One might have seen the colorful paint job
on the gazebo at Bellingham Square and wondered what it was all about.
Well, it’s more than just a colorful paint
Rather, it is the first step in what business and City leaders hope will be a coordinated plan for the downtown business district – a plan that has already gained the confidence of state government with Chelsea getting two $20,000 grants to further the project along.
TDI Fellow Carlos Matos, Chamber Foundation President Sergio Jaramillo, Councillor Leo Robinson, and new CHISPA BizLab coordinator Deise Paraguay in front of the newly-painted gazebo in Bellingham Square
Carlos Matos, a fellow assigned to Chelsea
from the MassDevelopment Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) program,
said the gazebo was just the first piece of several placemaking initiatives
they hope to achieve with the Chamber, a new business lab dubbed CHISPA BizLab,
and the Chamber Foundation – among many other partners.
“The gazebo was the beginnings of this
placemaking and focusing attention on the downtown,” he said. “It’s bright and
like the things you’ve seen in Boston. We studied it and these are designs that
will resonate with residents of Central America and South America in shape and
color. They will also appeal to everyone because it adds color and vibrancy to
“The initiative is working well so far,”
said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “Hopefully, progress will continue in our
efforts to revitalize the Downtown.”
Sergio Jaramillo, who is a long-time Chamber
member and the new president of the Chamber Foundation, said they hope to use a
coordinated approach to bring life to the downtown, help businesses and make
downtown Chelsea a place to be.
“Our desire is to have Chelsea be a
destination point for the region – just like Chinatown and the North End and as
it is becoming in East Boston,” he said. “We want to have Chelsea be that place
they want to come to because of the activities and food and quality of life
that is here…Jay Ash was great for building up the coffers of the City again
and building up Everett Avenue. I think now we are on the cusp and ready to do
the other half of the city.”
Added Matos, “There are great opportunities
on Everett Avenue and the question is now how do we transform them from
isolated goals to a greater economic impact and draw them to the downtown for
that greater economic impact. That’s the challenge we’re working on now.”
An extension of the gazebo branding effort,
now being dubbed ‘Chelsea Centro’ as a test run – complete with bags and
buttons as promotional tools, is a $20,000 grant from the state that will bring
the same bright color scheme to Luther Place – where the successful Night
Market has been held twice this summer.
The parking lot/market will be painted in
bright colors, and also be painted to accommodate basketball or street soccer –
giving it many different opportunities for activation. That will be
supplemented by murals on the walls in the same color scheme, and sun shades to
protect from the summer heat. That grant is supported by a $55,000 matching
grant from the Chamber, which will also help to provide programming for the
Chamber Executive Director Rich Cuthie has
been very excited about the branding of the downtown using the grant and the
Chamber’s resources. He said, like Jaramillo, that the district is on the cusp
of something very exciting. That is particularly the case for the storefront
improvement program, which has been paved by the passing of new storefront
regulations by the City Council this year.
Part of that will be financed by the new
CHISPA BizLab, which the state awarded a $20,000 grant to start. That will be
supplemented by a $6,000 grant by the Chamber Foundation.
Meaning “spark” in Spanish, CHISPA will help
to provide small business technical assistance and advocacy for Latino
businesses. It will also serve as a business incubator for new startups in
Chelsea’s business district. That assistance will particularly go towards
helping the food-related businesses in the district.
Already, CHISPA director Deise Paraguay has
started talking to local businesses, officially beginning on July 15. Right now
she said she is listening and learning – trying to bring everyone together. She
will also act as the organizer of all of the projects involved with the
Jaramillo said they have hired a company to
fly a drone up and down Broadway to highlight the district. Similarly, they
have contracted with a professional kitchen to bring in all of the restaurant
owners from Broadway to consult with professional chefs. Using traditional
recipes, they will work to invigorate their menus and give them new life.
Jaramillo said he is confident that in a few
years, the new efforts will all pay off with an enlivened and exciting downtown
for residents and those who want to come to Chelsea as a destination.
“I see in a few years that we will have an
opportunity for the business community to capture a new market,” he said.
