Helping Puerto Rico

Helping Puerto Rico

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Carmen Cruz prays for friends and family in Puerto Rico during the vigil and donation drive on Thursday, Sept. 28, to aid in the relief effort for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Chelsea Collaborative and Teamsters Local 25 organized the event, with many community partners. Teamsters Local 25 is donating trucks and drivers to transport the relief items Hurricane Maria has devastated the island, with an overwhelming majority of the 3.4 million residents still without power as of last week, and officials struggling to get food, water, fuel and needed supplies to everyone in need.

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Eclipse Proves to be One of the Most Popular Events of the Year

Eclipse Proves to be One of the Most Popular Events of the Year

By Seth Daniel

Look Up! Kristin Edwardsen, Lisa Makrinikolas and Michael Brannigan focus in on the eclipse.

Look Up! Kristin Edwardsen, Lisa Makrinikolas and Michael Brannigan focus in on the eclipse.

As the moon began to pass in front of the Sun on Monday, Aug. 21, the line of people who wanted to get in on the Eclipse Party on City Hall Lawn began to grow and grow.

Soon, hundreds had gathered to witness the spectacle, far more than anyone had expected.

But it was a marvel that grabbed the attention of the nation, and Chelsea was no different in that hordes of people gathered to have fun on a beautiful Monday and see something quite unique.

For some of the hundreds that gathered at City Hall, they understood that it might be a once in a lifetime event. Only 63 percent of the Sun was blocked out in Chelsea, and another coast to coast event like Monday’s isn’t going to happen until 2040 – though a total eclipse will occur in New England in 2024.

“This isn’t going to happen again here until 2024 and I might not be alive to see another one,” said Naomi Zabot, who attended with her sister, Devra Zabot. “I’ve been talking about this for a long time. My grandparents came from Chelsea and we have roots in Chelsea. This is the place to see history like this.”

Ivonny Carrillo attends the Pioneer Charter School of Science, and said she is good at science but doesn’t necessarily like it. However, the one exception is astronomy. So it was that she and her entire family came to City Hall to make sure to get special glasses and a prime viewing spot.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” she said. “I don’t really like science, but I am good at it. Astronomy is about the only science I do like.”

Aimmi Velez said she simply enjoyed everyone coming out for a non-traditional event. It wasn’t a community meeting or a block party, but a natural event.

“I didn’t think I would see this in my lifetime,” she said. “I think it’s cool people wanted to come out and be together to look at this very unique natural occurrence. It’s interesting people wanted to be together to see it.”

The event at City Hall was put on by the Chelsea Public Library as part of a grant from NASA, and that partnership helped a lot to get people in the area interested in the eclipse.

Librarian Martha Boksenbaum has been preparing for the event for quite some time and was very excited to see everyone want to attend the Chelsea event. She said it gives some momentum to the other activities that will be included as part of the NASA partnership.

For the better part of 20 minutes, Milena Carvalho used her glasses to watch the movement of the moon across the Sun. She said it was a very patient and slow process.

“This was something I wanted my whole family to see,” she said, noting that her children, husband and mother were there. “It was really interesting to watch. It was like looking at a half moon, but instead it was a half Sun. That was very cool.”

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Chelsea Lunch Initiative

Chelsea Lunch Initiative

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The initial Chelsea Lunch initiative kicked off on the City Hall Lawn on Wednesday, July 12, at noon, and was a hit. While rain threatened the event which takes place every week on Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. – it held off and residents and business owners filed to the event. Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney said it was a great mix of residents and area workers. Food provider Rhythm N Wraps sold out of their offerings by 1:30 p.m.
“There were more than a few smiles and folks said they were excited to attend again next week,” said Graney.
The Chelsea Lunch Marketplace offers food, but also informational booths, small retailers and other amenities.

