What to Know About the City’s New Parking Program

Medford is launching a new parking program in January. The program includes meters in city squares, increased enforcement, and an online hub, www.parkmedford.org, that has important information about the new system and allows online payments.

When does the new program go into effect?

According to the city website, the new parking program will “be live” as of January 5, 2015. This includes the meters in the business districts and residential and business permits.

Where are the new parking meters located?

Medford Square, Haines Square, West Medford Square, South Medford, the Hillside, Playstead Road, and Boston Avenue near Tufts. A more detailed map is available here.

Who is doing the enforcement?

Republic Parking System has a contract with the city to manage its parking program, which includes the new meters, online hub and payment system, and the issuance of citations. The Medford Police can of course still issue tickets if an offense is witnessed.

Who can people contact with questions?

The new parking management office will open on December 29 at 557 Main Street in Medford. As of December 22 the office can be reached at 781-874-0051 or parkmedford@republicparking.com.

Where can people find more information?

The city has posted a parking update on its website that includes important details about the new program. More information is also available on www.parkmedford.org.

Source: City of Medford website

Vocational School to Offer New Program for Students, Serve as Home for New Public Access TV Station

On Friday city and school officials met at Medford Vocational-Technical High School to announce a draft proposal for a new television studio. The TV studio would serve vocational students in a new broadcast and radio program and would also be used as a public access facility. According to City Solicitor Mark Rumley, the city will be seeking proposals from “qualified nonprofit organizations for the operation of a public access cable television channel.” The RFP is expected to be issued January 15 and the process is tentatively planned to be completed by early April. More details are available in an announcement on the City of Medford’s website.

Medford school and city officials

State Representative Paul Donato, Mayor Michael McGlynn, Medford Voc-Tech Director Heidi Riccio, School Committee member Ann Marie Cugno, School Superintendent Roy Belson, and City Solicitor Mark Rumley in the classroom that will be transformed into a new studio.

– InsideMedford.com

Boys Basketball Team Opens Season With Win

The Medford High School boys basketball team opened the season on Thursday with a win at Burlington. The varsity team defeated Burlington 67-54. Senior center Steve Diprizio led the Mustangs with fifteen points. John Ferrara added thirteen points while Alonzo Jackson and Darnell Richardson contributed twelve and eleven points, respectively, according to Head Coach David White. Medford’s first home game is Sunday, December 21 at 3PM against Methuen.

The JV team, pictured below, edged Burlington 64-63. All photos by Steve Eliopoulos. More photos available on Medford’s Facebook page.

Mustang boys basketball team

Mustang boys basketball team

Mustang boys basketball team

– InsideMedford.com

Local Bank Supports Royall House & Slave Quarters

Royall House

Medford’s Royall House and Slave Quarters was recently awarded a generous sponsorship grant for Giving Voice, this fall’s annual benefit event.

The generosity of the East Cambridge Savings Bank will support the core mission of the Royall House and Slave Quarters to educate young people and the general public on the history of northern colonial slavery while preserving two historically and architecturally significant buildings.

“We are grateful to the East Cambridge Savings Bank for recognizing the value of our museum to Medford and surrounding communities,” said Penny Outlaw, co-president of the Royall House and Slave Quarters board of directors. “We welcomed more than 5,000 visitors for school field trips, guided tours, and educational programs in 2014, including several who stayed overnight in the Slave Quarters as a special component of Giving Voice. The Bank’s generosity helped make this level of community engagement possible.”

About East Cambridge Savings Bank: The East Cambridge Savings Bank was established in 1854 on the principles of stability, security, and peace of mind. Today it remains committed to being the bank of choice in its market area, recognized for exceptional service to individuals and small businesses and committed to the community. The bank’s community philanthropy focuses on low-to-moderate income individuals within the Bank’s Community Reinvestment (CRA) communities – Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Medford, Somerville, Waltham and Watertown.

About the museum: In the eighteenth century, the Royall House & Slave Quarters was home to the largest slaveholding family in Massachusetts and the enslaved Africans who made their lavish way of life possible. Architecture, household items, and archaeological artifacts bear witness to the intertwined stories of wealth and bondage, set against the backdrop of America’s quest for independence. The Slave Quarters is the only remaining such structure in the northern United States, and the Royall House is among the finest colonial-era buildings in New England.

The Royall House and Slave Quarters is located at 15 George Street in Medford, Massachusetts. Please email director@RoyallHouse.org for more information, visit RoyallHouse.org, and find us on Facebook.

- Submitted by Tom Lincoln

Jingles, Millie Seeking Homes

Jingles

JinglesMy name is Jingles and I am a Maine-Coone mix female kitty, 8 years old. I was newly adopted by a nice young man – however, when he brought me home, his father was allergic to me. So I am here, in the Kitty Connection Rescue Room looking for a new pet-parent. I am very interested in people, I stick my nose into whatever the KC volunteers are doing. I am very sweet, love getting petted and playing with wand toys (that the volunteers wave around). I am also very nice to look at, too!

