Town forms drug, alcohol diversion program

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in Local Headline News, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield News | Comments Off on Town forms drug, alcohol diversion program

Published in the September 22, 2017 edition. WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Police Department has formed a Wakefield Youth Diversion Program for individuals under the age of 21 who are found to be in possession of alcohol or illegal drugs. Early intervention strategies, such as diversion programs, are essential to identifying issues early and connecting individuals to services. Numerous studies have shown that drug and alcohol use in the developing brain can have grave consequences, to include higher rates for substance use dependence, chronic health issues, potential for drug overdoses, depression, and suicide. The purpose of this program is for youths to take ownership of their actions and provide them with an evidence-based educational component that will hopefully prevent future issues with either drugs, alcohol, or the criminal justice system. This pre-court program was developed through partnerships with the Wakefield Police Department, Wakefield Unified Prevention Coalition (Wake-Up), the Wakefield Public Schools, and the Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School. This will consist of a diversion contract with multiple components that youth must complete over a six-month period. Classes will be taught by a team of instructors that may include WPS and NMRVS faculty, Wakefield Health Department staff, and a clinician. After participating in the class, the individual will have a follow-up meeting with a mental health professional. Other components of this program during the contract period will include, but not limited to: a written essay focused on prevention, community service hours,...

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To the rescue

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in Local Headline News, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield News | Comments Off on To the rescue

Published in the September 22, 2017 edition. By GAIL LOWE WAKEFIELD — Most of the weather in the area this week has been dismal, with overcast skies and periods of rain, but it’s nothing like what has been taking place in the Caribbean and a few weeks ago, in Florida, when Hurricane Irma walloped the state. In response to the massive destruction and power outages throughout southern Florida, the Gulf Coast and portions of the Atlantic side, a crew from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department (WMGLD), left Wakefield in line trucks and other vehicles after receiving an SOS from the Florida Municipal Electric Association. WMGLD General Manager Pete Dion said that Dan Flynn electric superintendent, Rich Fedele and Ralph Brown, both lead linemen, left on Sunday, Sept. 10 and arrived two days later ready for work. They are expected to return to the area by the end of the week. Other linemen also arrived from Merrimac, Danvers, Middleton and other Massachusetts cities and towns. Once the crew crossed over the state line, they headed to New Smyrna Beach along the Atlantic coast and then headed west to Barto and Lakeland, inland communities east of Tampa. With a combined effort, workers got power up and running again. Work crews from Connecticut and the mid-Atlanti states also responded. As of Monday, Sept. 18, 7,000 Florida residents were still without power. NEPA, an acronym for Northeast Public Power Association, reached...

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Name shaming

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Local Headline News, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield News | Comments Off on Name shaming

Published in the September 21, 2017 edition. By MARK SARDELLA Wakefield’s gradual slide from a proud, blue collar, working class town to the precious PC world inhabited by communities like Cambridge, Concord and Lexington accelerated just a bit this month when the Board of Selectmen decided that it would, after all, like to change its name to one that does not have the word “men” in it. They say it’s a move toward “gender neutrality,” and that may be the intent locally. But what’s brought us to this day is rooted in a place much darker than that. There’s a segment of the population that holds men responsible for everything wrong in the world and this kind of self-neutering is in part a sop to that crowd. At the same time, it’s a nod to those who are forever seeking to blur any differences between the men and women, telling us that sex is not determined by genetic science but rather by human will. We got a glimpse of the mindset that got us to this point last week when Michael Burstein, a member of Brookline’s Town Meeting, filed an article to change the name of that town’s Board of Selectmen to “Board of Selectwomen.” “To be quite frank, I wanted to make a point here,” said Burstein, apparently unaware that “Frank” is a man’s name. Not content to simply change the name to something gender neutral, he wanted to stick it...

