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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
Spend a buck, OK?
Are Swampscott voters prepared to invest $1 a day for a state-of-the-art school?
I would hope so.
The last time a new elementary school was proposed – in 2014 — it didn’t make it beyond Town Meeting,
which must approve a ballot question to authorize the town’s portion of the cost to build the school.
There is no debating the need, with the three existing elementary schools more than 90 years old on average.
Superintendent of Schools Pam Angelakis has been clear in her message that the current schools simply do
not have enough space for educators to provide 21st-century learning opportunities. And Lois Longin — the
district’s former curriculum director and principal of both the Clarke and Hadley elementary schools — stated
a succinct argument in favor in an interview with The Daily Item (“An educated opinion,” June 28).
As educators, Pam Angelakis and Lois Longin are second to none in my estimation. Plus, Detective (and
former School Committee member) Ted Delano, whom I also hold in high regard, endorses the new school in a
story that begins on page 18. Furthermore, Tréa Lavery's coverage of the issue in The Item has been illuminating.
So, I'm convinced.
Under an improved reimbursement rate from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), the
town would be responsible for $64 million of the estimated $98 million cost. By using financial reserves, the
cost to the median, single-family taxpayer comes in at $365 per year. A buck a day.
In addition to meeting the obvious educational needs of Swampscott students, deciding to build a new
school will prevent Swampscott from striking out twice in the eyes of the MSBA, which would likely be in no
hurry to approve future proposals from the town.
The proposed new, town-wide elementary school will encompass all students from kindergarten to fourth
grade in one building. Students from K to second grade will be in one wing, grades 3-4 in the other — thereby
countering the mega-school argument — and they will share certain amenities including a library and media
center, art classrooms and a gymnasium.
The three current elementary schools are completely outdated. The oldest, Hadley, was built in 1911; the
newest, Clarke, in 1952. This ranks Swampscott as having the fifth-oldest elementary school buildings in the
The schools are no longer environmentally suitable for students or faculty. During the pandemic, the
town had to make air-quality improvements to each building in order to allow students back in. Longin cited
situations over the years wherein the air quality exacerbated or caused breathing problems in students and staff.
In addition, the schools, which do not have the classroom space for all of their programming, have been host to
pests, roof leaks, smells and who-knows-what-else for decades, Longin said.
Combining the schools would also present an opportunity to combine resources. As Longin explained,
many times the district's most needy students are not given the opportunity to learn from the teacher who
might be best suited to them — simply because they attend a different school.
In June, the MSBA, in approving the project, offered $34 million in grant funding — more than the
administration had expected. Even before that, the projected cost had been decreased from the original estimate
of $110 million to $97.5 million.
Traffic is one of Swampscott's most often-cited concerns in every proposed construction project, and this
is no exception. However, as Suzanne Wright, chair of the School Building Committee, has explained, the
town has commissioned traffic studies adjusted for pre-COVID-19 traffic levels showing that the school will
have no significant impact. The design team has come up with workarounds to mitigate the issues, including
suggesting an expansion of the district's bus service so that fewer parents are driving their children to school,
and staggering arrival times.
The possibility of an eminent domain taking part of the Unitarian Universalist Church property on Forest
Avenue for an exit is mitigated by the proposed exit being used only during drop-off and pick-up times, and would
otherwise be gated. The design team has offered to place the road out of the way of the church's activities.
Meanwhile, the school is located on the same property where the Stanley School stands, and none of the
surrounding woodlands would be disturbed by the new building. The design is mindful of the environment in
which it exists, incorporating native plants and creating opportunities to use the natural landscape in teaching.
The proposed elementary school would not just be a boon for the students and families directly benefiting
from it, but for all residents who would likely see their property values go up after its construction — as
witnessed in Marblehead upon completion of the Glover School.
Swampscott's elementary schools are severely lacking because of the town's failure so far to rectify the
problem right in front of them: These buildings are falling apart, and they are beyond due for an upgrade.
Swampscott simply cannot afford to not spend the buck a day.
COVER Lobsterman Mike "Tuffy" Tufts has nothing but applause for claws. PHOTO BY Spenser Hasak
02 | 01907
21-25 NORTHSTONE ROAD, SWAMPSCOTT
reaches down the
block and around
If you are thinking of buying or selling,
contact us to start your journey today!
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300 Salem Street, Swampscott, MA 01907
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4 | 01907
Down on the farm
What: The Farmers Market is a
summer staple offering a wide variety
of produce, meats, fish, breads,
flowers and crafts from farmers, food
producers and artisans from around
Where: Town Hall lawn, 22 Monument
When: Sundays, rain or shine, 10 a.m.-1
p.m. through October.
Get out there
What: Swampscott Recreation offers
a summer's-worth of fun activities for
kids and adults, including stand-up
paddling and sailing lessons, chess and
Where: Check swampscottma.myrec.
com for class schedules and registration
information, or call 781-596-8854.
When: Programs run through mid
Get your read on
What: The library has launched its
online summer reading program for
Where: Visit swampscottlibrary.org for
more information, call Lisa Julien-Hayes
at 781-596-8867, extension 3307, or email
When: Summer reading runs through
What: The Swampscott Conservancy
is a nonprofit organization dedicated
to protecting and enhancing
Swampscott's natural resources.
Where: The Conservancy is dedicated to
helping protect the 47-acre Harold A. King
Town Forest off Nichols Street.
When: Check swampscottconservancy.
org or The Conservancy Facebook
page for upcoming monthly meetings,
usually held at 7 p.m. at the Senior
Center, 200R Essex St. (behind the high
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6 | 01907
A ride down Memory Lane
The curious history of the
Apparently, having an establishment with the name of
"ocean house" in Swampscott wasn't very lucky in the 19th
and 20th centuries. The last structure with that name was
"the New Ocean House," which is a large hotel/resort
on Puritan Road. Its final refurbishing was completed in
1961. Just eight years later, it was engulfed by flames and
destroyed. Its only visible remnant is the cement exedra
seat on the opposite side of the street where the swimming
pool had been.