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Sunset Salute

Sunset Salute

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Sailors on the Coast Guard Ship the USCGC Eagle bring down the colors at 8:24 p.m., sunset, on Tuesday, June 20, after the firing of the USS Constitutions cannon. The event was an official Sail Boston Sunset Salute in the Charlestown Navy Yard and drew hundreds to the Town. The USCGC Eagle was in port at the Charlestown Navy Yard as part of Sail Boston all week, departing this morning, June 22. Sail Boston and the National Parks combined to host thousands upon thousands of visitors last weekend and early this week for the international
event.

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Roca CEO Molly Baldwin Responds to Comments at City Council Meeting

Molly Baldwin, CEO of Roca, released the following statement pertaining to the City Council’s discussion about ROCA at Monday night’s meeting:

In the last meeting of the Chelsea City Council, questions were raised about Roca’s transparency and city resources spent on helping high-risk young people served by Roca. It is Roca’s honor to work with the Chelsea City Council, and as has been our history, we wanted to respond fully and transparently to these reasonable but misguided questions.

Roca has proudly opened its doors to multiple levels of program evaluation and is nationally recognized for using the highest standards of data tracking and analysis available. Requests for program outcomes and organizational performance, from city leaders, partners or the community are always answered by full transparency.

Roca has served young people in Chelsea for 28 years and, this October, we will celebrate 20 years in our current location on Park Street. In the past year, 218 young Chelsea residents were served by Roca, and in addition, Roca is conducting outreach to over 100 young people. About half of the young people we’ve served this year are very high risk young men and the rest are young mothers, most of whom are high risk as well. We are privileged to know and work with each one of these young members of our community. They join thousands of young people we’ve been privileged to help through the years.

Roca is known in Chelsea, in the state and nationally for being relentless. We focus on the highest risk young people and invite them to participate in their own lives. We believe that, with relentless outreach to each young person, meaningful relationships between our staff and our participants, and programming that is tailored specifically for this tough-to-serve population, these young people too can succeed. We don’t only believe in it, we know it for a fact. In the past decade, we became a data-driven organization which tracks and analyzes everything we do. Our numbers show that after the first intensive two years with Roca, 93 percent of our young men don’t get rearrested and 87 percent hold a job for six months or more. This is a great benefit for each one of them and also for our city.

As a longstanding member of the community, Roca has partnered with the City of Chelsea in various ways through the years. The city currently funds a work contract for Roca’s Transitional Employment Program, in which young people learn how to work while cleaning the streets of Chelsea. A second city budget item is allocated as back-up for state funding to the Chelsea Police Department and Roca in the event that the state’s project funds are delayed or cut. Roca’s ongoing efforts to raise additional non-city funds from the government and private funders have borne fruit, and Roca is successful in leveraging substantial resources to Chelsea’s young people. However, these sources alone cannot substitute local support for our city’s young people.

Roca is proud to be part of Chelsea, serves hundreds of its young people and employs many city residents. Chelsea is Roca’s home in the deepest sense. Our city’s young people deserve support from their community as they choose to change their lives. Roca will continue to work with each one of these young people, with the city in which they reside and with the City Council, to offer them and our community a safe and thriving place to live.

Molly Baldwin

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Cromwell,CBC will Recognize Eight Chelsea Trailblazers

By Cary Shuman

Chelsea Black Community (CBC) President Joan Cromwell has announced that eight individuals will be honored as “Chelsea Trailblazers” at the third annual CBC Black History Month celebration today at Chelsea High School.

The recipients will be recognized at an awards ceremony in the CHS auditorium following the dinner portion of the program.

The award recipients are Robert “Duke” Bradley, Richard Katz, Shirley Thompson, Maureen Lee, Ronald Robinson, Annie Jones, Police Chief Brian Kyes, and Police Lt. Golden “Rico” Tyre.

“We are honoring these men and women for making a path and continuing to give back to the community,” said Cromwell.

Henry Wilson is the chairman of the event. Dakeya Christmas and Beverly Martin Ross are the leaders of the speaking program.

Admission is free to the celebration. There will be food, activities, and entertainment.

“Come and enjoy this great event with us,” said Cromwell. “We’re going to have dinner from 5 to 6:15 p.m. and then move in to the auditorium for the speaking and awards program.”

