New School Finance Director Chosen from UMass’s Collins Center

New School Finance Director Chosen from UMass’s Collins Center

A senior associate from the Collins Center at UMass Boston has been chosen as the new School Department executive director of Administration and Finance, replacing long-time director Gerry McCue – who will retire this summer after 26 years at the post.

Monica Lamboy, a Charlestown resident, has accepted the position and will start on July 1 in the critical School Department position.

“In these changing times in our City and within our schools, Ms. Lamboy’s extensive background in financial and administrative management, organizational development, strategic and long range planning for both municipalities and for schools makes her uniquely qualified to step into the position of Executive Director of Administration and Finance,” wrote Supt. Mary Bourque.

Lamboy holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Princeton University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California. For the last seven years, she has worked as a Senior Associate for the University of Massachusetts, Edward J. Collins Center for Public Management.

The Collins Center was the same organization used to conduct and choose the City Manager in Chelsea a few years ago.

As Senior Associate at the Collins Center, Lamboy has served as team leader working with municipal and school executives, and elected officials across the state on finance-related efforts including financial forecasts, financial policies, and capital improvement plans. Her organizational studies and strategic planning projects include economic development plans and trend reports which analyzed changes in population, business, housing, transportation, and infrastructure. She has led a team for the Brookline public schools that studied the district’s central administration, instructional and educational programs, special education, information technology functions, and salary structures all with recommended changes for efficiency and efficacy.

Prior to her work with the Collins Center she served the City of Somerville, District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), and the City of Oakland in multiple departments and in various capacities. In the City of Oakland, she served as Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Business Services for the Oakland Unified School District.

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Chelsea’s Chavez to Offer Workshops at Gardner Museum

Chelsea’s Chavez to Offer Workshops at Gardner Museum

Drawing on the themes of Life, Death & Revelry, local artist Silvia López Chavez will offer workshops at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum designed to engage visitors in the exhibition with hands-on activities. Chavez’s Saturday Open Studio series will run every Saturday, starting June 30. She will also host studio workshops as the visiting artist on Saturday, June 30 as well as during Third Thursdays on June 21.

“The workshops are inspired by the Life, Death & Revelry exhibition,” says Chavez. “My hope is to allow visitors to experiment with the art materials and techniques I use in my own studio practice while having fun with color and creating personal meaning around the idea of Life Cycles.”

With roots in the Dominican Republic, Chavez is an interdisciplinary artist who believes in the power of the creative process as an agent for positive change. The Chelsea resident has collaborated on projects and public art works throughout the city and the Greater Boston area, including murals at Uphams’ Corner, the Charles River Esplanade, Punto Urban Art Museum in Salem, and Northeastern University, among others. Her exhibit record includes the Fitchburg Art Museum, Boston Children’s Museum, and the New Hampshire Institute of Art. She is also an artist-in-residence at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Chavez is an award-winning graphic designer and has worked with high-profile companies and institutions for more than 15 years. She holds a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and continues her studio art practice at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Through the Polly Thayer Starr Artist Series, the Museum supports four artists in the Boston area by providing them with opportunities to develop artistic experiences and engaging workshops for visitors. The series allows artists to consider their work within the rich cultural context of the Gardner Museum and the unique legacy of the Museum’s founder, Isabella Stewart Gardner, through a structured three-month collaboration period of thought, exploration, and workshop implementation.

The Polly Thayer Starr Artists design and implement curriculum for Saturday Open Studios and lead hands-on activities at the Museum. Chavez’s workshop series evolved from her collaboration with the Museum throughout April, May, and June.

Chavez’s workshops will run every Saturday, June 30 through September 1, from 11 am to 4 pm. Open Studio events are included with Museum admission.

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Chelsea Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring

Chelsea Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring

A Chelsea man pleaded guilty June 19 at federal court in Boston to his role in a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering ring operating between Massachusetts and California.

Steven Beadles, 60, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for Sept. 24, 2018.

Beadles was one of 11 men from Massachusetts and California who were indicted in 2016 after a two-year investigation into methamphetamine trafficking. The indictment alleges that beginning in at least 2013, the defendants participated in a conspiracy to transport sizeable quantities of methamphetamine from San Diego, to Massachusetts, where it was distributed in the Greater Boston area. Proceeds from the sale of that methamphetamine were then transported and/or transferred back to California and laundered in various ways.

In his plea agreement, Beadles admitted that agents seized approximately 434 grams of methamphetamine that had been shipped from California to the house where Beadles was living in January 2016, that he knew that the package contained methamphetamine, and that he intended to distribute some of the drugs.

