Workers across the Greater Boston region
took to the picket lines on Friday, April 12, to fight a continued contract
battle against Stop & Shop – and workers were out in force at the
Everett/Chelsea location as well.
Most workers at the local store asked
shoppers to consider using another store, standing with strike signs to the
side of the doors to the store.
Some 31,000 unionized grocery store employees were included in the strike, with many from the local store being Everett and Chelsea residents.
Long time Stop & Shop employee Mike Bruce strikes outside of his workplace in Everett.
The main contention of the demands by
workers includes a fair wage, affordable/accessible health care and a reliable
The United Food and Commercial Workers
International Union said on Tuesday afternoon that they are still negotiating
with the company but might have some news by the end of the week.
The struggle began earlier this year when
the union contract was about to expire in February, with the Union threatening
a strike. On Feb. 23, the contract did expire, and the Union authorized a
strike. The union local representing Everett’s store is UFCW 1445.
“Stop & Shop has known for the past
three years that our contract was set to expire on February 23,” read a
statement from the union presidents in February. “But because of their
continued corporate greed throughout these negotiations, Stop & Shop
employees and customers now find themselves in a position where job actions may
While federal mediation was taking place in
the time from that strike authorization to now, talks did break down recently –
prompting the strike action.
Local officials made visits to the front
lines over the weekend.
State Sen. Sal DiDomenico said Stop &
Shop, and its parent company Royal Ahold, should treat the workers with dignity
“Once again, we have another corporate giant
who refuses to treat it’s employees with dignity and respect,” said
DiDomenico. “I have been a frequent shopper at Stop & Shop and I will
no longer step foot in any of their stores until they come to a resolution with
the union workers and provide them a fair contract. I am proud to support
Stop & Shop workers in their fight for fair wages, affordable health care,
and a dependable retirement, and I will continue to stand with them in this fight
and urge everyone to respect their picket line.”
Stop & Shop officials said that
negotiations are continuing with the UFCW union locals, again with the support
of federal mediators.
The company has said they have been very
generous in their contract offer to the UFCW union.
On health care, they indicated they have
agreed to pay 92 percent of heath premiums for family coverage and 88 percent
for individuals. Th company said that is much more than other large retailers –
citing that the federal government pays 72 percent and other employers average
between 70 and 80 percent. Additionally, the offer includes no changes to the
deductibles, and small increases to co-pays.
The company said it is also offering a
defined benefit pension plan that pays between $1,926 and $2,644 annually per
associate. In the new contract, the company said it has agreed to increase
contributions to pension funds.
Also, they added
that the paid time off has not changed and continues to be 10 to 12 paid
holidays per year.
Soon Chelsea – like other cities – can
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he hopes to
proceed with introducing a 311 constituent services reporting platform to the
City in the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1.
Already, Everett, Revere, Boston and others
feature a telephone and online/app 311 system that residents can use to report
anything from a pothole to graffiti to a rabid skunk.
“The goal is to provide better and more
prompt responsiveness to constituent complaints,” read a letter from Ambrosino
to the Council.
Ambrosino said the system he has in mind
would operate with two employees working out of the DPW building. They would
field complaints from 311 by telephone, email, text message and web-based
reporting. They would fall under the supervision of Public Works Commissioner
Once having taken the complaint, the
employees would then assign the complaint to the appropriate department.
That would open up a series of
accountability measures on each complaint, he said.
“These employees will be responsible for
assigning the issue to the appropriate department representative or directly
accessing the relevant information in a City database, tracking progress on the
issue providing information on the resolution of the issue to the individual
who reported it,” he wrote. “We believe this will be a much more effective way
of addressing constituent complaints and hopefully it will be well-received by
Start-up costs would look to be $162,000 for
employees and the computer software. He said there is already $27,000 set aside
for the program, and $50,000 from a state grant received last year. The
remainder of the first-year costs would have to come from a budget request.
“I hope the Council will see the benefits of
this improved constituent services effort and approve the requested FY20
appropriations,” he wrote.
