Weather

Wayne Alarm: Fire system up to code?

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

At Wayne Alarm, we always make sure our customers and clients are fully prepared in case of any emergency. And with warmer weather fast approaching, it is important to make sure your fire system is still reliable, inspected, tested and maintained. A quarterly check on your system can make a huge difference in your safety. So how can homeowners or business owners keep their systems updated? Follow these tips below:

  • Make sure Wayne Alarms fire system is up to date with its detection alarm. Without this feature, the system would fail to notify you if smoke appears or to dispatch the firefighters to save your home and evacuate your family.
  • Check your fire exits to make sure doors easily open and no objects are blocking the exits. It’s also important to ensure that it is properly marked and everyone will have no trouble finding it.
  • Make sure there are no flammable objects or substances in or near the exits. If so, it is best to store them away in the right place to prevent any fire.

On average, there are over 374,000 residential fires and over 2,000 deaths. Don’t let yourself become a statistic. These additional tips could make a huge difference to avoid any fire.

  • Smoking – If you smoke, make sure you do so in areas where it is not prohibited. Or if you smoke, make sure it is only fire-safe cigarettes. Since fires and deaths result from fires that have started in a living/family rooms, or bedrooms, it is better to smoke outside instead. Most importantly, keep lighters, matches and cigarettes out of reach of children.
  • Electrical – When using electrical kitchen appliances make sure they are put into a receptacle outlet one at a time, as the outlet can dangerously heat up.

Call us today to schedule for a free in-home consultation.

Item live-3

“Here yesterday… Here today…Here tomorrow.”

www.waynealarm.com

Wayne Alarm: Fire system up to code?

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

At Wayne Alarm, we always make sure our customers and clients are fully prepared in case of any emergency. And with warmer weather fast approaching, it is important to make sure your fire system is still reliable, inspected, tested and maintained. A quarterly check on your system can make a huge difference in your safety. So how can homeowners or business owners keep their systems updated? Follow these tips below:

  • Make sure Wayne Alarms fire system is up to date with its detection alarm. Without this feature, the system would fail to notify you if smoke appears or to dispatch the firefighters to save your home and evacuate your family.
  • Check your fire exits to make sure doors easily open and no objects are blocking the exits. It’s also important to ensure that it is properly marked and everyone will have no trouble finding it.
  • Make sure there are no flammable objects or substances in or near the exits. If so, it is best to store them away in the right place to prevent any fire.

On average, there are over 374,000 residential fires and over 2,000 deaths. Don’t let yourself become a statistic. These additional tips could make a huge difference to avoid any fire.

  • Smoking – If you smoke, make sure you do so in areas where it is not prohibited. Or if you smoke, make sure it is only fire-safe cigarettes. Since fires and deaths result from fires that have started in a living/family rooms, or bedrooms, it is better to smoke outside instead. Most importantly, keep lighters, matches and cigarettes out of reach of children.
  • Electrical – When using electrical kitchen appliances make sure they are put into a receptacle outlet one at a time, as the outlet can dangerously heat up.

Call us today to schedule for a free in-home consultation.

Item live-3

“Here yesterday… Here today…Here tomorrow.”

www.waynealarm.com

Wayne Alarm: Make your home ‘smart’

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

The SkyBell: skybellThis revolutionary doorbell eliminates the danger of opening the door to strangers. It’s sleek, metal polished design blends in perfectly next to a door. The SkyBell has an integrated camera, so you can stream the video footage at any time. It will also automatically record motion of if someone rings the bell. The SkyBell is also extremely durable, sustaining any weather between -40 to 140 degrees.

There’s no need to open the door to strangers anymore to find out what they want with the two-way audio feature included! Converse directly to your visitors from the safety of your house. Set your preferences to receive notifications directly on your phone if someone rings it or even if someone walks by. Pairing the SkyBell with the August Smart Lock is a guaranteed way to bring your house into the 21st century.

The August Smart Lock:August Smart Lock Forget about leaving the spare key under the mat, control your locks with the click of a button from anywhere. Grant different levels of access to users depending on your preferences. For example, if you’re going on vacation you can give your dog sitter access for the week, but not after 10 p.m. After the week they will no longer have access.

When approaching the door, depending on your settings, the door can automatically unlock when you’re within a couple feet. The Smart Lock also keeps a log of who unlocks and locks the door. Every key has a digital number associated with the user, so you can see who accessed the locks and at what time. This product is very simple to use and extremely convenient and a must for anyone who is looking towards the future.

Lyric Thermostat:Lyric ThermostatThe Lyric Thermostat changes the way you think about technology. This thermostat is Wi-Fi capable and also features voice control.  This thermostat will also send you notifications about maintenance, and will warn you about extreme weather approaching.

The Lyric Thermostat takes full advantage of its Wi-Fi capability. With the proper integrations from Total Connect, It can see your location and will even change the temperature of your house accordingly. It can warm up your house in the winter and turn the air on for you in the summer when you’re heading home. This will save you money on your AC and heating costs because you won’t have to keep it running while you’re away. The Lyric Thermostat is a revolutionary product and certainly one of a kind.

Item live-3

“Here yesterday… Here today…Here tomorrow.”

www.waynealarm.com

Wayne Alarm: Pet safety

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

With summertime here and in the midst of hot weather, it’s important to think about our pet’s safety. Things that effect our pets can sometimes not affect us, so it can be easy to forget about protecting our animals. Little things that can go unnoticed to humans can be dangerous for animals, so it’s important to be informed on any danger possible.

Watch What They Get Fed

If you’re having a cookout or friends over, always be on the lookout for someone offering your animal people food. Many people think it’s a treat, while in reality it can make your dog very sick. Leave treats out for anyone that wants to play or reward the dog to ensure they won’t get sick.

Supervise Them in Water

Whether you’re at the pool or on the lake, always keep an eye out for your animal. It is very easy for dogs to get exhausted, and struggle to keep afloat. Treat your animal like a child, and never leave them unattended. Until your animal is a proven swimmer, it might even be a good idea to give them a special animal life jacket, especially out at sea.

Hot Pavement

Temperatures on the ground can exceed 145 degrees, but we wear shoes so it’s not a problem for us. However, dog’s paws are in serious danger during these temperatures. You should place your hand or bare foot on the ground for a minimum of 10 seconds to feel if it’s a comfortable temperature. Plan your walks for early morning or late evenings to avoid the heat at its peak. In the event of it being too hot, it’s a good idea to purchase a pair of booties to comfortably walk your dog.

Constant Water

This should be an obvious one, but many people seem to forget, always leave your animal with water. Dehydration and heat stroke can sneak up on animals, so it’s important to always provide your animal with clean, fresh water. When going on walks, bring water bottles with you just for your dog. Some signs of dehydration in your dog is sunken eyes, dry gums and loss of energy. If you think your animal has these symptoms, contact your vet.

