Author Archive: Mayor Dolan

Come to the Highlands Holiday Fair this Saturday

Holiday fair season is rolling around once again. The usual holiday fair? No, not at the Melrose Highlands Congregational Church. Yes, you’ll still find those wonderful baked goods that will lessen your kitchen stress. And, yes, as always, there’ll be a fascinating mix of hands-on fun activities for the children, and…no, you will not want to miss our deservedly famous lobster roll luncheon. Not a lobster lover? Not to worry, the lunch menu has you covered. You’ll like it!

In addition to those tried-and-true pleasures, this year’s Marketplace will feature jewelry makers, a cake decorator, stationery/note card designer, Tupperware, PartyLite Candles, Wildtree Herbs, and—timely indeed—a designer of exquisite, table-top lit Christmas trees. We’ll have holiday-related raffle baskets, and we’ll also have a great selection of “nearly new” items in our “Timeless Treasures” room that you and your budget will both like.

Finally, if you’ve enjoyed these festive Highlands happenings in the past, then you’re probably wondering if you’ll find that famous aged—four years or so—Wisconsin cheddar cheese we always feature, and those memorable Aunt Ruby’s peanuts. Yes, we have them! Don’t be late, though; the cheese sells out quickly, and if you’ve ever tasted it, you know why.

We’ll look for you on Saturday, November 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 355 Franklin Street in Melrose. Be sure to bring your holiday gift list because serious shopping—and a really good time—will be the order of the day.

MHS to Play in Semi-Finals on Saturday

Best of luck to the Melrose Red Raiders football team as they head to Lowell on Saturday for the MIAA Division 3 State Semi-Finals. The big game will be Saturday, November 22, at 4:15 p.m. at Cawley Stadium, located in Lowell. Ticket prices are $10.00 for Adults and $7.00 for Students and Senior Citizens. There will be no game tickets available through the high school.

MVMMS Presents ‘Disney’s Mulan Jr.’ this Weekend

The Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School Drama Club proudly presents the beloved family favorite “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” on November 21st and 22nd at 7:30 p.m. and on November 22nd and 23rd at 1:00 p.m. at the Melrose Performing Arts Center located at the Middle School, 350 Lynn Fells Parkway. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for all students and will be available at the door and online.

“Mulan Jr.” tells the musical story of a young woman in ancient China who struggles to preserve her family’s honor. Defying the village matchmaker, Mulan takes up arms and disguises herself as a boy in order to spare her father from having to serve in the army. The Huns have invaded, and it is up to the misfit Mulan and her mischievous sidekick Mushu to save the Emperor! “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” is a heartwarming celebration of culture, honor, and the fighting spirit.

The musical is family friendly and appropriate for all ages and includes such hit songs as “Reflection,” “Honor to Us All” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” as well as many new songs that will get you up on your feet!

The cast and crew includes over 120 middle school students.

For more information on the show, please see the Mulan Facebook event page or email the director at aschuler@melroseschools.com

For more info on the Melrose Drama program, please see the program’s Facebook page.

Get Your Tickets Now for the MHS Thanksgiving Football Game!

The annual Thanksgiving Day football game between Melrose and Wakefield high schools will be at Wakefield this year. Kick-off is at 10:15 a.m. Pre-sale tickets are available at Melrose High School, Gray’s Appliance, and the Mayor’s Office, and are $6 for adults and $4 for children; all proceeds from pre-game sales go to benefit Melrose school athletics programs. Tickets are $8 on the day of the game and proceeds will be split 50/50 with Wakefield. There’s more information here.

Veterans Town Hall Meeting Update

Our Veterans’ Town Hall meeting last night was very well attended.