The new system
would replace the old SeeClickFix reporting system, which never worked as
School Committee Chair Rich Maronski
announced on Tuesday that he will be resigning from the Committee as of May 3 –
citing that the frustrations with attendance at the meetings was getting in the
way of his family life.
Maronski has been on the Committee for four
years, and was appointed at the time. He previously served on the City Council,
but said his experience on the School Committee was much more frustrating –
leading him to decide it was time to move on.
“I believe the taxpayers aren’t getting
their money’s worth and the kids are paying the penalty,” he said. “It needs to
change. Our School Committee needs to go back the old way or they need to be
appointed. It’s the only job I know where you don’t have to show up, don’t have
to call in and don’t get fired. I hope our City leaders take a deep look at
this and make some changes.”
Maronski was elected chair this year in his
fourth year, and he was accompanied as vice chair by Julio Hernandez, who also
resigned last week.
While Hernandez cited family and school
complications, he also said he left frustrated by the sparse attendance of some
members of the Committee.
“I loved working in the School Committee,
but it also made me angry to see some members not show up to meetings, not ask
questions, and not have thorough discussions regarding our students’
education,” he said in a statement last week. “…I now believe School Committee Members
should be appointed, because our students’ education is no joke.”
Maronski said things started off bad from
day one, when he showed up to take his appointed seat but not enough School
Committee members showed up to form a quorum and have an official meeting.
“I had to come back another night when there
were enough members there to have a meeting,” he said.
He also said he became severely frustrated
two years ago when the Committee was faced with voting on a $1.1 million grant
that would help save jobs for teachers that had been cut.
The Committee only had to show up in enough
numbers for a formality vote that accepted the grant.
“We didn’t have enough members for a quorum
and we couldn’t vote on a measure that was going to save teacher jobs,” he
said. “There are no phone calls and people just don’t show up…It’s been going
on for years.”
More recently, he said the Committee wasn’t
able to get enough people to vote on the Superintendent’s Job Description, so
the Search Committee had to work for a month with only an unapproved draft
until they could get enough members at a meeting to vote.
“My well-being and my family’s well-being
come first,” he said. “I was taking this home with me. I’m getting married soon
and it wasn’t fair. The reason why I chose to resign is because maybe I could
bring light to our City leaders that this situation has to change…We do have
some very good School Committee members that give their time, but a lot don’t.”
He said the Committee also plays an
important role for supporting the kids in the schools. He said he would love to
see a Committee where members are active and involved, supporting the kids at
reading events, sporting events and concerts.
“We live in a City where there are a lot of
single parent homes and so it’s even more important the School Committee
members show up to these kids’ events to support them,” he added.
Maronski said he had all the respect in the
world for the Central Office, the principals, the teachers and the
He also said Supt. Mary Bourque has done a
great job in a hard job.
“Mary Bourque has
the toughest job in the city,” he said. “We had our differences, but 90 percent
of the time we agreed and only 10 percent we didn’t.”
Several local restaurants and the City’s Chelsea
Prospers program is stepping up to celebrate all things about the pupusa this
Sunday, April 7, at Emiliana Fiesta as part of the first annual Pupusa Fiesta.
As a precursor to the coming Night Market
events, and a nod to the City’s Latino and Central American heritage, the City
and local business owners have combined efforts to put on a free festival to
highlight the stuffed corn tortilla delicacy – as well as all the trimmings
that go with it.
Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney said that
five businesses have signed up to participate in the free event, where they
will have pupusa samples, forchata drinks, pupusa-making demos, curtido and
“It’s kind of flexing our muscles to see how
well we get people together and I also wanted to have a celebration of a
particular food that we have in Chelsea,” said Graney.
Julio Flores of El Santaneco Restaurant said
they are very excited to participate and feel it is very important that a dish
like the pupusa is being highlighted.
