The City’s Chelsea
Prospers initiative has been working behind the scenes for months – often
hinting that something fun is coming – and last week they unveiled the Chelsea
Night Market, the newest, biggest plan yet to enliven the downtown district.
Director Mimi Graney has
been working with Chelsea native Edwardo Chacon, of Jukebox Events, to come up
with a summer gathering in the parking lot behind the Chelsea Walk – a ‘Night
Market’ that would take place five times on Saturdays in the summer.
“This is going to be a
reflection of the City in its first year,” said Graney. “As it grows more
popular, you’re going to see the abutting cities like East Boston, Everett and
Revere coming. We want vendors here to be Chelsea residents. We want artists
and performers to be Chelsea residents. We do want to mix it up too. The Night
Market is for the City of Chelsea and for residents.”
The idea was also
championed during a Chelsea Prospers meeting on Feb. 6 by Edwardo Chacon.
Chacon grew up in Chelsea and graduated from Chelsea High School. After that,
he went to college in Florida and then lived in Los Angeles for many years,
doing corporate marketing events with big budgets.
And every time he
returned to Chelsea, he said he could picture some sort of hip, fun market
taking place in his hometown.
Now, having returned to
Chelsea a year ago, he decided to try to help make it happen.
“I always came back and
felt like something like I was doing elsewhere could really happen in Chelsea,”
he said. “I would look at the city and just feel that Chelsea had the right
atmosphere to do these things too and one year ago I moved back and felt like I
had to try. My goal is to do the same things I was doing elsewhere in Chelsea.
I feel Chelsea is a city that’s perfectly located for this and the people
deserve it. They would love it and be filled with a sense of excitement.”
The layout of the event
would be in the City parking lot behind the Chelsea Walk. There would be a
stage for performances, vendor booths in the middle, places for food and an art
installation in the back end. In the future, next year hopefully, the
initiative hopes of have a beer garden in the back end. However, Graney said
they discovered that the laws against public drinking are too strict and
couldn’t be changed in time to accommodate this year’s market.
Many in the audience,
however, were very excited about the idea of a beer garden and talked for some
time about how to make it happen. However, Graney said it is out for this year,
but she did say the enthusiasm in the room for a beer garden would help for
changing the ordinances so next year one could be put in the mix.
Graney said they hope to
have fire jugglers, creative lighting and artists of all kinds. The
entertainment would vary, with the times for the market being from 7-10 p.m.
The tentative dates are
June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 21, and Oct. 5.
The first one on June 8,
Graney said, would have a graduation theme since the next day is graduation.
“It’s going to be a
pre-celebration for the high school senior class,” she said. “We have baby
pictures of all of the kids and an artist is creating a collage . There will be
performers from the class and they are really going to be our ambassadors.”
Vendors would be selling
new and used items, and it would be highly curated and very unique. There would
also be service oriented vendors like henna tattoo and chair massage. The food
would be hot and ready to eat street food using BBQ grills and such instead of
“It would be scaled for an intimate, community oriented atmosphere,” read
The Chelsea Cultural Council has announced
the awarding of grants totalling $20,809 to 18 local artists, schools and
The grants were awarded from a pool of funds
distributed to Chelsea by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency
that supports public programs and educational activities in the arts, sciences,
“We are very grateful to Governor Baker and
the Legislature for their continued support of the Massachusetts Cultural
Council and the funding that directly benefits cultural activities here in
Chelsea, said Marlene Jennings Chair. Our city has its own unique identity and
in these sponsored events we get to really experience the spirit of
Awardees for this year are:
•Browne Middle School: Speaker – Lost
Boy of Sudan, $250
•Chelsea Black Community: Black
History Month, $1,800
•Chelsea Community Connections:
Chelsea Fun Bus, $1,000
•Chelsea Public Library: A Universe of
•Veronica Robles: Serenara a Chelsea
by Veronica Robles Female Mariachi, $1,500
•Walnut Street Synagogue: A Photo
Documentary of Chelsea Life in the 1970’s, $1,800
The Chelsea Cultural Council (CCC) has also
set aside an additional $3,121 to complete a public mural project in
collaboration with Chelsea Public School Art Department that began in the fall
of 2018. The CCC is one of 329 local councils that serve every city and town in
the state. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the
Massachusetts Cultural Council, which then allocates funds to each local
council. Decisions, about which activities to support, are made at the
community level by the council.
