01907 Spring 2019

essexmediagroup

IN THIS EDITION

For the love of

Swampscott

Stepping Stones

for Stella

Patsios building

a legacy

Draft

king

$5.00 | SPRING 2019 | NO. 15


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A publication of Essex Media Group

Publisher

Edward M. Grant

Chief Executive Officer

Michael H. Shanahan

Directors

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

Community Relations Director

Carolina Trujillo

Controller

Susan Conti

Editor

Roberto Scalese

Contributing Editors

Cheryl Charles

Emma LeBlanc Perez

Contributing Writers

Bill Brotherton

Gayla Cawley

Bella diGrazia

Thomas Grillo

Thor Jourgensen

Steve Krause

Bridget Turcotte

Photographers

Spenser Hasak

Owen O’Rourke

Advertising Sales

Ernie Carpenter

Ralph Mitchell

Patricia Whalen

Advertising Design

Trevor Andreozzi

Mohamed Diop

LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

TED GRANT

Todd, Todd, Todd

In the 15 years I lived in 01907, one of my favorite pastimes was stopping at Phillips Park on the way

home from work and watching the Frank DeFelice-coached Big Blue baseball team play. I sat on a bench

in the outfield that was at least a Jeff January blast away from home plate but, for those few innings, life

was good.

One of the couple hundred players I watched was Todd McShay who, before he became the

preeminent authority on the NFL Draft (sorry, Mel, Todd’s better) was a pitcher/first baseman on

Swampscott’s 1993 state championship team (even if DeFelice will never let him forget who was

responsible for the “1” in that squad’s 24-1 record).

McShay was a good enough baseball and football (QB on a Super Bowl team) player to have been

selected for induction into the SHS Hall of Fame this year. Draftniks might argue he should someday

be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his immense contributions over the last 15 years.

The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network — you might know it as ESPN — bills itself

as the "Worldwide Leader in Sports." It has not only changed the dynamic of how sports is reported

and presented on television, it has spawned its own stable of stars and personalities (I'm partial to

Mike Greenberg, Neil Everett, and Sage Steele).

You can include McShay on that list. His shtick with fellow draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has become

such a staple that comic/impressionist Frank Caliendo made it part of his routine (delivered,

appropriately enough, on ESPN). "Todd! Todd! Todd! Todd!"

During bowl season, you'll see McShay on ESPN often. And with draft season upon us he is

ubiquitous.

McShay's days during his busy seasons do not seem to end. He told our Steve Krause just how busy

those days get, and how much he values the few months of down time he has once draft season has

ended but before the college football season revs up again.

This, the 15th edition of 01907, is heavy into sports -- but, then again, we are talking about the Land

of the Big Blue.

Joe Caponigro grew up when the Big Blue mystique was at its zenith. And he loved all of it, from

Swampscott Little League to Pop Warner to basketball. He played baseball competitively well into his

40s. He coached at Lynn English for 13 seasons. (One of the players he groomed over that time was

Ben Bowden, who was on the mound and pitching for the Colorado Rockies during spring training.)

Joe’s long journey home is complete. He will coach his first baseball game for the Big Blue in April.

Again, Steve Krause — in sticking with the sports theme, our MVP (most versatile player) — has the story.

Some may describe Jackson Katz as an anti-domestic-violence advocate, but he also deals with issues

of gender violence, or gender-based violence, including sexual assault. Katz (himself a former three-sport

athlete at Swampscott High) seeks to change peer culture to encourage men to speak up against and

prevent domestic violence, sexual harassment and sexual assault against women. Gayla Cawley has the story.

When Charlie Patsios breaks ground later this year on a $500 million transformation of the vacant

former GE Gear Works property off the Lynnway into a new neighborhood, complete with its own

commuter rail stop, it will be his second major project in two years. Not bad for someone who never

intended to be a builder. Thomas Grillo has the story.

Also, check out Thor Jourgensen's story on For the Love of Swampscott; Bridget Turcotte's trip

across the causeway for a look at the Nahant-Northeastern University squabble over NU's proposed

expansion; and Bella diGrazia's take on fashion.

In the meantime, you'll have to excuse me. It's time for SportsCenter (and a few Law & Order reruns).

Design

Tori Faieta

ESSEX MEDIA GROUP

110 Munroe St.,

Lynn, MA 01901

781-593-7700 ext.1234

Subscriptions:

781-593-7700 ext. 1253

01907themagazine.com

INSIDE

04 What's up

06 Stepping Stones

08 Draft king

10 Style

12 House Money

14 Building blocks

17 Sliding into home

22 Local Flavor

23 Town vs. Town

26 Speak up

28 Tennis wonderland

30 Uniting through art

32 For the love of...

34 Nahant vs. Northeastern

36 A day in the life

02 | 01907


04 | 01907

Yoga for EveryBody

WHAT: An Iynegar-inspired yoga

class with Stacie Nardizzi, from 7:15-

8:20 p.m., at $17 per class. The class

will focus on precision, alignment,

and self-empowerment.

WHERE: ReachArts, 89 Burrill St.

WHEN: Every Monday

Sipping on a good read

WHAT: An afternoon book club

that serves tea and a discussion of

"The Music Shop" by Rachel Joyce,

beginning at 1 p.m.

WHERE: Swampscott Library

WHEN: March 19

WHAT: A discussion, over tea, of

"The Trust" by Ronald H. Balson,

from 1 - 2 p.m.

WHERE: Swampscott Library

WHEN: April 16

Time for a TEDTalk

WHAT: A monthly meeting to

help the community at large stay

on top of social, political, and

cultural issues, from 7 - 8 p.m. For

the month of March, the topic will

revolve around the concept of body

image.

WHERE: Swampscott Library

WHEN: March 19

A "Blyssful" Mind

WHAT: Crayola Tidd, a certified

mindful meditation teacher, will

teach a class about the art of

mindful meditation, from 7 - 8 p.m.

WHERE: Swampscott Library

WHEN: March 20

Poetry Open Mic Night

WHAT: The Tin Box Poets will

hold their annual open mic event

from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The annual

event draws poets from all over

to North Shore and encourages

them to share their work.

WHERE: Swampscott Library

WHEN: April 1

WHAT'S UP

Rainbow Reads

WHAT: A reading group for adults

who identify as, or are allies of,

the LGBTQIA+ community, from

7 - 8 p.m. Members read books

that discuss characters within the

community and the issues they

deal with. For the month of April,

discussions will revolve around "If I

Was Your Girl" by Meredith Russo.

WHERE: Swampscott Library

WHEN: April 2

Open for talent

WHAT: Larry Power and Lee Eric

Freedman host a free open mic

night for spoken word and musical

performances, from 7 - 10 p.m.

Featured performer will be Blaine

Hebbel, a poet and publisher.

WHERE: ReachArts, 89 Burrill St.

WHEN: April 5


Summer at the J Camp

is the place to be this summer!

AMAZING CAMPS FOR TODDLERS TO TEENS!

at the jj

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Sunshine and Fun! !

