Thursday, September 30, 2010

NSCC Open House at SPIN

NSCC Open House at SPIN Think you can't go to college? Think again and let us show you how. Come to North Shore Community College's free open house that will be held at Serving People In Need (SPIN), 270 Union St., Lynn on Thursday, September 30, 5 -7 p.m.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Questionable Art Now Subject to City Council Approval and $175 Special Permit!

Wow! Where to begin? You all have read my initial post on this topic, and if you have not, you need to...  just to see how ridiculous it is that we even need to be here talking about this in the first place. The poor Lynn Restaurant Association was forced to make a public statement in support of this ordinance all because Phelan basically slammed them in the press.

Tonight, was just the beginning of a new voice at City Hall. I'm sure it's a voice we may be seeing in the courts sometime soon. Fighting the very ordinance that was just put in place at City Hall.

It's the voice of the artist.

It's a voice that was heard....somewhat. It just wasn't understood.

It's a voice that spoke in favor of the ordinance (restrict location, time of operations, and other aspects of adult business in Lynn) but wanted an amendment to exempt the arts. They didn't get it.

This was made evident by their questions to the city's lawyer after the public hearing.

I'm beginning to see how the public hearing setup works. Let people speak in favor or against (no neutral stances or questions), then let the councilors ask questions that show that they don't get what the public just said, don't allow any public followup, then vote. Not good.

Several questions came from the city council to the city solicitor.

When Phelan asked the city solicitor if historical books of art with pictures from artists like Michelangelo were in a bookstore, would those be considered adult entertainment? The answer was no.  My follow up would have been, "Where is the cutoff historically?" Can I have a bookstore where 11% of the books are modern art books with nudes?  Do you know any other artists except Michelangelo?

The solicitor's response was also quite disturbing. Something to the effect of .... if 90% of your bookstore was Shakespeare or Hamlet or Shakespeare, (Yes, he could only come up with one author and one play by the same author as a list of examples), then you are OK.  Well that's a very well defined line. Thanks for the clarification.

While I reserve the right to be mad at Crighton for not being tougher with his colleagues and making the arts an all out exemption, he did get the fee for the special permit reduced from $2500 to $175. That makes producing Equus a little bit less cost prohibitive. If I produce Frankie and Johnny at the Clair de Lune, I'll just have the actors face the back wall the whole time and put some sort of censor circle over their buttocks so I don't have to go to City Hall to explain the artistic integrity of the piece.

It's still up to City Hall to decide whether or not you get to produce the artistic expression, but at least there's the option, if you're willing to pay for it.

They certainly stopped strip clubs tonight. They also put a pastie on the art scene Downtown. I say, we do everything in our power, to rip that thing off!!! They won't enforce this anyway!

And let us all remember, that we NEVER had this problem to begin with in Lynn, MA.



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

City Council Agenda for September 28th - Waterfront and Adult Entertainment on the Agenda

Ways and Means Committee, 7:00 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  Council Orders and Other Business.

License Committee, 7:15 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  Minor Licenses, and Other Business.

Public Property Committee, 7:30 P.M., Room 402
Discussion re:  Requests to redeem properties at
300 Lynn Shore Drive and 9 Chancery Lane,  and
Other Business.

Finance Committee, 7:45 P.M., Room 408
Discussion re:  Financial Transfers and Other Business.

            City Council Agenda

Roll Call
Moment of Silence
Pledge of Allegiance

Accept Minutes of  September 7, 2010 and September 21, 2010.

Her Honor the Mayor:
Dear Councilors:
I am hereby appointing Laurence Donahue to Associate Commissioner at the Department of Public Works.  Mr. Donahue’s term is effective immediately and will expire on September 24, 2013. Sincerely, Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Mayor

Her Honor the Mayor:
Dear Councilors:
As of September 9, 2010, I designate Daniel Small, 103 Euclid Avenue, Lynn, MA to perform the duties of Tree Warden for the City of Lynn on a temporary basis until such time as a permanent appointment may be made pursuant to the terms of the Lynn City Charter and Massachusetts General Laws.  I certify that said person is competent to perform the duties which will be required and that I make this designation solely in the interests of the City of Lynn. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Very truly yours, Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Mayor

Richard Fortucci, City Treasurer
Dear Councilors:
The City of Lynn has foreclosed on the following properties: 
15-19 South Street, Unit 19-2 - owner: Julienne Muteba
Lot 010 Strawberry Avenue – owner:  Peter Osazuwa
321 Essex Street – owner: Tina Siphan
15-17 Rockingham Street – owner: Ana Carrion
Please adjust your records accordingly.
Richard J. Fortucci, City Treasurer

James P. Lamanna, Law Department Attorney

Public Hearing on Ordinance Regulating Adult Entertainment in the City of Lynn.

Public Hearing on Ordinance Amending the Zone Ordinance and Zone Map of the City of Lynn (Waterfront)

Public Hearing relative to a burnt, dilapidated or dangerous building or other structure located at 394-396 Eastern Avenue and after hearing, may make record an order adjudging it to be a nuisance to the neighborhood or dangerous and prescribing to its disposition, alteration, or regulation all as authorized by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 139, Section 1.

Public Hearing relative to a burnt, dilapidated or dangerous building or other structure located at 29 Grant Street and after hearing, may make record an order adjudging it to be a nuisance to the neighborhood or dangerous and prescribing to its disposition, alteration, or regulation all as authorized by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 139, Section 1.

