SAUGUS Vol. 25, No. 2 -FREETh e Advocate – A household word in Saugus! DVVD F or Saugus Public Schools to realize its goal of “catapulting” from the bottom 10 percent of Massachusetts public education systems to the state’s “Top 10,” the district www.advocatenew V CATE ll O ATCT ublished Every Friday ublish 781-233-4446 Friday, January 14, 2022 The price of excellence Saugus Snow Sailor Superintendent McMahon seeks a $1.5 million increase in School Department budget to reach top 10 educational goal in fi ve years By Mark E. Vogler needs to make sure its budget “is aligned” to that objective, Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Erin McMahon Erin McMahon declared this week. That was her message to the Saugus School Finance Subcommittee on WednesSaugus girls grind out win over Beverly day night as she briefed members on the $1.5 million increase she has proposed for the School Department budget for the 2023 Fiscal Year that begins July 1. Her budget request is just over $31 million – an increase of 4.87 percent of the current school spending plan. McMahon’s proposed budget received rave reviews and the endorsement of the Finance Subcommittee. She had planned to make a budget presentation last night before the full School Committee. Members are expected to vote on the budget at next week’s meeting (Jan. 20). “The truth of the matter is we could have asked for a lot more,” School Committee ViceChair Vincent Serino said. The School Department would be justifi ed in seeking a higher amount, according to Serino. McMahon said that she and Senior Captain Fallon Millerick had an outstanding game for the Sachems as Saugus defeated Beverly, 35-32, last Tuesday night. See page 12 for story and photo highlights. Pola G. Andrews, the School Department’s Executive Director of Finance and Administration, “could have gone north of $2 million.” The School Department budget has been a subject of great contention in recent years. McMahon’s predecessor – David DeRuosi, Jr., who served as Saugus School SuBUDGET | SEE PAGE 2 WINTER LEAVES ITS MARK: Last Friday’s snowstorm whitened up the Civil War monument in the rotary at Saugus Center, particularly the sailor. See inside for more photos and this week’s “Saugus gardens in the winter” to fi nd out what fl owers are still blooming in winter. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate by Laura Eisener) A Holiday Surge F COVID-19 totals soar in Saugus Public Schools after students return from vacation By Mark E. Vogler rom Sept. 8 through Dec. 22 – the Wednesday before Christmas vacation – the four buildings that make up Saugus Public Schools combined for 252 confi rmed COVID-19 cases. That averages out to close HOLIDAY | SEE PAGE 8 ANGELO’S FULL SERVICE Regular Unleaded $3.239 Mid Unleaded $3.299 Super $3.419 Diesel Fuel $3.479 "43 Years of Excellence!" 1978-2021 KERO $4.99 DEF $3.49 9 Diesel $3.299 9 HEATING OIL 24-Hour Burner Service Call for Current Price! (125—gallon minimum) DEF Available by Pump! Open an account and order online at: www.angelosoil.com (781) 231-3500 (781) 231-3003 367 LINCOLN AVE • SAUGUS • OPEN 7 DAYS to 17 cases a week for the entire school system. But during a one-week period that encompassed the fi rst three days of school after students returned from the holidays, the School Department reported 274 casPrices subject to change Have a Safe & Happy New Year! FLEET

Page 2 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Northeast Metro Tech to seek voter approval for new school W AKEFIELD — Superintendent David DiBarri and the Building Committee at Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational High School (Northeast Metro Tech) announce that voters across the District’s 12 sending communities will have the opportunity to approve plans for a new state-of-the-art school building later this month. Northeast Metro Tech currently serves about 1,300 students in its career technical education programs, but only has the capacity to accept 41 percent of applicants each year. Another 1,300 post-gradArtist’s rendering of the main entrance to the proposed Northeast Metro Tech. Voters will be asked to approve construction in a District-wide referendum on Jan. 25. (Photo Courtesy Northeast Metro Tech) Lawrence A. Simeone Jr. Attorney-at-Law ~ Since 1989 ~ * Corporate Litigation * Criminal/Civil * MCAD * Zoning/Land Court * Wetlands Litigation * Workmen’s Compensation * Landlord/Tenant Litigation * Real Estate Law * Construction Litigation * Tax Lein * Personal Injury * Bankruptcy * Wrongful Death * Zoning/Permitting Litigation 300 Broadway, Suite 1, Revere * 781-286-1560 Lsimeonejr@simeonelaw.net BUDGET | FROM PAGE 1 perintendent for five years before leaving last June 30 – had drawn criticism for not lobbying hard enough for School Department budget increases. DeRuosi last year requested a School Department budget of $30,073,439 – a 1.68 percent increase. Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree’s proposed operating budget for Saugus Public Schools – which Town Meeting approved – was about $29.9 million – $300,000 over the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. But Supt. McMahon, who is in her first year of a five-year contract, is committed to turning around the town’s underperforming school district. Before she was hired as superintendent, she served as a top official in state Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley’s office. One of the big discussion “ The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King Jr. points is going to be the budget pressure resulting from increased out-of-district placements, and increased social/ emotional support resulting from the pandemic, according to School Committee Member Ryan Fisher, who chairs the School Finance Subcommittee. Supt. McMahon noted that school enrollment has declined over the past five years, with the school district having almost 200 fewer students. “My goal is to reduce out-ofdistrict replacement,” she said, adding that Dawn E. Trainor, the School Department's Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Adult Education, will be leading a special education program audit to help accomplish that task. Adding to the challenges We are closed Monday, January 17th in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As always, access our ATMs and your Online & Mobile Banking anytime. Enroll at www.EverettBank.com of turning the School Department around are those generated by COVID-19, especially remote learning, which contributed to learning problems, according to the superintendent. “We have kids whose needs are even more significant because of the time we were unable to serve them in the pandemic,” the superintendent said at Wednesday’s meeting. She lauded a dedicated and 419 BROADWAY. EVERETT, MA 02149 771 SALEM ST. LYNNFIELD, MA 01940 WWW.EVERETTBANK.COM 617-387-1110 781-776-4444 Member FDIC | Member DIF talented teaching staff for helping to meet the everyday challenges of COVID-19. “I can’t say enough about how hard our teachers are working,” she said. uates and adults benefit from Northeast’s night or weekend training programs to advance their careers. However, Northeast Metro Tech was built in 1968 and the facility has outlived its intended lifespan. Classrooms and shops are overcrowded, systems are outdated, and the building does not comply with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. A team made up of Northeast Metro Tech officials, School Committee members from all 12 communities that METRO | SEE PAGE 7 ZOOMED IN: Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Erin McMahon, appeared Wednesday night at a video-conferenced meeting of the Saugus School Finance Subcommittee; she briefed members on her proposed budget for the 2023 Fiscal Year which begins July 1. (Saugus Advocate photo by Mark E. Vogler) COVID-19 has set educational learning in Saugus back, particularly in the early grades, McMahon stressed. “Our second grade teachers are dealing with kindergartners … Every student in the Veterans Learning Center has never been in school,” she said. “We as an educational community are dealing with a lot of trauma and a lot of social/ emotional distancing,” she said. A key feature of the budget unveiled this week by McMahon is the addition of a new dean’s position program. One of these staff members – who have trained to assist students with emotional and mental health issues – would be assigned to each school. They would assist school principals. They have been described as teacher leaders. “I think this is a great idea. It’s outside the box and I commend you for that,” Serino said.

THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Page 3 ~ THE ADVOCATE ASKS ~ Joe Vecchione talks about the potential impact of the “Final Report of the Cliftondale Revitalization Committee” Editor’s Note: The Cliftondale Revitalization Committee is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday via Zoom teleconferencing to consider whether to adopt the “Final Report of the Cliftondale Revitalization Committee” as the committee’s official deliverable to Saugus Town Meeting. For this week’s column, we interviewed Joseph John Vecchione IV, the Precinct 2 Town Meeting member who chaired the committee. He is also a member of the town’s Planning Board. It was Vecchione, a lifelong Cliftondale resident, who authored the Town Meeting article which established a study committee to focus on the revitalization of Cliftondale Square. Vecchione is a third-generation Saugus resident – and fourth-generation Joe (IV). His great-grandfather – Giuseppi/Joe Sr., immigrated here from Italy. Joe IV is a member of the Saugus High School Class of 2009. After graduation, he attended Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture (2013) and a Master of Architecture degree (2014).He is a licensed architect. After growing up in the Cliftondale neighborhood, he bought his first home with his wife, Katie, in 2015 on Baker Hill, just above Cliftondale Square. They are the parents of a daughter, Amelia, 2. Highlights of this week’s interview follow. Q: I see you are scheduled for a Zoom meeting on Monday night, which is Martin Luther King’s Day. Is that still on even though it’s a federal holiday? A: Yes, the plan is to hold the meeting on Monday on Zoom to close out committee busia sign to clarify how it differentiates from public art to leave less grey area in what is considered a mural and what is considered ASKS | SEE PAGE 4 OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE OF CLIFTONDALE SQUARE: With the Cliftondale Revitalization Committee nearing completion of its work, its chair – Precinct 2 Town Meeting Member Joe Vecchione – is optimistic “that more will be accomplished this time around” after more than four decades of not acting on previous reports. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate) A STARTING POINT: During an interview last March, Precinct 2 Town Meeting Member Joe Vecchione said a good way to begin the revitalization of Cliftondale Square would be to replace the diseased evergreen tree show in the left side of the rotary behind him. Last November, the town removed the dying tree and replaced it with a smaller evergreen tree that was decorated for the holidays. (Saugus Advocate file photo by Mark E. Vogler) ness. As this is a Zoom meeting, there is no need for a government building for this meeting and it is accessible to the public who would like to be present though there is no discussion planned beyond the vote to adopt the report as our deliverable and approve previous minutes. Q: Do you plan on introducing any articles at this year’s annual town meeting or special town meeting having to do with proposed zoning for Cliftondale? A: I may submit minor articles into the warrant to help Cliftondale short term; slighting amending the definition of

Page 4 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 ASKS | FROM PAGE 3 public art. I also would like to work with the Town Manager to see if supplemental funding is required to ensure the $98,000 Shared Streets and Spaces grant we were awarded by the Commonwealth last July can be successfully completed. That means any police detail, DPW staff and other entities are funded to complete this important work. Q: What about the zoning? A: As far as zoning goes, I strongly believe this should be facilitated through the MAPC [Metropolitan Area Planning Council] or other planning agency to formalize as a draft zoning article as was the process for the BHSD [Business Highway Sustainable Development Zoning District], Mill District and Waterfront District as laid out in detail in the report. I will be strongly advocating for the hiring of an agency to complete this work and am strongly considering submitting an article to complete that work this year for adoption at a Special Town Meeting later in the year or early 2023. If I can’t get anywhere with that effort, as a last resort I would draft a formal zoning overlay myself using the guidance available in the report, which is certainly not ideal, but I feel the appetite is there to make significant changes in Cliftondale. Q: With the pending adoption of this report, are you optimistic that more will get accomplished this time than in the past? Do you expect the Master Plan to put a lot of focus on Cliftondale revitalization, and essentially increase momentum for revitalization? A: I am very optimistic that more will be accomplished this time around, and from what I’m told by some members of the Saugus United 2035 advisory committee, Cliftondale is certainly a focus in terms of identifying areas of potential economic development and revitalization. I think – between the two reports – all of the information needed to proceed towards meaningful revitalization is out there. The biggest challenge will be, given the way our town’s government is structured, is to have our executive branch of government on board and truly committed and invested in Cliftondale; and when I say invest, I mean more than simply financial investment. While press releases elaborate on the importance of revitalizing Cliftondale, I judge by acTHE FIRST OF MANY GOOD THINGS TO COME? Before the holidays, the town did a little sprucing up of the rotary at Cliftondale Square, planting this Christmas tree to replace an old and dying evergreen tree. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate by Laura Eisener) tions, and I think 2022 is going to be an interesting year to see what unfolds with both the committee’s report and the Master Plan published. Q: Any word on when the Master Plan is coming out? A: I’m told the Master Plan should be released in this quarter of the year. I have not seen a draft yet and that report will eventually go before the Planning Board to adopt. Q: In the short term, what do you see coming out of the report? A: I think a few steps that can be taken this year is to onboard a planning agency to draft the zoning overlay using the committee’s report as a guideline, completing the work for the Shared Streets and Spaces grant we received last July, releasing the Cliftondale parking and traffic study that was drafted last spring, reconnect with local property owners to begin a parking management plan, put together a signage package, plan an Appreciation Day and achieve many of the shortterm goals laid out in the report. This may seem like a lot but with proper delegation and a firm understanding of the urgency required, and actual collaboration with the many bright minds in Town government, these initiatives are all certainly achievable. Q: Anything else that you would like to share? A: I know as long as I’m a Town Meeting member, I’ll be applying as much pressure as possible to forward the initiatives this committee developed over the past year, and when I originally ran in 2019, revitalizing Cliftondale was a top priority of mine, and that priority has become even more urgent since the onset of the pandemic that has expedited the deterioration in this business and housing district. And I’m sure I won’t be alone in this effort. Cliftondale in its current condition is a big black eye for the Town. I’ll go as far as saying it’s embarrassing how much we’ve let it go. I know there may be things the Town Manager disagrees with in the report, but it’s important to understand that this report is a collection of professional analysis, committee discussion, public input and local precedent. Like anyone else who reads the report, there are things that even I may not agree with in the report, and the same goes for the entire committee. There is no solution where 100% of constituents will agree with. In fact, there are likely to be some that harshly disagree with some of the things in the report or conclude without even reading the report that “nothing can be done” in Cliftondale, and that’s OK. That’s civic discourse. The wrong answer would be to take no action or worse, intentionally obstruct. We all have different opinions but, as a committee, I believe we found a great balance that will certainly move Cliftondale in the right direction and over time, become a thriving downtown that Saugus lacks and has lacked for many decades. I just urge everyone from the top down to keep an open mind, maintain an attitude that there is plenty we can do here and work with rather than at odds with one another to make it happen. That’s the key to success in Cliftondale. It’s certainly been difficult challenging the way people think about Cliftondale, getting people out of their comfort zones and traditional mindsets, urging people to leave the Saugus “bubble” to see what’s been successful in the communities around us, and realizing the many possibilities this district presents, but I will continue to be up to the challenge until meaningful progress is made in this important and historic part of Saugus. The question should be “What can we do?" rather than “What can’t we do?”


