Noise Study to Begin in Chelsea

Noise in the City’s Community Noise Lab was developed by researcher Dr. Erica Walker to take a more creative look into the relationship between neighborhood noise issues and corresponding health impacts.

Walker has partnered with volunteers in the neighborhood to take part in some lab based experiments on how individuals respond to noise by measuring brain waves, stress and cardiovascular changes.

Researcher Dr. Erica Walker is gearing up for her noise study in Chelsea and is looking for volunteers.

The study also sought Chelsea residents willing to place sound monitors in their homes for one year to test neighborhood noise.

At a meeting last week Walker said the study is moving into forward and will start collecting data on how noise impacts residents’ daily lives.

“The Community Noise Lab are gearing up to conduct a sound monitoring study in Chelsea this fall, starting on Friday, September 20,” said Walker. “Community members have expressed interest in allowing us to place a sound monitor in their homes and we are reaching out to start making arrangements for this to happen.”

Walker said she and MHHM intend to monitor noise in Chelsea for one-year in both a “hot” and “cold” season.

“During each season, we would like to place a sound monitor in an accessible, secured location on a resident’s property,” she said. “Potential locations could be a balcony, porch, roof, yard, or any location that works. The sound monitoring station will be outside and will need no electrical inputs.”

Walker stressed that the equipment does not record conversations.

“We will need to leave the sound monitoring station with community volunteers for one-week,” she said. “You can participate in as many one-week sessions as you would like to throughout the year.”

If you live in Chelsea and want to participate Walker said residents can start by filling out a brief form that can be found at https://form.jotform.com/91614289131153.

“A member of the Community Noise Lab team will reach out to you to make arrangements to place a sound monitor at your home,” she said.

Walker, who earned a ScD (Doctor of Science) degree from Harvard, has been interested for several years on how noise impacts health. Walker said she wants to bring her Community Noise Lab to Chelsea and begin engaging the community on how noise impacts their daily lives.

“When I first started out I sort of assumed what the noise issue (in the city) was and what the impacts were but I quickly realized this is going to take a community effort,” said Walker. “So I’ve been grappling with what I want this Community Noise Lab to be. Typically in academia we do a top down approach to studying these issues but I wanted to try something different and try a bottom up approach.”

The bottom up approach, explained Walker, will start with no assumptions on how noise impacts residents living in Chelsea. However, Walker will collect real time noise monitoring data using sound measuring technology as well as an app that residents can download to their phone. Through the NoiseScore, an in-house smartphone app, residents can also participate and can register a noise event and provide notes on how the event made them feel both physically and mentally.

“I always use this example; imagine you are waiting for a bus at a bus stop and you can hear the bus coming and you can hear when the brakes start squeaking,” said Walker. “But even if you put your fingers in your ear you can still feel the vibrations of that sound in your body, the rumbling in your chest even though you are blocking out the actual sound. So there is a complete picture of sound that is not only heard but felt physically and I’m interested in how both those aspects of sound affect people.”

Dr. Walker’s research on the impacts of community noise is funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The two-year, $410,000 grant will fund a real-time sound monitoring network, which consists of a series of eight rotating sound stations; upgrades to Community Noise Lab’s smartphone app, NoiseScore, which allows residents to objectively and subjectively describe their environmental soundscape and map their responses in real time; a laboratory-based experiment examining the neurological underpinnings of noise exposure; and a series of community engagement activities ranging from sound walks to podcasts.

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Construction Updates

August 11 – August 24, 2019

Traffic Impacts

•Route 1 Northbound: Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the right lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

•Route 1 Southbound: Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the right lane at the Carter Street off-ramp. Just beyond the Carter Street on-ramp, the travel lanes shift to the right. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

•Ramps: As of Monday, July 15, the Fourth Street Off-ramp will be closed for 2-3 months.

•Local Streets: Orange Street under Route 1 will close temporarily on Saturday, August 17, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. From Monday, August 19 to Friday, August 23, Spruce Street between Sixth Street and Everett Ave will be CLOSED overnight from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for bridge work with traffic detoured one block to Arlington Street. The Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration and Carter Street workzone will remain in place until Fall 2019.

