The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced several changes to the Mystic/Tobin Bridge repair project, including the one-month closure of the Everett Avenue on-ramp May 7.
MassDOT announced that since several projects in the area are coming underway – including the Alford Street Bridge, the North Washington Street Bridge, and Commonwealth Avenue Bridge in Boston – they have adjusted the Tobin work to not close a lane permanently on the lower deck northbound.
This schedule adjustment means that MassDOT will no longer be implementing a permanent lane closure on the lower deck (Route 1 northbound) from April 22 through November of this year but will instead be adjusting the width of the travel lanes in this area and utilizing off-peak lane closures. Three full lanes of travel will be in place on the bridge this year during peak commute hours.
The full list of impacts this construction season is now as follows:
Temporary off-peak lane closures on the lower deck (Route 1 northbound) from now through November 2018.
Temporary off-peak lane closures on the upper deck (Route 1 southbound) from now through November 2018.
Everett Avenue on-ramp closed at all times for one-month period beginning on May 7.
Beacon Street off-ramp closed at all times for a two-month period beginning in summer 2018.
Fourth Street off-ramp closed for a one-month period in 2019.
No more than one ramp will be closed at any given time throughout the duration of the project.
“We are investing historic levels of funding into our highway transportation system and we are seeking to do so in ways that minimize impacts on the travel public and our local communities,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Our construction teams have worked hard to optimize the schedule of operations to better accommodate travel throughout this area. We continue to encourage members of the public to learn about upcoming traffic impacts and use the appropriate tools to make the best decisions on traveling in order to reach their destinations in an efficient manner.”
This $41.6 million maintenance project involves repairing a section of the deck of the Tobin Bridge which carries traffic between the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston and Chelsea. Work is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2020 with lane closures and traffic impacts occurring during each of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 construction seasons.
Work will include steel repairs to the upper and lower decks, concrete deck work on the lower deck, followed by waterproofing, resurfacing, and installing pavement markings. Operations will also consist of utility installation, installing curbing, paving, constructing a new parking lot under the bridge between Williams Street and Third Street.
Six birds of prey that are native to Chelsea were presented during the Chelsea Public Library’s Wingmasters Bird Exhibit on April 7. Jim Parks and his partner, Julie Collier, rescue, rehabilitate, and release raptors such as eagles and osprey. The falcons, owls, and hawk displayed were born in the wild, but due to permanent injury are non-releasable; and so Parks and Collier care for them permanently.
“Ninety percent of the time the birds we rescue are releasable. They’re resilient,” said Parks. “Sometimes they are injured in such a way that their injuries can’t be fixed by any doctor.”
Parks and Collier visit 200 schools, museums, and libraries each year to educate the public about these remarkable animals. They work closely with Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton where veterinarians help Parks and Collier free most birds back into the wild.
“One of the biggest problems these birds deal with is their reputation. They’re often thought of as being dangerous,” explained Parks. “It’s good that we have birds of prey. These birds do us a huge favor by controlling the populations we want nothing to do with.”
Parks presented a four-ounce male, and a six-ounce female American kestrel falcon with cataracts. The female’s larger build is excellent for protecting her young; and her brown-shaded feathers keep her camouflaged.
“Falcons are built for speed because they hunt other birds. This is an incredibly difficult lifestyle,” Parks said. “They get high above the earth, close their wings and drop. They accelerate and capture a bird below. They can outfly every other bird in the world.”
The male falcon was picked up off the ground at three-weeks-old and hand fed. He bonded with a human and will never understand what it is like to be a wild falcon. Male falcons, built for hunting, are considered the most colorful bird of prey in North America.
“Unfortunately, this is a bird about to be added to the government’s endangered species list,” said Parks. “This is a bird running out of a place to live.”
Seven species of hawks live in Massachusetts, with the most common being the red-tailed hawk. The female red-tailed hawk that Parks exhibited was once a mile-high flyer. At 32-years-old, the six and a half-pound bird is the oldest bird that Parks and Collier have ever rescued. Her wing was shattered when she was hit by a car while hunting a rodent on the grassy median of Rt. 128 on Thanksgiving Day 13 years ago.