“We’re very excited because we opened the
restaurant in 2000, and since then we’ve participated in different events like
Taste of Chelsea and others,” he said. “However, this is the first time it’s
going to be just about the Latino cuisine – particularly the pupusa. That’s a very
A pupusa is a thick corn tortilla stuffed
with cheese and beans – sometimes meats as well. Curtido is a common side dish
with the pupusa and it is a vinegar-based slaw made of cabbage and carrots –
and a touch of spiciness.
“I think the city manager and Mimi and
Chelsea Prospers are doing a great job because I’m not 100 percent sure, but I
think it’s the first time there is an event just about Latino food. It also
opens up the opportunity for this to happen again. I would love to see this as
an opportunity to start a tradition and that it won’t be a one-time event.”
He also said it gives homage to the culture
in Chelsea, but a culture that is changing.
“The City is changing,” he said. “The Latino
community has been in Chelsea many years.”
The Pupusa Fiesta
will take place on Sunday, April 7, from 2-5 p.m. at Emiliana Fiesta, 35 Fourth
St. It is a free event.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) unveiled its
long-anticipated investigation of Wynn Resorts and Encore Boston Harbor and
reported they found a company culture that did not follow policies when
allegations were made against former CEO Steve Wynn, and also used extreme
secrecy to hide allegations and settlements involving him in several cases.
however, was tempered also by a laundry list of changes that the company has
made in the last 14 months, including ousting Steve Wynn and implementing a
robust corporate governance structure.
said Karen Wells, MGC Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) director,
“the past cannot be erased by these changes.”
set the tone for the unveiling of what had been found over the last year by the
IEB using thousands of pages of information, conducting hundreds of witness
interviews, and traveling to six states to produce the report. That report had
been held up with a lawsuit from Steve Wynn last November asserting
attorney-client privilege, but that suit was recently settled and that allowed
the unveiling to go forward Tuesday morning.
evaluating the IEB investigation, it showed a pattern of certain employees,
including the Legal Division, disregarding policies when it came to allegations
against Mr. Wynn,” she said. “It showed they made great efforts at secrecy so
that it made it difficult if not impossible for gaming regulators to uncover
she also said, “The investigation actually revealed a culture in the company
where employees hesitated to report sexual misconduct allegations against Mr.
Wynn. We found the company failed to safeguard the well-being and safety of its
the outset of the investigation unveiling, Loretta Lillios, of the IEB, said
what happened at the company mattered. She bookended the impending report with
the idea that a gaming license is a privilege and not a right – noting that
companies have to always keep proper policies and conduct in place or risk
losing the license.
was a warning that all things were on the table, including the loss of Encore’s
IEB’s investigation revealed the company’s adherence to these criteria has been
called into question,” she said. “What happened at the company matters. It
matters to the women who have been directly affected by the allegations of
sexual misconduct. It matters to the workforce and employees here. It matters
to the Commission. It matters to the people of Massachusetts… After all the
evidence and testimony is presented, you will have ample information to apply
the law and make a sound determination.”
detailed for most of her presentation the allegations against Steve Wynn, using
a timeline to go through the allegations and the response to them. She started
in 2005 with the settlement paid to a manicurist at Wynn Las Vegas who claimed
she had been raped by Steve Wynn and was now pregnant as a result of two such
encounters. That allegation was detailed in the original Wall Street Journal
article in January 2018 that opened the entire sexual misconduct situation.
main issue, Wells said, was to not decide whether the allegations were true,
but whether the company responded correctly and whether it should have divulged
information to the MGC in 2013.
Commission is not evaluating whether the allegations are true or false, but it
is evaluating the company’s response to the allegations,” she said. “A key
question for the Commission to consider is whether the company’s failure to
divulge derogatory information may have a role in suitability or the
suitability of a qualifier…We now know in 2013 at least three Massachusetts
qualifiers had knowledge of these allegations. They were Steve Wynn, Elaine
Wynn and Kim Sinatra…A key question for the Commission is whether this relevant
information should have been divulged on the front end rather than us having to
investigate this now.”