The members of the Chelsea Cultural Council
are: Marlene Jennings, Chair; Dakeya Christmas, Co-Chair; Devra Sari Zabot,
Recorder; Juliana Borgiani, Treasurer; Sharlene McLean, Angelina McCoy, and
Carolina Anzola. The CCC will seek applications again this fall. CCC
Guidelines will be available online as well as the 2020 application beginning
Sept. 1, 2019 at
Twin sisters Eliana and Edlyn Hernandez (8) unwrap their vessel to see if their egg is still hard boiled or scrambled, and the twins find success – one intact egg. The twin sisters were just one group out of many that joined in on the Kelly School’s STEM Night Egg Drop experiment last Thursday, Jan. 31. Students used math, science and engineering lessons to create a protective cover for their egg, which was then dropped from a 30-foot crane.
New Children’s Librarian Katherine Palencia said landing the position at the Library is a dream come true for her.
When new Children’s Librarian Katherine Palencia sits at her desk in the basement of the Chelsea Public Library near the Children’s Rooms, it’s a place that has been familiar to her since she was a little girl – coming to the library with her mother and experiencing a safe, learning environment.
Now she has been hired as the new full-time
librarian after having worked part-time at the library for about 10 years, and
is excited to share her love of reading with a new generation of Chelsea kids.
“I didn’t want to leave Chelsea because my
family is here and my memories are here,” she said. “I don’t want to work in
any other area. I want to help Chelsea grow and I want to be part of the
growth…This position is a dream come true for me. I worked here in high school
and came back after college and have been here since 2011. It’s a dream come
true because I believe in what the library provides – the education and the
free access to information. I enjoy seeing kids excited about reading or coming
to work on their homework. I want to help them out. It’s a dream come true
because I have always seen myself here.”
Palencia attended St. Rose School as a girl,
and then went to the Williams Middle School. She attended Chelsea High School
and graduated in 2007. She graduated from Salem State and is currently pursuing
a Master’s Degree in Library Science at Cambridge College.
Palencia said her memories of the Chelsea
Library are very comforting, and she hopes to be able to pass that on.
“I think it was the people who made it very
special,” she said. “They had great relationships with my mother coming in here
and being able to feel comfortable and to ask questions. They always quenched
the curiosity I had.”
Palencia has been spearheading the English
as a Second Language program that meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., and now she
has expanded that to working in the Children’s area.
She said her big push right now is for the
upcoming Summer Reading Program.
“I am already really excited about summer
reading,” she said. “I am looking for any local businesses wanting to
collaborate with the Chelsea Public Library to donate prizes. It could be as
simple as a free ice cream cone, or as much as a free bike – which the Knights
of Pythias donated last year.”
She said they will be bringing back the
story times soon, and will have a full range of winter and spring activities
soon as well.
“I’m a life-long Chelsea resident and also
very proud to be Latina,” she said. “I’m happy that we can bring in more
Spanish speakers. Our staff does a great job and we have so many knowledgeable
people to help accommodate everyone.”
New Children’s Librarian Katherine Palencia said
landing the position at the Library is a dream come true for her. Having fond
memories of attending the library as a girl, she said she is excited to pass
that on to a new generation of Chelsea kids.
Dr. Fardad Mobed and Dr. Lily Parsi
certainly have a lot in common.
Both are scholars, which goes without
saying. They hold degrees in engineering: Dr. Mobed, a Bachelor’s in Electrical
Engineering, Dr. Parsi, three advanced degrees in Civil, Water Resources, and
Computer System Engineering.
Both attended dental school in the Boston
area. Dr. Mobed completed his dental training at Boston University while Dr.
Parsi studied at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.
