Secretary Pollack Would like Silver Line to go to Everett

Secretary Pollack Would like Silver Line to go to Everett

Just as the Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line gets ready to launch in Chelsea on April 21, State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said in a meeting in Boston that she would like to see it eventually expand to Everett – a plan that Everett officials and the Lower Mystic Regional Transportation Working Group has touted as well.

The Silver Line 3 (SL-3) will being operations on April 21, making a 30-minute journey from the Mystic (Market Basket) Mall to South Station, via Logan Airport and the Seaport in Boston, every 10 minutes. The BRT will run on a separate bus-only lane through Chelsea and over the Chelsea Street Bridge.

Pollack said that a draft of the soon-to-be-released Transportation plan, called Focus 40, will have a recommendation for Everett to be included in an expansion of the new Silver Line service.

“That service will open on April 21, and we’re looking forward to the opening,” she said. “That is a BRT service and we hope to continue it from Chelsea into Everett and Sullivan Square and other highly congested areas. That’s one other thing we are looking at in our Focus 40 plan.”

Those statements came at a breakfast in the Back Bay on March 20 where Pollack was the keynote speaker and addressing investment in the Orange Line. She also highlighted the new Silver Line service and the agency’s hopes to expand it in the years to come.

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Chelsea Fire Takes Delivery of Two New Apparatus

Chelsea Fire Takes Delivery of Two New Apparatus

The Chelsea Fire Department recently received two new pieces of fire apparatus, and at the moment both are being outfitted a preparing to be put into service.

The Chelsea Fire Department (CFD) has taken delivery of two new fire vehicles this week. Both are currently being outfitted and will be put into service later this month.

The Chelsea Fire Department (CFD) has taken delivery of two new fire vehicles this week. Both are currently being outfitted and will be put into service later this month.

First, the new Ladder 2, which replaces a 1999 aerial that runs from the Mill Hill Station on Broadway, was purchased by the City as part of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). This new truck is currently being customized with equipment and going through the training process, and will be in service by the end of November.

The addition of this new ladder truck gives the department a viable spare aerial device that can be placed in service when a front line ladder is down for service or repairs, which is a great safety net for the city.

Second, the new Rescue 1 will replace the current Squad 5 and a step van that was utilized as a Special Operations vehicle.

This Rescue was acquired through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program that was applied for by Fire Chief Len Albanese.

This $600,000 Rescue was obtained at only a 10 percent co-share by the City. This truck will be equipped with Special Operations equipment, most of which has been provided to the City through the Metro Boston Urban Area Strategic Initiative (UASI) program.  As part of the regional preparedness, Chelsea specializes in Technical Search for structural collapse.

When needed for Regional Response, this new Rescue can quickly get a large amount of equipment and to the scene of an incident.  This truck will be customized next, once the Ladder is completed. Then the department will conduct additional training and the project will be completed by the end of the year if not sooner.

The department hopes to be able to eventually staff this Rescue with the expansion of the additional eight firefighters obtained through SAFER Grant.

For now, it will be in service – unmanned and taken when needed, the same way the current Squad 5 has been used.

“My goal with the SAFER grant that provided eight additional firefighters and the acquisition of the Rescue was to get more boots on the ground in the field and eventually get the Rescue staffed,” said Chief Albanese. “The city manager and the council have made a commitment to support funding for these projects. Time will tell if we are able to bring this goal to fruition within our budget. There are several factors that will affect that possibility.”

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Sports 10-12-2017

Sports 10-12-2017

CHS Roundup

CHS boys soccer top Northeast Regional, 2-1

The Chelsea High boys soccer team turned in what CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki termed “our best game of the season” to earn a 2-1 victory over Northeast Regional Vocational School last Thursday on the turf at Chelsea Stadium.

“We played a full 80 minutes against an excellent Northeast team,” said Protasowicki of the Red Devils’ performance, for which a large crowd of Chelsea supporters were on hand for the battle with the Red Devils’ perennial archival.

The Chelsea victory avenged an earlier loss to Northeast at the beginning of the season and gives the Red Devils a good chance of capturing the championship of the Large School Division of the Commonwealth Conference.

Chelsea drew first blood 10 minutes into the game when senior defenseman Carlos Arevalo made a nice run up the left sideline, dribbling past a Northeast player and keeping the ball just inbounds along the sideline.

Carlos then delivered a nice cross into the box, where sophomore midfielder Eric

Barahona one-timed a perfect shot into the back of the Northeast net.

The teams battled evenly over the rest of the half, leaving matters at 1-0 in Chelsea’s favor at the intermission. The scoreboard remained locked-in at that reading through most of the second half, until Northeast finally broke through with 11 minutes to play to bring the contest back to level, 1-1.

“We knew that a tie with Northeast would not be good enough for us,” said Protasowicki. “We had to win if were were going to catch them in the standings, so we went all-out to try to pull ahead.”

The Red Devils launched a furious offensive effort which paid off when Delmer Romero carried the ball into the box on the left side, worked his way into the Northeast defense, and then let go what Protasowicki described as a “perfect shot” that landed into the lower right of the Northeast net.

“Delmer had a small window from a tough angle, but he made it,” said Protasowicki. Romero’s goal, coming with just three minutes remaining in the contest, caused the CHS bench and fans, the largest crowd of the season, to erupt with joy.

CHS keeper Bryan Armas, who made some nice saves throughout the contest, earned the victory in net.

The big victory was followed by a disappointing 1-1 tie this past Tuesday with always-tough rival Lynn Tech. Romero scored the lone CHS goal just two minutes after the opening kickoff when he buried a rebound from a shot by Jephte Marcellus, who had made some nice moves past the defense to draw close to the Tech keeper.

However, despite many opportunities throughout the game, the Red Devils were unable to dent the Tech net over the remaining 78 minutes of play.

Tech brought the contest to level three minutes into the second half, where matters remained until the final whistle.

The tie means that Chelsea still needs some help if the Red Devils are to claim another CAC Large title. Northeast is one point ahead of Chelsea in the standings, but still has to play undefeated Mystic Valley, which sits atop the standings in the CAC Small Division.

The Red Devils are set to host Minuteman Regional today (Thursday) and will travel to Greater Lowell next Thursday.

CHS boys outrun Greater Lowell, 23-38; Leclerc sets course mark

The Chelsea High boys cross country team improved its record to 3-2 with a solid 23-38 victory over Gr. Lowell last Wednesday on the Red Devils’ home course at Admiral’s Hill.

