Below is a link regarding “Serious Violations Put Dozens of Mass. Ambulances in Park.” Lynnfield is mentioned in this story.
Below is a link regarding “Serious Violations Put Dozens of Mass. Ambulances in Park.” Lynnfield is mentioned in this story.
Jaret Simpson and the rest of the Lynnfield football team will be playing the night before Thanskgiving, according to next year’s schedule. (File Photo)
LYNNFIELD — Be careful what you wish for, especially if you think there is nothing like an old-fashioned Thanksgiving Day football rivalry to kick start your day of thanks.
It appears as though the 59-year Lynnfield-North Reading Thanksgiving Day football game is in for a major overhaul.
The 2018 game is set to be played for the first time at night on Thanksgiving eve at 5:30.
For years, night football did not exist in Lynnfield. All that changed in 2014 with the opening of the new high school turf complex at the high school. Friday night football became the must-attend event in town.
“We had talked about it for a couple of years now and felt it was time for a change,” said Lynnfield athletic director Michael Bierwirth. “The survey response was clear. People preferred to play the night before.”
Lynnfield High principal Bob Cleary said he felt that playing the game on Thanksgiving Day was anti-climatic and that it hinders the ability of some to celebrate the holiday with their families.
“You have the pep rally on Wednesday, and then you say, see you tomorrow, so it definitely is anti-climatic,” he said. “Plus, ever since we started playing Friday nights, you can see how much fun it is the way the community comes together, so that atmosphere is so much more charged than a day game.”
Not so fast, as not everyone agrees with Cleary’s sentiment. The decision has ignited a storm of dissatisfaction within the high school football community, some of whom have taken to social media to express their outrage.
In response to the commotion over the issue, school superintendent Jane Tremblay said she re-sent the survey Tuesday and also posted the survey on the district’s website to encourage more people to vote. The deadline to respond is May 31.
Even WCVB sports reporter Mike Lynch has weighed in on the idea. He stated in an email to an interested parent dated May 15 that it is a “poor idea. Some Catholic schools play Wednesday night but almost no public schools. The attendance will suffer and as the son of a former coach/athletic director, Thanksgiving morning is the biggest revenue event of the school year (and) pays a lot of bills.”
Lynch also expressed his concerns regarding alcohol consumption.
“The night before Thanksgiving is a big travel-reunion night for recent grads,” he said. “The chances for alcohol presence or consumption is far greater (for a night game).”
He closed the email urging the parent to “get them to stop this silly idea.”
Lynnfield superintendent Jane Tremblay said the results of the survey, which contained three questions, were overwhelmingly in favor of moving the game.
“The survey went out to K-12 faculty, students’ parents and staff and the response was a majority preferred to play the night before,” she said. “It was the largest response I’ve ever seen with 770 responses.”
Tremblay said that 38 percent of respondents said they are in favor of a night game, while 33 percent said they were not and 29 percent said they were impartial.
Forty-five percent of respondents said they would attend the game if played Thanksgiving Eve, while 28 percent said they would not and 27 percent said they were not sure.
North Reading superintendent Jon Bernard said he first heard about the idea during a casual conversation at last year’s game. He said there is absolutely no desire in North Reading to follow suit in 2019 when the Hornets will serve as host team.
“I expressed my opinion that personally I was not in favor of changing the game, but that I respect their decision because they must have felt it was in the best interests of their community, and I have to respect that,” he said.
“I prefer a traditional Thanksgiving Day game as I think of North Reading as a bit of small town America, where everyone looks forward to the big Thanksgiving Day game. While I defer to the host school’s decision, I don’t know what factors brought about this change. There are no circumstances here in North Reading that would justify changing a 59-year tradition. Next year I can tell you the game will be played as it always has been on Thanksgiving Day.”
As opposed to Lynnfield’s vote 342-341 vote, Wakefield residents are all in on bike path.
By Bob Holmes, Patch Staff | May 10, 2018 10:30 pm ET
Wakefield Town Meeting Gives Unanimous Yes To Bike Path
On the last of the three-night Wakefield Town Meeting marathon, residents unanimously approved Article 19. And why should Lynnfield residents care? Because it’s the bike path article that authorizes the Town Council (formerly the Board of Selectmen) to execute a lease of up to 99 years with the MBTA for land that will be turned into a multi-use rail trail. Sound familiar?
