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The Sounds of Saugus

Guess Who Got Sketched for April 29 Saugus Advocate
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Town Meeting is where it’s at

  It’s just a couple of days until the Annual Town Meeting convenes (Monday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m.). This will be the seventh one I’ve covered for The Saugus Advocate. But I’ve covered dozens of them in many communities in a newspaper reporting career that spans close to 50 years.

  Back in 1975, as a cub reporter for the Portland Press Herald, I got to cover Town Meetings during the month of March in 11 small towns in the Sebago Lake area of Maine – towns like Bridgeton, Fryeburg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Naples, Paris and China. Each community had its own character. The towns that held their meeting on Saturdays usually split up the morning and afternoon sessions with a potluck lunch. Women brought their knitting gear with them as they listened intently to the proceedings. I remember 90-year-old sisters in the tiny town of Sweden leading the charge in a stand against Central Maine Power, which threatened a trout brook with a transmission line it planned to run through the area. Small, but feisty and determined to protect their town, the sisters and the town of a couple of hundred people weren’t intimidated by the utility company. Then there were several communities out in the hinterland – far from Portland, the seat of Cumberland Country – who voted to “go to jail” rather than pay one dime toward the Cumberland County Civic Center that would be located too far away to benefit them.

  During my three years on Nantucket Island, there was always something interesting that came up at the Annual Town Meeting, too.

  The one common theme that was clear to me through all of these town meetings – Saugus included – was that most of the participating citizens took their civic duty pretty seriously and represented their constituents proudly.

  While Boards of Selectmen in these communities were the more glamorous and coveted political positions, it always seemed to me that the New England Town Meeting was the bedrock of local government. It’s the local Legislature that performs the most important task of all – passage of the town budget and zoning ordinances. Sure, selectmen meet more often and take a lot more votes on a variety of local matters. But none of them are more significant than passing a town budget.

  Anyone in town who is thinking about getting involved in local government by running for elective office should observe the Annual Town Meeting and Special Town Meeting (set for Monday night) proceedings – and then if still interested – run in the fall elections next year for one of the five Town Meeting seats in their precinct. Spend some time knocking on doors in the neighborhood, getting views from citizens about their local concerns and needs. And if elected, follow through on those concerns by addressing the town manager and the selectmen. If you lose, use it as experience and run again. Get involved with the Town Meeting members in your precinct by working with them on local issues, hopefully for the betterment of Saugus.

  Being a part of Town Meeting is a humane and noble pursuit, whether you’re a young, college-aged voter or a civic-minded senior citizen.

Calling all Saugus servicemen and women

  The Town of Saugus, along with the Saugus Veterans Council and the American Legion Post, extends an invitation to all local servicemen and women to join us at the Memorial Day Parade on May 28, 2022. Please contact the Board of Selectmen’s Office at 298 Central St., Saugus, Mass. or email the Board at jjarosz@saugus-ma.gov for further information. Come march with town officials, residents, students and fellow soldiers to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedom.

  The parade – which is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. on Saturday on May 28 (Memorial Day will be celebrated on Monday, May 30, the designated holiday) – will be “historical” this year, according to Saugus Veterans Council Commander Stephen L. Castinetti.

  Billie June “BJ” Farrell, the 77th Commanding Officer of the USS Constitution – the first woman officer in charge during the ship’s 224-year history – has accepted an invitation to be the grand marshal of this year’s Annual Memorial Day Parade and keynote speaker for the town’s Memorial Day Ceremony. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event that you cannot miss!” said Castinetti, a retired U.S. Navy captain.

  “It’s historical because Commander Farrell became the first female Commanding Officer of this great ship in 224 years. Come out and welcome Commander Farrell to Massachusetts and, more importantly to Saugus!! Meet the new Commanding Officer of the USS Constitution, Old Ironsides, on May 28,” he said.

A yard sale to help the Ukraine people tomorrow

  Dmitry and Lana Sevkovich, the Saugus couple who were featured in our April 8 edition for organizing a collection and shipment of clothing and crucial provisions to Ukraine, are planning more projects to help people who have been forced out of their homes by the Russian invasion. “We plan to schedule a yard sale event dedicated to Ukraine,” said Lana, the Russian-born woman whose husband comes from the Republic of Belarus – a country which has supported the invasion.

  “We’ll be selling t-shirts, bracelets, candles, etc. with Ukraine symbols. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go towards covering the shipping costs for our next humanitarian aid that we plan to collect in mid-May,” she said. “Our yard sale will take place on April 30, 1-4 p.m. at our address on our driveway 19 Baker St., Saugus.”

  So, this weekend, one Cliftondale family will be launching another humanitarian project from their home. Stay tuned.

Want to help make a better Library?