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Several part-time town positions given special status

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Local Headline News, North Reading News, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on Several part-time town positions given special status

Published in the September 21, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY NORTH READING — The selectmen voted to designate several part-time and seasonal town employee positions as having special municipal employee status Monday night. The request was made to assist three department heads in finding qualified applicants for what is often short-term work and irregular hours while also complying with a state law designed to prevent employees from double dipping. The ruling affects specific jobs in the Police Department (police matron and crossing guards); Council on Aging (van driver); and Parks and Recreation Department (infant and toddler instructor, after school instructor/coach, summer program director, summer program assistant director and summer counselor). The board stipulated that the need for maintaining the special employee status for these positions would be reevaluated by them annually each December, starting this year. Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto explained these are all part-time positions. The COA van driver position is currently shared by two part-time employees, which gives it a little more flexibility than the former single full-time position. “We found that despite our continuous advertising for the positions, we’ve had difficulty recruiting employees,” Gilleberto said. “On occasion the candidates that come to us are already employed in other part-time capacities working for the town. Under state law a municipal employee cannot hold two part-time positions without one of those positions being designated as a special municipal employee.” Gilleberto provided the board with information on both the state’s...

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School Com. pleased with progress made on punch list for secondary schools project

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Local Headline News, North Reading News, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on School Com. pleased with progress made on punch list for secondary schools project

Published in the September 21, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY NORTH READING — Superintendent of Schools Jon Bernard highlighted the significant progress that has been made in completing the final punch list items on the Secondary Schools Building project with the School Committee last week. Most matters were minor in nature and both Bernard and the School Committee members felt they are now in a good position to close out the project soon. Regarding site landscaping, Bernard said, “There are still some remaining areas to be hydroseeded, particularly as the bridge comes from the Main Street corridor at the high school, there is a sloped area where they’ve had a difficult time with grass germinating. Gilbane has agreed to re-hydroseed the area sometime this month. We’re hoping to capture fall growing season.” Bernard added that landscape consultant Bill Brown was on the property the previous week and he determined that three trees and about 26 other plants, such as low growing shrubs, have failed and need to be replaced. However, since much of the other shrubbery has filled in the missing areas, they are proposing that the cost of these plants and trees be “monetized” and if that is acceptable to the SSBC, those funds could be put back into the project in other areas. The SSBC meeting was held on Tuesday night (after press time). School Committee Chairman Mel Webster inquired about the status of the “remaining actual...

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Town employees to be feted Oct. 13

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Local Headline News, North Reading News, North Reading Transcript | Comments Off on Town employees to be feted Oct. 13

Published in the September 21, 2017 edition By MAUREEN DOHERTY NORTH READING — Town Hall will close one hour early on Friday Oct. 13, at noon rather than 1 p.m., to enable town employees to attend the annual town employee appreciation luncheon from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hillview Country Club. Similarly, Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto told the Board of Selectmen Monday night that the public should be aware that the Flint Memorial Library will also be closed from 12 to 1:30 p.m. on that date to enable library employees to attend the luncheon. • Gilleberto and DPW Director Andrew Lafferty are currently preparing for the procurement of solid waste collection and disposal contracts, which are up for renewal in July 2018. Gilleberto told the board that the DPW “participated in a collaborative procurement for disposal locations, and based on that procurement, recommends Covanta continue to be our disposal location” during the interim. A contract extension with Convanta is due to be signed by Gilleberto this week. They plan to brief the board on collection methods at its Oct.16 meeting and get their opinions on the proposals at that time. • Gilleberto also informed the board that the town’s federal youth substance abuse grant program employee recently resigned. He added he is working with Police Chief Michael Murphy and Human Resources Director Bob Holmes to modify the program “to better meet the need” and they believe they will...

