Make the Most of Summer

Our founding publisher, Andrew P. Quigley, who lived an extraordinary life, used to say, “When you look back on your life, you realize that all you really have is a lot of memories.”

What brings these words to mind is the realization that the long, hot summer is upon us. With school out and the excitement of the Fourth of July behind us, we now have arrived at what often are referred to as the dog days of summer — humid, steamy, and languid — that have burned indelible memories into our mind’s eye from our earliest childhood into adulthood.

For those of us who live in the Greater Boston area, numerous vacation spots, from the mountains and lakes of Maine and New Hampshire, to the pastoral serenity of the Berkshires, to the world-famous beaches of Cape Cod and the islands, are within a short distance.

The Greater Boston area itself is full of summertime pleasures and recreational opportunities, whether it be a visit to the 15 beaches maintained by the state, boating in our beautiful Boston Harbor and nearby environs, concerts at numerous venues, or taking in the vibrancy of the Boston waterfront scene.

However, what summertime always has meant to us — the time we spend with our families, friends, and children — reinforces the notion that the best things in life are free.

While life itself is short and passes all too quickly, summer is even briefer. There are just seven weeks from now until Labor Day weekend (how depressing is that?). All of us will lament, “Where did the summer go?” when we return to work and school on the day after Labor Day, Sept. 2.

Let’s make sure that when we do so, we can look back on a summer that created memories that will last a lifetime for ourselves and for those whom we love.

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It’s Time: Encore Boston Harbor to Open at 10 A.M. June 23, Short Program Before

Don’t expect a long program ahead of the Encore Boston Harbor ribbon cutting on Sunday morning, June 23, but expect the City and the company to get things moving and get the doors open.

Encore will open officially to the public at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 23, and that will be preceded by a short program at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate the moment. However, after seven years of speeches and discussion about Encore, the time will be punctuated with the goal of getting inside the building.

Encore’s opening day is June 23

Elected officials from the City and state are expected to be there, along with company executives from all over the world. A large contingent of media is also expected to be present for the opening morning as well.

There are to be a few small surprises, but the goal, once again, is to get people in the door.

A full plan for transportation will be put in place early that day, with officers from the State Police, Everett Police, Boston Police, Medford Police and Chelsea Police on forced overtime to monitor the streets into and out of the Encore casino area.

Transportation executives for Encore, the MBTA and law enforcement agencies have been meeting for several months to coordinate the opening period plan. That plan is flexible, and executives said that if there needs to be a change in routing vehicles, they will be able to do that on the fly.

The casino will be stressing the use of its shuttle from Wellington and Malden Center Stations, as well as the Neighborhood Runner in Everett/Chelsea and the water shuttles in the Harbor. For those coming from long distances, the Encore buses are the preferred option, with depots north, south and west of Greater Boston.

Parking on site at Encore is $22 for six hours, $42 for 24 hours, and $49 for 24-hour valet parking. As part of the special grand opening offer, Red Card holders can use one COMPDOLLAR to pay for onsite parking.

Inside the casino after opening, the State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit’s Encore deployment, commanded by State Police Lt Timothy Babbin and made up of MSP Troopers and Everett Police Officers, will enforce the law inside and outside the casino to maintain a safe environment for the employees and patrons of the casino and to assist in preserving the integrity of the gaming operation. Unit members will be first responders to any emergency incident on casino property, and will conduct follow-up investigations for any potential criminal act on the property. State Police personnel are, of course, supplemented on the casino floor by private security employed by the casino, which is under the excellent direction of retired Massachusetts State Police Special Operations commander Richard Prior.

The Troopers and Officers in the unit have undergone training in best practices related to casino security and policing, a spokesman said. In addition to our responsibilities at Encore, the Gaming Enforcement Unit, under the overall command of Detective Lt. Brian Connors, is supported by the full resources of the Massachusetts State Police as necessary.

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Chelsea High Football Gets Cella Family Foundation Grant

The Silvio Cella Family Foundation announced the 2019 recipients of its annual grant program, and this year’s recipients include Chelsea High School.

