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.”
A Chelsea man who once worked at the scene of a brutal double homicide in South Boston was ordered held without bail at his Suffolk Superior Court arraignment for the murders of Lina Bolanos and Richard Field on Monday, July 10.
Bampumm Teixeira, 30, was indicted June 28 and arraigned Monday on two counts each of first-degree murder, armed robbery, and kidnapping by confinement, and one count of armed home invasion for the May 5 incident at 141 Dorchester Ave. in Southie. At the request of Suffolk Chief Trial Counsel John Pappas, Clerk Magistrate Edward Curley ordered Teixeira held without bail.
Conley’s chief trial counsel, Assistant District Attorney John Pappas, told the court that Teixeira had previously been employed as a concierge at the South Boston building where Bolanos, 38, and Field, 49, lived on the 11th floor. As such, Teixeira was familiar with the interior of the building as well as its parking garage.
Pappas told the court that a person wearing gloves, a hat, a hooded jacket, and a bright yellow shirt and carrying a string-style backpack was in the area of the building as early as 2:40 that afternoon and snuck into the garage shortly before 4 p.m. Bolanos entered the building at about 5 p.m. and Field at about 6:30 p.m.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m., the concierge at the building’s front desk contacted Boston Police to report a call he had received from a friend of a resident. The concierge reported that this friend had received a text message from Field telling him to call 911 for a man armed with a gun in his home. This same friend moments later called Boston Police directly and recounted the same plea for help.
Officers responded to the scene and proceeded to the 11th floor, where they observed a set of keys on the floor in the hallway outside the victims’ door. After knocking, announcing themselves, and receiving no response, they used the keys to access the residence.
After announcing themselves once again inside the darkened residence, one of the officers spotted an unknown person later identified as Teixeira dressed in dark clothing, and – believing this person either pointed or fired a weapon at them – two officers discharged their own weapons, injuring him. The officers provided first aid to Teixeira, who was wearing gloves, outside the apartment. He allegedly stated that another person would open fire on the officers if they went back inside.
Teixeira was transported to Tufts Medical Center and a Boston Police entry team made its way into the residence. Inside, officers found the Bolanos’ and Field’s bodies in separate areas; they had been bound, suffered massive traumatic injuries, and were declared dead at the scene.
Just outside the apartment, where Teixeira had been apprehended and briefly treated, homicide detectives found a string-type backpack containing a replica firearm, personal property belonging to the victims, and other items. In the immediate vicinity of the bag were a bright yellow shirt and a large carving knife. Just inside the door was a second backpack containing jewelry belonging to Bolanos.
Katherine Moran is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Teixeira is represented by attorney Steven Sack. The case returns to court on Sept. 12.
Four days a week, soccer is where it’s at for local young people in Chelsea who want to get down to business and score goals.
In its third year, the Chelsea Collaborative’s Summer Youth Employment Initiative (SYEI) and the GOALS program of the Massachusetts Youth Soccer organization have teamed up again this summer to provide soccer games and light instruction to Chelsea young people. The drop-in program started in late June and takes place Monday through Thursday at Highland Park Field from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The activity is free and supervised by qualified coaches and by Chelsea youth working in the summer program.
“The GOALS program is the Massachusetts Youth Soccer initiative to promote soccer in the inner city areas,” said Loy Urbina, assistant technical director and GOALS program director. “We give the program to organizations like the Chelsea Collaborative. The only condition that we demand is that the program is free. We don’t charge anyone to play. We supply the balls, the T-Shirts, coaches and we pay the coaches. It’s supposed to be a totally free program. My job is to go around Massachusetts and find sites in inner city or low-income areas and bring the beautiful game of soccer to the area. We now have 29 sites and Chelsea has been a great partner.”
Sylvia Ramirez of the SYEI supervises the site Monday through Thursday and said the youth that she employs enjoy helping out and providing water and support to the popular program. She said upwards of 60 or more young people, depending on weather, can show up in a day.
