Is old age a disease? Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], says a significant amount of scientific research indicates that aging is, indeed, a disease. “More important there are many who believe it is a disease with a cure.”
Weber cites the work of Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a well-known biomedical gerontologist. His focus is on extending life spans by intervening at the cellular level, repairing damaged cells and in turn extending life.
Some call de Grey a “mad scientist” but there is lots of independent study being conducted by those in the scientific mainstream to indicate that he is on the right track.
Most recently, researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Brighton in the UK released the results of a study that showed aging cells can be repaired. They used naturally occurring chemicals to treat aging human cells with remarkable results.
“When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn’t believe it. These old cells were looking like young cells. It was like magic. I repeated the experiments several times and in each case, the cells rejuvenated. I am very excited by the implications and potential for this research,” according to Exeter’s Dr. Eva Latorre, one the principal authors of the research report.
Meanwhile, notes Weber, the New York Times reports that the study of the human aging process has evolved to the point where the focus is now on what are called “supercentenarians,” individuals who live longest of all.
“It used to be that a person who reached the ripe old age of 100 was a rarity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, recently reported that the number of Americans over the age of 100 has grown by 44-percent since the year 2000. The U.S. today is home to more than 72,000 centenarians,” says the AMAC chief.
But the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University, a leading medical investigative group concentrating on how we grow old, believes healthy aging is all in the genes, particularly the genes of the very, very old. The study says on its Web site “the genetic influence becomes greater and greater with older and older ages, especially beyond 103 years of age.”
Whether the cellular approach or the genetic approach is ultimately successful in increasing the life span of more people in the future, Weber points out that living an extra long life can be fraught with financial danger. It will require a whole new way of thinking about retirement. Modern medicine has already extended longevity and that has resulted in fewer of us being able to retire. Many more people these days have given up on the notion of full retirement at the traditional age of 65. We stay in our jobs longer than we might like or we find ways of supplementing our incomes.
But for many elderly Americans, finding work to supplement their incomes is not an option. Social Security is what puts food on their tables. It’s their principal source of income, meager as it might be, and they would face cruel hardships if their monthly checks were cut. For them, the fact that Social Security faces major fiscal challenges in the coming years is a scary prospect.
“We need to focus, as a nation, on how the less fortunate of us will cope in the brave new world of centenarians and supercentenarians. How will they cope with their everyday lives? For them, it is not a benefit-it is a necessity and it is imperative that our lawmakers find and enact the fixes that will keep Social Security viable for the long term. For our part, AMAC remains relentless in its pursuit of solutions in our ongoing meetings with Congressional leaders. We’ve vowed never to give up and we won’t,” says Weber.
The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at http://amac.us/join-amac.
Councillor Dan Cortell questioned the creators of the noise study on Monday night. Cortell represents Admiral’s Hill, which has a terrible time with jet noise. He and other councillors are debating next steps after seeing the favorable study.
The City Council publicly unveiled the recent Airplane Noise Study done by Boston University at a Committee on Conference meeting Monday night, Nov. 13, and the consensus is that there are two different paths – fight in court or use the favorable study as leverage.
The noise study was performed by the Center for Research on Environmental and Social Stressors in Housing Across the Life Course (CRESSH), which is a division of the BU School of Public Health. Those involved in the study included Jonathan Levy, Claire Schollaert and Madeleine Scammell (a Chelsea resident).
That report showed that flights over Chelsea have nearly doubled between 2011 and 2015, and that certain health effects associated with airplane noise are very high in Chelsea.
On Monday, Councillors and City Manager Tom Ambrosino met with the study creators and the public to talk about next steps.
Ambrosino explained that the City has had an agreement with MassPort to have a $600,000 annual payment to mitigate the airport uses and airport operations in Chelsea. That agreement ran out in 2015, but he said MassPort has “begrudgingly” continued to pay – but may not renew the deal.
He has asked that they pay $700,000 annually and that they contribute a one-time $3 million payment to create a waterfront park.
Many in the audience, including Ambrosino and GreenRoots Director Roseanne Bongiovanni, are of the opinion that the study should be used as leverage to bring MassPort to the table to agree on mitigation.
“It took us two years just to get a meeting with them about the airport, and then another 18 months to say they would consider doing something,” said Bongiovanni.
