The City’s Chelsea
Prospers initiative has been working behind the scenes for months – often
hinting that something fun is coming – and last week they unveiled the Chelsea
Night Market, the newest, biggest plan yet to enliven the downtown district.
Director Mimi Graney has
been working with Chelsea native Edwardo Chacon, of Jukebox Events, to come up
with a summer gathering in the parking lot behind the Chelsea Walk – a ‘Night
Market’ that would take place five times on Saturdays in the summer.
“This is going to be a
reflection of the City in its first year,” said Graney. “As it grows more
popular, you’re going to see the abutting cities like East Boston, Everett and
Revere coming. We want vendors here to be Chelsea residents. We want artists
and performers to be Chelsea residents. We do want to mix it up too. The Night
Market is for the City of Chelsea and for residents.”
The idea was also
championed during a Chelsea Prospers meeting on Feb. 6 by Edwardo Chacon.
Chacon grew up in Chelsea and graduated from Chelsea High School. After that,
he went to college in Florida and then lived in Los Angeles for many years,
doing corporate marketing events with big budgets.
And every time he
returned to Chelsea, he said he could picture some sort of hip, fun market
taking place in his hometown.
Now, having returned to
Chelsea a year ago, he decided to try to help make it happen.
“I always came back and
felt like something like I was doing elsewhere could really happen in Chelsea,”
he said. “I would look at the city and just feel that Chelsea had the right
atmosphere to do these things too and one year ago I moved back and felt like I
had to try. My goal is to do the same things I was doing elsewhere in Chelsea.
I feel Chelsea is a city that’s perfectly located for this and the people
deserve it. They would love it and be filled with a sense of excitement.”
The layout of the event
would be in the City parking lot behind the Chelsea Walk. There would be a
stage for performances, vendor booths in the middle, places for food and an art
installation in the back end. In the future, next year hopefully, the
initiative hopes of have a beer garden in the back end. However, Graney said
they discovered that the laws against public drinking are too strict and
couldn’t be changed in time to accommodate this year’s market.
Many in the audience,
however, were very excited about the idea of a beer garden and talked for some
time about how to make it happen. However, Graney said it is out for this year,
but she did say the enthusiasm in the room for a beer garden would help for
changing the ordinances so next year one could be put in the mix.
Graney said they hope to
have fire jugglers, creative lighting and artists of all kinds. The
entertainment would vary, with the times for the market being from 7-10 p.m.
The tentative dates are
June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 21, and Oct. 5.
The first one on June 8,
Graney said, would have a graduation theme since the next day is graduation.
“It’s going to be a
pre-celebration for the high school senior class,” she said. “We have baby
pictures of all of the kids and an artist is creating a collage . There will be
performers from the class and they are really going to be our ambassadors.”
Vendors would be selling
new and used items, and it would be highly curated and very unique. There would
also be service oriented vendors like henna tattoo and chair massage. The food
would be hot and ready to eat street food using BBQ grills and such instead of
“It would be scaled for an intimate, community oriented atmosphere,” read
EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
February 1st Friday 6pm. Kick Off for Chelsea Black History Month Activities
456 – Store Front Exhibit of Black
Historical Figures of Chelsea
456 Broadway, Chelsea, MA
of Exhibit at Chelsea Public Library:
Black Migration, WWI,
Chelsea Fire. 569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA
February 5th Tuesday
5 – 7pm. City Hall Art Reception.
Art, Poetry, African and African
American Artifacts. Chelsea City Hall, 500
Broadway, Chelsea, MA
February 7th Thursday 12pm and 6pm. Bunker
Hill Community College, “Tuskeegee
and Discussion. 70 Everett Avenue,
February 19th Monday
5pm. Iglesia la Luz de Cristo. The Councilors Cook Off
Dinner. 738 Broadway, Chelsea, MA
February 21st Thursday 12pm.
