Lead pipes are often a hidden danger under the streets and sidewalks for a lot of families in Chelsea, but if the City
State Rep. Dan Ryan praised the program and congratulated Chelsea in being proactive to replace lead service lines.
can help it, that danger will be removed one pipe at a time.
On Monday, the MWRA and the Clean Water Action Group awarded the City of Chelsea and GreenRoots for their early adoption of a program that removes, at no cost to the homeowner, lead water service lines while in the process of other infrastructure projects.
Part of that award included a $100,000 grant to help continue the program and remove more lead water lines as the City encounters them during paving or sidewalk repair programs.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said it is a common sense operation, but one that goes the extra step in replacing the line for free – as it usually is the responsibility of the homeowner to pay for the replacement.
“For the last year or more, as we’ve undertaken other construction projects on the streets, when we encounter a lead service line on the street, we are replacing it at no cost to the homeowner,” he said. “The MWRA grant helps ensure we will be able to continue to do that. We all want safe and clean drinking water and having clean water is elemental.”
Over time, lead can leach into drinking water, and studies have shown that lead is a neurotoxin and can affect cognitive abilities with repeated exposure. This is particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women.
“Chelsea is so proactive in doing this,” said MWRA Director Fred Laskey. “They are going through the inventory and going house to house and street to street to get rid of this problem. This is something that should serve as a model in how to prevent the scourge of lead in water. No other community has forged into this.”
Fidel Maltez of the Chelsea DPW said that more than 50 lines have been replaced so far under the program. Some of those were last year and came when they were working on street repairs, including to Shurtleff, Maverick, Clark, Crescent, Lawrence, Tudor and Webster Streets. This year, they will take on Essex Street and will be looking for lead water lines there too.
“Every project moving forward is going to identify and remove these lines with zero cost to the homeowner,” he said.
He said that any homeowner that thinks they might have a lead service line should contact the DPW at (617) 466-4200. They will send out a technician to verify if it is a lead pipe, and if it is, they will put it on a list for completion.
On Oct. 30, at 9:45 a.m., a female was feloniously assaulted as she walked her dog in the area of 175 Crescent Ave. The victim reported that she observed a female walking a dog and walking with a young child as she, too, walked along the same street, and at one point saw this female striking the dog. Being a responsible dog owner, she told the female that there were other ways to correct her dog other than abusing the animal, but the female instead began to shout obscenities at her. As the victim stood across the street, she told the suspect that she was going to call the police based on her abusing the dog. At that point the suspect and another female attacked her. Both were arrested for the assault. One of the women was additionally charged with cruelty to animals.
Terez Durbano, 40, of Revere, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, cruelty to animals, and operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license.
ARSON SUSPECT ARRESTED
The Chelsea Police arrested a Chelsea man on Nov. 8 for setting fire to a building at 28-30 Hawthorne St. on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The fire was set in an attached shed, which quickly spread to the rear porches causing an estimated $10,000 in damages.
Edward Watson, 59, of Chelsea, has been charged with one count of burning a building, one count of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, and one count of trespassing. The two-alarm fire occurred at 1:30 p.m., and the shed was on the property of a four-story apartment building that was undergoing renovations.
No one was injured.
Chelsea Police and Fire jointly investigated the fire, along with State Police assigned to the State Fire Marshal. All determined that the fire was intentionally set, and they also commented that the community was very helpful in solving the case.
The case will be prosecuted by the Suffolk County DA’s Office.
FOUND WITH GUN
On Oct. 30, at 8 p.m., while on patrol, two CPD officers observed a group of youths on Cross Street turn onto Division Street in an alleyway that is poorly lit. Upon turning onto Division Street, officers saw the three male parties standing and passing what the officers believed to be marijuana. The officers confirmed it was, in fact, marijuana as they approached. As the officers asked for identification, one of the males tensed his arm as if he was concealing something under his pants pocket. Officers asked him to remove his hands from his pocket.
The juvenile refused.
The officers at that point felt that the youth was concealing contraband. The officers removed his hand and removed a firearm from his pocket. The youth was placed into custody.
A 17-year-old juvenile was charged with possession of a firearm without a permit, possession of ammo without a permit and carrying a loaded firearm without a permit.
On Oct. 31, at 2:20 a.m., CPD officers responded to 9 Shurtleff St. for a report of breaking and entering to a motor vehicle in progress. As officers began to arrive on the scene, they were notified by Chelsea Dispatch that a caller had observed the suspect attempting to break into a parked motor vehicle. It was reported to officers that the suspect had then walked away heading towards Marginal Street. Officers detained the suspect and recovered in his possession items taken from the car.
