Chelsea residents Michael Albano and Eden Edwards have been supporting the Apollinaire Theatre for seven years by throwing a dinner party in their beautiful eclectic home to raise money to support the theatre’s free, outdoor, summer Apollinaire in the Park productions. “Of all the things Apollinaire does, it’s their best service to the community,” says Michael.
Michael, a Somerville native, first moved to Chelsea in 1995 and soon began looking for ways to get involved in the city. “My father was always a community activist,” says Michael. “It was just what you did in my family.” He was a part of the Chelsea Collaborative and Green Space (now GreenRoots), and was the chairman of the Chelsea Planning Board for four years. After the downturn in the economy, Michael turned his focus to his business. When he was ready to serve the community again, he found Apollinaire Theatre Company.
Michael joined the Apollinaire in the Park committee, after a decline in funding forced the cancellation on the 2011 show. He and Eden’s generous support of the theatre has grown into an exceptionally fun and memorable annual dinner in their home featuring Michael’s cooking, and performances from the Apollinaire in the Park cast. This summer Apollinaire is producing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cast members will be performing “Pyramus and Thisbe,” Midsummer’s play within a play, at the party.
On making Chelsea their home, Michael says, “Chelsea found me.” Eden, a Nebraska native who moved to Chelsea in 2001 adds that she feels “lucky to have found Chelsea.” The couple describes their home as a “Victorian beach house.” The Victorian details have a nautical flair, such as the banisters with waves carved into them. It was built in 1895 by a shipping captain from Beacon Hill as his second home and was the first home built in its Chelsea neighborhood. At the time it was constructed, the captain would have had an unobstructed view of the beach he could walk to.
-Michael’s journey as a cook began when he was just eight and made his first pizza. His father, who dabbled in the restaurant business, was the cook in the home. Michael’s culinary style is influenced French, American, and of course Italian cuisine (he lived in Italy for a number of years). He worked in the famed Ciro’s restaurant in Boston and enthusiastically describes himself as a food-lover.
Michael will be serving up a variety of hors d’oeuvres, vegetables, ravioli, New York strip steak, and his popular roasted Tuscan chicken and au gratin potatoes with wine, beer, and soft drinks. (Eden looks out for the vegetarians!) Apollinaire actor Ann Carpenter is known for contributing her famous vegetarian lasagna. There will also be desserts from Pan y Café. For wine enthusiasts, there will be a mini wine tasting/pairing offered from Eden and Michael’s reserve as an add-on for partygoers.
While hosting the dinner is big undertaking—Eden’s sister, agents from Michael’s real estate office, and friends often help them prepare—Michael and Eden are very happy that it has become a tradition in the community as well as in their home. “When people involved with the Chelsea community are in my house, it’s the most fun nights here apart from having family,” says Eden. The party always happens in June, not just to poise it to best serve fund-raising efforts for the theatre’s July performances, but also because Michael’s birthday is in June. The party doubles as a celebration for him where he can get friends who are not from Chelsea involved in supporting Apollinaire.
This year’s party is on June 15th at 7:00pm at the couple’s home: 32 Crest Ave., Chelsea. Tickets can be purchased through the theatre’s website: www.apollinairetheatre.com, at the door, or by calling 617-887-2336.
Apollinaire’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs July 11 – 29 at 7:30pm in Chelsea’s waterfront PORT Park, 99 Marginal Street. ALL performances are FREE. Contact the theatre to learn about opportunities to get involved with the show!
Apollinaire in the Park is a program of Apollinaire Theatre Company (ATC), Chelsea’s award-winning professional theatre. ATC produces adventurous contemporary theatre, and free outdoor summer shows. The ATC’s home is the Chelsea Theatre Works in Chelsea Square, which houses their three theatres: the Apollinaire Theatre; the Riseman Family Theatre, home of their youth program, the Apollinaire Play Lab; and the Black Box—a co-working rental theatre for Boston Area performing artists. Visit them on the web at www.apollinairetheatre.com.
Career US Marine Corps veteran and Chelsea Soldiers Home retiree
Michael R. Picarella of Weymouth, formerly of Chelsea, died on July 21.
