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The Sounds of Saugus

Guess Who Got Sketched for Nov. 18
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Good morning, Saugus!

  Thanksgiving is less than a week away now and the holiday lights and decorations are already out in some parts of town. Only six more weeks left in the year.

  As in past Thanksgiving weeks, The Saugus Advocate plans on publishing Wednesday, Nov. 23 – the day before Thanksgiving – instead of coming out on our usual Friday. We will have early deadlines next week, so anyone who needs to get announcements, news items or advertisements in The Saugus Advocate should contact us by late Monday.

  Plans are already in the works for one of the town’s most popular community events – the annual tree lighting ceremony and holiday festivities – set for 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. Stay tuned for details.

A great Veterans Day

  Last Friday (Nov. 11), Saugonians were treated to one of the best weather days in recent memory as a couple of hundred people gathered for the Veterans Day observance at Veterans Park.

Special Town Meeting Nov. 28

  Just weeks after having one Special Town Meeting, town officials are gearing up for another.

  The key item on the warrant for a Special Town Meeting set for Nov. 28 is an article that would grant the town manager authority to research, develop and participate in a contract, or contracts, to aggregate the electricity load of the residences and businesses in the town. Another article on the agenda would authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquire title to the land and buildings located at 42 Jackson St. for public parking and other municipal purposes. Another article will permit the town to appropriate money for acquiring the land and buildings at 42 Jackson St. In addition, there are several fiscal housekeeping initiatives that will be considered at the meeting, which gets underway at 7:30 p.m. in the second floor auditorium at Saugus Town Hall.


We did reach out …

  Better late than never, as the saying goes.

  Finally, this week, we got a detailed response from David DiBarri, superintendent of the Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School District, regarding our front-page story in the Oct. 21 edition, titled “Trouble in the Forest.” The article, written by Laura Eisener, focused on a group protesting the destruction of more than 13 acres of trees for the building of a new vocational high school. Saugus is one of 12 communities in the school district and happens to be right next door to Wakefield – home of Northeast Metro Tech.

  So when Laura – who does a great and thorough job on her “Saugus Gardens” article each week – happened to notice people holding signs at The Voke, she decided to check it out. The people she interviewed raised concerns about what they believe to be the needless destruction of trees to clear the way for the new school.

  Of course, it would have been a better story had we been able to get comment from school administration at The Voke school. In his letter, DiBarri criticized the paper for not reaching out to the school. “Had the author contacted the School Building Committee, or visited the school building project’s website atwww.northeastbuildingproject.com, they would have developed an understanding of the extensive work that went into considering alternative sites,” DiBarri wrote.

  Actually, we did reach out, but got no response, I advised the superintendent after reading his letter. Then I got an email response back from him that insisted “I can assure you though that nobody reached out to the school for comment.”

  The superintendent is mistaken, as Laura did talk to a real person at the school and was transferred to the voicemail of the administrative assistant. But she never received a call back. I also called the office that day and wasn’t able to talk with anybody either.

  I contacted Peter Rosetti, Jr., the Saugus member of The Voke School Committee, the next week, hoping he could get through to school administration. I played phone tag with the superintendent during the week after the story was published. And the superintendent’s response finally arrived this week. The superintendent apologized for a late Nov. 15 response on a story that was published four weeks earlier.

  We like to run letters to the editor when we receive them, no matter whether they are positive or negative.

  Sometimes, when a controversy erupts on a particular issue, government administrators prefer to criticize the media for not doing enough background on a story before publishing. Of course, it helps when these school administrators return calls.

  We still appreciated the belated response and hope The Voke administration can be more forthcoming in the future. Communication is a two-way street.

Saugus High School presents “SELFIE”

  The Saugus High School Drama Club is staging “SELFIE,” by Bradley Hayward and directed by Alisha Dolan, from Nov. 17 to 19 at 7 p.m. at the Saugus High School Black Box Theatre.

