Mayor Martin Walsh was the guest speaker at
the Jordan Boys and Girls Club Breakfast Series Feb. 14 at the club’s facility
Walsh, who is serving his second term as
mayor of Boston, drew one of the largest crowds in the 23-year history of the
monthly breakfast that has featured such prominent guest speakers as Gov.
Charlie Baker, former Govs. Deval Patrick and Michael Dukakis, former Gov. and
current U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, former Congressman Mike Capuano, former Boston
Mayors Kevin White and Ray Flynn, former State Secretary of Housing and
Economic Development Jay Ash, Bob Reynolds, Peter Lynch, and Boston
professional sports team owners Bob Kraft, Wyc Grousbeck, and John Henry.
Mr. Kraft’s son, Josh, is the former executive
director of the Jordan Boys and Girls Club and the current CEO and president of
the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. Breakfast Chair Mark Robinson joined Josh
Kraft in welcoming Walsh to the breakfast during introductory remarks.
“It’s an honor to have for the first time a
sitting mayor of the City of Boston as our speaker,” said Robinson. “This kid
from Savin Hill grew up in the city with a lot of challenges, took leadership
in the unions, served 16 years as state representative, and was elected mayor
of the City of Boston in 2013. We all see the success – the schools continue to
get better, you see an impressive number of companies moving to Boston and
bringing people jobs, and crime continues to go down in Boston. The mayor
continues to make Boston the most livable place in America to live, play and
Kraft said, “I want to thank the mayor for
being here today. He is a great friend to my family. I talked to my father
[Patriots owner Robert Kraft] this morning and he said, ‘There was no more vocal
and energetic fan in Atlanta than Marty.’’’
“Mayor Walsh is a great resource for the
city of Boston, he’s a community guy and understands the city on every level
and he’s a Boys and Girls Club alum,” added Kraft.
Walsh addressed issues such as affordable
housing, transportation, education funding, economic development, the
environment, and veterans’ homelessness, in a speech that was frequently
interrupted by applause in appreciation of his many accomplishments as the
city’s chief executive.
Walsh said when he became mayor, his
administration put together a housing plan “to create 53,000 units of new
housing by 2030.”
Walsh said in an effort to bring new
businesses to Boston, his administration created an office of economic
“In that office, we brought in all small
businesses and all the different departments and we put them under one
umbrella, one roof,” said Walsh.
Walsh seemed to take considerable pride in
noting that “Boston is the first city on the East Coast to have every single
resident within a 10-minute walk to a park.”
Walsh said the funding mechanism for
education is “broken, it doesn’t work.”
“We need a complete change [in education
funding] in Massachusetts,” said Walsh. “It doesn’t work in Boston. I don’t
think it works in Chelsea. It doesn’t work for most cities and towns. Former
Senate President Tom Birmingham came in with education reform in 1993 and it
was a brilliant move, investing a billion dollars in education and he came up
with a whole bunch of requirements. But since 1993 to 2019, we haven’t really
changed the formula and we haven’t changed the way education funding goes. And
in that same time, education has changed.”
Walsh said there is a bill in the Mass.
State Senate, called The Promise Act, “that actually lifts up all 351 cities
and towns on how we’re going to better fund education.”
Speaking about veterans’ homelessness, Walsh
said he was learned in 2015 from the New England Shelter For Homeless Veterans
that there were “575 chronic veterans on the street.”
“We implemented a housing plan and we came
up with a system, and by the end of that year , we housed over 500
chronic, homeless veterans in the City of Boston,” said Walsh. “Now, we’ve
housed 1,600 chronically homeless people in the city. We created the Boston’s
Way Home Fund. We’ve raised $6 million in 14 months. Our goal is $10 million. I
want to build 200 more housing units for homeless veterans.”
Sen. Sal DiDomenico of Everett, State Rep. Dan Ryan of Charlestown, Chelsea
City Manager Tom Ambrosino, and Chelsea City Councillors Leo Robinson were
among the public officials in attendance at the breakfast that is a fundraiser
for the Jordan Boys and Girls Club.
“It was great to see the mayor in Chelsea
talking about regional approaches to issues like housing and transportation,”
said Walsh. “The mayor understands what it’s like to be a legislator and to
live and work in a big city.”
Leo Robinson, a long-time city official,
said he was impressed by Walsh’s speech that highlighted the city’s approach to
the opioid crisis and his continuing efforts in addressing veterans’
homelessness, and the need for affordable housing.
Walsh was a state representative, he was the keynote speaker at an opioid
conference in Chelsea, and to see him still working hard on this issue is a
good thing to see,” said Robinson. “He is a very popular mayor and the large
audience at the breakfast is indicative of the high regard in which he is held
throughout this entire region. I have a lot of respect for Marty. He gets it.”
For the first time,
Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop are combining forces to conduct a comprehensive
regional Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and design a Community Health
Implementation Plan (CHIP). Major hospitals, along with health centers, human
services providers and non-profits that serve area residents, are working with
municipal leaders, health departments and the boards of health of each
community to develop the plan. Residents of the three communities are being
urged to go online and fill out a survey that asks about local health issues
and other aspects of community life.
The effort is being
co-coordinated by the North Suffolk Public Health Collaborative and the Mass
General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) with the
ultimate goal of identifying, prioritizing and addressing the most urgent
health needs faced by each community and the region. Such assessments are often
used to apply for targeted funding to help address community needs.
Every three years, most
hospitals conduct a community health needs assessment to meet requirements set
by the Affordable Care Act. The Massachusetts Attorney General also requires
such a report and is encouraging regional collaboration among stakeholders,
including among healthcare systems who share the same service areas. “This is
one of the first regional assessments of its type in Massachusetts,” said Jeff
Stone, Director of the North Suffolk Public Health Collaborative. “Mayor
Arrigo, Chelsea City Manager Tom Ambrosino and Winthrop Town Manager Austin
Faison realize that public health conditions don’t respect borders, and,
working together we can solve some of our health challenges more effectively.”
“The North Suffolk
Community Health Needs Assessment is critical for the City of Chelsea,” said
City Manager Ambrosino. “Not only will it provide the information necessary for
Chelsea to better understand our residents’ public health needs, but it will
also enable us to properly prioritize resources to better address those needs.
We encourage all of our residents to participate in upcoming surveys, forums
The collaborators have
set an ambitious timeline. The CHNA and CHIP will be completed by Sept. 30,
2019, and will result in a guide for a three-year community health improvement
plan that all providers can use. The process includes intensive data
collection–hundreds of resident surveys, interviews and focus groups as well
as collecting data from other agencies such as the MA Department of Public
Health and the US Census.
A website has been created, www.northsuffolkassessment.org, to
provide information to anyone who may be interested. People who live or work in
Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop are encouraged to complete a survey. It is
available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic, reflecting the languages
most frequently spoken in the communities.
Environmentalists, activists, residents and
elected officials on both sides of the Chelsea Creek are standing in solidarity
with one another in firm opposition to Eversources plan to place a substation
at the City Yards in East Boston along the Chelsea Creek.
On Tuesday night in Eastie the the state’s
Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) held a public meeting to discuss
Eversource’s Notice of Project Change that moves the proposed substation from
the eastern corner of the City Yards in East Eagle Square to the western
corner. The original location on the eastern portion of the city-owned parcel
was approved by the EFSB last year.
In its Notice of Project Change
Eversource seeks approval to move the
Substation 190 feet to the western side of the City Yards lot. The scope of the
upcoming meeting is limited to Eversource’s
proposed relocation of the substation from its current site on the
eastern side of the city parcel to its new proposed location.
Eversource said the two 115-kV transmission
lines that would connect to the substation would no longer be routed along
Condor and East Eagle Streets if the substation is placed in the western
portion of the parcel.
Local environmentalists from Eastie and
Chelsea have called on the EFSB explore alternatives to placing Eversource’s
proposed substation along the Chelsea Creek.
For two years local environmentalists on the
Eastie and Chelsea sides of the Creek have launched a visual, media and talking
campaign against Eversource’s plans to place the substation at the City Yards
in Eagle Square.
At Tuesday night’s meeting Chelsea City
Council President Damali Vidot attended the meeting and gave testimony in
opposition to the substation.
