Monthly Archives: September, 2017

Tragic Event Today in Melrose

I am sorry to have to report to you that a tragic event occurred today in our city. At approximately 3:30 p.m., the Melrose Fire Department was called for a house fire on Grove Street. The Department responded quickly and put out the fire. Unfortunately, during the search it was discovered that a resident had perished. The name of the victim has not been released yet, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

This is a tragic occurrence for our community, and our thoughts are with the victim’s family at this difficult time.

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Important Message from Mayor Dolan

As some of you may already know, we discovered a swastika carved into a piece of playground equipment at the Roosevelt School on Tuesday. This is not the first time this has happened in Melrose over the last year.

This hateful act is an attack not just on our Jewish friends but on our community as a whole. An attack on any group is an attack on all of us.

Although we don’t know who did this terrible thing, often when something like this happens, we point to youth and dismiss it as kids who don’t understand what they are doing.

But that’s too simple an explanation. We see white supremacists and neo-Nazis on the news and in social media quite often now. Our young people are smart, they are observant, and they are taking notice.

That’s why it’s important that we speak up—in public, in our houses of worship, and most importantly, in our homes. It is my hope that parents, grandparents, caregivers, will sit with their children and talk to them about how harmful this act was and the hatred that the swastika represents.

“The swastika is clearly a symbol of hate,” Rabbi Arnie Fertig told me, “and to put it on school property is a desecration. It is hurtful to us, your neighbors and your friends. It is hurtful to everyone around you, whether you know it or not.” I couldn’t agree with him more.

In November, we will dedicate a new World War II monument to those great Americans who fought against the Nazis and Fascism and stood proudly for the American ideals of freedom, justice and peace. Although very few of those heroes who saved the world are still with us, they truly understood what Nazism was—and how truly un-American it is to spread hate against others because of who they are.

Although this is an incredibly horrible act, it is an opportunity to reaffirm our values, to educate young and old, and to reject hate in all forms. Now is the time for each of us to stand up and say “Not here. Not in our schools. Not in our city. Not ever.”

Melrose Cultural Council Now Accepting Grant Proposals for the 2018 Calendar Year

The Melrose Cultural Council (MCC) is now accepting proposals for community-oriented arts, humanities, and science programs that take place between January 1 and December 31, 2018.

Applications must be submitted online by Monday, October 16, 2017. The online application is available at www.melroseculture.org under the “Apply Now” tab.

The MCC supports a variety of artistic projects and activities in Melrose including exhibits, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures. Priority is given to Melrose organizations and individuals, especially those in the visual arts, music, humanities, drama, and interpretive sciences. The MCC strives to provide financial support to projects that appeal to the diverse population of our community including families, adults, youth, and/or seniors.

Proposals must take place during the 2018 calendar year with a firm date, secured venue, and additional sources of funding (proposals must not request 100% funding). Additionally, the MCC will not fund requests for capital expenditures, individual scholarships, refreshments, or multi-year grant projects.

Awards generally range from $100 to $1,000 and are distributed after proof that the event has taken place. For complete guidelines and a list of previously funded projects and awards, please visit www.melroseculture.org.

Melrose Police to Host Golf Tournament Fundraiser to Benefit Community Programs

Chief Michael L. Lyle announces that the Melrose Police Department is hosting a community golf tournament next month and encourages players to sign up.

WHEN: Monday, October 16
Registration is at 9 a.m., with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. Players must register for the tournament by Sept. 29.

WHERE: Mount Hood Golf Course, 100 Slayton Road.

WHAT: The golf tournament is a fundraising event for the Melrose Police Department’s community programs. These include the Junior Police Academy, Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Program and the Melrose Police Scholarship Fund, which gives college scholarships to Melrose High School students pursuing an education in policing or criminal justice.

In years past, the Melrose Police Department has put on an annual comedy show, but this year decided to switch things up and give golfers the opportunity to get one last round in before the end of the season.

“Money raised from our annual fundraising event is what allows the Melrose Police Department to offer programs like the Junior Police Academy and our R.A.D. class to residents for free,” Chief Lyle said. “We know there are a lot of golfers in the community, so we encourage anyone who has the time to come join us and help raise money for some worthwhile community programs.”

Pricing for the event is $125 per golfer and includes a cart, dinner buffet and a gift bag.

Singles, twosomes and threesomes will be paired with others.

Melrose Police are also looking for tee and green sponsors, which are $100 each.

Those who are interested in playing, sponsoring the event, or who have questions should contact Detective Greg Forestell at 781-953-2376 or gforestell@cityofmelrose.org, or Officer John Goodhue at 781-572-8596 or jgoodhue@cityofmelrose.org.

Checks can be made payable to: Greg Forestell c/o Melrose Police Department, 56 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA 02176

Demolition Delay Ordinance Proposed for Historic Properties

Mayor Rob Dolan and the Melrose Historical Commission today introduced legislation that would protect the city’s historic neighborhoods by imposing a six-month moratorium on the demolition of buildings within the City of Melrose constructed prior to 1940, or which are considered registered historic places. The ordinance will go to the Board of Aldermen for their October 2 meeting.

