, Salem, MA

July 18, 2013

Should police station 'wall' come down?


---- — BEVERLY — A police station might not be on the list of most people’s favorite places to visit.

Even so, that was a side topic at the City Council meeting the other night during discussions about the upcoming repair work to the station and adjoining City Hall.

Hale Street resident Peter Johnson said he hoped there would be changes to the tinted glass that stands between visitors and officers when you walk into the lobby. Johnson called it a “black wall.”

“It’s intimidating,” he said.

Councilor Don Martin wondered the same thing. “I don’t want to do a Ronald Reagan here,” he said to police Chief Mark Ray, “but is there any chance of tearing the wall down?”

Ray said officials would consider the idea, but he also noted that police must balance a welcoming environment with the safety of officers.

“Not everybody that walks into the police station is as nice as yourself and Mr. Johnson,” he told Martin.

Barrence is back

Barrence Whitfield, who brought singing fame to Beverly before Angie Miller was even born, has a new album coming out Aug. 13 with his band Barrence Whitfield & The Savages.

A press release describes the album, “Dig Thy Savage Soul,” as “a wealth of atomic-powered, sock-it-to-me R&B and rock & roll hoodoo.”

The Savages were big in Boston in the mid-’80s, winning seven Boston Music Awards and touring with Bo Diddley, Tina Turner and George Thorogood.

Angie on tour

Speaking of Angie, she and the other American Idol finalists start their American Idol Live 2013 tour tomorrow in Kent, Wash. The 30-show tour comes to the Agganis Arena at Boston University on Aug. 19.

Miller, by the way, has a big fan in John Kettman of Lasalle, Ill. Kettman has painted a picture of Angie and said in an email that he hopes to have her sign it when the tour stops in Chicago on Aug. 12.

Cool school

The North Beverly Elementary School will get $201,205 worth of improvements, thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Green Communities Division.

The money will be used to upgrade the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

Jelly time

Water Street resident Kathy Abbott has seen her share of jellyfish over the years, but nothing quite like the one she spotted washed up on Sandy Point Beach last week next to the Jubilee Yacht Club.

“It’s kind of big, that’s what struck me about it,” she said.

Abbott wondered if it was lion’s mane jellyfish, the kind that have been spotted at Singing Beach in Manchester and Good Harbor Beach and Pavilion Beach in Gloucester this summer.

Good cause

North Shore Rugby Football Club’s Zachary Cook reports that the charity rugby tournament held at Hurd Stadium last month ended up raising $1,250 for the family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or