On June 4, Chelsea Police reunited a missing
10-year-old Chelsea girl with her parents on after the Kelly school student
told officers she fell asleep on the MBTA bus she takes home from school.
The juvenile told officers she ended up at the Maverick Square MBTA station
where she became confused and proceeded onto another MBTA bus that she was
unfamiliar with. At some point, she left the bus in the area of North Shore
Road in Revere where she began to walk on the busy road. During this time,
the parents responded to the police station to report their daughter missing.
Officers used the young girl’s cell phone to “ping” her location in Revere.
While Chelsea, Transit and Revere Police were searching the area the young girl
was located by an MBTA bus driver who transported her to the Wonderland “T”
Station in Revere. She was then reunited back with her parents at Chelsea
Police Headquarters. Chelsea officers are working with the parents and the
school in addressing future transportation options for the young girl who was
unharmed in the incident.
Struggle Without a Shirt
On May 27, at 1:20 a.m., officers responded
to the area 176 Clark Ave. for a report of a disturbance. The report to
officers was that witnesses were reporting they saw a male who appeared drunk,
with no t-shirt on, fighting with a female who was preventing him from getting
into the home. Officers struggled with the male in attempting to calm him
down. After a struggle to restrain him, he was placed into custody. The
male was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation prior to being booked at
Eber Orantes, 33, of 176 Clark Ave., was
charged with disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting
Threated With Strange Weapon
On May 30, at 9:20 p.m., officers responded
in the area of Normandy Road at Garfield Avenue for a report of a road rage incident
involving a firearm. Officers were given the description of the vehicle in
question. It was said to be a black Honda Accord operating on Normandy Road.
CPD officers located the vehicle and found the subject to have a modified
instrument that resembled a firearm. The victim in the other vehicle provided
other information that led to the male being arrested.
Tanvir Zahir, 21, of Stoneham, was charged
with violating the motor vehicle ordinance, violating the dangerous weapons
ordinance, and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
Swallowed Bag of Crack
On May 31, at 9:30 a.m., Officers
observed a male party known to them from previous drug offenses walking with an
unknown male on Chestnut Street near Fourth Street. The officers believed they
then witnessed a drug transaction between the two. The subject admitted he
swallowed a bag of “crack “ when he was approached by the officers. A search of
his person uncovered more drugs and he was placed under arrest. The second male
was identified and placed under arrest on the scene. The subject who ingested
the narcotics was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation.
Argenis Felipe, 33, of East Boston, was
charged with possession to distribute a Class B drug (crack), conspiracy, and
distribution of a Class B drug.
On May 31, at 11 a.m., officers were
dispatched to the parking lot of 260 Clark Ave. for a fight in progress.
Officers observed two tenants of the building in an argument. One tenant
accused the second of threatening him with a box cutter. That item was
retrieved and that male was taken into custody.
Jody Robinson, 59, of 260 Clark Ave., was
charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.
Swerved at Pedestrian
On June 1, at 9:10 a.m., an off-duty CPD
officer was traveling on Hawthorne Street towards Chester Avenue when he saw a
male party crossing the street. The officer noticed a Toyota Corolla
laying on his horn and then began to intentionally drive towards the male party
that was crossing the road. The victim had to jump four to six feet to
his rear to avoid being struck by the vehicle.
The officer believed the operator swerved in
his direction deliberately trying to strike the victim, which could have
resulted in serious injuries. CPD officers responded to assist and the male
operator was placed in custody for assault with a dangerous weapon.
35, of East Boston, was charged with failing to slow, reckless operation, and
assault with a dangerous weapon (car).
MS-13 Member Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
An MS-13 member was sentenced last week for
being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Nery Rodriguez Diaz, 19, a Salvadoran
national who resided in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F.
Dennis Saylor IV to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Diaz will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his
On May 22, 2018, Diaz and another MS-13
member, Elmer Alfaro Hercules, were arrested in possession of loaded firearms
in Bremen Street Park in East Boston, a location where numerous MS-13 gang
members have been observed and where gang-on-gang violence frequently
The investigation revealed that Diaz and
Hercules each separately and unlawfully entered the United States in 2014 as
unaccompanied minors. Both Diaz and Hercules were charged federally for being
aliens in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 months in prison and three
years of supervised release. Hercules will also be subject to deportation
proceedings after the completion of his sentence.
