November 30 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.


“Citizens for a Safer Saugus”

  This idea could be grassroots citizen action at its best.

  I’m hearing rumblings that a handful of citizens plan to make pedestrian and traffic safety a top priority issue for early next year, with an eye toward the Annual Town Meeting.

  They’ve even got a name in mind for their group — “Citizens for a Safer Saugus” — and are talking about printing up bumper stickers that will advocate a 25 miles per hour speed limit townwide.

  With concerns in recent years about some unfortunate accidents that led to a few deaths and serious injuries to people out walking to get some exercise, this would be an easy cause for a lot of folks to champion.

  Sure, Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree, the Board of Selectmen and police have said they are working on solutions to solving the problem of a number of unsafe street and community trail crossings.

  But, remember, the town manager has said publicly several times that he invites any citizen comment on this issue. And surely, this is an issue nobody in town should be afraid to speak up on.

  Not when citizens’ lives and personal wellbeing could be riding on it.

  As an avid walker myself, I’ve gone out with a few Saugonians to get a better understanding of the safety issues. And, indeed, they are very glaring through the town.

  So, it behooves the 50 Town Meeting members who represent the 10 precincts in Saugus to spend some time this winter making an inventory of dangerous intersections, crossings and streets in the neighborhoods they represent. There’s plenty of time to draft some articles for the Annual Town Meeting.

  The town manager has already said he would like to see a special traffic enforcement unit set up within the Saugus Police Department.  That’s going to cost money. And so will the posting of speed limit signs and improvements in numerous crossings around town.

  But town officials shouldn’t get caught up on the costs for making town streets safer. When it comes to protecting the lives of the community’s children and elderly who are placed in harm’s wife, you do what needs to be done. You don’t put a price tag on human life.

  There should be no excuses for the town taking steps to make the community safer for all.


An Unsung hero

  After the last Board of Selectmen’s meeting, the board’s clerk Wendy Reed mentioned about a 16-year-old Saugus boy who has been running his own Thanksgiving Day food drives to help provide meals for less fortunate town residents who can’t make ends meet.

  Wendy, who is director of the Saugus United Parish Food Pantry, told me it might be worth talking to Anthony Zannella, of David Drive. And Wendy was right.

  Anthony is a humble and impressive teen who genuinely cares about his fellow man. He’s one of many unsung heroes who contribute to or are part of the Food Pantry.

  But the fact he got involved at the age of 9 makes his personal story most compelling. So, Anthony, along with his parents, is the subject of this week’s “The Advocate Asks” interview. He is a shining example of the kind of meaningful civic projects that teens are capable of tackling in any city or town.

  Any community can use more young people like Anthony.


Last day for compost/recycling soon

  The Town of Saugus Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site will close for the winter season a week from tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 8), at 2 p.m. This site will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. prior to closing.

  The site will re-open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month in January, February, and March, weather permitting.

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


The Christmas trees are back!

  Boy Scout Troop 62 is at it again this year, selling Christmas trees of all dimensions and other holiday stuff at the lot adjacent to the northbound lane of Route 107, just as turn left at the traffic lights at the intersection of Ballard Street. Storage LLC has generously provided use of the lot without charge and Armand and Michael of AM Details are providing electricity.

  The lot will be open at 20 Salem Turnpike Route 107, Monday through Friday 4-10 and Saturday and Sunday 9-9, now through Christmas Eve — or until the trees sell out. Troop 62 offers delivery and also free tie down service. The troop will sell balsam trees and wreaths as well as kissing balls tree stands and other accessories.

  Tree sizes range from table tops to 9 foot tall trees. Larger ones can be ordered by request and the scouts will also be selling wreaths from 12″ to 48″.

In stock tree prices range from $25-$60. Cash and credit cards accepted

  Money raised will go to the scouts next big trip to Alaska


Old photos sought for calendar

  George W. Brown is at again — looking for old photos that might make next year’s Saugus Historical Society calendar a little more interesting.

  Brown says that nostalgic (if you’re a townie) calendar should be out on the streets by around Christmas time.

  But, there is still a window of opportunity, which he is trying to take advantage of.