IEB also indicated that they tried to interview Steve Wynn several times, and
he declined. However, he did release a statement that was read by Wells to the
had multiple sexual relationships during my tenure at Wynn Resorts and made no
attempt to document them,” the statement read. “I do not believe any of the
specific details of these relationships are material to the issues I understand
are being reviewed by the special committee. I recognize some of the names
obtained in the witness questions, but have no memory of ever meeting or having
relationships with the women whose names are in your questions. I deny having
any relationship that was not consensual. During the time I was employed by
Wynn I was aware of a code of conduct and other policies. I was not however
familiar with the details of those policies.”
of the key questions in the investigation included information garnered during
discovery in the case of Elaine Wynn vs. Steve Wynn, as well as in a case known
as the Okada case. Much of what was brought out in regard to the allegations
and the response to them came from that case.
Sinatra, who left the company in July 2018 with a multi-million dollar
severance package, it became clear she knew of the allegations against Wynn
during the 2013 suitability hearings. Yet, she did not divulge them, and the
investigation seemed to suggest she wasn’t clear as to what she remembered
such exchange involved an e-mail chain where a letter detailing a hostile
working environment was described. That letter in that e-mail was up for
dispute as to whether Sinatra read it, read all of it, or if she even really
knew about it.
of her responses, according to the report, were that she didn’t recall a lot of
don’t recall if I knew in `14,” she had responded when asked if she knew the
original 2005 case included a rape allegation of the manicurist.
in question was how the company responded after the Wall Street Journal
article, including putting out an immediate statement of support letter for
Steve Wynn to employees. That statement also included a reference to the
article as being the latest strategy in Elaine Wynn’s legal case against the
said that was put out before any investigation into the matter and without
consideration to employees that may have been affected by Steve Wynn’s alleged
Communications Director Michael Weaver said he would not do that again if he
were to do it over.
Weaver stated to investigators that if he was to do it over again, he would do
it differently,” Wells testified.
also told investigators that he simply believed Steve Wynn.
ridiculous as it looks now, we believed it,” Wells summarized. “We believed it.
I know it’s tone deaf.”
letter to employees went out with the input of Steve Wynn and others in the
organization, but was under the signature of Wynn Las Vegas President Maurice
Wooden – who indicated he was uncomfortable with the letter in his name but
felt he had no choice in the matter.
letter was followed up by what turned out to be an ill-advised Town Hall style
employee meeting tour by Steve Wynn and other company officials. It had been
reported in media accounts that employees at the Town Halls were asked to raise
their hands if Steve Wynn had assaulted or abused them. That had not been
confirmed before, but the IEB investigation revealed that Wynn Attorney Stacy
Michaels told investigators that she was present and that did happen.
• • • •
remainder of the first day of hearings focused on the new Board members and the
new members of the corporate hierarchy.
MGC listened to detailed presentations about each new Board member and each new
employee. Each told the story of how they had been recruited – some by Matt Maddox
– to serve on the Board in the aftermath of the crisis at the company.
of them were being reviewed by the MGC for suitability, and if they were
qualified to serve on the Board or work in their positions.
testimony by Wynn attorneys was to begin on Wednesday, where they would present
their case and ask questions regarding the IEB report.
• • • •
MGC did remind everyone that there would be no vote at the end of the
proceedings, nor would there be any sort of discussion of the report or testimony.
when all of the information had been gathered, the MGC would deliberate in
private – with the option of asking for
more or additional information.
some point in the near future, they would issue their findings and their
remedies – including the possibility of stripping the license – in a written
Hundreds of friends, family, former high
school classmates, and co-workers paid their respects to Trina Louise Wilkerson
during memorial observances at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Malden.
Trina passed away unexpectedly on March 6.
She was 45 years old.
Reggie Wilkerson, her older brother and one
of Chelsea High’s greatest quarterbacks, said he appreciated the many people
who came out to pay tribute to his sister’s beautiful life.
Trina was a lifelong supporter of Reggie’s
and the caretaker of the well-known Wilkerson family.
