Page 18 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, June 7, 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. “An Extra Shout Out” Precinct 6 Town Meeting Member Jeanie Bartolo came up with an excellent suggestion, which we will incorporate within this column – this week and in future weeks, as often as we can. It’s an opportunity for our paper’s readers to single out – in a brief mention – remarkable acts or achievements by Saugus residents. Just send an email with the mention in the subject line, “An Extra Shout Out.” No more than a paragraph. Anything longer might lend itself to a story and/or photo. This week’s nomination was a “no brainer.” A tribute coin for one of the town’s super veterans Any Saugonian who walked through the Riverside Cemetery last weekend would have noticed the sharp-looking Civil War Veterans plot, with the names legible on the new marble grave markers so visitors can identify the Civil War veterans buried in this section. Well, a couple of Saturdays ago during the town’s annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, I ran into a guy I admired and respected during my days as a reporter for The (Lawrence) EagleTribune. Francisco Ureña is a remarkable person I got to know – first and foremost, a war hero who has done great things for veterans and their families. He began as a volunteer in the veterans office at Lawrence City Hall, and did such a great job that then-Mayor Michael Sullivan appointed him as that city’s veterans services director. The highlight of his time in Lawrence – which caught the eye of veterans’ officials in Massachusetts – was the way he worked with the family of U.S. Army Specialist Alex Jimenez following Jimenez’s capture in Iraq and the soldier’s subsequent murder. That work earned Ureña “Massachusetts Veterans Services director of the Year and high praise, which led the late Boston Mayor Tom Menino to hire him as Boston’s commissioner of veterans’ services. Francisco did so well in Boston that it convinced Gov. Charlie Baker to appoint him as the state’s Secretary of Veterans’ Services. Well, where Francisco goes, he looks for great examples of veterans helping veterans. When I saw him marveling at the restoration of the Civil War veterans burial plot in Riverside Cemetery, I told Francisco I could introduce him the Vietnam War veteran who was responsible. I hold Gordon Shepard in very high esteem, too, having written about his various efforts to improve the graves of some 400 veterans buried in Riverside. And when I ran into Gordie grabbing a bite to eat in the American Legion Hall during the collation, I told him there was somebody who was very anxious to meet with him: the state’s veterans’ services commissioner. Well, as soon as the men shook hands, Francisco reached into his suit coat pocket and pulled out a challenge coin, which he presented to Gordie. “It’s an honor to present the Department of Veterans’ Services Challenge Coin to Gordon Shepard in recognition of his countless hours of work with Veterans across the state,” Francisco wrote me in an email several days later. “The coin is a way for us to show Gordon that his work on projects like the Civil War headstone restoration do not go unnoticed, and impact the lives of so many around him,” he wrote. So, let’s hear “An Extra Shout Out” for Gordon Shepard. And the next time you see him, thank him for his work and the thousands of hours he’s put into improving the veterans’ gravesites in his hometown cemetery. Who’s drowning the squirrels? I’m not a big fan of social media. Especially Facebook, where people can go on with the protection of anonymity and publicly disparage people they don’t like. Anyway, I began receiving emails last weekend from folks who wanted me to know that Martha Parkhurst, the law enforcement investigator from the MSPCA, was checking out some bizarre allegations of animal cruelty in a Saugus neighborhood. The nature of the complaint was that this particular person was trapping and drowning squirrels on his property and that it had been going on for at least a year. My first call was through the front door – right to the MSPCA. MSPCA spokesman Rob Halpin confirmed that investigator Parkhurst did indeed go into a Saugus neighborhood to investigate the animal cruelty allegations. But Parkhurst determined the allegations to be unfounded. “There were no criminal charges filed and the case is closed,” Halpin told me in a telephone interview this week. “We were unable to prove anything. Our investigation turned into education session with the individual on how to deal with a rodent problem.” Halpin said the investigation was valuable in the sense that it will serve to educate Saugus residents and others about new provisions of the animal cruelty law, which were adopted last August. “It didn’t become illegal to drown wildlife until last August. Before then, it would have been legal,” Halpin said. “Since the law was passed, it’s illegal to drown wildlife like squirrels, rats, mice or other animals that are considered nuisance animals. It’s now a felony and the penalties are pretty serious,” he said. “Animal cruelty is a felony crime in Massachusetts punishable by up to seven years in state prison and a fine of up to $5,000.” So, the MSPCA investigation is over. And though the allegations turned out to be groundless, the MSPCA hopes it will be a teachable moment for the Town of Saugus. To name the individual, at this point, would be unfair. As a former newspaper buddy told me: “One anonymous accusation and an investigation yielding nothing adds up to nothing.” Unless somebody being investigated by the police is a celebrity or a high-profile person, we don’t write stories about it. To do so could be grounds for a libel or slander suit. So, a word to the wise to those people out there on the social media gossip front, you might want to avoid naming this individual who was visited by the MSPCA last week. That’s if you want to avoid a defamation of character lawsuit. Guided Bird Watch tomorrow Here’s something for the early birds who love to go birdwatching. The Saugus River Watershed Council (SRWC) will be holding a Guided Bird Watch at Rumney Marsh tomorrow (Saturday, June 8) from 8 to 10 a.m. If interested, plan on meeting at 1 Beachview Ave. in Saugus in a small parking lot which is diagonally across the street from the Italian American Club. Those who are game for this morning outing should enjoy the beauty of the Rumney Marsh, a Massachusetts-designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) on a guided bird watch with birding expert Sean Riley of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation. Some birds you are likely to see are peregrine falcons, egrets, ibis, ospreys, various warblers and shorebirds and red-tail hawks. Those who go should bring along sunscreen, bug spray and binoculars. For more information, contact SRWC Board Member and organizer Melissa Riley at melissaariley3@gmail.com. A call for Rumney Marsh art If you want to learn a little more about the Rumney Marsh and be creative, check this one out. Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) is pleased to announce a call for art for its second annual Rumney Marsh art exhibition, to be held at the Marleah Elizabeth Graves (MEG) Center at 54-58 Essex St, Saugus, Mass., on September 20 and September 21. Titled Rumney Marsh Through the Seasons, the exhibit will feature art in any medium inspired by the beauty and fragility of the Rumney Marsh Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). DATES: ACEC: Rumney Marsh will run from September 20 through September 21, with gallery hours from 6:30–8:30 each evening. The opening reception on Sept. 20 will include a presentation on the plants of Rumney Marsh by Laura D. Eisener and voting for award winners by attendees. The closing reception on Sept. 21 will include the announcement of winners and presentation of prizes and, at 8:30, the pickup of all artwork. Prizes will include gift cards awarded by SAVE to first- and secondplace winners in both the adult and high school divisions, as well as art materials awards provided by our local Artist & Craftsman Supply awarded to third-place winners in both divisions. SPECIFICATIONS FOR SUBMISSIONS: Rumney Marsh MUST be the focus of the art. Each artist must be at least of high school age and may show only one piece of art. Any three-dimensional works must be self-supporting and no larger than 1.5ʹ x 1.5ʹ x 1.5.ʹ Works on stretched canvas will be accepted with eye hooks and wire and need not be framed but must be no larger than 30” x 30.” All other works must be framed and ready to hang (with eye hooks and wire) and no larger than 30” x 30” framed. There are no entry fees AND you do not need to be a resident of Saugus. Art drop off will be on Thursday, September 19 from 5:30-8:30. Pickup will be on Saturday, September 21 at 8:30 p.m., at the end of the reception. At the time of drop off, each participating artist must fill out an information form (with artist name, price, title of the piece, medium and contact information). In addition artists must sign a release form acknowledging that while every effort will be made to protect artworks there will be no insurance coverage in event of damage or theft and that neither SAVE nor MEG will be held liable for any damages or theft. Saugus SAVE board members and their family members may exhibit but will be ineligible for any prizes. Finally, any sales must be handled by individual artists after the close of the exhibit. Please join us in celebrating our precious estuarine and salt marsh ecosystem Rumney Marsh! We look forward to seeing your art and to meeting all nature and art lovers at the exhibit and reception. For questions, please contact Kelly Slater at 781-231-6864. Thank you to our community partners, the Marleah Elizabeth Graves (MEG) Center and our local Artist & Craftsman Supply. The 90th Anniversary Celebration for Saugus Lions The celebration of the founding of the Saugus Lions Club which will be happening on Saturday, June 8, at the Saugus Knights of Columbus Hall on 57 Appleton St. in Saugus, during the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The event will include a full dinner menu catered by Daniella’s of Danvers, a live band, dancing, raffles and installation of Lions Club officers, and is certain to be an enjoyable and fun evening. Firefighters Sunday A memorial ceremony is set for Firefighters Sunday, this Sunday (June 9) at 10 a.m. at the Central Fire Station. Family and friends are welcome and refreshments will follow. SAVE sets Annual Dinner for June 19 Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) will hold its Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, June 19 at the Continental Restaurant (Route 1 North, Saugus). The social hour begins at 6:30 p.m.; dinner buffet to begin at approximately 7:15 p.m. The public is cordially invited and we hope you can join us for the Mixed Buffet consisting of garden salad, pasta, entrees, potato and vegetable, ice cream dessert, coffee and tea. The cost is $21.00 per person. As part of our annual event, our guest presentation for the evening, SOUNDS | SEE PAGE 19

19 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication