Looking Ahead

Main Street paving, new Vets' board, recycling ...

... Looking Ahead, October 2005: Update from City Hall

by Jack Beckley, executive director, Melrose COA

Mayor Rob Dolan speaks out

Senior Citizens are a vital part of Melrose: living, working, and retiring here. I have been working on numerous initiatives that will benefit all Melrosians, including our seniors.

Recently, I have proposed a new service for veterans in the city. I will appoint fifteen Melrose veterans to serve on the new Veterans’ Service Advisory Board that will work towards bettering the lives of our city’s veterans. The Board will ensure that veterans and their families understand the benefits they are entitled to and oversee procedures of the Veterans’ Office, making certain that city and state labor practices are met. I hope that the Board will improve life for Melrose’s veterans who have given so much to the city.

My office has also been very busy with several important infrastructure projects. Once completed, these projects will make Melrose a better community to live in. They include the Main Street Reconstruction Project, the largest Public Works project in our city’s history. This $2.35 million federally funded project will consist of road and sidewalk reconstruction, drainage improvements, and intersection safety improvements throughout Lebanon St., Main St., and Green St. This project will not only beautify Melrose’s business districts but also improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. The Sewer Inflow and Infiltration Program is another major DPW initiative. This project consists of repairing the city’s aged sewer system to reduce sewage costs. Furthermore, the DPW is hard at work flushing and replacing water mains, reconstructing roads, and replacing fire hydrants.

Along with infrastructure improvements, our office has been busy with a new recycling initiative. Recycling is vital to any community as it betters the environment while reducing waste tonnage costs. Recently, the city has completely taken over recycling and, as a result, can make $45 for every ton of recycled paper collected. I encourage you to get involved in recycling. A major part of this initiative is a recycling contest among the elementary schools. On the last Saturday of October, November, March, April, and May a dumpster will be placed in the schoolyard of your local elementary school. I encourage you to bring your paper recyclables to your local school and help your community.

Recycling is not the only way my office has been working to better the environment while saving money for the city. Recently, I have supported the formation of a new volunteer-based Energy Commission to investigate new ways that the City of Melrose and Melrose’s citizens can conserve energy. The city is already making progress with new Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs in streetlights. These lights use 83% less energy than the old bulbs. I also hope the Commission will research wind and solar energy, energy conservation in the schools, and alternative or hybrid vehicles as well as grants to support these efforts.

As you can see, my office has been very busy over the past few months working to better the community. I encourage you to participate in these efforts! Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at City Hall (781-979-4440) or at our website: www.cityofmelrose.org. Your input is very important to me and I thank you, in advance, for your wisdom and suggestions as I continue to work for Melrose.  

Carriage House Lounge Opens!

The Carriage House Lounge officially opened on Sept. 30, 2005 with the cutting of the ribbon by longtime Melrose Friends of the Aging member Carolyn Norton.

If you didn’t attend, be sure to come see this beautiful renovation. If you are online, go to the Melrose Mirror (address above) and see some great before and after pictures.

Call the center for information on computer training and activities occurring in the health office.

Health Plan Options for Seniors

On Mon., Oct. 24 at 10:00 a.m., the Milano Center will host a  Health Plan Options” presentation offered by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of MA. It will include an explanation of Medicare, including the new Medicare Part D drug benefit, and show how Medigap and Medicare Advantage work with Medicare. All are welcome regardless of their insurance coverage.

MVES Money Management Program

A brief presentation about the Mystic Valley Elder Services’ Money Management Program will be given at the Milano Senior Center on Wed., Oct. 5 at 1:00 p.m.

The presentation, in addition to explaining how the Money Management Program helps elders without other resources manage their day-to-day finances, will reach out to potential volunteers to join the team. Come if you may need the service or are interested in volunteering.  

Massage Therapy

Starting this month, with the addition of the new health office, we plan to offer massage therapy with a therapist from the Higgins Center for Alternative Therapies.

Massage therapy is beneficial for overall well-being, relaxation and stress reduction. It balances the body's energy and stimulates mental alertness; relieves muscle tension and spasm; improves circulation; helps restore muscle tone and increase joint flexibility and much more.

The cost is $34 for one-half hour and $63 for a one hour session. Call the Milano Center (781- 662-6886) to schedule your session. If you have questions for the therapist before setting up an appointment, leave your name and number and we will have her call you.

Melrosians Can Help Katrina Victims

The City is sponsoring a collection day to benefits victims of Hurricane Katrina on Sat.,Oct. 8 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the City Yard and at the high school parking lot.

New items only are being collected such as toiletries, packaged underwear and socks, new backpacks and duffle bags. To volunteer or for more information, call the Mayor’s office at 781- 4440 or MEMA at 781-979-4111.

Home Safety

Please join us for an important presentation on  Fall Prevention for Seniors.” Preventing falls is a serious topic because these unhappy happenings are the leading cause of emergency room visits.

