It’s amazing, 4 years have flown by. It’s
been a cathartic experience serving my community! We have accomplished many
important things in our little neck of the woods proudly named Soldiers Home or
I want to thank you for electing me to serve
our Chelsea Neighborhood, I want you to know that I do not take this Honor of
serving lightly as I realize that the seat belongs to You, the masses, and not
me and so I hope I have performed up to your standards and I do hope you elect
to allow me to serve for another term.
Together we have done many big and small
things that have improved our quality of life, things such as improving the
safety of our streets at night by improving the lighting. Our streets have
never looked brighter and that is fantastic, the safety of all of us is of
primary importance. The city steps, particularly the Washington Ave. to
Franklin Ave. side was hard to light up but we found a way to finally light that
up without disturbing the neighbors while providing maximum illumination and
Thanks to the great job performed by DPW, we
have kept on top of the damage created by snow and storms on our streets. We
have given senior citizens discounts on water, have increased the residential
exemption in an effort to further lower residential taxes and mitigated the
proposed increase of water to residents from almost 3 percent to 1 percent.
We negotiated favorably on behalf of our
residents with the DOT and on Summit ave
we are working on minimizing thedisturbanced cause by the building of the new
hospital. We are taking care of streets on Washington Ave and County Road, and
are embarking on more efforts to beautify our Soldiers Home like improved
Christmas and holiday ligting this season.
We also provided barrells both for trash and
recycle inan effort to curb the rodent problems in the city.
Thanks to the great work by all of the
boards and groups like the Chelsea Hill Community, we can see the ever
flourishing beauty that is Chelsea, come through more and more everyday! We
have beautified the city with trees, newer streets and newer sidewalks.
Improved the condition of our parks. Our city is the safest and our
transportation efforts are the best they have ever been.
All of this we have done together, with You,
our neighbors, hand in hand, at meetings
that have run through the night, along with a City Council that Cares and is
Commited to bringing the Best Services to our Communities. A City Manager that is commited to seeing
Chelsea grow and phenomenal people serving in the various boards doing their
best to make Chelsea the varied complex and
magnificent place it is to call Home.
It is an pleasure to have the Honor of
fighting alongside with you for the betterment of our Chelsea and my little slice of heaven our
beloved Soldiers Home!
Changes are in the air.
Did you know, that a long time ago, Chelsea
was , get this, a Vacation Destination, yes our own little Chelsea
Massachusetts was Elite. We do of course know, because it has been drilled into
our heads, the Chelsea that everyone called and wrote about as the Worst Crime
City in America or Poorest City in America.
Chelsea has a Mystery about Her! This
gorgeous city we call home has been up and down and over but never out, Its a
City I Adore and I am So Proud to call Home and my Area of Soldiers Home, the
Only Place for My Family.
We have all heard, its not a secret anymore,
Chelsea is the New It Place. Yup a place
where just 20 years ago our families rented 3 bedroom apartments for $450
everything included, is Now, Once Again, Elite!
They call it Gentrification!
The dictionary defines Gentrification as :
Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through
the influx of more affluent residents and businesses.
Chelsea is in need of Well Rooted, Caring,
Informed and Responsible Leadership. One who understand the struggles of the
lifelong residents of Chelsea and will work towards the efforts of helping
those residents remain here and welcome our new reality and our new neighbors
and make them feel at home just as we were made to feel at home when we first
came here, its the Chelsea Way!
There is a balance that the Council needs to
be able to strike and that is how to help our well-rooted families that have
been here for generations, remain here, it is a struggle that I have pledged to
help fight in an effort to alleviate some of the burden being placed by the
How do I help, I am on the Board of Capic, an amazing organization full of
wonderful people working to alleviate many of lives problems and particularly
Homelessness, Volunteering as an instructor at Chelsea Restoration doing first
time home buyer seminars in an effort to help people achieve a part of the American
dream and form Roots that call Chelsea their home.
