Local Business Spotlight: Summer Sale at Barre and Soul

Barre and Soul’s Summer Sale goes from now until June 1st and is as follows:

Group Bike Ride to Boston on May 20

This Friday morning (May 20) the Melrose Ped/Bike committee will be leading a bicycle commuter convoy from Melrose to Boston, open to everybody, with options to join either at the start or at points along the way in Malden and Everett.

We will finish in City Hall Plaza in downtown Boston with a mini-festival sponsored by Boston Bikes. This Friday is the *only* date this summer with the Boston Bikes festival at the end, unlike previous years in which there was another one each month for several months.

The route can be seen here.

Join at any of the following three locations:

7:00 a.m.: We’ll depart promptly at 7 a.m. from the corner of Main St and E. Foster St in Melrose.
7:15 a.m.: The intersection of the Northern Strand Trail and Main Street in Malden
7:30 a.m.: McDonald’s parking lot at Beech St and Route 99 in Everett.

Questions? Contact ride leader Andy Paul at andrewkpaul@hotmail.com

Untold Stories of Melrose: Joy Fay

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.

joy1

Joy Fay is the owner of Joy Healthy Life, which includes Melrose Boot Camp and Joy Yoga. She ran the Boston Marathon for 15 years to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Center. This is the first year since 2001 that she has not run the marathon.

Something that has influenced me as a person was running the Boston Marathon for my first time in 2001. I think taking on that challenge is life changing, because it made me believe I could do anything and it really sparked my interest in fitness. I run a business called “Melrose Boot Camp,” and I opened a yoga studio on Green Street called “Joy Yoga.” So now I’m offering fitness and wellness enrichment opportunities for all ages. Running the marathon empowered me to know that I could do anything I set my mind to and get it done.

I ran the marathon in the year of the bombing. I got to Kenmore Square before they turned us away. When I got word, I was up by Boston College. There was a lot of talking, but no one really knew what was going on. I was getting text messages from all of my Melrose friends saying, “Are you OK?” “Stop running!” and I thought they were crazy, calling me when I was trying to run a marathon. I heard people exclaiming, “My children are at the finish line!” It gives me the chills. It always will. We got shut down towards Boylston Street; I had to walk quite a ways once they shut down the race officially. There was just chaos. All of the cell phones were shut off. We were all in a daze. I had a friend who jumped in and ran with me that day—thank goodness I had her with me. She jumped in with me around mile 20. It was just so frightening that I am so glad that I had someone with me. To not know what was going on, too. I didn’t have the whole story. They didn’t tell us anything on the route—they just wanted us to keep going.

I am full of gratitude. I am so grateful that I am here today. I feel such sorrow for the families that were affected and all the lives that were lost. It was such a devastating day, I can’t even put it into words. I think it makes me more grateful for what I do have. That was going to be my last marathon. But I said that I couldn’t finish on that note. I went on to do it again, and again. That event strengthened me in a way: It made me more grateful, more appreciative for our law enforcement and our first responders, and more aware. We live in an amazing place where we are fortunate not encounter those kinds of things on a daily basis, but people in some places do encounter those things. It made me appreciate the safety of where I live.

Photo by Tanya O’Hara.

City to Host “Complete Streets” Public Informational Meeting

This June, the City of Melrose will submit its first ever “Complete Streets” policy to the Baker Administration for consideration. What does this mean for neighborhoods and residents? Come find out on Wednesday, May 25, at 7 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chamber at City Hall, when City officials will present and also take questions from residents on the proposed Complete Streets policy.

The purpose of the City of Melrose’s Complete Streets Policy will be to accommodate transportation infrastructure users of all ages and abilities by creating a network that meets the needs of individuals utilizing a variety of transportation modes. Such users include motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and public transportation patrons. The policy will be applied in all decision-making for both public and private infrastructure planning and construction.

