North Shore

North Shore Navigators Post-Game Fireworks

Fun and affordable family entertainment. Great college summer baseball. You don’t need to drive to Fenway to see quality baseball and our prices are affordable. Tickets are $6 and $7 and hot dogs are a buck at every game. Fireworks at every Friday Night home game thanks to WAYNE ALARM. Full concession menu including Budweiser and local Bent Water Brewery products. If you have not been to a game, what are you waiting for? Click NOW!

7:00 p.m. First Pitch

Post-Game Fireworks on the following Fridays:

  • June 16
  • June 30
  • July 7
  • July 14
  • July 21
  • July 28
  • Aug. 4

Fraser Field, 365 Western Ave., Lynn

Celebrate summer with My Brother’s Table

Patient Care Solutions of Lynn donated $5,000 to My Brother’s Table, which will hold its annual Summer Party on Aug. 10 at Spinelli’s in Lynnfield. Pictured, front row from left, Longinus Ehiriodo, Debbie Sheridan, Dianne Kuzia Hills, and Maria Coccimiglio; back row, Bianca Mora, Stephanie Raposo, and Lissette Mejia.


Patient Care Solutions, a nationally-accredited home health agency, has donated $5,000 to My Brother’s Table, one of the largest soup kitchens on the North Shore.

“We are happy to contribute and sponsor the fine work they do,” said Debbie Sheridan, clinical services director.

On August 10, the nonprofit will hold its annual Summer Party, a fundraiser at Spinelli’s in Lynnfield, to support its mission of providing food for those in need.

My Brother’s Table has provided more than 3 million hot, free meals and outreach to men, women and children. Last year alone, they served 140,000 meals because of the generosity of donors.

The event at Spinelli’s is a chance to not only support a worthy cause, but to sample food from the North Shore’s restaurants, enjoy fine wines, desserts and live music, Sheridan said.  

There will be raffles for wine, Boston Red Sox tickets, travel,

gift certificates, entertainment passes and more.

Tickets to the event are $65. For more information please call (781) 595-3224.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at



One last hoorah for Field and his Spartans

Anthony DelVecchio (right) is one of four St. Mary’s representatives on the South roster. 


When St. Mary’s coach Josh Field was tabbed to coach the South team for tonight’s 6th Agganis All-Star boys lacrosse game, he knew the opportunity to lead a group of local talents would be an honor. To make the experience even more memorable for Field, the Agganis game will give him one final go-round with four of his Spartan stars.

Representing St. Mary’s on Field’s South roster are Anthony DelVecchio, Brendon Donahue,  Andrew Kreamer and Dante Maribito. All four of the recent St. Mary’s graduates were major contributors to a Spartans team that won the program’s first state tournament game with a victory over Swampscott.

Although St. Mary’s fell short of a state title with a loss in the next round at top-seeded Hamilton-Wenham, Field reflects on the 2017 season as a positive one.

“I don’t like to look a records as being indicative of how a season plays out,” Field said. “We won our first playoff game. At one point in the year we were 5-9. We won seven straight and won our first playoff game.”

Field added, “The effort our guys put on at Hamilton-Wenham was terrific. It was a phenomenal year. The backbone of that success was the willingness of our kids to get better every day. We were a different team the last time we walked off the field than the first time we walked on it.”

Much of the success St. Mary’s achieved this past spring can be credited to the leadership and dedication brought forth by the four Spartans playing in tonight’s game. In the four years they’ve worn the St. Mary’s uniform, Field said, the program has grown and moved in a positive direction.

“I’m not sure the program would be there without them,” Field said. “Our program is vibrant and growing, without question. Brendon played goalie since his first day as a freshman. Dante and Andrew go from the TD Garden with the hockey team on a Sunday to joining us on a Monday. Anthony, you watch him work and you feel like you owe it to him to give the extra time as a coach and a player.”

Field added, “These guys are so important to the program. I’m not sure it would be where it is today without them.”

With four Spartans representing St. Mary’s in the Agganis game, it’s clear that Field’s program is on the map. That too can be credited to the four all-stars.

“These guys have set the bar high for players to follow,” Field said. “I think that’s one of the most important things they’ve done. They’ve put St. Mary’s on the map. I think the expectations for the underclassmen in our program have changed dramatically.”

For Field, tonight’s game won’t be the first time he’s taken part in an Agganis showcase. The St. Mary’s coach previously served as an assistant in the Agganis All-Star football game.

“It’s probably one of the greatest honors in my 10 years coaching high school lacrosse,” Field, said. “I was an assistant coach on the football side and that was a pleasure. It’s a great honor and I’m looking forward to being on the field with the kids and the coaches.”

In looking at the names on the North and South rosters, Field added, it’s evident that lacrosse is an evolving sport across the North Shore.

“I’m not just seeing it at the high school level, but also at the youth levels,” Field said. “Lacrosse has come very far over the past few years on the North Shore. It’s a reflection of the hard work and dedication that coaches and program directors are committing to their teams and the sport.”

Although Field’s been tabbed to coach a roster full of the area’s top lacrosse talent, the number one takeaway from tonight’s game will be coaching his four Spartans for one last game in their own backyard at Manning Field.

“These four seniors, to have one more chance to coach them and see them play one last time at Manning Field, a field where these guys have worked very hard to help our program, is the perfect way to cap off their runs,” Field said. “It’s just a real treat for me to sit back and watch it.”

Field will coach the South team alongside Beverly’s Jim LaSelva.

The 6th Agganis Agganis All-Star girls lacrosse game starts at 5:30 p.m. at Manning Field, followed by the boys game at 7

North hangs on to win Agganis baseball game

Swampscott’s Lou Olivieri tries to throw out a would-be base stealer during Sunday’s Agganis All-Star Baseball game at Fraser Field.


LYNN — The 23rd annual Agganis All-Star baseball game was everything one could hope for in such an affair.

It was competitive until the very end, with the North team hanging on (by a thread) for a 6-5 victory. And both teams got the chance to showcase some of the best talent in North Shore baseball.

Newburyport’s Brian Hadden laced two hits, drove in two runs and pitched a scoreless fourth inning, striking out two, to win the North MVP. Winthrop’s Luigi Spinazzola smacked a triple in the seventh inning to give the home team some late life and earned the South MVP.

Saugus’ Justin Horvarth sent down the side in order in the first, striking out two. The South team jumped on North starter Pat Maguire (Peabody) in the home half of the inning, plating two runs.

A walk and hit batter put two on for the South with nobody out.  After a couple of groundouts, including a RBI groundout from Jack Wallace (Winthrop), Classical’s Andrew Moccia delivered the big hit of the inning, a RBI single up the middle to make it 2-0.

Moccia (hit, RBI, and a scoreless inning on the mound) was one of four Classical senior captains to make the team.

“It was great to be with all the senior captains, to wrap up our high school careers together,” Moccia said. “We’ve been playing together since Little League, some of us even before that, so it felt good.”

The luck turned for the South soon after, as the North responded immediately in the second, tagging Horvarth for two runs. St. John’s Prep’s Dan Frey led off the frame with a double, and Hadden drove him in. Hadden later scored on a wild pitch. Horvarth allowed four hits and a walk in the inning, but escaped a bases-loaded jam, only allowing the two runs.

Brendan O’Shea (Methuen) put the North on top in the third with a RBI double off of Salem’s Wes Schaejbe.

The North took a commanding 5-2 lead in the fifth. Classical’s Herbie Newton allowed singles to Jacob Deziel (Pentucket) and Drew Finn (North Andover) to start the frame. Hadden drove in his second run of the afternoon on an infield single, scoring Deziel, and Finn came around on a wild pitch.

The South made it a game again in the fifth, thanks to a big two-run double from Lynnfield’s Justin Juliano. Salem’s Loany Rosario started the rally with a one-out single, and Classical’s Tyler Way followed with a walk. Juliano came through with a booming double to center, but was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

The North added a big insurance run in the seventh to make it 6-4 as Peabody’s Nick Palma smacked a RBI double.

That would hurt the South, as Spinazzola sparked a rally with a one-out triple. Schaejbe followed with a double, scoring Spinazzola, but Schaejbe was called out at second for missing first base. That’d kill the rally, as Fenwick’s Ben Mogavero got Classical’s Matt Lauria to fly out to end it.

“It was great for these guys, I told them to go up there and swing out of their shoes, green lights on the bases, and we got a few runs,” North coach Bryan Lafata (Gloucester) said. “I think it’s more stressful to get everyone in the game. But we pulled it out.”

North Shore Navigators Post-Game Fireworks

Fun and affordable family entertainment. Great college summer baseball. You don’t need to drive to Fenway to see quality baseball and our prices are affordable. Tickets are $6 and $7 and hot dogs are a buck at every game. Fireworks at every Friday Night home game. Full concession menu including Budweiser and local Bent Water Brewery products. If you have not been to a game, what are you waiting for? Click NOW!

7:00 p.m. First Pitch

Post-Game Fireworks on the following Fridays:

  • June 16
  • June 30
  • July 7
  • July 14
  • July 21
  • July 28
  • Aug. 4

Fraser Field, 365 Western Ave., Lynn

Peabody man among oxycodone guilty pleas


BOSTON – A Peabody man was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Boston for distributing oxycodone throughout the North Shore area along with eight others.

Joseph Romano, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to four years in prison and three years supervised release. In March 2017, Romano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute oxycodone.  

In March 2014, federal investigators began tracking the activities of Romano and his co-defendants. Through surveillance and a cooperating source, investigators were able to make controlled purchases of oxycodone from Romano and his associates, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Co-defendants Anthony Panarese, Jarod Presterone, and Paul Williams were oxycodone suppliers, and on roughly a weekly basis, Romano contacted each of them separately to arrange meetings to obtain oxycodone pills for redistribution.  

At times, Romano also met with Eric Vaughn, who delivered pills to Romano for his personal use.  Romano consumed some of the pills and distributed the remainder to various people, including Ashley Turner, Sans Milbury and Marcelle Milbury, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

In addition, when Romano went on vacation in June 2015, Turner handled distribution for him, during which time Williams supplied oxycodone pills to Turner’s father, David Turner Sr., who then delivered them to his daughter, Ashley.    

Panarese has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 46 months in prison; Marcelle Milbury also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year in prison.

Sans Milbury graduated from the RISE program, sponsored by the court, and was sentenced to three years probation.

Co-defendants Presterone, Vaughn, Ashley Turner, David Turner Sr. and Williams, have all pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.



Ferry will float again this summer

Limited ferry service to and from Boston is returning.


LYNN — All aboard.

After rejecting ferry service for more than a year, Gov. Charlie Baker has reversed course and will fund a weekday excursion from the city’s terminal to Boston’s Long Wharf.

The boat is expected to launch on Tuesday, June 20, and run until Friday, Sept. 22. It will consist of one departure from the Blossom Street Extension at 7:45 a.m., arriving in Long Wharf at 8:20 a.m., and one evening return from Boston at 6 p.m., arriving in Lynn at 6:35 p.m.

The cost for the 35-minute trip is $7 each way, $3.50 for children and seniors.

“We are pleased to provide the needed additional resources for Lynn to once again offer this seasonal ferry service, which will give residents and visitors yet another transportation option,” said State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, in a statement.

This represents a change in direction for the Baker administration and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Last summer, the governor said Lynn’s two-year demonstration project in 2014 and 2015 to launch the ferry on the state’s dime was an opportunity to examine whether the service made economic sense. He concluded it didn’t generate the ridership and the price tag per rider was too expensive.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for Pollack said the state is providing a Highway Division grant of up to $200,000 for ferry service this summer to mitigate the impact of Route 1A and Sumner Tunnel construction projects.

“We don’t expect the city will need all of the $200,000 since the ferry generates fares,” said Jacquelyn Goddard.

During the 2014 season, the estimated total number of rides was 13,322 and during the 2015 season, the estimated number of rides taken totaled 14,577.

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But in 2016 the Baker administration halted service and blamed the city for failure to come up with the $700,000 in operating expenses needed to operate the ferry.

That disagreement appears to be over for now.

State Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn), who has been a champion of the ferry and criticized Baker for failing to fund it last summer, praised Pollack for her leadership.

“Residents of Lynn and the North Shore will certainly benefit from an affordable and stress-free commute this summer,” McGee said in a statement.  “This significant momentum is not just beneficial for the continuation of service in Lynn this summer, but for advancing the long-term vision of water transportation, with Lynn as a key component, in the entire Massachusetts Bay.”

James Cowdell, executive director of the Economic Development and Industrial Corp., the city’s development bank said he’s excited that the ferry is back.

“The two year pilot program proved that there is a demand on the North Shore for a commuter ferry out of Lynn,” he said in a statement.

Last spring, in an effort led by U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and in partnership with state and local leaders, the Federal Transit Administration awarded a $4.5 million dollar grant for Lynn to purchase a vessel to support ferry service.

“The ferry will provide access to higher-paying jobs, housing, and opportunity for Lynn,”Moulton said in a statement.

Additionally, MassDOT provided technical assistance resources last winter for the city to develop a long term sustainability plan for ferry operations, and is currently assisting with the purchase of the boat.  

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy could not be reached for comment.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at


Nonprofit awards doctors, students

Alicia Luongo of Saugus receives the David Solimine Sr. Honorary Scholarship from Boston North Cancer Association. She is joined by board members Kevin McCarthy of Nahant (left), David Solimine Sr. of Lynn and President Susan McCarthy of Nahant.


Boston North Cancer Association (BNCA) honored North Shore doctors and students last month at the 7th annual Hope Begins Here Awards.

The Peabody-based nonprofit whose mission is to support the prevention, research, education and care of cancer, recognized Dr. Noel P. DeFelippo for more than 30 years of excellence and dedication in the treatment of patients with bladder, kidney, prostate and testicular cancer.

The Swampscott resident practices at Urology Consultants of the North Shore with offices in Salem and Danvers.

Lynn offers discounted home composters

The BNCA Scholarship Program recognizes childhood cancer survivors, young people of parents with cancer, and medical school students who show a promising career in cancer treatment.

Arthur Kautz of Swampscott High School was awarded the $3,500 Hope Begins Here Scholarship, which is given to a senior whose parent either died from cancer, survived cancer during the applicant’s childhood years, or is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Alicia Luongo of Saugus High School and Cassidy Woods of Wakefield, a student at Bishop Fenwick High School, received the $3,500 David J. Solimine Sr. Honorary Scholarship.

Stewart Pine, a 2010 Newburyport High School graduate attending Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine was awarded the $7,500 F. John Bargoot, MD Memorial Scholarship.

Matt Demirs can be reached at

London attacks derail Peabody school trips


The recent terrorist attacks in London and Europe have caused some North Shore residents to reconsider overseas travel.

One of the groups affected are students studying abroad and visiting these targeted countries with their schools.

In light of attacks in Europe, Peabody High School cancelled annual overseas trips in concern for their students’ safety.

While the trips were dropped before a request by Interim Superintendent Herbert Levine, he won’t be allowing any field trips to Europe.

“We have to stand up,” he said. “But we don’t have to do that by sending 16-year-olds overseas.”

But Thomas Strangie, Lynn English High School’s principal, gave the green light to Latin Club which had a trip to Rome planned for the April vacation under the direction of Michael Haddad, the school’s Latin teacher.

“You can’t let them win,” said Strangie, who has chaperoned 17 trips to Europe in 25 years. “You have to go and live your life. You shouldn’t have to worry about being targeted.”

In order to ease parents’ hesitance on letting their children study abroad, he leads parent-student meetings to ease their concerns. He also staffed the trips accordingly.