Ambrosino said he is a great supporter of the mitigation and park concept – as it would serve the most people – and the report could help make that happen.
“I am a great supporter of the waterfront park,” he said. “That is a piece of mitigation that generates benefits to the most residents of Chelsea and not just a small that will get soundproofing. It won’t be Piers Park in East Boston. That’s a $20 million park, but a $3 million park with the City kicking in $1 million to make it a $4 million park is something that could create a very wonderful waterfront park for everyone.”
Meanwhile, Councillor Roy Avellaneda said he was of the opinion that it might be best to look at using the study to fight MassPort in court.
“We’re going to get to a point where we have to make a decision about this on behalf of our residents,” he said. “We can squeeze them for $700,000 and a park like the City Manager wants to do, or we do a real noise study with proper equipment and prepare to say we have proof that our community is impacted and possibly prepare to embark on a lawsuit against MassPort and the FAA…My preference will be to do a proper sound study and fight. I can’t go to residents and say that I got them a park and they are still suffering from the noise.”
The City of Chelsea is pleased to announce that it was awarded a $1 million grant from the US Department of Justice to support community safety improvements.
Chelsea’s grant is just one of eight funded projects nationwide made in this fall’s Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program. The grant leverages community, business, non-profit and city investments in support of greater public safety managed collaboratively through the Chelsea Thrives initiative.
Since mid-2014, when Chelsea Thrives was launched, community leaders have met on a regular basis to align resources in support of greater public safety. Led by an Executive Council with regular participation by 20 civic, business, and municipal leaders, Chelsea Thrives seeks to reduce crime by 30 percent over 10 years and to improve our community’s perception of safety. Since the initiative began, 1,500 residents and 70 institutions have participated, drawing from local and regional government and non- profit agencies and our area’s businesses. Key areas of focus are youth safety, coordination of services to prevent trauma and violence, infrastructure improvements in support of safety, and greater community engagement in support of a safe community.
“Unfortunately Chelsea has historically faced persistent crime problems,” reports City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “Chelsea Thrives had just started to focus on safety when I started my position as City Manager. Safety is a critical component of a vibrant community, every bit as important as quality and affordable homes, good jobs, and high performing schools. Chelsea is making progress with steady reductions in crime year over year since 2013. The support of US Department of Justice will bring us one step closer to our goal of a safe and thriving community.”
The grant’s timeline and activities are designed to dovetail with the City’s Downtown Initiative to create a more welcoming downtown experience. The first phase of the Downtown Initiative is now underway. The Re-Imagining Broadway participatory planning started in January 2017 with construction to occur in 2018-2019. Design goals for the city’s downtown infrastructure investments include improvements to pedestrian safety, public transportation hubs, and traffic flow and deterrence of crime and loitering. The resources made available through the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant will further leverage the value of this significant infrastructure investment by providing complementary policing, community revitalization, and social service supports.
In the first year of the grant, a criminologist from the University of Massachusetts Lowell will work with CPD and Chelsea Thrives partners to better understand Chelsea’s crime patterns and locations. With that information in hand, the researchers and community partners will identify appropriate community-based interventions to address crime hot-spots. Included in the grant’s planning phase is a review of ideas proposed by the Chelsea Thrives partners in the grant application, including supports for:
The Chamber of Commerce to promote the city’s façade improvement loan program plus technical assistance made available to downtown business and property owners to access and utilize the loans;
Downtown festivals and community activities based out of Bellingham and Chelsea Squares;
A Roca-led youth work crew to assist with the festivals and downtown improvement projects;
Downtown area safety walks and beautification activities managed by The Neighborhood Developers; and
Emergency assistance funds for use by the Chelsea Hub, managed by The Chelsea Collaborative.
“Receiving the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant award is a testament to the hard work of all of the community leaders and institutions that have dedicated time and energy to the collective work of Chelsea Thrives partnership over the last three years,” says Melissa Walsh, who leads Chelsea Thrives as part of her position at The Neighborhood Developers (TND). “This grant award will bring valuable resources to the City and other community partners in order to continue to make progress on addressing the social drivers of crime and making Chelsea a safer place for all.”