“This is a very good program to give access to the game of soccer and to provide them an opportunity to play a very popular game in our city on a field that isn’t very accessible because it is so busy,” she said. “This is a really fun activity for the youth, and we do it four days a week. Parents can stay with the kids or drop them off. It’s all supervised with qualified people.”
GOALS also provides coaches to help the kids develop some skills, with most of the coaches being college level players from local universities and community colleges. A site supervisor is also provided, and in Chelsea that is Orminsun Medina – long time Chelsea Youth Soccer coordinator.
Urbina said one thing that could improve the program is to overhaul the field, which is the only artificial surface field in the City aside from Chelsea High School. He said the field is now getting old and in rough shape, but that there could be a grant available from soccer organizations.
“There is an organization called the U.S. Soccer Foundation,” he said. “Their number one goal is to help cities and towns repair soccer fields. They give grants anywhere from $1,000 to $1 million. This field need to be fixed. They could put an application in to get Highland Park Field updated and fixed.”
Meanwhile, Urbina and Ramirez said there is some serious talk about expanding the program in Chelsea so that young people from East Boston, Revere and Everett could come to the site to participate. By having a morning session and an afternoon session, Urbina said he believes they could make it work.
“We envision having kids from Everett, East Boston, Everett and Revere come one day a week for each community in the morning,” said Ramirez. “Then we would have the Chelsea kids come four days a week like they are now in the afternoon session. We really would like to expand and we get requests from those communities all the time.”
Last Thursday, boys and girls from Chelsea were still excited about the previous weekend’s European Cup, where Portugal won an improbably victory over France.
Pretending they were Christian Ronaldo, or any of the other stars, the young Chelsea players dribbled the ball around and kicked goals with stars in their eyes.
The GOALS program by the SYEI is for kids age 5 and older and runs through Aug. 4 at Highland Park Monday through Thursday from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
For more information or to register, call (617) 889-6080.
Eric Monckada blasts a kick from the center of the field during the free soccer program sponsored by GOALS and the Summer Youth Employment Initiative (SYEI) last Thursday afternoon, July 14. The program is free to Chelsea young people Monday through Thursday from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Middle schoolers are historically hard to keep the attention of, but last Friday morning at Tufts University Medical School, a large group of students sat quietly in the dental lab transfixed on preparing and making dental teeth impressions.
There was no need to call for quiet, or re-focus the youngsters from the Wright Middle School onto the task at hand. They were all busy at work, taking instruction from the volunteer second-year medical and dental students.
The field trip was part of the partnership between the Wright and students at Tufts who have formed the Ideas in Medicine program. Every year, second-year medical students in the organization volunteer to show Chelsea students around the school, exposing them to dental work, CPR, medical school classes and anatomy lessons – among other things.
“This program was set up five to seven years ago,” said Aditya Gill of Ideas in Medicine. “The whole concept here is to get the seventh graders at the Wright exposed to the medical school. It’s an underserved community and we wanted to get the students here to spark their interest. The whole process is one where we don’t want to shove information down the student’s throat. They’re giving up their free time, so we want to show them this place in a fun way…You never know, one kid could be inspired here and have a dream to become a dentist or get involved in the medical field. That’s what we’re hoping for.”
Brian Coffey, also a second year medical student, is the president of Ideas in Medicine. He said he enjoys showing the kids what’s done here as much as they do.
For example, instead of feeding them formulas, some of the presentations dealt with simple chemical experiments like mixing Mentos and Diet Coke to cause an explosion. After showing them what happens, they explained the chemical reason for the reaction.
Nick Matthew, a seventh grade science teacher at the Wright, said the program has been very good for the kids and has gotten their interest.
“It gives them a firsthand view of life outside of Chelsea and how people studying these things get to their careers and train for it,” he said. “For many students, leaving Chelsea is a big event. It’s great to get them out and out of the classroom and see what science is and how to apply it.”
