City Council President Leo Robinson and the Chelsea community are fondly remembering retired Chelsea firefighter Darren Moore, who died on Saturday, Nov. 25 at the age of 52.
Many of Darren’s classmates and friends learned of his passing during the Chelsea High School Class of 1982 35th Reunion Saturday night at the Merritt Club. Reunion co-chair Allen Andrade called upon the gathering for a moment of silence in memory of their beloved classmate, teammate and friend.
Robinson remembered his cousin Darren Moore’s exploits while wearing the Chelsea High Red Devil uniform in three varsity sports. A handsome, personable young man with a warm smile, Darren Moore had confidence in his abilities and developed in to a team leader who conducted himself with sportsmanship and grace on the court and on the field.
“Darren played football, basketball, and baseball at Chelsea High when the Red Devils were a hoop powerhouse in the Greater Boston League,” said Robinson. “Darren was also a coach of the Chelsea Pop Warner ‘A’ football team that rallied to defeat the San Francisco Bombers, 18-14, to win the 2001 national championship.”
Robinson said that following Darren’s athletic career, he wanted to help young kids in Chelsea enjoy the benefits that he had gained from playing sports.
“Darren wanted to give back to the city that was so good to him as a kid,” said Robinson. “He really enjoyed his years as a coach and winning the national championship was a thrill for everyone involved in that historic season.”
Robinson recalled that he was a member of the Board of Aldermen when Darren Moore took the oath as Chelsea firefighter.
“Darren’s family and I were so proud to be at City Hall and see him become a Chelsea firefighter,” said Robinson. “He served in the department for 20 years.”
Robinson said that Darren enjoyed accompanying him, his brother, Ron Robinson, and family friend Dale Johnson on camping trips and excursions to Newport, R.I.
“Darren was a just a good, fun-loving to be around,” said Robinson.
Former CHS cheerleader Debbie Cronin, one of Darren’s childhood friends, remembered Darren’s friendly and congenial nature.
“Darren was a lifelong childhood friend and a genuinely good guy,” said Cronin. “His passing is a tough one. Over the last few years, I’d bump in to him at the most random of places and even though it was clear he had health issues, he always had a smile. Darren will be missed by all.”
Robinson said he will ask the City Council to join him in a moment of silence in memory of Darren Moore at their meeting Monday night at City Hall.
A memorial gathering and visitation for Darren Moore will be held on Friday, Dec. 1, from 3 to 7 p.m., at the Frank Welsh and Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea. A life tribute and service of remembrance will be held in the funeral home beginning at 7 p.m.
The City Election is fast approaching and several races are heating up in the City.
In the district City Council races, at least five seats are contested.
The most active race at the moment is in Prattville, where the District 1 seat has been vacated by Paul Murphy. There, former City Clerk Bob Bishop and Planning Board member Todd Taylor have been out and active since the summer in reaching the voters.
Bishop showed great strength in winning the Preliminary Election with 45 percent of the vote in September, but Taylor has balanced that with several key endorsements this week.
Councillor Murphy has made a recommendation, and that came in the form of an endorsement of Taylor.
Likewise, Taylor has also received an endorsement from popular Governor Charlie Baker.
It will be a battle of great wills on Election Night in Prattville.
Another race to highlight comes in District 7, where Councillor Yamir Rodriguez faces a tough challenge in License Commissioner Mark Rossi.
Both are very qualified and both are very popular.
Rodriguez has great report with the youth in the district and has made a focal point of his tenure in reaching out to young people, organizing youth events and helping residents with quality of life issues like parking.
Meanwhile, Rossi is an attorney who, like Rodriguez, is also bi-lingual and has focused his campaign on immigration issues and streamlining City government. In recent days, though not official, Rossi has seemed to get help from some incumbents and organizational leaders in Chelsea.
Rodriguez, however, seems to have a great command of what is needed in the district, being a key part of some of the newest resident-led initiatives like the Chelsea Hills Community Group.
In District 6, first-term Councillor Judith Garcia faces a re-match with challenger Henry Wilson. There was no preliminary, but the two had a close race two years ago when Garcia won.
Garcia has been hitting the streets throughout the summer, knocking on doors and attending most all community events. She has shown initiative in her first term as well, filing orders to lower the speed limit to 25 mph and also looking for solutions to the parking situation.
Wilson, for his part, has shown much better organization this time around, getting support of several incumbent councillors and community leaders.
In District 8, former Councillor Calvin Brown looks to be gaining momentum over challenger Jermaine Williams. Brown easily carried the Preliminary over Williams with 73 percent of the vote, and Williams has seemingly been nowhere in the last month.
Incumbent Councillor Dan Cortell is leaving the seat, and has not endorsed anyone.
In District 2, Councillor Luis Tejada is facing Attorney Olivia Walsh. Both are very popular in the District and around the City.
Councillor Giovanni Recupero is basically running unopposed, as challenger Kris Haight suspended his campaign a month ago. However, his name will still appear on the ballot next week – even though he is no longer running.
Councillor Enio Lopez is unopposed, and Councillor Matt Frank is not running in District 3. Former Councillor Joe Perlatonda is the lone candidate running for that seat.
In the at-large race, there are three incumbents on the ballot and no challengers.
Council President Leo Robinson and Councillors Roy Avellaneda and Damali Vidot are running for re-election. Though all are assured a seat, there is a fair amount of jockeying for position to see just who tops the ticket.
That likely has less to do with the City Election, and more to do with who will be the next Council President. Robinson is already the president, but would love to make a good showing at the top of the ticket.
Meanwhile, Vidot and Avellaneda are both likely candidates for the presidency come December. A strong finish would give one the edge over the other.
In the School Committee, there is little intrigue aside from the at-large seat. Incumbent Shawn O’Regan ran in the Preliminary for the District 1 Council seat, which opened up the at-large seat on School Committee.
Former Chelsea High Athletic Director Frank DePatto put his papers in and got his name on the ballot unopposed.
However, in recent weeks, O’Regan – who lost in the Preliminary Council election – has announced he is running a write-in sticker campaign to try to reclaim his seat on the School Committee.
A move by Councillors Damali Vidot and Enio Lopez supposedly aimed at diversifying the City’s Boards and Commissions was roundly criticized by several Council members Monday night – with Councillor Roy Avellaneda calling the drafters “cowards.”
Vidot said many on Boards and Commissions – such as the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) – have been in their volunteer seats for many years, and by enacting term limits, perhaps those bodies could become more diverse.
“Some of these boards make decisions we as a City Council have no say on and we have to face the residents,” she said. “We have people serving on some of these boards year after year. I respect the work they do, but the City is changing and maybe we need to think about diversifying these boards.”
That set off Councillor Avellaneda, who called the move “cowardly.” He noted that he had a problem with one Board member, former License Commissioner Ken Umemba, and he used the current process of Council oversight to try to remove him. That, however, he said, requires standing up and facing the dirty looks and the bad feelings.
“If you don’t want people on the Board, stand up and say ‘Thank you for your service, we don’t want you. We want someone else.’ This is cowardly. If you don’t have the guts to tell someone you don’t want them on the board to their face, then don’t do it. Standing up and doing that takes guts. It takes guts to say that to someone’s face.
“This is hypocritical,” he continued. “I can’t believe how hypocritical it is…I will fight against this. I will make a stink about this if I have to.”
Avellaneda referred to the process of Council oversight in his comments, which includes the Council having to vote for any appointment or re-appointment to all boards and commissions. The Council can vote down an appointment, which would require the city manager to put a new candidate forth.
Councillor Lopez said he was offended by being called cowardly in putting the idea forward. He said it had nothing to do with that.
“I’m not a coward,” he said. “We did this because we want to see change. Maybe it didn’t happen when you wanted it, but now it’s a different year and a different time. We want to see more people volunteer…We want people who want to come. The idea is to have different faces and not just the people who have been there all the time.”
That said, there isn’t exactly a line out the door waiting to serve on Chelsea’s boards and commissions. Many seats go unfilled, and a number of boards have trouble making a quorum in order to be able to have an official meeting – even critical boards like the Planning Board that can hold up development.
Councillor Giovanni Recupero brought that to everyone’s attention.
“If people don’t want to come serve on these boards, nothing will change,” he said. “The City needs to try to recruit people to sit on these boards. If no one wants to do it, then the people there should do it and I thank them for what they do because no one else wants to.”
Councillor Matt Frank had a good point in citing Chelsea’s history of corruption, and how the boards and commissioners purposely spread out power.
“In the past, too much power was centralized in only a few hands,” he said. “Our boards and commissions system de-centralized the power over all these boards and commissions. If you are proposing something, you might need to go to Economic Development, Zoning, Planning, and the License Commission. That’s a lot of people to go before. There was a time in the City when you had to grease one hand and you got things done. We don’t want to see that again.”
The matter was defeated by a vote of 2-8, with only Vidot and Lopez voting for it.
Candidates are lining up for what looks to be a very competitive City Election season this fall, especially in Districts 1 and 8 where long-time councillors announced this summer that they wouldn’t seek re-election.
The hotbed of the activity right now is in Prattville, where several well known candidates are seeking the seat vacating by Councillor Paul Murphy.
District 1 is the most active voting area in most municipal elections and so every vote will make a difference in what looks to be a very close race with very qualified candidates.
Four candidates have pulled papers as of this week, including former City Clerk Bob Bishop, School Committeeman Shawn O’Regan, Planning Board member Todd Taylor and Collaborative activist Sylvia Ramirez.
All are well known in the City and carry heavy constituencies at the outset.
However, as of Wednesday, none of the four candidates had been certified for the ballot.
The last day to turn in signed and completed nomination papers is Aug. 8 at 5 p.m. – so candidates have a little under two weeks to qualify.
The other hot district with an open seat is District 8, long dominated by Admiral’s Hill. Councillor Dan Cortell will not run for re-election this time, so many candidates are also in contention.
Already, newcomer Zaida Ismatul Oliva of Winnisimmet Street has qualified for the ballot and will be in contention for the seat.
Ismatul Oliva works for Bunker Hill Community College and is a life-long resident of the city.
Others pulling papers qualifying are long-time former Councillor Calvin Brown, who previously was an at-large councillor before losing out in the last election cycle. Interestingly, though, Brown has also pulled papers for at-large Council, but having qualified for District 8, it’s not likely he will also seek an at-large seat.
Long-time resident Lad Dell of Breakwater Drive has pulled papers, as has Jermaine Williams of Admiral’s Way.
In the last go-around in the City Election, there was plenty of action for the three at-large seats, but that isn’t the case so far this time.
All three incumbents, Councillors Roy Avellaneda, Leo Robinson and Damali Vidot have pulled papers and qualified for the ballot. At the moment, they have no competition.
In District 7, a spirited race looks to be coming between Councillor Yamir Rodriguez and License Commissioner Mark Rossi.
In District 5, challenger Henry Wilson has qualified for the ballot, and will likely face incumbent Councillor Judith Garcia – who has pulled papers but has not yet qualified for the ballot.
Garcia and Wilson faced one another in the last election as well, so a spirited re-match is expected.
In District 3, known as Mill Hill, former District 5 Councillor Joe Perlatonda – who has moved to Clinton Street – has qualified for the ballot and will likely challenge Councillor Matt Frank, who has not yet qualified but has pulled papers.
Frank and Perlatonda, when serving on the Council, had many sharp disagreements and are probably as far apart on the issues as any two people in the City. That said, it should be a spirited contest full of dichotomies.
In District 2, Olivia Ann Walsh of the Soldiers’ Home has qualified for the ballot and will likely face Councillor Luis Tejada, who has pulled papers.
In District 4 and District 6, incumbent Councillor Giovanni Recupero and Enio Lopez are the only ones to pull papers and both have qualified for the ballot as well.
The last date to submit completed papers, once again, is Aug. 8 at 5 p.m.
He called himself a ‘tough bandit’ three days after his 101st birthday
James ‘Yanky’ ‘Jim’ Schwartz passed away peacefully on June 2 at his home in Boynton Beach, Florida. He was 101 years old.
Jim was born May 25, 1916 to Maurice and Celia (Handler) Schwartz, graduated from Chelsea High School and married Anita Mazel in 1941.
He served his country in the Pacific Arena from 1942 to 1945 during World War II. He was a Mason and a Shriner.
He lived most of his life in Chelsea, working in the oil and pharmaceutical industries. He had a car wash and pizzeria. His independent and dedicated
career gave a sense of grand style to his life in cars, dress and open attitude. He was a friend to many and many loved him as a dear friend.
