Chelsea Housing Extends Visitor Time for Hurricane Victims

Chelsea Housing Extends Visitor Time for Hurricane Victims

By Seth Daniel

As Puerto Rican residents continue to trickle into Chelsea following the massive Hurricane Maria devastation, the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) announced they would extend the time visitors are allowed to stay with residents – and also consider extensions in some cases.

Director Al Ewing said they have been working close with the Chelsea Collaborative, the City of Chelsea and the state to formulate a plan to accommodate family members that need to live with CHA residents. By rule, CHA only allows visitors to stay in a public housing unit for 21 days. After that, penalties begin to accrue for the resident.

That has been a problem statewide as wary Puerto Ricans flock to the area to live with family members while their homes and their island are repaired from the once-in-a-lifetime storm damage. With nowhere else to turn, residents in public housing have opened their homes to family, but in fact trouble looms due to the 21-day rule.

“What we have done is extended the 21-day limit allowed for visitors to 45 days,” he said. “The key is residents need to notify us who is living in the unit. Obviously we want to work with the residents and this was a terrible disaster and a terrible situation…At the end of the 45-day period, if there is a need for an extension while family members look for permanent housing, we will work with them on a case-by-case basis.”

Ewing said they have encountered some folks from Puerto Rico and one woman from Houston – which both suffered severe storm damage – and he said they have lowered the documentation threshold for them. While there aren’t many units available, he said they are taking applications.

“We have reduced the documentation because people are obviously coming here without the ability to have documentation,” he said. “We just don’t have a lot of vacancies in public housing, especially at this time of year. That’s why we wanted to especially relax our regulations for visitor stays so that people can live with family until they can find a permanent situation.”

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Helping Puerto Rico

Helping Puerto Rico

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Carmen Cruz prays for friends and family in Puerto Rico during the vigil and donation drive on Thursday, Sept. 28, to aid in the relief effort for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Chelsea Collaborative and Teamsters Local 25 organized the event, with many community partners. Teamsters Local 25 is donating trucks and drivers to transport the relief items Hurricane Maria has devastated the island, with an overwhelming majority of the 3.4 million residents still without power as of last week, and officials struggling to get food, water, fuel and needed supplies to everyone in need.

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The Boston Harbor Clean-Up:An Environmental — and Economic — Success Story

The Boston Harbor Clean-Up:An Environmental — and Economic — Success Story

A recent report issued by the public interest group Save the Harbor/Save the Bay informs us that the beaches surrounding the Metropolitan Boston area were open for bathing 96 percent of the time during the summer of 2016 and that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the outlook should be the same for 2017.

This is quite an accomplishment, given that a generation ago, beaches in the Boston area were closed more often than not — and even when open, our beaches were not exactly inviting to swimmers and other recreational users.

We ourselves recall sailing in Boston Harbor in the 1980s and being unable to find a clean place to take a dip off our boat — and that included the outer harbor waters around the Brewster islands. There was no escape from the sliminess (for want of a better word) that essentially made the waters of Boston Harbor nothing more than a giant cesspool.

It certainly is true that the clean-up of Boston Harbor came at great expense to the ratepayers of the MWRA and surrounding sewer districts. Water and sewer rates skyrocketed on an annual basis for the 15 years of the construction phase and immediate aftermath of the construction of the MWRA’s treatment plant on Deer Island.

However, as with everything else in life, you get what you pay — there is no such thing as a free lunch, as the saying goes — so while the sudden shock of rising water & sewer rates caused some degree of hardship for some ratepayers, the bottom line is that all of us in this area had taken for granted the cheap water & sewer rates we had known for our entire lives — as well as where our water came from and where it drained out to — with no concern about the consequences of what we were doing to Boston Harbor, the greatest natural resource in our area, every time we flushed our toilets.

Moreover, as with many things when it comes to government fees and taxes, most ratepayers only looked at one side of the cost equation.  We did not recognize that not only were there economic drawbacks associated with creating a polluted harbor, but that there were huge economic gains to be derived from making an investment in cleaning it up.

