Give Where You Live:Vukovic Launches Buy Nothing Program in City

Give Where You Live:Vukovic Launches Buy Nothing Program in City

By Cary Shuman

Sladja Vukovic.

Sladja Vukovic.

Cottage Street resident Sladja Vukovic is hoping to build community spirit in her neighborhood with a new project called Buy Nothing.

Vujovic is the administrator of the Chelsea Facebook group for the worldwide program in which neighbors give and receive free items from each other such as clothes, household goods, furniture, bicycles – really, anything is on the list.

“Currently we have 32 members in Chelsea,” said Vukovic, who is a realtor in Boston. “There are Facebook groups in many cities and towns in Massachusetts.”

Vukovic is originally from Bosnia and came to the United States in 2008. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. She has lived in Chelsea since 2010. Her husband is former Chelsea High soccer star Vedran Vukovic, and they have a son, Banja.

The 31-year-old resident started the Buy Nothing group two months ago for residents in the southern half of Chelsea, spanning from Admiral’s Hill to Washington Avenue. She is looking for a resident to step forward and be the administrator for the northern half of Chelsea.

“Basically our goal is to give where you live,” said Vukovic. “If you have something that you want to give to someone or if you have something you want to lend – like a jacket – you post it on a Facebook page, and if anyone else needs it, they’re going to reply and take that item for free.”

The time period for giving and lending can vary from item to item.

“Let’s say I need to borrow something for a weekend, you can ask for it and someone can volunteer to give it you,” said Vukovic.

Buy Nothing can also provide free services such as lawn mowing, house painting, snow plowing, landscaping or even learning a new language. Vukovic speaks English, Serbian, and Spanish.

“You can’t advertise your business in the program, but if you have a service for free that you want to provide, you can do that,” she explained.

Vukovic is trying to increase the number of members in the Facebook group through marketing and personal contacts with her neighbors.

“Somerville has more than 500 members,” she said. “But they’ve been doing it longer than we have.”

The overall mission of the program, according to Vukovic, is to give items to neighbors and strengthen the bonds in the neighborhood.

“I was looking for groups on Facebook and the Buy Nothing project seemed like a great neighborhood-strengthening group,” she said. “I searched it Chelsea and found out that the city didn’t have it. So I became an administrator and here we have it.”

Vukovic is considering an appearance during the a City Council meeting to help publicize the group.

“My goal is for people to get know about this project,” she said. “I think it’s a great way for people who have something to give, to give it to someone else for free.”

(For more information, please go to Facebook and search for: buynothingchelseasouth,ma)

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America as We Know It Is Over

America as We Know It Is Over

It is difficult to understate the impact upon the future of our country of the Republican tax bill proposals that have been passed by the House and Senate and await a reconciliation between the two versions for a final vote by both.

The most complex piece of tax legislation to be enacted in more than 30 years was devised and voted upon with little or no debate and in the middle of the night (after midnight, actually) in the Senate, with cross-outs and extended, hand-written notes in the margins such that no Senator really knows what he or she voted upon.

However, what is clear is that the tax bill will raise taxes on the middle class — some substantially so (especially here in Massachusetts) — and all but destroy the Affordable Care Act, while giving huge benefits to the ultra-rich in countless ways.

One of the most outrageous giveaways to the ultra-rich is that they can deduct the cost of maintenance of their private jets. Wouldn’t we all like to do that for our cars, the preferred mode of transportation for the rest of us?

In addition, this tax giveaway by the supposedly deficit-hawk, fiscally-conservative Republicans will be increasing the deficit by at least $1 trillion over the next 10 years, and most likely more than that.

All in all, this represents America’s move toward a real-life Hunger Games, in which most Americans barely will be able to scrape by with little or no prospect for economic mobility.

The American Century has been turned on its head — and we never will be the same again.

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Obituaries 12-07-2017

Obituaries 12-07-2017

Rochelle ‘Shelley’ Bennett

Former Chelsea 8th District Councilor who worked to better the Chelsea Community

Rochelle “Shelley” A. Bennett of Peabody, formerly of Chelsea, died peacefully at home on Saturday, December 2 after suffering a long illness. She was 73 years old.

