National Night Out In Chelsea

Several organizations joined Chief Brian Kyes and the Chelsea Police Department for the celebration, including members of the second class of the Chelsea Youth Police Academy gather for a group picture.
Residents of Chelsea since 1984, Rene Thomson and her husband, Joseph Fuches, are impressed with how Chelsea has grown has a city. They were just a few of the residents who came out to Mary O’Malley Park on Tuesday night, Aug. 6, for the annual National Night Out celebration.

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Chelsea Youth Beat the Heat at Free Beach Event Hosted by save the Harbor

As temperatures soared, 300 kids beat the heat on Friday, July 19, at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Annual Youth Beach Bash & Splash at DCR’s Carson Beach in South Boston, including 25 kids from the Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chelsea.

Save the Harbor’s Youth Beach Bash and Splash featured traditional beach activities and a cookout, as well as dragon boats and kayaks and a suite of engaging environmental education and cultural enrichment activities, including fishing, crabbing and clamming, Art on the Shore, and Songs and Stories of the sea, led by Save the Harbor’s youth environmental education program staff.

“With record heat this weekend, we are lucky to have some of the cleanest urban beaches in the nation right here on Boston Harbor,” said Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s President Tani Marinovich. “All of us at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay are so proud to host this great event, and to share our great harbor and beaches with the region’s kids.”

This year’s Splash also featured Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s troupe of performing pirates, as well as aerialists, acrobats and jugglers from the Boston Circus Guild. (See Attached Photo and Caption of Boston Circus Guild with kids)

Friday’s Splash was the first of three that Save the Harbor will host this summer, thanks to their youth program partners and funders, including Leadership Grants from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, The Boston Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and Yawkey Foundationl Partnership Grants from Boston Properties – Atlantic Wharf, The Daily Catch Seaport, Davis Family Charitable Foundation, Eastern Salt Company, Inc., Engie, Fan Pier – The Fallon Company, John Hancock Financial Services, The HYM Investment Group, LLC, The Llewellyn Foundation, Massachusetts Environmental Trust, Massachusetts Port Authority, National Grid Foundation, P & G Gillette, Lawrence J. and Anne Rubenstein Charitable Foundation, William E. Schrafft & Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, and Vertex; and Stewardship Grants from Anonymous, Forrest Berkeley &, Marcie Tyre Berkley, Camp Harbor View Foundation, Circle Furniture , Comcast, Copeland Family Foundation, The Cricket Foundation, Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation, Davis Family Charitable Foundation, Elizabeth Elser Doolittle Charitable Trust, Enbridge, Tom & Lucinda Foley, Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation, Kershaw, Liberty Bay Credit Union, Lovett Woodsum Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Nicholson Foundation, RMR Real Estate Services, Rockland Trust Pavilion, Clinton H. & Wilma T. Shattuck Charitable Trust, Skanska, and Tishman Speyer.

Save the Harbor would also like to thank their Program Funders Andus Baker & Rowan Murphy Family Fund, MA Attorney General’s Office Healthy Summer and Youths Jobs Program, The Paul and Edith Babson Foundation, Beacon Capital Partners, LLC, Cell Signaling Technology, East Boston Savings Bank, Highland Street Foundation/West End House, Legal Sea Foods, Miss Wallace M. Leonard Foundation, George Lewis – Haven Trust, Pabis Foundation, South Boston Community Development Foundation, Abbot & Dorothy H. Stevens Foundation, and TD Charitable Foundation; and Supporters 3A Marine Service, The Bay State Federal Savings Charitable Foundation, Andrew Calamare & Marianne Connolly, Cresset Group, Diversified Automotive, Goulston & Storrs PC, Mass Bay Credit Union, Massachusetts Marine Educational Trust, Randy Peeler & Kate Kellogg, Matthew J. & Gilda F. Strazzula Foundation, UDR, and Kyle & Sara Warwick.

