Economic Independence:Chelsea Among Four Housing Authorities to Receive $389,000 in Planning Grants

Economic Independence:Chelsea Among Four Housing Authorities to Receive $389,000 in Planning Grants

Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito announced a total of $389,000 in planning and predevelopment grants for Housing Authorities in Chelsea, Gloucester, New Bedford and Taunton to pursue implementation of Worcester Housing Authority-pioneered ‘A Better Life’ programming.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and State Housing Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay present a grant to City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and CHA Executive Director Al Ewing and Assistant Director Diane Cohen to help bring the ‘A Better Life’ program to Chelsea.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and State Housing Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay present a grant to City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and CHA Executive Director Al Ewing and Assistant Director Diane Cohen to help bring the ‘A Better Life’ program to Chelsea.

The program catalyzes economic independence and self-sufficiency by providing families and residents access to support services, educational opportunity and employment, while encouraging debt reduction and home ownership.

“Our administration is committed to pursuing community programming that works, and allowing others to learn from and build on its success,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Worcester’s ‘A Better Life’ program is providing families guidance and access to the services and employment or educational opportunities that allow them to move towards long-term economic independence. We look forward to seeing others implement the program for their families and communities.”

A Better Life (ABL) at the Worcester Housing Authority pairs participating families and residents with a Family Life Coach to conduct a comprehensive assessment of residents’ needs and helps to create a collaborative “family development plan.” This plan helps families map out short and long-term goals in focus areas of employment, financial literacy and education. Participants continue to receive support to discuss progress and accomplishments, and are given access to services through partner providers. Additionally, Worcester Housing Authority employs a full-time employment manager, who works with regional employers to help match participants to job opportunities.

Lt. Governor Polito joined Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay, Worcester Housing Authority Executive Director Alex Corrales and local officials in Worcester for the announcement.

“I am thrilled to announce the expansion of A Better Life, and I want to congratulate the Worcester Housing Authority on creating a program that profoundly benefits the lives of residents and families,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “These awards will give more housing authorities the resources to create their own programming that will support families on the road to economic self-sufficiency and improve access to educational, financial and employment opportunities.”

“Our public housing authorities provide critical housing in the Commonwealth, and affect the lives of thousands of families and residents,” said Chrystal Kornegay, Housing and Community Development Undersecretary. “A Better Life leverages those existing touch points, and provides profoundly effective services to residents, and we are proud to partner with housing authorities to test its effectiveness at other sites.”

Since the program was implemented in 2015, more than 200 residents have taken part in ABL. A Better Life has supported families and residents in pursuing significant accomplishments in employment, education and financial success. Employment among participants has increased by 62 percent, and they have seen an overall increase of gross annual income by 76 percent. Worcester’s participants have completed a collective 106 educational programs: 57 certifications, 12 associate degrees and five bachelor degrees. Additionally, ABL participants have reduced their overall debt by 30 percent, and those who have graduated the program have seen an even more significant reduction, at 75 percent.

These grants will give the Chelsea Housing Authority resources to design, plan, and prepare to implement the ABL program. CHA will create strategies to capture program performance, an implementation timeline and recruit service provider partners to offer critical support services to residents.

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The Next Cycle:City Will Allow Ofo Bike Service to Launch Pilot in Chelsea This Week

The Next Cycle:City Will Allow Ofo Bike Service to Launch Pilot in Chelsea This Week

By Seth Daniel

Yellow bikes are preparing to invade the City’s sidewalks and thoroughfares as the increasingly-popular ofo bike sharing service has been approved to launch in Chelsea this week.

“ofo is coming to Chelsea,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “I think they may launch this week.”

ofo is a bike sharing company based in China that has recently launched operations very successfully in Revere – where their trademark yellow bikes have seen wide-spread  usage in the rollout there this month. City Councilor Roy Avellaneda brought ofo to the attention of Ambrosino and, after a meeting, he said the City was willing to allow a 60-day pilot in Chelsea with about 150 bikes stationed in the city.

