stop_town_land_giveawayIs there a “generation gap” in Wakefield? That’s what I’m hearing, especially on Facebook where all the cool kids hang out.

The term itself sounds so last century. It used to be applied to the cultural differences between the ‘60s kids and their parents. But now, word on the street is that there are issues in Wakefield, Massachusetts that are dividing the citizenry along generational lines.

Was it really a generation gap that separated those who wanted an assisted living facility/parking garage from those who didn’t?
Continue reading ‘Social (Media) Security’


Don’t believe what you read on social media.

galvin_outdoor_learning_areaContrary to Facebook rumors, the new Galvin Middle School will open on time. Permanent Building Committee member Chip Tarbell confirmed that Building Inspector Jack Roberto issued an Occupancy Permit for the new school on Monday, August 25 and teachers are unpacking and preparing their classrooms this week in anticipation of the first day of school.

Tarbell was kind enough to take this Daily Item reporter on a tour of the impressive new educational facility earlier this week and there’s no doubt that students and teachers are going to be thrilled with their new digs.
Continue reading ‘Inside the New Galvin Middle School’


Fences can be built and they can be torn down. They can keep people out, or they can keep them in.

fences5In August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Fences,” currently at the Gloucester Stage Company, Troy (played by Daver Morrison) is a former Negro League baseball star, gifted with the same power to hit the ball over the fences as his white counterparts in the Major Leagues.

But because of the race barrier, Troy never got a chance to play in the big leagues. Instead, we find 53 year-old Troy in 1957 eking out a meager existence with his wife Rose (Jaqui Parker) and teenage son Cory (Jared Michael Brown) in a run-down house on the edges of Pittsburgh.
Continue reading ‘Gloucester Stage presents August Wilson’s powerful ‘Fences’’


Summer is typically known as a slow period for news. The theory is that people are on vacation and therefore less likely to make news or to be paying attention when other people make news, so what’s the point of making news?

tierney_headshotPoliticians know this. That’s why, despite a Sept. 9 primary and a Nov. 4 general election where we’ll be voting for a congressman, a new Governor and a host of other major statewide offices, the average citizen hasn’t heard a peep from any of the candidates. They’re holding their fire (and their advertising war chests) until after Labor Day when, trust me, you’ll be wishing you’d never heard of any of these people.

But there’s some news even the politicians can’t control, despite their best efforts to hide from it.
Continue reading ‘Summer’s Big Chill’


Amy Herzog’s funny, moving take on the human condition
miles1Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles, currently at the Gloucester Stage Company, deals with some deep matters, including life, death, aging, coming home and moving on. But far from weighing it down, these universal themes emerge as organically as the fruit of a community garden in Herzog’s Obie winning and Pulitzer nominated play.
Continue reading ‘‘4000 Miles’ at Gloucester Stage Company’


Galvin demolition conjures ghosts of schools past

galvin_demo2Watching the big yellow CAT’s giant claw rip through the old Galvin Middle School last week, one couldn’t help but wonder – if those walls could talk, what would they say? (Besides “Get that damn machine away from me!”)

They don’t build them like they used to. The building that opened in 1955 as Wakefield Memorial High School will be gone less than 60 years later. Meanwhile, the Lincoln School (built in 1892) survives as senior housing. The Warren School (1897) houses the McCarthy Senior Center. The 1902 Franklin School is now condominiums. The Greenwood School, built in 1897 and the Hurd School (1899) are still being used to educate kids.

And now, the Main Street site where once stood the majestic mansion of none other than Cyrus Wakefield himself is being dismantled and rebuilt faster than the 2014 Boston Red Sox.
Continue reading ‘School’s Out Forever’


Economic revitalization of downtown areas is usually aimed at sprucing up what’s already here through things like improved, uniform signage and dressing up storefronts as well as attracting the kinds of new businesses that reflect the quaint, warm and homey small town feel that we either remember from our childhoods or have seen on postcards from the Good Old Days before malls and the Internet stole all our retail commerce.

cvs_oldWhich makes all the recent hand-wringing over a possible “Dollar Store” in downtown Wakefield, MA so very interesting.

That possibility has once again surfaced with respect to the possible re-uses of the still vacant former CVS building on Main Street in Wakefield. Rumors that a Dollar Store was going into the space first came up earlier this year. But at the time, people were too busy dictating to the owners of the Fraen Corporation what they could do with their property to give much more than passing attention to the specter of a Dollar Store.
Continue reading ‘A Fistful of Dollar Stores’




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