Good Morning, Saugus!
Best wishes to all our readers for the happiest of holidays of your faith.
In this week’s issue, we asked each of the selectmen and School Committee members what they would present to the town as a Christmas present – if it’s within their power to do so.
As editor of The Saugus Advocate for six years and nine months now, I offer my own present for the town – a renewed commitment to offer our readers an interesting and informative newspaper which always strives to be a force of good in the community – seeking to spotlight town people and events that lead to the betterment of Saugus. Our primary task is to provide useful information that keeps residents informed on important issues that affect the community as a whole and residents individually. We feel it’s important to shine a light on town and local government – including public schools, the town’s chief employer and the agency that affects the most lives in the community on a daily basis – when things break down and when the government needs to step up to address various challenges or problems.
At the same time, we think it’s important to shine a public light on the many great things that are happening here, whether by individuals or groups.
I recently turned 70 and I’m finishing my 50th year as a newspaper journalist since I began my career during my junior year at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, working weekends in the Northampton news bureau of The Springfield Union and filing stories I developed while living on campus during the week.
My personal Christmas present to the people of Saugus is that I will continue to work hard to provide Saugus a well-balanced and respected hometown newspaper as long as my publisher wants to keep me as the editor. I have no immediate plans to retire. I’ve told close friends and colleagues that I will continue reporting, writing stories and headlines, taking photos and editing stories relevant to Saugus as long as I am blessed with good health. Whether it’s five to 10 more years – or longer – I plan to continue doing what I’m doing, as long as there’s a place for a real newspaper (not online paper) in Saugus.
We are Saugus’ hometown newspaper. We are the only newspaper that covers Saugus people and events exclusively.
Looking ahead to the year 2003, one of my top goals is to provide topnotch coverage of the town’s biennial elections – which includes the five-member Board of Selectmen, the five-member School Committee, the 50-member Annual Town Meeting and the Housing Authority. Another goal is to become more relevant to our readers, as we look to improve various areas of the paper and maybe add some new features.
Right now, I am blessed to have people like Laura Eisener (“Saugus Gardens”), Bill Stewart (“The Old Sachem” columnist who writes about sports), Joanie Allbee (photos/essays/articles), Jay DeMarco (“Small Saves” cartoon), Janice Jarosz (articles and photos), Tom Sheehan (articles) and “The Sketch Artist” as a core of nonpaid frequent contributors who help make “The Saugus Advocate” the paper that it is.
And, of course, we have part-time staffers Tara Vocino (who takes photos and writes human interest stories) and Greg Phipps (who covers Saugus sports). And publisher Jim Mitchell oversees the paper as it’s put to bed in Everett on Thursdays. So, a lot of hard work goes into putting out the paper every week.
So, I feel honored to coordinate our coverage and collaborate with our paid staffers and unpaid contributors to put out the paper every week.
Year in Review
For next week’s (Dec. 30) edition of The Saugus Advocate, we plan to put together our annual “Year-In-Review” issue. In past years, we have invited the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee to pick what they think are the top stories of the year. We will still do that.
But, at the same time, we welcome similar input from our readers. If you feel like weighing in on the year 2022 as it relates to Saugus, email us a letter to email@example.com by Tuesday, Dec. 27. Tell us what you think was the top story of the year and offer a brief reason. And also list some runner-up stories that you think were major news in Saugus during 2022.
About The Saugus Advocate
We welcome press releases, news announcements, freelance articles and courtesy photos from the community. Our deadline is noon Wednesday. If you have a story idea, an article or photo to submit, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message at 978-683-7773. Let us become your hometown newspaper. The Saugus Advocate is available in the Saugus Public Library, the Saugus Senior Center, Saugus Town Hall, local convenience stores and restaurants throughout town.
Candlelight Church Service in Cliftondale
Debbie Hoyle of Cliftondale Congregational Church at 50 Essex St. wants residents to know the church will hold its annual Candlelight Christmas Eve Service tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 24) at 7 p.m. (street parking only). A Christmas morning service will be held at 10:45 a.m. (parking lot and street parking available). Regardless of where you are on your faith journey, or how festive or not you’re feeling this holiday season, we invite you to be encouraged by the real hope, peace, joy and love of Christmas.
Food Pantry notes:
The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry will be open on Friday, December 23 from 9:30-11 a.m. for those in need of food assistance. The food pantry will then reopen on Friday, January 6 from 9:30-11 a.m. We will be closed on December 30 in observance of the holiday.
