February 1997

Selectmen rename streets to accommodate E911 and public safety. Despite some pros and cons voiced by neighborhoods, the Board of Selectmen unanimously renamed portions of Briar Lane, Evans Road extension, and Longview Drive plus they accepted names that have either informally been used for years or are now needed to clarify locations: Roundy's Hill (off Hawkes Street), Pleasant Lane (off Pleasant Street), Bradlee's End (at the end of Bradlee Road, and Bank Court (next to Phil's Mobile Station). Members lamented changing people's address but stated it was needed for the protection of the Town as a whole.

The Travel Channel is still out of Town. At an overflow meeting of the Cable Television Oversight Committee angry residents demanded the reinstatement of the The Travel, which for the past month or so has been removed from sets in Marblehead. The representatives from Continental Cable, Marblehead's provider, stated that a recent survey indicated no real viewership for the channel and that other channels would be of greater interest to the average Marblehead viewer. This news only stirred up the resentment even more. People demanded to see the survey results, and have begun to form sub committees and conducted mail and phone campaigns for returning the Travel Channel. More as it develops.


Doug Petersen honored by Audubon Society. State Representative and Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee for the State Legislature, has been honored for his "perseverance and leadership over the past six years in getting the Massachusetts Rivers Protection Act passed." According to the Society, Petersen played a critical role in the campaign to protect the state's rivers after 60% of river miles failed to meet federal Clean Water Act standards, as reported in the Salem Evening News.

Gretchen Vona, after long thought-process, decides to run for reelection to School Committee. As reported in the Daily Evening Item, Mrs. Vona stated that she needs to finish the job, referring to solving the overcrowding problem facing the schools and the task of bringing a new school to the Town.

Gretchen Vona, School Committee member, to seek second term.

Second Rotary Chapter in Marblehead eases over crowding, allows for new growth, and gives people a morning alternative. After four months, The Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor has 41 members and has a list of 7 more to be inducted soon, as reported by Laurie Fulterton in The Marblehead Reporter. After 73 years, the Rotary Club of Marblehead, which meets Thursday at the Boston Yacht Club, was just getting too crowded. The Rotary Club Of Marblehead Harbor meets every Tuesday, at 7:15 at Jacob Marley's Restuarant on Atlantic Avenue.

Well-loved and 32-year Marblehead Police officer and Lieutenant, Richard George Fullerton died February 13, 1997. Lieutenant Fullerton also served on the Recreation and Park Commission, was a member of the American Legion and VFW. In a letter to the Board Of Selectmen, Police Chief John Palmer stated the distinguished nature of Fullerton's service to the Town and noted that officers and citizens of such calibre have always been the strength of Marblehead's Community.

Census forms are in the mail. Almost 8000 census forms were recently mailed to Marbleheaders this week, and for the first time they included voter registration information. The Town Clerk's new computer system generates and updates the Town's census form, saving time and money. As quoted in the Marblehead Reporter, Mrs Brown stated, "We're a model. It's not perfect, and we hope residents will be patient and correct any errors in the forms this year, but so far the coordination between voting lists and other records and the motor voter law is working so well that other states are following it closely." Census forms should be returned with 10 days of receiving them.

Betty Brown, Marblehead's Town Clerk since 1964.

The Marblehead Reporter names Bruce Brock as its new editor, replacing Diana Montgomery. After spending the last six years in Japan, the Reporter's new editor now faces a true culture shock as he sits down at his desk overseeing the news for the Town. Known for its polemics and resistance to change, Marblehead's rich traditions and history coupled with its diverse and opinionated population have proven more than equal to the challenge of accurate and unbiased reporters trying to make sense of it all. As reported in the Marblehead Reporter, Mr. Brock stated, "The Reporter is blessed with readers who are extremely involved in the community and who pay close attention to what is in the paper. Serving their needs is an exciting challenge that addresses the very essence of what newspaper journalism should be." A native of Wichita, Kansas, with degrees in journalism and history from the University of Kansas he and his family are currently leaving in Marblehead. The Brock's two children are attending the Glover School.

