Author Archive: Mayor Dolan

Come and Cheer at the 16th Annual Adult Trivia Bee

Come and Cheer! 40 teams will be competing in the 16thAnnual Melrose Adult Trivia Bee at 7pm this Saturday, March 25, 2017 at Memorial Hall. At this very popular city-wide event, citizens, city officials, business owners, teachers, school PTOs, club members and non-profit leaders compete on teams to discover which group knows the greatest amount of obscure and non-essential information. Even if you aren’t on a team you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a table Trivia for a small donation. This year’s Trivia Bee is sponsored by East Boston Savings Bank and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, a member of Hallmark Health.

Admission is free and light refreshments are sold at the event, including beer & wine and select items from Wood & Fire Restaurant! You can buy raffle tickets for a chance to win many exciting raffle items including: Red Sox game tickets and amazing sports memorabilia; museum and theater tickets; a Keurig Brewer; a handcrafted quilt; a private wine class and a Cape Cod Weekend, just to name a few! Additionally, each table will feature 3-D art created by Melrose High School students in grades 9-12. The Trivia Bee is held annually as a fundraiser for The Bridge: A School/Community Partnership.

“The Trivia Bee is not your average fundraiser,” said Jennifer McAllister, Coordinator of Volunteers at The Bridge: A School/Community Partnership. “This event generates a lot of excitement in the community with 40 competing teams, local television coverage, and hundreds of spectators.”

The Bridge: A School Community Partnership is a unique non-profit organization that recruits trains and places volunteers in the Melrose Public Schools. Established in 1993, The Bridge mission is based on the philosophy that young people benefit greatly when community members contribute their time, talent and expertise to assist public education.

For more information on the Trivia Bee or volunteering in Melrose Public Schools please call 781-979-2299 or email: jmcallister@melroseschools.com.

Melrose Symphony Presents “Superheroes” Family Concert on April 2

On Sunday, April 2nd at 3 p.m. the Melrose Symphony invites you to a special, 45-minute concert introducing the orchestra to children and adults.

See, hear, and try the instruments of the symphony orchestra in this fun-filled afternoon in Memorial Hall for kids ages 3 and up.

Learn about the instruments of the orchestra through favorite cartoon and superhero music of Superman, Star Wars, and more! You’ll also hear special music from some local superheroes – music teachers Luke Miller and Matt Repucci from the Melrose public schools.

From 1:30-2:30 pm, audience members are invited to try the instruments of the orchestra in the very popular pre-concert instrument “petting zoo.”

This concert sells out! Tickets are $3 for kids and $10 for adults. Purchase online at www.melrosesymphony.org/familyconcert or in-store at Miter Biter or Buckalew’s on Main Street in Melrose.

Lincoln School Spring Carnival on April 2

Enjoy Easter Brunch at Mount Hood on April 16

Melrose Forward: A Community Vision and Master Plan Public Forum on March 3

The public is invited to participate in a Public Forum hosted by the Master Plan Advisory Committee to be held at 7:00PM on Thursday, March 30, 2017 in the GAR Room of Memorial Hall. The public forum is an opportunity for residents to review draft guidance for the City’s future on a range of topics including land use and zoning, housing, economic development, transportation, energy, open space and recreation, public facilities and services, and historic and cultural resources.

Melrose Forward: A Community Vision and Master Plan kicked off at the Victorian Fair in September 2015 and since that time the Master Plan Advisory Committee, the Office of Planning and Community Development and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council have worked with the community to identify needs and wishes for the coming decade. The culmination of this effort is a Master Plan for the City that will serve as a policy document guiding decisions on growth and preservation for the next ten years. The draft Master Plan will be released at the Public Forum and the Advisory Committee will be asking for feedback on the goals, strategies, and action items identified in the Plan.

“Over the next 10 years, it will be important to encourage both development and preservation that maintain ties to our historical roots while also serving the needs of a 21st century populace,” noted Mayor Robert J. Dolan. “To achieve this goal and others, the draft Master Plan identifies actions to address local and regional housing, economic development, facilities and infrastructure, and transportation needs.”

The Public Forum will be a combination of an open house and a facilitated conversation. Melrose residents are encouraged to provide feedback at the Forum or during the 21 day review period following the Forum. Public comments will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee and incorporated into the final document.

Memorial Hall is located at 590 Main Street. Parking is available in the municipal lot located behind Memorial Hall and on the street. For additional information, contact Erin Zwirko at 781-979-4193 or at ezwirko@cityofmelrose.org.

Governor Warns Congress of Possible Effects on State and Local Budgets

I want you to be aware of the implications of the ongoing deliberations in Washington regarding health care. Obviously, the primary concern would be health care coverage, costs, etc., but the decisions that will be made in the coming weeks will have a significant negative impact in coming years on operations in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Melrose.

Below is a letter from Governor Baker regarding his concerns about potential loss of over $1 billion in federal assistance annually to Massachusetts due to the proposed health care legislation. This loss of revenue will not only affect the health care of individuals but will also have a tremendous impact on the state’s ability to fund education, local aid, special education costs, and all the programs that are delivered by local government. Now more than ever, the direct and indirect impacts of federal and state decisions are having serious effects on local government. In some cases these effects are positive, and in many others they are negative. But we can never think that these decisions don’t affect us in many different ways. They do, and in fact the withdrawal of the federal and the state government not only is continuing but has been accelerating. This leaves us on our own in many ways to maintain and advance our community.

