If you have concerns about whether the town should close the ash landfill near the WIN Waste Innovations trash-to-energy plant on Route 107 or support its expansion, this is a meeting that you might want to attend next week.
State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) representatives are scheduled to meet with town officials and concerned residents at 6 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 28) in the second-floor auditorium at Town Hall for what is expected to be a discussion on the potential future of the ash landfill.
The meeting comes just eight days after the Board of Selectmen approved a Host Community Agreement (HCA) with WIN Waste Innovation officials. WIN’s deal offered to pay the town up to $18.8 million in return for using the ash landfill for another 25 years. But the amended version offered by Selectman Jeffrey Cicolini and approved on a slim 3-2 vote replaced that offer with a provision that would eliminate the $900,000-a-year tipping fees that the town pays WIN for waste removal. And the length of the deal would be reduced from 25 to 20 years and the town would not see reduced economic benefits if WIN is forced to pay more than $5-million in capital improvements or mandated upgrading of the plant.
What the DEP officials tell the town Wednesday night could, of course, render the deal meaningless if DEP doesn’t allow for expansion of the ash landfill. And if the DEP approves, the Board of Health would have a role in a site assignment hearing. And Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree would also be involved in what could be a long and cumbersome process.
If the deal dies, WIN will have to pursue other plans, like trucking the ash to Shrewsbury. The ash landfill is expected to meet its capacity by the end of 2025.
And for what it’s worth, the 50-member Saugus Town Meeting will consider a resolution opposing expansion of the ash landfill when it convenes on Oct. 24. Stay tuned.
Welcome “Orange Glow!”
The calendar officially changed to Fall yesterday.
But a sure sign of Fall in Saugus Center is when “the Pumpkin Truck” arrives from New Mexico, delivering several thousand pumpkins of all shapes and sizes on the Hamilton Street side lawn of the First Congregational Church, creating a phenomenon known to the Saugus locals as “The Orange Glow.” And that is synonymous with the start of Fall in Saugus.
If you have some time on your hand tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 24), show up at about 9 a.m. and help the other volunteers unload “the Pumpkin Truck” to set up “the Pumpkin Patch” at “the Pumpkin Church.”
Oh yea!. We have pumpkins on our brains for the next several weeks.
Pumpkins will be available for purchase every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Volunteers are also needed to help staff the various shifts for the selling of pumpkins. If interested, please contact Carl Spencer 781-233-9196 or just stop by and sign up. “The Pumpkin Patch will continue through Halloween, Oct. 31 or whenever the pumpkins run out. Get in the Fall spirit. Take your kids to buy one. Or buy one for your friends or loved ones.
Updating Gino details
Time flies when you are having fun. And sometimes we lose track of it and don’t get the details straight.
Last week, we had an item in this column on Gino Figliola, of Haverhill, the kid drummer who has traveled down to Founders Day celebrations for several years, delighting the crowd.
His mother, Brenda Figliola, who sort of works as his manager, texted us last week to update the information we received on Gino’s age.
“Gino started performing at Saugus Founders Day in 2013 at 7 ½,” Brenda wrote to us.”
That’s two years earlier than the information we received previously.
“I think I may have told you Gino was in 9th grade but he’s actually in 11th and (his brother) Rocco is in 9th, she added.
Gino has no direct connection to Saugus, but the town residents who watch play apparently love him, appreciates his drumming skills and welcomes him every time he returns to Saugus for another performance.
But Brenda’s love of Saugus is the reason why she has taken Gino to Saugus to perform for several Founders Day. She grew up in Saugus and lived in the town for 12 years before moving to Peabody in 1978.
Five of her seven siblings graduated from Saugus High School
1979/1980 Class BBQ tomorrow
See your Saugus Classmates and Friends!
See you at the 1979/1980 Class BBQ set for tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 24), from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Elks Grove, 401 Main St, Saugus.
