concrete.

“The money is already allocated for Lynn Street and Suffolk Street,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Another major improvement, and something Recupero said he was also told could never be done, is getting a traffic stoplight on Charles Street so residents can cross Marginal Street to the PORT Park.

Using a little-known neighborhood improvement fund provided by Eastern Salt, Recupero said he was able to secure $141,000 to get the light placed on Marginal Street.

“We have this great new park over there, but no on goes to it because there is too much dog (waste) there and because, most important, it was too dangerous to cross the street,” he said. “There was no crosswalk to get there and cars go too fast. The Council never wanted to let me get that because it was so expensive, but I found the money. That money was meant for my district and now we’re going to use it for the traffic light.”

Next on his list, he said, will be the other side to the district. He said Hawthorne Street is scheduled to be done next year, and he’s working on Park, Division and Shurtleff Streets.

“This is the most neglected portion over here so I’m working on that first,” he said. “It’s the worst part, but it’s getting better. Next, I’m going to concentrate on the other side of District 6 by Congress Street.”

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Project Approved for Former Centro Latino, Eastern Avenue

By Seth Daniel

The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) met on Tuesday night, Aug. 9, for a full slate of proposals.

First and foremost, Chelsea developers Gerry Sneirson was approved to build a mixed-use project at the old Centro Latino headquarters – a key corner property in the Broadway business district.

The plan calls for one commercial unit in the basement and two on the first floor.

The first floor would also house parking for nine vehicles.

The second and third floors would have eight units each, for a total of 16 units.

The project would include building an addition to the rear of the building over the top of the existing parking lot.

In another matter, Steven McDonough was given a Special Permit to establish a small personal training gym at 311 Eastern Ave. He did not meet requirements for off-street parking.

Other matters reviewed were:

  • 18 Parker St., Elba Rojas was approved for special permit and variances to convert a one family into a two-family home. It did to meeting minimum lot size and didn’t have required parking.
  • 54 Palmer St., Raymond Lewis got a special permit to construct a driveway.
  • 337 Third St., Third Street Realty Corp. was approved for a variance for dividing the lot and establishing two primary uses on a single lot and the company got a special permit for off-street parking requirements.
  • 68 Pearl St., Sotiris Sotiropoulos received a special permit to covert a one family to a two-family.
  • 214 Arlington St., Erik Rueda was given a special permit to change the use of storage space on his second floor to the use of a business office.
  • 178 Chestnut St., Acquisitions Division LLC was continued for a special permit for a parking lot that does not meet minimum requirements.
  • 37-39 Blossom St., Ana Melecio was continued for a special permit for construction of two carports.

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Greenroots Spins Off from Chelsea Collaborative to Focus on Environment

By Seth Daniel

The new GreenRoots team, L to R, Associate Executive Director Maria Belen Power, Nelson Martinez, Sequoyah Williams, Qamar Sabtow, Cristian Corchado, Juan Vasquez and Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni.

The new GreenRoots team, L to R, Associate Executive Director Maria Belen Power, Nelson Martinez, Sequoyah Williams, Qamar Sabtow, Cristian Corchado, Juan Vasquez and Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni.

A new non-profit from a very familiar group of folks has begun operations this month to advocate for environmental issues on the Chelsea Creek and throughout the city at its headquarters on Marginal Street.

GreenRoots has spun off from the Chelsea Collaborative, formerly being Chelsea GreenSpace, and will operate in cooperation with the Collaborative, but as it’s own group. The leader of the new environmental group is Roseann Bongiovanni – a long-time fixture at the Collaborative. She will be assisted by another long-time Collaborative leader, Maria Belen Power.

The two filed the papers for GreenRoots on May 27- the day of the Battle of Chelsea Creek – and have been working towards complete operation since then.

There has been no split, though, in personalities or missions for the two groups, but really just a reality of the growth at the Collaborative spurred by the mounting immigration issues and by the closure of Centro Latino.

“We will be two separate entities that are working on two different missions, but in cases where we can, we will work on projects of mutual interest,” said Bongiovanni. “An example of that was the Boston Hides and Furs case where that was an environmental issue and a worker’s rights issue too.”

The main reason for the spin-off is the fact that, due to critical issues around immigration and family survival, environmental issues and public transportation were getting pushed to the wayside. Though they had great victories against the Ethanol trains and defeating the power plant on Eastern Avenue, those victories were getting fewer and fewer as all hands were on deck to help people solve important immigration issues and to absorb the large numbers of people looking for a new service-provider home after the closure of Centro Latino last summer.

“The environmental justice work at the Collaborative was always important, but got to the point where it wasn’t the most important priority on a day-to-day basis because of all the pressing issues we faced,” said Bongiovanni. “It had become all hands on deck to help people who were in dire need of housing or food or immigration or even day to day survival. That work took away from environmental justice and administration and fund-raising. It was the right time and just made sense. GreenSpace had a meeting of its members and we talked about the good work we’ve done, and people felt it made sense to spin off now and see what other achievements could be made – especially when waterfront development is a big issue right now.”

GreenRoots has established a small Board of Directors that includes Madeline Scannell of Chelsea, Yahya Noor of Chelsea, Bob Boulrice of Chelsea and Neris Amaya of Chelsea. More Board members are expected to be added in the coming months.

Additionally, they have hired Juan Vasquez full time to work on an indoor air quality study project in Chelsea that is being done in conjunction with local hospitals.

GreenRoots will now have oversight of the Community Gardens program, and they will look to hire a part-time coordinator as well.

Additionally, all of the GreenSpace functions and the ECOYouth group are now under the GreenRoots umbrella.

Power will be working on public transportation issues as well, which was her specialty at the Collaborative.

“We’re happy to have started off small and have GreenRoots up and running,” said Bongiovanni. “We believe we have achieved many good things over the last 20 years as GreenSpace, but there is so much more we can do and we’re ready to tackle that – whether it’s water quality, land uses, environmental justice or transportation justice.”

A grand opening is scheduled for September.

Cutline –

The new GreenRoots team, L to R, Associate Executive Director Maria Belen Power, Nelson Martinez, Sequoyah Williams, Qamar Sabtow, Cristian Corchado, Juan Vasquez and Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni.

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