Police Briefs 05-23-2019

By Seth Daniel and Paul Koolloian

No Identity

On May 11, at 6:50 p.m., a CPD officer observed a vehicle speeding on Eastern Avenue. The vehicle was pulled over and the operator refused to provide his identification to the officer. He was placed into custody after his repeated refusal to identify himself. He was later Identified and learned to not be properly licensed.

Bryan Nunez, 30, of 63 Shawmut St., was charged with refusing to identify himself, negligent operation, and unlicensed operation.

Breaking and Entering

On May 18, at 1 p.m., officers responded to an apartment at 77 Library St. for a report of a past breaking and entering to the residence. Upon arrival, Officers spoke with the reporting party who stated that an unknown male party had broken into their apartment and fled after her younger brother confronted the male and chased him out of the residence.

The victim was able to utilize her find my iPhone app that led the victim, and police, to a Shurtleff Street address. The victim identified the suspect, and he was placed under arrest.

Ariel Melendez, 42, of 61 Shurtleff St., was charged with breaking and entering in the day, and larceny from a building.

Driving under the Influence

On May 18, at 8:44 p.m., a CPD officer was dispatched to 92 Clinton St. for a report of a motor vehicle accident with no reported injuries. The officer observed two motor vehicles involved in a minor crash. As both were exchanging information, the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol from one of the drivers. The officer formed the opinion that the operator was driving under the influence of alcohol and the driver was arrested on the scene.

Marvin Mancia, 39, of 109 Clinton St., was charged with OUI Liquor.

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Memorial Day Is a Day to Reflect upon Those Who Gave the Last Full Measure

The Memorial Day weekend is upon us, a three-day weekend that for most Americans marks the start of the summer season. Many will celebrate appropriately with barbecues and outdoor activities with family and friends.

However, amidst our festivities, we should not forget that Memorial Day is America’s most solemn national holiday, marking our nation’s tribute to those who made the Supreme Sacrifice for our country.

Memorial Day initially was observed on May 30 and was known as Decoration Day, in an era before the turn of the 20th century, when the Northern states paid tribute to the Union soldiers — who gave their lives to preserve America as we know it — by decorating their graves that were a part of the landscape of every Northern community whose sons died to preserve the Union and free the slaves.

That tradition continues to this day, with the graves of those who gave their lives for their country being decorated with American flags and flowers around the country, whether by veterans organizations or family members.

The new century soon brought with it wars, seemingly every generation, that would give new meaning to the words Supreme Sacrifice. Starting with the Spanish-American War in 1898, American blood was shed on foreign soil in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and then Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention in other far-off places around the world that are known only to our government.

Although history has been less than kind in judging the wisdom of our policy-makers who involved us in many of these conflicts, what is beyond dispute is that in every war to which we have sent our young men and women, they have performed with courage and patriotism in the belief that they were serving the best interests of our nation.

For those of us who have been spared the horrors of war, it is difficult, if not impossible, to appreciate the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf by those who served — and died — while wearing the uniform.

It is these brave Americans, who gave “the last full measure,” whom we honor on Memorial Day. Without their heroic efforts, we would not be writing this editorial — nor would you be reading it.

So as we enjoy the long holiday weekend with friends and family, let each of us resolve to take a moment — if not longer — to thank those who gave their lives in order that we might be able to enjoy the freedoms that make America the greatest nation on earth.

Abraham Lincoln’s words in his Gettysburg address ring as true today as they in 1864:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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Night Market Plans are on Fire…Quite Literally

The Chelsea Night Market plans is smoking, and that’s because the first installment on June 8 will have fire jugglers, amongst musicians, comedians and a full slate of food and craft vendors.

Unveiled earlier this year, the Night Market is part of the City’s Chelsea Prospers campaign and looks to add activity to the downtown area on summer evenings with a creative and exciting market in the Luther Place municipal parking lot once a month.

As the plans come together for the first Market, Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney said she couldn’t be happier with the way things have come together.

“It’s going amazingly,” she said. “We’ve got this really cool Turkish band that’s playing on the first day. We will also have the Boston Circus Guild coming and they will have two performances. There will be folks on stilts, jugglers, people juggling fire and close interactive magicians. They will have a 20-minute fire performance during the evening. Think juggling things on fire with incredible music behind it.”