But perhaps, most significantly, they share
the same home address. Dr. Mobed and Dr.
Parsi are husband and wife, the parents of two children.
And they have been practicing dentistry
together at their state-of-the-art offices, Northgate Dental, located at 603
Broadway that has been in existence for 27 years. Dr. Mobed is an endodontist
specializing in root canal surgery. Dr. Parsi is a pedodontist specializing in
Dr. Mobed began his practice in 1992 at the
Northgate Shopping Center before moving to Broadway. Dr. Parsi joined the practice in 2008. They also have a
dental practice in Brookline.
Yes, they do work side by side in the Revere
office, though as Dr. Parsi states, “I treat the children. He treats mostly
Of course, everyone asks the question,
“What’s it like for a couple to work together?”
“It’s great – we really support each other
quite a bit,” said Dr. Parsi. “I feel it’s good to know that you can trust the
other person 100 percent.”
Dr. Samantha Bogle is the orthodontist at Northgate. Dr. Joey
Chang is the oral surgeon and the director of the pre-doctoral program at Tufts
School of Dental Medicine.
Do Dr. Mobed and Dr. Parsi talk about
dentistry at home during dinner?
“Unfortunately, a lot,” Dr. Parsi said,
“We go to dental conferences together but we
attend different lectures,” added Dr. Mobed.
The dentists have stayed on top of the major technological advances in their profession and their offices feature the latest state-of-the-art equipment.
“I think one of the biggest changes have
been in CT scans and microscopes, and everybody gets white fillings instead of
silver fillings,” said Dr. Mobed.
Dr. Parsi said preventive care should begin
early. “The primary goal in pediatric dentistry is to prevent cavities, so we
want to see children as early as 6 months old, but no later than the first year
of age,” said Dr. Parsi. “Because the objective is to teach the parents how to
take care of their children, ideally so the children will never have cavities,
rather than seeing them at the time when there are already cavities in the
Dr. Parsi said Northgate wants to be “a dental home for families, so patients know where to go when there are issues, but hopefully we can prevent these issues from happening.”
27 years in
Dr. Mobed has been a practicing dentist in
Revere for 27 years. He has treated two generations of families who have been
coming to Northgate Dental.
“I like the people,” said Dr. Mobed. “It’s a
good community and they’re appreciative of what you do for them.”
“I’ve had patients who I saw when they were
very little, and now they now see him,” said Dr. Parsi. “Depending on the
patient’s personality, anywhere between the ages 15-18, they’re ready to see
the adult dentist.”
She is proud to see her patients dedicating
themselves to dental care and prevention.
“I’m especially happy to see the children
whom I’ve seen six months old, because they end up being very healthy, and it
makes me sad when somebody whom I’ve never seen, comes in to the office and
they have major needs. I’m glad we’ve made such a strong connection to families
that we’ve known for a long time. It’s very satisfying.”
Dr. Parsi recommends that her patients have
regular dental check-ups every six months.
Interestingly Dr. Mobed came to the United
States from Iran 40 years ago with the goal of becoming a professional soccer
He accomplished that goal, earning a spot on
the Boston Teamen professional team that was based in Framingham.
One of his fondest soccer memories was
playing for an Iranian team that had an exhibition game in that country against
Brazil and Pele, arguably the greatest soccer player in history.
“In 1978, Brazil came to Iran for some
exhibition games when Pele was at the top of his game and was most famous at
that time,” recalled Dr. Mobed. “I was fast, but too skinny, otherwise I
wouldn’t be a dentist now.”
But fortunately for their many patients, Dr. Fardad Mobed and Dr. Lily
Parsi are dentists now and they look forward to continuing their successful
partnership at Northgate Dental for many years to come.
Northeast Metro Tech is once again opening
its doors to non-vocational high school students interested in learning more about
Through its “Exploring Vocational and Career
Technical Pathways,” Northeast is offering a 12-week program for in-district
students in grades nine through 12 not currently enrolled at the school to
expand their knowledge in one of 13 tech programs.
This is the second year of the program, which
is made possible through a $100,000 Cummings Foundation grant that will be used
over four years.
