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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Sports 10-18-2018

Sports 10-18-2018

CHS SPORTS ROUNDUP

CHS boys soccer

remains undefeated

The Chelsea High boys soccer team remained undefeated with a pair of impressive victories this past week, albeit by different means against very different opponents.

Last Wednesday Coach Mick Milutinovic and his crew made the long trek to Billerica to take on Shawsheen Tech in a battle for first place in the Large Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. Shawsheen traditionally is one of the top teams in the CAC Large and this season has been no exception.

Shawsheen entered the contest in second place behind the Red Devils, who earlier this year handed Shawsheen its lone loss in league play. The field conditions were about as difficult as one could imagine, with the contest being played on a grass field in a hard-driving rain.

Chelsea struck first on a perfectly-executed, team-oriented goal 15 minutes into the contest. CHS leading scorer Delmer Romero, who was being shadowed all game by two Shawsheen defenders, made a nice crossing pass from the right wing into the center of the field near the top of the box.

Gabriel Contreras settled the ball and then laid it off for an oncoming Carlos Lopez just outside the top of the box. Carlos delivered a beautiful strike from about 22 yards out that cleanly beat the Shawsheen keeper into the left corner of the net for a 1-0 Chelsea lead.

The teams slogged through the remainder of the half at that score, but shortly after the intermission, Shawsheen took advantage of a bad pass by Chelsea at midfield that led to a Shawsheen breakout and goal that brought the teams back to level.

However, the Red Devils showed their resiliency and immediately picked up the attack. Five minutes after Shawsheen had drawn even, Romero took a direct kick from about 20 yards out and drilled the ball to the right side of the Shawsheen keeper and into the back of the net.

The Chelsea defense made the 2-1 advantage stand up for the remaining 20 minutes for the big victory.

This past Tuesday the Red Devils hosted Presentation of Mary Academy and cruised to an easy victory in which most of the CHS reserve and junior varsity players saw action. Among the CHS goal scorers were Carlos Ayala, who potted three goals, Gabriel Contreras, Alex Uceda, Wilmer Rivera, and Victor Guzman.

With the CAC Large title firmly within their reach, the Red Devils, who stand at 10-0-2 on the season, control their own destiny.

The Red Devils host Greater Lowell today (Thursday) and will travel to Lynn Tech next Tuesday.

CHS cross country

teams improve to 8-1

The Chelsea High girls and boys cross-country teams hosted a tri-meet last Wednesday on the Admiral’s Hill course. Both squads took on Northeast Regional, with the girls also entertaining Notre Dame of Tyngsboro and the boys hosting Medford.

Both Red and Black squads came away with two strong victories to improve to 8-1 on the season.

For the Lady Red Devils, senior Yarid Deris ran away from the field by over two minutes in the final home meet of her superb CHS cross country career.

Saira Carrento was second overall, with Jocelyn Poste close behind in third place.  Yarelis Torres finished in fourth place and twin sister Nicole was 11th to clinch the meet for Chelsea.

On the boys’ side, Justin Turner ran the second fastest time ever on the Admiral’s Hill course with a clocking of 18:12.  Only his former teammate, Jose Leclerc, who graduated last year and is running cross country at UMass-Dartmouth, has run faster.

Julio Valladares was second, with Wuilfido Hernandez coming across in third place. Sophomore Oscar Amaya grabbed the fourth spot and Limilson Tavares finished eighth overall to round out the scoring for the Red Devils.

Both the boys and girls teams were set to to travel to Shawsheen Tech yesterday (Wednesday) for a tri-meet with Shawsheen and Essex Tech. The CHS boys will be trying to win a share of the CAC dual meet title. If they beat both teams, they will finish with the same record (10-1) as Greater Lawrence and Essex.

This Saturday the boys and girls will be traveling to Falmouth to run at the Barnstable Fairgrounds Twilight Meet. The first race is at 5 p.m. and the final race goes off at 8 p.m.

