Garcia Selected as Political Surrogate for Senator Elizabeth Warren

Garcia Selected as Political Surrogate for Senator Elizabeth Warren

Chelsea City Councilor Judith Garcia announced that she has been selected as a political surrogate on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s reelection campaign, chosen from a sprawling list of notable political figures in the state.

Councilor Judith Garcia.

Councilor Judith Garcia.

The 26-year-old, now in her second term, kicked off her efforts to reelect Sen. Warren at the Chelsea Public Library during this past Saturday’s caucus, where Garcia served as a spokesperson for the campaign.

“Senator Warren has remained committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our community, rebuilding economic security for our working families, and making a difference in our state,” Garcia said.

“During the last six years, Elizabeth has been a devoted leader who remains connected to our residents and the issues that affect us,” continued Garcia. “She pushed for the permanent extension of Earned Income and Child Tax Credits helping to keep 250,000 Massachusetts residents and more than 100,000 children out of poverty. Her values and morals are where they need to be.”

Councilor Garcia is a native of Chelsea, who grew up in a proud Spanish-speaking household. As the City Councilor of District 5, she is the first Honduran American woman to serve on the Chelsea City Council, as well as the youngest current member. Now, Judith dedicates her time to creating government that truly represents and works for its people.

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Ward 4 Democratic Committee Elects Delegates to the State Convention

Ward 4 Democratic Committee Elects Delegates to the State Convention

Registered Democrats in the City of Chelsea Ward 4, held a Caucus on February 3, 2018 at the Chelsea Public Library to elect Delegates to the 2018 Democratic State Convention.

Elected Delegates are:

Olivia Anne Walsh

91 Crest Ave.

Luis Tejada

103 Franklin Ave.

Thomas J. Miller

91 Crest Ave.

Theresa G. Czerepica

21 Prospect Ave.

This year’s State Convention will be held June 1-2 at the DCU Center in Worcester, where thousands of Democrats from across the Commonwealth will come together to endorse Democratic candidates for statewide office, Including Constitutional officers and gubernatorial candidates

Those interested in getting involved with the Chelsea Ward 4 Democratic Committee should contact Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh, Ward 4 Chair, at 617-306-5501.

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Chelsea Public Library Holds NASA@ My Library Community Dialogue

Chelsea Public Library Holds NASA@ My Library Community Dialogue

The Chelsea Public Library (CPL) held a NASA@ My Library Community Dialogue on Jan. 31, to discuss the community’s view of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). City leaders, library and school administration, high school students, and parents participated in the casual conversation to plan programming that will positively impact the entire city and inspire a passion for STEM learning among residents.

“We should try to build bridges between what’s happening in schools and formal education, and what’s happening in the community as we develop and grow,” said Lisa Santagate, Chelsea Public Schools/Chelsea Public Library trustee. “Science pervades our lives. STEM is everywhere and all connected.”

The Chelsea Public Library is one of 75 libraries across the country that was awarded the NASA@ My Library Grant, funded by NASA and the American Library Association. The initiative collaborates with libraries to increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities and activities.

“The main focus of this grant is to help underserved groups — especially youth – find more resources within STEM, and have more models for STEM careers,” said Martha Boksenbaum, CPL children’s librarian. “Often, women and people of color are underrepresented.”

Since May 2017, CPL has hosted a solar eclipse viewing party on City Hall lawn, offered a science café for adults, and presented a series of Tinker Time Workshops for children to explore scientific instruments such as a green screen and inferred thermometers.

Some panelists explained that, while there are elementary school events and an abundance of library programs for children, teenagers are an underserved population. Members of the community suggested increasing connections to the schools and library, and creating a more inviting atmosphere for young adults.

“In school there are a lot of classes in biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering, but it’s usually announced to the younger kids, and I think that’s great. The younger you are when you learn about science, the more you love it,” said Stephanie Alvarado, Chelsea High School senior. “We do tree mapping and water quality testing. That’s how I’m able to connect with STEM, but not the community as a whole.”

One of the main concerns mentioned during the community gathering was outreach to local STEM professionals that Chelsea residents could better relate to.

