Chelsea Police have identified a man of interest in the case of a female waitress who was slashed in the neck and cut on the hands when she chased the man outside after he dashed on the bill.
Officers responded at 11 p.m. Monday night to 92 Washington Ave. A female victim in her early 30s was working as a waitress in the restaurant Las Pupusas Del Chino.
She told officers a male party skipped out on his bill and she chased him outside. She confronted him as he entered his motor vehicle and he subsequently pulled out a cutting instrument and sliced her in the neck and right hand.
He fled in a red sedan, possibly with a Colorado license plate, down Blossom Street heading west. The victim was transported to MGH Boston and was treated for a non-life threatening injury. No arrest has been made at this time. Detectives currently following up with a strong lead as to the identity of the suspect.
The suspect’s photo has been released and he has been positively identified by the Chelsea Police Department as the suspect in the stabbing.
The Chelsea Police are requesting the public’s assistance in clarifying the suspect’s true identity. Chelsea Detectives are actively searching for the individual for charges of Armed Assault with Intent to Murder.
The victim was released from the hospital Tuesday morning.
The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced several changes to the Mystic/Tobin Bridge repair project, including the one-month closure of the Everett Avenue on-ramp May 7.
MassDOT announced that since several projects in the area are coming underway – including the Alford Street Bridge, the North Washington Street Bridge, and Commonwealth Avenue Bridge in Boston – they have adjusted the Tobin work to not close a lane permanently on the lower deck northbound.
This schedule adjustment means that MassDOT will no longer be implementing a permanent lane closure on the lower deck (Route 1 northbound) from April 22 through November of this year but will instead be adjusting the width of the travel lanes in this area and utilizing off-peak lane closures. Three full lanes of travel will be in place on the bridge this year during peak commute hours.
The full list of impacts this construction season is now as follows:
Temporary off-peak lane closures on the lower deck (Route 1 northbound) from now through November 2018.
Temporary off-peak lane closures on the upper deck (Route 1 southbound) from now through November 2018.
Everett Avenue on-ramp closed at all times for one-month period beginning on May 7.
Beacon Street off-ramp closed at all times for a two-month period beginning in summer 2018.
Fourth Street off-ramp closed for a one-month period in 2019.
No more than one ramp will be closed at any given time throughout the duration of the project.
“We are investing historic levels of funding into our highway transportation system and we are seeking to do so in ways that minimize impacts on the travel public and our local communities,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Our construction teams have worked hard to optimize the schedule of operations to better accommodate travel throughout this area. We continue to encourage members of the public to learn about upcoming traffic impacts and use the appropriate tools to make the best decisions on traveling in order to reach their destinations in an efficient manner.”
This $41.6 million maintenance project involves repairing a section of the deck of the Tobin Bridge which carries traffic between the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston and Chelsea. Work is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2020 with lane closures and traffic impacts occurring during each of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 construction seasons.
Work will include steel repairs to the upper and lower decks, concrete deck work on the lower deck, followed by waterproofing, resurfacing, and installing pavement markings. Operations will also consist of utility installation, installing curbing, paving, constructing a new parking lot under the bridge between Williams Street and Third Street.
On Monday, March 19, at 12:50 p.m., Chelsea Fire and Police responded to the intersection of Broadway and Eleanor Street after being alerted by Fire Capt. Richard Perisie of a motor vehicle accident. Capt. Perisie ordered a Box Alarm assignment that was immediately transmitted by Fire Alarm. Upon arrival fire crews from E3, E2, L2 and T1 under the command of Deputy Paul Giancola immediately began patient assessments and mitigated any hazardous fluid leaks.
Three parties were transported by Cataldo EMS to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Transit Police responded to the scene and took control of the incident.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.
MAN FOLLOWS GIRL, ASSAULTS OFFICER
On Wednesday, March 7, at 2:18 p.m., Officers responded to a report of a frightened juvenile who reported that a male on Marlborough Street was following her. Officers observed a man fitting the description and attempting to talk to him. The subject became defensive and began yelling; he was then placed into custody for assaulting an officer.
Robert Daniels, 19, of 73A Marlborough St., was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery and assault and battery on a police officer.
