State Officials Seek to Reduce Stormwater Pollution

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), in partnership with the Statewide Stormwater Coalition, announced the launch of a new stormwater awareness campaign to help Massachusetts cities and towns comply with new federal stormwater management requirements. The announcement was made during an event at the Joseph H. Gibbons Elementary School in Stoughton.

“Stormwater runoff threatens the health of all water resources across Massachusetts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This unique public education campaign provides important information to residents, businesses and developers about what they can do to reduce these contaminants in our environment and keep our rivers and streams safe from pollution.”

The public awareness campaign, “Think Blue Massachusetts,” is designed to generate awareness among businesses and residents of the effects of stormwater pollution on waterways and wetlands and encourage people to do their part to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff. The campaign was developed by the Statewide Stormwater Coalition with a grant from MassDEP and will help 260 communities in Massachusetts meet new federal requirements for stormwater management. The new permit, called the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, requires cities and towns to implement a host of stormwater pollution prevention efforts, including public educational activities and outreach to targeted audiences.

“The new campaign is a toolkit to help cities and towns meet the public education and outreach requirements of MS4,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “The material is available online and can be easily downloaded and customized to reflect a community’s individual needs. It provides one-stop shopping for our local officials who are working hard to meet these requirements.”

Stormwater runoff occurs when rain or snow-melt travels along roadways and parking lots and picks up contaminants on its way to local rivers, streams and groundwater sources. Contaminants – such as fertilizer, trash, oils, gasoline, solvents, pollen and pet waste – is washed into catch basins and into our stormwater systems and eventually discharged into the environment. The new requirements in the MS4 permits will reduce the overall amount of stormwater runoff entering our waterbodies.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

Read More

Chelsea Fire Helped Respond to Greater Lawrence Gas Explosions

Chelsea Fire Helped Respond to Greater Lawrence Gas Explosions

In the wake of massive gas line explosions in the Greater Lawrence area last Thursday, Sept. 13, the Chelsea Fire Department jumped into action and responded to Andover High School to support first response efforts.

Chief Len Albanese said that the Tower 1 apparatus responded to an Andover Staging Area at Andover High School as part of Metro Structural task Force 13.

Greater Lawrence’s normal mutual aid capabilities were taxed to the breaking point, and so the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) began to request structural task forces from other regions, including Chelsea.

“Our Tower Ladder responded to multiple calls for odors of gas and the like in the structures,” said the Chief. “They did not respond to any structure fires. They were back here in the city by 9 p.m.”

The Chief said it was an incredible job by the state and local operations to coordinate so many responding helpers.

“This was an enormous mobilization of resources,” he said. “Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and MEMA with the help of all of the other agencies involved, including multiple law enforcement agencies did an exceptional job of meeting this most unique major fire/ emergency operation.”

Read More

High Hand:Encore, Cambridge College Opens Door on New Dealer School with 167 Students in First Class

High Hand:Encore, Cambridge College Opens Door on New Dealer School with 167 Students in First Class

When Chelsea’s Bob Fortunato found a closed sign on the front of Wonderland Dog Track in 2010, it was a hard road ahead for he and his family, and the end of a career in the pari-mutuel industry.

Now, however, as one of students in the first class of the Greater Boston Casino Gaming Career Institute – a partnership between Cambridge College in Charlestown and Encore Boston Harbor – Fortunato might once again be joining the gaming and wagering industry.

On Monday, the first day of the so-called ‘Dealer School,’ Fortunato was one of 167 students who have enrolled in the first-ever session of classes to learn how to professionally deal Blackjack and poker games, potentially for the Encore casino that is only a short drive away from the school in Charlestown.

“It’s a new experience for me and a process that could lead to a good job,” he said. “I was at Wonderland Greyhound Park for a long time before it closed. Since then, I’ve worked several jobs doing a lot of different things. This is a great opportunity for me to start a new career.”

A new career is something he didn’t think he and his family, which operated Fortune Kennels, would ever have to do.

“It was tough,” he said. “At Wonderland, I had worked there for 12 years as a greyhound trainer. My family worked there and my family was in the business for 40 years. For me, it’s a great opportunity to be a dealer, and I’m very excited to be involved on the sports betting end of it if that comes to the state.”

Fortunato said he reached out to the Wynn organization from the start, and was in their network. He saw advertisements for the school and heard about it also in an e-mail and jumped on the opportunity.

“I looked into it and decided to go for it,” he said.

