Hotel Study Indicates Chelsea Could Support an Upscale Property

Hotel Study Indicates Chelsea Could Support an Upscale Property

A long-awaited hotel study commissioned by the City has been completed and indicates that the market in Chelsea could support and ‘upper upscale’ property if one were proposed.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino commissioned the study last year when a hotel was proposed on Second Street, and it wasn’t certain if the market in Chelsea could bear more hotel rooms coming online.

The study was done by the Pinnacle Advisory Group, and they indicated that a seventh hotel property in Chelsea could be successful – perhaps one that is nicer than all of the others.

“Considering the City’s current supply of hotels, we believe a new hotel, the City’s seventh, could be developed as a 125 to 150 room, nationally branded hotel,” read the report. “While we would recommend an upscale or upper upscale hotel product…we believe the ultimate product should be determined by the developer.”

By contrast, the Homewood Suites and Residence Inn in Chelsea are considered upscale. The Hilton Boston Logan and Hyatt Boston Harbor – both at the airport – are considered in the upper upscale class.

“I’m not surprised by the findings,” said Ambrosino. “The one thing we wanted to find out is if the city could support another hotel development. The answer is yes, particularly more hotels on the waterfront. That’s something I think we could try to encourage.”

He said he was also encouraged by the suggestion that the market could bear a more luxurious product than the very nice hotels already in Chelsea.

“It’s one notch up from the Homewood Suites, which is a nice hotel, and that’s a move forward for the city,” he said. “Whether we can attract that or not, I don’t know, but that would be our goal – especially something with a nice restaurant included.”

The study also indicates the best areas for another hotel would be on the east side of the Chelsea Creek and at the Mystic Mall.

“We believe the City’s seventh hotel should be developed in conjunction with support amenities in a location proximate to Boston Logan Airport and the new MBTA Silver Line,” read the report.

The study was forwarded to the City Council on Monday for review. No new proposals have been forwarded, thought the Residence Inn on has proposed an expansion at its existing property.

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Women Celebrating Women at Roca

Women Celebrating Women at Roca

Every country has a story about the strength of its women. That was the lesson learned by the 30 or so young mothers who attended Roca Chelsea’s International Women’s Day celebration on March 29.

Roca’s Young Mothers program focuses on helping high risk young moms get out of violence and poverty, go to work, and care for their children. As part of the programming, Roca has built a community among the participating women through a weekly ‘family night,’ where moms and their children gather to take classes, learn, and grow – and also eat and socialize in a safe environment. The International Women’s Day festivity was an add on to this weekly gathering, giving the group a chance to learn about each other’s home countries and the women that helped shape history.

Ahead of the event, each participating young mom was asked to research a woman in history from her home country, and prepare a short presentation for the group. The result was a diverse line up of rock star women from all over, including Honduras, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and the US.

“We asked them to look for women in history that made a difference and acknowledge powerful women in Latin America who have always been there,” explained Roca Chelsea Young Mothers staff member Gina Josette. “We wanted to celebrate these women and ourselves as women in a fun and creative way.”

And celebrate they did. The women also brought traditional dishes from their home country to share with the group making the event a feast!

“It’s important and empowering for our young mothers to celebrate women in their country’s history,” said Josette. “For other events, we celebrate other important parts of our lives—Mother’s Day, graduations, etc. We celebrate any type of success in our group, and we celebrate it together.”

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Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp Seminar Will Be Starting on April 29

Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp Seminar Will Be Starting on April 29

Last summer two friends were chatting about how expensive college tuition is these days and the impending mounds of debt their collective six kids were most likely going to be faced with.

The conversation continued and one of the moms shared that she happened to be in the audience when Major Nippy Betz gave his TEDx talk a year prior and she was lucky to get to speak with him afterwards. She recalled having her mind blown open about the hidden world of scholarships and how if you cast a wide net, and are disciplined (just like fishing), you can reel in a boatload of free money. It was at that moment where they looked at each other and had an idea.

Like many moms, these friends are employed, over-extended and crazed, however they decided they needed to bring Nippy to Boston to share his education and his secrets. As they began to dig deeper, it became quickly evident that there was a lot they didn’t know, and likely other parents didn’t know as well. They decided to roll up their sleeves and plan the first ever Massachusetts Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp.

