January 1, 1996- August 31, 1996

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New Skateboard & InLine Skating Park Launched.
Completing a two-year campaign to solve some of the problems associated with an every increasing number of skateboarders and inline skaters on the streets and park of Marblehead, Selectman Diance St. Laurent announced the groundbreaking of an newly expanded portion of the Green Street Playground for the sport and a fund raising campaign to complete the park with removable and multi-purposed equipment.
Selectman Diane St. Laurent.

Many observers have noted the inline skaters at the YMCA stairway, "grinding" down the railings, and recently an incident occurred that prompted Selectmen to take note of damage occuring in Memorial Park to the World War II Memorial marble and metal base by in skaters and skateboarders "grinding" on the sharp edges of the monument. "Grinding" is something all of these youngs athletes enjoy doing and is accomplished when with a small lead in the air they bring the non-roller portion the their skates into contact with the sharp or smooth edges of a slippery surface like a stairway metal bannister or a monument curbstone and then slide at a increasing rate of speed along its distance. This gives the skaters a sort of turbo lift and requires the agility to jump to the slicker surface, balance during the speeding grind, and then jumb off the surface and land again on the side walk or roadway. It might be the inline skater's equivalent of a moghole in downhill skiing.

While to many oridinary people what these young people are doing may seem foolhardy and dangerous, and while the YMCA has posted signs asking police to take notice of this unsanctioned activity, they still do it every chance they can. Because it takes great skill, is very difficult, and it's about as much fun, according to inline skaters interviewed, as you can have on skates.

Below is the start of the new area, pavement added to the old "bowl" which was used to some extent by skateboarders and rollerbladers. The next step is the fundraising for and ultimate purchase of the equipment that will make the park attractive to these young athletes: a half pipe, jumps and perhaps the popular rails for grinding, in addition to other obstacles.

The photos above show the area designated for skateboarders at Reynolds Playground.

Recognizing the tremendous athlete skills involved in skateboarding and inline skating, and the fact that inline skating is the fastest growing sport in the United States, Selectman St. Laurent is championing the outfitting of an enlarged portion of the Green Street Playground with everything skateboarders and inline skaters could want. "Hopefully," she stated, "this will give them a safe place to practice and workout away from Marblehead's busy streets and business community."

Anyone wishing to contribute should call the Selectmen's office at (617) 631-0000 or mail the check, specified for the Skate Park to Selectmen, Abbot Hall, Marblehead, MA )1945.

New Salem/Beverly Bridge About To Open

(left) the final piece just put in place, and (right) the entrance to the bridge from Beverly lifting off into an August fog bank, just two weeks before opening.

Scheduled to open on Monday, August 19th after five years of construction and inconvenience Salem, Beverly and Marblehead residents will suddenly able to drive across a 1500 foot bridge over 150 feet off the water without interruption. Many predict it will be a boon for the area's businesses.

Selectmen Have Received One Application For Jackie Belf-Becker's School Committee Seat.
Many in Town felt that the vacated seat by Belf-Becker's resignation would create a free for all for the joint School Committee / Board of Selectmen appointed. But more than two weeks after her resignation... no applicants. But now one has arrived... Robert Clayman, an attorney and a parent. More later....

Anyone interested should apply by writing a letter of intent to either the Board of Selectmen at Abbot Hall or The School Committee at 2 Humphrey Street.

New Glover/Eveleth Principal Named
After the resignation of Susan Rubel, the search began immediately to replace the popular principal of what many consider to be the best two elementary schools in the system. The selection committee included Superintendent Philip Devaux who stated in a recent Salem News article, "We were thrilled because he showed an apptitude for really solid leadership. Robert Harrison of Amesbury signed a two year contract. Harrision offered a excellent resume, but more than that, stated Devaux, he displayed an ability to work in groups, was very articulate, straightforward and to the point.

Harrision holds a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of New Hampshire and a masters of arts in elementary education from Lesley College. He was selected from a field of 45 applications.

Light Tower's 100 Year Commemorative Stamp Cancellation Ceremony

The official cancellation (in green of course to match Marblehead Light's famous beacon) and a loyal postal worker is there to perform the duty.

The Marblehead Light Tower is 100 years old on August 12, 1996. Here is a look at the special 100 Year Commemorative Postal Stamp Cancellation that will be available at the Marbl.ehead Yacht Club on August 19, 1996 from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. An official of the Post Office will be there to issue the cancellations. Also the Coast Guard Auxilliary will be there with water safety tips and demonstrations along with a 41' Coast Guard Cutter. Also commemorative hats will be on sale.

It's Race Week In The Yachting Capital Of America!