TOOK A NUTTY
On March 8, at 9:45 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of 89 Sixth St. on a report of a motor vehicle collision with unknown injuries. Upon arrival, officers observed a female directing them to two men engaged in a struggle on the ground, one of the men being her husband. The female stated her husband saw the other male causing damage with a knife to their car.
As officers separated the two, the subject assaulted two police officers and kicked an EMT who responded to render aid. The individual also made verbal threats to the victim. He was placed under arrest after a brief struggle.
Walter Perez, 27, of 128 Williams St., was charged with mayhem, assault and battery, assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, intimidating a witness, and assault and battery on ambulance personnel.
JUVENILE ASSULTED WITH BUTANE
On March y, a CPD officer placed a juvenile under arrest for assaulting another youth with a butane lighter during school.
The 17-year-old Chelsea youth was arrested on Guam Road and charged with assault and battery by a dangerous weapon, intimidating a witness, disturbing school and threatening to commit a crime.
On March 9, at 5 p.m., members of the Chelsea Police Drug Unit were on surveillance in the area of 150 Franklin St. when they observed a silver Mercedes pull up about 20 feet in front of their unmarked cruiser. They then watched a drug transaction in front of them and placed both under arrest.
Justin Jensen, 43, of 150 Franklin Ave., was charged with distribution of a Class B drug, conspiracy, and possession of a Class B drug.
James Femino, 61, of Revere, was charged with distribution of a Class B drug and conspiracy.
MS-13 MEMBER GUILTY
A member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique in Chelsea, was sentenced March 12 in federal court in Boston for racketeering conspiracy.
Domingo Tizol, a/k/a “Chapin,” 23, a Guatemalan national who resided in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Tizol will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence.
On May 26, 2015, Tizol and another MS-13 member Bryan Galicia-Barillas, a/k/a “Chucky,” attacked a suspected gang rival on Bellingham Street in Chelsea. Tizol punched and hit the victim while Barillas stabbed the victim multiple times. The victim survived the attack but suffered life-threatening injuries.
Tizol and Barillas were two of 61 defendants indicted in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. Barillas previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Joser Valentin, 49, 63 Highland Ave., Malden was arrested on a warrant.
Robert Daniels, 19, 73A Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct, assault and battery on a police officer and assault and battery.
Andrew Babigumira, 32, 62 Garden Circle, Waltham, was arrested for trespassing.
Walter Perez, 27, 128 Williams St., Chelsea, was arrested for malicious damage to motor vehicle, assault and battery, mayhem, assault and battery on a police officer, assault and batter with a dangerous weapon, witness intimidation and assault and battery on a ambulance personnel.
Juvenile offender, 17, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, witness intimidation, school disturbance and threat to commit crime.
Michael Bernard, 39, 15 Spencer Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Gilberto Vasquez, 48, 855 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle with suspended license.
Justin Jensen, 43, 150 Franklin Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for distribution of Class B drug, conspiracy to violate drug law and possessing Class B drug.
James Femino, 61, 371 Northshore Rd., Revere, was arrested for possessing Class B drug and conspiracy to violate drug law.
David Panameno, 42, 227 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the Influence of liquor.
Shawn Hilaire, 27, 307 Broadway, Fall River, MA, was arrested on a warrant.
Kyle Rego, 26, 186 Valentine St., Fall River, MA 02720 was arrested on a warrant.
Mario Galindo, 36, 94 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the Influence of Liquor, and operation of motor vehicle unlicensed.
Josmar Falcao-Ferreira, 57, 90 Bacon St., Waltham, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle unlicensed, stop sign violation and warrant.
Juvenile offender, 17, Revere, was arrested for shoplifting.
Yunis Aden, 24, 9 Guam Rd., Chelsea, was arrested for shoplifting, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and dangerous weapon.
We join the local sports community and the Catholic Central League in congratulating Pope John XXIII High School of Everett on winning its first basketball state championship in its history.
Coach Leo Boucher and his team that included Chelsea standouts Luis Velasquez and Mehkhi Collins, brought much excitement to their fans this season and many students, alumni, and supporters traveled to Springfield Saturday to watch their Pope John Tigers defeat the defending state champion Maynard High Tigers for the Division 4 title.
It was a great day for the small school who rose up and defeated much larger schools and teams from powerful conferences in the MIAA Tournament. The team’s spectacular guard, Angel Price-Espada, submitted a performance for the ages with 49 points, including 10 three-pointers.
