snow_carThe newest storm brewing on the Wakefield Facebook discussion groups relates to the winter parking ban. The local ban prohibits overnight parking on the street from Dec. 1 to April 1 in order to facilitate snow plowing and ensure public safety.

The latest idea that social media pundits are convinced has never occurred to anyone at Town Hall is to do away with the winter-long parking ban and institute a ban that would only apply when there is an impending storm.

Oh, I’m sure that will work, given the astounding number of people who in this Information Age somehow manage to remain blissfully clueless when it comes to news of any kind, never mind news of incoming inclement weather.
Continue reading ‘Winter Parking Woes’


wong2“It should not be just one day. We should be thinking about the service men and women every day,” State Rep. Donald Wong said at Wakefield’s 2014 Veterans Day ceremonies.
When Rep. Wong speaks at local Veterans Day or Memorial Day ceremonies, he always ends his remarks with some version of that same message about honoring veterans beyond just the designated holidays.

Little Red SchoolhouseWith its new Veterans Exhibit at the Wakefield History Museum in the old West Ward School building on Prospect Street, the Wakefield Historical Society is doing its part to help us remember the contributions of Wakefield veterans of all wars.

The exhibit, which will run through June 2015, opened last Sunday and features photographs, paintings, uniforms and artifacts dating back to Wakefield’s role in the Revolutionary War.
Continue reading ‘A Moving Veterans Exhibit at the Wakefield History Museum’


Re-dedication of the Galvin Middle School in Wakefield, Massachusetts

galvin_outdoor_learning_areaIt was a night to celebrate, and on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 hundreds of Wakefield residents filled Veterans Memorial Auditorium to join with town officials, members of the Galvin family, students and school administrators past and present to rededicate the new John Rogers Galvin Middle School.

After he formally greeted dignitaries in attendance, the first name spoken by Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio, who served as master of ceremonies, was that of the late John Encarnacao.

enca021113“No one worked harder for this building from its conception to its completion than John Encarnacao, our chairman of the Permanent Building Committee,” Maio said. “Unfortunately, John cannot be with us here today due to his recent passing. But he was able to see the school open and that gave him great joy and pride.”

Maio then called for a moment of silence for John Encarnacao.
Continue reading ‘A Four-Star Celebration at the Galvin’


The mystery is over and the rumors were true.

cvs_oldIt’s now official that Dollar Tree has signed a lease agreement and will be filling the long-vacant spot at 376-378 Main St. in downtown Wakefield formerly occupied by CVS.

We should welcome our new neighbor. Anything would have been better than nothing in that prime retail space, which has been empty for years, and Dollar Tree is better than a lot of the possible uses that could have gone in there.

Of course, there are those who will turn up their noses at Dollar Tree, preferring the look of some high-end boutique that they could patronize maybe once or twice a year and then wonder why the store couldn’t make it.
Continue reading ‘In for a Dollar’


No decisions were made, but Shelter Development presented more architectural detail on its proposed 137-unit Brightview Senior Living facility on Crescent Street at the Oct. 22 meeting of the Wakefield Zoning Board of Appeals. The board in turn gave Brightview representatives feedback and indicated areas related to density and architecture that need to be addressed brian_mcgrail3further at a special ZBA meeting set for Wednesday, Nov. 5. That meeting will also move on to discuss landscaping, lighting and signage.

Shelter Development and Brightview Senior Living are sister companies under the Shelter Group of companies.

Attorney Brian McGrail began by asking Shelter’s Director of Development Michael Glynn to address public questions regarding how Shelter got from a possibility of 90 units to the currently proposed 137.

Glynn said that when Shelter entered into an agreement two years ago to purchase the Fraen Corporation properties (338 Main St. and several houses on Crescent Street) they were exploring several options, one of which was for 90 assisted living units. After doing a feasibility study, Glynn said, the company saw that there was a significant need for independent living units as well as assisted living and memory care units. They viewed the downtown location with its walkability as ideal for independent living.
Continue reading ‘Architecture, density of proposed senior living facility discussed’


voter_infoBy now you’ve received the red booklet, Massachusetts Information for Voters: 2014 Ballot Questions, published by William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth. This handy booklet provides you with all the information on the four ballot questions that you could possibly need when you go to vote on Nov. 4.

All the information, that is, except the most important piece of information of all: how you should vote on each question. They actually expect us to think for ourselves! What on earth are we paying taxes for?!

Don’t worry, I’ve done the thinking for you. The following is my own handy Guide to the 2014 Ballot Questions.
Continue reading ‘A balanced approach to ballot questions’


brightview_new_crescent
On October 8, , Shelter Development publicly unveiled its new proposal to construct a 137-unit Brightview Senior Living facility on downtown properties currently owned by the Fraen Corporation. The facility would front on Crescent Street. Representatives of Shelter Development presented a general overview of the proposal at last night’s meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Shelter Development and Brightview Senior Living are sister companies.

Shelter is seeking Special Permits to allow it to build on properties that encompass 338 Main St., as well as 11, 15, 17, 19, and 21 Crescent St., all of which are currently owned by the Fraen Corporation, and 25 Crescent St. Fraen has expressed its preference to sell all its properties together to one buyer.

A previous proposal to build a 140-unit Brightview facility in conjunction with a public parking garage was approved by a Special Town Meeting last February but later defeated in a Special Election and defeated again in attempt to revisit it at Annual Town Meeting last May.
Continue reading ‘Brightview proposes 137-unit downtown assisted living facility’




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