Thursday, March 30, 2017
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  • Malden Democratic City Committee hosts 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Councillor hosts Ward 4 Community Meeting

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Greatest of All Time

    Friday, February 10, 2017 00:00
  • “We are lucky because …”

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Mystic Valley History students advance to State Finals

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00


Local Cub Scouts honor heroes in their community


Pictured at right: On Monday, February 27, local veterans visited Cub Scout Den #47 (Huckleberry Hill) and Den #48 (Summer Street) at the Center Congregational Church to help the scouts with their achievement – called the Webelos “Build Your Own Hero” – that recognizes heroes within the community. Pictured above in front row, from left to right, are Shea McCarthy, Jack Mackey, Matthew Squadrito, Isaac Medford, Nicholas Lozada, Maxwell Lin and JJ Driscoll. Shown in back row, from left to right, are US Army veteran Ronald Nutter, Veterans’ Services Officer and Navy veteran Bruce Siegel and Marine Captain Charles Leach. Missing scouts were Jon Biggar, Erik Bell and Brady Waxman. An interesting hour was spent answering questions about training, deployments, current community involvement and the many great benefits and advantages veterans derive and love after serving their country. (Courtesy photo)


Recreational Path Committee names temporary chair, adds five new members


Selectmen approved five more members for the Recreational Path Committee during their February 27 meeting at the Merritt Center, rounding out the total number to nine. The decision to add more numbers comes after some members observed that most other communities’ rail trail committees have somewhere between nine to 12 members. Many, including the selectmen, believe that having more members would add to the diversity of opinion.

Angela Addonizio, Robert Almy, Sheila Aronson, Marian Orfeo and Randall Russell were the five members confirmed last Monday. The five new members join existing members Mark McDonough, Joseph Markey, Leah Hook and Michael D’Amore.

Board members also appointed Randy Russell as the temporary chair of the committee during the meeting. Russell is a seasoned research veteran and longtime member of the Lynnfield community, having resided in the town for 22 years. During a telephone interview, Russell described himself as an “objective third party” and said he hoped to utilize his extensive background in research to weed out fact from fiction and bring greater transparency to the issue of rail trails.

The updated group plans to convene in a week or two. They will provide a recommendation on the basis of their findings to Town Meeting on April 24.

The vote at town meeting, as Russell said, will simply be to ask permission to take out a 99-year lease on the existing rail bed in the town. A “yes” vote would “keep the door open,” as Russell said, to remain eligible for the roughly $7.1 million in state and federal funds allotted for the project.

The proposed rail trail is unofficially termed the “Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail” and runs a total of 4.5 miles (2.9 miles in Lynnfield and 1.6 in Wakefield). The initial engineering study, undertaken by Woburn-based engineering firm World Tech, will be submitted in the next 20-30 days.

By Melanie Higgins


Beacon Hill Roll Call

THE HOUSE AND SENATE. There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week. Immigration continues to be one of the widely debated and most discussed topics across the nation.

Where do Massachusetts state senators stand on the issue? This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call records local senators’ votes on several roll calls on the immigration issue in 2013-2014. There were no roll calls on the issue in the 2015-2016 session.


Senate 12-25, rejected an amendment that would prohibit illegal immigrant students from paying the preferred, lower in-state tuition rates and fees at Massachusetts universities. The amendment would supersede a policy, implemented several years ago by former Gov. Deval Patrick, allowing some students who are not in the country legally to pay the lower tuition rates.

Amendment supporters said the state should not offer financial rewards to anyone who has broken the law and is in this country illegally. They argued it is outrageous to offer low tuition rates to these students while legal citizens from outside Massachusetts, including war veterans, are required to pay higher rates if they attend a state school.

Amendment opponents said many of these students were babies when they were brought here by their parents and had no choice about entering the country illegally. They noted some hardworking students are currently required to pay out-of-state tuition rates that are up to five times higher than the in-state rate.

(A “Yes” vote is the prohibition. A “No” vote is against it.)

Sen. Joan Lovely  No

Sen. Thomas McGee  No



Senate 13-25, rejected an amendment that would require applicants to provide specific proof of legal residence in order to register their cars. The accepted IDs include a driver’s license, Massachusetts identification card, social security number or other proof of legal residence issued by the state or the federal government.

