Whole Foods & Friends of the Fells Present “Fall for the Fells” on November 6

Whole Foods Market and the Friends of the Fells have partnered to offer the Fall for the Fells 5K Trail Race and Festival on Sunday, November 6th at Medford High School (489 Winthrop Street, Medford).

The event will feature a 5K trail run through the woods of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, a kid’s fun run, family activities by Knucklebones, free samples, and food trucks. Festival activities are free and open to the public. Race registration is $25, or $30 for a parent/child (under 13) registration. Day of registration fee is $30 or $35 for parent/child. To register, visit www.fells.org/run-for-fun-and-for-the-fells/.

“Like Whole Foods Market, the Friends of the Fells is community-focused. That’s what this event is all about – bringing the community together to celebrate healthy, active lifestyles while enjoying family activities and great food.” – Matthew Robertson, Community Relations, Whole Foods Market

“The Friends of the Fells is delighted to partner with Whole Foods Market on this first-ever 5K trail race. We are excited to introduce a new generation to the beautiful fall woods behind the Medford High School as well as have a fantastic free festival that’s fun for all – with support from Medford Family Network and Knucklebones, among other great local vendors.” – Neil Anderson, Executive Director, Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation

The Fall for the Fells event runs from 12-4pm, with registration opening at 10am. Whole Foods Market Medford (2151 Mystic Valley Pkwy, Medford, MA 02155, 781-395-4998) will offer early bib pick-up for registered runners on Saturday, November 5th from 12-4pm. For more event information, email zone9events@wholefoods.com .

Six MHS Students Are National Merit Commended Scholars


Mr. Jason Merrill, Interim Principal, at Melrose High School announced that Joseph Connolly, Emily DiPietro, Sean Hogan, Gregory Leo, Alva Ronn, and Ethan Weiss have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, has been presented by the principal to these scholastically talented seniors.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishment, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Flagg Acres Cleanup November 6

Members of the Melrose chapter of the National Honor Society along with volunteers will hold a clean-up of Flagg Acres as a community service project on Sunday, November 6, from 1:00pm to 3:00 pm. Volunteers should meet at the entrance to Flagg Acres off of Swains Pond Avenue (between 315 and 325 Swains Pond Avenue). Please wear boots and bring gloves. Be Difference Makers, Clean Up Flagg Acres.

City Puts Forward New Downtown Employee Parking Program

Mayor Rob Dolan has announced the next phase in the City’s comprehensive plan to improve downtown parking with a proposal that directs employees to park in designated areas, leaving the spaces closest to businesses available for customers. The measure was passed recently by both the Board of Aldermen and the Traffic Commission. “I believe this proposal is a major benefit for both businesses and customers. By ensuring the closest parking spots in our municipal parking lots are being utilized by customers, it will absolutely have a positive effect on an already thriving downtown,” said Dolan.

The new employee parking program would do the following:

  • Allow employees to park in certain designated locations at no cost
  • Sticker based permit; employee must present proof of employment
  • New signage would be installed that designates 170 spaces for employees
    • Berwick Street: 50 spaces
    • City Hall: 60 spaces
    • Friend’s Court (behind Papa Gino’s): 16 spaces
    • Larrabee Lot (behind Giacomo’s): 34 spaces
    • Livermore Lot (Caruso Block): 10 spaces

For businesses that need to be able to park in close proximity to their front door, an alternative parking pass that will allow employees to park in any lot at any time would be sold at a cost of $600 a year and capped at 35 permits.

In 2012, the City completed a Parking Study of downtown and adjacent parking lots. The study concluded that downtown Melrose has an ample supply of parking, but that the management of available public parking should be adjusted to ensure availability for customers. Since that time the City has implemented several measures to improve the situation, including: Changing parking limits from two to three hours to encourage shoppers downtown, eliminating inconsistent signage, improving signage, and the purchase of 1 Kimball Court to create 25 new parking spots.

“I also want to thank the Parking Working Group that was created as part of this process. Their experience and expertise helped guide the City get to where this initiative is today,” added Dolan. Members of the Parking Work Group included:

  • Alison Socha, Re/Max
  • Joan Cassidy, Melrose Redevelopment Authority
  • Joan Ford Mongeau, Chamber of Commerce (past ED)
  • Chris Cinella, Edward Jones
  • Joe Turner, Turner’s
  • Kevin DeVinney, Eastern Bank
  • Steve Trulli, Whittemore Hardware
  • Representatives from DPW, Police Department, Mayor’s Office, and Office of Planning and Community Development

Sign Up for Discounts and Exemptions October 26 and November 2


Business Community Helps Melrose Bloom!

flower-basketsThis letter to the editor was printed in the Melrose Free Press on Thursday, October 13, 2016. As you know, we partner with the Chamber on this program, and I would also like to thank all our businesses who have pitched in.

