The Chelsea High School choir group, led by Co-Directors Peter Pappavasselio and Cole Lundquist, is pictured with CHS Principal Lex Mathews and State Rep. Brad Jones before their performance at the inauguration ceremony for Gov. Charlie Baker.
When Gov. Charlie Baker heard the Chelsea
High advanced choir group Cantare perform at the Chelsea Soldiers Home Veterans
Day program, he was very impressed.
Soon after Baker’s office contacted
Performing Arts Lead teacher and Cantare Co-Director Peter Pappavasselio and
invited the group to perform at his inauguration at the State House.
Pappavasselio accepted the invitation and on
Jan. 3, 24 CHS students had the high honor of performing at the inauguration.
The students, attired in their black and
white formal costume attire, performed the song, “On Winter Mountain,” in front
of Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and all of the constitutional officers,
state senators, state representatives, judges, and other distinguished guests
“The song denotes winter imagery, but it
ends with this feeling of peace and contentment,” said Pappavasselio, who
co-directs the group with Cole Lundquist.
A former outstanding high school and college
vocalist with a rich history in music production, Pappavasselio fully
understands the personal and historical significance of being able to perform
at the gubernatorial inauguration which is a quadrennial happening.
“It’s a once-in-a-career, if you’re lucky,
performance,” said Pappavasselio.
co-director said the group has received several accolades for its superb
performance that was captured live by television cameras from the Boston
Supt. of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque and
Principal Lex Mathews were able to attend the inauguration and enjoy the
students’ performance in person. Both administrators were understandably quite
proud of the students.
“A lot of people saw it on television and
it’s being shown on YouTube,” said Pappavasselio.
Next up for
Cantare is the district concert on March 20 at the Williams School.
With the rush and hub-bub of the holiday
season now over, we’ll all be settling in for another long New England winter.
Up to this point, we have been fortunate. We
have yet to feel the wrath of any truly wintry weather. A cold day here or
there — including a chilly Thanksgiving — has not been hard to take. Indeed,
the temperatures have been quite moderate since the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21,
with the New Year’s Day temperature rising into the mid-50s, making it quite a
nice day for a walk or a run outside, despite the strong breeze.
However, we know that Mother Nature
typically saves her best (or worst) for later in the season. In just the past
few years, we had winter storm Nemo in February of 2013, the Snowmageddon winter
of 2015 (in which there was no snow in December), and last year we had those
crazy storms in early January and early March that knocked out power throughout
the region and brought coastal flooding to places along our bayside areas that
never had experienced it to that extent before.
The images of Boston Harbor flooding into
the Seaport District and water pouring into the Aquarium T stop were something
we never had seen in our entire lives as residents of this area — and that
includes the Blizzard of ‘78 and the No Name Storm of 1991. The highest-ever
high tide (exceeding the Blizzard of ‘78) and the third-highest tide in Boston
Harbor were recorded in those two storms last year.
As we are writing this, the 10-day forecast
is pretty nice, especially considering that it is the first part of January.
However, the models for the long-range forecast indicate that February will be
colder, snowier, and stormier than usual in our part of the country.
But as any longtime New Englander knows, all
that we can do is to take winter one day at a time and be grateful for the nice
days when we get them. When it comes to the weather, especially in this era of
climate change, we are at the mercy of the vicissitudes of Mother Nature.
We can hope for the best, but we must expect
The Berkowitz School Select Chorus sent a message of peace on Earth is four languages on Tuesday
morning at their annual Winter Holiday Concert. The group of first-through-fourth graders brought their show to a conclusion with ‘Circle the Earth with Peace’ at the show – a message well-received by all during the Christmas season.
The Chelsea Fire Department has embarked on another year of collecting toys at the Central Fire Station for needy families, delivering them mid-month to the Toys for Tots campaign.
