Chelsea Chamber Pot of Gold Set for Oct 18

Chelsea Chamber Pot of Gold Set for Oct 18

The 30th Annual Chelsea Chamber of Commerce $10,000 Pot of Gold is around the corner.  The event will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at Anthony’s of Malden, 105 Canal Street, Malden, MA. It will be an outstanding evening filled with great networking opportunities, delicious food and Back to the 80s fun, all while supporting your Chamber.  This is the longest running major fundraiser for the Chelsea Chamber!  Proceeds greatly contribute to the important work the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce does for the business community in Chelsea.  First prize is $10,000.  Only 250 will be sold and can be purchased by Chamber members and nonmembers alike.  Act now and you could be the next $10,000 Pot of Gold winner!

Chairs Sue Gallant and Arthur Arsenault are working with their committee to make the 30th  Pot of Gold the best yet!  The Chamber will be going back to the 80s when it all started celebrating all the iconic music, fads and outfits from that decade.  Prizes will be awarded to the best outfits from the 80s! Get creative and let’s see what you can put together!  Maybe you will be one of our prize winners!

We also have opportunities to purchase raffle tickets to win Megaraffle baskets that are each valued at over $500.  Themed baskets include Nights on the Town with Celtics, Bruins or Red Sox tickets, Ultimate Tailgate Package and a North Shore experience to name a few.  We will also raffle off an Instant Wine Cellar where one person will win enough wine to start their own wine Cellar as well as a 50/50 raffle!  So many great prizes to win besides the big prize of $10,000!

 Tickets are $175.00 each.  The ticket price includes one entry in the drawing for a chance to win the $10,000 top prize, opportunities to win one of our many fabulous door prizes, one dinner which will include a delicious meal of surf and turf and open bar. Additional dinner tickets can be purchased for $60.  Festivities start at 6:00pm with dinner at 7:00pm and the first ticket drawn at 8pm.

The Chamber would like to thank the following for sponsoring this important fundraiser for the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce:

Corporate Sponsors

Broadway Jewelers

Chelsea Bank, a division of East Cambridge Savings Bank

Golden Cannoli

MGH Health Center

Member Sponsors

Arsenault & Cline, CPAs, Stop & Compare Supermarkets, Cameron Real Estate Group, Hispanic American Institute, North Shore Advisory Group

In-Kind Sponsors

Coprico Printing, Cataldo Ambulance, Chelsea Community Cable Television, Fairmont Copley Plaza, El Planeta, Independent Newspaper Group

Sponsorships are still available. Your name will be included on the Chamber website, in social and print media and advertised throughout the event. What a great way to highlight your business to people from all over the North Shore!

Only 250 tickets will be sold, so get your tickets now! Check out the Chamber website at, call the office at 617-884-4877 or drop by 308 Broadway Chelsea today.  Rich Cuthie, Executive Director of the Chamber, will be happy to help you pick that winning ticket number!

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It’s Showtime Again:Castro,Umemba Will Hold Second Annual Let It Fly Classic Aug13

By Cary Shuman

Tournament co-directors Cesar Castro and Kyle Umemba hold a jersey promoting their Second Annual Let It Fly Classic on Saturday, Aug. 13 at Highland Park.

Tournament co-directors Cesar Castro and Kyle Umemba hold a jersey promoting their Second Annual Let It Fly Classic on Saturday, Aug. 13 at Highland Park.

The first annual Let It Fly Basketball Classic was such an overwhelming success that it surpassed the expectations of co-tournament directors Cesar Castro and Kyle Umemba.

Eight teams competed in the inaugural event on a hot summer day at Highland Park. Teams from Revere, Cambridge, and Lynn came to Chelsea to play in the highly competitive tournament. Lynn won the title.

The Chelsea Police, led by Chief Brian Kyes and Officer Sammy Mojica, supported the event with their presence at Highland Park. There were trophies, music, basketball jerseys, and great food, free of charge, for all participants.

Castro, a Chelsea High basketball coach and former star (1,252 career points) and a student at Salem State University, and Umemba, a graduate of Buckingham Browne and Nichols and George Washington University, are back for a second year of “Let It Fly” on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Highland.

Castro, 25, and Umemba, 23, were surprised but quite pleased that last year’s event was so well received by local basketball players and the Chelsea community.

“We knew it was going to be a decent event, but as it was going on, we said, ‘wow, this may be something big,’” said Castro.

“We had a vision of it and a plan to execute, but when it actually happened, so many people were there to support it and enjoy it,” said Umemba. “I hadn’t experienced an event in Chelsea like that in a long time. Everybody was happy.”

