I’m starting a petition to ban petitions.

Actually, I would never do that. First of all, I’m much too lazy and second, it would involve talking to people, which I try to avoid whenever possible.

Saying that I want to start a petition against petitions is an attempt at irony.

Not intended to be ironic was a recent suggestion that town boards and committees should have a “public comment period” before every vote that is taken.

This idea comes in the wake of the latest cataclysm to roil the town: The Kiosk Crisis. One side sees a path to vitality and prosperity. The other side sees the end of Wakefield as we know it.

It all stems from a May 31 meeting at which the Town Council voted to approve four informational kiosks that are designed to raise awareness about Wakefield and all the town has to offer.
Continue reading ‘Meeting expectations’


Kiosk chaos


This whole business of letting a group of citizens work their butts off for months or years on some worthy project only to have others swoop in at the eleventh hour and scuttle all that effort is getting a little old.

We saw it with the Public Safety Building. And now we’re seeing it with the kiosk proposed near the corner of Church Street and Lake Avenue. And those are just examples from the last few weeks.
Continue reading ‘Kiosk chaos’


Easily, the strength of Gloucester Stage Company’s current production, Cyrano, is in the performances of the professional cast. The five-member cast plays a multitude of roles in this adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 classic Cyrano de Bergerac by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers.
Continue reading ‘A fast-paced ‘Cyrano’ at Gloucester stage’

How to vote


There are few responsibilities easier for citizens to fulfill than voting. Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed, at least when it comes to requiring voters to be registered before election day. It’s a safeguard that allows city and town clerks to verify the eligibility of each would-be voter.

Why anyone would be against that is beyond me.

The SJC unanimously upheld the state’s 20-day voter registration deadline, passed in 1993 by the Massachusetts Legislature – you know, the representatives that we the people elected.

The ruling was a crushing blow to those who believe citizenship should be all benefits and no responsibilities.
Continue reading ‘How to vote’

Why Bother?


It’s a question that lots of people have to be asking themselves in the wake of Tuesday’s election results.

Anyone who attended Annual Town Meeting and sat through a two-and-a-half hour presentation and debate and then voted with the overwhelming majority in favor of the Public Safety Building project could hardly be blamed for wondering why they even bothered.

And those were the people who had the least invested in it.

How must the Permanent Building Committee be feeling? They had more than two years invested in this project. Two years of long meetings listening to alternately dizzying and mind-numbing amounts of information and possible solutions.

Why did they bother?
Continue reading ‘Why Bother?’

SMWs Unite!


If there’s anyone more insufferable than a Social Justice Warrior, it’s a Social Media Warrior.

However irritating they may be, at least Social Justice Warriors can usually parrot some tired talking points in defense of their positions.

All Social Media Warriors care about is being one of the cool kids. They’ll say whatever they think will get them the most “Likes” on Facebook.

Take the recent brouhaha over the liquor license request of Tequila’s Mexican Cantina (aka the greatest eatery north of the Rio Grande).

Most of those opining on social media didn’t bother to read the newspaper story, much less watch the WCAT video coverage of last week’s discussion at the Town Council meeting.

All they know is that we need a Mexican restaurant in town and so what if the owners have had a few run-ins with the law in the past. That’s no reason to worry about handing them a license to sell intoxicating beverages.

And if the police are against giving them the license, well then, these fellows must be nature’s noblemen, the innocent victims of some sinister plot to persecute them.

The Board of Selectmen granted the liquor license to Tequilas last February, pending the results of routine police fingerprinting of the two prospective owners.

And what do you know? After running their prints through the police database, it turned out that both men had a history of involvement with the criminal justice system. So, the town withheld releasing the license pending last week’s Town Council meeting.
Continue reading ‘SMWs Unite!’

Memorial Hall in Melrose was “All Shook Up” last Saturday night as the Polymnia Choral Society presented its “Tribute to Elvis, the King of Rock.”

Polymnia and the King share a historical timeline.

Polymnia was founded in Wakefield in 1953, the year Elvis Presley recorded his first demo at Sun Studio in Memphis. In 1956, the year that Polymnia moved its concerts to Memorial Hall in Melrose, “Heartbreak Hotel” was released, becoming Elvis’s first big hit.

Saturday’s concert featured 20 classic Elvis tunes, from the hard rocking “Return to Sender” and “Burning Love” to the mellow gospel of “Peace in the Valley” and “I Believe.”
Continue reading ‘Polymnia pays tribute to Elvis’



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