Truth has always been the first casualty in every war ever fought. One would think that today's near-instantaneous communications had largely closed the gap between truth and fiction, but this is not always the case.

Throughout the summer, I noticed flocks of egrets flying over my house at dusk. I mentioned this to a neighbor who told me they were on their way to a hidden rookery. But you could just see it from the top of a neighboring hill.

Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of guest opinions about fostering environmental stewardship. The series is coordinated by ACES, the Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards. 

With Bernie Sanders’ heart attack, perhaps precipitated by the stress of campaigning with unabated revolutionary fervor, coupled with head-snapping contradictory pronouncements from spinmeister Rudy Giuliani, some found themselves wondering if millennial ageism is warranted.

What is the future of democracy in the United States? Recent news and commentary contain such words as “absolutism” and “autocracy,” and make comparisons between the present day and 1930s Germany.

Over the years, it has become a yearly destination for my little golf group – Ellinwood Country Club in Athol.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

The official story of Lyme Disease started near the mouth of the Connecticut River and the deer-filled Roger Tory Peterson National Wildlife Refuge in the leafy village of Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Yesterday, as I was wandering down the new and unfinished boardwalk at Hellcat at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, I spotted a movement in the trees.

Maybe, this is an old folk problem. I don’t recall losing track of time when I was younger and working steadily. But in my later years, it’s difficult to keep track. 

Waking up on Plum Island is a time in which quiet is a noun, not an adjective. The quiet has mass and density. It is invisible fog that’s everywhere. It’s all there is -- not a lack of sound, but a presence that sits on my ear drums and fills my brain with a subtle, singular pressure and sce…


The Merrimack River doesn’t flow through particularly fertile farmlands, but there sure are a lot of trees. The British recognized this and in 1722 passed a law making it illegal for colonials to cut down pine trees over 12 inches in diameter.

“Slow Learner” was the title of a novel by Thomas Pynchon, with a hefty dose of irony. I never thought I’d apply it to a self-anointed newspaper of record, The New York Times.

editor's pick

Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of guest opinions about fostering environmental stewardship. The series is coordinated by ACES, the Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards.

Two men were discussing the best actor who never received an Oscar. One said Clark Gable, but the other said, “No, it was our local mortician crying with the mourners at a $12,000 funeral.”

Two “50s” occurred recently, half-century anniversaries of events that seem equally to have captivated the public mind.

One was a pioneering female journalist with a deep understanding of the totems and taboos of Washington. Another was a pioneering television broadcaster with a sharp eye for history. The third was a pioneering business reporter with an obsession with detail. All were enriched by a figure the…

In our history, local food drives – the collection of nonperishables purchased by community members – were a vital part of filling the shelves in Our Neighbors’ Table’s food pantries. Early partnerships with local stores like Stop & Shop and Vermette’s yielded a trunk full of surplus bre…

I’ve been called many things in my life, some with a germ of truth and some with a full-blown head cold. But my favorite occurred in 2003, when the late New York Post editor and MSNBC editor-in-chief, Jerry Nachman, welcomed me on his show as “the so-called father of reality TV.”


In 1896, the American Museum of Natural History’s ornithologist Frank Chapman strolled Manhattan streets and counted 700 women’s hats. Five hundred forty-two of them were decorated with the breeding plumes of 160 different species of wading bird –  Chapman’s specialty.

As many people in the community know September is National Recovery Month. This year honors the 30th anniversary of the initiative, marking three decades of spreading the message of hope that treatment is effective, and people can and do recover every day.

Roses are still blooming. The deep blue hydrangeas have faded, letting their white, pink and mauve cousins outshine them now. The purple phlox is standing tall and scenting the front porch with its gorgeous fragrance.

Our country is experiencing an identity crisis, fueled by a generation more concerned with preserving diversity than promoting the assimilation that once made America unique. Youthful exchanges of ethnic insults that once helped toughen us for the road ahead are now out of fashion. We have f…


BOSTON — Official government documents often are masterpieces of deadened prose, but few contain an understatement quite like this sentence, from the Annual Report of the Police Department for the City of Boston, issued at the end of 1919:

On July 12, 2019, Hurricane Barry was bearing down on Louisiana at the same time Massachusetts state Sen. Bruce Tarr was convening a mid-summer meeting of the Northeast Coastal Coalition in Essex.

On the Monday after Yankee Homecoming — and after the shootings in Dayton and El Paso — you could have suffered whiplash reading newspaper headlines at Market Basket’s checkout counters:

Environmental groups can be hard to tell apart at first glance; many have three or four letter acronyms and include either “environment” or “climate” in their names. Citizens’ Climate Lobby is perhaps best differentiated by considering the words on either side of “Climate” in our name: “Citi…


Aug. 13 broke warm and sultry. The rising sun was hidden behind thick, offshore fog banks. All that could be seen was a vast expanse of light gray sky above equally gray waters.

I had high hopes for Wikipedia. Having grown up with the Encyclopedia Britannica, I knew that its articles combined a fulsome array of factoids — at least, those accepted in the historical moment in which its entries were written — with a literary flair that gave the reader a three-dimension…


June 28 was hot and humid, and the greenheads were starting to hatch, so I decided to swim on the oceanside of Sandy Point in hopes that the east wind would keep the vicious tabanids at bay. 

Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of guest opinions about fostering environmental stewardship. The series is coordinated by ACES, the Alliance of Climate & Environmental Stewards.

I don’t know why this has to happen but every once in awhile, there is a big kick in the butt. It seems as we grow older, it occurs a little more often. No one escapes it as it seems to be a part of life.

CHICAGO — Given its surplus of violence and scarcity of resources, Chicago surely has bigger things to worry about than the menace, as the city sees it, of Laura Pekarik's cupcakes. Herewith redundant evidence of regulatory government's unsleeping solicitousness for the strong.


We are the Climate Café Team, a small but passionate group of environmentally minded students who host Climate Cafés in communities along the North Shore. Our cafés are not typical conversations – they are unrehearsed social adventures!

Listen to Local Pulse

Listen to Local Pulse live at 9 a.m. on Saturdays or go back and listen to previous shows.

This Week's Circulars


Byfield - John K. Upham, 76, beloved husband of Carol (Fabrizio) Upham, died Thursday, October 10, 2019, at Beverly Hospital in Beverly, Mass. Born and raised in Malden, he was the son of the late Charles and Clementine (Quinn) Upham. He attended Malden High School and continued his educatio…

Celebration of life Amy K Tucker Please join us to celebrate Amy on Saturday, October 19th at the American Legion Hall in Manchester by the Sea anytime between 12-3 In lieu of flowers please make donations to DFCI