Working alongside the City Manager on a
Master Plan which will set the direction the city is going to take for decades to come. This alone needs a
council that is knowledgeable with bold leadership that will help bring about a
brighter future for Chelsea as it moves into its new and ever changing face
while at the same time ensuring that the historical value and character remain
Chelsea matters to me , I have lived here
since my arrival from Colombia in 1977, Chelsea and particularly Soldiers Home
have been where my New American Roots began to take shape back in 1977 and they
never left. Don’t fret my friends, my family and I have maintained every little
bit of our heritage from back in Colombia and we enjoy our sancocho y chicharon
y pan debono en la manana con cafe.
I cannot function without my dunks in the
My roots are here in Chelsea Soldiers Home,
I have my village here, my two beautiful sons and daughter, nieces, nephews,
aunts, cousins, my beautiful mom Alda, two amazing sisters and many other
I love doing my part in protecting our home
and I am asking for your Vote to Re-Elect me to serve on your behalf in the
Council for our Great area District 2 Soldiers Home!
It has been an Honor serving the needs of
our area and know that I do not take Lightly the Responsibility of Representing
Our Interest and our Area.
I , Luis Tejada , ask for your vote so that
we can continue the fight for an ever improving, never settleling Chelsea and
Chelsea Soldiers Home District 2 .
Preliminary elections may happen on Sept.
14, with the countdown to narrow the running mates down to two and then its off
to the election in November.
Thank you in advance for participating in
the process and for taking the time to read this my message to you my dear
The five years have passed quickly since
Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro decided they wanted to run a basketball tournament
for the youth of Chelsea.
“We’re just two Chelsea guys in the
community giving back,” said Umemba.
Year Five for the Let It Fly Basketball
Tournament is here and the best players in the area will gathering on Saturday,
Aug. 10 at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club on Willow Street.
The first tournament in 2015 was held
outside in 90-degree heat. The steamy weather prompted Kyle, 26, a graduate of BB&N and George Washington
University, finance professional and fashion model – and Cesar, 28, a graduate
of Salem State University known as “The Grand Young Man” for scoring 1,000
points in his CHS basketball career, CHS basketball coach and paraprofessional
in the school district – brought the tournament indoors and it’s been played at
the JGBC basketball gymnasium ever since.
According to the two co-directors, all the
stuff that makes the tournament so special will be back in 2019. There will be
public address announcing for each game, a DJ’s musical entertainment, free
refreshments, and a raffle table.
Key community leaders such as CBC President
Joan Cromwell (“We couldn’t do this without Joan,” son Kyle Umemba says
proudly) and Chelsea Police Community Liaison Officer Sammy Mojica Sr. will be
on hand to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Chelsea Police Officers
David Batchelor and Keith Sweeney are also valuable contributors to the
tournament each year.
Sammy Mojica Jr., who played college
basketball at Drexel and is currently a professional player in the Puerto Rico
Basketball League, will make a guest appearance. One year, NBA player Nerlens
Noel of Everett, made a guest appearance.
of the best players in the Let It Fly Tournament will be Jarnel Guzman, an
All-Scholastic guard who led Lynn English to the Division 1 state championship
in March.“If they’re a big name player in New England, they’ll be here,” said
Twelve teams, eight high school and four
middle school, will compete for the titles. A standing room only crowd is
expected throughout the day.
“It’s great energy,” said Umemba. “We want
others to follow our lead and I think it’s having that kind of effect. One of
our scholarship recipients, Alfredo Hernandez, held a tournament at Chelsea
“There was a tournament held at Clinton
Court that was generated by our idea for a tournament,” added Castro.
Umemba and Castro aren’t sitting on their
success. The plans are to take ‘Let It Fly’ national in the next few years.
And if their organizational talents in
making Let It fly the premier summer hoop extravaganza in Greater Boston are
any indication, we would suggest either get on aboard or get out of the way.
“We’re building a platform in Chelsea,” said
“The important thing is that everybody has a
time,” concluded Castro.
if you can’t be there to enjoy the tournament in person, Chelsea Community
Cable Television will be there to record the action for a broadcast.
grateful to Mr. [Robert] Bradley and his station for covering it every year.”
said the directors.
Juan Gallego came to the United States from
Colombia in 2004. He could not speak English.
He enrolled in the second grade and was an
English Language Learner (ELL) at a Boston public school for two years.