“I’m here tonight to express my opposition,”
said Vidot. “Although I represent Chelsea, a community of 40,000 low income,
hardworking immigrants and people of color who are always the afterthoughts of
corporate greed and irresponsible planning, I am here today as an ally with my
brothers and sisters of the Eagle Hill East Boston neighborhood whose
demographics are reminiscent of home. Planes, a salt bile, fuel and now a high
voltage electrical substation–I am tired of communities like Chelsea and East
Boston forced to bear the burden of environmental injustice at the hands of
greedy corporations. We are environmental justice communities and the civic
engagement in this neighborhood, or lack thereof, is a blatant disregard and
inconsideration of the densely populated areas of hardworking men and women
forced to bear the environmental ignorance of others for the sake of protecting
Vidot called for an independent study to see
whether or not a substation is even needed in the area and, if so, does it need
to be placed an area susceptible to future climate change issues and sea level
U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who
represents both East Boston and Chelsea, sent a video testimony from her office
in Washington D.C.
“I’m your sister in solidarity,” said
Pressley. “This at its best is boor urban planning and at its worst and
injustice. It is unconscionable that a community already overburdened with
environmental injustices would be put in harm’s way and have those existing
health hazards exacerbated. The community should be a part of planning and I
know when we organize we win and this is a fight like so many others we are
taking on and I stand with you.”
Last year the EFSB ruled in favor of placing
the substation at the City Yards. However, the final ruling came with some
provisos. According to the state board the EFSB vote to approve the substations
and 115 kV underground cables in Eastie, Chelsea and Everett came with some
conditions. The EFSB directed Eversource to enter into discussions with the
City of Boston regarding the possible relocation of the new substation and the
related cable on the Chelsea Creek site.
Local activist John Walkey, who lives in
Eastie and works with Greenroots Chelsea argues that the project represents an
increased risk in both communities already bearing a huge environmental burden
in the region by playing host to Logan International Airport, highways and jet
fuel storage tanks along the Chelsea Creek.
Walkey made a push for the EFSB to see a
more logical place to site the substation.
“If only there was a place in East Boston
with restricted access that would a more appropriate location. Maybe a place
that already had millions of dollars invested in raising the ground level so it
is more flood resilient. Maybe a place that already much more secure with state
police oversight and very limited access. Maybe a place that takes up over a
third of the land mass in East Boston. And just maybe a place that is going to
be a consumer of over half the electricity that goes through the substation
anyway. Obviously the (Logan) Airport is a far more logical place,” said
As part of its decision the EFSB directed
Eversource to provide an update to the board on the status of discussions
between the community and city before construction on the substation commences.
This has given additional time for Eversource, the City of Boston, and
residents to iron out the alternative locations for the substation.
The substation was initially slated to be built
on an Eversource-owned parcel on Bremen Street. However, under the former late
Mayor Thomas Menino Boston executed a land swap with Eversource. Eversource
have the City of Boston the Bremen Street parcel so the city could build the
new East Boston Branch Library in return for a city-owned parcel in East Eagle
On Wednesday morning local environmentalists from East Boston and Chelsea gathered at Boston City Hall to
Local environmentalist John Walkey talking about the proposed Eversource Substation. Walkey works with Chelsea-based Green Roots–an environmental justice organization that works on environmental issues on the Eastie and Chelsea sides of the creek.
deliver 700 postcards to Boston Mayor Martin Walsh asking for the mayor to meet with residents on both sides of the Chelsea Creek to discuss alternatives to placing Eversource’s proposed substation along the creek.
For two years local environmentalists on the East Boston and Chelsea sides of the Chelsea Creek have launched a visual, media and talking campaign against Eversource’s plans to place the substation on a City of Boston-owned parcel at the City Yards in East Eagle Square.
Last year the state’s Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) ruled in favor of placing the substation at the City Yards. However, the final ruling came with some provisos. According to the state board the EFSB vote to approve the substations and 115 kV underground cables in Eastie, Chelsea and Everett came with some conditions. The EFSB directed Eversource to enter into discussions with the City of Boston regarding the possible relocation of the new substation and the related cable on the Chelsea Creek site.
