Legion Baseball Season Comes to an End

Medford Legion baseball team 2014

- Allison Goldsberry

The Medford Legion Post 45 baseball team’s season came to an end with a tough 4-3 loss to Newton in the Chairman’s Cup finals on Thursday.

“While it was a tough ending, I couldn’t have asked for a better season with a terrific group of kids,” said Coach Ryan Kozul. “We’ve prided ourselves on building a classy program over the last four years, and all these guys have been great ambassadors for our team. It’s a tough thing to stay committed during the summer with all the distractions and the grueling schedule we play. This group was the most committed I’ve ever had, and I’m really grateful for that.”

The Medford roster was full of talented players from many places, including Medford High School, Arlington Catholic, and Malden Catholic, among others.

According to Coach Kozul, two players will be moving on to play for two of the best programs in New England in the fall. Ryan Covelle will be joining his brother Paul at D2 powerhouse Franklin Pierce, while Dave Center will be playing at D3 College World Series participant Southern Maine. Both Dave and Ryan were three year players for the Legion team.

The Legion team is also saying good-bye to several other key players.

“[Kevin Andrew] has been a great leader for us. He will definitely be missed next year,” said Kozul. “I’d like to wish him well as he moves on, along with Justin Alley, Matt Marino, Conor McGovern, and Eric Spinale.”

Winchester duo Brendan Greene and Billy Christopher, among the biggest keys to the team’s success this year, are also moving on, said Coach Kozul.

“They are both great kids, who were committed to us from day one and played great baseball all summer. I know they’ll do great things next year.”

Christopher will pitch at Union College while Greene is doing a postgrad year at Bridgton Academy and playing hockey and baseball.

Despite the departure of top players, several younger players are poised to step up and lead the team. Medford High’s Dom Ramasci, Mike Egitto, and Mike Center and AC’s Kyle Boudrias, Justin DeMarco, and Christian Rosati all had great years and will return to the Legion team next season.

Coach Kozul said he would like to thank the parents and fans for their support.

“We truly appreciate it, and we hope we were able to put a team on the field that made everyone proud,” said Kozul.

Despite the season-ending loss to Newton, Kozul said he is proud of the progress the team has made over the years. Medford finished 13-9 this season and over the last four years has compiled a 46-38 record after the program went 2-38 from 2009-10 and had zero winning seasons from 2001-2012.

“We’ve been transformed over the last four years into a perennial playoff contender and that’s a credit to the dedication level of all the players who have come through the program during that time,” said Kozul. “I hope this is a program now that all the younger players in the city will strive to play for as they get older.”

Kids’ Lemonade Stand Raises Money for Injured MHS Grad

lemonade stand

Two local children held a lemonade stand on Boston Avenue this week to help a Medford resident who was recently injured while on a senior trip abroad. Harmony Tucci and Devin Gallagher raised money to help cover the medical expenses of Eric Ferrazzani, a 2014 Medford High School graduate. According to an online fund established to support Ferrazzani, nearly $30,000 has been raised from over 300 people in the last twenty-eight days.

- Photo and information from Michelle Hardy

Catching Up With the McGlynn Builders Club

The Builders Club recently completed another busy year at the McGlynn Middle School.

This year, the group raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The National Breast Cancer Foundation, The Kid’s Cancer Buzz-Off, The Special Olympics, and other causes.

The club recently elected officers for the 2014-2015 year. The Co-Presidents of the club are Diana Matarazzo and Jessica Walker, the Vice President is Krystal Miller, the Secretary is Nicole Chin and the Treasurer is Alyssa Martello.

The first action proposed by the new Co-Presidents was to contribute to the McGlynn Student Council toiletry drive. The Club purchased socks, razors and toothpaste for the female homeless veterans at the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Boston. The club expects a big year with these two dynamos at the helm!

The Builders Club Co-Advisors are Sean McGillicuddy and Dave Kuzmicz.

McGlynn Builders Club

Pictured: Newly Elected Co-Presidents of the McGlynn Middle School Builders Club Diana Matarazzo (l) and Jessica Walker (r) with donations for the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Boston

- Submitted by Sean McGillicuddy

Medford Native Hired as Bruins Assistant Coach

Joe SaccoThe Boston Bruins announced today that the club has hired Joe Sacco as Assistant Coach.

