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December 27, 2013

Salem police: fighting crime while growing beards

SALEM — Police Chief Paul Tucker is letting his officers grow beards.

It’s hair-raising news for the clean-shaven department. There’s lot of speculation about what prompted Grizzly Tucker to make the move — the “Duck Dynasty” craze, an homage to the Red Sox, or maybe Lt. Rip Van Walker put something in the eggnog at the annual Christmas party?

Whatever the reason, the chief has given his men permission to turn their 5 o’clock shadows into 10-day growths.

In his defense, Vandyke Tucker isn’t committing total “hairesy.” The men can grow beards only until Feb. 1. Muttonchop mania is all for a good cause: to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club.

Courting Salem

David Goldman is one of many outsiders who have fallen in love with the city.

Goldman is one of the principals of New Boston Ventures, the Boston developers who did the Salem Jail redevelopment.

Now, he is eyeing the empty courthouses on Federal Street, which the state plans to turn over to the city to be developed.

While making no commitments, Goldman could not conceal his interest in the historic properties. Asked if he is eyeing the old Superior Court building and the adjoining county building, Goldman said: “We’re going to look at those real seriously.”

Oops ... wrong again

Ken Sawicki, the Harold Stassen of Salem politics, pointed out a possible error in a recent story. Can you imagine that — an error in the North Shore’s paper of record?

We were sure he was wrong but decided to check just the same.

The anonymous author of that story — OK, it was me — reported that Horace Mann School (1912) is the oldest district school building in the city. That is a fascinating tidbit; unfortunately, it is a tad incorrect.

Collins Middle School — or at least a section of it — is older. A secret source we have at the school — let’s just call her Mary — told us construction began in 1907 and was completed in 1909.

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