Yanky’s passion for summer vacations brought him first to New Hampshire’s Little Squam Lake, and later to a home on Lake Winnipesaukee. He enjoyed
family, photography, boating, entertaining, landscaping, comedy, foreign films, Rusty Nails and people.
Jim is survived by his three sons: Dr. Peter Alan and Mrs. Myra Schwartz of North Attleboro, Lester Keith and Mrs.Suzanne Schwartz of West Campton,
NH and George Schwartz of Sheldonville, MA; seven grandchildren: Jodi Colton, Adam
Zeitsiff, Jeremy Schwartz, Maggie Schwartz, Ben Schwartz, Lucy Schwartz and Sam Schwartz and numerous loving cousins. His great grandchildren are: Abigail and Gavin Zeitsiff and Jonah and Nate Colton. Jim was preceded in death by his loving wife, Anita; his brothers: Philip, Irving and Bernard, and his sister, Pearle. Jim is also survived by Philip’s son, Arnold Schwartz and his wife, Suzie and Pearle’s son, Ed Eich and his wife, Jayme.
Three days after he turned 101, he said “I’m a tough bandit.”
And so he was.
There will be a graveside farewell to Jim today, Thursday, June 29 at 10 a.m. at The Chelsea JCC Cemetery on Buxton Road in Danvers.
Lifelong Chelsea resident
Joseph Adamowicz of Chelsea passed away suddenly on Wednesday, June 21 at the Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett. He was 78 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, the son of the late Napoleon and Louise Adamowicz, Joe attended local schools and was a lifelong resident of Chelsea. He worked as a paint mixer with Raffi and Swanson Manufacturing and retired several years ago. Joseph was a devoted Catholic and lived a deeply religious, spiritual and prayerful life. He frequently attended Masses at St. Stanislaus Church and St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Chelsea.
He was the former husband of Barbara “Bobbie” Elliot and devoted stepfather of the late Cisco Naranjo, the cherished grandfather of Krystal Naranjo, the beloved brother of Donna Hollis of Georgetown and dear uncle of Jolene Hollis-Fraser and her husband, Jesse Fraser, Chris Hollis and his wife, Lisa and adored great uncle of Anthony Silva, Gavin Fraser and Ryan Hollis.
Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend a Memorial Mass on Friday, June 30 at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, 91 Crest Ave., Chelsea at 11 a.m. Final arrangements were handled by the Anthony Memorial-Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea. For online guestbook or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com
Richard Alphonse Pruneau
Director of Torf Funeral Service for 41 years
Richard Alphonse Pruneau, a longtime Arlington resident, died peacefully in Chelsea on June 23. He was 73 years old.
Richard was born on February 6, 1944 in Boston to the late Francis G. and Ann (Nauer) Pruneau. He graduated from Don Bosco Tech in 1961, furthered his education at New England Institute-Kenmore Square and became a licensed funeral director in 1969.
He married Eda in 1966. After moving to Arlington, Richard began working for Torf Funeral Service in Chelsea as a Managing Funeral Director in 1970 where he stayed for 41 years. Richard also worked and assisted with many funeral home establishments in the Boston Area.
Richard loved and was dedicated to funeral service. He was passionate about all things funeral service. Although not Jewish himself, Richard was strict in his adherence to the Jewish Laws of Tahara always displayed compassion and understanding to the bereaved in their hour of need. He was an active, dedicated member of the Bellingham Lodge #53- Knights of Pythias, Handi Kids of Bridgewater and the Temple Emmanuel Brotherhood of Chelsea. Richard was an avid drummer who marched with the American Legion Post 156 Band of Waltham.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Eda (Hohulja) Pruneau. He was the devoted father of Lisa Connearney and her husband, Frank of Medford and Michelle McCaffery and her husband, William of Burlington; proud grandfather of Ryan and Thomas Connearney and Brendan and Emma McCaffery; loving brother of Shirley Johnston and her husband, Robert of Auburndale, dear uncle to Robert W. Johnston and his wife, Cindy, Laurie Levy and her husband, Michael and the late William L. Johnston and his wife, Lauren. He is also survived by several great nephews and nieces.
His Funeral Mass will be held at St. Agnes Church, 51 Medford Street, Arlington on Friday June 30 at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Burial is private.
