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

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


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


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:

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.

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

This is a green recycle week.

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.

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.