DiDomenico Secures $50,000 for CONNECT in Chelsea

DiDomenico Secures $50,000 for CONNECT in Chelsea

Sen. Sal DiDomenico recently announced that his amendment providing $50,000 for CONNECT in the city of Chelsea was included in the final Fiscal Year 2019 budget. As Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate, DiDomenico was able to secure a number of amendments for his district in the Senate version of the budget, including this $50,000 for CONNECT. After filing this amendment in the Senate budget, he worked to advocate for it’s inclusion in the final version of the budget.

CONNECT helps people achieve sustainable living wage jobs and financial health and well-being by partnering with local agencies to provide essential skills, knowledge and social capital in one central and supportive location.

“CONNECT does great work for our community, and I am very proud to support them through the work that I do in the Senate,” said Sen. Sal DiDomenico. “I know that this additional funding will go a long way towards aiding their ability to empower individuals and help our residents achieve economic stability and financial well-being.”

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DiDomenico Supports and Promotes Civics Education Curriculum

DiDomenico Supports and Promotes Civics Education Curriculum

Last week, Sen. Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) and his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate voted to pass, S.2355, An Act to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement.  The legislation enacts a hands-on and experiential approach to fostering civic engagement by incorporating project-based learning components, encouraging the instruction of civic competencies – including news and media literacy – and providing extracurricular civic-participation opportunities.

 The curriculum is made possible by the Civics Project Trust Fund, which will provide funding for professional development and for the further development of curriculum frameworks.

 “Now more than ever, civics education is of the highest importance to teach and prepare our next generation of leaders,” said Sen. DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. “I am confident that this legislation will empower youth with the tools and knowledge they need to be well-versed in our electoral system and legislative process, and will ensure that they are ready to be active participants in our democracy.”

 “I am incredibly proud of the bill that we passed today,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “This civics curriculum is a long-term investment in the future of our Commonwealth. When we begin to educate our children about civic responsibility at a young age, we foster the growth and development of our nation’s future leaders.”

 “One of the primary purposes of our education system is to have an informed and engaged citizenry; this bill will aid in students understanding of rights, our laws and electoral system, and the value of their participation in our democracy,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester).

 “Civics education is crucial to mending the perilous state of our country’s politics and governance. Equally important, it will increase access to governance and civic learning for students from communities that have been historically disenfranchised. This bill is an important step toward fulfilling our responsibility to pass the torch of democracy to the next generation of voters and problem-solvers,” said Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education.

  The bill has been referred to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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Eastie MS-13 Leader Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for RICO Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking,Possession of a Firearm

Eastie MS-13 Leader Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for RICO Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking,Possession of a Firearm

The leader of MS-13’s East Boston Loco Salvatrucha clique was sentenced this week in federal court in Boston for RICO conspiracy involving an aggravated assault, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Santos Portillo Andrade, a/k/a “Flaco,” 33, a Salvadoran national residing in Revere, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 10 years in prison and four years of supervised release. He will also be subject to deportation hearings upon completion of his sentence. In June 2017, Portillo agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, and admitted responsibility for an aggravated assault on an individual he believed was a rival gang member in Malden in December 2008. Portillo also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

After a three-year investigation, Portillo was one of 61 defendants named in a January 2016 superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts.  He is the 19th defendant to be sentenced in the case.

Portillo was the leader of the East Boston Loco Salvatrucha clique of MS-13.  According to court documents, MS-13 is a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence against rival gang members to gain promotions and maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder rival gang members whenever possible.

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Mazonson Invites CHS Classmates to Fiftieth Reunion on June 7 at Kowloon

Mazonson Invites CHS Classmates to Fiftieth Reunion on June 7 at Kowloon

Marc Mazonson is serving as the chairman for the Chelsea High School Class of 1965 Fiftieth Reunion to be held at the Kowloon on June 7.

Marc Mazonson is serving as the chairman for the Chelsea High School Class of 1965 Fiftieth Reunion to be held at the Kowloon on June 7.

Marc Mazonson said that in the early 1960s students for the most part attended Shurtleff, Williams, or Carter schools through the ninth grade before moving on to Chelsea High School for their sophomore year.

Mazonson is hoping to be in the company of as many of his former high school classmates as possible when the CHS Class of 1965 gathers for its fiftieth reunion on June 7 at Kowloon in Saugus. Mazonson is the chairman of the event, assisted by Larry Sneirson, who is known by his stage name, Larry Lee Lewis, a professional standup comedian. Inez Pragg Cole is also serving on the reunion committee. The president of the class was Steven Padulsky.