Each charge provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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Chelsea Black Community Will Host Candidates Forum on Weds., June 27

Chelsea Black Community Will Host Candidates Forum on Weds., June 27

The Chelsea Black Community (CBC) has become a highly visible and active organization since its inception four years ago under the direction of President Joan Cromwell.

The CBC has drawn large crowds to its events and it has assumed a major leadership role in the city’s celebration of Black History Month in February.

Now Cromwell and the CBC are entering the election arena as the sponsor of a Candidates Forum to be held Weds., June 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Chelsea Senior Center. The five candidates for the Democratic nomination for Suffolk County District Attorney, EvandroCarvalho, Linda Champion, Gregory Henning, Shannon McAuliffe, and Rachael Rollins have all accepted the CBC’s invitation to participate in a panel discussion and  question-and-answer forum with the audience.

Congressman Michael Capuano and Boston City Councilor-at-Large Ayanna Pressley, candidate for the Seventh Congressional Seat, were invited to participate in the Congressional Candidates’ portion of the forum.

Cromwell stated that Pressley will participate, while Capuano informed the CBC that he will be in session in Washington and unable to attend the forum.

Sharon McAuliffe, associate dean at Bunker Hill Community College, will serve as moderator of the forum.

Cromwell said the CBC decided to hold the forum after some of the candidates for the DA position reached out to the organization. Sensing a heightened interest in the contest due to DA Dan Conley’s decision not to run for re-election, the CBC opted to invite all five candidates to the city.

“We wanted to be fair and unbiased, so we said, ‘why don’t we just host a candidates’ forum’ so they can all have equal time with the community to get their points across,” said Cromwell.

The CBC president, a member of a long-time and well-known Chelsea family, said there are many issues in the news including immigration, the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, and substance abuse.

“There are so many things affecting our community that we felt it was important to educate and inform the voter that there are many candidates that are running for district attorney,” said Cromwell. “It’s a perfect opportunity for the people of Chelsea to have a conversation with the candidates, as well as to become knowledgeable about the election before they go in to the voting booth.”

Questions for the forum are being sent to the CBC by local organizations such as Roca, the Youth Commission, the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, and the Jordan Girls and Boys Club, among other groups.

Caulfield will have three questions for each of the candidates. The second half of the forum will be pre-selected questions from the audience.

If past CBC events are an indication, the Candidates Forum will be professionally done and well attended – and yes, Joan Cromwell said there will be great refreshments, something else for which the CBC has also become known.

“We need the public to be a part of the forum and meet the candidates,” said Cromwell. “We encourage the whole community to be there on June 27 at the Chelsea Senior Center.”

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Police Briefs 06-21-2018

Police Briefs 06-21-2018

STOLE CELL PHONES

On June 4, Chelsea Detectives placed a juvenile under arrest for four counts of theft of cell phones from a city business on Broadway. The thefts occurred between the dates of Feb. 1 and March 24, and detectives were able to verify identity through video surveillance.

A 17-year-old juvenile from Everett was charged with four counts of larceny over $250.

ARRESTED TWICE IN ONE DAY

On June 5, at 9:30 a.m., officers located a male party at the corner of Chestnut and Fourth Streets that matched the description of a male party with active warrants. After further investigation, and confirmation, the male was placed under arrest for five Boston Police arrest warrants. At 4:45 p.m. the same day, officers re-arrested the same individual after he was observed shoplifting at the TJ Maxx store.

Xavier Gennis, 22, homeless of Chelsea, was arrested on warrants. Later, he was arrested shoplifting of more than $100.

THREW CIGARETTE IN CRUISER

On June 6, at 1:40 p.m., officers were in Bellingham Square when they observed a male approach two unoccupied police cruisers, which were parked on the median located between Bellingham and Fifth Streets. The male threw a lit cigarette on the front grill of the unmanned police car.

Officers observed smoke coming from the area. When they approached suspect, he became disorderly and was arrested.

Richard Norton, 57, of 129 Arlington St., was charged with wanton damage and disorderly conduct.

TRAFFICKING HEROIN

On June 7, members of the Massachusetts State Police and Chelsea Police attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Shurtleff Street.

The target of the arrest warrant had three active warrants issued from Chelsea District Court. After placing the male under arrest, officers located a significant amount of U.S. currency and drugs on his person, and he was additionally charged.

Jeffrey Valenzuela, 19, of 167 Shurtleff St., was charged with trafficking in heroin, possession to distribute a Class A drug and one warrant.

SALVADORAN MAN DEPORTED AGAIN

A Salvadoran national was charged last week at federal court in Boston with illegally reentering the United States after being deported.

Geraldo Reyes Menjivar-Menjivar, 33, was indicted on one count of illegal reentry of a deported alien.