This year, 19 students were supervised by three chaperones.

“We can’t allow our lives to be colored by the acts of a few,” said Haddad. He is already planning a trip to Greece in 2019 with his students. A handful have already signed up.

In Saugus, officials worked with EF tours to re-route their travel plans to Greece that included a stop in Turkey last year.

School committee members worried about sending their students to Turkey. In the end, Turkey was removed from the itinerary.

“We understand that trips to these places has a great impact on the students who go,” said Jeannie Meredith, chairman of the Saugus School Committee. “It’s a great enrichment trip, but our endgame is to keep the kids safe.”

For college students, acts of terrorism in Europe haven’t hindered their pursuits to travel.

Lynn Classical High School graduate Natalie Galdamez, who majors in acting at the University of Southern California (USC), was studying in London last semester at Queen Mary University of London at the time of the attacks.

Galdamez said she was on campus during the Westminster incident when police said 52-year-old Briton Khalid Masood drove a car into a crowd of pedestrians walking along Westminster Bridge leaving more than 50 people injured.

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While Queen Mary University is nearly five miles from the area of the attack, Galdamez said her school didn’t go into lockdown. USC was the first to make sure Galdamez was safe and offered counseling if needed.

School officials then asked Galdamez to notify her parents. She called home and told her parents, who hadn’t learned of the news until then.

Galdamez said police presence grew in places with a lot of people, like on trains, but it didn’t last long.

Her experience wasn’t greatly changed because of the attacks, she said. While she felt sorry for Londoners, she said it was a bigger deal to those in the U.S.

The 21-year-old who loves to travel, hopes these events don’t deter others from choosing to go abroad.

“Stuff like this happens all the time,” she said. “Nobody is immune to it, but I wouldn’t let that stop anybody from going.”

Salem State University has no students in the United Kingdom, according to spokeswoman Nicole Giambusso. Several students are scheduled to travel to the UK in the fall, with no reports of students changing their mind in light of recent incidents.

Larry Davis, a department chair at North Shore Community College, will be doing a joint trip with Salem State to Germany, Czech Republic, and Hungary to study the Holocaust.

“I’m not scared, but I am concerned,” he said. “Before we leave I will sit them down and tell them what it means to travel during these particular times.”

No students have pulled out from the trip since the recent attacks, he said.

Patrick Finnigan, a Classical High School graduate, said he had positive experiences while away.

He spent last semester studying at Menendez Pelayo International University in Spain through a program at UMass-Amherst.

While Finnigan, 21, was in Europe during the series of attacks in London, he said there were no signs of attacks in Spain and he never feared he was in danger.

During his five-month stay, he visited Morocco, a country where many Muslims live.

His parents, Paula and John Finnigan, were understanding of his decision to travel. While his mother worried, like many parents are when their children go away unsupervised, she trusted him to be safe.

Finnigan plans to study abroad again next semester, this time in Costa Rica.

“I want to see the world and I am not going to let a small group affect my decisions to adventure throughout the world,” he said.

No holes barred: It’s National Donut Day

A half-dozen donuts from Kane’s Donuts are packaged and ready for a customer.


SAUGUS — When Maria Delios was younger, the future Kane’s Donuts owner didn’t understand what her father, the owner at the time, meant when he told their family “Donuts are love.”

After years of working at the family-owned business and seeing the smiles of customers biting into their donuts, Delios now sees exactly what he was talking about.

Friday is National Doughnut Day, the unofficial holiday celebrated on the first Friday in June.

Chicago hosted the first National Doughnut Day in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army “Doughnut Girls.” Kane’s loyalists are ready to mark the tasty holiday.

“The homemade quality and having the variety of different flavors is something that really separates Kane’s from stores like Dunkin Donuts,” Jason Piazza, of Lynn, said as he dipped his gluten-free chocolate glazed donut into his coffee Thursday. “Plus, they’re huge.”

North Reading resident, Hannah Cahill, 17, said Kane’s trumps places like Dunkin’ Donuts because they are made fresh daily.

Kane’s will be selling a super dozen — a box of 12 assorted donuts including 3 honey dips, bringing the number to 15, which can be purchased for $27. Single donuts are sold at $2.25 each.

Kane’s Donuts isn’t the only North Shore business offering specials for the fun holiday.

Land of A Thousand Hills on Munroe Street will also have specials. A single doughnut, normally priced at $1.59 with tax, will give customers two doughnuts on Friday. Doughnuts are prepared fresh by Central Bakery in Peabody.

Although they will not be offering specials, Dandee Donut Factory on Pleasant Street urges customers to celebrate the holiday by munching on one of their 50-plus varieties offered at the Marblehead shop. Single doughnuts will cost $1.85 while a baker’s dozen is priced at $14.50.

If you can’t enjoy some of these local family-owned commodities, participating Dunkin Donuts will be offering a free donut with the purchase of any drink.

National Doughnut Day’s origins lie in World War 1 when “doughnut girls,” Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance, earned their nicknames by serving baked goods after frying the doughnuts in soldiers’ helmets.

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The pair are credited with making the doughnut popular in the United States. Doughnuts offered happiness for soldiers during World War I.

A century later, Delios continues to see happiness in customers who come from all over the world to eat Kane’s specialty doughnuts.

Kane’s opened its doors in 1955. In 1986, Peter and Kay Delios, former doughnut store owners, bought the shop and changed just about everything but the sign and the name. The purchase of the beloved Saugus shop called for a family affair.

Delios said the purchase came out of nowhere. One day my father came home from his walk and told my mother “Kay, call all the kids back to work. I just bought Kane’s Donuts.”

After many years the store was eventually passed down to his kids, who grew up serving the treats everyone adored.

Although Kane’s have been lauded by numerous publications and networks. Some of the most notable honors include being featured on Phantom Gourmet, Wicked Bites, and Saveur’s magazine as part of “America’s 50 best Donuts.”

Carrying more than 16 different donuts, Delios said the donuts at her store weigh four times what you get anywhere else.

Gearing up for National Donut Day, the owners created a competition where customers could submit ideas for a new flavored donut.

After receiving more than 1,000 submissions, Delios spent the past month working meticulously to put together and taste the different combinations suggested. One gentleman, the winner of the competition, really took home the cake.

“He submitted a blueberry lemon zest. A donut we’ve made with blueberries folded in the dough,” Delios said, “It is topped with fresh lemon zest scraped by hand.”

Delios stands by the quality of donuts from her mom-and-pop business and the freshness of the product which are all made with local ingredients, she said.

Donuts which have recently made their debut at Kane’s includes the butter pecan, the chocolate salted caramel, and gluten free options.

Want to know more about people’s love for donuts? Check out the results from Donut Index survey asking 1,000 Americans about their donut-eating habits.

Matt Demirs can be reached at

Learning a family affair in Lynn

Evelyn Lawson graduated from North Shore Community College with her associate’s degree.


LYNN — No matter rain or shine, sleet or hail, you can find Evelyn Lawson on the 6:05 a.m. bus every day. Some 53-year-olds might think about winding down, but not Lawson: She is hungry to learn and that appetite isn’t getting any smaller with age.

On Thursday, Lawson graduated from North Shore Community College with her associate’s degree in criminal studies. After taking years off from when she originally started classes in 1982, she finally began walking the halls again in 2013.

Lawson’s journey wasn’t an easy route to achieve such a success. In fact, adversity challenged her at just about every corner of her life. She remained hopeful.

“My life has been really tough,” Lawson said. “I was in a lousy marriage. I was responsible for taking care of my Down syndrome sister and my sick mother.

“On the night my mother died, I was raped by my husband.”

Knowing that she deserved better, Lawson took her kids and left her husband.

Right around this time Lawson was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and body.

Unable to work, Lawson received a notice she had three days before she would be evicted from her home and forced into a homeless shelter with her two children. She remembers the towers of boxes around her home. She began to feel helpless.

Then came a glimmer of hope.

A woman named Kim Cole, who worked for Martha Coakley and John Kerry at the time, was able to find Lawson and her family a home.

Lawson was overcome with joy.

“I believe it was a gift from God.” Lawson said, “He was answering my prayers.”

After her family settled in their home in West Lynn, Lawson put education on the forefront, not only for herself, but her children too.

Four years later, Lawson is graduating with her son from North Shore Community College while her daughter will be graduating from Essex Agricultural and Technical High School. Her son, Andrew, will be studying engineering at University of Massachusetts-Boston, while her daughter Amanda earned a full scholarship to the University of New England in Maine.  Both children earned academic honors throughout their school career. Their mother is proud that both of her children are off to four-year institutions.

Lawson will be continuing her education at Salem State University. Her dream is to become a juvenile probation officer because she believes she can make an impact on the youth.

“You can mold them because they are children,” she said. “Children sometimes come from bad homes, have bad relationships, are malnourished and are lost. They just need some nurturing and attention.”

Lawson couldn’t be happier with her decision to attend North Shore.

“The support from the faculty and staff at North Shore has been incredible,” she said. “I encourage the youth to go there. You will get an affordable education.

“Everybody in that school is an asset to your life.”

Donna Davis, an academic counselor at NSCC, worked closely with Lawson during her transition back into school.

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“She’s full of life and doesn’t let any obstacles get in her way — that’s the key,” Davis said.

Lawson gives a lot of credit to Davis for taking care of her and making her feel special. Davis even went so far to schedule a day of beauty for Lawson with the cosmetology department. There she got a haircut, pedicure, manicure, and more.

“The makeover transformed her,” Davis said. “She felt and looked like a super star.”

Davis said the cosmetology department loved Lawson and she made everyone feel good about themselves.

Above all, Lawson is thankful to the staff at North Shore because they’ve made her feel more human, even when she didn’t feel like one herself.

Lawson will always remember something she was told by her math teacher, Professor Judith Carter, whom Lawson says is one of the first people who believed in her.

“I call her the gem. She was the first person to push me and believe in me.

“We were in her office doing an equation and I just couldn’t get it. After we worked on it, she stood up from the table and looked at me and said ‘Evelyn, I know you know this.’”

That’s when Lawson slowed down, stopped panicking, and focused. After a few deep breaths, she re-did the problem and got the correct answer.

“I did it,” Lawson said.

With her arms raised above her head, Professor Carter shot back.


Although Lawson’s son believes education is just as important, he acknowledges he doesn’t have the same kind of work ethic as his mother.

“I’ll come home from work at 11:30 p.m. and see my mother doing homework at the kitchen table. I’ll wake up at 6:30 a.m. for school and find her in the same place I left her,” he said. “There has been times where I’d ask her. ‘Did you even sleep last night?’’’

Although her son doesn’t necessarily know yet what he wants to be in life, he’s got one thing certain.

“I really just want to be happy.”

Lawson will miss her children as they leave the nest and go off to college, however she knows they are dedicated and prepared.

“My son wants to help people. He wants to make changes,” She said. “I’m going to miss him when he leaves. He’s my right-hand man, my best friend. He is my everything.”

Lawson believes her journey has helped her kids realize the importance of education after years of never giving up.

“I just keep my eye on the prize,” she said, “My kids know that the prize I’m talking about is my education.”

Matt Demirs can be reached at


Baker: I like Tom — but I’m with Judy


SALEM — Popular Gov. Charlie Baker could make the difference in re-electing Republican Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy in what could be a close race in November.

“I have known the mayor for quite a while and I will certainly support her re-election,” the Republican governor told The Item on Wednesday. “That said, I have a good working relationship with Sen. McGee … they are two fine people and that’s good for the city of Lynn.”

Last week, state Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn) kicked off his bid for mayor at the Knights of Columbus. The senator told the crowd he was running because he loves the city and the values Lynn represents. Kennedy launched her bid for a third term last month and pointed to dozens of accomplishments.

The race comes amid financial troubles for the cash-strapped city. The 2017 and 2018 budgets continue to pose challenges for Kennedy’s administration. She has asked department heads to make cuts. Some managers may have to trim up to 8.5 percent in their personnel budgets, a request that could lead to layoffs.

I am the best person for the job, McGee says

Kennedy and McGee were behind the failed measure in March to build a pair of middle schools. Voters overwhelmingly rejected increasing their real estate taxes by $200 or more annually for the next 25 years to pay for them.

But they are on opposing sides of an added meals tax that would go into the city’s general fund. McGee supports the idea of adding .0075 to the state’s 6.5 percent meals tax, while Kennedy vetoed the plan last week.

Baker is the most popular governor in America, according to a poll by Morning Consult, a Washington, D.C. research firm. The survey ranked him No. 1 with a 75 percent approval rating. The governor’s disapproval rating is a modest 17 percent, the survey said.

When asked how he would help Kennedy win, Baker declined to be specific.

Consider the progress we’ve made, Kennedy says

“I have a day job, which is pretty busy and chews up lot of my time,” he said. “But if Mayor Kennedy would like me to support and help her, we will do what we can. As I said, I have a lot of respect for Sen.  McGee and those two folks bring a lot to the table for the city.”

While Baker and McGee are native sons of the North Shore, the governor acknowledged he and the senator do not have the same close relationship shared with Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.   

“Mayor Walsh and I talked every day for more than a month during those snowstorms shortly after I took office,” he said. “That cemented the relationship, it’s just different.”

Thomas Grillo can be reached at


Warren candidacy could connect in a blue state

Newton Mayor Setti Warren speaks with the Item in this February 2017 file photo.

Newton Mayor Setti Warren is running for governor and political handicappers are unlikely to pick him as an odds-on favorite to beat Gov. Charlie Baker in 2018. But Warren, a Democrat, has a track record and a perspective on government that makes him an interesting candidate.

An Iraq War veteran who worked for the federal government and has served as Newton’s mayor for two terms, Warren is blunt about how well state government serves Massachusetts residents: “There is a case to be made we can do better.”

He will make that case during the gubernatorial campaign he officially launched on May 20. For now, Warren is talking frankly and not worrying about being branded a pro-tax candidate or another free-spending Democrat.

He supports a “millionaire’s tax” and said his campaign for governor will be matched by the stance he takes in favor of a proposed ballot question advocating the tax.

“We need more revenue,” he said in a February Item editorial board interview, adding: “Now is not the time to nibble around the edges.”

That is bold talk for someone wading into a big-time political arena like the governor’s race. But Warren has the bona fides to back up his statement. He said his record as mayor includes transforming an empty city reserve fund into a $20 million rainy day account.

When he walked into the mayor’s office for the first time in 2010, Warren made finances a priority. He worked with 17 public service unions to align city government health care costs and instituted management practices.

Comparing Massachusetts’ state government to Newton’s municipal government is like comparing Jupiter to Pluto. But Warren is kicking off his campaign for the state’s top office by sticking to a big-picture view of Massachusetts’ needs.

Warren sets sights on governor’s job

“We’re not making the investments that matter,” he told Item editors. He pointed to transportation infrastructure to make his point.

“We have a complete, utter failure in transportation,” he said.

The primary example he uses to illustrate this statement is the decades-long push by Lynn business and political leaders to extend Blue Line rapid transit to Lynn. Long looked upon as an economic development spark for Lynn, the Blue Line extension, in Warren’s, view is a way to make the North Shore’s gateway city a regional transportation hub.

The implications of that perspective are significant. Mass-transit alternatives are taking on heightened importance at a time when aging roadways are becoming more congested and clogged with traffic. Providing a Boston-Lynn transit link sets the stage for forging an economic bond between the cities.

Warren sees the logic behind the Blue Line extension and other long-term projects aimed at enhancing Massachusetts’ economy. The difference between Warren and a lot of people running for office or serving in public office is he is not afraid to talk about spending tax dollars in order to make a difference in Massachusetts.

He thinks a millionaire’s tax could generate an estimated $2 billion annually. Plenty of critics will line up to criticize the tax. But how many will offer constructive solutions aimed at fixing Massachusetts’ roads and bridges and modernizing aging housing?

“This is about economic stimulation,” he said, “and the courage and honesty to raise revenue.”

That’s a tough position to argue against and Warren is sure to state his case all the way to the ballot box next year.

Wayne Alarm: Why you should join our team



Does it fill you with pride to make a difference in people’s lives? Is providing security for others rewarding to you? Does a company who is as well known nationally as Wayne Alarm Systems sound like the perfect job you seek?

With a company that brings honest work all throughout the North Shore, joining a team whose main focus is to bring customers a system that provides them with the highest level of protection is rewarding. Sure, joining the team will provide you with full health benefits but there’s nothing better than being a part of a mission driven team that is providing innovation and growth in the security business. If you’re a self-motivated individual, your work will be an important factor that is significant to the Wayne Alarm Systems foundation.

With 48 years of Ralph Sevinor success, president of Wayne Alarm, you’ll become a part of their growing team in providing exceptional customer service, being one of their well certified sales professionals, or out on the field as a technician.

Additional to the work Wayne Alarms provides, you’ll be able to share the privilege of being in a team that believes in giving back to the community by being involved in local events, motivating fundraises and truly providing a difference that can not only benefit you as an employee, but as a member of the community. Ralph Sevinor believes in giving and getting back. As he gives, students at the local schools and colleges that Wayne Alarm sponsor, get back the chance to become employees and part of the Wayne Alarm family.

If interested, head to their careers page for open opportunities, or, if an entry you seem fit isn’t available, send Wayne Alarms your résumé to


Item live-3

“Here yesterday… Here today…Here tomorrow.”


Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Featuring the best local talent in the biz. Come to peruse and to purchase. And don’t be shy. Costumes are highly encourages. Take some artful shots in our photo area or enter our costume contest for the chance to win some exciting prizes. Don’t have a costume? Come on down and make on with our DIY Super-hero Station or by visiting our renowned fantasy face painters for a unique disguise all your own.

With food, drink, music, raffles, special guest appearances, live illustrations, and so much more, this is a can’t miss.

We hope to see you at this FREE event. The first 25 guests will receive a complimentary swag bag.

Come see how the Downtown Lynn Cultural District is redefining arts and culture.

“You won’t go out the way you came in.”

For more information, visit

Lynn Arts Building, 25 Exchange St., Lynn

Lightning Coffee to strike in Lynn

Rachel Bennett, with a new coffee roaster, plans to open Lightning Coffee at 271 Western Ave. 


LYNN Rachel Bennett plans to launch what she calls the North Shore’s first-of-its-kind specialty coffee bean shop on Western Avenue next month.

Lightning Coffee, under construction in the Lydia Pinkham Building, wants to be more than just another java shop. The 31-year-old Swampscott resident said she hopes it will be an educational experience for coffee drinkers.

Bennett said she has spent months tasting and selecting the beans the shop will carry. Each week, she and her husband try nearly a dozen varieties of beans they brew at home. The self-described coffee connoisseur said she has sampled at least 40 different beans from exotic places such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa and East Timor in Southeast Asia.

“Brewing coffee has become a lot like lab work for me,” she said. “I’ve gotten really into taking notes. It’s a lot of focus, attention to details, being organized. That’s when I decided I wanted to scale up.”

Bennett brings an acquired taste to Lynn honed in the specialty coffee scene in St. Louis while studying for her doctorate in neuroscience from Washington University.

“Specialty coffee is a big scene in St. Louis,” she said. “There is a large emphasis on people doing small batch coffees. I wanted to be able to share it with the people of the North Shore.”

Lightning Coffee won’t be a traditional coffee shop, Bennett said. She plans to offer beans from all over the world for sale, as well as freshly brewed coffee.

The cost of a 12 ounce bag of coffee beans will range from $10-$15. Initially, a cup of coffee will be free, but after the cafe is established, the cost for a large cup of Joe will be between $2-$3.

Swampscott opens its doors to tourists

Bennett has spent an estimated $30,000 to launch the business. The most expensive item is a coffee roaster which was shipped from Buckeye, Ariz., near her childhood home.

Bennett said the support from the artists and creative business owners housed in the Lydia Pinkham Building will create a conversation among tenants, who have already expressed their excitement while the business comes together.

Bennett said she loves the 800-square-foot space where coats were once manufactured. While the first floor space was zoned for light industrial, she has tried to create a welcoming environment for the coffee devotees.

Lightning Coffee will feature a section in the center of the shop for customers to taste the different blends. Bennett said this should help attract business while allowing the public to explore their taste buds.

There will be about a half dozen so-called single origin coffee beans, which are grown on one farm in one country. They will also carry a cold brew. There will be also be a brew station on Saturdays, where Bennett said she hopes to share her love for specialty coffee and connect with residents.

Lightning will face competition from White Rose Coffeehouse and Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee Co. in the downtown. Soon, The Brew will open in the flatiron building on Central Street compete with high-end coffee and free wifi.

Peter Giuliano, a member of the Specialty Coffee Association, a California-based trade group, has seen a rise in independent specialty coffee shops and describes the phenomenon as a trend.

“We think there is a slow, steady rise that parallels the growth of the specialty coffee movement,” he told Yahoo Business. “We credit the start of the specialty coffee revolution to Peet’s Coffee opening in San Francisco in the 1960s. That inspired another wave with Coffee Bean, Tea Leaf and Starbucks in Seattle opening in the ’70s and ’80s. Now the people who grew up drinking good coffee are opening their own coffee shops.”

Matt Demirs can be reached at


ADL continues to push for change

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg addresses the crowd.


SALEM — Days after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) questioned a Malden school for disciplining black students who wear hair extensions, more than 300 police, educators, and students packed the group’s Essex County Law and Education Day Breakfast on Wednesday.

“The school’s policy led to the student’s removal from participating in after school sports, banned from the school prom and numerous detentions,” said Melissa Garlick, ADL’s civil rights attorney about the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School which has faced criticism for its decision to punish African-American female students who wear braid extensions.  “ADL will continue to push for change at the school to ensure equal education opportunities and treatment for all.”

The 25th annual Law and Education Day at the Kernwood Country Club gathered legal, education, law enforcement, and interfaith leaders to honor individuals who have made contributions to the North Shore.

State Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem) and Peter Quimby, headmaster of The Governor’s Academy, a Byfield private school, were recognized.

This year’s theme is “Gender and Bias: Building an equitable future for all.”

In her keynote address, state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg said it appears not much progress has been made when it comes to equal pay for equal work.

A 5K to end human trafficking

“We have been talking about equal pay since almost before I was born,” she said. “In fact, in the 1970s my mother was talking about equal pay. I thank ADL for being on the front lines for combating discrimination in so many different ways and fighting for fair treatment and bringing people together.”

Goldberg cited data that in Massachusetts women earn 82 cents on a $1 compared to men, Asian women earn 80 cents, African American women get 62 cents and Latina women just 50 cents.

She said pay equity is not just a woman’s issue. Goldberg recalled as a candidate for treasurer she was approached by a blue collar worker.

“What’s your issue and why are you running, the man asked me,” she recalled. “I told him it’s wage equality. He said, ‘That’s my issue because I have a wife and three daughters and none of them get paid what they’re worth and it all falls on me.’ You could have knocked me over with a feather.”  

In closing remarks, Rhonda Gilberg, the North Shore Advisory Committee chairwoman, thanked participants for their contribution to the event.

“We are honored to have you as partners to stand together against bias and hate, working to build an equitable future for all,” she said.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at


A 5K to end human trafficking

Last year’s race featured 150 runners.

LYNN — Run for Freedom will hold its fourth annual 5K race to fight human trafficking on Saturday.  

Human trafficking is the buying and selling of people through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.  One of the event’s goals is to raise awareness that this is a serious crime happening in Lynn.  While commonly thought of as an international issue, human trafficking cases have been reported nationwide.  The average age of human trafficking victims is 12-14 years old.  

Although human trafficking is primarily associated with sexual exploitation, Run for Freedom is also hoping to bring attention to forced labor, which is more subtle.  Many people are intimidated, blackmailed, and coerced into working for unfair wages or none at all.

Student ‘super excited’ to intern for Warren

Last year, the race featured 150 runners and raised $13,000.  A large portion was donated to Amirah, a North Shore safe home that provides care to survivors of human trafficking in the form of sexual exploitation.  

Some of the proceeds are used to provide awareness opportunities at Lynn English High School.

The race is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. in front of the East Coast International Church at 57 Munroe St.   

Registration on race day starts at 8:30 a.m.

A toast to the smashing avocado

Find the recipe for avocado smash on toast, below.


There’s a skateboard park in Beverly designed for practicing the sport, with concrete ramps and half pipe configurations. It is, along with other such spots on the North Shore, the latest passion of my grandsons.

On the last Sunday that wasn’t rain-soaked — it was just cold — they had a couple of hours of nearly bone-breaking recreation on their scooters and skateboards before we finally convinced them it was time to get something to eat.

A friend had made me eager to investigate a new cafe, Tartine on Cabot Street in downtown Beverly, just a few doors down from where he and his fiancee live. Tartine specializes in toast with toppings, which is, by the way, the meaning of the word. In Italian cooking we call them bruschetta or crostini, the original Italian canape. For examples, toasted bread topped with chicken livers seasoned with sage and a splash of Marsala; ham or salami with chopped tomatoes; or wilted kale with garlic and olive oil are all delicious as a snack or accompaniment to drinks.

Last year, a friend told me about a cafe in California that just served toast with toppings, which sounded strange. Really, no sandwiches, just toast with toppings?

But then a week or two later, I noticed a little cafe in Marblehead doing the same concept and it started to make sense. Just as fast, it seems, the idea has become a food fad. That’s how food trends seem to roll these days — with fascinating speed.

Tartine restaurant is part coffee shop, part high-end sandwich shop. My husband Todd and I brought the boys there to thaw out and fill our stomachs, and were delighted to find such a sophisticated/casual concept on the North Shore. The place was bustling, just a few weeks after its launch.

We sat at the bar and were excited by the atmosphere and the young crowd. We realized we weren’t in the right place, given that we had the grandsons, whose mother had declared strict culinary guidelines that excluded any consumption of sweets. This prohibited us from ordering the natural menu choice at Tartine – made-to-order waffles.  

So, while Todd and I split an avocado mash, the boys inhaled bowls of granola with yogurt. At $8.50 per bowl, the second servings they requested seemed overly indulgent, so we took them home to finish the job there.

A book of gifts

The avocado mash appears to be a big national trend, by the way, and we’ve been enjoying the item at our current favorite spot, Superfine in Manchester-by-the-Sea (soon to open a new location in Marblehead), the past few months. They make the most delicious version we’ve tried, and it is by far the most generous portion and least expensive — at $4.

Avocados used to appear on menus stuffed with chicken salad or crab meat or mashed with lemon or lime juice, tomato and minced onion (as in guacamole), traditionally served with crisp tortilla. olives, crumbled bacon and cilantro are sometimes added.

This new version, spread thick on toast, is often made with a little olive oil, lemon, sea salt and hard boiled egg — but the recipes vary based on one’s tastes and imagination.  With a ripe avocado within reach and a hearty loaf of country French or Italian bread, you have all you need for a wonderful appetizer or a fresh-approach breakfast.

My interest rekindled by this trend, I picked up a bag of small avocados last week at Trader Joe’s. I had read that they’ve become dear in price of late as a result of the above-referenced fad, the bag struck me as a very good deal at just $5. Each one was perfect, but needed a few days to ripen.  A reminder — the color of the fruit varies from light green to almost black, but the color does not affect the flavor, nor does the size.  They should be eaten only when ripe and this is established when you press gently with your fingers and it yields to the pressure.  It takes a few days for the fruit to ripen, and once ripened it should be kept in the fridge.  

Because they’re round with a hard pit in the middle, cutting them can be dangerous. Just peel them and get to work! To prepare, mash them up and serve sprinkled with lemon or lime juice, which will keep them from darkening from exposure to the air. Saran Wrap or foil wrapped around the fruit will keep it from discoloring.

In the “Joy of Cooking Kosher,” author Jamie Geller has created a delicious recipe for a cool cucumber and avocado cream soup that can also be used as a shooter. Avocado, cucumber, Greek yogurt, garlic, fresh cilantro and kosher salt diluted with a little water, blended and served very cold.  For years, Gazpacho was the chilled fresh tomato, cucumber, peppers and herbs soup of Spanish origin that everyone was serving in summer.  I really love a cold soup, especially as a picnic item. This time of year a strawberry, blueberry or fresh pea soup are favorites. Create your own versions by adding fresh ginger, coconut milk, Middle Eastern spices like turmeric, cumin or cinnamon or nutmeg. A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt is a perfect topping.

There’s no need to feel tied to a recipe. Throw in the things you love or those items in the fridge that are running out of time.

One need only to have eyes wide open when shopping to take in the wonderful array of new foods in the markets. We are so lucky to be participants in this world of exciting food choices.  All we need is an adventuresome spirit.  Who can guess what the next craze will be? Perhaps you will be the cook who invents it!

Avocado Smash on Toast

Scoop the flesh from two avocados and place in a bowl.  

Add the juice of 1 lemon or lime, removing the seeds, 2 tablespoons of olive or sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and smash with the back of a heavy spoon.

You can also add a little fresh herb like cilantro or chives, a chopped hard-boiled egg, a few tablespoons of feta and 4 chopped grape tomatoes. If you prefer a smoother texture you can pulse this in the food processor.  I like a coarse texture so the heavy spoon works well for me.  

Slice and toast a few slices of country bread and spread the mixture over the surface.  

Add a garnish of fresh chives.

Serve on a plate with some fresh greens and a few slices of watermelon or cantaloupe. A fried or poached egg on top is nice, too.  


NSMC, nonprofit join to help overdose victims

LYNN A local nonprofit is teaming with North Shore Medical Center to provide recovery coaches for every person treated for an overdose in Union Hospital’s emergency room.

Bridgewell, a Peabody-based nonprofit with extensive experience in providing treatment and housing for people recovering from substance use disorders, now offers 24/7 emergency response services by trained recovery coaches. All recovery coaches have personally overcome their own addictions and can relate firsthand to those struggling after an overdose, according to a press release from North Shore Medical Center. NSMC, which operates emergency rooms in Salem and Lynn, is the largest medical provider on the North Shore.

“We know from our experience that individuals with substance use disorders respond to recovery coaches who understand their experience and can provide unconditional support and guidance,” said Mark Kennard, director of community services at Bridgewell.

As a society, Kennard said we can no longer enable overdose victims to simply walk out of the emergency room without any support.

“We feel fortunate to partner with Bridgewell in this challenging work, and believe that the experience and dedication of the coaches will enhance the lives of our patients in ways that complement the expertise and efforts of our Emergency Department staff,” said Jane Clarke, R.N. and executive director of emergency services at NSMC.

Work continues for Market Basket access

The recovery coach program at NSMC began in late March and has already assisted more than 20 people and their family members, including some who entered recovery programs as a direct result of this intervention in the emergency room. According to police records, a total of 439 opioid-related overdoses occurred in Lynn last year, an increase from 349 in 2015.

As part of this program, Bridgewell has hired six recovery coaches who are available to NSMC Union Hospital staff to call as soon as an overdose case appears at the hospital.

Once contacted by NSMC, the coaches come to the hospital right away to establish a relationship with the overdose patient and begin discussions about options for treatment. All recovery coaches have completed a newly implemented state certification and training process.

While initially available only in Lynn, the hope is to expand the recovery coach program to Salem Hospital later this year.

North Shore gets money for road repairs


Several North Shore communities were among the state’s towns and cities allocated Chapter 90 funding for local road repairs and resurfacing for FY18, according to an announcement from state legislators.

“Chapter 90’s annual allocation of state funds allow municipalities to continue to invest in local roads and bridges,” state Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn) said in a statement. “This continued investment into infrastructure helps improve the quality of life for citizens.”

Lynn received more than $1.5 million in Chapter 90 funding. Other communities also receiving Chapter 90 funding include Saugus with $642,035, Marblehead with $455,615, Lynnfield with $417,697, Swampscott with $295,854, and Nahant with $92,135.

Gino Cresta, Swampscott department of public works director and assistant town administrator, said Town Meeting members will also be asked to approve $200,000 in non-Chapter 90 road repair funding on Monday, for the town’s road service management system.

Cresta said the Chapter 90 and non-Chapter 90 funding will go strictly toward paving streets, including Sampson Avenue, Eureka Avenue, Fairview Avenue, Pleasant Street, Greenwood Avenue, Bay View Avenue, Cedar Hill Terrace, Sunset Drive, and Lawrence Terrace.

Getting the lead out in Malden

“It’s important to our communities that we are able to provide this helpful funding just as the road construction heats up,” state Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) said in a statement. “Nobody likes potholes, so it’s good for everyone for road work to get underway.”

State Rep. Daniel Cahill (D-Lynn) said in a statement “we worked tirelessly as a delegation to ensure the city of Lynn received more funding this year than last, because without this money, the city would not be able to pave or repair any of our roads or sidewalks.”

“I’m very pleased that the state continues to provide these much-needed funds for our local transportation infrastructure,” state Rep. Brendan Crighton said in a statement. “This investment will help people safely get to where they need to go, while at the same time benefitting our local economy.”

State Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere) said in a statement she was “particularly pleased at the funding Saugus will receive for its roads, and I’m sure the town will direct these funds in needed areas.”

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

An evening full of laughter in Peabody

Accidentally on Purpose (AOP) Comedy Improv Troupe will improvise a laughter-filled evening at Northeast Arc’s ArcWorks Community Art Center, on Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m. The event will launch the Patronicity crowd sourcing campaign for Peabody’s Black Box Theater.

“Patronicity is unique in that it not only provides the community with an opportunity to bring a new performance space to our city, it offers a 100 percent match for those grassroots gifts through Mass Development,” said Susan Ring Brown, Chief Development Officer, Northeast Arc.      

The Arc, in partnership with The Friends of the Black Box, plans to raise $50,000 by the end of June in order to qualify for a $50,000 match from Mass Development.  It is an “all or nothing” process, so the goal must be met in order for the project to receive any funding through the Patronicity Campaign. That $100,000, added to the $200,000 already raised through grants from the Peabody Community Development Authority, local corporations, private grants and individual contributions will allow construction to take place over the summer.

AOP’s performance is an R-rated comedy evening for guests 21 and over will feature Ted Neary of Peabody along with other North Shore favorites. The unique AOP style is similar to the hit TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? and is complete with audience interaction.  Come and be prepared to offer suggestions for the group, then sit back, watch the laughter and madness ensue as the troupe puts your suggestions to work in hilarious improvisational scenes. Audience members contribute ideas and suggestions to the troupe, and (only if they desire) can also join the comedians onstage to participate. The cast will remain after the performance for a “talk back session” with the audience.    

Bringing a good thing to Lynn

“We are thankful to Ted and the AOP troupe both for helping to raise much needed funds for the theater and for illustrating one of the many future uses for the space,” said Brown.  

Once built, the theater will be available for rent for performances including comedy, dance, film, music, poetry and more, along with special events. Guests at A Night at the Improv will have the opportunity to see drawings for the theater and to log-on to the campaign site at to make an additional pledge for the project.

ArcWorks Community Art Center is located at 22 Foster Street in Peabody. Doors open and the reception begins at 7 p.m. Adult beverages and light appetizers will be served. Program begins at 7:45 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m.  Tickets cost $25 and may be purchased at

Northeast Arc’s  Black Box Theater Project, located in the ArcWorks Community Art Center at 22 Foster St. in Peabody, will benefit people with and without disabilities.  Plans are to renovate existing space that will provide employment opportunities for local actors, musicians, set builders, ticket sellers and concessions workers. The space will also provide educational and recreational opportunities for as many as 7,800 local youth and adults annually. The theater will become an anchor in the city’s downtown cultural district.


Bringing a good thing to Lynn

General Electric is bringing good things to life by breaking ground on its new headquarters in the former warehouse district near Boston’s South Station. Gov. Baker, quoted by the State House News Service on Monday, called the groundbreaking “one more step forward in the continuing evolution of Massachusetts as a global player.” What does GE’s big plans for Boston mean to the North Shore, specifically, Lynn?

A GE executive on Monday said the firm is looking forward to forging collaborations with area community colleges. Thinking about that comment in the context of North Shore Community College and Salem State University spurs excitement and inspiration.

General Electric’s aviation manufacturing presence in Lynn helped write the city’s history and the River Works plant is still a major city employer. Imagine if GE’s 21st century commitment to evolving technologies takes on life in Boston and expands outward, swamping the North Shore and Lynn with brilliant minds and the economic ramifications of their inventions?

GE Vice President Ann Klee employed high-tech jargon Monday when she was quoted by the News Service praising Boston’s “great innovation ecosystem.” She used that phrase to explain why it made sense for GE to move its headquarters.

That explanation can be interpreted in different ways. The most obvious interpretation is that GE finds Boston to be an attractive location because of the large number of universities and associated research facilities in the city.

GE + NSCC = A bright future

By extension, Cambridge and Route 128 for decades have attracted research and development manufacturers tapping into Boston’s academic brainpower to fuel their production. Lynn’s River Works, at first glance, conjures up images of skilled factory workers making jet engines. But a deeper look at the West Lynn plant reveals engineers designing next-generation engines and facilities potentially becoming future sites for the “innovation ecosystem” highlighted by Klee.

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton has talked about the River Work’s value as a possible location for technology-oriented businesses incubated in Boston and searching for affordable space where they can grow and prosper.Congress

Moulton is an imaginative thinker but his ideas are rooted in a business background; before winning a seat in Congress, the Marine veteran focused his boundless energy on the high-speed rail industry. Rail transportation is an industry GE has helped to expand and it is an important component of the type of transportation-driven economy Moulton and state Sen. Thomas M. McGee frequently highlight.

The News Service on Monday reported how state Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, worked with other top officials under the codename “Project Plum” in 2015 to woo GE to Boston.

Ash is well aware of Lynn’s economic potential and it is not a stretch to imagine him pointing GE in Lynn’s direction once company executives decide how communities around Boston can benefit from the headquarters relocation.

With North Shore Community College stepping onto the technological cutting edge by expanding its Lynn campus and Lynn schools working for years with River Works volunteers, Lynn is poised to benefit from GE’s decision to make Boston the center of its corporate universe.


Walmart helps local pantry fight hunger

Charles Rukwaro, executive director of Good Hope, Inc., and Christopher Buchanan, public affairs director for Walmart, kick off the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” campaign.


LYNNFIELD — The closing of several food banks in Lynn over the past two years has increased the need to help hungry local families.

The Good Hope food pantry, in the basement of the Calvary Christian Church, has picked up much of that slack, seeing about a dozen new families registering for its services every week. The strain had started to show for the pantry, which hands out nearly 28,000 pounds of food per week, but that’s when Walmart and the Greater Boston Food Bank stepped in with several grants to help pay for some major upgrades.

“Our goal is to always serve people in need and not ever send anyone away,” said Charles Rukwaro, executive director of Good Hope, Inc. “But our space is limited.”

Thanks to a $16,400 grant from the Walmart Foundation, combined with an $8,800 grant from the Greater Boston Food Bank, Good Hope was able to make some needed upgrades to help make the most of its pantry space.

Two new industrial refrigerators, two industrial freezers, 12 stainless steel shelving units, a pallet jack, two U-boats, and six stainless steel tables have greatly expanded the pantry’s ability to store perishable food.

“It’s made our work easier to serve more families and for us not to feel overwhelmed,” said Kristin Klopotoski, Good Hope’s program director for the food pantry.

Thursday, volunteers from Walmart were on hand at Good Hope to help distribute food and to kick off the retail giant’s “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” campaign in Eastern Massachusetts.

Malden could limit pot shop locations

“We’re very active in the community and we give to organizations in the Boston area, New England, and the world,” said Christopher Buchanan, public affairs director for Walmart. “This is a nice one today because it is for a hunger relief organization. This is a good event to be a part of and to get the word out about Fight Hunger. Spark Change.”

Good Hope board member Michael Satterwhite noted that the expanded capacity of the food pantry helps the nonprofit achieve its goal of helping more people in Lynnfield, Lynn, and across the North Shore.

“I’m very excited about the possibility of helping more people,” said Satterwhite. “We are in a position to expand and we want to be a part of the community and work together to help.”

Rukwaro said the food pantry is only one aspect of how Good Hope helps those in need locally and across the globe.

A 5K in Lynnfield on Saturday, June 3 will raise funds for the Digging Deep for Africa program.

“With the proceeds from the last three races, we have funded the digging of five wells in three countries in Africa,” said Rukwaro.

Other Good Hope programs include providing eyeglasses for those in need in Africa and Central America and paying for summer camp opportunities for children of local prison inmates.


Summoning up Swampscott’s yesteryears

College graduations and wedding season are around the corner and spring was the time, not so long ago, when Swampscott residents booked a couple of rooms in Cap’n Jack’s for their out-of-town guests.

The quaint waterfront inn with its ocean views has been relegated to town history but Swampscott’s days as a place to visit and stay on the North Shore may not be over. The Planning Board next Monday is reviewing a proposed “Tourist Lodging Overlay District.”

Creating the district, according to a town legal notice, also involves adopting “general regulations for all types of travel and tourist lodging establishments and specific regulations for hotels, motels, inns, and bed and breakfast establishments for a new overlay district in three areas of town.”

Swampscott isn’t in any danger of seeing Humphrey Street or Vinnin Square turn into a Motel Row similar to Route 1 during its heyday. The town has probably permanently consigned to history the glory days of the New Ocean House and other resort hotels that summoned up memories of the Roaring Twenties.

But Cap’n Jack’s occupied a special, nostalgic niche in the minds of town residents who viewed it as a slightly-frayed welcome mat to people visiting from around the country, even the world. With its small-town casual ambience, the bygone inn broadcast a gentle reminder to visitors: “Enjoy Salem and Boston but don’t forget to appreciate Swampscott’s beauty.”

Ifs, ands, and abutters may force trail off Grid

The upcoming Planning Board hearing raises a couple of interesting questions about the value of setting the stage for increased town tourism. Question one: Is there a market for tourism?

There is no question Swampscott is a beautiful place to visit and stay and a North Shore gem. European tourists reportedly make the North Shore a destination in part because of its proximity to Boston and mix of small scenic New England towns and oceanscapes.

The more immediate question focuses on the degree to which town residents have an interest in seeing, much less promoting, an increase in local tourism. The answers to that question can potentially shape how residents and town officials eventually view the tourist district.

If the town decides to put a committed effort into tourism promotion and marketing, those efforts will only commence after debate among residents. That debate could conclude with residents deciding to dedicate a tourist district to bed and breakfast locations that serve as summer or fall weekend destinations or places to put up Uncle George or Cousin Edna when they come to town for a wedding or graduation.

The tourism debate might just end with locals concluding: The old ways are the best ways.

Tradition makes a stand in Marblehead

Town Clerk Robin Michaud’s name is not on the May 9 Marblehead election ballot but Michaud won a resounding vote of confidence at Monday’s Town Meeting when participants voted 389-166 to defeat a petition to make the clerk’s job an appointed rather than an elected post.

If the vote had gone the other way, appointment proponents would have had to jump through several hoops during the next two years before the clerk’s job became an appointed position. The petition dominated Monday night’s Town Meeting debate with Michaud speaking against it. She simultaneously exerted her independence and demonstrated her popularity by urging Town Meeting to view an elected clerk as a Marblehead tradition. She also warned that an appointed clerk could face pressure from town elected officials, notably the Board of Selectmen.

The chief proponent for an appointed clerk made what almost has to be viewed as a dig at Michaud when he suggested appointment, rather than election, could make the clerk’s office run more efficiently.

Marblehead’s neighboring towns appoint clerks, in the case of Swampscott, Lynnfield and Saugus where the town manager is the appointing authority. Nahant just elected its clerk, the popular Margaret Barile, but the emphasis on appointment offers an insight into the clerk’s role from one community to another.

If there is one job in town government that is most closely identified with an individual’s personality, it is town clerk.

Tradition comes to a ‘head

Clerks are the face of town government: They help people fill out and file birth and death certificates and, in towns such as Nahant, they preside over the annual rite of summer better known as beach permit renewal.

Clerks also preside over elections in many towns and that role can and does bring them into conflict with elected officials. It’s been a long time since a North Shore clerk stood up and said elected officials were attempting to exercise undue influence on the clerk’s office. But clerks know exactly what is going on in town government. They know who is feuding, who is looking to get someone a job and who is saying something different from what they are doing.

It is interesting — if not a little amusing — to note that Marblehead Town Meeting members voted by secret ballot on the appointment question. Imagine more than 500 people lining up with pencils and pieces of paper to make a decision that could have been affirmed with a show of hands.

A Lynnfield Town Meeting member had the nerve to propose a secret ballot vote on the controversial rail trail proposed for that town. The idea went down in flames and the resulting vote gave trail proponents a one-vote victory.

Marblehead’s secret ballot saw residents strike down the appointed Town Clerk proposal by more than a two-to-one margin. It confirmed what Michaud must have known before Town Meeting started on Monday: She is a popular town official who is viewed as efficient and hard-working and independent.

Lynn mother walks for healing

Betty Cooper, holding a picture of her daughter Cheryl Senn who died at age 29 back in 1997, will participate in the HAWC walk on Sunday in memory of her daughter.


It has been two decades since Cheryl Senn was stabbed to death by her husband.

But the passage of time hasn’t lessened the grief for her mother, Betty Cooper.

“It was really hard for me when it was first happened, she was my first born,” she said. “But even now, it’s tough for me to put into words the grief I still feel every day.”

On Sunday, Senn and other victims of domestic violence were remembered in the 25th Anniversary of Walk For HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change). The nonprofit, which has offices in Lynn, Salem, Gloucester and Beverly, hoped to raise more than $100,000 for services and support to victims of domestic abuse in two dozen North Shore communities.

Founded in 1978, the charity assists survivors by helping to file restraining orders and seek treatment for victims. HAWC provides emergency family shelter for people at risk of homelessness because of domestic abuse.

Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in Massachusetts experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, according to Jane Doe Inc. Since 2003, there have been 327 homicide victims linked to domestic violence.

Peter Eugene, 45, was found guilty of Senn’s murder and is serving a life sentence at MCI-Cedar Junction in Walpole.

Cooper said her son-in-law was jealous because her 29-year-old daughter had returned to school, and was making plans to launch a career as a real estate agent.

Despite the grief, Cooper said she remains active in the cause to end domestic violence.

“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she said. “When I see young ladies going through the same thing, I tell them to get out before it’s too late.”

Thomas Grillo can be reached at


Nahant artwork spans three seas

Artist Stacey Wilson-McMahon unveils the Three Seas mosaics.


NAHANT — Three of the world’s seascapes translated into art are the latest addition to Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center thanks to dedication by local children who worked through spring vacation to complete the 30,000-piece mosaics.

The three mosaics depict coastal habitats of New England, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Northwest. They were unveiled in a Thursday night ceremony Kemari McCauley of Marblehead attended with friends and classmates.

“I think it’s a good thing because people are going to understand the oceans more if they can look at the art,” said McCauley, 10.

Working under the direction of artist Stacey Wilson-McMahon, who is also the director of Apatchworks, the middle and high school students attached thousands of small bisazza tiles from Italy to create the mosaics representing Northeastern University’s Three Seas program. Undergraduate and graduate students in the program live and study in New England, Caribbean, and Pacific Northwest coastal habitats throughout the course of a year.

Apatchworks is a nonprofit organization with a goal to create vibrant spaces in hospitals that might otherwise seem dreary or scary to children.

Happy Khmer New Year

Wilson-McMahon began working on the project nearly two years ago with members of Girls Inc. of Lynn’s Beach Sisters organization, a six-week program that focuses on STEAM, or science, technology, engineering, art and math. In 2015, a group of girls spent about seven hours working to complete the first of the three mosaics.

Because Wilson-McMahon lives in France, the project took a hiatus until April vacation approached. Youth from Lynn, Marblehead, Malden and other North Shore and Greater Boston communities opted to spend their break learning about science and creating art. The group completed the final two mosaics to complete the project.

“The kids spent some time on science and some on art,” said Val Perini, who coordinates outreach programs for k through 12 at the Marine Science Center. “They spent half the day learning about these habitats and then put what they learned into art.”

The three mosaics hang side by side within the center’s bunker.

“This bunker doesn’t always look cozy,” said Dr. Geoff Trussell, director of the Marine Science Center. “I think using artwork to express marine science is a good way to capture interest in marine science.”

He encouraged the youngsters to consider a career in the field, adding that he changed his mind many times before settling on Marine Science at the end of college.

Bridget Turcotte can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Immigrant-worker march set for Monday


LYNN Days after a federal judge blocked President Donald Trump’s effort to withhold funding from sanctuary cities, nearly two dozen groups are organizing a May Day rally.

The “May Day March for Immigrant and Worker Rights” is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday at City Hall. Before the march, organizers plan a teach-in at 1 p.m. at 112 Exchange St.

Activists are inviting people from all backgrounds to celebrate Lynn’s history as a home for immigrants and as a leader in the fight for dignity, respect, and a living wage for workers. “People from other parts of the state are bringing their own histories of resistance,” said the invitation. “Let’s all come together to carry the struggle forward.”

Dozens of members of the coalition, which includes labor, community and faith organizations from the North Shore, are expected on the downtown march.

The annual event, which will take place in cities nationwide, comes on the heels of a federal judge’s ruling in San Francisco that rejected the administration’s argument that the executive order applies only to a small amount of money. The judge ruled Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

Child-abuse scars not always visible

The president has targeted sanctuary cities, ones that refuse to cooperate with U.S. immigration officials. But the judge rejected the order.

“Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves,” said U.S. District Judge William Orrick.

The injunction will stay in place while the lawsuits work their way through courts, which could include the U.S. Supreme Court.

Reince Priebus, the president’s chief of staff described the ruling as another example of the “9th Circuit going bananas.”

“The idea that an agency can’t put in some reasonable restriction on how some of these monies are spent is something that will be overturned eventually, and we will win at the Supreme Court level at some point,” Priebus told Associated Press.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.comMaterial from Associated Press was used in this report.


Malden looks out for those at risk


MALDEN — Fast becoming one of the most responsive and proactive agencies in the region in addressing the epidemic of substance use disorder, Malden Overcoming Addiction (MOA) marked perhaps its most impressive milestone to date.

With financial backing from both the Malden Police and Fire departments and funding from the city of Everett, MOA sponsored 20 volunteers from Malden, Everett and other communities in their training as addiction recovery coaches.

The new recovery coaches completed a 30-hour training program administered by the  Connecticut Community of Addiction Recovery (CCAR) Recovery Coach Academy at Malden High School. The academy trains people to help those in the community who wish to overcome addiction.

The coaches are certified to begin working and, with MOA’s help, they will start taking on cases.

“We got a terrific response and many applicants, which is great to see considering this is the first time anyone has attempted to (train recovery coaches) in this area,” said Paul Hammersley, MOA president.

The CCAR Recovery Coach Academy provided volunteer participants with a general understanding of what it takes to be a recovery coach.  Hammersley, himself in recovery from a previous substance use disorder, said recovery coaches “are interested in promoting recovery by removing barriers and obstacles to recovery and serving as a personal guide and mentor for people seeking or already in recovery.”

Time to prioritize in Lynn

Hammersley, who spent nearly a year in promoting and then seeing the recovery coach program get off the ground, said it is “vital” that these volunteers are in place.

“Folks go through rehab and then finish their program and re-enter society. But there’s nothing there for them, no one to individually advise and encourage them to stay on the right path,” Hammersley said.

According to CCAR officials, “Recovery coaches are individuals, who may or may not be in recovery themselves, who help people along the path of recovery — either before, during, after, or instead of treatment.”

Recovery coaches focus on non-clinical issues such as housing, employment, proceeding through drug court, and dealing with probation officers. Recovery coaches can also help engage people who are waiting to get into treatment, according to CCAR training materials.

Hammersley said MOA is formulating a second Recovery Coach Academy scheduled for June 16, 17, 23 and 24. The city of Everett is covering the cost of this program which again will be administered by CCAR.  

In conjunction with the successful recovery coach training program, Hammersley and the MOA are working at the state level with legislators and state Department of Public Health officials to put  a Recovery Center in Malden.

If approved, the Malden-based Recovery Center would be run by Malden Overcoming Addiction and would serve residents of many communities in the greater Boston and North Shore region, including Malden, Medford, Everett, Melrose, Revere, Winthrop and Lynn.

2 incumbents out in Swampscott

Michael McClung photographs the election results as Laura Spathanas looks on.

SWAMPSCOTT — The Town Election had a low voter turnout on Tuesday, but featured two upsets, with the chairs of the Board of Health and the Trustees of the Public Library losing their seats.

Emily Cilley, a registered nurse, defeated Martha Dansdill, 678 to 579 for a seat on the Board of Health. Dansdill is the current chairwoman on the board, which she has been on for three terms and nine years.

Herrick Wales, a schoolteacher in Marblehead and chairman of the Library Trustees, was defeated by Ellen Winkler, an attorney in Marblehead and president of Friends of the Swampscott Public Library. Winkler, who was elected for a three-year term, received 619 votes to 567 for Wales.

The third contested race on the ballot was for School Committee, which saw the two incumbents, Suzanne Wright and Gargi Cooper, retain their seats for a second, three-year term, holding off a challenge from Melissa Camire. Wright was the top vote getter, receiving 876 votes, Cooper received 774 votes, while Camire had 524 votes.

Voter turnout was 13 percent.

“It’s been my privilege to serve on the Board of Health for these nine years,” said Dansdill, the former executive director of HealthLink, a North Shore environmental nonprofit organization, who now serves on its Board of Directors. “I wish Emily Cilley much success on the board.”

Cilley, who works for Northeast Clinical Services and as a substitute nurse in town, said she felt “amazing” after winning a seat on the board, and that she didn’t know what to expect before the results. She said she felt nervous, as Dansdill has been on the board for a long time, but was delighted.

Cilley, who was elected to a three-year term, said two issues she would be focused on are the opioid crisis and the health of the children in town. As a substitute nurse, she said she sees children in the schools, and gets to see all of the concerns happening.

“I want to focus on the health of our children and making sure we are aware of what their stresses are,” Cilley said.

When running, both Library Trustee candidates said it was an exciting time for the library, which is in the midst of its yearlong centennial celebration. The building on Burrill Street turned 100 on Jan. 20. The Friends group finances library programs and is funding the celebrations. Winkler said she would have to step down as president for her new role, but could remain a member of the Friends group.

“That’s wonderful,” Winkler said upon hearing the results. “I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m really glad.

Transforming the city’s waterfront

“I hope people will continue to celebrate the library this year and pay attention to what a great resource it is,” Winkler continued. “I look forward to working with people and making great plans for the future.”

She said her focus would be on figuring out how to use the library space in the best way possible.

“I want to congratulate Mrs. Winkler on her election as Library Trustee,” said Wales, who was running for a second, three-year term. “She is an avid supporter of the library and she will devote her energies and talents to further enrich our great library.”

Wright said she was excited to be re-elected to School Committee. She said her focus would be on facilities, a technology plan for the schools, a new school building, and getting the budget under control.

Superintendent Pamela Angelakis recently submitted two statements of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority, one for replacement of Hadley Elementary School and the other with the intent to renovate Swampscott Middle School.

Cooper said she was happy and excited, and grateful for the votes and support from the community. To move the school district forward, she said continuity on the board is the best way. For her next term, she said her focus would be on technology, facilities and stabilizing the budget.

In an uncontested race for Board of Selectmen, Naomi Dreeben and Laura Spathanas, chair and vice-chair respectively, were re-elected for a second, three-year term.

“I feel great,” Dreeben said. “I’m excited about what the next three years is going to hold for us and I’m pleased to be working with Sean (Fitzgerald), our new town administrator.”

For her next term, Dreeben said she will work hard to support the school’s vision and plans. She hopes to be able to do some economic development to be more proactive about bringing new businesses to town.

Spathanas said “it’s an honor” to be elected to the board. She said she hopes she can take the fact that she and Dreeben didn’t have any competition as people being happy that they are serving them and with the direction the town is going. She said her focus would be on a long-term capital plan, looking at the master plan, and prioritizing what the town needs and wants.

Another uncontested race was for Planning Board. Angela Ippolito, chairwoman, was re-elected for a second, five-year term. The Town Moderator race was also uncontested, with Michael McClung re-elected for a second, one-year term.

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.


A city of two tales

Hoana Cortez and Robert Miller stand April 17 at a vigil for the two men shot on Exchange Street.

To paraphrase Dickens, it was the best of times and the worst of times in Lynn this week.

The worst was first. An Easter Sunday shooting in Central Square that left one dead and another hospitalized.

Then came the best. Bookended by a Monday night vigil at the shooting site and Thursday night’s gathering at Zion Baptist Church to show solidarity for Prince Belin and remember the late Leonardo Clement, four unrelated events took place simultaneously Tuesday:

Friends of the late Wendy Meninno Hayes gathered to remember a woman who defined her life with charity and friendship; the city Humans Rights Commission hosted a City Hall forum entitled, “Focus on Asian Americans;” the committee behind the successful April 6 kickoff of “Beyond Walls” met to plan the next steps for a downtown revitalization effort that envisions murals and classic neon signs lighting up the city’s center by July; while experts who make a living out of reimagining cities converged on the Lynn Museum and let their imaginations roam free in the “Visions for Lynn” discussion.

One night in Lynn.

Perhaps the most startling was the Visions discussion. Designers and academics let their minds wander on a long leash and imagined the city’s waterfront becoming a sort of futuristic Venice with canals. They conceived a pedestrian-friendly wastewater treatment plant, the Lynnway Learning Lab — a futuristic high school with rooftop gardens — and a public safety facility doubling as a community gathering place.

Visions and Beyond Walls demonstrate the imagination that is the fuel propelling a new vision for downtown.

Beyond Walls hits $50K goal at fundraiser

All of this might sound like so much idle speculation by academics and hopeful residents — until state Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash’s perspective is factored into the equation.

Commenting in the Boston Globe’s Sunday Magazine on April 16, Ash called Lynn one of those “gritty blue-collar North Shore communities that are poised to move up a notch or two or three.”

Ash’s comments merit close examination, especially when they are spotlighted against the backdrop of Beyond Walls and Visions.

Lynn could be one of the ‘top spots to live’

The former Chelsea city manager knows what it takes to revive a city. As the state’s top development chief, Ash joined Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, Mayor Judy Flanagan Kennedy, Lynn’s state delegation and city development officials in creating the LEAD (Lynn Economic Advancement Development) team in November, 2015, to bring federal, state, and local resources to bear on revitalizing Lynn.

His remarks to the Globe are proof positive he feels that commitment is ready to pay off.

By accenting all that is positive about their city, Lynn residents are drawing a map for success and they are narrowing the focus on the city’s problems. Lighting downtown and adorning it with murals and sculpture offers an opportunity to step back and ask, “OK, what needs to get fixed downtown?”

The answer may come in the form of public safety proposals, revamped zoning ideas or other innovations rivaling the ideas offered by the academics who gathered on Tuesday at the Lynn Museum.

During her life, Wendy Hayes helped provide the answer through the selfless charity she showed Lynn residents. A Saugus native with a brilliant smile who died last August, her legacy and memory lives on with friends who knew her as the co-owner with her husband, Rolly, of Rolly’s Tavern on the Square.  

Lynn’s diversity can also provide the answer. More than 10 percent of people who live in the city are of Vietnamese, Khmer and Laotian descent. They built businesses, bought homes and Tuesday’s commission meeting is a first step to giving them the chance to contribute positive ideas.

The great news about positive ideas is that they spur imaginations and generate additional ideas. The energy that filled downtown and the city this week is proof that only imagination defines the realm of possibility for Lynn.

North Shore Community Promise: free tuition

North Shore Community College will offer a “free college” pilot program starting in the fall.


LYNN North Shore Community College is launching a program that will help students who don’t qualify for full financial aid go to school for free.

The school is seeking 100 new, full-time students to apply for the North Shore Promise Award pilot program, which will launch in the Fall 2017 semester. The initiative offers free college to prospective students who are being priced out of higher education because they are not poor enough to qualify for full federal and state grant aid but also can’t pay out of pocket.

NSCC will be the first community college in the Northeast to offer a self-funded free college program.

“Commonwealth residents are opting out of pursuing post-secondary education and training as the sticker shock of a college degree and pervasive stories of crippling student debt have many questioning the return on college investment,” NSCC President Patricia A. Gentile said in a statement. “This is especially true for lower and middle income families who are rapidly being priced out of the college-going market. And this is especially bad news for area employers competing for skilled and credentialed workers.”

Gentile said years of analyzing the school’s enrollment led to the realization that there are a significant amount of potential students who, despite the relative affordability of community college, fall into the gap of not believing they can afford an education. Annual tuition and fees for a full-time student total $6,060.

Health center may be news for Malden

“With a booming economy, these folks are choosing employment but we know that without post-secondary qualifications they are at great risk for unemployment or lack of advancement potential when the economy declines,” Gentile said. “NSCC is committed to making college affordable for even more students to achieve the life-long dream of a college degree with less student debt.”

Applications are being accepted at the school on a first-come, first-serve basis for the first 100 qualified students. Interested potential students need to apply for the award and be accepted by May 1.

To be eligible for the award, potential students must:

  • Enroll as a new student with at least 15 credits in an eligible Commonwealth commitment pathway or an eligible NSCC program for the Fall 2017 semester
  • Be a Massachusetts resident
  • Have a high school GPA of 2.3 or higher
  • File a 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to May 1
  • Be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant
  • Be willing to complete a degree at NSCC in two-and-a-half years or five continuous semesters
  • Meet NSCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements throughout enrollment

Gentile said the school anticipates that most of those who will take advantage of the program will be first-generation college goers who likely come from more disadvantaged North Shore neighborhoods.

“These are the folks who are having the most difficulty affording the cost of a college degree, yet they compose the largest untapped pool of underdeveloped talent for those future high and middle skilled jobs,” Gentile said.

Bridget Turcotte can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte


Zion Baptist Church marks 115 years

The committee for the 115th anniversary of Zion Baptist Church, from left: Brenda Womack, David Murray, Thelma Riley, the Rev. Dr. Kirk B. Jones, Starry Poe, Rochelle Bluefort, Brenda Newell, and Deacon Jerry Alleyne.


LYNN — Zion Baptist Church will celebrate its 115th anniversary in June, marking the occasion with a banquet fundraiser and a service.

Zion Baptist Church is the oldest continuous black church on the North Shore in the same location, according to Deacon Gerald Alleyne.

The anniversary is on June 22, 115 years after Zion Baptist Church opened its doors in 1902. A two-day celebration will mark the anniversary, with a jazz banquet on Saturday, June 24 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Wakefield, from 5 p.m. to midnight. The next day there will be a service at Zion at 10:30 a.m.

The church has survived two fires, one in 1949, that required the church to be rebuilt, according to a history of the church provided by Alleyne.

Rev. Dr. Kirk B. Jones, the senior pastor, said to come back from the fires demonstrates their commitment to God, to their faith and to the community. He said the church is a resource of inspiration for its members, but it’s also a source of social strength to the community.

“So, as pastor, I see us embracing our past so that we can draw strength to do those things that they did and even more in today’s world,” Jones said.

Animal magnetism at Lynn Museum

Jones said money raised from the banquet will in turn help the church support its continued general programs, other ministries in the greater Lynn community, and a program it has to support those recovering from addiction. He said the banquet is a sign of the church’s commitment through linking spirituality and jazz, something it wants to expand on.

Thelma Riley, anniversary chair, said the goal is to raise $115,000, and the church has asked the congregation and the community for a dollar for every year the church has been in service.

The roots of Zion Baptist Church started with the Loyalist movement during the end of the American Revolution, and the freed slaves who came to Nova Scotia with the promise of land, freedom and work. Around 1880, a considerable number of Negroes who had settled around Annapolis Royal, Digby and Weymouth, Nova Scotia, then settled in Lynn. This group became so large that they wanted their own church to worship, according to a history of the church provided by Alleyne.

“I think it says a lot in the form of being faithful and steadfast,” said Brenda Newell. “When you think about 115 years ago, those persons coming from Nova Scotia, I’m sure that they came with a dream and not knowing what to expect, and when they arrived here and started their small congregation, it was just their faith that I think kept them going and the congregation grew. All that love that was brought here, instilled in the hearts of parishioners, it’s still here today. That has never ceased and that’s something that we can grow on, encouraging each other, loving each other.”

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

Do Lynn & Revere suffer from a grocery-gap?

Construction continues on the new Market Basket on Western Avenue.


LYNN — Two North Shore communities made the Top 10 list of cities with the highest percentage of low-income residents lacking access to supermarkets, according to a new report.

Lynn and Revere joined Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Lawrence, Lowell, Springfield and Taunton as cities with a problem that has nutrition ramifications.

The so-called grocery-gap is most acute in older Bay State cities and rural areas, according to the Food Trust, a Philadelphia-based national nonprofit. The study’s authors’ mission is to ensure everyone has access to affordable and nutritious food.

The data measured the percentage of residents living more than a mile from a grocery store. To meet the standard definition of a supermarket, researchers said the stores must have annual sales of $2 million or more.

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Lynn has two major supermarkets: Shaw’s on State Street and Stop & Shop on Washington Street. There’s also a Price Rite on the Lynnway.

But the study failed to include the new 84,000-square-foot Market Basket which is expected to open this summer. The $25 million store is nearing competition at the General Electric Factory of the Future site on Western Avenue.

The lack of grocery stores affects 2.8 million people in Massachusetts, including more than 700,000 children and about 523,000 senior citizens, the survey said.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at State House News Service contributed to this report.


Lynn could be one of the ‘top spots to live’


LYNN — It took a while, but The Boston Globe has discovered Lynn’s real estate boomlet.

In a Sunday Magazine feature on Easter, the city was listed in its “Top Spots to Live: 12 Communities with Soaring Home Prices.”

The piece, under a photo of the former Daily Item building, cited data from The Warren Group. It showed the median price for a single-family home in Lynn has swelled by 59 percent since 2011 to $287,000. Condominium prices climbed to $180,00, up 67 percent during the same period.

There’s a quote from “Johnny, ” a potential buyer who said what brings him to Lynn is price, value, affordability and space.

“We’ve broadened from potentially a condo in East Boston,” he told the Globe. “I’d rather drive farther to have a single-family home and have more space and a yard.”

Also quoted is Jay Ash, the state’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, who said Lynn is one of those “gritty blue-collar North Shore communities that are poised to move up a notch or two or three.”

He should know. Ash, a Chelsea native who served as its city manager for years, has been credited with revitalizing the city just outside of Boston.

“Snap up a single-family for less than $300,000 and start brushing up on your do-it-yourself skills,” the Globe implores.

Yeah, we know.  

Do Lynn & Revere suffer from a grocery-gap?

Thomas Grillo can be reached at

Warren: Unless we fight, they won’t believe us

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren rallies the crowd at Salem High School.


SALEM — “I’m going to say something really controversial — I believe in science,” said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to a packed auditorium at Salem High School Thursday night.

Warren was answering one of about 80 questions submitted by attendees to a town hall forum. The inquiry was about how Environmental Protection Agency budget cuts will affect the North Shore, an area with a long history of industrial pollution.

“We need to be thinking about how we are going to keep ourselves going in a world that’s changing around us,” said Warren, who advocated for doubling down on science and infrastructure funding.   

Many of the forum attendees were from Salem, Marblehead, and Nahant, but a few came from as far as Lawrence to ask their questions.

Warren gave a particularly passionate response to a question about how the Democratic party can send a unifying message to voters. The answer lies in action as opposed to a change in branding, she said.

“The reality is, unless we’re going to get out there and fight … no one’s going to believe us,” said Warren. “Why should they believe us?”

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The topic of universal health care came up, which Warren called a basic human right. She acknowledged the existence of issues with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but said the constant initiatives to repeal it have stood in the way of making critical adjustments.  

Marblehead resident Jason Mondale brought up a bill Warren introduced with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to decrease the cost of hearing aids.

Warren described the bipartisan bill as an example of a small crack in the law where legislators were able to work for an effective change.  

National issues such as the recent decision by the Trump administration to attack Syria were addressed by Warren, who assured the crowd that the president cannot take additional military action without the approval of Congress. She said if he wants a shot of getting that approval, he will need to explain his plan of action in detail first.

“We are safer when people in other countries are safer,” said Warren. She said in many instances, building partnerships can be more effective than deploying weapons.  

A vocal critic of the Trump administration, Warren is up for re-election next year.

6 face prison for alleged steroid scheme

BOSTON – Three North Shore residents were among the six charged in federal court Wednesday in connection with conspiracy to traffic counterfeit steroids, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Philip Goodwin, 36, of Lynn; Brian Petzke, 49, of Saugus; Melissa Sclafani, 29, of Gloucester; Robert Medeiros, 31, of Gardner; Tyler Bauman, 32, and Kathryn Green, 28, both of Shrewsbury, were charged with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit drugs and distribute controlled substances.  

The defendants engaged in a scheme to make and sell illegal steroids by purchasing raw materials and supplies, marketing the steroids on social media and selling them, according to the complaint.

It is alleged that the defendants marketed the steroids as being made by “Onyx Pharmaceuticals,” using the Onyx name and its trademark symbol. But Onyx, a pharmaceutical company owned by California-based Amgen Inc., does not manufacture liquid steroids.  

27-year-old shot more than once on Federal

The defendants allegedly made the steroids themselves, using raw materials imported from overseas, including China.  Bauman promoted the steroids on social media as “Musclehead 320,” claiming he was “sponsored” by “Onyx.”  

In addition, Bauman, Goodwin and Sclafani opened Wicked Tan, a tanning salon in Beverly, which allegedly served as a front to launder funds and purchase supplies for the conspiracy.

If convicted, the defendants face up to 15 years in prison, three years of probation and a fine of $250,000.

Lynn talks transportation

Ideas about transportation are shared at a public forum in Lynn.

LYNN — Input from North Shore residents at a public forum on Tuesday at the Lynn Museum will help legislators and MassMoves create a statewide transportation vision.

As part of the state Senate’s 2017 Commonwealth Conversations, MassMoves, funded by the Barr Foundation, is facilitating nine public workshops across the state. Lynn was the eighth forum, according to a description of the event. MassMoves is an initiative to engage citizens across the state about their ideas for a 21st century transportation system.

Participants in the workshop were asked to weigh in on potential goals of a 21st century transportation, polling on their importance. Some of the goals were: It should be easier and faster to get around, whether by car, public transportation, walking or biking; transportation should be cleaner, producing far fewer greenhouse gases and other types of pollution than it does today; the transportation network should be resilient, meaning it can bounce back from severe weather; and transportation should use the latest technology to manage traffic and provide real-time information to help residents plan their trips.

“What we do, each event during lunchtime, is what we call MassMoves transportation event, where we talk to people about the current state of transportation in Massachusetts and in their region and then we have workshops where we invite people to tell us what they think about the policy issues and the values that they have,” said Jim Aloisi, former secretary of transportation and a consultant with MassMoves.

“What we hope will happen at the end of this is that there will be a report that will say here’s what we found across the state,” he continued. “What we’re hoping will come out of this is a way to inform the legislature to say here’s how you can advance improving transportation, based on the shared values people have and make those connections.”

Aloisi said preliminary poll data from the previous forums has showed that people have the same values in wanting to focus more on public transportation and a cleaner system. He said decision makers can know the information and then may be able to use that data when they decide to make changes or adopt new policies.

Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn) said the forums are important for people to see the broader issues faced in transportation and have a wide range of discussion.

“I think what’s really important is getting the input from the people that came here that were interested enough in transportation to be at the forum at lunch and get their point of view and what they see as important, so it’s going to allow us to shape policy decisions we make, as we look towards creating legislation and a comprehensive plan to address transportation, both this region and around the state,” McGee said.

“When this is completed, we’ll have a complete report of all of input we got around the commonwealth, and then we’ll have a chance to really take a look at it and see where the common pieces are from different districts.”

Musician J. Geils dies at 71

Stanley Rosenberg, Massachusetts Senate President, said right now, transportation is fossil fuel driven in terms of vehicles.

“But if we’re going to attack climate change the way we need to in Massachusetts, we have to think about how to move people in goods and other ways that are less impactful on the environment,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg said transportation is changing. For about 100 years, he said taxis were the standard for the demand response transportation system in the state and across the country. Recently, because of the vast amount of people carrying phones, people on the West Coast decided there was a better way, which created a new structure for demand response transportation. That would be Uber and Lyft, in which passengers  are picked up after they use an app on their smartphones.

Another transportation innovation is autonomous or driverless cars. In the future, Rosenberg said those Ubers might be autonomous.

“The 21st century transportation system has got to be a system that responds … to the changing demographics, to the fact that we have both an aging population and a younger population that has a very different opinion about how they want to get around, so we have to be responsive to both,” Aloisi said. “We need to embrace technology, because like technology or not, it’s here to stay. We also need to do so smartly and strategically so that we understand the implications of technology and we use it to our benefit, and that’s a work in progress because the technology is changing so quickly that it’s hard for people to keep up.

“And it’s only very recently that we’ve had legislation to have some regulation over companies like Uber and Lyft, which are quickly displacing the taxi industry,” he said. “So, we need to act quickly, but we also need to act thoughtfully when it comes to how we regulate and how we manage technology when it intersects with transportation.”

Steve Galante, 56, a Beverly resident who works in Lynn, said the forum was interesting.

“I think we need to improve our current system and then build upon it,” he said. “I don’t think the current one is terrible, but it can definitely use improvement.”

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.


Spring has sprung

Susan Clark and Annie Clifford enjoy an afternoon walk at Fort Sewall.


MARBLEHEAD – Walkers greeted some of the earliest spring weather with enjoyment and a bit of skepticism near Fort Beach.

The National Weather Service is predicting highs of nearly 80 degrees this week, but those out in the sun near midday on Monday weren’t convinced that winter has completely loosened its grip on the North Shore.

“I think we’re in for a little bit more of a blustery time,” said resident Annie Clifford as she and Susan Clark walked dogs around the path at Fort Sewall.

Noting the unpredictability of spring in New England as a cool breeze blew up from the water, Clifford said steady warm weather doesn’t tend to show up before May.

“It gives us a bit of a break, though. It feels good on the skin, gets people out in the weather,” she said.

Slow down: Speed limits could change

John Beal and Jennifer Greenspan were in the area for spring break vacation since Greenspan had time off work from her job as a teacher.

“It’s beautiful up here,” said Beal, who added the weather they left behind in New Jersey was quite a bit cooler.

Arlyn Silva, who bought a cottage in Marblehead a decade ago, was taking in the spring air with one of her favorite walking routes up the street from Crocker Park to the fort.

“I hope it stays. I like this,” she said.

Lynn might bump smoking age to 21


LYNN – The city is considering raising the legal age for buying tobacco to 21, setting a new bar for public health.

“I like the idea,” said Michele Desmarais, Lynn’s public health director. “We need to combat TV ads that suggest smoking is cool and we just want our teens to be healthier.”

The Board of Health will consider a proposal Tuesday at City Hall to increase the age to purchase tobacco products from 18.

So far, 145 Bay State communities have adopted the proposal. There’s a bill on Beacon Hill that would raise the age statewide to 21.

A 2015 report by the National Academy of Medicine concluded that raising the tobacco sale age to 21 will enhance public health and save lives.

The study found that raising the tobacco sale age will reduce the number of teens who start smoking; reduce smoking-caused deaths; and improve the health of adolescents. About 95 percent of adult smokers began smoking before they turned 21, the survey said.

Proponents argue increasing the tobacco age will counter the industry’s efforts to target young people at a critical time when many go from experimenting with tobacco to regular smoking.

Christine Neals, communications manager for the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, said the organization has not taken a position on the issue.

But Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, said his members oppose raising the age.

“Tobacco is a legal product, let consumers and stores decide what they want to buy and sell,” he said. “On the North Shore, smokers already drive a short distance to buy cigarettes in New Hampshire. If Massachusetts raises the age, more sales will leave the community.”

Big names at fundraiser for Northeast Arc

Sam Vitali, a Lynn attorney who represents the Mobil station on Chestnut Street, said while merchants are not opposed to raising the age to 21 they will fight two other proposals. One would ban the sale of so-called blunt wraps. Similar to a cigarette rolling paper, they are made of tobacco.

“Why should the Board of Health prevent you from buying a product that is legal today,”  Vitali said.

In addition, he is against another plan that would restrict prices of cigars. Under the new rule, a merchant could not sell single cigars for less than $5.

“Today, I can buy a nip at a liquor store for 99 cents, but I would not be able to buy a $1 cigar,” he said. “It’s totally inconsistent.”

Joyce Redford, director of the North Shore/Cape Ann Tobacco Policy Program said she favors the measure because 18-year-old high schoolers would no longer be able to buy cigarettes and influence their younger classmates.

“It would remove that 18-year-old from high school and make cigarettes less available to eighth and ninth graders,” she said.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at

Big Time wrestlers coming to Lynn

Bret Hart (left) will make an appearance at St. Michael’s Hall in Lynn, while Carlito Colon will battle for the BTW Title against Flex Armstrong. 


