Phone: 781-593-7700 x1253

Swampscott resident Lynne Krasker Schultz has big plans for the community nonprofit SPUR after being selected as the organization’s new executive director.

Krasker Schultz joined the team in early August. Founder and current Executive Director Jocelyn Cook will remain with the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and will lead development and fundraising efforts.

“I am excited to work with the board and volunteers to launch SPUR into its next stage of development and expansion,” Krasker Schultz said. “SPUR is about engaging people living in our community to make a measurable impact within the community through volunteer opportunities. In addition to mobilizing volunteers, we are going to think about how to be a convener and collaborator, as well as deepen people’s connection to each other.”

Marblehead-based SPUR describes its mission as creating a “community of doers” by providing diverse, flexible and accessible volunteer opportunities for community members of all ages in Lynn, Marblehead, Salem and Swampscott.

Krasker Schultz said she is excited to bring SPUR to the next level, by creating more opportunities across all of the communities SPUR helps.

She wants to expand SPUR to do more community outreach beyond the annual Backpack Drive and the Holiday Cheer Drive, potentially seeking to include programs in the high, middle, and elementary schools of the communities SPUR serves.

Krasker Schultz has 16 years of experience working with nonprofits, including programming, marketing and fundraising. Before joining SPUR, she served for six years as the director of public programming and community engagement at The Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture. She also founded and directed Prism, the young adult initiative of the New Center for Arts and Culture, now JArts.

“Lynne’s experience scaling nonprofit programs and her energetic, positive leadership style will help SPUR continue to strengthen and expand the ways that we support our community,” said SPUR Board Chair Jackie Mongiello. “The Board of Directors and I are excited to have Lynne on board and help SPUR continue to grow to the next level.”

As Krasker Schultz’s first month as executive director comes to an end, she said she feels hopeful for the future of SPUR.

“We’re off to really great things and it’s really exciting,” Krasker Schultz said. “We’re going to be bigger and better. We want everyone to know about us and want to get involved.”

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The Nahant Heritage Trail is a coastal walk where you can take a break from the loud traffic and bright lights and enjoy panoramic seascape views.

The 1.4-mile trail brings walkers deep into Nahant and allows them to see local historic spots. 

Jenna DeLisi walks it almost every day.

“I have walked the trail countless times,” she said. “My favorite time of the day is when the sun is setting and when you get to the top you can see the ocean and beautiful views.”

The trail begins at the north end of Short Beach, which is one beach inland from the Nahant Public Beach. 

Starting at the Little Nahant Playground on the north end of South Beach, walkers trek the entirety of South Beach before approaching the Life Saving Station. 

Built in 1898, the station was used to transfer the United States Coast Guard in 1915. In 2001, the station was deeded back to Nahant where it was brought back to life and restored by the Nahant Preservation Trust and is used as a venue. 

Trail walkers cross Nahant Road and end up in the Lowlands, the town park doing multiple duties as a spot for baseball and basketball games, town events, and a host of other activities.

From 1905 to 1930, the Nahant and Lynn Street Railway ran on a wooden bridge through what is now the parking lot for Lowlands. 

Lowlands is also a great spot to sight birds and other wildlife, with its unique wooded wetlands. 

From the Lowlands, the trail crosses Flash Road Playground. Follow the trail markers behind the fire station to the sporting fields and directly to the Johnson School. 

This area was part of Fort Ruckman, a U.S. Coast Artillery fort back in 1904 to 1907. It saw duty in both world wars. After World War II, the fort was decommissioned and sold back to the town. 

The playground was the wartime site of the fort dining area, an infirmary, and movie theater. The Nahant Fire Station also used to also be a military fire house. 

The trail’s Johnson School portion includes the community gardens, brimming in summer with flowers, fruits, and vegetables. 

A brief walk through a small birch grove leads up wooden steps, climbing a slope where World War II wooden plankways led to Goddard Drive and the base of the Fort Ruckman bunkers. 

Climbing the slope is worth the effort: The view that awaits walkers is enhanced by following trail markers and proceeding down the switchback trail to Bailey’s Hill Park. The switchback trail still has the remains of Gun No. 2 of the underground fort, Fort Ruckman bunkers. The flat green area used to house soldiers and was also a rifle range. 

