Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor:

I take offense to anyone that has never spent time at the Ashcan – yes we also refer to it as the Ashcan – calling it “the dive.”  We even refer to it as a beach dive bar, but in the most loving, not negative, way -  it is our beach dive bar, and we’ve earned the right. We have customers who run the gamut – from janitors to union laborers to city workers to college professors.

I take offense to anyone calling it “the dive” that has never been in the Ashcan to hear the high quality of music that our bands put out, some of them having played Ash’s for 25-30 years. There are very few venues in this area that give these musicians a stage. We support local music!

I take offense to anyone that has never stepped foot in Ash’s on a Wednesday night for Tj’s Open Jam to hear the talent that comes through our doors calling it “the dive.”

I take offense to anyone that has not been there when I have personally jumped in the ocean for the Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics – all of the money being raised from the customers of Bill Ash’s Lounge, the place Sue Woodcock refers to as “the dive.”

And finally, I take great offense to anyone looking at myself or any one of our customers in any other light but the brightest because of an uninformed journalist who chose to call it “the dive.”

While I don’t want this to totally come off as a personal attack on Sue Woodcock, I believe in responsible journalism, and I feel that a retraction of some kind or apology is definitely in order. If you’d like, I would gladly share some of the comments posted in response to this article in a closed group created by friends of Bill Ash’s Lounge.

Robin Serra

A proud member of

“the dive team”



Dear Editor:

As many Revere residents know, the Wheelabrator Saugus trash burning incinerator has petitioned the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) to allow them to expand the existing ash landfill yet again.

Although an agreement was reached requiring the landfill to close in 1996, it continues to operate and expand more than 20 years later. This plant and its landfill allegedly have compromised not only our environment but also our health. The Point of Pines, Riverside, and Oak Island neighborhoods have experienced large numbers of respiratory illnesses, cancers, and autoimmune diseases. These neighborhoods are downwind and less than a mile from the plant.

On Jan. 8, a motion was presented by Jessica Giannino at the Revere City Council meeting requesting that a letter be sent on their behalf asking MADEP to disallow any further expansion of the landfill. All of our city Councillors were in agreement on this letter except for Councillor Zambuto.

Councillor Zambuto has continuously defended and served as a mouthpiece for Wheelabrator while ignoring the concerns of his constituents. He has appeared in Wheelabrator commercials. He has repeatedly escorted Wheelabrator officials to Revere Senior Center functions and attended Revere senior citizen day trips at the Wheelabrator facility.

Although I am concerned that Councillor Zambuto has refused to listen to the concerns of his constituents, I reserve my biggest concern for the misinformation he continues to spread.  At the Jan. 8 City Council meeting, he erroneously stated the following:

“Not a drop of water escapes that site.” This is contrary to what Wheelabrator reports to MADEP.

“That is the safest form of energy there is – waste to energy. It’s the most environmentally-friendly energy we can produce.”

Apparently, Councillor Zambuto is unfamiliar with solar and wind-generated energy. If the waste to energy process was the safest and most environmentally friendly, it would be unnecessary for MADEP to have public hearings regarding the ash landfill expansion. It would also be unnecessary to have both MADEP and the federal Environmental Protection Agency oversee and regulate Wheelabrator.

“…If they were forced to truck the ash to Shrewsbury or somewhere else, forget about the 50 or 60 trucks a day through Revere…”

This is contrary to Wheelabrator’s own April 19, 2017 Ash Staging & Transport Minor Permit Modification filing that estimates 13 truckloads of ash would leave the site on a daily basis. Wheelabrator has indicated to Saugus officials, in writing, that there is also a rail option to ship the ash out.

“…It would probably be $15 or so more a ton in our tipping fees. What does that mean? That is no big deal, what is $15 a ton? Well, let’s assume that extrapolates to $300 on a senior’s tax bill. Do you know how many seniors you will make homeless on a fixed income?” First of all, an extrapolation is an assumption not a fact. This statement creates a huge amount of fear particularly for seniors, yet it has no basis in truth. Until there is proof of these increases occurring, Councillor Zambuto should not be using fear to sway the opinions of Revere seniors and cause them to lose sleep at night. This is a fictional estimate that has no place in a public forum.

This is a “feel good motion” that “was emotionally based”.  I wish it were that simple.  Because Wheelabrator has not only stymied any attempt at a comprehensive health assessment for Revere residents or any type of environmental impact report, my neighbors and I are justifiably emotional.  It appears that Councillor Zambuto is stirring up the emotions of Revere seniors by scaring them into believing they could wind up homeless if Wheelabrator isn’t allowed to expand. This “feel good” motion is our attempt to have our voices heard while every attempt is being made to silence us.

I applaud the ten out of eleven Revere City Councillors, and the entire Saugus Board of Selectmen who stood up for me and the citizens of Revere by demanding that MADEP not allow any further expansion of the Wheelabrator  ash landfill in Saugus. I wish I could do the same for Councillor Zambuto.

Loretta LaCentra



Dear Editor:

As you may be aware, on Nov. 1, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued for Public Comment a Provisional Decision on Wheelabrator’s application for a Major Permit Modification (Valley Fill Project).  As drafted, the Provisional Decision would allow Wheelabrator Saugus to place additional ash fill in two valleys within the limits of the landfill, subject to specific conditions.  The comment period closed on Jan. 12, 2018.

I write to share with you my opposition to approval of Wheelabrator Saugus’ provisional permit.

As the state representative whose district not only includes the Wheelabrator Saugus facility and landfill, but also as the representative of the thousands of people in Revere and Saugus who live in its shadow, I have been staunch in my opposition to any and all expansion of the landfill.  Additionally, I am a founding member of the Alliance for Health and Environment, an organization which was founded in 2016 to raise awareness about public health and environmental impacts of waste incineration and associated ash disposal activities, reduce pollution associated with waste incineration and ash disposal, and to promote environmental justice for communities impacted by waste incineration and ash disposal.  Our alliance is composed of highly respected environmental groups, local elected leaders, and ordinary citizens who live in close proximity to and whose lives are affected by Wheelabrator Saugus.

Rep. RoseLee Vincent

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