Memorial Dedicated to Ralph Sarni at Mount Hood

Ralph Sarni

This weekend, I joined the Mount Hood Park Association in a special dedication of the Mount Hood patio, as well as a stone, in recognition of the contributions of Ralph Sarni. Ralph founded the Mount Hood Park Association in the early 1970s. As an abutter and lover of the Mount Hood Park, he organized this group in opposition to a proposal to build a new Melrose High School at Mount Hood. Ralph thought that proposal was not in the best interest of children and certainly would have been the end of Mount Hood as we currently know it. His vision and advocacy brought a civil debate regarding the best place for a new Melrose High School, which was a very divisive and complex issue at the time. Ralph’s business sense, gentlemanly manner, and willingness to work with all people led to that proposal not being approved by the voters of Melrose, and then he went on to help the City find a solution, which is the current site.

Many would think that would be the end of Ralph’s advocacy, but it was really only the beginning. He went on for the next 30+ years to promote the park in many ways, like the annual Mount Hood picnic (which was the high point of summer for many who grew up here in the 1970s and 1980s), the Fourth of July celebration, and the Christmas party. He also was a strong voice to ensure proper management of the park and the protection of its natural beauty.

In addition to all this, Ralph was a decorated captain in the United States Marine Corps, a leading advocate and fund-raiser for the MSPCA, and a great neighbor and friend to all. He was also one of the founding members of the Incarnation Church. Many thanks to the Mount Hood Park Association, Joan Bell, and the Melrose Park Commission for their help with this event and their stewardship of the park for future generations.

Sarni plaque

Library to Host Launch Party for New Book by Local Author

At Your Service

The Melrose Library will be hosting an activity-filled launch party for resident Jen Malone’s debut novel, At Your Service, which was published last month by Simon & Schuster. The free event, aimed at kids ages 8-13, takes place on Friday, September 12, from 7-8:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

At Your Service revolves around Chloe, a tween girl who lives and “works” alongside her concierge father at a fancy New York City hotel. She loves the perks of the job and excels at taking care of the hotel’s youngest guests… until the day she loses a visiting princess. Now she’ll need to search the city’s famous sites, with the princess’s haughty siblings, to locate the girl before Chloe’s mistake attracts international attention.

While At Your Service has been termed “A love letter to New York City” by reviewers, Malone wrote the manuscript on an antique writing desk at her home here in Melrose.

“I have three school-aged children myself,” Malone says. “I’m constantly taking notes on things they and their friends say or do, so it’s fair to say there are a lot of Melrose kids portrayed in some fashion or another in this book!”

As such, the launch party is geared toward them, offering a night of activities inspired by the book, such as a scavenger hunt through the library for NYC souvenirs, make-your-own Do Not Disturb signs, and cupcake decorating. Books will be offered for sale by Booksellers Café and a signing will cap off the evening.

Malone is currently at work co-writing a new series about a foursome of party-planning tweens that will be published by Simon & Schuster in May 2015. She also has three young adult titles forthcoming with HarperCollins.

This fall, Malone will begin a yearlong Author in Residence grant program with a group of sixth graders at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School.

“I really love interacting with kids this age, and I’m incredibly excited to spend the year working at the middle school. The theme of our program is ‘technology in writing’ and we’ll be using different tech solutions to craft stories and also to interact. So, even though I’ll be in the school a lot, there will also be times I’ll be Skyping with students from just down the street. It’s going to be a blast!” she says.

In the meantime, the launch party will give Malone a chance to interact with her young fans. The library, normally closed on Friday evenings, will open to the public exclusively for this free event.

Kids Club is Back this Friday

Mayor Dolan’s Kids Club returns on Friday, September 12, from 10-11 a.m. at Memorial Hall, with Roman Music Therapy providing entertainment.

Each month, the Melrose Kids Club features a different entertainer for children age 5 and under and offers parents and caregivers an opportunity to come together and network with each other.

Please check the Memorial Hall calendar for additional dates and information.

Best Victorian Fair Ever!