“This will be our first year running this race,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “It is very popular and a good team-bonding meet. The race is lit up by the light towers from the fairgrounds for the three-mile course.”

CHS girls soccer

earns a win and a tie

The Chelsea High girls soccer team enjoyed a successful week, defeating Whittier, 4-1, and battling to a nil-nil deadlock with Notre Dame of Tyngsboro.

Coach Randy Grajal’s squad now stands at 4-6-2 overall and 4-5-2 in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.

The offense for Chelsea in the win over Whittier was provided by Elena Ruiz with two goals and Gitu Degefa and Isabel Alvarez with a goal apiece. Ruiz and Nancy Galdamez earned assists.

Ruiz displayed some nifty, heads-up play on her first goal. Elena played a ball quickly after a free kick was awarded to Chelsea and caught the Whittier defenders by surprise.

“Elena showed great game awareness on that first goal,” noted Grajal.

The contest with Notre Dame on the turf at Highland Park was a defensive struggle owing in no small measure to the inclement weather.

“This game was played under rainy conditions, but the team showed great ball control and had several opportunities to score,” said Grajal. “However, we were not able to get the ball past their keeper. Our defense was solid and they were able to stop any scoring chance Notre Dame had.”

The weather worsened as the contest wore on to such an extent that with 23 minutes left in the second half, the referees decided the conditions were not suitable for the game to continue and ended the game.

“The team continues to work hard during games and practices and we are very excited with the success we are having,” Grajal said. “At the same time, we are working on remaining focused and pushing each other to improve.”

The Lady Red Devils are scheduled to trek to Notre Dame today (Thursday), to Minuteman next Tuesday, and to Mystic Valley next Thursday.

CHS volleyball

teams fights hard

Although the Chelsea High volleyball team came up short in its two recent matches with Greater Lowell and Lynn Tech, the Lady Red Devils battled well in both contests.

The hard-fought duel with Greater Lowell went to five sets, with Chelsea just falling short, 15-25, 25-17, 27-25, 9-25, and 5-15.

Some of the highlights for Chelsea were provided by:

Capt. Jessica Martinez –  2 aces, 11 assists, 1 dig, 2 kills

Capt. Masireh Ceesay – 3 kills, 3 aces, 2 digs

Iveth Rodriguez – 1 ace, 1 dig

Briana Maldonado – 6 kills, 2 aces, 2 digs

Kerstin Sabillion – 1 kill

Ana Severino – 3 kills, 1 ace, 1 block

Alex Arroyo – 2 aces

Capt. Carolina Moraes – 2 digs

Two days later, the Lady Red Devils came up on the short end of a 3-0 decision to Lynn Tech, 22-25, 18-25, and 15-25. Statistical leaders for Chelsea were:

Capt. Jessica Martinez – 4 aces, 10 assists, and 2 kills

Capt. Masireh Ceesay – 2 kills, 3 aces

Iveth Rodriguez – 1 kill, 2 aces

Briana Maldonado – 1 kill, 1 ace

Ana Severino – 1 kill, 1 block

Alex Arroyo – 1 ace

Deanna Christmas – 3 kills

Coach Serena Wadsworth and her crew will play at Whittier Tech next Wednesday.

CHS football team

plays at Lynn Tech

The Chelsea High football team will be on the road for a contest at Lynn Tech Saturday evening. The opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Red Devils, who dropped a 26-0 decision to Minuteman this past Saturday, will be seeking their first win of the season.

Boxing’s Biggest Stage

Bay State star Mark DeLuca set for his big bout at the Garden

By Cary Shuman

Mark DeLuca grew up in the South Shore so he understands the boxing history of the TD Garden.

“This is the biggest stage and I’m honored to be fighting at the Garden where legends like Marvin Hagler and Tony DeMarco and Joe DeNucci fought,” says DeLuca, whose nickname is “The Bazooka.”