“A circling hawk is showing off his red tail in the sky as a way of telling other birds to go away,” described Parks. “When they’re hunting they stand in trees, keep their bodies still, and dart out feet first after their prey. Eagles and hawks have the best eyesight.”
Parks also showed an eastern screech owl, the most common owl living around us, a barred own, New England’s second largest owl, and the great horned owl, New England’s largest owl. Owls are one of the slowest and most silent flying birds in the world. They hide during the day, and hunt and nap at night; but because of their incredible camouflage often go unseen. Owls can also see eight times better at night than humans can, and use their acute hearing to locate prey.
“They are masters of deception. They know how to blend in,” said Parks. “No other bird looks like this. We stand upright, have round faces, and have eyes on the front, and so do owls.”
Parks explained that most birds are injured in their first year of life while they are still learning. He has been working with birds for 24 years; and prior to that worked at an engineering firm in Boston.
“As a photographer, I was always interested in the natural world,” explained Parks, who grew up in Lynn. “I liked all aspects of nature growing up.”
With decreasing habitats and an increasing human population, Parks hopes that more corporations will develop properties to accommodate wildlife.
“Impact injuries are sad because there are many man-made obstacles now in the world that cause them. Julie and I do what we do to give birds a second chance to live,” said Parks. “If you want to help, donate to an organization that buys land. If you don’t have a place to release a species, they won’t know where to go. Many animals cannot adapt, and that’s when you see animals fall off the map.”
Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), an academic community health-system serving Everett and Boston’s metro-north region, is teaming up with the North Suffolk Mental Health Association (NSMHA) to help get individuals struggling with addiction connected to treatment by piloting a new recovery-coach program at CHA Everett Hospital. Two coaches from NSMHA are now available to patients who struggle with addiction or present with mental health issues in the Emergency Department, inpatient psychiatry and CHA’s med-surg units.
The total number of estimated and confirmed opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts, through the first nine months of 2017, was over 1,400 – a 10-percent reduction from the same period in 2016. At the same time, from 2012 – 2016, over 70 people in Everett died from opioid misuse.
The pilot program places recovery coaches in direct contact with patients, on a voluntary basis, following an overdose reversal with naloxone, the lifesaving anti-opioid medication. The aim is to link individuals to treatment and recovery services locally. Other patients may present with medical conditions related to substance use and the recovery coach can use this opportunity to engage the patient in treatment.
“A recovery coach is a person who helps remove personal and environmental obstacles to recovery, noted Kim Hanton, director of addiction services at the North Suffolk Mental Health Association.”
“Coaches serve as personal guides and mentors supporting individual and family recovery where support networks are limited. NSMHA has incorporated this model throughout the addiction division since 2013. We are thrilled to partner with CHA sharing each of our expertise to build a continuum of support which begins at the most vulnerable time – entrance into the emergency department”
CHA’s chief of emergency medicine, Benjamin Milligan, MD, and a group of providers in the Emergency Department, including Josh Mularella, DO, Emily Adams, PA, and Christine Trotta, PA, ran the Boston Marathon last year and dollars raised through their efforts helped to fund the pilot initiative.
NSMHA’s recovery coaches are trained and certified professionals who guide or mentor patients seeking recovery support from alcohol and other drug addictions. Recovery coaches do not provide clinical services, instead they offer the critical support or link to the services and resources that a person needs to achieve and sustain recovery.
“We are excited to have recovery coaches embedded at CHA Everett Hospital and believe they will strengthen the hospital’s role as a link in patient’s long-term ‘chain of recovery,’” commented Melisa Lai- Becker, MD, site chief of emergency medicine at CHA Everett Hospital. “The ability to partner a patient immediately with a peer who is able to help them navigate to the next link in the chain is invaluable. We are optimistic that the program will have a lasting impact and we may expand the initiative in the future providing a model for a potential statewide network of peer recovery coaches.”
