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  • Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Happy Birthday, Mr. Mayor

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Mayor submits $227 million FY18 budget

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Twin Sachem Scholars

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Help choose the next Malden Reads 2018 book selection!

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00

News

Help choose the next Malden Reads 2018 book selection!

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~ Malden Reads ~

Just as the Malden Reads 2017 program is winding down, the book selection process for Malden Reads 2018 is gearing up! The Malden Reads Committee welcomes your help in selecting the next book for Malden Reads. You can suggest a book and/or become part of the Malden Reads Book Selection Committee.

To make a book suggestion for Malden Reads 2018, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Include the title of the book, the author and why you think this selection is a good one for the Malden community.

If you are interested in joining the Malden Reads Book Selection Committee, send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call Anne at 781-321-6400 or Jodie at 781-608-6938. Voting members of this committee must commit to several meetings during the summer, skim-reading several books as we whittle down the choices and reading the final two to three selections. Members who represent cultural populations, age groups or interest groups are invited to join us either as voting committee members (with commitment as described) or as non-voting members with a representative voice. Non-voting members are not required to attend all meetings or read the same number of books as voting members.

We welcome the voices of all community members in this process. Send us your suggestions or get involved on the selection committee! To learn more about how you can volunteer with this “One City, One Book” program, visit maldenreads.org and download our Malden Reads Guide for Volunteers. (Click on “Volunteer” on the website menu.)

 

Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium

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The Class of 2017 did Malden proud on Sunday as the 446 graduates walked across the stage at Macdonald Stadium to receive a diploma and a handshake from school and city leaders. The stands were packed with family, friends and fans of the graduates, who seemed completely at ease with the idea that they were winding up a major part of their lives and heading into a future of unknown possibilities and challenges.

“You are about to begin a long and successful journey and we are proud of each and every one of you,” said Mayor Gary Christensen, looking out at the field of faces framed by Malden-blue caps and gowns.

Four years at the most ethnically and racially diverse high school in the state seems to have given the graduating class a keen sense of how to navigate the world and its social and cultural complexities. Class Valedictorian Cleverina Cong, who will now head off to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study computer science and management, told fellow graduates to celebrate their diversity and everything they’ve learned because of it.

Cong said that she has learned over the past four years that playing it safe isn’t always the best choice. “Take a chance, take a leap, take a risk, take an L.,” she said. “Then take a bow.”

Principal Ted Lombardi is a Malden native but this was his first year in the head office at Malden High School and his first chance to be part of the official send-off for a graduating class.

“It was a great class for me to come into and have them teach me the ropes,” he said with a laugh.

Lombardi described the graduates as high achievers who are well-rounded and always willing to jump in to support school and community projects and events. They are leaving Malden High with plenty of accomplishments, awards and GPAs to brag about. But they are also heading out with an understanding of how life works and an appreciation for relationships that make it work better.

“They are worldly kids,” said Lombardi. “They went through a lot and they have a sense that they got through it together.

   

Former PTO treasurer faces larceny charge

A former Forestdale Parent Teacher Organization treasurer has been accused of stealing more than $10,000 from the school’s volunteer group. Jane Marenghi, 48, of Dutton Street, was in Malden District Court this week to face a charge of larceny over $250. A second charge involving intimidation of a witness was dismissed during an earlier court appearance. Marenghi pleaded not guilty and a jury trial was scheduled for July 20.

Boston 25 News, which broke the story on its Monday night broadcast, reported that other Forestdale PTO members became aware that a significant amount of money was missing from the organization’s bank account last September. They discussed their concerns with Forestdale Principal Donald Concannon, who then asked Marenghi about thousands of dollars in unauthorized purchases made with the PTO funds.

According to the Boston 25 News spot, Marenghi allegedly told Concannon she did not remember spending PTO money, and accounting errors were due to her multiple sclerosis.

Concannon contacted Malden Police, and Detective Robert DiSalvatore led an investigation into the missing money that included an examination of bank records and interviews with Marenghi and other PTO members. The police forwarded the results of their inquiry to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, which now contends that $10,836 in PTO money was spent on non-PTO purchases. The shopping took place over the 18 months that Marenghi served as the organization’s treasurer.

Some residents might feel as if they’ve heard the story of local PTO theft before, and that’s probably because they have. In 2013, Ami Wood, the former treasurer of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School’s PTO, was accused of stealing more than $30,000 from that organization. According to the Middlesex DA, Wood and her husband used the money to pay bills and cover personal expenses.

And PTO theft is hardly unique to Malden. Anyone who googles PTO embezzlement or PTA theft will find thousands of cases from all corners of the country. The problem is so pervasive that PTO Today, a magazine and web site for school parent groups, regularly reports on PTO theft and offers advice on how to avoid the problem.