Millie

MillieMy name is Millie and I was one of the Desperate Rochester Rescue Dogs. KC volunteers came to pick me and some other dogs up to show to get us spayed and neutered and then, get us into foster homes and adopted. While I was getting prepared for my tests, to everyone’s sadness, I tested positive for heartworm. They tested me again, hoping it was an inaccurate reading but it wasn’t. I wasn’t as fortunate as the others to not have it. No surprise there; I have the flea and insect bites to prove that I’ve been bitten. The good news is, even if I am not adopted, I am not being sent back to the farm. Kitty Connection is going to try to save me!

We need to raise a $1000 for the treatment and my care. We are hoping someone with a quiet home will foster me during my recovery process. The only problem will be not falling in love with me and wanting to adopt me. I’m one big American Bully teddy bear.

About Kitty Connection

Kitty Connection is a no-kill, all volunteer rescue based in Medford and dedicated to helping animals in need. KC provides foster homes for them until they are adopted into loving, forever homes.

Cats/dogs are sometimes temporarily staying at foster homes away from the area.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the animals, call 781-393-9995 or email kc@kittyconnection.net.

For more animals or to see videos, check out http://www.KittyConnection.net!

- Information and photos from Kitty Connection

Despite Lower Rates, Property Taxes to Increase in 2015

The Medford City Council recently approved new property tax rates for 2015.

Even though the residential and commercial property tax rates are lower than 2014, the average tax bill will increase due to higher property values. The new residential rate is $11.70 while the commercial rate is $22.77.

The rate is determined by the need to fund the city’s $150,242,573 budget, which was approved in June, and is affected by property values. In Medford, like many cities, residential and commercial properties are taxed at different rates, with commercial property owners paying a higher rate.

It’s also possible for property values to decrease yet have taxes increase due to a higher rate needed to fund the city’s budget. Despite fluctuations in property values, taxes usually increase each year to maintain city services. Historically, the average home owner’s property tax increases about $150 per year.

The following information is based upon the average property value in each category. Property tax bills will be larger or smaller depending upon the value of individual properties.

Average Property Tax Bill Increase for 2015
Single Family- $128.47 (compared to $179.72 last year)
2-Family- $374.08 (compared to $263.01 last year)
3-Family- $513.16 (compared to $290.86 last year)
Condo- $105.02 (compared to $124.49 last year)
Commercial Property- $292.27 (compared to $533.17 last year)

Average 2015 Property Tax Bill
Single Family- $4,615.65
2-Family- $5,358.60
3-Family- $6,387.03
Condo- $3,446.82
Commercial Property- $25,010.57

Average Value Single Family Home
2015- $394,500
2014- $366.300
2013- $348,500
2012- $347,400
2011- $346,550
2010- $357,900
2009- $372,500
2008- $400,300
2007- $407,500

Average Value 2-Family Home
2015- $458,000
2014- $406,900
2013- $382,000
2012- $378,700
2011- $377,000
2010- $387,600
2009- $432,800
2008- $490,500
2007- $501,800

Average Value 3-Family Home
2015- $545,900
2014- $479,500
2013- $451,700
2012- $448,000
2011- $449,000
2010- $465,500
2009- $524,100
2008- $553,500
2007- $552,800

Average Value Condo
2015- $294,600
2014- $272,800
2013- $263,100
2012- $261,300
2011- $259,000
2010- $263,900
2009- $278,400
2008- $289,300
2007- $297,100

Average Value Commercial Property
2015- $1,098,400
2014- $1,029,500
2013- $991,600
2012- $982,800
2011- $1,010,900
2010- $1,056,800
2009- $1,050,100
2008- $1,083,800

Source: City of Medford Assessor

Councilor Camuso Not Seeking Re-Election in 2015

Long-time Medford City Councilor Paul Camuso announced today he will not seek re-election in 2015. The following is an announcement Camuso released on Thursday afternoon:

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As the New Year approaches and after consulting with my family, I have decided that I will not seek reelection to the Medford City Council in 2015. I have had the distinct honor of serving Medford with pride, passion and professionalism for the last fifteen years. Serving this past year as President of the Medford City Council has been one of many highlights during my career in public service.