“We are here to deliver more than 700 postcards to Mayor Martin Walsh from local residents and environmental organization,” said local environmentalist John Walkey, who works with Chelsea-based Green Roots. Green Roots is an environmental justice organization that works on environmental issues on the Eastie and Chelsea sides of the creek. “The residents and organizations are all asking for the same thing–to meet with the residents from East Boston and Chelsea hear our concerns about the substation project.”
Walkey argues that the project represents an increased risk in both communities already bearing a huge environmental burden in the region by playing host to Logan International Airport, highways and jet fuel storage tanks along the Chelsea Creek.
“It’s not really clear if this project is really needed given the current electricity demand data we received from ISO New England (an independent, non-profit Regional Transmission Organization that coordinates, controls, and monitors a multi-state electric grid),” said Walkey. “We feel it is not a wise use of the coastal zone given what we know about climate change and coastal flooding. This project precludes any other more appropriate use of the waterfront that could be more climate resilient and provide a better benefit to the community.”
Walkey added that Mayor Walsh has been very receptive to the group’s concerns but while they have met with Walsh Administration staffers they have not met directly with the mayor.
“We are here to bring home this idea that we just want to sit down and talk,” said Walkey. “We are not demanding anything ridiculous. We just want to voice our concerns and have the mayor hear them.”
Another local environmentalist, Sandra Nijjar, said she is concerned about the location proposed because it is adjacent to the American Legion Playground where children play as well as jet fuel storage tanks and the Chelsea Creek.
Resident Paul Shoaf Kozak echoed Nijjar’s concerns. Shoaf Kozak lives across from the proposed substation and said from an environmental standpoint it makes no sense.
“I can testify that this past winter the streets around the substation flooded twice,” he said. “Condor Street, which runs perpendicular to the proposed substation, flooded two times during last winter’s blizzards. The elevation of the proposed substation is only 11 feet above sea level so it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out this could cause a potentially hazardous and very dangerous situation during a flooding event. We are requesting that the mayor simply hear our concerns and include the community in the decision of where to place the substation.”
As part of its decision the EFSB also directed Eversource to provide an update to the board on the status of discussions between the community and city before construction on the substation commences. This has given additional time for Eversource, the City of Boston, and residents to iron out the alternative locations for the substation.
Walsh has maintained that the city is in the process of working with Eversource to ensure the substation is in the best possible location for the residents and businesses in Eastie and those along the Chelsea Creek.
The substation was initially slated to be built on an Eversource-owned parcel on Bremen Street. However, under the former late Mayor Thomas Menino Boston executed a land swap with Eversource. Eversource have the City of Boston the Bremen Street parcel so the city could build the new East Boston Branch Library in return for a city-owned parcel in East Eagle Square.
Local environmentalist John Walkey talking about the proposed Eversource Substation. Walkey works with Chelsea-based Green Roots–an environmental justice organization that works on environmental issues on the Eastie and Chelsea sides of the creek.
Resident Paul Shoaf Kozak said from an environmental standpoint it makes no sense placing a Eversource Substation on the Chelsea Creek.
Environmentalists from East Boston and Chelsea gathered at Boston City Hall to deliver 700 postcards to Boston Mayor Martin Walsh asking for the mayor to meet with residents on both sides of the Chelsea Creek to discuss the Eversource Substation.
Local environmentalists outside Boston City Hall Wednesday protesting the proposed Eversource Substation along the Chelsea Creek.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he would love to have a new contract and return to Chelsea so he can continue the work he started more than three years ago.
The announcement came on the eve of the beginning of his annual evaluation by a committee of the City Council – a process that will start Aug. 27.
Ambrosino is under contract for four years, and his contract runs out in July 2019, but the Council is required to notify him by January if they want him to return.
He’s hoping they do.
“I do hope they ask me to come back,” he said. “I have a great interest in continuing my work here. I love this city and love being City Manager here…The people here are wonderful. The challenges are interesting and it’s a vibrant and dynamic city with an exciting future ahead of it. I can’t think of a better place to be City Manager or CEO.”