“A struggle I am experiencing in implementing this grant is showing examples of role models. I would like to represent people of color and women, but when I reach out, they are overwhelmingly not a representation of the majority of people here in the community,” explained Boksenbaum. “If the kids are learning that somebody next door is in a STEM field and looks like them, then they’re going to feel like that’s something they can do as well.”

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Chelsea Public Library Wins NASA@ My Library Grant

Chelsea Public Library Wins NASA@ My Library Grant

The Chelsea Public Library announced Tuesday that it has been awarded a grant from NASA and the American Library Association called NASA@ My Library.

Chelsea Public Library is one of 75 libraries that have been chosen from a total of 513 applicants to receive the NASA@ My Library grant, and is the only library in Massachusetts selected to participate in the initiative.

The NASA@ My Library project is led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. Partners include the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, Pacific Science Center, Cornerstones of Science, and Education Development Center. NASA@ My Library is made possible through the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate as part of its STEM Activation program.

The Children’s Librarian Martha Boksenbaum said, “We are very excited to have won this grant, it will enable the library to bring more STEM programming to Chelsea, and build an environment of exploration, play and learning.”

The library will receive the following from this grant:

  • Two NASA STEM Facilitation Kits including STEM tools and programming materials including a green screen and solar eclipse viewing glasses
  • A $500 programming stipend
  • Travel reimbursement for the Children’s Librarian to travel to Denver, CO for training

In implementing this grant, the Chelsea Public Library will run at least three programs between May 2017 and October 2018.

  • A Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on August 21.
  • A series of workshops in which children and adults can explore the NASA Facilitation kits

materials and activities

  • An Earth Day Celebration in Spring 2018
  • Guest visits from Subject Matter Experts to engage with children and families

The Chelsea Public Library provides programming free of charge, and strives to create an environment of learning and exploration to the Chelsea community.

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Girard, Cathedral Parish Partner for Great New Housing

By Seth Daniel

On rare occasions, community institutions and residential property developers come together in synchronicity – with both parties meeting at the intersection of win-win.

The development of the Girard apartment building on Harrison Avenue, behind the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, is by most accounts just such an occurrence.

The Girard began moving new residents in to its 160-unit apartment building on Harrison and Malden Streets last weekend, continuing full-force this week, and has hopes that it has delivered the best property on the market right now.

“We’re hopeful that it will be regarded as a contemporary landmark in the community now that we’re through the construction and it is becoming occupied,” said developer and Southender Peter Roth, of New Atlantic Development. “It’s a strong building and very respectful to its historic context, but there’s nothing historic about it. It’s strikingly contemporary…Our goal is to really share information about design, architecture and the arts and build that into a community…We’ve really tried to make the experience more than having just a fantastic apartment…Now that we can move people in, qualified renters who walk through the door, and are interested, are closing the deal because the quality of our apartments. We really do have the best product on the market.”

While there are curated finishes, extensive art program, unique amenities and a noted property manager (Pezzutto Management, which is fairly new to Boston), the best part of the Girard story is the cooperation between the Cathedral, Roth and the community to produce a project nearly everyone sees as a positive in a booming area of the neighborhood.

Roth began working on the Girard soon after completing the ArtBlock condos on Harrison Avenue near the Boston Medical Center campus – a successful partnership with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) that opened in 2008. Roth lives and works out of the ArtBlock, and got high marks from the community, something that the Cathedral’s Father Kevin Balliri heard about.

Father Balliri was in a conundrum at the time.

He had a parking lot that was very valuable, but not getting used all that much. He also had a large congregation that was unable to sustain the Parish. Putting two and two together, Father Balliri approached Roth though a mutual friend.

“He had these severe deficits,” said Roth. “He had property in an area with the largest increasing property values in New England and also he had one of the poorest Parishes in the system. He wanted to see how the land could actually sustain this institution through the future. The idea was really his. We met through a mutual friend and sat down and talked and also had to sell the idea to other members of the Archdiocese. That took time and there were complexities. It was a three-year process to assemble the land transaction. We finally succeeded in getting that ironed out.”

