SeeClickBootcamp: Extreme Greenway

Perhaps we have the wrong idea about the businesses still squatting on the Tri-Community Bikeway/ Greenway. No really. It hit me this past Sunday when I walked the Cunningham-littered section of the path. Almost literally, actually. Those rusted nails practically jump at you:


The boards with the spikes gave me pause. I realized that the whole time I was walking with my four year old, my heart rate was up and my attention was focused as I moved to avoid things like shattered glass, car parts, sharp broken tools and a giant rat. This wasn’t a disrespectful, defiant squatter whose behavior was condoned by the Town Administrator, but rather a boot camp-style section of the Greenway! Check it out:





Note the American flag. After all, doing whatever the heck we want with little regard for the law or the overall community is “very patriotic,” right??*******



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA*********Isn’t that nice? They even provide bikes!******



Other businesses are also providing “exciting” obstacles along the path. Behold Clear Channel… their locked fence goes right through the Railroad Right of Way AND, as a bonus, they leave just enough room for walkers to take a dangerous stroll on the edge of a cliff masked by brush. Instant death or a serious maiming could occur with just one wrong step. What a rush:


Behind Cleveland Fence is a beautiful stream at the bottom of a hill. Think this is a carelessly discarded fence? Think again! Maybe we can believe it’s a chain-link climbing net:



Not convinced? Yeah, there’s no “spinning” this disgrace, those responsible for it, and those in authority who allow it to continue. As a professional publicist, I’m STUNNED that the businesses (and TA) wouldn’t do everything possible to support the Greenway effort.

Let’s say, for example, Cunningham can’t get that garbage off the Greenway for whatever reason (cost prohibitive, entire staff is crippled, etc.). Wouldn’t the owner go before the Town and say, “Look, I really can’t comply with what I’m legally ordered to do, but I desperately want to work with the community. Can I partner with the Greenway Committee to design something functional for that section? Turn the giant pipe thing into tunnel with a mural? Build all of those boards into raised flower beds??”

There’s always time and opportunity for “good will.”

SeeClickPride: Redstone Island Progress

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow THIS is the kind of post I like to write! (And I also hope to do a LOT more like yesterday’s Stoneham Fire Dept. follow-up. I whole-heartedly believe in giving positive recognition where it is due. That’s equally important as accountability, as far as I’m concerned.) As many readers probably know, Selectmen Ann Marie O’Neill and Tom Boussy recently launched the Stoneham Pride island beautification program. I was excited when I heard about it last month because, well, the islands around Town were nothing to be proud of.

The program has taken off and I was excited to drive by Redstone Plaza to see Redstone had sponsored the main island in front of the shopping center, and that the early stages of planting had begun. Of course I had to pull over and take some photos:



The island is still a work-in-progress and has a lot of growing/ filling in to do, but I love seeing visible change! I hope other area businesses who haven’t signed on will take advantage of the program. Especially businesses who have these types of plots in front of them that look, well… I will save that for another post if I don’t see proactive improvements.

SeeClickDeter: Keep Out

What should a Town do when one business leaves, creating a vacancy? Stand idly by and make sure the property owner repels any future tenants, thus making an eyesore on a highly visible section of Main Street:

KeepOutSalem 7_10_14b

In one resident’s words: “How long are we supposed to look at these? Right on Main Street at the old Salem Five.”

That’s a great question. And it’s not like there is only one over there…

KeepOutSalemCount 7_10_14d LG

So we basically said good-bye to Salem Five and replaced it with the “Stoneham Four.”

KeepOutSalem 7_10_14

I can’t help but wonder… if Stoneham’s Town Administrator and DPW Director actually lived in Stoneham, would they take a little more pride in our community?

KeepOutSalem 7_10_14c

SeeClickFix Signs of the Times.