Kerry Strollo, Lexington resident, mom and event co-organizer said “This is about educating parents that you don’t have to sit idly by and just hope something down the line will work out financially for your kids. This is about early success planning so you (and your kiddos) are not panicked when they are a senior in High School on how they, or you, will afford college. Who knew kids in 7th and 8th grade can start to obtain and stockpile scholarships, and High Schoolers can earn so much they pay for their college education and then receive overpayments for living expenses after college? I didn’t, and we have 4 kids! As soon as I learned this I wanted to shout it from the mountain tops.” Strollo added, “There are tips, techniques, and a path to finding the scholarships, however it starts with putting together a plan of action. This Bootcamp is designed to help you craft that plan for success.”

Rosette Cataldo, a Revere native, mom and event co-organizer looks at it though a different lens. “I watch my kids, albeit great students, wasting time every day on the internet, Fort Nite, YouTube, Netflix…you name it. These kids must use their devices and brains for a better purpose. I want to educate my children on how to make the internet a gold mine that works for them, their future and not just a time suck.” This event is all about educating local parents and students at the same time and getting them aligned to work together with a plan so that the family isn’t crippled with debt

The Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp will be held:

April 29, 2018 11 am – 1 pm Diamond Middle School, Lexington

April 29, 2018 4 pm – 6 pm Sheraton Hotel, Framingham, MA

April 30, 2018 7 pm – 9 pm Larcom Theatre, Beverly, MA

May 1, 2018 7 pm – 9 pm Marriott Hotel, Newton, MA

For more info please visit: www.strategicscholarships.com

Tickets are $49 per person. Students are encouraged to join their parents. Group rates (20+) available. To hear the story about a Tuft’s graduate with massive student debt please view this video

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No Bail for Man Charged in The 2017 Chelsea Homicide of Teen

No Bail for Man Charged in The 2017 Chelsea Homicide of Teen

The Somerville man charged with murdering 15-year-old Jimmy Vasquez in Chelsea last year was ordered held without bail at his arraignment this week, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

Juan Carlos Matos Figueroa, 22, of Somerville, was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on indictments charging first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a large capacity feeding device, carrying a loaded firearm, assault and battery by discharging a firearm, four counts of attempted assault and battery by discharging a firearm, and five counts of armed assault with intent to murder for opening fire on a group of unarmed teens, killing Vasquez and striking a second victim. At the request of Assistant District Attorney Stacey Pichardo of the DA’s Gang Unit, Figueroa was ordered held without bail.

According to prosecutors, Vasquez and five other teens aged 15 to 18 were standing in front of a Shurtleff Street address on the afternoon of January 13, 2017. No member of the group was armed.

Shortly after 5:30 p.m., a vehicle in which Figueroa was a backseat passenger made its way down Shurtleff Street toward Grove Street. Figueroa allegedly produced a 9mm handgun equipped with a 30-round magazine and a red laser sight and pointed the weapon at the group, garnering the group’s attention with the laser, prosecutors said.

The vehicle continued down the street a short distance before stopping.  Figueroa then exited and opened fire on the group, fatally striking Vasquez in the abdomen and a second 15-year-old in the foot, Pichardo said.

Figueroa and the other occupants of the vehicle then fled the area.

During the investigation that followed, Chelsea Police detectives and State Police detectives assigned to Conley’s office undertook witness interviews, retrieved video footage from cameras in the area, and collected physical evidence that included shell casings recovered at the scene of the shooting.

Suffolk prosecutors continued the investigation behind the closed doors of the grand jury, resulting in the return of 14 indictments against Figueroa on Friday.  Chelsea and State Police located him at a Jacques Street residence in Somerville that same date and took him into custody.

Erin O’Connor is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate.  Figueroa is represented by Robert Griffin.  He returns to court May 10.

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Chelsea Hill Walking Group Formed Out of Community Spirit

Chelsea Hill Walking Group Formed Out of Community Spirit

By Seth Daniel

Members of the new Chelsea Hill Community neighbor group gather on the stairs near Lafayette Avenue earlier this fall. The group formed after a neighbor day in Malone Park last September, and their momentum continues to build.

Members of the new Chelsea Hill Community neighbor group gather on the stairs near Lafayette Avenue earlier this fall. The group formed after a neighbor day in Malone Park last September, and their momentum continues to build.

What started as a summer get-together for neighbors near the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home neighborhood has turned into an effort that has logged many miles this fall within their community.

Now dubbing themselves the Chelsea Hill Community, the group has grown significantly and engages in safety walks and meetings on a monthly basis.