He was not alone on Monday, as 166 other students entered their first day of classes along with executives from Wynn and Cambridge College.

Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox was on hand Monday with Cambridge College President Deborah Jackson to open the doors on the area’s inaugural class of prospective dealers for the Encore Boston Harbor casino.

“Today is the first day and we have more than 100 people kicking it off today,” said Maddox before cutting the ceremonial ribbon. “We believe in investing in the communities around us. That’s what makes a successful enterprise – when you invest in your community and the people that work for you.”

He was joined by state delegation members State Rep. Dan Ryan and State Sen. Sal DiDomenico, who gave their blessing to the new operation.

Fortunato joined about 50 members of the new class that chatted with Maddox and the media before starting their first day of class in the afternoon session of dealer school.

Cambridge College President Jackson said the Dealer School was a great addition to their curriculum and fell in line with the mission of helping adults find training for good-paying careers. Cambridge College recently moved its entire school into the Hood Park office complex, and was in a great place to be able to expand and utilize space for the Dealer School.

She said they had 1,900 applications for the school initially.

“This has been a long time in the making,” she said. “We have been working on it for about a year. As is the case with all good outcomes, it is the building of great relationships that gets you there.”

She also credited Cambridge College personnel Phil Page and Mark Rotondo with getting the school off the ground successfully.

Encore President Bob DeSalvio said it was the realization of a commitment to the people of Massachusetts – particularly those around the casino – to train and employ them in good-paying jobs.

“This is a big step towards our commitment to train those in the community to work at Encore Boston Harbor,” he said.

The Greater Boston Gaming Career Institute, as the Dealer School is officially known, welcomed more than 165 local students to its Bet On U program, which was created by Cambridge College in collaboration with Encore Boston Harbor. The institute was formed under the leadership of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The Bet On U program is designed to train qualified, employment-ready gaming professionals who are interested in starting exciting new careers as one of the more than 1,100 full- and part-time dealers at Encore Boston Harbor when the resort opens in June of 2019.

“The dealers who will be working at Encore Boston Harbor when we open our doors will have more than just jobs, they will have well-paying careers,” said Maddox. “Many of the top executives in our company started as dealers; we hope students from this course will progress the very same way. It’s always been our belief that true success comes from investing in your employees, and the communities where we live and work in.”

‘Mastering Blackjack’ and ‘Perfecting Poker’ are the first two games being taught at the institute. Students can prepare for a career as a blackjack dealer in nine weeks or a poker dealer in 14 weeks, with classes available at various times on weekdays and all day on weekends. Each class is taught by professional casino dealers using the latest tables and gaming equipment.

The cost for each game is $700 with 50 fully-funded scholarships from Encore Boston Harbor available for eligible local residents who require financial assistance. Half of the scholarships will be awarded to women. Students must be 18 years or older to apply to the Institute and work as a dealer in Massachusetts.

The second semester of the Greater Boston Gaming Career Institute will start in January of 2019, with applications being accepted now. The institute is located at  HYPERLINK “https://maps.google.com/?q=510+Rutherford+Avenue&entry=gmail&source=g” 510 Rutherford Avenue in Charlestown at the Hood Executive Park, less than two miles from the Encore Boston Harbor Resort and easily accessible via the MBTA’s Orange Line.

Read More

School Updates

School Updates

DISTRICT-WIDE

  • The Chelsea High Cross Country team welcomed our Middle School Cross Country team for an intense indoor cardio workout two weeks ago. The Middle School Cross Country team has been working so hard to prepare for their season. Yesterday, they completed their first time trial of their meet course. Their coach is extremely proud of their determination and team work.

BERKOWITZ SCHOOL UPDATES

  • The Berkowitz School held its first school-wide assembly this week. Students had a great time learning about the core values of respect, responsibility, empathy, and determination. Students were also recognized for exemplifying these values. We also had a visit from our special friend and Mascot, “Berky,” who told our students about our year-long apparel fundraiser. Students will be taking home flyers with information on how to order our Berkowitz school customizable clothing. Clothing can be ordered at berkowitzspiritwear.com. Some 20 percent of all sales will go directly towards Berkowitz School student activities.

HOOKS SCHOOL UPDATES

  • The Hooks School had its 1st Annual Back to School Social. Students and families sat in front of the Hooks School, had a picnic and listened to some read alouds from Principal Lubarsky and Assistant Principal Dore. Teachers on the Family Outreach Committee organized this event and did an outstanding job getting students from all four grades.

