SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 17, 2013

Benton: Uncomfortable weeks for Obama

(Continued)

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It’s likely many share Driscoll’s dismay over the decision by Gordon College to discontinue management of Salem’s Pioneer Village.

The venerable historic site, built in 1930 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the city’s founding, has necessarily been a labor of love for various individuals and organizations in recent decades. Its location in Forest River Park places it several miles off the beaten path for the majority of tourists drawn to Salem’s historic downtown and rich maritime history.

But the replica colonial village has survived random acts of vandalism and periods of inattention, and it would be a genuine shame to see its thatch-roofed buildings shuttered permanently.

One potential solution long advocated by this writer and a few others: Build a pier and contract with a launch service to ferry visitors from the Salem Maritime National Historic Site to Pioneer Village, at least during the peak tourism season.

The National Park Service has long operated boats along the canals of its historic site in Lowell. Allowing people to get out into the harbor and view Salem as it was seen by returning sailors centuries ago, with stops at Pioneer Village as well as the Blaney Street landing and perhaps the Salem Willows pier, would greatly enhance the visitor experience.

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Peabody School Committeeman David McGeney is right to question the cost-effectiveness of performing a redistricting study. Given the history of that body, a couple of parents complaining about having to send their children to a different school is all it would take to scuttle even the most logical plan.

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Datebook: Salem Ward 2 City Councilor Mike Sosnowski will kick off his re-election campaign with an event Sunday (May 19) from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Ward 2 Social Club.

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