Weekly News Digest 2002
Previously "Milestones"
Important events in Marblehead since the inception of legendinc.com,
as reported in the Daily Evening Item, the Salem Evening News,
the Marblehead Reporter, and The Boston Globe,
among other resources, including the official Selectmen's Minutes.

December 26th: The New Marblehead High School's funding, constructing and opening was the Story Of The Year, according to the Marblehead Reporter. Other stories: the Rebel Shakespeare Groups struggle to keep Fort Sewall as its summer camp location, the appointment of Ellen Minihan as Superintendent of Marblehead Public Schools, Black Joe's ill-fated presence at the new High School and of course the many adventures of the Marblehead Board Of Selectmen also made the year memorable and interesting.

December 19th:
In a well-attended meeting the Board Of Selectmen wrestled with parking issues at Tent's Corner, centering on high School student parking and access to the Marblehead Community Center by Marblehead Seniors. After a lengthy debate, the Board postponed a decision until their January 8th meeting.

-- Representative Doug Petersen announced that again this year he will not support Speaker of House Finneran, and instead will support Byron Rushing, who is running in opposition to the unpopular Speaker.

December 12th:
The Town is deeply saddened by the passing of Former Fire Chief Ed Creighton, who served the Town with distinction for 37 years, first entering his name on the Town employee rolls as a firefighter in 1950. He served as chief for 25 years. He died at the ag of 80. His funeral was attended by hundreds of Town officials and grateful residents, including Selectmen, State Representative Petersen and 11 other fire chiefs from around the region and the state. Creighton served in the US Navy in World War II and was a Pearl Harbor survivor.

December 5th:
The new Causeway may cost the Town up to $5.6 million and take 18 months to complete, making life for people living Marbelehad Neck (and those people who love to do "Neck runs") and little more trouble than usual.

The MCAS scores for Marblehead students went up this year.

The Christmas Walk kicked off again this week. The Walk began in 1980.

November 28th:
Abutters are suing Glover Estates and previous owners for damages and clean up of their properties which they deem "vitually unsellable."

November 26th:
(Lynn Item) Shalane Flanagan, a MHS 2000 graduate and now atttending the University Nhorth Carolina won a national title at the NCAA, Division I Women;s Cross Country Campionship on Monday, November 25 and was picked for the second time as Female Althlete of Year in NCAA Cross Country.

November 21st:
The Zoning Board begins to consider the traffic issues surround the Lime Street Affordable Housing/Luxury Condo project.

The Marblehead Girls Soccer team goes all the way to the State Division III Championships final. After a record 23 straight victories, they fell to the Douglas Tigers 2-0. But it was a record season and a great team. The Townwide acknowledgement of Marblehead's gratitude for their spectacular effort throughout the season was expressed by the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee, commemorating the team as "historic."

November 14th:
Town celebrates Veterans Day at Abbot Hall in a ceremony presided over by Silver Star Medal holder, Harry Christensen, who is also a member of the Board of Selectmen), Officer of the Day Edward Hamson, who served in Germany in World War II, and with keynote speaker, David Campbell, a submariner.

The Marblehead High School girls soccer team has an unparalleled 23-0-0 record and will soon compete for the state championship.

November 7th:
The Community Preservation Act, a chance for the Town to raise funds for affordable housing, preservation of historic buildings and to purchase open space, went down at the polls 5188 to 4215. In the same election, Republican Mitt Romney swept the Town 6002 to 3562 for Shannon O'Brien, the Democratic candidate for Governor.

The Board of Selectmen in convention with the Library Board of Trustees passed over two candidates, Ferol Breymann and Elaine Bakal who had run for the office in recent elections and selected newcomer, Susan Schanning.

October 31st:
Former High School Girls Basketball coach, Robert "Kevin" McLaughlin has been accused of racial discrimination by a member of the team, Loren Grady. Ms. Grady is suing the Town for $100,000 for the loss of a basketball scholarship and for emotional distress.

October 24th: Speed was a possible factor in the crash death of 26-year-old Thomas G. Dubowik, of Marblehead on Lafayette Street at 1:04 AM.

