The chickens haven’t come home to roost
quite yet in Chelsea.
Before heading out on summer break, District
6 Councillor Giovanni Recupero requested that City Manager Thomas Ambrosino
explore the possibility of residents being able to keep chickens at their homes
without a permit.
In a letter the Council received from the
City Manager at Monday night’s meeting, the answer was a qualified ‘maybe.’
“My review of the City Ordinances leads me
to conclude that this is a matter that rests exclusively with the City
Council,” Ambrosino stated.
The current city ordinance pertaining to
domestic farm animals, including chickens, prohibits any resident from “owning
or harboring” a domestic farm animal without the permission of the Board of
The City Council could eliminate the
requirement for the Board of Health approval, if it so desires, through an
But, Ambrosino did caution the Council that
before making an ordinance changes that would allow chickens to run free down
Broadway, to review ordinances in other municipalities and inquire about their
domestic chicken experiences.
“I am aware that, in some communities,
allowing residents to raise chickens, particularly in dense neighborhoods, has
generated complaints from abutters,” Ambrosino wrote. “And, in at least the
neighboring municipality of Revere, a previous ordinance allowing chickens was
rescinded, and now the ownership of chickens is expressly prohibited.”
Ambrosino also suggested that before any
further chicken plans are hatched, that there should be some discussion with
the Board of Health as to how many requests are made for the permission to
raise chickens and how often such requests are denied.
“It may be that the current regulatory
structure of requiring Board of Health permission is working just fine and is
not in need of revision,” Ambrosino stated.
The legacies of Judith
Dyer and Robert “Duke” Bradley will live on in Chelsea, thanks to orders
introduced by the City Council on Monday night.
Council President Damali
Vidot introduced the order approving the dedication of the park at the corner
of Spruce and Heard streets as Judith Dyer Park.
Robinson introduced the order requesting that the Community Cable TV building
be named after Bradley. Bradley, who recently died, was a lifelong Chelsea
resident and best known as the executive director of Chelsea Community Cable
“Earlier this summer, I
received a request from the Beautification Committee that the City dedicate the
small park at the corner of Heard Street and Spruce Street to Judith Dyer,”
stated City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “This small area would be henceforth known
as Judith Dyer Park and would be commemorated with a modest plaque or sign.
Given Ms. Dyer’s civic efforts over the course of many years, this seems to me
a meritorious request.”
The letter from the
Beautification Committee noted that Dyer has been an inspiration to the
residents of Chelsea for a number of years, involved in almost every community
group from the Beautification Committee to GreenRoots, the CET, Conservation Commission,
the ZBA, TND’s Board of Directors, and other committees.
“At a time of nationwide
distrust of institutions and declining civic engagement, we need more people
like Judith to step up and participate in making Chelsea the best it can be,”
the letter further stated.
•In other business Monday
night, Ambrosino updated the Council on Logan Airport noise-related topics.
Over the summer, with the
help of GreenRoots, the City secured a pro bono proposal to do some noise
monitoring in Chelsea. An initial public information session about the proposal
is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. at the GreenRoots office.
Ambrosino also stated
that there have been discussions with another Georgia firm to conduct
additional testing at a cost of $25,000. The City Manager recommended the
Council approve using money from the City’s stabilization fund to pay for the
District 1 Councillor
Robert Bishop said he supports noise testing, but was against funding it from
the City’s stabilization fund, which he said should be the last option for
funding City programs and requests. The Council agreed to take up the funding
request at a future conference committee meeting.
•District 6 Councillor
Giovanni Recupero requested Ambrosino look into giving all senior citizen
homeowner occupants a 30 percent discount on their water bills.
“It’s a good thing to do
to give the seniors who live here a little break to try to keep them in our
city,” Recupero said.
Robert S. Repucci, executive director of
CAPIC for the past 41 years, will be retiring from the agency that assists
residents and seniors in Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop.
Repucci, who has worked at CAPIC in various capacities since 1972, publicly announced his decision in a letter to friends Tuesday. He had informed the CAPIC Board of Directors at a meeting last Thursday.
