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.
The five years have passed quickly since
Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro decided they wanted to run a basketball tournament
for the youth of Chelsea.
“We’re just two Chelsea guys in the
community giving back,” said Umemba.
Year Five for the Let It Fly Basketball
Tournament is here and the best players in the area will gathering on Saturday,
Aug. 10 at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club on Willow Street.
The first tournament in 2015 was held
outside in 90-degree heat. The steamy weather prompted Kyle, 26, a graduate of BB&N and George Washington
University, finance professional and fashion model – and Cesar, 28, a graduate
of Salem State University known as “The Grand Young Man” for scoring 1,000
points in his CHS basketball career, CHS basketball coach and paraprofessional
in the school district – brought the tournament indoors and it’s been played at
the JGBC basketball gymnasium ever since.
According to the two co-directors, all the
stuff that makes the tournament so special will be back in 2019. There will be
public address announcing for each game, a DJ’s musical entertainment, free
refreshments, and a raffle table.
Key community leaders such as CBC President
Joan Cromwell (“We couldn’t do this without Joan,” son Kyle Umemba says
proudly) and Chelsea Police Community Liaison Officer Sammy Mojica Sr. will be
on hand to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Chelsea Police Officers
David Batchelor and Keith Sweeney are also valuable contributors to the
tournament each year.
Sammy Mojica Jr., who played college
basketball at Drexel and is currently a professional player in the Puerto Rico
Basketball League, will make a guest appearance. One year, NBA player Nerlens
Noel of Everett, made a guest appearance.
of the best players in the Let It Fly Tournament will be Jarnel Guzman, an
All-Scholastic guard who led Lynn English to the Division 1 state championship
in March.“If they’re a big name player in New England, they’ll be here,” said
Twelve teams, eight high school and four
middle school, will compete for the titles. A standing room only crowd is
expected throughout the day.
“It’s great energy,” said Umemba. “We want
others to follow our lead and I think it’s having that kind of effect. One of
our scholarship recipients, Alfredo Hernandez, held a tournament at Chelsea
“There was a tournament held at Clinton
Court that was generated by our idea for a tournament,” added Castro.
Umemba and Castro aren’t sitting on their
success. The plans are to take ‘Let It Fly’ national in the next few years.
And if their organizational talents in
making Let It fly the premier summer hoop extravaganza in Greater Boston are
any indication, we would suggest either get on aboard or get out of the way.
“We’re building a platform in Chelsea,” said
“The important thing is that everybody has a
time,” concluded Castro.
if you can’t be there to enjoy the tournament in person, Chelsea Community
Cable Television will be there to record the action for a broadcast.
grateful to Mr. [Robert] Bradley and his station for covering it every year.”
said the directors.
Teamsters Local 25 awarded college
scholarships worth $60,000 to 30 high school students at its May 19 membership
meeting, held at the Local 25 Union Hall. Nevena Jurisic, of Chelsea, was among
the recipients. A recent graduate of Chelsea High School, Ryan will attend
Salem State University fall. Nevena is the daughter of Tihomir Jurisic, a
Teamsters Local 25 member that works at Paul Revere Transportation.
“These students are the future of our
nation,” said Teamsters Local 25 President Sean M. O’Brien. “They are smart,
engaged and an example of all that is good in the world. If the achievements
and goals they have had so far is any indication, we can expect nothing but
greatness from the future generation.”
President O’Brien was joined by
Massachusetts Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-3), who helped present the student
“I am so proud of the 30 recipients of
the Teamsters Local 25 Scholarships. I grew up in a union household, and know
first-hand how important this kind of support can be to families working hard
to make ends meet so they can build a better life for themselves and their
children. Supporting one another is what union membership is all about. I look
forward to these students continuing to grow and make a positive impact in
their communities,” said Trahan.
Since 2006, Teamsters Local 25 has
awarded nearly $600,000 in scholarship funds. All students are children or
grandchildren of Local 25 members or retirees.
Local 25 is the largest Teamsters Union in New England, representing more than
Matt Frank has always carried his own unique
viewpoint of Chelsea, his own deep respect and love for a city he grew up in
during its worst times, and for which he helped shepherd as a City Councillor
during the ascent to some of its best times.