Graney said she couldn’t yet reveal the vendors, but they have 13 signed up so far that will be a great mix of exciting items and food.

“I’m really excited so many local businesses and food businesses are looking to take part,” she said. “We’re not doing food trucks because we want an intimate atmosphere with open BBQs and food service.”

All of that will be flanked with creative lighting that is meant to ‘wow’ visitors as they come via the newly-refurbished Chelsea Walk.

“Our plan is to encourage people to come into the Market using the Chelsea Walk and it will be like ‘kapow,’” she said. “They’ll be hit with the lights and music and circus acts and vendors.”

There will also be community entries into the Market, with a group of comedians participating and the Chelsea Pride Committee having a booth.

“The Pride Committee will be having their flag raising the day afterward, but they will have a booth at the Market too,” she said. “They plan to use grease body paint to have people write things on themselves that they are proud of. I love a lot of the community vendors are trying to do new and different things instead of just standing behind a table.”

The first Night Market will be on June 8 from 7-10 p.m. with a rain date of June 15.

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TND, Traggorth Finally get the Green Light on Midas Site

A 38-unit affordable housing project at the former Midas site on Broadway can move forward after the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) unanimously granted a special permit for the project Tuesday night.

The $15 million project is a partnership between the Traggorth Companies and The Neighborhood Developers (TND). The developers initially came before City officials last year with plans for a 42-unit housing development with some market rate units included.

In addition to cutting the project down to 38 units and making all the units affordable, a planned fifth floor of a building along the Broadway side was eliminated.

“This project cannot do everything for everyone, but it can achieve many things for Chelsea by creating 38 units of affordable housing,” said Dave Traggorth of the Traggorth Companies. “This blighted site pays very little in taxes. This will change that and bring revenue to the city.”

In addition to providing affordable housing, Traggorth said there will be public access to Mill Creek for all Chelsea residents.

As has been the case during past public hearings on the project, a number of community members touted the need for affordable housing in Chelsea and TND’s past successes in bringing affordable units to the city.

City Council President Damali Vidot said she has never supported a TND project in the city until this one.

“There is a huge problem with affordability in this city and we are displacing residents at a rapid rate,” said Vidot.

Resident Sandy Maynard supported the creation of affordable units and the improvement of a blighted site in the city.

“I can’t think of a better project than this one to meet that (affordable housing) need and to beautify Chelsea,” said Maynard. “That lot is an ugly, ugly place.”

Several residents who have been homeless also spoke in favor of the project and of the need of affordable housing.”

A letter from District 3 City Councillor Joe Perlatonda cited his objections to the project, including the welfare of neighboring residents due to traffic and parking concerns.

City Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda, who has spoken against approval of the 1001-1005 Broadway project in the past, said his overreaching concern has been TND’s lack of a vision to bring affordable home ownership, as opposed to rental units, to the city.

“Teachers and city employees are not able to bid on homes (in Chelsea) and they are pushed out,” said Avellaneda. “I understand the need for affordable housing, but there is no balance here … There is a broader discussion that is needed in this community.”

The special permit granted by the ZBA was required because the project did not meet minimum zoning requirements for rear yard setbacks, number of off-street parking spaces, and maximum lot coverage percentage.

A housing lottery will be held for all of those units, with 30 offered at 60 percent of the Average Median Income (AMI) for the area (about $64,000 for a family of four) and eight at 30 percent AMI (about $32,000 for a family of four). The maximum preference allowable under state law will be given to Chelsea residents for the units.

There will be 42 parking spaces for the 38 units (the majority of which will be two-bedroom apartments). And because of state law regulating public access to public waterways, 31 of those parking spaces will be available as public parking from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to provide access to Mill Creek for everyone.

•In other business, the ZBA held a public hearing for a retail marijuana shop at the site of the former King Arthur’s strip club at 200 Beacham St. GreenStar Herbals, Inc. is seeking to tear down the existing two-story building and replace it with a one-story retail facility.

Representatives from GreenStar said the building will feature state-of-the-art security and 34 parking spots on site. Representatives of several of the neighboring local produce businesses came to express concerns about traffic and parking affecting their businesses.

