News Briefs

Volunteers Sought for Earth Day Cleanup of Northern Strand Community Trail

An Earth Day cleanup of the Northern Strand Community Trail is being held on Saturday, April 23 in Lynn.

Anyone interested in helping out should bring work gloves and meet along the trail at Spencer Street in Lynn, across from Market Basket.  The cleanup is being held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at this section of the trail, which is also known as the Community Path of Lynn.

For more information contact Hildy Curran at [email protected]

 Bike to the Sea connects communities by building and improving shared-use paths, and promoting safe and happy trail use for all ages and abilities.

 The Northern Strand Community Trail is an off-road, car-free, paved path starting in Everett and winding through Malden, Revere, Saugus, and Lynn.

Wu to Open Swan Boats April 16

Mayor Michelle Wu, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Paget family will host the first ride of the season on the popular Boston Swan Boats as they open at the Boston Public Garden lagoon on Saturday, April 16, at 10 a.m. 

2022 marks the 145th season for the Swan Boats, a beloved tourist attraction and iconic symbol of Boston and the Public Garden. The oldest and smallest boat in the fleet just celebrated its 112th season, while the newest was launched in 1993. The swan on the boats is made from either copper or fiberglass, depending on the age of the boat, and encloses a paddle mechanism that is used to propel the boat through the water. 

Launched in 1877 by Irish immigrant and shipbuilder Robert Paget, the Swan Boats continue to be owned and operated by the Paget family. Mr. Paget designed the Swan Boats after attending the opera Lohengrin in New York City. At the end of the opera, the hero crosses a river in a boat drawn by a swan. 

Fully loaded, each Swan Boat weighs three tons and is powered by the driver using a foot propelled paddle wheel. The Swan Boats are built on oak-framed pontoons sheathed in copper just as they were initially constructed in 1877. After being stored in a safe place for the winter, the boats will return to the Public Garden Lagoon in the spring with Mayor Wu celebrating the first ride of the season.

Mystic Valley Elder Services’ Bellyful of Laughs Raises More Than $42K

Nearly 400 people came together on April 8 at Anthony’s of Malden to laugh for the good cause of helping older adults and people with disabilities live safely and independently at home at Mystic Valley Elder Services’ (MVES) 13th rendition of its comedy show Bellyful of Laughs.  This year’s sold out event helped MVES raise more than $42,000.

Comedians Steve Sweeney, Will Noonan and Jim Ruberti made people laugh and attendees enjoyed games, laughter, prizes, good food, old friends and new friends. Malden Mayor Gary Christenson warmed up the crowd by welcoming them as he does every year.

Chief Executive Officer of MVES Lisa Gurgone thanked everyone for coming out and making it a great night. “It is wonderful to see our community come together to support the important resources Mystic Valley provides throughout our communities.  Our dedicated staff, volunteers, and partners provided essential care and support to our consumers and their families throughout the COVID pandemic.  Mystic Valley is lucky to have fantastic, supportive friends who participated in this great event in order to expand our reach and impact as an organization.”

Special thanks to ABC Home Healthcare Professionals for their lead sponsorship of this event, as well as our supporting sponsors Brookline Bank, Melrose Cooperative Bank Charitable Foundation and Natale Company & SafetyCare. Thanks also to the ongoing partnership and support of the members of the Zonta Club of Malden in making this event a success every year.

Upcoming Suspensions of Blue Line Service Will Allow Crews to Accelerate Infrastructure Improvements

Between April 25 and May 8, Blue Line service will be suspended between Airport and Bowdoin stations to accommodate harbor tunnel repair work with alternate shuttle bus and ferry services provided. Between May 12 and May 29, Blue Line service will be suspended between Wonderland and Orient Heights stations to allow for work to take place on the Suffolk Downs pedestrian bridge with alternate shuttle bus service provided.

“The work accomplished during these closures will ultimately lead to better, safer, more reliable service for our Blue Line riders on a faster timeline,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We know these diversions can be an inconvenience, but these service suspensions allow us to expedite critical tunnel and infrastructure work. I want to thank our Blue Line riders for their patience while we accelerate these important projects.”

More about the April 25-May 8 Diversion between Airport and Bowdoin:

 Free bus shuttles will replace Blue Line service between Airport and Bowdoin all day and every day between April 25 and May 8 to accommodate harbor tunnel repair work. Shuttle buses will operate in a one-way inbound loop through the downtown area. Shuttle buses will not stop at Bowdoin with Bowdoin riders instead asked to board and exit shuttles at Government Center Station. The shuttle bus stop at State station is drop-off only. Express bus shuttles will not stop at Maverick station.

Department of Public Utilities Raises Awareness of Safe Digging Practices

In recognition of April as Dig Safe Awareness Month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is joining with other states and utility companies around the country to remind excavators, contractors, and residents to dig safely and call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects. 811 is the line for “Dig Safe,” which is a nonprofit organization that notifies gas, electric, telephone, and cable companies about the intended digging project. At no cost to the excavator, professional locators visit the requested dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground utility lines with flags, spray paint, or both.

“Utility lines are buried in the ground all around us on both public and private property, and sometimes these lines are only a few inches below the surface,” said Department of Public Utilities Chair Matthew Nelson. “Calling 811 is the best way to ensure a line won’t be hit when commencing a new project this year.” 

State law requires calling 811 at least three days before digging is to start. Accidently striking an underground utility line can result in serious personal injury, property damage, and costly service disruptions for many. Additionally, failure to follow the provisions of the law and regulations can result in fines.

Excavations are the leading cause of damage to underground utility infrastructure. In 2021, there were 925 excavation-related damages to utility infrastructure in Massachusetts. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 include installing a mailbox or fence, building a deck, installing a pool, and planting trees and shrubs.

For more information about 811 and safe digging practices, the public is encouraged to visit https://www.mass.gov/dig-safe or www.digsafe.com.

Chelsea Rotary Ukraine Telethon Seeks Local Acts

Local entertainers are being sought to fill the last two slots available on the upcoming Chelsea Rotary telethon for Ukrainian humanitarian relief efforts.  The telethon will be held on April 28th, from 4-7p, and will be broadcast live on Chelsea Community Cable Television and on the Chelsea Rotary Facebook page.

“Yes, our telethon will be airing worldwide,” said Chelsea Rotary President Todd Taylor.  “We have two, five-minute entertainment slots left and are looking for local performers to show the world what we are all about here in Chelsea!”

Interested performers will be considered for either a live or pre-taped appearance.  For further information, contact [email protected], and include a description of your act and a previous video, if any is available.

Meanwhile, Taylor reports the planning for the telethon continues in earnest.

“We’ll have lots of other fun and other reasons to watch, and, of course, we’ll talk about why it is so important to contribute to this humanitarian effort and ways in which people can call in or make their donations,” added Taylor.

Rotary International has already donated more than $7m to support those providing relief in and around the Ukraine.  The Chelsea Rotary Club is pledging that 100% of what is raised will be similarly distributed through the Rotary network.

To make a tax-deductible donation ahead of the telethon, a check should be made out and sent to: The Chelsea Rotary Foundation, PO Box 505647, Chelsea, MA 02150.

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