School Supplies Drive a Success!

School backpacks

This year’s School Supplies Drive, sponsored by Chris Cinella of Edward Jones Investments, was the best one ever! Generous Melrosians, Rotarians, and others donated over 50 backpacks and hundreds of notebooks, boxes of crayons, packages of pens, glue sticks, rulers, and other necessities to help ensure that all our Melrose students have a great first day of school. Thank you, Chris and Edward Jones!

Happy Birthday Lora!

Lora Crouss

I was so happy to be able to attend the celebration of Lora Crouss’s 100th birthday yesterday, together with Ward 3 Alderman Frank Wright, Alderman at Large Marybeth McAteer-Margolis, David Henry, Chair of the Congregational Housing Board, and our legislative delegation, Rep. Paul Brodeur and Sen. Jason Lewis, who brought proclamations from both houses of the legislature and the Governor.

Lora is someone who has truly used her 100 years wisely, staying active in her church and community and quietly helping others, by hosting foreign students, helping housebound elders, and many other gestures of kindness. I was honored to be there to help celebrate her first 100 years—and to wish her many more!

See Pine Banks from the Air

Here’s a short video that was sent to the Pine Banks Board of Trustees that I would like to share with you: An aerial view of Pine Banks, taken with a Phantom 3 drone by Paul Hammersley, of Malden Mayor Gary Christenson’s office. We have a lot to be proud of at Pine Banks, which is now one of the premier recreational facilities of the region.

Last Melrose-to-Boston Bike Convoy Is Friday

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This Friday, August 28, is your last chance this year to join a group on a bike commute to Boston.

Have you thought about biking as a commute option for your trip to Boston from Melrose but weren’t sure of a good route? The Melrose Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee has led monthly bicycle convoys from Melrose to downtown Boston on Friday mornings from April through August. The final trip will be August 28.

The Melrose convoy is one of several that converge on Boston, where we are met with a mini-festival with plenty of free give-aways. 2013 was the first year that the Boston Bike Friday events included a convoy from a community north of the city, and the Melrose Ped/Bike committee is thrilled to build on that success by coordinating it again.

Meet at the Melrose YMCA at Main and Foster Streets at 6:50 a.m. The group leaves at 7:00 a.m. and arrives at City Hall Plaza in Boston just before 8:00 a.m. You can find the route on the Melrose Ped & Bike website.

To learn more about current bicycle projects, visit the MassDOT bicycling web page. You can also visit the North Shore Commuter Bike Network.

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MHS Band to March in National Memorial Day Parade

Congratulations to the Melrose High School Marching Band, which will be the only high school band from Massachusetts marching in the Memorial Day parade in Washington, DC, next May. What an honor! The band will be able to do some sightseeing on the trip and will attend two musical performances, by the “President’s Own” band and the National Symphony.

May seems like a long way away, but our students are already fund-raising for the trip. Stop by their car wash on Sunday, August 30, and get your car cleaned for a good cause!

Stoneham ZBA to Meet on Weiss Farm Project Wednesday

Below is an e-mail we received from the Friends of Stoneham organization, with some information on an upcoming Stoneham Zoning Board of Appeals meeting regarding the Weiss Farm project.

The next public hearing by the Stoneham Zoning Board of Appeals on the 40B apartment project planned for Weiss Farm is scheduled for 7.30 PM on Wednesday, August 26, in the Banquet Room of the Town Hall.

The meeting will focus on the traffic impact of the project. See meeting agenda on the Town website.

Residents of Stoneham, and surrounding towns, such as Malden and Melrose, have stated their concerns about the size and density of this project at the proposed location and the inevitable increase in traffic and congestion along heavily traveled Franklin Street and other secondary roads. The application provides for construction of 264 apartments and 438 parking spaces at 170 Franklin Street [in Stoneham].

On July 21, 2015, the Stoneham Board of Appeals filed a complaint in Middlesex Superior Court challenging the Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) adverse decision against the Town regarding the land area statutory minimum of 1.5%. In addition, the complaint requests a declaratory judgment that portions of the regulations relied upon by HAC are invalid. See copy of the complaint on the Town website.

In other news, on July 22, 2015, the Stoneham Conservation Commission voted unanimously to deny the apartment project. For details, go the “Updates & Events” page of the Friends of Stoneham website under “Project Updates.” To catch up on general news regarding the Weiss Farm Project, go to the “Links” page and click on any of the newspaper articles hyperlinked in reverse date order.

