Melrose News

PHOTO: The results are in

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018 in Melrose News | Comments Off on PHOTO: The results are in

Published in the February 16, 2018 edition

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Schools face budget hurdles

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018 in Local Headline News, Melrose News, Melrose Weekly News | Comments Off on Schools face budget hurdles

Published in the February 16, 2018 edition MELROSE — School officials are getting down to the difficult task of coming up with a spending plan for next year that reflects the values they have set for a quality Melrose education. In a budget message delivered last month to the School Committee, Supt. of Schools Cyndy Taymore said the district is facing increasing enrollment, a more diverse student body requiring English Learner program expansion, a growing number of kids with significant disabilities and/or behavioral challenges, and the need to meet new curriculum requirements in computer science, digital literacy and civics, among other challenges. Acccording to a schedule, a first draft of the spending proposal will be presented on March 13. “When setting priorities for the district,” Taymore wrote, “both the School Committee and the administration are also mindful that there is a synergy between the goals we set for our students, ourselves and the district and the internal and external variables that impact planning, budgeting, teaching and learning, and our ability to reach our goals. When we plan the budget, we are aware of current and future variables and the challenges they present…An integral part of this process is the discussions and choices we make as we reconcile competing interests and the inevitable constraints of the city’s finances with our goals. The city has addressed some immediate needs with enrollment increasing in the elementary schools with the construction of modular classes at the Winthrop and Hoover Schools and a partial renovation of the Horace Mann. Next year at the middle school, enrollment is expected to be 795, up from 778 students, and the high school’s enrollment is projected to be 1,037, up from 1,003 this year. Taymore says these projections do not “account for the students who may move into Melrose or return from private, parochial and charter schools. For example, last summer we had 25 students return to the high school. This year we provided additional teaching full time equivalent positions at the high school by sharing staff between the middle and high schools. As the enrollment at each school increases, this is not realistic. The increase in enrollment will also require us to add student services staff to address students’ individual academic and social-emotional challenges.” Parents will begin registering their children for Melrose kindergarten at the end of this month, and officials will be watching the numbers closely. In the last three years, the city has had 15 kindergartens. If that happens again in 2018-19, Taymore writes, “we would have 15 classrooms at grades K, 1, 2 and 3. We need to provide additional materials at grade 3 regardless in order to meet the larger class size moving up the grades. We would also need additional staffing as our capacity to provide equitable access to (art, music, wellness and digital literacy) is increasingly constrained as the enrollment grows. We can never underestimate the importance of these content areas to a student’s engagement and success in his/her learning.” While nothing is set in concrete, Taymore said this could mean adding two full time teachers, one full time specialist, a Student Services coordinator, a full time Humanities teacher, a full time music/art instructor, an academic facilitator and a half time Student Counseling and Guidance professional. Taymore anticipates that there could be a need to...

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City Hall celebrates American Heart Month in style

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018 in Local Headline News, Melrose News, Melrose Weekly News | Comments Off on City Hall celebrates American Heart Month in style

Published in the February 16, 2018 edition MELROSE — Mayor Gail Infurna and the Melrose Health Department are working together to raise awareness of women’s heart health, as part of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign. Infurna has dubbed the Tuesdays in February “Ruby Tuesdays” and encouraged staff to wear red to work. The Health Department kicked it off this week with a special event for employees, featuring heart-healthy snacks, recipes and information, and free blood-pressure checks. “I think we have done a good job of educating people about cardiac health and the early warning signs of cardiac disease,” said Infurna, who is a nurse. “This month, we want to focus on women, because the risk factors are different for women, and the symptoms are often different as well. The fact is that cardiac disease is the number one cause of death for women – yet only one in five women believe that it is the most significant threat to their health. We can do better, and we’re starting right here in City Hall. Our Health Department has been very proactive on this issue, through their work with Mass in Motion and other initiatives, and I am happy to join their efforts to increase awareness and make Melrose a heart-healthier city.” For more information and resources, see the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women...

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PHOTO: A key member of the city

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018 in Melrose News | Comments Off on PHOTO: A key member of the city

Published in the February 16, 2018 edition

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Attention all trivia enthusiasts!