Bailey’s Hill was used for surveillance and weaponry sites in both World War I and World War II. It was also used in 1955 as a Nike missile site. 

Now, in peacetime, it is a park and the site of the Sears Pavilion Gazebo. 

At the top of Bailey’s Hill, the trail ends with plenty of sights packed into a 1.4-mile-long hike, including some of the most beautiful sites in Nahant. What goes up must come down: On your 1.4-mile stroll down back to Short Beach look for wildlife such as flowers and birds.

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At the beginning of 2020, a small group of Swampscott residents got together to discuss a difficult topic: aging.

The Swampscott for All Ages Committee commissioned a needs assessment to see where the town was lacking in resources for its elderly residents. A big fear of many of those residents was that as they got older, they would have to leave the homes that they had made for themselves, moving into assisted living or nursing homes to get the necessary help that they needed to do everyday tasks.

“We found that about 18 percent of our population missed doctor’s appointments in the last year because of lack of transportation,” said Heidi Whear, Swampscott’s director of elder services. “We found that there were people that have needs that are going to require more and more to stay in their homes.”

The assessment also found that an overwhelming 85 percent of respondents wanted to stay in place as they got older.

To address the issue, Whear, along with volunteers from the Senior Center, Council on Aging and Swampscott for All Ages Committee, started what they hope will become the solution for aging residents in the area: Seaglass Village.

The organization is not a physical location, but a network of volunteers available to help with rides, household tasks and anything else that seniors in Swampscott, Marblehead and Nahant may need.

“If they need any help or services, someone in the office will match them to a volunteer,” said Library Director Alyce Deveau, who was chosen as the Village’s first-ever director. “It might be something like replacing a doorknob or taking out an air conditioner.”

Seaglass Village is modeled after a more widespread village movement, which started in 1999 in Beacon Hill when a group of friends developed a community-based approach to help them age in place. Since then, more than 300 villages have been created across the country, including several others in Massachusetts.

“It’s nice because they all work together,” Deveau said. “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

Both Deveau and Whear, the organization’s founding president, emphasized that they don’t want to take the place of other local organizations that serve seniors, but rather want to supplement them by offering the services that aren’t currently available. 

Often, that is because other organizations are concerned about the liability of doing those tasks. However, Seaglass Village will be insured, and all volunteers will have to pass a Criminal Offense Record Information (CORI) check, be up to date on vaccinations and have a clean driving record if they plan to provide rides to members. 

Members pay an annual fee, but Whear noted that they are working on fundraising for scholarships to ensure that cost does not prohibit anyone that wants to from joining.

Thanks to help from the community, the organization has secured an office space, and will move into its official home at First Church in Swampscott in October. They have also had many people reach out to sign up to volunteer, and have both financial donations and gifts like a rug and computer for the office.

Until they officially open and begin offering services later this fall, the members of Seaglass Village have focused on staying connected through the pandemic, holding beach gatherings to provide a social outlet.

“Our aging population is suffering so desperately from isolation,” Whear said. “What the village can do is offer a friendly call or a cribbage game on your front porch.”

For more information on membership and volunteer opportunities or to make a donation to Seaglass Village, call 781-718-0401 or visit

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Located in seaside Swampscott is a small gift shop that prides itself on offering customers items they won’t find anywhere else. 

That’s because the store, The Hiccup, Inc., located at 158 Humphrey St., features the work of local artisans and craftspeople on the North Shore, according to its website. 

“Explore the world and shop local, and support area artisans, makers and creators on the North Shore of Boston in the beautiful seaside community of Swampscott,” the website says. “We also feature those items you won’t find at most big-box retailers or on Amazon.” 

Even the store’s name is unique. 

Store owner and town resident Lisa Boemer said the idea for the shop’s name came from her daughter, who used to use the term “hiccup,” to describe a tough situation in life. 

And Boemer is no stranger to overcoming a tough situation. In fact, her battle with breast cancer 20 years ago is what sparked her interest in starting her own business.

Two decades ago, Boemer was working in the corporate world. But when she defeated cancer, she said she came to the realization that there was more to life than corporate America. So, she began to delve into a past passion from high school: drawing. 

Boemer decided to take a year off from work to become more adept in art. During this time, she learned a lot about the human brain; her father had given her a book called “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” written by Betty Edwards. 

“That book changed my life so much, so I went to New York City and took a class with the author’s son,” said Boemer. 

After that experience, Boemer realized that she wanted to enter the local art world on a full-time basis. Opening a store that featured art from the area began to look like more than a pipe dream, she said. 

“I realized I can’t go back to corporate America; there’s something else I need to be doing,” said Boemer, who began to brainstorm what that “something” could be. 

In keeping with the unique aspect of her business, Boemer opened The Hiccup on Leap Day last year, Feb. 29, 2020. She said the store offers customers a chance to “travel the world and shop locally.” 

While other businesses struggled during this time with the COVID-19 pandemic, Boemer said she used her inability to open her new store in-person to her advantage. She offered online shopping with curbside pickup and free delivery. She also worked around the clock, which helped many local artists, as her store was one of the only places that was selling their work at the time. 

Her business strategy also provided customers with another option at a time when it was taking larger stores weeks to deliver similar products. 

“I had puzzles in stock; at this point, it was taking people eight weeks to get something through Amazon and it maybe wouldn’t even show up,” said Boemer. 

The Hiccup website ties the store into “Seaside Swampscott,” described on Facebook as a business center that Boemer and other business owners along Humphrey Street are working to establish. 

Seaside Swampscott is aimed at allowing small business owners to connect and help each other with their businesses. Whether it be a gift shop, a liquor store, restaurants, or wineries, these businesses are working together to help transform the seaside into a local, must-see attraction in town. 

While this initiative has not officially started, Boemer is working with other business owners to make maps of the area and plan big shopping events like Black Friday. 

“Seaside is where you create experiences and memories; the other part is where you run errands,” said Boemer. 

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Swampscott Rotary Club is a small group of people with big goals who enjoy each other’s company while doing a lot of good for the local community and beyond. 

If you are looking for something to do, to find new friends or to engage in meaningful volunteer work, the club is always welcoming new members.

Rotary clubs started in Chicago in 1905. Paul Harris, an attorney, formed the first club to bring together various professionals so that they could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. 

Over time, the organization gradually adopted humanitarian service as its mission and  “Service Above Self” as its motto.

Since its inception, Rotary has grown into an international network of more than 35,000 clubs with 1.2 million members. Clubs tackle the world’s most persistent issues like promoting peace; fighting disease; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; saving mothers and children; supporting education; and growing local economies.

The Swampscott Rotary Club has been a member of the Rotary International for more than 95 years. It currently has about 25 members. Rotary is apolitical. The youngest current member is in his 30s, many members are retired now, and the oldest late member lived to 102 years old.

“Our members join for many reasons. Fellowship and friendships are important, but our focus during our meetings and otherwise is providing service and aid to others, especially in our local community. We just try to have some fun as we do it,” said Walter “Buck” Weaver, who serves as the club’s treasurer.

Weaver, a retired orthodontist, joined Rotary in Swampscott in the late 1970s when he was relatively new to the area. He likes that the projects the club works on are helpful to people.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Swampscott Rotarians met in person. They usually had a guest speaker at their meeting who worked at some nonprofit and would tell them about the issues they are working on.

With the onset of the pandemic, the club shifted to outdoor meetings every other week. Some elderly members decided to err on the side of caution and haven’t been coming to the meetings in person, but Weaver said that about a dozen members continue to gather together.

The club funds its projects primarily from a trust fund that was established years ago, using the proceeds from the golf tournament that they held for more than 16 years.

In the 12 months between July 2020 and July 2021, the club spent more than $34,000 on Chromebooks for Swampscott schools ($12,000), various scholarships (more than $20,000), and other donations. 

The club recently donated to Haiti relief efforts — $4,000 via the Rotary International and $1,000 via St. John the Evangelist Church in Swampscott. They also sent a $400 donation to the Salvation Army in Lynn to support their food relief efforts. 

Another $1,000 went to the Boston’s Wounded Vet Ride, which raises funds for housing modifications and other measures to improve the quality of life of seriously injured veterans.

Swampscott Rotary regularly supports food pantries in the area, including the local Anchor Food Pantry, My Brother’s Table, the Salvation Army in Lynn and others. 

Some of the club’s signature annual activities include delivering holiday gift baskets to senior citizens and people confined to home for health reasons; the annual summer picnic for North Shore residents with disabilities at Marian Court College; serving at My Brother’s Table, and the annual Thanksgiving Football luncheon with the Marblehead Rotary Club.

