Wednesday, May 24, 2017
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  • Two alarm blaze rips through Highland Ave. building

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • RHS senior receives $5,000 Hood® Milk Sportsmanship Scholarship

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Mayor submits $227 million FY18 budget

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Playground Dangers

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Community ’N Unity Celebration

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00




ere are a few tidbits that you might want to know about this week in Saugus.

Powerless in the storm

Tuesday turned out to be a brutal storm day for Saugus residents. At one point, more than 4,000 homes and businesses found themselves without electricity – some for as long as six hours. That’s about a third of the town that was inconvenienced by the disruption, according to National Grid.

I ran into a number of residents who were affected the storm, which led to Tuesday’s cancellation of school and the closing of public buildings throughout the town. Many of the people affected were elderly residents.

Storm-delayed trash collection

Due to this week’s snowstorm, the town’s trash and recycling collection was cancelled on Tuesday and collection will run on a one-day delay through tomorrow (Saturday). Contact Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Lorna Cerbone at 81-231-4036 with any questions.

“Books in Bloom” floral design show

The Saugus Garden Club and New Friends of the Saugus Public Library are again cosponsoring “Books in Bloom.” This unique floral design show is set for today (Friday, March 17), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tomorrow (Saturday, March 18), from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For these two days, the library will host beautiful floral arrangements interpreting a book’s title, cover or theme in displays set up throughout the building. The public is invited to participate by entering an exhibit or just to drop by the library to admire the pretty flowers. A great opportunity for a creative person with a green thumb – what a great event for spring.

For details, contact Saugus Garden Club Co-Presidents Lorraine DiMilla (781-233-7541 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and Donna Manoogian (781-233-5640 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Not a bad way to welcome in the spring, even if the snow is not done yet.

One angry board

Superintendent of Schools Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr. and the Saugus School Committee have adopted the slogan “One Town, One Team: Building a Stronger Saugus” as they seek backing – financial and people-wise – in their efforts to build a better education system. As noble as their intentions might be, a majority of the School Committee members contradicted that idealistic goal at least Thursday’s School Committee meeting.

Hats off to Linda Gaieski, the lone School Committee member who refrained from getting into petty squabbles with her colleagues or making disparaging comments about them.

On a night when committee members offered some great praise about student accomplishments – particularly Elizabeth Marchese’s glowing tribute to the fabulous Saugus High School girls’ basketball team (“You have broken the gender barrier at Saugus High School and united the whole school.”) – members spoiled what should have been a happy night with their uncivil and childish behavior.

No need to waste time and space on replaying the spectacle in this column. Interested readers can view it for themselves on Saugus TV. It’s okay to disagree, and that is the nature of local government. But show some respect for your colleagues and for the citizens who attend the meetings or tune-in on cable to be informed.

The night would have been an image-boosting and a morale-building affair had committee members skipped the nonsense. Then again, this is an election year. Isn’t it?

A new seating plan for the superintendent

Poor Superintendent of Schools Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr.! He’s gonna have to move from the side table in the School Committee room to join the School Committee members at future meetings. At least on a trial basis. That comes as a result of a new seating plan approved by the members.

“I’d like to see him join the team – one town-one team,” School Committee Chairman Jeannie Meredith said.

Another member who seemed to like it was Linda Gaieski. “I always feel it’s adversarial … He’s over there and we’re talking at him,” she said.

Arthur Grabowski said he prefers to be look at the superintendent, face to face – when he’s talking. Grabowski also said he shared Gaieski’s sentiments that the current seating plan with the superintendent sitting at a table off to the side feels “adversarial.”

Gaieski also hopes the new seating plan will enable her to have eye contact with the superintendent.

“What’s your good side, Dr. DeRuosi?” School Committee Vice Chairman Peter Manoogian asked. “It doesn’t make a big difference to me,” Manoogian added.

It might actually work out. The committee members might be less inclined to spar with each other with Dr. DeRuosi sitting with them. If they do act up, the superintendent can play the role of peacemaker.

Lady Sachems make Saugus proud

The Saugus High School basketball team, coached by Mark Schruender, became the first girls’ basketball team in more than three decades to win a conference title. The Lady Sachems finished with a 16-6 record. That’s a far cry better than their season two years ago, when they won just one of 22 games. No question, the girls were the highlight of the night.

Kudos to Saugus TV

Speaking of cable TV, here’s some good news: The Telly Awards has named Saugus TV as a Bronze winner in the 38th Annual Telly Awards for their piece titled “Saugus TV Stop-Motion Promo.”

Here’s a press release sent to us by Executive Director Bryan Nadeau:


With over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor for the local station.

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.

For its 38th season, The Telly Awards once again gave the public the power to view and rate videos submitted as part of the People’s Telly Awards. In addition to recognition from the Silver Telly Council, the judging panel that selects the Telly Awards winners, the Internet community helps decide the People’s Telly Awards winners.

