Following Governor Baker’s signing and the
finalization of the Commonwealth’s FY 2020 Budget, Triangle, Inc. is proud to
announce it has received an additional $100,000 in funding for its
School-to-Career program, which supports students and recent graduates between
16 and 26-years-old in the Metro North and South Shore regions. The funds will
help advance programs to help young adults plan their careers, expand their
experience and skills to secure competitive employment, and live more
independent lives. The allocation is part of $5.4 million funding in the
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s budget dedicated to
workforce development and employment service programming throughout the
“We want to thank our elected
officials, including House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka,
and the co-sponsors of this budget amendment, Representative Daniel Ryan and
Senator Sal DiDomenico for their work in securing this critical funding,” said
Coleman Nee, CEO of Triangle, Inc. “These additional resources will advance the
vital work of providing transition aged young adults with meaningful pathways
for career and lifetime success, giving our participants a more independent
About Triangle, Inc.
Triangle, Inc. has empowered people with disabilities and their families to
live rich, fulfilling lives. With a strong focus on employment, empowerment,
independence, and community engagement, Triangle, Inc. reaches more than 4,000
people across eastern Massachusetts each year. Through all of its efforts,
Triangle, Inc reminds our communities that we are all people with abilities.
Learn more about the organization and their impact at triangle-inc.org.
The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home has been awarded
$100 million from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to replace
its long term care facility. The grant will reimburse the Commonwealth of up to
65% of construction costs for the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home. The Baker-Polito
Administration has secured the funds to rebuild the facility.
“Today marks another milestone for the
redevelopment of the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
“It is our duty to care for those who stood up and served this nation, and our obligation
to ensure that their sacrifices are not forgotten. This funding allows us to
move forward in that commitment.”
“Receiving this grant demonstrates
Massachusetts’ strong relationship with veteran organizations on both the state
and federal level,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This award helps
the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home continue its efforts in providing care to our
veterans with honor, dignity and respect.”
Governor Baker announced plans for the new long term care
Community Living Center (CLC) in May of 2017 and a
groundbreaking was celebrated in October of 2018. During the construction,
the facility will remain fully operational. The new facility will have 154
private rooms to care for veterans. The project is anticipated to be completed
“We appreciate the financial commitment and
collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Health
and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “We are building a state of
the art facility that will care for our nation’s heroes.”
“Massachusetts continues to lead the nation
in its care for Veterans. The VA’s grant helps us continue to care for our
elder population of Veterans throughout the Commonwealth,” said Department
of Veterans’ Services Secretary Francisco Ureña. “We’re looking forward to the
great things to come for the campus and its members.”
The Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea first
opened its doors to Massachusetts veterans in 1882 and offers Residential and
Long Term Care programs to eligible Veterans in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The campus offers Independent Living and Long Term Care services; serving
approximately 300 Massachusetts Veterans daily. The Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea
operates with a staff of 310 employees, whose mission is to provide the highest
quality of personal health care services to Massachusetts Veterans with Honor,
Dignity, and Respect. Chelsea is surveyed annually by the Federal
Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (“CMS”). It is also fully accredited by The Joint Commission on
Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
One hundred years ago, Lena Goldberg
started Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home by turning a small multi-family building
into a welcoming home for elders. Today that home has grown into Chelsea Jewish
Healthcare, one of New England’s leading healthcare organizations. The
non-profit operates campuses in Chelsea, Peabody and Longmeadow, employing more
than 2,000 individuals and taking care of more than 1,000 individuals every
day. While there has been extensive growth and expansion throughout years, one
thing never changed: the organization’s unwavering commitment to provide
high-quality, compassionate care in a “real” home setting.
“From the very beginning, our goal was to
provide the best possible care,” said Barry Berman, who has been CEO of Chelsea
Jewish Lifecare for more than 40 years. “We encourage our residents to make
their own choices and live their own lives by creating a warm and welcoming
atmosphere with a caring and compassionate staff.”
He further explained, “Living in a
residence that offers all the amenities of a real home greatly enhances the
quality of life for elderly and disabled individuals.”
Berman recalled coming to Chelsea Jewish
when he was only 23 and fresh out of graduate school.
“When they started this organization,
that was before MediCare, MediCaid and public health programs,” he said. “It
was just a bunch of Jewish women who saw elders that needed services and they
decided to buy a home and help them. When I started, I was only 23 and just got
out of graduate school. It was a small, 60-bed home that really needed an
incredible amount of work. I went to the Trustees and I was honest with them. I
said them I didn’t have a lot of experience, but we could all work together and
figure out how to do this so we can improve the home.”
