Chelsea’s Commitment to Industrial Areas Spurs Major Purchases

Chelsea’s Commitment to Industrial Areas Spurs Major Purchases

By Seth Daniel

Residential is king in today’s development world, with developers vying for land to build luxury apartments where previously no one would have even parked their car.

That means, however, that industrial areas are shrinking or disappearing in the Greater Boston area, and places like Chelsea’s industrial area on Eastern Avenue and Marginal Streets are commanding high prices and great interest from developers intent on grabbing committed industrial property before it disappers.

That couldn’t be more true in Chelsea, where industrial/commercial properties are commanding a premium after several recent notable sales, and major developers from the region are scooping them up before it’s too late.

On Eastern Avenue, National Development – a well-known development company with major holdings in Boston, including the trendy new residential Ink Block development – has purchased 130 Eastern Ave. for $10 million in August from the Cohen Family, according to property records.

Pending a zoning variance, they plan to demolish the entire existing 38,000 sq. ft. warehouse on the seven-acre site.

Ted Tye of National Development said they hope to start construction on the new 32-foot clear height building in late 2017 upon completing final designs and receiving all the permits and approvals. They expect construction to conclude  in fall 2018.

Tye said they have one tenant for the new property, but that tenant hasn’t been disclosed yet.

“There is an increasing demand in Greater Boston for quality distribution space close to Boston,” said Tye. “Chelsea is ideally located and has been great to work with on expanding the City’s commercial base.”

Part of the certainty comes from the fact, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said, that Chelsea has committed itself to keeping things industrial – unlike other areas, such as Everett’s Lower Broadway area by Wynn Boston Harbor casino where all bets against residential creeping in are off right now.

“I think we have made a commitment to see industrial areas that are now industrial to remain industrial and that these areas are relatively important to the City,” he said. “We have plenty of areas for residential expansion, including the Forbes site. I think we’re committed to retaining a vibrant industrial district. Chelsea historically has done a great job. We’re not likely to create residential developments in our industrial areas.”

Ambrosino said one thing the City requires is that in the development of these new properties, that they are improved aesthetically a bit. For example, National Development will landscape its property upon completion, and the new LTI Limo Company – which moved from Everett’s Lower Broadway area to Chelsea’s Eastern Avenue this year after being bought out by Wynn – is also going to landscape its property significantly.

“There aren’t a lot of industrial areas in Greater Boston and so this industrial area has become quite desirable,” said Ambrosino.

Meanwhile, just last week, more significant action took place in the district with the sale of two prominent warehouse to the Seyon Group, a Boston commercial development firm with 30 years of experience.

E-mails to Seyon Group were not answered in time for this story, but property records – first reported by Bldup.com – showed that Seyon purchased two warehouses for more $10 million total last week.

They purchased 201 Crescent Ave. from New England Lighting Company, which is closing down, for $3.75 million. New England Lighting bought the warehouse in 2009 for $2.65 million. The building is empty and for lease.

Meanwhile, at the same time, Seyon Group bought 150 Eastern Ave. from O’Brien Realty for $7.475 million. O’Brien also owns 140 Eastern Ave., and it purchased 150 Eastern Ave. in 2015 for just $4 million – nearly doubling their money in two years time.

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Police Briefs 10-12-2017

Police Briefs 10-12-2017

BREAKING AT THE HEALTH CENTER

On Oct. 4 at 8;12 a.m., a male subject was placed into custody after he was observed entering and checking motor vehicle door handles by police in the MGH Clinic parking lot, located at 151 Everett Ave. No stolen property located on his person.

Egno Silva, 26, of Beverly, was charged with Breaking and Entering in the day for a felony.

THAT’S MY SPOT!

On Oct. 6 at 6:43 p.m., officers responded to 827 Broadway on a past assault involving neighbors. Officers were advised that one of the involved may be in possession of a knife. Officers determined it was an argument over a parking space with one of the participants claiming she was threatened with a knife.

Officers placed the subject under arrested for the assault.

Luz Rodriguez, 55, of 835 Broadway, was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

NO ALARM CAN WAKE HIM UP

On Oct. 7 at 2 a.m., officers responded to the area of Greg’s Service Center located at 51 Park St. on the report of a car alarm going off and not stopping.