Castro said in high school he had played in tournaments in other cities and his thought was, “Why not do a tournament in Chelsea? Let’s bring basketball back to Chelsea.”

Umemba and Castro are role models who want to inspire youths to have an impact on their community.

“We want to show the youths that we can do this tournament, raise a lot of money for scholarships, and then give out scholarships to kids who aren’t that much younger than we are,” said Umemba. “You can make an impact at any age.”

Through proceeds from the tournament, the Let It Fly Classic was able to give scholarships to three Chelsea High School graduates who will be attending Providence, Bates, and UMass/Amherst.

“We’re aiming for five scholarships this year,” said Castro.

“We want to help students who have taken the initiative of going to college,” said Umemba.

The tournament co-directors said they are grateful to local businesses and organizations including Alex Johnson of Early Start Co (a clothing line), main sponsor Chelsea Black Community, an organization led by Kyle’s mother, Joan Cromwell, the Chelsea Department of Public Works and Joe Foti, and the Chelsea High Scholarship Committee.

City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and Chief Brian Kyes are sponsoring teams. Robert Bradley, executive director of Chelsea Community Cable Television, hosted a show with the co-directors promoting the tournament.

The two long-time friends are proud of the tournament they founded and they welcome Chelsea residents to attend the games at Highland next week.

“Kyle and I have been friends for a long time – you know what they say, teamwork will make the dream work,” said Castro.

“We just go and do it – we leave the extra stuff aside,” added Umemba. “We’re here for the kids.”

(Please visit the Web site: for more information).

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Continuing a Tradition:Mystic Brewery Finds Fans in Ancient Recipes,Techniques on Gruit Day

If one hasn’t tasted the elegant flavors of pineapple upside down cake in their pint glass, then they haven’t been to Gruit Day at Mystic Brewery.

The annual tradition, held this week at the Williams Street brewery on Monday, Feb. 1, is a nod to the days of old in medieval Europe when herbs and spices – rather than hops – were used to flavor and preserve beer. Such techniques haven’t been incorporated in the brewing process for centuries, but the folks at Mystic have become skilled at pulling things from the past that will likely take off in the future.

Described simply as “herbal beer,” Mystic founder Bryan Greenhagen said Gruit is a pre-hop beer technique that uses spices often found in modern teas or herbal remedies. Those same ingredients, however, were once used as the preservative and flavoring in medieval beers.

“You’re looking for the right combination,” he said. “When you put a few different things together, you get a third new thing. That’s really what we’re hoping to do with the Gruit we make…For us, it’s interesting and finding out just what we can do with a blend of herbs. Truthfully, you have 100 percent creative freedom. There aren’t the strict rules about having grain and hops and that’s how beer is made…It’s kind of the whole idea we’ve had here at Mystic, to go backward and see if there’s something very interesting they did that could grab people in the future. Gruit is one of those things that’s catching on.”

That was evidenced precisely on Monday at the brewery by a Gruit called ‘Warned by the Television Snow,’ which was a combination of mugwort, chamomile and bitter orange.

“You’ve got mugwort, chamomile and bitter orange here, and somehow that combination of things tastes to me like pineapple upside down cake,” said Louie Berceli, the marketer and designer for Mystic.

And, of course, it did.

On Monday, there were four Gruits on draft to honor Gruit Day. They included ‘Mechanical Topography,’ a saison beer with Juniper, Calendula and a hint of blueberry. There was ‘What Keeps Man Alive,’ a Gruit with dandelion, Indian coriander and damiana. Then there was ‘Extra Dimensional Ancestry,’ a Gruit with yarrow, red clover tops and cherry bark aged on maple and cherry wood.

And naturally there was the strange pineapple upside down cake.

Not many people know much about Gruit, and it’s such a lost art that most brewers would think it to be a waste of time. However, Greenhagen said it is typically their biggest day of the year; that beer drinkers around these parts have come around to the Gruit.

“One wouldn’t think it would be worth your while to do something like this, but this is usually our biggest special day,” said Greenhagen. “The fans of Gruit aren’t the people on the Internet. They aren’t the people who are super posters on the beer critic websites…Most people who know a lot about beer and are on the Internet sites don’t even know what Gruit is yet.”

Added Berceli, “My sense from the people who come here is that people do like this a lot. It’s old and yet it’s the cutting edge.”

Greenhagen said Gruit was the standard for brewers long ago.

In order to preserve a malted beer, brewers had to put blends of spices into those beers. Many ancient brewers would experiment with spice blends. However, it wasn’t always the best thing, as some of those spices – which are illegal today – were hallucinogenic or worse.