By 1983, they were able to demolish the
home on Lafayette Avenue and build the brand new Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home –
a home that was just completely renovated and modernized this past year.
Over the past 100 years, Chelsea Jewish
Lifecare has achieved many similar and significant milestones.
The opening of the award-winning Leonard
Florence Center for Living in 2010, the first urban Green House skilled nursing
facility in the country, is one example. This revolutionary nursing home in
Chelsea includes 30 rooms devoted to individuals diagnosed with ALS
(amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and MS (multiple sclerosis). Individuals are
able to live as independently as possible through the cutting-edge technology
built into the center. Today the Leonard Florence Center takes care of more
individuals living with ALS under one roof than any place in the world.
The organization greatly expanded in 2016
with the addition of a Peabody campus and again in 2018 with the affiliation of
JGS Lifecare in Longmeadow. All three campuses reflect the organization’s
mission: to be the most respected provider of service-enriched residential care
and post-acute care for seniors and individuals living with debilitating
In 2017, the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home
underwent a dramatic $16 million renovation. The new building reflects a legacy
Green House skilled nursing model that can be easily duplicated by nursing
homes across the country. This concept sets the stage for new level of care in
“We came back to the home atmosphere that
our founder, Mrs. Goldberg, originally had in mind,” said Adam Berman,
president of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “What’s so unique about our model is that
we’ve combined contemporary design elements with the traditional concept of
making one’s home as warm and inviting as possible.”
On April 28, employees, residents,
families, friends and community members came together to celebrate the 100th
anniversary of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. Governor Charlie Baker recognized this
momentous day by issuing a Citation in honor of
this special anniversary. Amidst dinner, dancing and emotional speeches,
attendees viewed a slide show with over 200 photos spanning the last 100 years.
A highlight of the event was a heartfelt tribute to the 49 staff members who
have worked at the organization for 25 years or more.
Barry Berman summed up the night
perfectly: “Our employees are the real reason behind our longevity. Without
them, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Looking to the future, Berman said they
will look to grow, but not hastily.
“We believe in growth, but we also
believe in very calculated and smart growth,” he said. “Some companies can grow
too fast. Although we are ready to grow, we are cautious about it…We do it with
our eyes wide open because we’re not going to grow just to grow.”
Rehabbing historic monuments and buildings
and establishing a community garden are among the first projects the Community
Preservation Committee (CPC) will be recommending to the City Council during
their initial pilot round of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding.
Monday night, the CPC recommended approval
of funding for five projects, and tabled two other proposals until May so they
can get more information on them.
The projects recommended by the CPC Monday
night included money for the rehabilitation of the city’s Civil War monument,
improvements to the Garden Cemetery, a Marlborough Street Community Garden
proposed by The Neighborhood Developers (TND), and renovation of the Governor
The two proposals that were tabled until
more information could be gathered were for renovations to the Congregation
Agudath Shalom Museum (Walnut Street Synagogue) and for the city to hire an
Affordable Housing Trust Fund housing specialist on a one-year contract basis.
Each of the proposals generated debate to
its merits, with members keeping an eye on the potential that future years will
feature requests with potentially larger impacts on the CPA fund.
Chelsea voters approved the adoption of the
CPA in November 2016. It will provide hundreds of thousands of dollars
each year to be used for the creation and acquisition of affordable housing,
historic preservation, open space and recreation. The CPA trust fund currently
has a balance of just over $2.2 million.
The projects that could be funded during the
initial pilot round are capped at $50,000 each. The total of the seven
proposals that came before the CPC is just under $270,000, according to CPC
Chair Jose Iraheta.
The pilot round of funding is not only a way
to get out the word about CPA funding, but also gives the CPC an opportunity to
work out the best method for recommendation of the projects, Iraheta said. The
CPC can make recommendations for projects, but the funding is ultimately
approved by the City Council.
“There’s so much we have to do to educate
the community and have them understand what this is all about,” said CPC member
Bea Cravatta. “This is a good amount of money that can change the city in a
Key among the factors CPC members weigh in
considering recommendation for a project is its community support, benefit to
the city’s vulnerable populations, matching funds from the project’s
proponents, and how it fits into Chelsea’s overall Master Plan.
“I believe that little pieces like this are
important to the community and to people of all income levels,” CPC member Tuck
Willis said of the Civil War monument rehab. “Seeing a decaying monument is not
good for anyone. A neater, cleaner, spiffier look is better for everyone.”
Improvements to the Garden Cemetery also got
high marks from many of the CPC members.