The mentors of IDEAS in Medicine are first and second year medical students of Tufts University School of Medicine who volunteer their time each week planning, tutoring, and coordinating program activities. The volunteers are motivated by their enthusiasm in teaching and giving to the community. The field trip last Friday was the culminating event for the IDEAS in Medicine program – a year-long tutoring and mentoring partnership aimed at getting the kids excited about the health sciences.
Pictured are Tufts University Dental students getting ready to welcome Wright Middle School seventh graders into the dental lab. Back row: Aaron Lalonde; Jared Wirth; Taphaphene Young; and Jessaca York. Third Row: Ignacio DeLaCruz; Dr. Yun Sakrena; and DeAngelo Ingram. Second Row: Haley Sacks; Samantha Ward; Travis Thomas; Alexis Irby; and Mikenah Vega. First Row: Lauren Trager; Lauren Williams; and Soteji Adeuti.
A wave of new faces and non-incumbents shocked some political veterans and knocked District 5 Councillor Joe Perlatonda out of his seat during Tuesday’s Preliminary Election.
The hottest race in the city – that of the at-large race – featured eight candidates and headlined with political newcomer Damali Vidot topping the ticket with 606 votes in a low turnout of 11 percent of the 13,554 registered voters.
“I topped the ticket and I feel that clearly there is an anti-incumbent sentiment and people want change,” she said afterward. “Joe Perlatonda is out and he was an incumbent. I finished ahead of two incumbents. People showed it with the vote that they want change and I’m ready to answer that call. We ran a straight campaign and focused on the issues and our message. We never went negative even when others did. We’re not taking this for granted. It’s not over by any means. We’ll work just as hard up to the general election.”
Vidot’s entrance into politics is as surprising to her as it is to those who were shocked to see Tuesday’s results. Having been put-off by her tax bill, increasing crime in her Highland Street neighborhood and the parking program, she began going to City Council meetings and wasn’t happy with what she saw – often describing it as a “disconnect” between the people and City Hall.
“Several months ago, I would have never thought I’d be doing this,” she said.
The remainder of the field figured as follows:
Roy Avellaneda, 581
Councillor Calvin Brown, 507
Council President Leo Robinson, 487
Todd Taylor, 401
Deborah Washington, 248
Those knocked out of the race included James O’Regan with 237 votes and John Cadiz with 139 votes.
There were 26 write-in votes.
In the shocker of the night, sitting District 5 Councillor Joe Perlatonda was knocked out of the race, having been bested by newcomer Judith Garcia and challenger Henry Wilson.
Garcia topped District 5 voting with 74 votes and Henry Wilson came in second with 59 votes.
They will face each other in the general election in November.
A boy stands among men as they bow in prayer toward Mecca in Highland Park last Friday morning to celebrate the end of Ramadan and start the season of Eid ul-Fitr. Coordinated by the Al Huda Society of Chelsea, more than 1,000 Muslims from north of Boston congregated
on the field for prayers.
The coaches in the Catholic Central League affirmed what high school softball fans have known for a long time: Mia Nowicki can pitch with the best of them.
Nowicki, a 15-year-old sophomore flame throwing righthander for the St. Mary’s High School softball team, was the unanimous choice as the CCL Most Valuable Player following a regular season in which she averaged 12 strikeouts a game and led the Spartans to a 16-4 record.
And Nowicki is not done yet with her exploits on the mound this season. The daughter of former Matignon All-Scholastic athlete Paul Nowicki and Chelsea High softball star Tracy Constantino Nowicki was at Martin Field in Lowell Wednesday night hoping to advance St. Mary’s a step closer to the state championship game.
A state title would be the family’s third. Her father – arguably one of the greatest athletes in Chelsea city history – won one crown as a hockey player for the Matignon Warriors and teammate of future Bruin Shawn McEachern. Mia was a freshman on the 2014 state champion St. Mary’s girls basketball team.
And it’s the team that counts most for Mia. Even after striking out the side in Monday’s 4-1 win over Latin Academy and recording the save, Mia was talking up her teammates.
“I think [starting pitcher] Michaela [Hamill] and the team had a great performance and came up big,” said Nowicki. “We got this win and now we’re going to Lowell.”
Asked about her three-up-three down gem, Mia replied, “I just wanted to get my team out of the jam and win the game for the team and the coaches.”
Nowicki added to an already awesome repertoire of pitches with some new installations this season. “My two-seam fastball and my screwball have been working really well this year. I have a rise ball that I developed that works well on some days and a drop pitch.”
Nowicki said she is honored to be the league’s Most Valuable Player, an award her father received during his career in the CCL. “I am honored but I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and my teammates. My softball catcher has been awesome. She has a great attitude. And coach [Colleen] Newbury is an awesome coach who makes great decisions. She’s the best.”
Newbury, a softball legend in her own right who holds seven state titles including four as a player at Bishop Fenwick, used one word to describe Mia’s performance this season: dominating.
“She goes out there and makes a lot of plays to help herself,” said Newbury. “She gets a strikeout when she needs it in a big spot. She was clutch and very poised [versus Latin Academy]. She’s an athlete. She competes. I think she ranks up there with some of the great pitchers that I played with at Fenwick.”
Paul Nowicki said it’s been enjoyable for him and his wife, Tracy, director of the Chelsea Senior Center, to watch their daughter become one of the best pitchers in Massachusetts at a school she loves.
“It’s been a fun experience to be a part of – watching Mia grow and mature as a young lady as well as a softball player,” said Paul Nowicki. “She gets a lot of good support from the coaching staff and her teammates. They’re absolutely spectacular. It’s fun to come watch these games and watch her compete.”
Chelsea resident J. Barry Dwyer has taken on another important role to make a difference in the community. “Barry,” former Chelsea High School Cross Country Track and Field Coach and former Chelsea School Committee member has joined Caregiver Homes as a Community Ambassador. As a native and lifelong resident of Chelsea, Dwyer understands how Caregiver Homes can benefit many families in the area who are at the crossroads of what to do when caring for an elder relative or loved one with disabilities.
“We are delighted that Barry has decided to join the effort to help spread the word of how more families can care for their loved ones at home with the support and training from a care team,” said Teresa Arnold, Area Director for Caregiver Homes.
Caregiver Homes is a statewide Adult Foster Care provider helping over 2,000 caregivers in Massachusetts care for loved ones and family members at home. Through case management support from nurses and care managers, Caregiver Homes helps families stay together and supports elders and individuals with disabilities who may otherwise not thrive at home due to medical or behavioral complexity.
Dwyer will be present at several community events this spring to discuss Caregiver Homes with those interested in learning about the organization as a possible solution to caring for family or friends. He will be working with Cynthia Mellor, Branch Manager of the Boston I branch, which serves Chelsea.
The Chelsea High football team enjoyed a successful Thanksgiving Day morning with a 21-0 victory over Matignon High on a chilly Dilboy Field turf in Somerville.
The victory assured Coach Mike Stellato and his Red Devils of a winning season, concluding their 2013 campaign with a fine 6-5 record which saw Chelsea qualify for the first-ever MIAA playoffs. The win also made it two straight Turkey Day victories in a row for Chelsea over Matignon, which plays in the Small Division of the Catholic Central Conference.
The Red Devils won the game on both sides of the line of scrimmage, parlaying a stubborn defense with an offensive performance that at times was dominating.
Although the teams were scoreless through the first quarter, the Red Devils gave an indication of things to come when their defense stifled Matignon’s offense, while the CHS offense moved from it own 45 to the Matignon 18 before the drive petered out.
The Chelsea D stood even taller in the second frame, holding firm at its own five yard line to keep Matignon off the scoreboard. The staunch defensive stand placed the momentum squarely on Chelsea’s side of the ball. Quarterback Mark Anthony Williams and the Chelsea offense took over, marching the full 95 yards for a touchdown before the half ended. Williams found Yvad Rosado for a three yard TD pass to cap the drive and Jeffrey Mejia kicked the PAT for a 7-0 Red Devil lead at the intermission.