The magnificent and clean harbor that we have now, which admittedly was achieved at great expense, has been an economic engine for the entire area, creating jobs and adding immensely to property values not only along the immediate coast, but throughout Greater Boston, that have benefited every ratepayer.

So as we look forward to the coming summer of 2017, we can be grateful that we have a clean Boston Harbor to enjoy with our friends and families. In the 30-plus years since the MWRA has come into existence, the advantages, economic and otherwise, of achieving a sparkling Boston Harbor have extended far beyond merely being able to enjoy a swim on a hot summer’s day (which, in our view, is priceless)

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Eastern Salt Gets Lukewarm Reception for Plan to Expand into Eastie

By John Lynds

At a Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) sponsored meeting on Monday night in East Boston, three proposals to develop the former Hess site on Condor Street along the Chelsea Creek were pitched to the East Boston community.

One of those proposals came from Chelsea’s Eastern Salt Company, which said it was looking to expand its operations across the McArdle Bridge to East Boston.

The industrial parcel of land that once housed storage tanks for Hess Oil is zoned as a Designated Port Area (DPA) so a majority of the activity at the site needs to be marine industrial use.

Three developers, City Wide Organics, the East Boston Community Development Corporation (CDC) and the Eastern Salt Company from Chelsea, put together solid maritime focused uses with community benefits, but the crowd seemed to be leaning towards the CDC proposal.

The Eastern Salt proposal, which got a lukewarm reception from residents of Eastie, was to place a ‘buffer’ salt pile, like the company has across the Meridian Street Bridge in Chelsea, on the Hess Site.

The salt would be barged over from Chelsea and distributed around the region during winter storms. While Eastern Salt did have community benefits like a harbor walk and outdoor green space, it was the fact that the property could generate 40 to 50 truck trips per day during the height of winter storm activity that had many really concerned.

Despite Eastern Salt’s best efforts to win the crowd over with community benefits, many residents on Eagle Hill said they did not want to look down on a 50-foot pile of salt all year long.

City Wide Organics submitted a proposal to convert the property into a organic waste recycling plant that will convert waste into renewable energy and fertilizer. They also plan to create public outdoor space around the perimeter of the plant much like the MWRA Deer Island facility in Winthrop.

The CDC proposal was pitched its director, Al Caldarelli. He said his proposal would limit traffic, cause no odor and create jobs in the community. The CDC plans to build three buildings as well as a tot lot park, harbor walk and dog park as community benefits. The three buildings would house three longstanding Eastie businesses. These businesses include John Zirpolo’s Cora Group, an expansion of Dan Noonan’s already successful shipyard and marina on Marginal Street and Peter Merullo’s Semper Diving and Marine. All three businesses have roots in marine industrial use.

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Leonard Florence Expands ALS Housing on $17.5 Million Gift

By Seth Daniel

Don’t hold it against him, but Mike Robbins is a New York Yankees fan.

Despite being the newest resident of the newly expanded Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCFL) ALS Home, the Staten Island native brought with him his Yankees gear, but a great new appreciation for Boston and the community of Chelsea – even if the Red Sox don’t exactly appeal to him just yet.

“I rolled in here with a Red Sox hat on so they wouldn’t ask me to leave,” he said with a laugh at the new home recently. “I figured I’d keep it on until later this spring and then break out the Yankees hat and jersey and by then they couldn’t make me leave. I’ve never had something so great as this happen to me in my entire life. Everything just fell in line and quickly. If I wouldn’t have been able to come here, I would have probably ended up in a nursing home, and they just aren’t equipped to handle ALS. This gift that they got here required them to take some New York patients. That’s the only reason I’m here now is that family decided to fund this. Otherwise, I’d still be sitting on the waiting list. It’s like a dream to me.”

That dream for Robbins, 60, started quite some time ago when he was diagnosed with ALS and was living in an apartment in New York that wasn’t accommodating to a wheel chair. He was also heavily reliant on his daughters and felt he was taking away from their lives. All of that sparked he and his family to apply for a spot at the LFCFL, but the waiting list was daunting. While he qualified, the likelihood of him getting a spot was slim to none.

Then came along a donor from New York City who wanted to pledge $17.5 million to open another ALS home at LFCFL, with an immediate $5 million gift to fund the expansion. The commitment, said Chelsea Jewish Foundation President Barry Berman, came with a promise to raise the rest of the money over the coming years.

