With National Bicycle Month underway, a new group of cyclists and pedestrians in Chelsea are looking to create momentum and visibility on safety issues for those that aren’t using vehicles.
The Chelsea Bike and Pedestrian Committee has formed over the winter and is looking to get things rolling with their first community bike ride on May 8 at 6 p.m.
Resident Asad Rahman, an avid cyclist who commutes to Boston daily from his Broadway home, has been involved in biking safety issues for a number of years and said he worked with City Planners to try to get more of a community built around bicycling and walking.
While he thought it might take some time, surprisingly the movement has grown quickly and they are already planning their first event and several events beyond that.
“More than ever, I think Chelsea is at a crossroads to put people and bicycles first instead of cars,” he said. “We’re a City with five or six street lights and several thousand people and cars go very, very fast. We hope we can shift the paradigm that people come first and cars come second…Right now we have a passionate group of people in Chelsea, and we’ll ride around town on May 8thfor about a half-hour and then have a social time to continue building this community.”
With the help of the City and MassBike, the Committee is planning several events such as a Bike Repair workshops and a bike rodeo – this coming at future City events like Fiesta Verano and the Night Markets.
The group is on Facebook at BikeWalkChelsea, and anyone interested in joining them can show up at City Hall 6 p.m. on May 8.
The Vision for the Committee includes:
•To advance cycling and walking as leading modes of transportation in order to promote the health, wealth, and quality of life for Chelsea residents.
The Mission of the Committee is:
•To establish safe, interconnected, and enjoyable infrastructure in Chelsea for cycling and walking, through strategy with the Planning and Development department, resident education on practical use, and community engagement to build awareness and enthusiasm.
Vietnam veterans unveiling the boulder and a plaque during the Vietnam Veterans boulder rededication ceremony. The boulder has been moved from Malone Park to a new location between the Williams House and Vinnie’s Place due to construction on the campus. During the ceremony, Vietnam veteran Larry Clarke salutes as the names of those from Chelsea who died in Vietnam were read aloud.
Allison Mendez, Damaris Martinez, and Gisele Ribas show off their Salvadoran pride during the Kelly School’s annual Multicultural Night on Thursday, March 28. Tables with food and cultural information was available for nations around the world.
The Chelsea Collaborative hosted its annual Thanksgiving Dinner last Thursday at its headquarters at 318 Broadway.
Collaborative President Gladys Vega and her staff welcomed members of the community, who enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner and desserts. There was also a cotton candy station for children.
A large group of staff members and volunteers, led by Board President Rosalba Medina, helped serve the many food items to the guests in attendance.
But this year the celebration was a little different as the Collaborative announced the launch of the Immigrant Justice Bond Fund, in conjunction with EECO organization and the Episcopal City Mission that includes the St. Luke’s Church, Chelsea.
The fund is being set up to assist family members with people in detention centers to pay bonds established by immigration judges, with the purpose of reuniting them with their loved ones.
The Collaborative works hard with relatives who have come to its offices for assistance in locating their loved ones who have been detained by immigration agents. During the effort to locate and to be able to acquire the pro-bono services of lawyers, the Collaborative is faced with the obstacle of not having the necessary funds to help people out of detention.
It is for this reason that the Collaborative has joined forces with ECCO and Episcopal City Mission to find financial alternatives to pay bond. Chelsea Collaborative is honored to now be an organization that can count on these funds and get mothers and fathers out of detention centers.
Once the funds are used, payment agreements will be established so that these funds can always be available to other people in detention. After being released, people will be connected with legal and social resources to establish an individual plan for each family.
During the speaking program, Vega stated that the Collaborative was ready to assist residents with the agency’s many services and programs, and also to direct them to the appropriate groups for legal advice.
Yessenia Alfaro, deputy director at the Collaborative, felt the event, that drew a large turnout on a night that the first snowstorm of the season was approaching, was a huge success.
“It’s a blessing that so many people came here to tonight to celebrate Thanksgiving with us, and we’re grateful for our partnership with the ECCO organization and Episcopal City Mission in launching this important fund,” said Alfaro.
Several residents thanked Gladys Vega for her outstanding leadership of the Collaborative and the agency’s continuing diligence in helping all members of the community.
An alleged member of MS-13 pleaded guilty Jan. 11 in federal court in Boston to an immigration charge.
Elenilson Gonzalez-Gonzalez, a/k/a “Siniestro,” 31, a Salvadoran national, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful reentry of a deported alien. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for April 5, 2018.
Following a lengthy investigation, Gonzalez-Gonzalez was one of 61 defendants named in a superseding indictment targeting the activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of the transnational criminal organization, La Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13.
Gonzalez-Gonzalez is the 27th defendant to plead guilty in this case.
In December 2015, during the course of the investigation, law enforcement encountered Gonzalez-Gonzalez near Deer Island National Park in Winthrop. Further investigation revealed that in May 2012, Gonzalez-Gonzalez had been apprehended by U.S. Customers and Border Patrol agents illegally entering the United States near Mission, Texas.