Car Safety

Never under any circumstances leave your animal locked in the car. The temperature of a car rises 40 degrees in an hour, with 80 percent of the increase coming within the first 30 minutes. Opening windows has almost no impact on the temperature rise. If you see a dog stuck inside of a car on a hot day, please alert the authorities.

Fur Care

Sometimes pet owners can forget about grooming your animal, but during the summer months it’s a necessity. Animals are more active in the nice weather, but so are insects. Ticks and fleas can very easily latch on to your animal, so it’s important to brush and inspect them. Trimming your animal’s fur is a good way to deter against the heat, but be sure to leave at least an inch to protect their skin from the sun.

Item live-3

“Here yesterday… Here today…Here tomorrow.”

www.waynealarm.com

Street closings a Federal case in Lynn

COURTESY PHOTO
Federal Street will be closed to through traffic until 5 a.m. June 5.

By MATT DEMIRS

LYNN — Delays when commuting around Federal Street and Magrane Circle in Lynn are expected to continue through Monday, June 5.

Department of Public Works Commissioner Andrew Hall is asking drivers to seek alternative routes since the roadways will be closed to all through traffic, although access to businesses will remain.

These closures are to allow for a rapid reconstruction of one intersection and one roadway segment in a short period of time.

Police details will be stationed to detour drivers through construction zones, in addition to the variable message signs and well-marked detour signs. The construction will take place in two phases.

In phase 1, Federal Street will be closed from Marion Street to Western Avenue between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Western Avenue will have one lane of traffic in each direction during construction.
South Street will be local access only from South Common Street to Western Avenue.

Roadwork is anticipated to be complete on Friday, June 2.

In phase 2, Federal Street will remain closed from Marion Street to Western Avenue. Western Avenue will be closed to all traffic from Spencer Street to Centre Street.

Medford could become park place

Work begins Friday, June 2 at 7 p.m. and will continue around the clock all weekend with anticipated completion by Monday, June 5 at 5 a.m.

South Street will be local access only from South Common Street to Western Avenue.

Detour locations will be Mall Street and Centre Street for southbound traffic and Summer Street for northbound traffic.

Closures will also affect MBTA bus routes through the construction zones. Hall asked drivers to check with the bus routes to see how they will be affected.

All anticipated completion times and dates are weather permitting.

Ward 5 City Councilor Dianna Chakoutis said people she knows are looking past the traffic snarls to the opening of the new Federal Street Market Basket. The store is scheduled to open in August.

“Everyone’s excited,” she said.

For additional information, the public can visit the city of Lynn Department of Public Works website at http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/.


Matt Demirs can be reached at mdemirs@itemlive.com

10 standout moments from Boston Calling

ITEM PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
Weezer performs at Boston Calling.

By LEAH DEARBORN

BOSTON — Thousands of music lovers flocked to the Boston Calling Music Festival’s new Allston location over the weekend for three days of concerts, comedy and more.

Friday kicked off an impressive array of more 40 musical acts at the Harvard Athletic Complex, with three separate stages. Here are just a few standout moments from this year’s Boston Calling.

  1. Although cloudy and cool, the weather remained tolerable throughout most of the weekend. The exception was during the final hours of Friday, when Icelandic band Sigur Ros took the stage and the sky opened up. The post-rock trio continued to perform in the rain, which only added atmosphere to the already melodic, ethereal music and dazzling backgrounds.
  2. The comedy tent was a solid hit, particularly headliners Hannibal Buress and Tig Notaro. Local talent Eugene Mirman of “Bob’s Burgers” fame took the stage, bringing along a collection of fake calendars he’s been leaving in tourist shops across Cape Cod. They included quotes like, “Not to brag, but Mitt Romney has showered on my boat twice.”
  3. Mac DeMarco played a smooth selection of songs from his albums “This Old Dog” and “Salad Days.” DeMarco smoked cigarettes that audience members threw on stage and invited one young man up from the crowd who skipped his prom to attend the show.
  4. Rap and hip-hop fans had a lot to look forward to over the course of the three days. Friday headliner Chance the Rapper, as well as Danny Brown, Migos, the Flatbush Zombies, and Run the Jewels offered some variation beyond typical indie-folk and rock festival offerings.
  5. Saturday saw shorter lines than Friday as the festival moved into full swing, but larger crowds made it difficult to get too close to the major acts. A dreamy set by The 1975 offered a welcome reprieve from the chaos with lots of synth, saxophone and neon pastel lights.
  6. Mumford & Sons capped off Saturday with a lengthy set that drew the largest audience of the weekend, filling the venue to the very back. The popular folk band started off with some of their bigger numbers and ended on a cover of “With a Little Help From My Friends.”
  7. Standing poised and in all black, up-and-coming artist Mitski performed early on Sunday, taking complete command of the stage with shades of Alanis Morissette and Kim Deal, formerly of Pixies.
  8. Boston Calling’s diverse selection of food proved to be a pleasant surprise. Local favorites like Roxy’s Grilled Cheese were present, as well as FoMu ice cream, Arancini Bros, Bon Me and Zinneken’s Waffles, among others.
  9. Love or loathe festival fashion, there’s no denying that it’s a presence. Many festival-goers seemed out of sync with the cool, drab weather. Hawaiian shirts, crop tops, crushed velvet tank tops and a few men’s rompers ruled the weekend.
  10. Heavyweights Weezer, Major Lazer and Tool signaled the festival’s end on Sunday night. Weezer played a mixture of old and new favorites, ending with “Buddy Holly.” With their strange, vivid background displays, Tool put on a memorable show for their first stop in Boston in years.

 

Complaints roll in over ‘obnoxious’ soup smell

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Clint Muche reads over social media complaints about the onion smell.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

LYNN — If you’ve rolled down your car windows to take in the fresh, spring air while cruising down the Lynnway these past few warm days, you’ve likely been greeted with a strong whiff of onions.

City Councilor Richard Colucci said the smell is coming from Kettle Cuisine Inc., located at 330 Lynnway. The wholesale soup manufacturer cooks all natural soups from scratch for restaurants, food service operators, and grocery stores, according to the company’s website. Founded in 1986, the factory moved to Lynn less than five years ago.

While the odor might be slightly bothersome to passersby in traffic, it has become a real nuisance for neighbors and abutters, said Colucci, who keeps logs of the complaints he receives.

“I get three to four calls a week,” he said. “They shouldn’t have to smell it. In the beginning, it didn’t smell at all. I don’t know if they’re not cleaning the chimney or something. Before, it didn’t stink at all. Then, in the summer a little. Now I’m starting to smell it at my own house on Ocean Street.”

Susan Blum, who is undergoing radiation therapy, called the smell dreadful.