Senior Center – Maya Angelou – Poet and Civil Rights
Figure. Celebration of Phenominal Women
10 Riley Way, Chelsea, MA
February 22nd Friday
6 – 8pm. Evening of Performing Arts,
Clark Avenue School
8 Clark Avenue, Chelsea, MA
February 23rd Saturday 11 – 12:30pm. STEM, Chelsea
569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA (parent and
February 26th Tuesday
6 – 8pm. New England Gospel Ensemble
Bunker Hill Community College, Charlestown
Campus A300 Auditorium
February 28th Wednesday 5 – 8pm. Black
History Month Celebration
Speaker – Suffolk District Attorney Rachael
Special Recognition Honoring – “Chelsea Trailblazers”
Williams Middle School. 180 Walnut Street,
ALL EVENTS PLANNED IN COLLABORATION WITH CHELSEA
BLACK COMMUNITY, BLACK HISTORY MONTH PLANNING COMMITTEE, LEWIS H. LATIMER
SOCIETY, BUNKER HILL COMMUNITY COLLEGE, CHELSEA SENIOR CENTER, CHELSEA PUBLIC
SCHOOLS, CITY OF CHELSEA.
This program is supported in part by a grant
from the Chelsea Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the
Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Member All Stars and October Members of the Month: Congratulations to the following members who were great role models for their peers, who were helpful, kind, and friendly last month and were selected to be the Jordan Boys & Girls Club’s Members of the Month! 1st grade: Cristian Chicas; 2nd grade: Arwa Ait-Chaib; 3rd grade: Jainaba Kamara; 4th grade: Elmer Flores; Pre-Teen: Susana Garcia; Teen: Gino Gillis. And also a big congrats to all of the Area All Stars who are recognized for being outstanding members in their favorite areas at the Club. Week of Oct. 8-12, 2018: Game Room: Allison Quinonez (3rd), Computer Club House: Elvis Rodriguez, Gym: LJ Bland (4th), Music: Susana Garcia (4th), Teen Center: Cameron Bourgea (teen), Membership: Sophia Sostre (2nd), Pool: Kevin Martinez (4th), Pre-Teen Lounge: Alison Lopez (5th), Life Skills: David Garcia Meza (3rd), Cadet Room: Aura Hernandez (1st). Week of Oct. 1-5, 2018: Education: Jesus Santiago (3rd grade), Game Room: Elmer Flores (4th), Art: Emely (2nd), Computer Club House: Thania Simon (4th), Gym: William Diaz (4th), Music: Laney Vargas (4th), Membership: Cristian Chicas, Pool: Kevin Martinez (4th), Pre-Teen Lounge: Luis Ajtum (“Danny”) (preteen), Life Skills: Valeria Ortiz (4th), Cadet Room: Alexi Rios (1st). Week of Sept 24-28, 2018: Education: Miguel Ramirez, grade 3, Game Room: Wilbur Chicas, Art: Sebastian, Computer Club House: Susana Garcia (preteen), Teen Center: Angel Del Valle Cardenas (teen), Membership: Arwa, Pool: Izabella, Wilbur Chicas, Pre-Teen Lounge: Troy Arnold (preteen), Life Skills: Santo Rivera (preteen), Cadet Room: Jyzelle Artica (1st grade)
Schedule Changes: This Friday, October 26th, the CLUB IS CLOSED! We will only be open for Haunted House- more info below under Special Events! (The Boys & Girls Club does not provide transportation on Friday, Oct. 26th either.)
On November 12th, the Club will be open from 9am-4pm (no school day due to Veteran’s Day); on Nov. 13th, the Club will be opening at 12noon, as it is a half day of school for CPS. On Wednesday, Nov. 21st, the Club is open 9am-4pm (no school day- day before Thanksgiving). And the Club will be closed on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22nd, as well as Friday, Nov. 23rd. And for those planning ahead, we want to remind Club members and families that we close during the winter holiday break, closed Dec. 24th- Jan 1st. The Club will re-open on Wednesday, Jan. 2nd.
Special Events: This Friday, Oct. 26th is Haunted House! Tickets are available now until 6pm on Oct. 26th. If you purchase tickets in advance, please be sure to arrive by 6pm that night, as doors close at 6pm with or without tickets. In order to attend the Haunted House, you have to be a Club member and attend with an adult. Thanks to those who joined us this past week at the annual Breast Cancer Awareness event, Popping in Pink Party! Lots of pink-filled games and activities, with music, food, and a celebration of survivors and families members who have experienced breast cancer. And earlier this month, we also celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with the Club’s annual Celebrando Latino, sharing our stories of our families, flags for our countries, and lots of the food, games, and music of so many different cultures. Thank you Chili’s for once again provided chips and salsa for everyone!