“Trina was a great little sister, the best,”
said Reggie. “She was always there for me. She took care of our family, and
that was so important. She took so much care of everybody in our family.”
Reggie and Trina participated in Chelsea Pop
Warner together, he as a football player, she as a cheerleader.
Trina was an amazing party organizer and
loved being around people. She uplifted others with her smile and kind words.
When Irena Wilkerson, Reggie and Trina’s
beloved mother, passed away, Trina decided to organize a party to honor her and
donate the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. Reggie helped out, to be
sure, but Trina was the planner who took care of the details to insure the
success of the event, making sure that everyone had a good time.
Reggie said he will carry on with the fifth
annual fundraiser – in memory of Irena Wilkerson and Trina Wilkerson – and host
the benefit this Saturday, March 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Merritt
Paying their respects
One of the many friends who turned out for
the tribute to Trina Wilkerson was Phunk Phenomenon Dance Studio owner Reia
“Reia was one of my sister’s best friends,”
said Reggie. “Reia, my sister, and I used to take dance lessons together at
Genevieve’s. I was a dancer, too. We used to wear our little costumes.”
City Councillors Leo Robinson and Calvin
Brown joined other local dignitaries in paying their respects to Trina.
“Just a great young lady,” said Calvin
Brown. “I’m so fortunate to having gotten to know Trina and her beautiful
family. We have lost a great person, someone who loved Chelsea and gave back to
Also turning out for the memorial
observances in Malden were Trina’s co-workers at Hyde Park Community Center.
“My sister was a youth counselor in Boston,
so there were a lot of youths whom my sister mentored during their childhood –
they spoke at the services,” said Reggie.
“It was very touching to hear their stories and how much they loved my
sister and what she did to help them succeed in their lives. I was like, ‘wow,
Reggie said during the observances a
gentleman approached him and said, “Your sister (Trina) helped my daughter so
much. She suffered from low self-esteem, her confidence level was low and she
didn’t believe in her artwork. He said to me, ‘your sister mentored her and she
raised her confidence level and she got my daughter to believe in her work.
“And Reggie, I want to tell you that because
of Trina, my daughter was accepted to the school of her choice – and we owe
this all to your sister.”
Heartwarming stories like that about Trina –
a 2017 recipient of the CBC’s prestigious Chelsea Trailblazer Award – have
helped Reggie and the family during this difficult time.
“Trina did so
much for kids and the community in general,” said Reggie proudly. “I want to
carry on her legacy of caring and kindness and her generosity of spirit.”
In a sudden move, District 5 School
Committee member Julio Hernandez has resigned – one of the City’s up-and-coming
political figures that many thought had a big future on the Committee.
Hernandez, a Chelsea High graduate, told the
Record this week that it was with a heavy heart that he resigned, and he felt
it was necessary as he had to work more hours and attend college at the same
“When I ran for office, I had more support
from my family,” he said. “As rent started getting higher, I knew that I needed
more income, and while still being in college, I decided to look at other jobs.
“I loved working in the School Committee,
but it also made me angry to see some members not show up to meetings, not ask
questions, and not have thorough discussions regarding our students’
education,” he continued. “Student advocacy has always been my platform, to
serve all students the right way. From starting the policy of an outdoor
graduation, to having the opportunity to work with many teachers who really
care about this community. I now believe School Committee Members should be
appointed, because our student’s education is no joke.”
Hernandez, 20, said college, family and
financial constraints hit all at once this year, and he couldn’t in good
conscience serve on the Committee while not being able to show up.
“I know once I’m done with college, I’ll be
back to serve the community I love and cherish,” he said. “I want to thank all
the people who supported me, and are still supporting me in my time of sorrow.”
At Monday night’s City Council meeting,
Council President Damali Vidot said Hernandez had given notice to the City
Clerk that he would be stepping down as of April.