A native of Medford, MA, Sacco spent the 2013-14 season as an Assistant Coach for the Buffalo Sabres. Prior to that position, the former NHL forward served as the Head Coach of the Colorado Avalanche (2009-13) where he compiled a 130-134-40 record and was a Jack Adams finalist in 2010.

Sacco served two years as an Assistant Coach in the AHL (American Hockey League) for the Lowell Lock Monsters (2004-05) and the Albany River Rats (2006-07) before becoming a head coach for the Lake Erie Monsters (2007-09).

In his playing career, Sacco skated in 738 NHL games in 13 seasons with five teams (Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers). He registered 94 goals and 119 assists for 213 points.

The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Sacco out of Boston University in the fourth round (71st overall) of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

- Information from Boston Bruins

Wynn Proposes Use of Oysters to Clean Mystic River

Wynn Resorts announced it will partner with the Massachusetts Oyster Project to use over 250,000 live oysters to clean the Mystic River, should the proposal for its $1.6 billion waterfront resort and casino in Everett gain state approval.

According to a statement released by Wynn Resorts, a single oyster can effectively filter thirty to fifty gallons of water every day. Wynn said it would spend $30 million to clean the 33-acre, contaminated site and add landscaping, a picnic park, an indoor garden, deck, water service, dining and retail, and boat docks.

“Wynn’s commitment goes above and beyond what is required by law and will convert a contaminated former chemical plant site into a public waterfront gem that everyone can enjoy,” said Robert DeSalvio, senior vice president of Wynn Development. “The Everett waterfront has been locked out of public use for more than a century. We’re going to open it up in grand fashion and create a spectacular esplanade that will be brimming with activity all year long. Our waterfront will be a crowning jewel of our resort.”

Wynn is competing with Mohegan Sun for a license in eastern Massachusetts. According to the state Gaming Commission website, a license should be awarded in September. Medford has signed surrounding community agreements with both Wynn and Mohegan Sun.

The Gaming Commission is holding a public meeting in Boston on Thursday morning. An update on the licensing timeline is on the agenda, among other items.

- InsideMedford.com

Sen. Jehlen: Charter Schools Competitors, Not Collaborators

Last week, the senate voted to defeat a bill that proposed to raise the current cap on charter schools in 29 districts. Beginning in 2017 the cap would rise from 18% to 23% of those school districts’ spending.

Before the vote, we heard from parents, advocates, students, and organizations on both sides of the argument. We sat down with whoever was willing to talk about the bill and what it would mean for students in the Commonwealth and the future of our public education system.

We went into all of these conversations with the goal of answering one essential question: what is our end game in expanding charter schools?

In 1993 when the Massachusetts Legislature voted to create charter schools, the intent was that charters would experiment with new practices for educating our children. Originally, it was intended to take the successful practices developed by charter schools and use them in the district public schools.

Today, charter schools are promoted not as collaborators with public schools, but as competitors in a marketplace where test scores take the place of profits. In this market, there are rewards for schools that can avoid students who are likely to score low. That was never the intent.

If we keep raising the cap on charter schools, more district schools will go out of business, concentrating students who face the biggest challenges in a shrinking number of district schools while extra resources go to the charters.

We will be driving a wedge deep into our communities, pitting students against each other, and effectively declaring that it is acceptable to invest in some kids while divesting from others.

That is not the answer. And that is why we believe this bill, and this issue, cannot move forward without addressing the serious implications that a dual system of public education will have on our children for generations to come.

The bill that we debated undoubtedly has merit, not least because it has sparked the important conversation about innovative ways to make charter schools more inclusive while providing funding for district public schools. But the proposed cap lift would not begin to take effect for 3 more years. Let us not make hasty choices.

Let us instead step back and consider how we can incorporate the best ideas from all schools to educate all of our children, not only to score high on standardized tests, but to develop into responsible and capable adults, ready to take their places in a complex world.

Let’s keep our eyes on 100 percent of our students, not 18, or 19, or 23 percent of them.