“We got some tough running from Sammy Rivera and outstanding blocking by Kalvin Duran and Yvad Rosado that opened up running lanes for our running game,” said Stellato of the key ingredients to the long drive.
Chelsea stopped Matignon to start the third period and then went on another drive with the junior backfield duo of Rosado and Rivera doing most of the heavy-lifting. Sammy R. went over on a nine-yard burst and another PAT kick by Mejia extended the CHS advantage to 14-0.
The Chelsea defense continued its fine work in the final frame to preserve its fourth shutout of the season. Williams applied the icing to the Red Devils’ victory cake with a 49 yard scamper on a play on which the junior signal-caller made a great read to break into daylight. Mejia’s third upright-splitter of the day accounted for the 21-0 final tally.
“It was a great team victory,” said Stellato, who praised the offensive work of Rosado, Rivera, senior running back Anthony Cuellar, junior center Francisco Mercedes, and sophomore end Nelson Vega.
On defense, the coach lauded the performances of junior defensive end Lucas De Oliveira, junior defensive end Adriel Rodriguez, junior defensive end Josue Theosmy, senior linebacker Josue Sanchez, sophomore defensive tackle Dennys Hernandez, and junior linebacker Jomael Dejesus.
With their final mark of 6-5, Stellato’s crew completed a nice reversal of their 2-8 2012 campaign. And with only two seniors departing, 2014 looms as a big year for the CHS football program.
“It was a great way to end our season and go into the off-season on a positive note,” said Stellato. “I was very happy for our two seniors to end their careers on a win. We hope to build on this to keep us motivated going into the 2014 season. I would like to thank my coaches and players for all the hard work and dedication they have put into our program.”
The Chelsea High football team will seek to conclude its 2013 campaign on a positive note and achieve a winning season when they travel to Dilboy Field in Somerville on Thanksgiving Day for a 10:00 a.m. encounter with Matignon.
The Red Devils are 5-5 coming into the contest, while Matignon, which plays in the Small Division of the Catholic Central Conference, is 2-8. The schools met last year on Turkey Day for the first time, a 22-8 Chelsea victory.
The teams have played three common opponents this season with the Red Devils holding the edge based on comparative scores. Both Chelsea and Matignon lost decisively to St. Clement’s, the Catholic Central Small champ (which also went on to capture the Division 6 North Sectional title). Chelsea fell to St. Clem’s in the first round of the MIAA playoffs, 41-0, while Matignon came out on the short end of a 48-0 decision.
Both schools defeated St. Joseph’s, also of the Catholic Central, Chelsea by a score of 40-8 and Matignon by a closer 32-28 margin. However, in contests with Charlestown, Chelsea prevailed by a decisive 32-0 tally, while Matignon lost, 20-0.
CHS head coach Mike Stellato’s squad will be led into the battle by captains Mark Anthony Williams, Francisco Mercedes, and Kalvin Duran. The contest will mark the final appearance in a Red & Black uniform for seniors Anthony Cuellar and Josue Sanchez.
Chelsea will have some momentum coming into the encounter, having earned a nice 22-14 win over West Roxbury in week 10 that brought the Devils’ record to the .500 mark and giving them a shot at a winning season. Conversely, Matignon, which started its season 2-2 and has dropped its last six contests, no doubt will see the Chelsea game as a way to redeem its season and end it on a winning note.
In the stats department, Chelsea has averaged 14.9 points per game and allowed 20.2, while Matignon has put up an average of 12.2 points per game on the scoreboard and yielded an average of 30.8 points per game.
“Our team is looking forward to finishing off the season strong,” said Stellato, who anticipates hard-fought affair. “The boys have been preparing very hard for this game. I have seen Matignon and they’re a team that plays hard from start to finish, which I feel is a reflection of their coaching staff.”