PEABODY — Trader Joe’s has good reason to be confident about tonight’s City Council meeting.
That’s the word from
Chandra Allard, spokeswoman for Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman, whose department OKs license transfers, including the one proposed to go from Martino’s New York Deli on Route 1 to Trader Joe’s on Route 114 at a cost of $205,000.
It’s a windfall for Martino’s, which only recently received the all-alcohol license from the city at a nominal cost and has spoken of now returning to the Peabody Licensing Board to get another, a beer and wine license for the deli. A key component of the deal involves Trader Joe’s obtaining a special permit from the council to sell alcohol.
The whole arrangement has raised the hackles of a lot of officials and caused some to wonder if the inflated price paid by Trader Joe’s disadvantages small businessmen who want a license.
But, Allard says, “It’s legal.” What’s more, she recalls a recent instance in Boston where a license was sold for a price in the vicinity of $450,000. A large establishment, she explains, with all their infrastructure in place, will gladly pay a high price just to have that license and open the doors. “And (the law) does not prohibit this. There’s no way we can say you cannot sell your license.”
Allard cautions that at different stages the license transfer, like the original award of the license from the city, must be approved by various boards, including the local licensing board, the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission and the treasurer. But each of these is bound by the rules, and the business seeking the license can appeal any unfavorable decision to the courts.
Thus, Allard says, the boards are bound to follow the law and allow the sale.
What makes the license valuable is the fact that the state limits the number of licenses available to each city and town.
But if a small business is shut out, there is a remedy, Allard says. The city or town can file a home rule petition with the Legislature asking for the creation of an additional license. “It happens almost every day in the House or the Senate. That’s an option. That happens frequently. ... And it’s an option that doesn’t cost.”
The World War II Holocaust is every year further and further behind us. But if we want reminders of its monstrous character, there are, sadly, no contemporary shortages.
of the Holocaust Center, Boston North is reminding teachers to make early reservations for this year’s annual Human Rights Awareness Program for students and teachers, on Oct. 23 from 8:15 to 11:15 a.m. at Peabody High School.
Actual survivors of the Holocaust are dying off, but still with us to testify about his experiences is
Eric Kahn. He was born in 1929 into a home with a Jewish father and Christian mother. That might have helped to keep him alive as he watched relatives, friends and neighbors disappear into the camps never to be seen again.
Finally, near the end of the conflict, in 1945, he was separated from his Aryan mother and sent to the transit camp of Theresienstadt with his brother and father. All three survived.
Those attending will also hear the more recent experience of
Sayon Soeun, recruited as a child soldier during the Cambodian Genocide of the late 1970s. In a mad effort to cleanse the nation of Western and capitalist influences, the communist Khmer Rouge recruited luckless youngsters like him to help murder up to a fifth of the country’s population.
Still more recent is the tale offered by
Ernest Rugwizangoga, a Rwandan and Tutsi who in 1994 found himself at 15 running for his life and finding false safety in a camp soon overrun by rival Hutus. He spent three months watching thousands slaughtered, waiting to be killed himself.
Such firsthand tales offer a sobering lesson on the end product of intolerance. Those wishing to take advantage of the program are urged to call the Holocaust Center. Teachers are asked to prepare their students for what they will hear.