The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced the Beacon Street off-ramp to Chelsea will be re-opened to all vehicular traffic on Monday, November 19. As a result, the direction of traffic on Chestnut Street between 3rd and 4th Street will return to its usual one-way direction, heading south.
The ramp has been repaired and rehabilitated as part of the Tobin Bridge Repair Project. For more information and to sign up for monthly look-ahead emails, please visit the project website: www.mass.gov/tobin-bridge-repair-project.
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.
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.
The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has approved the contract for construction on the Chelsea Viaduct project, with the low bidder being Skanska McCourt at $169.37 million, some 3 percent below estimates for the massive rebuilding project.
A key part of the scope of work identified in the documents includes keeping the Arlington Street on-ramp, an entryway that had been considered for possible removal.
The project was bid out in July, and a Notice to Proceed is expected in January, with substructure repairs starting shortly after that and into the spring of 2020.
The Chelsea Viaduct is the elevated highway that runs from the County Road overpass to just beyond the 4th Street off ramp. The project has been in the planning stages for more than a month.
The scope of the project includes repairing and retrofitting the superstructure underneath the viaduct. That will take the rusted steel beams and retrofit them with new concrete structures that will be decorated with murals.
That work is expected to begin in the early months of 2019 and will proceed through the spring of 2020 – lasting more than a year.
That will be followed by replacement of the superstructure, which is the decking that the cars and road operate upon. That will be replaced primarily through a pre-fabricated bridge pieces that will be lifted into place and secured. Only two small pieces of the Viaduct will require traditional repair techniques. That will be over the railroad tracks and by the 4th Street off ramp.
There will be no traffic impacts on Route 1 during peak travel times. All work will be performed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on the substructure rehabilitation.
In the fall of 2020, the superstructure replacement will feature some traffic impacts, as they move three lanes into two lanes southbound and two lanes northbound. There will also be interim ramp closures at that time and some parking impacts as well.
As a part of the mitigation for the community, a new community parking lot will be constructed below the Viaduct to help with downtown parking. There will also be improved lighting and a solid snow fence built around portions of the Viaduct.
Completion is expected in 2021.
MassDOT officials said they are in the process of assembling a Chelsea Task Force that will analyze public transit, vehicular travel and other travel options throughout construction and work to ensure reliable transportation for all. More is expected on that Task Force in the coming months.
A before and after view of the substructure repairs to the Chelsea Viaduct, going from rusted steel to a mural.
On Oct. 10, at 12:10 a.m., a CPD officer responded to 99 Maverick for a report of a male party “passed out behind a wheel of a blue mini-van.” Upon arrival, the officer observed a blue mini-van with its front right tire up on the sidewalk, and the suspect sleeping in the driver’s seat. The officer found the vehicle running. The subject was arrested for OUI after failing a sobriety test.
Ivan Ramirez, 38, of Somerville, was charged with OUI Liquor.
ACTING UP IN CLASS
On Oct. 12, at 4:42 p.m., a Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) Police Officer, while posted inside the building, heard multiple people yelling and screaming for the police. The officer entered room 401 where he observed many students and the professor fleeing the room. Chelsea police responded to assist and arrested a female student who was throwing chairs and hitting people. A second male individual was ordered trespassed off of BHCC properties.
Kayla Nicholson, 21, of Boston, was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and malicious destruction of property under $1,200.
On Oct. 12, at 10:15 p.m., officers were dispatched to 10 Forsyth St. for a report of a past breaking and entering. CPD officers had responded two other times that day for reports of B&E’s. A victim was able to identify the suspect as the buildings maintenance worker. CPD detectives assisted in placing the subject under arrest.
Ediberto Aviles, 38, of 10 Forsyth St., was charged with breaking and entering in the day for a felony, and larceny from a building.
18TH STREET GANG MEMBER, ILLEGALLY HERE, SENTENCED
A Salvadoran national was sentenced this month at federal court in Boston for being an alien in possession of a firearm.
