If District 1 City Councillor Robert Bishop gets his way, he’ll be taking $6,000 per year out of his own pockets, and those of his fellow city councillors.
Monday night, Bishop introduced an ordinance asking that the Council salary be cut from $14,000 to $8,000 per year beginning in 2020. The councillor said he was unhappy when the salary increased from $8,000 to $14,000 several years ago, and wants to see it cut back.
The ordinance was moved to a second reading at a future council meeting before there was any discussion on the proposal, but Council President DamaliVidot said there will be an opportunity for debate and discussion during the second reading.
The council voted for the pay raise to $14,000 in 2013 and it went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
In other business, the council heard a legal opinion from City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher that stated that the Council’s subcommittee on finance violated the open meeting law when it discussed a $20,000 appropriation for legal services that was not properly placed on the subcommittee’s agenda. Bishop, who heads the finance subcommittee, countered that the matter was properly posted and fell under the heading of financial requests.
“I felt it would be appropriate to discuss,” Bishop said. “I see nothing in Rule 26 that says we could not speak about it. … To me, this is kind of petty and picayune.”
But Councillor-At-Large Leo Robinson said he didn’t understand how the matter had gotten to the finance subcommittee without coming before the full Council first.
Vidot said there will be a subcommittee discussion about how to best move forward with financial matters on the Council.
Bishop also asked for a meeting to discuss traffic flow issues at Revere Beach Parkway and Washington Avenue, Revere Beach Parkway and Webster Avenue, and Spruce Street and Everett Avenue. The councillor noted that motorists are faced with an especially dangerous intersection at Revere Beach Parkway and Washington.
“It’s a wonder that there are not more accidents than there already are,” Bishop said.
The District 1 Councillor is also requesting a subcommittee meeting to discuss issues with the city and the Chelsea Housing Authority’s rodent baiting programs. Bishop said he has concerns that the programs are ineffective and dangerous for the workers implementing them.
District 6 Councillor Giovanni Recupero introduced an order asking the public works director provide the Council with an accurate account of how the City sets water and sewer rates and how those rates could be stabilized.
In contrast to the past several meetings, when discussion over water and sewer rates brought a steady stream of residents to the microphone, it was a more subdued public speaking session at Monday’s meeting.
Chelsea High School senior Manuel Teshe advocated for fundraising efforts that would allow the senior class to graduate outside at the school’s football field. Teshe estimated the total cost of covering the field to keep it safe for a graduation ceremony would be about $30,000.
“We are passionate about this and want to graduate from the school in the best way possible,” said Teshe.
Teshe’s classmate, senior class president Jocelyn Poste, was also on hand at the meeting to promote the Red Devil Turkey Trot race on Saturday, Nov. 17 to benefit the school’s track and cross country programs.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the race can visit HYPERLINK “http://chelseahightrack.com” t “_blank” chelseahightrack.com. The event begins at 10 a.m. at Admiral’s Hill.
The golden arches on Revere Beach Parkway are going to shine a little brighter.
Tuesday night, the Planning Board approved a special permit allowing for the demolition and rebuild of the McDonald’s at 170 Revere Beach Parkway.
The updated fast food restaurant will be larger than the current building and will feature a double drive-through lane, according to project engineer William Lucas. There will also be fewer parking spots and more green space on the property.
“McDonald’s is going through a nationwide rebranding program at all its restaurants,” said Lucas.
In many locations, that means major renovations. But in Chelsea, Lucas said the demolition and rebuild of the restaurant will help improve accessibility inside and outside the restaurant.
“This will bring the restaurant into compliance and improve operations,” he said. “They are implementing a side-by-side drive-through instead of the single file line.”
The current drive-through lane is parallel to Washington Avenue, while the new window will face Revere Beach Parkway. The size of the building itself is slated to increase from 3,500 to 4,400 square feet, and the number of parking spaces will decrease from 65 to 32.
Planning Board Chairman Tuck Willis asked how long the demolition and rebuild will take once work gets underway.
“Generally, it gets done in less than 60 days,” said Lucas.
Board member Todd Taylor said he did have some concerns about the project if the construction affects Washington Avenue.
“The traffic there is such a bad problem,” said Taylor. “That is the main way out of Prattville, and in the mornings, there is a huge backup and people cannot get out of the neighborhood.”
Other than the McDonald’s vote, it was a fairly low-key evening for the Planning Board, as it approved special permits to convert several single-family homes to multi-family units.
The massive, 630-unit Forbes Street project was continued to the board’s Nov. 27 meeting.
The most excitement during the meeting came during a thunderstorm, when several board members were startled during an especially close and loud boomer.
