Green New Deal Is a Good Deal

Green New Deal Is  a Good Deal

The growing movement for the federal government to take the lead in effecting policies that will negate the effects of both economic inequality and climate change has been incorporated into what is being referred to as the Green New Deal.

Our U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey, is among those who is spearheading the legislation, along with newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

The key features of the Green New Deal are both economic and environmental.

Health insurance for all Americans, job creation, and the expansion of the safety net are among the highlights of the economic aspect of the proposal.

On the environmental front, the goal is for the United States to become carbon-neutral within 10 years.

Both aspects of the proposal will face opposition in Congress from Republicans. The economic aspects will require raising taxes on the wealthy, which essentially would repeal the tax cuts approved by the GOP Congress last year.

The environmental goals will face a fierce fight from the energy industry and other business groups.

The Green New Deal seeks to address what we believe are the two great existential threats both to the American way of life and America itself :

First, that we are becoming a plutocracy — a government of the rich, for the rich, and by the rich.

Second, that climate change will wreak environmental and economic havoc on our nation with catastrophic consequences unless we take immediate steps to reverse its effects before they reach a tipping point from which we cannot escape.

Some may call the Green New Deal a pie-in-the-sky idea. But the reality is that unless we do something — and soon — about the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and the imminent threat of climate change, the future of America (and the world) is grim.

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GreenRoots Talks with Senior Citizens about Public Transit

GreenRoots Talks with Senior Citizens about Public Transit

There has been no shortage of discussion about what people think about public transportation service in Chelsea, but many of those conversations don’t always include the elderly, and that is one of the largest populations to use the service.

On Monday morning, GreenRoots staff and a graduate student from Boston University gathered to speak to seniors in a multi-lingual, confidential discussion about what needs to be improved.

“We wanted to have this conversation because so many seniors depend on public transportation,” said Sarah Levy of GreenRoots. “We want to know what is working and what is not working. We hope this will being a conversation on how to improve public transportation for you all. It’s not going to be us coming one time and going away.”

The group was lively and many seniors turned out for the meeting.

Some of the answers were unique to the older popular.

“The strollers are often a problem for us,” said one woman. “Seniors get on with canes or walkers and the baby strollers block the space. When the bus starts going, they can’t get to a seat because the strollers slow them down. They can fall down.”

Added one woman, “I would suggest that they have strollers get on in back. That gives more space for seniors in the front.”

Another request was to educate the young people and adults about getting up to provide a seat for an elderly person.

“I hope the T can have an educational campaign to better let young people know that they are supposed to get up and provide a seat for an elderly or handicapped person,” said one man.

By and large, though, the biggest complaint for seniors was the infrequent service and the inaccurate time schedule.

“If you don’t come at the right time, you have to wait another hour,” said one woman. “The 111 is usually ok, but the 116, 117 and 112 are always late and they are too crowded. Sometimes you can’t get on because it’s full and then you have to wait an hour for another bus.”

Added another woman, “Many people are left behind because the buses are so crowded. They are left standing there in the cold because there is no room for them.”

Other major concerns were:

  • There needs to be more places to get a Charlie Card in Chelsea.
  • The MBTA needs to schedule a time to come to Chelsea to do photos for Senior ID Passes.
  • There needs to be more regular 111 buses and fewer 111C buses.
  • The Chelsea loop bus to the Mystic Mall needs to be more predictable, and it needs to also go to the Parkway Plaza.

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Welcome to Chelsea Photo Contest Winners, Opening Reception September 14

Welcome to Chelsea Photo Contest Winners, Opening Reception September 14

An exhibit of contemporary photographs celebrating life in Chelsea will be on display starting Friday, September 14, at Gallery 456. The opening reception takes place that evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at 456 Broadway, Chelsea.

The featured images are large scale reproductions of the winners of the Welcome to Chelsea Photo Contest. Amateur and professional photographers participated with a dozen winners selected by a formal judging panel. The People’s Choice Award decided through online voting by more than 500 votes by people in the community.

The contest was presented by Chelsea Prospers, the City of Chelsea’s initiative for vitality in the downtown, and the facebook group Chelsea MA Photography Club coordinated by photographer and former City Councilor Matt Frank.

The judging panel included Darlene DeVita, an award-winning fine art photographer; Matt Frank, a former City Councilor and photographer who initiated the Chelsea MA Photography Club; State Representative Roselee Vincent, a champion for the arts and former member of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development;  Sury Chavez, a local painter whose decorative murals and “Welcome to Chelsea” signs can be seen in  key locations throughout the city; Marianne Ramos, a self-taught “outsider artist” and long-time Chelsea resident who serves as Program Coordinator for the Chelsea Senior Center; and Alex Train, artist and Assistant Director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Chelsea.

All of the winning images, submitted digitally, have been reproduced in high-quality, large format canvas prints. These framed works will remain on display on Broadway until mid to late October. At the conclusion of the exhibit the winners will take home their framed prints.

Gallery 456 is a storefront gallery so it is always open. The entire exhibit can be viewed from the sidewalk.

Exhibited Works

  • Best in Show

Sunrise Over the Cemetery by Aaron Kraemer

  • Local Business

From Chelsea to Boston by Isaac Subillaga

Happy Your-Day! by Teri Weidner

Soldiers Home by Deb Cronin

  • People of Chelsea

Maggie and William by Katy Rogers

Hero by Deb Cronin

Come Together by Katy Rogers

  • Community

Chelsea Community Gardening by Katy Rogers

Morning at the Community Rail by Aaron Kraemer

Diversity: Chelsea’s Middle Name by Teri Weidner

  • Chelsea, Past and Present

Sunrise Over the Cemetery by Aaron Kraemer

Chelsea Winter Storm by Joe Makarski

Abandonment Issues by Isaac Subillaga

  • People’s Choice

My Green Monstah by Deb Cronin

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Chelsea Man Arrested for Defacing Newly Painted Chelsea Walk Mural

Chelsea Man Arrested for Defacing Newly Painted Chelsea Walk Mural

One bad apple hasn’t spoiled a whole bunch at the Chelsea Walk, where a man was arrested last week for defacing the newly painted mural on the reclaimed Walk.

On Aug. 20, at 2:52 p.m., a CPD officer was flagged down in the area of Luther Place by a male party who stated someone destroyed their property and defaced City property.

The reporting party was a painter hired by the City to paint a mural on the Chelsea Walk. The Walk has been a no-go area for decades, and community members and GreenRoots have staked a claim to the Walk this summer in an effort to make it more inviting.

That has included painting a mural and hosting events there, and some people who have frequented the Walk for nefarious reasons haven’t appreciated the effort.

The officer reviewed a city camera in the area and was able to identify the male subject who committed the vandalism.

The male was located and placed under arrest.

Winston Brown, 51, of 4 Washington Ave., was charged with vandalizing property.

 

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Chelsea Walk Paint Days This Friday, Saturday

Chelsea Walk Paint Days This Friday, Saturday

Prepare for a little color on the Chelsea Walk.

But only if residents turn out to help paint the newfound oasis in the middle of the Broadway business district.

GreenRoots and Chelsea artists Sylvia Lopez Chavez will host two Paint Days of the Walk on Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We hope everyone will join GreenRoots and artist Silvia Lopez Chavez to transform the Chelsea Walk into an area we will all be proud of,” said GreenRoots Director Roseann Bongiovanni.

Phase II of the Walk transformation will begin later this summer with furniture and lighting installations, to be followed by Phase III consisting of art installations on the ceiling of the Chelsea Walk.

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Chelsea Jewish Lifecare and JGS Lifecare Announce Affiliation

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare and JGS Lifecare Announce Affiliation

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare (CJL), a highly respected leader in senior living with campuses in Chelsea and Peabody, and  JGS Lifecare (JGS) a leading health care system serving seniors and their families in western Massachusetts,

(L-R) Susan Goldsmith, chair of the board JGS Lifecare, Adam Berman, president CJL, and Barry Berman, CEO of CJL.

announced their intention to affiliate.