“We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “I think this concept is in some ways better because there’s no investment. HubWay wanted a major investment from the City for infrastructure and they were still reluctant to come to Chelsea. This business is far superior from that perspective. The only question is are they going to be a nuisance. As long as you they get the right numbers for the usage, I don’t think they’ll be a nuisance.”

He said there is no commitment from the City and the bikes will be removed in December and the City will evaluate the program.

ofo is one of a number of companies, which also includes HubWay that is used exclusively in Boston. However, unlike HubWay, ofo doesn’t use permanent parking stations that take up sidewalk and/or parking spaces. Instead, the bikes have a GPS monitoring system and are parked wherever the user desires. They lock up automatically and are activated using a QR code scanner on a cell phone. They are also a lot cheaper, at $1 per hour.

However, right now, Revere is the only other user in the general area, making it a potential problem to be able to ride across City lines to Everett or East Boston.

Ambrosino said they are leaning towards a regional carrier that will be determined by a Massachusetts Area Planning Council (MAPC) Request for Proposals. He said connectedness is likely very important on this issue.

“I think the goal is to have what the region goes with,” he said. “MAPC will put out an RFP for a regional user. They will select one company so there is interoperability between cities and towns. I think we’ll be wanting to use  the same one in Chelsea. You can’t have one in Boston and one in Revere and one in Chelsea…We’ve told ofo that’s where Chelsea wants to go.”

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Councilor Vidot Endorsed for At-Large City Council Seat by Mass Alliance

Councilor Vidot Endorsed for At-Large City Council Seat by Mass Alliance

Mass Alliance, a coalition of political organizations dedicated to making Massachusetts more progressive is proud to announce their endorsement for their Rising Stars Program of Damali Vidot for Chelsea City Council.

“We are proud to endorse for our Rising Stars Program, Damali Vidot for Chelsea City Council,” says Mass Alliance Executive Director Jordan Berg Powers.  “We know that Damali is going to continue to put the community first, focusing on what it will take to move Chelsea forward. We are excited to join Chelsea voters in supporting Damali.”

Damali Vidot, current City Council Vice President shared her message of One Chelsea, a vision of a more inclusive and participatory government. Committed to reinvigorating residents in local issues such as development without displacement, supporting Chelsea Youth and maintaining an authentic voice for all residents on the Council.

Councilor Vidot, ran a spirited campaign in the last Municipal Elections. She topped the ticket in the Preliminary and finished in the General with an impressive show of support in one of the highest voter turnouts in a municipal electoral race the city of Chelsea had seen in years.

“I am thankful to Mass Alliance and their members for their continued support. Mass Alliance has an endorsement process that holds candidates and elected officials to a high standard. Their renewed support for me in this second term means a lot, given that I am always working hard to learn more about local and state issues and they have been a rich resource for me and my leadership”. Vidot shared.

From re-establishing the Chelsea Youth Commission, kicking off The Movement with other Chelsea Leaders, as well as advocating against development that does not put residents first, she continues to be an emboldened and fierce advocate that is bringing many disengaged residents back into the many conversations that continue in building a city that is representative of all.

Although Damali is running unopposed, she did open a headquarters where she is making phone calls to voters, along with door knocking with supporters; continuing that same spirited campaign that she insists is essential in continuing to build community and engage with all residents as the general election nears on Tuesday, November 7th.

Mass Alliance is a coalition of political and advocacy groups that fights for a more progressive Massachusetts.  Their member organizations advocate on a wide variety of issues, including civic participation, civil rights, economic justice, education, environmental issues, healthcare, reproductive rights, and worker’s rights.

Mass Alliance provides clear leadership for the progressive community, cultivates and empowers progressive leaders, and assists them in ultimately winning their elections.

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Henry Wilson Announces Candidacy for District 5 Seat on City Council

Henry Wilson Announces Candidacy for District 5 Seat on City Council

Since I announced my candidacy for District 5 City Councillor, I have had the opportunity to speak and meet with many of you about your vision for the district. Each conversation has reminded me once again that our city’s greatest asset is our people.