October 17th: The Community Preservation Act is facing the judgement of voters in Marblehead on November 5th. The Committee that studied it is not in agreement. The Finance Committee is shaping its doubts around timing and public opportunity for study and consideration. But, proponents of the Act say its a gift for the Town allowing a small surcharge on real estate taxes (averaging $25 per year for a $250,000 home and $100 for a $1 million home) to help the Town finance preservation of historic buildings, affordable housing, and the purchase of open space.

The new high school football field was "christened" with a victory under the lights. For the first time a home game was played at night and the score was: Marblehead 25, Danvers 23.

October 10th: School Committee decided that "Joe Must Go," as reported in the Marblehead Reporter this week. After outrage on the part of many students and their parents the controversal "sculptures" were taken down. What is to happen to the artwork was not determined, but not at the high school.

A state law allowing the Town of offer early retirement to Town employees was voted down by the Board of Selectmen (Christensen and Purdin in favor, Woodfin, Jacobi and Shribman opposed) due to the impact the medical coverage and replacement costs could have in hard economic times. Several long-time employees appeared before to speak in favor.

October 3rd:
The Black Joe recommendation for the new school is in: move it or remove it. The sculpture was deemed so offensive that the appointed committee's recommendation followed fairly swiftly. Also, the similarly styled relief sculpture of Mammy Redd on the opposite side of the entrance will also be removed. After all, art is in the eye of the beholder and in this case the committee just couldn't "see" its way to allowing the siituation to continue.

September 26th:
The Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 (Selectman Christensen recused himself) to allow the alterations to the historic footpath, Gingerbread Lane, to stay in place despite spirited arguments by the neighbors and their attorney, Frank. McElroy, to the contrary. After a late-night appearance by the fire chief, Barry Dixey, who was called to the meeting, the decision was made on a basis of public safety. Most, if not all, Selectmen voiced sorrow over the vote.

September 19th:
A harmless basking shark made an appearance off of Devereux Beach causing a stir locally and on Boston television. Many thought the ominous fin travelling up and down the beach was, perhaps, a Great White or something of that variety. Marbleheaders, though, have a seafaring tradition and it wasn't long before the truth was known.

September 12th:
Marblehead spent the day and the night remembering the terrorist attacks and honoring the victims of the World Trade Center disaster a year ago.

September 5th:
THE NEW HIGH SCHOOL OPENS SMOOTHLY. It was exciting and for many it was years in the making, but the opening of Marblehead's new flagship schoo went according to plan to the pleasure and enjoyment of everyone. A landmark day in our history.

August 29th:
A 94-condo project is being planned for Lime Street/Peach Highlands. While many questions remain, Ted Moore is husy planning for numerous meetings and hearings concerning his proposed "affordable housing" project that actually holds only 25% affordable units, while the other condo components will be far more luxurious.

August 22nd:
Glover Estates Limited Liability Corporation announced at a special meeting held on August 21st that the previously described as "highly polluted" site was actually "stable" and would cause little or no exposure, except for construction workers. Many attendees left the meeting skeptical of the findings provided by the developer or by employees of the developer. The next meeting was sceduled for August 28th.

The Landing Restaurant, after involvement of the Building Commissioners office, opened up a portion of its deck to the general public, whether they are actually dining with the restaurant or not. Based on an ancient Commonwealth Law, the public has full access to the water on the tide linefor fishing fouling and or navigating. With the extension of the restuarant's deck, the law clicked in and on the row of tables nearest the water the public is now welcome, including, of course, restuarant patrons.

August 15th: Nothing of note this week.

August 8th: Special Town Meeting is planned for dealing with the budget shortfall now estimated at $300,000 made up as follows: $277,000 to cover the costs of the Chart School, plus smaller amounts for local reimbursement, local road repairs, community policing funds, DARE funding, and funds for the Council on Aging.

August 1st: Acting Governor Jane Swift reduced the state budget by $355 million, it quickly trickled down to a $277,000 budget overage for the Town Of Marblehead. The figure is almost entirely accounted for by the funding cessation for the Charter School. The Town's leaders are preparing a new budget to present at a Special Town Meeting at a future time to be announced.