  Here’s the story line for the play: It’s senior year and problems are mounting for a group of high school students as they prepare for the future. Facing bullies, parents, pressure, sickness and their own self-judgment, the characters search for ways to stand out. As they document their year, one click at a time, they come to realize life is not about what other people see – it’s about the pictures they have of themselves.

  Tickets for the show will be sold at the door for all three performances: $8 for students and seniors, $10 for adults. Seating is limited. For more information, please contact Alisha Dolan of Performing Arts at adolan@saugus.k12.ma.us.

This week’s “Shout Outs”

  It’s always great when we receive nominations from multiple readers to publicly commend people and groups who contribute to the betterment of Saugus. This week, we heard from:

  Precinct 6 Town Meeting Member Jeanie Bartolo. She offered four Veterans Day thank you “Shout Outs”:

  “The first ‘Shout Out’ goes to the Town’s DPW Department for mowing the grass and raking up the leaves at Veterans Park for Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11th. Thanks guys!

  “The second ‘Shout Out’ goes to Stefano’s Landscapers for installing 20 bricks along the brick walkway at Veterans Park. A special thank you to the two workers who installed them; Juan Sandoval and Orlando Munos who did a beautiful job installing the bricks and tidied up the walkway one last time. Stefano’s Landscaping has done this for many years now at no cost to honor all Veterans on Veterans Day. We are so grateful to you. Thank you for all you do for Saugus.

  “The third ‘Shout Out’ is for TM Bank, new to Saugus, who donated and graciously served coffee and donuts at the Veterans Day observance at Veterans Park. They were warm and friendly to all and they passed out gift bags as well. Thank you so much for doing that for all who came to honor our Veterans.

  “And lastly, this fourth ‘Shout Out’ goes to the Belmonte STEAM Academy for the Veterans Day observance program they had on November 10th at the school. All Veterans were invited to attend. The Saugus Veterans Council members who attended had nothing but the highest praise for the children and staff for the respect shown to them and what a wonderful job they did to honor all Veterans.”

  Denise Chainey: “I wanted to give a shout out to the members and staff of ATCK Fitness in Saugus. This past week ATCK Fitness held a food drive and thanks to the generous donations from their members, they were able to donate two car loads of food and non-perishable items to the Saugus Food Pantry. This is just one of the many times they have collected items to distribute to those in need. They are always willing to help and give back to the community.”

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 (mvoge@comcast.net) with a mention in the subject line of “An Extra Shout Out.” No more than a paragraph; anything longer might lend itself to a story and/or a photo.

We have a winner!

  Congratulations to Fran Palczynski for making the right identification in last week’s “Guess Who Got Sketched” contest. Fran is one of several readers answering correctly, but she 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 Bill and Polly Stewart! Bill and Polly have been together since he first laid eyes on her at Lynn Beach! Fast forward: they are celebrating 65 plus years of marriage!

  “Bill Stewart is a humble man and the writer of The Saugus Advocate Sports column ‘The Old Sachem’

  “Since Bill is a Veteran, author of his own column; and we are in the midst of celebrating Veterans Day! I’ve asked Bill for a little of his story, so without further delay, here’s Bill!

  “‘I’ve often been asked ‘What did you do in the Army?’ I was exempted from the draft after Saugus High School. I was selected for the General Electric Apprentice Program and attended M.I.T. Lincoln Institute, studying math & engineering.

  “‘I was exempted from the Military draft during this period but after completion of this program, I was Number ONE in Saugus to be drafted.

  “‘I could have gone to Antarctica to build the first station there but I would have been the lowest Sailor, because I had served in the National Guard during High School and instead of an E-5 position, I would be at my National Guard rank of E-2.

  “‘I enlisted in the Army for three years when they offered me 058 Morse Code Intercept Operator School at Ft. Devens, Ma. While at Ft. Devens; my wife, Polly had our first son Will.

  “‘Upon completion, The 058’s chose their destination based on class ranking; I copied 30 WPM And was in top ranking; my choices were: mountains of Turkey, Germany, Hawaii & Far East which included Korea & Japan.