Immediate support when a crisis occurs is vital for effective engagement in recovery and treatment. When a patient arrives at the CHA Everett Hospital Emergency Department he/she is offered a NSMHA recovery coach during peak hours (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
Forty-year-old Lily was a vibrant, loving mother who was an organist at her church, and known for her delicious baked goods. Privately, she suffered from serious depression, self- medicating herself with alcohol. Lily’s daughter, Secretary of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, vividly remembers caring for her as a teenager, watching her mother withdraw from life before her passing.
“I’m not ashamed that the illness runs in my family. My job is to channel that adolescent anger into a professional commitment to treat addiction and mental illnesses, and not stigmatize people with chronic conditions,” said Sudders, “So often the way into treatment for people with addictions and mental illnesses is through the criminal justice system.”
Sudders shared her personal experiences with city leaders and business owners during “The Opioid Epidemic: Our Businesses & Workplaces,” on Feb. 7 at the Comfort Inn & Suites, Revere. Presented by the Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop Chambers of Commerce, and the North Suffolk Public Health Collaborative, the breakfast raised awareness about substance abuse in the workplace.
“Addiction is a disease. It is not a lack of will power. Addictions are very powerful,” explained Sudders. “We are in the middle of an epidemic in Massachusetts. This is very important to us. We are in this with you.”
Sudders recommended that employees be aware of which workers have addictions, are on the way to addiction, or have family members with addictions. These employees may often call in sick or use vacation time, but could be caring for a sick loved one.
“We want to make sure that people we work with have access to treatment and support,” Sudders said. “We are trying to expand access to treatment.”
Over the next five years, the Commonwealth and Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration will invest more than $200 million into Medicaid to increase access to residential recovery homes, treatment medications, and recovery coaches.
“I’m grateful for the connection between these three, very-close communities,” said Sudders. “They have strong legislative leaderships and great community partnerships.”
According to a December 2017 Center for Disease Control report, the opioid crises has been linked to a two-year drop in life expectancy for the second consecutive year; with opioids being the largest contributor of unintentional injuries due to overdose.
“There is a glimmer of hope,” Sudders said. “But there is still a lot of suffering and work that we need to do together.”
Although six lives are lost each day in Massachusetts from overdoses, there has been a decrease in opioid-related deaths as compared to last year. The Commonwealth has noticed a significant decline in opioid prescriptions, and a 200-percent increase in non-fatal overdoses.
“Businesses are also on the front line, just like first responders and health care workers,” said Alexander Walley, MD, Boston Medical Center. “Throughout Massachusetts people are faced with this in their own families, employees, customers, and public spaces.”
Employers were encouraged to foster a supportive atmosphere and offer resources and benefits to employees. Business owners were recommended to implement clear policies regarding leaves of absence and time off, and to seek professional advice when confronted with substance abuse-related issues.
“People in recovery can be great employees, and employers can help,” said Dr. Walley, director of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program. “Opioid use disorder is a chronic condition of the brain. Treatment works and people recover. That’s an important message.”
Explore the world of watercolors inside the Guild of Boston Artists gallery on Newbury Street, where the New England Watercolor Society (NEWS) is holding its annual Signature Members Show through March 4.
Paul McMahan from Chelsea with his painting of Preston’s Bridge
On display are a variety of styles ranging from hyperrealist to abstract, from soulful portraits to detailed images of machinery to sweeping light-struck landscapes.
The exhibit offers an exceptional opportunity for anybody to come in and appreciate the high degree of artistry and technical mastery attainable in this challenging medium.
“Watercolor is an amazingly diverse medium,” said Wendy Hale, president of NEWS and a Back Bay resident. “The palette extends from richly saturated colors to muted tones. Our members’ styles are equally varied, from the traditional Andrew Wyeth to today’s modern-edgy.”
NEWS was founded in 1885 as the Boston Watercolor Society and became the New England Watercolor Society in 1980. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious watercolor societies in America.
Some early members included American art as Thomas Allen, F. Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent and more.
The Society has grown to over 400 members from all six New England states, of which nearly 200 are signature members.
The mission of the Society is to promote the advancement of aqua media arts throughout New England and to bring exceptional paintings using both traditional and innovative techniques to a wider public.
NEWS sponsors two juried shows each year. This show features the work of the Society’s signature members. The other show is open to all water-media artists in New England (in odd-numbered years) and throughout North America (in even-numbered years).
