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News

Sportsworld has “everything Pats”

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GOT GOAT?: Sportsworld owner Phil Castinetti is shown with a standup of Pats’ quarterback Tom Brady at his store on Route 1 south, 87 Broadway, Saugus. From Super Bowl 51 hats, autographed photos, footballs, jerseys and more from this season to decades ago, Sportsworld has “everything Patriots” for the most fervent fan. Sportsworld will also be having a private signing by Tom Brady; (sorry, not at the store), where all your memorabilia will be signed. See the ad in this week’s edition for details.

 

 

Saugus student inducted into BC High’s National Honor Society

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Nicholas White of Saugus, a junior at Boston College High School, was one of the 157 students inducted into the Robert J. Fulton, SJ chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) at the Hunter-Fahey Commons on January 26, 2017.

NHS officers welcomed the guests and spoke about the pillars of excellence guiding the work of NHS: scholarship, character, leadership and service. New members received congratulations and certificates from Principal Stephen Hughes (’73) and Assistant Principal Charles Drane. Earlier, the inductees had received gold NHS pins that were worn on their jacket lapels during the ceremony.

NHS Moderator Patricia Keenan-Byrne welcomed the new members. NHS Officer Gerard Frasca of Melrose invited English teacher Tonya Winter to address the group. The topic of her address was “Failure.” She noted that many highly accomplished figures – like Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison and Dr. Seuss – experienced significant failures, but learned from their failures and persisted on. She encouraged students not to avoid risks of failure inherent in worthy pursuits. Dr. Matthew Finnegan and the BC High Concert Band provided the music for the ceremony.

Boston College High School is a Jesuit, Catholic, college-preparatory school for young men in grades 7 to 12. Founded in 1863, the school enrolls approximately 1,600 students from more than 140 communities in eastern Massachusetts. For more information, access http://www.bchigh.edu.

   

Never a doubt

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Diehard Pats fan Phyllis Barone says she kept faith in Brady comeback when friends had given up

Phyllis Barone said she cheered so hard for the Patriots last Sunday night that she can hardly talk this week. Barone, 54, said she cancelled her doctor’s appointment on Tuesday so she could join more than a million Pats fans at the Super Bowl rally in Boston. Going outside in the snow, sleet and rain doesn’t help her laryngitis any. But Barone said her Patriots come first, and that’s why she needed to be in Boston on such a miserable day – voice or no voice.

While a group of friends were getting ready to bail out of Barone’s Super Bowl party last Sunday night, with the Pats trailing by 25 points in the third quarter, Barone said she kept a positive outlook in a room full of gloomy people. “All of the people at my Super Bowl party wanted to go home because they believed it was impossible for the Patriots to win,” Barone said in an interview this week. “I told them they were going to win. Never give up on my Pats.”

“I’ll never give up on my Pats and I’ll always have Brady’s back. I told you last week that they were definitely going to win – by four points over Atlanta. And they won by six,” she said.

More media attention for her Brady

Barone, who is passionate enough about her Pats to draw national attention to herself and her life-size cardboard Tom Brady, did it again this week. It began on Monday when Barone went to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro to greet New England’s championship team who had just arrived, fresh off a 34-28 victory over the Falcons. Television reporters were there to interview her and film her cardboard Brady.

Tuesday morning she got more media attention when she showed up at Government Center, where she was interviewed by an Associate Press reporter whose curiosity was piqued by the cardboard Brady. Fellow fans also wanted to get permission to pose for photographs with her Brady. “Honey, I could have made a million dollars this week … Everybody wants to get their picture taken with Tom,” Barone said.

Barone said she has no plans of parting with Tom anytime soon. In fact, she said he will no longer be left on the front porch during the day. “Now he’s only in the house because they’ll steal him from me for sure because he’s got five trophies on him now. I don’t want somebody robbing him from me like my signs got robbed at the parade,” she said.

Barone said she took some good-natured ribbing when the Patriots dug themselves into a giant hole early against the Falcons. “One of my sisters told me to bring Brady over to the house so she could put him in the fireplace … Well, I believed in my team and when they finally won, I began to dance around like a nut,” she said.

A dedicated volunteer, too

Eileen Browne, assistant director of the food pantry in Everett, said Barone demonstrates the same love and passion in the way she works. “Phyllis is an awesome volunteer here. She puts her whole heart into it,” Browne said of the volunteer who devotes about 15 hours a month in the Grace Food Pantry at the First Baptist Church in Everett, which is located at 50 Church St.

