To Be or Not to Be? Public Forum on New High School

Superintendent of Schools John Macero will be the moderator for the Winthrop School Building Assistance Committee’s community input meeting for the Winthrop High School project on Wednesday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Winthrop High School.

It’s an important topic, to say the least, one that will affect families and schoolchildren for years to come. There is an ongoing feasibility study to decide what would be the best options for the current high school. The options are: renovate the current high school; renovate the high school with an addition; build a new high school; build a high school/middle school complex; or do nothing.

“We want the community’s input on what they feel we should be taking a look at,” Macero told the Sun-Transcript this week.

Representatives from the School Department’s school project design team will be in attendance at the forum. The forum will provide a great opportunity for parents and residents to give their thoughts about what direction the town should head in relation to the high school. If you’ve been to the high school in recent years, you would have to agree that something has to be done to bring it up to 21st century standards. When you look at nearby communities such as Chelsea and Everett and see the new high schools in those communities, it makes you wish we had a new facility in Winthrop.

We hope that Macero and the design team will include Miller Field in any discussion about the schools because the complex  is certainly in need of renovations and improvements.

The construction of a new school building, especially a new high school, always is one of the biggest matters in the life of a community, one that happens only once ever three generations (or longer). So next Wednesday, if you want to get in on the ground floor of the discussion about a new high school, you should attend the public forum and be heard

Changes needed

Little League needs to be more inclusive

We wish to preface what we are about to say by noting that our comments are in not meant to be reflective of anybody, past or present, who has been involved with the Winthrop Little League program.

We have known Jack Dowd for all 26 years of his involvement in the Winthrop Little League and he always has been a significant contributor to the league’s success and vibrancy. He has written a letter to the editor this week that we encourage all people with a stake in the league to read.

Dowd makes the point that all parents should have a voice and a voting right in the way league affairs are conducted. In this era of emails and instant communication, it’s certainly feasible that parents could vote on an issue without having to attend league meetings or be a member of the board of directors.

Dowd’s original point of contention was that the league did not conduct its All-Star player selection process in the manner it had laid out in advance. While that disagreement ultimately led to his decision to step down after 26 years of service (and we hope league officials would ask him to reconsider his resignation) his idea of having all parents as voting members of the league is one that merits a serious look.

Winthrop Little League has been the launching point for many great Winthrop athletes who have gone on to compete in college and in the professional ranks. Larry Thomas, Steve Coffey Jr., Ronald Tallent, Brian Macrina, David Tallent Jr., Vinnie Eruzione, the late Billy Morelli Jr., the late Michael Mason, and so many others who spent many fun-filled nights on the Winthrop Little League ballfield. And then we think of the many coaches,  inspirational mentors such as  David Tallent Sr., Michael Goldberg, Frank Vatalaro, and the late Perry Hampton, and so many others, including our Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, who coached in the league,  who have made Winthrop Little League the great organization it has been for more than a half century.

Volunteers such as Peter Pellegriti and current president David Leslie have worked countless hours to keep the tradition going. We hope that Winthrop Little League will rise above this controversy and become united for the benefit of all Winthrop youth baseball players.

But the bottom line is that Winthrop Little League needs to change with the times. The trend in all youth sports organizations is for all parents to be able to participate and that there be a constant turnover of the Board of Directors (i.e, term limits) so that there is new blood and new ideas.

Although we certainly are aware of the great contributions made by the current board members who have served Winthrop Little League literally for decades, it is our view that there are more benefits to be gained if parents with children in the program and who have a direct stake in it are the ones who run the show.

Thank you, 11 Foundation

Mike Mason would be so proud of this organization

The 11 Foundation: In Memory of Mike Mason has been in existence for only one year, but it already has become a vital part of our community. The organization, led by Chairman Joseph B. Ferrara, certainly rose to the occasion with its leadership in ensuring that Winthrop would have a fireworks demonstration on the Fourth of July. Similar to the Viking Pride Foundation and Mike Eruzione’s Winthrop Charities, which have done so much to help people and organization in this town, the 11 Foundation has emerged as an asset for our community.

On the 11 Foundation Web site, it states that Mike Mason was a unique and charismatic guy who touched the lives of many in his hometown. Mike would be proud of the work being done by the foundation named in his memory.

Even today when we run into friends and former teammates of Mike’s, we hear stories of his character and determination, and the competitiveness that made him the great WHS and Bentley University athlete he was. Stan DeMartinis, one of the Mike’s teammates at Bentley, recalled an early-season game where Mike was pitching well into extra innings and snow was falling, and Mike simply wouldn’t relent to the conditions or his tiring right arm and gutted out a victory.

Mike Mason’s legacy is being carried forth well by the 11 Foundation.

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