“We take our role as our communities’
alternative high school option very seriously,” Principal Carla Scuzzarella
said. “This grant provides us with the means to offer vocational and technical
opportunities for students who are thinking about options for their future.”
Divided into three four-week programs,
students in Northeast’s district who sign up for Exploring Vocational and
Career Technical Pathways are welcomed to the school on Saturdays to experience
a number of career pathways. The free courses are led by a Northeast instructor
and participants get an abridged version of each shop’s curriculum.
Given the success of last year’s pilot
program, Northeast is now offering courses in nearly all of its tech programs
— automotive technology, business technology, drafting and design, carpentry,
cosmetology, culinary arts, design and visual communications, electrical, health
assisting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning/refrigeration, metal
fabrication, plumbing and robotics.
“Teachers saw the positive impact this
program had on communities during our pilot program and wanted to become more
involved,” Program Director Joe O’Brien Jr. said. “This is a great opportunity
for students who are interested in one, two or three areas of technical study
to learn more and gain valuable skills that can be applied in college or a
Additionally, as part of a $106,320 Skills
Capital Grant Northeast received earlier this month, the school will expand the
drafting and design program for participants through updated equipment and
The first of three sessions will begin on
Feb. 2 and continue on Feb. 9, Feb. 16 and March 2. Session two will run from
March 9-30 (Saturdays only) and session three begins on April 6, and meets on
April 13, April 27 and May 4.
Students can attend all three sessions for
free, and pick three different shops to explore, or stick with one for 12
weeks. Transportation to Northeast is not provided.
To apply, students should fill out an
application here and email it to O’Brien at email@example.com, or
mail it to the school at:
Northeast Metro Tech
Attn: Joe O’Brien Jr.
100 Hemlock Road
Wakefield, MA 01880
Applicants should apply
prior to the start of each session. Those who apply in the middle of a session
will be placed in the following session. Anyone with questions should contact
O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-246-0810.
On January 14, officers responded to a
matter being investigated by the School Resource Officers alleging an assault
by means of a dangerous weapon, a knife. Officers spoke to a juvenile male who
reported being assaulted by another juvenile male while heading home from the
Browne Middle School. As the result of this investigation, an identification
was made of a 14-year-old juvenile male suspect that was taken into custody a
short time later. No injuries reported, and no weapon was recovered. Officers
are continuing to work with the schools for ongoing safety concerns.
A 14-year-old juvenile was charged with
assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife) and assault and battery.
SCREAMING AT BUSES
On Jan. 15, around 11:33 p.m., officers were
called to assist an MBTA bus driver for unruly female shouting at passing cars.
Officers arrived and encountered said female shouting obscenities at
officers. Despite efforts to calm her down, she continued her tirade and
was placed into custody for disorderly person without further incident.
Krysten Kulch, 32, of 58 Garfield Ave., was
charged with disorderly conduct.
HEROIN DEALER FROM
GARFIELD AVE BUSTED
On Thursday, Jan. 17, detectives were
conducting an ongoing drug investigation in the Prattville area after
complaints were received. Detectives arranged to contact a potential source of
narcotics and subsequently arranged a purchase to be made. After the suspect
agreed to meet the officers to sell narcotics at a prearranged spot, the
officers observed him to arrive. He met the undercover officer to exchange an
amount of US currency for what appeared to be Heroin. The suspect was taken
into custody without further incident.
Jose Gonzalez, 48, 105 Garfield Ave., was
charged with distribution of a Class A drug (heroin) and unlicensed operation
of a motor vehicle.
DRUG DEAL WITNESSED
Officers received a call from dispatch
regarding a drug transaction that was witnessed by a civilian in Bellingham
Square. Based on the phone call and independent observations corroborating this
tip, Officers encountered two individuals at the McDonalds in Bellingham
Square. Officers then conducted an independent investigation and developed
probable cause to arrest one subject for the Distribution of a Class C
Substance as well as an outstanding warrant from the Roxbury District Court.
The second subject was identified and criminal charges are being sought for the
Possession of Class C.
