GreenStar Herbals Gets Planning Board Approval; Will Head to ZBA in August

A retail marijuana shop is one step closer to opening at the site of the former King Arthur’s strip club at 200 Beacham St.

Tuesday night, the Planning Board approved the site plan for the 3,800-square-foot facility by a 7-1 vote. The board also recommended that the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) grant a special permit for the proposal when it comes before that board on Aug. 13.

Planning Board member Mimi Rancatore cast the lone vote against the project, citing traffic concerns.

Rancatore noted that she has heard from drivers from the neighboring New England Produce Market who are concerned about the additional traffic on the site.

“Twenty to 30 additional cars per hour is still a lot,” said Rancatore. “There is a lot of traffic on that road, and it is very close to the casino in Everett.”

Representatives from GreenStar Herbals, the company proposing the pot shop, said they have worked closely with City officials and the police to alleviate traffic concerns at 200 Beacham St.

The revised plan brought before the Planning Board includes clearly defined entrances and traffic flow in the parking lot, as well as an appointment system for customers that will limit the number of customers at the store at any one time.

But Rancatore noted that the appointment system is only required for the first month of operation. City Planning Director John DePriest countered that any changes to GreenStar’s approved plans will have to come back before the Planning Board for approval.

Unlike the Dunkin (Donuts) next door, there will not be significant spikes in traffic at the shop during the day, according to traffic consultant Jeffrey Dirk of Vanasse and Associates.

“Any use on the site will generate traffic,” said Dirk. “But the nature of this use is not a significant traffic generator.”

City Manager Thomas Ambrosino spoke in favor of the project, stating it is a major improvement over the current condition of the property.

“In terms of the use, it is a strong proposal to revitalize this property with this use,” said Ambrosino. “It’s been a problem for the city for the four years that I have been City Manager, and probably for a generation before that. We have fought to keep that property from continuing as an adult-entertainment venue.”

Ambrosino said the adult-use recreational marijuana facility is the best the City can hope for at that property.

“Given all the other potential uses for the site, this proposal makes a lot of sense for the City,” he said.

GreenStar originally came before the city with a proposal for 200 Beacham St., but withdrew that proposal to make adjustments more in line with suggestions from City officials and residents.

GreenStar representatives noted that the new building will be an improvement over the existing two-story building on the property.

The new building will be one-story as opposed to two, and will be set further back from the road than the King Arthur building.

There will also be improved landscaping and traffic flow on the site, according to GreenStar officials.

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Indoor Flea Market Set for August 17

Looking for some good stuff cheap? Come to the East Boston Social Centers Indoor Flea Market on Saturday August 17th for lots of great bargains. Right here in the Gym at 68 Central Square in East Boston. 10am to 3pm.

Have lots of good stuff you want to get rid of? Reserve a table at the Indoor Flea Market on Saturday August 17th and get rid of it while making some money.

Proceeds from table rentals go to our senior program. Proceeds from what you sell at your table go to YOU! 10 foot tables/space are $30, 5 foot tables/space are $20.

Contact Marisa 617-569-3221 Ext 107 or Jeannie 617-569-3221 Ext 117 soon if you want to reserve a table and/or space. First come first serve until we run out of tables or space.

Remember to mark August 17th on your Calendars! Snacks, raffles, fun… be there! Tell your friends, spread the word, get that Spring Cleaning started, find that treasure!

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Divide and Prosper : Division Street the Next Frontier to Enliven

Contractors engaged by the City of Chelsea will repave the length of Division Street this August, providing a major facelift to an alley that parallels Broadway through the downtown.

Leveraging this work, Chelsea Prospers, the City of Chelsea’s downtown initiative, is overseeing a public art project in the area. Working with the Downtown Coordinator, Neighborways Design is facilitating a community artmaking process to create and install public art and other improvements to beautify and activate the first block of Division Street between Hawthorne and Fourth streets.

This is the first important step to link the heart of downtown with the waterfront via a low-stress “Neighborway” street.

Neighborways in other parts of the country are known as neighborhood greenways or bicycle boulevards. Designed for low-traffic and low-speed, they are a child- and elder-friendly and engaging way to get around the city. Through public art the goal is to increase the safety of people walking and on bikes to make this street passageway an area where people, not just cars, feel welcome.

The long-term plan is to tackle Division Street block by block, bringing additional public art each summer all the way to the waterfront.

The art for the alley will be designed and implemented by local residents, retailers and building tenants who get to know each other through involvement in the design process and participation in creating the art and other treatments in the alley.

Throughout the summer the team of Neighborways Design is meeting with stakeholders at public events and in small groups to develop a design concept. Public artist Liz Lamanche is then synthesizing and refining these ideas into a cohesive design.

