By Mark E. Vogler
Good morning, Saugus!
If another weekend day of rain doesn’t spoil things, there is a nice and free, family-friendly event tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 30) at Breakheart Reservation. The state Department of Conservation & Recreation, the Friends of Breakheart, Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE), the Saugus Cultural Council and Trader Joe’s are sponsoring the 2023 Breakheart Family Fall Festival. It is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Visitor’s Center at Breakheart, 177 Forest St., Saugus. The event will feature lawn games, a petting zoo, storytellers, music, pumpkins, scarecrows and family-oriented activities!
Kids and grownups can come and watch and learn about owls with the Center for Wildlife. Or, you can hold a live snake with the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team. Other activities include a guided tree tour walk and a Tai Chi lesson from state Rep. Donald Wong. If you go, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water, sunscreen and bug repellent.
SAVE has something special planned for this year’s festival: the Live Bird program. Mass Audubon will present five 20-minute sessions at the Breakheart Visitor’s Center with start times at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon, 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. You can attend one or more of these sessions to view local wildlife up close and personal, as well as learn more about these incredible animals.
SAVE will also sponsor another “It’s New To You” SWAP again this year at the Festival. The SWAP – an effort to help keep usable items out of the waste stream – will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. near the Visitor’s Center. The SWAP is part of SAVE’s continuing efforts to increase recycling by repurposing still usable goods and reducing what is put out as trash and incinerated.
The SWAP is another free event – no money, just a simple swap. You can bring items or take items; you do not have to do both. Bring usable items in good condition to the SWAP, typically those things you no longer want but that are too good to throw away, and perhaps find a treasure or two to take home with you. (Please, do not bring items that require special disposal.) For more information about the SWAP, please contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the SAVE website at www.SaugusSave.org
Food Pantry notes
The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry is open today (Friday, Sept. 29) from 9:30-11 a.m.
Legion Breakfast today
There’s a good breakfast deal for Saugus veterans and other folks who enjoy a hearty breakfast on Friday mornings. The American Legion Post 210 at 44 Taylor St. in Saugus offers Friday morning breakfasts for the 2023-24 season. Doors open at 7:30, with breakfast served from 8-9:00 a.m. for an $8 donation. Veterans who cannot afford the donation may be served for free.
Special “Shout Outs”
This week we have a couple of nominations from our loyal readers. Carl Spencer, Pumpkin Patch Coordinator: “Shout out to the community of workers that came to unload the pumpkins for our Pumpkin Patch at First Congregational Church in Saugus Center last Saturday. Joining church members and their friends were Saugus High Students, Pioneer Charter Students, Saugus Community Football and their parents, cub scouts, elected town officials and neighbors. We unloaded 5,000.00 pumpkins! We could not have done this without your help. THANK YOU! We have another smaller delivery on Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. and again need help.”
Bob Davis: “I would like to give a shout-out to Greg and Stephanie Bluestein who coordinate Saugus Youth Football and Cheer. They are providing a great service to the Town of Saugus by giving a lot of young people the opportunity to be involved in the playing of football and cheering. Stephanie is my granddaughter and I know how much she and Greg are dedicated to this great program.”
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.
Historical Society hosts talk on Appleton’s Pulpit
On Wednesday, Oct. 11, Paul Kenworthy will give a talk on “Appleton’s Pulpit: Samuel Appleton and The First American Revolution” at the Saugus Historical Society meeting at 7 p.m. at 30 Main St. Paul is a National Park Ranger at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site and Vice President of the Saugus Historical Society. In 1687, words were spoken from the top of a large rock outcrop in Saugus against the tyranny of Great Britain in its demands from the colonies. The meeting is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Town Election Watch
The countdown is on for the biennial town election – set for Nov. 7. There are only five more editions after today until the election. I’m making comprehensive coverage of the candidates and the issues my top priority for the next five editions after today.
We should be able to get an idea next week about the placement of candidates on this year’s town election ballot. Town Clerk Ellen Schena and the Board of Registrars will meet at 5:30 p.m. next Thursday (Oct. 5) in the second floor auditorium at Saugus Town Hall for a drawing of the ballot positions. Getting their name placed higher on the ballot could provide an edge to candidates in races where a lot of folks are running.
And, of course, nothing beats staying visible and getting the word out to potential voters. As a public service, The Saugus Advocate again will provide free political announcements accompanied by a headshot photo. But please be concise and straightforward in getting your message out. Candidates should be able to say what they need to say in 200 to 400 words. Introduce yourself, summarize your background and state what makes your candidacy special. But be brief and don’t wait until the final weeks to make your announcement.
One of the most important jobs of any newspaper is to provide accurate, fair and thorough coverage of a local election. For the next five weeks up until election day, The Saugus Advocate will strive to do that, and, hopefully, win or lose, the election campaign will be a positive experience for the participating candidates. Hopefully, each candidate, through the campaign, will contribute to the betterment of Saugus.