Tragedy on the tracks
Barry and David
For a small community with a reputation
of being among the original resort towns,
Swampscott has had its share of citizens
hit the heights. Walter Brennan was a
film and TV star who achieved fame in
the film "My Darlin' Clementine," one
of the many biopics about the legendary
lawman Wyatt Earp. Then there's Fran
Sheehan and Barry Goudreau, both
founding members of the group Boston,
which set the standard (at the time) for
debut rock 'n' roll albums. Also on the
list is David Portnoy, aka "El Presidente,"
who founded Barstool Sports. How about
David Lee Roth? Yes, the former lead
singer for Van Halen made a brief pitstop
in Swampscott among his many homes.
Roth was long gone by the time he graduated
from high school, however. Roth also
went solo, and one of his big hits was the
old standard "Just a Gigolo."
It was Feb. 28, 1956 — a snowy, wintry, messy day. Train 214 twice had to stop
on its way from Portsmouth, N.H. to Boston due to foul weather. However,
when it stopped a third time — near the Essex Street bridge — because the
track signal was covered by snow, disaster struck. A train heading from Danvers
rounded the corner between the
Salem and Swampscott stations. By the time the conductor saw the signals, it
was too late. The resulting crash, in which the Danvers train rammed the rear car
of No. 214 and pushed it 50 feet forward and caused it to ride up and over the
front car of the Buddliner, resulted in 13 deaths and about 100 injuries.
Carol Brady was from Swampscott
That is correct. Carol Brady, one of
America's iconic TV moms, was
played by Florence Henderson on
"The Brady Bunch." In one episode,
"A Fistful of Reasons," Cindy, the
youngest daughter, is being teased and
bullied in school because she has a
lisp. When Carol tries to comfort her,
she recounts a story about how she,
too, had the same problem trying to
overcome her own lisp while growing
up in Swampscott, Mass. "The Brady
Bunch" aired from 1969-1974.
Your dream is my job.
21 Central Street
Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA 01944
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8 | 01907
Todd Flannery, owner of Flannery's Handymen, started the company before his daughter Rylee, right, was born. Rylee is now eighteen and heading off to
Nichols College in the fall.
PHOTOS: JULIA HOPKINS
Being handy is just dandy for Flannery family
In 1999, Todd Flannery was headed
to his job at Bertucci’s, running late
because of a handyman job he had
been at beforehand. His boss told him on
the phone that if he wasn’t there on time,
he would be fired.
Flannery quit on the spot, went home,
and told his wife, Kristyn, that he was
going to become a handyman full-time.
“Of course, she thought I was nuts, but
she supported me,” Flannery said, laughing.
“Now, 21 years later, we’ve got a dozen
trucks on the road and it’s busy.”
Flannery, who lives in Swampscott,
knew soon after he started his company,
Flannery’s Handymen, that he needed the
money: he and Kristyn, his girlfriend at the
time, had their first daughter, Rylee, on the
way. He had originally worked odd jobs
with a friend under the business name Two
Guys and a Dog, but decided to make it his
BY TRÉA LAVERY
profession after leaving the restaurant.
Flannery’s Handymen, based in Lynn,
offers moving, demolition, clean-out and
junk removal services, along with other
handyman work. Flannery, who runs the
company with his brother, Rory, said that
they often work jobs that range from tiny
apartments to million-dollar homes, and
that he strives to make sure clients feel
“A lot of moving companies have bad
raps. The barrier of communication is kind
of hard, and basically, after the move is
done, there’s nobody to reach if there’s an
issue,” he said. “My cellphone is on every
That care pays off. Flannery said that
most of his business comes from repeat
customers or others who were referred by
friends impressed with their work.
Rory Flannery, who has been with the
company since 2004 and runs its day-today
operations, said that he loves working
with his brother, and recalled the early
days when the two of them would put in
100-hour weeks together. Now, because of
all that teamwork, they are able to balance
each other out, he said.
"If I'm too hard on the guys, he can
check me. It doesn't get personal," Rory
said. "It's a lot of give and take there."
Beyond their everyday work, Flannery’s
also participates in charitable giving and
green initiatives. Flannery does his best to
find new uses for furniture that his company
removes from clients’ homes, and has
organized large-scale donations overseas in
In addition, he’s known for some more
unique ways of giving back. In 2011,
FLANNERY, page 10
SUMMER 2021 | 9
10 | 01907
FLANNERY, continued from page 8
Flannery was walking with his son in
Swampscott when he saw a toddler that
had crawled out a window onto the roof of
a nearby house. He immediately climbed
the building to rescue the child, earning
himself honors from the Celtics and the
Massachusetts state legislature — not to
mention a “Father of the Year” title from
Flannery’s has continued working
through the COVID-19 pandemic, offering
contact-free junk removal, wearing
masks for other jobs and getting tested
often. Flannery said that they have been
able to keep 12 employees on through the
“We’re trying to work with the times,”
he said. “Nobody knows what’s going to
happen, so we’re trying to go along with it.”
Flannery is devoted to his family, which
now includes three sons: Shayne, 12, Ryder,
9, and Broghan, 5. His daughter, Rylee,
who was born around the same time he
established his business, will turn 19 in August
and then head off to Nichols College
in Dudley, Mass. to study marketing.
Rylee said that she has been involved
with the family business over the years,
often answering phone calls at the business
office, helping with sales and driving
around with her dad in the company
trucks; she said she wants to use her education
to give back to the company.
There are no free rides in the Flannery family — except when Rylee gets a lift from her father Todd, right,
and uncle Rory Flannery.
