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March 22, 2013

Heard Around Town: Honoring our local heroes

SALEM — And now to honor our best and brightest for all the good work they do.

Ken Rothwell was saluted yesterday as one of the American Red Cross’ community heroes.

You know Ken.

He used to own Taste of Thyme restaurant and now has Ken’s Kickin’ Chicken on North Street, which sells about a billion pot pies a week. He is to chicken pot pies what Tom Brady is to the Patriots.

He also is a guy with a huge heart who gives to just about anybody and everybody who asks.

Over at the JFK Library in Boston, Rob Maier of Salem was honored at “Turning the Page,” a celebration of the future of libraries.

Maier recently retired as director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the culmination of a career that spanned more than 40 years.

“It is not an overstatement to say that Rob has been a part of every significant library innovation and advancement that has led us to the way we operate today,” MBLC Chairman Frank Murphy said.

High praise.

On Sunday, a modern Salem legend, retired Judge Thaddeus Buczko, will be honored at the annual Kosciuszko Foundation luncheon at Mount Holyoke College.

He is their Distinguished Polish American for 2013.

Buczko, 87, is a former Salem city councilor, state representative, state auditor and presiding justice of the Essex County Probate & Family Court. For decades, he was the leading Polish-American political figure in the state. Maybe he still is.

Did we mention that the good judge was a friend of both President John F. Kennedy and Pope John Paul II?

Mr. Mayor

A lot of work has gone into Sunday’s tribute at the Moose lodge for former Mayor Jean Levesque.

The guest list includes Mayor Kim Driscoll, three former Salem mayors, Congressman John Tierney and others.

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