Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp Seminar Will Be Starting on April 29

Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp Seminar Will Be Starting on April 29

Last summer two friends were chatting about how expensive college tuition is these days and the impending mounds of debt their collective six kids were most likely going to be faced with.

The conversation continued and one of the moms shared that she happened to be in the audience when Major Nippy Betz gave his TEDx talk a year prior and she was lucky to get to speak with him afterwards. She recalled having her mind blown open about the hidden world of scholarships and how if you cast a wide net, and are disciplined (just like fishing), you can reel in a boatload of free money. It was at that moment where they looked at each other and had an idea.

Like many moms, these friends are employed, over-extended and crazed, however they decided they needed to bring Nippy to Boston to share his education and his secrets. As they began to dig deeper, it became quickly evident that there was a lot they didn’t know, and likely other parents didn’t know as well. They decided to roll up their sleeves and plan the first ever Massachusetts Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp.

Kerry Strollo, Lexington resident, mom and event co-organizer said “This is about educating parents that you don’t have to sit idly by and just hope something down the line will work out financially for your kids. This is about early success planning so you (and your kiddos) are not panicked when they are a senior in High School on how they, or you, will afford college. Who knew kids in 7th and 8th grade can start to obtain and stockpile scholarships, and High Schoolers can earn so much they pay for their college education and then receive overpayments for living expenses after college? I didn’t, and we have 4 kids! As soon as I learned this I wanted to shout it from the mountain tops.” Strollo added, “There are tips, techniques, and a path to finding the scholarships, however it starts with putting together a plan of action. This Bootcamp is designed to help you craft that plan for success.”

Rosette Cataldo, a Revere native, mom and event co-organizer looks at it though a different lens. “I watch my kids, albeit great students, wasting time every day on the internet, Fort Nite, YouTube, Netflix…you name it. These kids must use their devices and brains for a better purpose. I want to educate my children on how to make the internet a gold mine that works for them, their future and not just a time suck.” This event is all about educating local parents and students at the same time and getting them aligned to work together with a plan so that the family isn’t crippled with debt

The Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp will be held:

April 29, 2018 11 am – 1 pm Diamond Middle School, Lexington

April 29, 2018 4 pm – 6 pm Sheraton Hotel, Framingham, MA

April 30, 2018 7 pm – 9 pm Larcom Theatre, Beverly, MA

May 1, 2018 7 pm – 9 pm Marriott Hotel, Newton, MA

For more info please visit:

Tickets are $49 per person. Students are encouraged to join their parents. Group rates (20+) available. To hear the story about a Tuft’s graduate with massive student debt please view this video

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School Budget Shortfall Hits More than $3 Million, Called Today’s Civil Rights Struggle

School Budget Shortfall Hits More than $3 Million, Called Today’s Civil Rights Struggle

The Chelsea Public Schools has hit a major shortfall in its budgeting for next year, and reported at recent meeting that it is in deficit $3.1 million, and has been underfunded by as much as $17.2 million by the state funding formula.

It has now become a major call to action for the school community and for activists in Chelsea, including the Chelsea Collaborative – whose Director, Gladys Vega, called on the City Council to support joining a lawsuit against the state for underfunding schools.

That suit was filed by Brockton and Worcester last week due to what they believe is chronic underfunding of urban schools through the 1993 Education Reform School Budget Formula.

“This reimbursement problem in the formula needs to be solved and I think we need to address the formula and I urge the City and the City Council to join with Brockton on this lawsuit against the state,” said Vega at Monday’s Council meeting.

She was right on the same page with Supt. Mary Bourque, who on Monday morning said they are seriously considering making that move.

“We have not officially joined, but we are seriously exploring the need to join this lawsuit,” she said.

By the numbers, the state Chapter 70 School Budget has underfunded the Chelsea Schools in five categories, according to the schools. One of the key pieces comes from the new definition of economically disadvantaged students (formerly low-income), which has caused an underfunding of $1.077 million in the coming year. Other areas included things where full reimbursements are promised, but only partially delivered – such as with Charter School reimbursements.

Those numbers include:

  • Fringe Benefits, $5.78 million
  • Charter School Reimbursement, $2.014 million
  • Special Education Tuition, $7.98 million
  • Homeless Student Transportation, $373,059

This came on the heels of a very lively and contentious meeting at City Hall by the School Committee on March 15, where the School Budget process was rolled out to a standing-room only crowd.

Bourque led off the meeting saying it is time to stand up for public education, and pressure legislators to take up the cause – a cause she said was the Civil Rights struggle of our time.

“Sadly, we find ourselves in a time and place where we are not willing as a society to invest in public education,” she said. “Each year I come to you with a budget that is failing each year to meet the complex needs of our students. Each year I come to you with a budget that fails to provide an equitable education compared to public school children in wealthier communities. Each year these educators…are being asked to do more with less and less. Providing our schools with the funding that’s needed to educate the next generation is the Civil Rights struggle of our time. I ask you: Will you join me in this Civil Rights struggle and our quest for social justice? We need to have the courage to standup now and today for public education.”

The Chelsea Teacher’s Union called for the same kind of advocacy, but also called on the City and the City Council to use its $34 million in Free Cash to shore up the School Budget.

“For the short term, the City of Chelsea has made some significant investment in the schools and we appreciate that. However, we need more,” said Sam Baker, vice president of the union. “The City has $34 million in Free Cash and the City is seeing significant real estate development. What is the purpose of all this this development and progress if the proceeds aren’t going to support the education of the kids in Chelsea? The CTU welcomes the opportunity to advocate for changes at the state level. That’s a long term solution. I’m asking the School Committee and the school community to lobby the City Council to release more funds to the School Department here in order to prevent the cuts to this proposed budget.”

Catherine Ellison, a special education teacher at the Browne Middle School, said many of her students have suffered because of budgets last year. She said last year the middle school Special Education budget was slashed, and after hearing of the impacts, the budget still wasn’t restored.

“Caseloads have soared while resources have severely declined,” she said. “Children have been forced to struggle in mainstream classes while funds were cut…Our staff and our students have been aggressive in addressing the increasing and complex needs of our brilliant, resilient and magnificent children. It’s time for the school district to do the same.”

Chelsea is not alone in the struggles, which is why the lawsuit is such a tempting option for urban schools like Chelsea.

