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The Sounds of Saugus

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By Mark E. Vogler


Good morning, Saugus!

For the men who are having difficulty picking out a Valentine’s gift for their girlfriend or wife, they might get some good ideas by reading Laura Eisener’s “Saugus Gardens in the Winter” in this week’s Saugus Advocate. Plants and flowers make romantic gifts, and Laura offers her thoughts on how to celebrate Feb. 14 with plants.

Red roses are always a favorite choice for 94-year-old Eugene Decareau when he tries to get something for his wife Arlene, 90. They have been married 71 years.

“We have each other; we don’t need flowers or anything,” Eugene said this week, as he reflected on his approach to Valentine’s Day. “At our age, we don’t give each other presents. We got so much to be thankful for. But I might get her a bouquet of flowers,” he said.

Eugene credits his good health to eating a banana every day. For someone his age, he has an impressive blood pressure at 110 over 70. And he stresses that he’s on “Zero medication.”

Eugene and Arlene are believed to be the longest-married couple in town.


Budget time nearing

Selectmen have scheduled their next meeting for 6 p.m. Feb. 27 in the first floor conference room at Saugus Town Hall. That session will essentially kick off the town’s municipal budget season. Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree will unveil his spending plan for the 2025 Fiscal Year that begins July 1. Soon after, the town’s Finance Committee will schedule its series of Wednesday review sessions of each of the department budgets and make recommendations for the Annual Town Meeting, which is set to convene on the first Monday in May. Stay tuned.


A “Shout Out” for library staffer

Avid Saugus Advocate reader Sue Fleming gave a huge “Shout Out” to Lisa LeJeune, the Young Adult/Reference Librarian at the Saugus Public Library, “for organizing the first Adult Craft Night at the Saugus Library.”

“We made Mason Jar Luminaries and everyone did a great job! Hopefully the first craft night of many to come. Thank you Lisa!!”


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.


Food Pantry notes

  The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry is open today (Friday, Feb. 9) 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 a.m., with breakfast served from 8-9:00 a.m. for an $8 donation. Veterans who cannot afford the donation may be served free.


Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site winter hours

  The Town of Saugus Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site is closed for the winter. But it will reopen for recycling on the third Saturday of February and March 2024 weather permitting. Please note: The site will be open on Feb. 17 and March 16 during the period from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please contact Scott Brazis, Director of Solid Waste/Recycling, with any questions at 781-231-4036.


Town Meeting Sessions

  Precinct 10 Town Meeting Member Peter Manoogian is providing an opportunity for Saugus citizens who want to learn the basics about Town Meeting – the legislative body of Saugus town government. Manoogian is a veteran of about four decades in local town government at various levels, including many years as a Town Meeting member. The three sessions Manoogian will be leading this year are tailored for newly elected Town Meeting members or veterans who want to refresh themselves about Robert’s Rules of Order or how to put forward an article for consideration.

The sessions that Manoogian is planning are free and open to the public – for all interested citizens. The sessions will take place on these three nights – Feb. 16 and 29 and March 25 – from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Saugus Public Library at 295 Central St.


Democratic Town Committee Caucus Feb. 28

The Saugus Democratic Town Committee (SDTC) will hold its Caucus on Feb. 28 to elect delegates to the Democratic State Convention held in June. The Caucus will be at 7 p.m. at the Saugus Public Safety Building, 27 Hamilton Street, Second Floor. The Caucus is open to the public, but only registered Saugus Democrats can vote on delegates.

The primary function of the SDTC is to support Democratic candidates for office, both locally and at the state level. It also engages in voter education and voter registration. Registered Democrats living in Saugus who are interested in playing an active role in the political process in Saugus are welcome to attend any meetings of the Committee. For questions contact saugusdtc@gmail.com


Kindergarten Enrollment 2024-2025

  Open enrollment for kindergarten will begin on Monday, April 22, and continue through Friday, April 26. Kindergarten is free and full day (8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.). Families can pick up a kindergarten registration packet at the main office of the Veterans Early Learning Center between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Completed registration packets will be due on Wednesday, May 22, and Thursday, May 23, during the following hours: 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (All registration documents must be included on the packet return dates.) Staff will be available to collect your documentation at the main entrance. Once all documentation is confirmed they will schedule an appointment for a mandatory kindergarten screening. Kindergarten screenings will be held on June 3 & 4 and will last 20 minutes.

*While there is no official deadline for kindergarten registration, we ask that you register your student by May 24, to help us effectively plan staffing and programming for next year.”


SAVE 2024 Environmental Scholarship Available

  Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) is very pleased to announce that it is offering a $1,000 Environmental Scholarship to a Saugus resident who is or will be attending a two- or four-year college or other educational institution and pursuing a degree in an area that would positively impact the environment. A qualifying applicant may be a 2024 high school graduating senior or a current college undergraduate student continuing their education.

Applicants can download the SAVE 2024 Environmental Scholarship Application Form found at www.saugusSAVE.org. Please note: Section C of the application should be identified with your initials only and should provide a brief summary of any of your activities relating to the environment, as well as describe how you feel your career choice will positively impact the environment. Please email your application – no later than midnight on April 19, 2024 – to: SAVE Co-President Ann Devlin at adevlin@aisle10.net


What’s new at the Saugus Public Library?