“It’s been a number of years since we have beaten Gr. Lowell, so this felt good,” said CHS head coach Don Fay.

Senior captain Jose Leclerc crushed his previous course record by more than 30 seconds to outdistance all competitors with a clocking of 17:31.

Gr. Lowell runners finished second and third, but Chelsea took the next eight places to win going away. Wuilfido Hernandez came across in fourth place in a personal record (PR) time of 18:48. Demitrius Martinez finished fifth in a season-best of 19:34.

Senior captain Alex Pedrero also had a PR time, finishing sixth, and  Raphael Castillo was seventh overall in 20:01.

Limilson Tavares and Jazmany Reyes were one second apart, 20:09 and 20:10 respectively. Yosef Ruben and Justin Turner ran 20:12 and 20:16 to finish 10th and 11th.

“We had eight runners finishing within 90 seconds of each other,” noted Fay. “That is what we have been looking for all year.  If we can continue to race like this, then we have a chance at the league meet title.

The boys were set to travel to Wakefield yesterday (Wednesday) to compete against Northeast and Minuteman Tech.

This coming Wednesday they will journey to Essex Tech for a quad-meet with Essex Tech, Shawsheen, and Lynn Tech.

CHS girls run record to 6-0

The Chelsea High girls cross-country team remained undefeated with a convincing 22-38 victory over Greater Lowell last week on the Admiral’s Hill course. The triumph improves the Lady Red Devils’ record to a perfect 6-0.

CHS junior captain Yarid Deras cruised to a first-place finish coming across the line 40 seconds faster than the rest of the field in her season’s best time of 22:15.

Fellow junior captain Jocelyn Poste was about a minute behind in third place. After a Gr. Lowell girl came across in fourth, the Lady Red Devils clinched the victory by grabbing the next four spots and seven of the next eight.

Junior Amanda Dias took fifth place in 24:29, followed closely by teammates Cynthia Mancia in 24:30 and freshman Kathy Lopez in 24:31.

Marissa Rivera was eighth in 26:04 and teammates Karina Avalos, Carla Romero and Stephanie Rodriguez came home in 10th, 11th, and 12th positions to complete the scoring for Chelsea.

“We had a great pack today and we ran well as a team,” said CHS head coach Don Fay.

The Lady Red Devils were set to race yesterday (Wednesday) against Northeast and Minuteman Tech.

“If we get by those two teams then we will have a showdown for the large-school dual meet title the next week at Essex Tech versus Essex Tech, Shawsheen, and Lynn Tech,” said Fay.

CHS football team plays at Mystic Valley

The Chelsea high football team, which earned its first victory of the season this past week, 22-0 over Minuteman Regional, travels to play Mystic Valley this Friday evening.

Kick-off under the lights at Malden Catholic Stadium is set for 7:00.

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins take to the road

With Monday’s holiday matchup with the Colorado Avalanche, a 4-0 loss, already in the rear view mirror, it’s time to look forward and prepare for Boston’s three-game road trip, which began last night (Wednesday, 9:30pm) in Colorado. Coach Bruce Cassidy will be looking for his team’s resiliency, especially from the youngsters in the lineup who did not display the tenacity and drive they displayed in the regular season home opener versus the Nashville Predators. The Bruins trip to Colorado affords them the opportunity in this second game of the home-and-home series, to extract some revenge after the Avalanche buried them on Garden ice last Monday.

While Cassidy did not point fingers, or name names, he did stress his common litany of, “we win as a team, we lose as a team.” There were many factors in Monday’s loss which proved surprising, such as their unimpressive start which found them in a hole quickly, when Rask allowed a couple of goals that could accurately be described as ‘soft,’ the play of the youngsters who had looked so solid just three days earlier, was totally the opposite. The work of Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, and Ander Bjork, fell short on many of their shifts. Bad choices on offense and defense by the youngsters, hurt the team, offense and defense, as they created mere chaos with busted plays that resulted in missed chances and a loss.

The much needed offense of Brad Marchand was nowhere to be found in Monday’s contest, as he roamed the ice, often looking lost, and again showed the effect of not having the injured Patrice Bergeron on the ice to help him create the much needed offense. In these two games without Bergeron, Marchand has recorded two shots on net, and to make matters worse, Bergeron hasn’t skated full contact as yet, meaning his return to the ice could possibly be as early as the weekend, but likely longer, as he continues to suffer from an unexplained lower-body injury incurred during training camp. Torey Krug did return to the ice, but obviously will still need time to find his strength and rhythm. Adding the loss of Bergy to an injury list that already includes, David Backes and Noel Acciari, and you can cut the team some slack, but this is where other players need to step up and fill in.

Following the Wednesday (last night) game with the Avalanche, the Bruins’ weekend will consist of road contests with the Arizona Coyotes, Saturday at 9:00pm, and on Sunday in their first meeting with the newest NHL franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights in a 7:00pm start, before returning to TD Garden ice to host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, October 19 at 7:00pm.

THE TRADITION – Mark your calendars as The Sports Museum offers up one of its signature events on Tuesday, November 28, at the TD Garden when they present their 16th Annual The Tradition. The lineup of honorees for 2017’s The Tradition, include Bruins legend and Lady Byng Trophy winner (1982), Rick “Nifty” Middleton, former Celtic, and two-time NBA Champion (1973-74, 1975-76), Dave Cowens, New England Patriot linebacker and three-time Super Bowl Champion (2001, 2003, 2004), Willie McGinest, tennis superstar Martina Navratilova, winner of the Wimbledon title nine times between the years of 1978 to 1990, and former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, whose achievements include two Word Series championships (2004, 2007), Gold Glove winner (2005), and a Silver Slugger Award (2005).

Corporate sponsorship plays a critical role in the success of The Sports Museum’s signature events, such as The Tradition. By underwriting event costs a larger percentage of proceeds can benefit at-risk kids in the Boston area through their educational programming, as well as support The Sports Museum and its exhibits.  Corporate sponsors of The Tradition receive many benefits including marketing and brand exposure. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact

Ashley Walenta at awalenta@sportsmuseum.org or call (617) 624-1231.

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Sports 09-15-2016

CHS Roundup

Red Devil gridmen host Northeast Friday

The Chelsea High football team will be shooting for its first victory of the season Friday evening when the Red Devils host Northeast Regional Vocational School at Chelsea Stadium. Kick-off time is set for 7:00.