To become a signature member, a New England-based artist must be juried into four NEWS shows within a 10-year period, including at least one North American show.
“The one thing that is unique about the Signature Members Show is that it is always held in Boston every year and is always in February,” said Hale. “People can count on it.”
This year’s exhibition judge is Frederick C. Graff, a distinguished member of the American Watercolor Society. Graff had the hard job of determining the top 10 winners out of 79 pieces. He said he determined the winners based on their impact, composition and originality.
“With watercolor you’re not going to have a perfect painting,” said Graff. “So you take the best and see what they did with the composition and with their artistic ability.”
But what it really comes down to, Graff said, “Is what is the first thing that sticks out to you when you first walk into the room? For me, I usually know right away if I think something is on the top of the awards list.”
In connection with the exhibitions, the Society sponsors receptions and award presentations, gallery talks, demonstrations, and workshops led by nationally recognized water media experts.
Community artists and other interested supporters of NEWS can join as associate members. Signature and associate members are eligible for reduced fees for workshops for the regional and North American shows.
The Signature Members Show reception will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 2 – 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public. All of the artwork on display is for sale.
New England Watercolor Society Signature Members Show, Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street, Boston, through March 4, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sundays 12-4 p.m. Painting demonstrations Sundays 1-3 p.m. Feb. 11, 18, and 25, and gallery talks Saturdays 1p.m. February 17 and 24 and March 3.
Parishioners at the St. Rose Church on Broadway have returned to put up their spectacular Christmas light display this year on the new piazza. The volunteers spent most of 2016 building out the new structure, and this year is the first year they have been able to fully decorate it for Christmas – a tradition that goes back about six years.
An electrified Nativity scene outfitted with a blazingly bright star is just one of the many spectacular light displays on the new piazza to the north of St. Rose Church – a light display that started humbly a few years ago and now has grown to great proportions.
Father Hilario Sanez said the annual display is back this year courtesy of many dedicated parishioners from the Vietnamese-speaking contingent of the Parish.
The 20 or so men dedicate their time year in and year out to build out the bright display for the community and to honor the Christmas holiday.
The effort is now made all the more special due to the piazza patio that is in place to the north of the church – a patio that supports the colorful light display even more than the previous lights.
Cuong Pham led the Vietnamese parishioners in installing the piazza in the summer and fall of 2016. Working late into the night on weekdays and weekends, parishioners built out on a volunteer basis the new structure so that the church could host better get-togethers outside.
Their dedication to the project was unmatched, as many of those working came to volunteer late into the night after working full-day shifts in the construction industry.
Now, after a year break from the Christmas lights, this month the crew of Vietnamese parishioners were back to work putting up the light spectacular.
Within the community, many have commented on the display, and noted that the City’s new Christmas lights compliment the St. Rose display perfectly – making the downtown area much more festive.
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
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.”
The 30th Annual Chelsea Chamber of Commerce $10,000 Pot of Gold is around the corner. The event will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at Anthony’s of Malden, 105 Canal Street, Malden, MA. It will be an outstanding evening filled with great networking opportunities, delicious food and Back to the 80s fun, all while supporting your Chamber. This is the longest running major fundraiser for the Chelsea Chamber! Proceeds greatly contribute to the important work the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce does for the business community in Chelsea. First prize is $10,000. Only 250 will be sold and can be purchased by Chamber members and nonmembers alike. Act now and you could be the next $10,000 Pot of Gold winner!
Chairs Sue Gallant and Arthur Arsenault are working with their committee to make the 30th Pot of Gold the best yet! The Chamber will be going back to the 80s when it all started celebrating all the iconic music, fads and outfits from that decade. Prizes will be awarded to the best outfits from the 80s! Get creative and let’s see what you can put together! Maybe you will be one of our prize winners!
We also have opportunities to purchase raffle tickets to win Megaraffle baskets that are each valued at over $500. Themed baskets include Nights on the Town with Celtics, Bruins or Red Sox tickets, Ultimate Tailgate Package and a North Shore experience to name a few. We will also raffle off an Instant Wine Cellar where one person will win enough wine to start their own wine Cellar as well as a 50/50 raffle! So many great prizes to win besides the big prize of $10,000!