Officers observed a male party who was passed out in a truck on the property. The subject was placed under arrest after stating he entered the truck to sleep for the night.

James Sullivan, 23, of 101 Park St., was charged with breaking and entering in the night for a felony and one warrant.

REVERE MAN SENTENCED FOR BANK ROBBERY SPREE

A Revere man was sentenced Oct. 11 in federal court in Boston for robbing 10 banks during a 19-day spree from late December 2016 to early January 2017.

He was arrested in Chelsea on Jan. 7, and confessed to robbing the banks.

Fred Mandracchia, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 100 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $16,695 to the banks he robbed. In July 2017, Mandracchia  HYPERLINK “https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/revere-man-pleads-guilty-multiple-bank-robberies” pleaded guilty to 10 counts of bank robbery

Following a Jan. 3, 2017, robbery of the Mechanics Cooperative Bank branch in Fall River, law enforcement identified Mandracchia as the individual responsible for that robbery.  Based on similarities in the robberies and the physical description of the perpetrator, Mandracchia was suspected to have also been involved in nine other Boston-area bank robberies.

HASSLING CUSTOMERS

On Oct. 8 at 11:25 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 7-11 store at Broadway and Williams for a report of an unwanted party. The male party had been previously given a no trespass order by the store. Upon arrival officers observed the male harassing customers at the entrance. He was placed into custody at the scene.

Daniel Humphreys, 37, of 855 Broadway, was charged with resisting arrest and trespassing.

PRESCRPITION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY

City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and Police Chief Brian Kyes are again hosting the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday October28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chelsea Police Headquarters. This national program aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. The public is asked not to dispose of any items listed on the front of the kiosk such as needles, auto-injectors such as epi-pens or flammable objects. There is a separate container to dispose of sharps.

Additionally, the citizens of Chelsea are reminded that this public collection kiosk at Police Headquarters is available for anonymous use 365 days a year.

Police Log

Tuesday, 10/3

Hector Lopez, 38, 88 Williams St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Okbay Bahatu, 32, 318 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant and possessing alcoholic beverage.

Wednesday, 10/4

Egno Silva, 26, 338 Rantour St., Beverly, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime.

Thursday, 10/5

Dania Lopez, 21, 48 Watts St., Chelsea, was arrested for a warrant, unregistered motor vehicle, not in possession of license, registration not in possession.

Alexandria Vega, 33, 342 Blue Ledge Dr., Boston, was arrested for common nightwalker.

Nicole Skillin, 40, 2 Rice St., Saugus, was arrested for sexual conduct for fee and warrant.

Friday, 10/6

Elvedina Sejdinovic, 23, 39 Crescent Ave, Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Luz Rodriguez, 55, 835 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

Saturday, 10/7

James Sullivan, 23, 101 Park St., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime and on a warrant.

Jorge Izaguirre, 21, 72 Fremont Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor and possession open container of alcohol in motor vehicle.

Miguel Hernandez, 53, 104 Library St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor.

Picardy Lamour, 24, 7 Murray St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor and leaving scene of property damage.

Sunday, 10/8

John Londono, 28, 186 Chester Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence ofliquor, flashing red light violation.

Daniel Humphreys, 37, 855 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest.

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The Protesting Football Players are Not Disrespecting the Military

The Protesting Football Players are Not Disrespecting the Military

The silent protest that was begun last season by former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick, in which Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem before football games, exemplifies what freedom of speech and freedom of expression mean in our country.

Kaepernick, and his fellow players who have joined him this year, have been very clear from the outset that their sole motive behind their protest is to express their view that racism is alive and well in America at all levels of our society and that this problem needs to be addressed immediately.

Although no one can doubt the truth of that assertion, we realize there are many who believe that a football game is not the place for political protests and who are upset that the players are kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem.

That’s their opinion and they, like Kapaernick, are entitled to express what they believe.

However, those (such as President Trump) who are attempting to discredit the protesters by asserting that the protesters are disrespecting those who have served in the military are off-base for two reasons.

First and foremost, the protesters never have made any negative statement about anybody in the military or that their protest is aimed at the military. Rather, it is clear that Trump and others are making this claim solely to discredit the protesters as a means of ignoring the serious issue of racism that the protest is all about.