Two years ago, Massachusetts joined 17 states and Washington, D.C., by enacting protections for transgender individuals in public accommodations that serve the general public. As I sat in the House of Representatives gallery on the day the vote was taken, I could not help to be overjoyed by the ongoing effort to make Massachusetts an inclusive and welcoming state.
On the November 6 ballot, Massachusetts’s voters make a simple decision: to uphold commonsense public accommodations protection for these individuals by voting YES or get back equal rights by voting NO.
I urge people to vote YES on question 3. Without those legal protections, transgender people would face a multitude of discriminatory challenge on a daily basis. The sky has not fallen since the 2016 vote and we are better as a society for it.
For the past two years transgender people have enjoyed the same rights and protections as everyone else in the Commonwealth, that was not the case before hand. To lose these rights now would be a terrible reversal in efforts to give all people equal protections under the law.
It’s the case of the cases of Corona going in and out of Rincon Latino Restaurant.
Following a histrionic licensing commission hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 25 that saw the lawyer for the restaurant’s owners compare the proceedings to those in Russia and referred to the hearing to “a lynching,” the commission continued the hearing until its next meeting next month.
As the last hearing on a busy commission agenda, everything started calmly enough, as the commission heard a police report from officer Augustus Cassuci detailing two incidents he witnessed just outside the Washington Avenue Restaurant on June 22 and 23.
The officer stated that on Friday, June 22, he was passing by 373 Washington Avenue when he saw about 10 people crossing the street, with one carrying a case of Corona beer. The next day, Cassuci said he saw a customer carrying a case of Corona into the restaurant.
Where the hearing raised the ire of attorney John Dodge, who was representing the restaurant, was when Cassuci raised a number of issues at Rincon Latino Restaurant that were not included in the two-paragraph police report.
“On several occasions, there have appeared to be intoxicated patrons in front of the laundromat next door blocking the sidewalk,” said the officer. “Male parties have also been seen urinating on the sidewalk.”
Additionally, police Captain Keith Houghton said the restaurant often appears to surpass its occupancy limit of 17 customers and the curtains of the establishment have been closed, in violation of the law.
Police officials also showed the commission a photo taken from the restaurant’s security camera that they said showed the establishment as being over capacity.
“How am I supposed to represent (the restaurant) when all I have is a two-paragraph police report?” asked Dodge, who asked that the hearing be continued to the commission’s next meeting since evidence was introduced that he had not previously seen.
Dodge said the allegations leveled by the police had nothing to do with the original report of customers taking out or bringing in cases of beer.
“I don’t know what evidence is being presented,” he said. “We were not provided with any photos or any video, and Officer Cassuci is now testifying to public intoxication, urinating on the sidewalks, and closed curtains.”
Licensing Commission Chairman James Guido said a public hearing does not follow the same process as a court hearing and that the information being provided during the hearing was due process.
“Maybe due process in Russia, in America we are given the evidence before a hearing,” said Dodge.
Commission member Roseann Bongiovanni asked for calm, and suggested the commission continue the hearing for one month. The commission approved the continuance, as well as a request that the restaurant provide video of peak hours during the past several weekends to help determine if there has been overcrowding or other issues at the restaurant.
The City of Chelsea dedicated the Washington Avenue bridge at Heard Street in memory of Chelsea Police officer
The Bruttaniti family, standing beneath the John P. Bruttaniti Memorial Bridge sign that is displayed at the structure on Washington Avenue. From left, are Nicole Correa, Karen Bruttaniti, Gemeisha James, Karen Bruttaniti, Festus Odigie, and Gus Correa.
John Bruttaniti during an unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson served as master of ceremonies for the program during which City Manager Tom Ambrosino and Council President Damali Vidot and other dignitaries paid tribute to Mr. Bruttaniti, who died in an accident on May 12, 2016 at the age of 41.
Vidot said she personally understood the importance of having a mentor like Mr. Bruttaniti during one’s years of personal development. Other speakers at the ceremony echoed the belief that a bridge dedication was the perfect way to honor a man who was “a bridge” from Chelsea’s dedicated public servants in the Police Department to the city’s youth.
Several of Mr. Bruttaniti’s colleagues in the Police Department and the Fire Department attended the ceremony. (Mr. Bruttaniti worked for three years in the CFD before joining the Police Department in 2008). The Fire and Police Color Guards added an impressive touch to the program. Mr. Bruttaniti’s fellow veterans in the U.S. Army, who served with him in Iraq, were also in attendance for the tribute.