It all seems so calm now, but wait until this weekend (July 27 & July 28th) for the start of the biggest week in Marblehead's sailing season.... RACE WEEK!

For over a hundred years, top racers from all over the world come to Marblehead for some of the best sailing competition of the summer.

Every year, for 107 years, Marblehead rolls up the sidewalks and every one's on the harbor. It's Race Week again!

The races begin Monday July 29th and run through Sunday. Races are held every day at 12:30 P.M. and run through approximately 5 P.M.

"I think of it as friendly, fierce competition, but it's also a social gathering. You have a good time and you meet a lot of new people," stated Joan Thayer, Race Week Chairman as quoted in a recent article of the Salem Evening News.

There are senior (over 21) and junior (under 21) divisions. The Junior division is hosted by the Pleon Yacht Club, the oldest independent yacht club in America (and it's run by kids!) The first three days of Race Week (Monday, Tuseday, and Wednesday) are reserved for the Junior divisions and the last four days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are for the Senior division.

WWW Sailing Sites
Marblehead To Halifax Race Information

Principal Henry Lukas, Leaves Marblehead High School For Manchester-by-the-Sea
Henry Lucas

Marblehead High School Principal, Henry Lukas, has accepted a position as principal of the Manchester-by-the-Sea Junior-Senior High School. School officials will be meeting this week, as a result, to begin plans for Lukas' replacement.

Lukas, who was one of six finalists for the position of principal at Manchester, was notified Monday that he had been chosen. Lukas noted that their were three basic reasons for his choice in leaving Marblehead: new challenges, salary, and the reduction in the Marblehead School Budget. He also said that it was well known that he was searching for a new position.

Lukas, who lives in Cambridge, has held the position of principal of Marblehead High School for the last ten years and is now looking for new challenges in his career.

Although it has not been determined at this time, Lukas also stated that his new salary would be higher than his current salary of $55,800.

The reduction of the marblehead budget which has caused cuts in staff and equipment, including the English department curriculum head and head of the computer program, is another reason for Lukas leaving. "A lot of those jobs then fall back on the principal," said Lukas.

Despite Lukas' frustrations with the lack of financial support concerning the Marblehead School budget, he leaves Marblehead on good terms. Lukas takes over the position at Manchester in the middle of August.

Ray Carey of Marblehead Tries For Spot In Olympics, But Comes Up Short.
Selectmen Declare August 11th, "Ray Carey Day," in Marblehead.

Ray Carey, a world class butterflyer from Marblehead.

The whole family went to Atlanta, 28 to 30 people, to see Ray attempt to make the finals in the 200 meter butterfly, considered to be one of the most intensely competitive events at any Olympic gathering.

In an interview with Gene Lavanchy of WHDH-TV Channel 7, Ray spoke of letting the opportunity get away from him: "The race was really off," he said, "I just let it get away." But, Marblehead Selectmen, looking at his career and his long standing reputation for community service and willingness to work with young swimmers, summed up Marblehead's pride in Ray by declaring August 11th to be officially, "Ray Carey Day." Chairman McNulty and the entire Board of Selectmen spoke glowingly about Carey's performance in national swimming and unanimously voted the declaration.

Carey career biography is very impressive:

Basic Information
Olympic Event:200m Butterfly
Ht./Wt.: 5-10, 160
Hometown: Marblehead, Mass
Born: 6/1/73
School: St. John's HS `91
College: Stanford `95
Clubs: Stanford Swimming

Most Notable Accomplishments
Fourth-fastest American ever in the 200m butterfly... gold medalist at `91 World University Games... member of 1994 World Championship team... two-time U.S. national champion.

Year-by-Year Resume
: Finished fourth in the 200m fly at Pan Pacs 200m fly champion at the P66 Summer Nationals becoming the first American to defeat Mel Stewart at a National Championship since spring '86 nationals
1994: Member of World Championship team, finishing 21st in 200m fly with pinched nerve in shoulder finished second in 200m fly at World Championship Trials
1993: NCAA champion in the 200y fly
1992: Won his first senior national title at the P66 Summer Nats in the 200m fly
1990: Ended the year ranked fifth in the world in the 200m fly LEN Cup 200m fly gold medalist member National "A" team.

Personal Information
Snake owner, a boa named, "Cool Breeze" father competed in track and mother competed in gymnasticsenjoys snowboarding and cycling.

