January 1, 1996- August 31, 1996
A R C H I V E S
Marblehead_News-Digest Accepts Press Releases...But
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New Skateboard & InLine Skating Park Launched.
Completing a two-year campaign to solve some of the problems
associated with an every increasing number of skateboarders and
inline skaters on the streets and park of Marblehead, Selectman
Diance St. Laurent announced the groundbreaking of an newly expanded
portion of the Green Street Playground for the sport and a fund
raising campaign to complete the park with removable and multi-purposed
Many observers have noted the inline skaters at
the YMCA stairway, "grinding" down the railings, and
recently an incident occurred that prompted Selectmen to take
note of damage occuring in Memorial Park to the World War II Memorial
marble and metal base by in skaters and skateboarders "grinding"
on the sharp edges of the monument. "Grinding" is something
all of these youngs athletes enjoy doing and is accomplished when
with a small lead in the air they bring the non-roller portion
the their skates into contact with the sharp or smooth edges of
a slippery surface like a stairway metal bannister or a monument
curbstone and then slide at a increasing rate of speed along its
distance. This gives the skaters a sort of turbo lift and requires
the agility to jump to the slicker surface, balance during the
speeding grind, and then jumb off the surface and land again on
the side walk or roadway. It might be the inline skater's equivalent
of a moghole in downhill skiing.
While to many oridinary people what these young people are doing
may seem foolhardy and dangerous, and while the YMCA has posted
signs asking police to take notice of this unsanctioned activity,
they still do it every chance they can. Because it takes great
skill, is very difficult, and it's about as much fun, according
to inline skaters interviewed, as you can have on skates.
Below is the start of the new area, pavement added to the old
"bowl" which was used to some extent by skateboarders
and rollerbladers. The next step is the fundraising for and ultimate
purchase of the equipment that will make the park attractive to
these young athletes: a half pipe, jumps and perhaps the popular
rails for grinding, in addition to other obstacles.
The photos above show the area designated for skateboarders at
Recognizing the tremendous athlete skills involved
in skateboarding and inline skating, and the fact that inline
skating is the fastest growing sport in the United States, Selectman
St. Laurent is championing the outfitting of an enlarged portion
of the Green Street Playground with everything skateboarders and
inline skaters could want. "Hopefully," she stated,
"this will give them a safe place to practice and workout
away from Marblehead's busy streets and business community."
Anyone wishing to contribute should call the Selectmen's office
at (617) 631-0000 or mail the check, specified for the Skate Park
to Selectmen, Abbot Hall, Marblehead, MA )1945.
New Salem/Beverly Bridge About To Open
(left) the final piece just put in place, and (right) the entrance
to the bridge from Beverly lifting off into an August fog bank,
just two weeks before opening.
Scheduled to open on Monday, August 19th after
five years of construction and inconvenience Salem, Beverly and
Marblehead residents will suddenly able to drive across a 1500
foot bridge over 150 feet off the water without interruption.
Many predict it will be a boon for the area's businesses.
Selectmen Have Received One Application For
Jackie Belf-Becker's School Committee Seat.
Many in Town felt that the vacated seat by Belf-Becker's resignation
would create a free for all for the joint School Committee / Board
of Selectmen appointed. But more than two weeks after her resignation...
no applicants. But now one has arrived... Robert Clayman, an attorney
and a parent. More later....
Anyone interested should apply by writing a letter of intent to
either the Board of Selectmen at Abbot Hall or The School Committee
at 2 Humphrey Street.
New Glover/Eveleth Principal Named
After the resignation of Susan Rubel, the search began immediately
to replace the popular principal of what many consider to be the
best two elementary schools in the system. The selection committee
included Superintendent Philip Devaux who stated in a recent Salem
News article, "We were thrilled because he showed an apptitude
for really solid leadership. Robert Harrison of Amesbury signed
a two year contract. Harrision offered a excellent resume, but
more than that, stated Devaux, he displayed an ability to work
in groups, was very articulate, straightforward and to the point.
Harrision holds a bachelor of arts in political science from the
University of New Hampshire and a masters of arts in elementary
education from Lesley College. He was selected from a field of
Light Tower's 100 Year Commemorative Stamp Cancellation
The official cancellation (in green of course to match Marblehead
Light's famous beacon) and a loyal postal worker is there to perform
The Marblehead Light Tower is 100 years old on
August 12, 1996. Here is a look at the special 100 Year Commemorative
Postal Stamp Cancellation that will be available at the Marbl.ehead
Yacht Club on August 19, 1996 from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. An official
of the Post Office will be there to issue the cancellations. Also
the Coast Guard Auxilliary will be there with water safety tips
and demonstrations along with a 41' Coast Guard Cutter. Also commemorative
hats will be on sale.