"I have plans in the future to work with
my dad and help his business progress," she
said. "It's a family-owned business. I was
Her father said that he can’t believe the
way time has passed. He said that he will
be OK with whatever Rylee does in the
future, and is proud that his business has
provided the opportunity for his daughter
to go to college.
“I just want her to do the whole college
thing, because me and my wife never did
it,” Flannery said. “I want her to say, 'At
least I tried it.'”
Todd Flannery, left, and Rory Flannery run the family business, Flannery's Handymen, based in Lynn.
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF Luxe Life productions
HOME STAGED BY: Mindy McMahon
A peek inside
70 Galloupes Point Road
SALE PRICE: $2,415,000
SALE DATE: April 28, 2021
LIST PRICE: $2,599,000
TIME ON MARKET:
209 days (to closing)
Coldwell Banker Realty
Cassandra Svolis, Douglas Elliman
PROPERTY TAXES: $26,940
YEAR BUILT: 1949
LOT SIZE: .26 acres (11,108 sq. ft.)
LIVING AREA: 4,648 sq. ft.
Oceanfront Colonial overlooking
a private sandy beach with
unobstructed views of the ocean and
the Boston skyline from a secondfloor
deck and a massive covered
patio at ground level. Huge windows
throughout with an open floorplan,
home theater, hardwood floors, twocar
garage, and a master suite.
Source: MLS Property Information Network.
SUMMER 2021 | 13
14 | 01907
It's the lobstering life for them
BY ALLYSHA DUNNIGAN
Capt. Mike Gambale has spent
more than 40 years lobstering
out of Fisherman’s Wharf,
beginning his days around 3 a.m. when he
gets ready to ship out to sea.
Gambale embarks on his boat, "Micaelanie"
— named after his daughters
Micaela and Melanie — around 4 a.m.
and finishes up after noon. His love of
being on the sea has kept him in this
business for so long, he said, but it is not
an easy business to be in.
Gambale works at least six, sometimes
seven days a week, but said he does try
to prioritize family — if he has a family
party on a Saturday, for instance, then he
simply won't work that day.
"You can always make money, but
you can't always make the memories,"
The lobsters he catches bring in money
after they are sold to a wholesaler out of
Boston, a process that allows Gambale to
make his own schedule. However, he said,
he has to have discipline for this to be
A typical day for Gambale consists of
driving his boat out to his lobster traps,
which are scattered throughout the water
off of Swampscott Harbor.
His traps are dropped in the water
in sets of eight that are connected by a
length of line. This collection of traps,
also known as a "trawl," is marked by two
buoys, one at the beginning and one at the
end of the trawl.
Gambale picks the buoy up with a long
hook and drags the line onto the boat,
which is then put into a spinning tool
which draws in the line from the ocean
floor. As the traps make their way to the
surface, Gambale pulls them up.
The traps consist of two different
sections: The side where the lobster enters
a one-way tunnel of netting is called the
"kitchen," because that is where the bait
— dead fish — is stored.
When the lobster tries to exit, a small
opening brings it through another tunnel
into the second part of the trap, known as
the "parlour," where it can't escape.
Lobster traps can hold several lobsters,
so when Gambale pulls them up he immediately
takes out the crustaceans stuck
Each lobster has to be measured
because, if it is "short," then it is thrown
back into the water. A lobster has to be
3 1/4 inches long, measured with a regulation
lobster gauge. The gauge measures
from the rear of the eye socket down to
the rear end of the body shell.
In addition, Gambale also checks to
see if the lobster is male or female. If it's
a female, he checks to see if it is carrying
any eggs. The eggs can be seen underneath
the lobster; they look like thousands of
tiny black balls.
A one-pound female lobster usually
carries about 8,000 eggs and a ninepound
female can may carry more than
100,000 eggs. Only about 20 percent of
female lobsters can lay eggs, so when one
is discovered within a trap, a "V" shape is
cut into its tail to signify that it is able to
reproduce and it is thrown back. The "V"
forbids other fishermen from taking the
lobster from its habitat.
The reproduction period for lobsters
takes over a year — and lobsters typically
don't grow to a pound until about five or
six years — so Gambale said it is important
to notch a "V" in reproducing females
so they can continue to do so.
After the lobster is examined, and if it
is big enough and is not carrying eggs, the
lobster's claws are closed with an elastic
band and they are brought onto the boat
to be stored in a water cooler. The cooler is
equipped with a continuous water flow —
Gambale said lobsters will die if they are
in still water.
Gambale then cleans out the cage and
puts in more bait before placing the cage
at the back of the boat, preparing it to be
released back into the water.
This process is then repeated another
seven times with the rest of the cages in
the trawl, a process that takes Gambale a
mere 10 minutes to complete.
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Captain Mike Gambale, left, of Swampscott and Mike "Tuffy" Tufts of Nahant sit on the back of the
Micaelanie after a morning fishing for lobster off the coast of Swampscott.
PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK
Then Gambale heads over to the
At the end of the day, Gambale will
bring his lobsters to Marblehead, where
they are sold to a wholesaler based in
Boston. Gambale said he is paid at
the end of the week by the number of
pounds of lobster brought in, which
usually averages around 200 per day.
Even though Gambale spends every
day among lobsters, he ironically does
not really like to eat them — except for
an occasional lobster roll.
His two daughters, he said, feel the
For his daughters, lobstering was
something they grew up with; now it's
something their young kids will grow up
with as well. Sometimes, Gambale said,
his grandkids will come out on the boat
with him for a couple hours, or will help
him to paint or clean it.
Gambale also said that, as a single
dad, he always did his best to give his
daughters whatever he could, which
sometimes meant a lot of lobster-centric
When his daughters were in elementary
school, Gambale would make their
school lunches from lobsters he caught.
Whether it was lobster sandwiches,
lobster pizza or just plain lobster, he
tried to make whatever he could with
the catch of the day — ultimately saving
money on food.