Mr. Boucher, a resident of Charlestown and a former basketball standout himself, previously showed his tremendous coaching skills at the St. Clement School, winning a state title there. When the school closed its doors, Pope John officials made a wise decision to bring him on board as its basketball coach.
It was also inspiring to see school administrators, Head of School Carl DiMaiti, Principal Thomas Mahoney, and Director of Athletics Ryan Murphy being a part of the fan delegation at the game and holding the championship so proudly following the Tigers’ 89-57 victory.
Mr. DiMaiti has presided over athletic successes before as the head of school at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn. A former track coach, Mr. DiMaiti understands the importance of interscholastic sports competition and how it can help build a positive foundation for student-athletes and pave the way to a college education. Mr. DiMaiti’s children, Drew and Carole, were both outstanding high school athletes, with Drew winning an individual state hurdles title before moving on to nearby Tufts University.
Mr. Mahoney is in the Chelsea High School Hall of Fame as the founder and head coach of the CHS soccer program that produced GBL titles and All-Scholastic players when he was leading the program. He is an alumnus of Pope John (and Boston College) as a member of the Everett school’s first graduating class, so this championship is doubly meaningful to him.
Mr. Murphy was an excellent choice to lead the school’s athletic program. He is always accessible to those who call upon him. He has helped student-athletes proceed through the college application process and been an exceptional representative for the school at AD meetings. A school’s athletic success begins at the top, and Mr. Murphy has the entire program heading in the right direction. And now he has a state championship team in his program.
To Coach Leo Boucher, associate head coach Larry Washington, freshman coach Paul Williams, and the Pope John basketball players – thanks for the memories and congratulations on an historic championship season.
We’ll see you all in the Pope John XXIII High School Hall of Fame one day.
Anyone who lived in the Prattville section of Chelsea knew Frank Ippolito Jr.
Frank Ippolito III (left), owner of Ippolito Snow Services in East Boston, is shown on the cover of Snow Business Magazine with Travis Dassylva. The Tobin Bridge is in the background.
He was the familiar face and kind gentleman at Ippy’s Amoco Gas Station at the corner of Washington and Garfield Avenues who owned that popular service station and car repair business in addition to Ippy’s Plowing that he started in 1973.
“My grandfather, Frank Sr. started it, and my dad, Frank Jr., continued it for 50 years,” said Frank Ippolito III.
The Ippolito name still resonates with pride in the city. Frank III’s uncle, Joseph Ippolito, has guided the beautiful renovation project at the Sagamore Club that is enjoying a resurgence of new members. Uncle Jimmy Ippolito was known for his athletic talents and Jimmy and Jane’s daughter, Jamie, became the greatest softball player in Savio Prep history before continuing her brilliant career at Stonehill College.
Frank Ippolito Jr. passed away in 2012 and his son, Frank III, assumed command of the plowing business, changing its name to Ippolito Snow Services LLC. The business is located on Chelsea Street in East Boston, making for easy access to its Boston clients.
The level of excellence that the father brought to his business has continued under the son’s capable leadership – and then some.
In 2015 after the snowiest winter (108 inches) in Boston history, Ippolito Snow Services received the National Snow and Ice Management Award. Ippolito’s company was recently featured on the cover of Snow Business magazine.
Ippolito oversees a staff of approximately 50 employees. He seeks out part-time employees from businesses such as auto repair shops and car washes, and the commercial fishing industry, many of whom who don’t usually work in their regular jobs during snowstorms.
“We’re a snow only business – we don’t do anything else,” said Ippolito. “In the offseason, we attend national training conferences and start negotiating snow-plowing contracts in the summer. We really want to focus on what we do well.”
Whether it’s an inch of snow or a major snowstorm hitting the Boston area, Ippolito has to be ready to send out an army of snow removal vehicles. “We have plow trucks, obviously, but we have loaders, Wildcats, and Bobcats. We do a lot of sidewalks in Boston so we recently invested in a lot of sidewalk-clearing equipment.”
Ippolito has become one of the region’s foremost experts on snow removal and often fields inquiries from business owners such as: How can a company project its snowplowing services from year to year and what if there is a winter with very little snow (Boston averages 42 inches per season, according to Ippolito).
