Somerville

Incentive for ratings boost at Malden schools

By STEVE FREKER

MALDEN — Newly-hired Malden School Superintendent John Oteri will get a $5,000-10,000 salary bonus if he can push the public schools up the state’s performance ranking scale.

Oteri signed a three-year contract paying him a base salary of $180,000; this makes him the highest-paid city employee. He takes over the job from interim Superintendent Dr. Charles Grandson IV at the close of the school year.

Oteri was selected over four other finalists April 3 in a search by the Malden School Committee. A formal agreement on a contract was reached last week.

One of the accomplishments school committee members noted when interviewing Oteri was the ascent of Somerville High School from a Level 3 to Level 1 designation for academic performance under his watch as headmaster.

“We are very pleased to have John Oteri aboard as superintendent of the Malden Public Schools and we know that he can’t wait to get started,” Mayor Gary Christenson said.

Rev. to shooter: You came to the wrong place

Malden High School and the Malden Public Schools, overall, remain at Level 3 status under the state Department of Secondary and Elementary Education rating system.

The mayor and school committee members said during the search and interviews that boosting ratings was a priority.

If Malden rises from Level 3 to Level 2 during his tenure, Oteri will receive a bonus of $5,000. A rise to Level 1 means a salary bonus of $10,000 under the terms of his contract.

During his interview, Oteri spoke of his love of Malden. It’s his hometown and he is a 1982 graduate of Malden High.

  

Slow down: Speed limits could change

PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
A pickup truck drives down Eastern Avenue in Lynn.

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN – If a proposal before the Traffic Commission is enacted, motorists will have to drive a little slower in the city.

Next Tuesday the five-member panel will consider reducing the speed limit to 25 in thickly settled sections of Lynn.

“If lowering the speeding limit would reduce the amount of accidents and increase public safety, we endorse it,” said Police Lt. Michael Kmiec.

Lynn’s proposal comes as other cities and towns including Boston, Somerville, and Peabody have already adopted the change that drops the default speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 25.

Last year, the Legislature adopted the Municipal Modernization Act, which allows municipalities to decrease their speed limits.

Safety experts say for every mile per hour slower motorists drive, the less likely they are to cause severe injury or death if they strike a pedestrian or cyclist.

Statistics have shown that when struck by a vehicle going 40 mph, only one in 10 pedestrians survive. Conversely, when struck by a car going 20 mph, nine out of 10 pedestrians survive.

In February, the Peabody City Council adopted the city’s default speed limit to 25 miles per hour.

Swampscott auction is about to set sale

Still, not everyone is convinced it’s the right idea.

Commission member Robert Stilian said he needs more information before making up his mind.

“I’m still trying to decide whether this is a good idea,” he said. “If we do go forward with it, we’d need new signs and drivers must be given fair warning, because a speeding ticket can impact the cost of car insurance for many years.”

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said the lower speed limit will bring Boston closer to its goal of eliminating traffic-related deaths by 2030.

“Reducing the default speed limit will create safer roads for all, and I’m pleased our hard work and commitment to safer roads has created this new standard,” said Walsh in a statement.


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

Key returnees should lead Peabody softball

FILE PHOTO
Tianna Dawe looks to improve on an impressive 2016 freshman season.

By JOYCE EREKSON

The Peabody High softball team has some holes to fill this season, but several players returning in key positions should help ease the pain.

The Tanners finished the regular season 11-9 last year, but got bounced from the Division 1 North tournament by Lowell, 7-1,  in a preliminary round game.

Coach Butch Melanaphy, now in his 11th season, lost four players from that team —  first baseman Katie Tansey, second baseman Ashley Jenkins and outfielders, Nikki Sullivan and Paige Howard.  Tansey, Hayward and Jenkins were all starters.

The Tanners will also be without last year’s starting catcher, Amanda Crawford. As a sophomore, Crawford provided some serious firepower with the bat. She led the team in runs batted in  (23) and  homeruns (3). She hit .371 and was a Northeastern Conference All-Star. Her plate production included eight doubles and a pair of triples. Crawford decided not to play this season. Jenkins also swung the bat well for the Tanners, hitting about .325.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is a softball team’s fortunes generally rise and fall with the quality of its pitching and that’s an area where the Tanners can breathe a sigh of relief. Sophomore Tianna Dawe is back in the circle looking to follow up on a very successful freshman season.

Dawe allowed just 35 earned runs in 109 innings pitched and had an earned run average of 2.04 with 99 strikeouts. She was also big contributor at the plate, hitting .297 with 11 doubles, six triples, two home runs and 19 RBI. Dawe was a Northeastern Conference All-Star and her team’s Most Valuable Player.

The second part of the Tanners’ one-two pitching punch is junior Mallory LeBlanc, who starts in the outfield when she’s not pitching.  

“You can put her (LeBlanc) anywhere,” Melanaphy said.

Dawe logged the most innings in the circle last year and, although she struggled at times with walks and hit batters, Melanaphy expects improvement in those areas given her year of varsity experience and another season of summer ball.

“Her speed, as a freshman last year, was good,” Melanaphy said. “She’s tall with long arms and legs. She hits the corners a lot.”

Alyssa Alperen and Kaitlin Thibodeau-Cory are the co-captains this year.. Alperen also captained the volleyball and basketball teams. She played shortstop last year, but this year Melanaphy said she’ll alternate between short and second.

“Alyssa bonds the kids together,” Melanaphy said. “She’s always talking to them, making sure everyone’s up. She’s a great defensive player.”

Thibodeau-Cory is a four-year player who will return at third base.

“She’s a very good hitter and defensively she’s very good at third,” Melanaphy said. “She always get the bat on the ball. She’s a quiet kid who leads by example. The two of them make a good pair of captains.”

Infielders Rebecca Sabino and Alyssa Lake will also factor into the equation this year.  Sabino can play a variety of different spots. Lake was at first last year, but tore her ACL playing field hockey and is not quite at 100 percent.

Jenna Delisi is a senior utility player who was on junior varsity last year. She can play infield and outfield. Junior Sydney Lowry also moved up to varsity  and will compete for the first base position, while sophomore Makayla Iannalfo will likely see some time at shortstop or second.

When she wasn’t pitching, LeBlanc started in left field last season, but Melanaphy said she can play anywhere in the outfield. Senior Lexi Zammer is back starting  in centerfield.

Senior Delaney Corson is another versatile player who can play either infield or outfield. Speedy Kelsie Blake came up from the junior varsity midway through last season and saw some time in the outfield. Jessica Krose, a senior infielder, is also up from the junior varsity as is senior Amanda Molle.

With Crawford not returning the Tanners are in need of a catcher and fortunately, for Melanaphy, he has two players who can fit the bill. Kristina Rossignoll is the frontrunner, but Molly Staunton is also an option.

The 2017 season will introduce some changes in the scheduling. With the folding of the Greater Boston League,  Malden, Everett, Medford and Somerville relocated to the Northeastern Conference, bringing the number of NEC teams to a massive 16.

Peabody will play every conference opponent once (15 games) with the remaining five games against non-league teams.

The Tanners’ non-conference schedule includes against Beverly and either Bishop Fenwick or Danvers at the annual Courtney Corning Tournament, as well as  two against Austin Prep and one against Everett, that will not count in the league standings.

“I’m going to say there will  be no nights off,” Melanaphy said in assessing the strength of the league.

Green Line to Medford gets green light

By STEVE FREKER

MEDFORD — The long-awaited multi-billion-dollar Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford received a key federal “green light” this week .

State transportation officials told the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority  (MBTA) Fiscal and Management Control Board that new, reduced cost estimates for the project have been approved.

As it now stands, there will be seven new stops along a 4.7-mile extension, with six in Somerville and the last and final stop in Medford at Boston and College avenues near the Tufts University campus.

A further extension to Route 16 could reportedly be considered.

Cost estimates for a scaled-down version of the extension put a $2.3 billion price tag on the project. State Department of Transportation (DOT) officials said the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved the MBTA’s new cost estimate.

For local legislator, priority is the needy

The project, in the planning stages for almost five years, has been plagued by cost overruns and subsequent reviews at the state and federal levels. Cost soared from $1 billion to more than $3 billion before the MBTA cut more than $800 million from plans.  

The state’s Capital Programs Committee report this week broke down initial financing for the project as follows: In addition to the $1 billion from the federal government, the state’s project share is $1 billion with Somerville committing $50 million and Cambridge $25 million.

The state has reportedly also identified additional money sources from future state revenue estimates to help cover project costs.

Classical, English track teams start season strong

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
English freshman Hannah Trahant flies over a hurdle.

By KATIE MORRISON

LYNN — Lynn English girls track coach Brenda Martin was all smiles after her team’s first meet of the 2017 season Monday at Manning Field.

For the first time in her six years with the Bulldogs, her team topped rival Classical, hanging on for a 69-66 win over the Rams.

“It’s incredible,” Martin said. “It was very close, that makes it an enjoyable meet. It definitely feels good to win one.”

On the other side of the track, Classical boys coach Angel Melendez was also feeling pretty good. In his first meet as coach of the Rams, his team topped rival English, 76-60.

“We’ve been working toward this,” Melendez, who has served as an assistant coach for the Rams for the past few seasons. “It’s great I have this group of kids starting as a head coach my first year. I’m excited, they’re very talented and working really hard.”

It was a fun start to the spring season at Manning Monday, and it was all you could ask for from a Classical-English meet. Both the boys and girls meets were competitive, and all four coaches took positives away from the day. A big theme for each team was young kids stepping up and performing well in events they have little experience with.

The English girls got good performances from Kaylee Smith, who won the shot put and the 100.

“She does four events, she’s a big contributor,” Martin said.

Also doing well were seniors Taylor Sullivan, won the 2-miles for English, and Kylie Moorehouse, who won the 400 hurdles. Elizabeth Rozon had a good showing in her four events (100, 400 hurdles, high jump and long jump).

Jackie Ramirez had a big win for the Bulldogs in the mile.

“That was an incredible race, a good strategic race,” Martin said of the mile. “(Ramirez) came from behind and won it.”

Hannah Trahant, a freshman who is new to the team, came up with some big performances for the Bulldogs.

“She came in second in the 100-meter hurdles, she came in second in the long jump and she also ran the 4×400,” Martin said. “These are events she’s never done before, she did incredible.”

Those second-place finishes, along with many others, proved to be huge because Classical won its fair share of events. Devyn Astuccio had a big day, winning the 110 hurdles with a state qualifying time and winning the triple jump. Agnes Bangura won the long jump and Jayla Blevins won the high jump.

In her first time running the 800, Classical’s Sydney Spiess took first. Ashley Calixte won the discus, and in her first-ever time throwing the javelin, senior Rachel Jordan took first for Classical.

“She will run in her event, and then pick up a clipboard and help coach,” Classical coach Scott Fiore said of Jordan. “I’ll definitely miss her when she graduates.”

On the boys side, Melendez was pleased with his distance runners and jumpers, but sees room for improvement in sprinting and throwing. But he has a solid group of very talented athletes to rely on to come through.

Kalambayi brothers Eli and Emmanuel racked up four wins between them in the 400, 400 hurdles, long jump and triple jump. Samson Srey had a huge day, winning the 110 hurdles (“he even surprised us,” Melendez said) and the javelin. Gilley Kabamba was in midseason form in the 800.

“He’s looking to go to states, and we hope to train him hard enough so maybe he can go to nationals,” Melendez said of Kabamba.

Among the top performers for English were Juan Avelino, who won the 100 and the high jump, Adal Morales, taking first in the shot put, Prince Brown, Tyshawn Anderson, and the 4×400 and 4×100 relay teams.

“I’m really proud of guys and the way they worked, we had a lot of high notes and some events that didn’t go as well as we’d hoped,” English boys coach Sam Hill said. “There are a lot of positives to take away, and I think we’ll have a good year. We scored a lot of points, so it’s a good way to get the season started.”

Mixed into the events were athletes from Beverly and Danvers, as those rivals were competing against each other, but not against the Rams or Bulldogs. With the Northeastern Conference merging with the Greater Boston League this season, English and Classical will have new opponents to compete with, like Medford and Somerville. It also means that they’re in a different division than teams like perennial powerhouses Beverly and Peabody.

“When we ran against them, it would kill our girls’ confidence,” Fiore said. “We’d tell them even though you lost, you did good! But Beverly and Peabody, they’re the standards that you measure your team against.”

Malden poised for school pick

By STEVE FREKER

MALDEN — The Malden School Committee will meet Monday evening to publicly deliberate on candidates and possibly select a new school superintendent from a field of five candidates which includes the interim superintendent and a former longtime Malden High School principal.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Malden Markey Senior Center auditorium, 7 Washington St.

The committee agenda originally slated the vote for March 30, following the public interview of the fifth and final candidate placed on the finalist list.

Instead, the committee voted to reconvene Monday night after Mayor Gary Christenson, School Committee chairman and the superintendent search committee chairperson, urged committee members to move the probable selection discussion past the weekend.

The 6-3 vote in favor of reconvening Monday came after the mayor and Ward 7 Committee member and search committee head Kathleen Bordonaro noted that Ward 5 Committee member Tara Beardsley had not had an opportunity to review interviews of candidates she missed due to her absence from Monday’s meeting.

“This discussion should be taken up next week since (Beardsley) has not seen the interviews,” Mayor Christenson said. “It would be distasteful to push for a vote tonight,” echoed Bordonaro.

The last superintendent candidate interviewed on Thursday was Somerville High Principal John Oteri.

Other finalists include Interim Malden Superintendent Charles Grandson IV, who has overseen the schools since last June; former Malden High Principal Dana Brown; Holbrook Superintendent Patricia Lally and former New Bedford Superintendent Portia Bonner.

Peabody superintendent search down to two

A number of common themes have arisen in the course of the interviews, with each candidate being asked how he or she would address the status of the Malden Public Schools as a Level Three underperforming district, with the hope of moving it up; the issue of diversity and the perceived lack thereof in the staff and administration; as well as issues such as special education student inclusion.

The candidate picked by the committee will replace former Malden Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi, who is now Saugus superintendent of schools after resigning the Malden post in June 2016.

In advance of Monday’s meeting, committee members discussed the superintendent selection voting process.

Under one proposal, committee members would each name their choice individually and the first candidate to get five votes would be the pick.

Christenson suggested an alternative “motion method” where a candidate could be nominated through a motion and a vote would be taken. A five-vote margin would again be required for selection.

Lynn student is on a mission

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
North Shore Christian School eighth-grader Rebecca Ibanez talks about her experiences in El Salvador.

By BILL BROTHERTON

LYNN — Most middle-school girls go to the mall.

Rebecca Ibanez goes to El Salvador.

The 13-year-old eighth-grader at North Shore Christian School just returned from a missions trip to the Central American nation. It was her fifth missions trip and more are planned, including a return this summer to either El Salvador or Spain.

Rebecca is going places in every sense of the word. Lynn Rotary recently honored her for her charitable/church work. A pianist/singer, she enters the distinguished Boston Arts Academy in the fall. Her love for music comes naturally; her dad, El Salvador native Hector, plays guitar and mom Daniela Ibanez (nee Lopez, a Lynn Tech grad) is trained in audio engineering. Rebecca’s goal is to attend Berklee College of Music and its after-school City Music program.

“I started piano when I was five or six,” said Rebecca. “I didn’t want to do it. I’d say, ‘No. It’s boring.’ But when I got into the youth ministry, I was able to enjoy it. I’ve played our churches in Lynn and Somerville, for about 400 of 500 members on a Sunday. It’s a big deal.

“I’m excited about going to the Boston Arts Academy. It’s a happy option, for me to go into something I’m passionate about,” added Rebecca, who reads music and is into jazz, blues and classical.

“You earned this yourself. Mama only filled out the applications,” added Daniela, who works for a demolition company in downtown Lynn.

During her most recent mission to San Miguel, El Salvador, Rebecca helped the family of Santiago Canello-Bonilla, a little boy who has had three strokes and suffered through serious medical issues in his young life.

“He’s doing really well. He’s six months old now,” said Rebecca, who added the full-length casts on his tiny legs have been removed.

Rebecca and her fellow missionaries also visited the homes of people in need, buying big bags of groceries. “Oil and rice mostly,” she said. “Those will last a long time.”

Hopping to help Lynn

Missions trips are undertaken by church groups comprised of members of the congregation who travel to a location to volunteer their efforts in completing a helpful community project while spreading the gospel of Jesus.

During a prior mission in Spain, Rebecca was reunited with youth leaders who reinforced religious teachings and helped youths in a small church. The trip culminated with Rebecca and two other students — a singer and drummer — entertaining families in Reus, about 90 minutes south of Barcelona.

The Ibanez family are members of Vida Real Church in Lynn, the sister church to a larger congregation in Somerville. Living a life of purpose is the goal and the church’s “Hope Movement” project helps people in need, building houses, providing medicine, clothing, food and financial assistance.

Rebecca brought to El Salvador $440 donated by her family and members of the church. The entire amount is given to one family, who are encouraged to share it with neighbors in need. “They know who needs it most,” said Daniela.

“I am so proud of my daughter, she’s amazing” added Daniela. “I’m excited for what’s to come in her life. She has been taught that it’s better to give than receive, and she’s taken that to a new level. We, as parents, don’t tell her to what to do. She says to us, ‘I’m going.’ Rebecca makes the choice to help. We feel so blessed.”

Rebecca seems embarrassed. “I don’t brag about it. I’m just, OK, cool. There’s no reward from bragging.”

Priscilla Miro, director of administration at North Shore Christian School, said, on this trip, Rebecca and her team used their gifts and talents to train others in youth leadership through leading a youth retreat and participating in community outreaches.

“This is Rebecca’s fifth missions trip and she knows that she has grown through her participation in these adventures,” Miro said.


Bill Brotherton is the Item’s Features editor. He can be reached at bbrotherton@itemlive.com.