And don’t forget the Duct Tape Regatta: It takes place in June in the Swampscott Harbor. Teams of four make their vessels with lumber or PVC pipe, recycled bottles and duct tape and race to win the cup. 

Proceeds go to fund clean-water projects. In the past, the club donated to clean-water projects in Honduras and, currently, the donations go to the same cause in Burkina Faso in West Africa.

The club also awards more than $20,000 annually in scholarships, especially to Swampscott High School students, including the Dave Sherman Rotary Scholarship, The Swampscott Rotary Club Scholarship and the Rotary Interact Scholarship.

Plumber Peter McCarriston and his family helped establish the James McCarriston Trade School scholarship that is given to several individuals each year while they learn plumbing or electrical work. 

Several years ago, Swampscott Rotary Club partnered up with Marblehead Rotary Club and tapped into the senior population of the two towns, creating a senior volunteer group, ElderAct. This free group helps seniors socialize and have fun while making a meaningful contribution to the community. 

There is also a Rotary Club offshoot at the Swampscott High School — the Rotary Interact Club. High-school students participate in a large variety of community service projects including reading to youth, serving at My Brother’s Table, participating in shoe drives, and organizing battle-of-the-bands concerts to raise funds for various world relief efforts.

Social interactions go beyond charity in the Rotary Club, Weaver said. They do surprise birthday parties, holiday parties, and social gatherings at restaurants or on someone’s deck.

“You got to enjoy it, too,” said Weaver.

Anyone interested in more info about our Swampscott Rotary Club can contact Buck Weaver at 781-910-5584 or

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Amber O’Shea and Tim Oviatt have come a long way as owners of Ocean House Surf and Skate.

The surf-and-skate shop had humble beginnings. The business started in Salem in 2011, with Oviatt selling gear out of his truck and garage. One year later, Oviatt moved his base of operations to Beverly Port Marina, and in 2013, moved the shop to Swampscott where he stayed until 2021. 

The shop in Swampscott also had a café, which is where O’Shea and Oviatt connected because O’Shea was a frequent customer. Eventually, with her experience working in the food industry, she helped him run the café. O’Shea became more involved in the business as it grew by doing some buying for Oviatt, who also makes custom boards at the shop.

Ocean House made its way to Nahant just before Christmas of last year, as the business moved into its new location at 2A Wilson Road, with construction taking longer than expected.

O’Shea said the Nahant community has been great in supporting the shop.

“Everybody has been really cool,” she said. “Two days before Christmas, all of our branded gear and T-shirts — everybody bought them so we ran out. Everybody seems really stoked.”

O’Shea said that Long Beach in Nahant is a great spot for surfing due to its long waves and shallow and sandy makeup. This also makes it a suitable surf spot for beginners, as well as more advanced surfers.

The pandemic has helped people step out of their comfort zones and try some new hobbies, especially ones that can get them outdoors. O’Shea said that in the past two years, surfing and skating have really blown up.

“Everybody just wants to be outside,” she said. “We’ve really seen the sport blow up lately and we have a ton of beginners coming into the shop that are super excited.”

O’Shea also mentioned the technological advances that have helped the sport grow in colder areas of the planet. 

“I don’t think a lot of people realized you can surf in Massachusetts,” she said. “The wetsuit technology wasn’t really up to par 20 years ago, so if you lived in a cold-weather place or somewhere where the waves are best in the cold weather, you wouldn’t (have) seen a lot of surfers in the water decades ago because the technology wasn’t there.”

O’Shea compared hitting the beaches of Massachusetts to going skiing or snowboarding.

“If you have the right gear, you can surf on a 20-degree day and be fine,” she said.

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The political spectrum is broader than ever with conservatives on one end and liberab Democrats like Bob Scheier on the other. Scheier wants both ends to meet in the middle. 

Scheier thinks he has a way to soar above the social and mainstream media storm swirling around former president Donald Trump and fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Swampscott resident is co-chair of the New England chapter of Braver Angels, a national group consisting of more than 11,000 members that was formed after Trump’s 2016 election as a way for people in opposing parties to learn to hear each other out and respect each other’s differing views in a civil way. 