Annually, four high school football programs are selected to each receive a $3,000 grant to help improve playing conditions, increase player safety and participation, purchase needed equipment and build teamwork, pride and confidence. Since established in 2010, the Silvio Cella Family Foundation has donated over $100,000 to high school football programs throughout Massachusetts.

The 2019 recipients of the Silvio Cella Family Foundation grants are:

North: Chelsea High School

South: Southeastern Regional High School

Central: South High Community School

West: Pittsfield High School

“This much needed grant money will help these football programs to improve player safety and upgrade facilities and equipment, and build a sense of teamwork and community in these schools,” said Michael Cella, president, Silvio Cella Family Foundation. “We are honored to carry on my Dad’s legacy and support high school football in Massachusetts.”

Each school receives $3,000 from the Silvio Cella Family Foundation, to be used to support their football programs, per MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) guidelines.

Previous recipients of the Silvio Cella Family Foundation grants: Greater Lawrence Tech, Nauset Regional, Burncoat, South Hadley (2018); Tech Boston Academy, Worcester North, Holyoke, Tri County Regional Vocational Technical High School (2017); Brighton, Milton, Oxford, Pathfinder RVT High School (2016); Medford, Weymouth, Bartlett, Hoosac Valley High School (2015); Greater Lowell Technical, Cathedral, Doherty, Monument Mountain Regional High School (2014); Northeast Metro Tech, Randolph, Blackstone-Millville Regional, Smith Vocational & Agricultural (2013); Lawrence, Jeremiah Burke (Boston), Millis, Ware High School (2012); Framingham, Fitchburg, Pioneer Valley Regional High School (2011); as well as special donations to Revere High, where Coach Cella served as athletic director and head football coach for 49 years.

“Silvio Cella was an innovator on the field, and a champion for athletes and coaches. He motivated his players and those around him to give 100%, not only in football but especially in the classroom, at home and in the community,” Cella added. “The Silvio Cella Family Foundation is committed to player safety, and to preserving the integrity of high school football for generations to come.”

Chelsea student earns academic honors

Brittany Fitzgibbon, a teacher at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, MA has been awarded a James Madison Fellowship by the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation of Alexandria, VA in its twenty-eighth annual fellowship competition. A total of 53 Fellowships were awarded in 2019. James Madison Fellowships support further study of American history by college graduates who aspire to become teachers of American history, American government, and social studies in the nation’s secondary schools, as well as by experienced secondary school teachers of the same subjects.

Named in the honor of the fourth president of the United States and acknowledged “Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” the fellowship will fund up to $24,000 of Ms. Fitzgibbon’s course of study toward a master’s degree. That program must include a concentration of courses on the history and principles of the United States Constitution.

Ms. Fitzgibbon was selected for a James Madison Fellowship in competition with applicants from Massachusetts. Additional fellowships were awarded in each of the states. The fellowship-funded by income from a trust fund in the Treasury of the United States and from additional private gifts, corporate contributions, and foundation grants – requires its recipient to teach American history or social studies in a secondary school for at least one year for each year of fellowship support. The award is intended to recognize promising and distinguished teachers, to strengthen their knowledge of the origins and development of American constitutional government, and thus to expose the nation’s secondary school students to accurate knowledge of the nation’s constitutional heritage. Founded by an act of Congress in 1986, the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation is an independent agency of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. In addition to offering fellowships, the Foundation undertakes other activities relating to secondary school education about the Constitution’s history. For more information please see www.jamesmadison.gov.

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Workers at Everett/Chelsea Stop & Shop Store on Strike

Workers across the Greater Boston region took to the picket lines on Friday, April 12, to fight a continued contract battle against Stop & Shop – and workers were out in force at the Everett/Chelsea location as well.

Most workers at the local store asked shoppers to consider using another store, standing with strike signs to the side of the doors to the store.

Some 31,000 unionized grocery store employees were included in the strike, with many from the local store being Everett and Chelsea residents.

Long time Stop & Shop employee Mike Bruce strikes outside of his workplace in Everett.

The main contention of the demands by workers includes a fair wage, affordable/accessible health care and a reliable retirement plan.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said on Tuesday afternoon that they are still negotiating with the company but might have some news by the end of the week.