Best Times
100m fly, 55.34
200m fly, 1:58.36
Final 1993 World Rankings 6th, 200m fly
Final 1994 World Rankings 9th, 200m fly

Career Stats
1989: SUM NATS - 4th, 200m fly
1990: SPG NATS - 2nd, 200y fly; SUM NATS - 4th, 200m fly; LEN CUP - 1ST, 200m fly
1991: SPG NATS - 6th, 200m fly; WORLD UNIV - 1st, 200m fly; SUM NATS - 6th, 100m fly, 3rd, 200m fly
1992: OLY TRIALS - 4th, 200m fly; NCAA - 4th, 200y fly; SUM NATS - 1st, 200m fly
1993: NCAA - 1st, 200y fly; SUM NATS - 2nd, 200m fly; PAN PAC - 7th, 200m fly
1994: NCAA - 2nd, 200y fly; SUM NATS - 2nd, 200m fly
1995: SUM NATS - 1st, 200m fly; PAN PAC - 4th, 200m fly

Home Of Former School Board Chairman Howes Raided During Teen Party; 19 Arrests Possible Drug Charges

July 3 on Leicester Road turned from a party to a police raid resulting in 19 arrests, including 17 juveniles and two adults. Charges included minor possession of alcohol. posession of marijuana and with distributing the drug within a school zone. As quote in the Salem News, Sgt. Brian Hitchcock stated that, "we believe that Alexander Howes had an ongoing marijuana distribution set-up in that house for well over a year.

56 Leicester Road where the party and subsequent raid took place.

Inside the house police found in excess of 600 empty beer cans and bottles. Hitchcock also stated that the situation was, "one of the worst situations we have ever seen."

At Town Meeting two years ago Marbleheaders almost unanimously passed a "parental responsibility" law which assigns penalties to parents of children caught in drinking or drug situations. Selectmen have consistently taken the stand that the law should be universally enforced in every situation, without exception.

Landing Restaurant Called To Board Of Selectmen To Discuss License Violation Charge.

The Landing Restaurant at State Street Landing

It was 11:45 P.M. Friday, July 5th, the music was blaring, so Lt. Dave Millett entered the bar of the restuarant to investigate a possible entertainment license violation (entertainment generally ends at 11:30 P.M.). In the ensuing confrontation, as reported in the Salem Evening News, the Lieutenant and the bar's manager, Chris Szczechhowicz, had a discussion that included the manager's request for "a break" from Lt. Millett, an expired, or incorrect, entertainment license, why the front door was locked and patrons were still inside and finally a detailed reported filed by Lt. Millett that one member of the Board of Selectmen called, "most disturbing." At their July 10th meeting the Board requested that the Landing Restuarant's management appear before them to discuss the possible viliolation.

Jackie Belf-Becker Resigns From School Committee
Jackie Belf-Becker

As reported in The Salem Evening News, School Committee veteran Jackie Belf-Becker has resigned from the Committee in order to satisfy the requirements of the new position she has accepted as hearing officer with the Bureau of Special Education Appeals at the Massachusetts Department of Education. Faced with a choice between her voluntary service on the Marblehead School Committee and a career assignement at the DOE, Mrs. Belf-Becker stated that she made the choice in favor of her career somewhat sadly. As reported in the Salem News article, Mrs. Belf-Becker described her tenure on the School Committee (spanning an interrupted seven years on the Committee) as one in which she was proud of "generally hanging in there and doing what I thought was best for the schools. She has promised to stay active in school affairs.

The majority of a joint convention of the remaining School Committee members (Chairman Jody Magee, Gretchen Vona, Ron Grenier, and Joan Rosenthal) and the members of the Board of Selectmen (Chairman Thomas McNulty, Diane St. Laurent, Bill Conly, Bill Purdin, and Reed Cutting) will appoint a new School Committee member to fill Mrs. Belf-Becker's seat until the next Town election when an election will be held for the time remaining in her term. The Board of Selectmen has not yet set a date for the joint convention.

Glover's Regiment Encampment At Fort Sewall
The gentle, rolling landscape and seascapes of Fort Sewall will be transported back to revolutionary times beginning at noon on Friday, July 12th as Glover's Regiment encamps with their period tents, muckets, campfires, and two dozen members impecably dressed to reenact an historic time in Marblehead's and America's history, until Sunday noon.

Washington Crossing The Deleware (Glover's Regiment manning the boat)

Glover's Regiment, established during the revolutionary period and reestablished by a group of Marbleheaders in 1974, is made up mostly of Marblehead residents who take on the personas of General John Glover's Revolutionary War regiment, which made history during the period and was made up mostly of hardy Marblehead fishermen. The regiment was a favorite of General Washington's and is pcitured in the famous painting, Washington Crossing The Deleware, rowing the Commander-in-Chief in large boats. The regiment ultimately became Washington's personal guard.