Chelsea Gang Leader Sentenced to Over 15 years in Prison
A leader of the East Side Money Gang (ESMG)
was sentenced last week in federal court in Boston on racketeering, drug
trafficking and firearms trafficking charges.
Angel “Stackz” Mejia Zelaya, 24, of Chelsea,
was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 188 months in
prison and five years of supervised release. In January 2019, Mejia
pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through
a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, one count of
conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and one count of engaging in
the business of dealing in firearms without a license.
Mejia was a leader in the ESMG, a violent,
Chelsea-based street gang, which was responsible for various violent crimes,
including multiple shootings, and drug distribution in Chelsea and surrounding
communities. Mejia, as well as other members and associates of the gang, were
also actively involved in illegally selling firearms, including handguns and
shotguns, in and around Chelsea.
Mejia participated in multiple, gang-related
On July 5, 2015, Mejia was involved in a
shooting targeting a rival gang member on a public street in Chelsea, which did
not result in the rival gang member being injured. On March 29, 2016, Mejia and
his lieutenant, Josue “Superbad” Rodriguez, agreed to provide a .22 caliber
revolver to a third ESMG member, Brandon “Big Baby” Baez, so that Baez could
“spank” with it – meaning that he could use it against rivals of ESMG. On April
3, 2016, in Revere, Baez used the revolver to attempt to murder two men believed
to be members/associates of a rival gang as they sat in a vehicle. Both men
were wounded, but not killed. Baez called Mejia immediately after the shooting
to inform Mejia that Baez had just shot two men. Mejia further admitted to
supplying other ESMG gang members with firearms, including a juvenile who then
accidently shot another person.
While Mejia was the leader of the ESMG, the
gang dealt substantial quantities of drugs, including cocaine and cocaine base
(crack), in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia was responsible for the
distribution of at least a kilogram of cocaine base. Mejia and his gang
subordinates stored drugs at and distributed drugs from a residence on Tudor
Street in Chelsea and another residence in the Chelsea area. The gang kept
handguns at both locations to protect their drug operations, as well as for
other gang activities.
of Mejia arose out of an investigation of various street gangs, including the
18th Street Gang, ESMG and the Boylston Street Gang, which were responsible for
fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern
Massachusetts. During the course of the investigation, more than 70 firearms
How much awesomeness can be contained within
The people of Chelsea will soon find out as
the first of a series of five monthly events takes place downtown on Saturday,
June 8, with the launch of the Chelsea Night Market.
Presented by the City of Chelsea through its
downtown initiative called Chelsea Prospers and local events production company
Jukebox, the Chelsea Night Market is an ambitious undertaking for a hidden
corner of the downtown that’s beginning to awaken.
Last year, GreenRoots took the lead in the
block’s transformation by creating a colorful mural with Chelsea artist and one
of the state’s top muralists Silvia López Chavez on the Chelsea Walk.
That pedestrian walkway provides the
entrance to the next phase of the effort with activation of the space through
the Chelsea Night Market.
Edwardo Chacon of Jukebox said, “Vendors are
still being accepted for future markets and there’s always room for more
artists and performers to join in. Our priority is to engage as much local
talent as possible. We’re excited by all the energy growing around the market
and the new connections we’re making. This is going to be epic.”
Here, in the large parking lot on Cherry
Street behind the businesses on Broadway between Fourth and Fifth Streets,
event visitors every month will find the area transformed with activity and
something new to discover on each visit.
More than a dozen booths will feature local
businesses, artists, merchants and community groups. Merchandise includes both new, vintage,
thrift and handcrafted items.
Jack’s Men’s Shop will highlight emerging
brands for men’s fashion, while Allen’s Cut Rate features a selection of
high-quality fragrances. You’ll find hand-crafted jewelry by Beaded Inspiration
and Sacred Soul Fire. Over at the booths for Dandelion District and High Energy
Vintage there’s a variety of vintage items including old school video games,
nicnacks and clothing.