There’s always something interesting going on. Here’s a few activities worth checking out:

  • Tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 10) is a great time for kids to join Miss Victoria and make some awesome Valentines. No registration is required. Just meet in the Craft Room from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. For details, please contact Amy Melton at 781-231-4168 or email her at melton@noblenet.org
  • Monday (Feb. 12) from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the Community Room will be hosting another session of “Just Sew!” for adults. This free program will teach you how to perform various sewing tasks you can begin to use right away. Sewing is a basic skill everyone should have. We’ll cover beginner topics like sewing buttons, hemming clothing and mending torn fabric and move on to more advanced topics. Bring any projects you would like to work on. You can also bring your sewing machine for tips on machine sewing. If you don’t have a project right now, come anyway and learn from the class. Thread, needles, scissors and basic supplies will be provided.
  • On Tuesday (Feb. 13), the library hosts its popular Game Night, which is held the second Tuesday of each month in the Community Room from 6 to 7:30 p.m. – a fun-filled evening of games and good company! There is no fee for admission and all are welcome!
  • Wednesday (Feb. 14) features The Yoga Experience from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room. This is a free, basic yoga class that is ideal for beginners. This 45-minute slow flow class opens with a brief meditation, followed by a gentle warmup, some core strengthening, standing postures, and flexibility poses. Each session winds down with deep relaxation. Lisa Poto is a registered yoga teacher and a member of the Yoga Alliance. She graduated from Barre & Soul’s 200-hour yoga teacher training program.
  • Thursday (Feb. 15) the Book Squad meets from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Craft Room. Kids ages nine to 12 are invited to join Miss Kathryn for book discussion, snack and craft! This month we will be discussing any title of your choice from the Science Comics series (a nonfiction graphic novel collection). Stop by the Children’s Room to pick up a copy ahead of the meeting! For more details, please contact Kathryn Walton at 781-231-4168 or kwalton@noblenet.org.


Bingo is back at the Kowloon!

  Join the Kowloon Restaurant for Wednesday Night Bingo. The event takes place every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and will continue to April 3. Entry is free. Games, prizes and music highlight the event.

For more information, call the Kowloon Restaurant at 781-233-0077 or access online at www.kowloonrestaurant.com


Friday Night Dance Jam at the Kowloon

The Kowloon Restaurant is set to host Friday Night Dance Jam where Motown meets Freestyle, starring the Classic Supremes, the Cover Girls, and P2, Lance Bernard Bryant, and Jovian Ford. DJ Ricky will spin club classics. The event is slated for March 8.

VIP Tickets are $75 per person for reserved seating, buffet and photos with the artists. Doors open for VIP tickets 6-8 p.m. General admission tickets are $65 per person for reserved seating only. Doors open for General admission tickets at 8 p.m. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are available by Order Online at Kowloonrestaurant.com or the Kowloon front desk or charge-by-phone: 781-233-0077.


Wednesday fireside chats at Breakheart this month

The state Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) invites the public to join agency staff by the fire in Breakheart Reservation’s Visitor Center every Wednesday morning throughout February. The new series offers visitors a unique opportunity to engage directly with DCR’s staff experts and learn more about the agency’s work, with a specific focus on Breakheart Reservation. Each week will feature a different speaker who will share insights, experiences and knowledge about various aspects of the reservation, including its work to protect the climate, archeological finds, the local bird population and the Breakheart fires.

The chats include:

  • Feb. 14: Sean Riley, Supervisor, Belle Isle Marsh, 10 a.m. Explore the diverse bird species, with a focus on shorebirds, that inhabit Breakheart Reservation. Learn valuable insights into the local bird population from an expert in the field.
  • Feb. 21: JP Patton, DCR Archaeologist, 10 a.m. Delve into the fascinating world of archaeology as JP Patton shares discoveries and insights into archaeological finds at Breakheart Reservation.
  • Feb. 28: Ben Jenelle, DCR District 5 Fire Warden, 10 a.m. Hear firsthand accounts of the Breakheart fires from the Spring/Summer of 2022 and understand their impact on the reservation. The Warden will tell us about the measures taken by DCR to manage and mitigate future fire risks.


Winter is calling at Breakheart

  If you love hiking, nature and the great outdoors, there’s a lot going on this winter at Breakheart Reservation – courtesy of the state Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR). All programs are free and open to the public. An adult must accompany children.

Reasonable accommodations are available upon request. Parking fees may apply depending on program location. For more information, please email Jessica Narog-Hutton, Visitor Services Supervisor, at jessica.narog-hutton@mass.gov

Here are a few programs that DCR has in the works:

  • On Sundays now through March, why not do something easy, like a Sunday morning hike, from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at the Visitor Center (177 Forest St., Saugus). Join the Park Interpreter for a 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. This activity is best suited for ages eight years and up. The hike will be canceled in the event of heavy rain.
  • On Thursdays now through March, the Camp Nihan Educational Center at 121 Walnut St. in Saugus will offer the Wild Breakheart Series from 9 to 10 a.m. Join Breakheart staff for this rotating nature series that will explore different aspects of Breakheart in the wintertime. This month learn about animal tracking. Discover how tracks that animals leave behind can tell us a story about what they do when no one is around. In March be a part of the Breakheart Birding Club. Discover what birds are starting to come back for the spring and what birds stay from the winter.
  • On Fridays now through March, check out Kidleidoscope from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center (177 Forest St., Saugus). Come join a 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. This activity is appropriate for families with children who are three to five years old.
  • On Saturdays now through March, “Step into the Past” from 10 a.m.to noon. Join the park interpreter to discover the park history. Hikes are about two and a half miles and moderate difficulty along rocky trails with several stops. Best for adults and older children with a keen interest in history. Meet outside the Visitor Center. This activity will be canceled in the event of rain.

First and third Saturdays – Stories in Stone: Breakheart has been shaped not only by nature but by the many people who have called it home.

Second and fourth Saturdays – Glacial Giants: Countless clues to a glacial past dot the landscape. If one knows where to look, this hidden geologic history can be revealed.


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 mvoge@comcast.net 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.

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