Thursday, September 21, 2017
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Pioneers Football Season Open Tonight


Senior Nick Kinnon will be leading Lynnfield High against Newburyport in the Pioneer’s season home opener tonight, kick-off at 7:00 PM. (Advocate file photo)


Planning Board backs plans for Perley Burrill property

Town Administrator James Boudreau and Town Engineer Charles Richter recently went before the Planning Board to ask for support in redeveloping the property at 906 Salem St., the former site of Perley Burrill Fuel Oil.

During the board’s Aug. 30 meeting, Boudreau said the town had foreclosed on the property after owner Joseph Pedoto allowed it to fall into disrepair. “The owner was making no attempt to clean it up,” he said, adding that Pedoto owes the town $260,000 in back taxes.

Boudreau said the cleaning process alone will cost approximately $400,000. Therefore, the property will be put on the market for at least $660,000. “We have to get our money back,” said Boudreau.

He also said the town has no interest in holding onto the parcel any longer than what is necessary. “We want to get this property off our hands,” said Boudreau. “It is the town’s intent to put that piece of property up for sale and get rid of it.”

However, Boudreau said Pedoto still has time to reclaim the parcel. “He has the right to take the property back; he has until the end of September to do that,” said Boudreau. If Pedoto does not act, Boudreau said, the property will be put on the market in early October.

The board voted to approve the three variance requests made by Richter. The first was for no street lighting, the second was for no natural gas and the final variance was for a shared driveway 300 feet long with a 60-foot turnaround area.

“I generally don’t like to grant waivers, but I think there are other considerations to take into account,” said Planning Board Co-Chairman John Faria, adding that the town has continued to make sizable investments to prepare the site for future development. “It may enhance the town’s bargaining power.”

Member Brian Charville abstained from voting, saying the agenda only indicated that a “discussion” would be held. Therefore, he said, he was not prepared to vote on the matter.

However, Boudreau said any agenda item can be subject to a vote. “If it’s on the agenda, it’s implied that there could be a vote,” he said.

In other news, the board voted unanimously to table the matter regarding the Tesla Charging Station at MarketStreet Lynnfield, as no Tesla representatives were at the meeting despite being invited. “It may just be one big ad for Tesla,” said Faria, adding that other charging stations should also be permitted at MarketStreet.

By Christopher Roberson


Amended personnel bylaws to go before selectmen

The Personnel Board met recently to discuss nine bylaw changes that will be presented to the Board of Selectmen on Sept. 13. During the Personnel Board’s Sept. 5 meeting, Chairman Michael Griffin recommended the addition of a Domestic Violence Leave Policy. “This is a leave benefit that an employee has if they are in a domestic violence situation,” he said.

The policy would allow employees to take 15 unpaid days off from work each year. The policy also states that employees must use that time for things such as counseling, getting medical attention, securing housing, obtaining a restraining order and attending to other legal proceedings.

Griffin also recommended that the town adopt a Whistleblower Protection Retaliation Policy. “It’s fairly straightforward, there’s a Massachusetts State Statute on this,” he said.

He also said a clean version should be presented to the selectmen rather than the “red line” version that shows the various revisions. “It opens up a can of worms,” said Griffin.

However, the board later agreed that the “latest red line version” would be given to the selectmen.

In addition, board members agreed that employee files should only be accessed by the selectmen and the Personnel Board in the event of a disciplinary proceeding.

There was also discussion regarding a transgender employee policy. “Cambridge, Boston, Amherst and Northampton all have human rights bylaws,” said Member Gail Marcus.

Member Kip Sanford asked about the degree of detail needed in such a policy. “I wonder if this thing needs to be that dynamic,” he said.

Because of the high level of sensitivity that would be involved, the board ultimately agreed that Town Counsel Thomas Mullen be consulted before doing anything further. “We have to kick this to Tom Mullen,” said Griffin.

Griffin shared a social media policy that he obtained last year from “another town” and said that Lynnfield should adopt one of its own. But he said a social media law should exist on the state level before the town moves forward with a policy of its own. “If there is no state law, the town shouldn’t have a policy until it is fully fleshed out,” he said.

Griffin said that the role of the town administrator should be revised to include the “training, development and performance review of directly reporting department heads.” He also said the timing of the performance reviews should be moved from December and January to May and June.

The bylaw revisions will be reviewed by Mullen and Town Administrator James Boudreau before they are presented to the selectmen.

By Christopher Roberson


The 1638 “Six Mile Grant”– Lynnfield in the Wilderness



Local government

The success of local government in early New England presaged the triumph of the democratic experiment in America. Land grants in Lynnfield and surrounding communities developed into some of the first settlements in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Local town boundaries as we know them today; however, evolved slowly.

In addition to a longing for religious freedom, the desire to possess their own land prompted resourceful Englishmen to immigrate to the New World. For an investment of 50 pounds, each “adventurer” would receive 200 acres in the Colony. Workmen and artisans wxere offered 50 acres per family upon arrival in exchange for their services. The need for strong bodies and skilled hands was apparent. Pretentious manners and philosophical preoccupations would not fell a tree or raise a barn.

In March 1638, the “Six Mile Grant,” as measured from the Lynn Meeting House, was distributed to some 100 Lynn residents. This expanse of about 13 square miles included much of present Lynnfield, Saugus and “Redding” (now Wakefield) near Lake Quannapowitt. When counties were established in Massachusetts in 1643, “Redding” became part of Middlesex County, while Lynn, including “Lynn Fields,” became part of Essex County.

Early settlers

Eventually each village would have a meeting house presided over by a minister “called” for life. A military company would be formed, drilling on the training field or common. Schools were soon established. At first, dwellings were centrally located near the common, although farms belonging to these households were often miles distant. Our historian Thomas Wellman related in the 1890’s: “In winter the hilltops, and the swamps as well, resounded with the axe of the woodman, as he felled the trees for timber or for fuel, although Lynnfield cannot boast such huge trees as many years ago.”

The leading citizens of “Redding” included William Cowdrey, deacon for 40 years; Nicolas Browne, member of the General Court; and Adam Hawkes, forever associated with North Saugus, whose descendants spread throughout the countryside. Lynnfield settler Isaac Hart, whose wife was accused of witchcraft in 1692, purchased sizable acreage from Thomas Hutchinson. His progeny intermarried with the Smith and Parsons clans for generations in Lynnfield.

A large grant of 500 acres in what is now Lynnfield Center was awarded to Edward Holyoke. His son, Elizur, married the daughter of William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, Mass. Edward Holyoke’s grandson and namesake later served as president of Harvard College. Another ambitious landholder was Ensign Thomas Bancroft. His property was in the vicinity of Reedy Meadow Golf Course, near the historic Danforth House.

Although not included in the original “Six Mile Grant,” the estate of the Honorable John Humphrey was also significant in the Lynnfield settlement. Its extent measured a mile or more around beautiful Suntaug Lake. This worthy was a close associate of Governors John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley. The rigors of the winter in the wilderness; however, disenchanted Humphrey’s wife, Lady Susan, daughter of the Earl of Lincoln. The Humphries returned to England. Their acreage was later peopled by the Mansfield and Newhall clans in South Lynnfield.

Difficult days

In Charles Upham’s Volume I of “Salem Witchcraft,” first published in 1867, we find a powerful description of the herculean task of opening the New England forests to cultivation. The author observes, “The earliest inhabitants of every wooded country, who subdued its wilderness, were truly a race of giants... He who best knew how to fell a tree was justly looked upon as the valuable and leading man. To bring a tall giant of the woods to the ground was a noble and perilous achievement.” (p. 23)

Upham speaks of properties literally a stone’s throw from Lynnfield. Unfortunately, what appeared to be a limitless supply of land in the 1640’s had shrunk dangerously small by the end of the century. Controversies over deeds and boundaries, the historian argues, most likely contributed to the witchcraft madness of 1692.

The exact location and identity of many parcels in the “Six Mile Grant” have not been determined. Nevertheless, we who reside in the general locality may assume that we live on homesteads granted to men and women of vision and courage who cleared the land, established the town of Lynnfield and paved the way for America’s successful experiment in democracy.

By Helen Breen


Four new businesses to join MarketStreet fleet

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, MarketStreet Lynnfield will be adding four new businesses to its booming repertoire. In a written statement, MarketStreet spokesmen Alexandra Sullivan and Kelsey Bruun said Fit Revolution will be opening in the fall while Skeleton Key, Neem Medical Spa and Quinstance are set to open their doors in “late 2017.”

MarketStreet General Manager Nanci Horn said the addition comes at a great time. “The fall and winter are such busy seasons at MarketStreet Lynnfield; from back-to-school to the holidays, there is never a dull moment,” she said. “The openings of Fit Revolution, Skeleton Key, Neem Medical Spa and Quinstance will bring in even more energy and continue to make MarketStreet Lynnfield the industry leader for its diversity of brands and dynamic experiences.”

Chosen by “Northshore Magazine” as this year’s recipient of Best Boot Camp, Best Personal Training Facility, Best Health Club, and Best Training Facility, Fit Revolution prides itself on being “the only exercise facility in the area that offers premiere indoor cycling, a unique boot camp experience, as well as other top fitness trends.” In addition to its new location at 681 Market St., Fit Revolution has its original location in North Reading.

“The facility will speak to every level of fitness, challenging individuals to set personal fitness goals that achieve ultimate toning and strengthening results,” said Sullivan and Bruun.

Currently located in Burlington, Quinstance will move into the space at 678 Market St. “Customers can expect one-of-a-kind items from glassblowers, woodworkers, jewelry designers, letterpresses, soap makers and seamstresses,” said Sullivan and Bruun. “The store will honor both homegrown treasures and globally ethical practices; 90 percent of products are American made and the other 10 percent are sourced from artisans throughout the world.”

Skeleton Key, out of Watertown, will be opening at 663 Market St. and will bring a bit of a twist to Lynnfield’s outdoor mall. The company provides patrons with an “adventure experience” in which they must work together to navigate a series of rooms and escape within the allotted time of 60 minutes. “The space will also include The Adventure Emporium; a bar and lounge serving craft cocktails beer, wine and light snacks, where guests can unwind after the heart-pumping action,” said Sullivan and Bruun.

Having already established itself in Somerville and Winchester, Neem Medical Spa will open its third location at 693 Market St. “Neem Medical Spa will provide North Shore residents with exceptional and affordable medical spa treatments to achieve optimal cosmetic goals, while using the most advanced non-surgical technologies for each wellness experience,” said Sullivan and Bruun. “Neem’s affordable services never compromise comfort or quality; the variety of face and body treatments are all performed by its staff of trained medical professionals in a safe and relaxing environment.”

By Christopher Roberson


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