CAPIC Executive Director Robert Repucci, second from left, attended the announcement of Joe-4 Sun, a low-income community shared solar program. Pictured from left, are Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, CAPIC Energy Director Giancarlo DeSario, Citizens Engery Chairman Joseph Kennedy II, CAPIC Executive Director Robert Repucci, and Revere Ward 5 Councillor John Powers.
Repucci, 68, said he will remain in the
position until a successor is named. The succession plan to select a new CAPIC
executive director has begun, and starting next week the position will be
advertised in various newspapers and on social media platforms.
Chelsea community leaders lauded Repucci’s
many accomplishments at CAPIC. He has been the much-revered leader of the
agency for decades and has always supported local organizations with his
attendance at their events. CAPIC became a national model during his tenure.
“Bob Repucci’s retirement is a loss for the
region and a loss for the city of Chelsea,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino,
who also worked closely with CAPIC when he was mayor of Revere. “Bob has been a
tremendous partner to Chelsea, particularly over the last few years as we’ve
ramped up our efforts to address a lot of the social ills in the downtown.
“A lot of our success in the past few years
is due to Bob’s efforts, and he will be greatly missed,” added Ambrosino.
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson, whose
relationship with Bob Repucci goes back to 1972, said, “Bob is a great person
and I have nothing but respect for the man as he has a heart of gold.”
GreenRoots Executive Director Roseann
Bongiovanni said Repucci’s important legacy will continue in the city.
“Bob Repucci has dedicated years of his life
to help some of Chelsea’s most needy and most vulnerable,” said Bongiovanni, a
former Chelsea city councillor. “His contributions to the betterment of our
city should not be overlooked. While we are sad to see Bob retire, we know his
legacy will live on.”
On Beacon Hill, Speaker of the House Robert
A. DeLeo also lauded Repucci’s career as an administrator at CAPIC.
“In all years of government, Bob was one of
the most caring people I ever worked with,” said DeLeo. “Whenever people in the
community needed a helping hand, Bob always found a way to say yes. He has been
a tireless and kind servant to his community. I thank him for all of his years
of service and his friendship.”
‘A Challenging Decision’
Repucci said his decision to leave CAPIC was
a challenging one.
“This has been a challenging decision given
my utmost devotion to CAPIC and my need to safeguard the legacy of those who
preceded me and those to follow,” wrote Repucci, whose agency helps low-income
residents in Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop.
said one of the reasons for deciding to leave the position at CAPIC was that
“I’ve become growingly saddened and frustrated with the housing situation that
we have in Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop. I’ve watched all these people that
are essentially being forced out of their housing.
“All this great residential building has
caused rents to increase – the new developments are looking at $1,800 to $3,000
a month so the average landlord of a three-family house looks at that and says,
“I’m only getting $1,100, but I could get $1,800 or $2,000 a month, that’s one
of the contributing factors why these rents are going up and I want to do
something about it.”
Will Lead Winnisimmet Realty Corporatioon
When Repucci leaves CAPIC he will assume the
duties of executive director of the Winnisimmet Realty Corporation, whose
mission is to acquire property for the interest of the CAPIC agency.
He said it will be tough to leave CAPIC and
the outstanding, professional staff that he has overseen for more than four
“CAPIC is my home and the people that work
there are really family to me,” said Repucci. “Separation from the organization
is going to be as tough as I thought because of all these issues that we have
that are poverty-related and I’m working on.”
He said people’s “access to healthcare” is
one of the issues that brought him to work for CAPIC in 1972 “and here we are
48 years later looking at the same issue recurring and that’s in the presence
of health centers which we didn’t have back then.”
Repucci will be in involved in the process to
select his successor as executive director. He is in charge of recruiting
candidates and expects a large pool of diverse applicants for the position.
Google Maps will begin displaying available
Lime scooters in more than 100 cities around the world. On Android devices,
users will be able to see if a Lime vehicle is available, how long it’ll
take to walk to the vehicle, a price estimate of the ride, battery range, along
with total journey time and ETA in the Google Maps app. iOS availability for
this feature will launch in late August.
