YMCA Child Care Center to Unveil Science Lab on February 5

YMCA STEM Event

Melrose on the Move: Revitalizing the Knoll

Flags fly above the newly renovated World War I monument at the Knoll

Flags fly above the newly renovated World War I monument at the Knoll

This is the first of a series of blog posts about the initiatives I announced in my Inaugural Address.

Together with our Veteran Services Director, Ryan McLane, and the Veterans Services Advisory Board, we plan to continue the rehabilitation of the Knoll in order to create a central veterans’ monument for the whole City.

World War II veteran Francis Moulaison stands at the monument honoring those who died in the Korean War, including his brother, Robert

World War II veteran Francis Moulaison stands at the monument honoring those who died in the Korean War, including his brother, Robert

The revitalization and rededication of the Knoll began in 2013, when, thanks to a community-wide effort, we were able to clear out dying trees and a decaying brick stairway, add irrigation, and provide a proper World War I memorial honoring the 32 Melrosians who lost their lives in that conflict, at the front of the Knoll.

This effort continued last year as the capstone of Operation Remember, a year-long tribute to the Korean War era veteran. A veteran town meeting vote selected the Knoll as the location for the city’s first exclusively dedicated Korean War monument. This installation furthered the process of creating a beautiful space in the city for veterans to remember and residents to honor.

The next phase, which begins this year, will include adding a World War II monument between the World War I and Korean War monuments, and beginning the landscaping of the top of the Knoll to create a Gold Star reflection area. As with the first phases, these projects are being accomplished with a mix of private donations and City money. The overall goal of the revitalization is to tie all of the components together to ensure the Knoll remains a place for respect, honor, and remembrance for generations to come.

We will announce more details later in the spring.

Come to the Master Plan Forum on February 10

Melrose Forward flyer

The public is invited to participate in a Public Forum hosted by the Master Plan Advisory
Committee on Melrose’s Master Plan to be held at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at the Milano Senior Center. The public forum is an opportunity for residents to provide input and guidance on 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. The 2016 Master Plan, referred to as Melrose Forward: A Community Vision and Master Plan, will be developed over the course of this year, and upon its completion will serve as a policy document guiding decisions on growth and preservation in the city for the next ten years.

The City last created a comprehensive Master Plan in 2004. The 2004 Master Plan, which is available to review on the City’s website, has been widely referenced by city officials and has been pivotal in shaping the City’s progress over the past decade. To remain vital, it will be updated with current demographics and trends, and new goals that represent the priorities of today’s residents will be added.

“The Master Plan update is a process that will help determine our collective policy direction on a wide variety of issues for years to come” notes Mayor Dolan. “This public forum will begin the process of setting goals for what we value as a community and establishing a long term vision for the City. Public input is the cornerstone of any good guiding policy document so I encourage everyone to participate.”

The Public Forum will be a combination of an open house and a facilitated conversation. The Advisory Committee will be asking for feedback on a draft Vision Statement as well as on assets, challenges, and opportunities for Melrose now and in the future. Melrose residents are encouraged to provide feedback at the forum or anytime during the process.

The Milano Senior Center is located at 201 West Foster Street. Parking is available at the Milano Senior Center, the Beebe School, and in the municipal parking lot on Berwick Street adjacent to the railroad tracks. The snow date is February 24, 2016, 7:00 PM, at City Hall. For additional information, contact Erin Zwirko at 781-979-4193 or at ezwirko@cityofmelrose.org.

Save the Date: New & Expectant Parent Expo March 12

The City of Melrose and Melrose Birth to Five are excited to announce the 1st annual New & Expectant Parent Expo to be held on Saturday, March 12, at Memorial Hall. This new community event will provide an opportunity for new and expectant parents to learn about local businesses, child-care options, and family support services in the Melrose area.

The event will also provide a range of interesting (and fun!) demonstrations, discounts, and giveaways!

If you are a local business or non-profit that provides direct services or caters to the needs of new and expectant parents, don’t miss out on your opportunity to be part of the event.

If you would like to apply to be a vendor at the New & Expectant Parent Expo, please fill out the vendor application on the City of Melrose website at www.cityofmelrose.org/birthtofive.

All vendor applications must be completed and submitted not later than February 18.

Melrose Highlands Parking Plan Updated

Highlands Parking Map for Traffic Comm 12 08 2015

With the completion of the Melrose Highlands renovation project, the Melrose Traffic Commission recently approved updates to the parking plan for the Melrose Highlands neighborhood, as shown in the map above. Newly installed signs now direct drivers to park according to this plan, which was approved by the City’s Traffic Commission in December after several public meetings and hearings throughout the summer and fall.

The intent of this new plan is to accommodate and balance the needs of local businesses, commuters, and property owners alike, by providing both short and long-term parking in locations that are safe and logical, all while maintaining commuter parking.