The expanded home will be known as the McDonald ALS Home.

Already, one home exists at LFCFL and was designed by resident and ALS patient Steve Saling. The cutting edge design leans heavily on technology to level the playing field for patients with the degenerative disease and allow them to have a high quality of life – including being able to operate the television, speak through a computer and even open the blinds with the flick of an eyelid.

Naturally, all of that comes at a price, and while the concept has been refined here in Chelsea, the price tag still remains prohibitive.

That’s why Berman was excited when the New York family first came forward.

At first, he said they wanted to fund a facility in some other location in a different part of the country, having been familiar with the work done at LFCFL in Chelsea. Berman lent a hand to help them find a place, but eventually the family changed its focus.

“They soon came to realize that what they wanted to fund is what we have here,” he said. “The other places they were looking at were going to be nursing homes with an ALS wing and not what we have here. They understood it’s extremely financially challenging to open up a new ALS house.”

In the end, they decided to give the gift to LFCFL in order to open up a new house here, replacing a short-term rehabilitation facility already within the building.

“They gave a $5 million upfront gift and through the years they are going to help me raise the additional funds,” said Berman. “One thing they wanted was that we take a couple of New York people because that’s where the money came from and where they’re from.”

When the news was announced, Saling took to Facebook and was able to fill the new house in a matter of days – showing the extreme need for such facilities.

“It filled up with Steve Saling just putting the news on his Facebook page,” said Berman. “The calls kept rolling in and in until four days later the house was filled up. Then we had to start putting people on the waiting list again, unfortunately.”

The gift allowed the home to open, and the $12.5 million will allow it to operate for 20 years.

Berman said the gift has opened his eyes to the new possibility of the LFCFL being an exclusive ALS residential facility – being on the cutting edge of such care worldwide.

“My goal now is eventually to open up three or four more homes and that this building would be a center for excellence in ALS care,” he said. “The people who made the gift may be interested in working more with us and it would be an honor to develop another home with them.”

For Robbins, the gift and his new place of residence has given him something he could never have paid for – dignity.

“The biggest thing for me is not being a burden on my daughters’ lives,” he said. “I’m in a nice place and I”m not a burden on them. They can get on with their lives and know I’m in a great situation here. To be able to use the bathroom and use the toilet with the door closed or take a shower with hot water is something I couldn’t do. I can do that now. Those things give you your dignity back. I’m just very, very fortunate and happy.”

Mike Robbins, 60, of New York City is one of the newest residents of Chelsea’s Leonard Florence Center for Living’s new McDonald ALS House. A group of benefactors recently gifted $5 million to LFCFL and a promise to raise $12.5 million over 20 years, allowing a new ALS home to be constructed and opened this month.

Mike Robbins, 60, of New York City is one of the newest residents
of Chelsea’s Leonard Florence Center for Living’s new McDonald ALS House. A group of benefactors recently gifted $5 million to LFCFL and a promise to raise $12.5 million over 20 years, allowing a new ALS home to be constructed and opened this month.

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Residents Take Part in Vigil Service For Bella Bond on Deer Island

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Michael Patrick McCarthy, 35, of Quincy, and his girlfriend Rachelle D. Bond, 40, both of 115 Maxwell St., Dorchester were arraigned in Dorchester District Court Monday morning on charges in the death of toddler Bella Bond.

McCarthy is being held without bail and Bond is being held on $1 million cash and will be due back in court on Oct. 20. Both suspects have court records that include drug arrests.

Bella Bond, known for 85 days as Baby Doe or Deer Island Doe, was finally identified last week after an acquaintance of McCarthy’s tipped off police. Bella was found June 25 by a woman walking her dog on the shore of Deer Island in Winthrop. Bella was in a plastic contractor’s bag, wearing white with black polka dot leggings and wrapped in a fleece blanket. For weeks Winthrop Police, the State Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office sent out composite photos of the two-and-a-half-year-old, set up a hotline, and had special billboards made with her image. On social media Bella’s image went around the world on Facebook and Twitter.