Work Hours

•Most work will occur in during daytime working hours (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take place during afternoon (2 p.m. – 7 p.m) and overnight hours (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m. – 2 p.m). Overnight work on the Tobin Bridge will occur on Friday, August 18 (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

Summary of Work Completed

•In the two weeks prior to August 11, crews continued work on the bridge deck, cured concrete, repaired steel, bridge deck, and joints, installed dust containment systems, power washed and excavated support column footings, and placed concrete columns.

Description of Scheduled Work

•Route 1 Northbound: Repair steel, waterproof bridge deck, and lay asphalt. Additionally, bridge deck removal will continue on the right side of the workzone through the Chelsea Curves.

•Route 1 Southbound: Paint new deflector plates.

•Underneath the Structures: Replace and paint steel; continued installation of dust containment systems; power wash and paint columns and support beams; excavate, drill, and grout around support columns; erect steel; place new concrete columns, and ongoing material deliveries.

Travel Tips

Drivers should take care to pay attention to all signage and move carefully through the work zone. Police details, changes in lane markings, temporary controls such as barriers and traffic cones, signage, and other tools will be used throughout the project to control traffic and create safe work zones.

The contractors are coordinating with local event organizers and police to provide awareness and manage traffic impacts during events. For your awareness, during this look-ahead period, the following events are scheduled:

•Red Sox (Fenway Park): 8/16 at 7:10 p.m., 8/17 at 7:10 p.m., 8/18 at 1:05 p.m., 8/20 at 7:10 p.m., 8/21 at 7:10 p.m., 8/22 at 1:05 p.m.

•TD Garden Events: 8/14 at 8:00 p.m., 8/15 at 7:30 p.m., 8/16 at 7:30 p.m., 8/17 at 7:30 p.m.

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Enhanced Google Maps, Lime Integration Sets Sight on Improving City Commutes

Google Maps will begin displaying available Lime scooters in more than 100 cities around the world. On Android devices, users will be able to see if a Lime vehicle is available, how long it’ll take to walk to the vehicle, a price estimate of the ride, battery range, along with total journey time and ETA in the Google Maps app. iOS availability for this feature will launch in late August.

In the Metro-Boston area, Lime riders have taken close to a half million rides on its bikeshare program and over 60,000 rides on its scooter program. Lime bikes are available Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Newton, Quincy, Watertown, and Winthrop. Lime scooters are available in Brookline.

“This integration will help unlock an even easier way to explore their cities and reduce commute times,” said Scott Mullen, Director of Northeast Expansion at Lime. “Lime believes in the gift of time, and our scooters offer a convenient and fun way of cutting through Metro-Boston congestion. We’re excited that this partnership with Google Maps provides the opportunity for Lime to connect people to their destination faster as scooters continue to become a core part of the transportation ecosystem in the Bay State.”

If available, users will see Lime vehicles as an option from their biking, walking and transit tab if they’re traveling a relatively short distance that may also be accessible via scooter. Google Maps will show information about the nearest Lime, such as: if a Lime vehicle is available, how long it’ll take to walk to the vehicle, an estimate of how much the ride will cost, battery range, total journey time and ETA. Users can tap on a Lime in the Google Maps app, and Google Maps will show information about the selected vehicle.

Finally, Google Maps will show a walking route to the selected Lime vehicle and bicycling route for the rest of the journey in the biking tab.

“Whether you’re planning your daily commute or traveling to a new city, Google Maps is making it easier to weigh all your transportation options with real-time information,” said Vishal Dutta, Product Manager, Google Maps. “In addition to showing you the best biking and transit route in Google Maps, you’ll now be able to see if Lime scooters or e-bikes are available, how long the trip will take, and the most efficient route to get there. From Stockholm to Sao Paulo, you can now use Google Maps to locate Lime scooters to get you to your destination.”

Lime scooters first surfaced in Google Maps in December 2018 and the two companies expanded the partnership to 80 more cities in March 2019.

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Thank You, Bruce Harrison is Leaving REACH After 12 Years of Service

Bruce Harrison has been a championship coach and a champion for Chelsea’s youth since his days in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League at the old Chelsea High gymnasium on Clark Avenue.

For the past 12 years, Harrison has been a group leader at the Chelsea REACH after-school program led by Executive Director Linda Alioto-Robinson.