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DISCOUNT.


06 | 01907

stepping stones for

S

T

E L

L

A

PHOTO: OWEN O'ROURKE

The

Puzzo

family

has

inspired

a

community

sStella Puzzo, a student at Clark

Elementary, munches on an after-school

snack of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.

"How was class today?" asks the reporter.

"Boring," she replies, then laughs.

Seems like any other 9-year-old. But

Stella was born with spastic diplegia

cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that

permanently affects muscle control and

coordination.

Stephen and Nicole Puzzo, who grew

up in Springfield and Norwell respectively,

were living in Charlestown when Stella

was born. "It changed our world. The

BY BILL BROTHERTON

first couple of years were emotional and

challenging," says Nicole. "Her big sister,

Chloe, who's 12, deserves so much credit.

It wasn't easy for her; she spent a lot of

time with babysitters while we spent a lot

of time with doctors."

Close friends lived in Swampscott and

the beach-loving couple fell in love with

the town during visits. Upon learning

that the town offers integrated preschool,

meaning Stella would be in the same

classroom as able-bodied kids, the couple

decided to raise their family here. They

moved in 2011.

Nicole says Stella "is a strong-willed

little girl" who loves to be independent

and is comfortable and confident in her

own wheelchair and walker. She's also a

lucky girl, because her loving family has a

strong support system. That support system

has now helped numerous other families

— 510 and counting — navigate life's

challenges. More on that later.

Nicole's "very handy" father, John Banda,

has an engineering background and since

Stella was born has "invented" several items

to make life easier for the family. One day,

Banda watched Nicole struggle on the way


to the beach, carrying Stella in a baby sling

while pushing Chloe in a carriage and

juggling myriad beachgoing items.

"He developed a buggy out of PVC

pipe, with big tires, that allowed us all to go

to the beach. It was a game changer," says

Nicole. "It moved over the rocks at Preston

Beach with no problem. Dad found a way

to make everything easier for me."

Four local families saw the buggy and

approached Nicole at the beach, asking

where they could buy one. Of course, it was

one-of-a-kind and unavailable.

The Puzzo clan realized many families

could benefit, so papa Banda, newly retired,

and a friend fine-tuned his invention and

personally made more than 100 buggies,

10 at a time. That led to the founding of

Stepping Stones for Stella, a 501(c)(3)

nonprofit organization whose mission

is to provide buggies to children with

disabilities to ensure they and their

families experience the joy and freedom of

the great outdoors to its fullest.

To date, 510 buggies have been

delivered at little or no charge to families

across the United States and Portugal,

where the family of a boy Stella's age

requested one and found it to be a

godsend, the first of 13 buggies sent to

Portuguese families. Puzzo said buggy

requests come in daily.

The cost of a fully adapted buggy is

nearly $550, depending on its size, add-on

components and shipping requirements.

Insurance will not cover the cost, deeming

it a luxury. They are now manufactured in

Indiana.

The program is supported mainly

through financial donations made to the

Stepping Stones for Stella organization.

Donations come from many sources,

including buggy recipients, if financially

able. Lack of the ability to make a

donation does not alter eligibility to receive

a buggy. Physical need is the only criterion.

Since 2013, more than $130K has been

raised through a variety of fundraising

events, corporate donations and small

donations.

The 4th annual 5K Freedom Run and

Walk (1 mile) to raise money for Stepping

Stones for Stella will take place at 9 a.m.

on June 16 at Temple Emanu-EL, 393

Atlantic Ave. One hundred percent of

event proceeds will be allocated to the

production and shipment of buggies to

families across the country.

Nicole says the efforts of board

member Melissa Stern, who serves as event

manager, and Ashley Steeves of High5Em

have helped make the race a success.

John and Eilene Grayken have hosted

two successful fundraisers, one in 2017 at

their penthouse in Boston, and 2018 at

their home in Cohasset. NESN also offers

support by promoting the charity during

Red Sox games; it also held a successful

volleyball tournament in 2016 on Long

Beach in Nahant.

Dozens of glowing testimonials are

shared on the Stepping Stones for Stella

Facebook page. A couple of examples:

"We are so lucky, I am so thankful for

organizations like yours! My sweet

daughter just played in the sprinkler for

the first time because of your beach buggy.

I can't wait to take it on a trip and allow

her to experience things I could've never

imagined before. Thank you!" and "Today

my girl got to enjoy the beach for the first

time! It is one of my favorite places in the

world to be and a big part of my childhood

that I can now share with her! If it wasn't

for Stepping Stones for Stella this would

not even a possibility! Thank you, thank

you, a million times thank you!!"

To learn more about Stepping Stones

for Stella, please visit http://www.

steppingstonesforstella.org/

212 HUMPHREY STREET, 01907

WWW.KATSBOUTIQUE.CO

781-593-0300


08 | 01907

Todd McShay

is one of

the worldwide

leaders

BY STEVE KRAUSE

Todd McShay has two jobs at ESPN.

And just when the pace for the first one

reaches its tipping point, his second one

kicks in.

The buildup for that is steady until

the first week of April, when it explodes

and he barely has time to think.

But the 41-year-old Swampscott

native also understands that even though

he has goals he'd still like to reach, his

status as one of ESPN's foremost college

football and NFL draft experts already

places him at what most people would

consider a career pinnacle, and he's fine

with that.

"There was a time," he said, "when I

thought I might want to move over to

a personnel position, with a National

Football League team. But people I've

talked to tell me I'm crazy. 'Don't do it.'"

McShay understands why.

"I see what some of my friends do,"

he said, "and they're worked long and

hard, and put in long hours, and they've

done great work. Then, because some guy

gets hurt and the team doesn't do well,

he gets fired.

"I want to continue doing this," he

said, "There are still goals to reach."

"This," in McShay's case, is being a

college football expert for ESPN, and

the job takes two shapes. The first, which

runs from August through the beginning

of January, involves being a commentator

on college football games. This requires

him to travel extensively, week to

week, study film on the various teams

participating, and be ready when the time

comes to do games with Steve Levy and

Brian Griese.

"It's the same most every week," said

McShay, who lives in the South End

with his wife, Loren, and children Alaire

and Tate. "I meet the players and coaches

on Friday and then do the games on

Saturday.

"But," he said, "I also talk to coaches

about the players in the country and take

notes on them."

Naturally, McShay has an opinion on

January's national championship game,

in which Clemson defeated Alabama

handily (44-16).

"I was really surprised," he said.

"That was the only result that would

have surprised me. I wouldn't have been

surprised if Alabama went on a roll and

won by a couple of touchdowns. And I

wouldn't have been surprised if Clemson

pulled off a win. But this (blowout by

Clemson) surprised me."

Football has always been a big part of

McShay's life. He was the quarterback

for the Big Blue, and graduated from

a class that also produced Todd Kline

(his best friend), chief commercial

officer for the Washington Redskins;

Peter Woodfork, senior vice president

of baseball operations for Major League

Baseball; David Portnoy, founder of

"Barstool Sports;" and Matt O'Neil,

owner of the Blue Ox restaurant in Lynn.