Visiting hours will be held from the Torf Funeral Service, 151 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, today, Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Jude’s Hospital-501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, 165 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA 02150. Visit www.torffuneralservice.com for guest book and directions.
Longtime Chelsea Teacher’s Aide
A Funeral Mass was said on Wednesday at St. Stanislaus Church for Sophie T. (Domoretsky) Kanarkiewicz who passed away on June 21 in the peaceful surrounding of her home and in the preence of her loving famiy. She was 84 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea and a lifelong Chelsea resident, Sophie was the beloved daughter of the late Dennis and Rose Domoretsky. She attended local schools and graduated from Chelsea High School. She married John H. Kanarkiewicz and together they raised their family of three in Chelsea. A devoted housewife, mother and homemaker she also worked outside of her home for many years as a teacher’s aide with the Chelsea School Dept.
She enjoyed family camping trips, going to polka dances with her husband, handcrafts like sewing and crocheting, the companionship of her feline friends and interior home painting and decorating. Sophie was widowed 15 months ago with the passing of her beloved husband and Chelsea Firefighter, John H. Kanarkiewicz, Sr. She was also preceded in death this past September by her son, Chelsea Fire Lt. John H. Kanarkiewicz, Jr. and years earlier by her siblings; Vasily, Michael and Walter Domoretsky. She is lovingly survived by her children and their spouses: Rosemarie Miller and her husband, Gary of Lynnfield and Frank Kanarkiewicz and his wife, Joanne of Peabody. She was the cherished grandmother of Dennis and Sara Kanarkiewicz, Adrienne Manes and her husband, Aaron and adored great-grandmother of Caroline Manes.
A Funeral Mass was said on Wednesday at St. Stanislaus Church. Interment followed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, Rev. Andrew T Grelak officiated. Final Arrangements were handled by the Anthony Memorial-Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. For online guestbook or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit: www.WelshFuneralHome.com
Retired principal clerk of Chelsea Treasurer’s office
Delia J. (Mallet) Connors passed away on Monday, June 26 after a brief illness with her caring and loving family at her side and in the peaceful surroundings of her home. She was 75 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, she was a daughter of the late Ernest J. and Laura B. (Arsenault) Mallet. A lifelong Chelsea resident, she attended local schools and graduated from Chelsea High School in 1960. She married John J. “Jack” Connors and together they raised their family of three in Chelsea.
A devoted housewife and Mother, Delia also worked outside of her home as a data processing clerk at the Winthrop Community Hospital and she was later employed at Chelsea City Hall working for 13 years as a principal clerk in the city Treasurers Office. She retired in 2009.
In her lifetime, Delia enjoyed arts and crafts, sewing, creating and sewing Halloween costumes for her children. She also enjoyed working in ceramics, shopping and browsing through Flea Markets and collecting “Teddy Bears,” but she mostly enjoyed and loved time spent with her family and her grandchildren.
She was the beloved wife of 56 years of John J. “Jack” Connors; devoted mother of Paulette Velastegui, Juliann Boesch and her husband, Roberto and Robert Connors and his wife, Deborah, all of Chelsea; cherished grandmother of Timothy Velastegui, Daniel Velastegui, Kaitlyn Jessee, Christina Boesch, Robert Michael Connors, Rebecca Connors and Rileigh Connors; dear sister of Theresa Roberts of Saugus and the late Ernest Mallet and Rosemarie Cardarelli. Her Funeral will begin from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Friday, June 30 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church, 59 Nichols St., Chelsea at 10:30 a.m. Services will conclude with Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home today, Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Assoc. MA/NH Office, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com
The City Council approved a $90,000 expenditure to buy the triangle piece of land on the Spencer Avenue Extension that has served for parking over the years, but actually was never owned by the City.
The small piece of land abuts Webster Avenue and is used by residents for parking and also for parents picking up kids from the Burke Elementary Complex. It was formerly owned by the French Club, but was purchased by The Neighborhood Developers (TND) when it began pursuing the affordable housing project on that site.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino requested that the Council purchase the land so that it could be used for parking and open space rather than be used for private purposes.
Councillor Matt Frank said the land has been used publicly, but was never owned by the City. He said it is a critical piece of land for neighbors in the area and for those picking up school children.