“Four Loco has always been a problem,” laughed Greenhagen, referencing the now-illegal stimulant drink. “A lot of the herbs they used have stimulant qualities in them. It’s always been a problem. Some of the beers had hallucinogenic qualities and people would get in bar fights. So, it began to cause trouble.”

The problem was addressed, he said, in the 1600s and early 1700s when the Gruit Masters of old began to call for the traditional hops herb to be put in the beer to preserve it. That was codified in English Common Law and was, perhaps, reinforced strongly by the Abbeys and monks that began to take over brewing at those times.

“That English Common Law is still perpetuated today,” he said. “We still have to put a small amount of hops in every beer. This isn’t a hop beer. We put only a very little bit and more and more herbs and spices.”

Greenhagen said his favorite herb to use after many, many experiments has been yarrow – which is often found in modern teas.

Mystic’s Louie Berceli and Bryan Greenhagen hoist a popular Gruit brew on Monday during the annual Gruit Day at the Mystic Brewery Tap Room, one of the most popular special days each year.

Mystic’s Louie Berceli and Bryan Greenhagen hoist a popular Gruit brew on Monday during the annual Gruit Day at the Mystic Brewery Tap Room, one of the most popular special days each year.

“Yarrow has properties that don’t fit tea as well as it fits beer,” he said. “You can taste that. Yarrow has an old beer heritage. It’s better in and fits better with beer than with tea.”

And of course, Greenhagen said he’s grateful to have landed his brewery in Chelsea, as the city and its location has given him the ability to experiment and be creative without having to worry about paying Boston rents.

“Chelsea has given us the liberty to do this,” he said. “We’re not in $66 per square foot spaces, so we don’t have to push out whatever is the most popular thing right now. We can be innovative. It’s definitely a little bit like, ‘If you build it, they will come.’”

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All-Chelsea Award this Monday Night

All-Chelsea Award this Monday Night

The 13th Annual “All-Chelsea Awards” will be presented this upcoming Monday night, Oct. 27, to nine individuals and entities that have improved the lives of local residents and enhanced the city’s overall civic standing.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony at City Hall or watch the proceedings live on Chelsea Cable Television, beginning at 6 p.m.

Headlining the awards program is the selection of Superintendent Mary Bourque as the Lifetime Achievement award winner. Bourque has been a Chelsea teacher, assistant principal, principal, deputy superintendent, and is completing her third year as superintendent.

Among her numerous recognitions, she was awarded the 2013 Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education.

The remaining eight awards recognize service and achievement over the last year and include:

  • Public Official – Senator Sal DiDomenico
  • Community Organization – Fr. Edgar Gutierrez-Duarte
  • Business – Renee Caso-Griffin
  • Resident under 21 – Jomaira Moreno
  • Resident 21-64 – Lisa Santagate
  • Resident 65 and older – Jack Fraser
  • Contributing Stakeholder – Arthur T. Demoulas
  • Project – Chelsea Empty Bowls.

“A significant reason that Chelsea’s stock continues to be on the rise is the contribution of so many towards the advancement of our community. These nine are representative of all the good that many do to promote our city and address the needs of our residents. We are fortunate to have them working among and for us,” said City Manager Jay Ash, the coordinator of the All-Chelsea Awards (ACA) Committee.

Two dozen community leaders selected the nine recipients from a list of over 50 nominees. Those nominees are submitted by community stakeholders and are voted upon in a secret ballot process. The recipients will be introduced by other community advocates and give short acceptance speeches. State and local officials are also expected to attend and speak at what is typically one of the most uplifting events on the Chelsea calendar annually.


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Tornado Formed over Chelsea in an Instant

Tornado Formed over Chelsea in an Instant

Weather is a funny science, but as radar and computer imagery has improved the prediction of the weather, most people are used to being well prepared for the slightest drop of rain.

Television stations inundate us with updates and cell phones beep out warnings frequently.

But when an F2 tornado formed over the Chelsea Creek and hit Revere Monday morning, there were few warnings – and no tornado warnings. Most people simply thought it was a bad storm, or heavy rain, and went about their business.

Glenn Field of the National Weather Service (NWS) Taunton office said the service had been following the storm all morning. It had formed in the Dover area in Norfolk County and had high-level rotation, but nothing had seemed to be ripe for spinning at ground level in order to make the essential top-to-bottom connection required to form a tornado.

Then, Field said, in an instant – faster than radar imagery could record – the tornado formed by the Chelsea Street Bridge and came together inconceivably and unbelievably.

It ripped its way up Broadway Revere and was over in three minutes.

Traditional radar captures images every four minutes.

