We have been remiss for not having offered
our congratulations to Chelsea native Brian Sullivan upon his recent
appointment by Gov. Charlie Baker, and subsequent confirmation by the
Governor’s Council, to the position of Clerk-Magistrate of the Lynn District
Brian’s ascension to the clerk-magistrate’s
position culminates a long career in the court system that began as a Probation
Officer in the Chelsea District Court in 1986. He became an assistant
clerk-magistrate in that court and then the Salem District Court before being
named the Acting Clerk Magistrate of the Cambridge District Court prior to his
appointment to the Lynn District Court.
Brian is a Chelsea guy through-and-through.
His dad, the late Vincent Sullivan, who was the long-time Assistant Commandant
of the Chelsea Soldiers Home, and his mom, Eleanor, raised their four children
in the Mill Hill section of the city, where they were one of the most-respected
families in Chelsea.
Brian attended St. Rose grammar school
before going on to Malden Catholic and Northeastern University. He was a member
of the Chelsea Knights of Columbus and was well-known as a member of the K of
C’s softball team in the heyday of the Chelsea Modified Fast Pitch Softball
League when that league drew huge crowds to Highland Park in the early 1980s.
Brian married the former Paula Hansbury, who
also is a Chelsea native and well-known Chelsea High grad, and they have raised
their family in Swampscott.
If we were writing this column in another
era, it might have been titled, “Local boy makes good.” We know we speak for all of those who have
been friends and acquaintances of Brian Sullivan and his family through the
years in offering our congratulations to Brian upon his appointment and in
wishing him continued success in his outstanding career in the Massachusetts
This week, in one of the first mergers of
its kind in Massachusetts, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) and
South End Community Health Center (SECHC) announced their intent to merge after
signing a definitive merger agreement.
Pending federal and state regulatory
approvals, SECHC will become a part of EBNHC with Manny Lopes remaining as
president and CEO. The merger will add SECHC’s 180-plus employees and 19,000
patients to the largest community health center in Massachusetts and one of the
largest in the country. SECHC will continue to provide comprehensive health
care services in the South End.
“As SECHC celebrates 50 years of service to
the South End, we also look to the future. Our number one goal is to strengthen
high-quality care for this community in an increasingly complex and volatile
health care system that favors economies of scale,” said Bill Walczak, CEO and
president of SECHC. “We have strategically considered many pathways to
achieving this goal over the past several years and are delighted to have
reached an agreement with EBNHC that positions community-based care to thrive.”
Manny Lopes, president and CEO of EBNHC,
added, “Our organizations have shared a common mission for decades and there is
a lot we can learn from one another. As health centers, it is our duty to
innovate and grow in financially sustainable ways to ensure we are preserving
and advancing affordable, accessible, high-quality care in communities that
need it most. We believe that welcoming SECHC into our organization will benefit
patients, staff, and our communities.”
Post-merger, EBNHC will support
approximately 1,200 employees and more than 100,000 patients per year with an
operating budget of $165 million, providing high-quality services and programs
in neighborhoods on both sides of Boston Harbor.
The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center
(EBNHC) has been a vital part of its community for more than 40 years,
providing easily accessible, high-quality health care to all who live and work
in East Boston and the surrounding communities of Chelsea, Revere, Everett, and
Winthrop. EBNHC supports more than 1,000 employees and handles 300,000 visits
per year – more than any other ambulatory care center in New England.
Community Health Center (SECHC) is a comprehensive health care organization for
all residents of the South End and surrounding communities. Founded in
1969, SECHC is committed to providing the highest quality,
coordinated health care that is both culturally and linguistically sensitive to
every patient, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender
identity, physical ability, and/or income. SECHC’s multi-cultural and highly
trained staff of 180-plus serves more than 19,000 patients with an operating
budget of $16.5 million.
Route 1 Northbound:
Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the righthand
lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. –10 p.m.)
and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m.–5
Route 1 Southbound:
Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the
lefthand lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m.
–10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10
Ramps: All on- and
off-ramps will remain open at this time.