“Affiliating our two organizations makes a great deal of sense at this time,” said Adam Berman, president of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “CJL and JGS share the same mission, philosophy, values and goals. We both strive to provide the highest possible quality of care. For us, this common synergy is the key to a long and successful relationship.”

“Our organizations are similar and like-minded in many regards,” said Susan Goldsmith, chair of the board for JGS Lifecare. “Both are centenarian organizations that have been serving seniors for over 100 years. We are both non-profit, faith-based and founded on Jewish principles while serving people of all faiths. We offer the same spectrum of services, including skilled nursing, long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, home health and hospice, assisted living, independent living, and adult day health care. Above all, our commitment to providing the best possible care for our elderly community is the driving force behind both institutions and all we do.”

The relationship between CJL and JGS has developed over recent years. After Chelsea Jewish opened the award-winning  Leonard Florence Center for Living in 2010, the country’s first urban model Green House skilled nursing facility, JGS consulted with CJL in preparation for the construction of its own Green House model. The highly acclaimed Sosin Center for Rehabilitation opened in 2016 on the Longmeadow campus. This affiliation is therefore a natural progression of the developing relationship between the two organizations.  Once consummated, CJL will manage the daily affairs of JGS in accordance with the direction set by the JGS Board of Directors.

“This affiliation is beneficial to both institutions and will ensure our stability and future growth for generations to come,” continued Goldsmith. “It’s no secret that across the health care continuum, it’s become increasingly important for organizations to come together for long-term viability, to learn best practices from each other and to better serve the greater good.”

“We believe this is a terrific opportunity for us to combine our expertise to better serve the growing senior population across the state of Massachusetts,” said Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “Our combined resources and economies of scale will ensure the future growth and enhancement of all of our services.”

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Bongiovanni of GreenRoots Named Chelsea Unsung Heroine

Bongiovanni of GreenRoots Named Chelsea Unsung Heroine

Sen. Sal DiDomenico recently joined with Reps. Daniel Ryan and RoseLee Vincent to congratulate Roseann Bongiovanni on being recognized as an Unsung Heroine by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW).

Each year the MCSW recognizes women across the Commonwealth who make outstanding, yet perhaps unnoted, contributions to their communities.

Sen. DiDomenico and Representative Ryan nominated Bongiovanni, the executive director of the Chelsea-based environmental justice organization GreenRoots, for her efforts over the past 21 years to improve environmental conditions and quality of life in Chelsea.

On June 20 Bongiovanni was honored at the MCSW’s Unsung Heroines Celebration at the State House.

“I was happy to join Rep. Ryan and present Roseann with our citations.” said Senator DiDomenico. “This is a well-deserved honor for Roseann, who has made it her life’s work to assist individuals and families that need our help the most, and for her tireless efforts on environmental justice issues in our community.”

The Board, staff and members of GreenRoots were happy to hear the leader of their organization was getting credit for her years of work.

“On behalf of the Board, staff and members of GreenRoots, we would like to recognize Rosie for being recognized by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as an Unsung Heroine of 2018,” read a statement from the organization. “Rosie was chosen as the Unsung Heroine for our District. We are lucky to have her as a model of leadership and unwavering commitment to our community.”

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Michael Albano and Eden Edwards Host Dinner to Support Apollinaire in the Park

Michael Albano and Eden Edwards Host Dinner to Support Apollinaire in the Park

Chelsea residents Michael Albano and Eden Edwards have been supporting the Apollinaire Theatre for seven years by throwing a dinner party in their beautiful eclectic home to raise money to support the theatre’s free, outdoor, summer Apollinaire in the Park productions.  “Of all the things Apollinaire does, it’s their best service to the community,” says Michael.

