Congratulations to the Melrose High School class of 2014!

Please join me in congratulating all our students in the Melrose High School class of 2014, who will be graduating tonight. We wish them the best as they embark on the next stage in their lives.

The class of 2014 has had remarkable success with college applications, and I would once more like to present the list of college acceptances for this year. It is truly a list to be proud of!

Arcadia University
Assumption College
Baldwin Wallace University
Barry University
Baylor University
Becker College
Bentley University
Berklee College of Music
Boston College
Boston University
Brandeis University
Bridgewater State University
Bridgton Academy
Brown University
Bryant University
Bunker Hill Community College
Clark University
Clemson University
Coastal Carolina University
Colby-Sawyer College
Columbia College Chicago
Connecticut College
Curry College
Cushing Academy
Daniel Webster College
Daytona State College
Drew University
Drexel University
Duquesne University
Durham University
Earlham College
Elmira College
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – FL
Emerson College
Emmanuel College
Endicott College
Fairfield University
Fisher College
Fitchburg State University
Fordham University
Framingham State University
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Franklin Pierce University
George Mason University
Georgetown University
Gordon College
Goucher College
Hartwick College
Harvard College
Hofstra University
Ithaca College
James Madison University
Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University (Providence)
Keene State College
Lafayette College
Lasell College
Lesley University
Limestone College
Loyola University Maryland
Loyola University New Orleans
Maine Maritime Academy
Marymount Manhattan College
McGill University
MCPHS – Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Merrimack College
Middlesex Community College
Mount Holyoke College
Mount Ida College
Mount Saint Mary College
Muhlenberg College
Nazareth College
New England College
New York University
Newbury College
Nichols College
North Shore Community College
Northeastern University
Norwich University
Pace University, New York City
Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Plymouth State University
Providence College
Purdue University
Queen’s University
Quinnipiac University
Regis College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhode Island College
Rivier University
Roger Williams University
Rollins College
Sacred Heart University
Saint Anselm College
Saint Joseph’s University
Salem State University
Salve Regina University
School of the Museum of Fine Arts
Seton Hall University
Simmons College
Smith College
Southern New Hampshire University
Springfield College
St. John Fisher College
St. John’s University – Queens Campus
St. Lawrence University
St. Norbert College
State University of New York at Albany
Stetson University
Stonehill College
Stony Brook University
Suffolk University
SUNY College at Cobleskill
Susquehanna University
Syracuse University
The College of Saint Rose
The Culinary Institute of America
The George Washington University
The University of Alabama
The University of Arizona
The University of Tampa
Towson University
Trinity College
Tufts University
University College London
University of Bridgeport
University of Chicago
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Connecticut
University of Delaware
University of Edinburgh
University of Hartford
University of Maine
University of Mary Washington
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Massachusetts, Boston
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
University of Miami
University of New England
University of New England
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
University of North Dakota
University of Rhode Island
University of Rochester
University of Saint Joseph
University of South Carolina
University of Southern Maine
University of St. Andrews
University of Vermont
University of Wyoming
Villanova University
Wagner College
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Western New England University
Westfield State University
Wheaton College MA
Wheelock College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester State University

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50 Days in the Schools #35: Melrose Grad Night is here!

Grad Night

A group of Melrose parents has been working all year long to make Melrose High School graduation night special–and safer than ever before.

Concerned about drinking and driving on graduation night, these parents decided to offer students an alternative–Melrose Grad Night, an all-night, “lock-in” graduation party–and they have been busy planning and fund-raising since last summer to make it a reality.

The idea for Grad Night began over 20 years ago, and communities throughout the country have been adopting the idea. Rather than have passive entertainment, such as a show, or a dance, grad night includes interactive activities that engage the students and send them off into the world with a really good party.

After tonight’s graduation ceremonies, students will head back to school for the all-night luau-themed party, which will feature inflatables, a DJ, casino games, a photo booth, a cash cube, a caricaturist, a tarot card reader, and a headline entertainer, as well as some surprises. There will be food from many local restaurants, including pizza, Chinese, BBQ, and a make-your-own-sundae station. Every student will get a t-shirt and a door prize. The event will culminate with breakfast at 4am, and “big” prize drawing of items such as Red Sox and concert tickets, a iPad, a dorm fridge, 19″ TV, and more. The party will be staffed by parent volunteers who will work in shifts throughout the night as chaperones and food servers.

My comments on Hallmark Health and Partners HealthCare

Yesterday I spoke at the Department of Public Health’s hearing on the proposed merger of Hallmark Health, the parent company of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, and Partners HealthCare. Here is what I said:

Hallmark Health System has been the parent health care system for Melrose-Wakefield Hospital since 1997. Melrose-Wakefield Hospital itself has served the patients of the Greater Melrose-Wakefield area for more than a century.

