Watch the Messina Fine Arts Awards Presentation

We presented the Melrose Messina Fine Arts Awards to local artists and arts organizations a few weeks ago, and now, thanks to Mike Miner of MMTV, you can watch the whole thing! I was gratified to learn that several of the awards allowed the organizations to start programs that are now growing into larger initiatives. I want to thank the members of the MMFA Committee, who worked hard on this all year, and congratulate the artists and organizations who have done so much to enrich Melrose’s cultural life.

Come to the Farmers Market Today!

The Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market is on today, June 25, from 1 to 7 p.m. at Cedar Park.

At today’s market, you can expect to find strawberries, greenhouse tomatoes, radishes, turnips, broccoli raab, Asian greens, swiss chard, garlic scapes, summer zucchini, and kusa squash, and possibly raspberries and sugar snap peas. Also grass fed meat, chicken, eggs, pasta, gluten free pasta, spices, bread, popovers, fresh roasted coffee, tea, brownies, granola, fresh yogurt, fresh mozzarella, Egyptian and Lebanese food.

On the Edge Knife Sharpening will be at the market for their monthly visit, and Curious Creatures will be there with exotic animals from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. In addition, there will be a cooking demonstration by Holly Pierce at 3:30 and live music by Paul Harty from 4 to 6 p.m. Barre and Soul Yoga Studio is offering free outdoor yoga from 5 to 6 p.m.

Check the website for more details about today’s special activities!

City of Melrose Adds Electric Vehicles, Charging Station

City Engineer Andy Street with his new electric vehicle

City Engineer Andy Street with his new electric vehicle

The City of Melrose recently added two vehicles to its fleet: Ford Focus battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that will be used by City Engineer Andrew Street and Fire Prevention Officer Captain John White. The vehicles’ batteries will charge overnight at the newly installed ChargePoint electric vehicle charging station located in the parking lot behind City Hall.

“The City of Melrose has made a significant effort to reduce its carbon footprint over the past three years,” said Mayor Rob Dolan. “We have made our schools and other City buildings more energy efficient and installed LED bulbs in our Victorian streetlights. This is another area where we can make a smart choice that reduces emissions without sacrificing performance.”

The BEVs were partially funded through a $15,000 grant award from the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP), available from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The level 2 charging station and installation was completely funded by an additional $15,000 EVIP grant secured for the City by Martha Grover, Energy Efficiency Manager.

The BEVs can get 80-100 miles from a single battery charge for just a few dollars. Grover estimates that the annual electric costs to run each car will be just $150. And without an internal combustion engine, as in hybrid or fossil fuel vehicles, there is no need for oil changes or other regular maintenance other than the brakes, tires, and windshield wipers.

“It’s a great little car that drives a lot better than I thought it would,” said Captain White. Street agreed, saying “I don’t miss my old pick-up truck. The electric Ford Focus is great for getting around Melrose to all of my job sites.”

The dual-charging station in the City Hall parking lot is available to the public for use during the day from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Resident Evan Shu, owner of an electric vehicle, said, “I was overjoyed when I found out about them using the PlugShare app, because their location is perfect for my errands in town. The metropolitan Boston area has too few electric car chargers in the area, so it is always a cause for celebration for electric car owners when new ones go in. It makes me proud to live in a city that is taking the lead in energy saving with both Melrose’s recent solar initiative and now the installation of these new electric car charging stations.”

The Fire Prevention Officer's electric vehicle

The Fire Prevention Officer’s electric vehicle

The electric vehicle charging station in the City Hall lot

The electric vehicle charging station in the City Hall lot

Temple Beth Shalom Presents Jazz Concert on Saturday

Temple Beth Shalom of Melrose is proud to bring back its popular jazz concert series on Saturday, June 27th with a special performance dedicated to the late Irving Smolens, Keeping Jazz Alive.

The concert will feature Berklee College of Music professor and bassist Bruce Gertz and Trio Now. Popular Boston jazz vocalist Donna McElroy will join Bruce and his talented band. Also performing are fellow Berklee faculty member Steve Hunt on piano and Jack Diefendorf on drums. Trio Now has a newly released CD called Someday Soon, available on iTunes.

Bruce is a well-known and sought after musician in the Boston area and beyond. He has toured and performed with Gary Burton, John Abercrombie, Maynard Ferguson, Cab Calloway, and many others. Most recently, Bruce backed guitarist Larry Coryell and his Strings Attached project at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston. He’s a winner of the Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll, among many other honors and awards.