At Jukebox’s booth, show off your local
pride with swag that shouts your love of all things 02150. Among the offerings
are T-shirts and totes emblazoned with Chelsea. All proceeds are dedicated to
supporting the next projects to improve Luther Place.
A variety of other tents will feature
community groups and artists.
Test your aim with Archery Games Boston,
show off what you’re proud of with the Chelsea LGBTQ Coalition, and play around
with the team from the Phoenix Charter Academy Chelsea.
Several local restaurants are on board with
menus of street food as well.
Get a sandwich hot off the grill from the
chefs of Broadway House of Pizza, nibble savory Chinese food from Chung Wah, or
sink your teeth into an empanada from Pan y Café.
On the main stage a variety of performers
will entertain the crowd.
MC for the night is comedian and actor Chase
Abel. Host of the podcast “Ready Set Blow” with Randy V, he’s a
regular at Boston’s top clubs.
Among them is a band headed by Bengisu and
It’s impossible to describe their mix of
Turkish-funk-rock, but it will definitely get a groove going.
DJ Tempo Sauve’s upbeat house electronica is
gathering a strong following, and he’ll keep the energy going throughout the
night. There’s a rumor some comedians from the recent show at Tu Casa may stop
The performance highlight, however,
undoubtedly will be the crew from the Boston Circus Guild. They’ll be roaming
among the crowd to show off their amazing skills and costumes and then at 9:30
p.m., will take the stage for a 20-minute fire performance that will top off
Serving as a backdrop to the main stage and
to provide a tangible reminder of the market through the summer, the wall of
456 Broadway will serve as space for temporary mini murals with new designs
appearing each month by local artists.
The Chelsea Night Market team is grateful
for the support of the Chelsea Record as a media sponsor helping them to spread
the word about the upcoming event and to highlight the new happenings of
For additional information check out the
Chelsea Night Market’s website at www.chelseanightmarket.com, the facebook
event at https://www.facebook.com/events/529915294079626/ or contact at Mimi Graney, at email@example.com
Future dates include:
•July 13 (raindate 7/20)
•August 10 (raindate 8/17)
•September 21 (raindate 9/28)
•October 5 (raindate 10/12)
CITY OF CHELSEA, MA
Department of Planning and Development
City Hall, 500 Broadway, Room 301 · Chelsea,
The Jewish Journal newspaper honored members of its community who have made special contributions through their volunteer efforts and philanthrophy.
Jewish Journal Publisher Steve Rosenberg (second from left) congratulates Todd Levine, Adele Lubarsky, and Ed Medros on being named “Mensches” in recognition of their volunteer efforts and philanthropic work.
Adele Lubarsky, principal of the Hooks
Elementary School, and Ed Medros, president of the Walnut Street Synagogue,
were honored as Mensches at the breakfast held May 19 at Temple Ner Tamid,
Lubarsky, a Chelsea High School graduate,
thanked the Journal for the honor in her acceptance speech.
“And it is an honor as president of Temple
Ner Tamid to host this event,” said Lubarsky. “In my mind there are few higher
Jewish compliments to pay someone than to call them a mensch.
“A mensch is a person who can be relied on
to act with honor and integrity. The Yiddish term means more than that: it also
suggests someone who is kind and considerate. For me, the term mensch does not
“When I thought about my definition of
mensch, I went to my favorite source: Google. Brigitte Nicole in “Lessons
Learned in Life” provided me with the framework of what I consider I needed to
do to be considered a mensch.
“Surround yourself with people who are kind,
caring, who are growing and want to learn. People who don’t mind saying sorry
or thank you and will ask you if you need anything. These people will keep you
positive. To find these people is to be one,” said Lubarsky.
The popular school administrator added, “For
me, this honor belongs to everyone in my family and Temple life who have
supported me in the past and helped me become a mensch.”
Medros, who has done an outstanding job
maintaining the history of the Walnut Street shul, also humbly accepted the
prestigious award. “I am truly honored to be recognized as a mensch by the
Jewish Journal and to walk in the same steps as all the other mensches here and
everyone in attendance. I thank you very much. It is a labor of love for me to
be president of the Walnut Street synagogue.”
Medros concluded his remarks by inviting
guests to take a tour of the landmark Jewish house of worship.
Also honored was Todd Levine, whose family
formerly owned Levine’s Meat Market on Central Avenue. Todd is now the proprietor
of Levine’s Kosher Meat Market in Peabody.
The publisher of the Jewish Journal is Steve
Rosenberg, whose family owned and operated Murray and Eddy’s Delicatessen on
Broadway, Chelsea, for many years.
A former reporter
for The Boston Globe, Rosenberg congratulated the honorees in an inspiring
speech to begin the program. Rosenberg and a special committee of the Journal’s
Board of Overseers, including Chairman Matthew Schwartz, Neil Donnefeld, Donna
Lozow Pierce, and Susan Garnick, planned and organized the annual breakfast.
Every few weeks — or even more often, it
seems — we learn of some new, looming catastrophe for our planet because of
the combined effects of climate change and the degradation of our environment
by human activity.
Everyone agrees that the climate is
changing, and that it will have far-reaching consequences that we only can
imagine. So too, the activity by the seven billion persons with whom we share
the earth is destroying the natural world at an unprecedented and
So it was with some degree of relief that we
read the annual report by the organization Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, which
informed us that our major metropolitan beaches never have been cleaner (in
terms of water pollution) and safer for recreational swimming and other
As lifelong residents of this area, we
always are amazed that the beaches with the cleanest water every year are the M
Street Beach and the City Point Beach in South Boston — go figure — but we’re
sure there is a logical and scientific-based reason for why these two beaches
have achieved ratings of 100-percent for the past six years.
However, almost all of our metropolitan
beaches, from Nantasket Beach on the South Shore to Revere and Winthrop beaches
on the north, improved their ratings in 2018 compared to their six-year
running-average. Winthrop Beach, for example, attained a 100-percent rating in
2018 compared to a 97-percent rate for the previous five years.
There are many factors that contribute to a
beach’s water quality. There are natural effects, most notably the amount of
rainfall over the course of a season or over a short time period. The diligence
of government agencies at the state and local levels in assuring that sewer
connections are working as intended are a vital part of the equation.
We as individuals also play a key role in
assuring that our water stays clean by making sure we don’t dispose of our
trash and hazardous waste into our waterways, by using the pump-out services
for our boats, and by picking-up after our dogs.
The clean and healthy beaches that we enjoy
today are the product of three decades of hard work, effort, and great expense
by officials and the residents of the Boston Metro area. However, we cannot
rest on our laurels. We must commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes in the
years ahead to ensure that our region’s greatest resource — our beautiful
coastline — remains clean and useable both for ourselves and for generations
So we wish to thank Save the Harbor/Save the Bay for issuing their
annual report card on the state of our beaches — and for giving us some good
news, for a change, about our environment.
On May 11, at 6:50 p.m., a CPD officer
observed a vehicle speeding on Eastern Avenue. The vehicle was pulled over and
the operator refused to provide his identification to the officer. He was placed into custody after his repeated
refusal to identify himself. He was later Identified and learned to not be
Bryan Nunez, 30, of 63 Shawmut St., was
charged with refusing to identify himself, negligent operation, and unlicensed
Breaking and Entering
On May 18, at 1 p.m., officers responded to
an apartment at 77 Library St. for a report of a past breaking and entering to
the residence. Upon arrival, Officers spoke with the reporting party who stated
that an unknown male party had broken into their apartment and fled after her
younger brother confronted the male and chased him out of the residence.
The victim was able to utilize her find my
iPhone app that led the victim, and police, to a Shurtleff Street address. The
victim identified the suspect, and he was placed under arrest.
Ariel Melendez, 42, of 61 Shurtleff St., was
charged with breaking and entering in the day, and larceny from a building.
Driving under the Influence
On May 18, at 8:44 p.m., a CPD officer was
dispatched to 92 Clinton St. for a report of a motor vehicle accident with no
reported injuries. The officer observed two motor vehicles involved in a minor
crash. As both were exchanging information, the officer detected a strong odor
of alcohol from one of the drivers. The officer formed the opinion that the
operator was driving under the influence of alcohol and the driver was arrested
on the scene.
Marvin Mancia, 39, of 109 Clinton St., was
charged with OUI Liquor.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) unveiled its
long-anticipated investigation of Wynn Resorts and Encore Boston Harbor and
reported they found a company culture that did not follow policies when
allegations were made against former CEO Steve Wynn, and also used extreme
secrecy to hide allegations and settlements involving him in several cases.
however, was tempered also by a laundry list of changes that the company has
made in the last 14 months, including ousting Steve Wynn and implementing a
robust corporate governance structure.
said Karen Wells, MGC Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) director,
“the past cannot be erased by these changes.”
set the tone for the unveiling of what had been found over the last year by the
IEB using thousands of pages of information, conducting hundreds of witness
interviews, and traveling to six states to produce the report. That report had
been held up with a lawsuit from Steve Wynn last November asserting
attorney-client privilege, but that suit was recently settled and that allowed
the unveiling to go forward Tuesday morning.
evaluating the IEB investigation, it showed a pattern of certain employees,
including the Legal Division, disregarding policies when it came to allegations
against Mr. Wynn,” she said. “It showed they made great efforts at secrecy so
that it made it difficult if not impossible for gaming regulators to uncover
she also said, “The investigation actually revealed a culture in the company
where employees hesitated to report sexual misconduct allegations against Mr.
Wynn. We found the company failed to safeguard the well-being and safety of its
the outset of the investigation unveiling, Loretta Lillios, of the IEB, said
what happened at the company mattered. She bookended the impending report with
the idea that a gaming license is a privilege and not a right – noting that
companies have to always keep proper policies and conduct in place or risk
losing the license.
was a warning that all things were on the table, including the loss of Encore’s
IEB’s investigation revealed the company’s adherence to these criteria has been
called into question,” she said. “What happened at the company matters. It
matters to the women who have been directly affected by the allegations of
sexual misconduct. It matters to the workforce and employees here. It matters
to the Commission. It matters to the people of Massachusetts… After all the
evidence and testimony is presented, you will have ample information to apply
the law and make a sound determination.”
detailed for most of her presentation the allegations against Steve Wynn, using
a timeline to go through the allegations and the response to them. She started
in 2005 with the settlement paid to a manicurist at Wynn Las Vegas who claimed
she had been raped by Steve Wynn and was now pregnant as a result of two such
encounters. That allegation was detailed in the original Wall Street Journal
article in January 2018 that opened the entire sexual misconduct situation.
main issue, Wells said, was to not decide whether the allegations were true,
but whether the company responded correctly and whether it should have divulged
information to the MGC in 2013.
Commission is not evaluating whether the allegations are true or false, but it
is evaluating the company’s response to the allegations,” she said. “A key
question for the Commission to consider is whether the company’s failure to
divulge derogatory information may have a role in suitability or the
suitability of a qualifier…We now know in 2013 at least three Massachusetts
qualifiers had knowledge of these allegations. They were Steve Wynn, Elaine
Wynn and Kim Sinatra…A key question for the Commission is whether this relevant
information should have been divulged on the front end rather than us having to
investigate this now.”
IEB also indicated that they tried to interview Steve Wynn several times, and
he declined. However, he did release a statement that was read by Wells to the
had multiple sexual relationships during my tenure at Wynn Resorts and made no
attempt to document them,” the statement read. “I do not believe any of the
specific details of these relationships are material to the issues I understand
are being reviewed by the special committee. I recognize some of the names
obtained in the witness questions, but have no memory of ever meeting or having
relationships with the women whose names are in your questions. I deny having
any relationship that was not consensual. During the time I was employed by
Wynn I was aware of a code of conduct and other policies. I was not however
familiar with the details of those policies.”
of the key questions in the investigation included information garnered during
discovery in the case of Elaine Wynn vs. Steve Wynn, as well as in a case known
as the Okada case. Much of what was brought out in regard to the allegations
and the response to them came from that case.
Sinatra, who left the company in July 2018 with a multi-million dollar
severance package, it became clear she knew of the allegations against Wynn
during the 2013 suitability hearings. Yet, she did not divulge them, and the
investigation seemed to suggest she wasn’t clear as to what she remembered
such exchange involved an e-mail chain where a letter detailing a hostile
working environment was described. That letter in that e-mail was up for
dispute as to whether Sinatra read it, read all of it, or if she even really
knew about it.
of her responses, according to the report, were that she didn’t recall a lot of
don’t recall if I knew in `14,” she had responded when asked if she knew the
original 2005 case included a rape allegation of the manicurist.
in question was how the company responded after the Wall Street Journal
article, including putting out an immediate statement of support letter for
Steve Wynn to employees. That statement also included a reference to the
article as being the latest strategy in Elaine Wynn’s legal case against the
said that was put out before any investigation into the matter and without
consideration to employees that may have been affected by Steve Wynn’s alleged
Communications Director Michael Weaver said he would not do that again if he
were to do it over.
Weaver stated to investigators that if he was to do it over again, he would do
it differently,” Wells testified.
also told investigators that he simply believed Steve Wynn.
ridiculous as it looks now, we believed it,” Wells summarized. “We believed it.
I know it’s tone deaf.”
letter to employees went out with the input of Steve Wynn and others in the
organization, but was under the signature of Wynn Las Vegas President Maurice
Wooden – who indicated he was uncomfortable with the letter in his name but
felt he had no choice in the matter.
letter was followed up by what turned out to be an ill-advised Town Hall style
employee meeting tour by Steve Wynn and other company officials. It had been
reported in media accounts that employees at the Town Halls were asked to raise
their hands if Steve Wynn had assaulted or abused them. That had not been
confirmed before, but the IEB investigation revealed that Wynn Attorney Stacy
Michaels told investigators that she was present and that did happen.
• • • •
remainder of the first day of hearings focused on the new Board members and the
new members of the corporate hierarchy.
MGC listened to detailed presentations about each new Board member and each new
employee. Each told the story of how they had been recruited – some by Matt Maddox
– to serve on the Board in the aftermath of the crisis at the company.
of them were being reviewed by the MGC for suitability, and if they were
qualified to serve on the Board or work in their positions.
testimony by Wynn attorneys was to begin on Wednesday, where they would present
their case and ask questions regarding the IEB report.
• • • •
MGC did remind everyone that there would be no vote at the end of the
proceedings, nor would there be any sort of discussion of the report or testimony.
when all of the information had been gathered, the MGC would deliberate in
private – with the option of asking for
more or additional information.
some point in the near future, they would issue their findings and their
remedies – including the possibility of stripping the license – in a written
A revised affordable housing development at
the corner of Broadway and Clinton Street is back before City boards, and now
it features fewer units with all at affordable rates.
Late last year, the Zoning Board of Appeals
(ZBA) narrowly denied the 42 unit affordable- and market-rate residential
development at 1001 Broadway (Midas site) in a vote that was based on creating
more homeownership opportunities in the City. The project included nine units
of market-rate housing and enhanced access to the Mill Creek waterfront.
The Suffolk County Land Court remanded the
controversial Zoning Board affordable housing denial on Broadway back to the
ZBA with a revised plan.
Monday night, the revised version of the
development, a partnership between the Traggorth Companies and The Neighborhood
Developers (TND), was back before the ZBA. The revised plan is an attempt to
address the concerns of the board and neighbors, according to Dave Traggorth of
the Traggorth Companies.
“Our goals have not changed,” said
Traggorth. “It is to create affordable homes for Chelsea residents and to
provide public access to Mill Creek.”
The major revisions to the proposed $15
million project include cutting the total number of units from 42 to 38, making
all the units affordable, and eliminating the fifth story of the building that
had been proposed for the Broadway side of the development.
The commercial space on the first floor in
the initial proposal has also been eliminated.
“We have reviewed the plans based on the ZBA
recommendations, and the commercial space will now be a community room,”
The project needs special permits due to a
slightly larger than allowed lot coverage, and for not meeting City parking
requirements. The Broadway housing will have 42 parking spots, where 52 are
required by the city.
Thirty one of those parking spaces will be
available for the public to access Mill Creek from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In
addition, Traggorth said the developers will give the city $15,000 for
intersection improvements in the area.
With the decrease in units and the
elimination of the commercial space, TND Project Manager Steve Laferriere said
there will be less of an impact on parking in traffic in the area than the
District 3 City Councillor Joe Perlatonda,
who represents the area where the affordable housing will be built, said he is
still opposed to the project, citing a burst of recent development in the city
that will increase parking and traffic.
Perlatonda said the parking and traffic
issues around Broadway and Clinton Street are already a nightmare for
neighbors, and that the Traggorth/TND project will only make it worse. He said
the City should take a look at other uses for the property, such as a new
public library on Mill Creek.
But the majority of people who spoke during
the public hearing said they supported the creation of sorely needed new
affordable units in Chelsea, and praised the efforts TND has already made to
create safe and modern affordable units in the city. A recent affordable
housing lottery in the city saw more than 3,000 applicants for 34 units, with
more than 1,200 of those applications coming from Chelsea residents.
“There is a clear need for affordable
housing as rents continue to go up in the Chelsea area,” said resident Sandy
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he continues
to support the TND/Traggorth partnership.
“The number one complaint I receive as City
Manager from residents is the lack of affordable housing,” said Ambrosino.
Ambrosino said he understands the concerns
about traffic and parking, but said the impacts of any project has to be
weighed against the benefits, and that the benefits of affordable housing at
Broadway and Clinton tip the scales in favor of the project.
While state law prohibits the developers
from offering the affordable units to Chelsea residents only, the developers
said they would work to make sure the maximum units allowable are for Chelsea
The Planning Board will take up the project at
its March 26 meeting, and then it will come back to the ZBA at its April 9
meeting for a possible vote, according to ZBA Chair Janice Tatarka.
In a move that could dramatically reduce the
commute times for Chelsea 111 bus riders, the City of Boston announced they are
planning on installing a dedicated bus lane on North Washington Street from
Causeway to Haymarket – a key clogging point for riders heading into Haymarket
It would be a move that would accommodate
the 111 bus routes and two Charlestown bus routes, and Boston officials said
the new lane could reduce travel times by as much as 25 percent.
“We are planning on building an exclusive
bus lane on North Washington Street from the intersection at Causeway Street
after the bridge to Haymarket,” said Vineet Gupta, director of planning at the
Boston Transportation Department (BTD). “It would be a dedicated bus lane 24/7
on the inbound side. Right now, we’re working with the MBTA to install that bus
BTD Director Gina Fiandaca said they have
been working closely with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and the MBTA on the North
Washington Street bus lane, and hope that they can get it done as early in 2019
as possible. She said that stretch of the bus route is often the most
congested, and riders often find themselves waiting longer on the bus for the
last leg than it would take them to walk.
“This inbound bus lane will have the
opportunity to move along at a quicker pace than the rest of the traffic,” she
said. “Another good part of this is in the future when the North Washington
Street Bridge is completed, it will have a bus lane as well. That will provide
a connection with this new lane to have one unbroken exclusive bus lane from
Charlestown when the Bridge is done.”
In order to accomplish the new lane, the
City will have to remove some metered parking spaces and a commercial parking
space, but a large chunk of the stretch is a large bus stop and ‘no parking’
Gupta said they have no clear data yet on
the time it could save commuters going inbound – though they will begin keeping
that data very soon. However, in Roslindale where they installed a bus lane last
year, commutes were shortened by 25 percent. The same data also presented
itself in Everett two years ago when they put a dedicated bus lane on Broadway
The announcement was one of several made by
Boston Mayor Walsh at the Greater Boston Municipal Research Bureau meeting on
The North Washington Street bus lane would be
the first one in effect 24 hours a day in Boston.
