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The Sounds of Saugus

Guess Who Got Sketched for April 22 Saugus Advocate
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Five decades of “Earth Day reporting”

  As I look back on my professional newspaper reporting career, which essentially began about 50 years ago this upcoming September, I was assigned to cover a wide ranges of beats: town government, City Hall, county government, the State House (in Tallahassee, Fla., and Albany, N.Y.), the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, courts, the School Department/Education, Business, features, general assignment and investigative reporter. Ironically, the one beat that I did not have was environmental reporter – an assignment that I truly wanted when the opportunity arose at several newspapers in Massachusetts, Florida and Texas.

  But not having the specific title of environmental reporter or writer never stopped me from researching and writing meaningful environmental stories and investigative projects. At most of the newspapers I worked at, I was the reporter who was either assigned investigations full-time or encouraged to do the investigative reporting in addition to other assignments.

  So, it was only natural that citizen or reader complaints about pollution came with the territory of being an investigative reporter. My investigation of oilfield pollution in West Texas for the Midland Reporter-Telegram during the late 1970s led to a seven-part series, “Water, Texas Lifeblood” – three parts of which dealt directly with oilfield pollution.

  Then there was the expose I did on a pesticide manufacturer in the southern part of Lake County, Fla., in 1980 with the Leesburg Commercial. As part of my reporting, I learned that the president of the chemical company was also the chair of the Lake County Pollution Control Board – an important local government body that received very little media coverage over the years. The company’s polluted site eventually wound up being cited on the U.S. EPA’s Hazardous Waste Site List.

  Then, during my five and a half years with North Shore Sunday (when the paper was distributed to 110,000 people in 11 cities and towns on the North Shore – including Saugus) during the late 1980s and early 1990s, I immersed myself in the topic of hazardous chemicals threats and pollution within our circulation area. The research made it easier to report on and write stories about a Saugus chemical plant owned by a German company after ammonia gas leaked from the plant and threatened town residents who lived nearby. Fueled by our stories that there were serious problems facing town residents, the town’s Board of Health took notice and got aggressive in its dealings with the company, which eventually left town.

  These are three of many environmental reporting projects I have undertaken during my newspaper career. But they were the major projects that each involved hundreds of hours of research, patience and interviewing citizens who were affected by the pollution and government officials charged with the responsibility of monitoring and investigating environmental violations.

  While I didn’t get to cover the local “Earth Day” events every April 22, I was involved with these substantial reporting projects which reflect the spirit and ideals of everything that Earth Day stands for.

  Happy Earth Day, Saugus.

5K race on tomorrow at Breakheart

  The YMCA of Metro North’s four-part 5k Road Race Series kicks off tomorrow (Saturday, April 23) with the Saugus Family YMCA’s “Not a Walk in the Park 5K. This family-friendly run/walk takes you through the beautiful scenery at Breakheart Reservation in Saugus. Your registration includes post-race refreshments and prizes for runners in every age category.

  Registration and pick-up: 7:00 a.m., at Breakheart Reservation, 177 Forest St., Saugus. The race is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Preregistered runners can pick up their bib and race bag from 3 to 6 p.m. today at the Saugus Family YMCA and tomorrow at 7 a.m. at Breakheart Reservation.

  There is limited parking at Breakheart Reservation. Please plan to park in the overflow parking lot behind the Target Plaza. A parking attendant will be present to point you towards the lot from the Breakheart Reservation entrance.

  The race will be held rain or shine. Afterward, the YMCA Facebook Page will post photos. Please go to https://www.facebook.com/SaugusFamilyYMCA/.


Play Ball!

  Tomorrow (Saturday, April 23) marks the start of another baseball season for the town’s youngsters, in what officials of the Saugus American and National Leagues hope will not be interrupted by COVID-19. Kickoff to the new season will be at 9 a.m. with uniformed players in a parade heading out of Anna Parker Field.

  Next weekend, the girls will get to celebrate the opening of their new season on the diamond. The Saugus Softball Little League plans to have their opening ceremony on Saturday, April 30 at 11 a.m. at the Belmonte Field.

  Here’s to a great season of competitive and COVID-19-free baseball for boys and girls this summer.

A variety of concerts

  The Community Room in the Saugus Public Library recently hosted a classical music concert – the first of monthly concerts that Library Director Alan Thibeault hopes the library can schedule throughout the summer.