“This is a fantastic project that strongly
aligns with our leading and supporting principles,” said CPC Vice Chair
Cravatta and CPC member Juan Vega both
supported the project but said they would like to see some more ideas about how
the community at large could make more use of the space.
The two projects with the most questions
about them were tabled to give Karl Allen of the planning department time to
gather more information for the CPC.
Vega and Willis both said they both had
concerns about CPA funds being used to fund a staff position for the city with
the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
CPC members also had questions about funding and
budget specifics for rehab of the Congregation Agudath Shalom Museum.
The Chelsea Cultural Council has announced
the awarding of grants totalling $20,809 to 18 local artists, schools and
The grants were awarded from a pool of funds
distributed to Chelsea by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency
that supports public programs and educational activities in the arts, sciences,
“We are very grateful to Governor Baker and
the Legislature for their continued support of the Massachusetts Cultural
Council and the funding that directly benefits cultural activities here in
Chelsea, said Marlene Jennings Chair. Our city has its own unique identity and
in these sponsored events we get to really experience the spirit of
Awardees for this year are:
•Browne Middle School: Speaker – Lost
Boy of Sudan, $250
•Chelsea Black Community: Black
History Month, $1,800
•Chelsea Community Connections:
Chelsea Fun Bus, $1,000
•Chelsea Public Library: A Universe of
•Veronica Robles: Serenara a Chelsea
by Veronica Robles Female Mariachi, $1,500
•Walnut Street Synagogue: A Photo
Documentary of Chelsea Life in the 1970’s, $1,800
The Chelsea Cultural Council (CCC) has also
set aside an additional $3,121 to complete a public mural project in
collaboration with Chelsea Public School Art Department that began in the fall
of 2018. The CCC is one of 329 local councils that serve every city and town in
the state. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the
Massachusetts Cultural Council, which then allocates funds to each local
council. Decisions, about which activities to support, are made at the
community level by the council.
The members of the Chelsea Cultural Council
are: Marlene Jennings, Chair; Dakeya Christmas, Co-Chair; Devra Sari Zabot,
Recorder; Juliana Borgiani, Treasurer; Sharlene McLean, Angelina McCoy, and
Carolina Anzola. The CCC will seek applications again this fall. CCC
Guidelines will be available online as well as the 2020 application beginning
Sept. 1, 2019 at
Gov. Charlie Baker
brought a short smile to the face of many when he unveiled an increase in
education funding in his State Budget proposal two weeks ago, but this week
Supt. Mary Bourque said the proposal needs to go further for cities like
“Although a step in the
right direction for public education and in particular gateway cities, the
Governor’s FY20 budget does not go nearly far enough,” she wrote in a letter on
Bourque said the Chelsea
Public Schools are facing another year where they will likely – as it stands
now – have to cut another $2 million from their budget. That falls upon
multiple years of cuts that have weighed cumulatively on the schools and taken
away core services from students.
One of the problems is
that salaries, health insurance and special education costs are rising so
quickly. This year, she said, they are looking at increases in those areas of
Gov. Baker’s budget
proposal steers an increase of $3.2 million to Chelsea over last year, but in
the face of rising costs, that still leaves the schools in the red.
It’s yet another year of
advocacy for the schools to fix the Foundation Formula – an exercise that has
seemingly played out without any success for at least five years.
“Once again we are facing
another year of painful budget cuts because the foundation formula used to
calculate aid to our schools is broken,” she wrote. “The formula from 1993 has
not kept up with inflation, changing demographics or increased student
needs. I am however, encouraged this year that all leaders at the State
level have acknowledged that the formula is broken, including for the first
time the Governor.”
Bourque also spelled out
the complex nature of the Chelsea Schools, including numerous factors that are
contributing to the reduction in funding.
One of the most startling
situations is that there are fewer kids, and with education funding based on
numbers of kids, that translates to even less money for the schools.
Bourque said this year
they have begun to identify a downward trend in enrollment for the first time
in years. She said fewer kids are coming in from outside the U.S. and families
are leaving Chelsea for areas with lower rents and costs of living.
“In addition to the
foundation formula undercounting critical costs, a significant portion of this
year’s $2 million dollar gap is due to student demographic shifts taking place
in our schools,” she wrote. “We are seeing a downward trend in student
enrollment…This year we have noted fewer students entering our schools from
outside the United States as well as a number of students and families moving
from Chelsea due to the high cost of living in the Boston area.”
The Chelsea Public Schools
under the City Charter have until April 1 to submit their balanced budget.