The new Department of Justice grant is the second $1 million investment secured on behalf of Chelsea Thrives from the US Department of Justice. The Safe and Secure Grant has just finished its one-year planning phase and will soon begin implementation to build community capacity for youth opportunity and safety. The Safe and Secure grant responds to the high volume of young people who have recently come to Chelsea from Central America who have experienced harrowing and traumatic journeys. Chelsea Public Schools, CPD, MGH Chelsea Health Care Center, The Chelsea Collaborative, The Neighborhood Developers, and Roca are collaborating to deliver trauma informed care, Overcoming Violence training for all 7th graders, trauma training at Lesley University for CPS teachers, case management and social service supports for at-risk youth, and parent leadership training.
The Chelsea Thrives Executive Council includes representatives from many city departments, residents, businesses and non-profits, including the City Manager, CPD’s Community Services Division, Chelsea Public Schools, People’s AME Church, Bunker Hill Community College, Chelsea Chamber, the Chelsea Collaborative, the Community Enhancement Team, East Cambridge Savings Bank, GreenRoots, Metro Credit Union, MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, Phoenix Charter Academy, Roca, and The Neighborhood Developers. Monthly meetings are open to all who are able to regularly attend. For information on how to join, contact Melissa Walsh at The Neighborhood Developers at MWalsh@tndinc.org.
Chelsea attorney, Olivia Anne Walsh, has announced her candidacy for election to the City Council, District 2 Seat, where she will be a fulltime Councilor. As a longtime resident of District 2, I have a true and unwavering sense of appreciation and loyalty to the City and my fellow residents,” said Walsh.
Walsh brings over four decades of experience in government at both the City and State levels, serving most recently as Legislative Chief of Staff to a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She also has the educational credentials to match this experience:
1976 University of Massachusetts, Boston
BS in Management
1981 Suffolk University, Boston
Master of Public Administration
1987 New England Law, Boston
Doctor of Juris Prudence
She has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar for almost 30 years. “I have been fighting for Progressive values my whole life, growing up in the Mattapan section of Boston, and for many years in the City of Chelsea,” Walsh noted.
Among community affiliations Walsh included:
Chair, Chelsea Ward 4 Democratic Committee
Commander, Chelsea Disabled American Veterans Chapter 10
Member, The Neighborhood Developers
Member, Green Roots Chelsea
“Progressive change takes a willingness to listen, hard work, and a commitment to bring people together for the common good. That’s what I will do each day for everyone in District 2,” added Walsh. “So many issues must be addressed: City services, economic development, affordable housing, public safety, elder services, Veteran care and traffic concerns, to name a few,” Walsh stressed.
“Together we can ensure that we have a strong consistent voice for our community. I look forward to having your support and ask for your vote in the City Election on Tuesday, November 7,” Walsh added.
Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh resides at 91 Crest Avenue and is available to hear your concerns at 617-306-5501.
The Richard I. Clayman Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at Suffolk University Law School.
The purpose of the fund is to endow a perpetual Scholarship in Richard’s name which will assist students in their legal education from places like Chelsea, where Richard, this kid from Chelsea as he would say, spent his entire professional life. Training new lawyers to serve the needs of Chelsea’s most at risk, and those in communities like Chelsea, is an aspiration that Richard would applaud because that is how he lived.
Richard I. Clayman spent his life helping people. Whether it was in his youth as a Park Counselor, as a Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney, on the Chelsea School Committee, the Chelsea Board of Alderman, or as a lawyer in the City of Chelsea, Richard never hesitated to reach out his hand to lift people up. Richard learned growing up in Chelsea how much it meant to have a mentor and a friend. He benefited from the community that raised him and then dedicated his life to giving back to that community.
Richard helped people in need, regardless of their ability to pay. He helped those suffering from addiction, mental health issues and those just trying to live day to day. His legal education at Suffolk University Law School gave him greater tools to accomplish the goal of helping those who needed help, raising the hopes of people in despair, and protecting people without the ability to protect themselves.
A moving video tribute to Richard can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/RememberingRichieClayman
The Richard I. Clayman Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to award scholarships to deserving Suffolk Law Students who share the same passion and desire as Richard to help and nourish the people in the greater Chelsea area. The Founders of the Fund are Kate Clayman, Joshua Huggard, Steven G. Clayman, Nancy Clayman, Amy L. Nechtem, John L. Dodge, Amanda Clayman, Thomas O. Levenberg, Alyse Clayman and Drew Bulfer.