The struggle began earlier this year when the union contract was about to expire in February, with the Union threatening a strike. On Feb. 23, the contract did expire, and the Union authorized a strike. The union local representing Everett’s store is UFCW 1445.

“Stop & Shop has known for the past three years that our contract was set to expire on February 23,” read a statement from the union presidents in February. “But because of their continued corporate greed throughout these negotiations, Stop & Shop employees and customers now find themselves in a position where job actions may take place.”

While federal mediation was taking place in the time from that strike authorization to now, talks did break down recently – prompting the strike action.

Local officials made visits to the front lines over the weekend.

State Sen. Sal DiDomenico said Stop & Shop, and its parent company Royal Ahold, should treat the workers with dignity and respect.

“Once again, we have another corporate giant who refuses to treat it’s employees with dignity and respect,” said DiDomenico. “I have been a frequent shopper at Stop & Shop and I will no longer step foot in any of their stores until they come to a resolution with the union workers and provide them a fair contract. I am proud to support Stop & Shop workers in their fight for fair wages, affordable health care, and a dependable retirement, and I will continue to stand with them in this fight and urge everyone to respect their picket line.”

Stop & Shop officials said that negotiations are continuing with the UFCW union locals, again with the support of federal mediators.

The company has said they have been very generous in their contract offer to the UFCW union.

On health care, they indicated they have agreed to pay 92 percent of heath premiums for family coverage and 88 percent for individuals. Th company said that is much more than other large retailers – citing that the federal government pays 72 percent and other employers average between 70 and 80 percent. Additionally, the offer includes no changes to the deductibles, and small increases to co-pays.

The company said it is also offering a defined benefit pension plan that pays between $1,926 and $2,644 annually per associate. In the new contract, the company said it has agreed to increase contributions to pension funds.

Also, they added that the paid time off has not changed and continues to be 10 to 12 paid holidays per year.

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YMCA Teen Mentor and Major Influencer Fuentes Has Built a Huge Following on Social Media

YMCA Teen Mentor and Major Influencer Fuentes Has Built a Huge Following on Social Media

Carlos Fuentes is a flourishing social media star and mentor who is helping inspire others on their own health and fitness journeys.

And when we say star, well, Fuentes has more than 56,000 followers, a number that is growing every day.

Chelsea residents, classmates, and childhood friends will remember him well as the personable and multi-talented member of the Jordan Boys and Girls Club (JBGC), the hard-working and helpful student at CHS (Class of 2009), or the diligent staff member at the Chelsea Collaborative where he worked with administrators Gladys Vega and Roseann Bongiovanni.

Fuentes credited former JGBC Executive Director Josh Kraft for making his visits there a positive and productive experience.

“Josh is definitely a person who helped me,” said Fuentest. “Patricia Manalo was the performing arts director and she was the first one to say to me, ‘it’s okay to put yourself out there and do something different’ “I did ballet, tap, singing, and dancing. She helped me get out my comfort zone and that’s what my current journey has been about.”

Chelsea resident Carlos Fuentes, teen program director at the East Boston YMCA and social media star, is pictured outside the youth development and community sports facility.

Reflecting on his job at the Collaborative, Fuentes said, “Gladys and Rosie are awesome. They gave me my first job. I worked at the Collaborative for five years as an environmental Chelsea organizer.”

One of his childhood highlights was singing at the Zakim Bridge opening ceremonies with superstar Bruce Springsteen.

Fuentes graduated from Wheelock College with a degree in Social Work. While a college junior, he began working at the East Boston YMCA.

Today he is the Teen Program Director at the East Boston YMCA where he oversees relationships with the surrounding middle and high schools and manages the academic credit recovery programs as well as Y teen nights.

In 2016, Fuentes began posting photos of his workouts, attendance at musicals, and his various travels on social media.

“I was doing cardio workouts and then I signed up for personal training at the YMCA,” said Fuentes, who has lost 40 pounds on a three-year fitness program.

Fuentes said one of his transformation photos became an overnight viral sensation, with no less than 800,000 likes overnight.

