On January 14, officers responded to a
matter being investigated by the School Resource Officers alleging an assault
by means of a dangerous weapon, a knife. Officers spoke to a juvenile male who
reported being assaulted by another juvenile male while heading home from the
Browne Middle School. As the result of this investigation, an identification
was made of a 14-year-old juvenile male suspect that was taken into custody a
short time later. No injuries reported, and no weapon was recovered. Officers
are continuing to work with the schools for ongoing safety concerns.
A 14-year-old juvenile was charged with
assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife) and assault and battery.
SCREAMING AT BUSES
On Jan. 15, around 11:33 p.m., officers were
called to assist an MBTA bus driver for unruly female shouting at passing cars.
Officers arrived and encountered said female shouting obscenities at
officers. Despite efforts to calm her down, she continued her tirade and
was placed into custody for disorderly person without further incident.
Krysten Kulch, 32, of 58 Garfield Ave., was
charged with disorderly conduct.
HEROIN DEALER FROM
GARFIELD AVE BUSTED
On Thursday, Jan. 17, detectives were
conducting an ongoing drug investigation in the Prattville area after
complaints were received. Detectives arranged to contact a potential source of
narcotics and subsequently arranged a purchase to be made. After the suspect
agreed to meet the officers to sell narcotics at a prearranged spot, the
officers observed him to arrive. He met the undercover officer to exchange an
amount of US currency for what appeared to be Heroin. The suspect was taken
into custody without further incident.
Jose Gonzalez, 48, 105 Garfield Ave., was
charged with distribution of a Class A drug (heroin) and unlicensed operation
of a motor vehicle.
DRUG DEAL WITNESSED
Officers received a call from dispatch
regarding a drug transaction that was witnessed by a civilian in Bellingham
Square. Based on the phone call and independent observations corroborating this
tip, Officers encountered two individuals at the McDonalds in Bellingham
Square. Officers then conducted an independent investigation and developed
probable cause to arrest one subject for the Distribution of a Class C
Substance as well as an outstanding warrant from the Roxbury District Court.
The second subject was identified and criminal charges are being sought for the
Possession of Class C.
William Falasca, 34, of Medford, was charged
with distribution of a Class C drug and one warrant.
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.
The 3rd annual Chelsea Free Back-to-School Haircut day took place at the Jordan Boys & Girls Club on Monday, Aug. 27. Six area barbers cut the hair of boys and girls in preparation for the first day of school Aug. 29. Here, event founder Luis Rodriguez and Councillor Yamir Rodriguez with William Arvarbo, who has a fresh trim.
It was a new year at the Clark Avenue Middle School Wednesday morning, Aug. 29.
But it wasn’t just any new year.
It was the year that students poured through a brand new front door to the clean, sparkling hallways of a brand new $54 million school building with all of the most modern amenities that their old school – the former 110-year-old Chelsea High School – couldn’t provide.
“I really want to see the new gym; I can’t wait,” said William Bay, a 7th grader, as he waited outside his new school Wednesday morning. “I guess I just want to see all of the school. I’m excited about the whole thing. I think it will help me do better in school. I’m going to learn more here.”
For parents, the excitement was just as frenzied.
“I’m so excited,” said Bernice Reyes, who brought her two sixth graders for their first day. “I have a college graduate who went to the old Clark Ave. I remember that school. It couldn’t give these kids what this one will.”
Said Sara El-Mahil, a returning student, “It’s better than the old one for sure. The classroom are larger and all the water fountains will work now. I really like the space in the front where kids can hang out before school. Everything is going to be more organized.”
The Clark Ave began several years ago, with Phase 1 concluding in December 2016 and kids being welcomed into the new classroom portion along Tudor Street. This year, however, the entire school was opened to students – revealing a new gym, new music rooms, the library and numerous other amenities that completed the project.
“It’s a fantastic building,” said Principal Michael Talbot. “The kids are going to love it. The teachers are going to love the new options that this building gives them to teach the kids. Everyone’s excited.”
Supt. Mary Bourque and other district officials, including Gerry McCue – who shepherded the project through before retiring this year, were on hand to welcome students and parents.
“I am so proud of what the City has done here with this facility,” she said. “This was the right thing to do for the kids and the community.”
One of the most appreciated things on Wednesday morning for the students, parents and staff was the new, sprawling courtyard and outdoor amphitheatre at the corner of Tudor Street and Clark Avenue. The new space is still under construction, but was finished to the extent that it offered a great place to gather before school.