After graduating from high school,

McShay went to the University of

Richmond as a walk-on. He made it onto

the scout team, but hurt his back and as a

result had to stop playing.

But he wanted to stay involved with

the team, so he learned how to break

down film from the coaching staff.

And that last bit of education has

served him well. He went on to work

for a scouting bureau that specialized

in projecting the NFL draft (do not


call him a "draftnik," because he hates

the term), and when the company was

absorbed into ESPN, there he was,

paired with Mel Kiper Jr.

And if you're wondering, McShay

says he and Kiper have a very good

relationship. Still, Google the Frank

Caliendo skit on how the two relate on

camera.

After the national championship

is settled, McShay switches into draft

mode. And that's really when life begins

to pile up on him.

"It's a long process," he said. "It's

crazy. Through March, I'm mostly

locking myself in a room and watching

tape, except for the Senior Bowl (in late

January), and the NFL scouting combine

(February) and some pro days.

"The rest of it is just watching tape

until about April 1," he said. "Then, I get

a hotel room near Bristol (Conn., home

of ESPN's headquarters). I might get

home for a day and a half, on weekends,

and get some stuff done. But otherwise,

it's five days a week, at least. And

they book the schedule so tight it's in

15-minute increments.

"I'll get up and work out at 4:30

in the morning, shower, dress and get

over to the studio," he said. "We can go

through 8 or 9 o'clock at night. It's so

hectic during the day that they assign

a producer to me solely to manage the

schedule, and brief me as I'm going from

one studio to the next. It's constant."

If you've followed the process at all,

you know that McShay does a mock

draft leading up to the actual event,

which this year runs from April 25-27.

It's an imprecise science, but McShay

points to a couple of predictions over

the years on which he was unusually

prescient.

"The (Tom) Brady draft was my first

draft," he said. "I said in 'Sporting News'

that he was a third-round pick, and

that he was the most underrated person

in the draft. That helped get me some

recognition."

Brady was eventually famously picked

in the sixth round.

He was also high on Russell Wilson,

who is now the starting quarterback for

the Seattle Seahawks, and who won a

Super Bowl in the 2013 season.

"I gave him a late second, early third

(he went in the third round). That was

one of the few where I got to spend some

time on him, had a feeling that he was

going to be special."

On the other hand, there's JaMarcus

Russell (Oakland Raiders). Just about

everyone whiffed on the 2007 top pick,

including McShay.

"I learned a valuable lesson there," he

said. "I learned how important relationships

are. I trusted the wrong people. I was pretty

young, and I was burned.

"I liked Blaine Gabbert ( Jacksonville

Jaguars No. 1 pick in 2011) a little too

much," he said. "I got caught up in the

fact that he had one good game — a

bowl game."

Once the draft is over, that's when

McShay finally gets to wind down.

"My message box goes from

overflowing to crickets," he said. "I

finally shut it down in July, and spent the

month with my family in Nantucket."

But then comes August, preseason

football camps begin, and before he

knows it, another season is on the

horizon. And the fun begins anew.

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10 | 01907

STYLE

The weather is

warmer and the

sun is shining.

That means it's time

to switch up your

wardrobe. Stay on

trend with spring's

most influential

essentials. Whether

you want your daily

dose of denim or a

scent of floral print,

there is a look for

everyone this season.

BY BELLA diGRAZIA

PHOTOS BY

SPENSER HASAK

"Saylor" Marina

Chatham floral

dress $228

Available at Chic Streets,

434 Humphrey St.

Cluster flower pearl

stud earrings $175

Available at Kat's Boutique, 212 Humphrey St.

"Weill" cloudy blue

hand-stitched flower

blouse $210

Available at Kat's Boutique, 212 Humphrey St.

"Free People"

ivory sunflower

crop top $128

Available at Chic Streets,

434 Humphrey St.

"Saylor"

tweggy

Chatham

floral top

$185

Available at Chic

Streets, 434

Humphrey St.

"Fallon & Royce" plastic mini

tote with clutch straps $98

Available at Chic Streets, 434 Humphrey St.

"Surf Gypsy"

white eyelet romper $58

Available at Chic Streets, 434 Humphrey St.

"Fallon & Royce" cream

quoted clutch $68

Available at Chic Streets, 434 Humphrey St.

blossom into

SPRING


SPRING 2019 | 11

Pearl Drop faux Cheetah

fur earring $36

Available at Kat's Boutique, 212 Humphrey St.

Everyday pearl

necklace with

magnetic clasp $260

→ Available at Kat's Boutique, 212

Humphrey St.

"Free People"

Westminster blue

denim skirt $50

Available at Chic Streets,

434 Humphrey St.

"Free People"

high-rise washed

out indigo denim

$98

→Available at Chic Streets,

434 Humphrey St.

when in doubt,

WEAR

DENIM

"Free People"

Sparrow denim

skirt $68

→ Available at Chic Streets,

434 Humphrey St.

"Blaire" button

denim tie dress $65

Available at Chic Streets, 434 Humphrey St.

"Farrah" crop white

flare denim $125

Available at Kat's Boutique, 212 Humphrey St.

Spanx medium was

distressed denim $128

Available at Chic Streets, 434 Humphrey St.

"Carmel Sol" baby blue

rubber studded crossbody bag $185

Available at Chic Streets, 434 Humphrey St.


12 | 01907

HOUSE MONEY

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAGGIE SLAVET


A peek inside

267 Humphrey St., Unit 2

SPRING 2019 | 13

SALE PRICE: $1,650,000

SALE DATE: April 10, 2018

LIST PRICE: $1,799,000

TIME ON MARKET:

269 days (December 11, 2017)

LISTING BROKER:

Mitch Levine, Sagan Harborside

Sotheby’s International Realty

SELLING BROKER:

Francene Amari Faulkner,

LAER Realty

LATEST ASSESSED

VALUE:

$1,967,400

PREVIOUS SALE PRICE:

$1,950,000 (2017)

PROPERTY TAXES:

$31,478

YEAR BUILT:

2016

LOT SIZE:

Condominium

LIVING AREA:

2,996 square feet

ROOMS: 7

BEDROOMS: 3

BATHROOMS: 2, plus 1 half

SPECIAL FEATURES:

This new home in Swampscott

Village features sweeping ocean

views of Swampscott Harbor,

Nahant and Boston’s skyline,

deluxe chef’s kitchen, high

ceilings, direct elevator access,

four wall-mounted TVs, remote

control window treatments, wide

oak floor throughout, and a twocar

garage.

Source: MLS Property Information Network.


SPRING 2019 | 15

BLOCKS

BY THOMAS GRILLO

Charlie Patsios never planned to become a builder.

But when the 59-year-old Swampscott resident breaks

ground this year on a $500 million transformation of the

vacant former General Electric Co. Gear Works property into a

new neighborhood, complete with its own commuter rail stop,

it will be his second major project in two years.