Special thanks as well to the hundreds of individual donors for their generosity and to our partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, the Boston Centers for Youth and Families and the YMCA of Greater Boston for their support.

Thanks also to the Better Beaches Program and event sponsors: the Department of Conservation & Recreation, Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation, P&G Gillette, National Grid, Comcast, Beacon Capital Partners, New England Picture, Mix 104.1, Boston Centers for Youth & Families, The YMCA of Greater Boston, The Daily Catch Seaport, Baja Taco Truck, the Blue Sky Collaborative, Keezer Sportswear, and the Harvey Traveler Collection for their support. For more information about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and their free youth and beach programs, visit their website atwww.savetheharbor.org, or follow savetheharbor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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An Excel-Lent Journey Chelsea’s Vanesa Perea Will Attend Harvard University

Vanesa Perea, who enrolled at Excel Academy East Boston in the fifth grade and graduated from Excel Academy High School in June, will begin her studies at Harvard University as a member of the incoming Class of 2023.

Admission to the world’s most prestigious college culminated an eight-year journey of educational enrichment and academic achievement for high honor roll student Vanesa Perea at the Excel charter schools, whose mission is to prepare students to succeed in high school and college, apply their learning to solve relevant problems, and engage productively in their communities.

Excel Academy High School graduate Vanesa Perea of Chelsea will be attending Ivy League school Harvard University in Cambridge

Perea, whose parents, Jose Perea and Luz Piedrahita, are originally from Colombia, was a shining example as a member of the first graduating class at Excel, which opened its new high school on Bremen Street in East Boston at the beginning of her sophomore year.

She attended the Kelly School in Chelsea through grade four before entering Excel in the fifth grade.

Many accomplishments and school activities at Excel

Excel does not select a class valedictorian or have an academic ranking system, but Vanesa’s achievements in all aspects of school life speak for themselves.

She had an outstanding grade point average and received a number of academic honors including the school’s Mathematics Award and National Honor Society Award. She was treasurer of the National Honor Society.

This year Vanesa took Advanced Placement courses in Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, Statistics, and Literature and Composition. Other AP courses were taken in Language and Composition, U.S. History, Biology, Spanish, and World History in her two prior academic years.

“I like STEM,” said Vanessa, explaining the concentration of courses in science and mathematics.

Vanesa also took her talents to the athletic fields where she competed in varsity soccer and served as team captain for two seasons. She was also a member of the Excel track team.

One of her most recognized accomplishments was founding the school newspaper, “The Howler,” and serving as editor of the publication. The school presented a graduation award named in honor of Vanesa and her classmate, Evelyn Rodriguez, the other co-founder of the newspaper. That award went to the newspaper’s founding duo.

She was the backstage director for the Music Club and served on the Student Council for two years.

Vanesa also volunteers as an English tutor for immigrants at a center in East Boston.

Receiving the acceptance letter from Harvard

Vanesa applied to Harvard in its Restrictive Early Action program. She received notification of her acceptance in December.

“December 13,” said Vanesa, recalling the day she learned that the next stop in her career would be in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “I was very excited. I called my mom and I said, ‘Mom, I did it!’

She had enjoyed the positive learning experiences at the Crimson Summer Academy and the summer classes at Harvard she took last summer in Introduction to Biomedical Ethics and Expository Writing.

She is considering a major in Biology, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics and Economics at Harvard.

“I’m going to explore a little and see which field of study I really like so that I can end up doing something that I’m passionate about,” related Vanesa, who may pursue a pre-medical school path or a future career in consulting. She has received a full scholarship from Harvard.

Praise for her teachers and college counselor

Vanesa said she was grateful to the teachers at Excel, particularly her junior-year Mathematics teacher, Sarah Hafele.

“Ms. Hafele is a lot like me – I really love math and she shares that passion,” said Vanesa. “I like math tutoring so I asked her if I could tutor some of her math students. During my senior year we started a math tutoring, honors pre-calculus program which went really well. She’s a very kind person.”

