News Briefs

Chelsea Poetry Walk Will Kick Off Aug. 7

The Chelsea Poetry Walk will kick off on Saturday, Aug. 7 at the Chelsea Walk pathway downtown, between the Chelsea Walk Pub and the Broadway House of Pizza.

Guest speakers will deliver remarks at the outset of the event.

There will be light refreshments and free event merchandise under the canopy at Bellingham Square.

Chelsea Eats Makes Final Distribution

The City of Chelsea reloaded all Chelsea Eat Debit Cards on Aug. 2. This is the last month of the program. (Please note, the program is currently not accepting new participants.) If you have questions, call 617-466-4209.

If you or a loved one is struggling with hunger, visit www.chelseama.gov/COVIDhelp to learn more about all the food programs available to Chelsea’s residents.

High School Track and Field Open Monday and Thursday Evenings in August

The City of Chelsea and the Chelsea Public School District invite the community to the Veterans Memorial Stadium track and field from 6-8pm on Mondays & Thursdays during the month of August. At these times, runners and walkers can take advantage of the all-weather track, and families and friends wishing to play touch football or soccer may use the field. Please note that pets, bicycles, skateboard, scooters, roller skates, hoverboards, strollers or athletic shoes with metal spikes are not permitted. No food, gum, or tobacco products are permitted. Only water is permissible. It is a time for residents to engage in healthy activities and enjoy this valuable park and open space without need for a permit.

Wednesday Movie Nights Begin

The first of six free movies – Disney Pixar SOUL – kicked off this week and will continue through the summer. The movies start at 8:15 p.m. The listings include:

•Aug. 11, Selena (Chelsea Housing, 51 Exeter St.)

•Aug. 18, Knives Out (Clark Avenue School Amphitheatre)

•Aug. 25, Babe (Clark Avenue School Amphitheatre)

Bring your own snacks, blankets and/or chairs.  If there is inclement weather, a cancellation announcement will be posted Wednesday morning on recreation.chelseama.gov.

Chelsea Summer Wednesday Night Movies are presented by the Friends of the Chelsea Public Library, Chelsea Recreation, & Cultural Affairs Division and the Chelsea Senior Center.

Senior Shuttle Pilot Program

The City of Chelsea and its Elder Affairs Division are pleased to announce a Senior Shuttle PILOT Program for Chelsea residents. Any City resident who is 60 or older with a disability is eligible to use this service. The shuttle will run Monday-Friday during the week. To learn more about the shuttle service, including eligibility requirements, booking information, shuttle destinations, and more, visit https://www.chelseama.gov/senior-shuttle or call (617) 466-4370.

Chelsea Public Library Programs: Craft Kits, Summer Reading, and Storytimes

The water animal craft kits are available while supplies last. Pick-up times are:

•Monday, Tuesday, and Friday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

•Wednesday and Thursday – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

•Saturday – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The library’s summer reading program is called “Tails and Tales” or “Colas y Cuentos” in Spanish. Ask for a registration kit at the library.

 Join us for the outdoor storytimes at John Ruiz Park at 141 Washington Ave. Chelsea, MA 02150. The next two are 8/4 and 8/11 on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.

Mark Your Calendars – Chelsea Day

Register and Showcase your Talent. The City is happy to announce the 2nd Annual Chelsea Day Celebration that will take place on September 25th. This year, in addition to celebrating Chelsea, we will be honoring our essential workers and commemorating our emergence out of the Pandemic. Organizers are calling for singers, dancers, musicians, poets, solo acts, group and any other unique talent to register for the Chelsea Day Talent Showcases. For more information call (617) 466-5071, or e-mail [email protected]

Homeowner Stabilization – Second Round

Anyone seeking assistance to pay for your mortgage, real estate taxes, or even past due tenant rent can apply for the Homeowner Stabilization Program Round II. Stop by City Hall for an application or go to the following link for an application: https://www.chelseama.gov/homeowner-stabilization-program

The program offers:

•Mortgage relief for owner-occupied 1-4 unit properties.

•Help for those whose household income is at or below 100 percent AMI.

•Applicants must certify mortgage information, household income, assets and public benefits.

•Applicants will be chosen by a lottery system, though priority will be given to households with children, disabled people, elderly people or veterans.

Benefits are up to $5,000 for a single family; up to $8,000 for a two-family, and up to $10,000 for a three- or four-family.