Roberto Portillo, aka “Mysterio,” 24, a Salvadoran national previously residing in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to one year and one day in prison. Portillo will face deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. In June 2018, Portillo pleaded guilty to one count of being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The case arose from an investigation into the criminal activities of 18th Street gang members. According to court documents, Portillo is a member of 18th Street, a violent gang that has engaged in a long-running feud with MS-13. On Jan. 13, 2018, law enforcement officers were investigating drug dealing in East Somerville when they saw three people inside a gray Honda Accord purchase drugs. After confirming the drug sale, law enforcement stopped the car and frisked the front passenger, later identified as Portillo, and found a silver semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number loaded with five rounds of .25 caliber CBC ammunition in his pocket. A subsequent review of immigration databases revealed that Portillo had not legally entered the country, making him an illegal alien in possession of a firearm.
On Oct. 13, at 5:12 p.m., a CPD officer, while on patrol in the area of 60 Suffolk St., received notification that a particular was stolen. The officer observed the vehicle a short time later and arrested the individual inside the car.
Jorge Beltran, 19, of 39 Shawmut St., was charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle.
CHARLESTOWN MAN DEALING IN CHELSEA
A Charlestown man was arrested Oct. 5 for distributing fentanyl out of an apartment in Chelsea.
Cruz Villar, 31, was charged with one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl – aiding and abetting; and one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl – aiding and abetting.
The first charge provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $1 million. The second charge provides for a sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian A. Pérez‑Daple of Lelling’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.
This past week, the ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals) denied a proposal at the old Midas Site (1005 Broadway) submitted by a partnership between Traggorth Companies and TND (The Neighborhood Developers). That proposal was to build another 42 affordable RENTAL units on the corner of Clinton, Eastern Ave and Broadway.
At the hearing I spoke in OPPOSITION to the proposal along with other area homeowners. My reason for asking the ZBA not to approve the project was because there has been a long growing sentiment that we as a city, no longer should allow rentals to be built without raising homeownership opportunities to an equal level. Chelsea cannot continue to lose another ownership opportunity to rentals. Right now, 80 percent of our housing stock is rentals, meaning that close to 90 percent of our residents spend their money on rent and are subject to the market forces and whims of a landlord.
That is an insane number for a community trying to solve all of the injustices and social ills it has.
Mind you, I support affordable housing but it has to be OWNERSHIP, not rentals. The last time affordable condos (with income guidelines and deed restrictions) were built was in 2007. Those two condo projects were Boxworks (by TND) and Keen Artist Lofts (by IBA). Last year only three affordable condos were available for re-sale compared to 180 market condos.
As a licensed real estate broker, I have first-hand experience of not being able to find affordable homes in Chelsea for our teachers, police officers, trades people, Logan Airport workers, etc. Our local businesses depend on a working class being nearby. Some may try to paint my advocacy for ownership as self-serving.
Real estate agents can earn a commission on rentals too. I am here advocating for the betterment of my community and am using my experience and knowledge to influence policy and discussion. Also, I have been contracted by TND in the past to assist in a purchase of multi-families. I’m pretty sure this position isn’t helpful to my real estate career or relationship with them.
Since 2010, we have seen nearly 4,000 apartments built. TND itself has built three large affordable projects along Spencer Avenue. They also built the affordable rentals on Shurtleff Street at former Winnisimmet Club, the Latimer Lewis home on Shawmut Street, and in the Box District on Gerrish Avenue and Highland. This is in addition to the many three-families in Chelsea they have bought which were once the pathway for ownership for the working class in Chelsea.
That in no way is helpful to a community trying to make itself vibrant, active, interested and vocal about the going-ons within its community. Homeowners have long been a minority. Our school population reflects this dire situation with the annual entrance and exit of new students/former students numbering in the hundreds. Civic participation and active voting is dismal for a community with a population of 50,000.
My support for ownership over rentals was widely agreed as a valid concern by many in the room, including those supporting the TND proposal. One TND supporter who is now a homeowner said herself, “Ever since my family bought our home, I care more about how clean my street is, who is hanging around, if there is suspected criminal activity etc.”
That’s what those opposing more rentals are encouraging.
Additionally, affordable rental units force its tenants to stay poor. In order to qualify, a working class household has to stay under the income guidelines. The incentive is to make less, not more. Conversely, if you buy an affordable home, and you get a raise at work, then it doesn’t matter. You don’t get kicked out. And when you sell, its sold at an affordable rate again.