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018 in Local Headline News, Melrose News, Melrose Weekly News | Comments Off on Attention all trivia enthusiasts!

Published in the February 16, 2018 edition MELROSE — The Melrose Adult Trivia Bee will be held Saturday March 24, at Memorial Hall. The Trivia Bee is held annually as a fundraiser for The Bridge: A School/Community Partnership. At this very popular city-wide event, citizens, city officials, business owners, teachers, club members and non-profit leaders compete on teams to discover which group knows the greatest amount of obscure and non-essential information. The 2018 Melrose Adult Trivia Bee is sponsored by East Boston Savings Bank and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, a member of Hallmark Health. “The Trivia Bee is not your average fundraiser,” said Jennifer McAllister, Coordinator of Volunteers at The Bridge: A School/Community Partnership. “This event generates a lot of excitement in the community with more than forty competing teams, local television coverage, and hundreds of spectators.” Right now, all over Melrose, people are organizing their teams so they can participate in this popular event. The concept of the Trivia Bee is this: teams of three people who possess lots of useful and useless knowledge compete to answer trivia questions until only one team remains to be crowned Trivia Champions of Melrose. All teams have time to confer and are asked to answer the same question. Teams may represent any constituency: schools, neighborhood groups, local non-profits, businesses, church or civic group – even friends and families. Teams are forming now and you are invited to sign-up by filling out the entry form at The cost is $250 for a team of three. The Bridge: A School Community Partnership is a unique non-profit organization that recruits trains and places volunteers in the Melrose Public Schools. Established in 1993, The Bridge mission is based on the philosophy that young people benefit greatly when community members contribute their time, talent and expertise to assist public education. For more information on the Trivia Bee or how to sponsor a team call 781-979-2299 or email:  ...

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Front Page: 02/16/18

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Melrose News | Comments Off on Front Page: 02/16/18


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Gail Infurna takes city’s reins

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Melrose News | Comments Off on Gail Infurna takes city’s reins

Published in the February 9, 2018 edition MELROSE — It took quite awhile, but the city’s 22nd mayor finally is a woman. Gail M. Infurna, the 20-year representative of Ward 5 on the Board of Aldermen, took the oath of office Monday morning and will serve just under two years as the city’s chief executive officer. As well-wishers, supporters, family members and others crammed into the Aldermanic Chamber at City Hall, Infurna was sworn in by her uncle, former Methuen state Rep. Lawrence  Giordano. Infurna became mayor under unique circumstances. Her predecessor, Rob Dolan, was picked as Lynnfield’s top municipal professional in December, and resigned in the middle of the four-year term he was elected to. When it became known that Dolan might get a new job, Infurna successfully ran for aldermanic president. Under the City Charter, if the mayor’s position becomes vacant in the second half of a term, the current aldermanic president becomes mayor. Before being selected aldermanic president on Jan. 8, those running for the post — Infurna, Mike Zwirko, John Tramontozzi and Monica Medeiros — had a chance to address their colleagues. Infurna said she would not seek election to the post when the mayoral term is up in 2019. She further explained that she looked forward to working with the Dolan administrative team and was more than qualified to do the job of mayor. This week, in very brief remarks, Infurna said that being sworn in as the city’s leader reminded her of the feeling she had when she graduated from nursing school, when she got married, when she became a mother. “And I’m still beaming,” she offered. She mentioned her late husband, and how he knew better than to stop her from trying to do something she had set her mind to. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity,” she told the overflowing audience. She thanked Dolan, the aldermen, all city department heads (many of whom were at Monday’s ceremony), staff and Melrose residents To the last group she said her office door “is always open.” She then concluded by saying, “Let the work begin,” to a big round of...

