On April 8, at 9:10 p.m., Chelsea Officers
were flagged down near Bellingham Square by a victim of an unarmed robbery. The
victim states he was on his phone when a male came from behind and stole the
phone and ran off. One officer reviewed the City video system that
captured the incident. From that video, the officer was able to track the
suspect entering two local bars. The officer proceeded to the second bar, Los
Amigos, and observed the suspect that matched the description; the stolen
phone was retrieved from his pocket. He was arrested on the scene.
Oscar Hernandez, 37, of 90 Grove St., was
charged with unarmed robbery.
DRINKING AT THE GYM
On April 10, at 6:16 p.m., CPD officers
responded to the Dollar Tree located at 1090 Revere Beach Parkway on the report
of an intoxicated individual located inside the store. The officers had
received several complaints from businesses in the area for the same male
drinking. The officers observed the male inside the Planet Fitness and placed
him under arrest. He had an open bottle of Vodka. During the booking process,
the officers found a stolen phone from the CHA in Everett on his person. He was
additionally charged with receiving stolen property.
Ramon Pagan, 57, of 126 Maverick St., was
charged with receiving stolen property under $1,200 and trespassing.
NO REEFER IN THE HOUSE,
On April 11, at 1:44 a.m., officers responded
to 95 Orange St. for a report of malicious destruction of property. While
en route the officers were advised that the reporting party informed them that
a male party broke her screen door and fled the area. The officers spoke to the
victim who stated that she knows the suspect and lets him in her home but as a
rule will not allow any smoking of marijuana. She says she returned home to the
house full of the smell of someone smoking marijuana. She said they argued when
she asked him to leave, and he damaged the property. He was located and placed
Justin McKelver, 28, of 95 Orange St., was
charged with malicious destruction of property under $1,200.
On April 13, at 11:16 p.m., officers
responded to the area of 474 Broadway to assist an officer. That officer came
upon a male who was just issued a parking ticket that became disorderly. The
Somerville man was placed under arrest.
Christian Garcia, 26, of Somerville, was charged
with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and common law violation.
Environmentalists, activists, residents and
elected officials on both sides of the Chelsea Creek are standing in solidarity
with one another in firm opposition to Eversources plan to place a substation
at the City Yards in East Boston along the Chelsea Creek.
On Tuesday night in Eastie the the state’s
Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) held a public meeting to discuss
Eversource’s Notice of Project Change that moves the proposed substation from
the eastern corner of the City Yards in East Eagle Square to the western
corner. The original location on the eastern portion of the city-owned parcel
was approved by the EFSB last year.
In its Notice of Project Change
Eversource seeks approval to move the
Substation 190 feet to the western side of the City Yards lot. The scope of the
upcoming meeting is limited to Eversource’s
proposed relocation of the substation from its current site on the
eastern side of the city parcel to its new proposed location.
Eversource said the two 115-kV transmission
lines that would connect to the substation would no longer be routed along
Condor and East Eagle Streets if the substation is placed in the western
portion of the parcel.
Local environmentalists from Eastie and
Chelsea have called on the EFSB explore alternatives to placing Eversource’s
proposed substation along the Chelsea Creek.
For two years local environmentalists on the
Eastie and Chelsea sides of the Creek have launched a visual, media and talking
campaign against Eversource’s plans to place the substation at the City Yards
in Eagle Square.
At Tuesday night’s meeting Chelsea City
Council President Damali Vidot attended the meeting and gave testimony in
opposition to the substation.
“I’m here tonight to express my opposition,”
said Vidot. “Although I represent Chelsea, a community of 40,000 low income,
hardworking immigrants and people of color who are always the afterthoughts of
corporate greed and irresponsible planning, I am here today as an ally with my
brothers and sisters of the Eagle Hill East Boston neighborhood whose
demographics are reminiscent of home. Planes, a salt bile, fuel and now a high
voltage electrical substation–I am tired of communities like Chelsea and East
Boston forced to bear the burden of environmental injustice at the hands of
greedy corporations. We are environmental justice communities and the civic
engagement in this neighborhood, or lack thereof, is a blatant disregard and
inconsideration of the densely populated areas of hardworking men and women
forced to bear the environmental ignorance of others for the sake of protecting
Vidot called for an independent study to see
whether or not a substation is even needed in the area and, if so, does it need
to be placed an area susceptible to future climate change issues and sea level
U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who
represents both East Boston and Chelsea, sent a video testimony from her office
in Washington D.C.