Already, in Everett, mid-year cuts to the tune of $6 million were avoided by an infusion of cash by the City, and it is expected that the Everett Schools could need as much as $8 million to plug holes next year.

Revere has a similar circumstance and isn’t as far in its budgeting process as Chelsea and Everett, but it is expected they will have a sharp deficit as well.

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School, City Officials Ask Parents to Be Aware of Children’s Social Media Posting Following Threat

School, City Officials Ask Parents to Be Aware of Children’s Social Media Posting Following Threat

In the wake of a social media threat against the Chelsea High School posted last Friday, School Supt. Mary Bourque is putting students and parents on notice that there will be zero tolerance for any threats – whether verbal, written or posted on social media.

As a major footnote to that warning, she said she is initiating a citywide campaign aimed at parents of school-age children – calling them to be vigilant about checking their children’s’ social media posts.

“Any threats, whether verbal, written or posted on social media we will prosecute and we have prosecuted with our relationship with the Chelsea Police,” she said. “As a practice, the Chelsea Public Schools always talks serious threats to the schools and well-being of the schools. There are protocols we have with the Chelsea Police about prosecuting these matters. We will have zero tolerance for any threats.”

This follows on a threat made on Friday, March 2, via a social media post by a student at the high school. Using the protocol – and especially in the current environment following the school shooting in Florida – police quickly checked out the threat, searched  the student’s home and determined it wasn’t credible.

But that didn’t get the student off the hook.

Police, according to protocol, placed the juvenile student under arrest for posting a threat via social media.

It won’t be the last time either, Bourque said.

And that got to the heart of the matter for the schools, and that heart is the schools want parents to really monitor their children’s’ social media accounts.

“We need help with this, as does every school  district,” she said. “We also want to work with parents to start monitoring what their Chelsea are doing on social media. For us, it’s getting control of what’s going on in social media that’s of paramount importance…We need parents to be paying attention to all of the accounts. No child should have a password their parents don’t know about.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino and members of the City Council have also been asked to help with the campaign, and will do so.

“There has to be a zero tolerance for this,” he said. “Kids can’t be posting these kinds of things on social media. They will get in trouble for it. There are just too many serious things going on with this to be making these kinds of threatening posts.”

Bourque said there have been no credible threats discovered from the posts that have happened  this year, including the one on Friday.

Most of the time, she said, it’s about posturing, but it’s a posture that’s going to land kids in serious trouble.

“It’s mostly students trying to portray themselves as something they are not,” she said. “They are bad judgment calls in putting themselves out there in that way, but it’s something that will get them in trouble.”

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Sen DiDomenico Elevated to Senate Assistant Majority Leader

Sen DiDomenico Elevated to Senate Assistant Majority Leader

State Sen. Sal DiDomenico took yet another step up the leadership ladder last week, getting two major promotions within the legislative body.

First, DiDomenico (D-Everett) was elevated to the position of Assistant Majority Leader by Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). In addition to this new leadership post, Senator DiDomenico will also now serve as Chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Bills in the Third Reading, as well as Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs.

Previously, Senator DiDomenico served as Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, and with this new enhanced leadership role and committee assignments, the Senator will still remain a member of this important budget writing committee.

“It is an honor and privilege to be chosen by Senate President Harriette Chandler to serve as Assistant Majority Leader in the Massachusetts Senate,” DiDomenico said. “I look forward to continue serving on her leadership team in this expanded role and working with my colleagues to advance legislation that will have a positive impact on the people of the Commonwealth.”

The announcement of Senator DiDomenico’s promotion came along with the announcement of Senate President Chandler’s full leadership team for the remainder of the 2018 session. The new team is highlighted by the appointment of Senators, including DiDomenico, to Senate leadership positions and new committee assignments.

“As we continue to fight for the future of Massachusetts families, the Massachusetts Senate has never had more energy or purpose than it has today,” said Chandler. “This team is dynamic, experienced, diverse in viewpoints, and represents the best of our goals as Democrats and legislators. In making these decisions, it was critical to me to bring together a team of fresh, strong voices, as well as some of our most respected, long-serving members.”

These appointments follow a unanimous Senate vote earlier this month affirming Chandler as the Senate President for the remainder of the 2018 session. Chandler was initially appointed Acting Senate President in December.

Senator DiDomenico’s full legislatives titles and committee assignments are now as follows:

  • Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate
  • Chairman of Bill on the Third Reading
  • Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Senate Committee on Ways & Means
  • Community Development and Small Business
  • Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure
  • Financial Services
  • Labor and Workforce Development

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Storm Force:Frank Ippolito III Carries on Proud Family Tradition in Snow Removal

Storm Force:Frank Ippolito III Carries on Proud Family Tradition in Snow Removal

Anyone who lived in the Prattville section of Chelsea knew Frank Ippolito Jr.

