March 1997

A Marblehead group hosts Earth Day celebration. In an appearance before the Board of Selectmen, The Marblehead Environmental Coalition will hold a Town-wide Earth Day celebration on Saturday April 12th and Sunday April 13th. "The whole idea of this celebration is to teach people about sustainable living and to give people tools so they can make changes in their homes, in their yards, and around Town," stated Amy Todisco as reported in the Daily Evening Item. Children's Eco-Art, organic cooking, energy efficiency, sheep shearing and special information seminars on all ecology related topics will be featured during the weekend. Ms. Todisco was accompanied by Dennis Curtin, well-known nature photographer and champion of open space preservation in Marblehead.

Happy Easter.

Marblehead's Piranhas win a second straight championship. Marblehead swimmers took home 54 gold medals. "We had great swimming performances from all swimmers," stated head coach Julian Villegas, as reported in the Marblehead Reporter.

Marblehead's Disability Committee is really rolling now. Joanne Shutz, Chairman, has arranged to have Chapter 91 funds (State aide for paving streets) used to accomplish curb cutting and other handicap access construction around Town. Working with the Town Adminstrator, Mrs. Shutz pushed this measure towards Town Meeting, but another, better way was found. Phase I will be ten curb cuts in the Five Corner region, and Phase II will begin when an overall audit of the Town's streets is completed later this summer.

The Citizens' Scholarship Fund raised $24,000 last weekend to assist Marbleheaders who are college-bound. 160 volunteers worked during the weekend's "Phonathon." Over the years the organization has awarded over $500,000 to 241 students. The Marblehead Citizens' Scholarship Foundation was founded in 1987.

Marblehead Little Theater is to perform "Exit The Body," a mystery farce beginning April 4th at the newly renovated Tower School's auditorium. Performances will continue through April 13th: Friday and Saturdays at 8 P.M. and Sundays at 2 P.M.

The School Committee has voted to ask the voters for two debt exclusions this year:
$1,273,760 for school renovations and $400,000 to continue the computerization program.

School Committee and Finance Committee members have agreed to reduce the Superintendent's requests for additional spending from $500,000 to $261,000, cutting two teaching positions at the high school. There was a debate at the meeting concerning senior citizens and their fixed incomes versus the need of the school system for additional dollars. Superintendent Devaux seemed to be more in accord with the Finance Committee than the members of the School Committee.

The Finance Committee will hold its final night of Public Hearings on the Warrant Articles for the May Town Meeting tonight at 7 P.M. in the Selectmen's Room at Abbot Hall. Tonight the major money articles and capital articels will be discussed. John Booth, Chairman, has praised the Town Adminsitrator for bringing most, if not all, of the "Townside Budget" into compliance with the FinCom's guidelines. Now, the committee turns to the Schools.

Power Squadron holds its annual pre-season seven-week Safe Boating course.lThe course will be held beginning Monday night (3/24) 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. in the downstairs auditorium at the Abbot Public Library. You can register at the first class. For information call 639-0718 or 631-1481.

A good day for skiing...

Also, the Friend's of Marblehead's Abbot Public Library are sponsoring a trip to Castle Rock to view the lunar eclipse on Sunday at 11:30 PM. They are stating that as the moon eclipses, Hale-Bopp and Mars will vividly obvious. Bring binoculars or telescopes and enjoy.


Dolphin Yacht Club is awarded a full liquor license on a seasonal basis like all the other yachts clubs. This time all of the abutters and other former opponents were in favor. Obviously, the DYC has been doing a great job all around.


Betty Brown, Town Clerk

Send in your Marblehead Census forms... NOW! Only 75% have sent them in so far. Failure to the return the forms will cost the Town money, Betty Brown, Town Clerk, stated in the Salem Evening News. All state and federal government aid is calculated by population which could costly if the census is inaccurate. Also, a second mailing would also cost the Town money unnecessarily. Plus, if you are not on the census and voter rolls you could be barred from voting or attending Town Meeting.