Coach Jack Halas’s squad opened its 2016 campaign last Thursday evening at Lynn Tech and came up on the short end of a 34-0 decision.

The contest started inauspiciously for the Red Devils, who were flagged for two false-start penalties to open the game that would prove to be an indication of Chelsea’s frustrations to come.

Tech controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, with the Tech offense piling up 293 yards on the ground.

Senior quarterback and captain T.J. Patterson accounted for the bulk of the CHS offense, rushing for 40 yards on 14 carries and completing five-of-13 pass attempts for 64 yards in the air. Chelsea had opportunities to score on some deep balls, but the Devils were unable to secure the catch.

Senior wide receiver and captain Nick Ieng hauled in two passes for 23 yards and picked up 25 yards on the ground.

“Hats off to Lynn Tech,” said Halas. “They outplayed us start to finish. We are very young and inexperienced on the O-line and the D-line. No excuse, but I understand why we struggled. Only two players on our O-line have varsity experience. One D-lineman has varsity experience and we have to start two freshmen.

“The positive is we have a solid group of linemen in this freshmen class. If we can keep them together, they’ll be a tough group as juniors and seniors,” added the coach. “We were down 28-0 at halftime, but I was proud that our kids did not quit or lose their spirit. But we need some serious work to improve.”

Boys soccer team

earns 2-2 tie with NE.

The Chelsea High boys soccer team scored two goals in the final four minutes to come away with a 2-2 tie against perennial Commonwealth Athletic Conference archrival Northeast Regional last Thursday at Chelsea Stadium.

Northeast grabbed a 1-0 lead midway through the first half and enlarged its margin to 2-0 with a goal with 15 minutes left in the contest. The Red Devils had been controlling possession up to that point, but Chelsea was unable to find the right combination in the offensive third of the field.

“Overall, we were playing well,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki, “but we could not figure out how to break down the Northeast defense.”

However, with four minutes to play and the Red Devils pressing, Northeast was called for a foul in the box, giving Chelsea a penalty kick opportunity.

Kevin Umanzor-Torrez made good his shot, but the ref blew the ball dead, apparently for the infraction of a Chelsea player entering the box before Umanzor-Torres struck the ball.

That meant that Kevin had to retake the shot, and once again he drilled it to the back of the Northeast net to close the gap to 2-1.

The Red Devils resumed their attack ever more ferociously after the PK, and their hard work paid off with 90 seconds remaining in the game when a poor Northeast clear from the box was trapped and controlled by senior Humberto Suarez just outside the 18-yard line. Humberto then delivered a powerful strike that beat the NE keeper (who had played a superb game) to bring the Devils to level at 2-2.

“This by far was not our best game,” said Protasowicki, “but it showed that we’re capable of fighting back. We never gave up and our determination paid off for us.”

The Red Devils next hosted Everett, their former ancient foe from Chelsea’s days in the Greater Boston League, Monday evening. Although the fierce battles with their opponent from across the Parkway are only a distant memory for CHS fans over the age of 40, the schools have revived their rivalry on the soccer pitch in recent years, with the CHS-EHS games drawing the largest and most vocal fan attendance of the season for both teams.

The schools have engaged in hard-fought and evenly-matched contests in recent years, but Monday’s contest saw Everett power to a 6-0 victory before a vocal crowd of partisans.

The match was evenly-played through the first 40 minutes, with the Crimson Tide taking a 1-0 lead at the half. However, with Chelsea’s top defender, Carlos Cartagena, forced to the sidelines with a groin pull shortly into the second half, Everett soon began to take control, eventually striking for five goals in the final 25 minutes of the game.

“Everett is a very good team that is almost exclusively comprised of seniors,” noted Protasowicki. “We already were missing two of our key players in Carlos Garcia and Carlos Cruz, so when Carlos Cartagena was injured, it left us pretty thin and Everett took full advantage.

“Despite the loss, we had a lot of positives from the game,” said Protasowicki. “We have a number of new and young players, and we’re still trying to figure some things out. Hopefully, we’ll hit our stride sooner rather than later.”

Head coach Mick Milutinovic and his crew, who now stand at 1-1-1 on the season, were set to host Whittier yesterday (Wednesday) and will trek to Lynn Tech tomorrow (Friday). The Red Devils are then off until next Friday.

Girls cross country

teams defeats Everett

The Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams opened their 2016 season against Parkway rival Everett last Wednesday on a hot, muggy day at the Admiral’s Hill course.

The Lady Red Devils shut out their Lady Crimson Tide counterparts, 15-50, while the boys came up on the short end of a 19-36 decision.

Sophomore Yarid Monzon Deras won the girls’ race in a personal record (PR) time of 23:30 over the 3.1 mile course. “Yarid has had a great summer of training and it’s something you can’t hide,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “Either you ran over the summer or you didn’t. I wish everyone had the same intensity for their training that Yarid does. “

Finishing in second place was senior captain Melanie Nguyen in 26:18. Sophomore Jocelyn Poste took third spot in 27:19, followed by freshman teammates Sandra Tun in fourth place, Anna Bernal in fifth, and Karina Avalos in sixth.

“We have a very young girls team and we’re hoping to build on our first win

of the year,” noted Fay. The girls were set to compete yesterday at home (Wednesday) in a tri-meet with Presentation of Mary Academy and Whittier.

On the boys’ side, Everett claimed the first three places, while Chelsea claimed five of the next seven spots. Freshman Demitrius Martinez was the

first Chelsea runner across the line. “Demetrius ran very well for

his first race,” said Fay of the freshman’s 20:59 clocking. “He stayed in control and ran a very steady, consistent race.”

Alex Pedrero, who also was running his first cross country race, took sixth place in 22:35. Senior captain Adriel Cedano was eighth, running 22:48, followed by teammate Abraham Barrientos in ninth in 25:05 and senior captain Issac

Concord in 10th in 25:50.

“The boys also are a pretty young team and hopefully in the next meet or two we will have everyone back and ready to run strong,” noted Fay.

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins introduce Warrior Arena

When the Bruins unveiled ‘Warrior Ice Arena,’ their new practice facility at Boston Landing in the Brighton/Allston , it marked a new era, especially for the Boston players. The state-of-the-art facility shines both inside and out, featuring a well-lit arena that smacks of Bruins history. Beginning with the 68-foot Warrior hockey stick on the side of the facility, and pretty much everything else is Bruins. Prominent over the practice ice are the ten miniature banners honoring the retired Bruins players’ jerseys, while on the walls are the reproductions painted of the six Stanley Cup banners. An impressive display features the Bruins Stanley Cup with small statues, one for each of the six championships, encased in plexi-glass. Several motivational messages were painted on the walls, one stated, “You Must Be Willing To Sacrifice, As Few People Have The Will To Win.”

Bruins President Cam Neely took the media on a grand tour of the new grounds, stating “With this facility, the guys are very excited about it. The players that have been in here already are very excited about being in this space a lot more.” There wasn’t much not to like as the tour continued with a view of the players’ locker room, their personal relaxation area complete with a team logo ping pong table, a much improved workout facility, updated media workspace, and even an indoor track. Neely went on to explain his surprise that the Bruins were able to find space so close to TD Garden, let alone such a complete facility that would allow New Balance to accommodate the team’s multitude of needs.

New Balance Managing Director Jim Halliday glowed when explaining the growing pains, and finally the reward, after two years of construction. Another plus will be the benefit to the community, with 75 percent of ice time already booked. Many youth hockey programs will also have the chance to skate on the Bruins logo-marked ice, certainly a thrill for youngsters of any age. Halliday went on to confirm that the Boston Celtics are also in the process of constructing their practice facility nearby Warrior. It confirms that the Bruins have certainly made a good decision to build in Boston Landing, as it appears to be a major sports development area. Halliday continued to explain that the MBTA is committed to building a commuter rail stop in the near future, making it a bit easier for fans all over to come and enjoy the exciting atmosphere of a Bruins practice.

Asked why the Bruins logo was placed on the ceiling in the Bruins’ dressing room, as opposed to the floor rug at the Garden dressing room, Neely took great pleasure in explaining, “I could never understand why the logo was on the floor at the Garden, I wouldn’t even put my Bruins jersey on the floor, it just didn’t seem right, so it was decided that the ceiling was the better choice.” That brought a laugh from the media attending, as it was always a challenge when interviewing players at the Garden, that one had to be very careful to not step on the spoked-B, and be the recipient of a reprimand from staff!

After touring the new facility it was obvious that the Bruins want even their new practice facility to be one that was comfortable for the players, and even more important, a place for conditioning that would keep them in the best shape possible. It appears that Bruins management have met that criteria head on, as the remarks from the players who’ve had the chance to inspect the facility agreed, it is one impressive building for both the players and the fans!

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Somerville Drops All Casino Appeals:Way Cleared for Casino Opening

By Seth Daniel

The Wynn Boston Harbor casino has a clear path to opening for the first time since announcing three years ago that it intended to compete for the Greater Boston license at its Everett site.

The City of Somerville announced on Monday afternoon that it would discontinue all appeals of the casino – saying that it had resolved a number of issues that it had with the casino during the Chapter 91 license appeal and would not choose to take the matter to Superior Court.

“The City of Somerville successfully resolved a number of our community’s core concerns regarding the Wynn casino project through our recent appeal of the casino’s Ch. 91 license,” wrote Mayor Joe Curtatone in a statement. “For this reason, we will not pursue further appeal of the license via the courts. I want to be clear; our appeal was never about stopping the casino, but rather about our civic duty to protect the health, safety, and quality of life of our residents. While we did not get everything we asked for, the appeal did yield significant and meaningful results for our residents, so we feel the process worked.”

The news was greeted happily from China by Wynn Boston Harbor President Bob DeSalvio, who received the news while helping to celebrate the opening of the Wynn Palace in Macau.

“With all legal challenges behind us, we can now focus entirely on making Wynn Boston Harbor one of the most powerful job generators and economic catalysts to ever benefit the Commonwealth,” DeSalvio said. “We are pleased to be joined with all our neighboring communities in making this a historic development for all.”

Curtatone said he was particularly pleased with ensuring that the Wynn ferry will be required to run for 50 years, the entirety of the Chapter 91 license.

“By the Wynn organization’s estimates, the ferry should reduce casino road traffic by an estimated six percent, and in one of the most congested areas of the country, every bit counts,” said Curtatone.

He also cited the decrease in the term of the Chapter 91 license, which was originally 85 years. After the appeal was announced, Wynn and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) worked together to compromise on a plan to knock the license term down to 50 years.

“This means current residents will have greater community benefits now, and the next generation will have an opportunity to reassess benefits within a more reasonable time period,” he added.

Curtatone also indicated he was ready to be a regional partner. He also said he has signed on to an agreement to that effect.

“Together with Wynn, the state, and other regional partners, we will continue to seek progress on traffic mitigation and mobility concerns and opportunities as they relate to the casino,” he said. “To that end, I would like to announce that the City of Somerville and Wynn MA, LLC, have entered into an agreement that commits both parties to jointly working to address these needs.”

He said he would like that group to continue working specifically on Regional Planning, Multi-Modal Mobility and Transportation Funding, Bus Transit Improvements and Bus Rapid Transit, Air Quality and Public Health, and Environmental Sustainability.

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Sports 05-12-2016

CHS Roundup

CHS girls track team improves to 7-0

The Chelsea High girls outdoor track team remained undefeated with victories this past week over five opponents — Mystic Valley, Presentation of Mary Academy, Shawsheen Tech, Greater Lawrence, and rival Notre Dame of Tyngsboro. The Lady Red Devils’ dominance was evident from the average margin of victory — 45 points — during their winning skein.

There were a number of Coach Mark Martineau’s Lady Red Devils, who now stand at a sterling 7-0 on the season, whose performances truly stood out.

Freshman Jocelyn Poste scored four wins and one second in the 400 hurdles (78.04) and another four wins and a second in the 800 (2:42).

Sophomore Martine Simon continues to break records and rack up tons of points. This week Martine scored four wins and a second in the triple jump (34’-1”), five wins in the long jump (15’-10”), five wins in the 200 (28.31), and three second-place finishes in the 100 (13.78).

Freshman Amanda Dias recorded four victories in the two-mile run, setting a new CHS school record of 12:51 in only her third time running this event.

Freshman Gitu Defanga finished first in the 100 hurdles in two meets with a top time of 20.7.

Senior Katherine Cabral swept first place in all five meets in the 400 (64.11) and added two first place finishes in the high jump (4’0”), as well as two first place finishes in the 100 (13.41).

In the throwing events, senior Jazmin Castellon won all five meets in the shotput, including a new CHS record toss of 28’-8”. But Jazmin was not done there. On top of that, she added five more first-place finishes in the discus (78’9”).

