A cold October rain was falling as I turned my rented Nissan Sunny down the dirt lane in the village of Portglenone, Northern Ireland. The road was barely wide enough for one vehicle and had grass growing between tire-worn tracks. Up on a hill in the distance, I could make out a pickup truck. A man closed a gate behind the truck, then got behind the wheel and began driving down the long, winding road in my direction.

One of us was going to have to pull over into the tall grass along the side to let the other pass. Having no idea if I was on private property, I wondered if this could be the land-owner who might not appreciate my trespassing.

It was 1994, and I was in the middle of a three-week solo road trip through Ireland. I had come with no particular itinerary, except at some point I wanted to see where my maternal grandparents had come from. I had crossed the border into Northern Ireland the previous day and made my way farther north to my grandfather’s home village of Portglenone in County Antrim.
Continue reading ‘An Irish homecoming’

Brave New World


Less than a year after dumping the Warrior logo, the Wakefield School Committee continues to demonstrate that they are more in tune with global causes than they are with the local taxpayers who pay the freight.

Last week, they quietly changed Columbus Day to “Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.”

And nobody said a word.

The 2022-2023 School Calendar approved by the School Committee last week lists Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 as “Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.” I’m shocked that they gave Columbus top billing.
Continue reading ‘Brave New World’

With COVID on the wane, last week everyone in Wakefield was finally liberated from the imperative to cover their faces. Everyone, that is, except those least at risk from the virus: school children. That’s what’s known as “following the science.”

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) lifted the state’s indoor mask mandate last week, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has said that masks no longer need to be worn in public schools as of Feb. 28. When two of the most alarmist state agencies are saying masks can go, you know that everybody is done.

Everybody, that is, except certain overwrought local officials, who can’t seem to let it go.
Continue reading ‘The naked and the masked’

Magic bus


Like most of you, I had never heard of “transportation equity” until a week or so ago. It’s one of those terms that members of the Woke Community toss around in casual conversation believing everybody knows what it means, because everybody they know does.

You probably thought “equity” was the value of your home minus what you still owe on the mortgage.

How quaint. Turn off Fox Business and put down the Wall Street Journal, insurrectionist.
Continue reading ‘Magic bus’

Many years before I became an ink-stained wretch, I toiled in another branch of local media. It was way back in the last century, the 1980s, to be precise, when I produced and directed Wakefield’s first regularly-scheduled TV comedy/talk show.

Cable TV was new and all the rage. Cable companies vied for lucrative contracts in every city and town. They would promise the world in order to secure the right to provide cable services to a municipality.

And that’s where the competition ended. The successful cable provider had a monopoly in that community for the next 15-20 years. None of this “choice” between Comcast, Verizon and RCN like we have now.

One of the carrots that cable companies dangled in order to win those contracts was local programming – television that would originate in your very own community. The companies would make grandiose promises of a “state-of-the-art” television studio in your town where professionals would train local people in how to produce television programs “by and for the community.”
Continue reading ‘Return to ‘Wakefield Tonight’’

The Daily Item has obtained, through a Freedom of Information Act request, a partial copy of Santa’s Christmas list. As journalists, we believe in the public’s Constitutional right to know what our local officials and others will be receiving in their stockings and under their trees on Christmas morning.

The North Pole Information Agency has grudgingly complied with our request. (Like they had a choice.)

Through its press office, the North Pole released a statement calling the release “a regrettable breach of the trust that Santa Claus has worked hundreds of years to establish. After this, how can anyone speak freely while sitting on the lap of a bearded stranger in a red suit?”

That’s the price of transparency, Big Guy. Ho, ho, ho.

As our gift to our readers, the Daily Item has decided to publish the unedited list. Don’t blame us. We’re just the messengers.
Continue reading ‘Santa is coming!’

It leapt out at me as I drove past the marquee sign in front of the high school.

I wasn’t annoyed so much as bemused. I took a picture and posted it on Facebook with the light-hearted comment, “Did they run out of letters?”

The responses from the local “Kindness is Everything” community were anything but light-hearted.
Continue reading ‘Honorable mention’

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