Through the Complete Streets program recently established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City would become eligible for additional state grant funds for roadway improvements that will enhance health, safety, livability, community character, and economic vitality. By incorporating Complete Streets as a guide, the City will advance its efforts to provide safety and accessibility for all users of our infrastructure. The ultimate goal of the Complete Streets policy will be to formalize the planning, design, operation, and maintenance of streets so that they are safe for all users as a matter of routine.

This is your chance to be heard about where the city should focus its road and transportation policies.

What: Complete Streets Informational Meeting
When: Wednesday, May 25th @ 7pm
Where: City Hall, Aldermanic Chamber

Melrose Named One of the Safest Cities in America

Great news! The website Neighborhood Scout did a survey of crime data and found that Melrose is one of the 100 safest cities in the country. They based their calculations on both crime reports and population. Our city ranked number 73 on their list, making it safer than 70% of the cities in the U.S. This being National Police Week, this is another example of the great efforts of our public safety personnel.

Melrose Development Update

There’s a lot of activity going on right now all over the City of Melrose, and with some help from our City Planner, Denise Gaffey, I wanted to bring you some updates—and news of some coming attractions.

T'Ahpas 5916 on Building (1).pdf final

529 Franklin Street – T’ahpas 529
Local businessman Lorenzo Tenreiro plans to open his third food establishment in Melrose, and this latest endeavor is his most ambitious yet: a Spanish Mediterranean Restaurant with fine dining for 77 patrons and a full bar. Permitting is currently underway and the restaurant will be on the Planning Board’s agenda on May 23rd. The restaurant requires Site Plan approval for the change in use and for the creation of a new parking lot behind the building with access from Greenwood Street. The parking lot for 20 cars is a great amenity, and the entire project reflects the resurgence in the Highlands Business District aided by the significant investment in Franklin Street roadway and streetscape infrastructure and the new business friendly zoning. Lorenzo is hoping for an October 2016 opening.

530 Main Street
The Breads and Bits building recently changed hands and was purchased by John Wise of Wise Construction in Winchester. Wise Construction is responsible for the project at 99 Essex Street, which transformed the former Universalist Church building into a 15 unit residential building in an architecturally sensitive way. That project has been very well received and has helped to spur resurgence along the Essex Street corridor. We look forward to a similar approach at this important Main Street location. Mr. Wise is currently talking with a local architect who has experience with successful revitalization projects in our downtown historic district. They are considering some different options that will enhance the façade and make it more welcoming for future retail tenants and perhaps give the building a greater presence on the street by adding residential units above the first floor retail.

454 Main Street – Giacomo’s Ristorante
After much anticipation, Giacomo’s Ristorante is poised to open their latest establishment in downtown Melrose later this month. Giacomo’s will occupy the space formerly occupied by Absolutely Fabulous and will have seating for 80 patrons and a full bar with seating for 10 in the back of the restaurant. The restaurant will open daily for dinner initially and open for lunch once established. This family friendly restaurant is expected to bring patrons from areas well beyond our city border and will further cement Melrose as a destination for fine dining!

Both Giacomo’s and T’ahpas were able to receive full liquor licenses under our new laws, which allow smaller restaurants to get a license.

Rendering - Burkhard Corp

10 Corey Street
On April 11, the Planning Board granted approval to Burkhard Corporation for a new 40-unit residential building at 10 Corey Street which will pave the way for the revitalization of this important connection between downtown Melrose and the Wyoming Business District. The existing building at 10 Corey is dilapidated and has been underutilized for over a decade. The new building will be a beautiful addition that will add vitality to the Corey Street area and amenities that will create a more inviting streetscape. The project is designed to fit in with its surroundings and maintain the important pedestrian connection to the Wyoming businesses and commuter rail station along the Ell Pond Brook easement. The new owners have vast experience with residential construction and recently completed the new residential building at 130 Tremont Street. They hope to complete the permitting process with the Zoning Board of Appeals this month, then proceed to construction without delay.

