Monthly Archives: October, 2013

Melrose Honors Its Veterans

The City of Melrose and the Melrose Veterans Advisory Board are proud to announce a comprehensive schedule of events aimed at recognizing the important contributions of our veteran population on Veterans Day.

“Veterans Day is an annual highlight and a chance for the city to formally thank its veteran population for their dedicated service,” Melrose Veteran Services Director Ryan McLane said. “This year we are honoring our veterans with some traditional and unique events, helping to share the amazing stories of the veterans who live here.”

David Bingham Park Dedication
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
10 a.m. Lincoln School, 80 West Wyoming Ave, Melrose Ma

The Bingham Community Playground is slated to formally open at the Lincoln School with a special ceremony honoring Lincoln Elementary School graduate and US Marine David Bingham, who died in the Vietnam War at the age of nineteen.

Veterans in the Classroom
Monday, November 4th, 2013
8 a.m. Memorial Hall, 590 Main Street, Melrose

This annual event pairs MHS history students with local veterans for one-on-one history sessions. Veterans interested in participating can email MHS history teacher Lisa Lord at melroseveteransmemoryproject@gmail.com

Gately Funeral Home Veteran Relief Fund Fundraiser at Absolutely Fabulous
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
530 p.m. to 930 p.m., Absolutely Fabulous, 454 Main Street, Melrose

For the second year, Gately Funeral Home will host a fundraiser at Absolutely Fabulous in Melrose. Featuring the “Sangria Salute,” this fundraiser aims to collect donations for local veteran relief funds.

Operation Gettysburg Fundraiser at Liberty Bell
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
5 p.m.-8 p.m., Liberty Bell, 886 Main Street, Melrose

Operation Gettysburg is a joint effort by MVMMS students and community veteran organizations to visit the Gettysburg battlefield this spring and upgrade city Civil War monuments. This is the first fundraiser for the trip. A percentage of the restaurant’s sales will benefit the effort, as will raffle tickets for sale that night.

Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School Breakfast and Assembly
Friday, November 8th, 2013
8 a.m., Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School, 350 Lynn Fells Parkway, Melrose

This annual highlight of the fall schedule begins with free breakfast for veterans, followed by an assembly complete with speeches and musical numbers. This year Operation Gettysburg will kick off at the event in addition to the honoring of all veterans by inviting them on stage to view the event.

Veterans Day Food Drive, Shaws Supermarket
Saturday, November 9th, 2013
8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Shaws Supermarket, 34 Essex Street, Melrose

The Melrose Veterans Advisory Board will collect specific items for distribution to local food pantries during this food drive. Interested participants can purchase items and donate them the same day. The local food pantries are vital to sustaining Melrose veterans and their families who are in need.

Veterans Day Breakfast and Monument Ceremonies
Monday, November 11th, 2013
9 a.m., Memorial Hall, 590 Main Street, Melrose

Observed on the Veterans Day holiday, this event begins with a free breakfast at 9 a.m. at Memorial Hall for veterans and their supporters. Veterans Day ceremonies will formally commence at 10 a.m. with stops at the WWII and Korean War Memorials, the Vietnam Memorial and the Knoll. Ceremony highlights this year include the honoring of the most recent veteran in the Veteran-of-the-Year series, the introduction of the Operation Gettysburg students and a presentation of upgrades to the Knoll, the city’s WWI Memorial.

Immediately following the Veterans Day ceremonies, the Harold O. Young VFW Post on Chipman Avenue will host a Veterans Day collation in their refurbished event hall.

For more information about Veterans Day events, please contact Ryan McLane, Veteran Services Director at 781-979-4186 or rmclane@cityofmelrose.org.