Donations may be sent to: Richard I. Clayman Memorial Scholarship Fund, Suffolk University Law School, Office of Advancement, Attention: Jeffrey P. Foss, 73 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108, or online at: http://www.suffolk.edu/law/alumni/52314.php
Among those who spoke at Friday’s check presentation ceremony was Jay Ash, the administration’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, and it was plain to see why Jay was the first Cabinet appointee named by Charlie Baker shortly after his election in 2014.
Ash had been the City Manager of Chelsea for over a decade and performed an incredible job in raising that city from the ashes (no pun intended) to the point where it is one of the most vibrant communities in the state and won an All-American City Award under Jay’s tenure.
Jay is a graduate of Chelsea High (as is our Town Council President, Russ Sanford) and Clark University, where he excelled on the basketball court. He not only was articulate, humorous, and convivial, but he displayed a sense of professionalism about his job that transcended politics-as-usual: An understanding of how the legislative process works, coupled with real expertise in the realm of economic development.
The respect with which Jay Ash is held on Beacon Hill was evident in the remarks made by House Speaker Bob DeLeo, who related how he first got to know Jay when Ash was the chief aide to the former House Ways and Means Chairman and Majority Leader Richie Voke — and how obvious it was at that time that Jay Ash was a young man who was destined for big things.
It truly was a privilege to see Jay Ash in action, so to speak, and to realize that the entire Commonwealth is the beneficiary of such a dedicated public servant who truly wants to see our state become the best that it can be.
We’re fortunate that a person of Jay Ash’s caliber is working for the citizens of our state and we look forward to even bigger things from him in the future.
Robert J. Haas, Jr. of Revere died most unexpectedly while vacationing at Block Island, R.I. on Sunday July 2.
Former Mayor Haas was born in Melrose and raised, educated and lived his entire life in Revere. An alumnus of Revere High School, Class of 1963, he was also an alumnus of Northeastern University, Class of 1974, securing his Bachelor in Business Administration in 1974 and continuing on for a Bachelor’s in Finance in 1978.
Over the years, “Bob” has immersed himself into the life and heart of Revere, affiliating himself with many fraternal and social organizations andendeavors. Early in his career, he was a member of the Revere Jaycees. He was Charter President of the Revere Jaycees and was awarded “One of the Outstanding Young Men of America.”A long-time member of the Revere Rotary Club, he was awarded their Paul Harris Fellow Award, the highest commendation given by Rotary International. He was also a co-founder and organizer of the Revere Chamber of Commerce. For over 30 years, he has been a devotee of the Holy Name Society at St. Anthony’s Parish and an ardent supporter of the 100 Club of Massachusetts, Revere Chapter.
Also and most recently, Bob was among a group reorganizing and reinventing the Revere Council 179 of the Knights of Columbus. He was also given honorary membership in the Revere Lodge of Elks #1171, the Revere Loyal Order of the Moose #1272, the American Legion Post #61 of Revere and the Revere Boys Club.
He began his working career at First National Shawmut Bank of Boston from 1964 to 1972, then onto Union Petroleum Corp. from 1972-1973 and then and still the proprietor and operator of Haas Business Forms from 1974 to 2017.
His political career began in 1979 as Councilor-at-large, serving for 12 consecutive years. After a hiatus, he returned in 2003 as councilor at-large and served until his untimely death on July 2, 2017. Bob’s remarkable term as Mayor began in 1992 and ended with his fourth term in 2000.
The beloved husband of 50 years of Juanita M. (Brandariz) Haas, he was the devoted father of Jennifer M. Haas and John R. Coyne of Revere, Rachel M. Shanley of Revere and Robert J. Haas, III and his wife, Jennifer of Winthrop. He was the cherished Papa to Brayden, Luca and Noah; the dear brother to Sheila A. Arsenault and her husband, Arthur T. of Chelsea, Judy A. Cotter and her husband, William of Gilford, NH and the late Edward J. Haas. He is also lovingly survived by his brother-in-law, Ramon M. Brandariz& his wife, Anna of Billerica. Bobby is also survived by an aunt and many nephews, nieces and cousins.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Vertuccio& Smith Home for Funerals, Revere. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Revere Society for Cultural & Historic Preservation, 108 Beach St., Revere, MA 02151.