Michael, a Somerville native, first moved to Chelsea in 1995 and soon began looking for ways to get involved in the city. “My father was always a community activist,” says Michael. “It was just what you did in my family.” He was a part of the Chelsea Collaborative and Green Space (now GreenRoots), and was the chairman of the Chelsea Planning Board for four years. After the downturn in the economy, Michael turned his focus to his business. When he was ready to serve the community again, he found Apollinaire Theatre Company.

Michael joined the Apollinaire in the Park committee, after a decline in funding forced the cancellation on the 2011 show. He and Eden’s generous support of the theatre has grown into an exceptionally fun and memorable annual dinner in their home featuring Michael’s cooking, and performances from the Apollinaire in the Park cast. This summer Apollinaire is producing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cast members will be performing “Pyramus and Thisbe,” Midsummer’s play within a play, at the party.

On making Chelsea their home, Michael says, “Chelsea found me.” Eden, a Nebraska native who moved to Chelsea in 2001 adds that she feels “lucky to have found Chelsea.” The couple describes their home as a “Victorian beach house.” The Victorian details have a nautical flair, such as the banisters with waves carved into them. It was built in 1895 by a shipping captain from Beacon Hill as his second home and was the first home built in its Chelsea neighborhood. At the time it was constructed, the captain would have had an unobstructed view of the beach he could walk to.

-Michael’s journey as a cook began when he was just eight and made his first pizza. His father, who dabbled in the restaurant business, was the cook in the home. Michael’s culinary style is influenced French, American, and of course Italian cuisine (he lived in Italy for a number of years). He worked in the famed Ciro’s restaurant in Boston and enthusiastically describes himself as a food-lover.

Michael will be serving up a variety of hors d’oeuvres, vegetables, ravioli, New York strip steak, and his popular roasted Tuscan chicken and au gratin potatoes with wine, beer, and soft drinks. (Eden looks out for the vegetarians!) Apollinaire actor Ann Carpenter is known for contributing her famous vegetarian lasagna. There will also be desserts from Pan y Café. For wine enthusiasts, there will be a mini wine tasting/pairing offered from Eden and Michael’s reserve as an add-on for partygoers.

While hosting the dinner is big undertaking—Eden’s sister, agents from Michael’s real estate office, and friends often help them prepare—Michael and Eden are very happy that it has become a tradition in the community as well as in their home. “When people involved with the Chelsea community are in my house, it’s the most fun nights here apart from having family,” says Eden. The party always happens in June, not just to poise it to best serve fund-raising efforts for the theatre’s July performances, but also because Michael’s birthday is in June. The party doubles as a celebration for him where he can get friends who are not from Chelsea involved in supporting Apollinaire.

This year’s party is on June 15th at 7:00pm at the couple’s home: 32 Crest Ave., Chelsea.  Tickets can be purchased through the theatre’s website: www.apollinairetheatre.com, at the door, or by calling 617-887-2336.

Apollinaire’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs July 11 – 29 at 7:30pm in Chelsea’s waterfront PORT Park, 99 Marginal Street. ALL performances are FREE. Contact the theatre to learn about opportunities to get involved with the show!

Apollinaire in the Park is a program of Apollinaire Theatre Company (ATC), Chelsea’s award-winning professional theatre.  ATC produces adventurous contemporary theatre, and free outdoor summer shows. The ATC’s home is the Chelsea Theatre Works in Chelsea Square, which houses their three theatres: the Apollinaire Theatre; the Riseman Family Theatre, home of their youth program, the Apollinaire Play Lab; and the Black Box—a co-working rental theatre for Boston Area performing artists. Visit them on the web at www.apollinairetheatre.com.

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GreenRoots Kicks-Off Fundraising Effort for Chelsea Walk

GreenRoots Kicks-Off Fundraising Effort for Chelsea Walk

The Chelsea Walk has, for years, been an uninviting walkway between Broadway and the seedier part of the alleyways behind the business district.