As a sports fan, she works exhaustively to support her team, according to Browne. “By Sunday night, her voice was waning. By Monday morning, it was gone,” she said.

“Phyllis is over the top when it comes to the Patriots. She has no doubts. When people wanted to give up, she just planted her feet and nothing was going to move her … I can’t say I have ever met a fan like Phyllis. She’s totally devoted,” Browne said.

   

New England Patriots fan Rick Sibley talks about why he would travel on a bad weather day to Boston to watch the Patriots hold a Super Bowl Parade

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~ The Advocate Asks ~

Editor’s Note: For this week’s interview, we sat down with Rick Sibley to talk about what motivates him to travel down to Boston in bad weather to watch a duck boat parade. Sibley, in his mid-60s, now lives in Wakefield, Mass. He runs a painting company in Essex County and southern New Hampshire. Highlights of that interview follow.

 

Q: How many sports parades have you been to?

A: This is my fifth and the fourth time I’ve seen the duck boats.

Q: What are your observations about today?

A: Most of the people who came down today are in the 18 to 28 range. There’s a smattering of older people.

Q: So, why did you decide to drive down to Boston today with this terrible kitchen sink weather?

A: Just sharing the joy with other people who are fans.

Q: It’s in the low 30s. It’s very cold, damp and uncomfortable weather.

A: I know how to dress for it. I dress with a lot of layers, with waterproof outerwear and a hoodie. And when I’m finished, I put a Patriots jersey on.

Q: So, how do you prepare for a day like today?

A: It’s really important if you want to be comfortable. Today I saw many people shivering. Younger people who weren’t dressed properly

Q: What’s with these people? Sneakers, house slippers, sandals and shoes that you really shouldn’t wear out in the snow.

A: I have a couple of thoughts on that. They really like to look stylish than comfortable.

Q: So, what else do you observe today as you stand on the street, waiting for the parade?

A: I see a lot of youth alcohol consumption and people throwing snowballs back and forth. For the most part, I see a lot happy people. I find it easy to talk to them. I find it easy to talk to people in different areas,

Q: So, what’s the most odd thing that you see in these parades?

A: Three or four players who are bare-chested. I don’t know whether they are just drunk or showing off their dramatically chiseled physiques.

Q: Any other observations?

A: This seems to be a very friendly crowd, People are interacting with strangers.

Q: And why do people come out in this bad weather?

A: To have a good time and honor the players. Everyone is talking about the unbelievableness of it all and how they won.

   

Special Town Meeting Articles to limit expansion of ash landfill pass

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Town Meeting members on Monday night gave overwhelming support to three zoning bylaws that would curb expansion of Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc.’s ash landfill at its trash-to-energy plant on Route 107 and toughen local regulations on future ash landfills that could be located in town.

The major change in the proposals would limit the maximum permissible height of existing landfills or ash landfills to 50 feet above the mean sea level. Another key change would prohibit new landfill or new ash landfill being established in or adjacent to an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and would also bar an existing landfill or ash landfill from being expanded in or adjacent to an ACEC. Another article would add three new definitions – for ash, landfill and ash landfill. The final article would add a line on “Landfill/Ash Landfill” in the “Table of Use Regulations” within the Zoning By-Laws.

Members of the Alliance for Health and Environment – the group that initiated the new measures – hailed the passage of the articles as a step in the right direction to protect the town.

“When our air and water suffer, our people suffer. It’s as simple as that,” said Kirstie Pecci, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation. She said the bylaws were sensible and well within the Town of Saugus’s zoning powers.

“If we allow landfills to be built higher and higher with no end in sight, then we are telling our neighbors that their health and their safety don’t matter,” Pecci said. “Last night, the Town of Saugus stood on the side of families and communities by placing limits on the future build-out of landfills. There is still work to be done in managing toxic methane emissions, groundwater contamination and other serious health issues that accompany these sites, but the bylaws established last night are an important step in the right direction.”

Officials of Wheelabrator Technologies have already threatened to file a lawsuit to invalidate the proposed regulations. James J. Connolly, vice president of environmental, health and safety for Wheelabrator Technologies, called the warrant articles “unnecessary” and “counterproductive.” “Articles such as this have been attempted before,” Connolly said, referring to amendments Town Meeting members passed in 2003, which the company challenged “because we were certain this amendment was outside the law.”

“In 2005, the Massachusetts Land Court determined the amendment was unlawful … These proposed town meeting articles are just not going to help … We hope to avoid lengthy and unnecessary repeat of the previous legal dispute … We’d encourage you to have town counsel look at the previous case,” Connolly said.