“There will be more going on here and it will be more visually interesting for
residents and visitors coming here. When people say, ‘Where should we go to
dinner?’ They will say they want to go to Chelsea. Creating places where people
want to live and visit is the best thing to do.”
Added Matos, “A
lot of people are clamoring for authenticity in the places they go to. The
places in Cambridge and Somerville are maybe lacking that. We think Chelsea has
that authenticity you want and can’t get anywhere else. We want to highlight
that, and that’s what we are setting out to do now.”
Boston University awarded academic degrees
to 6,902 students in May 2019.
Receiving degrees were Richard Jean
Baptiste, Master of Laws in Graduate Taxation; Jorge W. Baptista, Master of
Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences; Sara Beqo, Bachelor of Science
in Health Science, Cum Laude; Jhonatan Perea Piedrahita, Bachelor of Arts in
Biology, Spec. in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology & Genetics; Raymond
Novaes, Master of Science in Global Marketing Management; Ada G. Avila, Master
of Social Work in Social Work; Makieya M. Kamara, Master of Science in
Nonprofit Leadership; Mathew C. Renik, Bachelor of Science in Business
Administration in Business Administration and Management; Lindsay B. Zimnoch,
Master of Theological Studies in Biblical and Historical Studies.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an
internationally recognized institution of higher education and research.
Consisting of 16 schools and colleges,
BU offers students more than 250 programs of study in science and engineering,
social science and humanities, health science, the arts, and other professional
disciplines, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the
University’s research and teaching mission. With more than 33,000 students, BU
is the fourth-largest private university in the country and a member of the
American Association of Universities (AAU), a nonprofit association of 62 of
North America’s leading research-intensive institutions.
Local Students Receive Bachelor’s Degrees from UMass Amherst
Approximately 5,500 students received
bachelor’s degrees in over 100 majors at the University of Massachusetts
Amherst’s Undergraduate Commencement on May 10, 2019 at the McGuirk Alumni
Below is a list of students from your area
who earned a degree.
The second Chelsea Night Market will take place this Saturday evening, July 13, in the parking lot of Luther Place – bringing a wide range of food, vendors and live music to an enlivened downtown.
The first Night Market seized upon momentum
built by the Pupusa Fiesta in April, and coordinators believe they’ll have
another great crowd to bring foot traffic and excitement after hours.
This month, DJ Tempo Suave will return, and
there will also be two live bands performing.
Sus will perform a variety of 70s rock and
funk tunes, while The Group Activity looks to bring something new and exciting
to the table – and one might find themselves in the act by the end of the
The band describes its act as, “The band
blends folk, blues, and reggae to bring you a well-planned and often-improvised
musical experience that relies on you for co-creation.”
The Chelsea Public Library will be on hand
to coordinate children’s’ activities this time around, and organizers are
excited to bring that to the Market.
We’re excited to be joined for all the
upcoming markets by teams from the
Food vendors are:
•Eloti with the summer’s best corn on the
cob served up Latino style.
•North East of the Border with a variety of
•Chung Wah, the downtown’s own Asian
•C&C Artisan Olive Oil with high quality
imported Olive Oil, who will offering samples of their varieties to help you
choose a bottle to take home.
Craft vendors are:
•Omis World presented by Chelsea’s own Noemi
Torres with thrift shop items to buy or trade. In that same vein All
Planets is also selling vintage clothing while Channel 94 sells clothes
specifically from the 90s.
•Aldea Maya, selling beaded hummingbirds
made by women in the Lake Atitlán region of Guatemala.
•Crafts and fine art from CBenjamin Art,
Jeremy Veldhuis Illustration and Pan + Scan Illustration. Items from these
vendors includes art prints, shirts, coasters, stickers, paintings, postcards,
•Pamper yourself with handmade soap from
Unwind Soaps and soy candles by Wicked Sisters.
Finally, local artist Nirvanna Lildharrie
leads an interactive art showcase. Meanwhile, outreach and engagement
activities will be led by representatives from the Appalachian Mountain Club,
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, and Phoenix Charter Academy.
