Car Crashes Into Medford Music School

A car crashed into LB Music School early Friday morning, according to local reports.

According to WCVB, a woman hit the accelerator instead of the brakes around 5AM, crashing into the front of the school, located on Central Avenue.

A fire official told Channel 5 that the structural integrity of the building was compromised following the crash,

There were no reports of injuries.

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Photos by Paul Rapatano.

Farmers Market Apple Fest and Bakeoff October 9

Come celebrate the end of the 2014 Medford Farmers Market season at the Apple Fest on October 9th!

Enter the apple bake-off, bob for apples, get your face painted, and decorate mini pumpkins. Event is free!

Bake-Off Details:

Join your fellow neighbors for a friendly competition judged by community members, Mayor McGlynn, our market manager, and market vendors. Bring your favorite and most prized home-baked apple creation to the market for tasting by 5pm, as judging will begin at 5:30pm. The winner will receive a gift basket of goods from the market. To RSVP and enter your baked good in the contest or if you have any questions about the contest, email medfordfarmersmarket@gmail.com by October 7th.

The Medford Farmers Market is from 3-7PM behind Medford City Hall in Medford Square.

- Information from the Medford Farmers Market

Man with Medford Ties Pleads Guilty to Insurance Fraud Charges

- Allison Goldsberry

A local man has pled guilty to insurance fraud charges that includes for billing thousands for services he didn’t provide, according to information released by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan

Yongshuo Qu, 45, who reportedly resides in both Medford and Hudson, NH, pled guilty to insurance fraud (12 counts) and attempted larceny (8 counts) for billing for more than $30,000 in acupuncture and other services he didn’t actually provide through businesses he operated in Lowell and Medford, according to the DA.

“This defendant filed hundreds of fake insurance claims for services he never provided,” said District Attorney Ryan. “We commend the Massachusetts Insurance Fraud Bureau for their efforts in pursuing this matter and working with us so that, together, we could bring this case to a successful completion. This kind of fraud undermines the system and costs everyone money.”

According to authorities, Qu is a licensed acupuncturist and resident agent for two businesses, HealthLand LLC in Lowell and Back2Balance in Boston. He advertised services of “Acupuncture, Massage, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Chi Gong Therapy.” He isn’t a licensed chiropractor or physical therapist and doesn’t employ any at either location, nor does he have a separate message therapist, authorities say. Qu is also said to have provided services out of an office attached to his Medford home.

According to information released by the DA, the investigation revealed that over a period of four years Qu billed for legitimate massage services rendered to 13 clients, but then added hundreds of additional charges for examinations and treatments he never provided. Additionally, in several instances, he billed insurance companies for work he said he had completed that had actually been performed by unlicensed practitioners. In total, Qu fraudulently billed more than $30,000 in insurance claims.

City: Don’t Empty Your Pool Onto the Streets

It is against the law in Medford to allow or cause anything other than stormwater to go down the stormdrains in Medford. This means that you may not empty your pool down your driveway and into the street in Medford. When you do so, you are polluting local waterways, like the Mystic River and Wright’s Pond. Everything dumped into a stormdrain ends up in our rivers and other bodies of water. Unlike the water we use at our homes, water that enters stormdrains is not treated before entering the waterways. Pools are treated with chemicals like chlorine and algaecides to prevent organisms from living in your pool. These chemicals produce by-products that are harmful to local water quality and the wildlife that live there. Organic material naturally found in the Mystic River or Wright’s Pond can react with the by-products from the pool water to create a highly toxic organic chemical.

You should drain your pool onto your lawn or other non-paved or porous area on your property, for example, you could drain it onto a brick patio, but not a concrete one. The water in the swimming pool should also be dechlorinated before draining: Allow the water to sit in the sun for a week without adding chlorine; or use a chemical dechlorination additive (contact a pool store for options).

When pool water is absorbed and filtered by the ground the water is naturally cleaned before entering local rivers and ponds. It might seem like more of a hassle draining your pool in your lawn but you are ultimately preventing harm to local waterways used for swimming, boating and fishing by the community.

For more information about how you can do your part in maintaining clean and healthy waterways, visit our website at: http://medfordenergy.org/gogreen/storm-water/

The relevant law is the Revised Ordinances of the City of Medford, Section 82-127. Municipal ordinances carry the weight of law.

- Submitted by Alicia Hunt, Medford Director of Energy & Environment & Environmental Agent

Harvard Students Spruce Up Mystic River in Medford

Medford hosted a second year with “HKS Serves” — an annual community service orientation for incoming graduate students at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (HKS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This year, Medford welcomed 125 HKS graduate students (up from 75 in 2013) — including many international students newly arrived for advanced leadership training at Harvard. These future leaders were joined by 15 promising scholar-athletes from the Medford High School freshman football team to perform exceptional volunteer work together along the Mystic River at South Street and Route 16.