Whether you live on Beacon, Ash, Cottage, Chester Avenue, or Lynn Streets, we all share a common commitment to doing everything we can to make our community and district stronger.

For over 20 years, I have lived here in our great city and district as a homeowner, and as a community activist, one that cares deeply in the direction that our city is heading.

As an activist along with other concerned residents, we were able to lower the speed limit in our city to 25 miles per hour. Also we were able to make our streets safer by working with City Hall and others to raise the streets to their highest levels to help combat the safety concerns of our residents. In addition I have been a strong advocate of a healthier and cleaner Chelsea. Having been a member of the Chelsea Enhancement Team, Chelsea Shines, and the Beautification Committee, and a supporter Green Roots,  the city is looking much better. The air quality is getting better, and both the homeowners and business owners are maintaining their properties better, all because of the commitment and hard work of concerned residents and myself.

Yes, there is still much more work to be done in our district. Being a current member for eight years on Planning Board, one of several of my concerns is to make sure that our residents are being forced out of their city that they have called home for many years. I also want to make sure that all new developments have fair and adequate affordable housing both at rental price and percentage of housing units.

With the recent Inclusionary Zoning Ordiance of 30, 50, 80, this will will help to insure housing for our residents. Being involved with the Re-Imaging process of the Downtown Business District, we are in desperate need of housing in this area. I will work hard to make sure that our city does not become an unaffordable city for those who choose to live here.

I will continue to make sure that City Hall and all departments are fiscally sound. I am committed to working with all departments, item by item, prior to and during the budget hearings. I will look to see where we able to save our residents money.

I am running because I want to be your voice at City Hall. As a district, we deserve a leader that is ready to work on Day 1. I am a person that is committed to the district and willing and able to vote with the residents that you are to serve.

District 5 deserves a councillor that wants to help lead our city and district. I believe that our city is on the verge of receiving amazing and wonderful opportunities. We as residents have an opportunity to grab this moment and move forward stronger together. This is why as District 5 city councillor, I will be committed to helping to continue rebuilding our city, preparing and giving our youngest residents the tools they need to succeed in their future goals. I will never stop working for you as a resident and as your city councillor.

If you believe in this vision for our city’s future – one of working together, growth, affordable housing, cleaner and safer neighborhoods, and preparing our future leaders – then I hope you will consider becoming part of our campaign.

Please vote for Henry David Wilson on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

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Obituaries 10-12-2017

Obituaries 10-12-2017

John Buzderewicz

Of Quincy, formerly of Chelsea

John W. Buzderewicz passed away on Friday, September 22 at the Boston Medical Center in Boston after a long and ongoing illness.   He was 69 years old.

The beloved husband of

Marylou Kemp-Buzderewicz, he was born and raised in Chelsea, a son of the late

Joseph S. Buzderewicz, Sr. and Dorothy (Seeley) Buzderewicz. John attended school in Chelsea and graduated from Chelsea High School. He enlisted in the US Navyand served honorably during the Vietnam Era.   He was a resident of Chelsea for mostof his life and resided in Quincy for the past 18 years.   He worked for many years as asalesman for Eagle Electric Supply in Boston and later for Controller Services in Avon before retiring several years ago.

He was a member of the PPC of Chelsea and theChelsea Yacht Club where he was a past board director and past vice commodore. Hewas also a member of the American Legion Nickerson Post 382 in Squantum.

In his lifetime, John was a devoted husband to Marylou and doting grandfather of five, he enjoyed boating and socializing with his dock buddies at his yacht club.

He is survivedby his beloved wife of 11 years, Marylou Kemp-Buzderewicz; two cherished stepsons and their wives; Kenny Kemp and his wife, Christine of Billerica and Scott Kemp and his wife, Marina of Byron, MN.   He was the adored grandfather “DziaDzia” and “Buzzy” to Jody, Jack and Kevin Kemp, Kealie and John Kemp; dear brother of Francis “Frannie”Buzderewicz and his wife, Pat of El Mirage, AZ, Robert Buzderewicz and his wife, Carla of Maine, Richard Buzderewicz of Chelsea and David Buzderewicz and his wife, Doreen of Hampton, NH, and the late Joseph S. Buzderewicz, Jr. He is also survived by severalloving nieces and nephews and extended family members.