NEC-GBL merger begins this spring

By STEVE KRAUSE

When the spring sports season gets into full swing next week, the new Northeastern Conference-Greater Boston League merger — approved last year — will officially be in effect.

The Northeastern Conference has absorbed the four remaining teams from the GBL (Everett, Malden, Medford and Somerville).

For the spring, teams in each sport will be placed in one of two divisions, called North and South. The breakdown for baseball and softball is: North: Peabody, Revere, English, Classical, Beverly, Marblehead, Everett and Medford; South: Danvers, Salem, Gloucester, Saugus, Swampscott, Winthrop, Somerville and Malden. All teams within the merged league will play each other once.

In boys and girls tennis, the breakdown is: North: Malden, Everett, Peabody, Danvers, English, Classical, Revere and Beverly; and South: Medford, Somerville, Salem, Swampscott, Marblehead, Gloucester, and Winthrop. All teams will play each other once.

In track, Beverly, Danvers, Everett, Gloucester, Malden, Marblehead, Peabody and Revere are in the North; and Classical, English, Medford, Salem, Saugus, Somerville, Swampscott and Winthrop are in the South.

The Lynn Jets boys lacrosse combine will be in the South division.

FBI: No matter where you hide, we will find you

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

REVERE A fugitive accused of stabbing his roommate with a steak knife several times in the back and hitting him in the head repeatedly with a hammer has been turned over to United States authorities, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Douglas Pereira Lemes, 26, was wanted for armed assault with intent to murder. He was arrested in Panama and is being held on $1 million bail, according to the Revere Police Department.

“Mr. Lemes’ return to the United States should send a clear message to fugitives: No matter where in the world you try to hide, we will find you and bring you back to face justice,” Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston division, said in a statement. “This is a great example of how multiple government agencies and nations worked together to make sure he answers to his alleged crimes.”

Revere police worked with the FBI to locate Lemes in his hometown, a small village, and bring him back to Massachusetts.

In June 2008, Lemes allegedly attacked his roommate with a hammer and steak knife, hitting him repeatedly in the head and stabbing him several times in the back at their home in Revere. An arrest warrant out of Chelsea District Court was issued for Lemes after he failed to appear for an arraignment on two charges of armed assault with intent to murder in February.

Female jogger indecently touched in Revere

Lemes, who had begun the process of attempting to gain legal status, was ordered to turn over his passport and he did, but, within days of doing so, flew from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lemes is an undocumented immigrant from Mantenopolis, Brazil. He settled in Revere at the age of 15 and lived in Somerville before fleeing the country.

In March 2016, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Lemes by the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. The charge has a maximum punishment of imprisonment for five years.


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

Classical tabs Ierardi to coach girls soccer

COURTESY PHOTO
Mark Ierardi was named the new girls soccer coach for the Lynn Classical Rams.  

By KATIE MORRISON

There has been some turnover at the head coach position for the Classical girls soccer team over the past few years. But a familiar face will be taking over the program this fall. Classical announced that Lynn native Mark Ierardi is the new head coach of the Rams.

Ierardi is no stranger to the Lynn soccer scene, having served as a coach in the Lynn Youth Soccer program for 17 years. The jump to high school won’t be too foreign to Ierardi, as he’s volunteered as the coach of the Classical girls soccer summer league program for the past three years. Ierardi, a 1979 Classical grad who played football, soccer and ran track for the Rams, said he’d been thinking he’d throw his hat in the ring if the coaching position opened up.

“I’ve been following the team for a number of years,” Ierardi said. “I thought if the job ever opened up, I’d see if I could get it. I think I can do good things with this group of girls.”

Having that youth coaching experience means that Ierardi has already coached the vast majority of the returning Rams in the past.

“I’m on a first-name basis with just about all of them, and vice versa,” Ierardi said of the returning players.

He also has another personal connection to the team. He’ll get to coach his niece, Abbey, who will be a junior. His other niece, Abbey’s sister Jenn, graduated from Classical in 2015 and was a key member of the Rams’ soccer team during her high school years.

Having a great deal of familiarity with the team already gives Ierardi and the Rams a jump start.

“Whenever you have a new coach, it takes a while to develop a rapport and a comfort level,” Ierardi said. “But I coached a lot of these girls in youth league, so there’s not that initial break-in, getting to know you period. They know my coaching style already.”

Ierardi says that coaching style consists of being proactive rather than reactive during the games.

“I’m the type of coach who likes to set the tempo,” Ierardi said. “I’d like to set the tone first. I like to play strong defense and use everyone on the bench. If you have three, four, five girls who never see the field, it’s not benefitting them or the team.”

Ierardi’s coaching philosophy includes taking every team, regardless of record, seriously, and not underestimating his team’s ability to compete in any game. That will come in handy as the Rams try to navigate the revamped Northeastern Conference, which now includes Everett, Somerville, Medford and Malden.

“We can’t control who we play, so we’ll play the schedule the way it’s laid out,” Ierardi said. “I say don’t look past any team; my motto is ‘fear nobody, respect everybody.’”

Ierardi comes into an interesting situation at Classical. The team will graduate four players this spring, and will have no returning seniors in the fall. While the lack of veterans might present a challenge, it also gives Ierardi the opportunity to keep the same group intact for two years.

“I think that’s very exciting,” Ierardi said. “We won’t have to start over after next year. There are a lot of freshmen and sophomores, and I’ll have them for at least a couple of years, so I hope we can get something done with this group. There’s a lot of talent.”

As of right now, Ierardi’s sights are set on making the tournament this fall.

“First and foremost, we want to get into the playoffs,” Ierardi said. “I think we have the talent to do that, but we have to stay healthy and play to our potential.”

Alma A. Purcell, 96

LYNNAlma A. (Valdora) Purcell, 96, resident of Lynn, died on Thursday, March 23.

She was born in Boston on Nov. 6, 1920, a daughter of the late Carlo and Angelina(Sasso)Valdora. She grew up and went to school in Revere and Somerville. Her first job after high school was sewing life vests for aviators in WWII. She met the love of her life, John J. Purcell, and they were married in July of 1947. They settled in Lynn where Alma became very active in her church (St. Joseph and later Holy Family in Lynn). She served on the convent guild at St. Joseph and helped with the fundraising activities for a new convent. She was also a member of the Blessed Virgin Sodality, our Lady’s Guild, at Holy Family Church. She served as a den mother for the Cub Scouts for many years. After her children were in high school, she went back to work, first at J. M. Fields in Swampscott and Medford and then at John Hancock in Boston until her retirement in 1985.

Alma loved to travel throughout the U.S., Canada, and Bermuda, and was able to visit her parents’ and grandparents’ childhood homes in Italy.

Alma was the beloved wife of John J. Purcell who died in 1967. Family members include: a son, John and his wife Robin Vidimos of Centennial, Colo.; a son, James and his wife Patricia of Merrimack, N.H.; and a daughter, Carolyn Purcell of Lynn; three grandchildren John, Michael and Sean; a sister, Doris Good of Wakefield; a sister, Rita and her husband Ralph Francesconi of Wakefield; her longtime friend, Helen Gangi of Lynn. Alma also had many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Service information: Alma’s funeral will be held on Thursday, March 30, from the CUFFE-McGINN Funeral Home, 157 Maple St., Lynn, at 9 a.m. followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at Holy Family Church, Lynn, to be celebrated by Fr. Joseph Cahill. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Lynn. Relatives and friends are invited. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, March 29, from 3 -7 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Alma’s memory to the American Heart Association, 300 5th Avenue, Suite 6, Waltham, MA 02451-8750 or via www.heart.org or to the American Diabetes Association, 260 Cochituate Road, #200, Framingham, Massachusetts, 01701 or via www.diabetes.org. For the online guestbook please visit cuffemcginn.com.

Classical softball feels optimistic

PHOTO BY SCOTT EISEN
Tori Adams from Lynn Classical throws the ball around during practice. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

After earning a low seed and making an early exit in last year’s Division 1 North softball tournament, the Lynn Classical Rams are back with more experience in 2017 and appear ready to make a run. Classical coach Erica Richard has a host of core players returning to key positions on the field this year, giving the Rams a chance to improve on the mistakes of last year.

“Last year, we were still trying to figure things out,” said Richard, now in her third year at the helm. “We only had one upperclassmen in the infield last year, and this year we have every infield player returning. With that plus some experience in the outfield and some solid pitching, I think we can have a very successful season.”

The Rams went 11-10 last season, good enough for the No. 16 seed in the Division 1 North tournament. They were handed an early exit by Northeastern Conference foe, 17th-seeded Beverly, in the preliminary round, 3-2. The Rams lost on a fluky double play in the midst of a seventh-inning rally.

This year’s infield will be led by senior captain Alaina Gridley, who is coming off a very good season at first base. Not only will Gridley provide the composure and leadership necessary on the field, but Richard knows that Gridley is also the perfect person to lead the way off the field.

“She’s obviously a great player and that’s huge for us, but she’s really a great person to have leading the girls in general,” Richard said. “She did a great job with it last year as a junior captain, and I think her added experience will only help her and the team this season.”

As far as the outfield is concerned, it is senior Emma DeJoie who will be the steady veteran presence leading the way.

“With the infield having so much experience playing together, it will be nice to have Emma in the outfield to help the less experienced players who will be out there with her,” Richard said.

Also playing a key role for the Rams this season will be the pitcher-catcher battery of juniors Meghan Leavitt and Tori Adams. Leavitt is coming off a monster season both behind the plate and in the batter’s box, while Adams is now in her third year in the circle at the varsity level and continues to improve her game over time. But the real key, as is the case with any battery, is that the two work together so well.

“This is their third year together now, so they really know each other on the field,” said Richard. “They already work really well together, so it’ll be exciting to see what they can do out on the field this year.”

Spring has officially sprung for Classical softball, as the team held its first practice of the year on Monday afternoon in the Classical gym. That gives the Rams exactly three weeks to prepare for the season opener, which will take place on April 10 at Somerville.

Lynn principal candidate for Peabody super

ITEM PHOTO BY ADAM SWIFT
Pictured is Harrington Elementary School Principal Debra Ruggiero.

By ADAM SWIFT

PEABODY — Harrington Elementary School Principal Debra Ruggiero, a longtime fixture in Lynn education, is one of six candidates looking to take over the top spot in the Peabody schools.

Ruggiero was one of three candidates interviewed by the Peabody School Committee Wednesday night for the superintendent’s position. The committee will interview the remaining three candidates Monday night at City Hall.

“I’m a 24-year resident of Peabody with 32 years of experience in education,” said Ruggiero. “I am humbled and honored that you have chosen me as a viable candidate for the superintendent post.”

Ruggiero has experience as a regular education, curriculum and instruction, and special education teacher, as well as a principal.

“I have always been a proactive, collaborative, data-driven and reflective educator,” she said. “Through these practices, I’ve been able to work with teachers, parents, district and state in helping a school move from a Level 4 school to a Level 1 school.”

All Massachusetts districts and schools with sufficient data are classified into one of five accountability and assistance levels, with the highest performing in Level 1 and the lowest performing in Level 5.

At the Harrington School, Ruggiero said she has been able to put into practice her educational philosophy of focusing on the whole child, not just the academic side of a student. She also said schools must look at teaching to the individual abilities of the students and innovative ways to help them learn.

“It’s not about the the tests,” Ruggiero said. “It’s about teaching skills and strategies where students can learn no matter what is in front of them.”

Lynn fashionistas strut their prom stuff

As the only Peabody resident in the field of six candidates being interviewed, Ruggiero said she has a deep connection to the city. Her children went through the Peabody school system and Ruggiero has been involved in youth sports, among other activities.

The school committee also interviewed Laura Chesson, an assistant superintendent in Arlington, and Arthur Unobskey, an assistant superintendent in Gloucester, on Wednesday night.

The committee is scheduled to interview Peter Badalament, former principal of Concord-Carlisle High School; Lourenco Garcia, principal at Revere High School; and John Oteri, headmaster at Somerville High School, on Monday.

The six candidates were selected from 19 applicants by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC), which was hired by the city to oversee the superintendent search process. It is expected that after the interviews are finished, the school committee will conduct site visits in the home districts of several of the candidates, with an eye toward hiring a replacement for interim superintendent Herb Levine within the next three to four weeks.

Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt Jr. said he was happy with the quality of the candidates brought forward by the MASC.

The new superintendent would start work in Peabody on July 1.

Lynn having fun with Fluff

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Fluff is injected into the containers at the Durkee-Mower factory in Lynn.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

LYNN — It’s just four ingredients, but for 100 years, sweet-toothed New Englanders have been stuck on Fluff.

Made in Lynn, the sticky, sweet marshmallow spread was invented in 1917 by Archibald Query. On May 14, 1920, the Daily Evening Item announced that two young men, H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower, had formed a partnership to manufacture Marshmallow Fluff after purchasing the recipe.

The exact date they began the endeavor is unknown, but in 1930, Durkee wrote that they had started a decade prior with one barrel of sugar, a few tin cans, two spoons, one second-hand Ford, no customers, but plenty of prospects.

Today, Durkee-Mower, Inc. has more than 20 employees who manufacture between 35,000 and 40,000 pounds of Fluff each day.

Durkee’s son, Donald Durkee, serves as the company’s president; his grandson, Jon Durkee, as treasurer and vice president.

Allen Durkee’s other son, Bruce, was the president until the 1970s, when he handed over the duties to Donald. Their youngest brother, Larry, pursued a career in welding, rather than the sweet family business.

Over the years, nephews, sons, grandsons and great-grandsons have made summer commitments to the factory, doing odd jobs like painting the walls of a tunnel that leads to the factory by hand, Jon Durkee said.

Lynn speller bound for big stage

The family uses the sticky white spread as most households do.

“We have fluffernutters and hot chocolate with Fluff,” said Jon Durkee, who was 2 years old when his grandfather died, but has continued the work of his legacy for most of his life. “I still use if for Rice Krispies, fudge occasionally, sweet potatoes. We do a lot of cooking with it actually.”

Allen Durkee and Mower were graduates of Swampscott High School. They went on to serve in the U.S. Army together during World War I. When they returned home, Mower took a job in Boston at the Purity Distilling Company, around the time of The Great Molasses Flood.

In 1919, a tank carrying 2 million gallons of molasses burst on Boston’s waterfront. A wave 15 feet high and 160 feet wide traveled through the North End, causing more than $100 million worth of damage and killing 21 people.

Through the job, Mower met Query, who invented Fluff at his Somerville home in 1917 and sold it door-to-door. Wartime shortages forced him to close down and by the time the war ended, he was uninterested in trying to start the business over again.

Query sold the recipe to Durkee and Mower, who pooled their money to cover the $500 cost. They tried calling the product Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff, but the name didn’t stick.

The receipt from their first sale is framed in the company’s small collection of memorabilia; as is the check for $3 from a Bradford, N.H., ski lodge that purchased the three gallons of Fluff.

The factory moved from Swampscott to Brookline Street in Lynn in the 1920s and the staff grew to 10 members. About a decade later, near the end of industrial sugar rationing, a new factory adjacent to the old one was constructed. All Marshmallow Fluff is still created there today on some of the machinery custom made for the company in the ’50s to ’70s.

The simple, four-ingredient recipe uses sugar syrup, corn syrup (not high fructose), eggs and vanilla. The sugar syrup is cooked to a certain temperature and the corn syrup is added. After it’s cooked, it’s pumped upstairs to the kettle where egg whites and vanilla are added.

Containers are filled using a 60-year-old machine. They follow a conveyer belt where they’re sealed, labeled with an expiration date, covered and move on to be packed invertedly in cardboard boxes. The boxes travel through a tunnel to a warehouse, built in 1966.

Durkee-Mower dabbled in the hot cocoa biz, producing Sweetco from 1937 to 1962 but couldn’t compete with Swiss Miss, according to John Durkee.

They began manufacturing strawberry flavored fluff in 1991. While it’s still made, it’s not very popular in the New England area, Durkee said.

Today most of the company’s sales are in the Northeast region of the United States, but Fluff can be found in stores down through Florida and west through Illinois. About 10 percent of sales are international in countries including Canada, England, Germany, Japan and South Africa.


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

Malden hopeful for new recovery center

By STEVE FREKER

MALDEN — When someone struggling with opioid addiction checks out of a detox or rehabilitation facility, their options can be limited to, “what next?”

Many return to the situation they were in before they sought detox or rehab. The cycle often continues, according to Paul Hammersley, president of Malden Overcoming Addiction (MOA).

That is why MOA is pushing for the creation of a recovery center  that could potentially serve as a hub for recovering addicts in communities across the region.

“There’s a recovery center in South Boston and there’s another one in Lawrence; that’s it,” Hammersley said. “There is just nowhere else for people to go for guidance, counseling or assistance directly related to getting their lives back together.”

Let the transformation begin in Malden

MOA officials say there are many communities the Malden recovery center could assist, including Everett, Lynn, Medford, Melrose, Revere, Saugus, Somerville and others in Greater Boston and the North Shore.

Local and state officials strongly back the potential for a recovery center in Malden, Hammersley said. Malden Mayor Gary Christenson has been a steady supporter at every step so far, he said.

State Sen. Jason Lewis and the Malden House delegations of Reps. Paul Donato, Steve Ultrino and Paul Brodeur have also endorsed the proposal, Hammersley said.

Lewis has joined with the Malden legislative delegation to lobby for a state budget inclusion of $1.5 million to provide funding for several of these centers in the region. Funding would come from the state Department of Public Health.

“It is still very, very early in the process, but we are very excited with the strong support we have gotten initially,” Hammersley said, adding that a 5,000-square-foot site has already been identified in Malden. The recovery center would be named the Bridge Recovery Center.

“This would not be just a meeting place and would have no residential aspect,” Hammersley said. “It would be an active, multifaceted hub where people in recovery could get services that could help them in the process.”  