Rochelle was born in Chelsea and lived here throughout most of her life.  She was a graduate of the Chelsea Public School System and Massachusetts Bay Community College.  After college, she worked in an administrative capacity at the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris and Glovsky & Popeo and then in 1984 moved to the Venture Capital firm of Alta Communications from which she eventually retired.

 Rochelle considered Chelsea to be her home and she was very active in the Chelsea community. In 1994, Rochelle was elected as Chelsea’s 8th District Councilor and served as such until 2003.  She had a very strong bond with the City of Chelsea and the people who lived here. Her sole focus was to help the residents of Chelsea and to make Chelsea a great city. She was awarded the “Outstanding Service Award” from the Explorer Post #109 and Chelsea YMCA.  She was also awarded the “Chelsea Latin Community Service Award.”

Rochelle served for four years as a Trustee for the Breakwater Condominium Trust and worked closely with other associations to better the Chelsea community. Several of her many accomplishments include reducing weekend noise pollution from Logan Airport and being instrumental in getting the Assisted Living and Nursing Home Facilities built in Admiral’s Hill.

 Rochelle was an extremely loving daughter. After losing her father in 1966, she devoted her life to taking care of her mother, Mollie Bennett, until her death in 1998.  Rochelle never had children but shared a strong loving bond with her many nieces and nephews. Nothing was more important to Rochelle than her family.

 Rochelle loved having fun and enjoyed watching old movies, listening to classic 40’s and 50’s music and playing the piano.  She spent many weekends with her friends playing the piano and singing at the Continental Restaurant in Saugus. She took pride in the fact that she worked hard for most of her life and was able to retire comfortably at an early age.

She was so excited for this chapter in her life.

She moved to Florida to enjoy the warm weather and the carefree days of retirement.  Unfortunately, illness forced her to move back to Peabody where she lived until her passing.

Rochelle leaves behind her sister, Barbara Kennedy of Boynton Beach, FL, her sister-in-law Geraldine Bennett of Framingham and several nieces and nephews: David and Ann Kennedy of Saugus, Marlene Kennedy of Lynn, Cheryl and Michael Upton of Lynn, Rhonda and Ronald Aldo of Mansfield, Alan and Angel Kennedy of Boynton Beach, FL, Lisa Kennedy of Hillsboro, NH, Sharon and Lou Shuman of New Orleans, LA, Steven Bennett of California and Diane and Kenneth Stone of Framingham, and several great nieces and nephews.

Rochelle was preceded in death by her loving parents, Abraham and Mollie Bennett, her brother, Herbert Bennett, brother-in-law John Kennedy and nephew, Robert Kennedy.

 Funeral services will be held on Sunday, December 10 at 12 noon at the Torf Funeral Home, 151 Washington Ave, Chelsea followed by burial at the Mishna Cemetery, Fuller Street, Everett.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the American Breast Cancer Society or the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

Norman Dion

Of New Hampshire, formerly of Chelsea

Norman Dion of Center Barnstead, NH, formerly of Chelsea, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 2 at the Veteran’s Home, Tilton, NH, following a long battle with dementia. He was 85 years old.

Born in Nashua, NH, the son of the late Edmond and Olivine Dion, he was raised and educated in Chelsea aand was a tireless and dedicated worker for over 30 years at Smith Craft later Keene Lighting Corp. Following retirement, Norman and his wife, the late Doris Dion, built a home in the country to enjoy their golden years.

An honorably discharged veteran, Norman proudly served his country as a member of the United States Army 82nd Airborne Division from 1950 to 1953. During retirement, he was an avid participant at the American Legion, Post 43 in Barnstead.

A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Norman was the pillar of strength for his family. In his younger years, Norman served as a Boy Scout Leader. Norman will be best remembered for his generous heart and love of family.

