Chelsea’s vibrant and welcoming community is
the reason my wife Sarah and I chose to buy our home here. We hope to have
children soon and can’t wait to send them to Chelsea Public Schools. I
recognize the incredible potential our community holds, and want to help all
our children achieve their goals and become part of the next generation of
leaders in our community and beyond. For that reason, I am announcing my
candidacy for Chelsea School Committee At-Large. As of this week, my signatures
have been certified and I am officially on the ballot for the 2019 municipal
election. I am excited to continue meeting Chelsea residents as I get ready to
become an advocate for our students!
After high school, I was fortunate to earn a
scholarship that allowed me to graduate college with little debt. I left my
island of Puerto Rico to attend the University of Michigan, and after getting
Bachelor’s degrees in business and informatics and a Master’s degree in higher
education, I moved to Massachusetts for work.
Today, as a
college admissions officer, I work hard to find students whose lives will be
transformed by a college education in the same way mine has been. I’m running
for Chelsea School Committee because I want more of our students to graduate
high school and obtain a college degree. I want our students to feel supported
from PreK to 12 and imagine broader possibilities for their future. I hope to
have your support with your vote on Nov. 5.
IGNORED NO MORE : Children’s Librarian Katherine Palencia, of the Chelsea Public Library, reading 5 Little Ducks, by Denise Fleming to children in Chelsea Square. The Chelsea Public Library and Raising a Reader are partnering with Chelsea Prospers to liven up underutilized and ignored parks in the downtown for story-time hours with families. So far, its been a great success.
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.
We were talking the other day with a young
man who has been a teacher at Chelsea High School for the past couple of years.
During our discussion, we were surprised to learn that he lives on the South
Shore (Hull) from where he commutes to Chelsea High every day by means of
He takes the MBTA commuter boat to Boston
and then walks to the nearby Blue Line, taking that to Airport Station. From
there, he gets on the new Silver Line 3, the dedicated-lane bus line that takes
him to Chelsea.
It seemed like quite an odyssey — and it
certainly is — but he said his total commuting time is about an hour each way,
which is less time than it would take him to drive it, not to mention far less
We were thinking about the Chelsea teacher’s
use of multiple modes of public transportation — sort of an alternative,
real-life version of the comedy classic movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
— in the context of the $18 billion proposal put forward last week by the
administration of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lieut. Gov. Karen Polito to improve
the transportation infrastructure in our state, with the stated goals of
improving our roads, bridges, and public transit systems.
We do not even remotely pretend to be
experts in the realm of transportation. However, what is clear is that the
Baker-Polito proposal, in terms of the level and scope of the proposed
investment, is (in Baker’s words), ‚Äúunprecedented and historic.”
We have no doubt that there will be many —
who actually are experts in the realm of transportation — who will weigh in
with various proposals of their own in addition to those that are contained in
the Baker-Polito bill.
We also have no doubt that the plans and
ideas that will be put forward by others will be considered carefully by the
governor and his staff. After five years
of the Baker-Polito administration, it has become clear that their type of
leadership is not of the “my way or the highway” (no pun intended) style. We
anticipate that the administration and the legislature will work together to
craft a bill that will improve the daily lives for all residents of the
For far too long, transportation issues have
been like that adage about the weather: Everybody talks about it, but nobody
does anything about it. In New York City for example, the sorry state of the
subways is at a critical point — and yet the mayor and governor cannot agree
on a way to fix it. In California, talk of a high-speed train from San
Francisco to Los Angeles appears to have reached a dead end (again, no pun
By contrast, the $18 billion proposal put
forward by the Baker-Polito administration last week represents a huge step
forward in fixing many of the problems that have come to light in recent years
in our state.
Investments in our transportation
infrastructure — especially in this era of low interest rates — will reap
huge dividends in the years ahead, more than offsetting the costs. We look
forward to the final transportation bill and to the day when Massachusetts will
be seen as a national leader in solving public transportation issues.
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.
Several City Councillors are lining up in
opposition to water and sewer rate hikes proposed by the Department of Public
Works, urging residents to attend a public hearing on the new rates in July.
In a letter to the Council, City Manager
Thomas Ambrosino stated there will be rate increases of just under 3 percent
for water and sewer customers who use less than 2,500 cubic feet of water.
Under the City’s tiered approach to water and sewer rates, customers who use
over that amount will see a 5 percent increase.
“With this increase, the average water and
sewer bill in Chelsea (assuming annual usage of 120 hundred cubic feet) will be
$1,828.80,” Ambrosino stated.
The rates will cover approved expenditures
of $8,709,470 for water and $13,326,503 for sewer for Fiscal Year 2020,
according to the City Manager.
But with surpluses totaling about $7 million
in the water and sewer enterprise accounts, several councillors questioned the
need for rate increases on Monday night.