  But the upcoming concerts won’t all feature classical music, according to Thibeault. “We have one more classical concert next month, but none planned for a while after that,” he said. “We are partnering with the National Parks Service to sponsor a summer concert series at the Iron Works. But those events will not be classical music-themed.”

A yard sale to help the Ukraine people

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

Composite 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 of Saugus 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.

  The Town asks 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 Meghan Bierenbroodspot 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 for last week’s sketch is the beautiful and talented Madison (“Maddie”) Goyetche – an outstanding student-athlete who is in her final year at Saugus High School!

  “Maddie is quite the accomplished young woman. This fall, she will be heading off to Nichols College in Dudley, Mass. to play Soccer for her team, the Bisons! Maddie was Co-Captain of the Saugus High School girls’ Soccer Team. She is a National Honor Society member, a Student Council member and Saugus High School Senior Class President!

  “Her easy-going personality will be greatly missed in Saugus. At Nichols College, Maddie will be such an asset in every aspect of college life.

  “Throughout the years, Maddie has been quite prominent in our Town’s sports pages. She excels in all of her athletic achievements, from track to soccer as well as a high achiever in academics.

  “Maddie has strong leadership abilities. She frequently makes herself available to assist others with needs. Through the years, she often volunteered at Saugus United Food Pantry, and various other charities, and rallies to preserve sports.

  “She has been hailed as ‘a star counselor’ at the Saugus Youth and Recreation Dept. Maddie is known for coaching with a team spirit and lending a hand by assisting the younger students.

  “Wishing you Much Success in your College Ambitions & achievements. As that old saying goes, “Reach for the moon and you’ll land among the stars’ and you are definitely one of the brightest young stars twinkling!

  “Keep shining brightly!

  “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.

We have two “Shout-Outs”!

  We received these “Shout-Outs” from our readers this week:

  From Laura Eisener: I’d like to shout out Charles Zapolski for his willingness to share his wonderful bird pictures. He posts pictures on social media several times a week, especially of the eagles and the ospreys, for everyone in Saugus to enjoy, and has always been very generous with sending pictures when I have asked him for the column (“Saugus Gardens In The Spring”) – he sent me several osprey pictures this week when I asked him, of which I have forwarded my favorite two for this week’s article.

  From Sue Fleming: I would like to Shout Out to the Belmonte Academy students who stepped up and helped a classmate from choking during lunchtime at school. Heloysa Delima and Yuzref Yusuf stayed calm and showed that they had the courage to step forward in a time of need for Sylaas Vieira. Shout Out also to Fahad Salya, Yuzreef’s Dad for teaching his son the lifesaving technique he used to help his classmate. Another example of people helping people and they should all feel very proud. Well done!!


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.

Memory Laners perform tonight

  The Memory Laners will perform live at the First Congregational Church at 300 Central St. today (Friday, April 22) at 6 p.m. The Memory Laners will take us on a journey of the music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Tickets cost $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Call 781-233-3028 or 781-820-1452. There will be a 50-50 Raffle with light refreshments following the show.

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, to reserve a table or for more info, call 781-233-0077. Here we go:

  April 22 (tonight): Paul D’Angelo. Critics hail D’Angelo, an energetic performer with a quick comedic mind and unique observations, with a down-to-earth, stop-and-think humor that keeps the crowd in hysterics. Showtime is 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $20.

  April 29: 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.

Saugus Kindergarten Registration opens April 25

  Kindergarten registration for students entering the Saugus Public Schools in the fall of 2022 will open on Monday, April 25. 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 starting April 25. 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 announced this week 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, however, 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 someone from your family, school, etc., the general pricing is $100 for a 4″ X 8″ brick (three lines) and $200 for an 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

SAVE announces 2022 Environmental Scholarship

  Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) is very pleased to announce that it is offering a $1,000 Environmental Scholarship to Saugus residents of the Class of 2022. This is a scholarship for students who will be attending a two/four-year college or other educational institution and pursuing a degree in an area that would positively impact the environment.

  Applicants can download the SAVE 2022 Environmental Scholarship Application Form found at www.saugusSAVE.org. Together with the completed application form, please include a separate sheet (identified with your initials only) that provides a summary of any of your activities relating to the environment and describe how you feel your career choice will positively impact the environment. Please mail your application postmarked by today (Friday, April 22) to: SAVE, P.O. Box 908, Saugus, MA 01906 or email your application (no later than midnight on April 22, 2022) to: SAVE Co-President Ann Devlin at adevlin@aisle10.net.

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 that 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. 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 prebagged 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 Services 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 SNAP applications.

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 22 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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