The City might have to put up with traffic
backups for nearly three years on the Chelsea Viaduct, but there will be a
mitigation package for the City when the dust all settles.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said they have
received a mitigation package to go along with the Viaduct project, which
starts on April 1.
“We got what I thought was a reasonable
mitigation package from MassDOT,” he said. “It wasn’t perfect, but at the end
of the day it was reasonable.”
One of the major improvements will be two
new, fully constructed public parking lots under the Tobin curves when the
project is done.
Ambrosino said it will include 135 public
parking spaces just a block from downtown Chelsea, something he hopes will help
alleviate some of the parking crunch in the area.
There will also be parking constructed under
the curves at Carter Street too.
One key piece of the puzzle that will remain
as part of the package is the Arlington Street onramp by the Williams School.
MassDOT had toyed with the idea of eliminating that ramp in early designs, but
pushback from the community seemed to keep that idea at bay.
Other pieces of mitigation include:
•A robust snow fence for noise mitigation.
•Money for community engagement to inform everyone
of the project over the three years.
•Repaving Fourth Street.
•lighting improvements under the Bridge after
the project is completed.
If one is looking to hit the local bars this
Cinco de Mayo, the options are going to be a little more limited than usual.
At its March 7 meeting, the Licensing
Commission disciplined two local restaurants for a variety of infractions that
will result in them losing their liquor licenses for the Cinco de Mayo weekend
on May 4 and 5. (The restaurant Cinco de Mayo in Chelsea was not disciplined or
called to the Commission).
In addition to losing its liquor license for
that weekend, the Commission voted to roll back Acapulco’s hours of operation
indefinitely, forcing the Fifth Street establishment to close at 11 p.m.
instead of 1 a.m.
The Acapulco punishment stems from an
incident last November when a security worker at the restaurant struck a
customer over the head with a police baton.
The Commission also enforced an hours rollback
from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m. – along with the weekend suspension – for Bar La Cueva
at 802 Broadway. That punishment was enforced for an incident where several
patrons were overserved, as well as for past concerns about noise and unruly
patrons at the bar.
In addition, Commission member James Guido
requested a hearing next month to consider revoking Bar La Cueva’s
The attorney for Acapulco said the issue at
his client’s establishment is systemic of a larger issue in the city, where
security at bars is handled by companies that act almost as paramilitary or law
Several commissioners agreed that there is a
larger issue that needs to be addressed in the city with bar and liquor
establishment security, but noted that Acapulco deserved a more forceful
discipline than simply firing its current security contractor.
“You say security is a problem, but you’ve
had the same company for a decade,” Commissioner Roseann Bongiovanni said.
The issues at Bar La Cueva seemed to extend
beyond the recent incident where two people were overserved, as several
commissioners noted that there have been noise and unruly patron complaints at
the bar for years.
In a letter, one neighbor stated that the
“karaoke singing by drunks is terribly loud and they overserve their patrons.”
John Dodge, the attorney representing the
bar, said for the incident in question, his clients acted responsibly and asked
the patrons who appeared to be intoxicated to leave.
But Bongiovanni noted that the bar has been
a problem in the past, including racking up a 14-day liquor license suspension
about two years ago.
“They have been a complete nuisance and
annoyance to the neighborhood; you can roll your eyes all you want, counselor,”
she said to Dodge.
Both the bars got off relatively easy
compared to Fine Mart, a liquor and convenience store at 260 Broadway. The
Commission suspended the store’s liquor license for a total of six weeks for
three offenses, including an incident where an employee struck a woman who was
intoxicated in the store, for selling nips after the enactment of the City’s
nip ban, and for the sale of alcohol to a minor.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino, an ardent
supporter of the City’s ban on 50 ml bottles of alcohol, said there needs to be
consequences for businesses that violate the ordinance.
“The ban has been
important in the city’s efforts to try to make Broadway a more attractive place
to shop and dine,” Ambrosino said. “We’ve spent a lot of money to make it a
better place. Having the nip ban in place is an important part of that. “(Fine
Mart) has a prominent place in the corridor and has to comply with its