Must See! Won’t Last! $499,900SALE PENDINGEAST BOSTONORIENT HEIGHTSLocation Location! Bungalow style 1 family, 3 Brs Full Dr, H/W Floors, Gorgeous detail throughoutWINTHROPHard to Find! A Vacant lot (over 5,000 s.f.) with a foundation on it! Also has a 2 story garage. Great for Builders, or Make your own Dream home! #455P $275KEAST BOSTON GREENWAY LOCATION!Mod 1 Br Condo, New kitchen, SS Appl, Quartz Counters! H/W Floors, Steps to T & Greenway! $329,900SALE PENDINGREVERE - WEST2 Family, Great Move in Condition! Custom Cabinets, New Bath, Roof, C/AC, H/W Floors, Quartz, SS Appl, Too Much to List! $629,000• 100 Gal. Minimum • 24 Hour ServiceCALL FOR DAILY LOW PRICEPer Gallon$2.55 Price subject to change without noticeTRASH NOTICEDue to the president's Day Holiday, on Monday, February 19th , 2018 Trash will be delayed by one day.Capitol Waste Services, Inc.Our Offices will be OPENMonday, February 19thPresident’s Day9AM – 5PMThomas Boyan, SrMarie ButeraRichard ButtiglieriTheresa ConteDr. Adrian CostanzaDorothy CordaroGerardo IannuzziPatricia MusePaul Penta, Jr. Antonetta SalamoneObituaries Pages 8 + 9See NEWS BRIEFS, Page 2$1.5 MILLION FOR NORTHERN STRAND COMMUNITY TRAILThe Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has approved a $1.5 million grant regarding the development of the Northern Strand Community Trail led by a Revere on the Move part-ner organization, Bike to the Sea. Revere has a one-mile stretch in North Revere. The Northern Strand Community Trail has been in development for over 20 years. The North Revere segment is a major part in the project that creates a continuous 7.5-mile rail trail running from West Everett, through Malden and Revere to the Saugus River and soon into Lynn. The North Revere segment allows users to en-joy spectacular views of the Rumney Marsh. The funding, awarded through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Gateway City Parks Program, enables the design of the trail, develop-ment of bid-ready construc-tion documents, and receipt of all necessary construction permits. When completed, the trail will span 10 miles and RECREATION HOSTS PAINT & SKATE NIGHT AT CRONIN RINKJoseph Arrigo was all smiles at the Revere Recreation Paint & Skate Night on Feb. 10 at the Cronin Skating Rink in Revere. Please see more photos on Page 10.By Sue Ellen WoodcockFor years the abutters of Route 1 have put up with the noise from millions of cars, and now some city councillors want to have Mayor Brian Ar-rigo contact the MassDOT to install barriers along Route 1 between Route 16 and Cope-land Circle.Ward 5 Councillor Charles Patch, Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe and Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKen-na teamed up on a motion at last last week’s council meet-ing. Patch said he and the late Councillor Robert Haas Jr. tried to get barriers installed in 2011 and received no re-sponse.“We should get more re-spect from the state and fed-eral government,” Patch said..Keefe noted that more af-fluent communities are often granted sound barriers.Ward 2 Councillor Ira No-voselsky pointed out that Sau-gus got barriers along Route 1 installed along a new ball field.“It’s a quality-of-life is-sue,” he said.Barriers are easily seen Have you ever had an idea for how you could make im-provements to the Revere community? So have the ap-plicants to the mini-grant pro-grams hosted by Revere on the Move and the Alcohol, To-bacco and Other Drugs Task Force; and this time, these ideas are going to become a reality.Every year a group of Re-vere residents and institution-al leaders meet together to select the awardees of mini-grants offered to the public through the community-led organizations, Revere on the Move and the Alcohol, Tobac-co, and Other Drugs (ATOD) Task Force. Both the ATOD Task Force and Revere on the Move are initiatives of the MGH Revere CARES Coa-lition. Revere on the Move is additionally co-led by the Healthy Community Initia-tives Office at the City of Re-vere.This year over $20,000 was awarded to fund ideas to make Revere a healthier place to work, to play, and to raise a family. The Revere on the Move mini-grant program offered $10,605 in funding for permanent changes, pro-gram implementation, and youth-led projects that would help prevent or reduce obe-sity in children and adults. The ATOD Task Force fund-ed projects totaling $9,500 to reduce youth substance use, improve their mental health, and increase opportunities for positive youth engagement.In addition to the mini-grants already funded, Revere on the Move has extended their permanent change and program mini-grant appli-cations to Sunday, March 4. Up to $1,395 is available for ideas that make it easier to eat healthy and be active for all. The application is open Revere's TNDreceives $50,000state grant for jobsSpecial to The JournalMonday morning the Bak-er-Polito Administration awarded $500,000 to nine projects through the Urban Agenda Grant Program. The Revere arm of The Neigh-borhood Developers (TND) was one group given $50,000 in funding to help establish workforce development ser-vices in Revere to support lo-cal residents to acquire newly created jobs.Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito along with Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash came to Revere City Hall to present the check to the Neighborhood Developers.“Our administration under-stands the importance of local leadership and its impact on the lives of residents,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The Urban Agenda Grant Program relies on the strong partnerships between local government, non-profits and the business community that are critical to fostering eco-nomic success and building stronger neighborhoods in ev-ery region in Massachusetts.”Revere is rebuilding its economic and employment base by utilizing large-scale and high value assets includ-ing Suffolk Downs, Wonder-land, a soon-to-close NECCO plant, and the MassDevelop-ment TDI Waterfront District.The program seeks to un-lock community-driven re-sponses to local obstacles, and promote economic devel-opment opportunities through partnership-building, problem solving, and shared account-ability in urban centers. The competitive awards offer flex-ible funding for local efforts that bring together commu-nity stakeholders to pursue economic development ini-tiatives. These awards will fund projects in Boston, Clin-Real estate values continue to be strong in RevereLt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Ann Houston of The Neighborhood Developers, State Rep. RoseLee Vincent, Bob O' Brien of Revere Economic Department, Mayor Brian Arrigo and Secretary of Housing and Ecomonic Development Jay Ash at the announcement of the Urban Agenda Grant Program on Monday morning in the Revere City Council Chambers.By Sue Ellen WoodcockThe Revere real estate mar-ket in 2017 was definitely a good one with higher prices for homes than in 2016, but a drop in the number of new listings, making home-buying an adventure.