“Radiation treatment makes you nauseous and the smell on top of it is horrible,” said Blum, a Kenwood Terrace resident who kept her windows closed all last spring while she was receiving treatment.

“Last night we were sitting (at home) at 8 p.m. with the windows open and I said to my husband ‘it still stinks,’” she said.

Lori Thompson, a neighbor who lives about two miles from the site, said she believes the smell is getting stronger with time.

“Yesterday was a beautiful day, warm with a nice breeze,” said Thompson. “I opened my windows to let the house air out after the long winter and had to immediately close them. I had to turn on the air conditioning instead of enjoying the fresh air because the onion smell was overwhelming, as it was this morning.”

Colucci is submitting the complaints to Clint Muche, deputy building commissioner in the city’s Inspectional Services Department.

“In essence, one can almost expect that there will be calls whenever the wind is from a southerly or southwesterly direction blowing across the roof to the downtown area,” said Muche. “Unfortunately, that’s the predominant wind direction throughout the spring.”

Playing ball in Malden

When the department first began receiving the complaints, the city sanitarian visited and toured the roof confirming a noticeable “soup” smell and asked Kettle Cuisine to alleviate the problem, said Muche.

The manufacturer voluntarily completed a multi-phase cleaning project on the factory’s exhaust system, which he called ineffective.

In September, Kettle Cuisine was served with written notice to take all necessary steps to abate air pollution originating from its property, but acting through Attorney Thomas Demakis, the company appealed the demand, Muche said. The request for a hearing implicated the Department of Environmental Protection because air pollution is subject to state regulation.

Jessica Stasinos, executive assistant to CEO Liam McClennon said a meeting is planned with city councilors and DEP next week. Stasinos declined to comment on any changes that have been made to alleviate the problem. McClennon was not available for comment prior to deadline.

“I think it’s a citywide issue — I don’t think it’s just reserved to the waterfront,” said City Councilor At Large Brian LaPierre. “The odor was permeating throughout the city (Tuesday). With the warmer weather, the smell is just obnoxious.”


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

Lynn talks transportation

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Ideas about transportation are shared at a public forum in Lynn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Musician J. Geils dies at 71

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Spring has sprung

PHOTO BY MARK LORENZ
Susan Clark and Annie Clifford enjoy an afternoon walk at Fort Sewall.

By LEAH DEARBORN

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

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

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

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

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

Slow down: Speed limits could change

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

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

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

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

Spring cleaning

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
A dead rat is seen on pavement of Union Street.

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN There’s a reason the downtown isn’t looking its best: The city’s street sweeper is in the shop.

“The downtown is a mess,” said Andrew Hall, commissioner of the Department of Public Works.  “Our sweeper has been broken for a week and we’re waiting on parts.”

A walk through Central Square and up Union Street takes a little effort to avoid the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cups, potato chip bags, candy wrappers and even a dead rat near North Shore Furniture. It wasn’t much better at Caruso’s Pizza or Aaron’s where an assortment of trash was strewn on the streets.  

None of the merchants would talk to The Item when asked to comment on the state of the downtown’s cleanliness. Pedestrians were a little more willing to offer their take on it.

Rodney Garcia, who just had soup at Pho Minh Ky Restaurant, said he’s used to the litter and hardly notices it anymore.

“I know it’s there, but I just don’t think about it,” he said. “I have bigger things to worry about.”

Rosemarie Gonsalves and her daughter, who were en route to pick up a prescription at Eaton Apothecary, said now that the snow’s melted she’s noticing the litter.

“It doesn’t look like the most inviting part of the city,” she said. “They could do a better job keeping it clean since there are so many businesses.”

Car burns up on Western Avenue

Hall said the city’s street sweeper usually cleans the downtown streets five nights a week. But it has been out of service since last Wednesday.

The citywide street sweeping program began Monday. DPW contracts with a firm to sweep, weather permitting.

The twice yearly project started in West Lynn’s Ward 7 in West Lynn and will end in Ward 1. In the fall, it will be reversed and they will start in Ward 1.

Typically, it takes a week to complete the sweep in each ward, weather permitting, Hall said.

“It was canceled on Tuesday because it poured and we expect it to be canceled on Thursday for rain,” he said.

Sweeping operations are conducted from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Illegally parked cars will receive a $15 ticket.


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

 

Bridging a danger

The state’s decision to give Saugus $500,000 to start the Water Street bridge’s replacement is a positive step in the right direction to eliminating dangers above area roadways.

The bridge is more than a century old and the state money will initially pay for what will probably be an expensive and time-consuming process to replace the bridge on the town’s border with Wakefield. It is hoped the Water Street bridge project is a hint at an accelerated state and federal effort to get aging and decaying bridges across the nation fixed or replaced.

Bridges in Massachusetts and other states were built, in many cases, to accommodate traffic from a simpler time when fewer vehicles moved across bridges and mega-trucks carrying enormous loads had yet to be invented.

New England weather and proximity in the case of coastal communities has hastened the demise of many bridges to the point where they have become dangerous potential disasters.

Bridges are never an easy fix. Anyone familiar with town bridges spanning the Saugus River knows the amount of time and traffic detouring required to get those bridges replaced and the work continues.

Bridge projects require detouring drivers or shutting down lanes and contributing to traffic tie-ups on already-overcrowded roads. They involve engineering and structural work that takes time and money to accomplish.

But bridge repairs cannot be ignored. News reports periodically highlight horror stories about concrete chunks or metal falling from elderly bridges onto vehicles. More than one bridge in the state has been closed down or posted with state warning signs prohibiting truck traffic.

Focusing on violence

Ironically, the same strategy that set the stage for bridge construction across the nation 80 years ago makes sense today. The Great Depression spawned federal project agencies that built bridges and put the unemployed to work.

A new national commitment funded by federal dollars to fix up thousands of bridges needs to be entertained and launched. More exciting transportation projects or alternate energy endeavors should be put on hold in order to channel money into bridge building.

Municipal spending, even state dollars, don’t come close to covering costs for pricey bridge projects — even ones as relatively small as the Water Street bridge. Failure to repair and replace bridges will lead to an economic injury caused by detours and traffic tie-ups around closed bridges.

City stands to collect $175K for parking tickets

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
A car tries to navigate Lynn in the Tuesday snow.

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN — Henry DeLeon was one of the unlucky ones.

He woke up Wednesday morning to discover a $150 ticket on his late-model red Hyundai Sonata. The city’s snow emergency went into effect at midnight and he failed to remove his car from Madison Street.

Tuesday night’s nor’easter dumped more than a half foot of snow in Lynn and caused headaches for residents and city workers. Car owners scrambled to find lots to park their cars while plows tried to stay ahead of the long-duration storm.