The MSO Kicks Off with “From Melrose to Paris and Back”

MSO

Opening night for the Melrose Symphony Orchestra is this Saturday, November 2, and the featured program is “From Melrose to Paris and Back.” Pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m., concert begins at 8. Tickets are available at the link. Here’s the lineup:

Dukas: La Peri Fanfare
Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Debussy: La Mer (“The Sea”)
Gershwin: An American in Paris
Ravel: Boléro

The brass section hails in the 96th season with American and French fanfares by Copland and Dukas. As we cross the Atlantic, the strings evoke the lapping waves of the ocean in Debussy’s French impressionistic piece La Mer (“The Sea”). On to Paris, Gershwin’s 1920’s jazz-influenced work, An American in Paris, evokes the sights and energy of a tourist on the streets of Paris. We return home with the sweeping grandeur of Ravel’s Boléro featuring soloists from each section of the orchestra.

The Mayor’s Briefing: Tricks and (Healthy) Treats

Halloween is tomorrow! Main Street will be closed from 3 to 6 p.m. for the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Downtown Trick or Treat, which will run from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Also, the Sally Frank Farmers Market will have a special children’s market on Halloween; it’s the last regular market of the season, and they will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. at Cedar Park. There will be treats for children and face painting by CN Faces from 2:30 to 6 p.m.

Also, today is Wellness Wednesday! Hit the link for some great healthy treats and exercise opportunities.

Here’s what’s going on around town:

Elections
Election day for City government offices is November 5. The general election for Representative in Congress is December 10. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Polling places and other information are listed on the Election Department website. Not sure where you should vote? Click here to find out what ward and precinct you are in, and what your polling place is.

Events
October 31, 3:30-5 p.m., Downtown Trick or Treat, Main Street
November 1 and 2, First Baptist Church “Holidays in the Village” Fair, First Baptist Church, 561 Main Street
November 2, 8 a.m., Melrose Boot Camp fund-raiser for the Hesseltine Playground, Fred Green Field
November 2, 10 a.m., Reopening of the Lincoln School Playground and dedication of an area to David Bingham
November 2, 8 p.m., Melrose Symphony Orchestra, “From Melrose to Paris and Back,” Memorial Hall
November 7, 7 p.m., “The Secret Life of a Massachusetts Teen,” Memorial Hall. Sponsored by the Melrose High School PTO. All parents are welcome.
November 8, 10 a.m., Kids Club, Memorial Hall
November 9, 6 p.m., Melrose Ceilidh, an Irish cultural evening in support of Kevin Barry Pipes and Drums, featuring step dancing, bagpipe performances, and a traditional Irish band, Memorial Hall
November 10, 3-5:30 p.m., Showcase Melrose, Memorial Hall
November 14, 6:30 p.m., International Welcome Reception, sponsored by the Melrose Human Rights Commission, Lincoln School
November 16, 7-11 p.m., Lincoln PTO Autumn Gala, Memorial Hall

DPW
This is a green recycle week.

Library
Book Drive: Donate new and used books for children in need. Sponsored by Rep. Paul Brodeur.
October 30, 7:30 p.m., The Author’s Corner with Bob Halloran, author of Impact Statement: A Family’s Fight for Justice against Whitey Bulger, Stephen Flemmi, and the FBI
October 31, 4 p.m., Snack Pack book club for 4th and 5th graders. This month’s selection is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
November 1, 10:15 a.m., Toddler Time Drop-In Program
November 2, 10-11:30 a.m., and November 3, 2:30-4 p.m., Lego Weekend

Milano Senior Center
Reservations required for all events. Transportation available; please call 781-662-6886
October 31, 1-3 p.m., Halloween Party, featuring spooky decorations, snacks and drinks, and a costume contest. Jean Dancewicz will be the party hostess and entertainer.

Meetings
October 30, 7 p.m., Messina Grants Committee, Lower Level Conference Room
November 1, 8:30 a.m., Cemetery Committee, Wyoming Cemetery Office
November 4, 7 p.m., Human Rights Commission, Mayor’s Conference Room
November 4, 7 p.m., Melrose Cultural Council, Lower Level Conference Room
November 4, 7:45 p.m. Planning Board, Mayor’s Conference Room
November 5, 7 p.m., Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School, 100 Hemlock Road, Wakefield
November 6, 7:45 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Aldermanic Chamber
November 12, 7:30 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Public Hearing on Classification of Property, Aldermanic Chamber
November 13, 7 p.m., School Committee, Aldermanic Chamber
November 13, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Mayor’s Conference Room

Today is Wellness Wednesday!

Melrose in Motion

This is the last Wellness Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep up those good habits for the rest of the year! Here’s what’s going on today:

All day: Free Walk In Wednesday at the Melrose Family YMCA, 497 Main Street, Melrose. Bonus Breast Cancer Awareness Education Table from 5-7 p.m.

4-6 p.m. Free healthy snack samples at Melrose Shell, 860 Main Street, Melrose.

5-7:30 p.m. Healthy Happy Hour Adult Special at Laurie’s 9:09 Gastro-Diner, 33 Tuttle Street, Wakefield.

6-8 p.m. Free Baby Café Prenatal Night and Halloween Baby Dress Up, 2 Short Street (Church of the Nazarene), Melrose.

6:45 p.m.: Free Mystic Runners of Wakefield walk/run, Clarion Lakeside Room-side lobby, Wakefield. Registration is at 6 p.m., run around Lake Quann 6pm registration, 6:45p run around Lake Quannapowitt

7-8 p.m. $5 Zumba, Memorial Hall, 590 Main Street, Melrose.

Come to the First Baptist Church Fair this Weekend!

Melrose First Baptist Church, 561 Main Street, “Holidays in the Village” fair will be held on Friday, Nov. 1 from 6 – 9 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2nd from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Come and enjoy hot dogs, kielbasa and sandwiches from Rob’s Food Emporium and have homemade pie for dessert at the annual Friday Night Pie Social. Saturday’s luncheon features lobster rolls (please order ahead) and chicken salad sandwiches. Chips, chocolate chip cookies and a drink are included with these lunch items. Enjoy the following “Shoppes” in the Village: Baubles, Bangles and Beads, The Village Yum Yum Shoppe, The Craft Connection, The Hollyberry Shoppe, and The Village Antique and Gift Boutique. Kids Center Stage will provide face painting and kids’ activities. A Silent Auction will be ongoing throughout the fair and includes tickets to local museums, art work, service offerings, an autographed Red Sox baseball, antique Shirley Temple Doll and signature plates, handmade quilts and afghans, gift certificates to local restaurants, a week or weekend vacation at Loon Mountain, and much more. The church is located across from City Hall and is handicapped accessible. For information, please call 781-665-4470.

Solar Power for the Schools

Solar Panels 3

Yesterday we were joined by Steven Clarke, Assistant Secretary of Energy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, as well as members of their staffs and personnel from Ameresco, the City’s energy services provider, to take a close-up look at the solar panels on the roof of Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School and Melrose High School. Our State Representative Paul Brodeur also spoke at the event.

Below is a synopsis of our solar program as well as more photos.

Assistant Secretary of Energy Steven Clarke speaks at the press conference

Assistant Secretary of Energy Steven Clarke speaks at the press conference

The Melrose Public Schools will go partially solar with the installation of new solar panels on the roofs of Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School and Melrose High School. Melrose will buy the electricity from the panels at a lower rate than the City pays to National Grid.

“This is the future, right here on the roof of Melrose High School,” said Mayor Robert J. Dolan. “These solar panels are providing electricity to run the school. I anticipate that over time, solar energy will become a more and more important part of the energy picture for cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. With this installation, we are preparing for our future.”

