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


‘Makerspace’ creating a big splash at Lynnfield schools




Inspired two successful local programs, the nationwide creativity program ‘Makerspace’ has made its way into two more Lynnfield schools. Initially introduced to Lynnfield High School and Summer Street School, directors of the program experienced such good reception that they decided to bring it to the Middle School and Huckleberry Hill Elementary school as well. Last Tuesday night during a meeting of the school committee at the high school, Technology Integration Specialist Jenn Judkins and media teacher Sue Owens talked about the program’s various successes.

According to Judkins, ‘Makerspaces’ are “centers for creative play” that take a variety of shapes and forms. They are essentially ‘do-it-yourself’ projects. “You create something in your brain that you want to see happen in the real world,” she said. The program is ‘STEAM’ inspired – an acronym standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, and is age appropriate.

Each school has slightly different elements, but generally stick to the ‘STEAM’ theme. Huckleberry Hill School launched Makerspace on October 16th, 2016. Stations at the school include coding, construction/lego, recycled crafts, and electronics. Some activities include creating weather stations, zip-lines, and even ‘stop-motion’ animation activities. In terms of the reception, Owens said that the kids are “not shy” when it comes to the projects, and that they “help each other”.

“I think it’s an A+.” Owens said. “The teachers enjoyed it as much as we did.”

The Middle School launched the program on January 17 of 2017. Stations included video production, recycled crafts, green screen video production for 6th and 7th graders, and coming in March, robots.

Makerspace has been a “hot topic” in Massachusetts since its inception. As part of the program, Lynnfield schools are receiving visits from other schools to observe their use of the program and learn new ways to develop their own. “We’ve had a big demand for Makerspace visits. We leave the day feeling like we’ve learned something from them.”

The pair also added that the program has huge benefits for special needs students. Teachers described shy students who otherwise might not participate getting inspired when presented with the stations. “It was amazing.” Owens said.

In spite of the ambitious nature of the project, both teachers reported that they are still managing to keep costs at a minimum, partly by using recycled materials and being buoyed by donations and grants.

Superintendent Jane Tremblay praised the teachers for their work and lauded the program for its success. “[The program] is expanding educational learning opportunities in non-traditional ways…and creating intellectual learners,” Tremblay said.

By Melanie Higgins


Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick Center to Host Free Screening of Acclaimed “Being Mortal” Documentary on March 16 from 3pm to 5pm


Panel Discussion Exploring End-of-Life Care and Home-Made Refreshments to Follow Film

The Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick Center for Living is holding a free community screening of the highly acclaimed documentary “Being Mortal” on Thursday, March 16 at 240 Lynnfield Street in Peabody from 3pm to 5pm. Immediately following the screening, there will be a panel discussion and Q&A which will address concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences. The discussion will be led by industry experts, including a physician, social worker, nurse and spiritual counselor. Refreshments will be served and attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the panelists on a one-to-one basis.

“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Dr. Gawande’s own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how best to care for the dying becomes a personal quest. The film sheds light on how a medical system focused on a cure often leaves out the sensitive conversations that need to happen so a patient’s true wishes can be known and honored at the end.

“Being Mortal” underscores the importance of people planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions. Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70 percent die in hospitals and institutions. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so.

In February 2015, “Being Mortal” aired nationally on the PBS program “Frontline.” For more information about the film, visit The film is adapted from Dr. Gawande’s 2014 nationally best-selling book of the same name.

The free screening is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.For more information about the event or to make reservation, contact at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or ­­Jill Hurley at 617-889-0779.


Basketball Pioneers take down Stoneham in first-round




Lynnfield to host Whittier in a North quarterfinal round game Sunday

The Lynnfield High School boys’ basketball team (17-4, fourth seed) took their first step toward the Division 3 North title game Monday after defeating visiting Stoneham (8-14, 13th seed), 69-41 in a first-round game.

Mike Carangelo led the Pioneers on offense with 20 points and seven rebounds. Louis Ellis chipped in with 19 points and seven rebounds. Billy Arseneault, the Cape Ann League Kinney Division Player of the Year, was credited with nine points, eight assists and three steals.

Lynnfield’s big three were responsible for practically 80 percent of its points, but coach Scott MacKenzie measured his team’s success in this game by looking at the total picture.

“This was a terrific team win,” said MacKenzie. “We defended, we got out in transition, and we forced Stoneham to play at our pace, which was a major part of the game plan.

“I’m proud of the entire team’s efforts from numbers one through 16,” he continued. “They have certainly put in the work this season, and as a coach I am truly blessed.”

Early on, Stoneham deliberately slowed down the tempo of the game to prevent the likes of Ellis, Carangelo and Arsenault from lighting up the scoreboard frequently.

But the Pioneers adjusted with time and made the Spartans play on their terms. Without knowing what hit them, Whittier’s advantage whittled away. The Pioneers led by 19 early on in the third quarter, 41-22, and never really looked back after that sudden surge.

The Pioneers will have a few days to practice before they host Whittier Tech (16-5, fifth seed) Sunday afternoon in a Division 3 North quarterfinal round game, starting at 2 p.m.Whittier defeated Northeast Voke (8-13, 12th seed), 86-49 in its first-round game.

Watertown is the top seed in Division 3 North with an 18-2 record, and they had a first-round bye. Newburyport (17-3) and Weston (17-3) are ranked just ahead of Lynnfield, as the second and third seeds, respectively. They too won their opening round games. The Clippers defeated Lynn Tech, 70-36. Weston won a 76-55 decision over Saugus.

Bedford, the team that knocked off Lynnfield in the title game last year, took care of Amesbury in its first-round game, 84-60. They have to go up against host Weston in their quarterfinal round match-up Friday night.

There are still two critical rounds to get through before last year’s finalists can even think about history repeating itself, but MacKenzie’s crew hope they can alter the course of recent results in order to play on the famed parquet floor at TD Garden in a couple of weeks.

By Joe Mitchell


Hockey Pioneers shut out Winthrop, 4-0



Will advance to the D-2 North quarterfinals in Woburn Friday against Saugus

It was unquestionably the best win since John Gardner returned to Lynnfield five years ago to coach the Lynnfield High School boys’ hockey team, considering its significance as a state tournament game and all of the pressures surrounding it.

That was the feeling Tuesday night after Gardner’s Pioneers (11-8-2, 13th seed) upset Winthrop (13-4-4, fourth seed) in a first-round Division 2 North game in Winthrop, 4-0.

Gardner credits the win to a good week of practice, with the players buying-in to the strategy and willing to put the work in.

“When we scouted Winthrop, we knew they were reliant on the power play, so we told our kids to avoid penalties,” said Gardner.

The players were obviously paying attention, because Lynnfield was only called for one penalty the entire game.

The coaches also told them to watch out for the Winthrop trap in the neutral zone, and to keep an eye on the Vikings’ goalie, who has a habit of sprawling on the ice, making him susceptible to high shots.

All of these helpful hints must have worked, because it added up to complete domination by the Lynnfield boys.

After a scoreless first period, Johnny Percoskie ignited the Lynnfield attack with a goal gorgeously assisted by George DeRoche, according to Gardner.

Kyle Nekorski accounted for the second goal on an unassisted breakaway effort with just over three minutes left in the middle stanza. Just two minutes later, Percoskie lit the lamp again, this time assisted by Jaret Simpson.

“We had a problem this year gagging away games, so we told them between periods to stay within the system, because no lead is safe,” Gardner said.

Once again, the players fulfilled the wishes of the coaching staff perfectly, and Joey Mack provided more insurance to seal the deal on this upset win with an empty net goal late in the frame after the Vikings pulled their goalie for an extra skater to see if they could generate any type of offense.

Dave Langone demonstrated once again why he is an All-Cape Ann League goalie. He made at least 24 saves to blank a frustrated Winthrop team, sending his teammates to the North quarterfinals Friday night against a familiar foe in Saugus at Woburn’s O’Brien Rink, beginning at 8 p.m.

Throughout the past several years, both communities have teamed up to form a co-op youth hockey program. It continues to be a successful venture, but for at least this week they will be taking sides in this North quarterfinal round contest. It still should be a fun atmosphere in Woburn, as both teams vie to stay alive for a possible shot at the Division 2 North title.

By Joe Mitchell


Spring Clean Your Refrigerator!



Give your refrigerator a content make over. This spring in addition to physically cleaning the inside of the refrigerator do a makeover of its food contents as well. Discard items that are outdated or do not meet your nutritional needs. Restock with foods that promote health and set you up for easy meal planning in six simple steps. This is the advice in the Spring Issue Newsletter of American Institute For Cancer Research.

Now a day, all kinds of fruits and vegetables are available year round - unlike our grandparents’ time when winter meant bare produce shelves and spring meant fruits and vegetables would soon be coming.Yet spring is still a time to refresh habits and routines especially in the kitchen. Before we settle on those routines let’s prepare our surroundings to support healthier eating.Clearing out old contents in the refrigerator and replacing them with nutrient rich foods is a useful first step.

Here are sequences of steps to assist in that process.

Check out those forgotten left overs in the freezer. Consume as soon as possible if still edible or throw out.

Remove all content of refrigerator and freezer and wipe with a solution of vinegar and water.

Ensure the temperature in the refrigerator is no higher than 40 degrees F.

Freezer should be at least zero degrees F.

Keep foods tightly covered or wrapped. Keep raw foods in the bottom shelf, tightly covered and separate from other foods. And never place raw meats on shelves above cooked or ready to eat foods. Keep milk and dairy products in the refrigerator; condiments, water or non-sugary beverages in the door shelves.

Restock your refrigerator with: Green vegetables such as salad greens, baby spinach, asparagus, green bell peppers, zucchini. Colorful vegetables like carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and radishes. Fruits including strawberries, blueberries, melons. Low fat dairy: milk or soymilk, yogurt, cottage cheese. Other protein foods: eggs, hummus, fresh fish, poultry and fresh lean red meat. Avoid processed meats such as hot dogs, bologna, salami, bacon, sausage and deli meats.

Fill your freezer with: bags of plain fruit like berries and peaches. Packages of plain vegetables kike broccoli, spinach, peas, and green beans. Whole grains like whole-grain tortillas and whole-wheat bread and rolls. Brown rice or barley that you’ve cooked in a large batch can be frozen in smaller amounts in zip-lock bags. Cooked brown rice is also available frozen in the supermarket.

The same process can work for restocking your pantry or cupboards as well.

Having nutrient rich foods on hand is an essential first step to a sustainable healthy diet and eating pattern. Reduce health risks and increase your overall health and make meal planning and preparation easy and simple.

Anna Tourkakis is a nutrition consultant and founder of Eating From Within Nutrition, offering nutrition and healthy eating lifestyle and can be reached at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it T. 781 334-8752

By Anna Tourkakis,



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