MBS Holly Festival and Craft Fair to Be Held December 3


The Most Blessed Sacrament Women’s Guild will hold its 53rd Annual Holly Festival and Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Parish Center, 1155 Main St., Wakefield.

Gift items available for your holiday shopping include handmade knitted afghans, sweaters, scarves and mittens, beautiful gift baskets, custom decorated fresh evergreen wreaths, Christmas decorations, jewelry and delicious home baked goods and candy.

There are lots of great raffles including a handmade quilt, a 50” Smart Screen TV, gift certificates and lottery ticket items. Also, 50-50 chances are sold throughout the day. You can even have a caricature done! The lunch menu includes fresh lobster rolls, chicken salad, hot dogs, homemade meatball subs, homemade chili, clam chowder and pizza. Honey Dew Donuts and coffee are available in the morning.

Please come to the Fair to kick off your Christmas season with a fun-filled day of shopping and holiday cheer.


Alternative Holiday Fair and Café on December 3

The Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church at 70 West Emerson, (the Home For The Holidays trolley stop opposite the Melrose Public Library) invites all to the Alternative Holiday Fair and Café on December 3rd from 10am to 2pm. The Alternative Fair is an “alternative” to mall shopping and provides a market for interesting handmade items from Central America and other countries. Fair trade coffee, chocolate and tea are available and local businesses will be selling spices and jams. Local causes will also have displays of nice items for sale. The Melrose UU Church quilters have items for sale to support its outreach to veterans and children in hospitals, and the Cafe Kitchen will be serving homemade soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Come, shop, have an inexpensive lunch, and relax.

A New Look for Tierney Hall

The new look for Tierney Hall
The new look for Tierney Hall

Since its opening in 1995, the Milano Center has become a home away from home for older adults in Melrose and a source of pride for the entire community. Hundreds of seniors attend the Center monthly for fitness classes, meals, and educational, cultural, and recreational activities. As a result of this constant heavy use of the Center, it can be a challenge to improve the building in ways that represent the essential programs and services being offered to a vibrant community of older adults.

In Melrose, we are extremely fortunate to have the Friends of the Milano Center, a non-profit whose purpose is to fundraise to maintain and enhance the Milano Center beyond the funding ability of the City. They have been instrumental in funding dozens of projects through public/private partnerships that otherwise many not have been completed. Like many in our community, I am grateful for their dedication in helping keep the Center a gem of the City.

Their latest work can be seen with these before-and-after photos highlighting the recent upgrades made to Tierney Hall in the Milano Center, including new flooring, window treatments, paint, and doors.

The next phase of improvements will be to the upstairs classroom and art room and will also include painting, new floors, new cabinets and new window treatments. We anticipate beginning this work within the next couple of months. In coordination with their efforts, I will be proposing a funding order to scrape and paint the outside of the building, similar to the work recently completed at the Beebe Estate.

I would like to offer a very special thank you to Friends of Milano Center for their financial support and to designer Ann Linehan for her assistance.

The public is invited to stop in for a tour, see the improvements, and learn about what Melrose has to offer older adults.


Melrose Drama Presents ‘The Laramie Cycle’ December 2-4


Come join Melrose Drama as it presents the impactful and thought provoking production “The Laramie Cycle” at the Melrose Performing Arts Center, located at the Middle School, on December 2nd through the 4th. The first play in the Cycle, “The Laramie Project,” will be performed on Friday December 2nd at 7:00 PM and Saturday, December 3rd at 1:00 PM with the second play in the cycle, “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” presented on Saturday December 3rd at 7:00 PM and Sunday December 4th at 1:00 PM. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors and will be available at the door.

“The Laramie Cycle,” directed by Adam Schuler, is a two part production written by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project. The first play in the Cycle “The Laramie Project” recounts the tragic death of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was beaten to death in the small town of Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. Over the next several weeks, Matthew’s story became a national news sensation. “The Laramie Project,” is a series of word-for-word real-life interviews conducted with over 200 people from the town of Laramie. It is both a retelling of the events that transpired and a portrait of the residents and town of Laramie in the year following Matthew’s murder.