Second however, the playing of the National Anthem before a game never has had anything to do with honoring the military. Rather, the tradition of playing the Anthem prior to the start of  a sporting event has been to show our unity as a nation — every single American — and not limited only to past and present members of the military.

The Anthem before a game makes us realize that although we may be cheering for rival teams on the playing field, at the end of the day, we still are one people, one nation.

Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the National Anthem — which has resulted in his career being ended (at least for now) — truly was an act of courage and stands as a shining example to all Americans, especially our young people, of their right to protest peacefully in our country.

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CHS Volleyball Team Takes a Knee at National Anthem:Players say they Kneel for a Fair and Equal Society for All

CHS Volleyball Team Takes a Knee at National Anthem:Players say they Kneel for a Fair and Equal Society for All

By Seth Daniel

The Chelsea High Volleyball team takes a knee during the National Anthem on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 3, in a game at home against Notre Dame, who chose to stand and salute the flag. The girls, including (L-R) Arianna Pryor, Xiana Herasme, Masireh Ceesay and Guidairys Castro, plan to continue taking the knee all season to highlight inequities the lives of minority youth and immigrants. One school in Methuen has asked that they do not come and take a knee at their venue, choosing to forfeit the game instead.

The Chelsea High Volleyball team takes a knee during the National Anthem on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 3, in a game at home against Notre Dame, who chose to stand and salute the flag. The girls, including (L-R) Arianna Pryor, Xiana Herasme, Masireh Ceesay and Guidairys Castro, plan to continue taking the knee all season to highlight inequities the lives of minority youth and immigrants. One school in Methuen has asked that they do not come and take a knee at their venue, choosing to forfeit the game instead.

The Chelsea High School girls’ volleyball team – a team loaded with seven seniors – has been together for several years and so it is that they’ve developed a family-like bond and a chemistry that sometimes helps them to act in unison.

It’s almost telepathic, they say.

In fact, when they first decided to take a knee during the National Anthem to make a statement on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Whittier Tech, it was something they didn’t rehearse or plan in advance.

It just happened, and now it has happened two other times and – like other National Anthem protests – is sparking a robust conversation in Chelsea High, outside in Chelsea and even into the other cities and towns where they play.

All 11 players on the team are now taking the knee and did so as recently as this past Tuesday afternoon at Chelsea High.

“When it happened first, it wasn’t planned and it was just spontaneous and we all went down,” said Arianna Pryor, who pointed out that they took the knee before it became something much greater with the NFL protest on Sept. 24. “We gave each other the look and then it happened. It was just a natural thing. We had talked about it, but never planned on doing it. It was almost like mental telepathy.”

Leaders of the team say they are all taking the knee for several different reasons – whether it be for immigration issues, discrimination, economic opportunity, or better resources – but in general they seem to want to draw attention to the fact that they don’t see the country as being “free” or all of created “equal.”

“For me, a majority of us have immigrant parents and they came to the country to provide a better future for us,” said Rym El Mahid, a first-year player. “. What kind of American Dream is there if things are working against our parents all the time?”

Ruchellie Jimenez said she also takes the knee because she has seen how others are treated, how people treat her. She wants that to change, and this was one way to draw attention to her cause.

“I don’t think it’s fair how we have systematic forces against us and are always in the backseat of America,” she said. “We struggle and get the scraps of everyone else. My parents were immigrants and I see the way they are treated and the way I am treated. That’s why I take the knee. It isn’t fair.”

She added, as an example, that she recently wanted to improve her SAT score and went to a counselor outside Chelsea for help.

“I was sitting with the counselor and they looked at my score and said I was a minority and from a low-income area, so I was all set; there was not need for me to try to get better,” she said. “That’s not how I want to be treated. I just want to do better on my SAT.”

Pryor said others have been taking a knee to make a difference, and she saw that and brought it up to the rest of her team. They had talked about it, but made no plans. As time went on, she said she wanted to be one to make things known, to let people know that things are not right.

“I take a knee because I want to be there with the others that are trying to make a difference,” she said. “I take a knee because things need to change.”