Vanesa also credited Excel counselor Nicole Repp for her assistance and guidance in the college application process (Vanesa was also accepted in to the UMass/Amherst honors program).

“Ms. Repp began advising me in my junior year and working on essay preparation and she was very helpful,” said Vanesa.

This summer, Vanesa is teaching Mathematics at the Excel Academy summer program in Chelsea.

Support and encouragement from CSC member Kelly Garcia

One of Vanesa’s proud supporters at Excel is schoolteacher Kelly Garcia, a Latina member of the Chelsea School Committee (CSC).

“I heard Vanesa’s story and I wanted to let the people know – she’s from Chelsea and she makes us all proud,” said Garcia. “There are many obstacles against us, but she is one that is breaking all barriers and stereotypes and I want her to be celebrated and recognized in her beautiful city of Chelsea.”

Garcia said she hopes Vanesa’s success story as the daughter of immigrants “will inspire students to keep working hard and know that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”

Gratitude to her parents

Vanesa’s father, Jose, is a driver for a senior center while her mother, Luz, is a teaching assistant at an early childhood learning center.

“My parents have set a great example for me with their hard work,” said Vanesa. “They are my motivation.”

Another positive role model is her older brother, Jhonatan, a Chelsea High School graduate who just received his degree in Biology from Boston University. He works at the Boston Medical Center.

“Jhonatan set a very good example,” lauded Vanesa. “I never knew the extent of how good a role model he was until I went through my own college process and realized how incredible a school Boston University is. He accomplished it first and I want to be like him.”

Looking back at her career in the Excel system, Vanessa said, “I’m very happy I attended Excel. It’s been a great experience. The people at Excel inspired me to pursue my goals.” Chelsea Soldiers’ Home awarded $100 million to replace

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Celebrate Our Rivers in June

By: Julia Blatt, Executive Director, Massachusetts Rivers Alliance

At long last, a recent weekend presented one of those pristine days that remind us here in Massachusetts why we endure those winters. With warm spring weather finally here, many of us hit the water for the first time this year, visiting local rivers. With more than 10,000 miles of rivers traversing the state, we had many choices. Sail boats blossomed on the Charles. Rowers huffed and puffed on the Mystic. Fishing rods sprouted along the Swift. Bikers and kayakers explored the Sudbury. For many people, the beautiful day meant a chance to spend on, in and around the rivers of Massachusetts.

Fittingly, June is National Rivers Month, a 30-day gala celebrating our waterways. Whether you kayak past important Revolutionary War sites on the Concord River, hike over the Bridge of Flowers on the Deerfield, draw water for local crops from the Connecticut, or depend on drinking water from the Merrimack, National Rivers Month is a time to celebrate the gains we have made in protecting these important public recreational, economic and historic assets.

National Rivers Month, however, is also a time to reflect on what remains to be accomplished. The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, the voice for Massachusetts rivers, is a statewide environmental advocacy non-profit that helps those whose lives are touched by these Massachusetts waterways (and we would argue, that’s all of us). Consider, for example, pending legislation regarding sewage overflows around the state. Very old stormwater and wastewater systems serving municipalities in the state have what are called “combined sewage overflow” (CSO) systems. Through these CSOs, stormwater and wastewater systems are physically interconnected. At times of high precipitation, stormwater run-off goes into the wastewater system and overwhelms the water treatment plants. To prevent these backups, wastewater – the sewage from your homes and businesses – is dumped directly into Massachusetts rivers. Approximately 200 of these CSO connections exist throughout the state. In Massachusetts, an estimated three billion gallons of raw sewage gets dumped into the state’s rivers each year. Swimmers, canoeists, and pets exposed to CSO contaminants are vulnerable to gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, eye or ear infections, skin rashes, hepatitis and other diseases. Children, the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems are especially vulnerable. Wildlife are also adversely affected by CSO pollutants which lead to higher water temperatures, increased turbidity, toxins and reduced oxygen levels in the water.