Retired music teacher, longtime organist and choir director at St. Stanislaus Church
Edmund J.Jagielski of Chelsea passed awayat home on July 7 after a time of declining health.
Born in Hartford, CT over 93 years ago, he received his early schooling in Hartford and attained a B.A in music from Boston University after serving in the United States Army during World War II in the Asiatic Pacific Theater.
A talented musician, affectionately known also as Mr. J, was a longtime private piano and voice instructor, the organist and choir director for St. Stanislaus Church and 7th grade teacher at St. Stanislaus School for numerous years. After his tenure at St. Stan’s, he taught music at the Williams Public School in Chelsea.
The devoted husband for over 66 years of Ella M. (Horvath), he was the beloved father of Jacqueline Clark of California, Susan Kennedy and her husband, George of Illinois and California, Mary Hescock and her husband, Paul of Chelsea, John Jagielski and his wife, Dana of Duxbury, David Jagielski of Chelsea and Laurie Solis of Plymouth; brother of the late Frances Piekos; cherished grandfather of Jennifer, Lauren, Michael, Matthew and Olivia and is also lovingly survived by his great grandchildren, Hannah, Natalie and Brendan.
At his request, all services are private. Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to the Smith Funeral Home, 125 Washington Avenue, Chelsea.In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in Ed’s name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38501 or online at www.stjude.org/donateTo send a message of condolence to Ed’s family, please visit www.smithfuneralhomes.com
Will be remembered for her kind and gentle spirit, laughter and generous heart
Kim TheadoraTuttavillaof Chelsea, previously of Revere, passed away July 2at the age of 63.
The beloved daughter of the late Joseph and Patricia Tuttavilla, she was the loving sister of Michael and his wife, Michelle, Mark and his wife, Maureen, and Mia and her husband, Andrew. She was a loving sister, a fun aunt, a dear cousin and niece and will be greatly missed.
Kim will be remembered for her kind and gentle spirit, for her laughter and her generous heart. Even while Kim may have endured many difficulties in life, she still retained her love of creating art which she did on a daily basis, whether in poetry or paints or pastels, and loved cooking for others and attending to her garden. Along with music, these were her greatest joys.
Services will be held at the Paul Buonfiglio& Sons-Bruno Funeral Home, 128 Revere St, Revere today, Thursday, July 13beginning at 10 a.m. with a prayer service at 11a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the North Suffolk Mental Health Association, 37 Hawthorne St. Chelsea 02150 c/o Vernon Street Program.
Graduating seniors processing into the gym during the opening ceremony. It was the largest class in 15 years at Chelsea High, with 309 members.
The last time Chelsea High School (CHS) graduated a class as large as the Class of 2017, the Boston Red Sox still hadn’t won a World Series in more than 90 years.
This year’s class featured more than 300 students in the class, the most since 2002, and teachers at CHS said it is one of the most accomplished in many years.
Supt. Mary Bourque said the class is noteworthy not just from the data, but also from their character.
“The class president came to us from Africa when she was 5 years old,” said Bourque. “She spoke movingly at graduation of having returned to her birth country for a visit last year for the first time in 13 years. She came back to CHS with the beginning of the school year, but she came back with open eyes of how she and her peers need to value this country and the opportunities that are presented. She thanked CPS for embracing and supporting her and her peers along the way.
“We are a proud immigrant community; we welcome and educate everyone,” she continued. “The students in our schools are from 58 countries and speak 36 languages. We are not perfect and we still have much work to do to improve our student outcomes, but it is for days like Chelsea High School’s graduation for which we work. It is the renewal and joy we feel when we celebrate our students’ accomplishments.”
One of the most telling statistics is that some 70 percent of the class is moving on to attend a two- or four-year college next year. Another 13 percent are going directly into the workforce, while 6 percent are entering a certificate program or trade school.
Some 3 percent are going to the military.
Of those going to college, the list of schools includes:
Boston College – Woods College of Advancing Studies
Johnson and Wales University
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
University of Connecticut
Additionally, Bourque said students earned $2.3 million in local scholarship programs and scholarships from colleges and universities. That was the most ever.
Students in the Class of 2017 also took advantage of dual enrollment and Advanced Placement courses.
More than half of the senior class, 160 in total, enrolled in an AP course.
Students enrolled in dual enrollment at Bunker Hill Community College earned 1,162 college credits while still in high school. Those credits will transfer to their new school in the fall, saving them valuable time and money.
“Dual enrollment graduates saved on future college debt, in tuition and fees, more than $200,000 and $50,000 on books,” said Bourque. “On average, dual enrollment students earned eight credits each; one student earned 27 credits. This student in effect completed one-third of an Associate’s Degree before she even received her high school diploma. Within the next four years, we will have students graduating with an Associate’s Degree at the same time as they graduate from Chelsea High School.”
Valedictorian Ashley Salazar (left) stands beside Salutatorian Tracey Flores at Chelsea High School this week. The duo will lead the Class of 2017 into Graduation Exercises on Sunday, June 11, at the high school.
Both Ashley Salazar and Tracey Flores have become accustomed to being side by side – starting out together in kindergarten at the Early Learning Center (ELC) and finishing up neck and neck for the top two spots in the class at Chelsea High School (CHS).
On Monday, June 5, CHS revealed that Salazar was the Valedictorian and Flores was the Salutatorian of the Class of 2017, sending a shock to both girls who didn’t expect the honors. “I was completely shocked,” said Salazar. “My parents were sobbing.”
Salazar, 17, went to elementary at the Kelly School and then to the Wright Middle School before coming to CHS. In the fall, she said she will be attending Cornell University in Ithaca, NY to study food sciences.
“My sister is a nutritionist at the MGH so I always had that as an influence in my life,” she said. “Growing up in Chelsea, I was always known as a health freak to everyone. I’m the one who checks all the nutrition information labels and tells people we shouldn’t be eating these things. I knew I wanted to do something around food. I also knew I wanted to do something in high school that involved the sciences. I decided I should just combine the two.”
Salazar said she was first introduced to Cornell though a program called Newton Scholars that she participated in early in her high school years. However, her main inspiration was teacher Matthew LaBranch, who taught her to be authentic. She said he teaches desktop publishing at CHS, which she has no interest in, but the character lesson was the thing that stuck with her.
“He taught a subject I’m not interested in , but he always preached to us about being your real authentic self. He made me realize that we control our own destinies. I needed to hear that because I’m reserved. When you hear that message in the back of your head it helps you to keep going and take more risks.”
Salazar, 17, said she wasn’t able to participate in extra-curricular activities because she was busy taking care of extended family at her home.
She said she was worried that would hurt her college process and acceptance, but after explaining her situation, it wasn’t held against her.
“It all worked out,” she said.
Flores, also 17, said she has worked really hard to be second in the class, and credited others with giving her the confidence to work harder so that she can achieve the success.
“I was always very quiet and I”m not confident in my intelligence at all,” she said. “Mr. (Wes) Peacock taught me to believe in myself and have confidence…My mom was very proud. She sees me stay up late and doing my homework. I don’t have the natural talent for academics, so I try to work even harder. I put in the time and worked really hard for this.”
Flores plans to attend Tufts University this fall, and will major in biochemistry with the idea of becoming a doctor. She said her two siblings have autism, so growing up she was always going to appointments with them. Then, two years ago, her father passed away. That was followed by her mother developing cancer, which was caught early and eliminated.
Those experiences, she said, gave her an appreciation for those in the medical field, and impressed upon her to go in that direction.
“I don’t want anyone to have to watch someone die of cancer,” she said. “I wanted to do something with my life that makes a difference for others so that they don’t go through what I went through.”
She also credited Teacher Ilana Asher with influencing her at CHS.
“She’s like my high school mom,” she said. “She helped me with the college application process and my essays. I don’t know where I’d be without her.”
Flores participated in the Mock Trial, Girls Track, the ALS Walk, InterAct, National Honor Society and Girls 101.
Salazar is the daughter of Julio and Giselle Salazar.