He was placed under arrest.
Anthony Benson, 27, of East Boston, was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle and larceny under $1,200 by scheme.
FOILED ON FACEBOOK
On Nov. 2, CPD detectives became aware of a social media post on Facebook that contained still images of a person who broke into a Chelsea resident’s home located on Spencer Avenue. This video was posted and made public by the reporting victim. Based on the image of the male subject in question, a BOLO was put out, and Chelsea officers observed the male and placed him under arrest later that evening.
Edwin Castro, 29, of 916 Broadway, was charged with breaking and entering in the day for a felony and a probation warrant.
Say what you will about the state of politics in our country these days, one thing that is undeniable is that Americans have become more engaged in the political process than at any time in our recent history.
The recent election of scores of women, of diverse backgrounds, to public office has signified that men no longer will be running the show.
This is a good thing, not only for women, but also for men — and by extension, for our entire nation and the world — because when those who control our democratic institutions reflect the make-up of those whom they are serving, the end result will be policies that benefit all Americans, in all our diversity, rather than just the few.
It took the current political environment to wake us up from our complacency .
We look forward to our new Congress and trust that the talented and energetic women who will be serving as our senators and representatives will bring a positive attitude and some meaningful changes to the status quo.
The Chelsea High boys soccer team dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to Acton-Boxboro in a first round contest of the Division 1 North Sectional of the MIAA state soccer tournament last Friday evening on the turf at Highland Park.
The Red Devils grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 30 minute mark of the opening half when Delmer Romero found the back of the A-B net with a beautiful strike from the top of the box.
Delmer, Chelsea’s leading scorer this season, initially took possession of the ball in the right corner of the box and then made a few moves toward the center to create some space from the A-B defenders. When he obtained a small window of opportunity, Romero let go a powerful drive high to the opposite corner to beat the A-B keeper.
However, that would prove to be the apogee of coach Mick Milutinovic and his Red Devils’ hopes for advancing to the next round of the tournament.
Five minutes after Romero’s goal, a ref whistled Chelsea for a controversial hand-ball in the box and awarded a penalty kick to A-B. The alleged hand-ball call was not evident to anyone else on or in the field — and the ref who made the call was 60 yards aways from the action.
Acton-Boxboro converted the PK, bringing the contest back to level at the half.
The contest remained deadlocked for the next 55 minutes — 40 minutes of the second half, 10 minutes of the first overtime, and five minutes of the second OT — until A-B reached the back of the Chelsea net for the victory with five minutes left in the second overtime period.
“This was a great tourney game,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “Our defense was solid and our keeper, Roberto Portillo, played the best game of his career with some outstanding saves.
“We had a great crowd and the team fought hard the whole way,” added Protasowicki, who noted that the Red Devils had enjoyed a superb season with a 13-0-3 record entering the tournament. “It’s too bad that the outcome of the game hinged on that hand-ball call.”
CHS runners do
well at Coaches Meet
Last Saturday a small contingent of the Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams traveled to Wrentham to participate in the Frank Mooney State Coaches Invitational.
Senior Justin Turner raced to a personal best of 17:05 on the 3.1 mile course to finish seventh out of 189 runners.
“Every week Justin gets better,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “He had a great summer of training and it is translating into a remarkable season. He hasn’t missed a day of practice and he is a great leader.”
Senior Julio Valladares ran 17:51 to improve by over a minute and was 30th overall out of 189.
“Earlier this season Julio had a virus he couldn’t shake,” said Fay. “The last three weeks he has finally been running to his potential.”
Jazmany Reyes ran 18:29 and also had a personal best by almost a minute. Oscar Amaya ran 19:22 in the sophomore race while freshman Ian Padilla also ran in the sophomore race and ran 20:10. Only nine other freshman beat Ian in the race.
Limilson Tavares raced to a 19:09 time in the junior race. Joseph Terval ran 20:07 to smash his former best time by almost two minutes. WidinButras finished in a time of 22:10.
On the girls’ side, YaridDeras finished 28th in a time of 22:11 for the 3.1 miles.
This Saturday both the boys and girls squats will go back to Wrentham for the Division 2 State Meet.
CHS football team
meets O’Bryant Friday
The Chelsea High football team turned in its most-productive offensive effort of the season, but came out on the short end of a 40-22 decision to Cathedral High this past Friday evening.
“Unfortunately, it’s not the outcome we wanted, but I am proud of my guys for putting up a fight until the last whistle,” said CHS head coach Rasi Chau. “Our new quarterback, freshman Joshua Sosa, took the call and did a great job controlling the field.”