Hammersley said he and other officials, including Christenson, Donato, and Malden Police Chief Kevin Molis toured the Devine Recovery Center in South Boston as part of the planning. They were impressed with the vibrant, upbeat atmosphere, Hammersley said.

“We got there at 11 o’clock in the morning and over 50 people had already signed in; that tells you the need for these types of services,” he said.

Hammersley also said the recovery center would be a natural base for the 30 recovery coaches MOA expects to have trained by the end of April. They would be on site and could be called in when needed, he said.

Hammersley also said that MOA has worked to establish support partnerships with local health and service agencies such as Cambridge Health Alliance, the Malden YMCA and others to serve as links to a future recovery center.

“It is still very early and too soon to tell if this can be a reality,” he said. “But we can really help people and save lives if this comes here.”

Warren: Trump is trying to bully mayors

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tours the Lynn Community Health Center.

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN — As President Donald Trump signed a new version of his controversial travel ban Monday while Sen. Elizabeth Warren was in town, the CEO of the Lynn Community Health Center said she fears for her staff’s family and patients who have uncertain immigration status.

“I’ve never been so upset about anything in my life,” said Lori Abrams Berry. “There’s a level of tension that everyone in this health center and in Lynn is feeling about this.”

Berry made her remarks during a roundtable conversation with Warren, local officials and clinic executives. The liberal Democratic senator toured the facility to learn how doctors are integrating services among specialties as well as with other health care providers.

Warren used portions of her 90 minutes in Lynn to unleash on Trump’s promise to withhold funds to so-called sanctuary cities, communities including Boston and Somerville, whose police forces refuse to assist federal immigration agents or inquire about immigration status.

“The Trump administration is trying to bully local mayors into changing policing so they’ll double down, so it’s no longer just the federal agents doing this,” she said. “That’s clearly unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government cannot condition grants in one area on compliance in other areas … I met with mayors last week who are prepared to go to court the minute federal dollars are withheld to sanctuary cities.”

Berry’s comments came after the television news crews exited the room.

“One of our board members’ brother-in-law got picked up and is in detention because he was stopped for a minor traffic violation and didn’t have a license,” she said. “All the agencies in Lynn are very concerned about this. We need a rapid response network so we can start to help families. We are starting to feel like we need to give people information on their rights.”

Hundreds of jobs coming to Medford

Trump’s latest executive order on immigration and refugees still restricts new visas for citizens from six Muslim-majority countries and shuts down the nation’s refugee program.

The revised travel order leaves Iraq off the list of banned countries but still affects visitors from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.

Last month, in a speech to police chiefs, Trump asked for their help in identifying and deporting illegal immigrants.

“I want you to turn in the bad ones,” Trump said. “We’re going to stop those drugs from poisoning our youth, from poisoning our people. We’re going to be ruthless in that fight. We have no choice, and we’re going to take that fight to the drug cartels and work to liberate our communities from their terrible grip of violence.”

In a question and answer session with reporters following the tour, Warren said she recently met with Seema Verma, Trump’s pick to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid. Trump has said he favors restructuring funding for the Medicaid program, which provides health coverage to the poor and disabled, through block grants.

“I made it clear that I will try to work with her if she is confirmed and do everything possible to keep our community health centers in Massachusetts fully supported, and that means not doing block grants,” she said. “If people need healthcare, we need to find the most effective and economical ways to do it, but make sure we are able to deliver healthcare. We don’t say: ‘You’ve met some arbitrary cap with the state of Massachusetts, and now you’re done.’”

On Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his New York home, Warren dismissed the allegation.

“It’s becoming clearer every day that President Trump is failing and he knows it,” she said. “That’s what these wild accusations are about.”


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

Restaurant owner announces city council bid

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Taso Nikolakopoulos is the latest candidate for councilor-at-large.

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN Taso Nikolakopoulos is the latest candidate to throw his hat in the ring for an at-large seat on the City Council.

“I see a lot of disconnect between the council, the mayor’s office and the community,” said the 47-year-old owner of John’s Roast Beef & Seafood. “We need more of a collaborative effort and I really think I can change things.”

Married with two children, Nikolakopoulos said he will focus his campaign on a handful of issues that promise to advance the city.

“The key is economic growth,” he said.

First, the city must invest in a planning department, he said.  While other communities like Salem and Somerville have robust planning divisions that guide development, he said Lynn is lacking.

“When you call the city of Salem and tell them you plan to invest $2 million, you get someone who will guide you through the process,” she said. “Within a few steps, you know where you stand.”

On how the cash-strapped city would pay for a new department, he said, “I think we can find $300,000 in a $300 million budget.”

The other thing needed to spur growth, he said, is streamlined permitting.

“It still takes as much as four times longer to get permits in  Lynn than competing municipalities,” he said.

Figueroa for stronger community connections

Nikolakopoulos would also update the city’s plans for the Lynnway and add manufacturing to the mix of allowed uses on the non-waterside section of the busy road.

“My idea is to create a unique overlay district for manufacturing to bring in revenue,” he said.

On schools, he favors the controversial ballot question scheduled for March 14 to support construction of two new middle schools at a cost of $188.5 million.

“I am voting yes,” he said.

If approved, a 652-student school would be built near on Parkland Avenue and a second facility to serve 1,008 students would be constructed on Commercial Street. While parents in the Pickering Middle School district support the project, there’s opposition from many Pine Hill residents who oppose the new school on Pine Grove Cemetery land near Breeds Pond Reservoir.

Nikolakopoulos said he also favors teaching trades at Lynn English and Classical high schools.

“Teaching trade skills at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute is not enough,” he said. “We need to offer it at the other high schools. Not every family can afford a four-year college.”

On how to pay for expanded services, he suggested returning  parking meters to the downtown as a way to generate revenue.

Nikolakopoulos emigrated to the U.S. from Kalamata, Greece in the 1970s with his parents at age 4 during a time of political unrest in the southeast European nation.

He was enrolled in a Greek bilingual program at Washington Elementary School, attended St. Mary’s High School and later graduated from the College of St. Joseph’s, a small Catholic school in Vermont, where he was soccer captain.

After graduation, he worked a few jobs at the State House, including as a research analyst for the Joint Committee on Transportation. All the while, he helped his family at the restaurant.

“I’ve been working more than 70 hours a week since I was 22,” he said. “I don’t have free weekends, unless I go away.”

Nikolakopoulos joins what is expected to be a crowded field that includes incumbents Brian LaPierre, Buzzy Barton, Hong Net and Daniel Cahill. It’s unclear whether Cahill, who was elected as a state representative last year, will seek reelection.

In addition, Jaime Figueroa, a 28-year-old Suffolk University student, hopes to be the city’s first Latino councilor and Brian Field, who works at Solimine Funeral Homes, said he is considering a run.


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

Green Line project short list to help Medford

By STEVE FREKER

BOSTON — The state has picked a contractor short list to build a multi-billion dollar Green Line extension project stretching to College Avenue in Medford as well as East Cambridge and Somerville.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) announced “three highly-qualified teams” to complete the roughly $2.3 billion trolley extension project, which would add light rail service from Cambridge to Somerville and Medford.

The short list is: GLX Constructors, made up of Fluor Enterprises Inc., The Middlesex Corporation, Herzog Contracting Corp. and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc.; Green Line Partners, made up of The Lane Construction Corporation, Salini Impregilo, S.p.A, Judlau Contracting, Inc. and LMH-C.M.C.; di Ravenna Joint Venture, which is made up of LM Heavy Civil Construction, LLC and Cooperativa Muratori & Cementisti-C.M.C di Ravenna Societa Cooperativa; and Walsh Barletta Granite, JV, made up of Walsh Construction Company II, LLC, Barletta Heavy Division, Inc. and Granite Construction Inc.

The Green Line extension was delayed because of ballooning costs, and the MBTA is now moving ahead with a revised version of the project while hoping to secure $1 billion in federal funding.

Finding left from right on the streets of Lynn

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo told the State House News Service about $700 million has been spent or committed, leaving about $1.5 billion for design-build costs, professional services and real estate.

White-Skanska-Kiewit, JV, the previous contractor, was precluded from major participation as were its member firms, J.F. White Contracting Company, Skanska USA Civil, Northeast and Kiewit Infrastructure Co., according to the T.

Officials evaluated statements of qualifications for the project and the three top design-build teams were selected to compete for the designation. The contract will ultimately be awarded to a single firm which will formulate the plan to design and construct the Green Line extension project.

The three qualified teams will be eligible to receive a request for proposals, according to Pesaturo, who said, “The procurement process and schedule does not contemplate adding more teams.”

“The strong interest in the project from these highly-regarded firms underscores that the project is being taken as seriously by the design build industry as it is by MassDOT and the MBTA,” program manager John Dalton said in a statement. “These firms have the well-earned reputation for delivering complex projects in the United States and abroad.”

Condo sales sail in Lynn

ITEM GRAPHIC
This graphic shows the increase in North Shore condominium sales from 2015-2016. 

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN — Condominium sales in the city made the biggest splash on the North Shore last year as buyers sought alternatives to higher prices closer to Boston.

The number of condos sold in 2016 soared by a whopping 48 percent in Lynn to 225 units, up from 152 in 2015, according to The Warren Group, the Boston-based real estate tracking firm.

Perhaps the most attractive thing about Lynn condos was the low cost, say agents. The median price of a condo last year was $180,000, up less than 1 percent from $178,500 in 2015.

In contrast, buyers faced sticker shock in competing cities that are out of reach for many potential buyers. In Chelsea, the median was $317,000, East Boston reached $416,000, Somerville was $580,000 and South Boston topped out at $631,000.

“Buyers are choosing Lynn because it’s more affordable,” said Michael Connor, owner-manager at Connor Real Estate in Lynn. “There’s great value for your money here compared to other cities.”

Colleen Toner, broker-owner of Toner Real Estate in Lynn, said the soaring cost of apartments in Lynn is driving condo sales. A tenant paying $1,500 in rent would pay less than $1,200 per month for a $200,000 condo with 5 percent down.

The other factor that drove sales last year was low interest rates, Toner said.

The average mortgage interest rate in 2016 was 3.65 percent. That’s down from 4.17 percent in 2014, according to Freddie Mac, the federal agency that provides mortgage capital to lenders.

Revere was the only other North Shore city to demonstrate a strong sales condo market as 204 units sold last year compared to 156 in 2015, a 31 percent hike. While sales increased, median prices fell by 4.4 percent to $267,200 last year, down from $279,500 in 2015.

Four communities, including Peabody, Swampscott, Lynnfield and Marblehead, saw sales fall but prices rise.

In Peabody, 154 units sold in 2016, down more than 9 percent from 2015 levels when sales reached 170. But the median price rose to $267,750 last year, up from $254,500 in 2015, a 5.2 percent hike.

Sales of condos in Swampscott slipped to 62 last year from 69 in 2015, a 10 percent drop, as median prices increased by 4 percent to $255,000 last year, up from $244,900 in 2015.

Lynnfield condo sales fell by 30 percent with 14 units sold last year, down from 20 in 2015. But the median price increased by 60 percent to $709,900, up from $440,000 in 2015.

In Marblehead, 52 condos sold last year, down from 57 in 2015, a nearly 9 percent dip while median prices rose to $350,750, a 14 percent increase over the 2015 level of $307,500.

Sales were flat in Nahant, which has a small condo market. Just six units sold last year, the same as in 2015. But median prices showed the biggest increase on the North Shore and reached $370,000 last year, up from $209,300, a 77 percent jump.  

Only Saugus experienced fewer sales and a drop in the median price. A total of 54 condos sold last year, down from 56 in 2015 while the median fell to $286,000 last year from $323,750 in 2015, a nearly 12 percent dip.

Saugus staking out a Hilltop vision


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

Region digs in to to dig out

ITEM PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
John Bray, with snow up to the top of his 18-inch boots, clears his driveway on Quinn Road as a plow adds to his work.

By GAYLA CAWLEY

Parking during Thursday’s major snowstorm was a headache for some Lynn residents.

David Garcia, 36, parked at Connery Elementary School, on Wednesday night after the city’s parking ban was announced. He went to take his car out the next afternoon to drive to Stop & Shop in Jamaica Plain, where he works for U.S. Security Associates, but found that it was blocked in. A row of cars, had parked in front of cars in spaces, seemingly after drivers were unable to find any parking in the lot.

David Garcia clears his car so he could head to work. Item photo by Jim Wilson.

Garcia was left confused with what he could do to get to work. When he spoke with The Item, he was already supposed to be at his job. He said he parked his car in a way that it would be easy to get it out, and never had an issue with being blocked in a lot during a snowstorm before.

“When they remove the emergency, everybody has to take the car out,” Garcia said. “If they say tonight at 9 o’clock, so I’m working at that time. So, maybe they tow my car.”

Garcia was one of many residents taking advantage of parking in the city’s schoolyards during the snowstorm.

The School Committee voted last month to keep the city’s school parking lots open for emergency snow parking for the remainder of the year. The issue was raised in early January when parking during snow emergencies was limited to the city’s middle and high schools. In the past, parking has been allowed at some, but not all, elementary schools.

During a snowstorm in early January, city councilors and members of the school committee heard from dozens of residents who were left without a place to park. At the time, a few councilors made the decision to open the chains blocking off the lots.

Fnu Atal clears his car at Ingalls School. Item photo by Jim Wilson.

Fnu Atal, 30, was parked in Ingalls Elementary School on Thursday afternoon, but not before he received a parking ticket for leaving his car on the street earlier that morning during the parking ban. The ban went into effect at midnight on Thursday. But he said he was working the night shift and was unaware there was one in place.

Atal said he got off from working as a security guard in Somerville at 7 a.m. and then had a doctor’s appointment shortly after. When he went home from the doctor, he got a ticket on his car.

“Every day I park on the street,” Atal said. “This never happened before.”

Atal said before the parking ticket, he already paid more than $200 for highway tickets, on top of his monthly expenses, on an hourly wage of $12. How can he support his family, he asked.

“I’m not happy,” Atal said about parking at the schools.

Check here for Friday parking news, closings and cancellations.


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

Marblehead Rotary reaching out to refugees

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Bob Erbetta and Rosaleen Doherty of the Marblehead Rotary pack supplies for refugee camps in Turkey and Syria.

By GAYLA CAWLEY

MARBLEHEAD — The Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor is working to help Syrian refugees.

Starting today, the Rotary Club, in coordination with SPUR, a Marblehead-based organization, is collecting supplies through the end of the month to fill a shipping container to help refugees in Syria.

The club is working with NuDay Syria, a nonprofit that works to alleviate the suffering and displacement in Syria. Each month, NuDay sends supplies through an established transportation network to refugee camps in Turkey and Syria. The organization is particularly focused on Syrian women and girls, who are often overlooked and have few skills and little experience providing for their families, according to information from the Rotary Club.

Although organizers say the fundraiser has been in the works for months, the effort has become more timely in light of President Donald Trump’s recent Executive Order, temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries, including Syria.

“I can see what the president wanted to do,” said Robert Erbetta, Rotary Club member and one of the leaders for the collection effort. “I can’t fault him for wanting the country to be more secure.”

Erbetta said it’s a timeout until the country has a better vetting process. He said the feeling of club members is that they’d like to help the people in Syria and the Middle East by sending supplies. Some of those people have nothing, he said.

Rosaleen Doherty, service committee chairwoman for the Rotary Club, said there’s been Rotary interest in helping Syrian refugees for almost a year. She said the challenge was figuring out how to get the supplies from the U.S. to Syria. Then, she learned about NuDay Syria and about how they could get the needed items to refugee camps.

Doherty said the goal is to collect 800 boxes of supplies, which would fill a shipping container. Volunteers with Rotary and SPUR would collect and sort the items, before the supplies are sent to NuDay Syria, which is then responsible for getting them to the refugees.

“As citizens, we have the power to help no matter what the administration is doing,” Doherty said. “We talked about the Syrian refugee crisis last year and we didn’t really know what we could do to help … What we can do is send our stuff there. We’re Americans. We have mountains of it. I can’t think of a better use for it.

“We think with the Syrian refugees is that the suffering these people are going through is beyond our comprehension,” she continued. “We have the ability and channel to help.”

Heidi Whear, co-chairperson of the club’s collection project, said she’s been extremely passionate about what’s going on in Syria for awhile.

“Honestly, we’ve had this planned for numerous months,” said Whear. “It’s kind of timely that all of this is happening. I think it’s necessary regardless of what Trump is saying.”

Whear said the most tragic thing from the travel ban is the stories about families who left Syria and came to the U.S. with the expectation that the rest of their family would be joining them eventually. Now, they won’t be allowed in, she said.

“It’s tragic,” she said. “It’s devastating. Hopefully things will get turned around.”

Supplies that are needed are new or like-new clothing for adult women and men, children and infants; hats, gloves, mittens, shoes, bags and purses; bedding, soccer balls, stuffed animals, crayons, pencils and non-battery toys. Items also needed include diapers, female hygiene supplies, soap bars, powdered detergent, toothbrushes, over-the-counter medication, vitamins, wheelchairs and walkers.

The Rotary Clubs ask that wheelchairs and walkers be dropped off at The First Church Swampscott Congregational, 40 Monument Ave., between 10 a.m. and noon weekdays.

For other donated items, collection boxes are set up in Marblehead at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA, 40 Leggs Hill Road; 5 Trager Road; National Grand Bank, 91 Pleasant St.; St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 135 Lafayette St.; and Marblehead Community Center, 10 Humphrey St. In Swampscott, boxes are located at Atlantic Hearing Care, Inc., Suite 1G, 900 Paradise Road and Eastern Bank, 405 Paradise Road. Boxes are also at three Right at Home Senior Care locations — third floor at 19 Front St. in Salem, 350 Main St. in Haverhill at the back entrance and 120 Middlesex Ave. in Somerville.

The Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor and SPUR websites will be updated regularly with new donation drop-off locations. Volunteers are needed. For questions about donations, contact Doherty at Right at Home Senior Care at 978-234-0672 or 978-744-5151.