Norman in survived by five children: Daniel Dion of Chelmsford, Michael Dion of Groton, Cecile Falta of Center Barnstead, NH, Andrea Toolan of Wakefield, and Paul Dion of Newton; four grandchildren: Melissa Derderian of Chicopee, Sara Dion of Somerville, and Jake and Alexis Toolan of Wakefield; three brothers, Raymond Dion of Lynnfield, Paul Dion of Lebanon, ME, and Gerard Dion of Moultonborough, NH; three sisters, Yvette Pizzano of Revere, Cecile Resca of Florida and Yvonne Petrosino of Plymouth and by many nieces, nephews and extended family and friends. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife: Doris (DeSchuytner) Dion, and son, Donald Dion of Chelsea.

His visitation will be held in the Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 172 King St., Boscawen, on Friday, December 8, from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by a Funeral Service at 11 a.m. in the Funeral Home Chapel. Committal at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, 110 Daniel Webster Hwy on Friday, December 8 will be at 12 noon. Friends and relatives are invited. To view Norman’s Online Tribute, send condolen

Carolyn Lee DeGurski

Bookkeeper at former Broadway National Bank in Chelsea

Carolyn Lee (Spiriti) DeGurski, a lifelong Chelsea resident, entered into eternal rest on Tuesday evening, November 28 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after succumbing to a long illness.   She was 70 years old.

Born and raised in Chelsea, the daughter of the late Albert and Dorothy (DeWitt) Spiriti, Carolyn attended Chelsea Public Schools and graduated from Chelsea High School, Class of 1965.  She also worked at the former Broadway National Bank in Chelsea where she dedicated 25 years as a bookkeeper for the bank.  During her retirement, Carolyn enjoyed shopping, traveling and attending plays.  She will be greatly missed by all who loved her.

The wife of James J. DeGurski of Chelsea, she was the devoted mother of Stacey DeGurski of Saugus, dear sister of Albert “Dean” Spiriti and his wife, Janet of Everett, James Spiriti of Chelsea and Eugene Spiriti, both of Chelsea and Deborah M. Guidi and her husband, James of Lynn; loving aunt of Cynthia Castillo and her husband, John of Littleton, Allison Ragsdale and her husband, David of California and David Spiriti and his wife, Anna Maria of Revere.

A Funeral Service was conducted in the Carafa Family Funeral Home in Chelsea on Saturday, December 2.  Committal was rivate.  Donations in Carolyn’s memory may be made to the Joslin Diabetes Center, 1 Joslin Place, Suite 745, Boston, MA 02215 or on-line at www.joslin.org.

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Councillor Wants Answers on 5th St Onramp

Councillor Wants Answers on 5th St Onramp

By Seth Daniel

The upcoming Chelsea Viaduct state highway project may include plans to eliminate the 5th Street onramp next to the Williams School, and Councillor Roy Avellaneda said he wants answers about the plan.

Avellaneda said at the Nov. 20 Council meeting that he has learned that MassDOT is considering closing down the onramp, which he said is critical for making sure the downtown and Everett Avenue are not flooded with vehicle traffic at certain times of the day.

“There is a proposal by MassDOT to close the 5th Street onramp to the Tobin Bridge at Arlington Street adjacent to the MITC Building,” he said. “They are talking…about doing away with it and eliminating it. It jumps off the page to me. I am wondering what impact that will have to the other two off-ramps and what kind of drastic impact it will have on our downtown.”

The MITC (Massachusetts Information Technology Center) Building is a state-owned building that houses computer technology and electronic records for the state. It has several hundreds employees.

A spokesman for MassDOT would not confirm or deny that there is a plan to take away the on-ramp. He said the plans are still in design for the overall viaduct project, and a public process with members of the community is underway.

A meeting took place earlier this month in Chelsea to discuss the project, which will begin in 2016.

“The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is continuing to move forward with the design of the Chelsea Viaduct Rehabilitation Project and is committed to rehabilitating this important structure to ensure long term reliability throughout this area,” said the spokesman in a statement. “MassDOT has developed a comprehensive public participation plan that will engage local civic leaders and elected officials, area businesses and members of the community as well as commuters.”

