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Swampscott gym/field house to be named for Richard "Dick" Lynch

January 28, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the Swampscott High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee:

The Swampscott gymnasium/field house is to be dedicated in honor of Richard “Dick” Lynch, teacher, coach, administrator.

All friends, former players and former students are invited to attend the dedication ceremony at Swampscott High School on Wednesday February 5th at 7:00 PM. A reception will follow.

The Swampscott High School Athletic Hall of Fame proposed this idea to the Swampscott School Committee and it was unanimously approved. The dedication program and reception
following is being done by the S.H.S. Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.

The Blue Ox in Lynn included in 2013 Diners' Choice Awards

December 11, 2013 09:21 PM
OpenTable Restaurant Reviews Reveal Top 100 American Fare Restaurants (via Nevistas Hospitality and Travel Network)

With a strong showing from restaurants in America's heartland, the winners are scattered throughout 29 states and Washington, D.C., and include Bluestem in Kansas City, Lola-A Michael Symon Restaurant in Cleveland, and Senza in Chicago. Ohio and Texas…

Swampscott Yacht Club hosting annual Polar Bear Plunge on New Year's Day

December 10, 2013 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by The Swampscott Yacht Club Polar Bear Plunge:

On January 1, 2014 the Swampscott Yacht Club will host its 8th annual Polar Bear Plunge.  Participants start the New Year in an invigorating and charitable way by plunging into the chilly waters off Fisherman’s Beach at 11:00 am.   This year hundreds of hardy, enthusiastic and brave souls will dash into the water to benefit our own Swampscott Public Library as well as the Haven Project, a Lynn organization serving youth.

The Swampscott Public Library is the busiest cultural and community center in Swampscott. It is an integral part of the community, providing the schools’ summer reading materials; collecting food for the local food bank and warm winter coats for the needy; providing drop off area for supplies for local students and foreign countries and books for early readers through Reach Out and Read.  The library provides programs which include home delivery for housebound seniors, tax help through AARP, diverse book groups, knitting groups and reading circles for young children. It welcomes over 75,000 visitors a year, hosts more than 5,000 people of all ages for diverse programs and circulates 160,000 books.

Located in Lynn, The Haven Project’s mission is to equip and empower North Shore young adults aged 17-24 who are homeless or at risk of being homeless with the skills and support they need to be safe and independent.  Their goals are accomplished by providing a safety net at their drop in center in downtown Lynn, and generating opportunities for housing, education, employment, and community involvement to meet the individual needs of the young people who make up the population they serve.

In the six months since opening in late November of 2012, they have met with and helped over 90 young adults significantly improve their life situations.

The Polar Bear Plunge has raised over $60,000 for local charities since it began.  Past beneficiaries have included: The Friends of Swampscott Sailing, My Brother’s Table, The Jared Raymond and Jennifer Harris Scholarship Funds, The Legere Family Education Fund, Journeys of Hope, The Maureen Ingram Scholarship Fund, the Swampscott Education Foundation, and the Whelan Education Fund.   

Come and join us for a brisk, energizing, fun start to 2014.  Registration begins at 10:15 a.m. at the Fish House, 425 Humphrey Street with the plunge following promptly at 11.  Complimentary hot refreshments will be available and T-shirts will be given to the first 150 participants to sign in.  Sponsor sheets are available SYC website:, or by emailing Jill at   Recommended minimum donation is $25.

Anyone who is interested in making a donation without plunging can mail a check directly to the SYC at 425 Humphrey St, Swampscott, MA 01907.


Boston College High School announces first quarter Honor Roll

November 20, 2013 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the Boston College High School:

Boston College High’s First quarter Honor Roll
For High Honors a Soph., Jr., Sr. must have at least a 3.80 quality point average and all grades '"C+" or higher. Freshmen need a 3.6 quality point average and all grades '"C+" or higher.