WRIGHT MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • The 8th grade teachers at the WSTA have organized grade-wide team building events for our students throughout the first few weeks of school.

CHELSEA HIGH SCHOOL

  • The boys’ and girls’ cross country teams got off to a strong start on Wednesday, Sept. 12, with both teams winning their meets against Whittier Tech and Presentation of Mary.  The girls, who are the defending dual and league meet champions, were led by captains YaridDeras and Jocelyn Post, who finished first and third. SailaCarriento was sixth overall, Karina Avalos was tenth, Yarelis Torres was eleventh and twin sister Nicole was thirteenth.  The girls will be competing in Malden next week against Mystic Valley.

The boys’ team was led by captain Justin Turner who was the overall winner.  Co-captain Julio Valladares was second overall followed by Raphael Castillo in fourth.  Oscar Amaya was fifth and Jazmany Reyes and Limilson Tavares finished eighth and ninth respectively. The Whittier boys were the two time defending league champions and had won 23 straight dual meets before Wednesday’s loss to Chelsea. The boys will also be competing next Wednesday against Mystic Valley.

Read More

Boston Councilor Ayanna Pressley Defeats Congressman Capuano:Capuano Won Chelsea with 54 Percent of the Vote

Boston Councilor Ayanna Pressley Defeats Congressman Capuano:Capuano Won Chelsea with 54 Percent of the Vote

The world was turned on its nose Tuesday night in the Congressional District 7 race when Boston City Councilor

Council President Damali Vidot joined Ayanna Pressley and Chelsea residents outside the polls on Tuesday afternoon. She is also joined by School Committeeman Julio Hernandez.

Ayanna Pressley surprised everyone with a solid victory, ousting Congressman Michael Capuano from the seat he has held for 20 years.

Capuano conceded the race around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday after a long day of campaigning that included prominent stops in Charlestown with Mayor Martin Walsh at his side rallying voters with State Rep. Dan Ryan and State Sen. Sal DiDomenico late in the day.

Pressley did visit Chelsea on Tuesday, where she enjoyed great support at a rally in front of the Williams School.

Both candidates had campaigned heavily in Chelsea over the last six months, with many seeing the city as a battle ground for what ended up being only a very small number of votes – with the election seeing only a 15 percent turnout and 2,106 votes cast in the race.

Pressley and Capuano also had major elected official support in Chelsea, with Councilors such as Leo Robinson, Roy Avellaneda and State Rep. Dan Ryan with Capuano. Meanwhile, Council President Damali Vidot, Councilor Enio Lopez and School Committeeman Julio Hernandez.

Districtwide, Pressley took the race by 18 percent, winning 59 percent to 41 percent. Pressley enjoyed great support south of Boston and in Dorchester and Mattapan – where voter turnout was heavy and she took many precincts in a 70-30 percent split.

In Chelsea, Capuano won with 1,138 votes (54 percent) to Pressley’s

Citywide in Boston, Pressley beat Capuano 64 percent (40,452 votes) to 36 percent (22,831 votes).

In places like Charlestown, Somerville and East Boston, voting was light, and even though Capuano won Chelsea and Everett, it wasn’t enough votes to counter the surge on the other side of downtown Boston.

In her victory speech Tuesday night, the Boston councilor repeated the phrase that “Change can’t wait.”

“You, your families and friends expected more and these times needed more from our leaders and our party,” she said from her watch party at Dorchester’s IBEW hall. “These times demanded a party that was bold, uncompromising and unafraid…It isn’t enough to see the Democrats back in power, but…it mattered who those Democrats are. And, while our president is a racist, misogynistic, truly empathetically bankrupt man, the area that makes the 7th Congressional District one of the most unequal was cemented through policies drawn up long before he ever descended the escalator at Trump Tower. In fact, some of those policies were put in place with Democrats in the White House and in control of our Congress. They are policies so ingrained in our daily lives that we’ve almost convinced ourselves that there wasn’t anything we could do about them. As we know, change can’t wait.”

In his concession speech, Capuano noted that many established legislators within the 7th district were also ousted, including state representatives in the South End of Boston and Jamaica Plain.

“Clearly the district wanted a lot of change,” he said. “Apparently the district is upset with a lot that’s going on. I don’t blame them. I’m just as upset. So be it. This is the way life goes…The last eight months most of you have worked very hard for us. I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but that’s life and this is ok. America is going to be ok. Ayanna Pressley is going to be a great congresswoman and Massachusetts will be well represented.”