DeLuca, a former U.S. Marine will be fighting in the TD Garden on Saturday, Oct. 20, in a show that is being promoted by Ken Casey, founder of the Dropkick Murphys. DeLuca is Murphy Boxing’s biggest star.

DeLuca is well known among local boxing fans, including Chelsea City Councillor Calvin Brown, who was an amateur champion and considers DeLuca one of the rising stars in boxing and a world title contender.

“I’ll be at ringside,” said Brown, who rarely misses a big fight. “Mark is an exciting fighter who will have a ton of his supporters at the Garden. He always puts on a great show and the fans love his tenacity.”

DeLuca (21-1-0, 13 KOs) has been training under the tutelage of Hector Bermudez at the Bayshore Athletic Club in Braintree.  He just returned from California where he sparred with Demetrius Andrade, who will be fighting in the main event at the Garden.

Bazooka, 30, will be stepping in to the ring in a rematch against Walter Wright, who handed him the first loss of his career in a controversial 12-round decision.

“I’m going to try to revenge my defeat,” said Bazooka, a three-time national junior champion.

Bazooka will carry his family’s esteemed, pugilistic tradition in to the ring. His father, Mark DeLuca Sr., was a former amateur and professional boxer and Massachusetts state boxing commissioner who used to run the South Shore Police Athletic League gym in Quincy.

“My father used to take me to all the fights at venues like the Roxy in Boston and the Roseland Ballroom in Taunton,” said Mark Jr. “He’s been a great motivator for me throughout the years. My father did a lot for me, bringing me to the gyms and the fights. When you become involved in sports at a young age, your parents have to be just as dedicated as their children are.”

DeLuca, who is 5-foot-9, is hoping that a win at the Garden will move his closer to a shot at the world championship. “I’m happy where my career is right now. I’m progressing well, but we all want a world title shot.”

He is expecting a lot of friends and neighbors to be in his corner at the Garden.

“I’m getting a lot of messages on Facebook inquiring about tickets to the fight,” said DeLuca. “People love the atmosphere of the Garden and being in the city.”

Travis Mazic Gambardella, a Revere native, will also be fighting on the undercard.

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins on the road again

The Bruins on Tuesday, embarked on their four-game trip that includes three stops in Western Canada to face the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers tonight (Thursday 9 p.m.), and Vancouver Canucks (Saturday 10 p.m.), with their final stop coming against the Ottawa Senators (10/23 7:30pm), before returning to Garden ice October 25 to host the Philadelphia Flyers. The benefits of this long and early West coast trip, which usually occurs later into the schedule, is the team bonding, plus the chance for Head Coach Bruce Cassidy to get some final questions answered that he may still have before solidifying his roster. A recent release from Bruins GM Don Sweeney indicated that veteran forward Lee Stempniak who was on a professional tryout agreement at the Bs training camp, will not be signed by Boston at this time. The Bruins’ decision came prior to this road trip in order to allow Stempniak to move forward with any other options he may have available to him.

Cassidy did answer the question regarding his goaltending tandem of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak for the next two games, confirming that Rask would be the starter versus Calgary on Wednesday (last night), and Halak would be in net to face Edmonton tonight, Thursday (9 p.m). At this point, Cassidy’s goaltending decision has been to regularly alternate both goaltenders, and it has worked out well as their four-game win streak coming into Calgary will attest.

Boston’s top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, continue to impressive with their scoring prowess, having notched 30 points together in the five games prior to Calgary. The trio’s total to date is comprised of Bergeron (5-6-11) to lead the team in scoring, Marchand close behind wit (1-9-10), and the man with the fascinating moves – Pastrnak third in team scoring with (7-2-9).