Because his resignation is more than 180
days from a City Election, Vidot said the City Charter calls for a joint
meeting of the Council and the School Committee within 30 days to appoint a
replacement. That replacement would serve through the city election in
November, when the position will be on the ballot.
“Julio was an incredible leader during his
tenure,” said District 5 City Councillor Judith Garcia. “He did an incredible
job while on the School Committee and was a great representative for District
Garcia encouraged anyone from District 5 who
is interested to apply for the open seat.
However, Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda
said the Council and the School Committee may want to leave the position open
until the municipal election.
“I may have some reservations about filling
the post,” said Avellaneda. “There’s only one more month until (candidates can)
pull papers, and then the election is in November. I feel it may be best to
leave the seat unfilled.”
someone to a short-term on the School Committee would give that person a leg up
on other candidates who run for the seat in the general election, Avellaneda
When Jose Barriga was working as a translator at an area hospital, he routinely saw a cycle of poor health from his Latino patients that seemed to be caused by the food they ate.
Jose Barriga (center) discusses the Malanga with Bessie Pacheco and Alicia Castillo on Monday during the Cocinas Saludables Seminar program in Chelsea this March. Participants in the two-week class meet at the Chelsea Collaborative and travel to Stop & Compare Supermarket in Bellingham Square to discuss healthier alternatives in cooking traditional Latino dishes. The class continues on April 1 where participants will cook a traditional meal using the new techniques and ingredients.
Many of them new to the country, or having
come as adults, food and cooking and daily life was far different than in their
native countries. Yet many still cooked and ate in the same ways that they did
when they lived at home.
Doctors suggesting that patients give up their traditional food was a non-starter, even if they agreed to it at the hospital.
Above, Grisalda Valesquez examines a package of garlic. Below, Leslie Garcia examining Goya brown rice with Grisalda Valesquez.
At the same time, Barriga saw that something did need to change, but maybe not altogether.
That’s what bore the idea of the Cocinas
Saludables program in Chelsea, which is in its second year and is a partnership
with the Cambridge Food Lab, Chelsea Collaborative, and Healthy Chelsea.
“What I realized when I was interpreting is
there is a big problem in communication between health care providers and the
Latino community,” he said. “A doctor will say you need to change how you eat,
usually suggesting to cook brown rice or eat other foods. They have the best
interests, but the language is not effective. I was seeing a cycle. I saw
mothers with diabetes bringing children who were overweight. The issues they
were having in large part was due to the foods they were eating or their
cooking techniques. This is a huge, huge problem from a public health
perspective in the Latino community.”
What Barriga and the other partners are
trying to do is create the best of both worlds.
They’re looking to have their arroz con
habichuelas, and eat them too.
Anais Caraballo of the Collaborative said
they are excited to host the class for a second year, and said she sees a great
value in educating people on how to cook traditional foods in a more healthy
“I think it’s very important coming from a
Puerto Rican background,” she said. “It’s a great program to have the community
become more aware of healthier ways to eat and cook, but at the same time still
be able to enjoy cultural foods that are an ingrained part of their lives.”
On Monday, Barriga and a class of 10 people
met in the Collaborative to talk about foods and cooking and how people thought
about food. That was followed up with a trip to Stop & Compare – a loyal
partner to the program. There, those in the class walked through the aisles
with Barriga to look at ingredients in their traditional foods.
Armed with materials from their class, and
the advice of Barriga, they looked at the ingredients they usually buy, and
considered alternatives that were healthier. In that sense, they didn’t have to
give up the foods that meant so much to them, and they could also ensure they
were eating healthy.
Barriga said he customizes the class
according to the culture. If there are a lot of Caribbean cultures in the class
– such as Puerto Ricans – he will discuss different ways of cooking aside from
frying – as well as using healthier oils when cooking the food.
“When it comes to the Caribbean community,
it’s talking about fried foods, which is a constant in the Caribbean diet,” he
said. “My proposal isn’t to be 100 percent healthy options. If you come and say
you have to change everything you eat, people won’t do it. I give them a couple
of changes that will help their overall health in the long run. I try to be
realistic. For the Caribbean cultures, I tell them to avoid fried foods
sometimes, and try to sauté a little more so they use less oil.”