A career US Marine Corps. veteran with over 20 years of service, Michael passed away at the West Roxbury Veterans Administration Hospital after a long illness. Born in Chelsea and a resident here until entering the Marines, when he returned from service, he resided in Weymouth until his passing. After his service to his country, he held positions at the Chelsea Soldiers Home until his retirement 10 years later. During his working years and in retirement he enjoyed cards and bowling and was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #83 and the Mottola Post in Revere.
He was the devoted husband of the late Phyllis (Bryne); beloved brother of Grace Cerra of Chelsea, John Derdian of Utah and the late Julia Gaspar; loving uncle to George Cerra of Texas, Paul Cerra of Watertown, Allison Ryan of Nevada and Diane Kielsen of Utah; dear step-father of Susan Chambers and Diane Powers, both of Weymouth.
Funeral arrangements were by the Smith Funeral Home, Chelsea. A Funeral Mass was celebrated in St. Michael the Archangel Chapel on the grounds of the Chelsea Soldiers Home. Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Carmelite Sisters of Boston, Boston Carmel, 61 Mt. Pleasant Ave., Roxbury, MA 02119. To send a message of condolence to his family, please visit www.smithfuneralhomes.com
Maureen F. Conway of Revere passed away in Boston on June 5. She was 82 years old.
An avid reader who loved music, Maureen was born in Revere on February 3, 1934 to Frances and Harold Parsons. She was the mother of Susan Corea and her husband, Joseph of Pelham, NH, Nancy Conway of Chelsea, the late Richard H. Conway and his wife, Leslie of Lewiston, ME, Paul Conway of Revere, Frank Conway and his wife, Maureen of Derry, NH, Maureen Dingee and her husband, David of Chicopee. She was the grandmother of 10; great grandmother of six and aunt of many nieces and nephews. Maureen is also survived by her sisters, Jean Gonzales of Tewksbury and Margeret Parsons of Haverhill. She was predeceased by Richard H. Conway (son), David Parsons and Ella Gleitzman.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Maureen’s name to: The Home for Little Wanderers, 10 Guest St., Boston, MA 02135. Private services.
Former member of Ladies of Revere Moose and Chelsea Golden Agers
Laura J. (Mongiello) Wangrocki passed away on June 23 at Care One of Peabody where she had recently been rehabilitating and receiving supportive care. She was 94 years old.
Born in Revere, the beloved daughter of the late Luigi and Elvira (Monzione) Mongiello, she grew up in and attended schools in Chelsea. She was married to Joseph E Wangrocki and settled in Revere where she resided for more than 45 years. Her husband predeceased her in 1970. Laura worked as a nurse’s aide for many years before retiring several years ago. She was a past and former member of the Ladies of the Revere Moose and the Chelsea Golden Agers.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was also preceded in death by her son. Louis A. Wangrocki in 1976 and two sisters, Antoinette Turmminello and Josephine Weiner. She is survived by her brother and sister, Richard L. Mongiello and Mary Mongiello, both of Chelsea and brother–in-law David Weiner of Salem. She was the cherished aunt of Rachel and Martin Finn of No. Reading, Cheryl and Brian Gideon of Salem, Robert and Janet Weiner of Wakefield, the adored great aunt of Matthew Finn and Alicia Saro and she is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. To send expressions of sympathy, please visit
Proud of her Armenian heritage, her heart was always in Chelsea
Viola (Kalkanajian) Bradley passed away unexpectedly Wednesday morning, June 29 at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home where she was receiving rehabilitative care for the past several weeks. She was 92 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, she was the daughter of the late Nishon and Bertha (Sultanian) Kalkanajian. Viola, who attended Chelsea High School, was proud of her Armenian heritage. She married William S. Bradley and together they raised their family of one son and three daughters in their Chelsea home.
Her beloved husband passed away in 1976 and Viola worked hard performing hand labor for local factories and manufacturers. But she most enjoyed and is best remembered from her 25 year career as a retail sales lady working at Bradlee’s in Chelsea.