A prestigious judging panel of over 500 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner of a Silver Telly and a member of The Silver Telly Council, judged the competition, upholding the historical standard of excellence that Telly represents. The Silver Council evaluated entries to recognize distinction in creative work – entries do not compete against each other – rather entries are judged against a high standard of merit. Less than 10 percent of entries are chosen as Winners of the Silver Telly, our highest honor.

Approximately 25 percent of entries are chosen as Winners of the Bronze Telly.

“The Telly Awards has a mission to honor the very best in film and video,” said Linda Day, Executive Director of the Telly Awards. “Saugus TV’s accomplishment illustrates their creativity, skill, and dedication to their craft and serves as a testament to great film and video production.”

The Saugus TV Stop-Motion Promo is a 2 minute public service announcement for the station, encouraging residents with great ideas to utilize the public access station to make those ideas come to life. The process used to create this spot is called Stop-Motion Animation, where multiple still pictures were taken of cutout figures in different positions. When those pictures are put together in the editing process, those cutouts appear animated.

“We are excited to bring an award to Saugus TV. Hopefully it brings awareness to the town that anyone can produce something special.” says Michelle Madar and John Prudent, Co Producers of Saugus TV Stop-Motion Promo. To view the winning entry, go to

To find out more about the Telly Awards visit

Countdown to Annual Town Meeting

It’s still a couple of months away. But selectmen are already gearing up for the Annual Town Meeting, which is set for Monday, May 1. Selectmen recently announced that they will close the Annual Town Meeting Warrant at their April 12 regular business meeting. Anyone who has an article they want to be inserted in the warrant may submit it to the selectmen’s office at Town Hall or bring it to the April 12 meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the second floor auditorium of Town Hall, at 298 Central St.

SAVE 2017 Environmental Scholarship available

Here’s some good news for college-bound Saugus students. Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) is offering a $500 Environmental Scholarship to Saugus residents of the Graduating Class of 2017. This is a scholarship for students who will be attending a two/four-year college or other educational institution and pursuing a degree in an area that would positively impact the environment.

Applicants can download the SAVE 2017 Environmental Scholarship Application Form found at or or SAVE requests that applicants, in addition to the completed application form, include a separate sheet (identified with your name, address and high school) that provides a brief summary of any of your activities relating to the environment and that describes how you feel your career choice will positively impact the environment.

Applications should be mailed (postmarked by April 21, 2017) to SAVE, P.O. Box 908, Saugus, MA 01906. You may also email your application (no later than midnight on April 21, 2017) to the SAVE President, Ann Devlin, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Columbarium Niche Sale

The Town of Saugus Cemetery Department announced that spring grounds cleanup will begin at the Riverside Cemetery on Monday, March 27. The Cemetery Commission kindly asks members of the public to remove any personal and/or holiday/seasonal items from the grounds before the cleanup begins.

In addition, the Cemetery Department announced the sale of double niches in the North and South columbarium towers. Each double niche costs $1,375.00 and allows two cremations per niche. This fee includes the installation cost of the niche plaque. Niche purchases must be made with a bank check or money order payable to Town of Saugus Riverside Cemetery. Additional costs for the purchase of a niche plaque are payable to the monument company based on the selection made with them.

Those interested in purchasing a niche or who have questions, please contact the Cemetery Department at 781-231-4170 or stop by the office, which is located at 164 Winter St., Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Easter Bunny is coming!

If you’d like to have your little ones meet the Easter Bunny, he’ll hopping around the Square One Mall on Friday, March 24 in the Center Court. The Bunny will sign autographs from noon to 2 p.m. after he arrives at the “Spring Garden.”

So, bring your cameras and kids. Or, you can save time and avoid the line with Bunny by Appointment. Now you can reserve your magical moment with the bunny online at

The Bunny Photo Experience will run through Saturday, April 15. Kids will have a chance to visit the Bunny and take home a treasured snapshot of the fun occasion.

The famous Saugus calendars are out!

The 2017 Saugus Historical Society Calendars are available at Town Hall, the Saugus Public Library, the Senior Center and at several area businesses whose advertisements appear in its pages.

This year’s calendar has the same features, such as ample writing space and wonderful old photos of town scenes that residents, former residents, and other friends of the town have said they love. Railroad aficionados will be especially pleased to see the picture of a train on the Saugus Branch Railroad as it stops at Essex Street Crossing near the Anna Parker Playground, which was contributed by Allen Humphries. Another wonderful picture most people will not have seen before is the old Masonic Hall of the William Sutton Lodge AF and AM on Chestnut Street. This was a pale yellow building with fan designs over the windows. This hall survived two fires and was used by the lodge until 1963. The lodge itself will be 150 years old this October. It has occupied two other buildings in the years since and is presently at the First Congregational Church in Saugus Center.