That almost identical article at the April 24, 2017 Lynnfield Town Meeting produced the historic 342-341 vote in favor of the bike path. While Lynnfield residents continue to debate the bike path, Wakefield has embraced it and is ready to go forward, with or without their neighbors. But Town Administrator Steve Maio hopes the two-town approach continues.
“We are in this together,” said Maio of Lynnfield, which if/when built would have roughly 2.5 miles of the path with 1.9 miles in Wakefield. “We are committed to going forward with this. Mass DOT is much more inclined to spend the time and energy to finalize the plans, to meet with us, to meet with our engineers.”
Maio isn’t sure why his town embraces the bike path while Lynnfield’s debate continues.
“We’ve been talking about this for many, many years. We have a very active rail-to-trail group that has been pushing it for years. We’ve had many forums, they’ve been at countless events in town with pictures of it. I think the other thing is that we don’t seem to have abutters that are living on an old abandoned line, that push back a little bit so I think that’s a help too. Although a big portion of theirs goes through Reedy Meadow, so I don’t get it.
U.S. News & World Report released its annual list of best high schools in the country. See how MA schools ranked.
By Alex Newman, Patch Staff | May 9, 2018 10:35 am ET
91 MA High Schools Among U.S. News’ Best In 2018
Massachusetts high schools dominate U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 rankings of best high schools in the country, with 91 schools landing on the list. Boston Latin School was the highest-ranked Bay State School at No. 48, and over 50 schools were among the top 1,000 in the country.
The 2018 best high school rankings were released on Wednesday and evaluate over 20,500 public high schools. U.S. News identified schools that best serve all students and assessed how prepared students are for college-level work. Schools are also recognized with gold, silver and bronze medals with gold indicating the greatest level of college readiness.
Twenty Massachusetts schools received a gold medal, 71 received a silver medal and 22 schools received a bronze medal. Bronze medal schools are not ranked by U.S. News.
Massachusetts’ performance was rated No. 1 overall by U.S. News. The state-by-state performance rating was based on which states have the highest the highest proportion of schools with gold and silver medals. Based on this metric, Massachusetts was the leading performer, followed by California and Maryland.
“Top-ranked schools succeed in three main areas: exceeding expectations on state proficiency tests, offering challenging coursework and graduating their students,” Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News, said in a press release.
Here’s how Massachusetts’ schools finished according to place and medal in the 2018 rankings:
Boston Latin School (48) GOLD
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (107) GOLD
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School (193) GOLD
Lenox Memorial High (202) GOLD
Hopkinton High School (237) GOLD
Boston Latin Academy (257) GOLD
Medfield Senior High (259) GOLD
Dover-Sherborn Regional High (276) GOLD
Arlington High (287) GOLD
John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science (303) GOLD
Belmont High (321) GOLD
Manchester Essex Regional High School (334) GOLD
Newton South High (340) GOLD
Lexington High (368) GOLD
Weston High (379) GOLD
The Bromfield School (421) GOLD
Duxbury High (431) GOLD
Needham High (442) GOLD
Sharon High (445) GOLD
Wellesley High School (487) GOLD
Boston Collegiate Charter School (514) SILVER
Littleton High School (532) SILVER
Acton-Boxborough Regional High (537) SILVER
Wayland High School (545) SILVER
Norwell High (579) SILVER
KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School (591) SILVER
Westwood High (600) SILVER
Milton High (617) SILVER
Holliston High (632) SILVER
Nashoba Regional (633) SILVER
Westford Academy (647) SILVER
Winchester High School (648) SILVER
Tantasqua Regional Sr High (674) SILVER
Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School (702) SILVER
Westborough High (713) SILVER
Nauset Regional High (729) SILVER
Brookline High (752) SILVER
Newton North High (753) SILVER
Foxborough Regional Charter School (762) SILVER
Salem Academy Charter School (784) SILVER
Hingham High (789) SILVER
Nipmuc Regional High (791) SILVER
Marblehead High (815) SILVER
Canton High (817) SILVER
