If you are a member of the city’s municipal aggregation program, you will notice on your August electric bill that your supplier has changed from Constellation to National Grid Basic Service. Due to a spike in electric capacity costs in our area, other suppliers no longer have the most competitive rate for the near future. Therefore, we have moved back to National Grid as our supplier. The City plans to continue the aggregation program in late 2018 after the current rate spike ends and when the program can once again provide savings.
The Community Gardens are open! We had a brief opening ceremony today with members of the Community Garden Committee and Melrose Rotary and staff from Whole Foods, all of whom are sponsoring the gardens together with the City of Melrose and Whittemore Hardware. As you can see, this year’s gardens are already well under way. This was a very nice event, and I want to thank all our co-sponsors for helping make the Community Garden a reality.
The Farm Direct Coop, a multi-farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) operating in Marblehead, Melrose and Salem has limited availability for memberships for the 2017 season. In the traditional CSA model, shareholders join up with one farm and share in both the risks and the bounty of the harvest. The FDC maintains the ethic of supporting local agriculture, but supports more than 80 local farms, dairies, bakeries and other vendors of local, artisanal products.
In operation for nearly 25 years, the Farm Direct Coop has morphed from a handful of families joined with one farmer in Marblehead, to an 800 member organization with two pickup days per week in three towns. In addition to organic vegetable shares, the coop also offers IPM fruit, bread, eggs, cheese, fresh mushrooms, flowers and a cook’s share featuring local staples and intriguing specialty cooking items. Fruit and vegetable shares come in two sizes so members can custom order their share sizes to meet the needs of their household. Other items such as local grains, honey, maple syrup and a large variety of other local products are offered regularly as add-ons.
The FDC differs from other CSAs in that rather than receiving a pre-filled box, members choose their own produce in an open air market setting. Most weeks during the regular season, which runs June through October, offer members some choice as to what goes in their bag. Members can also put shares on hold up to two weeks during the season to accommodate vacations.
Opening day is soon approaching! The official start will be June 6th for Tuesday pickups and June 8th for Thursday pickups. Follow this link to the signup page to enroll, or visit farmdirectcoop.org for more information about the coop.
The Melrose Pedestrian Bicycle Committee will be coordinating a coordinating a bicycle commuter convoy from Melrose to Boston on the morning of Friday, May 19th. These rides are well suited for all levels of experience, including anybody who has considered riding their bike to work in Boston in the morning but is concerned about the route or traffic and would like to try it as part of a group first.
This occasion will be part of Boston’s National Bike to Work Day Festival.
The group will leave at 7:00 am from the corner of Foster St and Main St in Melrose (by the YMCA), picking up more people at 7:15am at the intersection of Main St and the Northern Strand Trail in Malden, and more at 7:30 at the McDonald’s on Route 99 at Beacham St in Everett. They will arrive in City Hall Plaza, Boston at around 7:45, joining an end-of-ride festival.
To find out more, see the City of Boston Bike to Work Day page.
Just in time for the warm weather, the Melrose Recreation Department has published its Spring/Summer Brochure, which is filled with sports, classes, and fun events for all ages. Check it out, and get ready to enjoy the sunshine!
I want to thank Melrose Birth to Five for giving Superintendent Cyndy Taymore and I the opportunity to speak at their Realtors’ Breakfast in December at Mount Hood. For many new families moving to Melrose, their Realtor is their first connection to the community. This event was a great opportunity to have an open dialogue about our city and our schools with those that help sell our City on a daily basis.
I have also attached a great Melrose Public Schools Infographic produced by Melrose Birth to Five for the event highlighting many of the recent successes of the Melrose Public Schools. Thank you Amy Swan, owner of Amy Swan Design, for creating this great informational piece!
The Untold Stories of Melrose is a series of interviews by two senior interns from Melrose High School, Freddie Kelley and Connor Locke, who have been working in my office for the past few weeks.
Alicia Reddin is the Veterans Services Director for Melrose, Wakefield, and Saugus, taking over while Veterans Services Director Ryan McLane is on military deployment.