Relatives are most kindly invited to attend a memorial gathering and remembrance service on Thursday, October 19 beginning at 12 noon at the

Frank A. Welsh & Sons Funeral Home, 718 Broadway, Chelsea. A prayer service will be begin at 1 p.m. concluding with military honors. In tribute to John’s love of boating on the “Sea Eagle,”those attending his last “Bon Voyage” are requested to dress with casual nautical attire. The Funeral Home is fully handicap accessible, ample parking opposite Funeral Home.

For directions or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com

Anthony Memorial – Frank A. Welsh & Sons Chelsea, 617-889-2723

Betty Pisano

Of Boston’s North End

Betty (Goldmeer) Pisano of Boston’s North End died on October 4.

She was the beloved wife of the late Pasquale “Pat” Pisano; devoted mother of Cecile Leone and her husband, Luigi of Kingston, Marsha DeSantis and her husband, Phil of Marshfield, Denise Cipoletta and her husband, Joe of Florida, Elissa Pisano of Lynnfield and Roxane Bangs and her husband, Frederick of Lynnfield; dear sister of Joseph Goldmeer of Arizona and the late Charlotte Rasmussen and Morris Goldmeer; cherished grandmother of nine including the late Patrice Gioia, adoring great grandmother of 19, and great great grandmother of one great great grandchild.  She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements were by the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home, Revere.   Interment was private. For guestbook, please visit www.Buonfiglio.com

LTC Alfred A. “Smilin’ Al” Alvarez

Had long and distinguished military career

LTC Alfred A. “Smilin’ Al” Alvarez (retired) passed away at home on Monday, July 31 at the age of 93 surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on April 25, 1924 in Chelsea and was predeceased by his parents, Fred and Clara Alvarez and his older brother, Frederick.  Losing his father at the age of six, his widowed mother raised three children during the Depression.  Excelling at school, he skipped the sixth grade and was later editor of the High School newspaper.  Attending Northeastern University, he joined the US Army shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and after stateside training joined the First

Infantry Division in England.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, he went ashore on Omaha Beach, Normandy and fought his way inshore.  Following the Normandy landing, he participated in numerous battles including “Hurtgen Forest” and “the Battle of the Bulge.”  He ended the war in Europe in Czechoslovakia in 1945.

Following his commission from OCS in 1949, he served two combat tours in the Korean War.  In 1965, he served 18 months in the Dominican Republic conflict, then in 1967 he was in Bolivia confronting “Che Guevara” terrorists.  In 1968-1969 as a LTC in the 7th Special Forces “Green Berets,” he served a combat tour in Vietnam where shortly after arriving in-country the helicopter he was riding in was hit by enemy fire and forced to make an emergency landing.  He returned stateside and served in the XVIII ABN Corps until retiring in 1974 after 32 years in the Army.  Following his retirement from the army, he served as North Carolina State Regional Director of Human Services and later as Cumberland County Master Planner, where he directed personnel assets for the local community.

Taking a plunge into retail merchandising, he was general manager of “The Capitol” department store.  In addition to his normal work routine, he found time to help with education efforts at FTCC where he taught soldiers management subjects.

On the weekends, he served as a radio talk show host and later was successful writing and publishing military short stories.  Inducted into the US Army OCS Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Georgia in 2003 as well as selected as Military Analyst for National Geographic Society tours to France and England for D-Day 60th remembrance in 2004.  He was honored at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans and named “Chevalier of the French Legion of D’Honneur” by the French government in 2008.  He received the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine” from North Carolina Governor Holshouser.  A charter member of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, he served as docent and participated in various speaking assignments to local and regional audiences.