This new configuration includes the following:

  • An increase in the total number of legal parking spots from 207 to 220
  • Legal, marked commuter parking spaces increased from 74 to 78, between the main parking lot and additional marked spaces on Belmont Street.
  • Public parking spots for the business district increased from 97 to 107
  • Pedestrian safety and aesthetics improvements of the project such as sidewalk “curb extentions” at crosswalks and enhanced signage on Franklin Street. These improvements, along with the addition of bicycle pavement markings and reduced speed limits, are aimed at providing a safer environment for all modes of transportation.
  • All commuter rail parking has been moved to the inbound side; this promotes safety by not having commuters crossing the tracks in front of the inbound train they are trying to catch, which has been a prior safety concern.
  • 3-hour parking has been added on Marvin Road to accommodate longer-term retail needs, as requested by several neighborhood businesses.

As always, we appreciate your adherence to the posted signs and hope that they facilitate your ability to shop, dine, work, commute, and reside in the Melrose Highlands neighborhood. Questions may be directed to the DPW Engineering Division at 781-979-4172 or the Melrose Police Department, Traffic Division at 781-665-1212.

Fund-Raiser for Ella O’Donnell

On this blog we try to not only inform you about what’s going on in the City but also to help people. Here is a GoFundMe page to raise money for Ella O’Donnell, a 12-year-old child who is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. Ella does not live in Melrose, but her mother, Erin (Sandquist) O’Donnell, was born and brought up here, and I’m sure she would appreciate any support from her home town.

Melrose Students Win Awards in Globe Art Contest

I am happy to announce that eight Melrose High School students won prizes for their artwork and poetry in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Here are the honorees:

Isabel Bates, Gold Key in Drawing and Illustration, Silver Key in Painting
Nicola Blanchard, Gold Key in Drawing and Illustration
Celia Delani, Honorable Mention, Drawing and Illustration
Carson Lynch, 2 Honorable Mentions, Drawing and Illustration
Ashlyn O’Dowd, Honorable Mention, Photography
Alexandria Taylor, Silver Key, Photography
Jenna Tirone, Honorable Mention, Painting
Sophia White, Silver Key, Poetry

Congratulations to all our talented students and their teachers!

Learn About Solar Energy Sharing Tonight

Here is a press release we received from the Melrose Energy Commission.

Among the many creative options formulated to help people go solar is a new concept: solar sharing. This program connects two groups: 1) people who want solar power but do not (or can’t) have solar panels on their roofs and 2) those who have solar panels and would like to share their electricity (as well as the cost of the solar array).

Boston-based Yeloha is a new company that is offering this service. You can learn more about Yeloha’s solar sharing network at a free presentation hosted by the Melrose Energy Commission on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7:15 p.m. It takes place at the Milano Center, 201 W. Foster St., Melrose, and is open to the public.

Nataly Cahn, Director of Energy Choice at Yeloha, is the featured speaker. She has been working in the New England area, establishing affiliate partnerships with installers, real estate developers, large commercial entities and a variety of local organizations, including the Vermont utility company Green Mountain Power who adopted the platform in September. Homeowners, businesses and individuals are all eligible to take advantage of the program.

“Our goal is to help people access solar in the simplest way possible,” explained Cahn. “Through Yeloha’s sharing network, anyone with a computer or Smartphone can participate. You don’t even need a roof. People can purchase solar energy at a reduced rate by signing up for this program.”

According to Amit Rosner, Yeloha CEO and co-founder, participants can save an average of about 10 percent on their electric bills through solar sharing.

In addition to saving a significant amount of money on monthly electric bills, solar sharing can also help address global climate change.

“This is an excellent opportunity to learn about new ways to support solar power in our area,” said Lori Timmermann, Melrose Energy Commission co-chair. “There’s no obligation to sign up and people will be able to ask questions after the presentation. Not everyone has the wherewithal to install solar panels.

This program enables virtually anyone to obtain the benefits of solar energy.”

Advance registration is not required. For additional information, visit the MEC website, send an e-mail to info@melroseenergy.org, or call 781-662-2616.

Melrose Representative Needed for Airport Advisory Committee

Mayor Dolan is seeking a Melrose resident to serve on the Massachusetts Port Authority Community Advisory Committee. The members of the committee represent communities that may feel the impact of Massport operations, including impacts from Logan airport. Their duties include making recommendations to the Massachusetts Port Authority on a variety of issues, and the CAC also has a representative on the MassPort board.

According to the legislation establishing the committee, the appointee should be versed in one of the following disciplines: Airport Operations, Environmental Affairs, Labor Relations, Public Health, or Port Operations. They must be able to attend the committee’s meetings, which are usually held at the end of the work day in Boston or surrounding communities, as well as meetings of their area subcommittee.

If you are interested in serving, please e-mail the Mayor’s Office at mayorsoffice@cityofmelrose.org.

MBTA to Hold Meetings on Fares and Schedules

The MBTA is holding meetings over the next two weeks on proposed fare and commuter rail schedule changes. There will be a meeting to discuss both proposals on Wednesday, January 27, from 6-8 p.m. in the Malden High School Auditorium, and a public hearing on the fare proposal on Tuesday, February 2, from 5-7 p.m. in the State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston. The MBTA has a complete schedule of meetings on its website.

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