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March 14, 2013

Heard Around Town: Ready, aim, sign

PEABODY — School board member Jarrod Hochman thought it best not to stick to his guns after colleagues crafted a letter to Congressman John Tierney urging passage of legislation to restrict gun ownership.

The letter calls for a ban on the sale or possession of military-style assault weapons and possession of high-capacity magazines, while also requiring every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check.

Hochman initially opposed the gesture, “because of my lack of faith in anything going on in Congress and my lack of faith in Washington, D.C., in general,” he said.

Acknowledging the urge to act after horrors like the Sandy Hook shooting of elementary schoolchildren, he said he believes such problems can best be addressed closer to home, on Beacon Hill and in Peabody.

Nonetheless, Hochman added his name to the letter out of a conviction that the committee should speak with one voice on such an issue.

“We should act in a unified manner,” he said.

Read on

It won’t solve all the financial problems, but local kids managed to raise more than $400 last month simply by reading at the Peabody Institute Library. An event organized like a walkathon, the Read-a-Thon on Feb. 21 had as many as 25 teens reading aloud from books and electronic readers, doing mostly young adult fiction.

And who says kids don’t like to read?

“They were very enthused,” said Alysa Hayden, one of the Friends of the Peabody Library. “The kids were all smiles.”

The event lasted six hours, and the money came from sponsors who pledged varying amounts depending upon how much reading was done by individual readers. It goes to the library.

In other library news ...

“Teens ponder

for haiku contest

The Salem News awaits”

It’s the Peabody Institute Library’s first haiku contest, says teen librarian Melissa Robinson. Those ages 11 to 18 are invited to submit their efforts to say something beautiful or profound in three short phrases.

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