Local Streets: The
Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration will remain in place for approximately
Most work will occur in
during daytime working hours (6 a.m – 2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take
place during the afternoon (2pm – 7pm) and nighttime working hours (9 p.m. – 5
a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
There will be no work on
Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.
Summary of Work Completed
In the two weeks prior to
May 19, crews implemented additional lane closures to establish the median work
zone, installed new drainage in Carter Street parking lot, and prepared,
painted, and repaired portions of the bridge deck and joints.
Description of Work
Route 1 Northbound:
Demolish and excavate grid deck concrete fill, power wash grid deck, repair
bridge deck and joints, clean and weld new deflector plates.
Route 1 Southbound:
Install negative pressure containment system, powerwash and excavate around
support column footings, install micropiles, conduct surveys, upgrade
utilities, and deconstruct the median barrier.
Local Streets: Prepare and
pave new Carter Street parking lot.
The North Washington
Street Bridge Replacement is also underway which requires local traffic
impacts. For information or to sign up for project-specific construction
look-aheads like this one, visit the project website.
Drivers should take care
to pay attention to all signage and police details and move carefully through
the work zone. Police details, changes in lane markings, temporary controls
such as barriers and traffic cones, signage, and other tools will be used
throughout the project to control traffic and create safe work zones.
The contractors are
coordinating with local event organizers and police to provide awareness and
manage traffic impacts during events. For your awareness, during this
look-ahead period, the following events are scheduled:
Playoffs (TD Garden): To be scheduled
Red Sox (Fenway
Park): May 19 at 1:05 p.m., May 27 at 4:05 p.m., May 28 at 7:10 p.m., May 29 at
Boston Calling Music Festival (Harvard Athletic Complex): May 24 –
BHCC Honors Class
of 2019 at 45th Commencement Ceremony
On Thursday, May 23, Bunker Hill
Community College (BHCC) awarded 1,754 degrees and certificates to the
Class of 2019 at the 45th Commencement Exercises.
BHCC President Pam Eddinger opened the
ceremony with the annual “ritual of gratitude,” where
graduates thank family and friends in attendance for their support
throughout their educational journey. Eddinger also reflected on the cultural
wealth of the graduates and how it left a positive impact on her as College
“I am braver today because I have learned
from your struggles and have seen your courage,” said Eddinger. “I am more
hopeful, because you have shown me, in your multiple languages, your ancestral
songs, and your lived experiences that while life can be harsh, it is also
limitless and ever-renewing.”
Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher
Education Carlos E. Santiago delivered the keynote address. In his remarks to
the graduates, he encouraged the graduates to use their education to give back
to their communities. “Your communities benefit from your time and
talents,” he said. “As students at our community colleges, you are uniquely
connected to your cities and towns. I urge you to stay connected – to hold
tight to your civic compass. Let it point you to where you can make a
Santiago also received the President’s
Distinguished Services Award in recognition of his extraordinary service to the
community and BHCC. Santiago has served as Commissioner of Higher
Education since July of 2015. Santiago has made a great impact on important
issues affecting the BHCC’s students; in particular his commitment to equity in
higher education is something that resonates with us at the College.
The BHCC Nurse Education
Department was awarded with the Trustees Distinguished Service
Award, presented by William J. Walczak, Chair of the BHCC Board of
Trustees. The department was recognized for the success of its
collaborative leadership, steadfast resolve and decisive actions toward a
secure and thriving program, and in recognition of the increased success of
their graduates on the NCLEX Examination.