He added that Father Balliri’s commitment and inspiration led to a great new apartment building and a sustainable Parish.

“The reason for this project, though it’s turned into a great apartment community, was to strengthen the future of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross,” said Roth. “I think we’ve achieved that as well.”

After that great partnership was memorialized with the land transaction, Roth began designing the project with extreme care – taking a year to iron out the space plans and to dig into the details of every square inch of the Girard, right down to analyzing how the closets would work.

The thoughts behind the design were inspired by Alexander Girard – a designer from the mid-20th Century who is the namesake of the building. Girard used very contemporary design, but also leaned on bright color pallettes and the use of folk art.

Beyond that, a major influence on the spirit of the Girard came from the living room of the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum.

“It’s a room designed to be comfortable with big couches and comfortable chairs and rugs from Afghanistan,” said Roth. “It has a wonderful Library and you want to spend some time there. We thought if we could create anything like that, it would be a success. We took that space and…tried to emulate that spirit. Yes, we copied some of the pieces, but it was the spirit we were after.”

The amenities for the project include one very unique thing in that there is a guest suite that any resident can reserve for a visitor. There is also 3,600 sq. ft. of retail that Roth said would likely be a restaurant, with the tenant to be announced this month.

“We see the building as something a more mature professional or empty nesters or a professional who might be coming to Boston for a post-doctoral program might be attracted to,” said Roth. “Our units are a little larger…They all have real dining areas and not a place where you struggle to find where the table goes. The kitchens are designed actually for people who like to cook. They aren’t just cabinets slapped on a wall. Some units have gas cooking ranges available, which is almost never found in apartment units. We have a great location that can support it and a great part of the neighborhood to seek out art, restaurants and parks. It has all the things people love about the South End.”

Being a resident of the South End himself, living just down the street in ArtBlock, Roth thanked the community for putting up with the construction and the seven years it took from conception to completion. He also thanked the community for the kind words of encouragement, saying it has been well received.

“Every time I’m stopped by a friend or neighbor on the street – I only live two blocks away – they are thrilled by the way it’s turned out,” he said. “It’s great to have all our hard work acknowledged by these friends and neighbors I see every day…Certainly, I will acknowledge neighbors have been immensely inconvenienced because the building fills up most of the site…We had to close down half of the street for a little longer than expected…It’s all coming to an end though…We hope neighbors will like what we’ve done and enjoy a new landmark in the South End.”

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Police Briefs 07-23-2015

FIREARM ARREST ON LYNN STREET EXT.

On July 17, at 10:08 p.m. a Chelsea Police officer who was in the area of Central Avenue and Shurtleff on an unrelated call observed two young men walking away from him towards Lynn Street Extension. The officer made observations of one of the two males pull out what was believed to be handgun. He then observed a single muzzle flash and the discharge of the weapon. The two fled on the approach of the officer. He and other responding officers placed the two juveniles into custody on firearm charges and recovered the firearm.

The officer believed the gun was most likely accidently discharged when the suspect removed it from the waistband. No injuries or intended victims were noted. The firearm recovered has been turned over the State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

POLICE TO SPONSOR CHILD FINGERPRINTING JULY 27

Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes announced that the Chelsea Police would be conducting two events in the coming weeks for children and elderly.

On Monday, July 27, from 4-6 p.m., the Police will be at the Chelsea Public Library for child fingerprinting and identification kids. The goal is to aid parents and guardians in keeping their children safe through the fingerprinting program. The fingerprint kids can be done in the library or at home and the information will belong to the family. The police will not keep the prints or the kits.

For questions on the initiative, contact the police at (617) 466-4855.

Another service for elderly resident called SafetyNew Service is also being debuted by police, but not in the library event.

The service helps police find and rescue people who wander and get lost in the city. SafetyNew by Lojack aims to protect residents with autism and Alzheimer’s Disease. The CPD has been trained and certified on the SafetyNet service. Officers are equipped with search and rescue equipment so they are able to locate anyone who signs up for the program and goes missing.

Lojack provides emergency support 24-hours a day.

