Archive for the ‘Columns & Essays’ Category

All the rage

06Sep19

Well, our long, hot summer is finally over. OK, it wasn’t that long. Summer around here never is. But if you don’t think it was hot, tell that to the woman who had a cup of hot coffee thrown at her while sitting in the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Junction one morning last July. As […]


Just the facts

03Sep19

When is a fact not a fact? And how much does the pure, empirical truth matter? Those are the questions at the heart of the current Gloucester Stage offering, The Lifespan of a Fact. They are questions that have long concerned writers and readers (and not just since Nov. 8, 2016, contrary to partisan political […]


Friendly advice

30Aug19

Summer is winding down. Conditioned by the school year, people are squeezing in that last bit of leisure time and resting up for the post-Labor Day ramp-up of activity. It’s also a truism that late August is a slow news period. That’s not the case at National Public Radio, where the news never rests, all […]


Charging ahead

22Aug19

We’ve already established that the only thing keeping you from trading in your Subaru for a Schwinn is the lack of bike lanes. Now it turns out that all it will take to get you into a new electric vehicle is for the town to install a few public electric vehicle charging stations. So, which […]


A simple plan

02Aug19

If you’re looking for someone to blame for bike lanes, look in the mirror. That’s in effect what the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is saying in a recently released document called the Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan. MassDOT has developed the Bike Plan “to be an actionable investment strategy to guide its decision-making and bicycle […]


“How do you do it?” is a question I am frequently asked. “How do you sit through all those boring government meetings?” I should probably answer that I selflessly attend these meetings in order to be your eyes and ears. I should say that I go to these meetings so that you don’t have to. […]


By MARK SARDELLA GLOUCESTER — Imagine Mel Brooks pressed into service to direct an Alfred Hitchcock movie. You might get something like Patrick Barlow’s witty stage adaptation of Hitchcock’s classic mystery thriller, The 39 Steps. The play version, currently in production at Gloucester Stage, is much more comedy than mystery. And as comedy, it’s very […]