Long-Time Medford Square Frame Store Closing

The Paint Box, an art and frame store that has been a long-time fixture in Medford Square, is closing, according to a note posted on the business’ front door.

In the note owners Ed and Jennifer Bonfilio said they will miss their customers, with whom they had a “friendly and creative relationship” for forty-five years.

“The best people came through our doors,” they said.

According to his website, Ed Bonfilio graduated from Carnegie Mellon’s College of Fine Arts with a degree in architecture. He is also a classically trained painter.

The store, which opened in 1970, is closing for good on July 22 and is accepting frame orders through July 2.

– InsideMedford.com

Strawberries in Season at the Medford Farmers Market

Fresh local strawberries are back in season and are available at the Medford Farmers Market. The market takes place every Thursday from 3:00 to 7:00 PM next to Medford City Hall. The strawberries pictured above are from Brigham Farm, one of the market’s regular vendors. Other vendors the week of June 25th include Adey Foods (hot and cold Ethiopian food), Bagel Land, Clearview Farm, Deano’s Pasta, Evy Tea, George’s Oil, Good Roots Farm, Roma Bakery, Spring Brook Farm Country Store, Swissbakers, and Whole Foods Medford.

– InsideMedford.com

Medford Man Pleads Guilty, Receives Prison Sentence for Making & Distributing Fake T Passes

– Allison Goldsberry

A Medford man has pleaded guilty in connection with a scheme to manufacture and distribute counterfeit MBTA passes, according to information released by Attorney General Maura Healey.

Casey Kolenda, 28, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court on Tuesday to seven counts of counterfeiting charges. He was sentenced to three years in state prison as well as three years of probation to serve upon his release.

AG Healey said Kolenda distributed more than 3,000 fake T passes, making more than $60,000 in personal profit and depriving the MBTA of more than $225,000 in revenue.

“This scheme resulted in significant revenue loss for the MBTA and was patently unfair to riders who paid the full cost of their transit passes,” said AG Healey. “Schemes such as this one, in which an individual commits crimes for personal gain at the expense of the public, will not be tolerated.”

“Let this serve as a strong reminder that the MBTA and the Transit Police will not tolerate fraud,” said Acting Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green. “Hardworking, honest, fare paying MBTA customers deserve and expect our full attention to such criminal behavior. The successful prosecution of this case is the result of a collaborative partnership between Transit Police detectives and the Attorney General’s Office.”

The investigation began in August 2013 after the MBTA Transit Police discovered the existence of hundreds of unauthorized tickets in use by riders on the MBTA’s subway and bus systems. According to AG Healey, authorities identified multiple monthly LinkPasses that were purchased legitimately and subsequently used to create hundreds of counterfeit tickets used by riders. Kolenda used a skimmer to scan the electronic data from the magnetic strip and copy it onto hundreds of other cards. He used contact paper and the T’s logo to make the counterfeit passes look authentic.

Following the investigation Kolenda was arrested at his Medford home in March 2014.

Tufts Football Raises Awareness for Alzheimer’s

Members of the Tufts University Football program rallied together raise funds and awareness for an Alzheimer’s Association® event called The Longest Day on Sunday, June 21. The Longest Day, focused on the summer solstice, was created in recognition of the long days that are part of living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Tufts Football joined the event to honor defensive lineman Corey Burns whose father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2010. Players, coaches and alumni participated in the sunrise to sunset challenge around the country and the world. Each participant ran, walked or jumped at least 96 stairs in recognition of Burns’ uniform number and checked in on social media with the hashtag #4burns96.

“Corey approached us about doing something for The Longest Day,” said Tufts University Football Coach Jay Civetti. “After the initial conversation I decided I wanted to surprise him.”

Burns joined The Longest Day event as part of the 48 Peaks Challenge. On Sunday, June 21, Burns climbed one of the 48 4,000 foot mountains in New Hampshire while the Tufts Football team, coaches and alumni embarked on the #4burns96 challenge.

“He had no idea going into it that we had planned something behind the scenes,” said Civetti. “The guys wanted to give back; he is such a remarkable person. He is the first kid to take his shirt off his back for you so we wanted to repay him. We think the world of Corey and his family. It was our way of letting him know we love him and care about him and that he wasn’t in this by himself.”

The Tufts University Football program is committed to raising awareness for Alzheimer’s year round, even sporting purple ribbons on the back of their helmets, the color for Alzheimer’s disease awareness.

“Tufts Football has done so much to shine a light on Alzheimer’s in the past and we were blown away by their efforts on The Longest Day to support their teammate,” said Jason Lynch, development officer at the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. “That’s what being part of a team is all about.”