Contribute ideas to the design by visiting the Neighborways outreach table at the Chelsea Night Market on Saturday, Aug. 10. The team will be on hand between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. In case of rain the event will be rescheduled to Aug. 17.

The Community Painting Day to execute the design is scheduled for Saturday, August 24, starting at 9 a.m. when all are invited to execute the design.

In case of rain, the event will be held the following day on Sunday, August 25.

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Council to Camera : Matt Frank Pivots to a World Behind the Lens

Matt Frank has always carried his own unique viewpoint of Chelsea, his own deep respect and love for a city he grew up in during its worst times, and for which he helped shepherd as a City Councillor during the ascent to some of its best times.

Now, after having retired from politics last election cycle, the life-long Chelsea resident has turned to a life behind the camera – taking up photography in a serious way and making more than a hobby out of it. Last weekend, he premiered his first solo show at the Chelsea Prospers Gallery in the windows of the former Salvation Army store.

“The show is up and I think we had a great opening before the Night Market last weekend,” he said. “This is a show I call ‘Modern Nostalgia.’ The focus is the things we know here that we have lost. We lost the water tower at the Soldiers’ Home and the Chelsea Clock building and the old Clark Avenue School, which I have pictured aside the new Clark Avenue School building…There are pictures of the downtown and the Tobin Bridge and one of kayakers on the Creek by the Bridge at sunset. Many don’t see Chelsea as elegant and pretty. But I think my photos are how a lot of residents see Chelsea…It’s an aspirational image and that’s how we feel about Chelsea at its best.”

Frank began playing around with a camera many years ago when he was working in Harvard Square, taking pictures for his job there as a necessity. It was a situation where he once got a very iconic photo of Lady Gaga when she was in Harvard Square visiting.

After he left the Council, he said he was looking for a hobby and all signs pointed to his camera. He purchased a little better camera and went to work in his hometown.

Since then, he has captured images that have gotten great feedback from residents as he showed them prints or posted them online – motion photos of Bellingham Square, or swans in Mill Creek, or sunsets over the Mystic/Tobin Bridge.

Soon, he was one of the leading voices – among many voices – in what Frank and others are calling the ‘Beautiful Chelsea’ movement.

That has come not just in the form of traditional photographs, but also with photo pillows, magnets, mugs and other items.

“It’s becoming a bit of a movement now,” he said.

Frank said he would like to continue his journey by adding more portraits, and more photos of people, but he said he also likes the idea of continuing on with inspiring photos of Chelsea. “Maybe I’ll focus on different communities, but honestly the Chelsea ones get a great reaction,” he said. “That’s because I know Chelsea. I suspect when I take pictures of other cities, it’s the same way. I think that what it is. My Chelsea pieces have my spirit in it. I think I see Chelsea in the way that others from Chelsea see it.”

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Police Briefs 07-18-2019

Vandalized Chelsea Walk Pub

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 custody.

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.

Wrong Way

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.

Car Break

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.

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EBNHC Farmers Market to Return to Central Square July 3

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center’s (EBNHC) Let’s Get Movin Farmers Market will kickoff next Wednesday, July 3, at 3 p.m. in Central Square.

Once open, the widely popular market that features a wide array of locally sourced fresh fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, coffee and preserves will run each Wednesday from 3 to 6:30 p.m. until Oct. 16.

Director of the EBNHC Let’s Get Movin program Gabrielle Whitman said the East Boston Farmers Market has become a place during the summer and fall that brings together farmers and neighbors to shop, enjoy performances by local musicians, and find information on healthy eating. The Farmers Market is the place to see friends, meet your neighbors, and celebrate being a member of Eastie’s diverse and vibrant community.

“So we have several vendors this year with some of the favorites coming back like Farmer Dave’s and Asia Farms,” said Whitman. “One of our new vendors this year is Arrowhead Farm and they sell produce, meat, eggs, flowers and preserves.”

Whitman was also glad to announce the return of Eagle Hill Coffee Company that were a big hit with the Farmers Market crowds two years ago but were on hiatus last year.

“Another new vendor is Valicenti Pasta who does fresh pasta, ravioli and sauces,” said Whitman. “Also Mr. Tamole will be selling tamales biweekly as well as Seacoast Cheese Maven that sells locally sourced cheeses.”

Another newcomer will be TC Market who will be on hand Wednesdays to offer preserves, hot sauces, honey and vinegars.

Whitman said the residents of Eastie come from many different places and have many favorite foods and the Farmers Market should reflect that diversity.

With a community that has roots in the Americas, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa the Farmers Market has become a source for the greens, herbs, fruits, and vegetables of all traditions. Aside from tomatoes, corn and beans, hot peppers there are always unique items like amaranth, yierba mora, and papalo, water spinach and bok choy, pea tendrils, scallions and Asian mustard, collard greens, cilantro, peaches and apples, Italian and sweet Thai basil.

