Health care forum tomorrow

Health care is a complicated subject, yet understanding how it works—and how it can work for you—is essential in today’s world.

The Melrose Democratic City Committee is sponsoring a nonpartisan forum on health care on Wednesday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Milano Senior Center, 201 West Foster St.

The forum will be led by two representatives from Health Care For All, Ari Fertig and Celia Segel. Health Care For All is a Massachusetts based, non-partisan, non-profit organization that strives to create a consumer-centered health care system that provides comprehensive, affordable, accessible, high quality care and consumer education for everyone, especially the most vulnerable. Ari is the son of Rabbi Arnold Fertig of Temple Beth Shalom here in Melrose.

I encourage you to come to the forum and bring your questions and opinions. This nonpartisan event is open to all.


A breath of fresh air at the Winthrop School

Fresh air and energy efficiency: Those are the dual benefits of the revamped ventilation system we have just installed in the Winthrop School.

The Winthrop may be one of our oldest elementary school buildings, but these improvements bring it up to date and will keep it humming along at peak efficiency.

Improvements to the existing ventilation system include five new rooftop exhaust fans which automatically adjust their speed depending on carbon dioxide buildup in the building. (Carbon dioxide is not harmful by
itself, but an excessive amount indicates a lack of fresh air.) We upgraded the air handler in the boiler room and added an ionization device to further purify the air. We cleaned the ducts and replaced some damaged ones, and we installed a new bank of replaceable air filters.

In addition to all that, we installed an Energy Management System that will control the boilers based on the outside air temperature, rather than an arbitrary clock. That way, we will heat the building as
needed and not have the heat on when it is unnecessary. The system also controls the amount of outside air that is brought in, based on the occupancy of the building.

The result is that the building will be more comfortable for students and staff and the heating system will be deployed more intelligently.

Due to the increase in energy efficiency, the project may be eligible for utility rebates; the Planning Office is exploring those possibilities.