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Lt.Governor Karyn Polito Signs Community Compact with City

City Manager Tom Ambrosino shows Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on a map and from his office window in City Hall where the new FBI Building will be located.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino shows Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on a map and from his office window in City Hall where the new FBI Building will be located.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito signed a Community Compact agreement with Chelsea City Manager Thomas Ambrosino on Thursday afternoon.

“We are excited to announce our new partnership with the City of Chelsea,” said Polito. “The Commonwealth is looking forward to working with local officials to implement their chosen best practices in business continuity and job creation.”

Community Compacts are one tool the administration is utilizing to strengthen the partnership between cities and towns and the Commonwealth. By entering a Community Compact, a community agrees to implement self-selected best practices. As part of this partnership, the Commonwealth agrees to fulfill a set of commitments and works to provide assistance for a community based on their chosen best practice.

Chelsea was the 53rd community to sign onto the Compact with the Baker Administration. There have been 130 applications made and 112 have been approved. The round of funding opened up in May.

Through this Compact, the City of Chelsea pledges to adopt a best practice in business continuity by developing a disaster recovery plan for critical systems as well as a plan to electronically back up and securely store municipal data.

“The continuation of government operations plan will give us the opportunity to have a solid plan in effect should something happen that prohibits us from getting to City Hall,” said Allan Alpert, director of emergency management. “It will help us have a plan for paying bills, doing the payroll and making sure City government continues in the event of some emergency. If all our systems fail, things are done electronically now. Nothing is done on paper. We’ll be able to create a plan if we can’t get to our systems in City Hall or if our systems fail.”

In addition, city officials pledge to promote job creation and retention through an economic development plan which leverages Chelsea’s local strengths and regional assets while promoting entrepreneurship and collaboration with educational institutions.

The Community Compact is a voluntary, mutual agreement entered into between the Baker-Polito Administration and individual cities and towns of the Commonwealth. In a Community Compact, a community will agree to implement a best practice they select from across a variety of areas. The Compact also articulates the commitments the Commonwealth will make on behalf of all communities, including helping the community attain their chosen best practice.

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Hundreds Are Expected to Attend 12th Annual Taste of Chelsea Mon.

The Taste of Chelsea has not only been one of the most popular events of the year, it’s also been one of the most successful fundraisers for any local organization.

Joseph Vinard, co-founder and chair of the Taste of Chelsea, said that the event has raised more than $500,000 for HarborCov, a Chelsea-based organization that provides free safety and support services, along with housing and economic opportunities that promote long-term stability for people affected by violence and abuse.

“We have raised over a half million dollars and it all goes to HarborCOV,” proudly stated Vinard, who co-founded Taste of Chelsea with former director Laurie Holmes.

Lynn Peters and Kourou Pich are the current co-directors of HarborCOV, which was founded in 1998 and has been lauded for its professional, comprehensive approach to addressing violence within families and communities.

The 12th Annual Taste of Chelsea 2015 will be held Monday, Sept. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m., at 99 Marginal Street in Chelsea. The event was held at the old Massport Garage on Broadway before being moved three years ago to the current location, a new park that was generously offered as a site for the event by Eastern Minerals.

According to Vinard, thirty-one local food vendors and restaurants will participate, tying the record for most vendor participation in the event’s 12-year history.

Most of the vendors are from Chelsea, but East Boston, Revere, Everett, Winthrop, and Saugus businesses, as well as some from other communities, will also be represented.

Three Chelsea hotels, the Terranova Grille at the Wyndham Chelsea Hotel, the Residence Inn by Marriott, Boston Logan Airport/Chelsea, and TownPlace Suites by Marriott, Boston Logan Airport/Chelsea, will have food stations at the event.

Taste of Chelsea’s ability to consistently draw a large following is impressive. Vinard said between 500 and 700 people will buy tickets and attend the food festival, making it one of the most well attended in the region.

“It’s a great event,” said Vinard. “People look forward to it.”