It's Race Week In The Yachting Capital Of America!
It all seems so calm now, but wait until this weekend (July 27
& July 28th) for the start of the biggest week in Marblehead's
sailing season.... RACE WEEK!
For over a hundred years, top racers from all over the world come
to Marblehead for some of the best sailing competition of the
Every year, for 107 years, Marblehead rolls up
the sidewalks and every one's on the harbor. It's Race Week again!
The races begin Monday July 29th and run through Sunday. Races
are held every day at 12:30 P.M. and run through approximately
"I think of it as friendly, fierce competition, but it's
also a social gathering. You have a good time and you meet a lot
of new people," stated Joan Thayer, Race Week Chairman as
quoted in a recent article of the Salem Evening News.
There are senior (over 21) and junior (under 21) divisions. The
Junior division is hosted by the Pleon Yacht Club, the oldest
independent yacht club in America (and it's run by kids!) The
first three days of Race Week (Monday, Tuseday, and Wednesday)
are reserved for the Junior divisions and the last four days (Thursday,
Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are for the Senior division.
To Halifax Race Information
Principal Henry Lukas, Leaves Marblehead High
School For Manchester-by-the-Sea
Marblehead High School Principal, Henry Lukas,
has accepted a position as principal of the Manchester-by-the-Sea
Junior-Senior High School. School officials will be meeting this
week, as a result, to begin plans for Lukas' replacement.
Lukas, who was one of six finalists for the position of principal
at Manchester, was notified Monday that he had been chosen. Lukas
noted that their were three basic reasons for his choice in leaving
Marblehead: new challenges, salary, and the reduction in the Marblehead
School Budget. He also said that it was well known that he was
searching for a new position.
Lukas, who lives in Cambridge, has held the position of principal
of Marblehead High School for the last ten years and is now looking
for new challenges in his career.
Although it has not been determined at this time, Lukas also stated
that his new salary would be higher than his current salary of
The reduction of the marblehead budget which has caused cuts in
staff and equipment, including the English department curriculum
head and head of the computer program, is another reason for Lukas
leaving. "A lot of those jobs then fall back on the principal,"
Despite Lukas' frustrations with the lack of financial support
concerning the Marblehead School budget, he leaves Marblehead
on good terms. Lukas takes over the position at Manchester in
the middle of August.
Ray Carey of Marblehead Tries For Spot In Olympics,
But Comes Up Short.
Selectmen Declare August 11th, "Ray Carey Day," in Marblehead.
Ray Carey, a world class butterflyer from Marblehead.
The whole family went to Atlanta, 28 to 30 people,
to see Ray attempt to make the finals in the 200 meter butterfly,
considered to be one of the most intensely competitive events
at any Olympic gathering.
In an interview with Gene Lavanchy of WHDH-TV Channel 7, Ray spoke
of letting the opportunity get away from him: "The race was
really off," he said, "I just let it get away."
But, Marblehead Selectmen, looking at his career and his long
standing reputation for community service and willingness to work
with young swimmers, summed up Marblehead's pride in Ray by declaring
August 11th to be officially, "Ray Carey Day." Chairman
McNulty and the entire Board of Selectmen spoke glowingly about
Carey's performance in national swimming and unanimously voted
Carey career biography is very impressive:
Olympic Event:200m Butterfly
Ht./Wt.: 5-10, 160
Hometown: Marblehead, Mass
School: St. John's HS `91
College: Stanford `95
Clubs: Stanford Swimming
Most Notable Accomplishments
Fourth-fastest American ever in the 200m butterfly... gold medalist
at `91 World University Games... member of 1994 World Championship
team... two-time U.S. national champion.
1995: Finished fourth in the 200m fly at Pan Pacs 200m fly
champion at the P66 Summer Nationals becoming the first American
to defeat Mel Stewart at a National Championship since spring
1994: Member of World Championship team, finishing 21st
in 200m fly with pinched nerve in shoulder finished second in
200m fly at World Championship Trials
1993: NCAA champion in the 200y fly
1992: Won his first senior national title at the P66 Summer
Nats in the 200m fly
1990: Ended the year ranked fifth in the world in the 200m
fly LEN Cup 200m fly gold medalist member National "A"
Snake owner, a boa named, "Cool Breeze" father competed
in track and mother competed in gymnasticsenjoys snowboarding
100m fly, 55.34
200m fly, 1:58.36
Final 1993 World Rankings 6th, 200m fly
Final 1994 World Rankings 9th, 200m fly
1989: SUM NATS - 4th, 200m fly
1990: SPG NATS - 2nd, 200y fly; SUM NATS - 4th, 200m fly; LEN
CUP - 1ST, 200m fly
1991: SPG NATS - 6th, 200m fly; WORLD UNIV - 1st, 200m fly; SUM
NATS - 6th, 100m fly, 3rd, 200m fly
1992: OLY TRIALS - 4th, 200m fly; NCAA - 4th, 200y fly; SUM NATS
- 1st, 200m fly
1993: NCAA - 1st, 200y fly; SUM NATS - 2nd, 200m fly; PAN PAC
- 7th, 200m fly
1994: NCAA - 2nd, 200y fly; SUM NATS - 2nd, 200m fly
1995: SUM NATS - 1st, 200m fly; PAN PAC - 4th, 200m fly
Home Of Former School Board Chairman Howes Raided
During Teen Party; 19 Arrests Possible Drug Charges
July 3 on Leicester Road turned from a party to a police raid
resulting in 19 arrests, including 17 juveniles and two adults.