Natick High (841) SILVER
Concord Carlisle High (868) SILVER
Shrewsbury Sr High (870) SILVER
Masconomet Regional High School (892) SILVER
Hopedale Jr Sr High (906) SILVER
Lynnfield High (914) SILVER
University Pk Campus School (947) SILVER
Ashland High (974) SILVER
Pioneer Charter School of Science (1053) SILVER
Frontier Regional (1070) SILVER
Josiah Quincy Upper School (1087) SILVER
Swampscott High (1103) SILVER
Longmeadow High (1145) SILVER
Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High (1176) SILVER
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School (1184) SILVER
Boston Community Leadership Academy (1188) SILVER
Wachusett Regional High (1256) SILVER
Braintree High (1309) SILVER
Boston Preparatory Charter Public School (1401) SILVER
Community Charter School of Cambridge (1441) SILVER
Lee Middle/High School (1444) SILVER
Agawam High (1457) SILVER
Rising Tide Charter Public School (1524) SILVER
Seekonk High (1562) SILVER
Falmouth High (1568) SILVER
Amherst Regional High (1592) SILVER
Barnstable High (1646) SILVER
Global Learning Charter Public School (1677) SILVER
Attleboro High (1707) SILVER
Stoneham High (1724) SILVER
Quaboag Regional High (1765) SILVER
West Bridgewater Junior/Senior (1777) SILVER
New Mission High School (1790) SILVER
Blackstone Valley (1877) SILVER
Mt Everett Regional (1901) SILVER
Hampden Charter School of Science (1926) SILVER
Chelmsford High (1965) SILVER
West Springfield High (1970) SILVER
Marshfield High (1979) SILVER
Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School (2019) SILVER
North Quincy High (2073) SILVER
Monument Mt Regional High (2090) SILVER
Avon Middle High School (2303) SILVER
Medford High (2318) SILVER
Gloucester High (2331) SILVER
Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers (2365)
Joseph Case High (2643) SILVER
To determine the rankings, U.S. News teamed up with the social science research firm RTI International. A variety of data sources, including the Common Core of Data, College Board and the International Baccalaureate, were used.
A four-step process was used to rank all eligible schools. The first two steps were to determine whether students were performing better than statistically expected in the state and whether minority were performing at or better than the state average for minority students, which was the second step. The third step required schools to meet or surpass a certain graduation benchmark and the final step was to determine college readiness. (You can read the full methodology here.)
The top 10 high schools in the U.S. overall are:
BASIS Scottsdale (AZ)
BASIS Chandler (AZ)
BASIS Oro Valley (AZ)
BASIS Tucson North (AZ)
BASIS Flagstaff (AZ)
Meridian School (TX)
International Academy of Macomb (MI)
BASIS Peoria (AZ)
Baccalaureate School for Global Education (NY)
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (VA)
Click here to see the full rankings and for more insight on the data.
Massachusetts city, town employee wages grew 40 percent in 10 years
Joe Dwinell Wednesday, May 09, 2018
The Bay State’s soaring local government employee pay has eclipsed the national average in what one fiscal watchdog is calling a “warning sign” to city and town leaders that taxpayers may not always be able to pick up the tab.
In the past decade, wages for cops, firefighters, teachers and City Hall employees went up nearly 24 percent nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In Massachusetts during the same period, from 2007 to 2017, wages for those city and town employees rose by 40 percent, the statistics show.
That rate was about 5 points higher in Essex and Middlesex counties, where Lowell and Lawrence sit.
“This data is a warning sign,” said Greg Sullivan, research director at the Pioneer Institute nonprofit think tank. “Massachusetts far exceeds the rest of the country in total wages.”
He said the high cost of health insurance and unfunded pension liabilities are also “worrisome” as municipal leaders struggle to balance the books.
“It’s a looming problem going forward,” Sullivan, the state’s former inspector general, added.
The public sector — including federal employees — makes up more than 20 percent of the U.S. economy, according to federal labor statistics.
In Massachusetts, those state and federal employees make up about 13 percent of the workforce, state economic officials say.
Job growth in the public sector remains mostly flat — but it’s the bump in salaries that has economists sounding caution.