Other local community groups contributing to the massive clean-up effort included the Friends of the Mystic River, Mystic River Watershed Association, Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation, Medford Community Schools, as well as the City of Medford’s Departments of Conservation, Energy & the Environment, Forestry, Highway, Parks, and Public Works (DPW), all coordinated though the offices of Mayor Michael J. McGlynn.

The work included: vista pruning to open up wider, more unobstructed views of Mystic River along South Street and Route 16 by removing invasive plants, trees, and undergrowth; the removal of trees causing structural damage to the granite bridge at Route 16; and the corrective pruning of valuable established trees and understory plants.

Student volunteers also cleared walkways half-buried by weeds and an overall accumulation of soil and leaf litter. In conjunction with the DPW, they picked up and removed riverside trash and debris. Medford City and State DCR employees mowed weeds and the large lawn areas along South Street. In partnership with the Friends of the Mystic River, one dedicated group worked hard to eradicate a stand of Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant that resembles bamboo and grows aggressively along the riverbank.

In addition to opening up vistas of our beloved Mystic River to pedestrians, bicyclists, and neighbors, organizers are hoping to increase awareness and appreciation of this valuable natural resource by increasing its visibility to vehicular traffic along the two major thoroughfares of Route 16 and South Street. The ongoing clean-up efforts also aim to create a safer, more welcoming, and more accessible riverfront.

The ongoing HKS Serves partnership with Medford promotes the shared and continuing stewardship of the Mystic River. The clean-ups demonstrate the effectiveness of bringing various community groups together — from student and local citizen volunteers to city, state, and local environmental agencies — to improve our natural environment and cityscape. Last, and perhaps most important, the cleanups also provide a collaborative educational experience and introduction to Medford for the John F. Kennedy School of Government graduate students, many of whom are new not only to our city, but to Harvard, to Massachusetts, and to the USA.

Many thanks again to all the participants from Harvard Kennedy School, Medford High School, and all those who helped organize this successful river cleanup!

HKS students volunteer in Medford

- Submitted by Ann Frenning Kossuth

Medford Little League Update

Medford Little LeagueFall Ball started with 18 games last weekend.

We have over 240 players from ages 5-12 registered from Medford and neighboring communities playing, learning and sharpening their skills this fall.

Annual Meeting Notice

Medford Little League Annual Meeting and Elections will be Monday, September 29th, 7pm at the South Medford Fire Station, Zero Medford Street.

Come listen, contribute and be a part of making Medford Little League a big success!

- Submitted by Stephen Braverman, Medford Little League

Everett Casino Receives Green Light

Wynn Everett

– Allison Goldsberry

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve a plan by Wynn Resorts for a casino in Everett.

“We believe that a great deal of the resistance and energy that we experienced in some surrounding communities, and especially with Boston, was directly related to the fact that this was a competition. We expect that now that a decision has been made, everybody will find it much easier to relate to one another, get on with the job of creating jobs and building a better life for the citizens of Everett and the surrounding communities in the Greater Boston area,” said Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn in a statement.

Wynn’s $1.6 billion plan includes a five-star resort with more than 500 rooms, high-end retail and dining, a ballroom, and meeting space. The casino will be located on contaminated land behind the Gateway shopping plaza in Everett. Wynn’s proposal includes a cleaning up the 30 acres, located along the Mystic River, and for the development of a waterfront with paths and even water taxis.

Wynn’s plan beat out a proposal by Mohegan Sun for a casino in Revere.

Medford signed a surrounding communities agreement with Wynn Resorts last spring. The agreement includes a $1 million annual payment to address public safety concerns; up to $1.25 million for a “concept design” of Wellington Circle, a heavily congested area; $1 million for traffic improvements; donations to the community; and “preferential treatment to qualified Medford residents for contracting, subcontracting and servicing opportunities in the development and construction of the project,” among other concessions.

Approval of casino licenses in Massachusetts is on the ballot again in November. If voters don’t reaffirm their support, Wynn’s plan for Everett will not move forward.

Sheriff Koutoujian Warns of Continuing Scams

Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian is again seeking to warn county residents about ongoing telephone arrest scams.

“Over the past several weeks we have received multiple reports from residents alleging callers are once again fraudulently using the name of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office in attempts to scam them out of money,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “While we – and our law enforcement colleagues – have been warning residents about these arrest scams for months, perpetrators are showing no signs of letting up in their efforts to defraud taxpayers out of their hard-earned money.”

In the most recent scams reported to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, fraudsters have either specifically identified themselves as deputies or, through a practice known as spoofing, managed to make it appear as though the call is being placed from a Middlesex Sheriff’s Office telephone line. In all of the cases the victims are threatened with arrest for failure to pay fictional debts or taxes due to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“No legitimate law enforcement agency will ever threaten arrest over the phone, nor will they demand payment for debt over the phone,” said Sheriff Koutoujian.

