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


The Advocate HOROSCOPE

Aries (March 21st-April 20th): As Venus continues retrograde in your sign for the next couple weeks, you may find yourself easily agitated. Frustration may get the best of you, and on top of that some old emotions may resurface. Stay strong and feel it all- this will pass!

Taurus (April 21st-May 20th): This weekend and next week you are likely to be out of steam. Life has taken a lot out of you lately and now is the time to rest. Friends may not be super understanding of your lack of energy, and will push for you to do things you don’t want. No means no, tell them just that!

Gemini (May 21st-June20th): Fear of missing out, or “fomo” as the kids call it, may get the best of you next week. Although you want to be everywhere, and do everything, you can’t forget about your usual weekly responsibilities. You’ll look bad to your boss if you aren’t where your suppose to be (and theres a picture on Facebook to prove it!)

Cancer  (June 21st-July 22nd): Physical energy is likely to be low this weekend after a chaotic week. Your moodiness and impatience will be a reflection of this- so take time for yourself instead of trying to do it all. Cash should be heading your way next week, have a plan for it and avoid spontaneous spending!

Leo (July 23rd-August 22nd): One thing after another lately huh Leo? If the world feels like it’s against you lately, take a look at the big picture. Are all these mishaps really that unpredictable? There is a good chance you have to have a talk with your family next week about some changes.

Virgo (August 23rd-September 22rd): With Venus going retrograde for quite a bit, next week and for most of March you are going to be very testy at work. Be very careful before speaking, as your direct communication may accidentally hurt feelings. You just want to be productive, but don’t talk to people like they’re babies!

Libra  (September 23th-October 22rd): The planets will stir up some drama for you this weekend likely with your partner or closest friends. Try not to bring up the past, and focus on your current emotions. Next week will lead to healing and self reflection- encourage this with some meditative time outdoors!

Scorpio (October 23rd-November 22nd): The stars are not in your favor right now for productivity. You are likely to get sick within the first week of March, or at least very tired. Rest, take vitamins and get fresh air. This will pass quickly, and you should be very productive from home!

Sagittarius (November 23rd-December 21st): Speaking your mind gets you in trouble from time to time- you probably know this already Sagittarius. Be wary of this power however next week at work- being too direct may get you spoken to by hirer ups. No big issues to fear, just don’t want to look bad!

Capricorn (December22nd- January 19th): Next week you really have the power to communicate and persuade. Take advantage of this- at work, home or with friends. Whatever it is that you have been trying to show someone the positive side, you can get through now! Feedback will also be helpful for the long term.

Aquarius (January 20th- February 19th): The sun is on your side for getting your daily personal and work routine and check. You may want to take on more, or just change it up a bit. Have a plan and stay realistic!

Pisces (February 20th- March 20th): The sun is in your sign for most of the month Pisces- and it’s all about YOU! What do you want to change up? Stand up for yourself and give a little less to those around you- at least energy wise! Time with friends is very important next week.

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 .



JM Electrical and EMC Complete Energy Upgrade at Holyoke Community College

Electrical contractors provide campus-wide energy upgrade; bring school closer to energy conservation goal

JM Electrical Company, Inc., the leader in advanced automated building system installations, today announced that it has completed an energy services project at Holyoke Community College (HCC), a 3-year community college located in Holyoke. The company worked with the Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) and Energy Management and Controls Services (EMC) on the upgrades.

JM Electrical participated in a complete energy upgrade of the campus, including installing air handling units (AHUs), hot water pumps, and variable air volume (VAV) boxes in all classrooms. Where VAV boxes are typically replaced, JM performed a unique service of retrofitting the boxes. Additionally, JM’s staff assisted in reworking existing fire alarms to accommodate a ceiling replacement, all while ensuring the coordination of trades did not majorly impact the school’s students and staff.

“We are proud of our work at Holyoke Community College because the energy upgrades will significantly improve the comfort level of students and professors throughout the campus,” said Adam Palmer, Project Manager at JM Electrical. “The changes will also preserve the school’s infrastructure for years to come.”

Founded in 1946, Holyoke Community College provides affordable, high quality education and workforce training. It offers nearly one hundred degree and certificate programs, preparing students to transfer to a four-year college or to enter immediately into the workforce. With the major energy upgrades completed by JM Electrical in the majority of the classrooms, office suites, and HVAC systems, HCC energy consumption will be significantly reduced.

“This particular project was especially complicated, with many different components and necessary services,” said Jim Jones, president at EMC. “JM’s experienced team along with ours made for an ideal partnership, and we were able to ensure a comfortable working environment for professors and students alike.”

JM Electrical has more than 30 years of experience and expertise in the installation of advanced control and automation systems, and has recently completed multiple large-scale installations at developments in the Greater Boston area. Among these are Northeastern University’s Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex, Boston University’s Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering, and Harvard Memorial Church.

EMC has 30 years of experience in the design, installation and maintenance of direct digital control systems. The company offers a variety of services including systems consultation, control system design and controller programming to customers across New England.


Town to recodify archaic zoning bylaws

The town’s outdated zoning bylaws will soon be getting a long-needed update, Planning Committee members announced at their February 14 meeting at the Merritt Center.

John Faria, chair of the committee, emphasized that the recodification would not be a ‘re-write,’ but a “rewording and tightening of the current text” so that it meets the current state legal standards. Currently there are also holes in the bylaws that make some of the laws unenforceable.

“We had serious legal deficiencies we have since corrected,” Faria said. Faria likened the bylaws to those found in the 1940s and 50s, and said that the town has been “lucky” that no one has tried to take any “legal shots” at it.

The town has been meeting with Special Counsel Mark Bobrowski to work out how best to change the law without negatively affecting residents. Members of the committee emphasized that in order for the new law to work effectively it would require collaboration with the community.

Faria said that the final version would be available online, but he was unable to say when and where. The final version of the bylaws will go to Town Meeting for approval. If passed, they will go to the state Attorney General’s office for final approval.

By Melanie Higgins


Plundering The Ship: Historical Commission, owners in talks to preserve artifacts




Last Thursday afternoon parties representing Ship Mall LLC, the owner of the storied “Ship” restaurant, conducted a walk-through of the property with members of the Historical Commission to initially assess its historical value. The restaurant, which served its last meal in January, has been in somewhat of a purgatory as both stakeholders and the town decide on how best to handle the property.

Ship Mall intends to bulldoze the restaurant to make way for a number of developments, including a coffee shop, an East Boston Savings Bank branch, and a condominium complex, but plans have been delayed over whether or not the commission thinks the former restaurant contains any items of significant historical value. Ted Regnante, attorney for Ship Mall, has argued that there are none. However, during the walk-through, members of the commission noted that in fact there may be some items worth preserving, such as the mast of the “ship” and an eagle carving affixed to the ship’s rear.

The rest of the items in the restaurant – such as model boats, photographs, furniture and kitchen equipment – had tags attached to them in the event of an auction. The auction, which was initially scheduled for the previous day, has been postponed indefinitely until members of the commission can negotiate with the owners on which items they hope to preserve.

Steve Todisco, chair of the historical commission, placed particular emphasis on the mast of the ship, which he equated to similar iconic figures along Route 1, such as the dinosaur of Route 1 Miniature Golf & Batting Cages and the cactus belonging to Frank Giuffrida’s Hilltop Steak House. Both sites have since closed, but new management has retained the icons. Todisco voiced that he hoped Ship Mall would do the same.

“This is our Route 66,” Todisco said, referring to the western U.S. highway that shares similar historic importance. “It’s a landmark. It’s the gateway to Lynnfield. As a retail project it’s in your best interest to have some artifacts people can relate to.”

Todisco suggested that the owners “stylize” the mast so as to incorporate it into the new buildings. In a conversation after the tour, Todisco said that the artifacts would only compliment the new buildings, which he said are not “earth shattering” in terms of architecture. Board of Selectmen Chair Phil Crawford, who was also present, suggested the mast be shortened in length so as not to overwhelm the property.

Faith Honer-Coakley, secretary for the commission, suggested that there be signage where future visitors can scan QR codes that reveal historical information about the property. The feature is popular in some museums and historical sites.

Nick Fay, a representative for Georgetown Capital Management, emphasized that the group intends to work with the historical commission and heed their concerns. At the same time, he said, they are also trying to be mindful of the tenants who would assume the space. He acknowledged the difficulty in striking the right balance. “It’s been a rough ride,” Fay said.

Regnante declined to comment specifically on the process, but said that he agrees that some sort of “homage” should be paid to the site.

“We appreciate that the owners are willing to work with the town and keep the property into perpetuity,” Crawford said.

“Lynnfield is constantly changing,” Honer-Coakley added. “We’re just trying to hang on to what we can.”

Todisco said that overall the process to determine the Ship’s value should not take long. “We’re not here to drag this out for a year,” he said, suggesting that the process could be over in as little as a month.

By Melanie Higgins


Beacon Hill Roll Call

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records the votes of local representatives on three roll calls from February 2. There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week.

All three roll calls are on proposed new rules to a package of rules under which the Legislature will operate in 2017-2018.


House 37-122, rejected a proposed new joint rule requiring that legislators receive a copy of any conference committee version of a bill by 5 p.m. on the day prior to voting on the bill. Current rules set the deadline at 8 p.m. Both rules prohibit the Legislature from voting on the bill prior to 1 p.m. the following day.

Supporters of the new rule said the 8 p.m. deadline gives members only 17 hours to read and understand what are often long and complicated bills. They argued the 5 p.m. deadline would give legislators three more hours to read the measure.

Opponents of the new rule said the 8 p.m. deadline has worked well for several years.

(A “Yes” vote is for the 5 p.m. deadline. A “No” vote is against the 5 p.m. deadline and favors the current 8 p.m. one.)

Rep. Stephan Hay                                    No

Rep. Bradley Jones                                 Yes

Rep. Theodore Speliotis                       No

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                No



House 38-121 rejected a proposed new joint rule that would require that a roll call automatically be held on all bills acted upon by joint committees when the committee gives the measure a favorable or unfavorable report. Current rules only require a roll call if two members of the committee request it.

The proposal also requires that the roll calls be posted on the Legislature’s website within 48 hours. The current rule is vague and requires committee votes to be kept in the committee’s offices at the Statehouse and “be available for public inspection upon reasonable notice and during regular office hours.”

Supporters of the new rule said giving legislators the option to ask for a roll call vote does not go far enough.They argued the new rule would simply give the public quick and easy access to the committee votes of their legislators. They noted under current rules, a person must go to the Statehouse in Boston during regular business hours in order to obtain this information.

Opponents of the new rule said the current requirement that a roll call must be held if requested by two members is sufficient and offers more flexibility.

(A “Yes” vote is for requiring a roll call vote and posting the roll calls on the website. A “No” vote is against requiring and posting.)

Rep. Stephan Hay                                    No

Rep. Bradley Jones                                 Yes

Rep. Theodore Speliotis                       No

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                No



House 34-124, rejected a proposed new House rule that would require typed, printed copies of each bill being considered by the House be made available to members when the bill is being considered by the House. Current rules allow the speaker of the House to determine the format of the bills.

Supporters of the new rule said that currently a single copy of the bill is kept in a small metal box, commonly called “the can,” on the rostrum and made available to 160 members before a House session begins. They noted that once the session gets underway, rank and file members are restricted from having access to the rostrum and can’t see amendments and later versions of the bill. They argued that this system is impractical and results in many representatives not having an up-to-date copy of the bill or amendment that is being debated. They noted that sometimes later versions of the bill are not available online.

Opponents of the new rule said Wi-Fi is available in the House chamber. They noted that the new rule is unnecessary and a costly waste of time when members can get the text of any bill or amendment at any time during the session from his or her laptop or smartphone.

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

Rep. Stephan Hay                                    No

Rep. Bradley Jones                                 Yes

Rep. Theodore Speliotis                       No

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                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 13-17, the House met for a total of three hours and 39 minutes and the Senate met for a total of 10 hours and 52 minutes.

Mon. February 13

No House session

Senate 11:07 a.m. to 4:06 p.m

Tues.February 14

House11:02 a.m. to11:15 a.m

No Senate session

Wed. February 15

House10:31 a.m. to 1:46 p.m.

Senate 10:31 a.m. to 1:37 p.m.

Thurs. February 16

House11:00 a.m. to11:11 a.m.

Senate 11:06 a.m. to 1:53 p.m.

ri. February 17

No House session

No Senate session.


Bob Katzen
welcomes feedback at
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