According to Michelle Bates Deakin, a reporter for PTO Today, more than 90 percent of the cases of PTO theft involve first-time offenders struggling with financial problems. PTOs offer opportunities for theft because the organizations are manned by trusting volunteers working together to benefit schools where their own children are enrolled. PTO thefts often involved a member stealing small amounts of money that add up over time. Deakin said a $20,000 theft can be a huge financial hit for schools that depend on PTO support for basic programs.

Cases of theft also take an emotional toll on individual members and the organization. But Deakin said PTOs typically adjust and come out stronger.

   

Council expands debate on marijuana shops

Would Malden tolerate a handful of retail marijuana shops if the tax revenue they brought in was used to kill off the Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) trash bag program?

Ward 4 Councillor Ryan O’Malley thinks so, and this week he proposed using local taxes on future marijuana sales to replace lead pipes and to eliminate PAYT. The council has been discussing a mix of measures to regulate retail marijuana businesses that want to set up shop in Malden. In addition to O’Malley’s proposal, Ward 3 Councillor John Matheson called for a 12-month moratorium on marijuana sales.

O’Malley’s proposal shifted the debate from zoning ordinances that could severely restrict locations for pot shops to the potential benefits of the retail marijuana industry. The state Department of Revenue has estimated that when the retail marijuana industry is launched, it will generate $64 million in tax revenue during the first 12 months. During the second year of retail marijuana enterprises, the state could take in as much as $173 million in taxes from roughly a $1 billion in sales.

O’Malley said retail marijuana represents a new revenue stream that will benefit the city. Although the law now calls for a 6.75 percent sales tax, a 3.25 percent excise tax and a 2 percent local tax, state lawmakers are expected to jack up those rates.

To demonstrate the financial benefits of retail marijuana sales, O’Malley zeroed in on the much-maligned PAYT program that costs everyone who lives in Malden time, patience and $2 for a 33-gallon blue plastic bag. O’Malley said the revenue from PAYT trash bags sales has been baked into the city budget and there’s no way to end the program without major cuts to other city departments and services. “The only way to remove it would be to replace it with another revenue stream,” he said.

But the tax revenue from marijuana sales would come through the state, and Ward 6 Councillor Neil Kinnon said the city can’t just tell the Commonwealth where to send the check. “It all goes into the city’s general fund,” he said.

However, Kinnon also said projects and proposals could be financed with money bonded against annual marijuana tax revenue. “You cannot say the money is going to do this, this and this, but if you bond it, it ties it up,” he said.

A few councillors had other ideas about how to spend tax revenue from local pot sales.

“Any revenue brought into the city will, hopefully, be used to offset our use of city reserve funds to balance the budget,” said Ward 2 Councillor Paul Condon, chairman of the Finance Committee.

Ward 5 Councillor Barbara Murphy pitched earmarking the money to pay for ongoing efforts to repair and maintain city roads.

“I support the spirit of this paper,” said Councillor-at-Large Debbie DeMaria. “But I think there are other avenues we could discuss, like drug rehab.”

Although O’Malley’s proposal was technically flawed, Ward 7 Councillor Neal Anderson said, the sentiment behind it made sense. The council agreed with Anderson’s call to approve O’Malley’s proposal as a council resolution.

The council also agreed to send Matheson’s proposal for a one-year moratorium on permits for retail marijuana businesses to a joint hearing of the Rules & Ordinance Committee and the Planning Board. The Rules & Ordinance Committee is reviewing the possibility of a zoning ordinance that would limit the shops to the city’s industrial zones.

“I don’t want the pressure of moving quickly,” said Matheson. The state is scheduled to begin issuing retail marijuana licenses next summer.

The new law sets the number of retail marijuana shops that a city or town must allow at 20 percent of the number of liquor stores in that community. Cities and towns can lower that limit, but only if voters approve tighter restrictions.

Matheson said a moratorium would give the city time to let voters determine the number of shops and the zones where they should be located.

“It affords us an opportunity to study the issue and get our zoning in place,” he said.

   

Malden students earn Boston College High School Honors

Paul Albright, class of 2018, of Malden, achieved High Honors for the Third Quarter at Boston College High School. For High Honors an upperclassman needs a 3.8 Quality Point Average (QPA) and all grades C+ or higher.

Andrew Baratta, class of 2017, Abreham Sequar, class of 2018, and Theodore Cartales, class of 2020, achieved Honors. For Honors an upperclassman needs a 3.2 QPA and all grades C- or higher. A freshman needs a QPA of 3.16 and all grades C- or higher.

Boston College High School is a Jesuit, Catholic, college-preparatory school for young men founded in 1863. The school enrolls approximately 1,600 students from more than 100 communities in eastern Massachusetts.

   

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