“If we don’t own the land, someone else will control the land and we can’t tell a private owner to let people park there,” he said. “Voting for this is getting control of that land. That land was never owned by the City. It will now lawfully be owned by the City and we can do with it what the neighborhood would like.”
The money was appropriated from the Urban Renewal Fund, and was approved 10-0.
When introduced a few weeks ago, some councillors grumbled at the steep price for such a small piece of land. However, those concerns were mitigated by Monday night.
Former owner of Tap Royal Café and Tudor Garage in Chelsea
Donald Dickerman of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, formerly of Chelsea, passed away on June 20.
He was the former owner of Tap Royal Café and Tudor Garage in Chelsea.
The son of Benjamin and Ruth L (Alpert) Dickerman, he was the brother of Allan I. Dickerman and the companion for 45 years of Frances Merlino.
Services are being held in Florida. Donations in his memory can be made to Chelsea Jewish Life Care, 17 Lafayette Avenue, Chelsea.
Robert ‘Bob’ Spinney, Sr.
US Postal Service retiree
Bob, a lifetime Chelsea resident, passed away peacefully in his home on Wednesday, June 14 at the age of 85.
He attended local schools and graduated from Chelsea High School with the class of 1950. In August of 1952, he married his longtime sweetheart, Margaret. Shortly thereafter, Bob was drafted into the US Army, serving honorably during the Korean Conflict. After receiving his discharge, Bob returned to his Chelsea home with Margaret and together began their family.
He worked as a postal letter carrier in Revere and Chelsea for 38 years. In his younger years, Bob was an amateur boxer, but he was also a kind, gentle, compassionate soul. He also enjoyed traveling with his wife and spending time in the company of his children and grandchildren. He is remembered for his sense of humor and loved to make others laugh with his jokes and stories.
In addition to his parents, Bob was predeceased by his sisters, the late Barbara Cameron and the late Florence Brinster. He is survived by his forever beloved wife of 65 years, Margaret (Kashian) Spinney of Chelsea. He was the devoted father and father-in-law of Cheryl Lombardi and her husband, Robert of Peabody, Robert F. Spinney, Jr and his wife, Kathleen of Chelsea and Joanne Simonelli of Lynnfield and her late husband, Louis Simonelli. Bob was also the cherished grandfather of Michael Lombardi and his wife, Mia, Lauren Lombardi, Alexandra and Andrea Simonelli and Robert F. Spinney, III. and adored great grandfather of Avery. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home , Chelsea. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Louis Simonelli, III to the Leonard Florence Center for Living “Dapper’s ALS Residence” 165 Captains Row, Chelsea MA 02150 https://www.dappershouse.org/take-action
City Councillor Giovanni Recupero returned to the floor after being sick for some time, and entered the Chambers with a bang, proposing an order that those over 70 and owning a single-family home would get 100 percent reduction on taxes.
The matter was rebuffed substantially with a 1-9 vote, with Recupero being the lone ‘yes’ vote.
Recupero proposed giving a full abatement to owner-occupants of single-family homes who are over the age of 70. His proposal would have asked the State Legislature to allow the measure under a Home Rule Petition.
“There are other parts of our state that give 100 percent abatements,” he said. “Why not try this out? All we can do is try. This is for the little guy. Why can’t we give someone a break who spent their entire lives in their house? I say we should give them a break.”
However, his colleagues disagreed with the measure.
“This is something we’re simply not allowed to do,” said Councillor Dan Cortell. “We voted down a Home Rule Petition recently because it had no chance of passing at the state level…This will make a very good headline, but it’s not a good idea…This is a little too far. This goes in the category of election year agenda items. This has no legs.”
Councillor Matt Frank said he thinks others should qualify for the break also.
“My concern is we have all these other 71 year olds who don’t live in single-family homes,” he said. “If the goal is to help people over 70, this doesn’t even do that…You can’t always be the person who says, ‘Here, take everything.’…We’re robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
Council President Leo Robinson said he believed it might open the City up to a taxpayer lawsuit, which requires only 10 to sign a petition.
Afterward, Recupero said his investigation showed it would only affect about 25 to 30 homeowners, and wouldn’t be a drain on the City’s finances. He said he looked into other areas, including on Cape Cod, where homeowners are given 100 percent tax abatements during the part of the year when they aren’t living there (generally the winter months).
He said he did run it by a few state legislators and they thought it was an interesting concept.
“All I can do is try,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with trying to help elderly people with their taxes. Other places have done this in slightly different forms and we could be the first to do it this way.”
After having voted down a two-hour parking proposal for Cary Square on the May 22 City Council meeting – yet not having enough votes to deny it according to the City Charter – the Council re-assembled on Tuesday night, May 30, to give it one more try.
And the result was the same, except this time the measure – championed by Pan Y Cafe owner Councillor Roy Avellaneda and some other business leaders in the Square – was defeated 7-2.
Those voting to keep the measure were Councillor Matt Frank and Dan Cortell. Councillor Avellaneda had recused himself from the proceedings due to his financial interest, and Councillor Recupero was absent again from the meeting.
Those voting to rescind the Traffic Commission’s two-hour parking plan – for eight total spots – in the Square were Councillors Damali Vidot, Luis Tejada, Enio Lopez, Judith Garcia, Leo Robinson, Yamir Rodriguez and Paul Murphy.
The matter was believed to be done and finished on May 22 after a heated meeting that drew scores of residents commenced, and a vote of 5-2 ended the matter.
However, the next day it was discovered that a Traffic Commission decision had to be overturned by a majority vote of the Council, meaning at least six votes were required. Councillor Rodriguez immediately filed reconsideration of the matter, and since there was a time limit to addressing the matter within 30 days, Council President Robinson called the Special Emergency Meeting for this Tuesday.
The rules were explained and both Frank and Cortell questioned if it was appropriate. After explaining all of the logistics, with everyone satisfied, the final vote took place.
The meeting lasted about 10 minutes.
The Tuesday meeting was just a continuation of two previous, heated meetings about the issue – as well as some heated Traffic Commission meetings earlier in the year.
On May 22, scores of residents and business owners flooded the Council Chambers, some to oppose the restrictions on the eight new two-hour parking signs and some to support them. Avellaneda first brought the idea to the Traffic Commission earlier this year and called for an expansive meter program. He argued that commuters were taking all of the parking in the Square in order to use the 111 bus, which prevented his business and others from using the parking for customers.
The Commission compromised and instituted the eight, two-hour spots on a trial basis through August.
However, many businesses and many members of the Cary Square Club were outraged by the development and called on the Council to use a little-known oversight power to reject the Cary Square parking program.
The Commission’s report was approved two weeks ago, but the Cary Square matter was pulled from the report and held over until Monday night.
“There was not an issue there and never has been an issue,” said Karen Moschella of Off Broadway Dance. “No one is parking in Cary Square and taking the bus in. Maybe further up on Washington Avenue, ok, but not here.”
Zaida Ismatul-Oliva, of Spruce Street, said she and her mother opposed the change.
“I find it problematic that we’re now trying to change two-hour parking for one or two businesses in the area when its always been parking for residents,” she said.
Dan Morales, of the Blue Frog Sports Bar in Cary Square, said he likes the idea.
“I’m in favor of the parking restrictions because I think it will help businesses,” he said. “I have personally seen people park and take the bus and take up spots for five or six hours. That limits the amount of business you can do.”
Michael Albano of Willard Street said it was time to make a change to liven up that business district.
“It seems to me the Parking Commission got it right,” he said. “I would like to make Cary Square a place people want to go and make vibrant and a place that businesses can flourish.”
But most councillors did not agree.
Councillor Rodriguez said it simply wasn’t the right time given the fact that the Clark Avenue School was under construction and taking up a lot of spaces temporarily.
Councillor Tejada, whose district is nearby, was also in agreement, saying that some 15 or more spaces are taken up at the Clark Avenue project, forcing residents to push parking into the Square.
“I’m not in favor of this because it’s just not the right timing,” Rodriguez said. “We have a lot of projects going on right now and it’s pushing the parking issue to other places. We need to wait until that is finished and we should solve the parking issue another way. Two hour parking is not the solution.”
Councillor Cortell, however, agreed with the issue. Living on Admiral’s Hill, he said he rarely visits Cary Square because it is too complicated to get to and park.
“I think the Parking and Traffic Commission got it right,” he said. “They did compromise. It was on a trial basis until August…The Traffic Commission meetings were well attended…They chose a compromise. I’m in favor of the compromise.”
