Come to the Farmers Market Today!

The Sally Frank Farmers Market is on today, rain or shine! This week’s vendors include Dick’s Market Garden, Flats Mentor Farm, Roberto’s Seafood, Fior d’Italia (fresh pasta, sauces, and entrees), Soluna Garden Farm, and Ackermann Maple Farm. Rich Eibert will play live music from 4-6 p.m. and this week’s artisan is Sarah’s Originals, making placemats, table runners, aprons, bibs, pillows, cloth books, wristlets, baby accessories, and seasonal and holiday crafts.

Ride your bike to the market and get $2 in Market Bux for everyone in your family who rides!

The market will close at 6:30 p.m.

The last Farmers Market of the season will be next week, October 30. On the Edge Knife will be there to help you sharpen your knives and other utensils, just in time for the holiday season.

Starting Sunday, Nov. 23rd, the farmers market moves indoors to Memorial Hall, 590 Main St., for the monthly winter farmers market. The Thanksgiving Harvest Festival will be on November 23, and then the market will be on the third Sunday of every month until April. All markets will from 12-4 p.m. This is a combined effort with the Wakefield Farmers Market.

MHS Band Hosts First Citywide Band Night

The Melrose High School Band is doing something very cool tonight: They are hosting a Citywide Band Night for elementary and middle school band students. The students will have the opportunity to march alongside the members of the Melrose High School Band under the lights on Fred Green Field. Parents are asked to accompany the students and stay the whole hour. To sign up, click here. In case of rain, the event will be postponed to October 22.

Lebanon Street Update

The work on Lebanon Street is moving into a new stage this week, as the City of Melrose completes its water main improvements and National Grid finishes its gas main improvements on the street and the surrounding area. Here’s what has been done so far:

  • The City has upgraded 1,800 feet of water main on Lebanon Street between Porter Street and Upham Street and 270 feet at the intersection of Lebanon Street, Grove Street, and Lynde Street.
  • National Grid has upgraded approximately 4,000 feet of gas main and 65 gas services on Lebanon Street, Upham Street, Porter Street, Green Street, and East Emerson Street.

With that work done, the roadway improvement project got under way this week. The scope of the entire project includes curb realignment, the installation of ADA compliant sidewalks and ramps, roadway paving, new traffic signals, and drainage improvements. This project will run from Lynde Street to the Main Street/Green Street/Lebanon Street intersection and is being overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The first stage of the project is drainage improvements and installation of electrical conduit; this will continue throughout the remainder of the construction season and possibly into the winter. Curb work, sidewalk installation, and roadway paving are scheduled for next year. All sidewalks disturbed during the construction this year will be temporarily patched with asphalt before being replaced with concrete next year. The final sidewalk and roadway improvement phase of the project will begin next construction season.

The Engineering Division will be working closely with the Department of Transportation throughout the project. Please feel free to contact City Engineer Andrew Street, 781-979-4172 or astreet@cityofmelrose.org, with any questions or concerns.

Melrose Cultural Council Seeks Funding Proposals

Organizations, schools and individuals seeking funding for cultural activities are encouraged to submit an application to the Melrose Cultural Council by October 15, 2014 (postmark date). The Massachusetts Cultural Council‘s Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences annually. These grants can support a variety of artistic projects and activities in Melrose – including exhibits, festivals, short-term artist residencies or performances in schools, workshops and lectures.

The Melrose Cultural Council will also entertain funding proposals from schools and youth groups for field trip programs.

Application forms and more information about the Local Cultural Council program are available in the Reference Room at the Melrose Public Library, at Melrose City Hall outside the second floor Mayor’s office, on the web at http://www.mass-culture.org/melrose, or by contacting Dana Webber, Chairperson, at 781-662-0380 or MelroseCultural@gmail.com.

City Proposing to Use ‘Visual Budget’ Program for 2015

Here is a press release my office sent out last week.

Mayor Rob Dolan announced today that he will propose to the Board of Aldermen that Melrose begin using an award-winning visual budget software program to help residents understand how their tax money is spent as part of next year’s budget process.

“In 2013, when the City of Melrose was awarded the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s Innovation award for the Our City Series, I was introduced to the other award winning entry from Arlington called The Visual Budget,” said Mayor Dolan. “I thought it was a fantastic tool to allow the public to get accurate, exact information about what the city brings in for revenue and where their tax money is spent.”

The program will allow Melrose residents to type in the amount of property taxes they paid in a certain fiscal year and then view how each of those dollars were deployed across all city services. In addition to school funding and city operations, residents will also be able to see other categories such as insurance, pensions, stabilization fund, and other funds and reserves.

“We look forward to working with the Mayor’s office in Melrose to launch Melrose Visual Budget,” said Annie LaCourt of Visual Government. “The Visual Budget tool gives residents the information they need to understand budget priorities and engage in the process. The City of Melrose and Mayor Dolan are committed to making the budget accessible and transparent, and we hope to be a partner in that effort.”

According to Arlington Town Manager Adam W. Chapdelaine, “The Visual Budget tool provided by InVolution Studios has truly revolutionized our ability to communicate complex financial data sets in a meaningful way to residents. Through the use of this tool, we have increased both transparency and civic engagement. I am hopeful that communities across the Commonwealth will consider using this or similar tools to improve their communication with residents.”

