, Salem, MA

September 12, 2013

Heard Around Town: Hot fudge bagels not selling in Peabody

By Alan Burke
Staff writer

---- — Or at least they aren’t selling before the City Council.

Seregio Goncalves of Chandler’s Ice Cream on Andover Street had petitioned to amend the eatery’s special permit “to allow for the additional use of the premises as a coffee shop with the sale of bagels and salad” and to open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. It’s currently open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.

Goncalves said he had entered into an agreement with Bagelville.

But news of the request sparked a backlash from area residents, who apparently don’t want to live in Bagelville. Ward 4 Councilor Bob Driscoll explained, “A lot of people were opposed to it due to tough traffic there.”

Ward 3 council candidate Bill Toomey joined Ward 3 neighbors across the street in lamenting too-frequent accidents. And he reported success yesterday, as the request to sell bagels was withdrawn — without prejudice, meaning it could return.

“Hopefully they’ll find another place in the city,” said Driscoll. The shop was originally allowed to open with a restriction that customers will scream only for ice cream. Not bagels.

It’s dead, but it won’t lie down yet

Appearing in tonight’s City Council packet is a request to zone half of the Pulaski Street industrial park for business. But don’t be fooled. The proposal is just running its course as a formality. Mayor Ted Bettencourt said the idea, which drew fire from both the businesses at the park and the surrounding residents, has been abandoned.

Living near the Pulaski Street industrial park long had its problems, says resident Lola Busta. She remembers when the property was owned by the city’s largest leather producer, A.C. Lawrence, “and they’d put all the patent leather out in the sun to dry. God forbid it should rain. The horns went off and every employee dropped what they were doing to run out and bring in the leather.”

Dolphin-safe water superintendent

His school is Tamkang University in his hometown of Tapaei, Taiwan, and its symbol, according to Wikipedia, is the dolphin. Michael Sheu is still water-friendly as the city’s newly named water superintendent. Previously, he spent nearly 10 years as quality assurance program manager with the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority.

Sheu also attended the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, earning a degree in civil engineering. “The city of Peabody will benefit greatly from Michael’s expertise,” Mayor Bettencourt said in a press release, “particularly as we continue our work to upgrade Peabody’s water treatment facilities.”

Centennial doubts

A plan to construct two new buildings at 4 First St. in Centennial Park raised some questions from Rick Mooney of Paragon Prototyping Technology, which is just across the street. The project could be part of Mayor Bettencourt’s plan to revitalize and rebrand the park with businesses that are more diverse than the current tenants, including restaurants and artists’ lofts.

“I wonder if the owner realizes what he could be in for,” Mooney mused in an email to The Salem News. Renters are not plentiful, he indicated. “It took over a year to rent the space (nearby) now occupied by The Buzz Barbershop.”

He also questioned a request to reduce the required parking, suggesting that unlike at the Cummings Center, Centennial Park’s workers can’t easily stroll to this site. “I think they will need the 161 parking places.”

The developer suggests that traffic won’t be any worse, but Mooney writes, “Try leaving here at 5 p.m.”

On the other hand, Mooney supports the idea of rebranding the park and drawing more people. “I think it’s a great idea. You could build more in here.” He applauds increasing the city’s tax base. “But you’ve got to be able to rent it.”