A longtime Chelsea resident, she made her home together with her daughter and late son-in-law in Revere for the past 16 years. But her heart always remained in Chelsea, volunteering at the Salvation Army providing meals to young children, actively participating at the Chelsea Senior Center volunteering on many committees arranging events and activities.
She traveled to Fort Lauderdale Florida every winter for the past 20 years. A vibrant and independent soul she would continue to go outside of her home utilizing the ride or local taxis for transportation to visit with family and friends. She enjoyed life until a recent fall limited her mobility which she was determined to overcome actively rehabilitating at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home.
She was the beloved wife of the late William S. Bradley; devoted mother of Hugh “Butch” Bradley and his wife, Leenie of Woburn, Helen Dobbyn of Saugus, Nancy Voltero and her husband, Michael of Revere, Deborah Clayman of Revere and her late husband, Richard, and Loreen Bradley of Sandwich. She was the dear sister of John Kalkanajian and his wife, Barbara of Danvers, Patricia McKenna and her husband, Kenneth of Wilmington, the late Mary Stanuchenski and her late husband, Frank, and Viola’s twin sister, the late Helen Kalkanajian. She was the cherished grandmother of Erin Mateo, Michael Voltero, Jr. and his wife Ivy, William Bradley and his wife, Eileen, John Dobbyn, Jr., Brad Voltero, and Erica Colombo and the adored great grandmother of Maggie Bradley, Franklin Mateo, Max Bradley, Cassandra Mateo, Ryan Dobbyn, Bronson Petrillo, Payton Petrillo and Bree Dobbyn.
Her Funeral will be held from the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea on Saturday, July 2 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, 91 Crest Ave., (Soldiers Home), Chelsea at 10:30 a.m. Services will conclude with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Welsh Funeral Home on Friday, July 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. The Funeral Home is fully handicap accessible, ample parking oppositethe Funeral Home. Should friends desire, contributions in Viola’s memory may be made to the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, 165 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA 02150. For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com.
US Army veteran of World War II, recently honored by the President of the French Republic with the “Chavelier” Award
Leo P. DeFilippo of Everett, formerly of Medford and Chelsea, entered into rest on June 10 in the Chelsea Soldiers Home. He was 97 years old.
Born in the Roxbury section of Boston, Leo lived in Medford for most of his life. He was the former proprietor of the Gloria Food Store in Malden and also worked for many years at Dom’s Sausage in Malden.
A US Army veteran of World War II, he was a long time member of the Retired Men’s Club of Arlington, the American Legion of Medford and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Medford. Leo recently received the “Chavelier” of the Legion of Honor Award by the President of French Republic.
He was the beloved husband of the late Viola (D’Andria); dear brother of the late Joseph, John, and Mary DeFilippo, Clara D’Agostino, and Rose Sachetta; brother-in-law of James Sachetta of Everett and Frances DeFilippo of Arlington; loving uncle of Dorothy Groose, Fred D’Agostino, Dr. John DeFilippo, Sandy Juliano, Jim Sachetta, Joe Sachetta, Rainy Leonard, Steve Sachetta and the late Diane Philips. Also surviving him are several loving grandnieces, grandnephews, great grandnieces and great grandnephews.
Funeral arrangements were by the Cafasso & Sons Funeral Home, Everett. Interment with military honors was in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Leo’s memory to Chelsea Soldiers Home, 91 Crest Ave., Chelsea, MA 02150, would be much appreciated.
Carol Ann Guthrie
Of Chelsea, formerly of East Boston
Carol Ann Guthrie of Chelsea, formerly of East Boston, died unexpectedly on June 23.
She was the loving mother of Michael, Eric Sr, Jose, Emy, Lizzy, Bianca and the late Francy; cherished grandmother of Kassandra, Miranda, Jose Jr, Ariana, Mia, Eric Jr, Dieze, Navaeh and Angelina and adored great grandmother of Jaslene and Maiyelle.
Funeral arrangements were by the Ruggiero Family Memorial Home, (Orient Heights) East Boston. For more information, visit: www.ruggieromh.com
Claire L. Ells of Chelsea passed away on May 24 after a brief illness while convalescing for the past two months at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home. She was 86 years old.
Born and raised in Revere, she was one of six children of the late John and Mary (McAvinue) Costello. She was a graduate of Revere High School. After high school,l she worked for a brief time in Boston with Kennedy’s Men Store, and later with Forbes lithograph and Travco Industries in Chelsea.
She married her beloved Harry M. Ells in April of 1952 and has been a Chelsea resident since that day and for the past 64 years. Her life was dedicated to love of her husband, family and home. She enjoyed bingo, was a voracious reader and kept sharp with crossword puzzles and other word games.
In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by a sister, Dorothy Doherty and two brothers; John and Edward Costello. She is survived by her beloved husband of 64 years, Harry M. Ells, Jr. of Chelsea. She was the loving and devoted mother of Harry M. Ells and his wife, Patricia of Everett, Susan Silvia and her husband, Michael of Reading, Barbara Camoscio and her husband, Anthony of Tewksbury and Edward Ells and his companion, Eileen Gurska of Chelsea. She was the dear sister of Helen Condelli of Medford and Virginia Legner of Westwood, the loved and cherished grandmother of Jillian Ells, Jonathan and Tiffany Ells, Daniel Silvia and his fiancée, Paula Goguen, Mary Silvia, Michael and Kathy Camoscio and David Camoscio and the adoring great-grandmother of Elizabeth Ells and Molly Camoscio.
Funeral arrangements were by the Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, Chelsea. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Arthritis Foundation, 29 Crafts St., Ste. 450, Newton MA, 02458
Sandra Heckley, of Chelsea died on May 6. She was 76 years old.
The daughter of the late Justin and Florence Lee, she was the beloved wife of the late George Heckley; dear mother of James and his wife, Teresa, George, Sandy and Stephanie Heckley and the late Sharon Heckley and loved grandmother of Robert Stephens.
Services will be private. Donations in her memory may be made to the charity of one’s choice. To leave a condolence, visit www.bostoncremation.org.
Rosalie M. (Luciano) Horn of Chelsea passed away May 4. She was 78 years old.
The longtime partner for over 50 years of William”Ike” Miller, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Grace (Donabedian) Luciano; loving mother of Karen Furtado of Revere, Grayce Guarnieri of Florida, Cheryl Horn of Medfield, Michelle Pierni of Woburn, Paul Pierni of California, David Williams of South Boston, Angela Miller of Revere, Bruce Portlock of Worcester, Alonzo Portlock of Chelsea and the late Ronald M. Horn; sister of Paul Luciano of Saugus, Francine LeBel of New Hampshire, Enrico Luciano of Chelsea, Carmella Mello of Revere and Joseph Luciano of Winthrop, cherished grandmother of eight and great grandmother of 15. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass on Friday, May 13 in St Rose of Lima Church, Chelsea at 10 a.m. For online guestbook www.vazzafunerals.com
Owner of Parkway Motors on Williams Street
Joseph T. DeFelice, born in and a lifelong resident of Chelsea, passed away Saturday afternoon, May 7 at the Sawtelle Family Hospice House at the age of 85. A cancer survivor of over 12 years, he passed away from bladder cancer that was diagnosed in the latter part of last year.
A local businessman for over 60 years, Joe was the owner of Parkway Motors on Williams Street. Dedicated to his family, Joe was known to family and friends as someone who could fix anything. He was a devoted parishioner of Our Lady of the Assumption Church and after its closing, St. Michael’s Chapel on the grounds of the Chelsea Soldiers Home. A former member of the Merritts Club, in his spare time he enjoyed time on Marco Island in Florida as well as gardening and taking in stray animals.