Senator Patricia Jehlen (D- Somerville) and Senator Ken Donnelly (D- Arlington)

Legion Baseball Advances to Chairman’s Cup Finals

Medford’s Dom Ramasci

- Allison Goldsberry

The Medford Legion baseball team advanced to the Chairman’s Cup Finals with a 2-1 win over Billerica on Tuesday.

A walkoff single from Dom Ramasci (Medford) that scored Brendan Greene (Winchester) gave Medford the victory. Greene also scored Medford’s other run.

Winchester’s Billy Christopher pitched a complete game, giving up four hits and no earned runs.

Medford, 13-7, will face Newton in the Chairman’s Cup Finals. Game one of the best of three series is Wednesday at Playstead Park. First pitch is at 5:30PM.

Italian Soccer Team Practices at Tufts

Italian soccer team AS Roma was spotted practicing at Tufts on Tuesday afternoon. The team faces Liverpool at Fenway on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Liverpool took in practice at Harvard.

Photos courtesy Tufts University.

AS Roma at Tufts

AS Roma at Tufts

City Seeking Participants for Medford Community Day

Medford is seeking a variety of participants for its first ever Community Day in the fall.

The event, in honor of Ben Averbook and Wally Kountze, is taking place on Sunday, September 21 from 1-4PM at Mystic Riverbend Park.

According to information released by Mayor Michael McGlynn’s office, the purpose of Community Day is to celebrate Medford’s diversity and to have people mingle with each other.

Non-profits organizations, restaurants, school groups, religious organizations, city boards and commissions, and civic organizations are invited to participate.

More details, including a registration form, are available on the city’s website.

- InsideMedford.com

Update from State Rep. Paul Donato

I am pleased to report that the Massachusetts House of Representatives has continued to move the Commonwealth forward by passing a $36.5 billion state budget focused on economic growth and increased government accountability and oversight. The spending plan makes important investments in local aid, education and human services including substance abuse treatment and prevention and mental health care. Building on a responsible yet proactive approach to combating the recession, the Legislature’s budget contains multiple measures to achieve sustainable economic growth and provide essential services that support the Commonwealth’s citizens.

This budget enhances the Commonwealth’s partnerships with cities and towns through numerous funding streams including $945.8 million to Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA), a $25.5 million increase from FY14 and $4.4 billion for Chapter 70, a record funding level. The spending plan provides $257.5 million for the Special Education Circuit Break, ensuring full funding for the third consecutive year and $70.3 million for Regional School Transportation to reimburse municipalities at 90 percent, marking the highest rate in the program’s history.

In addition to educational investments through local aid, this year’s budget extends Massachusetts ongoing commitment to strengthening its educational systems to foster equality and provide residents with a competitive edge. The budget allocates $15 million to expand access to early education and funds a grant program at $9.1 million to support Early Head Start and Head Start programs. The budget also prioritizes higher education through investments in state universities, community colleges and the University of Massachusetts and includes $519 million for UMass which will enable a freeze in tuition and fees for the second year. In addition, the budget dedicates money to implement the STEM Starter Academy, an initiative created in the FY14 budget aimed at strengthening and expanding STEM programming in community colleges.

This year’s budget emphasizes the importance of enhanced fiscal predictability and sustainable investments, a practice that has raised Massachusetts bond rating to AA+, the highest in the state’s history. In an extension of this fiscal prudence, the spending plan makes the lowest draw from the Stabilization Fund in four years and contributes about $1.79 billion to Massachusetts’ unfunded pension liability to accelerate the timetable for full funding. Additional economic development measures include:

- Codifies the Massachusetts Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Advisory Council;

- Travel and tourism is one of the state’s largest industries, generating almost $17 billion in travel related expenditures and supporting 124,700 in-state jobs. The budget allocates $18 million for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and$7.5 million in regional tourism funding to promote statewide initiatives and increased international travel;

- Supports the Massachusetts Cultural Council with $12 million in funding;

- Provides $18.8 million for local libraries, representing an increase of $2.4 million from the previous fiscal year;

- Establishes a process for all in-state and out-of-state direct shippers to receive a direct wine shipper’s license from the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) and allows for the collection of state taxes; and,

- Provides $2 million for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership that will benefit programs designed to assist small and mid-sized manufacturers.