Ambrosino signed his contract on July 20, 2015 in a four-year deal. Upon coming into the position, one of his first goals was to begin revamping the downtown business district, which was something that former City Manager Jay Ash had defined as a next focal point before he left.
Ambrosino said he feels like he only just started that work, and while a lot of planning and groundwork is complete, he’d like to see things completed.
“I feel like I’ve just started here, particularly with the downtown and our waterfront,” he said. “There’s a lot I’d like to see through to completion. When I was mayor in Revere, most of what I did there didn’t come to be until my last term in office and my last year there. It takes a long time to put your mark on a city.”
He is particularly impressed with the collaboration between the community and stakeholders like MGH, North Suffolk, Roca, the Collaborative, GreenRoots and so many more.
“I really feel that’s unique here and the City is lucky to have organizations like it does,” he said. “These are really tremendous community-based groups.”
All of that comes right alongside the upcoming City Manager evaluation process.
That has run a little slowly this time around. Though it is supposed to start in April, the Council appointed a committee but hasn’t had meetings yet. They will kick that off on Aug. 27, Council President Damali Vidot said.
The Committee is made up of Councillors Vidot, Judith Garcia, Bob Bishop, Leo Robinson, and Calvin Brown. They will evaluate Ambrosino on at least 11 points of his performance over the last year.
“It’s been tricky with our summer recess, but I’m confident we’ll have it wrapped up by October,” said Vidot.
She said a sticking point for her in any upcoming contract talks with Ambrosino – and in his evaluation – will be his residency.
Ambrosino said he cannot relocate to Chelsea due to personal circumstances that existed before he took the City Manager job.
Vidot said she feels strongly that the City Manager should live in Chelsea, but she also said that the previous Council didn’t require him to live here, so it wouldn’t be right to enforce it now.
“However, that shouldn’t be the norm moving forward,” she said.
Housing Families will host its annual Legislative Breakfast on Wednesday, March 28, from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. to raise awareness of the magnitude of family homelessness in Malden, Medford, Everett, Chelsea and Revere.
Housing Families’ Legislative Breakfast is a free event open to all and hosted at the Irish American Club, 177 West St, Malden, MA. A complimentary light breakfast will be served starting at 8:30am and the speaker series will run from 9:00 – 10:00 am.
Housing Families’ Director of Homelessness Prevention and Advocacy Laura Rosi said, “This is an opportunity for families who have experienced homelessness to share their stories and educate others about the issue. Community members will also have an opportunity to hear about State and local efforts to combat housing instability and learn about ways they can get involved.”
Ed Cameron, Housing Families’ CEO, added, “Our families in shelter have average income of less than $12,000 per year. With most apartments going for over $2,000 a month in our area, they just can’t afford to keep their heads above water.”
State and local elected officials have been invited to the Breakfast. To date, legislators scheduled to attend include: State Senator Jason Lewis, State Representative Paul Donato, Malden Mayor Gary Christenson, Medford Mayor Stephanie Muccini-Burke, Melrose Mayor Gail Infurna, City Councilor Neal Anderson, and Malden Public Schools Superintendant John Otieri.Other elected officials are expected to attend.
Special thanks to Bill Hart and the Malden Irish American Club for hosting the breakfast.
Service organizations sponsoring the breakfast are Housing Families Inc, Chelsea Collaborative, Homes for Families, and Shelter Music Boston. Housing Families is also grateful to its corporate sponsors for making this event possible: Kelliher & Callaghan, Lucey Insurance Agency, Stratford Capital Group LLC, Cataldo Ambulance, Fresco’s Roast Beef & Seafood, Hugh O’Neill’s Restaurant & Pub, Minuteman Press, New England Security, Shapiro & Hender, Yankee Pest Control, 3MG Boston, and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.
To RSVP, contact Patty Kelly at Housing Families 781-322-9119 x115 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Maddox has been no stranger to the Everett casino, and above anyone else, the new CEO of Wynn Resorts – which includes Wynn Boston Harbor – is probably the one person most responsible for bringing the $2.4 billion resort casino across the Mystic River to Everett.
It was Maddox, who last month became the CEO in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against former charismatic CEO Steve Wynn, who happened to see a small news clipping in his e-mail talking about a potential casino site being touted to Hard Rock Casino developers in Everett.