On the first Wednesday and third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m., the group walks the streets of the neighborhood. On the fourth Thursday, they hold community meetings at 6 p.m. in the First Congregational Church on County Road.

It’s something that has been as much a surprise to the founders as it is to newcomers and those who have been in the neighborhood for years.

Monica Elias-Orellana, a life-long Chelsea resident, said the idea was born out of the Community Enhancement Team (CET) efforts, which focuses neighborhood betterment projects citywide.

Elias-Orellana is part of that effort, and she and Councillors Yamir Rodriguez, Luis Tejada Yahya Noor and Pastor Ellen Rohan Ball had scheduled a clean up of Malone Park.

Then on Sept. 2 this year, they decided to hold a ‘Meet Your Neighbor’ day as a follow up, enlisting Councillor Roy Avellaneda, Henry Wilson, City Manager Tom Ambrosino and Councillor Damali Vidot to the effort.

“After that day, we decided that we should try to keep the momentum going,” said Elias-Orellana. “We’re an independent residential group and we are now called the Chelsea Hill Community. We do similar things to the existing Sector Groups, but we also do events as a neighborhood too.”

The walks have been very productive and the group has added a police officer to accompany them. They are now doing winter walks and plan to have hot chocolate and cookies to accompany the effort.

“We have a lot of momentum right now, and I think this is something we can keep going for a long time,” said Rodriguez. “I think we can make this group strong enough to join the other groups in Sector 4 or in Admiral’s Hill.”

Rohan Ball said the meetings have brought many of her members of the First Congregational Church on County Road a lot of comfort.

“At one of the meetings, two sisters who are members of the church and had to leave Chelsea after the Great Fire of 1972, were reminiscing,” she said. “It really brought them back. I felt this instant happiness that I was thrilled to see. They enchanted us with stories of the fire and the old neighborhood. It was really great to have the newer neighbors come back with the old neighbors and learn from one another.”

The group is also trying to address an early concern of the elderly in the neighborhood, that being the task of shoveling snow. Working with the Boys & Girls Club, they are hoping to organize volunteers from the Club who will shovel the walks for elderly folks during snow storms.

Elias-Orellana said what is important about their group now is that they have recruited a strong base of neighbors who are passionate. That, she said, will endure even the coldest winter walks.

“We’re a small group now, but it doesn’t matter if we have 30 or 50 people, we are a group of passionate people who are looking to be impactful where we live,” she said.

The next Chelsea Hill Community Walk will be on Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. Check their Facebook page for the latest location.

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Chelsea’s Commitment to Industrial Areas Spurs Major Purchases

Chelsea’s Commitment to Industrial Areas Spurs Major Purchases

By Seth Daniel

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.

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Chelsea Chamber Pot of Gold Set for Oct 18

Chelsea Chamber Pot of Gold Set for Oct 18

The 30th Annual Chelsea Chamber of Commerce $10,000 Pot of Gold is around the corner.  The event will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at Anthony’s of Malden, 105 Canal Street, Malden, MA. It will be an outstanding evening filled with great networking opportunities, delicious food and Back to the 80s fun, all while supporting your Chamber.  This is the longest running major fundraiser for the Chelsea Chamber!  Proceeds greatly contribute to the important work the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce does for the business community in Chelsea.  First prize is $10,000.  Only 250 will be sold and can be purchased by Chamber members and nonmembers alike.  Act now and you could be the next $10,000 Pot of Gold winner!

Chairs Sue Gallant and Arthur Arsenault are working with their committee to make the 30th  Pot of Gold the best yet!  The Chamber will be going back to the 80s when it all started celebrating all the iconic music, fads and outfits from that decade.  Prizes will be awarded to the best outfits from the 80s! Get creative and let’s see what you can put together!  Maybe you will be one of our prize winners!

We also have opportunities to purchase raffle tickets to win Megaraffle baskets that are each valued at over $500.  Themed baskets include Nights on the Town with Celtics, Bruins or Red Sox tickets, Ultimate Tailgate Package and a North Shore experience to name a few.  We will also raffle off an Instant Wine Cellar where one person will win enough wine to start their own wine Cellar as well as a 50/50 raffle!  So many great prizes to win besides the big prize of $10,000!

 Tickets are $175.00 each.  The ticket price includes one entry in the drawing for a chance to win the $10,000 top prize, opportunities to win one of our many fabulous door prizes, one dinner which will include a delicious meal of surf and turf and open bar. Additional dinner tickets can be purchased for $60.  Festivities start at 6:00pm with dinner at 7:00pm and the first ticket drawn at 8pm.

The Chamber would like to thank the following for sponsoring this important fundraiser for the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce:

Corporate Sponsors

Broadway Jewelers

Chelsea Bank, a division of East Cambridge Savings Bank

Golden Cannoli

MGH Health Center

Member Sponsors

Arsenault & Cline, CPAs, Stop & Compare Supermarkets, Cameron Real Estate Group, Hispanic American Institute, North Shore Advisory Group

In-Kind Sponsors

Coprico Printing, Cataldo Ambulance, Chelsea Community Cable Television, Fairmont Copley Plaza, El Planeta, Independent Newspaper Group

Sponsorships are still available. Your name will be included on the Chamber website, in social and print media and advertised throughout the event. What a great way to highlight your business to people from all over the North Shore!

Only 250 tickets will be sold, so get your tickets now! Check out the Chamber website at www.chelseachamber.org, call the office at 617-884-4877 or drop by 308 Broadway Chelsea today.  Rich Cuthie, Executive Director of the Chamber, will be happy to help you pick that winning ticket number!

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Sports 09-08-2016

CHS Roundup

CHS football team opens season tonight against Lynn Tech

The Chelsea High football team will make the short trek northward to Lynn this evening (Thursday) when coach Jack Halas and his Red Devil gridmen open their 2016 season at Lynn Tech under the lights on Tech’s home turf at Manning Field. The opening kickoff is set for 7:00.

“Things are going well,” said Halas of his team’s pre-season preparations, which began August 22. “We’ve been very busy in these first few weeks of the pre-season.”

Halas greeted a large turnout of 48 candidates for the varsity squad, a good indication of the strong health of the football program. Five players come from Pope John XXIII of Everett, with which Chelsea shares a co-op arrangement.

The Red Devils engaged in two pre-season encounters, a tri-scrimmage with South Boston and Latin Academy last Saturday and a contest with West Roxbury this past Saturday.

“Overall, I was pleased with the way we performed in the scrimmages,” noted Halas. “I thought we played well. We moved the football and played decent defense. By no means were they perfect or the best we can play, but they were a good starting point and something to build upon.

“I like this team,” continued the coach. “We have a lot of good players at our skill positions (quarterback, wide receiver, and running back). Our weakness this year is that we do not have much depth. The majority of the team is made up of underclassmen, so we need to stay healthy throughout the year.”

Leading the Red Devils in 2016 will be a pair of senior captains, Nick Ieng, who will see action on both sides of the ball at wide receiver and defensive back, and quarterback T.J. Patterson.

“These two are excellent players at their respective positions and should prove to be a dangerous pair for our opponents to prepare for,” said Halas. Other notable players for CHS fans to watch in 2016 are senior wide receiver/defensive back Bryan Rivas, senior wide receiver/defensive back Zach Leo, junior running back/defensive back David Bui, junior offensive lineman/linebacker Nelson Hernandez, and wide receiver/free safety Christian Herbert.

Tonight’s opener with Lynn Tech may well be the opening kickoff of the 2016 schoolboy season in Eastern Mass., with other schools in the state not opening up until Friday or Saturday. “Our kids are very excited,” said Halas of the prospect of playing in the first contest to open the 2016 high school season.

Halas and his crew will host Northeast Regional next Friday evening (September 16) under the lights at Chelsea Stadium at 7:00.

Boys soccer team

overcomes 1-0 deficit

to open with 5-2 win

The Chelsea High boys soccer team got off to a slow start, but revved into high gear in the second half to record a 5-2 victory in the Red Devils’ season-opener Tuesday afternoon at Shawsheen Tech.

Shawsheen drew first blood with nine minutes to play in the opening half to take a 1-nil advantage at the intermission. “We made a mistake in the defensive end and it cost us,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “But overall, we were not playing well. We were controlling the possession, but were unable to put anything together to sustain our attack.”

However, the second half proved to be another story altogether, as the Red Devils reached the back of the Shawsheen net five times, led by senior captain Carlos Cartagena’s hat trick.

Chelsea struck soon after the opening kickoff, with sophomore midfielder Dan Sabu delivering a nice strike from just outside the 18 after he had gathered in a short goal kick, moved forward, and let fly a hard shot that caught the Shawsheen keeper off his line.