As the largest organization dedicated to commerce in the City of Melrose, the Melrose Chamber of Commerce frequently receives comments about the beautiful and bustling downtown district, as well how lucky we are to have several thriving business districts throughout our community. We are also very fortunate to have a business community that continually gives back to the City throughout the year, and in many ways.

One of the reasons why Melrose’s business districts are so attractive is because of the hanging geraniums that adorn the Victorian lamp posts, not only on Main Street, but on Essex Street, Franklin Street, West Emerson Street and West Wyoming Street as well. These plants have become symbols of the vibrancy of our city and its business community.

The flower baskets are the results of a cooperative effort between the City of Melrose and the Melrose business community and the Melrose Chamber of Commerce sincerely thanks the City of Melrose’s Public Works Department for caring for and maintaining the flower baskets.

The following are the businesses and individuals who contributed to this initiative in 2016. Please make sure you thank these business owners who make Melrose “bloom” throughout several seasons!

Anna Bastian; Atria Maplewood Place; Bay State Centre Family Chiropractic; Beecy Bookkeeping; Bell & Izzi, LLC; Bodyography Wellness Center; Brad Hutchinson Real Estate; Brian and Beth McNelis; Buckalew’s; Capuano Construction Company; Chris and Margaret Cinella; Churchill Corporation Coffee, Tea & Me; Crowell Associates; Dagle Electrical Construction Corporation; D’Amici’s Bakery; David Driscoll Consulting; First Baptist Church; First Steps Academics; Fred Solomon, DMD; Friends of the Milano Center; Full Circle Design; Gately Funeral Home Gray’s Appliance; Hinchey Brothers Plumbing; Honey Dew Donuts; Chamber Merchants’ Group Members: Bodyography Wellness Center, Brad Hutchinson Real Estate, Buckalew’s, Hourglass Gift Gallery, Madison Ave of Melrose; Hughes & Company PC; Joan Ford Mongeau; Joseph S. Gulino, CPA; Justine Sterling Design; Law Office of Brian Moran; LCM PLUS; Melrose Animal Clinic; Melrose Boot Camp/Joy Healthy Life; Melrose Cooperative Bank; Melrose Day Care Center and Preschool; Melrose Family Dentistry;,Melrose Family Opticians; Melrose First Federal Credit Union; Melrose Floor Covering; Melrose Glass Company; Melrose Housing Authority; Melrose Oriental Rug; Melrose Symphony Orchestra; Mike Zwirko; Miter Biter Frame Company; Montvale Tire; Ocean Sushi; Perella Jewelers; Promotional Solutions; Robinson Funeral Home; Rotary Club of Melrose; Shaw’s; Sit & Knit; Sullivan & Clark; Susan McNamara; The Grateful Thread; Turner’s Seafood Grill & Market; Waystack & Kirby; WB Hunt/Hunt’s Photo and Video; Whittenmore Hardware; Whole Foods Market; Williams & Alley Insurance; Williams Financial; Wingate at Melrose; Wood & Fire


Lauren H. Grymek
Executive Director, Melrose Chamber of Commerce, One West Foster Street, Melrose MA

Aldermen Approve Funding for Inflow/Infiltration Project

On October 17, the Board of Aldermen approved the funding for a $2 million inflow and infiltration project, a bold initiative that I announced in my inaugural address.

We are beginning the first year of an aggressive five-year program that is the next phase in the city’s 15-year-long commitment to infrastructure improvement. By “infrastructure,” I mean parks and recreation, water flow, flooding mitigation, drainage, water quality, and fire safety and prevention, all of which have dramatically turned some of the failings of this community into great strengths. We have done it in a pragmatic manner, focusing first on quality of life, public safety, and fiscal responsibility, and have advanced to a point where we can take on inflow and infiltration on a greater level than we have in the past decade. Let it be noted, however, that this city has consistently utilized the MWRA inflow and infiltration program to its maximum capacity.

We live in a new community in 2016, one in which people are not being brought out of their homes in boats, raw sewage is no longer found in playgrounds, we have the ability to put out a fire properly in every neighborhood, and children are no longer eating lunch in school buildings that hours before were flooded with contaminated water. We have done this while properly managing our debt and clearly allowing taxpayers to see a return on their investment, either directly or indirectly, in their neighborhoods, their sports fields, and their home values. This commitment to inflow and infiltration will directly attack sewer rate increases in the city itself. Under the ground where you walk and drive every day is a sewer infrastructure which in many areas of the city is cracked and leaking.

This is how we are going to fix it.

  1. Over the course of the spring of 2016, the DPW engineering office and their consultants evaluated the entire city’s sewer system with meters that now allow us to analytically identify where inflow and infiltration is highest. Tonight you will see the results of this study.
  2. We have taken the results of that evaluation and have prioritized the most aggressive and efficient manner in which to fund and move forward with inflow and infiltration improvements that will produce the highest return on our investment. If you fund this order, the work will start immediately.
  3. With each phase, Melrose’s overall total sewer flow and daily peak flow will be reduced, thus benefitting ratepayers.