Here is the text of Governor Baker’s letter:

Dear Delegation Member,

Health care is once again at the forefront of national and state policy discussions; I know we all share the goal of ensuring access to quality, affordable health care coverage for the people of Massachusetts. With Congress set to take up the American Health Care Act (AHCA) imminently, I wanted to share with you my administration’s analysis of the potential effects this bill would have on our state.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score of the AHCA on March 13. This analysis is broadly consistent with concerns we have raised, with you and others, regarding the bill’s impact on the state and it residents’ access to affordable healthcare. Applying CBO’s assumptions to Massachusetts results in at least $1 billion of reduced federal revenue beginning in 2020, and we estimate reduced revenue of $1.3 billion in 2021, and $1.5 billion in 2022, with likely a greater annual impact in the years that follow.

Specifically, our estimate extrapolated from the CBO analysis of a $1.5 billion impact for FY 2022 includes $1.3 billion of annual MassHealth federal revenue losses and $200 million in annual reduced federal subsidies for private insurance through the Connector.

Several key areas of concern for Massachusetts were not included in the CBO analysis and could further impact the Commonwealth’s budget. For example, the CBO estimate does not address 1115 waiver payments that we believe this bill would put at risk. By FY22, the Commonwealth estimates an additional $425-475 million per year of reduced federal revenue in potential elimination of 1115 payments not captured under the per capita targets, including federal matching funds for a state-run ConnectorCare Wrap subsidy.

The actual experience for these and other factors is significantly dependent on how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implements the legislation and unpredictable factors in the future (e.g., pharmaceutical growth).

In addition to reduced federal revenue for Medicaid, the CBP also projects a reduction in employer-sponsored health insurance of 7 million people nationwide as a result of the repeal of the federal Employer Mandate. This would exacerbate a trend that Massachusetts has seen over the last several years. Massachusetts repealed the Chapter 58 Fair Share Contribution in 2013 in order to comport with the ACA. My administration has proposed reinstating an employers’ shared responsibility for the costs of health care. This would be increasingly important if the federal Employer Mandate were repealed, as the AHCA proposes.

The Commonwealth does have certain protections in place that could mitigate the impact of some of these changes. Massachusetts retains its individual health insurance mandate, reducing the likelihood that many people would drop out of the insurance market due to the repeal of the federal mandate. Massachusetts also has protective insurance coverage laws that would not be superseded by the federal legislation.

The AHCA includes a provision that would prevent Medicaid from reimbursing Planned Parenthood for providing important health services such as cancer screenings. My administration opposes this provision, and has already committed to funding these services with state dollars if it should pass.

During conversations with governors across the country, the Trump Administration has expressed a general openness to providing greater state flexibility with respect to health care, including through a letter issued by HHS Secretary Price on March 14 to states. Our administration will pursue additional flexibilities to stabilize our markets and ensure continued coverage for residents and we urge you to support these efforts by leading discussions in Congress to ensure the people of Massachusetts continue to have access to a quality health care system.

Overall, our analysis indicates that the AHCA would increasingly strain the fiscal resources necessary to support the Commonwealth’s continued commitment to universal health coverage. I hope this information is helpful to you as Congress takes up the American Health Care Act.

My administration and I will continue to stay in touch with you as we work together to ensure access to quality, affordable health coverage for all Massachusetts residents.

Sincerely,

Charles D. Baker
Governor

Congratulations Casey O’Donnell!

Congratulations to Melrose High School graduate Casey O’Donnell, who won a gold medal as top bowler in the Special Olympics earlier this month. When he is not bowling, Casey is a volunteer in our office and at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, and a student in the Melrose High School post-graduate program. Well done, Casey!

Melrose Police Department to Host Community Meeting on Narcan March 29

Chief Michael Lyle and Kathleen Guevara from the Melrose Substance Abuse Coalition announce that the Melrose Police Department will host its March community meeting on nasal Naloxone (Narcan) and how to use the life-saving opioid reversal drug.

Narcan, an opioid antagonist, can quickly reverse the effects of a potentially fatal painkiller or heroin overdose by displacing the drug from the receptors in the brain. It has minimal side effects, is not dangerous if administered to a person who is not overdosing and it has no potential for abuse.

All of Melrose’s police cruisers are equipped with Narcan and every officer is trained on how to use the reversal drug. Melrose Police have deployed Narcan on numerous occasions, giving victims another chance to seek treatment to overcome their addiction. Nasal Naloxone is also available for those in need without a prescription and is covered by most health insurance companies.

To best ensure that community members and families who fear their loved ones may overdose know how to access and use the drug, Melrose Police and the Substance Abuse Coalition will focus on educating participants on how to administer Narcan. The Melrose Police Department will also distribute a number of Naloxone kits to attendees.

The community meeting will be held at the Milano Senior Center, 201 West Foster St., on Wednesday, March 29 from 6-8 p.m.

Guest speakers and presenters include a survivor of Narcan, Chief Lyle, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and representatives from Cataldo Ambulance and the Melrose Substance Abuse Coalition.

“We know that no community is immune to the negative effects of the nationwide opioid epidemic,” Chief Lyle said. “We certainly want residents and those with loved ones struggling with addiction to be equipped with Narcan and to know how and when to use the opioid reversal drug.”

The event is part of the department’s monthly community meetings initiative, where police and other city and state officials gather to discuss prevalent topics with members of the community.

Melrose Community Blood Drive on March 27

Welcome to Melrose, Lucky Cat Yarns!

I was happy to be there to cut the ribbon at the new Lucky Cat Yarns—and to get my first knitting lesson!

Lucky Cat Yarns is located at 167 West Emerson St., and owner Leanne Leno, a Melrose resident, offers an assortment of yarns from A to Z, literally: Alpaca Yarn Company to Zen Yarn Garden. She also gives lessons and has a drop-in class as well. The store is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday (closed Monday). Stop in and check it out!

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