Petition of RCM Food Service, Ruben Ramos, for permission for Food Service Establishment/Caterer business at 20 Wheeler Street.  (Capano)

Petition of Lightower Fiber Networks, Dean Foster, for permission to install approximately 348’ of single 4: Schedule 40 PVC, concrete encased communication and cable underground, running at a depth of 20” from Pole 60-1 Essex Street, west to Baldwin Street, south on Baldwin Street then turning north on the south side of the asphalt parking lot to intercept the existing hand hole located at 424 Essex Street and installation of a single 4” x 10’ galvanized steel riser on Pole 60-1 Essex Street.  (Colucci)

Petition of Joan Bonia, Bonia Motors, for change of location for 2nd Class Dealer’s License from 1069A Western Avenue to 1071 Western Avenue.  (Capano)

Petition of Zachary Andrews for permission for a Lesser Use – Apartment House in Light Industrial District at 70 Granite Street.  (Crighton)

Petition of The Dry Cleaner by Val, Val DePPerrio, for permission to install washers & dryers to clean, wash and fold (retail) at 170 Liberty Street.  (Crighton)

Petition of Osborne Pharmacy, William Booras, for permission for more than the number of signs allowed at 59 Essex Street.  (Cyr)

Petition of  A. J. Auto Sales, Alfred Scibelli, for permission for a sign permit at232 Western Avenue.  (Trahant)

From the Finance Meeting of September 7, 2010:

Ordered that the City Comptroller be and is hereby authorized to make the following appropriation transfers:

    From the Account of Incidental Expense:
    To the Account of Unpaid Bills of Prior Years:        $1,440.00

    From the Account of the City Clerk Expense:
    To the Account of Unpaid Bills of Prior Years:        $222.89

    From the Account of Collector’s Expense:
    To the Account of Unpaid Bills of Prior Years:        $125.00

    From the Account of Treasurer’s Expense
    To the Account of Unpaid Bills of Prior Years:        $1,700.00

    From the Account of Fire Department Expense:
    To the Account of Unpaid Bills of Prior Years:        $390.27


Ways and Means Committee
License Committee
Public Property Committee
Finance Committee

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Highlights from today's Meet Me Downtown

I've created short highlights from all the live coverage today. I'll be posting them on our Facebook page as well. Hope you all enjoyed the day.  Great interviews with Mayor Kennedy, State Rep. Steve Walsh, State Senator Tom McGee, Jamie Marsh from the OECD, Kate Luchini from the Lynn Museum and many more guests. Don't miss the visits to TLGUTs and Subterranean. Check out the highlights now:


Downtown Lynn Live presents - Meet Me Downtown! 12PM-5PM

Watch live video from downtownlynn on

Live interviews at 1:15PM and 3:00PM in between bands. We'll also feature coverage of what's going on on the street and maybe walk around with the iPhone to meet a few more peeps. Looking forward to a fantastic day on Mt. Vernon Street. COME ON DOWN!

If you'd like to chat with us, go to to watch this feed and there will be a chat window on the right. If you have questions for whoever is on camera, let us know!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The New and Improved (?) Daily Item of Lynn

Today, I stepped foot in to the Lynn Item building for the first time in my life. I had no idea what was in store for me. On the main floor there were all women, working at desks, one behind the other. The papers from the past few weeks were all stacked into boxes on the right wall. The walls were covered in wood pannelling like it was someone's full time job to make sure every square inch of wall had plastic wood attached to it.  I tell the woman at the reception desk that I am here for my appointment with Brad Spiegel. "Is he expecting you", she asks. "Yes", I reply. She gets on the phone and almost immediately I hear footsteps coming down from the second floor.

Around the corner comes a hip, 30 something (I think... I didn't ask), brand spanking new managing editor. It was like I was instantly taken to the future, or the present I guess. It was like that feeling of stepping out into the fresh air after being in a smoke filled room with all the windows shut. I was relieved at the visual and excited for the conversation that was about to occur.

We went up to the second floor via elevator... complete with an elevator operator. I forgot to get his name. It was definitely charming, but furthered the impression that you were in a building that was stuck in time.

We got off on the second floor where there was another sea of desks. This time all occupied by men. It was the news room. Whoever did the wood panneling decor did a very thorough job on floor 2 as well. I met Thor Jourgenson (I gave him a few tidbits on the Adult Entertainment Ordinance... couldn't help myself) and Sean Leonard (who briefly talked about expanding the editorial pages to include more local content possibilities). Sean gets the quote of the day. "Welcome. It's like a Norman Rockwell painting in here, isn't it." I laughed.

On the second floor, the Item building crosses over into another building. It's literally going from 1877 to 1975. It's completely white. Like... One Flew Over the Kuckoos Nest kind of white (that wasn't a slam... just trying to paint a picture here). We had a conversation with someone in the sales department about the difference in the two spaces and went back to 1877 to have our meeting in Brad's office.

He left the door open, which was very fortunate as I got to see some news work in action. I could even break something right now, if I wanted to, but I won't.  The gentleman who did come in was only a week into the job and he had quite the big story on his hands. One week reporter talking to a two month on the job editor. I love it! This is new blood. This is exactly what the Item needed.

The fact that Brad Spiegel is out at community events, eats at Turbine and The Blue Ox, and accepts meetings with whiny bloggers like me is the icing on the cake. This guy wants to be and is being a part of this...

We talked about my history with the paper and my run in with Phil. I'm hoping my prospects for one day advertising in the Daily Item are getting a bit better.  We moved on to talk about recent headlines and the debate between whether the paper should be on the same page as us in terms of being positive and constructive in its reporting as we build up downtown and Lynn as a whole. I urged him to seek the truth behind the newspaper selling headlines. The Blue Line headline today was on his desk so I pointed it out and told him that happened over a year ago. Why is there a headline today that basically says "The nail is in the coffin" just because someone said it again? Not the point of my visit though, so we moved off of that. Went on to talk about the many blogs in the area and how we have some great photography, restaurant reviews, editorial content, etc. He agrees that there should be something we can all do together that will benefit both the paper and the Lynn bloggers. He agreed to a roundable discussion with the top bloggers in Lynn. I shared with him some of the work my friends at are doing with Hyperlocal content exposure on

This is a huge step forward with the Item.  I've never viewed us as competition. I never once claimed to be a journalist and never will.

Once we start getting going I think we should art bomb the interior of the Item building. I wonder what's behind that paneling? Maybe we should do a Mad Men style cocktail party for Arts After Hours in the newsroom. We can get Phil drunk and start buying ads from the sales department.

I'm looking forward to more hires like Brad Spiegel over on Exchange Street. Phil, if you hired Brad, nice work! See, I do notice when you do good things for the community.