At the moment, I am in talks with Saugus TV, in hopes of arranging several candidate debates or forums to better educate the voters about the major issues being debated in the context of this year’s political campaign. Like the previous three town election campaigns I have covered since taking over as editor of The Saugus Advocate in March 2016, we will be dedicating “The Advocate Asks” column to questioning the Board of Selectmen and School Committee candidates about important issues which concern them. We will also take a closer look at the Charter Commission and the Housing Authority races as well as the 10 Town Meeting races.
Candidates’ announcements on Saugus TV
Saugus TV cordially invites candidates for the Saugus Board of Selectmen and School Committee to take advantage of our three-minute speech opportunities at Saugus TV. This is an excellent chance for you to introduce yourself to the community and share your vision for the upcoming election. Our state-of-the-art studio, conveniently located at 30 Main Street, will be available to candidates to deliver their speeches. To secure your time slot, kindly get in touch with Rachel Brugman, Saugus TV’s Operations Manager, at 781-231-2883 or R.Brugman@SaugusTV.org. All speeches must be recorded by 5 p.m. on October 19, 2023. Additionally, we are pleased to offer digital signage opportunities for candidates running for all offices, granting you exposure on our community bulletin board located on Comcast Channel 8 in Saugus. These slides will run from October 7 to November 7. We look forward to collaborating with all of you!
A word from “The Pumpkin Patch”
In case you haven’t noticed “The Orange Glow” on Hamilton Street, across from Saugus Town Hall, here’s a message from Pumpkin Patch coordinator Carl Spencer: “We’re happy to get our pumpkins and appreciate all the people who helped unload the truck. We had over 100 people who helped with the unloading Saturday. A large group of players and cheerleaders from Saugus Youth Football and Cheer under the direction of president Greg Bluestein participated as well as students from Pioneer Charter School and Saugus High. The church appreciates their help as well as the off-loading of pallets by Patrick Follis from Agganis Construction. The church truly enjoys providing the community with pumpkins and hosting this great fall event.”
The “Pumpkin Truck” arrived at First Congregational Church in Saugus Center last Saturday. The Annual Pumpkin Patch is now up-and-running and will be open through Halloween, Oct. 31. Pumpkins of all sizes are displayed on the church lawn and will be available for purchase every day from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m.
“Saugus Over Coffee”
The final “Saugus Over Coffee” forum is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, in the Community Room of the Saugus Public Library and will feature Precinct 10. For those Saugus residents who are unfamiliar with the “Saugus Over Coffee” forums, they are cosponsored by The Saugus Advocate and the Saugus Public Library. The primary purpose is to give citizens in each of the town’s 10 precincts an opportunity to voice their concerns about top issues in their respective precincts. Viewers of the forums videotaped by Saugus TV will also get to learn a little about the history or interesting things about the precinct being featured each month.
Stay tuned for more information as “Saugus Over Coffee” continues. Please check with The Saugus Advocate or library for any change in the date. Residents can check the programming guide on the station’s website (www.saugustv.org). A video of the forum will also be available for viewing on the station’s vimeo page within a day or two after the event – www.vimeo.com/
For loss of loved ones and pets
Rev. Ed Bernard, an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Saugus, will be offering two grief/bereavement information and discussion groups through the Saugus YMCA this fall. The first group will be a one and one-half hour session dealing with the loss of a pet. The second one involves four one-hour group meetings dealing with the loss of a loved one. There is no charge for either program. The pet group will be co-facilitated with a bereavement counselor from a local hospice. Rev. Bernard is a certified health care chaplain. He can be reached at 508-245-8885.
Fall concerts at the Kowloon
The Kowloon Restaurant, located at 948 Broadway, Route 1 North, Saugus, continues its outdoor concert series with a post-hurricane lineup, including:
Earl On Earth, whom critics call, “An indie rock artist band,” playing live on September 29.
Different Strokez: hailed “A powerhouse group in the Boston music scene,” live on September 30.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the shows start at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for reserved seating are $10 and general admission is free. For tickets, call the Kowloon Restaurant at 781-233-0077 or access online: www.kowloonrestaurant.com
It’s been years since Saugus has had a Chamber of Commerce promoting its economic, cultural and historic assets in town. To fill part of the void, Selectman Corinne Riley spearheaded “Saugus 4-1-1” last October. It was such a success that Riley and others involved with the event are planning the Second Annual Saugus 4-1-1 for Saturday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Saugus Middle-High School Complex at 1 Pearce Memorial Dr. The event is tailored for new residents as well as established Saugonians.
“Take in everything there is to find out about our town,” declares a postcard-sized promotion that circulated Saugus Center. “Learn about non-profit, youth sports and clubs you or your family may be interested in, town information, Senior Center, Library Groups, Houses of Worship, School District information.”
