01907 Summer 2021





VOL. 6, NO. 2

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Edward M. Grant

Chief Executive Officer

Michael H. Shanahan


Edward L. Cahill

John M. Gilberg

Edward M. Grant

Gordon R. Hall

Monica Connell Healey

J. Patrick Norton

Michael H. Shanahan

Chief Financial Officer

William J. Kraft

Chief Operating Officer

James N. Wilson


Susan Conti


Thor Jourgensen

Contributing Editors

Gayla Cawley

Sophie Yarin


Mike Alongi

Bill Brotherton

Allysha Dunnigan

Daniel Kane

Steve Krause

Tréa Lavery

Anne Marie Tobin


Olivia Falcigno

Spenser Hasak

Julia Hopkins

Advertising Sales

Ernie Carpenter

Ralph Mitchell

Patricia Whalen


Edwin Peralta Jr.


4 What's Up

6 Looking back

8 Handymen

12 House Money

14 Claws applause

18 Ted Talk

20 Twist turner

23 Banner address

24 Brothers three

27 Rising Star

29 Shining her light

31 Market time

32 One big hug


110 Munroe St.,

Lynn, MA 01901

781-593-7700 ext.1234


781-593-7700 ext. 1253



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


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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

ages 3-13.

Where: Visit swampscottlibrary.org for

more information, call Lisa Julien-Hayes

at 781-596-8867, extension 3307, or email


When: Summer reading runs through

August 2.

Nurturing Nature

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

"Ocean House"

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

David, Walter,

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.

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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.


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


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

cared for.

“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

the past.

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

always there."

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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12 | 01907


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A peek inside

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SALE DATE: April 28, 2021

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LOT SIZE: .26 acres (11,108 sq. ft.)

LIVING AREA: 4,648 sq. ft.





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garage, and a master suite.

Source: MLS Property Information Network.

SUMMER 2021 | 13

14 | 01907

It's the lobstering life for them


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,"

Gambale said.

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.

SUMMER 2021 | 15

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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.


Then Gambale heads over to the

next trawl.

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

same way.

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

good one.

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

the ocean.

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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SUMMER 2021 | 17

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

this tragedy.

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

truly enjoys.

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


Detective Ted Delano has spent 31-years at the Swampscott Police Department.


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

same defendant.

"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

and garden.

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

attending school.

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

more accessible.

"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

K-through-2 facility.

"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

better community."

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Her reach doesn't exceed her grasp


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

a kid."

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

different companies.

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

to do.

"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."

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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

around it.

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

I meet."

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.

Flying High



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


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

Country Club.


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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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

Singing her

way to the stars


Musician Melina Laganas was awarded a four-year scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston.


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

the letter.

“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

ensemble program.

“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

digital instrument.

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

major in.

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

next day.

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

her development.

“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


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

perfect parent.

"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 listening.

"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

too controlling.

"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


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.


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,"

said Flake.

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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