March 16 2018,  Saugus

The Sounds of Saugus

The Sounds of Saugus

By Mark E. Vogler


Here are a few tidbits that you might want to know about this week in Saugus.


The best show in town

Saugonians who love flowers and books will be in heaven this weekend. It will be quite a pleasing sight at the Saugus Public Library, which will be hosting its annual “Books in Bloom” event.

“You won’t be disappointed. They do a great job,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Debra Panetta told Saugus Cable TV viewers toward the end of Wednesday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting. That’s what happens when creative people match up floral arrangements with books.

“Floral Arrangements Interpreting a Book’s Title, Cover and Theme,” is the essence of the friendly competition cosponsored by the Saugus Garden Club and New Friends of the Saugus Public Library, which is set for today (Friday, March 16, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and tomorrow (Saturday, March 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

This year’s categories include:

  • Fiction (works of imagination: novels, short stories and/or plays)
  • Nonfiction (fact-based: biography, history and/or current events)
  • A children’s book
  • A young adult’s book
  • Miscellaneous (horticulture, flower arranging and hobbies)

The overall guidelines: Arrangements must interpret a book’s title, book jacket or theme. Some fresh plant material should be in each arrangement. One entry per category per person, with a maximum of five entries per person.

It’s a great, creative event that blends flowers with reading. I understand there will also be efforts this year to encourage more participation by the youths of Saugus.

For details, contact Lorraine DiMilla (781-233-7541) or Donna Manoogian (781-233-5640).


Brian’s back!

Former Precinct 7 Town Meeting Member J. Brian Costin seemed kind of down when I saw him last November at Town Hall after he just learned he had lost his seat by just eight votes in the town elections. Well, he didn’t stay idle long.

Saugus Democratic Town Committee Chair Joseph S. Malone nominated Costin to fill a vacant spot on the Saugus Board of Registrars. “I’m sure that Brian will continue to contribute his tremendous drive and commitment to excellence to the Board of Registrars,” Malone wrote in a letter to the Board of Selectmen last month.

“The Town of Saugus could not find a better candidate for this position,” Malone wrote.

Selectmen voted unanimously to accept Costin’s appointment. His term will run through March 31, 2021.

“I agree with you that Brian Costin will do a wonderful job … He’s done a lot for the town,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Debra Panetta said.


Some tentative dates

Okay. If you enjoy celebrating the success of the town’s young people doing their part to help fellow classmates in the Saugus Public Schools, here’s an event you might want to check out.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Debra Panetta announced that the Annual Unsung Heroes Awards Night will be held March 27 at Prince Pizzeria. This is a great night when the principals and teachers from each of the schools honor unassuming kids who help make their classrooms and schools a better place.

And I’m looking forward to hearing their stories. It’s one of the most positive nights for the Saugus Public Schools. Stay tuned for more details.


 Annual Meeting rescheduled for April

The Saugus Historical Society has rescheduled it annual meeting – initially set for this week – to 7 p.m. April 11, to hold its election for board members. There are still some positions open on the board slate. Saugus residents who have an interest in local history are invited to consider joining the Saugus Historical Society board. The annual membership in the Saugus Historical Society is renewable at this time.

The purpose of the Saugus Historical Society is to cultivate an interest in the history of the town and collect and preserve all matter pertaining to the town’s history and citizenry. The organization was begun in 1928. The Saugus Historical Society meeting begins at 7 p.m. at 30 Main St. (diagonally across from the Roby School). Doors open at 6:45. The general public is welcome free of charge. There will be light refreshments. For information about membership, meetings or any general questions about the Saugus Historical Society, call Saugus Historical Society President Laura Eisener at 781-231-5988.


Her love for the town lives on

Leona L. Payson passed away at age 89 in December of 2014. But the town, particularly the senior citizens who frequent the Saugus Senior Center, continue to feel her love.

For the second year in a row, the Saugus Council on Aging received “a generous donation of $5,000” from the Estate of Leona Payson, according Saugus’s Council on Aging Executive Director, Joanne Olsen. “Leona Payson was an active senior at our Center, and has made it clear that she loved the Saugus Senior Center,” Olsen wrote in a Feb. 27 letter to the Board of Selectmen. The donation will be deposited in the Senior Center Gift Account, Olsen added.

Payson lived in Saugus for more than 50 years. And her legacy sure lives on through her philanthropy.


Some citizen concerns

There is still time for Town officials and citizens who want to make their voices heard at the Annual Town Meeting in May to submit something in writing. Yes, we’re talking about citizen-initiated resolutions or warrant articles.

Saugus Town Clerk Ellen J. Schena has recommended that the Board of Selectmen close the Annual Town Meeting Warrant on Wednesday, April 11, to provide her with enough time to post the Warrant in accordance with the Saugus Town Charter. Selectmen granted the request. So, citizens have about three and a half weeks to get a supportive selectman or Town Meeting member to file a warrant article – or prepare it themselves.


Work off your taxes

Town Meeting Member William Brown has been calling on the paper to suggest that town officials follow through on Article 21, which he said the Annual Town Meeting approved back in May of 2014. The article would allow senior citizens to do volunteer work for the town to help pay off part of their tax bill. “The town would take the pay they would normally get and apply it to their real estate taxes,” Brown said.

Not a bad idea. There are probably all sorts of projects that could be tackled by town residents who wouldn’t mind a little volunteer service in return for a reduction in their taxes.


One-day trash delay

With this week’s storm, the town’s trash and recycling collection will run on a one-day delay through Saturday (March 17), weather permitting. Residents are kindly asked to leave trash and recycling in a shoveled out, accessible area near your driveway or walkway. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Please contact Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Lorna Cerbone at 781-231-4036 with any questions.


What are acceptable solid waste/recycling materials?

Cerbone would like to remind residents that the following materials are recyclable and may be placed curbside for collection each week: paper, cardboard, pizza boxes, and mixed containers, such as glass, tin, plastic cans, various containers and jugs. All cardboard boxes should be broken down to 3′ by 3′, and pizza boxes and mixed containers should be clean.

The following materials may not be recycled through the Town’s curbside collection service:

  • Plastic bags and film wraps – can be recycled at a local food store, Walmart or Target
  • Styrofoam – should be placed in the trash
  • Clothes hangers – can be given to dry cleaners
  • Plastic hoses – dispose in the trash
  • Rigid plastics and kids’ toys – may be recycled at the drop-off site located behind 515 Main St.
  • Scrap metal – can be recycled at the drop-off site

“Due to recent international recycling restrictions, our local collection facility is no longer able to recycle materials in plastic bags,” said Cerbone. “We encourage residents to recycle their plastic bags at your local supermarket or retailer.”

JRM will only collect accepted items. The Town of Saugus would like to thank everyone for their cooperation.

The compost drop-off site will be open tomorrow (Saturday, March 17), from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Please contact Cerbone at 781-231-4036 with any questions.


News from the New Friends

Pauline Gautreau of the New Friends of the Saugus Public Library wants to remind folks that the New Friends are now set up to accept donations of stock transfers as well as cash, according to a press release we received from the group this week. “Also, New Friends has been and continues to be accepted by the GE Match Program. Your gift of $25.00 or more may be matched. Stock donations are also eligible for the match program,” says the press release she emailed us.

“This program is for current GE employees, retirees of GE and spouses of deceased GE retirees. We encourage GE people to help us out. Your donation is tax deductible,” the press release states.

“Checks should be payable to: New Friends of Saugus Public Library And noted ‘eligible for GE Match’. Drop off or mail to Saugus Public Library, 295 Central Street, Saugus, MA 01906. Please mark the envelope, ‘Attention: New Friends”.

“Report your donation of check or stock to: The GE Foundation Matching Gift Center at 1/800-305-0669. When you call, please have the following information available: your social security number, zip code of the Saugus Public Library, amount and date of your gift.

“Over the past year, New Friends has provided reduced rate museum/zoo passes as well as many free programs for all ages. Also, when the library lost a beautiful tree near the Taylor Street entrance, New Friends replaced it with a new young tree and watered it throughout the summer and fall. Hopefully, we will all be able to enjoy the beautiful pink blossoms for many years to come.

“Our current plans for 2018 include providing new bookcases for the Community Room, supporting many programs for adults, young adults and children as well as bringing in two exciting authors: Ted Reinstein from Channel 5’s ‘Chronicle’ and author and well-known television reporter, Hank Phillippi Ryan. Watch for more information regarding these two free programs.

“Please consider helping New Friends in working to keep our library a busy and vital part of the community.”



A library playgroup for three-year-olds

Fridays, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., now through May 25 – literacy, music, games and art will be the basis for exploring and exercising emotional development. The focus will be on friendship, self-soothing, transitions, emotions and feeling words; play, both parallel and cooperative.

Check it out at the library.


Countdown to kindergarten

Preschool Playgroup: Every Saturday at 11 a.m., the Saugus Public Library will host “Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten!” This playgroup is geared to help families navigate and understand Preschool Development. Children will explore different Literacy, Art, Science, Building, Writing, Math, Fine Motor, Gross Motor and Pretend Play materials and activities.

This drop in playgroup is limited to 15 students. Parents are required to stay. Please email Trish at with any questions. The playgroup is sponsored by Saugus CFCE.


Poetry contest!

The Saugus Public Library is looking for aspiring young poets in grades 6 to 12. Drop your poetry off at the Reference Desk during the months of March and April. You can submit as many poems as you like. Poetry will be judged by the library staff. Winners will be notified at the beginning of May.

Yes, there are some neat prizes:

  • 1st place: a $50 gift card to Uno’s Restaurant and $25 to the Showcase Cinema in Revere
  • 2nd place: $25 to the Showcase Cinema in Revere
  • 3rd place: $25 to the Showcase Cinema in Revere

For details, call the Saugus Public Library at 781-231-4168 or go to


Video Game Design Workshop

Interested in learning about Video Game Design? Empow Studios will be at the Saugus Public Library on Tuesday, April 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. to lead a two-hour workshop in Video Game Design for people ages 12 to 18. The workshop encompasses storytelling, pixel art and object-oriented programming – all through a user-friendly, 2D game design platform.

You need to sign up in advance, so stop by the Reference Desk or call 781-231-4168. Space is limited.


Annual Food for Fines

The Saugus Public Library wants to strike a deal with those readers who are procrastinating in paying their overdue fines. You can reduce the fines in return for donations of food, which will be given to local food pantries. The standing offer from the Saugus Public Library Board of Trustees and staff is that your fine will be reduced by a dollar for each item donated.

Food items that are needed include cereal, pasta, rice, tuna, dry milk, pancake mix, baked beans, baking mix, peanut butter and jelly, canned fruit or juice, canned vegetables, canned or dry soups, macaroni and cheese dinners, instant potatoes, canned tomatoes or sauce, and canned meat.


Students helping students

Here’s an example of great collaboration between the Saugus Public Library and a Belmonte Middle School teacher – and, of course, Junior National Honor Society students from the Belmonte Middle School. Each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m., the library provides tutoring and homework help for the Town’s elementary school students. The elementary school students get help, the Belmonte students get credits for community service.

The library again will be partnering with the Belmonte Middle School to offer free drop-in homework help in the Community Room to Saugus elementary school students to help foster strong academic and study skills outside of school hours. No registration is required, but students must be signed in/out by a parent or guardian. The parent or guardian must remain on library grounds while the student is receiving homework assistance pursuant to an unaccompanied minors policy.

This program is open to students in grades K-5. The subjects students can get help with include math, science, grammar, reading, social studies, geography and more. Hey parents, here’s some help if you child needs it.


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. 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

Do you have some interesting views on an issue that you want express to the community? Submit your idea. If I like it, we can meet for a 15- to 20-minute interview at a local coffee shop. And I’ll buy the coffee.

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