Local High School students Madelyn Fainga'a, Meghan Chavis and Danielle Eocchia sat quietly as officials spoke about Bella Bond.

Local High School students Madelyn Fainga’a, Meghan Chavis and Danielle Eocchia sat quietly as officials spoke about Bella Bond.

No one connected to Bella ever came forward to identify her.

Monday night a vigil with 300-400 people was held at Deer Island. Guests included Gov. Charlie Baker and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, who lives in Winthrop. There has been an outpouring of donations for Bella’s burial. Officials said her body will stay at the medical examiner’s office for a couple more weeks for further tests. After that it will be up to the biological father to decide burial plans. He did tell a reporter from the Boston Herald that he would be comfortable with her being buried in Winthrop Cemetery because his great grandmother is also buried there.

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Ash Ready to Work with Wynn, ‘No on Question 3′

Ash Ready to Work with Wynn, ‘No on Question 3′

City Manager Jay Ash said that despite his disappointment with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s (MGC) decision to award the casino license to Wynn Resorts over Mohegan Sun, he’s ready to work with Wynn and take a second look at their project and how it will affect Chelsea.

Ash and Chelsea officials were decidedly in favor of the Mohegan project, mostly because Mohegan had signed a much more lucrative Surrounding Community Agreement (SCA) with Chelsea than did Wynn. Also, officials repeatedly said Mohegan had been much easier to work with than the Wynn negotiators.

All of that if in the past now, though, and Ash said he’s ready to move forward.

“In terms of Wynn, I’m willing to take a new look at their project,” he said. “I don’t believe we’ve seen the last iteration. There are some flaws, most notably around traffic issues, that need to be resolved, and I know they are working to address them. I’m open to looking at what they come up with and especially see how it impacts Chelsea and the region as a whole. There are many benefits of having 4,000 jobs and $1.6 billion in investment less than a mile from our borders. I’m planning on continuing to work on this and hope to line Chelsea up for more benefits if and when the resort casino there does open.”

Ash also said he does plan to support a ‘No’ vote on Question 3 in the November ballot – a vote that would be for keeping the casino legislation and the Wynn project. He said that despite being frustrated with the decision for Wynn, he isn’t backtracking on the gaming industry.

“I’m disappointed with the Gaming Commission decision, but that doesn’t change the fundamental reasons why I support expanded gaming here in Massachusetts,” he said. “We’re exporting more than $1 billion in investment, tens-of-thousands-of-jobs, and $400 million in tax revenues to Connecticut and Rhode Island, and not getting anything in return. We should keep that investment, those jobs and that tax revenue here, and we should enter into what is a $50 billion industry in the country. In Boston alone, there are 20 million visitors a year. Developing out resort casinos will strengthen our tourism and hospitality industries and further broaden our economy so we are not susceptible to major downturns…In short, I think we export too much and have little to show for it, and I believe we can create an industry here that can manage the potential downside while given us additional economic and entertainment benefits.”

After mostly staying out of the casino repeal vote discussion, Wynn Resorts announced last weekend that they would become involved in the ‘No on 3’ campaign over the next month.

When the casino company won their license on Sept. 16, officials from Wynn said they hadn’t made a decision, but as a rule their organization tended to stay out of ballot box issues.

Last weekend, they changed their tune and decided to defend the coveted license they just won last month.

“We will participate with Protect Mass Jobs to provide information to voters about the impact of our industry,” said Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver. “Ultimately and appropriately, the voters of the Commonwealth will decide. They deserve to have factual information which will allow them to make an informed decision.”

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he applauded Wynn for deciding to get involved in the ballot question because the question is confusing to voters.

“I think it’s absolutely necessary for everyone to get involved so people know exactly what they’re voting on,” he said. “There are people who want casinos and think they have to vote ‘yes,’ but a ‘yes’ vote is against casinos. I applaud Wynn for getting involved and I think they need to be out there to set the record straight on many facts of the Wynn site – getting the right information out there and not allowing others to distort the facts…The question is written to fool people and to trick people. These questions are long and tedious and the information needs to be out there for people before they go to the polls.”