“I’m your sister in solidarity,” said
Pressley. “This at its best is boor urban planning and at its worst and
injustice. It is unconscionable that a community already overburdened with
environmental injustices would be put in harm’s way and have those existing
health hazards exacerbated. The community should be a part of planning and I
know when we organize we win and this is a fight like so many others we are
taking on and I stand with you.”
Last year the EFSB ruled in favor of placing
the substation at the City Yards. However, the final ruling came with some
provisos. According to the state board the EFSB vote to approve the substations
and 115 kV underground cables in Eastie, Chelsea and Everett came with some
conditions. The EFSB directed Eversource to enter into discussions with the
City of Boston regarding the possible relocation of the new substation and the
related cable on the Chelsea Creek site.
Local activist John Walkey, who lives in
Eastie and works with Greenroots Chelsea argues that the project represents an
increased risk in both communities already bearing a huge environmental burden
in the region by playing host to Logan International Airport, highways and jet
fuel storage tanks along the Chelsea Creek.
Walkey made a push for the EFSB to see a
more logical place to site the substation.
“If only there was a place in East Boston
with restricted access that would a more appropriate location. Maybe a place
that already had millions of dollars invested in raising the ground level so it
is more flood resilient. Maybe a place that already much more secure with state
police oversight and very limited access. Maybe a place that takes up over a
third of the land mass in East Boston. And just maybe a place that is going to
be a consumer of over half the electricity that goes through the substation
anyway. Obviously the (Logan) Airport is a far more logical place,” said
As part of its decision the EFSB directed
Eversource to provide an update to the board on the status of discussions
between the community and city before construction on the substation commences.
This has given additional time for Eversource, the City of Boston, and
residents to iron out the alternative locations for the substation.
The substation was initially slated to be built
on an Eversource-owned parcel on Bremen Street. However, under the former late
Mayor Thomas Menino Boston executed a land swap with Eversource. Eversource
have the City of Boston the Bremen Street parcel so the city could build the
new East Boston Branch Library in return for a city-owned parcel in East Eagle
A Chelsea firefighter fighting the stunning blaze created by Pollo Campero in Park Square on Sunday night. The popular restaurant was a total loss, but owners said they intend to re-build.
Heavy smoke poured from the popular Pollo Campero restaurant in Park Square on Sunday night, with firefighters facing treacherous conditions that forced their evacuation numerous times as they tried to put out the stunning fire.
In the end, crews battled and made quick
work of it – getting it out within an hour.
Chief Len Albanese said it is still under
investigation this week, and that it was a total loss.
“The fire is still under investigation;
however, I can report at this time that it appears that the fire started in a
concealed space within a wall, then traveled to the loft space above the
ceiling where the fire was allowed to burn for some time before breaking out
and activating the Fire Alarm system,” he said. “This would account for the
major fire condition on arrival even though the building had a working fire
alarm system. Also, there were no sprinklers within the structure. The fire
remains under investigation for a definitive cause that will be reported upon
There were no civilian injuries, but one
firefighter was injured.
On Sunday evening, at 11:40 p.m. Chelsea
Fire Alarm received an alarm of fire from Box 1134 for the Pollo Campero
restaurant located at 115 Park St. First arriving companies from Chelsea E2 and
L1 under the command of Capt. Phil Rogers reported heavy smoke showing on
arrival from the rear of the building. C4 Deputy Wayne Ulwick arrived
on scene assuming command and immediately ordered the Working
Fire. Due to the heavy smoke and reports of heavy fire within the interior
of the building, a Second Alarm was requested bringing companies from Revere,
Everett, Boston and MassPort to the scene. Crews were ordered out of the
building several times due to conditions rapidly deteriorating from
heavy fire conditions within the structure forcing firefighters to attack the
fire with defensive operations using blitz guns, hand lines
and ladder pipes
The fire was brought under control within an
The Boston Sparks Club under the command of
President Paul Boudreau responded to the scene supplying Re-Hab and
refreshments for the firefighters. Chelsea Police also provided traffic and
crowd control during fire. Crews from Medford and Boston provided mutual aid
during the fire.