Police Chief Brian Kyes praised Mr. Bruttaniti’s outstanding record as a police officer and read the police report that Mr. Bruttaniti wrote after saving a toddler from choking by dislodging a penny stuck in her throat and resuscitating her. For his heroic actions in that June, 2015 incident, Mr. Bruttaniti received the Chelsea Police Life Saving Award.
Mr. Bruttaniti’s instantaneous response to the situation and his training in the emergency medical field caused some to say that he was placed as “an angel” in that situation to save a baby’s life.
Mr. Bruttaniti’s sister, Karen, delivered touching remarks on behalf of the family.
“John lived with a real zest for life,” said Karen Bruttaniti. “He loved riding his motorcycle and truly enjoying his life. John was a man of deep character. He never judged, never held a grudge, and always believed in forgiving others, no matter what.”
Karen recalled the warm and inspiring correspondences she received while her brother was serving in Iraq. “The letters always ended, saying, ‘Sister, I love my family.”
“I still read his letters and my eyes still fill with tears,” she said.
Karen added thoughtfully, “But let me be clear. John was dedicated to his entire family, and he counted all of you, the people of Chelsea, as family. Serving for and with the people of Chelsea, John loved being a firefighter, police officer, investigator, mentor, volunteering anywhere and in an any way to help his Chelsea family. That was our brother.”
Karen said her brother would have been humbled by having a bridge named in his honor.
“I know he would hope that his memory would serve as an example of community and service to one another in love,” she said.
The souvenir program included photos of Mr. Bruttaniti with Chief Brian Kyes, Capt. David Batchelor, and Sgt. David Flibotte in their CPD uniforms at an awards ceremony in Boston, and of Mr. Bruttaniti with youths he had mentored in the Chelsea REACH Program, and it aptly concluded with the following memorial tribute to the beloved police officer: “John will forever be remembered for his kindness, bravery, and service to our country and to the City of Chelsea.”
One bad apple hasn’t spoiled a whole bunch at the Chelsea Walk, where a man was arrested last week for defacing the newly painted mural on the reclaimed Walk.
On Aug. 20, at 2:52 p.m., a CPD officer was flagged down in the area of Luther Place by a male party who stated someone destroyed their property and defaced City property.
The reporting party was a painter hired by the City to paint a mural on the Chelsea Walk. The Walk has been a no-go area for decades, and community members and GreenRoots have staked a claim to the Walk this summer in an effort to make it more inviting.
That has included painting a mural and hosting events there, and some people who have frequented the Walk for nefarious reasons haven’t appreciated the effort.
The officer reviewed a city camera in the area and was able to identify the male subject who committed the vandalism.
The male was located and placed under arrest.
Winston Brown, 51, of 4 Washington Ave., was charged with vandalizing property.
A recent news article in The Boston Globe quoted a number of reportedly important RepubIican party members who asserted that they have been disappointed in the performance of Gov. Charlie Baker because he has been “too liberal.”
They are upset with his support both for social causes they deem “liberal” and for his assent to the recently-enacted, so-called “grand bargain” that will raise the minimum wage, among other items.
However, what they really seem to be upset about is that Charlie Baker rates as the most popular governor in the country among his own constituents. They would prefer a governor who is combative, negative, and insulting — in other words, they crave a Donald Trump at the governor’s desk, who is intent only on sowing seeds of hatred and discontent.
When you think about the disaster in Washington, as well as the bitterness that exists in many states among governors and their rivals, thank goodness we have Charlie Baker at the helm of our ship of state.
Massachusetts stands out among the the states in many measurable ways (such as our public schools’ performance), but chiefly we stand out because of the respect that our state’s leaders have for each other and the manner in which they work together.
They conduct our state’s business by the twin maxims that it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable and that politics is the art of compromise.
What these so-called Republicans are ignoring about Charlie Baker are four things:
First and foremost, he is as honest and straightforward as any governor who has served us;
Second, he campaigned in support of the issues he has signed into law. In short, he has kept his promises to the people who elected him — what a novel concept for a politician!;
Third, he is a Republican in Massachusetts — a True Blue state with veto-proof majorities in the Democratic-controlled legislature. Yet, Gov. Baker and the legislature have achieved as much for the people of our state in the past four years as ever have been accomplished by previous administrations — including Democratic ones; and
Finally, Charlie Baker has appointed people in his administration who actually know what they are doing and who are dedicated to public service, such as Jay Ash, the secretary of housing and economic development.
The bottom line is that the vast majority of the people in Massachusetts believe that our state is headed in the right direction and they attribute that to our governor, Charlie Baker.
Apparently, there are some who don’t agree and that certainly is their right to do so.