After a while, Gambale said, he got a
note from his daughters' teacher saying
they had been trading their "lobster
lunches" with other kids in the class. He
said he had no idea his daughters were
switching their sought-after lobster rolls
for something as basic as a peanut butter
and jelly sandwich.
After so long, Gambale said, he can
see how eating even lobster can get old.
Family has always been a priority for
Gambale, which is partly why he was a
Swampscott police officer before becoming
a lobsterman. The opportunities for
overtime and details were nice, but he
said the work wasn't for him.
Gambale said he was able to make
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16 | 01907
this discovery when he recalled the happiness
he felt while being on a boat and lobstering
with friends, so he decided to do
that full time and stay on the Swampscott
police force as a reserve officer, picking up
details when needed.
He officially retired from the Swampscott
Police Department two years ago
and said that he was quite happy with his
decision to make a career on the sea.
"My office is beautiful, being out on
the water all the time," he said. "It doesn't
really get old."
Although the ocean and the views are
spectacular, not every day out at sea is a
Gambale and his friend Mike Tuffy
recalled lobstering in the winter:
The two went out on a freezing, windy
day, figuring they'd never know how bad
conditions actually were until they went.
Some days, when Gambale didn't want
to go out on the boat, he said he would
recall advice from an old friend named
Lou Williams, who told him, "you never
know what you're going to get if you go
out, but you do know what you're going to
get if you don't."
And so, Gambale, Tuffy and another
friend went out to sea. Gambale said
the wind and snow were so bad that day
that they couldn't even see through the
window at the ship's bow. It was so cold,
Captain Mike Gambale shows a female lobster with
a cluster of eggs that he caught off the coast of
Swampscott. Female lobsters that are capable of
breeding will be marked on the tail and returned to
Gambale and Tuffy said, they had to put
the lobsters on ice so they didn't freeze to
death. The waves were so big that Gambale
said he was standing near the back
of the boat when he saw Tuffy, who was
driving, go up into the air and hit his body
vertically on the roof.
Gambale said after the wave passed
Tuffy landed on the ground, and Gambale
and his friend thought their companion
was dead. Tuffy was, in fact, not dead —
he quickly jumped back up and said he
was ready to go again. When asked if days
like that ever make them seasick, Tuffy
said no — "only sick of the sea."
That experience, they said, was one of
the worst lobstering days they'd ever had.
Neither lobster in the winter anymore.
With the bad comes a lot of good, and
Gambale said he still has a smile on his
face every day — or most days — as he
heads off to work. Driving through the
harbor, Gambale knows all of the other
lobstermen and waves at them as they
pass each other. He knows the names of
all of the islands, too, including Children's
Island and Pigs Island, where he said
people used to take their boats to go party
back in the day.
He knows which areas to avoid because
of rocks near the surface, as well as
where the best views of the coast are.
After a long day at sea, Gambale hooks
his boat up to its mooring at Fisherman's
Beach and takes his small motorboat into
shore. He has a walk-in cooler space at
the Fish House where he is able to store
lobsters as he cleans up from the day.
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About 10 years ago, Gambale said,
the Fish House caught fire, burning all
of the supplies and possessions he had
stored there. The fire caused him to lose
thousands of dollars in supplies, but
Gambale said the community donated
money and time to help him recover from
That support, as well as many other instances
he has encountered over the years,
is why Gambale said he loves Swampscott
and is happy to call it home.
While driving along the coast to go
back into shore, Gambale can point out
numerous homes of people he knows or
people who used to live there and he has
a story to go along with each one. From
wealthy businessmen living on multimillion-dollar
properties on the coast to
longtime fisherman who go back generations
in Swampscott and Marblehead,
Gambale's travels and career have put him
in contact with a great many people.
He said he always tries to see the
good in whatever he's doing or whoever
he is with. After nearly 50 years on the
sea, Gambale said he loves his career and
feels lucky to be able to do something he
A seagull sits on the bow of the Micaelanie as Captain Mike Gambale brings the boat in to harbor.
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18 | 01907
Man about town
BY STEVE KRAUSE
Detective Ted Delano has spent 31-years at the Swampscott Police Department.
PHOTO: SPENSER HASAK
Ted Delano has lived by one golden
rule as an officer and detective
on the Swampscott police force:
Victims of crime deserve empathy.
"They deserve all we can give them," he
says. "The human mind, under stress, does
some crazy things."
There are a couple of cases in Delano's
31-year career that stand out — and for opposite
reasons. In late 2014, Jaimee Mendez,
25, was reported missing by her family. A few
days later, Jason Fleury told The Daily Item
of Lynn, in an exclusive interview, that while
he was with the missing woman on the night
she disappeared, he did not kill her.
The following January, following a violent
Nor'easter, Mendez's remains washed up on
Fisherman's Beach. Fleury was subsequently
arrested, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter
and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
"But," said Delano, who was very involved
in the case, "you always wish you could have
done more for the victims."
At least that case had a resolution. There
was a series of sexual assaults in town a few
years ago, all of them eventually tied to the
"He was found innocent," said Delano.
"Those are the ones you hold near and dear
to your heart. That and the child abuse cases.
Victims need closure and it's terrible when
they don't get it."
Victories or frustrations, Delano never
gets tired of his job. And while he may have
retired from the Swampscott School Committee,
the 53-year-old detective isn't ready
to turn in his badge.
"I enjoy the investigations," he said, "and I
enjoy helping the people I help."
He comes from an old, established
Swampscott family, "sixth- or seventh-generation,
or something like that," he says.
"Most of my family is still embedded in the
His father, Fran, was a firefighter for the
town, retiring in 2003 after 42 years in the
department. He later became an auxiliary
police man, and served as a crossing guard.
He is still extremely popular around town.