To date, the Tufts Football Team, Jumbos for Burns96 has raised over $960 of their $1600 fundraising goal. Funds raised by the team will benefit the research, programs and public awareness efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association in Massachusetts.

“The idea of The Longest Day resonates with people who have been affected by Alzheimer’s,” said Jim Wessler, president/CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. “This is a difficult disease, emotionally, financially and of course in terms of health. People want to be able to fight back and this is one way that they can.”

The Longest Day is a sunrise-to-sunset team event that symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with Alzheimer’s disease. Teams are encouraged to design their own day as they raise funds and create a meaningful experience to support the Alzheimer’s movement. Participants can create relays, organize tournaments, take on physical challenges, or design days based around a loved one’s favorite activities. To support a team or learn more about The Longest Day, visit alzTLD.org.

– Submitted by the Alzheimer’s Association

State Report Includes 65 Steps to Combat Opioid ‘Epidemic’

Vowing to change the way the Commonwealth treats and even thinks about substance addiction, Governor Charlie Baker today released the findings of his Opioid Working Group, a comprehensive report detailing 65 actionable steps to curb the deadly opioid epidemic.

The findings by the 18-member Working Group include short and long term action items to be implemented between now and the next three years, some requiring legislative action and funding and some will be achieved through partnerships with private industry and federal leaders.

“Opioid abuse is a public health epidemic and I applaud our working group for producing these recommendations based on a comprehensive analysis,” said Governor Baker. “The solution to eradicating opioids is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and will require all of us to rethink the way we treat addiction. Today’s announcements are a first step and we will aggressively pursue reforms to save lives.”

“This epidemic has already torn apart too many families and communities in the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “This report contains recommendations that were carefully and thoroughly collected from every corner of our state and we look forward to taking swift actions to combat the opioid epidemic.”

“While opioid addiction is an urgent problem, it is also a chronic medical disease, not unlike diabetes or heart disease,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and Chair of the Working Group. “The solution requires a strong public health approach focusing on prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery. We must also target education and awareness about the potential misuse of opioids to students and their families.”

“The opiate crisis is impacting families from every community across the Commonwealth,” Attorney General Healey said. “Today’s report is a roadmap to comprehensively addressing this public health crisis and offering help to families who truly need it. I want to thank Governor Baker, Secretary Sudders, and every member of this commission for their collaboration, dedication and leadership on this issue. Now the real work begins to implement these recommendations.”

The announcement comes just days after the launch of a statewide public service campaign to alert parents about the dangers of prescription opioid misuse by their kids. The report calls for additional public awareness initiatives to decrease stigma of the disease.

The cost of implementing the initiatives will currently be $27 million in Fiscal Year ‘16, which will be paid for through a combination of new state funds, MassHealth, and reprioritization of existing state and federal grant funds.

The Commonwealth started addressing the opioid epidemic in 2004, when 456 individuals died of opioid overdoses. Since then, more than 6,600 members of our communities have died, in addition to an overwhelming amount of hospital stays, emergency department visits and human suffering. According to the Department of Public Health, there were over 1,000 estimated unintentional opioid related deaths in 2015, representing a significant increase from the estimated 967 deaths in 2014. The number of opioid-related overdose deaths was nearly triple the amount of motor vehicle-related injuries recorded in 2013.

Key Initiatives:

Prevention: Support substance use prevention education in schools, medical communities, all communities

– Provide state funding for evidence-based opioid prevention programs in schools

– Create a public awareness campaign focused on reframing addiction as a medical disease

– Appoint addiction specialists to state medical boards of registration for medicine, nursing, physicians assistants and dentistry

– Partner with a chain pharmacy to pilot statewide drug take-back program

– Implement a training program about neonatal abstinence syndrome and addiction for DCF and improve outreach to prenatal and postpartum care providers to increase training on screening, intervention and care for substance use disorder (SUD).

– Encourage the American College of Graduate Medical Education to adopt requirements for pain management and substance use disorder education

Intervention: Require manufacturers and pharmacies to utilize data, dispose of unused medication

– Improve the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) and ensure data compatibility with other states

– Require PMP data to be submitted within 24 hours by pharmacies*

– Require timely reporting from the state of overdose death data to the public, including requirements for emergency medical service providers to submit overdose data to the state

– Promote the Good Samaritan Law

– Improve affordability of naloxone through bulk purchasing*

– Amend the civil commitment statute (Sec. 12 of Chapter 123) to include SUD as a criteria to allow for the involuntary transport and assessment of an individual at substantial harm by reason of substance use disorder

Treatment: Create new pathways to treatment; acknowledge addiction as chronic medical condition

MassHealth

– Develop a statewide database of available treatment services accessible to clinicians and consumers by phone and internet

– Expand mobile emergency service programs to support individuals in crisis

– Enroll uninsured patients receiving certain treatments in MassHealth or other insurance

Department of Public Health

– Add 100 new treatment beds by July 2016. Expand access to patient navigators

– Create a pilot program for walk-in access to a trained clinician in community-based outpatient provider settings

Create a pilot program to make recovery coaches available in emergency departments and hot spots

Department of Corrections

– Transfer women civilly committed under Section 35 from the correctional facility at MCI-Framingham to a hospital operated under HHS

– Increase treatment beds for civilly committed patients under Section 35

– Bulk purchase opioid agonist and naltrexone therapies for correctional facilities

Group Insurance Commission

– Review GIC insurance plans, removing fail-first policies and prior authorization protocols that may impede access to treatment

Recovery Support: Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all approach; create multiple entry points to treatment and recovery

– Certify and register alcohol and drug-free housing to increase accountability and credibility

– Expand community coalitions to address the opioid epidemic

– Enforce and strengthen requirements that all licensed addiction treatment programs accept patients on methadone or buprenorphine medication

– Remove barriers to integration for treatment by creating a consistent public behavioral health licensing policy (through review of DPH, and DMH programs)

– Establish revised rates for residential recovery homes, effective July 1, 2015

– Establish a single point of accountability for addiction and recovery policy within HHS

– Report publicly on progress of implementing working group’s recommendations

– Increase federal support for substance abuse prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery efforts uniquely tailored for our veterans

The entire report is available at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/stop-addiction/.

– Submitted by Governor Baker’s office

Koutoujian Comments on Governor’s Opioid Working Group Recommendations

“I want to thank Governor Baker, Attorney General Healey and all the members of the Opioid Working Group for their thorough report unveiled today. At a time when 80 percent of those in the custody of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office self-identify with an addiction issue, continuity of health care is a critical link to recovery and reducing crime. One priority included in the Governor’s Action Plan is the suspension – rather than termination – of MassHealth benefits when someone is incarcerated. This technical change will eliminate red tape while closing gaps in coverage for individuals after their release from prison. Also included in the recommendations is partnerships between correctional institutions and community health centers, something happening now at the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, which establishes relationships between inmates and the medical team who will help to continue with their recovery. At the Middlesex House of Correction and Jail, our medical unit will perform a projected 2,300 medical detoxes this year. Continuity of health care isn’t just a public health issue –it’s a matter of public safety.”

– Submitted by Sheriff Koutoujian’s office

Undefeated Chiefs Win 8 in a Row

Mottram– Bruce Tillman

The Andre Chiefs have extended their season opening winning streak to eight games and sit in first place in the Intercity League.

The latest win came when Chiefs rode the pitching of ace righty Jared Freni to a 4-1 win over the Melrose Americans at Morelli Field in Melrose. Former Chicago Cubs farmhand Billy Mottram (pictured) provided the key hit in the victory.

Last Wednesday, Medford’s own Johnny Welch provided all of the offense with a fourth inning solo homer to back the shutout pitching of former Brandeis southpaw Tim Dunphy in a 1-0 win over the Reading Bulldogs.

The Chiefs won a two game series earlier in the week against the Arlington Trojans. Veteran Mike DiCato went the distance in a 9-2 win. The Chiefs got RBI’s from Mike Andre (Medford, MA/Merrimack), Tony Serino (Saugus,MA/UMass), Mike Gedman (Framingham, MA/UMass), and Peter Copa (Malden, MA/California Angels).

A day earlier the Chiefs shutout the Trojans 6-0 behind another Freni complete game. Gedman and first year Chief Ryan Sonberg (Windsor, CT/Bates), had two RBI’s each. Gedman played for the Chiefs in 2010 after graduating from UMass and spent three seasons as a pro before returning to the team in 2014. Sonberg was a two-time all NESCAC shortstop while at Bates and played professionally in New Mexico before hooking on with the Chiefs this spring.

The Chiefs will host the Lexington Blue Sox on Monday at 8:15 PM at Maplewood Park on the campus of Malden Catholic. On Tuesday, they travel to Trum Field to meet the Somerville Thunder at 8:00 PM.

Mustone Running for School Committee

Mustone familyMy name is Mea Quinn Mustone; my husband Tim and I are the parents of six children, ages 12-2 (Quinn, Teagan, Cullen, Nevin, Rowan and Declan). I am a life-long resident of Medford and I proudly and humbly announce my candidacy for the Medford School Committee.