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A few minutes with the now former mayor, Rob Dolan

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Melrose News | Comments Off on A few minutes with the now former mayor, Rob Dolan

Published in the February 9, 2018 edition MELROSE — Heywood Avenue’s Robert J. Dolan took hold of the municipal reins in Lynnfield Monday as the new town administrator. Before he left, the now private Melrose citizen reflected on the past 16 years as mayor of the city, a job Gail M. Infurna will be doing on an interim basis until early January 2020. Melrose Weekly News: Looking back on your time in elected politics in the city, what do consider your greatest accomplishments? Dolan: “As a community we have accomplished a lot of great things that no one thought could be done. Some examples are the new middle school, the renovation of Melrose High School, what I believe to be some of the best recreational and athletic facilities in the state, the rebirth of Mount Hood, solving 100 years of water problems in the city, and the creation of a renowned restaurant scene on Main Street. But I think the greatest accomplishment was that when many people were questioning whether government was working for them, we made government work in Melrose for 16 years. During some of the toughest economic times in our country, in some of the most politically disturbing times in our country, we have made government work for the people. When people come to us with problems, we have solved them collectively as a community. Our boards and commissions, the Board of Aldermen, the School Committee, have functioned in a civil manner, and when people work together and put party affiliation aside, and focus on solutions I thin Melrose is an example of how government can still work in our time.” MWN: On the flip side of that, what have been your greatest disappointments? Dolan: “Although I totally understand the results of the (November 2015) override, I would say that is my greatest personal disappointment. I believe public education is the foundation of every community, and I believe that a sound case was made that as a result of a dramatic increase in population, more teachers are needed to serve the future needs of the students. Furthermore, the stability of property values and the desirability of our city is based on our public schools. The argument we put forward, failed. It was a personal and professional disappointment.” MWN: You have certainly had a hand in changing the city’s attitude about the value of entertainment and dining. Do you see this attitude evolving without you leading the way? Dolan: “Everything that we have accomplished has been a team effort, but what I personally think has helped is the age of my children and the place I am in my life. During the time I was mayor I had young children, and I saw an evolution of the desire of people to be entertained, to eat out, and for communities to come together in or near the places they live. I would hear that going into Boston or the inner core was expensive, time consuming, and not practical with two people working. What I saw in Melrose, in addition to our entrepreneurs and an excellent Chamber of Commerce, was a beautiful theater, a public golf course, and some great leadership downtown. The changes were severalfold. One was introducing liquor to Melrose, not just creating an opportunity to buy...

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Zwirko named top alderman

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Melrose News | Comments Off on Zwirko named top alderman

Published in the February 9, 2018 edition MELROSE — Michael Zwirko will lead the Board of Aldermen after all. This week, his colleagues chose the third year alderman-at-large as aldermanic president for the coming year. Zwirko said he is happy for the opportunity. “These are exciting times,” he said. With a new mayor, Zwirko said, “There will be a whole lot of opportunity. Everyone’s going to have to step up” to make sure the city stays on course. Early last month, Zwirko lost out in his bid to be chosen aldermanic president to Gail Infurna. If he had been selected at the time, he would now be mayor. One of the first orders of business for the Zwirko-led board will be filling the Ward 5 seat vacated by Infurna. Under Rule 52 of the Rules of the Board of Aldermen, a notice will be posted in the newspaper and 14 days later is the submission deadline for all resumes of Ward 5 residents who want to serve as an alderman.  The Derby Road resident said all candidates for the Ward 5 alderman’s vacancy will be brought in for interviews before the board at the Feb. 26 meeting of its Appropriations...

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Want to serve as Ward 5 alderman?

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Melrose News | Comments Off on Want to serve as Ward 5 alderman?

Published in the February 9, 2018 edition MELROSE — The Melrose Board of Aldermen will be conducting an election to fill a vacancy in the office of Ward 5 Alderman. The vacancy is a result of longtime Ward 5 Alderman Gail Infurna becoming Mayor of Melrose. The selected candidate will serve in the position until the next aldermanic election in November 2019. Letters of interest are now being accepted. To be eligible, candidates must reside in Ward 5 and be a registered voter in the City of Melrose. Please submit a letter of introduction and current resume on or before Thursday, February 22, at 4 p.m. to: City Clerk or Clerk of Committees, Melrose City Hall, 562 Main St., Melrose, MA 02176 or email: or Further information can be found on the city’s website:...

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