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Nov. 7 election field is set

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Local Headline News, Melrose News, Melrose Weekly News | Comments Off on Nov. 7 election field is set

Published in the September 22, 2017 edition MELROSE — All the deadlines have passed and the field for the November 7 city election is set. There are 21 candidates for alderman and School Committee. No school board incumbent is seeking another term. Ward 2 Alderman Jennifer Lemmerman, Ward 5’s Gail M. Infurna and Ward 7’s Scott Forbes are unchallenged for reelection. In two surprising late moves, Nancy M. Lewis of 143 Laurel St. took out nomination papers to run against incumbent Peter D. Mortimer and got her signatures certified in time to qualify for a spot on the ballot. Jason Kraunelis of 9 East Emerson St. did the same thing on September 14 and will face off against incumbent Ward 4 Alderman Robert A. Boisselle   The School Committeewomen who have decided not to seek reelection are Chris Casatelli, Jessica Dugan and Jaime McAllister-Grande.   Here is a look at the Nov. 7 municipal election: ALDERMEN-AT-LARGE Manisha Gadia Bewtra, 330 Grove St. (signatures certified July 7) Monica C. Medeiros, incumbent, 3 Bay State Rd. (signatures certified September 12) Michael P. Zwirko, incumbent, 100 Derby Rd. (signatures certified May 26) Kate Lipper-Garabedian, 21 Mystic Ave. (signatures certified May 22) Donald L. Conn Jr., incumbent, 30 Sunset Rd. (signatures certified September 18) Mark Askenazy, 100 Vinton St. (signatures certified September 5) ALDERMAN WARD 1 John Tramontozzi, incumbent, 794 Franklin St. (signatures certified September 5) ALDERMAN WARD 2 Jennifer Lemmerman, incumbent, 21 Bay State Rd. (signatures...

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Walking in shoes of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Local Headline News, Melrose News, Melrose Weekly News | Comments Off on Walking in shoes of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s

Published in the September 22, 2017 edition MELROSE — Leading up to a very important event Sunday, Mayor Robert Dolan and other City Hall staff participated in “A Walk in Their Shoes,” a virtual dementia simulation, provided by The Residence at Melrose Station. Presented at City Hall, the program was of interest to the mayor and staff to increase their understanding of the disease, as Alzheimer’s’ is now the sixth-leading cause of death in America. The simulation, facilitated by Shamika Johnson-Adams, Reflections Memory Care director at The Residence at Melrose Station, provided City Hall staff with visual, aural, olfactory and tactile stimuli that mimic the effects of Alzheimer’s’ allowing them to experience the world as one with the disease does. Brigid Alverson, the mayor’s executive assistant, shared that during the experience she realized how “even little tasks were just more difficult” so she could better relate to the frustration that can grow in those compromised by the disease. The simulation was developed by The Residence at Melrose Station’s parent company, LCB Senior Living, LLC., in collaboration with Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Sunday, September 24, is Boston’s annual Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, part of the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. It is still not too late to register to walk or to sponsor a...

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MSO celebrates 100 years in style

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Local Headline News, Melrose News, Melrose Weekly News | Comments Off on MSO celebrates 100 years in style

Published in the September 15, 2017 edition By JESSI EISDORFER General Manager Melrose Symphony Orchestra MELROSE — Over 5,000 residents from Melrose and surrounding areas gathered on Morelli baseball field Saturday evening to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the nation’s oldest, all-volunteer orchestra — our very own Melrose Symphony Orchestra. The field was covered in a sea of blankets and lawn chairs spilling over into the adjacent football field; children danced and waved light sabers as the orchestra played music from Star Wars; even the mayor made his conducting debut, pausing only to take a selfie onstage with the orchestra. The weather was perfect, just as Mayor Dolan promised, and the evening was capped off with a spectacular 20-minute fireworks display which left residents buzzing with excitement. Audience members took to Facebook, sharing their photos and accolades of the event: “The performance and fireworks just blew us all away — exceeded any of our expectations by a hundred and then some — wow, wow, wow — thank you and congratulations!” “I’ve lived in Melrose all my life – this was probably the best community event ever!” Conductor Yoichi Udagawa was awarded the key to the city, only the second non-Melrose resident in history, for his 20-year tenure as the orchestra’s Music Director. State Representative Paul Brodeur presented the orchestra with a Resolution from the House of Representatives to mark the anniversary season. Maestro Udagawa commented, “The musicians of the...