“I don’t know why we need any increase in
the water and sewer rates,” said District 1 Councillor Robert Bishop. “I don’t
understand why you have to go up at all with $7 million sitting there, that
should be sufficient.”
Bishop said he would be attending the DPW
public hearing on the rates, tentatively scheduled for July 16 to voice his
displeasure, and said he hopes to see other councillors there as well.
District 6 Councillor Giovanni Recupero,
never one to mince words, said homeowners and renters will end up getting
shafted by the rate increases.
“This is killing the poor people who live
here,” he said. “This is not only going to drive the homeowners out, this is
going to drive the tenants out, too. This is a bad thing to go up this much.
“I like living here, I don’t want to be
District 3 Councillor Joe Perlatonda said he
agreed with Recupero.
“The water bills keep going up, and the
taxes keep going up,” he said. “We don’t get any relief for the city of
District 2 Councillor Luis Tejada said one
of the main reasons he became involved in local politics was because of rising
water and tax rates.
government isn’t going to make it better in the city,” he said. “We need to put
the brakes on.”
By: Julia Blatt, Executive
Director, Massachusetts Rivers Alliance
At long last, a recent
weekend presented one of those pristine days that remind us here in
Massachusetts why we endure those winters.
With warm spring weather finally here, many of us hit the water for the
first time this year, visiting local rivers. With more than 10,000 miles of
rivers traversing the state, we had many choices. Sail boats blossomed on the Charles. Rowers huffed and puffed on the Mystic. Fishing rods sprouted along the Swift. Bikers and kayakers explored the
Sudbury. For many people, the beautiful
day meant a chance to spend on, in and around the rivers of Massachusetts.
Fittingly, June is National
Rivers Month, a 30-day gala celebrating our waterways. Whether you kayak past important
Revolutionary War sites on the Concord River, hike over the Bridge of Flowers
on the Deerfield, draw water for local crops from the Connecticut, or depend on
drinking water from the Merrimack, National Rivers Month is a time to celebrate
the gains we have made in protecting these important public recreational,
economic and historic assets.
National Rivers Month,
however, is also a time to reflect on what remains to be accomplished. The Massachusetts
Rivers Alliance, the voice for Massachusetts rivers, is a statewide
environmental advocacy non-profit that helps those whose lives are touched by
these Massachusetts waterways (and we would argue, that’s all of us). Consider, for example, pending legislation
regarding sewage overflows around the state.
Very old stormwater and wastewater systems serving municipalities in the
state have what are called “combined sewage overflow” (CSO) systems. Through these CSOs, stormwater and wastewater
systems are physically interconnected. At times of high precipitation,
stormwater run-off goes into the wastewater system and overwhelms the water
treatment plants. To prevent these
backups, wastewater – the sewage from your homes and businesses – is dumped directly
into Massachusetts rivers. Approximately
200 of these CSO connections exist throughout the state. In Massachusetts, an estimated three billion
gallons of raw sewage gets dumped into the state’s rivers each year. Swimmers,
canoeists, and pets exposed to CSO contaminants are vulnerable to
gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, eye or ear infections, skin rashes,
hepatitis and other diseases. Children,
the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems are especially
vulnerable. Wildlife are also adversely affected by CSO pollutants which lead
to higher water temperatures, increased turbidity, toxins and reduced oxygen
levels in the water.
Everyone recognizes the
problem. But it takes money to fix it,
more money than is now available. Over the
past two decades, Massachusetts communities have spent more than $1 billion to
eliminate CSOs. The federal
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, however, that an additional
$4.2 billion is needed to finish the job.
In addition to supporting
efforts to increase state and federal funding to eliminate CSOs, Mass Rivers is
championing a simple sewage notification bill now pending before the
Massachusetts legislature. Disturbingly,
there is currently no state requirement to notify the public about the presence
of sewage in the water when these discharges occur.
The legislation supported by
Mass Rivers would require the operator of a CSO to notify local boards of
health, in addition to the state Department of Public Health, within two hours
after a sewage spill begins. In
addition, the public could sign up to receive these notifications, by text,
e-mail, phone call or tweet. The state Department of Environmental Protection
would be required to centralize all sewage spill data and make it available on
the internet. Signage would be required
at all public access points (for boating, fishing, beaches) near CSO outfalls
National Rivers Month is a
time to shake off those indoor blues and enjoy Massachusetts’
bounty of rivers. Whether you go to look for
great blue herons, to fish for trout, to take your family and the dog on an
afternoon paddling adventure, or simply to seek calm and quiet, our state’s
rivers are there for you. To preserve
these friends, and to ensure the safety of those who use our rivers, National
Rivers Month should also be a time for towns and cities to insist that our
legislators enact a requirement that when the waters are despoiled with sewage
spills, we know about it.