Ted Delano had a typical childhood. He
played a little sports ("I did a little track and a
little hockey early on," he said) and got a job
working on the greens at Tedesco Country
Club, which left him able to play golf after
school. Not only did his job allow him to
learn golf — which he still enjoys — but it
gave him a second hobby: working in his yard
He also had a paper route, delivering The
Item. And in his travels he met and began
talking to Bob Ferrari Jr., who was a young
Lynn Police officer at the time.
"He started talking to me about going
into police work," said Delano.
In truth, public service "was something I
was drawn to at a young age," he said. "It was
something I really wanted to do."
He began criminal justice courses at
Curry College, but when he was four credits
short of a degree, he got divorced and won
custody of his three children. He had to stop
SUMMER 2021 | 19
However, the door didn't close completely:
He became a part-time police officer and
jumped over to the fire department. Still, the
idea of being a police officer tugged at him.
So he was off to the Municipal Police
Officer's Academy in Burlington, when he
graduated in a class with 41 other officers
and finally got on the force in 1991, first as
a reserve and as a patrolman. He became a
detective in 2001. For the past eight years, he
has been in the family crimes unit.
While he was making his mark as a
detective, Delano lived another life as well,
helping to craft the town's educational
policies as a member of the School Committee.
He began his tenure on the committee
in 2002, with the goal of making the board
"I would say residents sometimes can
feel as if the School Committee members
are not approachable," Delano says. "I always
tried to make myself available to every
parent and every child — from the lowest to
the highest income.
"It took a lot of energy to make sure
METCO was welcome in the town, and that
we had a good special-education program.
Kids in that situation are already feeling as
if they're behind the eight ball academically.
They have to know they're being educated as
best as they can be."
He left the committee before final resolution
on a new elementary school for the
town that would enable the older schools in
disrepair to close. But Delano remains on
the record as an enthusiastic supporter of
such an endeavor.
"If we could do it, obviously you'd like to
have your kids stay in those neighborhood
schools," he said. "But the elementary schools
in this town are a disgrace. They're in bad
condition, and there are health issues. We had
to give kids half-days last month because of
unusually hot weather. We can't stand by and
let kids be educated in hallways and closets."
In 2014, when this issue came up last,
Delano suggested "taking tours of the
buildings. They were embarrassing. We need
to do better; we have to get our kids in school
buildings that meet 21st century educational
standards. I wish we could build four new
schools, but we can't."
Delano can't help but look at the town
of Saugus — just a few miles away, but
seemingly miles ahead in education. Saugus
not only just completed a new middle-high
school, it refurbished the old Belmonte
Middle School and turned it into a
third-through-fifth elementary school,
designating the Veterans School into a
"Saugus had the finances and appetite to
do this," Delano said. "In Swampscott, we
have been less than perfect for decades, and
not just with the School Committee. Even
the plan for a new police station only passed
by 27 votes. And it took a decade to get it
However, this past April he decided
he'd had enough, and chose not to run for
“I held the position of being on the
School Committee incredibly close to my
heart,” Delano said when he announced he
was stepping down. “I have enjoyed the privilege
of representing the future leaders of our
community, and my decisions were always
based on the best interest of our children and
the fiduciary responsibility to the district.”
Reflecting on his tenure last month, he
said, "I did my part, and I tried to make it a
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Her reach doesn't exceed her grasp
PHOTOS BY JULIA HOPKINS
Angela Ippolito grew
up in Swampscott, but
moved to Boston as
an adult. When she moved back,
she began to notice little changes
around town to some of its more
historic and memorable features.
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Swampscott's Angela Ippolito leads a Yoga on the Beach class twice a week during the summer
for Swampscott residents through the town Recreation Department.
"I started looking around and thinking
'you know, I can't believe this hasn't
been saved,' and 'that's not preserved,'"
she said. "Just thinking that it's such a
pristine little place that I always loved as
Ippolito's husband, Joe, suggested she
see what she could do about her concerns,
and in 2000 she joined the town's
Historical Commission, despite never
having an interest in government before.
Twenty-one years later, Ippolito is the
chair of Swampscott's Planning Board
and has held several community positions
in town and around the North Shore.
"There's still lots more to do," she
said. "There's no shortage of things to get
myself involved in."
After graduating college, Ippolito
began a career in the art world, selling
the work of artists to galleries around the
world. Eventually, she and her husband
opened their own gallery on Boston's
Newbury Street. Later, she entered the
more commercial side of the business,
working with independent artists to
create posters and marketing materials
for museums and other organizations,
and then worked in marketing for a few
She took a few years off after her son
Michael was born, and the family moved
back to Swampscott, which is when she
began getting involved in local government.
Ippolito said that when she first
joined the Historical Commission the
group was in the middle of preparing for
the town's 150th anniversary, and she
was able to write an article to enter into
the paperback book that the commission
published, "Swampscott, Massachusetts:
Celebrating 150 Years, 1852-2002."
Over the next few years, she helped
the commission write grants, start its
ongoing archive project and — most
notably — achieve a spot on the National
Register of Historic Places for the Olmsted
neighborhood, designed in 1888 by
noted landscape architect Frederick Law
Ippolito said she had the opportunity
to visit the Olmsted archives in Brookline
during the process of the designation.
"I had a wonderful time doing that,
because I was able to speak with some of
the most renowned experts on Frederick
Law Olmsted in the country," she said.
"They pulled all of the original drawings
from Swampscott's Olmsted subdivision
and I was able to photograph them."
While she enjoyed her work with the
commission, Ippolito started to feel that
she wasn't doing everything she wanted
"Over the years, I realized a lot of the
issues we had with preservation and land
use were really related to flaws, omissions
and improper zoning," she said. "Our
zoning bylaws were just really not ideal
for development, and I became much
more interested in land use and preservation."