Page 6 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 ~ LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR ~ Vote “Yes” on Jan. 25 for a new Northeast Metro Tech School Dear Saugus Voters: During the Special Town Meeting held on October 18, 2021 I voted to have the voters decide if Northeast Metro Tech should receive money from Saugus for a new school. First of all, it IS time to replace the existing school. The HVAC system was never quite right even when I worked there many years ago. It has been repaired over and over and now the pipes are corroded. The ramps allow challenged students to access only one fl oor and limits their career possibilities so it is not ADA compliant. Every bit of space is currently being used – but more space is needed. There is only one road in and out of the property and the state wants that corrected. Secondly, the new plan calls for space for 1600 students which means that the waiting list for Saugus will be accommodated faster. If you have tried to hire a plumber, a carpenter, or other tradesman, you know you have to wait a long time. If we train more students in the trades we’ll have less time to wait for repairs. And all the complaints about the school can be corrected. Thirdly, The proposed new school will cost about $317,400,000! The state has promised to pay $141,000,000! Saugus’ portion to pay is estimated at $40,500,000! (The Northeast Leadership team continues to search for additional money from untapped sources.) It would add an additional cost to each household but when the debt is paid it will go away, this tax will not continue, it will be excluded. If we put it off , it will only get more expensive! Please, during the Debt Exclusion vote on January 25th at our new Middle-High school, consider voting YES for the reasons listed above. Vote YES to send more students for the vocational training that they and we all need! Sincerely, Joyce Rodenhiser Protection against COVID-19 Town plans to hold another vaccination clinic next week at Saugus Senior Center T own Manager Scott C. Crabtree and the Saugus Health Department this week announced a second Saugus COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic on Thursday, Jan. 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Saugus Senior Center located at 466 Central St. in Saugus. The fi rst COVID-19 clinic in December was a great success and the Town has received many inquiries about the town hosting another vaccine clinic, according to Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree. This second COVID-19 vaccine clinic will again allow more accessibility and convenience for all children, adults and our seniors of Saugus. “Access and availability to the COVID-19 vaccinations continues to be a priority of this administration,” Town Manager Crabtree said in a press release issued this week. “Saugus will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our residents and look for ways to expand access to the vaccinations.” The clinic will off er the Pfi zer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccines, if available, for those eligible from fi ve years old and above needing their fi rst, second or booster shots. Saugus residents are encouraged to book an appointment to allow for faster service by visiting Click to Register for Saugus’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic (https://home. color.com/vaccine/register/ cataldo?calendar=0e62266 1-7403-4f94-98f6-7aa6a7a a9e9f). Appointments will be subject to the availability of vaccine doses, which are provided by the Commonwealth. The Saugus Health Department can assist and answer any questions that residents have at (781) 2314117. “We hope Saugus residents and their families will take advantage of this additional second opportunity to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations in a convenient and easy-to-access manner,” Crabtree said. “The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and we are proud to help provide protection to our community through this important initiative,” he said. For Advertising with Results, call The Advocate Newspapers at 781-233-4446 or Info@advocatenews.net

THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Page 7 The COVID-19 Update Town reports 623 newly confirmed cases over the past seven days, five new deaths By Mark E. Vogler F or the second consecutive week, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in town surpassed 600. Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree announced that the state Department of Public Health (DPH) has notified the town of 623 new cases over the past seven days through yesterday (Thursday, Jan. 13), bringing the overall total to 7,723 METRO | FROM PAGE 2 Northeast serves, and construction experts, has spent more than four years developing a plan for a new building. This team has worked in partnership with officials in sending communities, listening to suggestions and concerns, to develop a building plan that is cost-effective and fiscally responsible. The project is estimated to cost $317.4 million. The cases since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in March of 2020. This marked the second-highest total of COVID-19 cases reported in the town – just a week after the town reported 668. Crabtree also noted that the DPH confirmed five additional COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the overall total to 93. “Our hearts and prayers go out to those families affected by this health pandemic,” Crabtree Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) awarded the District a grant of up to $140.8 million in August 2021, the most in its history to that point. The remaining cost would be shared by the sending communities through the issuance of a 30-year construction bond, starting in Fiscal Year 2026. The new school will feature 21st century learning environments, improved Individualized Education Program (IEP) said. The town manager added that the latest COVID numbers do not include positive home test results. This week’s COVID-19 case total surpassed what was thought to be a record-setting amount last week – 446 cases. The town has reported 2,454 new COVID-19 cases since Nov. 22. The ongoing surge prompted the Board of Health to adopt an indoor mask mandate last week. accommodations, state-of-theart shop space, expanded program offerings, a new primary access roadway from Farm Street to reduce traffic congestion, a full-size gym, a 750-seat auditorium, outdoor space for learning, and a new cafeteria. The compact, four-story design will feature a double-height library rotunda. With a focus on sustainability, the project is targeting LEED METRO | SEE PAGE 9 THIS WEEK ON SAUGUS TV Sunday, Jan. 16 from 9–11 p.m. on Channel 8 – “Sunday Night Stooges” (The Three Stooges). Monday, Jan. 17 all day on Channel 8 – “Movie Monday” (classic movies). Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. on Channel 9 – Board of Selectmen Meeting ***live***. Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 9 – School Committee Meeting from Jan. 13. Thursday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. on Channel 9 – School Committee Meeting ***live***. Friday, Jan. 21 at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 22 – SHS Hockey vs. Gloucester from Jan. 15. Saturday, Jan. 22 at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 22 – SHS Girls Basketball vs. Beverly from Jan. 11. Saugus TV can be seen on Comcast Channels 8, 9 & 22. For complete schedules, please visit www.saugustv.org. ***programming may be subject to change without notice***

Page 8 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 HOLIDAY | FROM PAGE 1 es – including 113 at Saugus High School. The number of COVID-19 cases in the schools dropped dramatically in this week’s reporting (through Wednesday, Jan. 12) by 85, to 189. But COVID-19 cases among Saugus Middle School students increased from 46 to 64. And the numbers reported at each school were substantially higher than the cases confi rmed in any given week through the fi rst 15 weeks of school. Twice during that period, the Middle reported 11 confi rmed COVID-19 cases in a week. Saugus High had previous highs of 12 and 10 cases in separate weeks. The Belmonte STEAM Academy had highs of 12 and 11 in two different weeks. And the Veterans Early Learning Center reported nine in one week. So, in the context of COVID-19 trends over the past school year, this week ranked as a signifi cantly high total for each of the school buildings and the second-highest district total. “I’m hoping the overall decline is consistent with data showing that we’re getting past the surge and that the middle school numbers fall alongside on the next report,” School Committee Member Ryan Fisher said yesterday (Thursday, Jan. 13). The escalating numbers reported in Saugus over the past month have been a major concern for school offi cials, according to Fisher. But the fact that students are in class, benefi ting from in-school learning instead of remote learning from home, is a huge positive. “A big diff erence between this year and last is the availability of vaccines and in-school testing to limit the disruption on students who are exposed,” Fisher said. “There have been obvious difficulties with finding testing and I’m hoping that will continue to ease. I’ve spoken to a number of parents with children under fi ve who can’t get vaccinated, or who have family members with precariLaw Offices of Terrence W. Kennedy 512 Broadway, Everett • Criminal Defense • Personal Injury • Medical Malpractice Tel: (617) 387-9809 Cell: (617) 308-8178 twkennedylaw@gmail.com Saugus snaps losing skid H By Greg Phipps aving lost four straight after opening the season with two wins, the Saugus High School hockey team reversed that trend with a solid performance in its home opener on Wednesday evening at Kasabuski Arena. The Sachems were coming off a rough shutout loss against Marblehead last week but were able to bust open a bit on offense and tighten up on the defensive end on Wednesday. Giving up 20 goals and tallying just once in their previous three games, the Saous health situations who aren’t protected by vaccines, and I hear the same comments from some parents of ‘It’s no big deal. I’m sending my kid to school who tested positive because she’s feeling better,” he said. “Kids are better off in the classroom, no question, but there’s a lot of anxiety. We’re going to keep supporting, keep testing and keep asking everyone to do their part to help keep schools open,” he said. “Some parents, based on their child’s age and the health status of their families, are in a tough spot right now. Teaching to in-person students as well as remote students is diffi cult on everyone, especially with our youngest learners. I’m hoping we’re going to follow the South Africa model and ease out of this surge quickly.” chems dented the net four times in Wednesday’s 4-2 win over Swampscott. Four diff erent players scored. The victory left Saugus with a 3-4 overall record. The win over the Big Blue was a Northeastern Conference (NEC) triumph. Against Swampscott, Chris Regnetta tallied and also dished out an assist. He was helped along by single goals from Massey Ventre, Jason Caron and Dante Mauro. The defense was strong as well. Goalie Matt Smith got the win in net. Swampscott fell to 2-5-1 overall and 0-3 in NEC play. With holiday surge anticipated, there were some parents who wondered whether spending the fi rst week in remote learning instead of returning to school immediately would have meant fewer students exposed to the virus. Fisher doesn’t believe it would have been wise for state Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley to order remote learning for the fi rst week. “The reality is the second week wasn’t much better than the fi rst week, so if the commissioner had gone that way we’d likely still be in remote, right?” Fisher said. “Last year, when we were dealing with this, the variants were more harmful, and no one was vaccinated. I don’t think that would have been a realistic option this year,” he said. The Big Blue are currently last in the NEC-South. The Sachems are tied for the top spot in the standings with a 2-1 league record. Wednesday’s game was the fi rst in a span of six consecutive home contests at Kasabuski. The Sachems have a home contest against Gloucester on Saturday night (scheduled 7:50 start). The Sachems host Lexington and Everett next week. They face Beverly (1-1 in league play) on Jan. 22 at Kasabuski. Beverly is currently 3-6 overall on the season. COVID-19 in Saugus Public Schools Veterans Early Learning Center Sept. 8–Dec. 22 – 52 Dec. 23–Jan. 5 – 47 Jan. 6–Jan 12 – 21 Total for school year – 120 Belmonte STEAM Academy Sept. 8–Dec. 22 – 75 Dec. 23–Jan. 5 – 68 Jan. 6–Jan 12 – 62 Total for school year – 205 Saugus Middle School Sept. 8–Dec. 22 – 63 Dec. 23–Jan. 5 – 46 Jan. 6–Jan 12 – 64 Total for school year 173 HOLIDAY | SEE PAGE 9 A trusted family name combined with exceptional craftsmanship & professionalism. 