In the end, the Council prevailed in rescinding the two-hour parking, and there was no apparent appeal effort or alternative plan being proposed.
Roland Souza Velho of Fall River, formerly of Chelsea, died on September 9. He was 92 years old.
The husband of the late Mildred (Kennerson) Velho, he was born in Fall River, the
son of the late Madeline (Viveiros) and John S. Velho Sr. He worked as a truck driver for Merchant Tire and also as a nighttime custodian for Beth Israel Hospital.
He was the father of the late David Velho and is survived by his daughter-in-law, Kathy Velho, three grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by five siblings.
His service will be held on Friday, September 16 at 10 a.m. at the Fall River Seventh Day Adventist Church, 2695 N. Main St., Fall River, with burial to follow at Pocasset Hill, Tiverton, RI. Arrangements are by the A F Almeida & Son Funeral Home, 1309 Globe St. Fall River. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the America Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma, OK 73123 or the Joslin Clinic, 1 Joslin Pl., Boston, MA 02215. For on line guestbook, visit: www.almeida-pocasset.com
Worked at Dunkin Donuts on Everett Avenue until the age of 83; active member of Everett Moose
Helen E. (Nadworny) Allen of Chelsea passed away on September 8 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after a very brief illness.
Born in Chelsea 92 years ago, for over 20 years, and until it’s closing, she worked as a clerk for the American Optical Company. After its closing, and for the next 20 years, she worked for Dunkin Donuts, previously known as Mister Donut on Everett Avenue, retiring at the age of 83. She was also an active member of the Everett Moose.
She was the devoted wife of the late William B. Allen; devoted mother of Carol Giordano of Revere, June Falco and her husband, Anthony of East Windsor, New Jersey and the late Naomi “Jeannie” Hornbraye; dear sister of the late Jean Bowen, Sophie Gisetto, Joseph, Michael, Frank, Chester, Charles and William Nadworny; cherished grandmother of Stacey Zolla, Richard Giordano and Kelly and Sean Falco. She is also lovingly survived by her great grandchildren: CJ, Angelo and Addario Zolla and Joseph and Jessica Giordano, her sister-in-law, Eva Nadworny of Peabody and by many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were by the Smith Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. To send a message of condolence to Helen’s family, please visit www.smithfuneralhomes.com
Walter ‘Fishcake’ ‘Wally’ Szczerbinski
Past Post Commander of PAV Post 13 of Chelsea
Walter F. Szczerbinski of Lynnfied, formerly of Chelsea and Peabody, passed away after a brief Illness on September 7 at the Hunt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Danvers. He was 90 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, he was the youngest of five children born to the late Vincent and Albina Szczerbinski. He graduated from Chelsea High School, enlisted in the US Navy and served honorably during World War II. While in the Navy, he served as a ships electrician and received additional training and education in public health.
He was honorably discharged in 1946 at the rank of Coxswain and returned to Chelsea to marry the former Theresa J. Branczewska. Together they raised a family of three daughters and one son. Walter continued his education in public health. He worked for many years as a Health Inspector for the cities of Chelsea and Salem. He later took the position of health and environmental supervisor in the Emergency Department at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston. After his retirement, he continued part time work as a security officer at Avnet in Peabody.
A resident of Chelsea for much of his life, he and his wife moved to Peabody in the 1980’s and settled in Lynnfield seven years ago. He was a member, officer and past Post Commander of the PAV Post 13 of Chelsea. Walter enjoyed reading, bike riding and spending time with his beloved wife, family and grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his siblings: William and Charles Szczerbinski, Irene Lantych and Hedwig Kornack. He is survived by his wife of 66 years Theresa J. Szczerbinski. He was the devoted father and father-in-law of Anita M. Bedrosian and her late husband, Peter of Lynnfield, Judy Szczerbinski of Peabody, Mary Sciuto and her husband, David of Dunstable and Thomas J. Szczerbinski and his wife Andrea of Arlington, VA; the cherished grandfather of Jessica and Matthew Bedrosian, Travis and Shannon Benson, Ryan and Justin Szczerbinski.
Funeral arrangements were by Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody. Should friends desire, contributions in Walter’s memory may be made to a charity of their choice.