The July Night Market runs from 7-10 p.m. on
Luther Place (behind the Chelsea Walk).
Looking ahead to
the August market, organizers are celebrating all things human powered on
wheels. Bring a skateboard, bicycle, tricycle, scooter, or wheelchair.
We’re anticipating some jaw-dropping performances by trick riders.
MassBike will be on hand for free bike tune ups and simple repairs.
This is a brief overview of construction
operations and traffic impacts for the Tobin Bridge/Chelsea Curves
Rehabilitation Project. MassDOT will provide additional notices as needed for
high-impact work, temporary ramp and street closures, and changes to traffic
configurations beyond those described below.
•No Work on July 4
No work will take place on Thursday, July 4
for the Independence Day holiday.
*Route 1 Northbound: Approaching the
Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the righthand lane. 2 of 3
travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. –10 p.m.) and at least 1
travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m.–5 a.m.).
*Route 1 Southbound: Approaching the
Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the right-hand lane
at the Carter Street off-ramp. Just beyond the Carter Street on-ramp, the
travel lanes shift to the right. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during
daytime hours (5 a.m. –10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during
overnight hours (10 p.m.–5 a.m.).
*Ramps: All on- and off-ramps will
remain open at this time.
*Local Streets: The Spruce Street
temporary reconfiguration will remain in place for approximately 2 months.
•Preview of Upcoming Traffic Impacts
*Beginning on Monday, July 15, the Fourth
Street off-ramp will close for 1-2 months for required steel repairs,
structural rehabilitation, and safety improvements.
*Most work will occur in during daytime
working hours (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take place during
afternoon (2 p.m.–7 p.m) and overnight hours (9 p.m.–5 a.m.) and on Saturdays
(6 a.m.–2 p.m).
Summary of Work Completed
*In the two weeks prior to June 30, crews
shifted traffic to create continuous work zones, formed bridge deck, cured
concrete, repaired steel, bridge deck, and joints, installed a dust containment
system, power washed and excavated around support column footings, and placed
Description of Scheduled Work
*Route 1 Northbound: Form bridge deck,
place and cure concrete, and repair steel, bridge deck, and joints. Clean water
from a hydrant will be used to cure the concrete and may drip off the structure
due the condition of the existing drainage system on the bridge. Crews will
also remove asphalt and begin bridge deck demolition in the right-hand side
workzone through the Chelsea Curves.
*Route 1 Southbound: Weld and paint new
*Underneath the Structures: Replace and
paint steel, continued installation of dust containment system, power wash and
paint columns and support beams, excavate, drill, and grout around the support
columns, and place concrete columns.
Drivers should take care to pay attention to
all signage and move carefully through the work zone. Police details, changes
in lane markings, temporary controls such as barriers and traffic cones,
signage, and other tools will be used throughout the project to control traffic
and create safe work zones.
The contractors are coordinating with local
event organizers and police to provide awareness and manage traffic impacts
during events. For your awareness, during this look-ahead period, the following
events are scheduled:
*Boston Pops July 4th Fireworks
Spectacular (Charles River Esplanade): July 3 at 8:30 p.m., July 4 all day
Sox (Fenway Park): June 30 at 10:10 a.m., July 12 at 7:10 p.m., July 13 at
Route 1 Northbound:
Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the righthand
lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. –10 p.m.)
and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m.–5
Route 1 Southbound:
Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the
lefthand lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m.
–10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10
Ramps: All on- and
off-ramps will remain open at this time.
Local Streets: The
Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration will remain in place for approximately
Most work will occur in
during daytime working hours (6 a.m – 2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take
place during the afternoon (2pm – 7pm) and nighttime working hours (9 p.m. – 5
a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
There will be no work on
Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.
Summary of Work Completed
In the two weeks prior to
May 19, crews implemented additional lane closures to establish the median work
zone, installed new drainage in Carter Street parking lot, and prepared,
painted, and repaired portions of the bridge deck and joints.
Description of Work
Route 1 Northbound:
Demolish and excavate grid deck concrete fill, power wash grid deck, repair
bridge deck and joints, clean and weld new deflector plates.