All agreed that they don’t mean disrespect to any soldiers, and are grateful for the service of veterans – those who have died and who have returned injured. They said, however, they picked the National Anthem because it was a non-violent and because it was one of the few outlets they had as high school athletes.

“Our team is very ethnically diverse and culturally diverse,” said Capt. Jessica Martinez. “We feel strongly about how our country has been going, and we wanted to make our point in a way that wouldn’t seem violent or aggressive, but rather intelligent. We wanted to do something that showed we took a lot of time thinking out our actions.”

She added that if they had made their protest at City Hall or another public venue, it could have taken a violent course – which they didn’t want.

Added Jimenez, “We’re very grateful for what the veterans have done and they have given us freedom of speech to take the knee. I don’t think there is any other way for us to do this publicly. Everyone knows what taking a knee is.”

At school, it’s been a mixed reaction.

A lot of students don’t agree with it, they said, while others are wholeheartedly behind them.

Already, last Friday, the Chelsea High cheerleaders took a knee before the home football game.

Coach Serena Wadsworth said when it became obvious how her girls felt about taking the knee, and that they planned to do so the rest of the year, she sent out a letter to other schools. Most, she said, understood, but one school in Methuen preferred that the girls not come to their school and take a knee. The school indicated it didn’t feel it respected its school values. They were willing to forfeit the game, and also were willing to play at Chelsea.

Interestingly, the girls said their message isn’t really for those in Chelsea as much as it is for the other schools they play, many of which aren’t as diverse or understand the life that they lead.

“Our message isn’t really to be taken to only those who are doing the discrimination,” said El Mahid. “People who aren’t minority – the white and well off – don’t know the discrimination we face. It’s a way to get the discrimination out there.”

When the 2017  Chelsea High volleyball team is remembered, all of them agreed that it will probably be for their stand. They hope that it helps people think about what they did, and perhaps is something that’s continued.

“There are other teams and other seasons,” said Masireh Ceesay. “They will see what we did and see it as an example, I hope, and carry it on and find ways to go forward with our statement.”

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Some Feel CHS Volleyball Team Should Have Picked Another Venue for Protest

Some Feel CHS Volleyball Team Should Have Picked Another Venue for Protest

By Seth Daniel

Just as there have been no shortage of supporters of the Chelsea High girls volleyball team taking a knee at the National Anthem this month, there is similarly no shortage of people who are bothered by the statement.

Veterans are particularly bothered by the choice of high schoolers using the National Anthem to protest injustice, as it is historically a time to remember American soldiers who are deployed, dead or disabled. In a City where the primary state veterans care facility – the Soldiers’ Home – is located, that rings even more true than the average locale.

Members of the Soldiers’ Home said they could not comment on the matter, but many who spend considerable time there were hurt by the choice.

Bruce Dobson, who is the vice president of the East region of the Vietnam Veterans of America Massachusetts State Council, said he would like to meet with the girls. He said they are simply being followers, and not leading for the change they want.

Instead, they are hurting people who have lost life and limb to protect them.

“Protesting is acceptable in our country,” Dobson, who lives in Winthrop, said. “But to take a knee during the National Anthem is not. The National Anthem is to show respect to the Veterans who gave you the opportunity to be able to protest. If the volleyball team wants to protest, go to the steps of City Hall and take a knee. That will get a reaction without being disrespectful to veterans. The volleyball team members are being followers; be leaders and do something in your community. I would be willing to engage the volleyball at any time.”

School Committeeman Richard Maronski said he doesn’t agree with their stance and doesn’t believe the schools should allow it. For him, not only is it disrespectful, but shows that the youth aren’t being guided correctly.

“One problem is the kid seem to be leading the way in what should be allowed; we have the tail wagging the dog,” he said. “We are in a soft school system. The standards are lessened. The sports program seems to be getting worse. On the issue, I don’t think it’s right and I don’t think they know exactly what they are doing…I  don’t think it’s right they get to take a knee wearing a Chelsea uniform. They can protest on their own time…I support the kids on what’s happening to them and what’s said to them, but I don’t support how they are going about it.”

Maronski said he attends St. Michael’s Church next to the Soldiers’ Home every Sunday, and Father Healey reads a list of the soldiers who have passed every week. He said he would like the volleyball team to attend that sad ceremony, and to also become acquainted with the many wounded soldiers living in the Home – soldiers who hold the Anthem as dear to them as their own lives.

Chelsea Veterans Agent Francisco Toro said he had no official position, but as the City’s chief advocate and service provider, he’s already heard a lot of opinions. Interestingly, not all are against – yet not all are for either.

“I provide services to the veterans and am an advocate and a voice for the veterans in this community,” he said. “There are some veterans who think that taking a knee is disrespectful and some that don’t think it is. If you were to go and speak to a group of 100 veterans in Chelsea, I would say that there would be no one group on one particular side or the other…I’ve heard both sides from the veterans on this.”

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Harvey and Houston

Harvey and Houston

Many of us are just shocked as the reports of continued destruction from Hurricane Harvey keep coming in from the Houston, Texas area.  The fourth largest city in the United States is being virtually destroyed before our eyes by Mother Nature.

For those of us who have relatives in the affected areas, their message was as follows: “As of three hours ago we are still in our homes and the water has not reached us yet.”  The speed and duration of the storm has caught all by surprise.  The National Weather Service has run out of colors to show how much rain has fallen in certain areas. In the end, all agree that it will be years for this area to recover from a storm that will have lasted about five days.

Looking at the destruction from this super storm, one needs only look around our community to see similar, if not worse, destruction that is awaiting us.  Communities such as  Revere are just about entirely under sea level.  Winthrop has only two ways out of town, and both are over the water.  The New England Produce Center in Chelsea and Everett that supplies most of the fresh foods to the entire Northeast and parts of Canada would be destroyed by flooding either from a tidal surge or just rainfall amounts that a storm like Harvey has generated. Areas of East Boston along Boston Harbor are prone to flood regularly, not to mention what a Harvey would do.  And the Back Bay and Downtown areas of Boston that are just slightly above sea level would be destroyed by a super storm like Harvey or Sandy.

Unfortunately, experts predict that there is no longer an “if,” but a “when” we will be hit by super storm.

There is very little that can be done, given that many of the areas in our communities now have hard surfaces, such as roads and sidewalks, that prevent natural drainage of excessive rains.  Between rising sea levels and developments in the last few vacant parcels, we are a disaster waiting to happen.

However, there are certain measures that can be taken to minimize the effects of destruction.  Location of utility services such electricity should be placed not in the basement, but on the top floors of houses that are in flood plain areas.  We need to make sure that the water drainage can flow quickly from the catch basins in flood plains to the marshlands that surround communities.

Some of these measures will require a monetary commitment by either the state or federal government to implement.  But as we plan for future developments and infrastructure repairs, we urge our elected leaders to look at ways to get the funds that will mitigate the disaster that will come from a hurricane.

Today, elected leaders from our communities are asking for donations from residents to be sent to the victims of Harvey. We urge all to give what they can, as this is the only tangible help that we can offer at this time.

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Senator DiDomenico Attends NCSL Summit in Boston

Senator DiDomenico Attends NCSL Summit in Boston

Senator Sal DiDomenico recently joined State Senators and Representatives from throughout the United States during the 2017 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Summit held in Boston.  Each year elected officials meet to share information and best practices at this conference held in different part of the country.  This year’s summit was the largest in several years with over 6,000 legislators convening in our Capitol.  Senator DiDomenico is a member of several NCSL committees, including Student Centered Learning, and he participated in several sessions on topics such as redistricting, education, intergovernmental affairs, media relations, and manufacturing.  This summit was also attended by associations, foundations, and governmental agencies and DiDomenico met with many of these organizations including the Nellie Mae Foundation to speak about their work funding educational initiatives throughout New England.  “It was great to join colleagues from throughout the country, and gather information that we can use in our own districts and throughout the Commonwealth,” said DiDomenico.  “Having this summit in Boston also allowed us to showcase our collaborative approach to governing that has moved our state forward.”

Since 1975, NCSL has been the champion of state legislatures. They have helped states remain strong and independent by giving them the tools, information and resources to craft the best solutions to difficult problems.  They fought against unwarranted actions in Congress and saved states more than $1 billion.  They strive to improve the quality and effectiveness of the state legislatures, promote policy innovation and communication, and ensure states have a strong cohesive voice.

