SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 11, 2012

Chalk it up to generosity

(Continued)

The breakdown could offer some comfort to Democrats, with 324 people expressing allegiance to the nation’s oldest political party. Only 79 pledged their loyalty to the Republicans. But it was a third group that could hold the key to any election, with 481 independent spirits proclaiming themselves unenrolled.

Bettencourt holds court

Just back from a vacation at Disney World with his young family, Mayor Ted Bettencourt has returned to the grind of running the city. It hasn’t prevented the former Peabody High and Holy Cross basketball star from sizing up the coming season for the Boston Celts.

“I’m all in for the Celtics,” he says. “I think they’re a title contender again. Though, I am sad to see Ray Allen go.” (The high-scoring guard signed with Miami.)

The mayor isn’t going to toss out a good thing just because it’s old. There’s still life in center Kevin Garnett, he insists. “Last year, down the stretch and in the playoffs, he was as good as he’s ever been.” Just give him a lot of rest.

Bettencourt acknowledges that he’s not the only hoopster holding office. He points to fellow Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, who “wasn’t a bad basketball player.” But he jokes that “she’s not the best basketball-playing mayor on the North Shore anymore.”

Culture talk

Some Leather City advocates took poorly a suggestion in a recent Salem News article from Patricia Zaido of The Salem Partnership that one barrier to a thriving downtown Peabody is a lack of culture — in contrast to Salem’s theaters, art galleries and, well, perhaps witches. The Peabody Cultural Collaborative, featuring organizers Deanne Healey, Martha Holden, Gerry McCarthy and Karen Sawyer, is planning to push back. More to come.

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