The JCC is set to begin construction on its new addition by June 29. The expansion will include a fitness center, women's health center, aerobic dance studio, an improved playground, and 25 additional parking spaces.

No news yet, maybe later.

Meeting of Harbors & Waters Board, Friends of the Harbor, and the Board of Selectmen is delayed until agenda is worked out by a "Committee of Two." With both sides of the harbor debate wanting to meet with the Board, it was voted to establish a sub committee to improve the productivity and to develop a positive agenda for the joint meeting, date still to be set.

Board Of Selectmen meets with Finance Committee and approve all budgets unanimously. In one of the mot expeditious joint conventions in years the two boards met yesterday and approved the budgets as prepared by Tony Sasso, Town Adminstrator. Charles Gessner, Vice Chairman of the FinCom, commended Sasso for his hard work and his adherence to the Finance Committee's guidelines. Increases were noted in all budgets for contractual raises recently negotiated, and for additional expenses pertaining to the USS Constitution's appearance in the are this summer.

Town Adminstrator, Anthony S. Sasso


Bart Snow, Town Finance Director has been cited as completely correct in accepting the increased stipend for his service to the Retirement Board. Chairman Thomas A. McNulty stated that, "In no way did Bart Snow do anything incorrectly." All of this was concerning a situation which arose from the Town's Annual auditors which found that Snow's increase stipend of $3000 per year was without legal foundation. But an attorney hire by the Town to assess the brouhaha found that Bart Snow was given the raise by the Board and did the work required, therefore he was not at fault if the original authorization was in error. Snow has served the Town for over 32 years in various positions and is considered to be one of the finest Town Accounts in the Comonwealth by State Department of Revenue officials.

Board Of Selectmen to meet Saturday at 8 A.M. All the Town budgets except Schools.
Feel free to attend.

The Board of Selectmen have finally completed the last hearing on Rosalie's liquor license. George Harrington will be opening a new restaurant called Harbortown Cafe, specializing in seafood and American cuisine. "We should be open in 60 days or so," he stated.

Finance Committee and the School Committee are NOT in agreement at this time on the School Budget. $500,000 as of now is in limbo. $1.4 million increase in the operating budget, and $1.2 million in debt exclusions is currently on the docket. Charles Gessner of the Finance Committee wants the proposals scaled back, according the Alan Burke of The Salem Evening News. Jody Magee stated, in the same article, "What I'm hoping is that the Finance Committee members see that the requests we are making are reasonable and necessary."

Group is raising funds to refurbish the HS Library. The same fundraising program that upgraded the superintendent's office before he moved in, is taking aim at the delapidated high school library facilities. Dr. Cheryl Kerns and Susan Ryan are heading the effort to repaint, recarpet generally improve the appearance of the library. So far, the group has raised $10,000.

There is a fight brewing over the size of the increase in the school budget, according to an article published in the Salem Evening News. School Committee members Robert Clayman and Ron Grenier are leading the charge that "We must do more for our schools." Ron Grenier is quoted as calling "a dirty little secret" the delapidated state of the schools. Superintendent Devaux showed some irritation with the endless meetings and the nitpicking of one or two teacher salaries when the Superintendent's budget calls for a $1.4 million increase as essential to meet contractural obligations, restore two badly needed curriculum directors and make adjustments to stablize the special education budget. "Are we spending endless energy in meetings, in letters to the editor, chasing a ghost?" he is reported as saying.

Town Meeting is to vote on a new bylaw giving Selectmen the power to disallow such signs as Real Estate Open Houses, but according to Barton Hyte, the State's Outdoor Advertising chairman, it won't matter what Town Meeting does because it's illegal to ban such signs, according to an article in the Marblehead Reporter.

David Delaney announces resignation from both Zoning Board, his was Chairman, and from his newly appointed post on the Housing Board. He is leaving Town to establish residency in Florida with his wife."It's a combination of age and it being a healthy time in the wintertime there," he reported as stating in an interview with the Daily Evening Item. The Selectmen lamented the loss of such an intelligent and dedicated volunteer and called for anyone interested in the Zoning Board to notify the Board of Selectmen. The Housing Board seat will be filled in the upcoming election on May 12, 1997.