13 Marblehead art students win 17 prestigeous Globe Awards. More than any other town or city in the Commonwealth, Marblehead students distinguished themselves again this year at the 47th annual Globe Awards for Scholastic Art. Students from both the High School And the Middle School were involved.

Even as John Tierney settles into his old office, former US Representative Peter Torkildsen is mulling over another run for Congress. In one of the closest elections in US history, Tolkildsen lost his seat in November, but Marbleheader and Republican State Committeewoman, Pat Warnock is pushing for the rematch. "Anyone who has lost by such a small margin should consider running. It would almost be stupid not to run," she is quoted as saying in the Salem Evening News.

Selectman Reed Cutting appeals to residents to help the Board bring the USS Cosnstitution to the Marblehead area. "Old Ironsides" is scheduled to be in our vicinity on July 21 in celebration of the ship's 200th birthday. Donation buckets have been placed around Town. There will be a special event on April 13th, at Abbot Hall, to promote the event and to raise money. Selectman Cutting was reported in the Daily Evening Item as stating, "Marblehead is extraordinarily privileged to have the Constitution coming and we want to support the ship in every way we can." (Below) A stern's eye view of the USS Constitution being refitted in drydock.

A snow storm hits Marblehead with 3 to 4 inches. Sad to say, it's already school vacation, so still no "snow days" for Marblehead kids. Last year, over eight "snow days" kept school in session until June 28th. This year the target last day of school is June 18th.

The Second Century Fund, a group of fundraisers for Abbot Public Library, announced to the Board of Selectmen recently that they have raised $311,000 for a library endowment. Judith Eisner, President, also went on to say that while the fundraising had been primarily centered on major donors in the past, now they would be reaching out to the general public more. The Library has experienced difficulties, in recent years, maintaining its collections of books and periodicals given Marblehead's continuing budget pressures and competing priorities.

Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously nixes 175-foot communications tower on Tioga Way in a sometimes spirited discussion before an audience of nearly thirty residents and interested parties. Jeffrey Shribman, Acting Chairman of the Zoning Board, criticized both the Planning Board and The Board of Selectmen for remaining silent on the issue. He was reported in the Salem Evening News as saying that, "This board has been put in a lousy position by the Town's elected officials."

Chamber of Commerce to promote Marblehead at the "Strictly Sail New England Boat Show" on March 20 to 23 in Hartford, Connecticut. The chamber with the help of local marine businesses will staff a large booth at the show, touting Marblehead as a great destination and center of the sailing industry on the East Coast. The show hopes to welcom e over 15,000 sailors to its exhibitors. For further information call Linda Hodgkinson at the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce at
617-631- 2868.

Selectmen vote to ease up on parking restrictions along Atlantic Avenue. What had been one hour and two hour parking limits are lifted on a trial basis to unlimited parking in an attempt to give merchants a place to park during the working day away from prime customer spaces along Atlantic Avenue. Chestnut, Commercial, Central and Prospect Streets were effected by the unanimous vote.

Bank of Boston consolidates three offices in Marblehead into one: the big one at 66 Pleasant Street.
Bank officials were reported in the Salem Evening News as stating their intention to close the Humphrey Street and Pleasant Street branches.

Recreation & Park Department announces school vacation programs which include: "Toy Story On Ice," Tuesday 2/18; a trip to the movies 2/19; roller skating at Roller Palace in Beverly 2/20; Pool at Mad Maggies 2/21; plus the Youth Center will be open at 1 P.M. every day during the vacation. For more details call 617 631 3350.

May 2nd is the deadline, set by Superintendent of Schools Philip F. Devaux, for the appointment of a new principal at Marblehead High School. According to Devaux the job will be widley posted in trade journals, newsapapers, and the internet.

Massachusetts was named as the state with the lowest divorce rate in the country in a study published by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nevada topped the least as the state with both the most marriages and the most divorces.

Board Of Selectmen Commend Patrol Officer Lori Cameron for an on-duty investigation and arrest of a person suspected in a number of vehicle break ins. Cameron followed footsteps in the snow eventually to the suspects home.

Selectmen OK Antennae for the Tioga Way Water Tower. Or at least they have authorized the beginning of a process that could culminate in the Town renting space to cellular providers and others who need antennae to conduct their communications businesses. Several caveats were expressed about potential damage to the tank and reserving availablility for the Town's public safety needs, and these will be dealt with prior to any finalizations.

Fraffie Welch decides not to seek reelection to Recreation & Park Commission.
After 8 years of service on the Board including several as Chairman, Ms. Welch stated (as reported in the Marblehead Reporter) that as the first president and one of the founders of the morning Rotary Club in Marblehead, "I don't feel I can effectively give enough time to two such active organizations, each demanding substantial time." Already running as an non-incumbent for the Rec & Park is Rose McCarthy, a perennial candidate for Town offices, and rumor has it that Mike Lane, former Rec & Park Program Director, has also taken out his papers, along with former School Committee Chairman Ed Clisby. More to follow....

Joe Malone, State Treasurer comes to the Middle & Coffin schools and advises students that "Saving Makes Sense." Sponsored by the Marblehead Savings Bank and the National Grand Bank, the Treasurer joined members of the staffs of both banks at separate schools to encourage and educate children on modern banking and the handling of money. At the M iddle School, the complete Board of Selectmen, State Representative Petersen, School Committee Chairman Jody Magee, and Superintendent Phil Devaux all attended, in addition to others.

Did the USS Constitution really ever visit Marblehead Harbor? Here's the answer.

The USS Constitution, under tow, in Marblehead harbor circa 1930's.
-- Photo courtesy of Bart Snow.

Marblehead Swimmers Win Third Straight Northeastern Conference Title. Sue Guertin, Marblehead coach was smiling. "This is very exciting because both of my daughters are seniors," is quoted as saying in the Daily Evening Item. The Marblehead magicians won over Danvers in the finals 95-85.

Overhead wires will be a part of history in most of Downtown soon.

The rebuilding of downtown Marblehead and the burying of the overhead wires has attracted 16 quality firms to bid on the $800,000 project. The project entails the dismantling and replacing of the overhead wires with underground wires, new sidewalks, curbs cuts, period lighting, crosswalks and resurfacing of the streets along Washington Street from Rockaway to Market Square and a small portion of Pleasant Street. Traffic patterns and parking regulations will also be studied at the same time. The project is being funded partially by a Public Works Economic Development (PEWD) Grant from the Massachusetts Highway Department.

Two new bylaws go into effect. In May of last year Annual Town Meeting approved bylaws to register solicitors in Marblehead and to require that off-the-street second-hand sales be documented by businesses. The bylaws, sponsored by the Board of Selectmen, were presented by Lieutenant James Carney in their final form last week at the Selectmen's meeting.

General Glover honored on the 200th anniversary of his death.

The 200th Anniversary of General John Glover's death is celebrated by a funeral march to his Old Burial Hill gravesite and a return to Old Town Hall amid sea chants and comraderie.
(Above) The second of three honor volleys fired January 30, 1997 at the grave site.

(Top left) Preparing to march, (top left) Drummer Fred Bauer prepares for his 27th funeral procession to honor General Glover. (above) Marching back to the Old Town House singing sea songs and marching fast to stay warm in the 4 degree weather that night.

Some parents are angry at Superintendent Phil Devaux's proposal to transfer some (10) first grade students from the Gerry School to either the Bell or Coffin Schools. The Superintendent stated that the long-term prospects for maintaining the Gerry School were very good because of the systems increasing crisis over classroom space.

Aura Coleman dies. Marblehead Superintendent of Schools from 1948 until 1971. - Legend Advertising - Search - Archives - Online Store
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