The regiment will demonstrate what it was like in that era including, cooking, bayonet drills, military arts and musket drills.

Saturday at 9:30 A.M. Major John Woods will read the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the Old Town House.

31st Annual Marblehead Festival Of The Arts Ends With Fireworks Over The Harbor And The Annual Street Festival. What A Success!

The corcerts at Crocker Park, the popular photography exhibit at the Old Townhouse and, sculptor Charles Hahn, works on a head of a new project, model in the background. -- Photos by JH

Art Exhibits, Sculpture and printmaking, Senior art, Student art, Youth art, Crafts and painting, Drawing, Photography, Boxes in Bloom, Paint the Town, Writer's World Workshops, Performing Arts Concerts, Kite Festival, Children's Festival, Artisans Market Place, Film and Video Festival and a Street Festival on the last day... whew, what a Festival of the Arts!

As Arts Festival President Robert F. Macomber stated in a recent Daily Evening Item article, "I think the Town Of Marblehead showed a resurgence of interest in the festival and I know the Town really engaged in this year's festival.

From all accounts, business increased, people came to Town from all over the region and beyond, all events were extremely well attended and people were well behaved according to Marblehead Police Lieutenant Dave Millett.

To all who made it possible and to all who came and made it all worthwhile, congratulations. Now, let's start planning the 32nd Annual Marblehead Festival Of The Arts.

The Boston Globe Lists 265 Towns Now Online With E911, Marblehead Is Not Among Them....
An enhanced 911 dispatch center

In an article on 6/29/96 The Boston Globe published a list of 265 towns and cities which have introduced the "enhanced 911" system for reporting police and fire emergencies. Six years after the state legislature called for this system, Marblehead is still among those towns which do not have the facilities to extend this protection to its residents.

To reduce by even a few seconds the response time to emegergencies can mean the difference between life and death, 911 emergency experts have stated for years.

The instrumentation behind an enhanced 911 service

The E911 system is a combination of telephone, computer, and information management systems. E911 is designed to help communities respond to critical situations with speed and efficiency. Users can dial 911 from any phone in the service area and be connected to a designated central service point called a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). As the 911 call is answered, the operator's screen displays the caller's phone number and address automatically. The operator can then dispatch help, conference-in emergency personnel, or transfer the call to the appropriate emergency response agency at the touch of a button. The hardware and software are modular, to allow communities to tailor their systems to meet future needs.

The system cuts down on potential confusion, allows assistance to be delivered even if the caller cannot speak or if the call is disconnected.

The "E" is a technical description of the new system, however, emergency callers should always dial 9-1-1, no "E." Also people in the emergency business always pronounce the service "nine-one-one," not "nine-eleven," because children hearing the "nine-eleven" number look for an 11 on the phone key pad.

Marblehead is in the midst of building a new dispatch center to be attached to the old Police Building, however delays due to over bids, or under funding, continue to plague the project. The project is continuing, however with plans to break ground sometime in the near future.

Summer Music Festival Opens 20th Season

Sara Sant'Ambrogio, cellist (left) and Robert Stallman, flutist (right)

The universally popular flutist, Robert Stallman, will be joined by world famous artists as he directs the Summer Music Festival's 20the season in Marblehead. Masahito Tanka, bassoonist, Tamara Matthews, soprano, and Edwin Swanborn, harpsicordist comprise the basic group to be augmented as each concert develops.

All concerts are held at the Old North Church, 41 Washington Street, Marblehead, MA 01945
at 8 P.M.

The schedule for the rest of the summer is as follows:

Saturday, Jul 13th Festival Firsts
Khachaturian, Kodaly, and Schumann
Bayla Keyes, violin; Chester Bresniak, clarinet; Sara 'SantAmbrogio, cello*, Cynthia Rain, piano*

Saturday, July 20th Viennese Romantics
Beethoven, Strauss, Schoenberg & Brahms
Robert Stallman, flute; D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo soprano; Bayla Keyes, violin; Katherine Murdock, viola; Wilhelmina Smith, cello*, David Deveau, piano

Saturday, July 27th All-Schubert Program
Featuring the Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 100
Nicholas Eanet, violin*, Wilhelmina Smith, cello*, Erika Nickrenz, piano

Saturday, August 3rd: Season Finale
Mozart, Arnold, Weiss, Schumann
Robert Stallman, flute; Chester Bresniak, clarinet; Nicholas Eanet, violin*, Eufrosina Raileanu, viola*, Jonathan Spitz, cello*, Erika Nickrenz, piano

Tickets are $18 general admission, $15 seniors and students, and can be purchased at the door. A $90 season subscription can be purchased at 20% discount for $72. Free parking is available and the chuch is wheelchair accessible. For more information call (617) 631-8110.