Bourque said they plan to lobby members of the House of Representatives and the
Senate in the meantime to fix the funding gaps that now exist.
The Chelsea 500
movement has received a $65,000 grant from the state to help them secure jobs
with the Encore Boston Harbor casino for 500 or more Chelsea residents.
The Chelsea 500 formed
from several existing community groups last fall, and began holding open houses
and informational meetings for residents to try to get into the pipeline for
the 5,000 or more jobs that are to be filled at the casino by June.
Chelsea 500, which
engages the city, businesses, and non-profits to create a workforce pipeline so
that 500 or more residents can gain the skills necessary to apply for positions
at Encore Boston Harbor, with a goal of at least 200 of them gaining
employment. Although initial efforts are focused on the casino, the long term
goal is to sustain workforce development that will extend to other businesses.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn
Polito announced $500,000 to nine projects, including the Chelsea 500, through
the Urban Agenda Grant Program last week. The program emphasizes
community-driven responses to local obstacles, and promotes economic development
through partnership-building, problem solving, and shared accountability in
Launched by the
Baker-Polito Administration in 2016, the Urban Agenda Grant Program offers
competitive awards offer flexible funding for local efforts that bring together
community stakeholders to pursue economic development initiatives. The awards
announced today will fund projects supporting workforce development, small
businesses, and entrepreneurship initiatives across eight communities:
Barnstable, Boston, Chelsea, Fitchburg, Lawrence, Lowell, Springfield, and
“When we empower local
leaders and projects that thoughtfully address the unique issues facing our
urban centers, we have an outsized impact on the lives of residents,” said
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The Urban Agenda Grant Program relies on the
strong partnerships between local government, non-profits and the business
community that are critical to fostering economic success and building stronger
neighborhoods in every region in Massachusetts.”
The Urban Agenda Grant Program provides grants to communities working to
provide residents with economic opportunities and workforce training. The
program prioritizes projects that are based on collaborative work models that
feature a strong partnership between community organizations and
municipalities. Awards prioritize collaboration, shared accountability and
building leadership capacity at the local level.
When Governor Charlie Baker was elected to
his first term of office four years ago, his first major announcement was the
appointment of Jay Ash to the post of Secretary of Housing and Economic
The announcement by Gov. Baker, a
Republican, came as a surprise to many political insiders because Ash was a
lifelong Democrat and at the time was serving as the City Manager for the City
of Chelsea, a post he had held for almost 15 years. Moreover, the Secretary of
Housing and Economic Development is among the most important members of a
governor’s cabinet, and typically goes to a person who is among those most
trusted by the governor to implement his broad policy objectives.
However, Ash’s appointment by Gov.-elect
Baker signaled two things about the incoming administration: First, that Baker
was going to “reach across the aisle” to Democrats and second, that he was
seeking the most-qualified persons he could find to serve in his
During the past four years, Charlie Baker’s
appointment of Jay Ash, who officially stepped down from his cabinet post in
December to become the new president of a nonprofit business group known as the
Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, has proven to be a win-win for Gov.
Baker — and the people of Massachusetts — on both scores.
Ash, who had served for many years as the
chief of staff to former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Voke,
not only knew the ins-and-outs of the legislative process, but also was on a
first-name basis with many legislators, most notably House Speaker Bob DeLeo,
who played a key role in working with Jay in implementing the many initiatives
put forth by the Baker administration.
In addition, Jay Ash brought to the table
his experience as the City Manager of Chelsea, a small city that is the
prototype for both the potential and pitfalls of economic development of urban
areas throughout the state.
During his tenure, Jay Ash brought to
fruition many projects that will bring economic benefits for future generations
of our state’s residents. Among Ash’s signature accomplishments, he played a
key role in bringing the Pawtucket Red Sox to Worcester, which included the
redevelopment of the city’s Canal District with $35 million in infrastructure
and affordable housing funds; he brought $12.5 million in state funds to the
Berkshire Innovation Center, which will focus on life sciences in Pittsfield;
he played an integral role in persuading General Electric to locate its world
headquarters in Boston’s Seaport District; and he was instrumental in bringing
about a significant reduction in the number of homeless families living in
All in all, Jay Ash’s tenure as Secretary of
Housing and Economic Development has been among the most successful and
remarkable of any Cabinet member of any administration in the state’s history.