Another issue is that many people who have
just come from outside the United States arrive and find food cheaper and more
accessible. For example, a family in El Salvador may only have had meat one
time a week. However, in the U.S. they find they can have it seven days a week,
and they do that.
“If you grow up poor and food was a problem,
then you come to the U.S. and food is plentiful,” he said.
That is also true when it comes to activity.
Many people had a similar diet in their home
countries, but they often had to walk or bicycle many miles each day just to do
simple tasks. That active lifestyle and different climate helped to regulate
Once here in Chelsea, they find themselves
far less active and in a climate that is inhospitable to them six months of the
“I call that the food-culture clash,” he
said. “They have no cars in many Latin American countries. They walk or they
bike. People come here and they get overweight because it’s very comfortable.
They drive and there is a lack of physical activity, which is a major symptom
of being overweight.”
Next Monday, students in the Cocinas class
will gather the remainder of their ingredients and cook up traditional foods
with a healthy twist.
For as long as jets have rumbled over
Chelsea as they land at and depart from Logan Airport, City officials have
struggled with getting state and federal officials to help mitigate the noise from
that air traffic.
Monday night, District 6 City Councillor
Giovanni Recupero introduced an order asking City Manager Tom Ambrosino to look
at renegotiating a deal with Massport to bring back the window and
soundproofing program to the city.
“People deserve a little more consideration
than they have been given,” said Recupero.
The Councillor said he would like to see
Massport provide soundproof windows for residents suffering excessive noise
from plane traffic, as it has done in the past.
“I’d like to get them back to the table and
figure out a way to help with the problem,” Recupero said.
Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda said he
appreciated Recupero’s efforts to get Massport back to the table to discuss
sound mitigation, but that he didn’t have high hopes that it would be
“Whenever the City Manager has approached
Massport, the answer has been that it is a nonstarter; they have done their
program,” said Avellaneda.
Avellaneda said he has been working with
City Manager Tom Ambrosino to find a company to undertake an independent sound
study of noise from the airport. But, he said it has been very difficult to
find a company qualified to do that study.
If a company is found that can perform an
independent sound study, Avellaneda said he hopes it has the support of his
On the positive side, Avellaneda said he
attended a recent Massport meeting with airport communities in which officials
stated that a new Massport sound study is underway. He said this study will
take into account items that a study released in 2017 did not take into
account, such as the impact of hills on sound and the resonating sound of
The 2017 study was conducted by the Center
for Research on Environmental and Social Stressors in Housing Across the Life
Course (CRESSH), which is a division of the BU School of Public Health.
That report showed that flights over Chelsea
have nearly doubled between 2011 and 2015, and that certain health effects
associated with airplane noise are very high in Chelsea.
But getting Massport to kick in for
additional noise mitigation efforts has been an uphill battle.
“Confronted with the increase in air
traffic, their response has been, ‘But our planes are quieter,’” said
The Councillor has been pushing for the
independent noise study since at least the time the 2017 airport noise study
“We (can) do a real noise study with proper
equipment and prepare to say we have proof that our community is impacted and
possibly prepare to embark on a lawsuit against MassPort and the FAA,” he said
at the time.
•In other business, the Council unanimously
approved sending a home rule petition to the state legislature that will allow
for the construction of the new Innes Housing Development.
•Recupero introduced an order asking the
City Manager look into hiring another animal control officer for the purpose of
issuing fines to people that don’t clean up after their dogs.
•Councillor-At-Large Leo Robinson introduced
orders asking the City Manager for updates on the City’s master plan and the
status of the Salvation Army building on Broadway. The Council approved taking
the building by eminent domain in 2017.
Councillor Robert Bishop was absent from Monday night’s meeting, but with good
reason. He was celebrating his 35th anniversary with his wife. Happy
anniversary to the Bishops.