Please show your concern and attend the ZBA meeting this Wednesday.

Neurofibromatosis Fund-Raiser Tuesday Night

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There are a lot of worthy fund-raisers, but this one is special: It’s to raise funds for a cure for the disease of neurofibromatosis. Ryan Feeney is one of the bravest and toughest kids in Melrose. He is full of energy and determination, and he participates in everything our City and his school has to offer.

You can do your part to help find a cure by dining out at the Dockside in Wakefield tomorrow, August 25, between 5 and 9 p.m. Present your server with this coupon and 25% of the cost of your meal will go toward research into a cure for neurofibromatosis.

I hope to see you there on Tuesday night—let’s rally behind a great cause and a great kid!

NF_Fundraiser_Dockside

Essex St. Project Open House on August 25

As you may know, the City of Melrose has received a $500,000 grant through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program to reconstruct Essex Street from Main Street to West Emerson Street and Willow Street from Essex Street to Cherry Street.

As part of the project, Essex Street and Willow Street from Essex Street to Cherry Street will be repaved and new sidewalks will be constructed. The section of Essex Street from Main Street to Myrtle Street will also receive new curb alignments and improved amenities such as ornamental street lights, street trees, and decorative sidewalks. Considerable efforts have been made throughout the corridor to increase safety for all modes of transportation, improve parking, and make the area more aesthetically pleasing.

In the past few months, the City and its design committee, consisting of residents, businesses, and other stakeholders, have worked to develop plans for these improvements. Meetings have been held with representatives from various interest groups for the project, and City representatives have met individually with many others throughout the design process.

We would like to welcome all those interested in seeing the current plans to attend an open house meeting about the project. The Aldermanic Chamber in Melrose City Hall has been reserved between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 25, for this meeting. Please feel free to stop by at any point during these hours. Members of City staff and the design team will be available to discuss the project and answer questions throughout the meeting. Plans and information about project details will also be available for viewing.

Plenty of Produce at the Farmers’ Market Today!

Farmers Market - bike

Get your fresh vegetables and fruit—picked the day of the market—today from 1-7 p.m. at Bowden Park on W. Emerson St., across from the Cedar Park Commuter Rail Station.

Corn, peaches, plums, and so much more for fruits and vegetables. In addition, there will be fish, chicken, pork, meat, eggs, granola, yogurt, honey, gluten-free pasta, popovers, iced tea and coffee, Egyptian food, and much more. There will be a special local business appearance this week from Kathy Pascal who will be showing you how you can reduce or completely remove chemicals and toxins from your homes.

Ride your bike to the market and get $2 in market money—it saves a parking space for someone who has fewer choices and it helps the market free up parking spaces for the businesses across the street from the market.

If you use your SNAP benefits at the market, you get up to $10 in matching market money.

Live music from 4-6 p.m. by Kenny Selcer, who plays acoustic guitar and a sizzling blend of Americana, folk, rock, R&B, reggae and everything in between.

Free outdoor yoga in the Park from 5-6 p.m.

You can find out the details of what’s at the market this week by visiting the Farmers Market website.

Melrose by the Numbers

Our Master Plan initiative, titled “Melrose Forward: A Community Vision and Master Plan,” kicked off with its first meeting last week. Here are some interesting facts about our community, from the 2010 census, the most recent American Community Survey, and the MAPC:

Total population in 2010: 26,983
Median family income: $109,452
73% of the population over 25 years old has a bachelor’s or advanced degree.

The median age of Melrose residents is 41.3 years old

  • 22% are under 18
  • 18% are between 18 and 34
  • 45% are between 35 and 64
  • 16% are 65 and over

There are 11,213 households in Melrose as of 2010
Average household size (2013): 2.35 people

  • 63% are family households
  • 30% have children under 18
  • 24% have seniors 65 and over
  • 37% are non-family households
  • 32% are single-person households

Racial and Ethnic Composition:

  • 90% Non-Hispanic White
  • 2.5% Hispanic/Latino
  • 3.8% Asian
  • 2.3% African-American
  • 1.5% Two or More Races

Check out the Melrose Forward booth at this year’s Victorian Fair, on September 13, where you can learn more about the Master Plan and share your own thoughts.

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