, Salem, MA

May 3, 2012

A magical moment for Beverly's mayor

By Paul Leighton
Staff writer

BEVERLY — First there was Marco the Magi. Then Le Grand David.

Now there's ... Scanlon the Sensational?

Yes, that was Mayor Bill Scanlon performing on stage at last Sunday's magic show at the Cabot Theatre.

Well, "performing" might be too strong a word. How about "ably assisting."

Scanlon was enlisted to help out magician Henry Lewis, a guest performer at the Le Grand David and His Own Spectacular Magic Company show. Lewis is a magician from London who was a friend of Cesareo Pelaez, the magic show founder who died in March. Lewis had promised Pelaez that he would come to Beverly to perform a show in his honor.

Scanlon's role act actually began last Friday, when Lewis stopped by the mayor's office at City Hall. Scanlon's job was to watch Lewis write down a prediction that Lewis would unveil on stage on Sunday.

The paper was rolled up and placed in capsule, which was put inside a metal cylinder filled with indelible black dye that would make it obvious if anyone tampered with it.

The cylinder was then sealed and placed into a box, which was locked with a combination lock. Scanlon signed a paper swearing to what he had witnessed and entrusted to keep the box and bring it with him to the show.

On Sunday, Lewis called Scanlon up on stage with the box. Lewis and Scanlon unlocked it, took out the cylinder, and poured the liquid dye and the capsule into a glass bowl of water. Lewis even gave the mayor a pair of white gloves to protect him from the dye.

Scanlon opened the capsule and read the prediction — Red Sox 1, White Sox 0, the exact score of Saturday night's game.

We heard the mayor got rave reviews for his performance. Now if he can only make the trash fee disappear.

Saving lives

A police cruiser pulled up on the grass, a half-dozen officers showed up, a doctor arrived, defibrillators were grabbed — all for a good cause.

The scene outside the police station this week was actually a press conference to publicize the donation of two defibrillators by Northeast Health System to the Beverly Police Department.

Officer Mark Panjwani, the police's liaison with Beverly Hospital, said the new defibrillators will replace old ones currently used in police cruisers.

Panjwani said defibrillators used by police have saved at least three lives in the last five or six years.

The new defibrillators cost about $3,500 each, said Northeast Health CEO Ken Hanover. "It was a reasonable price tag, and we actually believe it will save lives," Hanover said.

Singing trooper

Police can sing, too — or least Dan Clark can.

The retired Massachusetts State Police sergeant, known as "The Singer Trooper," is scheduled to perform at the Beverly Senior Center's Memorial Day luncheon on May 21. First-graders from the Cove School will also sing, and burgers will be served.

The luncheon is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and costs $5.

Done deal

And speaking of Northeast Health, its affiliation with Lahey Clinic — they keep telling us it's not a merger — became official this week when the two sides announced they have completed the affiliation agreement.

Lahey System, as the new company is called, is working on a plan for how to "brand" the new name, but in the meantime they say everything will look the same.

Yea for Ray

This should be the party of the year.

The retirement bash for Beverly High music director Ray Novack is set for Saturday, May 19, at 7 p.m. in the BHS field house. Organizers say the evening will include "performances, stories, presentations, original compositions, slide shows, memories and dedications."

Let's hope Ray brings his accordion.

Tickets are $10 each, with a $30 maximum per family. They can be purchased at the Beverly High main office, or by mailing a check to Carolyn Pilanen, c/o Beverly High School, 100 Sohier Road, by May 11. Make checks payable to "Carolyn Pilanen/Retirement Event."

Yogurt update

Our source at Pinkberry tells us the frozen yogurt chain has scheduled a "soft" opening of its Beverly store for May 23 and a grand opening for May 24. It will be located at 23 Enon St. in the Depot Plaza.

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