His awards include: Combat Infantry Badge, Legion of Merit, (2) Bronze Stars for valor with Oak Leaf Clusters, Master Parachutist, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Presidential Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Gliderist Badge, Army Occupational Medal (Germany – Japan), Belgian and French Fouragere, Vietnam Service and Campaign Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Pacificador – Brazil Medal,  Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (1st  OLC) and 14 Battle Stars.

He is survived by his sister, Mary (age 97), his wife, Florence (to whom he was married for 68 years), his son, Commander (USN, Ret.) Michael and his wife, Catherine, daughter, Colleen Wellons and her husband, William, son Kevin and his wife, Cynthia and son, Sean and his wife, Amy.  In addition, he leaves 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

 A true warrior who put country first in time of war, in peacetime he was happiest surrounded by family and friends and will forever be fondly remembered for his sense of humor and stories.

“ Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life, you don’t have to live forever, you just have to live … And he did.”

A memorial service was held on Saturday, August 5.  Burial with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, December 20 at 3 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the “Airborne and Special OPS Museum” or to the” Veterans of Foreign Wars.” “Good Night Sweetheart.”

Arrangements are by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home.

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Helping Puerto Rico

Helping Puerto Rico

CHEL_20171005_A1

Carmen Cruz prays for friends and family in Puerto Rico during the vigil and donation drive on Thursday, Sept. 28, to aid in the relief effort for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Chelsea Collaborative and Teamsters Local 25 organized the event, with many community partners. Teamsters Local 25 is donating trucks and drivers to transport the relief items Hurricane Maria has devastated the island, with an overwhelming majority of the 3.4 million residents still without power as of last week, and officials struggling to get food, water, fuel and needed supplies to everyone in need.

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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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Many Puerto Ricans in Chelsea Stay Busy to Keep Positive

Many Puerto Ricans in Chelsea Stay Busy to Keep Positive

By Seth Daniel

On Monday morning, Margarita Nievez kept busy folding a sheet and some clothing that was set to be trucked out to New Jersey – and later to Puerto Rico.

The day before, she and her friends helped load rice onto pallets.

Last Thursday evening, they participated in a vigil at City Hall, and then helped collect more food that was loaded onto trucks provided by the Teamsters Local 25. That collection was also being shipped to Puerto Rico.

For Nievez, it’s all about staying busy and keeping her mind off her home island, which has been wiped out by two hurricanes this month, most recently Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20.

“It feels good to help here and not think about it,” said Nievez on Monday while  folding a sheet at the Chelsea Collaborative. “They are suffering down there from not having food and water. They could be dying now.”

She began to tear up, and then went back to her work.

Nievez said she has family in Ponce and Comerio – among other remote places that were hit directly.

“I haven’t heard anything from any of them,” she said. “I don’t know where they are.”

Maria Figueroa has a sister in Mayaguez, and she said it has been encouraging to see the community in Chelsea band together so quickly to help.

Indeed, Chelsea historically has one of the largest Puerto Rican communities in the Northeast per capita, and so such a devastating impact on many in the City.

On Monday, Chelsea Police officers and Public Works crews were stationed in the Collaborative racing against the clock to load everything up before the tractor trailer arrived at 3 p.m.

Thousands of pounds of food waited in a hallway.

“I’ve been here doing something from last week until now,” said Figueroa. “Thank God everyone is helping each other. Different cultures and different races are all coming together.”

As they worked, David Rodas came through the doors to bring a variety of rice bags, water and canned goods.

“I’m not even Puerto Rican,” he said. “I’m from El Salvador, but we’re all humans and I see people in need. This is what you do.”

Collaborative Director Gladys Vega said keeping busy has helped her, and helped many like Nievez and Figueroa.

“It’s a way of them coping with what they see on TV,” she said. “They don’t want to sit around the house and not do anything and not know what’s happening. So, I’ve had a lot of people who have showed up and wanted to help since last week. They fold clothes, organize food, or whatever they can do.”