DeLeon was one of 1,170 vehicle owners who received tickets during the region’s most recent blizzard. The motorists’ misfortune will fill the city’s coffers with $175,500.

Still, he should count himself among the fortunate ones who “only” got a ticket. The city towed 330 cars whose owners have to come up with not only the payment for the $150 ticket, but another $115, plus $35 a day to get their car back. That will bring the city at least another $99,000.

The Tides of March: More storm photos

At an appeal hearing Wednesday, DeLeon made his case to Robert Stilian, the city’s acting parking director, to get the ticket dismissed.

“I was parked in front of my house,” he said.

But Stilian was unmoved. He told DeLeon the snow emergency went into effect at midnight and parking was prohibited on any roadway until the ban was lifted in the morning.

“Would you at least consider lowering the fine?” DeLeon pleaded. “At $150, that’s a lot of money.”

Stilian declined.

“I can’t even take $1 off,” he said. “The city can’t plow if cars are parked on the street. It’s a matter of public safety, no exceptions.”  

To avoid a ticket or tow, officials say use the city’s school parking lots. But be sure to be out by 6 a.m. or there’s a chance for a ticket and/or a tow.


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

Hiberian 5K just days away

By BILL BROTHERTON

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online registration is open for the race until midnight tonight by using this link: https://racewire.com/register.php?id=7135. Packet pickup will be available at the hall (105 Federal St. Lynn) from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and beginning at 9 a.m. on race day.  In-person registration is available on race day and at packet pickup Saturday.

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

Ide(a)s of March for MBTA

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

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

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

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


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

The Tides of March: More storm photos

PHOTOS BY SPENSER HASAK, OWEN O’ROURKE, JIM WILSON, PAULA MULLER and BOB ROCHE
Waves crash into Lewis Cove in Nahant as the storm moves in.

Parking ban up at 12 a.m.; no school Wednesday

LYNN — The snow emergency and parking ban will be lifted at midnight Tuesday, according to a news release from the city of Lynn.

All vehicles parked in public school lots must be moved by 10 a.m. Wednesday or risk being ticketed and towed, the city says.

City Hall will be open for business Wednesday, but Lynn Public Schools will be closed. Trash and recycling pickup will remain on a one-day delay for the rest of the week.

Thousands without electricity during storm

Point of Pines prepares for pounding

PHOTO BY SCOTT EISEN
Richie Sarro moves a grill in preparations for the heavy snow and high winds.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

With dangerous weather conditions expected during today’s winter storm, many communities are taking precautions.

Current forecasts project 12-18 inches of snow across most of the state, high winds and coastal flooding. Snow is expected to fall at a rate of 2-4 inches per hour, causing whiteout conditions.

A snow emergency has been declared in Revere and a parking ban will start at 6 a.m. today. Revere Public Schools and all city offices will be closed.

Ward 5 city councilor John Powers, who represents many of the city’s waterfront neighborhoods, said flooding typically depends on the tide.

“My understanding is that we’re probably going to have a 13-foot tide (today) and that’s above normal, but hopefully not too much above normal,” Powers said.

A tide gate near the train tracks and a system that involves catch basins for storm water and two pump houses are in place to prevent flooding during large storms like today’s, he said.

“Under normal conditions, the gate opens and closes automatically,” Powers said. “It’s closed now for the storm.”

Rice Avenue residents Nicole Capozzi and Richie Sarro said their home hasn’t been flooded in years. Howling winds, however, are another issue.

“The wind here is very very strong,” said Capozzi. “It’s very loud. During the last storm, I looked out the window and the grill was in the neighbor’s yard.”

To prepare for storms, they move their lawn furniture and grill to an alcove where it’s protected from the wind.

Sarro, who grew up in the Point of Pines neighborhood, said he believes the addition of dune grass helps keep the flood water at bay.

“Years ago, I was here during the 1978 storm,” he said. “I remember my mom was putting on her makeup. I looked out the window and there was a wall of water coming down the road. There was a helicopter on the roof asking ‘are you people alright?’ and I remember holding the dog. But we haven’t had anything like that in a long time.”

Cheryl Rebholz, a Rice Avenue resident, said she hasn’t had water in her basement for a few years, but still errs on the side of caution.

“We checked the pump in our basement yesterday,” Rebholz said. “All we can do is hope for the best.”

Lynn school election snowed out

A list of emergency arteries can be found on the Revere Police Department’s website. Cars parked on the emergency roads will be towed. The MBTA Wonderland Garage will be available to residents who don’t have off-street parking for a $5 rate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In a statement, The Revere Department of Public Works, Police Department and Mayor Brian Arrigo’s office asked residents to avoid travel. In addition to high rates of snow, MEMA has advised residents to be aware of the potential for coastal flooding, particularly during high tide at 1:29 p.m.

The city advised residents of the Beachmont, Point of Pines and Oak Island neighborhoods to be cautious.

A parking ban in Lynn began at midnight and all Lynn Public Schools are closed today, according to the city’s website.

All cars are required to be removed from the city’s streets and sidewalks until the ban is lifted. Residents without off-street parking can use the school’s parking lots starting at 5 p.m. on Monday.

Parking is also available at the Ellis Street Municipal lot on the School Street side and at the MBTA parking garage at Broad and Market Streets.

Trash and recycling will not be collected today. Collection will run on a one-day delay for the remainder of the week.

An emergency parking ban went into effect in Peabody at 3 a.m. today. During a snow emergency, blue lights on the city’s traffic poles will flash, indicating that parking on the streets is prohibited.

For residents who do not have off-street parking, alternative parking options may be available. For more information, contact 978-538-6312.

Peabody Public Schools, City Hall and other municipal offices are closed today.

Saugus Public Schools are also closed.

Saugus will  have a parking ban, effective today at 6 a.m., until 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.  Motor vehicles must be moved from streets in order for the town to have roadways cleared, plowed, salted and sanded for public safety and emergency vehicle access. Any vehicles remaining on the streets may be ticketed and towed, according to Town Manager Scott Crabtree.

Parking is available in the Saugus High School lot, located at 1 Pearce Memorial Drive. The upper lot on the left has been designated as parking space for emergency overflow parking.

Crabtree said he’s urging residents to be safe and to check on family members and neighbors during the storm.

Trash and recycling collection will be delayed by one day from Wednesday through Saturday, March 18. Residents can contact solid waste and recycling coordinator Lorna Cerbone at 781-231- 4036 for more information.

Trash pickup is canceled in Marblehead, Peabody, Swampscott and Lynnfield today. In Revere, collection will begin early at 5 a.m. and remain on schedule throughout the week.

The town of Nahant has a winter parking ban that extends from Dec. 21 to March 20. The ban prohibits on-street parking from midnight until 6 a.m. Residents can apply for a parking waiver to be exempt from the ban.

