, Salem, MA

September 19, 2013

Council president left tongue-Thai--ed

By Alan Burke
Staff writer

---- — PEABODY — That word describes City Council President Tom Gould as the members approved a postponement until September 26 of a hearing on allowing a drive-through special permit to the Eternal Escalation, a Thai restaurant on Route 1.

“Who is the applicant on that?” Gould was asked.

He merely smiled, deciding, apparently, it was the better part of valor not to launch on the substantial name of Vannee Chaisuphatanakul.

Try, try again

Juan Carlos Roman, the owner of Americab in Salem, has told the News that he remains interested in obtaining a license to station cabs in Peabody — in addition to his operation on Jefferson Avenue in the Witch City. He was told by the Peabody City Council to resubmit his application after his first location, on Union Street, was nixed. He was expected to hand the city new paperwork for a 515 Lowell St. site yesterday.

He needed to hurry, according to City Clerk Tim Spanos, because others are interested in the limited number of licenses.

Power play

The City Council has given its blessing to a plan from the Peabody Municipal Light Plant to build a new substation at 0 Russell St. in West Peabody near the Ipswich River. Work will start in spring 2015 and finish in 2017. But you can turn on the lights before that, as the old substation, nearby, will keep on pumping out electricity.

The nearest home to the proposed substation is 1,500 feet away, according to PMLP. Plantings will shield the view of the facility from the adjacent bike path. To make all this happen, the city gave custody of Peabody land to the Light Plant, which is a public entity with some independence from the city government.

Councilor Barry Sinewitz told his colleagues that the new station will help keep West Peabody bright.

“It expands capacity. ... and it will help other parts of the city if there are power outages,” he said.

If the substation fails

Look to the heavens. No, really. The Second Congregational Church is offering a free “solar community event” on Saturday, Sept. 21, from noon to 2 p.m. as it hosts Independent Power Systems Massachusetts.

“Learn everything you need to know about powering your home or business with solar electric,” they advise.

Rude gestures for those who go the speed limit

Speaking out at last week’s meeting on placing a new traffic light at Lowell Street near St. Adelaide’s Church, resident Rick D’Amato discussed a problem seldom mentioned by those concerned with traffic safety. Revealing that he drives the speed limit, D’Amato suggested that this isn’t always appreciated by those motoring behind him.

“I’ve had people flip me the bird and everything,” he said before turning to the gathering and advising, “Just go the speed limit and you’ll find out.”

Placing the traffic light in front of the church — a move in response to the tragic pedestrian accident that killed Theodore Buttner of Somerville in January — will take a little time given the process required. But on hearing that those in wheelchairs can’t cross at the crosswalk because of the curb, Mayor Ted Bettencourt advised, “That’s something we can do a quick fix on.”