Field said one image at 9:29 a.m. showed nothing.

The image at 9:34 a.m. showed the tornado already formed and carrying debris.

A 9:39 a.m. image was again harmless.

“It wasn’t until the image at 9:29 a.m. that it showed it was beginning to come together, but not totally,” he said. “At 9:34 a.m. the image showed just tremendous signals – all of a sudden. It was 100 mph – 50 knots in one direction and 50 knots in the other – and situated on top of Revere. There was also a debris cloud on the image that showed us…clearly things being lofted in the air. That was 9:34 a.m. and the tornado had already begun and it’s the first time we had evidence of it coming together. By 9:39 a.m., the clouds are separated again and not together at all. It came together as fast as it came apart. It lasted around three minutes and we say it happened officially at 9:32 a.m.”

Field said the tornado likely hit some warm surface air that escalated the formation around the Chelsea Street Bridge in Chelsea. The storm needed warm air on the surface to form a top-to-bottom spinning cloud – and southeast winds coming from Boston provided just what it needed.

“Unlike the Midwest tornadoes we see that form and come downward, this one had rotation aloft, but needed a trigger at the surface,” he said. “That warm front that was around Revere provided enough surface spin to combine with the aloft spin and it formed. Without that warm front, it probably never forms. It’s actually something that probably triggered a tornado warning downstream in Essex County, but that wasn’t much help to Revere. It happened so fast that all we were able to have is a severe thunderstorm warning, which expired at 9:30 a.m. Nothing came together at 9:30, so that warning expired.”

Field said there was a 40 minute severe thunderstorm warning that began at 8:50 a.m. on Monday, but unfortunately those warnings don’t often get heavily reported on television and they don’t appear on cell phone weather warnings.

“Nobody’s cell phones go off for severe thunderstorm warnings, but they will go off for tornado warnings,” he said. “That’s unfortunate for Revere. We could have issued the tornado warning when it was over Dover, but that would have alerted Boston and Dedham and there wouldn’t have been a tornado there. It’s a fine line that we have to walk on. We were following the storm closely. It just suddenly spun up within one scan of the radar imagery. It lasted three minutes and was over.”

He said it is regrettable that there was no official warning, though he did say it’s probably a lesson for many to pay closer attention to thunderstorm warnings.

“There were 40 minutes of a severe thunderstorm warning prior to the tornado,” he said. “Going outside during that is something people could have prevented. If you were aware of the warning, you could have been inside…There hasn’t been a tornado in Suffolk County since 1950 so it’s definitely a rare event. We certainly wish we could have had a warning for an EF2 tornado, but the nature of New England tornadoes is that they’re very quick and very shallow. They are quite different than the Midwestern supercells that form and are easier to track because they’re on the ground for a long time.”

The tornado, he said, broke up just after Brown Circle in Revere – meaning that it beat its way the entire length of Broadway in three minutes.

According to the NWS official weather statement, the tornado had maximum winds of 120 mph and had a rating of F2, breaking down to F1 at many points. Its maximum path width was 3/8 of a mile and the total path was two miles long.


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We Will Miss Judge Diana Maldonando

We Will Miss  Judge Diana Maldonando

On the television at any given time in the afternoon, one can see cases being tried and adjudicated with no nonsense.  Sometimes, in a particular case, the television judge just lays the person out and you cheer. Well in Chelsea, we have been fortunate to have had such a judge.

Judge Diana Maldonando of the Chelsea District Court can be described as a no nonsense judge with a reputation of being fair and compassionate, but not overly sympathetic to excuses.

Judge Maldonado grew up in the South Bronx of New York and was one of 10 children.  From these humble beginnings, she rose through the legal ranks and has been at the Chelsea District Courthouse since 1998 and in 2009 was named the First Justice of the Court.

While not adhering to the 9-5 schedule, Judge Maldonado stayed longer hours outside of the courthouse and embraced our communit,y becoming an integral part of our societal fabric.

The  Drug Court model which she has started, has been replicated all over the country, not only in district courts but also in the Federal Court system.  The goal of this model is to rehabilitate the drug criminals so that they are less likely to re-offend.  Today, our court has a very active and successful local alumni program.

The favorite story about Judge Maldonado involved an eviction case.  The tenant was having a hard time sending payments to the landlord.  The solution was that Judge Maldonando addressed the payment envelopes and put the stamps on them.  The case was closed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson termed success as follows:

“… To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier, because you have lived.”

Judge Maldonado has been successful by having a very large positive impact on our community and residents.

We wish Judge Maldonado well as she starts her new position in the Appeals Court next week.


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