Charlie Patsios

stands on the

land that he

is developing

behind the

Lynnway in

Lynn.

PHOTO:

SPENSER HASAK


Help save the last

undeveloped headland

between Boston and Gloucester

Photo Credit: Dave Morin

East Point, Nahant. A rugged finger of land that juts out into the Atlantic surf. Beloved by visitors for its soaring

cliffs and spectacular views that stretch for miles in every direction, it is an important habitat for migratory birds,

home to wild animals, butterflies, bees and other pollinators.

Today, East Point is under threat from Northeastern University (NU). For decades the University has operated a

small Marine Science Center at East Point, with an unobtrusive campus that integrates neatly within this quiet,

residential community and the state’s smallest town by land area.

As part of an aggressive expansion program, NU now plans to construct a 60,000 square foot building at East

Point, a structure nearly twice as big as the largest existing building in tiny Nahant. Parking lots for hundreds of cars

will further scar the land, traffic will increase greatly, and the burden on public infrastructure is one Nahant cannot

sustain. Not only will unique natural habitat be destroyed, but the character of our town will forever change.

The concerned citizens of Nahant have come together to preserve this precious and wild open space. In an open

letter, 1,700 residents, representing 60% of the adult population, asked Northeastern to reconsider its expansion

plans, to no avail.

We need your help.

If this permanent loss of the North Shore’s open space concerns you, please write to Ralph C. Martin, Senior Vice

President and General Counsel for NU at r.martin@northeastern.edu, or call his office at 617-373-2157.

Thank you for your support.

Visit our website www.KeepNahantWild.org to learn more.

Keep Nahant Wild Movement is a part of The Nahant Preservation Trust, Inc., an all-volunteer, not-for-profit 501(c)(3)

qualified-charitable organization.


SPRING 2019 | 17

Not bad for the Massachusetts Bay

Community College graduate who

designed, sold, installed and serviced

home security systems for more than 30

years before switching careers.

Shortly after he sold his company,

Atlantic Alarms, to Wayne Alarm

Systems in the mid 1990s, he became a

national account manager for Tyco Fire

& Security. And he discovered real estate

almost by accident.

That's when he spotted a shuttered

Ohio gas station for sale for $550,000. It

was the perfect location, he thought, for

a fast food restaurant, so Patsios made

an offer and signed a purchase and sale

agreement.

"At the last minute, the seller decided

not to sell," he said.

"It turned out Home Depot had

announced it was opening a store nearby,

which would bring lots of customers to

the area," he recalled.

When Patsios explained he had a deal

to close in 30 days, the seller offered him

$200,000 to go away.

"I told them to mail the check and

thought, hey, this real estate business is

really good," he said.

After depositing the check, Patsios

directed his attention away from security

and to real estate in Swampscott. He

paid $275,000 for a dilapidated twofamily

home at Humphrey Street

and Commonwealth Avenue that he

renovated and sold at a profit.

His next transaction would be a gamechanger

for him and for the city of Lynn.

While working as a commercial real

estate broker when the GE Factory of

the Future was selling its vacant parcel

on Western Avenue, he saw several deals

crumble. When potential buyers, including

the Lynnway Auto Auction and Prime

Energy walked away, Patsios stepped up.

"Those sales fell through because

GE was concerned about liability from

contaminants on the site," he said. "I

knew if I were sensitive to their concerns

and could calm them, they would take

my offer."

And they did.

Patsios bought the 16-acre property

in 2013 for $4 million. Last year, the

abandoned parcel became a $25 million

Market Basket supermarket offering low

prices for residents and competition to

Shaw’s, Stop & Shop and PriceRite.

Today, Patsios still owns the real

estate and leases the site to Market

Basket for an undisclosed price.

But perhaps the biggest project of

his career is underway near the General

Edwards Bridge, at the gateway to

Lynn.

When completed, the complex is

expected to feature 1,260 apartments,

boutique retail, restaurants, a gym and

new roads within walking distance to

bike trails, beaches and the T.

Patsios paid $7.6 million in 2014

to purchase the parcel from GE. His

team has been working to win approvals

from the Conservation Commision, the

city’s Inspectional Services Department

and the Massachusetts Department of

Environmental Protection.

"Somerville used to (be)

Slummerville, Charlestown was the place

where bank robbers came from, Seaport

was just a collection of railroad tracks,

and Mission Hill was a place to avoid,"

he said. "It's all changed. And Lynn is no

different. This is Seaport North."

James Marsh, Lynn's community

development director, said Patsios is one of

a few developers who are investing in Lynn

and seeing it as the next place to develop.

"The Market Basket site, the Munroe

Street apartment company and the

Beacon Chevrolet site have been gamechangers

for Lynn," he said. "When

GE's Gear Works takes off it will make a

huge difference to the city."

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18 | 01907

SLIDING INTO

HOME

Joe Caponigro is having a ball

BY STEVE KRAUSE

Calling Joe Caponigro a prodigal son who has returned home wouldn't be quite

right — though in a sense it is.

Caponigro, 58, grew up in Swampscott, and played basketball and baseball for

the Big Blue. Baseball is his No. 1 love, however, and one of the town's enduring

legends — Frank DeFelice — was firmly established as the varsity coach for the Big

Blue. And there was no way Caponigro was going to change that.

So he waited. He helped out DeFelice with the sub-varsity, helped establish the

North Shore Baseball League team now known as the Swampscott Sox, ran clinics,

ran an indoor baseball facility with Marblehead coach Mike Giardi, and finally, in

2004, went outside the town and succeeded another legend — Ron Bennett — as

baseball coach at Lynn English.

If you're thinking that's quite an apprenticeship, you'd be correct. But all's well

that ends well. As of this spring, Caponigro is back in town, and will be sitting in the

home dugout in April when the Big Blue play their first game.

"Growing up in town, I always wanted to play for the Big Blue, and always

wanted to coach," Caponigro said. "So, I'm honored and thrilled to have this

opportunity."

Caponigro spent the early part of his childhood in East Boston, and moved to

Swampscott when he was 9. From there, he went through the town's sports system,

playing Little League baseball, Pop Warner football and town basketball. He rubbed

elbows with the likes of Al Cerone, Frank Kelliher, Peter Beatrice, Andy Homes,

and Al Durati. Like many athletes from Swampscott, Caponigro bled blue.

"I remember as a kid going to those games, especially football," he said.


Joe Caponigro is the new

head baseball coach of

Swampscott High School.

PHOTO: SPENSER HASAK

SPRING 2019 | 19


20 | 01907

"I watched all those guys — Dick Jauron,

Mike Lynch, Danny Losano, Sandy

Tennant — and that's what you wanted to

do. You wanted to play Big Blue sports."

He never got the chance to play football,

though. He broke his leg when he was 12

playing Pop Warner, missed eight weeks

of school, "and my parents wouldn't let me

play after that.

"It bothered me for a while," he said.

"But I got jobs in the fall. Plus, I was a

pretty good student."

He played baseball at every level in

Swampscott, including Senior Babe Ruth

(there was no American Legion team when

he played), and his coach was former Fire

Chief Bill Hyde.

"In those years," he said, "like a lot of

kids, I used to get summer jobs with the

town. For some mysterious reason, I got

stationed at the firehouse the summer I was

playing Senior Babe Ruth."

Caponigro, who works for Panakio

Adjusters in Lynn, bided his time in the

Swampscott system until the English job

opened up. He took a stab at it, and felt he had

a good interview with then-principal Andy

Fila.

He took over the program in the spring of

2004 and coached his final game there in the

Nipper Clancy Tournament two years ago.

While at English, Caponigro had the

privilege — as he called it — of coaching lefthanded

pitcher Ben Bowden, a second-round

draft choice of the Colorado Rockies in 2016.

Bowden's pedigree was solid. His

uncle is Derek Dana, a former St. Mary's

baseball player who was a catcher in the San

Francisco Giants system.

"He was an eighth-grader when I met

him, through Derek," Caponigro said. "I

was pretty sure he'd be going to St. Mary's

with his uncle (who is the school's baseball

coach), but instead, he said 'I'm going to

play for you'."

"I knew right away he was a legitimate

pitcher," said Caponigro. "He just looked

like a Division 1 player. He had good

baseball acumen, and he progressed every

year with pitching, hitting and fielding."

As a junior, Bowden pitched a perfect

game against Marblehead.

After finding out from Bowden that

he wanted to play in the Southeastern

Conference, Caponigro reached out to

Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin, who returned

his call almost immediately.

"I still remember it," said Caponigro. "I

was driving. Tim says to me, 'You know, I

get lots and lots of these calls every year.'

I said, 'I'm sure you do. But you haven't

gotten one from me up to now.'

"That must have hit a note with him,"

Caponigro said. "Thankfully, it all worked

out."

Did it ever. Bowden ended up pitching

in two College World Series finals,

one of them resulting in a Vanderbilt

championship.

While all this was going on, the baseball

situation in Swampscott was growing more

and more fluid. DeFelice departed amid

controversy and rather than get involved

in it, Caponigro stayed away. He stayed

at English as T.J. Baril and then Jason

Calichman coached the Big Blue.

But when Calichman was promoted to

principal of the middle school three years ago,

Caponigro felt it was finally time to make

his move. He resigned the English job after

the 2017 season, sat out last year, and was

appointed when Calichman decided he could

no longer devote the time to coaching.

So, after all these years, Caponigro

has come full circle. And not only has he

acquired a wealth of experience coaching, he

has a keen understanding of the role parents

can play. He was the parent of a high school

soccer and basketball star at Swampscott —

his daughter Jaymie.

"As a coach myself, and knowing what

the difficulties are, you respect the coaches

and their individual styles," he said. "I used

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to just sit by myself, away from everyone

else. I'd hear things, but I never wanted to

get involved. I was just there as a parent, to

watch my daughter."

Coaching also runs in his family —

sort of. His wife, Kelly, a teacher in the

Lynn school system, is the sister of Bishop

Fenwick hockey coach Jim Quinlan.

He'll have the pleasure of coaching

his son, John, this spring; and his older

daughter, Katie, played field hockey, both at

Swampscott and Bentley University.

Through his journeys, Caponigro has

realized that baseball his his passion, and so

is coaching.

"I just love the game," he said. "I love

the fact that something can happen every

time the pitcher throws the ball, and that

you have no idea what it is. There's the

potential for something special to happen

every time.

"And to be honest, one of the biggest

honors I think I could ever have is to have

someone who I've coached come up to me

and simply call me 'coach.' That is the ultimate

respect to me. You want to be a good person,

to help mold people, be a friend and a mentor,

and be someone kids can look up to. Calling

me 'coach' means I've accomplished that."


22 | 01907

LOCAL FLAVOR

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BY BELLA diGRAZIA | PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK

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SPRING 2019 | 23

TOWN

MARBLEHEAD

VS.

TOWN

SWAMPSCOTT

19,808

$689,500

$11.02 per $1,000

$110,025

$15,359

97 percent

70 percent

23 percent

Population:

Median home price:

Residential tax rate:

Median income:

Per pupil expenditure:

High school graduation rate:

Residents with a four-year

degree or higher:

Number of residents

65 or over:

15,177

$580,000

$15.20 per $1,000

$105,169

$16,442

95 percent

55 percent

15 percent

Sources: The Warren Group, Massachusetts Department of Education, U.S. Census Bureau, the towns of Marblehead and Swampscott.

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26 | 01907

S P E A K

UP

Jackson Katz has an enemy:

domestic violence

Swampscott native and activist Jackson

Katz has worked to change peer culture

and encourage men to speak up against

domestic violence, sexual harassment and

sexual assault against women.

Katz, 58, lives outside Boston with his

wife, Shelley Eriksen, and their 17-yearold

son, Judah Katz. He has a PhD from

the University of California, Los Angeles

(UCLA) and speaks across the country

on issues of gender, race and violence.

Some may describe Katz as an antidomestic

violence advocate, but he also

deals with issues of gender violence, or

gender-based violence, including sexual

assault.

Katz started his signature program,

the Mentors in Violence Program

(MVP), in 1993 at Northeastern

University's Center for the study of

Sport in Society, while he was a student

at the Harvard Graduate School of

Education.

Being a former three-sport varsity

athlete — football, basketball and track

— at Swampscott High School, he

wanted to create a program that would

train male college student-athletes to

speak out about domestic violence,

homophobic bullying, and sexual

harassment and assault.

Katz said the sports culture was

important to start with, in terms of

encouraging men who already have some

stature and respect from other men to

BY GAYLA CAWLEY

speak out about those issues. Men may

have been policed into silence, wanting

to fit in.

"This isn't just about helping men

speak out about bad things men are

doing to women," Katz said. "It's also

helping men to develop stronger skills

and ethical decision-making skills, to

be better human beings themselves

and to be healthier. The same system

that produces men who abuse women

produces men who abuse men and

themselves.

"The same system that produces

a college student who rapes a college

student produces a Wall Street

(employee) who harasses a female

colleague and produces a man who

shoots himself in the woods. It's about

power, abuse of power."

MVP has since been implemented

across the country. In 1997, Katz created

and directed the first system-wide

program in the military. Today, four

major military services and the U.S.

Coast Guard either directly run the

program or one version of it.

The program was the first in the

field of sexual assault to introduce the

bystander approach, Katz said, which

works to go beyond the victim and

perpetrator and focus on the bystander, a

friend or colleague in many cases.

For instance, it's about challenging

a friend who tells a rape joke, or a

Jackson Katz (left), an anti-domestic

violence advocate, sat on the same

panel as the Dalai Lama at the

University of Northern Iowa in 2010

PHOTO COURTESY JACKSON KATZ

colleague who makes a sexualized

comment about a new female colleague,

by not laughing along and telling him

it's not cool. The approach is not about

intervening, but rather about changing

the social norms that underlie abusive

behaviors, or trying to change the

cultural attitudes and beliefs that lead

some men to act that way.