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THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Page 9 ~ LETTER TO THE EDITOR ~ In support of Northeast Metro Tech building project To The Editor: I just received a postcard from the Town of Saugus alerting me where to vote regarding the ballot question about the Northeast Metro Regional Vocational School. The school has proposed an applied budget for each of the communities it serves for the construction of a new school. This school is an unappreciated gem in what it offers those who attend. This type of learning has been championed recently as an important and valuable offering to students of high school age in trying to make a realistic choice of what they would like to do as an adult in a profession. In this day and age, 17/18 year olds are asked to have develop a commitment as to what they would like to do in their future as a profession. Northeast Metro Vocational nurtures the student’s desire METRO | FROM PAGE 7 Silver+ certification with energy-efficient mechanical systems, provisions for solar panels, and vegetated roofs. The grant offer includes a deadline to accept or decline. If voters do not approve the HOLIDAY | FROM PAGE 8 Saugus High School Sept. 8–Dec. 22 – 62 Dec. 23–Jan. 5 – 113 Jan. 6–Jan 12 – 42 Total for school year – 217 School totals at a glance Sept. 8–Dec. 22 – 252 Dec. 23–Jan. 5 – 274 Jan. 6–Jan 12 – 189 Total for the school year – 715 LIKE US ON FACEBOOK ADVOCATE NEWSPAPER FACEBOOK.COM/ ADVOCATE.NEWS.MA to find their interest. Through an Exploratory first 15 shop weeks, they are required to experience the variety of trades and business that can be offered to them in the next years. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a conversation when someone says now I have a college degree but I always loved carpentry and would have been a great carpenter. Or…I always thought I would be an electrician but got caught up in the way it is right now when you graduate high school. The same reflection has been heard about an interest in so many trades in demand that offer an amazing future through internship. But I have also heard I would have loved a choice but now I am caught up in student debt that will be part of my adult life for years got come. referendum, the District would have to start the multi-year MSBA process from the beginning, delaying construction by several years and increasing costs to taxpayers. "Northeast Metro Tech’s goal is to help every student reach their full potential and to find (Editor’s Note: These statistics are based on the weekly “Saugus Public Schools COVID-19 Case Reporting” database, This is a moment when their educational option has value on so many levels. For Saugus to not support this amazing offering would be a tragedy and foolish. To all who are not familiar with what the Northeast Regional Vocational School has to offer, I encourage you to check out Northeastmetrotech.com Northeastbuildingproject. com A community without this education alternative is missing the moment. A choice in how you will choose to support the rest of your life is something we owe our young adults trying to find their path. VOTE IN FAVOR AND SUPPORT OF NORTHEAST REGIONAL VOCATIONAL SCHOOL’S NEW SCHOOL BUDGET. Gini Pariseau 74 Clifton Avenue Saugus, MA 01906 employment in high-paying, high-demand jobs upon graduation," DiBarri said. "All of the work that has gone into developing this proposed project and presenting it to our communities for approval has been done with those core goals in mind." which is compiled on a Wednesday-Wednesday basis, beginning with the period Sept. 8 through 15.) Gerry D’Ambrosio Attorney-at-Law Is Your Estate in Order? Do you have an update Will, Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney? If Not, Please Call for a Free Consultation. 14 Proctor Avenue, Revere (781) 284-5657

Page 10 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 THE SOUNDS OF SAUGUS By Mark E. Vogler Back to Zoom meetings Just when we thought we had seen the last of Zoom public meetings, we’re seeing a sharp spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. As a result, a few local government bodies are going back to Zoom. Wednesday night’s (Jan. 12) Saugus School Committee Finance Subcommittee meeting was conducted via Zoom teleconferencing, as was last night’s (Thursday, Jan. 13) meeting where Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Erin McMahon’s presentation of the 2023 Fiscal Year (beginning July 1) budget was expected to be the main event. “We had to move the budget presentation to Zoom to allow the meeting to happen, just given how many people are infected or very closely exposed to COVID,” School Committee Member Ryan Fisher explained in an interview Wednesday night. “For the vote on the budget next week, we just need to be able to make sure we have a quorum. The talking heads seem to think this surge is almost over. I hope they’re right.” So, there’s a possibility that next Thursday night’s (Jan. 20) School Committee meeting could be an in-person meeting. Then again, if the committee has trouble fielding a quorum because several members are battling the virus – or the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to soar – look for another Zoom meeting. Prostate Cancer Awareness The Saugus Senior Center will host a new community-based group that will focus on Prostate Cancer Awareness, beginning next Wednesday (Jan. 19) at 10 a.m. at 466 Central St. Refreshments will be provided. The goal of “Saugus Prostate Awareness” is to raise awareness of prostate cancer, to encourage men to seek screening, to share personal experiences and to provide suggestions for participants. About one in eight men will be diagnosed with CONTEST SKETCH OF THE WEEK prostate cancer during his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Prostate cancer is more likely to develop in older men and in non-Hispanic Black men. About six cases in 10 are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, and it is rare in men under 40. The average age of men at diagnosis is about 66. The 2020 U.S. Census has revealed that the median age of Saugus residents is 48 compared to the state average (39.4), which suggests that prostate cancer could be more commonplace in Saugus compared to the state. The first meeting will feature three longtime community members who have experienced diagnosis and treatment. They will share what they have learned with participants to inform and encourage men and their partners about the importance of accurate screening and detection. While this disease is specific to men, women are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please call the Senior Center at 781-231-4182 to indicate that you will be participating. The Voke vote is set for Jan. 25 Saugus voters will get to provide a “yes” or “no” answer to the following question in a special ballot election to be held later this month: “Do you approve of the vote of the Regional District School Committee of the Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School District adopted on December 9, 2021, to authorize the borrowing of $317,422,620 to pay costs of designing, constructing, originally equipping and furnishing a new Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School and related athletic facilities, located at 100 Hemlock Road in Wakefield, Massachusetts, including the payment of all costs incidental and related thereto …” Saugus is just one of 12 communities in the Northeast Metro Tech Regional School District that will be voting in the Special Election on Jan. 25. Voting for all 10 town precincts will take place at the Saugus Senior Center (466 Central St.) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., instead of being held at the usual polling locations. Postcards notifying voters of the upcoming election were mailed out recently. There will be no early voting for this election. However, residents can vote absentee. The last day to request an absentee ballot is Jan. 19. Don’t trust voicemail translations Our apologies go to Ruth Berg, who really did win the “Guess Who Got Sketched!” contest, despite our report that there were no winners last week. We initially reported that there were no winners. The translation of the Xfinity voice mail for Ruth listed the answer as “Cathy burke.” The real answer was Miss Ceiny DuPlessie. But after listening to my voice messages after the paper came out, I received one from Ruth that guessed the sketch subject correctly: “Miss Ceiny DuPlessie.” This is how Xfinity translated Ruth’s call: Hi it’s Ruth Berg and I’m answering these sketches on page 16 this week and it’s saying(?) me two places(?) and that’s my guess who it’s is Cathy burke(?) thank you. Sure, it was garbled. But, at first glance, her answer GUESS WHO GOT SKETCHED! If you know the right answer, you might win the contest. In this week’s edition, we continue our weekly feature where a local artist sketches people, places and things in Saugus. Got an idea who was sketched this week? If you do, please email me at mvoge@comcast.net or leave a phone message at 978-683-7773. Anyone who between now and Tuesday at noon correctly identifies the Saugonian who was sketched qualifies to have their name put in a green Boston Red Sox hat with a chance to be selected as the winner of a $10 gift certificate to J&M Italian American Cuisine (340 Central St., Saugus). But you have to enter to win! Look for the winner and identification in next week’s “The Sounds of Saugus.” Please leave your mailing address in case you are a winner. (Courtesy illustration to The Saugus Advocate by a Saugonian who goes by the name of “The Sketch Artist”) was “Cathy burke.” Had I listened to the phone message, it was clear that she was leaving a message that “Ruth Berg” had called. And I would have figured out that “it’s saying (?) me two places (?)” was really “Miss Ceiny DuPlessie.” All I can say is “Sorry for the delayed congratulations, Ruth. You were the only reader guessing the identity of the sketch correctly.” As for voice mail translations, you need to listen to them instead of relying on the translation that winds up in your email. We have a winner! Congratulations to Doug Pogson for making the right identification in last week’s “Guess Who got Sketched!” Contest and then being the one selected from among many readers whose names were entered into the green Boston Red Sox cap. Here’s the correct answer, offered by the person who goes by the name of The Sketch Artist: “The answer to last week’s sketch is a very humble man Mr. Gordon Shepard! Gordon is a lifelong Saugonian and a Saugus High Graduate of 1965. “Gordon served as a letter carrier for 35 years with the Post Office. He was voted Saugus Man of the Year in 2014. He is a U.S. Army Veteran who served in the Vietnam war. Gordon spent many decades (still present) voluntarily straightening out Soldiers’ headstones and multitude of works for their resting in respectful place. “He assisted with various projects restoring over 400 plus Veteran’s grave sites. These graves are maintained because of Gordon’s selfless care to these Soldiers. Many grave sites through the years had been overgrown with grass sinking into the earth where no names could be read. “Gordon tirelessly started one by one tidying up each plot giving these Soldiers the respect and honor they deserve. It all started when he visited a fellow Vietnam buddy Richard “Dicky” Devine’s grave site who was a fellow Vietnam Pal. Mr. Richard Devine was killed in combat in 1969. Gordon saw how his headstone was sinking and grass overgrown. He restored his friend’s burial place and then moved on to the next plot beside his friend. “This was the starting story of Gordon’s tireless efforts and work to give our Veterans a place of honor to rest after their life sacrifices to our homeland. Gordon is all hands on in these projects, working quietly behind the scenes, while deflecting all of the credit to others who may have helped in. “But, he has received national recognition for his efforts to keep the memory of Civil War soldiers and sailors alive by instigating a massive restoration project at the site of the General Edward Winslow Hincks Post No. 95 Grand Army of the Republic Burial Plot. It’s a project he began in 2015 and spent thousands of hours over several years completing. “The National Organization of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War honored Shepard with the organization’s 2019 Founder’s Award for his outstanding service in the memory of Union Civil War Soldiers. It was the group’s only award for the year. “Gordon assisted and conferred with others from getting the right size and material cannonballs to taking out and putting up new marble posts, for grave markers to honor and identify the graves of the 25 soldiers and sailors – many who couldn’t be identified because the inscriptions on their gravestones were faded and unreadable. Gordon was honored with a Citation from the House of Representatives which recognized his Founder’s Award too! (A Founder’s Award is an Annual award that is the Highest Honor that can be presented to someone who is not even a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Gordon has been honored for his work and featured in several interviews such as ‘Civil War Talk.’) “On ‘Gordie Shepard Day’ (unofficially named that for a man who gives so much of himself in various ways to honor and show respect to the Soldiers in those graves) people came out to see Gordon receive his Awards and Thank Gordon personally! A crowd of about 300 gathered in Riverside Cemetery that day to see this humble Saugonian honored. “Gordon Shepard is the reason behind ALL the restoration projects at the Site of The General Edward Winslow Hincks Post NO.95 Grand Army Republic Spot. “Thankyou and a Big Shout Out to Gordon Shepard for serving those who served us first. Your light of love shines so brightly like a beacon for our Soldiers and other and other military veterans laid to rest in the Cemetery! THE SOUNDS OF SAUGUS | SEE PAGE 11

THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Page 11 THE SOUNDS OF SAUGUS | FROM PAGE 10 “Thankyou for All you do! “Yours Truly, “The Sketch Artist” Several “Shout-Outs” to Saugonians Some weeks, we receive nominations for folks to recognize in our “Shout-Outs.” Some weeks, we get a bunch. And it’s always great to receive multiple nominations from our readers for people who deserve to be recognized for doing something for the betterment of Saugus. Making this week’s nominations are: • Ruth Berg: “SHOUT OUT to Friends of Saugus information and news. (A private group on Facebook.) I have Covid-19 and Sunday, January 9, someone egged my front door. The outpouring of all kinds of help was overwhelming. I was amazed at how many people (and how many I don’t know) offered to clean the door, deliver groceries, do my errands, etc., etc. “It is so heartwarming to know there are so many good people in our midst. In these times when we are all so fortunate to be survivors, a bad ‘egg’ is doing harm to innocent people. Our hope is that persons of that mindset would reverse their thinking and gift eggs to needy people.” • Chris Riley: I’d like to offer a “Shoutout” this week to the Northeast Metro Tech Build Committee. This committee, which includes a number of Saugus residents, has held public forums each Wednesday now for each of the past 5 weeks, except for Christmas week, and has gone to great lengths to educate the public about the project, and provided regular opportunities for the public to ask anything and everything about the project, so that voters have accurate information before they vote on January 25. I appreciate their efforts!” • The Sketch Artist: “I’d like to give a BIG HUGE THANKYOU & Shout out to Del, the past manager/owner of 1204 Broadway Rt. 1 Saugus Dunkin Donuts for Sponsoring The “Guess Who Got Sketched Contest.” Del Sponsored the Contest with #70 $ 10.00 Dunkin Donuts Gifts cards that were ALL given away as prizes to the WINNERS! Winners who called/emailed in with correct answers and were picked out of a green Red Sox Hat by the Saugus Advocate Editor each week! The Last $10.00 gift card number #70 is going out to Winner Doug Pogson for entering/guessing correctly & name drawn for last week’s sketch of Gordon Shepard! Thankyou Del with ALL my heart!!! Yours Truly ‘The Sketch Artist.’” Want to “Shout-Out” a fellow Saugonian? This is an opportunity for our paper’s readers to single out – in a brief mention – remarkable acts or achievements by Saugus residents or an act of kindness or a nice gesture. Just send an email (mvoge@ comcast.net) with a mention in the subject line of “An Extra Shout-Out.” No more than a paragraph; anything longer might lend itself to a story and/or a photo. Friday breakfasts at Legion Hall still on hold Concerns about COVID-19 have led to a temporary shutdown of the popular Friday morning breakfasts at the Saugus American Legion Cpl Scott J. Procopio Post 210 Legion Hall located at 44 Taylor St. Legion Hall was supposed to reopen recently for the breakfasts, but the reopening has been delayed again. Debra Dion Faust, Building Manager of American Legion Post 210, said the American Legion membership voted to delay the reopening until Friday, Feb. 4. Live Bingo at the Kowloon The Kowloon Restaurant kicked off its Live Bingo this week and will continue with Bingo every Wednesday through March 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Hong Kong Room. Prizes will be given away each week with a grand prize set at the finale. A full Chinese gourmet is available during Bingo featuring pupu platters, egg rolls, crab Rangoons, Saugus Wings, General Gau’s chicken, lobster sauce, fried scallops, lo mein, moo shu pork, salt and pepper calamari, and sushi along with a full bar menu, including the signature mai tais. Call the Kowloon Restaurant at 781.233.0077 to reserve your table. Town posts Compost Site Winter Schedule The Town of Saugus has announced that the community’s compost site and recycling center will be open to residents the third Saturday of the month during the winter months. The site will be open tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 15), February 19 and March 19 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The site is located behind the Department of Public Works at 515 Main St. Yard waste must be disposed of in brown compost bags or open containers. The Town will accept grass clippings, leaves and brush. As in years past, no branches or limbs larger than three inches in diameter are permitted. At this time residents will not need a compost site sticker to access the site. The Town asks all residents to please wear a mask and maintain and respect social distancing from others while visiting the site. Residents may call Lorna Cerbone at the Solid Waste and Recycling Department at 781-231-4036 with questions or for more information. Trash/Recycling one-day holiday delay The Town of Saugus has announced that the trash and recycling collection will run on a one-day delay from Tuesday, January 18, 2022, through Saturday, January 22, 2022, due to the observance of Martin Luther King Day. There will be no collection on Monday, January 17, 2022, due to the holiday. Services will resume on a one-day delay from Tuesday, January 18, 2022, through Saturday, January 22, 2022. Trash and Recycling will continue to run on a oneday delay for the remainder of the week. 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. Want to be a Knight? The Knights of Columbus is looking for new members to join. If interested in becoming a member of this local organization, please call 781-233-9858. Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus program (Editor’s Note: The following info is from an announcement submitted by Julie Cicolini, a member of the Board of Directors for Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus, providing information about the program.) Who we are: Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus (HS2) is a nonprofit group of volunteers that are helping to offset food insecurity in households. HS2 provides students/families that enroll in the program a supply of nutritious food for when school lunches and breakfasts are unavailable to them on weekends. How HS2 can help you: HS2 bags are distributed at school on Fridays to take home. Bags include such items as peanut butter, jelly, a loaf of bread, canned meals/soups/tuna/vegetables, pasta/sauce, fruit cups, cereal, oatmeal, goldfish, pretzels and granola bars. To sign up go here to complete online form: https://forms.gle/gmMGguycSHBdziuE9. Want to partner with us: HS2 relies on donations to create take-home bags for a weekend full of meals. All food is provided to children free of charge. It is our hope these resources will support the health, behavior and achievement of every student who participates. We would love to partner with organizations, youth groups, PTOs, businesses and individuals to assist in feeding students of Saugus. To learn more about how you can partner with us, visit the Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus Facebook page or email us at HS2Saugus@gmail.com. Checks can also be sent directly to: Salem Five C/O Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus, 855-5 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906. Online donations can also be made at https://givebutter.com/HealthySaugus. Food Pantry still open The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry continues to remain open on Fridays between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. despite concerns over the Coronavirus. They have made adjustments to protect their core of volunteers and the needy people who receive the food. For the protection of volunteers & clients, and to limit personal contact and crowding/gathering, the food pantry has been distributing pre-bagged groceries. Even though clients may receive items they don’t want or need, food pantry organizers feel this is the best course of action to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. Those in need, even for short-term or one-time assistance, are encouraged to come. The food pantry is in the basement of Cliftondale Congregational Church at 50 Essex St. in Saugus. Clarifying some veterans’ issues Jay Pinette, the Veterans Service Officer for the Town of Saugus, wanted to pass along a few words to promote a better understanding of how his office works. “Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) are not VA employees and do not have direct access to VA systems or information,” Jay wrote in an email to us. “Local VSOs are employees of their respective cities and towns. VSOs are generally able to assist veterans and eligible dependents with VA-related claims and benefits activities. “One of the primary duties of the VSOs is to administer a program for veterans and eligible dependents that is referred to as ‘Chapter 115’. Under Chapter 115 of Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. CH. 115), the Commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial assistance for low income veterans and their dependents. Qualified veterans and their dependents who meet the income and asset eligibility criteria may receive monthly financial benefits that are intended to assist the veteran with housing and living expenses. “If local Veterans wish to enroll in VA healthcare and/or obtain a VA ID card, representatives from the VA Bedford will be on-site at the Lynn VA Clinic twice a month. The on-site enrollment will be held on the 1 st and 3 rd Tuesday of each month from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Appointments are advised and the dates and times are subject to change. The Lynn VA Clinic is located at 225 Boston Street, Suite 107. For more information or to schedule an appointment for enrollment, call 781-687-3348 or e-mail vabedoutreach@va.gov. “The Veterans Services Offices of Saugus and other surrounding communities have partnered with the Greater Boston Food Bank to hold monthly mobile food markets for veterans. With the closure of the Saugus Senior Center during the pandemic, the food market was moved to Melrose. We have now moved the food market back to the Saugus Senior Center. The veterans mobile food market is held on the third Wednesday of each month. Veterans and eligible dependents must sign up with the Saugus Veterans Service Office to determine eligibility. VSO Jay Pinette can be reached at 781-231-4010 or at jpinette@saugus-ma.gov. Or on the first floor of Saugus Town Hall at 298 Central Street, Saugus MA 01906.” 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 close to six 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 THE SOUNDS OF SAUGUS | SEE PAGE 15

Page 12 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Sachems handed first loss at Beverly By Greg Phipps C oming off a long layoff due the current COVID-19 surge, the Saugus High School boys’ basketball team was probably a bit rusty after having not played a game in three weeks. The Sachems finally resumed their season on Tuesday night at Beverly, and the result was a sizable loss at the hands of the unbeaten Panthers. Saugus had not taken to the court since a 60-55 home win over Winthrop back on Dec. 20. The Sachems entered Tuesday’s contest with a 3-0 record, but host Beverly proved to be a little more than the Sachems could deal with – at least on this night – as the Panthers rolled to a convincing 90-44 Northeastern Conference win. The Sachems actually scored the first five points of the game before Beverly stormed back and built up a 21-12 lead after one quarter. Saugus was still in the game, but not for long, as the Panthers unleashed Saugus senior Ryan Mabee maneuvered his way past a Beverly defender in Tuesday night’s loss to the Panthers. (Advocate photos by Greg Phipps) Crowley and Rook Landman led Beverly with 17 points each by the end of the contest. For the Sachems, Tyrone Manderson managed a team-high 16 points but found it difficult in the paint, as the Panthers continuously converged on Manderson every time he received the ball. The Sachems also struggled with their outside shooting, as their misses often led to fast breakouts the other way by Beverly. The only other Saugus player in double figures was Saugus senior center Tyrone Manderson scraps for the ball against two Beverly opponents. a suffocating defense to go along with a relentless transition attack that led to numerous breakaway baskets and open shots from the perimeter. A noticeable size advantage for the home team Saugus senior center Tyrone Manderson scraps for the ball against two Beverly opponents. didn’t hurt either. The Panthers outscored Saugus, 24-9, in the second period to go into the half ahead 45-21. The hosts added 45 more points over the final two quarters to run away with it. The duo of Dylan Ben Tapia-Gately, who netted 10 points, including an early three-pointer. In all, the Sachems had no answer for Beverly’s offensive onslaught. The Panthers improved to 6-0 with the win. Meanwhile, the 3-1 Sachems will have another week in between games. They host Greater Lawrence Tech next Tuesday night (scheduled 7 p.m. tipoff). Saugus notched an 18-point victory at Greater Lawrence in the season opener. Head Coach Joe Bertrand hopes his squad can repeat that season-opening effort next Tuesday and get the Sachems back on the winning track. Saugus girls grind out win over Beverly I By Greg Phipps t wasn’t a thing of beauty, but the Saugus High School girls’ basketball team earned its second victory of the season on Tuesday night at the new Middle-High School Gym. It was Saugus’s second home game of the season, and the Sachems made this one more memorable by grinding out a hard-fought, 35-32 Northeastern Conference win over the Beverly Panthers. Like the boys’ team, the girls had not played a game in approximately three weeks due to the recent surge in COVID-19 infections statewide. The last time the Sachems had hit the floor coming into Tuesday’s contest SAUGUS GIRLS | SEE PAGE 15 Jessica Bromberg brings the ball into play for the Sachems. Ashleigh Moore prepares to shoot a three-pointer. Captain Fallon Millerick goes up and over for two points. Ashleigh Moore was double-teamed by the Beverly defense late in the game. Eighth-grader Peyton DiBiasio drives to the hoop.

THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Page 13 SAUGUS GARDENS IN THE WINTER Here’s what’s blooming in town this week to make your walks more enjoyable By Laura Eisener L ast Friday we saw the New Year’s first significant snow, and Saugus became a winter wonderland. Our ponds have responded to the cold temperatures by beginning to freeze over, and in a few spots the ice may be thick enough to support some snow, though far from safe for skating. At least one of the eagles from last winter has been seen a few times near Birch Pond this week, and some open water remains as a result of currents and wind. Neighbors of Lorraine DiMilla, co-president of the Saugus Garden Club, have some new friends. This Christmas she made two adorable gnomes from branches cut from her garden and set them near the door on her front porch on High Street in the Pleasant Hills neighborhood. “My neighbors have stopped by to tell me ‘How Cute!’ One neighbor, Maureen, placed a snowman candle in front of them because she loved them so much,” Lorraine says. “I plan to leave them up until the end of January. I have replaced the nose once and will do it again if the potatoes freeze again.” While the mums and roses seem to have given up for now, there is at least one flower still in bloom outdoors in Saugus: the winter heath, also known as the snow heath (Erika darleyensis ‘Mediterranean Pink’). Heath (Erica spp.) and the more familiar heather (Calluna spp.) are very similar in appearance, with small, almost needle-like evergreen foliage and slightly woody stems, growing about a foot tall. They both have tiny bellshaped flowers, usually white or pink depending on variety. FAKE GLASS: What looks like a pile of windowpanes on the shore of Birch Pond is made up of layers of thin ice caused by waves and fluctuating temperatures. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate by Laura Eisener) WELCOME GUESTS: Gnomes made by Lorraine DiMilla from greens cut in her garden greet neighbors on her front porch. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate by Laura Eisener) The most noticeable difference between heathers and heaths is that heathers bloom in May and June, while heaths usually bloom in winter – typically between February and April in our area, depending on the range of winter temperatures. Snow cover that lasts most of the season will block sunlight from the plants and delay bloom. On the other hand, intervals of warm temperatures after a brief to moderate cold spell tend to produce earlier flowers. January bloom is somewhat unusual, but given the ups and downs of temperature this winter, it is only slightly surprising. In the accompanying photo, open blossoms are seen next to pale greenish flower buds that have not yet opened, so there is a good chance of blooming later in the winter as well. Heath and heather flowers are said to symbolize independence, strength and luck. Both grow in rocky terrains with shallow soil and seem to embody resilience in adverse conditions. The word heath, in fact, can mean the name of the plant, but also, in the U.K. at least, the rough and rocky terrain where heaths and heathers often grow. This meaning is nearly synonymous with moor, the sort of rocky and sometimes desolate areas where soils too shallow for forests may grow in association with peat bogs. Heaths and heathers, along with sedges, mosses and other low plants, may be seen for miles, resulting in a mysterious and somewhat forbidding landscape. Numerous Victorian gothic novels take THE TOWN SNOW SIGN: Saugus Center shines in the melting snow. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate by Laura Eisener) their tone from moors, including “Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor” by R.D. Blackmore (set in Exmoor) and “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë (set in the Yorkshire moors) to mention a few well-known ones. The setting in Dartmoor plays a major part of the story in Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” While these may be the most familiar locations for heath and heather landscapes, other parts of Europe, such as Spain and the Netherlands, also have moors, and there are similar landscapes in Nigeria, Kenya and other parts of Africa. Most heath species developed either in Europe or Africa. Here in Saugus we generally find just one or two examples planted near a sunny doorway so they will be noticed and appreciated when they are blooming in the winter. Editor’s Note: Laura Eisener is WINTER’S FLORAL COLORS: Flowers bloom on ‘Mediterranean Pink’ heath in a sunny spot in Lynnhurst. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate by Laura Eisener) SNOW SAILOR: Our Civil War sailor stood bravely in the snow during Friday’s storm. (Courtesy photo to The Saugus Advocate by Laura Eisener) a landscape design consultant who helps homeowners with landscape design, plant selection and placement of trees and shrubs, as well as perennials. She is a member of the Saugus Garden Club and offered to write a series of articles about “what’s blooming in town” shortly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was inspired after seeing so many people taking up walking.