NOTE: The first concert of the season was held on Friday. July 5th: The Cantor Meets The Red Priest and featured Concertos & Arias by Bach & Vivaldi. Robert Stallman, flute; Tamara Matthews, soprano; Masahito Tanaka, bassoon*, Edwin Swanborn, harpsichord*, and Chamber Orchestra

* guest artists

School Adjust To New Realities
Superintendent Philip Devaux has stated tht although 14 school department employees have received notices that they may not be rehired for next year, it still is not completely clear what the final number of dismissals will actually be. As teachers near "Professional Status" after three years of employment the system evaluates them and either allows the status to be acquired or the individuals are dismissed from the system. These individuals, although no longer in the Marblehead Schools, will be replaced.

The Superintendent has stated that there are $175,000 worth of adjustments that must be made prior to the new school year, including the loss of $45,000 in Title I funding.

The Superintendent stated that overall his first year was "a great year." He praised Marblehead's Open Town Meeting systems as one where the schools get a "fairer shake from the people." He considers the summer a time to "reload" and get ready for next year.

Penni's, No Crosby's, Reopens
The fire....and cleaning up in the aftermath. Here is the construction chronicle photo essay....

The new building begins. 1/24/96

The building goes on. 2/6/96

2/26/96 - More framing and some plastic wrap.

3-18-96 Starting to take shape....

First look inside...!

4/1/96 Now, the walls take shape...


6-28-96 Almost opening day

The new front door... and inside the store.

Instead of the traditonal old neighborhood grocery store, Downtown Marblehead will now have a full service, state-of-art supermarket. The new Crosby's Marketplace, which rises from the ashes of the Penni's Fire will be what owner Jim Crosby calls "a prototype store, a signature store, the model for our company."

The market will feature a capacity for customers to roast a chicken or steam lobsters while they shop and it will more than twice the size of the old market. It will have a bakery, flower stand, and a speciality food section for gourmets. It will employ as many as 65 employees, many local people included. Plus, within the new downtown shopping mall a bank, drugstore, and video store will also be located.

In a recent Salem Evening News article, Crosby was quoted as saying, "One thing will remain from Penni's Pantry," pointing to a room containing the hand painted mural by the students of the Gerry and Schools. "After the fire, the kids did this for us and all their names are on it. This is going up on the wall as a permanent part of the new store."

Something old, something new. Crosby's Marketplace will now take its place in Marblehead.

Whither Camp Shore Lea: No Dogs Allowed But Now What?
Recreation & Park Commission Chairman Fraffie Welch announced at the June 26th meeting of the Board of Selectmen that her Commission had received a withdrawal of the proposal for a "Dog Day Care Center at Camp Shore Lea. Apparently due to the efforts of the nieghbor to block the use of the old girl scout camp, the originator of the idea withdrew to avoid further controversy.

The Town remains faced with the future use of the now-abandoned building which in recent years has suffered serious damage due to vandalism.

The building sits on a hill overlooking Gatchell Playground and a lush expanse of green folliage. It is connected to The Path which is partially constituted by the historic railroad beds which encircle Marblehead and to Everrett Paine Boulevard. It has a commanding, sweeping porch and two large rooms with fireplaces. It has great potential. It also has serious problems: vandalism, arson attempts, maintenance and general security of Town property.
On a recent Path Tour people from all over Marblehead accompanied Dennis Curtin, a Path enthusiast, on the winding Path, including a stop at Camp Shore Lea. While Dennis described some possible uses for the old girl scout camp including a science center sponsored by local schools.

In a recent Salem News article, it was reported that Francie Grynkraut, a dog trainer, was requesting that the property become a "day care center for dogs," where people could drop their dog off in the morning and pick it up after work. Grynkraut envisions renovating the building for an office and a place for dogs to nap, and the installation of a fenced dog run. with capacities for about 20 dogs. Dog owners could also pay an annual fee to let their dog run loose on the property, plus obedience training would be offered.

An abutter, Laurie Cohen, gathered a petition, signed by "97%" of her neighbors vehemently opposing any such use of the camp effectively killing the consideration of the property for that purpose.

Middle School Celebrates Presidential Award. The Highest Honor That An American School Can Achieve!

It was Tuesday, June 4th. Congressman Peter Torkildsen, State Representative Doug Petersen, State Senator Chip Clancy, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Robert Anntonucci, The President's representative, and one local Selectman all came to honor the Presidential Blue Ribbon Award given to the Marblehead Middle School.

Superintendent Phil Devaux (left) and the Marblehead Middle School Chorus (right)

The unfurling of the official Presidential Blue Ribbon flag.

Town Moderator Appoints Committee To Study The Terms Of The Board Of Selectmen
Will the terms of the Board of Selectmen be changed for the first time in Marblehead's history? It's a question that no one knows the answer to, including the Moderator, who appointed the committee, and the Chairman of the Committee, Nick Fader. "As the the article is written, it's pretty narrowly focused," he said in an interview with the Salem Evening News, "but I'm hoping we can look beyond that. It will be up to the Committee."

The article on this year's Town Warrant specified the examination of whether the Selectmen should serve one-year terms, with each Selectman facing re-election every year, or if the terms should be three-year, staggered terms.

The Committee is made up as follows:

Chairman Nick Fader (also Chairman of the Planning Board)
Daniel Carter, Jr., retired businessman
John Doub, former Chairman of the Finance Committee
Marcia Sweeney, former member of the School Committee (18 years)
Elaine Goldsmith, League of Women Voters
Joanne Mayer, former Selectman
Albert Potier, former Finance Committee member
Joan Thayer, businesswoman
Brian Hitchcock, Police Sergeant

Chairman Fader has stated that the first order of business is to hold an organization meeting and to discuss the modus operandi of the committee. Check our Dates & Calendars for the meeting when posted.

Memorial Day Photos

On a sunny day ("the best Memorial Day weather I've ever seen!" -- Bill Conly) the Town assembled to honor and remember the veterans who have fought, served and died in war. The parade began at 9 A.M. on an unfortunate note, George Carruth, the parade's annual organizer and most enthusiastic participant was taken away in a ambulance, apparently overcome by the long hours of preparation. Here are some of the scenes from this colorful annual event.

left to right: Selectmen Bill Conly, Reed Cutting, Diane St. Laurent, Thomas A. McNulty,
State Representative Doug Petersen and Selectman Bill Purdin

The Police and Fire Departments proudly march....

The old veterans ride and the young girl scouts walk....

and the younger generation just keeps coming...

as the Town remembers those who fell in foreign wars.

And after the parade, 2000 to 3000 people attended the Great Picnic sponsored by the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce.

1996 Election Results For Selectmen

Also reelected were Jean Eldgridge to the Housing Authority and David Belf-Becker to the Board of Health. All other positions were uncontested. (See ballot below for uncontested positions.)

General Override Fails, Four Debt Exclusions Totalling $2.1 Million Pass Easily

1. Education General Override: $870,000
(Cost to average* taxpayer: $105.33)

This article would have given teachers a 9.2% raise: a 4.8% "McLaughlin" raise, and 4.4% for increased days worked at the contract rate. It would also have increased the school year in Marblehead to longest in the state, increasing instructional time for students to 188 days, teachers will work 190 days. It also would have authorized increase professional time for teachers, incentive pay for exceptional performance, and an early retirement program for up to 10 senior teachers.
2. Drain Construction Debt Exclusion Override: $900,000 ($16.95)
The reconstruction of the drain system around Pleasant Street, to replace funds used under the emergency declaration during the Green Street drain overflow and flooding in November. Also funds would be used for the long overdue mapping of the Town's drain system.
3. School Computerization: $560,000 ($12)
The third phase of a five year technology plan to bring computers to every classroom in the Public School System.
4. Renovation of School Buildings: $195,000 ($3.68)
To continue the fifth phase of the renovations of all school buildings.
5. New "Quint" Fire Truck: $450,000 ($8.48)
Replacement of a 32-year old ladder truck with a state-of-the-art "Quint" which combines the 850-gallon reservoir of a pumper with the extension ladder needed for aerial hoses that can operate by remote control, without exposing firefighters to the hazardous aerial duty.

TOTAL FOR ALL OVERRIDES: $146.44, or $36.61 per quarter.
TOTAL FOR PASSED OVERRIDES: $41.11 or $10.28 per quarter

*These cost estimates are based on the taxes on a home valued at $250,000 which is close to the average for Marblehead.

In a Marblehead Reporter article, Superintendent Phil Devaux stated, "This is a major setback in the restructuring of education in Marblehead. There was no organized opposition against the override, but the outcome is a result of individuals and a community that voted against the teachers."

In the same article, Jody Magee is quoted as saying, "We really got slam-dunked."

In 1988, there was a $315,000 general override for the school that failed 1758 to 2764. In 1990, Marblehead Matters sponsored another general override for the schools and it failed 2664 to 4539. In June of 1991 there was another general override ($575,000) and it also failed 1629 to 2598. And of course last year a general override for the schools failed by 40 votes.