Charges included minor possession of alcohol. posession of marijuana
and with distributing the drug within a school zone. As quote
in the Salem News, Sgt. Brian Hitchcock stated that, "we
believe that Alexander Howes had an ongoing marijuana distribution
set-up in that house for well over a year.
56 Leicester Road where the party and subsequent raid took place.
Inside the house police found in excess
of 600 empty beer cans and bottles. Hitchcock also stated that
the situation was, "one of the worst situations we have ever
At Town Meeting two years ago Marbleheaders almost unanimously
passed a "parental responsibility" law which assigns
penalties to parents of children caught in drinking or drug situations.
Selectmen have consistently taken the stand that the law should
be universally enforced in every situation, without exception.
Landing Restaurant Called To Board Of Selectmen
To Discuss License Violation Charge.
The Landing Restaurant at State Street Landing
It was 11:45 P.M. Friday, July 5th, the music was
blaring, so Lt. Dave Millett entered the bar of the restuarant
to investigate a possible entertainment license violation (entertainment
generally ends at 11:30 P.M.). In the ensuing confrontation, as
reported in the Salem Evening News, the Lieutenant and the bar's
manager, Chris Szczechhowicz, had a discussion that included the
manager's request for "a break" from Lt. Millett, an
expired, or incorrect, entertainment license, why the front door
was locked and patrons were still inside and finally a detailed
reported filed by Lt. Millett that one member of the Board of
Selectmen called, "most disturbing." At their July 10th
meeting the Board requested that the Landing Restuarant's management
appear before them to discuss the possible viliolation.
Jackie Belf-Becker Resigns From School Committee
As reported in The Salem Evening News, School Committee
veteran Jackie Belf-Becker has resigned from the Committee in
order to satisfy the requirements of the new position she has
accepted as hearing officer with the Bureau of Special Education
Appeals at the Massachusetts Department of Education. Faced with
a choice between her voluntary service on the Marblehead School
Committee and a career assignement at the DOE, Mrs. Belf-Becker
stated that she made the choice in favor of her career somewhat
sadly. As reported in the Salem News article, Mrs. Belf-Becker
described her tenure on the School Committee (spanning an interrupted
seven years on the Committee) as one in which she was proud of
"generally hanging in there and doing what I thought was
best for the schools. She has promised to stay active in school
The majority of a joint convention of the remaining School Committee
members (Chairman Jody Magee, Gretchen Vona, Ron Grenier, and
Joan Rosenthal) and the members of the Board of Selectmen (Chairman
Thomas McNulty, Diane St. Laurent, Bill Conly, Bill Purdin, and
Reed Cutting) will appoint a new School Committee member to fill
Mrs. Belf-Becker's seat until the next Town election when an election
will be held for the time remaining in her term. The Board of
Selectmen has not yet set a date for the joint convention.
Glover's Regiment Encampment At Fort Sewall
The gentle, rolling landscape and seascapes of Fort Sewall
will be transported back to revolutionary times beginning at noon
on Friday, July 12th as Glover's Regiment encamps with their period
tents, muckets, campfires, and two dozen members impecably dressed
to reenact an historic time in Marblehead's and America's history,
until Sunday noon.
Washington Crossing The Deleware (Glover's Regiment manning the
Glover's Regiment, established during the revolutionary
period and reestablished by a group of Marbleheaders in 1974,
is made up mostly of Marblehead residents who take on the personas
of General John Glover's Revolutionary War regiment, which made
history during the period and was made up mostly of hardy Marblehead
fishermen. The regiment was a favorite of General Washington's
and is pcitured in the famous painting, Washington Crossing The
Deleware, rowing the Commander-in-Chief in large boats. The regiment
ultimately became Washington's personal guard.
The regiment will demonstrate what it was like in that era including,
cooking, bayonet drills, military arts and musket drills.