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Town election change eyed

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Local Headline News, Lynnfield News, Lynnfield Villager | Comments Off on Town election change eyed

Published in the September 20, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — The day of the April Town Election might be changing if voters approve a proposed warrant article at Town Meeting on Monday, Oct. 16. Town Clerk Trudy Reid appeared before the Board of Selectmen last week to present a proposed warrant article that would change the April town election from the second Monday in the month to the second Tuesday. If voters approve the warrant article at October Town Meeting, Reid said the vote would authorize the Board of Selectmen to petition the State Legislature to approve special legislation that would amend the Town Charter in order to hold the annual town election on a Tuesday. Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett asked Reid why she proposed changing the date of the election. Reid said having the town election on a Monday creates logistical issues. She said moving the election from Monday to Tuesday would provide an additional workday to prepare for the election. “Since I became town clerk in 2014, we have had two elections that have fallen the day after Palm Sunday,” said Reid. “The DPW and myself spent Palm Sunday setting up for the election. Between now and 2023, this will happen at least another three times where it will either be Palm Sunday or Easter.” Reid noted the DPW is paid “double time” on Sundays versus time-and-a-half. “It’s not going to save a ton of...

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MarketStreet abutters want action on berm, noise

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Local Headline News, Lynnfield News, Lynnfield Villager | Comments Off on MarketStreet abutters want action on berm, noise

Published in the September 20, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — Greater enforcement is needed in order to improve the berm and noise management issues at MarketStreet, a group of residents told the MarketStreet Advisory Committee (MSAC) on Sept. 14. The MSAC held a public hearing on the berm and noise issues as part of an effort to collect feedback from local residents. MSAC Chairwoman Jennifer Bayer said the public hearing will kick off a series of hearings pertaining to different issues related to the outdoor mall. “We will hear feedback on other matters of interest such as traffic at future meetings,” said Bayer. Bayer said the MSAC “is tasked with looking at all facts” for the different issues associated with MarketStreet. She said subcommittees have been established, and the subcommittees are currently “fact finding as part of the discovery process.” “(Residents’) feedback provides us with key information,” said Bayer. “When the noise management and berm subcommittees feel as though they have gathered all facts, they will summarize the information and present it to the committee at large. If there is a recommendation, they will share that recommendation with the committee at that time. The MarketStreet Advisory Committee will then decide as a group if an advisement to the selectmen is necessary and if so, what that advisement will be.” There were several residents who spoke during the public hearing out of the dozen attendees. Noise issues David...

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Molly Malone shines during An Evening with Champions

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Local Headline News, Lynnfield News, Lynnfield Villager | Comments Off on Molly Malone shines during An Evening with Champions

Published in the September 20, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — What a difference a year makes. Last year, Lynnfield High School senior Molly Malone watched the ice skating show An Evening with Champions as a spectator in a wheelchair while recovering from chemotherapy treatment that was needed following her diagnosis with Ewing’s Sarcoma in January 2016. Last weekend, Malone strapped on her ice skates and participated in the show in order to raise money for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “It was overwhelming in a great way,” said Malone in an interview with the Villager. “It felt great to be out on the ice and performing in front of an audience once again, especially for the Jimmy Fund.” Nukhet Malone, Molly’s mother, agreed. “It was absolutely amazing,” said Nukhet. “She did a great job and got the most applause out of all of the skaters. She brought the house down.” An Evening with Champions is a public charity non-profit committee that raises money for the Jimmy Fund as part of an effort to fight cancer. Founded at Harvard University in 1970, An Evening with Champions presents an annual world-class figure skating exhibition at the Bright Hockey Center in Allston. The exhibition features national and Olympic figure skaters, and has raised $2.8 million over the past 47 years. Malone, who has been ice skating since she was four, was asked about participating in the event...

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