In the event of a snow emergency, all cars must be removed from the street, including those with a parking waiver, or they will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

The Johnson Elementary School is closed.

A parking ban, beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, will last for 24 hours in Swampscott, according to Department of Public Works director Gino Cresta.

Swampscott Public Schools and Swampscott Town Hall are closed.

School is canceled in Lynnfield. The town will follow its normal winter parking ban, which prohibits cars from being parked on the road from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Keolis Commuter Services, operator of the MBTA Commuter Rail, said Monday that it will be operating at “Blue” level of service today. This means the normal weekday commuter rail schedule will be reduced by one-third and express trains will make local stops. Passengers should expect delays of between 15 and 25 minutes across the system.

“Extremely fast snowfall rates will create dangerous roadway conditions and we urge everyone to be prepared to stay off the roads, take public transit if necessary and work from home if possible,” said Gov. Charlie Baker in a statement.


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

Lynn school election snowed out

PHOTO BY SCOTT EISEN
Lynn City Clerk Janet Rowe, left, and election coordinator Mary Jules help Tim and Deborah Potter cast absentee ballots.

By THOMAS GRILLO

SALEM — As a late season blizzard threatens to shut down the Bay State with more than a foot of snow, today’s high stakes election on funding two new middle schools has been postponed.

Essex Superior Court Judge Peter Lauriat issued the ruling on Monday in response to a request from the city. Less than three hours later, in an emergency meeting, the City Council moved the election to next Tuesday, March 21.

Lauriat approved a request by Richard Vitali, the city’s assistant city solicitor, to delay the special election. While the city had hoped the judge would approve the March 21 date, Lauriat declined.

“The City Council set the date of the first vote, they should set the new one,” Lauriat said from the bench.

That set in motion a swift response from City Hall to call for an emergency council meeting

“I’m glad,” said Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. “I wanted to make sure we got into court today because it’s becoming more and more evident that it would be a real public safety hazard to have people attempting to go out to vote in a storm like this.”

Current system not sustainable, Latham says

Voters are being asked to pay for a 652-student school to be built near Pine Grove Cemetery on Parkland Avenue. A second facility to serve 1,008 students would be constructed on McManus Field on Commercial Street.

If approved, property owners will be responsible for $91.4 million of the total $188.5 million project cost. School officials said $11 million in contingency funds are included in the overall calculations. If those monies are not used, officials said it would reduce the taxpayer portion by that amount, making the taxpayers’ bill about $80 million. City officials say the average homeowner would pay from $200-$275 a year extra on their real estate tax bill for the next 25 years.

Donald Castle, a founding member of Protect Our Reservoir — Preserve Pine Grove, a grassroots organization founded to fight the ballot question, said his group will spend the extra week before the election to convince residents to vote no.

“The fight continues,” he said. “We will keep organizing to oppose this.”

We’re not anti-education, ‘no’-voters say

In a filing to the city on campaign spending, Two Schools for Lynn, the group organized to support the project, reported they raised $11,055 from Jan. 31 through Feb. 24. Much of the cash, $5,000, came from the Lynn Teachers Association. Public officials also made donations. City Councilor and state Rep. Daniel Cahill contributed $500, the mayor wrote a check for $200, City Councilor Brian LaPierre gave $450 and City Councilor Buzzy Barton donated $200.

The group opposing the ballot initiative, Protect Our Reservoir — Preserve Pine Grove, failed to file on time. Castle said the report was in the mail and estimated the group raised about $7,000.


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

Storm postponements, cancellations

ITEM FILE PHOTO

Washington Street was clear of vehicles in Lynn during a snow storm.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

A parking ban in Lynn will begin at midnight tonight and all Lynn Public Schools will be closed Tuesday, according to the city’s website.

Current forecasts project 12 to 18 inches of snow across most of the state, high winds and coastal flooding. Snow is expected to fall at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour, causing white out conditions.

All cars will be required to be removed from the city’s streets and sidewalks until the ban is lifted. Residents without off-street parking can use the school’s parking lots starting at 5 p.m. on Monday.

Parking is also available at the Ellis Street Municipal lot on the School Street side and at the MBTA parking garage at Broad and Market Streets.

Trash and Recycling will not be collected Tuesday. Collection will run on a one-day delay for the remainder of the week.

A snow emergency has been declared in Revere and a parking ban will start at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Revere Public Schools and all city offices will be closed.

A list of emergency arteries can be found on the Revere Police Department’s website. Cars parked on the emergency roads will be towed.  The MBTA Wonderland Garage will be available to residents who don’t have off-street parking for a $5 rate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In a statement, The Revere Department of Public Works, Police Department and Mayor Brian Arrigo’s office asked residents to avoid travel. In addition to high rates of snow, MEMA has advised residents to be aware of the potential for coastal flooding, particularly during high tide at 1:29 p.m.

The city advised residents of the Beachmont, Point of Pines and Oak Island neighborhoods to be cautious.

An emergency parking ban will go into effect in Peabody at 3 a.m. on Tuesday. During a snow emergency, blue lights on the city’s traffic poles will flash, indicating that parking on the streets is prohibited.

For residents who do not have off-street parking, alternate parking options may be made available. For more information, contact 978-538-6312.

Peabody Public Schools, City Hall and other municipal offices will be closed Tuesday.

Saugus will  have a parking ban, effective Tuesday at 6 a.m., until 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.  Motor vehicles must be moved from streets in order for the Town to have roadways cleared, plowed, salted, and sanded for public safety and emergency vehicle access. Any vehicles remaining on the streets may be ticketed and towed, according to  Town Manager Scott Crabtree.

Saugus Public Schools will be closed.

Parking is available in the Saugus High School lot, located at 1 Pearce Memorial Drive. The upper lot on the left has been designated as parking space for emergency overflow parking.

Crabtree said he’s urging residents to be safe and to check on family members and neighbors during the storm.

Trash and recycling collection will be canceled on Tuesday in Saugus. Collection will then be delayed by one day from Wednesday through Saturday, March 18. Residents can contact solid waste and recycling coordinator Lorna Cerbone at 781-231- 4036 for more information.

Trash pickup is also cancelled in Marblehead, Peabody, Swampscott and Lynnfield on Tuesday. In Revere, collection will begin early at 5 a.m. and remain on schedule throughout the week. 

The town of Nahant has a winter parking ban that extends from Dec. 21 to March 20 annually. The ban prohibits on-street parking from midnight until 6 a.m. Residents can apply for a parking waiver to be exempt from the ban.

In the event of a snow emergency, all cars must be removed from the street, including those with a parking waiver, or they will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

The Johnson Elementary School will be closed.

