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News

Malden will see Hallmark Health in court

The City of Malden heads to court next week for a showdown with Hallmark Health over safety violations at the Malden Hospital property. In 2013 former Malden Building Inspector Scott Fitzgerald cited Hallmark Health, which owns the hospital, for the building’s disconnected fire sprinklers, water damage, insufficient emergency exit lighting and changes to the fire alarm system. Hallmark responded with a lawsuit against the City, demanding that the violations be dismissed. Malden countersued and asked the court to require Hallmark to fix the problems and pay the City’s legal fees.

Three years and scores of billable hours later, a judge and jury are scheduled to resolve the issues in Middlesex Superior Court.

Back in 2013, when Fitzgerald issued those citations, the hospital was a hot topic at City Hall. Councillors were floating the idea of taking the property by eminent domain. There were complaints about trash at the site, and concerns about fires and break-ins. City officials also expressed frustration that Hallmark wanted any potential buyer to pay to raze the building and clean up the site.

Hallmark has argued that the safety violations were part of an attempt by the City to gain control over the redevelopment of the property. The company bolstered that claim with complaints that the City continually demanded information about the property’s sales price and the conditions of a purchase and sales agreement with Fellsmere Housing Group, which is hoping to build more than 300 homes and residential units on Hospital Hill.

Late last month, Hallmark won a round in court when a judge denied the City’s emergency motion to dismiss the company’s complaint and pay Malden’s legal bills. And there was more.

“Given the confidentiality provisions of the purchase and sales agreement and the issues that are involved in this litigation, I find that the disclosures sought by the City are not warranted,” wrote the judge in response to the City’s motion. Although the judge concluded the City’s legal strategy was not motivated by politics, Hallmark’s request to keep the purchase and sales agreement under wraps was granted.

In order for Fellsmere Housing Group to move forward with its plan to redevelop the hospital property with residential housing, the zoning for the site would need to be changed to allow multifamily construction. Currently, the property is zoned for single-family homes. And Hallmark needs to clear the safety violations that the City continues to maintain against the company and the site.

 

Malden Receives Green Community Designation

Mayor Gary Christenson is pleased to announce that the City of Malden has been designated a Green Community by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Department of Energy Resources. Through the tireless efforts of City Councillor Craig Spadafora, who also serves as the Chair of the Energy Efficiency Commission, and Public Facilities Director Eric Rubin, the City has met the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program’s five criteria. Some of the criteria includes that the City have the proper research and development zoning in place for light manufacturing or renewable energies, have an energy baseline with a plan to reduce energy usage by 20%, a fuel efficiency vehicle policy, and that the City adopt the new Board of Building Regulations and Standards Stretch Code.

Meeting the criteria has Malden poised to reduce its energy costs, improve the local environment and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with funding through the Green Communities Designation and Grant program. Along with this designation, Malden has been awarded a grant in the amount $332,540. The City will be required to submit a project application proposing how the funds will be spent. One proposal would be to convert the City’s 3,400 streetlights to LED this summer.

“Today is a major achievement for Malden’s vision for a healthier, more sustainable city and one that we are carrying forward through our future,” said City Councillor Craig Spadafora. “I want to thank Mayor Christenson and the City Council for helping us build a more resilient, greener, cleaner city for all residents. Without the dedication of Molly Pidgeon, Josh Ward-Smith, Stacy VanDeveer, Eric Rubin and former members of the Energy Efficiency Commission, this would not be possible. This designation highlights what Maldonians can do when we work together for the greater good of our City and is a strong example of the impact that volunteers are having in and around our community every day.”

“This is a great step for Malden,” said Public Facilities Director Eric Rubin. “This designation is a goal the City has been working toward for a long time. I thank the State Delegation for their support, Mayor Christenson, and the City Council for their unanimous vote on Malden becoming a Green Community.”

State Representative Paul Donato stated, “We are pleased to see the City of Malden achieve this important designation. This funding will enable Malden to deliver on important initiatives in its quest to reduce energy.”