Scheier’s co-chair is state Rep. Lenny Mirra, a Georgetown Republican, who stands at the other end of the political spectrum from Scheier. Braver Angels strives for an equal liberal and conservative membership, as well as leadership structure, to offer views and opinions from both sides of the political spectrum. 

“Many Braver Angels groups around the country are predominantly blue, or liberal leaning, and we really need many more strong conservatives so that we can have the genuinely challenging but rewarding conversations that we need,” Scheier said. 

The Angels’ mission is to reach out to groups that are more conservative, with a promise their members won’t be shouted down, shamed, or attacked during political discourse.

The group’s monthly meetings commence with a reaffirmation by participants to confirm that they will engage in respectful, curious listening. The penalty for noncompliance? A polite request to leave the meeting. 

“We guarantee everyone a respectful hearing if they come in and we encourage them to live up to the Braver Angels name,” Scheier said. “It’s called Braver Angels because it takes courage to reach out to the other side and to take the risk of being heard by the other side, but it’s very rewarding.” 

As co-chair, Scheier is responsible for helping volunteers create, schedule, and run the monthly meetings, which occur on the third Monday of each month. 

Each monthly meeting features a different topic. Prior to the meeting, news articles are sent out for people to review and be prepared to discuss in the meeting. 

Braver Angels was founded by a family therapist and uses therapeutic-like techniques to facilitate respectful conversations with both political sides. 

“We don’t try to convince each other; there is no interruption; there is no attempt to convince allowed,” Scheier said. “The idea is that we form human relationships with people on the other side and we listen and be curious about how they think and the same in return.”

Of course, COVID-19 restrictions, vaccinations, and masking occupied a meeting discussion. Scheier is pro-vaccine and pro-masking, but other discussion participants voiced strong, opposing views. 

“I found that by listening and trying to understand their views, I was able to see that these folks weren’t living in some other reality from me,” Scheier said. “They had some very heartfelt concerns, not concerns that I shared, but were coming from a different perspective and were skeptical about what the government and drug companies were trying to do and the quality of the vaccines.” 

Scheier said his views were welcomed and respectfully listened to by meeting participants. 

“How often do you have a conversation like that about a heated topic, and the other side asks you to tell you what you think?” Scheier said. “I felt like him and I could sit down and come to a mutual solution on something like the COVID issue after that.” 

In an effort to broaden their conversations, the New England chapter of Braver Angels has reached out to local colleges in an effort to provide information and awareness of the group. 

“They’re the ones who will have to live in the society that we are hoping to improve,” Scheier said. 

Scheier said he has one overriding reason for taking part in Braver Angels: This isn’t the country that he grew up in, and it isn’t the country he wants to leave to his children and grandchildren. 

He wants to be more involved in changing the trajectory of the country’s political divide, and he wants to understand how people on the other side – Republicans — think the way they do, and to see if there was a way to have a respectful conversation with them.

“I don’t know exactly how I stumbled across Braver Angels but when I saw their approach, I was very impressed with it,” Scheier said. “It works… It’s one small step towards healing the divides in our country.”

Engaging in these kinds of civil conversations has led Scheier to having more respect and understanding in similar political conversations with friends and family outside of the group. 

“I became more involved in the past year as I became concerned about the breakdown of civility in society and the very sharp splits between the quote ‘red and blue sides,’” Scheier said. “I feel like our democracy is really in danger if we can’t at least speak respectfully to each other, if we can’t even agree on the same set of facts, and if people on both sides of the political divide are dehumanizing each other.” 

Braver Angels is open to everyone regardless of age, sex, race, religion, culture and sexual identification. 

To learn more or to join the New England Chapter of Braver Angels, visit

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By Sandi Goldfarb

Dick Symmes and Dick Murray have built a lifetime of memories, one postcard at a time. The Swampscott natives, who each celebrated their 91st birthday last summer, have been close friends since meeting in junior high school in the late 1930s. Despite busy lives that included military service during World War II, college — UMass for Symmes, Wesleyan for Murray — marriage, children and successful careers, their love of Swampscott has kept them connected.

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The annual Fourth of July Parade and Strawberry Festival was held Saturday, July 2. Hundreds of residents, friend and family members attended the festive event, which also raised money for several worthy town causes.

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Raffaele Balducci of Raffaele’s Hair Salon has been snipping hair and styling do’s on Humphrey Street for four decades.

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