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SeeClickWatch: Porch Programming

While I think it’s lovely to invite neighbors over to watch a TV show, I’m pretty sure it’s done in the house. Apparently the renters on the corner of Parkway Road and Wilson Road aren’t aware of this, given that this TV has been there for over two weeks:


The surrounding neighbors would appreciate it if the owners would change the channel on that view.

SeeClickFix Tuned In.

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SeeClickSubpar: No Credit or Credibility

I sat through the July 8, 2014 Board of Selectmen’s meeting from 7:00 p.m. until 10:45 p.m., and in the last 20 minutes or so the manager of the Unicorn and Stoneham Oaks Golf Courses waxed poetical about how diligently the courses are managed, including how they do accept credit cards, contrary to complaints that indicated otherwise. I’d imagine there are probably a lot of people “teed off” that less than 24 hours later, they were met with this sign at Stoneham Oaks:

2014-07-09GolfSign sm

This is almost as bad as the Marble Street Deli pig. In fact, why don’t we adopt the Marble Piggy as the Stoneham Mascot for all people, businesses and departments that blatantly and arrogantly disrespect our community? Perhaps I’ll set up a Piggy Rating Scale. For now, I think Marble Piggy should be at the Oaks, holding the Oaks sign.

So: Misleading the Board of Selectmen about credit cards always being accepted? Arguing with our Town Moderator regarding the credit card and conditions issues? Reporting miraculous and dramatic increase in revenues in the month of June alone, after credit cards became accepted (leading one to have to wonder how the cash was being handled prior to June…), yet can’t afford better maintenance and staff?

Looks like our Town got quite the “chunk.”

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FOLLOW-UP- SeeClickToast: Duct Tape Hero

Yesterday I posted about the duct tape fire alarm on Rowe Street and Flint Avenue. Less than 24 hours later the issue was resolved WITH documentation by the Stoneham Fire Department (SFD):

FireBoxFix 7_10_14

Quite frankly, I don’t know why the rest of the town departments aren’t run like the SFD. I sat through a Board of Selectmen meeting on June 24th, 2014 in which the SFD gave a thorough presentation regarding the state of the department and how we fit in with the region at-large. I have NEVER seen such transparency as these men provided. Everything from how and where they spend their money, right down to how they SAVE us money by creatively avoiding overtime expenses.

This type of management and accountability model should be the standard in Stoneham, and as a community we should DEMAND nothing less.

SFD, you really are a team of heroes, both in terms of how you protect us and how you maintain your department. Thank you for all that you do.

DPW, please check in with SFD and ask them to show you how to run a department, as well as how to maintain accountability in a community-reporting tool like SeeClickFix. I commented all over the SeeClickFix site last night, but here’s an example of what I mean:

Street Lights:

Street Lights ▶ Acknowledged
Fieldstone Drive Stoneham, Massachusetts • Show on Map

a and j chirichiello (Guest)
Issue ID:
6 times
Reported via:
on 04-23-2014

Street lights have been out for over a year. Fieldstone just beyond citation ave and several out on citation ave near #5. and # 9 or 11


Acknowledged Stoneham DPW 2 (Verified Official)

Thank you for reporting this request. One of our Public Works staff will take a look at the issue. If we need further information we will contact you via email by posting on your SeeClickFix Issue.

SeeClickYikes (Registered User)

Are we still fumbling blindly in the dark three and a half months later beyond the year the person reported? Why hasn’t this been updated?
about 10 hours ago

SeeClickOink: Marble Street Pigsty

This little piggy went to market… and stayed there indefinitely!


This Marble Street Deli mascot has stood in the window for as long as I can remember, silently mocking passersby. I don’t think for one second its placement was a coincidence by the building owners, but rather a deliberate sign of arrogance. In fact, to me it represents the Town Hall leadership that has allowed this slovenly pig pen to remain like this:


Seriously, how is this monstrosity at all respectful to the surrounding residents and businesses who have made an effort to maintain their properties?



SeeClickFix Swine Report.

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