Page 16 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, April 5, 2019 THE SOUNDS OF SAUGUS By Mark Vogler H ere are a few tidbits that you might want to know about this week in Saugus. Bruins legend Cam Neely in Saugus tomorrow! Salem Five couldn’t have picked a better way to celebrate the grand opening at its newest location – at 855 Broadway, Unit # 5 in the Avalon at Hilltop development.Hockey legend Cam Neely – the Boston Bruins Hall of Fame player who went on to become president and alternate governor in the Bruins executive offices – will be there to meet and greet from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday, April 6). A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place promptly at 9 a.m. Saugus prides itself as a hockey town. So, this is a great pick by Salem Five to officially open their new Route 1 branch office. Neely scored 50 or more goals in three different seasons for the Bruins and is also the team’s all-time playoff goal scorer with 55. Most amazing was his overall performance during the 1993-94 season when he missed 35 games. He went on to score 50 goals in 49 games. Neely scored 344 goals during 10 seasons with the Bruins and 395 goals overall during his 13-year NHL Career (three seasons for the Vancouver Canucks). He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005. If you’re a huge hockey fan and love the Bruins, 855 Broadway is the place to be Saturday morning. Another milestone celebration for the new school Don’t be surprised if you see people gathered around a Christmas tree or a tree flag at the construction site of the new Saugus Middle-High School next Friday (April 12). Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree announced at Wednesday night’s Finance Committee meeting that he’s planning a “Topping Off Ceremony” for 11 a.m. April 12 – a week from today. “They’ll be putting up the last beam,” Crabtree said. “It’s a community project and we’d like to have as many people come as possible … to celebrate the last piece of steel that’s going up.” It is a time-honored tradition in the construction industry to have a “topping off” celebration when the last piece of steel is installed. The purpose of the ceremony – which varies from project to project – is to memorialize the milestone for everyone who made the project possible. People might be signing their names to the last piece of steel that’s erected on the project. At least that’s the way some of these ceremonies are celebrated. Crabtree said he plans to put out an announcement soon about the event, which at this point has been set for next Friday. Stay tuned. An awesome, colorful sight at the library If you never scanned the entries of the annual “Books in Bloom” event at the Saugus Public Library, you don’t know what you’re missing: colorful, artistic and very creative exhibits that combine plants with books. This year’s event – sponsored by the Saugus Garden Club and the New Friends of the Saugus Public Library – is set for today (Friday, April 5) and tomorrow (Saturday, April 6) from 9 a.m. to closing. The two floors of the library will be beaming with all sorts of spring colors for the next two days, as the participants get creative by matching floral arrangements with books. They use flowers to interpret a book’s title, cover or theme. There are four categories this year: Fiction, Nonfiction, Children’s Books and Young Adults. For more information, please contact Lorraine DiMilla (781233-7451) or Donna Manoogian (781-233-5640) of the Saugus Garden Club or stop by the library to see for yourself. Town Meeting is where it’s at We’re just a month away now until the Annual Town Meeting convenes (Monday, May 6). This will be the fourth one I’ve covered for The Saugus Advocate. But I’ve covered dozens of them in many communities in a newspaper reporting career that spans about 47 year. Back in 1975, as a cub reporter for the Portland Press Herald, I got to cover Town Meetings during the month of March in 11 small towns in the Sebago Lake area of Maine. Towns like Bridgeton, Fryeburg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Naples, Paris and China. Each community had its own character. The towns that held their meeting on Saturdays usually split up the morning and afternoon sessions with a potluck lunch. Women brought their knitting gear with them as they listened intently to the proceedings. I remember 90-year-old sisters in the tiny town of Sweden leading the charge in a stand against Central Maine Power, which threatened a trout brook with a transmission line it planned to run through the area. Small, but feisty and determined to protect their town, the sisters and the town of a couple of hundred people weren’t intimidated by the utility company. Then there were several communities out in the hinterland – far from Portland, the seat of Cumberland Country – who voted to “go to jail” rather than pay one dime toward the Cumberland County Civic Center that was too far away to benefit them. During my three years on Nantucket Island, there was always something interesting that came up at the Annual Town Meeting, too. The one common theme that was clear to me through all of these town meetings – Saugus included – was that most of the participating citizens took their civic duty pretty seriously and represented their constituents proudly. While Boards of Selectmen in these communities were the more glamorous and coveted political positions, it always seemed to me that the New England Town Meeting was the bedrock of local government. It’s the local Legislature that performs the most important task of all – passage of the town budget and zoning ordinances. Sure, selectmen meet more often and take a lot more votes on a variety of local matters. But none of them are more significant than passing a town budget. Anyone in town who is thinking about getting involved in local government by running for elective office should observe the Annual Town Meeting or Special Town Meeting (set for Monday night) proceedings – and then if still interested – run in the fall elections for one of the five Town Meeting seats in their precinct. Spend some time knocking on doors in the neighborhood, getting views from citizens about their local concerns and needs. And if elected, follow through on those concerns by addressing the town manager and the selectmen. If you lose, use it as experience and run again. Get involved with the Town Meeting members in your precinct by working with them on local issues, hopefully for the betterment of Saugus. Being a part of Town Meeting is a humane and noble pursuit, whether you’re a young, college-aged voter or a civic-minded senior citizen. Riverside Cemetery Spring Cleanup begins Monday The Town of Saugus Cemetery Department announces that spring grounds cleanup will begin at the Riverside Cemetery on Monday, April 8. The Cemetery Commission kindly asks members of the public to remove any personal and/or holiday/seasonal items from the grounds before the cleanup begins. All Veterans flags will be placed back on gravesites in May, prior to Memorial Day. For more information, please contact the Cemetery Department at 781-231-4170 or visit the office located at 164 Winter St., Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saugus town-wide street sweeping begins Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree and the Department of Public Works announced this week that the Town’s Annual Street Sweeping Program will begin on Wednesday, April 10, weather permitting. Sweepers will start in the area of north Saugus (Precincts 5 and 7) and work their way across town, working from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Residents are kindly asked to keep vehicles off the street when sweepers are in the area. Citizens may assist the Department of Public Works by sweeping their driveways or sidewalks into the gutter area prior to the program’s start. Keep in mind that street sweepers are unable to collect stones, branches, leaves or other foreign objects. In addition, residents are asked to be mindful that sweepers cannot pick up large piles of sand. Please contact the Department of Public Works at 781-2314143 with any questions. Open Meeting Law training next week If you – a concerned citizen or serious-minded member of the town’s local government – want to be better informed about the state’s Open Meeting Law, representatives of the state Attorney General’s Division of Open Government will be coming to a town near you next week. A free, two-hour training session (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.) is set for Tuesday (April 9) in the Wiggin Auditorium in Peabody City Hall, 24 Lowell St. You do not need to live in the community hosting a training in order to attend. The Attorney General’s Office only asks that you register in advance so they will have materials for you. The regional training and webinar training dates are below and available on the Division of Open Government’s training website. Individuals interested in attending an educational forum are asked to register in advance by emailing OMLTraining@state.ma.us or by calling 617-963-2925, and providing: 1) their first and last names; 2) phone number; 3) email address; 4) town of residence; 5) the public body/organization they represent, if applicable; and 6) the location of the educational forum they will attend. It’s still pretty clear to me that more than a few citizens in town could benefit from this training. If your schedule is open early Tuesday, why not do a carpool to Peabody for the session. But register in advance. Compliments from the U.S. Census Bureau It’s not every day that you get a compliment from the U.S. Government. But I got a nice email this week from the U.S. Census Bureau to let us know that a recent story we did (“Saugus Public Library will host “Census Day” on April 1,” March 22 Saugus Advocate) got pretty good results. “Hi Mark, Wanted to let you know that the ‘Census Day’ recruiting session I held on April 1 was a huge success and I am sure it was due to the great story you put in your paper,” wrote Jim Messeder, a recruiter who reports to the Concord, N.H. Area Census Office and has been overseeing recruitment sessions in Essex and Middlesex Counties. He added, “I have conducted 15 of these sessions in Essex and Middlesex Counties over the past two months and the turnout in Saugus was almost triple the norm. Can’t thank you enough.” So, how many people showed up at the Saugus Public Library this past Monday (April 1)? “28 motivated individuals. The most so far was 11,” Messeder answered in a followup email. Well, I guess I’ll take that as a compliment. For those folks who didn’t attend the session at the library, there’s still time to sign up for a pretty good-paying, flexible job. You can apply online at 2020census.gov/jobs. Calling all Democrats! The Saugus Democratic Town Committee will be holding its Annual Dinner on Sunday, April 28 at Bertucci’s on Route 1 North, Peabody from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The cost of the meal is $30.00 per person and will include spaghetti and meatballs, SOUNDS | SEE PAGE 17

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