Previously, the school hugged the sidewalk, and there was little to no space for gathering.
The new outdoors space will support learning at the school, and will also be available for the community to use for things such as outdoor plays or movies.
Williams School sewer problems
The Williams School – home of the Browne Middle and Wright Middle Schools – experienced a heart-attack moment on Monday afternoon when a major sewer blockage threatened opening day.
Around 3 p.m. on Monday, the sewer backed up and caused a major problem in the school. All of the teachers getting prepared for the school year in the building were sent home.
Joe Cooney and his team at the Buildings and Grounds Department went to work on the problem and soon found that there was a huge cluster of baby wipes clogging the sewer pipe and drains.
“Joe’s team worked throughout the night washing and sanitizing everything and we were ready to be back in business Tuesday morning,” said Supt. Mary Bourque. “I am truly the luckiest and most grateful Superintendent for our dedicated and hard-working Buildings and Grounds department.”
If Bellingham Square is going to be fully returned to the community, then let that return be led by dominoes.
Roberto ‘Tito’ Rodriguez checks his dominoes during Game Night on Tuesday, July 31, in Bellingham Square. Game Night is slowly gaining popularity, and the City initiative takes place every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m.
It was slow going at first for the introduction of an outdoor Game Night on Bellingham Square – which is sponsored by the City’s Chelsea Prospers initiative. A few would trickle in and out, but the hard-scrabble Square had gained a reputation that many Chelsea residents hadn’t yet forgotten.
But now with about a month under the belt, momentum for the simple fun in the Square has begun to form with about 10 or so regulars – and that momentum has everything to do with something as simple as a domino.
“For me, this is the most popular game in Puerto Rico,” said Roberto ‘Tito’ Rodriguez, who moved to Chelsea from Puerto Rico seven years ago. “It makes me feel great because I feel like I’m right at home in my hometown. I’m meeting people in Chelsea and talking to people I don’t know. It makes me feel welcome.”
As the group enjoys their game, salsa music plays in the background and many observers pass by – seemingly wanting to join in, but not entirely certain why people are playing games in Bellingham Square.
“It’s very comfortable here now and that’s surprising,” said Sheila Rohena. “I grew up here, so begin able to come out of my house and sit here in the Square is great. I used to be scared to come out of my house because of all the things that happen here. Now, I’m sitting here and enjoying myself in the Square. That’s pretty amazing because there was a lot of bad stuff happening here. Did I think this would happen? Not for the life of me.”
But certainly it was, and Rohena and others who participate in Game Night found a peacefulness in the Square on a sunny, warm summer night that hasn’t existed there for a long time.
“I really like that it’s right here in this spot,” said Tina Rivera. “I like it being here at City Hall because it’s had a very bad reputation for so long. There used to be game tables here permanently, but they had to take them down. A lot of people were hesitant to bring them back, but we did it in a very low-cost, low-key way. It’s going well. There are now problems. You see from this that we can have nice things. You have to just trust people sometimes.”
Rodriguez has even brought in some converts like Jen Matheson, who is new to downtown Chelsea and was taught how to play dominoes. Now she’s a regular.
“I live right here and it’s so great to be able to come out here and meet new people,” she said. “They taught me how to play dominoes. I didn’t even know, and now I’m winning a lot of the time.”
Rivera said she has hoped for community building events like a Game Night for a long time because it promotes stability and familiarity. Without that, there is no community, she said, and that makes the people vulnerable.
“If we don’t get back to being a community, it makes it even easier for another community to replace us without us knowing,” she said.
There is no end date in sight for the Game Night, and organizer Mimi Graney said they will likely go until it gets too cold.
For now, the goal is not to get the ‘Chiva’ – which is Spanish for ‘female goat’ and is slang for getting no points in a game of dominoes.
But for the future, the goal is to have several more tables full of people from the community functioning normally and having fun together.
Certainly in Chelsea, if anything, a domino game is good first step.
Roberto ‘Tito’ Rodriguez checks his dominoes during Game Night on Tuesday, July 31, in Bellingham Square. Game Night is slowly gaining popularity, and the City initiative takes place every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m.
William Molino celebrates a win in a game of dominoes during the Chelsea Prospers Game Night on Tuesday. Watching him enviously are Raul Melendez, Alex Garcia and Mike Vega.