Route 1 Southbound:
Install negative pressure containment system, powerwash and excavate around
support column footings, install micropiles, conduct surveys, upgrade
utilities, and deconstruct the median barrier.
Local Streets: Prepare and
pave new Carter Street parking lot.
The North Washington
Street Bridge Replacement is also underway which requires local traffic
impacts. For information or to sign up for project-specific construction
look-aheads like this one, visit the project website.
Drivers should take care
to pay attention to all signage and police details and move carefully through
the work zone. Police details, changes in lane markings, temporary controls
such as barriers and traffic cones, signage, and other tools will be used
throughout the project to control traffic and create safe work zones.
The contractors are
coordinating with local event organizers and police to provide awareness and
manage traffic impacts during events. For your awareness, during this
look-ahead period, the following events are scheduled:
Playoffs (TD Garden): To be scheduled
Red Sox (Fenway
Park): May 19 at 1:05 p.m., May 27 at 4:05 p.m., May 28 at 7:10 p.m., May 29 at
Boston Calling Music Festival (Harvard Athletic Complex): May 24 –
BHCC Honors Class
of 2019 at 45th Commencement Ceremony
On Thursday, May 23, Bunker Hill
Community College (BHCC) awarded 1,754 degrees and certificates to the
Class of 2019 at the 45th Commencement Exercises.
BHCC President Pam Eddinger opened the
ceremony with the annual “ritual of gratitude,” where
graduates thank family and friends in attendance for their support
throughout their educational journey. Eddinger also reflected on the cultural
wealth of the graduates and how it left a positive impact on her as College
“I am braver today because I have learned
from your struggles and have seen your courage,” said Eddinger. “I am more
hopeful, because you have shown me, in your multiple languages, your ancestral
songs, and your lived experiences that while life can be harsh, it is also
limitless and ever-renewing.”
Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher
Education Carlos E. Santiago delivered the keynote address. In his remarks to
the graduates, he encouraged the graduates to use their education to give back
to their communities. “Your communities benefit from your time and
talents,” he said. “As students at our community colleges, you are uniquely
connected to your cities and towns. I urge you to stay connected – to hold
tight to your civic compass. Let it point you to where you can make a
Santiago also received the President’s
Distinguished Services Award in recognition of his extraordinary service to the
community and BHCC. Santiago has served as Commissioner of Higher
Education since July of 2015. Santiago has made a great impact on important
issues affecting the BHCC’s students; in particular his commitment to equity in
higher education is something that resonates with us at the College.
The BHCC Nurse Education
Department was awarded with the Trustees Distinguished Service
Award, presented by William J. Walczak, Chair of the BHCC Board of
Trustees. The department was recognized for the success of its
collaborative leadership, steadfast resolve and decisive actions toward a
secure and thriving program, and in recognition of the increased success of
their graduates on the NCLEX Examination.
For the past two years, new leadership
and the full and ongoing engagement of the Nursing Education program’s faculty
and staff were all critical during an intensive reaccreditation process. The
program’s faculty and staff have implemented high impact student success,
pedagogical and post-graduate student interventions that have achieved
immediate results: most notably an NCLEX Examination pass rate of 94% for its
fall 2018 graduating class. Dean of Health Sciences Maryanne Atkinson,
Assistant Dean Donna Savino, Director Elizabeth Tobin and Associate Professor
and Chairperson Kristen Wenger accepted the award.
at Thursday’s ceremony were faculty speaker Bryan D. Craven,
Student Government Association President Joan Acosta Garcia, and
President’s Leadership Award recipients Cam Do and Eva
The Massachusetts Department of
Transportation (MassDOT) began the closure of one of three southbound travel
lanes on Route 1 in Chelsea and the Tobin Bridge the morning of Tuesday, May
14, snarling traffic in many parts of Everett as commuters looked for an
The public was also reminded the one-lane
northbound closure on the Tobin Bridge and Route 1 was expanded the morning of
Tuesday, May 14. MassDOT anticipates that these lane closures will lead to
increased travel times on sections of Route 1 northbound and southbound for
drivers and MBTA bus customers for months to come.