Capt. Phil Rogers said the fifth year of collections at the Central Fire Station has begun and he urged everyone in the community to bring in a new, non-violent, unwrapped toy if at all possible. They are accepting donations through Dec. 14, and can take them at the Station in Fay Square between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day.
“We have started our annual Toys for Tots campaign,” said Rogers. “The toy drive ends a little early this year on Dec. 14, which is a little easier. We need all kinds of new toys and they should be unwrapped. Toys for Tots only accepts new toys. We have really enjoyed doing this over the years, and the people here have been so generous. We’re trying to make this an annual thing and it’s been working very well. If we can put a smile on a kid’s face, that’s a good thing.”
This year, the Fire Department is also sponsoring a winter clothing drive in conjunction with the toy drive to benefit St. Luke’s Food Pantry.
Rogers said several firefighters helped to cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to those at the Pantry this year, and the needs there, he said, were “eye opening.”
In response, the Department decided to begin collecting winter clothing.
He said they need new or lightly-used gloves, hats, coats, mittens or scarves. For the homeless, he said they are requesting new packages of wool socks.
The Department will continue collecting the winter clothing through December.
Anyone in need of toys from the Toys for Tots campaign should contact their social worker or pastor, who will put them in touch with the proper people.
Rotary members from Chelsea will join the Winter Hill Yacht Club on September 16 to cohost their 7th Annual Veteran’s Cruise.
As Chelsea Rotary Past President and Winter Hill Yacht Club member, Ken Webber says, “It is important to recognize and pay tribute to the men and women in our community who have served our country and this is our way of doing just that”
Since they began working with the Winter Hill Yacht Club, Rotary members have helped organize the day’s events beginning with transportation for local veterans and residents of the Chelsea Soldiers Home, which is generously provided by Paul Revere Bus, to breakfast at the yacht club before boarding member’s boats and heading out through the locks, past the USS Constitution and into Boston Harbor. Upon return to the yacht club, everyone gets to mingle with old and new friends and enjoy an old fashion BBQ prepared and served by yacht club members.
Rotary members from Chelsea have long supported the community through a range of service projects. Members of Chelsea Rotary raise money for student scholarships, provision a “Pantry of Necessities” for homeless students, raise awareness and funds to prevent domestic violence and support its victims, and participates in a water project for the indigenous people of Colombia.
Rotary members throughout the world take action to make communities better. They contribute their time, energy, and passion to carry out meaningful and sustainable projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, help mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies.
Rotary’s top priority is the global eradication of polio. Rotary launched its polio immunization program, PolioPlus, in 1985 and in 1988 became a leading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Rotary brings together a global network of community leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.
Visit Rotary.org and endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.
About the Rotary Club of Chelsea
Through our service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships, our members are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty,
inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources
Marion T. (McLaughlin) Decowski passed away on Tuesday, July 31, in the peaceful surroundings of her son’s Rochester, N.H. home.
She was 87 years old.
Born and raised in Chelsea, a daughter of the late John F. and Margaret G. (Coleman) McLaughlin.
Marion attended St. Rose Parochial School and graduated from St. Rose High School. She worked as a librarian at the Chelsea Public Library and as a long-distance operator and telephone repair associate for NE Telephone Co.
In 1952, she married Raymond J. Decowski and the couple raised their family in Chelsea. She also resided for several years in No. Andover and spent time between Alton Bay, NH and “Swiss Village” in Winter Haven, Fla.
Marion was widowed in 1991after sharing 39 years of love and devotion with her beloved Raymond. More recently, she lived with her daughter in Derry, N.H. and continued to winter at “Swiss Village”.
She lived an independent and active life style all of her life. She enjoyed bowling and playing cards with her friends in Winter Haven. She was a talented knitter and an avid reader, a past member of the former PAV Post 13 Ladies Auxiliary in Chelsea and a proud Irish lady who enjoyed Polka dancing.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her dear sister, Eleanor (McLaughlin) Woodward Ellard.
She was the devoted mother of Patti Hughes and her husband, Robert of Winter Haven, Fla. Jack Decowski and his wife, Patty of Rochester, N.H., Tom Decowski and his companion, Karen Welsh of Alton Bay, N.H., and Eileen Viens and her husband, Daniel of Derry, N.H. She was the sweet “Irish Babci” of Raymond Hughes, Christopher Hughes, Thomas Hughes, Jennifer Cormier, Eric Gianatasio, Robert Gulizia, Jonathan Decowski, Mark Decowski, Noelle MacDonald, Nicole Tusi, Samantha Wright, Raymond Decowski,
Thomas Decowski, Jr., Jessica Decowski, John Decowski, Shawn Viens and Stephanie Viens and the cherished great-grandmother of 16.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Tuesday in Our Lady of Grace Church, followed by Marion being placed to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett.
Funeral arrangements were by the Anthony Memorial – Frank A. Welsh & Sons, Chelsea. Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.
Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 218 S.Dixie Drive, Haines City Fla., 33844. For online guest book or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit www.WelshFuneralHome.com.
Gertrude A. Ciarlone of Chelsea died on July 26.
She was the devoted wife of the late James A., beloved mother of James Ciarlone of Chelsea, Robert Ciarlone of Everett and Donald Ciarlone of Billerica; sister of Doris Davis of Franklin, Mildred Nickerson of Malden and the late Anna, Elizabeth, Theresa, Helen, Ralph and Alfred and cherished grandmother of Lisa Ciarlone, Terri Walsh, Kristin Fulton and Gina Bauer. She is also lovingly survived by her great-grandchildren, Dylan, Jordan and David as well as by many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were by the Smith Funeral Home, Chelsea. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
The historic rotunda skylight above the circulation desk at the Chelsea Public Library has served for decades as a nice ceiling, but few knew that the elegant egg-shaped ceiling was designed to provide beautiful natural lighting to the striking entrance of the historic library.
Now everyone knows.
The rotunda above the foyer of the library was completed last Friday, June 15, and made a bright showing for patrons when the library opened on a sunny Monday.
Library Director Sarah Jackson said the rotunda is one part of several small, but effective, renovations that have occurred in the last three years at the library – which had been showing its age severely when she took over three years ago.
“The rotunda is original to the 1910 building, so that means it was 108 years old,” she said. “It certainly got its use, but it was time to replace it. The skylight is new and they re-built the entire structure off-site and moved it back on. It was one of the most extensive renovations that company has done. It was structurally deficient and leaked badly. There has been a tarp over it since I’ve been here. It lasted over 100 years and we decided to make it as historically accurate as possible, but with a modern look.
“It is beautiful and they did a beautiful job,” she continued. “It’s nice to have it open with so much natural light coming in, and we might even be able to see the stars in the winter.”
The rotunda was part of a five-year strategic plan for the building that Jackson wrote with her staff and the Library Trustees three years ago.
Two years ago they began putting new carpeting in the areas most heavily traveled.
Last year, they added more carpet and painted the reference and reading rooms, as well as putting in new lighting there.
“It’s really looking like a brand new building at this point, but with the beautiful details and woodwork still included and not touched,” she said. “It was very dim in the reading rooms, but now that’s changed too.”
Additionally, by getting rid of some of the obsolete books, mostly in the reference section, they were able to create new space at the front of the library to make a Teen Section. There, they have included games, magazines and an area with new furniture for teens to hang out and read.
Jackson said it all came together with very little money and was a way to make the old library new again.
“Every time someone walks in the door, there’s something new that we’ve done that they see,” she said. “I don’t like hearing people come in and say it looks exactly like it did when they were a kid. We’ve tried to change that and the skylight is the bright spot certainly. It didn’t take a lot of money, but really the will and desire to get it done.”
In addition to the great renovations, the library announced that it will be extending its hours to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays through the summer. Previously, they were only open late on Tuesdays.
