Officials Attend Local Symposium on Ways to Fight Opioid Crisis in the Workplace

Officials Attend Local Symposium on Ways to Fight Opioid Crisis in the Workplace

Forty-year-old Lily was a vibrant, loving mother who was an organist at her church, and known for her delicious baked goods. Privately, she suffered from serious depression, self- medicating herself with alcohol. Lily’s daughter, Secretary of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, vividly remembers caring for her as a teenager, watching her mother withdraw from life before her passing.

“I’m not ashamed that the illness runs in my family. My job is to channel that adolescent anger into a professional commitment to treat addiction and mental illnesses, and not stigmatize people with chronic conditions,” said Sudders, “So often the way into treatment for people with addictions and mental illnesses is through the criminal justice system.”

Sudders shared her personal experiences with city leaders and business owners during “The Opioid Epidemic: Our Businesses & Workplaces,” on Feb. 7 at the Comfort Inn & Suites, Revere. Presented by the Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop Chambers of Commerce, and the North Suffolk Public Health Collaborative, the breakfast raised awareness about substance abuse in the workplace.

“Addiction is a disease. It is not a lack of will power. Addictions are very powerful,” explained Sudders. “We are in the middle of an epidemic in Massachusetts.  This is very important to us. We are in this with you.”

Sudders recommended that employees be aware of which workers have addictions, are on the way to addiction, or have family members with addictions. These employees may often call in sick or use vacation time, but could be caring for a sick loved one.

“We want to make sure that people we work with have access to treatment and support,” Sudders said. “We are trying to expand access to treatment.”

Over the next five years, the Commonwealth and Gov.  Charlie Baker’s administration will invest more than $200 million into Medicaid to increase access to residential recovery homes, treatment medications, and recovery coaches.

“I’m grateful for the connection between these three, very-close communities,” said Sudders. “They have strong legislative leaderships and great community partnerships.”

According to a December 2017 Center for Disease Control report, the opioid crises has been linked to a two-year drop in life expectancy for the second consecutive year; with opioids being the largest contributor of unintentional injuries due to overdose.

“There is a glimmer of hope,” Sudders said. “But there is still a lot of suffering and work that we need to do together.”

Although six lives are lost each day in Massachusetts from overdoses, there has been a decrease in opioid-related deaths as compared to last year. The Commonwealth has noticed a significant decline in opioid prescriptions, and a 200-percent increase in non-fatal overdoses.

“Businesses are also on the front line, just like first responders and health care workers,” said Alexander Walley, MD, Boston Medical Center. “Throughout Massachusetts people are faced with this in their own families, employees, customers, and public spaces.”

Employers were encouraged to foster a supportive atmosphere and offer resources and benefits to employees. Business owners were recommended to implement clear policies regarding leaves of absence and time off, and to seek professional advice when confronted with substance abuse-related issues.

“People in recovery can be great employees, and employers can help,” said Dr. Walley, director of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program. “Opioid use disorder is a chronic condition of the brain. Treatment works and people recover. That’s an important message.”

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East Boston Savings Bank Awards $1,000 to Seventh Grader for Her Patriotism in Saving the American Flag

East Boston Savings Bank Awards $1,000 to Seventh Grader for Her Patriotism in Saving the American Flag

East Boston Savings Bank’s President and CEO, Richard Gavegnano invited seventh  grader, Ashley Reardon to the bank’s Peabody Headquarters where he presented her with a community scholarship of $1,000 for retrieving an American flag she found entangled high in a tree.  Reardon, a Saugus resident and 7th grader at St. Mary’s School in Melrose, noticed the American flag in a tree while riding in the car with her mother after a snowstorm. She knew that it was wrong for the flag to be tangled in the tree instead of on the flag pole showing the highest honor of respect.

When asked, “What does the flag symbolize to you”? Ashley responded, “There are people out there in the army and in the navy risking their lives every single day for us, our country, so we can sleep safely at night knowing that we are safe and sound. We take it so much for granted; I feel like we need to show how thankful we are and it really shows respect for our country and flag and for those who have fought and died; and put their lives on the line everyday”.

“I am always impressed to see the younger generation support the troops and show their patriotism.  After seeing Ashley on the news for climbing a tree to retrieve the American flag made me want to meet her and present her with a special scholarship”, said Gavegnano.

To watch Ashley’s full interview with Fox News, click here: https://youtu.be/vvqBgC2VVx4

Founded in 1848, EBSB is a proven community bank that offers products and services that meet the deposit and financing needs of both consumers and businesses. East Boston Savings Bank currently operates 35 full-service branches and operates a Mobile Banking Unit in the greater Boston metropolitan area and offers a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located in its primary market, which consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk counties.