At that time, Gonzalez-Gonzalez admitted that he was a Salvadoran national who had entered the country illegally and was attempting to make his way to the Boston area. He was subsequently removed from the United States in 2012 on an expedited basis. Gonzalez-Gonzalez later re-entered the United States and was charged with illegal reentry after deportation.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than two years in prison, one year of supervised release, and up to a fine of $250,000. Gonzalez-Gonzalez will also be subject to deportation upon the completion of his federal sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
CHS boys soccer team wins three, now 8-0
The Chelsea High boys soccer team swept aside three more rivals this past week to increase their record of perfection to 8-0 as the Red Devils approach the halfway mark of the season.
Coach Mick Milutinovic’s Red Devils opened the week with a 4-1 triumph over Shawsheen Tech on the Chelsea High field Friday afternoon. Carlos Cruz got Chelsea on the scoreboard with a goal at the 10-minute mark of the first half, assisted by Yefferson Padilla. Shawsheen brought the contest to level with a goal at 28 minutes, but the Red Devils unleveled matters just three minutes later when Humberto Suarez converted a nice crossing pass from Hector Andino-Garcia to take a 2-1 lead at the intermission.
Carlos Cartagena gave Chelsea some breathing room with a goal midway through the second half, assisted by Melvin Godoy, and Suarez notched his second goal of the day, assisted by Derilson DePina, with 14 minutes to play for some added insurance.
The Red Devils next took the measure of non-league foe New Mission High, 3-0, in a rematch of the teams’ season-opening contest. The outcome was not as close as the final score might indicate. Chelsea controlled play throughout and Milutinovic liberally used all of the players on his squad.
Still, it took the Red Devils a while to get rolling, but when they finally did, they struck with sudden quickness to break the game open. Cruz provided the lethality for Chelsea, striking for a pair of markers at 32 and 35 minutes of the opening half. Bryan Chirinos and Andino-Garcia earned the assists.
The Red Devils tacked on one more marker in the second half, with freshman Dan Sabu reaching the back of the New Mission net, assisted by Derilson DePina, with about five minutes left in the game.
“We had a lot of opportunities, but couldn’t finish,” noted CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “It was good to give everybody a lot of playing time, because as we get into the latter part of October, we know that injuries and other factors will play a role and everybody on our bench will be needed.”
Keeper Cruz Barrientos earned the shutout in goal for the Red & Black.
Chelsea made the trek Tuesday to Northeast Regional Vocational School, typically Chelsea’s biggest rival in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, and came home with an uncharacteristically easy 4-1 triumph.
Captain Eric DePina gave Chelsea an early lead at the 12 minute mark when he trapped a clearing ball by Northeast just outside the box, settled it with a touch, and drilled a perfect shot that cleanly beat the NE keeper.
“Eric plays defense for us, but both he and fellow defender Hector Andino-Garcia push the ball forward so well, and that gives the opposition a lot to deal with,” said Protasowicki. “They both have great speed and stamina, so they have the capability to get back on ‘D’ after making an offensive push.”
Derilson DePina gave Chelsea a 2-0 advantage when he headed home a crossing pass from Kevin Umanzor, who had taken a short corner kick from Padilla and sent a perfect ball into the middle of the box.
“Derilson and Kevin worked that set piece beautifully,” noted Protasowicki. “They recognized the opportunity to take a short corner and they made it happen.”
Cartagena, who was being marked closely by Northeast all game, finally found some space early in the second half and broke free to create his own shot that upped the count to 3-0. Although Northeast was awarded — and converted — a penalty kick (PK), the Red Devils got the lead back to three goals when Eric DePina notched his second goal of the day for the 4-1 finale.
Keeper Angel Figueroa provided the solid play for Chelsea in goal. Figueroa, Barrientos, and the Chelsea defense have yielded only five goals in the eight games, of which three have come via PKs.
Milutinovic and his crew were set to travel to Whittier today (Thursday) and will host Lynn Tech Monday. The Red Devils then will make the short trip across the Parkway Wednesday evening to take on Everett under the lights at Everett Stadium.
Becerra finishes first for CHS girls vs. Whitter
Chelsea High senior captain Wendy Becerra came across the line in first place in a time of 22:45 over the 3.1 mile course at Admiral’s Hill to lead the Lady Red Devil cross-country team to a 24-31 victory over Whittier last week.
Sophomore Clarissa Sosa was the next Chelsea runner, taking fourth place in 24:02. She was followed by teammate Melanie Nguyen in fifth place in 24:51, which was a personal record (PR) for the junior. Freshman Jocelyn Poste also turned in a PR clocking (by more than four minutes) with a time of 25:31 for sixth place in what CHS head coach Don Fay termed a “gutsy” effort.
That set the stage for senior Cynthia Guzman to clinch the meet for Chelsea, which Cynthia accomplished with an eighth place finish in 25:57, which was a PR mark for Cynthia.
“Coming into this meet, we knew it would be a very competitive race,” said Fay. “We finished strong in most of our races and most of the girls had a significant personal best. Whittier is a good barometer for us and hopefully we can continue to get stronger and faster.”