For the past two years, new leadership
and the full and ongoing engagement of the Nursing Education program’s faculty
and staff were all critical during an intensive reaccreditation process. The
program’s faculty and staff have implemented high impact student success,
pedagogical and post-graduate student interventions that have achieved
immediate results: most notably an NCLEX Examination pass rate of 94% for its
fall 2018 graduating class. Dean of Health Sciences Maryanne Atkinson,
Assistant Dean Donna Savino, Director Elizabeth Tobin and Associate Professor
and Chairperson Kristen Wenger accepted the award.
at Thursday’s ceremony were faculty speaker Bryan D. Craven,
Student Government Association President Joan Acosta Garcia, and
President’s Leadership Award recipients Cam Do and Eva
The Massachusetts Department of
Transportation has announced overnight upcoming double lane closures on Route
16 east and westbound between Santilli Circle in Everett and Wellington Circle
These impacts were put in place starting
each evening between the hours of 9 p.m., and 5 a.m., from Sunday May 19,
through Thursday, May 23, as well as from Tuesday, May 28, through Thursday,
A minimum of one lane of traffic will remain
open in each direction at all times during these operations. These impacts are
necessary to allow crews and contractors to safely and effectively install
the bridge joint system on
the Woods Memorial Bridge.
signage and messaging will be in place to guide drivers through the work area.
Those traveling through the area should expect delays, reduce speed and use
caution. The schedule for this work is weather dependent and subject to change
Everett might be all-in
on the 4 a.m. extending liquor license for Encore Boston Harbor, but
surrounding cities like Chelsea aren’t so excited.
In comments this week,
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Chelsea City Manager Tom Ambrosino said they
weren’t in favor of Encore’s request for a limited 4 a.m. liquor license from
the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). The request is currently under
review and in a public comment period. It would only apply to those actively
engaged in gaming, and the last call would be 3:30 a.m. Most other liquor
licenses have a 2 a.m. cutoff.
Chelsea City Manager Tom
Ambrosino said he doesn’t support the idea, seeing no advantage to Chelsea in
having a luxury casino open late just a few hundred yards from the Chelsea city
“That would have no
positive benefit to the City of Chelsea, so it would not be something I would
favor,” he said.
Mayor Martin Walsh agreed
with those sentiments as well.
“When the Legislature
wrote the bill to have casino gaming, it was a 2 a.m. liquor license, which I
voted on,” said Mayor Walsh. “I think that at this point in time, we should get
the casino open, and see how the 2 a.m. license works. If there is a need, if
there is a desire, or if there is a concern that it hampers the business, then
I think we should explore the opportunity of maybe going until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.
But right now, at opening, closing at 2 a.m. – let’s see what it looks like.
You can’t say there are concerns there until it’s open. I would request we wait
and then have a full vetting. Right now it needs to be opened and see how it
all works with a 2 a.m. closing.”
Meanwhile, Everett Mayor
Carlo DeMaria said the later closing hour is critical to the casino being an
international destination, as no such 2 a.m. rules apply in other locales where
Wynn Resorts operates.
“The City of Everett is
committed to supporting the success of the Encore Boston Harbor Resort,” he said.
“In order for it to be a destination for an international clientele, the resort
needs to be able to offer these clients a cocktail during the time they
play. At 2 a.m., all the bars and restaurants will be closed, and drinks
will only be served to those on the casino floor by a trained and certified
server. Over-serving and irresponsible behavior will not be tolerated.”
He added that State
Police, Everett Police and Encore security would be on site during the late
hours and transportation services would be available for guests.
Walsh said he realizes
that the Springfield casino already has a 4 a.m. license, but he also added
that the circumstances are different in Everett. He said there are a lot of
other cities and towns in the immediate area without such licenses. He said
there has to be a dialog with everyone after the first six months.
“I’m not going to assume
they’ll do 4 a.m.,” he said. “I’ll ask the Gaming Commission to be respectful
of the surrounding cities and towns and see how the process works and see how
the casino does in its first six months. Then we’ll revisit it and have a
conversation and dialog at this point.
“We filed legislation (in
Boston) a few years ago to open some of the bars and clubs later,” he
continued. “So, that’s why I think you need a six-month vetting. Let’s assume
for a moment the Gaming Commission grants the 4 a.m. license, that puts a lot
of businesses in surrounding cities and town, including Boston, at a serious
disadvantage. I think let’s wait and see what the 2 a.m. does…It’s not simply
opening the casino until 4 a.m. It’s about having a conversation about other
cities and towns and their licenses and what would happen in their
The MGC is expected to talk more about the 4 a.m. license application at
its next meeting on May 22.