In the Metro-Boston area, Lime riders have
taken close to a half million rides on its bikeshare program and over 60,000
rides on its scooter program. Lime bikes are available Arlington, Bedford,
Belmont, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Newton, Quincy, Watertown, and
Winthrop. Lime scooters are available in Brookline.
“This integration will help unlock an even
easier way to explore their cities and reduce commute times,” said Scott
Mullen, Director of Northeast Expansion at Lime. “Lime believes in the gift of
time, and our scooters offer a convenient and fun way of cutting through
Metro-Boston congestion. We’re excited that this partnership with Google Maps
provides the opportunity for Lime to connect people to their destination faster
as scooters continue to become a core part of the transportation ecosystem in
the Bay State.”
If available, users will see Lime vehicles
as an option from their biking, walking and transit tab if they’re traveling a
relatively short distance that may also be accessible via scooter. Google Maps
will show information about the nearest Lime, such as: if a Lime vehicle
is available, how long it’ll take to walk to the vehicle, an estimate of how
much the ride will cost, battery range, total journey time and ETA. Users
can tap on a Lime in the Google Maps app, and Google Maps will show
information about the selected vehicle.
Finally, Google Maps will show a walking
route to the selected Lime vehicle and bicycling route for the rest of the
journey in the biking tab.
“Whether you’re planning your daily commute
or traveling to a new city, Google Maps is making it easier to weigh all your
transportation options with real-time information,” said Vishal Dutta,
Product Manager, Google Maps. “In addition to showing you the best biking
and transit route in Google Maps, you’ll now be able to see if Lime scooters or
e-bikes are available, how long the trip will take, and the most efficient
route to get there. From Stockholm to Sao Paulo, you can now use Google Maps to
locate Lime scooters to get you to your destination.”
first surfaced in Google Maps in December 2018 and the two companies expanded
the partnership to 80 more cities in March 2019.
This week at the Southampton Bus Garage and
Maintenance Facility, Governor Charlie Baker, MassDOT Secretary and CEO
Stephanie Pollack, and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak gathered to celebrate
the introduction of the MBTA’s first brand new, zero-emission, battery-electric
bus (BEB) prototypes into the MBTA’s Silver Line fleet.
“The procurement and testing of new
battery-electric bus technology is exactly the type of investment we aim to
continue with the Transportation Bond Bill in order to help the MBTA plan for
the future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration will continue to
explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth’s
transportation system and we look forward to more improvements as the MBTA
makes progress on delivering a more reliable bus system.”
“These new zero-emission, completely
battery-electric bus prototypes are an emerging technology aimed at providing a
safe, reliable, comfortable ride while lowering energy costs and reducing
dependence on fossil fuels,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie
Pollack. “We are pleased to take steps forward with the process of evaluating
whether these kinds of new technologies that promote sustainability are
appropriate for daily service for MBTA customers.”
“We’re excited to introduce these first
battery-electric buses into service on the Silver Line to test how they operate
in real-world conditions on Boston streets and in the Silver Line tunnel,” said
MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “This is an exciting first step in testing
new technologies to electrify our bus fleet, save on fuel costs, and reduce our
maintenance needs. We look forward to seeing how these buses perform, gathering
data on power consumption, and testing their range during extreme weather as we
continue to seek ways to reduce greenhouse gases and improve service for our
With support from a $10 million federal
grant, the MBTA procured from New Flyer the production of five zero-emission,
battery-electric, 60-foot, articulated buses. All five are currently in Boston
with the first BEB prototype having arrived in April 2019 to begin testing and
operator training. Three BEBs are entering service today on Silver Line Routes
SL2, SL3, SL4, and SL5 with the next two anticipated to enter service on these
routes by the end of the summer.
Five charging stations are also being built
within the Southampton Bus Garage and Maintenance Facility as part of the
project where each BEB will be “refueled” overnight.
These BEBs are powered by both rear axle and
center axle electric motors to enhance safe operation during the winter months.