“In four of the meets this past week, we swept the discus, taking all three places,” said Martineau. “Only one athlete from Notre Dame was able to break up what might be our team’s best event.”

Martineau and his crew look to continue their winning ways this week against Somerville, Northeast, and Lynn Tech.

In addition, four Lady Red Devils have qualified for the State Coaches Invitational meet this coming Saturday at Acton-Boxboro Regional High School and will compete against all of the top athletes in the state.

CHS boys track team tops three foes

The Chelsea High boys track team enjoyed a successful week, posting wins against PMA (104-16), Mystic Valley (87-41), and Greater Lawrence (70-65), while taking just one loss to Shawsheen, 99-37. The 3-1 week raised the Red Devils’ record to 4-2.

Junior Bryan Rivas turned in a big week, scoring three first-place finishes and one second-place finish in the 400 hurdles with a best time of 63.31.

Sophomore Jose Leclerc scored two first place finishes and two second place finishes in the mile with a best time of 5:17.

Junior Nick Ieng captured four first-place finishes in the javelin with a best toss of 118’2”. Ieng also scored four wins in the 200 dash with a top time of 24.02.

Another Red Devil junior, Adriel Cedano, scored three victories in the 100 dash with a best time of 11.53. Adriel also took two firsts in the triple jump (38’-8”) and three firsts in the high jump (5’-6”).

This week continues to be a busy one for the CHS boys, who were set to meet Somerville this past Monday, Northeast Regional yesterday (Wednesday), and Lynn Tech on Friday.

Simon wins state frosh-soph meet in the triple jump

Chelsea sophomore Martine Simon captured the triple jump at this past weekend’s Division 1 and 2 State Freshman-Sophomore Meet that was held at Oliver Ames High School in Easton.

Martine won the event with a distance of 33’-11.25”, which was two inches longer than her closest competitor, Keira Morris of North Attleboro.

“This meet included the best freshmen and sophomores from throughout the state at the Division 1 and 2 level,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau. “This is the first time we have ever had an event winner in this very tough state-wide meet.”

Also performing well for Chelsea was freshman Jocelyn Poste, who ran a 2:37.73 in the 800, just missing the CHS school record.

In total, 11 Chelsea athletes qualified for this prestigious meet.

“This is a great sign of good things happening in our future,” added Martineau.

CHS baseball team looking for winning formula

The Chelsea High baseball team dropped a pair of contests this past week.

In a 14-0 loss at Mystic Valley, Tom Melanson was 1-for-2 with a single and Manny Ortiz, Jason Mendez, and Estarlin Martinez reached base via walks.

In a 10-1 loss at Notre Dame/Cristo Rey, highlights were provided by Jason Mendez, who was 1-for-2 with a double, and Luis Jimenez, who was 1-for-1 with a single, a walk, and scored the lone CHS run.

The 2-8 Red Devils’ upcoming schedule is as follows:

5/12/16 – Minuteman at Chelsea – 4:00

5/13/16 – Lynn Tech at Chelsea – 4:00

5/16/16 – Chelsea at Lynn Tech – 4:00

5/17/16 – Chelsea at Shawsheen – 4:00

5/19/16 – Chelsea at Essex Tech – Double Header – 3:30/5:00

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Sports 04-21-2016

Bruins season-end press conference

The Boston Bruins scheduled a mid-morning press conference yesterday (Wednesday) that included Owner Jeremy Jacobs, CEO Charlie Jacobs and Bruins President Cam Neely. While many questions were asked and situations addressed, it all came down to the answer that many reasons were responsible for the Bs to have missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. None of the speakers put the blame on any one person or persons, but the bottom line is that much needs to be done to be sure that missing the playoffs does not become a three-peat for the Bruins. The following information was culled from the press conference.

It began with Neely addressing the season end results with the following explanations: “We’re all extremely disappointed the way the season ended. But having said that, that plan was not a one-offseason fix. We know what our goals are, we know what we need to improve, and we’re taking the necessary steps to continue to do that. I believe the group was a closer group; they enjoyed playing for each other and working hard for each other. I thought there was, you know aside from a couple stretches, we were a team that showed more passion probably than the year prior. But it’s still an area we need to improve upon.”

Charlie Jacobs interjected, “ I concur with Cam that there were some listless moments last season when the team, in my opinion, really for lack of a better term, didn’t have the heart that we had seen in years prior, and that came back. I think some of the youth that (general manager) Don Sweeney was able to inject into our roster reflected some enthusiasm that we frankly hadn’t seen in a while and it was refreshing.” Owner Jeremy Jacobs explained his thoughts by comparing the Bruins in being playoff contenders with the Detroit Red Wings. “I’ve been watching Detroit and they’re…you don’t understand or I don’t understand the issues that they have in front of them. They are a great team and have been for a very long time and they’ve got some wonderful stars there that…but age, you do pay a price for age and all and bringing in the youth. What you admire though is their evolution versus the revolution and so far as that’s concerned you admire the fact that they’ve been on a consistent course. I think we admire that, and I think Cam is playing a similar role now. When Neely was asked at to where the accountability falls, he responded, ”Well it’s all of us really. I mean from me, myself, Don, the coaching staff – all of us. But like I said, the plan that Don put in place wasn’t a one-offseason fix, you know. It’s not easy during the course of the season to make deals to try and improve your club, but a lot of things happen in the offseason. So we’re going to get to work this offseason.

As expected, coach Claude Julien’s decision-making process came up, to which Neely explained, “Well I thought he did a great job coaching this year. It was a big transition year for him, different player personnel than he’s accustomed to. He tried to integrate a lot of younger players and I think he did a good job with the roster. There’s areas where we can all still evolve and I think Claude is looking at that. I think he did a great job with some of the circumstances we had throughout the year. So I really…when Don said he wanted to keep Claude I had no problem with that at all.”

On what came across as a ‘vote of confidence’ as to the team’s direction, and if they were a better team this year, Neely summed it up with, “I believe so, yeah. I mean I think we had a productive offseason. Now obviously there was a curveball thrown in there but we had a productive offseason where I think the first two rounds we should get some good players out of. Granted, it may not be next season, but I believe bringing in Matt Beleskey who’s a guy that gives it every game, I mean his consistency was there throughout the year. I mean he may not have scored as much as he would’ve hoped or we would’ve liked, but his consistency, his physical play, you know was something that we as a group liked from him this year. So there are steps along the way that we need to take and we need to continue to do that to improve. And this offseason hopefully is going to be fruitful for us.” Adding, “I think we’re deeper in the prospects than we’ve been in a long, long time. You know that’s one of the areas where it’s failed us to be able to plug in some young guys the last couple years.”