Friends and classmates from other classes welcomed;
$40 per person.RSVP by Sept. 10th, 2022 to:
Peter Nicolo (1980) – 13 Bourbon St, Unit 55 Peabody, MA 01960, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (978) 815-8234 or
Contact Mike Allan (1979) – 4 Glen Rd, Topsfield, MA 01983 Allan7915@gmail.com – (781) 953-2279
“We hope you take this Opportunity to come see your High School friends and help make this a memorable event for all of us!,” says Peter S. Nicolo
This week’s “Shout outs”
We have a pair of “Shout outs” this week
From Precinct 2 Town Meeting Member Chris Riley:
I’d like to offer a shout out to Steve Castinetti. Steve did a great job leading the POW/MIA ceremony this week, and also does a great job running the Memorial Day parade and Veterans Day ceremony. Steve has served our country and continues to serve the town and veterans of Saugus. I appreciate his leadership.
From Laura Eisener, the popular author of “Saugus Gardens in the Fall:”
“I wanted to send a shout out to the anonymous person who weeded the Veterans’ Park this weekend. Crabgrass and other weeds had spread out over the bricks, making some very hard to find or read, and now it looks beautiful!”
Want to “Shout Out” a fellow Saugonian?
This is an opportunity for our paper’s readers to single out — in a brief mention — remarkable acts or achievements by Saugus residents. Or, an act of kindness or a nice gesture. Just send an email (email@example.com) with the mention in the subject line, “An Extra Shout Out.” No more than a paragraph. Anything longer might lend itself to a story and/or a photo.
Legion breakfasts resume
Saugus American Legion Post 210 is hosting its popular breakfasts again – from 8 – 9 a.m. on Fridays. The price is $8 for those who are looking for a delicious meal at Legion Hall. Bon appétit!
Transparency at its best
Some local politicians love to talk about “transparency in government.”
I would have to say that the town manager and Board of Selectmen and most of the folks in Saugus Town Hall are pretty good at making public documents available to me.
I wish I could say the same thing about Saugus Public Schools. Most of the School Committee members are accessible and answer my emails.
But the School Department could do a lot more to make public information available. The agency is not really compliant when it comes to public records requests. I’m still waiting for a response to a request I made to the public information officer a couple of months ago.
As I reflect back over my 50-year in newspaper journalism, few public officials I’ve met in my travels come close to matching the late Ector County Judge Gary Lynn Watkins, who I worked with when I was covering Ector County government in Odessa, Tex. for the San Angelo Standard Times.
One day when I was making the rounds at the Ector County Courthouse, Judge Watkins – who actually functioned as the chair of the County Commission – invited me into his office as he was sorting through his mail – all of it pertaining to county government.
As I sat down in a chair near his desk, the county judge started pushing correspondence he had finished reading in my direction.
He said something like “You’re welcome to read it to see if there’s any news there…It’s public record anyway.”
So, in 1977,as a 24-year-old enterprising newspaper reporter, I discovered an honest West Texas county judge, who was as transparent as any public official I’ve ever met could be.
And yes, his generosity paid off indeed. I did get a couple of scoops.
One of the letters that Judge Watkins let me read turned into a front page story – how Odessa, Texas was one of three West Texas cities in the running for a medical school. I broke that story.
Unfortunately, some weeks later while working out of the San Angelo Standard-Times bureau in Odessa, the newspaper’s bureau manager (another name for local publisher) put the kibosh on a story I was about to write about a grand jury investigation turning up evidence that local doctors were looking the other way on nursing home abuse at the city’s newest nursing home.
It was my investigative series on nursing home abuse which sparked a grand jury investigation that led to the indictment of the nursing home administrator for stealing a veterans check.
Yet, when I tried to write the story about the doctors’ role, the bureau manager told me that story wouldn’t be written. He was concerned that such a story would ruin Odessa’s chances of getting a medical school. I quit my job at the Permian Basin news bureau, but went to work several weeks later in the city room in San Angelo.
We have a winner!
Congratulations to Kim Alba for making the right identification in last week’s “Guess Who Got Sketched?” Contest. She is one of several readers answering correctly. But Kim was the only one to have her name picked in a drawing from the green Boston Red Sox cap.
