We are racing to the finish line to complete projects at the Horace Mann, Winthrop, and Hoover schools! Lots of great new classrooms and site work that will benefit all students. Here is another update on some of the work in progress. I am partiuclarly happy that the modules’ exteriors blend nicely with the existing schools, and the interiors of these new buildings are extraordinary. As you know, there are only two days of school next week, but after Labor Day we will have open houses to allow all citizens to see these new additions and renovations at all three schools.
Ryan Feeney of Melrose is a great kid who is dealing with a tough disease: Neurofibromatosis. The Feeney Family is having a fund-raiser to help find a cure on this Thursday, August 24, at the Knights of Columbus. Details are below.
Ryan is a student in Melrose who participates in countless community activities. He is a brave young man and a real inspiration to us all. It is an incredibly worthy cause, and all donations are much appreciated.
Welcome to the Mayor’s podcast! We’re starting off with a conversation about the Melrose Symphony Orchestra’s 100th Anniversary.
Over the last two years, since 2015, a group of municipal leaders have been meeting with the Lieutenant Governor, helping create new initiatives and strengthen and streamline existing programs, in order to help communities, taxpayers, and businesses. I would like to thank Lieutenant Governor Polito as well as Governor Baker for not only developing these improvements but also implementing them very successfully. Melrose has benefited particularly from four of them:
- Green Communities: In recent years you have seen the initiatives taken on by the city for energy efficiency, thanks to Energy Manager Martha Grover. The funding as well as the operational support for many of these initiatives comes from the Green Communities Grant.
- Complete Streets: We have formed a local committee to begin the process of identifying streets and neighborhoods that would benefit from better pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and streetscape improvements. The committee will identify projects to submit to the complete streets program for state funding.
- MassWorks: The MassWorks program was created to rebuild or enhance infrastructure to support small businesses and increase residential housing in business nodes near public transportation. Melrose has done very well in getting funding from this particular program, with the most recent examples being the Highlands and Essex Street improvement projects. We are already seeing new small businesses as well as private investment in these areas as a result of this program.
- Community Compact: The Community Compact was a way for communities to learn from one another and develop best practices and for the state to support those best practices with grants and expertise. Over 294 communities have identified best practices as well as areas where they need assistance. Melrose has just received a grant from the Commonwealth for $20,000 for cybersecurity upgrades.
The Commonwealth can partner in big ways and small ways to assist communities. These are four examples of how by working together we can improve our community and our region. I have had the pleasure of working with many administrations in a very positive way, and I appreciate the Baker-Polito administration reaching out to communities. I look forward to continue to work with them in the future, as I have worked with other administrations in the past.
I was very pleased to swear in Dan Riordan as the newest member of the Melrose Police Department today. Dan was born in Melrose and attended Melrose High School, where he played on the basketball team and was co-captain of the baseball team. After graduating in 2011, he attended Bridgewater State College, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice in 2015. Dan worked for Melrose Public Works as a teenager and later worked for Mount Hood. He attended the NECC Police Academy in Haverhill. He is the first member of his family to work in law enforcement.
Last week we had our annual Kindergarten Welcome Party to welcome the Class of 2030 to the Melrose schools. Thanks to the Melrose High School athletic teams and Color Guard, who joined our younger students for the event. It was a great success! The traditional class picture is above—you can click to enlarge it—and you can get a larger version by e-mailing my assistant, Brigid Alverson, at email@example.com.
The solar eclipse will take place this afternoon. Please be safe and don’t look directly at it. Regular sunglasses will not protect your eyes. Here is some important information from the Mass Consumer Affairs Blog:
It’s not an old wives tale – staring at the sun is harmful to your eyes. If you’re one of the millions of people excited to see the coast-to-coast solar eclipse on August 21st, make sure you protect yourself and use specialized sunglasses.
Special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers, are designed to allow you to watch the eclipse without damaging your eyes. However, a significant amount of counterfeit sunglasses are hitting the market ahead of the eclipse and it’s important you know how to tell the difference!
According to the American Astronomical Society (AAS), consumers can no longer just look for the logo of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and a label indicating that the product meets the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for filters for direct viewing of the sun’s bright face as some fakes have been simply printing the logo and phony safety labels onto their products. These products will not protect your eyes and could potentially harm your eyes to the point of causing blindness
The AAS offers a list of reputable vendors on their website and consumers can purchase online. The issue has become so widespread that Amazon has cracked down on counterfeit sellers, refunding customers who bought glasses that don’t meet safety standards and sending out emails recommending that customers do not use certain products to view the eclipse.
If you want to watch the eclipse, do it safely. Never look directly at the sun. Consumers should use glasses that meet approval from the AAS, view the eclipse through pinhole projection, or watch it on the television!
If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.
Next week we will be starting a new feature: A podcast about interesting aspects of Melrose. We recorded our first one yesterday, with members and supporters of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra: General Manager Jessi Eisdorfer, Conductor Yoichi Udagawa, MSO Board President Kathy Radley, MSO members Priscilla Hunt and John Bumstead, and longtime supporter Jim Oosterman. The Symphony will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year with a free outdoor Pops concert on September 9. We’ll post the podcast next week. Stay tuned!
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!