One of his fans praised his healthy lifestyle and positive attitude, writing, “I believe in you, Carlos.”

Fuentes now posts videos every other day and the demand for more interaction on social media is growing.

“I just recently learned how to swim, so a lot of it is my swimming videos and my working out videos,” said Fuentes, whose father, Jorge Pleitez, is from El Salvador and mother, Suyapa Fuentes, is from Honduras. He has two older brothers, Miguel and Jorge.

Fuentes is part of the LGBT community and he is often sought out for advice by people who consider him an inspiration and a source of support.

James Morton, YMCA of Greater Boston president and CEO lauded Fuentes who is part of a caring, dedicated staff that has made the ‘Y’ a true community resource in East Boston.

“Carlos’ story is truly an inspiration to all,” said Morton, who is an avid runner and fitness advocate himself. “When people join the Y, they are seeking to improve themselves, but in actuality they are also part of creating a better community. The Y helps teens with job training, academic support, and college prep help.”

Ashley Genrich, aquatics director at the East Boston YMCA, taught Fuentes how to swim.

“Carlos is one of hardest workers I’ve ever met in my life,” said Genrich. “He figured it out pretty quickly and was hungry to learn all the different strokes. Now he assists with our swim classes. The kids love him. East Boston is such a family here and Carlos models what it is to be a huge member of the this community and the family. He’s an awesome guy.”

Added Kate Martinez, 17, who works part time in the teen program, “Being at the Y has always felt like a second home because of Carlos. He helps me balance my schoolwork and sports. He’s also given me the opportunity to support other youths with their homework and taking part in ‘Y’ activities.”

Meanwhile, Fuentes is becoming so popular and uplifting across many age groups and lifestyles that he is being approached by clothing companies to promote their products. A local film maker has also reached out to Fuentes for a project.

“I’m trying to see what endorsements are available,” said Fuentes. “The response has been overwhelming. A lot of people on Instagram say they appreciate me being vulnerable. Because of this platform that I have, I am looking to expand my outreach.”

Fuentes said he’s pleased that the East Boston ‘Y’ is attracting members from Chelsea. “It’s great that some of our participants are from Chelsea. I’ve tried to make it known that Chelsea residents are welcomed. My heart has always been Chelsea.”

And Fuentes is happily putting his hometown and the East Boston YMCA on the map through his tremendous following on social media.

With his ability to lead and inspire others, is an entry in to the political arena in his immediate future?

“I’ve thought about it,” he admits. “But not right now.”

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Better Bussing – MBTA Meets with Chelsea Community to Discuss Proposed Fare Hike, Projects

Better Bussing – MBTA Meets with Chelsea Community to Discuss Proposed Fare Hike, Projects

By Laura Plummer

Chelsea residents and MBTA officials mingled at the Chelsea Senior Center on Tuesday, February 19, where the MBTA sought community feedback on three new system-wide changes on the horizon: a proposed fare hike, a bus system improvement initiative dubbed The Better Bus Project, and an upgraded program for managing ticket purchases called Automated Fare Collection 2.0.

The event was the first meeting in a series that the Transit Authority is hosting in the Greater Boston area throughout February and early March. Other cities and communities on the list include Quincy Center, Woburn, South Boston, Harvard Square, Downtown Boston, Watertown and Worcester.

Chelsea residents perused information from the MBTA on Tuesday
night at the Open House – the first of many in the Greater Boston area dealing with rate increases, the Better Bus Project and the new fare collection system.

Departing from the traditional town hall-style meeting, there was no speaker or agenda. Rather, officials from the MBTA were stationed at a horseshoe of tables featuring large informational posters and fliers in Spanish and English. Residents from the Chelsea community were invited to circulate from station to station in order to learn about the proposed changes, ask questions and provide oral and written feedback.

FARE PROPOSAL

The MBTA is looking to increase fares by an average of 6.3%, which, according to its website, it needs in order to “continue making system investments to improve service.”

The increase, which is aligned with Boston’s inflation rate, also meets the State law allowing the MBTA to raise their rates no more than 7% every two years. The fare hike, which would go into effect in July, would be the first since 2016.