The GreenStar proposal still needs to go before the Planning Board later this month before coming back to the ZBA for special permit and variance approvals.

•The ZBA also denied a special permit for a church to operate out of the second and third floors of 307 Broadway because the plan did not include any parking spaces.

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10 Weeks: Bumping and Grinding Not Part of Latino Culture, Commissioners Say

The City’s Licensing Commission might want to consider making its public hearings adults’ only affairs.

At its Thursday, May 2, meeting, the commission handed down a 10-week liquor license suspension to Latinos Falcons at 185 Broadway after police showed a video from the bar featuring an assortment of groping, grabbing, grinding and all-around Dirty Dancing among waitresses, staff, and patrons.

The Falcon was called before the commission for a public hearing after a patron was placed into protective custody for public intoxication after drinking at the bar.

Before video from the bar was screened, the attorney representing Latinos Falcons, asked that the commission members keep in mind that some of the displays of affection captured on screen were merely representative of the restaurant’s predominantly “Latino culture.” The attorney also noted that there has recently been training at the bar for staff to help prevent future incidents.

As the video, featuring a fair share of bumping and grinding, came to an end with a shot of a security guard at Latinos Falcons sniffing a waitresses hair, commission member Gladys Vega was having none of the attorney’s justification.

“This has nothing to do with Latino culture,” said Vega, visibly incensed and angered despite battling laryngitis. “You should be ashamed. That is so disrespectful to say what you do about my culture.”

While the video evidence was from only one night at Latinos Falcons, and City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher stated that the bar has not been formally cited before, City Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda said the behavior shown was nothing new.

“I’ve been told about these allegations for a while now, and in 2014 and 2015 I witnessed them myself, this is nothing new,” said Avellaneda. “Unfortunately, this (behavior) is prevalent in a few bars in Chelsea and we’ve heard complaints from former waitresses, especially at this place.”

The councillor urged the Licensing Commission to send a message to Latinos Falcons and other establishments that exhibit similar behavior in the city with a heavy punishment.

“This was only one night, you can imagine what else happens,” said Avellaneda. He noted that patrons, waitresses, and owners were all engaging in unseemly behavior at Latinos Falcons.

City Council President Damali Vidot said she initially showed up at last week’s public hearing to support local business.

“But if this is the way you do business, I have a huge problem with the way you treat women and them being objectified in this video,” said Vidot. “This video is very disturbing.”

Kimberly Martinez, who said she is a Salem State University student who has worked at Latinos Falcons for six months, countered that she has never been encouraged to act in any sexual manner or to flirt with customers as a way to increase the bill. She said many of the problems at the bar are caused by certain clientele.

“We are trying to filter that as best we can,” she said. “I feel like we are moving forward and things are changing.”

But for the commission members, it wasn’t enough to sway them.

Commission member James Guido noted that on top of everything else, the waitresses were seen drinking with customers and called for harsh punishment.

“For me, this is so disturbing and troubling,” said Commission Chair Mark Rossi. “How anyone could allow that in their establishment, with the owner taking part, is so out of line … How can that environment be conducive to reporting sexual harassment?”

Rossi, who sometimes acts to tamp down harsher penalties proposed by other commission members, wasn’t averse to going all the way to the most extreme punishment for Latinos Falcons.

“I will shut you down right now, this is so repugnant,” he said.

Guido initially proposed a 30-day license suspension for the bar, but it failed to pass. The lengthier 10-week suspension passed unanimously, along with a rollback of the bar’s hours from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. to 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

•In other business, the commission continued a public hearing on a change in manager for Los Agaves at 950 Broadway. There are currently legal proceedings in probate court over the ownership of the restaurant.

Licensing Commissioners are asking that all the current owners work together to find a new manager acceptable to all sides in the fight as the legal case makes its way through the court system.

•The commission also adopted revised licensing rules and regulations. The revised regulations place stricter requirements on security staff at bars and restaurants, requiring that security wear clearly marked red shirts, have city-issued identification, and not carry anything that could be used as a weapon.