For Honors a Soph., Jr., Sr. must have at least a 3.20 quality point average and all grades '"C-" or higher. Freshmen need a 3.165 quality point average and all grades '"C-" or higher.
Andover: Honors: William R. Flanagan '17
Burlington: High Honors: Edward C. Wetzel ‘16
Chelsea: High Honors: Delano R. Franklin '17
Honors:Malcolm Avian Norman '17

Everett: High Honors: Igor Campos Carvalho’14, Samuel Vasquez ’14 and Matthew F. Donohue ‘16
Honors: Anthony J. Mastrocola '15 and Alexander R. Mastrocola '17
Lynnfield: High Honors: Eric Simonelli ‘15
Malden: High Honors: Danny Nguyen '16
Honors: Ismail Chineye Asongwed '14, Delsin David '14 and Kolby Lavrik Vegara '15
Medford: High Honors: David C. Gentile '14, Keshler S.G. Charles '15, John M. O'Brien '15, George F. Bailey '17, and Timothy P. Fistori '17
Honors: John F. Glynn '15, Steven A. Ohanesian '15 and Connor Loughlin O'Neill '15

Melrose: High Honors: James F. O'Donnell '14, Daniel Casey '16, Anthony A. Ioffredo '16, Edward J. Kelley '16, Jacob A. May '16, Matthew W. O'Donnell '16, Noah A. Peterson '16, Gerard P. Frasca '17
Honors: Zakariya Asiane 2014, Samir Aslane 2015, Robert A. Brodeur 2016 and Ryan J. Painchaud 2017
Merrimac: High Honors: Liam Maxwell Rich’14          
Nahant: High Honors: Matthew C. Ryan ‘14
Honors: Ryan P. Connolly '17
North Andover: High Honors:John Roy O’Connor '15
Honors: Emaad Syed Ali '15

Peabody: Honors:Brendan R. Powers '16

Revere: High Honors: Kenny Builes '14, Walter A. Carrera '14, Michael J. Kelley '14, Matthew S. O’Keefe '14 and Gabriel Drumond Depinho '16
Honors: Ronel J. Poindujour '17
Salem: High Honors: William M. Kraemer ‘15
Saugus: Honors: Christopher J. Kelble '14
Somerville: High Honors: Christien P. Mendoza Exconde '15 and Alex E. Santos '15
Honors: John W. Dres 2014, John P. Lynch 2015 and Brandon R. Payzant '16
Stoneham: High Honors: David A. Vaccaro’14,Christopher D. Colbert '17 and Thomas R. Whittaker '17
Honors: Sean P. Moynihan’14 and Nicholas Savino '15
Swampscott: High Honors: Michael Wade Norcott '14
West Newbury: Honors: William Callahan Duggan '16
Winchester: High Honors: Thomas X. Pinella '14 and John D. O'Donnell '16
Honors: Alexander J. Farone '15

Winthrop: High Honors: Thomas J. Nee '14,Christian G. Navarro '15, Colin P. Raiter '17 and Marc J. Zampanti '17
Honors: Brendan C. Smith '15, Nicholas R. Triant '15, Cameron A. DeAngelo '16 and Michael J. Zampanti '17
Woburn: High Honors: Robert J. Ferullo ‘15

Boston College High School is a Jesuit, Catholic, college-preparatory school for young men founded in 1863.  The school enrolls approximately 1600 students from more than 100 communities in eastern Massachusetts.

As coal plants close, communities look for development help

November 12, 2013 05:07 PM

After the hulking cooling towers at the mouth of the Taunton River emit their last puffs of coal exhaust, Somerset could become home to yet another rusting relic or, as environmental activists hope, the departure could set off redevelopment for Brayton Point.

Rep. Lori Ehrlich, a Marblehead Democrat who lives downwind of a soon-to-be-shuttered Salem coal plant, wants the few remaining coal plant operators to participate in planning for a re-use of the site. Under her proposed legislation all operators of power plants generating 75 megawatts or more of electricity would contribute to a Community Transitioning Fund.