For the past five years, I have been actively involved in the Medford Public Schools. With our oldest five children currently attending the Andrews Middle School and the Roberts Elementary School, I have dealt with issues relevant to all parents: school bus transportation, large class sizes, special education, student safety, and student enrichment. As a parent, I have volunteered countless hours in the classroom and accompanied many field trips as a chaperone. I have attended both PTO and school committee meetings in the evening to share my opinions and to stay informed on both school and city-wide initiatives. During the 2012 – 2013 school year, I organized and supervised the PTO After School Enrichment program at the Roberts, and I presently serve on the Roberts School Council. My involvement has been rewarding, and like every parent I want my children to receive the best education possible. With my youngest entering MEEP (Medford Early Education Program) pre-school this fall, I will have more time to expand my efforts and energies beyond just my children and work on behalf of all of the students in Medford.

As an involved parent, I have learned to work well with the mayor, the school committee and the chief of police to accomplish concrete improvements. I helped to add a needed bus route to deal with overcrowded buses. I worked to add a new stop sign at a busy bus intersection, as well as to ensure proper snow removal at bus stops for the safety of our children. As a member of the school committee, I will work with the other members to advocate that our financial decisions are focused on student learning. As a kindergarten parent, I’ve seen first-hand the need in our classrooms to add full-time kindergarten aides to our elementary schools. I plan to visit all of our schools in the city to gain a deep understanding of our facilities and to ensure that our students are being prepared for what lies ahead in the 21st century.

My professional experience coupled with my years of community service will serve the city well as a school committee member. My experience as President of Bread of Life (a local meals program) and board member of the Mystic Valley Elder Services balances my idealistic vision with a realistic approach. Serving on the Arlington Catholic Capitol Campaign and with the Boston College Alumni Association has given me insight into working as a member of governing bodies addressing development needs. As an undergraduate of Boston College, I served as the President of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC) which taught me at an early age how to lead,
govern, listen, prioritize, delegate and respect the office and the responsibility of an elected position. I received my Masters in Education from BC which reinforced my passion for education and my commitment to the children and city of Medford.

Without question, I am invested in our schools and committed to ensuring that every child receives a caring, safe and challenging educational experience that will prepare them for the future. I encourage you to get in touch with me via email (meamustone@yahoo.com), Facebook (Mea Quinn Mustone for Medford School Committee), at www.mea4medford.com or phone (781-391-5909).

– Submitted by Tim Mustone

Mystic Valley NAACP to Meet June 29th

The Mystic Valley NAACP will hold its general membership meeting on Monday, June 29 at 7:30 pm at the West Medford Community Center, 111 Arlington Street.

All are welcome to attend.

The Mystic Valley Area branch of the NAACP includes Arlington, Medford, Malden, Everett, Woburn, and Winchester.

More details are available on www.mva-naacp.org.

– Information from Neil Osborne, president

Nighttime Subway Service Between Wellington, Oak Grove to be Suspended for Month

Beginning on Monday, June 22nd, and continuing on selected nights through next month, Orange Line service between Oak Grove and Wellington Stations will be temporarily suspended to allow workers to make the subway more resilient to harsh winter weather conditions.

On the nights when workers will be replacing third rail and switch heaters, Orange Line service between Oak Grove and Wellington will be suspended in both directions from 8:45 p.m. to the end of regular service hours. Shuttle bus service will be provided, serving Wellington, Malden Center, and Oak Grove Stations. Regularly scheduled Orange Line service will resume at 5:00 AM each day. None of the work will take place on Friday or Saturday nights. Service will be impacted on the following dates:

– Monday, June 22
– Tuesday, June 23
– Wednesday, June 24
– Thursday, June 25
– Sunday, June 28
– Monday, June 29
– Tuesday, June 30
– Wednesday, July 1
– Thursday, July 2
– Sunday, July 5
– Monday July 6
– Tuesday, July 7
– Wednesday, July 8
-Thursday, July 9
– Monday, July 13
– Tuesday, July 14
– Wednesday, July 15
– Thursday, July 16

The $83.7 million Winter Resiliency Plan is designed to address critically needed improvements to the MBTA’s infrastructure, equipment, and operations. Information regarding the Plan can be found at http://www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news_events/?id=6442454500&month=&year=.

The work beginning next week is part of a $12.7 million project to replace third rail and switch heaters on targeted vulnerable outdoor sections of the Red and Orange Lines. Aged third rail resulted in poor power transmission in severe weather and existing heaters were unable to keep up with the snow and ice accumulations.

All shuttle bus stops are accessible for persons with disabilities.

– Submitted by MassDOT