Tours of the complex will be available. The Lion’s Club will have its eyemobile there. For further information or questions, please email Saugus411@gmail.com
Saugus Cultural Council Seeking Funding Proposals
Educational, artistic and community-engagement project organizers in Saugus and neighboring residents are encouraged to apply for a part of the $14,900 funding the Saugus Cultural Council has received from the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, to award in a local cultural council (LCC) grant. The deadline to submit an application for an LCC grant is October 17. These grants can support a variety of activities in Saugus, including exhibits, classes, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, performances in schools, workshops and lectures. Previously funded Saugus Cultural Council projects include Saugus Concerts at the Iron Works, classical music concerts at the Saugus Public Library, school field trips to the Boston Tea Party Museum and North Shore Music Theater, passes for the Museum of Science, various workshops for children, adults and seniors, and numerous other activities and performances throughout the region.
Applicants are encouraged to refer to the Mass Cultural Council Website to learn more about the MCC LCC Program Guidelines and view the Saugus Cultural Council’s priorities at https://massculturalcouncil.org/local-council/saugus/. Contact the Saugus Cultural Council at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or questions before submitting.
Upcoming Fall events at Breakheart
The state Department of Conservation & Recreation has released the following listing of events at Breakheart Reservation this fall.
Breakheart Fall Fest special event: Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Come celebrate with us at this one-of-a-kind fall festival at Breakheart Reservation! This free event will include lawn games, a petting zoo, storytellers, music and family-oriented activities! At the Visitor’s Center (177 Forest St., Saugus).
Easy Like a Sunday Morning Hike: Join the park interpreter for this weekly guided hike! Each trip will highlight natural and historic features that make Breakheart unique. Hikes will be moderately paced and range from two to three miles over sometimes uneven and rocky terrain. Best for ages eight years and up. Meet at the Visitor’s Center. Heavy rain cancels. Wednesdays: October 4 and 11, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Step Into the Past: Join our park interpreter on a guided hike to discover the site’s history. Topics and routes vary throughout the season. Hikes are approximately 2.5 miles, moderate difficulty, along rocky trails, with several stops – best for adults and older children with a keen interest in history. Meet outside the Visitor’s Center. Rain cancels. October 5 and 12, 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Breakheart Birding Club: Help our park interpreter identify and count the many different birds that visit Breakheart! Take part in this worldwide project to document the distribution, abundance and movements of thousands of species of birds. Binoculars are encouraged but not necessary. First time birders welcome! Best for adults and older children. Meet outside the Visitor’s Center. Rain cancels. Fridays: October 6 and 13, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Kidleidoscope: Come join our park interpreter for a story time and nature walk! Complete a small craft and explore the woods! Walks are gently paced and approximately one mile, though not accessible for strollers; appropriate for families with children three to five years old. Meet at the Visitor’s Center. Saturday, October 7, 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Family Fishing at Camp Nihan: Join our park interpreter for a drop-in fishing program! Learn how to fish, what fish live in our ponds and how to catch and release responsibly. Bait and a handful of rods will be provided, but feel free to bring your own gear and share your tips! No license required if fishing in this program. Appropriate for families with children five years and older. Meet at Camp Nihan; follow signs once you’re there. Rain cancels.
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 some very good programs offered for grownups, too.
“Sketch Artist” exhibit: This month’s art exhibit in the Reading Room features the Saugonian Luminaries of 2021, done by the Saugus Advocate Sketch Artist in the “Guess Who Got Sketched” series. For the past three years, Saugus’ only newspaper ran a weekly sketch done by the formerly secret sketch artist – unveiled this year as Joanie Allbee. These sketches depict, describe and honor prominent Saugonians. Each week, The Advocate publishes one of these works in its pages and invites readers to guess who the subject is. The accolades on each artwork provide clues for the reader to identify the subject of the sketch. Readers could guess the identity of the portrait subject and there would be a drawing from the correct answers – the person whose name was drawn would receive an award – usually a gift card to a local business.
Stop by the Library’s Reading Room to see a sampling of sketches you might remember from past issues of The Advocate and to help celebrate some of our good friends and neighbors!
Join our Teen Advisory Board: first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Teen Room; 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)
Calling all Teen Club Readers: Lisa LeJeune, Young Adult/Reference Librarian, invites members of the Teen Club to meet once a month to discuss a teen graphic novel. Interested club members can pick up copies of the book at the Main Desk. Club meetings will be held on the last Tuesday of the month at 5-5:30 p.m. in the Teen Room. Grade 5 and up – to sign up, please call 781-231-4168, come in or sign up using the library’s Online Events Calendar. The first book will be “Pumpkinheads” by Rainbow Rowell.
Just Sew! Saugonians are welcome to join a monthly sewing class for adults that is held the third Monday of each month from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the 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)
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 to register (781-231-4168 x 3106). The next session is Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. in the Brooks Room on the second floor of the library.
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 email@example.com 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.
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 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.