“It was a nice heads-up play by Dan and he took full advantage of the opportunity,” said Protasowicki.

Although Shawsheen responded with its second marker eight minutes later to regain the advantage, the goal proved to be a only a temporary one for CHS head coach Mick Milutinovic’s crew whose gathering momentum continued to build.

Junior captain and midfielder Kevin Umanzor-Torres brought Chelsea back to level with his first goal of the season, assisted by Humberto Suarez-Garcia, setting the stage for Cartagena’s amazing string of three goals in a span of 13 minutes.

“We moved Carlos up to the forward line from the backfield to give us some additional striking capability and it provided us with just the spark we needed,” noted Protasowicki.

After Cartagena gave Chelsea its first lead of the game with 17 minutes to play, with an assist from fellow senior captain Carlos Cruz, Carlos struck again just three minutes later (assisted by Suarez-Garcia) before applying the coup de grace with four minutes remaining. Guillherme Suarez-Ruella assisted on the final marker.

Senior Kevin Flores and sophomore Diego Granados, a newcomer to the CHS program, shared the duties in net, with each playing a half.

“Shawsheen always plays us very physically and they played us as we expected,” said Protasowicki. “It was not a pretty win, but we did what we needed to do.”

Milutinovic and his squad next will host Northeast Regional today (Thursday) and then will entertain non-league rival Everett Monday evening under the lights at Chelsea Stadium at 7:00. A large contingent of fans from both schools is expected to be on hand for that contest, which has become the biggest rivalry game on the CHS soccer schedule in recent years.

Bruins Beat by Bob Morello

Bruins: World cup of hockey

The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association have announced the schedule for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Six players with Boston Bruins roots will be participating: Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (Team Canada); newly acquired David Backes (Team USA); David Pastrnak (Team Czech Republic); and Tuukka Rask (Team Finland). Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara will represent Slovakia on Team Europe, and was named an Alternate Captain, joining Philadelphia Flyer Mark Streit, with L.A. King’s Anze Kopitar serving as Captain. Missing from Team Czech Republic will be Bruins forward David Krejci who has decided to focus on returning from his injury one-hundred-percent before returning to the ice. Former Bruin Dennis Seidenberg (Germany) is also listed on Team Europe. Bruins head coach Claude Julien will also participate as an assistant coach for Team Canada.

From Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016, eight teams – Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe and Team North America – will compete in a best-on-best international hockey championship. The two-week tournament, featuring more than 150 of the best players in the NHL, will progress from the Preliminary Round to the Semifinals and ultimately the Final. All tournament games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The eight teams are split into two Groups, Group A and Group B, for the Preliminary Round (Sept. 17-22), when each team will play its three Group opponents in a round-robin format. Group A are Team Canada, Team Czech Republic and Team USA, plus Team Europe, a pan-European roster of players from birth countries outside of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. Group B will have Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team North America, a selection of the top players from Canada and the United States who are 23 or under as of Oct. 1, 2016.

The Preliminary Round schedule will highlight two of international hockey’s fiercest rivalries on Tuesday, Sept. 20, when Team Canada and Team USA face off in Group A and Team Finland and Team Sweden meet in Group B. North American archrivals Canada and the United States have faced off for the top prize in several international finals, including the 1991 Canada Cup, 1996 World Cup of Hockey, 2002 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the 2004 and 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships. The Nordic powers Finland and Sweden have met in the finals of the 1995 and 2011 IIHF World Championships, the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships.

The top two finishers in Group A and Group B will advance to the Semifinals (Sept. 24 25), where the first-place team from each Group will face an elimination game against the second-place team from the other Group. The two Semifinal winners will meet in the Final, a best-of-three series on Sept. 27, Sept. 29 and, if necessary, Oct. 1.

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Chelsea Collaborative Celebrates Unveiling of Workers Rights Mural

On May 31st, members of the Chelsea Collaborative, Chelsea city councilors, workers rights activists and Chelsea Community members gathered for the unveiling of the Chelsea Collaborative’s new workers rights mural. The mural creator, artist Nancy Guevara met with members of the Chelsea Latino Immigrant Committee an Environmental Chelsea Organizers a several times over the past few months to create the design for the mural.