Now, after having retired from politics last
election cycle, the life-long Chelsea resident has turned to a life behind the
camera – taking up photography in a serious way and making more than a hobby
out of it. Last weekend, he premiered his first solo show at the Chelsea
Prospers Gallery in the windows of the former Salvation Army store.
“The show is up and I think we had a great
opening before the Night Market last weekend,” he said. “This is a show I call
‘Modern Nostalgia.’ The focus is the things we know here that we have lost. We
lost the water tower at the Soldiers’ Home and the Chelsea Clock building and
the old Clark Avenue School, which I have pictured aside the new Clark Avenue
School building…There are pictures of the downtown and the Tobin Bridge and one
of kayakers on the Creek by the Bridge at sunset. Many don’t see Chelsea as
elegant and pretty. But I think my photos are how a lot of residents see
Chelsea…It’s an aspirational image and that’s how we feel about Chelsea at its
Frank began playing around with a camera
many years ago when he was working in Harvard Square, taking pictures for his
job there as a necessity. It was a situation where he once got a very iconic
photo of Lady Gaga when she was in Harvard Square visiting.
After he left the Council, he said he was
looking for a hobby and all signs pointed to his camera. He purchased a little
better camera and went to work in his hometown.
Since then, he has captured images that have
gotten great feedback from residents as he showed them prints or posted them
online – motion photos of Bellingham Square, or swans in Mill Creek, or sunsets
over the Mystic/Tobin Bridge.
Soon, he was one of the leading voices –
among many voices – in what Frank and others are calling the ‘Beautiful
That has come not just in the form of
traditional photographs, but also with photo pillows, magnets, mugs and other
“It’s becoming a bit of a movement now,” he
Frank said he would like to continue his
journey by adding more portraits, and more photos of people, but he said he
also likes the idea of continuing on with inspiring photos of Chelsea.
“Maybe I’ll focus on different communities, but
honestly the Chelsea ones get a great reaction,” he said. “That’s because I
know Chelsea. I suspect when I take pictures of other cities, it’s the same
way. I think that what it is. My Chelsea pieces have my spirit in it. I think I
see Chelsea in the way that others from Chelsea see it.”
Prattville City Councillor Bob Bishop said
this week he will not seek re-election to a second term, leaving an open
district seat for candidates to vie for.
“I’ve decided I’m not going to be running
this time around,” he said. “We’ll see what transpires in the future, but I
think I’ve had enough this time.”
Bishop was elected in 2017 to represent
Prattville in District 1 after former Councillor Paul Murphy stepped away to
spend more time with his growing young family. Bishop was the former City Clerk
in Chelsea, and was an alderman back in the old form of government. He was a
staunch fiscal conservative on the Council and a voice of restraint in a time
when the City has spent a lot of money on improvements and programming.
He will continue to serve out his term,
which ends in early January 2020.
Bishop did pull Nomination papers in May,
but elected not to turn them in.
According to City records, that leaves only
Todd Taylor right now on the list of candidates who have pulled papers.
Taylor narrowly lost to Bishop in the 2017
election, and has served on the Planning Board. He pulled papers for the seat
on July 11.
Candidates have until Aug. 4 to turn in
signatures on their Nomination Papers.
•In other Council election news, the
at-large race has shown some real interest so far with all three incumbents
pulling papers and three newcomers seeming looking to challenge.
Incumbents Damali Vidot (Council President),
Roy Avellaneda and Leo Robinson have pulled their papers, and perhaps joining
them on the ballot are Mark Rossi (who is currently the License Board Chair and
lives on Clark Avenue), Karen Santos (Cook Street), and Christopher Winam
In District 2, incumbent Luis Tejada has
taken out his papers for a re-election run, and he is being challenged by
Olivia Anne Walsh of the Soldiers’ Home and Melinda Vega Maldonado, of Clark
In District 4, incumbent Enio Lopez could
have a challenger in Nelson Molina, of Marlborough Street, who pulled his
papers early on May 1.
District 5 Councillor Judith Garcia is set
to run again for her seat, but she already has some competition in Jason
Bonetti of Beacon Street.
In District 6, Councillor Giovanni Recupero
has filed for re-election, but he has a possible challenger in Christopher
Assante of Hawthorne Street.