Registered Democrats in Chelsea Ward 4 will
hold a Caucus on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 9:30am at the Chelsea Public
Library, 569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA to elect Delegates and Alternates to the
2019 Massachusetts State Convention.
This year’s State Convention will be held of
September 14, 2019 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA, where thousands
of Democrats from across the State will come together to discuss Party business
and celebrate our successes as we prepare for upcoming elections.
The Caucus is open to all registered and
pre-registered Democrats in Ward 4.
Pre-registered Democrats who will be 16 by May 11, 2019 will be allowed
to participate and run as a delegate or alternate.
Youth, minorities, people with disabilities
and LGBTQ individuals who are NOT elected as a delegate or alternate may apply
to be add-on delegates at the Caucus or at www.massdems.org.
in getting involved with the Ward 4 Democratic Committee should contact the
Ward 4 Chair, Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh or Ward Secretary Thomas J. Miller at
Current and former
municipal employees crowded into Monday night’s City Council meeting as the
council took up a vote to allow City Manager Thomas Ambrosino to negotiate
changes to the city’s group health insurance policies.
Most of those employees
did not leave happily or quietly as the council voted 8-2 to grant Ambrosino
that authority to negotiate the changes. Councillors Roy Avellaneda and Yamir
Rodriguez voted against the order, while Councillor Calvin T. Brown was not
present at the meeting.
The city’s current group
health plan is governed by a three-year agreement with the Public Employee
Committee (PEC) that expires on June 30 of this year.
“During the months of
November through March, I did attempt to negotiate with the PEC a new
multi-year agreement that would provide some cost savings to the group health
plan,” Ambrosino stated in a letter to the council. “Unfortunately, I have not
been able to reach agreement with the unions.”
General Laws, Ambrosino stated, in the absence of a new agreement, the old PEC
agreement will remain in effect indefinitely. Without City Council action,
Ambrosino said he cannot put any health care cost savings in place.
The action approved by the
City Council allows the city to take advantage of recent state legislation that
allows municipalities to implement cost saving plan design changes on its own
if no agreement can be reached with the PEC as long as the city agrees to share
a percentage of its first year cost savings with the unions.
With the newly granted
authority by the council, the City Manager said he will negotiate reasonable
design changes to the city’s group health policies, likely by imposing
deductibles in line with deductibles paid for health insurance by state
Ambrosino said even with
any changes, Chelsea will always have health insurance at least as good as that
provided to Massachusetts public employees.
However, a letter to the
City Council submitted by the Chelsea Public Employees Committee outlined over
two dozen reasons why members believe the adoption of the changes to the group
health insurance should not be adopted.
“The PEC strongly believes
that the adoption of Sections 21-23 is inappropriate and premature for multiple
reasons: the Self-Insurance Trust Fund is running about a $2 million surplus;
the PEC has agreed to apply any surplus to reduce future health insurance
costs; City Manager Thomas Ambrosino wants the sickest families among City
employees and retirees to pay $1 million more on an annual basis currently paid
by the City; the PEC and City Manager Thomas Ambrosino agree that no changes to
employee/retiree health insurance are needed until FY2022; Ambrosino has failed
to bargain in good faith for a successor PEC agreement; a grievance, including
an alleged unfair labor practice, are pending at this time; and Sections 21-23
will effectively disable bargaining on health insurance,” the letter summarizes.
City Council President
Damali Vidot noted that her husband works for the Department of Public Works
and that any changes in health insurance would directly affect her. However,
she said the changes are necessary to allow Ambrosino to negotiate with city
“We hire the Town Manager
to negotiate with the unions, and I’m not comfortable when he does not have all
the tools needed for the negotiations,” said Vidot.
Vidot she said she hopes
Ambrosino can go back to the unions with the new negotiating tools and find
common ground with the unions. In addition to wanting the best for city
employees, Vidot said the council has a fiscal responsibility for the entire
The council president also
said that there has been some miscommunication on the issue, especially when it
comes to retirees. Vidot said changes to group health insurance plans would
only affect a very few retirees who do not qualify for Medicare.