  The Saugus Library Board of Trustees is looking for a new member to join the team! Please send your resume or a letter of interest to the Saugus Board of Selectmen, 298 Central St., Saugus, MA 01906, or you can also emailjjarosz@saugus-ma.gov. Please submit your letter at your earliest convenience.


Interested in town zoning matters?

  The Saugus Board of Selectmen is accepting applications for appointments to the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Saugus, This is a volunteer/nonpaid position for Saugus residents. Those interested may submit letter of interest/resume no later than May 13 to:

  Saugus Board of Selectmen

  Saugus Town Hall

  298 Central St., Suite 4

  Saugus, MA 01906

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 St.

  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 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 and 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.

We have a winner!

  Congratulations to Svetlana Rosales for making the right identification in last week’s “Guess Who Got Sketched?” Contest. She was 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 Dimitry and Lana Sevkovich. Lana was born in Russia and Dimitri comes from the Republic of Belarus. Dimitri and Lana’s photo and their story appeared in The Saugus Advocate’s April 8 issue (Their picture was taken by Corinne Riley.) They are featured in an article by Editor Mark E. Vogler on page 4 which was titled, ‘Helping the People of Ukraine.’

  “It was a challenge to sketch the exuding love and compassion that freely flows forth from Dimitri and Lana! They have a continual willingness to show Ukraine people support with action.

  “Dimitri and Lana set out to help the people of Ukraine, using whatever they had at their hands with their daughter close behind.

  “The seed falls close to these great oaks, as their 4 1/2 year old daughter desired to give away her princess dresses to Ukraine children, which she will do in another time. A time when Ukraine is celebrating their Victory and freedom.

  “Upon sketching, a few words from a song came to mind that spoke to who they are and their deeds; words from musician Don Francisco‘s song ‘One Heart at a Time’ …In this instance, the lyrics were Dimitri and Lana’s life and actions ‘It all begins with you and me. One heart at a time, one life to another, one heart at a time brother to brother’ Don Francisco. That’s Dimitri and Lana taking leadership and showing us it all begins with us helping (‘one heart at a time‘) giving to those (‘one life to another’) and passing it through (‘brother to brother’) to get it packaged and shipped to Ukraine. (‘It all begins with you and me’)

  “With the Mission they took upon themselves to start, Dimitri and Lana sent 31 boxes to Ukraine! Commendable action! Dimitri and Lana have been organizing clothing/toys, products and provisions to go to war-infested Chernovtsy, Ukraine. Their efforts are helping our Ukraine neighbors who suddenly were stripped of human rights, struck with fear and moved like cattle with no watering holes in sight.

  “Dimitri and Lana are having another fundraiser to be that light that shines and balm that soothes. Hats off to Dimitri and Lana for their open hearts in leading to help those in need and getting the job done with fruition!

  “Lana and Dimitri’s YARD-SALE: Tomorrow (Saturday, April 30th), 1 to 4 p.m., 19 Baker St., Saugus: 100 percent of sales will go toward shipping costs for their next Ukraine Aid project they planned for May!

  “(They are selling various items, t- shirts, bracelets, and candles with the Ukraine symbol.). Keep an ear tuned to The Saugus Advocate “SOUNDS” for time of event. Thankyou

  “Yours Truly, The Sketch Artist”

A course in “Critical Thinking for Saugus Seniors”

  The Saugus Senior Center is pleased to announce a new program offering, “Critical Thinking for Saugus Seniors,” which is scheduled to begin next month. It is well established that engagement in thought and discussion helps promote and maintain good cognitive health. Modern brain research helps prove that engaging in critical thinking skills that include synthesis, analysis, evaluation, and judgment can stimulate the brain in a positive way. These cognitive skills will be applied to historical events, literary works and civic dialogue.

  The first program event will take place on May 18 at 9:30 a.m. It will consist of a showing of the two-hour historical film “Triumph of the Will,” which was produced by Leni Riefenstahl, who was commissioned by Adolf Hitler. After viewing the film, participants will break into teams of four to defend a position, assigned at random, that the film is either propaganda or documentary. Each team will then report their reasoning with supporting evidence to the larger group. Further discussion will take place about contemporary media and the impact of how individuals or events are portrayed.

  This program will be presented by retired educator Peter Manoogian, who has previously led teams of educators in similar activities at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s “Writing, Reading and Civic Education” summer program.

  “Critical Thinking for Saugus Seniors” will be limited to 12 participants per event. But, if there is enough interest among senior citizens, one or more additional classes could be scheduled. To register for the class (admission will be granted to the first 12 seniors to apply), please call 781-231-4178 or drop by the Senior Center at 466 Central St., Saugus.