Cutline –

Margarita Nievez folds a sheet at the Chelsea Collaborative on Monday while Leanna Cruz organizes clothing in the background. Many Chelsea residents who have family in Puerto Rico haven’t heard any news of their whereabouts since the devastating Hurricane Maria struck on Sept. 20. To cope, they keep busy.

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MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy

A member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique in Chelsea, pleaded guilty on Sept. 28 in federal court in Boston to RICO conspiracy involving the attempted murder of a rival gang member.

Domingo Tizol, a/k/a “Chapin,” 23, a Guatemalan national who resided in Chelsea, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, and admitted responsibility for the attempted murder of a rival 18th Street gang member in Chelsea in May 2015. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Jan. 4, 2018. Tizol is the 17th defendant to plead guilty in this case.

On May 26, 2015, Tizol and, allegedly, Bryan Galicia-Barillas, a/k/a “Chucky,” another MS-13 member, repeatedly stabbed an 18th Street gang member on Bellingham Street in Chelsea. The victim survived the attack.

After a three-year investigation, Tizol was one of 61 defendants named in a January 2016 superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. According to court documents, MS-13 was identified as a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder gang rivals whenever possible.

The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  According to the terms of the plea agreement, the parties will recommend that Tizol be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Tizol will also be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner Thomas Turco of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Thompkins; Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Chelsea Police Chief Brian A. Kyes; Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie; Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary; Revere Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli; and Somerville Police Chief David Fallon made the announcement.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations and the remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Recupero Celebrates New Crossing Light as Opponent Drops out of Race

Recupero Celebrates New Crossing Light as Opponent Drops out of Race

By Seth Daniel

For at least three years, Councillor Giovanni Recupero has been pleading for a pedestrian crossing light on Marginal Street so as to make getting to the new PORT Park safe.

With tractor trailers and vehicles of all types flying down the thoroughfare, reaching the new park is very dangerous, especially for a child or a mother with a stroller.

For all those three years, he was told to find the money and maybe he could get it.

Well, he did, and last Monday night, Sept. 25, the crossing area was voted in by the City Council.

“This is one of the best things I have done,” he said. “I worked very hard for this. It took me three years. There was no funding, they said. Well, I found the funding. Now we have it.”

With the money he found, and a significant amount of extra funds allocated due to cost overruns, the signal is now designed and ready to be installed in the spring, hopefully in time for next summer.

Recupero identified $145,000 in funds from the Eastern Salt mitigation fund that came in 2007 as a result of adding the second salt pile. Part of that money went to the Highland Park Field, and some was left over.

Recupero said that’s the money he found.

However, earlier this month, City Manager Tom Ambrosino reported that a major increase in the cost had occurred. The design and construction had gone from $145,000 to $402,000 due to the signal being far more expensive that estimated.

However, Ambrosino still supported it.

“Although this is a major change in scope, I still feel this signalization is a worthwhile effort,” he wrote. “If we want pedestrians to get safely to the park from the abutting neighborhoods, the new scope of work is essential.”

The additional funding of $257,000 was voted in by the Council Sept. 25 as well.

For Recupero, it’s a double celebration as on Monday his opponent, Kris Haight, withdrew from the Council race.

Haight, a public transportation advocate, said his work was too demanding to also give attention to a Council position.

“After great consideration, I have decided to bow out of the Chelsea City Councilor’s race,” he wrote in a statement. “I am dropping out for a number of reasons, but time and effort is the biggest one. My day job has become a bear, to the point where I am going non stop most of the day. I’m just exhausted when I get home, let alone have to get on my feet to canvass for a few hours to meet the voters.”

He said the demands of his job would not allow him to be an effective councillor, and if elected, that wouldn’t be fair to the residents.

He said he is no longer a candidate.

Recupero said he is running and hopes the voters notice the things he’s done, such as the pedestrian crossing signal, and believe he’s doing a good job for them at City Hall.

“It would be my honor and pleasure to continue representing the people of District 6 for another term,” he said. “I will try my hardest, and I hope they will help me get back to City Hall for another term.”

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