On her own, she began attending
seminars about the topic and joined the
Essex National Heritage Commission,
which falls under the National Parks Service
and works to highlight the cultural,
commercial and historical attractions
along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway.
Then, in 2009, Ippolito was elected to
Swampscott's Planning Board.
"I started paying attention to what
zoning could do," she said. "Changing
any kind of a bylaw that affects personal
property and the desires of the town
to expand and develop, especially in a
coastal community, is a huge challenge
and takes a lot of time and a lot of public
Ippolito considers one of her biggest
accomplishments during her time on
the board so far as her roles in creating
Swampscott's Master Plan — in collaboration
with the board, other town officials
and the Metropolitan Area Planning
Council — as well as the Open Space
and Recreation Plan, for which she was
the committee chair.
"It informs all the land use and zoning
we want to see happen," she said of
the Master Plan. "Because it happened
through the state process, which was a
very public process, it's something that
really belongs to the whole town."
497 Humphrey Street, Swampscott, MA
22 | 01907
The plan was the first one the town
had created since the 1970s, and the
previous plan had sat on a shelf collecting
dust, Ippolito said, so she was thrilled
when the Town Meeting approved funding
for its creation. However, she said,
the funding had to be requested three
years in a row before that happened.
Big issues that Ippolito said have
come up again and again over the years
have been sustainability, coastal resiliency
and affordable housing. While
the town has been able to make certain
changes, like upgrades to its beaches, she
looks forward to doing even more. One
project she hopes to see in the future is
the preservation of the train depot, one
of the only original depots in the area
still standing, and the creation of more
transit-oriented development in the area
Meanwhile, Ippolito stays busy. She
is a longtime Town Meeting member
and serves on the Hadley School Reuse
Advisory Committee. In addition to her
government work and working from
home with her husband, she teaches
yoga on Eisman's Beach every Monday
and Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. during
the summer through the Recreation
Department. The classes are attended by
residents of all ages.
"It makes me so grateful that we
live in this spectacular place," she said.
"I can walk down the street and I'm at
the ocean. So many of us take this for
According to Ippolito, spending time
with community members through yoga
and all of her other activities are the best
reward for the work that she does.
"There's so many new people getting
involved in different efforts," she said. "I
would say that's the thing that has kept
me interested: always having another
goal for the town and really being able to
enjoy, on a volunteer level, the collaboration
with other people, other communities,
other boards and then all the people
Angela Ippolito strikes an extended side angle
yoga pose on Eisman's Beach.
In addition to serving as chair of the Swampscott
Town Planning Board, Ippolito is a community
leader, dedicating countless hours to volunteer
work and focusing town efforts on harbor
SUMMER 2021 | 23
The flag of Quebec, called the Fleurdelisé (means
lily-flowered) represents the Canadian province.
The American flag flies on Elmwood Avenue.
JULIA HOPKINS AND SPENSER HASAK
The national flag of Armenia on display.
Walk down Elmwood Avenue, and when you reach the intersection at Thomas Road,
you may be taken aback by color bursting from a flagpole.
This surely isn't the typical stars and stripes of the United States flag, nor is it the familiar
blue and white flag of Massachusetts.
No, on any given day, you can come across the flag of Quebec, called the Fleurdelisé.
The next day, you may see the oldest-known flag in the United States, an eye-catching pink
banner from before the American Revolution with its bold phrase, "Vince Aut Morire"
(Conquer or Die) etched alongside an arm grasping a sword. Or maybe you'll see the
national flag of Armenia with its bold red, blue and yellow stripes.
The flags are changed out on a fairly regular basis, meaning that there will almost
always be a new banner flowing in the wind over Elmwood Avenue. By Mike Alongi.
The Revolutionary War-era Bedford flag, with its striking pink color and the phrase, "Vince Aut Morire,"
waves in the wind.
The Nova Scotia flag with its bright blue cross and
yellow coat of arms.
24 | 01907
Three’s Company: for Emmerich brothers
BY MIKE ALONGI
They say three’s company, and the
Emmerich brothers agree.
On the afternoon of May 17 at their
home course of Kernwood Country Club,
Christian, Aidan and Max Emmerich
all qualified for the 111th Massachusetts
Open Championship during a local qualifier.
Out of only 11 total qualifying spots
awarded, the Emmerich brothers took up
Christian shot the second-lowest score
of the day, finishing as one of only two
players under par with a 1-under 69.
“I played in a tournament over the
weekend and came in with some confidence,
but it was great to go out and
qualify along with both of my brothers,”
said Christian, who just finished up his
sophomore year at the College of the
Holy Cross. “It was a fun day and it’s a
cool thing to share with them.”
It was a slow start to the day for Christian,
who bogeyed two of the first four
holes of his round. He responded with a
Aidan Emmerich putts the ball at hole No.3 during
a game against Arlington Catholic at Winchester
PHOTOS: OLIVIA FALCIGNO
birdie on the par-4 fifth and then birdied
the eighth to make the turn at even-par.
After a bogey on the 10th hole, Christian
rallied to birdie the 13th and 17th holes
to finish under par.
“My game felt good and I was striking
the ball really well, but I just wasn’t scoring,”
Christian said. “Obviously I know
the course well, but you still have to go
out there and perform. I thought I was
able to finish strong, which was nice.”
Aidan, who won the Kernwood
Country Club men’s club championship
last summer, wasn’t far behind with an
even-par 70 — the third-lowest qualifying
score of the day.
“I honestly came in and didn’t have a ton
of confidence in my putter because I putted
horribly in a tournament over the weekend,”
said Aidan, who is set to have a big
senior year at St. Mary’s this fall. “I actually
went back to my old putter right before the
tournament, and even though things started
bumpy, I was able to finish strong.”