I want to personally thank the residents of Medford for trusting me with their vote and giving me the opportunity to serve on the Medford School Committee and the Medford City Council. One of my dreams as a young man growing up in Medford was to become an elected official and give back to the community that has given me so much. As a product of the Medford Public Schools I am proud of being part of such a huge undertaking building all new elementary and middle schools and significantly upgrading Medford High School. Emphasizing the importance in a vibrant educational system was and always will be a priority of mine. I am also very proud of being a part of so many successful initiatives and projects that have greatly enhanced the quality of life in our City. As your City Councilor I look forward to continue working eagerly at making Medford a better place to live and raise a family over the next twelve months

A few people that I would like to thank for their guidance and friendship over my years of public service are the late Middlesex Sheriff James V. DiPaola, Mayor Michael J. McGlynn, Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, former Medford City Council President Robert Maiocco, and Superintendent of Schools Roy Belson, and City Solicitor Mark Rumley. I would also like to thank my colleagues on the Medford City Council and the Medford School Committee for their dedicated service to the City Of Medford.

Upon conclusion of my term on the City Council I look forward to spending more time with my beautiful wife Jeanine and my amazing son James. As a private citizen I will always continue working to the best of my capabilities at making Medford the finest City in the Commonwealth. Again thank you and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

With all Sincerity

Paul A. Camuso
Medford City Councilor

N.H. Man Indicted on Charges he Secretly Videotaped Women in Arlington Cafe

A New Hampshire man who previously worked for the Arlington DPW has been indicted on charges of secretly videotaping women in a public restroom in Arlington.

A Middlesex County grand jury has indicted Joseph Hennessey, 53, of Salem, on charges of photographing or videotaping a person in a state of nudity (four counts) and with interception of oral communications.

Police Chief Frederick Ryan said in a news release: “We commend the women who were victimized for working with our detectives on this investigation. On the spectrum of privacy invasion, this is as bad as it gets.”

District Attorney Marian Ryan said in the release, “People need to act on their instincts because usually when they sense something isn’t adding up they’re correct. In this case, the employee saw something out of place, noticed a man acting suspiciously and then called police. The employee stopped a situation that was an extreme example of an invasion of privacy.”

Employee Found Flower Pot

Arlington police arrested Hennessey on Sept. 13 at the Kickstand Café, 594 Mass. Ave., after an employee found a flower pot that contained a secreted recording device in the women’s bathroom. Hennessey allegedly told the employee the flower pot belonged to him.

According to authorities, Hennessey was seen on two occasions at the café in September when the employee noticed the flower pot in the restroom. On the first occasion, Sept. 5, the employee used the restroom, noticed a flower pot directly in front of the toilet, exited the bathroom and later saw an individual the employee says was Hennessey allegedly exiting the women’s restroom. The employee reportedly left a note for her supervisor about the incident.

On the second occasion, slightly more than a week later, the same employee has told authorities she saw Hennessey again. On Sept. 13, the employee used the women’s restroom, noticed the same flower pot, picked it up and in moving the basket found a bundle of electronics and electrical tape.

The employee then reported that she heard someone outside the restroom speaking and knocking on the door. The employee claims the individual was Hennessey and that Hennessey told her the flower pot belonged to him.

Terminated as Town Employee

Police were called to the café and Hennessey was arrested.

YourArlington reported in September that Hennessey is an Arlington DPW employee who has been off the job for more than a year on workers’ compensation because of a workplace injury.

Caryn Molloy, town personnel director, said Sept. 15 that Hennessey’s start date in town was April 18, 2001.

Asked about his current town-employee status, Malloy wrote Wednesday, Dec. 17: “His employment with the Town of Arlington was terminated effective Wednesday October 1, 2014.”

The charges on which Hennessey has been indicted are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Ceara Mahoney. This case was investigated by the Arlington Police Department.

- YourArlington.com

Governor, State Education Officials Meet at MHS

On Monday Medford High School hosted a joint meeting of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the State Board of Early Education and Care. Outgoing Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick dropped by the meeting briefly. More photos of the meeting and the Governor’s visit are available on Medford’s Facebook page.

Governor Patrick and Medford officials

From left: Medford School Committee member Ann Marie Cugno, Medford Public Schools Budget Director Pat Velie, Medford School Committee member John Falco, Medford Deputy School Superintendent Beverly Nelson, Governor Deval Patrick, School Superintendent Roy Belson, Medford School Committee member Paulette Van der Kloot, Medford Assistant School Superintendent Diane Caldwell, and Medford School Committee member Erin DiBenedetto.

Governor Patrick and state education officials

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Margaret McKenna, MA Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester, Governor Patrick, Early Education and Care Board Chair Jay Gonzalez, and MA Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber.

– InsideMedford.com

Mustang Swim Team Opens Season in New Pool

The Medford High School swim team opened up the season on Tuesday in their brand new pool. The Mustangs lost a close one to O’Bryant. The following photos were taken by Steve Eliopoulos. More photos are available on Medford’s Facebook page.

MHS pool

MHS pool

MHS pool

– InsideMedford.com