These traffic impacts are associated with
MassDOT’s Tobin Bridge/Chelsea
Curves Rehabilitation Project and lane closures will remain in place for
approximately two years. Additional overnight lane closures will be necessary
throughout the project meaning only one lane of travel may be open during
certain evening hours.
In order to accommodate travelers during
this necessary construction work, MassDOT is opening the I-93 southbound
carpool lane between Medford and the Zakim Bridge to all vehicles regardless of
the number of occupants. This lane will continue to function as an “express
lane” and vehicles in this lane on I-93 southbound will not have access to Exit
28 (Mystic Avenue) or Exit 26 (Storrow Drive).
“North Shore commuters should be aware that
beginning the morning of Tuesday, May 14, a travel lane will be closed on Route
1 southbound in Chelsea, and the lane closure that is already in place on the
Tobin Bridge and Route 1 northbound will be expanded,” said Highway
Administrator Jonathan Gulliver last Friday. “MassDOT is carrying out this
necessary rehabilitation work in order to ensure the continued use and
reliability of Tobin Bridge and Chelsea Viaduct. We appreciate the cooperation
and patience of the traveling public and advise everyone to make smart
decisions such as considering public transit, using the appropriate technology
apps to find the best route and time to travel, and building extra time into
their commutes to account for potential roadway congestion.”
Travelers are also reminded of options such
as free fares in the inbound direction on the MBTA Silver Line 3 bus line
offered at the Chelsea, Bellingham Square, Box District, and Eastern Avenue
stops for the duration of construction. In addition, public transit customers
will be able to use a CharlieCard to travel between North Station and Chelsea
on the Commuter Rail. The MBTA is also running additional MBTA Blue Line trains
to increase capacity. These measures are all being funded by MassDOT Highway
Division project funds.
MassDOT is also advising the public to also
consider using the Haverhill or Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail lines and
note that the Haverhill Line historically has parking capacity at Haverhill and
Bradford stations. The Newburyport/Rockport Line historically has parking
capacity at Newburyport, Salem and Lynn station. Customers can monitor
@MBTA_Parking on Twitter for capacity updates and information. In
addition, the MBTA has installed a digital parking capacity sign at the Blue
Line Wonderland parking lot so drivers approaching the lot can get “real time”
information on parking availability.
carrying out work on the Tobin Bridge and Chelsea Curves section of Route 1 at
the same time so that the most impactful work will be completed by 2021. If the
projects were done at separate times, drivers would be inconvenienced for
additional years. This work will eliminate the need for weight restrictions and
postings, and MassDOT will use accelerated construction techniques to shorten
the overall construction time.
The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management
Control Board approved a $32.3 million contract that will result in the
relocation and construction of a new, fully-accessible Chelsea Commuter Rail
When complete, the new Chelsea Station will
be an intermodal facility that connects the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail
Lines to the Silver Line 3-Chelsea service, which began operating in
“This is a key investment in our Commuter
Rail infrastructure that will allow for faster boarding and improved
accessibility for people of all abilities,” said MBTA General Manager Steve
Poftak. “Once complete, the new station will serve as a multimodal connection
that will give our customers the choice of traveling to North Station on the
Commuter Rail or South Station on SL3 from a single point.”
Featuring high-level platforms, canopies,
benches, and windscreens, the brand new station will also include new
sidewalks, landscaping, stairways, lighting, communications systems, and
structures for maintenance and bus operations personnel. The project also
includes the demolition of the existing Chelsea Station, upgrades to railroad
signal systems, and new traffic signal system installations at local
The project to construct and relocate
Chelsea Station aims to relieve traffic congestion and overcrowding on existing
area bus routes in Chelsea while also providing better transit options to
environmental justice populations through improved accessibility to employment
opportunities in downtown Boston and the Seaport district.