Vinard, who is division president of Chelsea Bank, which is a division of East Cambridge Savings Bank on Broadway, Chelsea, is being assisted by a committee of 15 volunteers.

Asked if the excitement is building toward Monday’s Taste of Chelsea, Vinard replied, “We’re very excited. The event is a few days away and we’re ready to rock and roll.”

Parking is available on Marginal Street. Cataldo Ambulance will provide a bus to transport attendees to the site. Tickets are available online at $35 in advance. Tickets will be $40 at the door. Blocks of ten tickets or more are $30 apiece.

The featured restaurant and food vendors include:

Adriana’s Pastry and Café, Winthrop

Albert A. Russo Imports – BelGioioso Cheesea, East Boston

Al fresco, Chelsea

Arthur’s Deli/Meho Place, Chelsea

Blackstrap BBQ, Winthrop

Bobby C’s Ristorante, Melrose

Boston Yogurt, Chelsea

The New Brown Jug, Chelsea

Buccieri’s Pizzeria, Chelsea

Chelsea Fire Hot Sauce, Chelsea

Crown Coffee, Wakefield

Dockside Restaurant, Chelsea

Dunkin’ Donuts, Everett Avenue, Chelsea

Fusion Foods, Chelsea

Golden Cannoli, Chelsea

Kayem, Chelsea

Kowloon Restaurant, Saugus

La Siesta Restaurante, Chelsea

Mandarin Buffet, Chelsea

Naked Juice, Boston

Peach’s and Cream, Chelsea

Piantedosi Baking Company, Malden

Polar Beverages, Worcester

Pollo Campero, Chelsea

Residence Inn by Marriott, Boston Logan Airport/Chelsea

Spinelli’s Pasta and Pastry Shop, East Boston

Starbucks Coffee, Chelsea

Stop & Shop, Everett

Terranova Grille, Chelsea

The Taste of Chelsea Committee is ready for the 12th annual food festival fundraiser for HarvorCOV on Monday, Sept. 21, beginning at 5 p.m. at 99 Marginal St. Pictured at a committee meeting at the Chamber of Commerce office are, front row, from left, HarborCOV co-executive directors Lynn Peters and Kourou Pich, and Renee Caso Griffin; back row, from left, are Maureen Foley, Chrissie Miele, event co-founder and committee chair Joseph Vinard, and Dr. Sayra Owens Pinto.

The Taste of Chelsea Committee is ready for the 12th annual food festival fundraiser for HarvorCOV on Monday, Sept. 21, beginning at 5 p.m. at 99 Marginal St. Pictured at a committee meeting at the Chamber of Commerce office are, front row, from left, HarborCOV co-executive directors Lynn Peters and Kourou Pich, and Renee Caso Griffin; back row, from left, are Maureen Foley, Chrissie Miele, event co-founder and committee chair Joseph Vinard, and Dr. Sayra Owens Pinto.

TownPlace Suites by Marriott, Boston Logan Airport/Chelsea

Volare Cucina Italiana and Bar, Revere

(Editor’s Note: Some factual information used in this story regarding HarborCov and Taste of Chelsea, including the list of food vendors, was taken directly from the HarborCov Web site).

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Soldier’s Home Barbecue

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Veteran Frank Holland (above) was ready to entertain his friends with his guitar during last Saturday’s (Aug. 1) barbecue at the Soldier’s Home in Chelsea. The Middlesex Deputy Sheriff’s Association sponsored the event with the Home. There was music and plenty of food on a gorgeous summer day.

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Multi-Chamber Barbecue Set for August 27

A committee is organizing the August 27 sixth annual Multi-Chamber Barbecue Fundraiser. The event will benefit North Suffolk Mental Health and be held at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. Pictured above, front row, from left, are Dr. Deborah Wayne, Committee Chair Saritin Rizzuto, and Sherri Raftery. Back row, from left, are Stephanie Scopa, Mayra Ventura, Jennifer Stutto, Miriam Irvin, and Buddy Mangini.

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