North Shore wrestling fans will have a chance to catch some top-notch action in the ring tonight when BTW Pro Wrestling comes to Lynn. Big Time Wrestling will host an action-packed event at St. Michael’s Hall in Lynn, featuring an appearance from former professional star Bret Hart.

Hart, who was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2006, has been with BTW since 2007. Fans who attend tonight’s event will have a chance to take part in a meet and greet with Hart and the other wrestling stars who’ll be joining him.

BTW co-owner Stephen Perkins said the opportunity to meet Hart is a special one for any wrestling fan.

“Bret’s a major deal,” said Perkins, who has been with BTW since 2005. “He’s been with us since 2007. He usually makes seven or eight appearances every year for us. We’ll be in Poughkeepsie, New York on Saturday and Connecticut on Sunday, so the way our tour worked out allowed us to bring him to Lynn on Friday. Lynn’s a staple for us, so this is a big deal.”

Joining Hart in Friday’s slate of action is another professional star in Carlito Colon, the former BTW champion. Colon, who hails from Puerto Rico, will take the ring against Flex Armstrong, a Billerica native, in a BTW title rematch.

“To the Puerto Rican population, Carlito’s a big deal,” Perkins said. “ His father (Carlos Colon Sr.) is a huge deal. The Colon family controls wrestling in Puerto Rico, they’re icons.”

BTW has been coming to Lynn since 2005, and usually brings its stars to St. Michael’s Hall twice a year. Lynn has hosted wrestling events since they took place at the old Manning Bowl. The city’s history with wrestling makes Lynn an ideal location for BTW.

“The city has a really good history with wrestling, dating back to shows in the 1980s at Manning Bowl,” Perkins said. “Lynn is a really good city for this.”

Since coming to Lynn 12 years ago, BTW has established a strong fanbase, which is one of its biggest goals.

“We like to establish our towns,” Perkins said. “It makes it easier to establish our fanbases. We always make sure Lynn is on our schedule a couple times a year. The fanbase really appreciates it.”

Thus far, the reaction from fans to tonight’s event has been a historic one for the organization.

“This has been our largest (ticket) presale (in Lynn) ever,” Perkins said. “We’ve had the place at capacity before. Our thrill is drawing a big house, not just about making money, but knowing that you can provide an experience that people won’t ever forget. That’s what we’re doing in Lynn on Friday.”

The event begins with a meet and greet that kicks off at 6 p.m., while the first match of the night begins at 8. Perkins advises fans to arrive at the venue early, as BTW is expecting roughly 200 fans to participate in the meet and greet with Hart.

“The event has a meet and greet beforehand,” Perkins said. “Big shows don’t offer that. It’s a big deal to meet Bret Hart. We expect him to meet 200 people before the show, and we expect the show to sell out.”

Tickets for Friday’s action will be available online on BTW’s website until 3 p.m. They will also be sold at Brother’s Deli and Cal’s News Store. General admission tickets can be purchased at the door.

“Fans will be close to the action, not at the back of a balcony,” Perkins said. “It’s really a different atmosphere. It’s something you need to see. At TD Garden there’s very little interaction. At our events, we’re interacting with the fans. They’re the most important people in the building.”

Krause: What to do about Marchand?

Boston Bruins’ Brad Marchand (63) and Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrej Sustr (62), of the Czech Republic, battle for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston. 


Idle chatter while waiting for the dove to fly back to me with the olive leaf …

Brad Marchand. What do we do about him? There’s no question he’s a talented scorer, a sparkplug, and a guy who the Boston Bruins absolutely need if they’re going to go anywhere.

And his schtick is getting old. Very old.

For those who may have missed it, Marchand speared a Tampa Bay Lightning player in the unmentionables Tuesday night in retaliation for a hard check in front of the net. He was rightfully given a five-minute major, which the Bruins killed off, and a game misconduct. He also faces discipline from the National Hockey League.

Whatever he gets he deserves. Let’s hear no whining about the penalty being too severe (if it is).

His suspension (and I suspect there will be one) is not the issue here. It’s his lack of discipline. Worse, it’s his lack of awareness of how important he is to that team, which means that he cannot keep doing these things. He’s no good to anyone if he’s not on the ice.

I remember an interview once where someone asked Phil Esposito why he never fights and rarely finds himself in the penalty box.

“Can’t make any money in there,” replied Esposito.

Right. That goes for Marchand too. If the Bruins have any chance of winning a playoff game — let alone a series — against the Washington Capitals (their likely first-round appointment), they need Marchand.

It’s funny. Most of the time, we’re kvetching about athletes who are convinced the sun rises and sets on them. Now, I’m wishing Marchand would actually think along those lines.


Kristen McDonnell was the girls basketball coach at Braintree High, a school that has absolutely no relevance to the North Shore except for the fact the Wamps beat English a few years ago in a state semifinal.

But the team that won two state titles and went to the Boston Garden three other times in McDonnell’s tenure (which began in 2009) tells a pretty convincing story of her coaching abilities.

Yet, two days ago, she resigned. And while she didn’t come right out and say it, there’s plenty of scuttlebutt that parental interference was the impetus.

The sad thing is that if this is indeed true, it’s not an isolated incident. Helicopter parents have become a real problem in youth sports.

I’ve experienced a piece of it just in doing this job, listening to parents complain their kids aren’t being played enough, or, they’re not being used right. I once had a parent call me up and say I was costing his daughter a scholarship because of perceived lack of coverage on his part.

Sadly, even the best coaches reach a point where they say enough is enough and move on.

From all accounts, McDonnell was an innovative and creative coach who tried to make it fun, and tried to be as inclusive as possible considering you can only play five kids at a time.

All I can say is good luck to anyone these days who wants to coach youth sports.


The Celtics got a true test of NBA reality Wednesday night at the Garden. The Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James made a resounding statement about what’s in store for them if the two teams meet in the playoffs.

The Cavs showed no mercy, and anyone who thought otherwise is just not paying attention. It’s obvious that a lot of these NBA teams are willing to sacrifice the gaudy regular-season records for fresh legs in the playoffs.

It’s one thing to lose to some Western Conference team if the objective of resting your stars is more important. But losing to the Celtics — the team that’s pushing you? No.

Message delivered. The Celtics will be a little less confident in the playoffs now.


Memo to Craig Kimbrel of the Boston Red Sox: If I had a 98-mph fastball that moved as much as his does, and causes so many hitters to swing and miss (and look terrible doing it), I’d throwing that thing until someone proved he could hit it.

Or, as the immortal Lou Brown said to Rick Vaughn, “forget about the curveball Ricky. Give him the heater.”

Lynn’s Anderson recalls NCAA Tournament experience

Antonio Anderson, left, reached the 2008 NCAA tournament championship game with Memphis. Also pictured are Fred Hogan and Antonio’s brother, Anthony. 


March always brings back special memories for Lynn’s Antonio Anderson.

A former English and Tech basketball player, Anderson is one of a select few of North Shore natives who got the opportunity to participate in the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament. What makes Anderson’s experience even more memorable is that he and the Memphis Tigers made it all the way to the 2008 final. Although the Tigers fell to Kansas in a heartbreaker, Anderson never forgets the positives of the experience.

“As a kid you grow up watching the Final Four,” Anderson said. “To be in it, knowing you’re one of the top four teams in the country, playing basketball, there’s nothing like it.”

The opportunity to represent Lynn on a grand stage like the NCAA Tournament is one that Anderson never took for granted. He vividly recalls the Lynn community coming together to support him.

“It was awesome,” Anderson said. “It was big for the city of Lynn, the entire city to see a kid from Lynn. A lot of people, they see you and they’re happy for you. I didn’t only represent Memphis, but also myself, my family and the city of Lynn. That meant a lot to me and that’s something I’ll never forget.”

Anderson also remembers the close bonds he built with his teammates, many of which he still keeps in touch with today.

“I talk to them, we still keep in contact,” Anderson said. “We’re all like brothers. Anybody that played college basketball knows that you build a brotherhood with your teammates. We all still stay in contact.”

A handful of Anderson’s teammates from the 2008 Memphis team went onto reach the NBA level, including Derrick Rose, Joey Dorsey and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Anderson had an NBA stint of his own with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2010. The 2008 Tigers were coached by John Calipari, who’s currently at Kentucky.

Due to a violation involving some of Anderson’s teammates, but not Anderson himself, Memphis’ regional title was vacated. Within a year, Calipari was gone as well, to Kentucky.

“Coach Cal was in the tournament so I was watching it to keep up with Kentucky,” Anderson said. “They aren’t in it anymore, but I’m a huge basketball fan so I’ve been watching it. There have been some huge games so I’m enjoying it.”

Like many other fans who are involved in the March Madness craze, Anderson filled out a bracket.

“Two of my picks for the Final Four are still in it, Gonzaga and UNC,” Anderson said. “I have UNC winning it all so I’m still alive.”

He added, “I like how UNC plays. They get up and down the court, they play a lot of guys. Their chances are very good, so I’m sticking with them.”

After wrapping up his career as a player, Anderson stepped into coaching. He recently finished his first season as an assistant coach at Franklin Pierce.

“It was awesome,” Anderson said. “That was a great experience. Coaching at the Division 2 level, it was intense. I loved every minute. I learned a lot about developing players.”

With the Final Four set to tipoff tonight, Anderson offered words of advice to the players who are aiming for a spot in Monday’s final.

“Just embrace it all and have fun, that’s all you can do,” Anderson said. “The lights are on, the whole country’s watching. That’s something these guys are used to at big programs. Have fun, that’s all I can say.”

Lynn Tech students show off their Skills

Shaneil Nelson from the SkillsUSA team asks a question during the tour of the State House. She is surrounded by team members Marissa Colon, Lucia Gonzalez Keoni Gaskin, Jose Najera and Noelani Garcia.


BOSTON For a dozen Lynn Vocational Technical Institute students, it was their first time under the golden dome on Beacon Hill, but it may not be their last.

Some of these participants of SkillsUSA, a national program to improve the nation’s workforce through leadership and employability training, might return as members of the Legislature someday.

Dressed in bold red jackets, white shirts and black pants, the teens toured the State House with legislators. But not before they talked about the work they’ve done.  

Jose Najera, 17, said they raised more than $7,500 for My Brother’s Table, one of the largest soup kitchens on the North Shore. They also helped victims of the New Year’s Day fire on West Baltimore Street that left 65 people homeless by organizing the massive clothing donations.

David Barrios, 16, said the group, which has more than six dozen members, devised the idea to honor the first responders of 9/11.

“We solicited food items and made more than 100 bags and distributed them to police and fire departments as well as emergency rooms,” he said.

Marissa Colon, 17, said the close-knit group honored veterans with a sit-down dinner at the school.

“We thanked them for their service,” she said. “To see grown men crying was really something. I think we made a difference.”

Jason McCuish, the group’s leader and a teacher at Lynn Tech for more than a decade, said SkillsUSA is an after-school program whose focus is community service.

“That’s what we pride ourselves on,” he said.  

Bringing back the R&B beat

Hosted by state Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn), Reps. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn), Daniel Cahill (D-Lynn) and Donald Wong (R-Saugus), the legislators provided them with a glimpse into the work they do.

McGee explained how he was inspired to do public service by his father, the late Rep. Thomas McGee, the former speaker of the house, and his grandmother, who helped unionize factory workers during the Roosevelt administration.

“You’re doing the same thing, by making a difference in your community,” he said.

Wong, whose family owns Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus, said he never imagined a career in politics. But in 2005 friends pulled nomination papers for him to run as a Town Meeting member. He’s been an elected official ever since.   

Cahill said it was an honor to have the students visit the State House.

“These future leaders continue to make positive contributions to the city of Lynn and we are proud of them,” he said.

Crighton said he got interested in public service because he wanted to give back. He worked for McGee and focused his energy on constituent services.

“That’s how I saw how one person can impact people’s lives in a positive way,” he said. “You’ve presented yourselves so well today … I hope some of you decide to run for office.”

Thomas Grillo can be reached at


Swampscott tabs Ibanez to direct soccer team

Alvi Ibanez was named the new boys soccer coach at Swampscott earlier this week. 


The Swampscott boys soccer team has found its new coach. Earlier this week, the school announced that Alvi Ibanez has been tabbed to direct the Big Blue.

“I was happy, I wanted to get back into coaching in the Northeastern Conference,” Ibanez said. “I noticed that the job was posted and that was my opportunity. I applied, I became a finalist and the job was offered. It was great.”

Ibanez comes to Swampscott with a wealth of soccer experience, both coaching and playing. As a coach, his career includes stints at Beverly, where he led the Panthers from 1992-1995, Salem State, where he directed the women’s team from 1996-2006, and, most recently, Hamilton-Wenham, where he coached the girls team from 2012-2014. Among his accolades are coach of the year awards in the NEC (1992), Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (2002) and Cape Ann League (2012).

With the majority of his coaching duties having taken place on the North Shore, Ibanez has a good sense of familiarity with the boys soccer program at Swampscott.

“I know from what I’ve read in the papers,” Ibanez said. “I know that the program lost about 12 seniors. I know they did well last season and lost a tough one in the playoffs.”

Ibanez added, “I’ve always known of Swampscott soccer to be committed. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to getting in there and getting the process started.”

Prior to stepping into coaching, Ibanez built a strong career as a player at Salem State. His career as a Viking includes two Final Four appearances. In 1995, Ibanez was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.

“My playing days at Salem State were great,” Ibanez said. “We had a great team that went to the Final Four two straight seasons. We made a lot of noise.”

From his playing days at Salem State, Ibanez learned the importance and value of team cohesiveness and camaraderie. Those are two of the intangibles that Ibanez holds dear as a coach today.

“The discipline and camaraderie that existed is something that I try to bring into the teams that I coach now,” Ibanez said. “It’s a lot easier to play together. If you tackle one of us, you tackle the whole team. We won a lot of games because of our cohesiveness and I want to bring that along as a coach.”

He added, “I loved every single one of those three years because of that cohesiveness and that level of team play first. Those years were great and I try to bring that level of success to the teams I coach. It’s not a one-player show.”

After a few years away from the field, Ibanez realized that he had the itch to coach again. Now that he’s stepped back on the sidelines, Ibanez is ready to start a new, but familiar, challenge.

“I’m looking forward to this challenge,” Ibanez said. “I thought I wasn’t going to miss it but I found myself going to a lot of MIAA tournament games. I found myself at home reading the papers and reading about the upsets. I realized that I missed this.”

Moving forward in his new role, Ibanez is looking to familiarize himself with Swampscott’s strengths and weaknesses in the preseason. He believes that it’s best to adjust his game plans based on what type of team Swampscott will suit in the fall season.

“I’m a coach that’s flexible to the talent that’s on the team,” Ibanez said. “I don’t have a style of play that I go by. That style has to be given to you by the players. We’ll evaluate the players in the preseason. That’s given to us by the team.”

Ibanez was able to attend a few NEC games last season and came away fairly impressed with the level of talent within the conference. With that said, the new coach knows his team will have to be prepared in order to compete in a tough NEC.

“I’ve noticed that the strong teams in the NEC are very strong,” Ibanez said. “I went to a few games and I saw that level of play from the players. It’s impressive. If you’re a college coach looking for players, you can find a few in the NEC. We’ll have a plan to attack every game as is.”


Trump cuts could bleed North Shore nonprofits

Photo by Leise Jones
James Wilson, assistant director of conservation, examines a furnace for needed repairs or replacement. The program could be axed if President Trump’s budget is approved.