The project also includes the installation
of transit signal priority improvements for the SL3-Chelsea along with improved
operational efficiency and the incorporation of green operations elements at
the new Chelsea Station. Greenhouse gas emissions will also be reduced by
increasing the transit mode share and decreasing the idle time of commuter rail
and BRT vehicles.
The Chelsea Commuter Rail Station Project
was advertised in February 2019 with bids open in April 2019. After six bids
were received, the Chelsea Commuter Rail Station contract was awarded to A.A.
Will Corporation for $32,367,200.
could start as early as this summer, with project completion estimated for late
In a move that could dramatically reduce the
commute times for Chelsea 111 bus riders, the City of Boston announced they are
planning on installing a dedicated bus lane on North Washington Street from
Causeway to Haymarket – a key clogging point for riders heading into Haymarket
It would be a move that would accommodate
the 111 bus routes and two Charlestown bus routes, and Boston officials said
the new lane could reduce travel times by as much as 25 percent.
“We are planning on building an exclusive
bus lane on North Washington Street from the intersection at Causeway Street
after the bridge to Haymarket,” said Vineet Gupta, director of planning at the
Boston Transportation Department (BTD). “It would be a dedicated bus lane 24/7
on the inbound side. Right now, we’re working with the MBTA to install that bus
BTD Director Gina Fiandaca said they have
been working closely with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and the MBTA on the North
Washington Street bus lane, and hope that they can get it done as early in 2019
as possible. She said that stretch of the bus route is often the most
congested, and riders often find themselves waiting longer on the bus for the
last leg than it would take them to walk.
“This inbound bus lane will have the
opportunity to move along at a quicker pace than the rest of the traffic,” she
said. “Another good part of this is in the future when the North Washington
Street Bridge is completed, it will have a bus lane as well. That will provide
a connection with this new lane to have one unbroken exclusive bus lane from
Charlestown when the Bridge is done.”
In order to accomplish the new lane, the
City will have to remove some metered parking spaces and a commercial parking
space, but a large chunk of the stretch is a large bus stop and ‘no parking’
Gupta said they have no clear data yet on
the time it could save commuters going inbound – though they will begin keeping
that data very soon. However, in Roslindale where they installed a bus lane last
year, commutes were shortened by 25 percent. The same data also presented
itself in Everett two years ago when they put a dedicated bus lane on Broadway
The announcement was one of several made by
Boston Mayor Walsh at the Greater Boston Municipal Research Bureau meeting on
The North Washington Street bus lane would be
the first one in effect 24 hours a day in Boston.
Supt. Mary Bourque said that for the first
time in decades, more students are leaving the Chelsea Public Schools (CPS)
than are coming in – an exodus of students that seems to be heading mostly to
“We’ve always had more students coming in
from certain communities than students leaving Chelsea for those communities,”
said Bourque this week. “Since July, we’re seeing the inverse. We have more
going out to the four communities of Lynn, Revere, Everett and Boston…A few
years ago, we were seeing an influx of students from outside of the country.
We’re seeing the reverse. We’re not seeing that influx from out of the country,
and we’re actually seeing the exodus of our families more to the North Shore
communities. The movement is more to the North Shore. I think it’s linked to
housing and affordability.”
According to CPS data, from July 1, 2019
through February 14 – 257 Chelsea students left for other communities in
Massachusetts. Of the 257, the largest pattern saw 29 going to Boston; 35 going
to Everett; 44 going to Lynn; and 34 going to Revere. Those are places that,
historically, Bourque said usually leak more students to Chelsea than Chelsea loses
to them. That trend has changed now.
The root cause could come for multiple
reasons, but Bourque said she firmly believes it all comes down to the drastic
rise in rents and housing costs in Chelsea.
“I do believe it’s the rising rental
properties around the community,” she said. “Right now, Chelsea is experiencing
it just like, if not more so, than other communities. We’re losing many, many
families. I’m seeing documents of many, many families going to Lynn in
particular. Lynn seems to be the most popular destination for families being
able to find rental properties. Secondarily, they are going to Revere, Everett
Bourque, who has studied student mobility in
depth during her career, said many studies have indicated over the years that
student population is a bellwether for the changes that are coming to a
In Chelsea, she said she believes this
latest trend in student population could be sounding an alarm for the community
to try to take action.