He was the devoted husband for 62 years of the late Joanne D. “MiMi” Goffredo; beloved father of Rosemarie DeFelice and her husband, Joseph Fineran of Revere and Angela DiPerri and her husband, Ronald of Wakefield; brother of the late James C. DeFelice, Guy T. DeFelice and his late wife Dorothy and Charles DeFelice; cherished grandfather of Regina Colombo of Providence, RI, Ronald “Sonny” DePerri II of California and Jessica Fitzgerald and her husband, John of Marshfield. He is also lovingly survived by his great grandchildren: Jack, Griffin, Julia and Declan as well as by many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are kindly invited to attend a Funeral from the Smith Funeral Home, 125 Washington Avenue, Chelsea on Saturday, May 14 at 9 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass to be celebrated in St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, 91 Crest Avenue, Chelsea at 10 o’clock. Visiting Hours in the Smith Funeral Home will be on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. Services will conclude with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Expressions of sympathy in Joe’s name may be made to St. Michael’s Chapel or to the Sawtelle Family Hospice House, c/o Community Relations Dept., VNA of Middlesex East, 607 North Ave., Suite 17, Wakefield, MA 01880. To send a message of condolence to Joe’s family, please visit www.smithfuneralhomes.com
Boston Edison retiree and former Chelsea resident
Joseph J. Argonish Of Lynnfield, formerly of Scranton, PA and Chelsea, passed away on May 6 after a brief illness in the peaceful surroundings of his home surrounded by his family. Born and raised in Scranton, PA he was one of four sons born to the late Joseph and Anna (Schipp) Argonish. Joe received his early education in Scranton where he graduated from High School and enlisted in the US Navy. He served for four years during the Korean Conflict. In 1952 while still enlisted he was wed to Irene Chwaliszewski. He was honorably discharged and began his life with his young bride in Chelsea. The devoted husband and father of one daughter and one son, Joe began working for Boston Edison as an Electrical Engineer. He furthered his education at Northeastern University receiving a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration in Engineering and Management. He moved his family to Lynnfield and has resided there for the past 57 Years. Joe retired from Boston Edison after a career of 38 years.
He was a proud Navy veteran and past member of the PAV Post 13, Chelsea. In his lifetime Joe was an avid golfer and enjoyed his time golfing at Colonial and Sagamore Golf courses.
In addition to his parents, Joe was also preceded in death by his son, William Argonish and a brother, Jackie Argonish. He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years Irene (Chwaliszewski) Argonish and devoted daughter Barbara Argonish, two surviving brothers, Michael Argonish of Peckville PA, and Robert Argonish of Ocean View DE. He is also survived by numerous relatives and friends.
His services and burial will be private. Should friends desire, contributions in Joe’s memory may be made to: Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923 or online at WWW.CareDimensions.org since they were so helpful, caring and supportive of him and the family.
Three men were arrested for armed robbery while masked on Monday night for allegedly holding up the Easy Telecom at 682 Broadway.
Around 5 p.m., a man stopped a police officer to tell about a robbery and assault at the store.
As the officer radioed the incident in, he observed three males running through the parking lot of Welsh Funeral Home that matched the description given by the citizen.
An all out chase then ensued with numerous officers and K-9 units.
One man, who dropped a red bag containing a firearm, was apprehended on Parker Street.
The two others fleet footed it over fences in the 700th block of Broadway. One man was located lying down and hiding on a third floor porch at 746 Broadway.
Police went back to the scene to begin recovering evidence.
On the scene, another citizen approached them and led them to a fenced in yard with bushes. Behind the bushes was a shirtless man hiding. He was taken into custody as well.
The clerk at the store told officers one man walked into the store with the red bag. He bent down and came back up wearing sunglasses and a mask. He began waving a handgun at her and demanded she open the money cage.
A second suspect then came in brandishing a handgun.
As this was going on, a man came in to conduct business. He was accosted by the robbers and hit in the head with the firearm and dragged to the money cage. The clerk opened the cage and the robbers began filling the bag with loot. As they filled the bag, the female clerk was hit in the face and head with the gun repeatedly. She was told she would be killed if she called police. The suspects removed the store phone and put it in the red bad.
Then they fled with approximately $5,000 cash.
Julio Mota, Michael Nogueira and William Rios were all arrested and charged with a variety of offenses, including armed robbery.
The Top 100 salaries of public employees from 2015 in Chelsea was released last week by the Law Department, and one employee was over $200,000 and all of the Top 100 made in excess of $100,000.
The payroll for the Top 100 featured 44 firefighters, 38 police officers, 16 School Department employees and two City Hall employees.
The City Manager did not appear on the list of the Top 100 as he only worked half of the year. In 2016, his name and salary are likely to crack the Top 100.