REACH Executive Director Linda Alioto-Robinson thanks Bruce Harrison for his 12 years of outstanding service.

“We help students to stay in school, graduate, go to college or trade school, or get a job,” said the 57-year-old Harrison, a 1981 CHS graduate, the father of three children and grandfather of two.

Harrison announced this week that he will be leaving REACH to take a position in the Chelsea school system.

“I’m going to be working in school security,” he related. “I’m sad about leaving. I like the REACH program and helping kids. But I’m doing it for my family.”

Robinson-Alioto said that Harrison was a valuable member of the REACH staff.

“We’re going to miss Bruce a lot – he’s the best group leader ever,” lauded Robinson-Alioto. “But we’re all happy for him for his new job. It’s a full-time position and he’s a father and a husband and you need a full-time job. REACH was just part time, so we’re happy for him and we’re happy that he’ll still be in Chelsea.”

Harrison was busy with REACH Monday running the annual Lemonade Stand fundraiser at the Stop & Shop store. Proceeds went to REACH and the St. Luke’s Church Food Pantry. Sean O’Regan and his brother, James O’Regan Jr. donated the supplies for the lemonade stand.

Harrison has coached in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League for many years. He led the Bucks team to multiple championships alongside assistant coach Leo Robinson. Many observers felt that “Brucie” was at the top of the list of legendary coaches of the 1980s that included Larry Notkin, Steve Selbovitz, Gerry Godin, Ronald Robinson, Mark Zamansky, Steve Fried, and Dave Drinan.

Harrison was honored at an event earlier this year as the Boston Boys and Girls Club “Volunteer of the Year” for his coaching efforts at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club (JGBC), Chelsea.

Josh Kraft, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and the former executive director of the JGBC, made the presentation to Harrison at the ceremony held at Fenway Park.

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Councillor Tejada Praises Let It Fly Classic directors

City Councillor Luis Tejada will be a spectator at the fifth annual Let It Fly Basketball Classic Saturday at Jordan Boys and Girls Club.

“I wouldn’t miss it,” said Tejada. “The directors [Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro do such a great job running this event.”

Tejada said the whole atmosphere at the tournament is exciting. “It’s like one of these urban scenarios that you see on TV with the whole basketball game going on and everyone is yelling and screaming, but having a good time. It’s just a fantastic atmosphere.”

Tejada said the event always draws an enthusiastic crowd, “but it’s safe, it’s protected. The police are there. Everybody is there just to have fun and raise money for our Chelsea High School students. It’s a win-win-win situation all around, so it’s definitely one of those worthwhile events to attend.”

Tejada, a past tournament sponsor, said he will also be bringing his children and nephews to the Jordan Boys and Girls Club. “My kids love basketball and my nephews play in basketball leagues, so we’ll all be heading over to watch it,” he said.

Tejada said he’s looking forward to seeing Chelsea Black Community (CBC) President Joan Cromwell at the tournament. Joan is the mother of Co-Director Kyle Umemba.

“Joan and I grew up around the same time in Chelsea,” said Tejada, who is 1986 Chelsea High School graduate. “Joan is amazing. She’s all over the place, always helping out and it’s always, ‘what can I do to improve our area?’ “She is just a beautiful person. It’s just an amazing Chelsea family that is here to help our residents and our neighbors. They’re one of these Chelsea pride families. When you speak of Chelsea and families that you’re proud of, they’re right at the top.”

The tournament begins at 10 a.m., with games continuing all day until a champion is crowned. There are refreshments, musical entertainment, and raffle drawings. Admission to the games is free.

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Summer Ball

Juno Bonhomme moves quick around the defender during games for The Movement at Highland Park last Friday, July 26th. The youth summer league is as strong as ever, with games – and a positive scene – taking place every Tuesday and Friday.

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Chelsea Centro : Business Community Looking to Re-Brand, Reinvigorate Downtown

One might have seen the colorful paint job on the gazebo at Bellingham Square and wondered what it was all about.

Well, it’s more than just a colorful paint job.

Rather, it is the first step in what business and City leaders hope will be a coordinated plan for the downtown business district – a plan that has already gained the confidence of state government with Chelsea getting two $20,000 grants to further the project along.