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Chelsea Jewish Lifecare Celebrates 100 Years of Care From Humble Beginnings In a Chelsea Home to Modern Care at Multiple Locations

One hundred years ago, Lena Goldberg started Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home by turning a small multi-family building into a welcoming home for elders. Today that home has grown into Chelsea Jewish Healthcare, one of New England’s leading healthcare organizations. The non-profit operates campuses in Chelsea, Peabody and Longmeadow, employing more than 2,000 individuals and taking care of more than 1,000 individuals every day. While there has been extensive growth and expansion throughout years, one thing never changed: the organization’s unwavering commitment to provide high-quality, compassionate care in a “real” home setting.

“From the very beginning, our goal was to provide the best possible care,” said Barry Berman, who has been CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare for more than 40 years. “We encourage our residents to make their own choices and live their own lives by creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere with a caring and compassionate staff.”

He further explained, “Living in a residence that offers all the amenities of a real home greatly enhances the quality of life for elderly and disabled individuals.”

Berman recalled coming to Chelsea Jewish when he was only 23 and fresh out of graduate school.

“When they started this organization, that was before MediCare, MediCaid and public health programs,” he said. “It was just a bunch of Jewish women who saw elders that needed services and they decided to buy a home and help them. When I started, I was only 23 and just got out of graduate school. It was a small, 60-bed home that really needed an incredible amount of work. I went to the Trustees and I was honest with them. I said them I didn’t have a lot of experience, but we could all work together and figure out how to do this so we can improve the home.”

By 1983, they were able to demolish the home on Lafayette Avenue and build the brand new Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home – a home that was just completely renovated and modernized this past year.

Over the past 100 years, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare has achieved many similar and significant milestones.

The opening of the award-winning Leonard Florence Center for Living in 2010, the first urban Green House skilled nursing facility in the country, is one example. This revolutionary nursing home in Chelsea includes 30 rooms devoted to individuals diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and MS (multiple sclerosis). Individuals are able to live as independently as possible through the cutting-edge technology built into the center. Today the Leonard Florence Center takes care of more individuals living with ALS under one roof than any place in the world.

The organization greatly expanded in 2016 with the addition of a Peabody campus and again in 2018 with the affiliation of JGS Lifecare in Longmeadow. All three campuses reflect the organization’s mission: to be the most respected provider of service-enriched residential care and post-acute care for seniors and individuals living with debilitating neurological conditions.

In 2017, the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home underwent a dramatic $16 million renovation. The new building reflects a legacy Green House skilled nursing model that can be easily duplicated by nursing homes across the country. This concept sets the stage for new level of care in senior housing.

“We came back to the home atmosphere that our founder, Mrs. Goldberg, originally had in mind,” said Adam Berman, president of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “What’s so unique about our model is that we’ve combined contemporary design elements with the traditional concept of making one’s home as warm and inviting as possible.”

On April 28, employees, residents, families, friends and community members came together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. Governor Charlie Baker recognized this momentous day by issuing a Citation in honor of this special anniversary. Amidst dinner, dancing and emotional speeches, attendees viewed a slide show with over 200 photos spanning the last 100 years. A highlight of the event was a heartfelt tribute to the 49 staff members who have worked at the organization for 25 years or more.

Barry Berman summed up the night perfectly: “Our employees are the real reason behind our longevity. Without them, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Looking to the future, Berman said they will look to grow, but not hastily.

“We believe in growth, but we also believe in very calculated and smart growth,” he said. “Some companies can grow too fast. Although we are ready to grow, we are cautious about it…We do it with our eyes wide open because we’re not going to grow just to grow.”

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26th Annual Stamp out Hunger Food Drive Set for May 11

With the help of sponsors, volunteer organizations and U.S. Postal Service employees in 10,000 communities nationwide, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 26th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 11.Stamp Out Hunger is the nation’s largest single-day food drive.

Last year’s drive resulted in carriers collecting 71.6 million pounds of food from local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since the drive began in 1993, total donations have surpassed 1.6 billion pounds of food. The food drive has become the nation’s largest one-day campaign to collect food for distribution to needy families.

Making a donation is easy. Customers should leave their non-perishable food donations in a bag near their mailbox on Saturday, May 11, before their letter carrier arrives. In the days leading up to the food drive, letter carriers will be delivering special bags along with your mail that may be used to make donations. Food collected during Saturday’s drive will be delivered to local community churches, food banks and food pantries for distribution.

While all non-perishable donations are welcome, foods that are high in protein such as canned tuna, salmon, beans and peanut butter are most needed. Canned fruits and vegetables, whole grain, low sugar cereals, macaroni and cheese dinners and 100% fruit juice also top the list of most needed items.

For additional information about this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit nalc.org/community-service/food-drive.

Food Drive TIPS

WHAT TO GIVE: Most-wanted foods include:

• Canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon).

• Canned and boxed meals (soup, chili, stew, macaroni and cheese).

• Canned or dried beans and peas (black, pinto, lentils).

• Pasta, rice cereal.

• Canned fruits.

• 100 percent fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed).

• Canned vegetables.

• Cooking oil.

• Boxed cooking mixes (pancake, breads).

WHAT NOT TO GIVE:

• Rusty or unlabeled cans.

• Glass containers.

• Perishable items.

• Homemade items.

• No expired items

• Noncommercial canned or packaged items.

• Alcoholic beverages or mixes or soda.

• Open or used items.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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Bellingham-Cary House – Slade’s Mill

By Marianne Salza

Along the edge of Rumney Marsh in the late 19th Century, Slade’s Mill was bustling. The tidal-powered factory on the creek, with its rooms fragrant with the wafting aroma of exotic spices – paprika from Spain and ginger from the Orient – was where the spice grinding industry originated.

“It was here, in an old Massachusetts mill that the most interesting step in the distribution of spices began,” said educator and historian, Jeff Pearlman. “Inside Slade’s Mill the air was golden brown from grindings of pure spices.”

During the Bellingham-Cary House Association Annual Meeting on April 27, Pearlman presented a timeline of Slade’s Tidewater Mill, explaining the connections between Revere and Chelsea. Pearlman is a member of the Revere Society for Cultural and Historic Preservation, a non-profit organization that protects and promotes the history of the Revere community.

The Town of Chelsea originally consisted of four farms, the first of which was purchased by Henry Slade, who erected the first church, bank, and City Hall on the waterfront land. In 1734, Slade began grinding tobacco and corn in the mill.

“The charter states the following,” began Pearlman. “’This mill must at all times hold itself in the readiness to grind corn for any citizen of Chelsea, provided that the corn is raised in Chelsea.’”

In 1837, Slade’s sons, David and Levi, conceived the idea of grinding spices in the mill, and began importing spices from around the world. By 1850, D and L Slade Company became the largest producer of spices in New England.

“The boys ground up a half barrel of cinnamon, slung the barrel between two poles, and trudged across the marsh to Boston,” Pearlman explained. “The cinnamon was sold to grocers, and a new industry was born: the business of spice grinding.”

First, the spices passed through magnetized steel plates to remove foreign objects, such as nails and wire. Spices were then pulverized into fine powders beneath grinding rolls. Next, the powder was lifted into continuous buckets, sifted, and loaded into barrels that were delivered to packing plants in Boston.

“Spices were not only used to stimulate jaded appetites; but their sweet, pungent odor made them useful as medicine and deodorants,” mentioned Pearlman. “Up to this time, spice had been sold to the housewife whole, and each had a hand-grinder.”

The mill was refurbished in 1918 following a fire and acquired by Bell Seasonings. In 1932, the mill was converted to electric power, and operated until July 1, 1976.

Slade’s Mill is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building was renovated in 2004, and today, Slade’s Mill Apartments contains 18 studio and one bedroom units. A museum on the ground floor exhibits original machinery, photographs, and a spice cabinet with glass and metal Slade’s and Bell containers.

“Spices are now a common household necessity. No longer are they counted as the choicest possession of the wealthy,” said Pearlman. “Men and women live longer in a spice-laden atmosphere. Perhaps there is something in the theory that spices have a beneficial effect on health and appetite of the human race. I wonder where the saying, ‘Spice of life,’ came from.”

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School Superintendent Finalists Visit Chelsea for Community Forums

The three finalists for the position of superintendent of schools have been on whirlwind tours of the district this week, concluding the day with a community forum at the Williams School.

On Monday, Weston High Principal Anthony Parker visited Chelsea and spoke with teachers/staff, business leaders and at a community forum in the evening. On Tuesday, Ligia Noriega-Murphy, currently the assistant superintendent of secondary schools in Boston Public Schools, went through the same agenda. Finally, today (May 2), Almudena Abeyta, currently the assistant superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the Somerville Public Schools, will visit the city and have a forum at 4:30 p.m.

School Committeewoman Jeannette Velez said the School Committee would start with separate rounds of public interviews with the candidates. They would follow the same order as this week.

All interviews are open to the public. Interviews will be held at City Hall Council Chambers in the evening.

The goal of the Committee is to have a vote on May 9 – after the final interview – to decide who to pick and negotiate a contract with. If all goes well, that person would likely begin on July 1.

At Monday’s community forum, Parker said he was very interested in Chelsea because it was a challenge and a place to learn. Though he has spent most of his career in suburban schools like Newton and Weston, he said he feels like he could be very successful in Chelsea.

“I like what I read about Chelsea and I like the emphasis on building bridges and the pathways,” he said. “I like the diversity of it…It was different enough for me to be interesting. I think any district is a challenge. It’s the opportunity to build on what is here. What you have is Chelsea is you have a great district that wants to be excellent in many ways. I believe I can help you do that.”

He also said he hasn’t applied to any other districts, only Chelsea.

“This is where I want to be,” he said.

The forum was sparsely attended, and likely because it wasn’t well publicized ahead of the beginning of the forums by the Collins Center – which is running the superintendent search process.

However, numerous students from the Chelsea Collaborative and organizers from the Collaborative did show up with many questions.

The conversation went from opinions on expulsion to outside opportunities to gun violence.

At that, Parker said his students – like Chelsea last year – organized a walkout for school safety.

He said he believes in supporting student voices – something that has grown to be very important to students at the high school over the last year. Students at Chelsea High have successfully organized the walk-out, and also successfully advocated to move graduation back outside on the new turf field.

“I walked out with them,” he said. “We knew it was happening and supported it. It was a genuinely student-led effort. We need to support that even if we disagree with that they want to do. I think if a district didn’t support students on that particular situation, I think they missed out.”

When it came to challenges between suburban Weston and urban Chelsea, Parker said he would likely have a learning period with getting community and parent participation – which often lacks in Chelsea but is strong in Weston.

“If our parents cannot make meetings or conferences because they are working multiple jobs or are too busy, then we need to go to them,” he said. “I would spend time finding out where they are and where I need to go to engage them.”

The process with the School Committee next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday is open to the public.

Cutline –

Anthony Parker, currently the principal at Weston High, listens intently to a question from students during Monday’s community forum at the Williams School. The three finalists have been in Chelsea this week for whirlwind tours and forums. Next week, all three will meet with the School Committee for public interviews. A decision is expected May 9.

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CHS Concert Band, Cantare Win Big at Music in the Parks Festival

The Chelsea High Concert Band and Cantare Choir gave yet another reason why it should be considered the best urban – or suburban – music program in the state, taking home numerous awards at last weekend’s Music in the Parks Festival.

The Festival took place at the Westfield South Middle School and Westfield High School, and typically ends with an awards ceremony and fun day at Six Flags New England. However, due to the inclement weather, the Chelsea musicians had to be content with simply taking home some of the top prizes in the state.

Cantare Director Pete Pappavaselio and Concert Band Director Shannon Sullivan reported that both groups did outstanding at the Festival.

The CHS Percussion Ensemble took first place and received the highest adjudicated score of all of the ensembles present that day, with a score of 98 (out of 100) and a rating of Superior.

The CHS Band received a rating of Excellent and placed fourth overall.

The CHS Cantare received also received a rating of Excellent and came in third place, and the CHS Choir received a rating of Superior and came in second place. Additionally, Dimas Villanueva was recognized as the Best Student Accompanist of the competing ensembles and received an award for his guitar playing on “California Dreamin'” and “Blackbird.”

The CHS Band’s next performance will be on Memorial Day at City Hall, at a ceremony which begins at 9 a.m. All of these ensembles will be performing at Arts Night Out, which is the combined year-end event with the Visual Arts Department. That celebration is on Fri., May 31, with the art gallery opening at 6 p.m., and the concert beginning at 7 p.m. Viewing the art gallery is free, and tickets to the concert are $4.

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