The fund would be made available to towns such as Somerset that will see their tax bases shrink when the power plant leaves, and the bill would provide training for workers who lose their jobs when plants close.

Before entering politics, Ehrlich said, she led the charge to clean up six feet of coal waste in a drinking water aquifer that serves 80,000 people.

“Six years, $10 million, and they hauled all of the waste out of the drinking water,” Ehrlich said. “The local communities pay a very high price and nobody’s happier than me that we’re transitioning.”

Since she first filed the bill last session, Ehrlich said, two plants, including Salem, said they would shutter, and a third – which will be the last Bay State coal plant once Brayton Point and Salem close – has shown indications it plans to close.

“Since I’ve filed this there’s been several new realities, and one of those realities is that Brayton Point just announced its plans for closure. I think many people are in a new frame of mind,” Ehrlich said. She said there’s now an opportunity for “scaling up” renewable energy throughout the state.

On Tuesday morning, anti-coal activists gathered in the Great Hall in the State House in support of Ehrlich’s bill (H 2935).

Salem is due to close June 1, 2014, with a new natural gas plant set to take over the space. Former coal plants can leave behind expensive eyesores, but they can also provide a unique setting, as was the case with the Tate Modern art museum in London, housed in a former coal plant.

“The sky is the limit,” said Toxics Action Center Massachusetts State Director Claire Miller, who noted coal plant redevelopments in Austin and Toronto, the largely successful re-use of old mill buildings around the state, and Brayton Point’s scenic setting across the water from Fall River looking out on Mount Hope Bay.

Prospective casino developers KG Urban Enterprises want to redevelop the former Cannon Street Station, a large former coal plant on New Bedford’s waterfront. The plant converted to oil and natural gas likely in the 1950s and closed in 1992, according to NSTAR. The casino developers previously built Sands Bethlehem casino at the former site of Bethlehem Steel, in Pennsylvania.

Mount Tom, which is the state’s third remaining coal plant, has “delisted itself from the grid for 2016” meaning it wouldn’t be on call to fire up that year, Miller said. Ehrlich said that’s what Salem did before announcing its plans to close.

Another former coal plant along the Taunton River in Somerset was shuttered in 2010, and sits unused along the water.

Toxics Action Executive Director Sylvia Broude said the group surveyed about 350 Somerset residents, speaking to them at home or outside grocery stores, and found twice as many wanted to plan for a new future for the site rather than fight to keep the plant running.

Brayton Point plans to close by May 2017.

“Devastating,” was how Somerset resident Pauline Rodrigues summed up the economic impact of Brayton Point’s closure. She said, “We’re going to lose in the vicinity of $13 million per year within five years, and our town budget is approximately $50 million per year.”

Rodrigues said the other coal plant that closed in 2010 was “so obviously unhealthy” and said asthma is such a problem in the town that a baseball coach said “he wasn’t sure if he was there as a coach because he was in charge of so many inhalers.”

Toxic Action leaders said the transition assistance portion of the bill is the most important part, and said much of the responsibility for the future of Brayton Point will lie with the plant owner.

“They could be a bad neighbor, and just shut the door and padlock it and walk away,” which the former coal plant did, Miller said. She said she has not seen any studies about what a cleanup would cost, and a sale to a new owner would trigger the responsibility for a cleanup.

Broude said the plant’s recent owner Dominion Energy saw the plant as a “sinking ship” and that it had spent $1 billion to upgrade even as revenues plummeted 90 percent in the last few years. The new owner, EquiPower, bought Brayton “as a package” along with two more profitable plants in the Midwest, and Brayton was included “for the value of its scrap,” Miller said. She said Dominion didn’t want to operate in the Bay State’s deregulated energy market.

Broude said the Patrick administration has provided $100,000 each to Holyoke and Somerset to plan for the future use of the sites.

