Taxes going up

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Local Headline News, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield News | Comments Off on Taxes going up

By MARK SARDELLA WAKEFIELD — Wakefield’s residential taxpayers will pay, on average, 5 percent more than this year than they did last year, and commercial/industrial property (CIP) owners will pay an average of 5.65 percent more than last year. The Board of Selectmen set the new tax rate for FY 2018 last night after holding the annual tax classification hearing. As has been their longstanding practice, the board set the rates in such a way as to afford residential property owners the lowest allowable rate under law, with the commercial/industrial sector picking up the difference. Director of Assessments Victor Santaniello made his recommendations to the selectmen, with Board of Assessors members Yano Tine and Jan D’Addario alongside. In approving Santaniello’s recommendations, the selectmen set the residential tax rate at $12.95 per $1,000 of valuation. The CIP rate was set at $25.61. That translates to a residential tax bill of $6,455 on the average single-family home valued at $498,500. The average commercial property valued at $1,311,200 will pay $33,580 in taxes in the current fiscal year. “For the past several years,” Santaniello said, “the Board of Selectmen has opted to raise the tax levy less than the allowable Proposition 2 1/2 limit.” They have elected to do the same thing this year, he noted. “By not raising this additional $627,000 of tax levy, the residential tax rate is reduced by $0.12 and the CIP rate reduced by $0.23. It translates into a $60 average savings for residential taxpayers and $301 for CIP classes of properties.” He pointed out that the Galvin Middle School debt exclusion increases the average residential tax bill by just over $200 and adds just over $1,000 to the average commercial tax bill. “FY 2018 is the fourth year of the full debt exclusion for the new Galvin Middle School,” Santaniello noted. “The debt exclusion adds $2,408,672 to the town’s FY 2018 total tax levy. It adds $0.44 to the residential tax rate or $219 to the average single-family tax bill, and $0.88 to the CIP Rate or $1,154 to the average commercial tax bill.” He noted that the number of home sales in Wakefield have been stable, with 218 in 2015 and 231 in 2016. The average sale price in 2015 was $492,971, and $513,956 (+ 4.25 percent) in 2016. Santaniello also presented a comparison of tax rates in towns contiguous to Wakefield and noted that with the exception of Saugus, which has the Route 1 business district, residential properties in Wakefield realize the lowest possible share of the local tax burden. Selectman Edward Dombroski questioned Santaniello about the 5 percent tax hike, noting that most taxpayers are not seeing a 5 percent increase in their incomes. He wanted to know what the board could do to help homeowners. “I don’t think residents can keep pace,” he said, noting that in 2006 the average residential tax bill was $3,828 and it will now be $6,455. He also noted that residential water bills also go up every year, adding to the burden on the single-family home owner. “I just think we need to do better,” he said. “I don’t want to see taxpayers priced out of the community.” Santaniello noted that the selectmen had already increased the exemption for senior citizens. He noted that stimulating more commercial development could help to lessen the burden...

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WPD awarded “certification” status

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Local Headline News, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield News | Comments Off on WPD awarded “certification” status

Published in the October 16, 2017 edition. On Oct. 12, 2017, the Wakefield Police Department received state Certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission for the third time since 2011. Attending the award reception were Police Chief Rick Smith, Deputy Chief Craig Calabrese, Lieutenant Scott Reboulet, Lieutenant Steve Skory, and Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio. Certification is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession. These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations, and technical support activities. They cover areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation and holding facilities. The program not only sets standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the delivery of police services to the citizens of the commonwealth. “Achieving Certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission is considered a very significant accomplishment and is a recognition that is highly regarded by the law enforcement community,” said Donna Taylor Mooers, the Commission’s Executive Director.” Going through the process initially requires intense self-scrutiny, and ultimately provides a quality assurance review of the agency. The agency must prepare for the on-site review of the 159 standards by the Commission, and requires commitment from all officers. The standards for certification impact officer and public safety, address high liability/risk management issues, and promote operational efficiency throughout the agency. The department was assessed in June by a team of Commission-appointed assessors. Certification has been granted for a period of three years. Participation in the program is strictly...