The land where the onramp is located was actually taken by the Highway Department decades ago when the Tobin/Mystic Bridge was being constructed. That particular piece of land was the home to Union Park – a park that housed the Civil War statue now across the street from City Hall. The park was laid out in a “spoke” formation with all paths leading to the Civil War monument in the center. However, during the Bridge construction, it was part of a massive land-taking in Chelsea and was designated for highway use.

It’s on that basis where Avellaneda said he wants more information. He said he wants to know what the plan is for that land if the onramp is taken away. He said since it was taken by eminent domain for highway use, it should be returned to the City if it is no longer a highway use.

He said he has suspicions that the state just wants to use the land to create more parking for the MITC employees.

“Do they want to expand parking for the MITC?” he asked. “That land was taken by eminent domain for one purpose and that was for a highway. If the highway is no longer using it for a highway, that land should go back to the City. That land was taken away from Chelsea and should not go to the MITC for parking and for them to continue their spread. The plan for 5th Street needs to be found and any hidden agenda out there needs to be found.”

The Chelsea Viaduct is a structure which runs between the Tobin Bridge to where Route 1 crosses above County Road and the Viaduct carries traffic through the area known as the “Chelsea Curves.”

The Chelsea Viaduct is structurally deficient and in need of repair and rehabilitation in order to ensure the reliability of this important connection.

Working with the City of Chelsea, residents living near the Viaduct, roadway users, and other stakeholders, the project team is currently designing a plan for construction that minimizes and mitigates temporary construction impacts. MassDOT’s current schedule includes reaching the 25 percent design milestone before the end of this year, continuing design and related work throughout the winter, and then advertising the project to potential construction bidders in the spring of 2018.

When completed, the Viaduct Rehabilitation project will provide repairs to the structure’s supports and a new travel surface for vehicles traveling on it. Work on the viaduct will be coordinated with construction activities occurring as part of the separate Tobin Bridge Deck Rehabilitation Project.

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The Big Comeback: Once Gone, Turkeys are Now a Common Sight in Most Communities, Even in the City

The Big Comeback: Once Gone, Turkeys are Now a Common Sight in Most Communities, Even in the City

By Seth Daniel

Wild Turkeys have shown up in the craziest places over the last few years, including on city streets, and that's due in part to a 35-year effort to restore them to the state. The native species was pushed out by European settlement and industrialization in the mid-1850s. Now, they have come back in a big way and frequently come to city streets or parks.

Wild Turkeys have shown up in the craziest places over the last few years, including on city streets, and that’s due in part to a 35-year effort to restore them to the state. The native species was pushed out by European
settlement and industrialization
in the mid-1850s. Now, they have come back in a big way and frequently come to city streets or parks.

There aren’t too many comeback stories that begin with the phrase, ‘Gobble, Gobble,’ but the story of the once-prolific wild turkey in Massachusetts certainly begins and ends with just such an utterance.

Though the wild turkey disappeared from Massachusetts for nearly 180 years, the Thanksgiving bird was once everywhere in the state, including throughout Chelsea and neighboring locales.

It was so common in the wild that it is likely the precise reason turkey is served for the Thanksgiving meal. With so many wandering around, it’s likely that the first Thanksgiving took advantage of cooking up the bird because it was so common.

It was also such a common sight that Ben Franklin argued for it to be the national bird instead of the American Bald Eagle – saying it symbolized the early Americas more than anything else.

But by 1850, it was gone from Massachusetts.

“Really, by the early 1850s, it was extricated from the state,” said Wayne Petersen of the Mass Audubon Society. “Because of all the changes brought by coming Europeans with land uses, as well as hunting and targeted removal of them, they just didn’t make it. They were gone for a good long time.”

That said, the wild turkey in the last three or four years has re-established itself and made a complete comeback to Massachusetts – becoming so prevalent that they’ve adapted to not only living in the wild and the suburbs, but can often be found wandering around city streets in very urban environments as well.

It’s a story that Petersen said is fun, amusing and a great example of re-introducing a native bird that had been long-lost.