Project highlights:

  • 301kW of solar panels have been installed on the roof of Melrose High School and Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School by developer Ameresco, Inc.
  • Combined with existing 50kW solar on the middle school, the solar array as a whole produces 351 kWh of electricity.
  • Melrose will buy the electricity it produces at a rate that is less than what we pay National Grid over the 20 year contract term, resulting in annual utility budget savings
  • The City incurs no capital cost for this work.
  • The solar arrays and online production data are a great teaching resource for environmental science classes in grades 6-12. Students will be able to see the energy output in real time on monitors inside the schools.
  • The panels are installed and will be connected to the grid by the end of 2013
  • Ameresco’s services were procured via a regional Energy Services Agreement coordinated by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and owner’s representative services provided by Cadmus, with funding assistance from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities Grant Program
  • In addition, Ameresco is the energy services provider currently working on energy efficiency upgrades in 20 city and school buildings that will reduce energy usage by 16% – the energy savings they guarantee fund the project over the 14 year term

“Governor Patrick has laid out nation-leading goals for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Commonwealth,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “The city of Melrose, one of Massachusetts’ designated Green Communities, is demonstrating the benefits of adopting efficiency and renewable energy by reducing environmental impacts, keeping more municipal energy dollars in the community and providing a valuable educational tool for Melrose students. I applaud the city for its leadership.”

“We commend the City of Melrose for its leadership in embracing a renewable energy solution for its schools,” said Michael J. Daigneault, Vice President, Ameresco. “The solar generation provides a great opportunity for students to experience clean energy and sustainable practices as part of their daily curriculum.”

Solar Panels on High School 2

A New Look at Tremont Street

Over the past ten months, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, together with the City of Melrose, undertook a study of the Tremont/Essex Street Corridor. The study focused on opportunities to create transit oriented development (TOD) around the Cedar Park and Highlands Commuter Rail stations, as well as along Tremont Street, which connects these two stations. The study outlines a major initiative that our new Board of Aldermen will undertake next year.

The process involved engaging the local community during two well attended public meetings where local residents, business owners and property owners outlined their vision for the Tremont/Essex Street Corridor.

The completed study addresses ways in which the corridor could support a broader mix of uses, accommodate new housing opportunities, bolster the existing business areas around the Commuter Rail stations, and connect the surrounding neighborhoods to transit through improved walking and biking infrastructure.

The overall vision from the residents, businesses, and property owners along the Corridor was to maintain ease of access and walkability while improving infrastructure and adding new development in key locations.

Specific recommendations include:

  • Creating a transit oriented overlay district for the Tremont/Essex Street Corridor, as well as changing the base zoning around the Cedar Park and Highland Commuter Rail stations.
  • Reallocating roadway right-of-ways along some streets in the Corridor to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians and improving pedestrian crosswalks at intersections and mid-block locations.
  • Implementing quick solutions to improve public spaces along the Corridor, such as wall murals and flower boxes

The Melrose Planning Board will review the study and begin work on the zoning changes necessary to create transit-oriented development, take advantage of the corridor’s existing opportunities and enhance the vibrancy around the Cedar Park and Highland Commuter Rail neighborhood commercial districts.

This initiative was made possible through funding from the Metro Boston Consortium for Sustainable Communities and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The full study is available at this link.

The Melrose Education Foundation Now Accepting Grant Applications

This press release was sent out by my office earlier today.

The Melrose Education Foundation announces the availability of its first round of grant funding. Melrose Public School educators and staff can apply for grants online.

Grant applications must be submitted online by Friday, November 29, 2013 by 5:00 pm. Grant recipients will be notified by Friday, December 20, 2013.

“Melrose Public School educators have great ideas, and we are thrilled to be able to help them put those ideas into practice,” said Kim LaFontana, chair of the Melrose Education Foundation Grants Committee.

The grants can support professional development opportunities for educators, project-based learning initiatives, guest speakers, and other classroom activities that foster innovative practices to directly impact student learning. The Foundation urges all Melrose Public School educators and staff to visit its website to review the application, guidelines, and scoring rubric before submitting an application.

“Educators are excited about the availability of these grants,” said Foundation President Lisa Lewis. “We’ve heard a wide range of ideas that promote creativity while advancing the district’s curriculum, from creating a garden to teach ecology and botany to funding project-based learning initiatives that empower students to think critically about solving today’s social and environmental problems. We look forward to receiving many applications from educators at all Melrose Public Schools — from the ECC through the high school,” said Lewis.