In 2007, his family moved to Chelsea and he
began attending the St. Rose School. He graduated from Matignon High School in
2015 where he was a football captain and star quarterback and involved in
several school and community service projects.
The son of Maria Barrientos, Gallego
attended Bridgewater State University for a year.
“During my freshman year in college, I had a
realization that I needed to try and succeed academically in order for me to
help my community,” said Gallego.
At that time, he had begun coaching high
school football at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River and continued on
as the head freshman coach at Randolph High School.
“The coaching was the motivation for me to
really get my act together and try to do more, not only for myself, but to give
back to these communities that are being disenfranchised to a large extent,”
On to Northeastern and a Call From the College President
Coinciding with his desire, in his words,
“get my act together,” Gallego decided to transfer to Northeastern University,
Boston. He was drawn to the school’s outstanding co-operative education program
and interested in the Northeastern law school.
“When I first came to the United States, I
lived in my aunt’s house which was a two-minute walk to Northeastern,” recalled
Gallego. “My mom said I should strive to go to law school there and ever since
then, I’ve wanted to go to law school at Northeastern.”
Everything has clicked well for Gallego at
Northeastern where he is studying Political Science with a minor in Urban
Studies. One of his favorite instructors at NU was former Gov. Michael S.
Gallego is a Dean’s List student with a 3.7
grade point average. He was recently notified that he has received a Harry S.
Truman Scholarship in recognition of his community service and his aspiration
to continue in public service. He was the recipient of a $30,000 scholarship to
be used toward his graduate degree.
“I was really excited to receive the Truman
Scholarship,” said Gallego. “The opportunity that I will have through this
scholarship is going to open a lot of doors for me personally and help me give
back to the many communities that I have been a part of.”
Gallego received notification of the
prestigious award from Joseph A. Oun, president of Northeastern University.
“I was studying abroad and I was in Athens,
Greece, the foundation of democracy, and I got a call from the president of
Northeastern,” he said with a smile. “What a thrill. It was amazing.”
Offers praise for Sen. Edward Markey
Gallego had served as an intern in the
Washington, D.C. office of U.S. Sen Edward J. Markey. He had the opportunity to
travel to Korea to participate in an academic exchange program.
“It was a great experience to be exposed to
foreign policy and expand my horizon at what else is out there in the world,”
said Gallego. “I owe a large extent to where I am today to Sen. Markey and his
staff. They’ve been great mentors, supporters, and friends.”
Gallego said he admires U.S. Rep. Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez “for her grassroots efforts and the shock that she has brought to
national politics overall.”
“She’s been able to galvanize support from
all over the country,” said Gallego. “She’s been able to really be the star of
the Democratic Party.”
He also cited State Rep. Andy Vargas of
Haverhill as “a force of nature and a voice for the Latino community in
Gallego hopes to return to Washington
following his academic career.
Washington was an amazing experience in all aspects and if I do aspire to be a
public servant one day, I think that experience is much needed in order to be
able to understand the many different opinions and the gridlock that can happen
in politics and government,” he said.
On Wednesday, April 3, the Licensing
Commission approved a four-day license for New Hampshire-based Fiesta Shows to
hold a four-day carnival on the Chelsea Commons this spring.
During the short public hearing to approve
the license, Chelsea Police Captain Keith Houghton said the City’s public
safety agencies have never had an issue with Fiesta Shows. The company also
runs events nearby in Revere and Lynn, among other communities.
At-Large City Councillor Roy Avellaneda said
he’s had experience with Fiesta Shows owner John Flynn in the past, and that
Flynn has always run a tight and secure ship with his shows. In addition,
Avellaneda noted that Fiesta Shows will make a donation to the City’s summer
Licensing Commissioner Roseann Bongiovanni
said she did have some concerns about the carnival operating until 11 p.m.,
especially on Thursday night.
Flynn said while the license has the closing
time at 11 p.m., festivities and rides typically wind down around 10 p.m.,
giving police time to sweep the area by 11 p.m. Music and amplification is
usually shut down at 9 p.m., he added.
•In other business, the Commission denied a
permit that would have allowed for Friday night social events at the Rincon
Hondureno Function Hall at 194 Broadway. Commission members and City officials
expressed concern that the social night would effectively turn the function
hall into a nightclub.
•The Licensing Commission also approved a
liquor license transfer for La Esquina Mariachi Restaurant at 170 Washington
Ave., the former site of the Plaza Mexico restaurant.
The pastor and parishioners from the
neighboring church expressed concerns about the new restaurant, given their
experience in the past.
While the Commission approved the license,
members asked that the owners are mindful of the past history at 170 Washington
“You need to be very conscious of the
environment you are stepping into,” said Licensing Commission Chair Mark Rossi.
“Please don’t disappoint us.”
In a move that could dramatically reduce the
commute times for Chelsea 111 bus riders, the City of Boston announced they are
planning on installing a dedicated bus lane on North Washington Street from
Causeway to Haymarket – a key clogging point for riders heading into Haymarket
It would be a move that would accommodate
the 111 bus routes and two Charlestown bus routes, and Boston officials said
the new lane could reduce travel times by as much as 25 percent.
“We are planning on building an exclusive
bus lane on North Washington Street from the intersection at Causeway Street
after the bridge to Haymarket,” said Vineet Gupta, director of planning at the
Boston Transportation Department (BTD). “It would be a dedicated bus lane 24/7
on the inbound side. Right now, we’re working with the MBTA to install that bus
BTD Director Gina Fiandaca said they have
been working closely with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and the MBTA on the North
Washington Street bus lane, and hope that they can get it done as early in 2019
as possible. She said that stretch of the bus route is often the most
congested, and riders often find themselves waiting longer on the bus for the
last leg than it would take them to walk.
“This inbound bus lane will have the
opportunity to move along at a quicker pace than the rest of the traffic,” she
said. “Another good part of this is in the future when the North Washington
Street Bridge is completed, it will have a bus lane as well. That will provide
a connection with this new lane to have one unbroken exclusive bus lane from
Charlestown when the Bridge is done.”
In order to accomplish the new lane, the
City will have to remove some metered parking spaces and a commercial parking
space, but a large chunk of the stretch is a large bus stop and ‘no parking’
Gupta said they have no clear data yet on
the time it could save commuters going inbound – though they will begin keeping
that data very soon. However, in Roslindale where they installed a bus lane last
year, commutes were shortened by 25 percent. The same data also presented
itself in Everett two years ago when they put a dedicated bus lane on Broadway
The announcement was one of several made by
Boston Mayor Walsh at the Greater Boston Municipal Research Bureau meeting on
The North Washington Street bus lane would be
the first one in effect 24 hours a day in Boston.
A Lynn teen, who was originally from
Chelsea, pleaded guilty March 7 as his trial was set to begin on charges that
he opened fire during a party three years ago, killing 19-year-old Pablo
Villeda and injuring six others.
Emanuel Marrero, 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Pablo Villeda’s March 6, 2016, shooting death, as well as six counts of armed assault with intent to murder and related charges for injuries suffered by six other young people.
Pablo Villeda was killed in an early morning teen party on March 6, 2016 held at a vacant apartment on Washington Avenue. On Thursday, March 7, Emanuel Marrero pleaded guilty in court to his murder.
Judge Linda Giles imposed the mandatory sentence
of life in prison, ordering that he be eligible for parole after 15 years and
that his sentences on the non-fatal shootings be served concurrently. Had he
chosen to go to trial, the defendant – who was 16 at the time of the homicide –
would have faced a first-degree murder charge.
“We accepted this plea because it delivers a
significant measure of accountability for the defendant’s actions, which took
Pablo’s life just as it was ready to begin,” District Attorney Rachael Rollins
said. “It also considers all the potential outcomes at trial and on appeal, as
well as the defendant’s age at the time of the homicide. Nothing we do can
bring Pablo Villeda back to his loving family, but I hope this final result can
at least provide them with closure to this tragic event.”
Chief Brian Kyes said he hopes the prison
sentence will bring closure to the family on what was a tragic night in Chelsea
three years ago.
“This was certainly a tragic night for
everyone involved and one that none of us will soon forget,” said Kyes. “We
truly hope that the imposition of this prison sentence by the Suffolk County
Superior Court will bring some sense of solace to the family of Pablo Villeda
that they absolutely deserve. Senseless acts of violence like this have
no place in our neighborhoods and we will continue to work with our community
partners to prevent tragedies like this from ever occurring again.”
Chelsea Police responded to 120 Washington
Ave. in the early morning hours of March 6, 2016, for multiple calls reporting
a disturbance at a party held inside a vacant apartment. They arrived to find seven people, ranging in
age from 15 to 22, suffering gunshot wounds.
Pablo was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries; the
surviving victims were treated at Whidden Memorial Hospital and Massachusetts
Assistant District Attorney Julie Higgins of
the DA’s Homicide Unit was prepared to introduce evidence and testimony showing
that the defendant brought a .40 caliber handgun to the party, flaunting it to
several other attendees. At some point, the evidence would have shown, the
defendant confronted the victim and opened fire. Pablo was mortally wounded and
six other people were struck, and fortunately survived their injuries. The
defendant fled the scene but was identified in the course of an exhaustive
investigation by Chelsea Police detectives and the Suffolk County State Police
The defendant was represented by attorney
Members of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce
joined local residents in paying tribute to well-known local businesswoman and
Chamber board member Joanne Tarason at observances this week.
Mrs. Tarason Washington Ave., died
unexpectedly on Feb. 19. She was the owner of Coprico Printing, 40 Washington
Ave., for many years.
Susan Gallant, vice president of the Chamber
of Commerce, said the local business organization could always count on Mrs.
Tarason to help out at events.
“Whether it was
making a donation or helping the Chamber with the great work they do at the
printing business, she was always really accommodating and very generous with
her support,” said Gallant. “She was a great, hard-working lady. We will all
greatly miss her.”
State Rep. Dan Ryan said this week he is
pleased in what is considered a step up in becoming the vice chair of the Post
Audit Oversight Committee – a powerful committee that runs investigations of
government operations and actually has subpoena powers.
“I want to thank Speaker DeLeo for this
appointment, and my House colleagues for voting to affirm his trust in me,”
said Ryan. “I look forward to working with Chairman Linsky and other committee
members in continuing to bring solid, cost-effective government programs to the
Ryan said Post-Audit Oversight certainly
isn’t a household name for most people in the Town, but said it has a unique
mission and is a sought-after committee on Beacon Hill.
“The Post-Audit Oversight Committee is a select House committee that has a
unique mission,” he said. “Members of the committee are tasked with ensuring
that State agencies are abiding by legislative intent and the program
initiatives put forth, by the legislature, through the budget process. When
necessary, the committee will work with administrative agencies to
propose corrective actions to best serve citizens of the Commonwealth.”
One of the most visible investigations
conducted by the Committee came several years ago in the previous
administration when the Department of Children and Families (DCF) came under
fire for its handling and management of numerous cases involving children.
Ryan has also been assigned as a member of
the Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Recovery Committee, and as a member of
the Transportation Committee.
•Just across the North Washington Street
Bridge, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz came away with one of the biggest scores
for the Boston delegation in getting assigned as chair of the powerful Ways
& Means Committee.
Rep. Ryan said that having such an important
chair nearby will be very good for Charlestown as well as the North End. That
will particularly be apparent with projects like the North Washington Street
Bridge, which affects the North End as much as Charlestown.
Michlewitz told the Patriot-Bridge that he
is humbled by the appointment, and that while he has to build consensus across
the state, he will keep his district and Boston in the forefront.
“I am honored
that Speaker DeLeo believes I can do the job,” he said. “The first order of
business is creating and debating a $42.7 billion budget. A lot of work has
been done in committee, but we have a short timeframe to get a lot done. The
thing I was to stress is my district is my number one priority.”
The city is mourning the loss of Joanne
Tarason, a popular local business owner and highly respected community leader
who touched the lives of many residents with her kindness and generosity.
Mrs. Tarason died on Tuesday. She was 77.
Joanne Tarason owned Coprico Printing
(formerly Sir Speedy) at 40 Washington Ave., located across the street from
Chelsea City Hall. She was also a long-time member of the Rotary Club and the
Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.
Mrs. Tarason donated her services to many
local organizations. Though she received numerous awards in appreciation of her
generous contributions and volunteer services, she always deflected the praise
to others and tried to stay out of the spotlight.
“Joanne helped out so many groups in a quiet
and unassuming way,” said Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson. “She never sought
recognition for her many kind deeds and generous assistance. Chelsea has a lot
a great woman, community leader and friend.”
Councillor-at-Large Calvin Brown said Mrs.
Tarason was “one of Chelsea’s unsung heroes.”
“Joanne did so much for so many and was
admired by all,” said Brown. “It was always a pleasure to see her at local
social events. We have lost a great friend to Chelsea.”
Mrs. Tarason was a goodwill ambassador for
the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club, always lending her support at
installation of officers dinners, community fundraisers, and the Chamber’s
$10,000 Pot-O-Gold Dinners.
But her reign of kindness and premier
platform of helpfulness was at her local business where residents would often
stop in just to say hello. She was meticulous in her work and customers came
from far and wide to have their printing jobs, large and small, done at her
Mrs. Tarason stayed ahead of the
technological advances in the printing business, acquiring new skills and
equipment to meet the requests of her large clientele.
The Chelsea City
Council will pay tribute to Mrs. Tarason with a moment of silence at its Feb.
The Licensing Commission has continued a
hearing on special additional rules for marijuana establishments to its March
The commission opened the public hearing at
its meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17.
While the hearing did not generate much
controversy, commissioners did agree that they wanted more time to consider
several issues, including language limiting where retail marijuana shops can be
concentrated, and the amount the city will charge for application fees.
“I’d like to see more research and see what
nearby cities have done and what their challenges are,” said commission member
Currently, there are three applications in
the works for retail marijuana shops in the city. The city will allow a maximum
of four retail licenses.
According to the proposed regulation, the
Licensing Commission will not issue a license to anyone who has violated
Licensing Commission rules and regulations in the past five years. All licenses
are subject to zoning approval and state Cannabis Control Commission approval.
The operating hours for retail shops will be
limited to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and all signage will have to be approved by the
city, according to City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher.
“We are trying to be a little more
restrictive now so we don’t have to clean up after the fact, like with liquor
licenses,” said Fisher.
The section of the proposed regulations that
garnered the most discussion among commission members was one which would limit
the concentration of where retail marijuana shops can be located.
Fisher noted that the language included in
the draft regulations, limiting retail shops to one per voting district and not
within 500 feet of another retail marijuana store, was not included by the
legal department. She said it was included because it was a request made during
a past public hearing on marijuana regulations.
“We already have a very small area in
Chelsea, and retail shops are already restricted to three zones and can’t be
within 500 feet of schools,” said Fisher. “It is already quite restrictive of
where you can put a facility.”
The city will allow marijuana establishments
in the Industrial, Shopping Center, and Business Highway zone.
Licensing Commission Chairman Mark Rossi
said he’d like the commission to have more discretion over where facilities can
“Our job is to factor in the input from the
community and the licensees,” said Rossi.
Much like it does with liquor licenses,
Rossi said the Licensing Commission will be getting input from the community,
police and fire departments, and other city officials when it comes to making a
final determination on issuing a marijuana license.
“This committee is uniquely situated to make
that determination,” he said.
Commission member James Guido said he would
like more information on limiting concentration in voting districts before
making a final decision on the proposed regulation.
Rossi also said he had questions about the
$5,000 application and annual renewal fee for marijuana establishments, stating
he would like to see a higher number.
Rossi said the application fees and
concentration of locations will be discussed when the hearing is continued at
its March 7 meeting.
“This is a big issue that affects everyone,”
•In other business, the Licensing Commission
adjusted its penalty for Rincon Latinos restaurant at 373 Washington Ave. In
December, the commission suspended the restaurant’s liquor license for eight
days spread over four weekends for repeated instances of exceeding its
Last week, the commission agreed to suspend
the license for two weekends in January, as well as for a five-day stretch
during the week when a new handicap bathroom will be installed by the
The new bathroom will allow Rincons Latinos
to increase its capacity from 17 to 28 people, according to John Dodge, the
attorney representing the owners.