2 Washington Street – Fitzgerald Physical Therapy Associates
Melrose residents will soon have another option for physical therapy treatment. Fitzgerald PT Associates plans to open their newest practice in the ground floor commercial space that anchors the new multifamily residential building at 2 Washington Street. This practice is a welcome addition to the mixed use district envisioned by the Planning Board when the Smart Growth Overlay District was created by the City in 2008 on Lower Washington Street and will provide an important service in the community. The practice plans to be operational by July.

Aldermen Commemorate Police Week

Police Week Resolution

Ward 2 Alderman Jennifer Lemmerman introduced a resolution at last night’s Board of Aldermen meting recognizing National Police Week, which is observed on May 15-21. This year, the name of University of Colorado Police Officer Garrett Swasey was one of 252 names added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., and his sacrifice was honored at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s 28th Annual Candlelight Vigil. The Aldermen’s resolution said, in part,

BE IT RESOLVED the City of Melrose is committed to continuing to honor Officer Swasey’s memory and the loss felt by his family, friends, and colleagues.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Melrose Board of Aldermen formally designates May 15th through 21st, 2016 as Police Week in the City of Melrose, and publicly salutes those men and women who have committed their lives to public safety in our community and in communities across the nation on this Fifteenth day of May, Two Thousand Sixteen.

“I was touched that so many members of the Melrose Police Department came to the meeting to show their support,” said Alderman Lemmerman. “We truly do appreciate their willingness to risk their lives for us every day.”

Untold Stories of Melrose: Michaela Smith

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.

Michaela Smith

Michaela Smith is a METCO student at Melrose High School.

Black girls are the mules of the world. We carry the world on our shoulders. There’s so much we go through, from the crown of our head to the souls of our feet. There’s so much we carry. I feel like we walk on eggshells, everything we do, we’re just watched so closely, from the way we dress to the way we talk to the way we do our hair. It’s either we’re made fun of for it, or we are appropriated.

And it’s weird, because people want to be like us, but they don’t want to be us. They want to do the things they do, but they don’t want to be oppressed. They want to walk the way we walk and talk the way we talk, but they don’t want to struggle. And, I feel like being a black girl is hard. You have to do so much, and you have to be so much at once. It’s like, people look up to you, but then again you’re shamed by society. So, I want to be me, but if I’m me, then I’m shamed for it.

Reminder: Motorcycle Ride to Come Through Melrose on Saturday

The annual Wounded Vet Bike Run motorcycle ride is scheduled for Saturday, May 14. The ride begins in Revere at noon and should be in Melrose from about 12:45-1:15. The riders will enter Melrose on Washington St. near Oak Grove and travel north to the Fellsway East and the Lynn Fells Parkway. From the Parkway they will turn left on Main St. toward Wakefield.

The organizers expect to have 7,000 motorcycles who are riding in honor of wounded veterans.

Melrose Clean Energy Forum on May 14

Are you concerned about where our energy comes from? Are we too reliant on fossil fuels? Do we really need more fracked gas pipelines? What about energy efficiency? Are we on course to meet our climate goals?

As Massachusetts prepares to retire its remaining coal and nuclear plants, we face an unprecedented opportunity to power our state with clean, renewable, locally-produced electricity. Costs of offshore wind and solar continue to drop, while costs of fossil fuels like natural gas remain volatile and subject to global market fluctuations. Innovations in energy efficiency and conservation are attractive solutions.

Join Sustainable Melrose, Clean Water Action, Mass Energy, and the Massachusetts Sierra Club at Melrose City Hall on Saturday, May 14th, 2:00-4:00PM to discuss the important decisions facing the Commonwealth in the coming months that will affect us for decades–and learn what you can do about it.

WHERE: Melrose City Hall Aldermanic Chamber
WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2-4PM
RSVP: CLICK HERE

Speakers:

  • Cathy Buckley, Chair, Massachusetts Sierra Club
  • Eugenia Gibbons, Clean Energy Program Director, Mass Energy
  • Christophe Courchesne, Chief, Environmental Protection Division, Office of the Attorney General (invited)

Questions? Email kevin.obrien@sierraclub.org

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