Page 14 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Beacon Hill Roll Call By Bob Katzen With today’s edition, we begin coverage of the 2022 Massachusetts legislative session with our weekly Beacon Hill Roll Call report. This iconic feature is a clear and concise compilation of the voting records of local state representatives and state senators at the State House. Beacon Hill Roll Call provides an unbiased summary of bills and amendments, arguments from floor debate on both sides of the issue and each legislator’s vote or lack of vote on the matter. This information gives readers an opportunity to monitor their elected officials’ actions on Beacon Hill. Many bills are reported on in their early stages, giving readers the opportunity to contact their legislators and express an opinion prior to the measure being brought up for final action. The feature “Also Up on Beacon Hill” informs readers of other important matters at the Statehouse. Beacon Hill Roll Call is written and provided by Bob Katzen, a former Boston radio talk show host at WRKO, WMEX, WITS and WMRE. Bob has been providing this feature to hundreds of newspapers across the Bay State for 47 years (since 1975). Bob founded Beacon Hill Roll Call in 1975. He was inducted into the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) Hall of Fame in 2019. Fun Fact: Bob invented the “Bagel Route” when he was 10 years old. It’s like a paper route but Bob took pre-orders from neighbors and delivered bagels every Sunday morning. A note from Bob Katzen: Hey Readers: Start off following the 2022 Legislature with something that you will read every weekday morning. There aren’t many things out there that are free and valuable. But MASSterlist is a rarity. GET A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO MASSTERLIST–Join more than 22,000 people, from movers and shakers to political junkies and interested citizens, who start their weekday morning with MASSterList—the popular newsletter that chronicles news and informed analysis about what’s going on up on Beacon Hill, in Massachusetts politics, policy, media and influence. The stories are drawn from major news organizations as well as specialized publications selected by widely acclaimed and highly experienced writers Chris Van Buskirk and Keith Regan who introduce each article in their own clever and never-boring, inimitable way. MASSterlist will be e-mailed to you FREE every Monday through Friday morning and will give you a leg up on what’s happening in the blood sport of Bay State politics. For more information and to get your free subscription go to: www. massterlist.com/subscribe THE HOUSE AND SENATE: The Massachusetts Legislature officially began its 2022 session last week. The House and Senate held brief sessions with little of the ceremonial pageantry that usually accompanies the beginning of a new year on Beacon Hill. The Massachusetts Statehouse is the last state capitol building in the nation that is still completely closed to the public, and in addition, most legislators and staff members continue to work and vote remotely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no roll calls in the House and Senate last week. This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call begins a recap of the 2021 session. Here are some of the bills that were approved by the House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker in the 2021 session. Most bills that were still pending at the end of the 2021 are carried over into 2022 in the same status they had in 2021. $48.1 BILLION FISCAL 2022 BUDGET (H 4002) House 160-0, Senate 40-0, approved and Gov. Charlie Baker on July 16, 2021 signed into law, after vetoing several items, a $48.1 billion fiscal 2022 state budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1. The budget was based on new estimates that tax collections in fiscal year 2022 will increase by more than $4.2 billion above the amount originally predicted by the governor, the House and the Senate. In light of the pandemic, elected officials had for months braced themselves for a substantial decrease in tax revenues and a cut in some programs and/or even a tax increase. The new estimates also led to the cancellation of a planned withdrawal from the state’s Rainy Day Fund of at least $1.5 billion. Officials also project a $1.1 billion deposit into the fund which will drive its balance to $5.8 billion by the end of fiscal year 2022. The budget also cancels a plan to raise fees on Uber and Lyft rides in order to generate new money for cities and towns, the MBTA and other infrastructure projects. Other provisions include a $350 million fund that could be used in future years to help cover the cost of the $1.5 billion school funding reform law passed in 2019; permanently extending the state’s tax credit for film production companies in Massachusetts; and a new law, based on a bill filed by Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) that will provide victims of violent crime and human trafficking enhanced protections. “[This budget] … upholds our Senate values, charts a hopeful path forward for our commonwealth and more importantly reflects our priorities,” said Senate Ways and Means chair Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport). “We maintain fiscal responsibility and ensure our commonwealth maintains healthy reserves for years to come. It safeguards the health and wellness of our most vulnerable populations and new supports for children and families.” Although she ultimately voted for the budget, Sen. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) said that she objected to the fact that legislators were given only a few hours to read the 434-page bill before voting on it. The budget was released late on a Thursday night and was voted on Friday afternoon. DiZoglio said that positioning members to take a vote on something they did not get adequate time to review is not acceptable. “If we keep doing this over and over again, it’s not going to magically become acceptable,” she said. “The fact that we didn’t get even a day to review this is very disappointing. But what’s more disappointing … is the fact that those in our communities who have a stake in what happens in the bill before us, those it will impact most—our schools, our elderly populations, those who are coming from positions of powerlessness, those folks, probably many of them, still don’t even know that we’re taking this bill up. And yet we continue to call what happens in this chamber part of the democratic process.” (A “Yes” vote is for the budget.) Rep. Jessica Giannino Yes Rep. Donald Wong Yes Sen. Brendan Crighton Yes $400 MILLION FOR NEW SOLDIERS’ HOME IN HOLYOKE (H 3770) House 160-0, Senate 40-0, approved and on May 20, 2021 Gov. Baker signed into law a bill authorizing $400 million to fund the construction of a new Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. The push to construct the new home follows the deaths of 77 veteran residents in 2020 as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak at the current facility. The bill also provides $200 million to increase geographic equity and accessibility of longterm care services for Bay State veterans with a focus on areas that are not primarily served by the soldiers’ homes in Chelsea or Holyoke. “Rebuilding the soldiers’ home in Holyoke and increasing access to services for our veterans is necessary and long overdue, especially after tragically losing many residents of the soldiers’ home to a COVID-19 outbreak last year,” said Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington). “This funding will ensure that the commonwealth’s veterans are met with the services that they deserve and that address their unique and changing needs.” “As the senator for the city of Holyoke and the Soldiers’ Home, I know what this new home means to so many in our community,” said Sen. John Velis (D-Westfield), Senate chair of the Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. “This has truly been a long and emotional process that started well before this legislation was first filed. From the very start, families and veterans gave me a very clear message: ‘Get this done.’ We could not let them down and I am proud to say that we have not let them down … The funding authorized in this bill will ensure that the future residents of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home and veterans across our commonwealth receive the care with honor and dignity that they have earned in service to our nation.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill.) Rep. Jessica Giannino Yes Rep. Donald Wong Yes Sen. Brendan Crighton Yes ROADS AND BRIDGES (H 3951) House 160-0, Senate 40-0, approved and Gov. Baker signed into law on May 28, 2021 a bill that includes authorizing $200 million in one-time funding for the maintenance and repair of local roads and bridges in cities and towns across the state. The $350 million package, a bond bill under which the funding would be borrowed by the state through the sale of bonds, also includes $150 million to pay for bus lanes, improvement of public transit, electric vehicles and other state transportation projects. “When building a better normal post-pandemic, investment in transportation infrastructure is crucial,” said Sen. Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville). “Our communities should feel that their infrastructure is reliable and making it easier for them to go back to their normal activities.” This legislation recognizes that in addition to the backlog of local roads in need of repair, there is an unmet need for local projects that benefit all modes of transportation,” said Rep. Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett), House chair of the Committee on Transportation. “And I am pleased that the Legislature was able to provide municipal assistance for road work and expanded funding for towns and cities to advance public transit and reduce congestion.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill.) Rep. Jessica Giannino Yes Rep. Donald Wong Yes Sen. Brendan Crighton Yes HELP BUSINESSES AND WORKERS (H 90) House 157-0, Senate 40-0, approved and Gov. Baker signed into law on April 1, 2022 a bill that supporters said will stabilize the state’s unemployment system and provide targeted tax relief to employers and workers. Provisions exclude Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from being taxed by the state in 2020; exclude $10,200 of unemployment compensation received by an individual with a household income of less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level from gross income for tax purposes; and create a mechanism ensuring all employees will be able to access 40 hours of paid sick time for any COVID-related issues, including testing positive, needing to quarantine or caring for a loved one. Other provisions waive penalties on unemployment insurance taxes; freeze unemployment insurance rates paid by employers and extend the state’s tax filing deadline from April 15, 2021 to May 17, 2021. Businesses would also face a new surcharge, in the form of an excise tax on employee wages, through December 2022 to help repay interest due in September on the federal loans. “The House and Senate enacted legislation to make important updates to our state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which has provided an BHRC | SEE PAGE 17

THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Page 15 SAUGUS GIRLS | FROM PAGE 12 was back on Dec. 22 when they lost at home to Peabody. That was a 21-point defeat. On Tuesday, Saugus defense was solid, but the offense struggled. Senior Fallon Millerick stepped up with a strong 13-point effort to provide needed scoring punch when the team really needed it. She was aided by teammate Peyton DiBiasio’s 11 points. Ashleen Escobar netted two clutch hoops in the final minutes to help hold on for the win. Millerick was also big on the boards, as she hauled down 16 rebounds. Head Coach Mark Schruender also credited senior April Aldred with a strong performance on defense. Schruender said before the season that his team will likely get its scoring from a variety of players this year. Tuesday’s 13-point effort gave Millerick three double-digit games offensively. The Sachems Ashleen Escobar gets a hand to the face as she puts up two points for the Sachems. are also banking on their defense keeping the opponents at bay as the season moves forward. Saugus is scheduled to face Medford at home this Friday evening at 5:30. It’s the remake of a postponed game back in December. Head Coach Mark Schruender discusses strategy with his team at halftime. SOUNDS| FROM PAGE 11 mvoge@comcast.net. Do you have some interesting views on an issue that you want to express to the community? Submit your idea. If I like it, we can meet for a 15- to 20-minute interview over a hot drink at a local coffee shop. And I’ll buy the coffee or tea. Or, if you DYNAMIC DUO: Captain Fallon Millerick and Ashleen Escobar reach for a rebound. prefer to continue practicing social distancing and be interviewed from the safety of your home on the phone or via email, I will provide that option to you as the nation 1. On Jan. 14, 1882, the Myopia Hunt Club became America’s first country club; what state is it in? 2. What female from Mississippi who had her own TV show for 25 seasons said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right?” 3. What indoor game similar to croquet and golf was originally played outdoors? 4. How are tabla, bodhran and taiko similar? 5. On Jan. 15, 1943, what government building was dedicated – the world’s largest office building? 6. The “Iron Chef America” TV shows were based on a TV show in what country (with a name translating to “Ironmen of Cooking”)? 7. In March the Suez Canal was blocked by the container ship Ever Given for how many days: one, six or nine? 8. On Jan. 16, 1970, what designer of the geodesic dome received a Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects? 9. How are brook, rainbow and lake similar? 10. On Jan. 17, 1997, for the first time, what predominately Roman-Catholic country legally granted a divorce? 11. What was “The Yellow Kid,” which appeared in the 1890s and inspired the term “yellow journalism”? 12. On Jan. 18, 1778, Captain James Hook discovered what that he called the Sandwich Islands? 13. What insect is fed royal jelly? 14. Which is the world’s longest road: the Pan-American Highway, the Trans-Canada Highway or the Trans-Siberian Highway? 15. What Essex County, Ella Castle runs into tough Beverly defense under the basket. recovers from the Coronavirus crisis. If it’s a nice day and the temperature is 50 degrees or better, my preferred site for a coffee and interview would be Mass., native – an abolitionist/poet whose name includes the name of a color – in 1866 wrote the poem “Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl”? 16. On Jan. 19, what vehicle used on a TV show based on a comic book character was auctioned for $4.6 million? 17. In 1921 what burger restaurant originated the fast food concept? 18. “More Than a Feeling” is a song by a band with the name of what city? 19. What entertainment venue was previously located at Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere? 20. January 20 is National DJ Day; in what year did radio DJ Jimmy Savile debut the world’s first DJ dance party in Otley, England: 1943, 1953 or 1960? ANSWERS the picnic area of the Saugus Iron Works. 1. Massachusetts (in South Hamilton) 2. Oprah Winfrey 3. Billiards 4. They are drums (in India, Ireland and Japan, respectively) 5. The Pentagon 6. Japan 7. Six 8. Buckminster Fuller 9. They are types of trout. 10. The Republic of Ireland 11. A comic strip character in two New York newspapers 12. The Hawaiian Islands 13. Queen bees and bee larvae 14. The Pan-American Highway 15. John Greenleaf Whittier 16. The original Batmobile from “Batman” 17. White Castle 18. Boston 19. Wonderland Amusement Park (from 1906-1910) 20. 1943

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THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 Page 17 REAL ESTATE TRANSAC TIONS Copyrighted material previously published in Banker & Tradesman/The Commercial Record, a weekly trade newspaper. It is reprinted with permission from the publisher, The Warren Group. For a searchable database of real estate transactions and property information visit: www.thewarrengroup.com. BUYER1 BUYER2 Stuck, Dustin BHRC | FROM PAGE 14 economic lifeline for so many families in need,” said Rep. Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury), House chair of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. “Our actions today will prevent a sharp increase in rates on our businesses, help stabilize the fund over the longer term, provide tax relief to lower income jobseekers and ensure that needed jobless benefi ts continue to fl ow.” “Massachusetts employers faced a signifi cant increase in their unemployment insurance costs, with employers’ experience rates scheduled to jump from $539 to $858 per worker this year,” said Republican House Minority Leader Rep. Brad Jones (R-North ReadStuck, Rachel SELLER1 Lici, Rasild ing). “This legislation mitigates that increase by freezing the rate schedule. Restaurants and small businesses, already struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, secured federal Paycheck Protection Program loans to keep their businesses afl oat and save employees’ jobs during the pandemic faced a collective tax bill of $150 million. This legislation will make sure their forgiven loans will not be subject to state taxes.” “Over the past year, thousands of Massachusetts workers have lost pay, or even lost their jobs, because they needed to stay home from work due to COVID symptoms, or to recover after receiving a vaccine,” said Steve Tolman, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. SELLER2 “Countless other workers have gone to work even when they might be sick because they can’t afford not to get paid. Workers need Emergency Paid Sick Time.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill.) Rep. Jessica Giannino Yes Rep. Donald Wong Yes Sen. Brendan Crighton Yes HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been fi led. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late-night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozens of bills in the days immediately ADDRESS 18 Pinecrest Ave CITY preceding the end of an annual session. During the week of January 3-7, the House met for a total of 34 minutes and the Senate met for a total of 16 minutes. Mon. Jan. 3 House 11:00 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. Senate 11:08 a.m. to 11:16 a.m. Tues. Jan. 4 No House session No Senate session DATE PRICE Saugus 20.12.2021 $643 500,00 Wed. Jan. 5 House 11:09 a.m. to 11:22 a.m. Senate 11:10 a.m. to 11:12 a.m. Thurs. Jan. 6 House 11:00 a.m. to 11:11 a.m. Senate 11:13 a.m. to 11:19 a.m. Fri. Jan. 7 No House session No Senate session Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at bob@beaconhillrollcall.com g


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