A video will be shown and information provided to help people create a safe home environment and take simple precautions to prevent falls. The presentation will be given by Melissa Howard of Home Instead Senior Care on Oct. 18 at 12:30 p.m. at the Milano Senior Center  

Medex Open Enrollment

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is holding a Special Open Enrollment of Medex Plans: Core, Bronze and Gold. through December 31, 2005. Eligible persons who submit applications for Medex Core or Medex Bronze during this enrollment period will be enrolled with an effective date of January 1, 2006.

Since federal law does not permit carriers to enroll members in Medicare Supplement plans with prescription drug coverage on or after January 1, 2006, applicants wishing to enroll in Medex Gold will be enrolled with an effective date of December 1, 2005.

For additional information, call Blue Cross Blue Shield at 617-246-3442.

Looking Ahead

The COA monthly newsletter, Looking Ahead, is distributed in bulk around the City. If you prefer to receive it by mail, please send a $4 check payable to the Melrose COA, 235 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA 02176. Those who are homebound and unable to afford the $4 can receive the newsletter without charge.

Ride in COA Van

The Council provides transportation within Melrose for residents age 60 plus. The van runs Mon.- Thurs. from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

To reserve a ride, call the COA office (781-665-4304) mornings. In the afternoon, you may check on a ride or make a last minute cancellation by calling the Milano Center at 781-662-6886. No rides can be scheduled in the afternoon.

There is a $1.00 suggested donation for rides.  

Senior Dining Program Gets New Chairs

We just received a donation of chairs that are much more comfortable than the old ones. Come for lunch and try them out. Daily entrees (hot & cold) are listed in the Calendar.  The lunch program is run in cooperation with Mystic Valley Elder Services. To reserve a meal call 781- 662-6886 from 10-11:45 a.m. at least a day before you plan to attend. A $1.50 donation is requested for the meal.  Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304. There is a $1.00 suggested donation for rides.


1. What are the five names by which Melrose has been called?
    B, (1638)___________________________
    C. (1649)___________________________
    D. (1850)___________________________
    E. (1900)___________________________

2. What was the AMPHION CLUB?


Answers to September Trivia: Presidential Pets in the White House
1.    A Scottish Terrier "Fala” was owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945).
2.    A Parrott "Pall" was a Foul–Mouthed Fowl owned by Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
3.    Pony "Macaroni” was beloved pony of Caroline Kennedy given by Lyndon B. Johnson.
4.    Golden Retriever "Liberty” was Gerald Ford’s dog (1974-1977) gift from White House Photographer.
5.    Two Grizzly Bear Cubs given to Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) by western explorer Zebulon Piked. The bear cubs made a home in a display cage on the White House lawn.

Bridge Club – Meets Wednesday mornings. New members are always welcome. Recent winners were: Ellen Durant 1st, Shirley Neumyer 2nd, & Ruth Tracey 3rd; Paul Frazier 1st, Bill Champa 2nd, & Lou Froio 3rd; Lou Froio 1st, Frank Cain 2nd, Bill Champa 3rd.

Duplicate Bridge – Meets the first Wednesday of the month. September winners were Arthur Hughes & George Hughes, Jr. N & S and Shirley Neumyer & Claire Crotty E & W.


AARP Chapter 1124 Oct. 14 –– 1:30 p.m. Highlands Congregational Church, 355 Franklin St., Melrose. Program:  Memory Loss: Fact Verses Misinformation” by Dr. Timothy Tierney, Main Street Family Practice, Melrose. New members cordially invited.

Melrose Veterans’ Club Meets Fridays at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall. All are welcome!

Ham & Bean Supper Oct. 15, 6:00 p.m., Green Street Baptist Church, 179 Green St. $7 Adults (children 12 & under FREE with parents). No reservations needed. For information, call 781-665-7331.


Minibus to Meadow Glen Mall Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus. There is now a two person minimum for the van to make the trip.
Oct. 3  - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
Oct. 17 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
Oct. 24 - Leaves City Hall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.

200 CLUB – Call Rosemary Behrle at 781-665-3258 to register for trips. Checks payable to: The 200 Club.

Oct. 7 Lake Winnipesauke Turkey Train, NH. Winnipesauke Scenic railroad for a spectacular two-hour round trip train ride from Meredith to Weirs Beach along New Hampshire’s largest lake A delicious turkey dinner from Hart’s Turkey Farm is served right on board, carved fresh at your table. A shopping stop on the way home. Pick up: Cochrane house 9:15 a.m.., Levi Gould 9:30 a.m. $50.

Nov. 14 Foxwoods Casino, CT Outing includes $10.00 food/$15 Keno.Pick up: Cochrane house 7:15 a.m., Levi Gould 7:30a.m. $20.