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26 | 01907
EMMERICH, continued from page 24
Aidan was 2-over par standing on the
13th tee, and he knew he needed to make
a move. After a solid drive on the par-5
13th, Aidan hit a driver off the deck to
set up a birdie and get a shot back. On
the next hole, a difficult 429-yard par-4,
Aidan chipped in for birdie to get back to
even-par. He then went on to par the final
four holes to make the cut at even-par.
“The wind was blowing maybe 25
miles per hour out there, so you really had
to play defensive early on,” Aidan said.
“But I didn’t know 2-over would make
it through, so I figured I had to make a
move to get to even if I wanted to make
Max shot 2-over 72 to grab one of the
final qualifying spots.
“It was really cool to be there with my
brothers and have us all there pushing
each other to be better,” said Max, who
plays college golf at Salem State University.
“Especially over the past couple of
weeks, I’ve really wanted to come out here
and qualify. I knew that they would both
make it, and I didn’t want to be the only
one who missed out.”
Max was rolling to open up his round,
notching a birdie on the second hole and
making the turn at 1-under. The back nine
wasn’t as strong, with a double-bogey on
the 14th and a bogey on the 17th, but a
par on the final hole of the day sealed his
spot in the championship proper.
“I hit the ball really well, maybe better
than I’ve ever hit it, and I think I hit 15
greens,” Max said. “I played smart on the
tougher holes and then tried to attack
where I could to get some shots back.
Aside from one mental mistake on the
14th, I thought I played a really solid
The 111th Massachusetts Open
Championship took place from June 14-
16 at Oak Hill Country Club in Fitchburg.
Max was unfortunately forced to
withdraw prior to the start of the tournament,
but both Christian and Aidan were
able to tee off. Both brothers ended up
missing the cut, with Christian shooting
a two-day score of 77-75-152 and Aidan
shooting a two-day score of 77-76-153.
Christian Emmerich tees off against Archbishop Williams at Gannon Municipal Golf Course in Lynn.
SUMMER 2021 | 27
way to the stars
BY BILL BROTHERTON
Musician Melina Laganas was awarded a four-year scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK
It was the afternoon of April 2 when
Melina Laganas grabbed that day’s
mail and spotted the envelope from
Berklee College of Music. She opened it
with a bit of hesitation and slowly unfolded
“Congratulations. You have been
“I thought she was pranking me,”
recalled her dad, William, a Swampscott
native, with a laugh. “It was the day after
April Fools.” The estimated tuition for
four years at Berklee is $190,032.
Melina started to cry. Better yet, the
prestigious Boston school had awarded her
a full-tuition, four-year Berklee City Music
College Scholarship, a highly competitive
merit- and need-based award.
“I had to read the letter over and over
and over. I was crying. I was so happy,” said
the Marblehead High School graduate.
Berklee, in fact, has already been a great
fit for Melina. She received a Berklee City
Music High School Academy 5-week
summer intensive scholarship three years
in a row and recently received the Unsung
Hero award for Berklee’s pre-college summer
“It was good to see that the work I put
in was noticed,” said Melina, relaxing on a
bench at Chandler Hovey Park. “It was so
great to be with kids who shared the same
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28 | 01907
Melina Laganas lists Erykah Badu, Dinosaur Jr. and Charlie Puth among an eclectic array of musical influences.
interests and passions as me.”
The college provided her and other
students with a piano, mic and electronic
The Laganas home on Pleasant Street
has always been filled with music. Her
dad, a 1984 Swampscott High grad and
owner/caterer of Eastern Harvest Foods,
would blast his classic rock albums (Kinks,
Stones). Her mom, Enid, prefered the pop
hits of Shakira, Gwen Stefani and Christina
Melina’s tastes are a bit more eclectic.
She gushes about Jacob Collier, Jill Scott,
Erykah Badu, Dinosaur Jr. and Charlie
Puth — who graduated from Berklee with
a degree in music production and engineering,
the very program Melina plans to
Daughter and dad have attended many
concerts together, mostly at Lynn Auditorium
when Wiliam, who grew up on
Shelton Road in Swampscott, prepared
and served meals to the performers, who
included Billy Idol, Toto and Air Supply.
Her younger siblings, Aristotle, 15, and
Oleana, 12, enjoy music — but not to the
passion level of Melina.
It was clear from the start that Melina
had a special talent as a singer. She was
the first recipient of the Lynn YMCA’s
Rising Star title. At age 14, she fronted a
band of young musicians from School of
Rock/Lynn who performed a set of Rolling
Stones songs in Central Square as part of
the Downtown Lynn Cultural District’s
10th annual Clock to the Rock 5K road
At Berklee’s summer program that first
year, she was the youngest — by three years
— of the 138 kids who participated.
“After my audition there I knew immediately
I wanted a career in music and I
wanted to go there," she said. "Berklee was
the only college I applied to. That probably
wasn’t very smart, but it was where I wanted
to go.” She will live on campus this fall.
“I’m actually really shy. I used to dread
going on stage. No more. Now I’m excited.”
After school nearly every weekday since
her freshman year, Melina took the MBTA
bus from Marblehead and the Blue Line
train from Wonderland to Berklee in Boston’s
Back Bay. She’d finally arrive home at
about 10 p.m. Most nights she’d start her
Marblehead High homework at 11, get a
few hours of sleep and then do it again the
For the past year-plus, Berklee’s lessons
were taught online via Zoom.
“It was isolating," Melina said. "It messes
with your head not to be in the same
room with professors and fellow students.”
She credits Berklee professors, including
David Alexis and Tia Fuller — pop
diva Beyonce’s saxophonist of choice — for
helping to fan the flames of her musical
passion. Singer-songwriter Livingston
Taylor, a professor of voice, has also aided
“I’d like to make music that means
something to me and that matters. I’d like
to make a connection with people who
understand me and feel like they know me
by what I write,” she said.