CLUB FUNDRAISERS: The Club’s Annual Online Auction opens on Black Friday! If you or someone you know is interested in donating an item, it is greatly appreciated! We are seeking all kinds of gifts, such as sports memorabilia; unique items, such as dinner with a politician, ball boy/girl at Celtics; adventures, such as ski packages, timeshare weeks, or airline tickets; services provided- legal, such as a will; accounting, such as taxes; dinner prepared in the home; birthday party/event planning; music lessons; cleaning services; gift cards to stores, restaurants, online buying, movies, theater tickets. And once we are ready to launch the Auction, you can help by forwarding a link to anyone and everyone…you never know what someone may be looking for! Lastly, we will be selling raffle tickets as part of this event, which will be available next month at the Club. Every dollar and hour given helps the Club. If you would like to add your email to the mailing list, send to Lisa at LGillis@bgcb.org
By Seth Daniel
The annual Chelsea ArtWalk will take place this Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18, in venues throughout the downtown area.
It will be the 9th Annual Chelsea Art Walk.
Throughout the Downtown, there will be galleries and alternative venues offering art, music and theater. Most venues are handicapped accessible, and all events are free of charge. The events include pop-up art in the park, shows by the Griffen Museum of Photography and 555 Gallery, a scarecrow competition at the Community Garden, an independent film festival, photos of Cuba by Chelsea artists at Mystic Brewery, and much more.
For a complete listing of events, please visit www.chelseaartwalk.com.
There wasn’t much of an opportunity for supporters and attorneys for Plaza Mexico Restaurant to speak or give their side of the story at last week’s License Commission meeting – a meeting that aimed to discuss taking away the restaurant’s licenses – but the attorney this week spoke out about the evidence presented and said the case was a “reach.”
The License Commission began a hearing into Plaza Mexico at its meeting on May 5, but a lengthy police presentation using videos and focusing on reports going back to 2013 took up most all of the three-hour meeting. That meeting was continued, and a follow up has been scheduled for this Tuesday, May 19.
Plaza Mexico attorney Sam Vitali of Lynn said he plans to mount a vigorous defense of the video evidence and also provide numerous supporters and witnesses to testify.
Police are aiming to strip the restaurant of its licenses, saying that it has impeded investigations and should have been more aware and vigilant concerning drug dealing going on in the restaurant.
“What we saw on the tapes is a very serious matter, but it’s not a question of whether it’s a pattern of activity over a period of time,” said Vitali. “It’s people who got arrested for distributing drugs, who made serious attempts of disposing of those drugs. They were not dealing drugs right out there in the open. It’s not like a drug dealer was going around in the open and you’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to know…The tapes don’t show that. The police have speculation and opinion, but not fact.”
Tapes shown at the May 5 meeting detailed a one-hour snippet of events on Dec. 23, 2013 where one man who was convicted of drug dealing, and another man who has been charged but not convicted, are seen allegedly hanging out in the restaurant. They never really ordered much in the way of food or drink, but did go to the bathroom several times and are seen on camera going out to the back parking lot to allegedly deal drugs on several occasions.
At the same time, another man parked in a car in the parking lot was also dealing drugs and was arrested by happenstance on the same night when police came in to inspect the club’s licenses.
Police said the manager and bar maid, both of whom are seen on the video playing pool or cleaning up, should have been aware of the criminal activity. They point to licensing rules that state anyone going outside frequently or to the bathroom frequently should be flagged by management.
Vitali said the claims are unrealistic.
“They have come to this conclusion after an 18-month investigation that included watching 16 hours of tape from 16 different cameras,” said Vitali. “With the benefit of hindsight and having spent more than a year looking at the evidence, they were able to make these conclusions…Drug dealers don’t come in with a scarlet letter on them saying, ‘I’m on probation and I’ve got drugs on me.’ It’s an unrealistic expectation to me to have the employees act as police officers. They cooperated, gave information and provided tape. At the end of the day, the employees weren’t schooled in how to spot a drug transaction or didn’t see drug transactions. The rules and regulations don’t require a manager to act as a police officer.”
Vitali said he plans to cross examine several of the police officers at the May 19 meeting. He will also call the barmaid and the manager who are shown on the tape. Also, the head of the area neighborhood association will testify in favor of the Plaza Mexico ownership.
“I don’t think he would do that, representing all of those people, if he had any information to bring forward that showed the restaurant in a bad light,” said Vitali.
Finally, one large and looming question, is why the police decided to push right now to strip the licenses.
Police have said that an incident earlier this year where a juvenile was stabbed in the restaurant was the impetus, but Vitali said he has his doubts – and that case isn’t even being considered in the hearing due to an ongoing Grand Jury investigation.
“Why have they brought up all of these cases going so far back after such a long period of time?” he asked. “At the end of 2013, they approved their license without comment and at the end of 2014 they approved the license again. It seems to me it’s a little late to the dance to bring in an event that happened in 2013 and use it to say I’m improper.”
By Tori Ziege
From the depths of what can only be described as yet another harsh New England winter, summertime has sprung.
Cue sunny mornings working in the garden, sunny afternoons laying out on the beach towel and yes—sunny days enduring the constant reminder to put on sunscreen.
We’ve all heard it, we’ve all ignored it, and we all know it: when the waves are beckoning, beach wins over block every time.
The Melanoma Education Foundation knows this too.
Although it’s as much a proponent of sun protection as any health organization, MEF has long reconciled with the notion that—for one reason or another—people, especially teens, are resistant to the idea of wearing sunscreen.
That’s why Steve Fine, the founder and president of the Melanoma Education Foundation, has strived to find another solution since 1989: the year after his son Dan died of the disease that gave the foundation its namesake.
“Our strategy is what we learned from my son’s and from talking with many other families of melanoma victims: that they didn’t need to die” Fine said. “They died because they weren’t educated about melanoma.”
Focused on early detection and recognition of melanoma through the use of a 10-minute monthly body self-scan, MEF’s education program has worked its way into 1300 high schools and middle schools—including 48 states—nationwide.
Now, the Massachusetts-based skin cancer organization is urging the public to take notice of its message as it continues further expansion into secondary schools.
“Almost every melanoma death could have been prevented by early self-detection,” Fine said. “Which means that there are nearly 10,000 deaths in the US from melanoma each year that could have been prevented.”
Melanoma is an unusual skin cancer in that it doesn’t always need high amounts of sun exposure to form. Fine said that even areas of the body that have never been exposed to the sun can still be at risk for melanoma—making self-detection even more pertinent.
The Melanoma Education Foundation works in targeting high school and middle school students by offering free lessons that the organization has developed. The videos at the heart of the lessons won Gold Triangle Awards from the American Academy of Dermatology.
It’s a critical time to reach students, elevated by the fact that melanoma is the second most prevalent cancer found in people ages 15-29, and the leading cancer in ages 25-29.
“Education is the key,” Fine said. “Before the time that we started offering our program, most students graduated from high school without any knowledge of melanoma. That could be a death sentence for some of them.”
Instructors can register to teach lessons at melanomaeducation.net, where they’ll be prompted to view a training video, followed by a lesson plan and videos for educating students.
But the general public also has a role in promoting MEF—and the prevention of melanoma—in more ways than one.
Parents can encourage teachers and principals to adopt the lessons in schools where they are not currently being taught, and anyone can educate themselves at the foundation’s user-friendly education website, skincheck.org. For those parents who are unsure, a list of schools using the lessons is available at melanomaeducation.net.
MEF also offers several fundraising events—from raffles, to comedy to dinner shows, to triathlons, to family fun walks—for those who want to see the organization continue to grow.
A full schedule of events is available at skincheck.org, in addition to a form for interested volunteers.
“We’re in 1300 schools right now, and we’d like to be in 13000,” Fine said. “But we need help for that to happen.”
State Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein officially resigned suddenly from her state representative seat on Thursday morning – a somewhat surprising turn of events that has her taking a job with Jamaica Plain’s Boston Beer Company, brewers of the Sam Adams beers.
She will resign the seat as of Jan. 17, and will assume the position of government affairs manager for Boston Beer Co.
“This is an incredible opportunity for my family and me, but a very difficult decision to make,” wrote Reinstein in a letter sent out Thursday morning. “I want to thank all of you for your support and especially for your friendship…In my 15 years of public service, and in my lifetime of being a proud Revere resident, I have seen so much good in people, so much kindness in people – the passion of their beliefs, their pride in their neighborhoods and their dedication to the community as a whole. Thank you for putting your trust in me to be your voice on Beacon Hill. It has been an awesome responsibility and I’ve worked to the best of my ability to be a strong voice for all of us.
I began this journey one week after my Father lost his battle with cancer in 1998. Bill Reinstein is what every public servant should be: Passionate, Proud, Considerate, Kind, Funny and Genuine. I, and many others, learned from the best. Had it not been for the love of so many incredible people and the support of the communities that entrusted me to represent them, I would never have been able to get through this emotional beginning.
“I was raised in a household that taught us that public service and pride in our community should be held in the highest regard,” she continued in the letter. “Although I am leaving the Legislature, I will remain active in our communities and continue working with the many incredible organizations I’ve had the privilege to partner with over the years.”
Said House Speaker Bob DeLeo – one of Reinstein’s closest allies in the House, “Having served with her father in a city whose representation we share, I had the unique opportunity to see Kathi-Anne Reinstein grow from a young high school student and mature into an outstanding legislator. Since her election to the House of Representatives more than 15 years ago, she has become a passionate advocate for both her district and the issues she supports. In addition, she is not only a trusted member of my leadership team, whose insight I value, but a close friend. I will miss her greatly. I wish her all the best in her new role with the Boston Beer Company.”
In the letter, Reinstein said she would continue to hold the Reinstein Senior Prom – a staple of her father’s legacy that she has continued to host for the elderly every year. That event will happen on May 15 from 6-9 p.m. at the Beachmont VFW.
A tremendous supporter of expanded gaming over the years, she also gave a plug for the second casino referendum vote coming up on Feb. 25.
“I will be unable to actively participate in the election on Tuesday, Feb. 25, but I hope the residents of Revere will join me in voting ‘Yes’ for Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs to site a casino in the City of Revere,” she wrote. “As we have seen by the recent Host Community Agreement, this development will bring much needed jobs, revenue and improvements to the City of Revere and its surrounding communities.”
If someone had said on September 10, 2001, that America would be embroiled militarily in affairs in the Middle East for the next 12 years, one would have thought that person to be crazy. Indeed, no one would have dared predict such a scenario even on September 12, 2001.
But the tragic events of September 11, 2001, unleashed a series of events and circumstances that affect us to this very day. Indeed, it is fair to say that in some respects, the terrorist attack of 9/11 has had a long-lasting impact, both directly and indirectly, on a par with Pearl Harbor, at least in terms of American military engagement throughout the world.
Regardless of whether Congress authorizes the Obama administration to take military action against the Syrian dictatorship, it is obvious that the U.S. never will be able to wash its hands of active involvement in Middle East affairs for a host of political, military, and economic reasons, at least within the lifetime of anyone reading this editorial. The terrorist attack of 9/11 changed the world in many ways, both large and small, and that will continue for the foreseeable future.
But amidst the concerns we all have about the future, let us not forget the immense personal tragedies that occurred on that day when more than 3000 innocent Americans, many of whom had direct ties to this area, perished because of the acts of a few madmen. One can argue all day about the geopolitical implications of 9/11, but what is undeniable is that more than 3000 of our fellow citizens gave their lives, many of them heroically, simply because they were Americans who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So let us remember their sacrifice and pray that never again will we witness such an act of evil.
Few individuals rise to the level of “institution” in a community but we believe that Donald Harney, executive director of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, reached that esteemed category through his position as the leader of the business organization for the past 13 years.
Harney was a visible and personable leader of this outstanding organization that has been a vital part of our city for decades. From his desk at the Chamber offices on Broadway to welcoming guests to the Chamber breakfasts to enjoying the events with his wife, Geraldine, Donald Harney has helped guide the organization to its greatest heights in its long history.
Donald Harney never sought the spotlight for his efforts and was always a team player. He worked with some dedicated and energetic Chamber presidents during his reign as executive director.
So many people young and old have been affected in a positive way by the Chamber’s outreach and special events – such as the enormously popular Breakfast with Santa each December.
Donald Harney has been so much a part of the Chamber’s development into one of the city’s most vibrant and important organizations.
We know that it will be an emotional moment when Donald Harney is introduced as the executive director for one of the final times Friday night at the installation of officers dinner. This would be an ideal moment for the Chamber membership to say, “Thank you, Donald Harney, for all that you have done to make our organization bigger, better, and stronger.”