“It’s great to have them back,” he said. “In most cases, they are entertaining and the worst they can do is cause problems with traffic if they get into trouble on the roads. By and large, most people are mildly amused by them when they see them in the neighborhoods for the first time. I think it’s just a great story. They are indigenous and we have a whole holiday built around the wild turkey…Wild turkeys are to Thanksgiving what Santa Claus is to Christmas. I think it’s great.”

Turkeys didn’t just pop back into Massachusetts out of thin air though.

The effort to restore them began as early as the 1950s. Serious efforts were made to reintroduce them back then, but the varieties brought to the state were usually from the Southern states where they are still prevalent. Unfortunately, those birds could not acclimate to the harsh winters of Massachusetts and didn’t survive. In the 1970s, though, another group of turkeys from the Adirondack region of New York – where they are also very easily found in the wild – were introduced into the western Massachusetts region.

Later, after that group found some success, preservationists introduced them into the Quabbin Reservoir area. That was also successful, and the birds just kept moving further east in greater numbers until now you can find them almost anywhere – sometimes in the craziest places.

“Now you find them all over,” said Petersen. “Over the years, that group took hold in a huge way. It is no longer a surprise to anyone to see them in the suburbs or even in the cities. They have learned to live in close contact with people here and are very safe. Many people enjoy them. Other than being huge, they are quiet and passive. They are not known as being vicious birds.”

Petersen said they get reports all the time of turkeys in the middle of the city, in car lots, sleeping on doorsteps or holding up traffic in a congested business district.

“There are lots of reports of turkeys being turkeys,” he said. “They can hold up traffic and can be a pain if they get hit on Rt. 128 or Rt. 3, but that is spot on about where people are finding them. There is no question we get reports of them being in very odd places.”

Beyond the fun of the new and surprising sights of turkeys back in the communities where they haven’t been for 180 years or more, there is also the serious subject of brining a native species back to where it belongs – somewhat like the Bald Eagle’s success story.

“The wild turkey in Massachusetts is just another great argument for restoration efforts,” he said. “They were a native species here that was lost in time. They were here before we were here and it was our introduction that pushed them out. Now we have helped to bring them back. That’s certainly worth noting.”

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Robert Ockenden Named Chief Horologist at Chelsea Clock

Robert Ockenden Named Chief Horologist at Chelsea Clock

Massachusetts-based Chelsea Clock, one of America’s oldest and most distinguished makers of fine clocks, barometers, and tide instruments, is pleased to announce that Robert Ockenden, AWCI certified master clockmaker, has been named chief horologist for the company’s repair & restoration facility. Chelsea operates one of the largest branded clock repair facilities in the country.

 Previously serving as director of repair and restoration services,

Ockenden will now play a key role in the development and leadership of the company’s new in-house certification and training program, soon to become a requisite for all Chelsea repair technicians and master clockmakers. While details of the curriculum are still under refinement, the program will focus on imparting the knowledge and technical skills necessary for excellence across all Chelsea-branded clock repair and antique clock restoration services.

 “Chelsea is a venerable brand, with a rich, long history of manufacturing and repairing fine timepieces,” says JK Nicholas, CEO of Chelsea Clock. “We are very pleased to have someone with Bob’s horological expertise and extraordinary talents develop a state-of-the-art certification program that will help establish and maintain the highest levels of performance for all Chelsea repair services, now and for the future of the company.”

Ockenden is a nationally known, well-respected voice in the clock making industry. An AWCI-certified master clockmaker, he has been a frequent lecturer at both local and national AWCI conferences. Additionally, he has served in various capacities on the education, strategic planning, and certification committees of the AWCI and has been a consultant to the editorial staff of Horological Times. He is also a member of the British Horological Institute.

Founded in 1897 in Chelsea, Chelsea Clock is the oldest clock company in America and one of the most renowned and respected makers of fine timepieces. The chimes of the Chelsea Clock Ship’s Bell, originally designed and patented in 1898, have long alerted U.S. Navy sailors and worldwide mariners to the time during their “watch,” earning the company a distinguished reputation for producing authentic, high-quality, nautical timepieces.