Tickets are $175.00 each. The ticket price includes one entry in the drawing for a chance to win the $10,000 top prize, opportunities to win one of our many fabulous door prizes, one dinner which will include a delicious meal of surf and turf and open bar. Additional dinner tickets can be purchased for $60. Festivities start at 6:00pm with dinner at 7:00pm and the first ticket drawn at 8pm.
The Chamber would like to thank the following for sponsoring this important fundraiser for the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce:
Chelsea Bank, a division of East Cambridge Savings Bank
MGH Health Center
Arsenault & Cline, CPAs, Stop & Compare Supermarkets, Cameron Real Estate Group, Hispanic American Institute, North Shore Advisory Group
Coprico Printing, Cataldo Ambulance, Chelsea Community Cable Television, Fairmont Copley Plaza, El Planeta, Independent Newspaper Group
Sponsorships are still available. Your name will be included on the Chamber website, in social and print media and advertised throughout the event. What a great way to highlight your business to people from all over the North Shore!
Only 250 tickets will be sold, so get your tickets now! Check out the Chamber website at www.chelseachamber.org, call the office at 617-884-4877 or drop by 308 Broadway Chelsea today. Rich Cuthie, Executive Director of the Chamber, will be happy to help you pick that winning ticket number!
John J. Gerace of Acton passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 28 at UMass Medical Center surrounded by his loving family after a brief illness. He was 56 years old.
John was born on April 30, 1960 in a military hospital at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He attended Chelsea High School and was a delivery truck driver for Office Source in Burlington for 18 years. He loved movies, especially military movies, and was very interested and well read on anything military. In his spare time, John enjoyed fishing and collecting comic books. John was a devoted husband and father and will be greatly missed.
John is survived by his beloved wife of 28 years, Rita M. (McAleavey) Gerace; his daughter, Jillian A. Gerace of Acton; his father, Harry L. Gerace, Sr. of Bedford and his mother, Ruth M. (McCarthy) Gerace of Jacksonville, NC. He is also survived by his siblings: Francis X. Gerace and his wife, Martina of Winchendon, Harry L. Gerace, Jr. and his wife, Mercy of East Boston, Brian K. Gerace and his wife, Donna of Attleboro, Helen A. Gerace of Acton, Joseph A. Gerace and his wife, Ute of Jacksonville, NC, and Marion R. Jones and her husband, Anthony of Wakefield; and his godmother, Jane Benduzek of Weymouth. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Funeral services are private. A celebration of John’s life will be held at a later date. Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel, 370 Plantation St., Worcester was honored to have assisted the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association, 300 5th Avenue, Waltham, MA 01701 (www.heart.org).
Thomas R. Cromwell of Virginia Beach, Virginia, formerly of Chelsea, died early on Saturday morning, July 30. He was 58 years old.
Born in Chelsea and a resident here until moving to Virginia in 1992, Thomas worked as a chef in local restaurants including Bennigans and Houlihans.
He was the beloved husband of Maureen K. Lee of Lynn; devoted father of Thomas Richard Henry Cromwell of Lynn and Keturah Joan Jackson of Washington, DC; loving brother of Doreen Hornbeak and her husband, Steven of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Beverly Martin-Ross and her husband, Larry of Chelsea, Charlie Martin of Lynn, Maurice Cromwell of Chelsea, John Cromwell of Hubbardston, Paula Cromwell of Chelsea, John Martin and his wife, Delia of Chelsea, Richelle Cromwell and her husband, Larry of Chelsea, Joan Cromwell and her husband, Kenneth Umemba of Chelsea, Darren Cromwell and his wife, Sue of Lincoln, Gregory Carter of Medford and the late Andrea Martin. He is also lovingly survived by a host of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were by the Smith Funeral Home, 125 Washington Avenue, Chelsea.
To send a message of condolence to his family, please visit www.smithfuneralhomes.com
Several city councillors, two most prominently, are praising a process that played out on Monday night where the non-profits CAPIC and North Suffolk Mental Health appeared to answer questions from the body about how taxpayer funds are being used.
