A simple choice

24Oct20

Out-of-state donors are pouring millions into an effort to forever alter the outcomes of Massachusetts elections.

Unfortunately for them, the concept of ranked choice voting is so convoluted that it can’t be convincingly explained in a one-minute TV ad or even with an oversized, glossy, two-sided mailer.
Continue reading ‘A simple choice’


Let me be the first to wish you and yours a happy Columbus Day.

This year’s holiday is doubly special because it’s not just the second Monday in October. Monday also happens to be Oct. 12, which is traditional Columbus Day. It will be exactly 528 years ago to the day that the great Italian explorer landed in the New World.
Continue reading ‘Happy Columbus Day!’


Mailing it in

25Sep20

It’s adorable how people still refer to Nov. 3 as “Election Day.”

We’ve had “early voting” for a couple of years, which began the process of diluting the meaning of Election Day. Now, with the totally unnecessary concept of “mail-in voting,” we’re told that we may not even know the result of the presidential election for days or even weeks after “Election Day.”
Continue reading ‘Mailing it in’


Monday is Labor Day, meaning that the Summer of 2020 will finally, mercifully, be over.
So long, COVID Summer.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

It was the summer of face coverings, cancellations and quarantines, as opposed to concerts, camp and cookouts.

Everything was canceled, including local favorites like the Fourth of July Parade and fireworks, Festival Italia, Festival by the Lake and Movies by the Lake.

But at least it was warm, unlike the summer of 1816, “The Year There Was No Summer.” Snow fell in Massachusetts on June 7. People referred to 1816 as “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death.”

So stop your whining, put on your mask and listen to how good you have it.
Continue reading ‘The worst summer’


It’s taken far too long, but I now see the light. Change is needed. Now.

In the words of the old hymn, “I once was lost, but now am found / Was blind but now I see.”

Like many, I’ve resisted change. Change is hard. It forces you to think.
Continue reading ‘A cry for change’


Big bang theory

11Jul20

When is a firecracker just a firecracker?

If you were in Wakefield — or anywhere else in the country — on July 4 weekend, you probably noticed a dramatic uptick in the volume of amateur fireworks compared to other years. You were not alone. “Fireworks complaint” was far and away the dominant entry in the local police log over the holiday weekend. On social media, residents who have never come within a continent of military combat insisted that their neighborhoods were “just like a war zone” once darkness fell on Independence Day.

There has been much speculation, and a few conspiracy theories, over the reasons for this year’s nationwide pyrotechnic explosion.
Continue reading ‘Big bang theory’


If you approached the 2020 Annual Town Meeting with a touch of trepidation, you certainly weren’t alone.

There were several articles on the warrant that had the potential to make Wakefield a less safe and more restrictive community.
Continue reading ‘Reasons to be cheerful’


Who knew that rioters and looters were covered under Phase 1 of the re-opening plan?

High school graduation ceremonies with 260 students are still verboten, but if you and several thousand of your comrades want to get together and torch a church or flip over a few police cruisers, no one’s going to stop you — or even tell you to social distance.

To their credit, though, the peaceful rioters were years ahead of everybody else when it comes to wearing masks.

Meanwhile, as the rest of us slog through our phased, data-driven re-opening (my favorite kind of re-opening), it may be helpful to examine what “data-driven” really means.
Continue reading ‘Data-driven derangement’


Now the real panic has begun.

Gov. Charlie Baker’s re-opening plan, as timid as it is, has lockdown enthusiasts grasping at straws to stem the trickle (one can hardly call it a tide) of normalcy returning to the Bay State.

Back in mid-March, it never occurred to anyone that this economic shutdown would go on for nine long weeks (and counting). Two or three weeks, maybe a month was the unspoken assumption. Some people even bought into it — mainly those who could “work from home” or were otherwise still collecting a paycheck.

But after about 30 days, the novelty began to wear off and cold, hard reality began to sink in. Fun’s fun, but national economic suicide is not a sustainable model, which is why it had never been done anywhere, for any reason, in the history of human civilization.
Continue reading ‘Summer of no fun’




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