Here’s the correct answer, offered by the person who goes by the name of The Sketch Artist:
“The answer to last week’s sketch is Joseph Alba from 2018 photos! This was a sketch request by one of our Saugus Advocate readers using 2018 photos of Joseph.
“Joseph Alba is a Saugonian and class of 2018 Saugus High. Throughout Joe’s High-school years he was running track and wrestling; proving to be one of the best and advancing rapidly.
“Joe has been a long-time participant with the Saugus Youth & Recreation Department. He now heads the track program, wrestling, street hockey, and flag football for our youth! He has worked in the afterschool program as well.
“Joe has faithfully assisted with various duties for Founders Day events. In December, at the Tree Lighting ceremonies, Joe was right there working on projects & events.
“He was seen several times dressed in character costumes for the kids which brought much delight!
“Joe, fellow Saugonians notice you and all you do!
Keep on shining!
“Oh, by the way, this week’s winner just happens to be Joe’s mom.
“The Sketch Artist”
What’s happening at the Saugus Public Library
For school children looking for interesting projects and programs to participate in this fall, there’s plenty to do at the Saugus Public Library.
Makeup FX 101
Check out Halloween makeup by Decimated Designs, which is set for .
Thursday, Oct. 13th, 6-7 p.m. in the Brooks Room.
Grade 6+ please. Please sign up in advance.
We will cover the do’s and don’ts of effects makeup,
hygiene, how to get started, how pro’s make monsters
jump to life, and some tricks to improve your
costumes/makeup at home.
Volunteer to be used in a demonstration and get your
To register, go to the Saugus Public Library, 295 Central St., Saugus, call 781-231-4168 or go on your computer to sauguspubliclibrary.org
Saugonians are welcome to join a new monthly sewing class for adults, which will be held the third Monday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room of Saugus Public Library. The next meeting is Monday, Oct. 17.
The class will cover basic topics like sewing buttons, hemming clothing, mending torn fabric and will move onto more advanced topics in the coming weeks.
This class is free. (See sauguspubliclibrary.org)
A neat, new teen club
The New Manga & Anime Club began last Saturday and its second meeting is coming up on Oct. 1, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Teen Room. Chat with friends! Make crafts! Try Japanese snacks! Grades 6 & up.
Club meetings will continue on Saturdays, through May, from 10-11 a.m.
They will be held Nov 12, Dec 10, Jan 7, Feb 4, March 4, April 1, and May 13. Please sign up in advance, call 781-231-4168 or stop by the Reference Desk.https://www.sauguspubliclibrary.org/new-manga-anime-club…/
Saugus Public Library 295 Central Street Saugus Mass.
Owls for Oct. 1 at the Iron Works!
The World of Owls Presented by Wingmasters and the Saugus Public Library Wingmasters will be at the Saugus Iron Works Saturday Oct. 1 at 10:30 am. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on!
No registration is required. This free program is recommended
for adults, teens and children ages 6 and up. Check our website after 9:15 the day of the event for weather-related updates.
Owls are probably more misunderstood than any other kind of bird. These are hunting birds, yet their sharp beaks and talons are partly hidden under feathers. Owls have more and softer feathers
than other birds, and this unique plumage gives them a plump, rounded look. Add an upright posture and huge eyes set in front like ours, and you have what looks irresistibly like a small, bemused person wearing a fur coat.
In reality, owls are superbly adapted nocturnal hunters. This program shows how owls use their specialized powers of sight, hearing and flight to survive and thrive. A variety of live North American owls provides the focus of this presentation.
WINGMASTERS is a partnership of two people dedicated to increasing public understanding and appreciation of North American birds of prey. Julie Anne Collier and Jim Parks are both licensed wildlife rehabilitators based in Massachusetts. Together they care for injured birds of
prey at their center in Leverett, Massachusetts. Most of the birds they rehabilitate can ultimately be released back into the wild, but in some cases the birds are left permanently handicapped.