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‘Buy-Bye’:Major Chelsea Police Bust Targets Bellingham Square Drug Dealing

‘Buy-Bye’:Major Chelsea Police Bust Targets Bellingham Square Drug Dealing

Teams of officers saturated the Bellingham Square area Thursday morning, Dec. 7, and arrested several individuals on warrants for illegal distribution of cocaine and heroin as part of an undercover operation targeting street level dealing.

“This operation is an important piece in our all-encompassing effort in addressing the opiate issue in Chelsea,” said Chief Brian Kyes. “Our officers will continue to prioritize enforcement, community policing and to work with our partners to guide individuals suffering from addiction into treatment.”

The Chelsea Police Department with assistance from the Everett Police Department secured 20 arrest warrants on individuals as part of a three-month undercover operation named “Buy-Bye.” The operation targeted drug dealing in the Bellingham Square area of the city and included a search warrant and arrest in Everett. The Chelsea Police Department Drug Unit obtained warrants from both Chelsea District Court and Suffolk Superior Court based on evidence of hand to hand drug deals made to undercover officers.

Chelsea investigators are confident that all 20 individuals will be placed into custody.

As of Dec. 10, those arrested in Chelsea were:

  • Julie Maskell, 41, of Revere, on one warrant.
  • Luis Martinez, 49, of 108 Clark Ave., on one warrant.
  • Brittany Lopes-Rattigan, 28, of 2 Franklin Ave., on two warrants.
  • Robert Dellorfano, 37, of 15 Watts St., on one warrant.
  • Stacy Lightell, 43, of 10 Jones Dr., on one warrant.
  • Stanley Jeannis, 40, of Woburn, was charged with distribution of a Class B drug, possession to distribute a Class B drug, possession to distribute a Class A drug, drug violation near a school and one warrant.
  • Jimmall Marshall, 27, of 45 Fourth St., was charged with distribution of a Class B drug (subsequent offense) and one warrant.

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Life Terms for Two Convicted in Murder of Roca Worker in JP

Life Terms for Two Convicted in Murder of Roca Worker in JP

Two men convicted last week of murdering 21-year-old Kenny Lamour as he worked on a Roca snow-shoveling crew in Jamaica Plain in 2015 were sentenced to life in prison Dec. 4.

At the conclusion of their Suffolk Superior Court jury trial last week, Donte Henley, 27, and Josiah Zachery, 21, were found guilty of second-degree murder for Lamour’s 2015 shooting death.

Judge Peter Lauriat sentenced each to life in prison with the possibility of parole after a minimum of 20 years. Zachery, who was also convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and assault with a dangerous weapon, was ordered to serve an additional four to five years in prison, to be served after he has completed the sentence on his murder conviction.

During the course of the trial, Assistant District Attorneys Ian Polumbaum and Nicholas Brandt presented evidence and testimony to prove that Henley and Lamour were each members of a snow-shoveling crew organized by Chelsea non-profit agency Roca on Feb. 11, 2015.

Though the two men were known by the agency to be affiliated with rival gangs, each told a Roca crew supervisor that they could work together without issue.

Phone records, however, proved that Henley began to plot Lamour’s murder through an exchange of text messages with Zachery. In the messages, Henley expressed hostility toward Lamour and told Zachery to come to the Jamaica Plain worksite with a gun. Henley later provided Zachery with Lamour’s location and clothing description.

Zachery located Lamour on Centre Street and, at approximately 10:35 a.m., opened fire, striking Lamour in the head.

As Zachery fled on foot, he was pursued by a Boston Police officer. The evidence proved that Zachery pointed his gun at the officer and fired a single shot as he ran. The officer was not struck, and additional Boston Police soon located Zachery nearby on Centre Street. He was carrying shovel but had no gloves and was wearing sneakers rather than snow boots, prosecutors said. Boston Police located a resident of a nearby resident who reported that a shovel matching the one Zachery was carrying had been stolen.

Elise McConnell was the DA’s assigned victim–witness advocate. Henley was represented by James Budreau and Zachery by Robert Wheeler.

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Man, Woman Shot on Congress Avenue Tuesday Night

Man, Woman Shot on Congress Avenue Tuesday Night

Chelsea and State Police Detectives assigned to the Suffolk County District Attorneys Office are investigating a shooting that occurred in front of 119 Congress Ave. Tuesday evening.