The conflict between the Council and some non-profits began several weeks ago when Councillor Damali Vidot put in for a hearing with all non-profits getting City money before passing the City Budget. That led to controversy last week when the Budget was passed prior to such a meeting taking place, in opposition to the wishes of Vidot and Councillor Judith Garcia.
Both this week said that non-profits taking City taxpayer money should be expected to come before the Council during budget time, like many City departments do, to give presentations on what the money is being used for and if its goals are being met. Both councillors said they would like to identify ways to perhaps use some of the non-profit money for other purposes.
Key to the pushback from the non-profit community was Roca, Inc. and its CEO Molly Baldwin, who submitted a front-page statement last week on the issue. Roca receives a budget earmark of $221,000 per year that is only a “just in case” expenditure. The money is part of the 10-Point Plan on Crime and was instituted as a safeguard for Roca against the loss of state grant funds. The idea is that if the state fails to fund Roca’s grant for work it does with the City, the $221,000 earmark would kick in. The money has never had to be used to date.
Roca also receives in excess of $100,000 from the City for contracted services to clean City streets and buildings with the organization’s work crews.
That said, both Vidot and Garcia told the Record that the money is tied up by the earmark and could be used for other things, such as Little League scholarships or Chelsea Pride funding or Chelsea Community Center Scholarships. They said that families with children who don’t qualify for Roca and are priced out of other activities could better use the money.
“How am I as a city councillor supposed to feel about $220,000 or any other amount of taxpayer money without knowing exactly where that money is going?” asked Vidot. “I want to know about the taxpayer dollars we spend and particularly with Roca when they have the social capital to raise money on their own. We have sports programs and parents who can’t pay to get their kids in them. It’s about transparency and accountability for all non-profits and leveling the playing field. If we catch our young people when there are impressionable, we can prevent the cycle so that they won’t require a program like Roca.”
Roca primarily serves high-risk young men who have come out of jail and are at risk for returning, as well as a young mothers program.”
Garcia agreed with Vidot and said asking questions of some of the more storied non-profits in the City doesn’t amount to an attack on them or an inquisition.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge it’s a new City Council,” she said. “It’s not an attack on any organization or Roca. We’re six new elected officials. When you present a budget to us, we want to have an understanding of each line item and how it’s being utilized. That’s not unreasonable. It’s not like in the past where they gave us the budget document and we sign off on it. Now we have this process going on. That should have happened in the first place. It’s a new Council and we should have questions. No one should be offended by that. We can’t just sign off on everything without knowing what it is.”
Garcia went on to say that the idea to spread out some of the non-profit money came from a recent event she attended at Chelsea High School. She said after the awards, six seniors were outside and seemed very upset. After inquiring, she learned that they were down because they could no longer attend the Chelsea Community Center (CCC) where they had hung out for years.
Because they had now graduated high school, they no longer qualified for the student rate and would have to pay $300, which none of them had.
“They had essentially aged out and said they didn’t have anywhere to go now,” she said. “They were standing there saying, ‘Oh my God. What are we going to do all summer.’ I talked to the CEO and he said they couldn’t afford to do much to help, but he suggested maybe a scholarship program could be put in place. I thought that was a great idea. If we can put money aside for Roca, why no come up with a grant program for this too? That is the population right now that is so vulnerable, the 17 and 18-year-olds. It’s not that we don’t want to help Roca, but maybe we can spread out that money to other kids that need it.”
Back at the City Council on Monday, CAPIC Director Bob Repucci and Kim Hanton of North Suffolk Mental Health engaged the Council for almost two hours on the new treatment on demand services being used in conjunction with Navigators to help those addicted in Bellingham Square.
So far, Repucci said, they have placed 23 people in transitional housing after a detox program and have six that are employed and paying rent.
Both CAPIC and North Suffolk receive $125,000 for their contracts with the City.
CAPIC’s Bob Repucci and North Suffolk’s Kim Hanton were two of the first non-profits in the City to appear through a new process that, each year at budget time, will have those non-profits that receive taxpayer dollars appear before the City Council to detail their programs and goals.