School is cancelled in Lynnfield. The town will follow it’s normal winter parking ban, which prohibits cars from being parked on the road from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Swampscott Public Schools and Swampscott Town Hall will be closed Tuesday.  A parking ban will last from for 24 hours, beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Department of Public Works director Gino Cresta.

 

Check back with itemlive.com for updates.

 

$250,000 in tow for Lynn

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Pictured in the towing lot behind the Western Avenue fire station is what was left of the cars that were towed from the streets of Lynn.

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN — As if shoveling nearly 24 inches of snow in the last two storms is not enough, discovering your car has been towed can really ruin your day.

As many as 209 cars were hauled to the city’s lot on Sunday and Monday while 300 tickets were issued during the snow emergency, according to the Lynn Parking Department. That’s on the heels of last week’s powerful nor’easter, when 181 cars were towed and 1,260 tickets were written. The city stands to collect more than $250,000 in fees from the pair of storms and spring is still five weeks away.

“I feel sorry for anyone who couldn’t get to their car in time or had a situation,” said Robert Stilian, acting parking director. “But the problem is, if they don’t clear the streets, fire equipment and ambulances can’t get through. It’s not about revenue we collect, it’s all about public safety.”

The weekend blizzard that dumped a foot of snow in Lynn caused headaches for residents and city workers. Car owners scrambled to get their cars off the streets while plows tried to stay ahead of the long-duration storm.

Unless someone’s car is in a dangerous spot, meter maids won’t tag them, Stilian said. On the other hand, if your car is extending into the street from a driveway, or if it’s parked on a sidewalk, you are more likely to get a ticket, he said. Here are the rules: anytime a vehicle impedes snow removal, you can be faced with a $100 ticket. If there’s a snow emergency, like the one that was declared Sunday night, the fine is increased to $150 and your car could be towed.

That tow will cost another $150 and must be paid in cash at the lot behind the fire station at 725 Western Ave. Pony up an additional $35 a day for every day it’s left in the lot.

G/J Towing Inc. of Revere operates the lot and towing is done by four firms, Stilian said. The parking and the police departments oversee the towing companies. The police receive a list of cars towed and they submit the list to City Hall. Stilian said he performs a payment settlement every two months to compare books.

To avoid a ticket or tow, officials say use the city’s school parking lots, but be sure to be out by 6 a.m. or there’s a chance for a ticket and/or a tow.

“My parents were very wise and they drummed into me at an early age that whenever you hear there’s a snowstorm coming, get your car off the street,” Stilian said. “There’s no better advice.”

Authorities ID body found in Lynn snow


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

MBTA making grade for rider reliability

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Nunu Tway talks about commuting by bus as she waits for one to arrive.

By THOR JOURGENSEN

LYNN — It was a cold wait for a train on the Central Square commuter rail platform Monday morning and Dexter McKenzie appreciated pulling MBTA.com up on his phone to check train delays.

With winter about halfway over, the Lynn resident and semi-regular commuter rail rider said the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and its rail contractor are doing a reasonably good job keeping riders informed about weather-driven delays.

“It’s been reliable,” McKenzie said.

Train on-time performance statistics provided by commuter contractor Keolis buttressed McKenzie’s assessment.

Newburyport/Rockport trains serving Lynn and Swampscott logged a 68 percent on-time rate last Thursday and 86 percent last Friday. On-time performance was even better on Saturday and Sunday.

“The majority of these delays were between five to 15 minutes and caused by long dwell times slow boarding, reduced speeds in poor weather and long dwell times from Bruins crowds. No trains on the Newburyport/Rockport lines were terminated or canceled,” Keolis representative Justin Thompson said.

Winter tooks its toll two years ago on the MBTA and commuter rail operations with Newburyport/Rockport train service tallying a 22.5 percent on-time performance in February 2015.

The poor reliability prompted MBTA reforms and vows by Gov. Charlie Baker to boost reliability. McKenzie works in Salem and splits his commute between driving and riding the rails. He has enough confidence in the trains to work late and knows he can grab a train to Lynn at night.

Lynn resident Jaime Amato shares the same degree of confidence in MBTA bus service. She commutes to work in Peabody and said on-time reliability problems from 2015 have largely been fixed.

“I think service has been better in the last couple of years,” Amato said.

Lynn resident Nunu Tway rates MBTA reliability as “fair.” She missed a Monday morning bus and had to wait an hour at the commuter rail garage bus stop for another bus.

The MBTA has a color-coded weather schedule posted on the commuter rail platform in addition to social media sites posting ridership information. Thompson said a number of reliability improvements have been initiated since 2015’s wintery onslaught.

“Service has improved since the blizzards of 2015 thanks to lessons learned and year-round planning,” he said.

$250,000 in tow for Lynn


Thor Jourgensen can be reached at tjourgensen@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.

Snow updates: Parking, closings, cancellations

PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
John DelloRusso of Marblehead takes a look at the calm sea on his way home from work.

The parking ban in Lynn is set to expire at 11 p.m. Thursday, said DPW Commissioner Andrew Hall.

Cars parked in public school parking lots should be moved by 6 a.m. Friday to avoid ticketing and towing. The tow lot behind the fire station at 725 Western Ave. opens Friday at 8 a.m, according to a news release.

Lynn Public Schools will be closed Friday, the release said.

In Lynn, Wednesday and Thursday’s trash and recycle collection will be picked up FridayFriday’s trash will be picked Saturday.

Residents are asked to place containers curbside by 7 a.m. the day of collection and leave it curbside until it is picked up. It may not be picked up the same day due to delays beyond Waste Management’s control, the release said.

If trash or recyclables are missed by the end of the day it is supposed to be collected, call the DPW at (781) 268-8000 the next business day to report a missed collection. Trash and recycling services will resume on schedule next week.

Lynnfield Town Hall closed at 10 a.m. Thursday. It will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday.

A regular winter parking ban is already in place in Nahant, so all cars should be removed from town streets.

In Peabody, a snow emergency and parking ban was put into place at 11 p.m. Wednesday until further notice. As of 7 p.m. Thursday, it appears to not have been lifted.

Peabody Public Schools will be closed Friday, according to the police department.

The parking ban in Revere will expire at 8 a.m. Friday, a representative with the Department of Public Works said.

Revere Public Schools will be closed Friday, according to a tweet from Superintendent Dianne Kelly.

In Revere, City Hall and the building and health departments will be open Friday, according to the city’s website. The senior center, recreation department and library will be closed Friday during the daytime. Evening activities at the recreation center will go on as scheduled.

In Saugus, the parking ban is set to expire at 6 a.m. Friday, according to a representative with the Department of Public Works.

The emergency snow ban in Swampscott was expected to be lifted at around midnight,  DPW Director Gino Cresta said around 6:30 p.m. Thursday. “We’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do,” he said.

Check here if you’re looking for information about Thursday parking, closings and cancellations.