“These are the highest pric-es we’ve seen in the last eight years,” said Maureen Celata, owner/broker of MCelata Real Estate. “And 2018 is going to be another banner year. Inven-tory is low now, but everyone is looking to the spring.”According to figures from the Massachusetts Associa-tion of Realtors, the median sales prices was $376,250, a 4.9 increase over prices in 2016.Homes also were also on the market 41 days, a 26.8 percent increase over the 56 days on the market in 2016.The number of listings in 2017 also dropped to 265, 10.8 percent down from 297 in 2016. The good news for sellers is that the original list-ing price was matched 100 percent of the time.The condominium mar-ket saw similar trends with the median sales price at $315,000, up 16.7 percent over 2016. Days on the mar-ket also dropped from 67 in 2016 to 47 days on the market“Inventory is low now and everyone is looking toward the spring,” Celata saidThe rental market is also strong with rents ranging from $1,200 to $3,000. Cleat noted that if someone is paying big rent they just might be capable of buying and taking advan-tage of first-time homebuyers programs.“2017 was a fantastic year to be in real estate,” said Joe Mario of Century 21 Ma-rio Real Estate. “There’s a lot of confidence and equity in homes. For 35 years now it’s been positive. Now is the time to sell. Revere is getting the overflow from the Boston market and people are moving to Revere.Mario said Revere is desir-able because of its proximity to Boston, and it’s a hidden gem with a beautiful beach.Mario is looking forward to the spring market, drawing from Boston and surrounding communities. He added that the Revere School system is also a draw for buyers.“It all adds to the future growth of Revere,” he said.See MINI GRANTS Page 3See TND GRANT , Page 3TOP BILLINGYour Ad Here Call 781 485 0588REVERE DENTISTRY AND BRACESGeneral and Cosmetic Dentistry for Adults and Children370 Broadway • 781-629-9093 • Offers.RevereDentistryAndBraces.comYour Ad HereCall 781 485 0588 PHOTO BY DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN The fashion show during Friday night’s Night of Performing Arts Celebration – part of the ambitious Black History Month calendar - was presented by designer Seneeca Wilson (second from left) of Khy Alexander Bridal by Eclas. Modeling her designs were Khy Alexander (from whom the fashion line was named), Denise Wilson, and Chanyce Kane. See page 6 for more photos. (617)569-6044 (877)765-3221MARIO REAL ESTATETHINKING OF SELLING YOUR HOME?Call us TODAY for a free confidential market analysis!#1 in Sales In East Boston Since 1991www.century21mario.comSi Parla Italiano • Se Habla EspanolFalo Portuguese• Chúng tôi nói tiếng ViệtEAST BOSTON GREENWAY LOCATION!Mod 1 Br Condo, New kitchen, SS Appl, Quartz Counters! H/W Floors, Steps to T & Greenway! $329,900SWAMPSCOTTNew to Market! 5 Rm, 2 Br, 2 Bath home, Maple Cabinets, SS Appliance, H/W Floors, Close to the Ocean, #43 N.O. Won't Last!SOMERVILLE OPEN HOUSESATURDAY & SUNDAY 1-2:30PM3 VILLAGE ST #2Luxurious 5 Rm, 2 Br, 21/2 Bath Condo, Duplex style unit, rare quartzite counters, Jen-Air Appliances, 16' Cathedral ceiling in L.V., Polk audio system, Stone gas fireplace. Too Much to List, Easy walk to Harvard Square! Cambridge Living at Somerville Prices! $999KEAST BOSTON - EAGLE HILL4-5-3 Vacant 3 Family, Lots of nice detail with nice yard. Great to invest or live in!WINTHROPLovely 7Rm, 3 Br, 2 Bath home, H/W Floors, Mod Kitchen, F.P., Beautiful detail, Easy walk to Beach & Shops! Won't Last! $485,000WINTHROPThe Highlands, Oceanfront, Mid Century Modern Multi level home! 4Brs, 2 1/2 Baths, Fabulous Ocean Views!!REVERERarely available Commercial on Broadway, Apox 870 Sf of 2 Offices, High traffic count, Has parking! Great for any type of office or business! #209B $499KEAST BOSTON OPEN HOUSESUNDAY 11 - 1 PM 3 CASTLE COURT - JEFFRIES POINTCustom 2Br 21/2 Bath Townhomes, High end finishes, C/AC, H/W Floors, Private Roof Deck, 2 Car Garage (tandem), Easy walk to Waterfront & T located on Private Cul-de-sacSOLDEAST BOSTON ORIENT HEIGHTSLocation Location! Bungalow style 1 family, 3 Brs Full Dr, H/W Floors, Gorgeous detail throughoutSALE PENDINGEAST BOSTONDesirable Harbor-view Location! 2 Br, 2 Bath Condo, Apox. 1100 s.f., Granite, SS Appl, H/W Floors, Deck & Parking. Easy walk to T, Beach, and Shop-ping! $459,000EAST BOSTON3 Fam, 5-6-6 rms, Perfect for condos or long term investment! Sep Utils., Great Harborview Loc w/ Lg. Yard! Won't Last! $849,000SALE PENDING By Seth Daniel City Manager Tom Ambrosino delivered his State of the City address on Monday night, Feb. 26, prior to the Council meeting, and he implored the Council that the time to fill the storehouses is not now. Ambrosino once again – as in the previous two State of the Cities – praised the former City governments for putting the City in a firm and solid financial position with a lot of reserves and savings. However, he said the City just received $34 million in Free Cash from the state, and having that kind of money to save doesn’t sit well with him. “Now, I give full credit this Council and others that preceded you for that incredible financial stewardship,” he said. “But, having that level reserves has to give us a little pause. There’s always been something just a little unsettling to me about this City having that much money in reserve. Government is not intended to be a profit making enterprise. Our goal isn’t to make money year after year. As a local government, our goal, our mission is to provide services to our residents. So, it is my strong opinion that with this level of reserves, we have an obligation, a fiduciary duty, to start investing more in our City. And, that will be something you will see from me this year and beyond.” State of the City Ambrosino says City needs to continue spending on residents See TOBIN Page 2 See CITY Page 2 Storm Force Frank Ippolito III carries on proud family tradition in snow removal Tobin Bridge project to begin April 1 Frank Ippolito III (left), owner of Ippolito Snow Services in East Boston, is shown on the cover of Snow Business Magazine with Travis Dassylva. The Tobin Bridge is in the

Frank Ippolito III (left), owner of Ippolito Snow Services in East Boston, is shown on the cover of Snow Business Magazine with Travis Dassylva. The Tobin Bridge is in the background.

He was the familiar face and kind gentleman at Ippy’s Amoco Gas Station at the corner of Washington and Garfield Avenues who owned that popular service station and car repair business in addition to Ippy’s Plowing that he started in 1973.

“My grandfather, Frank Sr. started it, and my dad, Frank Jr., continued it for 50 years,” said Frank Ippolito III.

The Ippolito name still resonates with pride in the city. Frank III’s uncle, Joseph Ippolito, has guided the beautiful renovation project at the Sagamore Club that is enjoying a resurgence of new members. Uncle Jimmy Ippolito was known for his athletic talents and Jimmy and Jane’s daughter, Jamie, became the greatest softball player in Savio Prep history before continuing her brilliant career at Stonehill College.

Frank Ippolito Jr. passed away in 2012 and his son, Frank III, assumed command of the plowing business, changing its name to Ippolito Snow Services LLC. The business is located on Chelsea Street in East Boston, making for easy access to its Boston clients.

The level of excellence that the father brought to his business has continued under the son’s capable leadership – and then some.

In 2015 after the snowiest winter (108 inches) in Boston history, Ippolito Snow Services received the National Snow and Ice Management Award. Ippolito’s company was recently featured on the cover of Snow Business magazine.

Ippolito oversees a staff of approximately 50 employees. He seeks out part-time employees from businesses such as auto repair shops and car washes, and the commercial fishing industry, many of whom who don’t usually work in their regular jobs during snowstorms.

“We’re a snow only business – we don’t do anything else,” said Ippolito. “In the offseason, we attend national training conferences and start negotiating snow-plowing contracts in the summer. We really want to focus on what we do well.”

Whether it’s an inch of snow or a major snowstorm hitting the Boston area, Ippolito has to be ready to send out an army of snow removal vehicles. “We have plow trucks, obviously, but we have loaders, Wildcats, and Bobcats. We do a lot of sidewalks in Boston so we recently invested in a lot of sidewalk-clearing equipment.”

Ippolito has become one of the region’s foremost experts on snow removal and often fields inquiries from business owners such as: How can a company project its snowplowing services from year to year and what if there is a winter with very little snow (Boston averages 42 inches per season, according to Ippolito).

“There are two models,” said Ippolito. “One is that a company pays a certain amount and no matter how much snow we get, that is the amount for a three-year period. Other companies pay by the storm and by the inch.”

The unforgettable winter of 2015 was a major test for Ippolito and his staff. “There were 78 inches of snow in February,” recalled Ippolito. “It was overwhelming. We brought in a lot of people from out of state to help out. It was non-stop snow removal for weeks. That’s when we knew as a company that there could be a real business here. That winter really put us on the map. But we don’t want to be the biggest, we just want to be the best.”

Ippolito said his company uses Eastern Minerals on Marginal Street for its salt for snow removal. “We’re fortunate to have a great business like that just three minutes away,” said Ippolito.

Ippolito utilizes the latest technology to mnitor his company’s work during snowstorms. “We put GPS tracking in all the trucks,” he said. “We’re able to move resources around quickly if a snowstorm shifts.”

Though he now lives in Revere, Frank III still relishes his ties to Chelsea. “I am proud of our family’s connection to Chelsea. I’m proud of the way my grandfather and father worked hard and the great business they ran in Chelsea. This city will always have a special place in my heart..”

Though he lives in Revere, Frank Ippolito III still relishes his family’s connection to Chelsea. “I am proud of our ties to Chelsea and I am proud of my father and my grandfather and the great business they ran in Chelsea. This city will also have a special place in my heart.”

And vice versa, the city of Chelsea  will always have a fondness for Ippy’s Amoco and the entire Ippolito family.

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Tobin Bridge Project to Begin April 1

Tobin Bridge Project to Begin April 1

The contract for the multi-year Mystic/Tobin Bridge Rehabilitation project will begin on April 1 for the first full year of construction on the upper and lower decks of the Bridge.

The project is fully separate from the controversial Chelsea Viaduct project – which is adjacent to this project – and is still in the design phase.

JF White received its notice to proceed last October and the contract begins on April 1, which will clear them to move in and begin work, particularly on the Lower Deck (outbound) part of the Bridge. The Lower Deck in each of the three-years will have one lane closed for concrete structure repairs.

Another major component will be the temporary closures at different points during the year of the Everett Avenue on-ramp, the Beacon Street off-ramp and the Fourth Street off-ramp.

“The Lower Deck is a little more involved because it requires milling and paving and replacement of the existing concrete deck,” said John McInerney of MassDOT. “It’s a steel grid so it’s a little more tedious to replace that concrete. Because of worker safety and the fact that the work is tedious and we have to pour concrete and let it cure, the three lanes on the Lower Deck will be down to two throughout the job.”

On the first year, this year, that will be the right lane of traffic that will be closed outbound. On the second year, it will be the left lane, and on the third year, the middle lane.

Paving and milling operations on the Upper Deck (inbound) is less intrusive and will only be done in off-peak hours with no lane closures expected.

The ramp closures will likely be the most impactful thing for Chelsea residents this year, but McInerney said they will not close multiple ramps at the same time for construction. They will do one at a time.

The first ramp up will be the Everett Avenue on-ramp, which is in deplorable shape.

He said it will likely be closed from late April to May.

“We are going to want them to really focus on that when they close a ramp,” he said. “We aren’t going to let them close a ramp and only work on it three hours a day. We want them to get it done as quickly as possible.”

Once that is done, they will move to close the Beacon Street off-ramp for two months. When it is completed, they will move to close the Fourth Street off-ramp for about one month. That is anticipated to happen in November.

“The bottom line is these three ramp closures are anticipated for this construction season and they won’t close simultaneously,” he said. “They have to have to come one after the other.”

He added that the MBTA is working with them to talk about changes to bus routes that use those ramps.

McInerney said there will also be extensive steel repairs on the Bridge, but the extent isn’t totally known right now. Once crews are able to set up access points, they will be able to examine the steel more closely.

McInerney said before JF White proceeds on April 1, there will be a community meeting to address any concerns. Dates for those meetings are forthcoming.

The project contract ends each Nov. 30 for the three-year period.

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Chelsea’s College Basketball Star:Drexel’s Sammy Mojica Excels in His Last Game in Boston

Chelsea’s College Basketball Star:Drexel’s Sammy Mojica Excels in His Last Game in Boston

The Chelsea police officers were there to Sammy Mojica Jr. The Chelsea High and Brimmer and May basketball players were there to see their former teammate, Sammy Mojica Jr.

Sammy Mojica Jr. with his mother, Awilda Morales, following the Drexel-Northeastern game Feb. 15 at Matthews Arena.

Sammy Mojica Jr. with his mother, Awilda Morales, following the Drexel-Northeastern game Feb. 15 at Matthews Arena.

And Sammy Mojica Jr., son of CPD Officer Sammy Mojica Sr. and Awilda Morales, put on a very good show, scoring 13 points and playing terrific defense for the Drexel Dragons in a hard-fought 75-69 loss to Northeastern at Matthews Arena.