Sullivan said county figures show steady growth in public sector salaries, according to labor statistics he studied:
• Essex County has seen local government salaries grow by 145 percent in the past decade. Yet the number of employees has kept about the same at 30,000.
• Middlesex County pay has jumped by almost the same percentage for its 62,000-plus municipal hires.
• Suffolk County has seen fewer employees over the past decade, but pay has grown for those 26,000-plus still on the books.
• Statewide, the number of local government employees has climbed to 271,000 as their pay has kept pace with others.
• In the private sector over the same decade studied, job growth has climbed and pay as well, but at a slightly slower rate at 134 percent.
This all comes as unemployment nationwide has dipped to 3.9 percent as of April.
“Federal databases don’t lie,” said Pioneer’s Sullivan. “The salary growth in the public sector is why municipalities are tax-strapped. It’s all putting pressure on the taxpayers.”
Road Warriors Rule At Wakefield Town Meeting
Budgets approved on night one, but the talk of the town focused on the roads.
By Bob Holmes, Patch Staff | May 1, 2018 12:06 am ET
When Town Administrator Stephen Maio used lyrics from a Florida Georgia Line song in his opening remarks at the Wakefield Town Meeting, he had the right idea. But it was the wrong song. Given what happened the next three hours at the Galvin Middle School, Willie Nelson’s On The Road Again would have been far more appropriate.
With 25 articles in the warrant, Monday’s opening night only made it through No. 2. Though the subject was money, the conditions of Wakefield’s roads were front and center to the voting citizens and no matter what the topic, from social media to public works, it didn’t take much to nudge the discussion back on the road(s) again … and again. The scary thing is that article 15, the article the deals with roadway improvements, is still a long way off.
With Moderator Bill Carroll running the show, the discussion started with the General Government budget. Maio and the Town Council had submitted a budget that included $55,000 for a social media position. That individual would be shared with Lynnfield, which would pay an additional $30,000 toward the individual’s salary. He/she would be responsible for overseeing a major upgrade of the town website, something most felt was needed. But the Finance Committee didn’t endorse the position, saying the money could be better spent elsewhere. That opened the door for the town’s road warriors and most of the remaining first hour was spent debating social media vs. the need to fix the town’s horrible roads.
Town Councilor’s Julie Smith-Galvin and Ann Santos both spoke in support of the social media position and the need for the town to plan ahead. “I’m not comfortable taking a step backward,” said Santos.
Finally the matter was put to a vote and the social media position was approved,
but the road warriors were just getting started. After approving Police and Fire, along with Human Services, Public Works was next up and it was Director Richard Stinson’s turn to face the town’s frustrated drivers.
After describing the three times a year his crew uses street sweepers in town, a question was asked about doing it just once and using the money to fix the roads instead of clean them. The answer was no. Resident Dan Lieber then asked if the $132,500 budgeted for roadway maintenance was enough. “Short answer, no,” said Stinson. In response, Lieber made a motion to add $100,000 to the Public Works budget with the money targeted for road repairs. Debate continued with some in the auditorium reminding their neighbors that it was more appropriate to deal with the roads when Article 15 rolled along. A hand vote on Lieber’s motion showed it was to close to call, even for Carroll. So hands were raised and this time counted and Lieber’s motion lost 119-99.
With Public Works approved, the School Department, Library, Vocational School, Unclassified, and Benefits and Administration budgets were all approved. Along the way, School Superintendent Dr. Kim Smith presented her last budget before she retires, a $40,143,324 budget that still earned her a round of applause for her 32 years of service.
With a last bit of energy, Town Meeting moved to Article 2 and capital outlays. Among the items, there was a 20-year-old lawn mower that needed to be replaced along with three police cruisers, windows at the high school, and cemetery roadway improvements totaling $40,000. Meaning … it was resident Christine Defelice’s turn. Defelice made a motion that the $40,000 should be removed from the capital outlay budget and added to the $350,000 in Article 15 because the cemetery roads were in far better shape than other town roads. Many agreed with her comments but at this point the room decided to wait until Article 15 to make their stand and her motion was defeated.
With that, the meeting was adjourned for the night with round 2 next Monday back at Galvin.
“Maybe some roadway talk then, if you know what I’m saying,” said Carroll.
Photo by Bob Holmes