Fresh off a humbling casino proposal loss in Foxborough, the Wynn organization had pulled out of Massachusetts. As the story is told, though, Maddox hadn’t removed the Boston news alerts from his computer.
So it was he saw that little story about Everett that piqued his interest about another run at a Boston casino.
A phone call to Steve Tocco of Mintz Levin, and then a few phone calls around Everett, and shortly after that Maddox was taking a walking tour of the site, which he was very excited about. Soon after that, Steve Wynn and Maddox were sitting in Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s office at Everett City Hall.
The rest, of course, is history.
Maddox has rarely told that story, but it’s one that has become more appropriate for the Wynn Boston Harbor venture as Maddox, 42, has now taken charge of the Wynn company.
According to a biography provided by Wynn, Maddox grew up in a very small town in Arkansas with a population of just over 5,000 people. With a keen interest in investment banking since he was a small child in Arkansas, Maddox pursued that career early in life and worked for Bank of America and, later, for the predecessor of Caesar’s Entertainment.
That job caught the eye of the Wynn team, who formed Wynn Resorts in 2002 and made Maddox one of their first hires. He served as treasurer and vice president of investor relations when he came to Wynn, with one of his first tasks being to secure the financing for the Wynn Las Vegas project.
However, his claim to fame with the company was forging a path in Macau to secure a casino property there – a property that has become a major revenue source for the company.
“Maddox was among the first of the Wynn executive team to relocate to China in 2003, becoming the Chief Financial Officer of Wynn Resorts Macau,” read the company bio. “During his three years in Asia, he was a key leader on the pre-opening team that built the organization from ground breaking through the resort opening in 2006. The resulting Wynn Macau has proven to be one of the most successful integrated resorts ever created, and remains the only resort in the world with eight Forbes Five Star awards. In 2005, Mr. Maddox was named Senior Vice President of Business Development for Wynn Las Vegas, and later for Wynn Resorts.”
In 2013, after being promoted to president and chief financial officer, he focused on China once again and led the financing for the $4.2 billion Wynn Palace in Cotai. That hotel has also won awards from Forbes and has more than 1,000 rooms.
Last month, during the scandal that rocked the Wynn empire, Maddox assumed the duties of CEO of the company from Steve Wynn, who resigned his position. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) continues an investigation into the suitability of the company, as well as who knew about settlements and payments made by Steve Wynn for alleged sexual misconduct in 2005.
Maddox told the Boston Globe in a recent interview that he did not know about the settlement allegations during the vetting process in Massachusetts, and said the company has an investigation going on right now that is looking into who knew what and when.
Maddox has not been available to local reporters, but in an interview with the Boston Globe, he affirmed his support for Wynn Boston Harbor, and also said that the Wynn company is more than one person.
“Wynn is not about one person, it’s not about management, it’s about the 25,000 people that work here,” he told employees recently during a meeting following the fallout, according to Wynn.
He told the Globe that they are still committed to the Boston project fully, and have no intentions to sell it off to another developer.
“Absolutely,” he told the Globe. “We have spent $1.3 billion out of $2.4 billion [budgeted for Everett]. There are between 1,200 and 1,400 construction workers on site every day. I’m telling you, this is going to be the nicest integrated resort in the Northeast. It will have the biggest ballroom in the Northeast, 671 hotel rooms, 13 food and beverage outlets. It’s full steam ahead.”
Another hot topic has been the name of the property. While many believe that the Wynn brand name is now tainted beyond repair, Maddox told the Globe emotions are too raw right now to make that kind of game-changing decision.
“Emotions are so raw right now around this topic,” he told the Globe. “What I’m telling people is you don’t look at those things right now in this state. Because Wynn is a brand — it’s not about a person, it’s about the 25,000 people that work here. Our Chinese customers — we had one of our biggest Chinese New Year’s ever last week — they understand the Wynn brand. They don’t associate it with a person; they associate it with luxury and with service and with first class.”
Finally, he told the Globe that the Everett casino will still have the luxury cache that all Wynn properties have, even without the personal touch of Steve Wynn.
He told the Globe that Roger Thomas has been the company’s chief designer for several years, and Steve Wynn had not been involved at the detail level for some time. The last two casino openings, Maddox said, have been handled chiefly by Thomas.
“Roger is the author and Steve was always the editor,” Maddox told the Globe. “Steve had very clear ideas about how he wanted to do things. But Roger is the person — along with his quite large team — who specifies where we get the granite. Steve Wynn — he is a visionary. It is a fact. You can look up and down Las Vegas. But we have people who have worked on all these projects, in the design, conception, and execution, for over 30 years. There are no better-trained people in the world to execute new projects. We’re the ones who have done it.”
Maddox is expected to travel to Everett to take a tour of the resort casino project in the next month or so.
Sen. Sal DiDomenico will once again be hosting the annual DiDomenico Foundation St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on Friday, March 9 beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Bunker Hill Knights of Columbus in Charlestown. This event has become the official kick-off to the St. Patrick’s Day season. In addition to a traditional Irish dinner, the night will include Irish music, step dancers, comedy by Tony V, bag pipers, videos by elected officials and the annual presentation of the Golden Shamrock Award to a community leader. Over 75 federal, state, and local elected officials are also expected to attend and several of them will try their favorite St. Patrick’s Day jokes. Political figures joining the festivities include Gov. Charlie Baker, Congressman Mike Capuano, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Attorney General Maura Healey, Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan, Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, and many more! There will also be a special surprise guest as well. This has quickly become one of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day traditions in the Greater Boston community.
For more tickets and more information on the event, please call (617) 387-3327. Proceeds will go to The DiDomenico Foundation, which funds educational scholarships for high school students, as well as a large toy drive during the holiday season for domestic violence and homeless shelters throughout the Greater Boston area.
Chelsea is one of 35 Champion Cities selected this week as finalists in the 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition that encourages city leaders to uncover bold, inventive ideas that confront the toughest problems cities face. These 35 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 320 applications. The Champion Cities will now begin a 6-month testing phase where they will conduct public prototypes of their ideas with grant funding of up to $100,000 per city, a new addition to the Competition this year. The Mayors Challenge returns to the U.S. as one of the first investment in the American Cities Initiative, an effort to help U.S. cities generate innovation and advance policy.
Chelsea now advances to the six-month “Test, Learn, and Adapt” phase of the competition. Cities will refine their ideas during this process with up to $100,000, as well as personalized support from innovation experts, to test and begin building support for their urban innovations and submit a new application in August 2018. In October, four cities will receive $1 million awards and one will receive a grand prize of $5 million to bring their ideas to life.
“We received hundreds of bold and creative ideas from cities around the country in response to the 2018 Mayors Challenge, and these 35 really stood out for their potential to improve people’s lives. The next six months are a great opportunity for the cities to test their ideas and make them even more innovative and effective,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.
The 35 Champion Cities performed the best against four key criteria – vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities. A prestigious selection committee Co-Chaired by Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Former Xerox Chairman & CEO Ursula Burns and comprising distinguished policy experts, artists, academics, business executives and social innovation leaders assessed the applications.
Chelsea proposes to scale up its “Hub” crime prevention strategy. The “Hub” is a team of community and government agencies that meet weekly, identify individuals or families facing high levels of risk for crime, and immediately connect them to the services they need. Over the next six months, the Hub leaders will work with the Bloomberg team to formalize, sustain and grow the pilot, as well as build data capacity to learn, adapt, and direct limited resources towards crime prevention. Like the Canadian Hub model, on which the Chelsea Hub model is based, Chelsea expects that the Hub will readily transfer to other communities in Massachusetts and the U.S. The broader aim is for government, community and social services agencies to move from working in silos toward a collaborative effort to more effectively improve community well-being and safety.
“We’re very excited about being a finalist in the Bloomberg Challenge. We hope this opportunity will allow us to continue our work to alleviate the root causes of violence, poverty and homelessness in Chelsea, and connect residents to the help they need,” said Tom Ambrosino, Chelsea City Manager.
The 2018 Mayors Challenge builds on the success of previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more information, visit HYPERLINK “http://www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org” mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.