  “‘My buddies chose Hawaii. I chose the Far East hoping to serve 14 mos. then return to Ft. Devens as an Instructor…Instead, I was assigned to the Northern Island of Hokkaido at the 12th Army Security Station not far from the Russians.

  “‘When our son Will was 6 mos. Polly joined me in Chitose Japan. Our second son Bob was born there.

  “‘There became an upsurge of animosity between U.S. and Russia and the fear was of imminent war.

  “‘After the Army decided that we were in a position where they could not bring us out of if war was to break out, we were given new instruction and orders which included destruction of our high quality radios and crypto machines to preserve security before we were captured and the Army really didn’t want us captured.’ As stated by Bill Stewart.

  “(*Bill worked every day in a surmounting war zone with the smell of death hanging above his head, knowing that if he survived that day, tomorrow could still bring a widowed cherished Polly and fatherless toddlers.)

  “Bill states that ‘Luckily war NEVER developed and Polly, Will, Bob and myself finished our tour and returned to the U.S.A. We were ecstatic to see the Bridge at San Francisco after the harrowing period in Japan!’

  “Bill and Polly, thank you for both serving! Polly, in a threatened war zone, you stood by your husband. You both are brave and both need to be commended for your service!

  “*You know, didn’t someone say somewhere it was the morse code workers & ‘wind talkers’ who were a major hand at winning the wars ?…

  “Thank you Bill and Polly

  “Yours Truly,

  “The Sketch Artist

Want to sponsor a sketch?

  The Saugus Advocate’s “Guess Who Got Sketched Contest” is the signature piece of our weekly “The Sounds of Saugus” human interest and upcoming events column. It’s easily one of the most popular and most read parts of our paper.

  If you would like to sponsor the prize for the contest winner, in exchange for your business name and address appearing under the sketch, please contact the editor at mvoge@comcast.net.

“Turkey Trot” at Breakheart on Sunday

  Friends of Breakheart Reservation is pleased to announce that the “Turkey Trot” will be held this Sunday (Nov. 20), at Breakheart Reservation (177 Forest St. in Saugus; Forest Street is off the Lynn Fells Parkway near Route 1 Southbound).

  The 5 kilometer race course is on pavement through Breakheart Reservation. Walkers are also welcome. Costumes are welcome, but optional.

  Registration will start at 9:30 a.m. The race itself is free to all; however, entrance to the post-race raffle is by a $10 donation to the Friends of Breakheart. The raffle will be for turkeys and gift cards. The number of winners will depend on the number of entries to raffle.

  Refreshments will be available. For more details, please contact Breakheart Reservation at 781-233-0834, or Peter A. Rossetti Jr. at 781-233-1855.

Cemetery Cleanup Nov. 28

  The Town of Saugus Cemetery Department announced that fall grounds cleanup will begin at the Riverside Cemetery on Monday, Nov. 28.

  The Cemetery Commission asks members of the public to remove any personal and/or holiday/seasonal items from the grounds before the cleanup begins. The Cemetery Commission and Department are not responsible for any personal holiday/seasonal items that are not removed from the gravesites by the family on or before Nov. 28.

  All Veterans flags will remain on gravesites until Monday, Nov. 28, upon which time they will be removed for the winter season. Flags will be placed back on the gravesites in May prior to Memorial Day.

  If you have questions regarding the Fall Cleanup, please call the Cemetery Department at 781-231-4170.

Legion breakfasts

  Saugus American Legion Post 210 is hosting its popular breakfasts 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!

“Holly Jolly” coming to The Kowloon

  The Kowloon Restaurant announced that the Holly Jolly Holiday Party with The Platters® Very Merry Christmas Show is slated for Friday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Showtime is 8 p.m.

  The Platters are set to perform live in concert – playing all their hits and holiday tunes. Tickets are $25 per person. All seats are reserved.

  The Platters, who are hailed a rock and roll, vocal and Grammy® Halls of Fame group, will be joined by special guests Smokin’ Joe & the Henchmen. Kowloon food and beverage services will be available.