Saturday at 9:30 A.M. Major John Woods will read the Declaration
of Independence on the steps of the Old Town House.
31st Annual Marblehead Festival Of The Arts
Ends With Fireworks Over The Harbor And The Annual Street Festival.
What A Success!
The corcerts at Crocker Park, the popular photography exhibit
at the Old Townhouse and, sculptor Charles Hahn, works on a head
of a new project, model in the background. -- Photos by JH
Art Exhibits, Sculpture and printmaking, Senior
art, Student art, Youth art, Crafts and painting, Drawing, Photography,
Boxes in Bloom, Paint the Town, Writer's World Workshops, Performing
Arts Concerts, Kite Festival, Children's Festival, Artisans Market
Place, Film and Video Festival and a Street Festival on the last
day... whew, what a Festival of the Arts!
As Arts Festival President Robert F. Macomber stated in a recent
Daily Evening Item article, "I think the Town Of Marblehead
showed a resurgence of interest in the festival and I know the
Town really engaged in this year's festival.
From all accounts, business increased, people came to Town from
all over the region and beyond, all events were extremely well
attended and people were well behaved according to Marblehead
Police Lieutenant Dave Millett.
To all who made it possible and to all who came and made it all
worthwhile, congratulations. Now, let's start planning the 32nd
Annual Marblehead Festival Of The Arts.
The Boston Globe Lists 265 Towns Now Online
With E911, Marblehead Is Not Among Them....
An enhanced 911
In an article on 6/29/96 The Boston Globe published
a list of 265 towns and cities which have introduced the "enhanced
911" system for reporting police and fire emergencies. Six
years after the state legislature called for this system, Marblehead
is still among those towns which do not have the facilities to
extend this protection to its residents.
To reduce by even a few seconds the response time to emegergencies
can mean the difference between life and death, 911 emergency
experts have stated for years.
The instrumentation behind an enhanced 911 service
The E911 system is a combination of telephone,
computer, and information management systems. E911 is designed
to help communities respond to critical situations with speed
and efficiency. Users can dial 911 from any phone in the service
area and be connected to a designated central service point called
a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). As the 911 call is answered,
the operator's screen displays the caller's phone number and address
automatically. The operator can then dispatch help, conference-in
emergency personnel, or transfer the call to the appropriate emergency
response agency at the touch of a button. The hardware and software
are modular, to allow communities to tailor their systems to meet
The system cuts down on potential confusion, allows assistance
to be delivered even if the caller cannot speak or if the call
The "E" is a technical description of the new system,
however, emergency callers should always dial 9-1-1, no "E."
Also people in the emergency business always pronounce the service
"nine-one-one," not "nine-eleven," because
children hearing the "nine-eleven" number look for an
11 on the phone key pad.
Marblehead is in the midst of building a new dispatch center to
be attached to the old Police Building, however delays due to
over bids, or under funding, continue to plague the project. The
project is continuing, however with plans to break ground sometime
in the near future.
Summer Music Festival Opens 20th Season
Sara Sant'Ambrogio, cellist (left) and Robert Stallman, flutist
The universally popular flutist, Robert Stallman, will be joined
by world famous artists as he directs the Summer Music Festival's
20the season in Marblehead. Masahito Tanka, bassoonist, Tamara
Matthews, soprano, and Edwin Swanborn, harpsicordist comprise
the basic group to be augmented as each concert develops.
All concerts are held at the Old North Church, 41 Washington Street,
Marblehead, MA 01945
at 8 P.M.
The schedule for the rest of the summer is as follows:
Saturday, Jul 13th Festival Firsts
Khachaturian, Kodaly, and Schumann
Bayla Keyes, violin; Chester Bresniak, clarinet; Sara 'SantAmbrogio,
cello*, Cynthia Rain, piano*
Saturday, July 20th Viennese Romantics
Beethoven, Strauss, Schoenberg & Brahms
Robert Stallman, flute; D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo soprano; Bayla
Keyes, violin; Katherine Murdock, viola; Wilhelmina Smith, cello*,
David Deveau, piano
Saturday, July 27th All-Schubert
Featuring the Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 100
Nicholas Eanet, violin*, Wilhelmina Smith, cello*, Erika Nickrenz,
Saturday, August 3rd: Season Finale
Mozart, Arnold, Weiss, Schumann
Robert Stallman, flute; Chester Bresniak, clarinet; Nicholas Eanet,
violin*, Eufrosina Raileanu, viola*, Jonathan Spitz, cello*, Erika
Tickets are $18 general admission,
$15 seniors and students, and can be purchased at the door. A
$90 season subscription can be purchased at 20% discount for $72.