The second play in the Cycle, “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” takes place ten years later in 2008, when five members of the Tectonic Project returned to Laramie to try to understand the long-term effect of the murder. They found a town wrestling with its legacy and its place in history. In addition to revisiting the folks whose words riveted audiences in the original play, Tectonic also spoke with the two murderers, McKinney and Henderson, as well as Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard. “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” is an important and bold work, which asks the question, “How does society write its own history?”

“The Laramie Cycle” has been seen by over thirty million people and has been described by critics as “nothing short of stunning, not to be missed” and as “a pioneering work and a powerful stage event.” For more information on the production, please see the Melrose Drama webpage or the Melrose Drama Facebook page. Come see this important work and thank you for supporting the arts in Melrose.

Melrose Commission on Women Presents “Dream, Girl” on November 30


The Melrose Commission for Women will be screening a film called “Dream, Girl” this Wednesday evening, November 30, at the Melrose High School Learning Commons. “Dream, Girl” is documentary showcasing the stories of inspiring and ambitious female entrepreneurs who started their own companies. The film, which premiered at the White House in May, has been an international success – earning accolades from even Oprah Winfrey! Instead of just telling girls and women that they can be whatever they want to be, the film seeks to show them what it means to be a leader by focusing on women, diverse in age and background, who have already achieved success and are committed to helping other fulfill their dreams too.

There will be a guided discussion after the film. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. We believe it is well suited for high school, middle school and even older elementary school students.

The Melrose Commission on Women will also unveil its new logo and congratulate the designer of the Commission’s new logo during the program.

Doors open at 6:30 pm and program starts at 7:00 pm.

We hope you can join us!

Support Our Local Businesses This Holiday Season!

Melrose may be one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, but it’s still a place where you can walk into a store and the owner will greet you by name, where the staff at your favorite coffee place knows how you like your coffee, and where business owners go the extra mile for their customers.

One of the best things about Melrose is that it isn’t just a place where people live, it’s a place where people work and shop. Whether you need a birthday cake, a holiday outfit, or a new web design, you can get it here. And that’s why it’s important that you patronize local businesses, for large purchases and small.

That’s getting easier to do: Over the past several years we have seen many new businesses open and thrive in our community. We have made improvements to our business districts, including Melrose Highlands and Cedar Park, and added parking in the central downtown lot, to make it easier than ever before to dine, shop, and do business in Melrose.

Having strong business districts means we can get much of what we need close to home, from groceries to specialty goods. And there’s more to it than mere convenience: Our local businesses not only provide us with necessary goods and services, they also support our community organizations, such as the Melrose Symphony and the Melrose Public Schools, by displaying flyers, selling tickets, donating raffle items, and sponsoring events. Our businesses are an essential part of the fabric of this community.

In order for this to continue in the future, we must support our local businesses as they support us. That means keeping it local. When we choose to dine in Melrose, when we choose to buy our holiday gifts in Melrose, we are choosing to keep our city vibrant. Our business districts thrive because you shop there.

Do you shop local? If not, please do so this holiday season—and all year round. Go to a local business, introduce yourself, and buy something, or treat yourself to a meal in one of our excellent restaurants. You will be greeted with a smile, excellent service, and a quality product—and at the same time, you will be making your community stronger.

Have a great holiday season, Melrose! We all have much to be thankful for.

Melrose Participates in Metro Mayors Climate Change Summit


I was proud to be one of the speakers at the Metro Mayors Climate Change Summit last Thursday, organized by the Metropolitan Area Planning Committee. Climate change doesn’t respect boundaries; the whole region is affected, so it makes sense for us to work together. Last week, we crafted a new Climate Mitigation Commitment that will help reduce greenhouse emissions in our communities, from municipal and other sources. The document calls for specific actions, including a commitment for each municipality to create a climate mitigation plan and take three specific actions by the year 2020. Melrose is already ahead of the curve, as we have already implemented a number of the specific actions, including

  • Conducting an energy audit of all municipal buildings and upgrading them to be more energy efficient;
  • Converting our streetlights to energy-efficient LED bulbs;
  • Promoting energy audits for residents;
  • Adopting a Stretch Energy Code for new buildings;
  • Adopting Complete Streets policies;
  • Encouraging Transit Oriented Development, the placement of new residential developments near public transit nodes;
  • Acquiring two electric cars for City use;
  • Installing solar panels on several buildings;
  • Instituting a load shedding program so we reduce our energy use on days when it is expected to peak.

Stay tuned for more in 2017!