“We re-arranged the schedule and made it work,” said Jackson. “We were pretty packed on Tuesday nights, so this opens up another evening for programming in the summer.”
Springtime in eastern New England — now that’s an oxymoron if ever there was one.
This Tuesday, March 20, will mark the official start of the 2018 spring season. In view of the trio of nor’easters that have pummeled us in the past two weeks, thoughts of spring no doubt are dancing in all of our heads as we look to put the recent rough patch of late winter storms behind us.
But being the longtime (and long-suffering) New Englanders that we are, we know that spring is merely an illusion in our sliver of the world.
The weather can be sunny with temperatures in the 60s in the vicinity of Route 128, but for those of us closer to the ocean, we may as well be in another climatic zone altogether. Onshore breezes that blow off the ocean waters, where temperatures still are near-freezing, offset the warm air by at least 10 degrees and the wind itself makes us feel even chillier.
To be sure, there may be a day here or there when the ocean-effect will be of no consequence because the wind will be blowing offshore. On those glorious occasions, we will bask in the warmth of a sunny, 70-degree day. But days such as those, always too few and far between, will be only a tease.
The editor in one of our former sister publications, The Winthrop Visitor, put it succinctly when he wrote these words in 1888: “The season has arrived when Winter and Spring appear to strive for mastery. A day almost like June in its mildness is succeeded by weather that smacks of the Arctic regions, and poor human again assumes his furs and his warmest garments.”
Yes, we can hope for the arrival of an early spring season. But we know from experience that spring truly will not arrive for us for weeks to come.
The holidays present a unique month-long time of the year when people often can find themselves in a much different pattern than during the rest of the year. Such changes can often lead to unhealthy behaviors or illnesses – and triggers for those struggling with overeating disorders or substance use disorders.
Going into the holidays with a plan and a watchful eye – from the dinner table to the kids’ toys – is a necessity.
To learn how to stay healthy during this unique time of year, why not ask the best?
Dr. David Roll, a primary care physician for all ages and the medical director at the CHA Revere and CHA Everett Primary Care practices, was recently named on of the region’s Top Doctors in the Boston Magazine December issue. The annual list looks at top doctors in every specialty and in primary care as well.
Roll said he is fortunate to have a good team around him, and that is crucial in medical care delivery.
“I’m very fortunate to have a great team in Cambridge Health Alliance and at our clinics in Everett and Revere, with a great range of physicians, physician assistants, nurses and other staff to help improve the health of our communities,” he said. “Medicine today is a team sport and there are no top doctors without top teams.”
From the area’s Top Doctor, here are some things to watch for on the holidays as it relates to one’s health.
Q: Many people find it hard to stay healthy over the holidays. There are numerous flus, colds and other maladies that are brought into parties and celebrations. What are the best precautions to take over the holidays?
A: I make sure everyone in my family gets a flu shot and I advise all my patients to do the same. It’s not possible to get the flu from the shots we use today. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the kids and grandparents in your family, who could end up in the hospital if they get the flu from you. Also, cover your cough and wash your hands frequently – simple but important.
Q: Food and the holidays are literally tied at the hip. For a lot of people, keeping to a diet or keeping a healthy eating pattern is difficult. What do you recommend?
A: It’s all about balance. If you’re snacking more during the day, take a small plate for dinner. If you’re planning for a big holiday meal, eat light and drink lots of water throughout the day. If you want to try everything, take a bite or two of each dish.
Q: Everyone always talks about post-holiday depression. Is that really a thing? If so, how can people prepare for it and do they need to?
A: I think it’s real. Sometimes people feel there’s nothing to look forward to after a long-awaited vacation and time with family. One solution is to schedule an event or a long weekend two or three weeks after the holiday – something else to look forward to. As the new year approaches, you might also want to think about scheduling your annual physical for 2018, to talk with your care team or schedule any health screenings that are overdue.
Q: Is it an old wives tale that one can get sick by going out in the cold without a hat and coat, or is there some medical soundness to that old claim?