Discussing the Trump administration


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

Caponigro, Swampscott hold on to down Saugus

FILE PHOTO
Jaymie Caponigro scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the winning effort. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

SWAMPSCOTT — The Swampscott girls basketball team kicked off Thursday’s game with a 22-point quarter, but still had to hold on for a 44-37 win over the Saugus Sachems at Swampscott High.

“We started out really strong in that first half, especially with that big first quarter,” said Swampscott coach Katelyn Leonard. “Then in that second half we had to weather the storm. Saugus is a great team and they’re relentless, but we were able to hold them off.”

Jaymie Caponigro led the way, with a near double-double at 20 points and nine rebounds. Caponigro also played a great defensive game for the Big Blue (6-7).

“That’s probably the best I’ve seen her shoot, she was on fire today,” said Leonard. “And I think that also helped open things up for other girls, which is always what you want.”

Olivia Matella contributed 10 points and three rebounds, while Hannah Leahy scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds.

For Saugus (10-4), Olivia Valente just missed a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds, while Krissy Italiano had nine points and seven rebounds. Alessia Salzillo had seven points and three rebounds.

“I think all of us can acknowledge that this wasn’t our best performance out there, coaching or playing,” said Saugus coach Mark Schruender. “Swampscott is a great team and we know we always have to be ready for a battle against them, but we just didn’t execute well enough tonight.”

The Big Blue came out firing in this one, opening the game with a 7-0 run en route to a 22-7 lead after the first quarter. Saugus improved its rebounding a bit in the second quarter, but Swampscott was able to keep hitting shots and kept the lead at 15 points at halftime, 29-14.

“Swampscott has some unbelievable players, and they all can shoot,” said Schruender. “They have plenty of players who can go out there and beat you, and that’s what they did tonight.”

The Sachems made their comeback in the fourth quarter. Still down 13 points to start the final frame, Saugus shut things down on defense and cut the deficit to six points with five minutes remaining.

But Swampscott, despite not scoring a point for the majority of the fourth quarter, was able to hold on to the ball and walk away with a seven-point win.

Swampscott will match up with Winthrop on Tuesday, while Saugus will face off against Somerville on Monday.

A long view on an immediate problem

No one was surprised on Wednesday to find state Sen. Thomas M. McGee listening attentively as a state long-range transportation planner talked about Massachusetts’ transit spending goals over the next 23 years.

McGee has sounded the alarm about insufficient statewide transportation spending for years and called on state, federal and local officials, as well as Massachusetts residents and business owners, to get serious about improving roads, bridges, rail networks and other infrastructure.

“We can’t just continue to play catch-up,” McGee says when he talks about the cost to the economy and public safety of delaying or pushing off to the next generation the billions of dollars needed to be spent on transportation.

State transportation officials are touring the state, with Wednesday’s stop in Lynn, to get ideas about how to shape a transportation investment plan for 2040. Looking ahead 23 years on transportation investment is fine with McGee. But he says now is the time to plan and adopt serious spending strategies.

McGee said Gov. Baker didn’t spend a lot of time talking about transportation in his Tuesday night State of the State speech to McGee and fellow legislators. Not one to wait around for others to grab the reins and get the horses galloping, McGee has filed legislation creating a Metropolitan Transportation Network focused on improvements in the region lying inside Route 128.

Baker states his case

The big highway circling Greater Boston is an antiquated testament to the days when cars were king and climate change wasn’t a household phrase. McGee’s vision for the Network includes looking at opportunities to add more tolls and generate the money that must be spent on infrastructure work.

No one wants to pay tolls but McGee consistently points out how North Shore drivers pay an unfair share of tolls while suburban drivers, with the exception of ones who use the Massachusetts Turnpike, are not burdened by tolls.

Tolls and other spending answers like gasoline tax hikes are not popular. But Massachusetts, in McGee’s view — and ours — cannot wait a quarter century to get highways, rail networks and bridges in a state of good repair.

There are short term improvements that can be tackled. State Rep. Brendan Crighton on Wednesday said existing rail networks, like the Rockport-Ipswich commuter line, could conceivably run lighter train cars at more frequent intervals to handle ridership more efficiently than existing commuter lines.

The long-term answers lie in a Blue Line extension to Lynn similar to the extensions to Somerville that helped revive that community. No innovative transportation idea can be discounted, McGee said, if the state and its residents want to avoid gridlock and even catastrophe.

Athanasios A. Bouras, 66

Dr. Athanasios (Arthur) Bouras, formerly of Salem, died on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, surrounded by his loving family in Athens, Greece after a brief battle with liver cancer.

Born in Athens, Greece on Dec. 28, 1950, he was the son of the late Elias and Chrysavgi Bouras. He attended the University of Athens Medical School where he graduated with honors specializing in internal medicine and pulmonary diseases. He then went on and received his PhD. After moving to Boston he joined Somerville hospital where he worked for several years. He was also very active in many community and hospital groups. During his years of practice he developed a special relationship with his patients. Having touched the lives of so many people with his kindness, brilliance and philanthropy during his years, he will be forever fondly remembered and missed by his family, friends and many patients here and in Greece.

He is survived by his beloved wife Connie Armenis, with whom he shared 35 years of marriage, his three children, Chrissa, Lee and Nicole, son-in-law Stelios Souliotis, two grandchildren, Despina and Dimitris, three sisters and many nieces and nephews.

Service information: The funeral was held in Athens, Greece on Jan. 16. In memory of Athanasios Bouras the family requests that any donations be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Lynn 01902.

 

Jets show no fatigue, blank Somerville

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Lynn’s Sean Devin is trailed by Somerville’s Derek Doane as he readies to take a shot.

By KATIE MORRISON

LYNN — After suffering a loss on the road Sunday, Lynn Jets coach Joe Conlon knew the key to bouncing back was getting on the board early against Somerville, in Lynn’s second game in as many days.

The Jets showed no signs of fatigue as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead after one and added another two goals in the second period to cruise to a 3-0 win over the Highlanders Monday at Connery Rink.

“It was good, that first goal is always big, and to get a lead after a loss is always important,” Conlon said. “I liked the way we skated today.”

The Jets were in the driver’s seat from the opening faceoff, and dominated possession through all three periods. The first line of Jon Kosmas, Sean Devin and Brian Clougherty did a good job of setting the tone early, giving Somerville goaltender Kyle Lentini all he could handle.

“Our first line kind of dictated the play,” Conlon said. “Even penalty killing, they were a force. They set the tone like that, and it gets us going in the right direction.”

After threatening for much of the first period, the Jets finally broke through in the 10th minute. Defenseman Ryan Craig sent a pass around the boards where Clougherty collected it at the left faceoff circle, and Clougherty slipped a shot past Lentini.

“I thought we controlled a lot of the action in their zone, and when we have time to make some plays you usually generate some shots,” Conlon said. “I thought our legs were pretty good in the offensive zone, which is good to see coming off a back-to-back. I thought we had a better jump today than we did yesterday.”

Just a few minutes later, the Jets created another good scoring opportunity. John DiFilippo brought the puck up the ice and hit Travis Ryan with a cross, who was open all alone. Ryan’s shot went just wide of the net.

The offense didn’t slow down in the second. In the opening minute of the period, Lynn’s Kevin Morgan absorbed a huge hit from a Somerville defender that knocked him on his back and resulted in a penalty for the Highlanders. On the ensuing faceoff to start the Jets’ power play, DiFilippo found Steve Patrie at the left point, and Patrie rifled in a slap shot to put the Jets up by two early in the second.

The Jets were firmly in control throughout the rest of the period, keeping the pressure on and shutting down any traces of offense the Highlanders could generate.

Seven minutes into the period, Lynn struck again. The first line of Devin, Kosmas and Clougherty were threatening and moving the puck well. Finally, Devin picked up a pass from Kosmas and dumped one in from Lentini’s right, giving Lynn a 3-0 lead.

The Jets had plenty of chances down the stretch as well. Devin had a chance for his second as Clougherty sent in a shot with Devin skating to the crease, but Lentini denied the junior forward. Early in the third, DiFilippo tried to knock in a careening rebound, but couldn’t find the back of the net. But it wouldn’t matter, as Somerville was unable to get anything going down the other end of the ice.

Lynn now begins a string of Northeastern Conference matchups, starting with Beverly on the road Wednesday.


Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com. 

Morrison: No shortage of contenders in the NEC

FILE PHOTO
Jack Stafford of the Lynn Jets continues to play like an MVP as he looks to carry his team to the top of the Northeastern Conference. 

By KATIE MORRISON

Once the tournament rolls around, one thing will be certain: any Northeastern Conference boys hockey team that makes the cut will surely be battle-tested.

The NEC is shaping up to be one of the strongest leagues in hockey this season. In the NEC/North, Danvers, Saugus, Marblehead and Winthrop are all in the mix for a league title and eventually a playoff berth, while in the NEC/South, it’s looking like a battle between Lynn and Swampscott.

The race between Swampscott and Lynn should be a good one. The Jets aren’t even halfway through their schedule, but aside from a rematch with Latin Academy (which Lynn tied, 5-5, in the season opener, a game that the Jets looked to have in the bag before the Dragons rallied back from a 3-1 deficit late) and a non-league matchup with Somerville, Lynn’s schedule over the next few weeks looks like smooth sailing. The Jets will take on Beverly, Peabody, Gloucester and Revere/Malden to close out January. Lynn (4-1-1) defeated the Patriots earlier this season, and can take advantage of the fact that Beverly (1-7) and Peabody (0-6) are having down seasons.

The Jets have only played six games, but are starting to hit their stride. In last Thursday’s game against Shawsheen, the defense looked a lot stronger than it did when Lynn let Latin Academy creep back into the game in the opener, and coach Joe Conlon said that it was goalie Jack Stafford’s best game of the season. Stafford looked every bit as good as he did last season when he won the NEC MVP.

Having Stafford playing at a high level will be key for the Jets going forward. The senior goaltender was unbelievable last season, boasting a .949 save percentage and 1.3 goals per game average. He’s allowed 12 goals in six games so far this season, but as the Jets showed last Thursday, when Stafford is playing up to his capabilities and the defense in front of him is working well, Lynn is a very tough team to score against.

On the offensive side, the Jets have a lot of firepower, scoring 29 goals over six games. The offense comes from a lot of different sources as well, which makes Lynn tough to defend. Sean Devin leads the team with five goals, and 12 other players have found the back of the net for the Jets so far this season.

The one time the Jets were shut out was against Swampscott in a 2-0 loss. When the two teams meet again on February 6, it’s going to be a battle.

The Big Blue have been rolling, and their only loss came against Winthrop early in the season. Swampscott has been dealt some adversity; senior captain Mike Johnson was injured in the win over Lynn.

Losing Johnson hurts. The forward led the team in points last season (55) and became the seventh player in Swampscott High history to join the 100-point club in the Blue’s 10-3 win over Gloucester on Dec. 21. He logged eight points (five goals, three assists) in three games this season for Swampscott. It remains to be seen when he’ll return to the ice, but he hasn’t been ruled out for the season. If and when he does return, it will be a massive boost to the Swampscott offense.

Not that the Swampscott offense has been struggling without Johnson. Senior captain Louis Olivieri (nine goals, eight assists) and junior Stevie Santanello (seven goals, six assists) have stepped up in Johnson’s absence. The defense has also been lights-out as of late; the Blue have only given up three goals over their last five games.

The game to watch, in my opinion, next week is the showdown between Swampscott and Saugus on Wednesday at Salem State’s Rockett Arena. Saugus proved that it is the real deal a couple of days ago when it gave Winthrop all it could handle in a 2-2 tie. I said a couple of weeks ago that Saugus was the most surprising team in the NEC so far, and the Sachems keep showing that they’re on the rebound from a tough 3-14-3 season last year.

The road ahead isn’t easy as the Sachems will face huge tests against Danvers and Bishop Fenwick before they even get to the Big Blue, and after that they’ll have to skate against Marblehead. If Saugus gets through this grueling stretch with a couple of more wins under its belt, it’s safe to say the Sachems are going to be a tough team to take down.


Katie Morrison can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Delgado leads Classical to win

FILE PHOTO
Classical’s Irianis Delgado led all scorers with 16 points on Tuesday night. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

Prior to Tuesday night’s game against Saugus, Classical girls basketball coach Tom Sawyer said his team would have its hands full against a talented Sachems group. Perhaps the Rams play best when their hands are full.

Behind an offensive display that saw seven different Classical scorers, the Rams rolled to a 60-37 win over the Sachems at Saugus High.

“Most impressive was that they pressed us and we handled their press,” Sawyer said. “Against Saugus, it starts with being able to handle their pressure. We were terrific tonight. Jeylly Medrano, running the point, was unbelievable handling their press. It all starts there.”

Classical seized the momentum in the early goings of the game. Paris Wilkey missed her first few shots, but the junior drained a pair of three pointers in the first quarter. Irianis Delgado muscled her way to a pair of buckets in the paint, and the Rams led 18-6 at the end of the first.

The Sachems carried their struggles into the second quarter. Classical ran a stingy 2-3 zone defense that gave Saugus issues throughout the first half.

“Classical did a good job,” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said. “They did a good job, they sped us up. I think when they started speeding us up, everybody started to take it upon themselves to come back from a poor start.”

Saugus committed three turnovers in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Classical capitalized on those mistakes with a 6-0 run that ended when Alessia Salzillo nailed a jump shot to get the Sachems back on the board. Classical led 34-12 at the half.

“Coach (Helen) Ridley and I talk before every game,” Sawyer said. “We both agreed that in this particular game we should play zone because Saugus is extremely active on offense. We gave up 12 (points) in the first half, so we stuck with it.”

Down 22 points at the start of the second half, Saugus was in need of offense. The Sachems began to hit their shots in the third quarter as a pair of free throws by Krissy Italiano slimmed Classical’s lead to 18 points at 36-18. The Rams held their end of the bargain and made a handful of buckets to carry a 48-23 advantage into the fourth quarter.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the game was in Classical’s bag. The Rams (7-3) rolled to their seventh win of the season.

Classical had three scorers in double figures. Delgado led all scorers with 16 points.

“Irianis had a terrific game tonight,” Sawyer said of the junior forward. “She’s a little banged up, had an ankle injury and didn’t know if she was going to be able to play. She’s a tough kid though, she said she wanted to play. We needed her.”

Medrano contributed with 13 points while Wilkey scored ten.

“What this shows is that we played our best game of the year,” Sawyer said. “It was an unbelievable effort by everybody, up and down our lineup. We’ll celebrate it tonight, it’s hard to win in this league.”

Classical will aim to stay on the win column when the Rams visit Gloucester on Friday.

On the Saugus side, Molly Granara led the Sachems with ten points.

“She (Granara) just competes,” Schruender said. “She’s a freshman that doesn’t know she’s a freshman. She works really hard in practice and yesterday I got on her in practice about defense. She responded really well.”

Salzillo had a strong performance of her own, with eight points.

The Sachems (6-2) will look to shake off the loss by correcting their mistakes. Saugus has a quick turnaround as the Sachems host Somerville tonight.

“Tomorrow’s a new day,” Schruender said. “We’re a game to game team. These kids are tough.”


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Escaped prisoner may have tried to rob banks

PHOTO BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
This surveillance photo released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows a man who attempted to rob a Bank of America branch in Cambridge. The FBI said the suspect resembles recently escaped federal prisoner James Morales.

By DENISE LAVOIE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON — A man who climbed through razor wire to escape from a detention center in Rhode Island, stole a car and may have tried to rob two banks was captured in Massachusetts on Thursday by a state police trooper who chased him and grabbed him as he tried to leap over a fence, authorities said.

Massachusetts state police and the U.S. marshal in Rhode Island said James Morales was captured in Somerville, about an hour’s drive north of the privately run Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, where he escaped five days earlier.

15-year-old’s whereabouts unknown after taking car

Earlier Thursday, authorities said they were investigating whether Morales was the man who tried to rob a bank in Cambridge, Morales’ hometown.

State police spokesman David Procopio said troopers were in the area after a second attempted bank robbery in neighboring Somerville when a trooper spotted Morales walking. They said Morales ran, the trooper chased him for about two blocks and he was captured as he tried to jump a fence.

Morales was set to be booked at a state police barracks in Medford on Thursday evening, authorities said. He couldn’t be reached for comment while in custody.

Morales is a former Army reservist who was being held at Wyatt, which has about 800 inmates, on charges he stole 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester. He also was facing child rape charges.

Morales, 35, escaped on Saturday by climbing a basketball hoop to reach a rooftop, cutting through a fence and climbing through razor wire, authorities said. Police think Morales stole a car in Attleboro, Massachusetts; the car was found Sunday in Framingham, Massachusetts, less than an hour north of the prison.

Procopio said authorities were concerned because not all of the handguns Morales is charged with stealing have been recovered.

“We could not rule out that he had access to weapons, and as time went on he was probably growing increasingly desperate as well, and that would add to the danger to the public,” he said. “We are thrilled and elated that he is off the street and will be going back behind bars where he belongs.”

Procopio said authorities have confirmed Morales was the person who tried to rob the Somerville bank but have not identified him as the person in the earlier attempted robbery in Cambridge.

Cambridge sent a text message alert to residents on Thursday telling them law enforcement was seeking a bank robbery suspect who resembled Morales.

In both attempted robberies, the would-be robber handed a teller a note demanding money. There were no reports of a weapon being shown.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said officials were told Thursday morning that Morales could be in the area.

“We’re just very grateful that nobody was hurt, our officers and safe and our neighborhood is safe,” he said.


Associated Press writer Michelle Smith in Providence, Rhode Island, contributed to this report.

Roundup: Classical boys basketball off to a good start

By SCOT COOPER

The Lynn Classical boys basketball team is off to a good start this winter.