On the boys’ side, which was a tri-meet with Whittier and Lynn Tech, the Red Devils ran well, but came up short to both opponents, falling to Whittier, 23-33, and being nipped by Tech, 26-29.
CHS senior Jose Aguiar ran a PR of 19:21 to finish second overall in the tri-meet. Senior captain Johnny Gomez finished fifth overall with a PR of 20:05. After this point, three Lynn Tech and three Whittier Tech runners finished before the next Chelsea runner, ultimately leading to defeat for Chelsea.
Jansel Claudio was 12th overall in a PR of 20:42. Jose Cintron was 13th in 20:51 and Adriel Cedano was 15th in a PR clocking of 21:17.
“We ran much better than last week and I was very happy with the effort that we put out there,” said Fay. “As a team though, we need to run and stay together as a pack to win these close races. That is something that we have been woking on in practice.”
The Red Devils were set to host Northeast Regional and Minuteman yesterday (Wednesday) at Admiral’s Hill. They will trek to Essex next Wednesday for a tri-meet with the host team and Mystic Valley.
Red Devil gridmen host Gr. Lowell Friday night
The Chelsea High football team, which had a bye last week, will return to action when they host Greater Lowell in a Friday Night Lights encounter at Chelsea Stadium. The Red Devils (0-2) will be seeking their first win of the season against Greater Lowell, which stands at 2-1.
Kick-off time is 7:00.
We were so proud to take part in Suffolk County District Daniel F. Conley 7th Annual Basketball For Peace Tournament at the UMass Boston Clark Athletic Center.
DA Conley and his staff once again accomplished the mission of this wonderful event: to bring Boston’s young people together for a day of safe, healthy, team-oriented fun and give youth, parents, and community leaders an opportunity to meet the prosecutors, victim advocates, community outreach staff, and other professionals in the DA’s office.
From the moment the youths entered the gymnasium at UMass, they knew they were part of a truly special and well-organized event. The basketball games were played competitively and with sportsmanship and were officiated by professional referees. There was a real sense of camaraderie among the players and coaches on the teams who hailed from all parts of Suffolk County.
DA Conley and his staff made a great event even greater by inviting Leon Powe, the former Boston Celtics star, to serve as the guest speaker. Powe certainly enlightened the youths with his story of not taking his studies seriously enough as a youth to his becoming a serious-minded student and one of the best high school basketball players in the country and matriculating at the highly regarded University of California-Berkeley. Powe’s success at Cal led to the realization of his dream of playing in the NBA.
UMass Vice Chancellor Charlie Titus, one of the most prominent and respected names in all of college athletics, was a deserving recipient of a lifetime achievement award and you could tell how much this recognition by DA Conley meant to the legendary basketball coach and college administrator. The other honorees on this day were also grateful to DA Conley and his staff for being recognized as role models.
DA Conley oversees the busiest district attorney’s office in the Commonwealth. He is a credit to Stonehill College and Suffolk University Law School. For the district attorney to continue the great tradition that this basketball tournament has become speaks well of his noble declaration that “the most important part of my job is serving the people of Suffolk County.”
Keep up the great work, Suffolk County DA Daniel Conley.
Helping out at the Empty Bowls event in support of the
Chelsea Hunger Network were, Zonta members, from left,
president Georgia Green, Bonnie Fishman, Stephanie Mc-
Conaghy, and Margo Johnson. Zonta is hosting a fundraiser
Friday night in Saugus.
The Zonta Club of Chelsea donates funds to numerous local projects, presents scholarships and school supplies to students, and distributes food baskets during the holidays.
It is an organization that has a proud history in the city, always pursuing endeavors to improve the status of women. The Zonta organization’s charitable reach and goodwill extends beyond the borders of Chelsea and in fact touches lives internationally.
The Chelsea Zontians advance their mission of helping others through a solid foundation of fundraising events. The club has hosted fashion shows, comedy nights, and other events through the years.
The club’s upcoming fundraiser, set for Friday night, is a rather unique one. Linnea Star, a well-known medium, will provide metaphysical message at the event that begins at 7 p.m. at the Saugus Elks. The donation is $35 and includes a medium-ship and a Chinese food buffet.
Renee Caso-Griffin and Saveria Bosak are the chairwomen of the event who are being credited with the idea of having a medium as the focal point of the fundraiser.
“They originated the idea,” said Zonta president Georgia Green. “The medium (Star) will read people who want to be read. It’s a gift that she feels that she’s always had – she can tell you things about people in your family. She comes up with some pretty remarkable data without knowing you.”
Green is serving the first year of her two-year term as the leader of the Zonta Club. She holds a graduate degree from prestigious Smith College and has been a social worker at MGH Chelsea for 25 years.
Green is predicting “a fabulous event” for those who intend to be in the company of Linnea Star Friday night.
“I think it’s going to be really different – we’ve never done anything like this and we were looking for something that would be fun. It will be a great night out.”