“Shout-Outs” to the citizen volunteers

  We received no nominations this week from readers who wanted to nominate fellow Saugonians for “Shout-Outs.” So, with the 50-member Annual Town Meeting set to convene on Monday (May 2) in the second floor auditorium of Saugus Town Hall, let’s direct some praise and appreciation to all of the civic-minded Saugonians who serve in the legislative branch of town government. They will spend most of the Mondays over the next two months deliberating over important zoning and fiscal matters that affect all town residents – the most important item being the passage of the proposed budget for 2023 Fiscal Year that begins July 1. Hats off to each of the Town Meeting members – five in each of Saugus’s 10 precincts – who were selected by the voters last fall.

  Also, the town’s volunteer Finance Committee, led by longtime Chair Kenneth DePatto, are deserving of some loud “Shout-Outs,” too, for their painstaking review of Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree’s proposed budget. They will continue to meet through the duration of the Town Meeting season until a new town budget has been adopted by Town Meeting members. The committee has voted on recommendations for all articles with fiscal implications that are expected to come before the Town Meeting on its opening night. FinCom members will continue offering their recommendations on each of the articles that make up the town budget.

  So, hats off to the Finance Committee and Town Meeting members for the important work they do for the community as citizen volunteers.

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.

Comedy at The Kowloon

  The Kowloon Restaurant (Route 1 North in Saugus) continues its April comedy lineup with a colorful roster of funny men. For tickets and to reserve a table or for more info, call 781-233-0077. Here we go:

  April 29 (tonight): David Russo; hailed as the high-energy act that never fails to leave audiences doubled over in laughter, Russo has yet to meet a crowd that he can’t win over with his charm and upbeat attitude. His quick wit and clever improvisation skills keep audiences on their toes. His artful storytelling – combined with his flair for theatrics and killer Robert DeNiro impression – has entertained audiences around the country. Showtime is 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $20.

Become a part of the Community Garden

  The Rev. John Beach of St. John’s Episcopal Church continues to search for a few good men, women and children who would like to join a noble cause: the second year of the church-sponsored community garden. “We are inviting all interested persons to join us in producing vegetables for those who are suffering from food insecurity in Saugus,” Rev. Beach wrote in a recent letter to the community.

  Rev. Beach is looking for a variety of help as the garden approaches planting time for its second year:

  If you are able to grow a few seedlings in your home, we would like to bring the seeds, soil, pots, and instructions in the next few weeks.

  We would like to invite any who are available to help for an hour to help us prepare the garden on Friday, May 13th and/or Saturday May 14th between 9 a.m. and noon.

  Assist in the planting of crops on Friday May 27th and/or Saturday May 28th sometime between 9 and noon. We will be having a brief service of the blessing of the ground on the Friday.

  Assist for an hour a week in the tending of the crops (weeding and watering) over the course of the summer.

  Assist in the harvesting of the crops in September and delivering them to the Saugus Food Pantry

  “If you are able to assist, or if you are interested in contributing to the garden, please let me know. I am looking forward to working with you,” Rev. Beach said. He can be reached by phone (774-961-9881) or email (revjbeach@gmail.com).

Saugus Kindergarten Registration underway

  Kindergarten registration for students entering the Saugus Public Schools in the fall of 2022 opened this week. Registration packets may be picked up at the Main Office of the Veterans Early Learning Center (VELC) at 39 Hurd Ave. in Saugus Monday through Friday during school hours. The packet will also be available on the Saugus Public Schools’ website, https://www.saugus.k12.ma.us/.

  Completed forms and required documentation may be returned to the VELC Main Office starting Monday, May 16. Packet drop-off hours will be Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 11 a.m.; kindergarten screening appointments will be scheduled at this time. Screenings will take place on Wednesday, June 8 and Thursday, June 9 and will last about 20 minutes. There is no deadline for registration; however, the district asks families to return the forms by May 20 in order to schedule screenings, and plan for staffing and programming in the fall.

  Saugus moved to a free, all-day kindergarten model for the 2021-22 school year to better prepare students academically, socially and emotionally. A half-day option is not available.

  “Free, all-day kindergarten levels the playing field and gives Saugus children all of the building blocks they need from day one,” said School Committee Member Ryan Fisher.

  Students must be five years old by Aug. 31, 2022, in order to enter kindergarten in the fall of 2022; there are no exceptions. For more information, please contact the Veterans Early Learning Center at 781-231-8166.

Curbside leaf collection next month

  The Town of Saugus recently announced that spring curbside leaf collection will take place during the week of May 9, 2022. Residents may dispose of leaves curbside on their regularly scheduled collection day, between Monday, May 9, and Friday, May 13. 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. Stickers, which are free, may be obtained at Inspectional Services in the lower level of Town Hall (298 Central St., Saugus). 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 Lorna Cerbone at 781-231-4036 with any questions.