The service uses bracelets for the wrist or ankle that emit a signal. Chelsea Police can detect the signal from the bracelet within a one-mile radius during searches.

To sign someone up, called the CPD at (617) 466-4855.

CHA EMPLOYEE SENTENCED

A former executive of the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) and a former public housing inspector were sentenced this month for their roles in rigging the inspection process of federally funded housing units.

James Fitzpatrick, 63, of Acton., and Bernard Morosco, 50, of Utica, NY, were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to three months and six months in prison, respectively, and one year of supervised release. The two were convicted in April 2015 of conspiring to defraud the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by impairing, impeding, and defeating the proper operation of HUD’s inspection process.

Pursuant to federal regulations, to determine whether a public housing authority is meeting the standard for its residents of conditions that are “decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair,” HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) is required to “provide for an independent physical inspection of a public housing authority’s property or properties that includes, at a minimum, a statistically valid sample of the units in the CHA’s public housing portfolio to determine the extent of compliance with the standard.” REAC inspections are conducted by independent contractors who have received training from REAC on the inspection protocol and applicable regulations, and have been certified by HUD. Once certified, an inspector is given an inspector number, and with a password, can access the secure REAC server, which contains data on all public housing authorities and also later enable the inspector to generate a random sample of units to inspect on the scheduled date of the inspection.

Before the REAC inspections of the CHA in 2007, 2009, and 2011, Morosco gave Fitzpatrick, the Assistant Director of the CHA, an advance list that revealed which units at the CHA would be inspected. During those years, Morosco, who was a REAC-certified inspector, worked for the CHA as a consultant, advising the CHA about how to get better scores on its REAC inspections.

One or two months before each REAC inspection, using information provided by Fitzpatrick, Morosco accessed HUD’s secure database and downloaded information to which he was not entitled. That information enabled him to use his REAC software to generate, in advance, the random sample that would later be generated by the assigned REAC inspector. Morosco then gave the samples to Fitzpatrick who, in turn, provided it to the CHA’s Executive Director, Michael McLaughlin.

McLaughlin divided CHA employees into pairs, calling each pair a “SWAT team,” and sent them to inspect the units identified by Morosco. For the month before each inspection, the “SWAT teams” visited several apartments a day, inspecting and re-inspecting them as maintenance crews visited the units to make repairs, fumigate, and exterminate. When the REAC inspectors conducted the inspections, the units that were selected were the same as the ones provided in advance by Morosco.McLaughlin, the former Executive Director of the CHA, was previously sentenced to serve an additional 12 months in prison for this offense after having already been sentenced to 36 months for other illegal conduct involving the CHA.

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Police Briefs 07-16-2015

POLICE NAB ALLEGED DRUG DEALER

Chelsea Police Announced the arrest of Angelo Ciocco, 58, of Revere, for Trafficking in Cocaine and other related charges. Chelsea Detectives assigned to the Drug Control Unit utilizing controlled buys and surveillance of several transactions throughout the city obtained a search warrant for Ciocco’s Revere home on July 1.

Police recovered 450 Grams of Cocaine and over $10,000 in cash. Police also seized two vehicles used in the illegal operation.

Ciocco was arraigned in Chelsea District Court.

SHOOTING INCIDENT ON MARLBOROUGH

On July 6 at 5:55 a.m., units were dispatched to the area of Broadway at Marlborough Street for a report of a victim of a shooting.

Upon arrival, Officers already in the area quickly learned there was no victim to be found.

Witnesses stated they observed two people fighting, a male party wearing a black shirt with black shorts and another male wearing a white shirt. They told officers they heard what they believed to be gunshots. A witness stated he then observed the male party wearing all black shoot at the person wearing the white shirt. He stated the male party wearing the white shirt was running away from the shooter. At that time, he stated he called 9-1-1 and never lost sight of the shooter (male party wearing all black). No victim was found and a check of area hospitals revealed no victim.

The alleged suspect was observed by officers and placed into custody. No firearm was recovered. Officers checked area to find the firearm, but did not recover any after an extensive search.

Ramon Valdez-Sanchez, 30, of 43 Eleanor St., was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm with 500 feet of a dwelling, burning land/tree, carrying a dangerous weapon, possessing a firearm silencer, carrying a loaded firearm without a permit, firearm violation with three prior violent/drug crimes, possessing ammo without a permit, possession of a firearm without a permit (2nd offense), and assault and battery.

‘SNITCH’ REMARK GETS ARREST

On Saturday, July 11, at 1:41 a.m., officers were dispatched to 74 Spencer Ave. for a report of a man being assaulted. While en route, they received further information that possible suspects were fleeing the area. While officers were on scene tending to victims and speaking to witnesses, other officers located the alleged suspect and brought him back to be identified. While the suspect observed the witnesses cooperating with the police he began to make threatening statements toward the witnesses. Officers indicated he was yelling at them for being “snitches” and vocally cursed them for cooperating with police.

The suspect was arrested on scene and charged for such, and taken into custody after a struggle.

Maslah Ibrahim, 23, of Kingston, was charged with disorderly conduct and intimidating/harrassing a witness.

POLICE TO SPONSOR CHILD FINGERPRINTING JULY 27

Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes announced that the Chelsea Police would be conducting two events in the coming weeks for children and elderly.

On Monday, July 27, from 4-6 p.m., the Police will be at the Chelsea Public Library for child fingerprinting and identification kids. The goal is to aid parents and guardians in keeping their children safe through the fingerprinting program. The fingerprint kids can be done in the library or at home and the information will belong to the family. The police will not keep the prints or the kits.

For questions on the initiative, contact the police at (617) 466-4855.

Another service for elderly resident called SafetyNew Service is also being debuted by police, but not in the library event.

The service helps police find and rescue people who wander and get lost in the city. SafetyNew by Lojack aims to protect residents with autism and Alzheimer’s Disease. The CPD has been trained and certified on the SafetyNet service. Officers are equipped with search and rescue equipment so they are able to locate anyone who signs up for the program and goes missing.

Lojack provides emergency support 24-hours a day.

The service uses bracelets for the wrist or ankle that emit a signal. Chelsea Police can detect the signal from the bracelet within a one-mile radius during searches.

To sign someone up, called the CPD at (617) 466-4855.

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‘Heroes’ Abound at the CPL Summer Reading Program

One would have thought they were giving away free iPads at the Chelsea Public Library last week as the Summer Reading Program began in earnest, but the popularity lay in good, old fashioned books and a focus on keeping kids engaged in reading over the lazy summer months.

From movies to working their way to becoming a superhero, kids in Chelsea have plenty to do at the Library this summer.

“This year, the Summer Reading Club has become very popular and the theme is ‘Every Hero Has a Story,’” said Martha Boksenbaum, children’s librarian. “This year, when the kids sign up they receive a superhero cutout. Each time they come to the library, they get to put another part of super hero gear on the cutout. If they fill up the super hero with gear, they get a real super hero cape. We are emphasizing super heroes this year, and we’ll have real life superheroes visiting the library.”

There will be police officers, animal handlers and a special super hero training as well. Boksenbaum took the unique step this year of visiting all of the elementary schools dressed as a super hero to drum up support for the program, and to bridge the gap between the library and the schools.

“I did go to the schools dressed as a super hero and that was exciting for the kids,” she said. “That has brought us a larger number of excited children showing up at the library to see what that’s all about.”

Students will also get credit at school this fall for completing the Summer Reading Club.

Events include:

•Thurs., July 9, Sparky’s Puppets, 11 a.m.

•Friday, July 10, Movie: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 2 p.m.

•Monday, July 13, Movie: Penguins of Madagascar, 2 p.m.

•Thursday, July 16, Jungle Jim: Superhero Training, 11 a.m.

•Thursday, July 23, Jenny the Juggler, 11 a.m.

•Tuesday, July 28, Movie: Frozen, 5:30 p.m.

•Thursday, July 30, Meet the Chelsea Police Dogs, 11 a.m.

•Thursday, Aug. 6, Great Big Faces Cartoonist, 2 p.m.