“I think people will be excited,” said Whitman. “Some have asked for more variety and to meet that demand we’ve added those new vendors to give folks more variety. That was kind of our goal–to diversify things and have a little bit of everything. Diverse cultures make up the community of East Boston and I think we are starting to achieve that variety that reflects the neighborhood.”

Whitman said aside from shopping at the Farmers Market the market will include musical performances, a Bike Safety Day, Back to School Backpack Day, and more.

The Farmers Market will also be an out-of-school summer lunch site for kids.

Whitman also noted that the market would not be possible without all of this year’s sponsors.

EBNHC does not charge a fee for vendors to participate in the Farmers Market, and all vendors take home 100 percent of their profits. However, there are still costs associated with running the market and sponsors like First Priority Credit Union, Portside at East Pier, Reelhouse and Spinelli’s helps defray those costs.

The Farmers Market accepts cash, credit, debit, WIC coupons, senior coupons, and SNAP/food stamps. Vouchers and coupons for shopping at farmers markets are available for qualified families. SNAP/EBT customers receive a 100 percent incentive (a dollar-for-dollar match up to $40-$80, depending on household size) for each SNAP dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables purchased at the Farmers Market.

WIC supports farmers as well as good nutrition through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. WIC Farmers Market coupons may be used at the East Boston Farmers Market on fresh, uncut fruits and vegetables.

Also eligible seniors can contact the senior agency that serves their town to find out when and where Senior Farmers Market Coupons will be distributed. Senior Farmers Market coupons may be used on fresh, uncut fruits and vegetables and honey.

“I love working with the different vendors year after year and see the work they do farming all year and be able to bring those affordable fruits and vegetables to the community,” said Whitman. “The farmers definitely try and make the food accessible to people by accepting SNAP, WIC coupons and senior coupons and that makes it a lot more affordable for those folks.”

2019 Vendors

Farmer Dave’s: Produce, bakery products, beans, preserves/sauces. Dracut, MA. Weekly

Meadowbrook Orchards: Fruit, preserves/sauces, bakery products. Sterling, MA. Weekly

Asia Farm: Specialty vegetables. Brockton, MA. Weekly

Arrowhead Farm: Produce, meat, eggs, flowers, preserves. Newburyport, MA. Weekly

Veronica Robles Cultural Center: “Elotes locos” (Mexican street corn). East Boston, MA. Weekly

Eagle Hill Coffee Company: Iced coffee, bagged coffee beans. East Boston, MA. Biweekly

Valicenti Pasta: Fresh pasta, ravioli, sauces. Hollis, NH. Biweekly

Mr. Tamole: Tamales. Dorchester, MA. Biweekly

Seacoast Cheese Maven: Portsmouth, NH. Biweekly

TC Market: Preserves, hot sauces, honey, vinegars. Somerville, MA. Biweekly

Lost Art Cultured Foods: Sauerkraut. Cranston, RI. Monthly

2019 Events

July 31: Bike Day: Free bike helmets for kids starting at 3:00 pm, free kids’ bike raffle, bicycle repair by Boston Cyclists Union

August 7: National Farmers Market Week: Join us in celebrating our farmers with a cooking demo by Project Bread Chef Vanessa LaBranche, a raffle, and more!

August 28: Back to School Day: Backpack giveaway for school-aged kids, free apple coupons for kids, special guests, and more!

September 11: Community Programs Day: Learn about fall programs from local youth, sports, and fitness programs!

2019 Sponsors

First Priority Credit Union

Portside at East Pier

Eastern Bank

Brook Property Mgt.


Beacon Communities


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Chelsea Night Market

After dark, fire breathers performed at the Chelsea Night Market.
Butterflies and Fire?: You bet. Performers entertained the crowd on stilts in butterfly costumes through the day, and at night with fire spinning tricks during the first-ever Chelsea Night Market on Luther Place last Saturday, June 8. The Market was a hit locally with large, but manageable crowds, a circus-like atmosphere and food and retail vendors throughout. The next market will take place on July 13.

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First ‘Night Market’ Draws Manageable, Excited Crowd

The first Chelsea Night Market is being deemed a success, bringing a good crowd to Luther Place for the music, vendors and excitement in the downtown.

“It was great,” said Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney. “We had a decent, manageable crowd. The attendees and vendors were all really pleased. We had lots of neighbors attend, which was great. There were no major technical snags and the fire performance was a hit.”

The Night Market blocked off the City parking lot behind the main business district, using the refurbished Chelsea Walk as an entry point. On the lot were vendors with all kinds of wares, food servers and a stage. Musical acts were popular, but the hit of the night was the Boston Circus Guild’s fire-breathing and juggling performance.