Dec 31 New Year’s Eve at Noon, Lake Pearl, Wrentham, MA Live music, line and ballroom dancing, dynamite show – Singing State Trooper Dan Clark. Lunch choice of Baked Boston Schrod or Pot Roast. Pick up: Cochrane House 10:00 a.m., Levi Gould 10:15 a.m. .$61

Movies -- Movies -- Movies

Fever Pitch: The ending to this feel-good movie was changed when, remarkably, the Red Sox won the World Series! It will be shown on Wed., Oct. 12, at 1:30 p.m. This contemporary romantic comedy is based on the novel by Nick Hornby ('High Fidelity,' 'About a Boy'). It stars Jimmy Fallon as Ben, a high school teacher who meets and falls in love with a successful businesswoman named Lindsay (Drew Barrymore). Although their lives are vastly different, the relationship seems perfect until baseball season begins and Lindsay has to compete with Ben's first true love and obsession: the Boston Red Sox. PG 13.


The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges generous contributions from Bill & Virginia Ahern, Marianna & John Cerretani, Helen Conway, Jack Driscoll, Jim Driscoll, John & Marion Driscoll, John Gately, Nancy Greenberg, Larry & Kay Danieli, Tharon Harrington, Hilde Kneissl, Jim Milano, Elsa & John Moylan, Carolyn Norton, Natalie Pogson & F. Woodrow, Eileen Olsen, Mary Sexton, and Peter Waystack.

Afghan Raffle: Raffle tickets are now on sale for a beautiful handmade afghan generously donated by Nina Gibelli. Just think how nice it will feel on a cold winter night or how great it would be to give to a loved one as a special gift. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. It will be raffled off at our Thanksgiving luncheon on Nov. 17. You do not have to be present to win.

Fuel Assistance

If you need help this winter paying for fuel or repairing your heating system, Tri-City Community Action Program (TRI-CAP) may be able to help you. Income levels do apply but it would be a mistake to assume that you do not qualify for something.

Tri-Cap’s Fuel Assistance, Weatherization, and Heartwap Programs help homeowners and tenants pay their home heating costs, conserve energy, and, in emergencies, repair, retrofit, new burners, and even replace heating systems

Eligible households also receive a 25-35% discount on their monthly utility bills and a discount on their phone bill.

For additional information, call Tri-Cap at 781-322-6284 for fuel assistance and 781-322-4190 for energy conservation. You can also visit the web site at www.tri-cap.org


Bill Ahern was born and raised in East Boston and for over forty years he has been a resident of Melrose. Married to the former Virginia Denny, Bill is the father of Bill Jr., Lesley Ahern, and Tracey Moriarty.

Bill is well deserving of his reputation as a Strategy Maker because of his distinguished Career in banking and finance. A graduate of Boston University’s College of Business Administration and Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University, Bill brings an extensive background to any and all problems of business and financing.

His ability to work independently is matched only by his willingness and ability to work with others for a common goal of good and unselfishness. A former President of the Everett Chamber of Commerce and the Kwianis Club, Bill served with distinction as President both of the Wakefield Rotary Club and the Financial Advertisers Association of New England.

Bill’s willingness to give of himself for the benefit of the Community is shown in his service as a Trustee of the Melrose/Wakefield Hospital and his contributions to the Executive Committee of that organization.

Chairman of the Fundraising Drive for a new surgical section at the Melrose/Wakefield Hospital, Bill enjoys skiing, sailing, golf and serving as Course Leader for History in the Institution for Learning at Boston College.

For solutions to problems in finance, fundraising and in money management, remember the name: William H. Ahern.

Strategic Planning in Retirement Seminar

The Milano Senior Center is pleased to host what promises to be an informative estate and financial planning seminar on Wed., Oct 26, at 1:30 p.m.  Edward Jones Investment Representative Craig Strauss will discuss  Managing Your Retirement Income” and Attorney Karol Bisbee will cover  Basic Planning Techniques & Elder Care Law Strategies.”  An outline of both presentations is available at the Milano Center lobby.

Please register by calling 781-662-6886 if you plan to attend.

Melrose Senior Chorus Resumes this Month

The Melrose Senior Chorus is an organization of between 30-40 musical members.
Specializing in diverse musical styles and moods, the group, under the direction of Starr Demitre, meets on Mondays at 10 AM in the First Congregational Church on 121 W. Foster St. in Melrose. Membership is free and open to all seniors. Come join this musical family and become part of the fun.

For more information, call: 781-321-2472. First meeting starts the first Monday of October.

Quilt Classes Last year several people took quilting classes and now have beautiful quilts. This year’s 8 class series will begin on Thurs., Oct 20 from 9:30 – noon. The cost is $40 payable at the first class. Class size is limited so call the Center (781-662-6886) to register. Fabric requirements and supplies will be discussed at the first class. Remember, a handmade quilt makes a wonderful holiday gift.

Part-time Custodian We are looking for someone to fill in occasionally when our custodian is out sick or on vacation. The work is not too strenuous but you must be able to put up and take down chairs and rolling tables. The ideal candidate will have some cleaning experience. Call Jack Beckley at 781-665-4304 to apply.


Newsletter notices/annnouncements may be sent to the Council on Aging, 235 W. Foster St., Melrose, MA 02176. They must be received by the 5th day of the month preceding the month in which your event will be held. Questions? Call us at 781-665-4304. George Nelson Torrey, editor.

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