LYNN — President Donald Trump’s proposal to scrap more than $50 billion in federal funding for social programs would have a catastrophic impact on residents, according to nonprofit executives and City Hall.

“These cuts will be devastating,” said Birgitta Damon, CEO of Lynn Economic Opportunity Inc. (LEO), a North Shore community action agency that provides fuel assistance, home energy measures and daycare. “If these cuts come, it would jeopardize the safety of thousands of Greater Lynn residents.”

In what Trump calls his “Budget Blueprint for 2018,” the president proposed increases in the federal budget for immigration enforcement at the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, additional resources for a wall on the Mexican border, immigration judges, expanded detention capacity and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The president also pledged to boost defense spending by 10 percent to $571 billion, a $54 billion hike, without increasing the debt.

But to do that, Trump has recommended reductions in non-defense spending totaling $54 billion.  

“We are going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable to the people,” Trump said in his budget plan. “This includes deep cuts to foreign aid. It is time to prioritize the security and well-being of Americans and to ask the rest of the world to step up and pay its fair share.”

Charles Gaeta, executive director of the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development, whose mission is to provide low- and moderate-income tenants with safe and affordable housing, said the proposed cuts will have a significant impact on the nonprofit’s $40 million budget.

“If Congress goes along, these cuts will be disastrous to our residents, clients and staff,” he said. “We don’t know exactly how much will be cut, but rental assistance is threatened, so are  community development block grants and HOME funds which can be used to rehab housing. For an urban community like Lynn, this is devastating. It will hurt neighborhood revitalization, as well as first-time homebuyer and lead paint programs.”

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) said candidate Trump promised to create good-paying jobs, invest in the nation’s infrastructure and ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to thrive in the new economy. But the president’s budget fails to mention jobs, rebuilding roads and bridges or expanding economic opportunity for all Americans.

“For a president who talks about ‘America First,’ this budget puts Americans last,” Moulton said in a statement.

Swampscott pulls plug on yacht club

A spokesman for the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development, an agency of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, said they were still trying to determine how the proposed cuts would impact the state.

“The commonwealth relies on various federal funding sources to support important programs … and the Baker-Polito administration will continue to advocate for federal funding,” the agency said in a statement. “As the budget process plays out in Congress, the administration urges the Massachusetts congressional delegation to work toward keeping these critical funding sources intact.”

Donald Walker, director of project operations for the city’s Department of Community Development, said Lynn would take a $2.2 million hit if the White House eliminates the block grant program.

“We use that program to rehabilitate parks and playgrounds, housing rehabilitation, fund first-time homebuyer and small business loans,” he said. “We also provide $366,000 to 30 public service agencies that provide Meals On Wheels, a community minority cultural center, special needs and arts programs. We are concerned about the impact the cuts would have and hope there will be some give and take before this is over.”

If approved by Congress, $7 million of LEO’s $10.3 million annual budget would be lost. Low-income heating assistance and home energy/weatherization programs would end and Head Start, a program that prepares young children for success in school, would also cease.

“Trump has decided to increase defense spending and, as a result, he must cut domestic programs that families and communities rely on,” said Damon.

Material from Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at

From trial to triumph for Lynn artist

Artist Paul Nathan talks about his work.


LYNN — To say that Paul Nathan is excited about his first-ever solo art exhibit would be a colossal understatement. At age 68, the artist/retired trial attorney figured friends and family would be the only ones to see his colorful, playful collages.

But LynnArts is about to feature Nathan’s works in the main first-floor gallery of its 25 Exchange St. space. An opening reception is on tap for Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through April 5. Admission is free.

“The art is pure whimsy,” said Nathan, during a tour of his Lynn studio, adding that the show is a “remarkably unexpected” event.

“I started painting about 35 years ago, then it just ended. I wanted to paint, but nothing happened,” said Nathan. “Maybe it was my job. Maybe life got in the way. Maybe it’s the fact that painting is messy and tedious. Paint would get on my shoes, on the carpet. I got away from it all.”

Then out of the blue, about six years ago, the creative urge struck again. He focused on textured collages; vibrantly colorful and fantastical images of marine life, space travel, boat travel and more. A couple of comical self portraits, one of him dressed as a 1905 cossack, another of the artist at home, an acrylic-on-wood work that shows him reading The Item at his breakfast table, his eyeglasses askew atop his bald head. It’s impossible not to smile when looking at these works.

Nathan is being assisted this day by Devon Gaudet, a Beverly High junior, who is helping arrange pieces for the move to the LynnArts gallery. “I could fill the gallery twice,” said Nathan, pointing to an 11-foot-by-4-foot cruise ship creation, his largest, that nearly fills an entire wall. “I’ll have room for about 30 pieces or so. It will be tough to choose. It’ll be like the Westminster Dog Show where the judge points and says ‘you’ and ‘you.’ ”

“I don’t know where this (stuff) comes from,” added Nathan, staring at the ginormous cruise ship collage. “Bigger means more work, and work gives me the hives. Let’s face it, I’m lazy.” Nathan is not averse to plagiarising himself either; some of the smaller images appear in more than one work. Making copies of the same bits is part of the deal, he said. “Why paint them over and over again when they’re perfectly fine as they are.”

Nathan’s dream? To beautify the eyesore gas tank on the Lynnway, much like Rainbow Tank alongside the Southeast Expressway in Dorchester. He’s even worked up a maritime idea to make it shine. “If anyone’s interested in my idea, please have them contact me (at,” he said, with a smile.

The LynnArts gallery has hosted some spectacular exhibits. It’s unlikely that any were as whimsically wondrous as this.

Fellow North Shore artists are quite taken with Nathan’s amusing, fun works. Steve Negron, Eleanor Fisher and Yetti Frenkel have been especially supportive, said Nathan, telling him it was time “to get your stuff out there.”

Frenkel, the celebrated muralist/fine art master, said “people will like his unique pieces. They are cheerful, colorful and filled with personality.”

It’s National Everything You Think is Wrong Day

Annette Sykes, chairwoman for the Curatorial and Programming Committee at LynnArts, a public school teacher and an accomplished artist in her own right, said this show featuring Nathan’s fanciful work is the most recent exhibit showcasing the incredible talent in the city.

“The importance of Lynn artists in the community cannot be underestimated,” said Sykes, who moved to Lynn in 2001 and found a second home at LynnArts, where she has a studio on the third floor. “To have a place like this where working artists can create and congregate and actually do fine art of any sort — sculpture, art, music — says a lot about a city. Some RAW arts alumni are coming to LynnArts, taking the next step.

“The Museum and LynnArts staff is unique. I’ve been involved with other arts organizations. At first, I was hesitant to dip my toe in the water. Usually when you volunteer, you show up and others say ‘This is what you should do.’ One person can’t do it all. But at our meetings, people show up to do the work. This is a great group of people. And having people like Paul Nathan and other talented local artists exhibiting their work here is an entirely positive occasion that the community should embrace.”

Bill Brotherton is the Item’s Features Editor. He can be reached at

Hiberian 5K just days away


LYNN — The eighth annual Hibernian 5K is just a few days away and it’s snowing like crazy. Race co-director Mike Mannion, working from home like so many of us on Tuesday, is nonetheless optimistic that all will be well come Sunday when more than 800 will lace up their running shoes and take to city streets for a great cause.

This is nothing, he says, when compared to the stormy winter of two years ago when 50 gazillion inches of snow blanketed the North Shore.

“Hopefully, this storm won’t throw us too much of a curveball,” said Mannion, adding that the city has always done a fantastic job getting West Lynn roads ready for this fundraising event that has awarded more than $40,000 in scholarships. It has also provided hundreds of backpacks filled with school supplies to the Department of Children and Family Services and offered continued support to community organizations throughout the city targeted at helping families and veterans in need.

“It’s a big time effort for the committee volunteers and all who turn out to help on the day of the race,” said Mannion, the co-director with his wife, Margaret, since 2015. This year’s committee is composed of Ann Mannion, president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 10, Michelle Calnan, Ann McLaughlin, Stacey O’Hare, Gus Costello, Laura Durant and Karen Coulon Miller.

Back in 2009, Coulon Miller came up with the idea of a Hibernian Scholarship Fund road race. Planning for the first one started in the spring of that year. Chip Clancy was mayor when committee members volunteered at Lynn Woods free races and other 5Ks in the region, making note of what did and didn’t work. The initial then-called Hibernian 5K St. Patrick’s Day Recovery Race was born, held in 2010 on the Sunday after the day that honors the foremost patron saint of Ireland. It was a huge success, attracting some 200 runners and walkers.

It has grown steadily. And the amount of scholarship money has increased as well. The best year was 2014, when more than 1,000 registered. Mike Mannion said 750 to 850 is the average number of participants. Registration fee is $25.

Online registration is open for the race until midnight tonight by using this link: Packet pickup will be available at the hall (105 Federal St. Lynn) from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and beginning at 9 a.m. on race day.  In-person registration is available on race day and at packet pickup Saturday.

“It’s a fun event,” added Mannion, “even for those who are competitive. Lots of families walk together … grandparents, sons and daughters and grandkids and babies in strollers.”

Ide(a)s of March for MBTA

After the race, the fun continues until about 5 p.m. at Hibernian Hall. Pizza will be served, raffles will be held and an Irish band will provide entertainment.

Mannion said parking is available at the 40 Federal St. “tow lot.” Motorists can expect road closures from about 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the area of the race route, which is a big loop down Boston, Holyoke, Walnut, N. Franklin and neighboring streets.

“This race would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors, the cooperation and support of the police, the city, its workers and Mayor Kennedy, and Charles Patsios, who offers space for parking,” said Mannion.

Does Mannion wish he could run the race instead of running the volunteer effort? “I’m not much of a runner, casual at best,” he said with a laugh. “I run a bit when I play basketball. A hard-core runner would see me and be disgusted.”

Bill Brotherton is The Item’s Features Editor. He can be reached at

Delicious lobster tales with friends

Pictured is lobster with fettuccine marinara. See the recipe below.


When my son Georgie was about 9 we bought him a little boat called a Puffin. Many an early summer Saturday morning he would take out the small craft to fish for our breakfast. A few hours later my little guy would show up at the kitchen door with his catch — and a big smile.

They were delicate little fish, probably cod, and when cleaned and dipped in a little flour they were perfect for a quick saute with a side of scrambled eggs. Several times during the day he would look for reassurance. “How’d you like my catch, Mom?” He loved the compliments.

By the end of that summer he was ready for his next boating/fishing adventure, hinting that for his 10th birthday he would like some lobster traps. We purchased four traps from a lobsterman in Gloucester. Georgie was a happy camper, or should I say, a happy lobsterman.

These spring menu ideas are minty fresh

From the time he was a little guy he loved anything nautical. He chose a wallpaper for his room that depicted the famous Charles W. Morgan whaling ship. He loved going to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, where he could see the actual ship. I made him curtains out of nylon fabric that I got from sailmaker Norm Cressy (who, coincidentally, occupied the third floor of the building that one day would house Rosalie’s). When the wind came off the ocean and blew the curtains, Georgie was reminded of sails. He really loved his space.

After he saved some money from his lobstering business he wanted a rug for his room. Although it wasn’t nautical, it was hand-woven with the blues of the ocean. Georgie loves to cook and also really enjoys design and decorating, just like his mother. He still has the yellow statue of the Gloucester fisherman I bought him for his 10th birthday.

Being near the ocean made the crustacean a favorite item for diners. A popular dish at my restaurant was a lobster crepe that a craftsman named Georgio Tonelli taught me to make when he was helping me put the place together.  He was a real old-school artist who came from the Italian Riviera to find work repairing and creating stained glass windows in churches. Among a myriad of other skills, he was an excellent cook and had worked in several restaurants on the Italian seacoast. The crepe was not typical, in that it was not rolled and filled. The pieces of lobster were part of the batter, made in a crepe pan, not unlike a delicate pancake. Customers loved them and I haven’t seen them on any menu since.

Lobster fra di avolo was another favorite; a little heat, tomato and a lot of cognac. Of course, Marblehead had many lobstermen who could supply the freshest catch, right off their boats. We are lucky living on the North Shore to have many sources of good seafood.

Recently, I discovered a mostly wholesale distributor in Beverly, right on the water, Lynch Lobster. When I stopped there the other day, one of the owners, Buddy, and I had a nice chat about business and food. I bought a couple of lobsters and brought them home and boiled them right away.

We had friends over for dinner Saturday night and our friend Bruce pulled out of the shells all of the meat, which we simmered in some fresh marinara sauce with a few capers and olives before serving it over fettuccine, with a small side scoop of pesto to brighten the dish. It was luscious!

Lobsters should be cooked soon after you buy them. If you cannot prepare them right away, place them on a tray with a dish towel or paper bag rung out in cold water and scatter some ice chips over the top and refrigerate. Avoid water dripping on the heads, as they can drown in even a small amount of water. If lobsters are placed in a bag when purchasing, make sure the bag is open at the top so they can breathe.

To boil the lobster, plunge it into fast-boiling salted water, head first, then allow five minutes for the first pound, after the water comes to a boil, and then three minutes for each additional pound. Allow to cool slightly before removing the meat. Twist off the claws and then bend the tail till it cracks and push the meat out with a fork. Don’t forget the tomalley and the roe.

Grilling lobster is a delicious treatment, but it takes some effort. Put the lobster on its back and, with a sharp heavy knife, split it in half lengthwise, remove the sac, leave the tomalley and the roe and crack the claws. Brush the lobster with olive oil or butter and grill it for 10 to 12 minutes, about four inches from the heat, basting occasionally with melted butter or oil. Allow it to rest before removing the meat if you want to prepare a pizza topping or sauce. Or just tie a dish cloth around your neck and dig right in.

As for those who dwell on the injustice of killing the poor crustaceans, enjoying lobster at home is a delight. And I love when the garden hose is turned on so I can give myself a quick cleanup.

At lunch Friday at Superfine in Manchester-by-the-Sea, I mentioned to my friend Sally that I was making an easy version of lobster with fettuccine for dinner. She had that “Ooh that sounds sooo good” look in her eyes, so I invited Bruce and her to join us. Bruce does the cooking in their relationship and Sally does the conversation, so Bruce and I were in the kitchen and Todd and Sally caught up in the living room.

Sally reminisced about growing up in Beverly and when  she would lunch with her mother at the pizzeria that is now Superfine.

Bruce and I prepared dinner, and our fettuccine marinara with lobster was a big hit, as was the Caesar salad and the blueberry crostata with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

It was a super fine night at our house with good friends.

Lobster with Fettuccine Marinara

— Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil with a sprig each of thyme and a bay leaf and a few flat leaf parsley stems.

— Cook the lobster according to directions, as noted above.

— Remove the meat and cut into bite-size pieces. Scoop out the roe and tomalley to add to the sauce.  

— In the meantime, grind 2 pints of grape tomatoes in a food processor.  

— Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan and sweat 3 cloves of garlic for a few minutes; do not brown.

— Add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of salt, a stem of thyme and rosemary and a few red pepper flakes, for heat.

— Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.

— Add the tomalley and the roe to the cut-up lobster and stir in sauce, just enough to heat the meat. Remember, you have already cooked the lobster.

— Cook the fettuccine and toss on a platter with 2 tablespoons of butter. Spoon the sauce with lobster over it. Pass the Parmesan.

— For variety, you could smash up a few anchovies or several Nicoise olives and add to the sauce.  

We served the Caesar after the pasta. It is more relaxing than trying to time the cooking of the pasta before the meal.