"We need men who are willing to

challenge and interrupt other men who

are acting up in disrespectful or abusive

ways toward women," Katz said. "A lot

of guys will say, 'This is not my problem.

Other guys abuse women, but I'm a good

guy.' We need to raise the bar for what

it means to be a good guy. To say 'I'm

not a rapist' is not good enough for me.

You need to treat women with respect or

you're not going to get respect from me."

Men's sexual entitlement to women's

bodies has become normalized, Katz

said, and that speaks to a deeper problem

in society. It's more comforting for

people to think of the perpetrator as

someone sick or disturbed, rather than

someone normal, which is typically

the case. But he said the question then

becomes what does it mean to be normal

in society, which the bystander approach

aims to address.


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Katz said he became interested in

engaging more men in addressing the

problem, because it became clear to him

as a sophomore at the University of

Massachusetts Amherst that women had

been at the forefront of speaking against

sexual assault. He said men's voices and

leadership were missing.

Today, he said, there are a lot more

men doing this work than there were

when he graduated high school in

1978. But there's still work to do. It's

a complicated picture, as there's a lot

of positive things happening, but some

discouraging things happening at the

same time, he noted

"It's real tricky terrain right now,"

Katz said. "There's been a backlash

against the #MeToo movement. A lot

of men feel under attack. Women have a

voice they've never had in history. Men

have always been doing these things to

women but (women) have never had the

forum to talk about it and now they do.

Men feel they've been unfairly targeted.

"There's also men who are very

supportive of what's been happening.

They know they're part of a culture that's

very toxic and I think they see this as a

constructive moment."

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28 | 01907

SERVING

A NEW TENNIS WONDERLAND

BY BILL BROTHERTON

The first tennis match in the United

States was played on a sprawling lawn in

Nahant in August 1874. Dr. James Dwight

discovered the game while traveling in

England after graduating from Harvard

and brought equipment back to his

aunt, Mrs. William Appleton. She had

no interest in tennis, so Dwight and his

cousin, Fred R. Sears Jr., set up a grass

court on the estate's grounds and decided

to give it a go.

For the rest of the summer, wealthy

young Brahmins in Nahant played tennis

on Mrs. Appleton’s lawn. By 1876, enough

people had taken up the game to have a

tournament.

And, thanks to Nahant Country Club

Tennis, the game continues to flourish in

town on four clay courts and two platform

courts available to members and the

public at modest fees. Today, the courts are

located on the grounds of Nahant Country

Club, a separate business entity known for

its historic setting, wedding receptions and

special events, instead of Mrs. Appleton's

luxuriant lawn.

For years, Staten Island, N.Y., boasted

that American tennis began there, when

Mary Outerbridge brought a tennis set

back from Bermuda. But Bud Collins, the

acclaimed tennis writer known for wearing

frighteningly colorful trousers, researched

the matter and said it was hogwash:

Nahant was definitely first.

"We (Nahant Tennis) are actively looking

for members," said Peter Foukal, tennis club

president. "We admit anyone who wants to

play; you do not have to live in Nahant. The

four clay courts are a real find, the equal of

courts at any private club."

Player annual tennis fees for those

signing up before June 1: Individual (age

18-30), $200; Individual (age 31 and

older), $295; Family (up to age 64), $395;

Senior Family (with anyone 65 and older),

$300; Junior (younger than 18 without

an adult), $75; Senior (age 65-74), $200;

Super Senior (age 75 and older), $75.

Introductory tennis fees, for new players

only: Individual (age 18 and up), $200;

Family (adults or with children older than

15), $300. Some fees increase by $25 after

May 31. It is open to the public for modest

fees, as well.

Platform tennis fees, for those signing

up before Nov. 14: Individual (age 25

and older), $200; Family (adults or with

children over 15), $300. Introductory

platform fees, for new players: Individual

(age 25 and older), $100; Family (adults or

with children over 15), $150.

"The raised platform tennis courts

extend the season," said Foukal. "They

are open year-round, are lighted and are

heated to help melt the ice and snow. The

clay courts are generally open from May

through October. It's an all-volunteer

effort. The largest portion of membership

dues goes toward maintaining the clay

courts."

There's also a new warming hut that

can accommodate eight to 10 people. "It's

a magnet for people who enjoy sitting and

having a hot chocolate or a beer," said

Foukal.

Foukal said the addition of a second

platform court and construction of the

warming hut "owes much to the hard work

and perseverance of John Falat and of the

immediate past president, Sandy Burton."

Karen Falat, a longtime member, said

Nahant Country Club is "an important

community asset" with its sports facilities

open to the public for modest fees. The

magnificent granite-fronted clubhouse

was built in the 1870s by Frederick Tudor,

the Ice King, who harvested ice, stored it

in Nahant, and shipped it to the South.

Tudor was also a big planter of trees, after

Nahant was deforested by Lynn farmers

who transported their cows to the island

for grazing.

The property was acquired by the New

Nahant Land Company in 1962, allowing

town residents to keep the property away

from developers. Nahant Country Club

was formed at the same time to preserve

the tennis courts. Both Nahant Tennis and

Nahant Country Club are lessees.

A youth tennis camp is run each

summer for two months, providing


SPRING 2019 | 29

instruction four days a week, again for

modest fees.

Tennis pro David Altshuler offers

lessons, as does pro Dmitri Vlassov of

Marblehead, who is director of the summer

youth program, which was formerly run by

Brit Lombard. Membership includes three

current coaches of local high school tennis

teams: Nina Rogers (Swampscott girls),

Mike Flynn (Revere boys) and Foukal's

wife, Elisabeth (Marblehead boys).

The Foukals and their children moved

to Nahant in 1980 and joined the tennis

club immediately. "We have all enjoyed

the club and have formed many lifelong

friendships. It's a congenial environment,

and the kids picked up on the junior

program right away."

For details and membership information,

go to www.nahanttennis.org or call 781-816-

3035.

Opposite page: Rainer Bauder plays platform tennis

in Nahant.

Above, Rainer Bauder, Elisabeth Foukal and Peter

Foukal use the warming hut at the Nahant platform

tennis courts.

PHOTOS: OWEN O'ROURKE


30 | 01907

UNITING

THROUGH

R T

BY BILL BROTHERTON

The impressive two-story building at

89 Burrill St. had been vacant for some

eight years. Built in 1885 as a singlefamily

home, it survived an early fire and

went on to serve as the Leon Abbott

American Legion Hall until 1980 and

then as the town's senior center until

September 2007.

It then sat empty, totally neglected,

until the town's arts community saw

its potential and came together as

ReachArts, a non-profit group of artists

and residents working to create a cultural

hub in Swampscott.

David Shear, director and vice

president of ReachArts, said, "The whole

idea is to create a community. I love the

internet, but people need people."