The Rams had five players in double figures Saturday as the traveled to Salem State to defeat Somerville, 74-71, for their second win of the season.

Gilbert Minaya led the way with 18, followed by Jalen Johnson with 17 and Edwin Solis with 15.

Malden 56 Marblehead 51

At Salem State Saturday, the Magicians dropped to 1-2.  Co-captain Patrick Bugler tossed in 23 points for Marblehead. Bo Millett, the other captain said that the team has to shoot better from the floor moving forward.

“We still have a bunch of guys that are making the move from football to basketball, we’re getting there,” Millett said. Marblehead will play its first home game of the season when they host Winthrop Tuesday.

Everett 86 Salem 48

The Witches lost to a very solid Crimson Tide team at home Saturday. Nate Ledron was high-scorer for Salem, knocking down 16 points to go with two steals and four rebounds. The Witches will be in Swampscott Tuesday night.

St. John’s 60  Pope John 45

The Eagles (2-0) won it behind 20 points from Nate Hobbs. Senior captain Brett McNiff snatched 11 rebounds and blocked four shots. The Eagles will be in Lynn on Friday night to play St. Mary’s.

Postponement

Snow forced postponement of the Saugus-Portland, Maine game Saturday. The Sachems (1-1) will look for win No. two in Gloucester Monday night.

WRESTLING

St. John’s 57, Salem, NH, 15

St. John’s 32, Lawrence 32

The Eagles improved to 7-0. Ben Klein (182), Sam Blizard (145), John McNaught (138), Zach Alexander (132), Malcolm Mitchell (126), Ryan Garlitz (113) and Quinn Alexander (106), all had wins on the mat for the Eagles.

Anthony Lisitano Tournament

Swampscott-Marbleheaed

At Wakefield High, eighth-grader Nick Sirota (106) finished in second place after beating Ryan Brown from Catholic Memorial. Senior captain Stephen Hopkins (138) finished third in his weight class and need two more victories for 100 on his career.

Saugus had one winner. Mike Titus (113) went 4-0 on the day and won his weight class.

Lynnfield-North Reading senior captain Connor Stead picked up the first major tournament win of his career Saturday at tournament. Stead upended top-seeded Ryan Smith of Wakefield in the final, pinning Smith in 5:24. Stead was one of seven Black and Gold wrestlers who placed in the meet, three of whom were freshmen.

“We haven’t had a freshman place in this meet since 2001, so to have three place today was quite impressive,” coach Craig Stone said.

Stuart Glover (106) led the freshmen trio with a fourth place finish, while Timothy Leggett (120) and Sean McCullough (160) finished fifth. Anthony Wilkinson (182, 4th) and Kevin Farrelly (195, 6th) were first-time place winners, Glover’s older brother Will Glover (126, 4th) also placed.  Lynnfield-North Reading finished seventh, with 17 teams participating in the tournament.

Sons of Italy Tournament

Peabody had a couple of wrestlers place Saturday. Freshman Phil Mackmoki (195) finished third, and senior Ben Caputo (220) finished fourth in his weight class. Peabody will hit the mat next on Wednesday night against Beverly.

Classical runs away from Peabody

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Classical’s Jaylen Johnson tosses up a shot through the defense of Moisse Irizarry, center, and Will Diezemann.

By GORDON VINCENT 

LYNN – The Lynn Classical boys basketball team doesn’t have a lot of size, but what the Rams do have on their side this winter is demon speed.

Trailing by eight points early on in the second period, Classical shifted into a higher gear and ran away from Peabody, 68-47, Friday night, at Classical High.

Sophomore Jaylen Johnson led the Rams, who stand at 1-1 in the young season, with 21 points. Classical’s Gilbert Minaya contributed to the win by adding 10 points. Erick and Edwin Solis had nine points each for the Rams in the win.

Matt D’Amato paced Peabody, who fell to 0-1, with 14 points, while Junior Estrella added 13 for the Tanners.

“It’s the first game, and I’m sure there’s a lot we’re going to have to evaluate,” said Peabody coach Thad Broughton, the former St. Mary’s and North Adams State star. “But give all the credit to Lynn Classical. They’re a great team and they played great tonight.”

Two free throws by D’Amato with 6:54 left in the second quarter gave the Tanners a 24-16 lead, but the Rams made an adjustment by picking up the tempo and running out on fast breaks. Classical closed the half with a 20-3 run, with Minaya scoring eight points, while Edwin Solis chipped in with six points and three assists.

“I’m not sure if you saw, but Edwin threw three touchdown passes in the first half,” said Classical head coach Tom Grassa. “It wasn’t really a defensive adjustment we made, it was more of an offensive adjustment.”

Leading by nine points at halftime, the Rams opened the second half with a 6-2 run, on layups after run-outs by Johnson and Minaya. A 3-point play by Johnson upped the lead to 52-38, and put the Rams in total command at the end of the third quarter.

“They were playing an excellent 3-2 zone, and they made it tough for us to get off good shots when we were in our half court offense,” Grassa said. “So we tried to advance the ball before they could set up their defense, even after they made a basket. We don’t have a lot of size, but our strength is when we get out and run.”

The Tanners reached only as close as 13 points in the fourth quarter, the last time when Jonell Espinal sank a 10-foot jumper from the left elbow with 3:50 left in the game. The Rams scored the next six points, a run which included another easy layup by Johnson and a bucket by Dyrrell Rucker. Jonathan Nicosia’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:23 left helped the Rams pull away in the closing minutes as Classical sealed its first victory of the season.

Broughton said the Tanners will aim to improve while crediting the Rams for a strong performance.

“We’ll get better,” Broughton said. “I thought we worked hard, but Lynn Classical is just a fantastic team.”

Classical plays Somerville today (2) at Salem State’s Twohig Gymnasium, while Peabody opens the home portion of its schedule on Monday night (7) when the Tanners host Danvers.

Average Lynn tax bill to rise by $163

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN It will cost more to live in the city next year.

While Lynn’s residential property tax rate is expected to fall by 58 cents, the median tax bill for a single-family home will rise by $163, a 4 percent increase. Condominium owners will see a $107 hike in taxes.

But multi-family owners will take the biggest hit with a nearly 9 percent increase, adding $452 to their bill.

“Sales of multi-families are being driven by buyers who are priced out of Malden, Medford, Somerville, Chelsea and Revere,” said Meaghan Kramer, an agent at Toner Real Estate in Lynn. “They’re coming to Lynn where they’re finding it a little more affordable.”

Businesses easing tax burden in Saugus

From January through November, 205 multi-family homes have sold in Lynn, up from 179 for the same period last year, according to the MLS Property Information Network. Median prices have jumped by 8 percent to $400,000, up from $370,000 a year ago.

Multi-families are not the only properties seeing an increase in sales and prices. Single-family home sales are up 7 percent since the first of the year while median prices have swelled by 12 percent.

“Property values are being driven by high demand,” said Peter Caron, Lynn’s chief financial officer. “There’s lots of pent-up demand and lots of people looking at a limited number of properties on the market. It’s rare to see homes selling for much under asking price.”

The commercial real estate tax rate fell by $1.39 to $30.67 from $32.06 in 2015.

The median increase for a commercial property owner will rise by $118 while the industrial user will see a $73 increase.

Caron said this is the first time in three years that commercial values have risen, up 4 percent. The city is seeing a reversal of the trend from 2008 through 2014 when the tax base shifted from residential properties to commercial due to a nearly 30 percent loss in home values.

The result, during that period, was a higher tax burden for the commercial and industrial sector.

While rising values are good news for sellers, Caron said he sees some of the same dynamics at play in the market reminiscent of the real estate meltdown from 2004-2006.

“We are starting to see the same type of market some years ago when prices rose substantially and quickly, and that led to the real estate bust,” he said.


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

School roundup: Fenwick girls win season opener

FILE PHOTO
Fenwick’s Fredi DeGuglielmo drives through the lane.

By HAROLD RIVERA

The Bishop Fenwick girls basketball team began its new season with a big win over Medford, 66-33.

The Crusaders were propelled by Jaxson Nadeau, who was the team’s leading scorer with 17 points and three steals in the contest. Fredi DeGuglielmo also turned in a solid game with 12 points and seven assists. Senior captain Sam Mancinelli (nine points, six rebounds) and Jennie Meagher (nine points, seven rebounds) also contributed to the winning effort.

“It’s always nice to get that first win,” Fenwick coach Adam DeBaggis said. “It’s a good feeling for a coach when you win and you know you have things to work on. It’s much better than losing and knowing you have things you need to work on.”

DeBaggis credited his team for playing a strong defensive game.

“We played really good defense,” he said. “We got out to a good lead in the first half and it was a good game for us.”

Fenwick now shifts focus to Friday night’s (6:30) clash at Cathedral.

“Cathedral’s fast,” DeBaggis said. “I’m looking for us to play good defense and show our composure in a tough place to play.”

KIPP 42, Pioneer Charter 14

The Panthers (2-0) won their second game in a row behind a strong performance from Gift Ofuokwu, who scored eight points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Brenda Torres and Loida Rosario contributed with eight points each. Nayeli Germosen was impressive from the point guard position with seven points and six assists.

KIPP’s next game is on Monday at Prospect Hill Academy in Somerville.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Pioneer 49, KIPP 47

Elijah Nosa led the Panthers (1-1) on the defensive end but KIPP’s offense struggled to find its rhythm. The game came down to the final seconds, but KIPP couldn’t sink a three-pointer to grab a victory.

BOYS HOCKEY

Saugus 10, Hamilton-Wenham 1

Dante McGrane had two goals and two assists as the Sachems routed Hamilton-Wenham in its season opener. Brendan Ronan added a goal and two assists, Adam Rodrigues scored twice and logged an assist, Jim Alcott scored twice and Mike Sarnacchiaro added a goal and two assists. Ian Worthley also scored his first varsity goal in the victory.

“It was a good performance,” said Saugus coach Jeff Natalucci. “We came out and moved the puck better than we have in a long time. We’re happy with it.”

Lynnfield 5, Amesbury 1

George DeRoche scored two goals to lead the way for the Pioneers. Cooper Marengi (one goal, one assist) and Johnny Percoskie (three assists) also turned in strong performances. Freshmen John Simonetti and Wil Rinaldi each scored their first varsity goals.

Winthrop 3, Mansfield 2

At Mansfield, the Vikings (1-0) started their new season on a high note with a win. Sophomore Sam Yarrow scored the game winning goal for Winthrop. Junior Tyler Marley contributed by netting the other two goals for the Vikings.

WRESTLING

Lynnfield 53, Pentucket 28

Lynnfield moves to 3-0 on the season. Winners for the Pioneers included Chris Metrano at 106 pounds, Stuart Glover (113), Will Glover (126), Dylan Reardon (132), Joe Reardon (138), Adam Rosetti (145), Connor Stead (152), Andrew DiPietro (170) and Anthony Wilkinson (182). Lynnfield is off until Saturday morning when they travel to Wakefield for the Wakefield tournament at 9 a.m.

“It’s nice to be 3-0,” Lynnfield coach Craig Stone said. “We graduated a good nucleus of wrestlers last year. I’m glad we were able to fill in for them and start the season on a good note.”

Danvers 54, Marblehead-Swampscott 30

Danvers winners included Max Leete at the 106 pounds, Jack Anderson (150) and Quinn Holland (170). Marblehead-Swampscott winners included Ian Shevroy (113), Darian Welf (120), Stephen Hopkins (138), Joe Warren (195) and Armani Dotson (220).

Marblehead-Swampscott falls to 2-1-1 on the season, and the team is off until Saturday’s tournament at Wakefield at 9 a.m.

St. John’s Prep 55, Shrewsbury 21

Winners for the Prep included Ryan Garlitz, Malcolm Mitchell, Zach Alexander, John McNaught, Sam Blizard, Chris Kwmuntis, Drew Leahy, Ben Klein, Evan Chaisson and Will Moulton.

BOYS INDOOR TRACK

Lynnfield 46, Lynn Tech 36

Pentucket 68, Lynnfield 18

Pentucket 70, Tech 16

Tech’s Akeem Blake took first place in the high jump at five feet, 10 inches. Blake also tied Lynnfield’s Joe Donovan for the top time in the 50 at 5.8 seconds. Pentucket took the top three spots in the 50-yard hurdles, but Robert Woodley clocked the best time for Tech at 8.4.

For Lynnfield, Nathan Drislane finished second in the shot put at 36-4. Nicholas Kinnon earned the best time in the 300 (40.6) for the Pioneers. In the 600, Ken Bramich finished in first in the Pioneers’ meet against Tech at 1:46.4. In the 100, Lynnfield’s Ryan Iapicca finished third against Pentucket and first against Tech (3:04.02). Matt Ricciardi was the top finisher in the mile (5:20.7) over Tech, and third against Pentucket.

Revere 46, Danvers 40

For the Patriots, Edi Mujan won the high jump at 5-8, Morris Toglan won the shot put at 44-10 and David Sinatra won the 50 hurdles (7.3). Mujan also won the 300 (39.6), Zachary Gentile claimed the top spot in the 600 (1:35.1), and Sebastian Mejia won the mile (5:15.8).

GIRLS INDOOR TRACK

Lynnfield 64, Tech 7

Pentucket 70, Lynn Tech 16

Pentucket 75, Lynnfield 11

Tech’s Gianna Perro was first in the meet against Lynnfield in the 50 (7.0), and Giani Devilla finished third in both meets in the 300 (57.6).

For Lynnfield, Kate Mitchell won the mile (5:38.1) and Lilli Patterson finished second in the 300 (49.5).

Danvers 48.5, Revere 37.5

Revere’s Claritza Vasquez nailed the top spot in the high jump (4-6). Other winners for Revere were Rachel Shanbar in the shot put (29-3 1/4), and Helen Perez in the 600 (1:54). Vasquez also won the 300 (48.6).


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Girls test mettle in Duchane girls basketball jamboree

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Fenwick’s Sam Mancinelli gets a step on Revere’s Tatianna Iacoviello in the Duchane Jamboree Saturday at the Classical gym.

By SCOT COOPER

LYNN — The Paul Duchane Girls Basketball Jamboree is one of the first tests area teams get as they prepare for the upcoming season.

Held every year at the Classical gym, in memory of the man who taught and coached throughout the Lynn school system, the 24th annual jamboree Saturday saw English, Swampscott, Marblehead, Malden, Somerville, Medford, Saugus, Danvers, Hamilton-Wenham, Reading, Peabody, Revere, Bishop Fenwick, Georgetown and Masconomet take part.

The 16 teams each played two quarters, and the stands were filled with fans, and also quite a few area coaches, scouting and filming teams they’ll face somewhere down the line this season.

Classical came out fairly strong against Masconomet in the day’s last game, racing out to a 4-1 lead on four points by Paris Wilkey. The Chieftains took their first lead at 8-6, but a bucket by Irianis Delgado tied the score at eight apiece.

Things went south for the Rams after that, Masconomet cruised to a 29-8 lead before Skyler Creighton swished one for Classical. The Chieftains scored at the buzzer for a 31-10 final.

Rams coach Tom Sawyer said the team has to practice much harder before Tuesday night’s season opener against Everett.  

“I thought we started the game well,” he said. “The kids competed hard all night, we just didn’t finish very well after that good start.

“We’ve got to make adjustments and turn up the intensity at practice before our game with Everett. We need to practice at a much higher intensity level, and carry that high intensity level into games this season,” he said.

English scored four seconds into its game with Georgetown, Ely Guity took the tip and she floored it to the basket for an easy layup. Bulldogs coach Mackenzie Charles was coaching in his first jamboree, a 21-10 win, and he liked the effort by his club Saturday evening.

“It was a really good scrimmage for our team,” he said “I thought we played well. We’re a young team, we have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I thought we did a good job tonight,” Charles said.

“It’s early and this is a long season, but what we want to do is come out and get better every time out, and I think we did a good job in this scrimmage.

“We have a lot of things that I want to see this team get better at as the season goes on, but I liked the effort tonight from our team,” Charles said. “As long as we improve and learn something every time we step on the court, that’s what I want to see happen with this team this year.”

English senior captain Rachel Calnan was the high scorer against the Royals (9 points), and she said that hard work and communication are going to be key issues that have to be addressed by her team this winter if the Bulldogs are going to be successful.

“I thought we communicated very well on the court, and we need to keep doing that this season,” Calnan said. “We were very aggressive on the boards, and I think that’s a very good thing for our team, we have to keep playing aggressively and communicating on the court every game this season.”

Marblehead was as cold from the floor as it was outside the Classical field house early in its game against Malden. The Magicians heated up very nicely in the second quarter and rolled over the Golden Tornado, 24-10.

The Magicians were led on offense by captains Lindsay Walker and Ashley Stiles, as well as Maddie Lowi and Darcy O’Sullivan. The winners were up 9-6 after one quarter and outscored Malden 15-4 in the second quarter.  

Marblehead coach Wayne Hanscom was pleased the team kept working and broke out of its shooting slump as the game wore on.

“You only play a half, we played everyone, but we did miss a lot of bunnies,” Hanscom said. “We kept working, the girls never got frustrated, and the ball started to drop for us.”

Swampscott zipped out to a 15-1 lead over Somerville after one quarter, and Blue coach Katelyn Leonard played everybody in a 24-18 win. Swampscott’s starting five, Hannah Leahy, Katie Watts, Maggie DiGrande, Nikki Rosa and Ella Parker all scored for Swampscott early, with freshman Olivia Matella knocking down some big threes in the first quarter.

Leonard said it’s always good to have a fast start.

“We looked really strong early on, we were working really well with and without the ball,” Leonard said. “It’s all about defense with us, and I think we played a very solid game today, defensively.”

Saugus took a 15-0 lead into the break against Medford, and cruised past the Mustangs, 29-6.

Sachems coach Mark Schruender liked the high-energy game his team played.

“We started great,” he said. “Too bad we can’t save some of those points. It was a great start for our team.