TDI Fellow Carlos Matos, Chamber Foundation President Sergio Jaramillo, Councillor Leo Robinson, and new CHISPA BizLab coordinator Deise Paraguay in front of the newly-painted gazebo in Bellingham Square

Carlos Matos, a fellow assigned to Chelsea from the MassDevelopment Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) program, said the gazebo was just the first piece of several placemaking initiatives they hope to achieve with the Chamber, a new business lab dubbed CHISPA BizLab, and the Chamber Foundation – among many other partners.

“The gazebo was the beginnings of this placemaking and focusing attention on the downtown,” he said. “It’s bright and like the things you’ve seen in Boston. We studied it and these are designs that will resonate with residents of Central America and South America in shape and color. They will also appeal to everyone because it adds color and vibrancy to the area.”

“The initiative is working well so far,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “Hopefully, progress will continue in our efforts to revitalize the Downtown.”

Sergio Jaramillo, who is a long-time Chamber member and the new president of the Chamber Foundation, said they hope to use a coordinated approach to bring life to the downtown, help businesses and make downtown Chelsea a place to be.

“Our desire is to have Chelsea be a destination point for the region – just like Chinatown and the North End and as it is becoming in East Boston,” he said. “We want to have Chelsea be that place they want to come to because of the activities and food and quality of life that is here…Jay Ash was great for building up the coffers of the City again and building up Everett Avenue. I think now we are on the cusp and ready to do the other half of the city.”

Added Matos, “There are great opportunities on Everett Avenue and the question is now how do we transform them from isolated goals to a greater economic impact and draw them to the downtown for that greater economic impact. That’s the challenge we’re working on now.”

An extension of the gazebo branding effort, now being dubbed ‘Chelsea Centro’ as a test run – complete with bags and buttons as promotional tools, is a $20,000 grant from the state that will bring the same bright color scheme to Luther Place – where the successful Night Market has been held twice this summer.

The parking lot/market will be painted in bright colors, and also be painted to accommodate basketball or street soccer – giving it many different opportunities for activation. That will be supplemented by murals on the walls in the same color scheme, and sun shades to protect from the summer heat. That grant is supported by a $55,000 matching grant from the Chamber, which will also help to provide programming for the district.

Chamber Executive Director Rich Cuthie has been very excited about the branding of the downtown using the grant and the Chamber’s resources. He said, like Jaramillo, that the district is on the cusp of something very exciting. That is particularly the case for the storefront improvement program, which has been paved by the passing of new storefront regulations by the City Council this year.

Part of that will be financed by the new CHISPA BizLab, which the state awarded a $20,000 grant to start. That will be supplemented by a $6,000 grant by the Chamber Foundation.

Meaning “spark” in Spanish, CHISPA will help to provide small business technical assistance and advocacy for Latino businesses. It will also serve as a business incubator for new startups in Chelsea’s business district. That assistance will particularly go towards helping the food-related businesses in the district.

Already, CHISPA director Deise Paraguay has started talking to local businesses, officially beginning on July 15. Right now she said she is listening and learning – trying to bring everyone together. She will also act as the organizer of all of the projects involved with the re-branding effort.

Jaramillo said they have hired a company to fly a drone up and down Broadway to highlight the district. Similarly, they have contracted with a professional kitchen to bring in all of the restaurant owners from Broadway to consult with professional chefs. Using traditional recipes, they will work to invigorate their menus and give them new life.

Jaramillo said he is confident that in a few years, the new efforts will all pay off with an enlivened and exciting downtown for residents and those who want to come to Chelsea as a destination.

“I see in a few years that we will have an opportunity for the business community to capture a new market,” he said. “There will be more going on here and it will be more visually interesting for residents and visitors coming here. When people say, ‘Where should we go to dinner?’ They will say they want to go to Chelsea. Creating places where people want to live and visit is the best thing to do.”

Added Matos, “A lot of people are clamoring for authenticity in the places they go to. The places in Cambridge and Somerville are maybe lacking that. We think Chelsea has that authenticity you want and can’t get anywhere else. We want to highlight that, and that’s what we are setting out to do now.”