Julie and Jim are further licensed to provide a home for these non-releasable raptors, and to use them for educational programs. Since 1994 WINGMASTERS has presented over 10,000
programs at schools, libraries and museums throughout New England
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Saugus Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Saugus Public Library
295 Central Street
Saugus, MA 01906
First Annual Family Fall Festival features owls
This announcement is from Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE). The group announced in this column last week that it was sponsoring a following FREE educational program featuring live owls as part of Breakheart Reservation’s First Annual Fall Family Festival on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We’ve just been advised that the York Maine Center for Wildlife will be unable to bring their live owls into Massachusetts for the planned show due to a newly instituted MA special permitting process (due to recent avian flu outbreaks),” SAVE told us.
“With DCR’s (state Department of Conservation and Recreation) help, we have been able to substitute a program by Mass Audubon, who is able to present five 20-minute live owl presentations throughout the duration of the Fall Festival, all within the Visitor Center. Presentation times will be at: 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.
“The good news here is that, although each presentation will be shorter in duration, having five shorter sessions will give more people the opportunity to attend and may even work out better for the family Festival experience.”
The entire Festival will run from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, with a number of activities available.
SAVE will also sponsor another “It’s New To You” SWAP once again this year at the Festival. The SWAP – an effort to help keep usable items out of the waste stream – will be held from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm at the Breakheart Christopher P. Dunne Visitors Center. The SWAP is part of SAVE’s continuing efforts to increase recycling by repurposing still usable goods and reducing what is put out as trash and incinerated.
The SWAP is another free event – no money, just a simple swap. You can bring items or take items; you do not have to do both. Bring usable items in good condition to the SWAP, typically those things you no longer want but that are too good to throw away, and perhaps find a treasure or two to take home with you. (Please, do not bring items that require special disposal.)
SAVE and DCR will also sponsor a short ecological tree tour, led by SAVE member Ryan Duggan, to help introduce visitors to the large variety of trees within Breakheart Reservation. Meet at the Visitor’s Center at noon to join this easy tour.
For more information about the SWAP, please contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the SAVE website at www.SaugusSave.org
Peter A. Rossetti Jr. of the Friends of Breakheart was optimistic about the fall festival – despite the fire that’s been burning for several weeks.
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has tree cutting crews set to go into the woods soon to remove the dead wood so that visitors will not be exposed to the dangers of falling trees.
“This will be the First Annual Breakheart Family Festival,” Rossetti said.
“It had been called the Fall Festival in the past and it was something we had been going to for 20 years. It’s going to be the same idea, but they will do away with pumpkin-decorating, which DCR just doesn’t have the staff to do anymore,” he said.
“DCR is downplaying the hands-on arts and crafts decorating of pumpkins. We do expect face-painting, some music activities and games for kids to play. It will last from10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 1.
Rossetti said he believes the festival will include a petting zoo and some nature exhibits featuring raptors and birds of prey. There will be a mounted unit, either from the State Police or the DCR.
The festival is being co-sponsored by DCR and the Friends of Breakheart.
Youth Cross Country
Hey parents! If you have a child or several kids who could use an opportunity to get into a healthier lifestyle – which might in term – lead to better academic scores, consider getting them to sign up for Youth Cross Country.
Here’s a simple outline of what this entails.
Who: Any Saugus child in grades 1 through 5.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. at the Belmonte Track; Saturdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m.at the Visitor Center at Breakheart Reservation.
Dates: The program began this week and will last through Nov. 15.
Why: to learn to enjoy Cross Country Running and make new friends.
Cost: $100 for new runners; $50 for returning runners.
This weekly program will be guided by Coach Steve Boudreau and Coach Chris Tarantino. Children will learn good stretching techniques and learn the basics of exercise and Cross-Country running. Best of all, this will be a great way to make new friends.
Participants need to wear a good pair of sneakers, dress in comfortable running clothes and bring a water bottle.
For details, contact Coach T (Not Mr. T.) at 781-854-6778.
Sounds like a worthwhile and affordable fitness program with lots of upside for grade school kids.
Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus Program Resumes for the 22-23 School Year
(Editor’s Note: The following is an announcement submitted by Julie Cicolini, a member of the Board of Directors for Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus, providing information about the return of the program for the new school year)
Who we are:
Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus (HS2) is a non-profit group of volunteers that are helping to offset food insecurity in households. HS2 provides students/families that enroll in the program a weekend supply of nutritious food when school lunches and breakfasts are unavailable to them on weekends.