“This is definitely something we have to pay
attention to,” she said. “The demographics in our schools are telling of what
is coming to the community at-large. We’re the canary in the coal mine for
community shift. I see it as a positive though because we can look at it and
get out in front so we can be prepared to meet the needs of that shift.
A consequence of that loss is that the CPS
budget is likely going to shrink due to the smaller enrollments.
“We already have an issue with the
Foundation Budget at the state level being broken, and it still needs to be
fixed,” she said. “We still need to advocate for that. At the same time, we
have a confounding situation where we’re losing student enrollment that results
in a natural decrease in staffing and resources due to that lower student
enrollment. The challenge will be keeping those two budgetary issues separate
and not allowing them to blend together. They are two different issues.”
Bourque said the situation reminds her of
what Somerville Public Schools went through some years ago as it gentrified on
the back of Cambridge’s successes. At one point, she said she recalled they had
somewhere around 6,000 students enrolled in the public schools, but as that
City changed, the numbers dwindled down to around 4,000. She said Chelsea
should fight to keep that from happening here.
Looking for a wave from
Chelsea has always had a reputation and a
practice of having open arms to refugees and new immigrant populations.
Now, as new immigrant families seem to be
migrating a bit towards the North Shore, Supt. Mary Bourque said they are
keeping an eye on Brazil and Venezuela as potential sources of incoming
Bourque said immigrant groups from crisis
areas of the world typically begin showing up in Chelsea schools about 10 to 15
months after the crisis in their countries.
With the recent political upheaval in
Venezuela with its leadership, she said the federal government is considering
giving Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans. That, she said, could
result in more students arriving from that country soon.
“It will be interesting to wait and see if
we get an influx from Venezuela,” she said. “It usually happens 15 to 18 months
after a crisis. We’ll watch to see if this summer enrollments begin to come in
from that country.”
In Brazil, she said a down economy has
already brought a trickling of new Brazilian students to the district.
State Rep. Dan Ryan said this week he is
pleased in what is considered a step up in becoming the vice chair of the Post
Audit Oversight Committee – a powerful committee that runs investigations of
government operations and actually has subpoena powers.
“I want to thank Speaker DeLeo for this
appointment, and my House colleagues for voting to affirm his trust in me,”
said Ryan. “I look forward to working with Chairman Linsky and other committee
members in continuing to bring solid, cost-effective government programs to the
Ryan said Post-Audit Oversight certainly
isn’t a household name for most people in the Town, but said it has a unique
mission and is a sought-after committee on Beacon Hill.
“The Post-Audit Oversight Committee is a select House committee that has a
unique mission,” he said. “Members of the committee are tasked with ensuring
that State agencies are abiding by legislative intent and the program
initiatives put forth, by the legislature, through the budget process. When
necessary, the committee will work with administrative agencies to
propose corrective actions to best serve citizens of the Commonwealth.”
One of the most visible investigations
conducted by the Committee came several years ago in the previous
administration when the Department of Children and Families (DCF) came under
fire for its handling and management of numerous cases involving children.
Ryan has also been assigned as a member of
the Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Recovery Committee, and as a member of
the Transportation Committee.
•Just across the North Washington Street
Bridge, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz came away with one of the biggest scores
for the Boston delegation in getting assigned as chair of the powerful Ways
& Means Committee.
Rep. Ryan said that having such an important
chair nearby will be very good for Charlestown as well as the North End. That
will particularly be apparent with projects like the North Washington Street
Bridge, which affects the North End as much as Charlestown.
Michlewitz told the Patriot-Bridge that he
is humbled by the appointment, and that while he has to build consensus across
the state, he will keep his district and Boston in the forefront.
“I am honored
that Speaker DeLeo believes I can do the job,” he said. “The first order of
business is creating and debating a $42.7 billion budget. A lot of work has
been done in committee, but we have a short timeframe to get a lot done. The
thing I was to stress is my district is my number one priority.”