The National Hockey League added to the accolades by naming Bergeron the NHL First Star of the Week ending October 14. The honor is well deserved as Bergeron also posted his fourth career hat trick versus the Ottawa Senators in Boston’s home opener – in which his choice of hats was to keep a cowboy hat thrown on the ice by a celebrating fan. Having played all 15 NHL seasons with the Bruins, Bergeron this year will reach the 1,000 NHL games played mark, barring any injuries in December. Injured Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (left ankle) is not on the West Coast trip, but plans are for him to resume skating this week to see how his injury handles the contact.

On Wednesday, November 28th, at The Sports Museum’s 17th annual fundraising gala, The Tradition will honor former Bruins coach (1974-1979), Don Cherry, as the 2018 Hockey Honoree, with Bruins legend Terry O’Reilly scheduled to make the presentation. The remaining Honorees are, Paul Pierce (Celtics), Jim Lonborg (Red Sox), Deion Branch (Patriots), Julie Foudy (USA Women’s Soccer), and Richard Petty (NASCAR). Watch ‘Bruins Beat’ for more info in the coming weeks regarding this worthy event which allows fans to enjoy great food, mingle, associate and get photos and autographs from the honored celebrities, and to learn who will be presenting the awards to the honorees, and more.

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Sports 10-11-2018

CHS SPORTS ROUNDUP

Boys soccer team wins two, now 8-0-2

The Chelsea High boys soccer team won both of its contests this past week to remain undefeated wth an 8-0-2 record.

The Red Devils cruised past Northeast Regional, its traditional rival in the Large Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, with a 5-1 victory this past Tuesday.

Chelsea jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 11 minutes of the contest and never looked back. Senior Gabriel Contreras started the party for the Red Devils with a goal at 4:00 when he took a long pass from his brother, center back Angel Contreras, at the top of the box, settled the ball nicely with one touch, and then drilled a shot past the Northeast keeper.

Four minutes later, Gabriel Contreras assisted on the next Chelsea goal, delivering a corner kick that was headed into the back of the net by Chelsea’s other center back, captain Jose Gutierrez.

Delmer Romero, Chelsea’s leading scorer with 18 goals on the season, then delivered what amounted to a knockout blow three minutes after that when he made a nice move at the top of the box and launched a bomb that cleanly beat the beleaguered Northeast keeper.

Chelsea took its 3-0 edge into the intermission and added to its advantage midway through the second half when Eric Barahona delivered a rocket from 30 yards out that caught the NE keeper slightly off his line. The teams traded goals in the final 20 minutes, with Romero scoring off a nice through ball from Gerson Hernandez.

“We came out flying,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “We got the big lead and never were threatened after that.”

The Red Devils handily took the measure of Nashoba Tech last Thursday, 7-1. Gabriel Contreras, assisted by Carlos Lopez, and senior Carlos Ayala, assisted by Gabriel Garcia, gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead in the opening half.

The Delmer Romero Show then took center stage, as the Red Devils’ top goal producer reached the back of the Nashoba net four times. Gabe Contreras potted his second of the game for the 7-1 finale.

Head coach Mick Milutinovic and his crew will seek to clinch a CAC Large title when they travel to Shawsheen today (Thursday). The Red Devils will trek to Presentation of Mary next Tuesday and then host Greater Lowell next Thursday.

CHS BOYS, GIRLS RUN PAST GR. LOWELL

Last Wednesday, senior captains Yarid Deras and Justin Turner had impressive wins to lead their respective teams to victory over Greater Lowell.

On the boys’ side, senior captain Julio Valladares came across the line in second place, 47 seconds behind Turner. Greater Lowell finished in the next two spots, but Chelsea grabbed the next three places to seal the meet.

Junior Jazmany Reyes, senior Wuilfido Hernandez, and sophomore Oscar Amaya finished fifth, sixth, and seventh respectively.  Red Devil Limilson Tavares also contributed to the scoring by displacing Gr. Lowell’s fourth and fifth runners for a final score of 21-36.

“We ran a lot tougher than last week,” said CHS head coach Don Fay of his boys’ squad, which now stands at 6-1 on the season. The Red Devils were set to host Northeast Regional and Medford yesterday (Wednesday) at Admirals Hill in a tri-meet.