Here’s a brief summary of what our Veterans Services Advisory Board accomplished in 2014 alone:

  • Chili/Chowderfest at Memorial Hall for Operation Gettysburg
  • Veterans’ work-off property tax program with Board of Aldermen
  • Update with Rep. Paul Brodeur on the Valor Act II
  • Calendar fundraising for Operation Gettysburg
  • Cataloging veterans’ memorials for the City of Melrose
  • Advertising the Melrose Veteran’s Memory Project website
  • Liberty Bell fund-raiser for Operation Gettysburg
  • Plaque correction for Scott F. Andresen at Melrose Common
  • Memorial Day Parade Committee
  • Melrose veterans’ trip to Gettysburg
  • Memorial Day veteran memorial ceremonies
  • Dedication of Civil War memorial restoration projects
  • Memorial Day parade
  • Distribution of Civil War Grant work orders
  • Honoring D-Day veteran Irving Smolens with Welcome Home banner
  • Meeting with Operation Remember students and parents
  • Knoll Revitalization Project Phase 2 meetings
  • Cataloging veteran memorials for City website
  • Golf Tournament for Melrose Monument Restoration Fund
  • Victorian Fair booth, with raffles
  • POW/MIA Day Minor McLane dedication
  • POW/MIA Day food drive
  • First official meeting of Operation Remember
  • American Legion Post 90 kickstart meeting
  • Veterans Town Hall Meeting
  • Veterans in the Classroom
  • Woman Veterans tree planting
  • Operation Remember Liberty Bell fund-raiser

If you would like to get involved, whether you are a veteran or simply a supporter, please contact our Veterans Service Officer, Ryan McLane, at veterans@cityofmelrose.org.

Get Ready for the Holidays at the Winter Market

This Sunday, November 23, the farmers’ market moves indoors to kick off its monthly winter farmers market season with the Thanksgiving Harvest Festival! Melrose’s Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market and the Wakefield Farmers’ Market have teamed up to bring a monthly winter farmers’ market that will take place on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. at Memorial Hall. Many vendors from both their summer markets will be on hand, offering local, fresh produce, sustainably raised meat and poultry, fresh fish, pasta, dips and spreads, maple syrup, honey, preserves, teas, spice blends, fair trade coffee, and a wide array of fresh baked goods. In addition, a selection of artisan vendors will offer soaps, candles, herbal products, and more. They will continue to accept SNAP benefits and match up to $5 per market day.

This Sunday, November 23, there will be 30 vendors at the market. To order turkeys ahead of time, go to the Winter Market page and look for Shady Pine Farm or Lilac Hedge Farm in the list—there may be some turkeys available at the market, but it’s best to order ahead, because they are going fast.

Fresh vegetables, all sustainably grown, will be available from four farms: Red Fire Farm is certified organic, Oakdale Farm grows using organic methods, Farmer Dave’s grows 95% of his vegetables using organic methods, and Dick’s Market Garden grows using integrated pest management with minimal spraying, also using mostly organic products.

Other featured products include

  • Fish from both Melrose’s and Wakefield’s fishmongers, The Fish Lady and Roberto’s Seafood
  • Cheese from West River Creamery
  • Pasta from Fior d’Italia
  • Lebanese and Egyptian dips from Samira’s
  • Teas, spice blends and salts from Soluna Garden Farm
  • Maple syrup from Ackermann Maple Farm
  • Breads and pies from Cannistraci Fine Foods
  • Other baked goodies from Goodies Homemade
  • Jellies and ice cream sauce from Vermont Candy Dish
  • Herbal products from Trow’s Treasures
  • Soaps and lotions from Wicked Good Soap
  • Confections of carmel, brittles, fudge, and chocolates from Spindler Confections
  • Crafts and gift items from Mary Ellen Crafts, Kittredge Candles and Sara’s Originals, who makes beautiful placemats and runners for your holiday table or to give as gifts

To top it all off, banjo duo Ed Britt and Don Borchelt will provide great music throughout the season, Holly Pierce will be cooking, and there will be great beverages on hand from Pour Man’s Coffee.

The Winter Market will accept Melrose’s market money, and Wakefield market money can be exchanged for Melrose market money at the market table.