To heighten accountability and streamline operations, the budget establishes the Massachusetts Office of Information Technology (MOIT) to be administered by a Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Commonwealth. The CIO will be responsible for supervising all IT services of state agencies and will review any proposed IT expenditure costing more than $200,000. The Massachusetts Health Connector Authority will be considered a state agency for the purposes of MOIT oversight.

This budget reflects the Legislature’s pledge to combat the alarming rise in mental health problems and substance addiction. It allocates almost $18 million in new spending to help combat substance addiction including $10 million for the Substance Abuse Services Trust Fund to provide substance abuse services to an additional 10,000 individuals in need of treatment. The spending plan also includes the following investments in substance abuse services and treatment:

- Creates a multi-year grant program at $5 million to fund mental health and substance abuse counselors within schools;

- Increases funding for specialty courts, including drug courts, to $3 million;

- Places addiction specialists in the Brockton, Plymouth and Quincy courts;

- Funds training and purchase of Nasal Narcan™;

- Creates a voluntary accreditation program for sober homes; and,

- Provides additional funding for the Prescription Monitoring Program to prevent the over-prescription of medications.

To improve quality of care for people suffering from mental illness, the budget provides $10 million for the expansion of community-based placements for at least 100 discharge-ready patients in the Department of Mental Health system, while maintaining sheltered workshops for those individuals who wish to remain in a residential setting. It also creates a Behavioral and Mental Health Special task Force to identify impediments to the delivery of comprehensive treatment.

The budget includes numerous additional health and human services provisions including $60 million in MassHealth investments and:

- $47.5 million for nursing homes to reduce the gap between Medicaid payments and uncompensated care;

- $35 million for Disproportionate Share Hospitals;

- $3 million in funds for employments programs for clients of the Department of Developmental Services;

- Requires the implementation of a hearing process for long-term facilities before there is any intent to close;

- Creates a legislative and executive working group to examine and make recommendations concerning Bridgewater State Hospital; and,

- Maintains 45 beds at Taunton State Hospital and funds the opening of two additional wings at Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital.

Building on the continued leadership in reforming and strengthening the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the budget provides $185.6 million to reduce social worker caseloads. It also includes initiatives to improve communications, IT and record keeping practices, and ensure initial medical screenings of all children entering DCF care within 72 hours. Background checks will now be required for all current and future foster parents. Individuals will be precluded from becoming foster parents if convicted of serious crimes, including those involving violence or sexual in nature.

The budget also:

- Provides $65 million for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program and permits for unexpended FY14 funds to carry forward, allowing hundreds of new families to access safe and permanent housing;

- Expands the Veterans Motor Vehicle Excise Exemption to include leased cars;

- Places a moratorium on the issuance of a Chapter 91 tidelands license permitting the development of rail lines or rail facilities for the transportation of ethanol to storage or blending facilities in the cities of Cambridge, Chelsea, Revere, Everett, Somerville and East Boston until January 1, 2017;

- Establishes a permanent commission on the future of metropolitan area beaches;

- Establishes a memorial to honor Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes; and,

- Reestablishes the Water Supply Protection Program to promote the safety and purity of the Commonwealth’s water supplies and the protection of watershed lands.

Representative Paul J. Donato represents the cities of Medford and Malden in the 35th Middlesex District.

ALDI to Host Hiring Event July 27th in Medford

ALDI

National grocery chain ALDI is hosting a hiring event for its Medford store on Sunday, July 27, according to a news release from the company. The store is seeking store associates, shift managers, and manager trainees. Potential applicants should be at least 18 and have a high school diploma or equivalent, among other things. The hiring event is taking place from 8AM-6PM at 630 Fellsway. More details are available on ALDI’s website.

- InsideMedford.com

Legion Baseball Team Finishes Regular Season, Begins Chairman’s Cup Monday

Justin Alley pitching

The Medford Post 45 baseball team finished up the regular season with a 4-2 loss to Sudbury on Thursday, falling just short of its bid for a second straight playoff berth. Medford, 11-7, is the top seed for the District 5 Chairman’s Cup. Medford hosts Malden at 5:30PM at Playstead Park on Monday. According to Coach Ryan Kozul, the tournament is single elimination for the first two rounds with a best two out of three championship series. If Medford wins Monday they will face the winner of the Hudson/Billerica game.

- InsideMedford.com