December 07 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.


Having plenty to report, but not enough writing time

  The worst part of reporting for a weekly newspaper is not being able to write everything you work on in a given week.

  You might have the makings of an interesting story with good quotes in the middle of the work week, but not enough time to write the story.

  When you’re a daily news reporter, you can always write the story the next if you don’t get to it when you planned.

  But when you miss a story with a weekly, you have to wait another whole week. And only if it’s still salvageable.

  As in most weeks with The Saugus Advocate, I had a few such news tips that I wanted to get to — but couldn’t.

  But, that’s nature of news gathering.

  You can’t be at more than one place at a time.

  And there are only so many stories you can write a week.

  I think they’re all worth reporting.


A Veterans program that really exists

  The best story I had this week that I had to report, but couldn’t get it done?

  It was a news tips about the Veterans Relief Fund — something that does exist, but doesn’t get much attention.

I got a good tip this week that didn’t wind up in the paper, but is still worth sharing in this week’s column instead of holding it.

The tip was about a local disabled Veteran who is confined to a wheelchair. But he couldn’t use his wheelchair because the batteries in the chair weren’t able to power the chair any longer and the Veteran could not afford replacements.

“I was approached on the situation by another local Vet. After some additional searches and fact-finding, it was decided that funds from the Saugus veterans’ relief Fund would be utilized to purchase new batteries and a charger for the chair,” Veterans’ Service Officer Jay Pinette told me.

“I thought that this would be a good opportunity to reinforce the fact that the fund exists and how funds may be provided through local donations, as well as provide a glimpse in to how local Vets have banded together to help,” he said.

Chester Stentiford, a Saugus resident, was “The Veteran in need,” according to Pinette.

Another local Veteran, Marty Graney, who is friendly with Mr. Stentiford became aware of the situation with the motorized scooter, he noted.

“Believing that the batteries in the chair were no longer holding a charge, Marty started reaching out to local veterans groups in an effort to see if he could get some assistance in repairing the chair. Marty also reached out to me to see if we could assist,” Pinette said.

“We wanted to see if there would be any benefits available through Medicare or the state.  When we came up dry, we pursued using funds from the Saugus Veterans Relief Fund for servicing the scooter,” he said.

As the story goes, Pinette praised the local Batteries + Bulbs store with providing “great support.”

“When we contacted them and discussed the situation, they provided needed technical support and immediately offered a Veteran’s discount on the batteries. Mr. Graney worked with another local vet, Joe Dion, to actually perform the repair,” Pinette said.

“In doing so, the discovered that the scooter’s charger was also defective (with the assistance of Batteries+) When all was said and done, Mr. Graney and Mr. Dion were able to return the scooter to operation, which provided Mr. Stentiford with a greater freedom and the ability to resume a more normal  level of activity.”

The Saugus Veterans Relief Fund was established in 2016 as a result of legislation initiated by state Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus) that became law.

This great law helped to create a voluntary method for the public to contribute to the relief fund when they pay their taxes. The tax form includes a check-off box that may be used to direct additional funds to the relief fund.

“The purpose of the fund is to provide support for Veterans and their dependents facing more immediate/emergent needs with food, transportation, heating repair/expenses and other emergency needs,” Pinette said.

“The fund was envisioned to provide a one-time infusion of funds in urgent/emergency conditions.”

Sounds like a great option for veterans who could use a little help to improve their lives, especially this time of year.

Thanks for sharing, Jay Pinette. Hopefully, the story will help other veterans who may not be aware that such a program exists in Saugus.

And the veterans should be thanking Rep. Wong.


PAO’s annual Toys For Tots Xmas party tomorrow

Feel like partying to help some kids this Christmas?

PAO’s annual Toys For Tots Christmas Party is set for tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 8) from 8 PM to 1 AM upstairs, at the Saugus Italian American Club, located at 1 Beachview Ave. in Saugus.

There will be a DJ along with foot buffet.

Please donate an unwrapped present for boy or girl. These items will be delivered by “Elf Pao” the next morning to Children’s Hospital


Compost/recycling ends tomorrow

  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 in time for New Year’s Day.

  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.


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:

  • 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.
  • There are a number of holiday-themed events happening now through the end of the year at the Saugus Public Library. Coming attractions include:

Holiday Cookie Decorating, next Wednesday (Dec. 12) Noon to 1 p.m. in the Young Adult Room. This event is designed for Grade 6 and up.

A Snowflake Workshop! This a program that features art with Ms. Jess, set for next Thursday (Dec. 13) at 3 PM. Basic scissors will be required for those who want to have fun, making snowflakes from simple to complex designs.

Youth and Nature Evergreen Flower Arranging on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 3:30 PM. Make a one to keep or to gift! Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Storytime and Craft with Kelly. Be prepared for “A very Grinchy Story Time!” Thursday, Dec. 20, 3:30 PM. Listen to a holiday favorite. Stay for a Grinchy craft, games and cookies! Wear something Christmasy!

Music with Marybeth Maes. This is a Winter Holiday Concert, set for Thursday, Dec. 27, at 10:30 AM. For children of all ages!

Winter Break Craft! Make a giant snowman! Saturday, Dec. 29, 1:30-3:30 PM. We’ll provide materials to make a darling snowman, or snowgirl! Bring anything special to make it your very own! Recommended for children ages 4 and up!


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.


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.

  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.


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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