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August Madness : Umemba, Castro Prepare for Fifth Annual Let It Fly Basketball Tournament Aug. 10

The five years have passed quickly since Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro decided they wanted to run a basketball tournament for the youth of Chelsea.

“We’re just two Chelsea guys in the community giving back,” said Umemba.

Year Five for the Let It Fly Basketball Tournament is here and the best players in the area will gathering on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club on Willow Street.

The first tournament in 2015 was held outside in 90-degree heat. The steamy weather prompted Kyle, 26, a graduate of BB&N and George Washington University, finance professional and fashion model – and Cesar, 28, a graduate of Salem State University known as “The Grand Young Man” for scoring 1,000 points in his CHS basketball career, CHS basketball coach and paraprofessional in the school district – brought the tournament indoors and it’s been played at the JGBC basketball gymnasium ever since.

According to the two co-directors, all the stuff that makes the tournament so special will be back in 2019. There will be public address announcing for each game, a DJ’s musical entertainment, free refreshments, and a raffle table.

Key community leaders such as CBC President Joan Cromwell (“We couldn’t do this without Joan,” son Kyle Umemba says proudly) and Chelsea Police Community Liaison Officer Sammy Mojica Sr. will be on hand to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Chelsea Police Officers David Batchelor and Keith Sweeney are also valuable contributors to the tournament each year.

Sammy Mojica Jr., who played college basketball at Drexel and is currently a professional player in the Puerto Rico Basketball League, will make a guest appearance. One year, NBA player Nerlens Noel of Everett, made a guest appearance.

One of the best players in the Let It Fly Tournament will be Jarnel Guzman, an All-Scholastic guard who led Lynn English to the Division 1 state championship in March.“If they’re a big name player in New England, they’ll be here,” said Castro.

Twelve teams, eight high school and four middle school, will compete for the titles. A standing room only crowd is expected throughout the day.

“It’s great energy,” said Umemba. “We want others to follow our lead and I think it’s having that kind of effect. One of our scholarship recipients, Alfredo Hernandez, held a tournament at Chelsea High School.”

“There was a tournament held at Clinton Court that was generated by our idea for a tournament,” added Castro.

Umemba and Castro aren’t sitting on their success. The plans are to take ‘Let It Fly’ national in the next few years.

And if their organizational talents in making Let It fly the premier summer hoop extravaganza in Greater Boston are any indication, we would suggest either get on aboard or get out of the way.

“We’re building a platform in Chelsea,” said Umemba.

“The important thing is that everybody has a great

time,” concluded Castro.

And if you can’t be there to enjoy the tournament in person, Chelsea Community Cable Television will be there to record the action for a broadcast.

“We’re so grateful to Mr. [Robert] Bradley and his station for covering it every year.” said the directors.

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Water, Sewer, Trash Rates Increasing

Water and sewer rates are increasing, but not as much as some City Councillors initially feared.

Most of the City’s residential water and sewer customers will see an increase of 1 percent in rates for Fiscal Year 2020, and larger users will see a 4 percent increase.

In June, City Manager Thomas Ambrosino presented the Council with a proposed three percent increase for water and sewer customers who use less than 2,500 cubic feet of water. A 5 percent increase was proposed for customers who use more than that amount.

In June, a number of Councillors spoke out against the proposed increases.

“This is killing the poor people who live here,” said District 6 Councillor Giovanni Recupero. “This is not only going to drive the homeowners out, this is going to drive the tenants out, too. This is a bad thing to go up this much.

Following a public hearing on the rates earlier in July, Ambrosino and Public Works Commissioner Fidel Maltez discussed concerns about rising sewer rates, according to a letter the City Manager sent to the Council.

“Although rising rates are inevitable when the majority of the City’s water and sewer costs are determined by charges from the MWRA, and those charges rise each and every year, we are cognizant of the City’s need to try to keep the rate increases moderate,” Ambrosino stated.

After looking at some of the recent improvements to the water system in the past year, including the start of the program to replace aging water meters throughout the system and better tracking of water use by contractors, Ambrosino said he believes the City will be able to reduce non-billable usage.

The City Manager said he also plans to implement a better process for water and sewer rate-setting, beginning next year. Those plans include a spring subcommittee meeting with the City Council to present recommendations for water and sewer rates for FY21.