This was the best Victorian Fair ever, thanks to Joan Ford Mongeau, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, and her volunteer Board of Directors, who do so much to showcase our local businesses and not-for-profits on this special day.

Steve Langton sports card

This year the fair was dedicated to Melrose Olympian Steve Langton, our own hometown hero, who won two bronze medals in the Bobsled competition in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Steve signed autographs for the kids and met with old friends and his former teachers from St. Mary’s School.


As in previous years, I finished the day as the target in the Lincoln School’s pie-throwing booth to raise money for e-camp scholarships. Delicious!

The Victorian Fair is a great event and a reminder to shop at our local businesses, which help keep Melrose strong.

Team Hoyt Comes to Melrose


EMARC, which provides valuable services to people with developmental disabilities and their families, celebrated the 20th year of their annual 5K Road Race, which kicks off the Victorian Fair, with more runners than ever, more wheelchair racers than ever, more money raised than ever, and two very special guests: Rick and Dick Hoyt, who have run the Boston Marathon for years as Team Hoyt. I was happy to be able to meet these two men, who have been such an inspiration to all of us, and to present them with a Key to the City.

Check Your Curbside Pickup Route Here

The City of Melrose will begin weekly recycling pickup on September 8. As a result, the day for trash and recycling pickup has changed for some residents. Notices have been sent out to residents of all affected streets, but if you wish to check your pickup day, click here for a complete list of days and routes.

Weekly Recycling Pickups Start Monday

Starting with the week of September 8, Melrose is making major changes in its recycling program: From that point forward, curbside recycling pickup will take place every week. In addition, recycling has been switched to “single stream,” which means that recyclable items do not have to be sorted into separate bins for paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum.

With single stream, all recyclable items can go into one container, although it is not mandatory. Melrose residents who would like to sort recyclables into two bins can continue to do so.
Recycling will be collected every week on the same day as trash pickup.

“Our goal with this change is to increase recycling participation, all while increasing customer service,” says John Scenna, Director of Public Works. “Using a single stream approach coupled with the weekly pickup should simplify the process, making it easier and more convenient for people to recycle.”

Some pickup routes will change to make collection more efficient. All houses affected by route changes received a letter in the mail. If you are unsure about a pickup day, click here.

The red and green recycling bins will no longer be sold. Recyclables can be placed in any bin or barrel as long as it is clearly labeled and less than 45 gallons and 45 pounds. Free recycling stickers are available at 72 Tremont St., Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Melrose DPW is requesting that residents make every effort to keep streets clean by not overfilling bins and barrels. It is recommended that bins be covered to reduce litter caused by wind or barrels filling up with water. Recycling should be placed on the curb by 7 a.m.


Here are the items that should go into recycling bins:

  • Plastics #1-7 (except Styrofoam #6 and plastic bags)
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Aluminum cans
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Cartons
  • Clean part of pizza box (rip off the soiled part and place in trash)

Food containers should be cleaned to remove as much food residue as possible and not flattened.
There are certain items that cannot be recycled, the most common of which are plastic bags and Styrofoam. They both disrupt the recycling process. The DPW provides opportunities to recycle these items at special Saturday recycling events.

The recycling event calendar can be found here. Plastic grocery bags can also be recycled at local grocery stores.

If you would like to drop off recyclables, yard waste, clothes, books, CFL bulbs, and other items, the Tremont Street Recycling Center is typically open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, as another added service to residents, from September 15 to December 1 the Center will be open on Mondays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will also be open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. from April to December as per the usual schedule. At the center, recyclables will continue to be separated into dumpsters for cardboard, paper, mixed plastic, glass, and aluminum.

The City’s trash collection program will remain the same for the most part. All trash barrels and bags must be less than 45 gallons and 45 pounds, and four barrels or bags are allowed per household per pickup. Trash left out in cardboard boxes will not be picked up.

One large or bulky item can be picked up for free each week, but house cleanouts will no longer be picked up. They must be collected by a private hauler contracted by the resident.

For more information, contact the DPW at or call 781-665-0142.