A: It’s mostly myth. Cold temperatures and dry air make a slightly more hospitable environment for some viruses in your nose and throat. But colds are caused by viruses and the main reason people get more colds in the winter is spending more time indoors with other people.
Q: What are some of the common holiday-associated problems that patients have presented to you and your staff over the years?
A: This time of year we see a lot of people worried about a persistent cough. Most people aren’t aware that the average duration of a cough is about 18 days. Usually it can be controlled with home remedies or over-the-counter medications, and it rarely requires antibiotics. At the CHA Revere Care Center, we offer sick visits Monday-Friday and Saturdays until 1 p.m., to help people who need to been seen for an illness.
Q: Are there signs that parents should watch for in their children both before, during and after the holidays?
A: Aside from the usual respiratory and stomach viruses, this is the time of year when food, fuel, and housing insecurity have their sharpest sting, and disproportionately affect our most vulnerable patients, especially the young and the old. For those who can, it’s a great time to think about donating to local food pantries and supporting the services that are most needed in the winter.
Q: Substance abuse can invade the holidays for some people. How do you address that with patients who struggle with substance use disorders?
A: If you’re in recovery, make a party plan in advance for those high-risk or high-stress occasions: Go late, leave early, and take a sober friend along. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The assistance you need may be as close as a friend, a coworker, your doctor’s office at Cambridge Health Alliance, or one of our partners in the community.
Q: There are a lot of toys and gifts that can be harmful or dangerous to children. Should parents think about toy safety over the holidays, or is that overdoing it?
A: Well-meaning family and friends often give gifts that are not appropriate to a child’s age. Age limits are on toys for a reason, mostly to prevent younger children from choking on small parts. In the end, there is no substitute for parental supervision, especially with small children and small toys. Also, if you gift a bike or skateboard, buy the protective gear to go with it.
Q: What is your favorite holiday treat?
A: I love date bars, just like my mother used to make. It’s one of those rich treats you have to balance with good eating, especially if you can’t resist a second trip to the dessert tray.
City Councillor Giovanni Recupero returned to the floor after being sick for some time, and entered the Chambers with a bang, proposing an order that those over 70 and owning a single-family home would get 100 percent reduction on taxes.
The matter was rebuffed substantially with a 1-9 vote, with Recupero being the lone ‘yes’ vote.
Recupero proposed giving a full abatement to owner-occupants of single-family homes who are over the age of 70. His proposal would have asked the State Legislature to allow the measure under a Home Rule Petition.
“There are other parts of our state that give 100 percent abatements,” he said. “Why not try this out? All we can do is try. This is for the little guy. Why can’t we give someone a break who spent their entire lives in their house? I say we should give them a break.”
However, his colleagues disagreed with the measure.
“This is something we’re simply not allowed to do,” said Councillor Dan Cortell. “We voted down a Home Rule Petition recently because it had no chance of passing at the state level…This will make a very good headline, but it’s not a good idea…This is a little too far. This goes in the category of election year agenda items. This has no legs.”
Councillor Matt Frank said he thinks others should qualify for the break also.
“My concern is we have all these other 71 year olds who don’t live in single-family homes,” he said. “If the goal is to help people over 70, this doesn’t even do that…You can’t always be the person who says, ‘Here, take everything.’…We’re robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
Council President Leo Robinson said he believed it might open the City up to a taxpayer lawsuit, which requires only 10 to sign a petition.
Afterward, Recupero said his investigation showed it would only affect about 25 to 30 homeowners, and wouldn’t be a drain on the City’s finances. He said he looked into other areas, including on Cape Cod, where homeowners are given 100 percent tax abatements during the part of the year when they aren’t living there (generally the winter months).
He said he did run it by a few state legislators and they thought it was an interesting concept.
“All I can do is try,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with trying to help elderly people with their taxes. Other places have done this in slightly different forms and we could be the first to do it this way.”