Town Meeting Is Asked To Fund Summer Concerts. A citizen petition, sponsored by Jane Filosa and others, asks the Town to fund a series of concerts for the summer. The concerts would be a mix of styles, but not hard rock. All concerts are intended to be attended by families and Marbleheaders of all ages.

An outdoor concert held at last years Arts Festival. -- JH Photo

It may not be news, but this "Marblehead Moment" tells it like it is. The photo is unrelated, but it was the closest approximation in our files.

Yesterday morning I got up at 5:15, as I had to be in Waltham by 8:30 for our quarterly study group meeting. When I went down stairs to let, our golden retriver, Tanner, out, I poured myself some juice and stepped out on to the back porch into some of the clearest, purest air I've ever seen. The sun had not yet risen, and above the distant horizon stretched a beautiful, wide ribbon of pink beneath a spectacular array of dark, silver-rimmed clouds.

The sea itself was still black, emitting scattered dazzling flashes of white, red, or green from yet unseen navigation bouys and beacons. From Gloucester on the northeast horizon, Eastern point light blazed intermittently, and a mile due east I could see the black silhouette of Baker's Island light, with its filmar alternating red/white beacon gleaming every twenty seconds. Directly north, the steady white Hospital Point light cast a ribbon toward me across the water.

As the sky imperceptibly brightend, a white speck appeared in the distance, carving its wake through the still water as a fisherman made his way toward the open sea. The gulls were beginning to stir, but they hadn't yet begun the raucous cries they emit during full daylight. And I as listened to their soft mewing, the thought struck me that, as much as I love the coast of Maine, there's nothing there
-- or anywhere, for that matter -- any nicer than this picturesque scene; and I took a few seconds to give thanks for this exceptional "Marblehead moment."

~ submitted by Joel Gleason, author of the Muscobe Chronicles

Article on Town Meeting warrant asks for easing of "accessory buildings" zoning requirments. Second story additions on garages, without permanent kitchen facilities, would, under this bylaw, be allowed to be constructed without Zoning Board approval. Town Meeting is May 5, 6, and 7.

Harbors & Waters board proposes mooring rate hike to help department budget problems. The proposal would be to raise fees from $5.50 per foot to $6.00 per foot, but only on the Marblehead Harbor side, not on the Salem side which has been losing boaters to Salem Harbor which is much less expensive and offers more services. On the horizon is a debate at Town Meeting with the Friends of the Harbor who adamantly oppose any increases until changes in the harbor's operations are agreed to.

Prediction of 1 to 3 inches of snow, send Marbleheaders back to the closet for their winter coats. Yesterday reached an all-time high of 69 degrees.

Marblehead Skating rink could cost $1.8 million to build with a potential profit of $76,000 per year. Skate '98, an organization headed by former Selectman Bob Peck and which is building support and information for the Town concerning the construction of a skating rink, has completed a feasibility study that shows, "a great demand" for such a facility in Town, according to an article in the Marblehead Reporter. The project is still far from realization but the organization is planning to brief the Board of Selectmen, School Committee and Recreation & Park Commission in the near future.

School Committee, 3 to 2, votes to build a combined 500-student school in place of Glover & Eveleth. Amid much debate and civil disagreement, the School Committee made a split decision, with Chairman Magee casting the deciding vote, to abandon both the Glover and the Eveleth schools as they are now known in a combined 500-student facility to the build new on the site of the current Eveleth School. Neighbors who have, in the past, expressed concerns, and the School Committee's split vote, plus implications for the neighborhood school concept, including the smallest and most isolated school in the district, the Gerry, harbinger for a much wider debate. Plus, with two seats up for reelection, Grethen Vona to 3 years, and Robert Clayman to 1 year, perhaps the routinely unopposed school committee elections will heat up as the debate broadens and intensifies. - Legend Advertising - Search - Archives - Online Store
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