Amendment supporters said this would prevent illegal immigrants and people who lose their driver’s license in other states for things like drunken driving from illegally registering their cars here. They argued that the Registry of Motor Vehicles has refused to enforce this law which is already on the books and is still allowing people to register their cars by just showing a utility bill.

Amendment opponents said allowing an illegal alien to own a vehicle in Massachusetts does not jeopardize the public’s safety. They argued the bill seems aimed at using the Registry of Motor Vehicles to identify and police undocumented people.

(A “Yes” vote is for requiring proof of legal residence. A “No” vote is against it.)

Sen. Joan Lovely  Yes

Sen. Thomas McGee  No



Senate 31-7, approved an amendment that would require the state to study and determine the costs and benefits of limiting eligibility for state assisted public housing to individuals who qualify under federal guidelines. The amendment would replace a proposal that would require applicants qualify under federal guidelines. Federal eligibility standards and proof of identity for housing assistance are stricter than state standards and include requiring a social security number.

Supporters of the study said requiring applicants to meet federal guidelines is unconstitutional and would take housing away from immigrants including people who were granted temporary status from countries with oppressive regimes.

Opponents of the study said it is outrageous that currently people can get subsidized housing ahead of verified citizens without producing a social security number. They noted the federal guidelines offer exemptions for some categories.

(A “Yes” vote is for the study. A “No” vote is against it.)

Sen. Joan Lovely Yes

Sen. Thomas McGee  Yes



Senate 11-27, rejected an amendment prohibiting potential tenants who cannot provide a social security number from being placed in a public housing unit prior to any applicant who can do so.

Amendment supporters said this would ensure that illegal immigrants who are breaking the law are not given priority over citizens and others who abide by the nation’s laws. They argued it is outrageous that illegal immigrants should be considered for scarce public housing units prior to legal residents of the community.

Amendment opponents said the number of illegal immigrants in public housing is minimal. They argued it would be unfair and inhumane to deny housing to these immigrants.

(A “Yes” vote is for requiring a social security number. A “No” vote is against requiring it.)

Sen. Joan Lovely  Yes

Sen. Thomas McGee  No



Senate 9-29, rejected an amendment requiring the state to submit a report on the details of and the cost to the state of the transport of illegal immigrants to the Hanscom Air Force Base and Logan Airport by Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The amendment was proposed to a bill that would fund the state temporarily until the Legislature approves a fiscal 2015 budget.

Amendment supporters said taxpayers have a right to know the details and cost, including whether any detainees were released from federal custody into the state, and whether the state has provided any detainees with state benefits.

Amendment opponents said they weren’t necessarily opposed to the idea but noted that the passage of the temporary budget cannot be delayed with consideration of amendments, or the state will run out of operating money.

(A “Yes” vote is for requiring the report. A “No” vote is against requiring it.)

Sen. Joan Lovely No

Sen. Thomas McGee No


HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozens of bills in the days immediately preceding the end of an annual session.

During the week of February 27-March 3, the House met for a total of nine minutes and the Senate met for a total of 20 minutes.


Mon. February 27

House11:02 a.m. to11:05 a.m.

Senate 11:08 a.m. to11:15 a.m.

Tues.February 28

No House session

No Senate session

Wed. March 1

No House session

No Senate session

Thurs. March 2

House11:06 a.m. to11:12 a.m.

Senate 11:00 a.m. to11:13 a.m.

Fri. March 3

No House session

No Senate session

Bob Katzen
welcomes feedback at
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Lynnfield History: A Sure Sign of Spring – Maple Sugar Time in New England



In his “Yankee Dictionary,” Lynnfield summer resident Charles F. Haywood (1903-1972) includes a delightful definition of “maple sugar.” Haywood, who graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925, had ample opportunity to witness the process of making maple sugar in his years “up country.”

The old days

“MAPLE SUGAR – One of old Mother Nature’s choicest gifts to those who have the stamina to winter in New England hill country. When the days are brighter and the light is kindlier and the snow begins to melt and there are foam flecked pools in the brooks, the maple trees awaken from their long, cold sleep, the sap climbs slowly through myriad capillaries – up through the trunk to the branches above – reaching for the sun. Then the first activity of the new season begins. A boy jabs his knife into a big maple in the grove on the sunny side of the hill and sees moisture follow his blade. He runs for the house, slipping and sliding over the corn snow of early spring, bursts into the kitchen and shouts ‘sap’s runnin’.