The Everett ‘No on 3’ campaign – also called the Coalition to Protect Mass Jobs – said they were glad to see Wynn Resorts join their effort. However, they said Wynn’s resources didn’t change the strategy of reaching people face-to-face and through the grass roots.

“It doesn’t change our game plan, but Mr. Wynn definitely brings credibility and strength to the effort because he’s a guy originally from Massachusetts and is so important in the industry,” said Everett’s Michael McLaughlin. “There are things and strategies that are going to happen no matter who joins the fight. I am glad Mr. Wynn joined because I think he realizes this is about getting the right information out there about his project. It’s about his duty at this point to try to help us help his industry. I think that’s what he did by joining the Coalition to Protect Mass Jobs.”

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Artist Found His Way at the Walk

Artist Found His Way at the Walk

In 1968, Arnie Casavant was laid up at the old Chelsea Naval Hospital after having been injured while in the military.

The Rhode Island native was fond of his days recovering at the hospital, but he didn’t give Chelsea much thought until a decade ago.

After a failed bid to buy a retirement condo in New Hampshire one day 10 years ago, Casavant and his wife, Kathleen, were driving back down Rt. 1 to Boston in a kind of funk.

As they approached Chelsea, Casavant suggested they take a spin through the old Naval Hospital to change the pace of the day. They never found the Naval Hospital, as it was long gone by then, but they found Chelsea and they stayed.

Now, over the past 10 years that they’ve lived here, Casavant has found his artistic stride and at the Art Walk this weekend he’ll be presenting art and teaching art.

“Moving to Chelsea and starting to paint more coincided with me attending my first Art Walk,” Casavant, 66, said this week. “Fortunately for me it was a stepping stone. I had a show at Spencer Lofts and Pearl Street Gallery as a result of the Art Walk. It just spiraled from there. I started painting a lot more after and it turned into a whole new career. I have a studio in [the South End] in Boston and I am in a gallery in Cape Cod. The success I’m having now started because of the Chelsea Art Walk and the folks I met there.”

This year at the walk, Casavant will not only be showing his work at several of the nine venues, but also he’ll be teaching drawing at the Community Garden on Sunday.

That will be nothing new for him.

Casavant moved to Chelsea from “the ‘Burbs” he said after teaching art in Easton, MA for 30 years. So, teaching drawing will be nothing new for the retired teacher and budding artist.

“I’m excited this year to be offering a drawing workshop at the Community Garden,” he said. “It’s going to be about two or three hours helping adults learn to draw. I think we’ll add something really special to the Art Walk. There’s nothing better than to help adults find out what they want to focus on artistically.”

Casavant’s focus, however, is no secret, and many might have met him on the streets as he has painted urban scenes “on location.”

One of the things that attracted him to Chelsea were those gritty and vibrant urban scenes. He has taken to the Mystic/Tobin Bridge, the industrial oil tanks, and even the colorful fruit stands in and around Bellingham Square.

His favorite, however, is the Bridge.

“It’s always there for me to paint,” he said. “I’ve probably painted it more times than I can recall.”

Often, Casavant can be seen throughout the streets of the city painting on the sidewalk or in a park with his easel. He’s not shy, he said, and enjoys it when people come up to him and ask him what he’s doing.

“Chelsea has provided me with a lot of paintings and when I have a show in Chelsea, it’s so well received and people really come out to see it,” he said. “I think people in Chelsea have a lot of pride in their community. Many times I’m painting and and old timer will engage me in a conversation and tell me about how the City used to be. They’re interested in what I’m doing and they love the city. There may be some rough edges to Chelsea, but the heart of the community has a lot of pride.”

While many trek off to Florida or up to Maine for their retirement years, Casavant said he and his wife have found the perfect retirement enclave in Chelsea.

“Painting has added so much to my life and Chelsea has had so much to do with that,” he said. “Here we are 10 years later and we love the city and the proximity to Boston. We just can’t go back to the ‘Burbs. We can’t do the Applebee’s on Friday night with the kids and then the Mall on Saturday. We did all that with our son and we can’t go back.”

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Sandsculpting Festival Ready to Start on July 17

Sandsculpting Festival Ready to Start on July 17

With one of the best names on the sand sculpting circuit, Amazin’ Walter McDonald is also one of the oldest sculptors – at 71.