The Grants Committee is made up of a dedicated group of Melrose Public School administrators and educators, parents, and a representative from the City of Melrose’s Mayor’s office.

Last year, the City of Melrose Innovation Grants awarded approximately $10,000 in direct funds to Melrose educators to promote innovation in teaching and learning. This year, the Melrose Education Foundation will expand this program by partnering with the City of Melrose to distribute its $10,000 funding commitment along with additional funds privately raised by the Foundation.

“The Innovation Grants initiative, which began last fiscal year, was inspired by state and federal Race to the Top grants to spur innovation in the classroom. It was a tremendous success,” said Mayor Rob Dolan. “The launch of the Melrose Education Foundation is the natural progression of this effort that we hoped for, and is an example of city and school leaders, educators, and citizens partnering to support student achievement in new and exciting ways.”
The Foundation encourages parents to remind their children’s teachers about the availability of Melrose Education Foundation Grants and to urge them to apply.

For more information about the Melrose Education Foundation and to access the grant application, go to www.MelroseEdFoundation.org/.

City Unveils New Resource For Parents and Caregivers

Birth-to-5

This is a press release that my office sent out today.

Mayor Rob Dolan and members of the Melrose Birth to Five Advisory Committee today announced a new series of resources and initiatives aimed at connecting parents and caregivers of young children in Melrose to the community.

The new resources announced today range from a new dedicated home page and resource guide on the City website to a drop-in group for new parents beginning in January.

“The initiatives being announced today are the end result of a tremendous amount of hard work and expertise put forward by the members of the Advisory Committee formed last winter. It included parents, educators, elected officials, and local non-profits and service providers. Connecting this group of Melrosians to the community and local resources was one of the major areas of feedback the City received from the Our City Series,” said Mayor Rob Dolan.

Melrose Birth to Five will include the following new resources for parents of young children:

  • A new page on the city website (www.cityofmelrose.org/birthtofive)
  • A comprehensive online resource guide helping parents navigate resources and options ranging from childcare, financial assistance, activities, to play spaces
  • A new online calendar of city sponsored events for this demographic
  • An email sign up page to receive targeted emails highlighting events/services
  • A new drop-in parents group at the Melrose Family YMCA to assist new parents
  • Welcome letter and packet mailed to parents of newborns in Melrose directing them to Melrose Birth to Five

“My hope is when residents see the new Melrose Birth to Five logo around the City, they know we are a community dedicated to helping parents navigate the many choices they face, ranging from selecting a daycare to finding a playground near their home,” added Dolan.

Members of Melrose Birth to Five include:

Gary Romano
Andrew Schuyler
Ani Talarico Braey
Deb Martino-
Jill Batchelder
Mayor Rob Dolan
Representative Paul Brodeur
Alderman Jackie Lavender-Bird
Cathy Flynn- Melrose Family YMCA
Kathy Harlow – North Suburban Family Network
Eileen Dern – Melrose/Wakefield Hospital
Donna Rosso- Melrose Early Childhood Center
Marianne Stanton- Melrose Public Library
Rob Durant – Amber Orton Realty
Danielle Robertson – Logo Design
Jaime McAllister-Grande
Laura Pollica
Leslie Hirschfeld
Kristine Catalogna
Lisa Ballew
Corey Cunningham
Mike Lindstrom

Don’t Forget to Vote on Nov. 5!

Election day for City government offices is November 5. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Polling places and other information are listed on the Election Department website. Not sure where you should vote? Click here to find out what ward and precinct you are in, and what your polling place is.

And when the day is over, come to Memorial Hall to watch the results come in! The City of Melrose and the Memorial Hall Board of Trustees invite the public to come to the GAR Room of Memorial Hall on the evening of November 5, Election Day, to view the election results as they come in. This is a community celebration that will be free and open to all. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m., and light refreshments will be served. Come meet with your neighbors and friends to hear the results and celebrate the end of the local campaigns.

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