, Salem, MA

January 4, 2013

Heard Around Town: Rumor of the week gets put to rest


---- — SALEM — Rumors are made of such fluff that they get blown around from place to place by the slightest breeze. Fortunately, they are ignored by most serious-minded folks.

Of course, we live for rumors, especially the really silly ones.

There was a good one this week that made its way to the doorstep of Bob McCarthy, the Ward 1 councilor who was seen as one of the swing votes in last night’s City Hall drama: Would Steve Pinto make it back to the City Council?

Here’s the rumor: McCarthy was going to vote for Pinto because Pinto ... drumroll, please ... was the best man at McCarthy’s wedding.

When asked the question by a local journalist — who will go unnamed — McCarthy started laughing.

“I’ve heard that one,” he said.

“Is it true?” he was asked by the earnest but poorly informed reporter.

“No,” he almost shouted.

McCarthy’s best man was, indeed, named “Steve,” but it was his brother Steve. For the record, Pinto was not one of his groomsmen, nor even at the wedding.

McCarthy, much to his credit, recalled many of the details about his wedding day, even the year, month and exact day it took place. However, try as he might, he could not recall a single Pinto in the place.

Presidential inauguration

A lot of important people will be heading to Washington, D.C., this month for the presidential inauguration, including one of our own.

Gabby Fabiszewski, 10, a fifth-grader at Bates School, is attending the Middle School Presidential Inaugural Conference, which will be held Jan. 19-23 in the nation’s capital.

She attended the National Young Scholars Program at Villanova University last year and was nominated for the Washington trip by Bates teacher Tom DeMontier based on her academic and leadership skills.

It sounds like a great event — the keynote speakers are George W. Bush’s daughters, Barbara and Jenna, along with CBS newswoman Norah O’Donnell.

Gabby is the daughter of Steven and Magdalena Fabiszewski, who will be going to Washington with her.

Adoption ban

With a stroke of the pen, Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a blow to many American families last week, including one here in Salem.

“I’m devastated,” Kim Ayers said of the controversial law that Putin signed banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. families.

Two years ago, at the urging of her young daughter, Bridget, Ayers traveled to Siberia with her daughter to visit an orphanage. Bridget, now a freshman at Salem High, raised $2,000 for the trip, donated funds to the orphanage and even started a blog about the plight of Russian orphans.

Bridget also brought a photo all the way to Siberia of a little girl named Zhenya — a little girl, now 10, that the Ayers family fell in love with and later decided to adopt.

Now, those chances look slim.

Whatever happens, Kim Ayers said she and her daughter will continue to write, send gifts and provide support.

“In talking with Bridget,” Ayers said, “I assured her that we will take care of (Zhenya) in any way we can, if it’s in my power to do so.”

Singing is her Kraft

Stacia Kraft is one busy person.

The active school parent has been involved with Historic Salem Inc., Salem Community Gardens and a dozen other things.

She’s also a classically trained singer who has a new CD, “Midnight Sun,” that just came out and is available online at CD Baby, and iTunes.

You can also get it at Once & Again, which has two shops on Bridge Street.

Party time

There’s a big birthday coming up on Tuesday. Salem Rotary is 95.

How big a deal is it?

The Hawthorne Hotel is baking a cake, and Rotary President Liz Bradt is dressing up. Yup, she’s going to wear her pink party hat.

Siren song

If you live in South Salem and are anywhere near one of Salem State’s three campuses, Wednesday might be a good day to visit Aunt Lil in Omaha.

They’re testing the emergency sirens that day. They will start blasting away around 8 a.m. and be testing sporadically throughout the day.

TV celebrity

A well-known man of the cloth was all over the TV yesterday.

The Rev. John Sheridan, pastor at St. James Church, celebrated the weekly TV Mass live on Catholic television. The program aired several times during the day and can still be seen on the following link:

Funeral news

In case you missed it, Gov. Deval Patrick recently named Tom O’Donnell of the O’Donnell Funeral Home to a four-year appointment on the state Board of Registration of Funeral Directors and Embalmers.

That’s the board that oversees the licenses of funeral directors and inspects funeral homes. It’s a big honor.

Tom, by the way, has been in the business 45 years.

Today’s tip

If you’re looking for a hot night after a cold day, check out First Friday tonight in Salem.

Many businesses are open until 8 p.m., and special events are taking place throughout the downtown. There’s a cooking demonstration at The Picklepot on Pickering Wharf and an open house from 6-8 p.m. at the Salem Theatre Company on Lafayette Street.

Tom Dalton can be reached at