Team Hoyt to Participate in EMARC Race on Sunday

Team Hoyt

Here’s some exciting news we got from EMARC this week:

EMARC is once again partnering with Marathon Sports for its 20th Annual 5K on Sunday, September 7th at 10 a.m. in Melrose. To celebrate this important milestone, Rick and Dick Hoyt, along with runners from Team Hoyt of New England will be participating in this year’s race. Runners and walkers can register online at

The race kicks off at 9:40 am with a Kids “Fun Run” (short distance). Suggested donation for Kid’s Run is $5 per child or free with an adult registrant. The 5K for runners starts at 10:00 a.m., walkers 10:05 a.m. Funds raised go to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The start and finish line are both located at the Melrose Family YMCA located at 497 Main Street in Melrose.

Last year, almost 500 runners and walkers came out to support EMARC – a record turnout. For this year’s 20th Anniversary, Marathon Sports owner Colin Peddie says he hopes to top that number. “We’re honored to support and work with an organization like EMARC that is truly dedicated to improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities,” said Peddie. EMARC’s Director of Development, Amy O’Brien states “This is already turning out to be an amazing event! 20 years is a big milestone! We are thrilled to have our heroes from Team Hoyt participating in the 5k” says O’Brien.

The 5K is professionally timed and awards are presented after the race in front of the Melrose Victorian Fair stage. Brian Slater of the Melrose Running Club will serve as Race Director and Melrose Mayor Rob Dolan to serve as Honorary Chairman of the event. Registration forms are also available at all Marathon Sports stores. Registration fees are $25 for the 5K ($30 after September 1st).

100% of funds raised go directly to EMARC. All donations to EMARC are tax deductible.

Ask Me a Question!


As I promised in my State of the City address, we host a public question-and-answer session on this blog every month. Here’s how it works: Send in your questions to my assistant, Brigid Alverson, at, or submit them via a comment to this blog. Please include your name and address; we will not answer anonymous questions. (The names and addresses will not be published.) We will post all the answers on the third Wednesday of the month, which this month is September 17.

Maple Syrup, Music, and Yoga at the Farmers Market This Week

Come to the Sally Frank’s Farmers Market tomorrow, Thursday, from 1-7 p.m., at Bowden Park on W. Emerson St. across from the Cedar Park commuter rail station. We will have our usual vendors bringing fresh vegetables and fruit; grass-fed, hormone free meat; eggs; fresh fish; bread; baked goods; sandwiches; hummus; cut flowers; and glycerin soaps. This week, Ackerman Maple Syrup will make their bi-weekly trip to Massachusetts, bringing their Vermont-made maple syrup and maple butter. In addition, Soluna Garden is at the market this week bringing their own teas and salts. Also, Sarah Atanasov from Sarah’s Originals will be the artisan at the market this week with home-made placemats, table runners, aprons, bibs, and more.

Amy Copperman will demonstrate making a Tomato Panzanella and a cold Melon Soup from 3-6 p.m. If you tried what she made in July, the Salad Three Ways, you know her recipes are fantastic. Have a taste of what she makes, then try it at home.

Paul Harty and Linda Abrams will be singing and playing folk and bluegrass from 4-6 p.m. Paul sings and plays the guitar, harmonica, fiddle, mandolin and banjo. Linda plays the five-string banjo in the three-finger and frailing style.

The Friends of the Library will be at the market as well. This volunteer organization supports the Melrose Public Library through publicity, fund-raising, securing materials and supplies, and sponsoring public forums and activities; improving the facilities and services of the library; and enriching the cultural opportunities available to the citizens of Melrose. The Friends provide funding for items and activities that are not included in the City’s basic library operating funds.

Free Yoga in the Park from 5-6 p.m.: Vanessa Fuccione from Barre & Soul Yoga Sudio will lead the class.

Ride your bike to the market and get $2 in Market Bux! It is much easier to park a bike at the market than it is to park a car. It does wonders for your health and the health of the environment.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 374 other followers

%d bloggers like this: