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Have you seen this dog lost in Wakefield?

May 1, 2014 07:56 AM

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Frankie was lost in Wakefield; the last reported sightings were on April 10 in the Pleasant Street area.

She weighs 100 pounds and is brown with a white face. Her owners live in Winthrop and searchers think she might be trying to get home. So besides Wakefield, they are asking residents of Lynnfield, Melrose, Reading, and Saugus to be on the alert.

If you see this gentle giant, please call 781-334-8364.

All Beatles All Night

March 20, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the Melrose Knights of Columbus: 

Friday night, April 11th, 2014,  Its All Beatles All Night with  New Englands best Beatles band, BeatleJuice at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Hall, 590 Main St. Melrose. The Knights of Columbus is once again proud to be sponsoring

this event to benefit The Knights of Columbus Food Drive For Families.  This will be the only chance to see BeatleJuice.  Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7:30pm. This is an all ages show. The evening will include cash bar, raffle prizes, pizza and more. Tickets are available at Sexton&Donohue R.E. 29 Essex St. Melrose(across from Shaws), Melrose City Hall Mayors Office, 562 Main St., Wakefield Bowladrome, 92 Water St. Wakefield, or send check payable to Melrose KofC to: Melrose Kof C, PO Box 760828, Melrose Ma. 02176. Call 781-662-9154 for more info. Tickets only $20.00 per person ($25.00 day of show) or reserve a premium seating table of 10 for $250.00 by calling 781-662-9154. Tables are limited. Get your tickets early. For more information, visit www.muzzdrums.com and click BeatleJuice. It’s All Beatles All Night to benefit The Kof C Food Drive For Families.

Somerville Skillshare offers free classes by local artists this Sunday

February 26, 2014 03:18 PM

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Have you ever wanted to try your hand at parkour, juggling, imaginary map-making, investing, or bee keeping? Get ready to try all that and more at no cost this Sunday afternoon at the Center for Arts at the Armory.

Somerville Skillshare invites the community to partake in a day of free classes led by area artists and entrepreneurs for their inaugural “skill sharing” event. The organization, run by a team of volunteers, seeks to connect talented residents across the city by providing a platform for free collaboration and education.

John Massie, the founder and director of Somerville Skillshare, said this is the first event of its kind in Somerville. He said that Somerville is one of the most talented artist communities in the country, and that he is excited to offer residents the opportunity to learn and connect in a way that encourages individuals to branch out and join the artist conversation.

“If you can make [education] free and open it up to as many people as possible, it’s an exciting thing," Massie said. "By definition, you’re hopefully attracting a very wide group and helping contribute to building community.”

Massie said that he and some of the other volunteers for Somerville Skillshare got the idea from similar events hosted in other cities, such as skillshares in Brooklyn and Boston. While these events have been going on for a few years, Massie said it has been exciting to see the overwhelming response to Somerville inaugurating its own event. More than 800 people have already registered for this free event, proving the city’s interest and demand for an educational platform.

“[You are learning] in a space that’s very informal, a fun setting, free, and you’re doing it with friends and other people in the same boat,” Massie said. “It’s making it as easy and accessible as possible to try new stuff.”

Class spaces will be set up throughout the Armory, Massie said, with about seven classes running simultaneously for 50-minute blocks. A small break will occur between each block, giving attendees time to continue their conversations and find their way to another class of interest. Massie said there will also be space available in the Armory’s café—and later in the performance hall—for individuals to continue discussions they may have started in the classes.

“In the spirit of trying to build and support community around education, we are giving people the space and time regimented during the day to help keep those conversations going,” Massie said.

MaMassie said that he hopes many people will take advantage of this opportunity, whether it is only for one class or for the entire afternoon. He said it’s the perfect invitation to try something new with talented teachers who can answer questions and share their own experiences.

“It is a chance to get a dose or small glimpse into the interesting and diverse things that Somerville residents are doing,” Massie said. “[We want people to walk] away feeling inspired by a class they took or a conversation they had, and to maybe jumpstart a brand new hobby.”

The first Somerville Skillshare will take place on Sunday, March 2, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on classes that will be offered, the organization, or to RSVP, visit the event’s website.

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MHS presents Hide and Seek

February 26, 2014 10:00 AM
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The following was submitted by The Melrose High School Drama Club:

The Melrose High School Drama Club will be presenting an original play "Hide and Seek” at the 2014 Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild's Drama Fest Competition. The play will be performed on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 10:00AM at Tewksbury High School, 320 Pleasant Street, Tewksbury, MA. 

The production is directed by club advisor and Melrose High Teacher, Mr. Timothy J. Daly, and was written by Mr. Daly and members of the Drama Club. The play revolves around a drunken driving accident and the repercussions that occur in its aftermath.  It is an accurate and enlightening depiction of many important aspects of teenage life including the pressures of school, alcohol abuse, social media, bullying and suicide. The 40 minute drama includes adult language and themes.

The play will be presented to the public, prior to competition, on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. at the Melrose Performing Arts Center, located at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School, 350 Lynn Fells Parkway, Melrose, MA. 

The cast and crew of the show (in alphabetical order) are as follows:  Sara Applegate, Natalie Brogan, Bridget Bright, Ali Butts, Devin Castano, Tess Castergine, Kathy Chieng, Josie Coyne, Mary Egan, Rachel Freed, Vance Gates, Maya Hamberg, Charlotte Hoff, Brad Kerwin, Caroline Kerwin, Maddie Konicek, Anastasia Kranz, Elisa Lemack, Gabby Mancini, Kaleigh McCall, Olivia Rittenburg, Francesca Rizzo, Greg Rowe, Jenna Santos, Elizabeth Sherman, Nate Shu, Sophie Sniegocki, Natessa Storm, Samantha Sweet, Brendan Taranowski, Maria Tramontozzi, Megan Wolley, and Zack Zysk.

Brooklyn Boulders Somerville hosting tryouts for youth climbing team

February 25, 2014 10:00 AM

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Brooklyn Boulders Somerville will be holding tryouts for the SomerVillains, their inaugural youth climbing team, this Saturday. The rock-climbing team invites climbers ages 8 to 18 of all levels to come show what they’ve got on the rocks.

Dan Braun, the instruction manager at BKBS, said this will be Somerville’s first youth climbing team. The Brooklyn location has boasted a youth team for four years, and some of their climbers are already competing at the national tournament in Colorado, Braun said. He is excited to bring that opportunity to Somerville.

“Anyone can climb,” Braun said. “There is no obligation if you come and try out, plus you might find a passion you never had . . . It is great to start in your youth, because you have everything in front of you, and you can become a strong climber very quickly.”

Braun said there will be tryouts for two teams: a competitive team and a non-competitive team. The tryouts will compose of multiple stations where youth will traverse, climb, play games, and complete other activities that will help the coaches gauge climbing ability and how well youth work with instruction.

“We will be evaluating the kids on how focused they are, how well they take direction, and how strong of a climber they are. You can be on the competitive team and be a weak climber. If you’re very determined and take direction well, there’s no reason you can’t be on the team,” Braun said.

The season begins the week following tryouts and will last about 12 weeks. The second season will start in the fall, when tryouts will be held again, giving youth the opportunity to change teams.

Throughout the season, parents and climbers will carpool to weekend competitions that are held across New England. They will be participating in the USA Climbing's Sport Climbing Series this spring and the American Bouldering Series in the fall.

Braun said that it is always interesting for new gyms to start teams. He said typically a lot of younger kids will try out, but it does not take long for them to develop and improve their climbing abilities.

“Generally there will be a lot of younger kids ages 8 to 12, but they stick with it through the years. Then, you see 14- and 15-year-olds who have become very strong climbers and competitors,” Braun said.