It was one final example to young Chelsea basketball players that if you work hard, do the right things on and off the court and in the classroom, and follow the guidance of your parents, you can realize your dream and play major college basketball.

Sammy Mojica, a star at Chelsea High for two seasons before transferring to Brimmer and May where he became a 1000-point scorer, has not only played Division 1 college basketball but he has excelled. Earlier this season he surpassed the 1000-point milestone as a collegian.

Sammy came out firing against Northeastern, hitting a pair of long-range three-pointers. He rebounded, ran the floor well, and found the open teammate for high percentage shots. The Dragons closed the gap late in the game and it appeared they might overtake the Huskies, but the second-best team (behind the College of Charleston) in the Colonial Athletic Association, but the hosts held off Sammy and Company in the final minutes.

Supporters and former teammates like Cesar Castro, a 1000-point scorer himself at CHS, stayed after the game to congratulate Sammy Mojica for the pride he’s brought to the city. In fact, Castro, a CHS assistant coach, brought several Red Devil players with him to Northeastern to root on Sammy.

“I wanted the players to see what hard work, a dedication to practice, and having a great attitude will lead them to one day,” said Castro.

Brimmer and May basketball coach Tom Nelson was at the game with some of Sammy’s former teammates at the Newton school.

“After playing two years at Chelsea High, he came over and played basketball for me at Brimmer and May, did a great job in a competitive league and scored 1,000 points,” said Nelson. “He played AAU basketball on my Mass Rivals team and then it was off to Drexel where he’s had another great career. He worked very hard and he always had a determination to be good. At the end of the day he’ll be able to show his kids that he had a great college career at Drexel and I think that’s important for him. He’s one of the best kids you’ll meet. He’s just a pure, kind soul and he’s never changed.”

Sammy was happy to see all his supporters from Chelsea at the game.

“Every time I come to Boston there’s a big crowd, but today it was special because it’s my last time playing here in college, so to have my family and friends here, I appreciate it so much,” said Sammy.

He’s proud of his 1000-point achievement, a milestone reached by only the elite players in college basketball.

“It was crazy to get to 1000,” said Sammy. “I remember scoring my 1000th point in high school and to do it at the highest level of college basketball, it felt very good to do it,” said Sammy. “Thank God all my family and friends supported me and stayed on me and I stayed level headed here.”

Sammy had a message for the kids of Chelsea who want to follow in his footsteps and play Division 1 basketball.

“Just keep working, believe in yourself at all times and don’t let anyone put you down – you have to keep following your dream,” said the Drexel star.

Sammy Mojica Jr., heaped praise on his parents for their devotion and guidance from his earliest days when his talent was first noticed in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League until today at Drexel, where he’s wrapping up a superb college basketball career and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.

“I love my parents – my mom, who’s been my No. 1 supporter from the jump, and my dad, who put a ball in my hands when I was a baby, taught me the game – they’ve always been there every step of the way and I appreciate my mom and my dad so much,” said Sammy.

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The Rose Rush is On: Valentine’s Day at New Regional Flower Exchange in Chelsea is a Better Experience for Buyers

The Rose Rush is On: Valentine’s Day at New Regional Flower Exchange in Chelsea is a Better Experience for Buyers

Anyone in Greater Boston who got a rose yesterday on Valentine’s Day likely had that rose pass through the New England Flower Exchange in Chelsea.

Chelsea Florist Valerie LaCount of Washington Park Florists said having the New England Flower Exchange in Chelsea has made life much easier for her business, especially this week on Valentine’s Day. The Exchange moved to Chelsea last March from Boston’s South End after 50 years in that location. It was the first Valentine’s Day rush at the new facility for the wholesalers and their many customers from all over New England.

Chelsea Florist Valerie LaCount of Washington Park Florists said having the New England Flower Exchange in Chelsea has made life much easier for her business, especially this week on Valentine’s Day. The Exchange moved to Chelsea last March from Boston’s South End after 50 years in that location. It was the first Valentine’s Day rush at the new facility for the wholesalers and their many customers from all over New England.

In a formerly vacant warehouse on Second Street, the hub of Valentine’s Day – and every other flowery occasion – has been established.

The New England Flower Exchange on Second Street virtually handles about every rose that ended up in the hands of lovers on Valentine’s Day.

This past Monday, the Exchange was brimming with activity, as it was the last possible day for the nine wholesalers in the Exchange to get their product out the door to local florists, who in turn provide the necessary flowers, vases and accompaniments to customers for the big day.

It was the first Valentine’s Day holiday for the Exchange in its new location, after having moved from Boston’s South End (where it was next to I-93 and called the Boston Flower Exchange) after 50 years last March.

“Valentine’s Day is stressful,” said Jerry Cupp, of Cupp & Cupp Corp. – one of the long-time Exchange wholesalers. “I think that it’s one of the busiest times here at the Flower Exchange. So many things can go wrong. We’ve been going from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. If they had eight days, it would be eight days a week. Today is the big day though.”

For local florists who have been long-time customers of the Exchange in its former South End location – such as Valerie LaCount of Washington Park Florist on Eastern Avenue – having the Exchange in Chelsea is a relief.

That was particularly true this week as it was the first Valentine’s Day where she didn’t have to wade through traffic on the Tobin Bridge and downtown Boston to get to her flowers and supplies.

“I absolutely love it being here now because it’s in Chelsea,” she said. “I love not having to go over the Bridge. I’m here two or three times a day. It’s so much easier. I came over here today and looked at the traffic backed up on the Tobin and said, ‘Thank God that’s not me anymore.’”

Paula Parziale, a long-time general manager of Berkeley Floral Supply – and an Everett native, said Valentine’s Day can be a challenge  for a wholesaler.

“We do call it hell week around here,” she joked. “It’s actually more clean and organized than it’s ever been. Valentine’s Day is all about roses. There are so many varieties of roses now, you have to get your orders in to the growers early so you don’t get bumped. For us, family and friends know not to call us or text us until Feb. 15 – unless it’s an emergency.”

The New England Flower Exchange is a wholesaler, much like many of the fruit and vegetable dealers in the neighboring New England Produce Center. That means the general public cannot waltz into the facility and buy directly from any of the business there. However, anyone with the proper floral credentials can establish an account, and most every florist in the area does their shopping at the new Exchange – which sources most of its flowers from Ecuador, the United States, Colombia and Holland.

Many of those growers begin growing to supply wholesalers at the Exchange right before Christmas – meaning that the flower’s journey begins long before February.

LaCount said many consumers think that the flower industry engages in price gouging at Valentine’s Day, but it’s not the case. Instead, she said the growers have to sacrifice two or three crops to provide the volume needed for the American Valentine’s Day. That special circumstance comes at a premium cost, she said, for the wholesalers.

“People don’t understand the growers have to forgo an entire harvest or two to get the kind of production needed for Valentine’s Day,” she said. “People think it’s gouging, but it isn’t. The volume is there, but the wholesale costs are so high that you don’t make a lot of money on Valentine’s Day. Normally, I would charge around $60 for a dozen roses, but that goes up to $90 on Valentine’s Day because the wholesale costs are twice as high. Believe me, I’d close the store on Valentine’s Day if I could, but I can’t because I haven’t won the lottery yet.”

Meanwhile, the major story besides Valentine’s Day at the new Exchange is the move that they made last year.

“It has been such a smooth transition; it was wonderful,” said Janina Cupp, market manager. “They actually did business in the South End up to closing on Feb. 28, and on March 1 came over here and opened the next day. It’s been really great. It’s been better for some florists than others. Those from the North Shore and Maine love it. Those on the South Shore aren’t so happy, but they’re making the transition. The Tobin Bridge is the issue, but everyone has grown accustomed to it. The last market was worn. This market has a lot more open energy to it. There’s one aisle and you can see everything, plus the new lighting is much better.”

The Exchange began its build out in mid-December 2016 after their old location in the South End sold to the Abbey Group to be developed into about 1.5 million sq. ft. of premium high-rise office space. The former Exchange had been in that location for 50 years, but the development push on what had become prime property was too strong.

On March 1, 2017, nine of the wholesalers made the move, with one staying in the South End area and another closing. Several, such as Carbone, moved over their operations, but also significantly expanded their offerings of vases and other accessories.

A new wholesaler of vases from New York has also been added.

But the major message is that they’ve found success, and stayed together.

“It’s worked out a lot better than anticipated,” said Jerry Cupp. “We anticipated something like a 10 or 15 percent reduction in sales when we moved. It has turned out just the opposite. The way this building is designed is a lot better. It’s more open and you get a great visual of everything. There are coolers and refrigerators. You can get the product from the cooler trailer to the floor and the coolers much quicker. That matters.”

Parziale said one of the best parts for her has been keeping the wholesalers together. The floral business, she said, is one that doesn’t change much, and many of those in the wholesale and retail markets tend to become like family over the years. There had been a threat that everyone would split up, but the new Exchange has prevented that, she said.

“I don’t think there are too many complaints at all,” she said. “We’re just really lucky we all got to stay together because it’s very unique to see a Flower Market stay together under one roof. We could have all split up. That would have been sad. Many of us have been working side by side and together for 30 or 40 years…For the customers, it’s important because you walk in and have everything you need all in one place. You only have to get out of your car one time.”

Bob Hall of Kelley Wholesale Florists said they were also concerned in leaving the South End, but as it turned out, the concerns weren’t warranted.

“We were concerned, extremely worried really, about what would happen if things went the wrong way,” he said. “We had a few bumps, but in all, it’s been positive.”

Janina Cupp added that the City of Chelsea has been wonderful in the transition and the build out. Had it not been for the cooperation, she said, it would have been much more difficult.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he was glad to have the Exchange in Chelsea.

“We always try to be accommodating,” he said. “We are certainly happy to have them there. We certainly didn’t want that building to remain vacant.”

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Chelsea Florist Valerie LaCount of Washington Park Florists said having the New England Flower Exchange in Chelsea has made life much easier for her business, especially this week on Valentine’s Day. The Exchange moved to Chelsea last March from Boston’s South End after 50 years in that location. It was the first Valentine’s Day rush at the new facility for the wholesalers and their many customers from all over New England.

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Chelsea Florist Valerie LaCount talks over her order while Chris Birch of Cupp & Cupp Corp. wraps up a Valentine order.

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On Valentine’s Day in the New England Flower Exchange, Everett native Paula Parziale of Berkeley Floral Supply said it’s one week of chaos and careful preparation. The new Exchange celebrated its first Valentine’s Day in its new location on Second Street. The Exchange moved last year from its long-time headquarters in Boston’s South End.

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At the New England Flower Exchange on Second Street, MaryEllen Crowley of Berkeley Floral Supply wraps up an order from a customer. The Exchange was operating seven days a week for the past several days to keep up with wholesale flower orders for Valentine’s Day.

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A wall of red roses lined just about every stall at the market on Monday. It was the last big wholesale buying day for florists all around New England.

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Some nine wholesalers at the New England Flower Exchange on the Chelsea/Everett line celebrated their first Valentine’s Day in the new location this week.

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Janina Cupp, market manager, said they move from Boston’s South End to the Chelsea/Everett line has been very positive, despite initial concerns from many wholesalers.

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Elgreen Orchids owner Jeff Kim said as a specialist, the move has been hard on his business, but things are starting to turnaround. The new facility is much easier for keeping his colorful orchids though.

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Potential Wynn Branding Problems Likely to Move into Uncharted Territory

Potential Wynn Branding Problems Likely to Move into Uncharted Territory

One of the biggest questions floating around all of Greater Boston right now regarding the allegations against CEO Steve Wynn is whether or not the casino building here will carry his signature brand name at the top when it opens in 2019 – a brand that has gone from impeccable to potentially tainted in a few day’s time.

Experts in the field of marketing and branding – something that is heavily studied and critically important in today’s business world – are closely watching this case with Wynn.

Locally, Northeastern University Assistant Professor Charn McAllister, who teaches in the Management and Organizational Development Department at Northeastern, said there are so many firsts in this case when it comes to branding.

One of the major issues with the Wynn situation is that the company is heavily tied to the man for whom some seriously negative allegations are being made. The company is tied so heavily that it in fact carries a brand name that is now associated with that negativity.