While the water and sewer rate increases are lower than initially proposed, there will be a heftier price to pay for the City trash rate with a 10 percent hike.

“For the past several years, we have been running deficits in our trash accounting because the rate has not been sufficient to cover the true cost of solid waste collection and disposal in the City,” Ambrosino stated.

The 10 percent increase is an effort to eliminate that deficit.

The new FY20 trash rate is $33.10 monthly for residential property and $156.15 monthly for commercial units in mixed buildings. Owner-occupied units will remain exempt from the fee.

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Chelsea Entrepreneurs Challenging Zoning Ideas Around Marijuana

Two Chelsea residents looking to break into the recreational cannabis industry in Chelsea are challenging the ideas behind the zoning regulations set by the City – regulations that bar such establishments from the Broadway business corridor and relegate them to expensive industrial locations in the city.

Chelsea has been known to be quite progressive when it comes to permitting and welcoming the marijuana industry, but the zoning regulations set more than a year ago required that any marijuana businesses be located in the industrial or shopping center districts.

Ola Bayode and Kyle Umemba, both from Chelsea, are questioning the zoning regulations for marijuana establishments – saying they should be allowed in the downtown area to help local residents and people of color to break into the industry. They said they believe retail marijuana could help to revive the downtown area, and they believe the current zoning unintentionally sets a barrier too high for locals to overcome.

That limits them to the Produce Center, Eastern Avenue or Parkway Plaza, and many in the City have postulated that it has excluded local people unintentionally from being able to participate or profit from this new industry.

The Chelsea City Council had just such a discussion earlier this year, asking if it were possible to set aside licenses for residents who might qualify in the future – that coming because most of the City’s licenses were being gobbled up by big-money interests from out of town, and sometimes out of state.

Now, add Chelsea residents Ola Bayode and Kyle Umemba to those critics.

Both are young professionals working regular jobs, but with a hope on the side that they could establish their own business in Chelsea within the emerging cannabis industry. Being right at the nexus of Boston and Somerville (and with Everett and Revere having prohibited marijuana shops), they felt the downtown area was a prime location.

Then they found out about the zoning restrictions, and found it nearly impossible to draw the interest of investors to be able to afford the buildout of a place in the industrial areas.

“For us, we can’t even find a place,” said Bayode. “The one place we did find was on Broadway and Congress. It was a great location and we went to the City and found it wasn’t allowed. We believe the City Manager and the City Council need to think five to 10 years ahead…Our demographic is not Chelsea residents but people who live in One North and upcoming new Forbes development – people new to Chelsea. We want to provide a premier boutique opportunity here…This is a critical time. This game is the first three years and who is able to navigate the waters early will prevail. It’s hard to grip and replace the incumbent business. That is why it’s so important to create a business friendly environment that is helpful to local residents. Right now is the time for that. Later will be too late.”

Bayode said they believe that retail marijuana would fit really well with the City’s idea for reviving the downtown. Umemba said it is proven that such establishments are more safe because of required security, and the foot traffic brings vibrancy to the areas. Having them walled off, both said, misses a great opportunity to bring people to the business district, and also to help local business-people get into the industry.

“The build-out cost in the industrial areas are so expensive,” said Bayode. “Spaces on Broadway are retail ready. They are made for this. It’s also hard to attract any investors because locating in an area like that doesn’t seem as credible.”

Umemba said he believes the zoning now creates a barrier to local people and people of color – maybe even those who have marijuana convictions and are encouraged by the state to get involved in the industry.

“There’s so much investment that can be brought into the downtown,” he said. “The zoning there now creates an extremely large barrier for individuals. We’re young guys who went to college and now we work. We have middle-class jobs. We want to break into this industry in Chelsea, but the way it’s set up creates an unfair playing field…and Chelsea is progressive compared to others and we still don’t have an equal playing field.”

Both said they plan to talk with elected officials and City leaders over the summer to see if there is room to make such zoning changes – perhaps allowing a few licenses to be located in the downtown and reserved for Chelsea residents.

“If there are four or five at least have one or two for Chelsea people,” Bayode said. “It shouldn’t all be big companies from the outside.”

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