Everyone recognizes the problem. But it takes money to fix it, more money than is now available. Over the past two decades, Massachusetts communities have spent more than $1 billion to eliminate CSOs. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, however, that an additional $4.2 billion is needed to finish the job.

In addition to supporting efforts to increase state and federal funding to eliminate CSOs, Mass Rivers is championing a simple sewage notification bill now pending before the Massachusetts legislature. Disturbingly, there is currently no state requirement to notify the public about the presence of sewage in the water when these discharges occur.

The legislation supported by Mass Rivers would require the operator of a CSO to notify local boards of health, in addition to the state Department of Public Health, within two hours after a sewage spill begins. In addition, the public could sign up to receive these notifications, by text, e-mail, phone call or tweet. The state Department of Environmental Protection would be required to centralize all sewage spill data and make it available on the internet. Signage would be required at all public access points (for boating, fishing, beaches) near CSO outfalls as well.

National Rivers Month is a time to shake off those indoor blues and enjoy Massachusetts’

bounty of rivers. Whether you go to look for great blue herons, to fish for trout, to take your family and the dog on an afternoon paddling adventure, or simply to seek calm and quiet, our state’s rivers are there for you. To preserve these friends, and to ensure the safety of those who use our rivers, National Rivers Month should also be a time for towns and cities to insist that our legislators enact a requirement that when the waters are despoiled with sewage spills, we know about it.

Julia Blatt is Executive Director of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, the voice of Massachusetts rivers. The Alliance is a statewide organization of 77 environmental organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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Bellingham-Cary House – Slade’s Mill

By Marianne Salza

Along the edge of Rumney Marsh in the late 19th Century, Slade’s Mill was bustling. The tidal-powered factory on the creek, with its rooms fragrant with the wafting aroma of exotic spices – paprika from Spain and ginger from the Orient – was where the spice grinding industry originated.

“It was here, in an old Massachusetts mill that the most interesting step in the distribution of spices began,” said educator and historian, Jeff Pearlman. “Inside Slade’s Mill the air was golden brown from grindings of pure spices.”

During the Bellingham-Cary House Association Annual Meeting on April 27, Pearlman presented a timeline of Slade’s Tidewater Mill, explaining the connections between Revere and Chelsea. Pearlman is a member of the Revere Society for Cultural and Historic Preservation, a non-profit organization that protects and promotes the history of the Revere community.

The Town of Chelsea originally consisted of four farms, the first of which was purchased by Henry Slade, who erected the first church, bank, and City Hall on the waterfront land. In 1734, Slade began grinding tobacco and corn in the mill.

“The charter states the following,” began Pearlman. “’This mill must at all times hold itself in the readiness to grind corn for any citizen of Chelsea, provided that the corn is raised in Chelsea.’”

In 1837, Slade’s sons, David and Levi, conceived the idea of grinding spices in the mill, and began importing spices from around the world. By 1850, D and L Slade Company became the largest producer of spices in New England.

“The boys ground up a half barrel of cinnamon, slung the barrel between two poles, and trudged across the marsh to Boston,” Pearlman explained. “The cinnamon was sold to grocers, and a new industry was born: the business of spice grinding.”

First, the spices passed through magnetized steel plates to remove foreign objects, such as nails and wire. Spices were then pulverized into fine powders beneath grinding rolls. Next, the powder was lifted into continuous buckets, sifted, and loaded into barrels that were delivered to packing plants in Boston.

“Spices were not only used to stimulate jaded appetites; but their sweet, pungent odor made them useful as medicine and deodorants,” mentioned Pearlman. “Up to this time, spice had been sold to the housewife whole, and each had a hand-grinder.”

The mill was refurbished in 1918 following a fire and acquired by Bell Seasonings. In 1932, the mill was converted to electric power, and operated until July 1, 1976.

