Storm damage reported to be minor...

Dec 1, 2020 by

Published in the December 1, 2020 edition. WAKEFIELD — Gale-force winds and periodically heavy rain lashed the area yesterday, but Wakefield seems to have weathered the fierce storm well. According to DPW Director Joseph Conway, the department began received calls around 4 p.m. for tree limbs down. Crews with the DPW’s Forestry and Parks Division worked until after 7 p.m. responding to calls, three of which were for trees down on Greenwood Street, New Salem Street and an area near the Dolbeare School. At certain times during the storm, sustained winds reached local speeds of around 50 to 60 miles an hour, Conway was told. “Some trees came down but given the speed and strength of the wind, the town got out of this relatively unscathed,” Conway said. “There were no microbursts or anything...

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Stoneham land for sale – again...

Nov 30, 2020 by

Published in the November 30, 2020 edition. By MARK SARDELLA WAKEFIELD — Hoping that the fourth time is the charm, the town will once again try to sell a vacant parcel of land at 124 Green St. in Stoneham that is owned by the town of Wakefield. The town has thrice previously attempted to sell the land — in 2006, 2009 and 2011. Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio reminded the Town Council last week that when the town had last tried to sell the property in 2011, a request for proposals was put out with a minimum bid of $150,000. But there were no bids on the land. Maio said that it was rumored that Stoneham had been less than cooperative at the time and that may have had an impact on interest in the...

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Local leaders decry T cuts in service...

Nov 27, 2020 by

Published in the November 27, 2020 edition. WAKEFIELD —Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts to slow the spread, the MBTA has seen a precipitous drop in ridership. According to the MBTA, in 2019 riders took 1.26 million daily trips. In October 2020, riders are taking around 330,000 daily trips — or 26% of daily ridership compared to 2019. As a result, the MBTA is proposing significant cuts in service, some of which would directly impact Wakefield residents, including the elimination of the 136 bus route, elimination of all weekend commuter rail service and elimination of remaining commuter rail service after 9 p.m. The MBTA is accepting public comment on the proposed service cuts until Dec. 5. Residents may comment on the MBTA’s website at mbta.com, under the heading, “Forging ahead.” The town of...

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Local COVID cases spike

Nov 25, 2020 by

Published November 27, 2020 MELROSE — While acknowledging the difficulty of the request, Mayor Paul Brodeur last week urged Melrosians to stay put for the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday as the COVID-19 pandemic continued unabated. Speaking remotely on Thursday, November 19, Brodeur cited big spikes locally in total positive cases over the previous 14 days. He said, “If at all possible, please do not travel this Thanksgiving. Enjoying a quiet holiday with members of your immediate household this year will make a difference in slowing the spread of the virus.” Brodeur was echoing the concerns of many state and national leaders, who watched highways fill with vehicles this week and Boston’s Logan Airport do a brisk business, although volumes remained much lower than last year. This uptick closely followed a new advisory from the Centers for...

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Small Business Saturday is here...

Nov 25, 2020 by

Published November 27, 2020 MELROSE — On Saturday, November 28, the Melrose Chamber of Commerce wants to share Small Business Saturday® with you! This national campaign, started by American Express®, happens the Saturday after Black Friday and reminds us all: Support our local small businesses. Think of a few stores, restaurants or businesses you would miss if they disappeared, and plan to spend money there this holiday season. It makes a big impact! This year, Cambridge Savings Bank is the local Presenting Sponsor, and with their support there will have a DJ in downtown Melrose to help get everyone into the spending spirit. “Small businesses like those in Melrose are the economic engine of our local communities and Cambridge Savings Bank is proud to be the local Presenting Sponsor of Small Business Saturday,” says Louie Soares,...

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Meet Mike Simonelli, now the barber of Brightview...

Nov 25, 2020 by

Published November 27, 2020 By GAIL LOWE MIKE SIMONELLI MELROSE —When Michael (Mike) Simonelli was a high school student, he worked part-time at a textile mill, a chicken store and a local market where he made deliveries to customers. But none of these jobs would lead him to the career he enjoyed for 68 years. Like his father, Mike was destined to become a barber. For 63 years he worked at his own shop on Main Street in Melrose —Mike’s Barber Shop. When the building that housed his business was torn down, he worked for five additional years at Plaza Barber Shop a short distance away. Today, Mike continues to enjoy his craft one day a week at Brightview Senior Living in downtown Wakefield where he has lived for the past two years. When...

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