NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

March 28, 2014

Lions celebrate 60 years of giving to the town

Seabrook Town Notebook
Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — It’s been around so long and helps so often that many take it for granted, but the Seabrook Lions Club has spent 60 years making life better for local residents. Last week many came together to praise its members and its milestone anniversary.

On Monday, selectmen weighed in on the celebration, presenting Lions Club President Wayne Bowden with a special certificate honoring Seabrook’s Lions Club. Selectmen Ed Hess, Aboul Khan and Ray Smith said the service organization helps townspeople in so many ways.

A teacher in Seabrook for more than 30 years before he retired, Smith said the Lions Club was an integral part of the school community.

“Every year with the eighth-graders, the Lions Club was there,” Smith said. “Every time we needed a dollar, they were there.”

Annual traditions, like the town’s Christmas tree lighting, Thanksgiving gift baskets for the local families experiencing financial stress, all are handled with empathy and competency by those in the town’s chapter of the International Lions Club, Khan said.

For Hess, the club’s involvement in his life was more personal, starting when he was only 10 years old. It involved the club’s reputation for supporting eye health.

“My father went to the club and they helped with an operation for my eye,” Hess said. “And they got me a new pair of glasses.”

The Lions Club’s dedicated service to the town and its residents makes Seabrook a better place, the three selectmen said.

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Seabrook’s Holly Bragg took home first prize at the recent Cupcake War Baking Competition sponsored by the state’s School Nutrition Association.

Bragg is part of the Seabrook School Districts Child Nutrition team, and her talent of baking and decorating the perfect cupcake is well appreciated by local students and staff there.

Second place went to Patti Longval of Pembrook Schools, but the third place ribbon came back to the Seacoast, won by Chef Jim McAden of Winnacunnet High School.

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The next meeting of the Parking Committee will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 23, at Town Hall.

In regard to parking at the beach, officials will seek an opinion from Seabrook’s attorney on a decision made by a previous board of selectmen to overturn a portion of the town’s parking ordinance concerning the distribution of parking placards to beach property owners.

In early 2005, Town Meeting approved an amendment to the ordinance, requiring parking placards be given annually only to those beach property owners who declare Seabrook as their place of primary residency, by either registering to vote in town or registering their vehicles in town.

In September 2009, however, the Board of Selectmen overturned that amendment, allowing any beach property owner to acquire two parking placards. Parking Committee members said that allows nearly 1,400 placards to be given out, three times the number of parking spaces on beach roads.

Parking Committee members voted 5-1 in favor of having the ordinance enforced as it was approved by Town Meeting, but selectman want an option on whether the former board had the authority to change the ordinance and ignore the amendment.

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The Seacoast School of Technology will host an open house for recently accepted students and their families on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Students will get to meet their SST teachers, get an introduction to the curriculum and learn about college credit opportunities. This is a drop-in event, with formal presentations beginning at 5:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. in each program.

SST is located at 40 Linden St. in Exeter with parking offered behind the former Exeter High School Annex.

For more information call 603-775-8461 or visit www.SeacoastTech.com.

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Angeljean Chiaramida covers Seabrook for the Daily News. She can be reached at achiaramida@newburyportnews.com or at 978-961-3147.