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Chelsea Police National Night Out

Chelsea Police National Night Out

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The Chelsea Police Department held its annual National Night Out event Tuesday at Mary O’Malley. The event raises community awareness about policing efforts and helps build partnerships between the department and residents. Several local organizations participated in the festivities. Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes is pictured with young residents, some representing the Chelsea Collaborative, who attended the event.

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Former Pats Cheerleader Briggs-Connor Will Perform at Aug 31 Game

Former Pats Cheerleader Briggs-Connor Will Perform at Aug 31 Game

By Cary Shuman

Reia Briggs-Connor was a “Patriette” before she became a New England Patriots cheerleader.

“We were called the Patriettes in my first year and then it became the New England Patriots cheerleaders,” said Briggs-Connor.

Briggs-Connor will be back in Foxboro for the first-ever New England Patriots alumni cheerleader performance on Aug. 31 during halftime of the Giants-Pats game at Gillette Stadium. The cheerleaders will practice the choreography at a rehearsal before hitting the field in front of 68,000 fans.

After serving as a captain of Chelsea Pop Warner squads and the 1991 Chelsea High School cheerleading team, the then-19-year-old Briggs-Connor tried out for the New England Patriots squad and earned a spot. Briggs-Connor was already an accomplished dancer from her years of training at Genevieve’s Dance Studio in Chelsea. She also excelled in athletics as a member of the CHS track team.

She enjoyed her three seasons as a Pats’ cheerleader. Briggs-Connor had a trading card in her name, made personal appearances, signed autographs, was pictured on the team’s promotional calendar, and met many celebrities.

“I just missed out on the Patriots’ Super Bowl in 1996,” said Briggs-Connor. “The quarterback was Drew Bledsoe and then it became Tom Brady and they’ve been great ever since. But my cheerleading career was a fun time. It’s one of the best times of my life. It molded me in to what I do today. I learned a lot of the professional side of dance and created a sisterhood with all of the cheerleaders that continues to this day.”

Briggs-Connor will receive a specially designed New England Patriots’ alumni cheerleading uniform. Several students from her well-known Phunk Phenomenon Dance Complex will be on hand to see her on-field performance.

“This will be my first time dancing in the new stadium,” said Briggs-Connor. “It’s exciting. I get to dance on turf and not dirt.”

The Briggs-Connor family, husband Rick Connor and children, Jared and Aaron, will be cheering for Reia at Gillette.

“I’m very happy that my sons and my husband are going to see me perform,” said Reia, who is an official member of the National Football League Alumni Cheerleaders Assocation. “It’s going to be a proud moment for them to see their mother next to their favorite players on the field. I’m also looking forward to seeing my former teammates.”

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Momentum Starting in Remaking Downtown District, Chelsea Lunch to Kick off July 12

Momentum Starting in Remaking Downtown District, Chelsea Lunch to Kick off July 12

By Seth Daniel

While wholesale infrastructure changes aren’t expected for another couple of years on Broadway, momentum is already building for major change to the downtown Broadway Business District this summer.

On Wednesday, June 28, the musician Kali gave a sneak peak on Chelsea City Hall Lawn just what will come with the new Chelsea Lunch initiative, which starts next Weds., July 12.

According to Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney, Chelsea Lunch Marketplace will take place every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. on City Hall Lawn through the end of September. The event is presented by Chelsea Prospers in partnership with Healthy Chelsea and will have musicians and community information tables.

The effort is meant to enliven the district during the day, but there will also be action in the evenings in Chelsea Square. Graney envisions having daytime activities in Bellingham Square throughout the summer and evening activities in Chelsea Square.

To kick off that effort, Summer Nights in Chelsea Square will kick off in one month on Aug. 3 with music and dancing by Los Sugar Kings.

Other concerts include:

  • August 10, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Smell-O-Vision
  • August 17, Tarbox Ramblers backwoods blues music
  • Aug. 24 will be a unique experience where concert-goers can be the star. the live Karaoke band, The Cover Story will play and audience members are invited to sing.

Additionally, late last week Graney announced small placemaking grants available for the district. The mini-grants are between $200 and $750 for small projects like parklets, pop up events or temporary art installations – or whatever creative idea one may have for the district. An info session has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 11, at 6 p.m. in the Chelsea Public Library. The deadline for applications is Aug. 18.