The group signed a lease with the

town to rent the property, at a cost of

$1 per year. The goal is to restore the

building and turn it into a space for

artistic expression, creative learning and

community functions, a place where

Swampscott artists will be able to gather,

teach, perform, create and exhibit.

Work began in 2016, and a ribboncutting

was held on May 6, 2017. The

ReachArts community center was up and

running.

"The Marblehead Arts Association

and its Hooper Mansion are among our

models," said Shear, a retired attorney.

An artist specializing in abstract

expressionism with a studio gallery in

Boston's South End SOWA complex,

Shear, said his volunteer job includes

being in charge of the building. And

David Shear, the director and vice president of ReachArts

in Swampscott, stands at the entrance to the building.

PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK AND JIM WILSON


SPRING 2019 | 31

during a recent tour, it's evident this

3,500-square-foot structure can be

something special.

Shear said the state approved a

three-year variance for use of the entire

building while ReachArts raises funds

for a $400,000 renovation budget that

includes installing an elevator ($200,000)

to make the place handicappedaccessible.

Right now, only the basement

gallery is handicapped-accessible.

Another big-ticket item is a $70,000

sprinkler system.

A new boiler and heating system has

already been installed on the lower level.

"Three years from now, I envision

we have a paid director and the entire

building will be open, beautiful and

vibrant. Programming through the

building will be every day. It will be a

real community center focused on the

arts, where people meet each other, get

together, cross-pollinate and become less

isolated," said Shear.

There are four rooms on the first

floor, including the "Fireplace Room," a

cozy space where writers' workshops and

meetings are held. Currently there are

"

The whole idea is to create a

COMMUN I TY.

I love the internet, but people need people.

DAVID SHEAR, director and vice president of ReachArts

also yoga and meditation events, drawing

classes by Tereza Swanda and "The

Artist's Way" course led by Laura Smith.

Open mics, hosted by Larry Power and

Lee Eric Freedman, are held monthly,

usually on the first Friday.

A multi-cultural event with food and

music, and wine and cheese, is planned

for spring and is designed to attract

families and children, said Shear.

ReachArts Pg. 35


They're spreading

LOVE

around town

BY THOR JOURGENSEN

For the Love of Swampscott is

off to a running start in 2019

to build on its four-year track

record of promoting goodwill

and encouraging town unity.

"This town always shows up," said

Board President, Diane O'Brien.

Founded in 2015 with its website

proclaiming a mission to " …bolster

strong cohesive connection among

our residents," the group completed

its transition in spring 2018 from the

organization's founding board to a new

group of enthusiastic residents serving on

the board.

In addition to O'Brien, the board

includes Vice President Cheryl Barker,

Treasurer Erica Petersiel, Secretary

Stephanie Paskievich, and members

Casey Frein, Julie O'Donnell Lever and

Jessica Todd.

The board is a mix of secondgeneration

residents like Frein, lifelongers

like Petersiel and transplants like

O'Brien, a Reading native who has lived

in Swampscott for 14 years.

Relative newcomer or townie, board

members share the group's commitment

to working with other Swampscott

organizations to highlight the town as

a place where people can forge strong

neighborhood connections.

The group's event-packed 2018

activity agenda helped underscore that

objective. For the Love of Swampscott

sponsored a "For the Love of Baseball"

outing at a North Shore Navigators game

in Lynn and a summertime "unity fire"

complete with four supervised beach fires

and 300 s'mores.

"It brought 500 people to Fisherman's

Beach," O'Brien said.

She said the "unity fire" was

organized in part as a response to a

concern that a town resident who had

recently moved to Swampscott found

it difficult to meet people in town and

make social connections.

The group helped celebrate the

International Day of Peace recognized

by the United Nations, Sept. 21, with a

picnic complete with conversations on

peace among adults and pinwheels for

kids.

"I think my 4-year-old thought it

was cool and my 6-year-old got what it

meant, including peacefulness for the

community," Frein said.

The group sponsored a fall festival

featuring a 350-square-foot "jumpin'


SPRING 2019 | 33

pumpkin" bounce pad in Linscott Park,

plus slime and a visit by town fire trucks.

O'Brien said the festival defined the

group's goal of engaging the community

in a shared experience.

"We want to make it as big as

possible and our goal is to make a dollar

more than we spend," she said.

She said board members see 2019 as a

year to collaborate with a variety of other

Swampscott organizations to emphasize

community and neighborhood unity.

Petersiel and other board members

share fond childhood memories

growing up in tightly-knit Swampscott

neighborhoods, with Petersiel

riding bikes with friends around her

neighborhood near the Marblehead line

and Frein living in a tightly-knit Forest

Avenue neighborhood.

"There's that small-town feeling you

can still get," Petersiel said.

O'Brien said members don't

take it for granted that every town

neighborhood and street is filled

with plenty of kids for playmates and

residents who talk to one another.

For the Love of Swampscottsponsored

activities, especially ones

launched in collaboration with other

town organizations, are opportunities

for neighbors to meet and residents

from around town to discover shared

experiences, backgrounds and goals.

"I like everything about helping out

the town and keeping love of the town

alive," Frein said.

Opposite page: From left, For the Love of

Swampscott board members, Jessica Todd,

Julie O'Donnell Lever, Cheryl Barker, Casey

Frein, Diane O'Brien, and Erica Petersiel.

Below, s'mores were a hit at the 2018 bonfire.

PHOTOS: OWEN O'ROURKE


34 | 01907

Nahant vs. Northeastern

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

The debate over whether Northeastern

University should be allowed to grow its

Marine Science Center on Nahant's East

Point remains sizzling on the backburner.

"At the moment, the town is focused

largely on other issues and Northeastern

isn't on the top of people's discussion

points but it's an issue that hasn't gone

away," said Attorney Jeff Musman, who

was on the Northeastern University

liaison committee before it was dissolved

by selectmen last year. "The town remains

opposed to any expansion there."

Northeastern has proposed a

60,000-square-foot expansion on its

20-acre parcel.

If approved, the project would be

built into and atop the existing Murphy

Bunker on Nahant's East Point. The new

facility would add research and teaching

space, the same activities the center has

been engaged in since it opened in 1967,

according to the school's website.

But many Nahant residents have

voiced strong objections to the

plan. While they say they support

Northeastern’s science programs, they

cannot embrace the expansion, which

some have called “an educational

Walmart at East Point.”

In public meetings, voters have let it

be known they plan to stop any expansion.

Last year, dozens of residents trekked to the

school’s Boston campus to deliver nearly

1,700 signatures from opponents, armed

with signs reading "stop Northeastern

expansion" and "Keep Nahant Wild."

Keep Nahant Wild is a movement

created under the Nahant Preservation

Trust, which formed more than two decades

ago to preserve the Valley Road School and

later the Nahant Life Saving Station.

Musman, also a board member, said

it was activated again in its quest to

preserve East Point.

"We know that Northeastern's

proposed development is not allowed under

our existing bylaws and we hope to defend

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that and we hope that the town joins us in

doing that," said Mark Cullinan, a Nahant

Preservation Trust board member.