•Monday, Aug. 10, Movie: Cinderella, 2 p.m.

•Thursday, Aug. 13, Animal Adventures, 11 a.m.

•Thursday, Aug. 20, Make a Superhero Mask, 3:30 p.m.

Another popular feature of this year’s summer program at the library is that each week is that every week a teacher from one of the elementary schools will be at the library to read with their students. That will happen every Tuesday.

“That was exceptionally popular last year with more than 100 kids showing up every week,” she said. “So, we will do that again and get all four schools in the complex participating. We’ll emphasize one school each week. We had the Kelly School last week and it was a big hit again.”

There will also be a drop in Lego Club available and the age newborn to 6 Raising a Reader Stories in the Park program every Wedne

Children’s Librarian Martha Boksenbaum of the Chelsea Public Library has kicked off the Summer Reading Club and a whole host of activities this summer for young people in Chelsea to peruse.

Children’s Librarian Martha Boksenbaum of the Chelsea Public Library has kicked off the Summer Reading Club and a whole host of activities
this summer for young people in Chelsea to peruse.

sday morning as well.

“We have a lot going on and I’m very excited about it,” said Boksenbaum. “Last year, we increased our programs and I think this year will be even more exciting and successful. Chelsea Public Library is very busy during the school year, but it’s in the summer that the library really explodes with activity. We get so many kids coming in.”

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Snowstorm has Delivered a Beating on DPW

Snowstorm has Delivered a Beating on DPW

The National Guard provided trucks to to City last week to help make up for banged up equipment, and National Guard members from Massachusetts came this week to help dig out fire hydrants.

The National Guard provided trucks to to City last week to help make up for banged up
equipment, and National Guard members from Massachusetts came this week to help dig
out fire hydrants.

Chelsea DPW crews and equipment performed in exemplary fashion through the first snowstorm on Jan. 26, but three storms later, things aren’t coming as easy and now crews from the National Guard and New York and New Jersey have come in to help the City remove snow.

“Unlike the first storm, our equipment has now taken a beating with three additional storms since the first one,” said Joe Foti of the DPW. “We have about half of our equipment that is usable now and we’re trying to repair the rest. We need a good 10 days of nothing to get back to normal, that includes the guys who have been working. They’ve been working non-stop. Even when there’s no snow, we’ve had at least two guys on overnight for snow removal operations.”

The National Guard did sent in two trucks last week to help make up for some of the City’s broken equipment.

Other National Guard crews were around this week to help the Fire Department dig out hydrants from under snow banks.

Meanwhile, snow removal operations were in full speed overnight this week.

On Tuesday night, crews were scheduled to remove snow from the City Hall area during the overnight hours. More such operations are expected throughout the week.

Foti said the forecast looks good for now, but he cringes at the thought of a heavy rain event this weekend.

“The fortunate thing is they were predicting on Tuesday we would get 6-8 inches and it turned out to only be a dusting,” he said. “However, I did get a report of a rain event this Sunday, but it’s too early to tell. If I had to choose, I’d have to choose snow over rain. All of the catch basins and street drains are covered with snow.”

Seth Daniel can be reached at seth@reverejournal.com

The City announced that due to the narrow passage ways on many two-way streets in Chelsea, it would begin a Pilot Program on certain streets to make them temporarily one-way streets. The following list of streets will become one-way starting today and going through March 31.

  • Heard St. (from Bryson Rd. to Spruce St.)
  • Franklin Ave. (from Jefferson Ave. to Spruce St.)
  • Lafayette Ave. (from Spruce St. to Warren Ave.)
  • Clark Ave. (from Webster Ave. to Eleanor St.)
  • Gerrish Ave. (from Broadway to Highland St.)
  • Library St. (from Highland St. to Broadway)
  • Marlborough St. (from Broadway to Highland St.)
  • Grove St. (from Willow St. to Highland St.)
  • Watts St. (from Lynn St. to Highland St.)
  • Watts St. (from Willow St. to Highland St.)
  • Berma Rd. (from Exeter St. to Normandy Rd.)

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