In April of 2007, when I was stationed overseas, we had a workplace shooting in our building, and I lost two friends.
[It was] a guy who we were all a little uncomfortable around. He just had these social mannerisms that none of us were keen on. But we tried to hang out, tried to invite him out, because you don’t want him to be the odd one out. One morning we all did our morning formation—it’s basically like attendance—and we all went to our respective offices. It was a one-floor building with a set of stairs that went into the armory, where we keep all of guns, our weapons, ammunition, everything. He was a gunner’s mate, so he was in charge of all that.
Maybe an hour later, we heard gunshots at the back of the building. At first we thought, “Well, it’s the armory, maybe they were cleaning a weapon or messing around, but maybe, god forbid, something bad happened.” So some people came out of their offices to look, and he walked right into the building, with a gun in his hand, smiling, like the happiest guy you’ve ever seen. And he walked in and said, “I just killed two people, and I’m going to kill the rest of you.” And he was just so calm, so calm.
We sheltered in place, and you can see pretty far down the hallway, so some of us ducked and some of us covered, and he let off a couple more shots in the building. Luckily no one in the building was hit. But of the two people in the armory that were with him, one of them died. He was shot in the stomach and in the leg, and as he tried to crawl away, he was shot execution style in the back of the head. He was 25 with a two-month-old baby daughter at home.
The other guy was brand new, just out of high school, wasn’t even legal to drink yet. He ended up getting shot in the chest, just above the hip, and in the leg. They didn’t think he would make it, but he did. He never walked quite the same again, but they were able to get him medical attention in time.
It’s made me more wary of people. I try to be very upbeat. I try to be enthusiastic and I try to be bubbly. And my logic around that is, I need something to cover up the fact that I have that trust issue now. When there’s a bad guy, it’s different. But when it’s one of the good guys that becomes the bad guy, it just throws everything off.
You’re trained to not trust the other side. You’re trained to fully trust your side—your life is in these people’s hands. So when something like that happens, it changes everything for you. It changes how you see your relationships; it changes how you operate in the workplace. And for a long time, I couldn’t trust the people that I served with. I really disassociated with a lot of them over the years. And now I’m back in touch with some of them. But it’s not as easy. We have this shared thing that we lived through, but I think after seeing how someone that you trust so much can do something like that, makes you automatically have that issue with trust.
I’ve been fortunate that I work in a place where I’m comfortable with everyone. I’ve left jobs since I got out, because I wasn’t comfortable around the people, because I felt like something like that could happen again. But I am so fortunate because here, I really don’t feel that way. I don’t sit at my desk and worry that someone is going to bust through that door. And I’m fortunate, because a lot of people don’t ever get to find themselves in a safe place like that, or find themselves comfortable enough with the people they work with.
The following message was sent out by the Melrose School Department this morning.
Melrose High School and Middle School is holding a TEMPORARY shelter in place – Please do NOT come to campus.
The High School has received a threat to the building. We know this is a robo-call similar to those received around the state. While we do not feel there is a significant threat, given recent threats to many regional schools, we are acting with a great deal of caution.
We are NOT currently dismissing school. Students are not exiting the building while the police do a sweep and then we plan to resume a normal day.
We are working closely with the police to make sure that the process is orderly and safe.
Please do not come on campus and please do not call as we need to attend to this matter with the police and fire departments.
On Saturday, May 7th the Healthy Melrose Family Wellness & Fitness Fair is back with bigger and better events for adults and kids than ever before!
This year we also welcome back Sustainable Melrose to the Healthy Melrose family offering a host of new vendors, giveaways, and educational demos for our patrons.
Please stay tuned for several exciting upcoming announcements regarding more food trucks, more free food samples, and several new awesome family activities in addition to some returning favorites.
In the meantime, there is still limited space left for potential vendors who would like to be a part of this community event that last year saw over 3,000 people attend.
For more information, go to the Healthy Melrose website.