District 1 Councillor
Robert Bishop said he agreed that the City Manager should have all the tools
available as he negotiates with the city’s union.
As the vote took place, many in the audience shouted and voiced their
displeasure, with several people stating the council should be ashamed of their
vote. The meeting came to a brief halt as the crowd noisily filed out of the
council meeting, with several audience members individually appealing to
He had his audience totally engaged on every word, his knowledge so overwhelming, his delivery so confident and precise.
Breakfast Chair Mark Robinson, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kevin White, FBI Special Agent In Charge Joseph Bonavolonta, and Jordan Girls and Boys Club Executive Director Gina Centrella.
Joseph R. Bonavolonta, FBI special agent in
charge of the Boston Field Office, was the guest speaker at the Jordan Boys and
Girls Club Breakfast Series Tuesday and his remarks were so captivating that he
received two other guest speaking invitations before he left the hall.
“It’s been an incredibly interestingly and
enlightening morning – that was great,” said Breakfast Chair Mark Robinson at
the conclusion of Bonavolonta’s remarks.
Bonavolonta took the guests on an up-close
look at the vital work that the United States’ principal law enforcement agency
does around the clock and how it affects people not only in this nation but
around the world.
He began by illuminating “about the types of
threats we’re facing in our AOR (Area of Responsibility),” which is the
four-state region of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
He divided the subject matter between the
categories of national security threats and criminal threats.
“I’ll start with pure national security,
that’s really where we’re focusing on our counter-terrorism and
counter-intelligence threats, two of the absolute top threats, not only here in
our area, but also nationally,” said Bonavolonta.
He said the FBI is focusing on two types of
counter-terrorism, international terrorism and domestic terrorism.
“International terrorism is where you have
your historical terrorism threats, really pre-and-post 911: Al Qaeda and ISIS,
They still are persistent. They still are significant threats for us, but the
threat landscape in terrorism has really changed every year since September 11,
2001,” he said.
Bonavolonta noted that the primary threat
here is Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVE). “What I mean by that, simply, are
individuals who have been self-radicalized primarily over the Internet – it
could be by other means as well. They go out and commit significant acts of
violence against what we would call or they call to be soft targets: schools,
shopping malls, any areas where there are public gatherings where you can
potentially inflict mass casualties with the lowest amount of risk or immediate
interaction with law enforcement.
“It’s something that concerns us every day,”
He said the agency has to take each threat
seriously and be very quick to react. “We’ve had cases right in our own area
where we’ve had individuals that have one day woken up and they’re in that
radicalization process and they’ve decided that today’s the day they’re going
to go out and they’re going to attack or kill members of law enforcement or
“These are threats that have to be acted on
immediately and we have to ready to mobilize and cut them off before they
commit these acts of violence,” he said.
Bonavolonta defined domestic terrorism “as
individuals who are associated with or inspired by US-based movements that are
promoting ‘violent extremist ideologies.”
He said what makes domestic terrorism a
complex issue is “the fact that a lot of what we see in that realm potentials
butts right up against First Amendment freedom of speech issues.
“That’s something that we really have to be
incredibly careful when we’re looking at it. It’s a very, very high threshold
for us to predicate a case where we’re charging acts related to domestic
“In a lot of cases, these issues start with
individuals that are spewing certain types of speech that are protected under
First Amendment activities,” Bonovalonta clarified.
During the question-and-answer session that
followed, Bonavolonta was asked about FBI resources, hiring and personnel.
He said the FBI is always looking for
“cyber-talented people with a true background in cyber skills.”
we are making a significant push for much more aggressive recruitment – we are
aggressively recruiting people with skills in the STEM field,” said
Bonavalonta. “We are placing a specific emphasis on recruiting females into the
agent cadre as well. We need to make sure that from a diversity perspective that
our agent cadre, as much as it can, mirrors overall society. And just within
the last three or four years, there has been a very definitive effort to
proactively put on female law enforcement symposiums.”