On what was his 16th anniversary in the office of District Attorney, Dan Conley surprised many by announcing he would not run for the office again.
Simply put, the former prosecutor turned City Councilor turned DA, said he believed it was time to let others have a chance to run the county-wide office – an office that covers Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.
“I love the job, the office, its staff, and the people and communities we serve,” said Conley in a statement. “But I have long believed that those of us fortunate enough to lead as elected officials must also be willing to give others the same opportunity. For this reason, I will not be seeking re-election this fall.”
Conley entered office on Feb. 20, 2002.
Chelsea Chief Brian Kyes – who worked closely with Conley and his office on hundreds of cases – said
“The news of my good friend Dan Conley not seeking re-election as the District Attorney of Suffolk County certainly comes as a surprise,” said the Chief. “I have been extremely fortunate to have worked directly with Dan and collaborate with him on a multiple of public safety initiatives and programs during the past 11 years as the Police Chief in Chelsea. His institutional knowledge, wisdom and extraordinary guidance as the leader of the prestigious office on Bulfinch Place has had an incredible impact across the entire region of Suffolk County that will last for decades. While I wholeheartedly respect Dan’s decision, which no doubt was a difficult one for him and his family, I know that he continues to have plenty to offer to the criminal justice system here in the Commonwealth moving forward.”
The news also set off a firestorm of candidates debating or announcing a run.
Already, by Wednesday morning, there were some candidates who had announced their possible intentions to run – most notably City Councilor at-Large Michael Flaherty. The councilor was a former assistant prosecutor.
“After today’s announcement by DA Conley, I have been asked if I would be interested in running for Suffolk County District Attorney to succeed him,” said Flaherty in a statement. “To that I say that I have always been interested in being the Suffolk County District Attorney. But this day is about acknowledging the outstanding job Dan Conley has done for the residents of Suffolk County. I will consult with my family about my own plans, but today we all owe our gratitude and thanks to Dan Conley…”
Long-time defense attorney Shannon McAuliffe, who has roots in Chelsea’s Roca program, had already been planning to run and will continue those plans.
Meanwhile, many have postulated about potential candidates around the area, mostly without any confirmation.
City Corporate Counsel Gene O’Flaherty, a Charlestown resident, has been mentioned in more than a few circles. With support in his former home of Chelsea –where he was the state representative for years – and also in Boston City Hall, where he now works, he could be a potential candidate with backing from key county personalities.
Within Conley’s office, long-time accomplished prosecutor Ed Zabin cannot be overlooked as a potential candidate for the position. His experience and expertise in prosecuting the most difficult cases in the county has no comparison.
Looking at some of the best attorneys in the area, one cannot overlook superstar defense attorney Rosemary Scapicchio, who has argued some of the best cases in the county for her clients with great success – and remarkable toughness.
One cannot discount former Councilor and mayoral candidate John Connolly, who is a close friend to Conley and recently showed up last year during Mayor Martin Walsh’s campaign after years of silence. Could he be looking for the position?
Meanwhile, in East Boston, former Boston City Councilor Mike Ross has been talked about as someone who would make sense in the post.
Any candidate, though, will have big shoes to replace, as Conley has been a very successful DA for many years.
In a letter to his staff, he outlined the scores of changes and innovations that have come to the DA’s office through his tenure – whether with the advent of DNA evidence or the hiring of skilled prosecutors.
In his statement, he also thanked law enforcement throughout the county.
“At a time when law enforcement has come under intense scrutiny across the country I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the men and women of law enforcement across Suffolk County for their courage, their determination to do a difficult job well, and the standard they set for other agencies,” he said
He also said that the people of Suffolk County have been a blessing to him.
“From victims and survivors to families and loved ones, they have shown a depth of dignity and grace amid crisis and grief that has been nothing short of inspirational,” he said. “I am so grateful to them for their kindness, their wisdom, and their faith.”
Kyes added, “Leaders like Dan come along once in a generation. I consider myself a better public safety servant from being given the opportunity to have known and worked with him and have benefited from his leadership. I wish him nothing but the best as he begins a challenging new chapter.”
The election for district attorney won’t occur until the fall, but nomination papers for the seat and the Democratic primary in September will become available shortly.