The press conference wrapped up with Charlie Jacobs being asked, who the product on the ice is a reflections of. Jacobs’ response was clear and concise: “I say without question this is Cam. If people were to ask who is head of hockey operations, it’s a collaborative effort between a numbers of people. But if you ask for one sort of name I would say its Cam Neely. I’m fairly certain my father (Jeremy) would share that sentiment. I just want to clarify one question that was asked earlier. It was about investing, it was about investing in our team. It’s something that we continually do. We had leveraged our future to the point where something had to change last summer. We made the change and we’re writing the ledger, if you will, by stocking our team back up with prospects with the ability for cap flexibility to make the proper moves moving forward. We will always invest in this team. I think now we’re back on the right side of the ledger, we have an opportunity in front of us to move forward. We are a cap team and there should be expectations in an Original Six market that we continue to be a playoff contender, and frankly a Stanley Cup contender. Given the mix of talent that we currently have on the roster and the youth that’s coming in, Cam’s aware of those expectations, as is Don.”

CHS Roundup

CHS girls track

rolls past Essex Tech

The Chelsea High girls outdoor track & field team chalked up a 90-45 triumph over Commonwealth Athletic Conference rival Essex Tech last week.

It was a strong day for the Lady Red Devils, who won last year’s Commonwealth Athletic Conference title and who are returning all of their major contributors.

Sophomore Martine Simon set the pace by winning the long jump (16’-4”) and the triple jump (33’-8.5”), as well as adding second place finishes in the 100 (13.6) and 200 (29.03) dashes. Martine qualified for the state meet in both jumping events.

Senior speedster Mariama Kamara also qualified for the state meet in the 100 with a first-place finish in 13.0. Mariama also won the 200 in 27.62. Senior Katherine Cabral led a sweep of the 400 dash in 1:04.56, with junior Owliyo Mohamud (1:06.05) and sophomore Awa Bajika (1:10.77) taking second and third.

Freshman Jocelyn Poste was a double winner in the 800 (2:47.63) and 400 hurdles (1:18.8).

Junior Melanie Nguyen won the 100 hurdles in 20.7 and took second in the 400 hurdles in 1:23.8. Freshman Amanda Dias, competing in her first-ever track meet, topped the field in the two-mile run in 13:42.4.

In the throwing events, a Chelsea sweep of the discus was the big story. Sophomore Xiana Herasme won the event with a toss of 74’07”, with freshman Masireh Ceesay finishing second (67’-3”) and senior Jazmin Castellan taking third (67’-1”).

Other point-scorers for Chelsea were: Jazmin Castellan with a second in the shotput with throw of 25’-10”; Katherine Cabral with a second in the triple jump (30’-10”) and a third in the high jump (4’-4”); Alex Martine with a third in the javelin with a toss of 52’-1”; Yarid Deras with a second in the mile (6:33.4) and a third in the 800 (3:02.40); and Wendy Becerra (who also competed in the mile) in the two-mile in 14:36.3.

Chelsea also won both relays, the 4 x 400 (4:52 vs. 5:03 for Essex) and the 4 x 100 in 1:01.

“This was a great start to our season,” said CHS coach Mark Martineau. “Our girls’ squad is very young, deep, and full of potential. We are paced by seniors Mariama Kamara, Wendy Becerra, and Katherine Cabral. For this squad, expectations are high.”

CHS boys track team

wins meet in final relay

The Chelsea High boys outdoor track and field team pulled out a 71-65 triumph over Essex Tech in a meet that came down to an exciting relay in the last event of the day, the 4 x 400, in which the Red Devils edged their opponents by eight seconds with a time of 3:56.

Pacing the CHS victory was junior Adriel Cedano who won three events, the high jump (tied for first with a leap of 5’-6”), triple jump (37’-8”), and 100 dash (11.8),

as well as leading off the winning 4 x 100 relay.

Junior Nick Ing won the 200 in 24.91 and teammate Lugman Shariff grabbed second place in 25.45. Ing also took a third in the javelin with a throw of 82’-6”.

Other first-place finishers for Chelsea were: junior Leonardo DeAlmedia, who won the 400 in 57.0 (Leonardo also took second in the long jump with a leap of 18’-8.5”); senior Jose Aguiar, who captured the 800 in 2:17.12.; sophomore Jose LeClerc, who topped the field in the mile in 5:20.9 (Jose also grabbed a second in the 800 in 2:18.32); senior Jansel Claudio, who won the two mile in 12:14.5; and junior Bryan Rivas, who won the 400 hurdles in 1:06.58.

Other scorers for Chelsea who added important points in such a close meet were: Nelson Hernadez with a second in the shotput with a throw of 33’-7.75”; Isaac Colcord with a third in the discus with a toss of 81’-4”; Alex Pedrero with a second in the 110 hurdles in 20.5; and Kevin Umanzor with a third in the 800 in 2:26.54.

“Usually when you take first place in this many events, the meet is not as close as this one was,” noted CHS head coach Mark Martineau. “Essex was able to stay close due to the depth of their squad and lack of depth for ours. In many events we only have one competitor. In all of those events we were able to take first place, but by giving up free points for second and third, we allowed Essex to stay in the meet. Every meet will be tough for this team this year. If we can avoid injuries we should be competitive all season.

“Though this is the smallest team we have had in many years,” added Martineau,”the good news is that the athletes we do have are committed and talented.”

CHS track to hold

Car Wash Fundraiser

this Saturday at CHS

The Chelsea High boys and girls track teams will hold a Car Wash fundraiser this Saturday morning (April 23) on the Everett Ave. side of the high school from 9-12.

Give your car a nice spring washing and support the CHS track program!

Ortiz tosses complete

game in 10-0 victory

Manny Ortiz tossed a complete game, striking out nine enemy batters, to lead the Chelsea High baseball team to its first victory of the season, 10-0 over Notre Dame/Cristo Rey Monday.

Andony Turcios went 2-4 with four RBIs to lead the Red Devil offense to its best production of the season.

Also contributing significantly to the CHS scoring output were Luis Jimenez, who scored two runs and had an RBI triple, and Thomas Melanson, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

In a pair of losses last week, Chelsea fell by a score of 10-2 to Mystic Valley and

10-0 to Northeast Regional. In the former contest, Eduardo Nunez and Ortiz both reached base twice via walks. Nunez and John Acker scored the runs for Chelsea.

