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

Senator Elizabeth Warren Visits Tufts

Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Tufts

Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator from Massachusetts, responds to questions from Alan Solomont, Dean of the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, during the Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series on Wednesday at Tufts. More details about Warren’s visit are available on Tufts’ news website. Photo by Alonso Nichols/Tufts University.

– InsideMedford.com

Tufts Hosts 2nd Annual National Dialogue on Race Day September 15

Discussion will focus on race relations on 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act

Tufts University’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy will draw on the widely reported shooting of unarmed African American teen Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Mo., as a prism to view racial progress on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act at a forum to be held on Sept. 15 at 8 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

The incident, say organizers of the CSRD’s second National Dialogue on Race Day, underscores issues of racial discrimination in America, including disproportionate incarceration of African Americans, police brutality and rampant unemployment, half a century after landmark civil rights legislation. The CSRD has entitled this year’s program “The Civil Rights Act: 50 Years Ago, 50 Years Later, 50 Years from Now.”

Peniel Joseph, founding director of the CSRD and professor of history in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, says, “Contrary to popular opinion, the civil rights movement and the Civil Rights Act did not defeat Jim Crow. They merely ushered us into a new, arguably more pernicious phase, where transcendent black achievement co-exists alongside staggering black disadvantage.”

Joseph, a frequent national commentator on issues of race and civil rights, will moderate the panel discussion. He has appeared on PBS News Hour, CNN, and MSNBC, and has also authored such books as “Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama”(2010) and “‘Stokely: A Life’” (2014).

Joining Joseph will be:
– Michael Curry, president of the NAACP Boston
– Barb Dougan, the Massachusetts Project Director of Families Against Mandatory Minimums
– Kim McLarin, novelist and professor of writing, Emerson College
– Lionel McPherson, associate professor of ethics, political and social philosophy at Tufts University
– Alan D. Solomont, dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts
– Paul Watanabe, author and director of the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston

The panel discussion will be followed by audience questions.

The forum will be held in the ASEAN auditorium of the Cabot Intercultural Center on Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus. For directions go to: http://campusmaps.tufts.edu/medford/

For more information, contact the CSRD’s staff assistant, Theresa Sullivan at Theresa.Sullivan@tufts.edu or go to the website at http://as.tufts.edu/csrd/about

- Information from Tufts University

MHS Pool Opens Monday

MHS new pool

Following a years-long closure, Medford High School’s pool will re-open to the public after extensive renovations. Details about the pool and obtaining pool passes are available on the Medford Public Schools website. Photo courtesy MPS.

– InsideMedford.com

Medford Community Day Sunday, September 21

In honor of Wally Kountze and In memory of Ben Averbook

Andrews Middle School
1:00 – 4:30 PM

Over 100 Vendor Tables!
National Flag Display – (10) flags (45 by 90 ft each) carried in procession!
Kiddie rides, pony rides, snow cones, crafts, bake sales & spin art!

“Passport” Trip to Ireland, Haiti, Brazil, Morocco, India, Tibet, Japan & Italy!
Radio Disney! Goulding School of Irish Dance! All Hands Drumming! New Life Baptist Brazilian Church! Steel Drum Band! The MHS Alumni Band!
Make your own scarecrow and/or decorate your own pumpkin!
Take a ride on a tethered hot air balloon, courtesy of ReMax Andrew Realty!

“Touch a Truck” vehicles – the Batmobile, the L.L. Bean Bootmobile, the Fish Car, Burger Dive’s Hamburger Car, Medford Police & Fire Vehicles, Boston Medflight and Armstrong Ambulance Vehicles, the Middlesex Sheriff’s SWAT Vehicle & Dept of Public Works trucks! Medford Police K9 demonstration!

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!

Mini Sports Clinics ** Street Hockey Clinic ** Three legged races **
Potato sack races ** Wheel barrel races** Dunk Tank**
Water Taxi Rides – at canoe launch near McGlynn School!
The 2nd Annual 5k Doggie Fun Run & Walk – 10 am

- Submitted by Mayor Michael McGlynn’s office

Sisters Against Ovarian Cancer Walk September 20

The 7th Annual Ovarian Cancer Walk in Memory of Marie Spinale is scheduled for Saturday, September 20th at the Maple Grove Area of the Stone Zoo.

The 5 mile walk around Spot Pond will spread its message of the importance of early detection in the treatment of ovarian cancer and raise money to support related cancer research. Proceeds of the Walk will benefit the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

For registration and donation information please visit www.sistersagainstoc.org. Hope to see you on September 20th – help to wipe out OC one step at a time!

- Information from Judy Budny

D.A.R.E. Day September 28th

Medford Lodge of ELKS is sponsoring a D.A.R.E. Day event in the parking lot at 19 Washington Street on Sunday September 28 from 10 am – 2pm.

All members of the community are invited to attend. This event will be informative and fun. There will be information about drug prevention and awareness.

The Medford Fire Dept. will be present with a ladder truck for children climb on. Medford FD will provide safety tips and the Smokehouse they use for training will be set up.

Come hear about the Kick-Off of the Medford Elks DARE Poster contest.

There will be food, drinks, games, and a visit from Elroy the Elk

See you on Sunday the 28th for DARE Day at Medford Elks!

- Submitted by Mike Hourihan