For the Lady Red Devils, senior captain Jocelyn Poste was the next Chelsea girl to cross the line after Deras, taking fourth place. She was followed by Yarelis Torres in fifth and Sarei Carreto in sixth.

Junior Karina Avalos secured the victory with a ninth place finish for a final score of 25-30.

The triumph improves the Lady Red Devils’ record to 6-1. They were scheduled to host Notre Dame of Tyngsboro and Northeast Regional yesterday (Wednesday) at Admiral’s Hill.

CHS GIRLS SOCCER WINS TWO OF THREE CONTESTS

The Chelsea High girls soccer team enjoyed a successful week, winning two of its three contests with victories over Greater Lawrence and Nashoba Tech.

In a 5-3 win over Greater Lawrence last Monday, the Lady Red Devils were paced by Nancy Galdamez and Damaris Erazo, who scored two goals apiece.  Elena Ruiz added a solo tally and was credited with two assists. Kimberlyn Larios also earned an assist.

Three days later, the Chelsea girls edged Nashoba Tech, 3-2.  Galdamez, Chelsea’s leading scorer, once again reached the back of the opponent’s net for two goals. Gitu Degefa struck for a single goal. Erazo assisted on two of the markers and Ruiz was credited with one assist.

Sandwiched between the twin wins was the Lady Red Devils’ lone setback of the week, a 2-0 loss to Whittier Tech last Tuesday.

“The group is finding its rhythm and we are looking forward to our upcoming games,” said CHS head coach Randy Grajal, whose squad now stands at 3-6-1 overall and 3-5-1 in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.

Grajal and his crew are scheduled to host Notre Dame Academy today (Thursday) and entertain Presentation of Mary Academy next Tuesday.

 

CHS FOOTBALL TEAM FACES MINUTEMAN TONIGHT

It was a short week of practice for the Chelsea High football team, which will take on Minuteman Regional today (Thursday) at 7 p.m. at the Woburn High field.

The Red Devils dropped a 32-6 decision at Whittier Tech this past Saturday afternoon.

The principal highlight for the Chelsea gridmen was a 67 yard touchdown pass from Edward Escobar to Walter Gonzalez in the third period. Escobar came on in the second quarter in place of starting quarterback Matt Singh-Carranza, who had to leave the game with an injury.

Whittier capitalized on special teams opportunities to move out to a 26-0 lead at the half. The Red Devils made adjustments on defense after the intermission and yielded only a touchdown in the fourth quarter when the junior varsity players from both teams were on the field.

“This is our growing-pain season,” said CHS head coach Rasi Chau. “Our kids continue to keep getting better every week and I am proud of every single one of them and I’m proud of my staff, who continue to keep coaching these kids up every week.”

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins pick up the pace

Tonight (Thursday), the Bruins will host the Edmonton Oilers, led by the ‘master on ice,’ Connor McDavid, and former Bruin Milan Lucic. The Oilers come to TD Garden well rested, having opened the 2018-19 season at home last Saturday, October 6th. In that game the Oilers absorbed a 5-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils, putting their early record at 0-1-0, and four days off between games. The Bruins on the other hand have posted a 2-1-0 record with recent wins over both the Buffalo Sabres, and most recently their 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Monday, to start their current three-game homestand.

For Boston, Head Coach Bruce Cassidy admits that he is still sorting out his roster despite their two-game win streak. It may be that the China trip has factored in his being able to solidify his roster, although early in the season is the time to juggle the lineup to solidly identify the best combination of forwards, and the most comfortable defensive pairings. In reference to the China trip, the fact that half the preseason had one half of the team playing a pair of games in China, while the other half performed and practiced locally – might not be an issue, but time will answer that question.

