Featured

Scoping out Malden’s Mystery Telescope

By Jennifer McClain A Malden Reads initiative that sent readers into orbit with The Martian serendipitously uncovered an astronomical mystery here on Earth. Through hosting stargazing events on Waitt’s Mount, organizers discovered that there was an antique telescope at Malden High School. Not only was the majestic antique riveting to the eye and grand in scale but, they wondered, could it also provide an excellent view of the night sky? Where did it come from? And what should be done with it? The mystery began three years ago when Malden Reads began stargazing on Waitt’s Mountain, in connection with The Martian, the novel by Andy Weir. Jodie Zalk, Malden Reads Co-Facilitator, learned that there was a telescope just gathering dust at MHS, and that this was a “telescope of historical significance.” Zalk was captivated. She attempted to research the telescope through the Blue and Gold (Malden High School’s official newspaper) and tried to follow up with local experts. She was able to determine that the instrument was made by Alvan Clark and Sons, famed optics makers of the 19th […]

Arts

Arts can create “a sense of place” in Malden

By Robin Inman This is another in a series exploring the future of development in Malden. Read part one, two, three and four here.  Greg Cook, a long-time Malden resident and creator of Wonderland magazine, loves this city. But he fears that – like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz – something is lacking. A heart. “Malden struggles because it doesn’t have a geographic heart. It struggles to have places where people mix and share ideas. Places where people meet, bump into each other and learn new ideas and hear what each other is doing; are inspired or challenged to do even better,” says Cook, who works as publicist for the Cambridge Arts Council, creates festivals with the Somerville Arts Council, and was a reporter and art critic for WBUR’s The ARTery. Having a heart or a sense of place is not just a lofty ideal. This is integral to the concept of Smart Growth, which can guide a city in creating a prosperous and livable community. A key factor in creating a heart or a sense […]

Events

Bring One, Take One: FOOGI hosts 13th annual Plant Swap

By Bonnie Blanchard and Jennifer McClain After such a long sloggy winter, it was delightful to bike to the Malden Community Garden on the Bike Path on Saturday, June 9, for the 13th annual FOOGI (Friends of Oak Grove, Inc) Plant Swap.  Although the season had just kicked off, many in the community garden community had tried and true tested varieties ready to swap. Not only were there the plants themselves but the advice to go with them. And not just plants but bulbs, roots, seeds and more. Many participants were armed with a myriad of plants, books, and miscellaneous garden items. The granite stone wall of the garden was soon lined with all manner of great garden paraphernalia. The signs separating the items for swapping were labeled: Sun, Part Sun, Shade, Veggies and Herb, and Miscellaneous Garden Items. This allowed everyone to pick what they needed based on what they had room and sun for.  The gardens themselves were also open for everyone to get a glimpse. A delightful children’s “Vegetable Soup Garden” was […]

Featured

Bike, Zip and More: How Malden can share the road for smarter transportation 

This is another in a series exploring the future of  development in Malden. Read part one, two and three here.  By Karen Buck Can the United States break its addiction to automobiles? Many Americans have, in part by turning to that trusty two-wheel vehicle — the bicycle. The Boston area, in fact, has been in love with biking since 1877. Today, many cities, particularly in Europe, have made a push for bike-friendly communities.  Some areas are turning to  bike-sharing programs and some even see this as a great investment opportunity. During the fall of 2017, the City of Malden instituted a pilot bike share program by allowing two bike share companies, LimeBike and Ofo, to trial their bike-system in Malden. Shortly thereafter, our city was punctuated by 200 lime green and 200 yellow bikes. Why a bike share? Many Malden residents don’t own bicycles due to lack of storage or the ability to maintain personal bikes.  Many bike share programs, such as Hubway Bikeshare in Boston, offer to municipalities docks of bikes at around $40,000 per dock. LimeBike and […]

Arts

Artist, explorer, photographer captures images of a frozen world

By Jennifer McClain This is this is another in the series on “Treasures at the Library.” Please note that direct photographs of artwork at the library is not permitted. Even as William Bradford  was stranded on an ice-locked ship. he kept drawing and photographing. The eerie and desolate view of frozen water everywhere was for him the epitome of magnificence. As one of Bradford’s companions, Alpheus Spring Packard, wrote in his journal: “From the mountains above us we watched, day after day, the ceaseless march of icebergs and cakes, large and small.” Viewing In the Lee of the Iceberg (1883), a painting at the Malden Public Library by Bradford, you can imagine this very scene. The ship is placed just right of a massive mountain of snow and ice that dwarfs the ship before it. The water appears hard and cold with sheets of ice that seem to be moving as you look at them. To emphasize the grandness of the expanse, another tiny ship is placed just to the left of the iceberg. Bradford (1823 […]

Events

Let your garden grow: Season begins at the Malden Community Garden

By Jennifer McClain and Bonnie Blanchard With boundless energy and muddy hands, the green thumbs of Malden kicked off the growing season Saturday, May 19, at the city’s community garden, located along the Northern Strand Community (Bike) Trail between Bryant and Faulkner Streets. Young and old, experienced and beginners joined forces to prepare the plots for the bounty to come; this included a “soup vegetable” garden, a pumpkin patch and a community pick-your-own vegetable spot outside the fenced area. Volunteers also installed a Little Free Library box, practiced yoga, learned about composting and chowed down on pizza and gluten-free muffins. “It’s  amazing to be down here and see people working together,” said City Councilor Barbara Murphy, who had pushed to create a community garden five years ago. “Gardening is a language of its own.” Coordinating the activities was Julie Mangan, garden manager, who directed volunteers in the day of organization and learn up. Gardeners  pay $25 per plot to grow a variety of vegetables and crops. “It’s an extension of your backyard or it IS […]

Featured

Can Malden’s Transit Woes Be Eased with Smart Planning?

This is the third in a series for Neighborhood View exploring the future of  development in Malden. See part one and part two.  By Karen Buck Social media encourages us to share — share our photos, share our posts, and share our favorite memes. Social media connects us. What about social transit? What about sharing the road?   As our cities expand and the population grows,  many Americans are questioning a life centered on the automobile. In 2017, drivers in the Boston area spent an average of 60 hours in traffic during peak periods, according to an annual scorecard from the transportation analytics firm INRIX, as reported by WBUR. That makes Boston the seventh-most congested urban area in the country. (Los Angeles, at an average of 102 hours in traffic , and New York City, at 91 hours,  top the gridlock list.) Consider this:  Millennium Partners is proposing a $100 million gondola to fly workers over the clogged streets of the Seaport. Yet many believe that easing transportation congestion may not require flying cars. The concept of […]

Events

City Nature Challenge shows Mother Nature isn’t camera shy

By Karen Buck The Malden River showed off its natural attributes on April 29 as Malden and Medford residents took on the worldwide City Nature Challenge, a citizen-scientist contest that included 65 participating cities in 17 countries and five continents. The Friends of the Malden River were joined by National Park Service Ranger Andrew Petite de Manage, a naturalist with a background in urban planning and a ranger on the Boston Harbor Island, to document plants, animals and birds found in our area. As part of the City Nature Challenge from April 27- April 30, urban residents photographed wildlife in their surroundings.  Yes, our urban environments are full of wildlife and all kind of surprises that show biodiversity. They used iNaturalist, a free application for cell phones, which uses photo recognition software to identify what they discovered. If the subject can’t be identifed, it will be reviewed by one of the thousands of naturalists who work with the application. This information is entered into a database which is used by scientists around the world to determine […]

Arts

Honoring Malden native and artist Ed Emberley leads to the ARTLine

By Sharon Santillo Ed Emberley might never have returned to the city of his birth if Malden Arts had not received a tip that he was born  here in Malden in 1931. When members learned there was to be a retrospective of his work at the Worcester Art Museum in the fall of 2016, they planned a field trip. All were impressed with the breadth of his 60+ year career illustrating children’s books, his magnificent woodcuts that won him a Caldecott Medal in 1967, and the charm of his how-to-draw books that have influenced generations of children.  I am a board member of Malden Arts and I reached out to Emberley after the museum visit with a request to allow Malden Arts to paint a mural to honor him. “We know you left Malden when you were a baby, but we still claim you as our own,” I told him.  “How could I feel anything but a soft spot in my heart for Malden,” said Emberley, who will be 87 on October 19. He agreed to […]

Arts

Who are our neighbors?

By Jennifer McClain “You must begin with the stories,” said the Rev. Isaac Seelam during a recent talk  at First Parish Malden. As a visiting guest at the First Parish Malden, Rev. Seelam was there to explain the mission of Refugee Immigration Ministry, which provides refugees and asylum seekers job preparation, case management and immigrant support. “We had a woman who was kidnapped, taken from her family and friends and held for a period of time..she lost her humanity. Somehow she escaped,”  said Rev. Seelam, the Coordinator for Congregational Development at RIM and who works with the American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts in partnership with RIM. The woman found out about an opportunity to go to America for a conference and was told for her own safety to “go and not come back.” First Parish Malden will host a fundraiser for the Refugee Immigration Ministry on Thursday, May 10, at the parish, 2 Elm St., featuring several participating interfaith choirs: Tickets: $20, Students $10. “These are people who can not go back to their own countries,“ said Rev. Seelam. The […]