Slade’s Mill is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building was renovated in 2004, and today, Slade’s Mill Apartments contains 18 studio and one bedroom units. A museum on the ground floor exhibits original machinery, photographs, and a spice cabinet with glass and metal Slade’s and Bell containers.

“Spices are now a common household necessity. No longer are they counted as the choicest possession of the wealthy,” said Pearlman. “Men and women live longer in a spice-laden atmosphere. Perhaps there is something in the theory that spices have a beneficial effect on health and appetite of the human race. I wonder where the saying, ‘Spice of life,’ came from.”

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New Group Looks to Raise the Profile of Bicycling, Pedestrian Issues

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.

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Bunker Hill CC Changes Mascot

After more than a year of research, reflection and evaluation, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) has revealed a newly designed bulldog mascot to represent the College’s Athletics program. The new BHCC Athletics Bulldog was revealed at the College Faculty/Staff Forum on March 12.

The refreshed mascot design features a running bulldog, energetic and with its eyes focused forward, seeking success in a manner congruent with the program’s mission and consistent with the uniqueness of BHCC.

The bulldog has long been the mascot of BHCC Athletics. New Director of Athletics Dr. Loreto Jackson, who joined the College in 2017, felt that the mascot needed a refresh to better align with the College’s purpose and values. “The former bulldog had many different renditions,” explained Dr. Jackson. “The designs were not unique to BHCC, and, more importantly, did not embody the philosophy of BHCC.”

The College enlisted national brand identity firm Phoenix Design Works to assist with the mascot development. After research and discussion with department stakeholders, Jackson wanted to remove the common ideas of bulldogs—that they are mean-spirited, arrogant, combative or lazy. Instead, the BHCC Bulldog should portray respect, tenacity, a competitive spirit and loyalty. Also important was a gender-neutral mascot, unrestrained by the classic bulldog spiked collar. Bunker Hill Community College is a member of the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA), Division III. For more information on BHCC Athletics, please visit bhcc.edu/athletics.

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Councilor Luis Tejada Joins Latino Policymakers In Los Angeles for Naleo Discussions

Councilor Luis Tejada joined the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund and 50 community college trustees, municipal level officials, and state legislators from throughout the country for the NALEO National Policy Institute on Workforce Development in Los Angeles from March 29-30, 2019.

Councilor Luis Tejada.

The convening provided Luis Tejada and Latino policymakers from across the nation with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge around current workforce issues and discuss various approaches to strengthen their jurisdictions’ workforce development. Over two-days, Luis Tejada addressed ways to strengthen innovative and successful workforce development policies and best practices that drive economic success in the labor market for their constituents, communities, and regions.

Tejada, Chelsea District 2 City Councilor, said, “My need to be here was to learn how we can help ALL of our constituents have a more fruitful life and provide for our families in spite of the forces, like technology and other created future challenges, that are threatening to hold us back.”

During the Institute, Tejada networked with other Latino leaders, strengthened their governance skills, and exchanged policies and ideas around effective ways to address pressing workforce development issues. Topics addressed during the convening included:

• Preparing Latinos for the Workforce of Tomorrow: National Workforce Landscape and Projections;

• The Engine of Change and Economic Growth: Embracing Transformative Technology;

• Supporting the Current and Future Latino Workforce: Turning Skills into Careers; and

• Industry Sector Strategies: Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing and Service.

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Simon A Diamond on The Track Chelsea High Junior Star Heads to National Meet

Simon A Diamond on The Track Chelsea High Junior Star Heads to National Meet

At a certain point, it would be wise to just leave the Chelsea High record books in girls’ track blank until junior Stephanie Simon graduates.

Chelsea High junior Stephanie Simon is putting together another outstanding indoor track season this year, and will head to the National Championship meet in New York this weekend. When she’s not on the track, though, one might find her weaving in and out of the streets on her skateboard.

The champion jumper, runner and hurdler tends to break most school records, and then break her own records time and time again. At a certain point, her coaches say, they will probably fill it all in after she graduates.

