Massachusetts state lawmakers are currently weighing a proposal that would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote.

In other news this week, the latest viral trend among teenagers involves partially inserting an iPhone charger into a wall outlet and sliding a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs, causing an explosion of sparks, electrical damage, and potentially fires.

Fun!

In a sane state, the second story would shock some sense into legislators considering lowering the voting age. But this is Massachusetts.
Continue reading ‘The spark of youth’


Old school

16Jan20

Coming on the heels of the great news that the Greenwood School would at long last be getting a new roof came the even better news that the 123-year-old structure would not support solar panels on the new roof.

There goes the planet.
Continue reading ‘Old school’


Since it’s the New Year and a new decade, it seems like a good time for your periodic reminder that Wakefield is not in fact turning into “Condoville” or “Malden” or any of the other haughty labels that the snobs on social media like to toss around.

What’s wrong with condos? Or for that matter, Malden?

Lots of people live in condos. Young people just starting out, older people looking to downsize, and people who either can’t or don’t want to deal with owning and maintaining a house. How do you suppose they feel when those who can afford to live in homes worth three quarters of a million dollars look down their noses at condo dwellers?
Continue reading ‘Condo Condescension’


When any person or group tells you that they want to “reform” the way we conduct elections to make voting more “fair” and increase voter “participation,” your BS detector should go off.

Because when it comes to elections, one thing and only one thing matters: winning. When proposals are advanced to change how elections are run, the first question you should ask is, “Which group, party or candidates will benefit from these changes?”

People who say they care about voter turnout and making it easier to vote are lying. This may come as a shock to you, but people are willing to lie to win elections.

Another red flag is the label “nonpartisan.” When any group seeking to tinker with our elections goes out of its way to tell you that it’s “nonpartisan,” find a shovel, fast.

These basic principles came in handy as I read a study released last month called, MassForward: Advancing Democratic Innovation and Electoral Reform in Massachusetts.
Continue reading ‘Fixing elections’


If you thought the local plastic bag ban passed by the town a couple of years ago was bad, take heart. It’s about to get a lot worse.

The Massachusetts Legislature is considering a measure that would ban plastic bags statewide. The State Senate is now debating the legislation before it moves on to the House.

Senate President Karen Spilka announced the bill this week. Apparently, they weren’t able to find a 14-year-old girl to cry on cue about the sea turtles, so Spilka was pressed into action.
Continue reading ‘Charging forward’


If one thing is certain in this crazy, mixed up, gender neutralized world in which we find ourselves, it’s that you can’t win.

Literally.

The Wakefield High School Field Hockey Team learned that the hard way last week. The local girls got bounced from the playoffs by a Wayland team — that included boys. Would you care to guess the gender of the players who scored the Wayland goals to defeat Wakefield’s girls? Here’s a hint: Their names were Zeke and Aiden.
Continue reading ‘Neutral zone violation’


“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’



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