Chief Albanese said it was a defensive fight
for firefighters because the structure was too far along to be saved.
Nevertheless, owners are determined to rebuild.
“It was determined that the fire was well
involved within the structure, and crews were ordered out of the building and
proceeded with a defensive fire attack,” he said. “Given the time of day, a
closed business and no reports of occupants, this was the safest course of
action given that very early on it was apparent that this building could not be
saved. Members of Fire Prevention are working with the ownership, who reported
to us that they intend to rebuild as soon as possible.”
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.
Ask 100 people where the Mill Hill
neighborhood separates from the Mill Creek neighborhood and one would probably
get 100 different answers.
Neighborhoods in Chelsea have been loosely
defined for decades, with some not even named at all, but now Downtown
Coordinator Mimi Graney is looking to residents of Chelsea to define the City’s
neighborhoods more precisely.
“It came up because City Planner Karl Allen
has been working on a project by the Produce Center and he kept calling it West
Chelsea,” she said. “Every time he did that, people would laugh at it. It
brought up the question as to what do you call that area. It was the same thing
for the Walnut Street Synagogue area. Then you have people talking about
Prattville. We decided to try to figure out what you call the various
neighborhoods of Chelsea.”
That started with a query of the Chel-Yea
group last month, and during that event and with online follow ups, Graney said
she got very impassioned responses.
People, she said, took it very seriously.
“Several people said everything was just
Chelsea, but others had strong opinions about Admiral’s Hill and Prattville,”
she said. “It has solicited a lot of interested conversations.”
Graney has produced a map with suggested
boundaries and names. So far, they have included Prattville, Mayor’s Row,
Chelsea High, Addison-Orange, Soldiers’ Home/Powderhorn Hill, Cary Square, Mill
Creek, Mill Hill, Spencer Avenue, Eastern Ave Industrial Area, Box District,
Bellingham Hill, Salt Piles, Waterfront, Downtown (including Chelsea Square and
Bellingham Square), Williams School, Carter Park, Mystic Mall, Produce District
and Admiral’s Hill.
It was difficult, she said, to find the real
boundaries of the Soldiers’ Home neighborhood versus Cary Square, she said, and
many said the Spencer Avenue area should be called Upper Broadway. Mill Creek,
on the other hand, has been confused in some ways with the Parkway Plaza.
She said the exercise is one that moves
beyond the fun of talking about it, and moving towards making it a place.
“The legacy of the fire in the Mystic Mall
area sort of upended most boundaries there,” she said. “People are
uncomfortable with the area beyond Carter Park and Chelsea High area. If it
doesn’t have a name, it becomes this no man’s land. Naming a place has a power
to it. I’m hoping people in these areas claim that power in that naming.”
Graney said they
will continue to take input on the neighborhood boundaries, and will likely
present something to the community in the near future.
A Winchester developer has filed with the
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to build a five-story, 33-unit residential
apartment building on the site of the closed 7-11 and its parking lot in Cary
Anthony Quiles has filed the project with
the City and had an initial hearing on Tuesday night, Jan. 8, with the ZBA, and
will proceed to the Planning Board for a meeting later this month.
The project will be sited at 176-178
Washington Ave. and will contain 44 parking spaces (50 are required) for the 33
units. There will be a roof deck and other amenities. The project includes no
open space and requires seven pieces of relief, including height variances and
The unit breakdown would be nine studios, 15
one-bedrooms, and six two-bedrooms.
The Chelsea Fire Department has already
voiced its concerns with the project as they do not believe they can access the
building due to the size of the building on the lot.
“I am not in favor of a development of this
size…which encompasses the entire lot with no setbacks on both sides and the
rear,” wrote Deputy Richard Perisie. “The Fire Department should have access to
at least one side for apparatus placement.”
Councillor Leo Robinson said he has called
for the development to go down to at least 25 units and to add a retail venture
on the first floor, preferably a grocery store/convenience store.
He said he was very disturbed that the
purchase and sales agreement by 7-11 with Quiles details that no such retail
operations can go there. He said he wants to see about changing that.