The 6.3% increase would be applied to all fares, including bus and subway, commuter rail, ferry, and The RIDE.

In terms of the most common fares and passes, a local one-way bus ticket would go from $1.70 to $1.80. A one-way subway ticket would go from $2.25 to $2.40. A monthly LinkPass would go from $84.50 to $90.00, and a 7-Day LinkPass would go from $21.25 to $22.50.

Those interested can read more about the proposed fare hike at mbta.com/fare-proposal-2019. Comments can be emailed to fares@mbta.com, or mailed to MBTA, Attn: Fare Proposal, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116. Respondents can also share their opinions via an online survey available at surveymonkey.com/r/6TW8FFQ.

THE BETTER BUS PROJECT

Another project on the table is The Better Bus Project, an expansive initiative looking to overhaul the entire bus service of the MBTA. Its current projected rollout date is 2020.

“Too many of our bus routes still fail to live up to our own standards,” states the MBTA on its web site. “Through the Better Bus Project, we are changing that. Every day we’re finding new ways to improve the experiences of the people who use and ride our buses.”

The Better Bus Project would be comprised of five distinct elements: continuous change, analysis, proposed near-term changes, multi-year investment strategy and the Bus Network Redesign.

Continuous change refers to changes that can be made incrementally over time as the opportunities arise. Analysis includes reports generated from a period of outreach in which the MBTA surveyed riders most affected by gaps in service.

“Riders want more frequent, more reliable service,” said the MBTA. “They want more routes that run more often throughout the day—not just during peak service hours. And we learned […] that there are too many routes, too many complex routes, and too few routes with frequent, all-day service.”

Proposed near-term changes for The Better Bus Project include 47 specific suggestions for the consolidation of duplicate routes, the increase of space at bus stops and the elimination of some obsolete bus routes.

One of the 47 proposed projects is Route 111, which runs from Haymarket through Chelsea to Revere. The MBTA aims to “provide faster and more reliable service to Route 111 by removing service on Park Avenue in Revere, with connection remaining via Route 110,” according to a Better Bus Project flier.

A multi-year investment strategy will kick off a dialog about how to best leverage resources to improve the bus system as a whole, taking into account what riders want and need.

The ambitious Bus Network Redesign would re-envision the current MBTA bus network in the hopes of better serving passengers.

To learn more about The Better Bus Project and share your input, go to mbta.com/projects/better-bus-project.

AUTOMATED FARE COLLECTION 2.0

Citing an outdated system, the MBTA hopes that its new project will make paying for transit easier. With the introduction of AFC 2.0, the MBTA hopes to “improve customer experience, ensure equal access, upgrade outdated hardware and software, improve revenue control, operate buses and trains more efficiently and support future MBTA changes and growth.”

According to the MBTA, passengers will be able to pay their fares faster with improved Charlie Cards, a smartphone app, different payment options and digital fare readers. Under the new system, passengers will be able to conveniently reload their Charlie Cards in a number of venues, from schools and employers, online, over the phone, retailers and an increased number of vending machines.

MBTA employee Anthony Thomas explained that people could still use cash to reload their Charlie Cards at a number of locations throughout the city, but that cash would no longer be an option for paying on buses. The idea is to reduce the long bus queues, resulting in faster routes.

“Our new fare system will get you moving faster,” said the MBTA. “It’ll also get our vehicles moving faster (by up to 10% according to some estimates).”

These changes would not be rolled out all at once, but would overlap with the current technologies available, some of them in place for over a decade. In this way, the MBTA hopes to have a seamless transition to the new system.

For more information about AFC 2.0 and to submit your feedback, visit afc2.mbta.com.

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Sports 01-31-2019

Sports 01-31-2019

CHS Sports Roundup

CHS TRACK TEAMS DROP FIRST CONTESTS

The Chelsea High boys and girls indoor track teams dropped their first meets of the season last week to Greater Lawrence.

The outcome of the Lady Red Devils’ contest came down to the final race, the 4 x 400 relay. Chelsea held a 41-40 lead entering the relay, but Greater Lawrence won the race to win the meet by a score of 45-41.