In the contest with Northeast, Jimenez, Nunez, and Turcios all had singles for Chelsea.

Coach Alan Beausoleil and his crew, who are 1-3 on the season, trek to Minuteman Regional this morning (Thursday) and will host Whittier tomorrow. They travel to Essex Tech Tuesday and entertain Greater Lawrence next Thursday and Pope John next Friday.

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Grand Achievement Rivera Scores 1,000th point

Chelsea High basketball star Allysa Rivera is pictured with her parents, Jose Rivera and Nilda Justiniano.

Chelsea High basketball star Allysa Rivera is pictured with her parents, Jose Rivera and Nilda Justiniano.

By Cary Shuman

Chelsea High School senior Allysa Rivera entered the 1,000-point club in the manner one would expect – converting her specialty, the three-point shot.

Rivera hit a three-pointer deep in the left corner in the second quarter of Chelsea’s 44-19 victory over Minuteman Tech to reach the milestone, joining former CHS greats Denise Chappell and Autumn Lopez in the exclusive club. She needed 14 for her 1,000th point and she finished the game with 25.

The 5-foot-2-inch guard is an outside shooter extraordinaire, rekindling memories of former three-point artist John Saunders, who played for coach Jack Niven’s Red Devils in the 1980s.

Chelsea coach Ted Freeley has been Rivera’s coach for four varsity seasons. He’s helped develop her talents and built a winning program around the prolific scorer and reigning conference MVP. Chelsea has qualified for the State Tournament in three of the last four years.

“Allysa is an unbelievable ballhandler. She’s a one-person press breaker,” said Freeley. “And she’s an outstanding shooter, particularly on three-pointers.”

While Stephen Curry has been lighting up the NBA from three-point land, Rivera has been hitting nothing but net in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. She set a school-record with 7 three-pointers and 21 points in one quarter versus Northeast Regional and had 10 three-pointers and 30 points overall in the game.

“Allysa has worked hard on her outside shooting,” said Freeley. “We’ve been working on her short-range game and driving to the basket because I think that’s what she is going to need down the road.”

A very good student, Rivera has been in correspondence with Mitchell College in Connecticut, Nichols College, and New England College.

“Allysa can definitely play at the next level,” said Freeley.

Rivera’s achievement was part of a special night for the program. The Red Devils won their tenth game of the season to qualify for the State Tournament and Rivera and her fellow seniors, Amalia Alvarado and Ida Fernandes, were honored during “Senior Night” festivities before the game.

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Wynn Clears Towering Hurdle with Permit in Environmental Process

After nearly two years of reviews and 10,000-plus pages of analysis, Wynn Everett received the go-ahead from state environmental regulators late Friday evening – gaining a critical approval that had stood in the way of construction on the casino since February.

After having sent Wynn back to the drawing board regarding traffic plans last fall, state environmental reviewers (known as MEPA) once again sent Wynn back to the drawing board last spring to work out five more outstanding items. In mid-July, Wynn submitted its Second Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Report (SSFEIR) and, on Aug. 28, was deemed to be in “adequate and proper compliance.”

“I hereby determine that the SSFEIR submitted on this project adequately and properly complies with MEPA and with its implementing regulations,” wrote state Environmental Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The proponent adequately addressed these (five) issues. Outstanding aspects of the project that require additional analysis can be addressed during local, state and federal permitting, review and approval processes.”

A notable amount of space in Beaton’s letter was devoted to traffic mitigation, and he indicated that Wynn had complied with its plans.

“The proponent has made significant commitments to minimize and mitigate traffic impacts,” he wrote. “The proponent has also agreed to provide an annual operating subsidy to the MBTA to mitigate impacts on the Orange Line…This is an unprecedented commitment that acknowledges and addresses the project’s impact on transit operations…The MassDOT has reviewed the proponent’s traffic analysis and mitigation plans and determined, consistent with long established review protocols, that it will be effective to mitigate the project’s impacts on existing transportation infrastructure. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) reached the same conclusion after its review.”

The approval sent many cheers from the Wynn company and from folks in Everett.

“The process has been meticulous and hard fought and undoubtedly will continue to be so,” said Steve Wynn in a statement. “However, with the support of the Governor and his administration, the process was open and fair. At moments like this, there is certainly a feeling of gratification and forward movement. It lifts our spirits and energizes us to get on with the business of constructing our building and recruiting a remarkable staff. These challenges are familiar to us and in the execution of them, we experience great joy and satisfaction.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said Chelsea has always operated under the assumption that the casino was going forward. He said the bigger matter will be getting funding to mitigate the problems.

“Chelsea is operating under the assumption that the project will proceed,” he said. “We will continue to work to ensure for Chelsea adequate compensation to address the various impacts of that casino project.”

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he looks forward to shovels going in the ground, saying the MEPA certificate was beyond a major milestone.

“Secretary Beaton’s announcement today means more than just a significant milestone for this project,” he said. “It is the validation of the planning, hard work and perseverance of everyone involved in making Wynn Everett a reality. The Wynn team has put forth an ambitious development that fully mitigates the impacts of their project. Their attention to detail and careful planning are the reasons I chose to work with them in the first place – and the reasons the MEPA Certificate was issued by Secretary Beaton today. I look forward to the hard work ahead, to seeing shovels in the ground, and to the continuing discussions about the future of our region.”

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, who has been against the Wynn casino for some time, was more reserved on receiving the news, but indicated that Boston might begin participating in state-run regional traffic planning for the greater Sullivan Square area. In two previous meetings run by state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Boston refused to attend.

“We will continue to fight for the best interests and public safety of the people of Charlestown – where the effects of the proposed casino would be enormous,” he said Friday night in a statement. “Secretary Beaton’s decision could make it necessary to invest well over $175 million in Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue. I will work with the Baker Administration and my colleagues in federal and state government to ensure that adequate funding mechanisms are in place for a regional project of this magnitude. We will also coordinate with these partners to push for an accurate and expert-based transportation plan in order to fully understand and then mitigate this development’s impacts on Boston’s streets.”

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) also made itself heard, noting that thousands of people would benefit from the potential economic opportunities.

“The Commission will continue to take every opportunity to encourage Wynn to work cooperatively with the neighboring communities, and will use its authority to ensure that Wynn continues to work with other state and local agencies and permitting authorities to develop solutions to outstanding issues,” read the statement. “We are particularly mindful of the critical nature of the long-term solution to Sullivan Square, as envisioned in our original conditional license award and the $25 million commitment to that project that we required of Wynn. Wynn will be obligated to report on such outreach to the Commission as part of its mandatory reporting to the Commission.”

And such long-term planning was also a priority for Beaton, who codified the regional stakeholder traffic planning meetings led by Pollack.

Beaton said he had considered calls for further traffic review via the MEPA process, especially on Sullivan Square, but believed that it was outside the process. Instead, he believed that Pollack’s meetings were the proper venue for long-term planning.

“I have concluded that the practical, rational and effective approach to addressing broader regional transportation impacts for this project is through enhanced transportation planning processes, not through the prism of this single project,” he wrote. “In completing the MEPA review, I am requiring enhanced public participation during permitting and development of Section 61 findings by MassDOT and the establishment of a Regional Working Group.”

He defined the Regional Working Group as a MassDOT-led conglomeration of stakeholders in the region that will “assess and develop long-term transportation improvements that can support sustainable redevelopment and economic growth in and around Sullivan Square.”

He said that Wynn has agreed to participate and would provide a proportionate share of funding to support the effort. He said those involved should include the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, MAPC, Department of Conservation and Recreation, the City of Boston, the City of Everett and the City of Somerville. He also indicated that large employers and developers should play a role in the planning also, perhaps a nod to the new Partners Healthcare building under construction and the Assembly Row shopping area under construction.

As related to traffic, Beaton also indicated that a larger traffic model need not be used to evaluate the project, a model known as the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) regional travel demand model. Such a suggestion was called for by Attorney General Maura Healey.

“MassDOT’s comments indicate that the regional travel demand model is employed to evaluate MassDOT projects that are of sufficient size and scope to alter the regional travel network,” he wrote. “I note that MAPC has not called for this analysis and also indicate that the traffic analysis demonstrates that project impacts can be mitigated.”

In conclusion, Beaton elaborated extensively on the constraints of the MEPA process, explaining that he viewed it more as a review than a decision.

“MEPA does not approve or deny a project,” he wrote. “It is an administrative process that is subject to public review and comment. The MEPA process itself does not result in any formal adjudicative decision approving or disapproving a project. The determination that a review document is adequate means that the proponent has adequately described and analyzed the project and its alternatives, and assessed its potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures.”

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Hope Not Dope: Ending the Spate of Overdoses with Awareness

When 54-year-old Billy Carriere stepped onto the bricks of Bellingham Square Monday morning, it was with a new set of eyes; eyes that weren’t blurred by the illusions of heroin and the daily grind of living to satisfy the cravings of addiction.

Just nine months earlier, and for a per

Billy Carriere, a former addict now in recovery nine months, shares his personal story to help spread awareness on International Overdose Awareness Day.

Billy Carriere, a former addict now in recovery nine months, shares his personal
story to help spread awareness on International Overdose Awareness Day.

iod of several years, he was a regular in the Square – getting high every day, going back and forth from the Methadone Clinic on Crescent Avenue and constantly looking for a way to numb the pain that started when his girlfriend overdosed and died three years ago.

It was then that he slipped and became a regular user.

However, on Monday, he was celebrating upon his return, celebrating the fact that he had been sober for nine months and was enjoying his life again without drugs.

“I used to use up until nine months ago almost every day,” he said. “Life was utterly hopeless and meaningless. Now I have hope. Hope is a big thing. They don’t see there is hope – that it is possible. Regardless of the circumstances, we can recover…I really didn’t get a decent pitch to hit; I really didn’t. However, I can deal with it without drugs.”

Carriere and about a dozen other folks in recovery from the Meridian House in East Boston were in the Square Monday with City Navigator Rev. Ruben Rodriguez to spread the word about International Overdose Awareness Day – commemorated with purple ribbons and part of the kickoff of September’s Recovery Month events.

Part of that awareness case was simple – a dry erase board and markers.

On that board, those from the Meridian House and many passers-by were invited to write the names of friends or family who had overdosed.

Within an hour, the board was completely full of names, and there was no longer any room to write anyone else. It was a stark reality of how severe the problem is in Chelsea, as well as the surrounding communities and their residents that often congregate in the Square and, sometimes, overdose in the City as well.

“The position I hold is very tough because I deal with all the overdose victims out here every day,” said Rodriguez. “I wanted to raise some awareness today to those in the public. I also wanted to bring the Meridian House people here so those in the Square could see that recovery is possible. We have people here today in recovery three months, six months and nine months. I also wanted to bring those in recovery here so they could see how much they don’t want to go back to this life. I want them to see what they don’t want to be again.”

Donning purple shirts and purple ribbons, several folks in recovery and concerned citizens not in recovery blanketed the City Hall side of the Square and talked to folks, asking them in English and Spanish if they knew anyone who had overdosed. They talked to folks who were in the midst of addiction and were using. They talked with passers-by who weren’t aware of how serious the problem is in Chelsea.

“I’ve been in recovery one year on Sept. 1,” Ralph Rizzuti told a man passing by. “It’s hard, but a day to day battle. I have a wife, four kids and grandchildren. I finally see them for how great and valuable they are. I finally see that it does no good for me to lie to all of them about whether I am using or not. If I lie to them, and then go use, that’s only hurting me. That sets me back. I’m glad to not by lying anymore and to be sober for one year.”

Rodriguez is currently the only Navigator working for the City, and there is another position opening soon.

“It’s a lot of work and we have a spot for another person to help,” he said. “We are trying to make a difference out here.”

The event on Monday was sponsored by the Winnisimmet Regional Opioid Collaborative.

Cutline –

FRONT – 3838

Billy Carriere, a former addict now in recovery nine months, said he used to come to this very spot in Bellingham Square nearly every day to use heroin and hang out. With fresh eyes, he and other from the Meridian House returned to their former haunt next to City Hall to help City Navigator Ruben Rodriguez spread awareness on International Overdose Awareness Day.

3824 –

Suzanne Bittrolff writes down the name of a loved one that has overdosed. The board for such names was quickly filled and left with no room for others.

3830 –

Gladys Guzman held a sign for passers-by to see, reading ‘Say Nope to Dope.’

3832 –

Jamie Quigley, Rev. Ruben Rodriguez and Ruben Walter helped coordinate the International Overdose Awareness Day in Chelsea.

3837 –

A large group of folks in recovery from the Meridian House returned to the Square on Monday to talk to folks who are still using and to be an example of hope.

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