In 1980, the vote for the "Establishment of Proposition 2.5" passed overwhelmingly 8565 to 3658 in one of the largest votes in the history of Marblehead.

Town Meeting 1996 Results

A well attended, diverse Town Meeting assembled May 6 & 7 th.

Perhaps because of the exceptional preparation by Town officials, perhaps because of the exceptionally positive financial position the Town finds itself in, and perhaps for reasons that no one can trully know, Town Meeting 1996 approved overwhelmingly a general override for education in Marblehead, and debt exclusion overrides for drain construction, school building renovations, school computerization, and for a brand new combination ladder and pumper fire engine.

In a Town Meeting audience that was not obviously over-saturated with school parents, but seemed to this reporter to represent a broad spectrum of Marblehead residents, senior, parents, and young people (including almost 100 middle school students the stage taking notes) almost every proposal was passed overwhelmingly. Article 13 concerned the North Shore Vocational budget which was not supported by the Finance Committee, was passed overwhelmingly by Town Meeting, increasing the budget for the Middleton school by over $90,000. Article 25 concerned the issue rasied initially by the Board of Selectmen

Selectmen Bill Purdin and Tom McNulty, and former Selectman Bill Woodfin address Town Meeting concerning various issues.

about the length of terms for Selectmen and how many Selectmen would run for election at one time. The majority of the Board of Selectmen (Conly, McNulty and Purdin) favored keeping the system the same way it is now (one year terms), bu St. Laurent and Peck favored the study. Purdinstated that the study seemed directed at a three year rotating term only and he would like to see it expanded to include a two year term and a one year first term with reelection to three years. Town Meeting (in a teller-tallied vote) supported the article and a nine-member Moderator-appointed study committee will be formed to generate a report for next year's Town Meeting. Articles 62, 63 and 64, establishing (respectively) a reinforced bylaw concerning fines for abandoned vehicles on private property, registration and enforcement of door-to-door solicitation by salaried or commissioned sales people, and licensing and registration of second hand dealers in Marblehead, also were passed overwhelmingly.

Perhaps the longest and most detailed debate occurred on Article 65, the removal of overhead wires on a portion of the historic district. After the debate and a presentation by Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Thomas A. McNulty which included slides depicting the cluttered overhead wiring matrix and an historic picture of Washington Square when only one wire course along the roadside, the article passed... you guessed it... overwhelmingly. Article 68, which transfered the Selectmen's historic role as Board Of Survey to the Planning Board and adopted, for the first time, Massachusetts' Subdivision Control Law, passed without discussion. Article 74, all of the Town's regular budgets, passed quickly into history with all minimal "holds" for technical corrections, explanations, and last minute adjustments. Article 75, the general override for education, which included a McLaughlin "catchup" raise similar to the "Townside" raise appropriated from available funds at the Special Town Meeting earlier in the year, of 4.8%, and a raise of 4.4% to cover increased days and longer hours for teachers. Selectmen annoucned that the override election would be held on June 10th.

Moderator Steve Howe (service sine 1972) and Town Clerk Betty Brown (since1964) at their traditional posts at the center of Town Meeting. Middle School students in the background.

Town Meeting adjourned Tuesday night around 10 P.M.

Boston Globe Rates Communities: Marblehead Scores Low In Taxes And In School Expenditures....
In a statistical survey of real estate and school information Marblehead's listings were as follows:
Pupil expenditure total: $5,567 / Rank: 41 of 351
SAT Score Average: 953 / Rank: 45 of 351
Dropout rate: 0.8% / Rank: 150 of 351
Median Home Price: $226,000 / Rank: 27 of 351
1996 Residential tax rate: $11.98/000 of assessed value. / Rank: 169 of 351
Source: Boston Globe, Sunday 4-21-96, page A74

In summary, Marblehead spends less on students, has a lower SAT average, than towns of similar makeup, but has a much lower tax rate.

Cat Island Is Now Children's Island.... Or Is It?
Feds Agree To Reassess New Naming. Mr. Conly Goes To Washington?