Opponents say they don't want the

University developing on the waterside

of the bunker and that a 60,000

square-foot building is out of scale for

the community, as it sits two times larger

than the Johnson Elementary School and

four times larger than any other building

in town, said Musman.

The total number of people at the

facility will double if the project is

brought to fruition, according to a

written response by Northeastern to

questions asked at a Dec. 11, 2018 Board

of Selectmen meeting available on the

town's website.

At the meeting, three variations of

building plans were presented.

The number of faculty, technicians,

and staff are proposed to increase from

15 people to 30 and the number of

students and interns would jump from 79

to 158, according to the document.

The proposed number of students

includes 76 Ph.D students and 40 Master's

and undergraduate students, interns, and

Three Seas Program members.

The campus has two classrooms, one

in the Murphy Bunker and one in the

trailers, and one small meeting room.

There are no formal teaching labs at the

facility. The proposal would result in three

classrooms, the one that already exists in

the Murphy Bunker plus two new lecturestyle

classrooms. Each new classroom

would serve an estimated 20-25 students.

Courses would be expanded.

Existing programs cover experimental

design and statistics, marine invertebrate

zoology and botany and oceanography.

Under the plan, biogeochemistry,

fisheries science, ecological and

evolutionary genomics, and coastal

dynamics would be added.

There will be no cafe, food, retail,

or auditorium space but two small

kitchenettes are proposed.

One variation of the proposal includes

flexible classroom space that could be

used for a meeting space for about 50

people, according to the document.

"Particularly important to our town

— which you know is the smallest in

New England and has one road to get

in and out — is a development like this

will have an enormous impact on our

infrastructure," said Musman.


SPRING 2019 | 35

ReachArts continued from Pg. 31

The main gallery occupies space in

the basement, which will also house a

recording studio and kitchen. The walls

are currently decorated with folk art

murals created about 30 years ago by

students in the now-closed Machon

School. Cooking demonstrations and

classes are probable for the kitchen,

when completed.

Dance lessons and programs are

planned for the upper floor ballroom,

a gorgeous space featuring three lovely

ceiling coffers.

Shear said Jackie Kinney, president, and

Ingrid Pichler, in charge of the galleries,

are "a real driving force for our mission."

Jake Lambert handles information

technology/graphics and marketing.

Cheryl Frary is the money expert.

Leland Hussey, a contractor and

longtime Swampscott resident, "has put

his heart and soul and a lot more into

this building," said Shear. "He's a big,

big supporter." The impressive porch was

donated by Paradise Construction.

Shear grew up on Neighborhood

Road in Swampscott. He spent 26

years in Oklahoma City, where he

and wife Heidi, who is ReachArts'

David Shear, the director and vice president of ReachArts in Swampscott, sits in the Fireplace Room of

ReachArts, which is used for meetings and a poetry club.

program director, raised two children.

When he retired as a lawyer for LSB

Industries three years ago, they moved to

Swampscott.

"I've always been a lover of art," said

Shear. "My mom ( Josephine) took me to

the Museum of Fine Arts all the time."

His paintings feature vibrant colors.

And they're big.

"Large to very large canvases, that's

what I do," he said. "One was so large

it wouldn't fit in my van, so I walked

a half-a-mile from my gallery to a

brownstone in the South End with the

wind blowing like crazy. It was comical."

His gallery is open the first Friday of

each month and every Sunday. He tends

to create in his home studio, though, on

Ocean View Road.

"I love Swampscott. It's a disability

to live here; you can never move. It's

beautiful and its residents are varied,"

he said. "Every time someone visits

ReachArts, something good happens."

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36 | 01907

Brian Colantuno

DELIVERS

BY THOR JOURGENSEN

For Brian Colantuno, it's all about the shoes.

A United States Postal Service letter carrier working out of the Elmwood Road post office, Colantuno

wears through an average of four pairs of shoes a year bringing the mail to Swampscott residents.

You'll see him striding along in a pair of black Reeboks or Rockports or, in inclement weather, sensible

boots.

Twenty-two years on the job, Colantuno has come to call Swampscott his home away from home. People

along his route count on the 43-year-old Salem resident for a friendly word or two or even a life-saving

effort on Colantuno's part to save the family pet.

Colantuno Pg. 38

36 | 01907


A day in the life of a...


38 | 01907

Colantuno continued from Pg. 36

He prevented Joe Morales' Yorkie,

"Chevy," from getting run over last

November and Morales, a Spring Court

resident, says greeting Colantuno is a

highlight of his weekday.

"I have about 10 people like Joe I

talk to every day in the summer. You

don't see people as much in the winter,"

Colantuno said.

A letter carrier since 1996, Colantuno

enjoys his customers' appreciation and

employers' respect. Swampscott post

office manager Antonio DePasquale said

Colantuno ensures residents with at-home

businesses get deliveries on time and that

he is on time with scheduled pick ups.

"He goes above and beyond to help

customers," DePasquale said.

Colantuno grew up, for all intents

and purposes, in the postal service. His

dad, Bob, was a letter carrier who worked

Marblehead routes and Colantuno

recalled how visits to the post office as a

boy included rides around in the wheeled

hampers carriers used to transport mail.

Uncertain about he wanted to do for

a career after finishing school, Colantuno

didn't argue when his father urged him

to consider following in his footsteps.

PHOTO: OWEN O'ROURKE

"He threw me in the car one morning

and took me up to take the test. Hence, a

career was born," he said.

He has seen work on postal routes in

Saugus and Lynn, but Swampscott and

Colantuno have become a good match.

"It's familiar, more stable. Singlefamily

homes are a lot easier to deal

with," he said.

Working routes around town has

allowed Colantuno to watch local kids grow

up and introduced him to Swampscott

quirks, including an Atlantic Avenue house

with the unconventional mail box.

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SPRING 2019 | 39

Above left, Joe Morales and his dog Chevy talk with Brian Colantuno. Brian recently saved Chevy's life.

Above, Colantuno gets ready to set off on his route.

PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK

"It's a four-pane window you open

to slide the mail through — real old

school," he said.

A typical work day for Colantuno

starts with "casing the mail" — letter

carrier lingo for sorting and organizing

delivery items — before loading his mail

truck and starting his route at about 9

a.m.

The typical route with its 500 to 600

homes is supposed to take eight hours

to deliver but Colantuno said "a lot

of variables" go into working a route.

The holidays, with their onslaught of

packages, threaten to overwhelm even

veteran carriers like Colantuno. Weather

is another complicating factor that

requires planning.

He drinks plenty of water during

hot weather or cold and winter's frigid

depths mean layering up, starting with a

base of long johns and a turtleneck with

a T-shirt, two sweaters and two coats

piled on top.

Weather and job demands aside,

Colantuno said it is friendly Swampscott

residents and his job's predictability that

keep him delivering the mail.

"I walk over the same crack every day

at the same time," he said.

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