And all the while those 4,000-plus apartments were and are being built, we are losing and lost our working class residents because prices of homes have gone up and there are no new ownerships opportunities being built for them.
Chelsea is becoming a city of either rich (by Chelsea Standards) or very poor. No middle working class.
A couple making $60,000 to $80,000 combined per year cannot afford to live in Chelsea. Too little income for the market rates at some of the newer buildings while too much income for TND’s apartments.
The City Council voted to require new police and firefighters to live in Chelsea (a policy I think is a city budget mistake; more on that later) yet we have no program or policy on how to help them achieve that on their entry level salary.
I am on record with having sponsored and supported the Inclusionary Zoning which requires developers to have to include at least 15 percent of building affordable.
I am on record with having sponsored the Community Preservation Act order that placed it on the ballot in 2016, and campaigned for its passage to the voters of Chelsea. The voters overwhelmingly supported it.
Last week, under the order request from Councilor Leo Robinson, the City Council met with Executive Director Helen Zucco and her staff from Chelsea Restoration. Chelsea Restoration is the other (apparently forgotten or unknown by some Chelsea activists) longest serving non-profit agency that has both built affordable home ownership housing and has graduated thousands of Chelsea Residents from their First Time Home Buyer Courses.
It reminded my colleagues and informed our new city manager both what has been done and what has to be done with some of funding sources from the CPA and with support from the City.
The CPA funds should be used for supporting our current working class residents and city employees on increasing the down payment assistance provide by Chelsea Restoration and local banks for first time home buyers course graduates.
If my Colleagues and the community advocates really feel strongly about our City employees living here, then support added down payment assistance for them with CPA funds.
If TND says there is no state funding for non-profits to build affordable ownership, then support the private condo developments that include affordable units.
The City should bring back its problem property program that takes over abandoned dilapidated properties with CPA funding and sets up an agency like Chelsea Restoration as a receiver to rehab and sell as an affordable home to first time homebuyers.
I am willing to get together with TND and take them up on their executive director’s offer to discuss creating ownership opportunities.
I will work with them to look at their portfolio of 49 properties…and offer some of those three-families to their renter occupants as an affordable purchase. We can require them take the Chelsea Restoration home buying course, get down payment assistance and along with TND’s financial literacy training create a stable owner occupant while charging affordable rent to the other two units. Or, convert those three families to three affordable condos.
Some of those properties have been owned by TND for more than 20 years now and were bought at a low value. They can surely sell it very low.
Let’s sit down and take another look at the Midas site and the undisclosed purchase price Taggart agreed to and see if now, you cannot go back to the seller and get a lower price to support 42 condo units with 50 percent being affordable.
Let’s look again at the Seidman Property that TND has under agreement on Sixth Street, and instead of making plans again for more apartments, let’s sit down and try to run the numbers as condos with a 50 percent affordable rate.
That property had previously been under agreement with a private developer. That proposal was to have 60 condo units with 20 percent affordable.
Surely, if we sit down with TND and housing advocates and experts and look at the numbers we can do better than 20 percent affordable by a private non-subsidized developer. I mean if there is no profit needed…we can make it at least 50 percent affordable can’t we?
While TND continues to try to buy the former Boston Hides and Furs site, keep in mind that you will have to build condos, not apartments. That should help you negotiate a workable purchase price.
It wasn’t a sad day when the ZBA said ‘no’ to TND’s proposal. It was, I hope, a watershed moment for the city’s beleaguered homeowners who have said enough is enough. It’s been sad in Chelsea for a long time now…ever since we became a super-majority city of renters.
An outpouring of community love, relentlessness and transformation echoed around Park Street Wednesday as the region’s leaders joined hundreds of young people, the adults that love them and community partners in celebrating Roca’s deep impact the last three decades.
Roca’s participants, staff, alumni and partners came together for a night of live music and food to celebrate Roca’s 30th anniversary. Roca leaders thanked the community, its partners and allies in making such a difference in young people’s lives.
“I am in awe of all of you and all the young people we have met, had the honor of working with the last 30 years and all of the Roca team, our partners and this community who made all this relentlessness possible,” said Roca Founder and CEO Molly Baldwin.
At the event, Roca honored its Roca30 Unsung Hero Awardees, including state Sen. Sal DiDomenico, Probation Commissioner Edward Dolan, Youth Services Commissioner Peter Forbes, Boston Police Captain Haseeb Hosein, Chelsea Police Captain David Batchelor, Hampden County First Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Fitzgerald and Kim Hanton, director of diversionary addiction services at North Suffolk Mental Health Association.
“These seven individuals work on issues and for people who are well out of the headlines and far from the limelight because it’s the right thing and because it makes a difference,” said Baldwin. “They are truly unsung heroes.”
Featured speakers at the event were Jay Ash, secretary of housing and economic development under Gov. Charlie Baker, Harry Spence, the former Receiver of Chelsea and Massachusetts Court Administration and Eric Rodriguez, a founding Roca youth member and lead pastor of The Way Church.
The most special part of the evening came when Roca also honored seven youth participants as unsung heroes as well – seven young people whose lives have been upended by Roca’s relentless outreach, its transformative programs and its many partnerships.
Those young people are:
Caralis Rosario Hernandez
Each of the speakers paused to honor Roca and its team, in particular the driving force of the last 30 years – Molly Baldwin. Ash, the former Chelsea City Manager, presented Baldwin with a award honoring her service and summed up the accollades of many by noting her personal relentlessness as an indisputable driver of Roca’s success.
“If not for Molly Baldwin, there are so many people who wouldn’t be where they are or even alive today,” said Ash. “Molly’s life of service and her relentlessness is an inspiration to us all.”
The Northeast Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) Foundation will honor Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes for his continuous work on behalf of police departments throughout the Commonwealth.
Chief Kyes has taken the lead on immigration enforcement reform, police accreditation and police training. It was through his leadership and exhaustive work that the Commonwealth received a dedicated funding source for police training. He was instrumental in working with the Baker Administration to establish legislation creating a surcharge from car rental fees to subsidize police training.
Chief Kyes also serves on the Mass Chiefs of Police Executive Committee, the Municipal Police Training Committee, the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission and is the Chairman of the Massachusetts Chiefs Legislative Committee.
“Chief Kyes is a tireless advocate for police throughout Massachusetts,” NEMLEC Foundation Chairman Richard Raymond said. “We’re excited to honor him for his constant work to enhance public safety, and celebrate his accomplishments on behalf of all of the communities in the Commonwealth.”
BREAKING AND BARRICADING
On Oct. 7, at 12:15 p.m., officers were dispatched for a report of an unwanted male party that had forced himself into the residence at 13 Beacon Place and then barricaded himself into a bedroom. Officers were eventually able to arrest the subject for breaking and entering as well as malicious destruction of property.
Andres Aguilar, 36, of 13 Beacon Pl., was charged with breaking and entering in the day for a felony with a person in fear, wanton destruction of property under $1,200, and threatening to commit a crime.
EVICTED FROM UNDER THE BRIDGE
On Oct. 2, at 10:30 a.m., officers were dispatched to Carter Street under the Route 1 on-ramp, for individuals sleeping. The officers identified two individuals who were on state property inside a fenced-in area designated and posted “No Trespassing.”
Both were taken into custody.
Jose Tejada, 61, homeless, and Jose Burgos-Murillo, 61, homeless, were charged with trespassing on state property.
On Oct. 3, at 11:12 a.m., officers were dispatched to 74 Bellingham St. for a report of a female party waving a knife at a male party. The victim told officers that he was putting his trash barrels away when he observed his female cousin banging on his door. He attempted to ask her to leave his property when he alleges she threatened him with a knife. She was placed under arrest.
Valerie Fields, 48, of 55 Cottage St., was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and one warrant.
ROAD RAGER CAUGHT
On Oct. 5, at 11 a.m., Officers responded to the area of Everett Avenue and Spruce Street for a report of a road rage incident in which a knife was displayed. The reporting party followed the suspects’ vehicle and informed dispatch of the updated location while awaiting officers’ arrival. Officers stopped the suspect vehicle and placed an occupant under arrest.
Carmen Claudio, 48, of 295 Spruce St., was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.Police Log
Thursday, Sept. 20
Shreya Baskota, 31, 74 Parker St., Acton, was arrested for failure to stop for school bus, operating motor vehicle with restricted license.
Santiago Rodriguez Mendez, 18, 85 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Friday, Sept. 21
Egdon Padilla, 43, 27 Watts St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Tia Tavares, 26, 466 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Joseph Swan, 31, 101 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct, threat to commit crime and vandalize property.
Saturday, Sept. 22
Alexander Palencia, 23, 277 Carter St., Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction of property, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer (2 counts), malicious destruction of property (2 counts).
Komlanvi Agogo, 25, 10 Louis St., Chelsea, was arrested for larceny from building (2 counts), possessing ammunition without FID card (2 counts) and threat to commit crime (2 counts).
Sunday, Sept. 23
Alberto Garcia, 51, 303 Carter St., Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing and shoplifting.
Monday, Oct. 1
Edward Hardy, 36, 39 Boylston St., Boston, was arrested on a warrant.
Hilda Villanueva-Sanbabria, 27, 63 Eustis St., Revere, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed and Immigration detainer.
Hilton Nunez Chavez, 25, 103 Leyden St., East Boston, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed.
Tuesday, Oct. 2
Joe Tejada, 61, Homeless, Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing.
Wednesday, Oct. 3
Van Thornhill, 27, 170 Newbury St., Peabody, was arrested on a warrant.
Valerie Fields, 48, 55 Cottage St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, threat to commit crime.
Leonides Bones, 61, 4 Fernboro St., Dorchester, was arrested on a warrant and possessing Class E drug.
Elbin Aguilar, 35, 127 Grove St., Chelsea, was arrested for ordinance violation.
Thursday, Oct. 4
Cesar Valentin, 32, 23 Eleanor St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Lekia Lewis, 40, 90 Malden St., Everett, was arrested on a warrant.
Friday, Oct. 5
Carmen Claudio, 48, 295 Spruce St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon.
Luis Chamizo, 48, 140 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested for witness intimidation and warrants.
Justin Delloiacono, 30, 27 Page St., Revere, was arrested for shoplifting.
Sunday, Oct. 7
Andres Aguilar, 36, 13 Beacon Pl., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime, wanton destruction of property and threat to commit crime.
Komlanvi Agogo, 25, 10 Louis St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Alberto Garcia, 51, 303 Carter St., Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing.
A new function hall is slated to open at the site of the former Polish American Veterans Hall at 35 Fourth Street.
At its most recent meeting, the licensing commission approved restaurant and entertainment licenses for the proposed hall.
The applicant, Emiliana Fiesta, LLC, also applied for a wine and beer license, but will have to wait until there is an available license in the city. However, one-day liquor licenses can be granted for the weddings, birthday parties, and other functions planned for the facility.
The Polish American hall had a capacity of over 500 occupants for the two floors of the building. But based on concerns voiced by police officials, the licensing commission approved the restaurant license with a capacity of 250 occupants, limiting the functions to one level of the building, while the basement level can only be used for storage and kitchen purposes. The owners will also install licenses at all entrances on both floors of the building.
Even with the limitations on use, police Captain Keith Houghton said he was wary that the use of the building could tip from being a function hall to operating as a full-blown night club.
“This is going to be a challenge,” said Houghton, who also requested that the opaque outside of the building be replaced with clear windows and that a floor plan be provided to police and the licensing committee.
Broadway resident Paul Goodhue said he also had concerns about the proposal.
“I’ve watched the police clean up that corner of Fourth and Broadway,” he said. “You’re going to be opening up a can of worms if that ends up being a nightclub.”
Commission member Roseann Bongiovanni said she understood the concerns of the police and neighbors.
“We do not want this to turn into a nightclub, that’s not an appropriate function,” she said.
But with the proper conditions in place, Bongiovanni said the new owners of the building should have the chance to give the function hall a go.
“They bought (the building) with the same use,” Bongiovanni said. “I feel like we should give them a shot.”
Licensing Commission Chairman James Guido also stipulated that live bands can perform during functions only and that for functions of over 100 people, a police detail should be requested.
The approved hours for the function hall are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.
The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting on Sep.11 saw a focused gathering of concerned Chelsea residents fighting against YIHE Forbes, LLC and their new construction proposal, among other Chelsea zoning appeals.
Hosted at the Senior Center across from City Hall, the proposal attracted a larger audience as the ZBA meeting slowly proceeded from appeal to appeal, but more attendants poured in as Forbes’ lawyer Paul Feldman began speaking.
The planned project would be located across the train tracks opposite of Crescent Avenue on Forbes Street, providing only one entrance and exit and limited space for development.
“A $25 million investment doesn’t work on this size of space,” said Feldman in reference to previous 2015 plans that called for a much larger project with skyscrapers and hundreds of housing units.
Returning with a new plan from a similar proposal in 2015, YIHE presented their renewed project for an estimated 18 acre total reconstruction of Forbes Street in Chelsea to provide 630 residential units across roughly 700,000 sq. ft. with a 3-acre reconstructed public waterfront pathway for public use. There are a planned 80 studios, 330 one-bedroom, and 220 two-bedroom apartments to be available.
Feldman estimated that there would be approximately a $1.7 million tax revenue return for Chelsea.
“There are going to be $3 million in building and department fees estimated,” Feldman added.
Those opposed to the developing project also raised concerned criticism at the lack of transparency with the official costs and how exactly the tax revenue will be invested back into local community needs, with residents pointing out a lack of outreach to local schools.
The new plan cuts the 2015 sizing plan to less than half its original size (approx. 1.5 million sq. ft.). However, Chelsea residents continue to express their discontent with the project.
RoseannBongiovanni quickly fired back after Feldman, chief project engineer Richard Salvo, and traffic engineer Jeffrey Dirk completed their respective informational presentations concerning development.
“I’m offended by so much of what you’ve said here tonight,” Bongiovanni began, adding “I can’t go [to the new development] because I have two children. Because you are not family friendly.”
Bongiovanni is not the only concerned Chelsea resident; Crescent Avenue homeowners are worried about future traffic being even more congested, while others see a combination of other problems unfolding.
Among the major issues that locals raised included: an additional estimated 170 cars added to local transit, insufficient emergency egress, lack of community consulting, transparency of project plans, an 80 percent calculated median average income based cost for the proposed studios and apartments, parking, lack of community investment, a very low-height seawall (11 ft.), and the size of the infrastructure.
“Every time the community has raised a concern, it’s fallen on deaf ears,” Bongiovanni stated.
Many residents said they don’t believe a vast majority of the community could even afford to live in the new development, leading to even less of a desire to accept the proposal.
After more than two hours of presentations with strong appeals from both sides, the meeting concluded.
The project will be revisited and decided upon at the Oct. 9 ZBA meeting.
CLOSET DRAWS CONTROVERSY
In other matters, a total of nine projects were presented, with three approved by the board and five others continued to either the Planning Board meeting on Sep. 25 or the next Zoning Board meeting on Oct. 9.
A noteworthy case was 34 Beacon St. and Carol Brown’s plans to create an extended closet in very limited space between her property and neighboring 32 Beacon St.
Brown appealed that she retained the right to remodel her property and create the extension, while two neighbors retained that due to flooding problems and snow accumulation on the planned closet, it shouldn’t be allowed.
“We have bent over backwards for these neighbors,” stated Brown.
There seemed to be a neighborhood blame game being thrown back and forth between the three homeowners. Despite Brown’s two neighbors declining to going on record, the tension between the three was palpable.
The project was approved with conditions, especially concerning sitting and freezing water on Brown’s property.
TEMPLE ON GARFIELD AVE WITHDRAWS
Of interest, the previous ZBA meeting on Aug.14 had seen TapanChowdhury introduce a project for a Buddhist Temple on 165 Garfield Ave., but the appeal for that project has since been withdrawn.
The remaining appeals that were approved had conditions set upon them, while the remainder of the appeals were moved to subsequent meetings due to needed revisions for the project.
The ZBA will be meeting again on October 9 at 6 p.m. in the Senior Center.