The Sounds of Saugus
By Mark E. Vogler
Here are a few tidbits that you might want to know about this week in Saugus.
Memories of “a partially finished high school”
I had an interesting conversation over coffee and hot chocolate a couple of weeks ago with Jim Virnelli and his brother Frank.
The former Saugus residents asked to meet me at Kane’s Donuts to share some information about their late father — Master Sergeant Thomas “Pop” Virnelli — a World War II hero from Saugus, who is the subject of a story in this week’s Saugus Advocate.
Jim, a well-known, former scoutmaster of Saugus Boy Scout Troop 61, and Frank are both proud Saugus High School graduates. Frank is a member of the Class of 1956 while Jim graduated in 1958.
“I was a member of the first graduating class of the partially finished, new Saugus High School at the time,” Frank recalled.
“They did not have the gas hooked up in the chem lab. The old High School didn’t have a gymnasium at the time. So, the basketball team played in a church gym in Cliftondale,” he recalled.
Hopefully, history won’t repeat itself and the future Saugus Middle-High School will be fully finished when it opens in the fall of 2020.
Vowing to support town officials
I keep hearing rumors and innuendo that “Citizens for a Safer Saugus” have a political agenda in their quest for improving traffic safety.
The allegation I hear is that the group is just out to stick it to the selectmen or Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree for not doing enough.
I still don’t agree with that line of argument.
“Citizens for a Safer Saugus supports the efforts of the Town Manager and the Board of Selectmen to drastically improve the traffic conditions in Saugus,” says the press release recently issued by one of the group’s organizers, Bob Davis. He is also calling on town residents who care about traffic safety to attend next Wednesday’s selectmen’s meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. that night in the second floor auditorium of Town Hall.
The press release also states the following:
“The upcoming public hearing on January 9 will allow the selectmen, as traffic commissioners, to change the speed limit on Essex St., Main St., Central St. and Lincoln Ave. to 25 mph.
“Townspeople are encouraged to attend the hearing to support this.
Citizens for a Safer Saugus, which is open to any citizen of Saugus, supports and wants to work with the town government to take immediate action to reduce the speed of traffic in Saugus to 25 mph, post signs that indicate this and have enforcement of this speed limit.
“The group believes that Saugus needs to take a long overdue step forward to have a reduced town-wide speed limit like many of the surrounding towns and cities.
“Two fatalities, an excessive amount of traffic accidents, many people injured, damage to motor vehicles and property and many traffic violations has made for a very sad and frustrating year on the streets of Saugus. Citizens for a Safer Saugus wants to change that.”
The group is also offering is offering free bumper stickers to all who want to show their support for a town-wide 25 mph speed limit.
Sounds like a feisty, local citizens group that is deeply concerned about public safety on their streets, whether it’s driving or walking. And who can argue with that.
It also seems like the town manager is encouraging citizen participation on this issue and might be grateful if he receives some good ideas from the citizens of Saugus.
Trash/Recycling Running on one-day delay
The Town of Saugus announces it will continue to run on a one-day delay for trash collection and recycling through tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 5) because of the New Year’s Day Holiday (Tuesday, Jan. 1).
The Compost/Recycling drop-off site is now closed for the season. This site will re-open to residents on the third Saturday of the month in January, February, and March, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Town of Saugus would like to thank everyone for their cooperation.
Please contact Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Lorna Cerbone at 781-231-4036 with any questions.
Volunteer for your town
Here’s another opportunity to get involved in local government.
The Saugus Board of Selectmen is accepting applications for appointment of Board of Directors for Saugus’ television cable station.
These are volunteer/non paid positions for Saugus residents.
Anyone interested should submit a letter of interest and resume no later than Jan. 16, 2019 to the Saugus Board of Selectmen, Saugus Town Hall, Suite 4, 298 Central St., Saugus, MA 01906.
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:
- Friendship Storytime on Fridays, beginning today (Jan. 4). This special program for children ages 3, which begins at 9:30 am, is sponsored by the Coordinated Family Community Engagement Grant. It can help parents nurture their child’s social and early literacy skill with structured story time.
- Keeping Us in Stitches returned recently. It will continue every second and third Wednesday, at 3:30 pm 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.
- Winter Story Time and Cookies with Local Author! Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. Local author Gloria Mezikofsky has written and will be reading this story. There will also be a drawing demonstration led by illustrator Merrill Mezikofsky along with cookies. This is recommended for children ages 5 and older.
- “Henna for Teens!” is set for Thursday, Jan. 17 from 3 to 5 pm in the Brooks Room. This program is for students in Grade 6 and up. No registration is necessary.
Mandy Roberge will be at the library to give henna tattoos! Mandy is the owner and creator of “Wicked Good Henna” and has been creating henna designs for more than a decade.
- Cozy Hot Cocoa Story Time with Kelley, is set for Thursday, Jan. 24, at 3:30 pm. This program is for ages 4 and older. Enjoy a story, craft and yummy hot cocoa.
- A “Lego Animation Workshop” is set for Thursday, Jan. 24, from 4 to 6pm. This is also for Grade 6 and up. Please sign up because space is required. Empow Studios expert instructors will work with participants to develop storytelling skills, learn animation software and capture the action of their Lego movies. Once the movies are complete, they will be available to take them home to share with family and friends. Contact the Saugus Public Library at 781-231-4168 for more details.
- Mad Science of Boston presents: Dry Ice Capades Science Workshop on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 10:30 am. Registration is required for children ages 5 through 12.
Have you ever wondered how water is able to change into ice, or even steam? Come learn to manipulate matter in all three states! Melt metal in boiling water and freeze water with just a breath of dry ice!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.