“There are two models,” said Ippolito. “One is that a company pays a certain amount and no matter how much snow we get, that is the amount for a three-year period. Other companies pay by the storm and by the inch.”
The unforgettable winter of 2015 was a major test for Ippolito and his staff. “There were 78 inches of snow in February,” recalled Ippolito. “It was overwhelming. We brought in a lot of people from out of state to help out. It was non-stop snow removal for weeks. That’s when we knew as a company that there could be a real business here. That winter really put us on the map. But we don’t want to be the biggest, we just want to be the best.”
Ippolito said his company uses Eastern Minerals on Marginal Street for its salt for snow removal. “We’re fortunate to have a great business like that just three minutes away,” said Ippolito.
Ippolito utilizes the latest technology to mnitor his company’s work during snowstorms. “We put GPS tracking in all the trucks,” he said. “We’re able to move resources around quickly if a snowstorm shifts.”
Though he now lives in Revere, Frank III still relishes his ties to Chelsea. “I am proud of our family’s connection to Chelsea. I’m proud of the way my grandfather and father worked hard and the great business they ran in Chelsea. This city will always have a special place in my heart..”
Though he lives in Revere, Frank Ippolito III still relishes his family’s connection to Chelsea. “I am proud of our ties to Chelsea and I am proud of my father and my grandfather and the great business they ran in Chelsea. This city will also have a special place in my heart.”
And vice versa, the city of Chelsea will always have a fondness for Ippy’s Amoco and the entire Ippolito family.
A commercial laundry that uses bicycles to pick up and deliver linens is looking to locate in the commercial/industrial property on Willow and Congress Streets.
Wash Cycle Laundry, a company founded in Philadelphia that has delivered millions of pounds of laundry and pioneered the bicycle laundry, wants to locate its Boston area operations in Chelsea. They were before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on Tuesday night, and will go before the Planning Board later in the month. In April, the City changed the zoning regulations in the Willow Street area to allow them to consider the property.
Gabriel Mandujano, the founder of the company, said they are coming right now to service the hotels exclusively in Chelsea, and would be using a new, advanced style of tricycle to pick up and deliver laundry throughout the city.
“We leased a portion of the building and are concentrating our efforts on the hotel market,” he said. “Colwen Hotels signed an agreement to bring us to Chelsea. We’re going to be their laundry contractor. The idea is they have a lot of properties in Chelsea, but they have a large portfolio all over Boston too. This will bring those jobs to Chelsea.”
He said they hope to run two shifts seven days a week, and would employ a total of 75 people.
“We are a sustainable company,” he said. “We do a lot of environmental and energy savings in the plant. We are founded in Philadelphia and pioneered bicycle delivery laundry. We delivered millions and millions of pounds of laundry in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. We are though practically sustainable and not religiously sustainable, so the chiefly concerned about safety.”
He said that would mean that they would deliver by bike in the Chelsea area, but use vans and trucks to get to Boston and other far off areas.
He said after they get their feet under them, if approved to come, they hoped to begin doing work for other businesses in Chelsea that have a need for a commercial laundry.
He said they would be using a special tricycle cargo bike in Chelsea that has been piloted by the UPS delivery company in Portland. He said they took a trip recently to Portland to test it out and liked what they saw.
“We’re fairly confident that would be the vehicle we would use if we come to Chelsea,” he said. “Philadelphia is completely flat, so we need something here with a little more power.”
He added they are a second chance company, and hope to partner with non-profits in the area to employ at-risk and court-involved residents who need a break. Many of their current employees have a history of homelessness or incarceration, he said.
“That’s one of the main reasons I founded the company,” he said.
If allowed to locate on Willow Street, Mandujano said they could have the build out done in about 30 days.
Chelsea Police Detectives are investigating a shooting on Dec. 7 that occurred in the vicinity of Shurtleff and Maverick Streets. The victim, a 35-year old male from Chelsea, was shot in the leg and is expected to recover from his injuries. Detectives believe it was not a random attack based on preliminary evidence gathered at the scene.
A male wearing a dark coat with red lettering on the back and gray sweatpants was seen fleeing the area.
If you have any information regarding this incident, you are asked to call Chelsea Police at 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 department’s website at www.chelseapolice.com or download for free the MYPD App that is compatible with both Android and Apple smartphones. All three ways are monitored and anonymous.
ARMED ROBBER CAUGHT
On Dec. 4, officers were dispatched to Broadway Mini Mart located at 944 Broadway on a report of an armed robbery. Responding officers observed a disturbance in the street involving a store clerk and one of the two reported robbers. The subject was placed into custody at the scene. Chelsea Detectives later charged the individual with two other armed robberies that occurred earlier in Chelsea.
A second individual involved was able to escape.
Samuel Valdez, 41, of Jamaica Plain, was charged with armed robbery while masked and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
SALVADORAN MAN DEPORTED
A Salvadoran national pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to illegally reentering the United States after deportation.
Gerardo Alberto Perez-Fuentes, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful reentry of a deported alien. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for March 8, 2018.
Perez-Fuentes was previously deported on Oct. 8, 2015. On Sept. 6, 2017, law enforcement in Chelsea encountered Perez-Fuentes and determined him to be illegally present in the United States.
The charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Perez-Fuentes will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting this case.
UNDER THE INFLUENCE
On Dec. 4, at 7:08 p.m., a Chelsea Police officer was dispatched to Cross Street and Park Street for a motor vehicle accident with no reported injuries. Upon arrival there were two cars to the right side of the road on Cross Street and Park Street. The officer spoke to both operators and formed the opinion based on his training and experience that operator that caused the accident was operating under the influence of drugs. The officer developed probable cause based on her comments at the scene.
Sandra Pizzano, 56, of Saugus, was charged with operating under the influence of drugs and forging an RMV document.
BREAKING AND ENTERING
On Dec. 7, at 4:31 a.m., an alarm triggered at the Laundry-Wash, located at 14 Everett Ave. It was the third time the alarm had been triggered that night. Upon arrival, a male party was observed running from the area towards Kayem Foods. After a brief foot pursuit, the subject was arrested.
Rolando Arias, 43, of Revere, was charged with Breaking and entering in the night for a felony, possession of burglarious tools, and two counts of malicious destruction of property over $250.
On Dec. 7, at 9:31 p.m., officers responded to Springvale Avenue on a report of a hit and run accident. The officers spoke to the victim who stated that while operating on Springvale Avenue towards Washington, he was struck in the rear by a male subject in a van. The victim stated he attempted to pull over, when he was struck a second time. At this time, the suspect did pull over and jumped out of his vehicle and began punching the victim’s driver side window. The suspect then jumped back in his car and fled towards Washington Avenue. Officers stopped the vehicle and placed the subject under arrest.
Cesar Garcia, 41, of 3 Springvale Ave., was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, leaving the scene of property damage, and negligent operation.
On Dec. 9, at 11:30 p.m., officers responded to Casa Mariachi on Everett Avenue for a report of unruly patrons refusing to leave. The security on scene told the officers that a female patron refused to leave and picked up shot glasses from the bar and threw them at a waitress, striking her in the shoulder. Officers placed the female in custody.
Keyla Flores, 22, of Everett, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shot glass) and disorderly conduct.
MOrge Nolasco, 31, 234 Bennington St., East Boston, was arrested for marked lane violation and operating under the influence of liquor.
Joanir DeOliveira, 31, 114 Highland Ave. Somerville, was arrested on a warrant.
Sandra Pizzano, 56, 335 Lynnfells Pkwy., Saugus, was arrested for operating under the influence of drugs, forged RMV document.
Samuel Valdez, 41, 50 Dimick St., Jamaica Plain, was arrested for armed & masked robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Michael Leiva, 21, 24 Suffolk St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Rolando Arias, 43, 24 Shirley Ave., Revere, was arrested for breaking and entering for felony, possessing burglarious instrument, malicious destruction of property over $250 (2 counts).
Julie Maskell, 41, 2 Harris St., Revere, was arrested on a warrant.
Luis Martinez, 49, 108 Clark Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Brittany Lopes-Rattigan, 28, 2 Franklin Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.
Robert DelloFano, 37, 15 Watts St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Stacy Lightell, 43, 10 Jones Drive, Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.
Stanley Jeannis, 40, 21 Conn Ct. Woburn, was arrested on a warrant, distribution of Class B drug, drug violation near school/park, possessing Class B drug to distribute and possessing Class A drug to distribute.