“My concern and
what bothers me is that 7-11 put in the agreement not to allow a grocery store
to go there,” he said. “That is detrimental to that part of the city. It is
heavily used by the elderly at 14 Bloomingdale and the people from the
neighborhood too. The fact of the matter is I’ve talked with the City Solicitor
and the City Manager and I think there is a tool in our tool bag we need to
use. I don’t think 7-11 should punish us for their failure not to run a good
business. There has always been a grocery store there since I can remember.”
On Dec. 11 at 6 p.m., a CPD Detective
observed a blue Subaru Impreza make an unsafe lane change coming from Broadway
onto City Hall Avenue. The vehicle was a reported stolen motor vehicle out of
Revere. The detective continued to follow the car down Chestnut Street. With
the assistance from other marked CPD units a car stop was initiated and the
operator placed under arrest for being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Katherine Guzman, 36, of 18 Watts St., was
charged with being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
PULLED KNIFE ON HOTEL
On Dec. 21, at 7:11 a.m., units were
dispatched to the Hilton Homeward Suites for an individual threatening the
employees with a knife.
A description was given out of the suspect
as being a short male wearing a black jacket and a scally cap. Officers
knew about a previous issue from the day before at the hotel with the same
described male. The officers observed the suspect walking on Everett Avenue and
placed him under arrest for two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
Alberto Garcia, 51, of 303 Carter St., was
charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
On Dec. 19, at 6:23 p.m., officers
observed a motor vehicle that failed to stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk
in front of 589 Broadway.
The car was then pulled over.
It was determined that the operator of the
vehicle was not legally able to operate the car and he was placed under arrest.
A search of the person and vehicle also recovered knives.
Manuel Alvarez Mejia, 29, of 759 Broadway,
was charged with crosswalk violation, operating a motor vehicle with a
suspended license, and two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon.
ALMOST HIT A CRUISER,
On Dec. 23, at 7:25 p.m., a CPD officer
stated his cruiser was almost hit by a black motor vehicle in Fay Square. He
reported the vehicle fled onto Heard Street when the officer activated his blue
lights. Other Chelsea Units were able to stop the car. The driver had no
license to operate a motor vehicle and was placed under arrest.
Mark Cassidy, 28,
of Quincy, was charged with marked lanes violation, reckless operation of a
motor vehicle, failing to stop for police, unlicensed operation of a motor
vehicle, stop sign violation, red light violation and speeding.
Charles Chafin, 55, 32 Tudor St., Chelsea,
was arrested for shoplifting.
53, 12 Bates St., Revere, was arrested on warrants and operating motor vehicle
with suspended license.
The Chelsea Fire Department has embarked on another year of collecting toys at the Central Fire Station for needy families, delivering them mid-month to the Toys for Tots campaign.
Capt. Phil Rogers said the fifth year of collections at the Central Fire Station has begun and he urged everyone in the community to bring in a new, non-violent, unwrapped toy if at all possible. They are accepting donations through Dec. 14, and can take them at the Station in Fay Square between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day.
“We have started our annual Toys for Tots campaign,” said Rogers. “The toy drive ends a little early this year on Dec. 14, which is a little easier. We need all kinds of new toys and they should be unwrapped. Toys for Tots only accepts new toys. We have really enjoyed doing this over the years, and the people here have been so generous. We’re trying to make this an annual thing and it’s been working very well. If we can put a smile on a kid’s face, that’s a good thing.”
This year, the Fire Department is also sponsoring a winter clothing drive in conjunction with the toy drive to benefit St. Luke’s Food Pantry.
Rogers said several firefighters helped to cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to those at the Pantry this year, and the needs there, he said, were “eye opening.”
In response, the Department decided to begin collecting winter clothing.
He said they need new or lightly-used gloves, hats, coats, mittens or scarves. For the homeless, he said they are requesting new packages of wool socks.
The Department will continue collecting the winter clothing through December.
Anyone in need of toys from the Toys for Tots campaign should contact their social worker or pastor, who will put them in touch with the proper people.
All are invited to attend the Chelsea Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Chelsea Square.