For Chelsea leaders like Rep. Ryan and Sen. DiDomenico – who both worked for Capuano and counted him as a mentor – the news was hard to digest and seemed to come out of nowhere due to the Congressman’s great support in the Chelsea for two decades.

“It’s too early to digest the results from across the entire 7th district,” said Ryan on Tuesday night. “But early indications tell me that the voters of Charlestown and Chelsea chose to reward Congressman Capuano’s years of dedicated service with votes. He opened doors of opportunity that have allowed me to serve and he continues to teach by example. I congratulate Congresswomen-elect Pressley. I’ll look forward to working with her as we continue to move our district in a positive direction.”

With the win, Pressley scored one of the biggest upsets in Massachusetts politics in a long time, and she also becomes the first African American woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress.

Candidate Rachael Rollins takes open

seat in District Attorney Race

Rachael Rollins upended the candidacy of four other opponents Tuesday night to take a very crowded district attorney race – coming to victory with an overwhelming vote in Boston citywide.

The district attorney represents all of Boston, and Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.

Rollins captured the victory by winning the large Boston citywide vote with 40 percent, or 33,656 votes.

In Chelsea Rollins carried the vote with 600 votes, or 32 percent. Evandro Carvalho brought in 434 votes (23 percent), followed by Greg Henning with 303 votes (16 percent). Shannon McAuliffe, who worked in Chelsea for many years, did not turn that fact into votes, slipping down to fourth place with 273 votes (15 percent). Linda Champion got 239 votes (13 percent).

Rollins had found a great niche of support in Chelsea as well, with many City Councillors Leo Robinson and the Ward 4 Democratic Committee, among others.

Rollins will be the first female-candidate of color to hold the position in the history of the Commonwealth.

“I am honored and humbled,” she said. “But I also need to say – for all of us – that this is earned. As a 47-year-old black woman, I have earned this. We have earned this. This is the time for us to claim our power and make good on our promises to make true criminal justice reform for the people in Suffolk County.  Reform that is progressive – that decriminalizes poverty, substance use disorder, and mental illness. This is the time to create a system that puts fairness and equity first as a model for the Commonwealth and the nation.”

Read More

Karas Marino, Robinson Begin Plans for Chick Corea Concert

Karas Marino, Robinson Begin Plans for Chick Corea Concert

Minna Karas Marino helped coordinate the Chelsea High School Class of 1959’s terrific 59th reunion in May at the Homewood Suites Hotel. The well-known Chelsea resident received much praise from her appreciative classmates, including Class President Robert Tiro.

Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson has been a community organizer and leader of Chelsea events that have helped both adults and youths, most recently the Latimer Society’s Science Carnival last month at Port Park.

The two long-time friends are now planning for an unprecedented event in the city’s history: a major outdoor concert by a Chelsea native, Grammy-winning jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea.

The concert would be held at Chelsea Memorial Stadium in the summer of 2019.

Marino, a classmate of the legendary entertainer, and Robinson, a long-time friend, have reached out to Corea and he is reportedly on board with performing at a concert in his old hometown. They plan to meet with Corea at his upcoming shows at Sculler’s Jazz Club this month.

Robinson said the goal is use the proceeds from the Chelsea concert and establish a scholarship in Chick Corea’s name.

The concert plans are already in motion, according to Karas Marino and Robinson.

“We’ve inquired about the staging, sound system, field covering, and a tent, just in case it rains,” said Robinson.

Chelsea native Lenny Nelson, who was the Corea band’s original drummer, will join Corea on stage for a few songs at the stadium concert.

Karas Marino said Corea has always been kind and hospitable to his friends from Chelsea. “I was at his concert at the Wilbur and it was my birthday,” recalled Karas Marino. “Chick had everyone in the audience, about 1,000 people, sing “Happy Birthday” to me. He’s the most gracious person. I once brought 14 people backstage to see him and he was so nice to everyone.”

Corea, who real name is Armando Anthony Corea, has enjoyed a phenomenal music career. He has won more than 20 Grammy Awards and been nominated more than 60 times. He has been married to jazz musician Gayle Moran since 1972.

Karas Marino and Corea go back to their days as classmates at the Williams School. She said Corea would often entertain classmates and friends with his playing of the piano, trumpet, and drums. Corea was a member of the choral club under the direction of the late Alvin Toltz.