“Having addressed the City’s more immediate water, sewer, and drainage needs over the last decade, I/I is the next logical step to improving the City’s infrastructure,” said City Engineer Elena Proaki -Ellis. “With 75% of the funding offered as a grant from the MWRA, and only 25% requiring repayment at a 0% interest rate, the program is a win-win. We project that the annual cost of the loan repayment will be more than offset by the reduction in our annual MWRA sewer assessment once rehabilitation work is underway.”

“The sewer system in some areas of Melrose is over 100 years old,” said Superintendent of Public Works John Scenna. “Similar to the major focus and improvements completed by the community in regards to drainage and water system flow issues, it is the DPW’s intent to move forward with a similar, aggressive strategy.”

Our city engineer and her team, have spent a tremendous amount of time formulating this aggressive and beneficial plan for the citizens of Melrose, and I hope the Board of Aldermen will take the next step tonight with their final vote on the bond.

Fun in the Sun at the Hoover Fun Run!


The Hoover School PTO Fun Run took place this morning. Congratulations to the Hoover School community for such a successful event!

Untold Stories of Melrose: Sgt. Lenny Ford


Melrose Police Sergeant Lenny Ford is a member of the NEMLEC regional SWAT team, which responded to the mass shooting at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield on December 26, 2000.

I joined the SWAT team when I was 40. It was an opportunity to see if I could stand up to the challenges of it. The people in charge didn’t think a person my age could do it. It was tough, but I hung in there.

What people don’t realize is that with all the equipment we have, SWAT is about saving lives. I did it for 20 years and I was never involved in a shooting. I had been shot at, but we’ve always managed to take the person into custody without having to use deadly force. We were prepared to use it but we didn’t have to use it.

The morning of Wakefield, I was off duty, and I got the call from NEMLEC—at that point in time we were using beepers—”Respond to Wakefield,” with the address. I was in camouflage—I was the only one in camouflage that day because at that time I was working as a counter-sniper. Everybody else was in their blacks.

Upon arrival, the chief from Reading was waiting for us. Mucko [Michael McDermott, the shooter] had already been taken by the Wakefield police. The chief said they believed they had a second shooter in there. I was told to take point, so I was the lead man. We didn’t even wait for the full SWAT team. We took a couple of NEMLEC negotiators and went in looking for the bad guy—but we also had a lot of innocent people who were hiding under desks, hiding in closets.

We searched the whole building from the cellar on up. You are announcing you are the police, so if there is a shooter there you are saying “Here I am,” but you have to do it because you have innocent people and you want to get them out. You don’t know who is who, and you are deathly afraid of making a mistake.

Being the point man, I had to step over bodies. I could walk by the bodies and put it [mentally] where it belonged, because I was looking for a gunman and this was not a threat to me. After the fact, I can still picture everybody I walked by. It is something that stays with you forever. I have seen death before, but never something to the extent that I was walking through there.

Everybody has to deal with things in their own way. I dealt with it by talking with family members, who just basically let me vent. It wasn’t bragging, it was catharsis. A couple of times it has really bothered me. One time I had to go in and search a business, and it was cubicles, the same way Edgewater was, so it was definitely a flashback situation. The other time was my son’s confirmation; the bishop was talking about the Wakefield shooting and I had to walk out.

You never get rid of it.

In the long run, the training I had with NEMLEC made working in Melrose easier for me. When something was going bad, I was able to come in and verbalize and take command of the situation, and our customer—that’s what I always call someone who is in trouble, they are just a customer—they would sense it and we were able to do it without anybody getting hurt.

My proudest thing is that I have never had to use deadly force, even with all those years with the SWAT team and all the years out on the street. My job is to help people. Am I good with my hands, am I good with physical confrontations? Yes, I am. But I am so proud that I can shoot the heck out of a piece of paper and that’s all that I’ve ever had to shoot.

MHS Class of ’91 to Hold Reunion November 26

Melrose High School Class of 1991
Come join us to celebrate our Twenty-Five Year Class Reunion!
We’ve planned a great night – Spin City D.J., cash bar and food provided by Bobby C’s
Hope you all can make it!

Saturday November 26, 2016 7:00pm-11:00pm
GAR Room, Memorial Hall, 590 Main St. Melrose
R.S.V.P. by November 16th
Tickets: $50

Please make check or money order payable to: Melrose High School Class of 1991, 22 Lebanon Street Melrose, MA 02176 (please include name of each guest attending and alumni’s email address)

Please help us find classmates! If you have contact info for someone that is not on Facebook or who may be hard to find, please send it along to us.

Check out event updates at the “Melrose High School Class of 1991” Facebook.

Contacts: Neal Dike, drum31@hotmail.com, 781-526-1201, and Bridget (Riley) Braverman, briley104@comcast.net, 617-642-2132

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