Opinion

COLUMN: Heroes come in all flavors
Opinion

COLUMN: Heroes come in all flavors

You finish reading Patrick O'Donnell's "The Indispensables," his brilliantly presented account of the part Glover's Regiment played in the American Revolution. Even if you just moved to Marblehead a month ago, the next time you cross the line to Swampscott or Salem, there will be a lilt to your kilt, a decided swagger of obnoxious pride about you. Gen. John Glover and his hardy band of mixed-ingredient soldier mariners almost single-regimentedly saved the wobbly country-in-the-making time and time again, creating the American Navy while they were at it. If it weren't for Glover's Regiment, we'd probably all be speaking British today. I overheard someone talking about the book the other day say, "John Glover belongs on Mount Rushmore." John Glover is one kind of hero — textbook. M...
EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY: I’ll be there for you
Opinion

EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY: I’ll be there for you

The popular sitcom “Friends” with the catchy theme song and lovable characters lasted so long, in re-runs anyway, that it became a favorite of a whole other generation than its original audience. There’s something about the lure of that time in life when you’re sort-of-an-adult and friends are the sun, the moon and the stars of your universe. That is particularly true when you live with them, in college and after. I lived with my college roommates for several years after graduating, and venturing out to the work world by day while still coming home to the kind of hours-long walks and talks at night that intense friendships offer was a gift. Each season of life so far has seemed to bear its own fruit of new friends — “friends of the road” and “friends of the heart.”  Coincidenta...
FOOD 101: Super Bowl at home
Opinion

FOOD 101: Super Bowl at home

I love the sound of fans revving up for the Super Bowl. At the grocery store.  “Red or black beans for the chili?” “Get a number at the deli counter before they run out. And don’t forget mustard.” And especially the sound of the game in progress in the bakery section. “I’ve got the rolls! Go long!” Snacks at the Arizona stadium promise to be bold and spicy. Here in coastal New England, we like our food bold, too, because there’s always the possibility of a blizzard. The family might cozy up to a simple pot of chili with store-bought cornbread. Or throw a really gussied-up big event.  A few years back, I worked with a chef who chose his party menu carefully. No buffet and beer for him. No quarterback ever showed up his cooking. He paced the meal to the game, setting up ...
EDITORIAL: Planning Board’s zoning proposal embodies good governance
Opinion

EDITORIAL: Planning Board’s zoning proposal embodies good governance

Kudos to the Planning Board for approving a zoning proposal that could help Marblehead chip away at its long-standing affordable housing needs should Town Meeting adopt it in May. And Marblehead, a community where 77 percent of its housing stock is single-family homes, is desperately short of affordable housing, according to the 2020 Marblehead Housing Production Plan. Of the 8,135 households in Marblehead, 2,404 — or 29 percent — are classified as low-income. Two-thirds are cost burden, meaning they spend 30 percent of their income on housing. Yet, just 333 housing units of Marblehead's entire housing inventory qualify as affordable housing. That's well short of the state-mandated 10 percent for every town and city. According to the housing production plan, one must make $76,...
LETTER: Town should hire sustainability director… now!
Opinion

LETTER: Town should hire sustainability director… now!

A few weeks ago our town administrator, Thatcher Kezer, was kind enough to hold a public meeting on the town's "green initiatives." First, it should be noted that the man is a charm bomb, a good communicator, upbeat and optimistic. Second, it should be noted that "green initiatives" should not include adaptation projects. This would be analogous to offering a course in how to mend broken bones as part of a campaign to stop domestic violence. While adapting to the results of our warming planet is a necessity, "green initiatives" should include projects, policies and behaviors that decrease that warming. In order to do this, it is imperative that we hire a sustainability director. Numerous funding opportunities have already been missed because we do not have a point person with dee...
EDITORIAL: Super hirings underscore caliber of administrators
Opinion