However, we are glad that Charlie Baker has failed to heed their calls for rancor and divisiveness. Massachusetts is moving forward — and the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker undeniably has played a large role in our success in the past four years.
Jose Sanchez, 21, 63 Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested for a warrant.
Bryan Cabrera, 21, 45 Heard St., Chelsea, was arrested for stop sign violation, operating motor vehicle with a suspended license and carrying dangerous weapon.
Gustavo Contreras, 45, 151 Division St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed.
David Hernandez Arevalo, 20, 40 Maverick St., Chelsea, was arrested for a warrant.
William Hernandez-Galdamez, 35, 263 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.
Weimar Pineda-Bedoya, 25, 1061 Saratoga St., East Boston, was arrested for witness intimidation.
Thales Silva, 21, 74 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed and unregistered motor vehicle.
Marco Roman, 21, 31 Crescent Ave., Everett, was arrested on warrants.
Luis Llanso, 34, 69 McGreevey Way, Roxbury, was arrested for assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and on warrants.
Harold Aguirre Godoy, 23, 154 Shawmut St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Jose Guerrero, 30, 69 Addison St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed and stop sign violation.
Kiana Rivera, 23, 284 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Daniel Lopez-Galdamez, 32, 13 Blossom, St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, reckless operation of motor vehicle, leaving scene of property damage, marked lanes violation, speeding and operating motor vehicle with suspended license.
Camilo Ruiz, 44, 57 Heard St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed and red light violation.
Juan Ramos, 32, 117 Spencer Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for witness intimidation, miscellaneous common law violation and disorderly conduct.
Tito Ebanks-Lopez, 29, 61 Exeter St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon.
Frank Arsenault, 48, 34 Grove St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, leaving scene of property damage, marked lanes violation and possessing alcoholic beverage.
Frederick Stearns, 46, 76 Tudor St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Sandra Sargent, 33, 71 Winthrop Ave., ,Revere, was arrested on warrants.
Eddy Torres, 24, 165 Mountain Ave., Revere, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, marked lanes violation, negligent operation of motor vehicle and threat to commit a crime.
Kevin Johnson, 19, 250 Congress Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant, operating motor vehicle with suspended license and one way violation.
Justin Williams, 29, 547 Proctor Ave., Revere, was arrested for trespassing.
Luis Cahuil, 37, 649 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor.
Miguel Munguia, 32, 84 Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing, disturbing the peace and possessing open container of alcohol in motor vehicle.
Abel Jimenez, 29, 444 Harrison Ave., Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage.
Julio Portillo, 51, Pine Street Inn, Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage.
Jennifer Corey, 37, 28 Park St., Malden, was arrested for utter false check, forgery of c heck and larceny by check over $250.
Historically, there’s been very little to do on a summer night in Chelsea, and that’s been the problem.
Now, in its third summer, The Movement has been the cure to hapless wandering for local youth.
Instead, they hoop it up.
Coordinated by Councilors Yamir Rodriguez and Damali Vidot, along with Isidra Quinonez and Danny Mojica, The Movement keeps Chelsea kids age 13-20 busy on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.
“I think it’s just a great environment because a lot of the younger kids play with the older kids and they can see them on the street outside of the league and say ‘hi,’” said Rodriguez. “A lot of friendships start because of The Movement. It develops kind of a mentor situation because a lot of these kids don’t have an older brother and this helps that too. It’s kind of an unintended consequence, but it’s one of the best things about it.
“The kids love hanging out and playing ball,” he continued.
Vidot said it helps to bring youth together in a relaxed, but supervised, environment.
“On Saturday morning, they don’t hand out, but they come to play,” she said. “After playing all day long, they will not want to go out to the streets when they get home. They’ll stay in and take it easy. On Friday night, they don’t want to stay out because they have to be here on Saturday morning. You have the 13-year-old playing with the 20-year-old, so it helps them become better players. It also builds community. It’s not like a lot of other youth leagues where you have to sign in and sign out. It’s street ball. They can be themselves.”
The Movement came out of a desperate situation, where the community was reeling in the spring of 2016 after the shooting death of Pablo Villeda during an early morning teen party on Washington Avenue. The shooting also injured numerous other young people, and it showed that the youth who are not “at-risk” needed some activities as well.
That’s when The Movement came together.
Now, the league has several hundred young people playing against one another all summer. Typically, the games are played at Highland Park, but a renovation project there may force them to move to the Williams School.
The Movement will begin play in early July, and it had its annual kick-off at Chelsea High last weekend – with the Battle of the Classes and Police vs. Fire basketball games.
“Basketball is the entertainment,” said Rodriguez, “but it’s the environment that has become very important.”