   

STEM Workshop “Light-Up Shoes and Paper Circuits” free for ages 7-14

Thanks to Malden Cultural Council

The Malden Public Library will host a free electronic arts workshop, “Light-up Shoes and Paper Circuits,” on Saturday, February 11 from 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Participants may bring their own shoes to light up, or indicate their shoe size at sign-up.

The workshop instruction and materials will be provided by a collaborative STEAM TEAM – Alisha Panjwani of Acera School and Kendall Inglese of LARK Studio – who will integrate a unique blend of science and art for this project of light-up card and paper figure designs. The participants will learn how to work with conductive tape and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and build their own circuits (materials provided). These new skills will be applied to paper and fabrics and end with light-up shoe designs to take home.

Register at the Information Desk, Malden Public Library, 36 Salem St. in Malden. Sign up is on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited.

This program is funded by the Malden Cultural Council, a re-granting service of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Support for this program also comes from the Massachusetts School of Science, Creativity and Leadership; the Acera School; and the LARK Learning Arts Resource Center.

For questions call Kendall Inglese, Enrichment Instructor at the LARK Learning Arts Resource Center, at 781 244-9400.

   

Sen. Lewis to host “Community Conversation” with state Veterans’ Affairs Secretary

Continuing his “Community Conversations” issue discussions, State Senator Jason Lewis is excited to announce an upcoming conversation he will hold with Massachusetts’s Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, Francisco Ureña. Held in every community of the district, “Community Conversations” are issue discussions delving into a different topic at each forum, with ample opportunity for residents to share feedback and have their questions answered by experts on the given topic.

This upcoming event – Community Conversations: Supporting Our Veterans in the Commonwealth – will take place on Wednesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. The event will occur in the auditorium at Galvin Middle School, which is located at 525 Main St. in Wakefield, and is free and open to the public.

This forum will offer the chance to hear directly from one of our Commonwealth’s chief policy setters and advocates regarding landmark legislation passed and priorities for the future pertaining to our veteran population. There will be ample opportunity for Q&A from attendees. The forum is sponsored by Senator Lewis in coordination with the Veterans’ Service Officers for each of the six communities of the 5th Middlesex Senate district: Malden (Kevin Jarvis), Melrose (Alicia Reddin), Reading (Kevin Bohmiller), Stoneham (Jim Devlin), Wakefield (Karen Burke) and Winchester (Al Wile). On hand will also be a variety of service providers with information regarding programs, services and benefits for veterans and their families.

“Massachusetts has made veterans’ benefits a top priority in recent years, with the passage of VALOR I, VALOR II and the HOME Act, and we want to make sure that our courageous veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much know about and have access to all of the benefits and programs to which they’re entitled,” noted Senator Lewis. “I hope that this conversation offers veterans and other residents more in-depth knowledge of the services available and where our veterans can turn if and when challenges arise. The conversations I have directly with constituents across the district are the best source of information and guidance to help me do my job in the legislature.”

“Community Conversations” forums have been held in all six communities of the 5th Middlesex district on topics including public education, public transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, challenges facing senior citizens and caregivers, energy policy and environmental priorities, and efforts to combat substance abuse and opioid addiction in our region.

   

Sen. Lewis announces February Office Hours

State Senator Jason Lewis announced his February Office Hours schedule for Malden and all of the communities of the 5th Middlesex district.

Senator Lewis’s Malden office hours for February will occur on Friday, February 17, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Malden Senior Center, which is located at 7 Washington St. The second Friday of every month, Senator Lewis and his staff hold district office hours in Wakefield (10-11 a.m.), Winchester (12-1 p.m.) and Stoneham (1:30-2:30 p.m.). The third Friday of every month, Senator Lewis and his staff hold district office hours in Malden (10-11 a.m.), Melrose (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) and Reading (2:30-3:30 p.m.).

Residents of the 5th Middlesex district are invited to come by and share concerns or just say hello, and they are welcomed to attend office hours outside of their town, if it’s more convenient for their personal schedules. Full details on his office hours schedule are available at SenatorJasonLewis.com. Anyone unable to attend these times, but who has a concern to bring to the attention of Senator Lewis and his staff, should not hesitate to contact his State House office at (617) 722-1206 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

   

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