Free parking is available and the chuch is wheelchair accessible.
For more information call (617) 631-8110.
NOTE: The first concert of the season
was held on Friday. July 5th: The Cantor Meets The Red Priest
and featured Concertos & Arias by Bach & Vivaldi. Robert
Stallman, flute; Tamara Matthews, soprano; Masahito Tanaka, bassoon*,
Edwin Swanborn, harpsichord*, and Chamber Orchestra
* guest artists
School Adjust To New Realities
Philip Devaux has stated tht although 14 school department employees
have received notices that they may not be rehired for next year,
it still is not completely clear what the final number of dismissals
will actually be. As teachers near "Professional Status"
after three years of employment the system evaluates them and
either allows the status to be acquired or the individuals are
dismissed from the system. These individuals, although no longer
in the Marblehead Schools, will be replaced.
The Superintendent has stated that there are $175,000 worth of
adjustments that must be made prior to the new school year, including
the loss of $45,000 in Title I funding.
The Superintendent stated that overall his first year was "a
great year." He praised Marblehead's Open Town Meeting systems
as one where the schools get a "fairer shake from the people."
He considers the summer a time to "reload" and get ready
for next year.
Penni's, No Crosby's, Reopens
The fire....and cleaning up in the aftermath. Here is the
construction chronicle photo essay....
The new building begins. 1/24/96
The building goes on. 2/6/96
2/26/96 - More framing and some plastic wrap.
3-18-96 Starting to take shape....
First look inside...!
4/1/96 Now, the walls take shape...
6-28-96 Almost opening day
The new front door... and inside the store.
Instead of the traditonal old neighborhood grocery store, Downtown
Marblehead will now have a full service, state-of-art supermarket.
The new Crosby's Marketplace, which rises from the ashes of the
Fire will be what owner Jim Crosby calls "a prototype
store, a signature store, the model for our company."
The market will feature a capacity for customers to roast a chicken
or steam lobsters while they shop and it will more than twice
the size of the old market. It will have a bakery, flower stand,
and a speciality food section for gourmets. It will employ as
many as 65 employees, many local people included. Plus, within
the new downtown shopping mall a bank, drugstore, and video store
will also be located.
In a recent Salem Evening News article, Crosby was quoted as saying,
"One thing will remain from Penni's Pantry," pointing
to a room containing the hand painted mural by the students of
the Gerry and Schools. "After the fire, the kids did this
for us and all their names are on it. This is going up on the
wall as a permanent part of the new store."
Something old, something new. Crosby's Marketplace will now take
its place in Marblehead.
Whither Camp Shore Lea: No Dogs Allowed But
Recreation & Park Commission Chairman Fraffie Welch announced
at the June 26th meeting of the Board of Selectmen that her Commission
had received a withdrawal of the proposal for a "Dog Day
Care Center at Camp Shore Lea. Apparently due to the efforts of
the nieghbor to block the use of the old girl scout camp, the
originator of the idea withdrew to avoid further controversy.
The Town remains faced with the future use of the now-abandoned
building which in recent years has suffered serious damage due
sits on a hill overlooking Gatchell Playground and a lush expanse
of green folliage. It is connected to The Path which is partially
constituted by the historic railroad beds which encircle Marblehead
and to Everrett Paine Boulevard. It has a commanding, sweeping
porch and two large rooms with fireplaces. It has great potential.
It also has serious problems: vandalism, arson attempts, maintenance
and general security of Town property.
On a recent Path
Tour people from all over Marblehead accompanied Dennis Curtin,
a Path enthusiast, on the winding Path, including a stop at Camp
Shore Lea. While Dennis described some possible uses for the old
girl scout camp including a science center sponsored by local
In a recent Salem News article, it was reported that Francie Grynkraut,
a dog trainer, was requesting that the property become a "day
care center for dogs," where people could drop their dog
off in the morning and pick it up after work. Grynkraut envisions
renovating the building for an office and a place for dogs to
nap, and the installation of a fenced dog run. with capacities
for about 20 dogs. Dog owners could also pay an annual fee to
let their dog run loose on the property, plus obedience training
would be offered.
An abutter, Laurie Cohen, gathered a petition, signed by "97%"
of her neighbors vehemently opposing any such use of the camp
effectively killing the consideration of the property for that
Middle School Celebrates Presidential Award.
The Highest Honor That An American School Can Achieve!
It was Tuesday, June 4th. Congressman Peter Torkildsen, State
Representative Doug Petersen, State Senator Chip Clancy, Massachusetts
Commissioner of Education Robert Anntonucci, The President's representative,
and one local Selectman all came to honor the Presidential Blue
Ribbon Award given to the Marblehead Middle School.