Catt, er...I mean, Children's... er... I mean Cat Island? (left) in the winter from Chanlder Hovey, and (right) in the summer from just off shore. -- JH

After a routine letter to the Salem Assessor, Darrell Gallant and the YMCA seemed to have changed the name of Cat Island (visible from either Fort Sewall or Chandler Hovey Park) and the channel leading from the island to Marblehead Harbor, from the traditional Cat Island (named after the Catta family who originally owned the island) officially to Children's Island, as it has come to be known since the YMCA summer camp by the same name has used the island. The YMCA purchased the island in 1955 for $12,000. This change, announced at the Board of Selectmen on 3-7-96, apparently took the Selectmen by surprise. Selectmen Bill Conly stated, "I want to know how this got started and why we were not informed." Subsequently, Mr. Conly was appointed to "A Committee Of One," and returned to the Board with a report that the Bureau of Geologicial names would not reconsider it name change decision without anything short of a letter from the Board of Selectmen requesting exactly that. After two meetings of the Board partially devoted to Mr. Conly's

Selectman Bill Conly

recitation of the history of Cat Island and partially to an explanation of process by which this change occurred. "The YMCA is in no way to be criticzed for doing what was well within its rights to do, and they did it by the book." Nonetheless, Mr. Conly pressed the Board for a vote and after extended discussions by all five members, his motion to send the letter requesting reconsidered carried 3 to 2, (Conly, McNulty, Purdin in favor; St. Laurent and Peck opposed.)
UPDATE: As of the meeting of May 8, 1996, Selectmen were notified that the naming process and decision would be reconsidered and Selectman Conly announced that he would be going to Washington in person to attend the hearings and to testify.

Firefighters Get New Protective "Turnout" Gear

Jason Gilliand and Mike Porter model the new gear (right) and old gear (left)

The Fire Department's new protective gear is now in service and it is much better firefighter protection, offering a lighter (by one half) weight, yet stronger material, a completely redesigned protective silhouette, with high back trousers, neck protection, and plenty of extras. The new gear is "breathable and more flexible," according to a press release issued by Fire Chief Charles Maurais.

The outer shell represents the first defense for the thermal liner and vapor barrier. The inner moisture barrier is made of Gore-Tex materials. This will stop water, inhibit steam and heat, and will keep the firefighter more comfortable and help reduce heat stress. Thermal liners insulate against heat and cold. When both are worn with the outer shell, the result is total protection system for the firefighters.

The gear is custom-fit for each firefighter and includes new leather boots. The funds for this new turnout gear were appropriated by the May 1995 Town Meeting.

Legion Building Comes Under Selectmen's Scrutiny

The American Legion building on Washington Street

Selectmen Robert Peck, acting as a "Committee of One" appointed by the Board of Selectmen to investigate and report back the condition, usage and potential futures of the Legion Building on Washington Street, stated that Post 32 of the American Legion has not met in six years, has been sub leasing space to private enterprises, and has seen its membership dwindle to 12 or less from a high of 400 members. He asked if this was the proper use of the building in the opinion of the Board. He stated that he was working with the Legion to determine if there is still viability in the organization, whether or not the Legion Building is the right place or if it is do they need it all, and to see that the private leasees are notified to begin the process of eviction.

Harry Kemelman, author of the Rabbi Small Mystery Series dies.

12/19 & 20/96

Tim Angle Concerts held to help popular young man's family with medical expenses


Selectmen open the Warrant for May 1997 Annual Town Meeting


Christmas Walk begins with Santa's arrival at Clark Landing


Selectmen declare the Legion Building and Old Firehouse on School Street "surplus"


Robert Triplett, founder of the Reporter dies


Thanksgiving Football Game held in Swampscott, Headers lose 19-0


Override election held: General Override for teachers' salary fails, 4 debt exclusions for drains, school technology and renovations, and a new fire truck pass easily.

Teachers' contract settled

Police Office Karl Person suspended for six months


Thomas A. Jordan dies; former 13-term Selectman who served on many boards and was known for his cantankerous style and deep feelings for the Town.


Three vacant seats on the Finance Committee announced: Milton Bloom resigns, Jeff Coolidge and Dick Mafei requesting not to be reappointed.


Reed Cutting elected to the Board of Selectmen, Robert Peck defeated.

Joan Rosenthal takes a seat on the School Committee


Town meeting passes article to bury overhead wires in a portion of the historic district


Philip Page's drowned body found off Leggs Hill, Town mourns in shock


Three inch snow storm breaks all time snowfall record in Marblehead for one year


Pat Pollard announces she won't run for reelection to the School Committee


Marblehead Education Association settles contract: 2% - 2% per year for three years, plus 9.2% "Comparable Pay" override


The death of former Surveyor of Highways, Walter B. Power, Jr. at 88


The death of Phyllis Smith, former Chairman of the Trustees of Abbot Public Library and Director of the Public Schools' reading program


The death of Bert Symonds, known around New England for his enthusiastic support of firemen's musters, and the organizer, for many years, of Marblehead's famous musters.

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The Weekly News-Digest is a brief summary of the major headlines from local and regional newspapers, radio and television stations: Marblehead Reporter, The Marblehead Advocate, Daily Evening Item, Salem Evening News, Continental Cable, The Boston Globe and others.~

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