For questions, call Desirae Valentin at (617) 455-4185.

New Vaccine Hours

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Chelsea Senior Center: New Hours available on Mondays!

– Fridays 3:00-7:00 pm.

– Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

– Mondays, 2:00-6:00 pm

Vaccines Available:

Pfizer (for ages 12+) – 1st and 2nd shots.

One-Dose Johnson & Johnson (for ages 18+)

Walk-up or Register by calling 3-1-1 (617-466-4209) or visiting http://www.cic-health.com/chelsea/seniorcenter

Faster Internet? Fill out This Survey

Please fill out this citywide survey to inform how our city needs to improve services and what programs you need! The survey will take 8 minutes to complete. Your input will help the city plan for future infrastructure investment, programs to increase digital skill sets, and policy changes to improve speed, price, and reliability of services. Take the survey at https://mapc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9Nsi6j7acPhCe1g

Federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Owners of restaurants, food trucks, bars, bakeries and related businesses can now apply to the SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Available up to

$10 million per business in COVID-19 relief for payroll costs, rental payments, debt service and more. If used correctly, these funds don’t have to be refunded. Priority will be given in the first 21 days to restaurants owned by women, veterans and socially or economically disadvantaged groups. Learn more about the restaurant revitalization fund at https://www.sba.gov/restaurantes. Get help with your application by calling 1-844-279-8898.

Temporary Outdoor Dining Permits Available

To expand business opportunities during COVID-19, restaurants and eateries can now apply for a temporary permit to offer outdoor dining services on:

•Private Property (including privately owned parking lots.)

•Sidewalks.

•Other public spaces such as streets or parking spaces adjacent to your establishment (Permits to use such adjacent streets or parking spaces require approval from the Traffic Commission).

Permits are valid through November 5, 2021 or 60 days until after the Governor ends the Pandemic. With each of these options, restaurants that currently serve alcohol may also serve alcohol outdoors in accordance with the Licensing guidelines. Apply for a permit online: Application for 2021 Temporary Outdoor Dining for Restaurants and Eateries.  The City will also offer free technical assistance to business owners who need help with outdoor space design. To coordinate a meeting with the team, please contact Lourdes Alvarez via email at [email protected] or by calling 617-487-9763. Read more at www.chelseama.gov/OutdoorDining.

Join the Beautification Committee

Interested in beautifying the City? There is a Beautification Committee that meets monthly with the City Manager, ISD and the DPW to talk about trash and problem properties and to consider beautification initiatives such as improved signage, cigarette butlers and public art. If you are interested in being part of this Committee, please contact either Laura Brockington at GreenRoots email [email protected] or Monica Elias at The Neighborhood Developers email [email protected]

Mass Save Looking for Applicants

Do you own a 1-4 unit residential building? For a limited time, Mass Save’s sponsors are offering owners of 1-4 unit residential buildings 100% off all approved insulation for all rental units. These energy upgrades can help save energy and money.

To get started, schedule a FREE Mass Save Home Energy Assessment at (978) 237-4530 or visit https://allinenergy.org/chelsea.html.

Property Tax Work-Off Program

Applications are available for the Senior Property Tax Work-off Program and the Veterans Tax Work-off Program.  The programs have no income eligibility requirements. Any senior 60 years or older, and any veteran, with an ownership interest in real estate is allowed to participate in the Tax Work-Off Program regardless of assets or income. Participants receive a $1,500 reduction on property taxes, working 111.11 hours for the City. Interested persons should con-tact the HR Department at 617-466-4170 or find applications online by visit-ing www.chelseama.gov/elder-services/pages/senior-tax-work-program.

Residential Parking Sticker Extended

The residential parking sticker has been extended until February 2022 in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. The current sticker expiring on February 28, 2021 will be valid until February 28, 2022.

Housing Legal Clinic

Chelsea Housing Legal Clinic is available to help low-income residents with land-lord mediation, eviction proceedings, and other housing legal issues. Due to Covid-19, the office cannot accept walk-ins. Please call 617-603-1700 or 1-800-342-LAWS for initial inquiries and to schedule an appointment. The call center pandemic hours are:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9am-noon

Tuesday & Thursday: 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Please be patient as the CHLC expects to receive a large number of calls.

For more information, visit www.chelseama.gov/CHLC

Raft Program Rental Assistance

If anyone needs help paying rent, they may be eligible for financial assistance through the Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. RAFT has expanded its eligibility requirements to help people with COVID-19 related job losses or financial hardship. Some things to consider:

•Your immigration status does not matter.