Connolly said the articles would “impair” Wheelabrator’s working relationship with the town. He noted that the plant contributes about $15 million in economic activity to the area – including about 50 jobs. He noted that Wheelabrator is the town’s highest taxpayer.

In his ruling 12 years ago, Land Court Justice Charles W. Trombly Jr. concluded, “Article 32 is null and void because the Town exceeded its authority … Specifically, the Town’s Passage of Article 32 is an impermissible attempt to regulate a solid waste disposal facility properly permitted under the Commonwealth’s Site Assignment Statute.”

At Monday night’s special session, Town Counsel John Vasapolli defended the articles, while acknowledging he expected Wheelabrator to file a lawsuit. “I’m sure that Wheelabrator will challenge it,” Vasapolli told Town Meeting members.

Town William Brown of Precinct 2 was vocal in his opposition to the three articles, saying that the town would only worsen its relations with Wheelabrator. “This is building a brick wall between the town and Wheelabrator … Let’s not build a brick wall or this will be hurting us financially,” he said.

Eugene Decareau of Precinct 8 also contended that the town was doing the wrong thing in passing the bylaws. He said he doesn’t understand why the new regulations are needed. “If a facility is creating a hazard in the community, the Board of Health can shut them down,” Decareau said.

“We are facing two debt exclusions; we already have an increase in the water and sewer. We already have a huge increase in our taxes … The rumor is out that the School Department may ask for a debt exclusion for a shortfall in their money. We cannot allow other communities and outsiders to come in and tell us what’s good for our community,” Decareau said.

Pecci said the key intent of the proposed regulations is to keep the height of the landfill at 50 feet. “You have a landfill that would not be allowed to be built right now … To be honest, the state has let you down in the past, so it’s important to take the reins to protect your community,” Pecci said. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has allowed Wheelabrator to expand the landfill in various ways over the last 20 years, she said.

Town Meeting Member Martin Costello of Precinct 10 insisted that Wheelabrator hasn’t been a good neighbor. “In the latest episode, they refused for a site assignment to get done … If you have a neighbor that’s going to litigate you, he’s not a good neighbor. He’s your enemy,” he said.

“The Alliance appreciates the fact Saugus community leaders are taking steps that will protect environmental resources in Saugus, as well as surrounding neighborhoods, including in Revere,” said State Representative RoseLee Vincent. “Saugus has the right to govern itself, and I applaud and thank those Town Meeting members who stood up to do the right thing by adopting these very reasonable zoning changes … Now, Wheelabrator has an opportunity to become a good neighbor to the town by participating in a process that will eventually lead to final closure of the ash landfill.”

Vincent predicted “there will be a mound of ash so high, your grandchildren will be skiing on it.”

Many of the environmental activists offered reaction to the passage of the three articles.

“As a Town Meeting Member and as President of Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE), I am very pleased and encouraged by the vote of Town Meeting, which passed all three articles to define landfills and impose reasonable conditions to help protect the environment and the public health,” said Saugus resident Ann Devlin. “With SAVE’s long history of working to provide a better quality of life in Saugus through environmental action and concern, this is a great step in working toward those goals.”

“These bylaws were the next logical step for the town to safeguard its citizens, where our main concern is the health, welfare and safety of our Saugus citizens and our neighboring communities,” said Saugus Board of Selectman Chairwoman Deb Panetta. “I sincerely appreciate the vote taken by Town Meeting Monday night.”

“By approving local bylaw changes, Saugus has taken a leadership role in protecting critical environmental resources and public health for the future,” said Saugus River Watershed Council Executive Director Joan LeBlanc. “With anticipated sea level rise and increasingly intense coastal storms, it’s extremely important to shift the focus from expanding disposal of contaminated ash at this vulnerable coastal site to ensuring that our valuable marshes, waterways and local beaches are protected from risks related to the millions of tons of ash already on the site.”

“Ash landfills are chock-full of toxic heavy metals like mercury,” said Ben Weilerstein, organizer at Toxics Action Center, “so Saugus families will be safer with these new bylaws. The people of Saugus have spoken and are taking action. MassDEP should hear them loud and clear: Unlined dumps are dirty and dangerous!”

“With this vote, the residents of Saugus took a common sense, reasonable stand in support of protecting their health – particularly the health of young children and pregnant women who are most vulnerable to persistent toxins like dioxin and lead,” said Cindy Luppi, New England Director of Clean Water Action. “Shouldering this unique health burden for decades, Saugus and neighbors deserve relief – and today, we are one step closer to a healthier community for all.”

   

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