Today, Chelsea Clock continues to produce a broad range of nautical and heirloom quality clocks, with styles ranging from the company’s renowned Ship’s Bell to classic reproductions and contemporary timepieces. The company’s wide range of fine products is available through marine merchants, specialty shops, jewelers and gift stores, as well as online at www.ChlelseaClock.com. For more information about Chelsea Clock, call 1-866-899-2805 or visit www.ChelseaClock.com.

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Chelsea Fire to Begin Collecting Toys for Tots, Requests Due by Nov 20

Chelsea Fire to Begin Collecting Toys for Tots, Requests Due by Nov 20

The Chelsea Fire Department (CFD) has begun collecting new, unwrapped, non-violent toys at our Central Station located at

307 Chestnut St., from now until December 15.

Anyone who would like to drop off a toy may come by the station between the hours of 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Last year the CFD collected three large pickup trucks of toys for the Toys for Tots program. After doing some research, CFD organizers found that there are 750 families and more than 1,300 children in the City of Chelsea who are provided Christmas gifts through the Toys for Tots/Globe Santa program.

Sadly this number has nearly doubled since the first year the CFD started up their drive.

“This program is a great opportunity for all of us to help bring a little happiness into the hearts of so many local families that have so little,” said Phil Rogers.

For those who are needy and looking for donations, time is of the essence as the deadline for requests is Nov. 20.

If an individual family needs toys, they should make contact with their social worker, their Pastor, local city or town hall or The Globe Santa for possible help. The cut-off date for toy requests in 2017 is November 20, Midnight. This is due to the high volume of requests.

Globe Santa- toy request info

https://globesanta.org/aboutreq.aspx#request or

contact the Department of Transitional Services at (877) 382-2363.

The Toys for Tots program has been in existence since 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR founded Toys for Tots in Los Angeles. Some 5,000 toys were collected during that campaign before Christmas of 1947.

The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, non-violent, unwrapped toys each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the Greater Boston community. Toys for Tots also wants to assure the less fortunate families throughout the Greater Boston area of Massachusetts that their children will be taken care of throughout the holiday season. There is no better satisfaction than seeing the smile of a child during the holiday season.

“On behalf of all the children made happy and the members of the Chelsea Fire Department, thank you so very much for all of your help,” said Rogers.

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MS-13 Member Who Killed Innocent Mother Pleads Guilty

MS-13 Member Who Killed Innocent Mother Pleads Guilty

An MS-13 member pleaded guilty Thursday, Oct. 26, in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder, and armed robbery.

The defendant admitted responsibility for murdering an innocent bystander, attempted murder of rival gang member and armed robbery.

The murder of the innocent bystander occurred in 2014 when the gang member shot at a rival gang member and missed, instantly killing a woman in her home who had  simply looked out the front window. The woman was the mother of three children and was in refuge from a domestic violence situation.

Hector Ramires, a/k/a “Cuervo,” 24, a Honduran national formerly of Chelsea, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.  U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Jan. 19, 2018.  According to the terms of the plea agreement, the parties will jointly recommend a sentence of 27 years in prison.

Ramires was a member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique, which operated in Chelsea and other parts of Massachusetts.  On Oct. 18, 2014, Ramires and Bryan Galicia Barillas a/k/a “Chucky,” a fellow member of MS-13’s ECS clique, were walking the streets of Chelsea when they encountered a group of rival gang members.  Ramires, who was armed, shot at one of the gang rivals and missed, killing a woman who was an innocent bystander who was looking out a nearby window of a room she shared with her three children.  Barillas was also charged and previously pleaded guilty to, among other things, providing Ramires with the gun.

Ramires also accepted responsibility for his role in a March 28, 2014, attempted murder of a rival gang member in Chelsea, and an April 9, 2014, armed robbery in Chelsea.

After a three-year investigation, Ramires was one of 61 persons named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. MS-13 is a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts.

Ramires is the 22nd defendant to plead guilty in this case and will subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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Painting a Picture of Generosity:Temple Emmanuel Honors Barry and Darleen Kirshon for Their Philanthropy

Painting a Picture of Generosity:Temple Emmanuel Honors Barry and Darleen Kirshon for Their Philanthropy

By Cary Shuman

Temple Emmanuel honored Barry Kirshon and his wife, Darleen Kirshon, in a surprise ceremony Sunday morning at the historic house of worship on Cary Avenue.