Highlights from girls meet included:

1st and third in the high hurdles: Stephanie Simon, Sandra Tun

1st and third in the 50 yard dash: Stephanie Simon, Sandra Tun

1st in the 300: Ana Chang

1st in the 600: Yarelis Torres Diaz

1st in the High Jump: Stephanie Simon

1st in the mile: Yarid Deras

On the boys’ side, the Red Devils came up short by a score of 54-31. The highlights for Chelsea were:

1st in Shot Put: Rigo Flores

1st in the 600: Jazmany Reyes

1st, 2nd, 3rd in mile: Jazmany Reyes, Oscar Amaya, Ian Padilla

1st, 2nd in 1000: Justin Turner, Limilson Tavares

SIMON WINS LONG JUMP AT STATE COACHES

Chelsea High track star Stephanie Simon captured the long jump event at this past weekend’s State Coaches Meet, an event that features the top athletes in Division 1, with a leap of 18′-0.75″, a distance that qualified Stephanie for the nationals.

Teammate Ana Chang turned in a strong performance in the 300 dash, finishing in 20th place among a field of 58 competitors. For the boys, Red Devil Justin Turner improved his two-mile school record from 10:18 to 10:13.36.

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Sports 01-24-2019

Sports 01-24-2019

CHS Roundup

CHS track teams defeat Greater Lowell

The Chelsea High girls and boys indoor track and field teams remained undefeated with victories over Greater Lowell this past week.

For the Red Devil boys, who triumphed by a score of 45-33, the highlights were as follows:

1st in the two-mile — Ian Padilla

1st in the 300 — Jesus Matos (44.7)

1-2-3 in the shot put — Rigo Flores (40’5), Anthony Del Rosario, Josue Rios

1st in the high jump — Jesus Matos

1-2-3 in the mile — Justin Turner (4:57), Jazmany Reyes, Julio Valladares

For the Lady Red Devils, who won their side of the meet by a score of 50-32, highlights included:

1st in hurdles — Stephanie Simon

1st in the 300 — Ana Chang (49.5)

1-2-3 in the shot put — Masireh Ceesay, Jessica Martinez, Deanna Christmas

1-2 in the 600 — Jocelyn Poste, Yarelis Torres

1st in the high jump — Stephanie Simon

1st in the 1000 — Yarid Deras (3:43)

4×400 win — Jocelyn Poste, Yarelis Torres, Denali Mejia, Ana Chang

Steph Simon wins two events at the Dartmouth Relays

Chelsea High track star Stephanie Simon won two events this past Saturday at the Dartmouth Relays in Hanover, New Hampshire, a meet that annually attracts some of the best track and field athletes in the Northeast.

Stephanie won the long jump by a quarter of an inch with her leap of 17′-7″ and captured the triple jump with a distance of 38′-5″, the latter being a national-qualifying mark.

Bruins Beat

Bruins enjoying bye week

Without the excitement of the Patriots win over the Kansas City Chiefs, on their way to the Super Bowl, this would have been a boring week for Bruins fans. With the bye week before the All-Star break, the Bs have been blessed with a 9-day hiatus. The reason for feeling blessed is due to the concussion suffered by goaltender Tuukka Rask versus the New York Rangers last Saturday. Recent comments from Rask’s agent, Brett Peterson, were a shade encouraging, stating that he believes, “There isn’t “anything to be too concerned about in respect to Rask’s recovery, and I think it is day to day for him right now.” Rask’s concussion extended the list of Bruins concussed this season, adding his name to the list that included, David Backes, Urho Vaakanainen, Jake DeBrusk, and Charlie McAvoy. Boston resumes their regular season schedule on Tuesday, January 29, when they face the streaking Winnipeg Jets on Garden ice.

The Bruins can certainly count their lucky stars, as one of the major reason for the team currently holding on to sixth place (27-17-5) in the Eastern Conference has been the goaltending duo of Rask and Jaroslav Halak’s steady performances in net. Numbers wise, Rask is 14-8-3, 2.43 goals-against, and a .919 save percentage – Halak is 13-9-2, 2.47 goals-against, and a .919 save percentage. The mirrored numbers attest to their outstanding and mostly consistent play. Add to that the powerful first line, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, the trio responsible for 60 of the Bs 143 goals scored, and an impressive 150 points to date. Combine those stats with the solid play on the defense, and it certainly looks promising for this team when their full roster is on board.

As is the case every season, each point is crucial, as it shows in the present playoff picture, where seven teams are clustered in the East, battling for position. Teams trailing the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning (76 points), New York Islanders (63), Toronto Maple Leafs (60), Washington Capitals (60), Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Montreal Canadiens, all with 59 points, and the Pittsburgh Penguins hanging in there with 58.

David Pastrnak is the lone Bruins representative at the 2019 NHL All-Star game in San Jose, California. Fans tuning in are reminded of the change in programming, this year’s event will be played this Saturday, January 26th at 8:00pm EST, instead of the usual Sunday date, with the Skills Competition moved from its traditional Saturday night to this Friday, January 25. Following the All-Star break, the Bruins return to Garden ice for a two-game homestand, beginning Tuesday (1/29 at 7 p.m.) to take on the Winnipeg Jets, and back on the ice again Thursday (1/31 at 7 p.m.) to host the Philadelphia Flyers.

ZDENO CHARA TO CAPTAIN 12th ANNUAL PJ DRIVE

The Boston Bruins and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners are teaming up with Cradles to Crayons and DCF Wonderfund, both non-profits that ensure positive living conditions for children, to present the 12th Annual “PJ Drive” to benefit Massachusetts’ youth in need. The drive will run from February 1, until March 15. The PJ Drive provides new, unused pajamas to babies, children, and teens in communities across Massachusetts. Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara will lead this year’s PJ Drive for the fourth time. The PJ Drive originally started during the 2007-2008 season by former Bruin P.J. Axelsson and his wife Siw. Since then, over 100,000 Massachusetts children have received PJs through the Bruins PJ drive.

The Boston Bruins will be hosting an in-game PJ collection on Saturday, February 9, at the Boston Bruins vs. LA Kings game at 1 p.m. at TD Garden. Fans who donate PJs or $10 at this game will be entered in a raffle to win Bruins autographed prizes. Please note that all PJs must be new and unused to be donated. Fans can register their own organization to be a PJ Drive donation site. The top three organizations that collect the most PJs will receive five tickets to one of the following games: Bruins vs. New York Rangers on Wednesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m., or Bruins vs. Florida Panthers on Saturday, March 30, at 7 p.m.

BLOOD DRIVE THIS WEEKEND

The Bruins will host their annual Blood Drive with the American Red Cross on this Sunday, January 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at TD Garden. The day will be filled with family-friendly activities, including a kids’ obstacle course, plus touch-a-truck, and appearances by Bruins mascot Blades. Donors can make appointments by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visiting RedCrossBlood.org, and by entering sponsor code BRUINS, or by using the American Red Cross Blood Donor app. All donors will receive a long-sleeve American Red Cross T-shirt. Free parking for the Blood Drive will be provided at the North Station Garage. Also taking place on this day at the Garden will be the First Responder Challenge powered by National Grid.

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Senior Captain Balances Work, Family, School and…Basketball

Senior Captain Balances Work, Family, School and…Basketball

Jose Gutierrez wears many hats in his family and on the Chelsea High basketball team as well, but this week, he is wearing the captain’s hat and has taken one step in leading an experienced hoops team to a good year.

Chelsea kicked off its season on Tuesday against Essex Aggie and cruised to an easy victory behind the defensive effort and leadership of Gutierrez.

The Record sat down with Gutierrez on Monday afternoon, and the two-time captain and senior said they have a scrappy team this year.

“We have a very scrappy defense this year,” he said. “I’m excited to see how we do on the defensive end and how that will create our offense. We’re going to be all up in your face – rah-rah – trying to put pressure on you so you’ll turn over the ball. It’s a very scrappy team.”

The team returns seven seniors for second-year Coach Judah Jackson, and Gutierrez said they have learned from their playoff loss last year against Waltham.

“Last year we didn’t have the experience,” he said. “this year, we’re full of seniors. If we all do what we’re supposed to be doing, we’ll have that confidence come playoff time to get that kind of win.”

Gutierrez, 18, grew up in Chelsea and went to the Kelly School and the Wright Middle School before landing at Chelsea High. He also played in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League (CYBL) and said it made him more of a team player.

“It helped me to focus more on the game and not just going out as an individual player,” he said. “Every year it was myself and another kid who did everything for the team. We would win, win, win and then during the championship we would always lose because we were just two guys and never involved our other team members. That helped me grow as a player because my IQ for basketball got a lot better.”

Same could be said for his academic IQ as well.

Gutierrez busies himself taking a rigorous college preparatory schedule and is enrolled in the Bunker Hill Community College program that allows students to take college classes in high school.

“It is a lot more difficult this year,” he said. “Right now I’m trying to focus on my high school classes so I can go to Bunker Hill next year and pursue my dream of becoming an EMT.”

Becoming an EMT is very personal for Gutierrez, who said two years ago he and his family watched helplessly as his father had a heart attack in their home. When the paramedics arrived, he said he was impressed with their skill and how they were able to care for his dad.

It hooked him.

“Two years ago my dad had a heart attack 20 minutes before we celebrated Christmas,” he said. “We celebrate at midnight and right before he had a heart attack. It was so tough to see my dad having cold sweats and shaking and I couldn’t do anything. That’s really when I knew I want to be an EMT.”

Gutierrez also runs track and plays soccer too, having been on this fall’s outstanding Chelsea High soccer team that went undefeated in the regular season.

However, Gutierrez also has to work as a janitor at a local radio station, where his parents supervise him. He is also responsible for watching his 9-year-old sister, who has become the team mascot and honorary water girl.

He said every time he hits the practice floor or suits up for a game, he has to thank his parents, Rafael and Nolbia. He said it’s because of them that he even gets to still play sports.

“They have helped me so much,” he said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be doing this. I’m a senior and I need to work and save money. It’s because of them I’m able to do three sports every year and do what I want to do.”

Gutierrez and the Red Devils will host Greater Lowell at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, in the gym.

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Encore Boston Harbor Commits $10 Million to Greater Boston Social, Civic Institutions

Encore Boston Harbor Commits $10 Million to Greater Boston Social, Civic Institutions

Encore Boston Harbor is committing $10 million over the next four years to support a wide range of social programs and civic institutions that will help those in need and improve the lives of residents in local communities, the company announced on Tuesday – also known as Giving Tuesday.

To assist in managing funds and identifying the most meaningful philanthropic efforts, the company is partnering with the Connors Family Office, led by Boston civic leader Jack Connors Jr.

“Giving back to the communities where our employees and guests live and work has always been a part of who we are as a company,” said Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts. “It’s not in our corporate DNA to just write a check for a donation or buy a table at a charity event. We want to make an impactful difference in the lives of people and effect real and positive changes in our communities. We believe committing $10 million and teaming with the Connors Family Office will go a long way towards realizing our goal.”

Together, the Connors Family Office and Encore Boston Harbor will develop an Advisory Committee to advise on and assist in the disbursement of funds from Encore Boston Harbor. The committee will provide recommendations to Encore Boston Harbor for the distribution of funds, targeting programs that support at-risk-youth education, cultural enrichment and vibrant communities.

“It is impressive to see a new business come into town and make such a concerted effort to positively impact the surrounding community,” said Jack Connors Jr. “Encore Boston Harbor is poised to make a real difference for some very worthy organizations.”

Encore Boston Harbor has been active in local philanthropy prior to Tuesday’s announced commitment of $10 million. Long-standing recipients of Encore’s corporate giving include the Boston Pops, Wang Theater, New England Center for Arts and Technology, Disabled American Veterans, and Latino 30 Under 30, among others. Recently, Encore Boston Harbor donated $100,000 in support of The Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund.

Encore Boston Harbor announced last week that it was the lead sponsor and supporter of a unique partnership between the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Boston Public Library that is bringing a major exhibit by renowned French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec to the MFA.

The $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor resort is scheduled to open in June 2019.

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