Chelsea Record photographer Katy Rogers has won three awards for her photography in the first-ever ‘Welcome to Chelsea’ photo contest, which was announced this week.
Record Photograper Katy Rogers took first in the People of Chelsea category with this photo entitled ‘Maggie and William.’
More than 40 photographs were contributed by amateur and professional photographers in the first “Welcome to Chelsea Photo Contest” over the spring. The contest was presented by Chelsea Prospers, the City of Chelsea’s initiative for vitality in the downtown, and the Facebook group Chelsea MA Photography Club coordinated by photographer and former City Councilor Matt Frank.
The judging panel included Darlene DeVita, an award-winning fine art photographer; Matt Frank, a former City Councilor and photographer who initiated the Chelsea MA Photography Club; State Rep. Roselee Vincent, a champion for the arts and former member of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development; Suzy Chavez, a local painter whose decorative murals and “Welcome to Chelsea” signs can be seen in key locations throughout the city; Marianne Ramos, a self-taught “outsider artist” and longtime Chelsea resident who serves as Program Coordinator for the Chelsea Senior Center; and Alex Train, artist and Assistant Director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Chelsea.
The judging panel selected three winning images in four categories along with a Best in Show award. They also nominated images for the public to select a People’s Choice winner. Voting for People’s Choice is now open through July 31 at https://tinyurl.com/ChelseaPeoplesChoice.
Rogers is a photographer who lives in Everett, though her backyard is actually in Chelsea. She attended Monserrat College, and is the founder of Katy Rogers Photography. She works for the Record, and its sister publications in Everett, Charlestown and Revere.
All of the winning images will be reproduced in large print format and will be on public display this fall at Gallery 456, the storefront gallery at 456 Broadway. A community reception will be scheduled in September for the public to meet and celebrate with the photographers. At the conclusion of the exhibit, the winners will take home their high-quality, framed images with the Best in Show and People’s Choice winners receiving additional prizes.
On Tuesday, April 10, at Chelsea District Court, the courtroom was filled with people who had arrest records as long as the Declaration of Independence. They sat at the tables where defendants usually sit.
They’d all been there before numerous times due to their addiction, drug use and petty crimes. This time, though, they were there to graduate – to acknowledge that they’d completed a program at least 18 months long with the courts that helped them turn their lives around.
The program is Drug Court, and it was innovated in Chelsea in 2000 and continues strong through the support of judges, probation officers, recovery coaches and other resources. It is a last stop, last chance for many people who have been in and out of jail for their entire lives.
“It saved my life,” said Erin Eckert, cradling her young toddler girl and noting that she was at the lowest one can get while on the streets of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass in Boston’s South End – known as Methadone Mile. “It took me a long time to do this and make the decision. When I did, it literally saved my life.”
On Tuesday, seven people graduated from the program. Most had been in jail several times, had years or decades of court involvement. This time, though, they changed that trajectory. Most had been clean for more than a year, and most were employed. Families and supporters came to celebrate.
SJC Justice David Lowy was the keynote speaker, sharing how he had lost a cousin last year to opiate overdose. Almost all of the big players in the state’s judiciary were in attendance.
Everyone cried, but they were tears of celebration and relief.
Chelsea started and innovated the program years ago, and now there are drug courts in many of the urban District Courts that are built on that same model. It is a strike against the opiate epidemic, and one that works for many people.
“This last time I was up and down with it,” said Kristen Barnett, who entered the Drug Court in February 2015. “All I know is I changed my life this time. I don’t know what to say why I did it this time, but I did. I’m happy to be here today.”
For the second time in its 70-year history, the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra (NSPO) will follow the direction of a female conductor when Marshunda Smith guest conducts the Orchestra’s Winter Concert on Sunday, Feb. 25, at Swampscott High School.
Smith, a long-time cellist with the NSPO, will ascend the conductor’s podium as Music Director Robert Lehmann begins a sabbatical for the remainder of this season. As an African-American female, Smith’s appearance is particularly rare in orchestral music.
Smith will conduct a program themed on music inspired by the works of famed English writer William Shakespeare, including Felix Mendelsohn’s “Incidental Music from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’” and Hector Berlioz’ enchanting “Love Theme from ‘Romeo and Juliet.” The program also includes Robert Shumann’s “Julius Caesar Overture” and William Walton’s “Two Pieces from Henry V.”
Even in today’s day and age, female conductors are rare in classical music. A 2015 report on Classical-music.com, the official magazine of BBC Music Magazine, commented “The question ‘Why aren’t there more women conductors?’ remains as relevant in today’s music industry as it always has been.”