-- The new high school will open on time and on budget, School officials announced this week. September 3rd will see Marblehead students in the class of 2006 entering the school as the first class to attend four years and graduate from the new school. A community open house is being planned.

July 18th: The Board of Selectmen, after seeking Town Counsel Paul Lausier's opinion, voted to ban a summer camp which had been operating for almost a decade from Fort Sewall. The Board cited the legal opinion as binding on them and yet continued to support the Rebel Shakespeare's performances at the Fort. There was clearly much disagreement with the Board's ananimous vote as expressed in appearances at the meeting and in letters to the editor. The current issue of the Marblehead Reporter had an editorial supporting the Board's action.

July 11th:
The Town recently enjoyed what many have called the "Best Arts Festival ever!" as the five-day event concluded over the weekend.

Superintendent Phil Devaux's six-year tenure officially ended recently. He praised the system's resilence and its faculty and staff, in an interview in the Marblehead Reporter by Laurie Fullerton. Clearly the former superintendent was satisfied with the achievements of his tenure: all new principals, vast changes in the faculty, success in funding, and the bold and now-entering-Phase-II master building plan for new and renovated buildings throughout the system. Dr. Devaux plans to remain in Marblehead to continue to enjoy sailing and participating in the community.

July 4th:
The Marblehead-Swampscott Visiting Nurses Association, founded in 1909, has finally bowed to the pressures of modern health care costs and competition by joining forces with the VNA Care Network, a group based in Worchester.

A large housing development is being eyed off Lime Street (the old boatyard) which includes a significant portion (25%) of affordable units, which will qualify the entire project for Chapter 40B of Massachusetts General Laws, which mandates vastly increased flexibility to local boards in granting permission. The Selectmen questioned Carl King, Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, for over 30 minutes on the law and the implications of the project. Mr. King appeared to brief the Selectmen on the upcoming project.

Two Letters-to-the-Editor, one by High School Principal, Marilyn Hurwitz and another by long-time high school history teacher, Henry Juncker, III, reminded the Town of the rich history of the building complex at Duncan Sleigh Square as the school and its faculty move to the new building at Tents Corner for opening day of the new school year. Don Flynn, member of the Building Oversight Committee for the new high school, reported to the Board of Selectmen recently that the new school was "on schedule" for opening day.

June 27th: The overrides for the landfill and rolling stock (a recycle truck) passed and Tucker's Wharf renovation failed by 136 votes. The Friends of Tucker's Wharf are now struggling with their next step, while Blackler's Salt Shed stands empty.

June 20th:
The Override Election is pending on Monday with votes for rolling stock, improving the Town's landfill, and, perhaps, the final vote on whether the Town wants to restore Blackler's Salt Shed and restart Tucker's Wharf as a viable part of Marblehead's waterfront public access.

June 13th:
The Old High School graduates its final class: The Class of 2002. The building was built in 1903 and is scheduled for extensive renovations to become the Upper Middle School under the School Committee's Master Plan.

-- Bette Hunt was appointed to a two-year term as Town Historian, succeeded Virginia Gamage, who served as Marblehead's first Town Historian.

June 6th:
A terrible automobile accident on Tedesco Street claims a woman's life as a multiple-violation drunk driver careened down the busy street around 10 AM, hitting several cars before swerving into a tree and killing his passenger. The driver, Peter Anketell of Peabody, could face 15 years in jail if convicted in the accident which took the life of Cynthia Wilson, 40, of Salem.

-- Laurie Fullerton, a long-time resident of Marblehead, and who formerly reported on Marblehead for Community Newspaper Company, has returned to the paper effective immediately.

May 30th:
The Marblehead Dog Exercise Park Committee announces to Tioga Way/Lincoln Avenue area residents after a 90 minute meeting to air concerns that they were "crossing off the Tioga Way" site as an option as a location for the park. The committee held a public information meeting at the Marblehead Community Center on June 23rd to listen to the residents and gather information.