Donna McElroy has performed with Amy Grant, Bebe and Cece Winans, Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, Ahmad Jamal, Reba McEntire, and many other popular artists. She has recorded several CDs of her own, including a collection of sacred hymns called I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.

The TBS jazz series returns to Melrose after a hiatus of several years. Its renaissance is inspired by the recent passing of longtime Temple member Irving Smolens. Irving was an avid jazz fan and never missed a single performance in the series’ 15+ year history. Just a few weeks before his death he spoke to fellow Temple member Bruce Gertz about bringing the concerts back. While this memorial performance comes too late for Irving, Bruce and other Temple jazz fans believe there is no better tribute than to fill the TBS sanctuary with the music he loved so much.

The show begins at 8 p.m. and doors open at 7. Tickets are $20 and are available at several Melrose businesses: Hourglass, Bohemian Coffeehouse, Coffee, Tea & Me, La Qchara, and Miter Biter. Limited tickets will also be available at the door, but buying them in advance is recommended. Beer, wine and cocktails will be available. For more information or to make reservations, please call 781-662-5856.

Temple Beth Shalom is located at 21 East Foster Street in Melrose. Our building is wheelchair-accessible. There is ample parking nearby and we’re located near the Oak Grove station on the Orange Line.

Energy Commission Offers “Green” Real Estate Presentation

Craig Foley

Are you interested in purchasing a home that has incorporated energy-efficiency upgrades, or are you selling your home and want to make sure that buyers recognize the value of sustainability improvements?

If so, you’ll want to hear Craig Foley, Chief of Energy Solutions for RE/MAX, speak at the next Melrose Energy Commission meeting on June 25 at 7:15 p.m. The MEC meeting will be held in the Mayor’s Conference Room at Melrose City Hall, 562 Main St.

Foley’s presentation will address the various ways home buyers and sellers are able to access energy-efficiency information. “More and more, real estate agencies are including ‘green data fields’ in their listings so buyers can make choices based on sustainability,” he explains. “In addition, there are a number of new programs and legislative proposals to help consumers understand energy costs when buying or leasing a property.”

“I would recommend this presentation to anyone who wants to find out about the future of real estate and what the industry is doing to promote efficiency,” says Tyler Ballew, MEC co-chair. “Craig’s background in real estate and energy management enables him to offer an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at these issues.”

This event is free and open to the public. For further information, contact MEC at 781-662-2616 or info@melroseenergy.org.For additional information about Foley, visit http://www.realestate-sustainability.com.

Overdose Prevention and Narcan Training on Thursday

Overdose Training flyer June 2015

Severe Weather on the Way

Forecasts predict the possibility of localized severe weather in our area. Heavy wind, thunder and lightning, in addition to localized areas of intense rain are possible.

Please use caution as you plan your afternoon and early evening events, especially those outdoors.

Shop at Whole Foods Today and Benefit Friends of the Fells

WFM Friends of the Fells 5% Day

Calling Melrose Musicians of All Ages!

4 corners

The City of Melrose will again be hosting the 2nd Annual Four Corners Music Festival on Saturday, July 18. The FCMF is seeking the musical talents of Melrose residents of all ages to perform 1-3 songs in between the main acts. Space is limited. If you are a local musician of any age, you don’t want to miss this opportunity!

Here is what you need to know to participate:

  • Examples of what we’re looking for: local resident singer/songwriters, local bands or small groups, school-aged budding musicians who can perform a full song comfortably in front of an audience. Many styles will be welcomed including contemporary, Americana, classical, blues, jazz, country, etc.
  • Send submissions with the following info to: BostonLovesMusic@gmail.com
  • Send any recordings or videos, links to your music etc. OR a referral from your music mentor/teacher, school talent show coordinator, or parent if possible. Let us know your talent/musical specialty and what you might like to perform, as well as the school you attend and grade level if applicable.
  • The submission deadline is Friday, July 3.
  • The Four Corners Festival 2015 will feature two Melrose parks full of music. A kids’ concert will be held at Cedar Park from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a contemporary concert at Hesseltine Park from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

There will also be food trucks and kid’s activities run by the Recreation Department.

Stay tuned for additional information on the 2nd Annual Four Corners Music Festival or visit facebook and search “Four Corners Music Festival 2015”

Blanket and Basket Concert Moves Indoors for Tonight

Due to the weather, tonight’s Basket and Blanket Concert, featuring Meredith Pizzi, will be held indoors at the First Congregational Church, located at 121 West Foster Street. The show begins at 6 p.m. Please note that no food is allowed in the Church.

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