While I was at the Farmers’ Market last week I met Andie Ettenberg and Gavin Chaires of the Collar Club, who were collecting donations of clean, used sheets, blankets, towels, and other linens for dogs at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen. Last week they raised $100 and collected enough linens to fill two minivans. If you missed them, you can still drop off donations at 43 Stratford Road or 152 Trenton Street—and check out the Collar Club Facebook Page for more news and information!
I was happy to be at the Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market last week to help celebrate Farmers Market Week with Market Manager Julie Unger and Market Coordinator Jeffrey Lounsbury. The Farmers’ Market has really grown and now offers more choices than ever before—fresh, local fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, baked goods, and handcrafted items. In addition, there are different activities every week—music, yoga and exercise classes, children’s activities, and more! Check out the website for up-to-date information on what’s going on this week, and head down to the market tomorrow—it runs from 2-7 p.m. every Thursday through October 26.
Over the summer, a group of high school interns were busy in City Hall with a very important project: Keeping alive the memory of Melrosians who served in the armed forces in World War II,
Under the supervision of Melrose High School history teacher Lisa Lord, who also oversees the Melrose Veterans Memory Project, the students are compiling a database of Melrose residents who served during the war and writing biographies that will be posted on the Memory Project website.
The students began by researching the 100 soldiers on the World War II Honor Roll, which commemorates those who died in the conflict. “We started by taking a group of students to the Gene Room at the library to try to find information, particularly high school yearbook records for those individuals,” Lord said. While they were poring through the old yearbooks, the students were also learning about the local history resources available in the library, she pointed out. “In the process of looking things up, they would see something and it would spark their curiosity,” she said, and some of them went on to do further research and share it with the group.
The students also saw that many students who were listed in the yearbooks as freshmen, sophomores, and juniors were not there their senior years. “The question became, did they leave school to go to war?” Lord said. Indeed, in many cases, that is what happened.
In addition to the biographies of individual soldiers, the students are also compiling a database of every Melrose resident who served in World War II, working from records that are currently kept on index cards. “In the long run, we would like it to be searchable,” Lord said, “and eventually we will link it to copies of documents from our files as well as photos and other information we find through our research. We would like to do this not just for casualties but for everyone who served, and create a publicly available database that students can use for school research and historians, family members, and friends of the family can use to learn more about that person’s service.”
I want to thank all the interns who came to City Hall this summer. This is just one of the many projects they worked on, while learning job skills and earning community service hours. The work they do really makes a difference for us, and I hope it was a good experience for them as well.
Over 100 Melrose youths aged 8 to 13 took part in this year’s Junior Police Academy, which the Melrose Police Department offered for the fourth summer in a row. The one-week class, organized by Sgt. Chuck Byrne, School Resource Officer Jimmy Applegate, and Patrolman Al Brown, has become so popular that police now run three sessions.
“It’s an investment in the youth in this community,” says Brown. “It lets them know they can talk to us and that we are approachable.”
Each day starts with physical training, followed by classes on topics such as K-9 policing, motorcycle policing, patrol procedures, and detective work, taught by members of the Melrose Police Department; the Melrose Alliance Against Violence also helps out with information on bullying and cyber-bullying. Some of the students who have taken the course in the past return to do it again or to help out as squad leaders—that gives them an opportunity to take on a leadership role, Brown says—or as volunteers.
“It’s very refreshing for us because we generally don’t get to meet the average person, so now we are meeting them on a different level—we are being involved with educating them,” he says. “It’s a great experience for everyone involved in the program.”
Last week, Brown was riding his motorcycle down the Lynn Fells Parkway when he encountered a school bus filled with campers—some of whom were his former students. “I’m hearing “Hi Officer Brown!” he said. “That’s huge. These kids are growing up, and hopefully these are 100 kids who will be making better decisions down the road.”
I want to commend the Melrose Police Department and the officers involved in this outstanding program. It shows clearly the Melrose Police Department’s commitment to our youth with innovative programs that educate our children and are an investment in deterring crime in the future. Thank you Sgt. Byrne, Officers Brown and Applegate, and Chief Lyle for your leadership and commitment to our children!
Crews are continuing to work seven days a week on the expansion of the Winthrop and Hoover schools and the renovation of the Horace Mann. We have seen about 15 weeks of work done in a 10-week span, and crews continue to work aggressively toward the first day of school on August 30. We look forward to a grand opening and an exciting new start to the 2017-2018 school year. Enjoy the final two weeks of your summer vacation!
Business has been booming in Melrose! Our vibrant business districts are one of the things people point to as making Melrose special, but we have to support them to keep our community diverse and desirable. August is always a slow time, so I want to encourage you to do some shopping in our local stores—or stop into one of our fine restaurants when it’s too hot to cook. We have just added 19 new public parking spaces in the Larrabee lot (behind Hugo’s and the VFW) and reallocated 13 more in the City Hall lot for merchants and customers, making a total of 32 more merchant and customer parking spots in the downtown area. Whether you’re shopping and dining downtown or in one of our neighborhood business districts, please support local businesses and keep your dollars in Melrose!
As of August 1st, the lobby of the Melrose Police Station is now an official safe zone for residents looking to complete online transactions made on websites like Craigslist or eBay. The Melrose Police Department partnered with OfferUp, an online market place, to establish a safe “MeetUpSpot” with the intent of creating an environment where residents can complete transactions while not having to worry about their safety when meeting a stranger. The Melrose police station is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is covered by security cameras.
The Melrose Police cannot ensure the legitimacy of an item you buy online, but it can provide a safe, monitored space for you to carry out the physical transaction. I hope everyone who makes purchases online and picks them up in person will use this resource when meeting up with a stranger, especially when cash is involved.
Melrose/Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market (SFFM) will celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week and kickoff its Friends Campaign on Thursday, August 10th, 2-7pm. Melrose has a wonderful market that features 4 sustainable farms from Massachusetts, selling fresh fruits and vegetables. The market also features local artisans, restaurants/bakeries, and live music. SFFM has a real community feel. To ensure ALL residents have access to fresh, healthy foods, SFFM matches SNAP up to $10 and has a farm that is accepting further matching through the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP). For shoppers not carrying cash, you can use your credit card at the Market Table to receive “market bucks”; no cash, no problem.
Give to the market in various ways: volunteer, donate, shop! Join me for a free slice of cake at 4pm, created and donated by local business Sweet Spot Bakery, connect with several local elected officials, and do extra good with other Non-profits this week – The Collar Club-collecting blankets, sheets, and towels for the MSPCA, and MelroseBYOB (bring your own bag) will be at the market to talk about their initiative to help Melrose use fewer single-use plastic and paper bags, and switch to reusable shopping bags. The market is located at Bowden Park on W. Emerson at the Cedar Park train station. SFFM encourages market goers to walk/ride bikes, limited parking is available at the Cedar Park Commuter Lot, Trinity Church parking lot, and neighboring streets.
Police Chief Michael L. Lyle reports that the man wanted for attempted murder in Melrose has been arrested.
JOHN C. FERREIRA, AGE 54, OF MELROSE is charged with:
- Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (two counts)
- Kidnapping with Serious Bodily Injury (two counts)
- Armed Assault to Rob
- Home Invasion
- Larceny of a Motor Vehicle
- Attempted Murder
FERREIRA was wanted for Assault with Intent to Murder after he allegedly broke into the Vinton Street home of two women he is acquainted with and violently attacked them on Saturday, Aug. 5. He then fled the scene in a a red Toyota Corolla.
Melrose Police immediately issued an advisory to other law enforcement agencies and distributed a press release with photos and a description of FERREIRA and the vehicle in an effort to locate him.
Around 12:30 p.m., today, a Westborough police officer on patrol in the area of an old flea market off Route 9 recognized the red Toyota Corolla and attempted to make contact.
When the driver, later identified as FERREIRA, noticed the police car, he immediately fled. The officer ran the plates of the vehicle, which came back stolen.
Westborough Police conducted a motor vehicle stop and placed FERREIRA under arrest without incident.
FERREIRA is being held at the Southborough Police Department without bail pending his arraignment.
“I want to sincerely thank the Westborough Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and all the state and federal law enforcement agencies that assisted us during our investigation and search for this suspect,” Chief Lyle said. “This afternoon’s arrest was due to the keen observation skills of the Westborough officer on duty, and we’re thankful that it occurred without incident.”
Added Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan: “I am very pleased that the suspect has been apprehended without incident. My first thoughts are with the victims of this crime, who have been seriously injured, and it is my sincere hope that they can fully recover with the support of our community. I want to express my gratitude to and pride in Chief Lyle and the entire Melrose Police Department, who have handled this very difficult time with professionalism and attention to the needs of the victims and the people of Melrose. I also want to thank the State Police for the support they have given to the community, as well as the Westborough Police, who made the arrest. This was truly a collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth.”
The Melrose Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police continue their search for John C. Ferreira, 54, who broke into a Vinton Street home and attacked the two women who lived there. The Melrose Police have determined that Ferreira knew and targeted his victims, and this was not a random act of violence.
Ferreira is described as a white male with a medium build and light complexion. He is 5’7″ tall and weighs about 199 lbs. He has facial hair, including a graying mustache, and partially shaved brown hair. He is believed to be operating a red Toyota Corolla, with Massachusetts license plate 546XL1, which he allegedly stole from one of the victims. He is believed to be traveling with a Rottweiler dog and should be considered armed and dangerous.
I ask all of you to keep in your thoughts and prayers the victims of this horrible crime as well as the continued safety of the members of the Melrose Police Department and all law enforcement personnel involved in this case at the local and state levels. We hope that the suspect will be apprehended safely.
If you have any information about Ferreira, please contact the Melrose Police Department at 781-665-1212 or by dialing 911. Do not approach him directly.