Chelsea officers responded to a call for shots fired in front of that address at 7:45 p.m. Upon arrival officers observed two gunshot victims in the street. EMS transported both a male and female victim to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment. Both injures were considered serious.

The names of both are not being released at this time.

The investigation is ongoing. Chelsea Police are asking for anyone with information on this incident to call Chelsea Police at 617-466-4800.

Chelsea Police remind the community they can report crimes or suspicious activity anonymously in various formats. Citizens can call the 24 hr “tips” line at 617-466-4880, email reports directly from the departments website at www.chelseapolice.com or download for free the MYPD App that is compatible with both Android and Apple  smart phones. All three ways are monitored and totally anonymous.

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Summer/Fall Roadwork Alerts

Summer/Fall Roadwork Alerts

The City is in the midst of significant roadway and utility work, which includes paving of roads, sidewalk improvements and related water, sewer and drainage improvements. These are all projects that the City has funded through a combination of Capital Improvement Funds or state Chapter 90 monies.

  • Tudor/Lawrence/Clark/Crescent — This is complete reconstruction of water, sewer and drainage infrastructure, as well as new streets and sidewalks, for the portion of these streets surrounding the New Clark Avenue Middle School. Construction is ongoing. The goal is to complete by the end of this Calendar Year 2017. The next Abutters Meeting for this project will take place on Wed. July 12 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.
  • Shurtleff St. – This is complete reconstruction of water, sewer and drainage infrastructure as well as new street and sidewalk work on Shurtleff Street from Broadway to Congress Avenue. The work has just commenced. The first abutters meeting for this project will be today, Thurs. July 6 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.
  • Garfield Ave – Isolated sidewalk work has been completed. Milling on roadway is now completed, and the remaining Roadway work is scheduled for mid-July.
  • Suffolk Street – Sidewalks completed. Roadwork is scheduled for mid-July.
  • Lynn Street Extension – Sidewalk work will begin in early July, and roadwork is also scheduled for mid-July.
  • Lower Broadway – Sidewalk work will begin mid-July; Roadwork scheduled for late summer.
  • Locke Street – Sidewalk work will begin in mid-August, with roadwork scheduled for late summer.
  • Beacon Place/High St./Pine St./Howell Ct. – State Chapter 90 sidewalk work is possible in the Fall, with paving in the spring of 2018.
  • Woodlawn/Winthrop/Hysil/Meadow – State Chapter 90 sidewalk work is possible in the Fall, with paving in the spring of 2018.
  • Hawthorn Street Road / sidewalks – Sidewalk work will commence in June of 2018 and will occur throughout the summer, along with roadway repaving that will follow.
  • Everett Avenue Reconstruction – This is complete reconstruction of water, sewer, drainage, and all attendant infrastructure on Everett Avenue from Carter Street to Rt. 16. This project also calls for full depth roadway reconstruction, reconstruction of all sidewalks and crossings, installation of street trees, and the replacement of traffic signalization equipment at the intersection of Carter Street and Everett Avenue. Construction is projected to commence in the Fall of 2017.

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District 6 Gets Much-Needed Attention this Summer

District 6 Gets Much-Needed Attention this Summer

By Seth Daniel

When Councillor Giovanni Recupero walks around his district on streets like Suffolk Street and Hawthorne Street this summer, he’ll be walking on sidewalks.

That wasn’t the case for nearly 30 or more years, and the outspoken councillor this week is celebrating the end of a long fight to get the City to pay more attention to his oft-forgotten enclave of the city abutting Chelsea Creek. Just two summers ago, he took the Record on a tour of his district, much of which had no sidewalks, was littered with garbage and lacked even cursory street lighting – making it an inviting area for criminals and those who wished to dump dead bodies (which used to happen occasionally).

On Monday, he stood on the exact location at Suffolk and Highland Street where weeds, dirt and used drug needles formerly served as a sidewalk, and celebrated brand new concrete walking paths. It’s what would be the minimum in some neighborhoods, but was rare in District 6.

“That’s something the people here, including myself, thought would never be done,” he said. “I lived here 40 years and people never thought they would see a streetlight here and I never thought I would see a sidewalk on Suffolk Street. Everyone’s happy this summer. Why wouldn’t they be? These are things that have been neglected by the City for a very, very, very long time.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said the “love” for District 6 is part of an overall massive infrastructure investment in the City.

“The City is seeking to invest in infrastructure improvements, particularly streets and sidewalk, in many areas of the City,” he said. “The Council has been supportive, approving a Capital Improvement Plan in FY17 of $11 million and in FY18 of $19 million. As a result of this investment, residents of all areas of the City, including District 6, should see improvements that enhance their neighborhoods.”