How HS2 can help you:
HS2 bags are distributed at Saugus Public schools on Fridays to take home. Bags include such items as peanut butter, canned meals/soups/tuna/vegetables, pasta, fruit cups, cereal, oatmeal, goldfish, pretzels and granola bars. All food is provided to children free of charge. It is our hope these resources will support the health, behavior, and achievement of every student who participates.
To sign up go here to complete online form: https://forms.gle/gmMGguycSHBdziuE9
Want to partner with us:
We would love to partner with organizations, sports teams, youth groups, PTO’s, businesses and individuals to assist in feeding students of Saugus. To learn more about how you can partner with us visit the Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus Facebook page or email us at HS2Saugus@gmail.com
HS2 relies on donations to create take home bags with a weekend full of meals.
Checks can also be sent directly to:
C/O Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus
Saugus MA, 01906
Online donations can also be made at: https://givebutter.com/HealthySaugus
“Saugus 411” is coming soon!
Selectman Corinne Riley has been busy, helping to organize “Saugus 411.”
“Dialing 4-1-1 was the old way to get information on the phone,” Riley said this week.
“On the logo we use, it’s buttons to push the 411. The younger people will never know what it was like to call for a phone number.”
In an email this week, Riley updated us on what’s been done and what’s left to do for the special orientation event for new Saugus residents – Saugus 411, which is set for Oct.15th, from 9 a.m. to noon.
“Invitations went out to the newly-moved in residents. The list did not include all of 2022, just the beginning of the year I believe,” Riley said.
“We did include some of 2020 and 2021 as that was the first list we were supposed to have invited pre-pandemic. However, hopefully with information in papers and social media, they will know that even though it’s an invitation to new residents, it is also open to all who want to come by. “There are many people who have lived here for years and don’t know some of the things that are ongoing here. Then next year, if this is a success and we would like to hold it again, we will send invites out to the previous year of newly moved in residents.
“Invitations to the non-profit organizations, houses of worship, committees that I could find that were still active. We have already received a dozen confirmed tables to get their information to the residents and they were just mailed out on Thursday. I’m sure we missed some, but hopefully by spreading the word, it will get to others we may have missed.
“The other part of the schedule besides the tables of information, there will be a tour by students of the new High/Middle school complex. I’m glad the district will be a part of this event. They will also be hosting tables to get their information on their educational programs.
“We will be getting information out on social media to all Saugus businesses and services to see if they want to send business cards, or menus, or pens, etc. Nothing monetary, but to promote their businesses in a “welcome bag” that we will be giving out.
“There will be tables to help residents on town permitting, voting, CHARM center, and other town questions we can help them with. Also, we will be passing out a list of State and local elected officials with contact information so they know who they are and will help them with what precinct they live in to give them their Town Meeting representatives.
“I really feel this is a great community outreach and hope we get a great turnout.
Stay tuned for more details, Saugus residents, especially newcomers.
Saugus seeks student poll workers
Town Clerk Ellen Schena’s Office is looking for student election workers. It is a great way for them to learn how their government functions and how important it is to vote. Sixteen-year-old students are eligible to work ½ day (6-8 hours); 17–18-year-old students may work a full day (8-12hours). All students can receive community service which is imperative to them in order to satisfy their High School requirement mandated for graduation. Or, they can be paid for their hours worked. In addition, the Town Clerk’s Office will gladly write letters of recommendation for National Honors Society, Colleges, etc. Interested students can stop by Town Hall or contact the Town Clerk’s Office to apply for work. Ask for Andrew DePatto, the Saugus Election Coordinator. He can be reached at 781-231-4102.
Food pantry seeks volunteers
Here’s a message from Pastor Joe Hoyle of the Cliftondale Congregational Church about a collaborative community commitment to help needy Saugus residents:
“The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry is a partnership between the churches in Saugus to ensure that no one in our community faces food insecurity.
