, Salem, MA

June 14, 2013

Running from L.A. to Boston for a good cause


---- — SALEM — Have you heard about One Run For Boston?

It’s a 3,300-mile, nonstop relay from Los Angeles to Boston as a show of support for Beantown following the marathon bombing.

Organized by three runners from the United Kingdom, it will involve hundreds of runners traveling through 14 states and four time zones as they pass around a specially designed baton.

The fundraising relay started in Venice Beach, Calif., last Friday and will finish in Boston on Sunday, June 30.

We’re telling you all this because the Wicked Running Club of Salem has signed up to run the final stages from Framingham to Boston. That takes on special meaning when you recall that the husband and young son of one of the club’s members were injured in the bombing.

Wharf walk

The merchants of Pickering Wharf, which include some prominent figures in the local witch community, will exit their shops at 6 p.m. today and walk the wharf.

No, it’s not a protest — quite the opposite.

They are walking and offering blessings as a show of “solidarity and kindness, hope and strength, resolve and revelry,” according to an email we received.

The merchants are also doing a very smart thing. They will be going into each other’s stores to become familiar with all of the retail offerings on the wharf. That way, if customers go into one store and can’t find what they want, the staff can send them to a neighbor.

Red line

It’s not often we’re able to bring you exciting “red line” news, but here goes.

Did you realize that the red line that tourists follow through the downtown was painted by Lines by Hines, a Middleton company that also paints all the parking spaces at the Northshore Mall?

Three of their top-line guys — Tom Gardner, Mark Tripoli and Eric von Stanwitz — arrived here in the wee hours of the morning a few days ago and slapped a new coat of red paint — technically, “safety red” paint — on the line that stretches from the downtown to In A Pig’s Eye.

It took about four hours and, before Salem woke from its sleep, they were gone.

While we’re at it, a new restaurant, The Red Line Cafe, is opening on the Essex Street pedestrian mall — right on the red line.

Deer Salem

In 2004, a deer knocked over a tourist in the downtown, sending her to the hospital with a concussion and fractured ribs. Believe us, it was big news back then.

For the past nine years, to the best of our knowledge, we have not had a major deer event in the downtown.

That is, until a few days ago when a dedicated public employee, who has asked to remain anonymous, snapped a photo of a deer in the little park between the old Lyceum restaurant and City Hall. It was 6 a.m., and somehow, the little fellow had wandered into the downtown unnoticed.

We didn’t see a mention in the police log and didn’t notice venison weiners on the menu at Boston Hot Dog, so it must have escaped unharmed. Let’s hope so.

Fidelco’s friend

Andrew LaPointe called this week to thank the Salem Lions Club and everyone else who supported the fundraiser and dog walk last Sunday on Salem Common to benefit Fidelco, the guide dog foundation in Connecticut.

LaPointe, who is blind, has had three German shepherds from Fidelco — Yates, Elliot and his latest, Shubert. They have changed his life.

Years ago, during a nor’easter, LaPointe and Yates walked to the downtown and back — a trip of about 3 miles — to get medicine for his daughter. Imagine that — walking sightless in a driving snowstorm with no fear.

“I want to thank everybody for doing this,” he said of the Fidelco fundraiser. “I feel like a lot of them are really doing it on my behalf.”

LaPointe is a well-known and active public figure, serving as co-chairman of the Salem Commission on Disabilities and president of the Friends of the Salem Council on Aging. He credits much of what he does to his dogs.

“I can’t imagine going through life ever again without a dog,” he said.

Dead Head

For those of you who are faithful readers of our police log, you undoubtedly noticed the arrest the other day of Jerry Garcia Jr. on motor vehicle charges.

We don’t believe there is any connection to The Grateful Dead or the late rock legend, although folks in Salem District Court did mention that the defendant had big hair reminiscent of a young Jerry Garcia.

Lobster lovers

Jason Silva, executive director of the Salem YMCA, is as happy as a clam.

Make that a lobster.

The owners and crew from the Lobster Shanty raised more than $4,000 last weekend for the Salem YMCA’s “Y For All” campaign. That’s the great program that makes sure all families, regardless of income, have access to child care, after-school care and summer camps.

More than 100 fans of the city’s favorite watering hole attended an event that had music by JT and The Hounds, Three Toad Sloth and Ronnie “Black Hat” Deschenes. (Didn’t they perform once at the Peabody Essex Museum with Yo-Yo Ma?)

A lot of credit has to go to City Councilor Bill Legault, who started this tradition years ago. Legault, by the way, has worked at both the Y and the Shanty.

Tom Dalton can be reached at