We know we speak not only for the residents
of his native Chelsea, but also for citizens throughout the state, in thanking
Jay Ash for his years of public service and wishing him well in his future
Chelsea Chief Brian Kyes introduced Gov. Charlie Baker to a room of police chiefs from around the state during Tuesday’s meeting of the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association. The meeting took place in Everett, and Gov. Baker made a major public safety policy announcement at the gathering in regard to criminal background checks. See Page 5 for more photos.
Standing alongside Chief Brian Kyes, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday re-filed legislation to provide law enforcement and the courts with additional tools to ensure dangerous criminals are held in custody pending trial.
First filed on September 6, 2018, the
proposal would expand the list of offenses that can provide grounds for a
dangerousness hearing and close certain loopholes at the start and end of the
criminal process that currently limit or prevent effective action to address
legitimate safety concerns. Governor Baker made the announcement in Everett at
the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association Meeting, an
Association Chief Kyes is the leader of.
“Public safety is a fundamental
responsibility of government and in order to fulfill that duty, we must allow
local police and district attorneys to effectively deal with people who
repeatedly break the law,” said Governor Baker. “Last session we enacted
several provisions to ensure that a small lapse in judgment doesn’t ruin a
life, and we must now give law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts the
tools they need to keep our communities safe. We look forward to working with
the Legislature to pass this important bill.”
The proposal will strengthen the ability of
judges to enforce the conditions of pre-trial release by empowering police to
detain people who they observe violating court-ordered release conditions;
current law does not allow this, and instead requires a court to first issue a
“Loopholes in the current system limit or
prevent effective action to address legitimate safety concerns,” said
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This bill will empower law enforcement with
the flexibility and tools they need to protect their communities from dangerous
Under this proposal, judges will be
empowered to revoke a person’s release when the offender has violated a
court-ordered condition, such as an order to stay away from a victim, or from a
public playground. Current law requires an additional finding of dangerousness
before release may be revoked.
“A defendant’s past criminal history should
absolutely be considered as a factor at any such dangerousness hearing rather
than just the alleged crime that is currently before the court,” said
Kyes, Chelsea Police Chief and President of the Massachusetts Major City
Chiefs. “It is essential that in conducting a proper risk analysis in
order to determine whether the defendant is to be considered a potential danger
to any victim, witness or to the public in general, that their past criminal
history – especially as it pertains to previous convictions for violent crimes
– is considered and weighed based on its relevancy pertaining to a demonstrated
propensity to commit violence. This bill will rectify the existing gap that
currently occurs during a dangerousness hearing.”
The legislation also expands the list of
offenses which can provide grounds for a dangerousness hearing including crimes
of sexual abuse and crimes of threatened or potential violence. It also follows
the long-standing federal model in including a defendant’s history of serious
criminal convictions as grounds that may warrant a dangerousness hearing.
Current law requires courts to focus only on the crime charged and ignore a
defendant’s criminal history when determining whether the defendant may be the
subject of this sort of hearing.
Additional provisions of this legislation:
•Improves the system for notifying victims
of crimes of abuse and other dangerous crimes when a defendant is going to be
released by creating clear lines of responsibility among police, prosecutors
and corrections personnel to notify victims about an offender’s imminent
release from custody, and create a six-hour window for authorities to inform a
victim before an offender is allowed to be released.
•Creates a new felony offense for cutting
off a court-ordered GPS device.
•Requires that the courts develop a text
message service to remind defendants of upcoming court dates, reducing the
chance they will forget and have a warrant issued for their arrest.
•Allows dangerousness hearings at any point
during a criminal proceeding, rather than requiring a prosecutor to either seek
a hearing immediately or forfeit that ability entirely, even if circumstances
later arise indicating that the defendant poses a serious risk to the
•Requires that the probation department,
bail commissioners and bail magistrates notify authorities who can take
remedial action when a person who is on pre-trial release commits a new offense
anywhere in the Commonwealth or elsewhere.
•Creates a level playing field for appeals
of district court release decisions to the superior court by allowing appeals
by prosecutors, in addition to defendants, and giving more deference to
determinations made in the first instance by our district court judges.
•Creates a task force to recommend adding
information to criminal records so that prosecutors and judges can make more
informed recommendations and decisions about conditions of release and possible
detention on grounds of dangerousness.
also closes loopholes at the start and end of the criminal process that
currently limit or prevent effective action to address legitimate safety concerns.
It extends the requirement that police take the fingerprints of people arrested
for felonies to all people arrested, regardless of the charge, to ensure that
decisions about release can be made with knowledge of a person’s true identity
and full criminal history. It also allows, for the first time, bail
commissioners and bail magistrates to consider dangerousness in deciding
whether to release an arrestee from a police station when court is out of