“We’re calling the reunion, ‘The Real Deal,’’’ said Mazonson. “This is our fiftieth reunion for the Class of 1965 only. We expect a large crowd. Right now we have about 150 people who have indicated they’ll be there.”

The reunion committee has invited Chelsea City Clerk Deborah Clayman to be an honored guest at the reunion. Clayman is the wife of the late attorney, Richard I. Clayman, who was a member of the Class of 1965.

“Everybody loved Richie Clayman,” said Mazonson. “Richie was friendly, down-to-earth, so generous to people, and a great attorney. We’re so pleased that Deborah will be there for the beautiful tribute we have planned for Richie and our other deceased classmates.”

Mazonson said the CHS principal in 1965 was James Cotter. The faculty included teachers Gilbert Cherry, Paul Eckman, George Barooshian, Max Leader, James Welch, Sheldon Greenglass, Dr. Max Ross, and Rebecca Mack.

“I grew up Chester Avenue,” said Mazonson. “I went to Shurtleff from grades one through nine and then I went on to the high school. Chelsea was a great place to grow up as a kid. You walked the streets day or night and it was safe. Mothers would take their kids down Broadway on Saturdays for sidewalk sales in the stores.”

He said people would often congregate in Broadway restaurants such as The Bel Del, Murray and Eddy’s, Wing’s, and Tony’s Spa.

The reunion will feature a Chinese buffet dinner, music, and dancing. Mazonson will deliver the welcoming remarks while Sneirson will lead a brief speaking program.

“We’re looking for a marvelous night of fun and reminiscing about the good, old days,” said Mazonson. “We want people to see their friends and have a great time.”

Tickets to the Class of 1965 Reunion are $35 per person. Classmates should contact Marc Mazonson at 617-889-2004 or marcmazonson@gmail.com for information about the reunion.

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Ash Says Good-Bye to Chelsea: Speech peppered with Praise and Humor

Ash Says Good-Bye to Chelsea: Speech peppered with Praise and Humor

City Manager Jay Ash said his formal good-bye as the leader of the City of Chelsea on Monday night in a heartfelt speech before the Council that was peppered with praise for others, and of course a few jokes, and summed up the 18 years he has spent in City Hall.

Ash will be sworn in today, Jan. 8, as the new secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED). After serving as a legislative aide at the State House, Ash spent four years as the city planner and the last 14 years as the city manager.

“Once from Chelsea, always from Chelsea; Once a friend, always a friend,” he said at the conclusion of his speech, noting that Chelsea will always be his hometown and he will certainly be back from time to time.

Ash started off his farewell message with his patented humor, saying the speech would be broadcast on C-SPAN, or “maybe Comedy Central, we’ll see.”

Looking up at the clock in the Council Chambers that – instead of having numbers – has the letters ‘BOOST CHELSEA,’ Ash said the greatest thing he would take away from City Hall is having improved the City’s reputation internally, statewide and nationally.

“The bad old days of Chelsea are long gone,” he said. “They’re further and further in our rearview mirrors…The greatest thing I’ll take away from this is the reputation of our City has changed. There was a time when the reputation of Chelsea was very negative. I looked forward to getting out of Chelsea as a kid and starting a new life away from here…That was 30 years ago and we are no longer the joke people thought we were, but we’re the answer to a lot of questions.”

Ash listed off several accomplishments, including new hotels, a much improved school system, a public safety situation that is improving and the creation of 10 new public parks.

“We’ve been able to do 33 major projects in 1.8 square miles,” he said. “Doing 33 major projects like that is remarkable.”

Ash also spent a good deal of time praising the City Council – saying they deserve far more praise in the community than they get.

“There are people in the community who think you don’t do anything but appoint people like me,” he said. “I’m disappointed you don’t receive the praise you deserve here for what you do…You’re ready to put aside your agendas for the best of the City. You deserve so much credit for continuously putting your egos in check. None of you marched into the city manager’s office every day demanding what other elected officials in other communities – or here years ago did – and that’s a privilege.”

He joked that he often remembers fondly with Council Clerk Paul Casino that the old Chelsea Board of Aldermen “had public meetings in the parking lot to engage in a fist fight.”

Ash also credited the City’s growing partnerships with local non-profits and what he often calls “stakeholders.” He said he learned at the 1998 All-American City awards in Alabama (Chelsea’s first All-America City award) that the new way for a City to succeed is to have partnerships with numerous stakeholders in order to have more diverse views and more people invested in the community. At the time, he said, Chelsea did not really have that kind of partnership in place. However, he said he has spent the better part of several years cultivating a group of stakeholders to help acknowledge and address issues facing the City.

“They’re leadership and support has meant so much to what we accomplished,” he said.

Ash also said his farewell speech and departure from Chelsea City government isn’t something he has looked forward to, as it has always been his dream job. He said it has always been his mission to improve the City, and to show the young men who used to make fun of his hometown when he was in college, that it was not a place to be ashamed of.

“This is a night I haven’t been looking forward to because I’ve had the greatest job in the world for the past 14 years,” he said. “To be the leader of this great community and working with you and building on the things already happening in Chelsea has been a dream come true.”

His speech was followed by vigorous applause, and he finished the event by going around and personally shaking the hands of each city councillor on the board.

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Congratulations and Good Luck To City Manager Jay Ash

Congratulations and Good Luck To City Manager Jay Ash

We congratulate our city manager, Jay Ash, on his appointment as secretary of housing and economic development in Governor-elect Charlie Baker’s Cabinet.

We’re fully confident that Jay will be an outstanding asset in the Governor Baker Administration. His work in the areas of economic development and housing in Chelsea has been superb. One only has to travel through the city and view the new developments that have sprung up here to understand the tremendous impact Jay has has on our city’s growth and prosperity and the optimism that abounds here for our future.

Like one of his mentors said this week, we have mixed emotions about Jay’s departure. For Jay Ash will take his place alongside some of the monumental figures in our city’s history. The 6-foot-7-inch Ash, who attended Shurtleff School and Chelsea High School and starred on the basketball court here before heading to Clark University, will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of our residents. We’re sure it was an honor for Jay to return to the city he loved as a kid and become the leader of it.

Jay never gave less than 100 percent every day on the job. He never rested on his past accomplishments and was always seeking ways to make Chelsea a better place. And he succeeded in that quest.

Yes, our city is losing the inspirational leader who took us on a journey to greatness that some thought wasn’t possible. The National Civic League said it all in June when it awarded Jay Ash and the City of Chelsea’s its most prestigious All-America City Award.

Jay Ash has worked hard for all Chelsea residents as our city manager and we know the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will benefit from his superior skills and leadership in this most esteemed statewide position.

Thank you, Jay Ash, for all you accomplished as our city manager and for how you transformed our city, making it a model for other cities across our nation to aspire to.

To use a sports analogy, Jay Ash is Chelsea’s MVP in this century.

Good luck.


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One North of Boston Is Very Impressive

One North of Boston Is Very Impressive

You wouldn’t expect anything less but a superbly organized special event to mark the grand opening of the One North of Boston residences located at 100 Heard St. in Chelsea.

As much as this was a triumph of real estate development and vision for the owners of this outstanding property, it was another victory for City Manager Jay Ash, who has transformed this city into a place where people want to come and be a part of a vibrant community.

The One North of Boston apartment community is truly a masterpiece of architecture and interior design. It’s definitely worth a tour just to view the innovation and style and to get a grasp of all the amenities available to residents.

For example, One North of Boston is the first apartment community in the area to offer onsite daycare and concierge services for canines.

But there’s so much more to One North of Boston, which has one of the greatest locations you can experience outside of Boston. The Silver T is expanding to Chelsea and it’s just a short walk to the commuter trail. Route 1 is just seconds way from the front door. And you walk to the bustling Everett Avenue business district.

It was great to hear Jay Ash lauding Mark Robinson and Mark White and the other owners for building this new residential community in the city. Robinson and White have contributed so much to this community already, notably through their volunteer efforts and generosity toward the Jordan Boys and Girls Club of Chelsea.

We remember Mark White’s father, the late Boston Mayor Kevin White, who served our capital city so well during his distinguished career in the corner office. Mark White can truly appreciate the coming alive of a city in all of its neighborhoods. Jay Ash has brought Chelsea to great heights just as Mayor Kevin White did in his tenure as the leader of Boston.

Welcome to Chelsea, One North of Boston, and thank you for being a partner in the city’s continuing progression toward greatness under the leadership of Jay Ash.

We are an All-America City that keeps getting better every day.


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Congratulations, Roca and CEO Molly Baldwin on the Launch of Pay for Success (PFS) Initiative

Congratulations, Roca and CEO Molly Baldwin on the Launch of Pay for Success (PFS) Initiative

It was a most impressive event Wednesday as Governor Deval Patrick came to Roca headquarters in Chelsea to announce the launch of the Pay for Success (PFS) initiative, which will help at-risk young men in the probation system and leaving the juvenile justice system.