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 for someone from your family, school, etc., the general pricing is $100 for a 4″ X 8″ brick (three lines) and $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. 15 to ensure the bricks will be ready for Veterans Day. Please contact Corinne Riley at 781-231-7995 for more information and applications.

SHS Class of ’62 plans 60th reunion

  Leaders of The Saugus High School Class of 1962 would like you to “SAVE THE DATE.” Their 60th Class Reunion will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Prince Pizzeria in Saugus. They are reaching out to contact fellow classmates as well as other alumni who would like to join them.

  The well-known 50’s and 60’s music group of Howie Conley will be there for musical enjoyment. Those of you who have heard them know what a performance they put on. There will be pizza and salad combinations plus soft drinks. The price includes all you can eat, tax and gratuities – plus Howie Conley’s group – and is $29 per person. There is a bar available for wine, beer and mixed drinks.

  There is no need to purchase tickets at this time. Please let one of the following people know of your interest either by a phone call or a text message so that you can be easily reached when the time draws near. No commitment is necessary. They are just exploring the number of interested classmates.

  Donna “Cann” Olivera – 781-987-4308

  Jonni “Giantonio” Matrona – 781-439-4200

  Janice “Cristiano” Pomeroy – 617-512-2097

  Larry Seavers – 704-906-2606

A Rabies Vaccination Clinic in May

  Town Clerk Ellen Schena wants cat and dog owners to know about an upcoming rabies vaccination clinic that is set for Wednesday, May 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. This is for cats and dogs only. This will take place at the Animal Shelter at the rear of the DPW Building (515 Rear Main St. in Saugus). The vaccination costs $10 and can be paid by cash or check only.

  State law requires all dog owners to license their dogs

Food pantry seeking driver volunteers

  The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry seeks volunteers to make food and bread pickups on Thursdays and Fridays from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Anyone who has the time and interest to help out should contact Jeff Hirtle at 781-922-0661. The food pantry operates out of the basement at Cliftondale Congregational Church at 50 Essex St. in Saugus.


Friday morning Legion Hall breakfasts

  Here’s some great news for people who enjoy their Friday morning breakfasts at the Saugus American Legion Cpl Scott J. Procopio Post 210. Legion Hall, which is located at 44 Taylor St., resumed its Friday breakfasts and will continue through the last Friday in May of 2022. The buffet breakfast is served at 8:00 a.m. for a donation of $7.

  Bon appétit! And good luck to the Kitchen Crew.

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; they 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.

Want to be a Knight?

  The Knights of Columbus is looking for new members to join. If you are interested in becoming a member of this local organization, please call 781-233-9858.

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 school on Fridays to take home. Bags include such items as peanut butter, jelly, a loaf of bread, canned meals/soups/tuna/vegetables, pasta/sauce, fruit cups, cereal, oatmeal, goldfish, pretzels and granola bars. To sign up go here to complete online form: https://forms.gle/gmMGguycSHBdziuE9.

  Want to partner with us: HS2 relies on donations to create take-home bags for a weekend full of meals. 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. We would love to partner with organizations, 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.

  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.


Food Pantry still open

  The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry continues to remain open on Fridays between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. despite concerns over the Coronavirus. They have made adjustments to protect their core of volunteers and the needy people who receive the food. For the protection of volunteers & clients, and to limit personal contact and crowding/gathering, the food pantry has been distributing pre-bagged groceries. Even though clients may receive items they don’t want or need, food pantry organizers feel this is the best course of action to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. Those in need, even for short-term or one-time assistance, are encouraged to come.

  The food pantry is located in the basement of Cliftondale Congregational Church at 50 Essex St. in Saugus.

Attention Veterans and Surviving Spouses

  Q: What is Chapter 115?

  A: Under Chapter 115 of Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. Ch. 115), the Commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial and medical assistance for veterans and their dependents. Qualifying veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance in accordance with a formula that considers the number of dependents and income from all sources.

  Q: How do I find out if I’m eligible?

  A: By contacting the Veterans’ Service Officer in the town you live in. Here in Saugus, the Veterans’ Services Office is located at the Saugus Town Hall and may be reached at 781-231-4010.

  Eligible veterans and/or their family members must meet certain income criteria, and their military experience must meet the Commonwealth’s requirements. The Current Income Limit for single people is $2,147.00 – and $2,904.00 for married people. The Current Asset Limit for single people is $8400.00 – and $16,600.00 for married people. Assets do not include your home or vehicle.

  Q: Are these benefits taxable?

  A: Chapter 115 benefits are not taxable income. You must report this income when applying for or renewing subsidized housing applications, Section 8 applications and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programapplications.

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 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 and the temperature is 50 degrees or better, my preferred site for a coffee and interview would be the picnic area of the Saugus Iron Works.


Guess Who Got Sketched for April 29 Saugus Advocate

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 Dunkin’ 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”)

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