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ACO: Coyote numbers have not increased

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in Local Headline News, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield News | Comments Off on ACO: Coyote numbers have not increased

Published in the October 13, 2017 edition. By MARK SARDELLA WAKEFIELD — If you go by social media, you might conclude that there has been an explosion in the coyote population in and around Wakefield. Not so, says Ken Stache, Wakefield’s Animal Control Officer for the last 30 years. “In all the years that I’ve been doing this job, I have not seen an increase in the population of coyotes,” Stache said. Although any animal population can experience a little spurt in numbers, Stache added, “Over the years I have not seen a drastic increase in reports or in the number of encounters people have with coyotes.” What seems like an increase in coyote sightings is likely in part a function of social media, according to Stache. If someone posts a sighting of a coyote near Four Corners and a while later someone reports seeing one in Forest Glade Cemetery and then some time after that, one is spotted near the Prime Gas Station on Lowell Street, it sounds like a lot of coyote sightings. “Most likely it’s the same coyote,” Stache said. Stache said that coyotes tend not to be a threat to humans. “People ask if are they dangerous to us,” Stache said. “They’re certainly going to view your small pet as a meal. But statistics do not show Eastern coyotes or coywolves as dangerous to humans. There have been only five coyote attacks on humans in Massachusetts since the 1950s. It is a fraction of the number of dog attacks on humans in that same period. The reality is you are more likely to get injured by your own animal then a coyote. About 2 percent of the United States population are bitten by dogs each year.” Stache pointed out that of those five documented cases of coyote attacks on humans, three of the animals were found to be sick or rabid and the remaining two were cases where people had been feeding them and got too close. “In Wakefield, I’ve never had one report of people attacked by a coyote,” Stache said. “You are more likely to have an issue with a racoon. Coyotes don’t want to have anything to do with humans. They’d rather not have any interaction at all.” He pointed out that coyotes will expand their territories in search of food and they will go after pets such as cats or small dogs. “If they get the opportunity to take a cat,” he said. “They’ll take it. When people are losing their pets, like cats that have never been found and there are no clues to what happened to them, it’s a good possibility it was a coyote or a fox. “I can’t tell you how many lost cat reports I get in a week,” he said. “You’ve got to keep them indoors. Don’t let them out. If you have a small dog, don’t let it out unattended.” While coyotes have a negative image with many people, Stache says it’s not that simple. “Coyotes actually serve a great purpose,” he said. “They control the rodent population. They keep other populations in check that can be more detrimental, like squirrels, chipmunks mice and rats that tend to want to take over your home.” Even in the case of rabbits, which people see as cute and cuddly, Stache...

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Wakefield golf finishes 2017 with an eye towards the future

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Sports | Comments Off on Wakefield golf finishes 2017 with an eye towards the future

Warriors show promise during back nine of season Published in the October 17, 2017 edition. By MITCHELL SABBATELLI MELROSE — The Wakefield Warrior golf team fell to the home team Woburn Tanners 32-40, Thursday, October 12, at Bellevue Golf Course, in Melrose. It was this season’s final match for the Warriors. Wakefield bright spots, Jack Ryan and Tommy Galvin, were flawless again for the Warriors. That seems to be a common trend, as they have anchored the 1 and 2 spots all year for Wakefield. Ryan and Galvin both won their respective matches 6-3. “Jack and Tommy played lights out again,” said Warriors’ coach Chris Keane. “They were absolutely dominant over the last week or two of the season. We were able to keep it close against a very strong Woburn team who is typically unbeatable on their home course.” Oliver Miller won his match 5-4, while Chris Coombs was also impressive with four points. Other notable performances include Juliette Guanci and Cal Tryder with 3.5 points. Wakefield finished the year 3-10-1, but Keane implied that record is deceiving. “Our overall record may suggest a disappointing season, but at least four of those losses were decided by three or fewer points,” said Keane. Keane thinks the experience from 2017 will help the 2018 team emerge as contenders next season. He had strong words for Ryan and Galvin, as this year’s success is sure to help them continue their leadership roles. “Coming back next year, I think we’ll have the top 1-2 tandem in the entire league,” said Keane. “We only lose two seniors out of all twenty players in the program. We bring back four juniors, three sophomores, and 11 freshmen.” On Thursday, October 5, the Warriors managed a split with home team Melrose 36-36 at Bellevue. It was their lone draw of the year. Oliver Miller tallied 6 points from the 8 spot, on his 6-3 match victory. Ryan and Galvin won their 1 and 2 spot matches 5.5-3.5. Additionally, Matt Auld and Guanci tied their opponents, both with 4.5 points. 7 and 8 spot Cal Tryder and Oliver Miller were clutch on Hole 9, hitting their putts to get Wakefield the tie.  When asked about the future, Keane’s projections, with practice, were appropriately lofty. “If everyone keeps working on their games during the spring and summer, we will be very difficult to beat over the next several years,” said...

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Boy harriers win Bay State Invitational

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Sports | Comments Off on Boy harriers win Bay State Invitational

Published in the October 17, 2017 edition. Warriors win second state meet of the season WRENTHAM — The Warriors boys’ cross country team once again traveled to Wrentham to compete against some of the best in the state and once again they finished on top with an even better performance than two weeks ago when they won the Frank Kelley Invite. This time the meet was split up into three evenly matched races. The Warriors lived up to their #5 Massachusetts ranking by winning race B at the Bay State Invitational with a score of 54 points to beat out 2nd place finisher Methuen, who had 89 points. Out of the 16 teams who competed with full squads, Parker Charter was 3rd, Amherst Regional 4th, and Winchester 5th. Of the three races contested on the day, Wakefield’s performances would have placed 1st over BC High of race A, and 3rd in race C behind nationally ranking Saint John’s Shrewsbury and just behind Marshfield. Senior Matt Greatorex placed 2nd in a big personal best performance on the course as he nearly broke the 16 minute barrier with a time of 16:03. He was 10 seconds behind Amherst’s Jack Yanko as he sat in the top five the first half of the race and moved up during the later stages of the race. Junior Rohan Singhvi and senior Tommy Lucey also ran impressive races stride for stride, as they worked their way up and had strong kicks to snag 5th and 6th place respectively. They both also had big personal bests of 17:24. Sophomore Matt Roberto, who placed 15th, is really starting to learn how to race the 5K distance as he had yet another amazing race on the Wrentham course. This time he dipped well under 17 minutes to run 16:48 as the top Massachusetts sophomore in the race. Junior Casey Brackett is putting his big summer mileage to the test as he once again was Wakefield’s 5th man with a time of 17:14, less than a second shy of grabbing the last medal, placing a 26th to round out the score. Senior Riley Brackett and sophomore Tanner Jellison showed important depth as they placed 30th and 31st with near identical times of 17:18. It’s important to note that if Roberto or Brackett had fallen back they would have been strong enough to still secure the victory. Junior Billy Stevens placed 40th in 17:32, senior Ryan Smith placed 56th in 17:55. Sophomore Jimmy Crump was 81st and junior Derrick Scheeler 82nd in a time of 18:36. Dominick Denis was 118th in a time of 19:30. Next up for the Warriors is Watertown at home today before heading to the Cape on Saturday for the Twilight...

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Warriors looking for answers after loss to Woburn

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Sports | Comments Off on Warriors looking for answers after loss to Woburn