The Boston performance versus the Senators once again was a glaring display of just how important Patrice Bergeron is to this Bruins team. His hat trick on Monday boosted his goals scored to four in three games. The Bs top line with Bergeron and wingers Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, continues to be described by many as…the best line in the NHL – and with good reason as the three posted 11 points in the win over the Sens, and their combined point total in the three games to date, shines with a cumulative 18 points.

In Cassidy’s postgame interview, he sounded impressed with the play of Anders Bjork, the progress on Danton Heinen, as well as the play of newbies to the team, Chris Wagner who scored his first goal as a Bruin, and John Moore. Charlie McAvoy continues to play a strong, steady game, earning a trio of assists in the Senators’ game, with Noel Acciara and Sean Kuraly performing to fairly high standards to this point.

Following tonight’s Oilers invasion, the Bruins will next host the Detroit Red Wings on Garden ice (Saturday 3:00pm), before hitting the road for four games in seven nights, including three games on the West Coast, to face the Calgary Flames (Wednesday 10/17 @ 9:30pm), a stop in Edmonton (Thursday 10/18 @ 9:00pm), and a night with the Vancouver Canucks (Saturday 10/20 @ 10:00pm), finishing up their four-game road trip with a final stop in Ottawa on Tuesday, 10/23 @ 7:30 p.m..

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Chelsea Fire Helped Respond to Greater Lawrence Gas Explosions

Chelsea Fire Helped Respond to Greater Lawrence Gas Explosions

In the wake of massive gas line explosions in the Greater Lawrence area last Thursday, Sept. 13, the Chelsea Fire Department jumped into action and responded to Andover High School to support first response efforts.

Chief Len Albanese said that the Tower 1 apparatus responded to an Andover Staging Area at Andover High School as part of Metro Structural task Force 13.

Greater Lawrence’s normal mutual aid capabilities were taxed to the breaking point, and so the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) began to request structural task forces from other regions, including Chelsea.

“Our Tower Ladder responded to multiple calls for odors of gas and the like in the structures,” said the Chief. “They did not respond to any structure fires. They were back here in the city by 9 p.m.”

The Chief said it was an incredible job by the state and local operations to coordinate so many responding helpers.

“This was an enormous mobilization of resources,” he said. “Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and MEMA with the help of all of the other agencies involved, including multiple law enforcement agencies did an exceptional job of meeting this most unique major fire/ emergency operation.”

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Bet on U:First ‘Dealer School’ for Encore Casino Begins Classes Next Month

Bet on U:First ‘Dealer School’ for Encore Casino Begins Classes Next Month

Now that the Encore casino tower has come into full view of Everett, it’s time to learn how to deal a good hand.

Encore Boston Harbor, Cambridge College in Charlestown and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced this week that they will begin the first session of ‘Dealer School’ at Cambridge College in early September, focusing on teaching dealer basics, Blackjack games and Poker games. In coming years, they will also offer training on other games such as roulette and craps.

The collaboration is known as the Greater Boston Gaming Career Institute and is long in the making, debuting now as Encore begins ramping up for the hiring of 1,100 dealers to fill out its gaming staff. Hirings will take place next spring, and it is expected that two full sessions of the Dealer School will be completed by the Encore opening on June 24, 2019.

Classes will start on Sept. 17, and the cost is $700. However, residents of Everett, Malden, Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea and Medford will have the opportunity to win scholarships that will make it free. The deadline to submit applications for scholarships is Sept. 10.

“We have been talking with Cambridge College for a number of months about this and it has worked out well,” said John. “The space is 2,500 sq. ft. and it will hold about 80 students per classroom. They will have three sessions per day.”

The sessions will run Monday to Thursday, with sessions at 8 a.m. to noon; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. A student is expected to stay in their time slot once they start.

The Blackjack training will last nine weeks and the poker training will last 14 weeks.

There will also be a weekend session that only offers Blackjack training all day Saturday and Sunday for nine weeks.

