SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 22, 2013

Heard Around Town: Enforcing the law — onstage

BY PAUL LEIGHTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — As a couple of burly ex-football players, Beverly High School Principal Sean Gallagher and Assistant Principal Dan Bauer look like two guys you wouldn’t want to mess with.

So, it wasn’t that much of a stretch for the two administrators to step into the roles of Officer Krupke and Lt. Schrank in the high school’s performance of “West Side Story” last weekend.

Gallagher looked right at home in his police officer’s uniform, which only makes sense considering he was once a Salem cop. And Bauer, the Super Bowl-winning Beverly football coach, had no trouble filling the intimidating role of Lt. Schrank.

Two other faculty members, librarian Barbara Fecteau (as a nun) and teacher Matt Riordan (Doc), also had key roles in the show.

The musical drew huge crowds (leaving many thinking that the high school auditorium is too small) and lived up to the high expectations set by shows from previous years.

A toast from Ireland

Everybody loved the Fred Butler story. Even across the pond in Ireland.

Butler is the 106-year-old man who was awarded an honorary high school diploma at the high school earlier this month. The story got plenty of coverage and was picked up by the Evening Herald in Dublin, where a gentleman named George Reilly read it.

Mr. Reilly was so impressed with Butler that he sent him a St. Patrick’s Day card. Since he didn’t know Butler’s address, he sent it to “Mayor Bill Scanlon, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA,” with this note on the envelope:

“To U.S. Post person. That’s all the information I have on this address. I hope you find it. Many thanks.”

The resourceful post office did in fact track down Scanlon at City Hall, where the cards (there was one for Scanlon, too) arrived the other day.

In his card to Butler, Reilly congratulated him on earning his diploma and noted that he also works for his city’s water department, in Dublin (Butler worked for the Beverly water department for many years).

And being a good Irishman, Reilly promised to “raise a glass or three to your very good health.” He even drew a picture of a beer glass next to his signature.

Ready to serve

There was a big crowd in City Council chambers Monday night to witness the swearing-in of nine new reserve police officers.

The new officers are William Cargile, Steven Fiore, David Gagnon, Michael Gelineau, Ryan Hegarty, Stephanie Naugler, Steven O’Brien Jr., David Stopa and Kevin Thomasson. They’ll soon begin training with the Beverly Police Department.

Will he or won’t he?

Was that a hint?

The mayor made a joke at the City Council meeting this week that might — or might not — be a clue to the burning question of whether he’ll run for re-election.

When councilors were talking about the Lynch Park carriage house, Paul Guanci asked whether political fundraisers would be allowed in the city-owned building.

“I haven’t got one planned,” Scanlon said to laughter, before adding, “in this building.”

Supporting our troops

The Beverly Fire Department and Electric Insurance of Beverly have been nominated for an award that recognizes employers who support their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

The award is given by the Department of Defense, which says that supportive employers “are critical to helping restore stability and peace of mind for these citizen warriors and their loved ones.”

The nominations make the Fire Department and insurance company eligible for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employers Support Freedom Award that will be announced this summer.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.