The Sounds of Saugus
By Mark E. Vogler
Here are a few tidbits that you might want to know about this week in Saugus.
“For a Safer Saugus”
Traffic complaints can become a daily annoyance for elected officials in any city or town if they fall on deaf ears.
So, you have to admire the lengths that Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree and the Board of Selectmen are going about the business of gathering public feedback on how to make town roads safer for Saugus pedestrians and riders.
The town manager is not only accessible to town residents who want to share their views on how to make Saugus a safer town for residents to walk or drive through.
He seems to be persistent in seeking as much public opinion as possible.
“I enjoy the discussion as long as we have a common goal,” Crabtree said at this week’s public hearing.
The town manager vows he is committed to “trying to make this town safer for pedestrians and traffic” by getting as much public feedback as he can.
Of course, traffic safety in any community is potentially one of those hut button issues that you better embrace.
The sad part is that there a few people in Saugus who are still trying to politicize the involvement of ordinary citizens.
For instance, Bob Davis, one of the organizers of Citizens For A Safer Saugus, complained at Wednesday night’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting that “some people are trying to portray our efforts as political.”
“They criticize our bumper stickers and our organizing when in fact they’ve been close witness to the tragedies resulting from speeding on Essex Street,” Davis said.
“The bumper stickers were never intended to offend anyone, but instead are being used to create more of an awareness of how changes in traffic safety need to take place in Saugus.”
As an outsider watching this unfold, I don’t see the necessity for politics here. But, as we all know, the body politic in Saugus can be brutal at times.
A chance for transparency at the Roby School.
This should be a no-brainer this year.
Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi is offering any interested Saugus residents the chance for a sneak peak of his proposed School Department Budget for the 2020 fiscal year that begins on July 1.
The notice for the public hearing on the budget — which is set for 6:30 p.m. next Thursday, Jan. 17 — also mentions that “a copy of the proposed budget will be available after Jan. 15, 2019 in the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 23 Main St. …. Between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM.”
But what the heck does “after” mean, in this instance? Could it be Wednesday, Jan. 16?
And, what are the particulars that the handful of curious citizens who want to read the superintendent’s proposed spending plan need to know? Will there be copies of the budget handed out to members of the public? Or, will there be just one copy, either pinned to a bulletin board or tethered to a desk?
Whichever way the superintendent chooses to disseminate the information is his prerogative as long as it is readily available to the public once he presents it.
And there are two good ways. First, he can post it on the School Department website. He could also make a copy available at the library.
But anything he presents at next Thursday night’s public hearing he must produce upon request.
Leona’s love for Saugus
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 third year in a row, the Saugus Council on Aging received “a generous donation” — this one of $9,943.80 from the Estate of Leona Payson, according Saugus’ 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 Jan. 2 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.
Xmas tree disposal dates
The Town of Saugus announces that Christmas trees will be collected curbside throughout the entire month of January at no cost to residents.
Residents may dispose of their Christmas Trees on their regularly scheduled collection day for the next several weeks. Trees should be left near trash and recycling barrels/bins.
The last week to dispose of Christmas Trees will be the week of January 28 through February 1, on your regularly scheduled collection day.
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 are 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 continues. 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.