This week’s “Shout Outs”
We received two “shout outs” this week from our loyal readers. Sue Fleming offered these words of praise to fellow Saugonians:
“I would like to give a Shout Out to everyone involved in the Menorah Lighting at Town Hall on Monday. It was a beautiful ceremony and it should make us all remember that we are One! I appreciated the honoring of the Veterans who were present to follow up on Wreaths Across America last Saturday. Thank you to the Town of Saugus for all the great things that happen here. Have a very Merry Christmas!”
Joanie Allbee noted the noble actions of Board of Selectmen Vice Chair Debra Panetta, who went to great lengths – and miles – to attend this past Monday’s (Dec. 19) lighting of the Menorah on the front lawn of Saugus Town Hall.
“Hello. I’d like to give a shout out for Debbie Panetta!
“She had a non refundable vacation planned months ahead, however when she heard of the Lighting ceremony of our new Menorah beautifully placed at Town hall front lawn; she interrupted her vacation plans just for the sole reason of attending. Debbie states ‘I really care about everything that happens in my Town, I love Saugus!’
“The Rabbi said it’s the action behind the words that are the true meaning and Debbie’s actions spoke forth plenty of goodness and kindness in example of the Menorah lights shining brightly for Chanukah.
“The Menorah lighting is about the light overcoming the darkness. The Menorah ‘lamp’ lighting ceremony was sentimentally done and Ruthie Berg lit the first candle of Chanukah.”
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 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 Kevin Wildman for making the right identification in last week’s “Guess Who Got Sketched” Contest. Kevin is one of several readers answering correctly. But he was the only one to have his 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 was D.J. Brian Cross. Brian was front and center playing tunes to add to the atmosphere of festivities at the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. This is Brian’s third year as the D.J. However, he’s been on the scene throughout his years as a Saugonian. Brian is a Saugus High Graduate of 2012. He can be seen as a helping hand in many Fundraising Events and volunteer efforts.
“He has a charismatic personality befitting a D.J. Position.
“Brian has also been coordinating the Saugus Christmas Parade ceremony since 2014.
“As Brian kept the music flowing forth, he was open to taking personal requests.
“His music was most enjoyable as people strolled about welcoming in the 2022 Christmas season. Thank you for the music!
“The Sketch Artist”
Two weeks of holiday trash delays
The Town of Saugus announced that trash and recycling collection will run on a one-day delay for the next two weeks in observance of Christmas and the New Year. Trash and recycling will not be collected on Monday, Dec. 26, due to the holiday. Collection will resume on a one-day delay on Tuesday, Dec. 27.
The following week, trash and recycling will not be collected on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, due to the holiday. Collection will resume on a one-day delay on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Residents are kindly asked to leave trash and recycling curbside by 7 a.m. the day after their normally scheduled collection day. The Town of Saugus would like to thank everyone for their cooperation. Please contact Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Scott A. Brazis at 781-231-4036 with any questions.
“First Day Hike” at Breakheart on Jan. 1
The next event at Breakheart Reservation sponsored by the DCR is the First Day Hike on New Year’s Day. It is a wonderful way to start the New Year. Please check newspapers and flyers for further updates.
Other activities are being planned to include the famous Maple Sugaring event and a park cleanup when the weather improves. If you are interested in getting involved with the Friends Group, please call 781-233-1855 x19.
Happy Holidays and look forward to seeing you at the Park.
Legion breakfasts on Friday mornings
Saugus American Legion Post 210 hosts its popular breakfasts from 8-9 a.m. on Fridays. The Legion requests a donation of $8 from those who are looking for a delicious meal at Legion Hall. The Legion also welcomes veterans who can’t afford the meal to enjoy a free breakfast. Bon appétit!
Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site Closed for Winter
The Town of Saugus Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site closed for the winter season on Dec. 10. The site will reopen for recycling on the third Saturday of the month in January, February and March, weather permitting.
Please contact Scott Brazis, Director of Solid Waste/Recycling, at 781-231-4036 with any questions. For more information about the Town of Saugus, visit www.saugus-ma.gov.
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. There are also some very good programs offered for grownups, too.
50+ Job Seekers Networking Group on Zoom:
(Editor’s Note: This program is a series that begins in January, but folks should register for as soon as possible if they wish to participate.)