Adult Entertainment Ordinance: The Full Text


WHEREAS, adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses require special supervision from public safety agencies of the City in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the patrons of such businesses and the citizens of the City; and
WHEREAS, adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses are known to often be the location of unlawful sexual activities; and
WHEREAS, the concern over sexually transmitted diseases is a legitimate health concern of the City which demands reasonable regulation of adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses in order to protect the health and well being of the citizens; and
WHEREAS, adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses, because of their very nature, have a deleterious effect on both the existing businesses around them and the surrounding community, causing increased crime and the downgrading of property values; and
WHEREAS, it is recognized that adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses, due to their nature have serious objectionable operational characteristics, particularly when they are located in close proximity to each other, thereby contributing to urban blight and the downgrading of the quality of life in the community; and
WHEREAS, the City Council desires to minimize and control these adverse effects and thereby protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the City; protect such citizens from increased crime; preserve the quality of life of citizens and businesses in the City; preserve the property values and character of surrounding neighborhoods; and deter the spread of urban blight; and
WHEREAS, it is not the intent of this Ordinance to suppress any free speech activities protected by the First Amendment, but to enact a content-neutral ordinance which addresses the secondary effects of adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses and which is necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the City of Lynn, and surrounding cities and towns.
WHEREAS, it is the specific desire not to allow Adult Entertainment, for the foregoing reasons and more, in the following zoning districts: Business, Business Class 3, Residential, Central Business, Light Industrial, Single Residential R-1, Commercial Residential R-2, Apt. House R-3, Cl 1, Apt. House R-4, Class 2, Apt. House R-5 High Rise, Waterfront WF1, WF1A, WF2, WF3, Residential Re-use Overlay Dt, Washington Street Overlay Corridor, Sagamore Hill Overlay Dt and the Tidelands Overlay Dt.
NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority granted by the Constitution of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, be it enacted by the Lynn City Council:

SECTION 1.    Purpose and Findings
1. Purpose: it is the purpose of this Ordinance to regulate adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses in order to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Lynn and surrounding communities. The provisions of this Ordinance have neither the purpose nor the effect of imposing a limitation or restriction on the content of any communicative materials, including sexually orientated materials. It is neither the intent nor the effect of this Ordinance to restrict or deny access by adults to sexually orientated materials protected by the First Amendment.
2. Findings: based on evidence concerning the adverse secondary effects of adult uses on the community presented in hearings and reports made available to the City Council, and on findings incorporated in the cases of City Council of Erie v. Pap's A.M., 529 U.S. 277 (2000); Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560 (1991); City of Renton v. Paytime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41 (1986); Young v. American Mini Theatres, U.S. 50 (1976); and other studies in other communities including, but not limited to Springfield, Phoenix, Arizona; Minneapolis, Minnesota; St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston, Texas; Garden Grove, California; Los Angeles, California; Whittier, California; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Cleveland, Ohio; Beaumont, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Newport News, Virginia; Bellevue, Washington; New York, New York; and St. Croix County, Wisconsin the City Council finds:
a. Adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses lend themselves to ancillary, unlawful and unhealthy activities that are presently uncontrolled by the operators of the establishments.
b. Employees of adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses engage in higher incidence of certain types of illicit sexual behavior than employees of other establishments.
c. Sexual acts occur at adult entertainment and sexually oriented businesses.
d. Adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses encourage illicit sexual acts which create unhealthy conditions.
e. At least 50 communicable diseases may be spread by activities occurring in adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses, including, but not limited to, syphilis, gonorrhea, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-AIDS), genital herpes, hepatitis B, salmonella infections and shingella infections.
f. Since 1981 and to the present, there has been an increasing cumulative number of reported cases of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States.
g. The findings noted in subsections a through f raise substantial governmental concerns.
h. Adult entertainment and sexually orientated businesses have operational characteristics which should be reasonably regulated in order to protect those substantial governmental concerns and, where necessary, should be banned or eliminated where they are or have been causing effects which are harmful to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Lynn and the surrounding communities.
i. The general welfare, health and safety of the citizens of the City will be promoted by the enactment of this Ordinance.

Section 2. Definitions.

Adult Bookstore means an establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade, books, magazines, and other matter which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in M.G.L., Chapter 272, Section 31. For the purpose of this ordinance, the term "substantial or significant portion" means that more than 10 percent of the total floor area or stock is devoted to the items listed above.
Adult Paraphernalia Store means an establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock devices, objects, tools, or toys which are distinguished or characterized by their association with sexual activity, including sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in M.G.L., Chapter 272, Section 31.

Adult Video Store means an establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade, videos, movies, or other film material which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in M.G.L., Chapter 272, Section 31.

Adult Motion Picture Theater means an enclosed building used for presenting material distinguished by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in M.G.L., Chapter 272, Section 31. This definition includes, but is not limited to, adult arcade, adult mini-motion picture theater, adult booth(s), adult drive-in theaters.

Adult Booth means An enclosed or partitioned area inside an adult oriented establishment which is: (I) designed or used for the viewing or listening of adult material by one (1) or more persons and (II) is accessible to any person, regardless of whether a fee is charged for access. The term "Adult Booth" includes, but is not limited to, a "peep show" booth or other booth used to view or listen to adult material (including, but not limited to, videotapes, audiotapes, films, CD-ROMs, DVDs or internet access).

Adult Dancing means Any dancing which exposes to view by patrons or spectators on the premises at any time the specified anatomical areas and/or specified sexual activities, as defined in this Ordinance.

Adult Dancing/Entertainment Establishments means An establishment, including but not limited to, a restaurant (eating and drinking establishments), lounge, dance hall, nightclub or other such place whose business includes the offering to customers of live entertainment wherein employees, agents, servants, independent contractors or other customers perform dance routines and/or display or expose specified anatomical areas, offered as adult oriented entertainment for viewing by patrons or spectators on the premises and characterized by the emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas.

Adult Cabaret: See "Adult Dancing/Entertainment Establishments".
Adult Motel means a motel or similar establishment with the word "adult" or otherwise that advertises the presentation of adult material, offering public accommodations for any form or consideration which provides patrons with closed circuit television transmission, internet access, films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides, CD-ROMs, DVDs or other photographic reproductions for the primary purpose of sexual gratification or as related to specified sexual activities.

Sexual Encounter Center means an establishment whose primary or accessory business is the provision on premises where customers either congregate, associate or consort with employees, agents, servants, independent contractors or other customers who engage in specified sexual activities in the presence of such customers or who display specified anatomical areas in the presence of such customers with the intent of providing sexual stimulation or sexual gratification appealing to adult sexual interests.

Massage Parlor means an establishment providing massages by persons other than a licensed health care professional, including activities that rub, stroke, knead or tap the body with the hand or an instrument or both for the purpose of or engaging in sexual gratification or as related to specified sexual activities. This definition also includes those activities listed within "Sexual Encounter Center". However, massages as used in this ordinance shall not apply to the activity of any person who is registered or licensed by the United States Government or any agency thereof or by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any agency thereof, while such person so registered or licensed is performing the services for which the registration or license was issued and during the period of time said registration or license is in effect.

Specified Anatomical Areas means an area including, but not limited too, less than completely and opaquely covered: (I) human genitals or pubic region; (II) the cleavage of the human buttock; (III) any portion of the human female breasts below a horizontal line across the top of the areola at its highest point, the entire lower half of the human female breast, not including cleavage of the human female breast exhibited by a dress, blouse, shirt, leotard, bathing suit or other wearing apparel provided that the areola is not exposed in whole or in part; and (IV) human male genitals in a discernable turgid state, even if completely and opaquely covered.

Specified Sexual Activities means activities including, but not limited to, human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal; acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse or sodomy; fondling or other erotic touching of human genitals, pubic region or pubic hair, buttocks or human breast(s); flagellation or torture on the context of a sexual relationship; masochism, erotic or sexually oriented torture, beating or the infliction of pain; erotic touching, fondling or other such contact with an animal by a human being; excretory functions as part of or in connection with any of the activities listed herein.

Section 3. Permitted Districts
Adult oriented uses are permitted with a special permit from the City Council in Heavy Industrial and no other districts, subject to the following regulations:
1.     No lot occupied, or to be occupied, by an adult oriented use shall be located within a five hundred (500) foot radius from a residential zoning district or a building containing residences.
2.    No lot occupied, or to be occupied, by an adult oriented use shall be within a five hundred (500) foot radius from the grounds of a public or private school, place of worship, licensed daycare facility, public library, public park or A structure or parcel used for a senior center, nursing home or assisted living facility

3.     No lot occupied, or to be occupied, by an adult oriented use shall be located within a five hundred (500) foot radius of any other adult oriented use as defined.
4.    Adult oriented uses will not be situated within a five hundred (500) foot radius of any establishment that serves or sells alcoholic beverages that are consumed on the premises or taken out.
5.     Method of measurement of distances: The distances required by this section shall be measured from the closest property line occupied, or to be occupied, by an adult oriented use to the closest property line occupied by a protected use, zoning district or another adult oriented use. For the purpose of this ordinance, the term "protected use" includes, but is not limited to, residential zoning districts, buildings containing residences, grounds of a school, place of worship, public library or public park.
6.     Prohibition of physical contact: While on the premises of an adult oriented use, no employee, agent, servant, independent contractor or other customer shall be permitted to have physical contact with any other adult entertainment employee, other employee, patron or spectator while the employee, agent, servant, independent contractor or other customer is entertaining, dancing or otherwise involved in the display of or exhibition of specified anatomical areas or specified sexual activities.
7.     Exterior Display: No adult oriented use shall be conducted in any manner that permits the observation of any material depicting or relating to specified anatomical areas or specified sexual activities from any public or private way, parking area or adjacent properties. This provision shall apply to any display, signage, show window or opening.
8.     Sign Requirements: Sign content shall identify the name of the establishment only and shall contain no advertisement in addition to the identification of the use. Only one (1) identification sign, to be mounted on the building wall face, shall be allowed for an adult orientated use. All other signs whether on the exterior of the building or visible from the exterior of the building are prohibited. No adult oriented use shall have any flashing lights visible from the exterior of the use. Furthermore, no sign shall rotate or contain reflective or florescent elements.
9.     Non-conforming Use: Any adult oriented use in existence as of the effective date of this ordinance, which is in violation hereof, shall be deemed a non-conforming use. Such non-conforming uses shall not in any manner be enlarged, altered or rebuilt.
10.     In addition, any now existing retailer who is engaged in the sale and/or rental of books, periodicals, magazines, films, video tapes, CD-ROMs, DVDs, audiotapes or other printed or pictorial materials shall cover the front page of said books, periodicals, magazines, films, video tapes, CD-ROMs, DVDs, audiotapes or other printed or pictorial materials or shall maintain a separate viewing and sales area for the rental and/or sale of said books, periodicals, magazines, films, video tapes, CD-ROMs, DVDs, audiotapes or other printed or pictorial materials as defined by this ordinance so as to prevent minors from viewing or entering said adult entertainment area.
11.     Whoever disseminates to a minor any matter harmful to minors, knowing it to be harmful to minors, or has in his possession any such matter with the intent to disseminate the same to minors, shall be in violation of this ordinance. For the purposes of this ordinance, "a minor" is a person under eighteen years of age. Matter is harmful to minors if it is obscene or if taken as a whole, it (1) describes or represents nudity, sexual conduct or sexual excitement, so as to appeal predominantly to the prurient interest of minors; (2) is patently contrary to prevailing standards of adults in the county where the offense was committed as to suitable material for such minors; and (3) lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific values for minors. It shall be a defense under this section that the defendant was in a parental or guardianship relationship with the minor. It shall also be a defense that the defendant was a bonafide school, museum or library, or was acting in the course of his employment as an employee of such organization or of a retail outlet affiliated with and serving the educational purpose of such organization.
12.    No Adult Entertainment Use Special Permit shall be issued to any person convicted of violating the provisions of M.G.L. c. 119, Sec. 63 or M.G.L. c.272, Sec. 28 registered with or required to be registered under the Sex Offender Registration Law, G.L. chapter 6, sections 178C et. seq., or its successor.

13.    All building openings, entries, and windows shall be screened in such a manner as to prevent visual access to the interior of the establishment by the public.

14.    No material described in the definitions of adult entertainment uses in this ordinance that depicts, describes or relates to nudity or sexual conduct as defined in G.L. chapter 272, section 31 shall be so located in or on the building housing such adult use which is visible to the public from the outside of the premises in which an adult use is permitted. No advertising, or other material, whether displayed in the window or affixed to the building shall be permitted which depicts, describes or relates to nudity or sexual conduct as defined in G.L. chapter 272, section 31.

15.    No adult entertainment use shall be allowed to disseminate or offer to disseminate adult matter or paraphernalia to minors or suffer minors to view displays or linger on the premises.