Sosa threw a 76 yard touchdown pass to Daps Olunbuson and ran a quarterback sneak for a two-point conversion. Jabes Escalante did a great job running the ball, scoring touchdowns, including his longest run of the year of 57 yards, plus a two-point conversion. Jabes ended up with 176 yards on the ground.
Ivan Soto, Chelsea’s leading tackler this season with more than 100 tackles, recorded 13 solo tackles of Cathedral ballcarriers.
Chau and his squad will play at O’Bryant High School in Boston tomorrow (Friday). Kickoff is set for 4:00.
CHS girls soccer
Although the Chelsea High girls soccer team dropped its last four games of the season to finish with a final record of 5-10-2, CHS head coach Randy Grajal was upbeat about his team’s performance and its future.
“We have a very young team and we improved as our season went along,” said CHS head coach Randy Grajal. “I am looking forward to our next season.”
Roca’s 30th Anniversary Community Celebration was held Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 at Roca Headquarters in Chelsea. Enjoying the outdoor event are from left, Councilior at-Large Leo Robinson, State Rep. Dan Ryan, State Sen. Sal DiDomenico, and Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes. Look for more coverage in next week’s edition of the Chelsea Record.
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.”
The Chelsea convocation on the first day that teachers return for work after the summer break has always been a venue that Supt. Mary Bourque has used to unveil plans for the district.
Hundreds of educators from the Chelsea Public Schools, led by Supt. Mary Bourque (front row), made a statement Monday morning with ‘I (heart) Chelsea’ T-Shirts that sent a message to those on Beacon Hill that Chelsea Schools need a fix to the formula that funds the schools statewide. The scene came during the annual Back to School Address and Convocation by Supt. Bourque.
On Monday, though, she used her time to unveil a hope for the state of the state’s schools – and to send a message statewide that schools like Chelsea will not be defined only by a standardized test score and a series of cuts delivered in the state budgets.
Bourque said that this will be the year they reclaim the “heart and purpose” of who the Chelsea educators are. She said last year was one of the most difficult years of her career, and she is ready to put that behind.
“Whether it was the severe budget cuts we endured for a second year in a row, the lack of action by the state on the Foundation Budget Reform recommendations, the partial funding of the Economically Disadvantaged rates, or the noise, chaos, and pervasive negative rhetoric swirling around us from all layers of leadership – yes, in my career I will look back on 2017-2018 and say it was not an easy year,” she said. “But we…rose above it all and for that I thank all of you. We rose above it all and will continue to do so this year because we know we are succeeding in putting our students on the journey of life. While others may not hold public education to the high moral value and may not make the commitment to the next generation that is needed, we in Chelsea are different. We know and deeply value our purpose for being here in education, in Chelsea schools.”
Bourque said that the state has been on a very high-pressure, high-stakes mission of academic urgency for 25 years that has labeled every school as one-size-fits-all. That has played out in the labels given districts via the MCAS test results. She said that isn’t fair and has taken the heart out of education.
While she said such standards in the MCAS are valuable and worthy, the system needs to account for different districts like Chelsea that face different challenges – such as poverty, immigration and English Language Learners.
“I contend that the unintended consequences of this 25-year system is the loss of the heart of education,” she said. “The heart of who we are as educators. As a State, we have lost our way and forgotten what is most important in education. It is time then, to rise up and take the heart and purpose back, one classroom at a time.”
The end of the speech was a rallying cry in which Bourque called on all Chelsea educators to fight for things such as revamped state financing and Foundation Budget reform and other such changes at the state level.
“We will fight for our students and for what is right,” she said. “We will rise up as a collective voice, as a force of positivity, civility, advocacy, purpose, and heart whether at the local, state, or national level. We will lead the change that needs to take place from test score accountability framework to state education finances.”
More than 13,000 people came to Suffolk Downs this weekend to enjoy live thoroughbred racing and a food truck festival.
And what a show it was. There was a carnival-like atmosphere on two hot summer days at the popular East Boston racetrack.
Longtime horseracing fans stood trackside next to some some young families who were getting their first, up-close look at what was once one of the most popular sports in the United States. The Kentucky Derby, for example, is still often called “most exciting two minutes in all of sports.”
Chief of Operations Chip Tuttle, a giant in the industry of horse racing, was very pleased with the large turnout on both days. He said the food trucks are always a nice draw that gives people variety over the standard racetrack faire.
There had been some concern at mid-week that the weekend of racing might not materialize after the State Legislature failed to vote on the measure during the last day (July 31) of its legislative session. But the legislature met informally Thursday to reinstate the law and Gov. Charlie Baker signed it, thus allowing for simulcasting and live racing to resume.
“Thankfully it was taken care of quickly and we appreciate the work of the House leadership, and the Senate, and the governor to get it remedied in less than 48 years hours,” said Tuttle. “We thank Speaker DeLeo for his efforts especially.”
Tuttle said that Suffolk has a request before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to add another weekend of live racing on Sept. 15-16. “It’s on the Commission’s agenda for their meeting on Aug. 14,” said Tuttle. “We’d really like to run one more weekend. There’s certainly funding to do it in the Racehorse Development Fund and it helps the local horsemen, the Massachusetts breeders. They don’t have as many opportunities to run for purse money as they like and we’re doing our best to accommodate them.”
Tuttle said that Suffolk Downs will be open through the end of the year (2018) for simulcasting.
“And we’re already in discussions with both the horsemen and HYM [the real estate company that will be redeveloping the Suffolk property] about dates for the first half of 2019,” he added.
Live horse racing and simulcasting took a topsy-turvy ride over a period of 48 hours last week, when the Sport of Kings became illegal in the Commonwealth for the first time in generations.
All of it came as a result of the State Legislature’s run up to the end of its two-year Legislative session on Tuesday and into Wednesday (July 31 and Aug. 1) night Ð and it was a frustrating end for Speaker Bob DeLeo, who said they waited all night for the Senate to send back an approved Racing Bill.
It was considered a non-controversial, annual renewal, but it was a wait that proved fruitless and frustrating for the Speaker.
When the bell sounded to end the session, racing hadn’t been done, and that technically made it illegal Ð something with dire consequences for Suffolk Downs and Plainridge Race Course, both of which had major racing events last week.
“We were waiting for it to come back from the Senate so we could vote on it,” DeLeo said this week. “It never made it back to the House for a final vote so that there would be no disruption in racingÉI have to say, it was very frustrating to be waiting all night for the legislation to come back and it never did. I know that things get lost. I appreciate that, but we’re talking about people’s livelihoods and people who rely on that paycheck. I thought it was important that got done and that’s why we moved so quickly to get it straightened out the next day on the governor’s desk to sign by mid-day.”
Indeed, by Thursday afternoon, racing had been restored, and DeLeo said that was because he and his team moved immediately all night long to make sure it passed.
It didn’t stop the talk, however, about why Senate President Karen Spilka hadn’t taken up a matter so important to Speaker DeLeo’s district in a session that ended with a bit of animosity between the two bodies Ð particularly on the failure to pass an education funding and health care bill by the end of session.
Some inside sources have said that it was retribution from Spilka to DeLeo for not passing certain things that were important to her Ð essentially, they said, making racing a pawn in a larger political spat.
DeLeo played that down, however, this week, saying only, “We were just awaiting the documents from the Senate.”
Spilka told the State House News Service last week that racing was simply one of many bills that failed to pass before the session’s end.
“Just like every single year, we don’t always get to everything,” she said to State House News.
Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle said he was glad to see that the matter was quickly resolved, which meant that it didn’t disrupt Suffolk’s weekend of live racing Saturday and Sunday.
“We want to thank the House, Senate and Governor for addressing this today and we’re looking forward to two great days of racing this weekend,” he said late on Thursday.
But Suffolk, Plainridge and Raynham didn’t get there without sweating it out for a period of many hours when their product has suddenly become unauthorized.
On Wednesday morning, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) put out a letter of direction to Suffolk Downs, Plainridge Park and Raynham Taunton Greyhound Park.
The letter said that the Commonwealth’s legislation for live racing and simulcasting had expired on July 31 at midnight and no action had been taken to renew or replace it.
“As of today, there is not statutory authorization for live horse racing or simulcasting in the Commonwealth,” read the letter. “Please be advised that until further notice from the Gaming Commission, simulcasting in all forms under any license at your facilities is suspended. Further, live racing at Suffolk Downs and Plainridge Park is also suspended until further notice.”
The MGC added the item as an emergency agenda item for its meeting on Aug. 2, in Springfield, but as they got to the matter, DeLeo had straightened everything out.
Getting it fixed was the main point of the matter, DeLeo said this week.
“Suffolk did have a very big live racing weekend coming up, but for meÉwe have a number of people who live and work in my district who quite frankly live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford even one day without that paycheck,” he said. “That’s very important and that’s why the very next day we worked to get it passed on signed by the governor.”
The Racing/Simulcast legislation doesn’t sunset again until July 31, 2019.