The Saugus Historical Society extends its grateful appreciation to the following individuals and organizations who assisted in the preparation of the 2017 calendar: George W. Brown, Jayne Parrott, Eric W. Brown,, Carolyn Brown, Gabriel Farhat, Park Press Printers and the many local sponsors. This year’s sponsors include Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home; Carbone and Sons, Inc. Autobody; Nelson Chang, Esq.; GCA Jewelers; George Gregson Law Offices; Kowalsky Insurance Agency, Inc.; Kowloon Restaurant; Law Offices of Thomas F. Colonna and William P. Doyle III; Richard Magnan, Attorney at Law; Nickole Auto Body; North Shore Bank; Park Press Printers; Peter A. Rossetti Insurance Agency, Inc.; RESCO/Wheelabrator Environmental Systems; Russo’s Fine Chocolates;; Saugus Business Partnership; Saugus Federal Credit Union; ShellTown; and Stefano’s Landscaping.

The Saugus Historical Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Saugus and educating the public in local history. It is supported by its members and receives no funds from the town. Those with an interest in history are encouraged to join. For more information email Laura Eisener at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 781-231-5988. Upcoming programs include Stephen Carlson on April 12 on “Historic Preservation in Saugus” and Tim Hawkes on May 10 on “Vinegar Hill.” Meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month in March, April, May, September, October and November of each year. The popular Strawberry Festival with its old fashioned strawberry shortcake and more is held on the third Saturday in June – in 2017 it will be June 17.

Let’s hear it!

Got an idea, passing thought or gripe you would like to share with The Saugus Advocate? I’m always interested in your feedback. It’s been a year since I began work at The Saugus Advocate. I’m always interested in hearing readers’ suggestions for possible stories or good candidates for “The Advocate Asks” interview of the week. Feel free to email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Troop 62 plans a May golf tournament

Plans are shaping up at Saugus Boy Scout Troop 62, which will be hosting its 1st annual golf tournament on May 15 at Four Oaks Country Club in Dracut. Stay tuned for more details as plans unfold as the date draws closer

Coming attractions at the Saugus Public Library

Here’s a few events that Saugus Public Library Director Brian Hodgdon says are worth checking out:

Free After School Homework Help at the Saugus Public Library

The SPL is partnering with the Belmonte Middle School to offer free, drop-in homework help to Saugus elementary school students to help foster strong academic and study skills outside of school hours. Here are the details:

  • · Homework Help is in session and runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Community Room at the Saugus Public Library.
  • · Homework helpers are National Junior Honor Society students from the Belmonte Middle School.
  • · This program is open to students in grades K-5.
  • · No registration is required, but students must be signed in/out by a parent or guardian.
  • · Parent or guardian must remain on library grounds while student is receiving homework assistance.
  • · Subjects: math • science • grammar • reading • social studies • geography & others.
  • · For more information, visit, where you’ll also find online resources for a variety of grade levels as well as free test-prep help from The College Board and others.
  • · Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions.

Town Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site’s Winter Schedule

The Town of Saugus Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site will open to residents on Saturday, March 18. The site, which is located at 515 Main St., will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will return to its regular hours in mid-April. Please contact Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Lorna Cerbone at 781-231-4036 with any questions.



Saugus Middle School Basketball Defeats Revere, 54-45


Shown are members of the Saugus Middle School basketball team, from left to right: (front row) Donovan Clark, Matt MacEachern, Michael Howard, Tommy Falasca, Anthony Macone, Ryan Mabee, (back row) Ryan Anderson, Mark MacEachern, Sean Gillespie, Sean O’Rourke, Tyrone Manderson.



Northeast Metro Tech students attend Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness


Northeast Metro Tech Superintendent-Director David DiBarri is pleased to announce that eight Northeast Metro Tech students attended the New Hampshire Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness last week. The event, which was put on by the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, was designed to educate middle school and high school students about the dangers of opioid addiction while promoting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. On March 7, Northeast Metro Tech students Ian Haley, Pedro Carbonera, Yenissa Ortiz, Arthur Andrews, Quinn Lemist, Christian DeJesus, Carley Sutherland and Julia Agostini joined approximately 9,000 students from Northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire at the Southern New Hampshire University arena for the summit.

“The students we sent are leaders in our school and will be able to carry the message they took away from the event to the rest of the student body and members of their respective communities,” DiBarri said. “Opioid addiction affects every city and town, and it’s imperative that we look at proactive ways to help combat this disease.”

At the summit, attendees spent from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. listening to a series of speakers directly affected by opioid addiction. Keynote speaker Jeff Allison, a New England native and former Miami Marlins pitcher, shared his personal story of addiction and recovery. Students also heard from parents directly affected by addiction, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, New England Patriots defensive back Patrick Chung, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Jon DeLena.