As times have changed, and as new requirements have grown around the delivery of quality health care in our communities, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital has evolved as well. The hospital has continued to provide high quality health care in Melrose for more than 100 years because it has stayed abreast of the medical, technical and financial changes in the health care industry over all that time.

In years gone by, it was enough for Melrose-Wakefield to be a stand-alone community hospital, and it was able to attract physicians, nurses and investment to meet its patients’ needs. By the end of the 1900s, however, as health care became more complex and expensive, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital needed to merge into a larger community system to accomplish those same goals.

Now, a decade and a half later, there is the need for change again, to respond to the understandable and welcomed focus on overall health care costs. Government programs are demanding more systemic clinical integration from primary care to specialty care to accompany bundled payment, and private insurers are following suit, by favoring health care systems that provide the same seamless integrated medical care that is driven by government pay and government regulation.

Given the irreversible trend toward clinical integration, Hallmark Health’s affiliation with Partners HealthCare is necessary to ensure a continuum of medical care from primary care to more complicated cases and to attract the talent and the capital it needs to remain viable as a worthy community hospital system.

In short, the proposed affiliation will serve patients well in the Hallmark Health service area, and it will be an important affiliation for both entities.

First, Hallmark Health will offer Partners HealthCare more affordable and appropriate settings for primary and secondary health care than otherwise available in Mass General Hospital’s tertiary settings. In return, Partners HealthCare will offer Hallmark Health an affiliation that will 1) make the best use of community resources in a lower-cost health care environment, 2) attract the best health care professionals to its community network, and 3) generate continuing reinvestment in our local health care system.

As Mayor of the City of Melrose, and as an active and concerned citizen in Hallmark Health’s core service area, I ask you to please approve Hallmark Health’s request to operate under the license of the Partners HealthCare System. Thank you for allowing me to address you on this extremely important matter.

Register now for the Rob Gronkowski Football Clinic

From the Rec Department:

CITI ROB GRONKOWSKI FOOTBALL CLINIC

Grades: 1 – 8
Days: Saturday, May 31 & Sunday, June 1
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Fred Green Field (High School Turf Football Field)

Cost: $179 when you use code “Melrose” when registering (Originally $199)

Star Tight End Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is coming to Melrose. During the two-day clinic participants will learn fundamental football skills and have the opportunity to meet and interact with the tight end. Each attendee will receive an autograph from Rob and a team photo with Rob. Gronkowski will be on-site to direct the event and will be joined by a selection of prep and college coaches from the area. The clinic is open to boys and girls of all skill levels in grades 1-8. Cost of the clinic is $199 but if you use the code “Melrose” when registering it drops the price to $179 per participant.

To register and for more information please visit www.GronkClinic.com and use the code “Melrose” for a $20 discount.

Congratulations to the MHS Boys’ and Girls’ Lacrosse Teams!

Congratulations to the Melrose High School boys’ lacrosse team on winning their first Middlesex League championship! This is a testament to the strength of our youth lacrosse program as well as the Melrose High athletics department as this is a relatively new program. We may have a new dynasty on our hands!

And good luck to the girls’ lacrosse team, who made the tournament for the first time and will be playing tonight.

Congratulations to boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams!

Come to the Public Open House for the Melrose Highlands Improvement Project this Thursday!

As you may be aware by now, the City recently received nearly $1 million in grant funding through the State’s MassWorks Infrastructure grant program. The purpose of this highly competitive economic development grant is to rebuild and improve the Highlands Business District, along with Franklin Street, Belmont Street, and Belmont Place.

I would argue this is the most important project that will take place in Melrose in the near future. The Highlands area is a gateway to Melrose with what I believe is massive potential to be a vibrant business district outside of downtown with a commuter rail station, ample parking, and a location connecting Melrose to Stoneham, Wakefield, and Saugus.

The scope of this project has many components. In addition to new road and sidewalks, we are creating pedestrian plazas, increasing parking, enhancing safety for vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians, and focusing on landscape architecture to give this area its own identity. In addition to our selected design consultant, Woodard and Curran, I appointed an advisory committee of key stakeholders that included local business owners, residents, and city officials.

In the past few months, the City and its design team have worked to develop plans for these improvements. Meetings have been held with representatives from various interest groups for the project, and City representatives have met individually with many others throughout the design process.

At this time, I would like to welcome all those interested in seeing the current plans to attend an open house meeting about the project. Fellowship Hall at the Melrose Highlands Congregational Church, 355 Franklin Street has been reserved between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Thursday, May 29th for this meeting. Please feel free to stop by at any point during these hours. Members of the City staff and the design team will be available to discuss the project and answer questions throughout the meeting. Plans and 3D renderings of the project will also be available for viewing.

All are welcome and we hope you can attend. Your input is important to help ensure a successful project. If you have any questions between now and the meeting, please feel free to contact the Department of Public Works – Engineering Division at (781) 979-4172.