Doug Williams, vice president of table games, Gary Hager, director of poker operations, and John all said that the Dealer School is a great opportunity to be ready when Encore ramps up to hire gaming staff next year. If one does get hired, it can mean a starting salary of $60,000 for a full-time job, plus benefits.

“This could be transformational for certain people,” said John. “In a matter of months for a 16-hour commitment and flexible times, you can begin a new career that starts at $60,000 for full-time work. It’s a chance for you to earn good money and have a career for the rest of your life. This isn’t for someone who likes to play cards and wants to do something fun. This is for someone really looking to make a career change.”

Said Williams, “It’s also a good avenue for someone who isn’t going to college or doesn’t want to go to college now. It’s a career you can take with you for the rest of your life. There aren’t many instances in a major metropolitan area where a new industry just pops up and you can get in on it.”

Added Hager, “When these kinds of jobs open up on the strip in Las Vegas, they don’t stay open long. These are good opportunities and this is getting in on the ground floor here.”

Those enrolled in the school will practice hands-on training, being taught by five former Encore dealers who will teach them all aspects of how to deal and oversee a good game. More than that, they will teach them the basics of being a dealer. That includes how to let people enjoy themselves and how to show off a good personality that will enhance the customer experience.

Basic requirements are that one have an 8th grade level of math competency; be 18 or older; be willing to work weekends, holidays and off hours; and have a great personality.

“The personality is very important,” said Williams. “We hear all the time it’s not whether a customer wins or loses that determines whether they had a great time, but it’s the interaction they have with the dealer. They may enjoy themselves more because you are they’re preferred dealer or you become their lucky dealer. You can go a long way here with a winning personality.”

John said, however, there is no guarantee that anyone who completes the Dealer School would be hired, but they would have preferred status.

“Honestly, we don’t know if they will definitely be hired by Encore,” he said. “It’s the first time we’re doing this. Obviously though, if you get through the program, you’ll have preferential status and you’ll be the first person we look to when we’re hiring.”

The full information about scholarships and enrollment in the Dealer School can be found at www.BetOnU.com.

Once again, classes for the first session start on Sept. 17.

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Powerful Wynn Executive Sinatra to Step Down July 15

Powerful Wynn Executive Sinatra to Step Down July 15

When Kim Sinatra appeared beside Matt Maddox for Wynn Resorts’ high-stakes meeting before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) in early May, many thought her to be on shaky ground with the company – though that

Wynn general Counsel Kim Sinatra speaks to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) during license hearings in 2014. She is flanked by former Gov. Bill Weld and current Encore President Bob DeSalvio. Sinatra will resign from Wynn Resorts on July 15, and is remembered here as being a key negotiator in helping Wynn make the final push to secure the Greater Boston region gaming license.

day she appeared to be every-bit in control and ingrained in the company.

It is no longer the case.

In a quiet announcement buried within a federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) document, the company announced that Sinatra would be leaving her general counsel post on July 15.

Wynn Resorts did not respond to the Independent for comment on the shake-up, and hasn’t issued any statements or talked to any other media. There has been no reason given for her departure.

Las Vegas media reported that Sinatra would have a severance package of up to $9.5 million.

Wynn Shareholder Elaine Wynn – now the company’s largest single shareholder – has disputed that severance package in media statements.

Sinatra was a powerful force in the early days of Wynn’s entrance into the Boston market via the Everett site. She was front and center during many of the licensing hearings, in particular a very intense deliberating process at the Boston Teacher’s Union Hall in Dorchester in 2014.

During that meeting, Sinatra talked for many nervous moments on the phone with Steve Wynn about whether or not he would commit to additional mitigation measures – that happening in front of the entire room and in front of the competitor, Mohegan Sun.

After brokering that deal, Sinatra emerged from the phone with a ‘yes’ to the commitments, virtually sealing the license for Wynn at the time.

Since those early days, however, Sinatra has not been at the Encore site too often – only during a few permitting meetings and the major Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) meetings.

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