“I am just looking for photos of Saugus (landmarks or old buildings). Any people pictures need names. I’m looking most of all for pictures that are of interest to everyone,” he said.

Got an old photo that you think town residents would love to see?

Contact George at 508-878-8684 or at Park Press (781-233-0315). If you are worried about your photo being damaged or lost, you can go to Park Press and ask them to scan it in while you wait.


SRWC Annual Meeting next week

The Saugus River Watershed Council and friends will hold its annual meeting with a delicious dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Spinelli’s Function Facility, Route 1 South (Peabody / Lynnfield line).

Kirstie Pecci, senior fellow from the Conservation Law Foundation, will provide a keynote presentation, highlighting the Saugus River Watershed.

This year’s Saugus River Stewardship Awards will honor:

Cindy Luppi, Clean Water Action for outstanding contributions toward protecting natural resources and public health in the Saugus River Watershed.  Cindy has helped coordinate a number of coalitions and community based-efforts to reduce pollution and promote a cleaner, more sustainable economy.

Jay Walsh, Saugus River Watershed Council for exceptional work protecting the natural resources in the Saugus River Watershed. Jay has been a major voice within the watershed and his determination for conservation has been remarkable.

The event will also include a brief SRWC business meeting to elect 2019 officers and board members.

For $25 per person, guests will enjoy the keynote presentation, awards ceremony, plus a delicious dinner buffet by Spinelli’s.


Main Attractions at the Saugus Public Library

There’s always something interesting or entertaining going on at the Saugus Public Library — for people of all ages — from young children to senior citizens. Here are a few events to check out:

  • A Dec. 2 holiday jazz concert! Join us for a Sunday afternoon performance of holiday jazz music by New England Conservatory of Music ensemble, 8 Legs. This free concert, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, will take place in the Saugus Public Library’s Community Room. No reservation required.

Stroll on in through the Library’s Taylor Street entrance and enjoy some hot jazz to kick off a cool holiday.

  • Keeping Us in Stitches returned recently. It will continue every second and third Wednesday, at 3:30 p.m. Grade 2 and up, and older children can learn to sew using needle, thread (and maybe a sewing machine) with teachers Miss Joyce and Miss Margie.


A Chance for citizens to get involved

This just in from Saugus Town Hall: The Board of selectmen is looking for a few good men and women to participate on volunteer boards. The board is accepting applications for appointment to:

  • The Affordable Housing Trust Board of Trustees.
  • The Cultural Council.
  • The Cemetery Commission.

These are volunteer / non paid positions for Saugus residents. Those interested may submit letter of interest /resume no later than Dec. 12, to:

Saugus Board of Selectmen

Saugus Town Hall, Suite #4

298 Central Street.

These are the kinds of positions that enable civic-minded residents to perform a public service for their town while developing experience for town government positions that might one day qualify them to run in local elections.

Here’s your chance to get involved.


“Coffee with Coller”

  “Small Town Politics Means Big Time Problems.”

After losing his election bid for the State House this year and the town selectmen’s race last fall, Saugus resident Michael A. Coller said he is still thirsty for another campaign for political office.

“Our team is currently working on producing a Radio Show with retained communication specialists,” Coller wrote in a recent email to The Saugus Advocate.

He’s calling his future program, “Spill The Beans Radio Presents Coffee With Coller!”

“Hopefully, a soon to be World Wide Pod Cast! I’m not close to finishing my quest for Political justice! Share the news,” Coller declared.

“The premise of the Podcast will be discussing the potentially calculated “pitfalls” of Elected, Appointed and hired Town Officials. Production dates and schedules not yet determined. Happy Holidays! “

Stay tuned.


Square One Mall announces holiday programs

Square One Mall, a Simon mall, is inviting families to experience the joy and magic of the holiday season with Santa and a variety of holiday programming taking place throughout November and December.  The full line-up of holiday events, community partnerships, entertainment, and more are open to the public, and Saugus-area families are encouraged to join in the festive fun!

This holiday season, Simon Malls invites everyone to ‘Find It. Gift It.’ Share the Holiday Spirit With Simon and experience the season’s good cheer with the best of holiday shopping and entertainment. When sharing your Simon holiday experiences socially, make sure to use the#foundatsimonwhen posting.

