SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 21, 2013

Dems the candidates

BY ALAN BURKE
STAFF WRITER

---- — PEABODY — Thank our lucky stars another campaign season is behind us. And here comes another one in front of us.

The Democratic City Committee recently entertained a slate of would-be governors, folks hoping to fill the corner office on Beacon Hill after Gov. Deval Patrick renovates it for $9 million and then retires. The hopefuls coming to Peabody included Joe Avellone, Don Berwick, Steve Grossman, Juliette Kayyem, Steve Kerrigan and Mike Lake, according to the committee’s Debbie Ryan.

Also attending were Mayor Ted Bettencourt, Sen. Joan Lovely and Rep. Ted Speliotis, along with numerous local elected officials.

“It was fun,” said veteran Ward 4 City Councilor Bob Driscoll, after listening to each of the candidates make their pitch. “Fun and educational.” He suggested he was particularly impressed with Grossman and Berwick, who talked of Democrats as people “who don’t mind helping other people.”

Incidentally, Driscoll recalled this in an interview as he vacationed in Florida and prepared to celebrate his 67th birthday on Friday.

Welcome back Walsh

At-large City Councilor-elect Tom Walsh came to the most recent meeting of the City Council, exchanging greetings with his soon-to-be colleagues. In a career that included a stint on the School Committee and in the state House of Representatives, Walsh recalled serving as an at-large councilor 30 years ago.

“I was a hell of a lot lighter then,” he said.

But who wasn’t?

Many are called, few are honored

Three Peabody residents are on Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s list of laypeople receiving the Cheverus Award Medal, which goes to Catholics dedicated to serving the church. O’Malley is handing out 93, including to Peabody Deacon Leo Martin of St. John the Baptist and Antonio and Delminda Sousa of Our Lady of Fatima.

The award, first offered in 2008, is named for Jean-Louis Anne Magdelaine Lefebvre de Cheverus, Boston’s first bishop (stand tall, French-Americans). He was born in Maine. The award includes an image of him based on a portrait by Gilbert Stuart, more famous for his portrait of George Washington.

Today’s the day

American Education Week will be observed today from 3 to 5 p.m. at Kiley School with some impressive guests scheduled. Deputy Commissioner of Education Alan Ingram will be joined by Lovely, Speliotis and Leah Cole.

Clothes horse alert

If you’ve got so many clothes you can’t wear them anymore, there’s a solution. You can donate them to the Peabody Public Schools, thereby getting the schools a rebate from Bay State Textiles, which plans to pick them up. There are drop boxes at each school and at the administrative offices in Kiley Brothers School.

Wanted are clothes, towels, sheets, shoes and household textiles. Some of this will go to “developing countries where demand for secondhand clothing is particularly high,” according to a press release. Some of it becomes wiping and polishing cloth. Some of it could wind up in your next couch. And about 5 percent “is unusable and not fit for recycling.”

You must have spilled something on it.

Curve ahead?

When TriCity Taxi Service’s Igor Likterov asked the Legal Affairs subcommittee of the City Council to consider increasing the number of taxi licenses from 30 to 45, he got a favorable response. Everyone agreed to recommend the change to the full council.

“One thing,” Likterov added.

“You’ve already got what you want,” warned Chairwoman Anne Manning-Martin. “Things could change.”