Councillors Joe Perlatonda (District 3),
Yamir Rodriguez (District 7) and Calvin Brown (District 8) have filed for
re-election and have no challengers as of yet.
•The School Committee at-large race features
incumbent Frank DePatto facing former member Sean O’Regan and newcomer Roberto
In District 1, incumbent Rosemarie Carlisle
is facing two challengers, James O’Regan and Bruce Harrison.
In District 4, incumbent Lucia Henriquez has
an opponent in Sabrina Marie Wadhams of Gerrish Avenue.
District 7 School Committeewoman Kelly
Garcia has a potential challenger in former member Charles Klauder – who was on
the Committee for a few terms awhile back.
In the other
districts, the incumbents have pulled papers, but have not challenger as of
Chelsea photographer Darlene DeVita hosted
her “People of Chelsea” exhibit Monday night at City Hall.
The exhibit featured individual
black-and-white photographs that DeVita had taken in the city. In the text
underneath the photo, the subject expressed his/her opinions and thoughts about
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson and Police
Capt. David Batchelor, one of Chelsea High School’s greatest all-around
athletes, were among those featured in the exhibit.
Bill Carriere, who works full time at Home
Depot in Chelsea, said he was “incredibly honored” to have his photo included
in the exhibit.
“I’m proud to be among all the diversity and
all the photos and wonderful stories that have been highlighted here,” said
Carriere. “Darlene’s work is really amazing. She’s so passionate about this
Sarah Putnam, a photographer who assisted
DeVita as a Spanish language interpreter and editor of the interviews, said, “I
love her work. She’s a very good photographer. She has a great eye and we just
had so much fun working together.”
DeVita, who has lived in Chelsea for 15
years, said the exhibit was the culmination of a three-year project. She has
been a photographer for 30 years, having first been inspired by a teacher,
Byron Baldwin, at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, N.C. “I owe my
photographic career to him,” said DeVita.
Councillor-at-Large Calvin Brown and Chelsea
Police Community Engagement Specialist Dan Cortez joined residents in
congratulating DeVita on her inspiring exhibit.
“I’ve been getting a very good response,”
said DeVita, who helped launch the Chelsea Art Walk. “I love Chelsea and
everything that is going on in the city. I want to see Chelsea stay as the
great community that it is.”
Silvia Lopez-Chavez, a mural artist, said of
her friend Darlene’s work: “I love the fact that she’s showcasing the beautiful
people of Chelsea. There is such a variety of groups and people and it is nice
to be able to connect the community through art. She’s a really good
photographer and I got the opportunity to collaborate with her creating the
banners in the city using her photographs.”
The passing this past week of Genevieve
Spinelli, who owned and operated Genevieve’s Dance Studio for 42 years,
marks the end of an era for those who lived in this city in the latter part of
the last century.
Genevieve taught two generations of children
the joys of dance, installing in each child a sense of self-confidence,
teamwork, and discipline. Parents admired her both for the individual attention
she gave to their children and for the uplifting manner with which she taught
each and every cild.
The end-of-the-year recitals were a source
of much joy for Genevieve, as she watched her students perform so confidently
in front of large audiences for the first time.
Her generosity of spirit, her ability to
make each child feel special, and her vibrant personality made each day at the
studio a fun and enjoyable after-school activity for all of her dancers.
She was the wife of Ralph Spinelli, with
whom she shared 50 years of marriage. Ralph was her most valued supporter and
No. 1 fan, knowing his wife was revered by children and parents alike. Ralph
himself possesses an incredible ability to tell a story or a joke and bring a
smile to those fortunate enough to be in his company, and together Genevieve
and he were an inseparable pair who made a difference in the lives of those who
were fortunate enough to attend her school.
Those of us who were blessed to know their
son, Robert MacDonald, in his youth, remember his early and successful
involvement in the performing arts and what a terrific person he is.
In Genevieve Spinelli, Chelsea truly has
lost a legendary figure — a link to a glorious period in our history when
dancing was an activity for so many of our youngest residents. Genevieve
inspired countless young people in this city to develop a lifelong appreciation
We know we join
with all of our fellow residents in expressing our condolences to her family.
Genevieve was a wonderful lady and truly will be missed.
It is a story of a determined young woman
who came to this country from Costa Rica, worked hard, raised two beautiful
daughters as a single mother and made their education a top priority.
Ana Romero, who arrived in the U.S.A. 27 years ago, sat proudly among the other parents at the recent Excel Academy High School (East Boston) graduation ceremonies at Faneuil Hall’s Great Hall.
Chelsea resident Ana Romero is pictured with her twin daughter, Natalia and Yasmine Calvo, following their Excel Academy Charter High School graduation ceremony at the Great Hall at Faneuil Hall, Boston.
Ana’s twin 17-year-old daughters, who were
born five minutes apart, Natalia Calvo and Yasmine Calvo, were receiving their
diplomas, and as a result of their overall academic excellence and
contributions to their school community, were on their way to two of the
world’s most prestigious universities.
Natalia will enroll at Harvard University in
Cambridge while her sister, Yasmine, will enroll at Princeton University in New
Jersey. Both schools are members of the Ivy League.
The sisters’ journey began at the Kelley
School in Chelsea where they attended grades 1-4. Natalia and Yasmine moved on
to the Excel Academy Chelsea in the founding class and attended the charter
school through eighth grade.
“We were in separate classes all through
elementary and middle school,” said Natalia.
“I had requested separate classes because I
wanted them to be themselves,” said Ana Romero.
Onward to Excel
High School in East Boston
They remained in the Excel Academy Charter
School system, moving to a brand new high school in East Boston in the tenth
grade as members of the school’s first graduating class of 100 students.
They were certainly at the top of their class,
not only establishing their academic credentials as high honor roll students
and members of the National Honor Society, but becoming school leaders and
representatives in the Model United Nations.
History teacher and Model United Nations
advisor Kate Lints and computer science and Technology Club advisor Nora
LaCasse were their favorite teachers at Excel. The Calvo twins were co-founders
of the Technology Club.
They also praised Excel college counselor
“She’s great – we love her,” agreed the
“She’s [Repp] very patient, very
knowledgeable, she helped them through the college admissions process,” lauded
Natalia received the school’s top science
award while Yasmine received the top mathematics award and a community award.
Interestingly, both young ladies are
lifeguards at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club. They had joined the club as
“Gina [Centrella] has been really great at
connecting us to different resources,” said Natalia about the club’s executive
director. “Whenever there’s an opportunity, she always makes sure to let us
Ana Romero is very happy with her daughters’
experience at the Boys and Girls Club.
“I love the club,” said Romero. “They not
only worked there and taught the kids how to swim, but they had a great swim
coach Travis Robinette].”
“He [Robinette] put us in a scuba diving
course and we learned how to scuba dive, surf, and snorkel said Natalia.
During their careers, both sisters helped
other students with academic tutoring.
Applying to College
Natalia and Yasmine applied to several
colleges and were accepted to the best schools in America.
They learned of their acceptances to their
Ivy League schools on March 28.
Natalia, who is a Noonan Scholar and took
summer courses at Amherst, chose Harvard among five Ivy League acceptances.
Johns Hopkins, Wellesley, and Tufts were also on the sisters’ list of elite
“I liked how close the school was [to
Chelsea] – and I wanted to be close to my mom,” said Natalia, in explaining her
decision to attend Harvard. “The college has a lot of history. I remember
visiting Harvard in middle school. I remember thinking, ‘I’ll never get in
here’ – and now I’m going there, which is like – crazy.”
Yasmine talked about her decision to attend
“The first time I heard about Princeton was
from reading [Supreme Court Justice] Ana Sotomayor’s biography during summer
reading at the beginning of freshman year,” said Yasmine, who had attended the
Beaverworks summer program at MIT. “I really liked the vibe at Princeton.”
The sisters will both study Computer Science at their respective universities.
Encouragement and Support from Mom in Their Earliest Days
Ana Romero is very excited about her daughters’ future plans.
kids, they’re very grounded,” said Romero. “I have no doubt that they’re going
to succeed at college. I always encouraged them to go to high school, go to
college, get a good education, and have a good career.”
Natalia recalled how
their mother encouraged them to start thinking about college at a very young
“I remember when we were
little kids, she said, ‘you have to go college,’’ recalled Yasmine. “My sister
and I are so grateful to our mother for all the sacrifices she made.”