Superintendent Phil Devaux (left) and the Marblehead Middle School
The unfurling of the official Presidential Blue Ribbon flag.
Town Moderator Appoints Committee To Study The
Terms Of The Board Of Selectmen
Will the terms of the Board of Selectmen be changed for the
first time in Marblehead's history? It's a question that no one
knows the answer to, including the Moderator, who appointed the
committee, and the Chairman of the Committee, Nick Fader. "As
the the article is written, it's pretty narrowly focused,"
he said in an interview with the Salem Evening News, "but
I'm hoping we can look beyond that. It will be up to the Committee."
The article on this year's Town Warrant specified the examination
of whether the Selectmen should serve one-year terms, with each
Selectman facing re-election every year, or if the terms should
be three-year, staggered terms.
The Committee is made up as follows:
Chairman Nick Fader (also Chairman of the Planning Board)
Daniel Carter, Jr., retired businessman
John Doub, former Chairman of the Finance Committee
Marcia Sweeney, former member of the School Committee (18 years)
Elaine Goldsmith, League of Women Voters
Joanne Mayer, former Selectman
Albert Potier, former Finance Committee member
Joan Thayer, businesswoman
Brian Hitchcock, Police Sergeant
Chairman Fader has stated that the first order of business is
to hold an organization meeting and to discuss the modus operandi
of the committee. Check our Dates
& Calendars for the meeting when posted.
Memorial Day Photos
On a sunny day ("the best Memorial Day weather I've ever
seen!" -- Bill Conly) the Town assembled to honor and remember
the veterans who have fought, served and died in war. The parade
began at 9 A.M. on an unfortunate note, George Carruth, the parade's
annual organizer and most enthusiastic participant was taken away
in a ambulance, apparently overcome by the long hours of preparation.
Here are some of the scenes from this colorful annual event.
left to right: Selectmen Bill Conly, Reed Cutting, Diane St. Laurent,
Thomas A. McNulty,
State Representative Doug Petersen and Selectman Bill Purdin
The Police and Fire Departments proudly march....
The old veterans ride and the young girl scouts walk....
and the younger generation just keeps coming...
as the Town remembers those who fell in foreign wars.
And after the parade, 2000 to 3000 people attended
the Great Picnic sponsored by the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce.
1996 Election Results For Selectmen
Also reelected were Jean Eldgridge to the Housing Authority
and David Belf-Becker to the Board of Health. All other positions
were uncontested. (See ballot below for uncontested positions.)
General Override Fails, Four Debt Exclusions
Totalling $2.1 Million Pass Easily
1. Education General Override:
(Cost to average* taxpayer: $105.33)
This article would have given teachers a 9.2% raise: a 4.8% "McLaughlin"
raise, and 4.4% for increased days worked at the contract rate.
It would also have increased the school year in Marblehead to
longest in the state, increasing instructional time for students
to 188 days, teachers will work 190 days. It also would have authorized
increase professional time for teachers, incentive pay for exceptional
performance, and an early retirement program for up to 10 senior
2. Drain Construction Debt
Exclusion Override: $900,000 ($16.95)
The reconstruction of the drain system around Pleasant Street,
to replace funds used under the emergency declaration during the
Green Street drain overflow and flooding in November. Also funds
would be used for the long overdue mapping of the Town's drain
3. School Computerization:
The third phase of a five year technology plan to bring computers
to every classroom in the Public School System.
4. Renovation of School
Buildings: $195,000 ($3.68)
To continue the fifth phase of the renovations of all school buildings.
5. New "Quint"
Fire Truck: $450,000 ($8.48)
Replacement of a 32-year old ladder truck with a state-of-the-art
"Quint" which combines the 850-gallon reservoir of a
pumper with the extension ladder needed for aerial hoses that
can operate by remote control, without exposing firefighters to
the hazardous aerial duty.
TOTAL FOR ALL OVERRIDES: $146.44, or $36.61 per quarter.
TOTAL FOR PASSED OVERRIDES: $41.11 or $10.28 per quarter
*These cost estimates are based on the taxes on a home valued
at $250,000 which is close to the average for Marblehead.
In a Marblehead Reporter article, Superintendent
Phil Devaux stated, "This is a major setback in the restructuring
of education in Marblehead. There was no organized opposition
against the override, but the outcome is a result of individuals
and a community that voted against the teachers."
In the same article, Jody Magee is quoted as saying, "We
really got slam-dunked."
In 1988, there was a $315,000 general override for the school
that failed 1758 to 2764. In 1990, Marblehead Matters sponsored
another general override for the schools and it failed 2664 to
4539. In June of 1991 there was another general override ($575,000)
and it also failed 1629 to 2598. And of course last year a general
override for the schools failed by 40 votes.