This photo is an example sent out by GreenRoots of some things that could be done to the Chelsea Walk to enliven and brighten it up. GreenRoots and the City are embarking on a campaign to match a state grant for funding to spruce up the Walk.

This photo is an example sent out by GreenRoots of some things that could be done to the Chelsea Walk to enliven and brighten it up. GreenRoots and the City are embarking on a campaign to match a state grant for funding to spruce up the Walk.

But as Broadway gets more attention, the City and GreenRoots are looking to make the Chelsea Walk a comfortable centerpiece, rather than a forgotten stretch.

GreenRoots, together with City Manager Tom Ambrosino, announced Friday night that it had received a grant from MassDevelopment to transform the dark and dingy Chelsea Walk into a safe and welcoming destination attraction featuring art, color and lighting.

The grant, however, has a twist.

In order to get the funding, it needs to be matched dollar for dollar through Crowdfunding by June 8. Crowdfunding is when many people contribute towards a project’s success. At present time, fundraising has exceeded $3,000, so GreenRoots has less than 40 days to raise the remaining $17,000.

Chelsea Chamber of Commerce President Sergio Jaramillo said the project is an effort to “ make the area a place where people feel safe.”

He added, “It is all about making our community better.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino encouraged everyone to contribute where they can.

“To the extent you can donate something, it will really benefit the city,” he said.

The effort follows two fun summer events where GreenRoots and the City developed “park-lets” on Broadway for a day – something that was extremely popular with residents, business owners and the public. The Chelsea Walk effort is another arm of that effort.

GreenRoots is accepting donations towards this project at  www.patronicity.com/chelseawalk.

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GreenRoots, Eastie Looking to Restore Cross Creek Partnership

GreenRoots, Eastie Looking to Restore Cross Creek Partnership

By Seth Daniel

Chelsea GreenRoots is leading the way in jump-starting a renewal of Chelsea-Eastie activism on the Chelsea Creek – sending out teams to help build up momentum on the Eastie side for Creek activism.

GreenRoots Director Roseann Bongiovanni said the organization began trying to revitalize the interest in Eastie back in August after getting a grant to do some organizing.

“We can only be more powerful with one voice like we were in the past,” she said. “Overall, since we started, folks have been receptive because they know this is for East Boston residents and will be led by East Boston residents. It goes back to the holistic look at the Chelsea Creek on the East Boston and Chelsea side.”

For many years, the former Chelsea GreenSpace and the Eastie Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) combined efforts to form the Chelsea Creek Action Group – or CCAG. Together, that group fought of what they believed to be environmental threats to the Creek, including a power plant, CAD cells buried in the riverbed, and the Hess tank removal. They also advocated successfully for the Urban Wild location on the Eastie side, and held social events like the River Revel.

However, about two years ago, a lot of the leadership in Eastie shifted to other matters and concerns in the neighborhood, leaving Chelsea holding up one side of the Creek.

Recently, though, Eastie’s Magdalena Ayed spun off environmental work in her organization HarborKeepers.

That began to develop some interest again in the Creek activism in Eastie.

This year, GreenRoots got a grant to do work to re-activate the grass roots base in East Boston and to institute Eastie leaders to begin leading the revived organization.

“That was very important that this was for East Boston and we were just helping to get it started for them,” said Bongiovanni. “We didn’t want it to seem like Chelsea was coming over and telling East Boston what to do.”

First, they visited 12 groups, including the many neighborhood organizations in Eastie, and spread the word about trying to revive interest in Creek activism.

Right now, John Walkey of Eastie and Indira Alfaro of GreenRoots are canvassing Eastie to get more people involved.

Bongiovanni said getting both sides organized again is very important to the health of the Creek.

She said there is also a great opportunity to learn from one another.

“You see gentrification along the Creek a lot more in East Boston and we are hoping to learn from what they have gone through,” she said.

Bongiovanni said the missing link on the Creek still is Revere, but she has hopes that some organizing can be done there as well.

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