If you are unemployed and actively looking, underemployed, seeking a new career direction, re-entering the job market after a long employment gap or recently retired and looking for your “Encore Career,” this networking group program is perfect for you! Remember, 85% of jobs are found through networking!
The Massachusetts Library Collaborative’s 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group meets on Wednesday mornings via Zoom from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the first and third week of each month, January–June 2023. For the convenience of those who cannot attend the morning sessions, the group will also meet on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Register for either morning or evening sessions below. By registering for one morning session, you will also be registered for all other morning sessions. The same is true for the evening sessions.
Each biweekly meeting is facilitated by Deborah Hope, MBA, PCIC, an experienced executive career coach. Deborah is a former Fortune 500 executive, investment banker and entrepreneur and transitioned to executive coaching over 12 years ago. She has coached with Harvard Business School Executive Education programs and the Mass. Conference for Women., and she has been trained or certified in a variety of coaching models and assessment tools. Deborah has facilitated 50+ job seekers networking groups since 2016.
The Tewksbury Library has partnered with libraries in Andover, Billerica, Chelmsford, Danvers, North Andover, Saugus, Shrewsbury, Westford and Wilmington (among others) to sponsor this group.
Registrants will receive a link to access the Zoom Meeting via email. Please register in advance from our online Events Calendar.
A Zoom conversation with young adult author Maureen Johnson
Wednesday, January 4,7-8 p.m. – enjoy a special evening with two of the country’s top young adult authors as Maureen Johnson (“Nine Liars”) is interviewed by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (“The Final Gambit”) in this Zoom webinar.
Maureen Johnson is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen young adult novels, including the Truly Devious series, the Shades of London series, “Suite Scarlett” and “13 Little Blue Envelopes.” Her collaborative books include “Ghosts of the Shadow Market” (with Cassandra Clare), as well as “Let It Snow” (with John Green and Lauren Myracle), which was also a hit feature film on Netflix. Maureen’s books have sold more than three million copies worldwide and have been published in more than 30 countries. She grew up in Philadelphia, graduated from the University of Delaware and has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University. Maureen lives in New York City with her husband and dog.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 20 acclaimed young adult novels, including The Inheritance Games trilogy, “Little White Lies,” “Deadly Little Scandals,” “The Lovely and the Lost” and The Naturals series. Jen is also a Fulbright Scholar with advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry and cognitive science. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2012 and was a professor of psychology and professional writing for many years.
Hosted by the Tewksbury Public Library, in collaboration with dozens of Massachusetts public libraries. Please note this program is open to both adults and teens. NOTE: This program will be recorded. All registrants will receive the recording via email within 24 hours of the program.
Registrants will receive a link to access the Zoom Meeting via email. Please register in advance from our online Events Calendar.
How do you make a Cat-a-pult? Join us on Saturday, January 7 at 10:30 a.m. to meet local guy Derek Forestier, who will be at the Saugus Public Library to talk about how he and his four friends – all skilled craftsmen – came to be stars on the Netflix show Making Fun!, a show where kids ask the guys to make outrageous items.
Some of the fun projects Derek helped create were a guitar boat, a 12-foot dinosaur that spit tacos and a unicorn bicycle with a glittery surprise. Derek will talk about how TV shows are made, how they built the crazy ideas and how he came to be a celebrity while having fun with his friends.
This is a free program, but registration is required. Call 781-231-4168, ext. 3107 or visit our online Events Calendar.
Join our Teen Advisory Board: first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Teen Room. The first meeting is Tuesday, January 3. Fifth grade and up. Meet with the Teen Librarian once a month to talk about what you’d like for programs and materials at the library. Your opinion matters! No registration required. Snacks provided! sauguspubliclibrary.org – 781-231-4168.
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 class covers 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: By 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 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.
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.
“As always, it is a safe space to come together in community,” he says.
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
New Year’s Eve at Kowloon
Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Kowloon Restaurant with “the biggest and best and maybe the last” New Year’s Eve party. Wildfire Band and Vinyl Groove will perform live in concert along with DJ RMC. Dine, dance, and ring in the New Year with a light Kowloon buffet, Champagne toast and party favors. Doors open at 8 p.m., and entertainment kicks off at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $75 per guest and $250 for tables of four guests. To order tickets, call 1-781-233-0077.
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 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 National Historic Site.
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 was sketched this week? If you do, please email me at email@example.com 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)