“I believe the demolition delay ordinance will be an important tool in helping to protect historically significant resources in Melrose and help further guide our long-standing objective of responsible development across the City and in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Dolan. “This ordinance will provide a significant window of opportunity to consider other alternatives to the demolition of the building.”

Under the proposal filed by Mayor Dolan and the Historical Commission, the demolition delay ordinance would impose a six month moratorium on the demolition of a historically significant building. All applications filed with the Building Commissioner would then be sent to the Historical Commission for a public hearing process.

“The Melrose Historical Commission urges the Board of Aldermen to pass this demolition delay ordinance,” said Historical Commission Chair James Bennett. “Demolition delay is a tried-and-true tool that dozens of municipalities across the Commonwealth have employed for decades to protect the historical fabric of their communities. Owing to the tight real estate market in the city, demolitions have increased in Melrose in recent years, and we are at risk of forever losing the architectural heritage that makes this such an aesthetically attractive city in which to live and work. The implementation of a demolition delay ordinance would work to reduce such losses.”

“This important ordinance is intended to preserve and protect significant buildings within our City which constitute or reflect distinctive features of the architectural, cultural, and social history of the city, said Dolan.

Farmers’ Market to Celebrate Our Seniors This Thursday!

Join the Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market on Thursday, September 28, anytime between 2-6pm for a special Senior Day at the Farmers’ Market, sponsored by Forestdale Park Senior Living. The farmers have an abundance of delicious, locally grown, fruits and vegetables, and a nice mixture of vendors selling custom handmade jewelry, personal care products, prepared foods, and sweet/savory treats. The day will begin with music from Senior Tones, 2-4pm, and also feature Tai Chi at 3pm, Chair Yoga at 4pm, a Brain Healthy cooking demo throughout the day, raffles give-aways, and more live music (4-6pm). SNAP match sponsor, Melrose Bank, is offering a sit and sip tent with free coffee generously donated by Starbucks. SNAP match up to $10 is available and two of the farmers accept HIP for additional savings.

The market is located at Bowden Park, on West Emerson and Vinton Street, across from the Cedar Park commuter rail station. For more parking options and a closer drop off, free transportation from the Milano Center until 5pm, Seniors should call 781-665-4304 to schedule their time. Free parking available at the Cedar Park Commuter Rail Stop and the Trinity Church lot. Please support your local farmers’ market!

Come to the Friends of Melrose Drama Comedy Night on October 12!

Come join us on Thursday, October 12th for the first official Friends of Melrose Drama Comedy Night at Giggles Comedy Club in Saugus!! Our fundraising event benefits the Melrose Drama program at Melrose High School and Middle School and will feature a top comedian and unlimited cheese pizza, all on a Thursday night!! (Additional food and beverage items can be ordered separately off the menu.)

Doors will open at 6:30 PM, pizza will be served at 7:00 PM and the comedy show will begin at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $25.00 per person and will be available at the Melrose Drama Cabaret on September 22nd at the Middle School Auditorium as well as online at http://tinyurl.com/FriendsofMelroseDrama-Giggles.

Tickets may also be purchased at the door (subject to availability.)
For additional information, please see the Friends of Melrose Drama Facebook page or contact us at friendsofmelrosedrama@gmail.com.

Thanks for supporting the arts in Melrose!!

Friends of Melrose Drama is an affiliate member of the not for profit Community Coalition of Melrose, Inc. and its core mission is to support the students and professional staff involved in the drama program of the Melrose Public Schools. We do this by assisting with the various Melrose Drama productions as well as fundraising to support the program. Funds are used to help defray production costs, fund drama related projects and underwrite one or more scholarships for a graduating Melrose High School senior involved in the Melrose Drama program. Membership is open to any parent, guardian, alumnus, or other person interested in the progress and development of the Melrose Drama program.

Mayor to Appoint Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana

Mayor Dolan is creating an advisory committee to assist him in evaluating potential operators of a registered medical marijuana dispensary in the designated area on Route 99. The Mayor’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will consist of representatives of the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Planning and Community Development, the Police Department, the Health Department, and the Legal Department.

The members of the committee are Director of Community Services Mike Lindstrom; the City legal team of Robert Van Campen and David Lucas; City Planner Denise Gaffey; Police Chief Mike Lyle; and Regional Tobacco Coordinator Maureen Buzby.

The Board of Aldermen recently amended the Melrose Zoning Ordinance to allow this type of use by special permit in the business and industrial district that runs along Route 99. Regardless of who ultimately is able to receive a license from the state, that entity would have to go through a local permitting process in order to receive the special permit.

The City has received a number of proposals for medical marijuana dispensaries. The advisory committee will screen the candidates in order to ensure that they are qualified, responsible, and experienced, before any other permitting or licensure process begins.

