Alexander Cook, Molly Kimmerling, Steven Barkhimer

Laura Hunt is dead.

It was a shotgun blast to the face as she answered the door of her posh New York City Apartment. The only question was who killed the beautiful and successful advertising executive – and why?

In Stoneham Theatre’s production of Laura, answering that question falls to NYC Police detective Mark McPherson (played by Alexander Cook), as hardboiled a gumshoe as there ever was. Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade have nothing on this dick.
Continue reading ‘Stoneham Theatre’s ‘Laura’ an intriguing noir’


It all started when he purchased nine Pleasure Island postcards at a local church antiques show.

magic_mountain_coverSince then, Wakefield’s Robert McLaughlin has written five books and turned himself into one of the country’s leading experts on American theme parks. His latest book, Magic Mountain was published last week and tells the story of the park of the same name that was once nestled in the hills of Golden, Colorado, just outside of Denver.

Magic Mountain was the first of three knockoff theme parks designed by Disney deserter C.V. Wood and his firm, Marco Engineering. The other two were Pleasure Island in Wakefield and Freedomland in New York City.
Continue reading ‘Wakefield author Bob McLaughlin publishes history of ‘Magic Mountain’’

Special effects


If you are one of those who thought last week’s election meant that you could finally count Phyllis Hull out, a) You don’t know Phyllis Hull very well and, b) you might want to cork the Champagne, at least for now.
Hull was defeated in her bid to be re-elected to the Board of Selectmen in the April 26 Town Election, but within 48 hours she was preparing a petition for the town to call a Special Election to fill the vacancy left on the board by the election of Selectman Betsy Sheeran as Town Clerk.

And if you thought she wouldn’t get the 200 signatures necessary to call a Special Election, then you really don’t know Phyllis Hull.
Continue reading ‘Special effects’

Directed by Nancy Curran Willis



Israel Horovitz’s play “My Old Lady” is set in Paris but in Quannapowitt Players upcoming production there are Wakefield connections galore.

Most obvious is the fact that Horovitz is a Wakefield native who grew up on Elm Street and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1956.

On top of that, the director of the production, Nancy Curran Willis, is also a Wakefield native and WHS grad. (Her son, Lt. Sean Curran is a Wakefield firefighter.)
Continue reading ‘QP brings Horovitz’s ‘My Old Lady’ home’



If you encounter a police officer, a firefighter, an EMT or a paramedic in your travels around town, you might want to say “thank you.”

The week of April 25, 2016 through May 1, 2016 was “First Responder Week” in Wakefield, as proclaimed by the Board of Selectmen. Many Wakefield Police officers, Wakefield Firefighters and emergency personnel from Action Ambulance were on hand at a recent selectmen’s meeting to be honored by the board and by the town.
Continue reading ‘Wakefield honors first responders’



WAKEFIELD — The scenario is this: Wakefield Police receive a call reporting a disturbance at Acme Corp., a company of 50 employees located at the end of a cul-de-sac in Wakefield. The company is headquartered in Israel and has been threatened in the past by radical Islamic groups. The threats have come via emails to the company president, but have never been acted on. On a few recent occasions, protesters have shown up at the company carrying signs denouncing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Wakefield Police have responded to the company numerous times, mostly for accidental alarms, so they are familiar with the building.

Police dispatch initially sends two marked units to check on the disturbance.

That was the fictional scenario described by Sgt. Sean Beede of the Wakefield Police Department as he briefed 15 members of the Department in the parking lot of the Northeast Metro Tech High School shortly before they went through training for dealing with an active shooter situation at a business. The officers were split into three groups that went through the training separately. A portion of the Northeast Metro Tech High School on Hemlock Road served as the Acme Corp. building.
Continue reading ‘Wakefield Police officers train for “active shooter” situation’

My Earth Day


earthToday is Earth Day, and observances are underway around the world and have been for several weeks because coincidentally, April also happens to be Earth Month!

I find it outrageous that in 2016 we are so earth-centric as to focus only on the planet that we happen to inhabit out of the eight (formerly nine) in our solar system and potentially billions in the cosmos.

When is Mars Day celebrated? When is Mercury Month? We even went so far a few years ago as to demote the celestial body on the outermost fringe of our solar system from planetary status.

How Plutophobic of us!

But back to Earth Day. I have a full day of activities scheduled for my own personal celebration of the Earth and all its wonders.
Continue reading ‘My Earth Day’



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