In addition to the sidewalks and granite curbing on Suffolk Street, Hawthorne Street is currently getting sidewalks right now, and both will be paved this summer too. Last year, on Lynn Street and Lynn Street Extension, streetlights went up for the first time in decades – putting an end to the darkness and the crime that took place in the absent of well-lit streets.

On Wednesday, crews moved in to start paving and implementing sidewalks on Lynn Street as well. Lynn Street Extension will be paved, but it will not get sidewalks because residents preferred to have parking.

On Charles Street, a small street that has no residents and connects Suffolk and Marginal Streets, and abuts Boston Hides and Furs, Recupero pointed out a new streetlight just installed. He said it’s a small thing, but one that will prevent a lot of criminal activity in what is a dark and deserted area.

“They told me for a long, long time they couldn’t do this,” he said. “There it is so I guess they could do it. They just didn’t want to do it.”

Next year, Recupero has designs on getting the same thing done on Congress Avenue and Division Street, among others.

“District 6 should be equal to other districts,” he said. “It hasn’t been and that’s not fair because there are just as many hard-working people here as in the rest of Chelsea. They keep their properties nice and we should be able to keep the City property nice too.”

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Police Briefs 06-29-2017

Police Briefs 06-29-2017

Police Log

Tuesday, 6/20

Leonardo Chavez, 58, 56 Chester Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing, consuming, distributing alcoholic beverage.

Fernan Ingles, 61, 149 Hawthorne St., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing, consuming, distributing alcoholic beverage.

Mohammadumer Gai, 28, 362 Rindge Ave., Cambridge, was arrested for larceny over $250.

Wednesday, 6/21

Candycerose Torres, 34, 455 Totten Pond Rd., Waltham, was arrested for trespassing and on a warrant.

Alicia Lavallee, 29, 150 Captains Row, Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing and on a warrant.

Luis Ortega, 51, 801 Saratoga St., East Boston, was arrested for trespassing.

Fredy Flores-Novoa, 25, 13 Beacon Pl., Chelsea, was arrested for indecent exposure, immigration detainer.

David Hurtado, 27, 725 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, motor vehicle equipment violation.

Thursday, 6/22

Michael Leiva, 21, 24 Suffolk St., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing to distribute Class B drug, possessing ammunition without FID card.

Edwin Castro, 28, 916 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for larceny from building, breaking and entering daytime for felony, trespassing.

Friday, 6/23

Kehonia Vick, 31, 56 Rich St., Malden, was arrested for threat to commit a crime, witness intimidation.

Sunday, 6/25

Nain Montiel, 48, Address unknown, Chelsea, was arrested for possessing/distributing alcoholic beverage, and on warrants.

Steven Bickford, 34, 84 Cottage St., Somerville, was arrested on a warrant.

Shariff Hussein, 47, 350 Meridian St., East Boston, was arrested for shoplifting.

Police Briefs

DRUG BUST YIELDS CRACK, AMMO

On June 22 at 3:02 p.m., a male subject was placed into custody as a result of a search warrant that was executed at his residence at 24 Suffolk St. #2. Officers recovered 37 packages of crack cocaine, one .45 caliber round, six .25 caliber rounds, and US currency. The search warrants was based on established probable cause of narcotic dealing from that location.

Michael Leiva, 21, of 24 Suffolk St., was charged with possession to distribute Class B drugs (crack) and possession of ammo without a permit.

LARGE EMBEZZLEMENT CASE

On June 20, at 8:10 p.m., a male subject was placed into custody for larceny and embezzlement. This was based  on an incident reported to Chelsea Police previously. The subject is suspected of embezzling approximately $279,000 in cash from Duffy Cash and Carry, located at 390 Beacham St.

Mohammadumer Gai, 28, of Cambridge, was charged with larceny over $250.

BREAKING AND ENTERING

On June 22, at 10:12 a.m., CPD officers responded to a breaking and entering in progress at 89 Clinton St. Officers were notified that the owner of the property had surveillance cameras and gave officers video footage of the suspect inside the home. Based on that video, other CPD officers recognized the suspect from previous encounters. He was later placed under arrest.

Edwin Castro, 28, of 916 Broadway, was charged with larceny from a building, breaking and entering in the day for a felony and trespassing.

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL VANDAL HAD CHELSEA CASE

A Roxbury man was arraigned Wednesday on charges he vandalized the New England Holocaust Memorial in downtown Boston following an argument.