“Yasmine took the words
out of my mouth,” said an equally thankful Natalia.
For the first time in
August, the Calvo girls will be heading their separate ways, Natalia to
Harvard, Yasmine to Princeton.
“Hopefully we’ll beat Harvard in football,” said Yasmine, with a smile.
The Massport Board of Directors announced that
Boston Planning and Development head Brian Golden and Massport’s Port Director
Lisa Weiland have emerged as the two finalists who will be considered for the
Massport CEO post.
The Massport board will meet
during a special meeting Thursday and make its final decision on whether it
will be Golden or Weiland for the $300,000 a year job that will oversee Logan
International Airport and the Conley Shipping Terminal in Southie.
After a nation-wide search
that included 170 applicants for the job the Massport board cut the list down
to 40, then 10, then four before Golden and Weiland emerged.
“I want to hear three things
from the two candidates; their vision, how familiar and experienced they are in
working the levers of local and federal government, and maybe most importantly,
what experience they have working with local impacted neighborhoods,“ said Massport board member
and Eastie resident John Nucci. “Those were former CEO Thomas Glynn’s strengths
and it’s what we need again right now.”
In 2016 the Massport board
voted to promote Weiland from Acting Port Director to Port Director.
Wieland has served as the
Acting Port Director since March of 2015 and previously as Maritime’s Chief Administrative
Officer. As Port Director, she oversees planning, development, marketing,
operations, security, financial management, administration and maintenance of
all of Massport’s non-aviation properties. Before joining the Maritime team,
Wieland served in several roles at Massport, including the Director of HR
Strategy and Employment and the Director of Corporate Planning and Analysis.
Wieland has been with Massport since 2006.
Prior to her employment with
Massport, Wieland worked as a consultant for Bain & Company serving health
care and consumer products clients, and for CNN in various news and political
assignments. She received her B.A. from UCLA in Political Science, and her
M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
As BPDA Director since 2014,
Golden functions as the BPDA’s chief executive. He oversees the agency’s core
missions of community-engaged planning, regulation of major real estate
development, management of the BPDA’s real property, and workforce training
An attorney since 1993, Golden
is a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he
served the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston. He was also the New England
Regional Director at the US Department of Health and Human Services, a
Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy,
and a member of the Board of Directors at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston.
Golden has served as a U.S.
Army officer, active duty and reserve, for more than twenty years. His military
experience included duty in Bosnia, Iraq, and Israel/West Bank.
Golden is a graduate of the Boston Latin
School and Harvard College. He received a Master’s degree from the U.S. Army
War College and a law degree from the College of William and Mary’s School of
When one addresses Chelsea High graduate
Jocelyn Poste, they wouldn’t be incorrect to call her ‘Madame President,’ yet
they could also refer to her as the Salutatorian of the Class of 2019, or for
another angle, as the best female athlete of the year.
Or if none of those are of interest, she
could certainly be called a passionate community activist.
It’s hard to find one title to pin on Poste,
18, but that is what defines her time at Chelsea High.
This year, Poste was one of the handful of
students that fought hard to get the graduation exercises back outside at the
Stadium. And even in the face of adversity, they continued.
Poste said it was an experience that will
shape her after high school.
“I never really got involved with politics
until that happened,” she said. “There were plenty of people who said we
couldn’t do it. We kept at it and it worked. I talked with Damali Vidot
(Council President) about it and she said we had to come back and take her seat
when we’re older. I don’t know if I would get into politics, but I want to be a
voice for the people certainly.”
Poste began her career at the Silber ELC and
then went to the Kelly School and the Clark Avenue Middle School.
She will attend Union College as a Posse
Scholar, meaning she will have a full ride to the New York school as well as a
support network. She said she was not sure about going out of state to college
at first, but the Posse Scholarship was too good an opportunity to pass up.
There, she will focus on biology so she can
pursue her goal of being a dermatologist.
That dream stems from a video that was
popular in middle school that went viral. It was called Dr. Pimple Popper and
it was something she said pointed her in that direction.
She said she wanted to thank her parents,
Steven Poste and Angela Burgos, for supporting her through high school.