“His father takes his feet out of the oven, lays down his pipe and gets busy. By nightfall the spouts are in the trees, a bucket hanging on each one, and the farmer has ranged through his ‘sugar bush,’ noting which of the younger trees have come along enough to be bored this year. Thereafter for short weeks, everyone carries buckets full of sap, suspended from shoulder yokes, the ox team or perhaps a tractor hauls a sledge with tubs of liquid over the snow to the sap house, a wood fire blazes continually under the enormous shallow pan and, by evaporation, the precious maple syrup is manufactured. With further time over the fire, it may be reduced to maple sugar.

“Everyone is in the woods while the sap is running, busy carrying or helping with the critters, or feeding the wood into the fire or bottling the syrup. A sugaring off party in the snow is part of it, and then before one knows it, the sun has climbed still higher in the sky, the maple buds are bursting and dropping their husks on the old snow and the season is over. Vermont is king of maple sugar, but in Maine and New Hampshire, the Berkshires and northeastern New York, the farmers share in the liquid gold of the season’s first crop.”


In recent years the old labor-intensive method of collecting sap has been replaced with huge webs of plastic tubing from trees that drain into large tanks. The precious liquid is then boiled in oil-fueled furnaces. According to one account, “the technology has changed dramatically, but in essence the process is virtually the same. Collect sap, reduce over heat.” Given today’s natural foods movement, maple sugar, along with honey, is viewed as “an increasingly attractive alternative to processed sugar cane.”

“Big Maple”

According to a recent Boston Globe article, Sweet Tree Holdings in Island Pond, Vermont, has turned an abandoned furniture factory into “the nation’s largest maple syrup production facility.” Some “tens of millions of dollars” have been invested in this remote Northeast Kingdom location where many neighboring producers have feared a “sweet-spewing Frankenstein … that threatens the centuries-old craft of New England syrup making.”

Management tries to allay local fears by suggesting that, in addition to traditional maple syrup, Sweet Tree is interested in maple flavored drinks and gourmet maple vinegars, along with cosmetics and maple liquors. The company plans to expand into international markets. One expert maintains, “A lot of stars are in alignment for maple syrup … It’s natural … healthful … and associated with tradition and purity.” Time will tell.

But for traditionalists, maple sugar time is best captured in Grandma Moses paintings and the definition in Lynnfield’s Charles F. Haywood’s “Yankee Dictionary” – when a young boy in Vermont dashes home through corn snow and shouts sap’s runnin’.

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By Helen Breen


“Wahl-wedding”: Local couple hitched at famed restaurant





This couple likes their weddings done medium rare. On February 6, Wakefielders Shawn Cicerano and Jessica Cushing tied the knot in an unusual way by getting married at the celebrity-owned Wahlburgers restaurant at MarketStreet. Surrounded by around 50 friends and family (and customers), the couple said, “I do” outside the restaurant, aided by heating lamps in lieu of the cold weather. Store Manager Mark Rahall, who became ordained for the event, administered the vows.

“It’s one of our favorite places to go for dinner,” bride Jessica said in a phone interview. She said that their decision to wed at the restaurant was partly due to not being able to find any venues that fit their needs. That, and their daughter Paige loves the restaurant.

“It’s not traditional, but it was still fun,” Cicerano said.

Cicerano said she was initially apprehensive that the restaurant would say no to the idea, and that she and her family were taken aback when they embraced the wedding with open arms. “They got super excited about it,” she said. “They went above and beyond.”

Before they knew it, a camera crew came on board to film the wedding for the restaurant’s A&E television show, and guests were surprised by Paul and Alma Wahlberg, two staples of the family and cast members as well as the masterminds behind the menu.

Guests were treated to all the usual trappings of the restaurant, dining on Wahlburgers’ sliders, chili, chicken, tater tots and “adult frappes.” They also received Wahlburgers-branded pint glasses as wedding favors.

The episode featuring the wedding will air on A&E between April and June, according to Cicerano.

Wahlburgers has been at MarketStreet for more than three years. It is owned and operated by the Wahlberg family, of whom Mark and Donnie Wahlberg are perhaps the most well-known. The family, which originally hails from Dorchester, have franchises across the country and are beginning to expand outside of the United States. Their large family and focus on the “kitchen table” was part of their inspiration to open a restaurant.

By Melanie Higgins


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