Lucia Robinson-Griggs, who graduated from Pope John XXIII High School as one of its greatest athletes of all time, is enjoying much success in the coaching ranks.
Lucia Robinson-Griggs, MIT women’s basketball associate head coach, proudly holds the team’s NEWMAC championship trophy at the conference tournament in Springfield in the company of her proud family, from left, cousin Maureen Lee, cousin, Nickolette Mauch, father, Leo Robinson, uncle, D. Bruce Mauch, aunt, Gail Mauch, and aunt, Arlene Robinson.
Robinson-Griggs just completed a tremendous
season as the associate head coach of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT) women’s basketball team. The Lady Engineers captured the NEWMAC
Conference Championship for the second year in row.
MIT played St. Joseph’s of Maine in the
first round of the NCAA Division 3 Tournament and lost 68-61.
Lucia’s father, Councillor-at-Large Leo
Robinson, mother, REACH Executive Director Linda Alioto-Robinson, uncle,
Chelsea Clock Company Vice President D. Bruce Mauch, and aunts Gail Mauch and
Arlene Robinson traveled to Ithaca College to root on Lucia’s MIT contingent in
the NCAA first round game.
Robinson-Griggs, who began her basketball
career in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League before starring for the Pope John
Tigers, was promoted to associate head coach at MIT this season. She recorded
her 100th career win at MIT in November.
A rewarding experience
What is the experience like coaching at MIT,
one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world?
“Coaching at MIT is incredibly rewarding and
inspiring,” said Robinson-Griggs. “The women on the team are able to balance
their heavy course work, research and internships and are still able to be “all
in” for basketball. They spend time being dedicated to watching film, working
out in the weight room and doing their best on the court.”
Robinson-Griggs said because of the
student-athletes’ rigorous academic requirements, the coaching staff has to be
well prepared for the daily practices and strategy sessions.
“As a coach, our players’ schedules really
force you to be prepared in order to maximize your time with the team,” said
Robinson-Griggs. “We only have a two-hour window for practices, so our plans
for skill development and planning for opponents needs to be all encompassing
and ready to go. Knowing after graduation, the players will go on to have their
pick of careers makes you feel a sense of pride and awe that they also chose to
play basketball as part of their collegiate experience.”
Robinson-Griggs was previously the head
coach of the Lesley University women’s basketball team, leading the Lady Lynx
to two conference championships.
From college player
to college coach
Robinson-Griggs played college basketball at
Bentley University, a perennial Division 2 powerhouse coached by Barbara
Stevens. She received her undergraduate degree from Bentley and holds a
Master’s degree in Mathematics from Lesley. She is a mathematics teacher at
Revere High School where she has also coached in the football program. She is a
former women’s professional football player for the Mass Militia.
Robinson-Griggs has worked at several summer
basketball camps, including one directed by Brown University head coach Sarah
Behn, the former BC and Foxboro High School standout.
Leo Robinson, who played basketball for
Chelsea High School and Burdett College, said he was proud of his daughter’s
many accomplishments in the sport of basketball. He credits her dedication and
mastery of the fundamentals of the game as key factors in her success as a
“Lucia is a sound coach who understands the
fundamentals,” said Leo. “She is a good strategist who watches a lot of game
Robinson-Griggs was the keynote speaker at
the city’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in January. The 31-year-old
scholar-athlete, role model and coach delivered an inspiring address that
earned her a standing ovation from the audience.
Lucia and her
husband, Michael, live in Chelsea and have two children, Kaia, 4, and Kellan,
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is
still deliberating amongst its members more than two weeks after closing
hearings into the Wynn Resorts/Encore Boston Harbor suitability determination.
The hearings attracted hundreds of eyes and
a great deal of media as well, but since that time, not much has happened
outside of closed doors.
A spokesman told the paper that
deliberations continue and a very public unveiling of the decision would take
place after that.
There is no
timeline right now as to when that decision would be made public. That decision
includes whether or not Encore keeps its casino license, who in the Wynn
organization will remain a qualifier, and what new members will be deemed
qualified by the MGC.