With one of the best names
on the sand sculpting circuit,
Amazin’ Walter McDonald is
also one of the oldest sculptors
– at 71.

With all of the fun and entertainment that has now become part of the nearby Revere Beach National Sandsculpting Festival, one thing that can tend to get lost in the pre-festival publicity is the actual Sandsculpting.

However, once the show gets on the road July 17th – marking the Festival’s 10th Anniversary – it will be rather hard to miss the biggest and best field of carving competitors Revere Beach has ever seen.

In fact, some are touting the 15-person field as the largest competition on the East Coast.

“Last year we only had 10 competitors and this year we’ll have 15 sculptors in the field,” said Amanda Gourgue, executive director of the Revere Beach Partnership. “It has been exciting to add sculptors and this being our 10th anniversary, we wanted to go big. It is the most that the Revere Beach festival has ever had. We already have the most fans and now we want to have the most sculptors.”

This year, the larger field will be spread out over a larger area, giving sculptors and spectators more room to move about – and hopefully alleviating the jam-packed crowds (sometimes 10 people deep) during the weekend days.

There are six new sculptors in the competition and nine sculptors that are returning for another shot at the Revere title – a prize that is becoming more and more coveted worldwide amongst the small sand sculpting community.

Of the six new competitors, three are from outside of the U.S. – with two from Holland and one from Latvia.

One of the newest competitors is Rusty Croft of California, who starred for two years on the Travel Channel show ‘Sand Masters.’ Alongside fellow Revere Beach returning competitors Sue McGrew (Tacoma, WA) and Chris Guinto (Key West), Croft starred in 25 episodes of the reality TV show detailing the life of a professional sand sculptor.

He will be joined by one of the oldest competitors on the circuit (and perhaps the sculptor with the best name), 71-year-old Amazin’ Walter McDonald of S. Padre Island, TX. McDonald has been carving sand since the early 1980s and taught his craft to many of those who now compete against him on the professional circuit. With a look that appears to be a cross between ZZ Top and the Grateful Dead, McDonald is likely to be a character and a fan favorite – much as Acapulco, Mexico native Ben Probanza has been over the last two years.

The new sculptors will be ready to do battle with three-time champion Jonathan ‘Jobi’ Bouchard (Montreal), who has proven to be one of the best sculptors in the field year after year. Jobi will be shooting for an unprecedented fourth title in a row this year.

The entire field of sculptors will include:

•Dan Doubleday (Treasure Island, FL)

•Dan Belcher (St. Louis)

•Jobi (Montreal)

•Croft (Carmel, CA) *new sculptor

•Justin Gordon (Groveland, MA)

•Chris Guinto (Key West)

•Marianne Guinto (Key West) *new sculptor

•Sandis Kondrats (Latvia) *new sculptor

•Amazin’ Walter McDonald (S. Padre Island, TX) *new sculptor

•Sue McGrew (Tacoma, WA)

•Benjamin Probanza (Acapulco, Mexico)

•Wilfred Stijger (Holland) *new sculptor

•Steve Topazio (Tiverton, RI)

•Edith van de Wetering (Holland) *new sculptor

•Lucinda Wierenga (S. Padre Island, TX)

Preparations for the competition will begin today, July 10th, as competition directors Meredith Corson and Dan Doubleday of Sanding Ovations return to the Beach to begin putting things in order. Sanding Ovations has successfully run the competition and centerpiece sculpture for several years, and they have developed quite a love for Revere Beach and the more than 500,000 fans that descend upon the area every year.

Some 350 tons of special carving sand from New Hampshire will arrive on the Beach Friday, July 12th, and sculptors will begin working on the always-popular centerpiece sculpture Saturday, July 13th.

This year, organizers aren’t yet giving any kind of hints as to what the centerpiece theme might be, though it will reflect what is happening in Revere and the surrounding areas.

“To see this year’s sculpture theme, you will have to come down to the Beach,” said Gourgue.

After four days of carving out several hundred tons of sand, competitors will begin working on their allotment of 12 tons of sand Wednesday, July 17th. This year, competitors will have four days to work on their masterpieces, with the competition winding down at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

As always, the sculptors will judge each other’s work, but not their own, using the Sanding Ovations Report Card System. They will be judging each other on the following six categories: Overall impact/Wow factor, Quality of Carving, Usage of Sand, Degree of Difficulty, Originality and Artistic Impression. There will also be a People’s Choice Award so that Festival participants have a say in which creation is their favorite.

Throughout the competition, there will also be children sand sculpting lessons that start on Wednesday, July 17th and run through Saturday, July 20th. Each day the lessons are at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Interested participants need to sign up 30 minutes prior to class time and it is first come, first serve.

Lessons will be taught this year by Sandi ‘Castle’ Stirling and Raymond Poirier – both of Dundas, Ontario.

Gourgue said the competition part of the Festival is taking a step up this year and really becoming a signature event for those who compete on the professional circuit.

“I know the people who have done this competition in the past do keep their calendar clear for this Festival,” said Gourgue. “When they come once, they usually return and Revere Beach has developed a strong reputation out there, we’re told. I think it is because we’re always trying to improve things. This year we’re taking our Festival to a new level and it will set a precedent for the future. Going forward, we’ll look at whether we add two new sculptors every year or one new sculptor. It really gives us momentum.”

She also said not to forget the events surrounding the fun in the sand.

“The whole thing is going to be above and beyond,” she said. “It will be like three festivals in one. There will be the sand sculpting, entertainment non-stop all weekend long and then the extensive amount of food trucks. We’re going to have more food trucks than most Food Truck Festivals.”

For more information on the Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival, visit www.NationalSandSculptingFestival.com.

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Police Briefs 05-23-2013

Police Briefs 05-23-2013

May 13

Edward Lockett, 41, of 216 Revere Beach Parkway, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer.

Asia Galvin, 27, homeless, was arrested for misdemeanor warrant default.

Erin L. Sherwood, 37, of 128 Shurtleff Street, Chelsea, was arrested for misdemeanor warrant default.

Ayala Michael Angelo Flores, 22, of 58 Cottage Street, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.

Jaime Rivera, 30, of 58 Cottage Street, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.

May 14

Ramon Rivera, 21, of 96 Park Avenue, Revere, was arrested for marked lanes violation and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Zouheir F. Alami, 35, of 176 Shurtleff Street, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery and witness intimidation.

Manuel Hernandez, 30, of 88 Hawthorne Street, Chelsea, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle with suspended license, license not in possession/failing to show after accident.

Manuel Hernandez, 55, of 34 Shirley, East Boston, was arrested for two counts of misdemeanor warrant default and warrant felony default.

Jonathan Arce, 26, of 1155 Saratoga Street, East Boston, was arrested for driving under the influence and stop sign violation.

Christine Puopolo, 28, of 104 Geneva Street, Revere, was arrested for possession of Class B drug, and misdemeanor warrant default.

Felix J. Vega, 50, of 100 Bellingham Street, Chelsea, was arrested for two counts of violation of abuse prevention order.

Justin A. West, 41, of Long Island Shelter, Boston, was arrested for straight warrant misdemeanor.

May 15

Justus Lawson, 21, of 63B Fremont Avenue, Everett, was arrested for violation of abuse prevention order.

Abel Reis, 51, of Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for straight warrant felony.

Faith Lewis, 35, of 83 Birchwood Drive, Hollis, NH, was arrested for motor vehicle theft.

May 16

Jean Senat, 19, of 228 L Russell Street, Everett, was arrested for warrant felony default, misdemeanor warrant default and straight warrant felony.

May 17

Kerry Joseph Bell, 35, of 408 Meridian Street, East Boston, was arrested for warrant felony default, straight warrant felony, two counts of misdemeanor warrant default and violation of abuse prevention order.

Degne Lopez, 21, of 808 Border Street, East Boston, was arrested for unarmed robbery and straight warrant felony.

Garron Deramus, 52, of 794 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

May 19

Dennis P. Smith, 31, of 80 Park Avenue, Revere, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon.

Marico Mezabaca, 28, of 136 Chestnut Street, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.

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