In 1980, the vote for the "Establishment of Proposition 2.5"
passed overwhelmingly 8565 to 3658 in one of the largest votes
in the history of Marblehead.
Town Meeting 1996 Results
A well attended, diverse Town Meeting assembled May 6 & 7
Perhaps because of the exceptional preparation
by Town officials, perhaps because of the exceptionally positive
financial position the Town finds itself in, and perhaps for reasons
that no one can trully know, Town Meeting 1996 approved overwhelmingly
a general override for education in Marblehead, and debt exclusion
overrides for drain construction, school building renovations,
school computerization, and for a brand new combination ladder
and pumper fire engine.
In a Town Meeting audience that was not obviously over-saturated
with school parents, but seemed to this reporter to represent
a broad spectrum of Marblehead residents, senior, parents, and
young people (including almost 100 middle school students the
stage taking notes) almost every proposal was passed overwhelmingly.
Article 13 concerned the North Shore Vocational budget
which was not supported by the Finance Committee, was passed overwhelmingly
by Town Meeting, increasing the budget for the Middleton school
by over $90,000. Article 25 concerned the issue rasied
initially by the Board of Selectmen
Selectmen Bill Purdin and Tom McNulty, and former Selectman Bill
Woodfin address Town Meeting concerning various issues.
about the length of terms for Selectmen and how
many Selectmen would run for election at one time. The majority
of the Board of Selectmen (Conly, McNulty and Purdin) favored
keeping the system the same way it is now (one year terms), bu
St. Laurent and Peck favored the study. Purdinstated that the
study seemed directed at a three year rotating term only and he
would like to see it expanded to include a two year term and a
one year first term with reelection to three years. Town Meeting
(in a teller-tallied vote) supported the article and a nine-member
Moderator-appointed study committee will be formed to generate
a report for next year's Town Meeting. Articles 62, 63 and
64, establishing (respectively) a reinforced bylaw concerning
fines for abandoned vehicles on private property, registration
and enforcement of door-to-door solicitation by salaried or commissioned
sales people, and licensing and registration of second hand dealers
in Marblehead, also were passed overwhelmingly.
Perhaps the longest and most detailed debate occurred on Article
65, the removal of overhead wires on a portion of the historic
district. After the debate and a presentation by Chairman of the
Board of Selectmen, Thomas A. McNulty which included slides depicting
the cluttered overhead wiring matrix and an historic picture of
Washington Square when only one wire course along the roadside,
the article passed... you guessed it... overwhelmingly. Article
68, which transfered the Selectmen's historic role as Board
Of Survey to the Planning Board and adopted, for the first time,
Massachusetts' Subdivision Control Law, passed without discussion.
Article 74, all of the Town's regular budgets, passed quickly
into history with all minimal "holds" for technical
corrections, explanations, and last minute adjustments. Article
75, the general override for education, which included a McLaughlin
"catchup" raise similar to the "Townside"
raise appropriated from available funds at the Special Town Meeting
earlier in the year, of 4.8%, and a raise of 4.4% to cover increased
days and longer hours for teachers. Selectmen annoucned that the
override election would be held on June 10th.
Moderator Steve Howe (service sine 1972) and Town Clerk Betty
Brown (since1964) at their traditional posts at the center of
Town Meeting. Middle School students in the background.
Town Meeting adjourned Tuesday night around 10
Boston Globe Rates Communities: Marblehead Scores
Low In Taxes And In School Expenditures....
In a statistical survey of real estate and school information
Marblehead's listings were as follows:
Pupil expenditure total: $5,567
/ Rank: 41 of 351
SAT Score Average: 953 / Rank:
45 of 351
Dropout rate: 0.8% / Rank:
150 of 351
Median Home Price: $226,000
/ Rank: 27 of 351
1996 Residential tax rate:
$11.98/000 of assessed value. / Rank: 169 of 351
Source: Boston Globe, Sunday 4-21-96, page A74
In summary, Marblehead spends less on students, has a lower
SAT average, than towns of similar makeup, but has a much lower
Cat Island Is Now Children's Island.... Or Is
Feds Agree To Reassess New Naming. Mr. Conly Goes To Washington?
Catt, er...I mean, Children's... er... I mean Cat Island? (left)
in the winter from Chanlder Hovey, and (right) in the summer from
just off shore. -- JH
After a routine letter to the Salem Assessor, Darrell
Gallant and the YMCA seemed to have changed the name of Cat Island
(visible from either Fort Sewall or Chandler Hovey Park) and the
channel leading from the island to Marblehead Harbor, from the
traditional Cat Island (named after the Catta family who originally
owned the island) officially to Children's Island, as it has come
to be known since the YMCA summer camp by the same name has used
the island. The YMCA purchased the island in 1955 for $12,000.