 16.    Adult entertainment uses shall not be open to the public between the hours of 11:30 P.M. and 9:00 A.M.

17.    At no adult entertainment use or facility of any kind shall alcoholic beverages be allowed, sold, served or suffered to be used or consumed at any time.

18.    If the adult entertainment use allows for the showing of films or videos within the premises, the booths in which the films or videos are viewed shall not be closed off by curtains, doors, or screens. All such booth openings shall be clearly seen from the center of the establishment.


1.    No special permit shall be granted for any adult entertainment establishment unless the Lynn City Council shall have made detailed findings, based upon the required submissions that:

a.     The specific site is an appropriate location for such use in accordance with the standards set forth in the foregoing.

b.     The use as developed and carried on will not adversely affect the neighboring properties or people.

c.     The use as developed and carried on will not create a nuisance or serious hazard
to vehicles or pedestrians traveling into, out of and about the premises.

d.     The use as developed shall provide adequate and appropriate facilities for its proper operation, taking into account the public health and welfare of its patrons and the surrounding environs of the property.


1.    In addition to the submittal requirements and review standards pertaining to administration, application and submission requirements, fees, powers, hearings and time limits, provided in this ordinance, each applicant for a special permit under this section shall submit:

a     A security plan detailing how the property will be policed so as to avoid unruly and/or illegal activities from taking place upon the applicant’s property and to deter and prevent incidents of vandalism, loitering and other associated activities upon its property.

b.     A plan to protect adjacent or neighboring properties against noise, glare, unsightliness or other objectionable features.

c.     Evidence that adequate storm-water and drainage facilities are available or will be provided to service the use; this information shall be contained on the site plan. The site plan shall also demonstrate the adequacy of water supply and sewerage disposal facilities to service the site and the proposed use.

d.     Evidence that the adult entertainment establishment will not generate excessive noise so as to create a disturbance and nuisance to adjacent or neighboring properties.

    2.    Each application for a special permit under this section shall include a site plan showing:

a.     The location, arrangement, appearance and sufficiency of off-street parking and loading. In computing the required off-street parking, the proposed adult entertainment establishment shall calculate its required parking pursuant to the category entitled, “Food Service Establishment”.

b.     The adequacy and arrangement of pedestrian traffic access and circulation, walkway structures, control of intersections with vehicular traffic and overall pedestrian convenience.

c.     The location and adequacy of fire lanes and other emergency zones, and the location of fire hydrants, where applicable.

d.     The locations, arrangement, size, design and general site compatibility of lighting and signs to be erected thereon. Any outdoor lighting used to advertise the business operated on the premises, and/or to illuminate the off-street parking areas, shall not cause a nuisance to adjacent properties.

e.     A plan detailing the adequacy, type, and arrangement of trees, shrubs and other landscaping which shall constitute a visual and/or noise buffer between the applicant’s land and the adjoining lands. Wherever possible, the maximum retention of existing vegetation shall be required.

f.        A non-refundable Special Permit application fee in the amount of $2,500.00

3.     The site plan shall be drawn to a scale of not less than forty feet to the inch, on one or more sheets, prepared by a professional engineer, and a professional land surveyor, when applicable, illustrating the information to identify location, applicant, owner and party responsible for preparing the plan.


Any special permit granted under this section shall lapse and become null and void:

    1.    If a substantial use thereof has not commenced within six months from the date of the grant thereof, including such time required to pursue or await the determination of an appeal, except for good cause; or, in the case of a permit for construction, if construction has not begun by such date, except for good cause; or,

2.     Thirty days after the date of a conviction under the provisions of G.L. c. 119, §63, or G.L. c. 272, §28 by any person having an interest in said adult entertainment establishment, unless said person divests him or herself of such interest by such date; or,

3.     Immediately whenever any person having been convicted of violating M.G.L. c. 119, §63, or G.L. c. 272, §28 shall acquire an interest in said adult entertainment establishment or registered with or required to be registered under the Sex Offender Registration Law, G.L. chapter 6, sections 178C et. seq., or its successor.

4.    A special permit to conduct an adult entertainment use shall expire after a period of two calendar years from its date of issuance and shall be eligible for renewal for successive two-year periods thereafter, provided that a written request for such renewal is made to the special permit granting authority prior to said expiration and that no objection to said renewal is made and sustained by the special permit granting authority based upon notification of adverse changes regarding the public safety factors applied at the time that the original special permit was granted.


    If any of the provisions of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions of said ordinance nor the application of such other provisions, which can be given effect without the invalid provisions of application thereof, and for this purpose the provisions of this ordinance are severable.


    All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.


    This ordinance shall take effect thirty-one (31) days after its final adoption as advertised.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meet Me Downtown - BROADCAST LIVE!

On september 25th from 12-5 will be on Mt. Vernon Street with a live Broadcast of the days festivities as well as live interviews with State Rep. Steve Walsh, Lynn Museum Director Kate Luchini, Fernando's Owner Juan Gonzales, State Senator Tom McGee, Ward 5 Councilor Brendan Crighton, Lynnarts Director Susan Halter, and US Representative John Tierney.  Here is the schedule of events as it's panning out right now (subject to change):

12-1:15 - Erin Brown Band

1:15-1:45 - Live Interviews (potential guests Steve Walsh, Kate Luchini, and Juan Gonzales)

1:45-3:00 - The Squeezebox Stompers

3:00-3:30 - Live Interviews (potential guests Tom McGee, Brendan Crighton, Susan Halter, and John Tierney)

3:30-5:00 - Julio Bare & Friends

At some point we will stop over at LynnArts and TLGUTs to visit with Jocelyn and Chris at their new opening of Subterranean in the gift shop section of The Little Gallery Under the Stairs.

See you all there, and if you can't be there, I hope you will tune in to watch some of the interviews and live music on

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time to Debate the Lynn, MA Dress Code! - Adult Entertainment Ordinance Public Hearing on Tuesday!

It's time to get all these naked people to stop performing sexual acts all over the place in Lynn!!!!! Oh wait.... we don't actually have that problem, do we??? Do we? Apparently, someone on the council thinks so.

Regardless, here we go again.... a non issue.... made into an issue.... and we'll have a public hearing on it. Since it's being made an issue... it's important the "public" speak UP!

So let me be clear... I'm all for making it difficult to open a strip club in Lynn, but this goes TOO FAR!!! It's a dress code.... It's a threat to artistic expression....

I've asked that the ordinance be posted online on the city council's website so that the public has a chance at reading it prior to the public hearing.   I'm hopeful that will be honored. If not, please...please...please go to City Hall and request it from the city clerk. It is not long, but it is horrifying. READ IT!!!

This is a non-issue. Not a priority for our city. Not something we want to waste time enforcing. Much of it we already have laws for.  Table this thing... move on... and if you refuse to table it, please trim it down to what you are trying to do.

This should not be a dress code. This should not be a blanket statement on all public expression. This should not reiterate laws we already have on the books to protect us from prostitution and public indecency.

This SHOULD be a zoning ordinance that makes it difficult to open a strip club. It is soooooooooooooooooo much more than that.

I'm hopeful that it's been modified from it's original text. If they choose to post it online, I may have a chance at reading it once more.

See you all on Tuesday.


Come On Baby, Let's Do The Twist!!! - Tom McGee Rally

I asked if McGee would be giving Swing lessons. There was no comment. That means it's possible, right? In all seriously, head over to St. Michael's Hall on Friday night and check out Senator McGee. Great guy, his heart is wrapped in Lynn. Show some love and learn whether or not you want to throw a vote his way in November.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

High Rock Tower

I went to High Rock Tower tonight to check out the possibility of doing an Arts After Hours event on that property. I think we'll be looking to do something in the late spring, early summer up there in 2011. Stay tuned!

I had to share this picture with you readers. Absolutely gorgeous view of our beautiful downtown. Look at the way the moonlight hits the ocean behind Downtown.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Corey Corcoran Opening at TLGUTS

Check out for more information. Corey is a graduate of RAW and is originally from Nahant. His artwork is utterly extraordinary. Don't take my word for it. Go to 25 Exchange Street between 4-6PM on Saturday September 18th and see for yourself.

The show runs through October 30th. TLGUTS is open T,W,TH from 7-9PM and Sat from 10-6.

25 Exchange Street
Lynn, MA 01901


Thursday, September 16, 2010

I've Seen Some of My Readers And You Are a Scary Bunch!!!

Volunteer for the LynnArts Haunted House Committee!

This October LynnArts will be running the annual CENTRAL SCARE, a haunted
house and mask-making extravaganza that is completely FREE to the public.
We are looking for volunteers to help create this year's haunted house.
Volunteer teams will receive free dinner (yea!) on the night of the event
and a materials budget to create their room of terror. All rooms must be
g-rated and somehow satisfy the fear level of children 4-15.

What will it involve?

This volunteer committee will hold one joint meeting in September to create
room teams and then each team will meet individually to design their space.
Rooms will be constructed between Monday, October 25th and Thursday, October
28. Volunteers must be available to staff their space Thursday, October 28
from 4:30-8pm and to break down their room at the end of the night.

This event is fun! If you feel creative and would love to be part of
building the best haunted house on the North Shore, contact Jennifer at If room-building is not your style there are also
opportunities to act as tour guides, and mask-making guides.

Why not do something really creative this Halloween?

Join the LynnArts Haunted House Committee!

Contact Information
LynnArts: 781-598-5244

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Lynn Item is the Best Paper on the Planet!!!!

Phil? What the hell is going on over there? Whatever it is, don't look into it. Seriously.... stay out of it.

I'm guessing the new guy is being given some free reign. The article on Spring Pond Woods today was typical but it was what was included on the page that really communicated something to me. They had embedded a Youtube video!!  Unclear whether their staff produced it or had anything to do with it. I don't think they did.  Here's the video:

They used to refuse to publish our blog addresses. Now they're embedding Youtube clips? Awesome. Keep it up. Don't worry readers.... I was being sarcastic in the title of this post, but keep this stuff going. This is the way to produce online editorial content. Welcome to 1998!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Follow-up Meeting with Lt. Cmd. Lenehan from the MBTA Transit Police

I can't give enough praise to Lt. Cmd Lenehan and his willingness to listen and serve our community.  The follow-up session tonight was completely initiated by the Lt. Cmd and I think that says a lot in and of itself.

The collaboration between the MBTA Transit Police, Lynn Police, and NSCC Campus Police is also something to be applauded. It's extremely important that each group work together and from the looks of it, that is exactly what is happening.  I'm going to butcher names but I'll try. Chief Doug Puska from NSCC Police was in attendance. Lt. Dave Brown and Sgt Dean from the Lynn Police Department were there.

State Senator McGee's office and State Rep. Steve Walsh's office were also represented.

Cleanliness and police prescense has improved dramatically as we all see on a daily basis. When there is an issue, a simple email to John Hogan has it resolved within 24 hours.  We've really only had one lapse since our meeting in July and that was due to Labor Day vacation for some employees.

The camera project is still ongoing. The initial promise of installation has not come to fruition yet. We are told it is now in the hands of Randy Clark at the MBTA and has been submitted as part of a Homeland Security grant. I'm still hopeful that this will occur. It just might take a little longer.

Recent security events have been mostly centered around cell phone snatchers. They can't stress enough how aware you need to be while using your cell phones on the public transit system. One recent phone theft occurred at 1:30PM on the platform. They know they can get $100 for your $500 smartphone, so protect the thing or it's going to get grabbed out of your hand.

TIP: No matter what time of day, if you know your train isn't coming for a while, don't stand up on an empty platform. Hang out in the atrium where the cabs are waiting or near the bus stops or NSCC police station until you hear the trains approaching and then head up the stairs.

We expect further information on both the camera project and the station overall repairs soon. Nothing has been done about any of the pictures we took with Hogan's staff person. We're still waiting on when repairs, painting, and more intensive cleaning will be done of the entire facility.

More to come soon..

Again, big thank you to Lt. Cmd Lenehan. Lynn Station is a safer place because of your heroic efforts.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't Forget to Vote - Tuesday 9/14 is Primary Day!

There are choices on the ballot for both parties. On the Democratic we have choices on Treasurer, Auditor, and Councilor (Governor's Council).

On the Republican side there are choices for Auditor and United States Representative (you get to pick who runs and eventually loses to Representive Tierney).

Make sure you vote. Every vote will matter. has a decent voter's guide where you can see the answers to specific questions from each of the candidates. I'm sure there are other resources as well.

I think I'm registered Democrat (although I was tempted to change to Independent) after the Mass Democrats embarrassed me during the Lynn Mayoral election. 

I'm for Grossman (Treasurer), Bump (Auditor), and I'm not yet sure on Council.

I haven't found anything on Manning yet. Anyone have anything to say for Panos v. Manning?

See you at the polls.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Runners: Are You Registered for the 5K in Central Square on 9/16?

4th Annual Central Square 5K  From the Clock to the Rock 

September 16th at 6:00PM

Race Course Starts and Ends in Central Sq. Lynn (includes scenic route along Atlantic Ocean). 

Entry Information: $17.00 Pre-entry. 
Registration must be received by September 15th.  
$20.00 Race-day Registration. 

Click here  for the registration form.

If you don't want to race but wish to volunteer, email me at and I'll hook you up with the organizers.  

Tips: You must carbo-load the night before. You can start at around lunchtime by eating 2 cubans at Fernandos. Then head over to Tatiana's for some of the Chicken Marsala Alfredo dish. After that bulk up on some Blue Ox Burgers and frites and finish it all off with gnocchi and a cheese plate at Turbine. No alcohol though... you got to race the next day after all... 


Council Notes - Lynn City Council Top Secret Meeting of September 7th, 2010

I would not have known there was a Council meeting had not Seth checked in on Foursquare to City Hall. He did his homework and found out they would be meeting. I heard that not even LYNNCAM was there. This is a disgrace to open government. The city council should be held accountable for LynnCAM not being there and this meeting not being made public. Thank the lord for To be fair, they did post it to the council website, but they usually send email to a few of the blogs, LynnCAM, and I believe the Item. That was probably missed due to vacation schedules. So, no biggie.

Turns out.... this was quite the council session.

The meeting began various statements to the council. One of those was Councilor Crighton explaining to the council and "public" that he had to vote present on the Home Rule Petition as he was not sure at the time whether or not he had a conflict of interest due to his role in state government. This becomes very important later, so stay tuned.

A Landromat gets tabled and a personal fitness business gets approved next. The latter will go next to Monte's on Eastern Ave.

When the laundromat discussion was going on, a woman took the mic that was a bit quiet. Phelan asked her to pull the mic down so they could hear (Interesting, he never tells Cyr to do that). It turns out she wasn't really on topic. Cyr usually is, I wish we could hear him. Oh well. He should get over the LynnCAM debate. It was a while ago now. Judy's Mayor now. That should tell you something.  Let's use the mics and be big boys, Cyr. It's time.

We then go through a bunch of National Grid BS where the council asks questions like "Will the lights actually shine on the players on the field." Ummm?? I guess these are the questions you have to ask very bad vendors in a non-competitive scenario. So I'll go with it.  What amused me though, was that they approved National Grid's motion on the stipulation that National Grid call on Wednesday with "a date" when the lights would shine on the players. "A date." I hope they called on Wednesday and said, "By 9/7/3023."

Throughout the beginning of the meeting, I am convinced that Duffy has a random vote generator. He votes NO randomly. So randomly, it seems so non-sensical, that it has to be some sort of random algorithm. Maybe he's a robot? One of those extra-terrestrials from Horizons Edge Casino?

They then made an amendment to the vicious dog ordinance that seems to say, that even if you get the training we agreed to, we can still overrule it and put that dog in the muzzle it deserves. So much for that stipulation.  It was a decent attempt Cahill. I still give you kudos.

Now..... the part of the meeting that was not even on the agenda under unfinished business and probably was the most important thing spoke on, Officer Leblanc's Home Rule Petition. It even had a front page Item story AND an editorial the next day from PHELAN?????   How is that possible if even LynnCAM wasn't sent a message about a meeting happening? I'm awful confused on this one............. Phil, could you explain this to me? Give me a call. It's been a while.

So the proposal from Tim Phelan was - instead of giving Lebalnc an increase on his pension from 77%-100%, we will submit to the state a petition that says Leblanc will still earn 77% but can earn up to 66% of his pension at a new job without penalty. This sounds great at first glance. Put the burden on him and a new employer and still give him a nice pension for his work on the Lynn Police Department.  Crighton was quick to jump on this as a WASTE OF TIME. The state would never approve this and we'd be back to square one. Cahill agreed. NOTE: These are two individuals with ACTUAL STATE LEVEL LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE.

What does our council do?

You guessed it!
Ignore them and almost make them seem like devils, until Phelan stepped in and made sure everyone was aware that Crighton and Cahill are supporters of Leblanc. In fact, both would rather see an increase in the actual pension. Something the City Council actually has the right to suggest. What we suggested instead is NEVER going to get through the state and we'll be back on this in a few months. I will let you know when I see it.  I applaud Cahill and Crighton for trying to add logic to the discussion. I hope someday that works out in one of these debates.

The conversation actually got quite amusing at times, as these things tend to get as we approach the later hours. Crowley asked if the city experts could convert percentages into actual numbers for him. That was quite a useful question. I think we should buy calculators for the council members so such questions don't have to be thrown to the legal department.

Maybe my favorite moment of the evening was when Colucci told the council that Dave Liscio (I assume he means the item reporter) once said, "It's better to try and fail than never try at all!"  I think that has some roots in Tennyson, but you might want to look that up Colucci.... maybe it was Liscio.

The motion passed with two voting no.... Cahill and Crighton. Good for you guys. You tried to get Leblanc some resolution faster.... The Council would rather make the state look like the bad guys and then come back to the table to do what we should have done on day one, increase his pension. Period!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lynn Auditorium Announces Lineup

The Lynn Auditorium is pleased to announce three wonderful shows this fall:

o   Direct for the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Vegas, “The Rat Pack is Back!”   on November 5th

o   The rockin tunes of “Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes”, with special guests, “The Fools”, on November 19th

o   Three time Grammy Award winner Kenny Rogers for a Christmas Special on December 18th

Also, watch for announcements on other shows like Joe Lewis Walker & Room Full of Blues, Captured The Journey Show, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and international megastar Julio Iglesias!

