Fantasy League


The irony of the moment was not lost on acting Planning Board chairman Bill Spaulding.

“I do find it interesting that you’re questioning the parking – the amount of it,” Spaulding told Bronwyn Della-Volpe at hearing last week on Town Meeting Article 12, which was aimed at revitalizing the downtown with more mixed-use, residential-above-retail development.

Bronwyn Della-VolpeDella-Volpe is president of something called the Wakefield Civic League, the latest name adopted by the group that in 2014 succeeded in blocking the construction of a public parking garage in the downtown. Shelter Development would have built the garage at no cost to the town as part of its proposed Brightview Senior Living facility.

Now the Civic League is so very concerned about where people will park in the wake of another town initiative to revitalize Wakefield’s downtown. Continue reading ‘Fantasy League’

by Mark Sardella (Wakefield Daily Item)


One of the zoning measures that will go before the voters at next week’s Regular Town Meeting seeks to encourage a shift toward multifamily, mixed-use developments in Wakefield‘s downtown area.

Article 12 on the Nov. 16 Town Meeting warrant would make it easier for developers to propose projects in the business and industrial zones that would have retail on the ground floor and residential units on the upper floors. The proposed changes to Chapter 190 Section 32 of the Zoning Bylaw would apply only in districts covered by that part of the Zoning Bylaw: the Business District, Limited Business District, Industrial District and Limited Industrial District.

After a public hearing earlier this week, the Planning Board voted to recommend favorable action on Article 12.
Continue reading ‘Town Meeting article seeks mixed use, residential above retail in downtown’

by Mark Sardella (Wakefield Daily Item)


One of the Zoning articles that Wakefield voters will be grappling with at the Regular Town Meeting that gets underway on Monday, Nov. 16 relates to open space subdivisions, also known as conservation subdivisions.

At a public hearing earlier this week, the Planning Board voted to recommend favorable action on Article 11, which will ask Town Meeting voters to amend the town’s current Open Space Development (OSD) bylaw.

Open space or conservation subdivisions are seen as an alternative to traditional subdivisions in that they require less land disturbance and preserve greater amounts of open space.
Continue reading ‘Town Meeting to consider open space development bylaw revisions’

by Mark Sardella (Wakefield Daily Item)

“It’s not often a community theater gets the opportunity to produce the New England premier production of a Broadway musical,” says former longtime Wakefield resident Nancy Curran Willis.

curran-willisShe is directing the New England premier of Bonnie and Clyde at The Umbrella Community Arts Center in Concord, Mass. The music for the show was written by Frank Wildhorn, who is best known for his musical Jekyll & Hyde, which ran four years on Broadway. Wildhorn also wrote Whitney Houston’s number one hit, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?”

During its Broadway run, critics and audiences agreed that the strength of “Bonnie and Clyde” is Wildhorn’s music (with lyrics by Don Black). There is some spoken dialog in the show, but the familiar story of America’s most famous outlaw couple is told primarily through songs with titles like “Picture Show,” “This World Will Remember Me,” “Raise a Little Hell” and “Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad.”
Continue reading ‘Bonnie and Clyde ride again in Concord’

salutes111110Next Wednesday is Veterans Day.

It’s one of the few holidays left that hasn’t been consigned to the nearest Monday in order to create another long weekend for those who have the day off.

If you’re not a public employee, chances are you have to work on Veterans Day. On one hand, I understand not wanting to shut down commerce for another day, especially when the holiday falls right smack in the middle of the business week. On the other hand, what could be a better cause for interrupting business as usual than to stop and honor veterans?
Continue reading ‘Veterans deserve big turnout on Nov. 11’

by Mark Sardella (Wakefield Daily Item)

It’s not exactly the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, but it appears that Wakefield may be dealing with an art theft mystery of its own.

In the past year, a combined total of three paintings have gone missing from two of the town’s oldest institutions, located almost directly across Main Street from one another in the downtown. At least two of the paintings are believed to be by the same artist and all three have some connection to the Unitarian Universalist Church at 326 Main Street.
Continue reading ‘Wakefield’s art theft mystery’

by Mark Sardella (Wakefield Daily Item)


If there’s one thing that A Measure of Normalcy, the relentlessly manic 90-minute play by Lucas Baisch could use it might be a measure of normalcy.

The play runs through Nov. 1 at Gloucester Stage, and it was written by Baisch, the theater’s 2015 Playwriting Apprentice. Normalcy follows an array of lost souls as they interact in a Midwestern mini-mall.
Continue reading ‘‘Normalcy’ comes up a measure short’



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