Tanners explode in second half to beat Wakefield, 32-3 Published in the October 16, 2017 edition. By DAN PAWLOWSKI WOBURN — It was a similar story for the 2017 WMHS football team on Friday in Woburn. The Warriors played the Tanners tough in the first half as Wakefield trailed 6-0, but Woburn came out of the locker room with a different type of energy that Wakefield couldn’t match, and outscored the Warriors 26-3 in the final two quarters. The Tanners entered this game with plenty of confidence after their comeback victory over the tough Reading Rockets the week before. Couple that with the fact that this was Woburn’s first home game of the season and you get a hostile environment for the Warriors, who responded well in the first quarter. Wakefield’s offense got the ball first as their line did well to set the tone for the running game. Starting at their own 33 yard line, the Warriors picked up two first downs highlighted by 14 yards on two carries from senior co-captain Ryan Fitzpatrick, and some physical running from senior Bobby Young. The Warriors made it to Woburn’s 33, forcing the Tanners to call a timeout, which proved to be a good call, as Wakefield stalled on the following series, including a big sack on 3rd and nine, before turning the ball over on downs at the 34. The Warriors defense then forced a three-and-out on Woburn’s first drive. It looked like Woburn’s defense would do the same as Wakefield lined up to punt after three downs, but the Warriors faked it and handed it off to senior Henry Stikeman who tore down the sideline for 25 yards, down to the Woburn 27 yard line. Woburn’s speed on defense showed itself for the first time on the next play as they prevented Fitzpatrick from getting to the sideline and brought him down for a three-yard loss. Wakefield couldn’t get back on track during the drive, and turned the ball over on downs once again as the first quarter came to an end “We had opportunities that we didn’t cash in on in the first half,” said Wakefield head coach Steve Cummings. “They started pushing the tempo a little bit and we couldn’t answer it.” That tempo started at the beginning of the second quarter as the Tanners began to throw their running back one-two punch of seniors Eri Ibrahimi and Isaiah Cashwell-Doe. Ibrahimi’s 14-yard run plus a 10-yard horsecollar penalty on the Warriors put the Tanners’ offense in Wakefield territory for the first time. Cashwell-Doe ran it 15 yards to the 14-yard line, then followed that up with a dash to the end zone that seemed to result in a touchdown, but Cashwell-Doe lost the ball before he crossed the goal line, and fumbled it out of the end zone for a touchback; a stroke of luck for the Warriors that kept the game scoreless. After a Wakefield three-and-out, Woburn started their next drive with great field position. Ibrahimi kept the drive alive for the Tanners with a six-yard carry on 4th and four to get the ball to the 20. Cashwell-Doe flashed the talent that the Warriors could never gameplan for, as he switched fields and dashed 15 yards to the five. Wakefield was on their way to a...

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Robert C. Harmon, 80

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Obituaries | Comments Off on Robert C. Harmon, 80

Published in the October 17, 2017 edition. SAUGUS — Robert C. Harmon passed away on October 12, 2017. Bob was dearly beloved by his wife of 56 years, Diane (O’Donnell) Harmon and children: Tree Lisa Harmon and partner Edward Gleason, Bob (Sonny) Harmon Jr. and wife Jeana Martin-Harmon, Leslie Sullivan and husband Bob Sullivan. Bob was also a proud grandfather to Samuel D. Cutlip.  Bob was the son of Myron (Ted) Harmon and Edith (Campbell) Harmon, and is survived by two sisters, Ethelyn Harmon and Alice Bada Mosher. He is predeceased by brother Myron (Ted) Harmon Jr. and sister Edith Nason Sykes. Bob leaves behind many dear in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends. Robert Harmon was born in Arlington, on September 23, 1937. He attended Arlington Schools and later was a student at “The Actor’s Workshop” in Boston. That led to his appearances as Judas in “The Christus,” a passion play. He also worked with The Hovey Players, Poet’s Theater, and The Martha’s Vineyard Summer Theatre. In 1959, he became “Dangerous Dan” and “Captain Gallant”, as well as other characters, at Pleasure Island, Wakefield. It was there he met Moe Howard of The Three Stooges; a camaraderie that lasted to Hollywood and back. He had wide ranging friendships, from Moe to Mayor Bloomberg of New York. As an eighteen-year-old, he and a friend rode their horses from Medford to Lake Winnipesaukee and back. Anyone who knew that story was fascinated! Bob was a very talented horseman, having many successes, especially at Boston Garden in 1957, when Arthur Godfrey awarded him and his three-year-old Arabian stallion, King Faisal, the trophy for “Best Pleasure Horse” in New England. In the Saugus Rotary Club, Bob was a Paul Harris Fellow, “Man of the Year,” and secretary as well. He was also the first chairman of the Saugus Arts Council. He loved Scrabble, his ‘55 T-Bird, his many pets, especially Nero, Cha Cha, and his filly, Jubilee Fanfare, Suffolk Downs and Saratoga, all kinds of music, H.P. Lovecraft, wine or a good martini, and restaurants (he wrote “Dining with Renzo,” reviews for a local newspaper.) With many thanks to dear Dr. Reines, and much appreciation and fondness for the PACE team, for their many kindnesses and professional help. Services have been...