The Kirshons thought they were there to present flowers to Rabbi Oksana Chapman on a day celebrating the near-completion of an extensive renovation project at the synagogue.

But Barry and Darleen were the true honorees as the congregation bestowed flowers and gifts upon the Kirshons, including the high honor of having a permanent, inscribed plaque placed on the bimah.

During his remarks for the rabbi, Barry noted that as a young boy he attended Hebrew School at Temple Emmanuel under the tutelage of Mr. Maurice Pearlman and took his bar mitzvah lessons there.

“It was a terrific time of my life back in the 1960s and I remember it well,” said Kirshon, owner of Kirshon Paint on Park Street. “It’s just an amazing thing that this temple has been able to survive and so many haven’t. It’s due to people like Sara Lee Callahan and Richard Clayman and others that have led this temple for many years. I’m just honored to be here. We’ve gone through a lot of work to get this place revitalized and there’s a lot work to do still but we’re getting there. It will be a wonderful place to be and enjoy and pray.”

That’s when Rabbi Chapman and Temple President Callahan turned the spotlight on the Kirshons for their continuing generosity and many acts of kindness.

“This temple has many angels who care deeply about the community and are sent to us by God to create and recreate this beautiful space that brings joy to all who enter,” said Chapman. “The two specific angels that we are celebrating today are our own Darleen and baary Kirshon. Your dreams with your hard work became a reality for all of us to celebrate and enjoy.”

State Rep. Dan Ryan presented a congratulatory citation from the Mass. House of Representatives to the Kirshons in recognition of their contributions to Temple Emmanuel.

“We offer our sincerest congratulations to Barry and Darleen Kirshon for their selfless generosity toward the renovation of Temple Emmanuel,” said Ryan. “Your hard work and unwavering dedication is a credit to both Temple Emmanuel and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Callahan then presented a proclamation from City Manager Tom Ambrosino and the City of Chelsea recognizing the Kirshons for  “their volunteer work and extraordinary generosity that has helped Temple Emmanuel continue to thrive as a welcoming place for worship, reflection, and refuge.”

The next tribute to Barry and Darleen Kirshon came in the form of a special plaque inscribed with their names that will forever shine on the wall behind the pulpit. The guests responded with warm applause for Barry and Darleen, a final nod of appreciation to a couple that has meant so much to Temple Emmanuel and the community of Chelsea.

“Thank you very much, Barry and Darleen,” said Callahan before the congregation moved in to the function room for a collation.

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MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder and Conspiracy to Murder

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder and Conspiracy to Murder

An MS-13 member pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Boston in connection with a 2014 shooting in Chelsea and a 2015 conspiracy to kill a suspected cooperating witness.

David Lopez, a/k/a “Cilindro,” a/k/a “Villano,” 22, a Salvadoran national, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.

U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Jan. 30, 2018.

Lopez was a member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique, which operated in Chelsea and other parts of Massachusetts. On May 29, 2014, Lopez and co-defendant Daniel Menjivar, a/k/a “Roca,” approached a victim near the Washington Avenue bus stop in Chelsea. Menjivar repeatedly stabbed the victim, and as he was struggling for his life, Lopez approached and shot at the victim. The victim suffered significant life threatening injuries, but survived following emergency surgery.

Menjivar pleaded guilty in   September 2017.

The investigation revealed that in March 2015, members of the ECS clique decided to kill a fellow MS-13 member who they incorrectly believed was cooperating with law enforcement at the time.

Law enforcement intervened and convinced the individual to become a cooperating witness. A subsequent investigation uncovered evidence that the ECS clique sent someone to New Jersey to pick up Lopez, who had fled Massachusetts after the May 2014 attack, so that he could come back to Massachusetts to help kill the suspected cooperating witness.

Lopez is the 23rd defendant to plead guilty in this case.

Lopez faces no greater than 20 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Lopez will be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence. He is believed to be in the country illegally.

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