“The most powerful speakers were the parents who had lost their children to opioid addiction,” said Northeast Metro Tech Adjustment Counselor Dina Baratta. “They’re who impacted the students the most. I think they left with a new understanding of the issue and a commitment to help others.”

Additionally, students watched a short film, “If Only” – coproduced by James Wahlberg with support from Recovery Centers of America and Millennium Health – which highlights the negative effects of prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction.

Following the event, students and Baratta met to discuss programs and initiatives they’d like to implement at Northeast Metro Tech.

Before the end of the year, the school will have its own showing of “If Only,” and the eight students who attended the summit will sit on a panel following the movie to discuss the message and answer questions.

DEA Agent DeLena visited Northeast Metro Tech on Friday, March 10, to speak to students about opioids and how to create a positive school climate. Students would also like to bring an athlete or additional relatable figure into the school to further speak about opioid addiction.


Saugus High School Students, Athletes, & Performers of the Month


Athletes of the Month: Matthew Waggett (Basketball) and Alessia Salzillo (Basketball).


For public safety’s sake


Former Town Moderator Robert J. Long calls a west side fire station a “top priority” that’s decades overdue

A single-family house next door to the Oaklandvale Elementary School once was considered for the site of a future firehouse that would protect homes and businesses on the town’s west side. Former Town Moderator Robert J. Long – who has lived about a half a century with his wife in the Oaklandvale section of town – said he thinks there are better locations available than the half-acre property at 270 Main St. which the town bought for $165,000 in 1999.

Long, who also served 34 years as a Town Meeting member and four years on the Board of Selectmen, said he would rather see a firehouse built in the Target/Ocean State Job Lot business area, not far from the entrance of Breakheart Reservation. But Long said that wherever the station is located, it needs to be done as soon as possible – without having to go through a long planning process.

“You really don’t have to come up with a reason – the reasons are already there,” Long told the Saugus Advocate this week.

“If the town wanted to see this 22 years ago, what’s made it less necessary today? It’s needed now. The traffic congestion is worse now than it was 10 years ago – or even five years ago,” he said.

“I don’t understand why an issue like the west side fire station can be a hot issue one moment and then fall to the back burner. I think it’s time to get it back on the front burner. We’ve already let enough time go back,” he said.

The subject of recent talk

Long was reacting to comments made last week by several Finance Committee members during a review of the public safety budgets for the 2018 fiscal year that begins July 1. With AvalonBay Communities, Inc.’s plans to build 280 apartments on the 14-acre site of the old Hilltop Steak House restaurant, committee members said they believe there is an obvious need for a third fire station in town instead of having fire trucks and ambulances dispatched from the central fire station on Hamilton Street, up Main Street and across Route 1 to the west side of town.

Long recalled that town voters passed a debt exclusion back in 1995 that included $500,000 set aside for the fire station as part of a $20 million capital projects package. Then, three years later, money from another $500,000 was used to buy the house at 270 Main St., according to Long.

The firehouse project stalled when funds weren’t approved to staff the building, according to some town officials. But Long said he believes that wasn’t the real reason for the project being shelved. There was no need to hire additional firefighters until the firehouse was built, he said.

Long blames the project’s demise on the departure of then-Town Manager Edward J. Collins, Jr. in 1996 to become chief financial officer and treasurer for the City of Boston. “If Ed Collins had stayed as town manager, that fire station would have been built by now,” Long said in an interview this week.

Long said a meeting he attended about a month ago on AvalonBay’s proposed development at the former Hilltop site motivated him to speak – first, behind the scenes, and later publicly – in this week’s interview. “When I saw the proposal for 280 apartments, that got me thinking – it’s just a stone’s throw from where we want to put the fire station,” Long said.

“The next thing, it kind of ballooned out from there,” he said. Long said he met with Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree and later talked with a few other people involved with town government.

Selectmen need
to get involved

The Hilltop site isn’t the only area on the town’s west side where potential development is increasing the needs for a new fire station, according to Long. “This is the time to lay a strong foundation for a need that couldn’t be any more self-evident,” Long said.

Long suggested that town officials – particularly the town manager and the Board of Selectmen – find out if adequate funds are still available to build a west side fire station and whether the house at 270 Main St. can be sold to help finance the project. Also, officials should look at possible available sites for the fire station, he said.

“Now is also the time to look at the equipment and manning that will be necessary for a third fire station in town … It wouldn’t be a huge effort to find out what’s necessary to get this back on the front burner again,” Long said.

“Under our Town Charter, we require a capital improvement budget. This work would involve the selectmen. They, along with the town manager, can identify what needs to be done,” he said.

Long called his conversation with Crabtree “encouraging.” “He seemed to be very receptive to identifying what needs to be done to get that station running,” Long said. “I received a very positive feeling from him – that he understood the necessity.


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