“Demands on classroom teachers are now laughable,” Wakefield Education Association president Will Karvouniaris told the meeting of the “Tri-Board” last week.

If any members of the Town Council, the School Committee or Finance Committee were amused, they didn’t show it. The town’s three top boards were meeting in joint session at the Galvin Auditorium last Thursday to talk about budgeting and fiscal matters.

The teachers union saw it as an opportunity to lecture town leaders on the working conditions that Wakefield teachers are forced to endure on a daily basis. Sporting blue “WEA” T-shirts and holding up signs reading “FUND OUR FUTURE,” several dozen union members were in attendance to support their leader.
Continue reading ‘Teachable moment’


Weekend Warrior

11Oct19

As we head into the long Indigenous Peoples Day weekend, let us take a moment from our apple picking, leaf-peeping and farmers market excursions to reflect upon the true meaning of the holiday: to show how much more virtuous and woke we are than those who still call it Columbus Day.
Continue reading ‘Weekend Warrior’


Zoning out

04Oct19

So, now they want Zoning Board of Appeals meetings to be televised. The suggestion was made recently at a televised Town Council meeting. Misery loves company, I suppose.

There’s nothing TV viewers would rather watch than deliberations over dimensional variances and nonconforming uses — unless you count the Watching Paint Dry Channel.

To help promote interest, I’ve taken the liberty of writing the following TV listing:

Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. The Appeals Zone. Tune in tonight for the thrilling conclusion of the case of John Smith’s deck. Will he be granted the variance he needs to construct the deck in his backyard? Or will he be dealt another ‘setback’ by the ZBA?

And why stop with the ZBA? Let’s televise meetings of all boards and committees. We could start with the 19 local committees concerned with climate and environmental issues. We’ll call it, “Envision Wakefield Television.”

Thursday, 7:00 p.m. Conservation Commission: SVE. Will a Determination of Applicability be issued? Is an Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation in the cards? Tune in tonight at 7.
Continue reading ‘Zoning out’


READING — When brilliant, Radcliffe College-educated Henrietta Leavitt (played by Grace Sumner) receives a letter at her Wisconsin home inviting her to come and work for Edward Charles Pickering, director of the prestigious Harvard College Observatory, she is thrilled by the prospect of doing important astronomical research.
Continue reading ‘The sounds of silence’


I was vaguely aware that John J. Round had been a town official way back at the beginning of the 20th century. But, like most people, I had no inkling about his more significant contributions to the town.

I had no idea, for example, that he had purchased entire tracts of land in the areas of Crystal Lake, Greenwood and the Junction, planted thousands of trees on those parcels at his own expense and then donated it all to the town. The early development of the park that now bears his name was also done largely at his own expense.

JJ Round Park was originally dedicated on Aug. 30, 1953. At the re-dedication of the park two weeks ago, John J. Round’s great-grandson, John J. Round IV, read the keynote speech delivered by then-State Rep. Gardner Campbell at the 1953 dedication. Continue reading ‘Pride of the Yankees’


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 she was sitting there alone with her laptop and a book, a hot-headed 70-year-old man started to berate her and question why she was there. When she had the audacity to defend her right to have a cup of coffee and mind her own business, the aging tough guy threw the large hot coffee he had just purchased in her face.
Continue reading ‘All the rage’


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 interpretations).

Gloucester Stage is the first theater in the country to produce the highly acclaimed The Lifespan of a Fact since last year’s successful Broadway run, which featured Danielle Radcliffe, Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannevale. Under the direction of veteran stage, film and television director Sam Weisman, Gloucester Stage presents the regional premier of this ultimate clash between truth and fiction.
Continue reading ‘Just the facts’



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