The mural is part of a statewide education campaign to bring more awareness to the worker’s rights violations that immigrant workers face throughout Massachusetts. Organizations like the Collaborative, have long been fighting issues of wage theft, especially in industries with a high level of subcontracting, where cleaning, construction and

Artist Nancy Guevara speaks during the unveiling of the Worker’s Rights mural at the Collaborative on May 31.

Artist Nancy Guevara speaks during the unveiling
of the Worker’s Rights mural at the Collaborative on May 31.

painting workers often see their wages and overtime stolen by predatory subcontractors.

Currently, a coalition made up of local unions, workers centers like the Collaborative, and the Boston-based organization Community Labor United is pushing a bill that would further protect sub-contracted immigrant workers. Representative Dan Ryan and Senator Sal DiDomenico, who is the co-sponsor of the bill, both attended the mural unveiling and spoke about the importance of continuing to fight for the rights of immigrant workers. At noon on Thursday June 23rd, workers, union members and other supporters of the bill will gather for a Wage Theft Speakout on the steps of the State House to call on their Senators and Representatives to pass the bill. For more information and the action and the problem of wage theft, check out www.StopMassWageTheft.org.

The mural also seeks to highlight the strength workers find through culture, community unity and organizing and features figures modeled after active members of the Chelsea Latino Immigrant Committee and Somali Bantu Girls Group. As artist Nancy Guevara wrote in the inscription accompanying the mural, “This mural celebrates the different cultures found in this city and our shared commitment to hard work and a passion for justice. Together, we weave our future, our battle giving us the strength to fight and move on. We need fairly paid and dignified work in order to realize and inherit our dreams. We came to this country to live the American dream, but we have realized it was not for us, but with the strands of our battle, our collective voices amplified and the power of our love and effort, we continue to demand the right to dream.”

Anyone interested in taking a look at the worker’s rights mural, should feel free to visit the Collaborative anytime between 10 and 5pm. The mural is meant to be an inspiration for all in our community to keep on fighting for a more just and equitable city where all workers and community members are treated with respect and dignity.

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Branch Manager:Longtime DPW Deputy Andy Desantis is Named Mass Tree Warden of the Year

By Cary Shuman

Every city and town in Massachusetts with a population of 10,000 or more residents is required to have a tree warden.

So when Chelsea Tree Warden Andy DeSantis becomes the Massachusetts Tree Warden of the Year, it’s a major honor, one in which the city can take great pride.

In fact, Chelsea city leaders paid tribute to DeSantis’s success by planting a tree in his honor at Washington Park. That event attended by City Manager Tom Ambrosino coincided with Chelsea’s Arbor Day planting celebration.

Allan Alpert, the city’s emergency management director, lauded DeSantis for his statewide recognition.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Andy his whole tenure in Chelsea and he’s always accessible and gets right back to you,” said Alpert. He’s a wonderful man to work with and I congratulate him on receiving this wonderful, much-deserved award.”

City Treasurer Bob Boulrice, a tomato grower of note, also congratulated DeSantis.

“I grow tomatoes at the Chelsea Community Garden and Andy DeSantis, in his capacity as tree warden and with his incredible knowledge, he’s always been helpful and supportive to our group’s efforts,” said Boulrice. “I congratulate Andy on this well-deserved honor.”

DeSantis, 64, retired as assistant director of the Department of Public Works on April 6 and is now working part time for the DPW and as tree warden. He served as assistant director for 22 years, having previously worked in Revere as the superintendent of Public Works.

“My tenure in Chelsea has been great,” said DeSantis. “It’s an excellent place to work. The city gives me the latitude to do what I need to do. The city has provided a lot of funding for upgrading its infrastructure.”

DeSantis, who is considered an expert in arboriculture, oversees approximately 2,000 public-shade trees in the city. “Public-shade trees are defined as the trees in the public right of way,” he said. “We’ve planted over 1,000 trees in the past 12 years.”

DeSantis said through the efforts of former city councilor Roseann Bongiovanni, Chelsea became a Tree City in 2005, meeting the standards of the Arbor Day Foundation and affirming that “Chelsea cares about its trees.” The Tree City designation makes Chelsea eligible for grant funding.

“I think the future looks good for Chelsea,” said DeSantis. “We just got a grant for

Chelsea Tree Warden Andy DeSantis displays his prestigious statewide award.

Chelsea Tree Warden Andy DeSantis displays his prestigious statewide award.

$30,000 that going to update the tree inventory and perform a tree risk assessment of all our trees.”

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