Simon, 16, comes from a strong athletic family – and her sister, Martine – is the only runner to have ever beat her in a meet. Now, she has focused in on jumping events and has put together a string of wins during the indoor season this winter.

Recently, she took first place in the Division 2 state long jump, and took second place in the New England Championship meet. Earlier this year, at the multi-state Dartmouth Relays, she took first in the long jump and high jump.

This weekend, she will travel to New York City for the second year in a row to compete in the National Championship indoor meet.

But back in Chelsea, if you see a young lady cutting it up on a skateboard, that might be Stephanie Simon.

“When I’m not training or practicing, I like to ride a penny board,” she said. “I ride it everywhere, even to school. I think that’s why I can jump. I think that’s something every jumper has to have to be successful and that is being able to take a risk. You have to be willing to take a risk to throw yourself in a pit of sand or give it everything you have to flop up and over the high jump bar. It’s the adrenaline I like.”

Simon was born in Chelsea to Hubert and Mathilde Simon, who originally came from Haiti. Her older brother, Norbert, was also a track standout, as was her sister, Martine, who graduated last year. She said her younger brother, Emanuel, has potential in the 200 sprint.

She attended the Early Learning Center, the Berkowitz School, the Clark Avenue Middle School and has settled in at Chelsea High – where she keeps a 3.4 grade point average and is active in academics.

But her cool demeanor likely comes from having to contain herself on the track. Unlike with the sprints – where she also has great success within the conference meets – she said she has learned that a jumper (whether high jump, long jump or triple jump) needs to stay in control.

“Adrenaline is good for running, but for jumping you have to kind of put it in a bottle and use it to motivate you and counter it with technique,” she said. “For jumping and sprints, unlike distance running, it’s half mental and half physical.”

It will be a very important quality when she arrives at the New York City Armory this weekend with her coach, Cesar Hernandez. Last year was her first indoor national meet, and she said it was overwhelming.

“Last year, stepping into that building was so overwhelming,” she said, noting that there hasn’t been another Chelsea runner since Bobby Goss decades ago to go to nationals. “Every runner there was working hard and wanted to win. I didn’t do so well, but it made me even more determined to do better at the national outdoor meet in North Carolina last spring and I did.”

When she went to the Dartmouth Relays earlier this year, she said that same New York feeling came upon her, but she was able to shake it off, which is something she said she will do when she goes back to New York this week.

“I told myself it’s the same events and the same sand,” she said. “I was able to recover and move on.”

Amazingly, Simon was never a runner until she got to high school, unlike many top runners who have been at it since grade school.

“My freshman year I didn’t even run that first season,” she said. “I liked soccer. I was able to make varsity my freshman year. In the winter, I played basketball. Then I did outdoor track and I was really good at it. In track, there was so much support and it was like a big family. My freshman year I was trying to figure everything out. Everyone kept telling me I had more potential in track. I listened to them and I’m glad I stayed.”

Simon credited Coach Hernandez with helping her take bigger and bigger steps as a runner and, especially, as a jumper. As a raw athlete, she had talent, but she said Hernandez helped her to develop technique and pushed her not to just rely on athleticism.

“If he wasn’t my coach, I would not be doing what I’m doing,” she said. “He fits the kind of coach I need.”

She also credited her teammates for being a great support system.

She also credited her family, who she said has been very proud of her academically and in sports.

“In our family, everyone has their thing they are best at,” she said. “I guarantee I win at track.”

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Year in Review:Balancing Prosperity and Priorities

Year in Review:Balancing Prosperity and Priorities

The year 2018 saw many changes in Chelsea as the city tried to balance prosperity with priorities all year long. While new investment poured in, residents struggled to stay in the city and schools grappled with budget cuts. Meanwhile, public transit increased substantially in a positive direction with the introduction of the new Silver Line service.