May 23rd:
Jeffrey N. Shribman is elected Chairman of the Board of Selectmen in a 4 to 1 vote. Selectman Bill Purdin dissented stating that the upcoming year held the passage of the Glover Estates Limited Liability Corporation's planned development of the Lead Mills site through every elected and appointed board in Town. He felt that Mr. Shribman, as the Corporate Counsel to Glover Estates for the Bane Organization of Nursing Homes, had such a conflict of interest (which Mr. Shribman had disclosed on May 2, 2001) that, while Mr. Purdin would look forward to Mr. Shribman being Chairman, this year was not a good idea. Other members criticized Mr. Purdin and praised Mr. Shribman.

May 16th
: The Community Preservation Act, which allows the Town to surcharge the property tax by 1%, passed by a thin margin at an extended Town Meeting night this past Tuesday. The act will now go on a general referendum in November's general election.

May 9th: The Rebel Shakespeare Company, a privately owned business, appeareed before the Board of Selectmen to answer charges by the Jolicoeurs that our group was too loud and that the group was present in the park every day in July and August.ĘThe Rebel Shakespeare owner, Keri Cahill, was invited by the Board to come and present her side of the story. Neighbor Paul and Diane Jolicoeur whose property directly and closely abutts the Fort are especially affected by the performances and practice schedule of the acting company. For well over an hour and a half the Selectmen listened to youthful participants praise Keri Cahill for her dedication and devotion to young people and to the Bard himself as a great influence in their lives. In the end, Selectmen asked the parties to go directly to mediation and they also asked the Town Administrator to seek Town Counsel's advice on what the Selectmen can grant on public property.

May 2, 2002
: The Town is preparing for Annual Town Meeting and campaigns are winding down in one of the least contested elections in recent history.

April 18th
: A fire roared through Ted Moore's home on the Harbor at the foot of Redstone Lane, with damage caused by an overloaded extension cord tallying well over $750,000.

April 25th: The School Committee concluded a nationwide and extensive search for a new Superintendent by hiring Dr. Ellen Minihan, currently assistant superintendent in Wayland. She will succeed Dr. Philip Devaux who served the Town for six years during one of the most historial resurgences of Marblehead Public Schools on record, concluding his tenure with the opening of a brand new, flagship, high school on the Sevinor Property at Tents Corner.

3.63% of voters voted in Tuedays special election for State Senate. Only 479 voters cast their ballots.

April 11th: The Trustees of Reservations has taken over the management of Brown's Island and visitors will be asked to pay $3 per day or to join the Trustees for $40 per year.

April 4th: Finance Committee Chairman James Dearborn announced the conclusion of the Committee's formal meeting schedule prior to Town Meeting and that the budget was balanced... sort of. No collection bargain agreements have been settled, state aide for the Charter School and State aid in general have left a very large question mark on the budget this year. Town officials cannot know at this point if there will be massive cuts required with big reductions in State aid, or if it will the same as this year, or a manageable situation with minor cutbacks. There will be another Special Town Meeting later in the summer or early fall to resolve all of these issues.

Mrch14th: Former Star of the Sea priest Reverend George Rosencrantz has joined the ranks of Catholic clerics who have been accused of sexual crimes by parishioners. Rosencrantz served in Marblehead from 1964 to 1971.

January 31st: After being accused of conflicts of interest by the lawyers for Richard Bane's Glover Estates assisted living facility at Lead Mills, John Van Dusen and Margo Carey were vindicated by the State Ethics Commission in record time. The two will continue to sit on the Conservation Commission as it reviews the many aspects of the controversal project.

January 10th: A statewide financial crisis is engulfing the Town's budget building process as we head towards Town Meeting. Lower revenues, increased costs, predicted reductions in state aide... all are creating a tough situation as all Town employee contracts come up for renewal and Marblehead is faced with increase pressure for major repairs and improvements. Reductions in healthcare benefits, trash fees, department combinations are all part of the discussion in which "layoffs" and "zero increases" in pay have also been mentioned.

The long awaited lights at Maple Street and Lafayette were installed this past week. Full functionality will follow once the lines are all painted in warmer weather. For now, the lights are merely blinking yellow and red.

January 3rd: Marblehead Lobsterman, William Porter, is rescued from icewater, in the throes of severe hypthermia, by two Nahant fisherman, Justin Maloney and Chris Papagelis, clearly saving his life.

200120001999 -1996 • Also see our Marblehead Police Log.