James E. Isaac, 21, was arraigned today in Boston Municipal Court on charges of malicious destruction of property over $250 and willful damage to a church, synagogue, or memorial.  Assistant District Attorney Anthony Rizzo requested that Isaac’s bail be set at $15,000 and that his bail be revoked in an unrelated assault and battery case currently pending in Chelsea District Court. Judge Sally Kelly imposed $750 bail and revoked Isaac’s open bail.

Rizzo told the court that a man later identified as Isaac became involved in a verbal altercation with a group of individuals on Union Street shortly before 2 a.m. after members of the group did not offer Isaac the time when asked.  A witness observed the man then pick up an object and throw it at the Holocaust Memorial, shattering one of the monument’s glass panels.  The witness contacted Boston Police and provided the offender’s physical description and direction of travel.

Isaac allegedly followed the individuals whom he had verbally confronted to the area of Congress Street, where he and a woman accompanying him were stopped by police. He was positively identified by a witness.

At the time of his arrest, Isaac was wearing a GPS monitoring device as a condition of his release in the Chelsea case, prosecutors said.

Isaac returns to Boston Municipal Court on July 18.

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ZBA Approves Winnisimmet Lounge by Ciao

ZBA Approves Winnisimmet Lounge by Ciao

By Seth Daniel

The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved a special permit and variances that pave the way for the newest culinary advancement in the City – with the owners of Ciao Pizza and Pastas moving forward to open a small plate lounge that will serve alcohol and gourmet foods.

The proposal by Edson Coimbra and Marvin Posada, owners of Ciao, completes a recent aggressive expansion by the gourmet pizza parlor on Williams Street. The Lounge will be on the first floor of a new building at the old location of Parrotta’s Bar.

Coimbra lined up many supporters who came to speak on behalf of the owners and their vision for the space, which does include a bar, but not the kind of rowdy bar that the space was known for when Parrotta’s occupied it.

Some abutters have not been happy with the plan as they believe it could re-ignite troubles at the location that existed when the old bar was there.

Coimbra has said he plans to bring an upscale dining experience similar to the small plate restaurant Barcelona in the South End.

With their approvals in hand, Coimbra said they would begin work on the new restaurant hand in hand with the development of the dwelling units.

Meanwhile, Ciao is nearly complete with the build out of a gourmet grocery and pasta factory at a space in Chelsea Square.

In other ZBA news:

  • The 45-unit apartment building proposed at 170 Cottage St. was continued once again.
  • Variances and a special permit were granted at 157 Clark Ave. for an awning for a store and an increase in the parking lot from 14 spaces to 28 spaces.
  • A cell phone store was okayed at 364 Washington Ave.
  • Combining two lots was allowed at 25-27 Suffolk Street in order to build a new four-family dwelling.
  • A minor modification was granted to a dental office at 950 Broadway for extension of office space.
  • A minor modification was granted to the car wash at 284 Eastern Ave. to use another building.

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Police Briefs 06-15-2017

Police Briefs 06-15-2017

NO BAIL IN FATAL BEATING

A Chelsea man will continue to be held without bail in the beating death of 32-year-old Melvin Cortes earlier this year, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

Kamaya Farikafi, 23, of Chelsea, was arraigned Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the Feb. 5 assault in Chelsea that claimed Cortes’ life nearly a week later.  At the request of Assistant District Attorney Lynn Feigenbaum of the DA’s Senior Trial Team, Clerk Magistrate Lisa Medeiros ordered Farikafi held without bail.

Farikafi has remained in custody since his Feb. 23 arraignment in Chelsea District Court.

Feigenbaum told the court that on the morning of Feb. 5, Farikafi and Cortes became involved in a verbal altercation with a man known to Farikafi. At the time, Farikafi had a metal baseball bat visible under his distinctive camouflage jacket.

During the course of the argument, Cortes produced a screwdriver from his pocket. Farikafi then struck Cortes in the head with the bat and continued to hit him after he was on the ground.

Cortes was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he remained until his death Feb. 11.

After the fatal encounter, Farikafi disposed of the bat in a nearby dumpster and abandoned the distinctive jacket in an alleyway. Those items were recovered by Chelsea Police detectives and State Police detectives assigned to Conley’s office, who also recovered surveillance imagery and interviewed witnesses during the course of an investigation that identified Farikafi as the alleged assailant.

On Feb. 6, Farikafi traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was apprehended Feb. 15 with the assistance of the State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and US Marshals.

Jennifer Sears is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Farikafi was represented by attorney Bernard Grossberg.  He returns to court July 27.

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