• Flooding becomes a major issue after a Jan. 4 blizzard and a March 2 storm, both of which occur during substantial high tides. The Jan. 4 blizzard caused a huge storm surge that flooded many parts of the city and even shut down operations at the Chelsea Street Bridge.

• The New England Flower Exchange celebrates its first Valentine’s Day holiday at its new location on Second Street after being in Boston’s South End for the past 50 years. The new facility has been brought online seamlessly.

• Wynn CEO Steve Wynn seemed to be in control of his company and the project in Everett until late January, when he was accused of sexual misconduct in a Wall Street Journal report. The allegations quickly gathered steam, and by February Wynn had resigned from the company and the license for the Everett casino was in jeopardy and the project to be moving forward “at risk.” The new CEO became Matt Maddox and the company saw huge amounts of turnover throughout the year. By the end of 2018, the license for the Everett site was still in limbo and an investigation into the matter still had yet to be revealed – having been delayed for months.

• City Manager Tom Ambrosino says in his State of the City on Feb. 26 that now is not the time to save up money, but rather the time to continue investing in the City and its residents. He announces several key programs for the upcoming year.

• Sen. Sal DiDomenico is involved in a heated and intense bid for the office of Senate President over several months, but in the summer comes up just short in getting the votes necessary to prevail. Sen. President Karen Spilka gets the nod instead, but DiDomenico remains the assistant majority leader and ends up coming out of the battle in a very good position of leadership.

• Students at Chelsea High stage a walk-out in regard to school safety and school shootings on March 15. Despite lots of snow, thousands of students take to the Stadium for the one-hour protest.

•YIHE company returns to the City with a new plan for the old Forbes site in the Mill Hill neighborhood. They start the process in April with a scaled down version of their previous plan, but reviews of the project continue throughout the year and into 2019.

• The new Silver Line SL-3 service debuts on Saturday, April 21, in Chelsea. The service starts out a little slow, but by December the MBTA reports that ridership has exceeded its estimates.

• The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home secured a $70 million budget item from the federal government in April that allowed the replacement of the Quigley Hospital to move forward. The Community Living Center has a groundbreaking in the fall and construction is ongoing in the new year.

• The Chelsea Walk is transformed throughout the spring, summer and fall in a unique placemaking partnership between the City and GreenRoots. At the end, there is a new mural on the Walk and more activity. New things are also planned for the Walk in 2019.

• A $3.1 million School Budget gap hits the School Department hard, with numerous cuts reported to key school services. Th School Department, City and state grapple with the issue all summer long, but no resolution to the issue emerges at the end of the legislative session. The school funding fix is still outstanding, and no fix has yet been passed to help districts like Chelsea, who have been penalized mistakenly by a new formula.

• Chelsea High sophomore track star Stephanie Simon caps off a stellar year by heading to the National Track Meet in North Carolina over the summer. She placed 15th in the high jump and 27th in the triple jump out of a field of athletes from around the nation.

• Students at the Clark Avenue Middle School are ecstatic to return to school on Aug. 29, and that’s because they were able to enter their brand new building for the first time. The Clark Avenue premiered to excited parents and students for the new school term after many years of construction.

• The Sept. 4 Primary Election features many surprises, but the biggest headline of the night, however, was when Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley upset sitting Congressman Michael Capuano decidedly. Capuano had campaigned hugely in Chelsea, and won here with 54 percent of the vote. However, a strong Boston turnout propelled Pressley to an big win. Pressley also had notable support in Chelsea from Council President Damali Vidot and School Committeeman Julio Hernandez.

• The Two-Way Broadway proposal gathers steam, but fizzles out as residents and elected officials protest the change vehemently. That came after a late-August approval of the plan by the Traffic Commission. However, in September, it fails to get past the City Council. Broadway will remain a one-way street.

• Supt. Mary Bourque surprises most in late December when she announces she will retire at the end of 2019, pledging to help the School Committee with a new superintendent search throughout the year.

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