“Medical marijuana is legal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and cities and towns must be prepared for it through zoning and regulation,” said Mayor Rob Dolan. “The advisory committee will ensure that anyone operating in the City of Melrose has impeccable credentials and is highly qualified and experienced in the industry. Restricting this use to Route 99 avoids impacts on residential neighborhoods. This is an appropriate commercial zone, and I should further note that any dispensary would have to operate under the strict regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.”

In order to receive a license from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, a potential operator must receive a letter of non-opposition from the community in which it would be situated.

Time Capsule Discovered at Horace Mann School

A time capsule discovered by workers at the Horace Mann School reveals a glimpse of what life was like in 1949—and a new one will be placed in the school to preserve some aspects of life in 2017.

“The contents of this time capsule provided a fascinating glimpse into life in Melrose almost 70 years ago,” said Mayor Rob Dolan. “They were still recovering from World War II, concerned about the potential of the atomic bomb, and at the same time, striving to keep Melrose a good place to live, especially in terms of providing education for the baby boom they knew was coming.”

The time capsule was found by workers who were doing renovations at the school. The metal box, which was sealed in 1949, contained the following items:

  • A letter from the architect of the school, Sherman H. Jones, who included a set of coins in the envelope;
  • A letter from Mayor Thomas L. Thistle, who enclosed some newspaper clippings about Melrose and two copies of his campaign brochure;
  • A letter from the Fiftieth Anniversary Committee, signed by chairman Ralph D. Leonard;
  • A record of the vote of the Melrose School Committee to name the school after Horace Mann; the committee originally voted to name it for former Mayor Charles Adams, but he declined the honor;
  • A letter from Frank E. Keniston, Chairman of the Mayor’s Advisory Building Committee, giving some details of the planning and construction of the school;
  • A brochure from the Melrose Savings Bank (whose president was Ralph D. Leonard);
  • Copies of remarks made by Superintendent of Schools Harold T. Rand and School Committee Chair Herbert N. Faulkner at the laying of the cornerstone;
  • The 1948 Manual of the City of Melrose;
  • A booklet titled “Your Schools in 1948,” which was an annual report about the Melrose schools;
  • The Manual of the Melrose Public Schools;
  • “First Days in School,” a booklet published by the School Department in 1949;
  • Copies of the Melrose Free Press;
  • The List of Persons in the City of Melrose from 1949
  • A copy of the 1948 Melrose annual report;
  • Blueprints of the Horace Mann School

The contents of the time capsule will be displayed temporarily in the new display cases in the Horace Mann entryway before being moved permanently to the Melrose Public Library.

“The documents in this time capsule were handed down to us by Melrosians who were confident in their identity and desirous to impress their values onto posterity,” said Historical Commission Chair James Bennett. “They remind us that Melrose was popularly known at the time as ‘the spotless town.’ Mayor Thistle boasts that his was the only city in the Commonwealth that could claim to be both ‘bone-dry and debt-free.’ The Fiftieth Anniversary Committee tells us that Melrose is ‘a united community” with “no geographical or political divisions and no class dissentions [sic].’ Emerging from the wreckage of the Depression and World War II, facing down the threat of nuclear annihilation, these voices from our past nonetheless exude a confidence that this community had the fortitude to weather any future storm.”

Dr. Mary Ellen Cobbs, the principal of the Horace Mann, is preparing a new time capsule, which will be buried on October 2.

The new time capsule will mirror the old, with letters from Mayor Dolan, Dr. Cobbs, and staff and students of the school, who will describe what their lives are like in Melrose in 2017 and what their hopes are for those who open the time capsule in the future. “I’m hoping they will find ways to connect their lives in the present with those of future Horace Mann staff and students,” Cobbs said. She also plans to include the lyrics to the school song, a school schedule, a stamp, newspapers and magazines, and a stuffed husky (the school mascot).

Cobbs said this is a rare opportunity for the students to create a piece of the historical record. In school, they learn about primary sources, documents that directly record someone’s experiences or thoughts in the past. “We have taught the children how valuable primary source documents are,” Cobbs said, “and now we are creating a primary source document. It’s a great way to reinforce what we are always teaching them, that we are historians, and we are responsible for teaching others.”

“Just as the artifacts we discovered helped create a bridge back to what education was like in that time, we would like to create a bridge to connect what we are doing to the future,” she said.

Letters from Mayor Tom Thistle and architect Sherman H. Jones

A peek inside “Your Schools in 1948

Hallmark Health Stride for Healthy Communities 5K on September 30

Join Hallmark Health for the 2017 Stride for Healthy Communities 5K Walk and Run on Saturday, September 30, at Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield. Register at hallmarkhealth.org/stride. Prizes will be awarded for the top finishers in each age group category, and all children 12 years old and younger will receive a medal. Tech race shirts are included with registration while supplies last. Proceeds from the Stride benefit Hallmark Health family health services, such as CPR training for high school students, rescue resources at a local fire department, diabetes education and other initiatives to keep our communities healthy. Help us continue to make a difference in our communities while enjoying this family-friendly event. You can also help support the walkers and runners by volunteering at the water stop. To volunteer or for more information about the event, please contact the Fund Development office at 781-338-7620.

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