•You may be eligible for RAFT if you have not been, or will not be, able to pay rent, mortgage payments, or utilities due to COVID-19.

•You must be in contact with your landlord or property manager (RAFT funds are paid to them).

•If you are not on the lease, you can provide your landlord’s contact infor-mation to confirm that you are a tenant.

•If you need help to cover your security deposit (for first or last month’s rent), you can specify the unit you plan to move into, even if you have not yet signed the lease.

•You are not eligible if you are in an Emergency Assistance Shelter.

Households can receive up to $4,000 for a 12-month period. To check eligibil-ity and for help with applications, call the CONNECT Hotline at 617-712-3487.

Water Leak Alerts

The City of Chelsea is offering a free service to residents to help efficiently manage water usage and lower monthly bills. The service also notifies residents if usage indicates a possible leak. Register for this service at http://chelma.aquahawk.us or call 617-464-4041 for more information.

Chelsea Street Bridge App

For those seeking real time information about the Chelsea St. Bridge closures, Massport is operating a Twitter account which alerts drivers whenever the bridge is opening for shipping and closed to traffic. The Twitter account is @LoganToChelsea. This real time information supplements the new vehicular warnings systems now currently active on Broadway and Williams St.

MassPort Noise Complaint Line

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

Senior Water and Sewer Discount

Chelsea senior citizens are reminded to sign up for the new Senior Discount for water and sewer charges. Any senior 65 or older who owns and occupies his/her own home may apply.  The discount is 10% off the monthly bill.

Additional Package Sorters Are Installed

The Postal Service is preparing for the holiday and ready to meet the growing customer demand for package delivery.

Two of 118 new package sorters distributed nationwide have been installed in the Woburn and Worcester Post Offices in Massachusetts to provide more reliable service that customers expect through the holiday and beyond.

Last year’s holiday season was like no other for both USPS and its customers. Package delivery grew nearly 48 percent driven by the surge in online shopping and ecommerce due to the COVID pandemic. Last year, despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Postal Service delivered a record 1.1 billion packages.

Massachusetts Post Offices, like many facilities across the nation, relied on manual sortation of packages. The new package sorters will process thousands of packages an hour – up to 12 times faster than manual sortation.

As part of the 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence, the Postal Service is investing $40 billion on people, technology and equipment to modernize its operation and provide a world class service to customers, including the installation of new package sorters.

These new package sorters will meet our customers’ evolving mailing and shipping needs and help achieve long term service improvements.

With this immediate investment, the Postal Service is prepared to deliver the holiday season.

Massachusetts Tomato Contest to Be Held

The 36th Massachusetts Tomato Contest will be held in the KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market in downtown Boston on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Tomatoes will be judged by a panel of experts on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape. Always a lively and fun event, the day is designed to increase awareness of locally grown produce. 

Farmers can bring tomatoes to the market between 8:45 and 10:45 a.m. on Aug. 24 or drop their entries off with a registration form to one of the regional drop-off locations on Monday, Aug. 23.  Drop off locations include sites in Great Barrington, South Deerfield, Worcester, Dighton and West Newbury. These tomatoes will be brought in to Boston on Tuesday.

Be sure to include a  registration form with all entries.

The 36th Tomato Contest is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers Markets in cooperation with the Boston Public Market. 

For more information, contact David Webber, [email protected]

AFT Massachusetts Seeks Mask Wearing in K-6 Schools This Fall

In response to new guidance from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that contravenes CDC recommendations by suggesting that only unvaccinated students, educators, and staff members in Massachusetts schools should wear masks indoors this fall, the 23,000-member AFT Massachusetts released the following statement from AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos:

“The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education needs to listen to health experts, including the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and require – not just recommend – universal mask wearing in K-6 schools this fall. If DESE continues to reject public health guidance and fails to act, local school committees need to step up and require universal mask wearing to keep us all safe and to maximize the likelihood of schools staying open this school year.

“We all want a safe and productive return to school in September, and with the surge of the incredibly contagious Delta variant and vaccine disinformation threatening the progress we’ve made against COVID, we need to use all the public health tools we have to stop the spread and keep schools open for in-person learning. Until we can get all school-aged kids vaccinated, basic public health precautions like masking are the bare minimum needed to keep our students and their vulnerable family members safe.”

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