Jimmall Marshall, 27, 45 Fourth St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant and distribution of Class B drug.
Henrique Castillo, 67, 195 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.
Cesar Garcia, 41, 3 Springvale Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon, leaving scene of property damage and negligent operation of motor vehicle.
Donne Agogo, 24, 6 Lewis St., Medford, was arrested for possessing to distribute Class B drug.
Robert Soroka, 43, 235 Revere St., Revere, was arrested on a warrant.
Javier Ortiz, 21, 110 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for equipment violation on a motor vehicle and operating motor vehicle with open container of alcohol, operating with suspended/revoked license.
Rodrigo Yordi, 30, 13 Central St., East Boston, was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Sebastian Yordi, 33, 133 Kimball Ave., Revere, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, leaving scene of property damage and improper operation of motor vehicle.
Jennifer Portillo, 23, 12 High St., Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Keyla Flores, 22, 10 Fremont St., Everett, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct.
Baplo Moncado-Diaz, 27, 200 Governor’s Dr., Winthrop, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.
Oliver Arevalo, 33, 815 Winthrop Ave., Revere, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.
Cottage Street resident Sladja Vukovic is hoping to build community spirit in her neighborhood with a new project called Buy Nothing.
Vujovic is the administrator of the Chelsea Facebook group for the worldwide program in which neighbors give and receive free items from each other such as clothes, household goods, furniture, bicycles – really, anything is on the list.
“Currently we have 32 members in Chelsea,” said Vukovic, who is a realtor in Boston. “There are Facebook groups in many cities and towns in Massachusetts.”
Vukovic is originally from Bosnia and came to the United States in 2008. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. She has lived in Chelsea since 2010. Her husband is former Chelsea High soccer star Vedran Vukovic, and they have a son, Banja.
The 31-year-old resident started the Buy Nothing group two months ago for residents in the southern half of Chelsea, spanning from Admiral’s Hill to Washington Avenue. She is looking for a resident to step forward and be the administrator for the northern half of Chelsea.
“Basically our goal is to give where you live,” said Vukovic. “If you have something that you want to give to someone or if you have something you want to lend – like a jacket – you post it on a Facebook page, and if anyone else needs it, they’re going to reply and take that item for free.”
The time period for giving and lending can vary from item to item.
“Let’s say I need to borrow something for a weekend, you can ask for it and someone can volunteer to give it you,” said Vukovic.
Buy Nothing can also provide free services such as lawn mowing, house painting, snow plowing, landscaping or even learning a new language. Vukovic speaks English, Serbian, and Spanish.
“You can’t advertise your business in the program, but if you have a service for free that you want to provide, you can do that,” she explained.
Vukovic is trying to increase the number of members in the Facebook group through marketing and personal contacts with her neighbors.
“Somerville has more than 500 members,” she said. “But they’ve been doing it longer than we have.”
The overall mission of the program, according to Vukovic, is to give items to neighbors and strengthen the bonds in the neighborhood.
“I was looking for groups on Facebook and the Buy Nothing project seemed like a great neighborhood-strengthening group,” she said. “I searched it Chelsea and found out that the city didn’t have it. So I became an administrator and here we have it.”
Vukovic is considering an appearance during the a City Council meeting to help publicize the group.
“My goal is for people to get know about this project,” she said. “I think it’s a great way for people who have something to give, to give it to someone else for free.”
(For more information, please go to Facebook and search for: buynothingchelseasouth,ma)
Jose Iraheta has been at nearly every Chelsea City Council meeting in the last four years.
Even when no one else showed up on cold nights in February, one could count on seeing him there.
He has translated for free to help those who couldn’t speak English, attended virtually every community event, sat next to and chatted up Federal Rese
Resident Mario Caballero of Webster Avenue shares his story about being in fear due to the potential of having his Temporary Protected Status (TPS) rescinded by the federal government. An announcement on TPS is expected in six months. Caballero said he had been in the US under TPS since 1988
rve Chair Janet Yellen when she visited Chelsea, and spoke up for things he agreed with and things he did not agree with.
But on Monday night, he was there to tell a far different story.
It was his story, and it was a story about how the man who is everywhere in Chelsea could one day in the next six months be nowhere in Chelsea – all due to the recently announced decision by the Federal Government that the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program is no longer necessary.
“I am a recipient of TPS due to an earthquake that happened in my country (of El Salvador) in 2001,” he said, holding back strong emotion. “I feel somewhat selfish to come up here because this directly affects me and it’s hard to talk about it. When I first heard that they had put out a letter saying TPS might be rescinded, it was a really dark place for me and probably everyone like me. I started thinking about an exit strategy. I’ve spent more time in the US than in my country. I came here when I was 12. I went to school here, graduated from college and built a life here and a home here. The thought of having to leave is so incredibly hard.”
Iraheta was one of several TPS recipients that appeared before the Council to call on the body to pass a resolution that asked the federal government not to eliminate the TPS program, which affects legal immigrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador who have fled dangerous situations like earthquakes and other disasters.
Many Haitians who fled the earthquake in 2010 are greatly affected. It is estimated that about 340,000 people nationwide have TPS status, but a good many like Iraheta reside in Chelsea.
“This resolution gives me hope and gives others like me hope in this situation,” concluded Iraheta.
Other residents, such as Mario Caballero of Webster Avenue said he is retired, having received TPS many years ago. As a retired man who worked two jobs for more than a decade, he wonders what will happen to him.
“I had no worries at all until I heard this news that TPS could be gone,” he said, speaking through an interpreter. “And just like me, the man who owns the home where I rent an apartment also has TPS. We wonder what is going to become of us. I’ve been on a pension for three years now and my first question is what will happen to my pension and my insurance.”
Councillors voted 11-0 to support the resolution, which garnered a standing ovation from a large group that came to speak on the matter.
Councillor Judith Garcia spoke emotionally about the measure, noting that family members have TPS.
“I know so much how you have contributed to the community and the economy,” she said. “We are breaking families apart. Many of those with TPS have children born here…Expelling residents is breaking up Chelsea…This resolution is a bold and important move. I hope other communities like Everett, Revere and Lawrence will join us. We have six months to really rally and bond together to make our voices heard.”
Councillor Dan Cortell said such decisions in Washington are being made by people who don’t have to look those affected – such as Iraheta – in the eye.
“The people making these decisions at a national level are missing having to look people in the eyes whom they are actually affecting,” he said. “Politicians like Trump aren’t looking people in the ye and understand the ramifications…We cannot sent people back to these places when they are not safe. Change is not going to happen from the top down so it has to come from the bottom up…These are our neighbors and we have to fight for them.”
The resolution won a unanimous vote and was signed by 10 of the 11 members.
Councillor-elect Bob Bishop said it feels good to return to City Hall to represent Prattville on the Council. He will be taking office in January, but has been attending meetings to get up to speed on matters.
The halls of City Hall haven’t changed tremendously since former City Clerk and former Alderman Bob Bishop retired, but things have changed a bit and now Bishop will rejoin the team as a member of the City Council.
On Nov. 7, Bishop one a heavily contested race Prattville’s District 1 over Planning Board member Todd Taylor, gaining the right to represent the district on the Council come January.
“I worked very hard and had a lot of support,” he said after attending Monday’s Council meeting. “Many of my voters came out and I’m grateful for that. My opponent worked very hard too and is a good man. I can’t say one bad thing about him.”
Bishop was an Alderman in the old form of government prior to the receivership era, and also served as City Clerk for 25 years, retiring as the Purchasing Agent in 2010.
“It feels really good to be back up here,” he said. “I was first elected when I was 27 and that was some time ago. I have a good idea of what I’m doing and what I need to do to represent District 1.
Bishop said the district has changed, and that’s something he saw when he went out frequently during the campaign. Many of his long-time voters are gone, he said, and many new people have moved in. He said he did his best to meet as many as he could.
In doing that, he said he learned the biggest concern in the district is rats.
“I have to say the number one concern out there is rats – that’s all across District 1,” he said. “That will be at the top of my list. We’re going to really see what the City offers to help with this and then see if we can’t do more.”
He also said a concern is the dangerous crossing at Revere Beach Parkway, as well as the traffic pattern and configuration at the Parkway and Washington Avenue.
Another thing he wants to do is to find out ways to help the City’s code inspectors – whom he believes are overwhelmed.