The article noted recent studies revealed that barely 5 percent of conductors of the world’s leading orchestra’s were female. While females are slowly becoming prominent on the world stage, it is likely that smaller groups such as the NSPO will be a primary showcase in the immediate future.
“We are especially pleased that Marshunda aspired to this opportunity to conduct,” NSPO President Robert Marra Jr. said. “Most rewarding is that she is ‘one of our own’ as she has been an outstanding and dedicated musician and has assisted Dr. Lehmann for the past several years as she developed her conducting skills. When Mr. Lehmann announced his sabbatical that created two opportunities for a guest conductor this season, we were eager to have Marshunda fill one of those spots.”
A native of Tennessee, Smith holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She completed her master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting with an emphasis in music education at the University of Southern Maine, under the Dr. Lehmann’s tutelage.
Tickets to the concert can be purchased at the door, $25 and $20 for seniors and students. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at www.nspo.org.
The North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra plays three subscription concerts at Swampscott High School. The 2017-2018 season marks the Orchestra’s 70th anniversary. The Orchestra is supported in part by a grant from the Swampscott Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information about the NSPO, visit the Orchestra’s website at www.nspo.org. or on Facebook.
On Feb. 13, at 6:40 p.m., officers observed three parties walking in the vicinity of Blossom Street at Eden Street walking back and forth from Washington Avenue to Eden Street. Officers saw the three parties walking near parked cars and looking into them as they walked by. Officers proceeded to drive around the block. The officers lost sight of the group upon returning. One officer exited the cruiser and began to walk the path the group was last seen. The officer observed a female in one car and a male in another vehicle both were rummaging through the interior of the cars. Both were placed under arrest for Breaking and Entering. A search for the third suspect was made with negative results.
Genecis Diaz, 20, 104 Williams St., and Kevin Gomez-Solis, 23, of 149 Addison St., was charged with breaking and entering in the night for a felony.
Police, Fire Officials Investigating Death near Chelsea Brush Fire
Chelsea and State police and fire investigators combing the scene of an apparent brush fire found some signs of accidental ignition Feb. 15, but have not made any final determinations, officials said.
At about 6:40 p.m., the Chelsea Fire Department and State Police assigned to the Revere barracks responded to the area of Route 16 near Webster Avenue for a fire at an unpaved area abutting the roadway. On extinguishing the blaze, firefighters observed what appeared to be a dead body and made the standard notifications for a death investigation.
State Police detectives assigned to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office responded to the scene, as did Suffolk prosecutors, Chelsea Police detectives, State Police criminalists, the State Fire Marshal’s office, and accelerant-sniffing K-9 unit.
The deceased was badly burned but appeared to be an adult male. The office of the Chief Medical Examiner will attempt to determine the cause and manner of his death. A mattress that fire investigators said was highly flammable was found in close proximity to the body, as were cardboard debris, sterno, a cigarette pack, and other items that may indicate an accidental fire. Nonetheless, officials said, the investigation into the origin of the fire, the cause of the man’s death, and his identity is still under way.
Multiple witnesses reported the fire to 911 beginning at 6:37 pm, but any motorists or passersby who may have observed the area shortly before then are asked to contact Chelsea or State Police.
BROKE INTO APARTMENT
On Feb. 13, officers responded to 57 Burma Rd. on a report of a breaking and entering. A representative from Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) stated many vacant apartments had been illegally entered and that they had set up a camera inside 57 Burma Rd. to record any illegal entry. Officers were notified by the CHA that an entry at the apartment had taken place and they had a video of the suspect.
The officers identified the suspect from the video and placed him under arrest.
Carlos Acosta, 18, of 59 Burma Rd., was charged with breaking and entering in the night for a felony, larceny from a building and larceny under $250.
On Feb. 14, at 2:24 p.m., Officers responded to a past assault at Cottage Street at Highland Street. Upon arrival, they met the juvenile reporting victim who stated four males followed him home, one male whom he identified.
The juvenile victim reported threats were made with a knife against him. The identified juvenile was placed under arrest.
A 17-year-old Chelsea youth was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, intimidating a witness, and threatening to commit a crime.
On Feb. 14, at 12:09 a.m., officers were dispatched to the area of Eastern Avenue and Clinton for a report of a motor vehicle break in progress. While responding, dispatch informed officer’s that the calling party was watching a male subject breaking into a motor vehicle and entering the car. Officers identified a second individual involved and placed both into custody.
Michael Lacrosse, 36, of Lynn, was charged with Breaking and entering a vehicle in the night for a felony, malicious damage to a motor vehicle, larceny under $250, and possession of burglarious tools.
William Linscott, 42, of 934 Broadway, was charged with Breaking and entering a vehicle in the night for a felony, malicious damage to a motor vehicle, and larceny under $250.
On Feb. 5, at 2:16 a.m., a CPD officer on patrol on Shawmut Street observed an oncoming vehicle without his headlights illuminated. The officer then proceeded to flash his lights to alert the driver. Another CPD officer traveling in the opposite direction also flashed his lights to alert the driver, but to no avail. The vehicle continued to operate on several streets without lights. At that point, officers activated their emergency blue lights in an attempt to stop the driver to ascertain his condition. The car was finally pulled over with the assistance of other CPD officers. Based on a conversation with the driver he was placed under arrest for OUI 2nd offense.
Selvin Parada, 40, of 17 Willard St., was charged with operating under the influence of liquor (2nd offense), negligent operation and lights violation.
On Feb. 10, at 10 a.m., officers were dispatched to 74 Springvale Ave. # 1 for a report of a loaded firearm in the apartment. The reporting party stated that she and her husband observed a loaded gun on their roommate’s bed. CPD officers responded to the address and placed the subject under arrest for the illegal possession of a firearm and drugs observed by officers in the bedroom. Officers discovered several packets of what was believed to be heroin and several unlawful prescription pills on the subject at the time of arrest.
The firearm ended up not being in violation of state law as it was a replica airsoft gun.
Olsen Cejour, 27, of 74 Springvale Ave., was charged with trafficking in heroin, distribution of a Class B drug (subsequent offense), and distribution of a Class C drug.
Selvin Parada, 40, 17 Willard St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor (2nd offense), negligent operation of motor vehicle and lights violation.
Caroline Cash, 23, 84 Otis ST., Winthrop, was arrested on a warrant.
Mario Martinez, 39, 29 Roosevelt St., Revere, was arrested for trespassing.
Bryan Solano-Alvarez, 18, 77 Carroll St., Chelsea, was arrested for receiving stolen motor vehicle.
Edgar Lara, 30, 53 Dorchester Ave., Providence, RI 02909, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed and one-way violation.
Olsen Cejour, 27, 74 Springvale Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for trafficking heroin/morphine/opium, distribution of Class B drug and possessing to distribute Class C drug.
Albert Moore, 48, 40 Driscol, Peabody, was arrested for shoplifting.
Ashley Rivdera, 22, 103 Franklin Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the Influence of liquor, possessing open container of alcohol in motor vehicle (2 counts), speeding, stop sign violation (2 counts) and improper operation of motor vehicle.
Eliezer Ordonez, 43, 34 Gardner St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Jeffrey Curry, 30, 5 Waverly Rd., Woburn, was arrested for shoplifting.
Roberto Leon, 31, 145 Shurtleff St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant and intimidation of a witness.
Francisco Damacio Lopreto, 42, 101 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.
Genecis Diaz, 20, 104 Williams St., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime.
Kevin Gomez-Solis, 23, 149 Addison St., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime.
Carlos Acosta, 18, 59 Burma Rd., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering building nighttime for felony, larceny from building, larceny under $250.
Sandra Sargent, 33, 71 Winthrop Ave., Revere, was arrested on a warrant.
Michael Lacrosse, 36, 13 Moral Ave., Lynn, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime, malicious damage to motor vehicle, larceny under $250 and possessing burglarious instrument.
William Linscott, 42, 934 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime, malicious damage to motor vehicle and larceny under $250.
Jessy Sandoval Aldana, 36, 16 Minot St., Lynn, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.
Siobhan McKenna, 39, 45 Douglas St., Winthrop, was arrested for violating harassment prevention order.
Ramon Pagan, 56, 444 Harrison Ave., Boston, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage.
Asia Galvin, 31, 277 Meridian St., East Boston, was arrested on a warrant.
Gregory Salinas-Rodriguez, 31, 1 Mill Ct. Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor (3rd offense), possessing open container of alcohol in motor vehicle and operating motor vehicle with suspended license.
Landy Perez, 35, 444 Harrison Ave., Boston, was arrested for dangerous weapon.