The other markets will be the third Sunday of each month from January through April, including the Sunday before the Christmas holiday: December 21, January 18, February 15, March 15, and April 19.

See you at the market!

Two Great Articles About Melrose!

Melrose was featured in the Boston Globe last weekend: In “What is it like to live in Melrose?” reporter and Melrose resident Kathy Shiels Tully looks at some of the high points of our city, including our great parks and restaurants and especially the “close-knit feeling” we have here. Check it out and enjoy not only Kathy’s interview with Melrose resident Barbara Graf but also some beautiful photographs of Melrose.

This may explain why the website Nerdwallet named Melrose number 6 on its list of “50 Cities on the Rise in Massachusetts.” They cited increases in population and employment, as well as our Birth to Five initiative and the construction of commuter-friendly near the T as reasons why they think Melrose is a great place to live.

DPW Adds Additional Yard Waste Pickup

Although the temperatures are freezing today, we had a warm fall, so the leaves fell later than usual. To make life easier for those who are still raking, DPW has added an additional week of yard waste pickup: Yard waste will be picked up the weeks of December 1 and December 8. In addition, the City Yard will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, November 24, and Monday, December 1. The yard will also be open on Friday, November 28, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, November 29, December 6, and December 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. December 13 will be the last Saturday opening until the spring.

Our Schools, Then and Now: An Introduction

If you are old enough not to be in school any more, you have probably noticed that schools have changed quite a bit since your day—whether that was the Baby Boom times of the 1960s or as recent as last year.

Gone are the days of memorizing times tables and sitting quietly in neat rows. Even recent developments like the standard testing requirements are changing, as schools shift from MCAS to PARCC.

Schools have changed for a very simple reason: The world has changed. In fact, some experts estimate that 65% of today’s elementary-school students will end up in jobs that don’t exist yet.

“We are preparing kids for a world we cannot predict,” says Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore. “How do we best equip them for that world? We are trying to give them problem-solving skills. There is not a career they will go into that does not expect problem-solving skills.”

When adults ask why the schools have changed so much, Taymore suggests they think about what they do on a daily basis, and how much it has changed from what they prepared to do in college.

In our next series of posts, we will look at some very concrete examples of how schools have changed, and how Melrose teachers are preparing their students for an unpredictable future: Why are class sizes smaller than when I was a kid? Whatever happened to multiplication tables? How do teachers use computers and tablets in the classroom? Are our children learning “the basics”?

What would you like to know? Send your questions to my assistant, Brigid Alverson, at balverson@cityofmelrose.org, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Amazing Grace Golf Tournament Makes Major Donation to Melrose Education Foundation

Zinck Family Donation_Melrose Ed Foundation_Nov2014_2

Yesterday, I took part in a great event, the presentation of a check for $19,000 by the Zinck family to the Melrose Education Foundation. Grace Zinck, the granddaughter of our former Fire Chief, Frank Zinck, is “surviving and thriving” with Trisomy 18, and every year her family has the Amazing Grace Golf Tournament to raise money for charities that support people with disabilities and their families. This year, they chose to donate the money to the Melrose Education Foundation. As Cathy Zinck, Grace’s mother, explained, last year, Grace’s teachers received a grant from Amazing Grace Golf to pilot a non-phonics-based reading program. Grace is now reading on her own, thanks to the insight from her teachers and a modest amount of money.

“By making a donation to the Foundation, we hope other students can experience the same outcomes Grace did,” said Cathy. “Our goal with the Amazing Grace Golf Tournament is to benefit many children and their families in Melrose, and partnering with the Foundation is a great way to make that happen.”

Grace is truly an amazing young lady, and this is truly an amazing gift to the children of Melrose. The Zinck family for generations has contributed in so many ways to our community, and to see Grace, Brendan, and Audrey continue in that tradition is no surprise. This contribution will change the lives of young people in our community in a substantial way, and on behalf of all the citizens of Melrose, we thank them.

Zinck Family Donation_Melrose Ed Foundation_Nov2014_1

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