“Chick was always a fabulous musician,” recalled Karas Marino. “You could see his tremendous talent. Everyone knew he was headed for greatness. His father [Armando] and his band performed at some socials when we were ninth graders at the Williams School.”

“His father was a great musician, too,” said Robinson.

Corea, whose real name is Armando Anthony Corea, has enjoyed a phenomenal music career. He has received 22 Grammy Awards and been nominated more than 60 times.

The two concert coordinators are expecting thousands of fans to attend the event and welcome Corea home. There may be a pre-concert dinner or barbecue held at one of the local hotels.

“This will be a coming-home celebration for one of the greatest jazz artists in music history,” said Robinson. “We know that everyone in Chelsea will want to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.”

(There will be a special Chick Corea Trio event for Chelsea residents at the 9 p.m. show on Sunday, Sept. 23 at Sculler’s Jazz Club. Residents interested in attending the event should mention the Robinson/Karas Marino table when ordering tickets).

Read More

New Year, New School

New Year, New School

Excited middle school students at the brand new Clark Avenue School ran in the front door as the 8:05 a.m. bell rang and the new school opened up. The new Clark Ave fully opened to students on Wednesday morning, Aug. 29, bringing phase 1 and phase 2 together – complete with a new gym, a new music room and an exciting outdoor courtyard space. Excited parents, students and school staff gathered in the new courtyard before school started – buzzing with excitement over having a new term start in a new building with all of the amenities.

Read More

Making Plans for Chick Corea Concert

Making Plans for Chick Corea Concert

Minna Karas Marino (left) and Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson have announced plans to hold a concert featuring Chick Corea, the Grammy-winning jazz pianist and composer, in the summer of 2019 at Chelsea Stadium. Karas Marino is a former Chelsea High School classmate of the legendary musician and artist while Robinson has also maintained a long-time friendship with Chick Corea. The Record sat down with the two local concert planners and the story will appear in an upcoming edition of the Chelsea Record.

Read More

Time for a Trim

Time for a Trim

The 3rd annual Chelsea Free Back-to-School Haircut day took place at the Jordan Boys & Girls Club on Monday, Aug. 27. Six area barbers cut the hair of boys and girls in preparation for the first day of school Aug. 29. Here, event founder Luis Rodriguez and Councillor Yamir Rodriguez with William Arvarbo, who has a fresh trim.

Read More

New School Leader:Lex Mathews Begins as CHS Principal

New School Leader:Lex Mathews Begins as CHS Principal

Alexander “Lex” Mathews was seen enthusiastically welcoming Chelsea High School students on their first day of

Lex Mathews, new principal of Chelsea High School, is pictured in front of the school sign.

school this week. That personable approach is an indicator of the accessible manner he will bring to his new position of principal.

Mathews, 49, also brings elite academic credentials to the principal’s office, having graduated from prestigious prep school Milton Academy and earned an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and advanced degrees from Harvard University, and Hunter College in New York City.

Mathews began officially on July 1, succeeding Priti Johari, who is now an assistant superintendent of Chelsea schools. His administrative team at CHS includes Assistant Principals Linda Barber, Kim Murphy, Mark Martineau, and Magali Oldander, ELL Coordinator Deidre Collins, and Special Education Coordinators Alan Beausoleil and Daymon Peykar.

Originally from Alaska and California, Mathews previously served in school principal and assistant principal positions in Somerville, South Boston, Somerville, and the Bronx in New York City. He has 23 years of experience in the field of education.

Mathews will be in charge of the day-to-day operations at Chelsea High which has approximately 1,500 students.

“I strongly believe in teamwork and the idea that every employee in the school matters tremendously to students,” said Mathews. “The principal may seem like a really important person, but to some students, there’s a paraprofessional that matters a lot more than the principal. To some families, there’s a teacher that matters a whole lot more.”

Mathews also believes that for Chelsea High School to be successful, “we have to be able to work together.”

He will expect administrators to be in the hallways  “making connections, building community and raising expectations.”

Mathews organized a freshman class trip to Tufts University this summer. “The goal was to get them thinking about college in the ninth grade, instead of waiting for tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade, because by that time, if you have a bad grade point average, it’s hard to recover,” said Mathews, who is married and has three children.

He is excited to be working with Supt. of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque and the faculty and staff at CHS.

“Dr. Bourque has been supportive, inspirational, accessible – just extremely helpful,” said Mathews. “The other employees have also been inspiring and helpful and all are seeking to make an improvement in the school. I also look forward to any opportunities to meet with members of the community.”

Read More