EDITORIAL: Super hirings underscore caliber of administrators

We wish Marblehead High School Principal Dan Bauer and Assistant Superintendent Nan Murphy well as they step up to the corner offices in Danvers and Dedham, respectively. They are well-deserved promotions for both. And no, the sky isn't falling on Marblehead schools. Bauer was the right person for the job here when he was hired in 2016. The High School needed a lot of TLC, and he was the one uniquely qualified to offer it. His hale and hearty persona was welcomed in the high school halls. It seemed as if he was everywhere. We challenge anyone in the student body who would disagree. There are some who will see the departure of two highly respected school administrators as a sign that there is a crisis in the Marblehead Schools. We disagree. The fact that troubled school distric...
EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY: The science of gratitude
Opinion

EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY: The science of gratitude

During the height of the pandemic, I occasionally used the hashtag #ScienceWillWin on social media, a creation of the communications team at Pfizer where I worked at the time. By and large, science has. Vaccines have tamed the beast of COVID for most in terms of serious disease. I’m grateful for the scientists who discovered mRNA technology and applied it to this challenge. I’m grateful my family made it through mostly unscathed. I’m grateful for all the acts of common humanity that were lights leading us through the chaos. Remembering to be grateful throughout the pandemic is one of the practices I wish I turned to more regularly.  Which brings me to another topic in the same vein: Why does practicing gratitude help in hard times? What is the science behind it? And why is it s...
MARBLEHEAD CHRONICLES: Was the town’s founding in 1629 or 1649?
Opinion

MARBLEHEAD CHRONICLES: Was the town’s founding in 1629 or 1649?

Marblehead appears to have two founding dates — and there is a reason why. Marblehead was incorporated as a part of Salem in 1629. At that time, it was a small fishing village, included in the overall group of villages known as Salem. Always isolated because of its geographic isolation, Marblehead was reachable primarily by sea. An 'Entering Marblehead' sign and the town seal display different years for the town's founding. The roads in and out of town were limited and of poor quality. Atlantic Avenue and West Shore Drive didn't exist, and the population was settled in the Little Harbor area. Another way that Marblehead was isolated from Salem was through religious beliefs. Most settlers to Salem were Puritans. They arrived with a clear idea of how they wanted to practice thei...
SUSTAINABLE MARBLEHEAD: Net-zero roadmap coming soon
Opinion

SUSTAINABLE MARBLEHEAD: Net-zero roadmap coming soon

I've seen an advance-release draft of "Marblehead's Net Zero Roadmap," and so can you very soon by visiting the Green Marblehead Committee's webpage at bit.ly/3HhntIO.  So, what does it mean to reach net zero?  Climate scientists have made it clear that to avoid catastrophic climate change we need to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero — soon. And local actions taken here in Marblehead can help.  On Feb. 15, you'll also have a chance to attend a public meeting via Zoom to see a summary of the document and tell the committee what you think of it. The committee represents all Marblehead residents. It has already heard from you through a survey and workshop and looks forward to discussing its draft recommendations. According to Marblehead's...
MY MARBLEHEAD FIRST TIME: I don’t think we’re in Wyoming anymore
Opinion

MY MARBLEHEAD FIRST TIME: I don’t think we’re in Wyoming anymore

Hi, there. My name is Court Merrigan, and I just moved to postcard-lovely Marblehead from the high plains of Wyoming. I’ve come about as far east from home as you can go before you run out of land. Speaking of. I recently ventured to the edge of this marvelous land’s end known as Marblehead and watched the Atlantic Ocean get angry enough to crash water over the causeway.  Court Merrigan Now, back in Wyoming, the wind blows hard enough that sometimes you think you see boulders flying by. That’s just dust in your eye, though, or perhaps the occasional tornado. Here in Marblehead, the waves overtake the causeway when the wind blows. I saw it happen — right out there, driving to the Neck — and it was like nothing I'd ever seen. My car got soaked entirely both inside and out b...