The majority of 60-foot Low Floor articulated buses in service in North America
utilize only the rear axle to provide propulsion power by pushing the bus,
which can experience traction issues during winter months when snow and ice are
present. The performance of the BEBs’ axle placement will be one feature
specifically tested and studied while in service.
The MBTA will also be one of the first
systems to test 100 percent electric heat for comfortable onboard temperatures
during winter months. Previously, U.S.-built BEBs operated diesel-fired
With a commitment to vehicle efficiency,
energy conservation, and sustainability, the MBTA continues to explore
available technologies and new vehicles that are capable of zero-emissions
operation in the Silver Line Transitway Tunnel, which serves the World Trade
Center, Courthouse, and South Station stops. Innovative projects like the MBTA
Silver Line Zero Emission Bus Project directly reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
emissions and also help improve ridership by offering a quieter, emission-free
During a two-year period following the
introduction of the BEBs into service, the MBTA will test and gather data on
this emerging technology to measure BEB performance and operational
effectiveness with a focus on power consumption of electric heaters, operator /
passenger comfort, vehicle range impact during extreme conditions, charging
requirements, and projected operating costs. The MBTA will operate these buses
on Silver Line routes to measure the capabilities of the technology for
consideration in future zero-emission bus procurements.
Over the past four years, the Baker-Polito
Administration has invested unprecedented levels of funding for transit
improvements that have included the purchase of hundreds of new buses as well
as the purchase of hybrid vehicles:
•The MBTA has purchased 575 new buses with
381 already in service and 194 additional hybrid buses in production.
•More than one third of the bus fleet was
recently replaced. Once the additional hybrid buses are in service, more than
half of all MBTA buses will be less than five years old. These new buses
replace the oldest and least fuel-efficient vehicles in the fleet and provide a
more comfortable ride for passengers.
•The piloting of these five zero-emission,
battery-electric buses is also the first step in testing new technologies to
electrify the fleet.
•In April 2018, the MBTA introduced the
Silver Line 3-Chelsea service, providing a direct link between Chelsea and the
Seaport District. This project was the first new MBTA service since the
Greenbush Commuter Rail Line came online in 2017 with the $56.7 million project
jointly funded by MassDOT ($7.6 million) and the MBTA ($49.1 million).
•Following positive results from a Transit
Signal Priority (TSP) pilot, the FMCB approved plans to expand the T’s TSP
pilot to include broad corridors of the MBTA street-level system. TSP provides
faster service to bus passengers by using signal technology to reduce dwell
times for vehicles that operate in mixed traffic.
•As part of the Better Bus Project, the MBTA
has partnered with cities and towns to implement dedicated bus lanes and queue
jumps, resulting in faster trips for bus passengers. Bus lanes currently exist
on Brighton Avenue in Allston, Washington Street in Roslindale, Massachusetts
Avenue in Cambridge, Mount Auburn Street in Cambridge and Watertown, and
Broadway in Everett.
The MBTA is currently investing more than
ever before to upgrade its infrastructure under its current $8 billion,
five-year Capital Investment Plan already in place, and the Baker-Polito
Administration’s Transportation Bond Bill includes approximately $5.7 billion
for the MBTA to continue funding improvements.
The bond bill also includes a number of
proposals to accelerate capital investments that include investments in the
MBTA’s bus system, including continued funding for the dedicated bus lanes,
signal prioritization, bus shelters and other infrastructure; for sustainable
transit system modernization investments to modernize the bus fleet and support
the Better Bus Project; and for maintaining the bus fleet and operational
improvements. There are additional provisions to allow for the use of
design-build procurement for smaller projects, which reduces the timeline for
delivering capital improvements, and job-order contracting, which is a faster,
more cost effective way to address outstanding maintenance needs. The bill
would also establish a process to leverage private-sector investment to fund
and build transit improvements.
The provisions in
the bond bill that seek to expedite the T’s pace of investment come on the
heels of the T’s plan to accelerate capital investments by exploring more
aggressive closures overnight and on weekends, increasing the regimen of
proactive inspections, negotiating with contractors to compress project
schedules, augmenting the existing workforce with a flexible team that can
provide necessary services such as flaggers, bus operators, and power, signal,
and track personnel to support capital investments.
Water and sewer rates are increasing, but
not as much as some City Councillors initially feared.
Most of the City’s residential water and
sewer customers will see an increase of 1 percent in rates for Fiscal Year
2020, and larger users will see a 4 percent increase.
In June, City Manager Thomas Ambrosino
presented the Council with a proposed three percent increase for water and
sewer customers who use less than 2,500 cubic feet of water. A 5 percent
increase was proposed for customers who use more than that amount.
In June, a number of Councillors spoke out
against the proposed increases.
“This is killing the poor people who live
here,” said District 6 Councillor Giovanni Recupero. “This is not only going to
drive the homeowners out, this is going to drive the tenants out, too. This is
a bad thing to go up this much.
Following a public hearing on the rates
earlier in July, Ambrosino and Public Works Commissioner Fidel Maltez discussed
concerns about rising sewer rates, according to a letter the City Manager sent
to the Council.
“Although rising rates are inevitable when
the majority of the City’s water and sewer costs are determined by charges from
the MWRA, and those charges rise each and every year, we are cognizant of the
City’s need to try to keep the rate increases moderate,” Ambrosino stated.
After looking at some of the recent
improvements to the water system in the past year, including the start of the
program to replace aging water meters throughout the system and better tracking
of water use by contractors, Ambrosino said he believes the City will be able
to reduce non-billable usage.
The City Manager said he also plans to
implement a better process for water and sewer rate-setting, beginning next
year. Those plans include a spring subcommittee meeting with the City Council
to present recommendations for water and sewer rates for FY21.
While the water and sewer rate increases are
lower than initially proposed, there will be a heftier price to pay for the
City trash rate with a 10 percent hike.
“For the past several years, we have been
running deficits in our trash accounting because the rate has not been
sufficient to cover the true cost of solid waste collection and disposal in the
City,” Ambrosino stated.
The 10 percent increase is an effort to
eliminate that deficit.
The new FY20
trash rate is $33.10 monthly for residential property and $156.15 monthly for
commercial units in mixed buildings. Owner-occupied units will remain exempt
from the fee.
Two Chelsea residents looking to break into
the recreational cannabis industry in Chelsea are challenging the ideas behind
the zoning regulations set by the City – regulations that bar such
establishments from the Broadway business corridor and relegate them to
expensive industrial locations in the city.
Chelsea has been known to be quite progressive when it comes to permitting and welcoming the marijuana industry, but the zoning regulations set more than a year ago required that any marijuana businesses be located in the industrial or shopping center districts.
Ola Bayode and Kyle Umemba, both from Chelsea, are questioning the zoning regulations for marijuana establishments – saying they should be allowed in the downtown area to help local residents and people of color to break into the industry. They said they believe retail marijuana could help to revive the downtown area, and they believe the current zoning unintentionally sets a barrier too high for locals to overcome.
That limits them to the Produce Center,
Eastern Avenue or Parkway Plaza, and many in the City have postulated that it
has excluded local people unintentionally from being able to participate or
profit from this new industry.
The Chelsea City Council had just such a
discussion earlier this year, asking if it were possible to set aside licenses
for residents who might qualify in the future – that coming because most of the
City’s licenses were being gobbled up by big-money interests from out of town,
and sometimes out of state.
Now, add Chelsea residents Ola Bayode and
Kyle Umemba to those critics.
Both are young professionals working regular
jobs, but with a hope on the side that they could establish their own business
in Chelsea within the emerging cannabis industry. Being right at the nexus of
Boston and Somerville (and with Everett and Revere having prohibited marijuana
shops), they felt the downtown area was a prime location.
Then they found out about the zoning
restrictions, and found it nearly impossible to draw the interest of investors to
be able to afford the buildout of a place in the industrial areas.
“For us, we can’t even find a place,” said
Bayode. “The one place we did find was on Broadway and Congress. It was a great
location and we went to the City and found it wasn’t allowed. We believe the
City Manager and the City Council need to think five to 10 years ahead…Our
demographic is not Chelsea residents but people who live in One North and
upcoming new Forbes development – people new to Chelsea. We want to provide a
premier boutique opportunity here…This is a critical time. This game is the
first three years and who is able to navigate the waters early will prevail.
It’s hard to grip and replace the incumbent business. That is why it’s so
important to create a business friendly environment that is helpful to local
residents. Right now is the time for that. Later will be too late.”
Bayode said they believe that retail
marijuana would fit really well with the City’s idea for reviving the downtown.
Umemba said it is proven that such establishments are more safe because of
required security, and the foot traffic brings vibrancy to the areas. Having
them walled off, both said, misses a great opportunity to bring people to the
business district, and also to help local business-people get into the
“The build-out cost in the industrial areas
are so expensive,” said Bayode. “Spaces on Broadway are retail ready. They are
made for this. It’s also hard to attract any investors because locating in an
area like that doesn’t seem as credible.”
Umemba said he believes the zoning now
creates a barrier to local people and people of color – maybe even those who
have marijuana convictions and are encouraged by the state to get involved in
“There’s so much investment that can be brought
into the downtown,” he said. “The zoning there now creates an extremely large
barrier for individuals. We’re young guys who went to college and now we work.
We have middle-class jobs. We want to break into this industry in Chelsea, but
the way it’s set up creates an unfair playing field…and Chelsea is progressive
compared to others and we still don’t have an equal playing field.”
Both said they plan to talk with elected
officials and City leaders over the summer to see if there is room to make such
zoning changes – perhaps allowing a few licenses to be located in the downtown
and reserved for Chelsea residents.
“If there are
four or five at least have one or two for Chelsea people,” Bayode said. “It
shouldn’t all be big companies from the outside.”
A huge crowd is expected to be on hand when
Chelsea honors one of its most prominent and philanthropic individuals on July
27 at the Saul Nechtem Gymnasium.
And what they will be celebrating is not
only Herbie Kupersmith’s milestone birthday but all the good deeds that Herbie
has done in a life well lived.
Herbie’s proud family, his wife, Cookie,
daughters, Karyn, Stacey, and Marci and grandchildren, Michael, Jackie, and
Colin head the list of guests that will travel far and wide to be at the party.
Guidance From his Mother and Four Valuable Mentors
Herbie Kupersmith moved from Brooklyn to
Chelsea with his mother, Sally, when he was two-and-half years old.
“We lived on 13 Michael’s Place, which was
off Williams Street,” said Herbie, an only child. “We were 35 feet away from
the Chelsea Dump.”
Four highly respected Chelsea men would
become Herbie’s “mentors.”
“Hugh J. McLaughlin, the former mayor,
Julius Zeff, teacher and basketball coach, Paul “Choc” Glazer, community leader
and head of the YMHA, and Harry Coltun, legal counsel for the Mass. House of
Representatives – those four people, along with my mother – made it possible
for me to be the person I am today,” said Herbie.
Herbie began attending the Walnut Street
Synagogue as a young boy and was bar mitzvahed there in 1952. It was the
beginning of his lifelong connection and support of the shul. Through the years
Herbie has been instrumental in fundraising and helping the historic shul
remain in operation.
What Herbie remembers most about his bar
mitzvah was the advice he received from his mother in the form of three letters
she had handwritten to him.
“Never drink the cup dry – leave some for
other people,” recalled Herbie. “No. 2 was, if you’re going to do something, do
it because you want to do it, not because you want to get accolades. And No. 3,
my mother wrote, ‘I want you to be a giver, not a taker.’”
Herbie developed a love of sports at a young
age. He was the starting guard for the Williams Junior High School basketball
team that won 27 games in a row. He later played basketball at Chelsea High
School for Coach Saul Nechtem.
Success in the Business World
After high school Herbie took a job at Nunn
Bush selling shoes at Kennedy’s and Filene’s.
He had other jobs in sales before taking a
position at Bobbie Brooks, a junior sportswear company.
With his magnetic personality, charisma,
style, street smarts, common sense, honesty and integrity, Herbie set sales
records and took over the entire Boston territory. He remained at Bobbie Brooks
for 25 years.
All About Family
He met his future wife, Cookie, on a blind
date and they were married in May, 1965.
They began their life together in Malden and
moved to Marblehead in December, 1965. They have lived in the town ever since.
The Kupersmiths have three children, Karyn,
Stacey, and Marci, all of whom are college graduates. Two of the Kupersmith
grandchildren, Michael Walsh and Jackie Walsh, are graduates of Brown
University. A third grandchild, Colin Walsh, is a student at Elon College in
A Party for Herbie That is Also a Testimonial
The upcoming birthday party will be a
testimonial in many ways, with so many people wanting to thank Herbie for the
help and support he has given them in so many ways.
The student-athletes like former Marblehead
and Stonehill College basketball standout David Siggers, the coaches like John
DiBiaso, the members of the congregation at Walnut Street Synagogue, the
business associates, the friends like lifelong buddy Lennie Nelson, the
co-chairs of planning committees like the great Minna Karas-Marino, and the
city officials like Leo Robinson – they’ll all be there to say “Thank you,
Herbie,” for being such a positive, uplifting presence in my life.
Rita’s will cater the gala affair. Comedian
Brad Mastrangelo will perform and DJ George Athas will provide the musical
entertainment. Former City Manager Jay Ash will be one of the speakers during
“It should be a nice evening,” said Herbie
True to Herbie’s
giving nature, all donations from the birthday party will go toward a scholarship
fund for Chelsea students.
On June 18 at 4:39 a.m., officers were
dispatched to 411 Broadway for a report of a disturbance. The calling party who
resides at that address stated they heard a loud bang and an alarm going off.
Upon arrival, Officers heard an alarm sounding from The Chelsea Walk Pub
located at 416 Broadway. Officers observed the front door glass had been
shattered. The door was open and Officers entered the building and located a
brick on the ground. Officers searched the building, but did not locate anyone
inside. Officers reviewed the city cameras and that information led them to
place the female suspect under arrest. The female also had outstanding warrants
out of the state of Florida.
Guillermina Montanez, 49, of 439 Broadway,
was charged with breaking and entering a building in the night, possession of
burglarious tools, being a fugitive from justice and one warrant.
Assaulted at the Basket
On June 25, at 6:02 p.m., CPD officers
responded to the Market Basket on a report of a shoplifter who assaulted an employee.
Officers were told that a manager attempted to stop a female accused of
shoplifting $43 worth of items when he was attacked. The manager stated he was
struck in the face with a set of keys from the shoplifter. A description was
broadcast to officers in the area and the female subject was taken into
Rosa Lawson, 42, of 827 Broadway, was
charged with armed robbery, assault and battery, threatening to commit a crime
and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
On June 25, at 11:40 p.m., CPD officers
observed a Red Ford Focus traveling in the wrong direction on Broadway. Upon
speaking with the operator, it was determined he did not have a license to
operate a motor vehicle. And he was arrested.
Ever Gutierrez Vargas, 23, of Cambridge, was
charged with unlicensed operation and one way violation.
On July 2, at 10:10 a.m., officers were
dispatched to 73 Pearl St. for a report of a male party checking the door
handles to motor vehicles who was now sitting inside a grey motor vehicle. Upon
officers’ arrival, an unknown male party was observed in the rear seat of a
grey motor vehicle. The motor vehicle was parked on private property with no
license plates attached. A vehicle VIN number was located and given to Chelsea
Control for owner information. It was determined by the owner that the person
inside was known to him. He was placed under arrest.
Melvy Amaya, 21, of 106 Williams St., was
charged with breaking and entering a vehicle in the day for a felony.
Stole Items From Car
On July 6, at 10;10 a.m., a CPD officer was
dispatched to 793 Broadway for a report of malicious damage to a motor vehicle.
The officer observed a Honda CR-V with the back passenger side window
smashed. The owner of the vehicle stated that she discovered the vehicle
damaged around 10 a.m. Officers were able to review security footage and
identify a male subject smash window and remove items from the car. A short
time later officers observed a male matching the description on Shawmut Street.
He was placed under arrest on scene.
Albin Hernandez, 37, of 466 Broadway, was
charged with breaking and entering a vehicle in the day for a felony and
possession of burglarious tools.
Few places in the food supply chain for
Greater Boston and beyond are more vulnerable than the New England Produce
That huge food resource for the region, along
with other industries, are very close to sea level and, as discovered a few
years ago, very prone to flooding and sea level surges.
Now, the City of Chelsea is poised to begin
a major project at the Island End River that will help to protect the industrial
areas along Beacham Street and enhance the environment around the improving
Island End River.
“That area is about six or seven feet above
sea level now, and experts expect sea level and storm surges at 14 feet above
sea level by the end of the century,” said Alex Train, of the Chelsea Planning
Department. “This project is in concert with Everett and it’s gathered a lot of
momentum. It’s a priority of the City Manager and our department because we
understand how much is at risk. It’s a gamble otherwise and we don’t like to
gamble in the planning industry.”
Such a gamble was clearly seen two winters
ago when huge coastal surge storms lifted the water levels into the industrial
areas along the Island End, nearly causing major disruptions and opening a lot
of eyes to the vulnerability of the situation.
The project has been supported by a grant
from the Coastal Zone Management Office, as well as the Chelsea and Everett
The project includes gray infrastructure,
such as flood walls and berms by the Island End River. It also includes green
infrastructure with the restoration of the salt marshes abutting the Island
End. At the same time, they will also be able to add some amenities for the
public like a Boardwalk to connect to the Admiral’s Hill Marina area.
“It’s going to be a sizeable project, but in
the context of the surrounding industrial businesses and the produce center,
it’s easily a worthwhile initiative on our end,” said Train.
Right now, in Chelsea, they are at 60
percent engineering design on the project. Everett is a little bit further
behind as they are in the Designated Port Area (DPA) and require many more
steps. Everett is currently in a schematic design phase.
On the Chelsea side, Train said they will
culminate design this summer, and then look for further grants this winter.
Then they will engage in the final engineering, permitting and construction
The project will also be tied into the large
Beacham Street roadway, sidewalk and bike path improvements that are also
A report in 2015 by the Metropolitan Area
Planning Council (MAPC) showed that the Produce Center generates $2.3 billion
of economic activity per year, and the entire industrial district generates $7
billion per year. There are 5,000 direct jobs there and 10,000 supportive jobs
“Many of that activity and those jobs
benefit Chelsea and Everett residents and they are solid middle-class jobs and
we’re committed to protecting them for our residents,” said Train.
Other Development Activity
•The City has received a PARC grant for
rehabilitation of the O’Neil Playground on the hill up from Williams Street.
The new design will encourage water features and tree canopies. The restoration
will look to prevent heat islands and provide a cool place during the summer.
The project is currently under construction and should be substantially
completed by the fall. It came in at a cost of $884,000.
•The Eden Street playground is currently in
design. The new design will also feature a robust tree canopy and more permeable
surfaces. The project will be bid out in September, with a fall start.
Construction will start up again in the spring for a substantial completion by
summer 2020. That project was supported by a $400,000 PARC grant.
•Voke Park is another area that will soon
receive more attention. The Bocce Court and fields were done over two years
ago, but now it’s time for some attention to be paid to the playground.
Already, they have had one public meeting to get input on the park, and they
are working on conceptual designs now.
“We’ll apply for a grant in July to secure
funding,” said Train.
Design will be done in June 2020 and
construction on that is likely to be 2021.
•The City is
preparing to modernize the traffic signals and intersections at Williams/Chestnut
and Williams/Broadway this summer. That upgrade will include new Smart Traffic
Signals that are able to read the traffic flow and adjust signal timing on the
fly. One of those lights has already been installed on Broadway and Webster earlier
this year. Sidewalks will also be touched up as well.