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It’s even worse than I thought.

A couple of weeks ago, we discussed Voter Fatigue and the steps that our state and local governments are taking to aid us in performing that onerous civic duty known as voting.

But until Thursday, September 8, I had no idea that for more than 90 percent of us, voting is not just a heavy burden. It’s damn near impossible!

Remember all the crap Phyllis Hull took earlier this year for requesting the July 19 Special Election to fill a vacancy on the Board of Selectmen?

“It will be a waste of money!” the born-again fiscal conservatives fulminated. “The turnout will be abysmal!” they railed. “Nobody will show up to vote in mid-July!” they howled. “It should be held at the same time as the State Primary in September when there are more people around to vote!” they demanded.

Well, that “wasteful” and “unnecessary” July 19 Special Election drew 50 percent more voters than the recent State Primary. That July 19 Special Election brought 2,247 voters to the polls, a turnout of 12.37 percent.

In the September 8 State Primary Election, 1,613 of Wakefield’s 18,372 registered voters made it to the polls. That’s 8.8 percent.
Continue reading ‘The 8.8 percent solution’


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By MARK SARDELLA

GLOUCESTER — Imagine, if you can, an oligarchic takeover of a state led by a “Palinesque” Manchurian candidate with only a hapless, dying, Occupy-style activist standing in the way of her establishing a totalitarian regime.

Forget trying to imagine it. It’s been done for you! Playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s over-the-top, absurdist, dark comedy The Totalitarians, currently at Gloucester Stage, presents just a scenario.
Continue reading ‘Totalitarian coup at Gloucester Stage’


Voter fatigue

02Sep16

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You’ve got your work cut out for you this fall.

It’s called voting, and you’re going to have to do it not once, but twice.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

vote_sign071816Hopefully you’ve recovered from voting in the local Special Election on July 19 and have spent the summer resting and building up your strength for the State Primary on Sept. 8. Thankfully, the Presidential Election is two full months after that, so you’ll have a little time to recuperate from the Primary before you have to cast yet another ballot.

I know voting must be very hard. Why else would the state have enacted a whole set of “reforms” in 2014 designed to make voting “easier?” These reforms are set to go into effect with the Nov. 8 Presidential Election.
Continue reading ‘Voter fatigue’


To paraphrase the late, great Dan Hicks, “How can we miss them when they won’t go away?”

Just when you thought it was safe to go to the Post Office on Saturday morning, they’re back like a bad penny – or three or four of them. The Wakefield Civic League, those guardians of our local democracy, have returned to lecture us on the true meaning of government transparency.

What outrageous scandal has prompted their latest sermon?
Continue reading ‘Let’s be clear’


By MARK SARDELLA

We all know how social media has affected our own lives. We see it every time we check Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and a host of new networks springing up every day. Even those who have succeeded in resisting social media can’t avoid it entirely.

But how is social media impacting the corporate world?

catherine_turcoWakefield native Catherine Turco decided to find out.

In her new book, The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media, she looks at how one company adopted the open communications of social media as a model for its organizational structure.
Continue reading ‘Catherine Turco authors “The Conversational Firm”’


Have you looked at a calendar lately? It’s Aug. 18 already! Wasn’t the July Fourth Parade was just last weekend?

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Summer’s slipping away, and we are rapidly approaching the point where even Daylight Saving Time will not be able to stave off the encroaching night. Even Saturday’s Festival Italia will conclude in darkness.

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But if you’re like most people (and after all, who isn’t?) you still haven’t done most of the activities on your summer to-do list.

As for me, I didn’t make a list of things to do this summer. That’s what the internet is for. So with two weeks to go until Labor Day weekend, I figured I’d better Google a list of recommended summer activities and see where I stand.
Continue reading ‘Summer checklist’


High resolution

12Aug16

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This week, the Wakefield Board of Selectmen passed a resolution opposing the legalization of marijuana, dealing a devastating blow to the local Cannabis Community.

On the bright side, most of them were too high to notice.

Dude, don’t the selectmen know that people have a Constitutional right to smoke weed? The Constitution was written on hemp paper, so its like, literally in the Constitution, man.

With arguments like that, how can Question 4 on the Nov. 8 ballot possibly lose?
Continue reading ‘High resolution’




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