William Falasca, 34, of Medford, was charged
with distribution of a Class C drug and one warrant.
February 1st Friday 6pm. Kick Off for Chelsea Black History Month Activities
456 – Store Front Exhibit of Black
Historical Figures of Chelsea
456 Broadway, Chelsea, MA
of Exhibit at Chelsea Public Library:
Black Migration, WWI,
Chelsea Fire. 569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA
February 5th Tuesday
5 – 7pm. City Hall Art Reception.
Art, Poetry, African and African
American Artifacts. Chelsea City Hall, 500
Broadway, Chelsea, MA
February 7thThursday 12pm and 6pm. Bunker
Hill Community College, “Tuskeegee
and Discussion. 70 Everett Avenue,
5pm. Iglesia la Luz de Cristo. The Councilors Cook Off
Dinner. 738 Broadway, Chelsea, MA
February 21st Thursday 12pm.
Senior Center – Maya Angelou – Poet and Civil Rights
Figure. Celebration of Phenominal Women
10 Riley Way, Chelsea, MA
February 22nd Friday
6 – 8pm. Evening of Performing Arts,
Clark Avenue School
8 Clark Avenue, Chelsea, MA
February 23rd Saturday 11 – 12:30pm. STEM, Chelsea
569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA (parent and
6 – 8pm. New England Gospel Ensemble
Bunker Hill Community College, Charlestown
Campus A300 Auditorium
February 28th Wednesday 5 – 8pm. Black
History Month Celebration
Speaker – Suffolk District Attorney Rachael
Special Recognition Honoring – “Chelsea Trailblazers”
Williams Middle School. 180 Walnut Street,
ALL EVENTS PLANNED IN COLLABORATION WITH CHELSEA
BLACK COMMUNITY, BLACK HISTORY MONTH PLANNING COMMITTEE, LEWIS H. LATIMER
SOCIETY, BUNKER HILL COMMUNITY COLLEGE, CHELSEA SENIOR CENTER, CHELSEA PUBLIC
SCHOOLS, CITY OF CHELSEA.
This program is supported in part by a grant
from the Chelsea Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the
Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
It’s been so long since Chelsea has sought
out a new superintendent that there isn’t even a current job description.
For so many years, Boston University (BU)
appointed a superintendent as it ran the public schools for decades, and when
current Supt. Mary Bourque came into the role, it was long-decided that she
would succeed former Supt. Tom Kingston – the last BU appointee.
Now, for the first time in 30 or 40 years,
the School Committee will be tasked with finding a new leader for the public
“This is all new to all of us,” said Chair
Rich Maronski. “It’s even new to the School Department. They don’t even have a
job description for superintendent. They have to create one now, which tells
you how long it’s been.”
Bourque said the Collins Center was most
recently used by the schools to hire Monica Lamboy, the business administrator
who took the place of Gerry McCue. She said it was also used to hire City
Manager Tom Ambrosino and former City Manager Jay Ash.
“The first couple of steps will go slowly,
but from the middle of February to May it will be intense,” she said. “I can’t
be involved in it then. I’ll be more of the logistics part. There is a lot of
community input, but it’s a School Committee decision. Chelsea hasn’t had a
search since before BU…One interesting point is we don’t have any internal
candidates. In Revere, Supt. Paul Dakin was succeeded by an internal candidate,
Dianne Kelly. None of our internal candidates feel they are ready to move up.
Because of that, it’s going to be an outside candidate.”
Maronski, Supt. Bourque and the rest of the
Committee met with the Collins Center last Thursday, Jan. 10, to go over the
timelines and parameters of the upcoming search.
“It’s all structured by the Collins Center,”
he said. “They are looking at the May 2 School Committee meeting for us to vote
on this. That would be the first Thursday in May. I believe they will want to
get it done by June because that’s a very busy month for us. I think the
Collins Center is pretty good. They had all the dates worked out and structured
for us. That helps.”
The notice of a job opening will go out on
Feb. 8, and focus groups of teachers, staff, parents and community groups will
form about the same time. They will be charged with coming up with a candidate
profile that will be used by a Screening Committee to review all of the
The Screening Committee will be selected by
the School Committee on March 7, and it will be made up of appointed members,
including City Manager Tom Ambrosino, parents and teachers.
They will conduct private interviews of
candidates in April, and they will forward a public list of finalists to the
Committee around April 4. Community forums and public interviews will take
place from April 22 to 25.
A contract is proposed to be signed by May
Bourque said she will remain on through
December 2019 so that she can mentor the new person and help transition them
into the “Chelsea way.” Since it will be an outside candidate, she said that
will be critical.
“Chelsea has a very strong reputation and coming
in with a solid transition plan with the exiting superintendent to help them is
something people will like,” she said. “At the same time, it is an urban district
and it is a complex district. Some people don’t like that, others do.”
Chelsea School Superintendent Mary Bourque and Chelsea City Manager Thomas Ambrosino were two panelists Tuesday night at Malden High School discussing school budget funding.
Chelsea School Superintendent Mary Bourque
and Chelsea City Manager Thomas Ambrosino were two panelists Tuesday night at
Malden High School during a forum calling on legislators to overhaul the
state’s current educational funding model to ensure equity for all students,
especially those in low-income areas.
During the state’s last legislative session
a bill by State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) would have recalculated
the cost to educate each student in public school districts known as the ‘foundation
budget’ and poured millions of dollars into school over the next several years.
However that bill failed and educators like
Bourque are calling this mechanism the state uses to provide students with
equitable access to educational opportunities ‘obsolete’ and must be revised to
meet the expectations of today’s economy.
Because the state has not updated its
education funding formula since 1993 to reflect districts’ real health
insurance and special education costs, the amount of aid being provided to
cover those costs is too small.
To compensate, many districts like Chelsea
end up using money that would otherwise have supported core education
programs—including Regular Ed. Teachers, Materials & Technology, and
Professional Development. This also results in dramatic cuts in other areas of
“The time is now because we have no more
time left,” said Bourque at Tuesday night’s meeting. “There will be more cuts
because we don’t know where the money will come from. We cut all of our after
school programs…elementary (afterschool) programs two years ago and middle
school after school programs last year. It’s time to make changes to the
formula and we need to make the formula work for us. It is time to save the
futures of our students and open those doors to the future. We can not afford
to have our students go through another year of cuts in their school system.”
The problem for low income school districts
like Chelsea is there is a growing equity gap between schools in Chelsea and
schools in more affluent areas of the state. When faced with such shortfalls,
high-wealth districts can often draw on additional, local revenue. Lower-wealth
districts like Chelsea, however, are generally unable to do so and the
consequence is that they spend less on resources that are critically important
to the quality of education students receive.
“I do think there a lot of school systems in
a financial crisis my expectation is that if this is not addressed in this
legislative session we are going to have a lot of tough decisions to make like
Brockton did where they had to lay off a significant amount of teachers,” said
Ambrosino. “We are living in good economic times. State revenues have been
running above estimates for quite some time so it’s time for the legislature to
use this good fortune and make education a priority once again and invest in
education. This is not easy and requires a lot of money so I don’t envy any
legislators that have to work on this but budgets are all about priorities. A
budget, simply put, is a policy statement on your (the legislation’s)
priorities and the legislature once again has to make education a priority. If
it doesn’t there will be too many ‘have nots’ in the Commonwealth once again.”
Estimates by lawmakers to fix the budget
formula could be as high as $1 billion with Gov. Charlie Baker vowing to put forth his own proposal to
fix the broken system after the House and Senate couldn’t agree on a solution
However, Bourque said something has to be
done and done soon because Chelsea is running a $7.4 million school budget gap
between what the state covers for education and what the Chelsea School
District is actually spending to educate students.
obligated to meet our students needs and provide for them so they can be successful
and have futures,” said Bourque. “Sometimes, as a superintendent, I feel like
we’ve been living on a ‘fixed budget’ since 1993 and that fixed income is not
working. The result is that we are stretched too thin.”