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News

Opponents of Rail Trail call Rec. Commission endorsement dishonest

Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Wakefield to Lynnfield Pro Trail group for finally getting an endorsement from the Lynnfield Recreation Commission, even if they did it dishonestly, and resorted to manipulation. After all, an endorsement is an endorsement isn’t it? However, only three members of the seven eligible to vote actually voted in favor of the trail. Indeed, isn’t persistence an admirable quality? Well yes, but not when it becomes a nuisance and borders on harassment.

When persistence deteriorates into desperation it becomes pathetic, and when refusing to accept a “no” for what it is, further persistence becomes coercion.

Back in January, the pro Trail group attempted to get an endorsement from the Recreation Commission, why? – well, just because – that’s why; as they felt they were entitled to it. Unfortunately, they didn’t really have any reasons as to why the Recreation Commission should endorse their scheme. So, they retyped their FAQs, put a logo on the top and returned in February. Now, the thing about these particular frequently asked questions is that they are not being asked by anyone, and they certainly aren’t supported by “facts.” Unless of course, you like facts of the alternative kind. When the Recreation Commission asked questions about such basic things as how many people would actually use the Trail they had no answers. When Citizens of Lynnfield against the Rail Trail asked questions about costs, maintenance, congestion, safety and the environment, the pro Trail group had no answers. And when the Recreation Commission voted to not endorse the Rail Trail, the pro-trailers became belligerent and started telling the Recreation Commission that it was “their job” to endorse the Trail. Yes, in February the Recreation Commission voted to not endorse the Rail Trail. 3 members voted in favor of the Trail, 1 voted against, and 2 abstained as they felt they needed more time to consider the new information they had just been presented with.

Fast forward to March 7th, and the pro-trailers and their new legal representation returned to the Recreation Commission. This time they had a new trick, “no” actually means “yes.” As it turns out, apparently, under Roberts Rules for Public Meetings, the two Rec members who abstained, because they wanted more time to understand the complexities of the issue, weren’t counted in the original vote. So, the vote to endorse the Trail, by a seven person board, actually passed by 3 members voting for the proposal and 1 voting against it. With their “endorsement” finally in their hands the pro-trailers scuttled out of the meeting. Had they stayed they would have heard further discussion of the Trail and how members of the Recreation Commission felt that they had been manipulated, and that “this isn’t how we do things on this committee, and this leaves a bad taste in the mouth.” But they didn’t stay; they were probably too busy plotting which Town Body to harass next.

Ethics, honesty and transparency are not in the DNA of the pro-trailers, they are too obsessed with their agenda of pushing the Trail through regardless. That they care not one little bit about the abutters is of no surprise, however their scant disregard for the truth is a surprise in a group that purports to have the best interests of our “community spirit” (Lynnfield Advocate 03/10/17) at heart: they don’t, they are only interested in themselves. So, when they ask for your vote for the Trail in April, and that is what you are voting on, not just a lease on a railroad, please remember the depths they were prepared to plumb to get the endorsement of the Recreation Commission. So, pro-trailers – congratulations on your “endorsement” – you should feel really proud of yourselves.

Yours,

Philip McQueen

Citizens of Lynnfield Against the Rail Trail

 

The Advocate HOROSCOPE

Aries (March 21st-April 20th): From now until the 31st Mercury, the planet of intelligence and communication, will be in your sign- encouraging genius ideas! Your mind is going to be alert and bubbling with solutions to every problem. Those around you will be less fortunate however, and may be very caught up in their own lives.

Taurus (April 21st-May 20th): This weeks planetary energy will have you feeling sexy and sassy! Enjoy the confidence and show off your wardrobe. Be easy though with your words and attitude towards friends- sensitivity is high and you don’t need any guilt to ruin this pleasant energy!

Gemini (May 21st-June20th): Your phone should be blowing up with invites left and right, and now is a great time to start to mix your friend groups. If there is anybody you have been meaning to introduce and connect make those plans now! Your old friends and new friends will lead to new adventures- and more diversity (will help prevent boredom this spring!)

Cancer (June 21st-July 22nd): Any opportunities to make connections in your field of work- events, social invites and workshops should be jumped on! You magnetism and ability to attract powerful people is strong. Pushing for this growth now will lead to more money in the spring!

Leo (July 23rd-August 22nd): This weeks weather may have really gotten to you, and your likely to be curled up this weekend flipping through travel magazines/Pinterest. Fear not, spring is right around the corner and a busy social life next week will keep you distracted from the frost.

Virgo (August 23rd-September 22rd): If you find yourself feeling quite defeated right now step back and look at the big picture. Who is it that you are trying to please? There is a good chance you’ve accidentally gotten caught up in trying to make a miserable (by choice) person happy. It’s not you, it’s them…Let it go!

Libra (September 23th- October 22rd): Libras are infamous for struggling with making decisions. Big and small- they all tend to really stump you. This upcoming week (and even maybe this weekend) try to just listen to your heart instead of getting really caught up in your head. You’ll waste a lot less time, and you won’t regret choices based on feelings.

Scorpio (October 23rd-November 22nd): Pay attention to helping hands at work- the planets are encouraging you to recognize the person assisting you most, or at least the person who could. Whether it is a possible business partner or an assistant this person can be of benefit in the long term and has a genuine connection to you.

Sagittarius (November 23rd-December 21st): Your enthusiasm, humor and positivity will be at an all time high next week- and people will flock to you like a moth to a flame! Enjoy this attention and happiness- the winter blues got the best of you over the past couple weeks! Start this fun period of time off this weekend by going out with old friends.

Capricorn (December22nd- January 19th): Make those in your inner most circle a priority this upcoming week. With Mercury buzzing in your domestic sector, now is the time to connect deeply with your loved ones and work around the home. Any changes you make to your home will be successful too!

Aquarius (January 20th- February 19th): With high activity in your technology and connections area astrologically, next week is the best time to buy and upgrade your gadgets. Changing over to the new will go smoothly, and you want to get it done before Mercury goes retrograde at the beginning of April! April will not be your month for technology.

Pisces (February 20th- March 20th): Money will be on your mind right now, specifically how you should be saving and spending. Curiosity about how others handle their finances may strike you- if so, ask questions politely to those you admire. Process everything you learn from research, and plan the changes you want to make! Energies are on your side for success.

Francesca Piazza is a Lynnfield native available for astrology consultations, tarot readings/parties, crystal healing, custom jewelry, and reiki. Please like Sister Fran Designs and Readings on Facebook for more info, or contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Local Cub Scouts honor heroes in their community

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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

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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.

LOWER TUITION RATES FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (H 57)

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

 

SHOW PROOF OF RESIDENCY TO REGISTER CAR (S 3)

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

 

STUDY THE FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS AMENDMENT (S 1835)

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

 

MUST PROVIDE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER FOR PUBLIC HOUSING (S 3)

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

 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO HANSCOM (H 4217)

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
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

   

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