Continue to follow itemlive.com as more information becomes available.

Photos: Snowstorm smacks North Shore

ITEM PHOTO BY JIM WILSON
David Garcia of Lynn clears his car so he could head to work as a security guard. His car was blocked between two others at Connery School.

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

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

Cars triple parked at Connery School during the snow storm. Item photo by Jim Wilson.

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

Fnu Atal of Lynn clears his car and his friend’s car at Ingalls School. Item photo by Jim Wilson.

Fnu Atal of Lynn clears his car and his friend’s car at Ingalls school. Item photo by Jim Wilson.

A person walks on the street near a car on Exchange Street. Item photo by Jim Wilson.

Xuan La, owner of Pho Minh Ky Restaurant, clears snow from his car. Photo by Jim Wilson.

Dan Yaeger and Phinney take their daily morning walk. Photo by Paula Muller.

“Neither snow, nor sleet, nor dark of night” will hinder these walkers. Photo by Paula Muller.

Kate Bibeau and her dog Letty get some exercise. Photo by Paula Muller.

Nicole Marcellino of Marblehead braves the storm. Photo by Paula Muller.

Elyse Etling of Marblehead heads back to work. Photo by Paula Muller.

Bruin fan John Bray is well insulated. Photo by Bob Roche.

John Bray snow blows his driveway. Photo by Bob Roche.

John Bray clears his driveway with a snow blower. Photo by Bob Roche.

John Bray blows snow from in front of his garage. Photo by Bob Roche.

 

Storm conditions in Marblehead on Pickett Street. Photo by Paula Muller.

Kids storm Lynn YMCA on their day off

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Ayden Larson takes a break from dancing at the preschool dance party at the Lynn YMCA.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

LYNN — While schools and businesses were battening down the hatches to weather Thursday’s winter storm, the Lynn YMCA was welcoming people in to warm up.

“We try to never close the Y so that anybody who needs access knows they will have it,” said Audrey Jimenez, executive director of the Lynn branch of YMCA of Metro North. “We want to be one of the places in the city where, if people need to get in and get warm, they can. We would probably let anyone in today.”

Preschool and the after-school child care program closed at noon. On a typical day, preschool runs from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and after-school services from 2 to 6 p.m. with transportation to the Y from local schools.

“If there’s a snow day, the after school program opens at 7:30,” said Jimenez. “They get a whole day of childcare.”

More than 75 children are enrolled in preschool and dozens arrive for childcare in the afternoon, but because of the threat of the size of the storm, only half a dozen after-school students were dropped off and all were picked up before noon.

The Y’s other facilities remained open until 10 p.m., which are the regular hours. A few people trickled in and out throughout the day.

“How busy we are depends on the type of snowstorm,” Jimenez said. “But this is the only snow day we’ve had this year so a lot of people probably decided to take their day. I think it depends on the predictions of weather, and a lot of forecasts have stressed the dangerousness of (traveling in) this storm.”

Travel warnings issued by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation strongly advised people not to drive and to work from home if possible.

“If that is not an option, travelers are encouraged to make informed and safe decisions before they head out onto the roadways,” according to a statement by MassDOT.

By Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Charlie Baker directed that non-emergency state employees working in executive branch agencies should not report to work Thursday.

“Commutes and travel will be significantly impacted with snow covered roads, low visibility and possible white-out conditions. Motorists should stay off the roads and use public transit when possible. If you must drive, please exercise caution, ‘don’t crowd the plow’ and stay behind snow removal equipment on the roadways,” said a statement from Baker’s office.

Those who did show up enjoyed special snow day activities such as art projects and a dance party.

Kyle Griffin, 7, is a student at Drewicz Elementary School who was happy to be out of class for a snow day.

“It feels good and I like to make snowmen and snow angels,” he said. “Last year (during a snow day) I went to my family’s house and we went snowboarding.”

But Thursday he planned to stay warm inside and play video games.

Three-year-old Avianna Runner was picked up by her grandmother Denise Mailloux of Lynn. The pair planned to make cookies and hot chocolate but Runner quickly added she would be making a snowman Friday.

“Snow makes everybody happy,” she said.

Abramsons ready for ‘amazing’ spelling bee


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

Unplugging snow days

ITEM PHOTO BY JIM WILSON
The parking ban in Lynn keeps Washington Street clear during the snow storm.

There was a time — and it wasn’t long ago — when snow days elevated imagination to new heights and inspired, sometimes forced, kids to find fun ways to while away a day with siblings, parents and all that white stuff.

Television, video games, mobile devices — any form of electronics — were nonexistent or prohibited for use by parents who wanted kids on their day off to be more than dull-witted robots glued to a screen.

Snow days always seemed longer than school days and the best part of a snow day was the night before when a telephone call or television broadcast announced school closings.

A typical snow day of yesteryear meant tugging on snow suits, pulling rubber boots with metal buckles onto feet wrapped in plastic bags and donning wool hats and wool mittens. Lofty goals like shoveling the driveway or front walk quickly crumbled under an onslaught of imagination that turned snowy yards into mazes and gave birth to snowmen, snow forts and snow angels.

Porch stairs turned into sled slopes and icicles turned into toreador spears. Snow was the great equalizer allowing little kids to nail bigger ones with a well-aimed snowball and giving someone’s sister the chance to stuff snow down the back of a sibling’s coat.

The fun and excitement only ended when wool mitts were wringing wet and pull-on boots filled with snow that somehow always made its way into the plastic bags. No one stopped playing until their cheeks glowed rosy-red from cold or their teeth started chattering.

Snow updates: Parking, closings, cancellations

Snow days provided stay-at-home mothers with the perfect opportunity to make sure kids got plenty of exercise and had their share of fun before cold, dampness and exhaustion took their toll. Cocoa and brownies always seemed to be waiting on the tail end of several hours spent running around aimlessly in the snow.

But the fun didn’t get left on the doormat. Socks wadded into balls and living room furniture shoved against the wall turned a rug or the carpet into a “knee football” field. Two couches or chairs lined up like goals made “knee hockey” possible until the noise level reached the point where more cocoa and cookies were dispensed.

Satiated by cocoa and worn out by the weather, kids who enjoyed yesteryear’s snow days typically wrapped up afternoons with board games. Candy Land and Operation gave way to Monopoly and the youngest kids were nodding out or napping before hotels sprang up on Saint James Place or Vermont Avenue.

There rarely seemed to be time for television on a snow day and daytime television typically offered kid-unfriendly fare like game shows and soap operas. Social media may offer more diversion than the entertainment available on old-fashioned snow days. But mobile devices are on track to eliminating snow days in the same way they have eliminated days off from work.

Today’s parents can plug into the job day or night or on vacation and tomorrow’s kids will wake up on a snow day to find their iPhone or Samsung packed with electronically-dispensed homework assignments.