This change, announced at the Board of Selectmen on 3-7-96, apparently
took the Selectmen by surprise. Selectmen Bill Conly stated, "I
want to know how this got started and why we were not informed."
Subsequently, Mr. Conly was appointed to "A Committee Of
One," and returned to the Board with a report that the Bureau
of Geologicial names would not reconsider it name change decision
without anything short of a letter from the Board of Selectmen
requesting exactly that. After two meetings of the Board partially
devoted to Mr. Conly's
Selectman Bill Conly
recitation of the history of Cat Island and partially to an explanation
of process by which this change occurred. "The YMCA is in
no way to be criticzed for doing what was well within its rights
to do, and they did it by the book." Nonetheless, Mr. Conly
pressed the Board for a vote and after extended discussions by
all five members, his motion to send the letter requesting reconsidered
carried 3 to 2, (Conly, McNulty, Purdin in favor; St. Laurent
and Peck opposed.)
UPDATE: As of the meeting of May 8, 1996, Selectmen were notified
that the naming process and decision would be reconsidered and
Selectman Conly announced that he would be going to Washington
in person to attend the hearings and to testify.
Firefighters Get New Protective "Turnout"
Jason Gilliand and Mike Porter model the new gear (right) and
old gear (left)
The Fire Department's new protective gear is
now in service and it is much better firefighter protection, offering
a lighter (by one half) weight, yet stronger material, a completely
redesigned protective silhouette, with high back trousers, neck
protection, and plenty of extras. The new gear is "breathable
and more flexible," according to a press release issued by
Fire Chief Charles Maurais.
The outer shell represents the first defense for the thermal liner
and vapor barrier. The inner moisture barrier is made of Gore-Tex
materials. This will stop water, inhibit steam and heat, and will
keep the firefighter more comfortable and help reduce heat stress.
Thermal liners insulate against heat and cold. When both are worn
with the outer shell, the result is total protection system for
The gear is custom-fit for each firefighter and includes new leather
boots. The funds for this new turnout gear were appropriated by
the May 1995 Town Meeting.
Legion Building Comes Under Selectmen's Scrutiny
The American Legion building on Washington Street
Selectmen Robert Peck, acting as a "Committee of One" appointed by the
Board of Selectmen to investigate and report back the condition, usage and potential
futures of the Legion Building on Washington Street, stated that Post 32 of the
American Legion has not met in six years, has been sub leasing space to private
enterprises, and has seen its membership dwindle to 12 or less from a high of
400 members. He asked if this was the proper use of the building in the opinion
of the Board. He stated that he was working with the Legion to determine if there
is still viability in the organization, whether or not the Legion Building is
the right place or if it is do they need it all, and to see that the private leasees
are notified to begin the process of eviction.
Harry Kemelman, author of the Rabbi Small Mystery Series dies.
12/19 & 20/96
Tim Angle Concerts held to help popular young man's family with medical expenses
Selectmen open the Warrant for May 1997 Annual Town Meeting
Christmas Walk begins with Santa's arrival at Clark Landing
Selectmen declare the Legion Building and Old Firehouse on School Street "surplus"
Robert Triplett, founder of the Reporter dies
Thanksgiving Football Game held in Swampscott, Headers lose 19-0
Override election held: General Override for teachers' salary fails, 4 debt exclusions
for drains, school technology and renovations, and a new fire truck pass easily.
Teachers' contract settled
Police Office Karl Person suspended for six months
Thomas A. Jordan dies;
former 13-term Selectman who served on many boards and was known for his cantankerous
style and deep feelings for the Town.
Three vacant seats on the Finance Committee announced: Milton Bloom resigns, Jeff
Coolidge and Dick Mafei requesting not to be reappointed.
Reed Cutting elected to the Board of Selectmen, Robert Peck defeated.
Joan Rosenthal takes a seat on the School Committee
Town meeting passes article to bury overhead wires in a portion of the
Philip Page's drowned body found off Leggs Hill, Town mourns in shock
Three inch snow storm breaks all time snowfall record in Marblehead for one year
Pat Pollard announces she won't run for reelection to the School Committee
Marblehead Education Association settles contract: 2% - 2% per year for
three years, plus 9.2% "Comparable Pay" override
The death of former Surveyor of Highways, Walter B. Power, Jr. at 88
The death of Phyllis Smith, former Chairman of the Trustees of Abbot Public
Library and Director of the Public Schools' reading program
The death of Bert Symonds, known around New England for his enthusiastic support
of firemen's musters, and the organizer, for many years, of Marblehead's famous
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