Presented by the City of Chelsea and the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, the celebration brings two hours of family-friendly activities including music, dance, and crafts to Chelsea Square.
“The Tree Lighting has been a long standing tradition in Chelsea,” said City Manager Thomas Ambrosino. “Last year’s event was a great success and we’re looking forward to bringing the community together again. Positive momentum is building and I’m pleased at this latest opportunity to draw more people to the area to shop, dine and gather with their neighbors.”
This year’s program includes performances by a choir from the Chelsea High School, Off Broadway Dance Studio, and the Back Bay Bell Ringers. Everyone will have a chance to support a good cause with crafts for sale from Empty Bowls. Decorate a gingerbread person to eat right away or bring home. Free refreshments will be provided by Chelsea Chamber of Commerce businesses. Bringing back a tradition of years past, Santa is scheduled to make a dramatic entrance courtesy of the Chelsea Fire Department.
“The Chamber is excited for this time of year,” said Chamber Acting President Joe Mahoney. “In addition to serving our member organizations and supporting the general commerce of Chelsea, we strive to bring positive programming the whole community can enjoy.”
The Tree Lighting Celebration is one of three events kicking off the winter holiday season. Saturday, Nov. 24 is Small Business Saturday presented by the Chamber and Chelsea Prospers, the City of Chelsea’s downtown initiative, a day to celebrate and support small, locally-owned businesses. The following Saturday, Dec. 1, is the Chamber’s annual Breakfast with Santa event at the Williams School.
When Chelsea art teacher Demetrius Fuller focuses on the community he has taught in since 1999, he has come to
Demetrius Fuller and Chris Miranda are currently painting a mural on Cherry Street and Everett Avenue. The title of the piece is ‘Chelsea Right Now’ and hopes to get viewers to think about the present community.
focus on the here and now.
And in a new mural he is painting on Cherry Street off of Everett Avenue, he has proclaimed everyone to see ‘Chelsea Right Now.’
While many focus on what Chelsea was, or lament about what it might become, he said very few, including himself, stop to enjoy what it is right now – which is pretty wonderful.
“It’s a mural for Chelsea,” he said. “That’s why we call it ‘Chelsea Right Now.’ Everyone is always talking about Chelsea in the future or what Chelsea used to be, or what it might not be tomorrow, but we just don’t stop to see there is a tremendous beauty in Chelsea present. This mural is about right now and captures what Chelsea is right now.”
The mural is funded by a Cultural Council grant and Fuller said he has not really ever done a mural. As a director of the art department in the Chelsea Schools, he has done painting in the schools and also for backgrounds at the Apollinaire Theatre, but never on a brick building. Known mostly for his teaching and his puppet show theatre productions, he said he needed help.
That’s why he brought his friend, Chris Miranda, in from Pittsburgh. The two of them have been working on the mural since Oct. 22, and it’s garnered a lot of attention.
Miranda said so many people comment on it that he has to sometimes ignore them so he can get his work done.
“I love the comments,” he said. “I’ve been enjoying getting to know this really wonderful City of Chelsea. It has so much character. So many people come up to me when I’m painting. All of them are excited, and sometimes there are so many that I have to just get back to work and let them watch me.”
Fuller said he often has students or parents stop to encourage him, which he enjoys.
“I do really like seeing the kids while I’m painting and for them to see me outside of school,” he said. “That’s good because many of them think the teacher lives at the school. I’m attempting to make something beautiful for the City of Chelsea and I think people appreciate that.”
The mural is still in the detail stages, but one can clearly see the figure of a woman coming out into the sunlight – something that Fuller said he has observed in the Cherry Street alley many times. He said the sun actually comes right through the alley at certain times and makes everything light.
With the Chelsea Square fountain in the background and the Bellingham Square clock – along with several other things – the mural features the women in a “here and now” moment stepping into the sun. As a reference point for the woman, Councilor Judith Garcia posed for the artists to get a sense of how things should look at the “right moment.”
That idea of the sun shining on Chelsea at a particular moment played into the Chelsea Right Now theme, Fuller said.
He said he hopes the mural, when finished, can serve as a reminder for everyone to not miss the great community that exists now for worries of the future or laments for the past.
“It’s like the City sat down for me to paint its portrait,” he said.