On that busy, time-on-task snow day of the future, snowmen, cocoa and knee hockey are going to have to take a backseat along with fun.

Eyes on the skies for snowfall

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Lynn’s fleet of snow plows are ready for the storm.

BY LEAH DEARBORN

If you live on the North Shore, you’ve probably heard the news that snow is coming.

The storm could bring upward of 12 inches of snow to areas throughout the state, said a Wednesday press release from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).   

“The weather forecast is calling for snow to begin before the morning commute on Thursday, become heavy quickly, and continue throughout the day, decreasing visibility and braking time,” Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin said in the release.

Even as commuters and residents monitor news stations about forecasts, city officials urge them to check local municipal websites, paying particular attention to emergency parking bans and school cancellations.

In Lynn, an emergency parking ban was scheduled to go into effect at midnight Wednesday, the city website said.

Vehicles that park on a public street or sidewalk may face a $155 tow fee and a $35 storage fee in addition to parking tickets. Parking is available at the Ellis Street Municipal Lot (School Street side) and the MBTA garage at Broad and Market streets with a charge of $4 per vehicle, the website said.

Lynn Public Schools are also closed on Thursday. Parking is available but limited at all school lots, and residents are advised by city officials to remove vehicles after the snow ban to avoid ticketing and towing.

“There’s no need for a list; it’s simply all schools,” the mayor’s chief of staff John Krol said about parking in school lots during the storm. “We don’t want any confusion.”

Icy-road crashes mark morning commute

The Peabody Police Department announced an emergency parking ban to be in effect at 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to an email from the department.

In Lynnfield and Saugus, residents were advised that trash and recycling pickup will be delayed due to the anticipated snowstorm.

Lynnfield trash and recycling scheduled for Thursday of this week will be picked up Friday; trash and recycling normally picked up Friday will be picked up Saturday.

“We’ve got salt, we’ve got plows ready to go,” said Lynnfield DPW Director John Tomasz.

The town of Saugus issued a parking ban, effective at 6 a.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10, the town website said.

Parking is available in the Saugus High School upper lot on Pearce Memorial Drive.

Saugus Youth and Recreation announced on Facebook that all of their events will be canceled Thursday. This includes after-school club, youth wrestling and basketball.

In Swampscott, schools will be closed for the day, according to a message sent out to parents by Superintendent Pamela R.H. Angelakis. DPW Director Gino Cresta said he plans to put an emergency snow ban into effect at 2 a.m. Thursday.

Cresta recommends that residents try to stay off roadways during the storm.

“We’ll be out there as soon as the first snowflake hits,” he said.

Nahant Police Lt. J. Paul Manley said a regular winter parking ban is already in place and all vehicles should be removed from town streets.

The snow parking ban in Revere will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday and apply to specific streets listed on the city website, said DPW foreman Paul Argenzio.

Revere Public Schools are also closed Thursday, according to the city’s official Facebook page.

 

Check here for snow plans and parking bans

The Director of Public Services in Peabody has declared an emergency parking ban effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday for the expected weather-related event. The ban will remain in effect until rescinded. All vehicles must be removed from all public ways during this time.

In Revere, Mayor Brian Arrigo’s Office and the Department of Public Works have been monitoring weather forecasts. As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the plan is to not declare a snow emergency or parking ban.

The mayor and the department will continue to monitor the weather and will make adjustments accordingly. For now, residents are asked to proceed with caution and avoid parking on emergency arteries if possible; however, there will be no ban in place.

<iframe src=”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpermalink.php%3Fstory_fbid%3D1293662334061929%26id%3D208116655949841&width=500″ width=”500″ height=”262″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowTransparency=”true”></iframe>

This post will be updated as more information comes in. Continue to follow itemlive.com for updates.

 

Watch out for winter weather

Rain and possible snow is expected to impact the area on Thursday, developing in the afternoon and intensifying during the evening into Friday morning.

Check your community websites for possible parking bans.

In Lynn, blue snow emergency lights will flash during declared snow emergency events at the following locations: O’Callaghan Way at Walnut Street, Western Avenue at Federal Street, Eastern Avenue at Essex Street, Essex Street at Joyce Street, Broad Street at Union Street, Western Avenue at Waitt Road, and Wyoma Square.

In Swampscott, Gino Cresta, department of public works director, said all of the trucks are fueled up and the plow blades are being put on.

“We’re preparing for snow and praying for rain,” he said.

Actress Debbie Reynolds dies day after daughter

Winter’s bridge to generosity

Winter rolls around every year in New England and with the beautiful snowscapes comes a collective community responsibility to prevent tragedies.

Community officials and residents share a responsibility for providing the awareness and response needed to prevent cold weather freezing and fire deaths.

Firefighters are already doing their part by reminding tenants as well as homeowners to follow a few basic winter awareness safety tips.

The list includes getting home heating systems serviced and making sure space heaters are positioned well away from curtains, bedding and anything else that can catch fire.

Ovens should not be used to provide heat and kitchen sink drawers should be kept open to keep plumbing from freezing. The list of winter safety precautions is long and it extends to dressing properly and keeping pets safe.

In addition to warning residents to take precautionary measures, local communities should be prepared to respond quickly to heating emergency calls, including broken furnaces and pipes. School principals should reinforce winter safety tips with students and ensure language barriers do not prevent students from educating parents about basic safety precautions aimed at preventing fires or unsafe exposure to cold.

Shovels full of love in Swampscott

Residents also have roles to play in preventing winter tragedies. Neighbors should check on seniors living in a neighborhood or apartment building to make sure they have heat and a way to get basic necessities.

They can also clear walkways and steps for neighbors and, in the process, perhaps become better acquainted with someone else living on their street or around the corner. The same rule applies to teenagers.

The days of youthful snow shovelers making their neighborhood rounds sounds like it belongs to a time long ago. But seniors and people with health limitations appreciate the help they get from able-bodied shovelers.

With holiday generosity reaching its height, people can also ensure organizations like Lynn Economic Opportunity (LEO) get help providing heating assistance to families who are hard-pressed to buy oil or natural gas for heating.

LEO’s heating assistance program relies annually on tax dollar support to help tenants and homeowners buy enough oil to heat their home through the winter. Sometimes the public money runs short and LEO caseworkers scramble to find other ways to keep homes warm.

It all boils down to appreciating winter as a season not to be endured but embraced as an opportunity to help others.

Heat emergency issued in Peabody

PEABODY — With temperatures expected to reach or exceed 90 degrees for the next two days, Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt, Jr. has declared a heat emergency in Peabody effective Thursday, August 11 through Friday, August 12. The Peter A. Torigian Senior Center at 75R Central Street will be open for use as a cooling center for the public between noon and 7 p.m. both Thursday and Friday.