“The girls were very hungry out there, I thought. You practice for a couple of weeks and see the same faces, so tonight, against another team we came out really well, we played very hard, and I’m happy about that. Let’s hope it continues.”

Peabody had a tough time in its game against Reading. The Tanners had three starters watching the game from the bench with injuries and lost 28-8. Peabody got a bucket from Catherine Manning and free throws by Liz Zaiter, Hannah Pellizzaro Alyssa Alperin and Katie Wallace. Coach Stan McKeen said there is work to do for his team.

“It was tough with three starters on the bench, but we need to get better on defense, and certainly in offense,” McKeen said. “Hopefully everyone will be back on Friday night and we can go out and play better basketball.”

Last year’s Bishop Fenwick team took the state title, and this winter seven of those players are back for coach Adam Debaggis. The Crusaders were able to spoil Revere’s Lianne O’Hara’s Duchane head coaching debut with a 20-15 win. It wasn’t O’Hara’s first Duchane game; she was an assistant for many years with Fenwick.

Revere was coming off a hard-fought, emotional win Friday night at St. Mary’s.

Samantha Mancinelli, Sammi Gallant, Olivia DiPietro and Elizabeth Pica led the way on offense for Fenwick. Valentina Pepic, Elizabeth Lake, Pamela Gonzalez and Tatiana Iacoviello had buckets for the Patriots.

“Last year was last year, it was exciting, but this year is this year,” Debaggis said. “We miss Lianne a lot, but we’re focused on a big season, and we have a lot of work to do, as long as we all work hard, we will be a tough team to beat.”

“We kind of started off a little slow (down 8-0), a little messy, so we have to work on that, come out a little better to start games,” O’Hara said. “I love this tournament, I loved it when I was at Fenwick, I love it now that I’m with Revere. We just need to come out a little better in games and we’ll got from there.”

Danvers and Hamilton-Wenham played a thriller in their game. It looked like the Generals would have an easy ballgame, going up 16-3 early in the first. The Falcons hung around, fought back and trailed by a bucket after a steal and a swish by Tina Gigli with 11 seconds to play. Hamilton-Wenham was able to run out the clock and hold on for a 29-27 win.

 

You can’t get there from here: Part 3

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE 
State Sen. Thomas McGee, State Rep. Brendan Crighton and State Rep. and City Council President Dan Cahill are seen at the commuter rail station in Lynn.

By THOMAS GRILLO

Third in a four-part series
ALSO: You can’t get there from here: Part 1
You can’t get there from here: Part 2
You can’t get there from here: Part 4

Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn) isn’t shy about saying what’s needed to fix the region’s transportation problems: raise the gas tax and add more toll roads.

It’s a bold proclamation considering the anti-tax climate on Beacon Hill.

In January, Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said the House will not propose any new taxes or fees in the new year. When then gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker ran for the office in 2014, he did not support raising taxes.

Voters seem to agree. While McGee supported a hike in the gasoline tax in 2013 that would have automatically adjusted gas taxes to inflation funds that would be used exclusively to pay for infrastructure improvements the measure was repealed the following year in a statewide ballot initiative.

“It’s more than just raising taxes,” he said. “It’s what services should we provide and how do we pay for them? Let’s have that discussion and then figure out the needed revenue.”

The legislation passed by the Legislature was the first time since 1991 that lawmakers had voted to raise the gasoline tax.

Still, DeLeo is not solidly in the no-tax camp. In 2009, he supported the increase in the sales tax to 6.25 percent, up from 5 percent, a move that boosted the state’s revenue by $900 million.

In addition, DeLeo has supported other tax hikes, including higher levies on cigarettes and gas. This year, DeLeo joined his Democratic colleagues to advance a 4 percent surtax on household incomes above $1 million that economists say could generate nearly $2 billion in new revenues annually.

While McGee and transportation advocates have suggested the possibility of installing tolls on some of the state’s other major highways, the idea hasn’t taken off. Baker implemented a “revenue neutral” switch to electronic tolling that will replace toll booths by the end of October.  

Another way to bring in transportation revenue is to assess a tax on motorists based on the number of vehicle miles traveled annually. But that proposal seems to lack traction on Beacon Hill.

McGee bristles at the suggestion that taxpayers refuse to pay more, as the repeal of the gas tax suggests.

“Without new taxes, you have to deal with a system that’s ready to implode; it’s imploding now,” he said.

State Rep. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) agrees. He said taxpayers are willing to pay more if they can be guaranteed the money will be spent on transportation.

“Voters want to know that the money is going to the right place,” he said. “A bipartisan commission found that it would take $20 billion for infrastructure just to bring us up to the state of good repair and that was a decade ago.”

State Rep. Daniel Cahill (D-Lynn) said everyone agrees that public transportation is a critical part of our regional economy; it isn’t functioning well and a solution is needed. The difference of opinion, he said, is how to pay for it.

“The governor has said reform over revenue increases, but that will get us about a 10 percent saving and that won’t get us there  we need billions of dollars,” he said.  “He has also said there will be no discussion of tax or fee increases, but we have to have those conversations.”

One key investment McGee has sought is an extension of the Blue Line to Lynn. He acknowledged that the three miles from Revere’s Wonderland to downtown Lynn could cost as much as $700 million at a time when the governor says the state is cash-strapped.

Rather than build new tracks, McGee suggests the Blue Line could be placed on the commuter rail line. He did not know how much that would trim the project’s cost.

McGee, who serves as co-chairman of the Senate’s Joint Transportation Committee, is passionate about improving the region’s infrastructure and expanding service that would include ferry service and a Blue Line stop at the commuter rail stop in downtown Lynn.

Both investments would get some commuters off Route 1 South to Boston that can easily take more than an hour to go 10 miles at rush hour.

“We have a commuter rail that doesn’t work for us, by the time the trains arrive, they are packed,” said McGee. “It costs more to take the commuter rail from Lynn than it does to take the Blue Line from Wonderland, and the mostly empty MBTA garage is crumbling.”

He points to Somerville, a city of similar size, that has the Red Line to Davis Square, the Orange Line at Assembly Square and soon the 4.3-mile Green Line extension that will provide service beyond a new Lechmere Station to College Avenue in Medford and to Union Square and three other stations.

“What was Davis Square like before the Red Line?” McGee asked.

Not much, just a handful of mom-and-pop stores, certainly not a destination point. Today it’s brimming with a Starbucks and a bunch of great eateries like Redbones Barbecue, Foundry on Elm, Anna’s Taqueria and the Burren, not to mention the revitalized Somerville Theatre.

The biggest challenge is not finding a great place to eat but a place to park.

Still, Somerville had the benefit of support from the powerful House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill who had persuasive powers in Congress and at the White House.

Today, the state’s delegation in Washington has limited power given their lack of tenure and the Republican control of Congress.  

While Lynn is one of the communities in the state to offer commuter rail service, McGee said it has never been a major piece of the city’s transportation system.

“It takes us to North Station, which means it’s another transfer point for most people,” he said. “It doesn’t take you to the inner core or connect our region to Logan International Airport, which is a key piece of future economic development and opportunity.”

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) said there’s no question that improved transportation access is the key to growing Lynn.

“I’ve made it clear that economic development is my number one district priority and transportation is critical to that,” he said.  “That’s why I recently secured a $4.5 million grant to purchase a ferry for the city.”

He said deep-sixing the Lynn ferry for this year flies in the face of every successful ferry service in the state, challenging the governor’s assertion that the boat failed to win enough riders to be sustainable. They all had modest beginnings, he said. The Hingham ferry started with one daily trip and now there are 15 with 4,000 riders, he said.

The impact of ferry service is not limited to getting cars off the traffic-choked highways, it’s the key to development on the Lynnway, Moulton added.

“The waterfront development around the Hingham ferry terminal is unbelievable,” he said. “That could be happening in Lynn today, but it won’t happen if we fail to even run the ferry we bought.”

Moulton also supports the Blue Line extension and the so-called North-South Rail Link, that would connect North and South Stations so passengers from north of Boston would not have to take other MBTA trains to get to their downtown destination. That proposed project has been championed by former Gov. Michael Dukakis who said it would unlock major development north of Boston.

Moulton said more than three dozen such links have been built in major cities around the world.

Still, there’s the question of whether Boston would be ready for another Big Dig, not to mention the cost. The bill would be about $680 million per mile to dig under the city of Boston that’s as much as $2.8 billion, Moulton said.

“The Romney administration said it was an $8 billion project, but others say it’s not that much,” he said.

One way it could be paid for, he said, was for the state to abandon the idea of expanding South Station with additional tracks and a new office building.

“If we do the Blue Line extension and North-South Link, you would see an absolute real estate explosion in Lynn,” Moulton said.


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

Football: Second season is about to kick off

FILE PHOTO
James Brumfield and the St. Mary’s Spartans will host Winthrop on Friday night. 

By STEVE KRAUSE

The first round of the MIAA football playoffs tonight will see 13 out of the 17 teams in the Item coverage area in action — and all of them will play opponents they haven’t faced yet this season.

And in that sense, it will truly be a second season.

Tonight, two of Lynn’s teams are in action, with Lynn Tech traveling to Daly Field in Boston to play Brighton at 6:30 while an hour later, because of a Manning Field doubleheader, St. Mary’s kicks off at home against Winthrop.

Also tonight (games at 7 unless otherwise noted), Swampscott travels to Triton, Marblehead hosts Wayland, Lynnfield is at home against Northeast Regional, Bishop Fenwick hosts Amesbury, Revere travels to Chelmsford, Peabody is up at Westford Academy, Danvers is home against Wakefield, and Gloucester is at Newell Stadium against Melrose.

In non-playoff games, Classical is home against Woburn (5, the front end of the Manning doubleheader), English is at North Andover and Salem travels to Winchester.

Saturday will see St. John’s Prep at home against Acton-Boxborough (1:30), Beverly at Hurd Stadium against Somerville (1) in tournament games; and Saugus hosting Boston Latin (11) in a non-playoff contest.

Tech at Brighton

At Daly Field, outside of an opening-week victory over O’Bryant (28-20) the Bengals, top seeds in Division 4, have run roughshod over their opponents, both in their league and out. They have a 6-0 record coming into the tournament.

Tech (3-4), seeded eighth, has had a season reflective of its record. In the games the Tigers have won, all have been decisive, and all have featured the one-two punch of Item/Agganis Foundation Player of the Week award-winner Steffan Gravely and Keoni Gaskins.

However, in the games they’ve lost, it’s been a different story. Tech has competed in all of them, but have made mistakes at critical times that have cost the Tigers games.

Should Tech win this weekend, the Tigers would play the winner of Mystic Valley and Georgetown. The Tigers have played both teams this season, losing to each.

Winthrop at St. Mary’s

At Manning Field, of all the games this weekend, these are the two teams that could possibly be the most familiar with each other. They have a common opponent: Lynn English. St. Mary’s, the top seed in Division 3A, defeated the Bulldogs handily in Week 2, 38-12, while English got its only win of the season against Winthrop, in overtime, at Manning Field.

Both come into this game on rolls. The Spartans have been on one all season long. They are 7-0, and are coming off a 40-0 rout of Austin Prep.

Winthrop didn’t get its first victory until Week 4, 14-0 over Salem, but won its next two out of three games to grab the No. 8 slot.

Both teams have Players of the Week. St. Mary’s has Calvin Johnson, who, last week against Austin Prep, ran for 188 yards and scored three touchdowns — all in one half. Winthrop has Jon Gonzalez, who ran for 200 yards last Friday night against Swampscott.

Other St. Mary’s weapons on offense include James Brumfield, quarterback Marcus Atkins, and, on defense, Liam Reddy.

Swampscott at Triton

At Triton, the Big Blue, seeded seventh in Division 3,  come into this game on a three-game losing streak, having dropped games to Salem, Revere and Winthrop. Triton has lost two straight, to North Reading and Masconomet.

It was looking to be a promising season for the Big Blue. A high-powered spread offense, led by quarterback Colin Frary and receiver/kicker Sean Lahrizi, was carving up defenses, including both English and Classical, to the tune of a 3-1 start. It was after a loss to Gloucester and a win over Saugus that things went south.

Triton got off to a 5-0 start, the high-water mark being in Week 1 with a victory over Division 1A Peabody.

Should the Big Blue get past Triton, they’d face the winner of No. 3 Bishop Fenwick and No. 6 Amesbury.

Wayland at Marblehead

At Piper Field, the Magicians, No. 1 in Division 2A, like St. Mary’s in Division 3, have taken on, and dismissed, all comers, entering the tournament with a 7-0 record.

The Warriors (3-4) play in the always-tough Dual County League/Small. Their record is deceiving; three of their losses were against non-league teams, including to Division 1A top seed Lincoln-Sudbury and Masconomet, the third seed in Division 2.

Along with gliding through the Northeastern Conference/North schedule, the Magicians won non-league games against Wakefield and Walpole. They have lots of leaders on the squad, two of the biggest being quarterback Drew Gally and running back and Item Player of the Week winner Jaason Lopez.

Northeast Regional at Lynnfield

At Pioneer Stadium, The Pioneers survived a slow start to finish the regular season at 4-2 and draw the No. 4 seed in Division 3A. The Golden Knights, 5-2, are right behind them at No. 5.

Lynnfield has a host of offensive weapons, starting with Item Player of the Week winner Matt Mortellite.

The Knights, out of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, have built a solid program under coach Don Heres. Their only two blemishes came in Week 1 against Manchester-Essex and in Week 5 against Shawsheen, the team that was set up to be the top seed in 3A until it lost last weekend to Greater Lawrence.

The winner of this game will play either St. Mary’s or Winthrop next weekend.

Peabody at Westford Academy

At Westford Academy, the Tanners, seeded fifth in Division 1A, take on the No. 4 Grey Ghosts (3-4), who finished fifth out of six teams in the Dual County League/Large.

The Tanners are also 3-4, having finished fourth in the Northeastern Conference/North, ahead of Classical and English.

Peabody is coming off a loss to Danvers in its final game of the regular season.

Should the Tanners win Friday, they’d play the winner of No. 1 Lincoln-Sudbury and No. 8 Cambridge next weekend.

Revere at Chelmsford

At Chelmsford, the Lions, No. 3 in Division 1A, are one of four teams in the sectional that finished with a 3-4 record, the others being Peabody, Westford and the Patriots. On point value, the Patriots drew the sixth seed.

However, Revere comes into the tournament on a hot streak, having won crucial games over Saugus, Salem and Swampscott to claw its way into the postseason. Patriots quarterback Eddie Sullivan has proven to be a very effective on-field leader, and he’s had plenty of help offensively.

Should Revere win Friday night, the Patriots would play the winner of No. 2 Reading and No. 7 Malden Catholic.

Amesbury at Fenwick

At Donaldson Field, the Crusaders come in at No. 3 with a 6-1 mark, but were a point-and-a-half behind Triton in the rankings. North Reading is the top seed.

Amesbury is 2-5 and No. 6 in Division 3. The Indians started out losing their first five games, but wins over Manchester Essex and Hamilton-Wenham gave them enough points to leap into the sixth spot.

If you’re looking for a comparison, the Indians lost to Pentucket earlier this season while the Crusaders defeated the Sachems, 21-6, in the non-league portion of their schedule.

Fenwick is led by Isaiah Cashwell-Doe, who won a Player of the Week award this season, and sophomore quarterback Cory Bright.

Also playing Friday night in tournament games are Danvers (at home vs. Wakefield) and Gloucester (home vs. Melrose).

The Falcons, seeded third in 2A, are led by quarterback Dean Borders and running/all-purpose back Matt Andreas, who is sure to be in the conversation for MVP of the Northeastern Conference/North.

The Fishermen, fourth in 2A, were winners of the Northeastern Conference/South (they were a perfect 5-0 within their league). There were several key players, most key among them Christian Sanfilippo, who scored five touchdowns last week in a win over Saugus.

Acton-Boxborough at St. John’s

At Brother Linus Commons Saturday, the Eagles, led by Player of the Week Mike Yarin at quarterback, turned a tough start into a 5-2 record by winning their last four, and snagging the No. 3 seed in Division 1, just behind Lexington.

So far, the Eagles have swept through the Catholic Conference (they play Xaverian on Thanksgiving), losing only to No. 1 Central Catholic and No. 5 Everett. They won a big road game last Friday against Bridgewater-Raynham.

The Colonials, 4-3 and No. 6, lost their first two games, reeled off four wins in a row, and fell last week to Division 1A top seed Lincoln-Sudbury.

The winner of this round will face either Andover or Lexington next weekend.

Somerville at Beverly

At Hurd Stadium Saturday (1), the Panthers finished up in the win column with a hard-fought win over Lynn Classical at Manning Field last Friday night. For the season, the Panthers finished 5-2, having lost back-to-back games to Marblehead and Danvers, and are seeded fourth in Division 2.

They’ve been led all season by quarterback Kevin Morency, as well as Sam Abate, Kevin Flaherty and Hugh Calice.

In non-tournament games, it doesn’t get any easier for English, which travels to North Andover Friday night. The Bulldogs are 1-6 coming into the game, and were thrashed last weekend by Marblehead, 43-0.

Classical is also 1-6, but the Rams are coming off a tough loss, 28-22, at home to Beverly. The game between the Rams and Woburn is at 5 p.m.

Saturday, Saugus will try for its first win of the season at home against Boston Latin. Tonight, Salem travels to Winchester (7).


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com. 

Frances L. Colcord, 85

LYNNMrs. Frances L. (Canterbury) Colcord, age 85, of Lynn, formerly of Somerville and Malden, died peacefully on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, after a long illness. She was the wife of the late Harold M. Colcord.

Born in Somerville, Franny, as she was known, was the daughter of the late William and Louise Canterbury. She was raised in Somerville and in Boston’s South End and had lived in Somerville and Malden for the majority of her life. Mrs. Colcord had worked as a stitcher for over 35 years at the Converse Rubber plant in Malden.