At the top of the list was Chief Brian Kyes, who came in at $229,143.
That, however, does include detail work that Kyes is allowed to perform. That is also the case for many of the police and firefighter salaries, as they perform detail assignments that are not funded by the City in most cases.
Kyes said his salary is contractual and contains the extra money due to the fact that he is a licensed attorney. Prior to become the chief, he had a law practice on the side. As a chief, he would have been allowed to continue that law practice for 16 hours per week. Instead, he opted to be allowed to perform detail work for 16 hours a week so he could do that work in the City of Chelsea – giving him more hours on the ground in the City.
Chiefs in eastern Massachusetts don’t typically work details. However, that practice was approved for former Chief Frank Garvin and Kyes continued doing details in lieu of his law practice.
“Rather than do my outside work outside the City, I chose to do it here by working details,” he said. “I don’t take details from anyone else. I’m last on the list. When no one wants it, I take it.”
Kyes said his actual salary minus details falls in the middle of the pack for Massachusetts police chiefs.
“There are chiefs that make as low as $165,000 and as high as $210,000,” he said. “My salary is comparable and I’m right in the middle.”
As a comparison, the Revere Chief of Police made $213,664 in 2015, and that did not include details.
The most employees in the Top 100 came from the Fire Department, which had 44 members on the list. That, however, was an anomaly for this year as there was $1 million in state money infused into the Fire Department from the state as part of the Silver Line project.
“There is no doubt that the increase in salaries, as it relates to the fire department, resulted from the hiring and oversight of the additional engine company placed in service to accommodate the closing of the Washington Ave Bridge, which was closed to emergency vehicles as part of the Silver Line project,” said Brian Capistran, president of the Firefighter’s Union.
“The decision to put this additional public safety equipment in service was made as a result of a fire safety analysis which was completed by Deputy Chief John Quatieri, along with other senior staff…The City successfully negotiated with MASSDOT to fund the cost of this additional engine company which was estimated at $1 million. No City tax dollars were used to fund the additional engine company (Engine 4), to supplement what we already know to be an understaffed Fire Department.”
Capistran cited that overtime due to what the Fire Union believes is understaffing, and fire details, were other reasons that firefighter salaries were high.
The Board of the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) and Executive Director Al Ewing have come to terms on a contract dispute that – though in the background as compared to the overall repairing of the agency – has been outstanding since 2011.
The contract was recently approved by the Board and state officials and is now in effect, retroactive from Nov. 1, 2014. The three-year contract will pay Ewing $122,000 per year – which was a point of contention when the dispute first went to court.
“It’s a nice thing to have happen,” said Board Chair Tom Standish. “It could have been an adversarial thing all this time and it hasn’t been. We’ve worked well together and will continue to do so.”
Ewing said this week that he is glad to get the contract situation worked out and to move on to rebuilding and reinvigorating the CHA.
“I’m pleased I will continue being executive director at least through October 2017,” he said. “That gives us the opportunity to build on the many victories we’ve had. We’ve done a number of things over the past three years and we want to continue providing these services to our residents.”
One of the most unique things about the contract dispute was that it really just faded away in late 2011 as the CHA and the Board began working on the larger issues of cleaning up after Michael McLaughlin and untangling the web of complexities that was left behind in what has now been exposed as a criminal enterprise.
Originally, the contract was disputed rather vocally, but once it was entered as a court case, nothing more came of it.
That’s when Ewing and the Board seemed to roll up their sleeves and work without any animosity whatsoever despite the ongoing matter.
Standish said it was particularly noteworthy that the relationship withstood
Ewing said he viewed it as separate from his job.
“I think my job here as executive director, no matter what my pay, is to serve the residents,” he said. “I continually try to focus on that. They are two separate things. There were issues and sometimes people can have differences of opinion and that’s why we have a legal system to turn to. One has nothing to do with the other, the way I see it.”
Ewing said he had been chosen as the new executive director before McLaughlin suddenly resigned in 2011 after a Globe story spotlighted the beginnings of his misdeeds at the CHA.
