For the past few years, we’ve been subjected to endless lectures informing us that voting is incredibly difficult and we must do everything in our power to make it easier for voters to participate in elections. 

Anything less would be VOTER SUPPRESSION! 

We’ve been told that democracy shouldn’t place even the slightest burden on the voter, for whom casting a ballot must not require any effort whatsoever. 
Continue reading ‘Election central’

School choice


Most of us know at least one person who grew up in Wakefield, attended Wakefield Public Schools and then had to reluctantly leave his hometown as it became increasingly unaffordable.

Well, living in Wakefield is about to get even more expensive, if the current plans for a new high school go through.
Continue reading ‘School choice’

Not so long ago, Italian-Americans were actually seen as a disadvantaged group that faced real discrimination.

For that reason, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the first federal observance of Columbus Day in 1937 to recognize the contributions of Italian-Americans and to assure them of their rightful place in American history.

“We are celebrating today the exploit of a bold and adventurous Italian,” FDR said, “who with the aid of Spain opened up a new world where freedom, tolerance and respect for human dignity provided a refuge for the oppressed of the Old World.”

Eighty-five years ago, even progressives believed that.

Today, not so much.
Continue reading ‘Columbian exposition’

Lady killer


Tony Costa is the most vicious serial killer you never heard of, which is all the more remarkable considering he plied his trade right here in Massachusetts.

He didn’t just murder his victims. He eviscerated and dismembered them. And like so many other serial killers, Tony Costa was a real tough guy. He preyed on girls. He was suspected of killing at least eight young women.

Costa’s story is the subject of Helltown, a new book by Casey Sherman, who takes a novel approach to telling this tale of horror on Cape Cod.
Continue reading ‘Lady killer’

The state of Massachusetts wants more control over municipal decision-making and is threatening to withhold state funding from cities and towns that do not comply with its social and climate goals disguised as zoning.

New state guidelines based on a law passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Charlie Baker last January require that every community with MBTA service (like Wakefield) must have at least one zoning district near a transit station in which multi-family housing is allowed by right.

“By right” means that developers can come in and build multi-family residential buildings without the bother of getting a Special Permit, variance or other relief from the local Zoning Board.
Continue reading ‘Developing a climate plan’

A Boston University study recently found that municipal zoning boards, planning boards and redevelopment boards are dominated by white male homeowners.

Wait. Men are more interested in construction, development and zoning than women are? What’s the next bombshell revelation – male drivers won’t ask for directions?

Fight the urban planning patriarchy!

Speaking of zoning and development, it’s time for your periodic reminder that most of the development you’ve been seeing in recent years is happening in and around the downtown district and along public transportation routes, not on the leafy suburban lanes of Greenwood or the West Side.

That’s not by accident, but it’s not a conspiracy, either – unless you consider Wakefield Town Meeting a “conspiracy.” In November of 2015, Town Meeting voters approved a zoning change designed to encourage mixed-use development in the downtown business districts and along public transit lines.

It has worked exactly as Town Meeting intended.
Continue reading ‘A revolting development’



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