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Immacolata “Tina” Perrino, 76

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Obituaries | Comments Off on Immacolata “Tina” Perrino, 76

Published in the October 17, 2017 edition. MELROSE — Immacolata “Tina” (Gentile) Perrino, 76, of Melrose, died at her home surrounded by her family on Oct. 13, 2017. Immacolata was born and raised in Mirabella Eclano Avellino, Italy. She came to America at the age of 26 and resided in Somerville for 10 years and Melrose for the past 40 years. Immacolata worked as a talented seamstress for the Moulton Curtain Company in Melrose and was a member of St. Mary’s Church for many years. She enjoyed sewing, gardening, cooking, making homemade wine and sauce, and was very creative. She wintered in Boca Raton, Florida for 14 years, loved to travel to the Caribbean, Arizona, Hawaii, cruises through Europe and traveling home to Italy. Immacolata “was Awesome” and her family and grandchildren were the most important part of her life. She was the beloved wife of Giacomo Perrino for 50 years. Loving mother of Genevieve “Genie” Backer of Reading, Antonella Sampson and her husband Derek of Wilmington, John Perrino and his wife Karen of Reading, Jacqueline “Jackie” Fox and her husband Brian of Wakefield. Cherished grandmother of Jake, Alianna, Ashton, Luke, Hailey, Meghan and the late Olivia and Emily. Caring sister of Caterina Gentile of Reading, Concetta Gentile and her husband Guido, Maria Gentile and her husband Renato, Luigina Gentile and her husband Augusto all of Italy and the late Raffaele Gentile.  Also survived by many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Visiting hours will be held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St., Melrose on Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 4-8 p.m.  Procession from the Gately Funeral Home on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 8:45 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Mary’s Church, 9 Herbert St., Melrose at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends respectfully invited to attend. Burial in Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. To send a message of condolence please visit...

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Catherine B. Moneypenny, 57

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Obituaries | Comments Off on Catherine B. Moneypenny, 57

Published in the October 16, 2017 edition. READING — Catherine B. (Ronan) “Cathy” Moneypenny, 57, of Reading, formerly of Wakefield, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 13, 2017 at her home. Born on January 12, 1960 in Melrose, Cathy is the loving daughter of the late Christopher Ronan and Rita (Fahey) Ronan. Cathy was a warm and caring daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. She will be deeply missed. Cathy grew up in Wakefield and was a proud graduate of Wakefield High School. She worked at 128 Sales for over 25 years. Cathy loved vacationing and the islands. Family was most important to Cathy. Spending time with family and friends was first and foremost in her life. Cathy is the beloved wife of Michael R. Moneypenny. She is the devoted mother of Dylan Conn and his wife Jamie and Kerri Parks. The cherished grandmother of Christopher and Thomas Conn, Cathy is the dear sister of Thomas Ronan and his wife Janet, Christine “Tina” Ronan, Paul Ronan and his wife Elizabeth, Peter Ronan and Caroline “Carrie” Ronan. She is the loyal best friend of Diane Berzins and is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. Family and friends are cordially invited to gather and share memories with the family on Wednesday, October 18, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Doherty-Barile Family Funeral Home, 11 Linden St., Reading. Parking attendants and ramped entrance are available. A funeral service celebrating Cathy’s eternal life will be held on Thursday, October 19, at 10 a.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, 239 Woburn St., Reading. Please go directly to church. Arrangements by the Doherty-Barile Family Funeral Home, 11 Linden St., Reading. For directions or to send a memorial condolence...

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