Tickets will go fast so get yours today by calling 781-581-2971, visiting us on-line at  or stopping by room 311 in Lynn City Hall, 3 City Hall Square, Lynn, MA!  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Food Project: CSA Trivia Night

What the hell is this?

Antique Table in "Northern Lynn" is incredible!

My Late Grandparents' Home
I remember when I was a child driving by this tiny little place right past my grandparents house on Essex Street. Just as you reach the "Entering Swampscott" sign, you will now notice this cute little restaurant called Antique Table. I can't remember what it was when I was a kid. I want to say an ELKs or something like that? I believe the actual address is Swampscott, but because I only have eyes for Lynn, we'll call it Northern Lynn.

We started out with a bottle of Savignon Blanc from New Zealand. Didn't do much for me, but it's not a wine we typically order. The server didn't seem to know much about the wine list, although she did offer to get us someone. Perhaps we should have taken her up on that. Nevertheless, we managed to finish the bottle, so it couldn't have been that bad. ;-)

We then both had salads. Sarah had the insalata rustica special. A genius blend of greens, tomatoes, olives, onions, and portabello mushrooms! The mushrooms were very tasty.

I had a simple green salad while admiring hers from a distance. Mine was extremely tasty as well. Whatever the dressing is on these salads is very well made. Some sort of balsamic vinaigrette I think.

For our main entrees we both got chicken dishes. I went with the special which was chicken with shitake mushrooms in some sort of creamy sauce. It was out of this world good. Sarah got the pollo francese, which was chicken in egg batter in a similar cream sauce. We shared both meals, and loved it all.  I had penne and Sarah got linguini. The pasta was perfect!

Too full for dessert, we threw in the towel at that point.

The atmosphere is so charming. While it looks absolutely tiny from the outside, it is deceiving. There are quite a few tables though they do recommend reservations for tables of 4 or more. We were sat right away as was our friend Greg, who also wrote a review for Unlike me, he actually knows what's he's talking about, so don't take my word for it, check out Greg's review.

So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to "Northern Lynn" today and check out Antique Table.

Antique Table
Cucina Italiana
2 Essex Street
Lynn, MA 01902-1709
(781) 477-9778


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jesse, You Are My Hero! School Committee Budget Should Be Online!

It should also be a part of the overall City budget discussions. I'm sure I need a civics lesson on this one, but I don't understand why they are so separate. I can understand that the city council may not govern the school budget or make ammendments to it as they could kill schools off in favor of having enough money for pitbull muzzles, but I don't understand why the whole picture of the city's fiscal situation isn't looked at, all at once, so we can really understand where our tradeoffs are.

Jesse, you said it all. I'm so glad you walked in with only a split second left in the public hearing. He walked up to the mic and commended the Mayor on posting the City Budget online. He then asked a question that shouldn't have to be asked, "Why wasn't the School Budget posted online?" He was told that that will have to wait until the discussion part of the meeting and that his time now was to be used to state his opinion on the budget. He proceeded to ask how one would obtain it in order to have an opinion. He was told.... through the school board. Hmmm? I don't even know what that means, so I'm sure it's real easy to figure out for the average citizen.

They should send a copy home with every student and the thing should be ONLINE! It's been a week since the hearing and it's still not ONLINE.  As a matter of fact if you go to the Lynn Schools website, the agenda for July 29th is up there. A bit outdated, kind of like our school department's strategy for budget cuts. The summer reading list is there too in case you want to get started on that.... Oh wait, summer is over.

To be fair I haven't had a chance to listen to the discussion. If anyone did and they promised any changes to overall strategy, posting of the budget online so we could begin to have a fair dialogue with the same information in both brains, or anything else that's interesting, please leave a comment.

I wish someone would go to all meetings and record them. Are they on LynnCAM? Why doesn't LynnCAM just post everything online?


Friday, September 3, 2010

Subterranean Coming Soon to TLGUTS - 25 Exchange Street

Something is brewing at The Little Gallery Under the Stairs at 25 Exchange Street. Not that I'm surprised. There is always something going on down there. From the sound of things it looks like it may be a rare book and music store.  If you haven't been to TLGUTs in the past, they have a gift shop with local art, jewelry and cards. You should definitely check it out. My guess is that Subterranean is going to make it even more impossible for you not to get your ass over there! 

From the Facebook description:

"Subterranean is a community-sourced emporium of eclectic used books and music located inside TLGUTS, in the heart of downtown Lynn. Buy or sell on consignment."

Looks like they are going to have the same hours as TLGUTS, T-TH 7-9PM and Sat 10AM - 6PM!

More details as we find out what is going on. Check out the Facebook Fan Page for Subterranean.

Jocelyn? Chris? Tell us more!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lynn - We had Fake Witches Too!!! Come here for Halloween!

I was talking with a co-worker recently about how Salem just kind of took the whole witch thing and made something out of it. Salem and Lynn looked a lot alike about 30 years ago.  Everybody's got a history ... It's what you do with it that matters.  I made a joke in passing that Lynn had witches too! I thought I was joking. I was not.

Recently I got a book from a good family friend, Cathy Kibbey. She has been featured many times in our "They're Talking About Lynn" series. Read her posts on Central Square and the great movie theatres of Lynn.  The book is called "History of Lynn - 1692-1865. Based on the above I thought I'd flip over to 1692 and see what was up in Lynn while "witches" were getting pressed and hung over at Rockafellas. Lo and behold some of the most prominent Lynners of the time were accused and stood trial in Salem. Thomas Farrar, Sarah Bassett, Mary Derick, Elizabeth Hart, Thomas Hart, and Sarah Cole all stood trial and spent months in prison. Elizabeth Proctor, wife of John Proctor, was the daughter of William Bassett, a very big Lynn name of the time. She was condemned to death but then later released. John, as we all know, did not have the same luck.  People believed in witchcraft at the time. It was part of religious teachings, so it was easy to get caught up in the hype once the accusations started flying.

I can't wait to pour through more of this book. There have to be nuggets in here that we can embrace and bring forth to celebrate our history and bring more tourism to Lynn. If we don't have anything yet, we better get going on creating some.

I'll leave you with the final sentence from the chapter on withcraft. Amazing that this is a sentence about 1692 written in 1890 by author James R. Newhall:

"We wonder at the delusion of those days -- but is there no mist before our eyes at present?"

Halloween in the City of Sin! I can't think of any better place to spend it.


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