Bad examples

17May19

Bad ideas seem to be finding their way to Wakefield with some regularity of late, which is why you should always be aware of what’s going on in nearby communities.

Forewarned is forearmed as they say, and in Massachusetts there’s never a shortage of “initiatives” to be forewarned about.

Let’s start with the least dubious (which isn’t saying much) idea and work our way down.
Continue reading ‘Bad examples’

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I have some bad news and some worse news.

The bad news: Bike lanes are coming to Wakefield Square.

The worse news: There’s not a thing you can do about it.

Why, you ask?

The answer can be expressed in one word: money.

The town wants $15 million from the state for a Main Street infrastructure project. The state wants bike lanes. No bike lanes, no $15 million. It’s as simple as that.
Continue reading ‘Envision bike lanes’


First, they came for your plastic bags. Now, they’re back for your property rights.

Article 26 on the April 29 Annual Town Meeting warrant proposes a new bylaw that would pertain to vacant storefronts. Under the proposed bylaw, property owners of first-floor storefronts that are vacant for more than 90 days would have to register with the Building Department. The property owner would then have four choices: 1) Fill the vacancy; 2) allow public art to be displayed in the space; 3) pay a $100 quarterly fee to the town; or 4) request a waiver from the Town Council.

Having injected itself into the retail marketplace with the plastic bag ban, town government has now set its sights on the commercial real estate market.

Like the plastic bag ban, this new measure has a “feel-good” component — unless you happen to be a commercial landlord being told what to do with a property that you own and pay taxes on. Then, not so much.
Continue reading ‘Taxation without occupation’


I know that you’re used to seeing this column on Thursday, so you may be wondering why you’re reading this on a Monday. The reason is, I have an important announcement concerning a personal new beginning. I thought it only appropriate that I announce it at the start of, not just a new week, but a new month.

The news is that at long last I have seen the light. I have renounced my past ways. I see now the injustices that my own privilege has served to perpetuate. I have been enlightened to the inherent value of diversity, equality and sustainability.

In short, I have joined the Woke Community.
Continue reading ‘Welcome to Wokefield’


Whenever you see proposals to “expand voting rights,” or “make voting easier,” your BS detector should go off.

Since the right to vote is already guaranteed by law and voting is easier than falling off a log, I am always suspicious of efforts to “expand” or “simplify” voting. At best, these measures are thinly veiled efforts to gain an electoral advantage. At worst, they facilitate the manipulation of election results.

As proof, I offer the fact that the same people who promote these election “reforms” always oppose the simplest, zero-cost measure to prevent voter fraud: voter ID.

Two recent examples of measures to “expand” or “simplify” voting were connected to the Orwellian sounding For the People Act just passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Among other things, this bill purported to “expand voting rights.”
Continue reading ‘One child, one vote’


For those who like music spiced with a bit of history – or vice versa – last Saturday’s Polymnia Choral Society production of Franz Josef Haydn’s The Creation was a doubly rewarding experience.

The sanctuary of Wakefield’s First Parish Congregational Church was a fitting venue in which to experience Haydn’s oratorio depicting the miracle of the world’s creation. It the words of Polymnia member Eileen Worthley, “With its sublime arias, joyous choruses, energetic arpeggios, and rollicking fugues, it is altogether a jubilant work of praise to the glory of the Creator.”
Continue reading ‘Polymnia brings The Creation to life’


Women’s March

07Mar19

On the heels of the devastating news that only men applied to serve on new Public Safety Building Committee came the bombshell that no women were among the top 50 highest paid town employees.

What’s a girl to make of this during Women’s History Month?

In the real world, most people understand how the list of the 50 highest paid town employees works. Most of them are cops, followed by firefighters, Light Department employees and DPW workers. What do these jobs offer that others don’t? For one thing, they have the opportunity to pad their base salaries with lots of detail and/or overtime pay. So, if you’re willing to work your butt off and spend lots of time away from hearth and home, you can rake in a fair amount of cash.

But that still doesn’t explain why there aren’t more women on the list.

Or does it?
Continue reading ‘Women’s March’




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