After several public hearings and an executive director search in anticipation of McLaughlin’s regular retirement, Ewing got the vote of the board. His contract was to be ratified at a regular meeting the day after McLaughlin resigned.
However, with the sudden resignation of McLaughlin, the Board agreed to quickly make Ewing the interim director that very night.
The contract that came with that appointment is what struck up some controversy when the new Board took over in 2012 and rebuilding efforts began.
The Chelsea Street Bridge in the ‘up’ position. Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina recently wrote a letter to MassDOT expressing his concerns that the bridge takes too long to open and close and causes a traffic nightmare on the East Boston and Chelsea sides of the bridge.
City Councilor Sal LaMattina is taking on MassDOT after receiving numerous complaints from East Boston residents on the time it takes for the Chelsea Street Bridge to be lowered.
In a letter to Mass DOT Acting Secretary Frank DePaola LaMattina expressed his concerns about significant traffic delays that the residents and business owners of Eastie have been experiencing with the new Chelsea Street Bridge opening cycles which are often inordinately lengthy, causing unacceptable delays.
“When the new bridge was completed recently the community was informed that traffic delays associated with the new structure would not be longer in comparison to those of the old bascule bridge it replaced,” wrote LaMattina. “However that does not seem to be the case from direct observation of the new bridge’s opening cycles due to a number of factors, some of which appear to be maritime related and others the result of MassDOT bridge procedures.
While LaMattina said he understands that the installation of a new, complex structure such as the Chelsea Street bridge requires a suitable break-in period to implement new procedures and equipment he believes that an adequate break-in period has passed for the new bridge and that MassDOT should take whatever steps are necessary to reduce the current unacceptable level of delays from the new Chelsea Street Bridge as soon as feasible.
MassDOT spokesman Michael Michael Verseckes said MassDOT is looking into the matter but said it is believed that with the old bridge, boats may have been able to proceed through the channel before the bridge was fully open, because since it was a drawbridge, vertical clearance was not an issue.
“There are also federal maritime laws that apply here as well that require vessels to adhere to requirements that a bridge be fully open before it can pass under the bridge,” said Verseckes. “Because this new bridge is a vertical-lift span, it is conceivable that a vessel passing through the channel could make contact with the lift portion of the bridge before it was fully opened.”
Verseckes added that maritime law dictates that a bridge must be opened upon request.
“This is the case even in an instance where a vessel may not be in sight of a bridge,” he said. “So it is possible that operators could request a bridge opening earlier than in the past to ensure it is fully open when they reach it to avoid having to stop and wait for it to be completely open. Additionally, the channel is wider and deeper, which can accommodate larger vessels which could be adding to the time needed to pass under the bridge.”
There are also openings that are required as part of routine maintenance, such as greasing the guide cables and “re-indexing” the bridge to ensure it is sitting properly on its bearings when it is in the down position.
“For these, we schedule maintenance openings during off peak hours to avoid inconveniencing neighbors in Chelsea and East Boston, as well as businesses and folks accessing the airport,” he said.
James McNichols could be considered by many to be former CHA Director Michael McLaughlin’s chief henchman in most of his schemes during the 10-year tenure, but McNichols turned on McLaughlin after the house of cards came tumbling down – eventually being the key witness last summer whose testimony ensured McLaughlin would get more time in prison than expected.
Now, barring any indictment for his own actions in the CHA debacle, McNichols is $55,515 richer.
The Chelsea Retirement Board last Thursday was forced to approve a retirement contribution refund to McNichols despite some inconsistencies with his application request – complications that had held up the matter since March.
“There is no statutory right to withhold his deductions,” said Retirement Board Attorney Brian Monahan. “We have to return them.”
Given his role in the situation, Board members were cautious about rewarding the refund – as it was unknown (and still is) if McNichols is under investigation.
In a question on the application, it asked if he was the target of an investigation. While his answer said information about him had been requested by investigators, he was not considered a target.
“The Retirement Board must take action and cannot withhold deductions unless there is an indictment,” said Monahan. “We can monitor the situation, but beyond that, there is nothing the Retirement Board can do.”
If McNichols were indicted in the future, his refund award could be revisited.