“I think Steve Wynn in many ways is the heart and soul of Wynn Resorts,” McAllister said. “It’s a cult of personality. When people invest in Wynn, they are investing in Steve Wynn…Five or six months ago, you would expect a company to remove an individual from a position of leadership. How do you do that when the company is the person? Though these are still allegations, it’s like Weinstein in that the allegations were so horrible that the name of the business became poison. When your name is on the building and on everything else, at that point it puts the Board in a very difficult situation.”

That difficult situation comes from the fact that the Board for Wynn – a publicly traded company – has stated in federal filings that the loss of Wynn from their company would mean significant financial losses. Now, they are facing a decision about the loss of Wynn versus the losses from the bad name via the publicity.

“They have already stated in SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filings that the loss of Steve Wynn would result in major losses to the company, but at the same time you just had a 14 percent drop in your stock price because of Steve Wynn,” he said.

The branding of Wynn has been carefully guarded since the company arrived in Everett. From the local office to the Las Vegas office, the company has been very careful since day one to remain on brand and on message in all communications and imagery. That’s because they have spent decades building the name ‘Wynn’ into an image and vision of luxury and something fun and clean.

The allegations against Wynn now, which he fully denies, are anything but clean and fun. Regardless of their validity or not – or the circumstances of them surfacing – McAllister said today’s court of public opinion is very harsh on a brand.

He said some of the things he will be watching as the investigation moves forward is whether the company has a hard time recruiting new employees as they ramp up for the 2019 opening due to the public perception of the brand.

“The brand integrity is going to be downgraded substantially,” he said. “Recruiting for the company will be harder likely because the new potential candidates may not be so eager to work for the company. It’s not that they are afraid so much of getting assaulted, but the image of the company. Do you want to go home and tell your parents or friends that you work for this brand that is now associated with such bad things?”

McAllister said other things he is watching is how the allegations might be interpreted internationally, since Wynn has locations in Asia as well.

He also said he believes more companies might re-think making their brand the name of a company leader or founder. He said, for example, that everyone knows Jeff Bezos is the leader of Amazon, but the company doesn’t bear his name.

More than anything, McAllister said the unprecedented part of the situation will be whether public perception forces the brand to change. That, of course, is a question that nearly all of Everett is wondering as well.

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Anti-Bullying Week Kicks Off at Collaborative, CHS

Anti-Bullying Week Kicks Off at Collaborative, CHS

By Seth Daniel

Chelsea Collaborative youth leaders Stephany Villatoro and Ashanti DeCosta look at a picture of Amanda Todd, a teen from another state who ended her life in 2012 due to cyber bullying. The moment was part of a kick-off event at the Collaborative on Tuesday, Jan. 16, for Anti-Bullying Week. A large event at Chelsea High for students, parents and staff will take place Thursday, Jan. 18, at 5 p.m.

Chelsea Collaborative youth leaders Stephany Villatoro and Ashanti DeCosta look at a picture of Amanda Todd, a teen from another state who ended her life in 2012 due to cyber bullying. The moment was part of a kick-off event at the Collaborative on Tuesday, Jan. 16, for Anti-Bullying Week. A large event at Chelsea High for students, parents and staff will take place Thursday, Jan. 18, at 5 p.m.

The Chelsea Collaborative youth leaders and Chelsea High School are combining their efforts this week to bring unprecedented attention to Anti-Bullying Week.

On Tuesday afternoon, youth leaders kicked off the week with a program at the Chelsea Collaborative designed to educate  youth and adults about how dangerous bullying can be in the 21st Century – a danger that can often lead to death.

Stephany Villatoro and Ashanti DeCosta of the Collaborative Youth Team said they see bullying all the time at the high school, and can definitely understand how

someone might commit suicide.

When asked if they could picture someone at their school going so far as to end their life over  bullying, they replied, “Oh yea.”

That is why the youth displayed personal stories of bullying from kids who live in Chelsea and also one national story about Amanda Todd. The teen had posted something online by mistake, and was attacked  with cyber-bullying that didn’t stop.

Soon, it was more than she could take, and she ended her life.

“I think it is such a necessary topic,” said Villatoro. “It’s something that many of us might have actually experienced ourselves in some form, but we don’t want to talk about it. By being youth leaders at the Collaborative, it gives us an opportunity to spread concerns and solutions about this to other youth our age.”

Said DeCosta, “Something that is very common at Chelsea High is cyber bullying. It’s not much with verbal or physical bullying, but the cyber bullying often leads to that. It all starts with the cyber bullying though. Someone will post something about someone else and they’ll go back and forth on social media. Then it just gets out of control.”

Both said one of the goals they have is to be able to teach students caught up in this about how to address the core issues and conflicts they have face to face. They hope to be able to instill a maturity in the community that allows people to resolve conflicts with one another and not turn to bullying online.

It’s a world that parents often find extremely foreign, as most parents didn’t grow up with social media and have a hard time understanding how an electronic message can hurt so deeply.

But it does, say leaders.

“Cyber bullying has taken on a life of its own and doesn’t necessary exist now in the way that it did even five years ago,” said Sasha Parodi, a youth organizer at the Collaborative. “It’s one thing that’s rapidly developing and there are so many ways for it to surface. It’s really more  of a lack of understand or resources to address it for some parents. It’s very hard because every kid has a phone and it’s hard not to get everything that comes with that phone, such as social media.”

Today, Jan. 18, Chelsea High School will have a major event to help bring the topic even more into the light for students, teachers and parents.

Alfonso Ceciliano, a Chelsea High parent liaison, said they will stage the event at 5 p.m. in the Auditorium.

“We’re going to be addressing all kinds of different topics with Anti-Bullying,” he said.

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Chelsea Collaborative youth leaders Stephany Villatoro and Ashanti DeCosta look at a picture of Amanda Todd, a teen from another state who ended her life in 2012 due to cyber bullying. The moment was part of a kick-off event at the Collaborative on Tuesday, Jan. 16, for Anti-Bullying Week. A large event at Chelsea High for students, parents and staff will take place Thursday, Jan. 18, at 5 p.m.

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Heyde and Kaley Vasquez write their thoughts about a bullying story that was posted as part of the kick-off Tuesday night.

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Youth Leaders from the Chelsea Collaborative kicked off Anti-Bullying Week at the Collaborative on Tuesday night.

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