It was so heartwarming to hear the success stories that Roca founder and CEO Molly Baldwin has made happen as the leader of this outstanding organization that has become a national model in its continuing mission of helping disengaged and disenfranchised young people move out of violence and poverty.

Governor Patrick has been an outstanding leader in establishing and supporting programs that help high-risk youths set the foundation in choosing better paths for their future. The Governor joined other speakers at the event in praising the work of Molly Baldwin and affirming their faith in her efforts to help a greater number of young people in the future.

Molly Baldwin no doubt had a dream when she started Roca that she could build the organization to the point where hundreds of young people would benefit greatly from her diligence, creativity,  organizational skills, and leadership. Molly Baldwin and her staff have worked hard to encourage and inspire these young people to travel a better path in life. It is not an easy job but Molly Baldwin took on the challenge and has succeeded, to the benefit of all.

We congratulate Molly Baldwin on the the start of this well-intentioned $27 million, seven-year program and wish her and Roca continued success in its work not only in Chelsea and Springfield, but throughout the Commonwealth.


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An “Excellent” Evaluation for City Manager Jay Ash

An “Excellent” Evaluation for City Manager Jay Ash

We agree wholeheartedly with the Chelsea City Council’s evaluation that City Manager Jay Ash is doing an “excellent” job as the leader of our city.

From one end of our city to the other, Jay Ash has made a positive impact on the quality of life of our residents and helped put Chelsea on the map in terms of new developments, new businesses, public safety, education, and recreational spaces.

It’s always exciting for us to see City Manager Jay Ash appear at events on the North Shore – such as the recent press conference in Lynn when community leaders gathered to express their support for the Mohegan Sun casino at Suffolk Downs. Mayors, town managers, and other officials often reach out to Jay and want to know how he has been able to transform our city and bring so much life and economic vibrancy to areas such as Everett Avenue and the former Parkway Plaza (where we fondly remember the old Bradlees store).

Jay Ash has been the architect and the guiding force of more than a decade of excellence for our community while making Chelsea a model for cities statewide.

The City Council is right on the mark in its evaluation. We’re fortunate to have Jay Ash, a distinguished graduate of Clark University where he was named the Top Scholar-Athlete and is now a member of the Clark Board of Trustees – as our city manager leading our community into the year 2014 and beyond.


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Metaphysical Messages: Zonta Club of Chelsea Set for ‘medium’ Fundraiser Friday Night

Metaphysical Messages:  Zonta Club of Chelsea Set for ‘medium’ Fundraiser Friday Night

Helping out at the Empty Bowls event in support of the Chelsea Hunger Network were, Zonta members, from left, president Georgia Green, Bonnie Fishman, Stephanie Mc- Conaghy, and Margo Johnson. Zonta is hosting a fundraiser Friday night in Saugus.

Helping out at the Empty Bowls event in support of the
Chelsea Hunger Network were, Zonta members, from left,
president Georgia Green, Bonnie Fishman, Stephanie Mc-
Conaghy, and Margo Johnson. Zonta is hosting a fundraiser
Friday night in Saugus.

The Zonta Club of Chelsea donates funds to numerous local projects, presents scholarships and school supplies to students, and distributes food baskets during the holidays.

It is an organization that has a proud history in the city, always pursuing endeavors to improve the status of women. The Zonta organization’s charitable reach and goodwill extends beyond the borders of Chelsea and in fact touches lives internationally.

The Chelsea Zontians advance their mission of helping others through a solid foundation of fundraising events. The club has hosted fashion shows, comedy nights, and other events through the years.

The club’s upcoming fundraiser, set for Friday night, is a rather unique one. Linnea Star, a well-known medium, will provide metaphysical message at the event that begins at 7 p.m. at the Saugus Elks. The donation is $35 and includes a medium-ship and a Chinese food buffet.

Renee Caso-Griffin and Saveria Bosak are the chairwomen of the event who are being credited with the idea of having a medium as the focal point of the fundraiser.

“They originated the idea,” said Zonta president Georgia Green. “The medium (Star) will read people who want to be read. It’s a gift that she feels that she’s always had – she can tell you things about people in your family. She comes up with some pretty remarkable data without knowing you.”

Green is serving the first year of her two-year term as the leader of the Zonta Club. She holds a graduate degree from prestigious Smith College and has been a social worker at MGH Chelsea for 25 years.

Green is predicting “a fabulous event” for those who intend to be in the company of Linnea Star Friday night.

“I think it’s going to be really different – we’ve never done anything like this and we were looking for something that would be fun. It will be a great night out.”


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