According to court documents, on May 24, 2018, law enforcement in Chelsea encountered Menjivar-Menjivar and determined him to be unlawfully present in the United States. Menjivar-Menjivar was previously deported on Nov. 7, 2014.

Menjivar-Menjivar faces a sentence of no greater than two years in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and will be subject to deportation upon 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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Massachusetts Falling Behind Rest of the Nation in Health Care Access, Efficiency

Massachusetts Falling Behind Rest of the Nation in Health Care Access, Efficiency

While Massachusetts has led the nation with health care reform, residents of the Commonwealth continue to lack basic access to primary and specialty care across the state. Poor patient access to care, an uncontrolled opioid epidemic and rising healthcare costs together present a perfect storm.  Many states however, have been proactive about removing practice barriers to increase access to NP driven care.

While other states have taken steps to position the NP workforce to meet rising needs, antiquated and unnecessarily restrictive laws and licensing requirements leave Massachusetts as one of only 13 states in the nation – and the only state in New England – that continues to maintain a such a restrictive nurse practice act. The unintended consequence of health reform is access to healthcare coverage without the same level of access to health care.  Without intervention for those patients seeking health care in Massachusetts, it is not likely to improve.

There are 9,500 qualified, educated Nurse Practitioners available to meet the healthcare challenges facing the Commonwealth. NPs are licensed, board certified and have achieved a master’s or doctoral degree.  With documented high quality outcomes, they are equipped to fill the gaps, enhance access to care, provide life-saving treatment for opioid use disorder and deliver a much-needed cost savings to the Commonwealth – and to patients. In failing to use NPs to the full extent of their education and training to optimize the state’s healthcare delivery system, Massachusetts is missing an opportunity to best serve patients.

For patients seeking access to basic healthcare services in Massachusetts, including both primary and specialty care, restricted NP practice contributes to longer wait times.  Research supports that for those patients seeking a new family medicine appointment, access delays in the Commonwealth are amongst the worst in the nation. Faced with longer wait times for appointments and contending with significant delays in care, patients may risk adverse health outcomes or rely on more costly care delivery settings, such as emergency rooms, for treatment.

Like the rest of the nation, the Commonwealth is experiencing an escalating number of opioid related deaths. According to the MA Department of Public Health, in 2016 there were 2,155 reported opioid related deaths in Massachusetts. Heartbreaking stories of neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family members dying from overdoses have become too familiar.  All available resources must be leveraged to combat this public health crisis, including access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), which has proven to be lifesaving. Nationally, NPs have contributed significantly to treating this disease. However, in Massachusetts, antiquated and unnecessarily restrictive laws and regulations mandating physician supervision for NP prescriptive practice are limiting the ability of NPs to respond to the epidemic. For those patients with opioid use disorder, such delays in receiving care can be life-threatening.

In 2009, a study by the Rand Corporation evaluating access and cost of care estimated Massachusetts could save millions of dollars through increased utilization of NPs.  Despite these recommendations, the state has still not acted. Office visits with an NP are 20 – 35 percent lower in cost than physician driven visits, without compromise in quality outcomes.  Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers presently reimburse NPs at rates that are 75-85 percent of the physician rate. As Healthcare costs continue to increase, utilization of NPs in care is a viable and responsible way to help bring costs down.

Presently, there is legislation pending on Beacon Hill, which will remove barriers impeding Nurse Practitioners’ ability to practice to the full extent of their training and education. H.2451/S.1257, An Act to Contain Health Care Costs and Improve Access to Value Based Nurse Practitioner Care as Recommended by the IOM and FTC, will modernize Massachusetts licensure laws and grant Full Practice Authority to Nurse Practitioners in Massachusetts, thus removing the requirement for physician oversight for NP prescriptive practice. In doing so, NPs will be better positioned to respond to the evolving care delivery needs of the Commonwealth.  Increased access to basic healthcare, specialty services and opioid use disorder treatment all mean significant cost savings for the Commonwealth.

As registered nurses with advanced master’s or doctoral level education and national certification in advanced practice nursing specialties, Nurse Practitioners have the knowledge and experience needed to deliver high-quality, cost-effective healthcare to patients.

Stephanie Ahmed, DNP, FNP-BC

Chair of the Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners’ Legislative Committee and Former MCNP President

Donna Hanson, MS ANP, BC, MGH Emergency Medicine

Resident, Wintrhop, MA

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Sports 06-21-2018

Sports 06-21-2018

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins’ Blades coming to Chelsea

The Boston Bruins will be returning to Massachusetts and New Hampshire libraries this summer to continue their “When You Read, You Score!” reading programs, presented by Velcro Companies. They will be at the Chelsea Public Library (569 Broadway), on Tuesday, July 10th from 2 – 3 p.m.. On Wednesday, June 27, the Bruins will host a kick-off event pairing Bruins Development Camp prospects and local students for games and other reading activities at the Waltham Public Library (735 Main St., Waltham).