To enhance the mini-grants, Chelsea will be celebrating National Parking Day on Sept. 15. All across America, cities, towns and organizations transform parking spaces in downtown districts into small parks for the day. That was done last year for the first time by GreenRoots on Broadway – an effort that was a smash hit and likely will become even more intriguing this year, Graney said.

On the infrastructure and design front, the Re-Imagining Broadway effort will present its findings after many months of study on July 13, 6 p.m., in the Chelsea Senior Center, 10 Riley Way. The consultant Nelson Nygaard has been studying everything from sidewalks and streetlights to making Broadway a two-way street again. The findings will be suggestions for implementation to the City, which contracted the consultants late last year and has conducted several public meetings since then.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he is encouraged by the work of the Downtown Task Force over the past few months – an effort that include four Chelsea Police Officers dedicated to patrolling the Broadway Business Corridor and meeting in a roundtable on a weekly basis.

He said that between that effort, the Human Service Navigators, good deal is getting done on the Corridor.

However, he said that spending the large sum of money approved by the City Council for infrastructure repairs and improvements would likely not take place for a little while. Right now, he said about $500,000 of that sum has been on design and planning. The bulk of the monies, some $5 million, will be allocated in a few years, he said.

“There’s still a lot of planning to do,” he said. “We We probably won’t start the infrastructure work for another year or more, but we are looking at what we want to do now. Most likely, all of that work will start in calendar year 2019, maybe 2018. We’re at least one year away from that work…This is a marathon and not a spring. It’s a five to 10 year effort to re-invent this downtown.”

Other efforts under way or already planned include:

  • Retail Best Practices Program presented by City of Chelsea’s Chelsea Prospers with the Chamber of Commerce – July 18 at 8:30 a.m. at the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. Half-day workshop for all downtown businesses on issues like effective displays, marketing, customer service. Businesses can then apply to be one of the six businesses that will receive a half day of one-on-one consulting on their specific needs and to receive a mini-grant to implement one of the recommendations. http://www.chelseachamber.org/
  • FDA Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards – Chelsea Prospers in partnership with the Board of Health to increase food safety, build business and workforce expertise, and boost consumer confidence. The first activity under this multiyear effort is a training and certification food safety program for Chelsea businesses. Through the Chelsea Community Schools we’re presenting on July 27 a full day of training in English and Spanish, plus the certification exam at a deeply discounted rate. The program is exclusively for Chelsea businesses and workers. Registration required at https://register.communitypass.net/Chelsea
  • MassSave Business Grants – In August, at the behest of Chelsea Prospers and the Chelsea’s Energy Manager to increase environmental sustainability, a team from EverSource is coming to the downtown the week of August 7 to conduct free energy assessments for area businesses. Through the assessments they’ll be able to determine eligibility for a variety of new equipment like lighting, thermostats, refrigerator motors, etc. Discounts for the installed equipment start at 70 percent and 0 percent financing is available for the co-pay. Many businesses are eligible for thousands of dollars in new equipment and able to dramatically reduce their utility bills. All Massachusetts utility customers pay into the fund that supports this program – take advantage of these significant savings. https://www.masssave.com/en/saving/business-rebates/facility-assessments/
  • Chelsea’s First Paw-Raid – Walk and celebration for dogs and their friends on September 9 to check out the dog park under construction at Mystic Overlook Park. Starting at City Hall Lawn at 11 a.m. and finishing up at Mystic Overlook Park.
  • Interise is the “Street-wise MBA”, a training program for established businesses. For the first time ever they’ll be hosting their training program in East Boston and focusing on the needs of businesses in Chelsea, Everett, East Boston and Winthrop. Get your business to the next level or be prepared to steer it ably through a time of transition. https://www.interise.org/
  • Cultural Assets Survey in partnership with the Cultural Council and The Neighborhood Developers – This fall we’re gathering information on Chelsea’s creative assets — both the people and the infrastructure – who make related to the cultural economy of the City. The first part of this effort is the Artist Survey, open now at https://tinyurl.com/chelseaartistsurvey and at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S7TRRLK.

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