The next Night Market will be on July 13, and coordinators said to look for some new and different things to be on the docket.

The next event for the downtown, however, is the Fiesta Verano – a great Latin music themed event that was cancelled last year three times due to rain. This year they hope to find some better luck.

They will have the Fiesta on Second Street and in collaboration with the Chelsea Cooperative.

Look for a cowboy them, Graney said.

“We’re embracing a rodeo theme this year with pony rides and a bounce house for little ones,” said Graney. “A ‘bike rodeo,’ presented by the Chelsea Bike and Ped Committee and MassBike, is an obstacle course and games for all ages so bring your bike or trike. Over on the big lawn a mechanical bull will be bucking and kicking all riders for your merriment.”

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Chelsea Night Market Inaugural Event Planned for June 8

How much awesomeness can be contained within Luther Place?

The people of Chelsea will soon find out as the first of a series of five monthly events takes place downtown on Saturday, June 8, with the launch of the Chelsea Night Market.

Presented by the City of Chelsea through its downtown initiative called Chelsea Prospers and local events production company Jukebox, the Chelsea Night Market is an ambitious undertaking for a hidden corner of the downtown that’s beginning to awaken.

Last year, GreenRoots took the lead in the block’s transformation by creating a colorful mural with Chelsea artist and one of the state’s top muralists Silvia López Chavez on the Chelsea Walk.

That pedestrian walkway provides the entrance to the next phase of the effort with activation of the space through the Chelsea Night Market.

Edwardo Chacon of Jukebox said, “Vendors are still being accepted for future markets and there’s always room for more artists and performers to join in. Our priority is to engage as much local talent as possible. We’re excited by all the energy growing around the market and the new connections we’re making. This is going to be epic.”

Here, in the large parking lot on Cherry Street behind the businesses on Broadway between Fourth and Fifth Streets, event visitors every month will find the area transformed with activity and something new to discover on each visit.

More than a dozen booths will feature local businesses, artists, merchants and community groups. Merchandise includes both new, vintage, thrift and handcrafted items.

Jack’s Men’s Shop will highlight emerging brands for men’s fashion, while Allen’s Cut Rate features a selection of high-quality fragrances. You’ll find hand-crafted jewelry by Beaded Inspiration and Sacred Soul Fire. Over at the booths for Dandelion District and High Energy Vintage there’s a variety of vintage items including old school video games, nicnacks and clothing.

At Jukebox’s booth, show off your local pride with swag that shouts your love of all things 02150. Among the offerings are T-shirts and totes emblazoned with Chelsea. All proceeds are dedicated to supporting the next projects to improve Luther Place.

A variety of other tents will feature community groups and artists.

Test your aim with Archery Games Boston, show off what you’re proud of with the Chelsea LGBTQ Coalition, and play around with the team from the Phoenix Charter Academy Chelsea.

Several local restaurants are on board with menus of street food as well.

Get a sandwich hot off the grill from the chefs of Broadway House of Pizza, nibble savory Chinese food from Chung Wah, or sink your teeth into an empanada from Pan y Café.

On the main stage a variety of performers will entertain the crowd.

MC for the night is comedian and actor Chase Abel. Host of the podcast “Ready Set Blow” with Randy V, he’s a regular at Boston’s top clubs.

Among them is a band headed by Bengisu and Tuzcu.

It’s impossible to describe their mix of Turkish-funk-rock, but it will definitely get a groove going.

DJ Tempo Sauve’s upbeat house electronica is gathering a strong following, and he’ll keep the energy going throughout the night. There’s a rumor some comedians from the recent show at Tu Casa may stop by too.

The performance highlight, however, undoubtedly will be the crew from the Boston Circus Guild. They’ll be roaming among the crowd to show off their amazing skills and costumes and then at 9:30 p.m., will take the stage for a 20-minute fire performance that will top off the night.

Serving as a backdrop to the main stage and to provide a tangible reminder of the market through the summer, the wall of 456 Broadway will serve as space for temporary mini murals with new designs appearing each month by local artists.

The Chelsea Night Market team is grateful for the support of the Chelsea Record as a media sponsor helping them to spread the word about the upcoming event and to highlight the new happenings of downtown Chelsea.

For additional information check out the Chelsea Night Market’s website at, the facebook event at or contact at Mimi Graney, at

Future dates include:

•July 13 (raindate 7/20)

•August 10 (raindate 8/17)

•September 21 (raindate 9/28)

•October 5 (raindate 10/12)


Department of Planning and Development

City Hall, 500 Broadway, Room 301 · Chelsea, MA 02150

Phone: 617.555.1708 · Fax: 617.658.6725 · Email:


Department of Planning and Development

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Night Market Plans are on Fire…Quite Literally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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