2018 marks the ninth year the Bruins will partner with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System, and the third year partnering with the Children’s Librarians of New Hampshire to support literacy programs and encourage reading among youth across the two states.

Throughout the summer, Bruins Mascot Blades and members of the Bruins promo team will visit libraries across Massachusetts and New Hampshire in an effort to promote youth literacy. At each “When You Read, You Score!” library visit, children and teens will be able to meet and interact with Blades, participate in Bruins arts and crafts, fun backyard games, and have the chance to win official Bruins prizes by competing in hockey trivia.

“Literacy is one of the most important abilities for students to develop and builds a strong foundation for success in life; so we are proud to be working with the Bruins to bring educational and literacy programs to the kids,” said Fraser Cameron, CEO, Velcro Companies. “‘When You Read, You Score!’ is an innovative way to connect with kids and sharpen their reading skills by making learning engaging, exciting and fun outside the classroom.”

To help inspire children and teens to keep reading over the summer, Bruins players, including Patrice Bergeron, ZdenoChara, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask have helped libraries develop a summer reading list that also includes librarian picks for the best hockey books. To see the “Favorite Books of the Boston Bruins” list, visit BostonBruins.com/SummerReading.

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Public Library Featured on Gateway Trail

Public Library Featured on Gateway Trail

Recognizing the integral role that public libraries play in their communities, Massachusetts Center for the Book (MCB) has added a Gateway City Library Trail to its live app, MassBook Trails.

Chelsea Public Library is celebrated on the trail for providing democratic access to reading and 21st century gateways to opportunity for their patrons through digital connectivity and programming that enhances life-long learning and cultural assimilation.

“This trail underscores the unique history, architecture, and attributes of each Gateway City library,” explains Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director of Mass Center for the Book. “Some are ‘Carnegie Libraries,’ built through the generosity of philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie; others had humble beginnings as a shelf of books to loan at the local general store.  But this trail also reflects the common mission of these public institutions that is as important today as it ever was: our public libraries are centerpieces of civic engagement and advancement and benefit from the local, state and federal support they receive to further their objectives.”

Available on the web and as a free download, Mass Book Trails was launched in 2017 with two literary walking tours in Boston and two statewide trails:  Literary Museums of Massachusetts, and African American Writers Heritage Trail.  Additional tours are being added as libraries have accepted MCB’s invitation to develop their own local literary, cultural, and historic tours.

The Massachusetts Center for the Book, chartered as the Commonwealth Affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is a public-private partnership charged with developing, supporting and promoting cultural programming that advances the cause of books and reading and enhances the outreach potential of Massachusetts public libraries.

For more information, contact info@massbook.org.  MassBook Trails may be found in the app store and through Google Play.  It is also available on the web at https://massbooktrails.oncell.com/en/index.html.

Cutline –

The Chelsea Public Library has been added to the MassBook Trail App for Gateway City Libraries.

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Gerrish Street Gang Member Sentenced on Racketeering and Drug Trafficking

Gerrish Street Gang Member Sentenced on Racketeering and Drug Trafficking

An East Side Money Gang (ES$G) member was sentenced last week in federal court in Boston on racketeering and drug trafficking charges.

Henry Del Rio, a/k/a “Junior,” a/k/a “JR,” 21, of Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to five years in prison and four years of supervised release. In February 2018, Del Rio pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

Del Rio is a self-admitted member of the ES$G, a Chelsea-based street gang, which uses violence to further its criminal activities and enforce its internal rules. Specifically, ES$G uses violence to protect its members/associates, target rival gang members/associates and intimidate potential witnesses. The ES$G is also involved in drug trafficking, including cocaine, cocaine base (a/k/a crack) and heroin in Chelsea and surrounding communities.

Del Rio conspired with other gang members and associates to distribute heroin and other drugs in Chelsea. Additionally, Del Rio sold a confidential informant a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an obliterated serial number and a 30-round, high-capacity magazine from Del Rio’s residence on Gerrish Street in Chelsea.   Del Rio is one of 53 defendants indicted in June 2016 on federal firearms and drug charges following an investigation into a network of street gangs that had created alliances to traffic weapons and drugs throughout Massachusetts and to generate violence against rival gang members. According to court documents, the defendants, who are leaders, members, and associates of the 18th Street Gang, East Side Money Gang and the Boylston Street Gang, were responsible for fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts.

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DiDomenico Delivers for Chelsea in FY19 Budget

DiDomenico Delivers for Chelsea in FY19 Budget

Sen. Sal DiDomenico and his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate recently passed a $41.49 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019, including targeted investments to create opportunities and ensure access to the tools that individuals, children and families need to succeed in the economy and in their communities. This budget invests in key areas related to education, local aid, health and human services, housing, and tools for low income families.

“After careful deliberation, the Senate has passed a thoughtful budget that both reflects the shared priorities of our chamber and addresses the pressing needs of our communities,” said Sen. DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. “This budget includes key investments in many of my top priority items that will have a positive and direct impact on Chelsea, and I am happy to report that all of my amendments providing additional resources for our community were adopted to the final Senate budget. I would like to thank Senate Ways & Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka and Senate President Harriette Chandler for all of their great work to craft a budget that will undoubtedly help to move our entire Commonwealth forward.”

The budget invests significantly in education for people of all ages and backgrounds and focuses particularly on elementary and secondary education, including $4.91B for the Chapter 70 education formula, its highest level ever. This funding allows for a minimum aid increase of $30 per pupil for every school district across the state and 100% effort reduction to bring all school districts to their target local contribution. Under the Senate budget, Chelsea would receive $77.4M in Chapter 70 funds- $4.3M more than they received in state funding last fiscal year.

Additionally, this budget takes much needed steps to offset the cost to some school districts-like Chelsea and Everett- of educating economically disadvantaged students and allows these districts to more accurately count their students. In recent years, many Gateway City school districts have faced dire budget gaps due to a 2015 change in the way the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) calculates low-income or “economically disadvantaged” students. This count plays a key role in the Chapter 70 formula that determines the amount of funding school districts receive from the state.

As a result of this change, only students who are registered for social welfare programs like SNAP and Medicaid are categorized as economically disadvantaged, missing thousands of additional low-income students who are not accessing social services. However, under the Senate budget, communities will be allowed to choose their preferred method of counting economically disadvantaged students, thereby ensuring that Chelsea is able to count all of their students.

“I am thrilled that this change has been included in the FY19 Senate budget,” said DiDomenico. “This is a solution that I have long been advocating for, and I am confident this will have a major impact on the amount of Chapter 70 funding schools in my district will receive and will go a long way towards remedying the fiscal challenges that our local schools have been facing.”

As Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate, Sen. DiDomenico was able to secure a number of amendments providing additional funding for his local communities. In total, the Senator secured an additional $100K for the Chelsea community:

  • $25,000 CONNECT, a financial opportunity center in the city of Chelsea
  • $75,000 for a youth social worker in the Chelsea Public Schools

This budget also invests in programs and advances policies to encourage self-sufficiency and economic mobility for low income families, providing them with the tools to secure their essential needs and develop skills to join the workforce. Policy changes include:

  • Sen. DiDomenico’s bill to eliminate the family cap- a failed and outdated policy that denies Department of Transitional Assistance benefits to children conceived while the family was receiving assistance.
  • An increase in the child clothing allowance to $350 per child- a $50 perchild increase over FY18- to help families secure their basic needs
  • An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) state match to 30% of the federal credit

Other top priority items for Sen. DiDomenico that were included in the Fiscal Year 2019 Senate Budget and will benefit Chelsea residents are:

  • $3.8 million for the state’s pediatric palliative care network to ensure there is no wait list for these critical services so children and their families have the extra care and support that they need;
  • $319.3 million to fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker;
  • $100 million to reimburse school districts for costs incurred when students leave to attend charter schools;
  • $8.7 million for Childcare Resource and Referral Centers to boost salaries and decrease caseloads for caseworkers helping parents, childcare providers, employers and community groups navigate the state’s early education landscape;
  • $4 million for Youth-At-Risk Matching grants, including support for YWCAs, YMCAs and Boys & Girls Clubs;
  • $33.4 million for adult basic education services to improve access to skills and tools necessary to join the workforce;
  • $10.3 million for summer jobs and work-readiness training for at-risk youth;
  • $16 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council to support local arts, culture and creative economy initiatives;
  • $16.2 million for local Councils on Aging to strengthen programs and services in senior centers in communities across the state;
  • $142.9 million for a range of substance abuse treatment, intervention and recovery support services, including funding to open five new recovery centers; and
  • $18.5 million for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), including $3 million to expand eligibility to include persons with disabilities, seniors, unaccompanied youth and individuals.

A Conference Committee will now work out the differences between the Senate budget and the version passed by the House of Representatives in April. Fiscal Year 2019 begins on July 1.

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