Flores is the daughter Ruth Flores and the late Carlos Flores.
Barry Kirshon, owner of Kirshon Paint, is pictured inside his well-known store. Kirshon Paint is celebrating its 70th anniversary at 124 Pearl St. in Chelsea.
The name Kirshon has been a staple in the Chelsea business community for 70 years.
The Kirshon brothers, Abraham, Martin, and Russell started Kirshon Paint in 1946 at the same location where it stands today, 124 Pearl St.
Barry Kirshon, son of the late Abraham and Ruth Kirshon, has carried on the store’s tradition of excellence in the role of owner since 1988.
He understands well the family’s legacy and the outstanding role models that his father and uncles were in terms of running a business professionally and with the highest ethical standards.
“My father and his brothers ran the business and had great employees,” said Barry. “They built up a great clientele. They took care of their employees very well and had kept them on board for many years. They built up the business and I took over in 1988.”
Barry remembers being at the store after school and on Saturdays when he was 10 years old. “I came here and worked and helped my family in the business.”
Barry was well known in Chelsea as a student at the Shurtleff School and Chelsea High School before graduating from Huntington Prep. He received his college degree from Northeastern University, where he studied Business Administration, Business Management, and Marketing.
Those courses would seem a perfect foundation for running a business and they were. He started working at Kirshon Paint in 1979. His brother, Howard, worked alongside him, but he left the business to enter the field of electronics.
Now in his 28th year as the owner, Barry said the key ingredients to Kirshon Paint’s success are, “treating people fairly, treating the employees fairly having loyal, trustworthy employees, being good to the community and giving back to the community.”
There is no question that Barry has given back to Chelsea. His family has sponsored Chelsea Little League teams, donated to many local organizations, and supported events with his attendance and volunteerism.
Barry was a past president of the Chelsea Rotary Club and remains a 20-year member and Paul Harris Fellow. He has been a member of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce for decades. The City of Chelsea honored Barry with an All-City Award as Businessman of the Year.
Barry is a beloved member of Temple Emmanuel where he is known for his generosity and kindness. For years, he has been an outstanding candlepin bowler and has played softball for the Rotary team.
The painting business has changed in the 70 years Kirshon has been in the city. Large national chains have brought competition but Kirshon Paint has maintained his loyal customer base.
“We are able to compete because we have better products, better service – having Benjamin Moore is a big plus because of the higher quality and lasting that Benjamin Moore provides,” said Barry. “We carry only quality products at reasonable prices and provide excellent service to our customers. Homeowners and property owners would rather deal with us because they have more confidence that we’re going to direct them with the right advice on how to use the products.”
Kirshon has become the place to go for Hollywood producers filming movies in the Boston area.
“Movie production companies buy their paint and supplies at our store,” said Kirshon. “We’ve done many of the movies that are filmed here, including Ted 1, Ted 2, the Equalizer and Ghostbusters. Our paint is being seen by millions of movie goers on the big screen.”
Has Barry met any of the movie stars?
“The only star that I’ve met is Kevin Spacey,” he replied.
Bruce Mauch of Chelsea Clock and a past president of the Rotary Club, said Kirshon Paint’s sterling reputation is well deserved.
“Kirshon Paint is a great place to do business,” said Mauch. “They’re friendly, personable, and they have everything you need at a price that’s reasonable. He’s a great Rotary member and a pretty good golfer.”
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson is another fan of Kirshon Paint.
“I’ve known Barry for many years and he has run a business that is second to none,” said Robinson. “I’d like to wish him continued success.”
Barry lauds his staff of outstanding employees, Ryan Mazin, Eddie Hernandez, Audy Hernandez, and David Padgett-Pino for their dedication and commitment to every customer.
In addition to the business’s anniversary, Barry has another very important celebration this year. He and his fiancée, Darlene Nelson, will soon be married.
“Darlene is the love of my life and very special and very supportive of my business,” said Barry, who has two married daughters, Melanie and Kimberly.
Barry, who turns 60 this week, said retirement may be beckoning but not yet. “I’m looking toward the light at the end of the tunnel – not immediately but in the near future.”
Park Square and Pearl Street in Chelsea just wouldn’t be the same without a Kirshon overseeing operations at Kirshon Paint.