Regardless of experience level, Braun said parents should consider bringing their children to the tryouts. He said rock climbing is something that can be done all over the world and the teams give kids a good foundation for a future in the sport.

“Rock climbing is great physical skill to have, but it’s also very mentally challenging: It’s a physical puzzle,” Braun said. “It’s a great combination of camaraderie and competition . . . They’ll develop as strong climbers, and the climbing community is a great one to be part of.”

Tryouts for the SomerVillains youth climbing teams will take place on Saturday, March 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tryouts and gear rental are free. The price to participate on the noncompetitive team is $400 for the season, and the price to participate on the competitive team is $800 for the season. For more information or to register, visit their website.

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Melrose High School Drama Club performs in state competition

February 21, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Melrose High School:

The Melrose High School Drama Club will be presenting an original play "Hide and Seek” at the 2014 Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild's Drama Fest Competition. The play will be performed on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 10:00AM at Tewksbury High School, 320 Pleasant Street, Tewksbury, MA. The production is directed by club advisor and Melrose High Teacher, Mr. Timothy J. Daly, and was written by Mr. Daly and members of the Drama Club. 

The play revolves around a drunken driving accident and the repercussions that occur in its aftermath.  It is an accurate and enlightening depiction of many important aspects of teenage life including the pressures of school, alcohol abuse, social media, bullying and suicide. The 40 minute drama includes adult language and themes.

The play will be presented to the public, prior to competition, on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. at the Melrose Performing Arts Center, located at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School, 350 Lynn Fells Parkway, Melrose, MA. 

The cast and crew of the show (in alphabetical order) are as follows:  Sara Applegate, Natalie Brogan, Bridget Bright, Ali Butts, Devin Castano, Tess Castergine, Kathy Chieng, Josie Coyne, Mary Egan, Rachel Freed, Vance Gates, Maya Hamberg, Charlotte Hoff, Brad Kerwin, Caroline Kerwin, Maddie Konicek, Anastasia Kranz, Elisa Lemack, Gabby Mancini, Kaleigh McCall, Olivia Rittenburg, Francesca Rizzo, Greg Rowe, Jenna Santos, Elizabeth Sherman, Nate Shu, Sophie Sniegocki, Natessa Storm, Samantha Sweet, Brendan Taranowski, Maria Tramontozzi, Megan Wolley, and Zack Zysk.

Legoland seeks child ambassadors for Discovery Center

February 20, 2014 12:52 PM


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Think your child has what it takes to become one of Boston’s inaugural Lego ambassadors?

From now until March 14, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston will be accepting applications from children ages 5 to 12 to participate on a team to help LEGOLAND become the best attraction of its kind.

Kelly Smith, Marketing Manager at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston, said this is another step that will bring the discovery center closer to its opening in May. The group selected Ian Coffey as the new master model builder on January 26, and now Coffey will select his panel of child advisors to give feedback on the new center.

“We had our Brick Factor competition to find the master model builder, but every one needs a great team of support,” Smith said. “So we’ve developed the junior competition, which will allow 12 kids to be part of a team to help Ian with events and activities leading up to grand opening, as well as after the fact.”

Ian Coffey, the master model builder for Boston’s LEGOLAND Discovery Center, said he is excited to select the team of children that will comprise the junior construction panel and that he will be looking for a variety of qualities in the applications.

“It’s my first real responsibility, which I’m really excited for,” Coffey said. “The things I’m looking for is how creative the children can be, how enthusiastic they are, and how their imagination comes about . . . [I’m looking for] who really had all those things coming together when they built with the Lego bricks.”

As part of the application, children must include a video or photo and written response explaining what makes them the biggest Lego fan and why they should be part of the panel. They should also show something they built with Lego bricks. Coffey said he is excited to see the responses and what the kids come up with by themselves.

“In an essay, I want to see the kid. I love the raw child, even a handwritten note,” Coffey said. “When you’re reading it and you can really see that they’re engaged in what they’re writing, that’s the kind of stuff that’s going to stick out to me.”

Smith said that while a major part of being ambassador is testing the rides and being excited about the attraction, another part is providing feedback to the center. She said LEGOLAND is an attraction for children, and as such their opinions help make the center the best it can be. She said that in the process, it also provides children a great opportunity to interact with adults and grow through working in a team atmosphere.

“It’s a team of 12, so they will need to work together and develop skills of teamwork. But also, interpersonal skills, speaking skills and confidence will be gained throughout the year . . . It’s a pretty strong role for a child,” Smith said. “[We’re looking for] children who feel comfortable working with a variety of different people.”

Smith said it will be interesting to see the number of children who apply. She said it’s great to be able to offer those selected the chance to experience the discovery center before it officially opens in May.

“The Discovery Center is a really exciting attraction coming to the Boston area,” Smith said. “It’s kind of a unique opportunity for a child to be able to experience something so new and great and incorporate it with a toy that’s so educational and constructive. It’s such a great toy that so many children love.”

Coffey hopes that parents will encourage and help their Lego-loving children to apply. He said that for him, it was all about taking steps towards what he loves, and he hopes a lot of children will do the same.

“I want kids to come out of this after day one saying this is my dream, I can reach it. I can do this,” Coffey said. “The creativity, design, imagination, you can build those and shape them, but I really want children to understand that if they want to become something—even become a junior panelist—to just keep going for it.”

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston will be accepting applications for its junior construction panel from now until March 14. The 12 winners will be announced on their Facebook page on March 17. For contest rules and to apply, visit the LEGOLAND’s website.

Q&A with Mystic Valley Elder Services executive director Dan O’Leary

February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Mystic Valley Elder Services:

Q: Although I continue to live in our home, my wife now lives at a nursing facility nearby.  While I’m delighted that I’ll still be able to see her every day, I’m also really worried about the cost—and I’m worried that she’s worried, too. The last thing I want is for my wife’s health to deteriorate because she’s stressed out over my financial health.   Anything to bring us both piece of mind?
 
Answer: First, let’s take a moment to focus on the good: your wife is receiving the high-quality care that she needs, and you’re able to visit her every day.  What a relief this must be!
 
Of course, when you and  your wife decided it was the best course for her to move into a nursing facility, I’m sure you faced a great deal of anxiety over the decision – both emotional and financial. If your wife has MassHealth coverage, however, some of the financial burden has been relieved: MassHealth covers long-term care, and protects your assets as well.  So the short answer is, you and your wife can both stop worrying about going bankrupt from the cost of her long-term care.  MassHealth offers some protection for your financial well-being.
 
Income: It is important to note that your income, as the spouse remaining in the community (MassHealth refers to you as “the community spouse”), is not counted when determining MassHealth eligibility for your wife in the nursing facility.  Only the income in your wife’s name is counted.  Even if you are working and earning, say, $4,000 a month, your income does not count toward cost of caring for your wife in a nursing facility if she is covered by MassHealth. As the community spouse, you can keep most of your own income, no matter how much that totals. 
 
MassHealth will determine a “minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance” level for you that takes into account your housing costs and reflects the minimum you need to live independently in the community.  

That “monthly maintenance” ranges up to a maximum of $2,931.  If your monthly income alone is not enough to meet the “minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance” MassHealth set for you, you are eligible to divert some income from your wife in the nursing facility to meet that minimum.  If your housing costs are particularly high, you may be able to divert an additional percentage of your wife’s income.
 
MassHealth also determines a Patient Paid Amount for your wife.  This is the amount/percentage of your wife’s income must go to pay for her care in the nursing home. 
 
Assets: For MassHealth to cover your wife’s nursing facility care, your wife must have assets that amount to less than $2,000. While that may sound low to some people, remember that property such as your house, your car, or prepaid burial are exempt from that $2,000 – so most likely, we’re talking about cash and savings, unless you own real estate in addition to your home. 

Because you are “the community spouse,” you are allowed to hold half of your marriage’s communal assets—up to $117,240, not including your house, your car, or prepaid burial.  (But note that, if, for example, you sell your shared home, MassHealth does have the authority to recover money they’ve spent on your wife’s care from that sale’s assets; this is known as “estate recovery.”  If you have a lot of assets to protect, you may want to consult a certified Elder Law Attorney first. )
 
This is most certainly a stressful time for you and your family, and the MassHealth guidelines can be complicated.  If your loved one needs to go into a nursing facility, please contact our SHINE program by calling 781-388-4845 to speak with a counselor.  The SHINE counselors will work with you for free to navigate the requirements of Medicare, and screen you to see if you may qualify for MassHealth.
 
And don’t forget that MassHealth covers home-based care for people who would rather live at home. Our experts can answer your questions about home-care, personal care, and other care planning issues, as well. Please call Mystic Valley Elder Services’s main office at 781-324-7705 to get started.

Mystic Valley Elder Services provides critical, life-supporting care and resources to older adults, adults living with disabilities, and caregivers residing in Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, and Wakefield. Visit www.mves.org or call 781-324-7705 to find what you need to live the way you want.

Kirsten Manville at OutLoud February 26th

February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by OutLoud Open Mike Coffee House:

This Month's OutLoud Open Mike Coffee House (www.outloudopenmike.com) at the Beebe Estate features the sultry tones of Kirsten Manville, now going solo with her new CD (www.cdbaby.com/cd/kirstenmanville), Come With Me!  Manville's credits include her Kirsten-and-Dave CD's, Dreams that Just Can't Let Go, and Things You Learn.  

She has enjoyed radio air play on Nick Noble's Folk Revival Show on WICN; and she was a 2013 songwriter finalist at the Ossipee Valley Music Festival.  OutLoud also features Open Mike poetry, prose, and music, prior to the feature and briefly afterward.   

Sign-up is at 7:15.  Performances and readings run from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.  There is no cover; donations are accepted for costs and for local charity.   At the Beebe Estate (www.beebeestate.org), 235 West Foster, Melrose--Parking available on grounds.   See also our facebook page (Outloud Open Mike). 

Local firefighters graduate state firefighting academy

February 12, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by 

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director Shawn P. Murray announced the graduation of the 207th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s forty-five-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program on February 7, 2014. 

“This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” Coan said. 

The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA), a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program, tuition-free. The ceremony took place at the Department of Fire Services in Stow, MA.

The 23 graduates, two women and 21 men, represent the 15 fire departments of East Bridgewater, Everett, Falmouth, Gloucester, Ipswich, Marshfield, Melrose, Nantucket, Natick, North Andover, Northampton, Saugus, Shrewsbury, Taunton, and Wayland. 

Jay M. Fiore, Erick H. Robles, and John A. Russo graduated for Everett, Patrick J. Legro and Andrew M. Pierce graduated for Gloucester, Patrick L. Dingle and Michael E. Sikora graduated for Ipswich, James R. DeMartino graduated for Melrose, Daniel L. Napoli graduated for North Andover, and Craig J. Serino and Michael D. Wilson graduated for Saugus.

The guest speaker was state Senator Ken Donnelly, who previously served on the Lexington Fire Department and the executive board of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts. 

Today’s firefighters do far more than fight fires. They are the first ones called to respond to chemical and environmental emergencies ranging from the suspected presence of carbon monoxide to a gas leak. They may be called to rescue a child who has fallen through the ice or who has locked himself in a bathroom. 

They rescue people from stalled elevators and those who are trapped in vehicle crashes. They test and maintain their equipment, ranging from self-contained breathing apparatus to hydrants to hoses, power tools, and apparatus.

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