SUMMER 2021 | 29
She lights the way for parents
BY ANNE MARIE TOBIN
Joanne Light may be small in stature, but
when it comes to helping families navigate
through life’s parenting challenges and stresses,
Light packs a powerful punch.
Light is a parent-empowerment coach.
Her company, Joannelight.com, provides support
to parents by enabling them to discover
what they need to get to a better place.
"My mission is to guide parents in transforming
their journey so they have more joy,
feel positive about themselves as parents and
raise resilient and compassionate children,"
Light said. "Parenting is one of the hardest
jobs on earth. There is no such thing as a
"It takes work on the parent's part. None
of us is perfect. I've made my mistakes, but
I really believe you can model behavior to
help your children face the world in a much
healthier way if the effort is there to connect
with them, to communicate with them and
teach them character and core values by sharing
yours with them in an honest way."
While Light works with families with
children of different ages, she is most passionate
about working with teens. She feels
that parents often miss the point when it
comes to behavior they interpret as unacceptable
when, in reality, it's normal.
"Teens get a bad rap as parents have
misconceptions about their actions and what
they should be doing," Light said. "If parents
knew how their brains are developing, they
would understand that what they are going
through is normal. Teens are supposed to
take risks. They are super learners and need
to explore everything. Bend a little as control
leads to resentment. Let them be who they
are — but that's very hard for parents."
There are some simple things parents
can do to strengthen their connections with
their kids, starting with having regular family
"They are rituals where you can all gather
in a safe space," Light said. "Set the ground
rules, the most important one is being
respectful. Talk about things other than sex,
drugs, drinking. Instead, find things that are
of interest to everyone, then conclude the
meeting with a fun activity, like a walk or
going for ice cream."
According to Light, the biggest mistake
parents make when dealing with their kids is
"Not learning how to start communication
and maintain open lines of communication
is the biggest thing I see," Light said.
"Parents don't realize how important their
role is in this critical stage of development.
All they want to do is stop arguing with their
kids, but when kids stop listening, they are
never going to make you happy."
Another mistake parents make is being
"Kids are constantly wondering if they
are good enough, and constant criticism leads
to emotional uncertainty," said Light. "They
need to be given their space. While letting
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them go may be hard on parents, that's what
teens need to have social and emotional wellness.
It's about responding, not reacting"
According to Light, parents also need to
learn to pick and choose their battles.
"Parents need to learn what to let go and
focus on the good," Light said. "I also feel
that parents need to take care of themselves.
You can't have social and emotional
intelligence without physical wellness. As
important as sleep is for teens, it's equally
important for parents."
A graduate of George Washington
University, Light earned a master's degree
in classics and education at the University of
Massachusetts and then earned her doctorate
in counseling and education at Boston
University. Her dissertation covered women's
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30 | 01907
Swampscott's Joanne Light works to help families improve their relationships with their children as a parent empowerment coach.
choices in creating careers and raising
"That was in 1982, and I believe it is
a very relevant topic today as we observe
parents dealing with an incredible number
of challenges and choices as a result of the
pandemic," Light said.
Light worked in higher education for
about 30 years, most recently at North Shore
Community College (NSCC) as vice president
of enrollment services. After retiring
from NSCC in 2016, Light earned certification
as a life-coaching consultant from the
Life Purpose Institute in 2017.
"After 30-plus years in education as a
teacher, counselor and higher education
administrator, I decided to create a retirement
career in coaching," Light said. "However,
more important than any credential, life
experience as a parent has truly led me to my
passion for working with families. I understand
firsthand parents’ feelings of burnout,
helplessness and stress."
It was her own struggles as a parent that
inspired Light to what she calls her retirement
"There are so many issues, especially now:
managing stress, understanding emotions,
dealing with conflict, setting boundaries,
reconnecting with your kids, safety and
school. It is truly endless," Light said. "We all
love our children and want the best for them
PHOTO: JULIA HOPKINS
but need to accept them for who they are and
accept our own limits."
Light coaches anywhere from three to
four families at any given time.
"I'm not looking for big business; the
main reason I am coaching is it's my way of
giving back," she said. "We need to do a better
job so the next generation can do a better
job than we've done."
Light and her husband Jonathan, a Boston
attorney, have lived in Swampscott since
1982 and will celebrate their 50th wedding
anniversary in November. The couple has
three children — Sam, Alexandra and Emily.
SUMMER 2021 | 31
Down on the farm
Jon Runstadler aligns the wheels and checks the brakes at the pop-up bike repair event
held by Friends of the Swampscott Rail Trail at Swampscott Farmers Market.
Freshly-pulled radishes are available from Bear Hill Farm in
Tyngsboro Sunday at the Farmers Market on Town Hall lawn.
Jasmine McGee, center, looks at herb seedlings with her sons Sloane, left, and Cade McGee, both 3.
Fresh strawberries are available from Bill and
Hobie Clark, of Clark Farm in Danvers.
The Farmers Market runs Sundays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., rain or shine on the Town Hall lawn through October.
32 | 01907
A cathartic commencement
Class president Ryan Henry gives the president's address at the Swampscott High School Class of 2021 commencement exercises.
PHOTOS: JULIA HOPKINS
Perhaps the greatest sign that the
COVID-19 pandemic is waning
came on Sunday, June 13 as 183
high school seniors graduated in person in
front of family and friends.
Gathered on Blocksidge Field, the
Class of 2021 commemorated what Paul
Flake, one of three class valedictorians,
called a "chaotic and cathartic" year
defined, in part, by "elbow bumps" and "air
"I'd give anything just to hug someone,"
Superintendent of Schools Pamela Angelakis
reminded graduates to "be a person
everybody wants to be around."
"Wherever life takes you, you will
always be part of the Big Blue," she said.
After two pandemic-dominated academic years, Class of 2021 members break into maskless applause.
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