Smoke signals


drugsThere has been much hand-wringing of late regarding the opioid abuse crisis. As there should be.

But when it comes to dealing with substance abuse, we know what works and what doesn’t work. Our long history with alcohol and tobacco provides a blueprint, if only we would follow it instead of looking for other dangerous drugs to legalize and promote.

Just last week, the Wakefield Board of Selectmen showed how it’s done.

They sent a message.

They wanted the message to be loud and they wanted it to be clear: They don’t want Wakefield to be known as a place where minors can come to purchase alcohol.
Continue reading ‘Smoke signals’

downtown_work010416If you’ve ventured anywhere near downtown Wakefield area in the last few months, perhaps you’ve noticed that there are some trucks and heavy equipment digging up the streets.

If you haven’t been napping somewhere with Rip van Winkle, you may have even heard about the coming $20 million Brightview Senior Living complex. Perhaps you even read in the Wakefield Daily Item as early as January 2015 that Brightview would begin by spending over a million dollars on improvements to the gas, electrical, water and sewer infrastructure in the downtown business district that otherwise the town would have had to pay for.

Those corporate bastards!
Continue reading ‘Eve of construction’

old_linden_treeWhen audiences arrives at the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Wakefield, MA for future concerts at the Linden Tree Coffeehouse, something will be missing.

The majestic linden tree that lent its name to the coffeehouse 31 years ago and has graced the front of the church for longer than anyone has been alive, was taken down on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016.

“There was a lot of evidence that it was dying,” said church member Peter Stickel, who added that there was concern that the tree could drop one of its large branches and injure someone. Its roots were also starting to push up and damage the pavement of the walkway leading into the church, creating a potential walking hazard.
Continue reading ‘Old Linden Tree gone but not forgotten’

We’ve arrived at the Put Up or Shut Up Season.

town_hall-entranceMonday, Jan. 4 was the first day that you could pull nomination papers to run in the April 26 Town Election. For those who for the past year have been have been telling anyone who would listen that you could do a better job running the town, now’s your big chance!

This is not to say that everyone who has a gripe should run for office. (God forbid.)

Nor am I saying that unless you stand for election you have no right to complain. There’s plenty of room for citizen activism outside of holding elective or appointed office.
Continue reading ‘Now’s Your Chance!’

‘Tis the Christmas season, and Mr. Paid Reporter Man is filled with the spirit of giving toward the naughtiest and the nicest in Wakefield. He’s made his list and checked it twice. If you don’t find your name on his list, perhaps you haven’t been sufficiently naughty or nice.

To the Lake Quannapowitt Water Quality Committee: binding arbitration.

Daniel_LieberTo: Dan Lieber: a bug in the WCAT studio.

To Brian McGrail: a night off.

To Seth Moulton: a break from his rigorous MSNBC schedule.

To Town Counsel Tom Mullen: a challenging case.

To Alison Simcox and Doug Heath: 13 SolarBees.
Continue reading ‘The Spirit of Giving’

This month, Wakefield Community Access Television celebrates its 25th anniversary as Wakefield’s public access television operation.

tv_oldIt’s hard to believe that WCAT has been around for a quarter century. What’s even harder to believe is that public access television has been around in Wakefield, MA for even longer than that.

WCAT was formed in December of 1990, but there were people doing local public access TV in Wakefield for about five years before that – although it felt more like fifty years to those of us involved at the time. I refer to those days as the Dark Ages of public access.
Continue reading ‘Wakefield Public Access TV: the Dark Ages’

by Mark Sardella (Wakefield Daily Item)


Who did she think she was – this outside consultant with her studies and her facts and figures – coming in and telling us that our downtown isn’t the economic Death Valley we’ve been led to believe it is? How dare she suggest that revitalization doesn’t happen overnight and that the citizens we’ve chosen to represent us might actually be on the right track?
Continue reading ‘Downtown reality check’



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