“One of the aspects I value most about Melrose is our engaged citizenry that allows us to have mature conversations about what we collectively value as a community and how it should be funded. This budgeting tool will allow residents to dive deep into our municipal finances and see for themselves if they believe they are getting good value for their dollars,” added Mayor Dolan

Residents can visit the Arlington Visual Budget site to see a template of the program that Melrose may be utilizing in 2015.

Ask Me a Question!

question-mark

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 balverson@cityofmelrose.org, 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 October 15.

Big Joe Comes to Kids Club on Friday

Big joe 2

Big Joe the Storyteller will be the featured entertainment at the Melrose Kids Club on Friday, October 10, from 10-11 a.m. at Memorial Hall. Each month, the Melrose Kids Club features a different entertainer for preschool-aged children and offers parents and caregivers an opportunity to come together and network with one another.

Melrose Symphony Announces 97th Concert Season

mso2014

​The Melrose Symphony ​performs six concerts annually in the historic Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Melrose. Over 70 volunteer musicians, ranging in age from 15 to 70, come together each week to bring great music to our city.

​Halloween “Spooktacular”
​​Saturday, November 1, 2014, 8 p.m.
The MSO kicks off its 97th season with a “spirited” performance of haunted favorites from the symphonic repertoire. Highlights include the music that inspired Disney’s “Fantasia,” The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas. For complete concert information click here.

Annual Holiday Pops
Friday, December 12 & Saturday, December 13, 2014, 8 p.m.
The Melrose Symphony is joined by contemporary crooner John Stevens for a Rat-pack inspired evening not to be missed. At the age of 16, singer John Stevens was the youngest contestant to make it to the finals on American Idol in 2004. Get your tickets early, these concerts sell out!
More info …

Love & Longing
Saturday, March 7, 2015, 8 p.m.
​Melrose native and cellist Nicholas Finch returns home to perform Dvorak’s lyrically rich Cello Concerto. Finch began his musical career in the Melrose Public Schools and with the MSO and now performs with some of the country’s premier orchestras.
More info …

Peter & the Wolf
Sunday, March 29, 2015, 3 p.m.
Bring your family and friends to hear the classic childhood story of Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Melrose’s own Jim Oosterman. Children and adults alike will love trying the instruments of the orchestra in our pre-concert instrument “petting zoo.”
More info …

Gershwin, Mancini & More
Saturday, May 2, 2015, 8 p.m.
The MSO closes out its 97th season with perennial favorites as well as some new ones including music from the TV drama Downton Abbey. Pianist Janice Weber joins for the 1920’s jazz inspired classic Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.
More info …

Bees, Quilts, India: Council on Aging Offers Friday Cultural Programs

The Melrose Council on Aging is pleased to announce a special educational series we are offering entitled Cultural Corner.

At the Milano Senior Center, we strive to provide a variety of programs to enhance personal growth and a broader understanding of the world. For this reason our next program series will focus on a variety of cultural events.

Beginning in October 2014, on the 2nd Friday of every month at 1:30 p.m. seniors will have the opportunity to join us at the Milano Center as we explore diverse cultures and interests.

Join us for the first presentation, “The Beekeeper,” on October 10 at 1:30pm at the Milano Senior Center. Ellen Cobau, Melrose resident and Beekeeper, will teach us about raising honey bees and harvesting honey. Honey samples will be available and all registered attendees will be eligible for a door prize of a lovely “Honey Basket” To register call 781-662-6886.

Some upcoming topics will include:

  • The Story of India: Hosted by noted historian Michael Wood, this documentary series explores the many facets of Indian society, including the arts, spiritual traditions, the diverse population, the rising high-tech business community and more.
  • American Quilts: One of the earliest American crafts, quilt-making remains popular across the United States, and quilts have become collectibles in many circles. This PBS special explores both the history and the artistry of quilts in this country. Beginning with early American settlers, the program discusses the symbolism and family history included in many quilts, then pays a visit to contemporary quilt shows in Kentucky and Texas.
  • National Geographic’s Africa: This epic series from National Geographic presents Africa through the eyes of its people, conveying the diversity and beauty of the land and the personal stories of those who shape its future.
  • The Vanishing of Bees: This documentary details the economic, political and ecological consequences of a dwindling world honeybee population. It’s a phenomenon with a name — Colony Collapse Disorder — but no explanation or solution exists.
  • Wild China: This series uncovers some of the most exotic and uncharted natural habitats hidden within the vast and diverse topography of China, including Yunnan’s forests, the Tibetan plateau, the Silk Road and the Mongol steppes.
  • A Man Named Pearl: Pearl Fryar teaches himself topiary sculpture and becomes the first African American in his Bishopville, S.C., neighborhood to win the coveted “yard of the month” award. This acclaimed documentary traces Fryar’s inspiring story, as he grows into a legendary horticulturist, welcoming thousands of tourists eager to catch a glimpse of his stunning works of art.

Shop Local Friday: Acupuncture Special at Bodyography

Acupuncture special

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