The fashion show during Friday night’s Night of Performing Arts Celebration – part of the ambitious Black History Month calendar was presented by designer Seneeca Wilson (second from left) of Khy Alexander Bridal by Eclas. Modeling her designs were Khy Alexander (from whom the fashion line was named), Denise Wilson, and Chanyce Kane.
By Seth Daniel
The Chelsea City Council logged two votes to authorize taking and the payment for an eminent domain action on the former Salvation Army Store on Broadway – an aggressive move that City Manager Tom Ambrosino has touted for several months.
The Council voted 10-0 to authorize the taking of 440-448 Broadway by the Legal Department, and also voted 10-0 to authorize a $1.34 million payment from the Free Cash account for the property.
“The City strongly recommends the City Council approves this Eminent Domain taking,” said Ambrosino on Monday. “The building is in a critical location in terms of our efforts to revitalize the Broadway corridor. It’s been a blighted area for some time. That has not improved now that it has become vacant.”
He said he hoped to make the taking officially to eliminate blight.
Last month, a fair market value appraisal came in at $1.34 million and Ambrosino decided to go forward.
The Council agreed on Monday.
Eminent Domain takings are often contested in court and frequently the seller appeals the price paid, resulting sometimes in a higher price and sometimes in a lower price. That is typically a long, drawn out process, but there is no indication the new owner – believed to be the Rainbow Fashion’s owner – will pursue that path.
Ambrosino said he hopes to create a mixed use building with first floor retail and residential units – including affordable housing – on the upper floors.
At the same time on Monday, Ambrosino presented the Council with a request for them to use a new state law allowing them to make Broadway a “Development District.” Such a district comes with a “Development Plan” and is a similar idea to have an Urban Renewal District.
While the idea is to aid the City’s efforts in the Chelsea Prospers program and the Re-Imagining Broadway infrastructure project, one of the key advantages is streamlining the process for taking properties that are blighted.
“At this time, there is no specific target of property acquisition in the Downtown beyond what has been previously present to the Council (Salvation Army Store),” he wrote. “However, the ‘Development District’ designation provides the flexibility to engage in that process, with Council approval, if the need arises in the future.”
Another benefit of the District, he said, is for the City to be able to use the innovative infrastructure funding tool called the District Improvement Financing (DIF) tool. He said there are no plans for any DIFs right now, but it is a good tool to have for the future of Broadway.
Finally, he said the designation would allow the City a better opportunity to unlock state and federal grants for infrastructure projects in the Downtown district.
He said he would the Development Program to go along with the designation would be worked out over the summer and likely presented to the Council in the Fall.
The matter was put on file and will be considered when the Council resumes meetings in September.
Red Devils drop three of four contests
The Chelsea High Red Devils have their backs up against the wall in their quest to qualify for the post-season state basketball tournament after dropping three of four contests this past week and falling to 8-10 on the season. Chelsea’s lone win of the week was a dramatic, 58-50 overtime triumph against Greater Lawrence (which was in first place in the Large School Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference coming into the games) Saturday at the CHS gym. The encounter was a back-and-forth affair all the way, with neither team able to break away from the other. The Red Devils held a 23-18 lead at the half, but Greater Lawrence forged ahead at the start of the fourth period. However, Chelsea hung close and after Greater Lawrence sank a three point shot with just seconds left on the clock to take a three point lead, Red Devil Angel Alvarez let fly a bomb from beyond the arc that swished through the net with just one second to go to force the game into OT. Chelsea then took control of the contest in the extra session to claim the victory. “It was a great game,” said CHS head coach Jay Seigal. “We needed a win in a big way and we responded to the pressure.” Eric Flores led the Red Devils with 22 points. Victor Corrales hit for 15 and Alvarez added 10. Eric Fernandez and Dom Hightower chipped in four points apiece, Cobi Molina contributed three, and Moises Casado and Albie Alicea scored two each. With the victory, the Red Devils set up scenario whereby if they defeat Greater Lowell tonight (Thursday), Greater Lawrence and Greater Lowell will be tied for first place in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference and Chelsea will land in second place. Under the MIAA rules, the Red Devils then would qualify for the tourney. The Red Devils could have achieved an outright tourney spot with a .500 record had they emerged triumphant in a pair of two-point decisions in which Chelsea came out on the short end to Shawsheen, 58-56, and Whittier, 66-64. In the latter contest, Chelsea held a 10 point lead in the fourth period, but allowed Whittier to pull out the hard-fought win. Flores, Corrales, and Hightower all achieved double figures in the two contests for Chelsea. Last Wednesday Chelsea dropped a 71-60 affair at archival Revere in a rematch of their initial battle in which the Red Devils had prevailed before a frenzied crowd in the packed CHS gym. However, this time it was Revere’s turn to celebrate, as the Patriots, who were celebrating their Senior Night, used their height advantage inside to control the boards and free up their outside shooters for open looks at the basket. The Red Devils were set to close out their season last night (Wednesday) at Matignon and then tonight at Lowell. If they should punch a ticket for a Journey to the Tourney, announcement of their seeding and first round opponent in the Division 2 North sectional will come this weekend.
Bruins Beat by Bob Morello
Bruins seek positive energy
During the month of January the Bruins delivered a solid month of play with eight victories, but just as solid as they were in that month, February has provided Boston fans with play that falls in the realm of mediocrity – and thus far, only a single win over the Islanders. A week ago there was talk of negative energy in the B’s dressing room by Dougie Hamilton, energy that reflected in their play on the ice. Coming into Wednesday night’s game with the NHL’s bottom-standing Edmonton Oilers, Boston finds themselves with many unanswered questions. One answer is that the team has to find a way to bring the positive energy back to their play, and bring back the pride to the spoked B on their jerseys!
Coach Claude Julien will make one of those decisions, as to whether Tuukka Rask’s experience will give them the stability needed in net – or if a rest at this time, and a start for backup Malcolm Subban in goal would be beneficial. Subban joined the team for practice on Tuesday after being recalled from Providence, and is anxious to help out where he can. Subban was quoted as saying, “It’s pretty cool, but just trying to treat it like any other day – obviously try and keep a level head and just stay focused right now, and be ready for my opportunity.”
The Bruins four-game losing streak heading into last night’s (Wednesday) game with Edmonton, with a loss would give Boston the longest losing streak they’ve endured in five seasons. On the plus side, the Bruins have been victorious in their last 13 contests, having lost to the Oilers back in 2000.
B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli and Bruins president Cam Neely, regarding trades and acquisitions, will make the other big decision(s). Much discussion has been attributed to the rapidly approaching March 2 trade deadline. While many have spoken to the Bruins’ needs, NHL Live co-hosts E.J. Hradek and Craig Button pointed to Buffalo Sabres forward Chris Stewart as a player who could be available, and possibly be a help to Boston. “He’s had some flashes in his career… but does he do it on a night-to-night basis?” Hradek said. “The bottom line is, he goes to let’s say to Boston, structured system, structured situation, playing with good players, that could be a fit for him. But time will tell if indeed the Bruins will want to pay the price to get a player like that.”
A hole remains on defense for Boston, as Kevan Miller will not be on the blue line for at least the remainder of the current road trip, and possibly longer, due to a shoulder injury. Coach Julien will decide how he wants to fill that hole, and although he dressed Matt Bartkowski for the Calgary game, he decided to go with a four-man defensive rotation following Miller’s injury, leaving Bartkowski as the odd man out. A move that put added stress on the remaining four defensemen.
Whatever decisions are made, the fact remains that currently the Florida Panthers are knocking on the door to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, chasing the Bruins. A Boston loss on Wednesday in Edmonton would give the Panthers a chance to tie the B’s with a victory in their game versus Montreal tonight (Thursday). The Bruins have two games remaining on this trip, Friday night, St. Louis Blues (8:00pm), and Sunday afternoon with the Chicago Black Hawks (3:00pm). The B’s return to Garden ice on Tuesday (2/24) to take on the Vancouver Canucks.
STYLING: The Boston Bruins Foundation will host “Fashion Power Play” a fundraiser fashion show to benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at Copley Place. Featured models for the event will include many of the wives and girlfriends of current Boston Bruins Players as well as professional models. Neiman Marcus will provide all runway fashion and Kathy Benharris will be styling and producing the event. The Bruins Foundation will host 250 guests seated along a spectacular 110-foot runway. Guests will enjoy complimentary cocktails and culinary delights. Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on unique silent auction items including Boston Bruins autographed memorabilia, the latest fashion trends and accessories, and other offerings donated by sponsors. Fans interested in purchasing tickets to Fashion Power Play should visit www.bostonbruins.com/fashionshow. VIP seating (first two rows) tickets will cost $100 per ticket and general admission seating will cost $75 per ticket.