Always an early-riser, Franny enjoyed spending the early morning hours with a well-sweetened cup of tea and good book. Though she was not one for much socializing, she could often be seen briskly walking around Malden on one errand or another. She especially enjoyed doting over her grandchildren, and later, her great-grandchildren. For Franny, there was nothing more beautiful than a child. She loved unconditionally.

Franny is survived by her daughter, Vicky Canterbury Belliveau, of Lynn, her brother William Canterbury of Sanford, N.C., her grandchildren Amberlee LaRocque of Lynn and Jared Belliveau of Reading, her great-grandchildren Richard “RJ” LaRocque, Giovanni Picardi, Jacqueline Belliveau and Brynn Belliveau, her niece Tammy Harders, and her nephew Randy Franklin, both of Nebraska. She was also the sister of the late Deborah Webster and Berta Franklin.

Service information: A memorial service will be held on Monday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in the SOLIMINE Funeral Home 426 Broadway (Rt. 129), Lynn. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours Monday 4-8 p.m. Directions and guest book at Solimine.com.

Eleanor M. Fallon, 78

LYNNEleanor M. “Tippy” Fallon, 78, of Lynn, died Thursday at her home after a lengthy illness. She was the wife of the late Brian F. Fallon, with whom she shared 46 years of marriage.

Born in Portland, Maine, she was the daughter of the late Harold C. and Almeda (Saccocea) Woerner. She attended schools in Somerville, moved to Lynn after high school and has lived in Lynn ever since. Tippy was employed as a teller at the Century Bank on State Street for several years, and was a lunch aide at the Ingalls School. She was also a Den Mother when her children were in Cub Scouts. She enjoyed knitting and weaving, but most of all loved spending time with her family and friends, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her two favorite holidays were Christmas Eve and the Fourth of July.

She is survived by two sons; Brian H. and his wife Paula Fallon of Peabody, Keith and his wife Rose Fallon of Gonic, N.H., one daughter Kate Fallon and her wife Paula Hammond of Effingham, one sister Susan Thomas of Methuen, six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Service information: Funeral services will be held at the PARKER Funeral Home, 35 Franklin St., Lynn on Wednesday at 12 p.m., visiting hours before the funeral from 10 a.m. – 12p.m. to which relatives and friends are invited to attend. Burial will follow in Puritan Lawn. Guest book at Parkermemorialfuneralhome.com.

Mayor: Lynn can’t afford more affordable housing

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy (Item file photo)

By Thomas Grillo

LYNN — City officials say Lynn has a sufficient amount of affordable housing and what the city needs is an infusion of market-rate homes and new residents with deep pockets to occupy them.

In its most recent report, the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) said of the nearly 35,701 housing units in the city, 12.5 percent meet the affordability  criteria. That count includes deed-restricted units that remain affordable in perpetuity.

Only 14 Bay State cities and towns have a larger percentage of low-income housing: Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard, Bedford, Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Gardner, Greenfield, Hadley, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, North Adams, Springfield and Worcester, according to the DHCD.

James Cowdell, executive director of the Lynn Economic Development & Industrial Corp. (EDIC/Lynn), said the numbers reported by the state fail to include about 4,000 Section 8 vouchers, the federal program that assists low-income families, elders and the disabled afford housing in the private market, and perhaps as many as another 1,000 federal vouchers that are not tracked and the number of people living in shelters — bringing the total to more than 25 percent.

Cowdell objected to a protest that was held earlier this month before a developer’s tour of the city when two dozen members of Lynn United for Change, a community organization that supports affordable housing, used a bullhorn to advocate for more low- and moderate-income units. They held signs that said “Lynn Says No To Gentrification” and “Lynn Families Before Developer’s Profits.”  

“To tell a developer ‘If you don’t do what we say, we will shut you down,’ there’s no place for that,” he said. “Take your bullhorn and go to Lynnfield, go to Swampscott, go to Marblehead; how can you make that argument in Lynn?”

It’s not an accident that upscale eateries like the Blue Ox and Rossetti Restaurant have located downtown, Cowdell said.

“I was the author of the rezoning in 2003 to bring market-rate housing to the city and look at the impact on the downtown,” he said. “Those restaurants came because we’ve put people in the area with disposable income. We are trying to raise the bar.”

But Karen Wiener, interim executive director at the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, a statewide affordable- housing advocacy group, said while Lynn should be praised for meeting the state’s 10 percent threshold, that figure is the minimum of affordable units communities must have to avoid Chapter 40B projects. The controversial measure allows developers to bypass local zoning on density if the percentage of affordable units is below 10 percent.

“Twelve percent is a great start and congratulations to Lynn for meeting and exceeding the minimum, but what about three or five years from now as gentrification sets in?” Wiener asked.  “Lynn has a lot, but I’m not certain there isn’t a need for more deed-restricted affordable in perpetuity.”

Thomas Callahan, executive director of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, said he’s not sure what percentage of affordable housing is right for each community.

“It’s a moving target,” he said. “It depends on how many people are paying more than 30, 40 or 50 percent of their income for rent.”

In its most recent report, Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND) said 66 percent of all Lynn households meet the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s definition of low- or moderate-income.

In addition, 5,285 people are on LHAND’s waiting list for apartments.

“In Lynn, a substantial number of residents are paying a huge percent of their pay on rent and that’s evidence that more affordable housing is needed,” Callahan said.

Still, Cowdell suggested protestors should compare Lynn’s affordable housing numbers to surrounding communities.

“For anyone to say that Lynn is not doing its fair share, there’s no proof of that,” he said.

Less than 4 percent of the units in Marblehead, Nahant and Swampscott are considered affordable, according to the state.

Cowdell said he is opposed to any so-called inclusionary zoning law, which requires that 10 to 20 percent of units in a development be set aside as affordable. Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Quincy have such measures.

“Once the city sets its vision, specifies zoning and how sites should be developed, I don’t think we should then tell developers ‘Now that you’re going to build it, make 20 percent of the units affordable,’” Cowdell added.

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy said the city has more than enough affordable housing. She also disputed the state’s number and said by her count about a third of the city’s housing stock is considered affordable.

“Lynn has more than its share of affordable housing right now,” she said. “We have exceeded the goal and one of the things that Lynn needs to succeed in is its long-term economic development is to have people with disposable income in the mix of the housing that we offer.”


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

Rosalie M. Harris, 67

SWAMPSCOTT Mrs. Rosalie Marie (Macone) Harris, age 67, of Swampscott, died Sunday at Salem Hospital after a brief illness. She was the wife of Raymond Harris, with whom she shared 42 years of marriage. The couple had one daughter, USMC Capt. Jennifer Jean Harris, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007.

Born in Somerville, she was the daughter of Gina (Ciaramaglia) Macone of Nahant and the late Pasquale Macone. Mrs. Harris spent her adult years in Nahant and Swampscott.

Mrs. Harris was a 1968 graduate of Somerville High School and a graduate of Salem State College. Upon graduation from Salem State College, she became an elementary school teacher in Nahant, where she taught for many years. She promoted educational opportunities for all. The mother of a marine, she championed veterans programs and helping those who serve. Mrs. Harris had multiple sclerosis and supported the MS Society Organization. She was a member of St. John’s Church in Swampscott and enjoyed activities at the Swampscott Senior Center.

In addition to her husband and mother, she is survived by her brother, Anthony Macone and his wife Linda of Nahant; her sister, Marie Ahern of Woodbridge, Va.; a nephew and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Ahern of Hollywood, Md., a niece, Christina Ahern of Woodbridge, Va.; a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Corton of Florida, a nephew and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Corton of Saugus, and a niece and her family, Ann Corton Sollberger of Berwick, Maine.

Service information: Her funeral will be held on Friday at 9 a.m. from the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 67 Ocean St. (Route 1A), Lynn, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in St. John the Evangelist Church, Swampscott. Burial will be in Swampscott Cemetery. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours are Thursday from 4-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rosalie’s memory to the Capt. Jennifer J. Harris Memorial Scholarship Fund, Eastern Bank, 405 Paradise Road, Swampscott, MA 01907. Directions and guestbook at Solimine.com.

Mayor: Lynn can’t afford more affordable housing

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy (Item file photo)

By Thomas Grillo

LYNN — City officials say Lynn has a sufficient amount of affordable housing and what the city needs is an infusion of market-rate homes and new residents with deep pockets to occupy them.

In its most recent report, the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) said of the nearly 35,701 housing units in the city, 12.5 percent meet the affordability  criteria. That count includes deed-restricted units that remain affordable in perpetuity.

Only 14 Bay State cities and towns have a larger percentage of low-income housing: Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard, Bedford, Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Gardner, Greenfield, Hadley, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, North Adams, Springfield and Worcester, according to the DHCD.

James Cowdell, executive director of the Lynn Economic Development & Industrial Corp. (EDIC/Lynn), said the numbers reported by the state fail to include about 4,000 Section 8 vouchers, the federal program that assists low-income families, elders and the disabled afford housing in the private market, and perhaps as many as another 1,000 federal vouchers that are not tracked and the number of people living in shelters — bringing the total to more than 25 percent.

Cowdell objected to a protest that was held earlier this month before a developer’s tour of the city when two dozen members of Lynn United for Change, a community organization that supports affordable housing, used a bullhorn to advocate for more low- and moderate-income units. They held signs that said “Lynn Says No To Gentrification” and “Lynn Families Before Developer’s Profits.”  

“To tell a developer ‘If you don’t do what we say, we will shut you down,’ there’s no place for that,” he said. “Take your bullhorn and go to Lynnfield, go to Swampscott, go to Marblehead; how can you make that argument in Lynn?”

It’s not an accident that upscale eateries like the Blue Ox and Rossetti Restaurant have located downtown, Cowdell said.

“I was the author of the rezoning in 2003 to bring market-rate housing to the city and look at the impact on the downtown,” he said. “Those restaurants came because we’ve put people in the area with disposable income. We are trying to raise the bar.”

But Karen Wiener, interim executive director at the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, a statewide affordable- housing advocacy group, said while Lynn should be praised for meeting the state’s 10 percent threshold, that figure is the minimum of affordable units communities must have to avoid Chapter 40B projects. The controversial measure allows developers to bypass local zoning on density if the percentage of affordable units is below 10 percent.

“Twelve percent is a great start and congratulations to Lynn for meeting and exceeding the minimum, but what about three or five years from now as gentrification sets in?” Wiener asked.  “Lynn has a lot, but I’m not certain there isn’t a need for more deed-restricted affordable in perpetuity.”

Thomas Callahan, executive director of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, said he’s not sure what percentage of affordable housing is right for each community.

“It’s a moving target,” he said. “It depends on how many people are paying more than 30, 40 or 50 percent of their income for rent.”

In its most recent report, Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND) said 66 percent of all Lynn households meet the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s definition of low- or moderate-income.

In addition, 5,285 people are on LHAND’s waiting list for apartments.

“In Lynn, a substantial number of residents are paying a huge percent of their pay on rent and that’s evidence that more affordable housing is needed,” Callahan said.

“Compare our affordable housing numbers to surrounding communities,” he said. “For anyone to say that Lynn is not doing its fair share, there’s no proof of that.”

Less than 4 percent of the units in Marblehead, Nahant and Swampscott are considered affordable, according to the state.

Cowdell said he is opposed to any so-called inclusionary zoning law, which requires that 10 to 20 percent of units in a development be set aside as affordable. Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Quincy have such measures.

“Once the city sets its vision, specifies zoning and how sites should be developed, I don’t think we should then tell developers ‘Now that you’re going to build it, make 20 percent of the units affordable,’” Cowdell added.

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy said the city has more than enough affordable housing. She also disputed the state’s number and said by her count about a third of the city’s housing stock is considered affordable.

“Lynn has more than its share of affordable housing right now,” she said. “We have exceeded the goal and one of the things that Lynn needs to succeed in is its long-term economic development is to have people with disposable income in the mix of the housing that we offer.”


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

John J. Rizzo Jr., 96

LynnJohn J. Rizzo Jr., age 96, of Lynn, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. He was the husband of the late Joan “Twinnie” (Sideri) Rizzo, with whom he shared 61 years of marriage.

Born and raised in Somerville, he was the son of the late John J. and Lena (Barisano) Rizzo. Prior to moving to the Ocean Shores Building on the Lynnway nine years ago, he and his wife had lived on Eastern Avenue, Lynn for many years.

John had worked as an elevator operator at the Lucerne in Boston, a waiter at the Coconut Grove Night Club, and the Darbury Room, and as restaurant manager for 25 years at Callahan’s in Newton.

He is survived by a son, John Rizzo III and his wife, Susan, of Beverly, a daughter, Nancy Rizzo and her husband, Ralph DeFazio, of Delaware, three grandchildren, Tracy Rizzo, Melanie Morrison and her husband, Joseph, and Dan Price, two great-grandchildren, Dylan and Will, and many nieces and nephews. He was also the brother of the late Virginia Fallo and Daniel and Edward Rizzo.

Service information: His funeral service will be held on Friday at 11 a.m., in the Solimine Funeral Home, 67 Ocean St., (Route 1A), Lynn. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visitation on Friday, 9-11 a.m. Directions and guest book at Solimine.com.

A good time to appreciate police officers

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Peter Holey speaking to Item football all-stars at the the 2011 football banquet. 

By STEVE KRAUSE

Next to teaching, the No. 1 profession for high school coaches would appear to be police officer. It stands to reason. So much of community policing involves a rapport with teenagers, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that policemen and women would want to do their part to ensure that young people turn into productive, law-abiding citizens.

And that is what I thought about in the wee hours of the morning Friday, with a weary eye tuned into ABC’s overnight news broadcast, in an attempt to keep current with what was going on in Dallas.

I thought of all the cops I’ve known, and of how many of them I’ve dealt with in this job through the years, either as coaches, parents or fans. There are truly too many to name, though some obviously stand out.

My uncle, Howard Hallion, was a Somerville police officer and I was probably a little too young to appreciate what he really did. But I thought he looked cool in his uniform. From him, I got my first real glimpse of what it was like to be a policeman (my Aunt Mary never did like the term “cop.”). Today, his grandson, Gerald Fitzgerald Jr., is a Peabody police officer.

There’s Sgt. Tim Cassidy of Swampscott, who is as conservative as I am liberal, and it couldn’t matter less that either of us thinks as we do. There’s common ground that goes beyond one’s political beliefs, and in our case, our interest in sports, particularly local sports, transcends those differences. Besides, a good guy is a good guy.

Then there’s Roy Ballard of Marblehead, a softball umpire who happened to be on the bases for the most important high school game in my niece’s career at St. Mary’s. I was an unsatisfied customer and, for the first and only time in my life, followed an umpire to his car after the game. He could have decked me. Instead, he calmly explained himself, which is probably way more than I deserved. It didn’t make me agree with him. But I respected him.

I covered Mark Nerich when he was still in high school, and still see him and his brother, Tim, on various details. Ditto Tom and Chris Reddy, who have always gone out of their way to help me out when I’ve needed something.

I grew up with the Magner boys of Cottage Street, as rough-and-tumble a bunch as there was. Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of profiling Tim’s, and his wife, Anne’s, daughter Shannon Magner as part of our Agganis Week coverage.

I’ve known Tim and Bob Ferrari so long I can’t imagine not having known them. I worked with their father at The Item, and have covered all of their children — seven between them — as a sports reporter here. I remember first seeing Ryan McDermott as a tag-along when his father Ray used to come visit us at The Item. He comes from a police pedigree, and he followed its footsteps.

I go back far enough with Mark Lee that I used to have long philosophical discussions about hockey, and other things, when he’d call his games into The Item. This was when he was in the process of building St. Mary’s boys hockey to the elite program it has become. I have always thought he does his best coaching off the ice, and that’s saying a lot because he’s pretty good on the ice too.

Scott Wlasuk was put in a tough position as Peabody’s football coach after he had to discipline some of his players for the usual youthful indiscretions. This might come as a shock to some of you, but not everyone in the city was on board with that discipline and Wlasuk was gone by the end of that season. But he showed some integrity and resolve by doing what he did. Tanners coach Mark Bettencourt saw a player (Doug Santos) who was having a tough time in the real world, and went to bat for him, and even became his legal guardian. Santos will be attending Assumption College in the fall on a scholarship.

One of the real nice guys in the coaching business is Manny Costa, the St. John’s Prep wrestling coach. This is a man who, after it was discovered that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — one of the Boston Marathon bombers — was a high school wrestler, took it as a personal affront because of the discipline wrestling coaches impart into their wrestlers.

Peter, Paul and Mark Holey have become almost synonymous with Lynn English High sports over the years. I recall Peter talking to the Item All-Star football players at one of our banquets, and telling them that gang members (he was on the Lynn Police gang unit at the time) could never do what they did. They’d never last.

When he became the head football coach at English, he had another colleague, Greg Brotherton, as an assistant. Brotherton has moved onto become the head coach in Ipswich.

As I sat there watching and listening to reports of this carnage, I thought of these people. I thought of the Kelly Aylwards, Marie Hanlons, Ted Blakes, Bobby LeBlancs, Tom Hollands, Kevin Coppingers and Glenn Dunnigans, and all the officers I’ve met over the years who have made my job easier, and have given me some insight about what they do and why — especially my high school classmate John Suslak, the former Lynn Police chief.

The overwhelming majority of police officers do a dangerous job with diligence and professionalism. They see things the rest of us couldn’t possibly imagine. The idea of snipers in Dallas (or anywhere) targeting them over incidents that happened a half a country away is insane, but it just reinforces their vulnerability.

The next time you see a police officer you know, or even one whom you do not, take a good look. And make it a point to appreciate what they do and all that they contribute.

 

Saugus is circling Essex Landing

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Saugus Town Hall.

BY LEAH DEARBORN

SAUGUS — Design plans for Essex Landing are still under review.