“We relied so heavily on this industry that made a lot of money for our town but also made us, our children and grandchildren sick. Now that Brayton Point has announced it will close, we must have support from outside of our borders to plan for the future of the sites,” Rodrigues said in a statement. Asked what she thought the realistic prospects are for redevelopment of the site, Rodrigues said, “We need the state help, but to say what the actual prospects are, I’m not sure.”

“An Evening of Health and Happiness” Rejuvenate, Pamper, & Refresh

November 1, 2013 10:00 AM
Eveningof Health PHOTO(1).jpg

Pictured from left to right: Michele Tamaren, Ariela HaLevi, Devorah Feinbloom, Monique Ilona, Blane Allen

The following was submitted by Nancy Sarles:

“An Evening of Health and Happiness” will be presented on Thursday, November 14th from 7:15-9pm at Congregation Shirat Hayam, 55 Atlantic Avenue, Swampscott. After doing so much for others, this night of pampering is for you and your friends. Take this great opportunity to experience our wonderful community of healers. All are welcome!! 

 From 7:15- 8pm enjoy a Restorative Yoga class complete live music and optional massage during savasana led by popular Yoga Instructor, Ariela HaLevi. Starting at 8pm you are invited to enjoy a sampling of various techniques to enhance your health and happiness while enjoying a Yogini Martini. You can taste healthy smoothies, delicious desserts, raw food yummies, healthy snacks, and tasty vegetarian appetizers. Throughout the evening, you can savor the benefits of aromatherapy, intuitive headings, facial accupressure, Reiki, tapping, health coaching, and other complimentary health and healing options. Take home organic lipsticks, Nux yoga wear, and much more. 

 A raffle of gift certificates and luxurious items for pampering will be held to support CSH Hospice Shabbat, bringing patients and their families a meaningful Shabbat. Reservations are preferred at or call 781.599.8005. Admission is $25.00 cash or check or $27.75 with credit card.

Senator Tom McGee becomes chair of Massachusetts Democratic Party

October 19, 2013 06:59 AM

State Senator Thomas McGee was chosen Thursday night to succeed John Walsh as leader of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

Walsh, who has held the post since 2007, will become executive director of Governor Deval Patrick’s political action committee, the Together PAC.

McGee is the Senate chairman of the Transportation Committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee. Since 2002 he has represented a North Shore district that includes Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus, and Swampscott.

He has also served as chairman of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.

Deleo, Coakley file bill to limit amount of required flood insurance

October 16, 2013 02:16 PM

Worried about new federal flood insurance rules sparking another foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Attorney General Martha Coakley on Wednesday partnered to file legislation limiting the amount of insurance homeowners in the flood zone must purchase.

Though the Winthrop Democrat said the state-level action could blunt the impact of new federal flood insurance regulations, DeLeo said Congress must still act to further protect the expanded group of coastal residents and businesses and those living near lakes and rivers who are now required to purchase more comprehensive and costly insurance.

“People aren’t going to be able to pay their insurance, and as a result of that they’re going to lose their home unless we can convince our friends in Washington, which right now I guess they’re a little bit involved with a couple other issues, but they’re really going to have to get on the ball and address this,” DeLeo told reporters after meeting with House Democrats.

The bill filed by DeLeo and Coakley would limit the amount of flood coverage a homeowner or business must purchase to the value of the mortgage on the property, instead of the replacement value of the home. Creditors would also be prohibited from requiring coverage for contents of the home, or including a deductible less than $5,000.

Taking one of the only steps a state can to limit the amount of coverage required under federal guidelines, the Beacon Hill leaders hope to lower premiums for impacted homeowners, while retaining the option for consumers to purchase more coverage if they desire.

“These new flood insurance changes are going to devastate many families and businesses in our coastal communities,” Coakley said in a statement. “We continue to urge the federal government to delay implementing these changes until they’ve followed all the steps required by law.”

Coakley said she did not expect insurers to have a “huge complaint” with the legislation.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 required the Federal Emergency Management Agency to redraw national flood maps, and eliminated various subsidies in the National Flood Insurance Program to ensure sustainability.

Critics, however, say the new maps have captured large swaths of real estate at little to no risk of flooding, forcing larger numbers of property owners to purchase insurance. New rules governing the required height of buildings and other structural requirements for properties in the flood zone have also driven up the price tags on policies.

Rep. James Cantwell, a Marshfield Democrat, recently provided the News Service with a copy of an insurance bill for a Scituate homeowner that spiked up to $68,000 under the new program. He called the new FEMA flood maps “ridiculous.”

The homeowner, Peg Sullivan, told the News Service that she previously paid a $1,300 premium for the same coverage.

“It’s hurting our Massachusetts builders. It’s hurting our Massachusetts realtors. Right now, all up and down the coast, we have essentially people are being frozen out. They can’t sell their homes, and people aren’t buying because there’s so much uncertainty about what their rates are going to be for their flood insurance. The speaker taking swift action right now is so warranted and so helpful and I’m thrilled to be joining with him,” Cantwell said.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and the state’s entire Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging a delay in the Biggert-Waters reforms.

Cantwell said budget cuts limited FEMA's ability to review its surveys, and the government shutdown, which began Oct. 1, has placed on furlough the governmental affairs person at FEMA whom he speaks to about constituents' concerns. Scituate and Marshfield hired their own consultant to contest the FEMA maps.

Cantwell, whose bill (H 865) had a hearing last month calling on the Division of Insurance to regularly investigate the National Flood Insurance Program, said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that DeLeo’s bill can be heard and brought forward for a vote before the end of the year.

Though he made clear the “ultimate answer” must still come from Washington, DeLeo said he hopes that by tying the insurance requirements in Massachusetts to the value of a mortgage, property owners will fare “significantly better” than they would under the federal guidelines.

“We’re truly going to see people losing their homes, not from floods, but from flood insurance,” DeLeo said.

Governor Patrick announces spending projects for Salem State, North Shore Community College

October 16, 2013 12:40 PM

Visiting the North Shore on Wednesday, Gov. Deval Patrick used a speech before the North Shore Chamber of Commerce to announce two major capital budget investments at Salem State University and North Shore Community College.

The governor detailed the state’s plans to invest $32.9 million to modernize and expand Meier Hall for science, technology, engineer and math majors at Salem State. Another $20.7 million will be spent updating the Lynn campus of North Shore Community College to accommodate additional student services and classrooms, according to the administration.

The labs at Salem State University have not been updated in more than 40 years since they were first constructed in the early and late 1960s. The university has 430 students majoring in biology and biotechnology, and 80 chemistry students.

The NSCC project will include an addition to the campus to house academic technology, math re-design, adjunct office spaces, a Center for Academic Success, tutoring, student services, student lounges and classrooms.

– M. Murphy/SHNS

Democratic challenger to US Rep. John Tierney outraises him

October 15, 2013 06:04 PM

Targeted almost daily by national Republicans, U.S. Rep. John Tierney raised $251,216 in the third quarter of 2013 as he gears up for a re-election contest in a little less than a year, but was outpaced by his Democratic challenger Seth Moulton of Salem.

Moulton raised $355,548 from July through August, and had $301,735 in cash on hand, according to his campaign. Tierney’s quarterly report filed with the Federal Elections Commission showed the Salem Democrat raising a quarter of a million dollars, and finishing the third quarter with $561,155 in cash on hand.

Moulton, an Iraq war veteran and vice chairman on the board of directors of Eastern Healthcare Partners, launched his primary challenge to Tierney earlier this year after the incumbent staved off a strong Republican challenge from former state Sen. Richard Tisei in 2012 following a controversy over his wife’s involvement in her brother’s illegal offshore gambling operations.

Tierney will be running for a 10th term representing the 6th Congressional district in 2014. - M. Murphy/SHNS

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