“With faithful donations and volunteers, we have been able to give out thousands of meals to our neighbors in need throughout the years. The Food Pantry is open every Friday from 9:30am-11am, distributing pre-packaged groceries (including meat and produce) at 50 Essex St.
“We are always in need of volunteers. If you would like to volunteer or donate, please contact Pastor Joe Hoyle, Executive Director at email@example.com or 781-233-2663.”
Buy a brick to honor a Saugus veteran
The Saugus War Monument Committee once again is sponsoring the Buy A Brick Program to honor all those who have served their country.
If you would like to purchase one in the name of someone who is presently serving or has served, in the memory of a loved one, or just from your family, school, etc., the general pricing is $100 for a 4″ X 8″ brick (three lines), $200 for 8″ X 8″ brick (five lines). Each line is a maximum of 15 characters.
The improvement and upkeep of the monument on the corner of Winter and Central streets rely on the generosity of donors through fundraising.
The brick application must be in by Sept. 15th to ensure the bricks will be ready for Veterans Day. Please contact Corinne Riley 781-231-7995, for more information and applications.
Looking for book donations
The New Friends of the Saugus Public Library are asking for donations of gently-used adult hardcover and softcover Fiction for the ongoing book sale in the Community Room. They would also appreciate donations of gently-used Children’s Books.
Please limit donations at this time to ONLY Fiction and Children’s books; we do not have storage space for other genres or media.
Please….clean and newer books only. No tattered pages, bad odors, stains, or dirty covers!
Books may be dropped off at the Main Circulation Desk during business hours. Please DO NOT place donations in the outdoor book drops.
Compost site now open
The community’s compost site will be open to residents on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The site is located behind the Department of Public Works at 515 Main Street.
Stickers are required to gain seasonal access to the site. Stickers may be purchased for $25.00 at the Department of Public Works (DPW) located at the Compost Site when making your visit to the Compost Site. The Town accepts checks only for payment of the $25.00. No cash will be accepted. Kindly bring a check when visiting. Thank you!
Compost site stickers must be permanently placed on the lower left corner of the residents’ automobile windshields. Vehicles registered out of state are not permitted.
Yard waste must be disposed of in brown compost bags or open containers. The Town will accept grass clippings, leaves, and brush. As in years past, no branches or limbs larger than three inches in diameter are permitted.
We ask all residents to please wear a mask, maintain and respect social distancing from others while visiting the site. Residents may call Lorna Cerbone at the Solid Waste and Recycling Department at 781-231-4036 with questions or for more information.
Let’s hear it!
Got an idea, passing thought or gripe you would like to share with The Saugus Advocate. I’m always interested in your feedback. It’s been nearly six and a half years since I began work at The Saugus Advocate. I’m always interested in hearing readers’ suggestions for possible stories or good candidates for The Advocate Asks interview of the week. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have some interesting views on an issue that you want to express to the community? Submit your idea. If I like it, we can meet for a 15-to-20-minute interview over a hot drink at a local coffee shop. And, I’ll buy the coffee or tea. Or, if you prefer to continue practicing social distancing and be interviewed from the safety of your home on the phone or via email, I will provide that option to you as the nation recovers from the Coronavirus crisis.
If it’s a nice day, my preferred site for a coffee and interview would be the picnic area of the Saugus Iron Works.
CONTEST SKETCH OF THE WEEK
GUESS WHO GOT SKETCHED? If you know the right answer, you might win the contest. In this week’s edition, we continue our weekly feature where a local artist sketches people, places and things in Saugus. Got an idea who’s being sketched this week? If you do, please email me at email@example.com or leave a phone message at 978 683-7773. Anyone who identifies the Saugonian sketched in this week’s paper between now and Tuesday at Noon qualifies to have their name put in a green Boston Red Sox hat with a chance to be selected as the winner of a $10 gift certificate, compliments of Dunkin’ Donuts in the Food Court at the Saugus Square One Mall. But you have to enter to win! Look for the winner and identification in next week’s “The Sounds of Saugus.” Please leave your mailing address in case you are a winner. (Courtesy illustration to The Saugus Advocate by a Saugonian who goes by the name of “The Sketch Artist”)