One of the largest recycling plants in the nation, Casella Waste in Charlestown, is hailing the recent spate of plastic bag bans in the area, including the discussions happening right now in Chelsea about a potential ban.
Casella handles about 200,000 tons of recycling per year and is the number one plant in Greater Boston – and a top five plant in the U.S. They handle all of the recycling for Chelsea, but one thing they hope is that the City might follow Boston in banning plastic bags – known in the industry as Low Density Poly-Ethylene (LDPEs).
“By far, plastic bag getting into the facility are the number one contaminants in single-stream recycling,” said Bob Cappadona of Casella. “By themselves, they are a very recyclable product. However, there just isn’t any market for the product. Second, with everything else, they get caught up in our machinery and cause us a lot of problems. If they come into our facility and get past our pre-sorters, they tend to get wrapped up in our disk screens and they wrap around them and cause stoppages.”
He said when bags get caught up in the disk screen machinery – which separates plastic jugs from paper/fibre products – the only way to remove them is the old fashioned way: with a razor blade.
“There are so many that get in there that at lunch or at break time we have to keep two or three people there to clean the disk screens of plastic bags,” he said. “Every three or four hours we have to go in and clean it up.”
Cappadona said he doesn’t want to malign plastic bags because they are a good recycled product on their own, if people were to take them back to the grocery store as directed.
However, many people throw them in the recycling, many times because they don’t know. On its face, it looks like something that could be recycled in the traditional curbside barrels. However, it is one plastic item that isn’t accepted, but routinely gets in the stream.
In Chelsea, Russell Disposal picks up all the recycling on the curb, and from there, they take it to Casella on Rutherford Avenue, behind Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown.
Once there, that’s when problems come.
“They are a good recycling product on their own, but when they get here with everything else, they are a contaminant,” he said.
In terms of the ban that will go into effect in Boston, Cappadona said they aren’t really preparing, but they are excited about it. And they hope others might follow suit to make their recycling product purer.
The Chelsea City Council has been exploring the idea of a ban for the last month, with two meetings so far on the issue. While many are calling for a ban to prevent litter and for environmental reasons, businesses in the area are concerned about the increasing cost burden it will put on them to use alternative bags that are more expensive.
One of the biggest questions floating around all of Greater Boston right now regarding the allegations against CEO Steve Wynn is whether or not the casino building here will carry his signature brand name at the top when it opens in 2019 – a brand that has gone from impeccable to potentially tainted in a few day’s time.
Experts in the field of marketing and branding – something that is heavily studied and critically important in today’s business world – are closely watching this case with Wynn.
Locally, Northeastern University Assistant Professor Charn McAllister, who teaches in the Management and Organizational Development Department at Northeastern, said there are so many firsts in this case when it comes to branding.
One of the major issues with the Wynn situation is that the company is heavily tied to the man for whom some seriously negative allegations are being made. The company is tied so heavily that it in fact carries a brand name that is now associated with that negativity.
“I think Steve Wynn in many ways is the heart and soul of Wynn Resorts,” McAllister said. “It’s a cult of personality. When people invest in Wynn, they are investing in Steve Wynn…Five or six months ago, you would expect a company to remove an individual from a position of leadership. How do you do that when the company is the person? Though these are still allegations, it’s like Weinstein in that the allegations were so horrible that the name of the business became poison. When your name is on the building and on everything else, at that point it puts the Board in a very difficult situation.”
That difficult situation comes from the fact that the Board for Wynn – a publicly traded company – has stated in federal filings that the loss of Wynn from their company would mean significant financial losses. Now, they are facing a decision about the loss of Wynn versus the losses from the bad name via the publicity.
“They have already stated in SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filings that the loss of Steve Wynn would result in major losses to the company, but at the same time you just had a 14 percent drop in your stock price because of Steve Wynn,” he said.
The branding of Wynn has been carefully guarded since the company arrived in Everett. From the local office to the Las Vegas office, the company has been very careful since day one to remain on brand and on message in all communications and imagery. That’s because they have spent decades building the name ‘Wynn’ into an image and vision of luxury and something fun and clean.
The allegations against Wynn now, which he fully denies, are anything but clean and fun. Regardless of their validity or not – or the circumstances of them surfacing – McAllister said today’s court of public opinion is very harsh on a brand.
He said some of the things he will be watching as the investigation moves forward is whether the company has a hard time recruiting new employees as they ramp up for the 2019 opening due to the public perception of the brand.
“The brand integrity is going to be downgraded substantially,” he said. “Recruiting for the company will be harder likely because the new potential candidates may not be so eager to work for the company. It’s not that they are afraid so much of getting assaulted, but the image of the company. Do you want to go home and tell your parents or friends that you work for this brand that is now associated with such bad things?”
McAllister said other things he is watching is how the allegations might be interpreted internationally, since Wynn has locations in Asia as well.
He also said he believes more companies might re-think making their brand the name of a company leader or founder. He said, for example, that everyone knows Jeff Bezos is the leader of Amazon, but the company doesn’t bear his name.
More than anything, McAllister said the unprecedented part of the situation will be whether public perception forces the brand to change. That, of course, is a question that nearly all of Everett is wondering as well.
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty on Jan. 12 in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 15-year-old boy in Lawrence.
Josue Alexis DePaz, a/k/a “Gato,” 21, a Salvadoran national formerly residing in Lawrence, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2018.
DePaz was identified as a member of MS-13’s Everett Loco Salvatrucha (ELS) clique, which operated in the greater Boston area. When interviewed by law enforcement officers, DePaz admitted that on July 5, 2015, he was one of two men who stabbed a 15-year-old boy to death in O’Connell Park in Lawrence. In conversations recorded by law enforcement during the investigation, MS-13 members identified DePaz as one of the men who murdered the victim. DePaz was subsequently arrested in a house in Somerville with several other MS-13 members. A search warrant at the house resulted in the recovery of a firearm, several large knives, photographs of MS-13 members flashing gang signs, and a large volume of MS-13 paraphernalia, including blue and white hats, bandanas and rosary beads. According to court documents, MS-13 members frequently wear blue and white items of clothing to signify their membership in the gang.
After a three-year investigation, DePaz was one of 61 individuals named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. DePaz is the 28th defendant to plead guilty in this case.
DePaz faces up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and will be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence.
East Boston Savings Bank’s 32nd Annual Holiday Auction raised over $75,000 for local charities. EBSB employees, family, friends and vendors gathered at the Danversport Yacht Club where items donated by Bank employees, family members, local businesses and vendors were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Other items others were offered through various raffles that took place during the evening.
EBSB’s President, CEO and Chairman Richard J. Gavegnano and Executive Vice President John Migliozzi served as auctioneers for the event. “The auction is a wonderful event and one our employees look forward each year as it brings them all together for the fun and enjoyment of giving to a good cause. We are proud of the role we play as a good neighbor in the communities we serve, and our employees continue to be supportive of those efforts” said Gavegnano. “It’s hard to believe that the Bank has been doing this for thirty-two years. Each year the event gets bigger and the donated items are more extravagant”.
The five charities benefitting from the event are Bread of Life in Malden, Crossroads Family Shelter in East Boston, East Boston Social Centers, Greater Medford Visiting Nurse & Community Health and Citizens Inn in Peabody. Each of these organizations received a check for $15,000.
About East Boston Savings Bank
Founded in 1848, EBSB is a proven community bank that offers products and services that meet the deposit and financing needs of both consumers and businesses. East Boston Savings Bank currently operates 32 full-service branches and operates a Mobile Banking Unit in the greater Boston metropolitan area and offers a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located in its primary market, which consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties.
The Chelsea High boys and girls indoor rack teams were set to open their season last night (Wednesday) against Greater Lowell at Lynn Tech.
For the first time ever, the Commonwealth Athletic Conference will host an indoor track league.
Chelsea has competed for the past three years in the Greater Boston League. However, the GBL has disbanded, with all of its remaining teams joining the Northeastern Conference.
“Just like every year the boys will have to fight for every win,” said CHS coach Mark Martineau.
Coming off a good cross country season, the Red Devil distance crew will be the backbone of the team. Senior Jose Leclerc earned CAC MVP honors for both this past cross country season and also was the CAC MVP last spring.
“Jose is looking to have another great season,” noted Martineau.
Junior Justin Turner had a breakout season in the fall that he is looking to build on. The throws team will be led by seniors Tony Bui and Nelson Hernandez.
However, the sprint team for the boys is a big question mark at this point. Senior Alex Pedrero is the only returning sprinter with more than one season of experience.
“Much of our season will be determined by how well this group comes together,” added Martineau.
The Lady Red Devil squad is coming off CAC cross country and spring track titles. The team is led by standout senior Martine Simon.
“Martine has been competing well at the state level since her sophomore year,” said Martineau. “She is looking to have another great season in the 55m dash as well as the long jump.”
The CHS distance team is strong, but thin. The trio of Yarid Deras, Jocelyn Poste, and Amanda Dias should all compete well at the state level.
“We are hoping to continue to develop our younger runners to support them,” said Martineau. Sophomores Stephanie Simon and Isha Osman are coming off great freshman years. Stephanie already has achieved the state-qualifying mark of 4′-10″ in the high jump in her second practice of the year.
Junior Masireh Ceesay and senior Adamaris Perez will lead a strong throws team.
“The throws have been the foundation of this team for some years now,” said Martineau. “We will continue to rely on this crew.
“The challenge the girls will face this year is in terms of depth” Martineau added. “In many events we will only have one or two athletes. This will make it hard to win. If we have one or two injuries, it could be a tough season.”
City Council President Leo Robinson and the Chelsea community are fondly remembering retired Chelsea firefighter Darren Moore, who died on Saturday, Nov. 25 at the age of 52.
Many of Darren’s classmates and friends learned of his passing during the Chelsea High School Class of 1982 35th Reunion Saturday night at the Merritt Club. Reunion co-chair Allen Andrade called upon the gathering for a moment of silence in memory of their beloved classmate, teammate and friend.
Robinson remembered his cousin Darren Moore’s exploits while wearing the Chelsea High Red Devil uniform in three varsity sports. A handsome, personable young man with a warm smile, Darren Moore had confidence in his abilities and developed in to a team leader who conducted himself with sportsmanship and grace on the court and on the field.
“Darren played football, basketball, and baseball at Chelsea High when the Red Devils were a hoop powerhouse in the Greater Boston League,” said Robinson. “Darren was also a coach of the Chelsea Pop Warner ‘A’ football team that rallied to defeat the San Francisco Bombers, 18-14, to win the 2001 national championship.”
Robinson said that following Darren’s athletic career, he wanted to help young kids in Chelsea enjoy the benefits that he had gained from playing sports.
“Darren wanted to give back to the city that was so good to him as a kid,” said Robinson. “He really enjoyed his years as a coach and winning the national championship was a thrill for everyone involved in that historic season.”
Robinson recalled that he was a member of the Board of Aldermen when Darren Moore took the oath as Chelsea firefighter.
“Darren’s family and I were so proud to be at City Hall and see him become a Chelsea firefighter,” said Robinson. “He served in the department for 20 years.”
Robinson said that Darren enjoyed accompanying him, his brother, Ron Robinson, and family friend Dale Johnson on camping trips and excursions to Newport, R.I.
“Darren was a just a good, fun-loving to be around,” said Robinson.
Former CHS cheerleader Debbie Cronin, one of Darren’s childhood friends, remembered Darren’s friendly and congenial nature.
“Darren was a lifelong childhood friend and a genuinely good guy,” said Cronin. “His passing is a tough one. Over the last few years, I’d bump in to him at the most random of places and even though it was clear he had health issues, he always had a smile. Darren will be missed by all.”
Robinson said he will ask the City Council to join him in a moment of silence in memory of Darren Moore at their meeting Monday night at City Hall.
A memorial gathering and visitation for Darren Moore will be held on Friday, Dec. 1, from 3 to 7 p.m., at the Frank Welsh and Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea. A life tribute and service of remembrance will be held in the funeral home beginning at 7 p.m.
The Chelsea Fire Department (CFD) has begun collecting new, unwrapped, non-violent toys at our Central Station located at
307 Chestnut St., from now until December 15.
Anyone who would like to drop off a toy may come by the station between the hours of 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Last year the CFD collected three large pickup trucks of toys for the Toys for Tots program. After doing some research, CFD organizers found that there are 750 families and more than 1,300 children in the City of Chelsea who are provided Christmas gifts through the Toys for Tots/Globe Santa program.
Sadly this number has nearly doubled since the first year the CFD started up their drive.
“This program is a great opportunity for all of us to help bring a little happiness into the hearts of so many local families that have so little,” said Phil Rogers.
For those who are needy and looking for donations, time is of the essence as the deadline for requests is Nov. 20.
If an individual family needs toys, they should make contact with their social worker, their Pastor, local city or town hall or The Globe Santa for possible help. The cut-off date for toy requests in 2017 is November 20, Midnight. This is due to the high volume of requests.
Globe Santa- toy request info
contact the Department of Transitional Services at (877) 382-2363.
The Toys for Tots program has been in existence since 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR founded Toys for Tots in Los Angeles. Some 5,000 toys were collected during that campaign before Christmas of 1947.
The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, non-violent, unwrapped toys each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the Greater Boston community. Toys for Tots also wants to assure the less fortunate families throughout the Greater Boston area of Massachusetts that their children will be taken care of throughout the holiday season. There is no better satisfaction than seeing the smile of a child during the holiday season.
“On behalf of all the children made happy and the members of the Chelsea Fire Department, thank you so very much for all of your help,” said Rogers.
Residential is king in today’s development world, with developers vying for land to build luxury apartments where previously no one would have even parked their car.
That means, however, that industrial areas are shrinking or disappearing in the Greater Boston area, and places like Chelsea’s industrial area on Eastern Avenue and Marginal Streets are commanding high prices and great interest from developers intent on grabbing committed industrial property before it disappers.
That couldn’t be more true in Chelsea, where industrial/commercial properties are commanding a premium after several recent notable sales, and major developers from the region are scooping them up before it’s too late.
On Eastern Avenue, National Development – a well-known development company with major holdings in Boston, including the trendy new residential Ink Block development – has purchased 130 Eastern Ave. for $10 million in August from the Cohen Family, according to property records.
Pending a zoning variance, they plan to demolish the entire existing 38,000 sq. ft. warehouse on the seven-acre site.
Ted Tye of National Development said they hope to start construction on the new 32-foot clear height building in late 2017 upon completing final designs and receiving all the permits and approvals. They expect construction to conclude in fall 2018.
Tye said they have one tenant for the new property, but that tenant hasn’t been disclosed yet.
“There is an increasing demand in Greater Boston for quality distribution space close to Boston,” said Tye. “Chelsea is ideally located and has been great to work with on expanding the City’s commercial base.”
Part of the certainty comes from the fact, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said, that Chelsea has committed itself to keeping things industrial – unlike other areas, such as Everett’s Lower Broadway area by Wynn Boston Harbor casino where all bets against residential creeping in are off right now.
“I think we have made a commitment to see industrial areas that are now industrial to remain industrial and that these areas are relatively important to the City,” he said. “We have plenty of areas for residential expansion, including the Forbes site. I think we’re committed to retaining a vibrant industrial district. Chelsea historically has done a great job. We’re not likely to create residential developments in our industrial areas.”
Ambrosino said one thing the City requires is that in the development of these new properties, that they are improved aesthetically a bit. For example, National Development will landscape its property upon completion, and the new LTI Limo Company – which moved from Everett’s Lower Broadway area to Chelsea’s Eastern Avenue this year after being bought out by Wynn – is also going to landscape its property significantly.
“There aren’t a lot of industrial areas in Greater Boston and so this industrial area has become quite desirable,” said Ambrosino.
Meanwhile, just last week, more significant action took place in the district with the sale of two prominent warehouse to the Seyon Group, a Boston commercial development firm with 30 years of experience.
E-mails to Seyon Group were not answered in time for this story, but property records – first reported by Bldup.com – showed that Seyon purchased two warehouses for more $10 million total last week.
They purchased 201 Crescent Ave. from New England Lighting Company, which is closing down, for $3.75 million. New England Lighting bought the warehouse in 2009 for $2.65 million. The building is empty and for lease.
Meanwhile, at the same time, Seyon Group bought 150 Eastern Ave. from O’Brien Realty for $7.475 million. O’Brien also owns 140 Eastern Ave., and it purchased 150 Eastern Ave. in 2015 for just $4 million – nearly doubling their money in two years time.
Thee members/associates of the 18th Street Gang, including one Chelsea man, pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Boston in connection with illegal, street-level gun trafficking.
Oscar Oliva, a/k/a “Droopy, 26, of East Boston; Ralph Bonano, 23, of East Boston; and Dennis Pleites Ramos, 23, of Chelsea, pleaded guilty to engaging in the business of dealing with firearms without a license. Oliva also pleaded guilty to one count of possessing with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for January 2018.
In 2015 and 2016, a federal investigation identified a network of street gangs, which had created alliances to traffick weapons and drugs throughout Massachusetts and generate violence against rival gang members. Based on the investigation, 53 defendants were indicted in June 2016 on federal firearm and drug charges, including defendants who are allegedly leaders, members, and associates of the 18th Street Gang, the East Side Money Gang and the Boylston Street Gang. These gangs operated primarily in the East Boston, Boston, Chelsea, Brockton, Malden, Revere and Everett areas. During the course of the investigation, over 70 firearms, cocaine, cocaine base (crack), heroin and fentanyl were seized.
Oliva was a leader in the 18th Street gang, a multi-national criminal organization that operates throughout the United States, and was involved in a large conspiracy to deal in firearms in the Greater Boston area. Oliva was personally involved in at least 12 firearms deals involving at least 13 firearms to a cooperating witness. In total, the cooperating witness was able to obtain over 30 firearms from the conspiracy during the investigation, including assault rifles, shotguns, and handguns – several of which had obliterated serial numbers. Bonano and Pleites Ramos were involved with selling handguns in the Greater Boston area. In addition to the firearms trafficking, Oliva also sold cocaine base (crack cocaine) to a cooperating witness.
Current Chelsea City Councilor at Large Roy Avellaneda has announced he will seek re-election to the City Council in the November 7th election.
Said Avellaneda, “It would be my privilege to continue to represent the people of Chelsea as Councilor at Large. I’ve never stopped fighting for Chelsea residents and stakeholders. But after a brief hiatus, two years ago, I decided to run again, and you gave me the honor of putting me back on the City Council.”
Roy is a lifelong Chelsea resident. His family moved here from Argentina in the 1970s and opened Tito’s Bakery on Broadway. He attended St Rose, Dom Savio High School, and Babson College.
“I was brought up in Chelsea, and I’ve lived here all of my life. So I not only understand its history, but also keenly aware of its challenges, and most pressing needs,” he said.
He has served Chelsea as a member of the Planning Board, and on the City Council for a total of 12 years, the first time beginning in 1998. He returned to the Council 2 years ago, and served on the Licensing Board in between.
Along the way, Roy has also worked as Legislative Assistant to State Senator Jarrett Barrios, and worked in the MA Department of Transportation during the administration of former Governor Deval Patrick.
“Twenty years in both local and state government, have given me a unique, and valuable experience. I know how the wheels of government turn, often slowly and painfully. So you have to get in there, roll up your sleeves, and keep pushing it along. You have to have patience, but always maintain a sense of urgency.”
Roy is also a successful real estate broker, and the top producing agent with Weichert, Realtors-Metropolitan Boston Real Estate. Roy also currently also owns and operates his own cafe, Pan y Cafe in Cary Square, which he opened about a year ago.
“From a very early age,” he said, “my parents taught me the importance of public service — of being involved in one’s community. But their story and their example also includes the business they founded. I’ve always been involved in this community, but at the same time, whether it’s the bakery, a cafe, being a real estate broker, I’ve also been in my own business here in different ways for a long time now. So I have the perspective, not only of someone who has worked in government, but also of a small business person. And in that sense, I’m doubling down on Chelsea because I believe in our bright future, and I always have. I’m doing everything I can to help bring it about and to make the lives of everyone in this community better. But I’ve also made my life here, and I think it’s important to be personally invested in your community, and have a stake in that future.”
Since re-joining the City Council in 2016, Roy has focused on a number issues confronting Chelsea residents and business owners, including tax relief, jobs and economic development, affordable housing, and environmental protection.
“Two years ago,” he said, “I made a commitment to do everything I could to make sure our homeowners and local businesses were not overburdened, to address the affordable housing crisis, to lobby for smart development that reduced negative impacts while increasing green space and support our youth. Today, I can point to achievements that improved those issues facing Chelsea.”
Specifically Roy sponsored, and along with with City Manager Tom Ambrosino, successfully lobbied for state legislative passage of the Home Rule Petition to Increase the Homeowner Residential Exemption from 20% to 35%, saving homeowners hundreds of dollars per year.
He also worked hard to get legislation passed to help small businesses with equipment or inventory of less than $10,000 in value pay less in taxes, resulting in an increase in investment and jobs by local Chelsea merchants.
Roy co-sponsored the Community Preservation Act ballot initiative and campaigned for its approval by voters. Chelsea approved it overwhelmingly (70%) creating a funding mechanism for affordable housing, green space and historic preservation.
Roy also supported and lobbied for the adoption of two key affordable housing measures. The first, The Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, now requires 15% of housing built by developers to be affordable. The second, The Condo Conversion Ordinance, limits multi-family owners from evicting tenants without just cause pursuant to condominium conversion.
Roy introduced and successfully lobbied for the passage Anti-Wage Theft Ordinance which now protects workers in Chelsea from unscrupulous employers who attempt to withhold rightfully earned wages and overtime.
Roy’s advocacy was also instrumental in obtaining more funding for Chelsea’s Summer Jobs Employment program, which provides summer jobs and the opportunity for for Chelsea teens to gain work experience and life skills.
“I am particularly proud to have the endorsements of the Greater Boston Labor Council, SEIU 888, SEIU 32BJ, Ironworkers Local 7 and New England Region of Carpenters,” he said, “because I have worked and fought hard for working people of all ages in Chelsea.”
“Two years ago, he said, “I asked Chelsea voters then to give me the opportunity to be their voice and to work for them. They did, and for that, I’m very grateful. We’ve accomplished a lot since. But, we have so much more work to do in Chelsea. We need improved access to affordable transportation. We need a permanent bike sharing program. We need to keep pressure on MassPort to mitigate Logan Airport’s impact on our community. We need more balanced and smart new development that doesn’t negatively impact our quality of life. We need to focus on and properly mitigate the impact of the Wynn Casino. We have to increase economic opportunities for working families so they can afford to take care of themselves and their children and not be priced out of Chelsea. There’s so much to do. So I am once again asking for your vote on Nov 7th to continue to be your Councilor At Large. Please support me on Tuesday, November 7th. Thank you and God bless.”