In an effort to help educate the public about ongoing scams in Middlesex County, and beyond, Sheriff Koutoujian hosted Executive Office of Elder Affairs Secretary Ann Hartstein and Better Business Bureau Community Outreach Specialist Amy Schram for an episode of “Beyond the Badge” last month. That episode, with helpful scam prevention tips, can be found on the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office YouTube Channel (http://goo.gl/VHNpBe).

Anyone who receives a call similar in nature to those referenced above is encouraged to contact their local police department. We also ask that you contact the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit at 978-932-3220 if the caller indicates they work for the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.

- Submitted by Sheriff Koutoujian’s office

Citizens Push for Clean Up of West Medford Rail Station

West Medford station meeting

The West Medford commuter rail station’s problems are obvious. Who is responsible for fixing them is less clear. Resolving that question is job one for stakeholders interested in seeing station conditions improve.

A group of about 35 interested citizens, business owners, elected officials and MBTA representatives began to map out a strategy at a community meeting on Monday, Sept. 8, organized by Medford resident Matthew Haberstroh and moderated by State Rep. Sean Garballey.

Attendees contributed suggestions for short- and long-term upgrades that would improve not only the appearance of the Playstead Road station, but also comfort, safety, and accessibility for users.

Immediate fixes identified included repairing a broken awning, signage, lighting and fencing; more frequent cleaning and trash collection; adding seating and bike racks; and tackling derelict landscaping.

On a larger scale but just as urgent, the station needs to be made accessible for people with disabilities, either by the installation of mini-high platforms, or construction of an entire new station that would provide access, shelter and improved safety for both inbound and outbound passengers.

But first, the station’s complicated jurisdiction must be sorted out. The MBTA owns the railroad right-of-way and its contractor, Keolis Commuter Services, operates the trains and is responsible for station maintenance. But sections of the facility, including its only covered waiting areas, are part of a High Street commercial building that houses Rite-Aid pharmacy. Also abutting the platforms are parcels owned and maintained by the U.S. Postal Service and the City of Medford.

“The first thing we have to do is figure out who is responsible for what, and then get all the parties talking to each other,” said State Sen. Patricia Jehlen, who attended the meeting at the Medford Public Library. “This meeting is a good first step.”

Jehlen helped facilitate recent improvements to Wedgemere Station, one stop north of West Medford on the Lowell commuter rail line that included full handicapped accessibility. “That project took about three years of work, but it was successful because the town and the MBTA worked together on it. I’m happy to set up a meeting with the City of Medford and the MBTA to get that conversation going.”

In addition to Jehlen and Garballey, elected officials attending the meeting were Medford City Councilors Rick Caraviello, Fred Dello Russo Jr., Adam Knight, Breanna Lungo-Koehn and Michael Marks; staff member Dan Hurley represented State Rep. Paul Donato. Also contributing input at the meeting were Medford Tree Warden Aggie Tuden, and Jay Mustapha and Edmund Tavernier from the Maintenance Services Division of the MBTA/MassDOT.

Haberstroh said he was pleased with the meeting and especially grateful for the turnout of elected officials and MBTA staff.

“It was great to see so many people who are interested in this issue come out and share a lot of good ideas,” Haberstroh said. “Working together, I’m confident we can bring the West Medford station up to par with others north of the city – clean, safe, fully accessible, and a proud reflection of our community.”

- Submitted by Matt Haberstroh

RE/MAX Andrew Realty Services to Bring Hot Air Balloon to Community Day

RE/MAX BalloonRE/MAX Andrew Realty Services is proud to present a very special opportunity at Medford’s Community Day, held this Sunday, September 21 at the Andrew’s School. . .the ability to take a tethered ride in the RE/MAX of New England Hot Air Balloon.

Sponsored by RE/MAX Andrew Realty Services, “Big Max,” the seven-story-tall red, white and blue RE/MAX hot air balloon will be at Medford Community Day from 3:00pm until 4:30pm, wind and weather permitting. The tethered rides will be offered for free.

The RE/MAX hot air balloon is the widely recognized corporate logo of RE/MAX Real Estate offices worldwide, owner of the largest corporate hot air balloon “fleet” in the world.

“Our company is proud to be a part of this important community event,” said John Veneziano, Broker/Owner of the RE/MAX Andrew Realty Services. “Most people don’t ever have an opportunity to experience a hot air balloon ride and we’re thrilled to bring Big Max to Medford for the first time.”

Medford Community Day is held in honor of Wally Kountze and in memory of the late Ben Averbook on Sunday, September 21 from 1pm-4pm at the Andrew’s School and features over 100 vendor tables, a national flag display, music, entertainment, games, Disney Radio, Touch a Truck, visits from the Boston Red Sox’s Wally the Green Monster, the Boston Bruins Blades, Tufts University’s Jumbo, Big League Brian-the Stilt walker, Captain America, Spiderman and Disney’s Frozen Princesses Elsa & Anna much, much more. RE/MAX Andrew Realty is proud to also sponsor the free pony rides at the event. For more info on Community Day visit: www.MedfordMA.org.

- Submitted by RE/MAX Andrew Realty