The US Navy confirms officially the visit of the USS Constitution is on for July 20th and 21st.
We knew that, but now it's official.
The Chamber of Commerce met last night to review plans for the coming of the Constitution, including traffic, public safety and overall event scheduling. Commander Marin, head of all public relations for the event mentioned that the USS Boston, a nuclear attack submarine, has changed its plans and will not be in attendance. Marin also mentioned that, the President, if he comes at all, will, "at best," make an inspection of around 15 minutes of the Constitution while at mooring in Marblehead Harbor. The Navy Band, in all its glory will play either at Seaside Park or Crocker Park.
The bees are gone from Marblehead. An order from the Salem Superior Court sent Marblehead Police to the home of David Martin early Sunday morning, to remove the ten hives which had been sitting in the front yard. The bees were seized and taken to a farm in Georgetown. The bees have caused so much controversy because of their proximity to the Coffin School, where at least two students have deadly reactions to bee stings.
Today is the day the US Navy makes its final decision whether or not the USS Constitution will come to Marblehead this summer. All signs seem to be pointing toward YES. More later...
The Pleon Yacht Club has announced that it will host the International Optimist Dinghy New England Championships at the end of July. Optimist are sailed singlehanded by younger sailors, the Marblehead Regatta will be split into four divisions based on age and skill-level. 250 "Opti-Brats" from New England and as far away as Bermuda will participate. Anybody seeking more information should contact the Pleon YC.
6/12/97: From MHTV Broadcast
Amid conjecture that the visit of the USS Constitution was in jeopardy due to Selectmen's indecision, worries over the money, and the coming, potentially overwhelming, multitudes, the Selectmen reassured the Town that none of that was true. Chaired by Diane St. Laurent each Selectman present, in turned, spoke of progress on all front, Public Relations, private sponsorships, public safety, and transportation. Town Administrator Tony Sasso spoke about a gathering momentum beginning with contact with the Governor's office and positive assistance from State Representative Doug Petersen's office towards building a coalition of facilitating governmental resources at all levels. The Board of Selectmen praised Mr. Sasso's abilities and professionalism. One member called for everyone to "stopping identifying problems and to enlist in the new coalition of solutions." In the audience, there were several people who came to demand a commitment from the Selectmen to "bring the Constitution here, full steam ahead," and apparently were satisfied at the meeting's conclusion.
The infamous bee hives with Coffin School right next door.
Marblehead Beekeeper, David Martin says he can't wait to move from his home on Susan Road. Martin and his ten beehives have been the recent center of controversy because of the hives location next to the Coffin School. While Martin claims the bees are harmless and says that reports of the bees swarming around passing cars and visiting the school next door are rumors, many feel that they must go. Included in this group is the Salem Superior Court which has issued a restraining order that could have the bees yanked as early as this week.
Marblehead voters approved a $1 million dollar debt exclusion tax cap override for school renovations. Voters rejected three additional item including, $340,000 to provide additional computer technology to the schools, $520,000 to buy Guides Forest which is adjacent to the Abbott Public Library and $20,000 to support the construction of a skate park. Barbara Anderson, a member of anti-tax group, WHIP, was quoted saying in the Salem Evening News that, "People are voting no because they think that taxes are high enough."
The Harbors and Waters Board is inviting anybody with ideas or suggestions for the use of Tucker's Wharf to attend a meeting being held at Abbott Hall, Wednesday, June 18 at 8 P.M. Some suggestions are a path linking the Wharf to Crocker Park, while others have suggested an elaborate mega-yacht marina.
The reconstruction of Tucker's Wharf is still scheduled to be completed on the contracted date of June 30th.
6/7 & 8/97
Erma Goldstein retires from the Eveleth School after 32 years in the public schools. An extremely popular teacher who has seen her students go on to medicine, law, and many other successful careers, she stated in the Daily Evening Item that, "I respect children, and I have a great love for children. You really have to love children to be in this job." Known as a disciplinarian, she was nonetheless also known to be one of the most loving and energetic teachers the Marblehead public schools are ever known. Everyone who worked with her knows how much she will be missed around the hallways.
E-911 goes on line in Marblehead. The new enhanced communications system links the Marblehead Fire and Police department together. The new system automatically displays the callers name and address on the screen. Although Marblehead is one the last Massachusetts communities to go online with E-911, the new system has been touted as one of the best in the State.
The Board of Selectmen has called a meeting of all Town departments, boards and commissions to discuss the coming of the USS Constitution and perhaps the President of the United States to Marblehead on or about July 21st. This is the biggest meeting in the history of the Town and this is probably the biggest event in the history of the Town. 3 P.M. at Abbot Hall, upstairs in the auditorium. It'll be really something. See you there? More later.
June 9th, Monday, the Town goes to the polls to determine which, if not all, of the "debt exclusion" overrides will become appropriations of the Town Of Marblehead.
$340,000 for the next step in the public school's computerization program.
$1,055, 000 for school renovations.
$520,000 for the purchase and development of the Guides Florist property into a parking lot for the library.
$20,000 for a skate park at the Green Street Playground.
A group led by Pat Warnock, W.H.I.P. (We're Headers In Participation) is planning to oppose some or all of the overrides, as reported in the Salem Evening News.
The polls open at Star of the Sea, The Marblehead Middle School, the Eveleth School and the Old Townhouse at 7 A.M. and close at 8 P.M. on Monday. The tallies will be completed at Abbot Hall by the Town Clerk, Betty Brown at approximately 8:30 P.M. and will be reported on MHTV Channel 3.
Capital Planning Committee Chairman Victor Wild successfully fired back at Barbara Andersona and Bob Hamond, who, in a letter to the Board of Selectmen, questioned remarks Wild made at the recent Annual Town Meeting. The issue was whether or not wild used the safety of school children from fires as leverage to build support for the overrides soon to come to a Townwide vote. In his letter, Wild stated that all comments he made were accurate and as a "Committee Of One" Diane St. Laurent read Wilds letter to the Board. "I am satisfied that the schools are completely safe. Chief Maurais is the most conservative chief... he is the ultimate for fire safety," she concluded as reported in the Salem Evening News.
A quick check with the police this morning: Prom Night '97 was peaceful, no car wrecks, no fatalities, no arrests.
But, still no arrests in the vandalizing of the High School. More to follow....
Marblehead High School Flooded By Vandalism. School closed for the day. Officials assess damage.
It's not a good day over at Marblehead High School. Apparently, someone broke in through the Student Activities window, then went to the third floor and blocked the drain to the toilets and sinks. They then turned on the water, sometime between 10 P.M. and 6 A.M. and left the premises. Extensive flooding on all floors and in the supporting structure has been incurred. This morning officials from the Town, the fire and police department, school department, health department and highway department were assessing the damage. More later.
Marblehead Prepares For Old Ironsides,
Legendinc.com announces USS Constitution Information Web Site!
Pictured above: (left) Captain Bill Kelley points out the mooring spot off the CYC, for Captain Sting and Commander Cashman, (right) the enterage arrives at Fort Sewall for the first viewing of Marblehead's Harbor facilities.
There is something happening in Marblehead. Everyone is talking, everyone is excited. Now YOU will know. The USS Constitution is coming to a mooring in Marblehead Harbor on (planned) July 20th & 21st. There will be fireworks, literal and figuratively that some say will be the biggest event in the history of the Town.
Old Ironsides will be coming to Marblehead along with the USS Halyburton and the USS Ramage. The USS Halyburton is a guided missle frigate, and the USS Ramage is a Aegis class destroyer. Also, the Blue Angels are scheduled to fly overhead at this great event. There is even a possibility that the President might be visiting Marblehead to catch a glimpse of this historical event.
Marblehead town officials are working nonstop to prepare for the coming of the USS Constitution. Thousands of people may visit Marblehead for this spectacular event, so the necessary accomodations must be made. Also, Race Week in Marblehead is scheduled to begin the week of July 21 and the coming of Old Ironsides may cause some changes. The officials are also working to address health and budget issues that arise with such a spectacular event. Accomodations also need to be made for the 150 saliors of the USS Constitution, and Marblehead is asking its residents to help by lodging some of the saliors in their homes. Many families have already volunteered.
This is type of event really brings people together. The residents
of Marblehead are working together to make the coming of the
USS Constitution a truly memorable event. If you have any questions,
please call the Marblehead selectmen's office at 617-631-0000
Gerry School plans 90th Birthday Celebration.
They have tried to kill it. They have tried to change it. And, some say, they have tried to trick it. But the Gerry School named after Elbridge Gerry, Vice President of the United States, lives on to its 90th birthyday this weekend. On Saturday. at 10 A.M. the parade beings. The school houses three grades, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade, and then the students go on to the nearby Coffin School. Dr. Terry Boylan is the principal of both schools. There will be a Library Dedication to a former teacher, Mary Powers, a plant and bake sale, pony rides and other children's activities. See you there.
In the words of Harry Christensen, Commander of the VFW Post of Marblehead, "The crowds at Waterside and Memorial Park were the largest we have seen in many years." A bright sunny day, a Town picnic near the end of the parade route, both conspired to have Marbleheaders in record numbers turn out to remember and honor the Veterans of Marblehead. Here are some pictures (Taken by Joy Purdin) for your enjoyment:
(left) Selectman Bill Conly receives the "Key To Cat Island," and (right) Selectemen Reed Cutting, Bill Purdin (and daughter Bylthe) and Chairman Tom McNulty march
(left) School Committee Chairman Gretchen Vona, and retiring School Committee Member Robert Clayman
(right) Tom McNulty, Doug Petersen, Diane St. Laurent, Reed Cutting, Bill Conly listen to Selectman Purdin deliver a Memorial Day speech, before everyone marched to Waterside Cememtery.
(left) Fire Chief Maurais and the department's colors march with one of firefighter Jason Gilliand's sons.
(right) the Marblehead High School Marching Band plays en route to Waterside.
(left) Glover's Reginment marches to Waterside, and (right) Superintendent Devaux, Joan Rosenthal, George Gearhart, Ron Grenier, and Jody Magee prepare to march in the Parade.
The Headmaster of the Charter School, who many thought had resigned from the school, has actually signed a new contract for more money. Tom Comeret has received a $5000 per year raise for the next year's contract. This increase raises his pay to $62,500 and includes the potential for merit pay and bonuses. Comeret has completed two school years with experimental school chartered by the Education Reform Act, written and sponsored enthusiastically by the Weld Administration and others.
Gretchen Vona was elected Chairman of the School Committee last Thursday evening. Jody Magee was elected to Vice Chairman after a year as Chairman. Secretary was left for another night. Committee Member Robert Clayman announced that he had received a fellowship to the Supreme Court and would be leaving the Committee on June 30th. All vacancies on the School Committee are filled by majority vote of the joint convention of the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee.
Memorial Day parade begins at 9 AM. in front of the Fire House at the corners of Pleasant & Ocean. Speeches at Memorial Park and Waterside Cemetery. It's always a good day, following by the Great Picnic at Green Street Playground. See you there.
After a $5,000 raise, the controversial head of the Marblehead Charter School, Tom Commeret, has decided to stay for another year. Commeret had been considering another position in California, but said that the increase in his salary would keep him in town.
5/20/97 -- The United States Navy will visit Marblehead today to review the possibilities of mooring the USS Constitution here in our Harbor. Thomas A. McNulty, as reported in the Salem Evening News, has announced that it is a possibilities that instead of the famous revolutionary vessel sailing past Marblehead off of Halfway Rock, it may just come right into the Harbor on July 21st and moor for two days. The USS Constitution will be under sail for the first time in 100 years. Its visit to Marblehead would commemorate its dramatic visit in the War of 1812, sailing beneath the guns of Fort Sewall to escape the British. The logistics of such an important vessel mooring within the confines of an extremely crowded harbor during the first few days of Marblehead's Annual Race Week are enormous. But, also, there would be tremendous rewards as Marblehead becomes the focus of world and national attention. More info as it becomes available.
High School gets a new principal, Marilyn Hurwitz, the acting headmaster of Charleston High School in Boston. The current MHS acting-principle, Steve Feins, while somewhat disappointed in not being selected full time to succeed Henry Lucas who went to another system at the beginning of this school year, seen no problem in resuming his old duties and working with the new Principal.