Julia Blatt is Executive Director of the
Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, the voice of Massachusetts rivers. The Alliance is a statewide organization of
77 environmental organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The new shuttle service throughout Chelsea
and Everett has launched, and dubbed the Neighborhood Runner, the service began
operating on Monday, June 3.
“We started service on Monday, June 3, at 5
a.m.,” said Jim Folk, director of Transportation for Encore Boston Harbor.
“Now, it is running 24/7, 365 days a year. It starts its route at the Chelsea
Market Basket every 20 minutes on the 20…I really think it’s going to be a
successful route. It’s great for our employees and guests, and it’s great for
Everett because it gives them a new connection to the Silver Line for the
airport, Seaport and even South Station.”
The new Neighborhood Runner stops at Market
Basket (Chelsea), then goes through Everett to Everett Square (outside
Braza’s), then to the GE site on Air Force Road, and finally to the Encore
Employees reported to the resort on Monday,
and Folk said the Runner has become popular already with the new employees
looking to get to work from the neighborhoods, or to catch transit lines that
run near the new stops.
“Believe it or not, we have picked up some
passengers even though we haven’t advertised the Runner yet to the public,”
Folk said. “Our employees are aware of it and many are actually taking it to
and from the resort. We had a good amount of people on Monday that used it. We
expect more and more people as time goes on. I think it will really be
The 26-passenger Runner is made by Grech,
and has a lot of extras.
The interior has leather seating and large
cupholders, along with plenty of space. It is 100 percent ADA compliant and
also has video screens for entertainment.
Folk said right now they are sticking to the
four stops on the route, but he said they aren’t ruling out expanding the stops
in Everett and Chelsea once the resort opens.
“We think it’s a
great, great alternative for the folks in Everett and our employees and guests
coming to Encore,” he said.
The Chelsea School
Committee is poised to offer a position to one of the three superintendent
finalists tonight, May 9, at a special meeting that is expected to conclude the
In formal terms, the
Committee can only offer the position to their favored candidate. That
candidate has to accept the offer, and then a contract has to be negotiated and
ratified before the matter is completely official.
The three candidates
•Anthony Parker, Weston
High School principal.
assistant superintendent of secondary schools in Boston Public Schools.
currently the assistant superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and
Assessment for the Somerville Public Schools.
The three candidates have
been through a whirlwind tour of the City over the last two weeks, engaging in
community forums and School Committee interviews.
The final interview will take place on Thursday evening, with the
Committee convening to make the decision afterward.
The City could soon be running its own Water
and Sewer Department as part of the Department of Public Works.
Currently, Chelsea outsources those water,
sewer, and drainage services to R.H. White Construction Company as part of a
10-year contract set to expire on July 21, 2022.
City Manager Thomas Ambrosino is asking the
City Council to consider an early termination of that contract, allowing the
City to get a jump on establishing its own Water and Sewer Division under the
DPW. While there will be initial start-up costs and ongoing personnel costs,
Ambrosino said Chelsea will ultimately save about $350,000 per year.
Ambrosino is requesting the City pay an
early termination fee for the contract with R.H. White in order to get the City
Water and Sewer division operable by July of 2020.
“The DPW leadership and I recommend that we
meet in subcommittee to go over (an informational spreadsheet) and work plan in
detail,” Ambrosino stated in a letter to the City Council. “This will allow the
Council to understand fully why we believe we can perform these services not
only cheaper, but at a higher quality, and with more resources, than we
currently achieve with the RH White annual contract.”
The upfront costs of the water and sewer
transition prior to July of 2020 include the purchase of new vehicles and
equipment and the hiring of seven employees to make sure the department is
prepared to take full control of the water and sewer system on the date.
The total additional Fiscal Year 2020 costs
are just over $1.5 million, according to the City Manager.
“The capital costs are obvious one-time
expenditures,” said Ambrosino. “But the added personnel costs in FY20 are also
one-time expenses. All of these personnel costs will be covered by the $1.784
million saved on the annual RH White contract starting in FY21 when the
contract is terminated.”
Ambrosino recommended that all the one-time
costs be paid for through the retained earnings in the City’s Water and Sewer
Enterprise System, the equivalent of free cash in the general government
•In other business at Monday night’s City
Council meeting, Ambrosino asked the Council to consider a plan for municipal
“Because municipal electric aggregation has
the potential of providing more stable and lower prices and utilizing more
renewable energy sources, over 140 municipalities in Massachusetts have taken
advantage of this program,” Ambrosino said.
•The City Manager also told the council that
the City will seek competitive bids for Chelsea towing work beginning in Fiscal
Year 2020, which begins on July 1.
Although Ambrosino said towing work is
exempt from state bidding laws, the City will seek bids for the work in
response to a recent City Council order by District 6 Councillor Giovanni
“There is some work required to prepare a
(request for proposals) and evaluate responses,” said Ambrosino. “For this
reason, the Purchasing Agent believes he will have a new contract for towing
services in place no later than September 1, 2019.”