  For tickets: online ordering, front desk.

Fall Curbside Leaf Collection is underway

  The Town of Saugus announced that fall curbside leaf collection is taking place during the weeks of Nov. 14–18 and Nov. 28–Dec. 2. Residents may dispose of leaves curbside on their regularly scheduled collection day. Leaves should be left outside by 7 a.m. on the appropriate days. Please ensure that leaf containers are physically separated from trash and recycling.

  Paper leaf bags are the preferred method of leaf disposal. If you are using barrels, they must be clearly marked with yard waste stickers. Barrel covers must remain removed so that the leaves are visible.

  Plastic bags, cardboard boxes, branches and brush will not be accepted. Please note that separate trucks collect the rubbish, recycling and leaves, so the leaves may be collected at a different time of day. “Missed pick-ups” will not be conducted.

  Please contact Director of Solid Waste/Recycling Scott Brazis at 781-231-4036 with any questions. For more information about the Town of Saugus, visit www.saugus-ma.gov.

Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site closing for winter

  The Town of Saugus Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site will close for the winter season on Saturday, Dec.10 at 2 p.m. The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 10, prior to closing. The site will reopen for recycling on the third Saturday of the month in January, February and March, weather permitting.

  Please contact Director of Solid Waste/Recycling Scott Brazis at 781-231-4036 with any questions.

What’s happening at the Saugus Public Library

  For schoolchildren looking for interesting projects and programs to participate in this fall, there’s plenty to do at the Saugus Public Library.

  Adult Coloring Group: Come relax with our continuing Adult Coloring Group. It’s a great opportunity to take time to unwind, be creative and have fun. No experience necessary! We have pencils and coloring pages ready and waiting… See you there! Space is limited; please call 781-231-4168 X 3106 to register. The next session is Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Brooks Room on the second floor of the library at 295 Central St. in Saugus.

  Just Sew! Saugonians are welcome to join a monthly sewing class for adults that is 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, Nov. 21. The class will cover basic topics like sewing buttons, hemming clothing and mending torn fabric and will move on to more advanced topics in the coming weeks. This class is free. (See sauguspubliclibrary.org.)

  A neat teen group called Manga & Anime Club: The Manga & Anime Club began recently and, from all accounts, it’s a lot of fun for kids in Grades 6 and up. So, if you are curious, check out the Teen Room. Chat with friends! Make crafts! Try Japanese snacks! Club meetings will continue on Saturdays through May from 10-11 a.m. They will be held on 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 St., Saugus, Mass.)

  All About Crystals with Leeza Masia: This event has been rescheduled to Thursday, Dec.1, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Brooks Room. This is for fifth graders and up. Leeza will be showcasing some of her favorite crystals from her personal collection. She will talk about geological & metaphysical aspects of crystals and how to cleanse and “charge” any stone. Learn which chakras particular crystals associate with, and how to make two types of crystal grids. There will be a crystal giveaway at the end of the workshop!

  Please sign up in advance. Call 781-231-4168, come by the Reference Desk or sign up online from the events calendar: https://www.sauguspubliclibrary.org/events/.

Christmas Tree Festival at the MEG

  The MEG Foundation has announced its schedule for the 12th Annual Christmas Tree Festival, which begins on Saturday, Nov. 26, with the decoration of trees from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The festival dates:

  • Dec. 2 & 3 from 3 to 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 4 from 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Dec. 9 & 10 from 3 to 8 p.m.
  • Santa arrives on Dec. 10 for photos from 4:30 to 6 p.m. There will also be a Petting Zoo on the front lawn from 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Dec.11: Winners can pick up trees at the MEG from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  For more information, contact Linda Ross at 781-233-4607.

First Baptist Church presents “Can We Talk…”

  First Baptist Church Pastor Leroy Mahoney invites troubled people to join others in a special program called “Can We Talk … Community conversations on Trauma and Healing” the first Thursday of every month from 6 to 7 p.m. at Rev. Isaac Mitchell Jr. Fellowship Hall (105 Main St. in Saugus). “Join us as we gather in community to share our stories, thoughts and feelings about whatever you are going through,” Rev. Mahoney writes in an announcement.

  “As always, it is a safe space to come together in community,” he says.

Food pantry prepares for Thanksgiving

  Debora de Paula Hoyle, Administrative Assistant at the Cliftondale Congregational Church, submitted the following announcement on behalf of the Saugus United Parish Food Pantry, which operates with a team of volunteers out of the church basement each Friday:

  “Every year the Saugus United Parish Food Pantry provides the local community with Thanksgiving meals that include a frozen turkey, fresh produce, dessert, and Thanksgiving staples like cranberry sauce, gravy, and stuffing. Last year, we served over 70 families with full meals and anticipate potentially serving more this year with the increasing cost of groceries.

  “We welcome anyone in need to register to receive a Thanksgiving meal on Fridays from 9:30-11 a.m. between now and Friday, November 11. Pick up information will be provided upon registering.

  “We also count on the generosity of the community. We are seeking donations of non-perishable food items (please no frozen or refrigerated items), grocery store gift cards, and financial contributions. Deliveries may be brought to the side door of the Cliftondale Congregational Church (the driveway between the church and the MEG building) on any Friday morning through Nov. 11 between 8-11 a.m.

  “The Food Pantry will be closed on Friday, Nov. 25 in observance of Thanksgiving.”

  “P.S. The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry is an all-volunteer, collaborative, non-profit, religious organization [comprised] of the town’s churches and community members; donations are tax deductible. Thank you for partnering with us to ensure that our neighbors in need enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving! For more information, please contact 781 233 2663, or email cliftondalecc.org.”

  If you would like to volunteer or donate to the Saugus United Parish Food Pantry, please contact Pastor Joe Hoyle, Executive Director, at office@clindalecc.org or 781-233-2663. The Food Pantry is open every Friday from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m., distributing prepackaged groceries (including meat and produce) at 50 Essex St.


Wreaths Across America

  On Dec. 17 at noon, the Parson Roby Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is sponsoring their second Wreaths Across America event, helping both Riverside Cemetery and the Old Burying Ground Cemetery to remember and honor veterans by laying remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes.

  To sponsor your wreath(s) at $15 each or to volunteer to help place wreaths on December 17, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/MA0136P or use the QR code. There will be a brief ceremony at noon to honor all branches of the military followed by laying wreaths on our fallen heroes. Invite your friends and family to join the DAR in honoring our servicemen and women. The cut-off date to order is Nov. 28.

  Last year was the Chapter’s first year sponsoring this event, which had over 360 wreaths sponsored. The community really stepped up and the Chapter is grateful for all the support. However, there are more than 1,500 veterans’ graves in Riverside, and they are hoping that between the community and businesses there will be enough sponsored wreaths to cover all those graves this year.

  The Daughters of the American Revolution’s mission is to preserve American history and secure America’s future through education and promoting patriotism. For more information on how to participate or “What We Do,” email the Parson Roby Chapter DAR at parsonroby.saugusdar@gmail.com.

Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus

  (Editor’s Note: The following info is from an announcement submitted by Julie Cicolini, a member of the Board of Directors for Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus.)

  Who we are: Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus (HS2) is a nonprofit group of volunteers who are helping to offset food insecurity in households. HS2 provides students/families who enroll in the program a supply of nutritious food for 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, PTOs, 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 for a weekend full of meals. Checks can also be sent directly to: Salem Five C/O Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus, 855-5 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906. Online donations can also be made at https://givebutter.com/HealthySaugus.

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 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 mvoge@comcast.net.

  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 National Historic Site.


  Guess Who Got Sketched for Nov. 18

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 was sketched this week? If you do, please email me at mvoge@comcast.net or leave a phone message at 978-683-7773. Anyone who between now and Tuesday at noon identifies the Saugonian sketched in this week’s paper 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 Hammersmith Family Restaurant at 330 Central St. in Saugus. 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”)

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