The mixed-use development on Route 1 at Collins Avenue, will include three apartment buildings, two hotels, a mixed-use building and a restaurant.

The 7.5-acre site, that will replace the Miniature Golf & Batting Cages and the iconic orange dinosaur, was purchased in 2013 for $1.4 million by TB Holdings LLC. The entity is managed by Michael Touchette of Lynnfield and Lord’s & Lady’s Hair Salon founder Michael Barsamian of West Roxbury.

Planning Board Chairman Peter Rossetti said the peer review of the project has so far been limited to the design and some landscaping, but none of the engineering aspects.

“This is a project we would like to keep moving quickly,” he said.

The board is considering Davis Square Architects, Inc. in Somerville and TBA Architects, Inc. in Concord for the project.  

In a chairman’s update, Rossetti also said that a housing needs forum held at Town Hall on June 3 discussed the lack of living spaces for young people and the elderly in Saugus.

Rossetti said Essex Landing will hopefully provide additional housing for those groups of residents.

He also said that a project on Central Street may come up on the Planning Board’s agenda soon. But he didn’t provide any additional details.  

Michael McKeown of BMA Construction has previously mentioned that the Essex Landing development will include one-bedroom apartments as housing options for small families.

In other items, the Planning Board discussed construction on Hitching Hill Road.

Scott Brazis, vice chairman of the Board of Selectmen, was at the meeting to represent Hitching Hill residents.

“It’s been over 12 years, and it’s been too long,” said Brazis in regards to the ongoing construction on the road, which involves the relocation of four homes. “I’m asking you to set deadlines here.”

Developer John Mallon, who was present at the meeting, promised to have work completed by Sept. 15.

Cataldo Ambulance Service Extends Service Contract with City of Lynn

SOMERVILLE — Cataldo Ambulance Service is pleased to announce the recent extension of the exclusive contract to provide emergency ambulance services to the city of Lynn. The starting date for the extension is July 1.

Cataldo has been providing advanced life support and basic life support coverage for Lynn since July 1, 2007. As agreed upon by both parties, Cataldo Ambulance will also continue to provide coverage and support for various community events and details. Ambulance coverage will also be on standby at all working fires.

Cataldo and its division, Atlantic Ambulance Service, are committed to developing strong, long term relationships with the facilities, communities and patients served, the firm said in a statement.

Cataldo and Atlantic currently provide 911 emergency responses for 16 municipalities, hospitals and numerous private contracts from 19 base locations throughout Massachusetts covering Greater Boston and the North Shore.

They are also a leading private provider of emergency medical transportation in the Commonwealth. The Atlantic Ambulance Service Division is the primary entity that

responds to communities in the northern most region of the Cataldo Ambulance Service operating area.

Salvatore A. DeLauri, 81

Virginia Beach, Va.Salvatore Anthony DeLauri, 81, of Somerville, previously of Virginia Beach, Va., died Thursday, June 2, 2016, in a Massachusetts hospital.

Sal had a long career as a Dunkin’s Donuts corporate executive before owning and running a Dunkin’s Donuts Shop in Virginia Beach with his wife Elaine, whom he shared 35 years of marriage.

He is survived by his three daughters, Doreen Donovan and husband, Paul, of Saugus, Diane DeLauri and her husband, David Thompson, of Peabody, and Linda DeLauri, of Medford. He also leaves four grandsons, Michael DeLauri and wife, Kim, of Beverly, David DeLauri, of Peabody, and Alexander and Kevin Donovan, of Saugus, as well as a great-grandson, Noah DeLauri.

He is predeceased by his son, Brett Christopher DeLauri, wife, Elaine DeLauri, parents, Rocco and Alphonsina DeLauri, brothers and sisters, Angelo DeLauri, Mary (Maria) Racca, Philomenia (Philly) Porter and Pat (Pasquale) DeLauri.

Sal will be missed by his children, grandchildren and many loving nieces, nephews, extended family members and longtime friends, whose company and care he greatly valued and with whom he shared many lively debates on life, sports and politics. “GO NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!”

Service information: The family will receive visitors and friends at the at the Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Lynnhaven Chapel, Va., on Saturday, June 11, 2016, from 10-11 a.m., and a service immediately following, then burial in Colonial Grove Memorial Park. Donations in Sal’s memory may be made to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be offered to the family at Hollomon-brown.com.

Family heritage is in our blood

One of Rosalie’s ricotta filled crepes is ready to roll. In the background are others that are ready to go in the oven.

BY ROSALIE HARRINGTON

This week I experienced two events that made me wonder — could they be connected in some invisible, unknowable way?

First, I walked into the French country store on Humphrey Street in Swampscott called Mason de Mer and was greeted by owner Judith Golditch.  Her style, her attitude or vibe is what I would call, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing, and more is better!” She creates a lush feeling with stacks of beautiful textiles, books, serving dishes, imported linens, vintage furniture, art and bric-a-brac.

After about ten minutes of milling and mulling the ambiance and Mason de Mer, I realized that Judith could do a Retailing 101 course. The shop was so cared for and the warmth that she exuded with her customers was special. I introduced myself and we started chatting about our Italian backgrounds. It seemed that we had a lot in common. Her grandfather, like mine, came from Italy in the early l900’s to find a better life. He started a furniture store in Somerville that led to upholstery and decorating. “It’s in my blood,” she remarked.

Judith’s one disappointment in life was that she never met her grandfather, as he had passed away before she was born. Like her, my grandfather died much too early, but in my case I was thirteen. In my grandparents kitchen, friends who would drop by were offered a shot of something, a cup of coffee or a bite to eat and were always made to feel welcomed. “Same here,” Judith answered, hearing the details of my grandparents. We went back and forth with our stories, all so similar. She learned from them as I did, by example.

After Swampscott, I head to Marblehead to finish my errands, a stop at Shube’s for a delicious sandwich and to pick up a few bottles of wine, a gift from O’Rama for my daughter in law, a little thrifting which I always find time for and a stop in my favorite clothing store “French and Italian.” Amy, the owner, is from the same school as Judith. Some of my best clothes have been purchased there, but mostly I don’t buy, I visit because she is so warm and lovely. She always makes me feel that I must be her best customer. We chatted about Judith and Mason de Mer and Amy and I had the same discussion I’d just had in Swampscott — we talked about our Italian heritage. She told me about her grandfather who was in the textile business, where her love for fine garments must have its roots.  “It’s in my blood,” she commented. I couldn’t get over that she used the same expression as Judith. And then the conversation turned to synchronicity, defined as “the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” We chatted for a long time relaying our stories and wondering if it was coincidence, energy, spiritual.

After a few years of missing my relatives in Italy, I returned happily to visit and enjoy the wonderful cuisine of my favorite chef, cousin Mondino, who taught me to make several delicious dishes through the years in authentic Roman style. But I had been longing for his potato dumplings known as gnocchi. When I arrived at his house I greeted him with “I have been dreaming of your gnocchi.”

Brunch with new friends, an old recipe: Crispelle di Ricotta (Crepes with ricotta filling)

Crepe batter:

  • In a large bowl beat three eggs and slowly add a cup of milk.  
  •  Add a scant cup of flour, a tsp. salt and whisk together to combine.  Let rest for several minutes, then strain the mixture into another bowl with a wire strainer.  
  • Melt two tbsp. of butter, do not brown.  Whisk into the batter.  
  • In an omelette or crepe pan melt another two tbsp. butter and remove to a small bowl.
  • Dip a paper towel into the butter and grease your pan.  Heat over medium high heat and make crepes by pouring enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan, rotating quickly to cover.  
  • After about thirty seconds turn the crepe over and allow to brown slightly on the other side. Re-butter the pan after every other crepe.
  • Stack the crepes on top of one another and cover with a damp towel.  The butter that you whisked into the batter will keep the crepes from sticking to one another.  
  • You will make about nine or ten 9″ crepes depending on how large your pan is.  Cover tightly and refrigerate until you are ready to fill them with ricotta.  

For filling:

  • Beat 3 eggs with a quarter cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped, a quarter cup of grated Parmesan and a 32 ounce container of ricotta cheese.  
  • Mix well and add a cup of chopped mozzarella cheese.  Stir to combine.
  • Place two to 3 large tbsp. of ricotta on each crepe and roll up and place on a greased jelly roll pan.  
  • Bake for thirty minutes at 325 or until puffy.  Serve with a heaping tbsp. each of marinara sauce and béchamel sauce.  

For béchamel topping:  

  • Melt six tbsp. butter in a heavy pan and add six tbsp. flour and stir well to combine.  
  • Slowly add 3 and a half cups of milk and stir until it thickens.  
  • Add a quarter cup of grated Parmesan cheese and if it is too thick a little more milk.  Italians sometimes like a dash of nutmeg.  I like to serve my crepes with both the béchamel and marinara sauce, the two sauces meeting in the middle, but it is not necessary.  
  • Serve with a mixed green salad, prosciutto and melon would be a nice first course.  

Alfred Chiaraluce, 88

LYNNMr. Alfred Chiaraluce, age 88, of Lynn, formerly of Somerville and Medford, died on Monday, May 23, 2016, after a lengthy illness. He was the husband of Margaret E. “Marge” (Bagley) Chiaraluce, with whom he shared 30 years of marriage.

Born in Arlington, he was the son of the late Philip and Rose (Fusco) Chiaraluce. He was raised in Somerville and was a graduate of Somerville High School. He had lived in Somerville and Medford before moving to Lynn 30 years ago.

Alfred had worked as a master upholsterer for most of his life. He had then worked in the Safety Deposit Department at Eastern Bank on Market Street in Lynn for 10 years until he retired at the age of 75.

The “Family Weatherman,” he was an amateur Meteorologist, who enjoyed plotting and calculating the weather. He enjoyed sports, following the Boston teams, and spending time with his family.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Jane O’Brien of Quincy, Philip Chiaraluce and his wife, Lettie, of Tewksbury, Fred Chiaraluce and his wife, Diane, of Woburn, Doreen Dwyer and her husband, Stephen, of Andover, and Denise Chiaraluce of Melrose, Marge’s children, Philip Caponigro of Essex, Joseph Caponigro and his wife, Kelly, of Swampscott, and Carlo Caponigro and his wife, Francesca, of Swampscott, his grandchildren, Jessica Jones, with whom he shared many wonderful times and memories, Charissa, Philip, Nicholas and Cassandra Chiaraluce, Nicole Dwyer, Deanna Molinaro and her husband, David, Joey, Katie, Gina, Natalie, Jaymie, and John Caponigro, three, great grandchildren, Tyler and Adam Molinaro, and Joseph Caponigro, a sister, Concetta “Tina” DiIanni and her husband, Anthony, of Beverley, a brother-in-law, Robert “Joe” Bagley, of East Boston, and many nieces and nephews. He was also the brother of the late Joseph and Raymond Chiaraluce.

Service information: His funeral will be held on Thursday at 9 a.m., from the Solimine Funeral Home, 67 Ocean St., (Route 1A), Lynn, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m., in Holy Family Church. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours are Wednesday 4-8 p.m. Directions and guest book at Solimine.com.

Dorothy E. Dow

SAUGUSMrs. Dorothy E. (Hillis) Dow died peacefully at her home on May 7, 2016. She was the wife of the late Edward A. Dow with whom she shared 57 years of marriage.

Born in Somerville, she was the daughter of the late Horace Hillis and Mary Elizabeth (Morris) Hillis, spending most of her years in Saugus, graduating from Saugus High School in 1941 with honors. She was treasurer of the Saugus High Alumni Association for 11 years and worked on some of her class reunions. Mrs. Dow worked at Saugus Bank and Trust for 38 years. She was also a bookkeeper for Russo’s Candy House and worked at the Lynnfield Office Park part-time. She enjoyed bingo, camping, crossword puzzles, crocheting, watching the Red Sox and using her computer.

Mrs. Dow is survived by her beloved daughter, Linda J. (Dow) Pogson and her husband, Doug, of Saugus. She was the sister of Barbara (Hillis) Snell and her husband, Bill, and the late June (Hillis) Morris. Mrs. Dow also her leaves her caregiver and niece, Donna DiMauro, nieces, Cynthia St. Pierre and Bonnie Patten, nephew, Keith Morris and the late Craig Morris and many other much loved nieces and nephews.

Service information: Visiting hours will be held in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, on Wednesday, 4-7 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 7 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited. Interment will take place on Friday, at 11 a.m., at Riverside Cemetery. Donations in Mrs. Dow’s memory may be made to the Northeast Animal Shelter, 347 Highland Ave., Salem, MA 01970. For directions and condolences BisbeePorcella.com.

NEC-GBL merger clears high hurdle

By STEVE KRAUSE

 

A proposed merger of the Northeastern Conference and the Greater Boston League cleared a hurdle Friday when the NEC, the larger of the two entities, voted 9-3 to formally invite the four GBL teams to join forces.

The offer was made on the condition that after four years, the arrangement can be reviewed by the NEC teams. Two other stipulations are that Everett, among the state’s premier football teams, would play an independent league schedule in that sport and participate in the merged league in all others; and that the two teams each from the GBL be placed in both the North and the South divisions of the newly-merged conference.

“There was concern,” said Classical principal Gene Constantino, an outspoken proponent of both this proposal and the one that failed to receive the required nine votes several years ago, “of losing the flavor of the NEC if all the GBL teams ended up on one division. So we proposed that we put two teams in each.”

A verbal offer has already been presented to the Greater Boston League. Should the GBL accept, the proposal would have to go before Districts A and B of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association for the approval of the principals and athletic directors in each.

Les Murray, secretary/treasurer of the Northeastern Conference, said that the earliest he sees the newly-merged league ready for full intra-league play would be spring of 2017.

“Most of the schools are already well into making fall schedules,” he said. “It would be very hard to get it done by winter, so the earliest I see it happening in the spring.”

Also, said Murray, the GBL, down to four teams, has relied on non-league scheduling for most of the last decade, and some of the schools may still have contractual commitments to honor.

The reason for the four-year review, Murray said, is that some NEC schools were worried about logistical issues involving scheduling and wanted to have the opportunity to adjust whatever arrangements are ultimately made.

Both Classical and English are in the Northeastern Conference as well as Swampscott, Saugus, Marblehead, Peabody, Revere and Winthrop. Also included in the NEC are Salem, Beverly, Gloucester and Danvers.

The four remaining GBL teams are Everett, Somerville, Malden and Medford. At one time, both the NEC and GBL had 10 teams each, and Revere and Peabody were in the GBL.

Currently, the NEC is divided into the North and South divisions, with six teams in each. Under the new arrangement there would be eight teams in each.

Murray said that it hasn’t been determined which GBL teams would go into the newly-configured divisions.

NEC-GBL conference merger on the table again

 

By STEVE KRAUSE

 

Next Wednesday, the principals of a dozen schools of the Northeastern Conference (NEC) will vote on a proposal by the four remaining schools in the Greater Boston League (GBL) to merge.

A similar plan failed a few years ago, with only seven NEC schools voting in favor when nine are needed.

This time, let’s hope the “yays” find a couple of extra votes and they get this done.

Classical Principal Gene Constantino is a big proponent of this idea, and it’s not just because he’s a Medford son. The GBL schools have much in common with their NEC counterparts. Already, two former GBL schools, Peabody and Revere, currently reside in the NEC.

Constantino said that the proposal has been tweaked enough to find the two extra votes. There  won’t be a situation similar to the last one, a three-tiered arrangement where Salem ended up in a division with the four GBL teams of Somerville, Everett, Malden and Medford, he said. This time, there would only be two tiers, similar to the way the NEC is set up now, with two schools from the GBL in each of them. The only time that would change would be in football, where Everett, one of the state’s powerhouses under coach John DiBiaso, would play an independent schedule.

This plan wouldn’t have been practical 15 years ago, as the GBL was a thriving conference. Aside from Revere and Peabody, Arlington and Waltham also played in the GBL, which gave it eight very competitive schools. Back then, Peabody was every bit Everett’s equal on the gridiron and the two teams used to stage some pretty memorable games.

But Arlington and Waltham left to join the Dual County League and that, with the defection of Peabody and  Revere, left the league with only four schools.

This would appear to be more of a GBL-driven plan than a Northeastern Conference one. Though the addition of four teams that lie on the southern end of the NEC would certainly benefit many teams in the league in terms of travel and facilities, it has to be tough to find games when you’re in a four-team league. As a result, the NEC and GBL already play each other in just about all sports. Even, in some cases, football, with the exception of Everett. Nobody wants to play the Crimson Tide except for the ones that absolutely have to, which is why Everett plays all the Catholic Conference teams during the non-league portion of its schedule.

Under this plan, that wouldn’t have to change. The Catholic Conference teams welcome the competition Everett provides them, because they have the same problem. Few schools are lining up to play those teams as well.

But really, the Everett issue only really crops up in football. English and Classical both schedule Everett in boys and girls basketball. In fact, in sports other than football, Everett and the bigger Northeastern Conference schools are pretty much on a level playing field.

The argument was made the last time this came up for a vote that before the Northeastern Conference expands, it should endeavor to return to its roots. OK. Which roots? The NEC you see today bears little resemblance to what it was in the  1950s and 1960s. Teams came in and out of the league back then, too, as the NEC absorbed some teams from the old Essex County League and lost some to the Cape Ann League.

That ship has sailed. The only constant in life is flux. Demographics change regularly. Look at how often the MIAA has to realign its divisions to accommodate school population shifts. Look at how often the NEC has had to reshuffle its own divisions to account for the changing fortunes of its schools. At one time, Lynn had three hockey teams. Now it only has one — a combined Lynn Jets squad that encompasses Classical, English and Tech. At one time, the entire Northeastern Conference in hockey was Division 2. It was the same in football.

Now, the NEC is spread among four divisions in football, and two in hockey.

This is no going back. Only forward. And this is one leap forward the league should take. It needs to embrace and accept the four GBL schools, and the sooner the better.