Is there a problem with fire safety at the public schools? Chief Marais says, "No. The schools are safe and the fire alarms are not in disrepair." But in a comment apparently made by Victor Wild (during the power outage when no visual or audio record was being made) at Town Meeting's third night. A letter from Barbara Anderson and Bob Hamond is quoted in the Salem Evening News as stating, "He (Wild) stated that it (the override for school renovations) is necessary because there are 'code violations' that the fire alarm systems in our schools are defective and in need of repair and that there is a public safety concern." The Anderson/Hamond letter states that either Wild was mistaken or "not telling the truth." The letter called for an immediate resolution of the issue because if the fire safety situation is not safe the children are at risk and that cannot wait until after the override election. Wild, is quoted as refuting the accusation, saying that he recalls saying that the fire alarms need to be replaced to bring them up to current codes and he asserts that "citizens do not want to put school children at risk."
For the first time in history, the grounds around Abbot Hall will be irrigated. After a private fund raising effort, which the Old Marblehead Improvement Association and the Arrangers inspired, the system was completed May 15, 1997. There are 48 heads and 9 zones, with a rain detection system to prevent over watering and waste. The system will come on line every morning between 5:30 A.M. and 7:30 A.M. Further expenditures are planned for plantings and fertilization.
The Old North Church of Marblehead, built in 1824, has raised
$1 million dollars for much needed renovations. The church is
reported to have warped floors, sagging ceilings and the support
posts under the building are rotting away as we speak. It has
been 50 years since any major work like this has been done to
the church. 10 percent of all the money raised will go to the
church's charitable mission's.
The Selectmen meet tonight to appoint and reappoint all Town officials and to "reorganize" themselves as they do every year.
Also, if you're in Marblehead on Friday Night, I recommend
attending the High School's "Pops" concert, which is
full of fantastic entertainment which will surprise you with
its quality and energy. I know it sounds like it would be a local
yokel kind of thing, but it isn't. See you there? 7:00 P.M. The
Aldrich Performing Arts Center.
The election results are in:
In the other contested races: Housing Authority, Pamela Basso defeated Richard Whitehill; and the Recreation & Park Commission: Incumbents Susan Redfield, Phillip Norcross and David Rodgers were reelected and Mike Lane and Dennis Curtin defeated Ed Clisby, Mike Greenberg, Nancy Thomson and Rose Ann McCarthy. More later.
Happy Mother's Day to all Marblehead Mothers. Also the polls open for town elections at 7 A.M. and close at 8 P.M. Be sure to vote for the candidates of your choice. Polling places are: (1) the Eveleth School, (2) The Old Town House in Market Square, (3) Star of the Sea on Atlantic Avenue and (4) The Marblehead Middle School.
Tune in to MHTV 3 around 8:15 P.M. for the first returns.
All races will be counted by 8:30 P.M. or by 8:45 P.M.
The American Legion Building, also known as the Marblehead Academy, will be sold to the highest and best bidder apparently. Not used for a municipal purpose for over a decade the building next to St. Michael's church on Washington Street will become the object of desire for many people and organizations seeking to utilize it for anything from a Marblehead Museum to an office building. The Selectmen have acted and Town Meeting supported the move.
Marblehead's Town Elections are on Monday. Vote.
After a power outage, Marblehead's three day Town Meeting ended in the dark last night.
Town Meeting nixes mooring increases and authorizes a ballot question on funding a Town Skate Park.
Town Meeting was held last night, more to come as the story unfolds.
The Finance Committee and the School Committee have reached a budget agreement compromise.
More later. Town Meeting is tonight.
All is ready for Town Meeting. Monday night 7:45 P.M., open to all registered voters.
69 Articles. For a review, go to Town On Line / Marblehead.
A difference of a quarter of a million dollars is what remains to be decided between the School Committee's requested budget and the proposed budget of the Finance Committee. Both sides are counting on increased aid at the state level to help bring the budget to an agreeable amount. Charles Gessner, Finance Committee member, said, as quoted in the Salem Evening News, "We assume the School Committee will accept the Finance Committee's recommendation."
Marblehead candidates for Selectmen recently got a chance to debate uses for the town's vacant American Legion Hall. Ideas of keeping the building for town use, possibly as an art museum, were proposed; but the point that the potential costs to bring the building up to code could be very high was also made. The forum was sponsored by the Marblehead League of Women Voters at the High School Library last Tuesday night.
The Superintendent of Schools was publicly evaluated by the School Committee last week and while there was a discussion, Dr. Devaux got rave reviews for his insight, professionalism and ability to move the system forward through a difficult year. The evaluations are written and verbal and were postponed once.
Candidates' Night tonight at the High School Library, sponsored by the League of Women Voters.
7 P.M. The election is May 12, 1997. And Town Meeting is next Monday, May 5th.
Candidates' Night is next Monday (April 28th) at 7 P.M. in the High School Library. The candidates for Selectmen, Housing Authority, Recreation and Park Commission, Cemetery Commission, Trustees of Abbot Public Library will debate and make statements in the forum sponsored by Marblehead's League of Women Voters.
Vice President Al Gore and Attorney General Janet Reno presented Marblehead resident Karen A. McLaughlin with the Crime Victim Service Award last Friday for her work in a crisis center. McLaughlin said she was humbled to receive this award and to be recognized by the White House.
Representative Doug Petersen will hold district hours on April 30 at Abbot Hall from 7:30 to 8:30 P.M.
Even though The Travel Channel is gone from Marblehead, it is still on the mind of many residents. The issue of the quality of the service and the whereabouts of the channel was raised at last weeks Selectmen's meeting.
The National Grand Bank is sponsoring a "Women in Business" seminar on Wednesday, April 30th from 6:45 P.M. to 8:45 P.M. Contact Mary Williams or Kathy Morris at the Bank for registration. (617) 631-6000. The lineup of speakers sounds good. Topics include owning your own business, minimizing liability, taxes and accounting, and financing.
Selectmen sign a lease to install communications rods on water tower at Tioga Way. As reported in the Marblehead Reporter, the Town could gain as much as $75,000 (split between the Water & Sewer Department and the Town) per year. While there are other disputes underway in neighborhoods where private communication towers are planned, this contract went through with no opposition.
Parents are angry at the elimination of a second-grade teacher at the Eveleth School. In a 4-1 vote (Magee, Rosenthal, Vona, Grenier favor, Clayman opposed) the School Committee eliminated a second-grade teacher at the Eveleth School and established a multi age curriculum class (MAC) in response to Finance Committee demands for cuts equaling $250,000 from the proposed budget. As reported in the Daily Evening Item, many parents left the meeting angry and dissatisfied.
John Booth, Chairman and Charles Gessner, Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee appeared before the Board of Selectmen to give their view of the financial trends in Town appropriation concerning the schools. They made the case, persuasively, that the Town priorities have changed and that the highest priority is now the funding and improvements of the schools. Selectmen listened intently and there was a brief discussion. The Finance Committee officials disagreed with the previous report to Selectmen from the School Committee's Budget Advisory Committee that we are on "the road to disaster." As quoted in the Daily Evening Item, Mr. Booth stated, I think we have made some great strides in the last three years. We have made other adjustments in the Town budget so it's not as strained as it was."
After some delay and hesitation over which operating platform the schools should use, the Finance Committee has recommended $330,000 in a debt exclusion for the continuing computerization of the school classrooms.
Tucker's Wharf hits a snag: additional soil contamination has temporarily halted the reconstruction of the seawall at Tucker's Wharf. Harbor's & Waters Chairman Paul Williams feels that all will be back on track soon.
Representative Doug Petersen has begun a campaign to stop the intended lifting of the cap on Charter Schools by the Weld Administration. He called for a thorough evaluation of the educational components offered by Charter Schools and he called them "the most expensive public schools there are." Petersen's research indicated that on average Charter Schools' per public expenditures were $555 higher than regular public schools. Marblehead's Charter School is now in its second year of operation.
According to Tom Hamond, Director of the Recreation, Parks & Forestry Department, Marblehead is planning to publish, for the first time, a guide to the Town's open spaces and conservation areas. The department is currently seeking volunteer artists, writers and researchers to help begin the process. Anyone interested in helping should call 617 631 3550.
Today at Abbot Hall 1 - 5 P.M. The USS Constitution fund raiser, hosted by Reed Cutting, Selectman.
$830,000 plus coming voters' way in June, probably. Renovations, technology, and repairs of school buildings and possibly the purchase of land.
More to follow.
In the Marblehead Reporter, Dr. Devaux, Superintendent of Schools, refutes the Finance Committee's main arguments for nixing the Technology Proposal. Check it out. Basically he stated that it was third phase of a system-wide program that has had the support of the Town since the beginning, he states that even with the pending changes in the elementary schools the program should proceed because the Glover will be operational for at least five years and there are no plans to change the Bell, the two schools effected. The software requests have been reduced and should not be delayed. And, on the question of Macs versus IBMs Dr. Devaux quoted authoritative sources and exhaustive studies that conclude that Macintosh platforms are far superior for K-8 and that the high school already is developing a dual platform.
The School's Budget Advisory Committee reported to the Board Of Selectmen last night that four trends in Marblehead School funding is projected to cause a $3.6 million shortfall in next two to three years. Inflation, School Choice, The Charter School, and Special Education are creating trends that will be a "major problem" for the schools, according to Scott Smith who as a member of the committee prepared the report. Additionally, documents which here provided indicate that while the total in the school year of 2000 will be a reduction that year of $3.6 million, the cumulative loss of usable funds from now until then will be $9,546,000.
Mr. Smith stated within his conclusion that the "implicit vision" seen in the numbers was that of cost reduction and tight controls on taxes, which was not all bad, obviously. But he also wondered if this "discount" vision implied in the numbers was also the "explicit vision" that the Selectmen as the Town's CEO wanted. He said that if the vision of "cost reduction" could be overtly stated it would solve some of the debate issues and allow residents "to make choices" about their families and whether or not Marblehead was the Town for them.
Reminder: There will be a fund raising event for the new sails of the USS Constitution's trip to the Marblehead region in July. The event will be held at Abbot Hall on Sunday (4/13/97) from 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. The Master Of Ceremonies will be Selectman Reed Cutting.
Continental Cablevision offers Marbleheaders access to the Internet at "100 times faster rates" than by a 14.4 modem. Using fiber optics, which have been strung in Marblehead, they are able to offer a "always on" connection. Check it out.
No news yet today. It's almost 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The piles of snow around Town were steaming this morning.
The Travel Channel will not be back. But we are going to get the Golf Channel, Country Music TV and and Fox News.
But no Travel Channel.
An appeal to the Zoning Board to expand the Devereux Nursing Home was denied unanimously. The management of the facility wanted to add a three-story 20-unit assisted living building to the existing structures. The neighbors vociferously objected to the expansion because of the congestion and parking problems and most of all because of the nature of the neighborhood.
School Committee bombarded with complaints about lack of funding, multi-age-curriculum classes, state of facilities and lack of defining leadership at their regular meeting last night. Ron Grenier made an impassioned plea to voters to pay attention to the sometimes ridiculous and sometimes harmful demands of the Finance Committee and the evaluation of Dr. Devaux was put off for a week.
Superintendent Philip Devaux stated that the Finance Committee has a "Simple Simon" view of technology after the committee voted to postpone the schools' $400,000 technology debt exclusion request while he was out of state. The Fin Com referred to Apple Computer's financial troubles and "hard-wiring" of the elementary schools, when there are proposals to build new schools on the table. The superintendent called members of the Fin Com, "not far sighted," and questioned what expertise in educational philosophy and implementation the members had. He also stated that even before the budget season began and real proposals were made that John Booth and Charles Gessner, Chairman and Vice Chairman, both stated that they would not support any debt exclusions this year.
The USS Constitution Is Damaged In Storm.
The top section of the ship's foremast, left, snapped Monday night during a fierce blowing snowstorm which dumped over 20 inches of snow in the Boston area.
Marblehead grinds to a stop after 27 inches of snow clog roads, close schools, and traps people in homes.
Tedesco Street at 5:30 A.M.