The mall is offering:

  Simon® Santa Photo Experience: Now through Monday, Dec. 24, during regular and holiday mall hours, at Center Court. Children and their families can experience the joy and magic of the holiday season with a visit to the Simon® Santa Photo Experience. Children will have a chance to visit and have their picture taken with Santa.  For a complete list of Santa’s photo hours:

Save time, avoid the line with Santa FastPass! Now you can reserve your magical moment with Santa online by packages and pricing vary). Visitors can get more information at the Santa set.

The Simon Santa Photo Experience is again sponsored by GYMBOREE GROUP. The GYMBOREE GROUP is a specialty retailer operating stores selling high-quality apparel and accessories for children under the Gymboree, Gymboree Outlet, Janie and Jack, and Crazy 8 brands.

  Caring Santa: Sunday, Dec. 2 from 8:30 to 10:00 AM at Center Court.

Caring Santa Provides a sensory-friendly environment for families of children with special needs, to safely experience the time-honored tradition and magic of Santa. Guests can register in advance  This is an event dedicated to providing families a subdued and welcoming environment as many steps are taken to reduce sensory triggers, creating a more comforting environment for the children’s magical visit with Santa.  Caring Santa events have expanded from seven Simon malls in 2011 to 111 Simon malls today, reflecting the positive impact of this unique program across the country.

  Pet Photo Night with Santa: Sunday, December 9, from 7:30 to 9:00 PM at Center Court. The popular Pet Photo Nights add a magical element to visiting with Santa, as many pet owners view their pets as important members of the family.  Pets will have a turn to visit with Santa on Sunday in December. Pet Photo Nights are hosted after the mall closes and the set gets an extensive cleaning following the event to remove any potential risk to allergy sufferers.*NO RESERVATIONS NECESSARY*

  *All pets must be leashed or crated.  Pets and owners must use the lower level mall entrance closest to Sears*

Square One Mall is located at 1201 Broadway in Saugus, MA. For more information, and up to the minute event updates, please visit Follow Square One Mall on Twitter at @ShopSquare1Mall and on Instagram at shopsquare1mall.


Helpful dining

This comes under the category of “eating for a good cause.”

The Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub on Route 1 in Saugus helped raise $5,619 in funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Lynn.

Here’s a press release from the restaurant chain that was emailed to us this week:

Overall, Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub raised more than $544,000 during this year’s Boys & Girls Club Fundraiser which took place October 1st through November 4th at all Ninety Nine Restaurants across New England and upstate New York.  The funds will benefit 65 local Boys and Girls Club chapters with 100% of the money raised going directly to these dedicated clubs.

The 21-year partnership between the Ninety Nine and the Boys & Girls Club has resulted in over $4.3 million raised to-date during the annual fundraiser, which has helped thousands of kids and teens with positivity in everyday life and guidance within the communities that the local Boys & Girls Clubs serve.

The money raised by guests and team members was through $1 being donated from the purchase of every Boys & Girls Club menu special or by adding $1, $3, $5 or more to the guest’s check.  The Westfield, MA Ninety Nine Restaurant raised the highest amount of money per guest out of all the Ninety Nine Restaurants with an impressive total raised of over $21,000.

The Ninety Nine also made a $5,000 donation through this year’s new “Perfect Partners Contest.”  Each local club the Ninety Nine is partnered with was asked to submit a one-page essay about how the relationship between the club and the club’s local Ninety Nine Restaurant has positively made an impact and lasting impression on the clubs members.  The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke is the recipient of the $5,000 donation from the Ninety Nine for the first year of the “Perfect Partners Contest”.  “We can’t thank the management team and team members at the Holyoke Ninety Nine enough for their dedication, service and support of our Club,” said Eileen Cavanaugh, President of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke.

“The annual Boys & Girls Club fundraiser is a time of year where our Ninety Nine team members and loyal guests shine in supporting and demonstrating tremendous fundraising efforts to help make a difference with local youth across New England and upstate New York,” said Charlie Noyes, President, Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub. “Our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club spans over 20 years.  We are also thrilled with the addition of the “Perfect Partners Contest” which will provide even more positive opportunities for so many local kids and teens.”


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 more than two 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

  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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